Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Lost Lenore - The Adventures of a Rolling Stone
Author: Beach, Charles A.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lost Lenore - The Adventures of a Rolling Stone" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Lost Lenore
The Adventures of a Rolling Stone
By Charles Beach, edited Mayne Reid
Published by Charles J. Skeet, 10 King William Street, London.
This edition dated 1864.

Volume One, Chapter I.

FAMILY AFFAIRS.

The first important event of my life transpired on the 22nd May, 1831.
On that day I was born.

Six weeks after, another event occurred which no doubt exerted an
influence over my destiny: I was christened Rowland Stone.

From what I have read of ancient history--principally as given by the
Jews--I have reason to think, that I am descended from an old and
illustrious family.  No one can refute the evidence I have for believing
that some of my ancestors were in existence many hundred years ago.

The simple fact that I am in existence now is sufficient proof that my
family is of a descent, ancient and noble, as that of any other on
earth.

Perhaps there is no family, in its wanderings and struggles towards
remotest posterity, that has not experienced every vicissitude of
fortune; sometimes standing in the ranks of the great; and in the lapse
of ages descending to the lower strata of the social scale, and there
becoming historically lost.

I have not yet found it recorded, that any individual of the family to
which I belong ever held a very high position--not, in fact, since one
of them named Noah constructed a peculiar kind of sailing craft, of
which he was full owner, and captain.

It was my misfortune to be brought into existence at a period of the
world's history, when my father would be thought by many to be a man in
"humble circumstances of life."  He used to earn an honest living by
hard work.

He was a saddle and harness-maker in an obscure street in the city of
Dublin, and his name was William Stone.

When memory dwells on my father, pride swells up in my soul: for he was
an honest, temperate, and industrious man, and was very kind to my
mother and his children.  I should be an unworthy son, not to feel pride
at the remembrance of such a father!

There was nothing very remarkable in the character of my mother.  I used
to think different once, but that was before I had arrived at the age of
reason.  I used to think that she delighted to thwart my childish
inclinations--more than was necessary for her own happiness or mine.
But this was probably a fault of my wayward fancy.  I am willing to
think so now.

I was a little wilful, and no doubt caused her much trouble.  I am
inclined to believe, now that she treated me kindly enough--perhaps
better than I deserved.

I remember, that, up to the time I was eight years of age, it was the
work of two women to put a clean shirt on my back, and the operation was
never performed by them without a long and violent struggle.  This
remembrance, along with several others of a like nature, produces upon
me the impression, that my parents must have humoured my whims--too
much, either for my good or their own.

When I was yet very young, they thought that I was distinguished from
other children by a _penchant_ for suddenly and secretly absenting
myself from those, whose duty it was to be acquainted with my
whereabouts.  I often ran away from home to find playmates; and ran away
from school to avoid the trouble of learning my lessons.  At this time
of life, so strong was my propensity for escaping from any scene I did
not like, and betaking myself to such as I deemed more congenial to my
tastes, that I obtained the soubriquet of _The Rolling Stone_.

Whenever I would be missing from home, the inquiry would be made, "Where
is that Rolling Stone?" and this inquiry being often put in the school I
attended, the phrase was also applied to me there.  In short it became
my "nickname."

Perhaps I was a little vain of the appellation: for I certainly did not
try to win another, but, on the contrary, did much to convince
everybody, that the title thus extended to me was perfectly appropriate.

My father's family consisted of my parents, a brother, one year and a
half younger than myself, and a sister, about two years younger still.

We were not an unhappy family.  The little domestic cares, such as all
must share, only strengthened the desire for existence--in order that
they might be overcome.

My father was a man without many friends, and with fewer enemies, for he
was a person who attended to his own business, and said but little to
any one.  He had a talent for silence; and had the good sense not to
neglect the exercise of it--as many do the best gifts Nature has
bestowed upon them.

He died when I was about thirteen years old; and, as soon as he was gone
from us, sorrow and misfortune began for the first time to show
themselves in our house.

There are many families to whom the loss of a parent may be no great
calamity; but ours was not one of them; and, young as I was at the time,
I had the sense to know that thenceforward I should have to war with the
world alone.  I had no confidence in my mother's ability to provide for
her children, and saw that, by the death of my father, I was at once
elevated from the condition of a child to that of a man.

After his decease, the work in the shop was carried on by a young man
named Leary--a journeyman saddler, who had worked with my father for
more than a year previous to his death.

I was taken from school, and put to work with Mr Leary who undertook to
instruct me in the trade of a harness-maker.  I may say that the man
displayed considerable patience in trying to teach me.

He also assisted my mother with his counsel--which seemed guided by a
genuine regard for our interests.  He managed the business in the shop,
in what appeared to be the best manner possible; and the profits of his
labour were punctually handed over to my mother.

For several weeks after my father's death, everything was conducted in a
manner much more pleasant than we had any reason to expect; and the loss
we had sustained seemed not so serious to our future existence, as I had
at first anticipated.

All of our acquaintances thought we were exceedingly fortunate in having
such a person as Mr Leary, to assist us in carrying on the business.
Most of the neighbours used to speak of him in the highest terms of
praise; and many times have I heard my mother affirm that she knew not
what would become of us, if deprived of his assistance.

Up to this time Mr Leary had uniformly treated me with kindness.  I
knew of no cause for disliking him; and yet I did!

My conscience often rebuked me with this unexplained antipathy, for I
believed it to be wrong; but for all that, I could not help it.  I did
not even like his appearance; but, on the contrary, thought him the most
hideous person I had ever beheld.  Other people had a different opinion;
and I tried to believe that I was guided by prejudice in forming my
judgment of him.  I knew he was not to blame for his personal
appearance, nor for any other of my fancies; but none of these
considerations could prevent me from hating Matthew Leary, and in truth
I _did_ hate him.

I could not conceal my dislike--even from him; and I will do him the
justice to state that he appeared to strive hard to overcome it with
kindness.  All his efforts to accomplish this were in vain; and only
resulted in increasing my antipathy.

Time passed.  Mr Leary daily acquired a greater control of the affairs
of our family; and in proportion as his influence over my mother
increased, so did my hostility towards him.

My mother strove to conquer it, by reminding me of his kindness to all
the family--the interest he took in our common welfare--the trouble he
underwent in teaching me the business my father had followed--and his
undoubted morality and good habits.

I could not deny that there was reason in her arguments; but my dislike
to Mr Leary was independent of reason: it had sprung from instinct.

It soon became evident to me that Mr Leary would, at no distant period,
become one of the family.  In the belief of my mother, younger brother,
and sister, he seemed necessary to our existence.

My mother was about thirty-three years of age; and did not appear old
for her years.  She was not a bad looking woman--besides, she was
mistress of a house and a business.  Mr Leary possessed neither.  He
was but a journeyman saddler; but it was soon very evident that he
intended to avail himself of the opportunity of marrying my mother and
her business, and becoming the master of both.

It was equally evident that no efforts of mine could prevent him from
doing so, for, in the opinion of my mother, he was every thing required
for supplying the loss of her first husband.

I tried to reason with her, but must admit, that the only arguments I
could adduce were my prejudices, and I was too young to use even them to
the best advantage.  But had they been ever so just, they would have
been thrown away on my father's widow.

The many seeming good traits in the character of Mr Leary, and his
ability for carrying on the work in the shop, were stronger arguments
than any I could urge in answer to them.

My opposition to their marriage--now openly talked about--only
engendered ill-will in the mind of my mother; and created a coldness, on
her part, towards myself.  When finally convinced of her intention to
become Mrs Leary, I strove hard to overcome my prejudices against the
man: for I was fully aware of the influence he would have over me as a
step-father.

It was all to no purpose.  I hated Mr Leary, and could not help it.

As soon as my mother had definitively made known to me her intention of
marrying him, I felt a strong inclination to strengthen my reputation as
a runaway, by running away from home.  But such an exploit was then a
little too grand for a boy of my age to undertake--with much hope of
succeeding in its accomplishment.  I did not like to leave home, and
afterwards be compelled to return to it--when I might be worse off than
ever.

I formed the resolution, therefore, to abide in my mother's--soon to be
Mr Leary's--house, until circumstances should force me to leave it; and
that such circumstances would ere long arise, I had a painful
presentiment.  As will be found in the sequel, my presentiment was too
faithfully fulfilled.

Volume One, Chapter II.

A SUDDEN CHANGE OF CHARACTER.

Never have I witnessed a change so great and sudden as came over Mr
Leary, after his marriage with my mother.

He was no longer the humble journeyman--with the deportment of a
respectable young fellow striving to retain a situation, and gain
friends by good conduct.  The very day after the wedding, his behaviour
was that of a vain selfish overbearing plebeian, suddenly raised from
poverty to wealth.  He no longer spoke to me in his former feigned tone
of kindness, but with threats, in a commanding voice, and in accents far
more authoritative, than my father had ever used to me.

Mr Leary had been hitherto industrious, but was so no longer.  He
commenced, by employing another man to work in the shop with me, and
plainly expressed by his actions that his share in the business was to
be the spending of the money we might earn.

Up to that time, he had passed among his acquaintances as a temperate
man; but in less than three weeks after his marriage, he came home drunk
on as many occasions; and each time spoke to my mother in an insulting
and cruel manner.

I took no trouble to conceal from Mr Leary my opinion of him and his
conduct; and it soon became evident to all, that he and I could not
remain long as members of the same family.

Our difficulties and misunderstandings increased, until Mr Leary
declared that I was an ungrateful wretch--unworthy of his care; that he
could do nothing with me; and that I should remain no longer in his
house!

He held a long consultation with my mother, about what was to be done
with me--the result of which was, that I was to be sent to sea.  I know
not what arguments he used; but they were effectual with my mother, for
she gave consent to his plans, and I was shortly after bound apprentice
to Captain John Brannon, of the ship "Hope," trading between Dublin and
New Orleans.

"The sea is the place for you, my lad," said Mr Leary, after the
indenture had been signed, binding me to Captain Brannon.  "Aboard of a
ship, you will learn to conduct yourself in a proper manner, and treat
your superiors with respect.  You are going to a school, where you will
be taught something--whether you are willing to learn it, or not."

Mr Leary thought, by sending me to sea, he was obtaining some revenge
for my ill-will towards him; but he was mistaken.  Had he known what
pleasure the arrangement gave me, he would, perhaps, have tried to
retain me a little longer working in the shop.  As I had already
resolved to leave home, I was only too glad at being thus sent away--
instead of having the responsibility of an indiscretion resting on
myself.  I had but one cause for regret, and that was leaving my mother,
brother, and sister, to the tender mercies of a man like Mr Leary.

But what was I to do?  I was not yet fourteen years of age, and could
not have protected them from him by staying at home.  The hatred between
us was mutual; and, perhaps, when his spite was no longer provoked by my
presence, he might treat the rest of the family better.  This was the
only thought that consoled me on parting with my relatives.

I could do nothing but yield to circumstances, leave them to their
destiny, whatever that was to be, and go forth upon the world in search
of my own.

My brother bore our father's name, William Stone.  He was a fair-haired,
blue-eyed boy, with a mild, gentle disposition, and was liked by
everyone who knew him.  He never did an action contrary to the expressed
wishes of those who had any authority over him; and, unlike myself, he
was always to be found when wanted.  He never tried to shirk his work,
or absent himself from school.

My little sister, Martha, was a beautiful child, with curly flaxen hair,
and I never gazed on anything more beautiful than her large deep blue
eyes, which seemed to express all the mental attributes of an angel.

It pained me much to leave little Martha--more than parting either with
my mother or brother.

My mother wished to furnish me with a good outfit, but was prevented
from doing so by Mr Leary--who said that he could not afford the
expense.  He declared, moreover, that I did not deserve it.

After my box was sent aboard the ship, and I was ready to follow it,
little Willie and Martha were loud in their grief, and I had to tear
myself away from their presence.

When it came to parting with my mother, she threw her arms around me,
and exclaimed, "My poor boy, you _shall_ not leave me!"

Mr Leary gave her a glance out of his sinister eyes, which had the
effect of suddenly subduing this expression of grief, and "we parted in
silence and tears."

Often, and for hours, have I thought of that parting scene, and wondered
why and how Mr Leary had obtained so great an influence over the mind
of my poor mother.

I once believed that she had a will of her own, with the courage to show
it--an opinion that had been formed from observations made during the
life of my father, but since her marriage with Mr Leary, she seemed
afraid of giving utterance to a word, that might express independence,
and allowed him, not only to speak but think for her.

I knew that she had much affection for all of us, her children--and her
regret at thus sending me, at so early an age to encounter the hardships
of a long voyage must have been deep and sincere.

I know that her heart was nearly breaking at that moment.  The
expression of her features, and the manner in which she wrung my hand,
told me so; and yet the passion of my grief was not equal in power to
that of her fear for the frowns of Mr Leary.

My amiable step-father accompanied me to the ship, which was lying in
Dublin Bay; and on our way thither, he became much excited with drink.
He was so elated with whiskey, and with the idea that I was going away,
that he did not speak to me in his usual unpleasant tone.  On the
contrary, he seemed all kindness, until we had got aboard the ship.

"Now my little `Rolling Stone,'" said he, when about to take leave of
me, "you are going to have plenty of rolling now, and may you roll so
far away, as never to roll across my path again."

He appeared to think this was very witty, for he was much amused at what
he had said, and laughed long and loudly.

I made no reply, until he was in the boat, which was about to shove off
from the ship, when, looking over the bulwarks, I called after him.

"Mr Leary! if you ill-use my mother, brother, or sister, in my absence,
_I will certainly kill you when I come back_."

Mr Leary made no reply, further than to answer me with a smile, that a
hyena might have envied.

Volume One, Chapter III.

STORMY JACK.

There have been so many stories told of the sufferings of boys, when
first sent to sea, that I shall not dwell long on those that befell
myself.

What a world to me was that ship!  I little knew, before it became my
home, how many great men there were in the world.  By great men, I mean
those high in authority over their fellows.

I went aboard of the ship, with the idea that my position in it would be
one which ordinary people might envy.  I was guided to this opinion by
something said by the captain, at the time the indentures of my
apprenticeship were being signed.  No sooner were we out to sea, than I
learnt that there were at least a dozen individuals on board, who
claimed the right of commanding my services, and that my situation on
board was so humble, as to place me far beneath the notice of the
captain in command.  I had been told that we were to be _friends_, but
before we were a week out, I saw that should it be my lot to be lost
overboard, the captain might only accidentally learn that I was gone.
The knowledge of this indifference to my fate was not pleasant to me.
On the contrary, I felt disappointed and unhappy.

Aboard of the ship were four mates, two boatswains, a carpenter and
_his_ mate, and a steward, besides some others who took a little trouble
to teach me my duty, by giving me orders which were frequently only
given, to save themselves the trouble of doing what they commanded me to
do.

Only one of these many masters ever spoke to me in a pleasant manner.
This was the boatswain of the watch, in which I was placed, who was
called by his companions, "Stormy Jack," probably for the reason that
there was generally a tempest in his mind, too often expressed in a
storm of words.

For all this, Stormy Jack was every inch a sailor, a true British tar,
and all know what that means.

Perhaps I should have said, that all know what it might have meant in
times past, for Stormy Jack was not a fair specimen of English sailors
of the present day.  The majority of the men aboard of British ships are
not now as they were thirty years ago.  English sailors, in general,
seem to have lost many of the peculiarities that once distinguished them
from other people, and a foreign language is too often spoken in the
forecastle of English ships.

To return to Stormy Jack.

One day the carpenter had ordered me to bring him a pannikin of water.
Leaving a job on which I had been set to work by Stormy Jack, I started
to obey.  In doing so, I caught the eye of the latter, who was standing
a little to one side, and had not been seen by the carpenter as he gave
me the order.

Stormy shook his head at me, and pointed to the work he had himself
ordered me to perform, in a manner that plainly said, "go at it again."

I obeyed this interpretation of his signal, and resumed my task.

"Did you hear what I said?" angrily shouted the carpenter.

"Yes, sir," I answered.

"Then why do you not start, and do what I told you?"

I stole a sly glance at Stormy Jack, and seeing upon his face a smile,
approving of what I did, I made bold to answer, in a somewhat brusque
manner, that I had other work on hand, and, moreover, it was not my
business to wait upon him.

The carpenter dropped his adze, caught up his measuring rule, and
advanced towards me.

He was suddenly stopped by the strong hand of Stormy placed firmly on
his shoulder.

"Avast!" said the sailor, "don't you molest that boy at his work.  If
you do, I am the one to teach you manners."

The carpenter was a man who knew "how to choose an enemy," and with such
wisdom to guide him, he returned to his own work, without resenting in
any way the check he had thus met with.

The fact that I had refused to obey the carpenter, and that Stormy Jack
had interceded in my behalf, became known amongst the others who had
been hitherto bullying me, and I was afterwards permitted to go about
the ship, without being the slave of so many masters.

Some time after the incident above related, Stormy Jack chanced to be
standing near me, and commenced a conversation which was as follows:

"You are a boy of the right sort," said he, "and I'll not see you
mistreated.  I heard what you said to the lubber as brought you aboard,
and I always respects a boy as respects his mother.  I hope that man in
the boat was not your father."

"No," I answered, "he is my step-father."

"I thought as much," said Stormy, "by his appearing so pleased to get
rid of you.  It's my opinion no one ought to have more than one father;
but you must brace up your spirits, my lad.  Two or three voyages will
make a man of you, and you will then be able to go back home, and teach
the lubber manners, should he forget 'em.  Do the best you can aboard
here to larn your duty, and I'll keep an eye on you.  If any one goes to
boxing your compass, when you don't deserve it, I'll teach him manners."

I thanked Stormy for his kind advice, and promised to do all I could to
merit his protection.

After having made a friend of Stormy, and an enemy of the carpenter, I
began to be more at home on the ship, and took a stronger interest in
its mysteries and miseries.  Familiarity does not with all things breed
contempt.  That it should not is a wise provision of Nature, for the
accommodation of the majority of mankind--whose necessity it is to
become familiar with many cares, annoyances, and disagreeable
circumstances.

Second nature, or habit, is only acquired by familiarity, and seamen
become so familiar with all that is disagreeable in a life on the sea,
that they are never satisfied long with any home, but a floating one.
The mind of youth soon becomes reconciled to circumstances, however
unpleasant, much sooner than that of an older person, and this was
probably the reason why, although greatly dissatisfied at the beginning
of the voyage, I soon became so contented with a life on the sea, that I
preferred it to one on land--at least in a home with Mr Leary as my
master.

Upon occasions, Stormy Jack permitted the storm in his soul to rage a
little too wildly.  One of these occasions occurred about two weeks,
before we reached New Orleans.  He had got into a dispute with the
second mate about the setting of a sail, and both becoming intemperate
in the use of the Queen's English, words were used which had to be
resented with violence.

The first assault was made by the mate, who soon found that he was but a
child in the hands of Stormy Jack.

The first mate happened to be on deck smoking his pipe, as also the
carpenter, and, as in duty bound, both ran to the relief of their
brother officer.  Poor Stormy was knocked down with the carpenter's
mallet, his hands were tied behind him, and he was dragged below.

The next day I was allowed to take him his dinner, and found him well
pleased with his situation.  I was expecting to see him in great grief
over his misfortune--which to me appeared very serious--and was
agreeably surprised to find him in better spirits than I had ever seen
him before.

"It's all right, Rowley, my boy," said he.  "If they can afford to keep
me in idleness, and pay me wages for doing nothing, I'm not the one to
complain.  I'm glad this has happened, for I never liked the first
breezer, nor yet Chips, and now I've got an opportunity for letting them
know it.  I'm going to leave the ship, and when I've done so, I'll teach
them manners."

I expressed the opinion, that it could not be very pleasant to be kept
so long in a dark place and alone.

"That's no punishment," said Stormy.  "Can't I sleep?  I've been served
worse than this.  On a voyage to India I refused duty on the second week
out.  I was put in a pen along with some turkeys and geese, and was told
whenever I would go to my duty, I should be taken out.  I never gave in,
and finished the voyage in the turkey coop.  That was far worse than
this, for the noise on deck, with the conversation between my
companions, the turkeys and geese, often used to keep me from sleep.
That was a queer plan for teaching a fellow manners, but I did not let
it succeed.

"I was going to say one place was as good as another, but it a'nt.  This
ship is no place for me.  After we reach New Orleans I shall leave it,
and if ever I come across eyther the first breezer, or carpenter,
ashore, they'll both larn what they never knew afore, and that's
manners.  When two men are fighting, another has no right to interrupt
either of 'em with a blow of a mallet, and the man who does so has no
manners, and wants teachin'."

I was pleased to hear Stormy say that he intended to leave the ship, for
the idea of doing so myself had often entered my thoughts, and had been
favourably entertained.

I had no great hopes of finding a better home than I had on board the
ship, but I had been placed there by Leary, and that was sufficient
reason for my wishing to leave her.  He had driven me from my own home,
and I would not live in one of his choosing.

I resolved, therefore, to take leave of the ship if Stormy would allow
me to become his companion, and even if he should not, I had more than
half determined upon running away.

Volume One, Chapter IV.

A CHANGE OF CALLING.

Two days before we reached New Orleans, Stormy Jack expressed some sham
contrition for what he had done, with an inclination to return to his
duty.  He was liberated, and once more the deck was enlivened by the
sound of his rough manly voice giving the necessary orders for working
the ship.

I found a favourable opportunity of telling him, that I should like to
go along with him.  At first he objected to aid me, and urged me to
remain, as a reason for my doing so, urging the argument: that a boy
serving his apprenticeship was much better off than one wandering about
without a home.

To me this argument was worth nothing.  The idea of remaining for seven
years in a situation chosen for me by Mr Leary, was too absurd to be
seriously entertained for a moment.  I told Stormy so; and he finally
consented that I should go with him.

"My reason for objecting at first," said he, "was because I did not like
to be troubled with you; but that's not exactly the right sort o'
feeling for a Christian to steer by.  One should expect to have some
trouble with those as need a helping hand, and I don't know why I should
try to shirk from my share of it."

I promised Stormy that I would try not to cause him any trouble, or as
little as possible.

"Of course you will try," said he, "or if you don't, I'll teach you
manners."

Stormy's threat did not alarm me; and our conversation at the time
ended--leaving me well pleased with the prospect of getting clear of the
ship, by his assistance.

Stormy's return to duty was only a pretence.  It was done to deceive the
officers--so that he might the more easily find an opportunity of
escaping from the ship.

Two days after our arrival in the port of New Orleans, he was allowed
liberty to go ashore; and I was permitted to accompany him.  The Captain
probably supposed that the wages due to Stormy would bring him back; and
the suspicion, that a boy like myself should wish to leave the ship, had
never entered into his mind.

Several of our shipmates went ashore along with us; and the first thing
we all thought of was, what the reader will readily imagine, to find a
place where strong drink was sold.  This is usually a sailor's first
thought on going ashore after a voyage.

After having taken two or three glasses with our shipmates, Stormy gave
me a wink, and sidled towards the door.  I followed him; and slipping
unperceived into the street, we turned a corner, and kept on through
several streets--until we had arrived at another part of the city.  The
little that Stormy had drunk had by this time only sharpened his
appetite for more.

"Here I am," said he, "with clear twelve shillings in my pocket.  What a
spell of fun I could have, if 'twas not for you!  Seven weeks without a
spree, and now can't have it because I've you to take care of.  Thought
'twould be so.  Rowley, my boy! see what I'm suffering for you.  You are
teaching me manners, whether I'm willing to larn 'em or not."

I allowed the sailor to go on uninterrupted with his storm of
complaints, although there was a reflection in my mind, that if I was
keeping him from getting drunk, the obligation was not all on my side.

Stormy had but twelve shillings, and I half-a-crown, which the Captain
had given to me before coming ashore.

It was necessary that something should be done, before this money should
be all spent.

Under ordinary circumstances, the sailor need not have felt any
apprehension, about being out of money.  He could easily get employment
in another vessel; but as matters stood, Stormy was afraid of being
caught, should he attempt to join another ship--before that from which
he had deserted had taken her departure from the port.  If caught,
Stormy knew he would be punished; and this rendered him a trifle
serious.

The next day we passed in wandering about the city--taking care to avoid
all places where we would be likely to meet with any of the officers, or
men of the ship "Hope."

Stormy's thoughts were all day in a fearful storm, commingled with
anxiety as to what we should do to make a living.

"On your account, Rowley," said he, "I'm not misinclined for a spell on
shore, if I could find anything to do, but that's the trouble.  There's
not much work ashore, that be proper for an honest man to bear a hand
in.  What little of such work there is here, is done by darkies, while
white men do all the cheating and scheming.  Howsomever, lad, we must
try to get at something."

The next day Stormy did try; and obtained work at rigging a new ship,
that had just been launched.  The job would last for a month.  The wages
were good; and the storm in Stormy's mind had now subsided into an
agreeable calm.

We sought a cheap lodging-house, not far from where his work was to be
performed; and that evening the sailor indulged in a pipe and a glass,
from which he had prudently refrained during all the day.

I was unwilling that the burden of supporting me should be borne by my
generous protector; and being anxious to do something for myself, I
asked him what I should go about.

"I've just been thinking of that," said he, "and I believe I've hit upon
an idea.  Suppose you sell newspapers?  I see many lads about your age
in that business here; and they must make something at it.  It's not
hard work, besides it appears to be very respectable.  It is a lit'rary
business, as no boy should be 'shamed of."

I approved of the plan, and joyfully agreed to give it a trial.

It was arranged that the next morning I should go to the office of a
daily paper--buy a bundle of copies; and try to dispose of them at a
profit.

Early the next morning, Stormy started off to his work on the ship, and
I to a newspaper office.

I reached the place too early to get out the papers; but found several
boys waiting like myself.  I joined their company, listened to them, and
was much interested in their conversation, without very clearly
comprehending what they were talking about.

I could distinctly hear every word they said; but the meaning of the
words I knew not, for the most of them were slang phrases--such as I had
never heard before.

I could see that they were very fast boys--much faster than I was--
although the "Rolling Stone" had not been for several years rolling
through the streets of Dublin, without learning some city sharpness.

I entered into conversation with two of the boys, in order to find out
something of the business of news-vending; and could see from their
manner that they regarded me, as they would have said, "not all thar."

They pretended to give me such information as I required; but I
afterwards learnt that they had not told me one word of truth.

When the papers were published, I went in with the others, put down a
half dollar, and received in exchange the correct number of copies.  I
hurried out, walked some distance from the office, and commenced
offering my wares for sale.

On turning down a wide street, I met three gentlemen, each of whom took
a copy out of my hands and gave me a picayune in return.

I was doing business for myself--buying and selling; and in my soul
arose a feeling of independence and pride that has never been so
thoroughly awakened since.

I passed along the street, till I came to a large hotel, where I saw two
other gentlemen under the verandah.

I went up to them, offered my goods as before, and each took a
newspaper.  As one of them offered me payment for his copy, I had hardly
the strength to hand him the paper and take his money.  I nearly dropped
to the pavement.  The man was Captain Brannon, of the ship "Hope," to
whom I had been apprenticed!

I moved away from him as fast as my trembling limbs would carry me; and
the glance which I could not help throwing over my shoulder, told me
that I had not been recognised.

This was the man, who had promised to treat me as he would his own son;
and yet during a long voyage had taken so little notice of me, that I
could thus transact business with him, without being recognised!

By twelve o'clock my work for the day was finished; and I returned to
the lodging-house with a dollar in picayune pieces--having made a
hundred per cent on my capital.

I was at that hour the happiest boy in New Orleans.

I was happy, yet full of impatience, as I waited through the long
afternoon for the return of Stormy Jack.

There was pride and pleasure in the anticipation of his approval of my
exertions, when I should show him the money I had made.  It was the
first money I had ever earned--my only transactions with the circulating
medium before that time, having been to spend it, as fast as it could be
obtained from a fond father.

I entered into an elaborate calculation by an arithmetical rule I had
learned under the name of "reduction," and found that I had made in one
day, by my own exertions, over two shillings of English money.

I had pride--pride in my ability to make money at all, and pride in my
scholastic acquirements, which enabled one so young to tell how much had
been gained, for I was not able to comprehend fully the amount, until I
had brought it into shillings and pence.

With burning impatience I waited for the return of Stormy.  Being
fatigued, however, I fell asleep, and dreamt of having made a fortune,
and of having had a fight with Mr Leary, in which that gentleman--to
make use of Stormy's favourite expression--had been "taught some
manners."

When I awoke, I looked eagerly at a clock.  It was past seven in the
evening, and Stormy Jack had not returned!

He had been due more than an hour.  The happiness I had been all day
indulging in, suddenly forsook me; and a sickening sensation of
loneliness came over my soul.

I sat up waiting and watching for him until a very late hour--in fact
until I was driven to bed by the landlady; but Stormy did not return.

Volume One, Chapter V.

GOD HELP US!

No week of my life ever seemed so long, as that night spent in waiting
for the return of Stormy Jack.  It was not until the sun beams were
gushing through my window in the morning, that I was able to fall
asleep.

By nine o'clock I was up, and out upon the streets in search of my
companion and protector.  My search was continued all day without
success.

I did not know the name of the ship on which he had gone to work; and
therefore I had no clue to his whereabouts.  In fact I had such a slight
clue to guide me, that my search was but little less than the pursuit of
folly.

I did not like to believe that Stormy had wilfully deserted me.

In my lone and friendless condition, with the memory of the way in which
I had left my mother, to have thought so, would have made me desirous of
dying.  I had rather think that some serious accident had happened him,
than that he had abandoned me to my fate, to avoid any further trouble I
might give him.

Another idea occurred to me.  He might have been found by some of the
officers of the "Hope," and either taken aboard, or imprisoned for
deserting.  This was so probable, that for awhile I was tempted to go
back to the ship and resume my duties.

Reflection told me, that if he had fallen into the hands of the captain,
he would not leave me alone in a city like New Orleans.  He would tell
the captain where I was staying, and have me sent for and brought
aboard.

The only, or what seemed the best thing I could do, was to return to the
lodging-house, and there await the event.

After a long weary day spent in vain search for my lost companion, I
carried this idea into effect, and went back to the lodging-house.  As I
anticipated, Stormy had not returned to it.

The landlady was a woman of business; and fancied, or rather believed,
that my responsible protector had deserted me, leaving her with a boy to
keep, and a bill unpaid.

She asked me if I had any money.  In reply, I produced all I had.  All
but one "picayune" of it was required, for the payment of the score we
had already run up.

"Now, my lad," said she, "you had better try to find some employment,
where you will earn a living.  You are welcome to stay here to-night,
and have your breakfast in the morning.  You will then have all day
to-morrow to find another home."

The next morning, after I had swallowed my breakfast, she came to me and
bid me an affectionate "good bye."  It was a broad hint that she neither
expected, nor wished me to stay in her house any longer.

I took the hint, walked out into the street, and found myself in a
crowd, but alone, with the great new world before me.

"What shall I do?" was the question set before a full committee of my
mental faculties, assembled, or awakened, to deliberate on the emergency
of the moment.

I could be a newsvendor no longer: for the want of capital to invest in
the business.

I could return to the ship, and perhaps get flogged for having run away;
but I was so disappointed in the treatment I had received at the hands
of the captain, that nothing but extreme suffering could have induced me
to seek protection from him.

The restraint to which I had been subjected on board the ship, seemed
partly to have emanated from Mr Leary, and for that reason was to me
all the more disagreeable.

I wandered about the streets, reflecting on what I should do until both
my brain and legs became weary.

I sat down on some steps leading to the door of a restaurant.  My young
heart was still strong, but beating wildly.

Over the door of a grocer's shop in front of me, and on the opposite
side of the street, I read the name "John Sullivan."  At sight of this
familiar name, a glimmering of hope entered into my despairing mind.

Four years previous to that time, the grocer with whom my parents used
to deal had emigrated to America.  His name was John Sullivan.  Was it
possible that the shop and the name before me belonged to this man?

I arose, and crossed the street.  I entered the shop, and inquired of a
young man behind the counter, if Mr Sullivan was at home.

"He's up stairs," said the youth.  "Do you wish to see him in
particular?"

I answered in the affirmative; and Mr Sullivan was called down.

The man I hoped to meet was, when I saw him last, a little man with red
hair; but the individual who answered the summons of the shop boy, was a
man about six feet in his stockings, with dark hair and a long black
beard.

I saw at a glance, that the grocer who had emigrated from Dublin and the
man before me were not identical, but entirely different individuals.

"Well, my lad, what do you want?" asked the tall proprietor of the shop,
looking down on me with a glance of curious inquiry.

"Nothing," I stammered out, perhaps more confused than I had ever been
before.

"Then what have you had me called for?" he asked, in a tone that did
little to aid me in overcoming my embarrassment.

After much hesitation and stammering, I explained to him that from
seeing his name over the door, I had hoped to find a man of the same
name, with whom I had been acquainted in Ireland, and who had emigrated
to America.

"Ah!" said he, smiling ironically.  "My father's great-grandfather came
over to America about two hundred and fifty years ago.  His name was
John Sullivan.  Perhaps you mean him?"

I had nothing to say in answer to this last interrogation, and was
turning to leave the shop.

"Stop my lad!" cried the grocer.  "I don't want to be at the trouble of
having come downstairs for nothing.  Supposing I was the John Sullivan
you knew--what then?"

"Then you would tell me what I should do," I answered, "for I have
neither home, friends, nor money."

In reply to this, the tall shopkeeper commenced submitting me to a sharp
examination--putting his queries in a tone that seemed to infer the
right to know all I had to communicate.

After obtaining from me the particulars relative to my arrival in the
country, he gave me his advice in exchange.  It was, to return instanter
to the ship from which I had deserted.

I told him that this advice could not be favourably received, until I
had been about three days without food.

My rejoinder appeared to cause a change in his disposition towards me.

"William!" said he, calling out to his shop-assistant, "can't you find
something for this lad to do for a few days?"

William "reckoned" that he could.

Mr Sullivan then returned upstairs; and I, taking it for granted that
the thing was settled, hung up my hat.

The grocer had a family, living in rooms adjoining the shop.  It
consisted of his wife and two children--the eldest a girl about four
years of age.

I was allowed to eat at the same table with themselves; and soon became
well acquainted with, and I believe well liked by, them all.  The little
girl was an eccentric being, even for a child; and seldom said a word to
anyone.  Whenever she did speak, she was sure to make use of the phrase,
"God help us!"

This expression she had learnt from an Irish servant wench, who was in
the habit of making frequent use of it; and it was so often echoed by
the little girl, in a parrot-like manner, that Mr Sullivan and his
wife--at the time I joined the family were striving to break her from
the habit of using it.

The servant girl, when forbidden by her mistress ever to use the
expression in the child's presence, would cry out: "God help us, Mem!  I
can't help it."

Whenever the words were spoken by little Sarah--this was the child's
name--Mrs Sullivan would say, "Sarah, don't you ever say that again.
If you do, you shall be locked up in the cellar."

"God help us!" little Sarah would exclaim, in real alarm at the threat.

"There you go again.  Take that, and that," Mrs Sullivan would cry,
giving the child two or three slaps on the side of the head.

"Oh mother! mother!  God help us!" little Sarah would cry out,
altogether unconscious of the crime she was committing.

Every effort made, for inducing the child to refrain from the use of
this expression, only caused its more frequent repetition; and often in
a manner so ludicrous, as to conquer the anger of her parents, and turn
it into laughter.

When I had been about five weeks with Mr Sullivan, I was engaged one
morning in washing the shop windows, and accidentally broke a large and
costly pane of plate glass.  A sudden shock came over my spirits--one
more painful than I had ever experienced.  Mr Sullivan had been so kind
to me, that to do him an injury, accidentally or otherwise, seemed the
greatest misfortune that could happen to me.

He was upstairs at the time; and I had not the moral courage to face
him.  Had I waited for him to come down, and see what had been done, he
might have said something that would have pained me to hear; but
certainly nothing more serious would have happened, and all would have
been well again.

I must have a disposition constitutionally inclined to absconding.  To
run away, as my mother had often told me, must be my _nature_.  I would
rather believe this than otherwise, since I do not wish to be charged
with the voluntary indiscretion of deserting a good home.  It was only
an overwhelming sense of the kindness with which I had been treated, and
the injury I had inflicted on my benefactor, that caused me to dread an
encounter with Mr Sullivan.

Perhaps a boy with a smaller sense of gratitude and less sensitiveness
of soul, would have acted differently; and yet would have acted right:
for it is always better to meet a difficulty boldly, than to flee in a
cowardly manner from the responsibilities attending it.

Little Sarah Sullivan happened to be in the shop at the time I broke the
window.  I heard her exclaim, "God help us!"

I did not stay to hear any more: for in six seconds after, I had turned
the nearest corner; and was once more homeless in the streets of New
Orleans.

Volume One, Chapter VI.

ONCE MORE UPON THE OCEAN!

I did not dislike a sea life; and would not have been dissatisfied with
any situation on a ship, providing it had not been procured for me by
Mr Leary.

On running away from Mr Sullivan's shop, my inclination was to leave
New Orleans in some ship; but, unfortunately, I knew not the proper
manner of going to work to accomplish my desires.

I walked along the levee, till I reached a ship, that was just being
hauled from the wharf--evidently for the purpose of standing down the
river and out to sea.

I stepped aboard intending to apply for work; and after looking around
for a while, I observed a man who, to all appearance, was the captain.

When asked to give me some situation in the ship, he appeared too busy
to pay any attention to my request.

I was on a vessel proceeding to sea; and, knowing my ability to make
myself useful, I determined not to go ashore without a hearing.

I walked forward; and amidst the confusion of getting the ship under
way--where there was so much to be done--I found work enough to do; and
took much care, while doing it, to keep out of the way of others--which,
to a boy aboard of a ship, is a task of some difficulty.

No one seemed to take any notice of me that afternoon or evening; and
about nine o'clock at night I laid down under the long boat, fell
asleep, and slept till morning.

I turned out at the earliest hour, and lent a hand at washing the decks;
but still no one seemed to know, that I was not one of the ship's
company!

At eight o'clock the crew were mustered, and divided into watches.  My
name was not called: and the captain observing the circumstance,
requested me to walk aft.

"Who are you?" asked he, as I drew near.

Something whispered me not to undervalue myself, but to speak up with
confidence; and in answer to his demand, I told him that I was a
_Rolling Stone_.

"A Rolling Stone, are you?" said the captain.  "Well, what have you
rolled here for?"

"Because I wanted to go somewhere," I answered.

He then asked me if I had ever been at sea; and, on learning the name of
the ship I had deserted, he said that she had sailed the week before, or
he would have sent me back to her.

He concluded his examination, by giving the steward orders to look after
me--telling him that I could assist in the slop work to be done in the
cabin.

To this arrangement I decidedly objected, declaring that I was a
_sailor_, and would not be made a _cuddy servant_!

I have every reason to believe, that this declaration on my part
elevated me several degrees in the captain's good opinion.

He replied by expressing a hope, that I would not aspire to the command
of the ship; and if not, he would see what could be done for me.

The vessel was bound for Liverpool with cotton; and was owned by the
captain himself, whose name was Hyland.

I was never better treated in my life, than on board that ship.

I was not assigned to any particular occupation, or watch; but no
advantage was taken of this circumstance, on the captain's part, to make
me do too much, or by me to do too little.

I was generally on deck all the day; and whenever I saw anything useful
that I could do, it was done.

In this way, both watches had the aid of my valuable services--which,
however, were not always sufficiently appreciated to prevent a few sharp
words being applied to me.  But a boy aboard of a ship soon learns to
take no notice of such trifles.

I was ordered to mess with the sailmaker, who--as I afterwards learnt--
was directed by the captain to look well after me.

On our arrival in Liverpool, the ship was docked, and the crew went
ashore, with the exception of two men--both strangers to me--who with
myself were left on board.

One of the men had something to do with the Custom House; and tried hard
to induce me to go ashore, along with the rest of the crew.  But the
ship being my only home, I was not willing to leave her; and I resisted
all the inducements held out by the Custom House officer to that effect.
The captain had gone away from the ship, after seeing her safe into
port; but I would not leave the vessel lest I should never meet him
again: for something told me he was my truest friend.

The next day he came on board again; and seemed rather surprised at
finding me there.

"Ah! little Rolling Stone," said he, "I've been inquiring for you; and
am pleased to see you have not gone ashore.  What do you intend to do
with yourself?"

"Stay here," I answered, "until the ship sails again."

"No, you can't stop here," said the captain.  "You must come ashore, and
live somewhere--until the ship is made ready for sea."

He continued to talk with me for half-an-hour; and obtained from me a
full account of the circumstances under which I had left my home.

"If I thought that you would stay with me, and do something for
yourself," said Captain Hyland, after hearing my story, "I would
endeavour to make a man of you."

My reply to this was, that I preferred a life on the sea to any other,
and that I left Captain Brannon, for the simple reason that I did not
like either him, or the man who had placed me under his control.

"Very well," said the captain, "I'll keep you awhile on trial; and if
you prove ungrateful for what I shall do for you, you will injure
yourself, more than you can me."

After this conversation, he took me ashore, bought me a suit of clothes;
and then told me to accompany him to his own home.

I found that Captain Hyland had a wife and one child--a girl about ten
years of age.

I thought there could be nothing in the universe more beautiful than
that girl.  Perhaps there was not.  Why should not my opinion on such
subjects be as correct as that of others?  But no man living could have
looked upon Lenore Hyland, without being convinced that she was very
beautiful.

Six weeks passed before the ship was again ready for sea; and during
that time I resided at the captain's house, and was the constant
companion of his little daughter, Lenore.

In the interval, my kind protector asked me--whether I would not like to
go to Dublin for a few days, and see my mother.

I told him that the "Hope" would then be in Dublin; and that I would
certainly be handed over to Captain Brannon.

He reflected for a moment; and then allowed the subject to drop.

I did feel some anxiety concerning my relatives; but was too happy in
Liverpool, to change my condition by going to visit them.

In order to satisfy my conscience, I thought of several reasons why I
should not go home.  They were easily found: for very idiotic, indeed,
is that mind that cannot find arguments, in support of desires emanating
from itself--whether they be right or wrong.

I knew that in whatever state I might find my relatives--or whatever
might have been the conduct of Mr Leary towards them--I would be
powerless either to aid them or punish him.

I strove my best to make as little trouble as possible in my new home,
and to gain the good will of Mrs Hyland.  I had every reason to believe
that my efforts were successful.

In justice to her, I should state that my task was not so difficult, as
it would have been with most women: for she was a kind-hearted lady, who
had the discernment to perceive that I was anxious to deserve, as well
as obtain her esteem.

Before the ship was ready to sail, Lenore had learnt to call me
_brother_; and when parting with her to go on board, her sorrow was
expressed in a manner that gave me much gratification.

Perhaps it is wrong for any one to feel pleasure at the demonstrations
of another's grief; but there are circumstances when such will be the
case, whether wrong or not.  Unfortunate, indeed, is that lonely being,
who has not in the wide world one acquaintance from whom he can part,
with eyes dimmed by the bright drops of sorrow.

There are thousands of seamen, who have wandered long and far from every
early tie of kindred and friendship.  They form no others; but wander
over the earth unloving, unloved and unknown--as wretched, reckless and
lone, as the "last man," spoken of by the poet Campbell.

There is ever a bright spot in the soul of that man, who has reason to
believe that there is some one, who thinks of him with kindness when far
away; and that one bright spot will often point out the path of virtue--
which otherwise might have been passed, undiscovered, or unheeded.

Volume One, Chapter VII.

CHOOSING A HORSE.

The reader may justly say that I have dwelt too long on the incidents of
my early years.  As my excuse for having done so, I can only urge, that
the first parts we play on the stage of life appear of more importance
to us than what they really are; and are consequently remembered more
distinctly and with greater interest than those of later occurrence.

I will try not to offend in the same way again; and, as some
compensation for having been too tedious, I shall pass over nearly three
years of my existence--without occupying much space in describing the
incidents that transpired during this period.  Circumstances aid me in
doing so, for these three years were spent in a tranquil, happy manner.
They produced no change in my situation: for I remained in the same
employment--in the service of Captain Hyland.

The ship "Lenore," owned and commanded by him, was a regular trader
between Liverpool and New Orleans.

In our voyages, the captain took as much trouble in trying to teach me
navigation--and all other things connected with the profession of the
sea--as he could have done had I been his own son.

I appreciated his kindness; and had the gratification to know that my
efforts to deserve it met with his warmest approbation.

At every return to Liverpool, and during our sojourn there, his house
was my home.  At each visit, my friendship for Mrs Hyland, and her
beautiful daughter Lenore, became stronger.  It was mutual too; and I
came to be regarded almost as one of the family.

When in Liverpool, I had frequent opportunities of going to Dublin to
see my mother, and with shame I confess that I did not make use of them.
The attractions of my home in Liverpool proved too great for me to
leave it--even for a short interval.

I often thought of going to Dublin; and reflected with pride on the fact
that I was getting to be a man, and would be able to protect my
relatives from any ill-treatment they might have received at the hands
of Mr Leary.  With all this, I did not go.

Aboard of the ship, I had one enemy, who, for some reason not fully
understood, seemed to hate me as heartily, as one man could hate
another.  This was the first mate, who had been with Captain Hyland for
several years.

He had witnessed with much disfavour the interest the captain took in my
welfare, from the time of my first joining the ship; and jealousy of my
influence over the latter might have had much to do in causing the
mate's antipathy towards myself.

The steward, sailmaker, and one or two others, who were permanently
attached to the vessel, were all friends to the "Rolling Stone," the
name by which I was generally known; but the hostility of the first mate
could not be removed by any efforts I made towards that end.

After a time, I gradually lost the nickname of the "Rolling Stone," and
was called by my proper name, Rowland.  I suppose the reason was, that
my actions having proved me willing and able to remain for some time in
one situation, it was thought that I deserved to be called a "Rolling
Stone" no longer.

I had been nearly three years with Captain Hyland, and we were in New
Orleans--where the ship, lying at the wharf, was left under my charge.
The captain himself had gone to stay at a hotel in the city; and I had
not seen him for several days.

The first mate was at this time neglecting his duty, and frequently
remained over twenty-four hours absent from the ship.  On one occasion,
just as the latter came aboard to resume his duties, I received
intelligence, that the captain was very ill, and wished to see me
ashore.

Notwithstanding this message from the captain himself--the mate, whose
name was Edward Adkins--refused to allow me to leave the ship.

The season was summer; and I knew that many people were dying in the
city--which was scourged at the time with yellow fever.

The captain had undoubtedly been taken ill of that disease; and,
disregarding the commands of the mate, I went ashore with all haste to
see him.

I found him, as I had anticipated, suffering from yellow fever.  He had
just sufficient consciousness to recognise, and bid me an eternal
farewell, with a slight pressure of his hand.

He died a few minutes after; and a sensation came over me similar to
that I had experienced a few years before--when bending over the cold
inanimate form of my father.

Mr Adkins became the captain of the "Lenore," and at once gave me a
discharge.  My box was sent ashore; and I was not afterwards allowed to
set foot on board of the ship!

I appealed to the English Consul; but could obtain no satisfaction from
him.  I could not blame the official: for the mate was entitled to the
command, and consequently had the right of choosing his crew.

My wages were paid me--besides some trifling compensation, for being
discharged in a foreign port.

Again the new world was before me; and the question once more came up:
"What am I to do?"

I wished to return to Liverpool to see Mrs Hyland and Lenore.  They
were to me as a mother and sister.  Who should carry to them the sad
news of their great misfortune?  Who but myself?

The beautiful Lenore, I must see her again.  I had been fancying myself
in love with her for some time; but, now that her father was dead I
reflected more sensibly on the subject, and arrived at the conclusion
that I was a fool.  I was but seventeen, and she only thirteen years of
age!  Why should I return to Liverpool?  I had a fortune to make; and
why should I return to Liverpool?

I thought of my mother, brother, and sister.  They were under the
ill-treatment of a man I had every reason to hate.  They might need my
protection.  It was my duty to return to them.  Should I go?

This question troubled me for some time; but in the end it was settled.
I did not go.

Many will say that I neglected a sacred duty; but perhaps they have
never been placed in circumstances similar to mine.  They have never
been in a foreign country, at the age of seventeen, in a city like New
Orleans.

There was at this time a great commotion in the place.  The fife and
drum were continually heard in the streets; and flags were flying from
houses in different parts of the city--indicating the localities of
"recruiting stations."

The United States had declared war against Mexico; and volunteers were
invited to join the army.

Among other idlers, I enrolled myself.

It was probably a very unwise act; but many thousands have done the same
thing; and I claim an equal right with others to act foolishly, if so
inclined.  We are all guilty of wise and foolish actions, or more
properly speaking, of good and bad ones; and often, when desirous of
doing the one, it ends by our committing the other.

After being "mustered into the service," we were sent into the country
to a rendezvous, where the corps to which I belonged, which was to form
part of a cavalry regiment, received its allotted number of horses.

To have pointed out a particular horse to a particular man, and have
said "that is yours," would have given occasion for many to declare that
partiality had been shown.  For this reason, an arrangement was made by
which each man was allowed to choose his own horse.

The animals were ranged in a line, by being tied to a rail fence; and
then we were all mustered in rank, about two hundred and fifty yards to
the rear.  It was then made known, that on a signal being given, each
one of us might take the horse that suited him best.

The word of command was at length given; and a more interesting foot
race was perhaps never witnessed, than came off on that occasion.

I was good at running; but unfortunately but a poor judge of horse
flesh.

Only three or four of the company reached the fence before me; and I had
nearly all the horses from which to make my choice.

I selected one, with a short neck and long flowing tail.  He was of
coal-black colour; and, in my opinion, the best looking horse of the
lot.  It was an intellectual animal--a horse of character--if ever a
horse had any mental peculiarities entitling him to such distinction.

It was the first steed I ever had the chance of bestriding; and the
movement by which I established myself on his back must have been either
very cleverly, or very awkwardly executed: since it greatly excited the
mirth of my companions.

The horse had a knack of dispensing with any disagreeable encumbrance;
and having been so long a "Rolling Stone," I had not yet acquired the
skill of staying where I was not wanted.

When I placed the steed between my legs, he immediately gave me a hint
to leave.  I know not whether the hint was a strong one or not; but I do
know that it produced the result the horse desired: since he and I
instantly parted company.

I was informed that the animal came from Kentucky; and I have not the
least doubt about this having been the case, for after dealing me a
sommersault, it started off in the direction of the "dark and bloody
ground," and was only stopped on its journey by a six foot fence.

Those who were dissatisfied with the result of their choice, had
permission to exchange horses with any other with whom they could make
an arrangement.

In the corps to which I belonged was a young man from the State of Ohio,
named Dayton.  When the scamper towards the horses took place, instead
of running with the rest, Dayton walked leisurely along; and arrived
where the horses were tied, after every other individual in the company
had appropriated a steed.  The only horse left for Dayton had also a
character--one that can only be described by calling him a sedate and
serious animal.

This horse had a sublime contempt for either whip or spurs; and
generally exercised his own judgment, as to the pace at which he should
move.  That judgment equally forbade him to indulge in eccentric
actions.

Dayton proposed that we should exchange steeds--an offer that I gladly
accepted.  When my absconding horse was brought back to the camp, I made
him over to Dayton, by whom he was at once mounted.

The animal tried the same movements with Dayton that had proved so
successful with me; but they failed.  He was a good rider, and stuck to
his horse, as one of the men declared, "like death to a dead nigger."

The creature was conquered, and afterwards turned out one of the best
horses in the troop.

Volume One, Chapter VIII.

AN EPISODE OF SOLDIER-LIFE.

American authors have written so much about the Mexican war, that I
shall state nothing concerning it, except what is absolutely necessary
in giving a brief account of my own adventures--which, considering the
time and the place, were neither numerous nor in any way remarkable.

While in the service of the United States during that campaign, I was
the constant companion of Dayton.  On the march and in the field of
strife, we rode side by side with each other.

We shared many hardships and dangers, and such circumstances usually
produce firm friendships.  It was so in our case.

Dayton was a young man who won many friends, and made almost as many
enemies, for he took but little care to conceal his opinions of others,
whether they were favourable or not.  Although but a private, he had
more influence among his comrades than any other man in the company.
The respect of some, and the fear of others, gave him a power that no
officer could command.

I did not see much of the war: as I was only in two actions--those of
Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo.

I know that some of the people of Europe have but a very poor opinion of
the fighting qualities of the Mexicans, and may not dignify the actions
of Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo by the name of battles.  These people are
mistaken.  The Mexicans fought well at Buena Vista, notwithstanding that
they were defeated by men, said to be undisciplined.

It has been stated in a London paper that the Mexicans are more
contemptible, as an enemy, than the same number of Chinamen.  The author
of that statement probably knew nothing of either of the people he wrote
about; and he was thus undervaluing the Mexicans for no other reason,
than that of disparaging the small but brave army to which I belonged.

The Mexicans are not cowards.  An individual Mexican has as much moral
and physical courage as a man of any other country.  As a general thing
they have as little fear of losing life or limb as any other people.
"Why then," some may ask, "were they beaten by a few thousand American
volunteers?"

Without attempting to answer this question, I still claim that the
Mexicans are not cowards.

In the battle of Buena Vista I lost the horse obtained by exchange from
Dayton.  The animal had been my constant care and companion, ever since
I became possessed of him; and had exhibited so much character and
intellect, that I thought almost as much of him, as I did of Dayton, my
dearest friend.

In my opinion, it is not right to take horses on to the field of battle.
I never thought this, until I had my steed shot under me--when the
sight of the noble animal struggling in the agonies of death, caused me
to make a mental vow never again to go on horseback into a battle.

This resolve, however, I was soon compelled to break.  Another horse was
furnished me the next day--on which I had to take my place in the ranks
of my corps.

One day the company to which I belonged had a skirmish with a party of
guerilleros.

We were charging them--our animals urged to their greatest speed--when
Dayton's horse received a shot, and fell.  I could not stop to learn the
fate of the rider, as I was obliged to keep on with the others.

We pursued the Mexicans for about five miles; and killed over half of
their number.

On returning to camp, I traced back the trail over which we had pursued
the enemy--in order to find Dayton.  After much trouble I succeeded; and
I believe no person ever saw me with more pleasure than did Dayton on
that occasion.

The dead horse was lying on one of his legs, which had been broken.  He
had been in this situation for nearly three hours; and with all his
exertions had been unable to extricate himself.

After getting him from under the terrible incubus, and making him as
comfortable as possible, I sought the assistance of some of my
companions.  These I fortunately found without much trouble, and we
conveyed our wounded comrade to the camp.  Dayton was afterwards removed
to a hospital; and this was the last I saw of him during the Mexican
war.

I had but very little active service after this: for my company was left
behind the main army; and formed a part of the force required for
keeping open a communication between Vera Cruz, and the capital of
Mexico.

The rest of the time I remained in the army, was only remarkable for its
want of excitement and tediousness; and all in the company were much
dissatisfied at not being allowed to go on to the Halls of Montezuma.
The duty at which we were kept, was only exciting for its hardships; and
American soldiers very soon become weary of excitement of this kind.  We
were only too delighted, on receiving orders to embark for New Orleans.

On the Sunday before sailing out of the port of Vera Cruz, I went in
search of some amusement; and commenced strolling through town in hopes
of finding it.  In my walk, I came across a man seated under an awning,
which he had erected in the street, where he was dealing "Faro."  A
number of people were betting against his "bank," and I lingered awhile
to watch the game.

Amongst others who were betting, was a drunken mule-driver, who had been
so far unfortunate as to lose all his money--amounting to about one
hundred dollars.

The "MD"--as the mule-drivers were sometimes styled--either justly, or
not, accused the gambler of having cheated him.  He made so much
disturbance, that he was at length forced away from the table by others
standing around it--who, no doubt, were interested in the game.

The "MD" went into a public-house near by; and soon after came out
again, carrying a loaded rifle.

Advancing within about twenty paces of the table where the gambler was
engaged, he called out to the crowd to stand aside, and let him have a
shot at the "skunk," who had cheated him.

"Yes," said the gambler, placing his hand on a revolver, "stand aside,
gentlemen, if you please, and let him have a chance!"

Those between them, obeyed the injunction in double quick time; and, as
soon as the space was clear enough to give a line for his bullet, the
gambler fired--before the "MD" had raised the rifle to his shoulder.

The mule-driver was shot through the heart; and the game went on!

We had an interesting voyage from Vera Cruz to New Orleans.  The
hardships of the march and camp were over.  Some were returning to home
and friends; and all were noisy--some with high animal spirits, and some
with strong ardent spirits, known under the name of _rum_.

There was much gambling on the ship, and many rows to enliven the
passage; but I must not tarry to describe all the scenes I have met, or
the narrative of the Life of a Rolling Stone will be drawn out too long
for the patience of my readers.

We landed in New Orleans, were paid what money was due to us, and
disbanded--each receiving a bounty warrant for one hundred and sixty
acres of land.

In the company to which I belonged, were some of my countrymen, who had
been in the English army; and I often conversed with them, as to the
comparative treatment of the soldiers of the English and American
armies.  I shall give the conclusion we came to upon this subject.

A majority of English soldiers have relatives whom they visit and with
whom they correspond.  The reader will easily understand that when such
is the case, thousands of families in the United Kingdom have more than
a national interest in the welfare of the army, and the manner its
soldiers are treated.  The sympathies of the people are with them; and a
soldier, who may be ill-used, has the whole nation to advocate his
cause.

The majority of American regular soldiers are isolated beings--so far as
home and friends are concerned--and about the only interest the nation
at large takes in their welfare is, that they do their duty, and earn
their pay.

This difference is understood by the soldiers of both armies; and it has
its effect on their character.

In England, the army is regarded as an important part of the nation.

In the United States, it is not; but only as a certain assemblage of
men, employed by the people to do a certain work--for which they receive
good wages, and plenty of food: for in these respects, the American
soldier has an advantage over the English, almost in the ratio of two to
one!

Volume One, Chapter IX.

A FRUITLESS SEARCH.

There were speculators in New Orleans, engaged in buying land warrants
from the returning volunteers.  I sold mine to one of them, for one
hundred and ten dollars.  Besides this amount, I had about fifty dollars
saved from my pay.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I shall now have the pleasure of recording the fact that I made one move
in the right direction.  I set sail for my childhood's home.

Conscience had long troubled me, for having neglected to look after the
welfare of my relatives; and I embarked for Dublin with a mind gratified
by the reflection that I was once more on the path of duty.

So much pleasure did this give me, that I resolved ever after to follow
the guiding of reason, as to my future course in life.  The right course
is seldom more difficult to pursue than the wrong one, while the wear
and tear of spirit in pursuing it is much easier.

How many strange thoughts rushed into my brain--how many interrogations
offered themselves to my mind, as we dropped anchor in Dublin Bay.
Should I find my mother living?  Should I know my brother William and my
sister Martha?  What had become of Mr Leary?  Should I have to kill
him?

Such questions, with many others of a similar nature, coursed through my
soul while proceeding towards the city.

I hurried through the streets, without allowing anything to distract my
thoughts from these themes.  I reached the house that had been the home
of my childhood.

At the door, I paused to recover from an unusual amount of excitement;
but did not succeed in quelling the tumultuous emotions that thrilled my
spirit with an intensity I had never experienced before.

I looked cautiously into the shop.  It was no longer a saddle and
harness-maker's, but a dingy depot for vending potatoes, cabbages, and
coals!

I thought a great change must suddenly have taken place in the whole
city of Dublin.

It did not occur to me, that six years was a sufficient period of time
for turning a saddler's shop into a greengrocer's--without any reason
for being surprised at the transformation.

I stepped inside; and inquired of a stout, red-haired woman the
whereabouts of a Mrs Stone, who formerly occupied the premises.  The
woman had never heard of such a person!

It suddenly occurred to me--and I heaved a sigh at the recollection--
that my mother's name was not _Stone_, but that she was _Mrs Leary_.

I renewed my inquiry, substituting the latter name.

"Mistress Leary?" said the vulgar-looking hag before me, "lift here five
year ago."

The vendor of cabbages did not know where Mrs Leary had gone.  Neither
did I; and this knowledge, or rather absence of knowledge, produced
within me a train of reflections that were new and peculiar.

I turned out of the house, and walked mechanically up the street.  A
familiar name met my half-vacant gaze.  It was painted on a sign, over
the door of a cheese-monger's shop--Michael Brady.

I remembered that Mrs Brady, the wife of the man whose name I saw, was
the intimate acquaintance and friend of my mother.  Perhaps, I might
learn something from her; but what, I almost feared to ascertain.

I went into the shop, and found Mrs Brady seated among her cheeses.
She did not look a day older than when I last saw her.  When asked, if
she remembered ever having seen me before, she gazed at me for some
time, and made answer in the negative.

I was not astonished at her reply.  I could easily understand her
stupidity; my appearance must have greatly altered since she had seen me
last.

"Do you remember the name of Rowland Stone?"  I asked.

"What! the little Rolling Stone?" she exclaimed, gazing at me again.  "I
do believe you are," said she, "Now when I look at you, I can see it is.
How you have changed!"

"What has become of my mother?"  I cried out, too impatient to listen
longer to her exclamatory reflections.

"Poor woman!" answered Mrs Brady, "that's what I have wished to know
for many years."

I was called upon to exercise the virtue of patience--while trying to
obtain from Mrs Brady what information she could give concerning my
family.  With much time spent and many questions put, I obtained from
her the following particulars:

After my departure, Mr Leary became very dissipated, and used to get
drunk every day.  Whenever he sold anything out of the shop, he would go
to a public-house, and stay there until the money obtained for the
article was spent.  He would then return, abuse my mother, beat the
children, take something else out of the shop; and pawn it for more
money to spend in drink or dissipation.  This game he had continued,
until there was nothing left in the establishment that Mr Leary could
sell for a shilling.

The neighbours remonstrated with my mother for allowing him to proceed
in this manner; but the deluded woman seemed to think that everything
done by her husband was right; and was even offended with her friends
for interfering.  No arguments could persuade her that Mr Leary was
conducting himself in an improper manner.  She appeared to think that
the drunken blackguard was one of the best men that ever lived; and that
she had been exceedingly fortunate in obtaining him for a husband!

When Mr Leary had disposed of everything in the shop, and had spent the
proceeds in drink, he absconded--leaving my mother, brother and sister
to suffer for the necessaries of life.

Instead of being gratified at getting clear of the scoundrel, my mother
was nearly heart-broken to think he had deserted her!

Her first thought was to find out where he had gone.  He had served his
apprenticeship in Liverpool; and my mother had reasons to believe that
he had betaken himself thither.  The house in which she resided, had
been leased by my father for a long term.  At the time Mr Leary
deserted her, the lease had several years to run.  Since the time when
it had been taken, rents in the neighbourhood had greatly risen in
value; and my mother was able to sell the lease for ninety pounds.
Obtaining this sum in cash, she left Dublin with her children; and
proceeded to Liverpool to find Mr Leary, as Mrs Brady said, that she
might give him the money to spend in drink!

My mother's friends had advised her to remain in Dublin; and told her
that she should be thankful her husband had deserted her; but their
advice was either unheeded, or scornfully rejected.  In spite of all
remonstrance, she took her departure for Liverpool; and Mrs Brady had
never heard of her again.

I was intensely interested in what was told me by Mrs Brady.  For
awhile, I believed that my poor beguiled parent deserved her fate,
however bad it may have been; and I was half inclined to search for her
no more.  But when I came to reflect that nearly five years had elapsed
since she left Dublin, I fancied that, if unfortunately successful in
finding Mr Leary, she might by this time have recovered from her
strange infatuation concerning him.  Though for her folly, she deserved
almost any fate Mr Leary might bring upon her, I believed it to be my
duty to see her once more.  Besides, I had a strong desire to renew the
rudely broken links of affection, that had existed between myself and my
sister and brother.

When a boy, I was very proud of having a sister like little Martha, she
was so kind, affectionate, and beautiful.  And William, too, I
remembered him with a brother's fondness.  Although my mother had acted
ever so foolishly, it was not the less my duty to look after her.
Perhaps, for her unaccountable delusion, she had been by this time
sufficiently punished.  It was my desire to find her, if possible, and
learn if such was the case.  She was my mother, and I had no other wish
than to act towards her as a son.  I determined, therefore, to proceed
to Liverpool.

I may confess that something more than duty summoned me thither--
something even stronger than filial affection.  It was the design of
visiting Mrs Hyland--or, rather her daughter.  I knew there would be
danger to my happiness in again seeing Lenore; and I strove to
strengthen my resolution by the belief that I was acting under a call of
duty.

I had been with Captain Hyland when he died.  I alone saw his eyes
closed in death, and alone followed him to the grave.  Why should I not
visit his wife and child?

I could fancy that that pressure of the hand given me by the Captain in
his dying struggle, was a silent command to me--to carry to them his
last blessing.

Besides, Mrs Hyland had been very kind to myself; and during my sojourn
in Liverpool, had made her home to me both welcome and pleasant.  Why
should I refrain from seeing her again--simply because her daughter was
beautiful?  I could think of no sufficient reason for denying myself the
pleasure.  The dread of its leading to pain was not enough to deter me;
and I resolved to renew my acquaintance with Lenore.

Before leaving Dublin, I tried to get some information that would aid me
in my search after Mr Leary and my relatives; but was unsuccessful.
None of Mr Leary's former acquaintances could give me any intelligence
as to what part of the city of Liverpool he might be found in.  I could
only learn that my mother, before leaving, had some knowledge to guide
her, which had probably been obtained, sometime or other, from Mr Leary
himself.

In my search, therefore, I should have no other traces than such as
chance might throw in my way.

Volume One, Chapter X.

A CHILLING RECEPTION.

I do not like Liverpool as a city; and less do I admire a majority of
its citizens.  Too many of them are striving to live on what they can
obtain from transient sojourners.  Being the greatest shipping port in
the United Kingdom--and that from which most emigrants take their
departure--it affords its inhabitants too easy opportunities for
exercising their skill--in obtaining the greatest amount of money for
the least amount of service--opportunities of which many of them are not
slow to avail themselves.

My dislike to the people of Liverpool may perhaps, arise from the fact
that I claim to be a sailor; and that thousands of people in that great
seaport--from beggars, thieves, and the like who crowd its crooked,
narrow, dirty streets in search of a living, up to merchants, agents,
and ship-owners--imagine that there is no harm in taking advantage of a
sailor, and, under this belief, seldom lose an opportunity of doing so.

The first thing I did after arriving in this precious seaport, was to
possess myself of a city directory, and make a list of all the saddle
and harness-makers in the place--putting down the address of each
opposite his name.

I then wrote a note to each of them--requesting, that if they knew
anything of a journeyman saddler named Matthew Leary, they would have
the goodness to communicate with me; if not, no answer to my note would
be required.

Having completed this interesting correspondence--which occupied me the
whole of a day--I repaired to the residence of Mrs Hyland.  There had
been no change there.  I found her still living in the same house, where
years before, I had parted with her and her daughter.

I was conducted into the drawing-room; and the next instant one of the
most beautiful creatures man ever beheld, stood before me.

Lenore was beautiful when a child; and time had only developed her young
charms into the perfection of feminine loveliness.  To me, her beauty
transcended everything I had ever seen; although I had been in Dublin,
New Orleans, and Mexico--three places which are not the least favoured
with the light of woman's loveliness.

Lenore was now sixteen years of age, and looked neither more nor less.
The only description I can give of her is that there was nothing
remarkable about her, but her beauty.  I can give no particulars of how
she appeared.  If asked the colour of her hair and eyes, I should have
been unable to tell; I only knew that she was beautiful.

I was painfully disappointed at the reception she gave me.  She did not
meet me with those manifestations of friendship I had anticipated.  It
was true that I had been a long time away; and her friendship towards me
might have become cooled by my protracted absence.  But this was a
painful consideration.  I endeavoured to dismiss it--at the same time I
strove to awaken within her the memories of our old companionship.

To my chagrin, I saw that I was unsuccessful.  She seemed to labour
under some exciting emotion; and I could not help fancying that it was
of a painful character.

Her whole behaviour was a mystery to me, because so different from what
it had formerly been, or what I had hoped to find it.

I had left Lenore when she was but little more than a child, and she was
now a young lady.

In the three years that had intervened, there was reason for me to
expect some change in her character.  With her mother, no change I
presumed could have taken place.  I left Mrs Hyland a woman; and such I
should find her, only three years older.  In her I expected to meet a
friend, as I had left her.  She entered the room.  I was again doomed to
disappointment!

She received me with even more coldness than had been exhibited by
Lenore.  She did not even offer me her hand; but took a seat, and with a
more unpleasant expression than I had ever before observed on her face,
she waited apparently with impatience for what I might have to say.

The sensitive feelings of my soul had never been so cruelly wounded.  I
was in an agony of anger and disappointment; and unable any longer to
endure the painful excitement of my emotions, I uttered a few
common-place speeches, and hastily withdrew from their presence.

What could their conduct mean?  In the excited state of my thoughts, I
was unable to form even a conjecture, that seemed in any way consistent
with my knowledge of their previous character.

It might be that when Lenore was a child, and I was a boy, they had seen
no harm in befriending and being kind to me; but now that Lenore was a
young lady, and I a man--a sailor, too--they might have reasons for not
having any further acquaintance with me.

Could it be that they were endued with that selfishness--in this world
possessed by so many?  That they had been my friends only because
Captain Hyland was my protector--to fall away from me now, that his
protection could be no longer extended to me?

I could hardly think this possible: for it would be so much out of
keeping with all that I had ever known of the character either of Mrs
Hyland or her daughter.

I had long anticipated great pleasure in revisiting them; and had
thought when again in their presence I should be with friends.  Never
had I been so cruelly disappointed; and for awhile I fancied that I
should never care to meet with old acquaintances again.

I am capable of forming strong attachments.  I had done so for Mrs
Hyland and her daughter, and their chill reception had the effect of
causing me to pass a sleepless night.

In the morning, I was able to reflect with a little more coolness, as
well as clearness.  A cause, perhaps _the_ cause, of their strange
conduct suddenly suggested itself to my mind.

Adkins, the first mate of the ship Lenore, had been, and, no doubt,
still was--my enemy.  He had turned me out of the ship in New Orleans;
and had, in all likelihood, on his arrival in Liverpool, poisoned the
mind of Mrs Hyland, by some falsehood, of which I was the victim.  I
knew the scoundrel to be capable of doing this, or any other base
action.

There was a consolation in the thought that this explanation might be
the real one, and for a while it restored the tranquillity of my spirit.

I would see them again, demand an explanation; and if my suspicions
proved true, I could refute any change made against me--so as once more
to make them my friends.

I did not desire their friendship from any personal motives.  It might
not now be worth the trouble of having it restored; but in memory of
their past kindness, and out of regard for my own character, I could not
leave them labouring under the impression that I had been ungrateful.

Alas! there was a deeper motive for my desiring an explanation.  Their
friendship was worth restoring.  It was of no use my endeavouring to
think otherwise.  The friendship of a beautiful creature like Lenore was
worth every thing.  The world to me would be worthless without it.  I
was already wretched at the thought of having lost her good opinion.  I
must again establish myself in it, or failing, become more wretched
still.

The next day, I returned to the residence of Mrs Hyland.  I saw her
seated near the window, as I approached the house.  I saw her arise, and
retire out of sight--evidently after recognising me!

I rang the bell.  The door was opened by a servant--who, without waiting
to be interrogated, informed me that neither Mrs nor Miss Hyland were
at home!

I pushed the door open, passed the astonished domestic, entered the
hall; and stepped unceremoniously into the apartment--in the window of
which I had seen Mrs Hyland.

No one was inside--excepting the servant, who had officially followed
me.  I turned to her, and said in a tone savouring of command:

"Tell Mrs Hyland that Mr Rowland Stone is here, and will not leave
until he has seen her."

The girl retired, and soon after Mrs Hyland entered the room.  She did
not speak; but waited to hear what I had to say.

"Mrs Hyland," I began, "I am too well acquainted with you, and respect
you too much, to believe that I am treated in the manner I have been,
without a good cause.  Conscious of having done nothing intentionally to
injure you, or yours, I have returned to demand the reason why your
conduct towards me has undergone such a change.  You once used to
receive me here as though I was your own son.  What have I done to
forfeit your friendship?"

"If your own conscience does not accuse you," she answered, "it is not
necessary for me to give you any explanation, for you might not
understand it.  But there is one thing that I hope you _will_
understand: and that is, that your visits here are no longer either
welcome or desirable."

"I learnt that much yesterday," said I, imitating in a slight degree the
air of sneering indifference, in which Mrs Hyland addressed me.
"To-day I have called for an explanation.  Your own words imply that I
was once welcome; and I wish to know why such is no longer the case."

"The explanation is then, that you have proved unworthy of our
friendship.  There is no explanation that _you_ can give, that will
remove the impression from my mind that you have been guilty of
ingratitude and dishonesty towards those who were your best friends; and
I do not wish to be pained by listening to any attempt you may make at
an apology."

I became excited.  Had the speaker been a man, my excitement would have
assumed the shape of anger.

"I only ask," I replied, endeavouring, as much as possible, to control
my feelings, "I only ask, what justice to you, as well as myself,
demands you to give.  All I require is an explanation; and I will not
leave the house, until I have had it.  I insist upon knowing of what I
am accused."

Mrs Hyland, apparently in high displeasure at the tone I had assumed,
turned suddenly away from me, and glided out of the room.

To calm my excitement, I took up a paper, and read, or attempted to
read.

For nearly half an hour I continued this half involuntary occupation.
At the end of that time, I stepped up to the fire-place, caught hold of
the bell pull, and rang the bell.

"Tell Miss Lenore," said I, when the servant made her appearance, "that
I wish to see her; and that all the policemen in Liverpool cannot put me
out of this house, until I have done so."

The girl flounced back through the door; and shortly after Lenore, with
half of a smile on her beautiful face, entered the room.

She appeared less reserved than on the interview of the day before; and,
if possible, more lovely.  I was too happy to interpret from her
deportment, that she had not yet entirely forgotten the past; and that
what I now wished to know, she would not hesitate to reveal.

"Lenore," said I, as she entered, "in you I hope still to find a
friend--notwithstanding the coldness with which you have treated me; and
from you I demand an explanation."

"The only explanation I can give," said she, "is, that mamma and I have
probably been deceived.  There is one who has accused you of
ingratitude, and other crimes as bad--perhaps worse."

"Adkins!"  I exclaimed.  "It is Adkins, the first mate of the `Lenore!'"

"Yes, it is he who has brought the accusation; and, unfortunately,
whether false or no, your conduct has been some evidence of the truth of
the story he has told us.  Oh!  Rowland, it was hard to believe you
guilty of ingratitude and crime; but your long absence, unexplained as
it was, gave colour to what has been alleged against you.  You have
never written to us: and it will be nearly impossible for you to be
again reinstated in the good opinion of my mother."

"In yours, Lenore?"

She blushingly held down her head, without making reply.

"Will you tell me of what I am accused?"  I asked.

"I will," she answered.  "And, Rowland, before I hear one word of
explanation from you learn this; I cannot believe you guilty of any
wrong.  I have been too well acquainted with you to believe that you
could possibly act, under any circumstances, as you have been accused of
doing.  It is not in your nature."

"Thank you, Lenore!" said I, with a fervour I could not restrain myself
from showing.  "You are now as you have ever been, more beautiful than
anything in the world, and wise as you are beautiful."

"Do not talk thus, Rowland!  Nothing but your own words can ever change
the opinion I had formed of your character--long ago, when we were both
children.  I will tell you why my mother is displeased with you.  There
are more reasons than one.  First, when my father died in New Orleans,
Mr Adkins brought back the ship; and you did not return in it.  We were
surprised at this; and called Mr Adkins to account for not bringing you
home.  He did not appear willing to give us any satisfaction concerning
you; but we would insist on having it; and then, with apparent
reluctance, he stated that he had not wished to say anything against
you--fearing that from our known friendship for you, it might be
unpleasant for us to hear it.  He then told us, that you had not only
neglected, and proved cruel to my father--when on his death-bed--but,
that, as soon as it became certain there was no hope of his recovery,
you behaved as though you thought it no longer worth while to trouble
yourself with a man, who could not live to repay you.  He said that you
had previously deserted from the ship, and left my father--
notwithstanding his earnest entreaties that you should remain with him.
It cannot be true.  I know it cannot be true; but so long as my mother
thinks there is a particle of truth in Mr Adkins' statement, she will
never forgive you.  Your accuser has also stated that when you left the
ship, you took with you what was not your own; but this he did not tell
us until several months had elapsed, and there appeared no probability
of your returning."

"What has become of Mr Adkins now?"  I asked.

"He is on a voyage to New Orleans in the `Lenore.'  He obtained my
mother's confidence, and is now in command of the ship.  Lately he has
been trying to make himself more disagreeable to myself--by professing
for me--what he, perhaps, believes to be an affection.  Oh! it is too
unpleasant to dwell upon.  My mother listens, I fear, too consentingly,
to all he has to say: for she is grateful to him for his kindness to my
father before he died--and for the interest he appears ever since to
have taken in our welfare.  His manner towards us has greatly changed of
late.  Indeed, he acts as if he were the head of our family, and the
owner of the vessel.  I believe he is expected to return to Liverpool at
any time: as the time for the voyage has expired, and the ship has been
due for some days."

"I wish he were in Liverpool _now_" said I.  "When he does arrive, I
will make him prove himself a liar.  Lenore!  I have ever been treated
with the greatest kindness by your father and mother.  It is not in my
nature to be either ungrateful or dishonest.  Your father's ship was my
home, I did not leave that home without good reason.  I was turned out
of it by the very villain who has accused me.  I shall stay in Liverpool
until he returns; and when I have exposed him, and proved myself still
worthy of your friendship, I shall again go forth upon the world with a
light heart, as I can with a clear conscience."

Requesting Lenore to tell her mother that she had been deceived--and
that I should stay in Liverpool till I proved that such was the case--I
arose to take my departure.  I lingered only to add: that I would not
again annoy them with my presence until the return of the ship--when I
should challenge Adkins to appear before them, and prove him guilty of
the very crimes he had charged against myself--ingratitude and
dishonesty.

With this promise did I close my interview with Lenore.

Volume One, Chapter XI.

ON THE TRACK OF MR LEARY.

After leaving Mrs Hyland's house, I had much to occupy my thoughts.
The principal subject that engaged their attention was the wonderful
beauty of Lenore.

She was beautiful; and she professed to be my friend.  But while I felt
a consoling pride in possessing the friendship of one so lovely, there
was much that was unpleasant in the thought that her mother could, even
for an instant, have believed me guilty of the grave charges brought
against me by Adkins.

To be thought ungrateful by one who had treated me with so much
kindness, and more especially one who was the mother of Lenore, was a
reflection full of bitterness.

Adkins had now done enough to make me his deadly enemy.  He had never
used me well aboard ship; and would have caused me still more trouble
there had he not been restrained by his fear of Captain Hyland.  He had
turned me out of the ship in New Orleans.  He had returned to Liverpool,
and accused me of the basest of crimes.

But what was still more unpleasant to dwell upon; he was endeavouring to
deprive me of what was of almost equal consequence with my character--of
her whom I had hoped might one day become my wife.  Yes, there could be
no doubt of the fact.  He was trying to win Lenore.

This last I could scarce look upon as a crime on his part.  To aspire to
win one so lovely was no crime; and one who should do so would only be
acting as Nature commanded.

But at that time, I did not view it in this light; and the idea of
Edward Adkins aspiring to the hand of Lenore Hyland was proof to me that
he was the vilest wretch that ever encumbered the earth.

For a while, I forgot my hatred for Mr Leary in my dislike to Mr
Adkins.

Hatred with me had never before reached a thirst for revenge; but to
this degree of hostility had it attained, within an hour after leaving
Lenore.

But what could I do?  When my enemy returned, I could confront him in
presence of Lenore and her mother.  I could make one statement, which he
would certainly contradict by making another.  I was in a country where
the laws do not allow a man any chance of obtaining redress for the
cruellest wrong, or insult, he may suffer.

I passed that night, as the preceding one, without sleep.

The day after that on which I had addressed my letters to the saddle and
harness-makers of Liverpool, I received answers from two of them--both
men who had been acquainted with Mr Leary.

I lost no time in calling upon these correspondents.

One of them frankly informed me that Mr Leary's time, as an apprentice,
had been served in his shop, that he did not think him exactly honest;
and had been only too glad to get rid of him.  He had not seen or heard
anything of Mr Leary for seven years; and hoped never to behold that
individual again.  He had taken Leary, when a boy, from the work-house;
and believed he had no relatives, who would know where he was to be
found.

I called on the other saddler, and learnt from him that Mr Leary, after
having served his time, had worked in his establishment as a journeyman,
though only for a very short while.  Leary had left him to go to Dublin;
but had returned three or four years afterwards, and had again been
employed by him for a few days.  On leaving the second time, Mr Leary
had engaged to go out to New South Wales, with a saddle and
harness-maker from that colony, who, as the Liverpool tradesman
laughingly stated, had been so foolish as to pay for Leary's passage, in
the hope of being repaid by his services after he got there.

With painful interest, I inquired, whether Mr Leary had taken along
with him to Australia a wife and family.

"No," said the saddler, "nothing of the kind.  He was not able to do
that: since he had to tell a thousand lies to induce the saddler to take
himself.  But I remember, there was a woman from Dublin inquiring for
him after he had sailed; and she, poor creature, appeared well nigh
heart-broken, when she learnt that he had gone without her.  I suppose
she must have been his wife."

The saddler had heard nothing since from either Leary or the woman.

A part of this intelligence was very satisfactory.  My mother had _not_
found Mr Leary in Liverpool, and that wretch was now far away.

But where was my mother?  Where had she and her youngest children been
for the last five years?  How should I learn their fate?

Surely I had plenty of work before me.  My relatives were to be found;
and this would be no easy task: since I had not the slightest clue to
guide me in the search.  I had to convince Mrs Hyland that I was still
worthy of her friendship.  I had to obtain revenge on my enemy Adkins;
and a greater task than all would still remain.  I had to win, or forget
Lenore.

My last interview with her, had revived within my mind the sweet
remembrances of the past, along with thoughts of the present, and dreams
of the future--thoughts and dreams that would not again sleep.  A mental
vision of her loveliness was constantly before me.

What was I to do first?  I had but little money in my pockets; and could
not leave Liverpool at present to obtain more.  I must stay until the
return of Adkins; and it would not do to spend my last shilling in idly
waiting.

Without friends I could only get such occupation, as required the
severest labour to perform; but, fortunately for that, I had the will,
health, and strength I feel a pride in stating, that I acted, as a man
should under the circumstances.  Instead of strolling about in hopeless
idleness, I went to the docks, and obtained labourer's work.

For two weeks I worked at handling cotton bales, and bags of sugar.  The
toil was humble, and the pay for it was proportionately small; but duty
commanded me, and I worked on, cheered by hope, and without repining at
my fate.

Sometimes in the evening, I would walk up and down the street in front
of the residence of Mrs Hyland--with the hope of seeing Lenore, or with
the knowledge of being near her, whether she might be seen or not.  I
found pleasure even in this.

I did not like to call on her again--until I had given her mother some
proof of my innocence.

Sometimes it occurred to me to ask myself the question, why should I see
her more, even after I had cleared myself?  She was beautiful,
dangerously beautiful; and I was friendless, homeless, and without
fortune.  Why should I endanger my future peace of mind, by becoming
more and more infatuated with one whose heart I could scarce hope ever
to possess?

Duty as well as reason told me to pursue the search for my relatives,
and see Lenore Hyland no more.  But where is the heart love-stricken
that will listen to the call, either of reason, or duty?

Mine did not, and could not.  It was deaf to such an appeal.  I could
think only of Lenore, yearn to see her again--to speak with her--to
listen to her--to love her!

Volume One, Chapter XII.

AN ENCOUNTER WITH A COWARD.

About a week after my interview with Mrs Hyland and her daughter, I saw
what I had been daily looking for--a notice in one of the Liverpool
papers, under the head of "Shipping Intelligence," announcing the
arrival of the ship "Lenore," Captain Adkins, from New Orleans.

After reading the notice, I hastily flung aside the paper; and proceeded
direct to the docks--where I found the vessel had already arrived.

As I might have expected, Adkins was not aboard.  He had landed several
hours before, while the ship was still in the river.  Having ascertained
the name of the hotel where he was in the habit of staying, while in
Liverpool, I lost no time loitering on board the ship, but went in
search of him.  On reaching the hotel, I found that he had slept there
the night before, but had gone out after breakfast in the morning.

My conjecture was, that he would be found at the house of Mrs Hyland;
and it now occurred to me that I had been wonderfully stupid in not
looking for him there in the first instance.

From the hotel, I proceeded direct to Mrs Hyland's residence, as I
walked along, anticipating much pleasure in the task of compelling
Adkins to refute his own falsehoods.  I feared, however, that shame
would hinder him telling the truth; and that even in my presence he
would stick to his infamous story.  I feared it, because I did not wish
to kill him.

As I had conjectured, he was visiting at Mrs Hyland's.  Just as I
reached the door, Adkins was coming out.

I controlled my temper as well as I could.  I did not wish to defeat my
purpose by an exhibition of idle anger.

"Good morning Mr Adkins!" said I.  "We meet again; and I assure you, on
my part, with profound pleasure."

He would have passed without speaking, had I not placed my body so as to
block the way.

"Who the devil are you; and what do you want?" he asked, with a bullying
tone and air that I had often known him assume before.

"I am Rowland Stone," I answered, "and I wish to see you on a matter of
considerable importance."

"You see me then! what the important business?"

"It can only be made known in the presence of Mrs Hyland and her
daughter."

"Mrs Hyland does not wish to see you," said Adkins, "and much less her
daughter, I should think.  As for myself, I want nothing to do with
you."

"I can believe the latter part of your assertions," I answered, "but it
is necessary that we should sometimes do what may not be exactly
agreeable to us.  If there is a spark of manhood in you, walk back into
the house, and repeat to Mrs Hyland in my presence, what you have said
behind my back."

"I shall not take the trouble to do any thing of the kind.  I tell you
again, I want nothing to say to you.  Give me the way!"

As Adkins said this, he made a gesture as if he intended to pass me.

"I'll give you the way to hell," said I, "unless you do as I bid you,"
and I caught him by the collar to drag him into the house.

He resisted this attempt by aiming a blow at me, which I returned with
such interest, that while I still kept my legs, the captain of the
"Lenore" missed his; and, staggering backward, he fell heavily on the
door-step.

I had now lost all command of myself; and, after ringing the bell, to
have the door re-opened, I seized him by the hair of the head--for the
purpose of hauling him inside.

My purpose would have been accomplished.  I would have broken down the
door, dragged him into the house, confronted him with Mrs Hyland, and
made him swallow his false words, but for the arrival of a trio of
policemen.

I was not overcome until after a long struggle, in which the exertions
of the three policemen, Adkins himself, and another man, who was passing
at the time, were united against me.  It ended in their putting me in
irons.

As I was led away from the house, I noticed that Mrs Hyland and Lenore
were both at the window--where, I had no doubt, they had been witnesses
of the affray.

I was at once taken to a police station, and locked up in one of its
cells.

Next morning I was brought before a magistrate.  Adkins was there to
prosecute.  The three policemen were present as witnesses, as also the
Liverpool citizen, who had aided in putting me in irons.

After evidence was heard against me, I was called upon for my defence.
I had nothing to say to the charge.

The magistrate emphatically declared that a case of a more unprovoked
assault had never been brought before him; and that he did not think the
ends of justice would be met by the infliction of a fine.  He therefore
sentenced me to fourteen days' imprisonment.

I thought none the less of myself for that; and, under other
circumstances, two weeks in a prison might not have been passed
unpleasantly.  But it was bitterness to reflect, that while I was
passing my time in the companionship of petty thieves, Edward Adkins was
daily visiting Lenore.

Fourteen days must I pass as a prisoner, while my vile enemy would be
enjoying the society of Mrs Hyland and her daughter--no doubt doing all
he could to blacken my character, and lower me still further in their
estimation!

The reflection was anything but pleasant, though I might have partly
consoled myself by another: that I was much better off inside the gaol,
than millions of my fellow countrymen outside of it.  Had I committed
some crime, that really deserved this confinement, then would I, indeed,
have felt really wretched; but conscience accused me of no wrong; and I
was not without those tranquillising emotions ever springing from a
sense of rectitude and innocence.

I was not afraid that Adkins would gain any great advantage over me in
winning the affections of Lenore--even though aided by the influence of
her mother.  It was not that which troubled me during my sojourn within
the walls of a prison.  If Lenore should prove capable of choosing such
a man for her husband, I need not regret her loss.  My spirit was more
harassed by the thought: that wrong should have thus triumphed--that
Adkins should be in the society of Lenore, when he should have been in
my place in the prison, and I in his.

After I had passed eight days of my confinement, I was surprised one
morning by the announcement that I was to receive visitors.

Two persons had called, and inquired for Rowland Stone.  They were
outside--waiting to be admitted to my cell.

Both proved to be old acquaintances.  One was a man named Wilton, who
had been the second mate of the ship "Lenore," under Captain Hyland.
The other was Mason, the steward of the same ship.

As both these men had been very kind to me when I was in the ship, I was
pleased to see them; but much more so, when I learnt to whom I was
indebted for their visit.  Mason told me that he was still steward of
the "Lenore," and that Miss Hyland had come to him on board: for the
purpose of obtaining a true account of the circumstances that stood
between me and Adkins.

"I was glad to learn, Rowley, that you had turned up again," said Mason,
"but at the same time, sorry to hear of your present trouble.  I at once
resolved to try and get you out of at least a part of it, although I may
lose my situation by doing so.  I told Miss Hyland, plainly enough, that
Adkins was a villain, and that I could prove it.  I promised her that I
would come and see you.  Wilton here, is now the skipper of a tug-boat
on the river, and I brought him along--knowing that he can lend a hand
to help us."

"Nothing can please me more than to see Adkins lose the command of the
`Lenore,'" interposed Wilton, "for I know that he is not an honest man;
and that he has been all along robbing the widow.  We must decide on
some plan to convince Mrs Hyland, that she is placing confidence in a
scoundrel."

Wilton and Mason remained with me nearly an hour; and it was decided
that nothing should be done openly, until my term of imprisonment should
expire.  We were then to ascertain when Adkins would be on a visit to
Mrs Hyland's house, when we should all three go together, meet him
there, and tell Mrs Hyland the whole story of his falsehood and
dishonesty.

"Should she not believe us, and still continue to trust him," said
Wilton, "then she deserves to be robbed, that's my way of thinking."

I thought the same, so far as robbing her of her worldly wealth; but it
was bitter to believe that the rascal might also rob her of a jewel more
priceless than all else--of Lenore.  But I could not believe that the
most insane folly on her part would deserve so extreme a punishment, as
that of having Adkins for a son-in-law!

Mason gave me his address, so did Wilton, and I promised to call on
them, as soon as I should be set at liberty.

They left me happy, and hopeful.  I was happy, not because I was young,
and in good health--not because I had found friends who would aid me in
subduing an enemy; but because the beautiful Lenore had interested
herself in my misfortunes, and was trying to remove them.

That was a theme for many long and pleasant reveries, which while they
rendered me impatient to be free, at the same time enabled me to pass
the remainder of my term of imprisonment, with but slight regard for the
many petty annoyances and discomforts of the situation.

I accepted my liberty when it was at length given me; and on the same
day went to visit Mason and Wilton.

What had been done already by Lenore, left me under the impression that
she would still further aid me in establishing the truth.  I felt
confident, that she would not object to letting us know on what day and
hour we might meet Adkins at her mother's house; and with this
confidence, I wrote a note to her, containing the request that she would
do so.  Then, in pleasant expectation of soon having an opportunity of
clearing my character, I awaited the answer.

Volume One, Chapter XIII.

A RECKONING UP.

Lenore did not disappoint me.  Two days after getting out of the prison,
I received her reply--informing me that Adkins would be at her mother's
house the next day, and advising me to call with my friends, about
half-past ten.  I had made known to her the object of my desire to meet
him.

After receiving her note, I went immediately to Mason and Wilton; and we
appointed a place of rendezvous for the next morning.

That evening, I was as uneasy as the commander-in-chief of an army on
the eve of a great battle.  I had an enemy to confront and conquer--a
reputation already sullied to restore to its former brightness.

I could not help some anxiety as to the result.

In the morning, I met my friends at the appointed place; and as the
clock struck ten, we started for the residence of Mrs Hyland.

As we came within sight of the house, I perceived Lenore at the window.
She recognised us, rose from her seat, and disappeared towards the back
of the room.  When I rang the bell, the door was opened by herself.

Without hesitating, she conducted us all three into the parlour, where
we found Adkins and Mrs Hyland.

The latter appeared to be no little astonished by our unexpected
entrance; but as for Adkins himself, he looked more like a frightened
maniac than a man.

"What does this mean?" exclaimed Mrs Hyland, in a voice that expressed
more alarm than indignation.

"These gentlemen have called to see you on business, mother," said her
daughter.  "There is nothing to fear from them.  They are our friends."

Having said this, Lenore requested us to be seated; and we complied.

Adkins did not speak; but I could read from the play of his features,
that he knew the game was up, and that he had lost.

"Mrs Hyland," said Wilton, after a short interval of silence, "I have
called here to do what I believe to be a duty, and which I ought to have
done long ago.  If I am doing any wrong, it is only through my ignorance
of what's right.  I was your husband's friend, and we sailed together,
for nine years or thereabouts.  I was on the ship `Lenore' when Captain
Hyland died, in New Orleans; and I have heard the stories that Mr
Adkins here has told about this young man.  Those stories are false.
When in New Orleans, at the time of your husband's death, Adkins was
most of the time drunk, and neglecting his duty.  Rowley did not desert
from the ship, neither did he neglect the captain, but was the only one
of the ship's company with him, or taking care of him, when he died.
Mr Adkins never liked Rowley; and the only reason I can think of for
his not doing so, is just because it is natural for a bad man to dislike
a good one.  When Mr Adkins obtained the command of the ship, he would
not let Rowley come aboard again--much less return in her to Liverpool.
I made one voyage with Adkins as first mate after Captain Hyland's
death, and learnt, while making it, that I could not continue with him
any longer--unless I should become nearly as bad as himself.  For that
reason I left the ship.

"Mrs Hyland!" continued Wilton, fixing his eye upon Adkins, and
speaking with determined emphasis, "I have no hesitation in pronouncing
Mr Adkins to be a wicked, deceitful man, who has been robbing you under
the cloak of friendship; and still continues to rob you."

"These men have formed a conspiracy to ruin me!" cried Adkins, springing
to his feet.  "I suppose they will succeed in doing it.  Three men and
one woman are more than I can contend against!"

Mrs Hyland paid no attention to this remark; but, turning to Mason,
said, "I believe that you are Mr Mason, the steward of the `Lenore.'
What have you to say?"

"I have to state that all Mr Wilton has told you, is true," said Mason.
"Rowley, to my knowledge, has never done anything to forfeit your
friendship.  I have long known that Captain Adkins was a scoundrel; and
my desire to expose him--overcome by the fact that I have a large family
to support, and was afraid of losing my situation--has caused me to pass
many a sleepless hour.  I had made up my mind not to go another voyage
along with him--before learning that my testimony was wanted in aid of
Rowley here.  On hearing that he had robbed the young man--not only of
his old friends, but of his liberty--I no longer hesitated about
exposing him.  He is a dishonest villain; and I can prove it by having
the ship's accounts overhauled."

"Go on! go on!" cried Adkins.  "You have it all your own way now.  Of
course, my word is nothing."

"He is telling the truth for once in his life," said Mason to Mrs
Hyland.  "For his word _is_ just worth nothing, to any one who knows
him."

"Now, Rowland," said Mrs Hyland, "what have you to say?"

"Very little," I answered.  "I did not wish you to think ill of me.
There is nothing that can wound the feelings more than ingratitude; and
the kindness with which you once treated me, was the reason why I have
been so desirous of proving to you that I have not been ungrateful.  You
have now evidence that will enable you to judge between Adkins and
myself; and after this interview, I will trouble you no more, for I do
not desire to insist upon a renewal of the friendship you have
suspected.  I only wished you to know that I had given you no cause for
discontinuing it."

"Now, gentlemen!" said Adkins, "having been amused by all each of you
has to say, I suppose I may be allowed to take my leave of you; and,"
said he, turning to Mrs Hyland, "I'll see you again, madam, when you
have not quite so much interesting company to engage your attention."

He arose, and was moving towards the door.

"Stop!" shouted Mason, stepping before him.  "Mrs Hyland," continued
the steward, "I know enough about this man, and his management of your
business, to justify you in giving him in charge to a policeman.  Shall
I call one?"

For a minute Mrs Hyland was silent.

I looked at Adkins, and saw that my triumph over him was complete.  His
own appearance condemned him; and anyone to have seen him at that
moment--humiliated, cowed, and guilty--would ever after have dreaded
doing wrong; through very fear of looking as he did.

In truth, he presented a melancholy spectacle: for he had not the
courage to assume even a show of manliness.

To complete my triumph, and his discomposure, Lenore, who had been all
the while listening with eager interest, and apparent pleasure to what
had been said, cried out, "Let him go, mother, if he will promise never
to come near us again!"

"Yes, let him go!" repeated Mrs Hyland.  "I must think before I can
act."

Mason opened the door; and Adkins sneaked out in a fashion that was
painful, even for me--his enemy--to behold.  After his departure, each
waited for the other to speak.

The silence was broken by Mrs Hyland, who said:

"Of you, Mr Wilton, and you, Mr Mason, I have often heard my late
husband speak in the highest terms; and I know of no reason, why I
should not believe what you have told me."

"With you, Rowland," she continued, turning her eyes upon me, with
something of the old friendly look, "with you, I have been acquainted
many years; and the principal reason I had for doubting your integrity
and truthfulness, was because I thought that, had you possessed the
regard for us, you should have had, you would certainly have come back
after the death of my husband.

"You did not; and the circumstance, as you will admit, was strong
against you.  I have now much reason to believe that I have been
deceived in Adkins; and I do not know whom to trust.  I must suppose
that all of you have come here without any ill feeling towards me: for I
know not why you should wish to do me an injury.

"I have a respect for those in whom Mr Hyland placed confidence.  I
have heard him speak well of all of you; and I do not remember now of
anything he ever said that should give me a favourable opinion of
Adkins.  Indeed, I never heard Mr Hyland speak much concerning him.  It
is my duty to think of the past as well as the present, before I can say
anything more."

Wilton and Mason both assured Mrs Hyland that they had only acted under
the influence of a sense of duty--inspired by the respect they had for
the memory of her husband.

We left the house; but not till Mrs Hyland had shaken hands with me,
and at the same time extended to me an invitation to call the next day;
and not till Mrs Hyland's daughter had given me reason to believe that
my visit would be welcome.

Volume One, Chapter XIV.

ONCE MORE FRIENDS.

I did call the next day, and had no particular reason to be dissatisfied
with my reception.

Mrs Hyland did not meet me in the same motherly manner, she once used
to exhibit; but I did not expect it; and I could not feel displeased at
being admitted on any terms, into the presence of a being so beautiful
as Lenore.

Neither did _she_ receive me in the same manner she used to do in the
past; but neither was I annoyed by that circumstance.  It was necessary
that the child-like innocence and familiarity, once existing between us,
should cease; and it was no chagrin to me to perceive that it had done
so.

I confessed to Mrs Hyland, that I had acted wrong in not returning to
Liverpool after her husband's death; but I also explained to her how, on
being discharged from the ship, I had felt myself sorely aggrieved; and,
having no longer a home, I had to wander about as circumstances
dictated.  I added, of course, that could I have had the least suspicion
that my absence would have been construed into any evidence of crime or
ingratitude, I would have returned long before to refute the calumny.

Lenore did not try to conceal her pleasure, at seeing her mother and
myself conversing once more as friends.

"You must not leave us again, Rowland," said she, "for we have not many
friends, and can ill-afford to lose one.  See how near we have been to
losing you--all through your being absent."

"Yes, Rowland," said Mrs Hyland.  "My house was once your home; and you
are welcome to make it so again.  I shall only be fulfilling the wishes
of my husband, by renewing the intimate friendship that once existed
between us."

Her invitation to make her house once more my home, I reluctantly
declined.  Lenore seemed no longer my sister; and with some sorrow the
conviction forced itself on my mind--that my fate was to love--to love,
yet wander far from the one I loved.

Lenore was now a young lady.  I thought myself a man.  As children, we
could no longer live together--no longer dwell under the same roof.
Lenore was too beautiful; and I was too much afflicted with poverty.
Any further acquaintance between us might not contribute to my future
happiness but the contrary.

I left the house with mingled feelings of pleasure and despair, pleased
to find myself once more restored to the good opinion of Mrs Hyland--
despairing of being able to resist the fascinations of her daughter's
beauty.

Every time I gazed upon her fair face, could only add to my misery.  I
was young; and as I had been told, good-looking.  Lenore and I had been
old friends and playmates.  It was possible for me to win her love; but
would it be honourable?

Would it be a proper return for the kindness of Captain Hyland and his
widow, for me, a penniless "rolling stone," to try to win the affections
of their only child, and subject her to the misery of my own unfortunate
lot?  No!  I could love Lenore; but I could not act in such an unworthy
manner.

Then followed the reflection, that Mrs Hyland had some property.  Her
home would be mine.  She needed a son-in-law to look after the ship; and
I was a seaman.

These thoughts only stirred within me a feeling of pride, that would not
allow me to receive any advantage of fortune from one I could choose for
a wife.  I knew that with all the exertions a man may make--and however
correct his habits may be--he cannot live happily with a wife who brings
into the firm of husband and wife more money than himself.

Another unpleasant consideration came before me.  Why should I be
seeking for reasons against marrying Lenore, when perhaps she might not
consent to marry _me_?  Because we were old friends, was no reason why
she should ever think of me as a husband.  By trying to make her love
me, I might, as she had said of Mr Adkins, cause her only to hate me.

The day after my visit to Mrs Hyland and Lenore, I went to see Mason,
the steward, in order that I might thank him for the good word he had
spoken for me--as well as for much kindness he had shown towards me,
when we were shipmates in the `Lenore.'  He received me in a cordial
manner, that caused me to think better of mankind, than I had lately
done.  In a long conversation I held with him, he told me of many acts
of dishonesty, in the committal of which he had detected Adkins, who, he
said, had been robbing Mrs Hyland in every way he could.

"Captain Hyland took much trouble in giving you some education," said
he; "why don't you marry the daughter, and take command of the ship?"

"I am a poor penniless adventurer," I replied, "and dare not aspire to
so much happiness as would be mine, were I to become the husband, as
well as captain, of `Lenore.'  I am neither so vain nor ambitious."

"That's a fact," said Mason.  "You have not enough of either.  No man
ever did any thing for himself, or any one else, without thinking
something of himself, and making such a trial as you decline to
undertake.  He is a lucky man who wins without trying."

There was truth in what the steward said; but the Hylands had been my
friends, and were so again; and I could not bring myself to abuse the
confidence they had placed in me.  I could not speak of love to Lenore,
and so I told the steward.

In this interview with Mason, I learnt from him that Adkins had
disappeared, and could no more be found!

"His flight," said Mason, "will be positive proof to Mrs Hyland that he
was unworthy of the confidence she had placed in him.  She cannot be too
thankful, that your return has been the means of her discovering his
true character.  I would have exposed him long ago, but I did not think
that I could succeed; and that I would only be doing myself an injury--
in short, ruining my poor family, without the consolation of knowing
that I had also ruined a scoundrel.  Thank the Lord for all his mercies!
The villain has been uncloaked at last."

With this pious thanksgiving ended the interview, between the honest
steward and myself.

Volume One, Chapter XV.

LOVE AND POVERTY.

From that time I called every day to see Lenore and her mother; and each
time came away more hopelessly infatuated.

My money was gradually growing easier to count--until I found that I had
but a few shillings left, and necessity must soon force me to seek
employment.  Of course I contemplated going to sea, and making my living
on board some ship; but I found it impossible to come to a
determination.

How was I to leave Liverpool, where I could gaze each day on the beauty
that adorned Lenore?

I could not take my departure until circumstances should compel me.  In
order to protract my stay as long as possible, I lived on but one meal
per diem; and as I had also to keep a little money for my lodgings, I
made that meal upon a penny roll.

Mrs Hyland had determined on giving up the ship--a resolution no doubt
due to the mismanagement, or rather dishonesty, of him who had lately
commanded her.  I assisted her in finding a purchaser; and she was very
fortunate in disposing of the vessel at a good price.

She had plenty of money, and was willing to aid me.  But pride prevented
me from accepting of anything but her friendship; and ofttimes did I
appear in the presence of Lenore while suffering the pangs of hunger!
Was that love?

I thought it was; and on this fancy, and a single roll of bread, I lived
from day to day.  Never had I been so happy, and, at the same time, so
wretched.  I could look upon her I loved, and converse with her for
hours at a time.  That was happiness.  But I loved Lenore, and must
leave her.  That was misery.

Lenore seemed to meet me with so much cheerfulness, that my resolution
to leave her--without being absolutely compelled to it--was often nearly
broken; and I believe there are but few who would have resisted the
temptation to stay.  But pride, a sense of justice, and a love of
independence, prompted me to go forth again upon the world, and seek
fortune afresh.  Perhaps, too, the fact that I was naturally a "rolling
stone," might have had much to do in my determination, at length arrived
at, of bidding adieu to Lenore.  There was yet another motive urging my
departure--one which had been too long allowed to lie dormant within my
bosom; my relatives were lost, and I knew not where to find them.  This
thought often arose, causing me much regret.  I had as yet no reason to
believe that they had left Liverpool; but if such should prove to be the
case, the sooner I started in search of them, the sooner would my
conscience be satisfied.

I waited till my last shilling was spent; and then sold a signet ring--
which I had taken from the finger of a dead Mexican, on the field of
battle--obtaining thirty shillings for it.  With this trifling sum I had
a great deal to accomplish.  It constituted the sole fund with which my
relatives were to be sought and found.  It was the capital I had to
invest, in the business of making a fortune worthy of Lenore!

I advertised for my mother in some of the Liverpool papers; but the only
result was the loss of the greater part of my cash.  She had probably
gone after Mr Leary to Australia.  Having followed him from Dublin to
Liverpool, was proof that she was foolish enough to follow him to the
Antipodes; and the money she had received for the lease of her house,
would enable her to go there.

Had I been certain that she had sailed to Australia, I should have gone
after her; but I could scarce believe that she had been guilty of an act
of folly; which even the absence of common sense would neither excuse
nor explain.  Because she had once acted foolishly, was not positive
proof that she still continued the victim of her unfortunate
infatuation.

The mere conjecture that my mother had emigrated to Australia, would not
have been a sufficient reason for my going so far in search of her--so
far away from Lenore.  Still it was certain I must go somewhere.  I had
a fortune to make; and, in my belief, Liverpool was the last place where
an _honest_ man would have stood any chance in making it.

My clothing had become threadbare, and my hat and boots were worn to
such a dilapidated condition, that I became every day more ashamed to
pay my visits to Lenore.  I at length resolved upon discontinuing them.

I arose one morning, with the determination of making a move of some
kind during the day: for the life that I had been leading for the past
six weeks could be endured no longer.

I made an excursion to the docks, where I soon succeeded in finding a
berth; and shipped for the "run" in a large vessel--a "liner"--bound to
New York.  This business being settled, I proceeded to the house of Mrs
Hyland--to bid her and her daughter "good-bye."

They showed every evidence of regret at my departure; and yet they did
not urge me very strenuously to remain: for they knew something of my
disposition.

I had a long conversation with Lenore alone.

"Miss Hyland," said I, "I am going in search of a fortune--a fortune
that must be obtained by hard toil; but that toil shall be sweetened by
hope--the hope of seeing _you_ again.  We are both young; and the
knowledge of that gives me encouragement to hope.  I shall not now speak
to you of love; but I shall do so on my return.  I believe that we are
friends; but I wish to make myself worthy of something more than your
friendship."

I fancied that Lenore understood me.  I cannot describe the exquisite
pleasure that thrilled me, as I noted the expression of her features
while she stood listening.  It did not forbid me to hope.

"I will not try to detain you, Rowland," she answered, "but if you are
unsuccessful abroad, do not remain long away.  Return to us; and you
will find those who can sympathise with your disappointments.  I shall
pray that no harm may befall you; and that we may soon meet again."

I could perceive her bosom trembling with some strong emotion, as she
uttered these parting words.

As I took her hand to bid the final "good bye," we were both unable to
speak; and we parted in silence.

The memory of that parting cheered me through many a dark and stormy
hour of my after life.

Volume One, Chapter XVI.

ATLANTIC LINERS.

Perhaps the most worthless characters, who follow the sea as a
profession, are to be found among the crews of Atlantic liners--
especially those trafficking between Liverpool and New York.

These men seldom make voyages to any other ports, than the two above
mentioned; and their custom is to "ship for the run" in one vessel, and
return in another.  They do not affect long voyages; and prefer that
between Liverpool and New York to any other.

There are several reasons for this preference on their part.

One is the facility with which--on an Atlantic liner--they can rob each
other, and steal from the passengers.

Another is, that being, even for seamen, a profligate, dissipated set,
these short voyages give them more frequent opportunities of being in
port--where they can indulge in the vices and habits so congenial to
their vulgar tastes.

A third reason is, the great number of emigrant-passengers carried
between those ports, along with the loose observance of the Passenger
Act--the rules of which are less strictly enforced upon Atlantic liners,
than aboard ships going on longer voyages.

It may be inferred from this, that the ruffians comprising the crews of
the Atlantic liners, have a better opportunity of plundering the
passengers than in any other ships.

When embarking on one of these vessels to recommence my duties as a
seaman, I was not encumbered with much luggage; and I was not very long
in her forecastle, before discovering that this was rather an advantage
than a misfortune!

I had spent so much of my money, that I should have been absolutely
unable to buy an outfit for any other "trip" than that between Liverpool
and New York.

The less a sailor takes aboard with him on such a voyage, the less will
he lose before it is terminated.

One of the crew of the ship in which I sailed, was a young seaman, who
had never made the voyage from Liverpool to New York; and therefore
lacked experience of the evil doings incidental to such a trip.  He had
been foolish enough to bring on board a large "kit" of good clothing.
The first night out of port, when this young man was keeping his watch
on deck, one of his comrades below took notice of his chest.

"It's locked," said the man, stretching out his hand to try the lid.

"Blast him!" cried another, "I suppose he thinks we are all thieves
here!"

"Sarve him right if he were to lose every-things that's in it,"
significantly remarked a third.

"So say I," chimed in a fourth speaker, drawing nearer to the kit, in
order to be at hand in case of a scramble--which the moment after was
commenced.

The chest was turned over, all hands taking share in the act; and
without further ado, its bottom was knocked in.  Most of the sailor's
effects were pulled out, and scattered about--each of the ruffians
appropriating to himself some article which he fancied.

Amongst other things, was a new pair of heavy horseskin boots, which
were obtained by a fellow, who chanced to stand in need of them; and who
pulled them on upon the spot.

The next day, the young sailor having missed his property, of course
created a disturbance about it.  For this, he was only laughed at by the
rest of the crew.

He complained to the officers.

"Had your clothes stole, have you?" carelessly inquired the first mate.
"Well, that's what you might have expected.  Some of the boys are queer
fellows, I dare say.  You should have taken better care of your togs--if
you cared anything about them."

The next day, the young sailor saw one of the men with the stolen boots
upon his feet, and at once accused the wearer of the theft.  But the
only satisfaction he obtained, was that of getting kicked with his own
boots!

We had on board between three and four hundred passengers--most of them
Irish and German emigrants.

Several deaths occurred amongst these poor people.  Whenever one of them
died, the fact would be reported to the officers; and then the first
mate would order the sailmaker to enclose the body in a sack--for the
purpose of its being thrown overboard.  This command to the sailmaker
was generally given as follows:

"Sails! there's a dead 'un below.  Go down, and sack 'im."

As these words were heard by the passengers--alas! too often repeated--
the sailmaker was known during the remainder of the voyage by the name
of Mr Sackem; and this unfortunate functionary became an object of
mysterious dread to many of the passengers--especially the women and
children.

Women generally have a great horror of seeing the dead body of any of
their relatives thrown into the sea; and Mr Sackem incurred the
ill-will of many of the female emigrants, who were simple enough to
think that he was someway or other to blame for the bodies being
disposed of in this off-hand, and apparently unfeeling fashion!

A young child--one of a large family of Irish people--had died one
night; and the next morning the sailmaker went into the steerage where
the body lay--to prepare it for interment in the usual way.

The first attempt made by Mr Sackem, towards the performance of his
duty, brought upon him an assault from the relatives of the deceased
child, backed by several others who had been similarly bereaved!

Poor Sails was fortunate in getting back upon deck with his life; and he
came up from the hatchway below with his clothing torn to rags!  He had
lost the greater part of a thick head of hair, while his countenance
looked like a map of North America, with the lakes and rivers indicated
in red ink.

It was not until the captain had gone down--and given the passengers a
fine specimen of the language and manners of the skipper of an Atlantic
liner in a rage--that the body was allowed to be brought up, and
consigned to its last resting place in the sea.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

I landed in New York, with the determination of trying to do something
on shore, for I was by this time convinced, that a fortune was not to be
made by following the occupation of a common sailor.

I did not remain long in New York.  Too many emigrants from Europe were
constantly arriving there; and continuing that same struggle for
existence, which had forced them into exile.

I had every reason to believe, that a young man like myself was not
likely to command his full value, where there were so many competitors;
and I determined to go on to visit the West.

Is it true, a life on the sea might have been preferable to the
hardships, that were likely to be encountered beyond the borders of
civilisation; but Lenore was not to be won by my remaining a common
sailor, nor would such a profession be likely to afford me either time
or opportunity for prosecuting the search after my lost relations.  I
knew not whether I was acting prudently or not; but I directed my course
westward; and did not bring to, until I had reached Saint Louis, in the
State of Missouri.  There I stopped for a time to look about me.

On acquaintance with it I did not discover much in this western city to
admire.  A person of sanguine hopes, and anxious to accomplish great
things in a very little time, is, perhaps, not in a fit frame of mind to
form correct conclusions; and this may account for my being discontented
with Saint Louis.

I could not obtain a situation in a city where there was but little to
be done, and no great wages for doing it.  I was told that I might find
employment in the country--at splitting rails, cutting wood, and other
such laborious work; but in truth, I was not in the vein to submit
myself to this kind of toil.  I was disappointed at finding, that in the
great West I should have much more work to do than I had previously
imagined.

It chanced that at this time there was a grand commotion in Saint Louis.
Gold had been discovered in California--lying in great quantities in
"placers," or gold washings; and hundreds were departing--or preparing
to depart--for the land where fortunes were to be made in a single day.

This was precisely the sort of place I was looking for; but to reach it
required a sum of money, which I had not got.  I had only the poor
satisfaction of knowing that there were many others in a similar
situation--thousands of them, who wished to go to California, but were
prevented by the same unfortunate circumstances that obstructed me.

Many were going overland--across the prairies and mountains; but even
this manner of reaching the golden land required more cash than I could
command.  A horse, and an outfit were necessary, as well as provisions
for the journey, which had to be taken along, or purchased by the way.

I regretted that I had not shipped in New York, and worked my passage to
California round the Horn.  It was too late now.  To get back to any
seaport on the Atlantic, would have required fifteen or twenty dollars;
and I had only five left, of all that I had earned upon the liner.  I
spent these five dollars, before I had succeeded in discovering any plan
by which I might reach California.  I felt convinced that my only chance
of finding my relatives, and making myself worthy of Lenore, lay in my
getting across, to the Pacific side of America.

While thus cogitating, I was further tantalised by reading in a
newspaper some later accounts from the diggings.  These imparted the
information that each of the diggers was making a fortune in a week, and
spending it in a day.  One week in California, was worth ten years in
any other part of the world.  Any one could get an ounce of gold per
diem--merely for helping the giver to spend the money he had made!

Should I--the Rolling Stone--stay where I could find employment at
nothing better than splitting rails, while Earth contained a country
like California?

There was but one answer to the interrogation: No.

I resolved to reach this land of gold, or perish in the attempt.

Volume One, Chapter XVII.

ON HORSEBACK ONCE MORE.

The same newspaper that had imparted the pleasing intelligence, supplied
me with information of another kind--which also produced a cheering
effect upon my spirits.

The emigrants proceeding overland to California, required protection
from the Indians--many hostile tribes of whom lived along the route.
Military stations, or "forts" as they were called, had to be established
at different points upon the great prairie wilderness; and, just then,
the United States' Government was enlisting men to be forwarded to these
stations.

Most of the men enrolled for this service, were for its cavalry arm; and
after my last quarter of a dollar had been spent, I became one of their
number.  My former experience in a dragoon saddle--of which I could give
the proofs--made it no very difficult matter for me to get mounted once
more.

Enlisting in the army, was rather a strange proceeding for a man who was
anxious to make a fortune in the shortest possible time; but I saw that
something must be done, to enable me to live; and I could neither hold a
plough, nor wield an axe.

At first, I was not altogether satisfied with what I had done, for I
knew that my mother was not to be found in the wilds of America; and
that, after remaining five years in the ranks of the American army, I
would be as far as ever from Lenore.

There was one thought, however, that did much to reconcile me to my new
situation; and that was, that our line of march would be _towards
California_!

Three weeks after joining the cavalry corps, we started for a station
lying beyond Fort Leavenworth.

Our march was not an uninteresting one: for most of my comrades were
young men of a cheerful disposition; and around our camp-fires at night,
the statesman, philosopher, or divine, who could not have found either
amusement or instruction, would have been a wonderful man.

Our company was composed of men of several nations.  All, or nearly all,
of them were intelligent; and all unfortunate: as, of course, every man
must be, who enters the ranks as a common soldier.

Man is the creature of circumstances, over which he has no control.  The
circumstances that had brought together the regiment to which I
belonged, would probably make a volume much more instructive and
interesting than any "lady novel," and this, judging from the taste
displayed by the majority of readers of the present day, is saying more
than could be easily proved.

Many European officers would have thought there was but slight
discipline in the corps to which I was attached; but in this opinion,
they would be greatly in error.

The efficiency of our discipline consisted in the absence of that pretty
order, which some French and English martinets would have striven to
establish; and which would have been ill-suited for a march over the
sterile plains, and through the dense forests encountered in the line of
our route.  This absence of strict discipline did not prevent us from
doing a good day's march; and yet enabled us to have plenty of game to
cook over our camp-fires by night.

We had no duty to trouble ourselves with, but what the common sense of
each taught him to be necessary to our safety and welfare; and we were
more like a hunting party seeking amusement, than like soldiers on a
toilsome march.

For all this, we were proceeding towards our destination, with as much
speed as could reasonably be required.

We had one man in the company, known by the name of "Runaway Dick"--a
name given to him after he had one evening, by the camp-fire,
entertained us with a narration of some of the experiences of his life.

He had run away from home, and gone to sea.  He had run away from every
ship in which he had sailed.  He had started in business several times,
and had run away each time in debt.  He had married two wives, and had
run away from both; and, before joining our corps, he had run away from
the landlord of a tavern--leaving Boniface an empty trunk as payment for
a large bill.

"Runaway Dick" was one of the best marksman with a rifle we had in the
company; and it was the knowledge of this, that on one occasion caused
me perhaps the greatest fright I ever experienced.

I had risen at an early hour one morning, which being very cold, I had
lighted a fire.  I was squatted, and shivering over the half kindled
faggots, with a buffalo robe wrapped around my shoulders, when I saw
"Runaway Dick" steal out from his sleeping place under a waggon.  On
seeing me, he turned suddenly round, and laid hold of his rifle.

I had just time to throw off the hairy covering, and spring to my feet,
as the rifle was brought to his shoulder.  Three seconds more, and I
should have had a bullet through my body!

"Darn it!  I thought you was a bar," said Dick coolly, putting down his
rifle, as I fancied, with a show of some chagrin at having been
undeceived, and "choused" out of his shot.

I afterwards heard that he was only trying to frighten me.  If so, the
experiment proved entirely successful.

After reaching the post we were to occupy, I was not so well satisfied
with my situation, as when on the march.

The discipline became more strict, and we had a good deal of
fatigue-work to do--in building huts, stables, and fortifications.

Besides this unsoldierly duty by day, we had at night to take our turn
as sentinels around the station.

Emigrants on the way to California passed us daily.  How I envied them
their freedom of action, and the bright hopes that were luring them on!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

One morning, "Runaway Dick" was not to be found.  He had run away once
more.  It was not difficult to divine whither--to California.

In this, his latest flight, he appeared to give some proof that he had
still a little honesty left: for he did not take along with him either
his horse, or his rifle.

I overheard some of the officers speaking of him after he was gone, one
of them pronounced him "a damned fool" for not taking the horse--so
necessary to him upon the long journey he would have to perform, before
reaching his destination.

On hearing this remark, I registered a resolve, that, when my turn came
to desert, they should not have occasion to apply the epithet to me, at
all events, not for the same reason that Runaway Dick had deserved it.

Whether Dick's example had any influence on me, I do not now remember.
I only know that I soon after determined to desert, and take my horse
with me.

I had served the Government of the United States once before; and did
not think myself any too well rewarded for my services.  I might
probably have believed that "Uncle Sam" was indebted to me; and that by
dismissing myself from his employ, and taking with me some of his
property, it would be only squaring accounts with him; but I did not
then take the trouble to trifle with my conscience--as I do not now--to
justify my conduct by any such excuse.  To carry off the horse would be
stealing; but I required the animal for the journey; and I did not like
to leave my officers under the impression that I was a "damned fool."

"Every one who robs a government is not called a thief," thought I, "and
why should I win that appellation when only trying to win Lenore?"

I could not afford to squander the best part of my life in a
wilderness--standing sentry all the night, and working on fortifications
all the day.

It was absurd for any one to have enlisted an intelligent-looking young
fellow like myself, for any such occupation.  Was I not expected to take
French leave on the first favourable opportunity?  And would I not be
thought a "fool" for not doing so?

These considerations did not influence me much, I admit, for the true
cause of my desertion, was the knowledge that neither my relatives nor
Lenore would ever be encountered in the middle of the great American
prairie, and that to find either I must "move on."

One night I was dispatched on patrol duty, to a place some two miles
distant from the fort.  The sky was dark at the time; but I knew the
moon would be shining brightly in an hour.

A better opportunity would perhaps never occur again; and I resolved to
take advantage of it and desert.

By going through the wilderness alone, I knew that I should have many
dangers and hardships to encounter; but the curiosity, of learning how
these were to be overcome, only added to my desire for entering upon
them.

My patrol duty led me along the trail of the emigrants proceeding
westward; and even in the darkness, I was able to follow it without
difficulty, riding most of the way at a trot.  When the moon rose, I
increased my pace to a gallop, and scarce halted until daybreak, when,
perceiving a small stream that ran through the bottom of a narrow
valley, I rode toward it.  There dismounting, I gave my horse to the
grass--which was growing so luxuriantly as to reach up to his knees.

The horse was more fortunate than I: for the long night's ride had given
me an appetite, which I had no means of satisfying.  I was hungry and
happy--happy, because I was free; and hungry for the same reason!  A
paradox, though a truth.

There were birds warbling among the trees by the side of the stream.  I
could have shot some of them with my rifle, or revolver, and cooked them
over a fire--for I had the means of making one.  But I was not hungry
enough to risk the report of a shot being heard; and after tethering my
horse, to make secure against _his deserting me_, I lay down upon the
long grass and fell fast asleep.

I dreamt no end of dreams, though they might all have been reduced to
one; and that was: that the world was my inheritance, and I was on my
way to take possession of it.

When I awoke, the sun was in the centre of the sky.  My horse had
satisfied his hunger; and, following the example of his master, had laid
down to sleep.

I did not hesitate to disturb his repose; and, having saddled and
remounted him, I once more took to the emigrant trail, and continued on
towards fortune and Lenore!

Volume One, Chapter XVIII.

OLD JOHNSON.

I travelled along the trail all that afternoon and evening, until, just
as twilight was darkening into night, I came in sight of some
camp-fires.  On seeing them, I paused to consider what was best to be
done.

To halt at the camp--if, as I supposed, it was a party of emigrants--
might lead to my being taken, in case of being pursued from the fort,
for my dress, the U.S. brand on the horse, and the military saddle, all
proved them the property of "Uncle Sam."

This determined me to avoid showing myself--until I should have put a
greater distance between myself and the fort.

I dismounted on the spot where I had halted, tethered my horse, and
tried to take some rest.  I soon found that I could not sleep: hunger
would not admit of it.

Within sight of me were the camp-fires, surrounded by people, who would
probably have relieved my wants; and yet I feared to go near them.

Conscience, or common sense, told me, that emigrants in a wilderness
might not look very favourably upon one, employed to protect them,
deserting from his duty, and taking property along with him--of which
every citizen of the United States believes himself to be the owner of a
share.  They might not actually repel me.  In all probability they would
give me something to eat; but they might also give information
concerning me--should I be pursued--that would enable my pursuers to
make a prisoner of me.

Before daybreak I awoke, having enjoyed a brief slumber; and, silently
mounting my horse, I rode beyond the emigrants' camp--deviating widely
from the trail to get around them.

I soon recovered the track; and pursued it as fast as my steed was
willing to carry me.  When, looking out for a place where water could be
obtained--with the intention of stopping awhile and killing some bird or
animal for food--I came in sight of another party of emigrants, who were
just taking their departure from the spot where they had encamped for
the night.

I had put one train of these travellers between me and the fort; and now
fancied myself tolerably safe from pursuit.  Riding boldly up to the
waggons, I told the first man I encountered, and in very plain terms
that I must have something to eat.

"Now, I like that way of talking," said he.  "Had you asked for
something in the humble manner many would have done, perhaps you would
not have got it.  People don't like to carry victuals five hundred
miles, to give away for nothing; but when you say you _must_ have
something to eat, then, of course, I can do nothing but give it to you.
Sally!" he continued, calling out to a young woman who stood by one of
the waggons, "get this stranger something to eat."

Looking around me, I saw a number of people--men, women, and children of
every age.  There appeared to be three families forming the "caravan" no
doubt emigrating together, for the purpose of mutual protection and
assistance.  There were five or six young men--who appeared to be the
sons of the elder ones--and a like number of young women, who were
evidently the daughters of three others of middle age, while a large
flock of miscellaneous children, a small flock of sheep, a smaller
number of cattle, several horses, and half-a-dozen half-famished dogs
completed the live-stock of the train.

"I guess you're a deserter?" said the man, to whom I had first addressed
myself, after he had finished his survey of myself and horse.

"No," I answered.  "I'm on my route to Fort Wool.  I have lost my way,
and gone without eating for two days."

"Now, I like that way of talking," responded the emigrant, who appeared
to be the head man of the party.  "When a man tells me a story, I like
it to be a good one, and well told--whether I believe it, or not."

"What reason have you to disbelieve me?"  I asked, pretending to be
offended at having my word doubted.

"Because I think, from your looks, that you are not a damned fool,"
answered the man, "and no other but a fool would think of staying in a
military fort, in this part of the world, any longer than he had a
chance to get away from it."

I immediately formed the opinion, that the person speaking to me was the
most sensible man I had ever met--myself not excepted: for it was not
necessary for him to have seen Lenore, to know that I had done well in
deserting.

After my hunger had been appeased, I moved on with the emigrant train,
which I found to consist of three Missouri farmers and their families,
on their way to the "Land of Promise."  The man with whom I had
conversed, was named Johnson, or "old Johnson," as some of his juniors
called him.  He was a sharp, brisk sort of an old fellow; and I could
perceive, at a glance there was no chance of his being humbugged by any
made-up story.  I, therefore, changed my tactics; and frankly
acknowledged myself to be a deserter from the United States' troops,
occupying the last fort he had passed.  It was scarce necessary to add,
that my destination was California.  I finished by proposing: that he
would have my services in whatever capacity he might require them, in
consideration of furnishing me with food upon the journey.

"Now, I like that way of talking," said old Johnson, when I had
concluded, "we just chance to need your help, and that of your horse,
too; and we'll try to do the best we can for you.  You must expect to
see some hard times, before we get through--plenty of work and no great
feeding--but do your share of the work, and you shall fare like the rest
of us."

I could ask nothing fairer than this; and the next day, found me dressed
in a suit of "linsey wolsey," working my passage to California, by
taking my share with the others, in clearing the track of obstructions,
driving the cattle, and such other duties as fall to the lot of the
overland emigrant.

The journey proved long, fatiguing, and irksome--much more so than I had
expected; and many times a day did I swear, that, if I ever worked a
passage to California again, it should be by water.  I was impatient to
get on; and chafed at the slow pace at which we crawled forward.  Horses
and cattle would stray, or make a stampede; and then much time would be
lost in recovering them.

Sometimes we would reach a stream, where a bridge had to be built or
repaired; and two or three days would be spent at the work.  The draught
horses and oxen would die, or, becoming unable to proceed farther, would
have to be left behind.  The strength of our teams was being constantly
weakened--until they were unable to draw the heavily loaded waggons; and
it became necessary to abandon a portion of their contents--which were
thrown away upon the prairies.  The first articles thus abandoned, were
carpets and other useless things, not required on the journey, but which
to please the women, or at their instigation, had been put into the
waggons at starting, and dragged for six or seven hundred miles!

The dogs, that, at the commencement of the journey, had for each mile of
the road, travelled about three times that distance, having worn the
skin from the soles of their feet, now crawled along after the waggons
without taking one unnecessary step.  They seemed at length to have
reached the comprehension: that the journey was to be a protracted one;
and that while undertaking it, the idle amusement of chasing birds was
not true canine wisdom.

I shall not startle my leaders with a recital of any remarkable
adventures we had with the hostile Indians: for the simple reason that
we had none.  They gave us much trouble for all that: since our fear of
encountering them, kept us constantly on the alert--one of our party,
and some times more, standing sentry over the camp throughout the whole
of every night.

If my readers reason aright, they will give me credit for not drawing on
my imagination for any part of this narrative.  They may easily perceive
that, by thus eschewing the subject of an encounter with Indians, I lose
an excellent opportunity for embellishing my true tale with an
introduction of fiction.

As we approached the termination of our journey, the teams became
weaker--until it took all of them united in one yoke to draw a single
waggon, containing only the youngest of the children, and a few pounds
of necessary provisions!

The old ladies, along with their daughters, performed the last hundred
miles of the journey on foot; and when we at length reached the first
settlement--on the other side of the mountains--a band of more wretched
looking individuals could scarce have been seen elsewhere.  My own
appearance was no exception to that of my companions.  My hat was a
dirty rag wrapped around my head like a turbann while my boots were
nothing more than pieces of buffalo hide, tied around my feet with
strings.  For all this, I was as well dressed as any of the party.

My agreement with old Johnson was now fulfilled; and I was at liberty to
leave him.  I was anxious to be off to the diggings, where his eldest
son, James, a young man about twenty years old, proposed accompanying
me.  Old Johnson declined going to the diggings himself--his object in
coming to California being to "locate" a farm, while the country was
still "young."

He furnished us with money to buy clothing and tools, as well as to keep
us in food for awhile--until we should get fairly under weigh in the
profession we were about to adopt.

I promised to repay my share of this money to his son--as soon as I
should earn its equivalent out of the auriferous earth of California.

"Now, I like that way of talking," said old Johnson, "for I'm a poor
man; and as I have just come here to make a fortune, I can't afford to
lose a cent."

I parted with Mr Johnson and his party of emigrants with some regret,
for they all had been more kind to me than I had any reason to expect.

I have never found the people of this world quite so bad as they are
often represented; and it is my opinion, that any man who endeavours to
deserve true friendship, will always succeed in obtaining it.

I have never met a man whose habit was to rail against mankind in
general, and his own acquaintances in particular, whose friendship was
worth cultivation.  Such a man has either proved unworthy of friendship,
and has never obtained it; or he has obtained, and therefore possesses
that, for which he is ungrateful.

Volume One, Chapter XIX.

A "PROSPECTING EXPEDITION."

On parting with the Californian colonists, young Johnson and I proceeded
direct to the diggings on the Yuba, where, after looking about for a day
or so, we joined partnership with two others, and set to work on a
"claim" close by the banks of the river.

We had arrived at an opportune season--the summer of 1849--when every
miner was doing well.  There was a good deal of generosity among the
miners at this time; and those who could not discover a good claim by
their own exertions, would have one pointed out with directions how to
work it!

Our party toiled four weeks at the claim we had chosen, and was very
successful in obtaining gold.  Never did my hopes of the future appear
so bright.  Never did Lenore seem so near.

No gold washing could be done on the Yuba during the winter--the water
in the river being then too high--and, as we had not much longer to
work, it was proposed by three men, who held the claim adjoining ours,
that we should join them in prospecting for some new diggings--where we
might be able to continue at work all the winter, unembarrassed by too
much water and too many miners.

One of our neighbours who made this proposal, had visited a place about
forty miles farther up the country--where he believed we might find a
"placer" such as we required.  He had been upon a hunting expedition to
the place spoken of; and while there did not look for gold--having no
mining tools along with him; but from the general appearance of the
country, and the nature of the soil, he was convinced we might find in
it some rich dry diggings, that would be suitable for working in the
winter.

It was proposed that one of us should accompany the man on a prospecting
expedition, that we should take plenty of provisions with us, and search
until we should discover such diggings as we desired.

To this proposal, both parties agreed; and I was the one chosen, by
Johnson and my other two companions, to represent them in the
expedition--the expenses of which were to be equally shared by all.

Before starting, I left with young James Johnson my share of the gold we
had already obtained--which amounted to about sixty ounces.

The hunter and I started--taking with us three mules.  Each of us rode
one--having our roll of blankets lashed to the croup of the saddle.  A
sixty pound bag of flour, some other articles of food, a tent, and the
necessary "prospecting" tools formed "the cargo" of the third mule,
which, in the language of California, was what is called a "pack-mule."

My fellow prospecter was only known to me by the name of Hiram.  I soon
discovered that he was not an agreeable companion--at least, on such an
expedition as that we had undertaken.  He was not sociable; but, on the
contrary, would remain for hours without speaking a word; and then, when
called upon to say something, he would do so in a voice, the tones of
which were anything but musical.

The animal I bestrode had been christened "Monte," that of Hiram was
called "Poker," and the mule carrying "the cargo" was "Uker."  With such
a nomenclature for our beasts, we might easily have been mistaken for a
pair of card-sharpers.

Our progress over the hills was not very rapid.  We were unable to go in
a direct line; and were continually wandering around steep ridges, or
forced out of our way by tributaries of the main river--which last we
were frequently compelled to ascend for miles before we could find a
crossing place.

Although fortunate in having good mules, I do not think that our travel
averaged more than fifteen miles a day, in a direct line from where we
started, though the actual distance travelled would be over thirty!

Late in the evening of our third day out, our pack-mule, in fording a
stream, got entangled among the branches of a fallen tree; and, while
trying to extricate the animal out of its dilemma, Hiram was pulled into
the water, and jammed against a limb--so as to suffer a serious injury.

That night we encamped by the stream--near the place where the accident
had happened; and, about midnight, when I was changing my mule--Monte--
to a fresh feeding place, the animal became suddenly alarmed at
something, and broke away from me--pulling the lazo through my hands,
till not only was the skin peeled clean off my fingers, but one or two
of them were cut clean to the bone.  I reproached myself for not sooner
having had the sense to let go; but, as usual, the reproach came after
the damage had been done.

The mule, on getting free, started over the ridge as though she had been
fired from a cannon--while Poker and Uker, taking the hint from their
companion, broke their tethers at the same instant, and followed at a
like rate of speed.

I returned to Hiram, and communicated the unpleasant intelligence: that
the mules had stampeded.

"That's a very foolish remark," said he, "for you know I'm not deaf."

This answer did not fall very graciously on my ear; but having made up
my mind, to remain in good humour with my companion as long as possible,
I pretended not to notice it.  I simply said in reply, that I thought
there must either be a grizzly bear, or Indians, near us--to have
stampeded the mules.

"Of course thar is," said Hiram, in a tone more harsh than I had ever
before heard him use.

I fancied that he was foolish enough to blame me for the loss of the
mules; and was a little vexed with him, for the way in which he had
answered me.

I said nothing more; but, stepping aside I bandaged up my fingers, and
tried to obtain a little sleep.  At sunrise I got up; and, having first
dressed my wounded fingers, I kindled a fire, and made some coffee.

"Come, Hiram!" said I, in an encouraging tone, "turn out, mate!  We may
have a hard day's work in looking for the mules; but no doubt we'll find
them all right."

"Find them yourself," he answered.  "I shan't look for them."

I had much difficulty in controlling my temper, and restraining myself
from giving Hiram an uncourteous reply.

To avoid subjecting myself to any more of his ill-natured speeches, I
returned to the fire, and ate my breakfast alone.

While engaged in this operation, I pondered in my own mind what was best
to be done.  It ended by my coming to the determination to go in search
of my mule Monte; and, having found her, to return to my partners on the
Yuba.  I felt certain, that should I attempt farther to prosecute the
expedition along with Hiram, and he continue to make the disagreeable
observations of which he had already given me a sample, there would
certainly be a row between us.  In some parts of the world, where people
think themselves highly enlightened, two men getting angry with one
another, and using strong language, is not an unusual occurrence; and
very seldom results in anything, more than both proving themselves
snarling curs.  But it is not so in California, where men become
seriously in earnest--often over trifling affairs; and had a row taken
place between my comrade and myself, I knew that only one story would
have been told concerning it.

I finished my breakfast; and, leaving Hiram in his blankets, I started
off over the ridge to find Monte.  I searched for the mules about six
hours; and having been unsuccessful in my search, I returned to the camp
without them.

Hiram was still wrapped up in his blanket, just as I had left him; and
then the truth suddenly flashed into my dark mind, like lightning over a
starless sky.

Hiram was ill, and I had neglected him!

The bruise on his side, received against the fallen tree, was more
serious than I had supposed; and this had misled me.  He had made no
complaint.

The moment I became aware of my mistake, I hastened to his side.

"Hiram," said I, "you are ill?  Forgive me, if you can.  I fear that my
thoughtlessness, and passionate temper, have caused you much suffering."

He made no reply to my conciliatory speech.  He was in a very high
fever; and asked faintly for water.

I took the tin vessel, in which I had made the coffee; and having filled
it at the stream, gave him a pint cup full.

He drank the water eagerly; and then found voice to talk to me.  He said
that he was glad that I had returned, for he wished to tell me where he
had buried some gold, and where his wife and child were living, and
could be written to.

He spoke with great difficulty; and soon called for more water.

I again filled the cup nearly full, and handed it to him.  After
drinking every drop that was in it, he requested me to give him the
coffee-can; but, thinking that he had drunk enough water, I declined
acceding to his request; and tried to persuade him, that too much water
would do him a serious injury.  He only answered me by clamouring for
more water.

"Wait but a little while," said I.  "In a few minutes you shall have
some more."

"Give it me now!  Give it me now!  Will you not give me some now?"

Knowing that the quantity he had already drunk, could not fail to be
injurious to him, I refused to let him have any more.

"Give me some water!" he exclaimed, with more energy of voice and
manner, than I had ever known him to exhibit.

I replied by a negative shake of the head.

"Inhuman wretch!" he angrily cried out.  "Do you refuse?  Refuse to give
a dying man a drop of water!"

I once more endeavoured to convince him, that there would be danger in
his drinking any more water--that there was yet a chance for him to
live; but, while talking to him, I perceived a change suddenly stealing
over his features.  He partly raised himself into a sitting position;
and then commenced cursing me, in the most horrible language I had ever
heard from the lips of a dying man!

After continuing at this for several minutes he sank back upon the
grass, and lay silent and motionless.

Allowing a short interval to elapse, I approached the prostrate form,
and gently laid my hand upon his forehead.  I shall never forget the
sensation that thrilled through me, as I touched his skin.  It was
already cold and clammy--convincing me that my prospecting companion had
ceased to live!

I passed the whole of the following day in trying to recover the mules.
Had I succeeded, I would have taken the body to some camp of diggers,
and buried it in a Christian manner.

As this was not possible, with my lame hands, I scooped out a shallow
grave; and buried the body as I best could.

Having completed my melancholy task, I started afoot to rejoin my
partners on the Yuba--where I arrived--after several days spent in
toilsome wandering--footsore and dispirited.

The adventure had taught me two lessons.  Never to refuse any one a
drink of water when I could give it; and to be ever after careful in
interpreting the language of others--lest some wrong might be fancied,
where none was intended.

Volume One, Chapter XX.

RICHARD GUINANE.

On my return to the Yuba, with the sad tale of my comrade's death--and
the consequent unfortunate termination of our prospecting scheme--
Hiram's partners made search for his gold, in every place where it was
likely to have been buried.

Their search proved fruitless.  The precious treasure could not be
found.  Unfortunately, none of us knew where his family resided.  He had
been incidentally heard to say, that he came from the state of Delaware;
but this was not sufficient clue, to enable any of us to communicate
with his relatives.

His wife has probably watched long for his return; and may yet believe
him guilty of that faithlessness--too common to men who have left their
homes on a similar errand.

As our claim on the Yuba was well nigh exhausted, we dissolved
partnership--each intending to proceed somewhere else on his own
account.  Young Johnson--who had been my companion across the plains--
never before having been so long away from his parents, determined upon
going home to them, and there remaining all the winter.

I had heard good accounts of the southern "placers," which, being of the
sort known as "dry diggings," were best worked during the rainy season.
Three or four men, from the same "bar" where we had been engaged, were
about starting for the Mocolumne; and, after bidding James Johnson and
my other mates a friendly farewell, I set out along with this party.

After reaching our destination, I joined partnership with two of my
travelling companions; and, during the greater part of the winter, we
worked upon Red Gulch--all three of us doing well.

Having exhausted our claim, my two partners left me both to return home
to New York.  Being thus left once more alone, I determined upon
proceeding still farther south--to the Tuolumne river, there to try my
fortune during the summer.

On my way to the Tuolumne, I fell in with a man named Richard Guinane,
who had just come up from San Francisco City.  He was also _en route_
for the diggings at Tuolumne; and we arranged to travel together.

He was going to try his luck in gold seeking for the second time; and,
finding him an agreeable companion, I proposed that we should become
partners.  My proposal was accepted--on the condition that we should
stop awhile on the Stanislaus--a river of whose auriferous deposits my
new partner had formed a very high opinion.

To this I made no objection; and, on reaching the Stanislaus, we pitched
our tents upon its northern bank.

When I became a little acquainted with the past history of my companion,
I might reasonably have been expected to object to the partnership.
From his own account, he was born to ill-luck: and, such being the case,
I could scarce hope that fortune would favour me--so long as I was in
his company.  Assuredly was Richard Guinane the victim of unfortunate
circumstances.  There are many such in the world, though few whom
Fortune will not sometimes favour with her smiles--when they are
deserved; and, ofttimes, when they are not.

Richard Guinane, according to his own account of himself, was one of
these few.  Circumstances seemed to have been always against him.  Each
benevolent, or praiseworthy action he might perform, appeared to the
world as dictated by some base and selfish feeling!  Whenever he
attempted to confer a favour, the effort resulted in an injury, to those
whom he meant to benefit.  Whenever he tried to win a friend, it ended
by his making an enemy!

His hopes of happiness had ever proved delusive--his anticipations of
misery were always realised!

Pride, honour, in short, every noble feeling that man should possess,
appeared to be his; and yet fate so controlled those sentiments, that
each manifestation of them seemed, to the world, the reverse of the true
motive that inspired it.  Such was Guinane's character--partly drawn
from statements furnished by himself, and partly from facts that came
under my own observation.

Certain circumstances of his life, which he made known to me, had
produced an impression on my memory; but more especially those of which
I was myself a spectator, and which brought his unhappy existence to an
abrupt and tragical termination.  The history of his life is too strange
to be left unrecorded.

Richard Guinane was a native of New York State, where his father died
before he was quite five years of age--leaving a wife and three
children, of whom Dick was the eldest.

So early had Dick's ill-fortune made its appearance, that before he had
reached his fourteenth year, he had established the reputation of being
the greatest thief and liar in his native village!

When once this character became attached to him, no church window could
be broken, nor any other mischief occur, that was not attributed to Dick
Guinane, although, according to his own account, he was really the best
behaved boy in the place!

Near the residence of his mother, lived the widow of a merchant, who had
left a small fortune to his only child, a daughter--the widow having the
sole charge both of the fortune and the heiress--already a half grown
girl.

With a charming voice, this young lady would answer to the name of
Amanda Milne.  She had seen Dick every day, since her earliest
childhood; and she had formed a better opinion of him than of any other
lad in the village.  She was the only one in the place, except his own
mother, who felt any regard for Dick Guinane.  All his other neighbours
looked upon him, as a living evidence of God's amazing mercy!

Like most young ladies, Amanda was learning some accomplishments--to
enable her to kill time in a genteel, and useless manner.

The first great work achieved by her fingers, and to her own entire
satisfaction, was a silk purse--which it had not taken her quite two
months to knit.  This purse, on a favourable opportunity having offered
itself, was presented to Dick.

Not long after, her mother wished to exhibit her needle-work to some
friends--as a proof of the skill and industry of her daughter, who was
requested to produce the purse.

Amanda knew that Dick was not liked by the inhabitants of the village;
and that her own mother had an especially bad opinion of him.  Moreover,
the Guinane family was not so wealthy as the widow Milne; and in the
opinion of many, there was no equality whatever between the young people
representing each.

Though Amanda was well aware of all this, had she been alone with her
mother, in all likelihood she would have told the truth; but, in the
presence of strangers, she acted as most other girls would have done
under similar circumstances.  She said she had lost the purse; and had
searched for it everywhere without finding it.  About that time, Dick
was seen in possession of a purse; and would give no account, of how he
came by it.  The two facts that Amanda Milne had lost a purse, and that
Dick Guinane had one in his possession, soon became the subject of a
comparison; and the acquaintances of both arrived at the conclusion:
that Amanda, as she had stated, must have lost her purse, and that Dick
must have stolen it!

Time passed on--each month producing some additional evidence to condemn
poor Dick in the estimation of his acquaintances.

Mrs Guinane was a member of the Methodist Church, over which presided
the Reverend Joseph Grievous.  This gentleman was in the habit of
holding frequent conversations with Mrs Guinane, on the growing
sinfulness of her son.  Notwithstanding her great reverence for her
spiritual instructor, she could not perceive Dick's terrible faults.
Withal, the complaints made to her--of his killing cats, dogs, and
geese, stealing fruit, and breaking windows--were so frequent, and
apparently so true, that she used to take Dick to task, and in a kindly
way read long maternal lectures to him.

Dick always avowed his innocence--even in the presence of Mr Grievous--
and would use the best of arguments to prove himself as "not guilty."
This pretence of innocence, in the opinion of the Reverend Grievous, was
a wickedness exceeding all his other misdeeds; and the sanctimonious
gentleman suggested the remedy, of having Dick beaten into confession
and repentance!  To this course of treatment, however, Mrs Guinane
firmly refused to give her consent.

One day, Dick had been to a neighbouring town; and when returning, had
passed a house--to the gate of which the old and well known horse of the
Reverend Grievous stood tied.  Simply noticing the horse, and reflecting
that his reverend owner must be inside the house, Dick continued on.

When near his mother's house, he was overtaken by the horse, that bad
come trotting along the road after him.  The horse was without a rider,
which proved that not being properly secured, he had got loose.

Dick caught the horse, mounted him, and commenced riding back--for the
purpose of delivering him to the minister, for he could not permit, that
so pious a person should have to walk home through the mud.

The road was bad--like most of the country roads in the United States--
and Dick was already fatigued with a long walk.  To take the horse to
the house where his owner was visiting, would give him more than a mile
to walk back; but no personal consideration could deter the lad from
doing what he thought to be his duty.

On coming out of the house--where he had been visiting one of the
members of his church--Mr Grievous was surprised not to find his horse;
but the mystery was fully explained when, after proceeding a short
distance, he saw Dick Guinane on the horse's back.

Here was evidence welcome to Mr Grievous.  Dick was at one of his old
games--caught in the very act--riding another man's horse--and that
horse the property of his own minister!

The Reverend Joseph was rejoiced, as he had long been looking for an
opportunity like this.  He attributed all Dick's misdeeds to the want of
proper chastisement; and here was a good reason for administering it to
him.  Dick had no father to correct his faults; and, in the opinion of
Mr Grievous, his mother was too lenient with the lad.

He had long promised, that if ever he caught Dick in any misdemeanour,
he would himself administer a lesson that would not only benefit the
boy, but the community in which he dwelt.  He would be only fulfilling a
duty, which his sacred office imposed upon him; and the present
opportunity was too good a one to be lost.

Dick rode up to the minister, dismounted, and accosted him in a manner
that should have been proof of innocence.  Perhaps it would have been,
by any other person; but to the Reverend Grievous, Dick's confident
deportment--inspired by the consciousness of having acted rightly--only
aggravated the offence of which he was supposed to be guilty.  His bold
effrontery was but the bearing of a person long accustomed to crime.  So
reasoned Mr Grievous!

Without giving Dick time to finish his explanation, the minister seized
him by the collar; and, with his riding whip, commenced administering to
him a vigorous chastisement.

Dick was at the time over sixteen years of age; and was, moreover, a
strong, active youth for his years.

So great was his respect, for all persons, whom he thought superior to
himself, that for some time he bore the chastisement--unresistingly
permitting the minister to proceed in the execution of his fancied duty.

Human nature could not stand such treatment long; and Dick's temper at
length giving way, he picked up a stone, hurled it at the head of the
reverend horsewhipper--who, on receiving the blow, fell heavily to the
earth.

He rose again; and in all probability would have returned to a more
vigorous use of his horsewhip, had his victim been still within reach;
but Dick had secured himself against farther punishment, by taking to
his heels, and placing a wide distance between himself and his irate
pastor.

Next day, Dick was brought before a magistrate, the Reverend Grievous,
upon oath, being compelled to make a somewhat true statement of the
affair.  The justice had no other course than to discharge the prisoner,
which he did with reluctance--expressing regret that the strict letter
of the law did not allow him to deal with the offence in the manner it
so justly merited!

His native village no longer afforded a peaceful home for Dick Guinane.

He was pointed at in the streets.  Other boys of his age were forbidden
by their parents to play with him; and the little school girls crossed
the road in terror, as they saw him approach.  In the opinion of the
villagers, he had reached the climax of earthly iniquity.

He was sent to reside with an uncle--his mother's brother--who lived in
the city of New York.  Before leaving his native place, he attempted to
make a call on Amanda Milne; but was met at the door by her mother, who
refused either to admit him within the house, or allow her daughter to
see him.

Shortly after reaching his new home in the great city, he received a
letter from his mother--enclosing a note from Amanda, the contents of
which partly repaid him for all the injuries he had suffered.

During a residence of five years in New York, he was unsuccessful in
everything he undertook; and, unfortunately, though from no fault of his
own, lost the confidence of his uncle, as also his protection.

He returned to his native village, where he found that he was still
remembered with disfavour.

He talked of love to Amanda Milne; but his suit was rejected.  She
admitted being much prepossessed in his favour, and that he had no rival
in her affections; but what woman can brave the ridicule of all her
acquaintances, and the anger of an only parent, by accepting a lover
universally shunned and condemned?

Dick once more bade adieu to his native village; and after various
vicissitudes in different cities of the United States, at length found
his way to California.  He had been one of the most fortunate miners on
the Feather river; and had invested the money made there in a dry goods
store in San Francisco.

Just one week after entering upon his new business, the city of San
Francisco was burnt to the ground; and Dick's dry goods store, including
the contents, along with it.

With only one hundred dollars in his purse, he again started for the
diggings; and it was while journeying thither that he and I came
together, and entered into partnership as above related.

Volume One, Chapter XXI.

After breaking ground upon the Stanislaus, we toiled for three weeks
without any success.  Every one around us seemed to be doing well; but
the several mining claims worked by Guinane and myself seemed to be the
only places in the valley of the Stanislaus where no gold existed.  Not
a grain rewarded our labours.

"For your sake we had better part company," said Guinane to me one
evening, after we had toiled hard all day, and obtained nothing.  "You
will never have any luck, so long as you are my partner."

I was inclined to think there was some truth in what my comrade said;
but I did not like the idea of leaving a man, merely because he had been
unfortunate.

"Your fate cannot long contend with mine," I answered.  "I am one of the
most fortunate fellows in the world.  If we continue to act in
partnership, my good fortune will, in time, overcome the ill-luck that
attends upon you.  Let us keep together awhile longer."

"Very well," assented Guinane, "but I warn you that some one above--or
below, may be--has a `down' on me; and the good genius attending you
will need to be very powerful to make things square.  However, you lead
the way, and I will follow."

I did lead the way; and we went to Sonora, further south, where we
entered upon a claim at a place called Dry Creek.  Here we met with
success, of which we could not reasonably complain.

We often used to walk into Sonora in the evening; and amuse ourselves,
by witnessing the scenes occurring in the gambling houses, or having a
dance with the bright-eyed Mexican senoritas.

One evening, while loitering about in one of the gambling houses, we saw
a digger who was intoxicated, almost to the degree of drunkenness.  He
was moving about in half circles over the floor, keeping his feet under
him with much difficulty, unknown to himself.  Every now and then, he
loudly declared his intention of going home, as if he thought such a
proceeding on his part, was one in which all around him must be highly
interested.  Each time, before going, he would insist upon having
another drink; and this continued, until he had swallowed several
glasses of brandy, on the top of those that had already produced his
intoxication.  In paying for these drinks, he pulled out a bag of gold
dust, which carried, judging from its size, about one hundred ounces;
and a man behind the bar, weighed from it the few specks required in
payment for the liquor.

There was something in the appearance of this miner that strangely
interested me.  I fancied that I had seen him before; but could not tell
where.  While I was endeavouring to identify him, he staggered out of
the house into the street--leaving me in doubt, as to whether we had met
before or not.

The thoughts of my companion Guinane, were not absorbed by wanderings
like mine; and he had been more observant of what was transpiring around
him.  After the miner had gone out, he came close up to me, and
whispered:--

"That man will be robbed.  When he pulled out his bag of gold to pay for
the drink, I saw two men exchange glances, and walk out before him.
They will waylay, and rob him.  Shall we let them do it?"

"Certainly not," I answered, "I like the look of the man; and do not
think that he deserves to lose his money."

"Come on then!" said Guinane; and we both stepped out into the street.

The first direction in which we turned was the wrong one: for, after
proceeding about a hundred yards, nothing of the drunken man was to be
seen; and we knew that he was too drunk to have got any farther away.

We turned back; and walked at a quick pace--indeed, ran--in the opposite
direction.  This time our pursuit was more successful.  We saw the
drunken miner lying on the pavement, with two men standing over him, who
pretended, as we came up, that they were his friends; and that they were
endeavouring to get him home.

Had the drunken man been willing to accept of their assistance, we might
have found no excuse for interfering; but as we drew near, we could hear
him exclaiming, "Avast there, mates!  I can navigate for myself.  Be
off, or, dammee!  I'll teach you manners."

"Stormy Jack!"  I exclaimed, rushing forward, followed by Guinane.
"'Tis you Stormy?  What's wrong?  Do you want any help?"

"Yes," replied Jack, "teach these fellows some manners for me.  My legs
are too drunk; and I can't do so myself."

The two men moved silently, but rapidly away.

"Have you got your gold?"  I asked, ready for pursuit in case the
fellows had robbed him.

"Yes, that's all right.  One of them tried to take it; but I wouldn't
let him.  I'm sober enough for that.  It's only my legs that be drunk.
My hands are all right."

Stormy's legs were indeed drunk, so much so, that Guinane and I had much
difficulty in getting him along.  We were obliged to place him between
us, each supporting one of his sides.  After considerable labour, we
succeeded in taking him to a house where I was acquainted.  Here we put
him to bed; and, after leaving instructions with the landlord, not to
let him depart until one of us should return, we went home to our own
lodgings.

Next morning, at an early hour, I called to see Stormy; and found him
awake and waiting for me.

"You done me a good turn last night," said he, "and I shall not forget
it, as I have you."

"Why do you think you have forgotten me?"  I asked.

"Because last night you called me Stormy Jack; and from that, I know you
must have seen me before.  I've not been hailed by that name for several
years.  Now, don't tell me who you are: for I want to find out for
myself."

"You could not have been very drunk last night," said I, "or you would
not remember what you were called?"

"Yes, would I," answered Stormy, "according as the land lay, or what
sort of drunk it was.  Sometimes my mind gets drunk, and sometimes my
legs.  It's not often they both get drunk together.  Last night it was
the legs.  Had you been a man six or seven years ago, when I was called
Stormy Jack, I should remember you: for I've got a good memory of things
that don't change much.  But when I used to be called Stormy Jack, you
must have been a bit o' a tiny boy.  Now, who can you be?  What a stupid
memory I've got!" continued he, scratching his head.  "There's no way of
teaching it manners, as I knows of.  But what boy used to call me Stormy
Jack--that looked as you ought to have looked a few years ago?  Ah! now
I have it.  Bless my eyes, if you arn't the Rollin' Stone!"

Stormy then rushed forward, grasped my hand, and nearly crushed it
between his strong, sinewy fingers.

"Rowley, my boy!" said he, "I knew we should meet again.  I've thought
of you, as I would of my own son, if I'd had one.  I've looked the world
over, trying to find you.  How come you to hail me by name last night?
You are an astonishing chap.  I knew you would be; and some one has
larnt you manners.  Ah!  I suppose 'twas Nature as did it?"

I need not say, that Stormy and I, after this singular renewal of
companionship, were not likely to part in a hurry.  We passed that day
together, talking over old times--Stormy giving me a history of some
events of his life, which had transpired since our parting in New
Orleans.

"On the morning I last saw you," said he, "I went to work on the ship,
as I intended; and did a hard day's work--for which I've never yet been
paid.

"When I was going home to you, I met an old shipmate; and, in course, we
went into a grog-shop to have something to drink.

"After having a glass with my friend at his expense, of course, it was
but right for him to have one at mine.  We then parted company; and I
made tracks for the lodging-house, where I had left you.

"Them two glasses of brandy, after working hard all the afternoon in the
hot sun, did more for me, than ever the same quantity had done before.
I was drunk somewhere, though I was not exactly certain where.

"Just before reaching the house where we were staying, I met the first
breezer, who, you remember, had knocked me down with the carpenter's
mallet.  Well! without more ado, I went to work to teach him manners.

"While giving him the lesson, I larnt that it was my head that was
drunk: for my legs and arms did their duty.  I beat and kicked him in a
way, that would have rejoiced the heart of any honest man.  Just as I
was polishing him off, two constables came up, and collared me away to
gaol.

"The next morning, I was sentenced to one month's imprisonment.  Captain
Brannon did not like that: for he wanted me back aboard of his ship.
But the magistrate, mayor, or whatever he was, that sentenced me, had
too much respect for me to allow the captain to have his own way; and I
was lodged and fed, free of all expense, until the `Hope' had sailed.

"After coming out of the gaol, I went straight to the boarding-house, in
hopes of finding you still there; but I larnt that you had gone away,
the next day after I was jugged; and the old woman could not give any
account of where you had drifted to.  I thought that you had joined the
`Hope' again, and gone home.  I've been everywhere over the world since
then; and I don't know how I could have missed seeing you before now!

"I came to San Francisco Bay in an English ship--the captain of which
tried to hinder the crew from deserting, by anchoring some distance from
the city, and keeping an armed watch over them.  He thought we were such
fools as to leave San Francisco in his ship for two pounds a month,
when, by taking another vessel, we could get twenty!  He soon found his
mistake.  We larnt him manners, by tying and gagging him, as well as his
first officer, and steward.  Then we all went ashore in the ships'
boats--leaving the ship where I suppose she is now--to rot in the bay of
San Francisco.

"After coming up to the diggings, I had no luck for a long time; but I'm
now working one of the richest claims as ever was opened."

During the day, I told Stormy the particulars of my visit to Dublin; and
the trouble I was in concerning the loss of my relatives.

"Never mind 'em!" said he, "make a fortune here--and then make a family
of your own.  I've been told that that's the best way to forget old
friends, though, for myself, I never tried it."

Stormy's advice seemed wisdom: as it led me to think of Lenore.  Before
parting with my old messmate, I learnt from him where he was living.  We
arranged to see each other often; and as soon as we should have an
opportunity of dissolving the respective partnerships in which each was
engaged, we should unite and work together.

Stormy was the first friend who took me by the hand--after I had been
turned out upon the cold world; and time had not changed the warm
attachment I had long ago conceived for the brave sailor.

Volume One, Chapter XXII.

On leaving San Francisco, Guinane had declared his intention of going to
the Stanislaus river; and his acquaintances, left behind in that city,
had been directed to write to him at the latter place.

One Saturday morning, he borrowed a mule from one of the neighbouring
miners, to ride over to the post-office for his letters.

The miner owning the mule, was just going to his work; and pointed out
the animal to Guinane.  It was grazing on the hill-side, about half a
mile distant from our tents.  In addition to pointing it out, the owner
described it to be a brown mule, with rat tail, and hog mane.

He then brought the saddle and bridle out of his tent; and, placing them
at Dick's disposal, went off to his work.

Dick proceeded towards the hill, caught and saddled the mule, and,
bidding me good-day, rode off on his journey.

I was expecting him back that evening; but he did not return.  I felt no
concern on account of his remaining absent all that night.  The next day
was Sunday; and knowing that he would not be wanted to do any work on
the claim, he might, for some purpose that did not concern me, have
chosen to stay all night in the town.

Sunday evening came, without Guinane; and, fearing that some accident
might have befallen him, I resolved to start next morning for the
post-office, should he not return before that time.

The next morning came, without bringing back the absentee; and I set out
in search of him.

After going about five miles, I met him returning; and, to my surprise,
I saw that he was afoot!  I was still more surprised as he drew near,
and I obtained a close view of his face and features.  Never in my life
had I seen such a change in the person of any individual, in so short a
time.  He seemed at least ten years older, than when he left me at the
diggings two days before.

His face was pale and haggard; and there was a wild fiendish expression
in his eyes, that was fearful to behold.  I could not have believed the
eyes of Richard Guinane capable of such an expression.  His clothing was
torn to rags, bedaubed with dirt, and spotted with dry blood.  In short,
his whole appearance was that of a man who had been badly abused.

"What has happened?"  I asked, mechanically--as soon as my surprise at
his appearance permitted me to speak.

"I can't tell now," said he, speaking with much difficulty.  "I must
have water."

I turned back; and we walked on towards our tents, in which direction we
had not far to go, before arriving at a coffee-shop.  There he drank
some water, with a glass of brandy; and then, ordering a breakfast, he
went out to have a wash in the river--an operation of which I had never
seen a human being in greater need.

He ate his breakfast in haste--scarce speaking a word until he had
finished.  Then, starting suddenly from his seat, he hurried out of the
house; and moved on along the road towards the place where our tents
were pitched.

"Come on!" cried he.  "I cannot stop to talk.  I've work to do.  I want
revenge.  Look here!"

He stopped till I came up--when, lifting the long dark hair from the
sides of his head, he permitted me to see that he had _no ears_!

"Will you aid me in obtaining revenge?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered, "with my body and soul!"

"I knew you would!" he exclaimed.  "Come on! we have no time to lose."

As we walked homeward, I learnt from him the particulars of the terrible
misfortune that had befallen him.

On the Saturday morning, after starting off for the town, he had got
about a mile beyond the place where I had met him, when he was overtaken
by a party of four Mexicans.

Before he was well aware that they had any intention to molest him, a
lazo was thrown over his shoulders; and he was dragged to the ground--
where his arms were instantly pinioned.

By signs, he was made to understand: that his captors claimed the mule,
upon which he had been riding.

Guinane could speak but few words of Spanish; and therefore could not
make the Mexicans understand, how the mule came into his possession.

After holding a consultation amongst themselves, they took his revolver
from him; and, whilst three of them held him, the fourth cut off both of
his ears!  They then mounted their horses, and rode away--taking with
them the mule Guinane had borrowed from the miner.

After going about three hundred yards, they halted, took off the saddle
and bridle--which they did not claim to own--threw them on the ground,
as also Guinane's revolver; and then continued their course.

Nothing can be said to justify these men for what they had done; but
probably they could have alleged some excuse for their conduct.

They undoubtedly believed that Guinane had stolen the mule; and they
knew that if one of their own countrymen had been caught in a similar
act, he would have been fortunate to have escaped with his life.  They
saw no reason why an American should not be punished for a misdeed--as
well as a Mexican.

Guinane pursued them at the top of his speed, insane with grief, and
burning with indignation.

They soon rode out of his sight; but he continued on after them--until
he fell exhausted to the earth.  He must have lain for some hours in a
state of insensibility, partly caused by loss of blood--partly by the
fatigue that had followed the wild raging of his passions.

It was night when he recovered his senses; and in his endeavours to
reach home, he had wandered among the hills, in every direction but the
right one.

I have said that he recovered his senses.  The expression is hardly
correct.  He only awoke to a consciousness that he still existed--a
horrible consciousness of the inhuman treatment he had been submitted
to.  His most sane thought was that of a burning thirst for vengeance;
but so intense had been this desire, that it defeated its own object,
rendering him unconscious of everything else, and to such a degree, that
he had only discovered the right road to our camp a few minutes before I
had met with him.

"The truth is," said he, as he finished telling me his story, "I
returned to the place where I lost my ears, with the insane hope that I
might meet the Mexicans.  After having a look at the place, I recovered
my senses once more, enough to direct me towards the only object for
which I now care to live and that is, revenge.  I'm not in so much haste
for it now, as I was an hour ago.  There's plenty of time.  I'm young,
and will find them sometime.  Come on!  Come on!  How slow you walk!"

We were then going at a pace that might be called running.

On reaching our tents, we learnt that Guinane had actually taken _the
wrong mule_!  The miner from whom he had borrowed it, had not thought it
necessary to describe its brands.  Not supposing there was another mule
in the neighbourhood, in any way resembling his own, he had not imagined
there could be any mistake.

From some diggers, we learnt that the Mexicans we wished to find, had
encamped for the night--near the place where Guinane had caught the
mule; and it was not strange they had accused him of having stolen it.
On recovering the animal, in the manner described, they had returned to
their camp, and shortly afterwards had resumed their journey.  By making
some inquiries, we found that they had gone southward.

As they had no mining tools along with them, we came to the conclusion,
that they were on their way home--into some of the northern provinces of
Mexico.  If so, we might easily overtake them, before they could pass
out of California.

We lost no time in making preparations for the pursuit--the most
important part of which was the providing ourselves with good horses.
In due time, this difficulty was got over, although my bag of gold dust
was much lighter, after the purchase of the horses had been completed.

By daybreak of the next morning, we were ready for the road.  Guinane
kept urging me to expedition--in pursuit of those who had awakened
within his soul a thirst for vengeance, that blood alone could assuage!

Volume One, Chapter XXIII.

A CURIOUS CASE OF SELF-MURDER.

The pursuit conducted us southward; and, at almost every place where we
made inquiry, we heard of four mounted Mexicans--who could be no other
than the men we were desirous of overtaking.

For the first two days, we were told, in answer to our inquiries, that
they were about forty-eight hours in advance of us.

On the third morning, we again got word of them at a rancho, where they
had stopped to bait their horses.  The owner of the rancho gave a
description of a mule which they were leading along with them--a brown
mule, with rat tail and hog mane.  It could be no other than the one,
which had cost Dick so dearly.

After feeding their animals, the Mexicans had made no further halt; but
had taken the road again--as if pressed for time.  So fancied the
ranchero.

They must have been under some apprehension of being pursued--else they
would not have travelled in such hot haste.  It was about forty hours--
the man said--since they had taken their departure from the rancho.  We
were gaining upon them; but so slowly, that Guinane was all the while
chafing with impatience.

He seldom spoke.  When he did, it was to urge me to greater speed.  I
had much trouble in holding him sufficiently in check to prevent our
horses from being killed with over riding.

From information obtained at the rancho, we could now tell that the
Mexicans were making for the sea coast, instead of directing their march
towards the interior.  If they intended going overland to the city of
Mexico, they were taking a very indirect road towards their destination.

At each place where we got word of them--on the fourth day of our
pursuit--we learnt that the distance between us was rapidly lessening.

Near the evening of this day, we stopped at another rancho, to refresh
our horses--now nearly done up.  The Mexicans had stopped at the same
place, six hours before.  On leaving it, they had taken the road to San
Luis Obispo.  We should arrive there about noon on the following day.

"To-morrow," said Guinane, as he lay down to snatch a short repose,
while our horses were feeding, "to-morrow I shall have revenge or death!
My prayer is, _God let me live until to-morrow_!"

Again we were in the saddle--urging our horses along the road to San
Luis Obispo.

We reached that place at the hour of noon.  Another disappointment for
my companion!

San Louis is a seaport.  A small vessel had departed that morning for
Mazatlan, and the Mexicans were aboard of her!

On arriving at the port, they had hastily disposed of their animals; and
taken passage on the vessel--which chanced to be on the eve of sailing.
We were just one hour too late!

To think of following them further would have been worse than madness--
which is folly.  By the time we could reach Mazatlan, they might be
hundreds of miles off--in the interior of Mexico.

Never have I witnessed such despondency, as was exhibited by Guinane at
that moment.

So long as there had appeared a chance of overtaking the men, who had
injured him, he had been sustained by the hope of revenge; but on our
relinquishing the pursuit, the recollection of the many misfortunes that
had darkened his life, added to this new chagrin, came palpably before
his mind, suggesting thoughts of suicide!

"'Twas folly to pursue them at all," said he.  "I should have known that
the chance of overtaking them would have been a stroke of fortune too
good to be mine.  Fate has never yet been so kind to me, as to grant a
favour I so much desired; and I was a fool to expect it.  Shall I die?"

I used every means in my power to direct his thoughts to some other
subject; but he seemed not to heed, either what I said or did.

Suddenly arousing himself from a long reverie, he emphatically
exclaimed:

"No!  I will war with fate, till God calls me hence!  All the curses of
fortune shall not make me surrender.  All the powers of Hell shall not
subdue me.  I will live, and conquer them all!"

His spirit, after a terrible struggle, had triumphed; and now rose in
opposition to fate itself.

We rode back to the Stanislaus.  It was a dreary journey; and I was glad
when it was over.  There had been an excitement in the chase, but none
in returning from it.  Even the horses seemed to participate in the
cloudy change that had come over our thoughts.

After arriving at the Stanislaus, I went to see Stormy Jack.  I found
him hard at work, and doing well in his claim--which was likely to
afford him employment for several weeks longer.  I was pleased to hear
of his success; and strongly urged him to abstain from drink.

"I don't intend to drink any more," said he, "leastwise, as long as I'm
on the diggings; and sartinly not when I have any gold about me.  That
last spree, when I came so near losin' it, has larnt me manners."

Guinane accompanied me on this visit to Stormy; and on our return, we
passed through the town.  My partner had left his name at the office of
"Reynold's Express," for the purpose of having his letters forwarded
from the General Post-office in San Francisco.  As we passed the Express
Office, he called in, to see if any had arrived for him.

A letter was handed to him--for which he paid in postage and express
charges, one dollar and fifty cents!

After getting the letter, we stepped into a tavern, where he commenced
reading it.

While thus occupied, I noticed that he seemed strangely agitated.

"We are friends," said he, turning short towards me.  "I have told you
some of my troubles of the past.  Read this letter, and make yourself
acquainted with some more.  It is from Amanda Milne."

He held the letter before my eyes, and I read:--

"I know your upright and manly spirit will see no impropriety in my
writing to you.  I have done you injustice; and in doing so, have
wronged myself, as much as you.  I have just learnt that your character
has been injured by a fault of mine--by my not having acknowledged
giving you the purse.  Forgive me, Richard! for I _love_ you, and _have
loved_ you, ever since I was a child."--Guinane crumpled the letter
between his fingers, and I was able to read no more.  I saw him suddenly
raise his hands towards the place where once were his ears--at the same
time that I heard him muttering the words, "Too late! too late!"
Another movement followed this--quick and suspicious.  I looked to
ascertain its meaning.  A revolver was in his hand--its muzzle touching
his temples!

I rushed forward; but to use his own last words, I was "too late."

There were three distinct sounds; a snap, the report of a pistol, and
the concussion of a body falling upon the floor.

I stooped to raise him up.  It was too late.  He was dead!

Can the reader comprehend the thought that dictated this act of
self-destruction?  If not, I must leave him in ignorance.

In preparing the remains of my comrade for the grave, a silk purse,
containing a piece of paper, was found concealed beneath his clothing.
There was writing upon the paper, in a female hand.  It was as
follows:--

  "Dick,

  "I do not believe the stories people tell of you; and think you are
  too good to do anything wrong I am sorry you have gone away.  Good
  bye.

  "Amanda."

It was, no doubt, the note he had received from Amanda, after his first
parting with her--enclosed in the letter of his mother, sent after him
to New York.  It was replaced in the purse, and both were buried along
with his body.

Poor Amanda!  She may never learn his sad fate--unless chance may direct
her to the reading of this narrative.

Volume One, Chapter XXIV.

AN IMPATIENT MAN.

I have not much fault to find with this world--although the people in it
do some strange things, and often act in a manner that puzzles me to
comprehend.  The man of whom Guinane had borrowed the mule, was himself
an original character.  After my comrade's death, I became slightly
acquainted with this individual; and was much amused, though also a
little pained, at what I thought to be his eccentric behaviour.

Original types of mankind are, perhaps, more frequently met with on gold
fields than elsewhere.  Men without a certain spirit and character of
their own, are less likely to adopt a life of so many perils and
hardships, as gold diggers must needs encounter.

But there are also men who can _appear_ eccentric--even amongst gold
diggers; and the individual to whom I have alluded was one of these.
His name was Foster.

The mail from the Atlantic States was due in San Francisco every
fortnight; and, of course, at about the same interval of time, in the
different diggings to which the letters were forwarded--the Stanislaus
among the rest.  Three days, before its arrival, at the last mentioned
place, Foster used to leave his work, and go to the post-office--which
stood at a considerable distance from his claim--for letters.  He would
return to his tent, as a matter of course, disappointed; but this did
not prevent him from going again to the post-office, about six hours
after.

"Has the mail arrived yet?" he would inquire of the post-master.

"No.  I told you a few hours ago, that I did not expect it in less than
three days."

"Yes, I know; but the mail is uncertain.  It is possible for it to
arrive two or three days earlier than usual; and I want my letters as
soon as they get in."

"No doubt," the post-master would say, "no doubt you do; and I advise
you to call again in about three days."

"Thank you; I will do so," Foster would answer; and six hours after he
would call again!

"As soon as the mail arrives," the post-master would then tell him, "I
will _send_ your letters to you.  It will be less trouble for me to do
that, than to be so often unnecessarily annoyed."

"No, no!"  Foster would earnestly exclaim, "pray don't trust them into
the hands of any one.  They might be lost.  It is no trouble for me to
call."

"I can easily believe that," the post-master would rejoin.  "If it was
any trouble, you would not come so often.  I must, therefore, adopt some
plan to save me from this annoyance.  As soon as the mail arrives I will
put up a notice outside the window here, and that will save you the
trouble of coming in, and me of being bothered with your questions.
Whenever you come in front of the house, and do not see that notice, you
may be sure that the mail has not arrived.  You understand?"

"Yes, thank you; but I don't wish to give any unnecessary trouble.  I
dare say the mail will be here by the time I come again.  Good-day!"

Six hours after, Foster would be at the post-office again!

"Any news of the mail?" he would ask.

"Are you working a good claim?" inquired the post-master once--in answer
to this perpetual dunning.

"Yes," replied Foster.  "Tolerably good."

"I am sorry to hear it."

"Why?"

"Because if you were not doing well, you might be willing to go into
some other business--the post-office for instance--and buy me out.  If
you were here yourself, you would have your letters as soon as they
arrived.  Since getting _them_ seems to be your principal business, you
should be on the spot to attend to it.  Such an arrangement would
relieve me, from a world of annoyance.  You worry me, more than all the
rest of the several hundred people who come here for letters.  I can't
stand it much longer.  You will drive me mad.  I shall commit suicide.
I don't wish to be uncivil in a public capacity; but I can't help
expressing a wish that you would go to Hell, and never let me see your
face again."

Foster's chagrin, at not getting his letters, would be so great, that
the post-master's peculiar wish would pass unheeded; and the
letter-seeker would only go away to return again, a few hours after.

Usually about the tenth time he called, the mail would be in; and in the
general scramble of the delivery, Foster would get _two letters_--never
more, and never less.

One evening, near mail time, he was, as usual on a visit to the
post-office after his letters; and his mate--whose name was Farrell--
having got weary of sitting alone in his tent, came over to mine--to
pass an hour or two in miner's gossip.  He told me, that Foster had been
for his letters seven times during the two days that had passed!

"He will have to go about three times more," said Farrell, "and then he
will probably get them.  The mail should be in this evening."

"Forster appears to think very much of his family?"  I remarked to his
partner.  "I never saw a person so impatient for news from home."

"He is certainly very anxious to hear from home," said Farrell, "but not
exactly for the reasons you may be supposing.  Foster and I are from the
same neighbourhood, and have known each other for many years.  We came
to California together; and I am well acquainted with all the
circumstances under which he is acting.  Now, if you hailed from
anywhere near that part of the world to which we belong, I should say
nothing about him; but as you don't, and it's not likely you'll ever
drift in that direction, there can be no more harm in my telling you
what I know, than there would be in talking about some one of whom we
have read, and who has been dead a thousand years ago."

"Foster married when he was very young--his wife being a woman about ten
years older than himself.  She was worse than old--she was plain; and
besides had but very little sense.  Add to this, that she was always
ill; and ill-tempered, and you have a woman, whom you will admit could
not be very agreeable for a wife.

"He had not been married over a week, before he discovered that he had
been making a fool of himself.

"You have noticed his anxiety about the letters.  Well--I shall explain
it.  By every mail, he expects news of the death of his wife; and it is
his impatience to hear _that_ which makes him so uneasy about the
arrival of the post.  If he should get a letter to-night containing the
news of her death, he would be the happiest man in California; and I
dare say would start for home, within an hour after receiving it."

I expressed some surprise, that one man should intrust another with such
a disgraceful secret; and plainly proclaimed my disapprobation of
Foster's conduct.

"You are wrong, my friend," rejoined his partner.  "For my part, I
admire his frank and manly spirit.  What is the use of one's pretending
that he wishes his wife to live, if he really desires her to die?  I
hate a hypocrite, or a person who will, in any way, deceive another.  I
don't suppose that Foster can help disliking his wife--any more than he
can keep from sleeping.  The feeling may be resisted for a while; but it
will conquer in the end.  Foster is a man, in whom I cannot be deceived;
and I respect him for the plain straightforward manner, in which he
avows his sentiments."

"This indecent impatience to hear of the death of his wife," said I,
"cannot wholly arise from hatred.  There is probably some other woman
with whom he is anxious to be united?"

"That is very, very likely," answered Farrell, "and the second letter he
always receives along with the one from his wife may serve as an
affirmative answer to your conjecture.  Well! he is one of the most
open-hearted honourable fellows I ever met; and I don't care how soon
his hopes are realised.  Because a man has been foolish a little in his
youth, is no reason why he should always be punished for it."

Our conversation was interrupted by the arrival of Foster himself--who
appeared in a high state of pleasant excitement.

"Come on, Farrell!" cried he, "let us go to the tent, and settle up.  It
is all over with the old lady; and I start for home by daybreak
to-morrow morning."

Farrell bade me good-night and Foster, who did not expect to see me
again, shook hands at parting--bidding me a final goodbye.

There was much in the expression of Foster's countenance that I did not
admire; and, notwithstanding, the apparent openness of his speech, I
could not help thinking him a fellow not only without good feeling, but
hypocritical, and treacherous.

Farrell purchased his mule, and also his share of the mining tools; and
by break of day the next morning, Foster was on his way to San
Francisco.

The post-master of Sonora was annoyed by him no more; and Farrell was
left to regret the loss of his plain-speaking partner.

Volume One, Chapter XXV.

A BULL AND BEAR FIGHT.

One Sunday afternoon, seeking for amusement, I walked into Sonora; and,
following a crowd, I reached the "Plaza de Toros."

The proprietor of this place had gone to a great expense, to get up a
grand entertainment for that day.

A large grizzly bear had been caught alive in the mountains--about
twenty miles from the town--and, at great trouble and expense, had been
transported in a strong cage to Sonora--to afford amusement to the
citizens of that lively little city.

To bring the bear from his native wilds, had required the labour of a
large party of men; and several days had been spent in the transport.  A
road had to be made most part the way--of sufficient width to permit the
passage of the waggon that carried the cage.  Bridges had also to be
thrown over streams and deep ravines; and the bear was not securely
landed in Sonora, until after he had cost the proprietor of the
Bull-ring about eleven hundred dollars.

Several savage bulls had also been provided for the day's sport; and the
inhabitants of the town, and its vicinity, were promised one of the most
splendid, as well as exciting, entertainments ever got up in California.

I had before that time witnessed two or three Spanish bull fights; and
had formed a resolution never to see another.  But the temptation in
this case--being a bull and bear fight--was too strong to be resisted:
and I paid two dollars--like many others as foolish as myself--for a
ticket; and, armed with this, entered the amphitheatre.

The _Plaza de Toros_ was a circular enclosure with benches--on which
about two thousand people could be comfortably seated; but, before the
performance had commenced, the place contained three thousand or more.
The first performance was an ordinary Spanish bull fight; and excited
but little interest.  The bull was soon killed, and dragged out of the
arena.

After a short interval, a second bull made his bow to the spectators.
The instant this one showed himself, everybody predicted an exciting
scene: for the animal leaped into the arena, with a wild bellowing, and
an expression of rage, that portended a very different spectacle, from
that exhibited by his predecessor.

The _toreros_ appeared surprised--some of them even confounded--by the
fierce, sudden and energetic spring with which the bull charged into
their midst.

A matador standing alone, in the arena, is in but little danger--even
when pursued by the fiercest bull.  It is when three or four of the
toreros are in the ring together--getting in one another's way while
turning to avoid his horns--that the bull has the advantage over his
adversaries.  At such times, the bull-fighter runs a great risk of
getting badly gored, or even killed outright.

The latter misfortune happened to one of the men, on the occasion in
question.  The second bull that had promised such a savage exhibition of
his fierce strength, did not disappoint the spectators.  In the third or
fourth charge which he made among the matadors, he succeeded in impaling
one of their number upon his horns.  The body of the unfortunate man was
lifted clear up from the ground, and carried twice round the ring--
before the bull thus bearing him could be despatched!

Of course, the man was dead; and had been so, long before being taken
off the animal's horns.  His heart's blood could be seen running in a
thick stream down the shaggy forehead of the bull, and dripping from his
nose, as he carried the inanimate form around the arena!

The dead bodies of both man and animal were taken out of the place
together, and on the same cart, the only interval allowed to elapse
between the sports, was the short half hour necessary to making
preparation for the grand spectacle of the day--the fight between the
bear and a bull!

The cage containing the grizzly was drawn into the ring by a span of
horses--which were at once taken away; and then a small, and not a very
formidable "toro," was led into the arena by several men, who guided him
with their long lazos.

The appearance of this bull was disappointing to the spectators, who
fancied that a much larger animal should have been chosen to encounter
the savage monster of the mountains.  The explanation was conjectured by
all.  The bear was worth over one thousand dollars, while the bull cost
only twenty-five; and from this disparity in price, it was evident that
the owner of both wished to give grizzly the advantage in the fight.
This was made certain, by the proprietor himself coming forward with the
unexpected proposal: that before commencing the fight, the bull should
have the tips shaved off from his horns!  "This," he said, "would hinder
the bear from receiving any serious injury; and it could be exhibited in
a fight on some other Sunday!"

But the spectators wished to see a good fight on this Sunday, and a fair
fight as well.  They did not wish to see the poor bull deprived of his
natural means of protecting himself; and then torn to pieces by the
claws of the favoured bear.

The master of the amphitheatre was about to carry out his economic
project--when a scene ensued that beggars all description.  It ended in
the bull being allowed to retain the tips of his horns.

The action now commenced.  The hind leg of the bear was pulled out of
the cage door--which was partially opened for the purpose.  The leg was
made fast, by a strong log chain, to a stake that had been driven deep
into the ground near the centre of the arena.  The door was then thrown
wide open; but, notwithstanding this apparent chance of recovering his
liberty, the bear refused to take advantage of it.

A rope was then made fast to the back of the cage, and attached to a
horse standing outside the enclosure.  By this means, the cage was
dragged away from the bear, instead of the bear being abstracted from
the cage--leaving the animal uncovered in the centre of the arena.  The
lazos were next loosed off from the horns of the bull; and the two
combatants were left in possession of the ground--at liberty to exercise
their savage prowess upon each other.

The bull on regaining his feet, rolled its eyes about, in search of
something on which he might take revenge, for the unseemly way in which
he had just been treated.  The only thing he could conveniently
encounter was the bear; and, lowering his muzzle to the ground, he
charged straight towards the latter.

Bruin met the attack by clewing himself into a round ball.  In this
peculiar shape he was tossed about by the bull, without sustaining any
great injury.  After he had been rolled over two or three times, he
suddenly unclewed himself; and, springing upward, seized the bull's head
between his fore paws.

So firm was his grip, that the poor bull could neither advance nor
retreat--nor even make movement in any direction.  It appeared as if it
could only stand still, and bellow.

To make the grizzly let go his hold--in order that the fight might
proceed with more spirit--a man, in the employ of the proprietor,
entered the arena with a bucket of water--which he threw over the bear.
The latter instantly relinquished his hold of the bull; and, rapidly
extending one of his huge paws, seized hold of the servant who had
douched him; and, with a jerk, drew the man under his body.

Having accomplished this feat, he was proceeding to tear the unfortunate
man to pieces; and had squatted over him with this intention, when a
perfect volley of revolvers--in all about two hundred shots--were fired
at his body.  The bear was killed instantly, though strange to say, his
death was caused by a single bullet, out of all the shots that had hit
him; and there were more than a hundred that had been truly aimed!  The
only wound, that could have proved fatal to such a monster, was a shot
that had entered one of his ears, and penetrated to the brain.  Many
balls were afterwards found flattened against the animal's skull, and
his skin was literally peppered; but, though the man, at the time the
shots were fired, was clutching the bear's throat with both hands, he
was not touched by a single bullet!

There were two circumstances connected with this affair, that, happening
in any other land but California, would have been very extraordinary.
One was, the simultaneous discharge of so many shots, at the moment when
the bear was seen to have the man in his power.  It might have been
supposed, that the spectators had been anticipating such an event, and
were ready with their revolvers: for the bear's seizing the man, seemed
a preconcerted signal for them to fire.

Another remarkable circumstance was, that, although the discharge of so
many pistols was sudden and unexpected, and proceeded from every point
round the circle of the amphitheatre--where thousands of people were
crowded together--no one but the bear was injured by the shots!

It was a striking illustration of some peculiarities in the character of
the energetic self-relying men of the world, that then peopled
California.

In the "Plaza de Toros"--witnesses of the scenes I have attempted to
describe--were many young girls belonging to the place, as well as
others, from Mexico, Chili, and Peru.  During the continuance of that
series of exciting scenes--which included the killing of one person by
empalement upon a bull, the mutilation of another by the claws of a
grizzly bear, and the destruction of the bear itself, by a volley of
revolvers--these interesting damsels never allowed the lights of their
cigarritos to become extinguished; but calmly smoked on, as tranquil and
unconcerned, as if they had been simply assisting at the ceremony of a
"fandango!"

Volume One, Chapter XXVI.

STORMY'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

In my rambles about Sonora and its vicinity, when seeking amusement, on
what is called the "first day of the week."  I was generally accompanied
by Stormy Jack.

During my early acquaintance with the old sailor, I was too young to
have formed a correct opinion of his character; and my respect for him,
was based entirely upon instinct.

Now that I was older, and possessed of a more mature judgment, that
respect--instead of having diminished--had increased to such a degree,
as to deserve the name of admiration.  I could not help admiring his
many good qualities.  He loved truth; and spoke it whenever he said
anything.  He was frank, honest, sociable, and generous.  He had an
abhorrence of all that was mean--combined with a genuine love for fair
play and even-handed justice of every kind.  He was in the habit of
expressing his opinions so frankly, that, on the slightest acquaintance,
every honest man became his friend, and every dishonest one his enemy.

Stormy was, in truth, one of nature's noblemen--such a one as is seldom
met with, and never forgotten.  He was instinctively a gentleman; and
the many long years in which he had been associated, with those who are
thought to be lowest in the scale of civilisation, had not overcome his
natural inclination.

Stormy was strong on all points but one; and that was, in the resisting
his appetite for strong drink.  To this he too often yielded.

"Do not think, Rowley," said he one evening, when I chanced to allude to
this subject, "that I can't keep from thinking, if I tried.  I never
drank when I was young: for I had some hope and ambition then; and I
could see the silliness of giving way to such a habit.  It is only since
I have become old Stormy Jack, and too old for my bad habits to be of
any consequence to myself, or any one else.  No, Rowley, it don't
signify much now, how often I get drunk--either in my mind or legs.
When I was young, like you, I had no one to teach me manners--except the
world; and it did larn me some.  Wherever I went, every one appeared to
think it was their business to teach me manners; and the way they went
about it, was not always very gentle.  I've seen hard times in this
world, Rowley, my lad."

"I have no doubt of it, Stormy," said I, "for you have that appearance.
You look as though, man, fate, and time had all used you roughly."

"And so they have.  I've nobody to thank for anything, unless it is the
Almighty, for having given me health and strength to out-live what I
have passed through; and I'm not sartin that I should be thankful for
that.  If you like, Rowley, I'll tell you something of my history; and
it'll give you an idea of the way the world has used me."

"I should like it much."

"Here goes then!  The first thing I can remember, is a father who used
to get drunk in the legs; and the second, a mother who would as often
get drunk in the head.

"As my father, when intoxicated, could not stand on his feet, nor move
from the place in which he chanced to be, my mother would take advantage
of his helplessness; and used to teach him manners, in a way that always
kept his countenance covered with scratches, cuts, and bruises.  I may
add, that she served myself in a very similar manner.  If ever either my
father, or I, were seen in the streets without a fresh wound on our
faces, the neighbours knew that there was no money in the house, or
anything that would be received at a pawn shop for so much as sixpence.
The soundness of our skins would prove the scarcity of cash in my
father's establishment; or as they say here in Californy, that we were
`hard up.'

"About the time I was thirteen years of age, my parents discovered that
they could no longer maintain themselves, much less me; and they sought,
and found, a home in the work-house--whither I was taken along with
them.

"Both died in the work-house the year after entering it; and I was
apprenticed, or I might say hired out, to a baker.

"In this situation, I had a world of work to do.  I had to sit up all
night, helping the journeymen to make the bread; and then I had to go
out for two or three hours every morning--with a heavy basket of loaves
on my head, to be delivered to the customers living here and there.  In
addition to this hard work, I was nearly starved.  The only time I could
get enough to eat, was when I was out on my rounds with the bread, when
I could steal a little scrap from each loaf--in such a way that the
morsel wouldn't be missed.

"I've not yet told you, that my native place is London; and if you know
anything of that city, you may have some idea of the life I lived when a
child, with two miserable, poor, and drunken parents.

"Well, I staid with the baker above two years; and though I was nearly
killed with hard work and want of food--as well as sleep--that, perhaps,
wasn't the most unhappy part of my life.  There was a worse time in
store for me.

"The baker and his wife, who owned and ill-treated me, had a little girl
in the house--a slavey they had taken from the same work-house from
which they had fetched me.  This girl wasn't treated any better than I
was; and the only happy moments either of us ever had, were when we
could be together, and freely express our opinions of our master and
mistress--both of whom behaved equally bad to us--if anything, the woman
the worst.  The girl and I used to encourage each other with hopes of
better times.

"I had seen many little girls in the streets, dressed very fine, and
looking clean, well-fed, and happy; and some of them I thought very
beautiful.  But none of them appeared so beautiful, as the one who was
being worked and starved to death in the same house with myself--though
her dress was nothing but a lot of dirty rags.

"By the time I had got to be sixteen years of age, I was too much of a
man to stand the ill-usage of the baker and his wife any longer; and I
determined to run away.

"I did not like to leave behind me my companion in misery; but as I
thought, that, in a few weeks I should make a little fortune, and be
able to find her a better home, we became reconciled to the idea of
parting with one another.

"One morning I bade her good-bye; and started off with the basket of
bread on my head to go my rounds.

"When I had nearly completed the delivery, and had left with different
customers all but the last loaf, I set down the basket, took this loaf
under my arm, and was free.

"I went straight to the docks to look out for something; and, before the
day was over, I found a situation aboard a schooner in the coal trade--
that was about to sail for Newcastle.

"The skipper of this vessel was also its owner; and himself and his
family used it as their regular home.

"I was determined to please this man--not only by doing my duty, but as
much more as I could.  I succeeded in gaining his good will.

"We went to Newcastle, took in a cargo; and by the time we reached
London again, the skipper would not have been willing to part with me,
had I desired to leave him.  When we got back to London, he gave me
liberty to come ashore; and made me a present of half-a-crown, to spend
as I liked.

"It was the largest sum of money I had ever owned; and, with it in my
possession, I thought that the time when I might take my little fellow
servant away from the hard life she was leading, could not be far away.
I determined not to spend one penny of the money upon myself; but to go
ashore at once, and make a bold push towards getting the girl away from
the place where she was staying.

"I told the skipper all about her--what sort of a home I had left her
in--and the cruelties she was still likely to be enduring.

"He talked to his wife; and after they had asked me a good many
questions: as to whether the girl was well-behaved, and used no bad
language--they told me that I might bring her aboard the vessel then
lying in the river; and that she might look after the three children,
and do anything else to make herself useful.

"I started off on my errand, in better spirits than I had ever been in
before.  I was afraid to go near the baker's house, for fear I should be
seen from the shop and might have trouble in getting away again: for I
had been regularly bound as his apprentice.  So I watched the
public-house--where I knew the girl would be sure to come for the supper
beer in the evening.

"After I had been looking out for about half an hour, she came, looking
more beautiful, more ragged and dirty, than when I had last seen her,
four weeks before.

"`Come on, Ann!'  I cried.  (Ann was her name.) `Come on!  Fling away
your jug, and follow me!'

"I ran up to her, while I was speaking.

"She dropped the jug--not because I had told her to do so--but from the
excitement of her surprise at seeing me.  It fell out of her hands on
the pavement; and was broken to pieces.

"`Follow me,' said I, `I've another home for you.'

"She gave one glance at the broken jug; and probably thought of her
mistress, and the beating she would be sure to get, should she go home
without the jug and the supper beer.  That thought decided her.  She
then took my hand; and we started off towards the river.

"I am going to cut my story short," said Stormy, after a pause--during
which he seemed to suffer from some painful reflection.  "For nine years
I worked for that girl.  Part of the time I was getting good wages--as
the second mate of a large ship, running to Charleston, in the United
States; and all of my money was spent in keeping Ann in a good home, and
in having her taught to read and write, and behave herself like a lady.

"To deny myself every comfort, for the sake of saving money for her, was
my greatest pleasure.  I have often crossed the Atlantic without proper
clothing; so that Ann might be placed beyond the danger of want, while I
was gone.

"During these nine years, I drank no grog, nor liquor of any kind.  I
would not even take a glass at the expense of any of my messmates,
because I would be expected to stand a glass in return; and there was
more pleasure in saving the money for Ann, than in spending it on what
could only injure me.  I have often walked the cold wet decks with my
feet freezing for the want of a pair of socks and good boots--because
these things would cost money: and all that I could make I wished to
spend only for the benefit of Ann, who was always in my thoughts--the
idol of my soul.

"While making my voyages across the Atlantic, I got some of my
companions to learn me to read and write a little.  I worked very hard
at this, when I could find time.  There were two reasons for my wishing
to be able to write: the first, because I had some desire to learn on my
own account; and the other reason was, that when I should marry Ann, I
did not wish her to have a husband who could not write his own name.

"When I had got to be about twenty-three years of age, I began to think
of getting married.  I was earning good wages; and had saved enough
money to furnish a little house for Ann.  Just about that time, however,
I noticed she had begun to treat me with a little coldness.  I had been
so very saving of my money, that I always went rather shabbily dressed;
and I at first thought that she might be a little ashamed of my
appearance.  I knew that this would not be right on her part; but I also
knew that women have got vanity; and that they cannot help a feeling of
that kind.  I could not think that it was possible for Ann not to love
me--after the many sacrifices I had made for her--for I deserved her
love, and had fairly earned it.  I thought that if there was a man
worthy of being loved by her, and having her for his wife, I was that
man, for I had done all that I was able to gain her good will; and no
one can do more.  I was under the belief, too, that she loved me: for
she had many a time told me so.  You may imagine, then, how I was taken
aback, when one time that I returned from a voyage to give her all the
money I had earned, I found that she treated me very coldly; and that
every day she grew colder and colder, and seemed as if she only wanted
to get clear of my company."

At this interesting crisis of his story, Stormy was interrupted by the
entrance of two of our mining neighbours, who came into our tent to have
a quiet game of "uker" along with us.

Volume One, Chapter XXVII.

ANN.

I had been much interested in Stormy's story of his early life; and the
next evening, I went over to his tent, and taking a seat upon the
ground, requested him to continue it.

"All right, Rowley, my boy," said he, in answer to my appeal.  "I
believe that I left off last night, where the girl, after my having
worked nine years for her, had begun to treat me with coldness.

"Well, on becoming sure of this, I determined to find out the reason.  I
knew there must be something wrong; and I made up my mind to find out
what it was--though it might lead to the breaking up of all my fine
prospects.  One day, when my ship was about to start on a new trip to
Charleston, I settled scores with the captain, and left her.  Ann was
under the belief, that I had gone off in the vessel; but she was
mistaken.  I had stopped behind, to keep an eye on herself.  A few
months before, I had given her some money--to enable her to go into
partnership with a widow, in keeping a little stationery and toy shop--
and she was now in that business.  My scheme was to keep an eye on the
shop; and see what was going on.  I had not been very long playing spy,
before I found out the lay of the land.  A young fellow of a swellish
appearance, used to pay visits to the shop, nearly every day of the
week.  He came in the evening; and Ann would go out with him to theatres
and dancing places.

"I watched the fellow to his home, or to his lodgings--for he lived in a
two-pair back; and from there I tracked him to his place of business.  I
found that he was what in London is called a `clerk.'  He was a thing
unworthy of Ann; but, of course, that being the case, he did not know
it; and I could see from his vain looks that he thought sufficiently of
himself--too much to marry Ann.  From what I saw, I had no doubt that he
was deceiving her.

"I scarce knew what to do: for there was no use in telling the girl that
she was being deceived.  She would not have believed me.

"If she had believed me, and given the puppy up, it would not have made
much difference to me.  My confidence in her was gone.  I could have had
it no more.  She had acted ungrateful to me--by giving her preference to
a conceited swell--who took her about to places of amusement, where men
do not take young girls, whom they intend afterwards to marry.  Ann had
proved herself unworthy of a love like mine.  I had toiled for her, and
loved her, for nine long years; and this was the return.

"My good resolutions all forsook me--by the shock which her ingratitude
gave me; and ever since that time, I've been only Stormy Jack, and
nothing more.  You know what he is."  Stormy once more relapsed into
silence, as if his story had been concluded.  More deeply interested
than ever, I desired to know more.  In answer, to my request, he resumed
his narrative.

"Well," continued he.  "My next voyage was a long one.  I made the trip
to India, and was gone fourteen months; but on my return, at the end of
that time, I had not forgotten Ann.  I still loved her--although I knew
that she could never be my wife.  Even had she consented, my pride would
not allow of my marrying her now.

"When I got back from India, I went to the little shop to enquire for
her.  She was no longer there.  I found her in the work-house--the same
from which she had been taken when a child.  She was the mother of a
child, seven months old; and had never been married.  I determined to
teach her manners.  You may think it strange, Rowley, but I was now,
more than ever, resolved she should love me.  It would be some
satisfaction for what I had suffered on her account.  I knew my motive
wasn't altogether as it ought to have been, but I could not help doing
as I did.

"When paid the wages, owing me by the East Indiaman, I had about
twenty-five pounds to the good; and, with this money, I took Ann out of
the work-house, and placed her in a comfortable home.  I acted, to all
appearance, as kindly to her, and seemed as affectionate as I had ever
been; and I even gave her more of my company than I had ever done
before.  When she came to contrast my conduct with that of the heartless
villain who had ruined and deserted her, she could not help loving me.
On her knees, and with tears in her eyes, she confessed her folly, and
sorrow for the past; and prayed for me to forgive her.

"`Of course, I forgive you, Ann,' said I, `or I would not have returned
to you.'

"`And will you love me as much as you once did?' she then asked.

"`Certainly I will.'

"`John,' she said, `you are the most noble-minded man in the world; and
I only begin to know your real worth.  Oh! what a fool I have been, not
to have known it before!  You are better than all other men on the
earth!'

"Ann had got over the folly of her girlhood.  The sorrows which she had
suffered during the last few months, had taught her wisdom, and brought
repentance; and she now believed, that such love as I had offered her
was of some value.

"I visited her every day; and appeared to take such an interest in the
welfare, both of herself and her child, that I, at length, became
certain that she loved me.  She could not have helped it, had she tried.
Poor girl! she fancied she was going to be happy again; but she was
mistaken.

"When my money was all spent, I prepared to take leave of her.  Before
going, I told her the truth, that I had loved her, ever since she was a
child; and that I ever would; but that I could never make her my wife.
After what had transpired, I could never be happy as her husband.

"`I shall never forget you, Ann,' said I.  `Whenever I have a pound in
my pocket, you are welcome to fifteen shillings of it; but _my_
happiness, for this world, you have entirely destroyed; and I can never
marry you, as I once intended to do.  You know the many years that I
toiled for you; and was that not proof that I loved you dearly?  All
that I have done, I am willing to do again; but what I had hoped to do,
is no longer possible.  You have not proved worthy of my love, and can
never be my wife.'

"As I said this, she was nearly distracted; and declared that she would
never accept another shilling from me.  She promised to do for me all
that I had done for her: to work for me, and let me live in idleness.  I
had at last succeeded in winning her love.

"Perhaps I was wrong in having done so; but the manner in which I had
been myself wronged, rendered me incapable of acting honest.  I could
not help taking this way to larn her a little manners.  There was
another I intended larning a lesson to, before I left London; but I
determined to teach him in a very different way.  It was the swell that
had ruined Ann.

"I looked out for him; and found him in the street, on the way to his
place of business.  I laid one o' my flippers on his shoulder, to keep
him from escaping, while I gave him his lesson with the other.  I
flattened his nose, nearly tore off one of his ears; and did him some
other damage besides.  The police pulled me off o' him; and I was taken
away to the station, and next day brought before a magistrate.

"I only got two months for giving the conceited snob his lesson, which I
didn't much regret, for I was just as well off in the gaol as anywhere
else.  My time or my liberty was worth nothing more to me.  When again
set free, I made another voyage to India, and got back in fourteen
months.

"When I returned, Ann was dead.  She had died in the same work-house, in
which she was born.

"Since then, there has been no particular reason why I should behave
myself; and I have been, as you see me, old Stormy Jack.  I never again
thought of getting married.  I could only love but one; and that one it
was not my fate to be spliced to.  I suppose it was never intended I
should get married.  At all events, I don't mean to try.  I made one
girl miserable by not marrying her; and I might make another miserable
if I did."

With this hypothetical reflection, Stormy concluded his sad story.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

END OF VOLUME ONE.

Volume Two, Chapter I.

A STRANGE SUMMONS FROM STORMY.

As already stated, I had left the northern diggings with the design of
going to the Tuolumne river; and that on my way to the latter place I
had met Guinane--who had induced me to relinquish my design, and stop
awhile on the Stanislaus.

Now that Guinane was gone, and the claim in which we had been partners
worked out, there was nothing to hinder me from carrying out my original
intention; and I resolved, to leave the Stanislaus' diggings, and
proceed onward to the Tuolumne.

Stormy Jack, who stayed behind, promised to join me, as soon as he
should have worked out his claim on the Stanislaus--which he expected to
do in about three weeks.

On reaching the Tuolumne, I proceeded to Jacksonville--a little mining
village, where, after looking about a couple of days, I purchased two
shares in a claim that lay upon the bank of the river.

Not liking the sort of work required to be done on this claim--which was
wet--I employed men to work it for me.  I could afford to do this: for,
having toiled hard ever since my arrival in the diggings, and not having
been either unsuccessful or extravagant, I had begun to believe that
Lenore might yet be mine.  The brighter this hope became, the more value
did I set on my life; and was therefore careful not to endanger my
health by working in a "wet claim."

Another change had taken place in my domestic arrangements.  I no longer
lived in a miner's tent, nor did I continue to act as my own cook and
washer-woman.  I was worth several hundred pounds; and began to have a
better opinion of myself than ever before.  So proud was I of possessing
such a sum of money, that had I been in Liverpool at that time, I should
not have hesitated to talk of love to Lenore.

The life of most gold-diggers is wretched beyond belief.  The
inconveniences and hardships they endure are but poorly repaid, by their
freedom from the irksome regulations and restraints of more civilised
life.  I have seen miners eating bread that had been kneaded _in a hat_,
and baked in the hot ashes of their camp fire!  I have seen them
suffering many hardships--even hunger itself--at the very time they were
encumbered with ponderous bags of gold!

In the days when gold-digging was romantic and fashionable, I have seen
learned lawyers, skilled physicians, and eloquent divines--who had been
seduced by the charms of a miner's life--passing the Sabbath day at the
washtub, or seated outside their tents, needle in hand, stitching the
torn seams of their ragged and scanty clothing.  I had myself been
following this rude manner of life, ever since my arrival at the
diggings; but it had now lost its charms, and after reaching the
Tuolumne, I took up my residence in a French boarding-house.

My two shares in the claim I had purchased soon began to yield a rich
return, so that I was able to purchase several more, and also employ
more men in working them.

One day I received a visit from Stormy Jack, who had come over from the
Stanislaus, as he said, "to take bearings before sailing out from
Sonora."

He saw how comfortably I was living in Jacksonville; and that I was
making money without much hard work.

"I'll come and live like you," said he, "for I am getting too rich
myself to go on as I've been doing.  I won't stand hard work any
longer."

After spending the day with me, he returned to Sonora--with the
intention of selling out his claims on the Stanislaus, and coming to
reside at Jacksonville.

The day after he had gone away--which chanced to be Saturday--at a late
hour of the evening, I received a letter from him.  He had written it
that morning, and sent it to me by a shopkeeper who chanced to be
returning to Jacksonville.  So badly was the letter written, that I was
occupied all the rest of the evening deciphering it; but after spending
much time, patience, and ingenuity upon the epistle, I arrived at a
tolerable understanding of the intelligence it was intended to convey.

Stormy commenced by stating, that I must excuse all faults: for it was
the first letter he had written for a period of more than thirty years.
In fact, all correspondence of an epistolary kind on Stormy's part had
been discontinued on the death of Ann!

I was then informed, in the old sailor's characteristic fashion, that a
murder had just been committed on the Stani.  A woman had been killed by
her husband; and the husband had been summarily tried, and found guilty
of the crime.

The next day, at noon, the miners were going to teach the murderer
"manners," by hanging him to a tree.  I was advised to come over, and be
a spectator of the lesson--for the reason that Stormy believed we had
both seen the guilty man before.  Stormy was not sure about this.  The
murderer bore a name, that he had never heard me make use of; but a name
was nothing.  "I've a bit of a fancy in my head," wrote Stormy, "that I
have seen the man many years ago; and that _you_ will know who he is--
though I can't be sartain.  So come and see for yourself.  I'll expect
you to be at my tent, by eleven o'clock in the mornin'."

Who could the murderer be, that _I_ should know him?  Could Stormy be
mistaken?  Had he been drinking; and this time become affected in the
brain, instead of the legs?

I could hardly think it was drink.  He would not have taken the trouble
to write, his first epistle in thirty years, without some weighty
reason.

I went to see the store-keeper who had brought the letter.  From him I
learnt that a murder _had_ been committed by a man from Sydney, and that
the murderer was to be hung on the following day.

As I continued to reflect on the information I thus received, a horrid
thought came into my mind.  Could the murderer be Mr Leary?  Could his
victim have been my mother?

There was a time when this thought would have produced on me a different
effect from what it did then, a time when, dark as might have been the
night, such a suspicion would have caused me to spring to my feet and
instantaneously take the road to Sonora.

It did not then.  I now felt less interest in the mystery I had so long
been endeavouring to solve.  Time, with the experience it brought, had
rendered me less impulsive, if not less firm in purpose.  I could not,
however, sleep upon the suspicion; and after passing a wretched night, I
was up before the sun.

Sonora was about thirteen miles distant from the Tuolumne diggings.  It
would be a pleasant morning walk; and I determined to go afoot.  The
exercise would only give me an appetite--so that I should enjoy my
breakfast after reaching the Stanislaus.  I could take plenty of time on
the way, and still be there by nine o'clock--two hours sooner Stormy
expected me.

I started along the road--meditating as I walked onward, what course I
should pursue, supposing the murderer should turn out to be Leary, and
supposing the murdered woman to be my mother!

Mr Leary was the husband of my mother.  He was my stepfather.  Should I
allow him to be hung?

Such thoughts coursed rapidly through my mind, as I proceeded along the
solitary path.  I could not check them, by the reflection that, after
all, the man might _not_ be Mr Leary.  Why I had thought of him at all,
was because I could think of no other man that Stormy and I had both
known before--at least, none who was likely to have committed a murder.
But my correspondent might still be mistaken; and the condemned criminal
be a stranger to both of us?

When I had walked about a mile along the main road to Sonora I left it--
knowing that I could make a shorter cut by a path, leading over the
ridge that separates the valleys of the Stanislaus and Tuolumne.

I had got, as I supposed, about half-way to Sonora; and was passing near
a chapperal thicket, when a large grizzly bear rushed out of the bushes,
and advanced straight towards me.

Fortunately a large live oak tree was growing near, with limbs that
extended horizontally.  I had just time to climb up among the branches.
A second more, and I should have been grasped by the claws of the
grizzly.  Unlike his congener the brown bear, the _grizzly_ cannot climb
a tree, and knowing this I fancied myself safe.

Taking a seat on one of the limbs of the live oak, I proceeded to
contemplate the interesting position in which I was placed.  The bear
had a brace of cubs playing in the chapperal near by.  I could hear them
sniffing and growling; and soon after got sight of them, engaged in
their uncouth, bearish frolics.  It would have been pleasant enough to
watch these creatures; but the prospect of how I was to regain my
liberty soon became the sole subject of my thoughts--by no means a
pleasant one.

I saw that, the bear was not inclined to leave the tree, while her
interesting family was so near.  That seemed certain.  The chance of any
person passing, near that lonely place, was one against a hundred.  The
path was very little used, and only by an occasional pedestrian like
myself.

To ensure the safety of her offspring, the bear might keep me up that
tree until her cubs had arrived at the age of discretion, and be able to
take care of themselves.  Under the circumstances, I could not subsist
so long.

Always having allowed myself to believe, that a civil tongue, a good
bowie-knife, and the sense to mind my own business, were a much better
protection than fire-arms, I seldom carried a revolver--as most people
in California, at that time, were in the habit of doing.  I now found
need of the weapon, when I had it not.

I was not, however, wholly unprovided with what might console me in my
dilemma: for I had some good cigars and a flask of brandy,--that
happened to have been put into my pocket the night before.  To aid me in
calculating the chances of regaining my liberty, I took a pull at the
flask, and then lighted a cigar.

Volume Two, Chapter II.

A GRIZZLY ON FIRE.

During all this time, the bear had been energetically trying to pull
down, or eat up, the tree; and I only felt secure, when I saw that she
had not the ability to do either.

But the business upon which I was bound to Sonora now came before my
mind.  It seemed to have become greatly magnified in importance, so much
so, that I began to fancy, that all my hopes for the future depended on
my finding Stormy Jack before twelve o'clock.  Time was rapidly passing,
without my making any progress towards the place of appointment.

"What shall I do?" was the thought that seemed to run like hot lead
through my skull.

The excited state I was in hindered the enjoyment I usually have in
smoking a good cigar; and the fire of the one I had lit soon became
extinguished.

Imbued with the belief that smoking tranquillises an agitated mind, and
brings it to a fitter state for contemplation, I relighted the cigar.

I knew from the implacable disposition of the grizzly bear, that the old
she that besieged me was not likely to leave the tree so long as I was
in it; and the length of my captivity would probably depend on which of
us could longest resist the demands of hunger.

My cigars--unlike some that I have often been compelled to smoke--could
not be used as _substitute for food_: since they were composed neither
of turnip tops nor cabbage leaves.

The day was intensely hot; and I had grown thirsty--a sensation that
brandy would not remove.  The longer I kept my perch, the more my
impatience pained me, indeed, life seemed not worth possessing, unless I
met Stormy at the time he had appointed.  I felt the terrible exigency;
but could not think of a way to respond to it.  There was every
probability of the next day finding me no nearer Sonora, but much nearer
death, than I was then.  The agony of thirst--which the feverish anxiety
caused by my forlorn condition each moment increased--would of itself
make an end of me.

The idea of descending from the tree, and fighting the bear with my
bowie-knife, was too absurd to be entertained for a moment.  To do so
would be to court instant death.

I have already stated that at the time of which I write, California was
disgraced by such spectacles as combats between a grizzly bear and a
bull.

I had witnessed three such exhibitions; and the manner in which I had
seen one of the former knock down and lacerate a bull with a single blow
of its paw, was enough to make me cautious about giving the old she an
opportunity of exhibiting her prowess upon myself.

The remembrance of such scenes was enough to have made me surrender
myself to positive despair.  I had not, however, quite come to that.

A scheme for regaining my liberty at length suggested itself; and I
believe it was through smoking the cigar that the happy idea occurred to
me.

To the branch on which I was sitting was attached a tuft of a singular
parasitive plant.  It was a species of "Spanish moss," or "old man's
beard," so called, from the resemblance of its long white filamentary
leaves to the hairs of a venerable pair of whiskers.

The plant itself had long since perished, as I could tell from its
withered appearance.  Its long filaments hung from the limb, crisp and
dry as curled horse-hair.

Reaching towards it, I collected a quantity of the thread-like leaves,
and placed them, so that I could conveniently lay hands upon them when
wanted.

My next move was to take out the stopper of my brandy flask--which done,
I turned the flask upside down, and spilled nearly the whole of its
contents upon the back of the bear.  What was left I employed to give a
slight moistening to the bunch of Spanish moss.

I now drew forth my lucifers--when, to my chagrin, I saw that there was
but one match left in the box!

What if it should miss fire, or even if igniting, I should fail with it
to light the dry leaves?

I trembled as I dwelt upon the possibility of a failure.  Perhaps my
life depended upon the striking of that one match?  I felt the necessity
of being careful.  A slight shaking of the hand would frustrate my
well-contrived scheme.

Cautiously did I draw the match over the steel filings on the box, too
cautiously, for no crackling accompanied the friction.

I tried again; but this time, to my horror, I saw the little dump of
phosphorus that should have blazed up, break from the end of the stick,
and fall to the bottom of the tree!

I came very near falling myself, for the bright hope that had illumed my
mind was now extinguished; and the darkness of despondency once more set
over my soul.

Soon, however, a new idea came into my mind--restoring my hopes as
suddenly as they had departed.  There was fire in the stump of the cigar
still sticking between my lips.

The match was yet in my hand; and I saw that there remained upon it a
portion of the phosphoric compound.

I applied its point to the coal of the cigar; and had the gratification
of beholding it blaze upwards.

I now kindled the Spanish moss, which, saturated with the brandy, soon
became a blaze; and this strange torch I at once dropped on the back of
the bear.

Just as I had expected, the brandy, with which I had wetted the shaggy
coat of the bear, became instantly ignited into a whishing, spluttering
flame, which seemed to envelope the whole body of the animal!

But I was not allowed to have a long look at the conflagration I had
created: for the moment the bear felt the singeing effects of the blaze,
she broke away from the bottom of the tree, and retreated over the
nearest ridge, roaring as she went like a tropical hurricane!

Never before had I beheld a living creature under such an elevated
inspiration of fear.

Her cries were soon answered by another grizzly, not far away; and I
knew that no time was to be squandered in making my escape from the
place.

I quickly descended from the tree; and the distance I got over, in the
succeeding ten minutes, was probably greater than I had ever done before
in twice the time.

Volume Two, Chapter III.

LYNCH VERSUS LEARY.

I reached Stormy's tent about ten o'clock; and found him waiting for me.
I proposed proceeding at once towards the gaol where the condemned man
was kept.  I was more impatient than my companion--impatient to see
whether I might identify the criminal.

"Come on!" said I, "we can talk and walk at the same time."

The old sailor followed me out of his tent, and then led the way without
speaking.

"Storm along, Stormy," cried I, "Let me hear what you have to say."

"It's not much," replied he; "I'm afraid I've been making a fool of
myself, and you too.  I saw the man yesterday, who's going to be hung
to-day.  I fancied that he was the same as brought you aboard the `Hope'
in Dublin Bay, when you first went to sea--he that you told me was your
stepfather--and who you promised to larn manners if ever you should come
back, and find he had been misbehaving himself.  Now it may be all my
own fancy.  That was so many years ago that I mightn't remember; but I
couldn't rest satisfied, without having you see him, for yourself."

I told Stormy that he had acted right; and that I hoped, and should be
pleased, to find that he was mistaken.

Stormy's doubts had the effect of tranquillising me a little.  I was now
very hungry too; and at the first restaurant in our way, I went in, and
ordered some breakfast, which was eaten with an appetite I hoped never
to have again--a hope that was no doubt shared by the proprietor of the
restaurant.

We then pursued our journey to the place where the prisoner was under
guard.

The prison was merely a public-house--around which a crowd of people
were beginning to assemble.

I wished to see the prisoner; but he was in an inside room, with the men
who guarded him; and these were a little particular as to who was
admitted into his presence.  I had to wait, therefore, until he should
be led out to execution.

On finding that I could not be allowed to see the murderer--and as I was
anxious to learn something immediately--I determined on taking a look at
his victim.  It would be easy to do this: as the house where the dead
woman was lying was not far distant, from that which contained her
murderer.

Accompanied by Stormy, I walked over to the house; and we were admitted
into the room where the corpse was lying.  The face of the murdered
woman was concealed under a white cloth; and while standing over the
body, I was more strangely agitated than I had ever been before.  Should
I, on removing that slight shrouding of cotton, behold the inanimate
features of my mother?

The suspense was agonisingly interesting.  The covering was at length
removed; and I breathed again.  The body was not that of my mother; but
of a young woman apparently about nineteen or twenty years of age.  She
had been a beautiful woman, and was still so--even in death!

Less tortured by my thoughts, I followed Stormy back to the
public-house--around which the crowd had greatly increased: for it was
now twelve o'clock, the hour appointed for the execution.

My heart beat audibly, as the criminal was led forth, surrounded by his
guards and attendants.

Stormy was right.  The murderer was Matthew Leary!

"What shall I do?"  I inquired of Stormy, as we followed the criminal to
the place of execution.

"You can do nothing," answered Stormy.  "Let _them_ teach him manners.
If you interfere, you'll be larnt some yourself."

There was truth in this.  From the temper of the men, who had judged and
condemned the murderer, it was evident I could do nothing to save him.
Perhaps I did not contemplate trying.

The prisoner was led from the public-house he had been kept in since his
condemnation, to a live oak tree, growing on the top of a high hill,
about half a mile from the town.  Under this tree was a grave, that had
been freshly dug.  The murderer, as he was conducted forward, must have
seen the grave, and know it to be his final resting-place.  For all
that, he approached the tree without any apparent emotion!

"He is either a very good man, or a very bad one," said one by my side,
"he is going to die game!"

A cart was drawn up under the live oak; and into it climbed four or five
respectable-looking men--who appeared to be taking a prominent part in
the proceedings.

One of them requested silence--a request which was immediately complied
with--and the man who made it, then addressed the assembly, in, as near
as I can remember, the following words:--

"Gentlemen!  Before commencing to execute the painful duty, we have met
to perform, I deem it necessary to give you a brief description of the
circumstances, under which we are called upon to act.  The prisoner
before you--_John Mathews_,--has been tried by a jury of twelve men; and
found guilty of the murder of his wife--or a woman living with him as
such.  He has been defended by able counsel; and the trial has been
conducted with all the decorum and ceremony required by an occasion so
solemn and important.  It has appeared in evidence against the prisoner,
that he was an habitual drunkard; and that his principal means for
indulging, in his unfortunate habits of dissipation, were derived from
his wife--who supported herself, the prisoner, and their child, by
working as a washer-woman.  There has been full evidence brought before
the jury, that, on the day the murder was committed, the prisoner came
home drunk, and asked the woman for money.  She told him that she had
but three dollars in the house; and that she wanted that to procure
necessaries for her child--in fine, she refused to let him have it.  The
prisoner demanded the three dollars, and the woman still refused to give
them up.  After he had made a vain attempt to extort the money by
threats, he went across the room, and procured a pistol, with which he
unsuccessfully made an attempt to shoot her.  Finding that the weapon
was unloaded, he turned it in his hand, and struck the woman two heavy
blows on the head with its butt.  These blows were the cause of her
death--which occurred two hours afterwards.  The man who committed this
crime is now before you.  As I do not wish to prejudice the mind of any
one, I have simply stated what was proved on the trial; and the question
I now put is--what shall we do with him?"

The speaker finished by putting on his hat, which was as much as to say,
that his part in the solemn ceremony was performed.

The firm, earnest voice, in which the address had been delivered,
convinced me that the speaker, who had thus distinguished himself, was
actuated neither by prejudice nor passion.

From the tenor of the speech he had delivered, I could tell that the
criminal's fate, to a certain extent, still depended on a vote of the
crowd; and in their decision I felt more interested, than even Mr Leary
himself appeared to be!

Another of the men in the cart now took off his hat; and the murmuring
noise once more subsided.

"Fellow citizens!" said this second speaker, "I am not here either to
apologise for, or sanction the crime this man has committed.  I know, as
well as any man present, the necessity that exists in a land like this,
or, rather, in the state of society in which we live, for the severe
punishment of crime.  All I ask of you is, to let this man be punished
by the laws of the country.  A system of government--of which you all
approve--has lately been established among us; and arrangements have
been made for the trial and punishment of criminals.  Do not take the
law into your own hands.  People living in the civilised communities of
Europe and our own country are crying `Shame! shame!' at many
transactions, similar to this, which have occurred in California; and
the same words will be uttered against the proceedings that are taking
place here to-day.  I am a magistrate; and have with me a constable.  I
will pledge my life that if you will allow us to remove the prisoner, he
shall be brought before a jury and tried by the laws of our country.  I
trust that no good citizen will make any objection to our taking that
course with him."

The magistrate then put on his hat--as a signal that _he_ had nothing
more to say.

The murmur of the crowd rose higher; and there were heard many cries of
dissent from what had been last said.

"He's had a fair trial--hang him!" exclaimed one.

"Hang him now, or he'll escape!" vociferated another.

There were also a few voices raised on the other side.  "Give him up!
Let the magistrate have him!" shouted these last.

A man now stood up in the cart; and called for a show of hands.

All in favour of delivering the prisoner into the custody of the law
officers were requested to hold up their right hands.

About twenty arms were extended into the air!

A number of these belonged to men who had the appearance of being what
in California were called "Sydney Ducks"--old convicts from New South
Wales; but most of the hands raised were those of well-known gamblers--
all of whom have an instinctive horror of Justice Lynch.

Those who were in favour of the prisoner being hung, _then and there_,
were next invited to hold up their right hands.

In an instant about three hundred arms were held aloft.  All of them
that I saw were terminated with strong, sinewy fists, stained only with
toil, and belonging to miners--the most respectable portion of the
population.

This silent, but emphatic, declaration was considered final.  After it
had been delivered, there commenced a scene of wild excitement.

I rushed through the crowd, towards the tree under which the criminal
stood.  As I came up to him, I saw that a rope had been, already noosed
around his neck.

A man was climbing into the live oak--for the purpose of passing the
rope over one of its branches.

"Stop!"  I cried, "stop for one minute!  Let me ask this man a question,
before he dies."

Mr Leary turned towards me with a stare of surprise; and for the first
time, since being brought upon the ground, did he appear to take any
interest in what was passing!

"I am the Rolling Stone," I shouted to him, "Tell me, where is my
mother?"

The murderer smiled, and such a smile!  It was the same fiendish
expression he had thrown at me, when I last saw him in the boat in
Dublin Bay.

"Tell me where I can find my mother!"  I again asked, nearly frantic
with rage.

At this moment the slack end of the lazo, that had been passed over the
branch and then slung back among the crowd, was instantly seized by a
hundred hands.  The condemned man seemed not to notice the movement,
while, in answer to my question, the malignant expression upon his
features became stronger and deeper.

"Away!"  I cried, scarcely conscious of what I said or did, "Away with
him!"

Those holding the rope sprang outward from the tree, and up rose Mr
Leary.

A few faint kicks, and his body hung motionless from the limb of the
live oak.

An empty sardine box was nailed to the tree, on which the murderer was
hanging.  Above it was pinned a piece of paper--on which were written
the words, "For the orphan."

Many miners stepped up to the spot, opened their purses; and slipped a
few dollars' worth of gold dust into the box.

Their example was followed by Stormy Jack; and from the quantity of
yellow dust I saw him drop into the common receptacle, I could tell that
his purse must have been three or four ounces lighter, when he came away
from the tree!

Volume Two, Chapter IV.

THE ORPHAN.

Shortly after the termination of the melancholy drama, in which I had
taken so prominent a part, Stormy Jack and I went to see the child--now
left without either father or mother.

We found it in the keeping of a young married couple--who had lately
arrived from Australia; and who had there been acquainted with its
unfortunate mother.

They told us, that the murdered woman was the daughter of a respectable
shopkeeper in Sydney, that she had run away with Mr Mathews--the name
under which Leary had passed in Australia--and that her parents had been
very unwilling she should have anything to do with him.

She was an only daughter; and had left behind a father and mother sorely
grieved at her misconduct.  Everybody that knew her had thought her
behaviour most singular.  They could not comprehend her infatuation in
forsaking a good home and kind parents for such a man as Mathews--who,
to say nothing of his dissipated habits, was at least twenty years older
than herself.

Perhaps it was strange, though I had learnt enough to think otherwise.
Experience had told me, that such occurrences are far from being
uncommon, and that one might almost fancy, that scoundrels like Leary
possess some peculiar charm for fascinating women--at least, those of
the weaker kind.

The orphan was shown to us--a beautiful bright-eyed boy, about a year
old; and bearing a marked resemblance to its mother.

"I shall take this child to its grandfather and grandmother in Sydney,"
said the young woman who had charge of it; "they will think all the
world of it: for it is so like their lost daughter.  May be it will do
something to supply her place?"

From the manner in which the young couple were behaving towards the
child, I saw that it would be safe in their keeping; and added my mite,
to the fund already contributed for its support.

In hopes of learning whether my mother had ever reached Sydney, I asked
them if they had been acquainted with Mathews there; or knew anything of
his previous history.  On this point they could give me no information.
They had had no personal acquaintance with Mathews in Australia; and all
that they knew or had ever heard of him was unfavourable to his
character.  In Sydney, as elsewhere, he had been known as a dissolute,
intemperate man.

Before we left the house, three men came in--bringing with them the gold
that had been for the orphan.

It was weighed in the presence of the young man and his wife, and the
amount was fifty ounces--in value near two hundred pounds of English
money.  My own contribution increased it to a still greater sum.  The
married couple had some scruples about taking charge of the gold,
although they had none in regard to encumbering themselves with the
child!

"I will go with you to an Express Office," said the man to the
deputation who brought the money, "and we will send it to Mr D--, in
San Francisco.  He is a wholesale merchant there, and came from Sydney.
He is acquainted with the child's grandparents; and will forward the
money to them.  As for the child, I expect soon to return to Sydney
myself--when I can take it along with me, and give it up to those who
have the right to it."

This arrangement proving agreeable to all parties concerned, the gold
was at once carried to the Express Office, and deposited there--with
directions to forward it to Mr D--, the merchant.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Having passed the remainder of the day in the company of Stormy Jack, I
returned to my home on the Tuolumne, but little better informed about
what I desired to know, than when I left it.  I had seen Mr Leary for
the last time; but I was as ignorant as ever of the fate of my
relatives.

Leary was now gone out of the world, and could trouble my mother no
more--wherever she might be.  It was some satisfaction to be certain of
that.

As I walked homeward my reflections were sufficiently unpleasant: I
reproached myself with having too long neglected the duty on which I had
started out--the search after my relations.

Nor was I without some regret, as I suffered my mind to dwell on the
spectacle just past.  The criminal was my stepfather.  I had, though
half unconsciously, given the word, that had launched his body from the
scaffold, and his soul into eternity!

My regrets could not have been very deeply felt.  They were checked by
the reflection, that he could have given me some information concerning
my mother, and that he had died apparently happy with the thought, that
he had disappointed me by withholding it!

Mr Leary had been my mother's husband--my own stepfather--yet without
shame I have recorded the fact, that he died an ignominious death.  I am
not responsible for his actions.  I stand alone; and the man who may
think any the less of me, for my unfortunate relationship with a
murderer, is one whose good will I do not think worth having.

Volume Two, Chapter V.

STORMY'S LAST SPREE.

Shortly after my return to the Tuolumne, I was joined by Stormy Jack,
who came to Jacksonville, as he had promised he would, with the
determination to take the world a little easier.

Since his childhood Stormy had never spent a whole week in idleness--at
least not at a single spell--and such a life he soon found, did not help
him to that supreme happiness he had been anticipating from it.

In the little town of Jacksonville an idle man could only find
amusement, in some place where strong drink was sold; and to be, day
after day, continually called upon to resist the temptation to drink,
was a trial too severe for Stormy's mental and physical constitution.
Both had to yield.  He got drunk frequently; and on several occasions so
very drunk, as to be affected both in his head and legs at the same
time!

He was himself somewhat surprised at finding himself so often in this
condition of "double drunkenness,"--as he termed it.  It was not often
in his life he had been so.  It was a serious affair; and he made some
sort of a resolution that it should not occur again.

To avoid its recurrence, he saw that he must employ himself in some way;
and he purchased a rifle, with the design of transforming himself into a
hunter.

By following this profession he could combine business with amusement,
as there were other hunters making a very good thing of it, by supplying
the citizens of Jacksonville with venison and bear meat.

Stormy prosecuted his new calling for about three days.  At the end of
that time he had been taught three things.  One was, that hunting was
hard work--harder, if possible, than mining.  Secondly, he discovered
that the amusement of the chase was, after all, not so grand--especially
when followed as a profession, or by a man of peculiar inclinations,
altogether different to his own.  Finally, Stormy arrived at the
conclusion, that the business didn't pay.

The truth is, Stormy was no marksman; and could only hit a barn, by
going inside, and closing the door before firing off his piece.

The calling of a hunter was not suited to the old "salt," nor was it of
the kind he required, to keep him from backsliding into his bad habit.
He therefore determined to give it up, and take to some other.

While deliberating on what was to be done, he again yielded to the old
temptation; and got gloriously drunk.

Alas, for poor Stormy!  It proved the last intoxication of his life!

The story of his death is too sad to be dismissed in a few words; and
when heard, will doubtless be thought deserving of the "full and
particular" account here given of it.  I record the facts, in all the
exactitude and minuteness, with which memory has supplied them to
myself.

At that time there was staying in Jacksonville a man known by the name,
or soubriquet, of "Red Ned."  I had casually heard of the man, though I
had not seen him, as he had only arrived in the place a few days before;
and was stopping at one of the gambling taverns, with which that mining
village was abundantly provided.

I had heard that Red Ned was a "dangerous man,"--a title of which he was
no little vain; and, probably, ever since his arrival in the place, he
had been looking for an opportunity of distinguishing himself by some
deed of violence.

In my wanderings over the world I have encountered many of those men
known as "bullies."  Notwithstanding the infamy attached to the
appellation, I have found some of them--perhaps unfortunately for
themselves--endowed with genuine courage, while others were mere
cowardly wretches--ever seeking to keep up their spurious reputation, by
such opportunities as are offered in quarrelling with half-grown lads,
and men under the influence of drink.

Such swaggerers may be met with in all parts of the world; but nowhere
in such numbers, as in California--which for a country so thinly
peopled, appears to be more than ordinarily afflicted with the
propensity for "bullyism."  At least, it was so, at the period of which
I am writing.

At that time, a man, who was known to have killed three or four of his
fellow-creatures, was looked upon with admiration by many, with fear by
as many more, and with abhorrence by a very few indeed.

Quarrels in California, three times out of every four, terminated
fatally for one or other of the combatants; and the survivor of several
such sanguinary affairs was certain to obtain among his fellows a
reputation of some kind--whether of good or evil--and for this,
unhappily, the majority of mankind are but too eager to strive.

Where society exists in a state of half civilisation--such as was that
of California fifteen years ago--it is not so strange that many should
be met, who prefer having the reputation of a bully to having no
reputation at all.

It was the unfortunate fate of my old comrade, to encounter one of these
contemptible creatures--who combine the bully with the coward--in the
person of Red Ned.

Stormy, after giving up the calling of the chase, had found himself once
more afloat, and in search of some business that would be more suited to
his tastes and abilities.  While beating about, as already stated, he
had once more given way to his unfortunate propensity for strong drink;
and had got intoxicated both in his mind and his limbs.

While in this state, he had involved himself in a coffee-house quarrel
with the man above mentioned; and who, no doubt, well understood the
helpless condition of his adversary: for it was Red Ned himself who
provoked the quarrel.

When unmolested by others, I never knew a man of a more harmless,
inoffensive disposition than was the old sailor.

Even when under the influence of liquor, he never, to my knowledge,
commenced a dispute; but when in that state, he was inclined to "teach
manners" to any one who might interfere with him.

Red Ned had met Stormy in one of the gambling taverns, where the latter
was carrying on his carouse; and perceiving that the old sailor was
helplessly intoxicated, and moreover, that he was only a sailor--whom he
could affront, without offending any of the company present--his
bullying propensity would not permit him to let pass such a fine
opportunity of gaining the distinction he coveted.

In Stormy's state of inebriety there was but little danger to be dreaded
from any personal conflict with him, for although he was still able to
keep his feet, his legs had reached a degree of drunkenness, that caused
him occasionally to reel and stagger over the floor of the bar-room.

The ruffian, perfectly conscious of all this, made some slurring
remark--intended to reflect upon Stormy's condition, and loud enough for
the latter to hear it.

As might have been expected, the old sailor did not take the slur in
good part; but in return poured forth his displeasure in his usual frank
and energetic manner.

Stormy, when excited by drink, was somewhat extravagant in the use of
vituperative language; and there can be no doubt that the bully was
compelled to listen to some plain-speaking that he did not much relish.

He submitted to the storm for a while; and then rushing upon Stormy, he
struck the old sailor a slap with his open hand.

Stormy, of course, returned the blow with closed fists, and then
proceeded to defend himself, by throwing his body, as well as its
intoxicated legs would allow him, into a boxing attitude.

But the bully had no intention to continue the fight in that cowardly
fashion--as he would have called it; and drawing his bowie-knife out of
his boot, he closed suddenly upon Stormy, and buried its blade in the
old sailors side.

Of course this terminated the strife; and the wounded man was conveyed
to his lodgings.

Volume Two, Chapter VI.

RED NED.

At the time that Stormy was teaching, or rather receiving, that terrible
lesson of manners, I was not in the village.  I had gone some two or
three miles up the river, to look after my miners at their work.

A messenger brought me the news; and, in breathless haste, I hurried
homewards.

On arriving at the house where Stormy lived, I found him stretched upon
his bed--with a doctor bending over him.

"Rowley, my boy, it's all over with me," said he.  "The doctor says so;
and for the first time in my life I believe one."

"Stormy!  Stormy! my friend, what has happened?"  I asked, as across my
soul swept a wave of anguish more painful than words can describe.

"Never mind any explanation now," interrupted the doctor, turning to me,
and speaking in a low voice.  "Do not excite your friend, by making him
converse.  You can learn the particulars of his misfortune from some one
else."

The doctor was in the act of leaving; and, interpreting a sign he gave
me, I followed him out.  I was told by him, that Stormy had been
stabbed, and that his wound would prove mortal.  The man of medicine
imparted some other details of the affair, which he had collected from
the spectators who had witnessed it.

On parting from me, the surgeon gave me warning, that the wounded man
might live two days--certainly not longer.

"He has received an injury," said he, "that must cause his death within
that time.  You can do nothing, beyond keeping him as quiet as
possible."

After pronouncing this melancholy prognosis, the surgeon took his
departure, with a promise to call again in the morning.

I returned to the bedside of my doomed comrade.

He would talk, in spite of all I could do, or say, to prevent him.

"I _will_ talk," said he, "and there's no use in your trying to stop me.
I've not much longer to live; and why should I pretend to be dead,
before I really am?"

I saw it was no use to attempt keeping him either quiet or silent.  It
only excited him all the more; and would, perhaps, do more harm to him
than letting him have his way--which I at length did.  He proceeded to
inform me of all the particulars of the affair.  His account slightly
differed from that given me by the doctor, who had doubtless heard a
one-sided statement, from the friends of the bully.

"I don't know whether I've been sarved right or not," said Stormy, after
concluding his account.  "I sartinly called the man some ugly names; and
every one about here is likely to say that it was right for him to teach
me manners.  But why did he stab me with a knife?  My legs were
staggering drunk; and he might have thrashed me without that!"

On hearing Stormy's statement, I became inspired with a feeling of fell
indignation against the scoundrel, who had acted in such a cowardly
manner: a determination, that my old comrade should be avenged.

I knew it would be idle to go before a magistrate, for the purpose of
getting the bully punished, for the two men had come to blows, _before_
the knife had been used.

The affair would be looked upon as an affray--in which either, or both,
had the right to use whatever weapons they pleased--and Stormy would be
thought deserving of his fate, for not protecting himself in a more
efficient manner!

I knew that he was drunk; and that even if sober he would not have used
a deadly weapon in a bar-room row; but although I knew this, others
would tell me, that my friend's being drunk was not the fault of the man
who had stabbed him; and that if he had not chosen to defend himself
according to custom, he must bear the consequences.

Impelled by my excited feelings, I left Stormy in the care of a miner
who had come in to see him; and stepped over to the tavern, where the
horrible deed had taken place.

About forty people were in the bar-room when I entered.  Some were
seated around a table where "Monte" was being dealt, while others were
standing at the bar, noisily swilling their drinks.

Without making remark to any one, I listened for a few minutes to the
conversation.  As the affair had occurred only that afternoon, I knew
that they would be talking about it in the bar-room--as in reality they
were.  Several men were speaking on the subject, though not disputing.
There was not much difference of opinion among them.  They all seemed to
regard the occurrence, as I expected they would, in the same light.

Two men had got into a quarrel, and then come to blows.  One had stabbed
the other--in California an everyday occurrence of trifling interest.
That was all the bar-room loungers were disposed to make of it.

I differed in opinion with them; and told them, in plain terms, that the
fight they were talking about had not been a fair one, that the man who
had stabbed the other had committed a crime but little less than murder.

A dozen were anxious to argue with me.  How could I expect a man to be
called hard names in a public room without his resenting it?

"But why did the man use a knife?"  I asked.  "Could the insult not have
been resented without that?"

I was told that men had no business to fight at all, if they could avoid
it; but when they did, each had a right to be in earnest, and do all the
harm he could to the other.

I was also admonished that I had better not let "Red Ned" hear me talk
as I was doing, or I might probably get served as bad as the sailor, who
had offended him that same day.

I thus learnt, for the first time, that the man who had wounded Stormy
was "Red Ned," and from what I had heard of this ruffian already, I was
not the less determined that Stormy should be avenged.

I knew, moreover, that if "Red Ned" was to receive punishment, it would
have to be inflicted by myself.

He was not in the tavern at the time; or, perhaps, he might have
received it on the instant.

I returned to Stormy; and passed that night by his side.

He was in great pain most part of the night.  The distress of my mind at
the poor fellow's sufferings, determined me to seek "Red Ned" the next
morning; and, as Stormy would have said, "teach him manners."

When the day broke, the wounded man was in less pain, and able to
converse--though not without some difficulty.

"Rowley," said he, "we must attend to business, before it be too late.
I know I shan't live through another night, and must make up my
reckoning to-day.  I've got about one hundred and eighty ounces; and
it's all yours, my boy.  I don't know that I have a relation in the
world; and there is no one to whom I care to leave anything but
yourself.  I can die happy now, because I know that the little I leave
will belong to you.  Had this happened before our meeting in Sonora, my
greatest sorrow at going aloft would have been, to think some stranger
would spend what I have worked hard to make, while my little Rowley
might be rolling hungry round the world."

At Stormy's request, the landlord of the lodging was called in; and
commanded to produce the bag of gold which the sailor had placed in his
keeping.

At this the man, apparently an honest fellow, went out of the room; and
soon returned with the treasure, which, in the presence of the landlord
and a miner who had come in, its owner formally presented to me.  It was
a bequest rather than a present--the act of a dying man.

"Take it, Rowley," said he, "and put it with your own.  It was got in an
honest manner, and let it be spent in a sensible one.  Go to Liverpool,
marry the girl you told me of; and have a home and family in your old
age.  I fancy, after all, that must be the way to be happy: for being
without home and friends I know isn't.  Ah! it was that as made me live
the wretched roaming life, I've done."

The exertion of talking had made Stormy worse.  I saw that he began to
breathe with difficulty; and seemed to suffer a great deal of pain.  So
great was his agony, that it was almost equal agony for me to stand by
his side; and I stole out, leaving him with the surgeon--who had
meanwhile arrived--and the miner before mentioned.

I stole out _upon an errand_.

Volume Two, Chapter VII.

MY COMRADE AVENGED.

Perhaps ere this my errand may have been conjectured.  If not I shall
disclose it.  I left the bedside of Stormy to seek Red Ned.

I went direct to the tavern--knowing that the bully frequented the
place, and that if not there, some one could probably tell me where he
might be found.

As I entered the bar-room, a tall, slender man, with red hair, was
talking, in a loud voice, to a knot of others collected in front of the
bar.

"Let him dare tell me that it was murder," said the red-haired man, "and
I'll serve him in the same way I did the other.  Murder indeed!  Why,
there was a dozen men by, who can prove that I listened for ten minutes
to the man insulting and abusing me in the most beastly manner.  Could
flesh and blood stand it any longer?  What is a man worth who'll not
protect his character?  Whoever says I acted unfair is a liar; and had
better keep his cheek to himself."

As soon as I heard the speaker's voice, and had a fair look at him, I
recognised him as an old acquaintance.

It was Edward Adkins, first mate and afterwards captain of the ship
"Lenore"--the man who had discharged me in New Orleans after the death
of Captain Hyland--the man who had accused me of ingratitude and theft!
Yes, it was Adkins, my old enemy.

I knew that _he_ was a coward of the most contemptible kind, and a bully
as well.

What I had witnessed of his conduct on the Lenore, during many years'
service with him, had fully convinced me of this.  A thorough tyrant
over the crew, while cringing in the presence of Captain Hyland--who was
often compelled to restrain him, from practising his petty spite upon
those under his command.  It did not need that last interview I had had
with him in Liverpool--in the house of Mrs Hyland--to strengthen my
belief that Edward Adkins was a despicable poltroon.

In answer to the question he had put: "What's a man worth who'll not
protect his character?"  I walked up to him and said:--"You have no
character to protect, and none to lose.  You are a cowardly ruffian.
You purposely started a quarrel with an inoffensive man; and drew your
knife upon him when you knew he was helpless with drink."

"Hell and damnation!  Are you talking to me?" inquired Adkins, turning
sharply round, his face red with rage.

But his features suddenly changed to an expression that told me he
wished himself anywhere else, than in the presence of the man to whom he
had addressed the profane speech.

"Yes!  I'm talking to you," said I, "and I wish all present to listen to
what I say.  You are a cowardly wretch, and worse.  You have taken the
life of a harmless, innocent man, unable to protect himself.  You, to
talk of resenting an insult, and protecting your character--your
character indeed!"

Had we two been alone, it is possible that Adkins would not have thought
himself called upon to reply to what I had said; but we were in the
presence of two score of men, in whose hearing he had just boasted--how
he would serve the man who had been slandering him.  That man was
myself.

"Now!"  I cried impatient for action, "you hear what I've said!  You
hear it, all of you?"

The bully had been brought to bay.

"Gentlemen!" said he, addressing the crowd who had gathered around,
"what am I to do?  I was driven yesterday to an act I now regret; and
here is another man forcing me into a quarrel in the same way.  Take my
advice," said he, turning to me, "and leave the house, before my blood
gets up."

"There is not the least danger of your blood getting up," said I; "your
heart's gone down into your heels.  If I was so drunk, as to be just
able to keep my legs, no doubt you would have the courage to attack me.
You haven't got it now."

The greatest coward in the world can be driven to an exhibition of
courage--whether sham or real; and Adkins, seeing that he could no
longer in California lay claim to the title of a _dangerous man_,
without doing something to deserve it, cried out--

"Damnation! if you want it, you shall have it!"

As the words passed from his lips, I saw him stoop suddenly--at the same
time jerking his foot upward from the floor.  I divined his intention,
which was to draw his bowie out of his boot; and while his leg was still
raised, and before he could fairly lay hold of the knife, I dealt him a
blow that sent him sprawling upon the floor.  The knife flew out of his
hand; and, before he could regain his feet, I stepped between him and
the place where it was lying.

I have neglected to tell the reader, that I could no longer with
propriety be called "The _little_ Rolling Stone," though Stormy still
continued to address me occasionally by that appellation.  At the time
of this--my last encounter with Adkins--I was six feet _without_ my
boots; and was strong and active in proportion.  I have called it my
_last_ encounter with this ruffian--it was so.  Before he was in a
position to attack me a second time, I drew my own knife from its
sheath; and threw it on the floor alongside his.  I did this, to show
that I scorned to take any advantage of an unarmed man--as my cowardly
opponent had done with poor Stormy Jack.  I did not at the moment think
of the wrongs Adkins had done to myself--of my imprisonment in a common
gaol--of the falsehoods he had told to Mrs Hyland--of his attempt to
win Lenore.  I thought only of poor Stormy.

Adkins again rushed on me; and was again knocked down.  This time he
showed a disposition for remaining on the floor--in the hopes that some
of his friends might come between us, and declare the fight to be over;
but I kicked him, until he again got up, and once more closed with me.

I met the third attack, by picking him up in my arms--until his heels
were high in the air, and then I allowed him to fall down again on the
crown of his head.  He never rose after that fall--his neck was broken.

Before I left the room, every man in it came up and shook hands with
me--as they did so, telling me that I had done a good thing.

Volume Two, Chapter VIII.

STORMY TRANQUIL AT LAST.

When I returned to Stormy he was worse; and I saw that he had not much
longer to live.  He was not in so much pain as when I left him; but it
was evident he was sinking rapidly.

"Stormy," said I, "what would you wish me to do to the man, who has
brought you to this?"

"Nothing," he answered; "he's a bad man--but let him go.  Promise me
that you will not try to teach him manners--let the Lord do it for us."

"All right, comrade," said I, "your wishes shall be obeyed: for I cannot
harm him now.  He has gone."

"I'm glad of that," said the dying man, "for it shows that he knew
himself to be in the wrong.  By his running away, others will know it
too; and will not say that I desarved what I've got."

"But he has _not_ run away," said I, "he is dead.  I went to the house,
where you met him yesterday.  I found him there.  Before I came out, he
died."

Stormy's expressive features were lit up with a peculiar smile.

It was evident that he comprehended the full import of my ambiguous
speech, though he made no comment, further than what gave me to
understand, that his object, in making me promise not to harm Red Ned,
was only from fear that I might get the worst of it.  I could tell,
however, by the expression upon his features, that he was rather pleased
I had not left to the Lord the work of teaching manners to his murderer.

I remained by the bedside of my dying comrade--painfully awaiting the
departure of his spirit.  My vigil was not a protracted one.  He died
early in the afternoon of that same day, on which his murder had been
avenged.

There was no inquest held, either upon his body, or that of his
assassin.  Perhaps the latter might have been brought to trial, but for
the judgment that had already fallen upon him.  This being deemed just
by all the respectable people in the place, there were no farther steps
taken in the matter, than that of burying the bodies of the two men--who
had thus fallen a sacrifice to the play of unfortunate passions.

I have seen many gold-diggers undergo interment, by being simply rolled
up in their blankets, and thrust under ground without any ceremony
whatever, all this, too, only an hour or two after the breath had
departed from their bodies.  Such, no doubt, would have been the manner
in which the body of Stormy Jack would have been disposed of, had there
not been by him in his last hour a friend, who had been acquainted with
him long, and respected him much.

I could not permit his remains to be thus rudely interred.  I had a good
coffin made to contain them; and gave the old sailor the most
respectable burial I had ever seen among the miners of California.

Poor Stormy!  Often, when thinking of him, I am reminded of how much the
destiny of an individual may be influenced by circumstances.

Stormy Jack was naturally a man of powerful intellect.  He possessed
generosity, courage, a love of justice, and truth--in short, all the
requisites that constitute a noble character.  But his intellect had
remained wholly uncultivated; and circumstances had conducted him to a
calling, where his good qualities were but little required, and less
appreciated.  Had he been brought up and educated to fill some higher
station in society, history might have carried his name--which to me was
unknown--far down into posterity.  In the proportion that Nature had
been liberal to him, Fortune had been unkind; and he died, as he had
lived, only Stormy Jack--unknown to, and uncared for, by the world he
might have adorned.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

After having performed the last sad obsequies over his body, I recalled
the advice he had given me, along with his gold, to return to Lenore.

I resolved to follow a counsel so consonant with my own desires.  I
found no difficulty in disposing of my mining shares; and this done, I
made arrangements for travelling by the stage conveyance then running
between Sonora and Stockton.

Before leaving the Stanislaus, I paid a visit to the young couple, who
had been entrusted with the care of Leary's child.

My object in going to see them was to learn, if possible, something more
of that gentleman's doings in Australia.

It was true, they had said, that they were unacquainted with him there;
but there were several questions I wished to ask them--by which I hoped
to learn something concerning my mother, and whether she had followed
Leary to the colonies.

I found the guardians of the child still living where I had seen them,
on the day the murderer was executed.  The orphan was no longer in their
keeping.  They had sent it to its grandparents in Sydney, in charge of a
merchant--who had left California for the Australian colonies some weeks
before.

Though I obtained from the man and his wife all the information they
were capable of giving, I learnt but little of what I desired to know.
They thought it likely, that in San Francisco, I might hear more about
the subject of my enquiries.  They knew a man named Wilson--who had come
from Sydney in the same ship with them; and who was now keeping a
public-house in San Francisco.  Wilson, they believed, had been well
acquainted with Mathews--for this was the name which Leary had assumed
in the colonies.

Such was the scant information I succeeded in obtaining from the friends
of the late Mrs Leary; and with only this to guide me, I commenced my
journey for the capital of California.

Volume Two, Chapter IX.

A ROUGH RIDE.

The stage, by which I travelled from Sonora to Stockton, was nothing
more than a large open waggon, drawn by four Mexican horses.

We started at six o'clock in the morning, on a journey of eighty-four
miles.  This we should have to perform before four o'clock in the
afternoon of the same day--in order to catch the steamer, which, at that
hour, was to start from Stockton for San Francisco.

Notwithstanding that the road over most of the route was in reality no
road at all, but an execrable path, we made the eighty-four miles within
the time prescribed: for the stage arrived at Stockton more than twenty
minutes before the time appointed for the sailing of the steamer!

In spite of this rapidity of transit, I did not at all enjoy the journey
between Sonora and Stockton.  I was all the time under an impression
that my life was in imminent danger; and, as I was at last on my way to
Lenore, I did not wish to be killed by the overturning of a Californian
stage coach--behind four half-wild horses, going at the top of their
speed.

Sometimes we would be rushing down a steep hill, when, to keep the
horses out of the way of the waggon they were drawing, the driver would
stand up on his box, and fling the "silk" at them with all the energy he
could command.  On such occasions there would be moments when not a
wheel could be seen touching the ground; and not unfrequently the
vehicle would bound through the air, to a distance equalling its own
length!

We were fortunate enough to reach Stockton, without breaking either the
wheels of the waggon, or the bones of any of the passengers, which to me
at the time seemed something miraculous.

I do not relish describing scenes of a sanguinary character; but, to
give the reader some idea of the state of society in California, at the
time I write of, I shall mention a circumstance that transpired during
my twenty minutes' sojourn in Stockton--while waiting for the starting
of the steamer.

Just as we were getting out of the stage waggon, several pistol-shots
were heard, close to the spot where we had stopped.  They had been fired
inside the gambling room of a public-house, on the opposite side of the
street; and several men were seen rushing out of the house, apparently
to escape the chances of being hit by a stray bullet.

As soon as the firing had ceased, the retreating tide turned back again;
and re-entered the house--along with a crowd of others, who had been
idling outside.

I walked over; and went in with the rest.  On entering the large saloon,
in which the shots had been fired, I saw two men lying stretched upon
separate tables--each attended by a surgeon, who was examining his
wounds.

I could see that both were badly--in fact mortally--wounded; and yet
each was cursing the other with the most horrible imprecations I had
ever heard!

One of the surgeons, addressing himself to the man upon whom he was
attending, said:--

"Do not talk in that profane manner.  You had better turn your thoughts
to something else: you have not many hours to live."

Neither this rebuke, nor the unpleasant information conveyed by it,
seemed to produce the slightest effect on the wretch to whom it was
addressed.  Instead of becoming silent, he poured forth a fresh storm of
blasphemy; and continued cursing all the time I remained within hearing.

I was told that the two men had quarrelled about a horse, that one of
them first fired at the other, who fell instantly to the shot; and that
the latter, while lying on the floor, had returned the fire of the
assailant, sending three bullets into his body.

I heard afterwards that the shots had proved fatal to both.  The man who
had fired the first shot died that same night--the other surviving the
sanguinary encounter only a few hours longer.

I had no desire to linger among the spectators of that tragical tableau;
and I was but too glad to find a cue for escaping from it: in the
tolling of the steam-boat bell, as it summoned the passengers aboard.

A few minutes after, and we were gliding down the San Joaquin--_en
route_ for the Golden City.

The San Joaquin is emphatically a crooked river.  It appeared to me that
in going down it, we passed Mount Diablo at least seven times.  Vessels,
that we had already met, could be soon after seen directly ahead of us,
while those appearing astern would in a few minutes after, encounter us
in the channel of the stream!

A "Down-easter," who chanced to be aboard, made the characteristic
observation:--that "the river was so crooked, a bird could not fly
across it: as it would be certain to alight on the side from which it
had started!"

Crooked as was the San Joaquin it conducted us to the capital of
California--which we reached at a late hour of the night.

So impatient was I to obtain the information, which had brought me to
San Francisco, that on the instant of my arrival I went in search of the
tavern, kept by Mr Wilson.

I succeeded in finding it, though not without some difficulty.  It was a
dirty house in a dirty street--the resort of all the worthless
characters that could have been collected from the low neighbourhood
around it, chiefly runaway convicts, and gay women, from Sydney.  It was
just such a hostelrie, as I might have expected to be managed by a
quondam companion of Mr Leary.

Mr Wilson was at "home," I was at once ushered into his presence; and,
after a very informal introduction, I commenced making him acquainted
with my business.

I asked him, if, while at Sydney, he had the pleasure of being
acquainted with a man named Mathews.

"Mathews!  Let me see!" said he, scratching his head, and pretending to
be buried in a profound reflection; "I've certainly heard that name,
somewhere," he continued, "and, perhaps, if you were to tell me what you
want, I might be able to remember all about it."

I could perceive that my only chance of learning anything from Mr
Wilson was to accede to his proposal, which I did.  I told him, that a
man named Mathews had been hung a few weeks before on the Stanislaus,
that it was for the murder of a young girl, with whom he had eloped from
Australia; and that I had reason to believe, that the man had left a
wife behind him in Sydney.  I had heard that he, Mr Wilson, had known
Mathews; and could perhaps tell me, if such had been the case.

"If it was the Mathews I once knew something about," said the
tavern-keeper, after listening to my explanation, "he could not have
left any money, or property, behind him: he hadn't a red cent to leave."

"I didn't say that he had," I answered.  "It is not for that I make the
inquiry."

"No!" said the tavern-keeper, feigning surprise.  "Then what can be your
object, in wanting to know whether he left a wife in Sydney?"

"Because that wife, if there be one, is my mother."

This answer was satisfactory; and Mr Wilson, after healing it, became
communicative.

He had no objections to acknowledge acquaintance with a man who had been
hung--after my having admitted that man's wife to be my mother; and,
freely confessed, without any further circumlocution, that he had been
intimate with a man named Mathews, who had eloped from Sydney with a
shopkeeper's daughter.  He supposed it must be the same, that I claimed
as my stepfather.

Wilson's Mathews had arrived in Sydney several years before.  About a
year after his arrival he was followed by his wife from Dublin--with
whom he had lived for a few weeks, and then deserted her.

Wilson had seen this woman; and from the description he gave me of her,
I had no doubt that she was my mother.

The tavern-keeper had never heard of her, after she had been deserted by
Mathews, nor could he answer any question: as to whether she had brought
my children to the colony.  He had never heard of her children.

This was the sum and substance of the information I obtained from Mr
Wilson.

My mother, then, had actually emigrated to Australia; and there, to her
misfortune, no doubt, had once more discovered the ruffian who had
ruined her.

Where was she now?  Where were her children?  My brother William, and my
little sister Martha, of whom I was once so fond and proud?

"I must visit Australia," thought I, "before going back to England.
Until I have recovered my relatives I am not worthy to stand in the
presence of Lenore!"

Volume Two, Chapter X.

THE PARTNER OF THE IMPATIENT MAN.

As my return to Liverpool and Lenore was now indefinitely postponed, I
was in less haste to leave San Francisco.  I wished to see something of
this singular city, which had grown up, as it were, in a single day.

The citizens of the Californian capital--composed of the young and
enterprising of all nations--were at that time, perhaps, the fastest
people on record; and more of real and active life was to be seen in the
streets of San Francisco in a single week, than in any other city in a
month--or, perhaps, in a year.

The quick transformation of the place--from a quiet little seaport to a
large commercial city--astonished, even those who had witnessed its
growth, and played a part in the history of its development.

Half of the present city is built upon ground, which was once a portion
of the bay, and under the water of the sea.  Boats used to ply where
splendid buildings now stand--in the very centre of the town!

On my visit to San Francisco on this occasion, I saw fine substantial
houses, where, only one year before, wild bushes were growing--on the
branches of which the bachelors of the place used to dry their shirts!
Mountains had been removed--carried clear into the bay--and hundreds of
acres had been reclaimed from the encroachments of the sea.

Twice, too--within a period of only two years--the city had been burned
down, and rebuilt; and for all this work that had been done, prices had
been paid, that would seem extravagant beyond belief--at least, when
compared with the small wages of labour, in any other country than
California.

The amusements, manners, and customs, of almost every nation upon earth,
could, at this time, have been witnessed in San Francisco.  There was a
Spanish theatre patronised by Chilians, Peruvians, and Mexicans.  For
the amusement of these people there was also a "Plaza de Toros," or
amphitheatre for their favourite pastime--the bull fight.

In visiting these places of amusement--or the French and Italian opera
houses--or some of the saloons where Germans met to continue the customs
of their "Faderland"--one could scarce have supposed himself within the
limits of a country, whose citizens were expected to speak English.

I paid a visit to all the afore-mentioned spectacles, and many others--
not wholly for the sake of amusement; but to learn something of the
varied phases of life there presented to observation.  I could have
fancied, that, in one evening, I had been in Spain, France, Italy,
Germany, China, and over all parts of both North and South America!

For several days I wandered about the streets of San Francisco, without
meeting a single individual I had ever seen before.

I was beginning to feel as if I knew no one in the world, when one
afternoon I was accosted by a person bearing a familiar face.

It was Farrell, whom I had known at the diggings of the Stanislaus--the
partner of the impatient man, who used to worry the postmaster of
Sonora; and who had gone home in such haste, after learning of the death
of his wife.

"Come along with me," cried Farrell, "I have got a queer story to tell
you."

I accompanied him to the "Barnum House," where he was staying; and we
sat down to have a talk and a drink.

"You were quite right about that fellow Foster," said he, as soon as we
had got settled in our chairs; "a more treacherous deceitful villain
never trod Californian turf--nor any other, for that matter."

"You are a little mistaken."  I replied, "I never accused him of being
either treacherous, or deceitful."

"Do you not remember our having a talk about him, the evening before he
started home; and my telling you, that he was an honest, plain-speaking
fellow?"

"Yes; and I remember telling you, that if your statement, of the reason
of his anxiety to get his letters, was true, he could not be so very
deceitful, or he would have had the decency to have concealed the cause
of that anxiety even from you."

"I have never been more deceived in my life, than I was in that man,"
continued Farrell.  "Do you know why he was so desirous to hear of his
wife's death?"

"You said something about another woman."

"I did.  Who do you suppose that other woman was?"

"I haven't the slightest idea."

"I'll tell you then.  _It was my wife_!  He wanted his own wife to die,
so that he could go home and elope with mine.  It's a fact--_and he's
done it too_.  That's who the second epistle he used to get, was from.
I have just got a letter from my brother, giving me the whole news.
It's interesting, isn't it?"

"Yes; what are you going to do?"

"Find them, and kill them both!" said Farrell, hissing the words through
his teeth.

"I should not do that.  A man is fortunate in getting rid of a wife, who
would treat him after that fashion.  Your thanks are rather due to your
fair-dealing friend, for relieving you of any further trouble with such
a woman."

"There's some truth in what you say," rejoined Farrell.  "But I don't
like being humbugged.  He was such a plain-speaking fellow, I wonder why
he didn't tell me what he was intending to do, and who was writing to
him all the time.  In that case, perhaps, I should have made no
objection to his running away with her.  But there _is_ one thing, I
should have decidedly objected to."

"What is that?"

"Furnishing the money to pay their travelling expenses--as well as to
keep them comfortably wherever they have gone."

"Did you do that?"

"I did.  When Foster left the Stanislaus to go home, I entrusted all my
gold to him--to take home to my precious wife.  For all his frank open
ways, and plain-speaking, he did not tell me that he intended to assist
my wife in spending it; and that's what gives me the greatest chagrin.
I've been regularly sold.  Over every dollar of that money--as they are
eating or drinking it--will they be laughing at the fool who worked so
damned hard to make it.  Now I don't like that; and I should like to
know who would.  Would you?"

"Not exactly.  But where do you expect to find them?"

"In this city--San Francisco."

"What!  They surely would not be such simpletons as to come out to
California, and you here?"

"That's just what they'll do," replied Farrell.  "They'll think their
best plan to keep clear of me, will be to leave the States, and get out
here, by the time I would be likely to reach home.  They will expect me
to start from this place, the moment I hear the news of their elopement;
and that by coming here, they will be safe not to see me again--thinking
I would never return to California.  For that reason I don't intend
going home at all; but shall stay here till they arrive."

After spending the evening in his company, I admonished the injured
husband--in the event of his meeting with his false partner and friend--
to do nothing he might afterwards regret.

Farrell and I then parted; and I saw no more of him before leaving San
Francisco.

I sojourned another week in the capital of California; and, having
learned enough of its mysteries and miseries, I began to make
preparation for my voyage across the Pacific.

An eminent banking firm in London had established an agency in San
Francisco; and by it I forwarded to England all the gold I had
collected--excepting a few ounces retained for my travelling expenses to
Australia.

I found no difficulty in obtaining a passage from San Francisco to the
latter place.  Gold-diggings had been recently discovered in New South
Wales--in Port Philip, as Victoria was then called; and as many people
from the colonies wished to return, for their accommodation, numbers of
large ships were being "laid on" for Sydney and Melbourne.

There is no class of passenger so profitable as the gold-digger _going
away from a diggings_; and this being a fact, well-known among the
captains and owners of ships, there was no scarcity in the supply of
vessels then fitting out in the harbours of California.

Volume Two, Chapter XI.

A DIFFERENCE AMONG DIGGERS.

I engaged passage in the Dutch brig "Ceres," bound for Sydney; and
sailed in the early part of June out of San Francisco Bay.

When I again embark as a passenger in a Dutch vessel, it will be after I
have learnt to speak that detestable lingo.  Of all the crew of the
"Ceres," only the first officer could speak a word of English; and,
during the time I was aboard the brig, I discovered more than one good
reason for my resolve never again to embark in a ship, where I could not
understand the language by which she was worked.

A majority of the passengers had originally come from the Australian
Colonies to California; and were now returning to their homes--
dissatisfied with a country, where they were not regarded as good
citizens.

The worst characters amongst them had conceived a strong antipathy for
everything American.

This will be easily understood, by taking into consideration the fact,
that many of the people from the Australian Colonies who went to
California, were men of infamous character.  Indeed it is rather to the
credit of the Californians: that they had treated with some severity
these English convicts, who had made their appearance amongst them, for
the express purpose of thieving and robbing.

I do not wish to be understood as saying, that all the gold seekers from
Australia were of this character.  I formed the acquaintance of many
Anglo-Australian diggers, who had won the respect of all who knew them.

Too many of the class, however, were undoubtedly bad men.  They had been
bad men in their mother country, were bad men in the colonies, bad in
California; and will continue to be bad wherever they go.  They justly
merited the contempt, which the Americans had bestowed upon them.

I have more respect for the great nation to which I belong than to
defend the conduct of its convicts, against the opinions formed of them
by the people of California.

There were three or four Californians amongst the passengers of the
"Ceres," who appeared to be respectable, as they were well conducted
young men, yet they were intensely hated by a majority of the
passengers--merely because they were Americans, and not English convicts
from the colonies.

The Australians, while in California, when not drunk, generally behaved
themselves like other people.  This, however, arose from the absolute
compulsion of circumstances, and the dread of being punished for their
misdeeds; but no sooner had we got clear of the Golden Gate, than they
resumed their former vulgar habits of acting and speaking; and not a
sentence could be uttered by one of them, without reference to the
circulating fluid of the body.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Early in the month of August, we came in sight of one of the numerous
groups of islands with which the Pacific ocean is enamelled.

About twelve o'clock at night--while going at a speed of not more than
five knots an hour--we ran straight upon a reef of rocks.

A scene of wild confusion then ensued--every one expecting the brig to
go immediately to the bottom--but it was soon ascertained, that she was
hanging or resting on a point of the rocks, which had penetrated her
timbers; and that she was in no immediate danger of sinking.
Fortunately the weather was calm at the time, and the sea perfectly
tranquil, else the brig would certainly have been knocked to pieces.

As usual, the long boat was found to be _not_ sea-worthy; and there was
but one other, a small pinnace, that would hold about twelve of the
seventy-six passengers comprising the cargo of the "Ceres"--to say
nothing of her crew!

We could see land, about a mile from our position; and it was evident,
that no watch could have been kept aboard; else the brig could not have
been lost.

As soon as order had been somewhat restored, and our exact situation
ascertained, the crew, assisted by the passengers, commenced building a
raft, upon which, when finished, we were to attempt making a passage to
the shore.

At daybreak we obtained a better view of the land--indistinctly seen
during the darkness.  It was a small island--apparently about three
miles in circumference--with groves of palm trees standing thickly over
it.

The raft having been at length got ready, the work of landing commenced.

By nine o'clock all hands were ashore; and then some efforts were made
towards transporting to the beach such provisions as could be saved from
the wreck of the brig.

The men, who first volunteered their services for this duty, were some
of the most disreputable of the passengers.

Their object in returning to the brig was simply to plunder.  The boxes
belonging to their fellow-passengers were broken open by these
scoundrels, who appropriated to themselves every article of value they
could conceal about their persons.

When the work of saving the provisions really commenced, it was found
that there was but little to be saved.  All the bread, and most of the
other stores, had got soaked in the sea-water, and consequently spoilt.
A barrel of beef, and another of pork, were all the stores that could be
procured in a fit condition for food.

Before we had been ashore over an hour, we became acquainted with the
unpleasant circumstance that no fresh water was to be found upon the
island.

This intelligence produced great consternation; and the wreck was
revisited--for the purpose of ascertaining if any could be procured
there.  But very little water fit for drinking could be had on board the
brig--most of her supply being down in the hold, and of course submerged
entirely out of reach.

Some mining tools and American axes had constituted a portion of the
cargo.  Some of these were now brought ashore, and put into requisition
in the search for water.

With the picks and shovels we scooped out a deep hole in the centre of
the island, which, to the delight of all, soon became filled with the
wished-for fluid.

Our joy was of short continuance.  We tasted the water.  It was briny as
the billows of the ocean.  It was the sea-water itself--that went and
came with the tides.

Next morning, the captain and six men were despatched in the pinnace--in
the hope of then finding some ship to take us off, or reaching some
inhabited island--where they might obtain the means of assisting us.

They took with them nearly all the water that remained--leaving over
seventy people to depend on the milk of cocoa-nuts as a substitute.

To go out to sea in an open boat, with but a short allowance of water,
and some salt beef, was not a very pleasant undertaking; but the captain
and his crew seemed highly elated at even this opportunity of getting
away from the island.  They preferred their chances to ours.

Although the island was small, there was a sufficient quantity of fruit
growing upon it to have supported us for many weeks.  The chief trouble
to be apprehended, was from the lawless wretches who comprised a large
minority of the passengers.

After the shipwreck, these men became possessed with the idea: that they
were no longer to be under any restraint.  The only law they appeared
disposed to regard was, that of might; and there was a sufficient number
of them to give trouble should they combine in any evil design.

The old convicts, of course, felt sympathy for, and aided one another,
while those of the passengers that were honestly inclined, gave
themselves too little concern, on the score of combination.

The consequences were, that matters soon proceeded to a state of
dangerous insubordination; and each hour it was becoming more evident,
that those who wished to live without molesting others, or being
molested themselves, must enter into a league against the scoundrels,
who would otherwise devote the whole community to destruction.

Volume Two, Chapter XII.

GOVERNMENT AGREED UPON.

The more respectable of the castaways were now convinced that some form
of government was necessary; and that it should be a strong one.  Some
who had been willing to acknowledge the authority of the officers of the
brig while aboard their craft, would now no longer concede it to them;
and yet authority of some kind was essential to our salvation.

We had much to do.  The boat had gone away in search of assistance.  It
might be lost; and the captain and crew along with it.  Even if they
should succeed in reaching some inhabited land, they might never return
to us?  There was no wisdom in trusting to that source for relief.  We
must do something for ourselves.

A new vessel might be built from the materials of the wreck; but to
accomplish this we should have to adopt some form of government, and
submit to its authority.

There was another and still stronger reason why some ruling power should
be established.  The cocoa-nuts grew at a height rather inconvenient for
a hungry or thirsty man to reach them; and a readier and simpler way of
obtaining them was by felling the trees.  As we were well supplied with
axes brought from the wreck, those so inclined were able to effect this
object; and, before we had been three days ashore, many of the trees
were thus ruthlessly levelled to the ground.

Considering, that we might have to reside on the island for weeks, or
even months, and that our only substitute for water was the milk to be
obtained from these cocoa-nuts, it was evident that the trees should not
be destroyed.

A meeting of all hands was at length got together; and a committee of
five appointed, to form some regulations by which we should all agree to
be governed.

Next day, something in the shape of order was inaugurated.  We were
divided into three parties--to each of which special duties were
assigned.  One party was entrusted with the business of carpentering.
They were to take the wreck to pieces, and construct out of the
fragments a new vessel.  This party comprised half of the able-bodied
men on the island; and was placed under the control of the first officer
of the brig--with the carpenter to instruct them in their new duties.

Another party was appointed to act as fishermen--which calling also
included the gathering of such shell-fish as could be found along the
shore.

The third party--principally composed of the invalids--were to act as
cooks, and fill other light offices, while a few young men who were
expert in climbing the cocoa-nut trees, were specially appointed for
procuring the nuts.

A chief statute of our improvised code was: that any one who should cut
down, or in any way injure, a cocoa-nut tree, so as to cause its
destruction, was, on conviction of the offence, to be shot!

The punishment may appear out of proportion to the offence; but when it
is considered that our very existence might depend on the preservation
of these precious trees, it will be seen at once, that the crime was of
no light character.

A majority of those who voted for this resolution were in earnest; and I
am positive that, any one acting in opposition to it, would have
suffered the punishment of death.

Some of the old convicts were much opposed to the arrangements thus
made; but they were compelled to submit, and act in accordance with
them.

These men were masters of the island when we first landed; and seemed to
think, they had the right to help themselves to whatever they wished,
without regard to the general good.

Two of these "Sydney birds," who chanced to be a shade worse than their
fellows--were specially informed, that if they should be caught
violating the rules we had established, no mercy would be shown them.

A man of some influence amongst the more respectable of the passengers,
had detected one of these worthies in possession of some articles that
had been taken out of his chest on board the brig.  He not only
compelled a quick surrender of the misappropriated chattel, but promised
for the future to watch for an opportunity of sending the thief where he
would be in no danger of repeating the theft.  Several others threw out
hints to the two men to behave themselves--telling them that their only
chance of life would be to act honestly, otherwise they would certainly
meet with immediate chastisement.  Such hints were effectual; and for a
time the peace of the community remained undisturbed.

Three weeks passed--during which the work of ship-building progressed,
as well as could be expected.  The wreck had been taken to pieces, and
floated ashore; and from the materials a tolerable commencement had been
made in the construction of a new craft.

At this time serious fears began to be entertained, that many of us must
die for the want of water.  The cocoa-nuts were each day becoming
scarcer; the trees did not grow them as fast as they were consumed; and
a close watch was kept on the actions of every one in the community--in
order that no one should have more than his share.

This duty was very harassing: as it had to be performed by the honest
and respectable men, who were far from being the majority among us.

To our great relief, we were one night favoured by a fall of rain.

It rained but very little--a mere shower--and we had a good deal of
trouble in collecting it.  All the shirts on the island, clean or dirty,
as they chanced to be, were spread out upon the grass; and, when
saturated with the rain, were wrung into vessels.

Every exertion was made to save as much water as possible; and not
without some success: for a sufficient quantity was collected to place
us beyond the fear of want for several days longer.

Some of the men began to suffer severely from the want of tobacco.  Only
those, who had originally acted in the salvage of the wreck, were in
possession of this precious commodity--having freely helped themselves
while in the performance of that duty.  Some of them did not refuse to
sell a portion of their stock; and small plugs of tobacco, weighing
about a quarter of a pound, readily found purchasers at ten dollars the
plug!

One man, on paying his "eagle" for a pair of these plugs, was heard to
remark: "Well! this is the second time I've bought this tobacco, though
the price has been awfully raised since my first purchase.  I know these
plugs well.  They've been taken out of my own chest!"

The person from whom the tobacco was purchased seemed highly amused, and
not a little flattered.  He was proud to think the purchaser did not
take him for a fool!

It gradually became the conviction of all: that we should have to depend
on our own vessel for getting away from the island.  It was not a very
agreeable prospect: since we knew that we should have to put to sea,
with but little food and less water.  Even from the first, it had seemed
exceedingly doubtful that the captain would ever return.

Some were of the opinion that he could not, even if inclined; that he
knew not the position of the island, on which we had been cast away;
and, consequently, could give no instructions about finding it--even
should he be so fortunate as to fall in with a ship.

There were many probabilities in favour of this belief; and those who
entertained it did not fail to bring them forward.

"If he knew where the island lay," argued they, "why was the brig run
ashore upon it on a calm, clear night?"

Certainly this question suggested a very discouraging answer.

At the end of the fifth week, our new vessel was nearly completed; and
we set industriously to the collecting of shell-fish, cocoa-nuts, and
other articles of food, to serve as stores for our intended voyage.

The craft we had constructed was not a very beautiful creature to look
at; but I have no doubt it would have answered the purpose for which we
had designed it.

By good fortune, we were never called upon to make trial of its sailing
qualities.  Just as we were about to launch it, a ship was seen bearing
down for the island!

Before her anchor was dropped, a boat was seen shoving off for the
shore; and, soon after, we had the pleasure of looking once more on the
cheerful, honest countenance of the old Dutch skipper.

He had not deserted us in our distress, as some had conjectured: and he
_did_ know the situation of the island, as was proved by his bringing
the ship back to it.

At the time of his departure, he had not a friend amongst the passengers
of the "Ceres."  There was not one on that occasion to speak a word in
his favour.  But now, as soon as he set foot on the island, he was
hailed with three hearty cheers, and there was a struggle among the
crowd who surrounded him: as to who should be the first to show their
gratitude by a grasp of the hand!

Volume Two, Chapter XIII.

A HUNGRY PASSAGE.

The ship thus brought to our rescue was a New England whaler, that had
been cruising about in pursuit of the sperm whale.  The captain asked
six hundred dollars for taking our whole community to New Zealand.

The demand was by no means extortionate.  Indeed, it was a moderate
sum--considering the trouble and expense he would have to incur: since
he had already lost a good deal of time on his way to the island.

The voyage to New Zealand might occupy several weeks--during which time
we would be consuming no small quantity of his stores.

But although this price was not too much for the Yankee skipper to ask,
it was more than the Dutch skipper was able to pay: since the latter had
not got the money.

The passengers were called upon to subscribe the amount.  Most of them
objected.  They had paid a passage once, they said, and would not pay it
over again.

To this the captain of the whaler made a very reasonable rejoinder.  If
there were just grounds for believing that the money could not be
obtained, he would have to take us without it: for he could never leave
so many men on so small an island, where they might perish for want of
food and water.  But as we did not claim to be out of funds, the fault
would be our own if he departed without us, which he would certainly do,
unless the passage-money was paid.  He also gave us warning, that we
might expect to put up with many inconveniences upon his ship.  She was
not a passenger-vessel, nor was he supplied with provisions for so many
people.

It was clear that the six hundred dollars must be raised some way or
other; and a movement was immediately set on foot to collect it.

Many of the passengers declared that they had no money.  Some of them
spoke the truth; but the difficulty was to learn who did, and who did
not.

Amongst others, who solemnly declared that they had no money, was a
ruffian, who had been selling tobacco at the rate of forty dollars per
pound.  This fact was communicated by the individual, who had
repurchased, and paid so dearly, for his own weed.

The fellow was now emphatically informed, that unless he paid his share
of the passage-money, he would be left behind upon the island.

This threat had the desired effect.  He succeeded in finding the
required cash; and after much wrangling, the sum of six hundred dollars
was at length made up.

Next day we were taken aboard the whaler; and sailed away from the
island in a direct course for the port of Auckland.

I never made a more disagreeable voyage than on board that whaler.
There were several reasons that rendered the passage unpleasant.  One
was, that all on board were in an ill-conditioned frame of mind; and,
consequently, had no relish for being either civil or sociable.  The
diggers had been detained several weeks--on their way to a land they
were anxious to reach in the shortest possible time--and they now were
to be landed at Auckland instead of Sydney.  Another voyage would have
to be made, before they could arrive at the gold fields of Australia--of
which they had been hearing such attractive tales.

We were not even favoured with a fair breeze.  On the contrary, the wind
blew most of the way against us; and the ship had to make about three
hundred miles, while carrying us only fifty in the right direction.

The whaler, moreover, was an old tub--good enough for her proper
purpose, but ill adapted for carrying impatient passengers on their way
to a new gold field.

She was kept as much into the wind as possible; but withal made so much
lee-way, that her course was side-ways--in the same manner as a pig
would go into a battle.

There were no accommodations either for sleeping, or eating the little
food we were allowed; and we were compelled to rough it in the most
literal sense of the phrase.

By the time we should have reached Auckland, we were not half the
distance; and both the provisions and water of the ship were well nigh
consumed.

Between seventy and eighty hungry and thirsty men--added to the original
crew of the whaler--had made a greater destruction of his ship's stores
than the captain had calculated upon; and the third week, after leaving
the island, we were put on an allowance of one quart of water per diem
to each individual.  Meat was no longer served out to us; and simple,
though not very sweet, biscuits became our food.  We were also allowed
rice; but this, without garnishing, was still more insipid than the
biscuits.

We thought it hard fare, and complained accordingly, although we had but
little reason for doing so.  We could only blame our fate, or our
fortune; and so the captain of the whaler was accustomed to tell us.

"I warned you," he would say, "that you might expect to have a hard time
of it.  I'm sure I did not advertise for you to take passage in my
vessel, and you have no reason to complain.  I do the best for you I
can.  You are growling about having to eat rice.  Millions of people
live on it for years, while working hard.  You have only to live on it
for a few days, and do nothing.  I hope, for both our sakes, it won't
last long."

It was just, because they were _doing nothing_ that the grumblers were
so loud in their complaints.

In justice to many of the passengers, I should state, that those who
complained the most were the very men who had paid nothing towards
remunerating the captain for his services.  They were some of the worst
characters aboard; and, without making any allowance for the
circumstances under which we were placed, found fault with everything on
the whaler.  I believe, they did so for the simple reason that she was
an American ship.

Luckily we reached Auckland at last, though not a day too soon: for by
the time we sighted land the patience of the passengers with each other,
and their temper towards the captain, were well nigh exhausted.  Had we
remained at sea a few hours longer, some strange scenes would have taken
place on the whaler, which all aboard of her would not have survived to
describe.

No doubt the Yankee captain saw us go over the side of his ship with
much heart-felt satisfaction, though certainly this feeling was not all
to himself.  His late passengers, one and all, equally participated in
it.

I saw but very little of Auckland, or rather of the country around it;
but, from that little, I formed a very favourable opinion of its natural
resources and abilities; and I believe that colony to be a good home for
English emigrants.

Being myself a Rolling Stone, I did not regard it with the eyes of a
settler; and therefore I might be doing injustice either to the colony
itself, or to intending emigrants, by saying much about it.

Guided by recent experiences, there is one thing I can allege in favour
of New Zealand as a colony, which, in my opinion, makes it superior to
any other; that is, that a home can be there had _farther away from
London_, than in any other colonial settlement with which I am
acquainted.

From Auckland to reach any part of Australia required a further outlay
of six pounds sterling.

The gold-diggers thought this rather hard--alleging that they had
already paid their passage twice; but they were forced to submit to
circumstances.

For myself, after remaining in Auckland a few days, I obtained a passage
in a small vessel sailing for Sydney, which port we reached, after a
short and pleasant run of nine days' duration.

I had been exactly five months in getting from San Francisco to Sydney--
a voyage that, under ordinary circumstances, might have been made in
fifty days!

Volume Two, Chapter XIV.

THE GUARDIANS OF THE ORPHAN.

I had at length reached the place where, in all probability, I should
find my long-lost mother.

A few days might find me happy, with my relatives restored to me, and
all of us on our way to Liverpool--where I should see Lenore!

I felt a very singular sort of pleasure, in the anticipation of an
interview with my mother and sister.  They would not know me: for I was
but a boy, when I parted from them in Dublin.  They would scarce believe
that the fair-skinned, curly-haired, little "Rolling Stone," could have
become changed to a large bearded man--with a brow tanned by the South
Sea gales, and the hot tropical beams of a Californian sun.

Before leaving San Francisco I had obtained the address of the
grandparents of Mr Leary's child; and also of several other people in
Sydney--who would be likely to have known something of Leary himself
residing there.

From some of these persons I hoped to obtain information, that would
guide me in the search after my relatives.

Mr Davis--the father of the unfortunate girl who had eloped with
Leary--was a respectable shopkeeper in the grocery line.

As there could be no great difficulty in finding his shop, I resolved to
make my first call upon the grocer.

Notwithstanding my hatred to Leary, I felt some interest in the child he
had helped to make an orphan.  I wished to ascertain, whether it had
been safely delivered into the charge of its grandparents--as also the
gold, which the Californian miners had so liberally contributed towards
its support.

The next day after landing in Sydney, I made my call upon Mr Davis.

I found his shop without any difficulty; and in it himself--an
honest-looking man, apparently about fifty years of age.

His business appeared to be in a flourishing condition: for the
establishment was a large one, and to all appearance well-stocked with
the articles required in a retail grocery.

There were two young men behind the counter, besides Mr Davis himself,
who, as I entered, was in the act of serving a customer.

On the old gentleman being told, that if he was not too much engaged, I
should like a few minutes' conversation with him, he handed the customer
over to one of his assistants; and conducted me into a sitting-room that
adjoined the shop.

After complying with his request to be seated, I told him, I had lately
arrived from California, where I had heard of him, and that I had now
called to see him, on a business to me of some importance.  I added,
that the communication I had to make might awaken some unpleasant
thoughts; but that I deemed it better to make it, rather than run the
risk of incurring his displeasure, by not communicating with him at all.

Mr Davis then civilly demanded to know the nature of my business,
though from his tone I could tell, that he already half comprehended it.

"If I am not mistaken," said I, "you have a child here, that has been
sent you from California?"

"Yes," answered he, "one was brought to me from there, about four months
ago.  I was told that it was my grandchild; and I received it as such."

"And have you also received a sum of money, that was to have been
intrusted to your care, for its benefit?"  I asked.

"I have; and that was some proof to me that the child was really my
grandchild."

To this sage observation of the grocer, I replied, by making to him a
full disclosure of my object in visiting Sydney; and that I had called
on himself to learn, if possible, something concerning my own mother.

"You could not have come to a better place to obtain that information,"
said he; "a woman calling herself Mrs Leary, and claiming to be the
wife of the man who had been known here by the name of Mathews, calls
here almost every day.  If she be your mother, you will have no
difficulty in finding her: she is a dress-maker, and my wife can tell
you where she resides."

My task had proved much easier than I had any reason to expect; and I
was now only impatient to obtain the address; and hasten to embrace my
long-lost mother.

"Do not be too fast," said the cautious Mr Davis.  "Wait until you have
learnt something more.  Let me ask you two or three questions.  Do you
know how the man Mathews died?"

"Yes: I saw him die."

"Then you know for what reason he was put to death?"

"I do," was my answer.  "And you--?"

"I too--alas! too certainly," rejoined Mr Davis in a sorrowful tone.
"But stay!" he continued, "I have something more to say to you, before
you see the woman who calls herself his wife, and whom you believe to be
your mother.  She does not know that Mathews is dead.  I did not wish it
to go abroad, that my daughter had been murdered, and that the man with
whom she eloped had been hanged for the deed.  Her running away with him
was sorrow and shame enough, without our acquaintances knowing any more.
They think that my daughter died in a natural way; and that the man
Mathews, has merely sent the child back to us, that we might bring it up
for him.  The woman, you think is your mother, believes this also; and
that Mathews is still alive, and will soon return.  She seems to love
him, more than she does her own life.  I have informed you of this, so
that you may know how to act.  She comes here often to see the child--
because her husband was its father.  She is a strange woman: for she
seems to love the little creature as though it was her own; and I have
no doubt would willingly take sole charge of it on herself, were we to
allow her."

All this was strange information, and such as gave me exceeding pain.
It was evident that my unfortunate mother had profited nothing by the
experience of the past.  She was as much infatuated with Leary as ever--
notwithstanding that he had again deserted her, after she had made a
voyage of sixteen thousand miles to rejoin him!

I saw Mrs Davis and the young Leary.  It was an interesting child--a
boy, and bore no resemblance to the father, that I could perceive.  Had
it done so, I should have hated it; and so did I declare myself in the
presence of its grandmother.  In reply to this avowal, the old lady
informed me that Mrs Leary and I held a different opinion upon the
point of the child's resemblance: for she thought it a perfect image of
its father, and that was the reason why she was so dotingly fond of it!

"Thank God!" said the grandmother, "that I myself think as you do.  No.
The child has no resemblance to its unworthy father.  I am happy in
thinking, that in every feature of its face it is like its mother--my
own unfortunate child.  I could not love it were it not for that; but
now I don't know what I should do without it.  God has surely sent us
this little creature, as some compensation for the loss we sustained by
being deprived of our dear daughter!"

The grief of the bereaved mother could not be witnessed without pain;
and leaving her with the child in her arms, I withdrew.

Volume Two, Chapter XV.

A MEETING WITH A LONG-LOST MOTHER.

From Mrs Davis I had obtained my mother's address; and I went at once
in search of the place.

Passing along the street, to which I had been directed, I saw a small,
but neat-looking shop, with the words "_Mrs Leary, Milliner and
Dress-Maker_" painted over the door.  I had journeyed far in search of
my mother; I had just arrived from a long voyage--which it had taken
three ships to enable me to complete.  The weariness of spirit, and
impatience caused by the delay, had been a source of much misery to me;
but now that the object of my search was found--and there was nothing
further to do than enter the house and greet my long-lost relatives--
strange enough, I felt as if there was no more need for haste!  Instead
of at once stepping into the house, I passed nearly an hour in the
street--pacing up and down it, altogether undetermined how to act.

During that hour my thoughts were busy, both with the past and future:
for I knew that in the interview I was about to hold with my mother,
topics must come into our conversation of a peculiar kind, and such as
required the most serious reflection on my part, before making myself
known to her.

Should I make her acquainted with the ignominious termination of Mr
Leary's career; and by that means endeavour to put an end to her strange
infatuation for him?  If what Mrs Davis had told me regarding her
should turn out to be true, I almost felt as if I could no longer regard
her as a mother.  Indeed, when I reflected on her affection for such a
wretch as Leary, I could not help some risings of regret, that I should
have lost so much time, and endured so many hardships, in search of a
relative who could be guilty of such incurable folly.

Notwithstanding the time spent in pacing through the street, I could
determine on no definite course of action; and, at length, resolving to
be guided by circumstances, I stepped up to the house, and knocked at
the door.

It was opened by a young woman, about nineteen years of age.

I should not have known who she was, had I not expected to meet
relatives; but the girl was beautiful, and just such as I should have
expected to find my sister Martha.  My thoughts had so often dwelt upon
my little sister; that I had drawn in my mind an imaginary portrait of
her.  Her blue eyes and bright hair, as well as the cast of her
countenance, and form of her features, had ever remained fresh and
perfect in my memory.  I had only to gaze on the young girl before me,
refer to my mental picture of little Martha, remember that eleven years
had passed since last I saw her, and be certain that I had found my
sister.

I knew it was she; but I said nothing to make the recognition mutual.  I
simply asked for Mrs Leary.

I was invited in; and requested to take a seat.

The apartment, into which I was conducted, seemed to be used as a
sitting-room as well as a shop; and from its general appearance I could
tell that my mother and sister were not doing a very flourishing
business.  There was enough, however, to satisfy me, that they were
earning their living in a respectable manner.

To prevent being misunderstood, I will state, that, by a respectable
manner, I mean that they, to all appearance, were supporting themselves
by honest industry; and in my opinion there can be no greater evidence,
that they were living a life that should command respect.

The young girl, without a suspicion of the character of her visitor,
left me to summon the person for whom I had made inquiry; and in a few
minutes time, Mrs Leary herself entered from an adjoining room.  I saw
at a glance that she was the woman I remembered as _mother_!

The face appeared older and more careworn; but the features were the
same, that had lived so long in my memory.

It would be impossible to describe the strange emotions that crowded
into my soul on once more beholding my long-lost, unfortunate mother.  I
know not why I should have been so strongly affected.  Some may argue
that a weak intellect is easily excited by trifles.  They may be
correct; but there is another phenomenon.  A great passion can never
have existence in a little soul; and I know that at that moment, a storm
of strong passions was raging within mine.

I tried to speak, but could not.  Language was not made for the thoughts
that at that moment stirred within me.

It was not until I had been twice asked by my mother, what was my
business, that I perceived the necessity of saying something.

But what was I to say?  Tell her that I was her son?

This was what common sense would have dictated; but, just at that
crisis, I did not happen to have any sense of this quality about me.  My
thoughts were wandering from the days of childhood up to that hour; they
were in as much confusion, as though my brains had been stirred about
with a wooden spoon.

I contrived to stammer out something at last; and I believe the words
were, "I have come to see you."

"If that is your only business," said my mother, "now that you have seen
me, you may go again."

How familiar was the sound of her voice!  It seemed to have been
echoing, for years, from wall to wall in the mansion of my memory.

I made no effort to avail myself of the permission she had so curtly
granted; but continued gazing at the two--my eyes alternately turning
from mother to daughter--in a manner that must have appeared rude
enough.

"Do you hear me?" said the old lady.  "If you have no business here, why
don't you go away?"

There was an energy in her tone that touched another chord of memory.
"It is certainly my mother," thought I, "and I am at home once more."

My soul was overwhelmed with a thousand emotions--more strong than had
ever stirred it before.  I know not whether they were of pleasure or of
pain: for I could not analyse them then, and have never felt them before
or since.

My actions were involuntary: for my thoughts were too much occupied to
guide them.

A sofa stood near; and, throwing myself upon it, I tried to realise the
fact that eleven years had passed, since parting with my relatives a
boy, and that I had met them again, and was a boy no longer!

"Martha!" cried my mother, "go and bring a policeman!"

The young girl had been gazing at me, long and earnestly.  She continued
her gaze, without heeding the command thus addressed to her.

"Mother," rejoined she, after an interval, "we have seen this man
before; I'm sure I have."

"Did you not once live in Dublin, sir?" she asked, turning to me.

"Yes, I once lived there--when a boy," I answered.

"Then I must be mistaken," said she; "but I really thought I had seen
you there."

There was something so very absurd in this remark, that I could not help
noticing it--even in my abstracted state of mind; and this very
absurdity had the effect of awakening me from my reverie.

It then suddenly occurred to the young girl, that she had not been in
Dublin since she was a child herself; and, at the time she left that
city, a young man of my appearance could not have been much more than a
boy.

"Perhaps, I am right after all?" said she.  "I do believe that I've seen
you in Dublin.  Mother!" she added, turning to the old lady; "He knows
who we are."

Martha's first remark--about having seen me in Dublin--brought upon me
the earnest gaze of my mother.  She had often told me that when a man I
would look like my father; and perhaps my features awakened within her
some recollections of the past.

She came up to me; and, speaking in a low, earnest voice, said: "Tell me
who you are!"

I arose to my feet, trembling in every limb.

"Tell me who you are!  What is your name?" she exclaimed--becoming
nearly as much excited as myself.

I could no longer refrain from declaring myself; and I made answer:--

"I am the Rolling Stone."

Had I been a small and weak man, I should have been crushed and
suffocated by the embraces of my mother and sister--so demonstrative
were they in their expressions of surprise and joy!

As soon as our excitement had, to some extent, subsided; and we were
able to converse a rational manner, I inquired after my brother William.

"I left him apprenticed to a harness-maker in Liverpool," answered my
mother.

"But where is he now?"  I asked; "that was long ago."

My mother began to weep; and Martha made answer for her.

"William ran away from his master; and we have never heard of him
since."

I requested to be informed what efforts had been made to find him.  I
was then told that my mother had written two or three times to the
harness-maker; and from him had learnt that he had used every exertion,
to discover the whereabouts of his runaway apprentice, but without
success.

It appeared that my mother never liked to hear any one speak of William:
for she had some unpleasant regrets at having left him behind her in
Liverpool.

I consoled her, by saying that I had plenty of money, that William
should be advertised for, and found; and that we should all again live
happily together--as we had in years long gone by.

In all my life I was never more happy than on that evening.  The future
was full of hope.

It was true that much had yet to be done before my purposes could be
fully accomplished.  But a man with nothing to do, cannot be contented.
We must ever have something to attain, or life is not worth the having.

I had yet something to live for.  I had still a task to perform that
might require much time and toil.  I had yet to win Lenore!

Volume Two, Chapter XVI.

MYSTIFIED BY MARTHA.

The next day I had a long conversation with my mother--as to what we
should do in the future.

It resulted in my proposing, that we should return immediately to
Liverpool.

"No! no!" protested she, with an eagerness that astonished me; "I cannot
think of that.  I must wait for the return of my husband."

"Your husband!"

"Yes! yes!  Mr Leary.  He has gone to California; but I have reason to
believe that he will soon be back."

"Now that you have spoken of _him_," said I, "please to tell me all
about him; and how he has used you since I left home."

"He has always been very kind to me," she answered, "very kind indeed.
He has gone to the diggings in California, where I have no doubt but
what he will do well, and come back with plenty of money."

"But I was told in Dublin that he deserted you there," said I.  "Was
that very kind indeed?"

"It is true; he did leave me there; but the business was doing badly,
and he couldn't help going.  I have no doubt but what he was sorry for
it afterwards."

"Then you followed him here, and lived with him again?"

"Yes; and we were very happy."

"But I have been told by Mr Davis--whom you know--that he again
deserted you here, and ran away to California with another woman.  Is
that true?"

"He did go to California," answered my foolish mother, "and I suppose
that Miss Davis went with him; but I blame her more than him: for I'm
sure she led him astray, or he would not have gone with her.  However,
I'll not say much against her: for I hear she is dead now, poor thing!"

"Knowing that she has deserted you twice, what leads you to think that
he will again return to you?"

"Because _I know that he loves me_!  He was always so kind and
affectionate.  The woman, who led him astray, is no longer alive to
misguide him; and I know he will comeback to me."

"My poor deceived, trusting, foolish mother!"

I only muttered the words--she did not hear them.

"Besides," continued she, "gold is now being found here in Australia.
Many of the miners are coming home again.  I'm sure he will be among
them.  It is true, he is a little wild for his years; but he will not
always be so.  He will return to his wife; and we shall be once more
happy."

"Mother!  Am I to understand that you refuse to accompany me to
England?"

"Rowland, my son," said she, in a reproachful tone, "how can you ask me
to go away from here, when I tell you that I am every day expecting my
husband to return?  Wait awhile, till he comes; and then we will all go
together."

Certainly to have said anything more to her on the subject would have
been folly.  It would be no use in trying to reason with her, after that
proposal.  The idea of my going aboard of a ship, on a long voyage,
accompanied by Mr Leary--even supposing the man to have been in the
land of the living--was too incongruous to be entertained and at the
same time preserve tranquillity of spirit.

I was tempted to tell her, that Mr Leary had met the reward of his long
career of crime--or, at least, a part of it--but, when I reflected on
her extreme delusions concerning the man, I feared that such a
communication might be dangerous to her mind.

From Martha I learnt what was indeed already known to me: that our
mother had been all along willing and ready to sacrifice not only her
own happiness, but that of her children, for the sake of this vile
caitiff.  My sister told me, that when they reached Liverpool, and found
that Mr Leary had gone to Sydney, my mother determined to follow him
immediately; and that William had been left behind in Liverpool, because
she thought that coming without him she would be better received by the
wretch whom she called her husband.

On reaching Sydney, they had found Mr Leary passing under the name of
Mathews.  He was at first disposed to have nothing to do with his Dublin
wife; but having come to the knowledge that she was in possession of
about fifteen pounds of the money received for her lease, he changed his
mind; and lived with her, until he had spent every penny of it in drink
and dissipation.

"Until he sailed for California," said Martha, "he used to come every
day, and stay awhile with mother--whenever he thought that he could
obtain a shilling by doing so; and then we saw him no more.  Ah,
Rowland!  I have had much suffering since we were together.  Many days
have I gone without eating a morsel--in order that money might be saved
for Mr Leary.  Oh!  I hope we shall never see him again!"

"You never will see him again," said I; "he is gone, where our poor
mother will be troubled with him no more: he is dead."

Martha was an impulsive creature; and in her excitement at hearing the
news, exclaimed--

"Thank God for it!  No! no!" she continued, as if repenting what she had
said, "I don't mean that; but if he is dead, it will be well for mother;
he will never trouble her again."

I made known to my sister all the particulars of Leary's death.  She
agreed with me in the idea I had already entertained: that the
intelligence could not with safety be communicated to our mother.

"I don't believe," said Martha, "that any woman in this world ever loved
a man so much as mother does Mr Leary.  I am sure, Rowland, it would
kill her, to hear what you have just told me."

"But we must bring her to know it in some way," said I; "She must be
told of his death: for I can see that she will not consent to leave
Sydney, so long as she believes him to be alive.  We cannot return to
England, and leave her here; and it is evident she won't go with us,
while she thinks there is the slightest chance of his coming back.  We
must tell her that he is dead, and take chance of the consequences."

My sister made no rejoinder to my proposal; and, while speaking, I
fancied that my words, instead of being welcome, were having an
unpleasant effect upon her!

Judging by the expression upon her features, I did not think it was fear
for the result of any communication I might make to our mother, though
what caused it, I could not guess.

Whenever I had spoken about returning to Europe, I observed that my
sister did not appear at all gratified with my proposal, but the
contrary!

I could not comprehend, why she should object to an arrangement, that
was intended for the happiness of all.  There was some mystery about her
behaviour, that was soon to receive an elucidation--to me as unexpected,
as it was painful.

Volume Two, Chapter XVII.

MY MOTHER MAD!

I was anxious at once to set sail for Liverpool--taking my mother and
sister along with me.  Of the money I had brought from San Francisco,
there was still left a sufficient sum to accomplish this purpose; but
should I remain much longer in Sydney, it would not be enough.  I had
determined not to leave my relatives in the colony; and the next day a
long consultation took place, between myself and Martha, as to how we
should induce our mother to return to England.  My idea was, to let her
know that Leary was dead--then tell her plainly of the crime he had
committed, as also the manner of his death.  Surely, on knowing these
things, she would no longer remain blind to his wickedness; but would
see the folly of her own conduct, and try to forget the past, in a
future, to be happily spent in the society of her children?

So fancied I.  To my surprise, Martha seemed opposed to this plan of
action, though without assigning any very definite reasons for opposing
it.

"Why not be contented, and live here, Rowland?" said she; "Australia is
a fine country; and thousands are every year coming to it from England.
If we were there, we would probably wish to be back here.  Then why not
remain where we are?"

My sister may have thought this argument very rational, and likely to
affect me.  It did; but in a different way from that intended.  Perhaps
my desire to return to Lenore hindered me from appreciating the truth it
contained.

I left Martha, undetermined how to act, and a good deal dissatisfied
with the result of our interview.  It had produced within me a vague
sense of pain.  I could not imagine why my sister was so unwilling to
leave the colony, which she evidently was.

I was desirous to do everything in my power, to make my new-found
relatives happy.  I could not think of leaving them, once more
unprotected and in poverty; and yet I could not, even for them, resign
the only hope I had of again seeing Lenore.

I returned to the hotel, where I was staying.  My thoughts were far from
being pleasant companions; and I took up a newspaper, in hopes of
finding some relief from the reflections that harassed my spirit.
Almost the first paragraph that came under my eye was the following:--

  Another Atrocity in California.--Murder of an English Subject.--We
  have just received reliable information of another outrage having been
  committed in California, on one of those who have been so unfortunate
  as to leave these shores for that land of bloodshed and crime.  It
  appears, from the intelligence we have received, that a woman was, or
  was supposed to have been, murdered, at the diggings near Sonora.  The
  American population of the place, inspired by their prejudices against
  English colonists from Australia, and by their love for what, to them,
  seems a favourite amusement--Lynch Law--seized the first man from the
  colonies they could find; and hung him upon the nearest tree!

  We understand the unfortunate victim of this outrage is Mr Mathews--a
  highly respectable person from this city.  We call upon the Government
  of the Mother Country to protect Her Majesty's subjects from these
  constantly recurring outrages of lawless American mobs.  Let it demand
  of the United States Government, that the perpetrators of this crime
  shall be brought to punishment.  That so many of Her Majesty's loyal
  subjects have been murdered, by blind infuriated mobs of Yankees, is
  enough to make any true Englishman blush with shame for the Government
  that permits it.

  There is one circumstance connected with the above outrage, which
  illustrates American character; and which every Englishman will read
  with disgust.  When the rope was placed around the neck of the
  unfortunate victim, a young man stepped forward, and claimed him as
  his father!  This same ruffian gave the word to the mob, to pull the
  rope that hoisted their unfortunate victim into eternity!  So
  characteristic a piece of American wit was, of course, received by a
  yell of laughter from the senseless mob.  Comment on this case is
  unnecessary.

Regarding this article as a literary curiosity, I purchased a copy of
the paper containing it, by preserving which, I have been enabled here
to reproduce it _in extenso_.

On reading the precious statement, one thing became very plain, that my
mother could not remain much longer ignorant of Mr Leary's death; and,
therefore, the sooner it should be communicated to her, in some delicate
manner, the better it might be.  It must be done, either by Martha or
myself and at once.

I returned forthwith to the house--in time to witness a scene of great
excitement.  My mother had just read in the Sydney paper, the article
above quoted; and the only description I can give, of the condition into
which it had thrown her, would be to say, that she was mad--a raving
lunatic!

Some women, on the receipt of similar news, would have fainted.  A
little cold water, or hartshorn, would have restored them to
consciousness; and their sorrows would in time have become subdued.  My
mother's grief was not of this evanescent kind.  Affection for Mathew
Leary absorbed her whole soul, which had received a mortal wound, on
learning the fate that had unexpectedly, but justly, befallen the
wretch.

"Rowland!" she screamed out, as I entered the house!  "He is dead!  He
is murdered.  He has been hung innocently, by a mob of wretches in
California."

I resolved to do what is sometimes called "taking the bull by the
horns."

"Yes, you are right, mother," said I.  "If you mean Mr Leary, he _was
hung innocently_; for the men who did the deed were guilty of no wrong.
Mathew Leary deserved the fate that has befallen him."

My mother's intellect appeared to have been sharpened by her affliction,
for she seemed to remember every word of the article she had read.

"Rowland!" she screamed, "you have come from California.  You aided in
murdering him.  Ha!  It was you who insulted him in the hour of death,
by calling him father.  O God! it was you."

The idea of my insulting Mathew Leary, by calling him father, seemed to
me the most wonderful and original conception, that ever emanated from
the human mind.

"Ha!" continued my mother, hissing cut the words.  "It was you that gave
the word to the others--the word that brought him to death?  You are a
murderer!  You are not my son!  I curse you!  Take my curse and begone!
No, don't go yet!  Wait 'till I've done with you!"

As she said this, she made a rush at me; and, before I could get beyond
her reach, a handful of hair was plucked from my head!

When finally hindered from farther assailing me, she commenced dragging
out her own hair, all the while raving like a maniac!

She became so violent at length, that it was found necessary to tie her
down; and, acting under the orders of a physician, who had been suddenly
summoned to the house, I took my departure--leaving poor Martha, weeping
by the side of a frantic woman, whom we had the misfortune to call
mother.

How long to me appeared the hours of that dreary night.  I passed them
in an agony of thought, that would have been sufficient punishment, even
for Mr Leary--supposing him to have been possessed of a soul capable of
feeling it.

I actually made such reflection while tossing upon my sleepless couch!

It had one good effect; it summoned reason to my aid; and I asked
myself: Why was I not like him, with a soul incapable of sorrow?  What
was there to cause me the agony I was enduring?  I was young, and in
good health: why was I not happy?  Because my mother had gone mad with
grief for the death of a wicked man?  Surely that could be no cause for
the misery I myself suffered, or should not have been to a person of
proper sense?  My mother had been guilty of folly, and was reaping its
reward.  Why should I allow myself to be punished also?  It could not
aid her: why should I give way to it?

"But your sister is also in sorrow," whispered some demon into the ear
of my spirit, "and how can you be happy?"

"So are thousands of others in sorrow, and ever will be," answered
reason.  "Let those be happy who can.  The fool who makes himself
wretched because others are, will ever meet misery, and ever deserve
it."

Selfish reason counselled in vain: for care had mounted my soul, and
could not be cast off.

Volume Two, Chapter XVIII.

A MELANCHOLY END.

The next morning, I was forbidden by the physician to come into my
mother's presence.

He said, that her life depended on her being kept tranquil; and he had
learnt enough to know, that nothing would be more certain to injure her
than the sight of myself.  He feared that she would have an attack of
brain fever, which would probably have a fatal termination.

I saw Martha; and conversed with her for a few minutes.  My poor sister
had also passed a sleepless night; and, like myself, was in great
distress of mind.

Her affliction was even greater than mine: for she had never, like me,
been separated from her mother.

The physician's fears were too soon realised.  Before the day passed, he
pronounced his patient to be under a dangerous attack of brain fever--a
disease that, in New South Wales, does not trifle long with its victims.

That night the sufferings of my unhappy mother ceased--I hope, for ever.

For all that had passed, I felt sincere sorrow at her loss.  For years
had I been anticipating an exquisite pleasure--in sometime finding my
relatives and providing them with a good home.  I had found my mother at
last, only to give me a fresh sorrow--and then behold her a corpse!

If this narrative had been a work of fiction, I should perhaps have
shaped it in a different fashion.  I should have told how all my
long-cherished anticipations had been happily realised.  In dealing with
fiction, we can command, even fate, to fulfil our desires; but in a
narrative of real adventures, we must deal with fate as it has presented
itself, however much it may be opposed to our ideas of dramatic justice.

There are moments, generally met in affliction, when the most
incredulous man may become the slave of superstition.  Such was the case
with myself, at that crisis, when sorrow for the loss of my mother, was
strong upon me.  I began to fancy that my presence boded death to every
acquaintance or friend, with whom I chanced to come in contact.

Memory brought before me, the fate of Hiram, on our "prospecting"
expedition in California, as also the melancholy end of the unfortunate
Richard Guinane.

My truest friend, Stormy Jack, had met a violent death, soon after
coming to reside with me; and now, immediately after finding my mother,
I had to follow her remains to the grave!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soon after we had buried our mother, I consulted Martha, as to what we
should do.  I was still desirous of returning to Liverpool; and, of
course, taking my sister along with me.  I proposed that we should
start, without further loss of time.

"I am sorry you are not pleased with the colony," said she.  "I know you
would be, if you were to stay here a little longer.  Then you would
never wish to return."

"Do not think me so foolish," I answered, "as to believe that I have
come to this place with the intention of remaining; and wish to leave
it, without giving it a fair trial.  I came here on business, that is
now accomplished; and why should I stay longer, when business calls me
elsewhere?"

"Rowland, my brother!" cried Martha, commencing to weep.  "Why will you
_go_ and forsake me?"

"I do not wish to forsake you, Martha," said I.  "On the contrary, I
wish you to go along with me.  I am not a penniless adventurer now; and
would not ask you to accompany me to Liverpool, if I were not able to
provide you with a home there, I offer you that, sister.  Will you
accept of it?"

"Rowland!  Rowland!!" she exclaimed; "do not leave me!  You are,
perhaps, the only relative I have in the world.  Oh! you will not desert
me."

"Silence, Martha," said I.  "Do not answer me again in that manner; or
we part immediately, and perhaps for ever.  Did you not understand me?
I asked you to go with me to Liverpool; and you answer, by intreating me
not to desert you.  Say you are willing to go with me; or let me know
the reason why you are not!"

"I do not wish to go to Liverpool," replied she; "I do not wish to leave
Sydney.  I have lived here several years.  It is my home: and I don't
like to leave it--I _cannot_ leave it, Rowland!"

Though far from a satisfactory answer, I saw it was all I was likely to
get, and that I should have to be contented with it.  I asked no further
questions--the subject was too painful.

I suspected that my sister's reasons for not wishing to leave Sydney,
were akin to those that had hindered my mother from consenting to go
with me.  In all likelihood, my poor sister had some Mr Leary for whom
she was waiting; and for whom she was suffering a similar infatuation?

It was an unpleasant reflection; and aroused all the selfishness of my
nature.  I asked myself: why I should not seek my own happiness in
preference to looking after that of others, and meeting with worse than
disappointment?

Perhaps it was selfishness that had caused me to cross the Pacific in
search of my relations?  I am inclined to think it was: for I certainly
did fancy, that, the way to secure my own happiness was to find them and
endeavour to make them happy.  As my efforts had resulted in
disappointment, why should I follow the pursuit any longer--at least, in
the same fashion?

My sister was of age.  She was entitled to be left to herself--in
whatever way she wished to seek her own welfare.  She had a right to
remain in the colony, if she chose to do so.

I could see the absurdity of her trying to keep me from Lenore: and
could therefore concede to her the right of remaining in the colony.
Her motive for remaining in Sydney, might be as strong as mine was for
returning to Liverpool?

I had the full affection of a brother for Martha; and yet I could be
persuaded to leave her behind.  Should I succeed in overcoming her
objections--or in any manner force her to accompany me--perhaps
misfortune might be the result: and then the fault would be mine.

At this time, there were many inducements for my remaining in the
colonies.  Astounding discoveries of gold were being daily made in
Victoria; and the diggings of New South Wales were richly rewarding all
those who toiled in them.

Moreover, I had been somewhat fascinated by the free, romantic life of
the gold-hunter; and was strongly tempted once more to try my fortune
upon the gold fields.

Still there was a greater attraction in Liverpool.  I had been too long
absent from Lenore; and must return to her.  The desire of making money,
or of aiding my relatives, could no longer detain me.  I must learn,
whether the future was worth warring for--whether my reward was to be,
Lenore.

I told my sister that I should not any more urge her to accompany me--
that I should go alone, and leave her, with my best wishes for her
future welfare.  I did not even require her to tell me the true reasons
why she was not willing to leave Sydney: for I was determined we should
part in friendship.  I merely remarked that, we must no more be lost to
each other's knowledge; but that we should correspond regularly.  I
impressed upon her at parting--ever to remember that she had a brother
to whom she could apply, in case her unexplained conduct should ever
bring regret.

My sister seemed much affected by my parting words; and I could tell
that her motive for remaining behind was one of no ordinary strength.  I
resolved, before leaving her, to place her beyond the danger of
immediate want.

A woman, apparently respectable, wished some one with a little money to
join her in the same business, in which my mother and Martha had been
engaged.

I was able to give my sister what money the woman required; and, before
leaving, I had the satisfaction to see her established in the business,
and settled in a comfortable home.

There was nothing farther to detain me in Sydney--nothing, as I fondly
fancied, but the sea between myself and Lenore!

Volume Two, Chapter XIX.

NEWS FROM LENORE.

A large clipper ship was about to sail for Liverpool; and I paid it a
visit--in order to inspect the accommodations it might afford for a
passenger.

I made up my mind to go by this vessel; and selected a berth in the
second cabin.  Before leaving the clipper, I came in contact with her
steward; and was surprised at finding in him an old acquaintance.

I was agreeably surprised: for it was Mason--the man who had been
steward of the ship Lenore--already known to the reader, as one of the
men, who had assisted in setting me right with Mrs Hyland and her
daughter.  Mason was pleased to meet me again; and we had a talk over
old times.

He told me, that since leaving Liverpool he had heard of Adkins; that he
was the first officer of an American ship; and had won the reputation of
being a great bully.

I told the steward in return that I had heard of Adkins myself at a
later date--that I had in fact, seen him, in California, where I had
been a witness to his death, and that he had been killed for indulging
in the very propensity spoken of.

Mason and Adkins had never been friends, when sailing together; and I
knew that this bit of information would not be received by the old
steward in any very unpleasant manner.  Nor was I mistaken.

"You remember Mrs Hyland, and her daughter?" said Mason, as we
continued to talk.  "What am I thinking of?  Of course you do: since in
Liverpool the captain's house was almost your home."

"Certainly," I answered; "I can never forget _them_."

On saying this, I spoke the words of truth.

"Mrs Hyland is now living in London," the steward continued.  "She is
residing with her daughter, who is married."

"What!"  I exclaimed, "Lenore Hyland--married?"

"Yes.  Have you not heard of it?  She married the captain of a ship in
the Australia trade, who, after the marriage, took her and her mother to
London."

"Are you sure--that--that--you cannot be mistaken?"  I asked, gasping
for breath.

"Yes, quite sure," replied Mason.  "What's the matter? you don't appear
to be pleased at it?"

"Oh nothing--nothing.  But what reason have you for thinking she is
married?"  I asked, trying to appear indifferent.

"Only that I heard so.  Besides, I saw her at the Captain's house in
London where I called on business.  I had some notion of going a voyage
with him."

"But are you sure the person you saw was Lenore--the daughter of Captain
Hyland?"

"Certainly.  How could I be mistaken?  You know I was at Captain
Hyland's house several times, and saw her there--to say nothing of that
scene we had with Adkins, when we were all in Liverpool together.  I
could not be mistaken: for I spoke to her the time I was at her house in
London.  She was married about two years before to the captain of the
Australian ship--a man old enough to be her father."

What reason had I to doubt Mason's word?  None.

I went ashore with a soul-sickening sensation, that caused me to wish
myself as free from the cares of this life, as the mother I had lately
lowered into her grave.

How dark seemed the world!

The sun seemed no longer shining, to give light; but only to warm my
woe.

The beacon that had been guiding my actions so brightly and well, had
become suddenly extinguished; and I was left in a night of sorrow, as
dark, as I should have deserved, had my great love been for crime
instead of Lenore!

What had I done to be cursed with this, the greatest, misfortune Fate
can bestow?

Where was my reward for the wear of body and soul, through long years of
toil, and with that conscientious and steadfast spirit, the wise tell
us, must surely win?  What had _I_ won?  Only an immortal woe!

Thenceforth was I to be in truth, a "Rolling Stone," for the only
attraction that could have bound me to one place, or to anything--even
to life itself--had for ever departed from my soul.

The world before me seemed not the one through which I had been hitherto
straying.  I seemed to have fallen from some bright field of manly
strife, down, far down, into a dark and dreary land--there to wander
friendless, unheeded and unloved, vainly seeking for something, I knew
not what, and without the hope, or even the desire of finding it!

I could not blame Lenore.  She had broken no faith with me: none had
been plighted between us.  I had not even talked to her of love.

Had she promised to await my return--had she ever confessed any
affection for me--some indignation, or contempt for her perfidy, might
have arisen to rescue me from my fearful reflections.

But I was denied even this slight source of consolation.  There was
nothing for which I could blame her--nothing to aid me in conquering the
hopeless passion, that still burned within my soul.

I had been a fool to build such a vast superstructure of hope on a
foundation so flimsy and fanciful.

It had fallen; and every faculty of my mind seemed crushed amid the
ruins.

In one way only was I fortunate.  I was in a land where gold fields of
extraordinary richness, had been discovered; and I knew, that there is
no occupation followed by man--calculated to so much concentrate his
thoughts upon the present, and abstract them from the past--as that of
gold hunting.

Join a new rush to the gold fields, all ye who are weary in soul, and
sorrow-laden, and the past will soon sink unheeded under the excitement
of the present.

I knew that this was the very thing I now required; and, from the moment
of receiving the unwelcome tidings communicated by Mason, I relinquished
all thought of returning to Liverpool.

I did not tell my sister Martha of this sudden change in my designs;
but, requesting her not to write, until she should first hear from me, I
bade her farewell--leaving her in great grief, at my departure.

Twenty-four hours after, I was passing out of the harbour of Sydney--in
a steamer bound for the city of Melbourne.

Volume Two, Chapter XX.

THE VICTORIA DIGGINGS.

My passage from Sydney to Melbourne, was made in the steamer "Shamrock,"
and, after landing on the shore of Port Philip, I tried to believe
myself free from all that could attract my thoughts to other lands.

I endeavoured to fancy myself once more a youth--with everything to win,
and nothing to lose.

The scenes I encountered in the young colony, favoured my efforts; and
after a time, I began to take an interest in much that was transpiring
around me.

I could not very well do otherwise: since, to a great deal I saw in
Melbourne, my attention was called, in a most disagreeable manner.

Never had I been amongst so large a population, where society was in so
uncivilised a condition.  The number of men and women encountered in the
streets in a state of beastly intoxication--the number of both sexes, to
be seen with black eyes, and other evidences, that told of many a mutual
"misunderstanding,"--the horridly profane language issuing out of the
public-houses, as you passed them--in short, everything that met either
the eye or ear of the stranger, proclaimed to him, in a sense not to be
mistaken, that Melbourne must be the abode of a depraved people.  There,
for the first time in my life, I saw men allowed to take their seats at
the breakfast tables of an hotel, while in a state of staggering
intoxication!

With much that was disgusting to witness, there were some spectacles
that were rather amusing.  A majority of the men seen walking the
streets--or encountered in the bar-rooms of public-houses--carried grand
riding whips; and a great many wore glittering spurs--who had never been
upon the back of horse!

The hotel keepers of Melbourne did not care for the custom of
respectable people, just landed in the colony; but preferred the
patronage of men from the mines--diggers who would deposit with them,
the proceeds of their labour, in bags of gold dust; and remain drunk,
until told there was but five pounds of the deposit left--just enough to
carry them back to the diggings!

I am not speaking of Melbourne at the present time; but the Melbourne of
ten years ago.  It is now a fine city, where a part of all the world's
produce may be obtained for a reasonable price.  Most of the inhabitants
of the Melbourne of 1853--owing to the facility of acquiring the means--
have long since killed themselves off by drink and dissipation; and a
population of more respectable citizens, from the mother country, now
supply their places.

I made but a short stay in this colonial Gomorrah.  Disgusted with the
city, and everything in it, a few days after my arrival, I started off
for the McIvor diggings.

I travelled in company with several others, who were going to the same
place--to which we had "chartered" a horse and dray for carrying our
"swags."

One of my travelling companions was drunk, the night before leaving
Melbourne; and, in consequence, could eat no breakfast on the morning
when we were about to start.  He had neglected to provide himself with
food for the journey; and depended on getting his meals at eating-houses
along the road.

Before the day was over, he had become very hungry; but would not accept
of any food offered him by the others.

"No thank'ee," he would say, when asked to have something.  "I'll wait.
We shall stop at a coffee-house before night; and I'll make it a caution
to the man as keeps it.  I'll eat all before me.  My word! but I'll make
it a warning to him, whoever he be.  He'll not want to keep a
coffee-house any longer."

This curious threat was repeated several times during the day; and we
all expected, when evening should arrive, to see something wonderful in
the way of consuming provisions.

We at length reached the coffee-house, where we intended to stay for the
night; and called for our dinners.  When told to sit down, we did so;
and there was placed before us a shoulder of mutton, from which, as was
evident by the havoc made upon it, several hungry men had already dined.

A loaf, baked in the ashes--known in the colonies as a "damper"--some
tea, in which had been boiled a little sugar, some salt, and a pickle
bottle with some dirty vinegar in it, were the concomitants of the
shoulder, or "knuckle" of mutton.  I had sate down to many such meals
before; and was therefore in no way disappointed.  But the man who had
been all day without eating seemed to be very differently affected.
According to custom, he had to prepay his four shillings, before taking
his seat at the table; and on seeing what he was to get for his money,
he seemed rather chagrined.

"My word!" cried he; "I did say that I'd make it a warning to the
landlord; but my word!--he's made it a warning to me.  I sate down
hungry, but I shall get up starving."

None of us could reasonably doubt the truth, thus naively enunciated by
our travelling companion.

After reaching the diggings at McIvor, I entered into partnership with
one of the men, who had travelled with me from Melbourne.  We purchased
a tent and tools; and at once set to work to gather gold.

Judge Lynch was very much wanted on the diggings of McIvor--as well as
throughout all Victoria, during the first three years after gold had
been discovered there.

Those, who claimed to be the most respectable of the colonists, did not
want an English colony disgraced by "Lynch Law"--a wonderful bugbear to
the English ear--so they allowed it to be disgraced by ten times the
number of thefts and robberies than ever took place in California--which
they were pleased to style "the land of bloodshed and crime."

In California miners never required to take their tools home with them
at night.  They could leave them on their claims; and be confident of
finding them there next morning.  It was not so in Victoria, where the
greatest care could not always prevent the digger from having such
property stolen.  I have seen--in a copy of the "Melbourne Argus," of
November 5th, 1852--two hundred and sixty-six advertisements offering
rewards for stolen property!  Yet "The London Times," November 6th,
1852, speaks of these same colonies in the following terms:--"It is
gratifying to learn that English love of law and common sense there
predominate."

As most of the thefts there committed were of articles, too
insignificant to pay for advertising their loss, the reader may imagine
what was the state of society in Victoria at that time; and how far
"English love of law and common sense predominated!"

It was only one of the thousand falsehoods propagated by the truculent
scribblers of this unprincipled journal; and for which they may some day
be called to account.

But few of those, who committed crimes in the diggings, were ever
brought to trial; or in any way made answerable for their misdeeds.
Prisoners were sometimes sent down to Melbourne to be tried; but as no
one wished to be at an expense of thirty or forty pounds, travel a
hundred miles, and lose three or four weeks of valuable time to
prosecute them, the result was usually an acquittal; and crime was
committed with impunity.

While at McIvor, a thief entered my tent during my absence from it; and
stole therefrom a spyglass that had been given me by Captain Hyland--
with some other little articles that I had carried long and far, and
valued in proportion.

I afterwards got back the glass by the aid of the police; and very
likely might have had the thief convicted and punished--had I felt
inclined to forsake a good claim, take a long journey to Melbourne, and
spend about forty pounds in appearing against him!

As I did not wish to undertake all this trouble _pro bono publico_, the
criminal remained unpunished.

Becoming tired of McIvor, I went on to Fryer's Creek.  I there met with
a fellow-passenger from California--named Edmund Lee--with whom I joined
partnership; but after toiling awhile without much success, we proceeded
to a large rush at Jones' Creek--a distance of thirty-five miles from
Fryer's.

We started in the afternoon; and stopped the first night at a place
called Castlemain.

That evening I saw more drunken men than I had met during a whole year
spent in the diggings of California--where the sale of intoxicating
liquor was unrestricted, while on the gold fields of Victoria it was
strictly prohibited by law!  Indeed, about four hundred mounted troopers
and policemen were in Castlemain at the time, for the purpose of
maintaining "English law and order;" and those selling intoxicating
drinks were liable to a fine of fifty pounds or imprisonment, or both!
One vice, so prevalent in California, was not to be observed on the gold
fields of Victoria.  In the latter there were no gambling-houses.

After leaving Castlemain, we walked about twenty-five miles; and stopped
all night at "Simpson's Station."

On this pasture I was told there were sixteen thousand head of sheep.

Before reaching Simpson's, we passed a station, on which the sheep were
infested with a disease, resembling the "shab."  Carcasses of the dead
were everywhere to be seen; and those, that were still alive, were
hardly able to drag along the few locks of wool clinging to their
sky-coloured skins!

On Sunday, the 14th day of August, 1853, we reached the diggings on
Jones' Creek, where we found about ten thousand people, but no place
where we could procure a meal of victuals, or a night's lodging!

That the reader may have some idea of the hardships to which diggers
were then often exposed, I shall make known of the manner of our life,
while residing at Jones' Creek.

We first purchased some blankets; and with these, some poles and pieces
of string, we constructed a sort of tent.  At none of the stores could
we find a utensil for cooking meat; and we were compelled to broil it
over the fire on the end of a stick.  Sometimes we could buy bread that
had come from Bendigo, for which we had to pay six shillings the loaf of
three and a half pounds weight!  When unable to get this, we had to
purchase flour at a proportionate price, knead it into dough, and roast
it in the ashes.

There was no place of amusement at Jones' Creek; and a strong police
force was stationed there, to suppress the sale of liquors; or, rather,
to arrest those who sold it; and also to hunt diggers for what was
called the "Gold Licence."

The precious metal at this place was found very unevenly distributed
through the gullies; and while some were making fortunes by collecting
it, others were getting next to nothing.

The gold was found in "nuggets"--lying in "pockets" of the slate rock;
and not a fragment could be obtained till these pockets had been
explored.

The day after our arrival, my partner and I marked off two claims.
Being unable to hold them both, we took our choice of the two; and gave
the other one away to some men, with whom we had become slightly
acquainted.

The top earth from both claims was removed--disclosing not a speck of
gold in that we had retained, while twenty-four pounds weight were
picked out--without washing--from the claim we had given away!

Lee and I remained at Jones' Creek three weeks, worked hard, made
nothing, and then started back for Fryer's, where our late partners were
still toiling.

On our way back we halted for dinner--where some men with a dray load of
stores,--on their way to one of the diggings, had also stopped for their
mid-day meal.

We had neglected to bring any sugar with us; and wished to buy some for
our coffee.  The men with the dray did not wish to sell any; but we
insisted on having it at any price.

"We'll let you have a pannikin full of sugar," said one, "but shall
charge you ten shillings for it."

"All right," said my companion, Edmund Lee.  "It's cheap enough--
considering."

The man gave us the sugar; and then refused to take the money!  He was
not so avaricious, as we had supposed.  He had thought, by asking ten
times the usual price, to send us away, without being obliged to part
with what he might himself soon stand in need of!

On the evening of the second day of our journey, about nine o'clock, we
reached the banks of Campbell's Creek--within four miles of the place we
were making for.

Rain had been falling all the day; and the stream was so swollen, that
we could not safely cross it in the darkness.

The rain continued falling, and we spread our wet blankets on the
ground.  We prayed in vain for sleep, since we got none throughout that
long, dreary night.

Next morning we arose early--more weary than when we had lain down; and,
after fording the stream, we kept on to Fryer's Creek--which we reached
in a couple of hours.

We had been without food, since the noon of the day before; and from the
way we swallowed our breakfast, our former mates might have imagined we
had eaten nothing during the whole time of our absence!

Volume Two, Chapter XXI.

THE STOLEN NUGGET.

I worked a claim in German Gully, Fryer's Creek, in partnership with two
men, of whom I knew very little; and with whom--except during our hours
of labour--I held scarce any intercourse.

One of them was a married man; and dwelt in a large tent with his wife
and family.  The other lived by himself in a very small tent--that stood
near that of his mate.  Though both were strangers to me, these men knew
each other well; or, at all events, had been associates for several
months.  I had been taken into their partnership, to enable them to work
a claim, which had proved too extensive for two.  The three of us, thus
temporarily acting together, were not what is called on the diggings
"regular mates," though my two partners stood to one another in this
relationship.

The claim proved much better than they had expected; and I could tell,
by their behaviour, that they felt some regret, at having admitted me
into the partnership.

We were about three weeks engaged in completing our task, when the gold
we had obtained was divided into three equal portions--each taking his
share.  The expenses incurred in the work were then settled; and the
partnership was considered at an end--each being free to go where he
pleased.

On the morning after, I was up at an early hour; but, early as it was, I
noticed that the little tent, belonging to the single man, was no longer
in its place.  I thought its owner might have pitched it in a fresh
spot; but, on looking all around, I could not see it.

My reflection was, that the single man must have gone away from the
ground.

I did not care a straw, whether he had or not.  If I had a wish one way
or the other, it was to know that he _had_ gone: for he was an
individual whose _room_ would by most people have been preferred to his
_company_.  For all that, I was somewhat surprised at his disappearance,
first, because he had not said anything of his intention to take leave
of us in that unceremonious manner; and, secondly, because, I did not
expect him to part from his mate, until some quarrel should separate
them.  As I had heard no dispute--and one could not have occurred,
without my hearing it--the man's absence was a mystery to me.

It was soon after explained by his comrade, who came over to my tent, as
I suppose, for that very purpose.

"Have you noticed," said he, "that Tom's gone away?"

"Yes," I answered; "I see that his tent has been removed; and I supposed
that he had gone."

"When I woke up this morning," continued the married man, "and saw that
he had left between two days, I was never more surprised in my life."

"Indeed!"

I had a good deal of respect for Tom, and fancied he had the same for
me.  I thought we should work together, as long as we stayed on the
diggings; and for him to leave, without saying a word about his going,
quite stunned me.  My wife, however, was not at all surprised at it--
when I told her that he had gone away.  She said she expected it; and
only wondered he had had the cheek to stay so long.

"I asked her what she meant.  By way of reply she brought me this
nugget."

As the man finished speaking, he produced from his pocket a lump of
gold--weighing about eighteen ounces--and held it up before my eyes.

"But what has this to do with your partner's leaving you?"  I asked.

"That's just the question I put to my wife," said the man.

"And what answer did she make?"

"She said, that, after we had been about a week working in the claim,
she was one day making some bread; and when she had used up the last
dust of flour in the tent, she found that she wanted a handful to
sprinkle over the outside of the damper--to keep it from sticking to the
pan.  With her hands in the dough, she didn't care to go to the store
for any; but stepped across to Tom's tent to get a little out of his
bag.  There was no harm in this: for we were so well acquainted with
him, that we knew he would not consider it much of a liberty.  My wife
had often before been into his hut, to borrow different articles; and
Tom knew of it, and of course had said, all right.  Well, on the day I
am speaking of, she went in after the flour; and, on putting her hand
into the bag to take some out, she laid her fingers on this here lump of
yellow metal.  Don't you see it all now?  It's plain as a pike-staff.
Tom had found the nugget, while working alone in the claim; and intended
to keep it for himself, without letting either of us know anything about
it.  He was going to rob us of our share of the gold.  He has turned out
a damned thief."

"Certainly it looks like it," said I.

"I know it," emphatically asserted Tom's old associate.  "I know it: for
he has worked with me all the time he has been on the diggings; and he
had no chance to get this nugget anywhere else.  Besides, his having it
hid in the flour-bag is proof that he didn't come honestly by it.  He
never intended to let us know anything about it.  My wife is a sharp
woman; and could see all this, the moment she laid her hands upon the
nugget.  She didn't let it go neyther; but brought it away with her.
When Tom missed it--which he must have done that very day--he never said
a word about his loss.  He was afraid to say anything about it, because
he knew I would ask him how he came by it, and why he had not mentioned
it before.  That of itself is proof of his having stolen it out of our
claim."

There was no doubt but that the married man and his "sharp" wife were
correct in their conjecture, which was a satisfactory explanation of
Tom's strange conduct, in taking midnight leave of us.  He had kept
silent, about losing the nugget, because he was not certain how or where
it had gone; and he had not left immediately after discovering his loss,
because the claim was too good to be given up for such a trifle.  By
this attempt to rob us, he had lost the share of the nugget--which he
would have been entitled to--while his fears, doubts, and other
unpleasant reflections, arising out of the transaction, must have
punished him far more effectually than the loss of the lump of gold.  He
could not have been in a very pleasant humour with himself, while
silently taking down his little tent, and sneaking off in the middle of
the night to some other diggings, where he might chance to be unknown.
I have often witnessed ludicrous illustrations of the old adage, that
"honesty is the best policy;" but never one plainer, or better, than
Tom's unsuccessful attempt at abstracting the nugget.

There is, perhaps, no occupation, in which men have finer opportunities
of robbing their partners, than that of gold-digging.  And yet I believe
that instances of the kind--that is, of one mate robbing another--are
very rare upon the gold fields.  During my long experience in the
diggings--both of California and Australia--I knew of but two such
cases.

The man who brought me the nugget, taken from Tom's tent, was, like the
majority of gold-diggers, an honest person.  His disclosing the secret
was proof of this: since it involved the sharing of the gold with me,
which he at once offered to do.

I did not accept of his generous offer; but allowed him to keep the
whole of it; or, rather, presented it to his "very clever wife,"--who
had certainly done something towards earning a share in it.

Volume Two, Chapter XXII.

A FEARFUL FRIGHT.

After finishing my explorations on Fryer's Creek, I went, in company
with my "regular mates," to Ballarat, which was the place where
"jeweller's shops" were then being discovered.

The gold on this field was found in "leads"--that lay about one hundred
and sixty feet below the surface of the ground.

The leads were generally but one claim in width; and no party could
obtain a claim on either of them, without first having a fight to get,
and several others to keep, possession of it.

My mates and I succeeded in entering a claim on Sinclair's Hill; and,
during the time we were working it, we had five distinct encounters with
would-be intruders--in each of which my friend Edmund Lee had an
opportunity of distinguishing himself; and, by his fistic prowess,
gained great applause from a crowd of admiring spectators.

I have often been in places where my life was in danger, and where the
passion of fear had been intensely excited within me; but never was I
more frightened than on one occasion--while engaged in this claim upon
Sinclair's Hill.

We were sinking the shaft; and I was down in it--at a depth of one
hundred and twenty feet from the surface of the earth.  One of my
mates--as the readiest place to get clear of it--had thrown his
oil-cloth coat over the windlass.  The coat, thus carelessly placed,
slipped off; and came down the shaft--in its descent causing a rustling,
roaring noise, that, to me below, sounded somewhat like thunder!

I looked up.  All was dark above; and the idea occurred to me, that the
shaft had given way at the "drift"--a place about sixty feet above my
head, where we had gone through a strata of wet sand.  The noisy coat at
length reached the bottom, and I found myself unhurt; but, so frightened
had I been, that I was unable to go on with my work--until after I had
gone up to the surface, swallowed a glass of brandy, and taken a few
draws of the pipe!

The business of mining, in the Victoria diggings, is attended with
considerable danger; and those who conduct it should be men of temperate
habits--as well as possessed of some judgment.  Every one on the gold
fields, being his own master--and guided only by his own will--of course
there are many who work in a reckless manner, and often under the
influence of drink.  As a consequence, accidents are, or were at that
time, of daily occurrence.

When an accident resulted from intoxication, it was generally not the
drunken man himself--but his mate--who was the sufferer--the latter
having a bucket, or some heavy implement, dropped upon his head, from a
height of a hundred feet.

Gold miners, as a class, are exceedingly indifferent to danger; and
careless about the means of avoiding it.  They will often continue to
work in a shaft, that they know must soon "cave" in; but they do so
under the hope, that the accident will occur during the night, or while
they are at dinner.  So long as there is a possibility of their
escaping, hope tells them they are "all right"--too often a deceitful
tale.

While engaged in gold-digging, I had frequent opportunities of testing a
doctrine often put forward by tobacco-smokers: that the "weed" is a
powerful antidote to fear.  Several times have I been under ground,
where I believed myself in danger; and have been haunted by fear that
kept me in continued agony, until my pipe was lit--when my apprehensions
seemed at once to vanish literally in a cloud of smoke!

There is something in the use of tobacco, that is unexplained, or
untaught, in any work of philosophy, natural or unnatural, that I have
yet read.  The practice of smoking is generally condemned, by those who
do not smoke.  But certainly, there are times, when a man is the better
for burning a little tobacco, although the immoderate use of it, like
all other earthly blessings, may be converted into a curse.

My readers may think, that a disquisition on tobacco can have but little
to do with the Adventures of a Rolling Stone.  But why should they
object to knowing my opinions on things in general, since the adventures
themselves have been often either caused or controlled by these very
opinions?  I have entered into a minute detail of my experience in
mining affairs, under the belief, that no sensible reader will think it
uninteresting; and, still continuing in this belief, I purpose going a
_little_ farther into the subject.

While engaged in gold-digging, I have often been led to notice the
influence of the mind over the physical system.

In washing dirt that contains but little gold, the body soon becomes
weary--so much so, that the work is indeed toil.  On the other hand,
when the "dirt" is "rich," the digger can exert himself energetically
from sunrise to sunset, without feeling fatigue at the termination of
such a long spell of labour.

In the business of mining--as in most other occupations--there are
certain schemes and tricks, by which men may deceive each other, and
sometimes themselves.  Gold is often very ingeniously inserted into
fragments of quartz rock--in order to facilitate the sale of shares in a
"reef."

I made the acquaintance of several diggers who had been deceived in this
way; and whose eyes became opened to the trick, only after the
tricksters had got out of their reach.  On the other hand, I once saw a
digger refuse to purchase a share in a reef, from which "splendid
specimens" had been procured--fearing that some trickery was about to be
practised upon him.  One month afterwards, I saw him give, for the same
share, just twenty times the amount that he had been first asked for it!

I remember a party of "Tasmanians," who had turned up a large extent of
ground, in a claim on Bendigo.  The richest of the earth they washed as
it was got out; and of the rest they had made a large heap, of what is
called "wash dirt, Number 2."

This, they knew, would not much more than pay for the washing; and, as a
new "rush" had just been heard of, at a place some miles off, they
resolved to sell their "wash dirt, Number 2."

Living near by the diggings was a sort of doctor, who used to speculate,
in various ways, in the business of gold-mining.  To this individual the
Tasmanian diggers betook themselves; and told him, that they had
received private intelligence, from the new rush; and that they must
start for it immediately, or lose the chance of making their fortunes.
For that reason, they wished to sell their "wash dirt," which they knew
to be worth at least two ounces to the "load;" but, as they must be off
to the "new rush," they were not going to haggle about price; and would
take twelve ounces for the pile--they thought, in all, about thirty
loads.

The doctor promised to go down the next morning, and have a look at it.
In the evening the "Tasmanians" repaired to an acquaintance, who was
unknown to the doctor; and requested him to be sauntering about their
dirt-heap in the morning, and to have with him a washing-dish.  They
further instructed him--in the event of his being asked to wash a dish
of the dirt--that he was to take a handful from that part of the heap,
where he might observe a few specks of white quartz.

Next morning the doctor came, as he had promised; but declined to
negotiate, without first having some of the dirt washed, and
ascertaining the "prospect."

"We have no objection to that," said one of the proprietors of the
dirt-heap, speaking in a confident tone.

"Oh! not the slightest, doctor," added a second of the party.

"Yonder's a man with a washing-dish," remarked a third.  "Suppose you
get him to prove some of it?"

The man, apparently unconnected with any of the party, was at once
called up; and was told, that the dirt was to be sold; and that the
intending purchaser wished to see a "prospect" washed, by some person
not interested in the sale.  He was then asked, if he had any objections
to wash a dish or two from the heap.

Of course he had not--not the slightest--anything to oblige them.

"Take a little from everywhere," said one of the owners, "and that will
show what the average will yield."

The confederate did as requested; and obtained a "prospect" that
proclaimed the dirt probably to contain about four ounces to the load.

The doctor was in a great hurry to give the diggers their price--and in
less than ten minutes became the owner of the heap.

The dirt had been, what the diggers call, "salted," and, as was
afterwards proved, the speculating doctor did not get from it enough
gold to pay the expenses of washing!

At Ballarat my partners and I were successful in our attempts at gold
hunting; and yet we were not satisfied with the place.  Very few diggers
are ever contented with the spot upon which they happen to be.  Rumours
of richer fields elsewhere are always floating about on the air; and
these are too easily credited.

In the latter part of the year 1853, a report reached the diggings of
Victoria: that very rich "placers" had been discovered in Peru.

There is now good reason for believing, that these stories were
originated in Melbourne; that they were set afoot, and propagated by
ship agents and skippers, who wished to send their ships to Callao, and
wanted passengers to take in them--or, rather, wanted the money which
these passengers would have to pay.

Private letters were shown--purporting to have come from Peru--that gave
glowing descriptions of the abundance of gold glittering among the
"barrancas" of the Andes.

The Colonial papers did what they could to restrain the rising
excitement; and, although they were partly successful, their
counter-statements did not prevent many hundreds from becoming victims,
to the trickery of the dishonest persons, at that time engaged in the
shipping business of Melbourne.

A majority of those, who were deluded into going to Peru, were
Americans, Canadians, and Frenchmen--probably for the reason that they
were more dissatisfied with Australia, than the colonists themselves.

Amongst the victims of the "Callao fever" I have to record myself--along
with two of my partners--Edmund Lea and another.  All three of us being
too simple-minded to suspect the trick, or too ready to yield to
temptation, we set off for Melbourne; and thence set sail across the
far-stretching Pacific.

Volume Two, Chapter XXIII.

THE CALLAO GOLD FEVER.

There could not well have been a more uninteresting voyage, than the one
we made to Callao.  There was about one hundred and fifty passengers on
board--most of them young and wild adventurers.

The master of the vessel had the good sense _not_ to attempt the game of
starving us.  Had he done so, it would have obtained for him an
unpleasant popularity.  We had no ground for complaint on the score of
food.

The principal amusement on board the ship was that of gambling; but it
was carried on in a quiet manner; and we had no rows leading to any
serious disaster.  We had no particular excitement of any kind; and for
this reason I have pronounced the voyage uninteresting.  For all that,
it was not an unpleasant one.  I have no hesitation in asserting, that,
with the same number of diggers of the pure Australian type, that long
voyage, before its termination, would have resembled a "hell aboard
ship."

When we at length reached Callao, it was simply to find ourselves
laughed at for leaving Victoria!  We had left behind us a land of gold;
and made a long sea voyage to discover that we had been "gulled."

No one appeared to be at all disappointed.  Every one was heard to say,
"It's just as I expected!"  I may have said so myself--I don't remember
whether I did or not--but I admit now, that I thought myself "some"
deceived; and I believe that each of my fellow-passengers felt something
like myself: and that was, strongly inclined to kill either himself--or
some one else--for having been so damnably duped.

To have heard most of them talk, you could scarce have believed, that
there had been any disappointment!  Many alleged that they had been
dissatisfied with the colonies; and had only come to Peru to see that
celebrated country--which they had long desired to do!

Some of them claimed, that they had only left the gold fields of
Victoria on a sea voyage--in order to recruit their strength; and that
they intended to return, and pursue the avocation of gold-digging with
greater energy than ever!

Most of the Americans declared, that, they were on their way home across
the Isthmus of Panama!

No one would acknowledge, that he had been made a fool of.  Each,
according to his own showing, had come to Callao for some wise purpose,
which he was anxious to explain to the rest--notwithstanding the obvious
difficulty of obtaining credence for his story.

About half of those, who were the victims of this gold-digging delusion,
became also victims to the fevers of Peru.  Some proceeded up the coast
to California; others _did_ go home by the Isthmus of Panama; while a
few, and only a few, returned to Australia.

In Callao I parted with my friend Edmund Lea, who was one of those who
took the Panama route, on his way back to the United States.

He was returning to a happy home, where he would meet those--and there
were many of them--who would rejoice at his return.

There was no such home for me.  I was alone in the world--a Rolling
Stone--with no one to love--no one who cared for me--and no place,
except the spot under my feet, that I could call home.

Lea was a young man who won the esteem of all with whom he came in
contact--at least, all whose respect was of any value.

I parted from him with much regret.  Before bidding adieu, we made
arrangements to correspond with each other; and I have heard from him
several times since.  He is now, or ought to be, living in Lowell, in
the State of Massachusets.

In the first ship "up" for Melbourne, I engaged a passage--resolved upon
returning to the gold fields of Victoria.

The vessel had arrived from Melbourne only three weeks before--freighted
with a full cargo of deluded diggers; and the captain was now about to
extract from them some more of their money, by taking them back!

On board there was one young man, who had come to Peru as a passenger.
He had not the money to take him back; and, being a seaman, he had
joined the ship as one of her crew.  We sailed late in the afternoon,
and were some time getting out of the harbour.  About ten o'clock at
night this young man was at the wheel, where he was spoken to by the
captain in a very harsh, unpleasant tone.  It was said that the skipper
was intoxicated; and that he not only spoke in the manner described, but
struck the young sailor without the slightest cause or provocation.  The
exact truth will perhaps never be told.  The night was very dark; and
all that was certainly known is: that the sailor drew his knife, plunged
it into the captain's body; and then jumped overboard into the sea!

As the captain had evidently received a mortal wound, the ship was put
about; and brought back to her anchorage within the harbour.  The
captain was carried below; and for three or four hours he did nothing
but swear, and threaten to kill the sailor who had stabbed him.  His
senses had forsaken him; and it was impossible to make him understand,
that the young man had leaped overboard, and was in all probability at
that moment fifty fathoms under the sea.

The captain had a wife and two children aboard; and what with the noise
made by them, and his own wild ravings, not a soul, either among crew or
passengers, slept during that night.  By six o'clock in the morning, the
wounded man had ceased to live.

Three days after, another captain was sent aboard by the agents; and we
again set sail for Melbourne.

Nothing was heard of the sailor previous to our leaving the port or ever
afterwards.  At the time he jumped overboard lights were to be seen,
shining on many vessels in the harbour; and some believed that he might
have reached either a ship, or the shore.  There was not much
probability of his having been saved.  Both ships and shore were too
distant for him to have swum to either.  In all likelihood he preceded
the captain, into that unknown world from which there is no return.

Very few, either of the passengers or crew, blamed the young sailor for
what he had done.  The captain had the reputation of being a "bully;"
and his having commenced practising his tyranny so early on the voyage--
and especially on the man at the wheel, who, while there, should have
remained unmolested--gave evidence that had he continued to command the
ship, our passage across the Pacific might have proved of a character
anything but "peaceful."

The skipper, who succeeded him, was a man of a different disposition.
He soon became a favourite with all on board; and we had both a quick
and pleasant passage to Melbourne--where we arrived without any further
accident or obstruction.

When setting foot for the second time on Australian soil, I found the
city of Melbourne greatly changed--I am happy to say--for the better.

An attempt was being made at keeping the streets clean.  Old buildings
had been taken down; and new ones erected in their stead.  The citizens,
too, were better dressed; and looked, as well as acted, more like human
beings.

At the public-houses customers were served with food fitting to eat; and
were also treated with some show of civility.  The number of people who
formerly seemed to think, that a public-house keeper held a higher
social position than the governor himself, had become greatly
diminished.  They were now in a decided minority.

Men were no longer afraid, during night hours, to trust themselves alone
in the streets; and they did not, as formerly, issue in armed bands from
the public-houses to protect themselves from being robbed, while going
to their homes, or repairing to places of amusement.

Men found lying drunk in the gutters were now in some danger of being
placed upon a stretcher, and taken away by the police.

The convict element was greatly upon the decrease; and the profane
language, imported from the slums of London, was not so disgustingly
universal.

I have hurried through the narrative of my voyages from Melbourne to
Callao, and back, for two reasons.  First, because nothing very
interesting occurred to me during either; and secondly, because I feel
somewhat ashamed at having been so ridiculously deluded; and have
therefore no desire to dwell upon the details of that ill-starred
expedition.

Volume Two, Chapter XXIV.

THE YARRA-YARRA.

Soon after my return from Callao, I accompanied two acquaintances, upon
a hunting expedition up the Yarra-Yarra.

There is some beautiful scenery along the banks of this river--
beautiful, as curves of shining water, bordered by noble forms of
vegetable life, can make it.

There is some pleasure to be found in a hunting excursion in Australia--
although it does not exactly consist in the successful pursuit of game.

In the morning and afternoon, when your shadow is far prolonged over the
greensward--and you breathe the free genial atmosphere of that sunny
clime--an exhilarating effect is produced upon your spirits, a sort of
joyous consciousness of the possession of youth, health, and happiness.
To breathe the evening atmosphere of Australia is to become inspired
with hope.  If despair should visit the soul of one, to whom fate has
been unkind, it will come in the mid-day hours; but even then, the
philosopher may find a tranquil contentment by lying under the shade of
a "she oak," and imbibing the smoke of the Nicotian weed.

One of my companions in the chase chanced to have--living about twenty
miles up the river--an acquaintance, who had often invited him to make a
visit to his "station."

Our comrade had decided to accept the invitation--taking the two of us
along with him, though we were in no haste to reach our destination--so
long as we could find amusement by the way.

The squatters, living on their "stations"--at a distance from large
towns, or assemblages of the digging population--are noted for their
hospitality.  They lead, in general, a lonely life; and, for this
reason, visitors with whom they can converse, and who can bring them the
latest news from the world of society, are ever welcome.

Both the climate and customs of Australia make visitors less troublesome
to their hosts, than in almost any other part of the world.

The traveller is usually provided with his own blankets, carried in a
roll; and these, wrapped around him in the open air, he prefers to the
best bed his host could provide for him.

All that we should require from our comrade's acquaintance would be his
company, with plenty of substantial food; and with this last article the
squatters of Australia are abundantly supplied.

Not wishing to make a toil, of an excursion intended for amusement, we
had purchased an old horse, on which we had packed our blankets, with a
few articles of food to sustain us, till we should reach the station of
the squatter.

We might have accomplished the journey in a single day; but walking
twenty miles within twelve hours, was too much like work; and, on the
first night, after leaving Melbourne, we had only made about half the
distance!

We had sauntered leisurely along, and spent at least three or four hours
under the shade of the trees growing by the side of the road.

This style of travelling appeared to suit the old horse, as much as his
masters.  It was an animal that had seen its best days; and seemed
averse to any movement that called for a high degree of speed.  Like
most of his kind, in the colonies, he was as much at home in one place
as another; and, wherever we stopped for repose, he appeared to think
that the halt was made for his especial accommodation.

We did not make much effort to undeceive him.  He had seen hard times;
and we were, probably, the best masters that had ever owned him.

On the second morning, shortly after resuming our journey, we observed
some hills, thickly covered with timber--at some distance to the right
of our road.  We diverged from the direct path--to see whether we could
not find a kangaroo, or some other harmless creature, possessing a happy
existence, that might be put an end to.

This undertaking was a success--so far as the kangaroos were concerned--
since we were not able to do injury to any of these creatures.

We caught a glimpse of two or three of them, at a distance; but, after
roaming about the timbered ranges for several hours, we did not succeed
to get within killing distance of any of them.

We returned to the bank of the river--just in time to form our bivouac,
before the night fell upon us--having accomplished during the day, about
four miles in the direction in which we intended going!

"I am a little disgusted with hunting," said one of my companions, whose
name was Vane.  "I move that in the morning we keep on to the station;
and see what amusement is to be found there."

This proposition was carried, by a majority of three.  The horse, being
indifferent on the subject, was permitted to remain neutral.

"What amusement shall we find at your friend's house?" asked Vane of my
other companion--who was the one acquainted with the squatter we were on
the way to visit.

"Well, I suppose we can have some hunting there," replied the individual
thus interrogated; and who always answered, in a polite manner, to the
name of "Cannon."

"No, thank you!" said Vane.  "We've had enough of that sort of thing
to-day.  I don't want any more of it."

"But at the station we shall be provided with horses," suggested Cannon;
"and, when we get sight of a kangaroo, we can run the animal down."

"That makes a difference," said Vane; "and I don't mind trying it for a
day.  But is there no other amusement, to be had at your friend's
house?"

"Not that I know of--unless you make love to my friend's pretty
daughter."

"Ah! that _would_ be amusement," exclaimed Vane, evidently a little
stirred by the communication.

"Is she good-looking?" he asked.

"Yes, extremely good-looking.  But, remember, comrades," continued
Cannon, "I will allow no serious love-making."

"Give yourself no uneasiness about that," rejoined Vane.  "In love
affairs, I am never serious.  Are you?" he asked, turning to me.

"Yes, very serious," I answered, thinking of Lenore.

"Then you will never be successful," said Vane.

I passed half-an-hour in a fruitless endeavour to comprehend the
philosophy of this remark, after which I fell asleep.

Next morning, we resumed our route for the squatters' station; and had
got about three miles along the road, when we came to a plain, entirely
destitute of timber.  Upon this plain was a drove of about a hundred
horses.  They remained motionless, with heads erect, and nostrils
spread, until we had approached within fifty yards of them.  They then
turned, and galloped off at the top of their speed.

At this moment, a change suddenly showed itself in the demeanour of our
old roadster.  We had been driving him before us, for the last mile or
two, with great difficulty; but, on seeing his congeners take to flight,
he suddenly threw up his head; and, either calling out to the drove that
he was coming, or to us that he was going, he started towards them.
Before we could get hold of his bridle, he was beyond reach--going at a
rate that promised soon to place him among the foremost of the herd.

We had supposed that our hack belonged to some "serious family" of
horses; and that the natural sedateness of his disposition had been
augmented by years of toil and starvation.  We were never more
disappointed, than on seeing him forsake us in the fashion he did.  A
two-year old could not have gone more gaily.

Cannon and Vane started off in pursuit of him; but, as I had a little
more experience in colonial horses, than either of my companions, I bade
good-bye both to our roadster and my roll of blankets; and, stretching
myself under the shade of a tree, I resolved to await their return.

I did wait.  One hour passed, then another, and a third; and still my
companions did not come back.

"I am a fool for remaining here," reflected I.  "The squatters station
cannot be more than five miles distant; and they have probably gone
there?  The herd of horses undoubtedly belongs to it; and my companions
have followed them home?"

Influenced by these conjectures, I once more rose to my feet; and
continued the journey, that had been so unexpectedly interrupted.

Volume Two, Chapter XXV.

JESSIE.

The path led me along the bank of a river.  It was the Yarra-Yarra.

As I moved onward, I began to perceive, that I had not been such a fool,
after all, in having waited awhile for my companions.  My long quiet
reverie, in the shade of the tree, had refreshed me.  I had escaped the
hot sunshine; and I should now be able to reach my destination, during
the cool hours of evening.

I did not wish to arrive at the station before Cannon: as I should
require him to introduce me.

My solitary journey was altogether an agreeable one.  The bright waters
of the Yarra-Yarra flowed by my side, while the gentle breeze, as it
came softly sighing through the peppermint-trees, fanned my brow.

After advancing, as I supposed, a distance of about four miles--hearing
only the cries of the screaming cockatoo, and the horribly human voice
of the laughing jackass--I was suddenly and agreeably surprised by the
barking of a dog.  The animal could not be far off; and it was also in
the direction I was going--up the river.

"The station cannot be distant?" thought I; and eager to catch a glimpse
of it, I hastened forward.  I had scarce made a step further, when I was
startled by a piercing scream.  It was a human voice--the voice of a
woman.  She who gave utterance to it must be near the spot--concealed by
some wattle-bushes on the bank of the river?

I rushed forward; and glided through the bushes into the open ground
beyond.  I perceived a young woman just on the point of leaping into the
river!

My abrupt appearance seemed to cause a change in her design.  Suddenly
turning towards me, she pointed to the water, at the same time
exclaiming, "Save her!  O, save her!"

Looking in the direction thus indicated, I saw something like a child--a
little girl--struggling on the surface of the water.  Partly supported
by the drapery of her dress, she was drifting down with the current.
The next instant I was in the water, with the child in my arms.

The bank of the river, for some distance below, was too high and steep
for me to climb out again.  After making two or three ineffectual
attempts, I gave it up; and, supporting myself and the child by a
swimming stroke, I permitted the current to carry us down, until I had
reached a place where it was possible to scramble ashore.

The young girl upon the bank had done all she could to assist me, while
I was endeavouring to climb out; but, fearing, from the state of
excitement in which she appeared to be, that she would herself tumble
in, I had commanded her to desist.

On my relinquishing the attempt to ascend the steep bank, she appeared
to think that I had done so in despair; and that both the child and I
were irrecoverably lost.

Her screams recommenced, while her movements betokened something like a
determination to join company with us in the water.  This, I believe,
she would have done, had I not at that instant reached a place, where
the bank shelved down to the surface, and where I at length succeeded in
getting my feet upon dry land.  In another moment I had placed the child
in her arms.

For some time after my getting out of the water, the attention of the
young girl was wholly engrossed by the little creature I had rescued;
and, without fear of my scrutiny being noticed, I had a good opportunity
of observing her.

As she stood before me, affectionately caressing her little companion, I
thought that there could be on this earth but one other so lovely--one
Lenore.

She appeared to be about sixteen years of age.  I had often heard of
"golden hair," and always had regarded the expression as a very foolish
figure of speech.  I could do so no longer on looking at the hair of
that Australian maiden.  Its hue was even less peculiar than its
quantity.  There seemed more than a delicate form could carry.

I could not tell the colour of her eyes; but I saw that they emitted a
soft brilliant light, resembling the outburst of an autumn sun.

When she became satisfied that the child was unharmed, she proceeded to
thank me for the service I had done, in "preserving the life of her
sister."

I interrupted her expressions of gratitude, by offering to accompany her
to her home.  The child, after the fright it had sustained, seemed
hardly able to stand; and I proposed to carry it in my arms.  My
proposal was accepted; and we proceeded on up the river.

An animal called in the colonies a "Kangaroo dog," led the way; and to
this quadruped the young girl directed my attention.

"Rosa was running in advance of me," said she, "and was playing with the
dog.  It was he that pushed her into the river.  I fear, our mother will
not allow us to come out again, though I am very fond of straying along
the Yarra-Yarra.  We have not far to go," she added; "the house is just
behind that hill, you see before us.  It is not quite a mile to it."

I was pleased to hear this: for Rosa was about five years of age, and of
a weight that I did not desire to walk under for any great distance.

I had forgotten all about my gun.  I had dropped it, when jumping into
the river; and only remembered it now, long after we had left the spot.
On turning towards my companion, I saw that she had it in her hands.

During our progress towards her home, I was constantly making
comparisons between my companion and Lenore.  They were mental, and
involuntary.  She and Lenore were the two most lovely objects I had ever
seen; and yet they were altogether unlike.  Lenore was dark, reserved,
and dignified, though the expression of her features and the silent
glance of her eye denoted, that her soul contained volumes of warm
poetic fancy that might never be expressed in words.

The young girl by my side was fair and free-spoken; she talked almost
continuously; and I could plainly perceive, that every thought of her
mind must find expression in speech.

Before we had reached the house, I had learnt the simple history of her
life.  She was the daughter of Mr H--, the friend of Cannon--for whose
station we were bound.

She was the one about whom Cannon had bantered Vane--telling him that he
might amuse himself by making love to her.  Cannon had never spoken a
truer word in his life, than when he said that she was "extremely
good-looking."  If the description was at all incorrect, it was because
it was too tame.  She was more than good-looking--she was beautiful.

I learnt from her that her name was Jessie, that her life was very
lonely on the station--where the appearance of a stranger, whatever he
might be, was an unusual event; and that she was much pleased that an
acquaintance of her father had sent word, that he was about to visit
them with two of his friends.

"That acquaintance is Mr Cannon?" said I, interrogatively.

"Yes; and you are one of the friends who was to come with him," rejoined
she, with a woman's instinct, jumping to the correct conclusion.  "Oh!
we shall be so happy to have you with us!"

We had still that mile further to go; but although Rosa was no light
weight to carry, the distance appeared as nothing.

Before we had reached her home, Jessie H--seemed to be an old
acquaintance.  I felt assured that my visit to her father's station
would prove a pleasant one.

On arriving at the house there ensued a scene of excitement, of which
little Rosa's mishap was the cause.

Jessie seemed determined to make me the hero of the hour; and I had to
listen to profuse expressions of gratitude from her father and mother--
all for bringing a child out of the water--an act that a Newfoundland
dog would have performed, quite as cleverly as I.

Little Rosa was the favourite of the family; and their thanks for what I
had done were in proportion to the affection entertained for her.

When they had succeeded in making me feel very uncomfortable, and appear
very much like a fool, I had to listen to some nonsense from my
travelling companions Vane and Cannon--who had arrived at the station
nearly an hour before.  Their badinage was to the effect, that I had got
the start of them, in the amusement of love-making to the beautiful
Jessie.

My companions had been unsuccessful in the pursuit of our packhorse.  He
had gone quite off into the "bush"--carrying his cargo along with him.

We never saw either again!

Volume Two, Chapter XXVI.

AUSTRALIAN AMUSEMENTS.

The owner of the station, Mr H--, followed the kindred occupations of
grazier and wool-grower; and, to judge by the appearance of his home, he
had carried on this combined business to some advantage.  He was a
simple, kind-hearted man, about fifty years of age; and, having been a
colonist for more than twenty years, he understood how to make our visit
to his home as pleasant, as circumstances would admit.

The day after our arrival, we were inducted into the mysteries of a
"kangaroo hunt."  In chase of an "old-man kangaroo" we had a fine run,
of about three miles, through the bush; and the affair was pronounced by
Vane, who claimed the character of a sportsman, to be a more exciting
chase than any fox-hunt he had ever witnessed in the old country.  To be
"in at the death" of a fox is to be present at a scene of considerable
excitement; but it is tame, when compared with the termination of a
kangaroo chase.  When an "old-man kangaroo" is brought to bay--after
having come to the conclusion that he has jumped far enough--then comes
the true tug of war.

The venerable gentleman places his back against a tree; and resists
further molestation in a most determined manner.  He shows fight in his
own way--by lifting up one of his hind legs, and bringing it down again
with a sudden "slap"--all the time supporting himself in an upright
attitude on the other.  The blow does not cause a sudden jar, like the
kick of a horse; but by means of his long, sharp claws, the kangaroo
will tear the skin from the body of a dog, or any other assailant, that
may imprudently come within reach.

Vane and Cannon knew that I had been a sailor.  They expected,
therefore, some amusement in seeing me "navigate" a horse across the
rough country--among the standing and prostrated trees of an Australian
"bush."

They did not know, that I had been more than two years in the saddle--as
a United States dragoon; and that I had ridden over heaps of dead and
wounded men--over crippled horses and broken carriages--as well as
thousands of miles across the desert plains and through the dense
forests of America.

They were taken somewhat by surprise, on beholding my horsemanship; and
Vane flattered me with the hope, that a few years' practice would make
me as good a hunter as himself!

We returned home with a game-bag--containing two dead kangaroos; and
next day, at dinner, indulged in the luxury of "kangaroo-tail" soup.

Our amusement, for the following day, was a fishing excursion along the
Yarra-Yarra.

We caught an abundance of fish; but they were so small, that angling for
them appeared to be an amusement more fit for children than men; and we
soon became weary of the rod and line.

Each day, on returning home to the station, we enjoyed the society of
the beautiful Jessie.

As already stated, this young lady was an accomplished conversationist--
though her teaching had been only that of Nature.  She could carry on a
conversation with all three of us at once; and on a different subject
with each.

I believe that Vane fell in love with her at first sight; and his whole
behaviour betokened, that he intended paying no attention to the command
or request which had been made by the man who introduced him.

I knew very little about love affairs; but something whispered me that,
if Vane should form a serious attachment for Jessie H--it would end in
his disappointment and chagrin.  Something told me, she would not
reciprocate his affection--however fond it might be.

At the same time, I could perceive in the young lady a partiality for
myself.  I did not attempt to discover the reason for this.  It might
have been because my introduction to her had been made, under
circumstances such as often win a woman's love.  She might have admired
my personal appearance.  Why not?  I was young; and had been often told
that I possessed good looks.  Why should Jessie H--not fall in love with
me, as well as another?

As I reflected thus, conscience whispered to me, that I should take
leave of Mr H--'s family; and return to Melbourne.

I did not do so; and I give the reason.  Jessie H--was so enchantingly
lovely, and her conversation so interesting, that I could not make up my
mind to separate from her.

Several times I had mentally resolved to bid adieu to my new
acquaintances; but my resolutions remained unfulfilled.  I stayed at the
station, under the fascinations of the charmer.

Our diversions were of different kinds.  One day we would visit a tribe
of native blacks living up the river, where we would be treated to
astonishing spectacles of their manners, and customs, especially their
exploits with the boomerang and spear.

Our mornings would be spent in kangaroo hunting; and our evenings in the
society of the beautiful Jessie.

One day we made an excursion--all going well mounted--to a grazing
station about fifteen miles from that of Mr H--.  Our object was to
assist the proprietor in running a large drove of his young cattle into
a pen--for the purpose of having them branded.

The animals were almost wild; and we had an exciting day's sport, in
getting them inside the inclosure.  Several feats of horsemanship were
exhibited by the different graziers, who assisted at the ceremony.  The
affair reminded me of what I had seen in California, upon the large
grazing estates--"ganaderias" of that country.  We were home again
before dinner time; and in the evening I was again thrown into the
company of Jessie.

I could not help reading her thoughts.  They were easily interpreted:
for she made no attempt to conceal what others might have desired to
keep secret.  Before I had been a week in her company, I was flattered
with full evidence, that the warmest love of a warm-hearted girl was, or
might be, mine.

There are few that do not sometimes stray from the path of rectitude--
even knowingly and willingly.  By staying longer at the station of Mr
H--when convinced that the happiness of another depended on my leaving
it--I was, perhaps, acting as most others would have done; but I knew I
was doing wrong.  It brought its own punishment, as wickedness ever
will.

Jessie loved me.  I was now sure of it.  Several circumstances had
combined to bring this misfortune upon her.  Grateful for the service I
had done in saving their child, her father and mother acted, as if they
could not treat me with sufficient consideration.  Little Rosa herself
thought me the most remarkable man in the world; and was always talking
of me to her sister.

It was natural for a girl like Jessie to love some one; and she had met
but few, from whom she could make a choice.  There was nothing strange
in her young affections becoming centred on me; and they had done so.
Conscience told me that I should at once take myself from her presence;
but the fascination of that presence proved stronger than my sense of
duty; and I remained--each day, becoming more enthralled by the spell of
her beauty.

Why was it wrong in me to stay by the side of Jessie H--?  Lenore Hyland
had forsaken me; and why should I not love another?  Where could I hope
to find a woman more beautiful, more truthful, more worthy of being
loved, or more capable of loving than Jessie.  The task of learning to
love her seemed every day to grow less difficult; and why should I bring
the process to an abrupt termination?

These considerations required my most profound reflection.  They
obtained it--at least I thought so;--but the reflections of a man, under
the fascinating influence of female beauty, are seldom guided by wisdom.
Certainly mine were not, else I would not have allowed the hopes and
happiness of my life to have been wrested from me by the loss of Lenore.

Volume Two, Chapter XXVII.

"LOVE BUT ONE!"

"What should I do?"  This was the question that presented itself to my
mind, almost every hour of the day.  It called energetically for an
answer.

I loved Lenore Hyland--I felt that I ever should, as long as life was
left me.  Such being the case, was it right for me to endeavour to gain
the affections of an unsophisticated girl like Jessie H--?  Would it be
honourable of me to take advantage of that incident--which had no doubt
favoured her first inclination towards me?  To win her heart, and then
forsake her, would be to inflict upon her the same sorrow I was myself
suffering for the loss of Lenore.

Lenore was still more dear to me than life; and I had only lived since
losing her, because I believed it a crime to die, until some Supreme
Power should call me to come.  And yet should I ever return to
Liverpool, and find Lenore a widow--even though she should wish it--I
could never marry her!

"She can never be mine," thought I.  "She never loved me; or she would
have waited for my return.  Why, then, should I not love Jessie, and
make her my wife?"

There are many who would have adopted this alternative; and without
thinking there was any wrong in it.

I did, however.  I knew that I could never love Jessie, as I had loved
Lenore--to whose memory I could not help proving true, notwithstanding
that she had abandoned me for another.  This feeling on my part may have
been folly--to a degree scarce surpassed by my mother's infatuation for
Mr Leary; but to know that a certain course of action is foolish, does
not always prevent one from pursuing it.

"Shall I marry Jessie, and become contented--perhaps happy?  Or shall I
remain single--true to the memory of the lost Lenore--and continue the
aimless, wandering, wretched existence I have lately experienced?"

Long and violent was the struggle within my soul, before I could
determine upon the answers to these self-asked questions.  I knew that I
could love Jessie; but never as I should.  "Would it be right, then, for
me to marry her?"  I answered the last question by putting another.
"Should I myself wish to have a wife, who loved another man, and yet
pretended for me an affection she did not feel?"

I need scarcely say, that this interrogatory received an instantaneous
response in the negative.  It determined me to separate from Jessie H--,
and at once.  To remain any longer in her society--to stay even another
day under the roof of her father's house, would be a crime for which I
could never forgive myself.  To-morrow I should start for Melbourne.

I had been walking on the bank of the river, when these reflections, and
the final resolve, passed through my mind.  I was turning to go back to
the house, when I saw Jessie straying near.  She approached me, as if by
accident.

"Miss H--," said I, "I am going to take leave of you."

"Going to leave me!" she exclaimed, her voice quivering as she spoke.

"Yes; I must start for Melbourne to-morrow morning."

She remained silent for some seconds; and I could see that the colour
had forsaken her checks.

"I am very sorry," she said at length, "very sorry to hear it."

"Sorry!"  I repeated, hardly knowing what I said, "why should that
grieve you?"

I should not have asked such a question; and, as soon as I had done so,
I perceived the mistake I had made.

She offered no reply to it; but sate down upon the bank; and rested her
head upon her hands.  An expression had come over her countenance,
unmistakeably of a painful character; and I could see that her eyes were
fast filling with tears.

"Surely this girl loves me?  And surely I could love her?"

I know not how these two mental interrogatories were answered.  I only
know that, instead of rejoicing in the knowledge that I had gained her
love, I was made miserable by the thought.

I raised her to her feet; and allowed her head to rest upon my shoulder.

"Miss H--," said I, "can it be that you show so much emotion, merely at
parting with a friend?"

"Ah!" she replied, "I have thought of you as a friend; but such a one as
I never knew before.  My life has been lonely.  We are here, as you
know, shut out from all intercourse with the world.  We can form but few
friendships.  Yours has been to me like some unknown joy of life.  You
have been my only thought, since I first saw you."

"You must try to forget me--to forget that we have ever met; and I will
try to forget you.  _I should_ only think of you as a friend!"

For a second she stood gazing upon me in silence.  Then tremblingly put
the question:

"You love another?"

"I do, although I love without hope.  It is one who can never be mine--
one I may, perhaps, never see again.  She and I were playmates when
young.  I fancied she loved me; but she did not: she has married
another."

"How very strange!  To me it seems impossible!"

The artless innocence of these observations, proved the purity of the
mind from which they could emanate.

"And yet," continued she, "for one who has acted in that manner, you can
still feel love?"

"Alas! such is my unfortunate fate."

"Oh! sir, if you but knew the heart you are casting away from you!--its
truth--its devotion and constancy--you would never leave me; but stay
here and be happy.  You would learn to love me.  You could not hate one,
who loves you as I can; and will to the end of my life!"

I could make no reply to this speech.  Sweet as it might have been to
the ears of some, I listened to it only with pain.  I scarce knew either
what to say, or do; and I was only relieved, from my painful
embarrassment, when our steps brought us back to the house.

I loved Lenore for what she had been; and regarded her now as lost--as
dead; yet I determined to remain true to her.  My affections were not
wandering fancies--finding a home wherever circumstances might offer it.
I could "love but one."

Jessie H--was beautiful, innocent, and affectionate; but all these
qualities could not conquer my love for Lenore; and honour commanded me
to depart speedily from her presence.

Shortly after entering the house, she retired to her own room; and I saw
no more of her for the night.

Before doing so myself, I took leave of Mr and Mrs H--, telling them
that I must be off by daybreak in the morning.

My companions, Vane and Cannon, declared their unwillingness to
accompany me; and used every argument to dissuade me from such an abrupt
departure; but their arguments were only thrown away upon me.  I had
formed the determination; and nothing could have influenced me to
abandon it.  On becoming assured of this, they at length consented to go
along with me.

Mr and Mrs H--did not urge me very strenuously to remain; and I
believe that their silent eloquence could have been explained: by the
supposition that it arose, from a regard for the happiness of their
daughter.

We took our departure from the station at an early hour of the morning--
before any of the household--except some of the domestics--were astir.

This manner of leaving may appear unceremonious; and would be so, in
many parts of the world.  But it is nothing unusual in Australia--where
early setting out upon a journey is almost the universal fashion.

I did not care for the company of Vane and Cannon, on the way back to
Melbourne.  I would much rather have dispensed with it: as I wished to
be alone.  I wanted an opportunity for reflection--such as that journey
would have afforded me.  The society of Jessie H--had revived many
memories within me.  It had rekindled my passion for Lenore--
strengthened my regrets for the past, and my despair for the future.

As I walked at a rapid pace, my companions fell behind--until, at
length, I lost of them altogether.

Before the hour of noon, I had reached the city of Melbourne--sorry to
think I had ever left it, to go upon an excursion, that had ended only
in adding to the discontent already too firmly established within my
bosom.

Volume Two, Chapter XXVIII.

UNSUITABLE ASSOCIATES.

Once more I found myself without a home, without an occupation, and
without any plans for the future--with a spirit undecided--depending on
some slight circumstance as to what course I should next take.

Such a position is ever unpleasant.  I knew this, from the fact of
having been too often placed in it; and being well accustomed to the
disagreeable reflections attending it.

I was anxious to decide, upon something to do.  What should it be?  What
part of the world should I next visit?  Why had I come back to Melbourne
at all?  Was it to make more money; or spend what I had already made?
These, and a thousand other interrogatories succeeded each other in my
mind; but to none of them could I give an intelligent answer.

While in this state of indecision, I came near losing a portion of my
self-respect.  There was a good deal to seduce me into habits of
dissipation; and not much to restrain me from them.  I had no longer the
motives, to guard me against evil courses, that had once guided me.
What could I gain, by always keeping on my best behaviour?  Ever since
first leaving home, I had endeavoured to conduct myself, as well as my
limited knowledge would allow.  What had I gained by it?  Nothing,
except, perhaps, a little vanity.  Was this worth all the exertion I had
made by resisting temptation?

Having little else to do, I spent some time in considering the question.
The result was: satisfaction at the course I had pursued, and a
determination to continue it.

A little vanity is, perhaps, after all, not such a bad thing.  If a man
cannot win the good opinion of others, he should endeavour to keep on
proper terms with himself; and this he cannot do, without conducting
himself in a proper manner.  Because Fortune had not dealt with me, as I
had wished, that was no reason why I should take her for an example, and
imitate her unkindness.  A man in adversity is too often deserted by his
acquaintances; but this is no argument for turning against himself and
becoming his own enemy.  I determined not to act in a manner so stupid.
I had too much self-respect, or pride, or vanity, to do so.  Call it by
what name you please, it served me at that time in good stead: for it
was this, and nothing else, that restrained me from entering upon a
course of dissipation.

My companions Vane and Cannon were good examples of men, who act without
any fixed principles or firm resolve.  They had both been, in the old
country, what is called a "little wild," and had come to the colonies
not from any inclination on their own part, but rather at the instance
of their relatives and friends.  They had been _sent_ out, in fact--in
the hope of their getting _tamed_ by the hardships of colonial life.

I have known thousands of genteel young men similarly expatriated; and
who, armed with letters of introduction and recommendation, had landed
in the colonies, under the belief that they were very much wanted there.
Never was there a greater delusion--as most of them had afterwards
reason to know.  The only people required in Australia are those of good
habits--combined with some brains, or else a willingness to work.  The
"fast youths" packed off to get them out of the way, are generally
deficient in these essential requisites--otherwise they might have found
employment at home.

Unwilling to work, they arrive in the colonies with too good an opinion
of themselves and too low an opinion of the people there.  Although
leaving England under the belief that there may be greater people left
behind, they feel confident that they will stand foremost in Australia.

Some of these young gentlemen have the sense soon to discover their
mistake; and many of them turn to hard work, with a will that does them
credit.  My companions Cannon and Vane were not of this kidney.  Neither
would consent to do anything, that savoured of "toil;" and with all
their letters of introduction--backed by the influence of the friends to
whom they had come introduced--they were unable to procure what they had
been led to expect--easy situations under "government."

According to their showing, there was something wrong in the system; and
the fault was with the colonial government and people.  They could not
understand that those who are called upon to govern a young colony--and
put together the machinery of its social state--require to know
something: and that they who, in their native land, have proved
incapable of performing any useful duty, will be found still more
useless, in a land where the highest capability is required.

Both had been unfortunate in having friends, who, while apparently
behaving too well to them, had in reality been treating them in a cruel
manner.  They had been brought up in idleness--with the idea that labour
is vulgar, and disgraceful to a gentleman.  With these views they had
been thrust forth upon a wide world--to war with life's battles, as it
were, undisciplined and unarmed.  Neither had the spirit successfully to
contend against the adverse circumstances, in which they now found
themselves; and they appeared to think that the best way for combating
their misfortune was to betake themselves to a course of dissipation.

I endeavoured to persuade them, to go up to the diggings with me, and
try to make their fortune by honest and honourable labour; but both
rejected my counsel--Vane even receiving it with scorn.  They would not
soil their soft hands by bringing them in contact with the dirty earth!
They had as little inclination for such menial labour, as I for many
habits in which they indulged, and which to my way of thinking were far
more menial than gold-digging.

They had been educated as gentlemen--I had not.  Their ways were not my
ways; and, seeing this, I resolved to cut their acquaintance.  They were
naturally not bad fellows; but they had faults, arising from a defective
education, that rendered their company undesirable--especially in a
place like Melbourne.

They were both pleasant companions; and in many respects I could have
liked them; but as they were trying to live in Melbourne on nothing a
year, I saw they would not be the right sort of associates for me.

To do them justice, they seemed to be aware of this themselves, more
especially Cannon.  One day he had the honesty to confess to me, that he
was afraid he could not lead the life of a respectable gentleman any
longer.

"Why?"  I asked; "can you not get work?"

"No," he answered with a sneer; "I'm not going to drive bullocks, or
dry-nurse a flock of sheep, for any man.  I must live in some other
manner--whether it be considered respectable or not."

"What can you do?"  I inquired.

"Haven't an idea.  I only know, Stone, that I shall be `spongeing' on
you, if you don't cut my acquaintance."

"And, when you can live on your acquaintance no longer, what then?"

"Then I must turn billiard-marker.  My friends have sent me here, as
they said, to make my fortune, but, as I believe, only to get rid of any
further trouble with me at home.  They have succeeded in their purpose:
for I don't believe that I shall ever rise the `tin' to return to
England, although I should deucedly like to do so."

"Why should you wish to go where you are not wanted?  Why not set to
work; and become independent, by your own exertions?"

"Ah! my friend, you forget that we have not been brought up alike.  You
have had sensible parents, or guardians, who have done something to
prepare you for that sort of thing, while I have been brought up
foolishly by those who have tried hard to make me believe myself wiser
than other people.  What seems easy to you, is altogether impossible to
me.  You have been educated in a world that has taught you some wisdom,
while I have been trained by a family that has only made a fool of me.
I have been taught to believe that a man should owe everything to his
ancestors; and you, that he should be indebted only to himself.
Therefore, it's idle to talk about the matter--we can never agree."

I saw that there was no use in urging Cannon to attempt doing any thing
in the colonies, as long as he could perceive no object to be gained by
exerting himself.

Just then, I was myself slightly inclined to take a similar view of
things.  I had hoped and toiled to make myself as perfect, as was
possible for a human being, placed in my circumstances.  What had I
gained by it?  Nothing.  What could I expect to gain?  Nothing.
Influenced by these thoughts, I remained for some time in doubt, whether
I should return to the diggings or not.  Life there, was, after all,
only an excitement.  It was not happiness.

Several times the temptation came strong upon me, to go back to Jessie;
and see if I could find happiness with her.  In striving to overcome
this temptation, I was, perhaps, acting not so unlike my companions--
Vane and Cannon: I was refusing to accept of fortune's favours, when
they could so easily have been won.

They were in a growing colony, where, with labour, they might easily
have obtained a high position--yet they would not exert themselves.  I
was playing a very similar part; for I saw how I might become happy--at
all events, how I might live without unhappiness--yet I rejected the
opportunity fortune had thus set before me.  I would only consent to
accept happiness on my own terms; and my obstinacy was not so very
different from that which was the besetting sin of my companions.

I never felt more like a Rolling Stone, than when in Melbourne upon that
occasion; but the sensation was not peculiar to myself: for the city
contained thousands of people who had been everywhere; and were ready,
at an hour's notice, to go there again!

Volume Two, Chapter XXIX.

FARRELL'S STORY CONTINUED.

I at length succeeded in making up my mind to leave Melbourne; and,
having parted with Vane and Cannon, I proceeded alone to Geelong--on my
way to the gold fields of Ballarat.  It was my first visit to Geelong;
and I made it a short one; but, short as it was, I came to the
conclusion, that if the people of Geelong had, within the two previous
years, advanced in civilisation as rapidly as those of Melbourne, they
must have been in a dreadfully degraded state before: since I found the
social, moral, and intellectual condition of the place, if possible,
still lower than that which had disgusted me on my first visit to
Melbourne--and this is saying a deal.

The principal business of the Geelongers appeared to be that of
drinking; and at this they were, to a high degree, industrious.  Almost
every one, with whom I came in contact, used obscene language, and were,
or appeared to be, in every way more depraved, ignorant, and brutish,
than any people to be found out of England itself.

From Geelong I went on to Ballarat--a distance of forty-eight miles--in
a conveyance drawn by four horses; and paid for my accommodation the
smart sum of six sovereigns.

On my arrival, I once more pitched my tent on the richest gold field
known to the world.

Gold-diggers had been called "lucky vagabonds" by the then
Attorney-General of Victoria.  Perhaps he was right; but, whatever name
had been given them, I was well pleased at finding myself once more in
their company; and ready to share their toils, chances, and
disappointments.

There is something in gold hunting that unsettles a man's mind, and
makes him unfit for the ordinary occupations of life; and yet the
calling itself is exactly suited to the state of mind it thus produces.

In this respect it is perhaps, unfortunately--too like the profession of
the gamester.

No other occupation could have been so well adapted to my state of mind.
I had no hopes to realise--no object to accomplish, but that of
forgetting the past, and guarding my thoughts from straying into the
future.

Such being the case, it was with much satisfaction that I again found
myself a "lucky vagabond"--amidst the ever-varying scenes of excitement,
to be witnessed on the gold fields of Ballarat.

The first acquaintance I encountered, after my arrival at the place, was
Farrell--the Californian gold-digger--whom I had last seen in San
Francisco.

As a matter of course, we stepped into the nearest hotel, to have a
glass together.

"I suppose," said Farrell, as soon as we were seated--"you have no
objection to listen to the conclusion of that little romance--the second
chapter of which I made you acquainted with in San Francisco?"

"Not the slightest," I answered.  "Although I felt sorry for what had
happened to you, I confess I was very much amused at what you told me.
But the most interesting part of the romance--as you call it--had not
transpired.  I shall be very glad to hear more of it."

"Well," proceeded Farrell, "you shall.  As I told you they would, Foster
and my wife came out to California; and, as I expected, to San
Francisco.  However, they had come ashore so very secretly and quietly,
that I did not succeed in finding them, until they had been about ten
days in the city.

"Foster took a house in Sacramento Street, furnished it with the money I
had sent home to maintain my faithless wife; and laid in a stock of
liquors.  He intended to commence business in the grog-selling line; and
was about opening the establishment, when I found them out.

"As soon as I did so, I went straight to the house--prepared for some
sport.

"Foster and my wife were out shopping, and, no doubt, spending what
remained of my money.  The new tavern was in charge of a young man, whom
they had engaged as a barkeeper.

"I immediately took possession of the whole concern--the house, and
everything in it.

"I then discharged the barkeeper from their employment; and, the instant
after, engaged him in my own service.

"I remained in that house for nine weeks--managing the business which
Foster had intended to profit by; and then sold out for five thousand
dollars.

"Neither Foster nor my wife, to my knowledge, ever came near the place--
at all events, they never showed their faces in the house.  They had
found out, by some means, that I was in possession; and that had proved
sufficient to make them surrender their claim without a contest.

"After selling out, I found leisure to look about me; and make further
enquiries concerning the precious pair.  I learnt that they had gone up
to Sacramento city--where they had both taken situations in a
public-house, managed by some other man.  They had no longer any money,
to go into business for themselves.

"I was still determined to see them; and started off for Sacramento.

"They must have had some one on the watch; for, on reaching the place, I
found they had left only two hours before!  As my anger had been for
some time evaporating, I had no desire to pursue them any farther.  The
fact is, I felt a degree of freedom--after the loss of my wife--that
went far towards reconciling me to the man who had relieved me of her.
Besides, there was something in the idea of having turned Foster out of
his finely furnished house in San Francisco, that made me think myself
nearly square with him; and I did not care to take any more trouble,
simply for the sake of troubling them.

"I returned to San Francisco; and from that place took passage in a ship
just sailing for Melbourne.

"My anger has now entirely passed away; and yet I know I am still having
some revenge--in addition to that I have already got.  Wherever they may
be, they are not living happily.  They know that they have done wrong;
and I'd lay a wager, there's not an hour of the day that they're not
thinking of me, and dreading that I will make my appearance.

"I can return to my native land, and be happy.  They cannot.  I never
wish to see either of them again: for I have become philosophical, and
am willing that their crime should bring about its own punishment."

I congratulated Farrell on the philosophy that had enabled him so
successfully to regain his tranquillity of spirit; and, after giving
each other mutual directions for meeting again, we parted company.

Volume Two, Chapter XXX.

ODD FASHIONS IN THE GOLD FIELDS.

Farrell's philosophical resolve--to trouble the delinquents no more--
formed the subject of my reflections, as I walked towards my tent.  It
was an illustration of the power which circumstances may have, in
allaying even the strongest passion: for I knew that, when first made
acquainted with his dishonour, the man had felt both deeply and
resentfully.

I could not help applying the lesson to myself.  "Is it possible,"
thought I, "that any circumstances can ever arise to allay my longings
for Lenore?  Is there in time a power that will yet appease them?"

My sentimental reflections were interrupted, by a scene that was of a
different character--altogether comical.  Not far from the place where I
had parted with Farrell, I saw a crowd collected around a tent.  Two
miners, who had been "regular mates," were quarrelling; and their
neighbours had gathered upon the ground, to be edified by an abundance
of vituperative eloquence.

After the two men had, for a considerable time, amused the bystanders
with their dispute, there appeared to be but one point upon which they
could agree.  That was that they should remain "mates" no longer.

The tent, some provisions in it, along with their mining tools and
cooking utensils, they owned in common: having shared between them the
expense attending their purchase.

As these things could not be divided to the satisfaction of both
parties, it was proposed that each should remove from the tent, whatever
was fairly entitled to be called his "private property," and that
everything held in common--including the tent itself--should be burnt!
This proposal was at once agreed to.

Each then brought forth from the tent his roll of blankets, and along
with some other purely "personal effects."  The ropes, picks, shovels,
and buckets--that chanced to be lying outside the tent--were then
"chucked" inside; after which, a match was applied to the dry canvass,
and the diggers' dwelling was instantly in flames.  The two disputants
then walked coolly away from the place--each carrying his bag upon his
back; one going to the east, the other to the west, amidst the cheers of
the spectators--all of whom seemed greatly to admire this original mode
of dissolving a partnership.

Law is so expensive and uncertain in all newly-established communities,
that even sensible people do not like to resort to it, in the settlement
of their disputes.  Perhaps in this respect, the citizens of older
communities might imitate the gold-diggers to advantage.

While in California, I was witness to another incident illustrative of
the unwillingness to resort to the judgments of a legal tribunal.  It
was a case of two gold-diggers, who had been working together, and were
about to dissolve partnership.  Among the property they had owned in
common was a fine mule.  Each was desirous of becoming sole possessor of
the animal; but neither would consent to give the other the price
demanded for parting with his share.  The difficulty might have been
arranged by arbitration; but, neither desiring to be under any
obligation to a third party, they adopted a more independent plan for
settling the dispute.

"I'll give you fifty dollars for your share of the mule," proposed one,
"or I'll take a hundred for mine?  I want the animal."

"And I'll give you fifty for your share, or take a hundred for mine?"
said the other, "I want it too."

"I'll make you another offer," said the first.  "We'll play a game of
`Euker,' and whoever wins shall have the mule?"

The third challenge was accepted.  The game was played; and the
difficulty settled in five minutes, without any expense or ill-feeling
arising out of it!

A disposition to settle doubts and difficulties by chance--that
"unspiritual god"--is very common, among those who have long followed
the occupation of gold hunting--for the reason, no doubt, that there is
so much chance or uncertainty in the calling itself.  Gold-diggers
become familiarised to a sort of fatalism; and, in consequence, allow
many questions to be decided by chance, that should be submitted to the
test of reason.

I have seen a miner after working out a rich claim, toss up a dollar, to
decide whether he should return home or not!  The piece of money fell
wrong side down; and the man remained at the diggings; and for aught I
know, may be there still, working for a "pennyweight per diem."

And yet I do not always condemn this mode of relieving the intellect
from the agony of doubt.

I once met two miners in San Francisco--to which place they had come
from different diggings, for the purpose of having a few days' rest
after months of toil.  They had been shipmates to California; and now
meeting again, each told the other of the way fortune had served him,
since they had parted.

"I have got together two thousand three hundred dollars," said one.  "I
came out here to make up a pile of four thousand.  If I had that, I'd go
home."

"I have done nearly as well," said the other; "I have about two
thousand; and if I had what we have both got, I'd go home; and never
touch pick or shovel again."

"Ah! so would I," sighed the first.

"Well, then," challenged his old shipmate, "I'll tell you what we can
do.  We both want to go back home, with not less than four thousand
dollars.  We need not _both_ be disappointed.  One of us can go; and let
the other stay.  I'll cut a pack of cards with you; and the one who cuts
highest, shall take four thousand dollars, and go home.  The odd two or
three hundred will be enough, to carry the loser back to the diggings.
What say you, old hoss?"

This proposal was instantly accepted.  The man, who had made it, lost
his two thousand dollars; and next morning he handed the money over to
his more fortunate friend, shook hands with him, and started back for
the diggings!

This story may seem improbable, to those who have never been in
California in its best days; but I can vouch for its truth.

After parting with Farrell, I seemed destined to witness a variety of
incidents on that same evening; and of both characters--comic and
tragical.

Shortly after passing the crowd, who had assisted at the dispute of the
two miners, I came in sight of another concourse of people--in the
middle of which appeared two or three policemen.  They were gathered
around the shaft of an abandoned claim.  I went up to see what the
excitement was about; and learnt, that a Chinaman had been found
suspended in the shaft.

The Celestial had committed suicide, by hanging himself; and the plan he
had adopted for terminating his existence, seemed, from its ingenuity,
to have met with as much admiration from this crowd, as had been
bestowed by the other one on the mode of settling their dispute, which
had been adopted by the two diggers.

The Chinaman, knowing that the shaft was a deep one, had placed a large
log of wood across the top of it.  To the middle of this he had tied the
end of a rope about fifteen feet long.  The other end he had fastened,
loop fashion, around his neck; and then jumped down the shaft.  No Jack
Ketch could have performed the operation for him, in a more effectual
manner.

I afterwards learnt that the Chinaman had been an opium eater; and that
he had secretly squandered some gold, in which his mates owned shares.
The crime preying on his conscience--perhaps, when he had no opium to
fortify it--was supposed to be the cause of his committing the act of
self-destruction.

Volume Two, Chapter XXXI.

A DISAGREEABLE PARTNERSHIP.

For two or three days I strolled about the diggings, looking for some
opportunity of setting myself to work.  On the Eureka lead I found five
men holding a claim, that stood a good chance of being "on the line."
It was within four claims of a place where gold was being taken out; and
the "lead" would have to take a sharp turn to escape this place.  A
shaft had already been sunk to the depth of twenty feet, that would have
to go down about ninety feet further.  It would require eight hands to
work the claim; and the five who owned it wished to sell some shares--
for the purpose of making up the number.

The price asked was fifty pounds each; and, not seeing any better
prospect of getting into a partnership, I purchased a share; and paid
over the money.

I did not much like the appearance of my new partners.  None of them
looked like men accustomed to do hard work, or earn their livelihood in
any respectable way.  They seemed better suited for standing behind a
counter, to sell gloves and ribbons, than for the occupation of
gold-digging.  But that the claim was likely to prove rich, I should not
have chosen them as working associates.

One of the number was named John Darby.  He was one of those
individuals, who can never avail themselves of the fine opportunities
afforded, for saying nothing.  Darby's tongue was constantly on the go,
and would often give utterance to a thousand words that did not contain
a single idea.  His eloquence was of the voluble kind, and very painful
to the ear--being nothing but sound, without one grain of sense.  His
voice often reminded me of the clattering of the flour-mills I had heard
in Callao.  Whenever he would mount a hobby, and get his tongue freely
going, the air seemed to vibrate with the movement of ten thousand
demons, each hurling a fire-ball into the brain of the listener!

According to his own account, Darby had been ten times shipwrecked on
the voyage of life.  Several times, by not being able to marry as he
wished; and once, when he was too successful in this design.  The latter
misfortune he regarded as being more serious than all the others.

Physically, as well as morally and intellectually, my gold-digging
companion, John Darby was a singular creature.  He did not weigh more
than ten stone--though he was six feet one inch high standing in his
shoes.

He had a small round head, from which hung long bay-coloured tresses of
hair; and these he every day submitted to a careful dressing _a la
Nazarene_.

Another member of our interesting "firm," who went by the name of
"George," was simply an educated idiot.

In the opinion of many persons the man who has received a book
education--whatever his natural abilities--must be a highly intelligent
person.  For my part, I think different; and I have adopted my belief,
from an extensive experience of mankind.

It has been my misfortune to meet with many men of the class called
"educated," who knew absolutely nothing that was worth the knowing; and
George was one of these.  He had received college instruction, yet no
one could spend five minutes in his company without thinking of the
phrase "ignorant idiot."

Like most people of his class, his folly was made amusingly conspicuous,
by his assumption of an intellectual superiority over the rest of his
companions.

Like most people, too, he had his vexations, the greatest being that his
superiority was not always acknowledged.  On the contrary, he was often
chagrined by the discovery: that the light of his genius--like that of
the lamp that burned in Tullia's grave--could not be seen of men.  His
eccentricities were at times amusing.  Perhaps he had not been created
in vain, though it was difficult to determine what had been the design
of bestowing existence upon such a man--unless to warn others against
the absurdities, by which he daily distinguished himself.  He was a
living lesson in the sixth volume of the great work of Nature; and none
could study him, without subjecting themselves to a severe
self-examination.  Useless as I may have supposed the existence of this
man to be, I must acknowledge myself indebted to him for many valuable
lessons.  My observation of his follies had the effect of awakening
within me certain trains of thought, that removed from my own mind many
strong prejudices hitherto possessing it.  In this sense, I might say,
that, he had not been created in vain, though his intended mission could
not have been that of delving for gold on the fields of Ballarat.

Another of our firm had been an apothecary's assistant in London; and
had but recently made his _debut_ on the diggings.  He could not think
of anything else, nor talk on any other subject, than the "shop," and
what it contained; and I could not help fancying myself close to a
chemical laboratory, whenever this individual came near me.

The other two partners of the concern used to make their appearance on
the claim, about ten o'clock in the morning; and generally in a state of
semi-intoxication.

These two men kept my mind in a constant state of trepidation--that is,
when they were at work with me.  I could never feel safe, in the shaft
below, when I knew that either of the two was at the windlass.

Any man, in the least degree affected by drink, is a dangerous associate
in the working of a gold mine--especially when entrusted with the charge
of the windlass.  He may not see when a bucket wants landing; or, when
trying to lower it, he may hang the handle over the wrong hook--an
almost certain consequence of which will be the crushing in of the skull
of whoever may have the misfortune to be below!

No wonder that I felt some apprehension, while toiling in the
companionship of my intoxicated partners.

Volume Two, Chapter XXXII.

A SUDDEN DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP.

So much did my apprehensions prey upon me, that I had some idea of
selling out my share and forsaking the partnership; but I had not been
very long in the concern, before becoming convinced that we were sinking
a shaft into one of the richest claims upon the line.

It was alike evident to me, that a great deal of hard labour would have
to be performed, before the gold could be got out of it; and that my
associates were the wrong men for this sort of thing.

Fortunately at this crisis a man of a different character purchased one
of the two shares, that had remained unsold.  Fearing that the other
share might fall into the hands of some trifler like the rest of my
original partners, I purchased it myself; and then underlet it to a
young fellow, with whom I had formed an acquaintance.  This young man
had been hitherto unsuccessful at gold-digging.  His name was John
Oakes; and I had learnt from him that, he was by profession a sailor,
yet--unlike the majority of sailors met with on the gold fields--he was
a man of temperate habits; and seemed determined to save money, if he
could only get hold of it.

Up to this time he had not found an opportunity of acting upon his good
resolves: for every claim, in which he had taken a share, had turned out
a failure.

Before telling Oakes of my intentions towards him, I simply informed
him, that I had purchased the eighth share in our claim, and offered to
underlet it to him.

"There's nothing I'd have liked better," said he, "than to get into a
claim along with you.  You are always lucky; and I should have been sure
of getting something at last; but unfortunately I haven't the money to
pay what you have advanced."

"Never mind that," rejoined I.  "The claim is pretty safe to be on the
lead; and you can pay me, when you have obtained your gold out of it."

"Then I accept your offer," said Oakes, apparently much gratified.  "I
need not tell you, how kind I think it of you to make it.  I feel sure
it will bring me a change of luck.  I've never had but one decent claim,
since I've been on the diggings; and the gold I got out of that was
stolen from me.  Rather, should I say, I was robbed of it.  Did I ever
tell you how that happened?"

"No--not that I remember."

"Well, then, let me tell you now.  There were three of us in
partnership, in a good claim on Eagle-Hawk Gully, Bendigo.  We got out
of it about forty-eight pounds of pure gold.  During the time we were at
work, we used to take the gold--as quick as we cleaned it out--to the
Escort Office; and leave it there on deposit, until we should finish the
job.

"When we had worked out the claim, we all went together to the office,
and drew out the deposit.

"My two mates lived in a tent by themselves; and they proposed that we
should go there--for the purpose of dividing our `spoil.'

"On the way, we stopped at a tavern--with the owner of which they were
acquainted, where they borrowed some gold weights and scales.  They also
purchased a bottle of brandy--to assist us, as they said, in the
pleasant task that we had to perform.

"We then continued on to their tent.  After going inside, we closed the
door--so that no one should interrupt us, or see what we were about.

"Before proceeding to business, each of my mates drank a `taut' of the
brandy; and, although I did not care for it, to keep from quarrelling
with them, I took a thimbleful myself.  Immediately after swallowing
that brandy--although, as I have said, there was only a thimbleful of
it, I became insensible; and knew nothing of what passed afterwards.  I
did not recover my senses, until the next morning, when I found my two
mates gone, and nothing in the tent except myself!  They had taken the
whole of the gold--including my share--along with them; and I have never
set eyes upon either of them since.

"That lesson has cured me for ever of any propensity for strong drink,
besides making me very particular as to the men I work with.  What sort
of fellows are they in the claim with you?"

"That is a subject on which I was just going to speak to you," said I.
"They are not of the right sort for the work we have to do: one of them
is an old woman, another a young one, and a third is worse than either.
Two others are drunkards.  There is only one--and he lately entered with
us--who can be depended on for doing any work."

"It's unfortunate," said Oakes; "but I mustn't lose the chance of a good
claim, for all that.  I've no other prospect of getting one.  I'll come
over in the morning; and go to work with you.  Perhaps, when the shaft
is sunk, and we get a sight of the gold, there may be a reformation
amongst your mates."

Next morning, at seven o'clock, Oakes made his appearance upon the
claim.  George and the apothecary came up a little later; and were soon
followed by Mr John Darby.

When Oakes and Darby met, they recognised each other as old
acquaintances.

"Is it possible, Darby, that I find _you_ still in the colony?" asked
Oakes.  "I thought that you had long ago started for England."

"No; I did not intend going home," replied Darby, evidently not too well
pleased at encountering his old acquaintance.  "I only went to Melbourne
for a few days--to recruit my health, which was never very good at
Bendigo.  After getting all right again, I came out here."

Darby continued talking as if against time; and, as we were looking out
with some impatience for the two drunkards, we allowed him to go on
without interruption.

I had requested all the members of the "firm" to be early upon the
ground on that particular morning.  A full company had now been made up;
and I wanted to come to some understanding with my partners--about a
more energetic "exploration" of the claim.

The two "swipers," as they were called, soon after made their
appearance; and, as they drew near, I could perceive that another
recognition had taken place.

On seeing the new partner, both turned sharp round; and then started
off, at a brisk pace, in the opposite direction!

For a moment Oakes appeared surprised--as if uncertain what to make of
it.  All at once, however, his comprehension became clearer; and,
calling to me to follow him, he set off in pursuit of the fugitives.

The two had diverged from each other in their flight; and, as they had
already got a good start of us, both were successful in making their
escape.  When Oakes and I came together again, he informed me, that the
men were his old mates, who had robbed him on the Bendigo diggings!

We repaired to the police encampment; and, after procuring a force,
proceeded to the tent of the runaways.

As a matter of course, we found that the birds had flown; and could not
be discovered anywhere upon the diggings.

We were no more troubled with them, as "sleeping partners" in the claim.

Volume Two, Chapter XXXIII.

A FRIGHTFUL NUGGET.

When Oakes and I got back from our search after the thieves, we
discovered that still another defection had taken place in the firm.
During the interval of our absence, Mr John Darby had sold his share,
to a person, who had the appearance of having work in him, after which
that talkative gentleman had quietly slipped away from the spot.

I had noticed that he had not seemed highly delighted with the idea of
my friend Oakes coming into the company; and I presumed that this was
the cause of his sudden desertion of us.

On making my conjecture known to Oakes, I received from him the
following explanation:

"I knew Darby," said Oakes, "when he first arrived in the colonies.  He
had come over here, as many others do, under the belief that hard work
was degrading to a gentleman, such as he loudly proclaimed himself to
be.  Suffering under this affliction, he would not condescend to become
a miner, but obtained a situation in the government camp at Bendigo.

"One day I had the misfortune to pass an hour in his company--during
which he seemed struck with a fit of temporary sensibility, and declared
his intention to take to gold-digging.

"Toiling to get gold," said he, "is manual labour, I admit; still it is
not degrading to a man of fine sensibilities.  I'm told that there are
men of all the learned professions engaged in mining; and that a
celebrated author is now a gold-digger at the Ovens.  Gold-diggers have
no masters; and I have even heard, that they affect to despise us
government people at the camp."

I afterwards ascertained that Mr Darby had been dismissed from the
government employment, just before making these remarks; and to this
cause, no doubt, might be assigned the change, that had taken place in
his views regarding "labour."

Not long after that interview with him, he made his appearance near
where I was working, in the Bendigo diggings.  He had some mining tools
with him--such as gold-diggers sometimes buy for the amusement of their
children.  He appeared as if he intended to pick up a fortune, without
soiling his hands with the dirt, since both of them were gloved!

Paying no heed to some derisive cries that greeted him as he came upon
the ground, he strutted on, looking out for a claim.

The place, he at length selected for his debut in gold-digging, was
chosen with some apparent judgment.

Seeing two old shafts, about ten yards apart, that had the appearance of
having been well worked, he supposed the ground between them must also
be worth working; and just half-way between the two he commenced sinking
another.

The soil of the place was shallow--not over eight feet in depth--and
Darby, inspired by high hopes, toiled industriously for the greater part
of a day.  At the end of each hour it could be seen that his head had
descended nearer to the level of the earth; and, before leaving off in
the evening, he had got waist deep into the dirt.

Next morning he was again at work, at a very early hour.

"I sha'n't be surprised," said he to one of his neighbours who was
passing, "if I should find a jeweller's shop here.  If it turns out
well, I shall be on my way home to-morrow.  As good luck would have it,
the Great Britain sails for England next week."

"I shall not be surprised at your good luck," replied the miner, with a
significant smile; "at least, not any more than you'll be astonished at
finding no gold in that hole."

"I won't be at all astonished," retorted Darby; "astonishment is a
vulgar feeling, that I'm not in the habit of indulging in.  So far as
that goes, it would make little difference to me, whether I found no
gold at all--a nugget the size of myself--or the devil."

Darby continued toiling for nearly an hour longer.  At the end of this
time, he was seen suddenly to spring up out of the hole; and run with
all the speed, his tottering limbs could command, in the direction of
his tent--falling down, once or twice, on the way!

Some of the diggers had the curiosity to go, and look down the hole he
had made--in the hope of discovering the cause of his so suddenly
forsaking it.  To their surprise they saw a human corpse!  It was partly
uncovered.  The face, with its half decayed features, had been exposed
to view by the spade of Mr Darby, who had been all the time engaged in
re-opening an old tunnel excavated by their former owners between the
two worked-out claims.

Some man had been murdered; and his body concealed in the tunnel.  Of
course the miner who had "chaffed" Darby in passing knew nothing of
this.  He only knew that a tunnel was there; and that Darby would get no
gold out of the shaft he was sinking; but the man was as much astonished
as any of us, on seeing the horrible "nugget" that had rewarded the
labours of the "gentleman gold-digger."

We heard that afternoon that Darby--immediately after receiving payment
for his share in our claim--had started off to Melbourne, with the
intention of returning to England.  He had still retained enough pride
of character, or vanity, or whatever it might be called, to dread the
ridicule, that he knew must await him, should Oakes tell us the story of
that Bendigo nugget.

His defection was a fortunate circumstance for us: as it led to our
procuring, in his place, a partner capable of performing a full share of
the toil we had before us.

On that day Fortune appeared determined to favour us.  Before night we
had disposed of the two shares, abandoned by the "swipers," to a couple
of first-class miners.

Next morning we all went to work with a will.  Even George and the
apothecary--stimulated by the example of the others--did their best to
imitate it.

This, however, was on their part only a spasmodic effort.  Before many
days had elapsed, the toil proved too great for their powers of
endurance; and each entered into an agreement with a "working partner,"
who was to have one-half of their gold in return for the labour of
getting it out for them.

After this arrangement had been made, we could count on a proper working
company; and our progress in the _exploitation_ of the mine was,
thenceforth, both regular and rapid.

We had not been long engaged upon the claim, when we discovered that it
_was_ "on the line," and our toil was lightened by the golden prospects
thus predicated.

I was struck with the interest which Oakes appeared to feel in the
result.  He would scarce take time, either for eating or sleeping, and,
I believe, he would have continued to toil twenty-two hours, out of the
twenty-four, had we allowed him!

When the claim was at length worked out, and the gold divided, Oakes
came to me, and paid back the fifty pounds I had advanced towards the
purchase of his share.

"You have made my fortune," said he, "and I am going home with it
to-morrow.  It is not a large one; but it is all I require.  I must now
tell you what I intend to do with the money--as I believe that will be
some reward to you, for your generosity in taking me into the claim.  I
have a father, who has been in prison for seven years for debt; and all
for the paltry sum of a hundred and sixty pounds!  Six years ago, I left
home, and turned sailor, only that I might get my passage to some
foreign land--where I might make the money to pay this debt, and take my
father out of prison.  I knew I could never raise it in England--where
some of our governing people tell us we are so prosperous, and
contented!  One hundred and sixty pounds was a large sum, for a young
fellow like me to get together.  I knew I could never make it up, by
following the sea; and I had begun to despair of ever doing so, until I
got aboard of a ship in Cape Town bound for Melbourne.  Of course I
joined the ship, with the intention of escaping from her, when we should
reach Melbourne.  I need hardly tell you, that I succeeded.  One night,
as we were lying anchored in Hobson's Bay, off Williamston, I slipped
into the water; and, by swimming more than a mile, I reached the shore.
Soon after, I found my way to the Bendigo diggings.

"While working out that claim on Eagle-Hawk Gully--of which I have told
you--I was the happiest man on earth: but, when I discovered that my
mates had absconded with my gold, I was driven nearly distracted.  It
was a cruel disappointment to a man, anxious to liberate an honest
father from prison, as well as extricate a mother and two sisters from a
situation of extreme misery.

"Since then I have had no good luck--until you got me into this claim we
have just completed.  Thank God, I've got the money at last; and may He
only grant that I shall live to reach old England with it, in time to
relieve my suffering relatives.  That is all I care for in this world;
and if I can accomplish it, I shall be willing to die."

At my request Oakes promised to write to me from Melbourne; and let me
know in what ship he would sail.

This promise was kept, for, the week after, I received a letter from
him, informing me--that he had embarked in the ship "Kent," bound for
London.

I could not help offering up a silent prayer, that favouring winds would
safely waft him to his native shore; and that his long-cherished hopes
might meet with a happy realisation.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

END OF VOLUME TWO.

Volume Three, Chapter I.

AN ADVENTURE WITH A "BLACK FELLOW."

Shortly after the departure of Oakes, I went to a little rush, on Slaty
Creek, on the Creswick's Creek Gold-fields, about thirteen miles from
Ballarat.

I was accompanied by two others, with whom I had lately been working.
Soon after arriving at the rush, we took possession of a claim; and
proceeded to "prospect" it.

After sinking a small hole on the claim, and washing some of the earth
from the bottom of it, we found a little gold--not what we thought
"payable," and yet the "prospect" was so good that we did not like to
forsake the claim.  In hopes that it might contain richer "dirt" than
what we had found, we determined to stay by it a while longer.

To sink our shaft to any advantage, we needed a crowbar.  There were
some very large stones in the ground that could not be moved without
one.  A crowbar was an article we did not possess; and as we could not
find one at the two or three stores established on Slaty Creek, I walked
over, one evening, to Creswick Creek--a distance of some three or four
miles--intending to purchase one there.

By the time I reached the township, made my purchase, and started
towards home, it had got to be ten o'clock.  About half a mile from
Creswick, on the road homeward, I had to pass a camp of native blacks.

These people, in morality and social habits, are upon a scale, perhaps,
as low, as humanity can reach.  The sole object of their existence is,
to obtain strong drink.  For that, they will sometimes work at gathering
bark and poles; or they will look about for stray specks of gold--in
places where the miners have been working, and which have been
abandoned.

Any one, who understands the strength of their aversion to labour, may
form some idea of the desire these blacks have for drink: when it is
known that they will sometimes do the one for the sake of getting the
other!

An Australian native black, after becoming degraded by intercourse with
the whites, will sell his mother, sister, or wife, for brandy!

The party, whose camp I was compelled to pass, had evidently met with
some success, in their various ways of obtaining brandy during that day,
for from the noise they were making, I judged that all, or nearly all of
them, must be in a state of intoxication.

Not wishing to be annoyed, by their begging for tobacco--which I knew
they would be certain to do, should they see me--I resolved to keep out
of their way.  Instead of following the direct path--which led on
through the place where they had erected their "_mia-mias_" or huts--I
made a detour of their encampment.  After passing well round it, I
turned once more towards the road to Slaty Creek, which, after a time, I
succeeded in regaining.

I had scarce got well upon the track, when I was confronted by a big
"black fellow," apparently beside himself with drink.

As a general rule, the native blacks, seen roaming about the
_gold-fields_ of Victoria, are seldom guilty of malignant violence
towards the whites; but the man, whom it was now my misfortune to meet,
proved an exception to this rule: for the reason, no doubt, that he was
maddened with alcohol.

As he approached me, I saw that he was brandishing a "waddy waddy," or
club.  I strove to avoid him; but found, that although mad with drink,
he was active upon his limbs, and able to hinder me from making a
retreat.  Had I attempted to run away, I should have been brought to a
stop--by a blow from his "waddy waddy."

I saw that my best chance of safety would be in standing firm, and
defending myself.

The fellow made two desperate lounges at me with his club, which, with
some difficulty, I managed to dodge--and all the while that he was
delivering his murderous assault, he kept shouting to me, in his native
gibberish--apparently making some important communication, but the
nature of which I had not the slightest idea.

Just as I was beginning to consider the affair serious, and was
preparing to act on the offensive, the black made a third blow with his
waddy waddy.  This I was unable, altogether, to avoid; and the club
struck heavily against one of my legs.

Irritated by the pain produced, I could no longer control my temper;
and, grasping the crowbar with both hands, I aimed a blow at the black
fellow's head.

I did not strike with the intention of killing the man.  I only knew
that my life was in danger; and that I was suffering great pain from the
wound I had received.  This, however, had irritated me beyond the power
of controlling myself; and, no doubt, my whole strength was given to the
stroke.

The crowbar descended upon the black fellow's naked crown; and never
shall I forget the horrible sound made by the crashing in of his skull.
It was not only horrible, but sickening; and for a moment, completely
unmanned me.  It was not the mere thought, that I had broken a man's
head, that unmanned me, for I had both witnessed, and taken part, in
many a sanguinary scene before that--without feeling any such remorseful
emotion.  It was the horrid sound--caused by the crashing in of his
skull--that not only overcame me, but, for a time, rendered me faint,
sick, and disgusted with the world, and all it contained.

That sound echoed in my ears for hours afterwards; and, ever since that
time, I have carefully avoided being near any place where a "free fight"
was about to take place--lest it might be my misfortune to hear a
similar sound.

The day after, it was reported, that the blacks were entertaining
themselves with a funeral.  I did not learn the particulars of the
ceremony; but, presume it was similar to a funeral I had witnessed among
a tribe of the same people on Fryer's Creek, in July, 1853.  One of
their number had been killed, by another of the tribe; and, on the next
day, I was present at the performance of their funeral rites, over the
remains of the murdered man.

A grave was dug, about five feet deep--into which the body was lowered,
and a sheet of bark laid over it.  The earth was then filled in; and
while this was being done, by one man, two others stood inside the
grave, stamping upon the dirt, and treading it down, as firm as they
could make it!

What could have been their object in thus _packing_ the dead body, I
never understood, unless it was done, under the impression, that the
corpse might come to life again, without this precaution being taken to
keep it under ground!

Volume Three, Chapter II.

FARRELL AND HIS WIFE, ONCE MORE.

Three weeks "prospecting," at Slaty Creek, convinced me that it was not
the place for a gold-digger to make his fortune, without the severest
labour; and for this reason, I left it--returning to Ballarat.

On arriving at the latter place, I went to see my old Californian
acquaintance, Farrell.  The instant I set eyes on him, and he on me, his
features plainly proclaimed that he had something to tell me, which he
deemed very amusing.

"Farrell," said I, "you are working a rich claim; I see fortune written
on your face."

"Nothing of the kind," he answered; "I have just finished a tolerable
spell of digging, it is true; and shall start for home to-morrow.  But
it ain't that; I have better news still."

"Better news?  What can it be!"

"I've seen Foster, and my wife.  Ha! ha! they've been living in sight of
my tent for the last four months; and I never knew they were there until
two days ago!"

"Then you have seen Foster?"

"Certainly, I have!"

"What did you do to him?"

"Nothing.  Fate is giving me all the revenge I want; and I would not
interfere with her designs--not for the world.  In saying that Foster is
the most miserable object I've seen for many years.  I speak only the
truth.  He has a rheumatic fever, and hasn't been able to stir out of
his tent for six weeks.  He will probably never go out of it again--that
is, alive.  Now, I call that fun; isn't it?"

"Not much for Foster, I should think.  But how came you to find them?"

"I was in my tent, one morning, when I heard a woman talking to my
partner, who happened to be outside just by the door.  The woman was
wanting to get some washing to do.  She said, that her husband had been
a long time ill; and that they hadn't a shilling to live upon.  I
thought her voice sounded familiar to me; and, taking a peep out of the
tent, I saw at once it was my runaway wife!  I waited till she walked
away; and then, slipping out, I followed her to her own tent.  She went
inside, without seeing me; and then I stepped in after her, and stood
quietly surveying the guilty pair.

"My wife went off into a fit of `highstrikes,' while Foster lay
trembling, like a craven, expecting every moment to be killed.  `Don't
be frightened,' said I, `I haven't the slightest intention to put you
out of your misery.  I like revenge too well for that.  You have some
more trouble to see yet, I hope; and I'm not going to do anything that
might hinder you from seeing it.

"I waited till my wife became sufficiently composed to comprehend what
was going on; and then, after thanking her for the kindness she had done
me--by relieving me of all further trouble with her--I bid them `good
day,' and walked off, leaving them to reflect upon the interview.

"To-day, I have just been to visit them again; and the want and misery,
they appear to be suffering, gave me no little pleasure.  They looked as
though they had not had a morsel to eat for a week; and I could not see
a scrap--of either bread or meat--in their tent.

"I told them, not to give themselves any further uneasiness, on my
account, for I wasn't going to molest them any more.  `I've made a
little fortune here,' said I, `and intend starting for New York State
to-morrow.  Have you any message to send to your friends?'  I asked of
Foster.  The poor devil could not, or would not, make me a reply.  `Have
_you_, Mary,' said I, turning to my wife.  She could only answer with
sobs.  `It is a miserable, wretched life, at the best, on these
diggings,' I remarked.  I am going to leave it, and once more seek
happiness in my native land.  Excuse me, Mr Foster, and you, Mrs F.,
for not helping you in your distress.  I know that there is an All-wise
Creator, who will reward both of you, as your conduct deserves; and it
would be presumptuous in me to take any of the work out of his hands.  I
leave you here, with full confidence in the belief, that divine justice
will be impartially administered to all.

"Now that was what I call good talking,--what do you say?"

"Very good, indeed," I answered.  "But are you really going to leave
them in that manner?"

"Certainly, I am.  I never intend to see either of them again.  When I
was coming away from their tent, my wife followed me out, went down on
her knees, and piteously entreated me to aid her, in returning to her
parents.  She declared, that she never knew my worth, until she had
foolishly lost me; and that she now loved me more than ever she had
done--my little finger, more than Foster's whole body--which it would
not have been difficult to make me believe.  She said, she would not ask
me to let her live with me again; but, that if I would give her money to
return home, she would pass the remainder of her days in praying for me.

"No, Mary," said I, "do not think so unjustly of me, as to suppose I
could do that.  I love you too well, to stand in the way of your
receiving the reward you have deserved; and, besides, you should not
desert Forter, whom you have followed so far--now that the poor fellow
is in affliction.  My affection for you is too sincere, to think of
allowing you to commit so great a wrong?

"Having delivered this exordium, I turned and left her.  Now that is
what I call revenge.  What's your opinion?"

"What is revenge to one man, may not be to another," was my answer.  "If
it pleases you to act so, of course, I have nothing to say against it."

"And what would _you_ do?"

"I should give the woman some money, enough to enable her to return to
her parents.  As for the man, I should leave him to his fate."

"Then you would act very foolishly,--as I would, if I followed your
advice.  The woman having got home, would be there to annoy me.  I wish
to go back to my native place; and be happy there for the rest of my
days.  How could that be--living along side a wife who had so disgraced
me?"

I could say nothing more to dissuade Farrell from his purpose; and we
parted company--he shortly after starting for Melbourne, to take passage
for New York.

The after-fate of his faithless wife, and her wretched paramour, some
other must record: for, from that hour, I never heard of either of them
again.

Volume Three, Chapter III.

THE RUSH TO AVOCA.

After passing four or five days in looking about the Canadian, Eureka,
and Gravel-pits, "leads" on the Ballarat Gold-fields, and finding no
favourable opportunity of getting into a good claim, I determined to
proceed to Avoca river, for which place a big "rush" was just starting--
that, by all accounts, would turn out a success.

The day after I had formed this resolution, I saw a man with a horse and
dray, just departing for Avoca.

The man was willing to take a light load of diggers' "swags;" and,
rolling up my tent and blankets, I put them upon his dray.

The drayman did not succeed in getting all the freight he required: for
there was but one other digger besides myself, who furnished him with
anything to carry.  As he, and a partner he had, were anxious to reach
the new gold-field as soon as possible, they determined to start,
without waiting to make up a load.

All being ready, we set out at once for the "sweet vale of Avoca."

The drayman's partner was a man known in the diggings, by the name of
"Bat."  I had often seen "Bat," and was acquainted with two or three
other diggers, who knew him well.  He was famed at Ballarat, for having
the largest mind of any man in the place; but it was also generally
known, that in his mind, the proportion of selfishness, to all other
feelings and faculties, was ninety-nine to one.

The reason why Bat's soul was thought to be so large was, that,
otherwise it could not have contained the amount of disgusting
selfishness, which it daily exhibited.

He was only miserly about spending money, that might result to the
benefit, or injury, of any one but himself.  In the gratification of his
own desires, he was a thorough spendthrift.

I had heard one of the miners tell a story, illustrative of Bat's
disposition.  For amusement, the miner had made an experiment, to see,
to what extent, selfishness would, as he expressed it, "carry Bat on the
way to hell."

He enticed this large-souled individual, to go with him on a "spree;"
upon which, he treated him five times in succession.

Bat had by this time imbibed a strong desire for more drink; and after
waiting for some time for his companion to treat him again, he slipped
to one side, and took a drink alone--without asking the other to join
him.

After this, the miner treated him twice more; and not long after, Bat
again drank alone, at his own expense!

By this time both of them had become pretty well intoxicated; and the
spree came to a termination, by Bat's receiving a terrible thrashing
from the _convive_, who had been vainly tempting him to spend his money.

Bat's mate, the drayman, knew but little about him--only having joined
him as a partner the evening before we started for the Avoca.

On the first day of our journey, late in the afternoon, we arrived at a
roadside grog-shop; and all went in for something to drink.  Inside the
house, were three ill-looking men, who had the appearance of having once
_lived in Van Dieman's Land_.  The shop was a very colonial affair; and,
after drinking some poison, called rum, we all came out--leaving Bat
weighing some gold, which he had taken out of a leather bag, in presence
of all the company.  It was to pay for a bottle of brandy, which, as we
were going to camp out for the night, he had purchased--for the purpose
of making himself comfortable.

Darkness overtook us about a mile or so beyond the grog-shop; and water
being near the place, we resolved to stay by it for the night.

Bat came up, just after we had kindled our fire; and drank some tea
along with us.  He had brought with him two bottles of brandy, instead
of one, the second being for his mate, the drayman, who had commissioned
him to buy it for him.  Seeing these two bottles of brandy in the camp,
I did not care about staying on the spot.  I believed that the drayman,
Bat, and the other digger who accompanied them, would get drunk; and I
did not fancy to remain in their company.

I took up my blankets; and, going about two hundred yards off from the
camp--to a grove of bushes--I rolled myself in my cover, and slept
soundly till the morning.

At sunrise I awoke; and went back to rejoin my travelling companions.

On drawing near the encampment, I saw that something was wrong; and I
hastened forward.  Bat was not there, but the drayman was, and also the
digger.  Both were tied with their hands behind their backs, and,
furthermore, fastened to the wheels of the dray.  I saw that both of
them were gagged!

I lost no time in releasing them from their unpleasant imprisonment; and
as soon as I had ungagged them, they told me what had happened.  About
the middle of the night, four men had come up, armed with revolvers,
which they had held to the heads of the drayman and digger, while they
tied and gagged them.  The two were then robbed of all their money,
after which, the bush-rangers went their way--taking along with them the
drayman's horse.

"But where is Bat?"  I asked.

"We don't know," was the reply.  "He went away soon after you did."

Circumstances looked suspicious against Bat; but only to me: for the
others understood all that had happened.  Bat had determined to keep his
bottle of brandy to himself.  By remaining with the others, he could not
well drink it all without asking them to have a share, as he had already
been treated by his partner.  To avoid doing so he had stolen away to
the bush, where he could drink his liquor alone.

"The men who robbed us," said the disconsolate drayman, "could be no
others than them we saw in the grog-shop; and it was my mate Bat who
drew them on to us: for they seemed greatly disappointed, and swore
fearfully at not finding him.  He flashed his gold-dust before them
yesterday; and, of course they came after us to get it.  I wish they had
got every ounce of it.  He deserved to be robbed for tempting them."

"Have you lost much?"  I asked, of the drayman.

"No," answered he.  "Luckily, I had not much to lose--only seventeen
pounds.  But I care more about my old horse, for I've owned him over
three years."

The digger had lost twelve pounds in cash, and a gold nugget of seven
ounces weight.

While both were lamenting their mishap, Bat made his appearance from the
bush; and began finding fault with his mate, for not having breakfast
ready, and the horse harnessed for a start.  The effects of the bottle
of brandy had only increased the disagreeable peculiarities of Bat's
character; and given him a good appetite.

He was now told what had happened, which made him a little more amiable.
But his amiableness could be traced to the fact of his being conceited
of the swinish selfishness of which he had been guilty.  He seemed
highly delighted to think he had had the good fortune to escape the
mischance that had befallen his companions; and, instead of sympathising
with them, he actually boasted of his luck, putting it forward as a
proof of his possessing more than ordinary sagacity.

"Will you have a little brandy?" asked his mate, in a tone of voice that
told me the offer was not made in a friendly spirit.  "There's a drop
left in my bottle, which, luckily, the bush-rangers did not get hold
of."

"Of course I will," answered Bat.  "Brandy is a thing I never refuse,
especially when on the road, and after camping out all night.  Let's
have it."

The drayman produced his bottle, along with his tin pannikin.  The
former was about half full, and its contents were poured into the cup.

When Bat reached forth his hand to take hold of the vessel, the brandy
was thrown into his face; and the next instant he himself fell heavily
to the earth--from the effects of a blow administered by the clenched
fist of the drayman!

Bat rose to his feet, and tried to show fight; but no efforts he could
make, either offensive or defensive, hindered him from getting his
deserts.  It was the first time I had ever been pleased at the sight of
one man punishing another.

After getting a thorough thrashing from his irate partner, Bat took up
his blankets, and then started back along the road towards Ballarat--
having, for some reason or other, changed his mind about going to Avoca.

I paid the drayman what I had agreed to give him for taking my "swag;"
and, accompanied by the digger, who had been robbed along with him, I
continued my journey afoot--each of us carrying his own blankets and
tent.  We left the poor drayman alone with his dray, in what the Yankees
call a "fix," for he dare not leave the vehicle, and the goods it
contained, to go in search of a horse, and without one it would be
impossible for him to transport his property from the place.

I would have stopped along with him for a day or two, and lent him some
assistance, had it not been, that he was one of those unfortunate
creatures so often met in the Australian colonies, who seldom speak
without using some of the filthy language imported there from the slums
of London.  For this reason I left him to get out of his difficulty the
best way he could; and, for all I know to the contrary, he is still
keeping guard over his dray, and the miscellaneous lading it contained.

Volume Three, Chapter IV.

THE "SWEET VALE OF AVOCA."

We arrived near the Avoca diggings late in the afternoon.  Seeing a good
spot for pitching a tent, my companion stopped, and proposed that we
should go no further: as that place was exactly suited to his mind.

"All right," said I.  "If it suits you--you had better stay there."

While the digger was disencumbering himself of his load, I walked on.  I
did so, because my travelling companion was a man whose acquaintance I
did not care to cultivate any further.  I did not take the trouble to
satisfy myself of any reason for leaving him in this unceremonious
manner.  I only knew that I did not like his society; and, therefore,
did not desire to pitch my tent near him--lest I might have more of it.

My principle objection to remaining with the man was this.  I had formed
an idea, that nothing was to be gained from him--neither knowledge,
amusement, friendship, money, nor anything else--unless, perhaps, it
might have been, a worse opinion of mankind; and this of itself, was
just ground for my giving him the good-bye.

After going a little farther on, I pitched my tent in a place I made
choice for myself.

Next morning I walked forth, to have a look at the new gold-field.

There are not many spectacles more interesting to the miner, than that
termed a "rush" to a gold-field newly discovered, and reported to be
"rich."

The scene is one of the greatest excitement.  On the ground to which the
"rush" is directed, all the vices and amusements to be met with in large
cities, soon make their appearance.  Where, perhaps, a month before, not
a human being could have been seen, taverns, with magnificent interior
decorations, billiard-rooms, bowling-alleys, rifle-galleries, theatres,
and dancing-saloons, will be erected; in short, a city, where, but a few
weeks ago, there was nothing but the "howling" wilderness!

On my arrival at the Avoca diggings, I marked out a "claim," and for
several days my occupation was that of "shepherding" it.

To "shepherd a claim," is to keep possession of, and merely retain it--
until, by the working of other claims near, a tolerably correct opinion
may be formed: as to whether yours will be worth digging or not.

The system of shepherding claims, is only practised where the gold lies
some distance below the surface; and where the claim can only be
prospected at the expense of some money and trouble.

The claim I had marked out, was a large one--larger in extent than one
person was entitled to hold.  For this reason, on the third day, after I
had taken possession of it, another man bespoke a share in it along with
me.

I did not like the look of this man; and would have objected to working
with him; but he would not consent to divide the ground; and the only
way I could get clear of him was, to yield up the claim altogether.
This I did not wish to do: for it stood, or rather "lay," in a good
position for being "on the lead."

I have said that I did not like the look of the intruder.  This dislike
to him arose, from the circumstance of his having a strong "Vandemonian
expression" of countenance; and I had a great prejudice against those
who, in the colonies, are called "old lags."

We "shepherded" the claim together for a few days, when the prospect of
its being on the lead, became so fair, that we at length commenced
sinking a shaft.

The more I saw of my companion, while we were toiling together, the
weaker grew my aversion to him; until, at length, I began to entertain
for him a certain feeling of respect.  This increased, as we became
better acquainted.

I learnt that he was not from Tasmania, but from New South Wales; and my
prejudice against the "Sydneyites" was even stronger (having been formed
in California,) than against the "old hands" from Van Dieman's Land.

The "Vandemonians," generally speaking, have some good traits about
them, that are seldom met amongst those from the "Sydney side."  The
convicts from the former place, have more generosity in their
wickedness, less disposition to turn approvers on their companions in
crime, while at the same time, they display more manliness and daring in
their misdeeds, than do the "Sydney birds."

One would think, there could not be much difference between the
criminals of the two colonies: since both originally come from the same
school; but the characteristics distinguishing classes of
_transportees_, change with the circumstances into which they may be
thrown.

My new partner proved to be like few of the "downey coves" I had
encountered in the diggings: for I found in him, a man possessing many
good principles, from which he could not be easily tempted to depart.

He did not deny having been a convict, though, on the other hand--unlike
most of his class--he never boasted of it.

"Drinks all round," can usually be won from an old convict in the
following manner:--

Offer to lay a wager, that you can tell for what crime he had been
transported; and as his own word is generally the only evidence to be
obtained for deciding the wager, ten to one it will be accepted.  Tell
him then: that he was "lagged for poaching," and he will immediately
acknowledge that he has lost, and cheerfully pay for the "drinks all
round."

This game could not have been played with the subject of my sketch:
since he freely acknowledged the crime for which he had been
transported: it was for killing a policeman.

One evening, as we sate in our tent, he related to me the story of his
life; but, before giving it to my readers, I must treat them to a little
explanation.

This narrative is entitled the "Adventures of a Rolling Stone," and such
being its title, there may be a complaint of its inappropriateness:
because it also details the adventures of others.  But part of the
occupation of the hero, has been to observe what was going on around
him; and, therefore, a faithful account, not only of what he did, but
what he saw and heard--or in any way learnt--should be included in a
true narrative of his adventures.  Hearing a man relate the particulars
of his past life, was to the "Rolling Stone," an event in his own
history; and, therefore, has he recorded it.

The reality of what is here written may be doubted; and the question
will be asked:--how it was, that nearly every man who came in contact
with the "Rolling Stone," had a history to relate, and also related it?

The answer may be found in the following explanation:--

A majority of the men met with on the gold-fields of California and
Australia, are universally, or at least generally, unlike those they
have left behind them in the lands of their birth.  Most gold-diggers
are men of character, of some kind or other; and have, through their
follies or misfortunes, made for themselves a history.  There will
almost always be found some passage of interest in the story of their
lives--often in the event itself, which has forced them into exile, and
caused them to wander thousands of miles away from their homes and their
friends.

When it is further remembered: that the principle amusement of the most
respectable of the gold-diggers, is that of holding social converse in
their tents, or around their evening camp-fires, it will appear less
strange, that amongst so many "men of character" one should become
acquainted with not a few "romances of real life"--such as that of the
"Vandemonian" who became my associate in the "sweet vale of Avoca," and
which is here recorded, as one of many a "convict's story," of which I
have been the confidant.

Volume Three, Chapter V.

A CONVICT'S STORY.

"You have expressed a desire to hear the story of my life," said my
mining partner.  "I make you welcome to it.  There is not much of my
history that I should be ashamed to tell you of; but with that little I
shall not trouble you.  I have never done anything very bad,--that is, I
have never robbed anybody, nor stolen anything that I did not really
want.

"I am a native of Birmingham, in which town I resided until I was about
twenty years of age.

"My father was a confirmed drunkard; and the little money he used to
earn by working as a journeyman cutler, was pretty certain to be spent
in gin.

"The support of himself, and four young children fell upon my mother,
myself, and a brother--who was one year younger than I.  In all
Birmingham, there were not two boys more dutiful to their parents, more
kind to their younger brothers and sisters, more industrious, and less
selfish, than my brother and myself--at the time I am speaking of.

"Our hours were wholly occupied in doing all we could, to supply the
wants of my father's family.

"We sometimes attended an evening school.  There we learnt to read and
write; but even the time devoted to this, we would have considered as
squandered, if we could have been doing anything else--to benefit the
unfortunate family to which we belonged.

"One evening, after we had got to be grown up to manhood, my younger
brother and I were returning from our work, when we saw our father at
some distance off, in the middle of the street.  We saw that he was
intoxicated.  Three policemen were around him--two of them with hands
upon him.

"As usual with my father on such occasions, he was refractory; and the
policemen were handling him in a very rough manner.  One of them had
struck him on the head with his baton, and my father's face was covered
with blood.

"My brother and I ran up, and offered to take him quietly home--if the
policemen would allow us to do so; but as he had assaulted them, and
torn their clothes, they refused to let us have him, and insisted in
locking him up.  My brother and I, then offered to take him to the
lock-up ourselves; and, taking him by the hand, I entreated him to go
quietly along with us.

"The policeman rudely pushed me aside, again collared my father, and
commenced dragging him onward.  Once more we interfered--though this
time, only to entice our father to go with the policemen, without making
any resistance.

"At that moment, one of the constables shouted `a rescue;' and the
three, without further provocation, commenced an assault upon my brother
and myself.

"One of them seized me by the throat; and struck me several times on the
head with his baton.  We struggled awhile, and then both fell to the
ground.  I turned my head, while trying to get up again, and saw my
brother lying on the pavement, with his face covered all over with
blood.  The policeman, who had fallen with me, still retained his clutch
upon my throat; and again commenced beating me as soon as we had both
recovered our feet.  A loose stone, weighing about ten pounds, was lying
upon the pavement.  I seized hold of it, and struck my antagonist on the
forehead.  He fell like a bullock.  When I looked around, I saw that my
father--who was a very powerful man--had conquered the other two
policemen.  He seemed suddenly to have recovered from his intoxication;
and now helped me to carry the constable I had felled, to the nearest
public-house--where the man died a few hours after the affray.

"I was tried for manslaughter; and sentenced to ten years
transportation.

"Not until then, did evil thoughts ever make their home in my mind.

"Up till the time I was torn from my relatives--for whom I had a great
affection--and from the girl whom I fondly loved, I am willing to be
responsible to God and man, for every thought I had, or every act I did.
Ever since, having been deprived of liberty--dragged from all near and
dear--with every social tie broken--and robbed of everything for which I
cared to live--I do not think myself to blame for anything I may have
done.  I have been only a link in a chain of circumstances--a victim of
the transportation system of England, that transforms incipient crime
into hardened villainy.

"On arriving in New South Wales, I was placed in a gang with other
convicts; and put to the business of pushing a wheel-barrow.  We were
employed in removing a hill, from the place where nature had set it: for
no other reason, I believe, than for the purpose of keeping us from
being idle!  The labour was not severe; but the life was a very weary
one.  It was not the work that made it so to me.  I was used to work,
and did not dislike it, if there had been any sense in the task we had
to perform.  But I had no more idea of what my labour was for, than the
wheel-barrow with which I performed it; and therefore I could feel no
more interest in the work, than did the barrow itself.

"My toil was not sweetened with the reflection that it was in behalf of
those I loved.  On the contrary, I knew that the best years of my life
were being uselessly squandered, while my mother and her children were
perhaps suffering for food!

"I often asked myself the question: why I had been sent from home?  It
could not have been to reform me, and make me lead a better life, after
the expiration of the term for which I had been sentenced.  It could not
have been for that: for no youth could have been more innocent of all
evil intentions than I was, up to the time of my unfortunate affair with
the policeman.  All the philosophers of earth could not devise a scheme
better adapted to corrupt the morals of a young man--make him forget all
the good he had ever learnt--harden his soul against all the better
feelings of human nature--and transform him from a weak frail mortal,
with good intentions, into a very demon--than the transportation system
of England.

"From the age of twenty years, until that of thirty, I consider the most
valuable part of a man's existence; and as this whole period was taken
from me, I naturally regarded the future of my life, as scarce worth
possessing.  I became recklessly indifferent as to what my actions might
be; and from that time they were wholly guided by the circumstances of
the hour.

"Each month, I either heard, or saw, something calculated to conduct me
still further along the path of crime.  I do not say that all my
companions were bad men; but most of them were: since my daily
associates were thieves, and men guilty of crimes even worse than theft
I am willing to acknowledge--which is more than some of them would do--
that the fact of their being convicts was strong evidence of their being
wicked men.

"After having spent nearly a year, between the trams of the wheel-barrow
in the neighbourhood of Sydney, I was despatched with a gang to do some
labourer's work up the country.

"Most of the men in this gang, were wickeder than those, with whom I had
previously been associated.  This was perhaps owing to the fact that my
new companions had been longer abroad, and were of course better trained
to the transportation system.

"Some of them were suffering great agony through the want of tobacco and
strong drink, in both of which--being many of them `ticket-of-leave'
holders--they had lately had a chance of freely indulging.  That you may
know something of the character of these men, and of the craving they
had for tobacco, I shall tell you what I saw some of them do.

"Many of the wardens--as is usually the case--were greatly disliked by
the convicts; and the latter, of course, took every opportunity of
showing their hatred towards them.

"One morning, the gang refused to go to work--owing to a part of the
usual allowance of food having been stopped from one of them, as they
said, for no good reason.  The overseer, in place of sending for the
superintendent, attempted to force them to their tasks; and the result
was a `row.'

"In the skrimmage that followed, one of the wardens--a man especially
disliked by the convicts--was killed, while the overseer himself was
carried senseless from the ground.

"The dead warden had been a sailor, and liked his `quid.'  He was
generally to be seen with his mouth full of tobacco, and this was the
case at the time he was killed.  I saw the quid taken from his mouth,
scarce ten minutes after he had become a corpse, by one of the convicts,
who the instant after transferred it to his own!

"The overseer, at the time he got knocked down, was smoking a pipe.
Scarce three minutes after, I saw the same pipe in the mouth of one of
the men; and from its head was rolling a thick cloud of smoke!

"The fire in the pipe had not been allowed to expire; and the man who
was smoking it was one of those afterwards hung for the murder of the
warden!"

Volume Three, Chapter VI.

SQUATTERS' JUSTICE.

The old convict, as if reminded by the queer incidents he had related:
that he himself stood in need of a smoke, here took out his pipe.  After
filling and lighting it, he resumed his narrative.

"Owing to refractory conduct on my part, and a dislike to crawling for
the purpose of currying favour with overseers, I did not get a
`ticket-of-leave' until five years after landing in the colony.

"I then received one--with permission to go as shepherd to a `squatter's
station' up the country.  For acting in this capacity, I was to receive
ten pounds a year of wages.

"I found the shepherd's life a very weary one.  The labour was not
sufficient to keep me from thinking.  During the whole day I had but
little to do--except to indulge in regrets for the past, and despair of
the future.  Each day was so much like the one preceding it, that the
time was not only monotonous, but terribly tiresome.

"Had I deserted my employment, I knew that I should be re-captured; and
a new sentence passed upon me.  My only hope of obtaining full freedom--
at the end of my ten years' term--was by doing my duty as well as I
could.

"One morning, after I had been about ten months in my shepherd's berth,
as I was letting the sheep out of the enclosure, the squatter who owned
the station, his overseer, and another man, came riding up.

"The sun was more than half an hour above the horizon; and as I ought to
have had the sheep out upon the grass by sunrise, I was afraid the
squatter would blame me for neglecting my duty.  I was agreeably
surprised at his not doing so.

"He bade me `good morning,' lit his pipe, took a look at the sheep; and
then rode away along with the others.

"This treatment, instead of making me more neglectful, only rendered me
more attentive to my duty; and every morning for three weeks after, the
sheep were out of the yard by the first appearance of day-break.

"It was summer time, and the nights being very short, I could not always
wake myself at such an early hour.  The consequence was, that about
three weeks before the expiration of the year, for which I was bound, my
employer again caught me napping--nearly an hour after sun-up--with the
sheep still in the penn.

"The squatter would listen to no excuse.  I was taken direct before a
magistrate--who was also a `squatter'--and charged with neglect of duty.

"The charge was of course proved; and I was dismissed from my
employment.

"You may think that this was no punishment; but you will have a
different opinion when you hear more.  My year of apprenticeship not
being quite up, my wages were forfeited; and I was told, that I ought to
be thankful for the mercy shown me: in my not getting severely flogged,
and sent back to the authorities, with a black mark against my name!

"I probably did my duty, as well as any man the squatter expected to
get; and I had good reason to know, that I had been dismissed only to
give my rascally employer the opportunity of withholding the balance of
my wages, that would soon have been due to me!

"The only magistrates in the grazing country, were the squatters
themselves; and they used to play into each other's hands in that
fashion.  There was no justice for convicts, who were treated but little
better than slaves.

"Three months after leaving my situation, I came across an `old hand,'
who had been cheated out of his wages, by the very same squatter who had
robbed me, and in precisely the same manner.

"This man proposed to me that we should take revenge--by burning down
the squatter's wool-sheds.

"I refused to have anything to do with the undertaking; and from what
the man then said, I supposed that he had relinquished the idea.  That
night, however, altogether unknown to me, he set fire to the sheds--
causing the squatter a loss of about three thousand pounds worth of
property.  The next day I was arrested and committed for trial--along
with the old hand, who had urged me to aid him in obtaining his revenge.

"On the trial, circumstantial evidence was so strong against the
incendiary, that he was found guilty.  But as he continued to assert his
innocence, of course he could say nothing that would clear me; and I was
also found guilty--though the only evidence against me was, that I had
been seen in his company eight hours before the crime was committed, and
that I had been dismissed from service by the proprietor of the sheds!

"This was thought sufficient evidence upon which to sentence me to five
years hard labour on the roads--the first two years of the term to be
passed in irons!

"I now despaired of ever seeing home again; and became, like many other
convicts, so reckless as to have no thought for the future, and not to
care whether my deeds were right or wrong.

"Had I acted as many of the very worst convicts are in the habit of
doing--that is, fawning upon the overseers--I might have regained my
liberty in two years and a half; but I never could crawl, or play the
hypocrite; and all the less so, that I knew my sentence was unjust.
Neither could I allow the ill-usage of others to pass without complaint;
and frequently did I complain.  For doing this, I had to serve the full
term of my sentence, while others, much worse than myself, by using a
little deception, obtained their liberty on `tickets-of-leave.'

"After the term of my transportation had expired, I was no better than
most of the `old hands.'  If I have not committed all the crimes of
which many of them are guilty, the reason is, that I had not the
temptation: for, I acknowledge, that I have now completely lost the
moral power to restrain me from crime.

"I happened to be free when gold was discovered in New South Wales; and,
of course.  I hastened to the place.  After the discovery of the richer
diggings here, I came overland to try them.

"In my gold seeking, I cannot complain of want of success; and I have
not spent all that I have made.

"I am thinking of going back to England--although my visit to my native
country cannot be a very pleasant one.  I have, probably, some brothers
and sisters still living; but, notwithstanding the strong affection I
once had for them, they are nothing to me now.  All human feeling has
been flogged, starved, and tortured out of me.

"Sometimes, when I reflect on the degradations I have endured, I am
ashamed to think of myself as a human being.

"When I look back to the innocent and happy days of my boyhood--of what
I aspired to be--only an honest, respectable, hard-working man, when I
contrast those days, and those humble hopes, with the scenes I have
since passed through, and my present condition--my back scarred with
repeated floggings, and my limbs marked by the wear of iron fetters--I
am not unwilling to die.

"I am glad to learn that a change has been made in the mode of punishing
crime in the mother country.  It has not been done too soon: for, bad as
many of the convicts are--who are transported from the large cities of
the United Kingdom--they cannot be otherwise than made worse, by the
system followed here.  A convict coming to this country meets with no
associations, precepts, or examples, that tend to reform him; but, on
the contrary, every evil passion and propensity is strengthened, if it
has existed before; and imbibed, if it has not.

"Having told you a good deal of my past, I should like to be able to add
something of my future; but cannot.  Some men are very ingenious in
inventing food for hope: I am not.  I don't know for what I am living:
for every good and earnest motive seems to have been stifled within me.
Hope, love, despair, revenge, and all the other mental powers that move
man to action, are dead within my heart.  I having nothing more to tell
you of myself; and probably never shall have."

So ended the sad story of the convict.

Volume Three, Chapter VII.

RAFFLING AWAY A WIFE.

Our claim on the Avoca "lead" turned out to be worth working; and we had
five or six weeks of hard toil before us.  My mate continued temperate
and industrious; and we got along together without any misunderstanding.

One day we were informed by a man passing our tent, that a very
interesting affair was to come off that evening--at a certain grog-shop
not far from where we lived.

My partner was strongly advised to be there: as there would be a
spectacle worth witnessing.

"Shall you go?"  I asked, after the man had gone.

"No--not alone," replied he, "the place has a bad name; and I know that
one of the parties concerned in what is to take place is a bad bird.
You go along with me, and you'll see some amusement."

"Have you any idea what it's to be?"  I inquired.

"Yes.  I think they are going to have a raffle."

"A raffle!  There's nothing very interesting about that!"

"That depends," significantly rejoined my partner.  "Supposing it is a
woman that's to be raffled for?"

"A woman to be raffled for!"

"So I believe.  There is a Hobart Town man here, who has a young wife,
with whom he has been quarrelling for the last month.  He has found out
that it is impossible to live with her any longer; and is going to put
her up to be raffled for."

I had seen a negro slave disposed of in this fashion in the city of New
Orleans; but had never heard of a man raffling away his wife; and the
oddness of the thing determined me to go.  Having signified my intention
to my mate, he promised to take me to the place, and also take care of
me while there.

The reader may think his promised protection unnecessary--after my
having managed for so many years to take care of myself.  But I knew
that amongst "old hands," the protection or friendship, of one of their
own "kidney" was worth having; and I certainly would not have gone,
without some one to introduce, and look after me--one such as my mining
partner, who knew their ways, and would give them to understand, that I
was not to be molested.

At that time on the gold-field of Avoca, there were probably about ten
men to one woman; and a man, who was so fortunate as to possess a wife,
was thought to be a very lucky individual indeed.  Any woman, however
ugly she might have appeared in other lands, would there have passed for
a Venus.  Knowing this to be the state of things, I was not surprised,
when, on reaching the grog-shop with my companion, we found a large
crowd of between thirty and forty men assembled around it.  In one way
only was I astonished; and that was, that the majority of those present
were not "old hands," but rather the contrary.

This observation was also made by my companion, who shook his head
significantly, but said nothing.

I did not understand what meaning he intended to convey by this
gesture--at least not at the time.

From the appearance of the crowd collected round the grog-shop, I had no
doubt but that I should be well rewarded for my trouble in walking to
the place.  I could see that some pains had been taken in selecting the
company: for it appeared to be composed of that class of young miners--
known as "fast," and "flush"--that is with money to spend, and the
disposition to spend it.

The woman who was to be disposed of was in the room, seated on the edge
of a table, and swinging her legs about with perfect nonchalance.  One
of her eyes bore, in distinct characters of a purplish hue, some
evidence of a very late disagreement with her husband, or some one else.
She seemed much pleased at the commotion she was causing; and quite
indifferent as to its results.  She was about twenty-three years of age;
and rather good-looking.

The husband was about forty years old; and was a vulgar looking wretch--
even for a "Vandemonian."  His features were twisted into a disgusting
leer, from which I could well fancy they were but seldom relieved.

I was not surprised at the woman seeming pleased at the idea of parting
with him.  My wonder was, how he had ever been allowed to obtain the
power of disposing of her.

There was not a man in the room, or perhaps on the diggings, that any
creature entitled to the name of woman, should not have preferred, to
the ugly animal who claimed to be her husband.

I could perceive from the woman's behaviour, that she possessed a
violent temper, which to an ignorant brute of a man, would no doubt
render her difficult of being managed.  But there appeared to be nothing
more against her--at least, nothing to prevent a man of common sense
from living with her, and having no more serious misunderstandings, than
such as are usually required to vary the monotony of connubial life.

The business of getting up the raffle, and carrying it through, was
managed by a young man, who played the part of mutual friend--the
proprietor of the article at stake, being to all appearance too drunk,
or too ignorant, to act as master of the ceremonies.

After a sufficient number of persons was thought to have arrived upon
the ground, it was decided to go on with the business of discovering: to
whom fate should decree the future ownership of the woman.

"Gentlemen!" said the mutual friend, rising up, and placing himself upon
a chair, "I suppose you all know the game that's up here to-night?  I
believe that most of you be aware, that my friend `Brumming' here, can't
agree with his old woman, nor she with him; and he have come to the
resolution of getting rid of her.  He thinks he'd be better off without
a woman, than with one, 'specially with one as he can't agree with.  And
she thinks any other man be better than Ned `Brumming.'  Such being the
case, they think they had better part.  Now, `Brumming' wants a little
money to take him over to the other side; and to rise it for him, his
friends have been called together, and his woman is going to be put up
at a raffle for fifty pounds--twenty-five chances at two pounds a
chance.  Mrs Brumming is willing to live with any man, as will support
her, and use her kindly.  Who is going to help poor Ned Brumming?  What
name shall I first put down on this 'ere paper?"

"Dirty Dick," "Jack Rag," "Hell Fryer," "Shiny Bright," and several
other names were called out--to the number of twenty.

It was then announced that five names were still wanted to complete the
list.

"I'll take a chance," said a man stepping forward to the table, where
the names were being written out.

The individual thus presenting himself, bore every evidence of having
obtained a passage to the colonies at the expense of his native
country--about twenty-five years before.

"What name shall I put down?" asked the youthful master of the
ceremonies.

"Jimmy from Town."

"Jimmy from hell!" screamed the woman.  "You had better save your money
Jimmy from Town.  I wouldn't live with an old beast like you, if you
were to win me ten times over."

The prospect of losing his two pounds, and gaining nothing, caused the
old convict to retire, which he did, apparently with no very good grace.

"We must pay something for this entertainment," whispered my mate; "I
will go halves with you in a chance."

As he said this, he slipped a sovereign into my hand.

I did not fully understand what my partner meant.  He surely could not
be thinking of our winning the woman, and owning her in partnership, as
we did our mining claim?

But as he had said something about our paying for the entertainment--and
having trusted myself to him before I came away from my tent--I gave the
name of "Rolly," to the manager of the raffle, and put down the two
pounds.

Two others then came forward, took a chance each, and paid their stakes.
There were now only two more "tickets" to dispose of.

Amongst the first who had entered their name upon the list, was a young
miner, who to all appearance, took a greater interest in the proceedings
than any person present.

I saw the woman give him a glance, that might be interpreted into the
words, "I wish _you_ would win me."  He appeared to notice it, and take
the hint: for he immediately entered himself for another chance.

The remaining share was then taken by somebody else; and the ceremony of
throwing the dice was commenced.

Each was to have three throws, taking three dice at each throw; and the
man who should score the highest number, was to win the woman.

A name would be called out, as it stood on the list; the owner of it
would then come forward, and throw the dice--when the number he should
score would be recorded against his name.

All the numbers made, chanced to be very low, none of them reaching over
thirty-eight--until I had finished "tossing the bones," when I was told
that the aggregate recorded in my favour was _forty-seven_.

I felt as good as certain that the woman was mine: for the chances were
more than a hundred to one against any of the five others who were to
throw after me.

The young fellow who had paid for two shares, looked very blank: his
remaining chance was now scarce worth a shilling.

"I will give you fifteen pounds for your throw," said he, addressing
himself to me.

I glanced at my mate, and saw him give his head a slight inclination: as
a sign for me to accept the offer--which I did.

The money was paid down; and after all had finished tossing, number
forty-seven was declared the winner.  This had been my score.  The
woman, therefore, belonged to the young man, who had bought it from me.
She was at once handed over to him; and inaugurated the "nuptials" by
flinging her arms around his neck, and giving him a sonorous "buss" upon
the cheek!

After we came away from the place, I learnt from my mate, that the
affair was what he called "a sell."

"Then why did you propose that we should take a chance?"  I asked.

"Why," he replied, with a significant shrug, "well, I'll tell you.  I
was told to come to the raffle, because I was working with you--who they
thought would be likely to take a share.  Had you not taken one, they
would have supposed that I had cautioned you not to do so; and I should
have made enemies amongst some of the old hands--who look upon me as,
being in all things, one of themselves."

"And you think that the woman will not live with the young man who won
her?"

"I'm sure of it.  She'll go along with him for awhile; but she won't
stay with him.  She'll run away from him--join, Brumming, again--and the
two will repeat the same dodge at some other diggings."

I divided the fifteen pounds with my partner; and retired to my tent--
well pleased that I had so disposed of my chance, and no little amused
at the grotesque chapter of "life on the Avoca," it had been my fortune
to be witness to.

A few weeks after the occurrence, I read in a newspaper: that the police
on the Bendigo diggings had arrested a man for trying to dispose of his
wife by a raffle; and I have no doubt that the man was "poor old Ned
Brumming!"

Volume Three, Chapter VIII.

CAUGHT IN HIS OWN TRAP.

A "claim," adjoining the one in which my partner and I were working, was
much richer than ours.  The primitive rock lay farther below the
surface--showing that there had been a basin in the creek, or river,
that hundreds of years before had flowed over the "vale of Avoca."

In this basin had been deposited a great quantity of earth containing
gold: for the soil was thickly impregnated with the precious metal.

This claim was owned by three men.  Two of them appeared to be
respectable young fellows; and I incidentally learnt from them, that
they had been playmates in boyhood, shipmates on their voyage to the
colony, and had worked together ever since their arrival at the
diggings.  An old convict was the third partner of these two young men.
He had first marked out the claim, and for a while kept sole possession
of it; but, seeing that he would be unable to manage it by himself, he
had allowed the other two to take shares in it.

They had joined the convict only for that one job; and had done so,
because they could not find any other favourable opportunity for
"getting on the line."

One day, when I was standing by at the windlass of our own shaft, I saw
the old convict come towards his claim--apparently after having been to
his dinner.

I had observed one of the young men let himself down the shaft, but a
few minutes before.  Soon after, I heard his voice from below calling to
the convict--who had placed himself by the windlass, after his arrival.
I then saw the latter lower the rope, and hoist the young man to the
surface.  The old convict was then lowered down; and, as soon as he had
detached himself from the rope below, I noticed that the young man
hastily drew it up and in a manner that betrayed some extraordinary
excitement.

"Hoist up your mate, and bring him here," he called to me.  "Quick!
I've something terrible to tell you of."

I called to my partner to get on the tackle; and, as soon as he had done
so, I drew him up out of the shaft.

While I was doing this, the young man who had called to me, summoned
some others in the same manner; and five or six men who chanced to be
near, hastened up to the spot.

As soon as we were assembled around him, the young fellow began:

"I have a strange story to tell you all," said he.  "My friend has been
murdered; and the man who has committed the crime is below.  We have him
sure.  Will some one go to the `camp' for the police?  I shall not leave
this spot, till I see the murderer in their custody, or see him dead."

The commotion, caused by this startling announcement, brought several
others to the place; and a crowd was soon collected around the claim.
Two or three started off for the police encampment.

While waiting for their return, the young man, who had called us around
him, gave an explanation of his conduct in having summoned us thus
strangely.

"I came up out of the shaft," said he, "about half-past eleven o'clock;
and went home to cook dinner for myself and my friend.  I left him along
with our other mate--the murderer--who is now below, at work, stowing
away some of the pipe-clay that we had finished working with.  I
expected him to follow me to his dinner in about half-an-hour after.  I
waited for him till nearly one; and as he did not come, I ate my dinner
alone, and then returned here to go on with the work.

"When I came back, I could see no one.  I called down the shaft,
thinking both were below.

"As there was no answer, I let myself down by the rope, intending to go
to work by myself.  I supposed that my mates had strayed off to some
grog-shop--where they might spend a good part of the afternoon.  They
had done this once before; and I thought they might do it again.

"After getting below, I lit the candle; and looked about to see what
they had been doing, since I left them at eleven o'clock.

"The first thing that met my eyes, was the toe of a boot sticking out of
the pipe-clay--where we had been stowing it away, in the worked-out part
of the shaft.  What, thought I, is their object in burying the boot
there?

"I took hold of it--there was just enough of it protruding out of the
pipe-clay to enable me to get a grasp of it.  I felt that there was a
foot in it.  It was a boot belonging to my friend.  I knew it--
notwithstanding its being plastered over with the clay.  I drew out the
boot; and along with it the body of the man to whom it belonged.  He was
dead!  I think it is probable he was not quite dead, when covered up;
and that in his death-spasm he had somehow moved his foot, causing it to
protrude a little out of the clay.

"I have no doubt," continued the young miner, "that my seeing that boot
has saved my own life: for the man who has murdered my friend, would
have served me in the same way, had we both been down below, and I
ignorant of what he had already done.

"Just as I was about climbing up the rope to get out, I saw the man who
is now below here, preparing to let himself down.  I called to him, in
my natural tone of voice; and told him that I wanted to go above for a
minute--to get a drink.  This, no doubt, put him off his guard; and he
helped me up.

"I then asked him what had become of Bill--that was my friend's name.

"`He did not come home to dinner,' said I, `and he is not below.'

"`When we came up to go to dinner,' said he, `and were about starting
away from here, I saw Bill meet a stranger, and shake hands with him.
They went off together.'

"I suggested that he might probably have strayed off upon a spree; and
that we were not likely to get any more work out of him that day.  I
added, that, after I had had my drink, we could both go below, and work
without him.  This seemed to please my other partner--who at once
desired to be let down into the shaft.

"I lowered him at his request--telling him I should follow soon after.

"He and his victim are now in the shaft.  Had he succeeded in killing
both of us, he would not only have got all the gold we had obtained in
the claim, but some more besides."  This story excited in the minds of
all present, a feeling of horror, joined to a keen desire for
retribution.  Several shouted out to the old convict--commanding him to
come up; that his crime was known, and escape would be impossible.

The murderer must have heard every word; but no answer was returned
either to the threats or commands of those above.  There was no occasion
for the latter, either to be in haste, or in any way uneasy about the
man making his escape.  He could not possibly get clear from the trap,
into which his partner had so adroitly cajoled him.  He must either come
out of the shaft, or starve at the bottom of it.

The policemen, soon after, arrived upon the ground; and were made
acquainted with all the circumstances.

One of them hailed the convict--commanding him "in the Queen's name" to
come up.

"You are our prisoner," said the policeman, "you cannot escape; and you
may as well surrender at once."

There was no answer.

One of the policemen then placed himself in a bowline knot at the end of
the rope; and was gently lowered down into the shaft--several men
standing by at the windlass.

"Hold there!" cried the convict from below.  "The instant you reach the
bottom, I'll drive my pick-axe through you."

The men at the windlass ceased turning--leaving the policeman suspended
half way down the shaft.

He was a man of superior courage; and, cocking his revolver, he called
to the convict: that he was going down anyhow--adding, that the first
move made to molest him in the execution of his duty, would be a signal
for him to blow out the brains of the man who should make it.

He then called to the miners at the windlass to "lower away."

"Drop your pick!" shouted the policeman, as he came near the bottom of
the shaft--at the same time covering the convict with his revolver.

The murderer saw the folly of resisting.  It was impossible for him to
escape--even could he have killed the officer, and a dozen more besides.

Some of the "Queen's Jewellery" was soon adjusted upon his wrists; and
the rope, having been fastened around his body, he was hoisted up into
the light of heaven.

The policemen were going to stop, until they could examine the body of
the murdered man; but they perceived that the indignation of the crowd
was fast rising to such a pitch, that it was necessary for the prisoner
to be carried to some place of security--else he might be taken out of
their hands.

None of the spectators seemed anxious either to rescue, or kill the man.
Each one appeared to be satisfied by getting a kick or blow at him.
The mind of every honest miner on the ground had been shocked by the
cruel crime that had been committed; and each appeared to think he had
himself a score of revenge to wipe off against the perpetrator.

Each wished to calm his outraged feelings, by inflicting some
chastisement upon the criminal; and still leave to the justice of God
and the law, the task of punishing him for the murder.

The police did their best to protect their prisoner; but on their way to
their station, they were followed by an indignant crowd of miners, who
kicked and scratched the old convict, till he was nearly lifeless in
their hands.

When the body of the murdered man had been brought out of the shaft, it
was found that the sharp point of a pick-axe had been driven through his
skull.  The wound was in the back part of the head--proving that the
victim had received the blow from behind, and most probably without any
warning.  A similar fate would undoubtedly have befallen his friend, had
he not made the discovery which enabled him to avert it.

The murderer was sent down to Melbourne to be locked up, till the
sitting of the Criminal Court.

The day after the funeral of the murdered man, the only one of the three
partners left to work out the claim, made his appearance upon the spot.

Before commencing work, he came over to me; and we had a long
conversation together.

"If I had only myself to think of," said he, "I would have nothing
farther to do with this claim.  It cannot be very pleasant to me to work
in it, after what has occurred.  The young man who has been killed, was
my playmate in boyhood, and my constant companion ever since we left
home together.  I shall have to carry back to his father, mother, and
sisters, the news of his sad fate.  His relatives are very poor people;
and it took every penny they could scrape together to furnish him with
the means for coming out here.  My duty to them, and to his memory, is
the sole cause of my continuing any longer to work the claim.  However
painful the task may be, I must perform it.  I shall obtain all the gold
it may yield; and every speck to which my murdered friend should have
been entitled, shall be paid over to his relatives.  I know that they
had rather see himself return penniless to them, than to have all the
gold of Australia; but for all that he shall not be robbed, as well as
murdered.

"I have often heard him speak of the pleasure it would give him to
return to his relations with his gold.  I can only show my respect for
his wishes, by taking them the money to which he would have been
entitled, had he lived, to work out his claim.  It shall be done without
his aid; but his relations shall have the yield of it, all the same as
if he had lived."

Whenever the windlass was to be used in bringing up the "wash dirt" from
below--or the surviving partner wanted assistance in any way--it was
cheerfully rendered by the miners at work in the adjoining claims.

By the time he had completed his task, he was summoned to Melbourne, as
a witness on the trial of the murderer; and, after his leaving the Avoca
diggings, I saw him no more.

I afterwards learnt from the Melbourne Argus: that the old convict was
found guilty of the murder, and ended his earthly existence on the
gallows.

Volume Three, Chapter IX.

A LARK WITH THE "LICENCE-HUNTERS."

After we had completed the working of our claim in the Avoca lead, my
partner--who had told me that his name was Brown--signified his
intention of returning home to England.

"I have saved between three and four hundred pounds," said he, "and
shouldn't know what to do with it here.  I've been thinking of going
home for several years past; and now's the time to do it."

Instead of attempting to dissuade him, I rather encouraged him in his
design, telling him that, if dissatisfied with his visit to his native
country, he could return to the diggings--before they should get
worked-out--and try his fortune once more.

He had heard me speak of going myself back to England some time or
other; and he urged me to make the voyage along with him.

I should probably have acceded to his request,--had he not pressed me so
strongly; but I have a great aversion to doing anything, that I am
vehemently solicited to do.

If there is anything which will make me do the very thing I know to be
wrong, it is when some one counsels me too pressingly _against_ doing
it.  I have a great _penchant_ for being guided by my own judgment; and
I believe that very little good is done by giving advice, to those who
are old enough to think and act for themselves.

In answer to my partner's request, I told him that I should probably
return to England in about a year; but was not then ready to go.

Though a little disappointed at my not accompanying him, Brown and I
parted on good terms.  He left full directions with me for finding him
in Birmingham--should I ever go to that city; and warmly urged upon me
to call and see him.  I gave him a promise to do so.

"I believe you are a respectable, right-thinking man," said he, as we
shook hands at parting; "you have treated me, as though I was the same;
and that's more than I have been accustomed to for the last score of
years."

On leaving me, Brown proceeded direct to Melbourne, where he took ship
for England.

For two or three days after he had left me, I looked about the
diggings--undecided what I should next do.

One afternoon, while sauntering at a little distance, from my tent, I
saw some policemen, with a squad of mounted troopers, out on the patrol.
A "licensing commissioner" at their head, proved that they were looking
for "unlicenced" miners.

I never went abroad without a miner's licence in my pocket; but I felt a
strong dislike to showing it--solely on account of the manner, in which
the demand to do so was usually made.

I shall have something to say about "licence-hunting" in another
chapter--where the subject will be introduced, and more fully discussed.
My present purpose is to relate a little adventure which occurred to me
at Avoca--of which the licence-hunters were the heroes.  It was this
episode, that first awakened within my mind some thoughts about the
infamous system of drawing a revenue, from the most honest and
industrious portion of the population.

It is usual for diggers--who are not provided with a licence--on seeing
the police out upon their scouting excursions, either to take to the
bush, or hide themselves in the shaft, or tunnel, of some mining claim.
This is done to avoid being searched; and, as a matter of course,
carried before a magistrate, and fined five pounds for--_trespassing on
the Crown lands_!

On the occasion in question, when I saw the licence-hunters out on their
usual errand, it came into my head to have a little amusement with them.
I had been going idle for two or three days, and wanted something to
amuse me--as well as give exercise to my limbs.

When the policemen had got within about a hundred yards of where I was
standing, I pretended to see them for the first time; and started off at
a run.  They saw me, as I intended they should; and two or three of them
gave chase--under the full belief that I was an unlicenced digger.  They
that first followed me were afoot; and they soon learnt that the farther
they pursued, the greater became the distance between them and me.  Two
of the mounted troopers now left the side of the Commissioner; and
joined in the chase--spurring their horses into a gallop.

I was running in the direction of my own tent; and contrived to reach
it, before the troopers overtook me.

By the time they had got up to the tent, I was standing in the opening
of the canvass; and received them by demanding their business.

"We wish to see your licence," said one.

I took from my pocket the piece of paper, legally authorising me to
"search for, dig, and remove gold from the crown lands of the colony."
I handed it to the trooper.

He appeared much disappointed, at finding it was "all right."

"What made you run away from us?" he demanded angrily.

"What made you think I was running away from you?"  I inquired in turn.

"What made you run at all?" put in the second trooper.

"Because I was in haste to reach home," I answered.

The two then talked together in a low voice, after which one of them
told me that I must go along with them.

"For what reason?"  I asked; but received no answer.  They were either
unwilling, or unable, to give me a reason.

The two policemen, who had pursued me on foot, now came up; and all four
insisted on my being taken along with them, a prisoner, to the police
camp!

I refused to come out of the tent; and cautioned them not to enter it--
without showing me their warrant, or some authority for the intrusion.

They paid no attention to what I said; but stepping inside the tent,
rudely conducted me out of it.

I accompanied them without making resistance--thinking that when brought
before a magistrate, I should get them reprimanded for what they had
done.

In the afternoon, I was arraigned before, the "bench," and charged with
molesting and interfering with the police in the execution of their
duty!  My accusers told their story; and I was called upon for my
defence.

I informed the magistrate, that I had never been an unlicenced miner for
a single day, since I had been on the diggings; and I entered upon a
long speech--to prove, that in moving about the gold-fields, I had the
right to travel at any rate of speed I might choose; and that I had
unlawfully been dragged out of my tent--which being my "castle," should
not have been invaded in the manner it had been.

This was what I intended to have said; but I did not get the opportunity
of making my forensic display: for the magistrate cut me short, by
stating, that I had been playing what the diggers call a "lark," and by
doing so, had drawn the police from their duty.  They had been seeking
for those who really had _not_ licences; and who, through my
misbehaviour, might have been able to make their escape!

In conclusion, this sapient justice fined me forty shillings!

There was an _injustice_ about this decision--as well as the manner in
which I had been treated--that aroused my indignation.  I had broken no
law, I had done nothing but what any free subject had a right to do, yet
I had been treated as a criminal, and mulcted of my money--in fact,
robbed of two pounds sterling!

After this affair, I was disgusted with Avoca; and, in less than an hour
after, I rolled up my blankets, and took the road for Ballarat--this
being the place to which I always turned, when not knowing where else to
go.

Everyone must have some place that they look upon as a home--a point
from which to start or take departure.  Mine was Ballarat: for the
reason that I liked that place better than any other in the colony.

I had made more money on the Ballarat diggings than elsewhere in
Australia; and I had never left the place to go to any other, without
having cause to regret the change.  This time, I determined, on my
return to Ballarat, to stay there--until I should be ready to bid a
final adieu to Australia.

Volume Three, Chapter X.

DIGGER-HUNTING.

Soon after my arrival at Ballarat, the mining population of the place
was roused to a state of great excitement--by being constantly worried
about their gold licences.

All engaged in the occupation of mining, were required to take out a
monthly licence, for which one pound ten shillings had to be paid.  Each
miner was required to carry this licence upon his person; and produce it
whenever desired to do so, by the commissioner, or any official acting
under his authority.

It was not to the tax of eighteen pounds per annum that the miners
objected; but to the manner in which it was levied and enforced.

The diggers did not like to be so often accosted by a body of armed men,
and compelled to show a piece of paper--in the event of them not having
it about them, to be dragged off to the court, and fined five pounds.

After some show of opposition to this tax--or rather to the way of
enforcing it--had begun to exhibit itself, the government officials
became more industrious than ever at their occupation of
"digger-hunting."  A commissioner, with a band of mounted troopers,
might have been seen out every day--scouring the country far and near,
and commanding every man they met to produce his licence.  Not
unfrequently an honest miner would be required to exhibit the
disagreeable document as often as four or five times a day!

The diggers soon got tired of this sort of thing, which was enough to
have exasperated men of a more tranquil tone of mind, than gold-diggers
usually are.

Meetings were called and attended by many hundreds of miners, at which
strong resolutions were passed; to resist the arrest of any man, who
should be taken up for not having a gold licence.

These resolutions could not be effectually carried into effect, without
some organisation amongst those who had passed them.

This was to a certain extent accomplished; by about four hundred diggers
forming themselves into an organised band, and commencing to drill and
discipline in a sort of military fashion.

Thinking the wrongs of the diggers a sufficient justification for this
action on their part, I joined one of the companies thus formed--with
the full determination to assist, as far as lay in my power, in the
removal of the injustice complained of.

I did not think there was anything in English law--properly understood
and administered--that would allow thousands of men to be constantly
hunted, harassed and insulted by bands of armed police, demanding to see
a piece of paper; but perhaps my experience of the way "justice" was
administered at Avoca, had something to do in guiding my resolution to
resist it at Ballarat.

At our meetings, the diggers indignantly declared their determination to
overthrow the system that made them game for the minions of the
Government; and to prove that they were in earnest in what they said,
many of them were seen to tear up their licences upon the spot, and
light their pipes with the torn fragments of the paper!

From that time, whenever an attempt was made by the police to arrest a
man without a licence, it was resisted by large mobs of diggers; and on
two or three occasions both police and troopers were compelled to
retreat to their encampment.

The police force on Ballarat was soon increased in number; and a large
body of regular troops was sent up from Melbourne.

The diggers saw that they could no longer oppose this force, without
maintaining a body of their own men in arms; and for this purpose a
select number was chosen, who, having been regularly organised into
companies, formed a camp on the Eureka lead.

Some of the lying officials of the government have represented this camp
to have been strongly fortified--the lie being propagated to secure them
greater credit, for their bravery in capturing it!

The statement was altogether untrue.  The Eureka stockade was nothing
more than an inclosure formed with slabs of timber--such as were used to
wall in the shafts sunk on wet leads--and could no more be called a
fortification, than the hurdles used by farmers for penning up a flock
of sheep.

The importance attached to the movement, on the part of the government
officials, was ludicrous in the extreme.

Martial law was proclaimed in Ballarat; and several hundred pounds were
expended in filling bags of sand, and fortifying the Treasury at
Melbourne--about one hundred miles from the scene of the _emeute_!

The idea of the diggers marching to Melbourne, and molesting the
Government property there, was simply ridiculous.  The authorities must
have held an opinion of the men they governed, not very complimentary to
the liege subjects of Her Majesty.

Because the miners objected to being hunted and worried for a piece of
paper--proving that they had paid eighteen pounds per annum of tax, more
than any other class of the population--the Government officials seemed
to think that a causeless rebellion had broken out, which threatened to
overthrow the whole British Empire; and which nothing but low scheming
and barbarous action could quell.

Thousands of ounces of gold were lying on deposit in the Escort Office
at Ballarat; yet had the mutineers taken the place, I am confident this
treasure would have been protected, and restored to its rightful owners.

But there was no intention on the part of the diggers, either to touch
Ballarat, or its gold.  They only maintained an armed body at the Eureka
Stockade, because they could in no other way resist the raids of the
troopers who were sent out licence-hunting.  They were as innocent of
all intention to overthrow the Government; "loot" the Escort Office at
Ballarat; or march upon Melbourne, as babes unborn.

Their only object was to have English law properly administered to them;
or rather, to resist the violation of it by the minions who had been
appointed to its execution.

This the Government might have learnt--and probably did learn--from the
policemen disguised as diggers, who took part in the proceedings at the
Eureka Stockade, for these communicated all they learnt, and no doubt a
good deal more, to the officials in the Government camp.

Volume Three, Chapter XI.

A GENIUS IN THE DIGGINGS.

When I went to join the insurgents at the Stockade, I was accompanied by
a man, who had been living in a tent near my own--a German, whom I only
knew by the name of "Karl."  He was as singular a man, as was to be met
amongst the many incomprehensible characters found on a gold-field.  He
was only twenty-five years of age, though he had already travelled over
much of the world, and spoke several languages fluently.  He knew
something of the literature, science, arts, and customs of almost every
nation, ancient or modern; and having a wonderful memory, as well as a
great command of language, he could be very entertaining in
conversation.  My attention was first called to the extraordinary power
of his memory, by hearing him once talking on the relative merits of the
poets.

He appeared to know all the poetical writings of the English, German,
and Italian authors by heart: as he could repeat long passages from any
of them, when called upon.

I remember, amongst many severe criticisms which he gave us on the
poetry of Byron, his quoting the phrases of "sad knee," "melodious
tears," "cloudy groan," "poetic marble," "loud hill," "foolish flower,"
"learned fingers," and "silly sword," all of which he mentioned were
absurd expressions.

The reader may think my sketch of this individual overdrawn, when I add,
that in addition to his other accomplishments, he was not only a
musician of great skill, but, in my opinion, a musical prodigy; and
excited more astonishment and admiration by his musical talents, than by
any other of the many accomplishments he possessed.

Often would he wander alone, where nature was most lovely; and from her
surrounding beauties, add inspiration to the melody that filled his
soul.

The notes of birds, the whispering of the winds, and the murmuring of
the streams, were all caught and combined, or harmoniously arranged in
enchanting melodies, which he would reproduce on his violin, after
returning to his tent, in strains that seemed enraptured.

Never did I listen to the music made by him, without thinking myself a
better man: for all the gentler sentiments of my soul would be awakened,
and expanded into action under its influence.  For hours would the
sounds echo in my memory--making me forget the sorrows of the past, as
well as the cares of the future; and turning my thoughts to an ideal
world, where material ugliness is unknown.

I defy any man with a soul superior to that of a monkey, to have been
guilty of a mean or dishonest action, after listening to a tune composed
and played by Karl the German.

I do not call myself a judge of music, or of the relative merits of
different musicians, and only form this opinion from the effect produced
on my mind by his performance.

I am not easily excited by musical, or dramatic representations; but
Mario's magnificent rendering of the death scene in "Lucrezia Borgia,"
or the astounding recklessness Alboni is accustomed to throw into the
"Brindisi," could never awaken within my soul such deep thoughts, as
those often stirred by the simple strains of Karl's violin.

Though possessing all these great natural abilities--strengthened by
travel, and experience in both men and books--Karl was a slave to one
habit, that rendered all his talents unavailing, and hindered him from
ever rising to the station, he might otherwise have held among men.

He was a confirmed drunkard; and could never be kept sober, so long as
there was a shilling in his pocket!

Pride had hitherto restrained him from seeking professional engagement,
and exhibiting his musical talents to the world, although, according to
his own story, he had been brought up to the profession of a musician.
He was even becoming celebrated in it, when the demon of intemperance
made his acquaintance, and dragged him down to the lowest depths of
poverty and despair.

Once, when in Melbourne, starvation drove him to seek an interview with
the manager of a theatre, who listened with wonder and admiration to the
soul-entrancing melody he produced.

A sum far beyond his expectations was offered; and money advanced to
enable him to make a respectable appearance; but on the night in which
his _debut_ was to have been made, he was not forthcoming!  He had been
found in the street, drunk and disorderly, and was carried to the
lock-up--where he passed the evening among policemen, instead of
exhibiting himself before a delighted audience on the stage of a
theatre!

I know that he used every effort to subdue this passion for strong
drink.  But all proved unavailing.  Notwithstanding the strength of his
mind in other respects, he could not resist the fatal fascination.

Small minds may be subdued and controlled by worldly interests; but the
power to curb the action of a large and active intellect may not always
lie within itself.

Karl wished to join the insurgents--as they were called--at the Eureka
Stockade; and although myself anxious that their number should be
augmented as much as possible, I endeavoured to persuade him against
having anything to do with the disturbance.

The truth was, that I thought foreigners had at that time too much to
say about the manner in which the colony was governed.

Although I could not deny that the faults of which they complained, in
reality existed, yet I believed that they were not the persons who had
the right to correct them.  Many of the foreign diggers had a deal more
to say, about the misgovernment of the colony, than any of Her Majesty's
subjects; and I did not like to hear them talk treason.  They had come
to the colony for the purpose of making money--because Australia offered
superior advantages for that purpose--and I thought that they should
have been satisfied with the government found there, without taking upon
themselves to reform its abuses.

I explained all this to Karl; but, while admitting the truth of what I
said, he still adhered to his determination to take a part in the
revolution of Eureka.

"Several times," said he, "have I had armed men command me to show a
licence, and I have also been imprisoned, because I did not have that
piece of paper in my pocket.  I have several times been insulted in the
colony, because I am not an Englishman.  I care but little which gets
the worst of this struggle--the minions of the government or its
subjects.  Where the blood of either, or both, is to flow, there I wish
to be."

I said nothing more to dissuade Karl from following this singular wish;
but permitted him to accompany me to the stockade--where he was enrolled
in one of the companies.

Volume Three, Chapter XII.

THE EUREKA ROUT.

I have stated that about four hundred men were kept under arms at
Ballarat, to oppose the amusement of digger-hunting, so much indulged in
by the government officials.  The former had now made their rendezvous
at the stockade on the Eureka.

They were accustomed to meet in the day, and get drilled by officers,
whom they had appointed for this duty.  During the night, most of them,
who were residents of Ballarat, returned thither, and slept in their
tents, while others, who had come from Creswick's Creek and the more
distant gold-fields--to take part in the affair--remained at the
boarding houses of the township.

On the night of the 2nd of December, 1854, there were about one hundred
and seventy men in the stockade.

Having entered into the cause, I determined to devote my whole time to
it; and on that night I was there among the rest.

The diggers, who were present, supposed they had as much right to stay
in the stockade as elsewhere.

They certainly were not interfering with the officials in the execution
of their duty; nor, in any way, making a disturbance.

There was no just cause why they should have been attacked on that
particular night.  It is true, that during the previous week, the
troopers had been opposed by the diggers they were hunting; and had in
some cases been prevented from making arrests.  But the authorities need
not have supposed, that the men in the Eureka Stockade were the same who
had offered this resistance.  They could only have thought so, and acted
on the belief, by a singular stretch of imagination.

About half-past eleven o'clock, an alarm was given, that the soldiers
were approaching the stockade.  All turned out, and were prepared to
defend themselves; but the alarm proved a false one.

At one o'clock in the morning there was another alarm, which also proved
to be without any just cause.

At half-past two, there was still another false report, to which only a
very few paid any attention: as the men had got tired of being so often
roused from their slumbers without any cause.  Only about half of their
number turned out at this time; and these were laughed at by the
others--for allowing themselves to be unnecessarily frightened.

About half-past four in the morning--just as the first faint light of
day was seen on the eastern horizon--the camp was again set in commotion
by the fourth alarm.

This time there was a real cause: since soldiers and troopers could be
seen through the twilight, riding towards the stockade.

On the 3rd day of December, 1854, at half-past four o'clock on that holy
Sabbath morning, the people in the Eureka Stockade were attacked by
English soldiers, and troopers in the pay of the Victorian Government.
As the attack was altogether unexpected, they were of course unprepared
to repel or resist it.

It would have been little less than folly to have attempted resistance:
for the assailants numbered three hundred and ninety men, all well armed
and mounted, while the diggers, were less than half that number, and
most of us only provided with fowling pieces.

When the signal of attack was given, it was done in a manner that
started the sleeping diggers to their legs; and these soon proved to be
the most useful members of their bodies.  The majority refused to obey
the orders of their officers--which was to reserve their fire, until our
assailants should come near.

Most discharged their guns at the enemy, while still only dimly seen
through the mist of the morning.  After firing once, they fled.  In an
instant, the troopers were upon us.

A few of the diggers upon this occasion proved themselves men of heroic
courage.  I saw young Ross, who commanded a company, shot dead at the
head of his men--while vainly trying to induce them to stand firm.

It seemed but a minute after the signal had been sounded, before the
troopers broke down the palisades; and began shooting and hacking at us
with their swords.

"I'm a Rolling Stone," thought I, "and do not like staying too long in
one spot.  The Eureka Stockade is not the place for me."

After making this reflection, I sprang over the palisades; and went off
at a speed, that enabled me soon to distance many of my comrades who had
started in advance of me.

Amongst others passed in my flight, was Karl, the German, who still
persevered in his determination not to desert his digger associates:
since he was accompanying them in their retreat.

He had not fled, however, until assured that our defeat was certain: for
I saw him inside the stockade, firing his revolver, shortly before I
came away myself.

I did not stay to speak to him: for the troopers were closely pursuing
us; and cutting down with their swords any man they could overtake.

A majority of the routed diggers fled towards a tract of ground, that
had been what the miners call, "worked-out."

This ground was so perforated with holes, that the troopers were unable
to gallop their horses over it.  Fortunate for the fugitives that these
abandoned diggings lay so near the stockade--otherwise the slaughter
would have been much greater than it was--in all probability amounting
to half the number of the men who had been gathered there.

The pursuit was not continued very far.  The troopers soon lost all
traces of those they were galloping after.  Some of the diggers
succeeded in reaching the bush, while others concealed themselves in the
shafts of the worked-out claims; and, after a time, the soldiers were
recalled to exult over their easy victory.

The regular soldiers of Her Majesty's army took some prisoners in the
stockade; but so far as I saw, or could afterwards ascertain, the
mounted policemen of the Colonial Government, made no attempt to capture
a single digger.  They showed no quarter; but cut down, and in some
instances horribly mutilated, all with whom they came in contact.

Many of the routed diggers remained concealed in the bush, and other
places of refuge, all that day; but, perceiving no necessity for this,
as soon as the pursuit was over, I returned to my tent.  In the
afternoon, when quiet had to a certain extent been restored, I walked
over to view the scene of strife, and take a look at the unclaimed
corpses.  Twenty-eight miners had been shot dead upon the spot; but many
more were missing--of whose fate nothing was ever afterwards known.  A
few probably fell, or were thrown, into some of the deep holes, through
which the pursuit had been carried.

Some of the dead had acquaintances and friends about Ballarat, who
afterwards removed their bodies, for the purpose of burial.

I saw several corpses that had been collected in one place, and were
waiting for recognition.  Amongst them was that of a young Austrian,
whom I had known.  His body had been pierced with five gun shot wounds--
any one of which would have proved fatal.

There was one corpse so mutilated and disfigured with sabre cuts, that
the features could not be recognised by any with whom, when alive, the
man had been acquainted.  It was that of a miner who had a family in
Ballarat.  His body was afterwards identified by his wife, but only
through some articles that were found in the pockets of his coat.

I never saw, or heard of Karl after that fatal morning.  Several days
elapsed; and his tent, that stood near my own, remained unclaimed by its
owner.  It was still guarded by his dog, which I fed on its chain--as
some of my neighbours jocularly remarked--to keep it alive, for the
pleasure of hearing it howl.  Karl had probably fallen down one of the
deep holes, on the abandoned diggings, over which we had been pursued.

At length, becoming weary of listening to the piteous howling of the
dog, I set the animal at liberty, and on doing so, gave it a kick--this
being the only means I could think of, to let it know that I wished to
cut its further acquaintance.  It was an ugly, mangy creature; and all
the respect I felt for the memory of its lost master, could not induce
me to be troubled with it any longer.

Four men were arrested, and tried as ringleaders in the "Ballarat
rebellion."  They were charged with treason--with an intent to overthrow
her Majesty's Government, and take from Queen Victoria the Crown of
England!  The Governor and his ministers wished the world to be
informed, that they had succeeded in quelling a revolution, that
threatened destruction to the whole British empire!

They thirsted for more blood; but they did not get it.  The jury, before
whom the prisoners were tried, acquitted them; and they were once more
set at liberty.

Not long after, the licensing system was abolished; and in its stead an
export duty of two shillings and sixpence per ounce, was levied upon the
gold.  This was certainly a more natural method of collecting the
revenue; and in every way more satisfactory.  By it, the unsuccessful
miner was not called upon to pay as much as one who had been fortunate;
and the diggers were no longer annoyed and insulted by the minions of
the Licensing Commission.

Volume Three, Chapter XIII.

BURIED ALIVE.

From Ballarat, I went to the great rush at Mount Blackwood; and pitched
my tent on a part of that gold-field, known as the "Red Hill."

Mount Blackwood was more heavily and thickly timbered, than any other of
the Victorian gold-fields.  The surface of the ground was very uneven;
and the soil on the rocks of but little depth.  It was difficult to find
a horizontal space, of sufficient size, for the pitching of an ordinary
miner's tent; and to see such stupendous trees growing on the steep
hill-sides, with scarce soil enough to cover their roots, was matter of
surprise to everybody who came to Mount Blackwood.

About three weeks after the rush had commenced--and after several
thousand people had gathered there--we were visited one night by a
terrific gale, or more properly speaking, a "hurricane."

Hundreds of large trees--which owing to the shallow soil, could not take
deep root in the rock underneath--were blown down.

The night was very dark; and no one could see from what side a tree
might at any moment come crashing.  A space of ground, out of reach of
the fallen trunks, was not to be found on the gold-field.  The
consequence was, that thirteen people were killed for certain; and many
more severely injured, all through the falling of the trees.

But the number of fatal accidents, caused by the hurricane of that
night, was probably never known.

The night was one of horror and fear to more than eight thousand
people--each of whom knew not the minute that death might be his
portion.  A miner and his wife, while endeavouring to escape to a place
of safety, were crushed under the same tree.  Had they remained in their
tent, they would have escaped uninjured!  But what was still more
singular in this unfortunate incident; the woman, when struck by the
tree, was carrying a child, which received not the slightest injury,
while both the parents were killed on the spot!

The day after the storm, Mount Blackwood presented a very forlorn
appearance.  Hundreds of trees had been prostrated by the wind; and
nearly every tent had been thrown down.

Ever since that night, I can understand the fear, that some sailors
entertain, of _a storm upon land_.

I had very little success in gold digging at Mount Blackwood; but while
there, an incident occurred that was interesting to me; so much so, as
to be deserving of a place among these my adventures.

I expect to die some time; but fervently hope and pray, that my
existence may not be terminated by _suffocation_--either by means of a
rope, or otherwise.  I profess to have a horror of that mode of death:
for the simple reason that I have made trial of it, and found the
sensation anything but pleasant.

While at Mount Blackwood, I worked a claim in company with three others.

I was taken into this partnership, by a man I had known at Ballarat.  He
went by the name of "Yorkey"--from his being a Yorkshireman--and was the
only one of the "firm" with whom I formed much acquaintance.

I was at work in a tunnel of the claim, where we had not used sufficient
caution in supporting the top of the tunnel with timber.

Although the shaft was not a wide one, the earth being a little damp,
and composed of loose shingle, required propping up.  As I had neglected
this, about a cart load of the shingle fell down, burying me completely
under it.

The weight upon my limbs was so great, that I could not move them; and I
lay as if I had been chained to the spot.

At the time, two of my mining partners were also below, working in
another part of the tunnel.  Of course they heard the little earthquake,
and came to my assistance.

The task of digging me out, proved more difficult than they expected:
for there was not room for both my mates to work at the same time--
besides, they could not handle either pick or shovel to any great
effect, lest they might injure my limbs.

We had been called up for dinner; and I was on the point of climbing out
of the tunnel, just at the moment the earth fell in.

Our mates above, had grown impatient at our delay; and commenced
shouting for us to come up.  I heard one of those below responding to
them.  I could not understand what he said; but afterwards learnt, that
he was merely telling them what had happened.

Never shall I forget the strange sound of that man's voice.  I suppose,
for the reason that I was buried in the earth, it seemed unearthly.  I
could form no idea of the distance the speaker was from me.  His voice
seemed to come from some place thousands of miles away--in fact from
another world.  I was sensible that some mischance had occurred--that I
was buried alive, and in great agony; but the voice I heard seemed to
proceed from the remotest part of an immense cavern in some planet, far
down in the depths of space.  It commanded me to come thither: and I
thought I was preparing to obey that command, by ceasing to live; but
the necessary preparation for another existence appeared to require a
long time in being completed.

In my struggles for respiration, I fancied that stones and earth were
passing through my lungs; and hours, days and weeks seemed to be spent
in this sort of agony.  It was real agony--so real as not to beget
insensibility.  On the contrary, my consciousness of existence remained
both clear and active.

I wondered why I did not die of starvation; and tried to discover if
there was any principle in nature that would enable a person, when
buried alive, to resist the demands of hunger and live for ever without
food.  It seemed impossible for me to die.  One vast world appeared to
be compressing me against another; but they could not both crush out the
agony of my existence.

At length the thought occurred to me that I was dead; and that in
another world I was undergoing punishment for crimes committed in that I
had left.

"What have I ever done," thought I, "that this horrible torture should
be inflicted on me?"

Every link in memory's chain was presented to my mental examination, and
minutely examined.

They were all perfect to my view; but none of them seemed connected with
any act in the past, that should have consigned me to the torture I was
suffering.

My agony at last produced its effect; and I was released from it.  I
gradually became unconscious, or nearly so.  There was still a sensation
of pain--of something indescribably wrong; but the keen sensibility of
it, both mental and bodily, had now passed away.  This semi-unconscious
state did not seem the result of the accident that had befallen me.  I
thought it had arisen from long years of mental care and bodily
suffering; and was the involuntary repose of a spirit exhausted by sheer
contention, with all the ills that men may endure upon earth.  Then I
felt myself transferred from this state to another quite different--one
of true physical pain, intense and excruciating, though it no longer
resembled the indescribable horror I had experienced, while trying to
inhale the rocks that were crushing the life out of me.

My head was now uncovered; and I was breathing fast and freely.

Though in great pain, I was now conscious of all that was transpiring.

I could hear the voice of `Yorkey,' speaking in his native Yorkshire
dialect, and encouraging me with the statement that I would soon be out
of danger.

Notwithstanding the pain I still suffered, I was happy--I believe never
more so in my life.  The horrible agony I had been enduring for the want
of breath had passed away; and, as I recognised the voice of the
kind-hearted Yorkshireman, I knew that everything would be done for me
that man could do.

I was not mistaken: for `Yorkey' soon after succeeded in getting my arms
and legs extracted from the shingle; and I was hoisted up to the surface
of the earth.

Previous to this accident, I had but a faint idea of how much I valued
life, or rather how much I had hitherto undervalued the endurance of
death.

My sufferings, whilst buried in the tunnel, were almost as great as
those I had felt on first learning the loss of Lenore!

This accident had the effect of sadly disgusting me with the romantic
occupation of gold digging--at all events it made me weary of a digger's
life on Mount Blackwood--where the best claim I could discover, paid but
very little more than the expenses incurred in working it.

I thought Mount Blackwood, for several reasons, the most disagreeable
part of Victoria I had ever visited, excepting Geelong.  I had a bad
impression of the place on first reaching it; and working hard for
several weeks, without making anything, did not do much towards removing
that impression.  I determined, therefore, to go back to Ballarat--not a
little dissatisfied with myself for having left it.  After my experience
of the Avoca diggings, I had resolved to remain permanently at
Ballarat--believing it to be the best gold-field in the Colony--but I
had allowed false reports of the richness of Mount Blackwood to affect
this resolution; and I was not without the consolation of knowing, that
the misfortunes that befel me at the latter place were attributable to
my own folly; in lending a too ready ear to idle exaggerations.

Volume Three, Chapter XIV.

THE "ELEPHANT" AND HIS MATE.

For several days after my "exhumation," I was compelled to remain in my
tent, an invalid.

When at length I became able to take the road, I started back for
Ballarat, where I arrived after an arduous journey on foot, that lasted
nearly three days.

On again becoming fairly settled on this far-famed gold-field, I
purchased a share in a claim on the "Gravel-pits" lead.

This speculation proved fortunate: for the prospect turned out a good
one.  The gold I expected to obtain from my claim--added to what I had
previously accumulated--promised to amount to a considerable sum.  With
this, I should have been willing to relinquish the hardships of a
miner's life, and follow some less laborious occupation.

When I thought of doing so, however, certain difficulties always
presented themselves.

What should I do?  What other profession could I follow?  These were
interrogatories, not easily answered.

Where I should go, after leaving the diggings, was a subject for
profound consideration.  For what reason should I go anywhere?  What
purpose had I to accomplish by going anywhere, or doing anything?  While
asking myself these questions, I thought of Jessie, though not with
pleasure, for then within my mind would arise a temptation hard to
resist.

Unable to shape out any plan, I left it to circumstances; and toiled on
from day to day, with no more interest in the future than the shovel I
held in my hands!

How very different it appeared to be with the two young men, who were
part owners of the claim, in which I had purchased a share!

Our "firm" was a large concern, owned by ten of us in all; and out of
the number, there were but two who appeared to be toiling for an object.
The majority of mankind think they are living and working for some
purpose; but many of them are mistaken.  They have some wishes, with a
faint desire to see them fulfilled.  But few there are who labour with
that determined resolve that cannot be shaken, or set aside by the
circumstances of the hour.  Men do not often struggle with the
determined spirit, that is ever certain to insure success.

The most superficial observer could not have failed to perceive, that
the two young men I have mentioned were acting under the influence of
some motive stronger than common.

The energy they displayed in their toil, the firmness they exhibited in
resisting the many temptations set before them, their disregard of the
past, their anxiety for the present, and confidence in the future--all
told me that they were toiling for a purpose.  They acted, as if they
had never met with any serious disappointment in life; and as if they
fully believed that Fortune's smiles might be won by those who deserve
them.

I knew they must be happy in this belief: for I once indulged in it
myself.  I could envy them, while hoping that, unlike me, the object for
which they were exerting themselves might be accomplished.  I had seen
many young men--both in California and Australia--yielding to the
temptations that beset them; and squandering the most valuable part of
their lives in dissipation--scattering the very gold, in the
accumulation of which they had already sacrificed both health and
strength.  It was a pleasure, therefore, to witness the behaviour of
these two young miners, actuated by principles too pure and strong to be
conquered by the follies that had ruined so many.  For this reason, I
could not help wishing them success; and I sincerely hoped that virtue,
in their case, might meet with its reward.

Nearly everyone has some cause for self-gratification--some little
revenue of happiness that makes him resigned to all ordinary conditions
of life.

My two companions wished to acquire a certain sum of money, for a
certain purpose.  They had every reason to believe their wishes would be
fulfilled; and were contented in their toil.  Such was once the case
with myself; but my circumstances had sadly changed.  I had nothing to
accomplish, nothing to hope for.

And yet this unfortunate state of existence was not without some
reflections, that partially reconciled me to my fate.  Others were
toiling with hopes that might end in disappointment; and I was not.
Apprehensions for the future that might trouble them, were no longer a
source of anxiety to me!

One of the young men, whom I have thus ceremoniously introduced, was
named Alexander Olliphant.  He was better known amongst us as "the
Elephant"--a distinction partly suggested by his name, and partly owing
to his herculean strength.  He was a native of the colonies--New South
Wales--though he differed very much in personal appearance from the
majority of the native-born inhabitants of that colony, who are
generally of a slender make.  "The Elephant" was about six feet in
height, but of a stout build, and possessing great physical strength.
Although born and brought up in New South Wales, his conversation
proclaimed him familiar with most of the sights to be witnessed in
London, Paris, and many others of the large cities of Europe.  He
appeared to have been well educated; and altogether there was a mystery
about the man, that I could not comprehend.  I did not try to fathom it.
Men working together on the gold-fields are seldom inquisitive; and two
mates will often associate, throughout the whole period of their
partnership without either becoming acquainted with a single
circumstance of the past life of the other--often, indeed, without even
learning each other's family names!

I was along with Edmund Lee--already mentioned in my narrative--for many
months; and yet he never heard my name, until the hour of our parting in
Callao--when we were entering into an arrangement to correspond with
each other!

The second of the young men I have spoken about, was known to us simply
as, "Sailor Bill."  He seldom had anything to say to anyone.  We only
knew, that he had been a sailor; and that he was to all appearance
everything an honest fellow should be.  He had worked with Olliphant for
more than a year; and, although the two appeared to be on intimate terms
of acquaintance--and actually were warm friends--neither knew anything
of the private history of the other!

As soon as we should have completed our claim on the Gravel-pits lead,
Olliphant and Bill had declared their intention of proceeding to
Melbourne--to return to the diggings no more.  They had been both
fortunate, they said--having obtained the full amount for which they had
been toiling, and something more.

They were going to realise those hopes and wishes, that had cheered and
inspired them through the weary hours of their gold digging life.

They were both quite young.  Perhaps they had parents in poverty, whom
they were intending to relieve?  Perhaps others might be waiting for
their return, and would be made happy by it?  The joy of anticipating
such a happiness was once mine; and I could imagine the agreeable
emotions that must have occupied the thoughts of my two companions--once
my own--to be mine no more.

They were going to give up gold digging--with spirits light, and hopes
bright, perhaps to enter upon some new and pleasanter sphere of action,
while I could bethink me of nothing that would ever more restore my lost
happiness.  For me there was nothing but to continue the monotonous
existence my comrades were so soon to forsake.

Volume Three, Chapter XV.

A DINNER-PARTY OF DIGGERS.

Our claim was at length completed, and we--the shareholders--with some
of our friends determined to hold a little jollification.  We engaged a
private room in the hotel, where we had divided our gold; and, after
settling all accounts, we sat down to as good a dinner, as the landlord
could place upon his table.

After dinner, our pipes were lit; and the only business before us, was
to find some amusement for the rest of the evening.

"Rule Britannia," "The Red, White, and Blue," and "The Flag that braved
a Thousand Years," were sung, and duly applauded.  The poet of the
company then gave us a song of his own composing, which, whatever may
have been its merits, met with the approval of the company.

As it was understood that "the Elephant" and "Bill" were going to give
up gold digging for good, and were to start for Melbourne the next day,
one of the party came out with a proposal, warmly seconded by the rest.

"Elephant," said the person thus proposing, "now that you and Bill have
made your fortunes, and are going to give up the business, suppose you
tell us all what you intend doing with your money--so that, when we have
made our fortune, we shall have your example to guide us in spending
it?"

The individual who made this request, had once been a convict in
Tasmania.  He was rather a good-looking man, about forty-five years of
age, and went by the name of Norton.  The little bird called "rumour,"
had chirupped about the diggings many tales of his former achievements
in crime--all of which, however, seemed to have been forgotten.

The reader may ask, why those of our company, who professed to be
respectable men, should associate with one who had manifestly been a
transported felon?

The answer is, that we were in circumstances very different from those
who might think of putting such a question.  Ten or twelve men were
required for working a mine on the Gravel-pits; and where nearly all the
people of the place were strangers to each other, a man could not very
well make choice of his companions, at least not all of them.  Norton
had bought a share in the claim from one of the first holders of it; and
all that the rest of us could require of him, was, that he should
perform his share of the work.

On such an occasion as that of dividing the gold, he had as much right
to be one of the company, as any other shareholder.

"I will agree to what you propose, on one condition," responded the
Elephant, to the proposal of Norton; "and I have no doubt but that my
friend, Bill, will do the same.  But in order that you should understand
what I intend doing in the future, it will be necessary that you should
be told something of my past.  This I am willing to make known, if you,
Norton, will give us a true account of the principal events of your
life; and Bill will probably gratify your curiosity on the same terms?"

"Oh certainly," said Bill; "if Norton will give us his history, I'll
give mine."

The idea of an old convict giving us a true account of his misfortunes
and crimes, was thought to be a very happy one; and the whole company
were amused at the way the "Elephant" had defeated Norton's attempt to
gratify his curiosity: for they had no idea that the convict would make
a "confession."  But to the surprise of all, he accepted the terms; and
declared himself ready and willing to tell "the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth."

Olliphant and Bill could not retreat from the position they had taken,
and Norton was called upon to commence.  The glasses were again filled,
and the short black pipes relit.

The company kept profound silence--showing the deep interest they felt
in hearing the life narrative of a man, with whose crimes rumour had
already made them partially acquainted.

"I am," began Norton, "the son of a poor man--a day labourer, and was
born in the north of Scotland.  Inspired by the hopes common to youth, I
married early.  In consequence, I had to endure the misery every man
must meet, who is cursed with poverty, and blessed with a family he is
unable to support.

"The mutual affection my wife and I entertained for each other, only
increased our wretchedness.  It was agony to see one who loved me,
having to endure the privations and hardships to which our poverty
subjected us.

"By almost superhuman exertions, and by living half-starved, I managed
at last to scrape together a sufficient sum to take me to America--where
I hoped to be able to provide a home for my wife and child.

"I had not the means to take them along with me, though I left enough to
secure, what I thought, would be a permanent home for them until I
should return.

"My wife had a brother--an only relative--who lived in a lonely house
among the hills.  He and his wife kindly agreed to give my old woman a
home, until I should either return, or send for her.

"I will not weary you with the particulars of what I did in America--
more than to state that I went to the copper mines near Lake Superior;
and that I was not there a year, before I was so fortunate as to find a
rich vein of ore, which I sold to a mining company for 6,000 dollars.

"I sent my wife a part of this money, along with the intelligence, that
I would soon return for her.  With the rest, I purchased a small farm in
the southern part of the State of Ohio; and leaving a man in charge of
it, I returned to Scotland for my family.

"I got back in the middle of winter--in December.  It was a very cold
morning, when I arrived in sight of the hovel, that contained all I
loved most dear on earth.  It was Christmas Day; and, in order to have
the pleasure of spending it along with my wife, I had walked all the
night before.  When I drew near the house, I noticed that the snow--that
had been falling for two days--lay untrodden around the door!

"I hurried up inside, when I saw, lying on the floor, and partly covered
with rags, my wife and child.  They were what men call--_dead_!

"The appearance of the hut, and of the dead bodies, told me all.  They
had died of cold and hunger.

"I afterwards learnt, that my brother-in-law had died some time before;
and that his wife immediately afterwards had gone away from the hovel to
join some of her own relatives, who lived near the border.

"My poor wife had disposed of every thing that would sell for a penny;
and had in vain endeavoured to find employment.  The distance of the hut
from any neighbour, had prevented her from receiving assistance in the
last hours of her existence: for no one had been aware of the state of
destitution to which she had been reduced.

"During the severe storm preceding her decease, she had probably
lingered too long in the hut to be able to escape from it; and had
miserably perished, as in a prison.

"Neither she, nor the child, could have been dead for any length of
time.  Their corpses were scarcely cold; and it was horrible for me to
think, that I had been walking in the greatest haste throughout all that
stormy night, and yet had arrived too late to rescue them!

"When sitting by their lifeless forms, in an agony of mind that words
cannot describe, I was disturbed by the arrival of a stranger.  It
turned out to be the post carrier, who stepping inside the hut, handed
me a letter.  At a glance, I saw it was the letter I had sent from
America--enclosing a draft for twenty-five pounds.

"Why has this letter not been delivered before?"  I inquired of the man,
speaking as calmly as I could.

"He apologised, by saying that the letter had only been in his
possession _four days_; and that no one could expect him to come that
distance in a snow storm, when he had no other letter to deliver on the
way!

"I took up an old chair--the only article of furniture in the house--and
knocked the man senseless to the floor.

"His skull was broken by the blow; and he soon after died.

"I was tried, and convicted of manslaughter, for which I received a
sentence of ten years transportation.

"At the end of three years, I obtained a ticket-of-leave for good
conduct.  And now, gentlemen, I have nothing more to tell you, that
would be worth your listening to."

At the conclusion of Norton's narrative, several of the company, who
seemed to be restraining themselves with great difficulty, broke into
loud shouts of laughter.  Norton did not appear to be at all displeased
at this, as I thought, unseemly exhibition!

I afterwards learnt why he had taken it in such good part.  It was
generally known, that he had been transported for robbing a postman; and
the cause of their mirth was the contrast between the general belief,
and his own special account of the crime.

For my part, I could not join in their mirth.  His story had been told
with such an air of truth, that I could not bring myself to disbelieve
it.  If not true, the man deserved some consideration for the talent he
had exhibited in the construction of his story: for never was truth
better counterfeited, or fiction more cunningly concealed, under an air
of ingenuous sincerity.

Volume Three, Chapter XVI.

THE "ELEPHANT'S" AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

When tranquillity had been again restored, the "Elephant" was called on
for his autobiography--which was given nearly as follows:--

"My father is a `squatter' in New South Wales--where I was myself born.

"At the age of seventeen, I was sent to England to be educated; and,
being well supplied with money, the design of those who sent me was not
defeated: for I did learn a good deal--although the knowledge I
obtained, was not exactly of the kind my parents had meant me to
acquire.

"I possessed the strength, and soon acquired the skill, to defeat all my
fellow students in rowing or sculling a boat.  I was also the best hand
amongst them with a bat.  I became perfect in many other branches of
knowledge, of like utility.  During my sojourn in Europe, I made several
trips to Paris--where I obtained an insight into the manners and customs
of that gay capital.

"My father had a sister living in London--a rich widow, who had an only
daughter.  I called on them two or three times, as I could not well
avoid doing so.  I was not infatuated with my cousin, nor did my visits
beget in my mind any great affection for my aunt.

"Her husband had been dead several years before that time.  He had been
related to a family of title, and on his death had left a fortune to his
widow of about fifty thousand pounds.

"My father considered his sister a person of great consequence in the
kingdom; and used to keep up a regular correspondence with her.

"When I was about twenty-two, I received a letter from him, commanding
me forthwith to marry my cousin!

"He had made the match with my aunt, without consulting my wishes.

"The deluded man thought the plan he had formed for me, would make me a
very great personage.  But I could not regard the affair in the same
light.

"Soon after receiving my father's orders, my aunt sent me a note--
containing a request for me to call upon her.

"I complied; and found that she considered the thing as quite settled,
that I was forthwith to marry my cousin.  In fact, my aunt at this
interview had a good deal to say about preparations for the ceremony!

"My cousin was neither personally good-looking, nor interesting in any
way.  On the contrary, she had a disposition exceedingly disagreeable;
and, to crown all, she was a full half-dozen years older than myself.

"Soon after that interview with my English relatives, I embarked for
Sydney.  I had been for some time anxious to return home.  As I have
told you, New South Wales is my native country; and I prefer it to any
other.  I had seen enough of Europe; and longed to gallop a horse over
the broad plains of my native land.

"On my return home, and reporting that I had _not_ married my rich
cousin, my father flew into a great passion, and refused to have
anything farther to do with me.

"I tried to reason with him; but it was of no use.  It ended by his
turning me out of his house; and telling me to go and earn my own
living.  This I did for some time, by driving a hackney coach through
the streets of Sydney.

"My father, on finding that I was man enough to take care of myself,
without requiring any assistance from him, began to take a little
interest in my affairs.  In doing so, he discovered something else--that
caused him quite as much displeasure as my refusal to marry my English
cousin.

"He learnt that I was making serious love to a poor, but honest girl,
who, with her mother, scarce earned a subsistence, by toiling fourteen
hours a day with her needle.

"To think I should let slip a woman with fifty thousand pounds--and who
could claim relationship with a family of title--and then marry a poor
sewing girl, was proof to my father that I was a downright idiot; and,
from that hour, he refused to acknowledge me as his son.

"When gold was discovered in these diggings, I gave up my hackney
business, took an affectionate leave of my girl; and came out here.

"I've been lucky; and I shall start to-morrow for Sydney.  I shall find
the one I love waiting for me--I hope, with some impatience; and, if I
don't miscalculate time, we shall be married, before I've been a week in
Sydney.

"I am young, and have health and strength.  With these advantages, I
should not consider myself a man, if, in a new world like this, I
allowed my warmest inclinations to be subdued by the selfish worldly
influences, that control the thoughts and actions of European people."

I believe the company were a little disappointed in the "Elephant's"
story.  From the remarkable character of the man, and the evidence of
superior polish and education--exhibited both in his bearing and
conversation--all had expected a more interesting narrative--something
more than the tale he had told us, and which was altogether too simple
to excite their admiration.  Some of them could not help expressing
their surprise--at what they pronounced the silliness of the "Elephant,"
in "sacking" a fine lady with _fifty thousand pounds_, and an
aristocratic connection, for a poor Sydney sempstress.  To many of them,
this part of the story seemed scarce credible, though, for my part, I
believed every word of it.

Reasoning from what I knew of the character of the narrator, I felt
convinced that he was incapable of telling an untruth--even to amuse his
audience; and I doubted not that he had refused his rich English cousin;
and was really going to marry the poor sewing girl of Sydney.

In judging of the Elephant--to use his own words--I did not allow my
"inclinations to be subdued by the selfish worldly influences, that
control the thoughts and actions of European people."

Volume Three, Chapter XVII.

SAILOR BILL'S LIFE YARN.

As the autobiography of the "Elephant," had been of too common-place a
character to create any excitement, there was but little interruption in
the proceedings; and Sailor Bill, according to the conditions, was next
called upon to spin the yarn of his life.

Without any formality, he at once responded to the call.

"When a very small boy," began he, "I was what is called a gutter
urchin, or `mud lark,' about the streets and docks of Liverpool.  It was
not exactly the business for which I had been intended.  When very
young, I had been bound apprentice to a trade I did not much like, and
to a master I liked still less.  In fact, I hated the master so much, as
to run away both from him and his trade; and became a ragged wanderer in
the streets.

"The profits of this profession were not so great, as to allow me to
contract habits of idleness, though, somehow or other, I managed to live
by it for nearly a year.

"I was one day overhauling some rubbish, that had been thrown into a
gutter, when a man ran against me; and his feet becoming entangled in
the rags that composed my costume, he was tripped up, and fell into the
mud.

"He immediately got to his feet again; and shook me, until he was so
exhausted and agitated, that he could do so no longer.

"While he was doing so, I was not idle.  With my nails, teeth, and feet,
I scratched, bit, and kicked him--with all the energy passion could
produce.

"My desperate resistance, instead of further provoking, seemed to make a
favourable impression on the mind of the man: for, as soon as he had
ceased shaking me, he declared that I was `a noble little wretch,' a
`courageous little vagrant,' and many other pet expressions equally
conflicting.

"Then taking me by the hand, he led me along by his side, at the same
time questioning me about my home and parents.

"Having satisfied himself, that he had as good a right to me as
anybody--and perhaps a better by my being in his possession--he
continued to drag me onward, all the while muttering to himself, `Dirty
little vagabond! give him in charge to the police.  Spirited boy! give
him in charge of my steward.'

"Favourably impressed with the general expression of his features, I
offered no resistance to his taking me where he liked.  The fact is, I
did not care what became of me, for I was independent of either fortune
or circumstances.

"I was finally carried on board of a ship; and handed over to the care
of her steward, where, for the first time in three years, I had my body
covered with a complete suit of clothes.

"The man who had thus taken possession of me, was a good-natured,
eccentric old bachelor, about fifty years of age; and was master and
owner of the ship, that traded between Liverpool and Kingston, Jamaica.

"I remained with this man seven years; and under his tuition, I obtained
something of an education.  Had I been his own son, he could not have
shown more zeal, or taken greater pains to teach me.

"During all that time, his ship was my only home; and I had nothing to
tempt me away from it.  It was all the world to me; and of that world I
was not long in acquiring a knowledge.

"I was about twenty-one years of age, when I was made first officer of
the ship.  My father--for as such I had got to esteem the man who raised
me from rags, and out of mud, to something like a human existence--was
going to make one more voyage with me, and then lie by for the rest of
his life--leaving me master of the ship.

"We were on our return from Kingston, very deeply laden, when we
encountered a severe gale.  For some time, we allowed the ship to run
with the wind--in order that we might keep on our course; but the storm
increased; and this could not be done with safety.  We were preparing to
lay her head to sea, when a wave rolled over the stern, and swept the
decks fore and aft.  The captain--my generous protector--and two of the
sailors, were washed overboard; and we could do nothing to save them.
All three were lost.

"I took the ship to Liverpool, where a wealthy merchant succeeded to the
captain's property.  To make way for some friend of the new owner, I was
discharged from the service--after receiving the few pounds due to me as
wages.

"The commotion caused by the discovery of the Australian gold-fields,
had then reached Liverpool; and seamen were shipping to Melbourne,
asking only the nominal wages of one shilling a month!  I was able to
get a situation as second officer of a brig bound for that port.

"We had one hundred and twelve passengers; and amongst them was a
bankrupt London merchant, emigrating with a large stock of pride, and a
small stock of merchandise, to the golden land.  He was accompanied by
his wife, and a beautiful daughter.  To me, this young lady appeared
lovely, modest, intelligent; in short, everything that a young man--who
for the first time had felt the tender passion, could wish its object to
be.

"I had frequent opportunities of conversing with her--when she would be
seated outside on the poop; and many of my happiest moments were passed
in her society, in those delightful evenings one experiences while
crossing the Line.

"I was at length made perfectly happy, by the knowledge that there was
one being in the world who felt an interest in my welfare.

"I soon saw that my attentions to his daughter, were displeasing to the
proud merchant; and I was told by the girl herself: that she had been
commanded to discourage my addresses.

"I sought an interview with the father; and demanded from him his
reasons for thus rejecting me.  I was simply told: that the girl was his
daughter, and that I was only a sailor!

"That same evening, when on duty, I was spoken to by the captain in a
harsh and ungentlemanly manner.  I was in no pleasant humour at the
time: and to be thus addressed, in hearing of so many people--but more
especially in the presence of her I loved--was a degradation I could not
endure.  I could not restrain myself, from making a sharp and angry
reply.

"The captain was a man of very quick temper; and, enraged at my
insolence, he struck me in the face with his open hand.  For this
insult, I instantly knocked him down upon the deck.

"The remainder of the voyage I passed in irons.  On arriving at
Williamston, I was sentenced to two months' imprisonment--during which
time I was confined on board a hulk anchored in Hobson's Bay.

"I made an attempt to escape; and, being unsuccessful, I received a
further sentence of two months' hard labour on the hulk.

"When at length I received my liberty, I hastened to Melbourne.  There I
made inquiries for the merchant, in hopes of being able to obtain an
interview with his daughter, who was then the only being on earth, for
whom I entertained the slightest feeling of friendship.

"I succeeded in finding the young lady; and was conducted into the
presence of her mother--who, somewhat to my surprise, received me in the
most cordial manner!

"The old merchant was dead.  He had died within a month after landing;
and the goods he had brought with him to the colony--not being suited to
the market--had been sold for little more than the freight out from
England had cost.  His widow and her daughter were living by their own
industry--which, I need hardly tell you, was something they had never
done before."

Here Sailor Bill paused--as if he had got to the end of his story.

But his listeners were not contented with such a termination.  They
believed there must be something more to come--perhaps more interesting
than anything yet revealed; and they clamoured for him to go on, and
give them the finale.

"There's nothing more," said Bill, in response to the calls of the
company; "at least nothing that would interest any of you."

"Let us be the judges of that," cried one.  "Come, Bill, your story is
not complete--finish it--finish it!"

"I'm sorry myself it's not finished," rejoined he.  "It won't be, I
suppose, until I get back to Melbourne."

"What then?" inquired several voices.

"Well then," said Bill, forced into a reluctant confession, "I suppose
it will end by my getting spliced."

"And to the young lady, with whom you spent those pleasant evenings on
the poop?"

"Exactly so.  I've written to her, to say I'm coming to Melbourne.  I
intend to take her and her mother back to England--where they've long
wished to go.  Of course it would never do to make such a voyage,
without first splicing the main brace, and securing the craft against
all the dangers of the sea.  For that reason, I've proposed to the young
lady, that she and I make the voyage as man and wife; and I'm happy to
tell you that my proposal has been accepted.  Now you've got the whole
of my _yarn_."

And with this characteristic ending, Sailor Bill brought his story to a
termination.

Volume Three, Chapter XVIII.

MY BROTHER WILLIAM.

The next morning, I arose early, and went to Olliphant's tent--to take
leave of him, and his companion Bill.

I accompanied them to the public-house, from which the stage coach to
Geelong was to start.  We stepped inside the house, to have a glass
together.

"There's a question," said Bill, "that I've often thought of putting to
you.  I've heard you called Rowland.  Excuse my appearing to be
inquisitive; but I have a strong reason for it.  You have some other
name.  Will you tell me what it is?"

There is something extraordinary in the power and quickness of thought.
Suddenly a conviction came over my mind: that I had found my brother!  I
felt sure of it.  Memory did not assist me much, in making the
discovery.  It seemed to come upon me, as if by inspiration!

It is true, I had something to guide me, in coming to this conclusion.
Sailor Bill had evidently, at some time or other, known a person by the
name of Rowland.  It at once entered my mind, that I must be the
individual of whom he had this distant recollection.

"My name," said I, in answer to his question, "is your own.  Is not
yours Stone?"

"It is," rejoined he, "William Stone."

"Then we are brothers!"

"You are the Rolling Stone!" exclaimed Bill, grasping my hand.  "How
strange that I did not ask the question, when I first heard you called
Rowland!"

The excitement caused by our mutual recognition, was of the most
pleasurable character; and, for some moments after the first words, we
both remained speechless.

`The Elephant' was nearly as much astonished as ourselves, at the
discovery thus made.  "What a fool I've been," said he, "not to have
seen long ago that you were brothers.  If ever there were two brothers,
I could swear that you two were the pair.  I have been blind not to have
told you before--what you have at last found out for yourselves."

We had no time to do more than exchange mutual congratulations: for the
stage coach was about to start.  I immediately paid for a seat; and set
off along with them for Geelong.  At the moment, I had along with me all
the gold I had gathered.  I had brought it out, for the purpose of
taking it to the Escort Office--as soon as I should bid adieu to my
friends.  There was nothing else of much importance to detain me in
Ballarat; and I parted from the place at less than a moment's notice.

My brother and I found plenty of employment for our tongues, while
making the journey to Melbourne.

I asked him, if he had been aware of our mother's having followed Mr
Leary to Australia.

"Yes," said he, "I knew, when she left me in Liverpool, that she was
going to follow the brute out there; and I concluded she had done so."

"And have you never thought of trying to find her, while you were in
Sydney?"

"No," said my brother, in a tone of solemnity, "when she deserted me in
Liverpool, to go after that wretch, I felt that I had lost a mother; and
it is my belief, that a mother once lost is never found again."

"But did it not occur to you that you should have tried to find Martha?
Do you intend leaving the colonies without making some effort to
discover our sister?"

"Poor little Martha!" exclaimed William, "she was a dear little child.
I would, indeed, like to see her again.  Suppose we both try to find
her?  I do not believe that if we discover her, we need have any fear of
being ashamed of her.  She was once a little angel; and I am sure she
will be a good girl, wherever she is--Oh!  I should like to see Martha
once more; but to tell the truth Rowland, I do not care for ever seeing
mother again!"

I then informed my brother, that his wishes might yet be gratified; and,
as we continued our journey, I gave him a detailed history of the
affairs of the family--so far as I was myself acquainted with them.

It was by no means an agreeable mode of transit, travelling by stage
coach in the state the roads of Victoria were at the time, yet that was
the happiest day I had ever passed in the colony.  William and I kept up
our conversation all day long.  We had hardly a word for our companion,
Olliphant; and we were under the necessity of apologising to him.

"Don't mention it," said the good-hearted Elephant.  "I am as happy as
either of you.  You are two fellows of the right sort; and I'm glad you
have found each other."

On our arrival in Melbourne, we all went together to the Union Hotel.
After engaging rooms, we proceeded to the purchase of some clothes--in
order that we might make a respectable appearance in the streets of the
city.  My brother was in breathless haste to get himself rigged out; and
we knew his reason.  He intended to spend the evening in the society of
his future wife and her mother.

At an early hour in the afternoon, he took leave of us.

Olliphant and I were compelled to kill the time the best way we could;
but the trouble of doing so was not great: since there are but few
cities of equal size with Melbourne, where so much time and money are
devoted to the purpose of amusement.

Next day, I accepted an invitation from my brother, to accompany him on
a visit to his sweetheart.  She and her mother were living in a small
house in Collingwood.  When we arrived at the door, it was opened by a
rather delicate ladylike woman, about forty years of age.  She received
my brother with a pleasant smile; and I was introduced to Mrs Morell.

The young lady soon made her appearance, from an adjoining room; and,
after greeting my brother in a manner that gave me gratification to
witness, I was introduced to her.

Sarah Morell was, what might have been called by any one, a pretty girl.
She had not the beauty of my lost Lenore, nor was she perhaps even as
beautiful as my sister Martha; but there was a sweet expression in her
features, a charm in her smile, and a music in her gentle voice, that
were all equally attractive; and I could not help thinking, that my
brother had made choice of a woman worthy of his honest and confiding
love.

She talked but little, during the interview--allowing most of the
conversation to be carried on by her mother; but, from the little she
did say; and the glance of her eyes--as she fixed them on the manly form
of my brother--I could tell that he was beloved.

By that glance, I could read pride and reverence for the man upon whom
she had bestowed her heart; and that she felt for him that affection I
once hoped to win from Lenore.

How superior was my brother's fate to mine!  He was beloved by the one
he loved.  He was in her presence; and they were soon to be man and
wife.  He was happy--happy as youth can be, when blessed with hope,
love, wealth, and health.  I was happy also; but it consisted only in
seeing others blessed with the happiness, which I was myself denied.

After passing some hours in the cheerful companionship, of Mrs and Miss
Morell, my brother and I returned to our hotel--where we found `The
Elephant' in a very unamiable mood.  He had just ascertained, that he
would have to stay three days longer in Melbourne: as there was no
steamer to start for Sydney before the third day from that time.

After a council held between my brother and myself, it was resolved that
I should go on to Sydney with the Elephant; and try to induce our sister
Martha to accompany me back to Melbourne.  The pleasure of meeting a
long-lost brother, and of being present at his wedding, we hoped, would
be sufficient inducement to cause her to change her resolution, and
consent to live with relatives, who were only too anxious to support and
protect her.

Since William had been told of our mother's death, he appeared to take
much more interest in Martha's welfare; and urged upon me, not to come
back to Melbourne, without bringing her along with me.  We could not, he
said, feel happy, returning to England, and leaving our sister alone in
the colonies.

I promised to use every effort in the accomplishment of his wishes--
which, of course, were but the echoes of my own.

Miss Morell, on hearing that her lover had a sister in Sydney, insisted
on the marriage being postponed, until Martha should arrive.

"I am willing to be married the very day your sister comes," said she,
adding in her artless manner, "I shall wait with great impatience until
I have seen her."

It is hardly necessary to say, that these conditions redoubled William's
anxiety for the speedy arrival of our sister; and, before taking leave
of him, I was compelled to make a most emphatic promise of a speedy
return.  Olliphant, without knowing the object of my visit to Sydney,
was gratified to hear that we were to continue our travelling
companionship still further; and in joyous spirits we stepped aboard the
steamer bound to that place.

Volume Three, Chapter XIX.

A MILLINER'S YARN.

The Melbourne steamer made the port of Sydney, at a late hour of the
night.  On landing, we proceeded direct to a hotel, where, after some
difficulty, we obtained accommodation for the night.

In the morning, after eating our breakfast--which in Sydney is the most
important meal of the day--my companion and I walked out into the
streets.  We soon parted company--each taking a different direction,
since each had his own affairs to attend to.

I proceeded direct to the house where I had left my sister, two years
before.  I was both surprised, and disappointed, at not finding her
there; and perceiving that the house was no longer a milliner's shop.

I inquired for the people who formerly occupied the premises; but could
learn nothing of them.

"I am justly served," thought I, "I should have corresponded with my
sister; and this disappointment could not have happened."

My relatives had been lost to me once.  That should have been a warning.
I should have taken precautions against a recurrence of this
misfortune.  Instead of doing so, I had led Martha to believe, that I
had gone back to England; and during my absence had never written to
her.  I now perceived how foolishly I had acted; and felt as if I
deserved never to see my sister again.

I should have been more deeply aggrieved by my conduct, but that I still
entertained the hope of being able to find her.

Sydney was not a large city; and if my sister was still within its
limits, there was no reason why I should not discover her whereabouts--
especially with the energy and perseverance I determined to make use of
in the search.

This search I lost no time in instituting.  I turned into the next
street--though rather mechanically than otherwise: for I was still
undecided as to how I should act.

All at once I remembered, that the woman, with whom Martha had gone into
partnership, was a Mrs Green.  I remembered, too, hearing Mrs Green
say, that she had resided in Sydney for several years.  Some one,
therefore, should know her; and, if she could be found, it was natural
to infer, that I should learn something of Martha.

While sauntering along the street, into which I had entered, my eye fell
upon a little shop, which bore the sign of a milliner over the window.
That should be the place for me to commence my inquiries.  I entered the
shop, where I saw standing behind a counter the worst-looking woman I
had ever beheld.  She was not ugly, from having a positively hideous
face, or ill-formed features; but rather from the spirit that gave
expression to both.  It was a combination of wicked passions--comprising
self-esteem, insolence, avarice, and everything that makes human nature
despicable.  The woman was dressed in a style that seemed to say:
"vanity for sale."

I asked her, if she could give me any intelligence of a Mrs Green, who
formerly kept a milliner's shop in the next street.

A disgusting grin suddenly spread over the features of the woman, as she
promptly replied, "Yes; Mrs Green was chased out of Sydney over a year
ago.  She thought to smash my business; but she got smashed herself."

"Can you tell me where she is to be found?"  I inquired.

"Yes.  She saw it wasn't no use to try to carry on business against me;
and she's hooked it to Melbourne."

"There was a young woman with her, named Martha Stone," I continued,
"can you tell me where _she_ is?"

"Yes.  She's another beauty.  I am not at all astonished at young men
inquirin' for _her_.  Don't think I am, mister.  I've kept that lady
from starving for the last six months; and I'm about tired of it, I can
tell you.  This is a nice world we live in, sure enough.  What might you
be wantin' with Miss Stone?"

"I wish to know where she is to be found--nothing more," I answered.

"Certainly.  You wish to know where she is!  Of course you do.  Why
not?" said the disgusting creature, in a tone, and with a significant
leer, that I have ever since been vainly endeavouring to forget.  "What
right have you to think, that I should know where any such a person
lives?" continued the woman.  "I wish you to understand, sir, that _I am
a lady_."

I should certainly never have thought it, without being told; but, not
the least grateful for the information, I answered:

"You say, that you know where Miss Stone is to be found.  I am her
brother, and wish to find her."

"Oh! that's it, is it?" retorted the woman with a look of evident
disappointment.  Then, turning round, and forcing her neck someway up a
narrow staircase, she screamed out, "Susan!  Susan!"

Soon after, a very young girl--apparently half-starved--made her
appearance at the bottom of the stairs.

"Susan," said the only woman I ever hated at first sight, "tell this
man, where Miss Stone lives."

There was something not so bad in the creature after all; and I began to
fancy, I had been wronging her.

"Please, sir," said Susan, pointing with outstretched arm towards one of
the sides of the shop, "go up this street, till you come to the baker's
shop; then turn round this way, and go on till you pass the public-house
with the picture of the horse on it; then turn that way, and go on till
you come to where the house was burnt down; cross the street there, and
go on to the house where they sell lollies; go by that, and at the
turning beyond go this way until you come to the house with the green
window blinds--"

"That will do," I exclaimed.  "I don't want to lose my senses, as well
as my sister.  Can you tell me, Susan, the name of the street, and the
number of the house, in which Miss Stone resides?"

"No, sir, thank you," answered Susan.

"Can you go there--if this lady will give you leave?"

"Yes, sir, if you please," said the girl, glancing timidly at her
mistress.

I thought the mistress would refuse; and even hoped she would.  Anxious
as I was to find my sister, I did not like to receive even so slight a
favour from one whom I had hated with so very little exertion.

The woman, contrary to my expectations, consented to the child's going
out to show me the way; and I am so uncharitable as to believe, that her
consent was given with the hope that, in finding my sister, I should
meet with some chagrin!

I followed Susan through the streets, until we came to a dirty, wretched
suburb of the city, where the girl pointed out a house, and told me to
knock at the door.

Giving the poor little slavey half-a-crown, I sent her away; and, the
next minute, my sister was sobbing in my arms.

Everything in the room proclaimed her to be in the greatest poverty.
Strange that I did not regret it; but, on the contrary, was gratified by
the appearance of her destitution!  It was proof that she was still
virtuous and honest.  Moreover, I fancied she would now be the more
willing to accept the protection, I had come to offer her.  She was
under the impression, that I had just returned from England.  When I
undeceived her on this point, she seemed much grieved, that I had been
so long in the colonies, without letting her know it.

I soon learnt from her the simple story of her life, since our last
parting.  At the time she had joined Mrs Green in business, the latter
was deeply in debt; and, in about three months after, all the stock in
the little shop was sold off to meet Mrs Green's liabilities.  Their
business was broken up; and Mrs Green had gone to Melbourne--as her
rival had stated.  Martha had obtained employment in two or three
milliner's establishments in the city; and, as she blushingly told me,
had good reasons for leaving them all.

She was now making a sort of livelihood, by working for anyone who
chanced to have sewing to give her; and was obtaining occasional, but
ill paid employment, from the lady who had assisted me in finding her.

"Oh, Rowland!" said Martha, "that woman is the worst that ever lived.
She never lets me have a piece of sewing, at a price that will allow me
more than bread and water, and yet I have been obliged to take it from
her, because I cannot get enough sewing elsewhere.  I often work from
six o'clock in the morning till ten at night--when I can get anything to
do; and yet I've often been very, very hungry.  I'm sure it is as bad
here, as the stories I've heard about poor sempstresses in London.  Ah,
brother!  Good girls are not wanted in this place.  People seem only to
care for those who are bad; and while they have everything they wish,
girls like me must live as you see I've been doing.  Oh, Rowland! is it
not a cruel world?"

I was much gratified at hearing my sister talk in this manner: for each
word was evidence, that she had been leading an honourable life; and,
moreover, her despondency led me to believe: that she would no longer
oppose my projects, as she had previously done.

It was all for the best, that she had not done as I wished her two years
before.  Had she then consented to returning with me to England, I
should have gone thither--notwithstanding my disappointment about
Lenore.  By doing so, I should have missed meeting my brother--besides I
should have lost the opportunity of making above fifteen hundred
pounds--which I had gathered on the gold-fields of Victoria.

Volume Three, Chapter XX.

MY SISTER STILL OBSTINATE.

I had been some little time in my sister's company, before telling her
of my intentions regarding her.  I had allowed her to indulge in such
conjectures about my designs, as the circumstances might suggest.

"I am very glad, Rowland," said she, "that you have made up your mind to
stay in the colonies.  I hope you will live in Sydney.  Oh! we would be
so happy!  You have come to stay here, have you not?  Say yes, brother;
and make me happy!  Say you will not leave me any more?"

"I do not wish to leave you, dear sister," said I; "and I hope that you
have now learnt a lesson, that will make you willing to accept the offer
I am going to make you.  I have come, Martha, to take you with me to
Melbourne."

"What reason can you have, for wishing me to go to Melbourne?  It cannot
be a better place than Sydney?"

"Are you still unwilling to leave Sydney?"  I asked, with a painful
presentiment, that I was once more to be baulked in my design of making
my poor sister happy.

"Brother," she replied, "I am not willing to go to Melbourne.  I don't
wish to leave Sydney--at least, not yet."

"Would you not like to see your brother William?"  I asked.

"What!  William! dear little Willie!  Have you heard of him, Rowland?
Do you know where he is?"

"Yes.  He is in Melbourne; and very anxious to see you.  I have come to
take you to him.  Will you go?"

"I must see William--my long-lost brother William!  I must see him.  How
came you to find him, Rowland?  Tell me all about it.  Why did he not
come here along with you?"

"We met by mere chance--on the diggings of Victoria; and, hearing me
called Rowland, he asked my other name.  We then recognised one another.
Little Willie--as you call him--is now a tall, fine-looking young man.
Next week he is going to be married to a beautiful girl.  I have come to
take you to the wedding.  Will you go, Martha?"

"I don't know.  I must see brother William.  What shall I do?  What
shall I do?  I cannot leave Sydney."

"Martha," said I, "I am your brother; and am willing to assist you in
any manner possible.  I am older than you; and we have no parents.  I
have the right to some authority over you; and now demand the reason,
why you are not willing to go with me to Melbourne?"

My sister remained silent.

"Give me a straightforward answer," I cried in a tone that partook of
command.  "Tell me why you will not go?"

"Oh, brother!--because--because I am waiting here for some one--one who
has promised--to return to me."

"A man, of course?"

"Yes, yes--a man--a true man, Rowland."

"Where has he gone; and how long is it, since you have seen him?"  I
asked, unable to conceal my indignant sorrow.

"He went to the diggings in Victoria, a little more than two years ago.
Before going, he told me to wait, until he should come back; and then he
would marry me."

"Martha! is it possible that this is your only reason for not going with
me?"

"It is--my only one--I cannot go.  _I must wait for him_!"

"Then you are as foolish, as our poor mother was in waiting for Mr
Leary.  The man who promised to return and marry you, has probably
forgotten both his promise and you, long before this.  Very likely he
has married some other.  I thought you had more sense, than to believe
every idle word spoken by idle tongues.  The man for whom you are making
yourself miserable, would laugh at your simplicity, if he only knew of
it.  He has probably forgotten your name.  Cease to think of him, dear
sister; and make both yourself, and your brothers, happy!"

"Do not call me a fool, Rowland--do not think me one!  I know I should
be, if I was waiting for any common man; but the one I love is not a
common man.  He promised to return; and unless he dies, I am sure he
will keep his word.  I know it would be folly to have trusted most men
as I've done him; but he's not like others.  I shall yet be happy.  To
wait for him is but my duty; do not urge me to neglect it."

"Oh, Martha! our poor mother thought about Mr Leary, just as you do
about this man.  She thought him true to her--the best husband in the
world!  You may be as much mistaken as she was.  I advise you to think
no more of him, but go with me.  Look around you!  See the wretched
state in which you are living!  Leave it for a happy home, with those
who will truly love you."

"Do not talk to me so, Rowland, or you will drive me mad.  I wish to go
with you, and wish to see William; but I cannot, and must not leave
Sydney!"

It was evident to me, that my sister was afflicted with the same
delusion, that had enslaved our mother even unto death; and, with much
regret, I became conscious of the folly of trying to induce her to act
in a rational manner.  I saw that common sense, reason, persuasion, or
threats, would all be alike unavailing to obtain compliance with my
wishes.  The little I had seen of her sex, had impressed me with the
belief that no woman ever exhibited such blind faith and full confidence
in a man worthy of the least regard; and I was willing to stake my
existence, that my sister's lover was a fellow of no principle--some low
blackguard of a similar stamp to the late Mr Leary.  I could not
suppose him to be quite so bad as Leary: for that to me would have
appeared impossible.

I was greatly chagrined to think my kind intentions towards Martha
should be thwarted by her folly.  I was even angry.  Perhaps it was
unmanly in me to be so.  My sister was unfortunate.  No doubt she had
been deluded; and could not help her misfortune.  She was more an object
for pity than anger; but I was angry, and could not restrain myself from
showing it.  Conscious of my upright and disinterested regard for her, I
could not help thinking it ungrateful of her, thus to oppose my designs
for her welfare.

"Martha," said I, "I ask you once more to go with me.  By doing so, you
will fulfil a sister's duty as well as seek your own welfare.  Reject my
offer now, and it will never be made again: for we shall part for ever,
I will leave you to the misery, you seem not only to desire, but
deserve."

"Rowland!  Rowland!" exclaimed she, throwing her arms around my neck, "I
cannot part from you thus.  Do not leave me.  You must not--you must
not!"

"Will you go with me?"  I asked, too much excited to listen patiently to
her entreaties.

"Rowland, do not ask me!  May heaven help me; I cannot go!"

"Then, farewell!"  I cried, "farewell for ever!" and as I uttered the
parting speech, I tore myself from her embrace, and hurried half frantic
out of the room.

Volume Three, Chapter XXI.

MY SISTER'S SWEETHEART.

On leaving the house, my soul was stirred by conflicting emotions.  I
was wild with disappointment, sorrow and indignation.

It was wrong to part with my poor sister in such fashion; and my
conscience told me so, before I had proceeded two hundred yards along
the street.  I should at least have given her some money, to relieve her
from the extreme necessity which she was evidently in.

A moment's reflection, as I stopped in the street, told me it was my
duty to do this, if nothing more.

I thought of sending her a few pounds after getting back to the hotel.
Then succeeded the reflection, that to do so would be more trouble, than
to turn back, and give it to her myself.  This thought decided me to
return to the house, and see her once more.  I retraced my steps; and
again knocked at the door.

For some moments there was no answer; and I knocked again.  I waited for
nearly two minutes; and still there was no sign of my summons being
answered.

I was on the point of bursting in the door, when it was opened by a man,
whose huge frame almost filled the entrance from jamb to jamb.  It was
the Elephant!  The truth instantly flashed upon my mind.  It was for
_him_ my sister had been waiting!  She--was the sempstress for whom he
had been toiling--the young girl spoken of in his story--she, whom he
had said, he was going to return and marry!

Martha had flung herself into a chair; and appeared insensible.

I cannot remember that either Olliphant or I spoke on seeing one
another.  Each was too much surprised at meeting the other.  And yet
neither of us thought, there was anything strange in the circumstance.
Let those, who can, explain the singularity of our sentiments at that
encounter.  I cannot, and therefore shall not make the attempt.  The
attention of both of us was soon called to Martha, who had recovered
consciousness.

"I thank God!" she cried out addressing me, "I thank God, Rowland, you
have returned.  You see, he has come back!" she continued, placing her
hand on the broad shoulder of `the Elephant.'  "I knew he would.  I told
you he was certain to come; and that it was not possible for him to
deceive me.  This is my brother, Alex," she added, turning to Olliphant.
"He wanted me to leave you; but don't blame him: for he did not know
you, as I did.  I've seen hard times, Alex; but the joy of this moment
more than repays me for all."

It was some time before Olliphant and I had an opportunity of
communicating with each other: for Martha seemed determined that no one
should have anything to say but herself.

"What fools we have been!" exclaimed Olliphant, as soon as his
sweetheart gave him a chance of speaking.  "Had you told me that your
name was Stone, and that you had a sister in Sydney, how much more
pleasure we should have had in one another's society!  You have nearly
missed finding your brother; and either you or I have nearly lost your
sister by keeping your name a secret.  I know that for a man to talk to
others of his family affairs is not strict etiquette; but the rules of
that are often made by those who are only respected because they are
unknown; or rather, because nothing concerning them can be told to their
credit."

"You and I have been friends," continued the Elephant, still addressing
his discourse to me.  "Why should we have cared for etiquette?  We ought
to have acted independently of its requirements.  Depend upon it, that
open-hearted candour is ever preferable to secrecy."

I assured Olliphant, that I was convinced of the truth of this doctrine
by late events; and that it was also my belief, an honest man has very
little on his mind that need be concealed from his acquaintances.

The scene that followed was one of unalloyed happiness.  It ended in the
determination--that we should all three at once proceed to Melbourne;
and that Olliphant and Martha should be married at the same time that my
brother was to be united to Miss Morell.

It was ludicrous to witness the change, that had suddenly taken place in
the sentiments of Martha.  She no longer offered the slightest objection
to leaving Sydney; but on the contrary, declared herself delighted at
the prospect of going to Melbourne--a place, she said, she had been long
desirous of seeing!

During the evening, the little slavey, Sarah, came over from the
milliner's shop, with a bundle of sewing materials--which Martha was
required to make up immediately.

"Tell your mistress," said Martha, "that I cannot afford to do any more
work for her: for she does not pay me enough for it.  Tell her, that I
hope she will not be much disappointed; but that I really cannot sew any
more for her.  Will you tell her that?"

"Yes, thank you!" said Sarah, "but I don't think she'll be much
disappointed: for she said she did not think you would do any more work
now; and she only sent it to see."

We had enough to talk about that evening.  Olliphant had been acquainted
with our poor mother; and expressed much regret that she had died so
unhappily.

We all had explanations to make; and Olliphant and I listened with equal
interest to a long recital of my sister's struggle to maintain herself,
and to an explanation of her sorrow at being unable to comply with my
request, when I had entreated her to leave Sydney.

This confession was as pleasant to me as to the Elephant; but perhaps
still pleasanter was it for him to hear that, during his long absence,
she had never felt a doubt about his returning, and that such a
suspicion had never remained for an instant in her mind.

As events had turned out, I could not regret that my sister had been,
what I had too rashly termed foolish; and that her faith in Olliphant's
promise had remained unshaken under such strong temptations, as those to
which she had been subjected.

She had proved herself worthy of a good husband; and there was no one,
whom I should have preferred seeing her united to, before the man, for
whom she had so long and patiently waited.

Volume Three, Chapter XXII.

AT SEA.

On the third day after my arrival in Sydney, I started back for
Melbourne, in the steamer "Warratah," accompanied by Olliphant and
Martha.

On arriving at Melbourne, my sister was taken to the residence of Mrs
Morell, where she had the pleasure of meeting her brother William; and
making the acquaintance of her future sister-in-law.

Sarah Morell and Martha became warm friends upon sight; and on the
evening of our return, a more happy party, than the one assembled in
Mrs Morell's cottage, could not have been found in the colony.

At intervals, a thought of my own life-long disappointment would flash
across my mind; but the sight of so many happy faces around me, would
soon restore me to a feeling of tranquil contentment.

Next day, preparations were made for the double marriage, which took
place shortly after.

The occasion was not marked by any grand ceremonial display--such as I
have often witnessed at the "weddings" of lucky gold-diggers.  All the
arrangements were conducted with the same sense of propriety and taste,
that appeared to have guided the previous conduct of the principal
parties concerned.

My brother's honeymoon tour, was to be a voyage in the first ship that
should sail for England.  As I did not much like the idea of separating
from him so soon; and, having no great desire to return to the diggings,
I resolved to accompany him.

Olliphant and Martha only remained in Melbourne, until they should see
us off, when they intended returning to Sydney to reside permanently in
that city.  The Elephant had gathered gold enough to set him up in some
respectable business; and it was but natural he should prefer New South
Wales--his native country--to any other.  I knew that to my sister, all
places were now alike; so long as she should be with her husband.

I do not much like travelling in a ship, where there is a large number
of passengers.  It is something like going out for a walk, along a
street crowded with people.  When there are many passengers in a vessel,
there are likely to be some of a very disagreeable disposition, that
will be sure to make itself manifest during the voyage.  Moreover, in a
crowded ship, the regulations require to be more rigidly enforced--thus
rendering the passage more irksome to all.  There is much greater
freedom of action, and generally more amusement, on board a ship
carrying only a limited number of passengers.  For this reason, we took
passage in the first cabin of a small vessel--where we knew there would
be only about twenty others besides ourselves.

The ship was bound direct for the port of London; the captain, whose
name was Nowell, was to all appearance a gentleman; the accommodation,
as regarded room and other necessary requirements, was satisfactory; and
we set sail, with every prospect of a pleasant voyage.

As Captain Nowell was a man of sociable inclinings, he soon became a
favourite with all his passengers.  Between him and myself an intimacy
arose; and I passed much of my time in his company--either at chess, or
in talking about subjects connected with his calling, which I had not
altogether forgotten.  He appeared to take an interest in my future
welfare; so much so, as frequently to converse with me on the subject of
my getting married.

"Lucky gold-diggers," said he, "often go home in my ship in search of a
wife; and not unfrequently get cheated in the quality of the article.
As I have some experience in matrimonial matters, you can't do better
than let me choose a wife for you.  Besides," he continued, "I have a
young lady in view, that I think would just suit you.  I have long been
in search of a good husband for her; but have not yet met with a man, to
whom I should think of confiding her happiness.  From what I have seen
of you, Mr Stone, I fancy I could trust her to your keeping."

Though perfectly indifferent about the captain's protegee, I could not
help acknowledging the compliment.

"I only ask of you," he continued, "to make no rash engagements, after
you arrive in England.  Do nothing in that line till you have seen the
girl; and then if you don't like her, there's no harm done."

I thanked the captain for his offer; and sighed, as I thought of the
cruel fate, that had placed an impassible barrier between me and Lenore.

There is one thing in my narrative, that may appear remarkable to the
reader--perhaps scarce truthful; and that is, the facility with which I
made so many friends.  An explanation of this may not be out of place.

I was always in earnest in what little I had to say.  No one could
converse long with me, without discovering that I was sincere in what I
said.  I do not claim this as a trait of character peculiar to myself;
but I do affirm--as far as my experience has instructed me--that it is
not so with the majority of mankind.  Language is too often used, as the
means for concealing thoughts--instead of expressing them.

Thousands of people say what they do not mean; and sometimes gain
friends by it.  But it is a friendship false as it is fleeting; and
often confers on him who obtains it, more disappointment and trouble,
than he would be likely to have with avowed enemies.

Nothing transpired during our home voyage, worthy of particular notice.
After passing some small islands, that lie near the coast of Port
Philip, we never sighted land again for three months!

On the ninety-second day of our voyage, the cheering cry of "Land ho!"
resounded through the ship; and, hastening on deck, we looked upon the
white cliffs of Dover.

Great was the joy of Mrs Morell and her daughter, at once more
beholding their native shores; and I could envy my brother, who had
contributed so much to the happiness of others, and at the same time so
successfully established his own.

We landed at Portsmouth; and proceeded to London by rail.  Before
parting with Captain Nowell--who had to remain a few days with his
ship--I promised to visit him in his London house--the address of which
he had already made known to me.

A few hours after, I entered, for the first time, within the limits of
the world's metropolis.

Volume Three, Chapter XXIII.

LIFE IN LONDON.

After staying one night at a hotel, we went into private lodgings at
Brompton.

For several days after our arrival, my brother was employed in the
pleasant duty of escorting his wife and mother-in-law--on a round of
visits to their numerous old acquaintances, while I was left to wander
alone through the streets of the stupendous city.  I had anticipated
some little pleasure in visiting the far-famed metropolis; but in this I
was disappointed; and soon began to feel regret for having left behind
me the free life I had been pursuing on the gold-fields.

I had some business, however, to transact, even in London.  The gold I
had obtained in California--along with that bequeathed to me by poor old
Stormy Jack--had been forwarded to the Bank of England; and about a week
after my arrival, I went down to the city, to draw out the money deposit
that was due to me.  On presenting myself to the cashier, I was told
that it would be necessary for me to bring some responsible person, to
say that my name was Rowland Stone.  This individual must be known to
the authorities of the Bank.

This requirement placed me in a little dilemma.  Where was I to find a
sponsor?  I was a perfect stranger in London.  So were my travelling
companions.  I knew not a soul belonging to the great city--much less
one who should be known to the magnates of the Bank.

To whom should I apply?

When I had mentally repeated this question, for the twentieth time, I
bethought me of Captain Nowell.  He should be the very man.

I at once hailed a cab; and drove to the address he had given me.
Fortunately he had arrived from Portsmouth; and was at home.

Without a moment's hesitation, he accompanied me to the Bank, where
everything was satisfactorily arranged.  Instead of drawing out the
deposit, I added to it, by paying in an additional sum--consisting of
the gold I had gathered in Australia.  My only object in troubling
myself about it at the time, was to make sure that the gold I had
forwarded from California had arrived safely, and was otherwise "all
right."

Before parting with Captain Nowell, he requested to know why I had not
gone to his house to see him sooner.

"Your coming to-day," he said, "was not a visit; and I shan't take it as
such.  You only came to trouble me on business for which you needed me,
or probably I should not have seen you at all.  You must pay me a
regular visit.  Come to-morrow; or any time that best suits your
convenience.  You know my style at sea?  You'll find me just the same
ashore.  Don't forget that I've something to show you--something you had
better have a look at, before you choose elsewhere."

I gave the kind-hearted Captain my promise to call upon him--though not
from any inclination to be assisted by him in the way he seemed to wish.
The finding a wife was a thing that was far--very far from my thoughts.

Several days had elapsed after my interview with Captain Nowell; and
each day I was becoming more discontented, with the life I was leading
in London.  My brother, his wife, and Mrs Morell, were very kind to me;
and strove to make me as happy as possible.  But much of their time was
taken up in paying visits, or spent in amusements, in which I could feel
no interest.  I soon found that to be contented, it would be necessary
for me, either to take an active part in the busy scenes of life, or be
in possession of great domestic happiness.  The latter I could never
expect to attain; and London appeared to present no employment so well
suited to my disposition and habits, as that I had followed upon the
gold-fields.

I might have passed some of my time very pleasantly in the company of
Captain Nowell; but I was prevented from availing myself of that
pleasure--even of paying my promised visit to him--by the very thing
that might otherwise have attracted me.  I had no desire to form the
acquaintance of the young lady, he had spoken of; and for me to call at
his house might give occasion for him, as well as others, to think
differently.

I admit that I may have been over-scrupulous in this matter: since
Captain Nowell and I had become fast, and intimate friends.  But from
what he had already said, I could not visit the young lady, and remain
indifferent to her, without the conclusion being come to, that I thought
her unworthy of my regard, and that, after seeing, I had formed an
unfavourable opinion of her.  It may have been silliness on my part;
allowing such a thought to prevent my visiting a friend; but, as I had
not come to London wife-hunting, I did not desire others to think that I
had.  To me, matrimony was no more a pleasant subject for
contemplation--especially when it referred to myself--and the few words,
spoken to me by the captain on that theme, had been sufficient to defeat
the only object he probably had any particular wish to attain: that I
should call upon him and partake of his hospitality.

About a month after our arrival in London, I inquired at the General
Post Office for letters from Australia; and had the pleasure of
receiving two.  One was from Olliphant, the other from my sister.
Martha's was a true woman's letter: that could be read once by the
recipient, and then easily forgotten.  It was full of kind words for all
of us in London; but the only information to be obtained from it was,
that she thought well of everybody, and was herself exceedingly happy.

Perhaps I was more gratified with the contents of Olliphant's letter,
from which I select the following extract:--

"On our return to Sydney, I learnt that my father had just got back from
a visit to England--which he had long before determined on making.  I
was very anxious to see him, in the hope that we might become friends
again; but, knowing that the first advances towards a reconciliation
must come from himself, I would not go to him.  I could not think of
acknowledging myself sorry, for having done that which I knew to be
right.  The only step I could make, towards the accomplishment of my
wishes, was to put myself in communication with a mutual friend; and let
him know that I had returned to Sydney.  I did not omit to add, that I
had returned from the diggings with a full purse: for I knew that this
would also be communicated to my father, and might have some effect upon
him of a favourable character.

"It appeared as if I had not been mistaken.  Three days after, the
governor called at the hotel where I was staying; and met me as a father
should meet a son, whom he has not seen for more than three years.  I
was no little surprised at the turn things had taken: for, knowing the
old gentleman's obstinate disposition, I did not expect a settlement
either so prompt, or satisfactory.  I presumed it would take some time
and trouble, to get on good terms with him again.

"He seemed greatly pleased with Martha's appearance; and they became
fast friends all at once.

"`I like the look of you,' said he to her, `and am willing to believe
that you are worthy of Alex; and that is saying a good deal for you.
Ah, my son,' continued he, addressing himself to me, `had you brought
home your London cousin for a wife--as I commanded you to do--should
certainly have horsewhipped you on your return.  When I came to see her
in London, I soon changed my mind about her.  She is nothing but an ugly
silly fool; and too conceited to know it.  I admire your spirit for
disobeying orders, and marrying a girl, whom I am not ashamed to
acknowledge as my daughter.'

"We shall leave town to-morrow for my father's station; and the only
thing we require now to make us perfectly happy, is the company of
yourself, William and his wife, I hope that after you have tried the
`Old Country' for a few weeks, you will believe, as I do, that it is
only a place for flunkeys and snobs; and that every young man of
enterprise and energy should come out here, where life can be spent to
some purpose--worthy of the toil that all ought to endure.  I shall
expect to see you in Sydney within the next year."

There was a strong suspicion in my mind, that "The Elephant" was right,
in believing I would soon return to the colonies.  Why should I remain
in London?  I could be nothing there.  It was different with my brother.
He might now be happy anywhere.  He only wanted a spot, where he might
tranquilly await his final departure from the world, while I was a
Rolling Stone that must roll on--or be miserable.

The more consideration I gave to the circumstance, the more determined
did I become to part from London: and go to some land, where youth and
health were worth possessing.  I could feel that the blessings, Nature
had bestowed on me were not worth much in London, where men are enslaved
by customs and laws that subject the million to the dominion of the few.
I determined, therefore, on going, where I should be regarded as the
equal of those around me, where there was room for me to move, without
the danger of being crushed by a crowd of self-sufficient creatures--
most of whom were in reality more insignificant than myself.  I should
join "The Elephant" in New South Wales; and perhaps become a man of some
influence in a land where the sun is to be seen every day.

I at this time regretted, that I had ever been a Rolling Stone.  I
believed that a man may be happier who has never wandered from home to
learn lessons of discontent, and become the slave of desires, that in
one place can never be gratified.  Each spot of earth has its peculiar
advantages, and is in some respects superior to all others.  By
wandering in many lands, and partaking of their respective pleasures, we
become imbued with many desires to which we look back with regret when
they can no longer be gratified.  After residing in a tropical climate,
who can encounter the chilling blasts of a northern winter, without
longing:

  "For green verandahs hung with flowers,
  For marble founts, and orange bowers?"

And when nearly cooked by the scorching sun--when tortured at every turn
by reptiles, and maddened by the worry of winged insects--we sigh for
the bracing breezes of a northern clime, and the social joys of the
homes which are there found--a happiness such as my brother might now be
permitted to enjoy, but which was for ever denied to me.

With such reflections constantly passing through my mind, I felt that
London, large as it was, could not contain me much longer; and I only
waited, until some slight turning of Fortune's wheel would bestir me to
make a fresh start for the Antipodes.

Volume Three, Chapter XXIV.

OLD ACQUAINTANCES.

One day, while riding inside a "bus" along the Strand, and gazing out
through the slides, I amused myself by looking at the "fares" seated
upon the "knife-board," or rather their images, reflected in the
plate-glass windows of the shops in front of which we were passing.

While thus engaged, my attention became more especially fixed upon one
of my fellow passengers so reflected; and, on continuing my second-hand
scrutiny, I became convinced that an old acquaintance was directly over
my head.  I requested the conductor to stop the "bus," and, upon his
doing so, I got out, and climbed to the top of it.  On raising my eyes
to a level with the roof, I saw that I had not been mistaken.  Cannon,
whom I had last seen in Melbourne, was one of the row of individuals
that occupied the knife-board.

We got off the "bus" at Charing Cross, stepped into Morley's Hotel, and
ordered "dinner for two."

"Cannon," said I, "how came you to be here?  I left you in Melbourne,
without any money.  How did you get a passage home?"

"Well," replied Cannon, with a peculiar grin, "it's easily explained.
My well-wishing friends here sent me a little money, which came to hand,
shortly after I saw you.  I knew why they did it.  They were afraid,
that I might get hard up out there, and, someway or other find my way
home.  They weren't so cunning as they thought themselves.  On receiving
their cheque, I did with it, just what they didn't intend I should do.
I paid my passage home with the money, for fear I mightn't have the
chance again; and I'll take precious good care, they don't send me out
of England a second time--not if I can help it."

"What has become of Vane?"  I asked.

"Vane! the damned insidious viper!  I don't like to say anything about
him.  He had some money left him here; and got back to England, before I
did.  He's here now."

"And how are our friends up the Yarra Yarra.  Have you heard anything of
them, since we were there together?"

"Yes; and seen them, too--several times.  They were well the last time I
saw them.  I mean well in bodily health; but I think a little wrong in
the mind.  They became great friends with that fellow Vane."

I noticed that Cannon, although he had said that he did not like to say
anything about Vane, kept continually alluding to him during the two or
three hours that we were together; and always spoke of him with some
show of animosity.

I could see that the two men were friends no longer.  I was not
inquisitive as to the cause of their misunderstanding--probably for the
reason, that I took very little interest in the affairs of either.

"Are you in any business here?" asked Cannon, when we were about to
separate.

"No," I replied, "I don't desire to go into business in London; and, as
I can find but little to amuse me, I am thinking of returning to
Australia."

"Ah! that's strange," rejoined Cannon.  "Perhaps the reason why you are
not amused, is because you are a stranger here, and have but little
society.  Come along with me, and I will introduce you to some of my
friends, who can show you some London life.  Will you promise to meet me
here to-morrow, at half-past ten o'clock?"

I did not like giving the promise; but Cannon would take no denial; and,
having nothing else to do, I agreed to meet him, at the time and place
he had mentioned.  After that we shook hands, and parted.

Though not particularly caring about either of them, I liked Vane less
than I did Cannon.  I was not at all surprised to find that a
disagreement had sprung up between them.  In fact, I would rather have
felt surprised, to hear that they had remained so long in each other's
society without having had a quarrel.  Cannon, with all his faults, had
some good qualities about him, enough to have rendered him unsuitable as
a "chum" for the other; and I had anticipated a speedy termination of
their friendship.  I knew that Vane must have done something very
displeasing to Cannon, else the other would scarce have made use of such
strong expressions, while speaking of his old associate.  Cannon, when
not excited by passion, was rather guarded in his language; and rarely
expressed his opinions in a rash or inconsiderate manner.

Next morning, I met him according to appointment; and we drove to a
cottage in Saint John's Wood--where he proposed introducing me to some
of his English acquaintances.  We were conducted into a parlour; and the
servant was requested to announce, "Mr Cannon and friend."

The door was soon after opened; and Jessie H--stood before me!

On seeing me, she did not speak; but dropped down into a sofa; and for
some time seemed unconscious, that there was anyone in the room.

It was cruel of Cannon thus to bring us again together; and yet he did
not appear to be the least punished, although present at a scene that
was painful to both of us.  On the contrary, he seemed rather pleased at
the emotion called forth upon the occasion.

Jessie soon recovered command of herself, but I could easily perceive,
that her tranquil demeanour was artificial and assumed--altogether
unlike her natural bearing, when I knew her on the banks of the Yarra
Yarra.

Cannon strove hard to keep alive a conversation; but the task of doing
so was left altogether to himself.  I could give him but little help;
and from Jessie he received no assistance whatever.  The painful
interview was interrupted by the entrance of Mr H--, whose deportment
towards us, seemed even more altered than that of his daughter.

I could easily perceive, that he did not regard either Cannon, or
myself, with any feeling of cordiality.

We were soon after joined by Mrs H--, who met us in a more friendly
manner than her husband; and yet she, too, seemed acting under some
restraint.

While Cannon engaged the attention of Mr and Mrs H--, I had a few
words with Jessie.

She requested me to call, and see them again; but, not liking the manner
in which her father had received me, I declined making a promise.  To my
surprise--and a little to my regret--she insisted upon it; and appointed
the next morning, at eleven o'clock--when she and her mother would be
alone.

"I am very unhappy, Rowland," muttered she, in an undertone.  "I seldom
see anyone whom I care for.  Do come, and see us to-morrow.  Will you
promise?"

I could not be so rude--might I say cruel--as to refuse.

Our stay was not prolonged.  Before we came away, Mrs H--also invited
us to call again; but I noticed that this invitation, when given, was
not intended to be heard by her husband.

"Little Rose is at school," said she, "and you must come to see her.
She is always talking of you.  When she hears that you are in London,
she will be wild to see you."

After our departure, my companion, who already knew my address, gave me
his; and we separated, under a mutual agreement to meet soon again.

There was much, in what had just transpired, that I could not
comprehend.

Why had Cannon not told me that Mr H--and his family were in London,
before taking me to see them?  Why had he pretended that he was going to
introduce me to some of his London friends?  I could answer these
questions only by supposing, that he believed I would not have
accompanied him, had I known on whom we were about to call.

He might well have believed this--remembering the unceremonious manner
in which I had parted from his friends, at the time we visited them on
the Yarra Yarra.  But why should he wish me to visit them again--if he
thought that I had no desire to do so?

This was a question for which I could find no reasonable answer.  I felt
certain he must have acted from some motive, but what it was, I could
not surmise.  Perhaps I should learn something about it next day, during
the visit I had promised to make to Jessie.  She was artless and
confiding; so much so, that I felt certain she would tell me all that
had taken place, since that painful parting on the banks of the Yarra
Yarra.

Long after leaving the house in Saint John's Wood, I found occupation
for my thoughts.  I was the victim of reflections, both varied and
vexatious.

By causing us to come together again, Fate seemed to intend the
infliction of a curse, and not the bestowal of a blessing!

I asked myself many questions.  Would a further acquaintance with Jessie
subdue within my soul the memories of Lenore?  Did I wish that such
should be the case?

Over these questions I pondered long, and painfully--only to find them
unanswered.

Jessie H--was beautiful beyond a doubt.  There was a charm in her beauty
that might have won many a heart; and mine had not been in different to
it.  There was music in her voice--as it gave utterance to the thoughts
of her pure, artless mind to which I liked to listen.  And yet there was
something in my remembrance of Lenore--who had never loved me, and who
could never be mine--sweeter and more enchanting than the music of
Jessie's voice, or the beauty of her person!

Volume Three, Chapter XXV.

JESSIE'S SUITOR.

Next morning I repeated my visit to Saint John's Wood.  I again saw
Jessie.  She expressed herself much pleased to see me; but upon her
features was an expression that pained me to behold.  That face, once
bright and joyous, and still beautiful, gave evidence that some secret
sorrow was weighing upon her heart.

"I know not whether I ought to be glad, or grieved, Rowland," said she.
"I am certainly pleased to see you.  Nothing could give me greater joy;
and yet I know that our meeting again must bring me much sorrow."

"How can this be?"  I asked, pretending not to understand her.

"Ever since you left us on the Yarra Yarra, I have been trying to forget
you.  I had resolved not to see you again.  And now, alas! my resolves
have all been in vain.  I know it is a misfortune for me to have met
you; and yet I seem to welcome it.  It was wrong of you to come here
yesterday; and yet I could bless you for coming."

"My calling here yesterday," said I, "may have been an unfortunate
circumstance, though not any fault of mine.  I knew not, until I entered
this house, but that you were still in Australia.  Mr Cannon deceived
me; he proposed introducing me to some of his London friends who lived
here.  Had I known on whom we were going to call, for my own happiness,
I should not have accompanied him."

"Rowland, you are cruel!"

"How can you say so, when you've told me it was wrong for me to come?
Jessie! there is something in this I do not understand.  Tell me, why it
is wrong for me to have seen you, while, at the same time, you say you
are pleased at it?"

"Rowland, spare me!  Speak no more of this.  Let us talk of other
things."

I did my best to obey her; and we conversed nearly an hour, upon such
topics as suggested themselves, until our _tete-a-tete_ was interrupted
by the entrance of Mrs H--.

I could not well bid adieu to them, without promising to call again: for
I had not yet seen little Rosa.

After my return home, I sate down to reflect upon the conversation I had
had with Jessie--as also to seek some explanation of what had appeared
mysterious in the conduct, not only of Cannon, but of Jessie's father
and mother.

I had learnt that Mr H--, like many of the Australian wool growers,
after having made his fortune in the colonies, had returned to his
native land--intending to end his days in London.

I had also learnt that Vane--after that occasion on which he accompanied
Cannon and myself, had often revisited the family on the Yarra Yarra;
and had become a professed candidate for the hand of Jessie.

In the colony he had received but little encouragement to continue his
advances, either from her father or mother.  Since their arrival in
London, however, Vane had come into possession of some property; and Mr
H--had not only listened with favour to his proposals, but was strongly
urging his daughter to do the same.

A matrimonial alliance with Vane would have been considered advantageous
by most people in the social position of the H--family; and Jessie, like
many other young ladies, was likely to be married to a man, who held but
a second place in her affections.

Thousands do this, without surrendering themselves to a life of misery;
and Jessie H--could scarce be expected to differ from others of her age
and sex.  In fact, as I soon afterwards learnt, she had yielded to her
father's solicitations, rather than to the suit of the wooer; and had
given a reluctant consent to the marriage.  It was to take place in
about ten days from that time.

I also learnt that Vane and Cannon had quarrelled, before leaving
Melbourne.  I did not ascertain the exact cause.  It was no business of
mine; and I did not care to be made acquainted with it.  With the
conduct of the latter I had some reason to be dissatisfied.  He had
endeavoured to make use of me, as a means of obtaining revenge against
his enemy--Vane.

I could not think of any other object he might have, in bringing me once
more into the presence of Jessie.

To a certain extent he had succeeded in his design.  Without vanity I
could not shut my eyes to the fact of Jessie's aversion to her marriage
with Vane; and I was convinced that, after seeing me, it became
stronger.

I was by no means pleased at the idea of being made a cat's paw for the
gratification of Cannon's revenge; and, next day, when his name was
announced at my lodgings, I resolved that that meeting should be our
last.

"Mr Cannon," said I, before he had even seated himself, "will you tell
me why you took me to see Jessie H--, when you had reason to believe
that neither of us desired to meet the other again?"

"I had no reason for thinking anything of the kind," replied he.  "On
the contrary, there was much to make me believe differently.  I have a
great respect for Mr H--and his family; and I don't mean to flatter,
when I tell you, I have the same for yourself.  What harm was there in
bringing together those whom I respect? and desire to see friends?  But
you want some explanation.  You shall have it.  It is this:--you have
seen Vane, and know something about him.  I know more of him, than you.
He is a conceited, trifling fellow, without the slightest truth or
principle in him.  True, his society was amusing.  I overlooked his
faults; and bore with him for a long time.  When I saw that he was
trying to take advantage of the introduction I had given him to the
daughter of my friend--a young lady of whom he is in no sense worthy--I
then became his enemy.  I acknowledge having taken you to see her in a
somewhat surreptitious fashion; and, moreover, that I did it with a
design: that of thwarting the intentions of Vane.  But I deny having
done it as you suppose, because he is my enemy.  It was not that; but my
friendship to Mr H--, and his family, that induced me to act as I did.
While we were on the Yarra Yarra, I could not fail to notice that you
were not wholly indifferent to the beauty of Miss H--; and also, that
she had the discernment to see, that you were worthy of her esteem.
Where was the harm, then, in my bringing you once more together?  You
are mistaken in thinking, that I was using you to give annoyance to an
enemy.  On the contrary, I claim to have been only guilty of studying
the happiness of my friends."

To Cannon's explanation I could make no answer.  He was better in an
argument than I; and what he had said, left me without any reason to
believe, that he knew either of Jessie's being engaged to Vane, or that
their marriage was shortly to take place.  From his point of view, I
could not much blame him for what he had done.

I had received Cannon with the resolve to have nothing more to do with
him, after our interview should end; but he had given me a fair
explanation of his conduct, and we parted without any ill-will.

I had promised to call again upon Jessie.  It was after my last visit to
her, that I had learnt of her approaching marriage with Vane; and, on
receiving this intelligence, I regretted having made the promise.  I had
two reasons for regretting it.  To see her again could only add to her
unhappiness; and perhaps to me might be a cause of self-reproach.

Nothing but sorrow could spring from our again seeing one another--a
sorrow that might be mutual--and, in spite of the promise I had given, I
determined we should meet no more.

Volume Three, Chapter XXVI.

MRS NAGGER.

My brother William had rented a house in Brompton, engaged two female
servants, and commenced house-keeping after the manner of most
Londoners.

In his house I was permitted to occupy two apartments--a parlour, and
bed-room.

The servant, who attended to these rooms, possessed a character, marked
by some peculiarities that were rather amusing.  She was over fifty
years of age; and carried about the house a face that most people would
have considered unpleasant.

I did not.  I only believed that Mrs Nagger--such was her name--might
have experienced several disappointments in her life; and that the
expression, caused by the latest and last of them, had become so
indelibly stamped upon her features, as not to be removed by any hope of
future happiness.

Like a good many of her sex, Mrs Nagger's tongue was seldom at rest,
though the words she uttered were but few, and generally limited to the
exclamatory phrase, "More's the pity!" followed by the confession,
"That's all I can say."

I had, sometimes, cause to complain of the coffee, which the old
housekeeper used to set before me--fancying it inferior to any, I had
met elsewhere.

"Mrs Nagger," I would say--laying an emphasis on the Mrs, of which she
seemed no little vain--"I do not think this is coffee at all.  What do
you suppose it to be?"

"Indeed I don't know, sir; and more's the pity!"

"And this milk," I would continue, "I fancy it must have been taken from
an iron-tailed cow."

"Yes, sir; and more's the pity!  That's all I can say."

I soon learnt that the old creature was quite right in her simple
confession.  "More's the pity" was about all she could say; and I was
not sorry that it was so.

One day I was honoured by a visit from Cannon, who, being some years
older than myself, and having rather an elevated opinion of his own
wisdom, volunteered to offer me a little advice.

"Stone," said he, "why don't you settle down, and live happily like your
brother?  If I had your opportunity of doing so, I wouldn't put up with
the miserable life I am leading, a week longer."

"What opportunity do you speak of?"

"Why that of marrying Jessie H--.  Do not think me meddlesome, or
impertinent.  I take it for granted that you and I are sufficiently
acquainted for me to take the liberty I am doing.  The girl likes you; I
know it, and it is a deuced shame to see a fine girl like her thrown
away on such a puppy as Vane.  Why don't you save her?  She is
everything a man could wish for--although she is a little different from
most of the young ladies of London.  In my opinion, she's all the better
for that."

In thus addressing me, Cannon acted in a more ungentlemanly manner than
I had ever known him to do, for he was not a man to intrude advice upon
his friends--especially on matters of so serious a nature, as the one he
had introduced.

Believing him to have some friendship for myself, more for the H--
family, and a great antipathy to Vane, I listened to him without feeling
offended.

"I am not insensible to the attractions of Miss H--," said I, "but the
happiness, you speak of, can never be mine."

"Oh!  I understand you," rejoined he.  "You have been disappointed in
love by some one else?  So was I, once on a time--madly in love with a
girl who married another, whom I suppose she liked better than me.  At
first I thought of committing suicide; but was prevented--I suppose, by
fear.  I was afflicted with very unpleasant thoughts, springing from
this disappointment.  They stuck to me for nearly three years.  I got
over them last, and I'll tell you how.  I accidentally met the object of
my affections.  She was the mother of two rosy, apple-cheeked children;
and presented a personal appearance that immediately disenchanted me.
She was nearly as broad as she was long.  I wondered how the deuce I
could ever have been such a fool as to love the woman--more especially
to have made myself so miserable about her.  If you have been
disappointed in the same manner, take my advice, and seek the remedy
that restored me."

Absurd as Cannon's proposition might appear, I could not help thinking
that there was some philosophy in it; and, without telling him of my
intention, I determined on giving it further consideration.

To change the conversation, I rang the bell.  I knew that Cannon was
fond of a glass of Scotch whiskey; and, when Mrs Nagger made her
appearance, I requested her to bring a bottle of Glenlivet into the
room--along with some hot water and sugar.  The "materials" were
produced; and we proceeded to mixing the "toddy."

"This is the right brand," said Cannon, taking up the bottle, and
scrutinising its label, "the very sort to my taste."

I could see the lips of Mrs Nagger slightly moving; and I knew that she
was muttering the words, "more's the pity!"  I have no doubt that she
suffered a little at being deprived of the opportunity of giving her one
idea a more audible manifestation.

Cannon did not suffer from any disappointment as to the quality of the
liquor.  At all events, he appeared to find it to his liking: for he
became so exhilarated over it, that he did not leave until sunset; and
not then, till he had prevailed upon me to accompany him--with the
understanding, that we should spend the evening together.

"What's the use of your living in London," he asked, "if you stay all
the time within doors?  You appear even less inclined to see a little
life, than when I met you in Melbourne.  Why is it, Stone?"

"Because I came here to rest myself.  A life spent in labour, has given
me but few opportunities of acquiring that knowledge, that may be
obtained from books; and now that I have a little leisure given me, I
wish to make a good use of it."

"That's a very sensible design, no doubt," said Cannon, "but you must
not follow it to-night.  Come along with me; and I'll show you something
of London."

I consented to accompany Cannon--on the condition of his taking me to
some place where I could be amused in a quiet, simple manner--any
spectacle suitable to a sailor, or gold-digger, and at which there might
be no disgrace in being present.

"Take me to some place," said I, "that is neither too high nor too low.
Let me see, or hear something I can understand--something that is
popular with the majority of Londoners; so that I may be able to form an
idea of their tastes and habits."

"All right," answered Cannon, "I'll take you to several places of the
sort; and you can judge for yourself.  You wish to witness the
amusements most popular among, what might be called, the middle classes?
Well, we shall first visit a concert hall, or music room.  The
Londoners profess to be a musical people; and it must be admitted that
much, both of their time and money, is expended in listening to vocal
and instrumental performances.  It is in the theatres and music halls,
that one may best meet the people of London--not the very lowest class
of them; but those who profess, and fancy themselves up to a high
standard of civilisation.  Come on!"

Yielding myself to the guidance of my sage companion, I followed him
into the street.

Volume Three, Chapter XXVII.

LONDON CONCERT SINGERS.

It was about nine o'clock in the evening, when we entered, what Cannon
called, one of the most "respectable music halls" in London.

I discovered the "entertainment" to consist of one or more persons
standing upon a stage, before a large assemblage of people, and
screaming in such a manner, that not a word could be understood of the
subject, about which they were supposed to be singing!

To make secure, against any chance of a sensible sound reaching the ears
of the audience, several instruments of music were being played at the
same time; and the combined effect of the screams, yells, moans, groans,
and other agonising noises proceeding from both singers and musicians,
nearly drove me distracted.

When an act of this "entertainment," was over; and the creatures
producing it were on the point of retiring, the entire audience
commenced clapping their hands, stamping their feet on the floor, and
making other ridiculous demonstrations.  In my simplicity, I fancied
that this fracas arose from their satisfaction at getting rid of the
hideous screaching that had come from the stage.  I was told, however,
that I was mistaken in this; and I afterwards learnt, that the clapping
of hands and stamping of feet were intended to express the pleasure of
the audience at what had been causing me positive pain!

I could see that these people had really been amused, or pretended that
such had been the case; and I fervently prayed, that I should never be
afflicted with the "refinement" that could cause me to take an interest
in the exhibition which appeared to have amused them.

While the storm of applause was raging, a man would spring up, and
announce the name of the next performer, or performers--though not a
word of what he said could be heard.  During this "intellectual"
entertainment, the audience were urged to give orders for refreshments,
which were served to them by men moving about in "hammer-claw coats" and
white "chokers."

For the "refreshments" partaken of, an exorbitant price was charged; and
then something had to be paid to the ghoul-like creatures who placed
them before you.

So enlightened are the people of the world's metropolis, that a man is
expected to fee the waiter who sets his dinner before him.

An unenlightened people, who live far away from London, are such fools,
as to think that when a dinner is ordered, the proprietor of the place
is under some obligation to have it set on the table; but Londoners have
reached a pitch of refinement--in the art of extortion and begging--that
has conducted them to a different belief.

After staying in the "music hall" about an hour--and becoming thoroughly
disgusted both with actors and audience--I succeeded in persuading my
friend to take me away.

Our next visit was to a "tavern," where we were shown into a large
parlour, full of people, though it was some time before I became certain
of this fact, by the tobacco smoke that filled the apartment.

In this place also, part of the entertainment consisted of singing,
though none of the singers were engaged professionally.  A majority of
those present, seemed to be acquainted with one another; and those who
could sing, either volunteered, or sung at the request of the "company."
A man sitting at the head of a long table, officiated as "chairman,"
and by knocking on the table with a small ivory hammer, gave notice when
a song was to commence, at the same time commanding silence.

In this place, we actually heard songs sung in good taste, and with much
feeling, for it was possible to understand both the words and the music.
On leaving this tavern we repaired to another; and gained admission
into the "parlour."  We found it filled with linen draper's assistants,
and other "counter jumpers."

Their principal amusement appeared to be, that of trying which could use
the greatest quantity of slang and obscene language.  It had been
raining, as we entered the house; and a young man--too elaborately
dressed to be a gentleman--who came in after us, reported to the rest of
the company, that it was "raining like old boots."

Another well-dressed young man entertained the company with the
important intelligence, that as soon as it should cease raining, he
intended to "be off like a shot."

The individuals assembled in this tavern parlour, had a truly snobbish
appearance.  Their conversation was too obscene to be repeated, yet
every sentence of ribaldry was received by the company with shouts of
laughter!

My companion and I stayed but a few minutes among them.  On going out
from this place, we resolved to separate for the night, as I was quite
satisfied with what I had seen of metropolitan amusements.

There are many disagreeable peculiarities about London life.  It is the
only place visited by me in all my wanderings, in which I had seen women
insulted in the streets, and where I had been almost every day disgusted
by listening to low language.

London, for all this, offers many advantages as a home.  The latest and
earliest news, from all parts of the world, is there to be obtained, as
well as almost everything else--even good bread and coffee--if one will
only take the trouble to search for them.

My brother had made London his home.  It was the wish of his wife--
backed by that of her mother--that he should do so.  This resolution on
his part, produced in my mind some unmanly envy; and perhaps a little
discontent.

Why could fortune not have been equally kind to me, and linked my fate
with Lenore.  I had wandered widely over the world, and wished to wander
no more.  Had fate been kind, I might have found a happy home, even in
London.  But it was not to be; and I might seek for such in vain--in
London, as elsewhere.

Might I not be mistaken?  Might I not follow the counsel of Cannon with
profit?  By once more looking upon Lenore, might I not see something to
lessen my misery?

The experiment was worth the trial.  It was necessary for me to do
something to vary the monotony of existence.  Why not pay a visit to
Lenore?

Why not once more look upon her; and, perhaps as Cannon had said, "get
disenchanted."  By so doing, I might still save Jessie, and along with
her myself.

Why was the presence of Jessie less attractive than the memory of
Lenore?  She was not less beautiful.  She was, perhaps, even more gentle
and truthful; and I believed no one could love me more.  Why then should
I not follow Cannon's advice?  Ah! such struggles of thought availed me
nothing.  They could not affect my resolution of returning to Australia.
The more I reasoned, the more did I become convinced, that I loved only
one--only Lenore!

Volume Three, Chapter XXVIII.

A "BLESSED BABY."

I am afflicted by a mental peculiarity, which seems to be hereditary in
my family.  It is my fate to form attachments, that will not yield to
circumstances, and cannot be subdued by any act of volition;
attachments, in short, that are terminated only by death.  Among the
individuals of our family, this peculiarity has sometimes proved a
blessing--at other times a misfortune.  Such an infatuation for Mr
Leary existed in the mind of my mother.  It had been cured only by her
death.  My sister and brother had experienced a similar regard for the
respective objects of their affection.  In the case of both it appeared
to have led to a blessing.  I had been less fortunate than they; and
perhaps not more so than my departed mother: for the memories of a young
girl, met in early life, had blighted all my hopes, and chilled the
aspirations of my youthful manhood.

It may seem strange that a young man who had seen something of the
world--and gathered gold enough to enable him to meet the demands of
every day life--should find any difficulty in choosing a wife.  Perhaps
I may be understood, when I state that I was unable to act as most men
would have done in a similar situation.  The idea of my being united to
any other than Lenore, seemed to me something like sacrilege--a crime, I
could neither contemplate nor commit.

This condition of mind was, in all probability, mere foolishness on my
part; but I could neither help, nor control it.  A man may have
something to do in the shaping of his thoughts; but in general they are
free from any act of volition; and my inability to conquer the affection
I had formed for Lenore Hyland--from whatever source it proceeded--had
been proved by long years of unsuccessful trying.  My will had been
powerless to effect this object.

I had once been astonished at the conduct of my mother.  Her long-felt
affection for Mr Leary had appeared to me the climax of human folly.
After all, was it any greater than my own?  I was a young man,
possessing many advantages for a life of happiness.  Thousands might
have envied my chances.  Yet I was not happy; and never likely to be.  I
was afflicted with an attachment that produced only misery--as
hopelessly afflicted, as ever my poor mother had been; and that, too,
for one whom it was wrong in me to love, since she was now the wife of
another.

In one thing, it might be supposed, that I had the advantage of my
unfortunate mother.  I had the satisfaction of knowing, that my love had
been bestowed upon a worthy object.  For all this, my happiness was as
effectually ruined--as had been my mother's, by an affection for the
most worthless of men!

I believed myself to have been very unfortunate in life.  The reader may
not think so; but I can assure him, that the person who imagines himself
unhappy, really is so--whether there be a true cause for it, or not.
Call it by what name you will, folly, or misfortune--neither or both--my
greatest pleasure was in permitting my thoughts to stray back to the
happy hours I once spent in the society of Lenore; and my greatest
sorrow was to reflect, that she was lost to me for ever!

My determination to return to Australia became fixed at length; and
there seemed nothing to prevent me from at once carrying it into effect.
Something whispered me, however, that before going to the other side of
the world, I should once again look upon Lenore.

I knew not what prompted me to this resolve, for it soon became such.
Cannon's counsel might have had something to do with it; but it was not
altogether that.  I was influenced by a higher motive.

I had heard that after her marriage, her husband had taken her to reside
in London.  I presumed, therefore, that she was in London at that
moment; but, for any chance that there would be of my finding her, she
might as well have been in the centre of the Saharan desert.  I had no
clue to her address--not the slightest.  I did not even know the name of
the man she had married.  The steward, who at Sydney had told me the
news, did not give the name; and at the time I was too terribly affected
to think of asking it.  It is true that I might have found her by
advertising in the papers; but the circumstances were such, as to forbid
my resorting to such means as that.  I only desired to see her--not to
speak to her.  Nothing could have tempted me to exchange a word with
her.  I wished but to gaze once more upon her incomparable beauty--
before betaking myself to a place where the opportunity could never
occur again.

I thought of Cannon's conversation--of his plan for becoming
disenchanted; but I had not the slightest idea, that, in my case, it
would prove successful.

While reflecting, on how I might find Lenore, a happy idea came to my
aid.  She had lived in Liverpool--she had been married there.  I was
acquainted with some of Mrs Hyland's friends, who must still be in
Liverpool.  Surely they would know the name and address of the young
lady, who was once Lenore Hyland?  It would only cost me a journey to
Liverpool--with some disagreeable souvenirs, to spring up in my mind
while there--but my reward would be to gaze once again upon the beauty
of Lenore.

I had seen in the papers, that Captain Nowell's vessel was to sail for
Melbourne in a few days.  I was pleased at this information: for I
intended to take passage with him; and might anticipate a more pleasant
voyage, than if I went with a stranger.

Before setting out for Liverpool, I wrote a note to Captain Nowell--
informing him of my intention to go out in his ship; and requesting him
to keep for me one of the best berths of his cabin.  This business
settled, I took the train for the metropolis of Lancashire.  I was not
over satisfied with myself while starting on this journey.  I was
troubled with a suspicion, that I was doing a very foolish thing.  My
conscience, however, became quieted by the reflection that it was of
very little consequence, either to myself, or any one else, whether I
went to Liverpool, or stayed in London.  I was alone in the world--a
rolling stone--and why should I not follow the guidance of my destiny?

I became better satisfied with my proceedings when I reflected that they
would lead to my finding Lenore, and once more looking upon her.

I knew that by so doing my unhappiness might only be increased; but I
fancied that even this would be a change from the dull aching misery, I
had been so long enduring.

My railroad journey by Liverpool was not without an incident that
interested me.  In the carriage in which I had taken my seat, was a
man--accompanied by his wife, their child, and a servant girl who nursed
the "baby."  I had not been ten minutes in the company of this
interesting group, before I became convinced that it was worthy of being
studied, although like a Latin lesson, the study was not altogether
agreeable.

The husband was a striking example, of how a sensible man may sometimes
be governed by a silly woman.  The child was about two years and a half
old; and the fact, that it had already learnt to cry, seemed to its
mother something to be surprised at!

The selfishness which causes that painful reserve, or want of
sociability, observable amongst the travelling English of the middle
class, was in the case of the woman in question, subdued by a silly
conceit about her child--which she appeared to regard as a little lump
of concentrated perfection.  Before we had been in the carriage
half-an-hour, she had told me its age, the number of its teeth, what it
did, and did not like to eat, along with several remarkable things it
had been heard to say.

"But is it not strange," asked she, after a long speech in manifestation
of its many virtues, "that a child of its age cannot walk?"

"There is nothing strange about it," muttered the husband, "how can the
child learn to walk, when it never has an opportunity of trying?  It'll
never have a chance to try, as long as there is a servant girl in the
United Kingdom strong enough to carry it about.  I'll answer for that."

"John, dear, how can you talk so?" exclaimed the mother of the blessed
baby, "you have not the least consideration, or you would not expect an
infant to be a man."

During the two hours I shared the carriage with this interesting family,
I heard that mother use to her child about one-fourth of all the words
in the English language--adding to each word the additional syllable
"ee."

When the father ventured to open his mouth, and speak to the child in
plain English, the mother would accuse him of scolding it; and then the
little demon would set up a loud yelling, from which it would not
desist, until mother and nurse had called it every pet name they could
think of--adding to each the endearing syllable "ee."

Becoming perfectly satisfied at the observations I had made of the
peculiarities of this pleasant family, I took the first opportunity of
"changing carriages;" and left the fond mother to enjoy, undisturbed,
the caresses of her spoilt pet.  Perhaps, had Fortune been a little
kinder to myself, I might have felt less afflicted in such society.  But
as I had no intention of ever becoming a family man, I thought the
knowledge of "what to avoid," was hardly worth acquiring--at the expense
of being submitted to the annoyance that accompanied the lesson.

Volume Three, Chapter XXIX.

BROWN OF BIRMINGHAM.

On my way to Liverpool, I took the route by Birmingham--with the
intention of breaking my journey in the latter city.

I had two reasons for this.  I wanted to see the great city of iron
foundries; and, still more, my old mate--Brown, the convict--who had
worked along with me on the diggings of Avoca.

The morning after reaching Birmingham, I went in search of the place,
where Brown had told me to enquire for him.

Just before his departure from the diggings, he had seen a man fresh
from Birmingham; and had learnt from him, that a young fellow--with whom
he had once been acquainted--was then keeping a public-house formerly
much frequented by his father.

The old convict had said, that from this tavern keeper he should be able
to learn all about his family; and had directed me, in case of my ever
coming to Birmingham, to inquire for himself at the same address.

I found the tavern without much trouble.  It was what might be called,
either in Birmingham or Glasgow, a "third class" public-house; but would
not have been licensed for such a purpose in any other city.

I saw the landlord; and requested him to give me the address of "Richard
Brown."  After some hesitation, my request was complied with.

On proceeding to the place, I had the good fortune to find my old mate
at home.

I had no occasion to regret paying him this visit: for the happiness it
seemed to cause him, was worth making a long journey to confer.

"You are the only one," said he, "to whom I told my story in the
colonies.  You remember with what little hope I returned home; and I
know you are just the man to be pleased at what I have to tell you."

"I am certainly pleased," said I, "at what I already see.  I find you
living in a quiet, comfortable home; and, to all appearance, contented."

"Yes," joyfully answered Brown, "and I am all that I appear, even more
happy than you can imagine.  But I must tell you all about it.  On my
return, I found my mother still living, and in a workhouse.  My brother
was married; and had a large family--fighting, as he and I used to do,
against death from starvation.  I did not go to my mother in the
workhouse.  I did not wish to meet her there, in presence of people who
could not have understood my feelings.  After learning that she was
there, I took this house; and furnished it on the same day.  My brother
then went to the workhouse, took our mother out of it, brought her here,
and told her it was her own home, and that everything she saw belonged
to her.  He then explained the puzzle--by bringing us together.  The
poor old lady was nearly mad with joy; and I believe that I was at that
moment the happiest man in England.  I am not certain, but that I am so
yet.  The pleasure I have had in placing my mother beyond the reach of
want, and in aiding my brother--who only required the use of a few
pounds, to enable him to make a comfortable living--has far more than
repaid me, for all the hardships and sorrows of the past."

Before I parted from him, Brown opened a door, and called to his mother,
requesting her to come in.

When she entered the room, I was introduced to her, as a friend who had
known her son in Australia.  She was a respectable-looking woman, about
sixty-eight years of age; and her features bore an expression of
cheerfulness and contentment that was pleasant to behold.

"I am greatly pleased to see thee," said she, addressing herself to me,
"for thy presence here tells me, that my son had friends amongst
respectable people when far away."

I took this as a compliment; and was as polite to her, as I knew how to
be.

Brown informed me, that he was then engaged in the hay and corn
business; and was making a little money--enough, he said, to prevent the
gold-dust he had brought home with him from getting scattered.
Notwithstanding what he had done for his mother and brother, he expected
to find himself at the end of the year worth as much money, and a little
more, than when he landed in England.

I know not what others may think of the incident here described; but I
felt upon parting from Brown, that it had been worth all the trouble I
had taken to call upon him; and I will, at any time, again undergo the
same trouble to be present at a similar spectacle.

Under the guidance of my old mining partner, I visited many of the great
manufacturing establishments of Birmingham; and, after seeing much to
cause me both wonder and admiration, I proceeded on my journey to
Liverpool.

Volume Three, Chapter XXX.

IN SEARCH OF LENORE.

From having resided so long in Captain Hyland's family, I was familiar,
as already stated, with the names of many of their acquaintances.
Amongst others, I remembered a Mrs Lanson, who had been on very
intimate terms with Mrs Hyland and Lenore.

I knew her address; and from her, would be sure to obtain the
information I desired.  After arriving in Liverpool, I proceeded almost
direct to her residence.  At Captain Hylands house, I had often met Mrs
Lanson; and on presenting myself, had no trouble in getting recognised.
I was received with courtesy--even cordiality.

"I am very anxious," said I, "too see my old friends--Mrs Hyland and
her daughter.  Having been so long abroad, I have lost all knowledge of
them.  I knew that you could inform me, where they are to be found; and
it is for that purpose I have taken the liberty of calling upon you."

"No liberty at all, Mr Stone," said the lady; "on the contrary, I'm
very glad to see you.  Of course, you've heard of the change that has
taken place in Mrs Hyland's family; and that they are now living in
London?"  I answered in the affirmative.  "The address is Number --,
Denbigh Street, Pimlico.  That is Captain Nowell's residence.  Please
remember me to them!"

Not many more words passed between Mrs Lanson, and myself.  I know not
whether she noticed my confusion, as I stammered out some common-place,
leave-taking speech.  I was too much excited to know what I did; or
whether my behaviour was remarked upon.

It was not necessary for me to make a memorandum of the address thus
given me.  I had one already in my possession--which I had been carrying
in my pocket for weeks.  More than that, I had called at the house
itself--on that occasion, when Captain Nowell accompanied me to the
Bank.

I know not why this discovery should have given my mind such a painful
shock.  Why should the thought, that Lenore had married a man with whom
I was acquainted, cause me a more bitter pain than any I had yet
experienced?

Captain Nowell was a person, for whom I felt a sincere respect--
amounting almost to regard.  Why then was I so disagreeably surprised,
to discover that he was the man who had found the happiness, I had
myself lost?  I knew not; and I only sought an answer to this mental
interrogatory--in the hope, that, by finding it, I might be able to
correct some fault that existed in my own mind.  I had accomplished the
object of my journey; and yet I returned to London with a heart aching
from disappointment.  I had learnt where Lenore could be seen; and had
gone all the way to Liverpool to obtain that information, which might
have been mine at an earlier period--had I but hearkened to the request
of Captain Nowell to visit him at his house.

My reasons for keeping away from Denbigh Street were now ten times
stronger than ever.  I no longer felt a desire to see Lenore; and never
wished to see Captain Nowell again.

My desire to depart from London was greatly strengthened by the
discovery I had made; and, much as I disliked Liverpool, I resolved to
return to it--for the purpose of taking passage thence to Melbourne: as
I had learnt that there were several Melbourne ships soon to sail from
that port.

On conferring with my brother William, he expressed his determination to
remain in London.  He had bought shares in a brewery; and had every
prospect of doing well.  He endeavoured to persuade me against returning
to the colonies--urging me to go into some business in London, get
anchored to a wife, and live happily like himself!  Little did William
suspect how impossible it would have been for me to follow his counsels.

The arguments he used, only increased my desire to be gone; and I
determined to start next day for Liverpool.

Common politeness would not allow me to leave, without writing Captain
Nowell a note.  It was necessary I should let him know, that I had
changed my mind about returning to the colonies in his ship.

On the morning after this last duty had been fulfilled--before I had
taken my departure for the train--Captain Nowell was announced; and I
could not well avoid seeing him.

"I have come after you," said he, as soon as he entered the room.  "I'm
sent to take you prisoner; and bring you before two ladies, whom you
should have called upon long ago.  You cannot escape--so come along
immediately!"

"It is impossible for me to go with you, Captain Nowell," protested I,
"I start for Liverpool by the next train; and I shall have scant time to
get to the station."

"I tell you," said the Captain, "that I can take no refusal.  Why--do
you know what I have just learnt?  My wife, and her daughter, are old
acquaintances of yours.  Don't you remember Mrs Hyland, and little
Lenore?  I happened to mention the name of Rowland Stone this morning--
on reading your note of last night--and there was a row in the house
instantly.  My wife sent me off to bring you, as fast as a cab can carry
us.  Unless you go with me, we shall have a fight.  I daren't go back,
without you."

"Stop a minute!"  I cried, or rather stammered out the words.  "Let me
ask you one question!  What did you say about your wife?"

"I said that my wife, and her daughter, were old acquaintances of yours.
I married the widow of Captain Hyland."

"Great heaven!"  I exclaimed, "did you not marry his daughter?"

"No.  What the devil makes you ask that?  Marry Lenore Hyland!  Why,
Stone, I'm old enough to be the young lady's father; and I am that:
since I married her mother."

"Come on!"  I exclaimed, rushing towards the door.  "Come on!  I must
see her immediately."

I hurried bare-headed into the street--followed by Captain Nowell, who
brought my hat in his hand, and placed it on my head.

We hailed a cab; and ordered the driver to take us to Number --, Denbigh
Street, Pimlico.

I thought that a horse had never moved so slow.  I said everything I
could, to induce cabby to drive faster.  I did more than talk to him: I
bribed him.  I threatened, and cursed him--though the man seemed to make
every endeavour to satisfy my impatience.  The horse appeared to crawl.
I thought of jumping out of the cab--in the belief that I could go
faster afoot; but my companion prevented me.

We did reach Denbigh Street at last; but after a drive that seemed to me
as long as any voyage I had ever made across the Atlantic Ocean.

I could not wait for the Captain to ring his own bell; but rang it
myself.

On the instant that a servant girl answered the summons, I put the
question:

"Where is Lenore?"

The girl's face assumed an expression of surprise; but, seeing me in the
company of her master, she opened the door of a drawing-room; and I
walked in.

Lenore Hyland was before me--more beautiful, if possible, than ever!

I was, no doubt, taking a great liberty, in the ardent demonstrations I
at that moment made towards her; but my consciousness of this could not
restrain me from doing as I did--though I may have acted like a madman.

"Lenore," I exclaimed, clasping her in my arms, "are you free?  Is it
true, that I have not lived and toiled in vain?"

The young lady made no answer--at least not in words; but there was
something in her silence, that led me to think, she was not offended at
my rudeness.

Gradually I recovered composure, sufficient to conduct myself in a more
becoming manner, when the Captain called my attention to Mrs Nowell--in
whom I recognised Mrs Hyland, the mother of Lenore.

My long continued misapprehension--so near leading to a life-long
misery--was soon fully explained.  Mason, whom I had met in Sydney--and
with whom the error originated--had been himself the victim of a
mistake.

He had called to see Captain Nowell on business; and the latter, not
being at home, the old steward had asked to see his wife.  Mrs Nowell
being engaged at the time, her daughter had come out to receive him;
and, as Mason had been formerly acquainted with Captain Hyland and his
family, of course he recognised Lenore.  This circumstance--along with
something that had occurred in the short conversation between her and
the steward--had led to the misapprehension; and Mason had left the
house under the belief that Lenore Hyland was Captain Nowell's wife!

I never passed a more happy evening, than that upon which I again met
Lenore--though my happiness did not spring, from the "disenchantment"
promised by Cannon.  I did not think of poor Jessie; and also forgot all
about my intention of returning to the colonies, until reminded of it by
Captain Nowell--as I was about to take leave of him and his family for
the night.

"Stone," he said, "now that you have found your old friends, you must
give them as much of your time as possible: for you know, in a few days,
we are to sail for Australia."

This speech was accompanied by a glance, that told me the Captain did
not expect my company upon his next voyage.

I proudly fancied that Lenore interpreted it, in the same sense as I had
done: for the blush that broke over her beautiful cheeks, while adding
bloom, at the same time led me to believe that my remaining in London
would be consonant with her wishes.

Volume Three, Chapter XXXI.

A CHILD OF NATURE.

One morning as I sat in my room, impatiently waiting for the hour when I
could call upon Lenore; and pondering over the events of my past life--
especially that latest one that had given such a happy turn to it--I was
informed by Mrs Nagger that a lady was downstairs, who wished to see
me.

"What is the ladylike?"  I inquired, still thinking of Lenore.

"Like an angel in some great trouble," replied Mrs Nagger; "and more's
the pity! sir, for she's a very nice young lady, I'm sure."

"Did she give any name?"

"No, sir; and more's the pity, for I should like to know it, but she
seems very anxious to see you, and more's the pity, that she should be
kept so long waiting."

I descended the stairs, entered the parlour, and stood face to face with
Jessie H--.

She appeared to be suffering from some acute mental agony; and when I
took her hand I could feel her fingers trembling in my grasp.  A hectic
flush overspread her cheeks; and her eyes looked as though she had been
weeping.  Her whole appearance was that of a person struggling to
restrain the violent expression of some overwhelming sorrow.

"Jessie!  What has happened?"  I asked.  "There is something wrong?  You
look as if there was--you look ill, Jessie."

"Yes," she made answer.  "Something _has_ happened; something that has
destroyed my happiness for ever."

"Tell me what it is, Jessie.  Tell me all.  You know that I will assist
you, in any way that is in my power."

"I do not know that, Rowland.  There was a time when you might have
saved me; but now it is too late--too late to appease my aching heart.
I have waited a long while in anxious doubt; and, perhaps, would have
died with the secret in my breast, had I not met you again.  It would
have been better so.  Oh!  Rowland, after meeting you once more in this
strange land, all the memories of the past came over me, only to fill my
soul with sadness and despair.  Then it was that my long pent-up grief
gave way; and my heart felt shattered.  Rowland!  I have come to you in
my misery, not to accuse you of being its cause; but to tell you that
you alone could have prevented it.  No mortal could live with more
happiness than I, did I but know that you had the slightest love for me.
Even should we never meet again, there would be joy in the thought that
your love was, or had been mine."

"Jessie!  Can you speak thus when--"

"Peace, Rowland! hear me out.  I am nearly mad.  I will tell you all--
all that I have suffered for you.  For that reason have I come here.
They want me to marry a man I do not love.  Give me your counsel,
Rowland!  Is it not wrong for me to marry him, when I cannot love him--
when I love only you?"

"Jessie, I cannot hear you talk thus.  I told you, when we parted in
Australia that I loved another.  I have met that other since; and I find
that she is still true to me.  I hope never to hear you speak so
despondingly again.  To all, life is sorrow; and we should pray for
strength to bear it.  Fulfil cheerfully the promises you have made.  We
can still be friends and you may yet be happy."

I could perceive, by the quick heaving of her bosom, that her soul was
agitated by powerful emotions, that only became stronger as I continued.

At length this agitation seemed to reach a climax, her arms were thrown
wildly outwards; and without a word escaping from her lips, she fell
heavily upon the floor.  She had fainted!

I rang the bell, and called loudly for assistance.  Mrs Nagger came
hurrying into the room.  I raised the insensible form; and held it in my
arms--while the old housekeeper rubbed her hands, and applied such
restoratives as were near.  It seemed as if Jessie H--was never again to
be restored to life.  She lay against my bosom like a piece of cold
white marble with not a movement to betoken that she was breathing.

I gently placed her on a couch--resting her pale cheek upon the pillow.
I then requested Mrs Nagger to summon a doctor.

"It's no use, sir," said the woman, her words causing me a painful
apprehension: for I thought that she meant to say there was no hope of
recovery.

"It's no use, sir," repeated Mrs Nagger, "she'll be over it before the
doctor could get here.  She's only fainting; and more's the pity, that
such a dear pretty creetur should know the trouble that's causing it.
More's the pity! that's all I can say."

Mrs Nagger's prognosis proved correct, for Jessie soon recovered, and
as she did so, my composure became partially restored.

I began to breathe more freely: for not being used to scenes of this
kind, I had felt not only excited, but very much alarmed.

"Jessie," said I, as I saw her fix her eyes upon me, "you are ill--you
have been fainting?"

"No," she answered, "I have only been thinking--thinking of what you
have said.  It was something about--"

She interrupted herself at sight of Mrs Nagger--whom she now noticed
for the first time.  The presence of the housekeeper appeared to make
her conscious of what had occurred; and for some moments she remained
silent--pressing her hands against her forehead.

Mrs Nagger perceiving, that she was the cause of some embarrassment,
silently retired from the room.

"Rowland," said Jessie, after the woman had gone, "I have but a few
words more to say.  To-morrow I am to be married to Mr Vane.  It is my
father's wish; and, as I have been told that his wishes should be my
own, I have consented to obey him.  I have tried to love this man but in
vain: for I love another.  I love you, Rowland.  I cannot govern my
feelings; and too well do I remember your own words, when you said, we
could only love one.  I will leave you now, Rowland: I have told you
all."

"Jessie," said I, "I am truly sorry for you; but I trust that after your
marriage you will think differently; and will not allow any memories of
the past to affect your happiness."

"I thank you for your good wishes," she answered, "I will, try to bear
my cruel fate with composure.  Farewell, Rowland!  I shall now leave
you.  I shall go as I have come--alone."

As I took her hand in mine--to speak that parting, which was to be our
last--she fixed her eyes upon me in a glance I shall not forget till my
dying hour.

In another instant she was gone.

To me there was something more than painful in this visit from Jessie.
It surprised me--as did also her bearing and language.  Had she been at
all like any other girl, the singularity would have been still more
apparent; but she was not.  Her conduct was not to be judged by the same
standard, as if she had been a young lady educated in the highly
civilised society of Europe.  She was a child of Nature; and believed
that to conceal her thoughts and affections, was a sin against herself--
as well as against all whom they might regard.  In all likelihood she
fondly loved me; and regretted the promise she had given to become the
wife of Vane.  Such being the case, she may have deemed it her duty to
make known to me the state of her mind, before she became irrevocably
united to another; and this she had done regardless of consequences.  In
acting thus, Jessie H--might have been conscious of no wrong, nor could
I see any, although had another behaved in a similar manner, my opinion
would have been different.

A young lady, brought up in English society, that teaches her rigidly to
conceal every warm affection and impulse of the heart, would have been
acting wrong in doing as Jessie H--had done.  In her betrothal to Vane,
she had undoubtedly yielded to the wishes of her father, instead of
following the dictates of her own mind; but such was not the case in her
making that visit to me.

Her marriage was to take place the next day; and it may be supposed that
she ought to have been engaged in making preparations for that important
event.  Such would the world decide to have been her duty.  But her
artless, pure, and confiding nature, rendered her independent of the
opinions of the world; and she had made one last reckless effort to
possess herself of the man she loved.

The effort had failed.  Fate was against her.

I went to make my daily visit to Lenore; and Jessie, along with her
grief, was for awhile forgotten.

Volume Three, Chapter XXXII.

MRS NAGGER.

Since meeting with Lenore, I had faithfully responded to the invitation
of Captain Nowell.  Most of my time had been devoted to his ladies; or
rather, spent in the society of Lenore.  Every day had witnessed the
return of happy hours; and, strange to say, the happiest were
experienced on the day of that sad parting with Jessie!

On that morning, Lenore had promised to be mine; and an early day had
been appointed for our marriage.

In procuring her consent to our speedy union, I was aided by Captain
Nowell, who wished to be present at the ceremony, and could not postpone
the departure of his ship.

When Lenore and I came to compare notes, and make mutual confession, she
expressed surprise that I should ever have thought her capable of
marrying another!

"Did you not tell me, Rowland," said she, "to wait for your return, and
you would then talk to me of love?  I knew your motive for going away;
and admired you for it.  I firmly confided in what you told me.  All the
time of your absence, I believed you would come back to me; and I should
have waited for many years longer.  Ah!  Rowland, I could never have
loved another."

My journey to Liverpool--to ascertain the name and address of the man
Lenore had _not_ married--I had hitherto kept a secret, but a letter had
arrived the evening before, which frustrated my designs.  Mrs Lanson
had written to her old friend, Mrs Nowell--giving a full account of my
visit that had ended so abruptly.  I was compelled to listen to a little
pleasant raillery from Captain Nowell, who did not fail to banter me
about the trouble I had taken, to learn what I might have discovered
much sooner and easier--by simply keeping faith with him, in the promise
I had made to call upon him.

"I told you aboard the ship," said he, "that I had something to show you
worth looking at; and that you couldn't do better than visit me, before
throwing yourself away elsewhere.  See what it has cost you, neglecting
to listen to my request.  Now, is it not wonderful, that the plan I had
arranged for your happiness, when we were seven thousand miles from this
place, should be the very one that fate herself had in store for you?"

I agreed with Captain Nowell, that there was something very strange in
the whole thing; and something more agreeable than strange.

I returned home highly elated with the prospect of my future happiness.
I informed my brother and his wife of a change in my intentions--merely
telling them that I had given up the design of returning to Australia.
They were much gratified at this bit of news, for they had both used
every argument to dissuade me from going back to the colonies.

"What has caused this sudden, and I must say sensible, abandonment of
your former plans?" asked my brother.

"I have at last found one," I answered, "that I intend making my wife."

"Ah!" exclaimed William, "the one that you had lost?"

"Yes, the one that I had lost; but what makes you think there was such
an one?"

"Oh! that was easily seen.  Ever since meeting you on the Victoria
diggings, I noticed about you the appearance of a man who had lost
something--the mother of his children, for instance.  I have never asked
many particulars of your past life; but, until within the last few days,
you looked very like a man who had no other hope, than that of being
able to die sometime.  Why, Rowland, you look at this minute, ten years
younger, than you did three days ago!"

I could believe this: for the change that had taken place in my soul was
like passing from night to day.

I was, indeed, happy, supremely happy: since Lenore had promised to be
mine.

That day I did not think of poor Jessie, until after my return home,
when Mrs Nagger, while setting my tea before me, put the question:

"Please, sir, how is the poor young lady who was here this morning?  She
was such a nice creetur, I'm anxious to hear if she be well again."

This was the most reasonable remark I had heard the old housekeeper
make, during all my acquaintance with her.  She had given utterance to a
long speech, without once using her favourite expression.  The fact was
something wonderful; and that is probably the reason why I have recorded
it.

In answer to her interrogatory, I told her, that I had neither seen nor
heard of the young lady since the morning.

"Then more's the pity!" rejoined Mrs Nagger.  "If men have no regard
for such a lovely creetur as her, it's no wonder _I_ have never found a
husband.  More's the pity, sir!  That's all _I_ can say."

Mrs Nagger was a good servant; but my sister-in-law and her mother were
often displeased with her; on account of a disposition she often
displayed for meddling too much with what did not, or should not have
concerned her.  She seemed to consider herself one of the family; and
entitled to know the affairs of every member of it, although I believe
she was prompted to this, by a feeling of friendship and good will.

"Nagger," I once heard my brother's wife say to her, "I think you give
yourself much more trouble, than is required from you."

"More's the pity, ma'am!" answered Nagger.

"You must not interfere with what does not concern you," continued Mrs
Stone.  "If you do, I shall have to dispense with your services."

"If you do, ma'am, more's the pity!  That's all I can say."

"I wish it _was_ all you could say.  Then, perhaps, we should agree very
well."

"The more I don't trouble about your business," rejoined Mrs Nagger,
"the more's the pity for us all!"

I believe that my sister-in-law knew this; or if not, she probably
thought that a better servant would be difficult to obtain; and Nagger
continued to keep her place.

I had promised to call again at Captain Nowell's, that same evening, and
take my brother, his wife, and her mother, along with me.

The Captain wished to see them before setting sail; and had urged me to
bring them to his house--a request with which I was but too ready to
comply: as I was desirous to show Lenore to my relations.  I
communicated my intention to them; and asked if they had made any
engagement for the evening.

"No, I think not.  Have you, William?" asked Mrs Stone.

"Not that I know of," answered my brother, "unless it be to make
ourselves happy at our own fireside."

"I am to be married in six days," said I, "and there is no time to lose
in getting you acquainted with my intended.  I have promised to take you
all to see her this evening--if I can induce you to go.  What say you?
Will you accompany me?"

They looked at each other.

"I cannot tell," said Mrs Stone.  "What do you say, mother?  What do
you think William.  I am impatient to see Rowland's choice; but would it
be etiquette for us to go to-night?"

"What do we care for etiquette?" said William.  "I, for one, am above
it.  Let us go!"

An hour afterwards, we were all on the way to the residence of Captain
Nowell.

On being ushered into the drawing-room, my relatives were surprised to
meet an old acquaintance--the captain of the ship, on which they had
voyaged some thousands of miles.

The Captain first introduced them to his wife; and then to his
step-daughter.  I had before mentioned her name to my brother--while
giving him a brief history of the life I had led, after parting from him
in Dublin.

On hearing the name, he gazed upon Lenore for a moment with evident
admiration.  Then turning to me, he inquired, "Is this the lost one,
Rowland?"

I answered in the affirmative.

"I am reading a romance of real life," said William, as he grasped
Lenore's hand, with a grasp no other but a true sailor could give.

Need I add that we passed that evening in the enjoyment of such
happiness, as is only allowed to hearts that throb with innocence and
honesty?

Volume Three, Chapter XXXIII.

A LETTER OF SAD SIGNIFICANCE.

Next morning, as I was on my way to Lenore, I thought of Jessie.  I was
reminded of her by the ringing of bells.  It might not have been for her
wedding; but no doubt at that same hour the bells of some church were
tolling the announcement of the ceremony, that was to make her a wife.

Poor Jessie!  I could not help feeling sorrow for her.  That peal, that
should have produced joy both to her and myself, fell upon my ear in
tones of sadness!  I fancied--nay, I knew it--that whatever might be her
future fate, she was at that moment unhappy!

Engrossed as I was in my own happiness, it was not natural I should long
dwell upon the misery of another; and I soon ceased to think of her.

"Jessie is not related to me, nor my family," thought I, by way of
stifling my regrets, "she will soon forget her present griefs; and
perhaps be as happy as myself."

I offered up a silent prayer, that such should be the event.

I saw Lenore; passed with her a pleasant hour or two; and then learnt
that my company was on that day no longer required.

Great preparations were being made for the marriage.  Every one in the
house appeared to be busy--Lenore included--and as she could devote but
little time to entertaining me, I took leave of her, and returned home.

On entering my room, I found a letter awaiting me.  It lay upon the
table; and, drawing near, I cast my eye over the superscription.

I saw that the writing was in a female hand, though not one familiar to
me.  From whom could the letter be?  Something seemed to whisper in my
ear the word "Jessie."

She could not have written to me--least of all at that hour--unless to
communicate something of importance; and I hastily tore open the
envelope.

I lay before my readers a copy of that ominous epistle:

  "Rowland,

  "The hour has arrived!  The bells are ringing for the ceremony, yet I
  am sitting here in my chamber--alone--alone in my anguish!  I hear
  hurried movements below, and the sounds of joyful voices--the voices
  of those who come to celebrate my wedding-day; and yet I move not!

  "I know that my sorrows will soon be at an end!  Before another hour
  has passed away, my soul will be wafted to another world!  Yes,
  Rowland! start not--but when those eyes, which have long haunted me in
  my dreams shall be gazing on these lines, the poor, lone girl who
  loved you, and sought your love in return, will have ceased to exist.
  Her soul will be at rest from the agonies of this cruel world!

  "Rowland! something tells me that I must not marry, that I must not
  enter yonder sacred edifice, and pledge myself to one when I love
  another.  My conscience rebels against it.  I will never do it!  I
  will die!

  "You told me you had found the long-lost one you love.  May _she_ know
  all the happiness that is denied to me!  May every blessing from
  Heaven fall upon her head; and make her life one blissful dream--such
  as I once hoped might be mine!

  "I know that when you read this, the first impulse of your manly heart
  will be to try to save me.  But it will be too late!  _Before you
  could reach me, I shall have closed my eyes in the sleep of death_!
  My last prayer shall be, that you may receive every earthly blessing;
  and that you may long live in happiness to love her you have chosen as
  your wife!

  "Perhaps in your reveries, in solitude, or when your heart is sad--God
  grant that may never be! you may bestow a thought on her whose heart
  you won in a foreign land; and who, in her dying hour, breathed only
  prayers for your welfare.  In such a time, and when such thoughts may
  wander through your mind, I would, that you may think my only sin in
  life was in loving you too truly!

  "Farewell, Rowland!  Farewell for ever!

  "Jessie."

I rushed out into the street; and hailed a cab.

"Put your horse to his greatest speed," cried I to the driver, "Reach
the house, as soon as ever you can!"

"What house?" asked the cabby.

I gave the address; and sprang into the vehicle.

The driver and horse both seemed to sympathise with my impatience: for
each appeared to exert himself to the utmost.

I reached the street; but, before arriving at the house, I could see a
crowd of people collected about the door.

Their movements betokened great agitation.  Something very unusual had
certainly happened.  It was not like the excitement caused by a wedding:
for--

  "Then and there was hurrying to and fro,
  And gathering tears, and tremblings of distress;
  And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
  Blushed at the praise of their own loveliness."

My arrival was not noticed by any member of the family.  They were
up-stairs, and I saw none of them; but from one of their guests, I
obtained the details of the sad story.  I was indeed, as Jessie had said
in her letter, _too late_!

A few minutes before my arrival, she had been found dead in her
dressing-room--with a bottle of prussic acid by her side!

I rushed back into the cab; and ordered the driver to take me home
again.  I was too much unmanned, to remain a minute longer in that house
of woe.

I had suffered great mental agony on many previous occasions.  When
alone, with the body of my companion Hiram--whom I had neglected when on
the "prospecting" expedition in California--my thoughts had been far
from pleasant.  They were not agreeable when I saw my friend, Richard
Guinane, by his own act fall a corpse before my face.  Great was the
pain I felt, when standing by the side of poor Stormy Jack, and looking
upon his last agonies.  So was it, when my mother left me; but all
these--even the grief I felt when told that Lenore was married, were
nothing to the anguish I experienced, while riding home through the
crowded streets of London, and trying to realise the awful reality that
Jessie H--had committed suicide.  A heart that but an hour ago had been
throbbing with warm love--and that love for me--was now cold and still.
A pure spirit, altogether devoted to me, had passed suddenly away--
passed into eternity with a prayer upon her righteous lips; and that
prayer for myself!

My anguish at her untimely end, was mingled with the fires of regret.  I
submitted my conscience to a strict self-examination.  Had I ever
deceived her, by pretending a love I did not feel?  Was I, in any way,
to blame for the sin she had committed?  Did I, in any way, lead her to
that act of self-destruction?  Could her parents, in the agony of their
grief, reproach me for anything?

These questions haunted me all that night; and I slept not.  I even
endeavoured to remember something in my conduct, which had been wrong.
But I could not: for I had never talked to _her_ of love.  In all, that
had passed between us, I had been true to Lenore.

In the voyage of her life, her hopes, as well as her existence, had been
wrecked upon me; but I was no more to blame than the rock, unmarked on
map or chart, against which some noble ship has been dashed to pieces.

In that sad letter, Jessie had expressed a hope that I would think of
her, and believe her only guilty of the crime of having loved me too
well.

That wish died with her; but obedience to it, still lives with me.

When I returned home, on the day of her death, I locked myself in my
chamber; and read that letter over and over again.  No thoughts--not
even of Lenore--could keep the rain of sorrow from dimming my eyes, and
drowning my cheeks.

My life may be long; faith, hope, and even love for Lenore, may become
weak within me; but never shall be effaced from my heart, the deep
feeling of sorrow for the sad fate of Jessie H--.

May her spirit be ever blessed of God!

Her last act was not that of self-murder.  It was simply that of dying;
and if in the manner she acted wrong, it was a wrong of which we may all
be guilty.  Let her not be condemned then, among those whose souls are
tainted and distorted by the vanities and hypocrisies of so-called
civilised society!

To her family and friends, there was a mystery about the cause of her
death, that they could not unravel.  Her letter to me would have
explained all; but that letter I did not produce.  It would only have
added fuel to the fire of their grief--causing it to burn with greater
fierceness, and perhaps to endure longer.  I did not wish to add to
their unhappiness.  I had too much respect for her memory to exhibit
that epistle to any one, and see it printed, with the usual vulgar
commentary, in the papers of the day.

The unfortunate ending of her life is now an event of the past; and her
parents have gone to rejoin her in another and happier world, else that
letter would still have remained in the secret drawer--from which it has
now been taken.

Volume Three, Chapter XXXIV.

THE ROLLING STONE AT REST.

One bright May morning, from the turrets of two London churches pealed
forth the sound of bells.  Sadly discordant were they in tone, yet less
so, than the causes for which they were being tolled.  One was solemnly
announcing the funeral of one, who had lived too long, or died too soon.
Its mournful monotone proclaimed, that a spirit had departed from this
world of woe, while the merry peals of the other betokened a ceremony of
a far different character: that in which two souls were being united--to
enjoy the supremest happiness upon earth.

It seemed a strange coincidence, that the very day chosen for my
marriage with Lenore should be the one appointed for the funeral of
Jessie H--.  And yet such chanced to be the case.

I knew it; and the knowledge made me sad.

There was a time, when I would not have believed, that a cloud of sorrow
could have cast its shadow over my soul, on the day I should be wedded
to Lenore.  But I did not then understand myself; or the circumstances
in which Fate was capable of placing me.

Ten years have elapsed, since that day of mingled joy and sadness--ten
years of, I may almost say, unalloyed happiness, in the companionship of
a fond affectionate wife.  During this time, I have made a few intimate
friends; and there is not one of them would believe--from the quiet,
contented manner in which I now pass my time that I had ever been a
"Rolling Stone."  Since becoming a "Benedict," I have not been
altogether idle.  Believing that no man can enjoy life, so well as he
who takes a part in its affairs, I was not long settled in London,
before entering into an occupation.

I am now in partnership with Captain Nowell, who has long since
professionally forsaken the sea; and we are making a fair fortune, as
ship agents and owners.

The only misunderstanding that has ever arisen between my brother
William and myself, has been an occasional dispute: as to which of us is
the happier.

We often hear from "the Elephant" and our sister Martha.  The last
letter received from them, informed us that we might soon expect to see
them on a visit to the "old country."

After the melancholy event that deprived them of their daughter, Mr H--
and his family could no longer endure a residence in England; but
returned to their colonial home.  They lived to see little Rosa married,
and happy--some compensation, perhaps, for the sorrow caused by her
sister's sad fate.

Cannon and Vane I only knew afterwards as occasional acquaintances.  I
have just heard of their meeting in Paris, where a quarrel occurred
between them--resulting in a duel, in which the latter was killed.  I
have also heard, that, since the affair, Cannon has been seen at
Baden-Baden--earning his livelihood as the croupier of a gaming table!

Mrs Nagger and my brother's wife did not continue many months under the
same roof; and the old housekeeper is now a member of my household--a
circumstance of which I am sometimes inclined to say in her own words,
"More's the pity;" but this reflection is subdued, every time it arises,
by respect for her many good qualities, and a regard for the welfare of
my children.

Her days will probably be ended in my house; and, when that time comes,
I shall perhaps feel inclined to erect over her grave a stone, bearing
the inscription:

  "Jane Nagger,
  Died
  And more's the pity!"

Yet, I hope that many years may pass, ere I shall be called upon to
incur any such expense on her account.

There was a time when roaming through the world, and toiling for Lenore,
I thought I was happy.  When riding over the broad plateaux of Mexico,
amidst the scenes of lonely grandeur that there surrounded me--as also
when toiling amidst the scenes of busier life in California--I believed
my existence to be one of perfect happiness.  I was travelling, and
toiling, for Lenore.

But now that years have passed, and Lenore is mine--I find that what I
then deemed happiness was but a prophetic dream.  It is while seated by
my own tranquil hearth, with my children around me, and she by my side--
that true happiness finds its home in my heart.

When I allow my thoughts to dwell solemnly on the gifts that God has
bestowed upon me, I feel grateful to that Providence that has watched
over my fortunes, and ruled my heart to love only one--_only_ "Lost
Lenore."

THE END.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lost Lenore - The Adventures of a Rolling Stone" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home