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was nothing—the flow rippling over stones and offal fatigue, I should be devoured by the swarms of rats ; that lay in its course. Therefore, as soon as the Jew and already I felt exhausted in every faculty of my had disappeared, I rose cautiously from my position, body. and groped my way through the rayless gloom against Conceive my joy, if you can, when, on a chance the course of the current. I still retained my weapon, look backwards in the direction I had come, I perand it stood me in good stead as I held it above my ceived at no great distance, and framed in the black head, by warning me when to stoop and save my bare circle of surrounding darkness, the figure of a man scalp from the impending brickwork. When once carrying an old horn-lantern swung from his neck, fairly out of hearing and sight-range of my persecu- with a basket at his back, a bag at his girdle, a cage tors, a fact of which I was aware from the angular full of live rats in one hand, and a staff in the other. course I followed, my spirits began to revive within He was attended by a savage-looking bull-terrier, me, and something like hope once more dawned upon which came scouring towards me open-mouthed, and
seemed inclined to resent my trespass on his warren. To my great relief, I found as I proceeded that Never, perhaps, did mortal man rejoice more devoutly the horrible gloom grew less dense, partly, perhaps, than I did at the presence of this strange and unbecause my sight was becoming habituated to it, but looked-for apparition. The man, bare to the hips, partly also because a few rays streamed in here and was a mass of filth and rags: yesterday, I would not there through some of the side-gullies of the drain, have spoken to him on any consideration to be menthe ends of which were separated but by a grating tioned; but now, I could have pressed him to my from the street, but which were all too narrow to heart, or kissed the tattered hem of his garments. I admit the passage of my body. At first, all I cared am not sure I did not do something as foolish the for was to hasten on and on, away and still further moment my trembling limbs had carried me to his away from the bloodthirsty assassins. Once or twice side. the main channel, or what appeared to be such, had The honest fellow did not at all reciprocate my branched off into other channels as large or nearly so. earnestness. Holding me off at arm's-length, he held This gave me some comfort, as in the case of pursuit up his lantern for a good view, and deliberately my pursuers might elect the wrong track, and thus surveyed me from head to foot. miss me. I had hurried onwards for some hours, and • Blest if 't ain't a regʻlar swell!' he ejaculated at left the murderous den some miles behind before my length. Why, what the doose makes the likes of limbs began to fail me, and I found myself compelled you down in the shore ? an' where's yer dog, man to stop to recruit my strength by rest. I sat down alive?-Come into the shore without ne'er a dog! it's by a side-drain whence a few rays of light shone a wonder the rats han't a eat ee hup!' in, and resting my head upon my knees, allowed 'I didn't come here of my own accord,' I said. the current to flow under my legs. I could hear Shew me the way out, and I'll pay you well.' above my head the noise of the traffic that rolled •Well, hang me if I knows what to make on it. along the streets, the rattle of wheels, and the pat, Not come in o’yer hone accord ! How was it then ? pat of innumerable feet and the tears now for the You've a been here ever since one o'clock, anyhow.' first time started in my eyes, as I wondered whether “No, I have not-it was after three o'clock when I I should ever again be restored to the busy world got here.' above. This melancholy temper of mind was, how- “That's onpossible. Tide was a-comin' in then, an' ever, put to flight by the teeth of a huge rat, which had it ain't gone down yet.' fastened on my ankle with the gripe of a vice. I had “Will you guide me out, and take a guinea for your to crush the fellow with my weapon before he would trouble ?' I said impatiently. let go, and the next minute had to do battle with In course I guides you out, whether I will or no hundreds more, which swarmed upon me from all -cos if you follers me, you gits out when I do; but quarters, dashing at my face and hands, and falling we can't go out till the tide's gone down, an' that on my neck from the roof, which was too low to per- won't be for this hour, I reckon. What I wants to mit me to stand upright. I must have smashed fifty know is how you got in—cos it looks queer, yer see. of them at least before the troop withdrew from me Here, take a swig o' this here, an' tell us all about to regale themselves on their dead companions, and it.' allowed me to pursue my way:
He produced a pocket-flask as he spoke, and glad This assault deterred me from proceeding further enough I was to take a pull at the fiery spirit it conin the same direction, and I resolved to retrace my tained, and which almost in a moment gave me new steps, and try another turning which I had marked life. about an hour before. One hope had haunted me all "That's the sort to keep the stench out of a feller's along, since I had shaken off the fear of being mur- stomick, ain't it?' he said with a grin as he followed dered. I had seen the day before in that neighbour- my example. “Now for it. Let's sit down here-my hood a part of the street ripped up for the repair of basket's seat enough for two-an' tell us how the the main sewer. If I could find that spot, my deliver- doose a gemman like you comes a shorin' of it.' ance would be effected. I could think of no other Without more ado, I told my story as the reader chance, and naturally clung to that with the tenacity already knows it, to the unqualified amazement and of despair. With an eye to the rats in my progress, I indignation of the hearer. regained the place I sought, and groped along as fast I shall not repeat his comments on the narrative. as I could. From the increased noise overhead, and The bloody-minded villins!'he concluded ; 'won't the almost utter absence of light, owing to the length you hang 'em ?' of the side-drains, I gathered that I was traversing “That I certainly will, if I can lay hold of them, one of the grand thoroughfares of the city. Several was my reply. times I halted, and shouted at the top of my voice at 'An' i'll go an' see 'em swing—blest if I don't.' the embouchure of the tributary drains; but no reply * And you,' said 1-how came you here? You ever reached my ears, and I desisted at length in utter seem to be quite at home in this horrible place.' hopelessness of making myself heard. I knew by this Oh,' said he, 'the place is well enough, if that's time, from the hours I had been under ground, that all-only wish I had it all to myself, an' no hinterthe evening must be drawing in, and I looked for lopers. Yer see, I'm a shore-hunter for many a long nothing less than passing the night, which, I was year. All a feller finds down here is his own, an' convinced, would be the last of my existence, in this nobody thinks of claimin' it agin—wouldn't git it if living tomb. I knew that as soon as I succumbed to they did, I reckon.'
"But what can you possibly find here besides the than with any real consciousness of what I was doing. rats—and what use are they?'
I was hauled out, more dead than alive, at the corner "Ah, that's your hign’rants! What can I find! of a narrow lane, among a crowd of people assembled Heverythink as comes down-leave me alone to find to witness my resurrection. I had barely sense it-spoons, cheyney, money, silver thimbles. I've enough to make known the address of my landlord, found a shillin' an' four sixpences to-day, only three to whose house was conveyed, I believe, in a cart, on 'em's bad uns. I've found many a good sovring in upon a bed of straw, after several drivers of cabs and my time, an' more bad uns. Then I snares the rats, hackney-coaches had declined the honour of my an' them's eightpence a dozen for killin' wi' the dogs. custom. Then there's the rags an' linen, lots o' that-an' what It was night before I reached home; and from that d'ye think o plate ? Many's the table-spoon I've hour until full two months after, the day and the had, an' tea-spoons too, ano many a silver snuff-box. night were all alike to me, for I was raging in the I know'd a chap as found a gravy-spoon as weighed delirium of fever, and declaiming horrible narratives six ounces, an' a gold lady's watch worth sebn pound. of murder, and darkness, and skeleton victims, and Poor crow, he was too greedy, he was—he got shut rats, and gravy-spoons. My poor old mother had to in here wi' the tide one night without his dog, an' come up from Suffolk to take possession of me. But hanged if the rats didn't eat him hup all but his at last I got well again, in spite of the doctor who bones. It's the truth I'm a tellin' yer. I helped to dosed me six times a day, and of the nurse, who git all that was left of him out myself, an' we had to crammed my mother with the notion that, because in put the bones in a basket: they was all picked clean my delirium I talked of rats, I was doomed to death. in a single night. There! I can't abear to think on The first thing I did when I recovered was to hunt it. Poor Bill.'
up the ruffians who had thought to murder me. I This sort of revelation did not tend to reanimate got officers from Bow Street, and invaded Field Lane my courage, and I was glad when the man rose, and with the authority of the law. It was all to no whistling to his dog, proposed to go.
purpose. Not only could I not find the villains them“The tide will be low enough to let us out,' he said, selves, but I could not identify even the scene of their by the time we gits to the Thames, so we may as atrocity. A perfect stranger to the place, I could well be trackin' it.'
only guess at its precise locality-of course could not “And which way do you go?' I inquired.
swear to it. There was no such inner apartment as 'The way you came," he said ; 'there is no tother I described to be found—no trap-door to be discovered way.'
in any of the floors ; in fact, the whole scene which I can't, I can't attempt it,' I cried—and I really my terror had indelibly imprinted on my memory, could not; my flesh crept with horror at the idea. had all vanished together, and the search had to be
The man lifted his lantern to my face, and marking given up. my evident terror, began to scratch his head and The explanation of this seeming mystery must be mutter to himself.
referred to the time I had lain on a sick-bed, during * There is another way,'I said: 'they are repairing which the report of my escape may have reached my the sewer somewhere hereabout-surely you can find intending murderers-and it is likely enough that my the place.'
deliverer may have talked of his adventure, and so • Them repairs is done, an' closed up last night. put the assassins on their guard. Thus they had But never say die! You said a guinea, didn't yer?' time, and to spare, to effect the metamorphosis of he asked in a decided way.
their premises, which deceived the officers of justice, “Yes, two. Put me above ground, and the money is and thus facilitated their escape from the gallows yours.
they so richly deserved. Come along, then,' he rejoined. "Step out arter me, Since then, the doubt has often crossed my mind an' I'll make it all right.'
whether the police of Bow Street really believed the He held up his lantern, and struck into a sort of strange story I told them. Be that as it may, the ambling run. I kept close to his heels, and the dog reader may rely upon its accuracy so far as my ran yelping before. We soon came to the main drain memory serves me at this distance of time--and he -descended it some quarter of a mile, then entered will hardly wonder that I do not regret the final an arch to the right, to traverse which we had to stoop erasure of Field Lane from the list of metropolitan to a sitting posture. After a course of more than lions. half an hour at the best speed we could make, my guide stopped at a low outlet not more than twenty inches in diameter, and divesting himself of his
CONSUMMATION OF SMOKE-BURNING. various burdens, began to crawl up the orifice, telling INDEPENDENTLY of the desired solution of the smokeme not to follow him, but to wait his return. In less consuming problem as regards our private dwellings, than a minute he bawled out: 'It's all right;' and a great interest attaches itself to the progress making the moment after, to my indescribable satisfaction, I in the same direction by those who burn coals on heard him talking with some one above ground. I a grand scale, as it will be their experience which waited with what patience I could, but thought the ultimately will guide the world at large in getting conference would never have an end. At length my rid of what may be well called a monster nuisance. deliverer came sliding back again, heels foremost. But, in a scientific point of view, and as connected His reappearance was followed by the sound of blows with several important branches of economics—a8 and the clang of a crowbar on the grating above. the supply of fuel from the mines, and the greater My guide now held out his hand for the promised cheapness of steam-travelling, &c.- this question of reward.
perfect combustion and avoidance of smoke must be Will you not also escape this way?' I asked. watched with intense interest by all reflecting and
*No,' said he; couldn't git my traps through. educated minds; and it is with sincere pleasure that Besides, the old ooman 'll be lookin' out for me at the we bring before our readers the new facts which are river-side, an' she'll be wondrin' where the doose to form the subject of this paper. We shall only I'm got to. You're all right now. Just crawl up the premise that space admits of no more than a cursory drain, an' there you are: there's enouglı on 'em, I view of the details connected with the experiments, reckon, up there to fish yer out.'
by which, as it should seen, this grand and importHaving recompensed my deliverer beyond his ant object has been at last achieved with perfect expectations, I followed his directions, more in a dream success in all respects. Some time since, a premium of L.500 was offered by a body, entitled the “Steam- by the process speedily destroys these bars; and it coal Collieries Association, for the best method of has been proposed to obviate this difficulty by subapplying fuel to a giren multitubular boiler, so as to stituting for them hollow tubes, filled with air or consume the fuel, and leave no visible smoke to escape water. From this, it is replied, even if successful to into the atmosphere. The question of breadth of a certain extent, might arise too many inconveniences, fire-grate was left an open one to each competitor; a in regard of sea-going ships, to render its adoption drawing of the boiler was furnished to each; the desirable. The failure of one such tube-and, in coals to be employed on the trial were drawn from spite of all that can be said, we know that, exposed the same pit; the results of each stage of the experi- to an intense heat, failure would be extremely probments carefully recorded; the residuary portions able-might render the whole boiler useless, and accurately weighed, and, in short, everything done so stop the voyage. as to insure the most perfect fairness in the trials. Again, the judges disapprove of the introduction of
Judging from the Report now before us, we should steam with air into the furnace, which has likewise conclude that the four plans selected for actual trial been proposed; and, without going into the rather were considered the most likely, a priori, to meet the deep science of the matter, it must be obvious that required conditions ; and, as such, were tried at the this method would be highly objectionable on the expense of the Association. The other candidates, to ground of expense and complication. the number of ninety-nine, refused to avail themselves We now come to a brief description of the comof the opportunity which was given them of testing peting systems, beginning with that of Mr Robson, their plans at their own expense. We have, there which was the first brought to trial. fore, only to do with the four selected ones-namely, The principle of this plan is to divide the furnace those of Messrs Hobson and Hopkinson, Huddersfield; into two fire-grates, the one at the back being shorter Mr C. W. Williams of Liverpool ; Mr B. Stoney, than the other, and at a lower level. This back-grate Dublin; and Mr Robson, South Shields. Of these is quite a separate affair, furnished with separate four, the competitor who was declared by the judges doors for cleaning and the supply of fuel; this door to have satisfied the conditions laid down by the has a valve in it for the admission of air; and there Association, was Mr Williams, a gentleman to whom | is also what is called a distributing tube,' perforated the public are already very deeply indebted for with holes, to allow air to get at all parts of the fire his researches on subjects of this nature; and who at once. is said, in fact, to have taught us all we know of The plan of proceeding is, to burn coal in the frontany moment as to the consumption of fuel upon grate, and coke or cinders in the second. It was useful and scientific principles in steam-furnaces. expected that the gases generated in the outer, and We remember the name in connection with an air-forced to pass through and over the bright clear fire jet some twenty-five years ago, which it was said at in the inner, grate, would be all consumed; but the time had been found to produce a conversion of in this the judges found that the object was only the dense smoke of the marine-boiler furnace into a partially accomplished.' The idea, however, is ingenivolume of bright flame, and thus to have achieved a ous and interesting; and very probably may contain great and double advantage. That steamers at the the germs of success, after some further improvepresent day continue to announce their approach, ments, likely enough to be suggested in practice. It while still far in the offing,' by the characteristic appears that air is not admitted directly to the fire cloud of smoke, is no proof that Mr Williams was in the front-grate, and consequently it can excite no given in that case more credit than he deserved ; surprise that the mass of fuel there burns slowly, with for, of all slow-coaches in adopting improvements, a loss of effective force in the boiler. This is one of steam-companies seem to be the very slowest.
the weak points which may be strengthened in time. Before explaining the different plans brought to trial, The next plan was that of Messrs Hobson & Co. and the causes of Mr Williams's success, we shall dwell in this, air is freely admitted in various ways, which a moment on some curious and important scientific we shall not pause to describe. There is here & facts brought under our notice by the Report. complication of brick pillars and brickwork to distri
It would seem that the question of perfect combus- bute and equalise the currents of air, and effect the tion is not set at rest by the absence of smoke; mixture of it with the gases. As to prevention of invisible gases may be passing away unconsumed from smoke, this plan was pronounced efficient, though in want of oxygen—that is, from want of air ; and when hard firing it requires considerable attention from the air is supplied only through the face of the fire-grate, stoker.' The objection is stated to be, that the brickthis, on the production of visible smoke, will be the work is liable to crack, and get out of order, but the result. Air, then, must be largely admitted; some judges do not attach much importance to this, as they think it should be heated for the purpose, but the consider its efficiency to depend, not on the brickjudges very properly observe that the heating of air work, but on the equable diffusion of the gases. They involves so many inconveniences, that it is in no way further say, that this system is applicable to all to be recommended unless absolutely indispensable. forms of boilers ; the combustion is very good, and It considerably enhances the merit of Mr Williams's with moderate firing, it does not depend upon the system, that it has nothing to do with heated air, or stoker. They are therefore of opinion that it complies any other troublesome or expensive complications. with all the prescribed conditions. Its simplicity, indeed, taken in connection with its We shall now describe Mr Stoney's plan, although perfect success, is one of its greatest merits; for it is not next in order, reserving that of Mr Williams for evident, upon a moment's reflection, that an object the last. may be attained in the laboratory of the chemist by This is 'in principle, as far as the admission of air the application of processes and manipulations of a goes, identical with that of Mr Williams ;' and this, kind which may be quite inadmissible on a grand scale. we may now observe, differs from the first described
It further appears that the mere passing of gases in allowing the air to enter through the front door. through a body of burning fuel will not of itself Its peculiarity consists in the adoption of a shelf destroy the smoke. On this account, it has been outside the boiler, forming, in fact, a continuation of proposed to supply a jet of air to the gases just as the dead-plate outwards. On this shelf the fuel is they are entering the fire from below. The judges placed, partly within and partly without the furnace, remark upon this, that the destructive effect upon the the door of which is a sliding one, shutting from above, bars supporting this fire has not been sufficiently so that the air passes partly through the coals, and considered by projectors. The intense heat generated partly through perforations made in the door for the purpose. The coal is pushed forward to supply the it will be the first thing they have ever seen clearly furnace as required; but, as it is declared not to in their own localities—and that they will bestir have prevented smoke, we shall not dwell longer on themselves accordingly. its details.
If, after this notice, they remain indifferent, wrapped The successful competitor, Mr Williams, admits air up in their sulphurous canopy,' we shall quite despair in front, at the bridges, and also by small apertures of the case; and say, as the Yorkshirewoman said elsewhere, in order to its complete diffusion, in when depriving the eels of their external cuticle: streams and jets, among the gases. In the plan 'Let 'em alone; they likes it! adopted in the present instance, Mr Williams intro- . It would be unfair to Mr Williams to omit that he duces the air only at the front, by means of cast-iron has munificently devoted the sum awarded to him as casings furnished on the outside with shutters, so as a prize-namely, L.500-to the use of an association to vary the area at will, and perforated on the inside of a scientific kind connected with the combustion with a great number of small holes. "The mode of of fuel on scientific and economical principles. This firing consists in applying the fresh fuel alternately at is justly observed upon as highly honourable to his each side of the furnace, so as to have one side bright liberality, since he must have been at great expense while the other is black.' The results obtained by in the prosecution of those researches, the result of this method slew a large increase above the standard which promises such extensive advantages to the pubin every respect. The prevention of smoke,' say the lic–indeed, we might have said the world—at large. judges, ' was, we may say, practically perfect, whether [We have now had smoke-prevention in our own the fuel burned was 15 pounds or 27 pounds the square premises, with entire and unfailing success, for nine foot per hour. Indeed, in one experiment the extra- years, by means of Jukes's patent-gradual introducordinary quantity of 374 pounds of coal per square tion of coal by means of revolving bars.-Ed.] foot per liour was burned in a grate of 15 square feet, giving a rate of evaporation of 54 cubic feet of water per hour, per square foot of fire-grate, without pro
OÇ E O L A: ducing smoke.' All readers may not exactly under
A ROMANCE. stand this ; but it will serve to shew, that according to some of the most competent judges in England,
CHAPTER LI.-WHO WAS THE RIDER ? Mr Williams has succeeded, not only in producing I felt faint enough to have reeled from the saddle; the standard quantity of steam in relation to the size but the necessity of concealing the thoughts that of the fire-grate employed, but done very much more were passing within me, kept me firm. There are than this--involving a much greater consumption of suspicions that even a bosom-friend may not share; coal, and this without producing smoke; or, on the other and mine were of this character, if suspicions they hand, without leaving any portion of the valuable could be called. Unhappily, they approached the gases contained in the coal unconsumed.
nature of convictions. One short quotation more: “No particular atten- I saw that Gallagher was mystified; not, as I tion is required from the stoker; in fact, in this supposed, by the tracks upon the ground, but by respect, the system leaves nothing to desire, and the my behaviour in regard to them. He had observed actual labour is even less than that of the ordinary my excited manner on taking up the trail, and while mode of firing.' 'Mr Williams's system is applicable following it; he could not have failed to do 80; to all descriptions of marine-boilers, and its extreme and now, on reaching the glade, he looked upon á simplicity is a great point in its favour. It fully pallid face, and lips quivering with emotions to him complies with all the required conditions.
unintelligible. The substance of this last quotation is, in our view • What is it, Geordie, my boy? Do you think the of it, most important. We know quite enough of ridskin has been after some áhirty game? Playing stokers and firemen to be well aware that, if the the spy on your plantation, eh ?' effect depended on any extraordinary care on their The question aided me in my dilemma. It sugparts, a few only could be counted upon for such gested a reply which I did not believe to be the truth. attention. It is a well-known fact that, even in the 'Likely enough,' I answered, without displaying ordinary furnaces, a continuous and moderate supply any embarrassment; "an Indian spy, I have no doubt of fuel will burn almost without smoke; but it was of it; and evidently in communication with some of always heaped on in large quantities at a time, and the negroes, since this is the track of a pony that 80 distilled, to the injury of the proprietors, and the belongs to the plantation. Some of them have ridden annoyance of the neighbourhood.
thus far to meet him; though for what purpose, it is The general applicability to marine purposes holds difficult to guess.' out a hope that, 'at long last,' a characteristic feature Massr George,' spoke out my black follower, ‘dar's of a royage by steam will no longer be the intrusive no one ebber ride da White Fox, 'ceptin''presence of small balls of lampblack upon the cheek • Jake!' I shouted, sharply interrupting him, and forehead of beauty, and that, on the approach of 'gallop forward to the house, and tell them we are a steamer, we may look out for her hull, and not her coming. Quick, my man!' smoke.
My command was too positive to be obeyed with Again, we feel tempted to ask: 'Is there any chance hesitation; and, without finishing his speech, the that “Palmerston's act” will now be something more black put spurs to his cob, and rode rapidly past us. than a “flash in the pan," puffed into our faces by It was a manoeuvre of mere precaution. But the that astute and experienced political engineer?' At moment before, I had no thought of despatching an present, every proprietor of a volcano claims a legal avant courier to announce us. I knew what the fifteen minutes for smoking; and what with one simple fellow was about to say: "No one ebber ride difficulty, and what with another, it requires a more da White Fox, 'ceptin' Missa Vaginny;' and I had experienced eye than ours to distinguish the difference adopted this ruse to stifle his speech. between smoky Brummagem,'Manchester, and Leeds, I glanced towards my companion, after Jake had before or since the passing of the act. Now, it will passed out of sight. He was a man of open heart admit of no excuse; and the persecuted and suffering and free tongue, with not one particle of the secretive natives' will have only themselves to blame if they principle in his nature. His fine florid face was do not owe their deliverance to this 'excellent device' seldom marked by a line of suspicion ; but I observed of Mr Williams.
that it now wore a puzzled expression, and I felt We trust they will see this clearly-if they do, uneasy. No remark, however, was made by either
of us; and turning into the path which Jake had A locust-tree grew by the side of the path, with its taken, we rode forward.
branches extending partially across. A strip of ribbon The path was a cattle-track-too narrow to admit had caught on one of the spines, and was waving in of our riding abreast; and Gallagher permitting me the breeze. It was silk, and of fine texture-a bit of to act as pilot, drew his horse into the rear. In this the trimming of a lady's dress torn off by the thorn. way we moved silently onward.
To me it was a sad token. My fabric of hopeful I had no need to direct my horse. It was an old fancies fell into ruin at the sight. No negro-not road to him: he knew where he was going. I took no even Viola-could have left such evidence as that; heed of him, but left him to stride forward at his will. and I shuddered as I spurred past the fluttering relic.
I scarcely looked at the path-once or twice only- I was in hopes my companion would not observe and then I saw the tracks of the pony-backward it; but he did. It was too conspicuous to be passed and forward; but I heeded them no more; I knew without notice. As I glanced back over my shoulder, whence and whither they led.
I saw him reach out his arm, snatch the fragment I was too much occupied with thoughts within, to from the branch, and gaze upon it with a puzzled notice aught without or around me.
and inquiring look. Could it have been any other than Virginia ? Who Fearing he might ride up and question me, I else? It was true what Jake had intended to say-spurred my horse into a rapid gallop, at the same that no one except my sister ever rode · White Fox' time calling to him to follow. -no one upon the plantation being permitted to Ten minutes after, we entered the lawn and pulled mount this favourite miniature of a steed.
up in front of the house. My mother and sister had Yes—there was an exception. I had seen Viola come out into the verandah to receive us; and we upon him. Perhaps Jake would have added this were greeted with words of welcome. exception, had I allowed him to finish his speech. But I heard, or heeded them not; my gaze was Might it have been Viola?
riveted on Virginia-upon her dress. It was a ridingBut what could be her purpose in meeting the habit: the plumed chapeau was still upon her head! Seminole chief ?-for that the person who rode the My beautiful sister---never seemed she more beaupony had held an interview with the latter, there tiful than at that moment; her cheeks were crimsoned could not be the shadow of a doubt; the tracks told with the wind, her golden tresses hanging over them. that clearly enough.
But it joyed me not to see her so fair: in my eyes, What motive could have moved the quadroon to she appeared a fallen angel. such a meeting? Surely none. Not surely, either; I glanced at Gallagher as I tottered out of my how could I say so? I had been long absent; many saddle: I saw that he comprehended all. Nay, more strange events had transpired in my absence-many-his countenance wore an expression indicative of changes. How could I tell but that Viola had grown great mental suffering, apparently as acute as my tired' of her sable sweetheart, and looked kindly own. My friend he was-tried and true; he had upon the dashing chieftain ? No doubt, there had observed my anguish-he now guessed the cause ; been many opportunities for her seeing the latter; for, and his look betokened the deep sympathy with which after my departure for the north, several years had my misfortune inspired him. elapsed before the expulsion of the Powells from their plantation. And now, that I thought of it, I remembered something-a trifling circumstance that had occurred on that very day when young Powell first appeared among us: Viola had expressed admiration I received my mother's embrace with filial warmth; of the handsome youth. I remembered that this had my sister's in silence-almost with coldness. My made Black Jake very angry; that my sister, too, mother noticed this, and wondered. Gallagher also had been angry, and scolded Viola-as I thought at shewed reserve in his greeting of Virginia ; and the time--for mortifying her faithful lover. Viola neither did this pass unobserved. was a beauty, and like most beauties, a coquette. My Of the four, my sister was the least embarrassed; conjecture might be right. It was pleasant to think she was not embarrassed at all. On the contrary, So-but, alas, poor Jake!
her lips moved freely, and her eyes sparkled with a Another slight circumstance tended to confirm this cheerful expression, as if really joyed by our arrival. view. I had observed of late a change in my hench- You have been on horseback, sister?' I said, in a man; he was certainly not so cheerful as of yore; he tone that affected indifference as to the reply. appeared more reflective-Berious-dull.
"Say, rather, pony-back. My little Foxey scarcely God grant that this might be the explanation ! deserves the proud title of horse. Yes, I have been
There was another conjecture that offered me a out for an airing.' hope; one that, if true, would have satisfied me still Alone?' better-for I had a strong feeling of friendship for • Quite alone-solus bolus, as the black people Black Jake.
have it.' The other hypothesis was simply what Gallagher 'Is it prudent, sister?' had already suggested-although White Fox was not 'Why not? I often do it. What have I to fear? allowed to be ridden, some of the people might have The wolves and panthers are hunted out, and White stolen him for a ride. It was possible, and not without Fox is too swift either for a bear or an alligator.' probability. There might be disaffected slaves on There are creatures to be encountered in the our plantation—there were on almost every other-woods more dangerous than wild beasts.' who were in communication with the hostile Indians. I watched her countenance as I made the remark, The place was more than a mile from the house. but I saw not the slightest change. Riding would be pleasanter than walking; and taking What creatures, George ?' she asked in a drawl. the pony from its pastures might be easily accom- ing tone, imitating that in which I had spoken. plished, without fear of observation. A great black * Redskins-Indians,' I answered abruptly. negro may have been the rider after all. God grant • Nonsense, brother; there are no Indians in this that this might be the true explanation !
neighbourhood --at least,' added she with marked The mental prayer had scarcely passed my thoughts, hesitation, 'none that we need fear. Did I not write when an object came under my eyes, that swept my to tell you so? You are fresh from the bostile theories to the wind, sending a fresh pang through ground, where I suppose there is an Indian in every
bush; but remember, Geordy, you have travelled a