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THE SENTENCE OF THE COURT.

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SPSCSAL ARRANGEMENT.] THE SENTENCE OF THE COURT. BY HEADON HILL, Author of "The Queen of Night," Guilty Gold, "By a Hair's-breadth," &c., Ac, [COPYRIGHT.] SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS CHAPTERS. CHAPTERS I. i; II.—In the little Hampshire village Ot Monk's Hadley live. Dr. Bathurst, the local physician, one night, just as he i« about to retire, he is **ited upon by Mr. Leger Vipan, a newly-fledged million- O,ire, who has just purchased the fine old mansion known *•' Rookley Wood. The purport of his visit is to induce Doctor not to give him away." The Doctor ^clares that if he means by that that he was not going diselone to Sir Henry Selwood what he knew of ''Pan's antecedents, he was much mistaken. Vipan. he **ininded him, had caused his (the Doctor's) niece Rita puch uneasiness by promising her marriage, and then *&'ulting her with proposals which she flung back in his ?*eth. Now that Vipan was endeavouring to ingratiate jj'niself with Sir Henry Selwood's niece, the Doctor had Oetermined to expose him. As the Doctor is talking ^'Pan is toying with a pink tumbler, and shortly after- **rds leaves the house. The Doctor takes his usual T^Shtcap from the tumbler, and half an hour subsequently nephew, Cyril, who visits him, finds him dead in hi# '"air. Himself a doctor, he suspect* poison, and **oid exposure, as suspicion might rest upon himself, ha "'Pes out the tumbler and leaveg the house. As h« £ he meets Vipan, the millionaire, but neither of speaks. On reaching his lodgings in the east end London, he waits for news from Monk's Hadley. In week's time he hears that he has been left -th« rr*<!tice of his uncle on condition that he resides at rank's Hadley. From a newspaper he learns that foul P'ay is suspected, and his uncle's body is to be exhumed. J1 fear he consents to exchange the practice at Monk's ),adiev with a fellow doctor, who is ordered out to the land Islands, George Maiden, his friend being in /*Ve with the daughter of Sir Henry Selwood. Thej Htes to exchange names. CHAPTER H. (Continued). .or a moment Cj ril Bathurst hesitated to commit ^ttiseif to the tremendous issues that might spring ,r°Qi the adoption of his suggestion. There was still ^ttie to laugh it off as a jest or, in the discussion of j*etails, to raise difficulties whioh should make the f.r°ject of a change of personalities appear imprac- ticable. j. Yet, turning the matter over in his mind with 'Shining rapidity, he saw that no such difficulty e*iated—in the absence of one contingency. Is thera anyone in the Falkland Isles, or likely °(Sfo there, who knows you by sight?'' he asked, j, Not a soul; I shouldn't have jumped at the if there had been," Maiden replied. "The j^a-nds are one of the smallest dependencies of the British Empire—quite out of the run of the globe- r^tter—a sort of no-man's land." The place of all places for one against whom, if he recognised, a charge of murder might be pre- reflected Cyril. And in allowing his friend to take his plaoe at Monk's Hadley he should not be objecting him to the danger from which he him- eu was fleeing; for—-at least so he argued—that aiger would only threaten the person whom the 5jeddlesome Yipan could identify as having been at °ctor Bathurst's house on the fatal night. So the die was cast, and the two young men set ■h'-mselves to work out in sober earnest the scheme jThich was to bring them to strange passes before f ny- were through with it. Everything seemed to *jl into line as though foreordained to suit th«ir Neither of them had any near relations to ?r°m farewells would have to be said, or with J^om they would have to correspond, and George c alden had. already transacted all official business ^nneeted with his departure. All that remained for him to hand over his passage ticket by the **°yal Mail steamer to Cyril, and get posted in such Particulars as would enable him to play his assumed ^aracter at Monk's Hadley. In ^imparting this information Cyril had to tread 11 delicate ground, but he came safely through the rdeal without inspiring the least suspicion as to the 641 cause of his reluctance to take over his uncle's Practice. He merely said, what was perfectly true, he had not spoken to the old doctor for many V*ars, that the doctor's death had been medically ^ftified as due to heart disease, but that circum- f^nces had since arisen which might entail an in- ^Uest, and he ended by handing to Maiden the eWspaper paragraph announcing the probable ex- Uftiation of the body. ta.'I don't anticipate the least trouble myself, ha r^'d a little nervously, as he watched his friend a P^fusa] of the paper. George Maiden, in his infatuation for the fair face e^n that morning, had thrown caution to the winds, rw?*i he failed to notice the tremble in Cyril's voioa, "e name of Yipan as the investigator of the move- for exhumation called fotth all his antagonism. That chap seems to be an all-round busybody it be an extra pleasure to spike his guns," said j*eorge, with enthusiasm. "I suppose he means to J^iauate {]la^ yOUr uncle committed suicide? If so may rely on my doing what is possible to clear old man's name from such a stigma." j Hating himself for his duplicity, Cyril neverthe- checked the impulse to say that it would be hard i°.remove that stigma after the autopsy, except bv rir, Ring a charge of murder against someone. To divulged so much would have entailed a ;ull Session of his fe- And the grounds tor tlieni; d, though Maiden was quite in the mood to go on With the affair even with a full knowledge of the te, Cy ril in his selfish weakness dared not run the k of alarming him. His own conscience he salvfld 'th the fact that Vipan would be powerless against *nyone but himself. i George at Monk's Hadley will be safe; I should in peril of the iiangman," was the burden <u the argument that had burned itself into hia rain. i ^hen Maiden had handed over all official papers-- had t'hom in his pocket-book—connoctcd with lus appointment in the Falkland Isles, receiving in ex- a.nge the solicitors' letter inviting Cyril Bathurst- to take possession of his own, it only remained to ?$Wt money matters. This was easily arranged oj e°rge giving Cvril a hundred pounds out of |>dy money which he had realised in view of bur ^Parture, on the understanding that he was to ap- propriate in his new character of Cyril Bathurst. monev left by the latter's uncle "And there is one thing more, I think, if you Wt mind," said Cyril, tentatively. Of course. vegot every confidence m each other, but woulf) £ not be as well if we did a little swear over the job! i *ill pledge my word, if you will do the same by irr?. S.0? to resume my own personality, or indirectly d«- '?e it, except by mutual consent.. I'm on," replied George, gaily, and it isn » k^ely 1 shall break my oath. The Army Medicu> PePartment would scarcely be eager to receive :a-> into the fold again. No. Im Cyril Bathuis., r S?ood and all now, old boy. "For good and all then be it ^l^ynl more fcfaveiv I expect we shall find it difficult at first I? remember our new names we mustn t make any Istak", especially when we have to sign them. r> that moment waiter brought the bill, and r^rge having tendered payment m a Ave-pound Ste, the man proffered a stumpy penci ■that he endorse it, George promptly wrote Cyr 1 ^thurgt," and showed the signature to h,s friend. 1 'Not much mistake about that, eh? he laughed, W the waiter had gone for the change. The two voung men rose from the table and down the long dining-room, too preoccupied l'k.d down the long dining-room, too preoccupied 1 .th* .p thev had taken to pay much atten- to their surroundings. They had nearly reached door, Cyril leading, when George s eye waa ClC?ht by a smartly-dressed girl who was luncnmg ('ht by a smartly-dressed girl who was luncnmg vd elderly clergyman 11 i"By jW- that's Rita Bertram of the Gaiety, h exclaimerr upder hi? breath, but loud enough for ^jl to hear suppose she is a parson s da-Ugh- Oh come on!" saicf' Cjril, who had already throu„h the door of the ^Wurant. I never the lady, and anyhow you caift expect me— Maiden, of the Falkland Isles—to be m- Nsted in London actress." And the pair went into the Strand.. if Cyril Bathurst was too full of )oy at the I v^Pe he had found from his dilemma to heed the I laxly, she had regarded him with eo much | ae to attract the attention of faer POlfl- ou wem I kJ^ou seem to know those two fellows. Miss rm," said the clerical-looking gentleman, feting a keen glanoo at her. I met one of them once, I think, 1 was trying i>Hembw where," was the reply, uttered with an I ih ^Ption of carelessness. Anyhow, it has notn- ta? to do with the ease that I want you to under- I for me. I haven't had your answer yet. I d]j "5"ou are sure you would not wish to employ sonic | agency? I hav« yet to win fjay spurs as a de- .1 (/tve, you know." said her compam&w In a low j'oung actress, having finished her luncheon, drawing on her gloves. She seemed to have difficulty with the buttons, that kept her eyes >e^Hca,st; but there was no hesitation about her t >e^Hca,st; but there was no hesitation about her y, TOur epurs in my oase, then," she said "As wis I heard that the Honourable Mark Taver- W started in the detective line I derided that h» f^ie snan for my money. I ve khowh yoij 4 a y«ar you see, and I'd rather tru^t you thna Jtw raiiger. You have always behaved a gentle- to me, and I believe you are cute. fcv; clerically-attired person bowed low, and 9 1 flashed for a moment from his eyes—eyes Ir, J Sometimes, as now, had too much fire in them 05 altogtber in keeping with the grizzled locks ^>riok-du»t complexion. I shall strive to do- yovir good opinion he replied, and 1 will Iw^Ha'ke .your case with pleasure. It ought not to W]to t«M>e f.his man who treated you so three years back, but it would greatly help me I HI?1 Would tell me a more about yourselt I the that mV- h^-ve W^e famous on I your proper one—and so o&. Rita OBertram rfwok her head decisWsny'. only facts I can give you *0 work on pb& was known to me as Asgrusttis Vincent, eli aIt I used to address lefctere to him at the ab in Denman Street," she replied, clwb ha-s ceased to exist," murmured Tavemer, re«ectively. "You want to bring .on for breach of ffwomise against him, eh7 'twng is ftirtiher from mv mind; I would not t^^fy stme by having it bruiJ<ed about in con- with his," Miss Bertram insisted, with many node of her plumed hart. No," fii.i went I ealmly, "I want you to find him for me I may hold him in fear of an expo- 1 in the le««t intending to make it. It 4 T nMwa,gord l m --o01IIá a fairly rich woman, and I have an idea that Mr. Vinoent may .be in some position which will make it eimply delightful to keep him like a toad under a harrow. For instance he might have married 01 be about to marry my proofs of his villainy planted in the right place would scarcely conduce to har- mony for him." "Well, if you are bent on revenge 1 will do my level best to get it for you," said Taverner as Rita rose and sailed graoefully to the door. Excusing himself on the plea of wanting change he left her for a moment and went up to the cashier's desk. "Two gentlemen were lunching at No. 9 table just now, and one of them, I saw, endorsed a bank- note at the waiter's request," he said. Woufd you have any objection to my looking at the signa. ture? I rather think I recognised the gentleman who signed it, but I am not sure." No objection was made, and Mark Taverner, scion of the peerage and proprietor of the newly-started "Detective Bureau," began his first case, in the interest of a client with whom he was more than half in love, by reading the bold signature" Cyril Bathurst." "Bathurst!" he repeated to himself under his breath. Not a too common name, yet I seem to have seen it in print somewhere recently. I shall remember presently. That was the nice open-look- ing chap who went out last. I wonder who the other was—the shifty, nervous party who seemed in such a hurry to get away. He was the one, if I am not mistaken, who caused Rita's uneasiness." With due regard to clerical dignity he rejoined Miss Bertram at the door of the restaurant, and having put her into a cab, walked away to his chambers in Chancery Lane—thinking deeply. CHAPTER Ill-SIMON DURKE PULLS THE STRINGS. The hot August sun was slanting to its plunge behind the home coverts that on all sides hemmed in the mansion and park of Rookley Wood with a leafy wall. At one of the windows of the magnifi- cent billiard-room stood Leger Vipan, mechanically watching the young pheasants as they fed at the edge of the woods, though his moody brow be- tokened thoughts less pleasantly occupied. "The Selwoods dine at eight, and Sir Henry is a stickler for punctuality. I shall have to go and dress soon if that brute doesn't turn up," he muttered. And then at the sight of a figure passing through the distant lodge-gates, he added quietly, Ah, there he is at last. I shall know the worst, and, as a natural consequence, how to make the best of it directly." The man who was tramping steadily towards the great house wore the uniform, of the county police, and a few minutes later, after passing round to the servants' entrance, was announced by a tall footman as- "Constable Durke, to see you, sir." Simon Durke, for five years now stationed at Monk's Hadley as the village policeman, was not blessed with an attractive exterior. It is possible that he may have been intended originally to have a face of the bland, good-humoured type, for it was broad, smooth-shaven and flabby; but if so, Nature had robbed him of any advantages she had bestowed. He was a victim of the ravages of small-pox, and in common with others marked by that fell disease, he had a countenance devoid of all expression. The suggestion of oily good humour was furthef enhanced by the insinuating tones of his voice-tones which, possibly prejudiced, local gossip alleged to be singularly useful in making good his cases before the county bench. He had contrived to maintain with his superiors the reputation of a zealous officer, but he was not popular with the villagers. They said he was better at getting poor people fined for allowing their pigs to stray than at tackling rough characters. With the proprietors of "licensed premises within the radius of his duties, he was always on the best of terms. Well?" asked Vipan glowering at his visitor, as soon as the footman had disappeared. But Simon Durke was not to be hurried. Ho took out, and mopped his brow with, a red cotton handkerchief, and before restoring it to the breast of his tunic, extracted from the same receptacle a long blue slip of paper. This he held in his hand, smooth- ing it lovingly. Then with a sudden jerk he prof- fered the paper to Vipan and said: That's your summons as a witness to the inquest, s-ir-to-morrow at eleven-thirty, at the Swan. Tho ooroner got the analyst's report to-day, and it all come out jest as I expeoted. The poor old dootor was poisoned right enough." Or else poisoned himself," said Vipan, taking the summons with an effort at carelessness. You forget, sir; we went into that, you and I, already," said the policeman, in a voice of sympa- thetic regret. "People don't wash tumblers after suiciding themselves with poison. It's murder or nothing—as you said yourself when you thought as how it was wisest to start a hagitation for over'aul- ing the body." "True!" said Vipan, reflectively. "It all seems to hinge on that tumbler. If somebody murdered the doctor by putting poison in his glass it must have been the young fellow whom I saw come out of the garden gate with his bicycle as I was passing the house." It might have been him. sir, of course; only I don't think so," replied DuAe, in his most oily t c tones. He was still perfectly respectful, but there wan an under-current of mastery in his concluding sentence that irritated Vipan into the exclamation Come, man say whan you mean, and have done with it!" But even thus urged Simon Durke seemed mcap- able of answering a plain question in plain language. After an admiring gaze at one of the handsome oil paintings on the waU-a gaze that somehow sug- gested that he was appraising the value of the gor- geously appointed room—he became more discursive than ever. "You see. Mr. Vipan, sir, we rural police ain't had the training of Scotland Yard detectives in weighing hevidence," he went on." What I should mostly like to know is whether the fact of my hav ing seen you entering the doctor's garden gate that night at 'ten past ten is one that I ought to bring forward at the inquest. It don't seem hardly rele- vant to do it, and yet somehow I think it my duty." Vipan gnawed his thick moustache, and there was a sinuous movement of his limbs as though he were about to fling himself upon the placid policeman. It required all his nerve to control the wild rage with which the deadly smoothness of the man's well- understood insinuations filled him, but the wisdom of the serpent prevailed. Why, you scoundrel, I gave you five pounds to hold your tongue about that the other day," he said, with affected friendliness. It will take a good deal more than that now, sir, to quiet my conscience, seeing as how it's proved to be poison," replied Simon, with pious unction. Can't you see, man, that the fact of my having moved for the inquiry, on the strength of having seen that young fellow leave the house, is sufficient to exonerate me from the absurd suspicion you hint at?" Begging your pardon, sir, but you didn't mention the young feller, nor yet make no fuss about having the corpse analysed, till after I'd told you I'd seen you going in at the garden gate at 10-10 p.m., replied the constable, doggedly: It ain't for the likes of me to 'old opinions, but there might be folks—maybe the coroner himself—who'd say as you came that game as a bluff." That view also had occurred to Vipan. and well be knew that the bluff would only stand good so long as he could keep this mealy-mouthed rascal from publishing the awkward fact of his late visit to the doctor's house on the fatal night. Well ho knew, too, that the fact would look all the blacker against him because of its temporary suppression and his own public silence about it." Well." he said. after a long pause, as I have already told you, I have my own reasons for not wishing my visit to Doctor Bathurst to be publicly known. They are quite unconnected with his death, but they are strong enough to induce me to make you this offer. I will pay you 2150 a year so long as you are silent as to having seen me." Coulijn'j; you make it a lump down, sir?" suggested Durke meekly, but with a gleam of triumph in his fishy eyes. I could hemigrate to the States then, sir, and set up a public or a farm or eomethink." And come back and pester me again as soon as you had spent or lost the money," sneered Vipan. "No, my friend, I have been engaged in finance in the City of London too long to subject myself to unlimited blackmail in that way. You can take as an annuity or not at all; and I shan't keep that pffey open long, for I'm pretty nearly at the end pf my patience." Simon Duyke, w his way no mean judge of character, saw that he must not push the millionaire further, and he hastened to conclude the bargain on the terms offered. And being now in a manner of speaking in your service, sir, if there's any other little thing I can do for you. in this case or at any time, I shan't expect nothink hextra," he remarked as Vipan conducted him to the door. "I'll bear your generosuy in mma; ana, oy tne wav, you may as well begin at once," was the reply. I hear that young Bathurst, the old man's heir and i,^v,c>or, has taken tip his residence at the house, bu(Tl hav.v)/i seen hini yet. What sort is he? It has struck me thai, lit niight. have been the individual I saw with the bicycle." The policeman smiled darkly, having no faith in the mysterious apparition. The young doctor is a passable-looking gent—dark and upstanding, he plied. "He's only been in the village a week, but the people have taken a fancy for him. So ha:-1 ud,>„ Selwood's daughter by all accounts. Least- ways. he's about with her a good bit." Though Simou snatched with cunning eyes, Vipan gave no indication whether or no the description fi.lj.pfi the bill, and, curtly dismissing his newly pnr- cVi.i».*m4 yaswal, ran up to his room to change his clothes. Hi" VIj.,I!t was waiting for him, but he sent the man away. He wanted to be alone to give vent to his feelings; and he did so in no measured language, cursing Simon Durke, not so much for his blackmailing tactics as for the news conveyed in hie parting shot. To think that this young medical cub is phil- andering after Irene already." he exclaimed. I might hiave made it hot for him if. &3 I expected, he had turned out to be the man I passed in the shrub- bery, but Durke's description does not tally. That fallow was fairish-&o far as I could judge in the jbad'hg^.7 By degrees Jbe grev palmer, and by the time he was dr.d' he 'had pOOQwe Yery thoughtful. There was still the phapce that Purjce.fi description might havg bieen wrong, and, if you!ig Doctor JJathursfc proved to bp the dead man's late visitor, he would raise such a cloud of suspicion against him that he would not be able to Iia.y at Monk's Hadley— even if no worse fate overtook him, And if he's not the same chap," Vipan mut- tered, as he gwitched off the electric light in hie -renin. AjKUweAt-ijdawi)- to hia- doir oaxt. "the situation will have to be laced all the same. I'm bad to beat." The Priory, the pleasant country retreat where Mr. Justice Selwood spent his vacations, was but a short drive from the lodge gates of Rookley Wood. It had no pretensions to rivalry with the larger and more showy mansion of the millionaire, but it looked what it was—the comfortable abode of an English gentleman, rather than the castle of a brand-new. Citv-made millionaire. Vipan found his host and hostess, with their only daughter, in the old-fashioned, low-ceiled drawing- room, and was rather more profuse in his apologies for being a minute or two late than good breeding demanded. Anxious always to push his way into county society, the millionaire had a still stronger reason for standing well with the Selwoods—a reason furnished by Irene Selwood's fair young face. Sir Henry Selwood came forward to greet the guest and neighbour whom he did not like, but for whom the amenities of country life demanded out- ward civilities. Till a year ago the most popular Queen's Counsel in leading practice, the judge was scarcely past middle age, and in a dress-coat looked more like a sporting squire or a Navy captain than a great lawyer. Nor did the resemblance belie pursuits, for the moment he had con- cluded one of his masterly judgments his thoughts turned to his stud of hunters or to the steam yacht which he kept at Cowes. T Y ipan, he led him to where .Lady Selwood sat chatting to Irene, who was turning over the contents of her music-stand. Both ladies shook hands with the millionaire pleasantly enough, but without any great show of cordiality. Mother and daughter had long ago mutually agreed tliat they couldn t abide" the new owner of Rookley Wood. ipan is terribly afraid that he has kept us waiting, but I don't think we are all here yet," said Sir Henry. "You asked young Cyril Bathurst—it comes hard to call him Doctor Bathurst yet—eh?" Lady Selwood answered in the affirmative, adding for Vipan s enlightenment that the old doctor's nep- hew and successor, who was a most charming fellow, had only consented to dine at the Priory on the un- derstanding that it was strictly a family party. His mourning is too recent for him to go out yet, but as a near neighbour and possible patient we did not think he would mind meeting you," she concluded. He comes into the practice under rather un- pleasant circumstances," said Vipan, trying but failing to sound sympathetic. "You have possibly heard that the Home Office analyst's report has be- 1 forwarded, and that there is to be an inquest to- morrow?" In a small plaoe such as Monk's Hadley everyone heard of everything and not only were the Selwoods aware of the coming inquest, but of the prominent part Vipan had taken in bringing it about. -ii Henry, skilled in the conduct of criminal cases, and a noted cross-examiner before his elevation to the Bench, was a little puzzled by it all, though it was beneath his official dignity to evince open interest in a local mystery. "Poor old Doctor! The last man in the world to have poisoned himself—unless it was by accident." he answered conventionally. There was IOme tall. in the village of your having seen some stranger lurking about the house that night, eh Vipan?" Yes, I have been summoned as a witness to morrow in consequence," was the reply, which was cut short by the entrance of the butler to announce: Doctor Bathurst." Vipan, all alert now, cast a quick glance at uie door and had to bite his lip to stifle an exclamation of surprise. The tall, well-built young man who ad- vanced to meet his hostess was not the dead man's midnight visitor whom he had passed in the shrub bery. but he was the individual whom he had found in conversation with Irene Selwood in Hyde Park a week ago. There was no mistake about it in iae least. His swift scrutiny of the girl's face now, as she half-shyly welcomed the latest guest, told him that their acquaintance had a stronger root than :i week's near residence in a country village. A moment later the two enemies, for so they both instinctively felt themselves, were shaking hands with each other at Sir Henry's irtioduction, but the announcement of dinner at the same time pre- cluded any awkwardness and gave Vipan the oppor tunity he needed for maturing his plans. At the dinner-table there was no positive indica- tion of a screw being loose in the social relations between any of the party, yet gradually there stole over those present a consciousness of some queer restraint. Experienced host and hostess as Sir Henry and Lady Selwood were, they could not at first divine ihe source of the electric feeling in the air. Vipan talked gaily, if somewhat ostentatiously, to Lady Selwood of alterations he was making at Rookley Wood, and Irene chattered to her father and the young doctor of anything that came into her pretty head; but whenever the conversation became general Vipan studiously refrained from fol- lowing any remark of Doctor Bathurst's, nor did he once address the newly-arrived practitioner. Long before the meal was ended Sir Henry's keen observation noted this curious repulsion between two men now meeting, so far as he was aware, for the first time. But he was not one to hurry things. He trusted to his acumen to find a solution for the puzzle at the first opportunity, and he made a shrewd guess that Irene's attractions would form a part of it. In that guess, shrewd as it was and right in the main, the judge was presently to be made to believe that he was wrong. With questionable taste Vipan, after a pause, steered the conversation to the subject of the death sentence and asked Sir Henry what were his sensa- tions when he had to pass it. To this the judge was able to reply, somewhat shortly, that he didn't know; owing to the newness of his appointment he had never yet had to try a capital charge. "My impression is that I should feel more un- happy than the man in the dock," he added. "I have heard it said by my brethren on the Bench that guilty prisoners—no others are condemned nowadays-are so numbed by a sense of impending doom that they hardly realise their position. I am sure I hope it is so." "And what is your opinion? What is the medical view of the case, Doctor Bathurst?" said Vipan. Do you think that a man who is going to he hanged is knocked so silly that he fails to ap. preciate the prospect?" Perhaps there was nothing offensive in the actual words, but the strange ring in Vipan's voice and the fact that these were the only words he had addressed to the young doctor, caused Sir Henry to cast a quick glance from one man to the other. But the challenge, if challenge it was, failed of its purpose. The new Monk's Hadley medical man merely smiled and answered that, hitherto his linsi not having been ca.st among criminals, he had not studied the subject. What does this mean?" Sir Henry asked him- self. Surely that was a coiMiter-strike? I think I detected an intentional emphasis on our young friend's hitherto.' Shortly afterwards L'ady Selwood and Irene rosn to go to the drawing-room, and, not altogether to Sir Henry's surprise, Doctor Bathurst asked per- mission to accompany them on the plea of wanting to try some new music. No sooner had the door closed on the trio than the judge motioned Vipan to his side and passed the decanters. A very decent fellow, poor old Bathurst's nephew and successor," he said. "Did I tell you that, by a queer coincidence, my daughter had made his ac- quaintance informally before ws came down here?" You didn't tell me, but I knew as much," Vipan replied. I happened to be in the Park when he rendered her some trifling assistance." Come! you don't like the boy, I can see. What is the matter with him?" asked Sir Henry SeWood briskly. The millionaire slowly cracked a walnut and sipped his port before replying. I would rather not answer tha.t question till after I have given my evidence a.t the inquest on his uncle to-morrow," he Raid at length. "I may be wrong—I should be eorry to do* anyone an injustice-but I was deeply concerned to see him here, an honoured guest, VBder yoar roof to-night." (To be continued.)

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