The second game was more exciting. Mr. Maguffin, naturally quick and possessing a memory cultivated by closely following the prelections of his coloured Baptist religious instructors, rapidly seized the hitherto unknown combinations, and astonished Tryphena with his bold independence of action. The constable's mind worked more conservatively, as became his rank and profession, and Serlizer was worse than useless to him, but, by chance, they had magnificent hands. He piled up India in quick marching time, as he hummed "The British Grenadiers," and accompanied it with a drum beat of his right foot on the floor. Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, Indus, Ganges, and Godavery, Himalayas, Ghauts, and Vindhyas, lay captured at his right hand. Ben won Ireland from him, but he annexed England, Scotland, and Turkey. Once more Serlizer took Canada, and, owing to Mr. Toner's imperfect shuffling, laid complete books of Egypt, Australia, and Brazil upon the table. The stars fought against Tryphena and Tryphosa, and, in spite of Mr. Maguffin's gallant struggle against fate, the pensioner took the honours. Then Miss Newcome favoured him with a friendly kick under the table, accompanied by the elegant expression: "Bully for you, old man!" Next, the victorious damsel shuffled, allowed Tryphena to cut, and dealt out the cards for the third game. This time the deal was fair, and Mr. Rigby, glancing over his partner's capacious hand, beheld there no prospect of continued good fortune. Tryphena was on her mettle as a geographer, and Maguffin had stowed away in his all-embracing memory the names of half the globe's prominent features in city, river, and mountain. He wrested half India and all Russia from the pensioner, captured the whole of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and various states of South America. Almost the entire continent of Europe succumbed to Tryphena. Tryphosa fought doggedly, and encouraged Ben to continue the unequal contest, but the constable and Serlizer yielded up card after card with the muteness of despair. Mr. Maguffin was transported with joy, when his partner counted up their united books, amounting to more than those of both the other pairs put together.
"I'se larned moah joggrify this heah bressid night nor I'd git in six mumfs er schoolin'. Hit makes me feel kind er smaht all ober, but not smaht enough foh ter ekal you, Miss Trypheeny, ner yoh pah. Ain't he jest a smaht man, foolin' me on Typernosties and Gasternickle, words I nevah knowed afoah, yah! yah! yah!"
A new game was in progress, when a tap came to the inside door, and, immediately thereafter, a figure in a dressing gown appeared, partly thrust into the half-opened entrance. "Do you know Tryphena," said a pretty voice, "that it is very late, long past midnight, and you two girls have to be up by six o'clock at the latest! Take Sarah with you, and go to bed. Toner, you know Timotheus' room, and had better get some rest, which I am sure you need." As the four parties addressed somewhat sheepishly departed, Mrs. Carmichael turned to the remaining card players, who were standing, corporal Rigby at military attention, and said, with a somewhat tremulous accent: "There's a large fire out in the Lake Settlement direction, but I cannot bear to awaken Mr. Carruthers or the other two gentlemen, for he is very tired, and they are much older and require rest also. Perhaps, Maguffin, you will be kind enough to saddle a horse quietly, and find out where it is and see that my father and Mr. Coristine are safe."
"I'se ony too pleased ter obey yoh commandemens, marm, wif percision an' dispatches," answered the coloured gentleman, hasting stablewards.
"As constable, ma'am, if I may be allowed to speak," said Corporal Rigby, saluting for the second time, "as constable, it is my duty to be present at all township fires, for the purpose of keeping order and directing operations. I shall, therefore, with your permission, ma'am, respectfully take my leave."
"It is a long way, constable, and you and I are not so young as we once were—"
"Pardon an old soldier's interruption, ma'am, but you are as young as ever you were, the youngest married lady I know."
"Thank you, corporal! What I meant to say was that you had better get Maguffin to saddle a horse for you, as the distance is great."
"You are very good, ma'am, but I never served in the cavalry. I belonged to Her Majesty's Foot Guards, ma'am, and could not possibly insult the memory of my old comrades lying in Crimean graves, by putting the legs, that a merciful Providence furnished me to march with, across the back of a horse. Had I even served in the Artillery or in the Engineers, I might have been able to comply with your kind request. Being what I have been, I must proceed without delay to the seat of the conflagration. I have the honour, ma'am, of saluting you. Good night!"
So Maguffin quietly escaped from the stables, and rode rapidly towards the fire, which shed its lurid light far over the clouded sky; and the pensioner trudged after him on foot, with his official baton under his arm, to make that conflagration acquainted with the law.
Picnic Supper—Sentries—Sylvanus' Silence—Coristine and Bigglethorpe Hear Sounds—Invaders Repelled—Fire and Explosions—Victims Walled In—Water Retreat in the Rain—The Constable Secures Mark Davis—Walk Home in the Rain—Bangs and Matilda—Into Dry Clothes—Miss Carmichael's Mistake—A Reef in Mr. Bangs—Ben has no Clothes—Three Young Gentlemen in a Bad Way.
Mr. Bangs had no fewer than eight men under his command, Bigglethorpe and the two Richards at the water, and Coristine and the veteran, the two Pilgrims and Rufus, up above. The latter tired themselves out, under the detective's direction, looking for an opening in the ground, but found none, nor anything that in the least resembled one. Some of the searchers wondered why the chimney in Rawdon's house was so unnecessarily large and strong, but no examination about its base revealed any connection between it and an underground passage. The detective, in conference with Mr. Terry and the lawyer, decided on four sentries, namely one each at the house and the lake, as already set, one at the road looking towards the entrance, and the other half way between the lake and the house, to keep up the connection. Some bread and meat and a pot of tea, with dishes, were sent down to the three men on the shore by the hands of Timotheus, but they rejected the cold meat, having already made a fire, and broiled the bass caught by Mr. Bigglethorpe. They had a very jolly time, telling fish stories, till about eight o'clock, and the fisherman of Beaver River was in wonderful spirits over the discovery of a new fishing ground. If those lakes had only contained brook trout he would move his store to the Lakes Settlement; as it was, he thought of setting up a branch establishment, and getting a partner to occupy the two places of business alternately with him. The Richards boys were pleased to think that their new acquaintance was likely to be a permanent one, and made Mr. Bigglethorpe many sincere offers of assistance in his fishing, and subordinate commercial, ventures. At eight Mr. Bangs came down the hill, and posted one of the Richards as sentry, while the fisherman indulged in his evening smoke, preparatory to turning in under the skiff with his friend Bill. "I went that fire put out, gentlemen," said the detective, "net now, but say efter ten o'clock, as it might help the enemy to spy us out," to which Bill Richards replied: "All right, cap'n; she'll be dead black afore ten." Rufus was placed on the hill side to communicate between the distant posts; Timotheus overlooked the encampment; and Sylvanus was given the station on the road. Mr. Bangs walked about nervously, and the lawyer and Mr. Terry, bringing some clean coverlets out of the boarding-house, spread them on the chip-covered ground, and lay down to smoke their pipes and talk of many things. "Oi tuk to yeez, sorr," said the veteran with warmth, "soon as Oi mit ye in the smokin' carr, and to think what a dale av loife we've seen since, an' here's you an' me, savin' yer prisince, as thick as thaves."
Nothing of any moment occurred till within a quarter of ten, when Sylvanus saw two figures suddenly start up close by him on the right. At first, he thought of challenging them, but seeing one was a woman, and remembering the going over the Squire gave him about capturing Tryphosa, he resolved to await their arrival. Both figures greeted him joyfully by his name, for it was his two proteges, the crazy woman and her son, who had escaped the constable and lain concealed until darkness veiled their movements. "Has Steevy woke up yet?" she asked the sentinel, quietly.
"Not as I know on," responded the elder Pilgrim.
"Then we will slip quietly into the house, and get some supper for Monty, and go to bed. It's tiresome walking about all day," she continued.
"Don't you two go fer to make no noise, 'cos they's sentries out as might charlinge yer with their guns," remarked the compassionate guard.
"No," she whispered back; "we will be still as little mice, won't we, Monty? Good night, Sylvanus!" The boy added, "Good night, Sylvy!" and the sentinel returned the salutation, and muttered to himself: "Pore souls, the sight on 'em breaks me all up."
Sylvanus should have reported these arrivals, when the detective came to relieve him, and put Mr. Terry in his place, but he did not. He had forgotten all about them, and was wondering if that "kicked-out-of service old ramrod, the corpular, was foolin' round about Trypheeny." Coristine relieved Timotheus; Bill Richards, Rufus; and Mr. Bigglethorpe, Harry Richards. The relieved men went to sleep on the quilts and under the skiff. Mr. Bangs came up every quarter of an hour to the lawyer, and asked if he had heard a noise about the house, to which the sentinel replied in the affirmative every time; whereupon the detective would take a lamp and search the building from top to bottom without any result. Once, after such a noise, that sounded like some heavy article being dragged along, Coristine thought he heard the words: "Keep quiet, Tilly," and, "Take it hoff," but he was not sure. The night was cloudy and dark, and the mosquitoes' buzzing sometimes had a human sound, while the snoring of the Pilgrims, and the restless moving of the horses, brought confusion to the ear, which sought to verify suspected articulations. Had he known that Matilda Nagle was about the house, he would not have let Bangs rest until the mystery was solved. He did not know; and, being very tired and sleepy, was inclined to distrust the evidence of his senses and lay it to the charge of imagination.
Down by the water's edge Mr. Bigglethorpe sat on a stone in front of the carved out block, thinking of the best fly for bass, and of a great fishing party to the lakes that should include Mr. Bulky. Standing up to stretch his legs and facing the block of limestone, he thought he saw a narrow line of light along the left perpendicular incision. Moving over, he saw the same perpendicular line on the right. Just then the clouds drifted off the moon, and he convinced himself that the light lines were reflections from the sheen that glimmered over the lake. He also thought he heard a whining noise, such as a sick person or a child might make, and then a rough voice saying: "Stow that now!" but Richards, like the two Pilgrims above, was snoring, and Harry had a slight cold in his head. "What a stoopid, superstitious being I should become," said the fisherman to himself, "if I were out here long all alone." But, hark! the sound of paddles softly dipping came from the left, and at once the sentry lay down behind the upturned skiff, and, gun in hand, listened. He poked Richards with his foot, and, as he awoke, enjoined silence. Richards crawled out, and quietly replaced the boat in its original position. There were now two on guard instead of one. The boat entered the lake. It was the scow, Richards' scow, and Harry was indignant. There were five men in it, and they were talking in a low tone.
"Quite sure them blarsted Squire folks has all gone home, Pete?"
"Sartin, I seen 'em, the hull gang's scattered and skee-daddled, parsons an' all."
"Where's the blarsted light, then?"
"Seems to me I kin see long, thin streaks. O Lawr, boys, Rodden must ha' been hard put, when he drapped the block into the hole. It's shet up tight. Hev ye got the chisel and mallet?"
"They're all right."
"Then less git ashore and drap the block out, though it's an orful pity to lose it in the drink."
"Carn't we git the blarsted thing back to its place agin?"
"Onpossible; wild horses couldn't do it."
Harry whispered to Bigglethorpe: "What'll we do?" and the fisherman answered: "Our duty is to fire, but we weren't told to kill anybody. Don't you fire till I reload."
Then Bigglethorpe called out: "Surrender in the Queen's name," and fired above the scow. Two or three pistol shots rattled over the sentries' heads, and flattened themselves on the rock behind. "All ready!" said the storekeeper, and Harry let fly his duck shot into the middle of the crowd, who paddled vigorously from the shore. Bill Richards, having alarmed the upper sentries by the discharge of his gun, came running down, with the Pilgrims and Rufus, led by the detective, not far behind him. "Shove out the skiff," called Bigglethorpe. The Richards shoved it off, and Bill rowed, when the two sentries got on board. "Go it, Bill, after the old tub," cried Harry; "we'll soon catch up." The Rawdon gang worked hard to get to the narrows, but found it hopeless. "Give it to them," shouted Bangs from the shore; and in response, the guns rang out again, while Bill strained every muscle to the utmost. The punt grounded on the shore above the narrows, and four of the men jumped out into the water and fled up the bank, firing their pistols as they retired. The punt was captured, and brought back to the guarded beach, with a wounded man and some tools in the bottom. Only by swimming, or by a long detour of very many miles, could the four fugitives find their way back to the shore they had sought in vain.
The wounded man was taken out of the punt and laid on the beach. "Is he dead?" asked Bigglethorpe. "No," answered the detective, feeling the head of the victim, and inspecting him by the aid of matches struck by the smoker Sylvanus; "it's a good thing for him thet yore two gens were louded with deck shot end thet they sketter sow, else he'd a been a dead men. He's got a few pellets in the beck of his head, jest eneugh to sten the scoundrel for a few minutes. Ah, he's hed a creck owver the top of his head with a cleb, the colonel's werk, very likely."
"Do you want him kept?" enquired Mr. Bigglethorpe, as sentry.
"Oh, dear me, yes; he's Rawdon's chief men. I wouldn't lose him fer a hendred dollars. Rufus, do you mind blowing his brains out if he attempts to escaype?"
The good-natured Rufus said he didn't mind watching the prisoner, but he imagined clubbing would be kinder than blowing out his brains.
"All right!" answered the detective, "all right, so long as you keep him safely."
So Mr. Bangs went back to the house, followed by Sylvanus, Timotheus and Bill Richards, the last of whom resumed his post, namely the trunk on which Pierre Lajeunesse had rested.
When the encampment was reached, Mr. Bangs asked Coristine if he had been smoking on guard or lighting matches, but he had not. He asked Mr. Terry the same question, which the old soldier almost took as an insult. "An' is it to me ye come, axin' av Oi shmoke on guarrd, an' shpind my toime loightin' matches loike a choild? Oi've sane sarvice, sorr, and nobody knows betther fwhat his juty is."
"I sincerely beg your pardon, Mr. Terry. Please excuse my enxiety; I smell fire."
"Don't mintion it, sorr, betune us. Faix, an' it's foire I shmill an' moighty sthrong, too."
The detective came back to the front of the house, and saw the fire that had broken forth in a moment, and was flaming in every room of basement and upper storey, a fire too rapidly advanced to be got under, even had the means been at hand.
"Quick, Sylvanus, Timotheus, get out the horses and any other live stock," he cried; but the lawyer had been before him, and the two Pilgrims and he were already leading the frightened animals past the house and on to the road, where they turned their heads outward and drove them along. Forgetting their watch, Mr. Terry and Bangs himself helped, until every living creature, as they thought, was safely away on the road to the Lake Settlement. Then, two figures, that the guilty Sylvanus knew, came out of the door of the boarding house, and the flames leaped out after them. The woman came up to Coristine, and said: "I know you; you helped to carry poor Steevy, who is not awake yet. He said it was cold down there, so Monty and I have made a fire to keep him warm." The lawyer thought she meant that her dead brother was cold. As to the fire, when he saw Monty, it did not astonish him; but how came they both there through the guard?
The frame buildings, their light clapboards dried by the summer sun, burned furiously, and the flames roared in the rising wind. The sheds and stables caught; the fire ran over the ground, in spite of the dew, catching in shrubs and fallen timber, and even climbing up living trees. Back the beholders were driven, as far as Bill Richards' post, by the terrible glare and heat of the conflagration. Leaving Bigglethorpe on sentry, and Rufus over the prisoner, Harry came running up to learn what was the matter, and to tell of noises like human voices and hammer blows behind the slab of rock. Then, as the fire in the house burned down to the ground, there was an explosion that seemed to shake the earth, and a column of fire sprang up the standing chimney, side by side with another less lofty and more diffused from the right of the building. Report after report followed, and the whole party, half terror-stricken, descended to the beach. Rufus, with Bigglethorpe's help, had considerately transferred his prisoner to the punt, and guarded him there. The store-keeper, taking chisel and mallet in hand, was striking off chip after chip of rock, in answer to muffled cries from within; and now the big rock had moved half an inch. Still the brave man worked away amid the continued explosions, and in spite of the advancing fire. The block continued to slide, and Bigglethorpe cried: "Take the boats out of the way, and get back from me, or you will all be crushed in a minute." The punt was out of danger, but Bill Richards, with a single movement, shoved off the skiff, and, kneeling on her stern, sent her far out into the lake. Then he rowed the boat rapidly back into a place of safety. The slab was still sliding, and had cleared the rock out of which it had been cut by an inch. A human hand was thrust out, a dumpy, beringed hand, bleeding with the effort; a most audible voice cried "For God's sake, 'urry!" and then there came a perfect Babel of explosions, and the gallant deliverer was forcibly drawn out of a fierce river of liquid fire that streamed down into the lake, and burned even out on the water. The fisherman was badly burnt, hair, beard and eyelashes almost singed off; but still he thought of rescue. "Fire at that miserable little chip that holds it," he cried; "fire, since you can't hit it otherwise. Oh, for an asbestos suit, and I would have styed." They fired pistol and gun with no effect, till the lawyer, out in the skiff with Bill, got his rifle sighted to the point in the blue flame, where he thought the preventing ridge ought to be. He fired at close range, the ball hit the rock projection, and at once the great block slid away into the lake, with a splash that damped the flames with a column of spray, and revealed an awful corridor of fire. No living creature was there, but the detective, dipping his feet in the lake, took a boat hook out of the returning skiff, and then, standing in the flames, hauled out two charred masses, and extinguished them in the shallow water by the shore.
Mr. Terry came running down and crying: "Out on the wather wid yeez, ivery mother's son av yeez; the foire's spreadin' an' the threes is fallin'; fer yer loife, min." Mr. Bangs, still in command, asked:—
"How many will the skiff howld, Bill?"
"Seven, anyway," replied the Richards of that name.
"Mr. Coristine and Mr. Terry take commend and choose crew."
"Come, Matilda and Monty," said the lawyer.
"Come on, Sylvanus, Timotheus, Rufus," cried Mr. Terry.
"I'll row," said the Irishman.
"And me, too," added Sylvanus.
"Look after my prisoner, Mr. Bangs," cried Rufus; and the skiff went out to sea.
Bill transferred himself to the scow, with his brother Harry and Mr. Bigglethorpe. The detective lifted the two charred masses to the opposite side of the middle thwart from that against which the prisoner lay. Then, Bill and Bigglethorpe having taken the bow, he and Harry took the stern, and the scow followed the skiff. For a time the two boats stood stock still, fascinated by the awful scene. The explosions were over, but the forest was blazing fiercely, and up towards the smouldering buildings, but underground, blazed a vault of blue fire that reached up to the standing brick chimney of Rawdon's house. Hundreds of animals were in the water around them, squirrels and snakes and muskrats, even mice, swimming for dear life. Then, pitter, patter, came the rain, hissing on the flames. It fell more heavily; and the lawyer, having doffed his coat to row, threw it over the woman's shoulders, while Mr. Terry put that of Sylvanus about the boy. "Lead on, Mr. Coristine," cried the detective; and the skiff shot through the narrows, with the punt hard after it. The rain fell in torrents and drenched the occupants of both vessels; but those whose faces were towards the stern could see the bush-fire still raging. "The rain'll stop it spreadin'," Bill called out cheerfully, and the lawyer rejoiced, because the fire was on Miss Du Plessis' land. Long was the journey, tired were the rowers and paddlers, and draggled was the crew, or rather draggled were the crews, that reached the Richards' homestead. The prisoner was awake by this time, had been so all along since he was deposited in the punt, and a paddle had splashed his face. When walked ashore, he had made a dash for liberty, but Mr. Bangs had brought him up short. "Yore in too great a herry, Merk Devis," he had said; "we went you, my men, and we'll hev you, dead or alive." So Mark Davis, since that was the name of Wilkinson's dissipated farmer, had to fall into line and march to the Richards' place. There the party found Maguffin and the constable.
The colonel's servant had been much closer to the conflagration, but, having seen no sign of any person there, nothing but a number of startled horses, and the fire having taken possession of the sides of the masked road, he had retired to the nearest house. He at once enquired after the safety of Mr. Terry and the lawyer, and, finding that they and all the rest of the party were safe, rode back at his utmost speed to report. The constable, rejoiced at seeing his prisoners again, was about to rearrest them, when Coristine and Sylvanus interposed, the latter threatening to thrash the pipe-clay out of the pensioner's "old putrified jints" if he touched the boy. The Crew meant petrified, but the insult was no less offensive to the corporal on account of the mistake. As a private individual in the Squire's kitchen, Mr. Rigby was disposed to peace and unwilling to engage in a contest with big-boned Sylvanus, but, as a constable on duty, he was prepared to face any number of law-breakers and to fight them to the death. Drawing his baton, he advanced, and only the commands of his legal superior, Mr. Bangs, backed by the expostulations of the pseudo sergeant-major Terry, induced him to refrain from recapturing his former prisoners, and from adding to them the profane Pilgrim who had been guilty of interfering with an officer in the discharge of his duty. Finally he was mollified by being put in possession of a really great criminal, Mark Davis, whom he at once searched and deprived of various articles, including a revolver, all the chambers of which were fortunately empty. Then, producing his own revolver, the corporal gave it to his prisoner to smell, remarking that, if he tried any nonsense, he would have a taste of it that he would remember. Mrs. Richards was busy reducing the inflammation of Mr. Bigglethorpe's burns. She insisted that he should go no farther that night, and the whole Richards family, which had greatly taken to the fisherman, combined to hold him an honoured prisoner. Mr. Bigglethorpe consented to remain, and the Bridesdale contingent bade him and his hosts good night. The constable went first with his prisoner, followed by Matilda Nagle, between the lawyer and the detective. Monty came next, clinging to Sylvanus and Mr. Terry, while Timotheus and Rufus brought up the rear. Mrs. Richards had furnished the woman and her boy with two shiny waterproofs, called by the young Richards gum coats, so that Coristine and Sylvanus got back their contributions to the wardrobe of the insane, but, save for the look of the thing, they would have been better without them, since they only added a clammy burden to thoroughly water-soaked bodies.
Still the rain fell in torrents. It trickled in many rills off the penthouses of the pedestrians' headgear; from the lapels of coats and from waistcoats it streamed down, concentrating itself upon soggy knees. Broad sheets, like the flow of a water-cart, radiated from coat tails of every description; and rivers descending trouser-legs, turned boots and shoes into lakes, which sodden stockinged feet pumped out in returning fountains. Happily there was no necessity for using gun or pistol, since these weapons shared in the general pervading moisture. Yet the corporal marched erect, with his left hand on his prisoner's shoulder. Poor Matilda was cheerful, though shivering, and, turning round to her boy, said; "It is a good thing, Monty, that we lit the fire when we did, for it would be very hard to light one now;" to which the lad answered, "I hain't a goin' to light no more fires no more." Sylvanus and the veteran had been telling him what a bad thing it was to set houses on fire, and the hypnotized boy, freed apparently from the mesmeric bond by the death of his unnatural father, responded to the counsels of his new friends. The influence lasted longer with Matilda, for as, in spite of the absorbing rain, her companions were able to make a study of her talk, they observed that it was controlled by one or two overmastering ideas, which were evidently the imposition of a superior will. In his dog-Latin, which he presumed the poor woman could not understand, Mr. Bangs said to the lawyer: "Oportet dicere ad Doctorem dehypnotizere illem feminem." To this elegant sentence Mr. Coristine briefly answered, "Etiam," but soon afterwards he asked: "Where did you pick up your Latin, Mr. Bangs."
"I wes at school, you know where, with pore Nesh; mulier nescit nomen. We both took to Letin, because we could talk without being understood by the common crowd. You find velgar criminals thet know some French, German, Spenish or Portegese, bet none thet know Letin. In dealing with higher class criminals we used our own gibberish or artificial shibboleth."
"A sort of Volapuk?"
"Exectly; pore Nesh was ohfelly clever et it."
"I am going to kill Mr. Nash as soon as I can find him," interrupted the woman, in an amiable tone of voice, as if she proposed to discharge some pleasant duty.
The men shuddered, and Mr. Bangs said: "You know, my dear Matilda, what the Bible says, Thou shelt not kill. You surely would not kemmit the sin of merder?"
"I am not to mind what the Bible says, or what Steevy says, or what clergymen or any other people say. I am only to do what he says, and I must."
"Did he tell you to light thet fire?"
"Not that fire, but the other said it was cold down there."
"Why did he not come up?"
"Because I covered the trap over with the big stones, and Monty helped me."
"Surely he didn't tell you to dreg the stones on to the trep?"
"Yes, he did, but not then. It was before, when Flower wanted to get up, and crawl away and tell, because he thought he was going to die."
"Was Flower down there with him?"
"Yes; that's why Monty and I put the big stones on the trap."
"Flower was hert, wesn't he, shot in the beck, I think?"
"Yes; he crawled in all the way on his hands and knees, and I helped his wife to tie him up, till the doctor came, the morning that I found Steevy."
"How do you know thet Stephen wes esleep?"
"He told me."
"Deminus Coristinus, mulier non est responsibilis pro suis ectionibus. Facit et credit omnia qua mendet enimel mertuus."
"Eheu domine!" replied the lawyer; "sic est vita dolorosa!"
Bridesdale was all lit up, and the front door was open to receive the soaked wayfarers, but no one could be induced to enter it. Mr. Terry asked Honoria to leave his dry suit and a pair of shoes at the kitchen, when he would take them to the carriage house, and change there. The lawyer and the detective had no dry suit, so Mrs. Carruthers brought them some of her husband's clothes, and two umbrellas, under which they carried their bundles, wrapped in bath towels, to the place the veteran had chosen. While the three drawing-room guests stripped, rubbed themselves down with the grateful towels, and put on their dry attire, the kitchen filled up with the humid and steaming Pilgrims, Rufus, the idiot boy, and his mother. Constable Rigby lodged his prisoner on some straw in an empty stall in the stable, and, producing a pair of handcuffs, which he had left there, secured him, fastening also a stall chain round one of his legs with a padlock. The constable was severe, but he had lost two prisoners the previous day, had been abused by Sylvanus Pilgrim, and was very wet and tired. To the credit of Sylvanus be it said, that he came out with Ben Toner's clothes, and lent them to his elderly rival, and actually carried the corporal's wet garments into the kitchens, there to hang with a large assortment of others, drying before the two stoves, in full blast for the purpose. The gum coats had fairly protected the clothes of Matilda and Monty, but their feet needed reclothing, and it took some time to dry their heads. Maguffin had taken off his wet things, and was asleep in the loft bed, keeping one ear open for the safekeeping of the colonel's horses. Tryphena and Tryphosa were both up; and into their hands Rufus consigned the dripping habiliments of their two admirers as well as his own, his fraternal relation allowing him to appear before the ladies of the kitchen in a long white garment with frills that had never been constructed for a man. "Guess it ain't the last time you'll have to dry them clothes, gals," said the sportive Rufus, skipping along in his frilled surplice, when Tryphena chased him out of the apartment with a sounding smack between the shoulders. Tryphena hesitated to send the mad woman into the room in which Serlizer was sleeping, not knowing the nature of their relations at the Select Encampment. Matilda, however, evidenced no intention of retiring, or feeling of drowsiness. She talked, with the brightness and cheerfulness of other days, and in a gentle, pleasant voice, but on strange wild themes that terrified the two young women. Monty looked at the fire and then at Tryphosa, saying: "I hain't a goin' to light no more fires no more." "Why?" asked Tryphosa, and the answer came, which revealed a genuine working of the intellect: "'Cos Sylvy says hit's wicked." His mother turned, and said: "Monty, you must not mind what Sylvanus says or anybody else; you must mind what he says."
The boy looked his mother full in the face, and replied in a very decided tone, "Hi'm blowed hif I do!"
In the forepart of the house, only the ladies were up. The doctor and the colonel, the captain and the Squire, slept the sleep of tired men with good consciences, and the wounded dominie was enjoying a beautiful succession of rose-coloured dreams, culminating in a service, at which a tall soldierly man in appropriate costume gave away into his hand that of a very elegant and accomplished lady, saying, as he did so, "Can I do less for the heroic saver of her uncle's life?" Mr. Terry's appearance, on entering to salute his daughter, exacted no remark. The lawyer looked somewhat bucolic, but highly respectable. But poor little Mr. Bangs was buried in clothing, and tripped on his overflowing trowser legs, as he vainly strove to put his right hand outside of its coatsleeve, for the purpose of shaking hands with the company. Mrs. Carmichael took pity on him, and turned back his cuffs, and, his hands being thus of use to him, he employed them to do the same with the skirts of his trousers. The usually polite veteran took Coristine to a corner of the room, and, between violent coughs of suppressed laughter, said: "Och, Misther Coristine, it's the dumb aguey I'll be havin' iv his clawthes is not droied soon. It's Bangs by name he is and bangs by natur'. Shure, this bangs Banagher, an' Banagher bangs the world." The young ladies had not yet entered the apartment, and the three night-watchers were busy relating to the three matrons the terrible events of the night. The lawyer was sitting with his back to the door, conversing with Mrs. Carruthers, when Miss Carmichael came tripping in, followed by Miss Du Plessis and Miss Halbert. The lawyer's hair was brown, and so was her uncle's. The coat was the Squire's, and the white collar above it. So she slipped softly up to the back of the chair, took the brown head between her hands, and administered a salute on the forehead, with the words: "Why, Uncle John!—," then suddenly turned and fled, amid the laughter of the veteran and his daughter, and the amused blushes and smiles of her mother. The other young ladies came forward and joined in the conversation, but Miss Carmichael did not show her face until the family was summoned for prayers. The colonel came down in his usual urbane smiling way, saying that he had taken the liberty of looking in upon his dear friend and prisoner, and was rejoiced to find that he had spent a good night. The captain could be heard descending the staircase, and telling somebody that he was becalmed again with a spell of foul weather. The somebody was the Squire, who insisted that thieves had been through his wardrobe, and then eagerly asked for news from the encampment. All were shocked beyond measure when they heard of the terrible tragedy. "I wished the man no good," said the Squire, with a regretful expression on his manly face, "but, if he had been ten times the deep dyed villain he was, I couldn't have dreamt of such an awful fate for him." The captain remarked that in the midst of life we are in death, that the ways of Providence are mysterious, and that where a man makes his bed he must lie down, all of which he considered to be good Scripture and appropriate to the occasion. "Yoah fohce met with no moah casualties, I hope, Captain Bangs? I do not see our fishing friend, Mr. Bigglethorpe; is he safe, suh?" These questions led to an account of the fisherman's heroic attempt to release the self-imprisoned occupants of the underground passage, of his wounds, and of the subsequent exploits of the lawyer and the detective. Coristine escaped upstairs to put himself in shape for breakfast, and to visit his wounded friend. He found that gentleman progressing very favourably, and perfectly satisfied with his accommodation.
After morning prayers, conducted by the Squire with unusual solemnity, the lawyer asked Miss Carmichael if she alone would not shake hands with him, making no allusion to any previous encounter. She complied, with a blush, and seemed pleased to infer that the Captain, above all, had not heard of her mistake. The two had no time for explanations, however, as, at the moment, Messrs. Errol and Perrowne, who had been told there was a fire out towards the Lake Settlement, came in to learn about it, and were compelled to sit down and add something substantial to their early cup of coffee. They reported the rain almost over, and the fire, so far as they could judge from the distance, the next thing to extinguished. Once more the trays were in requisition for the invalids, and again the colonel and Mr. Perrowne acted as aids to Miss Du Plessis and Miss Halbert. Just as soon as he could draw her attention away from the minister, Coristine remarked to Miss Carmichael: "I have the worst luck of any man; I never get sick or wounded or any other trouble that needs nursing." The young lady said in a peremptory manner, "Show me your hands;" and the lawyer had to exhibit two not very presentable paws. She turned them palms up, and shuddered at the scorched, blistered and scratched appearance of them. "Where are Mr. Errol's gloves I put on you?"
"In the pocket of my wet coat in the kitchen."
"Why did you dare to take them off when I put them on?"
"Because I was like the cat in the proverb, not that I was after mice you know, but I couldn't fire in gloves."
"Well, your firing is done now, and I shall expect you to come to me in the workroom, immediately after breakfast, to have these gloves put on again. Do you hear me, sir?"
"And what else? Do you mean to obey?"
"Oh, yes, Miss Carmichael, of course, always, with the greatest joy in the world."
"Nobody asked you, sir, to obey always."
"I beg your pardon, Miss Carmichael, I'm afraid I'm a little confused."
"Then I hope you will not put me to confusion, as you did this morning."
"I'm awfully sorry," said the mendacious lawyer, "but it was the coat and collar, you know." Then most illogically, he added, "I'd like to wear this coat and this collar all the time."
"No, you would not; they are not at all becoming to you. Oh, do look at poor Mr. Bangs!"
The detective's sleeves were turned back, thanks to Mrs. Carmichael, but, as he sat at breakfast, the voluminous coat sagged over his shoulder, and down came the eclipsing sleeve over his coffee cup. When he righted matters with his left hand, the coat slewed round to the other side, knocked his fork out of his hand, and fell with violence on his omelet. The Captain looked at him, and bawled: "I say, mate, you've got to have a reef took in your back topsel. You don't mind a bit of reef tackle in the back of your coat, do you, John?" The Squire did not object; so Miss Carmichael was despatched to the sewing room for two large pins, and she and the Captain between them pinched up the back of the coat longitudinally to the proper distance, and pinned the detective up a little more than was necessary.
"Whey," asked he of his nautical ally, "em I consistent es a cherecter in bowth phases of my berrowed cowt?"
"I know," chuckled the Captain; "'cause then you had too much slack on your pins, and now you've got too much pins in your slack, haw! haw!"
Coristine ventured, "Because then your hands were in your cuffies, but now your coffee's in your hand." This was hooted down as perfectly inadmissible, Miss Carmichael asking him how he dared to make such an exhibition of himself. Mr. Errol was wrestling with something like Toulouse and Toulon, but could not conquer it. Then the detective said: "If the ledies will be kind eneugh not to listen, I should enswer, Before I wes loose in my hebits, end now I em tight."
Of course the Captain applauded, but the lawyer's reprover remarked to him that she did not think that last at all a nice word. He agreed with her that it was abominable, that no language was strong enough to reprobate it, and then they left the table.
There was trouble in the kitchen. Timotheus and Maguffin had each a Sunday suit of clothes, which they had donned. Sylvanus and Rufus having special claims on Tryphena, she had put their wet garments in a favourable place, and, being quite dry, handed them in to her befrilled brother, early in the morning, through a half open doorway. The constable, attired in the garb presented to him by Sylvanus, having fastened his prisoner securely with a second stall chain, entered the house, and politely but stiffly wished the cook and housemaid "Good morning." Breakfast was ready, and then the trouble began. Ben had no clothes, and the boys enjoyed the joke. The company was again a large one, for Serlizer and Matilda Nagle were added to the feminine part of it, and the constable and the boy brought its male members up to six, exclusive of the prostrate Ben. Mr. Terry had temporarily deserted the kitchen. Mr. Toner's voice could be heard three doors off calling for Sylvanus, Timotheus, Rufus, Mr. Rigby and Mr. Maguffin. These people were all smilingly deaf, enjoying their hot breakfast. Then, in despair, he called Serlizer.
"What's the racket, Ben?"
"My close is sto-ul, Serlizer."
"They's some duds hangin' up here and in the back kitchen to dry. Praps yourn's there."
"No, Serlizer, myuns never got wayt. You don't think I was sech a blame fooul as to go out in that there raiun do you?"
"Didn't know but what yer might."
"Whey's them close, anyway?"
"I don't know nuthun 'bout yer clothes. Most men as ain't marrd looks after they own clothes."
"Is that you Ben?" asked the more refined voice of Tryphena, in a tone of surprise.
"Yaas, Trypheeny, that's jest who it is. Saay, ken you tayl me what's come o' my close?"
"They are here, Ben, close to the table;" whereupon all the company glanced at Mr. Rigby, and choked.
"Cayn't you take 'em off what they're on, and saynd one of the boys in with 'em, Trypheeny?"
The cook coloured up, and laughter could no longer be restrained. The constable laughed, and the contagion spread to Matilda and her boy.
"Dod rot it?" cried Mr. Toner, indignantly; "what are you fools and eejuts a screechin' and yellin' at? Gimme my close, or, s'haylp me, I'll come right out and bust some low down loafer's thinkin' mill."
"Now, be quiet, Ben," answered Tryphena, "and I will send Rufus in with your breakfast. You shall have your clothes when they are ready."
So, Rufus took in a plentiful breakfast to his friend Toner, who sat up in the big bed to enjoy it. "I'm powerful sorry for you, Ben," remarked the Baby. "You don't think Serlizer could ha' come in and taken your clothes out into the rain, do you?"
"Hev they been out in the rain, Rufus?"
"Why yes, didn't you know that much? If it hadn't been for the constable, they might ha' been out there yet. I'd say thank ye to him if I was you, Ben."
"Consterble Rigby!" shouted Toner.
"At your service, sir," replied the pensioner.
"I'm awful obligated to you, consterble, fer bringin' in my wayt close."
"Do not speak of it, sir," replied Mr. Rigby, with a large piece of toast apparently in his mouth; "I am proud to do you a service, sir."
Ben was a big man, and somewhat erratic in his ways, so the constable retired, and came back in his own garb, which he had carried out with him. "I think, Miss Hill," he said, "that Mr. Toner's clothes are now dry enough for him to wear them with safety. What do you think, Miss Newcome?"
"Guess we kin take them off now," answered Serlizer.
"Serlizer," growled Ben, "you're an old cat, a desprit spiteful chessacat, to go skylarkin' on yer own feller as never did yer no harm. Gerlong with yer!"
Rufus came in for the breakfast things, and deposited Ben's clothes on the bed. "It wasn't Serlizer, Ben, sure; If I was you I'd try the nigger. Them darkies are always up to tricks."
Mr. Toner got into his clothes, resolved to have it out with somebody, even if Rufus himself should prove to be the traitor. When, a few minutes later, Mr. Terry, smoking his morning pipe, foregathered with Ben in the stable yard, and asked him what he was after now, the answer he gave was: "Lookin' araound fer somebody to whayul!" to which the veteran replied: "Bin, my lad, it's aisy talkin'."
When the men were out of the kitchen, Mrs. Carruthers and her sister-in-law came in to see the mad woman and her boy. The boy they knew already, and had always been kind to, giving him toys and other little presents, as well as occasional food and shelter. They were much taken with the mother's quiet manners, and, having heard that she had been a milliner, invited her to join them in the workroom. But, when they unitedly arrived at the door of that apartment, they speedily retired to the parlour, and there engaged in conversation. Mrs. Du Plessis was upstairs, with the colonel to play propriety, sponging the dominie's face and hands, and brushing his hair, as if he were her own son. Every now and again Colonel Morton came up to the bedside, saying: "Be kind to him, my deah Tehesa, and remembeh that he saved the life of yoah poah sistah Cecilia's widowah." So the stately Spanish lady shook up the wounded man's pillows, while the colonel put his arm around him and held him up; and then, as he sank back again, she asked. "Are you strong enough to have Cecile come up and read to you?" Wilkinson, sly dog, as the Captain called him, said it was too much trouble to put Miss Du Plessis to; but his objections were overruled. Soon a beatific vision came once more on the scene, and Wordsworth was enthroned as the king of poets. Miss Halbert and Mr. Perrowne were in the garden, and the clergyman had a rose in his button hole which he had not plucked himself. If he had not been in holy orders, he would have thought Miss Fanny was awfully jolly. Then he said to himself, that holy orders don't hinder a man being a man, and Miss Fanny was, really was, awfully jolly, and boarding in the houses of uncultivated farmers was an awful bore. But this was nothing to what was going on in the studiously avoided work room. The lawyer's hands were being washed, because a voice from an arch-looking face said that he was a big baby, and didn't know how to wash himself. It was quite a big baby in size and aspect that was soaped and glycerined, and had some other stuff rubbed into his hands by other pretty hands, one of which wore the victim's ring. Corry felt that he could stand it, even to the putting on of the minister's gloves. When she had finished her work, the hospital nurse said, "that silly little Marjorie, angry because Cecile would not allow her to read fairy stories to Mr. Wilkinson, surrendered you to me."
"O Marjorie, my darlin', and would you throw your lovely self away on a poor, stupid, worthless thing like me?"
Miss Carmichael Snubs and Thinks—The Constable and the Prisoner—Matilda and the Doctor—The Children Botanize—Pressing Specimens—Nomenclature—The Colonel Makes a Discovery—Miss Carmichael Does Not Fancy Wilks—Mr. Newberry Takes Matilda—Mr. Pawkins Makes Mischief and is Punished—Rounds on Sylvanus—Preparations for Inquest
"Mr. Coristine, I never gave you permission to call me by my Christian name, much less to think that I accepted Marjorie's foolish little charge. I am sorry if I have led you to believe that I acted so bold, so shameless a part."
"Oh, Miss Carmichael, forgive me. I'm stupid, as I said, but, as the Bible has it, I'll try and keep a watch on the door of my lips in future. And you such an angel of mercy, too! Please, Miss Carmichael, pardon a blundering Irishman."
"Nonsense," she answered. "I have nothing to pardon; only, I did not want you to misunderstand me." The gloves were on, and she shook hands with him, and laughed a comical little insincere laugh in his face, and ran away to her own room to have a foolish little cry. She heard her friend Cecile reading poetry to the wounded Wilkinson, and, looking out of her window, saw Mr. Perrowne helping her uncle to lift the doctor's chair out into the garden, and her mother, freed from conversation with the madwoman, plucking a flower for Mr. Errol's coat. There, too, was a young man, his hands encased in black kid gloves, sitting down on a bench with Mr. Terry, and with difficulty filling a meerschaum pipe. She thought he had a quiet, disappointed look, like a man's whose warm, generous impulses have been checked, and she felt guilty. It was true they had not known one another long, but what was she, a teacher in a common school, that was what people called them, to put on airs before such a man as that? If it had been Mr. Wilkinson, now; but, no; she was afraid of Mr. Wilkinson, the distant, the irreproachable, the autocratic great Mogul. She looked down again, through the blinds of course. Marjorie Thomas was on the lawyer's knee, and Marjorie Carruthers on the veteran's. The Captain's daughter was combing Coristine's brown hair with her fingers, and pointing the ends of his moustache, much to the other Marjorie's amusement and the lawyer's evident satisfaction. Miss Carmichael inwardly called her cousin a saucy little minx, resenting her familiarities with a man who was, of course, nothing to her, in a way that startled herself. Why had he not saved somebody's life and been wounded, instead of that poetic fossil of a Wilkinson? But, no; it was better not, for, had he saved the colonel's life, Cecile would have been with him, and that she could not bear to think of. Then, she remembered what Corry had told her of the advertisement to the next of kin. Perhaps she would be wealthy yet, and more than his equal socially, and then she could condescend, as a great lady, and put a treasure in those poor gloved hands. Where would they all have been without these hands, all scarred and blistered to save them from death? Everybody was very unkind to little Marjorie's Eugene, and failed to recognize his claims upon their gratitude. Oh, that saucy little minx, with her grand assumptions of proprietorship, as if she owned him, forsooth!
Mr. Bangs called the justices to business. There was a prisoner to examine, and two charred masses of humanity for the coroner to sit upon. So a messenger was sent off to summon the long-suffering Johnson, Newberry, and Pawkins, for the coroner's inquest, and the doctor was carried back into the office for the examination of the prisoner, Mark Davis. The two Squires sat in appropriate chairs behind an official table, at one side of which Mr. Bangs took his seat as clerk. Constable Rigby produced his prisoner, loaded with fetters. "Has this man had his breakfast, Rigby?" asked the Squire. "Certainly not, Squire," replied the constable. "Then take him at once to the kitchen, take off these chains and handcuffs, and let him have all that he can eat," replied the J.P., sternly. The corporal's sense of rectitude was offended. The idea of feeding criminals and releasing them from irons! The next thing would be to present them with a medal and a clasp for each new offence against society. But, orders were orders, and, however iniquitous, had to be obeyed; so Davis was allowed to stretch his limbs, and partake of a bountiful, if somewhat late, morning meal. "To trespass upon your kindness, Miss Hill, with such as this," said the apologetic constable, pointing to his prisoner, "is no act of mine; Squire Carruthers, who, no doubt, thinks he knows best, has given orders that it has to be, and my duty is to carry out his orders to the letter." Breakfast seemed to infuse courage into the dissipated farmer. When it was over, he arose, and, without a note of warning, doubled up the stiff guardian of the peace, and made for the door, where he fell into the arms of the incoming Serlizer. She evidently thought that Mark Davis, smitten with her charms, was about to salute her, for, with the words "Scuse me!" and a double turn of her powerful wrists, she deposited the assailant upon the floor. Sadly, but officially, the constable crawled over and sat upon the prostrate form of the would-be fugitive from justice. The prisoner squirmed, and even struck the doubled-up corporal, but the entrance of Ben Toner put an end to that nonsense, so that, handcuffed and chained once more, the desperate villain was hauled into the presence of the magistrates. In dignified, but subordinate, language, Mr. Rigby related the prisoner's escapade, and, by implication, more than by actual statement, gave the J.P.s to understand that they knew nothing about the management of offenders against the law. They were, therefore, compelled to allow the handcuffs to remain, but summoned sufficient courage to insist on the removal of the stable chains.
"What is your name, prisoner?" asked Squire Carruthers.
"Samuel Wilson," answered the man.
"Oh! kem now," interposed Mr. Bangs, "thet's a lie, you know; yore name is Merk Devis, end yore a brether of Metthew Devis of the Peskiwenchow tevern, end you were Rawdon's right hend men. We know you, my led, so down't you try any alias games on us."
"Ef you know my name so mighty well, what do you want askin' for't?"
"To see if you can speak the truth," replied Carruthers.
"What other prisoners hev you got asides me?"
"That is none of your business," said the Squire.
"If I might be ellowed to seggest, Squire," whispered the detective, "I think I'd tell him. Whet do you sey?"
"Go on, Mr. Bangs."
"Well, my fine fellow, the Squire ellows me to sey thet the ethers are Newcome, the stowne ketters, and the women."
The name of Newcome disconcerted Mark, but he asked, "Whar's Rawdon and old Flower?"
"Didn't you see?" asked Mr. Bangs.
"I seen the fire all right, but they wasn't such blame fools as to stay there when there was a way out up atop."
"The epper wey wes clowsed," said the detective.
"Was they burned alive then?"
"Yes, they were berned to eshes."
"O Lord!" ejaculated the prisoner, and then, wildly: "What do you want along of me anyway?"
The magistrates and Mr. Bangs consulted, after which the doctor answered: "We want information from you on three points: first, as to the attempt of Rawdon's gang to burn this house; second, as to the murder of Detective Nash; and, third, as to the whole secret of Rawdon's business at the Select Encampment. You are not bound to incriminate yourself, as every word of this preliminary examination may be used against you, but, on the other hand, if you make a clean breast of what you know on these questions, your confession will go a long way in your favour with judge and jury."
"Suppose'n I don't confess not a syllabub?"
"Then, we shall commit you, all the same, to the County Gaol, to stand your trial at the assizes."
"That's all right, I'll stand my durned trile. You don't get nawthin out'n me, you misable, interferin', ornary, bushwhackin' jedges!"
"Don't strike him, Rigby!" commanded Carruthers; for the constable, shocked and outraged by such indecorous language in a court of justice, was about to club his man. Then he added: "The colonel's servant, Maguffin, is going to town on business, and will drive you so far, and help to guard your prisoner. You can tie him up as tight as you like, without being cruel or doing him an injury. We shall have to do without you at the inquest."
Accordingly, while Mr. Maguffin brought round a suitable vehicle, and received his commissions from the colonel, the commitment papers were made out, and Constable Rigby securely fastened the worst criminal that had ever come into his hands. The said criminal did a little hard swearing, which called the long unused baton into active service. Davis was quiet and sullen when the buggy, under the pensioner's command, wheeled away in search of connections for the County Gaol.
The two bodies were still lying in their shells, with ice about them, in the unfinished annex of the post office. It was, therefore, decided to hold the new inquest in the Bridesdale coach house, as also more convenient for the doctor, whose sprain might have been aggravated by driving. While Ben Toner was sent with a waggon to the Richards, to bring the ghastly remains snatched from the flames out of the punt, and to convey three members of that family to the coroner's jury, Mr. Bangs explained to Doctor Halbert his and the lawyer's thought regarding Matilda Nagle. The doctor consented, and the detective went to find the patient, who was busy and cheerful in the sewing room with Mrs. Carruthers. He told her that she was not looking well, and had better come with him to see the doctor; but, with all the cunning of insanity, she refused to go. He had to go after Coristine in the garden, and take him away from Marjorie. With the lawyer she went at once, identifying him, as she did not the detective, with her brother Stevy. Mechanically, she sat down by the kind doctor's chair, and seemed to recognize him, although he did not remember her. After a few enquiries as to her health, he took one of her hands in his, and, with the other, made passes over her face, until she fell into the mesmeric sleep. "Your husband, Mr. Rawdon, is dead," he said; "you remember that he died by his own hand, and left you free." The woman gave a start, and seemed to listen more intently. "You will kill nobody, hurt nobody, not even a fly," he continued. "Do you remember?" Another start of comprehension was made, but nothing more; so he went on: "You will read your Bible and go to church on Sundays, and take care of your boy, and be just the same to everybody as you were in the old days." Then, with a few counter passes, he released her hand, and the poor woman told him all that he had enjoined upon her, as if they were the resolutions of her own will. She was not sane, but she was free from the vile slavery in which her inhuman keeper had held her. Moreover, she understood perfectly that Rawdon was dead, yet without manifesting either joy or grief in the knowledge. The lawyer led her back to the workroom, where she confided her new state of mind to Mrs. Carruthers, greatly to that tender-hearted lady's delight. The doctor did not think it necessary to practise his art upon the lad Monty, in whom the power of Rawdon's will was already broken, and upon whom his changed mother would, doubtless, exert a salutary influence.
Coristine had nothing to do, and almost dreaded meeting Miss Carmichael, which he probably would do if he remained about the house and grounds. Therefore he got out the improvised vasculum, and invited Marjorie and the older Carruthers children to come with him down to the brook to look for wild flowers. This met with the full approval of the young people, and they prepared at once for the botanizing party. The Captain saw Marjorie putting on her broad-brimmed straw hat, and enquired where she was going. She answered that she was going buttonizing with Eugene, and he said that he guessed he would button too, whatever that was. A very merry little group frisked about the steps of the two seniors, one of whom was explaining to the older, nautical party that he was on the hunt for wild flowers.
"Is it yarbs you're after?" asked the Captain.
"Well, not exactly, although I want to get a specimen of every kind of plant."
"You don't want to make medicine of 'em, Mandrake, Snakeroot, Wild Sassyperilly, Ginsing, Bearberry, Gentian, Cohosh and all that sort o' stuff, eh?"
"No; I want to find out their names, dry and mount them, and classify them according to their kinds."
"What good are they agoin' to do you?"
"They will help me to know Nature better and to admire God's works and His plan."
"Keep on there, mate, fair sailin' and a good wind to you. No pay in it, though?"
"Not a cent in money, but lots of pleasure and health."
"Like collectin' post stamps and old pennies, and butterflies, and bugs."
"Something, but you see scenery and get healthy exercise, which you don't in stamp and coin collecting, and you inflict no suffering, as you do in entomologizing."
"I can tell trees when they're a growin' and timber when its cut, but I don't know the name of one flower from another, except it's garden ones and common at that. Hullo, little puss, what have you got there?"
Marjorie, who had run on in advance and was not by any means ignorant of the flora of the neighbourhood, had secured three specimens, a late Valerian, an early spotted Touch-me-not, and a little bunch of Blue-eyed-grass. Coristine took them from her with thanks, told her their names and stowed them away in his candle box. The zeal to discover and add to the collection grew upon all the party, the Captain included. Near the water, where the Valerian and the Touch-me-not grew, Marjorie Carruthers found the Snake-head, with its large white flowers on a spike. Another little Carruthers brought to the botanist the purple Monkey flower, but the Captain excelled his youthful nephew by adding to the collection the rarer and smaller yellow one. Then the lawyer himself discovered another yellow flower, the Gratiola or Hedge Hyssop, at the moment when Marjorie rejoiced in the modest little Speedwell. Once more, the Captain distinguished himself by finding in the grass the yellow Wood-Sorrel, with its Shamrock leaves, which, when Marjorie saw, she seemed to recognize in part. Then, crossing the stepping stones of the brook, she ran, far up the hill on the other side, to a patch of shady bush, from which she soon returned victorious, with a bunch of the larger Wood-Sorrel in her hand, to exhibit the identity of its leaves, and its delicate white blossoms with their pinky-purple veins. By the time the other juveniles brought in the blue Vervain, pink Fireweed and tall yellow Mullein, the botanist thought it about time to go home and press his specimens.
Miss Carmichael met the scientists at the door, looking, of course, for the children and Uncle Thomas, who was never called by his Christian name, Ezekiel. Learning the nature of the work in hand, she volunteered the use of the breakfast-room table. The lawyer brought down his strap press, and, carefully placing oiled paper between the dried specimens and the semi-porous sheets that were to receive the new ones, proceeded to lay them out. The new specimens had all to be examined by the addition to the botanical party, their botanical and vulgar names to be recited to her, and, then, the arranging began. This was too monotonous work for the Captain, who carried the children off for a romp on the verandah. Marjorie stayed for a minute or so after they were gone, and then remembered that she had not given papa his morning button-hole. Coristine was clumsy with the flowers, owing to the gloves he said, so Miss Carmichael had to spread them out on the paper under his direction, and hold them in their place, while he carefully and gradually pressed another sheet over them. Of course his fingers could not help coming into contact with hers. "Confound those gloves!" he thought aloud.
"Mr. Coristine, if you are going to use such language, and to speak so ungratefully of Mr. Errol's gloves, which I put on your hands, I shall have to leave you to put up your specimens the best way you can."
"O Miss Carmichael, now, please let me off this once, and I'll never do it again. You know it's so hard working in gloves. Understand me as saying that botanically, in a Pickwickian sense as it were, and not really at all."
"You must not say that, either botanically or any other way."
"To hear the faintest whisper of your slightest command is to obey."
It was delicate work arranging these little Speedwells, and Gratiolas, the Wood-Sorrels, and the smaller Monkey-flower. Hands had to follow very close on one another, and heads to be bent to examine, and sometimes there was just a little brush of brown and golden hair that, strange to say, sent responsive tingles along the nerves, and warm flushes to cheek and brow. What a hopeless idiot he was not to have foreseen the possibility of this, and to have brought home twice the number of specimens! Alas! they were all in the press. But, a happy thought struck him: would Miss Carmichael care to look at the dried ones, some of which had kept their colour very well? Yes, she had a few minutes to spare. So, he brought chairs up to the table, and they sat down, side by side, and he told her all about the flowers and how he got them, and the poetry Wilks and he quoted over them. Then the specimens had to be critically examined, so as to let Miss Carmichael learn the distinctive characteristics of the various orders, and this brought the heads close together again, when suddenly their owners were started by the unexpected clang of the dinner gong. "Thank you so much, Mr. Coristine," said the lady, frankly; "you have given me a very pleasant half hour." The lawyer bowed his acknowledgment, but said, beneath his moustache: "Half an hour is it? I thought it was a lifetime rolled up in two minutes, no, one."
What did those deceitful men, Errol and Perrowne, mean, by saying they had to go away to get up their Wednesday evening talk, and to visit their parishioners? There they were, in their old places at the table, Mr. Errol at Mrs. Carmichael's right, and apparently on the best of terms with her, and Mr. Perrowne dancing attendance upon Miss Halbert and her invalid father. Mrs. Du Plessis thought she would take up Mr. Wilkinson's dinner with the colonel's help, as Cecile had been reading to him so long. Accordingly, the Captain talked to that young lady, while Mr. Bangs monopolized Mrs. Carruthers. There was a little commotion, when Mr. Bigglethorpe walked in, and received the sympathetic expressions of the company over his singed face and scorched hands. In spite of these, the sufferer had been up early fishing, just after the rain. Fortunately, he continued, there was no cleared land about the lakes, hence there were very few grasshoppers washed in by the heavy downpour. Had there been, he wouldn't have got a fish. But he had got fish, a big string of them, in splendid condition. He had left some with his kind entertainers, the Richards, but had plenty remaining, which he had left in the kitchen in care of the young woman with the unpronounceable Scripture name. "Now," said the fisherman, "a nime is a very important thing to a man or a woman. Why do people give their children such awful names? Bigglethorpe is Dinish, they say, but Felix Isidore is as Latin as can be. They called me 'fib' at school."
"'Tis the hoighth av impartance to have a good name, say Oi," added Mr. Terry. "Moy fayther, glory be to his sowl, put a shaint's name an me, an' I put her own mother's name, the Howly Vargin rist her, on Honoria here. 'An', savin' all yer prisinces, there's no foiner Scripcher name than John; how's that, Squoire?"
"It suits me well enough, grandfather," replied Carruthers. The Captain was feeling uneasy. He didn't want Ezekiel to come out, so he asked Miss Du Plessis how her young man was. Such a question would have either roused Miss Carmichael to indignation or have overwhelmed her with confusion, but Miss Du Plessis, calm and unruffled, replied: "I suppose you mean Mr. Wilkinson, Captain Thomas. He has been very much shaken by his wound, but is doing remarkably well."
"Fwhat's Mishter Wilkison's name, Miss Ceshile, iv it's a fair quishtyon to ax at yeez?"
"It is Farquhar, is it not, Mr. Coristine?"
Mr. Coristine said it was, and that it was his mother's maiden name. She was a Scotchwoman, he had heard, and a very lovely character. The colonel had just returned from his ministrations. "Did I heah you cohhectly, Mr. Cohistine, when I thought you said that ouah deah young wounded friend's mothah's name was Fahquhah, suh?"
"You did, Colonel Morton."
"And of Scottish pahentage?"
"Do you know if any of her relatives were engaged in the Civil Wahah, our civil wahah?"
"I believe her brother Roderic ran the blockade, and fought for the South, where he fell, in a cavalry regiment."
"Be pleased, suh, to say that again. Rodehic Fahquhah, do you say?"
"His full name, I have seen it among Wilkinson's papers, was Roderic Macdonald Farquhar."
"Tehesa, my deah," said the colonel, his voice and manner full of emotion, as he turned towards his sister-in-law, "you have heard me mention my bosom friend, Captain Fahquhah?"
"Yes, indeed, many times," replied the lady addressed.
"And ouah deah boy upstairs, the pehsehveh of my pooah life, is his nephew, his sistah's son. I was suah there was something drawing me to him. I shall make that brave boy my heih, my pooah deah comhade Fahquhah's nephew. What a fohtunate discovehy. Kindly excuse me, madam, and you my deah ladies, and you Squiah; I must go and tell my deah boy." So the colonel bowed to Mrs. Carruthers, and went out, with his handkerchief up to his face.
After the colonel left the table, the Captain looked over at his niece, saying: "Too late, Marjorie, my lass, too late! Didn't play your cards right, so you're cut out. Shifted his sheet anchor to the t'other bow, Marjorie."
Miss Carmichael was annoyed with good reason, and, in order to put a stop to such uncalled for and vulgar remarks, said, playfully, but with a spice of malice: "Take care, Uncle Thomas, or, as that funny theological student said to the people who were talking in church, 'I'll call out your name before the haill congregation.'" This terrible threat caused Ezekiel to subside, and carry on a less personal conversation with Miss Du Plessis. Then Mr. Terry came to the fore again.
"My little grandchilders' coushin, Mishter Coristine, do be sayin' yer name is Eujane, an' that's Frinch, isn't it?"
"Yes," replied the lawyer; "my mother was of Huguenot descent, and her name was Du Moulin. Some say that the Irish Mullens were once Du Moulins. That I don't know, but I'm not like the man-servant who applied for a situation, saying: 'Me name is Murphy, sorr, but me family came from France.' Coristine, I think, is good Irish."
The name craze spread over the whole table. Miss Halbert thought Basil a lovely name. It was Greek, wasn't it, and meant a king? Mr. Perrowne thought that the sweetest name in the world was Frances or Fanny. Mr. Errol affected Marjorie, and Mrs. Carmichael knew nothing superior to Hugh.
"What made you so savage with the Captain for coupling your name with Wilks?" asked the lawyer in an undertone.
"Because he is the last man in the world I should want my name to be coupled with."
"Oh, but that's hard on Wilks; he's a glorious fellow when you get to know his little ways."
"I don't want to know Mr. Wilkinson's little ways. I am sorry for his wound, but otherwise I have not the remotest sympathy with him. He strikes me as a selfish, conceited man."
"Not a kinder soul breathing, Miss Carmichael."
"Yes, there is."
"Miss Carmichael, you make me the proudest man in the world, but I'm not fit to black Wilks' boots."
"Well, I will not be so rude as to say I think you are. But, never talk that way to me again, if you want me to like you. I will not have you demeaning yourself, even in speech, before Cecile's friend. Now, remember, not a word!"
The test was a severe one between loyalty to his old friend and devoted obedience to the girl he loved. As all the memories of past friendship came before him, he was inclined to be obdurate. Then, he looked at the golden hair which had brushed his awhile ago, and, as the head straightened up, at the pretty petulant lips and the blue eyes, lustrous with just a moist suspicion of vexation and feeling, and he wavered. He was lost, and was glad to be lost, as he whispered: "May I say it?"
"Yes; speak out, like a man, what you have to say."
"It's a bargain, Marjorie; never again!"
Somehow his right hand met her left, and she did not snatch it away too quickly. Then he said: "You won't hate poor Wilks, my old friend, Marjorie?"
She answered "No," and turned her face away to ask some trivial question of the Squire, who knew a good deal more than he saw any necessity for telling.
The kitchen party still kept up its numbers. True, the absence of the constable and Maguffin left two serious blanks in the diversified talk of the table, but the place of these gentlemen was taken by no fewer than six persons, the three Richards and the three jurors, so that the dinner party numbered fifteen, of whom four were women. Old whitehaired Mr. Newberry, with the large rosy face, smooth, save for two little white patches of side-whiskers, took possession of Matilda Nagle, and rejoiced in her kindly ways and simple talk. He was a Methodist, and a class-leader and local preacher, but a man against whom no tongue of scandal wagged, and whose genuine piety and kindness of heart were so manifest that nobody dreamt of holding up to ridicule his oft homely utterances in the pulpit. If he could do good to the poor demented woman and her afflicted boy, he would, and he knew that his little quaker-bonneted wife would second him in such an effort. So he tried to gain her confidence and the boy's, and, after a while, found that Matilda would like to help Mrs. Newberry in her household duties, and have Monty learn useful work on the farm. When informed by the fatherly juror, in answer to her own questions, that she would not be expected to hurt a fly, and would be allowed to go to church, read her Bible and take care of her boy, she expressed her readiness to go away with him at once. Mr. Newberry felt a few qualms of conscience in connection with fly killing, but, having made an express stipulation that mosquitos and black flies should not be included in the bond, he became easier in mind, and said that, with Mrs. Carruthers and the Squire's permission, he would drive her home in the afternoon. Mr. Johnson and the elder Richards discussed local politics, and the tragedy calling for the inquest; but Mr. Pawkins attached himself to the boys, and consequently to the girls. This gentleman had brought his six feet of bone and muscle, topped with a humorous face, from which depended a Lincoln beard, from the States, and was now, for many years, as he said, "a nettrelized citizen of Kennidy." This disappointment at the absence of the constable was something pitiful, he did so want "to yank and rile the old Britisher." Still, that was not going to deprive him of his innocent amusement. He looked around the company and sized it up, deciding that he would leave the old folks alone, and mercifully add to them the crazy people; this still left him a constituency of nine, with large possibilities for fun.
"Rufus," remarked Mr. Pawkins, "I seen your gal, Christy Hislop, along o' that spry sot up coon, Barney Sullivan, daown at the mill. He's a cuttin' you aout for sutten, yes sirree, you see if he ain't."
"What's the use of your nonsense, Mr Pawkins? Barney went home along o' fayther and old man Hislop, and I guess he turned in to say we was all right."
"If Andrew knowed you'd called him old man Hislop, he'd fire you aout o' the back door mighty suddent. When I see a spry, set up, young feller and a likely heifer of a gal a saunterin' through the bush, sort o' poetical like, daown to the mill, it don't take me two shakes to know that suthin's up. You're a poor, rejected, cast off, cut aout strip o' factory cotton."
"What do you mean, Mr. Pawkins?"
"I mean overalls, and it's all over with you, Rufus." Having planted this well-meant thorn in the breast of the younger Hill, and excited the commiseration of his sisters, the lover of innocent amusement turned to Ben, and asked that gentleman, whose attentions to Serlizer were most open and above board, "sence when he got another gal?"
Mr. Toner turned angrily, and asked what Mr. Pawkins was "a givin' him."
"I never see Bridget naow but she's a cryin' and rubbin' her eyes most aout with her cuffs," said the cheerful Pawkins; "she allaowed to me you'd the nighest thing to said the priest was ony waitin' for the word to splice; and here you air, you biggermus delooder, settin' along o' Newcome's gal as if you'd got a mortgage on her. Arter that, the sight ain't to be sawed that'll make me ashamed o' my feller-creeters, no sirree, boss, hull team to boot, and a big dog under the waggin!" Mr. Pawkins sniffed vehemently, and Ben and his affianced bride blushed and drew apart.
"Is that so, Ben?" asked Sarah Eliza in a half whisper.
"S'haylp me, Serlizer," replied the injured Toner in a similar voice, "that there Pawkins is the cussidest, lyinest old puke of a trouble-makin' Yankee as aiver come to Cannidy."
"Are you engaged to Biddy Sullivan, Ben?"
"No, I tell you, naiver said a word to Barney's sister I wouldn't say to any gal."
"Then, what did Barney come here lookin' for you for?"
"So did the tavern keeper and the store keeper, 'cause mother axed 'em, I suppose; you don't think they want me to marry their wives, do you?"
"Wives an' darters is different things, Ben. Ef I'd thought you had been havin' goins on with Biddy, I'd flog the pair of you."
"S'haylp me, Serlizer, it ain't so. Ef it was, you could whayull me till I was stripy as a chipmunk."
"Talkin' abaout whalins," remarked the mischief-maker, who kept one ear open, "Miss Newcome's paa is jest a waitin' to git up and git araound, to give somebody, as ain't fer off'n this table, the blamedest, kerfoundedest lammin' as ever he knowed. He wants his gal home right straight for to nuss him, so's he kin git araound smart with that rawhide that's singein' its ends off in the oven."
"What's dad got agin you, Ben?" enquired Miss Newcome.
"Oh nawthin'; it's only that Pawkins' double-treed, snaffle-bitted, collar-bladed jaw." Mr. Pawkins smiled, but Ben and Serlizer were more uncomfortable than Rufus and his sisters.
The naturalized Canadian turned his attention else where. "I'm kinder amazed," he remarked, eyeing first Sylvanus and then Timotheus, "to see you two a settin' here, as cam as if you never done nothin' to be sorry for. I s'pose you know, if you don't you had orter, that there's a war'nt aout agin the two Pilgrims for stealin' aout o' the Peskiwanchow tavern, or ho-tel, as Davis calls his haouse. I calclate the constable 'll be back with that war'nt afore night. I'd make myself skeerce if I was in your shoes."
"O Sylvanus!" ejaculated Tryphosa.
"O Timotheus!" added Tryphosa.
"It's a lie!" cried Rufus; "it's a mill dam, boom jam, coffer-dam lie, and I won't believe a word of it."
"Fact all the same," said Mr. Pawkins, calmly, "they air guilty, the two on 'em, of stealin' aout o' the Peskiwanchow ho-tel."
"What did they steal out?" asked the Richards boys.
"Clothes, I guess, boots, some money, books, I don't know all what, and it don't consarn me any; but them boys had best look spry and git aout o' this." With these words, the gentleman of American extraction finished his last piece of pie.
Sylvanus rose cheerfully. He was so radiant over it that Tryphena thought him really handsome. He whispered to Rufus and to Ben; then remarked to Timotheus that he had perhaps better remain, in case the Squire should send for him. Next, he turned to Mr. Pawkins, and said: "A man mought as well be hung fer a sheep as fer a lamb, Mr. Pawkins, and sence they's a warn't out to 'raist me and Timotheus, we ain't a goin' to put the law to no more trouble 'bout a new one. Ef you'll come outside, I'll show you some o' them things we stoled out'n the Peskiwanchow tav." So Sylvanus took the accuser of the brethren by one arm, and Rufus linked his lovingly in the other, while Ben, with a glance of intelligence at Serlizer, and another at his top boots, followed. Mr. Pawkins, confident in his smartness and in the ignorance of the simple-minded Canucks, went quietly with the courteous criminal and his cut-out friend, till, passing the stables, they led him through a broad gate into the meadow. Then he hesitated.
"The stoled things, leastways some on 'em, 'll be at the foot o' this yere slope soon's we will; so hurry, old man!" said Sylvanus. Mr. Pawkins demurred. "Look here, boys," he said, "a joke's a joke, ain't it? D'ye see, you did, the pair on you, steal aout of the hotel. I didn't go to say you took anythin' as didn't belong to you. I reckon your brother had clothes, and money, and books thar, and so, you and him took 'em aout. Lem me go, boys!"
Sylvanus and Rufus were obdurate. "Boost him, Ben," cried the former: "we ain't no time ter spend foolin' with the likes o' him."
Mr. Toner raised his boot and said, "One fer Serlizer!" which made the joker proceed. He had several other ones, before he was run down to the creek—for Timotheus and Tryphena, and Tryphosa, and Christie Hislop, and Barney and Biddy Sullivan, and old man Newcome. Ben's boot did capital service. With difficulty the executioners found a hole in the creek about two and a-half feet deep, in which, at full length and with great gravity, they deposited the exile from the States. Then, they guessed the Squire, or the Captain, or somebody, would be wanting them, and skipped lightly back to the house. They knew Mr. Pawkins would follow, since he was the last man in the settlement to miss his juror's fee of one dollar. After their return, there was a good deal of merriment in the kitchen, and the two Richards boys roundly upbraided the elder Pilgrim for depriving them of a share in the fun. "He baygged an' prayed for massy," said Mr. Toner, with a grim smile, "but we was the most onmassifullest craowd you ever see."
Timotheus, still in Sunday garb, took his work-a-day suit, now quite dry, and went to meet Mr. Pawkins. Introducing him to the stable, he soon had that gentleman relieved of his wet toggery, when voices were heard without. It was the colonel, bringing his sister-in-law to see his horse, as a sort of relief to the strain on his feelings, consequent upon his interview with Wilkinson. Mr. Pawkins had only got Timotheus' flannel shirt on, when the stable door opened. "Shin up that ladder into the loft, Mr. Pawkins," cried the benevolent Pilgrim, and the spectacle of a pair of disappearing shanks greeted the visitors on their entrance. Timotheus had escaped into the coach-house, but all the clothes, wet and dry, save the shirt, lay over the sides of an empty stall. Immediately the colonel perceived the vanishing heels of the Yankee, he interposed his person between them and Mrs. Du Plessis. "My deah Tehesa," he said, hastily, "I think we had bettah retiah foh the pehsent, and visit the stables lateh in the day." Mrs. Du Plessis, however, once no mean judge of horseflesh, was scanning the good points of her brother-in-law's purchase, and seemed indisposed to withdraw. Soon a head and a pair of flannel shirted arms appeared, hanging over the loft trap, and a voice hailed the colonel.
"Say, mister, you ain't a goin' to bring no wimmen folks up this here ladder, be you?"
"Cehtainly not, suh!" answered the colonel, with emphasis.
"If it won't hurt you, I wisht you'd sling up them dry paants and things daown there."
The colonel looked at the man, and then at the articles, with impatience. Then he got a pitchfork, on the prongs of which he collected the garments, one by one, and so handed them up to Mr. Pawkins, who was still minus necktie, socks and boots. Before, however, he was ready for these, the visitors had retired, leaving him to complete his toilet in private. Hearing steps again, he hurriedly picked up his wet clothes and re-ascended the ladder. The colonel had evidently asked Sylvanus to take the place of Maguffin about the two horses, for he was the newcomer. Now, Mr. Pawkins bore no malice, but, when jokes were going, he did not like to be left the chief victim. He had had some fun out of the boys; now he would have some more. The Yankee could mew to perfection. He began, and Sylvanus called the strange cat. It would not come, so he climbed the ladder after it, and had almost reached the top, when, with vicious cries, the animal flew at him, seized him by the back of the neck, and drew blood that he could feel trickling down his back. Tugging ineffectually at the beast, he ran out to the kitchen, calling upon everybody to take off that mad cat that was killing him. The cat was taken off, amid shrieks of laughter, and proved to be Mr. Pawkins' rolled up wet trousers and vest, the water from which was the blood imagined by Sylvanus. The owner of the garments entered immediately behind his victim, and from his banter the elder Pilgrim gladly escaped to resume his stable duties, feeling that he had been demeaned in the eyes of the laughing Tryphena.
Timotheus and Ben were busy cleaning out the coach house, putting tables and seats into it, and generally preparing for the inquest. Mr. Bangs, at the coroner's request, empanelled the jury, consisting of the Squire, the captain, and the two clergymen, the three Richards, the three cited jurors, with old Styles from the post office, and Ben Toner. The charred masses of humanity, pervaded by a sickening smell of spirits, were taken from the waggon, and placed in rough board shells, decently covered over with white cloths. The woman called Flower was brought from the post office, and kept in custody, till she gave her evidence; and Bangs himself, with Messrs. Terry, Coristine, and Bigglethorpe, Sylvanus, Rufus, and Timotheus were cited as witnesses. Some evidence was also expected from Matilda and her son. When the coach house doors were thrown open, all hilarity ceased—even the children seemed to realize that something very solemn was going on. A weight of trouble and danger was lifted off many hearts by the terrible tragedy, yet in no soul was there the least feeling of exultation. The fate of the victims was too awful, too sudden for anyone to feel aught but horror at the thought of it, and deep sorrow for one at least who had perished in his sins. The light-hearted lawyer took one look at the remains of him, whom, within the past few days, he had seen so often in the full enjoyment of life and health, and resolved that never again, in prose or verse, would he speak of the person, whose crimes and cunning had returned so avengingly upon his own head, as the Grinstun man. Mr. Pawkins joked no more, for, with all his playful untruthfulness, he had a feeling heart. The most unconcerned man outwardly was Mr. Bangs, and even he said that he would willingly have given a hundred dollars to see his prisoner safely in gaol with the chaplain, and afterwards decently hanged. The doctor was carefully carried out, and set in the presiding chair as coroner over the third inquest within two days.