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them, seemed to speak of purity and innocence, in answer to those clouded with despair and shame.

“What are you doing here ?” exclaimed the same terrible voice.

“Oh, I see it all, the Almighty has brought me here to clear up the whole story. You are the foreigner whose absence delays the completion of Lord Cunnington's trial ; you or Sally Muggs, or both, are murderers.”

“ Who told you this ? Old crone, you have been betraying me.”

“Ha, ha, ha ! you are betraying yourself ; ha, ha, ha! I only called you a bat, and said you would come and see me ;—what can the girl do ?”

“ Nothing, if you persist in crime,” said Mary; “ have you no fears of the wrath of God? know ye not that God the merciful is, too, God the avenger ? · Blood for blood,' he has said, and ye cannot escape. Sally Muggs, I am not afraid now, you and your accomplice are more afraid of me; confess your sins, live not to feel the curse of a soiled conscience ; it is far better to die."

“Who told you my conscience was soiled ? Take heed, Mary Fallerdown, or your pretty face will not save you ; that gentleman don't care for pretty faces.”

“ The Baroness de Scala has a pretty face, and she is wicked, and so you must be," cried the blood-soiled man the readers must have recognized as Eldrido ; “your pretty face is, perhaps, a bait, to cause men to sin and to kill ; away with you, away, away!”

At that moment a heavy groan was heard; Mary and Eldrido turned round; another louder noise next sounded,—the purse of gold had fallen down,-Sally

Muggs's hands had relaxed their grasp; she was quite dead.

“Do with me as you please,” cried the terrified Eldrido; “ they will say I murdered the woman too. Hasten, hasten, ere I change my mind. I murdered the Baron de Scala!

All Mary's presence of mind returned ; she took the key of the cottage, she fastened the door outside, and then flew for assistance, stationing several persons outside to prevent Eldrido escaping from the windows.—What a life of agony was concentrated in those moments when Eldrido found himself alone with the corpse of the gipsy woman! His heart beat tumultuously in his bosom, every feeling was quailing beneath that of despair ; an ignoble death seemed staring before him ; the drops of agony were clouding his eyes, every nerve was unstrung,

IDLER REFORMED

IDLER

every thought whispered fear. Now he clasped his burning forehead, now he thought of the tempest of agony which awaited him, and he felt how dreadful is crime.

At length a softer train of thoughts succeeded to these dire imaginings; he wandered amidst those hours where joy had been his portion. He had never laughed as other boys had laughed, but still he had often been comparatively happy. Ravage, incendiary, revolution, had raged around his early cradle ; but even in war there are pauses, and his young Andalusian hours had not been all clouded. When ploughing the deep ocean trials had been his share, but there had been moments, when con. templating a clear sky and a beautiful sea, the sailor's heart had felt at rest, but then his conscience was free. Now, now-at those words the brain was again on fire, maddening thoughts crossed it, sad recol

neve

lections crowded it, sighs burst from the bosom, tears from the eyes—they sprung as he thought of his mother.

He had been pressed to that mother's breast, and now she would only spurn him ; but never again should he gaze at her liquid eyes; and the baby sister he had parted with in tears would be taught to hate or forget her brother.

For a moment the unfortunate Spaniard strove to disbelieve all he had heard of a future existence, he tried to persuade himself, that in the charnel-house his sorrows would end; the future existence of the soul was perhaps false; the Atheist's tenets were hailed—hailed for one moment, rejected the next; then Eldrido, trembling, aghast, pale, sunk on his knees, — he prayed that God would forgive the thoughts of that moment, and be merciful to him hereafter: and in the posture of prayer he was found by the officers of justice.

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