Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

2 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

-TALL Wants


TALL Wants |pr at r Oj- ROBBERYA HENRY FRITB" w 'Author «fH The Mystery of Moor Farm" "On tho Wings of the Wind," Through Flood, -nivugls A- fe, Jr w„ —gnaiman, who an„ _,erea --ne waesJKuijTS cuts had been killed on the line. "I warned him time enough, but he took no notice, and then I put up the signal to warn the 1 driver." a .F The guard'tnrned back, and the others went also towards the, spot indicated, and examined the ground. Not a trace of any human being could be found. The ballast of the permanent way was not in any way disturbed, nor had any blood been spilt. Well, this is a rum start," said the guard. a The driver and fireman looked at each other and laughed. "Jack's been dinin' out," said Ned. "Been mixin' a bit. Eh, Jack ? g., l,ve touched notmn" lmt tea this week," re- plied the trembling signalman. "It's the warnin' Ugain." The warnin! !,I exclaimed the guard. What, the spirit we heard of P Get out!" he added, scorn- fully. Spirits and water, I'm afraid," remarked one of the passengers. I'm sorry to see the lives of people are trusted to a tipsy signalman." "I'm not tipsy, sir," replied Jack, respectfully; "nor was I ever drunk in my life. You can have me examined, if you please. I saw the appearance on the line as sure as I stand here." "Nonsense, my good fellow," replied another gentleman. "I think you are overworked—you fancy things. Take a rest-get off duty for a week, and have a change of air. I can see you are sober enough." "Jack's sober enough always," said the engine- driver. He's stopped us before like this. There may be something in it, but we saw nobody." "Not a soul," said Ned, confirming his mate's remarks, as in duty bound. The guard also said the same. Then there's something going to happen. You may depend warnings don t come for nothin'. Look out ahead, driver; you may find it affects you too," said Jack, shaking his head. Goin' to happen, is there ? Do ye think that there's ghosts about then ? asked the driver, scorn- fully. That's just what I do believe. I've seen the figure afore, and he always vanishes in front of a train. Look ahead, mate." 1' H C -t All right, Jack; don't alarm yourself. If he's a ghost I run him down. If he's a man I won't. Goodnight." Jack stood fit the window of the box and watched the train. The steam rose in lurid clouds in the tight of the setting sun, and vanished into the tunnel. The figure had disappeared, and whoa the man hurried up from the tunnel to ask if anything was the matter, Jack turned the subject, and said it was all right." Yet, notwithstanding his convi tions, Jack Ray- mond could not shake off the dread that oppressed him as night came on, The sun disappeared in fiery, clouds, and In>:de the discs of the signals blood-red' danger In; hf. even when green or white were dis- played. All the atmospherical concomitants were in favour of nervous associations. The air was still and sultry; scarce a sound was heard —the birds were hushed -tlie insects forgot to htim-,t weird and alarming sensation of solitude crept over Jack, and ever and anon a cold and unaccountable shiver hurried thtough his limbs, as if he had suddenly walked into a fog. The heavy masses of cloud came piling themselves up ou the horiion, and sent out light scouts of vapour like pilot balloons to see which way the wind blew. And yet the great masses did not always takj advJrtfasre of the information, for some of th- tn went slowly away in another direction, and left their mountainous companions putting out tcndrils of their own, ad grumbLng loudly as they went. All this while not a breath of wind was stirring, and yet the bnlllc n-s ot tue higher trees waved to and lio us if in .-yiripathy witn each other. The snails and such creeping thing* (a ue under the signal-box as it lor shelter, and in the light of his hand lamp he could see glistening streaks upon the woodwjm. And had Jack Raymond under stood how well ani.uals of a lower creation thin he under- stands the sinus of coming ran and tempest, he might h ive b« en interested in watching his com- panions—two tine siuders. But when his a'teuton was not directed to an ap- proaching '.r.iiti lie was listless, aud yet nervously aiive to every sound. lie could not help watching the liue near the tonuvl, as if he expected to see £ •Htly fcgiuv. in tho glnom. Night came on, t ami twelve o'.lo.-k ap:>roach-d, a distant sighing jeomi'l It:) heard, and a flicker ;hat'was not an engine's li.htor tire gl tier d across ihe rails. storm is wni n' on," muttered Jack. "I ho c Lucy iw fi-igoten- d-:tll alone. It'll wake b>r"ii7>, and I don't t ,ink she quite likes it. There's (mother—ah! and that's thunder and no mistake { Th-re could be no mistake as the deep' yet still distant ooom of Heaven's artillery resounded through the pitchy darkness. Suddenly a vivid blaze of light showed the signal- man the hill and the trees, as if a transparency had been lighted up behind them. In thrt second he saw every obiect as distinctly, even more distinctly than at noon day, and then the thunder rumbled and finished with a boom like a. stroke upon an enormous drum. Then a blue and silvery gleam came shimmering and fig-zagging through'the sky, and danced from cloud to eioud. A rattling peal followed—the boom- llli: stage was parsed —th« storm was approaching. Jack lv;i\in nul turned to shut the door of tho signal cabin which had swung open, for the breeze was getting up. and, as he did so, a terrific light- ning flash leaped from the sky all green and blue and chain-like, and in the vivid gleam he beheld a figure standing on the top step of his ladder, a J figure all in white, but in the second of time he had j recognised Lucy standing like a lovely statu* [ against the landscape, the gliotiug rails, and distant j Tillage houses, all of which were clearly risible I cehyxd her in the light, IM-tk 0 0 f 0 J. Printing of every Description .1 declare; come'iTisideT Iwas thin kinJ of yoiil I thought ye'd be nervous, Lucy." She was very white as she stood there, very beau- tiful, and trembling in the dim light. "So I was, father. I'm glad I came. See! there's a flash! I couldn't sleep, father, dear, and so I thought I'd come to you." Very glad ye came, my girl. Why, Lucy, have ye been frightened ? Are ye cryin', lovey ? That's a tear, or I'm a Dutchman." Nothing, father—nothin* at all. I was a little frightened at first, but now I am here I feel safer. The thunder is going off, and I can soon get back. It will be daylight soon." But the storm still grumbled around, and many vivid flashes darted across the black sky. In one of these Raymond called out, excitedly: There! look there I He's come again. Don't ye see him-the appearance!" Where, father f exclaimed Lucy, startled by the suddenness of her father's appeal and the nature of it. I don't see anything." f "Not now ye couldn't, but I did. Well, I've warned him, and now he may take his chance. There he is still, crossing now." In the second that had elapsed every object was M clear as noon-day, but now blackness had settled down again. The thunder that followed the last flash was apparently nearer. Get ye home, Lucy. I'll not be late. Have breakfast laid ready, there's a good lass. Run away now." Run away, father. Why should. I she asked, playing upon the words with a, strange pleasure, and almost wishing he would detain her in the si^nal-lox by force till morning. "Go home, child," replied the old man, testily. "Leave me; ran now betore the rain comes wor.-e; your thin dress will be wet through. Good night, Lucr lass." "Good night'and good bye," she murmured, softly. "Give me your blessing, dear father." God bless ye, girl, and send ye happinesss. I feel strange to night myself. But go, and heaven preserve you, my girl." She went reluctantly. Kissing him warmly, and then with slow unwilling steps-, notwithstanding tho rain which had now recommenced, she returned homewards. At the gate a man awaited her. She almost screamed at seeing him there. Here I am, Lucy, darling, as I said, punctual to the time. Half-past two. Have you put the things up?" "Yes, Frank; but I do not think I can so like this. Why not wait and ask father amI-" "George Collier, I suppose," sneo ed the man. Oh, certainl Hadn't we better tell tnem all about it now "Don't be so cruel, Frank. You know what I have sacrificed for yon, and y-t I wish we could have acted differently. But it is too late-too late! "Too early you mean, Lucy," cried the man impatiently. ;t will be daylight soon. We can cross the line, and in ten minut.s we shall be in the trap. Come, darling Lucy, come." She still hesitated, and he proceeded, Well, then, I must, go alone. The transport sails on the 26th, and I have only one .more day. I re-engaged as a married man, and am on the strength of the regiment." I thought yon was an officer, Frank you told regiment." I thought you was an officer, Frank you told me so. Are not you an officer ? Yes, a' non-com.'—without a commission T mean. i Now, my girl, no nonsense: pickup your spirits and I your clothes and let's be off. You jl'tust, you shall come, d'ye hear?" Lucy almost rebelled at these words, but con- trolled her temper as she thought of the probable consequences. Then in a more submissive frame of mind she entered the cottage, and soon returned with a good-sized bundle. Here are my things," she said. I've saved all the money I could, and have got it here." She touched her bosom as she spoke, and after a hurried glance around the youthful pair hastened down the path to the railway line. there was a sort of dim light from the eastern sky, and they were admonishea there was no time They crossed the railway unobserved as they fancied and were at once hidden in the deep shadows of the trees. But Raymond had perceived from his elevated niche the gliding figures. He was certain this time that his eyes had not deceived him. In a moment he was on the line hurrying towards the tunnel. He had made up his mind to find out the mystery. His brain was in a whirl. He fancied he recognised a female form like Lucy's. He must be going mad! A sudden scream-a loar-a rush-a terrible grinding, rasping sound in his ears. He had no time to turn round-no time to utter a cry for help. The engine threw him aside with a horrible sweeping lotion from the buffer and cast him in the permanent way a mangled, dusty heap of matter, apparently uo longer human.