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POET'S CORNER.

EXILED.

HER VENGEANCE

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FUN AND FANCY.

FOR THE YOUNG FOLKS. ^

SKIN-TORTURED FAMILY.

FOR MATRON AND MAID.I

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HER VENGEANCE

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shallow, that in the spring, at the melting of the snow, served to carry away the water; and it was diversified by many folds and dips in the land, along eomc of which an army might have marched and been invisible from points quite near at hand. It was at the bottom of one of these folds in the land that Dcdd as he approached it — he being new out of sight of Noah Siddle's keen ey.es-S&w waiting him, sitting motionless on horseback, the figure of a woman. whom he recogn'sed at once for Eira. He hesitated, and seemed half inclined to avoid the interview, but recognisina' that this was impossible, he shrugged his shoulders and drove straight on, while Eira rode slowly to meet him- "Why have Mr. Hetherington and Mr. Tal- !entine been disguised as coloured men ?" she demanded without any preliminary greeting. "Well, it was their own idea, Miss Siddle," said Dodd deprecatingly; "they proposed it themselves and carried it out themselves." "Don't lie to tv)". John Dodd," said Eira, with passion in her voice; "you know as well as I know, that all this has been my grand- father's doing. What is his object?" "By God, I do not know!" said Dodd. They looked at each other, and for a moment did not speak. Dodd's face W3S palo, but his 1 eyes wero sullen. Eira looked at him as if she would search out the innermost secret of his 1 heart. "It is no good pretending ignorance, John Dodd," Eira said at last; "if you do not know, you must have guessed. You have sworn by God, and Cod knows—what you do not know, perhaps, but what you understand all the same." "Well," muttered Dodd sullenly and abash- ed, for her voice and manner were full of an intense emotion, "well, I warned them." "Did they understand your warnings 1" she asked.. "That was their look out," he retorted. "Ah!" she said, "I see they did not, and I see you did not mean them to. Now, tell me not what you know of my grandfather's plans, but what you have guessed of them." "I don't know nothing, and I don't guess," said Dodd, passing his hand -slowly over his faoe; "it's all dark to me, and I just done what I was told. That old man sits there and thinks; and what he thinks we do, and never know our doings were his thoughts." "I know, I know," she eaid glpomily; "he makes, use of us all somehow. I thought it was fine, heroic, to get back the secret of my poor fatherinveption that had been stolen from him. If grandfather wished this man, Mr. Hetherington, to be present at the moment of his success, I saw no harm in that. But this black disguise of his, of theirs—that seems to me terrible." "Ah, yes!" said Dodd, and in a whisper he added: "Have you heard that Mrs. Bryan was murdered yesterday?" "Yes," said Eira, "someone told mê. It is very dreadful, but——" "Have you heard her body was burnt up by the murderers, so it could only be identified by the torn b'oody clothing lying about?" T heard something," said Eira., "but "Fav you heard," eaid Dodd again, "that two strange negroes are suspected?" "Oh." cried, putting a hand quickly to h.). side. "vou cannot mean-" "Do you know half the folk is up and hunt- ing for tbem niggers to lynch them? Do you know one of them is supposed to be an oldish man, going by the name of Hetherington, and one a younger man, tall and big built? Did you know all that?" She looked at him, and raised one hand with an appalled iTestu/e, but she could say no word. "Do yoj know that Editor Keene, in the 'Athens Olft'-on.' is shiiekmg for vengeance on these two heard the news in town last night, and drove back to Athens full tiH.to 1;1, cut Mk. hottest, number he ever pub- lished. Dc. yo» know he is reminding the folk of wha-t wrr. 6or* year to that nigger down MisWsVt wat, -v-o ir.urderod a white woman, •r.o U:oy Uxk hir.t -and "burnt him alive? Do you ktiow h» is fp; ?stir;3 searching Noah Siddle's ■farm, to AA' if any stiange niggers are shelter- inn- fJ-ero?" Mr. Het.hirvington and Mr. Tallentine s-iid Eira quickly; "they are whit* men haw black skins, and they are stran- gers." aid Dood. "And their black colour won't come off in a hurry, for you know, when got up ac a nijrger in the City of London. .En¡?:tand. notirttisr would • bring the colour off cxcept the stall Noah Siddle gave me himself. Ordinary soap ann water, or anything like that, only makes it shinier." "You must go back," said Eira, "you must go back, and Is1 ready to bear witness that they are really■whif«> men." "Not. t".sa:«j-Dodd frankly, "they must take their chance for me. I monkey with o'd Noah SiddJ. if I know it. It j" his hand, and he roust pJay it M he likes. Besides, I don't know nc-tlioig, and likely enough he means no barm." Eira did Dot say anything, for she knew too wel! the dread her grandfather inspired to have hope of bei.-ig able to persuade Dodd to hini- She gathered up her reins, and tara-ed her horse's liead, and Dodd called to her: yop going to do, miss?" "1 s.a» Athens," she answered, "to find til a and to tell him the whole story." "Thats .!OO said Dodd approvingly, "ii tre liirn 'W,t 8-nd tell him how these two teijow^ have ais^uised themselves as negroes to get" a sii;hv of some of Noah's private ex- periments, he may believe you. But it's no tale to face a mob of lynchers with—they wouldn't listen to a word ct it. And be careful, miss, for if they f,Jj¿ you helping what they took to be two to escape, they would lynch | you, too—Uicy would, bjr Heavens!" Without replying, Eira set off at a sharp gallop, and shaking his head and look- ing very uncomfortable, drove on his way, re- solved that he at least would have nothing to do with a mob of lynchers out after their prey. "I would rather try to bluff a cyclone, or to argue with a West Coast earthquake," he mur- mured, and driving on. he, two days later, made his appear&noe at a iittle town eome dis- tance away, whence he took the Eastward- bound. train, and finally arrived in New York, where he Evro in good style for a time, having apparently plenty of ready money, then tried to speculate on Wall-street, and a couple of weeks later ho was trying to get a job down by the docks. Paying him no more attention, Eira rode swiftly on across the broad prairie. There was no trail, but the position of the sun gave her her direction, and she knew if she kept straight on she would presently come to the Athens trail, at a point where two or three farm trails met, and made on better and more sharply defined to town. She was not very much afraid so far, fci she could be in Athens in a couple of hours, and there she could tell her story to the <ihr?riff, to the minister, to the hotel and store Keepers, and other leading men, if necessary, till every one should know that the two strange negroes who might be sus- pected of the dreadful crime committed at Bryan's farm were in reality white men dis- guised in order to spy on old Noah Siddle's ex- periments. This seemed to her simple enough, but as she rode she became conscious of a faint mur- mur, of a sound in the air that was above and beyond the ordinary sounds of the full life of the prairie.. At first she was hardly conscious of it, but it grew louder, and persisted till it forced itself on her attention, and presently it seemed to her that this distant sound, like no- thing she had ever heard before, had in it a note that was sinister and threatening. Look- ing far ahead, as she came to a spot where the prairie rose a litcie, she peroeived a long way 10 front of her a something that was like a moving cloud on the face of the earth. She thought at first it must be a storm, and the sound she heard that of thunder in the dis- tance, but the 6ky above was serene and cloud- less, and the soft breeze blew gently. A touch of fear came to her, and she in- creased her speed. A good horsewoman, she tiad not overridden her mount, and it respond- ed at onoe to the call she made..At a gallop she went on along the hard, springy earth of the trail, the best going in the world in fine weather. Ever as she drew nearer to the dis- tant object, the sound of it increased; and as it grew nearer, so it grew more distinct, till at last she knew it was a crowd of men, mounted, on foot, in buggies or wagons, coming quickly on. A crowd of men going hither and thither in a big city is a little impressive; a crowd gath- ered together anywhere for any purpose has always its significance; but a crowd in lonely places come hither for one common purpose, is a sight daunting and impressive beyond meet. Not the senseless roar of the storm, not the wild fury of the seas, or even the appalling solitude of the vast mountain ranges, has a quality so impressive as that possessed by a crowd of men animated by one common pur- pose and seeking one common end. When at last Eira understood what this crowd was, and what its probable purpose, she reined in her hoase and sat considering. The crowd was soon so near that she could see and even recognise the foremost of the men forming it. In front of all drove in a light buggy one whom she knew well—a dark, fierce man, with flaming eyes, who was Editor Keene. When his ill-omened glance fell on her, and she turned her horse's head, and galloped back down the trail towards her grandfather's farm, without pausing to think whether this were quite the wisest thing to do. A roaring voioe she knew for Keene's sum- moned her by name, but she only struck her spurless heel agains' her horse's flank and ex- cited him with her voice to gallop his hardest. The brave animal understood and responded nobly, and the sound of (his hoofs was like thunder on the trail. She turned her head and glanoed behind. Keene was waving his whip and shouting, and from the crowd half-a-dozen horsemen were rid- ing out. Seeing her look back, one of them threatened her with a pistol, and when she took no notice he fired it, but in the air. She still took no notice, and. in fact, was safe enough, for among all those men there was not one who -would have fired a shot at a woman in earnest. At least, not then; later, when thir blood was fired, it might come to be different. Bending low over her horse, Eira patted his neck, and whispered to him that they must 11 win. But swift after her roc; half a scoro of pir- cuere. She was a lighter neight, but her horse wp noi so fcesli gs XUtfe M ehfi '1. they seemed to gain upon her and though she I went like the wind, like the wind they pursued her. It was hardly more than a mile that that wild hunt endured, and then the hunters closed in upon their quarry. She heard hoofs close behind her, beside her, and then there was a man riding side by side with her, not looking at her, but with his hand stretched out to seize bar reins. With a little sob, rho recog- nised that she was beaten, and slackened pace, and at once another man shot up on her othor hand.. "What do you want? How dare you?" she cried angrily. "Will Frear," she cried, recog- nising in the man on her left a young farmer from a homestead quite nea.r at hand, "how dare vou?" "Sorry, miss," he said, lifting his hat, "but there are some things womenkind is best out of." "What were you riding like that de- manded the other man; a small man with a narrow face and red hair, a stranger to her. "You mind your own bueiness," retorted Eira defiantly; "what has it got to do with you?" Keene drove up in his buggy. He had not been far behind in the race. "It is Siddle's grand-daughter," he 6aid. Frear, you had better take her in to town." "Where are you going?" asked Eira quickly. "On our business, miss," he answered, lifting his hat. listen to mø-" she began, but he interrupted her. "I have no time, miss," he said. "Look after the young lady, Mr. Frear. Come, Mr. Shaw," and accompanied by the red-haired man, he had called "Shaw," he drove away. "They are going to grandfather's," Eira ex- claimed to Frear. "No harm is intended to him, miss," Frear assured her; "nor to nobody else, except the two black savages who have murdered poor Bryan's wife, and thoy deserve all they get, and more, by Heaven!" (To be continued.)