While the buzzards peer at their human prototypes, and then, with disappointed cries, sail down the stream; in dark green doublet, much the worse for wear, and buckskin hose upon his nether limbs, old Roger Benbow, seeing, as he draws near this barren place, the oil-skin tent of which he is in search, halts his pack-horses, tethers them where a scant bit of pasture affords a needful repast for the hungry beasts, is mindful that no one is within eye shot or ear shot, takes a hearty meal of jerked beef and remainder biscuit, moistens the whole with a temperate libation, slightly qualified with Cognac, looks hard at his pipe, but, without lighting, thrusts the wooden stem again in the hatband, and mutters to his inseparable companion, the whipper-in, “Here they be, just forward. Mum's the word.” The oaken staff with the fox's head is left at home, but pickaxe and shovel, with the revolver snugly tucked within hand's reach, supply an equipment befitting the place.

We left our miner pillowed on his glorious prize. When sudden good fortune befalls a man of resolute spirit, so far from flinching from labor and luxuriating on its charms, he gathers up the forces of his frame until the undertaking is complete. So Peter, hardly allowing himself a scant halfhour for refreshment, was in the stream again. It was not the greed of treasure that urged him on, but rather a deep conviction that the Divine hand was nerving him to manly


toil for a life's competence. The trout-fisher, though he has taken of a lowery morning the very monarch of the brook, regales his eyes but stealthily, and for a moment, on the gasping victim, ere once again the fly is dancing over the wimpling eddy or floating toward the deep, dark shelter which promises to contain another and another. Hearty men work by the sport impulse, and make a play of it, though often a desperate play, as when swords cross in the battle, or a glorious, fearful play, as when stout fishermen ply the oars of the lifeboat, or the fireman leaps into the blazing room where a frantic mother has left her babe in the wild uproar of a conflagration. The heroism of action is like a flame that plays about the heart: the soul leaps on exultingly, tasking the body to the utmost while it puts forth herculean powers.

Before eleven o'clock, around the huge nugget, itself the lordly sovereign of them all, the successful diver, having now become accustomed to his task and familiar with the strength and movement of the eddy and the situation of the hollows and crevices over which it rolled, had succeeded in removing its precious contents to the shore. Round balls like pistol bullets; fantastic plates similar to those made by melted lead escaping from a plumber's vessel; twisted and feathered clumps of every imaginable shape, some sharp almost as knives, others wedgy and others still like corrugated blocks, worn smooth and polished at the corners, lay piled together, while the father of the family peered above them, rejoicing in his goodly progeny. When all were brought into a heap together it made the weary, gasping man wonder, and rub his eyes and pinch his flesh, to be sure that this was not a dream.

The monkey of the fable made use of the velvet paws of tabby to pluck chestnuts from the fire, and grimalkin suffered from the blistered feet as Jacko filled his paunches with the delicious edibles. While our friend Phil Bulwinkle, as he

persists in being called, is working like a giant and slowly gathering up the golden spoil, the rapacious trio on the bank are deep in earnest consultation. It is not their nature to investigate the question of morals; theirs is the maxim of ungodly, strong men ever since the days of Cain or Nimrod, "might makes right.” Unable to believe at first that the great boulder is a rock of gold, they become finally satisfied that the miner is taking out of the whirlpool mass after mass of solid treasure. As the bullion accumulates, still hidden behind their rocky promontory, the conversation becomes more animated, while the nervous workings of face and hands bespeak that crime is rousing itself up for deeds of blood.

At first they cannot agree upon the course of action. Cunning Joe suggests that short work is commonly sure work; and Handy Ben chimes in with him, while the deadly rifle in the hands of the experienced marksman indicates murder, and that right speedily. Chivers dissents from this opinion. “True,” he says, “dead men tell no tales; but if we fire, and miss, he will swim the river to the opposite side and perhaps fall in with other adventurers before we can collect the booty and retreat." The gipsy's policy was to leave the miner quietly at his toil till the pocket was exhausted. “Why kill the fellow before his work was done. He would, doubtless, at high twelve, return to his tent, for no man could labor thus without finding the need of food and rest. Then, as foot-sore and weary, the fellow came up through this deep gorge, one crack of the revolver close to his ear would settle him, without the risk of escape or the danger of discovery."

Handy Ben suggested that a better course might be to wade out, armed, to the sand bar, finish him there, come back with a load of the gold, and so kill two birds with one stone. This the wiser heads over-ruled, and it was determined that the gipsy's counsel was, under the circum


stances, the wisest, most certain and feasible. Meanwhile they keep a sharp look out from their lurking place behind the cliff, where the ravine in which their labors have been conducted terminates abruptly at the river's brink. It was here that Bulwinkle entered the water and to this spot he must return.

Leaving the confederates lurking in ambush for their expected victim, we go back to the Forester, concerning whose fortunes and misfortunes for the last five years a few particulars may not be amiss. Returning to Riverside, as we have seen, from the sea-port to which, a day too late for any useful purpose, he had traced the abducted heiress, the months of the ensuing spring and summer rapidly passed in the midst of ineffectual efforts, privately conducted for the purpose of obtaining some definite information of Chivers and the child. Becoming disheartened, with many misgivings and with now and then a concealment, he made a confidant of Job Trusty, the steward, narrating to him his reasons for believing that Dr. Bushwig was a party to the spiriting away of the foundling from the house of Marian Deschamps, and also the grounds upon which he had based the conclusion that this was the little granddaughter of the Earl, and now somewhere in America and still in custody of the gipsy; Trusty being one of the executors and guardians under the will.

At first the steward was inclined to argue against the suppositions of the Forester, for by this time it was known that a woman of the Chivers family, dying at Coddlington Green, had raved in her last hours of a child whom she had stolen; and when, finally, the slender lass who called her "mother” perished of the same infection, a package of linen, identified as that which had been the

of the stolen infant, and marked with the initials “R, D.” and a coronet, had been found among their scanty effects. To imagine for a moment that so foul a plot, involving the second abduction and prospective inoral ruin of an innocent girl and she his cousin, could have been deliberately formed and put into execution by a respectable clergyman of the establishment, seemed almost incredible.



The Forester, at this juncture, requested that his information, still in strictest confidence, should be communicated to the other executors, who accordingly met in Dr. Hartwell's library, where Benbow, commencing with the first abduction of the infant Rosa, unfolded his theory. The Lawyer at once coincided, while, to Trusty's astonishment, Dr. Hartwell inclined to the same belief, both seeming to be convinced of the Rector of Richmanstown's meditated fraud.

As the subject was more fully discussed, the evidence weighed, and the theory of the Forester sifted, the Steward, whose slow Scotch head, when once fixed in an opinion held it there with an almost immovable pertinacity, gradually gave up his objections, and became at last more thoroughly convinced than were the others. To find the missing child and instantly reclaim her from the custody of her abductor, was Dr. Hartwell's immediate suggestion, but the wary foxhunter, pointing ont the importance of securing the testimony of Dr. Bushwig's complicity with Chivers, and, also, of the deception practiced at Codlington Green, the man of the law declared at once, that, could this be obtained and the child secured, all probable difficulty in the way of establishing her identity and of securing the succession would be at an end. It was, therefore, agreed that Benbow should be dispatched at once in quest of the parties.

It being of the last importance that no suspicion that he was believed to be implicated should reach the Rector of Richmanstown; after waiting quietly for a few days, choosing his opportunity when gossips were within ear-shot who might spread the news, the Forester came to high words with the Steward, who, entering heartily into the old man's


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