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of Redmond O'Hanlon were nothing to this! I'll remember it to my dying day, and with reason,” added he, uneasily shifting his position on the saddle.
How fled what moonshine faintly showed !
How fed what darkness hid!
William and Helen.
Dick TURPIN, meanwhile, held bravely on his course. Bess was neither strained by her gliding passage down the slippery hill side, nor shaken by larking the fence in the meadow. As Dick said, “ It took a devilish deal to take it out of her." On regaining the high road, she resumed her old pace, and once more they were distancing Time's swift chariot in its whirling passage o'er the earth. Stamford, and the tongue of Lincoln's fenny shire, upon which it is situated, are passed almost in a breath. Rutland is won, and passed, and Lincolnshire once more entered. The road now verged within a bow-shot of that sporting Athens, (Corinth, perhaps, we should say,) Melton Mowbray. Melton was then unknown to fame, but, as if inspired by that furor venaticus, which now inspires all, who come within twenty miles of this Charybdis of the chase, Bess here let out in a style, with which it would have puzzled the best Leicestershire squire's best prad to have kept pace. The spirit, she imbibed through the pores of her skin, and the juices of the meat she had champed, seemed to have communicated preternatural excitement to her. Her pace was absolutely terrific. Her eyeballs were dilated, and glowed like flaming carbuncles; while her widely-distended nostril seemed, in the cold moonshine, to snort forth smoke, as from a hidden fire. Fain would Turpin have controlled her ; but, without bringing into play all his tremendous nerve, no check could be given her headlong course, and for
once, and the only time in her submissive career, Bess resolved to have her own way
and she had it. Like a sensible fellow, Dick conceded the point. There was something even of conjugal philosophy in his self-communion upon the occasion. “ E'en let her take her own way and be hanged to her, for an obstinate self-willed jade as she is,” said he; her back is up, there'll be no stopping her, I'm sure: she rattles away like a woman's tongue, and when that once begins, we all know what chance the curb has. Best to let her have it out, or rather to lend her a lift. 'T will be over the sooner.
- Tantivy, lass Tantivy! I know which of us will tire first."
We have before said, that the vehement excitement of continued swift riding produces a paroxysm in the sensorium, amounting to delirium. Dick's blood was again on fire. He was first giddy, as after a decp draught of kindling spirit; this passed off, but the spirit was still in his veins - the estro was working in his brain. All his ardour, his eagerness, his fury, returned. He rode like one insane, and his courser partook of his frenzy. She bounded ; she leaped ; she tore up the ground beneath her; while Dick gave vent to his exultation in one wild prolonged halloo. More than half his race is run. He has triumphed over every difficulty. He will have no further occasion to halt. Bess carries her forage along with her. The course is straightforward seems certain - the goal already reached — the path of glory
Another wild halloo, to which the echoing woods reply, and away!
Away! — away! thou matchless steed! — yet brace fast thy sinews hold, hold thy breath, for, alas, the goal is not yet attained !
But forward ! forward, on they go,
High snorts the straining steed,
See there, see there, what yonder swings
And creaks 'mid whistling rain,
William and Helen.
As the eddying currents sweep over its plains in howling bleak December, the horse and her rider passed over what remained of Lincolnshire. Grantham is gone, and they are now more slowly looking up the ascent of Gonerby hill, a path well known to Turpin ; where often, in by-gone nights, many a purse had changed its owner. With that feeling of independence and exhilaration, which every one feels, we believe, on having climbed the hill side, Turpin turned to gaze around. There was triumph in his eye. But the triumph was checked as his glance fell upon a gibbet near him to the right, on the round point of hill which is a landmark to the wide vale of Belvoir. Pressed as he was for time, Dick immediately struck out of the road, and approached the spot where it stood. Two scarecrow objects, covered with rags and rusty links of chains, de nded from the tree. A night crow screaming around the carcasses, added to the hideous effect of the scene. Nothing, but the living highwayman and his skeleton brethren were visible upon the solitary spot. Around him was the lonesome waste of hill, o'erlooking the moonlit valley : beneath his feet, a patch of bare and lightning-blasted sod: above, the wan declining moon and skies, flaked with ghostly clouds : before him, the bleached bodies of the murderers, for such they were.
“ Will this be my lot, I marvel ? said Dick, looking upwards, with an involuntary shudder.
“Ay, marry, will it," rejoined a crouching figure, suddenly springing from beside a tuft of briars, that skirted the blasted ground.
Dick started in his saddle, while Bess reared and plunged, at the sight of this unexpected apparition.
What, ho! thou devil's dam, Barbara, is it thou ? ” exclaimed Dick, re-assured upon discovering it was the gipsy queen, and no spectre whom he beheld. “ Stand still, Bess
stand, lass. What dost thou here, mother of darkness ? Art gathering mandrakes for thy poisonous messes, or pilfering Aesh from the dead ? Meddle not with their bones, or I will Irive thee hence. What dost thou here, I say, old dam of the
“ I came to die here !” replied Barbara, in a feeble tone, and, throwing back her hood, she displayed features well nigh as ghastly as those of the skeletons above her.
“ Indeed,” replied Dick. “ You've made choice of a pleasant spot, it must be owned. But you'll not die yet.”
“Do you know whose bodies these are ?” asked Barbara, pointing upwards.
“Two of your race," replied Dick; “right brethren of the blade."
“ Two of my sons,” returned Barbara ; “ my twin children. I am come to lay my bones beneath their bones — my sepulchre shall be their sepulchre ; my body shall feed the fowls of the air as theirs have fed them. And if ghosts can walk, we'll scour this heath together. I tell you what, Dick Turpin," said the hag, drawing as near to the highwayman, as Bess would permit her; “dead men walk and ride ау, ride! there's a comfort for you. I've seen these do it. I have seen them fling off their chains, and dance with me
- with their mother. No revels like dead men's revels, Dick. I shall soon join 'em.”
“You will not lay violent hands upon yourself, mother?" said Dick, with difficulty mastering his terror.
“No," replied Barbara, in an altered tone. " But I will let nature do her task. Would she could do it more quickly! Such a life as mine wo'n't go out without a long struggle. What have I to live for now?
All are gone
she and her child ! But what is this to you? You have no child — and if you had, you
could not feel like a father no matter ! - I Listen to me. I have crawled hither to die.
'Tis five days since I beheld you, and during that time, food has not passed these lips — nor aught of moisture, save Heaven's
dew, cooled this parched throat, nor shall they to the last. That time cannot be far off — and now can you not guess how I mean to die? Begone, and leave me your presence troubles me. I would breathe my last breath alone with none to witness the parting pang."
“ I will not trouble you longer, mother,” said Dick, turnin; his mare," nor will I ask your blessing.”
“My blessing !” scornfully ejaculated Barbara. shall have it if you will, but you will find it a curse. Stay a thought strikes me. Whither are you going?”
“ To seek Sir Luke Rookwood,” replied Dick : “know you aught of him?"
“ Sir Luke Rookwood ! - you seek him, and would find him?” screamed Barbara.
“I would,” said Dick.
“ And you will find him," said Barbara — "and that ere long. I shall ne'er again behold him would I could. ] have a message for him one of life and death. convey it to him ? "
“I will,” said the highwayman.
“ Swear by those bones to do so,” cried Barbara, pointing with her skinny fingers to the gibbet. “That you will do my bidding."
“I swear,” cried Dick.
“ Fail not, or we will haunt thee to thy life's end,” cried Barbara; adding, as she handed a sealed package to the highwayman,
“Give this to Sir Luke — to him alone. I would have sent it to him by other hands ere this, but my people have deserted me have pillaged my stores
have rifled me of all, save this. Give this, I say, to Sir Luke, with your own hands; you have sworn it, and will obey. Give it to him, and bid him think of Sybil, as he opens it. But this must not be till Eleanor is in his power ; and she must be present when the seal is broken. It relates to both. Dare not to tamper with it, or my curse shall pursue you. That packet is guarded with a triple spell, which to you were fatal. Obey me, and my dying breath shall bless thee.”
“Never fear,” said Dick, taking the packet disappoint you, mother, depend upon it.”
“Hence !” cried the crone; and as she watched Dick's figure lessening upon the Waste, and at length beheld him
" I'll not