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'All Riff hit Reserved.) WRITTEN IN FIRE;" OR. THE WITNESS IN THE DARK. BY FLORENCE MARRYAT, ACTHOR OF Love a Contlict, Fighting the Air," "Her Father's Name," &c., to., dec. ..f CHAPTER XVL TRUE TO HIS OATH. In Java," repeated Pere Raoul. Are yon very maeh surprised, my children, to hear that I, a hard working priest of Brusca, with scarcely time enough to accomplish the duties that await me here, should have a monetary interest in a remote foreign colony, s" far removed from the scene of my own labours? Well, then, I can assare you that I possess a large circle of acquaintances in Java, and many personal friends with whom I maintain an active correspondence. Fabian, did you never hear me speak of my sister, Madame Van Hoost?" "I mast have done so as a child, mon pere. The name is familiar to me, though I cannot have heard it for so many years. And I knew that yoa founi woik somewhere in the colonies for your boys from the Criche, though I was not quite certain where." Jmt so. 1 have been the means of sending many boys out to Satavia—not only my poor foundling*, but the seas of rich parents. It is so difficult to find wo-k for all the young men springing up around as wnw-a-days. And my sister, Madame Van tiooat, has been my agent, my right hart i. I could have done nothing without the help of Louise-nothing what. ever." The priest paused a moment, as though some- thing in tru, remembrance of Louise had power to touch him, then continued in a brisker voice— My parents had only two ohildren, Liaise and my- self. They were 2food people; my fathei and mother wished to do their duty in this world, and they dedi. cated both their ciiiidre.,i-th,! dearest things tUey hai—to the Church. I took to my vocation, my sister did not. Sh3 had not been let oat of her conve,it for three months, on the probationary year's freedom, which all novices are counselled to take before adopt- ing the v,il, when she married M. Van Hoost, a Dutch merchant on a visit to Brusca. It disappointed he parrnts greatly, but I am sure it was for the best. L <uise is too light-hearted and merry, and fund of gaiety, to have been happy as a nun. And if she had been unhappy it wauld have broken my heart You loved her very dearly, then, mon pertsaid Fabian, softly. Very dearly, Fabian A man's natural aSeotions do not die because be is a priest. My sister was the bet-t thing in the world to me, and so she will oontinue t" be till I die. But Heaven saw fit to separate m. She married, and went out to Batavia with her bus. band. My parents died, and I am left alone in Brusca.1* Has Madame Vaa Hoost never re-visited her home. moii pere P No, nor do I think she ever will. She has been aettied in Java now for many years, and has become naturalised to the country. Bat she has always been a brisk correspondent, and her letters seem to have made me almost aa familiar with Batavia and the na. t ves as she is herself.After she had been there awhilo the began to tell me how much European labour was reeded out there, and what a field of speculation the iet md might prove to her own countrymen. This set me thinking, naturally, and the first friendless lad I shipped out to the care of my sister's husband, Van Roost, proved such a success that I had eoon more applications for employment than I could possibly entertain.The difficulty has been in getting my protege, transported there. The passage ts a long and expen- sive one,and their necessary outfits have been serious items. However, some have had their passages paid through the kindness of frienda "—Pere Raoul did not stop to say how many times be had paid that passage out of his own pocket—" others have been taken free by the Christian charity ef owners of vessels and a few have borrowed the money, and repaid it from the proceeds of their labour. Altogether, from my own creche alone, seventeen lads have found a perma- nent home in Java, and are deing well there and Inpporting themselves. Nine out of that number have ma ried native women, and hare a cabin full of brown babies, so that I feel quite like a grandfather when I think of them, and often wish,fshould circumstances permit, that I might run over there myself some day for a holiday and have a look at my little oolony." ''And gentlemen find work there too?" inquired Fabian. 44 Certainly; which brings me to my point. My sister, who was in the habit of receiving all my hoys on their arrival in the country, had the misfortune, about a oouple of years since, to become a widow. Her husband, who owned a large farm and coffee estate in Batavia, died suddenly, leaving the entire manage- men: of affairs in her hands. Louise contrived won* derfully well at first. She had been accustomed to take an interest in the business, and bad picked up a con- siderable knowledge of it. But a woman cannot do everything by herself. The bailiff whom she engaged to manage the coffee plantation proved di#hone-.t and ro d her. Th n I seat her out another from Brnaca—a good fellow, wnom I had known for j ears, and they got on w. nde'tuily well togetker^ B it- !a*t. m9,.th br night Tie the aad news of his death from fever, and Ma la ue Van H xut begi ma, if poixiole, to. find her an .agellt to supply his plaod- a noting man who would not be too oroud to act under h r directions. N >w, this is the appointment that I am thinking would sait M msieur -Hiyes. lis must not be frightened by the idea of the lever. There is no greater risk o! it in Java than in other hot eliuiates, a id I am afraid my poor young friend was not as careful of his health as he ought to have been. Mv sister requires a, English clerk also for the busi. ne»s office in the town but the overseer's situation is the one to suit your cousin^who has been used to a cou try life, and has a knowledge of farming." "I thi.<k it would be awfully jolly. What do you say, Fabian?" inquired Andy. "There's nothing I should like better than to g" to the other side of the world and see lots of life, eh ?" I should like it also," replied his cousin, "and I believe Java is a beautiful island, and the society very pleasant." The European society is chiefly Dutch, or half- bred Dutch and Batavian, said Pere Raoul. "Mon. Il8Ut H.). wuuid see the but; .of it from my Mater's home, and would live in great comfort himeell. I ean answer for that. The salary tleo which she offers is liberal. But he must Dot upeot; it to be all sunshine, Fabian. The climate in pleaaant enough at times, but it has its ineonveniences. What do you say to a deluge caused by heavy rains that pour down continuously for seventeen days and nights without stopping a single moment ? Daring the last, flood in Java my sister wrote me word that mine of the house roofs were actually worn away and (ell in from the sction of the water; that the tramway rait. were all washed out of plaoe, and the high read was like so m4ny deep ruta where the water had made its way from the canal." What a description, mon pere/ Are life-belta a teeeesttrypttrtof the outfit for Batavia ?" They would appear to be to, for once Batavia Itself Was under water for two days, when a passage ;nto the town was impossible, and my sister and her friend* paid visits to each other in boats. Whole bouses were swept away by the rains on that occasion md the place was thronged by natives begging for ihelter, Pianos, horses, and carriages, and all sorts )f valuable articles were seen floating in the streets. [t was a terrible visitation, and when the floods had ibated and fine weafehar returned, the stench of the nud and the drowned corpses devastated the island with cholera." I say, Fabian, I'm beginning to alter my mind ibout Java .1 don't think it would be so awfully jolly low said Andy. "I am telling you the worst I know, for fear of nisleading yoa," oontinued Pere Raoul, "bnt the European residents in the colony give it high praise. rhe natives, however, are a treacherous race, and vou iannot be too careful in your dealings with them. Directly a Javanese is offended, he mixed poison with rour food. Nambera of people-Europeans included -have been killed by that means. They will draw heir knives and stab the person who insults them on ;he spot, and they have been known to murder a whole Family for the offence of one member of it. Revenge Umu deepest pmm, nd thej matealy indole* in it. The principles of the Christian faith are a sealer book to them." Whieh will you choose, Andy ?" said Fabian jesfr ingly "to be poilvned-iltabbed-drowned in th floodll-or carried off by cholera? I don't see any ch&noe of escaping all fonr." They had better not try any of their cowardly trieks upon me," replied his oousin, with mo:e iierious. ness in his voice than Fabian had used, or they may find I am beforehand with them. I'm not quite up to the poisoning dodge yet, but I fancy, if ever I have an opportunity of testing our mutual prowess,that Master Javanese will find I can draw a knife as quicklj and use it as effectually as himself." As the young man was speaking the priest regarded him earnestly, and when he had finished the sentence he looked grave. Do not let us jest on sneh subjects, my children,' he said, they are too serious. May Heaven preserve you from ever meeting such a fate The cholera would be nothing to it. It is better to fall into the hands of God than the hands of man At this juncture old Marguerite entered the room to say that she had secured two bed. for the young men for the night. "That is well," continued PereRaoul, "and now I would advise you to retire and seek a long and refresh- ing rest. We can renew this subject to-morrow and although my sister in anxious to get her new bailiff out as soon as possible, there is no need for Monsieu r Hayes to give me his decision for some days to come. You must both think and talk it over together. Good- night, my children I shall expect you to breakfast in the morning." And the young men. having accepted the cordial invitation, found themselves presently on the pavement of the Grande Plaoe of Biusoi. What a lovely night," exclaimed Fabian. If you are not very tired, Andy, let us take a turn or two round the Place before going to bed, and have a talk over Pere Raoul's wonderful proposition. What do you think of it? Does the prospect pleaie you ?" "Well, yefl, I think so," replied Andy, though rather dubiously. Of course it will have its disadvantages, a-i yoor friend says—and it's a long way off bu t beggars can't be choosers." I see what it is, you're thinking of me, Andy, and what may feel aboat it. Bat You mustn't think ot me, old fellow-you must think only of yourself, and wh it is best for both of us. Of course it's best for you that I should get into hiri;*ss as soon as possible '• No, Andy, I wasn't thinking of it in tha.t light —I was thinking of your becoming independent as soon as possible, and being able to marry Rosie." Andy here gave vent to an expletive concerning his betrothed that startled Fabian. Let's leave Rosie out of the question," he went on, she's got nothing to do with my going out to Java. I think it would be jolly for some things, but I am disappointed at the idea of leaving Brusca so scon. I have been looking torward so much to my visit here." So have I," said Fabian aorrowfully, "and there is no reason we should not enjoy ourselves here for a few months, excepting that Madame Van Hoost seems in a hurry to get a new bailiff. And it would never do, if yoa are thinking of Java at all, to miss that appointment, Andy. Pire Raoul say a the salary is a very liberal one, and you would live at hia sister's house, and-" Yon seem iu a precioua hurry to get rid of me," in- terpoaed Andy sullenly. "What!" cried Fabian, wheeling round upon the pavement and confronting him. a Well, it's only natural, of course, and the aoouer I can support myself the b etter and I mean to do it too," replied the other; "only I thought you'd be more sorry to part with me, Fabian." "You are ape aking in riddles to me," said h:s cousin. "Dv you imagine I intend to let you go to Java alone?" Of course I do! What should you come for?" Why, to take the clerk's place in Madame Van Hoost's house of business. Didn't you hear Pere Raoul say she required a Euro pean clerk as well as a bailiff ?" He mentioned it, I know, but I'm sure he never connected the fact with you. If you remember, he apoke of nothing definitely but the bailiff's place, and directed all his information concerning it towards my- self." "And you could think-you, Andy, that I meant toMtd you to the other side of the world alone- without a frieud-pennileu-not speaking the lan- guage. 0 Andy, what have you taken me for ?" oried Fabian in a tone of reproach. Well, I know you're awfully good, old fellow, but after all, I've got no elaim upon yon." "JVo claim You have every claim—the nearest and best of claiml You are my fftther, Andy." The priest doesn't think you mean it, I know." He shall think it, then,with the first light of morn- ing. I will aee him before you do, and explain every- thing. If I cannot go to Java with you, Andy, you will never get my consent to going there at all. We have thrown in our lota together for weal or woe, and we must aink or swi in on the same tide. If I had not made 10 sure that the dear fathernnderttood this, I would have set him right at once. Bat 1 took hia dis- course as addressed to both of no, and did not dream he thought of dividing our intereata." It all looka very different now," aid Andy glee, fully. I shall enjoy Java. and the niggers, and the floods, and the cholera, and everything, like old boots. I wonder if we shall settle out there, and marry, and never take the trouble to eome home agiin I shouldn't wonder, Fabian, if we did. It must be a lovely lasy life when you're aocuatomed to it, and unfit you for English habita and eustoms altogether You can't marry out there, at all events, rejoined Fabian hastilv, not while you are engaged to ROlie, Andy." I shall have to send home for her, then, for if I grow rich I shall want a wife to look after my be. longings. But you are free, Fabian, to marry whom you choose. You will be able to take up with a Bata- vian princess—if there is such a thing-or a Dutch heiress, or something grand. I shouldn't wonder if that pretty face of yours stood you in good stead amongst the ladies of Java." "I've no fancy for brown and yellow beauties, so don't talk nonsense-and let's be off to 9!i," said Fabian, laughing, as he led the way to the apartments that had beeu engaged for them by Marguerite. With the earliest dawn Fabian was out of bed, and wr aid the priest as he was returning home from m; > 8. 11 Ai'n-npere," he ormmenoed, I want to correot an error into which I may have inadvertently led you, last night. Did you suppose I intended my cousin to 40 out to Batavia by himself ?" li Did I suppose you intended your cousin to go out to Batavia by himself ? repeat ed the priest in a voice of astonishment. Do you mean me, then, to infer that you have any intention of accompanying him ?" "Certainly, yes—I cannot part from Andy! I have made a vow to my own heart to share all I have with him, down to the last farthing." "Very geoo, my child. It is a pious vow, that will meet its own reward. But this does not necessi- tate your journeying with Monsieur Hayee wherever he may go. There is a reason for his emigration, because be is a penniless man. There is none for your-, because you possess an income of your own." You do not understand me. Andy is no more pen- niless than I am. Until he has an assured salary, it is my pleasure, no leae than my duty, to share mine equally with him." We will grant that, Fabian. You are each, then, in the possf-ssion of about one hundred pounds a year. But you cannot live on one hundred pounds— you must work to increase it. I see no work fat Monsieur Hayes in Brusca; I told you as much last night. But for yourself it ia different. You have a talent which you can put to use. You are surrounded by friends you are, so to speak, in your native ooun try. I counsel you, therefore, to remain in Brusca. And since you are generous enough to divide your little fortune with your cousin, be my son, Fabian, as I offered you of old; and trust to me that you shall never know the want either of money or affection." This proposal—so full of love and confidence- touched Fabian to the quick. All his former burning desire to live in Brusca returned upon him, and he longed to accept it. It was a sore temptation-but he put it from him resolutely. •' Mon pire, you could have asked me to do nothing more in consonance with my own wishes and feelin gs. But money is not all I owe to Andy. Pray list, to me patiently. When I first went to England I was very unhappy. My uncle is a man of a m'st savage and brutal temperament. I could not tell you half the truth about him before hia son last evening. He used me and hia own rife and children oruelly, and there was only one creature who dared to staid between us and his fury-that poor, dehoate, shrinking woman you saw on the occasion of your visit to Mord j ha-y Am" zawy.=r clear dftd la*ec*f uufoxxou ten aister. She used to brave her husband's anger for xnysake to take the blame he would have visited on me, to take the blows. Good heavens, how my blood boils when I remember the blows that brute used to shower on her tender frame-they could hardly have done me more injury than they did hentelE! Well.wiun pire, she died,and mvbelief is that ill-treatment killed her. She was very glad to die, poor thing. She told me so,and there was only ece thought that troubled her —how her boy, whom she loved devotedly, would get on with his father when she was gone. foresaw how their fiery natures would clash against each other, and all the trouble that would ensue. And I promised her-onlya few hours before her dear,h —that 1 would be a brother to Andy and Milly and abare all their difficulties and troubles, and so long aa I had a shilling they should never be in need of one 1 I swore it to her, mon pire," said Fabian, lifting his hat from his head and looking up to the glorious canopy of blue that overshadowed them, in the name of the love she had shewn me-iu the name of my dead father-in the name of the God Who has him in His holy care. And I must keep my YOW," he concluded, placing hia hat up.m his head again and my cousin Andy must not go to Java alone." Pere Raoul glanced at his young companion with a look that was almost reverential. "Fabian," he said,in a gently tremulous voice, I shall be the last person to aak you to break it. Keep your vow, my dear son,, as religiously as your hear t dictates to you, and I thank God that your father'a noble spirit breathes so freely in your breast. He would have been proud of you this day, Fabian—aye, as proad as I am." Putting this little matter completely on one aide, though,' continued Fabian, whose buoyant spirii% could not long bear the strain of sentiment, there is no need that Andy and I should decide about Java within the next tew days, ia there, mon pire ? We should like to talk with you a little further respecting the duties that will be required of us, and the amount of freedom we should be allowed, and so forth. If you consider I am capable of filling it, I shuuld like to apply fur the situation of clerk in Madame Van Iluoat's office, which I believe you said was also vacant," The overseer's is the boitt plaoe of the two, Fabian." Never mind which is the best! I am sure Andy is more fitted for the farm work,as I am for the de.k. Not that I can boast much knowledge of either, but Mr. button took care my general education was not neglected whilst I was ia Norwich." I will look out all my sister's letters on the sub. ject, and let you see theia," said PereRaoul "mean while, here comes M ,nlileur Hayes, and I see old Mar. gueiite on the doorstep in an agony of fear lest the eggs should be hard-boiled *nd the pitfolet burned black in the OYdD. Come, Fabian,and let us have oojr brtakfast." (To be continued.)



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