;:z ,CAUGHT AT LAST; j» ob, -v THE FELON'S BRANP. [ta MOHTfl BM»TlP^y^ \s"* TRe recollection of lier forlorn and destitute state, thrust penniless with her child into the streets of an unknown town, seemed to break afresh upon the un. happy girl as she detailed her sufferings, and she bowed her face upon the dock with a rush of tears. A strange story, so far, M. Walther," observed the magistrate to the interpreter; and not impossible, perhaps. It seems a hard case, though, for so young a girl. But there is more to come. Is she known to the police, Inspector Sharpe?" Never saw her in the town before this week, your worship," replied the functionary. "She has been Jiangin' about the station, though, and watchin' all the trains that came from London." That agrees with her tale," said the magistrate. « Let her go on." I wandered about the streets for many days," the girl continued, at M. Walther's bidding. How long 1 caftt;tell, for I seemed to lose all count of time. I only know it rained continually, and I was always wet to the skin, though I wrapped my baby in my shawl and kept her dry. How I lived I don't know either, except that I picked up bits from the kennels and the yubbish thrown out of doors, and slept at night under stalls and benches, or in dark and quiet archways, upon the stones. I wasn't strong when I came here, and carrying about a heavy baby made me weaker Still. But she isn't heavy now, sir!" she exclaimed, in a passion of grief. Look here Fallen away to this in a fortnight My darling! oh, my darling!" Anna,Marris threw back her shawl as she spoke, ;tnd held' up the child to public view. A groan of horror echoed through the court at the sight. Rings of a livid purple surrounded the little creature's closed eyes its fair, curly hair clung in matted locks to its attenuated temples, through which the pulses might be almost seen to beat. Wan and colourless were the cheeks; cracked and puckered the lips which in happfer, well-fed children, blush with health. The infant's limbs had dwindled down to bones. It was evidently too exhausted to sit upright, too feeble even to moan, but lay a helpless heap of inert matter in its mother's arms, fading away perceptibly minute after minute, so haggard and so deathly, it seemed as if the actual touch cf the Destroyer could have effected little change. •'Shocking!" exclaimed the magistrate, himself a father, startled out of all official dignity by the spectacle. Take the child away this minute, one Of you! Carry it to the workhouse, and request the doctor to attend to it immediately A shrill scream broke from the prisoner as Inspector Sharpe attempted to execute the magistrate's order. A scream of terror-of dismay—the heart-cry of a mother's agony, which no privation had been able to extort for her own sufferings. Mein Kindmein Kindshe ejaculated, clasping the baby to her breast. Ach lassen Sie mir mein .(" My child! my child! ah! let me keep my Child!") The iatrepreter hastened to pacify her with the assurance that the child was only to be taken where it would be looked after and cared for; but it was Jongbofore he succeeded in prevailing upon her to felinquish her hold. Pray, M. Walther," said the magistrate, per- luadeher to finish her statement, and let us end the ease." What can I say morp demanded Anna, fiercely, in reply to the interpreter. I did take the loaf. What was I to do ? The child was starving. I could not let her die before my eyes. I should do the same to-morrow. Now you know all." The magistrate leant his head upon his hand and pondered. It was the most painful case that had ever Come before even his lengthened experience.. Respect for Jaw. and the rights of property pul!ed in one direction, compassion for the wretched creature at the bar pull-d in another. Whose dictates should he follow ? lie chose a middle course. Defendant, said the magistrate, gravely, you are Convicted, upon the clearest evidence and upon your i)wn cori-fession. of a serious crime against the laws Of the Country arid I should fail in my duty if I did not pinish you severely. 1 may inform you that, the time was when your life would have been forfeited for the crime you have committed. Fortunately, the law now visits this species of offence more mildly. If, as you say, you were really in need, you should have applied to the union for relief. You must be im- prisoned for two months. Officer, take her away, and Call the next ease. And under the circumstances," tdded the magistrate, confidentially, to his clerk, I don't hhk I could have done the poor creature a treater- iervi ce." j I Amia«jAkriis was according led off to gaol. The exposure and distress of that fatal fortnight, however, had done their work. Before a day had passed, Anna was an inmate of the prison infirmary. The seeds of consumption—an ever-lurking malady inheritedl(;om her mother—had blossomed into hideous fruit; and the doctor shook his head as lie prescribed repose an4 nourishing diet for the new case, and passed to tlio, next bed. Not far from the prison lived at that time a widow lady with her grown up son and daughter. The widow's means were scanty. The son, in fact, principally supported the little household. But they were benevolent and charitable to the best of their ability. The daughter, Ruth, managed the house affairs, so that much time remained upon the mother's hands. The widow's idea was that neither man nor woman, with leisure at command, performed their plain and human duty unless they strove to their utmost to amend the condition of the wretched and the castaway. Money she had none to bestow what she had to dispose of she gave, and that was her time, her trouble, and her prayers. It was Mrs. White's peculiar pleasure to visit the Bick in the female ward of the prison infirmary, to read" the Pook- at their bedsides, to soothe with tnotherly tenderness and loving hope the death-pang of many a guilty soul. Many a hardened, brazen, batter "ed jade, for so many years the associate, of the ICUi&and off-scourings of the streets, that all tra-ce of her womanhood was almost equaly trodden out of soul and visage, turned sullenly away from the re- | minder of the chaplain that she was a miserable sinnet1, but opened her heart to the kind expostula- tion^ of Mrs. Lydia White. arrival of Anna Marris in the infirmary could Got ;Ipr-.iaiii long unknown to so frequent a visitor as Mrs. White. She had seen a report of the case in Jjhe papers, and her kindly spirit yearned with sym-
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II WHY, she actually cut Mr. Stortlington, and Storflington, you know, is ene of the better sort." Yes; choice cuts come high now, but we must have 'em." AH, how these rain clouds do oppress The blithesome summer girl They fill her soul with gloom because Her hair won't stay in curl. "Have you heard that the big sleeves are going out, George, dear ?" "Yes, my love, I have, but I don't believe it." Why not, pray ?" I don't believe they can get through the door." DOESN'T Mrs. Noowoman strike you as a person of remarkably decided opinions ?" Naw. She can't make up her mind, apparently, whether she wants to be a gentleman or a lady." MR. DUNN (unpaid bill in his hand): When shall I call again, Mr. Owens?" Mr. Owens: "Well, it wotild hardly be proper for you to call again until I have returned the present call." Hic: "Wasn't Brown's wife named Stone before she was married ?" She Yes, and it was a very suitable name." He What do you mean ?" She: Oh, nothing! Only she threw herself at his head." How shall we shun the microbe That assails us at each breath ? If he can't kill us otherwise He'll frighten us to death. MARRIED sighed the elderly friend. Mar- ried, and with no provisions for the future." No," smilingly chirped the young bride, there are no provisions for the future in the house. He just detests conned goods."
BRUISES AND CUTS. These are happening every day, but it is marvellous how quickly HOMOCEA TOUCHES THE SPOT, taking away all pain, reducing all inflammation, and Bubduing all irritation by its wonderful healing properties. Homocea should be in every home. Price, 111% and 2/9 per box or by post, 1/3 and 3s. EXANO (HOMOCEtA FORT) Is the strong form of Homocea made especially for deep-seated rheumatic paitis-m. ()re especially of the joints, and for pains in the chest, bronchitis, &c., but it is not to be used for open wouncls, sores, og delicate parts of the body. We guarantee this ointment, and in every case when purchased dkecfc from us, we will refund the money if relief is not obtained! by the purchaser. Prit-e, 2a. 9d. per box, 3s. by post. HOMOCEA- SOAP. HOMOCEA SOAP. This soaj^ contains tfee valw^We propertffes Of the Homocea tintment, ana is cet-feamiy a perfeofe toiled soap but as a medical soap, it is of great value, especially in the nursery, and for all who have delicate skins, Price, 9d. and Is. 3d. a cake, or 2a. and 3s. per box postage, 2d. and 3d. extra. All the above preparations can be had from Chemists, Druggists, &c., or direct by post from the Homocea Company, 22, Hamilton Square. Birkenhead.
pathy towards the prisoner. ITer honest face was t speedily visible at Anna's bedside. Then came a i difficulty as to tongues. The language of the eye, the loving-kindnes of the tone, though deeply sooth- ing to the wounded spirit of the stricken girl, were unable to satisfy her hunger for a womanly bosom into which to pour her sorrows. Nor could Mrs. White hope to effect any actual goo d, to awaken real con- trition for the sins of a misspent life, without that free communication with her penitent which a common language affords. Like the police magis- trate, therefore, she resorted to a compromise. Upon her next visit to the infirmary, the widow was accompanied by her son, Raymond, for whose admission she had procured leave from the governor of the prison. The young man at once addressed Anna in her native tongue, and in subsequent inter- views acted as interpreter between her and his mother. chap 6 The first use Anna made of this opportunity was in eager inquiry for her child. She was told that it was better, that it was recovering strength, that it should be brought to her when able to be removed. A glow of thankful gratitude lighted up her faded features at the news, and blessings upon her bene- factors poured aver her lips. From that hour she grew notably worse. It seemed as if she had only been kept alive by anxiety to know her infant's fate. The circumstances under which these three persons were thrown together rapidly established a species of confidence between them. They formed, as it were, a separate world from the other inmates in the ward. The widow, through Raymond, pressed Anna to ac- 11 m quaint her as far as possible with the story of her life in the hope of gaining some clue to the mysterious M. Louis, who had rid himself of his burden by so heart- less an artifice. For a long time the girl refused to lift the veil. The entreaties of the widow, however, finally pre- vailed. One summer's evening, as the sun-rays glinting athwart the barred infirmary windows, shed their sinking beams upon the attentuated figure of the dying girl, she told her benefactress all. That evening, also, she was to see her child for the first time since she had given it up in the police-court. Sit away from me, if you please, kind sir," she said to Raymond, while I speak. The only face which I can dare to look upon when all is told is that of your noble-hearted mother." The young man willingly complied. Prurient curiosity has no place in pure and simple natures, and of such was his. Then, in a faint and trembling voice, gathering strength as she proceeded, yet broken often by the breathless weakness incident to her disease, Anna Marris related her miserable story. chap 6 About four years ago, when I was just fifteen, I came with father and mother to London. My native place is Halle, and I am Saxon born. Father left home because he heard that he could get better wages in England. So it turned out. He had good employ- ment, received plenty of money, and we were all happy. Mother and I worked at millinery for a great house up in Regent-street, for mother was very clever with her neecTp, and I did all she told me. Our only trouble was about mother's health. Father was afraid she was inclined to consumption. So things went on for three months. Then one day father came home at noon from the shop with a bad headache, and shiverings, and pains all over his body. We got him to bed, thinking he'd perhaps over-exerted himself the night before, and would be well next day. But he got worse. Mother was frightened, and fetched a doctor. Father was very angry when I told him where she was gone, and wouldn't speak to the doctor when he came. He was always a hard man, was father. The doctor went away, but beckoned me to come into the passage, and said, as well as I could under- stand, that father was very ill, and might get worse. If he did, I wasn't to mind his being angry, but to fetch him at once. That night father went out of his mind. It was as much as we two could do with all our strength to keep him in bed. He raved at the clothes for being so hot, declared we wanted to kill him, and frightened us terribly. When at last he fell asleep, I fetched the doctor. "The doctor shook his head as he looked at father, lying in bed all flushed, and red with the fever that was heavy upon him, and said he would send some cooling medicine. The medicine came, and we coaxed him to take a little but it did no good, kind lady, not a bit. It was father's fate that he should die in foreign land, and nobody can escape their fate." Mrs. White thought it hardly worth while to inter- pose, though this fatalist doctrine-very prevalent, by the way, among the German lower classes-grated sorely upon her ears. The girl went on: It was all no good. Father's time was come. He grew worse and worse so weak, too, that he couldn't turn himself in bed, and mother and I weren't able to move him. So there he lay. The doctor was very kind. He came to see him every now and then, and sent plenty of medicine; but he had so much to do, as the fever was all about the neighbourhood, that he conldn't come often, and when he did he only shook his head and looked very grave. At last the fever left father, and he came back to his senses but he was so feeble and exhausted that he was just like a baby. He couldn't lift his hand or turn his head. When he I tried to speak, you had to put your ear quite close to his lips and listen; and then his voice sounded as if it came from a long way off. The doctor said he might still recover if he could only have fresh air and plenty of good food, and told us he ought to get strong beef-tea, and soups, and port wine three or four times a day. Beef-tea and port wine when we had scarcely bread Why, we could no more give him these things than if the doctor had said he must eat gold. His illness had used up all our little savings, and everything but the bed he laid on had been taken to the pawnshop. And so-and so-he died." And so he died A simple, common story enough; yet not less grievous, less fraught with sin and suf- fering to this wretched pauper convict, than if she had been a duchess. Mother had .been ailing for some time before father was taken ill," she continued and his death prostrated her fully. She was only ill a fort- night. Then she, too, was taken away, and I was left alone—alone, in that great, strange city, without a friend or even a face I l<ne,w, except some of the lodgers in the house, and the forewoman at the large millinery shop in Reg< Vit-street But I got over it somehow, and was e\W> beginning to feel a little reconciled to life, when lfirst saw M. Louis." Some cooling drink wasViven to the patient, which seemed to refresh her. sun had sunk behind the roofs of the opposite houses rv>w, and its dying glory dappled the sky with irregi'SJar patches of purple, j white, and gold. An expression of impatience escaped Anna at the delay in bringing her the child, and she continued :—
r"TTrs £ ~metr M. Louis one evening when I was returning from taking some work to Regent Street. It was raining hard, and he offered me the shelter of his umbrella home. Afraid of getting wet, I accepted the offer. He soon found I was a stranger, and spoke to me in German. Ah it was so sweet to hear the sound of my mother-tongue in that great wilderness of strange houses and unknown people. I think this must have been the reason why I was first attracted towards him. M. Louis was well-dressed and hand- some, and seemed to have plenty of money. At first I felt afraid of him, for my mother always told me, dear lady, that a poor girl must beware of gentlemen above her in position, who only seek her acquaintance for base and cruel ends. So I kept out of his way for some time, coming and going with my work at different hours. But as he had found out where I lived when he saw me home, he called upon me one day, and asked how it was he never met me. I told him that a gentleman like him could have nothing good to say to such a poor girl as I, and that it. was best we should not meet. He called me a prim i. ttle goose, and declared he meant nothing wrong. A lId- and—he spoke so kindly, all in my own dear language, lady, that I believed him. chap 6 Well, that happened at last which I ought to have foreseen, and I was a lost and shameful girl. Then M. Louis asked me to come and live with him as his wife. I told him, if he had any honour in him, he would repair the injury he had done, by making me his wife indeed. But he only laughed, told me again I was a silly little goose, and declared he would never desert me. We were married, he said, in spirit, and that was enough for any sensible person. Would I come and live with him ? What could I do, dear lady ? My self-respect was gone. Besides, I really did love M. Louis, in spite of the way in which he had behaved to me. At least, I thought I loved him. I see now it was my fancy, not my heart, that was really touched. M. Louis and I then lived together as man and wife. But, as I told the gentleman who sent me here, I never knew his other name or his business, or any- thing more about him. Stay," said the girl, check- ing herself and drawing with difficulty a small parcel from beneath her pillow, this is his picture. Keep it, kind lady, that you may know him if chance should ever bring you together." She handed the photograph to Mrs. White. It was the likeness of a dark-complexioned man of about forty, with commonplace features, a sensual mouth, the cheeks and chin closely shaven, but blue with the stubble of a thick dark beard. The eyes of the por- trait were peculiar—lurking, crafty, cruel. It was not the face of a man you could trust. The widow placed it on the table by the bedside. Oh, my baby, my baby!" moaned Anna. "Am I never to see her again ?" Mrs. White pacified her with the assurance that the arrival of the'ehild would not\be long delayed. "I hope not—oh! I hope not!" gasped the girl. What is to become of her when I am gone I do not know, for she has not a friend in the world." So long as I live, Anna," said the widow,"solemnly, through Raymond, your child shall never want a friend." Bless you, dear lady, bless you for those precious words sobbed Anna. "I was hoping, hoping you would speak them, but dared not ask. Bless you for this mercy to the wretched and the fatherless She may well say fatherless," said Raymond to his mother. If this scoundrel were ever discovered, it would be atrocious to consign the child to his hands." "That shall never be!" returned his mother de- cisively. "But urge her to end her story. She will be more composed when she has told us all." chap a (To be continued.)