Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

4 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

--...-------, ORIGINAL STORIES.…

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

ORIGINAL STORIES. t — OUR SERIES OF SHORT STORIES By Popular British Novelists. CONTRIBUTORS: I LftS, ALEXANDER, B. L FARJEON, THOMAS HARDY, D. C. MURRAY, D. C. MURRAY, åSD Ilia Auriaos OF MOLLY BAWN." ,I J [NOW FIRST pUBLISEMD.1 THE QUEENS SCAEF. A STORY OF A SCARECROW. I-ly DAVID CHRISTIE MURRAY. Vvtbet of 0 JOSOWS Coat," "Aunt Rachel," Raia- bow Gold," Stc., ke. I I I [111 &i«>t or Tbaxslation is Rmsfuyxd.] CHAPTER III. AchiwA a population of more than sixty thousand people, densely packed in places, but in other places widely dispersed—for it has an area cf' some twelve square mil". Young John was in- j timately acquainted with his own end of the parisM but knew little of the other extremity. He supposed the baiting of the shoemaker to be I Miqae of its kind, but one fiae summer afternoon be strolled into the High-street, which was a full mile away from his father's house, and marching I' along it with keen observation of novel people and pursuits, came at last to its extreme enJ, and vfawe found a crowd of children, dancing in quite old familiar manner about a shop window, *Uid chJMting a musical refrnin, which by it rhythm I tesAlUeaad vigour as well as a kind of rough orde t to the dance. The tuna wa-i easily learned i and tAe words were simple. John joined tiie cheer-1 ful bai \d and sang with as much life and mto as ttqi BftV>btr of it i I t, ok o Dirce of po. k I Anl I atoek it Oil a fork And I gava it to a Jew. Jew, Jew." Ocoajiun; V'j 4 girl .vvuld screuiu Here he is and tfte cronVl would scatter, hnt since the »W«a *tw»ys proves 1 faioe, would return witn greater vigour trod bol\«ne» than before. Over the shop window youV- John read the name of Mo I Sraodt, and the announcement that all sorts of auiodties were d>vUt in. The window was full of, unknown things, a.,td there were pictures exposad for view which, but fir the occ<pati^n io hand, j would hAve bad attrlctioni for him. Even as it was he was half absorb vd, though the contempla- t%a 44 two or thm en, lemc-us knives and l'ut, daggers and one o!«J six'barrelled pistol gave &! few fill nliatt to th* irrii ttion of M. isa Brandt, j Re Was dancing away and singing quite mechani- cally wktaMae one trea^ Veroualy pushed hina into the shop, and at that second of tirue the I whoopings )f ompeitaiuent. Ito ahwawker had been accustomed to make his occasional onslaughts upon bis tormenters by I tee shop door, but Mouse Brandt Ud a side way at his disposal, a narrow passage Lctween his own bouso md Lbe adw, and emerging, from this in time to see John dive through tlie shop door, he *n4a a ftimtoto pounce towards it at id spread both tit arms and legs acrt. it. Youn^; J Vba, who had j Va* ko*y of iwoguiat ion, had sen t his wits so or afield ttiat be had forgotten Moise Brandt, and MMed to know that 1M was singing, and danc- J DC. Cc toe reotembar why he sang and disced. He *M bacteag gravely out of the shop with the «>r*fut ditty atiil upon his lips and wis .Wet still i tttM to it, wbon be awijke to find that a Along band bad pinned him by the collar of taektV waistcoat and shirt—an unescapable liand- 'Hi—a»d that tie was a prisoner. 'Hi—a»d that tie was a prisoner. Ms f said his erpwr, 61 1 have gotuclit you. You have been Waking me for fifa and tvtinty years, and now I have gaught you I shoH bur \»*h TOI1." John was pushed through • he and through a deor which stood at tiie back of it. This dot ir his captor locked, still retaining his hold on th, boy's collar, and John, having ma already one or two vain attempts to see what unaaner of man had got hold of him, resigned himself and awaited the ( worst. The captor pushed him across the room to another door, and having locked that also and thus made escape impossible for his prisoner, he I released his bnlà, and the boy could make out by what sort oi ojjre he was held in bondage. The I C$t* ftd a bald bead with a look like Father Time nyoa tbt forehead. He had round glasses which BV(&ifi«d a food deal and made his eyes look large and threatening. The glasses were encased in I thick tortoiseshell, and resting on a nose both booked and sbafp, gave their wearer a wonderful likeness to an owl. He wore a thick moustache wh»<* fatMety obscured his mouth, and a long and pefetfd bo". I M Aba be said again, leaning forward with his hands upon his knees, and peering at his captive. I have gaught you, and I shall bunisb you. You have ctaked me for life and tveaty fears, and I have never gaught you bevore." Youag Joka's mind was radically logical, 81ad be to NO the weak spot in this surprising statmont fle retired with one elbow well up. M J almft plagued you for five and twenty years," he said, howcould I ? I ain't nine yet. I never Where a.(aN to^lay,neither." -Vat is your name ? said Moise Bi-audt. 11 DeU me da drutb er I shall bead you." John Arbutbnot." Vot ås that for a n-Lit :J Vera do you lil t" I Ilb"pwsWk-lane." Vot prings you here, i:' you lif at Sheepwesh- lane ( 1 I was out for a walk," s^id John, witb the defensive elbow well up. Ha was intimate with the lewetwwu ao#*ns wmpiojed by some of his elders, wtoo would lull a boy into forgetfuluess by this kmd of exftKir.aiion, asd when bis defences were afcaada—d would srnii^ biua suddenly at disadvastage. Vot made you lini; and tance outside here? I :il '¡I Dafl me." I -4 1 heard tbti other boys singing," said youwg John, Why shouldn't I sing if the other boys I could &in -'e I Now this was a plea altogether disingenuous, and John felt it so even while he urged iL "Ah! Vy you swuldn!t zing. I will dell you vy you should not 2Leg. Begause you knew it voukl blake zomebody who Lad never done you thing to bUke you. Eh ? John felt ubamed of himaclf. This was a great point in his favour if it had only been known, for boys in the like conditions do not feel ashamed of themselves as a rule, being too much occupied by a lively con- ceptkm of the evcatsof the gear future. Gone 1 1@ said Mots# Brandt, "You vci tuning to blake somebody. Dell the druth. Eh ? "Yea." saidJoba, with a sense that the trouble couM acascakr be very distant now and that it would be well to have it over. "Vot did you do ia my thop Y VOla you tARCiUM ? Vos you zinging? Eh?" M Somebody pushed me in. I didn't go in on purpose." « Ab 1 Voe you ziBgiag ven I gaught you ? Vos you? Eh?" Yes,* said John. -Vot tos you zincing ( Gome now? Vot? Eb ? Vot ow do laddie biecs of boedry that you V08Z in¡iDi" Brandt, with his feet I. wide apart and a band on each knee, made a little advance at this point, and John retreated. "Vot vos de liddle biece of boedry T I "I had a piece of pork," John answered, content to cite only the first line, and being assured that his examiner would recognise the theme. "Do you zee that jair?" demanded his captor, pointing to a seat in one corner of the room. Go and zit down, I have gaught you and I shall bunisb you." John obeyed with inward tremors. The old man pushed a circular table of heavy old oak into the corner after him, and be felt himself twice a prisoner. Sow," said the old man, look. ing round and taking up a murderous-looking knobkerry from the man) elpiece, and shaking it in a threatening manner, You vink an eyelit till I dell you and I vill bead you. To a chelly," he added by way of afterthought. With this assurance he seated himself at another table, near a window, the captive watching him with a dreadful interest. The first thing Moise was to sharpen one or two fine chisels on a whetstone, a proceeding which excited strange foretxjdings in the captive's mind. It turned out that the chisels were meant not for torture, but for and the oid man, taking up a bit of box- wood 1.n which a grotesque head was already blot-feea* out, set to work at it anew with an atten- tion which very soon became completely absorbed. At first he turned round for an occasional look at bis prisons, but in a while he forgot him alto- gether, and went on with his work as if there was nothing else* in the world. John, loolung about, saw a hundred curious things, the purpose of which he could not divinet but they were not the less interesting to him on that account. His fears gradually gave way to his curiosity, by-and-bye the captive became as absorbed as the captor. There lay upon the circular table one or two <vld books in shiny-brown bind- ings, the backs ot" which were broken so as to show the plenteous jlue and tangled ends of string. One of tbena books was almost within reach of th", boy's hawd when hu str- vhed it out across U.e ubte. Leaning forward until his breast touched tbe table, be couid scramble at the smooth, 3hiny cover with the txtreine tip:t of fingers, rind at, last, rising evw so and svet so j stealthily in his chair, be was able to draw tha book towards He ilrew it no mora than an inc) at fiht, then another inch, and then another. At length the old absorption guve him course enough to rpen thtt volu:n<% a«-l, oh, joy it was that same wonderful of Virgil's IIf j which his father had told hia\ u'i he could reunem- uir. He forgot Mo'ue Brandt j I: > i'-jrgot his cap- tivity he fo> jot all but the b .-r; tivity he fo> jot all but the b .-r; It hau been so Joo since John Arbuuinot the elder had taken his M.A. iegr-?^ tht hi" know- j ledge of Latin literature had prown somewhat scanty, but he retained the grammar, as dull minds will. For a dull man's learning is like the for- saken hoard of tha .*quirrrl. The sweet and! nourishing kernels have shrivelled into drv powder, while the me'e innutritiou.* shells are as iiard and as firm as ever. The 1 tht-n, had had a solid grinding in the grammar of the language, and though his vocabulary was necessarily limited and ( a good deal of Virgil was Latin to him, he made out tha areata part of it, and averaged the <vord.« i be could not understand, and feeling himself surer and as he wont- nr. devoured P2\s after j pa,e. When, in tiie space of sooaa two hours, Moise Brandt had finished the bit of work upon which he had been engaged, h called his prisi-ner to n.ind nd tumed to look at uim, with some at iiis profound and protracted sileuce. Tue boy had both eibows on the table and his head was J betwen his hand*. At first the old man thought lie bad failen a#ieep, but a'niost as he th-iught so rhe an rurnd 0."1' a page and went on raa iing. Thf\1) arose slowly, and with e^vxeuie caut'oo, and crossed the room noiselessly, and peering through his round tortoisesl ell-riirmeci glasses, saw thai the book wis the immortal jioem of Virgii, and that this unkempt young vaga-1 bond froja 8he?pwasli-lane, who had d^clured | himspif to be hut nine years of nge, was buried deep in the original version of the great Latin's masterpiece. Ai first hd very naturaliy refused to beiieve j the boy understood a worJ of it: but M he watclu-d him he noticed a slight movement of the head j which corresponded to the beginning and ending of the lines, and before he had watched long the I boy's eyes were carried from the bottom of one page to the top of (ha other, and the motion of head went on again. waited until the next page was turned over, and then he slipped i big hard, with broad aud wriaklsd knuckles, betwn j the reader's eyes and tha poem. Jnhn clipped the [ book with both bands, but the old man laid hold of it and drew it away. Vot do you know about thishe asked. "Vot j are you brjdending to read ?" "I was«'t pr tendiug to raid," said John. "I was reading." Who daught you to read Ladin ?" asked Moise, peering at him through his owl-like glasses. Father, replied young John, with a persuasive tug at the volume. "And how did your father goma to know Ll\di n r" H He is a Master of Arts," said John, not without t pride. He was aware that his own acquirements: were exceptional, and he knew that the fathers of mo«t boys in Sheepwash-l<ine were not Masters of Arts. Is he alive ?" asked the old man. "Yes," said John. "Do let me finish the book, "Yes," said John. "Do let me finish the book, it you please, sir, I won't make a noise." I "Let roe aee vot you know," said Brandt and pulling the circular table from the corner and placing himself at the side of this surprising boy,1 ue proceeded to examine him. The examination was the less severe because Moise himself was ignorant of the Latin tongue, and the book had fallen into his hands by accident. But young John, entering upon the history of the career of .Eneas, and relating the filial transporta'ion of old Anchises from burning Troy, was so full of it all, 1 ;\nd so eager ovtr it that the narrative gurgled j f vom him, obstructing itself in its own eagerness— li ke water poured from a narrow-necked bottle j w hen one tries to empty the bottle hastily-that ¡ Mcuse had no doubt of the reality of his know- ledge. "Veil," said Moise, 64 I brought you in here to bvntsh you, and nbw I shall bunish you by I zenoling you away till to-morrow. You gan gome I' to-morrow and vini..h the book." John sighed, and, being dismissed, retired so gravely that the boys who had led him into this adventure knew not what to make of him. He was looked upon as one who had passed through supernatural experiences, and was followed and questioned with something akin to awe. But when lui answered that be had been permitted to read a oocvk in Latin, and that he bad obtained I permission to go back and finish it on the morrow. sympathy vanished; and when a boy of eleven or twelve, wore a square cap and a satchel and who had Mustered up uo know the new 9, derided I young John and told him that he was a liar, a fight took pla<ce, from which the younger student only retired upon compulsion, being completely I overborne by weight of metal. He went back next day with a richly-coloured black eye to I Sloise Brandt and was not only permitted to finish the 4Sneid, but was asked to go again. Ha promised delightedly, but he failed to keep I the promise, though from no fault of his own. ) It wm hardly to be supposed that a lad of nine should notice vetry keenly the slow change of I aspect which othttr people could see in the poor I Master of Arts, Tike lank shoulders drooped more and more, the grey face grew greyer and more lined, the humble cough behind the bony hand had a raucous rasp in it. The tragic truth of the I matter was that young John's appetite was killing his father. John Artouthnot the elder starved himself to feed John Arbuthnot the younger. He went thinly clad eo thai, the boy might go warm, On winter nights the boy had the solitary blanket and the father shivered under his own thin coun- terpane. It is proved every week of the year that more than two people can live on less than two shillings a day. But Arbuthnot was a poor manager, and his only economy was to deny him- self. He came home altogether broken down on the night of his son's second visit to Moise Brandt. He went to bed and never got up again. The parish doctored him after a fashion, and buried him after a fashion, and tho parish laid a hand upon young John. The mortal remains of the Master of Arts were trundled to the cemetery in a black-painted oblong box propelled by an undertaker's man in easy ondreaa. The grave-digger assisted this functionary in drawing the coffin from the oblong box and in lowering it into the A local dissenting minister read a service over the dead man. tad young John stood by the &mve, tou miuu overcome I by the bitterness of his solitude and despair eveo to cry. When the service was over, an able- bodied pauper who Iwd wandered about the ceme- tery abeorbed ia a perusal of the inscriptions oa the tombstones, touched the boy on the shoulder t and gave him a alga to follow. Young John fol- lowed mechanically and stonily, and had walked a good mile in silence when all on a sudden he stood still in the middle of the street, and burying his face in both hands, he began to cry as if his heart would break. A lady stopped on the footpath to regard him. She was old and stately, and very richly but quietly dressed, and was followed at a distance by a man in livery who carried one or two light parcels. What is the matter, my poor boy ?" asked the lady, stooping a little to lay a gloved hand on young Johu's wrist. "His father's dead, mum," S1.id the able-bodied pauper, hastily slipping a stumpy black clay into his pocket. His father's dead, mum, and he's a* going to the Bastille." This is the cheerful name the poor ^ive to the Workhouse in Castle Bartield and its neighbour- hood. Most likely the French artificers in glass, of whom there are many in the town, are answerable for it. oo He looks a respectable little boy," said the lady whose face was wrinkled and shrewd but full of kindness. Yes, mum," said the able-bodied. His father was the parson at Bethel Chapel, in Sheepwash. lane, mum." Dear me siid the old lady, pityingly. Stringer 1" The man in livery approached. Take this boy to Birch, and tell him to find him something to do about the garden." Yes, my lady." A well-appointed carriage stood a dozen yards away, and a second man in livery waited at the door. The old lady, having thus briefly arranged matters to her own momentary satisfaction, walked towards the carriage; man in livery number one followed and handed his parcels to number two, and then returned to take charge of young John. Come along with me, he said, w and stop that snifflink." I've got to take him to tiie Bastille," said the pauper, humbly. "Lady Berny's order is," returned the man in livery, "that he is to be took to the H Jics." The able-bodied pauper knew his own orders, but, was not able-bodied or able-minded enough to enforce tfc. m against so much grandeur. lie sur- rendered his charge, therefore, and the livery servant, a good deal scandalised by young John's behaviour, walked in state along the High-street, with an occasional backward glance at the boy to mate sure that tie wis following. John followed, but tLe sudden discovery that ha was not to be taken to the Workhouse after ail and that there was still a heart of kindness in the world, opened so wide the sluices of his tears that he could scarcely see the road, ard he walked, his heart '10 ewe'led with grief aril self-pity that it seemed to fill his breast and choke him. CH M'iEK IV. Casile Eadjeld is half on the green borderland of the Black Country, and onF, side of it is hacked and burned and blackened by labour, whilst the otiier side smile3 with open fields and a great park rich with timber. Tiie Hollits stood on the country side of the parish, a solid, low standing h-Mase with a hu.idrod acres of ground appertain- ing to it. When once John a:ld his guilie had passed the lodge and had entered >;pcn the drive» wliirh bad a bortieiing or noble forest trens anu commanded a view of the gr^at- wh;e tuildin2 ar the end. the child's grief was stupefied and over- whelmed by the grandeur of the place, and he only sobbed now and then. Fifty yards away from the house the drive divided, and swept, still bordered by its great tree. round a circular lawn, rolled and trimmed with such scrupulous care that it looked I'ke a. green lake. At the back of the house lay a garden, which; lof ke 1 fairy-like to tha boy's unaccustomed eyes, and in the garden was a man who clipped at a close grown yew tree with a tremendous pair of sounding shew is. Here's a lind of my lady's, Birch," sai 1 the footman, approaching this person^g", and j,ii-ic;nv a thumb at young John.*•.Ha was being took to: the wovkus, when lie Rtlipa to snivel in the street. My lady notices pick.9 hiai up and sends him on here. 4Take him to Hireh; she says, 'and tell' Kirch to find him soaiethink to do in the garden.' Orders is orLIt.-ri." Birch looked at young John witu no great favour. What's your name ?" he demanded. John told him. -1 Where do you live?" I don't live anywhere n"w," said John, mourn- fully. I used to live in Sheepwa.«h-iane." "You don't live anywhere?" returned the gar-j dener. 11 Where are we agoing to stow him ?" w That's tit? old woman's affair, I reckon," said the footman. We're going up to town this after- noon, thank Heaving! YL'u'd better ask what is to be done with him." Stop there," said the gartlener to John, and laying down his shears upon the grass, he moved away with the foutman. Arrivtd at the House be found one of the maids and- despatched her to my lady to demand instructions as to John's bestowal- After an absence of two or three minutes the maid returned. u The boy is to be kept waiting," she said. Her i would carry- her enquiry as to John's educational attainments into the higher sciences. Having learned that; he could read and write she did not think to question him as to what he could read and write. The young Crichton had a brown and dirty fist at either eye, and his features were smeared by the grime his tears had distilled from his knuckles. -1 Have you no friends or relatives p" asked the old lady. No, ma'am," returned young John. And are you willing to work and be useful?" Oh, yes, ma'am." At this moment the sound of horses' hoofs was heard upon the firm gravel of the drive, and a handsome and clasliii. looking young gentleman, at sight of whom the younger lady blushed, ap- peared at the curve of the lawn, fifty yards away. Birch," said the old lady to the gardener, find the boy something to do about the garden or the I farm. Price's wife at the Pear Tree will take care of him. He will have sixpence a day, and it will I be paid to Price's wife for his maintenance. You will tell her it is my wish that she should take care of him." Yes, my lady," returned the gardener, respect- fully, and with that Lady Berny and her daughter advanced to meet the handsome young gentleman who by this time had dismounted and was coming towards them hat in hand, with a brown face and grey eyes brightly smiling. Now gardener Birch had a boy of his own, and was by no means disposed, being a reasonably good father, to shelvehim in favour of any rescued young pauper to whom her ladyship might take a fancy. He was pleased therefore to hear that the new comer might be employed about the garden or the farm, and resolved that the garden should see as little as possible of him. It was glorious summer weather, bright and balmy and not too sultry. Young John, that after- I noon, introduced to Price's wife, was formal!y chartered on the establishment of the great house, .indentured upon a life of open air and reverie. I He had bL: little given him to do, a" that little was of a kind which demanded the smallost. possible expenditure of mental force. He led horses to water and drove the cows to be milked, or wielded a pair of bird-clappers to frighten the predatory feathered hordes from the cherries of j General Sir George Berny, and in the course of a week or two his life began to feel accustomed, He found out that it was of no use to ask the yokels, his comrades, about anything and being I' surrounded by tilings entirely new to him, was so perpetually fiiied with wonder and enquiry that his days passed in a kind of dream. The old lady who had rescued him from the work- house appeared no more for months, and even the yokels knew in a vaue sort of way that silo was in London, and that the younger lady had been married and had gone abroad. John settled in iiis own wind that the young lady had married the handsome young gentleman with the brown face I and smiling grey eyts. There was no Virgil, no EucliJ, 1,0 Greek grammar to be studied in young John's present position, but there were a thousand things its delightful and as iuteresting even for a born book- worm. There were animals, birds, flowers, trees, insects, in stioit there was an opct. air world with all its inhabitants and phenoi; jna, a:;u young John studied it an i them with a'! his eyes and heart. The bird-clapping business was, of all his avoca- tions, the one whicu he felt to weigh heaviest on his hands. It was monotonous and it chained him to a place iu there was less to observe rhan I elsewuere, and being forced to activity of one sort or another, he looked a--out him for an employ- ment compatible with the actual industry upon which ho was eng .ged. This presonted itself in a 'little wnile, and took a form so aojorbing that the .jjirds were often left to fsa.st ur. li?turbed for half an hour together. an hour together. TIle orchard was bordered on one side by a liula footway, end in one corner of it by t h., side of this i footway was a little tool-house with whitewashed I walls. On tluse whitewashed walls John toaK to drawing, with any odd bits of burnt stick wide!) j 1 f,et into his hands, any oi-ject which happened to i attract his fancy. Hu drdw the sheep that Jay I about the meadow, and the cows that grazed there, any bird that would rest long enough to be j sketched upon a spray, any piyturrsqui bit of j gnarled old tree trunk in the orchard. Wiien he h ni covered the three walls on the inside of thej orcliard as far as lie cou d reach, he took to the wall on ttie outside and proceeded to cover that also. ¡ Cis workmanship was necessarily rough, but it had at least so much of veracity in it that the ob- jects he drew were recognisable for what he meant. them to represent, and he succeeded so perfectly one day with a linnet who sat perched upon a waving spray of the hedge that he sat down outside the orchard and worshipped the work of his hands for a full halfliour. as young artists will, and old ones too, for that matter. file fielJ pathway was very rarely used, and weeks went by before young I John's pictorial tastes were discovered. But one day discovery came, and with it consequences of a serious nature. Moisa Brandt, who strove vainly to deal ia I ladyship wfiil see him directly." I The garjsner went back to his work, and in a I little whilo the old lady walked down the gravelled pa th, accompanied by a young lady who carried an umbrella which shaded both of them I from the bright sunshine. John was still gobbing now and then, but his eyes were clearer of tears than they had been, and when he looked at the young lady he thought her wonderfully beautiful. Amongst his few personal literary treasures at home had been a tittered volume of "Oliver Twist," tha remembrance of whose pages had added poign^ucy to the shame and misery of the approaching workhouse that morning. Now from the same voluune he found a likeness to the young lady, and lie christened her Rose Maylie on the spot. As for his opinion of her personal attrac- tions it was shared, though be could scarcely be supposed to know it, by half a score of young gentlemen in town and country, wlio were, per- haps, better flitted to sit in judgment than himself The old lady had an asm about the waist of the young one, and they approached slowly, talking in low tones and smiling. "This is the boy r, said he young lady, stopping before young John, and looking down upon him kindly. t6 Yes," said the eldor. what is your name, my boy ?" John Arbuthnot." "How old are you?" I Nearly nine." "A well-grown bov." said til i Ole[ Ictdy, "Can, you read ?" "Yes. ma'am." "And write?" "Yes, ma'am." "What was your fathar ?" He was a Master of Arts, ma'am," said young John, but as he spoke his troubles and the kindness of the lady's voice broke him down again, and the worda were so indistinct that neither the old lady aor tha young one understood them. But the I 0111 lady txauakled the broker, syllables for her young companion. His father was the minister of a chapel in the neighbournood. The boy." she added, is a very respectable boy in appearance. They were going to send him to the Workhouse. You would rather work f an go to the Workhouse, boy?" "Oh,yes, in&*&n* said youn; John. It vfts hardly to be expected that the old lady curios in a town where no man, woman, or child had the remotest taste for them, had many hour3 and days when enforced idleness lay heavily upon his spirit, and at such times in sunshiny weather it was his habit to lock up the shop and to roam out into the fiolds, accompanied by a huge Alsatian pipe and a curious walking-stick of twisted ebony, the latter part of his unsaleable stock-in-trade, but supposed by the mere imaginative youth of Castle Barfield to be a wand of terrible enchant- ment. His chance directed footsteps took him one day by the rarely-used footpath through the fields which led past Sir George Berny's orchard, where, upon the whitewashed wal! of the little tool-house, he observed a number of rough but spirited char- Coal sketches of which one, in particular, took his fancy—the linnet and the fl.nvery branch. Moise polished his glasses, and with his big pipe in his mouth and his hands crossed on the top of the twisted ebony stick, ho stooped down to get a closer look at this work of art. Within the orchard young John, iu place of attending to his bit da, was lying flat upon his stomach with his chin in both dirty brown hands, absorbed in the contemplation of two or three ants who were busily engineering towards their native anthill the kernel of a cherry-stone. He was so deeply interested in their procoedings that he did not hear the approaching footsteps, and it was only when Moise cleared his throat with a loud and sudden noise that he looked up and became aware of bis presence. Moise, stooping forward to look at John's draw- ings, was in full view through the twisted branches of the hedge. Young John, with his bright eyes peering upwards, was quite hidden. Of course he recognised infoise, and would have liked to renew his acquaintance. There were piles of books in the old man's house, and John had been asked to visit him again and to make free of these literary treasures, but him boyish shyness hspt hi:n from declaring himself. But, by and bye, as he looked, it seemed to him that Moi-e would be a glorious object to draw. He had never drawn a man or tried to draw one, but his fingers began to itcb to depict the figure before him, and his bright eyes ran over the old man from head to foot over and over &-air. Older and more accomplished artists thti young John might have rejoiced in such a mouel. When Moise had looked his fill at the drawings and the unseen young artist had looked his fill at Moise, old fellow straightened himself, re-lit his pipe, which in the interest of the past two or three minutes he had allowed to go out. and wan- dered tranquilly upon his way. Young John scrambled on his hands and knees to the lower hedge and watched him until he had rounded a little green hill, and then drawing a piece of char- coal from one oi the pockets of his corduroys, he wormed himself through a breach in the fence and set to work at once. The first two or three attempts were õ; appointing, and Moise relused to appear upnn the whitewashed wail. But at last the dirty brown fingers seemed all at once to lesrn what it was that young John's mind re- quired of them, and Moise sprang into auch genuine life that John capered with delight In his cumbrous smock and threw his brimless cap into the air. All the rest of that day he sat &nd delighted in this new work of his own hands, and when evening came on be went home with a sense of guilt and worthlessness upon him, conscious of his neglect of duty. But how should he fight against the temptation to this intense and passionate joy ? He was guilty—he was a false pretender—he had not earned his daily six- pence. But, oh! how sweet it was to be guilty in such a. fashion, and what a tearing it was to his heartstrings to resolve that he must be guilty no more! But it came to pass tliat the next day bringing to the hands of old no more business than the day which had preceded it, he locked up bis shop onco more and again wandered out into the fields, with the big Alsatian pipe nnd the stick of twisted ebony, and foe DO particular reaaon took the way he had taken jjgiterday. This time John espied him whilst he was yet at a. distance, and in a flutter of expectancy and fear and guilt ran to the hedge by the tool house, and, making himself as small as possible, crouched there hidden behind the hedge, and waited for the old man's arrival. Would he notice the pictured semblance of him- Would ha be angry if he did? And if he were angry would lie divine the whereabouts of the artist, and proceed to take vengeance ? T! f watcher, in spite of the beating of his heart, coukl hear Moiso's footsteps long before his figure appeared in eight. When at last ha came within John's limited lines of view, he was looking about an air altogether disengaged, an air which seemed, to the guilty artist behind the hedge, ostentatiously disregardful of him. He was going by without any apparent thought of the sketches which had attracted his attention yesterday, and John couid not have told, if his life had hung upon ..nsvver, wh<.i,hei he would rather have had him goby without seeing or not, for the desire to know how the old man would behave and if Its would rewCgniso his own portrait was as strong as the feeling of guilt and dread. But just when he v. as on a with the tool-houaa and within a tot cf ti.a place at which he had paused before, casta glance at the wall and stopped with a siai t. Mon tieu said. Mease, with hid eyes widen- ing behind his magnifying glasses Ho turned and started. Voizi guelguo chose te trolel With one haud folded over the ott. on the knob of tlie twisted ebony slick, and his big pipe hang ing from his lips, ha stooped. Foi ward ,.gain in tL, precise attitude in which young John had drawn him, and tarred at iiis own pieaeutmenr in absolute a'u" Mois gut a. vait zezi ?" he demanded, and though the words bora no mean- ing to :.he artist's mind, ha recognised the amaze- mbut and enquiry in them, and flushed with a new delight and pride. It like, then. It must ba like, or why sh«*»ila the old man be so f>urpri«nu by it? Aq a mutter oi fact ii was extremely l'ke. There were a hundred faults of drawing in it. but through them all the portrait shone with the light of unconscious caricature. In art there are that aic truor than mero truth, and this charcoal sria .vl was more than a mere portrait cf Moise. It .vaa an admiring parody upon him. It was quainter than he, but only where he deserved to bt quainter than he really was. The unconscious ex- I xggerai ion iiad crept, in in LU3 right; places, an ) tl;« charcoal scrawl stared out of the whitewash at Moise with .i truth so vivid that there were no bounds to the old man's wonder. His eyes searched the country side in vain, and when he luprcach-d tho hdgeand peered over it into the orciiard, he s'ill 8W nobody, though young John couid easily have laid an outstretched hand uprm his foot. M-i^e gave up the puzzle at last, mid went on muttering to himself in his native Al^a'.ian French and shaking his head he walked. When he had gone out of sight, the artist worined himself thiough the hedge again and sat down pn the grass to gloat once mon; upon his handiwork. From this to the discovery of his faults was but a small jouinuy, and John, finding a bit of broken siate which had fallen from tlie rouf of the tool-house, began to scrape out with its sharp edge certain lines that offendeo him and to put in new ones, pausing now and again, as the thing grew truer and truer, to chuckle over it, and to dance in front of it in his clumsy smock, and in boots which had growQ too small for J'lhez Price but. were a world too wide for him. When fdoi.io had gone out of sight round the little green bill, he had taken a turn to the right and had breasted another gentle green incline, towards which the smock-frocked, big-booted caricaturist's hack was at that moment turned. The Alsatian dealer in curios had doubled upon his course, and when he came to the top of the gentle hfll a rejoicing chuckle broke upon his tai, and there below him was a young yokel in the costume of the fields, kicking up the heavily-loaded hoels before that identical portrait which had so amazed himself a. little while ago. Whilst he looked, the rejoicing young yokel ad- vanced to the sketch, and kneeling down before it, eliminated a line with great care and put in another in the place of it. Moise, with cautious footsteps silent on the soft grass, descended the hill- side. The big buos were flourishing and the smock-frockad arms were moving and the youth- ful artist was whooping with delight, when the old man's hand descended upon the collar of the smock with just such another unescapable grip as he had laid upon young John once before. The detected criminal writhed, but writhed in vain, and when the strong hand turned him round he saw Moise, and stood io shame and fear before him. He felt that ha had been taking a most un- warrantable liberty, aud he awaited his own con- demnation with the blush of conscious guilt upon his cheek. said M, ise, relaxing his hold in renewed surprise. It is you again. Eh ? It is you, is it, that makes bigtures of me ?" Young John answered nothing. He was over- whelmed by the detection of his crime. Is it you that made that:" I didn't mean to be cheeky," snid the criminal, with his eyes upon the turf. I didn't do it out of check. I didn't really, sir." "Did you do it out of asked Moise. Vos it you?" I didn't menn no Imrni, sir," said John, shame- facedly. "Veil?" re.tui'ned Moise, who said there vos any harm ? Voa it you that made the bigture ?" Ye. sir." Faintly and wish fear of conse- quences. You are the poy," said Moise, that tances into my zhoD ? Lli ? It, was another boy that pushed me in, sir," re- turned young John, venturing to look up. It was his turn to be surprised. The old man was laugh- ing, and he knew with that certainty of our elders which only leave us as we grow towards manhood, that the laughter was kind'y. You are the poy," pursued Moise, that reads the Ladin boedry, EII" I. YIIS. sir," said John, becoming more and more assured that his interlocutor was not angry with him. You are tha poy," said Moise," that has a father a Master of Ards. Eli ?" At this, for the wound of loss was not yet healed, young John's knuckles wnt to his eyes and he began to cry. "Vall," said Mnise, "Vot is there to gry for?" Ho's dead, sir, said John, with a new burst of tesr". "Drouhle!" said Moise, with » big nod of his head and two or three stnalifir nods after it. Drouble Ah! There is drouble everywhere, my poor vellow. Yts. Everywhere. There was a pause, and young John dried his eyes on his hock. And vot do you do here ?" asked the old man. I scare the birds, sir," returned John. At least." with returning conscience of his guilt, outht to." "Scare the birts," said Moise t.o himself, though he spoke aloud. Yes. There is dronbles every- where and there are vools everywhere. They garve and bollsh their deal and they light the vire with their mahogany. Look here. Vot is your I vorget." "John Arbuthnot." "Ah! Zo! Look here! If you vant booka come to my house. You do not get any books to read here. Eli (" I John shook his head. •Mf you **ant to learn to traw, come to uoy house. I will e'each you, and "Very soon you will he deaching me. Eh ? Vill you come pit Young John was only too delighted, and agreed to go that night. Moiae patted his head once or • wice and then walked away. He lit the big pipe and went, solemnly on, puffing at it until he had got back into Castle Barfield, High-street, when he charmed two or three pasaers-by by stoppin, short, and crying alooQ with apparent provoca- tion :— "The poy ? The poy 18 a poy of chenius!" (To be continued.)

-------UNREASONABLY EARLY.

[No title]

[NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.]