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fiax Bioxn Bkuths] A Miner's…


fiax Bioxn Bkuths] A Miner's Revenge BY I MRS. A. J. PHILLIES. Nance Martin worked away with a dhoer- tal heart. The loome in the great weaving ahed at Cross's were in full swing' as their eftimng, intricate machinery obeyed the workings of the powerful, throbbing en- gines which caused the two thousand looom to weave their world-famed cloth. The noise was terrific, but it might have be#n as peaceful as a church for all the effect it had upon the weavers. Nance aang at the top of her sweet young voiee as she worked, blissfully conscious that no oiae could hear her, and as she sang 41ie longed for the working day to end. True, she had not long to wait, but the, knew the last hour would be the loiageet, and determined to make the best of it, and just as she had made this resolution a be- wildering stillness set!led upon the workers as the great engines came to a sudden stop and the looms to a standstill. "Something's gone wrong, I reckon," said her neighbour as she rested against her loom. "Yes, it looks like it," answered Nance. "I wonder how long we shall liave to wait before things are right again." "Not long, I reckon," answered the other -carelessly. "It's almost half-past four. I shouldn't, be a bit surprised if we don't sta-rt agaiiij and I'm sure I'm not particular:" Xanee locked at her friend pityivt^ly, for Mary Street was a delicate girl, who worked when she ought to have been resting, *nd whose health altogether was but pocr. '"Aren't you weil, Mary?" fche asked gently. "Nay, lass, I'm nobbut so well to-ckiv," answered the girl with a brave wnile "hut I'U1. not giving up. Mother aud the kids would fare bad if I did. But, I say, Nance, is it true yer courting, lass? Nance laughed, and flushed all over her pretty face. Willi her soft white hrncs he pushed back the pretty f'hir.Í11g hair fj »m her forehead, and answered somewhat slijy'v: it's true, Jack Pen ton and 1 sive walking; out together." "Weil, now. I'm glad, for 1 alius liked Jaek. I. wish 'e dIdn't work in tile pit. though. 1 were afraid George Nutter wejee thoii.Ii. I were George -NLttel- n,cxe "Nav/' protested Nance, "G?crge is too Ma?k-tempered io? mp and they do say he's a perfect demon whaa he's at home." "I reckon 'e just iie but if I were mother—and she a widder. poor thing—I'd gie, 'un something to go on with "But, you see, 'c's the bread-wl'.?uer," re- plied Nance wisely. And Mary sip lied. "Aye, so e is; and I know all about that., •don't said sl;<3 in a tired voice. An intimation ircm the manager came at that minute dismissing the we.wers, and tell- ) ing them to be at their places as usual in I the morning, as everything wou'd be in -working order, and a general bust'-? ensued. Nai'ee, with a pod an-d smile at tired Mary, «ped away for her diawl,. and with a b*pp/ heart nurie for home as fast as could she was to n-eet her lover far the first tiile. -t rd they were to have a delieiors -walk together. Only on Monday night had Jack Penton asked her, in a queer, husky -voice, if she'd waik cut with him, and ■Nance's heart thrilled again at the memory of his clErk, handsome eyes as they looked -down at her. cut with him?" she thought gladly. "I'd walk to th« ends of the world E, him, mid be. quite happy." As she opened the door of her cottage home Iter mother looked at her in surprise. 'Ello, lass," she called out. "You're .earh. ies,. mcther. There's been a small break- down,answered her daughter, "and T'm xigho glad. Aye," smiled Mrs. Martin, "I reckon you be. You've more time to make verse!" bonnier. Not that that'll be very hard "work," "he ndded in an undertone, for her •one and only child was very preeious to her. s I)cse you be court in' tc.-iii-lit? "Now, mother, don't tease," laughed II Nance. "You went courtin' afore mc, didn't you ? "I did, lassie, and wi' a man as always took care of me. Aye, and Jack Penten will do the same, I know. He telled mo wouldn't hurt a hair of yer head, myTgirl," answered her mother tciid <rly. Nance helped her to get the tea, then, clearing all away, ran upstairs to make her- self smart for the evening walk. She looked aa pretty as a picture as she walked down tiie long street, h-er neat costume and taste- ful hat setting off the beasty of her features .and slender, graceful figure. Tl-ey' had arranged to meet about half a mile away, in a nice country part where tke 1)a.t w b cre t?.,e mill chimneys could not be seen and where tho birds could be heard in the trees over- head. and to this meeting-place she sped with light nteps. She had hardly left the town behind her when she heard a voiee address her, and -turning round she found herself face to face with George Nutter. "Where are yer off to all so finer" he I asked. "I've wanted to see yer, Nance, to ask yer something." Nance's heart began to beat a little fear- fully. "What did yer want?" she asked -quickly. He laughed a little sheepishly and said, yer know right enough. I want you and no one clse, my girl, for my wife, "No, don't say any more," cried Nanoe, distressfully, drawing away from the man. "You can only be a friend to me, George. I've never led ye to think newt else." jGeorge',s face flushed a dull red, and his eves gleamed angrily. He was not a nice- looking man, for his face plainly showed his evil temper and his masterful ways. "I s'pose there's some ore else, and I can pretty well guess who it is," he began shortly. "There's no need for you to guess," replied the girl with spirit. "I'm not ashamed to tell yer that I'm courting with Jack Penton. and I tell yer straight, (George, lad, 'e's the only man for me." ^George laughed coarsely and suddenly "his arm round Nance's waist. pt "That so?" he cried loudly—"then gi' me a kiss, my lass, and I'll let thee go." "What d'you mean?" gasped Nance, -struggling madly to free herself. "Let me •go, or I'll scream the place down." He placed a great red hand over the ,girrs pretty mouth and held her mockingly, but not for long. Soon came the sound of running footsteps, and George Nutter felt a -.blow upon his jaw which made him release vthfe struggling girl sharply. "Yer great coward! cried Jack Penton breathlessly, as he held Nance close to him; "how dare yer touch my girl! What d'you want, shall we fight it out how and 'ave .<lone with it? I'm ashamed of yer, lad, I ;thought yer were my friend." "So I am, Jack, lad, returned George ■huskily. "I'm serry, Nance, I were mad, I think. Will yer forgive me?" )ks, I will, lad," replied Nanee, holding .out her hand prettily. "Yer didn't mean to hurt me. Shake hands wi' him, Jask, aad let usJkrget all about it." Jack did so quite heartily, and George turned round and made ior his home, but his face was contorted with a terrible rage, and in his evil heart he began to plan how he could be revenged upon his chum, Jack Penton, for winning the girl he had set hie heart upon. Once he turned and watched the tw. well-matched figures as they walked leisurely along, Jack's arm round Nanee's trim waist, and he cursed loud and deep, vowing that at all costs must Jack PeJaNa be got out of his path. Mmwrllih the lovexe bad FMTTL » SHADY MtaMt, aad the tall, rtahrart yoauf teHow tew his wining sweeboart mto his arms. *?h<ntt, lw, 1m.. preud man, he aaid, as he kimed her passionately, "and I'm thank- ful to yer for loving me." "Now, Jack," laughed Katnce, raising .her ppettv ?e to his and getting p ZIOtly kiMed in ooweqpvn". ,re a thankful pair, aren't we? For I love only you, and I'H wed wi' none else." "Yer won't mind if we eaa't walk out often, will yerf" asked he anxiously. "You see, little lass, I'Yfi not going to stop at eoal brooking, not I, I want to keep on with my evening classes and try te become a manager in time." "My goodness," said Nance admiringly, "I'll not stand in yer way, Jack, nay, keep on with your classes. We'll meet Wedses- days and Sundays, dear lad. and think of eech other in between, but you'll be friendly with George, won't you?" The happy time passed all too quickly, And when, with vows of unending love, the two parted at Nance's gate, each longed with a lover's longing for Sunday to come with all speed. The next meeting between Jack and George was net quite cordial, but the cool- ness wore off, and soon each were good friends one, more. Jack Penton was a eollier in a large and flourishing1 mine, but George's work was different. He was a master sinker, and an experienced man at his work, and as they were sinking a shaft iu the near neighbour- hood 6)f his home he was naturally for the time being staying with his widowed mother, who was greatly looking forward ta a few weeks ahead, when another engage- ment would take him away. She .was going to be married again, aaid this she dared not tell her fiery-tempered son, but she deter- mined, as soon as he was safely out of the way, to marry her man and so have someone to protect her when next Goorge returned home. "How are you getting along, George?" asked Jack a few weeks after this quarrel. I "I expect you're about done." "Nay, lad, not so fast, but we're getting along very nicely." "I wisli you'd take me down one of them bowkB, and show me what yer work is like," said Jack, who took a dœp interest in everything connected with the mine. "Why, so I will. Yer can come to-day, if you've a mind," answered George in a friendly voice. Jack laughed and shook his head. "Not to-day, old man, it's courting night, and I wouldn't miss it for the world, but I'll come to-morrow." A strange gleana shone out of George's eyes, but he only said carelessly "All right, meet me after tea, and I'll take yer down." That night, while Jack and Nanoe were enjoying their walk, Jack said casually: "I'm going down the new shaft with ) G-eorge to-morrow, Nance. He's taking me to show me his work. I've wanted to see for some time wha-t his particular work wag. .N "I hope it's not dangerous, Jack," replied Nance, a little anx-iously, but Jack laughed and squeezed her hand. "Who?g a frightened, little }.aæ/' he said tenderly. "I'll take care of myself, never fear." He changed the conversation to some- thing more interesting to themselves, and Nance thought nothing more about it, and, indeed, was so happy with her lover that she completely forget the information alto- gether. I The next night George met Jack at the pit head ready to take him down the new shaft, which was very nearly eompleted. He met him in the usual friendly way, and Jack saw nothing strange in his manner. They stepped into the bowk. a big bucket- lilie eantri- uaii^p. to. hold acYcj-al men. and were lowered down the dark abyss. George explained things to his interested friend, and when all was seen the signal was given to ascend. They had gone, a good way up when Jack felt a heavy hand laid upon him. and heard a voice he hardly recognised hies out in terrifying accents "Jack Penton, your end has come I mean to murder you Nance Martin will never be yours Quick as ligMning, Jack sprang round to see a face convulsed with rage, and George's hand descending upon him holding a knife, which gleamed dully in the dim light of the miner's lamp. With an instinct of self-preservation the horrified young fellow closed upon his in- furiated friend, whom he felt certain had suddenly lost his reason. With a sharp movement he managed to jerk the. dan- gerous knife out of George's hand, and it fell harmlessly into the inky depths as the madman set upon his rival with a terrible fUTY. To and fro they went, each fighting with all his might, and the bowk swayed horribly from fiide to side. George, thick set and powerful, was no mean opponent to Jack, who, though taller, wae of a slenderer build. He felt himself being thrust closer and closer to the side of the bowk, and realised that the fiendish inten- tion of this once friend of his was to Sing him out of the bucket into the arms ol death below. Iffe fought desperately for life, and planted his feet more firmly te resise, when suddenly the bucket-like apparatus over- turned and both men were flung out of it into the chasm beneath. Ae Jhck fell he flaing out his arms with a wild hope of'seiz- ing hold of something, and to his joy his hand miraculously struck the guide rope, and at once he clung to it with the grip of one demented. A cold sweat broke over him as he realised the horror of his position. Death stared him in the face. He was caught like a rat in a trap, and there seemed to him no possibility of escape. Death While a bove the pit shaft the soft moonlight shone on all', and particu- larly upon a small home which held for him the dearest possession on earth. God! What an age it seemed since he had held sweet Nance in his arms and kissed her un- resisting lips. "Was it only, last night?" he asked himself, for already this horrible thing that had happened to him had sent time reeking into the past, and the thought of sweetheart and home now seemed to him like some vague memory from down the ages. He clung tc the thin, greasy wire, with all his might, but it afforded him little support, and he found after a- few tense minutes that he could not keep his hold. To his horror he began to slide slowly downwards into the abyss of darkness be- neath him. Slowly at first. but he gathered epeed a.s he moved, and despite his wild efforts to strain his feet and arms round the wire to impede his progress, he slid along faster and faster. The murky, poisonous air, rushed up at him like some hot breath of hell, and the vaiia of the slender rope was well nigh un- bearable as it cut through his boots and oil- skins into his hands and legs until the blood flowed freely, and poor Jack began to wvh be had fallen to instantaneous death below. Down he went, and still down, and the fiery wire seemed to be cutting into hifl very vitals, but etill he clung madly, fear- ing to let himself fall into the black deaths which yawned beneath him. hoping, against h and praying with anguished lip. foi d«fiv«vanee. Presently a faintneBs began to ,-oT him; a deathly w-nsation overwhelm j, and he began to relax his hold !?!>■• 1e wire wkc»—oh! joy of joyt;! !iis •: -ik against something, ara-d be caase t .-Cu stop. h lit Lake a flash new life returned w iiis fariatnen vanished, be forgot his t in the relief that flooded his being, fox Lk; feet bad caufifrt kg^iflkt a tangl^meat of wire. and clipping into it found at oaoe a saf-s and sure support. CaretuRy he renewed his grip, making hiiaeelf more secure, and there he hung, 1,800 feet be}Ow the surface, hi the pitch I darkness, alone. Meanwhile, in her home, Nanee was read- ing. She had helped her mother with. the I housework, and having washed and dressed herself, tried to read the instalment of a serial that was interesting her. But some- how she could not settle to it, <ind presently the paper fell on to her kme and she lost herself in dreary thought. What was Jack doing? She wondered, and at once the dreaminess vanished, for suddenly a dream she had had the night l>efore rushed acioss her senses. She dreamt Jack had been in danger, awful danger, but she could not tell what, and with a quick sense of fear in her heart she rose to her feet. ""Vh", child what is the matter?" asked her mother in surprise. "I don't know," cried Nance, unhappily, "but somehow I have a horrid dream, and I am afraid that aU is not well with Jack." "Blets the girl," laughed her mother. Hut her laughter die'1 -away as she saw the fear in her daughter's face. "He has gone down alone with George," she whispered fearfully. "Suppose George She stopped, then oaid wildly "Oh! BiOhber, I feel that awful dream it coming true. Let ue get our things on and -go and .see fer ourse.lves." • Mrs. ifr.vtin- did as the, was icv'd, and with an unknown fear ar her„l;eart e hur- ried her nw»tber to the pit top- The grave faces 01 tlie small crowd'there conlii-med her fears. ? "What is the matter?"• she crici wildly. "Where is Jr.-dfc Pentonr The men looked at lier piiyir^'y. "There's bin an accident, Nance," naid one of them. "The bowk's overturned in some way, and Nutter and Penton have been f"llt. Nance looked at her mother with a ter- rible anguish in her eyes. "Well, will they be killed? ste whis- pered with stiit Ifps. There was Ui. -u'rsv/er. "What are you goirrg to do? she cried sud- denly, madly, "are you going to stay here and let them die down there alone? Can nothing be <lm¡.e?" The men looked at each other in bewilder- ment. "csummat's gone w»oiig," affirmed one. "The guide rape "aint vet it ought to be. I can t understand it. I'm a feared it 'iid be dangerous to go down i' the bowk." "Then let me go," cued Nance. "I'll go alone. You're nowt but a pack of cowards, to let your fellow men die without raising a hand to help them." "Yer shan't go 'alone"my girl," said a sough -looking miner. "I'll go wi' yer," one or two rnsre men offered, and soon the bowk was lowered very carefully once more into the pit-shaft. Very slowiy they were let down, and Nance, with a wild pain at her heart, listened eagerly for the slightest sound. "Someone shout?" she asked in agony. "Perhaps we may get an answer." At OB«O a powerful call was sent ringing down beiow, and the oth-ers held their breaths and shuddered, as from out the black abyss a faint, answering cry was heard. N-a"ec, hid her face in her lumds and settled weakly, and slowly, but surely, thev crawled downwards. To Jack the sound of that call was like the sweetest music, for it told him that deliverance was at hand, and when the great bucket appeared he knew that his prayer had been heard. A lamp attached to a wire rope was lowered to him, and with couraged fore- thought he made a noose in the end, slipped his foot into it, and was drawn slowly and steadily ujiward, uutil willing hands assisted his exhausted, body into safety. "Oh! Jack! Jack!" sobbed Nance, as her arm shot round his fainting figure. "Yo,u, Nance he whispered weakly, re- coveriiag hknself with an effort. "You here I" "Yes, my lad, she made us come, she did. Diagged us down wi' her, bless her, an' a good thing too," said one of the colliers. Up they went into the blessed air once more, and poor bleeding Jack was assisted to his home, where, being strong of limb, and a clean liver, he soon made a rapid re- covery. George's body was brought up to the surface and given a quiet funeral, and who shall blame his mother if, when she had recovered from the shock, she experienced a decided sense of relief that one who had proved himself a tyrant had been removed out of her,, path. Jack, when he told the story of his very trying empesien", emphasized the fact that 3je firmly believed his friend had suddenly beeome bereft of his senses, and was not responsible for his terrible act; and though Nanoe did not agree with her lover, she held Iter peace, rejoicing in the fact that she had helped, to eave Jack's life, and looking out into the fuVoire with happy eyes felt she could be botrh generous and charitable. —— I

Divorced atter Husband Returned…