kindly in tranquillizing fears. He was much relieved when he had found that those whom he had expected were not in the train. Another train was due in about half an hour, and a man had been sent down the line with a lantern to stop it. It would take on all the present pas


A bright lady-as well as he made out-in a velvet hat, and seal-skin cloak, had passed Severne two or three times wringing her hands. He went after her. " You are looking for something?" he said. "You are not hurt, I hope?" Severne was in a rough Irish frieze coat. In the darkness she took him for a sort of countryman. "O," she said, "what shall I do; there, it is gone! Some one has stolen it-do try and find it for me.'

"What?" said he.

"O, my dressing-case, my little dressing-case, with everything I have in the world in it-jewels, everything. I would not lose it for any money. Try, exert yourself, and find it.".

"O, is that all," said he. "No doubt it is quite safe; but there are other things to be considered firsthuman life and human sufferings before dressing-cases."



"O of course, of course," she said, now seeing that it was no Countryman, quite right, indeed. My head seems to go round; I don't know what I am saying or doing, and my husband-you have not seen him, sir? Do tell me, quick. I am sure he is hurt."

Severne was about to laugh, but checked himself.

"We must try and find him for you," he said.

Find him-find him quickly," she said. "O, where is he? Lead me to him!"

"Come," said Severne, "this way then." He saw the doctor at the end of the bank, with a lantern beside him, bending over some one.

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Ah, there he is," said the lady in an agony of grief, and cast herself down beside him.

It was the figure of a tall gentleman with eyes closed, and a grizzly grey beard and hair. He seemed half insensible, and now and again gave a groan.

"There is something damaged internally," said the doctor to Severne. "I can't make it out here; no conVOL. LXVII.-NO. CCCXCVII.

veniences, you know. No arm or leg broken, however. Now, my good madam, please. You can give no assistance with that sort of thingso please."

A dressing-case has been found," Selby said. The guard has got it. So you need have no anxiety."

The lady did not hear this speech. "What are we to do ?" she said, as if to herself," he will not speak to me. He does not know me."

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He is coming round," said the doctor. "Give him a little time, you know. Something about the ribs, I suspect. Often happens in these


cases. "But there is nothing serious?" the lady said, now down on her knees in an agony of suspense. "He is not hurt? He will recover?"


Selby came up again at this moment. Here," he said, “I have got it. Here is your dressing-case, quite safe."

Severne, fond of a little sarcasm at all in appropriate times, even said, "It is not hurt; it will recover." "What is to be done, though," said Selby, hastily, with this poor gentleman? Where can he be taken to? We can't have him lying here."


"There's no house nearer than the 'all, sir," said Duncan, touching his hat.

"Look here, Harry," said Selby, taking him by the arm, "just a word. I think you must offer these people some shelter. The poor man is seriously damaged, I can see-too much so to go on by the next train, and I think Sir John would not

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"I think he would," said Severne, a little shortly. "You see, there is the woman-perhaps maids, friends, and what not. It's exactly the thing he would object to."

"Good gracious! Harry," answered the other warmly, "and so you mean to say you would let a poor soul lie in the snow there-die in the snow, perhaps."

"You old enthusiast," said Severne, laughing, "how you take up things; no one is going to die. Well, you must have everything your own way." He turned round, and went back to the group. The gentleman was half sitting up his eyes were open. think," said Severne, "it would be better if he was taken away out of this. (At this moment the sound of



Nelly's bells came faintly through the frosty air). We have a carriage waiting that will take us home in ten minutes, and if this gentleman, and this lady-your husband, I presume?" He looked at her interrogatively.

"Yes, yes," she said, eagerly. "But he will recover. I know he will see, he opens his eyes."

"I suppose it would be the best course?" he said still, coldly, and turning to the doctor.

"Well," said that gentleman, "I would recommend it, as there is no other place near.'


Very well," said Severne, shortly, "let us lose no time then. We can carry him up readily. Perhaps this lady-perhaps you would explain to him he seems conscious now."

The lady was down on her knees again in the snow. "Dearest," she said, her face close to his, "how are you now? Would you like to be moved to the house and shelter this gentleman so kindly offers ?"

As his full eyes met hers, a sort of shudder passed over him.

"Do you hear that," said Severne, starting. "There it is at last!"

Far off through the night came a succession of short screams and interrogative whistlings. This was the coming train snorting indignantly and expostulating at being obliged to stop short, and demanding explanation. Lanterns were seen waving and fluttering violently far away, as if blown by the wind; and the glowing, crimson light of the engine, came gliding on, and at last stopped short in a white cloud of its own steam.

The commercial gentleman, still indignant, said it was all fine enough -and it was well they weren't run into again; it was no fault of the company if they weren't. But the point was where would he be by sixtwenty to-morrow morning? Others of the passengers, still much fluttered by their escape, shrank away from exposing themselves to this second risk, after such an escape; and some ladies and children were crying. But the guards came up with their old business-like cry, Now, then, take your seats, please!" and it seemed better to be taken away at all risks than left in a defile like that. Besides, as the commercial gentleman remarked, "They'd hardly do the thing over again-at least on that night, though


he wouldn't put it past 'em, mind.” Finally they were all got into the surly expostulation of the newlyarrived passengers, who were much crowded in consequence-and also hinted at some sort of punishment to be inflicted on the company-the programme of which was arranged between them and the commercial gentleman all the way up to town.

The cutting was now deserted. Hodge and a friend or two, who had come up too late for profit, were gaping down from the top of the hill, and could make nothing of the business. But they saw the little party coming up, the injured gentleman a little restored by this timeleaning on two gentlemen: and Hodge, as though he were a stage rustic, said to his friend, "Eh, laws! but that be young Squoire."

"And young Squoire's friend," added the companion, "he wi' the lang legs!"

Squoire's friend was helping up a lady. Indeed the sides of the cutting were as steep as a 'wiss hill, and it was very hard work. Nelly was still shaking her bells, having lost all patience, and with head turned round, was taking a wicked and suspicious side-look at the increased party. Young Severne was in command, as it were, and issued orders authoritatively.


Carefully now," he said, some one must sit on each side of him. Duncan, you must get back, as you can, or stand on the steps, if you like. Selby, you and this lady go inside, and, doctor, you with me on the box. How do you feel now, sir?"

The iron-grey head-it was a little stooped between the shoulders-gave a sort of courteous bow. "Much better," he said, faintly. "Only something here," he said, putting his hand on his chest. His wife was looking from side to side with a sort of glance of half despair. “Oh, you are better," she said. "Tell me so."

"Your dressing-case is quite safe," said young Severne, with the reins now in his hand. "I saw it put in myself. All right behind there? Go, Nelly." And immediately the bells began to jangle, and the wheels to

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thrum monotonously along the white frost-bound roads, furnishing to the bell music what seemed to be the drone of a bagpipe.


It was past ten o'clock when they came cantering up towards the glowing red lights of Digby. Severne on his box heard the lady behind him murmuring her astonishment and wonder at the pile of building now approaching. She was literally confounded-as, indeed, were many tourists who saw it for the first time-at its grandeur and imposing character. They all got down; the servants came out. Behind them was the long figure of Sir John, who from the drawing-room had heard Nelly's bells. Severne ran to meet him with a hasty whisper. "All right, quite right," said Sir John, "where are they "

Then he went forward to meet them with a warm hospitality.

"So sorry," he said. "Hope, sir, you are not hurt seriously? These new-fangled railways will kill us all one day. And you, madam, glad to see you, too."

"Oh, sir," said the lady humbly, your goodness overpowers us quite." 'You are too kind," said the gentleman, still in evident pain. "I am afraid I am hurt seriously."

"Look here, Harry," said Sir John, "we can put them in the Palmers' room for to-night-fire burning and all ready. Just the thing. Lean on me, sir. There. We'll take care of you and make you snug. And, doctor, you may as well come too."

Then this hospitable old gentleman bestowed his new guests, and presently the gentleman was in bed, in the snuggest apartment in the world, and the doctor was busy making what he called an "official examination." "Just what I suspected," he said— "coming home in the carriage-a rib gone-touching the lung. be raised very favourably though. Do it at once-judicious bandaging and splints."


The faithful wife alone was present, waiting eagerly for this verdict. She gave a half scream.

"There's no danger, ma'am," said the doctor, roughly; "more inconvenience than danger. Take my advice, and go down to the ladies. Get them to give you a glass of Sir John's old particular green wax. Say I ordered

it, if you like. These things give an imperceptible shock, you know."

Do, my dear," said the husband, faintly, "go down, please." She yielded. She glided lightly into the room that had been laid out for Mrs. Palmer, took off her bonnet, smoothed her hair, bathed her face hastily, gave some hasty touches to her dress here and there, re-tied a ribbon or two, and choosing a flower out of a bouquet fresh pulled, that was on the table, contrived somehow to work it into her system. Then she backed a little before the glass, advanced, retreated, and advanced again-touching and retouching. She was at last satisfied, and went down.

That room was in one of the towers. At the bottom of the stair, which wound a little, then came a long oak corridor, with many doors. It was natural that a mere stranger should be bewildered; and Selby, who had run to his room to fetch something to amuse the ladies, and, scampering back, singing and whistling like a schoolboy, came suddenly upon the new lady, helpless in their windings of a strange

"My goodness," he said, a little confused. "Of course, we should have thought of this, and sent some one. I am very sorry-it was so stupid."

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'Stupid! no," said the lady. "But I am so glad I met you. It is all so awkward-so wretchedly awkwardly. Entering, meeting a crowd of strange faces in this painful way. I dread it. I shrink from it. What shall I do?"

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"Don't mind," he said, hastily, you are a guest, you know. Why, they are all so glad. I am sure they are.

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"A guest! No," she said, sadly. "We have no business to be here. We are intruders on your delightful party. I at this moment," and she stopped undecidedly, "ought to be at his bed-side. Naturally it looks unfeeling. Indeed I ought to go back. You must let me."

It then occurred to Selby that he ought not to let her go back.

"You must not go," he said, with gentle firmness. The doctor will

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look to everything. Women, you know, are always in the way. I mean -confound it; no, I mean, in that place. Come in with me; we can go in together. This is the way."

The door was only a short way off; they heard the merry voices; the more cheerful and polite din; the ringing of ladies' laughter. She held back a moment, with her hand pressing her waist.

"How can I face them all," she said, "and he lying there!" Selby opened the door, and said, gently,

"Courage !"

There was a huge fire-place, like a great archway, where a log fire was burning noisily. The company was gathered round it, the ladies seated, the gentlemen flitting about among them, perhaps, and the tall, gauut Sir John standing up in the centre, like a colossal statue. The dean in one of the tall-backed arm-chairs, lay placidly with his hands before him, and in the full and encouraging blaze, which lit up his face like a glory, and, at the same time, induced a perceptible drowsiness, while the baronet, standing up over him, still dwelt on the "awful" signs of the times. Mrs. Severne always tranquil and "sweet," was busy with some work. But the two Fentons untiring and untired, whether it was the work or play of life, as fresh now as they were at breakfast time, as eager now to work out their earthly salvation as at the inspiring hours of morning, still sent forth the merry peal of appreciation, and by an amazing assiduity were actually making some impression on that worldly and selfish Canby, who was their idol.

"O tell-tell that again, Mr. Canby," said Isabella; "indeed you shall, and you must! I never heard any thing so funny and passive; and Mrs. Severne, too, must come over and hear it. The best thing you ever heard in your life, Mrs. Severne! You must come over!"

That lady rose at once, for the engaging young girl had gambolled

over to her side.

"I must not lose an opportunity that may never occur again," said Mrs. Severne to her neighbour, with out any malice," of hearing the best thing I may ever hear!"

"O! I declare, 'pon my word," said

Mr. Canby, in some confusion at this publicity, "it aint fair.”

At this moment the lady entered. Sir John stalked forward good naturedly to meet her. "I hear everything is going on well," he said. "You must sit down here, and warm yourself, and make yourself quite at home; we shall have supper very soon now.'

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There was a general disarrangement and movement. All faces were turned towards that one face. It looked very different now from what it had done down at the "cutting," in the shadow, or under the lanternlight. It was a round, brilliant, full, and well coloured face; with good hair, fine eyes, and a sort of delicate en bon point about the figure. "In a vulgar creature, my dear" (looking at her, from an old lady point of view)-these would have been the elements for brazen effrontery; but she had such an air of modesty and retirement that they became a fresh charm. The Fentons interrupted at a critical moment when they had their sickles in the corn, as it were, looked at her with the instinct of hostility-and the dean, bestirring himself with a sort of shiver, for he had been wakened from a sweet dream, in which he had the good Lord Buryshaft's hand upon his cuff, and the good lord's voice in his ear,


My dear Burnaby, Loughborough is failing every day, and when Chester is vacant- saw the new arrival, very indistinctly. Mr. Canby had his glass in his eye, for the new lady's attractions were of the effective music-hall pattern-only refined

and half rose to get nearer.

The lady was presently seated among them, and rather astonished Severne and his friend by her quiet composure. She was soon telling the whole story of her sufferings, in a very low voice, and, certainly, without any sensational heightening. "We were coming home from the Continent," she said, "and the passage had been exquisite, not a ripple on the water. Every one was so happy; I sat on the deck, and saw that gay, lively Boulogne grow indistinct in the distance. One always feels regret at leaving a place where one has had happy days.'

(Everyone present accepted this as a truth, which had an air of novelty

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"What; a sort of widow lady?"

Exactly; rather French." "A vision-a vision"! said the lady, with an enthusiasm that became quite dazzling. "I never saw such a magnificent creature. She sat on the deck the whole time. Indeed a feast to the eye-indeed she was. I never saw any one to compare to her. Even my husband, who from his affection has his own foolish standard-even he ah, I little thought then"

There was a silence of respect for a moment. Even the dean, though the glow of the fire was wooing him back to sweet dreams again, was listening, and at the first convenient opening had a parallel passage ready from his own life; as when Lord Edward Somersault came over with him in the Calais packetlet him see in the disastrous year 229, the year when the landmarks of the Constitution were "swept away."


And you spoke to them?" said Severne eagerly; "you sat near them?" "Oh! dear, yes," said the lady, "charming people they were.

"I am so glad of this," said Severne. "It turns out quite fortunate. They will be here to-morrow. You will renew your acquaintance."

The lady gave a little start "Acquaintance," she said sorrowfully. "Oh no, no! they will not recollect that. We know what a packetacquaintance is-faces pass by, and we forget, and never see them again. No there was a French gentleman who was very, very kind to the young girl. So devoted, and kind, and considerate-not at all like a Frenchman."

"Infernal monkeys," said Sir John. "An Englishman would thrash a roomfull. Eat them up as dog Toby did the rats."

But Severne was a little uneasy, and

said no more. The sisters Fenton looked at each other with a little enjoyment; but Canby was evidently interested. "Most curious," he said, "and so you were all on board the packet?"

The lady turned to him gratefully, as if this help had made her statement more lucid.

"Yes, we were in the packet. Then came the railway-the carriage-oh! the dreadful carriage"-and she shut out the view with her hands. "Spress, of course," said Mr. Canby, encouraged.

"Oh, yes," said she, grateful for the correction, "you are quite right. It was the express we came on, up through the charming English country the grand fields lying out under the sun-the grand English oaks-some way," she added with a sort of naiveté, it looked so bright and sound, and flourishing after the French country."


"Ah ha!" broke in Sir John, "old England still; you can't compare 'em; their mean, mangy patches, at which they go fiddling, fiddling with bodkins-wretched pack !"

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It was such a bright encouraging day," went on the lady, "and we all felt so happy at getting home again and then it began to grow dark, and he-my dear husband-was talking fondly of our expected fireside, the hearth swept up--our own home, never yet seen, for we have been married but a short time."

Gradually a perfect silence had been established, and every one, even the reluctant Fentons, had been drawn in to listen to this natural story. It was impossible not to be interested. Mr. Monkhouse and Captain Philips, the two epicureans of the house, coming in with good spirits from the billiard-room, were awed into decorum by reproachful glances.

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We were talking," went on the lady, "of what days of happiness were before us-what quiet joys and innocent pleasures. He had said to me in his kind way, 'You must enjoy yourself; see what there is of life for my sake. I have long ceased to care for things of that kind.' But what am I talking of?" And in great confusion she stopped. Severne smiled.


By the way," he said-"excuse me for interrupting you-you got the

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