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the new-made Earl in constant terror of exposure, fattening himself for life upon the spoils of the Riverside estate.
During the dark hours, while his wounded and exhausted friend lay sleeping, and the whipper-in kept guard without, the Forester examined the contents of the oilskin wallet. A bond, executed at Liverpool by Alphonso Bushwig, for, ten thousand pounds, without interest, to be paid to John Chivers, on succeeding to the earldom, was the first document which regaled the old man's sight. Folded within it was a letter from the rector, of a subsequent date, nar. rating the appearance of another claimant and the approaching suit at law, and containing also a cautiously-worded inquiry if Charity Green was still in existence. A crumpled and ill spelled epistle, carefully placed within a secret pocket, in the hand writing of Martha Chivers, and signed by her name, contained the missing link, which now made the chain of evidence in the possession of the Forester complete. Dated at Coddlington Green more than six years ago, the woman stated that she was suddenly taken ill, and feared the consequences, having been exposed to the small-pox; that, in case of decease, her daughter must be looked after by the family, and not left to starve; and that she had thrown out hints that the girl had been stolen from a great house; and designed, in case her ailment was aggravated and dangerous, to intimate that the child's real name was Rosa, in hopes that something might turn up to her advantage through the assumption. Other letters appeared, one especially written by the other sister, which identified the young girl left by the woman who died at Richmanstown with Lord Robert's daughter. Last, and most precious, remained a clue to the hiding-place where the felon had secluded his precious prize-a rough-worded note, mailed from a country post-office on Long Island, in which the writer stated that no remittances had been received for months, and that he must have immediate compensa
tion for her maintenance. As paper after paper, slowly and carefully perused, gave the astute, painstaking man all needful information, he closed the wallet at last, and, calling to the whipper-in to be roused at three, that he might take turn about in watch, wound a blanket about his person, secreted the invaluable records, took a moderate sleeping cup, thrust a saddle under his head for a pillow, and, with the trusty weapon so placed that the right hand might fall upon it at a moment's warning, dropped asleep.
Awakened at three by the faithful follower, the old man received information that two or three fellows were prowl. ing about the tent till past midnight. The best mules of the party, stolen from the pickets, were now bearing the felons in the direction of the golden gate. Styles was raving by sunrise, and a dangerous fever betrayed itself in the glaring eyes and parched skin. Months passed before the trio, so mysteriously united by a common fate, returned to San Francisco.
The sixth October since the abduction of little Rosa from beautiful Marian's home is showering now its russet leaves and shaking out the floating seeds of the thistle upon the gusty air. There are nuttings and apple gatherings. The presses foam with new-made perry, and spicy scents are borne across the channel, as if, from Rhenish, Burgundian and Gallic vineyards, the royal spirit of the grape was breathing out his essence. Squirrels luxuriate upon the fallen mast, chasing each other round the boles of the beeches, or chattering in their cheerful tongue high in air, where the richest clusters hang in the tops of the great walnuts. The rooks, “caw, caw,” leading their well-grown progeny from the ancient elms that are their freehold. The measured beating of the flail resounds from distant threshing floors, and sportsmen are afield.
Many changes have occurred since the canaries trilled their happy duet in the oaken drawing-room of the Bloomfields, while the young man's heart grew light and glad beneath the dawning love in Marian's modest eyes. The old Squire, grown more portly, wears a look of trouble. There are hints of apoplexy in the family. He is summoned abroad this morning to sit as a justice in a matter involving the gipsies whom his son had befriended in days of better cheer. The wild youth, whose acquaintance we made when Peter Styles exercised the gift of bone-setting for his relief, is now a confirmed poacher, and arrested for violation of the game laws, having been taken at the sport with traps and springes, with pheasants and dead hares in his posses- . sion. The country gentlemen who examine the lad, this being an oft-repeated offence, adjudge him to the county jail, in default of a heavy forfeit which they have no reason to suppose can be paid.
On the banks of Feather River we heard an escaped convict mention to his confederate a number of particulars concerning the robbery at Wingate Hall. Since the occur. rence the gipsy lad who betrayed his benefactor has become a proficient in crime; but hitherto his more daring violations of the law, his darker offences and more desperate deeds, have escaped detection. The mother, still faithful, though the abandoned son has often met her kindness with shameful abuse, hastens to his relief; now grown grayhaired, with streaming elf locks and piteous tears, pleading with the kind old man to save her boy once more. He consults with the associate justices. The decision is unfavorable, and while the warrant for commitment is being made out, the fellow calls to his mother and whispers in her ear, “Say to the Squire, that if he will leave me here in charge of the constable till six o'clock, the fine shall be paid. Then get a man to drive you over to the Priory, for young Squire Brompton, and say that for a hundred pounds, before that time, he shall have the secret of who wore Peter Styles' shoes. But he must see that I am not barmed for telling it.” While the woman has gone on the errand time is afforded us to look around.
The old borough of Richmanstown is little changed. Once in Saxon days, and after that when bold Plantagenets and choleric and subtle Tudors bore the rule, it was a fortified place, where men took refuge in sudden outbreaks of civil war. Slowly the tide of improvement flowing now toward the neighboring hamlet of Sloppery, once, as its name implies, an ill drained marsh, but now a pleasant village in the midst of rich and well drained meadows, gradually builds up the new at the expense of the old, while the younger town, growing back toward its progenitor, threatens in time to encompass it as a thriving son takes the family honors while the gray old father wears away.
The chimes that echo from the clock in the belfry of St. Winifred's, floating in airy, golden music through the valley, circle round the rising spire of another temple where God is to be worshiped by loving men. It stands beyond the lovely enclosure, now beautified with autumn's late blown flowers, which surrounds the mansion built by the Barbadoes planter in the early part of the century. The common, which they now style the park, is enclosed with massive railings of iron work and affords a merry play ground for many a village child. The elms of a century's growth wax mightier and cast a shade more dense upon the shaven grass. The Green Lion, one of the few remaining hostelries in which a past generation took delight, still maintains the reputation of buttery and cellar, while village cheer gives place to more refined, perhaps less wholesome, luxuries, as the rural neighborhood becomes the thriving market town. Still sits the jolly landlord, measuring a little more in the girt of his plush waistcoat and with another twinkle of the red harvest moon shining in his rounded face, enjoying a cool tankard of ale beneath the hop vines and honey suckles, now past their flowering, that shade the summer porch. Still, at the sign of the Gilt pestle and Galen's head, Aminadab Vampire deals out pills and powders, looking, if possible, leaner and worse-conditioned than on the Christmas night when he beheld the ghost.
At the Rectory, the wines are as costly, the dinners as luxurious as in former days, but the incumbent seldom takes his place at morning prayer or sermon, the duties of the parish devolving mainly upon the Rev. Dapper Flummery, who yet retains the curacy. It is expected that