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Title: Ralph Raymond's Heir
Author: Alger, Horatio, Jr.
Language: English
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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.

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RALPH RAYMOND'S HEIR

by

HORATIO ALGER, JR.

Author of "Mark Manning's Mission," "A Debt of Honor,"
"Bernard Brook's Adventures," "Ben Bruce," "Mark
Mason's Victory," etc., etc.



A. L. Burt Company, Publishers
New York


[Illustration: "Who are you?" asked Cromwell. "I am the spirit of the
boy you murdered," answered Robert. Page 176.

_Ralph Raymond's Heir_]



CONTENTS

  CHAPTER                                         PAGE

       I.  THE MYSTERIOUS CUSTOMER.                  1
      II.  THE HOUSE IN TWENTY-NINTH STREET.         9
     III.  AN UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY.                 17
      IV.  RALPH RAYMOND'S HEIR.                    25
       V.  JAMES CROMWELL GAINS SOME INFORMATION.   33
      VI.  THE FACE AT THE FUNERAL.                 41
     VII.  PAUL MORTON HAS A VISITOR.               49
    VIII.  JAMES CROMWELL'S TRIUMPH.                57
      IX.  HOW MATTERS WERE ARRANGED.               65
       X.  A VILLAINOUS SUGGESTION.                 73
      XI.  GOLD VERSUS CRIME.                       82
     XII.  ON GOAT ISLAND.                          90
    XIII.  THE VEIL IS LIFTED.                      99
     XIV.  CLARA MANTON.                           107
      XV.  A DECLARATION, AND HOW IT WAS RECEIVED. 115
     XVI.  A MERCENARY PARENT.                     123
    XVII.  LOVE AND LUCRE.                         131
   XVIII.  A DARK DEED.                            139
     XIX.  CATO.                                   147
      XX.  THE DAY AFTER.                          155
     XXI.  MAJOR WOODLEY AND HIS DAUGHTER.         163
    XXII.  THE GHOST IN NO. 41.                    171
   XXIII.  A STARTLING APPEARANCE.                 180
    XXIV.  CONCLUSION.                             188
           WHITE-FACED DICK.                       197
           A BRUSH WITH THE CHINESE                215
           A. L. Burt's Catalogue of Books for
              Young People by Popular Writers        1



RALPH RAYMOND'S HEIR.



CHAPTER I.

THE MYSTERIOUS CUSTOMER.


A man of middle age, muffled up in an overcoat, got out of a Third
Avenue car, just opposite a small drug shop. Quickly glancing up and
down the street with a furtive look, as if he wished to avoid
recognition from any passerby who might know him, he entered the shop.

It was a small shop, not more than twelve feet wide by eighteen deep.
The only person in attendance was a young man approaching thirty years
of age, his eyes and hair very light, and his features small and
insignificant. He was the druggist's clerk, working on a small salary of
ten dollars a week, and his name was James Cromwell.

He came forward as the person first named entered the shop.

"How can I serve you, sir?" he inquired in a respectful voice.

The person addressed drew from his pocket a piece of paper on which a
name was inscribed.

"I want that," he said; "do you happen to have it?"

The shopman's face was tinged with a slight color as he read the name
inscribed on the paper.

"You are aware, I suppose, that this is a subtle poison?" he said,
interrogatively.

"Yes," said the other, in a tone of outward composure, "so I understand
from the friend who desired me to procure it for him. Have you it, or
shall I have to go elsewhere?"

"Yes; we happen to have it by the merest chance, although it is rather a
rare drug in the materia medica. I will get it for you at once."

The customer's face assumed an air of satisfaction as the clerk spoke,
and he sat down on a stool in front of the counter.

James Cromwell quickly placed a small parcel in his hands, and the
customer, drawing out a pocketbook, which appeared to be well-filled,
paid for his purchase.

He then walked out of the shop, and to the corner of the street, where
he waited for an uptown car. As he left the shop, a ragged boy of ten,
with a sharp, weazened face entered.

"I want an ounce of carmels," he said.

"Wait a minute; do you want to earn a quarter?" demanded the shopman,
abruptly.

"I reckon I do," answered the urchin.

"Then you must follow the gentleman who just went out of the shop: find
out where he lives, and what his name is. Come out, and I will point him
out to you."

Just outside of the door, James Cromwell cast his eyes up the street and
saw his late customer in the act of jumping on board a Fourth Avenue
car.

"There he is," he said, hastily pointing him out to the boy. "You will
have to ride, too. Can you catch that car?"

"I've got no money," said the boy.

"Here's a quarter. Now run."

"But I'm to have a quarter besides?"

"Yes, yes. Make haste."

The boy ran forward, and succeeded in overtaking the car and clambering
on board.

"Look here, young chap," said the conductor, suspiciously, "have you
got any money to pay your fare?"

"Yes, I have," said the boy. "Don't you be afraid, old hoss."

"Show your money, then."

The boy produced the quarter which had just been given him.

"You're richer than I supposed," said the conductor. "Here's your
change."

The boy put back the twenty-two cents remaining in the pocket of his
ragged pants, and began to look about him for the passenger whom he was
required to track. The latter was seated on the left hand side, four
seats from the door.

"I wonder why I'm to foller him about," said the boy to himself. "Maybe
he's run off without paying his bill. Anyway, it's nothing to me as long
as I earn a quarter. It'll pay me into the Old Bowery to-night."

And the boy began to indulge in pleasing anticipations of the enjoyment
he would receive from witnessing the great spectacle of the "Avenger of
Blood," which was having a successful run at the favorite theatre with
boys of his class.

Before proceeding, I may mention that the boy referred to was known as
Hake, a name whose derivation I have been unable to learn. He had been
a street vagrant for half his life, and was precocious in his knowledge
of metropolitan life in its lowest phases.

If the gentleman whom he was employed to watch noticed the ragged boy,
he hadn't the remotest suspicion that there was the least connection
between them, or that his being there had anything to do with his own
presence in the car. He took out a paper from his pocket and began to
read.

"I wonder how far I've got to go," thought Hake. "If it's far I'll have
to ride back, and that'll take three cents more."

He reflected, however, that nineteen cents would remain, and he would
besides have the quarter which had been promised him.

"I can go to the theatre, and get a bully dinner, besides," he
reflected, complacently.

The car rapidly proceeded uptown, passing Union Square and the Everett
House at the corner of Seventeenth Street. Two blocks farther, and the
passenger first introduced rose from his seat.

"Next corner," he said to the conductor.

The latter pulled the strap and the car stopped.

The gentleman got out, and turned westward up Twenty-ninth Street.

Hake scrambled out also, and followed him up the street. He crossed
Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, and did not pause till he had reached a
handsome house between Seventh and Eighth avenues. Before this time he
had thrown open the coat in which he had been muffled, for the weather
was not inclement, appearing to feel that there was now no further need
of concealment.

He ascended the steps of the house, and rang the bell.

The door was opened directly by a servant, and he entered.

Scarcely had the door closed when Hake also ascended the steps and
looked at the door-plate. The name was there, but unfortunately for
Hake, he had not received even an elementary education, and could not
read. This was rather inconvenient, as it stood in the way of his
obtaining the information he desired.

Looking about him, he saw a schoolboy of his own age passing.

"Look here," he said, "what's that name up there on that door?"

"Can't you read?"

"I left my spectacles at home," said Hake, "and I can't read without
'em."

"It's Paul Morton, then, if you want to know," said the boy, curtly.

"Paul Morton," repeated Hake to himself. "All right!"

But he was not quite sure whether he had not been deceived. So he went
to the basement door, and rang.

"What's wanted?" said the servant, curtly.

"Does Paul Morton live here?" asked Hake.

"You might say Mr. Paul Morton while you're about it," said the servant.
"Yes, he lives here, and what do you want with him?"

"I was sent here," said Hake with no particular regard for truth, "by a
man as said Mr. Morton was a good man, and would give me some clothes."

"Then you won't get them here," said the girl, and the door was slammed
in the boy's face.

"I've found out his name now," said Hake, "sure," and he repeated it
over to himself until he was certain he could remember it. He retraced
his steps to Fourth Avenue, and jumped on board a returning car, and was
ere long landed at the druggist's shop.

"Well," said James Cromwell, looking up, "did you do as I told you?"

"Yes," said Hake.

"What did you find out?"

"His name is Paul Morton."

"Where does he live?"

"At No. ---- West Twenty-ninth Street."

"What sort of house is it?"

"A nice one."

"Are you sure you made no mistake?"

"Yes, it's all right. I want my quarter."

"Here it is."

The boy took the money and scrambled off, well content with the results
of his expedition; his mind intent upon the play he was to see in the
evening.

"Paul Morton!" mused the clerk, thoughtfully. "I must put that name
down. The knowledge may come in use some day. I hope some time or other
I shall not be starving on ten dollars a week. It may be that my rise in
the world will come through this same Paul Morton. Who can tell?"



CHAPTER II.

THE HOUSE IN TWENTY-NINTH STREET.


The house in Twenty-ninth Street was a solid and substantial one which
could only be occupied by a man of wealth. It was handsomely furnished,
and all the appointments were such as to confirm the impression that its
occupant was, to say the least, in easy circumstances financially. But
it happens oftentimes that outward impressions are very far from
correct. It was a fact that Paul Morton, who had lived here for ten
years, was on the verge of ruin, and knew very well that unless some
help should come he would be compelled to leave his fine residence and
sink into poverty and obscurity.

He was a downtown merchant, but lured by the hope of large gains, had
indulged in outside speculations which had sapped the springs of his
prosperity and brought him face to face with ruin.

Just at this juncture, on reaching home one day, jaded and anxious, he
found that a guest had arrived whom they had not seen for years. Ralph
Raymond was his cousin, and of about the same age as himself. As boys
they had been sworn friends and comrades, and each had promised the
other that if he died first without family ties, he would leave to the
survivor his entire property, whatever it might amount to.

When they became young men, Paul Morton remained in New York, but Ralph
went, after a few years, to China, where he had spent his subsequent
life with brief intervals, as a successful merchant. Paul Morton heard
from time to time of his success, and that he had accumulated a fortune,
and the thought occurred to him, for earlier generous feelings had been
swallowed up in the greed of gain, "If he only dies first, I shall be
greatly the gainer."

When he met his friend, he found him greatly changed. He was thin,
sallow, and to outward appearance hadn't long to live.

"You find me greatly changed, Paul, do you not?" said Ralph Raymond.

"Yes, you are changed, of course, for I have not seen you for twenty
years," was the reply.

"But I am looking very ill, am I not?"

"You are not looking well; but perhaps it is the change of climate."

"It is something more than that," said Ralph, shaking his head. "Old
friend, I feel that I have not many months to live. I have within my
frame the seeds of a fatal disease, which I cannot much longer stave
off. I feel its insidious approaches, and I know that my weakened vital
powers cannot much longer resist them. I have one favor to ask."

"What is it?"

"May I spend the short remainder of my life in your house? I shrink from
going among strangers. It will be a great relief to me if I can feel
that I am in the house of my old friend when the solemn messenger
arrives."

"Surely," said Paul Morton, "I hope you are mistaken in your gloomy
prognostications; but, however that may be, you shall be welcome here so
long as it pleases you to stay."

"Thank you; I was sure you would consent. As to my being mistaken, that
is hardly possible. This time next year I shall not be numbered among
the living."

Looking at his thin face and attenuated frame, Paul Morton felt that his
words were probably correct, and his heart glowed with exultation as he
felt that Ralph Raymond was without family ties, and that at his death,
which would soon happen, in all probability his large fortune, one
hundred thousand dollars at least, would become his. This would relieve
him of all his embarrassments, give him a firm financial standing.

Shortly after Ralph Raymond was confined to his bed by sickness. The
physician who was called spoke ambiguously. He might die suddenly, or he
might linger for a year. Days and weeks passed, and still he remained in
about the same condition, so that the last seemed likely to be the
correct prediction.

In the meanwhile, Paul Morton's affairs had become more and more
embarrassed. He had plunged into speculations from which he did not see
the way out. He perceived his mistake, but too late. Nothing was left
but for him to float with the tide, and be borne where it might carry
him.

He did not doubt that at the death of his guest, his large property
would be his. Indeed, a casual remark of Ralph Raymond's had confirmed
him in the impression. As time wore on, and his pecuniary difficulties
increased, he began to long for his friend's death.

"A few months more or less of life would be of little importance to
him," he thought, "while to me it is of incalculable importance to come
into his estate as soon as possible."

The more he thought of it the more frequently the suggestion was forced
upon him that his friend's early death was most desirable. At length, as
he was in a book store on Nassau Street one day, he picked up an old
medical work, in which there was one division which treated of poisons.
One was mentioned, of a subtle character, whose agency was difficult of
detection. It did not accomplish its purpose at once, but required some
days.

Paul Morton bought this book, and when he reached home he locked it up
securely in a drawer accessible only to himself.

We have now brought up the story to the point where the first chapter
commences.

The poison which he sought in the small shop on the Bowery was the same
whose effects he had seen described in the volume he had purchased in
Nassau Street. He had an object in going to an obscure shop, as he would
be less likely to be known, and such a purchase would be very apt to
attract notice. But it was only by chance that he succeeded. In most
shops of such humble pretensions such an article would not be found,
but it so happened that some had been ordered by a chemist a year
before, and the druggist, thinking it possible he might have a call for
it, had ordered some to keep in his stock.

When Paul Morton reached home, he went up to his friend's chamber.

Ralph Raymond was lying stretched out upon the bed, looking quite sick;
but not so sick as at times during his illness.

"How do you feel, Ralph?" said his false friend, bending over him.

"I am feeling more comfortable to-day, Paul," he said.

"Perhaps you will recover yet."

"No, I have no expectation of that; but I may be spared longer than I
supposed possible."

"I certainly hope so," said Paul Morton; but there was a false ring in
his voice, though the sick man, who had no doubt of his sincere
friendship, was far enough from detecting this.

"I know you do," said Ralph.

"What medicines are you taking now?" inquired Paul Morton.

"There is a bottle of cordial; I take a wineglass of it once an hour."

Paul Morton took up the bottle and gazed at it thoughtfully.

"Is your nurse attentive?" he asked.

"Yes, I have no fault to find with her."

"Where is she now?"

"She just went down to prepare my dinner."

"When did you take your cordial last?"

"About an hour since."

"Then it is time to take it again."

"Yes, I suppose so; but I presume a few minutes later will make no
difference."

"It is better to be regular about it. As the nurse is away I will give
it to you."

"Thank you."

"I must go to the window, to see how much to pour out. How much do you
usually take?"

"A wine-glass two-thirds full."

Paul Morton took the bottle and the glass to the window. As he stood
there he was out of the observation of the patient. He poured out the
required quantity of the cordial into the glass; but after doing so, he
slyly added a small quantity of powder from a paper which he drew from
his vest pocket. He put the paper back, and reappeared at the bedside
holding the glass in his hand.

"I think I have poured out the right quantity," he said; but his voice
was constrained, and there was a pallor about his face.

The sick man noticed nothing of this. He took the cup and drained it of
its contents, as a matter of course.

"Thank you, Paul," he said.

Paul Morton could not find anything to say in reply to the thanks which
fell upon his soul like a mockery.

He took the glass from the trembling hand of the sick man, and looked
into it to see if in the depths there might be any tell-tale trace of
the powder which he had dropped into it; but he could see nothing.

"Well, I must leave you for a time. Perhaps you can sleep," he said.

"Perhaps so; I will try," was the answer.

Paul Morton left the sick chamber, and shut himself up in his own room.
He wanted to screen himself from the sight of all, for he knew that he
had taken the fatal step, and that already, in deed, as well as in
heart, he was a murderer!



CHAPTER III.

AN UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY.


The next day Ralph Raymond's unfavorable symptoms had returned, and he
was pronounced worse by the physician. Yet the change was not
sufficiently marked to excite suspicion. It was supposed that his
constitution had not vitality enough to rally against the steady
approaches of the disease under which he was laboring.

Paul Morton read from the old medical book which he had picked up in
Nassau Street, and which, as we know, had given him the first suggestion
of the horrible crime which he had determined upon, the following words:

"The patient has been known to recover where but one dose of this poison
has been administered, but should it have been given on two successive
days, there is little or no chance that he will survive. Yet, so slow is
its operation, that after the second time of administering, it is not
impossible that he may survive several days. Cases have been known
where the period has extended to a week, but of the final fatal result
there can be no question."

"I must go through it again," muttered Paul Morton to himself. "It will
not do to fail. While I am about it, I must make a sure thing of it."

He accordingly sought the bedside of the sick man on the next day, about
the same time as before. He had watched till he saw the nurse go down to
prepare the patient's dinner.

"How are you feeling, to-day?" he inquired, in apparent anxiety.

"Worse, my friend," said the sick man, feebly.

"But yesterday you said you were better, did you not?"

"Yes, I felt better then, but to-day I have a dull throbbing pain here,"
and he pointed to his breast.

"Did you not sleep well?"

"Yes, better than usual."

Paul Morton knew that this was the effect of the poison, for it had been
referred to in the book.

"I wonder, then, you do not feel better," he said. "I supposed sleep
always had a salutary effect."

"It has not had in my case. No, my friend, I feel convinced that I have
not many days to live."

"I hope you are wrong. What can I do for you? Shall I not give you your
cordial as I did yesterday?"

"Yes, if you like."

Again Paul Morton poured out the cordial, and again, as on the day
previous, he filliped into the glass a minute portion of the powder.

The sick man drank it.

"I don't know what it is," he said, "but it does not taste as it used
to."

Paul Morton turned pale, but he rallied at once.

"Your sickness, doubtless, affects your sense of taste," he said. "It is
very often the case in sickness, even of a lighter character than
yours."

"Very likely you are right."

"Can I do anything more for you?" asked Paul Morton, who was now anxious
to get away from the presence of his victim. Strange thoughts came over
him when he felt that he had taken a decisive step, which now could not
be recalled. He had administered the poisonous powder for the second
time, and, according to the medical authority which we have already
quoted, there was no longer any help for the sick man, his victim. He
might live two, three or four days, possibly a week, though this was not
probable in the case of one whose constitution was enfeebled by a
lingering malady, but his doom was sure.

But he was as truly a murderer as if he had approached him with a loaded
pistol, and discharged it full at his temple. Twenty-four hours had made
him such. But he did not realize this. He said to himself, "He was sure
to die; this act of mine has only hastened the event a little. After
all, it may be merciful, for it can hardly be desirable for him to
linger in his present condition."

With this miserable casuistry he strove to palliate the treachery and
crime which he had just committed, not against a foe who had done him
harm, but against his early friend, for whom he had always professed the
strongest affection. And all this for the sake of a little dross!

"There is something I want to tell you, Paul," said the sick man,
turning his head on the pillow by an effort, "something which will,
perhaps, surprise you, and after that I shall have a favor to ask of
you. Will you grant it?"

"Yes," said Paul Morton, "I will grant it. Speak on."

His curiosity was not a little excited by what he had heard. He drew a
chair to the bedside, and sat down.

"I am ready to hear what you have to say, Ralph," he said.

"You suppose, and the world supposes that I have never married," the
sick man commenced.

Paul Morton started, and he awaited nervously what was to follow.

"The world is right, is it not?" he said hastily.

"No, the world is wrong. Sixteen years ago I married a portionless girl.
For reasons which it is unnecessary now to mention, my marriage was not
made public, but it was strictly legal. My young wife lived less than
two years, but ere she died she gave me a son."

"Is he still living?" asked Paul Morton, in a hoarse voice.

"Yes, he still lives."

"Then," thought Paul, with a sense of bitter disappointment, "all my
labor has been for naught. This boy will inherit Raymond's fortune, and
his death will be of no benefit to me."

"Where is the boy now?" he asked.

"He is at a boarding-school on the Hudson. He was early educated abroad,
but for two years he has been at Dr Tower's boarding-school, about
forty miles from New York."

"Does he know anything of his parentage?"

"Yes, I went to see him before I came last to your house. Besides, I
have thought it well to communicate all the facts in the case to Dr.
Tower as it was possible, that I might die suddenly, and his testimony
might be required to substantiate my son's claims to my estates."

"What is your son's name?" asked Paul Morton, rousing a little from the
stupor into which the information had thrown him.

"Robert Raymond. It was the name of my wife's only brother, who had died
young, and as I had no particular preference, I allowed her to name
him."

"Is he in good health?"

"Yes; happily he has not inherited my constitution. He seems healthy and
likely to live long. But I am sorry that he will be left so alone in the
world, as he must be by my death. This brings me to the favor I was
about to ask of you. In my will I have appointed you the guardian of my
boy, who is now between fourteen and fifteen. I think it will not
occasion you much trouble. My property, which I have put into solid
securities, will amount to one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Of
course, therefore, there will be no occasion for stinting him. I desire
him to have the best advantages. As for you, my old friend, as a slight
compensation for the trouble you will take, and as a proof of my
affection, I authorize you to appropriate to your own use, during my
son's minority, one-half of the income of the property and pay his
expenses out of the other half. What there may be over can be added to
the principal."

"But suppose--though, if the boy is as healthy as you say, there is
little fear of that--suppose Robert should die before attaining his
majority."

"Should that event happen, and, as you say, it is possible, I desire
that the property should go without reserve to you. I have so provided
in my will."

A flush of gratification mantled the cheek of Paul Morton, as he heard
this statement. "All is not lost," he thought. "The boy _may_ die and
then----"

This is what he thought, but he said:

"Ralph, you are too kind and generous. It is my earnest hope that such a
contingency may never occur."

"I am sure of that. I have perfect confidence in you, and I know you
will be kind to my boy. He may be here to-morrow morning."

"Here to-morrow morning!" ejaculated Paul Morton, in surprise.

"Yes. I requested the nurse to write to him yesterday afternoon, in my
name, to come at once. As I have but a short time to live, I wish to
have him with me during the short remainder of my life--that is, if it
will not be inconvenient to you to have him in the house."

"Certainly not, I shall be glad to have him come," said Paul Morton,
absently.

"I begin to feel drowsy. I will try to sleep," said the sick man.

"Then I will leave you. I hope you may awake refreshed."

Paul Morton walked out of the sick-room with his eyes bent upon the
floor. He wanted to think over this new and unexpected turn of affairs.



CHAPTER IV.

RALPH RAYMOND'S HEIR.


In the revelation which had been made him by Ralph Raymond, Paul Morton
found fruitful subject of meditation. To begin with, he had been
disappointed to find a young life between himself and the estate which
he coveted. But, on the other hand, that estate was twenty thousand
dollars larger than he supposed; and, moreover, as the boy's guardian,
he would have in his own hands the control of the whole for nearly seven
years, and be paid in the meantime a handsome sum for his trouble.
Besides, many things might happen in seven years. The boy was young and
healthy, so his father said, but life is uncertain in all cases. He
might die, and in that event, the entire property without reserve, would
fall to him--Paul Morton. The situation, therefore, was far from being
as discouraging as it might have been.

The next morning Paul Morton was sitting at the breakfast table with
his wife opposite him. As nothing has yet been said of Mrs. Morton, a
few words of description may not be inappropriate.

Mrs. Morton, then, was ten years younger than her husband. She had
belonged to a proud but poor family, and had married from no impulse of
affection, but because she considered Mr. Morton a rich man who could
give her a luxurious home. No sympathy need be wasted upon her, for she
had very little heart, and lived only for ostentation. There had been
very little domestic harmony between the two. She had shown herself
lavishly extravagant, even beyond her husband's means, and any tendency
on his part to curb her extravagance was met by biting sarcasm, and an
exhibition of ill temper which soon compelled him to surrender at
discretion.

Such was the ill-assorted couple who sat at the breakfast table on the
morning of which I am speaking.

Mr. Morton, of whose personal appearance I have not yet spoken, was in
appearance fifty-four years of age, though he was really several years
younger. He had lost nearly all his hair, retaining only a few locks on
either side of his head. There was a furtive look about his eyes
calculated to inspire distrust. He seemed reluctant to look one full in
the face. On the whole the impression given by his features was
unfavorable. They seemed to indicate a mean, ignoble disposition, so
truly do the inner qualities mark their impress on the face.

"Well, Mr. Morton," said his wife, leaning back in her chair, "have you
brought me the money I asked for yesterday?"

"No," said Mr. Morton uneasily, for he knew that this reply would elicit
a storm.

"And why not, I should like to know?" she exclaimed, with flashing eyes.
"Don't pretend to say you forgot it, for I won't believe any such
nonsense."

"No, I didn't forget it, Mrs. Morton," said her husband, "but the fact
is, it was not convenient for me to bring it."

"Not convenient! What do you mean by that, Mr. Morton?" exclaimed the
lady in an angry voice.

"It is just as I say. Business is very dull and money is tight."

"That is what you always say," said Mrs. Morton, curling her lip.

"Whether I do or not, it is true enough now. I wish it wasn't."

"I only asked for a hundred dollars. Surely that would make no
difference in your business."

"That is where you are mistaken. If you will be kind enough to remember
how often you call upon me for such trifles, and have a head for
arithmetic, you can estimate what they will amount to in the course of a
year."

"But I haven't a head for arithmetic, and don't want to have. I always
despised it. All I know is, that I have picked out a lovely silk dress
pattern at Stewart's, and I want to go round and secure it this morning,
or I may lose it altogether."

"If you do, I think you will manage to survive it."

"You'd better not try to be sarcastic, Mr. Morton. You haven't the
brains for it, and it isn't in your line."

"You are complimentary."

"No, I only show a proper discrimination. Heaven knows I have lived with
you years enough, and weary ones at that, to understand you thoroughly.
Can't you send me up a check from your store? It will be in time if I
receive it by eleven o'clock."

"No, I cannot," said Paul Morton, with unusual firmness.

"So you refuse, do you?" exclaimed Mrs. Morton, in deep anger.

"I do; and for a good reason."

"Give me your reason, then. I should like to judge of it myself."

"Then I will tell you without reserve, what I had not intended to
mention. In all my mercantile career I was never in such danger of ruin
as at the present. The dull times at which you sneer have proved very
disastrous to me. It is all I can do to keep my head above water. Every
day I fear that the crash will come, and that instead of being able to
afford you this establishment, I shall be obliged to remove into some
humble dwelling in Brooklyn, and seek for a position as clerk or
bookkeeper. How would you fancy this change, madam? Yet it is at such a
time you harass me with your unreasonable demands for money. If I am
ruined, it will be some satisfaction that you, who have had so much to
do with bringing it on, are compelled to suffer its inconveniences with
me."

Mrs. Morton turned pale while he was speaking, for she had never known
anything of her husband's business affairs, and supposed that such a
thing as his failure was impossible. To be reduced to poverty, where a
wife loves her husband and is beloved in return, is not so hard; but
where there is no pretence of love, and the wife lives only for show, it
is felt as a terrible misfortune.

"You are only saying this to frighten me," she said after a pause, with
an attempt to rally.

"If you think that, you are utterly mistaken," said her husband. "I
wish, indeed, that it were true, but unfortunately it is not. My
position is to the full, as hazardous, and my ruin as imminent as I have
told you. You can imagine whether I have a hundred dollars to spare for
you to spend at Stewart's."

Mrs. Morton was for a brief time silent. She hardly knew how to answer;
at last she said, "There's your sick friend upstairs. Isn't he a rich
man?"

"Yes."

"He won't live very long, probably. Won't he leave you anything?"

"I expected that he would leave me his entire fortune, according to an
old promise between us; but only yesterday I learned that he has a son
living."

"And you will receive nothing, then?" said his wife, disappointed.

"Not so. I shall be left guardian of the boy, and for seven years I
shall receive half the income of the property in return for my
services."

"And how much is the property?"

"A hundred thousand dollars or more."

"What will be your share of the income?"

"Probably not less than four thousand dollars."

"Four thousand dollars!" said the lady with satisfaction. "Then you
won't have to get a situation as clerk, even if you do fail. We can go
to a stylish boarding-house. It won't be so bad as I thought."

"But I shan't be able to give you two thousand dollars a year for dress,
as I have been accustomed to do."

"Perhaps you won't fail."

"Perhaps not. I hope not."

"Where is this boy?"

"He is at a boarding-school on the Hudson. I expect him here this
morning."

Scarcely had he said this when a servant opened the door and said, "Mr.
Morton, there is a boy just come who says he is Mr. Raymond's son."

"Bring him in," said Paul Morton.

A moment later, and a boy of fourteen entered the room, and looked
inquiringly at the two who were sitting at the table.

"Are you Robert Raymond?" inquired Mr. Morton.

"Yes, sir," said the boy, in manly tones. "How is my father?"

"Your father, my poor boy," said Paul Morton, in pretended sadness, "is,
I regret to say, in a very precarious condition."

"Don't you think he will live?" asked Robert, anxiously.

"I fear not long. I am glad you have come. I will go up with you at once
to your father's chamber. I hope you will look upon me as your sincere
friend, for your father's sake. Maria, my dear, this is young Robert
Raymond. Robert, this is Mrs. Morton."

Mrs. Morton gave her hand graciously to the boy. Looking upon him as her
probable savior from utter ruin, she was disposed to regard him with
favor.

Mr. Morton rose from the table, and motioning Robert to follow him, led
the way to the sick man's chamber.



CHAPTER V.

JAMES CROMWELL GAINS SOME INFORMATION.


On the east side of the Bowery is a shabby street, which clearly enough
indicates, by its general appearance, that it is never likely to be the
resort of fashionable people. But in a large city there are a great many
people who are not fashionable, and cannot aspire to fashionable
quarters, and these must be housed as well as they may.

There stands in this street a shabby brick house of three stories. In
the rear room of the upper story lived James Cromwell, the clerk in the
druggist's store already referred to in our first chapter. The room was
small and scantily furnished, being merely provided with a pine
bedstead, painted yellow, and a consumptive-looking bed, a wooden chair,
washstand, and a seven-by-nine mirror. There was no bureau, and, in
fact, it would have been difficult to introduce one into a room of the
dimensions.

The occupant of the room stood before the mirror, arranging his rather
intractable hair, which he had besmeared with bear's grease. He surveyed
the effect with some complacency, for it is a little remarkable that
those who are least gifted with beauty, are very apt to be best
satisfied with their personal appearance.

He had arrayed himself in a rusty black suit which showed his lank
figure in all its natural ungracefulness and was evidently on the point
of going out.

"Now for Twenty-ninth Street," he said, as he descended to the street.
"I hope Hake has not deceived me. If he has, I will twist the little
rascal's neck."

He got on board a Fourth Avenue car, and rode uptown. Nothing occurred
to interrupt his progress, and in the course of half an hour he stood
before the house which, as we already know, was occupied by Paul Morton.

He stood and surveyed it from the opposite side of the street.

"That's the house that Hake described," he said, "but whether my
customer of the other day lives there or not, I cannot tell. And what is
worse, I don't know how to find out."

While he was devising some method of ascertaining this, to him,
important point, fortune favored him. Mr. Paul Morton himself appeared
at the door, accompanied by the physician. As the distance was only
across the street, James Cromwell had no difficulty in hearing the
conversation that passed between them.

"What do you think of him, doctor?" asked Paul Morton, in accents of
pretended anxiety. "Don't you think there is any help for him?"

"No; I regret to say that I think there is none whatever. From the first
I considered it a critical case, but within two or three days the
symptoms have become more unfavorable, and his bodily strength, of
which, at least, he had but little, has so sensibly declined, that I
fear there is no help whatever for him."

"How long do you think he will last, doctor?" was the next inquiry.

"He cannot last a week, in my judgment. If he does it will surprise me
very much. He is wealthy, is he not?"

"Yes; he has been a successful man of business."

"Where has he passed his life?"

"In China. That is, he has lived there for a considerable time."

"Probably the climate may have had a deleterious effect upon his
constitution. I will call round upon him to-morrow."

"Very well, doctor. I will rely upon you to do whatever human skill can
accomplish for my sick friend."

"I am afraid human skill, even the greatest, can do little now. There
are some recent symptoms which I confess, puzzle me somewhat, as they
are not usual in a disease of the character of that which affects our
patient."

"Indeed!" said Paul Morton, briefly, but in a tone which did not
indicate any desire to continue the discussion of this branch of the
subject. "Well, doctor, I will not further trespass upon your time,
which I know very well is valuable. Good-night."

"Good-night!" said the physician, and drawing on his gloves, he
descended the steps, and jumped into the carriage which was waiting for
him.

Paul Morton closed the door, unaware that there had been a listener who
had gleaned valuable information from the conversation he had just had
with the doctor.

"Well," thought James Cromwell, emerging from the shaded doorway in
which he had silently concealed himself--for he did not wish to run the
risk of detection and possible recognition by his old customer, whom he,
on his part, had recognized without difficulty,--"well, I'm in luck. I
happened here just at the right time. I know pretty well what's going on
now, and I can give a guess as to the rest. It seems there's a sick man
inside, and that within two or three days he has been growing sicker.
Maybe I could give a guess as to what has made him grow sicker. So the
doctor don't understand some of his recent symptoms. Perhaps I could
throw a little light upon the matter, if it were worth my while. Then,
again, the sick man happens to be wealthy. Perhaps, there is nothing in
that, and then, perhaps, again, there is. Well, there are strange things
that happen in this world, and, if I'm not mistaken, I'm on the track of
one of them, I rather think I shall find my advantage in it before I get
through. I've got that man in my power, if things are as I suspect, and
it won't be long before I shall let him know it. I might as well be
going home now."

James Cromwell walked to Broadway, then walked a few squares down, until
he reached the Fifth Avenue Hotel, bright with lights, and thronged as
usual in the evening.

"I think I will go in and have a smoke," said James Cromwell.

He entered, and making his way to the cigar stand, purchased an
expensive cigar, and sat down for a smoke. It was not often that he was
so lavish, but he felt that the discovery he had made would eventually
prove to him a source of income, and this made him less careful of his
present means.

"This is the way I like to live," he thought, as he looked around him.
"Instead of the miserable lodging, where I am cooped up, I would like to
live in a hotel like this, or at least, in a handsome boarding-house,
and fare like a gentleman."

While he was thinking thus, his attention was drawn to a conversation
which he heard beside him. The speakers were apparently two business
men.

"What do you think of Morton's business position?"

"What Morton do you mean?"

"Paul Morton."

"If you want my real opinion, I think he is in a critical condition."

"Is it as bad as that?"

"Yes, I have reason to think so. I don't believe he will keep his head
above water long unless he receives some outside assistance."

"I have heard that whispered by others."

"It is more than whispered. People are getting shy of extending credit
to him. I shouldn't be surprised myself to hear of his failure any day."

James Cromwell listened eagerly to this conversation. He was sharp of
comprehension, and he easily discerned the motive arising in Paul
Morton's embarrassed affairs, which should have led him to such a
desperate resolution as to hasten the death of a guest. There was one
thing he did not yet understand. Paul Morton must be sure that the death
of the sick man would rebound to his own advantage, or he would not
incur such a risk.

"Probably, it is his brother or uncle, or, perhaps, father," concluded
the clerk. "Whoever it is, it makes little difference to me. Let him
play out his little game to the end, and enter into possession of his
money, which, by the way, I hope will be a pretty good pile. Then I will
step quietly in, and with what I know of a certain purchase, it will be
very strange if I cannot help myself to a generous slice."

After finishing his cigar, the druggist's clerk went out of the hotel,
and it being a fine, moonlight evening, he concluded to walk home. As he
walked, his mind was full of pleasing reflections. He looked about him
with disgust, as he entered his humble and not very attractive home, and
he soliloquized:

"If things go right, I won't live here much longer, nor will I stand
behind the counter of a two-penny druggist's shop, at ten dollars a
week."



CHAPTER VI.

THE FACE AT THE FUNERAL.


"Ralph, here is your son," said Paul Morton, ushering the boy into the
sick chamber of his father.

The sick man turned his face toward those who had just entered, and his
face lighted up as his glance rested on his son.

"I am glad you have come, Robert," he said.

"Dear father," said Robert, bursting into tears, "how sick you are
looking!"

"Yes, Robert," said Ralph Raymond feebly, "I am not long for this world.
I have become very feeble, and I know that I shall never leave this
chamber till I am carried out in my coffin."

"Don't say that, father," said Robert in tones of grief.

"It is best that you should know the truth, my son, especially, as my
death cannot be long delayed."

"You will live some months, father, will you not?"

"I do not think I shall live a week, Robert," said his father. "The
sands of my life are nearly run out; but I am not sorry. Life has lost
its attractions for me, and my only desire to live would proceed from
the reluctance I feel at leaving you."

"What shall I do without you, father?" asked the boy, his breast heaving
with the painful sobs which he was trying in vain to repress.

"I shall not leave you wholly alone, my dear boy. I have arranged that
you may be in charge of my old friend, Mr. Morton, who, I am sure will
take the tenderest care of you, and try to be a father to you."

"Yes," said Paul, coming forward, "as your father says, I have promised
to do for you what I can when he has left us. I would that he might be
with us for many years, but since Providence in its inscrutable wisdom
has ordained otherwise, we must bow to the stroke and do the best we
can."

He put his fine cambric handkerchief to his eyes to wipe away the tears
which were not there, and seemed affected by deep grief.

Robert cast a glance at the friend to whom he was to be consigned, but
saw nothing to inspire confidence. There are some who almost
unconsciously attract children, and draw young hearts to them in love
and confidence. But Paul Morton was far from being one of the class.
There was much in his crafty, insincere face to repel, little to
attract, and so Robert judged, though he did not think of it at that
time. He rather wondered why he felt so little drawn toward the man whom
his father praised so highly; but the instincts of childhood were right;
and the boy found no subsequent reason to correct his first impressions.

The interview did not last long, for it was apparent that the excitement
was acting unfavorably upon the sick man, whose strength was now very
slight. So Paul Morton left the room, but by Ralph's request Robert was
left behind, on condition that he would not speak. The boy buried his
head in the bed clothes and sobbed gently. In losing his father he lost
his only relative, and though he had not seen very much of him in his
lifetime, that little intercourse had been marked by so much kindness on
the part of his father, that apart from the claims of duty arising from
relationship, he felt a warm and grateful love for his parent. The
bitterness of being alone in the world already swept over him in
anticipation, and he remained for hours silent and motionless in the
sick chamber of his father.

Matters continued thus for two days. During that time Paul Morton came
little into the sick chamber. Even his audacious and shameless spirit
shrank from witnessing the gradual approaches of that death which had
been hastened by his diabolical machinations.

Besides, there was no object to be gained, he thought. Death was now
certain. There was no need of his doing anything more to hasten it.
Then, as to the disposition of the property, there was no chance now of
any change being made in the arrangement. He knew precisely what
advantage he was himself to reap from his friend's death, and though it
was not so great as he at first anticipated, it would be enough to put a
new face upon his affairs.

Besides, he would have the entire control of his ward's property, and he
did not doubt that he could so use it as to stave off ruin, and
establish himself on a new footing. Then again, there was the
contingency of the boy's death; and upon this, improbable as it was, he
was continually dwelling.

After two days the end came.

The nurse came hurrying into the room of her master, and said, "Come
quick, Mr. Morton. I think the poor gentleman is going."

"Not dying?" asked Paul Morton, with a pale face, for though expected,
the intelligence startled him.

"Yes; you must come quick, or you will not see him alive."

Paul Morton rose mechanically from his chair, and hastily thrust into
his pocket a sheet of paper on which he had been making some
arithmetical calculations as to the fortune of his dying guest, and
following the nurse entered the sick chamber.

It was indeed as she had said. Ralph Raymond was breathing slowly and
with difficulty, and it was evident from the look upon his face, that
the time of the great change had come.

Robert stood by the bedside holding his father's hand, and sobbing
bitterly.

As Paul Morton entered, the dying man turned his glazing eyes toward
him, and then toward the boy at his side, as if again to commend him to
his care.

Paul understood, and with pale face he nodded as if to assure the dying
man that he undertook the trust.

Then a more cheerful look came over the face of Ralph. He looked with a
glance of tender love at his son, then his head sank back, his eyes
closed, and the breath left his body.

The deed was consummated! Ralph Raymond was dead!

"Poor gentleman! So he's dead!" said the nurse with a professional sigh,
"and no doubt he's better off."

No answer was made to this remark. Neither Paul Morton nor Robert seemed
inclined to speak. The former was brought face to face with the
consequence of his crime. The latter was filled with the first
desolation of grief.

Three days later the funeral took place. Paul Morton took care that
everything should be in strict accordance with the wealth and position
of the deceased. He strove to satisfy his troublesome conscience by
paying the utmost respect to the man for whose death he had conspired.

Owing to the long absence of Ralph Raymond from the country, there were
not very many who remembered him, but Paul Morton invited his own
friends and acquaintances liberally, and the invitation was accepted by
a large number, as there are always those who have some morbid feelings
and appear to enjoy appearing at a funeral.

The rooms were draped in black. The doorbell was muffled in crape, and
the presence of death in the house was ostentatiously made known to all
who passed.

Among these there was James Cromwell, who for some reason, nearly every
evening, after his hours of labor were over, came up to take a look at
the house in Twenty-ninth Street, which appeared to have a great
attraction for him. When he saw the crape he managed to learn through a
servant the precise hour of the funeral, and applied to his employer for
leave of absence on that day.

"It will be inconvenient," said his employer.

"I must go," said the clerk, "I wish to attend a funeral."

Supposing that it must be the funeral of a relation, or at least, a
friend, the employer made no further objection.

As the time of the service approached, James Cromwell attired himself in
his best, and made his way to the house. His entrance was unnoticed
amongst the rest, for there was a large number present. He got into an
out-of-the-way corner, and listened attentively to the solemn service
for the dead, as performed by one of the most eminent clergyman in the
city. Among the rest his eye rested on Paul Morton, who sat with his
face buried in his handkerchief.

At length Paul looked from behind the handkerchief, and his eye roved
over the company. Suddenly he turned livid. His eye met that of a thin
young man, with light hair, in an out-of-the-way corner, _and he
remembered at once under what circumstances they had met before_.



CHAPTER VII.

PAUL MORTON HAS A VISITOR.


Paul Morton's consternation can hardly be described, when, in the number
who had come to witness the funeral ceremonies of Ralph Raymond, he
recognized the shopman in the obscure druggist's shop where he had
purchased the poison. The sweat stood out upon his brow, and he eagerly
questioned himself--how much did this man know, or what did he suspect,
or was his presence purely accidental?

But he could hardly believe that a man in such a position would attend
the funeral, unless he had some object in view. How had he found out his
name and residence? Was it possible that he had been tracked?

He looked furtively at the young man, now grown an object of strange and
dread interest to him. He noted his insignificant features, and the
general meanness of his appearance, and he began to pluck up courage.

"Suppose he does suspect anything," he thought; "will his testimony be
believed against mine? A miserable druggist's clerk, probably on a
starvation salary. At the worst I can buy him off for a small sum."

Reassured by these thoughts, he recovered his boldness, and in looking
about him, did not hesitate to meet the gaze of James Cromwell, without
suffering a trace of the first agitation to be seen.

But that first agitation had been observed at the time by the druggist's
clerk, and he had drawn his own conclusions from it.

"He has used the poison," he said to himself, "and it is for that reason
that my presence alarms him," he said.

At length the funeral ceremonies were over.

The company who were assembled left the house, and with them James
Cromwell. He went back to his room, not feeling that it was of
importance to remain longer. He had shown himself at the funeral, he had
been recognized, and thus he had paved the way for the interview which
he meant to have, and that very shortly.

Two evenings later, he approached the house in Twenty-ninth Street, and
ascending the steps, boldly rang the bell.

The servant who answered the summons, looked at him inquiringly,
supposing from his appearance that he had merely come to bring some
message.

"Is Mr. Morton at home?"

"Yes, he is at home."

"I would like to see him."

"He doesn't see visitors, on account of a death in the family. I will
carry your message."

"I must see him," insisted the clerk, boldly.

"I don't think he will see you."

"I do. So go and tell him I am here."

"What name shall I carry to him?"

"The name is of no consequence. You can tell him that the young man whom
he noticed at the funeral is here, and wishes to see him on very
important business."

"That's a queer message," thought the servant, but concluded that it was
some one who had something to do with furnishing something for the
funeral, and was anxious to get his pay.

Mr. Morton was sitting in his library, or a room furnished with books,
which went by that name, when the servant entered.

"There is somebody to see you, sir," she said.

"Who is it?"

"I don't know his name."

"Is it a gentleman?"

"No, sir."

"Did you tell him I was not receiving visitors now?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well?"

"He said he wanted to see you on very important business."

"Why didn't he give his name?"

"He said that I was to tell you it was the young man you noticed at the
funeral," said the servant.

Mr. Morton turned pale, but at once recovered himself.

"I am not sure that I know who it is," he said, "but I can easily
ascertain. You may bring him up."

"You are to come up," said the girl reappearing.

James Cromwell smiled in conscious triumph.

"I thought so," he said to himself. "Well, now for my game. It will be a
difficult one, but I will do my best."

Left alone, Paul Morton began to consider how he should treat the
new-comer. He resolved to affect no recognition at first, and afterward
indifference. He thought he might be able to overawe the young man, from
his own superiority in social position, and so prevent his carrying out
the purpose he proposed.

Accordingly, when James Cromwell entered the room, he arched his brows a
little, and looked inquiringly at him.

"Have you business with me?" he said, abruptly. "Did not my servant
inform you that, on account of a recent death, I am not receiving
callers at present?"

"I thought you would see me," said the young man, with a mixture of
familiarity and boldness.

"Really, I don't know what claims you have to be excepted to my rule,"
said Paul Morton, haughtily. "If you are a tradesman, and have a claim
against me, you might have sent it in the regular way."

"I am not a tradesman, and I have no claim against you, Mr. Morton,"
said the young man--"that is, no regular claim."

"You speak in riddles, sir," said Mr. Morton, in the same haughty tone.
"If you have no business with me, I am at a loss to know why you have
intruded yourself upon me at such a time. Perhaps, however, you were
unaware of my recent affliction."

"I am quite aware of it, Mr. Morton. In fact, I was present at the
funeral, if you refer to the death of Mr. Raymond, and unless I am
greatly mistaken, you yourself observed me there."

"You were present at the funeral! What brought you here?"

"That seems rather an inhospitable question. For some reasons of my own,
I felt an interest in what was going on in this house, and made it my
business to become acquainted with all that passed. When I heard of Mr.
Raymond's death, I resolved at once to attend the funeral."

"I suppose you must have known Mr. Raymond, then," said Paul Morton,
with something of a sneer.

"No, I had not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with the
gentleman," said James Cromwell, who, far from being overawed by the
evident haughty tone of the other, preserved his composure with
admirable success.

"Then let me repeat, I do not understand why you should have taken the
trouble to be present at his funeral. Persons, in general, wait for an
invitation before intruding on such occasions," he added, with a
palpable sneer.

"He wouldn't parley so long if he did not know me and fear me," thought
James Cromwell, and this conclusion showed that he was not without a
certain natural shrewdness.

"Was Mr. Raymond rich?" he asked, nonchalantly.

This was more than Paul Morton could bear. He was naturally an irritable
man, and he had been obliged to exercise considerable self-control thus
far in the interview. It angered him that this insignificant druggist's
clerk--this miserable specimen of a man--should have ventured to intrude
himself in this manner on his privacy, but the terror of his crime and
the consciousness that this man suspected it, had hitherto restrained
him.

But when James Cromwell asked this question, sitting coolly, with one
leg crossed over the other, and staring impudently in his face, he could
not restrain himself any longer. He rose to his feet with angry
vehemence, and pointing to the door with a finger literally quivering
with rage, he said, hoarsely:

"You impertinent scoundrel! begone instantly, or I will summon my
servants and have you kicked down my front steps!"

"That might not be altogether prudent, Mr. Morton," said James Cromwell.

"Might not be prudent! What do you mean by your cursed impudence?"
demanded the merchant, glaring furiously at the druggist's clerk.

"What do I mean?" repeated James Cromwell. "Do you wish me to answer
your question?"

"I demand that you answer my question, and that immediately," said the
merchant, hardly knowing what he did, so carried away was he by his
unreasonable anger.

"Very well, I will do so," said the clerk, quietly, "but, as it may take
a brief time, will you not be kind enough to resume your seat?"



CHAPTER VIII.

JAMES CROMWELL'S TRIUMPH.


The coolness displayed by James Cromwell had its effect upon the
merchant. Mechanically he obeyed, and resumed his seat.

"Say what have you to say, and be done with it," he muttered.

"In the first place, then, I beg leave to ask you a question. Do you not
remember me?" and the clerk looked searchingly with his cold gray eyes
in the face of Paul Morton.

"I may possibly have met you before," he replied with an effort, "but I
meet a great many people, and there is no particular reason, that I am
aware of, why I should remember you in particular."

"I also meet a considerable number of persons," said James Cromwell,
"but circumstances have led me to remember you very well."

"Well, grant that you remember me," said the merchant, with nervous
impatience, "what then?"

"It may be necessary for me to remind you that I am employed in a
druggist's shop on the Bowery."

"I hope you like your situation," said Paul Morton, with a sneer.

"No, I don't like it, and that is the reason why I have come to you,
hoping that you will help me to something better."

This was said with quiet self-possession, and Paul Morton began to
realize with uneasiness that this young man, whom he had looked upon
with contempt, was not so easily to be overawed or managed as he had
expected.

"This is a cool request, considering that you are a comparative stranger
to me."

"But consider the peculiar circumstances," said James Cromwell,
significantly.

"What peculiar circumstances?" demanded the merchant, desperately.

"Shall I mention them?" asked Cromwell, pointedly.

"If you want me to understand, yes. You are talking in enigmas, and I
never was good at understanding enigmas."

"Then," said James Cromwell, leaning slightly forward, and looking
intently at Mr. Morton, "may I ask to what use you have put the subtle
poison which you purchased of me ten days since?"

The color rushed to Paul Morton's face at this direct interrogation.

"The poison?" he repeated.

"Yes, you certainly have not forgotten the purchase."

"I think you must be mistaken in the person."

"Pardon me, I am not."

"Suppose that I did buy poison, how should you identify me with the
purchaser, and how came you to know where I lived?"

"I sent a boy to follow you home," said Cromwell.

"You dared to do that?"

"Why not? We have no curiosity about our ordinary customers, but when a
person makes such a purchase as you did, we feel inclined to learn all
we can about him."

"A praiseworthy precaution! Well, I admit that I did buy the poison.
What then?"

"I asked to what purpose you had put it?"

"Very well, I have no objection to tell you, although I deny your right
to intrude in my private affairs, which I regard as a piece of gross
impertinence. I bought it, as I think I stated to you at the time, at
the request and for the use of a friend."

"Would you tell me the friend's name?" asked the clerk, imperturbably.

"He lives in Thirty-seventh Street."

"What is his name?"

"None of your business," exclaimed the merchant, passionately.

"I beg your pardon, but I was blamed by my employer for not taking down
the name of the purchaser, and I told him in return that I would gather
full particulars."

"You may tell him it is all right. He must have heard of me and of my
firm, and that will satisfy him."

"But the name of this gentleman in Thirty-seventh Street----"

"It is not necessary to the purpose."

"_Has there been a death in his family within ten days?_" asked the
clerk in quiet tones, but there was a significance in them which sent a
thrill through the frame of his listener.

"What makes you ask that?" he stammered.

"I will tell you," said James Cromwell, boldly throwing off his reserve.
"It is as well to be frank, and there is no use in mincing matters. I
do not believe this story of the man in Thirty-seventh Street. I think
you bought the article for your own use. Since the purchase there has
been a death in your house."

"Your inference is ridiculous," said the merchant, nervously. "My
intimate and dear friend, Mr. Raymond, was sick of an incurable disease,
as the physician will testify, and it could have terminated in no other
way."

"I am quite willing to believe you are right," said the clerk. "Still,
under the circumstances, you will not object to an investigation. I feel
it my duty to inform a coroner of the facts in the case, and if on
examination no traces of the action of poison can be found in the
deceased, of course you are entirely exonerated from suspicion!"

"What!" exclaimed Paul Morton. "Do you think I will suffer myself to be
subjected to such a degrading suspicion--a man of my position in
society--what advantage could I possibly reap from my friend's death?"

"He was a rich man," suggested James Cromwell, significantly.

"That is true," said the merchant, with self-possession. "He was a rich
man."

"And he may have left his property to you."

"You happen to be mistaken there. He had left his property to his son, a
boy of fourteen."

"Where is this son?" asked the clerk, a little taken aback by this
discovery, which was new to him.

"He is now in my house."

"And suppose the boy dies?"

It was now Paul Morton's turn to hesitate.

"That is not very probable," he said. "He is a strong, vigorous boy."

"Who is to be his guardian?"

"I am."

"Indeed! And if he dies, is there no provision made as to the property?"

"It will go to me, if he dies before attaining his majority."

The clerk coughed--a little significant cough--which annoyed Mr. Morton
not a little. It conveyed an imputation which he couldn't resent,
because it was indirect.

"I hope you are satisfied," he said at length.

"Oh, certainly; that is, nearly so," said James Cromwell: "but then it
is not enough that I should be satisfied."

"Why not?"

"My employer may not be."

"Does your employer know who made the purchase?"

"No, I have not as yet communicated the name to him."

"Don't tell him, then. It is none of his business."

"He will not agree with you there."

"What matter if he does not?"

"You must remember that I am a poor clerk, dependent on my salary, and
that in my position, it is not safe to risk offending my employer.
Suppose I am discharged from my position, how am I to live?"

"Can you not procure another situation?"

"Not if he refuses his recommendation, which would probably be the case.
Besides, our business is crowded, and under the most favorable
circumstances I might be weeks, and possibly months, without
employment."

Paul Morton leaned his head on his hand, and considered what was to be
done with this difficult visitor. It was evident that he expected to be
bought off and that he must be.

"What wages do you get?" he asked, looking up.

"Twenty dollars a week, sir," said Cromwell.

As the reader knows, this was just double what he did receive, and as
Mr. Morton was not likely to inquire of his employer, he felt that the
lie was a safe one, and likely to conduce to his advantage.

"Twenty dollars a week! Very well, I will tell you what you must do. In
the first place, you must refuse to make your employer any
communications respecting this affair."

"Very well, sir."

"And if he discharges you, I will pay you twenty dollars a week until
you can get another situation. Perhaps I may find you some other
employment, unless you prefer your present business."

"No, sir, I don't like it."

"Do, then, as I tell you, and I will see that you suffer no loss."

"Thank you, sir," said James Cromwell, rising. "I will follow your
directions, and let you know the result to-morrow evening."

The clerk left the house in a very contented frame of mind. He
determined to resign his situation the next morning, and claim the
stipulated weekly allowance.



CHAPTER IX.

HOW MATTERS WERE ARRANGED.


After the clerk had left him, Paul Morton began to consider what was
best to be done. He had at first been inclined to despise this man as
insignificant and incapable of mischief, but the interview which he had
just had convinced him that on this point he was mistaken. It was
evident that he was in the clerk's power, and just as evident that the
latter wanted to be bought off.

"After all, it is not so bad," he said to himself, "he has his price;
the only question is, whether that price is an exorbitant one or not. I
must make the best possible terms with him."

There was another question to be decided, and that related to his
ward--young Robert Raymond.

Should he send him back to school or not?

While he was pondering as to this question, an idea occurred to him.

Why should he not kill two birds with one stone, by placing his ward in
the charge of James Cromwell, with a liberal allowance, to be deducted
from his ward's income for his trouble? Not that he considered the
clerk, of whom he knew next to nothing, and that little not to his
credit, a suitable person to have the charge of a boy. But then, he was
not a conscientious guardian, and his only desire was, so to arrange
matters as best to subserve his own interests. Besides, there were
certain plans and hopes which he cherished that could best be subserved
by a man not over scrupulous, and he judged rightly that James Cromwell
would become a pliant tool in his hands if he were paid well enough for
it.

He was not surprised to receive another visit from the clerk on the
evening succeeding the interview which was chronicled in the last
chapter.

"Well," he said, when the latter was ushered into his presence, and they
were left alone, "what have you to tell me?"

"I have lost my situation," said Cromwell, briefly.

"Then your employer was offended at your silence?"

"Yes; he said he must know who bought the article."

"And you refused to tell him?"

"I did. Upon this he said that he had no further occasion for my
services, and that under the circumstances he must refuse me a
recommendation. So you see I have got into serious trouble on account of
keeping your secret."

Paul Morton winced at the last two words, but he didn't comment upon
them.

Could the late employer of James Cromwell have heard the assertions just
made by his clerk, he would have opened wide his eyes in astonishment.
The fact was that the clerk had alleged failing health as a reason for
giving up his situation, and had at that very moment an excellent
recommendation from his employer in his pocket. It must be said that he
deserved it, for he had been a faithful and competent assistant in the
shop, however destitute he might be of moral qualities. But James
Cromwell had no idea of entering the shop of another druggist. His ideas
had been enlarged, and he aspired to something less laborious, and more
remunerative.

"I must see what I can do for you," said Paul Morton, who was quite
prepared for the communication which had been made him. "Last evening I
did not see any way clear, but a plan has since then occurred to me. But
it is necessary that I should first know a little more about you. Have
you ever been in the West?"

"Yes, sir, I was born in Indiana."

"Then you have some acquaintance about there?"

"Yes, sir," said the clerk, wondering what was coming.

"How would you like to buy out a drug-shop in some prosperous Western
town? As a proprietor the business might be more agreeable to you than
as a clerk."

"Yes, sir, it would," said the clerk, brightening up. The prospect of a
business of his own struck him favorably.

"But I have no money," he added.

"That matter could be arranged," said the merchant. "Of course I cannot
pay except for services rendered, but I have a charge to intrust you
with."

James Cromwell awaited with interest and curiosity what should be said
next.

Paul Morton continued:

"I have been thinking," he said, "that it will be better for my ward's
health that he should reside in the West. My opinion is that the rough
winds of the Atlantic coast may be injurious for him, but I have been
puzzled to decide upon a competent man to take charge of him. I am
inclined to think that as you have nothing to prevent your going out
West, and moreover, are acquainted with the country, it will suit my
views to give you the general oversight of Robert. He can board at the
same place with you, and go to school."

"What shall I receive for my services?" asked James Cromwell, coming at
once to that part of the business which was to him of the greatest
importance.

"I have been thinking of that," said the merchant. "How much will it
cost to buy out a fair druggist's shop?"

"It might be managed for two or three thousand dollars."

"Two thousand dollars will be quite enough, I am sure. Very well, I am
willing to buy you such a business, and allow you besides, a thousand
dollars a year for the charge of the boy. Out of this you will pay for
his board and clothes, and the balance you can keep for your trouble."

"There won't be much left," grumbled the clerk, though the offer
exceeded what he anticipated. Still he wished to make the best bargain
he could.

"Half of it will be left," said the merchant; "his board in a Western
town won't cost more than two hundred and fifty dollars a year, leaving
the same sum for his clothing and miscellaneous expenses. That will
consume only one-half of the money, leaving you five hundred, besides
what you can make from your business."

"How old is the boy?"

"Fourteen years old."

"Do you think he will be willing to come with me?"

"It doesn't make much difference whether he is willing or not. As his
guardian, it is my right to make such arrangements for him as I choose."

"How soon do you wish me to undertake the charge?"

"As soon as you can. Do you think of any town or village where you think
it would suit you to settle down?"

"Yes," said James Cromwell, after a pause, "I think of one town where I
heard that the druggist wished to sell out."

"What is the name of the town?"

"Barton."

"And where is it located?"

"In the southern part of Indiana."

"Yes, that will do."

There was a pause at this point. James Cromwell was waiting to learn
what farther communication the merchant might have to make. The latter
hesitated because he wished to come to an understanding on a certain
point which it required some delicacy to introduce.

"I suppose," he commenced, "when you inquired the boy's age, you wished
to understand how long this arrangement was likely to last?"

"Yes, sir. That is an important consideration."

"Then again," said Paul Morton, trying to speak indifferently, "of
course there is the contingency of his early death, which would cut off
your income arising from the allowance I make for him."

"Yes," said the clerk, "but if I remember rightly, it would be a benefit
to you, for you would inherit the property in his place."

"Yes; that was the arrangement his father made without my knowledge. But
that has nothing to do with you. I will tell you what I have decided to
do in the contingency which I have just named. If the boy dies, you will
be an annual loser; I will agree to give you outright such a sum as
will produce an equal annual income, say ten thousand dollars."

"You will give me ten thousand dollars if the boy dies?"

"Yes; should he be removed by an early death, though, of course, that is
not probable, I will make over to you the sum I have named."

"Ten thousand dollars?"

"Yes; ten thousand dollars, as a testimonial of my appreciation of your
services in taking charge of him. That certainly is a liberal
arrangement."

"Yes," said James Cromwell, in a low voice, his pale face a little paler
than its wont, for he knew as well as his employer, that the sum
mentioned was indirectly offered him as an inducement to make way with
the boy. He could not prove it, of course, but it was clear to his own
mind, and Paul Morton meant that it should be.

"Come here to-morrow," he said, rising, as a signal of dismissal, "and
meanwhile I will prepare my ward for the new plans which we have been
discussing."

James Cromwell rose, and his mind in a tumult of various emotions, left
the house in Twenty-ninth Street.



CHAPTER X.

A VILLAINOUS SUGGESTION.


"Tell Robert Raymond that I wish to speak to him," said Paul Morton, to
a servant who answered his bell.

"Yes, sir."

In five minutes Robert entered his presence. The boy was clad in a suit
of black, and his face was grave and sad. The death of his father, his
only relation of whom he had any knowledge, had weighed heavily upon his
feelings, and he moved about the house in a listless way, with little
appetite or spirit.

"You sent for me, sir?" he said interrogatively, as he entered.

"Yes, Robert, take a seat. I wish to speak to you," said his guardian.

The boy obeyed, and looked inquiringly in the face of Paul Morton to see
what he had to communicate.

"It is desirable," he said, "that we should speak together of your
future arrangements. It is for that purpose I have sent for you this
morning."

"I suppose I shall go back to the school where my father placed me,"
said Robert.

"Ahem!" said his guardian, "that we can settle presently. I have not yet
decided upon that point."

"It is a very good school, sir. I think it was my father's intention
that I should remain there for at least two years longer."

"He never spoke to me on that subject. He thought it would be safe to
trust to my judgment in the matter."

"Then I am not to go back?" said Robert, in some disappointment.

"I do not say that. I only say that I have not yet decided upon that
point. Even if you go back you need not go at once."

"I shall fall behind my class," said Robert.

"You are young yet, and there is no hurry. For the present I have
another plan in view for you."

"What is it, Mr. Morton?"

"Come here a minute. I want you to look at some views I have here."

In some surprise the boy came to his side; for the remark seemed to have
no connection with the plan his guardian had referred to just now.

Mr. Morton drew from a drawer in his desk a collection of views of
Niagara Falls, and spread them before his ward.

"Have you ever visited Niagara, Robert?" he asked.

"No, sir."

"Here are some views of the cataract. It is a beautiful sight."

"Oh, yes, sir," said Robert; "I have heard a great deal of it, and I
have often thought I should like to see it."

"Well, your wish is likely to be gratified," said his guardian.

"Do you mean to let me visit it, then?" asked the boy, looking up with
eager and animated inquiry.

"Yes; I have observed that your father's death has naturally weighed
upon your mind, and depressed your spirits. If you should go back to
school now, you would not be in a fitting frame to resume your studies.
I think a little change and variety would do you good. For this reason I
intend to let you go on a journey, not only to Niagara, but still
farther West."

"You are very kind, Mr. Morton," said Robert; "but," he added, with
momentary hesitation, "would it be quite right for me to go on a
pleasure excursion so soon after the death of my poor father?"

"Your father would, I am sure, approve it," said his guardian. "Because
your mind is diverted by pleasant scenery, it will not follow that you
have forgotten your father."

"No, I shall never forget him as long as I live."

"So you see there is no objection on that score."

"Are you going with me, Mr. Morton?" asked Robert, suddenly.

"No, I am unable to leave my business for so long."

"Am I going alone?"

"No, you are too young for that. I have a friend," Mr. Morton was about
to say; but after a pause he said, "acquaintance, who is to start at
once on a trip to the West, and I shall place you under his charge."

"Who is it, sir?"

"A young man named Cromwell."

"How soon are we to start?"

"Probably in a day or two. You can look over your wardrobe, and see if
you need any new clothes, and can get them before you leave New York."

"Yes, sir."

Robert left his guardian's presence in better spirits than he had
entered. The prospect of a journey was very agreeable, for he had all a
boy's love of new scenes, and it added to his pleasure, though he hardly
admitted it to himself, that his guardian was not able to accompany him.
He hardly knew why it was, but, although he had been told that Mr.
Morton was his father's intimate friend, and had no reason to doubt the
truth of this statement, he found it impossible to like him. Indeed,
there was a half feeling of repugnance which he was dimly conscious of,
and had tried to overcome, but without success. This feeling was not so
strange as it appeared to him. It was the natural repugnance of a frank
and innocent boy to the double dealing and false nature of a selfish man
of the world.

Shortly after Robert left the presence of his guardian, James Cromwell
was once more ushered into it.

He was no longer the threadbare clerk, but had provided himself with a
new suit of clothes, which looked, indeed, better than his former array;
but no clothing, however costly, could change the appearance of his mean
and insignificant features, and give him the air of a gentleman.

"I have waited upon you early, Mr. Morton," he said.

"Not too early," answered the merchant. "Indeed, I may say that I am
anxious to complete our arrangements, and put the boy under your care as
soon as possible. The fact is, that with my business cares the
additional burden of a ward is not very welcome. If it had not been the
son of my intimate friend, I might have declined the trust; but under
the circumstances I did not think I ought to do so."

James Cromwell listened to this statement from the lips of his employer
in silence. It is needless to say that he did not believe one word of
it; but it was for his interest now to appear to credit whatever Mr.
Morton chose to say, and he accordingly did not think it politic to
indicate in any way his real feelings.

"Yes, it is a great care in addition to by business responsibilities,"
proceeded the merchant; "but I shall feel in a great measure relieved
when Robert is once placed under your charge."

"Does he know that he is going with me?" inquired Cromwell.

"I have just had an interview with him. He has been at a boarding-school
on the Hudson River, and he supposed he was going back. When I told him
that I had another plan for him, he was at first disappointed."

"Did you tell him what the plan was?"

"Not precisely. I showed him some views of Niagara Falls, and asked him
if he would like to visit the cataract. He said that he would. I then
told him that previous to his going back to school I intended to let him
have a little journey,--visiting the Falls, and going as far as Indiana.
He was pleased with this prospect."

"Does he know he is going with me?"

"I mentioned that I had asked an acquaintance of mine to take charge of
him. I shall introduce you as that acquaintance."

"You intend then, Mr. Morton, that we shall take Niagara Falls on the
way?" said James Cromwell.

"Yes; I think it will be a pleasant arrangement for you, no doubt, if
you have never seen the Falls."

"No, I have never seen them."

"And besides, it will make the journey seem more plausible to Robert. He
need not know until you get to your journey's end that he is not coming
back."

"How shall it be communicated to him?"

"I think I will give you a letter to him which you can let him read when
the proper time comes."

"When do you wish me to start?"

"As soon as possible--day after to-morrow. You can be ready, can you
not?"

"I can be ready at any time. I have very few arrangements to make."

"I should like to show you some views of Niagara, which I have here, Mr.
Cromwell," said Paul Morton. "Will you step to the table?"

The clerk left his seat, and advanced to the side of the merchant's
chair.

"There," said Paul Morton, looking over the views, and selecting one,
"is a view of Goat Island. You will no doubt visit that?"

"Yes, sir; we will try to see all that is worth seeing."

"I think," said Paul Morton, slowly, "I have heard of a man--or a
boy--who was standing here one day, and chanced to lose his footing, and
fell over the cataract. Horrible, was it not?"

He looked significantly in the face of his companion. James Cromwell's
face grew pale, as he comprehended the infernal meaning of this speech,
and he echoed the word "Horrible."

"I just mentioned it," said the merchant, "for boys are apt to be
careless, and it occurred to me that perhaps Robert might be in danger
of a similar accident."



CHAPTER XI.

GOLD VERSUS CRIME.


James Cromwell did not reply to the merchant's speech. Not that he was
so much appalled at the wickedness suggested, as that his nature, which
was a timid one, shrank with timidity from undertaking so hazardous a
crime. He hardly knew what to think or what to say. In fact, it was most
politic for him to be silent, for, with such artfulness had Paul Morton
conveyed the suggestion to the mind of his confederate, that he appeared
only to be counselling prudence, and to be actuated by a kind desire to
protect his boy-ward from possible danger. He had so guarded himself
that he could at any time boldly deny having counselled violence, and
turn upon his instrument with the unblushing assertion--"Thou canst not
say I did it."

Paul Morton, seeing the sudden pallor of his companion, knew that his
purpose had been accomplished, and went on to other matters.

"I think," he said, "that you will be able to start on the day after
to-morrow. I will see that Robert is ready, and if you will come around
by nine o'clock, there will be ample time to take the middle train."

"Very well," said Cromwell. "I will bear in mind what you say, Mr.
Morton."

"And now, I think, Mr. Cromwell, I shall be obliged to leave you, as my
business, which I have neglected of late, requires my attention."

James Cromwell took the hint, and left the house. He fell into a fit of
musing, as he rode downtown on a street-car.

"Shall I do this thing which he wants of me?" he said to himself. "There
would be danger in it, and there is something ugly in the thought of
murder. Still, ten thousand dollars would set me up in life. Besides, I
should still have a hold on Mr. Morton. Ah, it would be pleasant to be
rich! No more miserable drudgery, no more cringing to an employer who
cares no more for you than for a dog, and perhaps treats you no better!
Money, money is a blessed thing. It brings independence; with it you can
lift your head erect, and walk proudly among men, who are always ready
to doff their hats to a man who is backed up by wealth. Yes, it is worth
something to gain it, but then--murder!"

Here James Cromwell shuddered, and imprisonment, trial, conviction and
the gallows, loomed up, an ugly and forbidding picture, before him. So
weighed was his imagination with the terrors of the scene which he had
conjured up before him, that when he was aroused from his musings by a
slap on the shoulder, he started, and turned a terror-stricken
countenance to the face that bent over him. He fancied for a moment that
the terrible tragedy had been accomplished, and that the touch was that
of a policeman who had been sent to arrest him.

"Why, Cromwell, what's the matter?" asked the other, in wonder. "You
look as pale and scared as a ghost."

"Is it you, Hodgson?" said Cromwell, with an air of relief.

"Who did you think it was? You didn't think a policeman was after you,
did you?" said Hodgson, jocosely.

"Oh, dear, no!" said Cromwell, laughing faintly. "I am not afraid of
anything from that quarter. But the fact is, I have been getting nervous
lately, and I think my health is affected."

"Why are you not in the shop? Got a furlough?"

"Yes, a permanent one. I resigned my situation on account of my
health."

"Indeed! I don't see but you look about as usual--that is, now, though a
minute ago, you looked pale enough."

"You can't always judge by appearances," said James Cromwell, shaking
his head.

"Well, what are your plans? You haven't retired on a fortune, have you?"

"Not exactly. Still I am not wholly without resources. I think of going
out West."

"Do you?"

"Yes, I think the change may benefit my health."

"Well, I hope it will. I don't know but I shall go myself, if I can find
an opening. If you find anything you think will suit me, I wish you
would let me know."

"All right. I will bear you in mind."

"Good-bye. I get out here. Good luck to you!"

The young man, who was salesman in a shoe-store, got out of the car, and
James Cromwell rode on to his destination.

When he reached the small room which he had been compelled to call home,
because he could afford nothing better, he looked with disdain on its
scanty and shabby furniture, and said to himself:

"Thank Heaven, I shall not long be compelled to live in such a hole!
That reminds me that I must give warning to my landlady."

He went down, encountering a careworn and shabbily-attired woman on the
stairs.

"I was just looking for you, Mrs. Warren," he said. "I am intending to
leave you this week."

"Indeed!" said the landlady. "I hope you are not dissatisfied, Mr.
Cromwell?"

"No; that is not my reason for going. I am going to leave the city."

"Indeed, sir! have you left your place?" asked the woman, in surprise.

"Yes, I have been obliged to on account of my health."

"I am sorry to hear it, sir. What is the matter with you?"

"I expect it is the confinement."

"I am sorry to lose you, sir. I find it hard to keep my rooms full. If
you know of any of your friends who would like a room, I hope you will
send them to me."

"I will, certainly."

"When were you expecting to leave, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Day after to-morrow, but I will pay you up to the end of the week."

"Thank you, sir."

The landlady went away sighing at the loss of one who represented to her
so many dollars a month, and James Cromwell went up again to his little
room. He sat down on the bed, and indulged himself in pleasant thoughts.

"What a change has come over my prospects!" he said, complacently.
"Three weeks ago I was a poor clerk on a miserable salary of ten dollars
a week. Now, fortune has opened her doors, and there is a prospect of my
acquiring an independence, and that without much trouble. It was a lucky
day when Paul Morton came into our shop. It is well that my employer was
not there, or I should have been unable to act with the promptness which
has bettered my fortunes so materially. It isn't every one who would
have improved so shrewdly such a chance. I must say that, at least, to
the credit of my shrewdness. Would Paul Morton even have thought of
intrusting his ward to me, if I had not let him know that I had a hold
upon him, and meant to make use of it? In that hold lies a pile of
money, and I mean to squeeze it out of him. I don't think he will deal
unfairly by me. He must know that it would not be safe."

Money was the god of James Cromwell's idolatry. He had been in early
life a poor orphan, reared in a poorhouse, kicked and cuffed by older
boys, who sneered at him on account of his poverty. Later, he was
apprenticed to a druggist, and served a hard apprenticeship, poorly fed
and clothed. When he reached manhood, he came to New York to try his
fortune, but his unpromising personal appearance stood in the way of his
obtaining a desirable situation. At last, when he was reduced to his
last dollar, he obtained a situation as assistant in the small store on
the Bowery, where we found him at the commencement of the story, on a
salary of six dollars a week. He had remained there for several years,
and still his compensation had only reached the low figure of ten
dollars a week.

He had pined for riches, and dreamed what he should do if he ever could
amass a moderate sum of money, but three weeks since, it seemed very
improbable whether he would ever be able to compass what he so
feverishly longed for.

Thus all the circumstances of his past life had prepared him to become
the pliant tool of Paul Morton's schemes. In his case, as in so many
others, the love of money was likely to become the root of all evil.

So, with weak and vacillating timidity, drawn on by the lust for gold,
James Cromwell thought over the proposal which had been made to him,
weighing the risk against the gain proffered, and the more he thought,
the stronger grew the power of the temptation, and the greater became
the peril which menaced the life of Robert Raymond.



CHAPTER XII.

ON GOAT ISLAND.


"Robert," said his guardian, "this is Mr. Cromwell, who is to take
charge of you on the journey. Mr. Cromwell, this is my ward, whom I hope
you will find a pleasant traveling companion."

"How do you do?" said James Cromwell, holding out his hand rather
stiffly to the boy.

"I am well, thank you," said Robert, looking with curiosity, and it must
be confessed, disappointment, at the young man who was to be his
companion.

He had hoped that he would be a congenial person, with whom he might be
on terms of pleasant familiarity; but when he looked at the small,
ferreting eyes and mean features of James Cromwell, his first
impressions were unfavorable. Every man's face is to a certain extent
indicative of his disposition and prevailing traits; and Robert, who was
quicker than most boys in reading character, concluded without delay,
that the companion with which his guardian had provided him would not
be to his taste. Still, he possessed a great deal of natural courtesy
and politeness, and he determined to conceal this feeling as well as he
might, and treat Mr. Cromwell with as much respect and politeness as if
he had liked him better. Though he would have liked to travel with a
different person, still, the natural scenery which he would behold would
be none the less attractive, and would afford him some compensation for
the absence of a congenial companion.

James Cromwell was on his side not without sharpness of insight. As he
met the boy's gaze with the glance of his small ferret-like eyes, he
perceived the look of disappointment, however carefully it was veiled,
and with the spite of a small, mean mind, it inspired him with instant
dislike for Robert. Instead of determining to win his confidence and
regard by kindness, he resolved as soon as he fairly had him in his
power, to annoy him by petty tyranny, and so wreak vengeance upon him
for the feelings which he could not help. But the time for this had not
yet come. He knew that policy dictated a courteous and polite treatment
for the present. Accordingly he said in a soft voice:

"I hope I shall be able to make Mr. Raymond's time pass pleasantly."

"Thank you," said Robert, politely.

"Oh, I have no doubt you will get on well together," said Mr. Morton.
"Robert, I shall expect you to follow the directions of Mr. Cromwell, as
I have confidence that he will act with good judgment."

Robert bowed.

"I have obtained tickets for you by the middle train," proceeded the
merchant. "Here they are, Mr. Cromwell."

"Thank you, sir," said Cromwell, taking them and putting them in his
pocket.

"You will remain at Niagara two or three days if you like," continued
Paul Morton. "I have no doubt you will enjoy yourself. What do you say,
Robert?"

"I shall be sure to enjoy it," said Robert, with animation.

"So shall I," said Cromwell. "I have never visited the Falls."

"Well," said the merchant, drawing on his gloves, "I am sorry, but I
shall be obliged to leave you. I have considerable business awaiting me
at my counting-room. I have ordered a carriage at eleven to convey you
with your trunks to the railroad depot. Good-bye, Robert, good-bye, Mr.
Cromwell. A pleasant journey to you."

"Good-bye, sir," said both.

"Oh, by the way, Mr. Cromwell," said the merchant, turning as he reached
the door, and looking significantly at Cromwell, "if you meet with any
mishap, telegraph me at once."

Again a greenish pallor overspread the face of James Cromwell, for he
understood the allusion, and his cowardly nature recoiled with fear, not
with abhorrence.

"Yes, sir," he said, "I will remember."

"Once more, good-bye, then," and Paul Morton closed the door behind him.

"I hope I shall never see that boy alive again," he said to himself.
"Once get him out of the way and the money is mine. A hundred and twenty
thousand dollars will be a great windfall to me. To be sure, there will
be ten thousand to pay to Cromwell, but it will leave over a hundred
thousand. Egad! it would be a capital arrangement if they both would
tumble over the Falls together. It would be the best joke of the
season."

And Paul Morton laughed to himself, a low, wicked laugh, at the
prospect of the two from whom he had just parted being hurled together
into a death so frightful, and all that he might gain money. As if human
life were to be weighed against perishing dross! Yet every day life is
bartered for it; not always criminally, but sacrificed by overwork, or
undue risk, so insatiable is the hunger for gold, and so desperate are
the efforts by which men seek to obtain it.

In due time they reached the station, and entering one of the long cars,
selected their seats. They did not sit down together, but took seats
directly in front of each other, giving a window to each.

"I suppose I ought to say something to him," thought Robert, "but I
don't know what to say."

Indeed, there seemed to be no common ground on which they could meet.
With some persons the boy would have been engaged in animated
conversation long before this, but he seemed to have nothing to say to
James Cromwell.

"Do you like traveling, Mr. Cromwell?" he asked, at length.

"Pretty well," said Cromwell.

"I think we shall have a pleasant journey."

"Yes; I expect so."

"Do you know when we shall reach Niagara, Mr. Cromwell?"

"I think Mr. Morton said it would take us about twenty-four hours."

"Then we shall get there about this time to-morrow."

"Yes; we shall be all night on the cars."

"I am sorry for that, for we shall lose the scenery on the way--I mean,
that we pass through during the night."

Here the conversation dropped. James Cromwell bought a paper from a boy
who came through the cars, and began to read. Robert, with all the eager
interest of his age, employed himself in looking out of the window,
watching the fields and houses among which they were wending their rapid
way.

It will be unnecessary to chronicle the incidents of the journey, for
there were none worth mentioning. In due time they reached Niagara, and
secured rooms at the principal hotel on the American side.

It was afternoon, and they only went round a little before supper. They
decided to defer the principal part of their sightseeing until the next
day.

The next day was pleasant. Together the two walked about, enjoying
views of the cataract from various points.

At length Cromwell said, "How would you like to go to Goat Island? I am
told the view is fine from there."

"I should like it very much. Suppose we go," said Robert, promptly.

Had he known the sinister purpose with which this proposition was made,
he would have recoiled from it as from a deadly serpent, but the boy was
wholly unconscious of the peril that menaced him, nor did he observe the
nervous agitation that affected James Cromwell, whose timidity made him
shrink with fear at the risk he was about to incur.

"Then we will go," said the young man.

They soon found themselves on the island, and advancing, reached an
exposed point from which they could look down upon the foaming waters
beneath. Cromwell manoeuvered so as to have the boy on the side toward
the water.

"What a grand sight!" exclaimed Robert, surveying the great fall with
boyish enthusiasm.

He had scarcely uttered these words when he felt a violent push at the
side, and felt himself impelled toward the brink of the precipice. He
would infallibly have fallen if he had not seized with the desperate
clutch of self-preservation the arm of James Cromwell. As it was, he
hung balancing over the brink, and nearly carried the clerk with him.
Cromwell saw that it must be either both or neither, and he drew Robert
back to a place of safety.

"Good Heavens! Mr. Cromwell," exclaimed the boy, his face pale with
horror, "what does this mean? Did you mean to push me over?"

"What a question!" returned Cromwell, himself pale. "Thank Heaven! I
have saved you!"

"But you pushed me!" said the boy, suspiciously. "If I hadn't clung to
you, I should have fallen!" and he shuddered at the thought.

"Yes; it is true. I will explain. I am troubled with fits occasionally
which make me rigid and convulsed. Whenever I feel one coming on I grasp
convulsively at whatever is nearest me. I felt one coming on a moment
ago, and that led me to seize you. But I believe my terror, for I came
near going over the precipice with you, has saved me from the threatened
attack."

"Do you often have these fits?" asked Robert.

"I have not had one for three months, but lately I have been
apprehending one, for I have not felt as well as usual. Indeed, I have a
violent headache now. I think I will go to the hotel and lie down, if
you can amuse yourself for awhile."

"Yes, you had better do so. I can get along quite well."

Robert easily credited the plausible explanation which had been given,
for he could not believe that Cromwell would deliberately seek his life.
He did not know the powerful motive which prompted him.



CHAPTER XIII.

THE VEIL IS LIFTED.


About a fortnight from the time of their departure the two travelers
reached a town in Southern Indiana, which we will call Madison. They had
traveled leisurely, stopping at several places on the way. Cromwell had
not ventured upon a second attempt upon the life of Robert Raymond. The
first failure had left on his mind an impression of fear, and he
resolved that he would not again attempt open violence. If anything was
to be done, it should be by more subtle and hidden ways.

As for Robert, his first feeling of suspicion was entirely dissipated.
He accepted Cromwell's explanation in good faith, and thought little
more about the matter, but gave up his time and thoughts to the new
scenes into which each successive day brought him. He had not got to
like Cromwell, nor was there any chance that he would, but the two did
not interfere much with each other, but kept by themselves, so far as
it could be done under the circumstances.

On arriving in Madison, a town of which Cromwell had formerly known
something, they went to the Madison House, as the hotel was called, and
entered their names.

The next morning Cromwell went round to the village drug store, kept by
an old acquaintance, formerly a fellow clerk, named Leonard Grover.

"How do you do. Grover?" he said, as he entered the shop.

Grover surveyed him scrutinizingly.

"Don't you know me?" asked Cromwell.

"What! James Cromwell? How came you out here? And where have you been
for some time? Sit down and tell me all about it."

The two took chairs, and Cromwell said as much as he chose to say.

"I have been employed in New York," he said, "but I got tired of that
city, and came out here to see if I couldn't find an opening somewhere."

"You don't like New York, then?"

"Not particularly. At any rate, I have determined to make a change."

"Well, that is curious."

"Why curious?"

"I mean that while you are tired of New York, I am anxious to go
there."

"You are? Why don't you then?"

"Because I am tied down to this store. If I could sell out to anybody
for any decent price, I would start for New York, mighty quick."

"Then I suppose you are not doing well here?"

"Yes, I am doing well, but I don't think my health is as good here as at
the East. Besides, I have some relations in New York, and that would
make it pleasant for me to be there."

"What would you sell out for?" asked Cromwell.

"Do you mean business?"

"Yes, I have been thinking that if I could get a shop on favorable
terms, I would buy one. Tell me what is the best you can do."

"If you will come in to-morrow, I will do so. I must take a little
inventory of my stock, so as to see how I stand."

"Very well, I will do so."

The next day James Cromwell arranged to purchase the shop, with its
present stock, at fifteen hundred dollars, cash.

"It's worth two thousand," said the proprietor, "but I am willing to
sacrifice twenty-five per cent. for the sake of freeing myself. You get
it dirt cheap."

"If I did not, I could not buy it at all," said Cromwell.

James Cromwell was authorized to draw upon Paul Morton for a sum not
exceeding two thousand dollars, whenever he could make an arrangement to
purchase a drug shop. Although he had agreed to pay fifteen hundred, he
drew for the entire sum, and this draft was honored. In the course of a
week all the arrangements were completed. The old sign was removed, and
another put in its place bearing in large letters the name:


         JAMES CROMWELL,

     DRUGGIST AND APOTHECARY.


While these arrangements were in progress, Robert Raymond was left in
complete ignorance of them. He spent the day in roaming over the
neighborhood, with which he had by this time become quite familiar. It
had occurred to him several times, to wonder why Mr. Cromwell saw fit to
remain so long in a town which seemed to possess no especial
attractions. He once or twice put the question, but was put off with an
evasive answer, and did not repeat it.

But one morning as he walked through the principal street, he saw the
new sign referred to above, going up, and he was struck with surprise.

"What does that mean, I wonder?" he asked himself.

Just at this moment James Cromwell himself appeared at the door of the
shop. His hat was off, and it was evident that he was at home here.

"What does that mean, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert, pointing to the sign.

"It means that this shop is mine; I have bought it."

"But I thought you were only going to stay in Madison a few days? I did
not know you intended to go into business here."

"No, I suppose not," said Cromwell, coolly. "I did not know that there
was any necessity of telling you all my plans."

"Of course not," said Robert. "I do not wish you to tell me any more
than you think proper of your affairs. But I was thinking how I should
go back to New York, as now you will probably be unable to accompany
me."

"Yes, I shall be unable to accompany you," said Cromwell, "but I don't
think there will be any trouble about that."

"I am old enough to travel alone, I think," said Robert. "I have been
over the route once with you, and I think I can get along well enough."

"You seem to have made up your mind that you are going back to New
York?" said Cromwell, with a slight sneer.

"Of course. My guardian told me that I was to go on a short journey, and
would return to my old school again."

"He did not tell _me_ that," said his companion, significantly.

"What did he tell you, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert, beginning to feel
nervous and anxious, for he was very anxious of returning to his old
school, where he had many valued friends.

"He can explain that best himself," said Cromwell, in reply. "Here is a
letter which he told me to hand you when the time came that rendered it
necessary."

He drew forth, as he spoke, a letter from the inner pocket of his coat,
addressed to

     MASTER ROBERT RAYMOND.


Robert opened it hastily, and read in the merchant's handwriting, the
following:


     "ROBERT:--Circumstances have led me to decide that it would be
     best for you to remain at the West for a time, instead of returning
     to your former school, as you doubtless desire. It is not necessary
     for me to detail the reasons which have led me to this resolution.
     As your guardian, I must use my best discretion and judgment, and
     it is not for you to question either. Mr. Cromwell will look after
     your welfare, and make all necessary arrangements for you, such as
     finding a school for you to attend in the town where he decides to
     establish himself. Of course, you will board at the same place with
     him, and be under his charge. I expect you to be obedient to him in
     all things. Your guardian,

     "PAUL MORTON."


Robert Raymond read this letter with mingled disappointment and
indignation. He felt that he had been treated very unfairly and that he
had been entrapped into this Western journey under false pretences.

He looked up after he had finished reading the letter, saying:

"Mr. Morton has not treated me right."

"Why hasn't he?"

"He ought to have told me all this before we started."

"If he had, you would have made a fuss, and he wished to avoid this."

"I think it was mean and unfair," said Robert, hotly.

"Perhaps you had better write and tell him so," said James Cromwell,
sneering.

"I shall write to him," said Robert, very firmly. "My father never would
have sanctioned such an arrangement as this. Besides, I don't believe
there is any good school out here."

"It is just possible that there may be somebody in Madison who may know
enough to teach you," said Cromwell, with an unpleasant sneer.

Robert Raymond looked at him intently. He felt instinctively that he
should obtain no sympathy in his complaints, and he became silent. He
went back to the hotel and wrote a letter to Mr. Morton, in which he set
forth respectfully his objections to remaining at the West. The letter
reached its destination, but his guardian did not see fit to answer it.



CHAPTER XIV.

CLARA MANTON.


James Cromwell did not remain at the Madison Hotel, but secured board
for himself and Robert at a private house in the village, where the only
other boarders were a gentleman and his daughter. The latter was about
nineteen, passably pretty, and very fond of attention. Her name was
Clara Manton. Her father was in ill-health, and for a year or two had
been out of business. He was possessed of about fifteen thousand
dollars, well invested, and the income of this sum in a place like
Madison, yielded him and his daughter a very comfortable support.

When Clara Manton heard that they were to have two fellow-boarders, and
that one of them was a young man, she determined, as she expressed it to
her friend, Louisa Bates, "to set her cap for him."

"Would you marry him?" inquired Louisa, of her friend.

"As to that, I can't tell. I haven't seen him yet. He may be very
disagreeable for all I know. But even if he is, I am going to flatter
him up, and make him fall in love with me. Then, when he offers himself,
I can take his case into consideration."

"Perhaps you'll fall in love yourself, Clara," suggested her friend.

"I am not very susceptible. I wouldn't marry a masculine angel, unless
he had some money. I must find out how Mr. Cromwell stands in that way,
first."

When James Cromwell first made his appearance at Mrs. Shelby's table,
Clara Manton, who sat opposite, fixed her black eyes upon his face, and
examined him attentively.

As James Cromwell's personal appearance has previously been described,
it will readily be believed that Clara was not fascinated with the
retreating forehead, ferret-like eyes, mottled complexion and
insignificant features.

"He's horrid ugly!" she said to herself. "I don't think I ever saw a
homelier man. The boy is much better looking. I wish he were the young
man. There'd be some satisfaction in exercising my fascinations upon
him. However, beauty is only skin deep, and if Mr. Cromwell has got
money, I don't know that I would object to marrying him. What I want is
a nice house and an easy life."

It will be seen that Clara Manton was not one of the romantic girls of
which heroines are usually made. In truth, she was incapable of any
love, except self-love, and though she could counterfeit sentiment, she
had none of the quality. She was very practical and calculating, and did
not mean to surrender her freedom, unless she could obtain the
substantial advantages which she desired.

In spite, therefore, of James Cromwell's personal deficiencies, she
determined to exercise her arts upon him.

On sitting down to the table she was introduced by Mrs. Shelby.

"How do you like Madison, Mr. Cromwell?" she said, with great suavity.

"Pretty well, thank you," said Cromwell, rather awkwardly, for he always
felt uncomfortable in the society of ladies, particularly if they were
young, or in any way pretty or attractive. It might have been a vague
idea of his own personal disadvantages that produced this feeling, but
it was partly because he had had very limited opportunities of becoming
acquainted or associating with the opposite sex.

"I am glad you like us well enough to establish yourself here," said the
young lady, graciously. "I hear you have gone into business in the
village, so that we may hope to have you as a permanent accession to our
village society."

"Thank you, Miss Manton," said James Cromwell, trying to think of
something more to say, but not succeeding.

"Do you go back to the store in the evening?" asked the young lady, as
he rose from the table.

"Yes, I think so. I am expected to keep open in the evening."

"But you have an assistant?"

"Yes."

"Then I advise you not to make yourself a slave to business. We shall
hope for the pleasure of your company occasionally in the evening."

James Cromwell felt flattered, and looking full in the young lady's
face, he thought to himself, "She is very pretty, and she seems to show
me a great deal of politeness."

"Thank you, Miss Manton, for your kind invitation. I will accept it very
soon--as soon as I think I can be spared from my business."

"You will be quite welcome," said Clara, graciously.

The young man might not have felt quite so well pleased, if he could
have read what was passing in Clara's mind.

"He is not only ugly," she said to herself, "but an awkward boor. I
don't believe he ever spoke to a lady before. However, he may be worth
catching. At any rate, it will give me a little amusement to angle for
him, and I will see if I can't make an impression."

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." So runs an old
proverb. This was illustrated in the case of James Cromwell, who,
ignorant of the real opinion entertained of him by Miss Manton, began,
after a while, to conceive the delusive thought that she had taken a
fancy to him. But we are anticipating.

Three evenings later, when supper was concluded, James Cromwell made no
movement to go back to the store. This was quickly observed by Clara,
who said, with a smile:

"You are going to remain with us, this evening, are you not, Mr.
Cromwell?"

"If it will be agreeable," he said.

"Can you doubt it?" she said, with a look which quickened the
pulsations of Cromwell's heart. "I get so tired passing the evening
alone. Papa gets hold of a paper or magazine, and I am left to my own
devices for amusement."

She invited Cromwell to their private parlor, which was furnished with a
piano.

"Do you like music, Mr. Cromwell?" she inquired.

"Very much, indeed," he answered, though the truth was he scarcely knew
one tune from another.

"Perhaps you are a musician?"

"Not at all," he said, hastily, and in this statement, at least, he was
correct. "Won't you play something, Miss Manton?"

"I haven't anything new, but if you don't mind old pieces, I will play
for you."

She played a noisy instrumental piece, to which James Cromwell listened
in silence, with very little idea of what was being played. His eyes
were fixed rather on the young lady herself.

"How do you like it, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Very much, indeed," said Cromwell, hitching his chair a little nearer
the instrument, and then coloring, lest the movement should have been
observed.

"I think I will sing you something," said Clara. "I don't sing in
public, but before an intimate friend I do not feel so bashful."

The words "intimate friend," slipped out so easily and naturally that
she seemed unconscious of them, but they were intentional, and she
glanced out of the corners of her eyes to watch their effect. She saw
that Cromwell's eyes brightened, and the color came to his pale cheeks,
and then she knew that they had produced the effect which she intended.

"She is certainly very charming," thought Cromwell, "and she is very
friendly. I don't think I ever met a young lady so attractive."

"He's getting in love," said Clara to herself. "It'll be fun to see him
when he gets quite carried away by the tender passion. I've heard of
eloquent eyes, but I don't think his are capable of looking like
anything except those of a ferret. Well, I'll see the play through."

She accordingly sang the well-known song, "Then I'll Remember Thee,"
putting into it as much meaning as possible, and occasionally glancing
in a languishing manner at the young man, who sat uneasily in his chair,
and began to feel all the symptoms of love. He sat as if spell-bound
when she had finished.

"Why don't you compliment me, Mr. Cromwell?" she said, turning round,
with a smile. "Do you know you are wanting in your duty, sir? Every
young lady expects to be complimented, when she has done a young
gentleman the favor to sing to him."

"It was because I was so charmed," said James Cromwell, with more
readiness than might have been expected. "I was so charmed that I was
incapable of saying a word."

"I am afraid you are like the rest of your sex, a sad flatterer, Mr.
Cromwell," said the young lady, shaking her head, with a smile. "You
don't expect me to believe that, now, do you?"

"Yes, I do, Miss Manton, for it is perfectly true," said James Cromwell,
plucking up courage; "you sing like a nightingale."

"Do I? I was so afraid you'd say like an owl, or something else
uncomplimentary. As you have behaved so well, I must sing you something
more."

So the evening passed. The young lady paid assiduous attention to her
visitor, and when they parted her task was accomplished. James Cromwell
was in love.



CHAPTER XV.

A DECLARATION, AND HOW IT WAS RECEIVED.


Robert Raymond did not propose to rebel against his guardian's
arrangements, however disagreeable they were to himself. He had written
a letter to Paul Morton, and he hoped that his remonstrance would have
some effect. But meanwhile he determined to accept his fate, and act in
accordance with the instructions which had been given him.

There was a private school in Madison, kept by a college graduate, and
to this school Robert was sent by James Cromwell. He found himself the
most advanced pupil in the classics, and he soon found that his
teacher's acquirements were far from extensive or thorough. Still he
could learn by his own efforts, though not of course, as well as at his
former school, and he resolved to make the best of it. Of his connection
with the school nothing in particular need be said. He was regular in
attendance, and was treated with a degree of deference by the teacher,
who perceived that his scholarship was sufficient to enable him to
detect his own slender acquirements.

Meanwhile the flirtation between James Cromwell and Clara Manton
continued. The young lady was always gracious, and so far as her manner
went, might readily be supposed to have formed a decided inclination for
her admirer, for such the druggist had now become. She had a certain
dash and liveliness of manner which fascinated him, and he felt
flattered in no slight degree that such a young lady should have singled
him out as her favorite.

Desirous of appearing to the best advantage, he ordered a new suit from
the village tailor without regard to expense, but it was beyond the
power of any garments, however costly or showy, to set off the peculiar
appearance of Cromwell, or make him look well. But Miss Manton smiled
sweetly upon him, and he felt himself to be in paradise.

Occasionally the young lady went into his shop on some ostensible
errand, and tarried to have a chat. James Cromwell's heart fluttered
with delight whenever he saw her face at the door, and during her stay
he could attend to nothing else.

One evening there was to be a concert in the village.

James Cromwell brought home tickets, and said diffidently, "Miss
Manton, will you do me the favor to accompany me to the concert this
evening?"

"Thank you, Mr. Cromwell," she answered, smiling graciously, "I will
accept with pleasure. I was wishing to go, but papa does not feel very
well to-day, so I had made up my mind that I must pass my time at home.
At what hour does the concert commence?"

"At half-past seven."

"Will it be time if I am ready at quarter past?"

"Quite so."

"Then you may depend on me."

Strange as it may appear, it was the first time in his life that James
Cromwell ever acted as escort to a lady in visiting a place of public
entertainment, and he felt a degree of awkwardness because of that. But
when Clara Manton appeared, she was so gracious and sociable, that all
his _mauvaise haute_ disappeared, and he walked arm in arm with her,
feeling easier and more unembarrassed than he had supposed to be
possible. When they entered the hall he glanced around him with pride at
the thought it would be perceived that he was the chosen cavalier of
such an attractive young lady.

Of the concert it is unnecessary to speak. It closed at a comparatively
early hour, and the two wended their way homeward.

"Shall we prolong our walk a little?" he said. "It is still early, and
it is very pleasant."

"Yes; that will be pleasant," she returned. "Papa is probably asleep by
this time, and won't miss me. What a charming concert we had."

"None of them sang as well as you, Miss Manton," said Cromwell.

"Oh, now you are flattering me, Mr. Cromwell. I cannot permit that, you
know," she said, playfully.

"No," he said earnestly, "I am not flattering you, Miss Clara. You are
so--so--I hope you'll excuse me, but you are so beautiful and attractive
that----"

"Oh, Mr. Cromwell!" uttered Clara; adding to herself, "I dare say he is
going to propose. Well, it's just as well now as at any other time. How
ridiculous it makes him look, being in love!"

Luckily unconscious of the thoughts that were passing through the mind
of his companion, Cromwell burst out, "But it's true, Miss Clara. I
love you; and I don't think I can live without you. Will you marry me?"

"I am afraid you have said such things to a great many other young
ladies before. How can I believe you are in earnest?"

"No; on my honor," he said earnestly, "I never loved before. Do you
doubt the sincerity of my attachment? Don't you think you could look
favorably upon my suit?"

"Perhaps I might," she answered, coyly. "That is, in time. It is so
sudden, you know. It is not more than a month since I first met you."

"But in that month I have learned to love you better than anyone I ever
knew, Miss Clara. Can't you give me some encouragement? Tell me that I
am not wholly disagreeable to you?"

"If you had been, would I have accepted your invitation this evening,
Mr. Cromwell?"

"Then you do like me a little?" he said, overjoyed.

"Perhaps, a little," she said, coquettishly.

After some time, Clara thought it polite to confess that she had herself
no particular objections to him as a husband,--a confession which filled
the enamored druggist with delight--"but," she proceeded, "I cannot
marry without my father's approval."

"But do you think he will object to me?" asked Cromwell, in dismay.

"Papa is a very peculiar man," answered Clara. "I never can undertake to
say beforehand how he will look upon any proposition. Perhaps he may
give his consent at once, or perhaps it may take considerable time to
persuade him. I cannot tell. But whatever he decides, I cannot disobey
him."

"Not if your own happiness depended upon it?"

"No," said Clara, who played the rôle of a dutiful daughter for this
occasion; "I can't go against papa's wishes."

"May I call upon him, and ask his consent?"

"Perhaps that will be the best way."

"I will ask to-morrow."

"Is it necessary to be in such haste, Mr. Cromwell?"

"I cannot rest until I know. I cannot remain in suspense. Will you allow
me to call to-morrow?"

"Yes, I think so," said Clara, coquettishly, "that is, if I do not
change my mind during the night."

By such speeches as these she added fuel to the flame of her lover's
adoration, and increased his impatience to obtain a favorable decision.

When Clara returned home her father happened to be still up. He had
become interested in something that he was reading, and this caused him
to defer his hour of retiring.

"Well, papa," said Clara, taking off her bonnet, "I've got some news for
you."

"What is it?"

"I've had an offer."

"An offer? Who from?"

"Oh, from that ridiculous druggist, Cromwell."

"Well, what did you say?"

"I referred him to you. He's going to call to-morrow."

"Well, what shall I say? Just give me instructions. Do you love him?"

"Stuff and nonsense, papa! As if anybody could! Such a ridiculous
creature as he is!"

"Then I am to decline the honor of his relationship?"

"Not exactly."

"But you don't love him?"

"That is not necessary in marriage. Thank Providence, I am not
sentimental, and never shall break my heart for love. When I marry I
want to marry a man who has got some money. Just find out if he's worth
ten thousand dollars. If he is and will agree to settle half of it on
me, I will become Mrs. Cromwell whenever he says the word. Otherwise, I
won't. But of course, this must be your condition, not mine. I am
supposed to be perfectly indifferent to money matters. I dare say I
shall rail against you on account of your mercenary spirit, if he can't
meet the condition, and comes to complain to me. You won't mind that,
will you?"

"Not a particle. Rail away, if you think best. It won't break any
bones."

"Well, I am rather tired, and will go to bed. Good-night, papa! Just let
my suitor understand that you are inexorable, will you?"

"Very good. I understand you."

Clara Manton retired, and slept considerably better than her lover,
whose suspense kept him awake half the night.



CHAPTER XVI.

A MERCENARY PARENT.


James Cromwell lost no time next morning in waiting upon Mr. Manton. He
was in that state when suspense is intolerable, and he wanted to have
his fate decided at once. Accordingly, soon after breakfast, he was
introduced into the presence of Clara's father, whom he found alone. The
young lady, considerately foreseeing the visit, had gone out for a walk.

Mr. Manton was sitting indolently in a rocking-chair, reading.

"Good-morning, Mr. Cromwell," he said. "Take a chair, if you please, and
excuse my not rising. I am not young and strong like you, but an
invalid."

It may be remarked that Mr. Manton's invalidism proceeded as much from
constitutional indolence as from confirmed ill-health, and furnished him
an excuse of which he was always ready to avail himself.

"Oh, certainly," said Cromwell, doing as directed. "I have come to see
you, Mr. Manton," he proceeded, "on important business."

"Indeed!" said his companion, whose cue was to assume entire ignorance
until informed of the nature of his errand.

"You have a daughter," proceeded the young man, nervously.

"Yes, and an excellent girl she is," said Mr. Manton, warmly.

I am sorry to say that this was not Mr. Manton's real opinion. He and
Clara, in fact, used to quarrel pretty often in private, and he had more
than once styled her a cross-grained vixen and termagant, and used other
terms equally endearing. He felt rather rejoiced at the prospect of
having her taken off his hands, though, like Clara, he thought it
prudent that his prospective son-in-law should be well supplied with the
gifts of fortune, that there might be no necessity of contributing to
their support from his own income. Of course, it was his policy to speak
well of Clara to her lover, and not allude to the little defects of
temper of which he knew rather more than he desired.

"Yes," said James Cromwell, fervently, "your daughter is charming, Mr.
Manton."

"She is a good girl. It would break my heart to part with her!" said
the father.

"You wouldn't object to her being married, would you?" said Cromwell,
alarmed at this last statement.

"I suppose she will marry some time," said Mr. Manton. "No, I should not
feel it right to interfere with her marrying, if she desired it. Far be
it from me to blight her young affections."

"I love her, Mr. Manton. Let her marry me," exploded Cromwell,
nervously.

"Really, you surprise me," said Mr. Manton. "You wish to marry Clara?"

"I should consider myself the most fortunate of men if I could win her
as my wife," said Cromwell, who talked more freely than usual under the
influence of the tender passion.

"You think so; but marriage will cure you of all that," so thought Mr.
Manton; but he said:

"Have you spoken with Clara on this subject?"

"Yes."

"And does she return your love?"

"She authorized me to speak to you. If you have no objection, she will
give her consent."

"It is an important matter," said Mr. Manton, slowly; "giving away the
hand of an only daughter in marriage."

"I will do my utmost to make her happy," said the enamored lover.

"I have no doubt of it. To be sure I have not known you long; but I have
formed quite a favorable opinion of you from our brief acquaintance."

This was hardly true; for Mr. Manton had designated James Cromwell as an
awkward booby in familiar conversation with his daughter, and she had
assented to the justice of the epithet.

"Thank you, sir," said Cromwell; "may I then hope for your consent?"

"Why, you see, Mr. Cromwell," said Mr. Manton, throwing one leg over the
other, "there are several things to be taken into consideration besides
the personal character of the husband. For instance--I hope you won't
think me mercenary--but I want to make sure that you are able to support
her in comfort, so that she need not be compelled to endure any of the
privations of poverty."

"I have a good business," said Cromwell, "which is sure to bring me in a
good income."

"Do you own your shop and stock up clear of incumbrance? Is it all paid
for?"

"Yes, sir."

"That is well--for a beginning. Now what property have you besides?"

"Why," said Cromwell, "I make about five hundred dollars clear from my
ward, Robert Raymond."

"Indeed! that is handsome. Still, he is likely to be taken from you."

"I don't think he will."

"Still, it is not a certainty. It is not equal to property producing
this amount of annual income."

"No; sir; but----"

"Hear me out. There is nothing so substantial as property invested well.
A good income is a good thing, but if it comes from anything else it is
not sure. Now I will tell you what my intentions have been when anyone
applied to me for my daughter's hand, though I did not expect the
occasion would come too soon. I meant to say, that is, provided the
party was otherwise suitable, 'Are you ready to settle five thousand
dollars on my daughter on her wedding day, and will you still have an
equal sum left?' That is the question I meant to ask, and I will ask it
now of you."

He leaned back in his rocking-chair as he spoke, and fixed a glance of
inquiry on James Cromwell. He hoped that the young man would be able to
answer in the affirmative, for if Clara could be well married, he would
have his income entirely to himself, and he had about made up his mind
in that case to go to Europe on a pleasure trip. This he could do
without breaking in upon his principal if he went alone; but as long as
Clara remained unmarried, he knew that he should be expected to take her
with him, and this would involve more expense than he was willing to
incur.

James Cromwell was taken aback by this unexpected difficulty.

"I am afraid my means are not sufficient to admit of my doing this, just
yet," said Cromwell, reluctantly; "but just as soon as I am able I will
agree to make the settlement you propose."

Mr. Manton shook his head.

"I am sorry," he said, and here he only told the truth, "that you are
not in a position to comply with my conditions, for they are
indispensable. You must not think me mercenary, but I don't believe in
love in a cottage! As for Clara, she is a dear, unselfish girl, and she
would think me mercenary. She never thinks of money, (I wish she
didn't, he mentally added,) and would as soon marry a poor man as a rich
man. But I want to guard her against the chances of fortune. So I desire
that five thousand dollars should be settled upon herself, so that if
her husband should fail in business, and you know such things happen
very often, she will have a fund to fall back upon. I am sure you will
think I am reasonable in this."

"My business is a very safe one, and the percentage of profit is large,"
pleaded Cromwell, rather downcast; "and I think there would be no danger
of that."

"Yes, of course, you think so. Nobody believes he is going to fail. But
disasters come to the best business men."

"Then you insist upon your condition, Mr. Manton," said James Cromwell,
in a tone of disappointment.

"I must," said Mr. Manton, with suavity. "Of course, I am sorry to
disappoint you, but then the happiness of my daughter is the first
consideration with me."

"Perhaps her happiness would best be promoted by marriage."

"She may think so now! but you may depend upon it that the happiest
marriages are founded on a solid money basis."

"You haven't any objection to me personally, as a son-in-law?"

"Not the least in the world. My only objection arises from the fact that
you are unable to comply with my conditions."

"Supposing, then, I should be able to do so in six months or a year,
what would be your answer?"

"I should say, take her, and may you be happy."

"Then," said Cromwell, "I may tell you that, though I am not worth the
sum necessary to secure your consent, I have a relative who has me down
in his will for a legacy of ten thousand dollars. I don't think he will
live long. Within a few months I may be worth the required sum."

"I hope you will, Mr. Cromwell," said Mr. Manton; "when that time comes,
come to me again with your suit, and I will grant it, that is, unless
Clara has formed another attachment during that time."

Cromwell winced at this suggestion, but he saw that he could accomplish
nothing more with the father, and in rather an unsettled frame of mind
he took his leave.



CHAPTER XVII.

LOVE AND LUCRE.


When James Cromwell alluded to the possibility of his receiving a legacy
of ten thousand dollars at no distant date, it will be understood at
once that he alluded to the sum promised him by Paul Morton in the event
of the death of his ward. He had endeavored to compass Robert's death at
Niagara Falls, but since his failure there, he had let the matter drop,
partly from a timid fear of consequences, partly from the thought that
even without this sum he was sure of a good income. But the unexpected
condition imposed by Mr. Manton, again turned his thoughts to the
question of Robert's death, and its pecuniary advantage to himself; and
again our young hero was menaced by a peril by no means insignificant.
James Cromwell was neither strong nor brave; but there is no one so
powerless that his enmity may be disregarded, especially when it is
unsuspected.

But Cromwell's timid nature shrank from the audacity of the crime which
suggested itself to his mind. Besides, though he was fascinated by Clara
Manton, he was not clear about settling so large a sum as five thousand
dollars upon her. He would have done it if in his power, rather than
lose her, but if he could obtain her on any easier terms he thought that
it would be better. He decided, therefore, to see Clara herself, to
communicate to her her father's answer, and prevail upon her, if
possible, to marry him without her father's sanction.

Had he known Clara better, he would not have ventured to hope for
success, but he was wholly unaware that the mercenary condition had been
affixed by Clara herself. He fancied that she loved him for himself, and
believed her incapable of being swayed by self-interest.

Chance, as he thought, favored him, for only a short distance from the
house he met Clara, herself. She had left the house considerately, in
order to allow him an opportunity to call upon her father, and was now
returning.

"Mr. Cromwell?" she said, with affected surprise. "I supposed you were
in your shop. I fear you are becoming inattentive to business."

"I cannot attend to my business until one matter is decided," said
Cromwell.

"What is that?"

"How can you ask? Clara, I have just called upon your father. I asked
his permission to marry you."

"What did he say?" inquired the young lady.

"He told me he would consent on certain conditions."

"Certain conditions!" repeated Clara, innocently. "What could they be?"

"He said that I must prove to him that I was worth ten thousand dollars,
and must consent to settle half that amount upon you."

"I hope," said Clara, quickly, "that you don't think I had anything to
do with such conditions?"

"No; I am sure you had not," said Cromwell; and he believed what he
said, for no one, to look in the face of the young lady, would have
supposed her mercenary.

"I hope you don't blame papa. He carries prudence to excess."

"No, I don't blame him. It is natural that he should wish to make sure
of his daughter's comfort."

"And what did you say in reply?" asked Clara, considerably interested.

"I told him that at present my circumstances would not permit me to
comply with his conditions."

"That's a pity."

"But that I was expecting a legacy from a near relative that may
possibly fall to me very soon, which would remove every difficulty."

"What did he say then?"

"That when I received the legacy he would give me your hand, provided
you were still willing."

The young lady cast her eyes upon the ground. She did not think much of
waiting for dead men's shoes, and doubted whether her lover had any such
relative as he referred to. In her own mind she looked upon the matter
as at an end; and began to consider for whom she had better angle next.
She did not, however, mean to say this to Cromwell, for she had no
objection to keeping him dancing attendance upon her. It would gratify
her vanity, and perhaps he might serve, unconsciously, to help her in
snaring some other fish. She thought her best policy in the present
case, was to remain silent, unless she was called upon to say something.

"What do you say to that, Clara?" asked Cromwell.

"I suppose it is fair," she said.

"No; it is not fair," he said, "to make me wait so long. I have a good
income; I am careful, and not extravagant, and I know I can support you
comfortably. Do not make me wait. Tell me will you marry me at once?"

"I cannot disobey my father," said the young lady, who had all at once
become very dutiful.

"But do you think he has a right to interfere with your happiness?"

"He does it for my good."

"He thinks so; but do you agree with him?"

"Perhaps not; but I have always been taught to obey my father. I suppose
he knows better than I what I ought to do."

"Surely, you are not afraid that I should be unable to support you
comfortably?" said Cromwell, reproachfully.

"Oh, no," answered Clara. "I never think of money. My father often tells
me that I ought to think more of it. As far as I am concerned, I should
never think of asking whether you were worth one thousand dollars or
ten."

James Cromwell listened to Clara as she spoke with assumed simplicity,
her eyes downcast, and he was so infatuated by his love for her that he
never thought of doubting her. In his inexperience of female wiles he
was by no means a match for Clara, who was already, though yet under
twenty, a finished female coquette. So he accepted her for what she
chose to appear and the flame of his passion was increased.

"I am sure," he pleaded, "that if we were once married your father would
not object. The legacy I spoke of is sure to come to me in a year or
two, for my relative is very old and in very poor health, and there is
no fear of his changing his will."

"I have no doubt what you say is all true," said Clara, though in her
own heart she had very serious doubts; "but then it will not be very
long to wait a year or two, as the money will come to you then."

"A year or two!" repeated Cromwell. "It seems to me like waiting
forever."

"I am afraid you have not the gift of patience, Mr. Cromwell," said
Clara, smiling archly.

"No; I have not in this case, for I do not think there is any occasion
for waiting."

"But my father thinks so, unfortunately. If you can succeed in
persuading him to the contrary, you will find me ready to do as you
desire."

"Then you are determined to abide by your father's decision," said
Cromwell, in accents of disappointment.

"I must," said Clara, mildly, "however much my own heart suffers in
consequence," and she put on the air of a victim of parental tyranny;
"unless," she added, "I am able to make my father regard it in a
different light."

"Promise me that you will try," said her lover, grasping her hand.

"I will do what I can," she said. "But, really, I must go now. My father
will not know what has become of me."

With a sweet smile, she left him, and returned to the house. He turned,
and went back slowly to his shop.

"Well, that's all over," said Clara, to herself. "I should be a fool to
marry such a stupid gawky, unless he could settle money upon me. I don't
mean to throw myself away just at present."

"Well, Clara, I have had an offer for your hand," said her father, as
she entered his presence.

"Well?"

"I said what you told me, and found he could not comply with the
conditions."

"So you refused the honor of a son-in-law?"

"Yes."

"That was right."

"He said he was expecting a legacy of ten thousand dollars in a year or
two."

"All humbug, papa. I don't believe a word of it."

"You don't seem inclined to break your heart about the disappointment,"
said Mr. Manton, with a smile.

"No; he is the last man I would break my heart about, if I were fool
enough to break my heart about anybody. I must look out for somebody
else."

"And meanwhile?"

"I'll keep a hold on him. There might be something in the story of the
legacy, you know."

"I see you are well able to look out for your own interests, Clara."

"So I ought to be."

Thus spoke the unselfish Clara Manton, who was above all mercenary
considerations.



CHAPTER XVIII.

A DARK DEED.


"There is no other way!" thought James Cromwell, as fresh from his
interview with Clara, he returned to his shop. "The boy stands in my
way. His death will bring me money, and then that man will give me the
hand of the woman I love. There is no other way, unless Clara prevails
upon her father to recall his condition."

But another interview with the young lady in the evening, dissipated any
hope of this nature which he may have entertained. She reported that her
father was immovable on this point, and that persuasion and entreaty had
alike been in vain.

"I may soon be able to comply with your father's conditions," said
Cromwell. "I have received a letter to-day, which informs me that the
party from whom I expect a legacy, is in very feeble health."

"Perhaps there may be something in his story," thought Clara, and
influenced by the doubt, she smiled graciously, and said, "Let us wait
and hope that fortune may favor us."

"Promise me one thing," asked Cromwell, "that you will wait for me, and
will not admit the attention of any one else?"

But this did not suit the plans of the astute Clara. She by no means
wished to compromise her matrimonial chances by binding herself to an
uncertainty, and accordingly answered:

"I would willingly do as you ask, Mr. Cromwell, if papa were willing,
but he has expressly forbidden me to bind myself by an engagement, or
make any promise."

James Cromwell's countenance fell.

"After all," she added, with a smile, "is any promise necessary in our
case? Do we not understand one another?"

These words and the smile that accompanied them, restored the
cheerfulness to her lover. He thought he did understand Clara Manton,
but in this, as we know, he was egregiously mistaken.

The next morning he received the following letter from Paul Morton. It
was the first he had received from the merchant, and was in reply to one
of his own written from Madison.

It was as follows:


     "JAMES CROMWELL:

     "_Dear Sir_:--Yours of the 15th inst., informing me of your safe
     arrival at Madison and your determination to make that place your
     home, was duly received. The accident which you speak of as near
     befalling my ward at Niagara Falls did not surprise me. He is a
     careless boy, and I should not be surprised at any time to hear of
     his coming to harm from this cause. Of course, you will exercise
     proper care in cautioning him, etc., and then, should he meet with
     any accident, I shall exonerate you from blame in the matter. How
     is his health? I have at times thought he inherited the feeble
     constitution of his father. I understand also from the late Mr.
     Raymond, that his mother was an invalid, and it is hardly to be
     expected that he would have a very strong or vigorous constitution.
     However, I do not feel anxious on this point, as I am aware that
     you have a knowledge of medicine, and I have full confidence in
     your ability to take all proper care of my young ward. I suppose
     you have found a suitable school for him. I shall be glad to hear
     that he is doing well in his studies, though on account of his not
     very strong constitution, previously referred to, it may be well
     not to press him too hard in the way of study.

     "Let me hear from you respecting Robert's welfare, from time to
     time. Yours, etc.,

     "PAUL MORTON."


James Cromwell read this letter twice over.

"He's a crafty old spider," he said to himself. "Any one to read it
would think that he was very solicitous for the welfare of this boy. It
would be considered an excellent letter by those who did not understand
it. I am behind the scenes, and I know just what it means. He means to
blame me, because I didn't make a sure thing of it at Niagara Falls, and
hints pretty plainly about some accident happening to him in future. He
is impatient to hear of his death, that is plain, and no doubt he will
gladly pay the amount he promised, as soon as he receives intelligence
of it."

This reflection plunged James Cromwell into serious thought. Already
predisposed to the foul deed, the artful suggestions of this letter
tended to fan the flame, and incite him still more to it. Danger indeed,
and that most serious, was menacing our young hero.

So James Cromwell, spurred by a double motive, veered more and more
toward the accomplishment of the dark deed which would stain his soul
with bloodshed, and in return give him the fleeting possession of money
and the girl whom he loved.

Once resolved upon the deed, the next consideration was the ways and
means of accomplishing it.

Should he use poison?

That seemed most in his line, and he regretted that he had not secured a
supply of the same subtle poison which Paul Morton had purchased of him
in the small shop on the Bowery. There was likely to be no one in that
neighborhood who possessed a sufficient medical knowledge to detect its
presence or trace its effects. But it was rare, and there was little
chance of his obtaining it unless by sending to New York, and this
would, of itself, afford strong ground for suspicion against him.

Then, as to the ordinary poisons, their effects upon the human system
were too well understood, even by ordinary physicians, for him to employ
them without great peril. He decided, therefore, to adjure poisons
altogether. The fact that he was a druggist would render their use even
more readily suspected than in the case of an ordinary person.

How then should he proceed?

This question was still undetermined in his own mind, when chance
decided the matter for him.

One evening, while he was still pondering this question, and much
embarrassed about the decision of it, he chanced to be returning home
from a desultory walk which he had taken. Now, in the town of Madison,
somewhat centrally situated, or at least one side of it was near the
center of the town, there was a pond of about two miles in circuit. By
the edge of this pond James Cromwell met Robert Raymond.

Instantly an idea came into his mind, as casting his eyes toward the
pond, he saw a small boat tied by a rope round the trunk of a tree.

"Good evening, Mr. Cromwell," said Robert. "Have you been taking a
walk?"

"Yes, but I have not been far. When did you come out?"

"About half an hour ago."

"By the way, do you know how to row?"

"A little."

"I was thinking that we might borrow this boat, and have a little row on
the pond. What do you say?"

"I should like it," said Robert, promptly, for he had a boy's love of
the water. "Shall I unfasten the rope?"

"Yes, I wish you would."

Robert at once sprang to the tree, and quickly untied the rope and set
the boat free.

"All ready, Mr. Cromwell!" he cried. "Jump aboard, and I will get in
afterward."

James Cromwell stepped into the boat, his heart beating quick with the
thought of the deed which he meditated. His courage almost failed him,
for he was of a timid nature, but the thought of the stake for which he
was playing, renewed his courage, and he resolved that, come what might,
that night should be Robert Raymond's last.

"Which of us shall row, Mr. Cromwell?" asked Robert.

"I will row first, and you may do so afterward."

"All right."

Cromwell took his place, and rowed rather awkwardly until the boat
reached the middle of the pond.

"Shan't I take the oars now, Mr. Cromwell?"

"Not quite yet. I am going to row into that little recess over yonder.
You can row back."

The outline of the pond was irregular. In one place there was a recess,
surrounded by woods, within which they would be shielded from view. It
seemed a fitting place for a tragedy.

When they were fairly within it, Cromwell said:

"Now you may take the oars."

Robert rose from his seat, and stepped toward the center of the boat.
His movements were naturally rather unsteady. James Cromwell turned
pale, and he braced his shrinking nerve. He felt that now was his time.
Unless he acted now, his opportunity would be gone.

As Robert approached, he suddenly seized the unsuspecting boy around the
middle, and threw him into the water. So suddenly was it done, that
before the boy understood what had happened to him, he found himself
engulfed.

Never once looking back, James Cromwell seized the oars, and rowed
himself swiftly back. When he got on shore, he looked nervously out over
the surface of the pond. All was still. Nothing was visible of Robert.

"He is drowned!" said Cromwell to himself, wiping away the large drops
of perspiration from his forehead.



CHAPTER XIX.

CATO.


Such was the suddenness with which Robert had been hurled into the water
that he had no chance to defend himself. He was scarcely conscious of
having been attacked until he found himself in the water struggling for
life. He knew nothing of swimming from actual experience, yet under the
stress of necessity, and with death staring him in the face, he
instinctively struck out, and managed temporarily to keep his head above
water. But the shore was a hundred yards distant, and to reach it would
have been beyond his unskilled strength to accomplish, if he had not
luckily happened to receive assistance.

Unknown to James Cromwell, there had been a spectator of his dastardly
attempt to drown the boy who had been placed in his charge.

The spectator was an odd character; an old negro, who years ago had
built for himself a rude cabin in the shadow of the woods. He had
formerly been a slave in Kentucky, but had managed to escape from
servitude, and built himself this cabin, where he lived by himself. He
supported himself by working for any one who needed help on the farm or
in the garden, and cooked his own food in his simple dwelling.

When he saw the boy flung into the water he was standing on the bank,
unobserved on account of his color. He recognized Cromwell, for he had
been to the drug store only a day or two previous to buy some medicament
for the rheumatism which he occasionally suffered from. He knew Robert
also.

"What debble's work is dis?" he said to himself. "What's he goin' to
kill de boy for? Can't let de poor boy drown, no way."

As he spoke, he flung himself into the water and swam with vigorous
strokes toward the place where Robert was struggling.

"Hold up a minute, young massa," he cried, for in his freedom he
preserved the language of former days, "hold up a minute, and I'll save
yer."

Robert heard this, and it gave him courage to struggle longer. In a
short time the negro was at his side and seizing him by the arm, turned
and headed for the shore. It was soon reached, and the two stood side by
side, both dripping with moisture. Had James Cromwell turned back he
might have discovered the rescue, but he did not dare to do so until he
reached the opposite side, and then there was nothing to be seen.

"What's all this mean, young massa?" asked Cato, for this was the name
of the negro. He had brought no other with him, but one was quite
sufficient for his modest requirements.

"I don't know," said Robert. "The man that was with me suddenly seized
me round the waist, and flung me into the pond."

"I saw him do it," said Cato. "What made him?"

"That's more than I can tell, unless he is crazy," said Robert.

"Is dis de fust time he try to drown you?" asked Cato.

Robert started as the force of this question dawned upon him. He
recalled the scene at Niagara Falls, and the narrow escape he had from a
horrible death at that time. He remembered that he had been forcibly
pushed by James Cromwell on that occasion, and only saved himself by
clutching hold of him, while the latter did not pull him back till his
own danger seemed imminent. At the time he accepted Cromwell's
explanation, but now, since this second attempt had been made, he could
not shut his eyes from the fact that Cromwell had sought his
destruction. What could have been his motive was to him a profound
mystery.

"No," he answered, "he tried to push me over Niagara Falls once, but I
thought it was an accident then. I don't think so now."

"You lib with him?"

"Yes; my guardian placed me with him."

"He's a wicked man. Don't you go nigh him again."

"I won't," said Robert. "I shouldn't feel safe with him. But I don't
know where to go to-night."

"Come to my cabin!" said Cato. "It's a poor place for the likes of you,
young massa, but it's better dan sleepin' out in de woods."

"Thanks, Cato," said Robert, for he knew who it was that had saved him.
"I will accept your invitation, gladly. Lead the way, and I will
follow."

The negro's hut was near by. It was small enough, being only about ten
feet square. On the floor was spread a blanket over some straw, and
Cato signed to Robert to lie down. But first he advised him to take off
his wet clothes. He gathered some sticks and made a fire for the purpose
of drying these.

Robert lay down on the rude bed, and though excited by the peril through
which he had passed, and by the thought that James Cromwell had been
guilty of such an atrocious attempt, nature at last asserted her
supremacy, and he sank to sleep. When he woke the sun had already risen.
The first sight upon which his eyes rested was the black face of his
companion bending over him. He did not immediately remember where he
was, and cried, raising his head, "Where am I?"

"Here, young massa, in Cato's cabin," said the negro.

"Yes, I remember now," said Robert.

"Did you sleep well, young massa?"

"Yes, Cato. I slept soundly. Only don't call me young master, for I am
not likely to be any body's master, except, perhaps, my own."

"Just as young massa says," said Cato, rather inconsistently. "Here's
your clothes, just as dry as can be; only don't get up till you get
rested. There's plenty of time."

"I'm rested now, Cato, thank you," said Robert.

He sprang from his couch and hastily put on his clothes. He found that
through the kind services of the negro they were quite dry, though his
shirt-bosom and cuffs presented rather a limp appearance, the starch
having soaked out of them. This was, however, a minor calamity, to which
he paid but little attention.

When he was dressed he turned to go away, though he hardly knew where to
direct his course.

"Stop," said Cato. "Cato have breakfast ready in a minute."

"Do you mean that I am to take breakfast with you, Cato?"

"Yes; young massa will be so kind."

"I think the kindness is all on the other side," said Robert, laughing.
"Yes, I will accept your invitation with much pleasure; particularly as
I don't know where else to go for any."

Cato appeared to consider that a great favor had been granted to him in
acceptance of the invitation, and he set to work zealously to prepare a
meal of which his young guest might partake.

He had a small stove in his cabin in which he generally kept a fire, for
being used to a warm climate, it was easy for him to stand a degree of
heat which would have baked a white man. Nor was he a mean cook. Indeed,
while in Kentucky, he had officiated for a considerable time in his
master's kitchen, and had not wholly forgotten his ancient skill.

In the course of an hour, Cato produced a breakfast consisting of hot
hoe cakes and fried eggs, which not only had a very appetizing flavor,
but stood the test of eating, remarkably well. Robert's peril of the
previous night had by no means injured his appetite, and he did full
justice to the breakfast provided. Cato gazed with much satisfaction at
the evidences of his young guest's relishing the repast provided, and
appeared to regard it as a personal compliment to himself.

While Robert was eating he was considering his future plans. As to going
back to James Cromwell, he decided that this was out of the question.
His life would not be safe. He determined that it would be his proper
course to return to New York, and report to his guardian the character
of the man in whose care he had placed him. He hoped then to be allowed
to go back to school, and resume the studies which had recently been
interrupted. Had he known that his guardian was at the bottom of the
plot which had so nearly culminated in his death, he would have decided
differently; but of this he had no suspicion.

He had in his pocket the sum of ten dollars, which, though soaked in
water, he was able to dry; and this, though insufficient to defray his
expenses, would at least start him on his journey. As to what he might
do, after this was exhausted, he did not know, but he was buoyant in
hope, and he felt that it was no use to anticipate trouble. Enough to
meet it when it came.

His course would be to reach the bank of the Ohio, and get conveyance on
its waters as far East as he could. To this end he obtained directions
from Cato, and shortly after breakfast, after shaking the kind negro by
the hand and thanking him heartily for his kindness, which he meant some
day to reward substantially, he set out on his way.



CHAPTER XX.

THE DAY AFTER.


James Cromwell came down to breakfast on the morning succeeding his
attempt to drown our young hero, with as composed a manner as his
nervous agitation permitted him to assume.

"Where is your young friend?" inquired the landlady, for Cromwell and
Robert usually came in together.

"I have not seen him since supper," said Cromwell. "I was about to ask
you if you had seen anything of him."

"Was he not here last night?"

"No, I went into his room just now, and find that his bed is untouched."

"That is strange," said Mr. Manton.

"I have felt quite troubled about him," continued Cromwell,
hypocritically.

"Do you think anything has befallen him?" asked the landlady.

"I think it more likely that he has run away," said Cromwell.

"He seemed to be very quiet and gentlemanly," said Mr. Manton.

"No doubt he _seemed_ so," said Cromwell, "but his guardian when he
confided him to my charge, informed me that he was a hard case, but
exceedingly artful, so that no one would suspect it. He was opposed to
coming west with me, and my impression is, that he has started for New
York secretly. I shall put up a notice calling for information. If I
receive none I shall be compelled to go on to New York myself and give
information to his guardian of his sudden disappearance."

"You will be compelled to leave your business. I should think that would
be inconvenient," said Mr. Manton.

"It will be inconvenient," said Cromwell, "and probably a pecuniary
loss, but I feel it my duty, and money is a secondary consideration."

"Perhaps Mr. Raymond may appear in the course of the forenoon,"
suggested the landlady. "It may be only a boy's adventure."

"I hope you may be right," said Cromwell, "but I hardly think it will
prove so."

He did not eat much breakfast. The thought of Robert Raymond lying at
the bottom of the pond kept continually recurring to him. He wondered
whether he would be found and when. He would like to have set out for
New York at once; but if immediately after his departure the body should
be found, it would look bad, and possibly excite suspicion. He thought
it would be better for him to wait two or three days, and then he would
feel at liberty to start on his journey.

If during that time he attended to his business as usual, there would be
no chance for suspecting him of having had anything to do with Robert's
disappearance.

This course, then, he resolved to adopt, but in spite of all he could
do, he was tormented by a constant, nervous anxiety. Every moment he
thought of the liability that Robert's body might be discovered, and he
braced himself to stand the shock.

He thought it best, however, to write a letter at once to Paul Morton,
announcing the mysterious disappearance of Robert.

It ran thus:


     "PAUL MORTON, ESQ.:

     "_Dear Sir_:--It is with great regret that I take my pen, having
     only bad news to communicate. Your ward, Robert Raymond, whom you
     placed in my charge, has mysteriously disappeared. I have seen
     nothing of him since yesterday at supper. He went out after that,
     and did not return to pass the night at his boarding house. I do
     not know what to think, whether he has met with any accident,
     _perhaps of a fatal nature_, or has only run away. If the latter, I
     suppose he would make his way to New York and present himself
     before you. I shall take every means of ascertaining which of these
     is the true explanation of his mysterious disappearance. I think of
     starting for New York in a couple of days, in order to see you
     personally, and let you know all that I can learn about this
     unfortunate affair, as I know that you will be _deeply_ interested
     in all that concerns your ward. Your obedient servant,

     "JAMES CROMWELL."


"I think that will do," said Cromwell, after reading his letter over
when finished. "It tells nothing to an ordinary reader, but Mr. Morton
will understand it well enough, especially when he reads the words which
I have underlined. On the whole, I don't know but it will be well that
the body should be found before I go, as he may need absolute proof of
the boy's death before he is willing to pay me the ten thousand dollars.
I wish it were well over, and the boy was buried. I can't bear to look
at him; I am afraid I should get nervous, and so excite suspicion.
Still it might be attributed to my sorrow for his loss."

With this idea he thought it best to look troubled, and express a
considerable degree of anxiety about the lost boy, so that one who was
not in the secret might have supposed that his emotion was real.

Leaving Cromwell, for a time, we will follow the course of Robert
Raymond, who after receiving directions from Cato, had shaped his course
for the Ohio river. Madison, as has already been stated, was situated in
the southern part of Indiana. The distance between it and the Ohio
river, which separates that State from Kentucky, was about fifty miles.
It was Robert's intention to reach the river, and then get on board a
boat, and proceed as far East as his limited funds would admit. The
extent of these was but ten dollars, and ten dollars would not go a
great way, unless extreme economy was practiced. Robert was willing to
be economical, and when he learned that the river was but fifty miles
distant, he determined to walk the whole way.

It was important that he should not be recognized. He wished James
Cromwell to believe that he had succeeded in his design, and that he
was drowned. Then there would be some chance of ascertaining what had
been his motive in perpetrating so dark a deed. Besides, it would save
him from the risk of pursuit, and he wished to make his way unmolested
to the presence of his guardian, where he intended to expose the
unprincipled conduct of the man to whose care he had been confided.

On the first day Robert walked about twenty miles, resting in the middle
of the day. He was unaccustomed to walking and it made him footsore and
weary. At four o'clock in the afternoon, he desisted and went up to a
farm-house, for he was at the time passing through a sparsely settled
town; he asked for accommodations for the night.

Fortunately the occupant of the farm-house was a hospitable and
kind-hearted farmer, who did not, as some might have done, view him with
suspicion.

"So you want to be took care of for the night, youngster," he said.

"Yes, sir," said Robert.

"Well, I guess the old woman can accommodate you. Our house is big
enough, and you won't take up much room. Are you a-travelin' far?"

"Yes, I am going to New York."

"To York. That's a pretty long journey for a lad like you. It's over a
thousand miles."

"Yes, it's a good ways, but I guess I can get there."

"Where are you a travelin' from?" was the next question.

"I came from the North," said Robert, evading a direct answer.

"I understand," said the farmer, shrewdly, "you don't want to tell.
Well, maybe you've a good reason, and maybe not. That's not my business,
only if you're running away from your father or mother, I advise you to
go back again. It isn't a good thing to run away from home."

"If I had a father or mother," said Robert, earnestly, "I should be the
last one to run away from them. I have neither father nor mother
living."

"Have you no sisters nor brothers?"

"No."

"And you've got to make your own way in the world?" said the
sympathizing farmer. "Well, I'm sorry for you."

"If you mean that I am poor, that is not the case," Robert answered. "I
have been unfortunate in other ways, but my father left me a fortune,
and I am going to my guardian who is in New York."

"Then how comes it that you are out here all alone?"

"I'd rather not tell now," said Robert, frankly. "The time may come when
I shall return this way, and shall feel at liberty to tell you all."

"Well, well, my lad, I won't pry into your secrets. I shall be glad to
have you stay with me to-night and to-morrow you can go on your way, and
no questions asked."

"Thank you," said Robert.

"Now, we'll be goin' into the house, and see if supper isn't most ready.
If you've been travelin' it's likely you're hungry, and I reckon the old
woman will give us something we can relish."

Robert did not refuse the invitation, for in truth he was hungry. Indeed
he had never felt hungrier in his life. He was soon seated at the
farmer's plain board, on which was spread a homely but abundant repast,
to which he did full justice.

In the morning, after a refreshing sleep, he started anew on his
journey. He tried to make the farmer accept payment for his hospitality,
but without success, and with his scanty funds still entire, he resumed
his walk.



CHAPTER XXI.

MAJOR WOODLEY AND HIS DAUGHTER.


On the third day Robert reached the Ohio river, and was fortunate enough
to intercept a steamer bound East. He went to the office, and found that
his money would suffice to pay his fare to Wheeling, but would leave him
nothing. This did not trouble him much. He had the sanguine and elastic
temperament of youth, and he did not doubt that something would turn up.

"If I can't do any better," he resolved, "I will obtain work of some
kind till I have laid by enough money to pay my passage for the
remainder of the way. Or I can write to my guardian, and ask him to send
me money enough to bring me to New York."

He had no idea how unwelcome this communication would be to his
guardian, nor that by this time that guardian, having received James
Cromwell's letter, supposed him dead.

On board the steamer he looked about him with a boy's curiosity, and as
the boat proceeded he surveyed with interest the towns on either shore,
at most of which the boat stopped.

Among the passengers his attention was drawn to a tall gentleman of
bronzed complexion who had as a companion a young girl of about
thirteen, whom he addressed as Edith. The young lady had a very sweet
face, and Robert caught himself more than once wishing he had such a
sister. Had he been older that is perhaps the last thing he would have
desired. But he was only a boy of fourteen, and was of course too young
to experience the sensation of being in love.

The gentleman's name he learned was Major Woodley, and the young lady's,
of course, Edith Woodley.

Robert wished that he might have an opportunity of making the
acquaintance of Major Woodley and his daughter, but while on their trip
up the river chance did not favor him. The opportunity, however, was
only deferred. It came at the end of the voyage.

At length they reached Wheeling, and the passengers generally
disembarked. Major Woodley and his daughter were among these.

Arrived on the pier, while Major Woodley was looking out for his
baggage, a horse, maddened by a blow from his brutal driver, started
suddenly forward, and in an instant would have trampled Edith Woodley
under his feet, had not Robert sprung forward, and clasping her round
the waist, drawn her quickly out of danger.

Her father was at some distance. He happened to look up just in time to
see his child's danger, but not in time to rescue her.

To his great relief he saw Robert's prompt action, and he realized that
but for this, his daughter would probably have lost her life.

Filled with gratitude he hurriedly advanced, and seized Robert by the
hand.

"Well done, my brave boy! You have probably saved my daughter's life.
From my heart, I thank you."

"I am glad it was in my power to do her a service," said Robert,
modestly.

"You exposed your own life to danger," said the Major.

"I did not think of that," said Robert, simply. "I only thought of the
young lady's danger."

"That shows you are a brave boy. If you had not been so cool and prompt,
it would have been too late. If you had hesitated a moment, I shudder to
think what would have been the result."

"I am very glad, indeed, that I was standing by," said Robert, "but I
think anyone would have done the same."

Major Woodley shook his head.

"I know men better than you, my lad," he said, "and I know that coolness
and self-possession in the hour of danger are not so common as they
might be. Let me know the name of my daughter's preserver."

"Robert Raymond."

"Are you going further East?"

"Yes, sir, as soon as I can. I am bound for New York."

"So am I. But I shall stop at the hotel till to-morrow. Why won't you
stop over also and go on with us?"

This was an embarrassing question for Robert. The fact is, that his
entire worldly wealth, so far as he carried it with him, consisted of
twenty-five cents, and this, so far from enabling him from going on to
New York, would not even pay for his breakfast, unless he confined
himself to a very frugal one. He felt a little shame at confessing this
to Major Woodley, who had the air of a man of large means, yet he could
not help confessing to himself that it would be very agreeable for him
to pursue his journey in company with the Major and his daughter to New
York. Of course he would become very well acquainted with the daughter,
and this he thought he should like very much.

He had never had a sister, and he felt that she would be one to him.

So he hesitated, and did not immediately answer the question asked.

"If this would interfere with any of your arrangements, or if you have
other friends to travel with," proceeded Major Woodley, observing his
hesitation, "don't hesitate to say so."

"It is not that," said Robert, "I am traveling alone."

"So I supposed, as I saw no one with you on the boat. Why then will you
not join us?"

"I will tell you," said Robert, making up his mind to tell the truth. "I
find myself out of money, and I shall be obliged to wait here until I
can receive money enough from my guardian to pay my fare to New York."

"Does your guardian, then, live in New York?" asked the major.

"Yes, sir."

"May I ask his name? I have some considerable acquaintance in New York,
and perhaps I may know him."

"His name is Paul Morton. He is a merchant, I believe."

"Paul Morton!" repeated Major Woodley, in surprise. "Is he your
guardian?"

"Yes, sir."

"How long has he been?"

"Only a few weeks. My father was an early friend of his, and he died in
his house. He left me to the charge of Mr. Morton."

"What was your father's name?" asked Major Woodley, quickly.

"Ralph Raymond."

"Was he an India merchant?"

"Yes, sir. Did you know him?" asked Robert, eagerly.

"Intimately. I passed some time in India, and there I made your father's
acquaintance. I valued him for his high honor, and excellent qualities,
and I am truly glad to have met his son. I did not know of his death.
But of that and other things you must inform me at the hotel. You need
not trouble yourself about want of money. Go with me, and I will see you
safely in New York."

Major Woodley ordered a carriage, and the party at once proceeded to
the best hotel in the place. Breakfast was ordered, for the boat had
arrived in the morning. After this meal was over, Major Woodley said:
"Now, my young friend, tell me about your father's death."

Robert recounted the circumstances which are already familiar to the
reader, except as to the wicked means by which his father's life was
shortened. Of this he was himself ignorant, as we know.

"Now," said the Major, "how does it happen that you are traveling alone,
and almost friendless in this region? I confess it surprises me. I
cannot understand why your guardian should allow it."

"It is a strange story," said Robert. "I do not understand it myself."

Therefore he gave an account of the manner in which he had been
consigned to the care of James Cromwell, and the events that followed,
his auditor listening with strong interest.

"So he intrusted you to the charge of a druggist! That is certainly
strange. He removed you from your school, and sent you to an inferior
school in a Western village. There is something remarkable about this."

When Robert gave an account of James Cromwell's attempt to put him out
of the way, Major Woodley's eyes flashed, and Edith, placing her hand on
Robert's arm, said, "What a horrid, wicked man he must have been!"

"I sometimes think he is not in his right mind," said Robert. "What do
you think, sir?" he continued, appealing to the Major.

"I am not so charitable," said the Major. "I think he was quite aware of
what he was doing and that he had a motive in what he did."

"What motive could he have had, sir?"

"I will keep that to myself at present. I have my suspicions, but they
may be groundless."

In fact Major Woodley suspected that Cromwell was acting under
instructions from Paul Morton, of whom he had a bad opinion, and he
determined to satisfy himself on this point when they reached New York.
But he felt that it would not be of any service to impart this to Robert
until he should have ascertained definitely.



CHAPTER XXII.

THE GHOST IN NO. 41.


After waiting two days, during which no tidings were received of Robert,
James Cromwell determined to go to New York. He had hoped that the body
might be found in order that he might carry with him the proof that
would entitle him to the reward of ten thousand dollars. But he did not
venture to suggest that the pond should be dragged, lest it might appear
that he was too well informed about the matter.

He announced his determination to Mr. Manton and Clara the evening
previous. He thought it politic to assign a double motive for his
departure.

"You may remember," he said, "that I referred to a relative in delicate
health from whom I expected a legacy."

"Yes," said Mr. Manton.

"I have received intelligence that he is very low and wishes to see me.
So, although it will be inconvenient for me to leave my business, I
find it necessary to go."

"Perhaps you may be rewarded for going," suggested Mr. Manton.

"Yes, I have no reason to doubt that I shall be well remembered in my
relative's will. I think that when I return there will be nothing to
prevent my complying with the conditions you named, and that I may be
able to claim your daughter's hand."

"Perhaps I may change my mind," said Clara, energetically; but she saw
fit to devote herself to her suitor through the entire evening,
displaying an affability and assumed interest which quite captivated
him. The thoughts of her favor even drove away the memories of the dark
deed which, as he fully believed, had consigned to a watery grave the
boy who had been committed to his charge.

"There seems some chance of his story proving true," said Mr. Manton,
when the two were alone.

"Yes, it may be. On that chance I've been trying to make myself
agreeable to-night. He evidently thinks I'm dead in love with him. As if
anybody could fancy such a stupid lout. I declare I wish it was somebody
else who was going to get the money. The exertions I've made have quite
wearied me," and fair Clara yawned excessively.

"If you think you can't like him, it is not too late to withdraw," said
the father, who had a little more heart than his daughter.

"Oh, as to that, it isn't of much consequence," said Clara. "I haven't
got much sentiment, and if he can show the cash, I'll marry him."

"I presume you won't throw away your fascinations upon him after
marriage," said her father.

"You may be sure of that. He'll soon have a realizing sense of my
motives in marrying him."

"Suppose he resents it, and treats you badly?" suggested Mr. Manton,
with a little paternal solicitude.

"I can protect myself," said Clara, with nonchalance. "He's a weak fool
and I can twist him round my finger."

"He may not be as manageable as you think, Clara."

"Oh, I know him thoroughly. He hasn't much spirit. I should be ashamed
if I could not manage him."

"You remember Catharine in 'Taming the Shrew'?"

"Very polite, upon my word, to compare me to a shrew. Yes, I remember
her; but I shall have a different man to deal with from Petruchio. You
needn't trouble yourself about me. I know what I'm about."

"Well, it's your own affair," said Mr. Manton, philosophically. "We
shall know in a short time whether I am to welcome a son-in-law."

"Or whether your daughter is to remain a while longer 'an impatient rose
on the ancestral tree.'"

"And use her thorns on her father instead of a husband," supplemented
Mr. Manton.

"But you are getting bright in your old age, papa. Be careful or the
rose may show its thorns."

The conversation just recorded indicates the pleasant prospect which
James Cromwell had of domestic happiness in case his wishes were
gratified, and he gained the hand of the young lady. But he had no
conception of her real disposition, or he might have hesitated to go
farther. She had tact enough to veil her faults from the scrutiny of her
lover, and present to him only an amiable and agreeable side.

In the morning, James Cromwell started for New York, going by Wheeling.
It so chanced that he arrived in the evening at the same hotel where
Robert and Major Woodley had rooms. He was fatigued by his long journey,
and retired at nine o'clock, or soon after his arrival. He did not think
to look over the books of the hotel, or he might have made the discovery
that Robert was still alive, and that his journey was likely to prove
fruitless. Neither did he meet Major Woodley or Robert, for they were
sitting together in the major's room until half-past ten, chatting
cosily.

But James Cromwell was destined to meet with an adventure, which
tormented his soul with guilty fear, and gave him a great shock.

It chanced that the room assigned to him was No. 41. The room occupied
by Robert was No. 43, just beyond in the same corridor.

As has been said, Cromwell retired to bed at half-past nine; but, though
fatigued, he was unable to go to sleep--he was haunted by the thoughts
of the pond and the body that lay beneath, deprived of life through his
most wicked agency, and as he lay he became nervous and restless, and
not even his physical fatigue could induce the coveted slumber to visit
him.

When Robert, coming from the room of Major Woodley, sought his own room,
he could not at first remember whether it was No. 41 or 43. He had the
impression that it was No. 41 that had been assigned him. He accordingly
opened the door of the room and stood just within the door.

At the sound of the opening door James Cromwell rose in bed, and gazed
with horror at the face and figure of the boy whom he supposed that he
had murdered. The moonlight entering through the windows fell upon
Robert's face and gave it a ghastly look, or at least seemed to do so to
the excited imagination of the guilty Cromwell. He gazed spell-bound,
and cowering with fear at the apparition, with difficulty ejaculated:

"Who are you?"

Of course Robert recognized Cromwell and he at once guessed the truth,
that he was going to New York to give his own version of his
disappearance to his uncle. He saw at once that he was mistaken for a
ghost, and the desire seized him to carry out this deception. Certainly,
if one were justifiable in frightening another by exciting his
superstitious fears Robert was justified in terrifying the man who had
so basely sought his life.

When, therefore, with faltering lips, James Cromwell put the question,
"Who are you?" Robert answered in a low, guttural voice:

"I am the spirit of the boy you murdered!" As he uttered the words, he
waved one hand aloft, and made a step forward toward the bed.

Excited to the wildest pitch, Cromwell trembled convulsively, then
opened his lips to utter a piercing shriek, and flinging the bed-clothes
over his head, cowered beneath them in craven terror.

Robert thought this a good chance to make his exit. He noiselessly
retreated, closing the door behind him, and entered his own room before
the servants, aroused by Cromwell's shriek, could reach the door of his
apartment.

"What's the matter here?" demanded a waiter, opening the door of No. 41.

The only answer was a groan from beneath the bed-clothes.

"What's the matter, I say?" he repeated, rather sharply.

The voice was so decidedly earthly that James Cromwell, somewhat
relieved of his fear, removed the clothes from his head, and looked up.

"I--I don't know," he said, "I think I had the night-mare."

"Well," uttered the servant, "I hope you won't have it again. You'll
wake up all that are asleep, and make them think that somebody is being
murdered."

James Cromwell recoiled at the last word, and he said, hastily, for he
feared a return of the supposed spirit:

"My friend, if you'll come in here and stop till I've gone to sleep,
I'll pay you for your trouble. I'm afraid of having the night-mare
again."

"Can't do it; I haven't got the time. Besides, what's the use? You won't
have the night-mare when you're awake."

He shut the door, and James Cromwell lay for a long time in a state of
nervous terror, trying to go to sleep, but unable to do so. At last,
from sheer fatigue, he fell into a troubled slumber, which was disturbed
by terrifying dreams.

He woke, at an early hour unrefreshed, and going below ordered a
breakfast which he did not relish.

Thence he went to the depot and took the early morning train bound
eastward. He was already speeding on his way rapidly before Robert
Raymond arose. The door of No. 41 was open, and he looked in. But the
occupant had disappeared. Going to the office he saw the name of James
Cromwell on the books of the hotel, and learned from the clerk that he
had already gone.

"He's a queer chap," said the clerk; "he had a terrible night-mare last
night, and shrieked loud enough to take the roof off. You must have
heard him, as your room adjoined his!"

"Yes, I heard him," said Robert, but he said no more.



CHAPTER XXIII.

A STARTLING APPEARANCE.


Paul Morton was sitting in his library, carelessly scanning the daily
paper. He no longer wore the troubled expression of a few weeks before.
He had succeeded in weathering the storm that threatened his business
prospects by the timely aid afforded by a portion of his ward's
property, and now his affairs were proceeding prosperously.

It may be asked how with such a crime upon his soul he could experience
any degree of comfort or satisfaction. But this is a problem we cannot
explain. Probably his soul was so blunted to all the best feelings of
our common nature that he was effected only by that which selfishly
affected his own interest.

"At last I am in a secure position," he said to himself. "Then the
opportune death of my ward, of which I am advised by Cromwell, gives me
his large estate. With this to fall back upon, and my business righted,
I do not see why I should not look forward in a few years to
half-a-million."

He was indulging in these satisfactory reflections when the door
opened, and a servant entered.

"A gentleman to see you," she said.

"Who is it?" asked Mr. Morton.

"I think it is the same one that called several times about the time of
Mr. Raymond's funeral."

"Cromwell!" repeated Mr. Morton. "Show him up," he said.

A moment afterward James Cromwell entered the room.

The two looked at each other with a kind of guilty intelligence. Each
saw in the other a murderer. One had put to death his intimate friend,
for the sake of his money. The other had sent to death (so both
supposed) an innocent boy, confided to his charge, and his crime, too,
was instigated by the same sordid motive.

"Well," said Paul Morton, slowly.

"Did you receive a letter from me a day or two since?" asked James
Cromwell.

"Yes."

"About the boy?"

"Yes, but I did not quite understand it. You wrote that he had
disappeared. Has he returned to you?"

"No," said Cromwell.

"How do you account for his disappearance?" asked Paul Morton.

"I think he must have gone out in a boat on the pond and got drowned,"
said Cromwell.

"Has the body been found?" questioned the merchant.

"Not yet."

"Was not the pond searched, then?"

"No."

"Then how do you know that he was drowned there?"

James Cromwell moved uneasily in his chair. It was not a pleasant
question for him to answer.

"I cannot, of course, say positively," he stammered, "but I have every
reason to feel satisfied that the boy is dead."

"And yet, come away from Madison without ascertaining definitely."

"I thought there was no need," said Cromwell.

"No need! Do you think I am willing to remain in uncertainty as to
whether or not my ward is dead? What faith am I to put in your statement
since it appears that you have no satisfactory evidence to offer?"

James Cromwell began to perceive his mistake. He saw that he ought to
have had the pond dragged, and personally superintended the funeral
ceremonies of his victim, in order that he might have brought to the
merchant the most indubitable proof of the reality of his death.

"Why need he be so particular?" he thought. Then, with a suspicious
feeling, he began to think that Mr. Morton was making all this
unnecessary trouble in order to evade the payment of the sum which he
had promised him. This thought irritated him, and to satisfy himself
whether his suspicions were correct, he determined to broach the subject
at once.

"I need not remind you," he said, "of the promise you made me in case
the boy should not live."

"To what promise do you refer?" demanded Paul Morton.

"You promised me the sum of ten thousand dollars as a reward for my care
of your ward."

"It would be a handsome reward for a few weeks' care," said the
merchant, sneering.

"I can't help that," said Cromwell, angrily. "Handsome or not, it is
what you promised me. Do you mean to say you did not?" he added,
defiantly.

"Softly, my friend. I have said nothing of the sort. But you will do me
the favor to remember that it was only to be given in case the boy
died."

"Well, he is dead."

"How am I to know that?"

"Because I say so."

"You only say you think he is dead. You bring me no proof. When I ask
you how you can know it positively, you offer me no explanation."

"I saw his ghost Thursday night," said James Cromwell, shuddering.

"His ghost! What ridiculous nonsense is this?" demanded the merchant.

"I saw his ghost as plain as I see you," said Cromwell, in a subdued
voice.

"And where was it that this precious apparition came to you?" asked Mr.
Morton, with contempt.

"It was in a hotel at Wheeling," said James Cromwell. "I was lying awake
when the door of my chamber suddenly opened, and his person entered."

"Did he speak?" asked Paul Morton, impressed in spite of himself, by the
tone of conviction with which the other spoke.

"Yes," said Cromwell.

"What did he say?"

"I--cannot tell," he said, with a shudder.

"Pooh, man! you had a night-mare, nothing more and nothing less," said
the merchant. "You must be crazy if you expect me to believe that the
boy is dead on any such absurd testimony as this. I dare say you had
eaten a heavy dinner, or perhaps drank too much, and so the supposed
ghost was only the offspring of your own distempered fancy, and that
proceeded from a disordered stomach."

James Cromwell shook his head.

"You are wrong," he said. "I was as wide awake as I am now."

"Well, that is your affair--if you choose to believe in the reality of
this visitation, well and good. That is nothing to me. But if you want
me to credit the story of the boy's death, you must bring a certified
statement from the coroner in your town--Madison is the name, I
believe--then there will be no room for doubt."

"To do that, I shall be obliged to return to the West," said Cromwell,
disconcerted.

"Then you have only yourself to blame for the extra trouble you are
obliged to take. You ought not to have come away at all until you could
bring with you satisfactory evidence of the boy's death."

James Cromwell looked down in dismay. This did not suit his views at
all. Besides, he saw that it would be awkward to go back, and institute
such proceedings so late. But Paul Morton evidently meant to keep him to
it.

"Perhaps it would have been better," he said, at last.

"Of course it would. You can see for yourself that until I have
satisfactory proof of my ward's decease I cannot take possession of the
property, nor of course can I give you any portion of it while I am not
sure whether it is mine to give. I should think that was plain enough."

It was plain enough. James Cromwell saw that now, and he was provoked at
his mistake.

"Then," he said, disappointed, "I suppose I must go back."

"No, that will not be necessary. You can telegraph to some person to
institute a search of the pond, if you have reason to think the body
will be found there, and request information to be sent at once of any
discovery that may be made."

"I will do so," said Cromwell, relieved.

While they were speaking, the doorbell had rung, though neither had
heard it, and Major Woodley, instructing the servant to usher him in
without previous announcement, entered the presence of the guilty
employer and his equally guilty confederate; close behind him followed
Robert Raymond.

At the sight of him Cromwell staggered to his feet, and gazed upon him
with distended eyes, and Paul Morton sat as if rooted to the chair.

It was an effective tableau.



CHAPTER XXIV.

CONCLUSION.


The merchant was the first to recover his self-possession.

"I have not the pleasure of knowing you, sir," he said to Major Woodley.

"My name is Woodley," said the latter. "I was a friend of this boy's
father," and he laid his hand on the shoulder of Robert.

"May I ask how you fell in with him? I confess I am puzzled at his
unexpected appearance, having just received intelligence from this
person (indicating Cromwell) that he had disappeared."

"May I ask, as his father's friend, why you should have committed Robert
to the care of a man, who is, to say the least, wholly unfitted by
education or experience, to have the charge of him?"

"I do not choose to be called to account," said Mr. Morton, haughtily.
"His father made me his guardian, and confided in my judgment."

"Then, sir, you should have shown yourself worthy of the confidence he
reposed in you," said Major Woodley.

"Sir, you assume an extraordinary tone," said Paul Morton, angrily.

"Are you aware of the manner in which the boy has been treated by the
person to whom you committed him?"

"Yes, I presume so. You perhaps have credited the boy's story, which
probably is wholly unreliable. Of course, I don't know what he has told
you."

"Then, sir, I have to inform you that it is only by a miracle that the
boy stands here to-day in health. This wretch made two distinct attempts
to murder him!" and he pointed his finger at James Cromwell.

"Impossible!" exclaimed Paul Morton, nervously.

"It is not only possible, but true. On the first occasion he attempted
to hurl him over Niagara Falls, but the boy's quick grasp saved him from
the fearful fate."

"I cannot believe this," muttered Mr. Morton.

"On the second occasion he seized him unawares while both were in a boat
on a pond, and threw him into the water to drown. Fortunately, he was
rescued by one who witnessed the attempt."

"These are fables," said Paul Morton. "The boy has grossly deceived
you."

"We can send for evidence, if necessary," said Major Woodley, coolly,
"but that will hardly be necessary. If you look at that man's face, you
will read upon it the proof that the story is no invention, and is the
literal truth."

He pointed to Cromwell, who was livid with terror, and stricken with the
confusion of conscious guilt. He staggered to his feet, and in his wild
terror attempted to rush out of the apartment.

In this he was unsuccessful. Woodley coolly stepped in front of him, and
said, "Not so fast, Mr. Cromwell. We cannot dispense with you yet."

Cromwell glanced at the stalwart figure of the Major, and saw that
resistance would be useless. Hoping to make better terms for himself, he
said, "Promise not to harm me, and I will tell you all."

"Are you mad?" said Paul Morton, sharply, filled with terror lest his
confederate should betray him. "Do you never plead guilty to this
atrocious charge!"

"Why should he not, if he is guilty?" demanded Major Woodley. "It
appears that you desire to shield him."

Paul Morton saw his imprudence, and determined to adopt a different
course.

"If he is guilty, I do not wish to shield him. But I thought you meant
to terrify him into confessing what was not true."

"There is no need of that. We can prove the charge on the testimony of
the boy, and the man who witnessed the attempt to drown him. I will not
engage to screen him from punishment, but if he confesses it, he will
stand a better chance of mercy."

"Then," said Cromwell, clutching at this promise, "I will tell you all.
I did try to drown the boy."

"And what could have been your motive for such a dastardly deed?"

"Mr. Morton promised me ten thousand dollars when the boy was dead."

"It's a lie!" ejaculated Paul Morton, hoarsely. "He has told an
atrocious falsehood!"

But, though he spoke thus, his face became livid and the truth was
patent in his look.

"Can this be true?" demanded Major Woodley, shocked and startled, "What
motive could Mr. Morton have for conniving at such a crime? How would
the boy's death benefit him?"

"Read his father's will, and you will know," said Cromwell. "At the
boy's death the whole property goes to Mr. Morton."

"Is this true, Mr. Morton?" said Major Woodley, sternly.

"So much is true, but the other is a base lie," said the merchant.

"I could wish it were so. What evidence can you give of the truth of
your statement? Have you the offer in writing?"

"No, he was too careful to write it, but he hinted at it in terms which
only I could understand."

"He is a miserable liar," said the merchant.

"I can hardly believe him capable of such atrocity."

"You cannot?" said Cromwell, glancing at Paul Morton, spitefully. "Then
I will tell you what he is capable of. I accuse him of poisoning the
boy's father."

"Good heavens! are you mad?" exclaimed Major Woodley, starting.

"I am perfectly aware of what I am saying, and I can prove it. He bought
the poison of me, at a time when I was employed in a drug store on the
Bowery. It was a slow poison which accomplished its work without leaving
any perceptible traces."

Robert listened to the revelations with pale face, horror-stricken, and
for a moment no word was spoken.

"Mr. Morton," said Major Woodley, "this is an extraordinary charge,
which, whether you are innocent or guilty, must be investigated. I
brought a policeman here with the view of arresting this man Cromwell,
but I feel it is my duty to direct your arrest also." As he spoke, he
opened the door communicating with the hall, and a policeman entered.

"Arrest these two men," he said.

Paul Morton's face wore the look of one brought to bay, and he
exclaimed, "Never will I submit to the indignity. Here is one means of
escape."

He pulled a drawer beside him open, and drew forth a revolver.

"I must die," he said, "but I will not die alone."

As he spoke he pointed the revolver at Cromwell, and there was a sharp
report.

The unhappy druggist bounded from his chair with a shrill cry, then
sank lifeless on the carpet, the life-blood welling from his heart.

There was a cry of horror from all who witnessed the tragic scene.

Major Woodley sprang forward to seize the revolver, but too late. Paul
Morton turned it, and pressing it to his forehead, drew the trigger.

There was another report, and he fell forward, his brains being
scattered over the floor.

"This is most terrible!" exclaimed Major Woodley, in a tone of horror.
"May it never be my lot to be witness to such a scene again!"

Robert, over-excited by the revelation of his father's fate, and the
horrible scene which had been enacted before him, fainted.

Major Woodley raised him gently, and carried him from the room.

"I leave you in charge, sir," he said to the policeman. "It is fortunate
that you were a witness to what has occurred."

The tragical end of Paul Morton was a nine-days' wonder in the city, and
then some other startling event surpassed it in the popular thought. It
was found on examination of the late merchant's affairs that his ward's
fortune was intact. This would not have been the case, but that his own
affairs had taken a fortunate turn, and he had redeemed his losses by a
fortunate rise in some securities which had been for a while depressed,
and had at last advanced rapidly in price.

Robert Raymond selected Major Woodley as his guardian, and was fortunate
in doing so, for the Major was a man of the utmost probity, and of
excellent judgment in business affairs. He was at once returned to his
former school, where he continued his studies. In due time he entered
college, where he acquitted himself with credit. On his graduation he
went to Europe, where he traveled for two years. Returning last year, he
found that he had wholly mistaken the feeling which he supposed he
entertained toward the fair Edith. He was no longer willing to look upon
her as a sister, but aspired to a nearer relation. Major Woodley was not
slow in giving his sanction to a suit which received his entire
approbation, and the wedding took place.

In a beautiful country seat on the Hudson, Robert Raymond lives with his
fair young wife. They are happy in each other and in the gifts of
fortune. Long may they remain so!

The reader may be interested to learn that Clara Manton has not yet
found a husband, nor does she desire it. Her father's death put her in
possession of his property, and she prefers to maintain a selfish
independence to risking her money in a husband's charge. Cato was
handsomely rewarded for the signal service he had rendered our young
hero, and was made comfortable for life.



WHITE-FACED DICK.

A STORY OF PINE-TREE GULCH.


How Pine-tree Gulch got its name no one knew, for in the early days
every ravine and hillside was thickly covered with pines. It may be that
a tree of exceptional size caught the eye of the first explorer, that he
camped under it, and named the place in its honor; or, may be, some
fallen giant lay in the bottom and hindered the work of the first
prospectors. At any rate, Pine-tree Gulch it was, and the name was as
good as any other. The pine-trees were gone now. Cut up for firing, or
for the erection of huts, or the construction of sluices, but the
hillside was ragged with their stumps.

The principal camp was at the mouth of the Gulch, where the little
stream, which scarce afforded water sufficient for the cradles in the
dry season, but which was a rushing torrent in winter, joined the Yuba.
The best ground was at the junction of the streams, and lay, indeed, in
the Yuba valley rather than in the Gulch. At first most gold had been
found higher up, but there was here comparatively little depth down to
the bed-rock, and as the ground became exhausted the miners moved down
towards the mouth of the Gulch. They were doing well as a whole, how
well no one knew, for miners are chary of giving information as to what
they are making; still, it was certain they were doing well, for the
bars were doing a roaring trade, and the store-keepers never refused
credit--a proof in itself that the prospects were good.

The flat at the mouth of the Gulch was a busy scene, every foot was good
paying stuff, for in the eddy, where the torrents in winter rushed down
into the Yuba, the gold had settled down and lay thick among the gravel.
But most of the parties were sinking, and it was a long way down to the
bed-rock; for the hills on both sides sloped steeply, and the Yuba must
here at one time have rushed through a narrow gorge, until, in some wild
freak, it brought down millions of tons of gravel, and resumed its
course seventy feet above its former level.

A quarter of a mile higher up a ledge of rock ran across the valley, and
over it in the old time the Yuba had poured in a cascade seventy feet
deep into the ravine. But the rock now was level with the gravel, only
showing its jagged points here and there above it. This ledge had been
invaluable to the diggers: without it they could only have sunk their
shafts with the greatest difficulty, for the gravel would have been full
of water, and even with the greatest pains in puddling and timber-work
the pumps would scarcely have sufficed to keep it down as it rose in the
bottom of the shafts. But the miners had made common cause together, and
giving each so many ounces of gold or so many days' work had erected a
dam thirty feet high along the ledge of rock, and had cut a channel for
the Yuba along the lower slopes of the valley. Of course, when the rain
set in, as everybody knew, the dam would go, and the river diggings must
be abandoned till the water subsided and a fresh dam was made; but there
were two months before them yet, and every one hoped to be down to the
bed-rock before the water interrupted their work.

The hillside, both in the Yuba Valley and for some distance along
Pine-tree Gulch, was dotted by shanties and tents; the former
constructed for the most part of logs roughly squared, the walls being
some three feet in height, on which the sharp sloping roof was placed,
thatched in the first place with boughs, and made all snug, perhaps,
with an old sail stretched over all. The camp was quiet enough during
the day. The few women were away with their washing at the pools, a
quarter of a mile up the Gulch, and the only persons to be seen about
were the men told off for cooking for their respective parties.

But in the evening the camp was lively. Groups of men in red shirts and
corded trousers tied at the knee, in high boots, sat round blazing
fires, and talked of their prospects or discussed the news of the luck
at other camps. The sound of music came from two or three plank
erections which rose conspicuously above the huts of the diggers, and
were bright externally with the glories of white and colored paints. To
and from these men were always sauntering, and it needed not the clink
of glasses and the sound of music to tell that they were the bars of the
camp.

Here, standing at the counter, or seated at numerous small tables, men
were drinking villainous liquor, smoking and talking, and paying but
scant attention to the strains of the fiddle or the accordion, save when
some well-known air was played, when all would join in a boisterous
chorus. Some were always passing in or out of a door which led into a
room behind. Here there was comparative quiet, for men were gambling,
and gambling high.

Going backwards and forwards with liquors into the gambling-room of the
Imperial Saloon, which stood just where Pine-tree Gulch opened into Yuba
valley, was a lad, whose appearance had earned for him the name of
White-faced Dick.

White-faced Dick was not one of those who had done well at Pine-tree
Gulch; he had come across the plains with his father, who had died when
half-way over, and Dick had been thrown on the world to shift for
himself. Nature had not intended him for the work, for he was a
delicate, timid lad; what spirits he originally had having been years
before beaten out of him by a brutal father. So far, indeed, Dick was
the better rather than the worse for the event which had left him an
orphan.

They had been traveling with a large party for mutual security against
Indians and Mormons, and so long as the journey lasted Dick had got on
fairly well. He was always ready to do odd jobs, and as the draught
cattle were growing weaker and weaker, and every pound of weight was of
importance, no one grudged him his rations in return for his services;
but when the company began to descend the slopes of the Sierra Nevada
they began to break up, going off by twos and threes to the diggings, of
which they heard such glowing accounts. Some, however, kept straight on
to Sacramento, determining there to obtain news as to the doings at all
the different places, and then to choose that which seemed to offer the
best prospects of success.

Dick proceeded with them to the town, and there found himself alone. His
companions were absorbed in the busy rush of population, and each had so
much to provide and arrange for, that none gave a thought to the
solitary boy. However, at that time no one who had a pair of hands,
however feeble, to work need starve in Sacramento; and for some weeks
Dick hung around the town doing odd jobs, and then, having saved a few
dollars, determined to try his luck at the diggings, and started on
foot with a shovel on his shoulder and a few days' provisions slung
across it.

Arrived at his destination, the lad soon discovered that gold-digging
was hard work for brawny and seasoned men, and after a few feeble
attempts in spots abandoned as worthless he gave up the effort, and
again began to drift; and even in Pine-tree Gulch it was not difficult
to get a living. At first he tried rocking cradles, but the work was far
harder than it appeared. He was standing ankle deep in water from
morning till night, and his cheeks grew paler, and his strength, instead
of increasing, seemed to fade away. Still, there were jobs within his
strength. He could keep a fire alight and watch a cooking-pot, he could
carry up buckets of water or wash a flannel shirt, and so he struggled
on, until at last some kind-hearted man suggested to him that he should
try to get a place at the new saloon which was about to be opened.

"You are not fit for this work, young 'un, and you ought to be at home
with your mother; if you like I will go up with you this evening to
Jeffries. I knew him down on the flats, and I dare say he will take you
on. I don't say as a saloon is a good place for a boy, still you will
always get your bellyful of victuals and a dry place to sleep in, if
it's only under a table. What do you say?"

Dick thankfully accepted the offer, and on Red George's recommendation
was that evening engaged. His work was not hard now, for till the miners
knocked off there was little doing in the saloon; a few men would come
in for a drink at dinner-time, but it was not until the lamps were lit
that business began in earnest, and then for four or five hours Dick was
busy.

A rougher or healthier lad would not have minded the work, but to Dick
it was torture; every nerve in his body thrilled whenever rough miners
cursed him for not carrying out their orders more quickly, or for
bringing them the wrong liquors, which, as his brain was in a whirl with
the noise, the shouting, and the multiplicity of orders, happened
frequently. He might have fared worse had not Red George always stood
his friend, and Red George was an authority in Pine-tree Gulch--powerful
in frame, reckless in bearing and temper, he had been in a score of
fights and had come off them, if not unscathed, at least victorious. He
was notoriously a lucky digger, but his earnings went as fast as they
were made, and he was always ready to open his belt and give a
bountiful pinch of dust to any mate down on his luck.

One evening Dick was more helpless and confused than usual. The saloon
was full, and he had been shouted at and badgered and cursed until he
scarcely knew what he was doing. High play was going on in the saloon,
and a good many men were clustered round the table. Red George was
having a run of luck, and there was a big pile of gold dust on the table
before him. One of the gamblers who was losing had ordered old rye, and
instead of bringing it to him, Dick brought a tumbler of hot liquor
which some one else had called for. With an oath the man took it up and
threw it in his face.

"You cowardly hound!" Red George exclaimed. "Are you man enough to do
that to a man?"

"You bet," the gambler, who was a new arrival at Pine-tree Gulch,
replied; and picking up an empty glass, he hurled it at Red George.
The by-standers sprang aside, and in a moment the two men were facing
each other with outstretched pistols. The two reports rung out
simultaneously: Red George sat down unconcernedly with a streak of blood
flowing down his face, where the bullet had cut a furrow in his cheek;
the stranger fell back with a bullet hole in the centre of his
forehead.

The body was carried outside, and the play continued as if no
interruption had taken place. They were accustomed to such occurrences
in Pine-tree Gulch, and the piece of ground at the top of the hill, that
had been set aside as a burial place, was already dotted thickly with
graves, filled in almost every instance by men who had died, in the
local phraseology, "with their boots on."

Neither then nor afterwards did Red George allude to the subject to
Dick, whose life after this signal instance of his championship was
easier than it had hitherto been, for there were few in Pine-tree Gulch
who cared to excite Red George's anger; and strangers going to the place
were sure to receive a friendly warning that it was best for their
health to keep their tempers over any shortcomings on the part of
White-faced Dick.

Grateful as he was for Red George's interference on his behalf, Dick
felt the circumstance which had ensued more than anyone else in the
camp. With others it was the subject of five minutes' talk, but Dick
could not get out of his head the thought of the dead man's face as he
fell back. He had seen many such frays before, but he was too full of
his own troubles for them to make much impression upon him. But in the
present case he felt as if he himself was responsible for the death of
the gambler; if he had not blundered this would not have happened. He
wondered whether the dead man had a wife and children, and, if so, were
they expecting his return? Would they ever hear where he had died, and
how?

But this feeling, which, tired out as he was when the time came for
closing the bar, often prevented him from sleeping for hours, in no way
lessened his gratitude and devotion towards Red George, and he felt that
he could die willingly if his life would benefit his champion. Sometimes
he thought, too, that his life would not be much to give, for in spite
of shelter and food, the cough which he had caught while working in the
water still clung to him, and, as his employer said to him angrily one
day:

"Your victuals don't do you no good, Dick; you get thinner and thinner,
and folks will think as I starve you. Darned if you ain't a disgrace to
the establishment."

The wind was whistling down the gorges, and the clouds hung among the
pine-woods which still clothed the upper slopes of the hills, and the
diggers, as they turned out one morning, looked up apprehensively.

"But it could not be," they assured each other. Every one knew that the
rains were not due for another month yet; it could only be a passing
shower if it rained at all.

But as the morning went on, men came in from camps higher up the river,
and reports were current that it had been raining for the last two days
among the upper hills; while those who took the trouble to walk across
to the new channel could see for themselves at noon that it was filled
very nigh to the brim, the water rushing along with thick and turbid
current. But those who repeated the rumors, or who reported that the
channel was full, were summarily put down. Men would not believe that
such a calamity as a flood and the destruction of all their season's
work could be impending. There had been some showers, no doubt, as there
had often been before, but it was ridiculous to talk of anything like
rain a month before its time. Still, in spite of these assertions, there
was uneasiness at Pine-tree Gulch, and men looked at the driving clouds
above and shook their heads before they went down to the shafts to work
after dinner.

When the last customer had left and the bar was closed, Dick had
nothing to do till evening, and he wandered outside and sat down on a
stump, at first looking at the work going on in the valley, then so
absorbed in his own thoughts that he noticed nothing, not even the
driving mist which presently set in. He was calculating that he had,
with his savings from his wages and what had been given him by the
miners, laid by eighty dollars. When he got another hundred and twenty
he would go; he would make his way down to San Francisco, and then by
ship to Panama and up to New York, and then west again to the village
where he was born. There would be people there who would know him, and
who would give him work, for his mother's sake. He did not care what it
was; anything would be better than this.

Then his thoughts came back to Pine-tree Gulch, and he started to his
feet. Could he be mistaken? Were his eyes deceiving him? No; among the
stones and boulders of the old bed of the Yuba there was the gleam of
water, and even as he watched it he could see it widening out. He
started to run down the hill to give the alarm, but before he was
half-way he paused, for there were loud shouts, and a scene of bustle
and confusion instantly arose.

The cradles were deserted, and the men working on the surface loaded
themselves with their tools and made for the high ground, while those at
the windlasses worked their hardest to draw up their comrades below. A
man coming down from above stopped close to Dick, with a low cry, and
stood gazing with a white, scared face. Dick had worked with him; he was
one of the company to which Red George belonged.

"What is it, Saunders?"

"My God! they are lost," the man replied. "I was at the windlass when
they shouted up to me to go up and fetch them a bottle of rum. They had
just struck it rich, and wanted a drink on the strength of it."

Dick understood at once. Red George and his mates were still in the
bottom of the shaft, ignorant of the danger which was threatening them.

"Come on," he cried; "we shall be in time yet," and at the top of his
speed dashed down the hill, followed by Saunders.

"What is it, what is it?" asked parties of men mounting the hill.

"Red George's gang are still below."

Dick's eyes were fixed on the water. There was a broad band now of
yellow with a white edge down the centre of the stony flat, and it was
widening with terrible rapidity. It was scarce ten yards from the
windlass at the top of Red George's shaft when Dick, followed closely by
Saunders, reached it.

"Come up, mates; quick, for your lives! The river is rising; you will be
flooded out directly. Every one else has gone!"

As he spoke he pulled at the rope by which the bucket was hanging, and
the handles of the windlass flew round rapidly as it descended. When it
had run out, Dick and he grasped the handles.

"All right below?"

An answering call came up, and the two began their work, throwing their
whole strength into it. Quickly as the windlass revolved, it seemed an
endless time to Dick before the bucket came up, and the first man
stepped out. It was not Red George. Dick had hardly expected it would
be. Red George would be sure to see his two mates up before him, and the
man uttered a cry of alarm as he saw the water, now within a few feet of
the mouth of the shaft.

It was a torrent now, for not only was it coming through the dam, but
it was rushing down in cascades from the new channel. Without a word the
miner placed himself facing Dick and the moment the bucket was again
down, the three grasped the handles. But quickly as they worked, the
edge of the water was within a few inches of the shaft when the next man
reached the surface, but again the bucket descended before the rope
tightened. However, the water had begun to run over the lip--at first in
a mere trickle, and then, almost instantaneously, in a cascade, which
grew larger and larger.

The bucket was half-way up when a sound like thunder was heard, the
ground seemed to tremble under their feet, and then at the turn of the
valley above, a great wave of yellow water, crested with foam, was seen
tearing along at the speed of a race-horse.

"The dam has burst!" Saunders shouted. "Run for your lives, or we are
all lost!"

The three men dropped the handles and ran at full speed towards the
shore, while loud shouts to Dick to follow came from the crowd of men
standing on the slope. But the boy still grasped the handles, and with
lips tightly closed, still toiled on. Slowly the bucket ascended, for
Red George was a heavy man; then suddenly the weight slackened, and the
handle went round faster. The shaft was filling, the water had reached
the bucket, and had risen to Red George's neck, so that his weight was
no longer on the rope. So fast did the water pour in, that it was not
half a minute before the bucket reached the surface, and Red George
sprang out. There was but time for one exclamation, and then the great
wave struck them. Red George was whirled like a straw in the current;
but he was a strong swimmer, and at a point where the valley widened
out, half a mile lower, he struggled to shore.

Two days later the news reached Pine-tree Gulch that a boy's body had
been washed ashore twenty miles down, and ten men, headed by Red George,
went and brought it solemnly back to Pine-tree Gulch. There, among the
stumps of pine-trees, a grave was dug, and there, in the presence of the
whole camp, White-faced Dick was laid to rest.

Pine-tree Gulch is a solitude now, the trees are growing again, and none
would dream that it was once a busy scene of industry; but if the
traveler searches among the pine-trees, he will find a stone with the
words:

"Here lies White-faced Dick, who died to save Red George. 'What can a
man do more than give his life for a friend?'"

The text was the suggestion of an ex-clergyman working as a miner in
Pine-tree Gulch.

Red George worked no more at the diggings, but after seeing the stone
laid in its place, went east, and with what little money came to him
when the common fund of the company was divided after the flood on the
Yuba, bought a small farm, and settled down there; but to the end of his
life he was never weary of telling those who would listen to it the
story of Pine-tree Gulch.



A BRUSH WITH THE CHINESE

AND WHAT CAME OF IT.


It was early in December that H.M.S. _Perseus_ was cruising off the
mouth of the Canton River. War had been declared with China in
consequence of her continued evasions of the treaty she had made with
us, and it was expected that a strong naval force would soon gather to
bring her to reason. In the meantime the ships on the station had a busy
time of it, chasing the enemy's junks when they ventured to show
themselves beyond the reach of the guns of their forts, and occasionally
having a brush with the piratical boats which took advantage of the
general confusion to plunder friend as well as foe.

The _Perseus_ had that afternoon chased two Government junks up a creek.
The sun had already set when they took refuge there, and the captain did
not care to send his boats after them in the dark, as many of the creeks
ran up for miles into the flat country; and as they not unfrequently
had many arms or branches, the boats might, in the dark, miss the junks
altogether. Orders were issued that four boats should be ready for
starting at daybreak the next morning. The _Perseus_ anchored off the
mouth of the creek, and two boats were ordered to row backwards and
forwards off its mouth all night to insure that the enemy did not slip
out in the darkness.

Jack Fothergill, the senior midshipman, was commanding the gig, and two
of the other midshipmen were going in the pinnace and launch, commanded
respectively by the first lieutenant and the master. The three other
midshipmen of the _Perseus_ were loud in their lamentations that they
were not to share in the fun.

"You can't all go, you know," Fothergill said, "and it's no use making a
row about it; the captain has been very good to let three of us go."

"It's all very well for you, Jack," Percy Adcock, the youngest of the
lads, replied, "because you are one of those chosen; and it is not so
hard for Simmons and Linthorpe, because they went the other day in the
boat that chased those junks under shelter of the guns of their battery,
but I haven't had a chance for ever so long."

"What fun was there in chasing the junks?" Simmons said. "We never got
near the brutes till they were close to their battery, and then just as
the first shot came singing from their guns, and we thought that we were
going to have some excitement, the first lieutenant sung out 'Easy all,'
and there was nothing for it but to turn round and to row for the ship,
and a nice hot row it was--two hours and a half in a broiling sun. Of
course I am not blaming Oliphant, for the captain's orders were strict
that we were not to try to cut the junks out if they got under the guns
of any of their batteries. Still it was horribly annoying, and I do
think the captain might have remembered what beastly luck we had last
time, and given us a chance to-morrow."

"It is clear we could not all go," Fothergill said, "and naturally
enough the captain chose the three seniors. Besides, if you did have bad
luck last time, you had your chance, and I don't suppose we shall have
anything more exciting now; these fellows always set fire to their junks
and row for the shore directly they see us, after firing a shot or two
wildly in our direction."

"Well, Jack, if you don't expect any fun," Simmons replied, "perhaps you
wouldn't mind telling the first lieutenant you do not care for going,
and that I am very anxious to take your place. Perhaps he will be good
enough to allow me to relieve you."

"A likely thing that!" Fothergill laughed. "No, Tom, I am sorry you are
not going, but you must make the best of it till another chance comes."

"Don't you think, Jack," Percy Adcock said to his senior in a coaxing
tone later on, "you could manage to smuggle me into the boat with you?"

"Not I, Percy. Suppose you got hurt, what would the captain say then?
And firing as wildly as the Chinese do, a shot is just as likely to hit
your little carcass as to lodge in one of the sailors. No, you must just
make the best of it, Percy, and I promise you that next time there is a
boat expedition, if you are not put in, I will say a good word to the
first luff for you."

"That promise is better than nothing," the boy said; "but I would a deal
rather go this time and take my chance next."

"But you see you can't, Percy, and there's no use talking any more about
it. I really do not expect there will be any fighting. Two junks would
hardly make any opposition to the boats of the ship, and I expect we
shall be back by nine o'clock with the news that they were well on fire
before we came up."

Percy Adcock, however, was determined, if possible, to go. He was a
favorite among the men, and when he spoke to the bow oar of the gig, the
latter promised to do anything he could to aid him to carry out his
wishes.

"We are to start at daybreak, Tom, so that it will be quite dark when
the boats are lowered. I will creep into the gig before that and hide
myself as well as I can under your thwart, and all you have got to do is
to take no notice of me. When the boat is lowered I think they will
hardly make me out from the deck, especially as you will be standing up
in the bow holding on with the boat-hook till the rest get on board."

"Well, sir, I will do my best; but if you are caught you must not let
out that I knew anything about it."

"I won't do that," Percy said. "I don't think there is much chance of my
being noticed until we get on board the junks, and then they won't know
which boat I came off in, and the first lieutenant will be too busy to
blow me up. Of course I shall get it when I am on board again, but I
don't mind that so that I see the fun. Besides, I want to send home
some things to my sister, and she will like them all the better if I can
tell her I captured them on board some junks we seized and burnt."

The next morning the crews mustered before daybreak. Percy had already
taken his place under the bow thwart of the gig. The davits were swung
overboard, and two men took their places in her as she was lowered down
by the falls. As soon as she touched the water the rest of the crew
clambered down by the ladder and took their places; then Fothergill took
his seat in the stern, and the boat pushed off and lay a few lengths
away from the ship until the heavier boats put off. As soon as they were
under way Percy crawled out from his hiding-place and placed himself in
the bow, where he was sheltered by the body of the oarsmen from
Fothergill's sight.

Day was just breaking now, but it was still dark on the water, and the
boat rowed very slowly until it became lighter. Percy could just make
out the shores of the creek on both sides; they were but two or three
feet above the level of the water, and were evidently submerged at high
tide. The creek was about a hundred yards wide, and the lad could not
see far ahead, for it was full of sharp windings and turnings. Here and
there branches joined it, but the boats were evidently following the
main channel. After another half-hour's rowing the first lieutenant
suddenly gave the order, "Easy all," and the men, looking over their
shoulders, saw a village a quarter of a mile ahead, with the two junks
they had chased the night before lying in front of it. Almost at the
same moment a sudden uproar was heard--drums were beaten and gongs
sounded.

"They are on the look-out for us," the first lieutenant said. "Mr.
Mason, do you keep with me and attack the junk highest up the river; Mr.
Bellew and Mr. Fothergill, do you take the one lower down. Row on, men."

The oars all touched the water together, and the four boats leapt
forward. In a minute a scattering fire of gingals and matchlocks was
opened from the junks, and the bullets pattered on the water round the
boats. Percy was kneeling up in the bow now. As they passed a branch
channel three or four hundred yards from the village, he started and
leapt to his feet.

"There are four or five junks in that passage, Fothergill; they are
poling out."

The first lieutenant heard the words.

"Row on, men; let us finish with these craft ahead before the others
get out. This must be that piratical village we have heard about, Mr.
Mason, as lying up one of these creeks; that accounts for those two
junks not going higher up. I was surprised at seeing them here, for they
might guess that we should try to get them this morning. Evidently they
calculated on catching us in a trap."

Percy was delighted at finding that, in the excitement caused by his
news, the first lieutenant had forgotten to take any notice of his being
there without orders, and he returned a defiant nod to the threat
conveyed by Fothergill shaking his fist at him. As they neared the junks
the fire of those on board redoubled, and was aided by that of many
villagers gathered on the bank of the creek. Suddenly from a bank of
rushes four cannons were fired. A ball struck the pinnace, smashing in
her side. The other boats gathered hastily round and took her crew on
board, and then dashed at the junks, which were but a hundred yards
distant. The valor of the Chinese evaporated as they saw the boats
approaching, and scores of them leapt overboard and swam for shore.

In another minute the boats were alongside and the crews scrambling up
the sides of the junks. A few Chinamen only attempted to oppose them.
These were speedily overcome, and the British had now time to look
round, and saw that six junks crowded with men had issued from the side
creek and were making towards them.

"Let the boats tow astern," the lieutenant ordered. "We should have to
run the gauntlet of that battery on shore if we were to attack them, and
might lose another boat before we reached their side. We will fight them
here."

The junks approached, those on board firing their guns, yelling and
shouting, while the drums and gongs were furiously beaten.

"They will find themselves mistaken, Percy, if they think they are going
to frighten us with all that row," Fothergill said. "You young rascal,
how did you get on board the boat without being seen? The captain will
be sure to suspect I had a hand in concealing you."

The tars were now at work firing the gingals attached to the bulwarks
and the matchlocks, with which the deck was strewn, at the approaching
junks. As they took steady aim, leaning their pieces on the bulwarks,
they did considerable execution among the Chinamen crowded on board the
junks, while the shot of the Chinese, for the most part, whistled far
overhead; but the guns of the shore battery, which had now been slewed
round to bear upon them, opened with a better aim, and several shots
came crashing into the sides of the two captured junks.

"Get ready to board, lads!" Lieutenant Oliphant shouted. "Don't wait for
them to board you, but the moment they come alongside lash their rigging
to ours and spring on board them."

The leading junk was now about twenty yards away, and presently grated
alongside. Half-a-dozen sailors at once sprang into her rigging with
ropes, and after lashing the junks together leapt down upon her deck,
where Fothergill was leading the gig's crew and some of those rescued
from the pinnace, while Mr. Bellew, with another party, had boarded her
at the stern. Several of the Chinese fought stoutly, but the greater
part lost heart at seeing themselves attacked by the "white devils,"
instead of, as they expected, overwhelming them by their superior
numbers. Many began at once to jump overboard, and after two or three
minutes' sharp fighting, the rest either followed their example or were
beaten below.

Fothergill looked round. The other junk had been attacked by two of the
enemy, one on each side, and the little body of sailors were gathered
in her waist, and were defending themselves against an overwhelming
number of the enemy. The other three piratical junks had been carried
somewhat up the creek by the tide that was sweeping inward, and could
not for the moment take part in the fight.

"Mr. Oliphant is hard pressed, sir," Fothergill said to the master.
"Shall we take to the boats?"

"That will be the best plan," Mr. Bellew replied. "Quick, lads, get the
boats alongside and tumble in; there is not a moment to be lost."

The crew at once sprang to the boats and rowed to the other junk, which
was but some thirty yards away.

The Chinese, absorbed in their contest with the crew of the pinnace, did
not perceive the newcomers until they gained the deck, and with a shout
fell furiously upon them. In their surprise and consternation the
pirates did not pause to note that they were still five to one superior
in number, but made a precipitate rush for their own vessels. The
English at once took the offensive. The first lieutenant with his party
boarded one, while the newcomers leapt on to the deck of the other. The
panic which had seized the Chinese was so complete that they attempted
no resistance whatever, but sprang overboard in great numbers and swam
to the shore, which was but twenty yards away, and in three minutes the
English were in undisputed possession of both vessels.

"Back again, Mr. Fothergill, or you will lose the craft you captured,"
Lieutenant Oliphant said; "they have already cut her free."

The Chinese, indeed, who had been beaten below by the boarding party,
had soon perceived the sudden departure of their captors, and gaining
the deck again had cut the lashings which fastened them to the other
junk, and were proceeding to hoist their sails. They were too late,
however. Almost before the craft had way on her Fothergill and his crew
were alongside. The Chinese did not wait for the attack, but at once
sprang overboard and made for the shore. The other three junks, seeing
the capture of their comrades, had already hoisted their sails and were
making up the creek. Fothergill dropped an anchor, left four of his men
in charge, and rowed back to Mr. Oliphant.

"What shall we do next, sir?"

"We will give those fellows on shore a lesson, and silence their
battery. Two men have been killed since you left. We must let the other
junks go for the present. Four of my men were killed and eleven wounded
before Mr. Bellew and you came to our assistance. The Chinese were
fighting pluckily up to that time, and it would have gone very hard with
us if you had not been at hand; the beggars will fight when they think
they have got it all their own way. But before we land we will set fire
to the five junks we have taken. Do you return and see that the two
astern are well lighted, Mr. Fothergill; Mr. Mason will see to these
three. When you have done your work take to your boat and lay off till I
join you; keep the junks between you and the shore, to protect you from
the fire of the rascals there."

"I cannot come with you, I suppose, Fothergill?" Percy Adcock said, as
the midshipman was about to descend into his boat again.

"Yes, come along, Percy. It doesn't matter what you do now. The captain
will be so pleased when he hears that we have captured and burnt five
junks, that you will get off with a very light wigging, I imagine."

"That's just what I was thinking, Jack. Has it not been fun?"

"You wouldn't have thought it fun if you had got one of those matchlock
balls in your body. There are a good many of our poor fellows just at
the present moment who do not see anything funny in the affair at all.
Here we are; clamber up."

The crew soon set to work under Fothergill's orders. The sails were cut
off the masts and thrown down into the hold; bamboos, of which there
were an abundance down there, were heaped over them, a barrel of oil was
poured over the mass, and the fire then applied.

"That will do, lads. Now take to your boats and let's make a bonfire of
the other junk."

In ten minutes both vessels were a sheet of flame, and the boat was
lying a short distance from them waiting for further operations. The
inhabitants of the village, furious at the failure of the plan which had
been laid for the destruction of the "white devils," kept up a constant
fusillade, which, however, did no harm, for the gig was completely
sheltered by the burning junks close to her from their missiles.

"There go the others!" Percy exclaimed after a minute or two, as three
columns of smoke arose simultaneously from the other junks, and the
sailors were seen dropping into their boats alongside.

The killed and wounded were placed in the other gig with four sailors
in charge. They were directed to keep under shelter of the junks until
re-joined by the pinnace and Fothergill's gig, after these had done
their work on shore.

When all was ready the first lieutenant raised his hand as a signal, and
the two boats dashed between the burning junks and rowed for the shore.
Such of the natives as had their weapons charged fired a hasty volley,
and then, as the sailors leapt from their boats, took to their heels.

"Mr. Fothergill, take your party into the village and set fire to the
houses; shoot down every man you see. This place is a nest of pirates. I
will capture that battery and then join you."

Fothergill and his sailors at once entered the village. The men had
already fled; the women were turned out of the houses, and these were
immediately set on fire. The tars regarded the whole affair as a
glorious joke, and raced from house to house, making a hasty search in
each for concealed valuables before setting it on fire. In a short time
the whole village was in a blaze.

"There is a house there, standing in that little grove a hundred yards
away," Percy said.

"It looks like a temple," Fothergill replied. "However, we will have a
look at it." And calling two sailors to accompany him, he started at a
run towards it, Percy keeping by his side.

"It is a temple," Fothergill said when they approached it. "Still, we
will have a look at it, but we won't burn it; it will be as well to
respect the religion, even of a set of piratical scoundrels like these."

At the head of his men he rushed in at the entrance. There was a blaze
of fire as half a dozen muskets were discharged in their faces. One of
the sailors dropped dead, and before the others had time to realize what
had happened they were beaten to the ground by a storm of blows from
swords and other weapons.

A heavy blow crashed down on Percy's head, and he fell insensible even
before he realized what had occurred.

When he recovered, his first sensation was that of a vague wonder as to
what had happened to him. He seemed to be in darkness and unable to move
hand or foot. He was compressed in some way that he could not at first
understand, and was being bumped and jolted in an extraordinary manner.
It was some little time before he could understand the situation. He
first remembered the fight with the junks, then he recalled the landing
and burning the village; then, as his brain cleared, came the
recollection of his start with Fothergill for the temple among the
trees, his arrival there, and a loud report and flash of fire.

"I must have been knocked down and stunned," he said to himself, "and I
suppose I am a prisoner now to these brutes, and one of them must be
carrying me on his back."

Yes, he could understand it all now. His hands and his feet were tied,
ropes were passed round his body in every direction, and he was fastened
back to back upon the shoulders of a Chinaman. Percy remembered the
tales he had heard of the imprisonment and torture of those who fell
into the hands of the Chinese, and he bitterly regretted that he had not
been killed instead of stunned in the surprise of the temple.

"It would have been just the same feeling," he said to himself, "and
there would have been an end of it. Now, there is no saying what is
going to happen. I wonder whether Jack was killed, and the sailors."

Presently there was a jabber of voices; the motion ceased. Percy could
feel that the cords were being unwound, and he was dropped on to his
feet; then the cloth was removed from his head, and he could look
around.

A dozen Chinese, armed with matchlocks and bristling with swords and
daggers, stood around, and among them, bound like himself and gagged by
a piece of bamboo forced lengthways across his mouth and kept there with
a string going round the back of the head, stood Fothergill. He was
bleeding from several cuts in the head. Percy's heart gave a bound of
joy at finding that he was not alone; then he tried to feel sorry that
Jack had not escaped, but failed to do so, although he told himself that
his comrade's presence would not in any way alleviate the fate which was
certain to befall him. Still the thought of companionship, even in
wretchedness, and perhaps a vague hope that Jack, with his energy and
spirit, might contrive some way for their escape, cheered him up.

As Percy, too, was gagged, no word could be exchanged by the midshipmen,
but they nodded to each other. They were now put side by side and made
to walk in the centre of their captors. On the way they passed through
several villages, whose inhabitants poured out to gaze at the captives,
but the men in charge of them were evidently not disposed to delay, as
they passed through without a stop. At last they halted before two
cottages standing by themselves, thrust the prisoners into a small room,
removed their gags, and left them to themselves.

"Well, Percy, my boy, so they caught you, too? I am awfully sorry. It
was my fault for going with only two men into that temple, but as the
village had been deserted and scarcely a man was found there, it never
entered my mind that there might be a party in the temple."

"Of course not, Jack; it was a surprise altogether. I don't know
anything about it, for I was knocked down, I suppose, just as we went
in, and the first thing I knew about it was that I was being carried on
the back of one of those fellows. I thought it was awful at first, but I
don't seem to mind so much now you are with me."

"It is a comfort to have some one to speak to," Jack said, "yet I wish
you were not here, Percy; I can't do you any good, and I shall never
cease blaming myself for having brought you into this scrape. I don't
know much more about the affair than you do. The guns were fired so
close to us that my face was scorched with one of them, and almost at
the same instant I got a lick across my cheek with a sword. I had just
time to hit at one of them, and then almost at the same moment I got two
or three other blows, and down I went; they threw themselves on the top
of me and tied and gagged me in no time. Then I was tied to a long
bamboo, and two fellows put the ends on their shoulders and went off
with me through the fields. Of course I was face downwards, and did not
know you were with us till they stopped and loosed me from the bamboo
and set me on my feet."

"But what are they going to do with us do you think, Jack?"

"I should say they are going to take us to Canton and claim a reward for
our capture, and there I suppose they will cut off our heads or saw us
in two, or put us to some other unpleasant kind of death. I expect they
are discussing it now; do you hear what a jabber they are kicking up?"

Voices were indeed heard raised in angry altercation in the next room.
After a time the din subsided and the conversation appeared to take a
more amiable turn.

"I suppose they have settled it as far as they are concerned," Jack
said; "anyhow, you may be quite sure they mean to make something out of
us. If they hadn't they would have finished us at once, for they must
have been furious at the destruction of their junks and village. As to
the idea that mercy has anything to do with it, we may as well put it
out of our minds. The Chinaman, at the best of times, has no feeling of
pity in his nature, and after their defeat it is certain they would have
killed us at once had they not hoped to do better by us. If they had
been Indians I should have said they had carried us off to enjoy the
satisfaction of torturing us, but I don't suppose it is that with them."

"Do you think there is any chance of our getting away?" Percy asked,
after a pause.

"I should say not the least in the world, Percy. My hands are fastened
so tight now that the ropes seem cutting into my wrists, and after they
had set me on my feet and cut the cords of my legs I could scarcely
stand at first, my feet were so numbed by the pressure. However, we must
keep up our pluck. Possibly they may keep us at Canton for a bit, and if
they do the squadron may arrive and fight its way past the forts and
take the city before they have quite made up their minds as to what kind
of death will be most appropriate to the occasion. I wonder what they
are doing now? They seem to be chopping sticks."

"I wish they would give us some water," Percy said. "I am frightfully
thirsty."

"And so am I, Percy; there is one comfort, they won't let us die of
thirst, they could get no satisfaction out of our deaths now."

Two hours later some of the Chinese re-entered the room and led the
captives outside, and the lads then saw what was the meaning of the
noise they had heard. A cage had been manufactured of strong bamboos. It
was about four and a half feet long, four feet wide, and less than three
feet high; above it were fastened two long bamboos. Two or three of the
bars of the cage had been left open.

"My goodness! they never intend to put us in there," Percy exclaimed.

"That they do," Jack said. "They are going to carry us the rest of the
way."

The cords which bound the prisoners' hands were now cut, and they were
motioned to crawl into the cage. This they did; the bars were then put
in their places and securely lashed. Four men went to the ends of the
poles and lifted the cage upon their shoulders; two others took their
places beside it, and one man, apparently the leader of the party,
walked on ahead; the rest remained behind.

"I never quite realized what a fowl felt in a coop before," Jack said,
"but if its sensations are at all like mine they must be decidedly
unpleasant. It isn't high enough to sit upright in, it is nothing like
long enough to lie down, and as to getting out one might as well think
of flying. Do you know, Percy, I don't think they mean taking us to
Canton at all. I did not think of it before, but from the direction of
the sun I feel sure that we cannot have been going that way. What they
are up to I can't imagine."

In an hour they came to a large village. Here the cage was set down and
the villagers closed round. They were, however, kept a short distance
from the cage by the men in charge of it. Then a wooden platter was
placed on the ground, and persons throwing a few copper coins into this
were allowed to come near the cage.

"They are making a show of us!" Fothergill exclaimed. "That's what they
are up to, you see if it isn't; they are going to travel up country to
show the 'white devils' whom their valor has captured."

This was, indeed, the purpose of the pirates. At that time Europeans
seldom ventured beyond the limits assigned to them in the two or three
towns where they were permitted to trade, and few, indeed, of the
country people had ever obtained a sight of the white barbarians of
whose doings they had so frequently heard. Consequently a small crowd
soon gathered round the cage, eyeing the captives with the same interest
they would have felt as to unknown and dangerous beasts; they laughed
and joked, passed remarks upon them, and even poked them with sticks.
Fothergill, furious at this treatment caught one of the sticks, and
wrenching it from the hands of the Chinaman, tried to strike at him
through the bars, a proceeding which excited shouts of laughter from the
bystanders.

"I think, Jack," Percy said, "it will be best to try and keep our
tempers and not to seem to mind what they do to us, then if they find
they can't get any fun out of us they will soon leave us alone."

"Of course, that's the best plan," Fothergill agreed, "but it's not so
easy to follow. That fellow very nearly poked out my eye with his stick,
and no one's going to stand that if he can help it."

It was some hours before the curiosity of the village was satisfied.
When all had paid who were likely to do so, the guards broke up their
circle, and leaving two of their number at the cage to see that no
actual harm was caused to their prisoners, the rest went off to a
refreshment house. The place of the elders was now taken by the boys and
children of the village, who crowded round the cage, prodded the
prisoners with sticks, and, putting their hands through the bars, pulled
their ears and hair. This amusement, however, was brought to an abrupt
conclusion by Fothergill suddenly seizing the wrist of a big boy and
pulling his arm through the cage until his face was against the bars;
then he proceeded to punch him until the guard, coming to his rescue,
poked Fothergill with his stick until he released his hold.

The punishment of their comrade excited neither anger nor resentment
among the other boys, who yelled with delight at his discomfiture, but
it made them more careful in approaching the cage, and though they
continued to poke the prisoners with sticks they did not venture again
to thrust a hand through the bars. At sunset the guards again came
round, lifted the cage and carried it into a shed. A platter of dirty
rice and a jug of water were put into the cage; two of the men lighted
their long pipes and sat down on guard beside it, and, the doors being
closed, the captives were left in peace.

"If this sort of thing is to go on, as I suppose it is," Fothergill
said, "the sooner they cut off our heads the better."

"It is very bad, Jack. I am sore all over with those probes from their
sharp sticks."

"I don't care for the pain, Percy, so much as the humiliation of the
thing. To be stared at and poked at as if we were wild beasts by these
curs, when with half a dozen of our men we could send a hundred of them
scampering, I feel as if I could choke with rage."

"You had better try and eat some of this rice, Jack. It is beastly, but
I daresay we shall get no more until to-morrow night, and we must keep
up our strength if we can. At any rate, the water is not bad, that's a
comfort."

"No thanks to them," Jack growled. "If there had been any bad water in
the neighborhood they would have given it to us."

For six weeks the sufferings of the prisoners continued. Their captors
avoided towns where the authorities would probably at once have taken
the prisoners out of their hands. No one would have recognized the two
captives as the midshipmen of the _Perseus_; their clothes were in
rags--torn to pieces by the thrusts of the sharp-pointed bamboos, to
which they had daily been subjected--the bad food, the cramped position,
and the misery which they suffered had worn both lads to skeletons;
their hair was matted with filth, their faces begrimed with dirt. Percy
was so weak that he felt he could not stand. Fothergill, being three
years older, was less exhausted, but he knew that he, too, could not
support his sufferings for many days longer. Their bodies were covered
with sores, and try as they would they were able to catch only a few
minutes' sleep at a time, so much did the bamboo bars hurt their wasted
limbs.

They seldom exchanged a word during the daytime, suffering in silence
the persecutions to which they were exposed, but at night they talked
over their homes and friends in England, and their comrades on board
ship, seldom saying a word as to their present position. They were now
in a hilly country, but had not the least idea of the direction in which
it lay from Canton or its distance from the coast.

One evening Jack said to his companion, "I think it's nearly all over
now, Percy. The last two days we have made longer journeys, and have not
stopped at any of the smaller villages we passed through. I fancy our
guards must see that we can't last much longer, and are taking us down
to some town to hand us over to the authorities and get their reward for
us."

"I hope it is so, Jack; the sooner the better. Not that it makes much
difference now to me, for I do not think I can stand many more days of
it."

"I am afraid I am tougher than you, Percy, and shall take longer to
kill, so I hope with all my heart that I may be right, and that they may
be going to give us up to the authorities."

The next evening they stopped at a large place, and were subjected to
the usual persecution; this, however, was now less prolonged than during
the early days of their captivity, for they had now no longer strength
or spirits to resent their treatment, and as no fun was to be obtained
from passive victims, even the village boys soon ceased to find any
amusement in tormenting them.

When most of their visitors had left them, an elderly Chinaman
approached the side of the cage. He spoke to their guards and looked at
them attentively for some minutes, then he said in pigeon English, "You
officer men?"

"Yes!" Jack exclaimed, starting at the sound of the English words, the
first they had heard spoken since their captivity. "Yes, we are officers
of the _Perseus_."

"Me speeke English velly well," the Chinaman said; "me pilot-man many
years on Canton river. How you get here?"

"We were attacking some piratical junks, and landed to destroy the
village where the people were firing on us. We entered a place full of
pirates, and were knocked down and taken prisoners, and carried away up
the country; that is six weeks ago, and you see what we are now."

"Pirate men velly bad," the Chinaman said; "plunder many junk on river
and kill crew. Me muchee hate them."

"Can you do anything for us?" Jack asked. "You will be well rewarded if
you could manage to get us free."

The man shook his head.

"Me no see what can do, me stranger here; come to stay with wifey;
people no do what me ask them. English ships attack Canton, much fight
and take town, people all hate English. Bad country dis. People in one
village fight against another. Velly bad men here."

"How far is Canton away?" Jack asked. "Could you not send down to tell
the English we are here?"

"Fourteen days' journey off," the man said; "no see how can do
anything."

"Well," Jack said, "when you get back again to Canton let our people
know what has been the end of us; we shall not last much longer."

"All light," the man said, "will see what me can do. Muchee think
to-night!" And after saying a few words to the guards, who had been
regarding this conversation with an air of surprise, the Chinaman
retired.

The guards had for some time abandoned the precaution of sitting up at
night by the cage, convinced that their captives had no longer strength
to attempt to break through its fastenings or to drag themselves many
yards away if they could do so. They therefore left it standing in the
open, and, wrapping themselves in their thickly-wadded coats, for the
nights were cold, lay down by the side of the cage.

The coolness of the nights had, indeed, assisted to keep the two
prisoners alive. During the day the sun was excessively hot, and the
crowd of visitors round the cage impeded the circulation of the air and
added to their sufferings. It was true that the cold at night frequently
prevented them from sleeping, but it acted as a tonic and braced them
up.

"What did he mean about the villages attacking each other?" Percy asked.

"I have heard," Jack replied, "that in some parts of China things are
very much the same as they used to be in the highlands of Scotland.
There is no law or order. The different villages are like clans, and
wage war on each other. Sometimes the Government sends a number of
troops, who put the thing down for a time, chop off a good many heads,
and then march away, and the whole work begins again as soon as their
backs are turned."

That night the uneasy slumber of the lads was disturbed by a sudden
firing; shouts and yells were heard, and the firing redoubled.

"The village is attacked," Jack said. "I noticed that, like some other
places we have come into lately, there is a strong earthen wall round
it, with gates. Well, there is one comfort--it does not make much
difference to us which side wins."

The guards at the first alarm leapt to their feet, caught up their
matchlocks, and ran to aid in the defence of the wall. Two minutes later
a man ran up to the cage.

"All lightee," he said; "just what me hopee."

With his knife he cut the tough withes that held the bamboos in their
places, and pulled out three of the bars.

"Come along," he said; "no time to lose."

Jack scrambled out, but in trying to stand upright gave a sharp
exclamation of pain. Percy crawled out more slowly; he tried to stand
up, but could not. The Chinaman caught him up and threw him on his
shoulder.

"Come along quickee," he said to Jack; "if takee village, kill evely
one." He set off at a run. Jack followed as fast as he could, groaning
at every step from the pain the movement caused to his bruised body.

They went to the side of the village opposite to that at which the
attack was going on. They met no one on the way, the inhabitants having
all rushed to the other side to repel the attack. They stopped at a
small gate in the wall, the Chinaman drew back the bolts and opened it,
and they passed out into the country. For an hour they kept on. By the
end of that time Jack could scarcely drag his limbs along. The Chinaman
halted at length in a clump of trees surrounded by a thick undergrowth.

"Allee safee here," he said, "no searchee so far; here food;" and he
produced from a wallet a cold chicken and some boiled rice, and unslung
from his shoulder a gourd filled with cold tea.

"Me go back now, see what happen. To-mollow nightee come again--bringee
more food." And without another word went off at a rapid pace.

Jack moistened his lips with the tea, and then turned to his companion.
Percy had not spoken a word since he had been released from the cage,
and had been insensible during the greater part of his journey. Jack
poured some cold tea between his lips.

"Cheer up, Percy, old boy, we are free now, and with luck and that good
fellow's help we will work our way down to Canton yet."

"I shall never get down there; you may," Percy said feebly.

"Oh, nonsense, you will pick up strength like a steam-engine now. Here,
let me prop you against this tree. That's better. Now drink a drop of
this tea; it's like nectar after that filthy water we have been
drinking. Now you will feel better. Now you must try and eat a little of
this chicken and rice. Oh, nonsense, you have got to do it. I am not
going to let you give way when our trouble is just over. Think of your
people at home, Percy, and make an effort, for their sakes. Good
heavens! now I think of it, it must be Christmas morning. We were caught
on the 2d and we have been just twenty-two days on show. I am sure that
it must be past twelve o'clock, and it is Christmas-day. It is a good
omen, Percy. This food isn't like roast beef and plum-pudding, but it's
not to be despised, I can tell you. Come, fire away, that's a good
fellow."

Percy made an effort and ate a few mouthfuls of rice and chicken, then
he took another draught of tea, and lay down, and was almost immediately
asleep.

Jack ate his food slowly and contentedly till he finished half the
supply, then he, too, lay down, and, after a short but hearty
thanksgiving for his escape from a slow and lingering death, he, too,
fell off to sleep. The sun was rising when he woke, being aroused by a
slight movement on the part of Percy; he opened his eyes and sat up.

"Well, Percy, how do you feel this morning?" he asked cheerily.

"I feel too weak to move," Percy replied languidly.

"Oh, you will be all right when you have sat up and eaten breakfast,"
Jack said. "Here you are; here is a wing for you, and this rice is as
white as snow, and the tea is first-rate. I thought last night after I
lay down that I heard a murmur of water, so after we have had breakfast
I will look about and see if I can find it. We should feel like new men
after a wash. You look awful, and I am sure I am just as bad."

The thought of a wash inspirited Percy far more than that of eating, and
he sat up and made a great effort to do justice to the breakfast. He
succeeded much better than he had done the night before, and Jack,
although he pretended to grumble, was satisfied with his companion's
progress, and finished off the rest of the food. Then he set out to
search for water. He had not very far to go; a tiny stream, a few inches
wide and two or three inches deep, ran through the wood from the higher
ground. After throwing himself down and taking a drink, he hurried back
to Percy.

"It is all right, Percy, I've found it. We can wash to our hearts'
content; think of that, lad."

Percy could hardly stand, but he made an effort, and Jack half carried
him to the streamlet. There the lads spent hours. First they bathed
their heads and hands, and then, stripping, lay down in the stream and
allowed it to flow over them, then they rubbed themselves with handfuls
of leaves dipped in the water, and when they at last put on their rags
again felt like new men. Percy was able to walk back to the spot they
had quitted with the assistance only of Jack's arm. The latter, feeling
that his breakfast had by no means appeased his hunger, now started for
a search through the wood, and presently returned to Percy laden with
nuts and berries.

"The nuts are sure to be all right; I expect the berries are, too. I
have certainly seen some like them in native markets, and I think it
will be quite safe to risk it."

The rest of the day was spent in picking nuts and eating them. Then they
sat down and waited for the arrival of their friend. He came two hours
after nightfall with a wallet stored with provisions, and told them that
he had regained the village unobserved. The attack had been repulsed,
but with severe loss to the defenders as well as to the assailants; two
of their guards had been among the killed. The others had made a great
clamor over the escape of the prisoners, and had made a close search
throughout the village and immediately round it, for they were convinced
that their captives had not the strength to go any distance. He thought,
however, that although they had professed the greatest indignation, and
had offered many threats as to the vengeance that Government would take
upon the village, one of whose inhabitants, at least, must have aided in
the evasion of the prisoners, they would not trouble themselves any
further in the matter. They had already reaped a rich harvest from the
exhibition, and would divide among themselves the share of their late
comrades; nor was it at all improbable that if they were to report the
matter to the authorities they would themselves get into serious trouble
for not having handed over the prisoners immediately after their
capture.

For a fortnight the pilot nursed and fed the two midshipmen. He had
already provided them with native clothes, so that if by chance any
villagers should catch sight of them they would not recognize them as
the escaped white men. At the end of that time both the lads had almost
recovered from the effects of their sufferings. Jack, indeed, had
picked up from the first, but Percy for some days continued so weak and
ill that Jack had feared that he was going to have an attack of fever of
some kind. His companion's cheery and hopeful chat did as much good for
Percy as the nourishing food with which their friend supplied them, and
at the end of the fortnight he declared that he felt sufficiently strong
to attempt to make his way down to the coast.

The pilot acted as their guide. When they inquired about his wife, he
told them carelessly that she would remain with her kinsfolk, and would
travel on to Canton and join him there when she found an opportunity.
The journey was accomplished at night, by very short stages at first,
but by increasing distances as Percy gained strength. During the daytime
the lads lay hid in woods or jungles, while their companion went into
the village and purchased food. They struck the river many miles above
Canton, and the pilot, going down first to a village on its banks,
bargained for a boat to take him and two women down to the city.

The lads went on board at night and took their places in the little
cabin formed of bamboos and covered with mats in the stern of the boat,
and remained thus sheltered not only from the view of people in boats
passing up or down the stream, but from the eyes of their own boatmen.

After two days' journey down the river without incident, they arrived
off Canton, where the British fleet was still lying while negotiations
for peace were being carried on with the authorities at Pekin. Peeping
out between the mats, the lads caught sight of the English warships,
and, knowing that there was now no danger, they dashed out of the cabin,
to the surprise of the native boatmen, and shouted and waved their arms
to the distant ships.

In ten minutes they were alongside the _Perseus_, when they were hailed
as if restored from the dead. The pilot was very handsomely rewarded by
the English authorities for his kindness to the prisoners, and was
highly satisfied with the result of his proceedings, which more than
doubled the little capital with which he had retired from business. Jack
Fothergill and Percy Adcock declare that they have never since eaten
chicken without thinking of their Christmas fare on the morning of their
escape from the hands of the Chinese pirates.


THE END.



A. L. Burt's Catalogue of Books for Young People by Popular Writers,
52-58 Duane Street, New York


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Joe's Luck+: A Boy's Adventures in California. By HORATIO ALGER, JR.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The story is chock fall of stirring incidents, while the amusing
situations are furnished by Joshua Bickford, from Pumpkin Hollow, and
the fellow who modestly styles himself the "Rip-tail Roarer, from Pike
Co., Missouri." Mr. Alger never writes a poor book, and "Joe's Luck" is
certainly one of his best.


+Tom the Bootblack+; or, The Road to Success. By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo,
cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

A bright, enterprising lad was Tom the Bootblack. He was not at all
ashamed of his humble calling, though always on the lookout to better
himself. The lad started for Cincinnati to look up his heritage. Mr.
Grey, the uncle, did not hesitate to employ a ruffian to kill the lad.
The plan failed, and Gilbert Grey, once Tom the bootblack, came into a
comfortable fortune. This is one of Mr. Alger's best stories.


+Dan the Newsboy.+ By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price
$1.00.

Dan Mordaunt and his mother live in a poor tenement, and the lad is
pluckily trying to make ends meet by selling papers in the streets of
New York. A little heiress of six years is confided to the care of the
Mordaunts. The child is kidnapped and Dan tracks the child to the house
where she is hidden, and rescues her. The wealthy aunt of the little
heiress is so delighted with Dan's courage and many good qualities that
she adopts him as her heir.


+Tony the Hero+: A Brave Boy's Adventure with a Tramp. By HORATIO ALGER,
JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Tony, a sturdy bright-eyed boy of fourteen, is under the control of
Rudolph Rugg, a thorough rascal. After much abuse Tony runs away and
gets a job as stable boy in a country hotel. Tony is heir to a large
estate. Rudolph for a consideration hunts up Tony and throws him down a
deep well. Of course Tony escapes from the fate provided for him, and by
a brave act, a rich friend secures his rights and Tony is prosperous. A
very entertaining book.


+The Errand Boy+; or, How Phil Brent Won Success. By HORATIO ALGER, JR.
12mo, cloth,illustrated, price $1.00.

The career of "The Errand Boy" embraces the city adventures of a smart
country lad. Philip was brought up by a kind-hearted innkeeper named
Brent. The death of Mrs. Brent paved the way for the hero's subsequent
troubles. A retired merchant in New York secures him the situation of
errand boy, and thereafter stands as his friend.


+Tom Temple's Career.+ By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated,
price $1.00.

Tom Temple is a bright, self-reliant lad. He leaves Plympton village to
seek work in New York, whence he undertakes an important mission to
California. Some of his adventures in the far west are so startling that
the reader will scarcely close the book until the last page shall have
been reached. The tale is written in Mr. Alger's most fascinating style.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Frank Fowler, the Cash Boy.+ By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

Frank Fowler, a poor boy, bravely determines to make a living for
himself and his foster-sister Grace. Going to New York he obtains a
situation as cash boy in a dry goods store. He renders a service to a
wealthy old gentleman who takes a fancy to the lad, and thereafter helps
the lad to gain success and fortune.


+Tom Thatcher's Fortune.+ By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated,
price $1.00.

Tom Thatcher is a brave, ambitious, unselfish boy. He supports his
mother and sister on meagre wages earned as a shoe-pegger in John
Simpson's factory. Tom is discharged from the factory and starts
overland for California. He meets with many adventures. The story is
told in a way which has made Mr. Alger's name a household word in so
many homes.


+The Train Boy.+ By HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price
$1.00.

Paul Palmer was a wide-awake boy of sixteen who supported his mother and
sister by selling books and papers on the Chicago and Milwaukee
Railroad. He detects a young man in the act of picking the pocket of a
young lady. In a railway accident many passengers are killed, but Paul
is fortunate enough to assist a Chicago merchant, who out of gratitude
takes him into his employ. Paul succeeds with tact and judgment and is
well started on the road to business prominence.


+Mark Mason's Victory.+ The Trials and Triumphs of a Telegraph Boy. By
HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Mark Mason, the telegraph boy, was a sturdy, honest lad, who pluckily
won his way to success by his honest manly efforts under many
difficulties. This story will please the very large class of boys who
regard Mr. Alger as a favorite author.


+A Debt of Honor.+ The Story of Gerald Lane's Success in the Far West. By
HORATIO ALGER, JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The story of Gerald Lane and the account of the many trials and
disappointments which he passed through before he attained success, will
interest all boys who have read the previous stories of this delightful
author.


+Ben Bruce.+ Scenes in the Life of a Bowery Newsboy. By HORATIO ALGER,
JR. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Ben Bruce was a brave, manly, generous boy. The story of his efforts,
and many seeming failures and disappointments, and his final success,
are most interesting to all readers. The tale is written in Mr. Alger's
most fascinating style.


+The Castaways+; or, On the Florida Reefs. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

This tale smacks of the salt sea. From the moment that the Sea Queen
leaves lower New York bay till the breeze leaves her becalmed off the
coast of Florida, one can almost hear the whistle of the wind through
her rigging, the creak of her straining cordage as she heels to the
leeward. The adventures of Ben Clark, the hero of the story and Jake the
cook, cannot fail to charm the reader. As a writer for young people Mr.
Otis is a prime favorite.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Wrecked on Spider Island+; or, How Ned Rogers Found the Treasure. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Ned Rogers, a "down-east" plucky lad ships as cabin boy to earn a
livelihood. Ned is marooned on Spider Island, and while there discovers
a wreck submerged in the sand, and finds a considerable amount of
treasure. The capture of the treasure and the incidents of the Voyage
serve to make as entertaining a story of sea-life as the most captious
boy could desire.


+The Search for the Silver City+: A Tale of Adventure in Yucatan. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Two lads, Teddy Wright and Neal Emery, embark on the steam yacht Day
Dream for a cruise to the tropics. The yacht is destroyed by fire, and
then the boat is cast upon the coast of Yucatan. They hear of the
wonderful Silver City, of the Chan Santa Cruz Indians, and with the help
of a faithful Indian ally carry off a number of the golden images from
the temples. Pursued with relentless vigor at last their escape is
effected in an astonishing manner. The story is so full of exciting
incidents that the reader is quite carried away with the novelty and
realism of the narrative.


+A Runaway Brig+; or, An Accidental Cruise. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a sea tale, and the reader can look out upon the wide shimmering
sea as it flashes back the sunlight, and imagine himself afloat with
Harry Vandyne, Walter Morse, Jim Libby and that old shell-back, Bob
Brace, on the brig Bonita. The boys discover a mysterious document which
enables them to find a buried treasure. They are stranded on an island
and at last are rescued with the treasure. The boys are sure to be
fascinated with this entertaining story.


+The Treasure Finders+: A Boy's Adventures in Nicaragua. By JAMES OTIS.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Roy and Dean Coloney, with their guide Tongla, leave their father's
indigo plantation to visit the wonderful ruins of an ancient city. The
boys eagerly explore the temples of an extinct race and discover three
golden images cunningly hidden away. They escape with the greatest
difficulty. Eventually they reach safety with their golden prizes. We
doubt if there ever was written a more entertaining story than "The
Treasure Finders."


+Jack, the Hunchback.+ A Story of the Coast of Maine. By JAMES OTIS. Price
$1.00.

This is the story of a little hunchback who lived on Cape Elizabeth, on
the coast of Maine. His trials and successes are most interesting. From
first to last nothing stays the interest of the narrative. It bears us
along as on a stream whose current varies in direction, but never loses
its force.


+With Washington at Monmouth+: A Story of Three Philadelphia Boys. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price
$1.50.

Three Philadelphia lads assist the American spies and make regular and
frequent visits to Valley Forge in the Winter while the British occupied
the city. The story abounds with pictures of Colonial life skillfully
drawn, and the glimpses of Washington's soldiers which are given shown
that the work has not been hastily done, or without considerable study.
The story is wholesome and patriotic in tone, as are all of Mr. Otis'
works.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+With Lafayette at Yorktown+: A Story of How Two Boys Joined the
Continental Army. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges,
illustrated, price $1.50.

Two lads from Portsmouth, N. H., attempt to enlist in the Colonial Army,
and are given employment as spies. There is no lack of exciting
incidents which the youthful reader craves, but it is healthful
excitement brimming with facts which every boy should be familiar with,
and while the reader is following the adventures of Ben Jaffrays and Ned
Allen he is acquiring a fund of historical lore which will remain in his
memory long after that which he has memorized from textbooks has been
forgotten.


+At the Siege of Havana.+ Being the Experiences of Three Boys Serving
under Israel Putnam in 1762. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth,
olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"At the Siege of Havana" deals with that portion of the island's history
when the English king captured the capital, thanks to the assistance
given by the troops from New England, led in part by Col. Israel Putnam.

The principal characters are Darius Lunt, the lad who, represented as
telling the story, and his comrades, Robert Clement and Nicholas Vallet.
Colonel Putnam also figures to considerable extent, necessarily, in the
tale, and the whole forms one of the most readable stories founded on
historical facts.


+The Defense of Fort Henry.+ A Story of Wheeling Creek in 1777. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

Nowhere in the history of our country can be found more heroic or
thrilling incidents than in the story of those brave men and women who
founded the settlement of Wheeling in the Colony of Virginia. The
recital of what Elizabeth Zane did is in itself as heroic a story as can
be imagined. The wondrous bravery displayed by Major McCulloch and his
gallant comrades, the sufferings of the colonists and their sacrifice of
blood and life, stir the blood of old as well as young readers.


+The Capture of the Laughing Mary.+ A Story of Three New York Boys in
1776. By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, price $1.50.

"During the British occupancy of New York, at the outbreak of the
Revolution, a Yankee lad hears of the plot to take General Washington's
person, and calls in two companions to assist the patriot cause. They do
some astonishing things, and, incidentally, lay the way for an American
navy later, by the exploit which gives its name to the work. Mr. Otis'
books are too well known to require any particular commendation to the
young."--+Evening Post.+


+With Warren at Bunker Hill.+ A Story of the Siege of Boston. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, ornamental cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"This is a tale of the siege of Boston, which opens on the day after the
doings at Lexington and Concord, with a description of home life in
Boston, introduces the reader to the British camp at Charlestown, shows
Gen. Warren at home, describes what a boy thought of the battle of
Bunker Hill, and closes with the raising of the siege. The three heroes,
George Wentworth, Ben Scarlett and an old ropemaker, incur the enmity of
a young Tory, who causes them many adventures the boys will like to
read."--+Detroit Free Press.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+With the Swamp Fox.+ The Story of General Marion's Spies. By JAMES OTIS.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story deals with General Francis Marion's heroic struggle in the
Carolinas. General Marion's arrival to take command of these brave men
and rough riders is pictured as a boy might have seen it, and although
the story is devoted to what the lads did, the Swamp Fox is ever present
in the mind of the reader.


+On the Kentucky Frontier.+ A Story of the Fighting Pioneers of the West.
By JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

In the history of our country there is no more thrilling story than that
of the work done on the Mississippi river by a handful of frontiersmen.
Mr. Otis takes the reader on that famous expedition from the arrival of
Major Clarke's force at Corn Island, until Kaskaskia was captured. He
relates that part of Simon Kenton's life history which is not usually
touched upon either by the historian or the story teller. This is one of
the most entertaining books for young people which has been published.


+Sarah Dillard's Ride.+ A Story of South Carolina in 1780. By JAMES OTIS.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This book deals with the Carolinas in 1780, giving a wealth of detail
of the Mountain Men who struggled so valiantly against the king's
troops. Major Ferguson is the prominent British officer of the story,
which is told as though coming from a youth who experienced these
adventures. In this way the famous ride of Sarah Dillard is brought out
as an incident of the plot."--+Boston Journal.+


+A Tory Plot.+ A Story of the Attempt to Kill General Washington. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"'A Tory Plot' is the story of two lads who overhear something of the
plot originated during the Revolution by Gov. Tryon to capture or murder
Washington. They communicate their knowledge to Gen. Putnam and are
commissioned by him to play the role of detectives In the matter. They
do so, and meet with many adventures and hairbreadth escapes. The boys
are, of course, mythical, but they serve to enable the author to put
into very attractive shape much valuable knowledge concerning one phase
of the Revolution."--+Pittsburgh Times.+


+A Traitor's Escape.+ A Story of the Attempt to Seize Benedict Arnold. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This is a tale with stirring scenes depicted in each chapter, bringing
clearly before the mind the glorious deeds of the early settlers in this
country. In an historical work dealing with this country's past, no plot
can hold the attention closer than this one, which describes the attempt
and partial success of Benedict Arnold's escape to New York, where he
remained as the guest of Sir Henry Clinton. All those who actually
figured in the arrest of the traitor, as well as Gen. Washington, are
included as characters."--+Albany Union.+


+A Cruise with Paul Jones.+ A Story of Naval Warfare in 1776. By JAMES
OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"This story takes up that portion of Paul Jones' adventurous life when
he was hovering off the British coast, watching for an opportunity to
strike the enemy a blow. It deals more particularly with his descent
upon Whitehaven, the seizure of Lady Selkirk's plate, and the famous
battle with the Drake. The boy who figures in the tale is one who was
taken from a derelict by Paul Jones shortly after this particular cruise
was begun."--+Chicago Inter-Ocean.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Corporal Lige's Recruit.+ A Story of Crown Point and Ticonderoga. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"In 'Corporal Lige's Recruit,' Mr. Otis tells the amusing story of an
old soldier, proud of his record, who had served the king in '58, and
who takes the lad, Isaac Rice, as his 'personal recruit.' The lad
acquits himself superbly. Col. Ethan Allen 'in the name of God and the
continental congress,' infuses much martial spirit into the narrative,
which will arouse the keenest interest as it proceeds. Crown Point,
Ticonderoga, Benedict Arnold and numerous other famous historical names
appear in this dramatic tale."--+Boston Globe.+


+Morgan, the Jersey Spy.+ A Story of the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. By
JAMES OTIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"The two lads who are utilized by the author to emphasize the details of
the work done during that memorable time were real boys who lived on the
banks of the York river, and who aided the Jersey spy in his dangerous
occupation. In the guise of fishermen the lads visit Yorktown, are
suspected of being spies, and put under arrest. Morgan risks his life to
save them. The final escape, the thrilling encounter with a squad of red
coats, when they are exposed equally to the bullets of friends and foes,
told in a masterly fashion, makes of this volume one of the most
entertaining books of the year."--+Inter-Ocean.+


+The Young Scout+: The Story of a West Point Lieutenant. By EDWARD S.
ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The crafty Apache chief Geronimo but a few years ago was the most
terrible scourge of the southwest border. The author has woven, in a
tale of thrilling interest, all the incidents of Geronimo's last raid.
The hero is Lieutenant James Decker, a recent graduate of West Point.
Ambitious to distinguish himself the young man takes many a desperate
chance against the enemy and on more than one occasion narrowly escapes
with his life. In our opinion Mr. Ellis is the best writer of Indian
stories now before the public.


+Adrift in the Wilds+: The Adventures of Two Shipwrecked Boys. By EDWARD
S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Elwood Brandon and Howard Lawrence are en route for San Francisco. Off
the coast of California the steamer takes fire. The two boys reach the
shore with several of the passengers. Young Brandon becomes separated
from his party and is captured by hostile Indians, but is afterwards
rescued. This is a very entertaining narrative of Southern California.


+A Young Hero+; or, Fighting to Win. By EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

This story tells how a valuable solid silver service was stolen from the
Misses Perkinpine, two very old and simple minded ladies. Fred Sheldon,
the hero of this story, undertakes to discover the thieves and have them
arrested. After much time spent in detective work, he succeeds in
discovering the silver plate and winning the reward. The story is told
in Mr. Ellis' most fascinating style. Every boy will be glad to read
this delightful book.


+Lost in the Rockies.+ A Story of Adventure in the Rocky Mountains. By
EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and
at the end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced
breathless enjoyment in this romantic story describing many adventures
in the Rockies and among the Indians.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+A Jaunt Through Java+: The Story of a Journey to the Sacred Mountain. By
EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The interest of this story is found in the thrilling adventures of two
cousins, Hermon and Eustace Hadley, on their trip across the island of
Java, from Samarang to the Sacred Mountain. In a land where the Royal
Bengal tiger, the rhinoceros, and other fierce beasts are to be met
with, it is but natural that the heroes of this book should have a
lively experience. There is not a dull page in the book.


+The Boy Patriot.+ A Story of Jack, the Young Friend of Washington. By
EDWARD S. ELLIS. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, illustrated, price $1.50.

"There are adventures of all kinds for the hero and his friends, whose
pluck and ingenuity in extricating themselves from awkward fixes are
always equal to the occasion. It is an excellent story full of honest,
manly, patriotic efforts on the part of the hero. A very vivid
description of the battle of Trenton is also found in this
story."--+Journal of Education.+


+A Yankee Lad's Pluck.+ How Bert Larkin Saved his Father's Ranch in Porto
Rico. By WM. P. CHIPMAN. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

"Bert Larkin, the hero of the story, early excites our admiration, and
is altogether a fine character such as boys will delight in, whilst the
story of his numerous adventures is very graphically told. This will, we
think, prove one of the most popular boys' books this season."--+Gazette.+


+A Brave Defense.+ A Story of the Massacre at Fort Griswold in 1781. By
WILLIAM P. CHIPMAN. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Perhaps no more gallant fight against fearful odds took place during the
Revolutionary War than that at Fort Griswold, Groton Heights, Conn., in
1781. The boys are real boys who were actually on the muster rolls,
either at Fort Trumbull on the New London side, or of Fort Griswold on
the Groton side of the Thames. The youthful reader who follows Halsey
Sanford and Levi Dart and Tom Malleson, and their equally brave
comrades, through their thrilling adventures will be learning something
more than historical facts; they will be imbibing lessons of fidelity,
of bravery, of heroism, and of manliness, which must prove serviceable
in the arena of life.


+The Young Minuteman.+ A Story of the Capture of General Prescott in 1777.
By WILLIAM P. CHIPMAN. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story is based upon actual events which occurred during the British
occupation of the waters of Narragansett Bay. Darius Wale and William
Northrop belong to "the coast patrol." The story is a strong one,
dealing only with actual events. There is, however, no lack of thrilling
adventure, and every lad who is fortunate enough to obtain the book will
find not only that his historical knowledge is increased, but that his
own patriotism and love of country are deepened.


+For the Temple+: A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by S. J. SOLOMON. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty's graphic prose picture of the hopeless Jewish resistance to
Roman sway adds another leaf to his record of the famous wars of the
world. The book is one of Mr. Henty's cleverest efforts."--+Graphic.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Roy Gilbert's Search+: A Tale of the Great Lakes. By WM. P. CHIPMAN.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

A deep mystery hangs over the parentage of Roy Gilbert. He arranges with
two schoolmates to make a tour of the Great Lakes on a steam launch. The
three boys visit many points of interest on the lakes. Afterwards the
lads rescue an elderly gentleman and a lady from a sinking yacht. Later
on the boys narrowly escape with their lives. The hero is a manly,
self-reliant boy, whose adventures will be followed with interest.


+The Slate Picker+: The Story of a Boy's Life in the Coal Mines. By HARRY
PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a story of a boy's life in the coal mines of Pennsylvania. Ben
Burton, the hero, had a hard road to travel, but by grit and energy he
advanced step by step until he found himself called upon to fill the
position of chief engineer of the Kohinoor Coal Company. This is a book
of extreme interest to every boy reader.


+The Boy Cruisers+; or, Paddling in Florida. By ST. GEORGE RATHBORNE.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00

Andrew George and Rowland Carter start on a canoe trip along the Gulf
coast, from Key West to Tampa, Florida. Their first adventure is with a
pair of rascals who steal their boats. Next they run into a gale in the
Gulf. After that they have a lively time with alligators and Andrew gets
into trouble with a band of Seminole Indians. Mr. Rathborne knows just
how to interest the boys, and lads who are in search of a rare treat
will do well to read this entertaining story.


+Captured by Zulus+: A Story of Trapping in Africa. By HARRY PRENTICE.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

This story details the adventures of two lads, Dick Elsworth and Bob
Harvey, in the wilds of South Africa. By stratagem the Zulus capture
Dick and Bob and take them to their principal kraal or village. The lads
escape death by digging their way out of the prison hut by night. They
are pursued, but the Zulus finally give up pursuit. Mr. Prentice tells
exactly how wild-beast collectors secure specimens on their native
stamping grounds, and these descriptions make very entertaining reading.


+Tom the Ready+; or, Up from the Lowest. By RANDOLPH HILL. 12mo, cloth,
illustrated, price $1.00.

This is a dramatic narrative of the unaided rise of a fearless,
ambitious boy from the lowest round of fortune's ladder to wealth and
the governorship of his native State. Tom Seacomb begins life with a
purpose, and eventually overcomes those who oppose him. How he manages
to win the battle is told by Mr. Hill in a masterful way that thrills
the reader and holds his attention and sympathy to the end.


+Captain Kidd's Gold+: The True Story of an Adventurous Sailor Boy. By
JAMES FRANKLIN FITTS. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

There is something fascinating to the average youth in the very idea of
buried treasure. A vision arises before his eyes of swarthy Portuguese
and Spanish rascals, with black beards and gleaming eyes. There were
many famous sea rovers, but none more celebrated than Capt. Kidd. Paul
Jones Garry inherits a document which locates a considerable treasure
buried by two of Kidd's crew. The hero of this book is an ambitious,
persevering lad, of salt-water New England ancestry, and his efforts to
reach the island and secure the money form one of the most absorbing
tales for our youth that has come from the press.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+The Boy Explorers+: The Adventures of Two Boys in Alaska. By HARRY
PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Two boys, Raymond and Spencer Manning, travel to Alaska to join their
father in search of their uncle. On their arrival at Sitka the boys with
an Indian guide set off across the mountains. The trip is fraught with
perils that test the lads' courage to the utmost. All through their
exciting adventures the lads demonstrate what can be accomplished by
pluck and resolution, and their experience makes one of the most
interesting tales ever written.


+The Island Treasure+; or, Harry Darrel's Fortune. By FRANK H. CONVERSE.
12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Harry Darrel, having received a nautical training on a school-ship, is
bent on going to sea. A runaway horse changes his prospects. Harry saves
Dr. Gregg from drowning and afterward becomes sailing-master of a sloop
yacht. Mr. Converse's stories possess a charm of their own which is
appreciated by lads who delight in good healthy tales that smack of salt
water.


+Guy Harris+: The Runaway. By HARRY CASTLEMON. 12mo, cloth, illustrated,
price $1.00.

Guy Harris lived in a small city on the shore of one of the Great Lakes.
He is persuaded to go to sea, and gets a glimpse of the rough side of
life in a sailor's boarding house. He ships on a vessel and for five
months leads a hard life. The book will interest boys generally on
account of its graphic style. This is one of Castlemon's most attractive
stories.


+Julian Mortimer+: A Brave Boy's Struggle for Home and Fortune. By HARRY
CASTLEMON. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

The scene of the story lies west of the Mississippi River, in the days
when emigrants made their perilous way across the great plains to the
land of gold. There is an attack upon the wagon train by a large party
of Indians. Our hero is lad of uncommon nerve and pluck. Befriended by a
stalwart trapper, a real rough diamond, our hero achieves the most happy
results.


+By Pike and Dyke+: A Tale of the Rise of the Dutch Republic. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations by MAYNARD BROWN. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges,
price $1.00.

"Boys with a turn for historical research will be enchanted with the
book, while the rest who only care for adventure will be students in
spite of themselves."--+St. James's Gazette.+


+St. George for England+: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"A story of very great interest for boys. In his own forcible style the
author has endeavored to show that determination and enthusiasm can
accomplish marvellous results; and that courage is generally accompanied
by magnanimity and gentleness."--+Pall Mall Gazette.+


+Captain Bayley's Heir+: A Tale of the Gold Fields of California. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations by H. M. PAGET. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges,
price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty is careful to mingle instruction with entertainment; and the
humorous touches, especially in the sketch of John Holl, the Westminster
dustman, Dickens himself could hardly have excelled."--+Christian Leader.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+Budd Boyd's Triumph+; or, The Boy Firm of Fox Island. By WILLIAM P.
CHIPMAN. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

The scene of this story is laid on the upper part of Narragansett Bay,
and the leading incidents have a strong salt-water flavor. The two boys,
Budd Boyd and Judd Floyd, being ambitious and clear sighted, form a
partnership to catch and sell fish. Budd's pluck and good sense carry
him through many troubles. In following the career of the boy firm of
Boyd & Floyd, the youthful reader will find a useful lesson--that
industry and perseverance are bound to lead to ultimate success.


+Lost in the Canyon+: Sam Willett's Adventures on the Great Colorado. By
ALFRED R. CALHOUN. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.

This story hinges on a fortune left to Sam Willett, the hero, and the
fact that it will pass to a disreputable relative if the lad dies before
he shall have reached his majority. The story of his father's peril and
of Sam's desperate trip down the great canyon on a raft, and how the
party finally escape from their perils is described in a graphic Style
that stamps Mr. Calhoun as a master of his art.


+Captured by Apes+: The Wonderful Adventures of a Young Animal Trainer. By
HARRY PRENTICE. 12mo, cloth, illustrated, price $1.00.

Philip Garland, a young animal collector and trainer, sets sail for
Eastern seas in quest of a new stock of living curiosities. The vessel
is wrecked off the coast of Borneo, and young Garland is cast ashore on
a small island, and captured by the apes that overrun the place. Very
novel indeed is the way by which the young man escapes death. Mr.
Prentice is a writer of undoubted skill.


+Under Drake's Flag+: A Tale of the Spanish Main. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"There is not a dull chapter, nor, indeed, a dull page in the book; but
the author has so carefully worked up his subject that the exciting
deeds of his heroes are never incongruous nor absurd."--+Observer.+


+By Sheer Pluck+: A Tale of the Ashanti War. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

The author has woven, in a tale of thrilling interest, all the details
of the Ashanti campaign, of which he was himself a witness.

"Mr. Henty keeps up his reputation as a writer of boys' stories. 'By
Sheer Pluck' will be eagerly read."--+Athenæum.+


+With Lee in Virginia+: A Story of the American Civil War. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"One of the best stories for lads which Mr. Henty has yet written. The
picture is full of life and color, and the stirring and romantic
incidents are skillfully blended with the personal interest and charm of
the story."--+Standard.+


+By England's Aid+; or, The Freeing of the Netherlands (1585-1604). By G.
A. HENTY. With illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE. 12mo, cloth, olivine
edges, price $1.00.

"It is an admirable book for youngsters. It overflows with stirring
incident and exciting adventure, and the color of the era and of the
scene are finely reproduced. The illustrations add to its
attractiveness."--+Boston Gazette.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+By Right of Conquest+; or, With Cortez in Mexico. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by W. S. STACEY. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.50.

"The conquest of Mexico by a small band of resolute men under the
magnificent leadership of Cortez is always rightfully ranked among the
most romantic and daring exploits in history. 'By Right of Conquest' is
the nearest approach to a perfectly successful historical tale that Mr.
Henty has yet published."--+Academy.+


+For Name and Fame+; or, Through Afghan Passes. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Not only a rousing story, replete with all the varied forms of
excitement of a campaign, but, what is still more useful, an account of
a territory and its inhabitants which must for a long time possess a
supreme interest for Englishmen, as being the key to our Indian
Empire."--+Glasgow Herald.+


+The Bravest of the Brave+; or, With Peterborough in Spain. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations by H. M. PAGET. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges,
price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty never loses sight of the moral purpose of his work--to
enforce the doctrine of courage and truth, mercy and loving kindness, as
indispensable to the making of a gentleman. Boys will read. 'The Bravest
of the Brave' with pleasure and profit; of that we are quite
sure."--+Daily Telegraph.+


+The Cat of Bubastes+: A Story of Ancient Egypt. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The story, from the critical moment of the killing of the sacred cat to
the perilous exodus into Asia with which it closes, is very skillfully
constructed and full of exciting adventures. It is admirably
illustrated."--+Saturday Review.+


+Bonnie Prince Charlie+: A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"Ronald, the hero, is very like the hero of 'Quentin Durward.' The lad's
journey across France, and his hairbreadth escapes, makes up as good a
narrative of the kind as we have ever read. For freshness of treatment
and variety of incident Mr. Henty has surpassed himself."--+Spectator.+


+With Clive in India+; or, The Beginnings of an Empire. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"He has taken a period of Indian history of the most vital importance,
and he has embroidered on the historical facts a story which of itself
is deeply interesting. Young people assuredly will be delighted with the
volume."--+Scotsman.+


+In the Reign of Terror+: The Adventures of a Westminster Boy. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations by J. SCHÖNBERG. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges,
price $1.00.

"Harry Sandwith, the Westminster boy, may fairly be said to beat Mr.
Henty's record. His adventures will delight boys by the audacity and
peril they depict. The story is one of Mr. Henty's best."--+Saturday
Review.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+The Lion of the North+: A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and the Wars of
Religion. By G. A. HENTY. With illustrations by JOHN SCHÖNBERG. 12mo,
cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"A praiseworthy attempt to interest British youth in the great deeds of
the Scotch Brigade in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus. Mackey, Hepburn,
and Munro live again in Mr. Henty's pages, as those deserve to live
whose disciplined bands formed really the germ of the modern British
army."--+Athenæum.+


+The Dragon and the Raven+; or, The Days of King Alfred. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by C. J. STANILAND. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"In this story the author gives an account of the fierce struggle
between Saxon and Dane for supremacy in England, and presents a vivid
picture of the misery and ruin to which the country was reduced by the
ravages of the sea-wolves. The story is treated in a manner most
attractive to the boyish reader."--+Athenæum.+


+The Young Carthaginian+: A Story of the Times of Hannibal. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations by C. J. STANILAND. 12mo, cloth, olivine
edges, price $1.00.

"Well constructed and vividly told. From first to last nothing stays the
interest of the narrative. It bears us along as on a stream whose
current varies in direction, but never loses its force."--+Saturday
Review.+


+In Freedom's Cause+: A Story of Wallace and Bruce. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"It is written in the author's best style. Full of the wildest and most
remarkable achievements, it is a tale of great interest, which a boy,
once he has begun it, will not willingly put one side."--+The
Schoolmaster.+


+With Wolfe in Canada+; or, The Winning of a Continent. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"A model of what a boys' story-book should be. Mr. Henty has a great
power of infusing into the dead facts of history new life, and as no
pains are spared by him to ensure accuracy In historic details, his
books supply useful aids to study as well as amusement."--+School
Guardian.+


+True to the Old Flag+: A Tale of the American War of Independence. By G.
A. HENTY. With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine
edges, price $1.00.

"Does justice to the pluck and determination of the British soldiers
during the unfortunate struggle against American emancipation. The son
of an American loyalist, who remains true to our flag, falls among the
hostile red-skins in that very Huron country which has been endeared to
us by the exploits of Hawkeye and Chingachgook."--+The Times.+


+A Final Reckoning+: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations by W. B. WOLLEN. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"All boys will read this story with eager and unflagging interest. The
episodes are in Mr. Henty's very best vein--graphic, exciting,
realistic; and, as in all Mr. Henty's books, the tendency is to the
formation of an honorable, manly, and even heroic
character."--+Birmingham Post.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+The Lion of St. Mark+: A Tale of Venice in the Fourteenth Century. By G.
A. HENTY. With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine
edges, price $1.00.

"Every boy should read 'The Lion of St. Mark.' Mr. Henty has never
produced a story more delightful, more wholesome, or more
vivacious."--+Saturday Review.+


+Facing Death+; or, The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of the Coal Mines.
By G. A. HENTY. With illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth,
olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The tale is well written and well illustrated, and there is much
reality in the characters. If any father, clergyman, or schoolmaster is
on the lookout for a good book to give as a present to a boy who is
worth his salt, this is the book we would recommend."--+Standard.+


+Maori and Settler+: A Story of the New Zealand War. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"In the adventures among the Maoris, there are many breathless moments
in which the odds seem hopelessly against the party, but they succeed in
establishing themselves happily in one of the pleasant New Zealand
valleys. It is brimful of adventure, of humorous and interesting
conversation, and vivid pictures of colonial life."--+Schoolmaster.+


+One of the 28th+: A Tale of Waterloo. By G. A. HENTY. With illustrations
by W. H. OVEREND. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Written with Homeric vigor and heroic inspiration. It is graphic,
picturesque, and dramatically effective ... shows us Mr. Henty at his
best and brightest. The adventures will hold a boy enthralled as he
rushes through them with breathless interest 'from cover to
cover.'"--+Observer.+


+Orange and Green+: A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The narrative is free from the vice of prejudice, and ripples with life
as if what is being described were really passing before the
eye."--+Belfast News-Letter.+


+Through the Fray+: A Story of the Luddite Riots. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations by H. M. PAGET. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty inspires a love and admiration for straightforwardness, truth
and courage. This is one of the best of the many good books Mr. Henty
has produced, and deserves to be classed with his 'Facing
Death.'"--+Standard.+


+The Young Midshipman+: A Story of the Bombardment of Alexandria. With
illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

A coast fishing lad, by an act of heroism, secures the interest of a
shipowner, who places him as an apprentice on board one of his ships. In
company with two of his fellow-apprentices he is left behind, at
Alexandria, in the hands of the revolted Egyptian troops, and is present
through the bombardment and the scenes of riot and bloodshed which
accompanied it.


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.


BOOKS FOR BOYS.

+In Times of Peril.+ A Tale of India. By G. A. HENTY. With illustrations.
12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The hero of the story early excites our admiration, and is altogether a
fine character such as boys will delight in, whilst the story of the
campaign is very graphically told."--+St. James's Gazette.+


+The Cornet of Horse+: A Tale of Marlborough's Wars. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.

"Mr. Henty not only concocts a thrilling tale, he weaves fact and
fiction together with so skillful a hand that the reader cannot help
acquiring a just and clear view of that fierce and terrible struggle
known as the Crimean War."--+Athenæum.+


+The Young Franc-Tireurs+: Their Adventures in the Franco-Prussian War. By
G. A. HENTY. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price
$1.00.

"A capital book for boys. It is bright and readable, and full of good
sense and manliness. It teaches pluck and patience in adversity, and
shows that right living leads to success."--+Observer.+


+The Young Colonists+: A Story of Life and War in South Africa. By G. A.
HENTY. With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"No boy needs to have any story of Henty's recommended to him, and
parents who do not know and buy them for their boys should be ashamed of
themselves. Those to whom he is yet unknown could not make a better
beginning than with this book."


+The Young Buglers.+ A Tale of the Peninsular War. By G. A. HENTY. With
illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.

"Mr. Henty is a giant among boys' writers, and his books are
sufficiently popular to be sure of a welcome anywhere. In stirring
interest, this is quite up to the level of Mr. Henty's former historical
tales."--+Saturday Review.+


+Sturdy and Strong+; or, How George Andrews Made his Way. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"The history of a hero of everyday life, whose love of truth, clothing
of modesty, and innate pluck, carry him, naturally, from poverty to
affluence. George Andrews is an example of character with nothing to
cavil at, and stands as a good instance of chivalry in domestic
life."--+The Empire.+


+Among Malay Pirates.+ A Story of Adventure and Peril. By G. A. HENTY.
With illustrations. 12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Incident succeeds incident, and adventure is piled upon adventure, and
at the end the reader, be he boy or man, will have experienced
breathless enjoyment in a romantic story that must have taught him much
at its close."--+Army and Navy Gazette.+


+Jack Archer.+ A Tale of the Crimea. By G. A. HENTY. With illustrations.
12mo, cloth, olivine edges, price $1.00.

"Mr. Henty not only concocts a thrilling tale, he weaves fact and
fiction together with so skillful a hand that the reader cannot help
acquiring a just and clear view of that fierce and terrible
struggle."--+Athenæum.+


For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price by the
publisher, +A. L. BURT, 52-58 Duane Street, New York+.



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Trancriber's note:

A Table of Contents has been added.





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