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fitt mshts iisnrziv] NO ROBBERY. M HENRY FRITH, ttfpfAor if "The Mystery of Moor Fsrm" "On tho Wing* of the Wind," Through Flood, Throuqh Fire," 4'c., Ac, tcHAPTER XXXI.. rhou ART THE MAN! y-RK. Layton was not at first much alarmed at Hinnie's absence, but when evening set in and night idrow on, she became alarmed and, putting on her tionnet, went out in search of ber. She made in- quiries at every place she thought it likely Minnie aright have gone to, and at la-t she determined to go 10 the "Towers, and see Edward Wason. It was a good wal, but the night, though dark, vu fine and culm. Mrs, Layton lost no time, and it was øcarcely nine o'clock when she ari ived and inquired for I Mr. Fdward." « They are at dinner," replied the servant; "hut Come in, Mrs, Lay ton,"and I will say you are here." Lucy came in, and in a few minutes a message -came for her to go up into the library, where Mr. Edward would sre her. She went upstairs accord. ingly. and almost immediately Edward came into the room. "Good evening, Mrs. L-, yton. What can I do for you ? I cannot remain very long, as we have friends to dinner r" .1 I came at out V innie," raid the woman. Minnie-wl at about her ? Is anything the patter r" "Don't you know, then? She left home three hours ago and mce, and I find he has taken a bundle. Didn't she see.,ifoet 1" No; I have not set eyes on her ginee yesterday," yeplied Edward, fervently. "A r-, you certain she Jias taken a bundle ? Why did he leave so sud- denly?" We had some words fibont that v^ung Deane," replied NI i-s. Layton. "and she declared she'd man'y no one else but vou." I Jar h'ng m rmured Edward. And then a menage cam-, and she wr nt upstairs. I didn't take any notice, knowing her ways, until P. just at dusk I happened to go up, and, not finding fcer, I searched. But she wasn't about. Then I missed one or two tliinr- of hers. and then I found the had taken what things she could carry away. As soon as T discovered all this I went around and I tiot finding her, came on h re, siipi osinir, to lell you the truth, tfcat you had a hand in the business. I That's the who'o afTa'r." addedltrk. Layton, begin- ning to'cry. "and F wish she wasn't so contrary." 44 We must find her immediately," said Edward. I'll see what c m be done." r « Perhaps she's gone to the Ilall," suggested Mrs. Layton." "No, scarcely. I cannot go now. We have friends dining here. I will ask them what to do. Meantime, I will see about getting the horses saddled. We must set off soon." I Edward returned to the dining-room, and his ahsenca was naturally remarked upon. The dessert was on the table. He was in a very unenviable position, for he must declare his attachment to Minnie, else his anxiety concerning her would be misconstrued, and he troubled to think how his parents*and hia father's guests would receive the i telligence. If he could manage to get it over without a full con- fession, it would be best, of course. What is the matter, Edward ?" asked his father. Anything from the works ? 44 No," replied Edward. But Mrs. I avton f Here Captain Kushleigh sfeaittd and stared at the speaker. ,,What!" he Slid suddenly. "The mother of that charming little girl who behaved so very I pluckily the other day." Yes," replied Edward. Minnie has left homo Itnd her mother wants help to find her." Why should she come here then r" asked Lady Watson. Why inquire for you r" Because Minnie and I have seen a good deal of cach other lately, and so I am an old friend——" "What!" exclaimed Sir Walter angrily. "Have Joubeen playing fast and loose with that girl ? By ove, young man, if I bear this of you I'll cut you off with a sliilling! You had better let the boy explain the case," Bsid Lady Watson, who was going o reprove her son when her husband anticipated her. It is nonsense blaming him until you hear the circum- stances, Go on, Edward, if your father will permit you." II Well, I'm not ashamed to say I like Minnie very much, and M rs. Layton knows it. So she fancied in her trouble that Minnie——" Minnie, Minnie burst out Sir Walter Watson. « There is something behind this. Let the woman come in and explain." My dear Sir Walter, do be cautious. I am sure (Sir William and Lady Deane have no wish to hear all about this girl: and as to Edward caring for Jier—it's impossible." "I don't know that," remarked Sir William Deane —"Marmaduke did." Your s, n ? Do you mean to tell me that this girl is fitted to; marry a gentleman ? cried Lady Watson.1 As far as manner and appearance go," said the General, stoutly, "I must say she would be only an ornament to any household. But her station in life nd h3r accomplishments* are not what we ex- pect or desire for my -son. "Certainly rot," assented Sir Walter; "nor for mine either. Edward, you are an ass-an idiot! Tell the woman to go about her business. We can't be answerable for every railway brat." "Father," said Edward, with dignity, and, rising as he spoke, I hope you won't think me disre- spectful, but T am attached to this young lady." "Young lady—young beggar!" exclaimed his father, angrily. Come, no nonsense, Edward. Sit down: don't let us have any tragedy airs, if you please. Ring the bell, Lily." "What for may I inquire P said Lady Watson. "I think it is my nlace to—— 9 Go to Bath said Sir Walter, who had quite lost his temper at the unparalleled temerity of his son. Ring the-bell, Lily, or go to bed." One would think it was a nursery instead of a dining-room. Lady Deane, I am sure this is no place for us. May I venture to disturb you, and ask you to come with me to Bath ? added her angry ladyship, and. she rose and followed her guest from ,the room, Lily, of course, accompanying her. t. This little scene was very unpleasant for General 0 if, 0 Printing of every Description to wfnegs out the iervant appeared, and Sir Walter at once desired j him to request the woman in the library to come in to him." The man disappeared, wondering what was the matter, and in a minute or two he entered and ushered Mrs. Layton into the room. She wore a thick veil, and her features were scarcely distin- guishable behind it. "I Well, woman, what's all this about your daughter ?" said Sir Walter, roughly. We cannot help you. I can't have my servants hunt- ing round for any mad girl who chooses to run after a young man-" Are you speaking to me, sir Walter P asked Lucy, ;n a low voice, trembling—perhaps with fear, peihaps with indignation. Yes, I am," he answered, somewhat taken aback. To whom else ? Who are you, indeed ? A most miserable woman," said Lucy, raising her veil; "a wretche 1 and unhappy woman." She had scarcely lifted the veil from her face when General Deane uttered an exclamation which turned all eyes towards him. Well did he know the face, though many years had passed over it and changed its beauty. The face was one never to be forgotten, and the General remembered it too well. Captain Kushleigh was s'tting with his hack to the door, and had not turned his head. Sir William continued: "What's the matter, General: do you know this person?" asked Sir Walter, the Bear. I think I do," replied the General; or I fancy I did. It is many years ago, and yet Oh, well, if you know her she's all right. I've heard about her, and her living with Collier." That's not true, Sir Walter Watsdn," said Lucy Layton, flushing angrily. If you Fay that, you repeat a lie." Why, you brazen baggac-e," began the angry baronet; but he did not finish his sentence. Cap- tain Rushleigh rose, and turning round, gazed at the angry lady for a moment; then, addressing his host, he said firmly: "Hold, Sir Walter! I cannot permit this. This lady is my wife. I am Francis Layton!" "Good God!" exclaimed the General, as he sank back in his chair. 41 Layton!" Mrs. Layton made no sign. She fainted as she stood, and fell senseless to the ground.

CHAPTER XXXII.