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"CAUGHT AT?AST? OR, THE FELON'S…

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"CAUGHT AT?AST? OR, THE FELON'S BRAND. [ALL BIGHTS RESERVED.] CHAPTER XXVM. M. TARLAXDET FORMS A RESOLUTION. ø. FORTNIGHT had passed since M. Parlandet's sym- pa.thetic visit to the house of Mrs. White. The dis- eomnture which he experienced upon that notable occasion had long since vanished from his mind. Away from the inBuence of Mrs. White's sternly quiet iace, he began to breathe again and feel at ease. His plains had been successful; his dreaded competitor, tbepcsses&orof that ugly secret, had disappeared; there was no longer any fear of his being superseded With Van Flewker. At times, it is true, the re- collection of his secret being still in the possession of bis enemy's mother would intrude, casting a hideous obadow upon his cheerfulness of mind but ah, bah vwhat matter ? After all, she was only a woman. Our dear young friend happily disposed of,' thought M. Parlandet—"comfortably stowed away in a. safe place, whence, I imagine, there is little tikelihood of his return, we can now proceed with the grand scheme which his engagement interrupted for t time. With him I ha/ve altogether done. His account in my private lfflgt-i- is closed. Let us be business-like—draw a line across the page, write <0b. +May 4,' as his epitaph, and turn over the leaf. Stop! The prudent man utilises his adversaries after they have ceased to oppose Irm. I shall work in this dear M. Raymond even yet." Gaily humming a barcarole, M. Parlandet sat down to his desk and wrote the following note: Pa.UMa,It,Jmiel6,lS—. DEAR M. Kt.ECKSER.-If not better engaged, will it suit you to favour my humble roof with your presence this even- ing ? I have just i-eceived a few by a friend arrived from Germany upch the merits of which I .<.honld be glad to ha.veyouT opi'tU(m. Likewise some Masks of rheinwein, to be to the "ame orde,tl. Put your chessb<'a.rd in yo'.u' pocket if you tike, that we Via, fight each other if combatively inclined -.Ever your devoted N. V. P. Answer arrived in due course from Kleckser that he should be happy to spend the evening in M. Par- landet's society. The invitation, in fact, though given by Parl to smt his own projects, happened, curiously enough, to chime in with Klecker's objects too. HavngiearHCnomMrs. White the details of her recent interview with Parl, it seemed clear to his logkal mind that the manager was playing some terribly deep g;'m', in which whatever might have happened to Havmond was only an ep'sode; and it was with a view of endeavouring to get a, peep into the enemy's cards that he had so readily accepted the invitation. Isn't it a pity to waste so splendid an evening within four walls ?" a.sked Eleckser. on the evening appointed we shall enjoy ourselves much more in the open air. Don't you think so, M. Parlandet ?" My son, your words are words of wisdom and of truth, returned Patl. The only question that re- mams now to decide is, whither we shall direct our Wandering steps." 46 a capital place not far from remarked "where and I often go when the weather's 6np. It's called the 'Elephant's Tos!f. To-a. for the Tusk of the E!epha,nt. then, my friend'" returned Parl and the two set cut. Now I should mention that the grand scheme of which M. PHi'!a')det had spoken to himself that morning was a, very important affair indeed. To compare great thrngs with it v/a.s much the same idea as a powerful Opposition conceives when it intends to overthrow a, Ministry, or as the scheme of a down-trodden J!a1ÏonRiít.v to upfet the powers that be. M. Pa.rta.ndet had formed the resolution of over- turning Mynheer Fab;;j,n va.n Flewker. and intended to reign in his stead. He did not mean again to run the risk of hems' suoerseded, v.'h!ch he had in- C'y:' d with Raymond V.'hit'?: and, beHeving so good an opportunity as the present wou!d not speedily recur, he preferred endeavo'rmg to establish himself in tl)e merchant' fPat. He. kne'v v. e!1 that. even if he succeeded in lip, be unable to carry on the business ?'ithout rhe fSH:s!anr'e of the clerks, but he belif'vPc] this could be p!1f(:ha.sf'cl. At rate, very cautiously and wari'yftT. first, he would try the effect of a little. iud!cious tampering, and he selected Kleckser as tb.e o!ic;itl on whom to make his madden essny. Th!s wa.s the secret of the invitation prf'viously set forth. Pphotd, therefore, ?.L Parlandet a.nd Kleckser, a couple of hnurs later, seated comfortably in one of the garden harbours of the Elephant's Tusk." A !!tt!e refreshment for Ohe good of the house having been ordered, M. Par!andet brought forth his Rhein- wein and cigai"?, and the two proceeded, solemnly, and with the gravity bentriasr so important a subject, to test their merits. Par! presfr)t!v proposing play, KIecker produced tus board a.r.d men, believing ?—simp'e youth ?-that they were merely to engage tn a. f!"enrHy content at chess. M. Pa.riandet, upon the concrary, knew wetl that he was making the initiatory moves of a far more hazardous and deadly gamp. Curious, is it not, very dsar M. Eleckser," re- marked Par], present.iy, "th¡),t no news has been yet received of our late coHeaeue, M. Vhite P And his family have not heard anything whatever about him?" "Nothing whatever, M. Fsrlandet; returned Heckser, unsuspiciously. The wine of his fatherland ha,d somev.'hat opened his heart an'r* loosened his tonsu so he v.ent on I should rather ceme to you for information upon the subject, I think, than you tome." "To me ?" inquired Parl, astonished. "Wherefore, pray, my f.-enr! ? WfU, Mrs. White appears to fancy you know Mo-e about rhf disappearance of her son than you choose to say." Is it possible F But, bah These women, par- ticularly when thay in life, do adopt the Strangest notions. What?"t,hly interest could 7have in inducmg M. RaymoiDd to :stOP away ?" I know of none. But, so far as I can understand, Mrs. White seems to think some sinister influence h&s been at work. She feels sure her son would never remain away of his own free will." '< I will own to you frankly, my friend, that I am disposed to agree with Mrs. White so far. The only j Question is, by whose agency was the son removed.?"

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"CAUGHT AT?AST? OR, THE FELON'S…

"CAUGHT AT?AST? OR, THE FELON'S…