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EALL #TH*IFTS tESMVtB j "t COMPACT WITH MAIM. By W. C. TARBET. Author of In the H&nda of the Boers,' "Fightir.- for Favour," Ill-gotten Gold." Thp Queen's Lover." I CHAPTER Xttt. After dM dijBcnIty in procedure had been got over. by the Crown counsel withdraw- ing his objections at the suggestion of the judge. James Btoxham was ushered into the wjtneas-box. Notwithstandfng his attempts, he could not stand upright, so weak WM he, and gave his evident sea/ted. "Your tMjne is James BIoxham?" 'That is the name I have used for years, at least. "Where do you live?" "In the next house to the Lfna.rd' '"What do yon know of this case?" *T met Dr. Laxard on the night of his dea.th.' "When "Before nine o'clock." "That must have been after his fight with 'Heron?" "I. wa,s after tnat. tI1(')Ugh at that time 1 knew nothing of the fight or of the fact that Heron lay unconscious near us. 'Well. go on. I spoke to Laxard." continued Bioxham. "He replied in a very ansry tone. I ?ave him some informa.tiort which was (!istaatefut to him; indeed, rtothiii' could have been icore so. I told him of a resolution I had marle 1 which would have had a, seriot'9 effect ort h;s life. At that he at quite lo"jn control of himelf. t dodged a;.ide. fo" H101Jgh I was Hi at the time. I '.vas yet strong enough to take care of myself. He came ) at me again, and we wre.stled with each other madiy. He meant to have his revenue on ma I could see, and I fought for my life. j The muzzle of the pistol was only a foot away from his hea.d. ) I "At last we got separated, and whi!e he recovered his breath for another attack. 1 drew my revolver from my hip pocket. Again he sprang at me. and. aiming at him, J prepared to pull the trigger, meaning, however, to fire high. "The muzzle of the pistol was only a foot or two from his head when he stopped short in hit) rush. staring at it. He suddenly became calm. and was now seemingly frightened. I stood watching him for a few momenta, and his fear sesmed to increase. "Then a spasm of pain 01 terror crossed his face; he tore away his collar, gaspingly, and M.nk down on his knees. Don't shoot, don't shoot.' he said. 'I hated the man. and now that he was ccmqu<-red for the time being. I simply turned on my heel and went away. I never thought he was ill or anything, but simply that he was a coward and frightened out of his life. ) 'The first time I heard about his death j was next morning. The constable showed me the exact place where he had been found, and it was just where I left him ImeeUng." "Then you suggest that he died through "He dted by the visitation of God." said James Bloxham. gravely. "To my own know- ledge, he had a heart complaint from which he suffered. In one of his visits to me be .was taken ill, but it was not until after his dea,th that T came to think what sort of iltnesaitwas." "What came had you for a quarrel with Dr. Laxard?" asked the jud2'e. "That is a secret which I must keep to myself." rephed BIoxham. stowly. "Do you know the accused. Frank Heron?" "I have met him only for a very short i tinte twifp." 'Vhy have you held back this testimony?" 1 did not it known I kn.?wDr.Laxard." 'And you ailowe<l this young ma.n to ST.a'er?" "f knew h') wou!.d be cteared at the triaL" ajd 131oxham. "I (lirl not anticipate this verdict, but to make matters safe I rcsefrom tny b"d and came here prepared to clear him. "By iricrimu'a.ti))? yr)iirzelf," "liow? 1 did not kin hazard." said Blox- hnm. "He died by hand onty." "That rernaim to be proved." said the .inrig-e. "Ag a, witness yon have been a))owed to speak, but bearing in mind tha-t yon may yourself he etiirge(i \Yith the same offence ag this man waq abont to he sentenced for. t ?ive you notice that anything you may now 'ay may be us?d against you." "J care not." "aid James BIoxham. "My life is near a ciose. at any rate. I have only a'!otb3:' mot.h to Jn'e. probably ieaa, for thi7, cuting will h!re its bad effect." Th3 .iur'7e L'jot-pd at him wonderingly. 1 do not knov. v.bat to make of this ca.<e," he-id. And thprew will stop reporting from the Loitdon eYemng pap?; and resume the After BInx ha 111' crm:csRion the judge took counsel into his own room. and for an hoar I or more they consulted tos-ether. Then it ¡ was arranged that Bloxham's evidence should be accepted, but no cross-examination should be made. "I am pressed to take it a.a correct," said I the Crown Counsel. "The man is speaking the truth, and wha.t'3 more. he's dying." "You'll let me the jury?" asked Thurly. anxiously. "These lot of pigbeads mayn't knew what we want." "Oh. I'll make it clear to them," said the jndge, yiciou¡"J.¡t, "The fools that they are. 1. &ay. you didn't really expect a guilty verdict, did you?" he added to the Crown 'Xot t; that fool Collison gave away the "how. I saw his report, of course, but 1 thought he ha.d gone into t.he other things he did not mention. I say, what'11 be done with this man. Bloxham?" t "I don't know." replied the judge. "It's a curious mess altogether. I'm going to recommend that he be left alone. It's my belief that the man Larard died of heart disease." "Of course, he did." aa,id the others. "The end was hastened by excitement. Xatui-a.lly. if BIoxha.m'a story is true. and it m:st be accepted. I suppose. Laxard attacked him and brought about his own dea.th." "Let's go back to the court," said the jude-e. When they returned the judge closed the court to atL inched mg the press, and gave the jury a discourse little to their liking. Be then advised them of their verdict which they were bound to bring in, and sent them oS' to consider the matter. The doors were then opened and the court filled up. By-and-bye the jury returned with the verdict of not guilty, which was received with cheers. Fra.nk Heron waa released, and at once went to James I Btoxham's side. 'How can I thank yon." he said grate- ful)y. "Never mind thanks. my boy." replied the 1 other smiHngiy. "You've got clear at last. and at The Lindens you'll g"et your reward." 'You're not looking weU, Mr. Bloxham; I let me see you s&fe home." H m. t don t know whether they'll let me ?o or not." replied the other coolly. "How- ever. I'll try, and be glad enough of your arm." No attempt waq rnaae to stop them, a,n(\! it may be as well to state that Jamea Blox- j ham was never put on hia trial in connec- tion with the Ijaxard case. (TO BE CONCLUDED TO-MO-R'RO i

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