« AnkstesnisTęsti »
IRON IN THE FURNACE.
having some one near him who had the will to cheer his oppressed spirit, had some tendency to allay bis misery. He again slept.
Towards six in the morning I had difficulty Following on the track of a man who was in keeping awake. He lay still, so that I did searching for a place that never existed, Mr. not at once perceive that he was again conscious, Merton Brown's pursuit had been attended with When I looked at his face I could tell his mind many difficulties; and, when at last he felt had been busy, and he began questioning me tolerably sure of coming up with Grant, he about many things : What had been done when found they had crossed on the road. He had we discovered Helen was gone? How far arrived at Darliston just as the doctor was suspicion had fallen upon him? I told him leaving, and heard from him how critical was the truth about these matters; mentioned how the state of the unhappy young man. I nar- he had been watched, and who had gone in rated the circumstances attending his return. pursuit of him. Alice disclaimed merit in encountering him, I did not feel certain how far I might with saying it was a chance, but we both agreed that safety speak of Mr. Mainwaring; and when be her presence and firm regard had restrained him adverted to my mention of his servant, and in his evident purpose.
questioned why I suspected he could be conRequiring the assistance of Mrs. Barncliffe, cerned, I only said he was absent from the who for the last two nights had been sleeping at Rood Farm. I was talking still with him when my house, I asked Mr. Brown if he would ob Dr. Crutchley came-at about seven o'clock. ject to taking up his quarters at Fairclough He expressed himself better satisfied with the while it was expedient I remained at Darliston. state of bis patient; and, Grant consenting to He was quite willing while no better way of the attendance of Mrs. Barncliffe, I went to my usefulness appeared ; and, as I told him at bed-room to take rest. parting, it was great comfort to us to know he I slept, and might have slept longer, but wae at hand, and would give us all the informa- about noon was roused by a light touch, and tion that could be had from the police. So far saw Alice bending over we only knew that Witham was evidently doing nurse," she said; “I am sorry to disturb you, bis best to elude pursuit in Dublin.
but I think you are wante 1 in your patient's The only door to the room in which Grant room." lay opened from Mrs. Cargill's little room; and, “Is he worse?" I said, starting up. bringing an arm-chair from the parlour I there “I am afraid he is likely to be, if he is not took up my post for the night. Will Harper, already: his father is here; of course we did also, was in attendance, but I did not think it not think of opposing his desire to be shown needful for him to keep awake. He took into his son's room; but Mrs Cargill is frightpossession of the settle in the “house," or ser- ened about it.” vants' hall, adjoining, and I only had need to “Did you tell him how dangerous Dr. disturb him once. Grant slept till near mid- Crutchley thinks his son's state is ?" night, when he awoke moaning from pain. At "Yes, but Nanny says she is sure he will not first he seemed scarce sensible as to what evil forbear blaming him. She is very desirous you had befallen him. Then memory came back; should take command of the sick-room, and weak, ailing, and still scarcely free from the turn him out if pecessary!”. effects of the narcotic, he seemed sinking under “Turn hin, out! I should think so, if he has the beavy burden of sorrow, self-reproach, and not judgment and temper enough to forbear reshame. I did my est then to soothe and com- proaches towards one in so critical a condifort him. There was little I could think to say tion !" likely to have much effect, but perhaps merely I made a very hasty arrangement of my
« Wake up,
disordered toilette, and ran down. Already I from a gentleman ; they rest on this: that one could hear a loud-raised voice from the direction who is a gentleman, one who has said she never of Grant's room. Oh, how angry I felt; the shall want protection that he can give, is at the man was actually storming !
villain's heels !" Grant had half raised bimself on his left arm, “Who do you mean?" and was facing his father with knit brow and " Arden Mainwaring; Helen's husband." down-cast eyes. The bitter words of accusation Mainwaring! Has he that much in him? spoken were true enough ; it would not be said Does he care to save her from Witham?" at first that they were exaggerated. Grant had “Care? Oh, you have done him injustice. brought disgrace on his own house, had re- You do not know how truly he loves her.” quited kindness with ingratitude, turned ruffian “He married her for her money-for that where he was inost bound to guard from out- only. He took the money before he was rage.
allowed to take her. That did not look much I tried to stem the torrent; to make myself like love." heard; but taking me probably for some hired "No; Mr. Wainwright proposed the marnurse I have seen many look far more lady- riage to him, and circumstances for which he like than it is probable I did at the time-he was not entirely responsible made him accept seemed to resent my interference as if I were the offer. But he was not insensible to what counsel for the defendanı ; and proceeded with was due to Helen from the first, and now he renewed violence to taunt Grant with his con- loves her, he loves her well, nobly, as she nection with the Black Band; almost intimating deserves to be loved !" that he might have had a hand in the burglary. Leave me; leave me by myself awhile." In fact, I had now a specimen of what a Wain- “No, Grant; I should not feel happy in wright could be in a towering passion.
leaving you; I will sit with you till' Dr. I could not stop him. I took a chair and Crutchley comes, he will not be long." placed myself at the bedside between the two, "Mrs. Gainsborough, I loved Helen as truly, and spoke to Grant. "Bear it patiently," I as strongly, as any man could love her. I said, “it is part of your punishment.' He never loved any but her. There is nothing. I raised his eyes to mine and sank back on the would not have attempted to win her love. The pillow.
very depth of wickedness to which I have What a relief it was to see Merton Brown at fallen should prove to you that I love ber-no the door! His appearance had more power man ever loved as I have loved her!" with the visitor than mine: he stopped.
“Oh, Grant, according as a man is, so is he "Do you know what you are doing?” Mer- capable of loving. You loved her with all the ton asked him, in a tone of displeased astonish- headlong force of a strong untutored nature; ment.
but such love could not in itself have sufficed to “I can't help it: he must hear what he has make Helen happy, even if she had never seen, done."
never loved, another. You thought of yourself "In the right time; but now he is not in a rather than her throughout. You would have condition to offer vindication."
sacrificed all the world to win her love: you “ Vindication ! Who can vindicate such would not sacrifice your own wishes to preserye scoundrelism ?"
her happiness. Knowing that her heart was “It is neither time nor place for speaking of given to another-knowing even that she was what has occurred. Mrs. Gainsborough, we married, you yet were deaf to her prayers." will leave you to your charge. Come into the He groaned aloud. “Yes,” he said, "I parlour, sir.”
know I was deaf to her prayers ; I curse my. Mr. George Wainwright did not dispute the self for it, and now, he-villain he must tone of authority in which he spoke: he turned be, but not so bad as is thought; you do not abruptly on his heel and closed the door-as no think it?" invalid's door should be closed.
He watched my face with intense eagerness, I drew the coverlet from Grant's face. I as I sat silent before him. I could not deny found he was shivering and convulsed. He my conviction of what Witham was; but, departly raised himself again. "Did you hear siring to soothe him, I presently said "Whatwhat he said ?" he asked. “It was very true, ever he is I have no doubt he will not be sufwas it not? only what did he mean about the sered to move a step unwatched : a London Black Band ? He don't think-you don't think detective accompanies Mr. Mainwaring in the what she once said had anything in it? You pursuit, and the police in Ireland are on the don't suspect Witham was that sort of villain? | alert." He is a gentleman in some sort, is he not? He “You would not wish me to believe that the behaved like a knave to me, but he must-why matter is worse than it is ? No; you said don't you speak, Mrs. Gainsborough ?”
nothing to me about the Black Band until my "You know, I suppose,” I said, "that father did. It is so. I believe it. I have Witham was arrested on suspicion of connec- given her over to a pack of felons !" tion with this affair. No case was found He started up, but pain and weakness forced against him, and he was liberated next day. him back upon his bed, and, turning his face on My hopes for Helen do not rest on any idea the pillow, he wept convulsively it was fearful of his forbearance, or sense of what is expected to me to witness a suffering I had so little
- The poor man,
power to alleviate ; but out of it came the first at once, for we shall have rain before the day is hopeful sign that Grant's iron will could give over. I have not seen the place where poor way; that he could feel not merely remorse, Grant was captured ; shall we go there ?" but repentance. “If,” he said, "Mainwaring Merton was right about rain; only he had not saves her; if he undoes what I have done, he expected it to come so soon. A heavy thunder. may come and put his foot on my neck!" shower fell; in the midst of which Dr. Crutchley
again arrived, this time accompanied by Mr Gray;
Grant had lain in an uneasy slumber induced
by medicine since the doctor's last visit, and was Chap. LII.
scarcely free from the stupor-attendant when the
good minister had his interview with him. Mr. DAWX,
Gray told me he had given a sort of civil attention
and general assent to what he had said to him, Dr. Crutchley arrived; and, after revisiting but expressed neither feeling nor opinion. my room to remedy the defects of my hasty In accordance with Dr. Crutchley's view of toilet, I joined Alice in a walk in the orchard. what was likely to result from an inerview with Our assistant nurses being on duty she wished me the clergyman, some medicine having a tendency to go with her across the fields to the embank- to revive the spirits was administered to his ment; but I waited for the doctor's report ; patient, and I found him in a state of some and it proved, as I feared, an unfavourable one. excitement when I entered the room. He was evidently anxious about his patient's “ I think you are not likely to be troubled state, and said he should return in an hour. with me long, Mrs. Gainsborough," so he spoke.
Merton Brown had followed into the front “ Dr. Crutchley has thought fit to hand me over garden, and the doctor being gone, requested ī to the parson.” would tell Grant that his father was in some " Mr. Gray wished to come," I said ; "it is degree appeased. At all events he was fully his duty to try and help you. Dr. Crutchley persuaded he had no willing connection with the thinks your hurts will do well if you will be Black Band.
Merton said; patient, and endeavour to keep your mind quiet is really in the greatest trouble; but his want and hopeful.” of self-control makes him say now one thing, now “You hope still for Helen, do you not?” another; and it is not at all fitting with all you have on your hands, that he should be at “I want to live to hear that she is safe ; I Darliston. He will not go to the Rood Farm, so should like to live to hear that cunning villain I have pursuaded him to occupy my quarters Witham is unmasked. If I had not been mad with Mrs. Peters. Although a gossip, she is a enough to disable myself I might bave helped in kind-hearted woman, and he will do as well the hunt; but now, the hand toat should have there as anywhere else. You look harassed, Mrs. gripped him, is powerless. Gainsborough,” he concluded, “and Miss Alice He sighed; and after a little silence, resumed:
“There is one thing Mr. Gray said I could do, “I am tired and very anxious," I replied. and it seems right I should. I must clear poor Although inclined to be hopeful about Helen of the lies that have appeared in the papers. poor Helen, it is a terrible uncertainty. And I He said people may think, even now,
that though feel the condition of my charge yonder entails a I have been baulked by Witham, she was willing heavy responsibility. Mr. Gray, I have no to break her marriage vows for my sake. I wish doubt, will come to us when his afternoon duties she had been!" in church are over. I hope Grant will listen to “Oh, Grant, what are you saying?" him."
"Well-I was not thinking. I do not wish "Do what you can and you may be hopeful of Helen to be a sinner like myself; but it is not a good result; but avoid the thought that all easy to get over the feeling of wishing that she depends upon yourself. You know it cannot be.” loved me. I thought once she did ; but I took
“Dr. Crutchley, I have no doubt, is a skilful it too matter of course. She must hate me now, surgeon," I said, "but in other matters he is and I hope the husband she has chosen, though distressingly wavering. He quite acquiesced in he comes of a bad, proud lot, may be good to her the propriety of Mr. Gray being requested to see when I am lying quiet in Dingleton churchGrant ; admitting that he might not live till to- yard. I don't want him to throw in her teeth morrow; and then again be deprecated any what she don't deserve; so, as I cannot write, matter being stirred that could distress him, for perhaps you, Mrs. Gainsborough, will be good depression, he said, of all things must be aroided. enough to do it for me. It had better be done He will sink if his spirits are not kept up.”.. at once while I have strength, and you can have
“Then the nurse must not despond. Will you in some one afterwards to attest it." let me come and look after you now and then ?” Of course I readily complied; and, at bis
Oh, do; it would cheer me; and do him dictation, wrote thus :-“Seeing it bas been good, too, I believe. But here's this dear girl reported that my cousin, Miss Dalziel, was once Alice wants looking after too. I wish you would engaged to me, I think it right to state that take her for a walk on the cop. The sea air although such a thing was talked of between Mr. would brace her for her work."
Wainwright and myself
, she was no party to the "Come, then, Miss Alice; we had better go matter, and refused when asked to marry me. 1
did not choose to give her up, and learning that made her; and so am I, am I not ?
Love is a Mr. Mainwaring had authority to claim her on natural feeling, and of course you may say it the death of my uncle, I, by advice of a person comes from God. But where does hate come known as Carlton Witham, whom I supposed was from ? Show me a man who cannot hate and disinterested, lured her out of Darliston Hall on you show me a ninny!" Thursday evening last under pretence of requiring “ Grant, it is true in one sense that God made her candle, and throwing a clo over her head, evil as as good, batred as well as love. He lifted her on to my horse. I rode for the west made good to be loved, evil to be hated. He cop, where a boat from the Chaffinch was to take has done all things well." her on board; and, as I understood, she was to “Love for good, hatred for evil. There does be carried to a house on the coast of Ayr, in scem some sense about that." Scotland. I purposed going there by land and Grant lay still for some while, and then, in a marrying her. A I carried her, she, after pray- quieter tone, asked: ing me in vain to take her back, told me she was “Why don't you hate me, Mrs. Gainsborough? already married. I had had no encouragement I have treated you badly enough before now, and from her. She was always true to her word and have done all this ?" I believed what she said, but I did not choose to “I hate the evil you have done ; I have been
back with her. I gave her into the hands of very angry and indignant with you at times; John Malone and two of bis crew. There was a perhaps more than that when I have thought of woman also whom Witham had recommended Helen's betrayal. Yes, I have felt I could hardly should attend her. I did not stop to see them go bear to look upon you. Still it is possible to on board.”
hate very heartily the evil we find in a person “Will that do," he questioned.
and not to hate himself. All human beings have “ I should think it would,” I replied; “ but will so much to suffer in common, that I do not think you tell me how it was you did not accompany I could hate anyone. Certainly I could not wish Helen ?”
worse evil to them than the course of their * Witham suggested that by remaining I desting even in this world is likely to bring. I could turn the pursuit in some other direction, do not suppose my fate on earth has been worse and I left Marsham by the up train, just going far than that of most others, and I know I could not enough to catch the express northward. Besides witness that my worst enemy suffered as I have it seemed that since we could not be married suffered, and not feel grief. You are in the until we reached Scotland it would look better. hands of a wiser Judge of what is fitting that you Pernaps you will hardly believe it, seeing I could should endure than I could be. Certainly I do act so recklessly towards her afterwards, but not hate you, Grant, or I should not be here now. when the matter was planned, I was anxious to I am not so cruel as to feel pleasure in witnessspare poor Helen's proud heart as much as ing that you suffer.” possible. When I found she was married it did I have suffered—I do suffer. I have been not occur to me in the confusion of my mind that in great pain to day, almost more than I could the last reason was no longer to be considered, bear in silence. But the worst is thinking of since I had resolved to rob Mainwaring of her. Helen. Mrs. Gainsborough, I am glad you do Give me more of that stuff-the cordial; I am not hate me. Does your friend Brown hate ang. very faint. How one may be driven from one body do you think?" had thing to another! I almost feel when speak- "He has a good will towards you and I hope ing as if it were some other man had done and towards all mankind, as a Christian man should rufian to resist her entreaties; dit was base, i have do you mean he would not shoot Withạm was unmanly, to act as I did. I could not stop dead? I would.” myself. If Mainwaring had been in the way I “You would? What, out of vengeance ?". should have killed him before her eyes, I hated “I don't know abont that; but to save Helen bim so.”
I would.” “ You will not hate him now ?”
“Yes, and I suppose lie would; indeed, if it • No; he may be a rake and a spendthrift, but were the only means I am sure he would." I do I have no right to hate him."
not assert that Christian charity always involves “Who told you he was one or the other ?” non-resistance to wrong, or even that it often
• Well, I believe the worst I heard of him was allows crime to go unpunished; only that it forfrom Witham ; but he took Helen from me be- bids personal feeling of enmity.” cause he wanted her money to pay his debts; "Mr. Gray has been hammering at me that I you can't deny that. And I loved her; I had must forgive if I would hope to be forgiven. It every right to love her.”
looks fair, that; but when I think of Witbam it “I do not say your love for Helen was wrong, does not seem possible – it does not seem right.” Grant. What you are to blame for is that you “You can, I hope, think of Mr. Mainwaring never acknowledged that the good you craved without enmity?' for-Helen's love-was, like any other good " Yes ; 1 feel the balance is against me there. thing, for God to give or withhold. Is there good If, as yon say, he really has a regard for Helen, of any kind, is there a loveable thing, that does he has had already worse from my hands than in not proceed from Him?":
justice he deserves." “I know that, of course.
IIelen is as God "You said yesterday, when you thought Wit
hara was in some sort a gentleman, that the part "At least," he said, " all is going on well in you had played was even worse than his. Do you the pursuit. The Chaffinch has been traced and now think you are fitted to judge him ?”
is being enclosed in a cordon. Witham has “ You mean it's like Satan correcting, sin ? evidently been seeking to make his way towards that I have no right to cry shame upon him?" the same part of the coast she is known to be
Grant seemed so agitated that I feared I had lurking in. He has doubled on the track several ventured too much.
times, but has failed to escape." “To think it should come to this !” he pro- "Why do they not arrest him ?” asked Grant ceeded; "and six months ago I thought I was a Wainwright. decent sort of fellow. I hated cant, but I could “ It will be done now on the next opportunity. sit through a sermon and not feel I was worse Collins was up with him at noon to-day at a than my neighbours. I knew I was better than place called Manor Hamilton ; but the Chaffinch, a great many of them. You said just now good not having then been heard of, it seemed still was made to be loved; was not Helen good ? expedient to use him as a guide. He changed And yet all this has come upon me through clothes with a person who arrived at one of the loving her. I meant to be fair and above-inns on the previous evening, but this person was board, and I scorned lying; but I've lied through known to the police, and Witham was recognized thick and thin, and acted lies as well as spoken when leaving the town by the Sligo Road." them. I'm talked at for an hour by the parson I had risen from my chair and stood by the as if I had broken every one of the ten command open window inhaling the fresh air from the ments, and I have not a word to say in defence. garden. Merton took my place beside Grant, I suppose I should have broken them all if they and, after asking concerning his arm, said : had stood between me and Helen!"
“I wish you to tell me some particulars res. "But could this have been so if you had served pecting your servant Maclean, for whom we have God as a njan should by acknowledging that His a warrant out as concerned in this unhappy will had a right to come before your own ?" affair. But I must warn you that but for He was silent.
certain circumstances you would yourself, before "Oh, if you had only borne in mind that He this time, have been in custody; indeed virtually who made you cared for you!".
are so." "I used as a boy to think there was a Provi. Grant's pale face flushed. dence watching over me, I had so many narrow I suppose I am,” he said. "Dr. Crutchley escapes. But it has not come natural to think may safely go bail for me; or in any case there much about such things of late. When we get is no need for handcuffs. What is to be done among men the world seems different. We must with me if I live it out ? Am I to be sent in take things as they come; and help ourselves company with Witham and his set to the hulkspretty sharply too, to what we want; or others or where ?" will be before us.
are stopping to “I cannot answer your question. I only think if this is right or that is proper, it may be surmise that it is possible if all goes well, and you gone."
make a free confession, Mainwaring may forbear “I know men talk so; but I think that those to prosecute." who have been long in the world commonly "I will not ove anything to Mr. Mainwaring's arrive at the conclusion that the men who do mercy.” stop to consider right and wrong, though they “But Grant,” I said ; 'you have confessed, may lose this and that by it, are not in the long not from wish to escape but from regard to run worse off than the unscrupulous, even Helen's welfare. And you said you no longer regard to this world's good.”
felt enmity against Mr. Mainwaring." "Well, I have known some of the sharp oves “I do not think I shall need his mercy. But come to grief, that is certain ; and if I had had if I only hear what I want to hear, whether I live more of the fear of God I need not have hated or die, they may do as they please with me. myself as I do when I think of her. You think They had better not chain me together with WitProvidence is watching over her, Mrs. Gains. ham—that's all.” borough ? Such a good brave girl as she is. I Why give way thus to your ill-fortune ?” should
go mad altogether if I did not think she said Merton. “It is foolish pride which forwould be protected from that devil Witham, for bids you to stoop to receive favour from a he is a devil. Give me more of that stuff, it whom you have sought to wrong. It may be revives me.
painful to you, but you should consider the other I saw that it excited him; that the strength course would bring far worse humiliation. Say given was factitious, and told him I dared give as you will, Mr. Wainwright, it will make a vast no more so soon again.
if you are tried and convicted. Soon after the door opened gently, and I saw Is it nothing that you may be free to redeem the Merton Brown. His general aspect has a some- past, to show men you yet can earn a worthy thing that tends to quicken cheerfulness, but in place among them ?" continual expectation of news I fancied it more "Such as you may talk of the future; but for than usually encouraging. I suppose I looked a me, I see a night before me. I shall wake till I question, for bis language took the form of an hear what next coines from Ireland. If it is