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Title: Too Clever by Half
Author: John Lang
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Language: English
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------------------------------------------------------------------------

TOO CLEVER BY HALF:

OR,

THE HARROWAYS.


By


JOHN LANG, ESQ.,

AUTHOR OF "THE FORGER'S WIFE," "MY FRIEND'S WIFE," "CAPTAIN MACDONALD,"
"SECRET POLICE," ETC. ETC.


With numerous Engravings.


LONDON; WARD, LOCK, & TYLER, 
WARWICK HOUSE, PATERNOSTER ROW.


Originally published as a serial in The Mofussilite 1847-48, and as a
book by Nathaniel Cooke, Milford House, Strand, London in 1853.



TOO CLEVER BY HALF:

OR,

THE HARROWAYS.




CHAPTER I.

SAMUEL FREEPORT was a younger son. His father made no provision for
him beyond getting him a commission in one of his late Majesty's
Regiments of Foot; for he was quite satisfied that Sam's propensities
would induce him to squander every shilling. The old man, therefore,
on leaving the world, recommended him to the care of his brothers, who
were three in number.

Sam had been very lucky in promotion. At the age of twenty-four he had
his company. He had given it out that he was to come in for an enormous
fortune at his father's decease, and he was not a little disgusted when
the melancholy truth was broken unto him--namely, that he was dependent
on his elder brethren, with whom he had no sort of sympathy.

The only consolation that Freeport found in these circumstances was
afforded by his vanity, which prompted him to think he might marry a
dowager duchess, or some single heiress equally wealthy. Our hero was
wrong in his opinion--that he was the handsomest man in the world. At
the same time, he was what may be termed a very good looking fellow. He
stood about five feet ten, had a fine open countenance, laughing blue
eyes, and a small mouth, about which was ever playing a very winning
smile. He was a favourite with most people, but a "pet" in his corps;
for all the members, from the colonel to the junior ensign, loved him
for his good temper, and excessively kind heart. Sam used frequently
to draw largely on his imagination, but no one ever heard him say an
ill-natured word against any man breathing. The sole object of his
invention was the amusement of those who listened to his stories. In
proportion to his warmth of heart he had a coolness of disposition;
which in other men would have amounted to impudence; but in Sam
Freeport it was wit.

At the time when he heard of his father's death, the corps was ordered
to march from Huddersfield to York, and in the month of December
entered that ancient city, at about four o'clock in the afternoon, the
band playing vigorously


"Oh! they marched through the town,
With their banners so gay."


Sam gave a boy sixpence to show him the way to the White Horse. He
called for the landlord, and inquired whether the Earl of Dunburley
was staying there. He was answered in the negative. Sam expressed
his surprise, as he said his lordship told him he would certainly be
there on the 18th. The landlord suggested that something might have
interfered with his lordship's intentions. Sam said it was very likely,
and then inquired if anything was going on in York.

"Why no, sir, nothing particular; and until the assize ball, I take
it, we shall not have much gaiety. The Newshams give an evening party
to-night, to which I believe everybody is invited."

"Who is Newsham?"

"Mr. Newsham, sir, is our leading attorney, and transacts the business
of all the first men in the county."

"I wonder if he could give me any intelligence of my friend, Lord
Dunburley?"

"It is not at all improbable, sir."

"Where does he live? Can I get a chaise here?"

"Certainly, sir."

A chaise was ordered, and Sam Freeport was conveyed to the house of Mr.
Newsham, "the leading attorney."

After apologizing for calling at such an hour, Sam Freeport said he
wished to consult Mr. Newsham on a matter of business; that he had
some twenty thousand pounds in the funds, which he wished to draw out,
and invest at a more profitable rate of interest--for instance, upon
mortgage of landed property in Yorkshire.

Mr. Newsham remarked that the matter could be very easily effected, and
Sam gave him the necessary instructions for a power of attorney. He
then inquired after his friend the Earl of Dunburley, and affected a
mysterious astonishment when informed that his lordship had gone upon
the continent.

"Which is the first inn in York, Mr. Newsham?"

"The White Horse!"

"Thank you," returned Sam, looking at his watch. "I fear I am too late
for mess, and must----"

"I am about to dine, and if you will give me the pleasure of your
company, I shall be delighted!"

Sam said, "You are very kind; really--I--shall have much pleasure."

Mr. Newsham and Sam dined tête-à-tête. Mrs. Newsham and her four
daughters had dined at half-past two, and had been hard at work since
that hour in making preparations for the forthcoming gaiety. By eight
o'clock Sam had disposed of more than one bottle of very superior
Madeira, which had been presented to his host by a client of whom he
was not a little proud.

It was a peculiarity of Freeport that he discarded all sorts of
formality and stiffness on very short acquaintance, and when his host
broke to him that they had a party at which he hoped Sam would be
present, Sam replied, "My dear fellow, Newsham, it will delight me. I
like your company and conversation, and I'd go to the other end of the
world to serve you."

This, coming from a man who had twenty thousand pounds in the funds,
and who was for investing it on mortgage, touched Newsham's heart, and
made him respond in these words--"Captain Freeport, I not only respect
you as the friend of Lord Dunburley, but I regard you with esteem for
your inherent good qualities."

"Give me your hand," said Sam. (Newsham gave it.) "Never mind my good
qualities and Dunburley; but if you love me, call me Captain Freeport
no longer, but simply Sam."

A note, or rather a memorandum, came in to Mr. N. from his wife. It ran
thus:--"It is now past nine, and there are you sitting, telling those
stupid stories of yours, and never thinking that people are coming, and
that room will be wanted for the coffee. When are we to expect you
to leave that room?"

Newsham wrote in pencil,--"Don't be angry, love; I'll come presently.
Captain Freeport, of the----Foot (a man of large fortune), is with me
on business."

Sam saw there was a domestic screw loose, and proposed going home to
dress. Newsham said, "Your quarters are at some distance. You will do
very well as you are." But Sam was too vain to yield to this, and left
his host for the purpose of attiring himself in his uniform.

Sam had a faithful servant, named Blew, who always awaited his master's
coming, no matter at what hour. As soon as Sam's voice was heard, the
candles were lighted, and everything in readiness. Orders were given
to get out the articles of dress which Sam required; and while Blew
was engaged in obeying the mandate, Sam pored over his MS. book of
complimentary quotations, culled from the British poets of all times.
He didn't know a soul of the party to which he was going, and therefore
looked for something as general as possible. The following struck him
as "very good," and he applied himself to commit it to memory:--


"Oh, were those eyes in heav'n
They'd through the starry region shine so bright
That birds would sing, and think it was the morn."


Sam had repeated these verses at least eighteen times; but as he pulled
on his gloves, he thought it would be right to test his accuracy, and
therefore called on Blew to take the book and hear him.

"Oh were those eyes in heaven, the birds would chirp and swear it's
morning."

"Not exactly, sir," said Blew; "you've missed the middle line."

"What middle line?"

"They'd through the starry region shine so bright."

"What's the use of the starry region? They're much better without it."

"So I should say, sir; but it is here in the book."

"Oh, never mind that. What is it? 'O were the birds in heaven, they'd
swear those eyes'--What is it?"

Blew repeated--


"Oh, were those eyes in heaven,
The birds would sing, and think it was the morn."


"I've left out the middle line, sir."

"Let us have another look at the book," said Sam. "There, now I have
it. Tell Mr. Harroway I have dined out, and gone to a ball."

The air had had some effect upon Freeport, and he felt as though some
of Mr. Newsham's Madeira had got into the heels of his boots: not that
he was intoxicated, or thereto approaching. His capacity for wine was
enormous, and he had tested it too frequently to admit of his yielding
to the strongest of grape juice. With his mental faculties quite clear,
and his body perfectly erect, he experienced merely a slight to-and-fro
movement from the knees downwards.

Mr. Newsham stood near the door of the dancing-room to receive his
warm-hearted acquaintance. Freeport was now introduced to the lady of
the house and her daughters--four very good looking girls, who were all
dressed exactly alike.

There was a rich and comfortable look about the abode of the leading
attorney, and Sam suddenly made up his mind to be on very good terms
with the family, as long as the corps was quartered in York.

The girls were not handsome, nor were they what is termed "highly
accomplished." But they were famed for feats of horsewomanship, and
their manners were somewhat masculine, and strikingly in contrast with
their graceful and very feminine appearance. Their conversation, too,
was peculiar. It partook so much of out-door matters.

It was Anne Newsham's birth-day. Anne was the youngest but one.
Freeport solicited her to dance with him. She rose abruptly from the
ottoman, and took his arm.

"How do you like York?" said Anne, beginning the conversation.

"I have hardly had an opportunity of judging yet: but the little I have
seen has made a very favourable impression," replied Sam, sweetly.

"That's all gammon and spinach," observed his partner, with an honest
laugh.

"I assure you it is a fact," urged Sam, not a little taken aback.

"Do you intend to join the hunt, Captain Freeport?"

"Oh, certainly."

"That's right, and get all your friends to do the like. We shall have a
noble meeting this year, I hope."

"Do you take much interest in these matters?"

"Did not the governor tell you that we girls have been in at the death
of every fox that has been killed near this for the last four years?"

"No!"

"Then that's a wonder; for he tells every one."

It was impossible to know, and not to like the Misses Newsham, albeit
they were such very bold girls and said such very odd things. Sam was
charmed with Anne, and when the dance was over he lingered by her
chair, and talked about "the chase."

Before Sam left her he took an opportunity of getting rid of his
quotation,


"Oh were those eyes in heaven,
The birds would sing, and think it was the morn."


"More fools they," said Anne, looking him full in the face, and
squinting hideously. "The birds of the air are not green enough for
that, Captain Freeport."

Sam laughed loudly, and when Anne looked straight again, he felt a
decided affection for her.

"I'm afraid you will find York a very dull place, Captain Freeport,"
observed the hostess.

"Were it ever so dull," said Sam, "your contribution to the society
would enliven it."

"The girls are very lively, certainly," conceded Mrs. Newsham. "But the
place itself--I suspect you will not like the place. It is so fearfully
quiet--too much so for young people."

"I shall like it all the better for that," replied Sam, readily. "I
am very fond of sociality, but I cannot say I enjoy much gaiety and
racket."

"Well," said Mrs. Newsham, "that's just what I feel. A few friends and
a merry laugh: but the racket of continual parties is to me past all
endurance."

"You are quite right," quoth Freeport. "If you know people, know 'em
well; and if you can't know 'em well, why don't know 'em at all. That's
my principle."

"And so it is mine," said Mrs. Newsham.

"And if that principle were acted up to," added Sam, "there would no
longer be any truth in the saying, that 'you may have a church full of
acquaintances, but the pulpit will hold all your friends.'"

Mrs. Newsham was approached by a very important personage, of about
forty-five.

Freeport took the opportunity of getting away, and making up to
Newsham, who had just heard, so he said, of a splendid opportunity of
investing capital. By the time this little matter was talked over, it
was twelve o'clock, and supper was announced to be on table.

Before Freeport left the house, Mrs. Newsham asked Sam to take luncheon
with them on the following day. The reader will readily imagine he did
not refuse.




CHAPTER II.

"WHERE were you last night, Sam?" asked Mr. Harroway.

"At an evening party," was the reply. "Managed it beautifully."

"But where were you?"

"That's another matter. By and bye I'll introduce you, if you behave
yourself. Very nice family indeed. Hospitable father,--sensible
mother,--and the jolliest girls I ever met in the whole course of my
life, and no brother. By the bye, Harroway, as I told one of the girls
I had the best stud in the kingdom, I wish you would let me act as
owner of one or two of your best animals--the chesnut and the grey for
instance."

"Very well," said Harroway; "but don't forget they are mine--don't in
an enthusiastic moment make a present of them, as you did by Jemmy
Linton's family teapot."

"Never fear!" said Sam. "I'll buy a brace of good beasts as soon as my
credit is well-established in this place; but in the meantime I must
show myself off on yours; and if it would not make any great difference
to you, I should like to own your Stanhope."

"Very well, Sam; anything you like."

"I'll introduce you the day after to-morrow. I can't do so before then,
because I am establishing a little affair, and you might be in the way.
Do you see, Harroway? Fine girl--noble spirit--and money doubtless."

Harroway laughed, and Sam donned a very becoming "Mufty," in spite of
a positive order that no officer should appear in public, except in
uniform. The colonel was a very tight hand; but he had grown tired of
talking to Freeport about regimental matters, and in consequence, Sam
enjoyed a much envied impunity. It was generally said of Freeport that
he was the best fellow, but the worst officer in the British army.

With a complacent smile, Sam Freeport mounted the valuable grey of
his obliging chum, Lieut. Harroway, who was worth some six thousand
a year. Harroway's groom followed Sam on the chesnut, to the door of
Mr. Newsham's house, where our hero dismounted. The girls, from the
drawing-room windows, admired the beautiful creatures in the street, as
they were led up and down by the groom.

Mr. Newsham had risen very early and prepared the power of attorney;
but Sam said he had received letters from London, which would delay the
execution till somebody or other's formal consent was obtained to his
selling out his property in the stocks. The girls seemed glad to see
Sam, and their mother greeted him very warmly. At the suggestion of
Anne, the horses were sent round to the stable.

The time passed rapidly away, and it was now three o'clock. The girls
were going to ride that evening, and Sam offered to escort them. His
offer was accepted, and at four the cavalcade moved out of the old
city. Anne Newsham, at Sam's special request, rode the grey, and he
took the chesnut. As soon as they were outside the walls, Anne Newsham
called out to her eldest sister, "Jessie, lead the way across country."

"Come along!" cried Jessie, and putting her horse at a ditch, she
cleared it, and galloped across a long field, towards a five-barred
gate in the corner. Jessie was followed by Jane and Maria. Anne wished
to ride in company with Freeport, and "waited" on him. Sam was an
extremely bad horseman in a field, and he funked the ditch; but he
was ashamed to show his fear, and dashed at the leap like a man. The
chesnut took it, but Sam came on the animal's shoulder. Anne "lifted"
the grey over, and patted him on the neck as soon as the leap was
cleared.

"Here's a pretty business," said Sam to himself as they approached the
five-barred gate, and saw the other girls topping it. Anne again reined
in to wait on Freeport. Sam curbed up the chesnut, and wouldn't let him
take the gate; at the same time he called him "an obstinate rascal" for
not doing so.

"He will follow me," cried Anne, and she put the grey over the gate
with the most perfect ease imaginable.

[ANNE NEWSHAM SHOWS SAM HOW TO TAKE A GATE.]

"If I break my neck, here goes," muttered Sam. He gave the eager steed
his head, and was in the next field instanter. Sam was very nearly off:
but he explained this by saying that "the brute bucked it."

"I love a Buck Jumper," cried Anne, her cheeks glowing, and her eyes
sparkling with excitement, as they galloped side by side--towards a
hedge, which the other girls were making for.

"I'm blowed if I like any jumper at all," thought Sam, "and if I get
safe out of this, you'll not catch me coming cross-country again."

The hedge was a teazer, and Anne wished to show Sam her style of
riding. "Yohicks!" she cried, as the grey leapt with his light burden,
and cleared it gallantly. The chesnut followed, Sam holding like grim
death; but he was thrown, and with difficulty clung to the reins, and
prevented the chesnut leaving him to walk. Anne Newsham roared with
laughter, while she observed, "you are not much hurt."

"Yes I am though," responded Sam. "He stamped upon me." (This was not
true, but Sam had had enough of jumping, and didn't feel inclined for
any more.)

"Let us take to the road," suggested Sam.

"Very well," said Anne. "Get up--I'll show you the way."

Freeport got up, and they jogged on together. There was something very
captivating about Anne Newsham's voice; and she was a great talker.

"I envy you this dear horse," said Anne, as she leapt him out of the
field she had just leapt him into.

"Do you?" said Sam; "then he is yours."

"No, no, Captain Freeport. I would not deprive you of him."

"But you shall," urged Sam--"you shall give me yours in exchange."

"My horse is not so valuable a creature as this, but a very good one,
and I love him dearly. No, no, Captain Freeport--keep your grey. If I
should ask you to lend him to me for the next stag hunt I know you wont
refuse."

"Refuse!" exclaimed Sam. "If you asked me to cut the throats of the
pair of 'em I'd do it this moment."

"Are you sincere?" asked Anne.

"Sincere!" replied Sam. "Just pull up, and I'll get off and go down on
my knees and swear it."

The other girls had left Sam and Anne a long way behind, and reached
home half an hour before them. Sam made out that he was very much
bruised, and set up all sorts of wry faces when he got into the house.
He contrived, however, to eat a very hearty dinner, and to enjoy the
walnuts which Anne cracked for him when they all drew their chairs
round the fire, and Newsham filled the glasses with the choice Madeira.

Sam became warmed with the wine, he felt determined to effect an
exchange by giving Anne the grey for her own riding horse. She
declined hearing of such a thing at first, but inasmuch as he became
importunate, she observed, "Well, Captain Freeport, as you insist on
a swap, of course I can't hold out any longer. I'll send you Mazeppa
to-morrow morning."

"Mazeppa! Why, that's the name of the grey," said Sam.

"How very odd!" ejaculated Anne and all her sisters.

Now, the horse's name was not Mazeppa, but Gaffer Grey; and under that
name he had won several steeple chases; but it pleased Sam to have a
coincidence at the sacrifice of fact.

It was nearly eleven o'clock before Sam Freeport returned to his
quarters. Harroway was not there, and Sam smoked a solitary cheroot,
and talked to Anne Newsham, in his imagination, preparatory to turning
in for the night.

"I say, Sam--here's a very nice bit of horseflesh come here for you,"
said Harroway, next morning, shaking by the shoulder the sleeping Sam.
"Where did you pick him up?"

"Bit of what?" said Sam, rubbing his eyes with his forefinger knuckles.

"Horseflesh."

"Oh, it's some mistake; it is not for me. What a fellow you are, to
come and cruelly disturb a man in the middle of a delightful dream."

"How could I tell what you were dreaming about? By the bye, is it true
that you put a lassie upon the grey yesterday, and that the grey bolted
with her?"

This brought to Sam's recollection that the "bit of horseflesh" was
intended for him. He looked Harroway full in the face, and then roared
with laughter at his own thoughts.

"Is it a very nice animal that has come for me?" inquired Sam.

"Yes," replied Harroway; "a very nice animal indeed."

"What's his colour?"

"Bay, with black points."

"What's his height? Is he equal to my weight?"

"Yes. But you don't mean to say you have been such a fool as to buy a
horse without seeing him--especially in Yorkshire?"

"I bought him on description."

"Then you deserve to be taken in."

"What's the animal worth?"

"Prom £85 to £100. What did you give for him?"

"More than that. By Jove! George, I am afraid we have been done."

"Don't say 'we,' Sam, for you can't call that horse a regimental
purchase, you know."

"No," laughed Sam. "It's a regular individual stick, George. It can't
be helped. There's no use in crying over spilt milk, is there?"

"No!--but what did you pay for him?"

"You say he is not worth more than £100."

"Not a stiver more."

"Then, by Jove, George, I am ashamed to tell you."

"Why?"

"Because you'll repeat it, and I'll get laughed at. I'll impart it in
confidence, if you like,--on your giving me your word and honour as a
gentleman you will never mention the transaction to a soul breathing."

"On my word and honour, Sam, I never will."

"Then, my dear George, for that little bit of horseflesh I swapped your
grey to a girl----"

"The devil you did!" exclaimed Harroway, fearfully put out, for the
horse had several engagements, and his sporting owner was very proud of
him--"Then I'll be hanged, Sam, if I allow him to go."

"Oh; you must, George. Consider, my dear sub, your captain's honour is
at stake. Would you have me ruined for the sake of a horse?"

"I declare, Freeport," said Harroway, emphatically, "that you are,
without exception, the greatest fool in the kingdom, where women are
concerned."

"It's all very true, George. But what can a man do--when a nice girl
admires your horse, and pats it on the neck, and calls it a sweet
creature."

"Why, let her admire it."

"But suppose you happen to know, she admires you, as well as the horse?"

"Never mind--stick to your property."

"But I can't, George."

"Then I wish to heaven you'd stick to other people's."

Freeport roared with laughter, and Harroway, in supreme disgust, walked
up and down the room, muttering, "It serves me right!"

"What a flinty-hearted fellow you are, to be sure!" said Sam. "I
don't think you know what a pleasing sensibility means! Come now, say
candidly, had you ever a single tender emotion?"

The question made Harroway laugh, notwithstanding he was very much
provoked.

"Look here!" said Sam, stretching forth his hand. "Put down the value
of the grey against me in your pocket-book--value him at what you like.
I shall marry an heiress one of these days, and then I'll pay you the
amount, and you shall have interest at 8 per cent, out of my pay. You
have got lots of money, and are always beating your brains to now how
to invest it. You ought to look on this as a deuced lucky transaction.
You never got such a high rate of interest in your life."

"Can't you get off the swap?"

"Wouldn't ask such a thing for the world--I'd rather pay you a thousand
pounds for the horse."

"I hope the chesnut is safe," said Harroway, in a doubting tone.

"Quite. Let me see--yes--I stuck to the chesnut--that is to say----"

"What?"

"I didn't dispose of him, or swap him."

"Then you don't take him out any more--recollect that."

"No--I'll never trust myself again, George--I shall tell the girls I
have sold you the chesnut because he bucked the hedge and spilt me."

"What do you mean, Sam?"

"Why the fact of the matter is this," began Sam--and he detailed all
that took place on the day previous. Harroway, on hearing of his fall,
was convulsed with laughter, and by the time Sam had finished, his
sub's chagrin at losing Gaffer Grey was almost extinct. "Now then,"
ejaculated Sam; "I'll get up, have breakfast--and about half after
twelve we will go together and visit the girls, George."




CHAPTER III.

GEORGE HARROWAY, was duly presented to Mrs. Newsham and her daughters,
by Sam Freeport. The exchange of horses that had taken place between
Anne and Sam was soon brought in as a topic of conversation.

"Don't you think Captain Freeport was rather green, Mr. Harroway?"
asked Anne.

"That's a charming little animal of yours which my friend now
possesses," replied Harroway.

"I would not part with him for all the horses in the county," said Sam;
"I never rode such an easy graceful creature in the whole course of my
existence."

"Why, you have never been upon his back yet," observed Harroway.

There was a general laugh against Freeport, in which he could not help
joining.

"You are fond of the chase, I understand?" said Harroway to Anne.

"Yes, we are all fond of it," she replied.

"I am rejoiced to hear that; as we shall meet in the field. Captain
Freeport has been good enough to sell me his chesnut, and he is almost
as good as your grey."

"We shall see in a day or two," said Anne. "The hounds meet on
Thursday. Captain Freeport, I hope to see you on Mazeppa."

"Most assuredly," said Sam. "Who'd be absent?"

* * * * * *

"Are they not jolly girls, George?" inquired Freeport, when they got
into the street.

"Very," was the laconic reply. "Anne is a remarkably fine girl."

"And she's gone, sir!"

"How do you mean, gone?"

"Why, she's head over ears in love with me, sir. The governor is a
wealthy man, I fancy; but then there are four of 'em, and people have
a dislike to divide their property during lifetime. I am afraid I
can't afford to marry her, George: I wish I could. No, sir, I must
have an heiress. Nothing short of an heiress will do for a man in my
circumstances."

At this moment a brass plate bearing the words, "BLINK, SURGEON," in
large letters, met Freeport's eye. "What a queer name?" he exclaimed.
"I wonder what sort of a fellow Blink is, George? Blink! Blink! I have
a curiosity to see Blink. I'll bet you a crown I will describe Blink
nearer than you do."

"Done!" cried Harroway.

"How are we to decide it?" asked Harroway.

"That's easily done," said Sam. "I can be sick, and go to consult him.
Come along!"

Freeport told Harroway to rap at the door, and keep from laughing.

Blink was a good looking, well made young man, who had just commenced
practice. He was politeness itself: and he listened to Sam's symptoms
with a very patient ear.

"When did the pain first come on?" said Blink.

"About a week ago," said the patient, in a feeble voice. "Our doctor
pronounced it to be liver; but I am certain it is no such thing."

"Decidedly not liver," said Blink--"Have you any difficulty of
breathing!"

"Very considerable." (Sam gasped.)

"How is the appetite?"

"None at all. Can't touch a thing. I sicken at the sight of food."

"Have you any depression of spirits?"

"Yes--especially as the evening approaches." (Sam looked wretchedly
sorrowful.)

Blink promised to send Sam a draught that would do him good; and to
call upon him next day. Sam then informed George Harroway, in a broken
tone of voice--loud enough for Blink to hear him--that he had forgotten
his purse, and George must give Blink a guinea.

Harroway felt compelled to pay Blink, and having done so, he led Sam
Freeport out of the room, at a snail's pace.

"That's a drawn bet, George," said Sam, as soon as they got a short
distance from Blink's door.

"And I suppose I may say the same of my one pound one? You are the
most, expensive companion that ever lived, Sam"

"I never knew a fellow who cared so much about money. What's the use of
your wealth to you, if you don't enjoy it?"

"Now then, you have saddled yourself with a doctor--I'm not going to
pay him any more."

"How 'saddled?' Can't I say his one dose cured me, and I feel as well
as ever I did in my life?"

Blink thought it a very great compliment, that an officer, who had
two doctors in his regiment, ready to give advice gratis, should come
to consult him in a case of difficulty. He looked upon this as a good
sign; and in order that it might be made the most of, Blink paid a
round of visits, and incidentally introduced the circumstance to every
one whom he saw. Amongst other friends, on whom Blink called, were the
Newshams. He did not see the ladies, but he mentioned Freeport's name
to Newsham, and the dreadful state of health--in short, precarious
condition in which he then was. Newsham was astounded, as well he might
be. The inquiries made, and the replies given, placed it beyond all
doubt that Sam was Blink's Freeport, even if there were another in the
regiment of that name.

When Mrs. Newsham returned, her husband said, "You will be very sorry
to hear that Captain Freeport is in a very precarious condition."

"What?" exclaimed Anne, loudly.

"How do you mean?" said Mrs. Newsham.

"He was here not an hour ago," said Jessie.

"And seemed very well," added Jane.

"No accident, I hope!" said Maria.

"When you have done conjecturing," said Newsham, "I'll enlighten you.
But with so many people all talking at once, it is quite impossible to
make oneself heard."

Newsham then narrated the particulars of his interview with Blink.

"If he is in Blink's hands," said Anne, "he certainly is in a very
precarious state. What could have induced him to go to Blink?"

"Blink is not very bright," remarked Newsham.

"Bright?" said Mrs. Newsham. "No, I should think he was not?"

"I wonder," said Newsham, "if he has made a will, and arranged all his
affairs?"

Anne was horrified at the idea. And she ran up stairs, and wrote to
Freeport:--


"Saturday.

"MY DEAR SIR,--I am very sorry to hear of your sudden illness. Take my
advice and have nothing to say to Blink. He is the greatest fool I ever
met in my life. I wouldn't trust a cat to his judgment. Now pray get
rid of him. You have no idea how surprised we were to hear of this. I
am afraid you suffered more from your fall than you were willing to
confess.

"Believe me, very sincerely,

" ANNE NEWSHAM."


Sam and Harroway had just returned from a billiard room, when this note
was put into the former's hand.

"Didn't I tell you, George, she loved me?" said Sam, handing the note
to Harroway. "Look at her anxiety when she hears I am ill."

Harroway was vastly amused when he perused Anne Newsham's favour, and
the recollection of the scene with Blink made his sides to shake with
laughter.

"What am I to say, George?" asked Sam. "How shall I reply to the dear
girl's epistle?'"

"Tell her the truth," replied Harroway. "Say it was a lark. She'll
enjoy it. For evidently Blink is no favourite of hers."

"Do you think I am a fool, George?" responded Freeport. "No, no. If I
were to tell the truth, the old governor would fancy that my £20,000 in
the funds was all moonshine, and that our acquaintance originated in
one of those larks. That'll never do, George."

"Here goes," said Sam. "I'll write her a letter which will entail a
lengthy correspondence; and there's nothing on earth so delightful as
writing to, and hearing from, a girl that you really like--unless it be
talking to her."

Sam then wrote as follows, and read out to Harroway as he proceeded.


"Saturday.

"MY DEAR MISS ANNE NEWSHAM,

Your note has occasioned in me surprise and delight. Surprise that you
should hear I am ill, delight that my supposed sufferings should awaken
your sympathy. I am happy to say that I never felt better in the whole
course of my life.

"I shall see you in church to-morrow morning, but as we have to walk
there and back like so many children, I shall not be able to speak to
you before noon.

"With regards and compliments to Mrs. Newsham, believe me very
sincerely yours,

"S. FREEPORT."


It was nearly nine, when from his dressing-room window George Harroway
espied Blink, asking questions of a sergeant, evidently as to the
whereabouts of Captain Freeport's quarters.

"Sam! Sam!" roared Harroway, "here's Blink, by all that's beautiful!"

"Blew!" cried out Sam. "Mind if the doctor asks you how I am this
morning, say I'm as right as a trivet. The medicine was magic."

"Faith, I will, sir," said Blew.

"There's a step on the stair. Show him in, Blew," said Sam.

Blew met Blink on the landing. Sure enough he put the very question
which the foxy Freeport anticipated, and he received the prepared
answer.

"How are you, Mr. Blink?" said Sam. "Sit down; take a chair, and a cup
of coffee--and a weed."

"I am glad to see you so much better," said Blink.

"Better!" cried Sam; "I never was so astonished in my life. I took the
draught last night, went to bed at eight o'clock, and slept like a top
till five this morning, and awoke feeling strong and hungry; and if
you'll stay till breakfast, which is on the very point of coming on
table, you'll see me make away with half a dish of beefsteaks."

"It was witchcraft," said Harroway.

"It was some craft or other," continued Sam. "Here's a man one day
not fit to crawl, and the next in robust health, and able to walk a
mile and a half. What system do you call that, Blink? Curing a man
slick off with one dose--Homœopathy, or what?"

"Oh dear, no! The Homœopathic system is the reverse of my system."

"What! Do you mean to say the Homœopathic system kills a fellow the
first dose? By Jove, what a system! Harroway, do you hear that? Here
are the steaks, hissing hot. Blink, a steak?"

Blink drew his chair to the table. He had already breakfasted; but the
gravy and Harvey sauce looked so tempting he could not refuse.

"How the deuce did you manage it?" said Sam, eating and talking as fast
as possible.

"What?" asked Blink.

"To cure me in that extraordinary way."

"I knew what was the matter with you," responded Blink, "the moment I
looked into your eye."

"The deuce you did! What--was there a greenish hue spread over the
surface of the pupil? You are sure it was not the liver?"

"Quite sure."

"Well, what was it?"

"Why, it's an entirely new disease."

"Well, but what? I think a man has every right to know what has been
the matter with him."

"It was fever in the gizzard."

This conversation was more than Harroway could listen to without
laughing, so he made a hasty retreat to the next room.

"Have you got out a patent for that medicine?" asked Sam.

"No, but I mean to do so."

"And I'd lose no time, if I were you. I'll give you a certificate of
the effect it had on me. But there's one thing; I should not like you
to mention that I have consulted you, as our doctors would be jealous.
You must know what jealous fellows all professional men are!"

Blink agreed to maintain silence, and shortly after took his departure.

Freeport got ready for church, and was on the point of going down
stairs, when an enormous Newfoundland dog, called "Sailor," the
property of Harroway, jumped up, and placed his dirty paws on the
breast of Sam's jacket.

"Here's a business," said Sam. "Look here--d----n the dog--I can't go
to church in this condition; and the hooking and eyeing of this affair
is a matter of twenty minutes at least."

"Come as you are," said Harroway. "Nobody will take notice. It will be
dry before we get to church. Come along."

"The brute ought to be taught better manners," said Sam. "He ought
to be cured of these tricks by a single dose. He's got fever in the
gizzard, George. Let's give him Blink's specific. Blew, bring the
bottle!"

Harroway was curious to see the effect the medicine would have upon the
animal, and therefore made no objection to Freeport's administering it,
as he did through the wine funnel. They then marched to church with the
regiment.

[SAM GIVES SAILOR DOCTOR BLINK'S DRAUGHT.]




CHATTER IV.

ON returning from church, George Harroway went to luncheon with the
colonel, and Sam Freeport sought his own rooms preparatory to going
down to see the Newshams. He was met at the entrance to his quarters by
Blew, who said, "This is a fearful business, sir; I don't know what Mr.
Harroway will say."

"What's the matter now?" inquired Sam.

"Sailor's a corpse, sir!"

"A what?"

"A dead corpse--without a particle of life in it. That physic must have
been a strong poison, sir!"

Sam stood, and became very pale.

"You had not been gone five minutes, sir," said Blew, "before the poor
creature laid down and rolled in the agonies of spasms; but in less
than an hour his sufferings were ended, for he died on the hearth-rug
before the fire, and there he lies now, till Mr. Harroway sees him, and
orders him decent burial. If the dog was analyzed, I am pretty sure
he'd be found to contain poison."

Freeport went upstairs, and sure enough there was poor Sailor,
stretched out in death. Sam was extremely annoyed; for the dog was a
great favourite with himself as well as his chum.

"Go, and fetch Dr. Blink," said Sam to Blew, describing the street, and
the house, and the brass plate. "Run! say I have got a relapse."

Blink was not long in responding to the call. He brought with him
another draught, which he hoped to administer to the patient; for he
carried it in his hand into the room.

"You are a pretty fellow to make up medicines!" said Sam, half laughing
and half annoyed. "Here is a work of desolation for you." (He pointed
to the dog). "I wouldn't have taken a hundred guineas for him; and here
you go and settle him with one dose. What's that, another in your
hand?"

Blink was naturally taken all aback.

"The fact is this," said Sam; "I had a suspicion of your physic--a sort
of presentiment, and I didn't take it. After you left this I gave it to
that dog; and when we returned from church, the dog was found dead."

Blink wanted to laugh it off; but Sam said, "Now, look here." (He took
the phial from Blink's hand.) "Is this from the same bottle?"

"It is."

"Then if I give it to a dog, and he dies within half an hour, will you
be satisfied this is poison?"

"No."

"Why?"

"Why, because what would poison a dog wouldn't poison a man."

"What--a dog as big as that? Look at his size."

"Its the formation of the stomach."

"Well, will you consent to take a couple of table spoonsful of the
mixture?"

"Why, no, because I have no fever in the gizzard. And that, of course,
accounts for the death of the dog. The medicine was intended to act on
a diseased gizzard. The dog's gizzard probably is in good order; and,
if so----"

"The medicine would stick in it, and kill him, eh?"

"You had better have the dog analyzed, sir, by the assistant-surgeon,
sir," suggested Blew.

This threw Blink in a state of excitement and alarm. He kept his
prussic acid near one of the medicines which formed this draught; and
it was just possible that he had made the mistake, as the two were of
the same colour and appearance. So it turned out. Blink begged Sam not
to mention the circumstance, as it would be his ruin; and Sam not only
promised him to be silent, but he made Harroway make a similar promise,
before he would let him into the particulars of the dog's demise.

"There's a fatality, Sam, hanging over all your acts in York," said
Harroway. "I mean as far as I am concerned."

"How so?"

"Why, in the course of three days, you have deprived me of my best
horse, and made me pay one guinea for the destruction of my favourite
dog."

"You draw such gloomy pictures of life," said Sam, "that you make me
quite melancholy. Here have I introduced you to a most amiable and
agreeable family, and this summing up of your losses is the ungrateful
return."

Harroway reproached himself, as he looked in Sam's good humoured and
benevolent face, and slapping him on the back he observed: "Well, never
mind, old boy."

"George," said Sam, "you could do me a very great favour."

"What is it?"

"Why, keep away from the hunt to-morrow morning. You can easily say we
have drills and parades."

"Why should I do that?"

"Because I cannot manage this jumping business, and it will look so odd
if you go and I stay away. I cannot stick on a beast's back when he
leaps."

"You have not practised, Sam; that's the reason. Stick your knees well
in, keep your hands well down, and throw yourself back as soon as the
horse springs, and it is as easy as cribbage."

"I don't mind being scratched and bruised; but I funk my neck, George."

"Nonsense. Join the field. That little horse will carry you
beautifully. He looks a most pluckey little animal."

"Like his dear mistress," said Sam. "Well, I suppose I must go; for it
would look very bad to stay away after making an engagement with her."

The morning came, the horses were saddled, and a four-mile walk
commenced by Sam and George Harroway. When they reached the place where
the hounds met, they beheld a good concourse of men in red coats, and
four ladies in dark green habits. These were "the Newsham girls" as
they were called. Anne rode up to Sam and bade him good morning, and
then spoke to Harroway, and Sam's steed "Mazeppa."

In half an hour there was a find, and ere long the fox broke cover, and
the hounds were in full cry.

To Sam Freeport's great disgust he could not keep up with Anne and
Harroway. They were better mounted than any one in the field, and in
riding neither of them could be well surpassed.

Seeing that he was all behind in the chase, and that it was useless to
go on any further, Sam pulled up, and said to himself: "This is not the
sport for women to join in, and if she wont give it up I'll think no
more about her. George Harroway may have her if he likes. Scratching
one's face to pieces, and running the risk of breaking one's neck every
five minutes, is much too serious a business to be called sport. No,
no, Anne, you must cut this, or I must cut you."

Extremely vexed, Sam turned round and made for home, which he reached
by nine or ten o'clock.

Harroway admired Anne Newsham for the very quality which Sam Freeport
disliked. Her skill in handling her horse, her judgment in making
points, and thus sparing the animal, while she placed herself well in
the field, as far as regarded being in at the death, quite captivated
George Harroway; and had he not felt it would be wrong to be a rival
of Sam's, he would have made desperate love to her. As it was he was
only "very attentive;" and Anne Newsham was equally pleased with George
Harroway's horsemanship, and paid him some very pretty compliments, in
plain language, while the fox was being torn to pieces.

"What pretty eyes that girl has got!" said Harroway, after they had
dined, and he had composed himself snugly in his easy chair.

"What of that?" said Sam. "I know she has."

"And although she does not strike one as being pretty at first, yet
when you come to talk to her she has a very charming face. The cheeks
are prettily shaped, and her teeth are so white and regular, and her
neck is very good, and she talks such good sound sense without any kind
of affectation."

"She seems to have made an impression upon you, my dear George. But you
need not trouble yourself, old fellow. You would stand a deuced poor
chance against me anywhere, George; and in this particular matter, the
girl's gone, sir, as I told you the other day."

"Well, I know that. But surely there was no harm in my praising her in
your presence?"

"Of course not. But young men of your age often flatter yourselves, and
here it would be of no use."

"We had a most delightful day."

"I have no doubt you had; but it will be the last you'll have with her,
I can tell you. I shall put a stop to her riding for the future."

"Why should you do that?"

"Because I don't like it."

"Do you mean to say you are going to propose to her, Sam?"

"I am; and if she accepts me, it will be on a distinct understanding
that she leaves off galloping and jumping and going on like mad in the
presence of every body that attends the meet."

"She'll never give up the chase."

"I should like to bet you a mild thousand pound she does if I ask her."

"I wont bet, Sam, because I should win your money; but mark my word,
she'll laugh at the proposal fettered with such a condition."

"Well, we shall see."

There was a heavy fall of snow that night, and next morning it froze
fearfully hard. This was a gloomy prospect for Harroway, whose heart
and soul were in the chase. But for Sam Freeport it was quite the
contrary. It put a decided stop to the hunting.

Two days after the conversation just narrated, Freeport called on the
Newshams, and took the girls shopping. While the other sisters were
engaged selecting silks for dresses for the assize ball, Sam coolly
walked Anne out of the shop and down the street, to talk to her on what
he called a serious subject.

"You cannot be ignorant," he began, "that I like you very much."

"Yes--I know you do," she replied.

"I more than like you--I love you."

"Well, I am not sorry for it, for I feel happy when you are talking to
me."

"Will you marry me?"

"I will consider your proposal."

"And we'll be happy?"

"That would depend upon how we agree. I am not extravagant, and far
from inconsiderate; but, I am very fond of having my own way, and if I
am put out I can show my temper, as well as other people."

"I'll give up everything in the world to you."

"You would be a fool to do that."

"There are some things I should expect you to give up for me."

"Let me hear what they are."

"Hunting and waltzing."

She stared at him in astonishment, and replied----

"Surely you are not serious?"

"Yes I am."

"I would not give up either one or the other for any man living!"

"Just fancy my feelings, if I saw any other man put his arm round your
waist."

"Fiddlestick! Why, you waltz yourself!"

"Yes; but that is a different matter."

"No, no. And as for hunting, I couldn't think of giving it up. I've
been used to it, and I like it. It's a glorious amusement. You have
been smoking this morning, and I am very much mistaken if you have not
had a glass of brandy-and-water."

Sam blushed, and acknowledged his weakness, whereon Anne Newsham
said----

"Now, suppose I asked you to give up cheroots and the stimulus which
diluted spirits affords you--and I dare say, if the truth be known, you
have been used to both for the last six or seven years--would you not
think me very selfish?"

"Certainly not; I would not touch either of them."

"What nonsense! Now, just fancy, when you had lighted a nice cheroot,
if I were to come up and insist on your throwing it away, because
I disliked the smell of that horrid tobacco--(I don't dislike it,
recollect; on the contrary, I rather like it--but I say suppose)--would
you not feel very much disgusted, and think me a very selfish person
for debarring you from what was a pleasure? And suppose I saw you walk
up to the sideboard--pour a little brandy into the bottom of a tumbler,
and then goggle out the water on it from the jug--suppose I was to call
out 'What, guzzling again?' would you not wish me further? Of course
you would, and very naturally."

"I don't think I should."

"Well, you are too good for me--I judge by my own feelings. Give up
waltzing and hunting! You might just as well ask me to pull out all my
pretty teeth, shave off all my hair, and wear a bag wig. I couldn't
think of it."

"Then accept me unconditionally."

"No. As your wife it would be extremely improper in me to indulge in
pleasures which I knew were distasteful to yourself."

"Then you refuse me?"

"Yes."

Sam sighed--said "Very well"--and led her back to the shop, where her
sisters were still busily engaged in making purchases.




CHAPTER V.

"GEORGE," said Sam, to Harroway, "I have completely altered my mind.
It is possible that my brothers may refuse to pay my debts; and her
governor may make some beebaws and pothooks about a "settlement,"
which, you know, I could not make, so I have determined to abandon
the suit. Poor girl, she'll be, no doubt, a good deal cut up and
disappointed; but it will be all for the best in the end, I think."

"Perhaps it will, Sam."

"I should very much like to be married; but, in my circumstances,
an heiress or a dowager is absolutely indispensable. As Anne likes
hunting, too, it would be unreasonable to ask her to forego it. What do
you say?"

"I quite agree with you, Sam."

"I suspect an old lady would suit me best, George. One that would call
me Captain Freeport--allow me a sort of stipendiary cash credit--go
out alone in her carriage, and leave me to do just as I pleased. This
assize ball is coming off shortly, and I'll look out there. Meanwhile,
I'll make love to the colonel's niece, for the sake of amusement. She's
a very fine looking girl, George."

"She's all that, Sam," quoth Harroway, who was rather pleased that he
might now make love to Anne Newsham without clashing with his friend
Freeport.

The colonel's niece, Miss Winnerly, was not the style of girl that
Freeport admired: she was so very timid, meek, and retiring. It was an
effort to make her speak up loud enough to be heard. She played very
well, and she sang sweetly, when she could be prevailed upon to take
courage, and favour the company. She never had the slightest objection
to a quadrille; but if any one asked her to waltz, she said "I'd
rather not," in a tone which almost implied she was offended--if not
shocked--at the bare idea of such a thing.

Sam Freeport was certainly a very weak mortal in matters connected with
the heart. He used to say of himself that he was all heart; and from
the way he used to go on, the saying might be easily believed. He had
been to the colonel's house every morning for eight days running; for
after Anne Newsham's refusal he never ventured near the family, and
to live without ladies' society was more than he felt equal to. There
was a cold and distant manner in Miss Winnerly, for which Sam Freeport
could not account; but still he persevered in his attentions--the sole
object in view being to arouse an affection for him.

The colonel and his wife both thought this would be a very good match.
The former poured into Sam's ear the advantage of a married life--the
comfort, the happiness, the everything, while the latter sung the
praises of the generous Sam to the young lady for whom they designed
him.

Easily caught and easily led, Sam Freeport was worked up to propose;
and he did so in such a warm and impressive manner that the young lady
accepted him with seeming gladness. Everything was arranged speedily;
for Sam had nothing to settle, and his intended spouse was not an
heiress. Nor was there anything on either side to be given up; at
least, the parties never asked each other questions on this head.

The wedding-day was near at hand--the bridal robes had come home--Sam
had bought the ring at Barber's, besides a small but tasty collection
of jewellery for his bride elect. The colonel had ordered a sumptuous
breakfast--the corps was to give them a ball on their return from
Thorp-Arch. But lo! one fine morning, the very day before the
wedding-day, Miss Winnerly was not to be found. They searched the
house, they looked down the well, they opened a large oak chest which
the colonel kept his books and papers in; but, alas! Miss Winnerly was
nowhere to be found!

Sam said, "I'm blowed if I can account for this!"

The colonel evidently suspected something, but didn't like to speak his
mind. George Harroway had been let into the secret by Blew, who didn't
dare mention it to his master; nevertheless, George held his tongue,
and left them to their own imaginings.

Sam thought the best way to show his grief would be to keep his bed,
and pretend to live on gruel, sago, and arrowroot.

The second evening after Miss Winnerly's mysterious disappearance, the
colonel called on Sam, and said,

"My dear Freeport, I have at last discovered the truth. I can well
understand your disappointment, but you must cheer up, and make the
best of it. We shall always look upon you as our nephew, and our house
will, as usual, always be yours. It is a very fearful business, very
fearful!"

"What, has she drowned herself?" said Sam.

"No," replied the colonel. "Worse than that."

"Good Heavens! what can have happened?" said Sam. "Put me out of my
misery by telling me the worst. Has she cut her throat?"

"I wish she had," sighed the colonel.

"You'll drive me mad," said Sam, "if you keep me any longer in
suspense."

"The fact is, Freeport," said the colonel--"the fact is that she has
eloped with the bandmaster to Gretna Green!"

Sam Freeport groaned heavily--pulled the counterpane over his head--and
laughed hysterically!

The colonel said "Bear it like a man."

"Bear it!" said Sam, exposing his head; "what a lucky thing, to be
sure!"

"What do you mean?" inquired the astounded colonel.

"Why, they might have gone off afterwards. Consider what an awful
business that would have been!"

The bandmaster, it would seem, had taught Miss Winnerly, to play on
the piano.

The assize ball came on, and Sam sallied forth in search of an heiress
or a dowager. The first person he met, on entering the room, was Anne
Newsham, on the arm of Harroway, who could not resist telling Anne the
story just narrated. Anne extended her hand to Freeport, and Sam shook
it warmly.

"May I condole with you?" said she.

"Condole? No!" replied Sam. "But you may congratulate me on having
escaped, within the last fortnight, poison and something worse."

The band struck up, and Harroway and Anne took their places.

"Brilliant assembly!" remarked Freeport to a youth whom he had not seen
before.

"Very," replied the youth.

"Great many people here whom I have never seen."

"Yes--very many people, like myself, are visitors in York."

"Oh, that accounts for it. Who is that lady with the tiara of diamonds
and emeralds?"

"That's Mrs. Missevery."

"Fine looking old girl! Where does she come from?"

"She comes from a place called 'The Cliffs,' about six miles from this."

"Where's her husband?"

"That I can't say--he's dead!"

"What was he?"

"He was the owner of large ironworks, to the westward."

That was quite sufficient to make Freeport keen for her acquaintance.
He walked up to a sleepy looking steward, who seemed to take no
interest in his office, and borrowing his favour, Sam pinned it,
conspicuously, on the breast of his coat. He then sought a young
ensign, and insisted on his being led up to the old lady and introduced.

"Ask her to dance," said Sam. "She's sure to refuse you, and then you
can walk away as soon as you like."

The willing youth, Mr. Wilson, obeyed his superior officer, and was
duly presented to Mrs. Missevery as Lord Arthur Bloomfield. He could
scarcely keep from laughing in her face when he said, "May I have the
pleasure of dancing the next quadrille with you?"

The old lady bowed, thanked him, but declined.

Ere five minutes had elapsed, Captain Freeport and Mrs. Missevery were
in close and animated conversation. Sam found out whom she liked in the
room--and praised them. He also discovered whom she disliked--and
pulled them to pieces.

[CAPTAIN FREEPORT TALKS TO MRS. MISSEVERY.]

"Do dance one quadrille with me?" said Sam.

"I have not danced for years."

"That's the greater reason you should dance now."

The lady smiled and wavered, and Freeport offered his arm, and carried
her along with him.

Mrs. Missevery was plain, stout, and vulgar; but good natured.

The attentions of young men, especially if they were chatty, and
good-looking people, like Freeport, pleased her, and she was somewhat
vain that an officer who could know nothing about her wealth should
prefer her society to that of younger and better-looking members of her
sex.

"Do you know the Newshams?" asked Mrs. Missevery.

"Slightly--yes."

"Do you think the girls good looking?"

"Why I can hardly say."

"For my part, I cannot see what people have to admire in them."

"Oh! there's nothing whatever to admire in them, if you mean that."

"Not the slightest pretensions to beauty."

"Not the slightest; on the contrary, I should say they were plain."

"So I say. But you will get very few people to agree with you."

"Never mind. I'll back our taste against that or those who hold a
contrary opinion. Wouldn't you?"

"Certainly I should. But they ride very well."

"So do my stable boys," said Sam, satirically.

This delighted Mrs. Missevery, who was a butt of Anne Newsham's.

"That's rather a pretty girl," said she, looking towards a very
beautiful young creature of about eighteen or nineteen.

"Decidedly," replied Sam. "But, do you know, I dislike girls? They talk
such nonsense. They are so insipid--and, as my cousin, Lord Byron, used
to say,


"'The nursery lisps out in all they utter,

And then they always smell of bread and butter!'"


"Oh no. Till they pass thirty, they have not a single companionable
charm: at least, in my opinion they have not."

Mrs. Missevery thought Sam one of the most sensible men she had
ever seen in a red coat; and though she had never given much of
her attention to Lord Byron's works, she was glad to have made the
acquaintance of his cousin.

"Would you like any particular set of quadrilles?" asked Sam,
who always had charge of the band, a circumstance which made the
bandmaster's proceedings the more absurd and ridiculous.

"No thank you. I like a slower, quieter music. You have a very nice
band."

"So do I like slow music. Yes, the band is a very good one--thanks to
myself, for I have taken great pains with it. In a few minutes you
shall hear a very beautiful piece composed by our own bandmaster, as
the air to those beautiful lines of Sir Walter Scott--


"'Why weep ye by the tide, Ladye?'"


"Excuse me for one moment."

Sam walked into the room where the band was playing. "Wilkins," said
Sam, to the man who played the clarionet, "what are you going to give
us next?"

"A waltz, sir."

"Then, instead of playing a waltz, play 'Jock o' Hazeldean.' Mark that!
And if Mr. Harroway, or any body else, tells you to stop, say you are
acting under Captain Freeport's orders. Do you understand?"

"Yes, sir."

Sam joined Mrs. Missevery, and awaited the air with much anxiety and
inward laughter.

Harroway, with Anne Newsham, passed the door of the music room. He made
a motion of the hand as a signal for the band to strike up.

"What on earth is this?" said Anne Newsham, who was expecting something
very different to the demi-doleful strain that struck upon the ear of
the assembly.

"The band's certainly drunk!" exclaimed George Harroway. "Sit here,
Miss Newsham, for a moment, and I will see what they are about."

Harroway walked into the other room, where he found them sober enough;
but to his surprise he beheld the French horn, the bassoon, and the
first fife, convulsed with laughter, for the men saw the fun.

"What do you mean by this, Wilkins?" said Harroway. "Do you call this a
waltz?"

"No, sir. It's by order of the captain," said the man rapidly, and then
he applied himself to his instrument, and made it speak,


"And she went o'er the waters wide
Wi' Jock o' Hazeldean."


The bandmaster's name was Hazeldean.

The thought flashed across George's mind, and he could not help joining
in laughter with the French horn, who tried, but without success, to
vie with the clarionet in giving effect to Captain Freeport's whim. The
poor man was overcome with merriment.

"This must be for Captain Freeport's consolation," said Anne, when her
partner came back to her.

"He ordered it to be played, it seems," said George. "It is just like
him."

"Really, he is the oddest man I ever saw," said Anne. "Where is he?"

"Yonder--mark the action of his hand. See how he is talking to that old
lady in the false hair."

"I declare he has got hold of that old hag, Mrs. Missevery! Such a
monster! The most disgusting creature in existence! The greatest enemy
I have in the world! Perhaps the only one! I feel jealous. I do indeed!"

"Don't say that," said George Harroway, rather nettled by the remark.
"If you are jealous of her, I shall be jealous of him."

"What stuff!" was Anne's reply. "My sister Jessie, who is a very
knowing hand, says you are all only birds of passage, and it just suits
your book to make yourselves agreeable for the time being; and after
what I have seen, I am inclined to believe her. Captain Freeport, you
know, said all sorts of pretty things to me, only the other day, and
look at him now. Look--look! He is certainly going to kiss her. Look at
him. Look! And see how the old hag is coquetting. What a funny, foolish
world it is, to be sure."

George sighed, as he looked at the artificial flowers which were tacked
at the top of Anne Newsham's white muslin dress.

"Why do you sigh?" she asked. "You'll make me yawn."

The smitten subaltern made a bold reply, which pleased the girl,
although she distrusted him. She admired his large languishing eyes, as
much as his courage and skill in the field.

"The hounds meet the day after to-morrow," she observed, "and if your
feelings don't go with this delightful thaw, talk to me then."

"That is understood," said Harroway, emphatically. "Now, then, we'll
have a waltz in earnest. There they go. Come along."




CHAPTER VI.

"WHO is that young man dancing with Anne Newsham?" asked Mrs. Missevery.

"That's George Harroway," replied Sam; "but you don't mean to say you
call him young?"

"Why, he can't be more than three or four and twenty."

"He'll never see five and thirty again. Certainly not. Let me see. He
is just one year and a half my junior."

"You wear uncommonly well. I should not have taken either of you to be
thirty."

"The dress has a great deal to do with it. It makes a man look very
much younger than he really is."

"What age, now, would you take me to be?" asked Mrs. Missevery (with
a smile), drawing herself up, and sitting as erect as possible.

"Why, I am very seldom out," said Sam. "Let me see. Why, I should say I
had the advantage of you by four or five years."

Mrs. Missevery shook her head.

"Not so much as that?" suggested Sam.

"We are within one year," said the lady.

The fact was Mrs. Missevery was forty-seven; but according to her own
account she was only seven and thirty.

"I hope you don't think thirty-seven old," said Sam.

"No; but it is not young," she replied.

"We've still enough of light and life for some gay soarings yet,"
quoted the insinuating Sam.

"I hope so."

"Let's have a trial in this waltz," said Sam; and before the lady had
time to deny him, she was on her legs, and whisked round the room with
the rest of the dancers. Mrs. Missevery had never waltzed in her life
before: of the step she had not the most remote idea; but she did her
best, and held on by Sam's epaulette, as though it was for her very
life.

Anne Newsham gave vent to her feelings in a scream which rang through
the Assembly Rooms. "The idea--the vanity of that old cat!" she said to
her partner. "The idea! she must be mad! Who could ever have thought
the old goose would be guilty of such a misdemeanour? Look! she has her
eyes shut. She must be getting giddy. I should like to see them come
down. This is too much. I must sit down to enjoy the fun."

Mrs. Missevery was giddy; for when Sam brought her up, she still
held on by the epaulette, and fancied everybody was walking on the
ceiling. When she "came to," she observed Anne Newsham laughing at her,
and another poor girl in hysterics, and the subject of a scene herself.
Mrs. Missevery darted a look of indignation at Anne, and then remarked
to Sam, "Really, the bold effrontery of that girl, Anne Newsham, is
beyond everything!"

Sam agreed, and took her to the refreshment table, where he told her
she waltzed with a lighter step than any one in the room.

Freeport was of the same opinion as Butler as to the way that widows
should be wooed, and he therefore determined to carry Mrs. Missevery
and her "iron works to the westward," by assault.

"I should like to have you as a partner for life," said Sam.

Mrs. Missevery smiled.

"But I fear," he added, "that some other is more fortunate."

"I am at my own disposal," said Mrs. Missevery, proudly.

"Would that you were at mine!" ejaculated Sam.

Mrs. Missevery distended her aged eyelids, and her "adorer" handed her
to a retired part of the room; and before he led her forth to the next
dance, she was "engaged" to him.

She informed him that she had a good fortune; which made him declare
that he despised wealth, and never thought of it when happiness was the
object in view.

When the ball was over, Sam saw Mrs. Missevery to her carriage. Just
before he closed the door, he contrived to impart a kiss on the glove
of her left hand.

"Well, Sam, how did you enjoy yourself?" inquired Harroway, when they
got home, at about three o'clock in the morning.

"Never enjoyed myself more in my life," was the reply.

"What was the meaning of making that old woman waltz? You were nearly
the death of poor Anne."

"Why, I wanted to turn her head, preparatory to making an inroad upon
her heart. She is worth a mint of money, and no end of iron works to
the westward."

"Well, have you succeeded?"

"Of course. I never was refused in my life. The thing is settled, sir.
She's mine."

"How she clutched you in the waltz!"

"Didn't she! And, by Jove, George, only look at the condition she has
left the bullion in; and no end of 'em are gone! Never mind, she'll
make it all good by and bye! There's nothing like iron, after all. I
say, did you notice her diamonds? Wouldn't they make fine shirt studs!"

Harroway was too deeply engaged in thinking of Anne to take much heed
of Freeport's discourse. The girl had made him love her, and he longed
for the next meeting of the hounds.

Freeport called on his betrothed, and made himself remarkably
agreeable. She invited him to "The Cliffs" (her "beautiful estate"),
whither she purposed proceeding on the morrow.

Sam expressed the great delight he should experience in seeing her in
her own home, and accepted the invitation.

That "horrid Anne Newsham" was the principal theme on which Mrs.
Missevery touched, and (laughing all the while in his heart) Freeport
gave her great encouragement to pursue the subject.

The hounds met the very day that Sam paid his visit to "The Cliffs."
After a run of two or three miles, George Harroway and Anne paired off
towards a point which the fox was not likely to make, and left the
field entirely.

The girl pulled up, and, looking tenderly in his face, said, "Now then,
what are you going to say? Don't tell me anything you don't mean. But,
before you begin, I ought to tell you what passed between Captain
Freeport and myself a day or two before the ball. It is right you
should know it at first, because it might influence you hereafter."

She then informed him of all that passed--Sam's proposal, and her
subsequent refusal.

The disclosure made Harroway laugh; at the same time it strengthened
his regard for the honest-hearted girl, with whom he felt he could be
happy. He then told her of what he was possessed. She said she was glad
he was wealthy, for she had a horror of poverty.

Harroway intimated that he would ask her father's consent, which would
be granted as a matter of course.

"You may ask him," said the girl. "But if he refused, it would be of no
consequence. They have taught us to do as we like, and we are too old
now to forget the lesson. There's a prospect for you! What do you say
to that?"

"I'm content to take my chance," replied Harroway.

"Why, what's the meaning of this?" cried the girl. "The fox went round
the bottom of yonder hill, and here they come, pressing him hard.
Bravo! we are in at the death after all! How vexed my sisters will be!
They are not here! Don't tell them this was all luck, but judgment; and
mark how vigorously they will argue the point."




CHAPTER VII.

WHETHER it was the over exertion at the ball--an exertion she was not
accustomed to--or whether it was the excitement which her forthcoming
wedding occasioned--or whether it was neither the one nor the other,
it is impossible to say: but when Freeport reached the Cliffs, he
found Mrs. Missevery "rather poorly." She had a severe headache, and
complained of slight fever. Sam very tenderly told her she should
be careful of herself; but she declared that she never gave way to
illness; and after luncheon, she put on her shawl and bonnet, and
showed her husband elect all over the estate. It was her wont to be
wheeled about in a Bath chair, but on this occasion she walked, and
leant upon Freeport's arm. It was truly a very nice estate, and it
was kept in excellent order. The gravel walks of the garden were so
nicely rolled, and the trees even were "tidiness" itself. Freeport
praised everything; but more than once he exclaimed, "But what are
these compared with yourself! They bring comfort with them, it is
true; but happiness flows from another spring. It comes from a kindred
concatenation of ideas, and a reciprocity of sentiment."

Mrs. Missevery fancied the air had done her good, and towards evening
her spirits mounted higher.

Sam parted with her in the library, which was well stocked with
elegantly bound and gold lettered books.

The next day, Freeport's anxiety led him early to "The Cliffs." He
was grieved to the heart to find that Mrs. Missevery was now very
unwell. The expression of his face was sorrowful in the extreme, and
he was kindness and attention personified. He read the "Corsair" to
her, and several other minor poems by the same author; and he wrung
from her a promise that she would take medical advice. She mentioned
"Mr. Blink," a rising young man, of whom she had heard a very high
opinion expressed. Sam said he had never had an opportunity of judging
of Blink's talent, but that the doctor of his corps was a very able
practitioner, and he was sure he would most gladly render his advice,
and with her (Mrs. Missevery's) permission, he would bring him to see
her on the following day. So pressing and importunate was Freeport in
this behalf, his intended wife consented, and Dr. Flood was introduced
to Mrs. Missevery, having been previously warned by Sam that if he
didn't cure her quick he would never speak to him again.

Mrs. Missevery did not improve under Dr. Flood's hands; on the
contrary, she grew worse, and was in danger--a matter of which she
was duly sensible. She sent one night for Newsham, and dismissing her
attendants, she spoke with him in private. It was her intention, she
said, to leave all her estate, real and personal, to Captain Freeport,
of the----Foot, with the exception of a legacy of £10,000 to her
nephew. She begged that the will might be drawn up without delay; but
enjoined Newsham, as a professional man, not to break a word of this to
a soul until after her demise, should such contingency happen.

It did not take Newsham long to draught a will of that kind. He copied
it out on half a sheet of paper, and it was duly signed, sealed, and
delivered in the presence of himself, her steward, and the nurse (the
two latter witnesses being ignorant of the will's contents). The
anxiety of Freeport was beyond description. He was perfectly wretched.

Mrs. Missevery died--and Sam was so "cut up," he nearly did the same.

Newsham called on Freeport one morning, and found him sitting over the
fire in a most lugubrious state of mind. "I have come to condole with
you," said Newsham.

"What's the use of condolence," said Sam, "when a man has suffered an
irreparable loss? Irreparable, Newsham, irreparable!"

"Oh, I don't know that," observed Newsham.

"But I do, my good fellow, and that's enough."

"It's a very fine property," remarked the attorney. "The personalty is
considerably above the £10,000 she has disposed of in favour of her
nephew."

"Look here, Newsham," said Sam. "No man likes a joke more than I
do--but this is past a joke. Don't tantalize me, or I'll get savage."

"No, don't get savage," quoth Newsham, "but listen to this." He
withdrew the original will from his pocket, and read as follows:


"I, SUSAN MISSEVERY,

relict of the late John Missevery, late of the Cliffs, in the
county of York, do hereby will and bequeath all my estate, real and
personal, wheresoever and whatsoever it may be, to Samuel Freeport of
the----Regiment of Foot, absolutely and for ever. But I charge the
said estate with the following legacy, that is to say the sum of ten
thousand pounds to my nephew, Robert Sparrow, of Hollyrook. And I do
hereby appoint the said Samuel Freeport to be the sole executor of this
my last will and testament. In witness whereof, &c. &c. &c."


"You don't mean to say that is genuine?" said Sam, doubting his own
ears as well as Newsham's tongue.

"There's her signature," said Newsham.

"Never saw it before in my life. But if you know it, that's enough.
Now, then, what's to be done? Have a glass of Madeira and a biscuit."

"You must take out probate," said Newsham.

"What's probate?"

"You must get the will proved in the diocese. Bat if you like to leave
it to me, I'll have it arranged for you."

"Well, do, like a good fellow. Who'd have thought it, eh?"

"I knew of it seven days ago."

"Then, why didn't you tell me?"

"Because I was enjoined not to do so. There's a time for all things,
Freeport."

"So there is, Newsham. You are quite right. Everything is mine, except
£10,000, eh? Very well, I am satisfied. She was a good old creature."

All the attorneys in York were so jealous that Newsham should get
the "pickings" out of the testator's estate, that they declared Mrs.
Missevery was not of sound mind when she signed the will. This reached
the nephew's ear, and he took advice as to whether he could not set the
will aside, and claim the whole property as heir at law, and several
learned gentlemen said that they were of opinion "if the testator were
not of sound mind the will might be set aside, but if the testator were
of sound mind, it could not be set aside." They further remarked that
"the sanity or otherwise would form the subject of a special issue,"
and recommended "if the will were contested that a special jury should
be applied for."

The nephew of Mrs. Missevery was determined to go to law, and
a "caveat"--(that is what they called it)--was entered in the
Ecclesiastical Court. Sam was extremely annoyed at these proceedings;
but Newsham assured him there was no danger, as the onus of proof would
lie on the other side, and no single act of the lady's could be brought
forward in support of her insanity. Sam said he was ready to swear she
was the most rational woman he ever met; and Newsham coincided with him
entirely. When the case was ripe for trial, however, Freeport began to
grow nervous, and suggested to his attorney that "it would be advisable
to have a compromise with the fellow."

Newsham said, "I thank you are very foolish."

"Not at all," replied Sam. "I should not like the thing brought before
the public. Let him consent to give me the £10,000 and the jewels and
the plate, and I'll give up everything else. I'd give up all, but
the fact is, Newsham, I find my father has not left me anything, and
I can't afford it. My brothers are all rich men, and I have not a
sixpence."

"Well," said Newsham, "if you are determined on a compromise, let me
manage it."

"Do, like a good fellow, Newsham," said Sam; "I don't want to be hard,
you know. Settle it. Settle it amicably."

Newsham attended to his instructions. He had agreed that the nephew
was to take the real estate, and give up to his (Newsham's) client
the whole of the personalty, £17,500 in the funds--the jewellery and
plate--the furniture, carriages, horses, &c. &c. &c.

Freeport signed "a release," which by the way he never looked at, and
Newsham paid him over £10,000, gave him the tiara of diamonds and
emeralds, and a few old rings--the carriage and the horses--and--the
residue he put into his own pocket!

It was thus that Sam Freeport gave up some £28,000 worth of real
property, independent of the bonus taken by Newsham.

George Harroway was a remarkably close man in his private affairs--the
very reverse of his friend Freeport in this particular; and he never
once hinted to any one that he had any idea of matrimony, or any
partiality for Anne Newsham. The young lady had also been silent or
the subject, even with the members of her own family; for Harroway had
given her a very good reason why the matter should not be talked about
just then.

Sam Freeport persuaded himself that Anne had still a slumbering love
for him--which he might as well awaken, and while he was about it, put
the question--get accepted--and then married. He had business to settle
with Newsham the morning that he made the above resolve, and he thought
he might as well communicate to his "father-in-law--that was to be,"
the matter which hovered about his heart.

"Very well, Newsham, I understand all about this," said Sam, folding
up a long deed which the attorney had explained. "And I have signed
it, and it's all right. But there's another little matter I should
like to talk to you about, Newsham. All through my life I have been
straightforward and honest."

"Nothing like it," said Newsham, "and I look upon that £10,000 you are
to receive as the reward. Yes, there is truth in the proverb, 'Honesty
is the best policy, and virtue reaps her own reward.'"

"Never mind virtue," said Sam impetuously. "Look here, Newsham. You are
of course aware that I proposed to your daughter Anne, and that she
would not have me at any price?"

"What!" exclaimed the astonished father. "Surely you are mistaken."

"Not I. I never was mistaken in my life. Certainly not in a business of
that kind. She must have mentioned it."

"Not she," said Newsham. "You don't know that girl, Freeport. I'll be
bound she never mentioned it to a soul."

"She is assuredly a great trump," observed Sam. "I like her ten times
better than ever. Well Newsham, what I was going to say is this. I
feel very much disposed to renew the suit. I've got this ten thousand
pounds, and I dare say you would give her two or three thousand pounds
more, and on the interest of that money and my pay, we should be able
to make it out very comfortably."

"You ought to," remarked Newsham.

"Well then," said Sam, "if you have no objection, I'll try her again.
Of course you must be aware--and so must she--that although I liked
Mrs. Missevery very much, and all that sort of thing you know, Newsham,
nevertheless the disparity of years, and one thing or other, rendered
it absurd to suppose that I was very deeply in love with her. Do you
understand, Newsham? Do you see?"

"Oh, perfectly," said Newsham--"perfectly."

"Then you'll put in your good parental word for me," suggested Sam.

"Why, yes. I'll leave her to act as she pleases; but I'll say the match
would give me great satisfaction, and get her mother to say the same."

"Give us your hand," cried Sam. "I'll come down quietly to-morrow
morning and breakfast with you, and perhaps you will manage to get me
an opportunity of putting the question?"

Newsham said, "Oh yes. That shall be done."

After a little further conversation, Freeport left Newsham, and
proceeded to his quarters, where he found George Harroway reading the
last new novel.

"I say George," said Sam, "what was the price you put upon the grey
that I gave to that trump of a girl, Anne Newsham?"

"Nothing, Sam. Don't mention it. I have had such pleasure in seeing the
dear girl ride him, that more than once I have been glad to think you
made her the present."

"That's all very well, George; but circumstances render it necessary
and proper that I should pay you for him, and as I have the money, I
wish to do so."

"What circumstances?"

"Why, look here, George. Anne Newsham will be mine, after all. I have
this moment got her governor's consent, and the mother, too, is all on
my side."

"You don't say so?"

"It's a fact, sir."

"Really?"

Sam asseverated so strongly that George believed him on that occasion.

"Under these circumstances," said George, "you ought to pay for him. He
cost me 400 guineas, and I don't want to make anything by him."

"Here you are," said Sam, writing out a cheque for the amount. "What a
nice thing it is to have money in a bank to draw on, eh, George?"

"So you have resolved to have Anne, after all?" remarked Harroway,
folding up the cheque, and putting it into his waistcoat pocket. "Well,
Sam, I wish you luck and happiness with her. But have you said anything
to Anne herself on the subject?"

"Not yet; but she'll accept me, sir. Who could resist a man like me?"
Freeport rose from his chair, confronted the mirror, and while he
arranged his scarf, and adjusted his collar, he sang the chorus of his
favourite (by the way his only) song.


"'It's thus I play the enchanter's part,
And scatter bliss around;
And not a tear or aching heart
Shall in the world be found.'"


"George, why don't you take to playing the enchanter's part?"

"It is so difficult, Sam."

"Nonsense, man, strike up to Jane--she is a jolly girl, too. What's the
use of remaining single? Blew!"

"Sir!"

"Go over and tell the major I shall dine with him this evening."




CHAPTER VIII.

THE moment Freeport left the room, Harroway made his toilet, and drove
down to the Newshams. The girls were not at home, and George gleaned
from Mrs. Newsham that they had gone to the bookseller's. He drove
there, and found them buying cardboard and pencils. Anne was taken
aside, and informed of "Sam's intentions."

"I would give the world to be present when he makes the declaration,"
said Harroway. "Could not you contrive to conceal me under the sofa, or
behind a curtain?"

Anne wrinkled her intelligent brow, and laughed with those sparkling
and speaking grey eyes of hers.

"I'll write to you, dear George, to-night," she whispered, "after my
father has spoken to me."

The words "Dear George"--the first endearing sentence she had ever
expressed to Harroway--almost made him giddy, and he prudently hurried
away from her presence, lest he should make a fool of himself before
her sisters.

Harroway was engaged to dine with the colonel, but he made an excuse
and stayed at home, anxiously awaiting Anne's letter. Nine o'clock
came, and no signs of it. Ten o'clock, and no letter came. Eleven--Sam
came home singing all the way up the stairs, "the enchanter's part."
Harroway pretended to be asleep. Sam tried to awake him, but he would
not be aroused. Presently, he heard Sam stealing away on tip-toe,
and, half opening one eye, he saw him take the cork out of the brandy
bottle, and burn it over the candle. Harroway knew that Sam intended
to black him, but still he would not stir. Freeport approached him,
and hummed. "It's thus I'd play" (he gave George an immense eye-brow)
"the enchanter's part"--(another eye-brow)--"and scatter bliss" (a
streak down the nose) "a rou-u-n-nd." (Moustache.) "And not a tear" (an
imperial) "or aching heart" (a touch on the right cheek) "should in the
world" (a touch on the left cheek) "be found!" (a spot on the forehead).

It was very difficult for George to keep his countenance during this
performance; nevertheless, he managed it until Sam retired, chuckling,
and singing away as lustily as possible.

In less than ten minutes, Freeport was sound asleep, and snoring.
Harroway then got up, and taking Sam's own cork, proceeded to his
bedside, and then and there repaid the compliment. Scarcely had he
returned to his easy chair, when he heard a footstep in the passage.
The door was opened, and a servant appeared, holding in his hand a
letter.

Harroway took it from him, and read as follows--


"MY DEAR, GEORGE,

Sure enough all you told me is quite true. I am to see Captain Freeport
to-morrow morning. My father and mother are decidedly of opinion he
will make me a very good husband, and I have feigned to yield to their
wishes, and accept his offer. I give advice to, and doctor nearly all
the old women in York; and if you will dress yourself up in the clothes
I send you, you will readily gain admittance about half-past eight.
Mind you go round by the gate, to the back door, and ask for Miss
Anne. I will contrive to conceal you in the little sitting-room,
where I intend to listen to my Sammy's vows. It is twelve o'clock, and
I am shivering with cold. So good night, my dear George, and believe
me, for ever, your Anne.

"P.S.--We breakfast at nine. If you could manage to be here at about a
quarter-past, and send in a note for me, I could come out, and arrange
it beautifully."


"There's a carpet-bag for you, sir," said the servant.

"Then bring it here," said Harroway.

The carpet-bag was produced, and when the servant had departed, its
contents were examined. There was an old drugget gown, a red shawl,
a cap, and a dingy black silk bonnet. The turn out was typical of an
old woman in want of assistance. Harroway concealed the garb furnished
by Anne, and sought his couch. As for sleeping, it was out of the
question, and he did not attempt it.

At daylight, Sam Freeport came into Harroway's room (as was his wont)
for coffee.

"Why, you must have been drunk last night, George," said Sam, after
opening the shutter, and seating himself at the foot of George's bed.

"What makes you think that, Sam?"

"Why, somebody has been blacking your face. I never saw such a figure
in the whole course of my life. Get up, and look at yourself in the
glass."

"Well, I confess I was a little overcome, Sam; but you must have been
in the same condition."

"Never! Nobody ever saw me drunk!"

"Then, how comes your face to be blacked also?"

Sam got up and went to the dressing table.

"I say, George," said Sam, mysteriously, and bringing the looking-glass
to the bedside--"look here! The fellow that blacked you must have
blacked me; for we seem to be both touched up alike."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Such a figure as George Harroway was, in the adopted apparel, it would
be very difficult to describe. Verily, he looked "a monster." Anne did
not keep him long waiting, for she anticipated the cook's message,
and left the breakfast table as soon as she heard loud voices in the
kitchen.

In the small sitting-room, where the scene was to be enacted, there was
a large couch, with a loose brown holland cover--and under that couch
crawled George Harroway.

"Make yourself as comfortable as you can," said Anne. "Here, take the
pillows. We shall not be long, for he looks very impatient to put the
question to me. Now, don't laugh, or you'll spoil it all."

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Newsham and his wife left the breakfast-room, and Freeport told Anne
that he wished to speak to her in private.

"What can you have to say to me?" said Anne, leading him into the
little room.

"I want to talk to you quietly," said Sam, as they both sat down upon
the couch.

"Well," said she.

"Be mine!" said Sam, seizing her hand.

She looked at him, and said, in a serious tone, "Captain Freeport, do
you really think I could marry a murderer?"

"A what?"

"A murderer. It is commonly reported, and generally believed, that you
killed poor old Mrs. Missevery."

"Nonsense! You don't mean to say that anything so horrid is laid to my
charge?"

"They say that you and the doctor of the regiment killed her--at least,
that is the story set afloat by Dr. Blink."

"What an ungrateful villain! Mrs. Missevery, it is true, wanted to call
him in; but I persuaded her not to do so. You, yourself, said that you
would not trust him with a cat, and to my knowledge and cost he was
not to be trusted with a dog. If the killing of Mrs. Missevery is your
only objection, I can soon overcome that."

"Well, but taking your innocence for granted, are you sincere when you
say you love me?"

"Sincere? Ay, I never loved a soul in my life except yourself."

"And would you, through long, long years be the same kind and
affectionate creature to me that you would now have me to believe?"

"Yes, to the end of the world."

"And never thwart me, nor aggravate me, nor put me out, but just suffer
me to do as I pleased, and let me waltz and hunt?"

"Of course I would--for ever and ever."

"Mr. Harroway says you are very fickle."

"Harroway, like most other persons, has his failings as well as
his virtues. George is a very good boy--I love him dearly; but,
unfortunately, he cannot always confine himself to truth."

"Then you are not fickle?"

Sam went upon his knees before Anne Newsham, and made the most
impassioned declaration. But just as he was coming to a crisis, George
Harroway began to imitate a cat, and mewed most piteously.

"Hist! get out!" cried Sam, stamping his foot to frighten away the
supposed puss.

"Mew! Mew!! Mew!! Whow-who-o-ou-whow!"

"Don't be unkind to the poor cat!" said Anne to Sam, who was getting
angry at the interruption.

"I would not hurt the cat for the world," said Sam; "but let me put her
out of the room."

"Be gentle with her," said Anne.

"Never fear," replied Sam, lifting up the cover.

No one could have recognised Harroway in his disguise; and when he
grinned, Sam fancied it was some old woman who had escaped from the
lunatic asylum. His jaw fell; and surprise was stamped upon every
feature of his face.

"What is the matter?" inquired Anne, as Freeport withdrew from the
couch in amazement. "Say what--what is the matter?" She got up and
clasped her hands.

"'Pon my soul, the cat's a human being!" said Sam, "or else it is a
ghost."

"Not Mrs. Missevery's, I hope!"

"That I can't say; but really it is not very unlike her."

George Harroway resumed his "mew," and his "whow," and Anne
shrieked, pretended to faint, and fell into Freeport's arms. Newsham
soon rushed in, followed by the rest of the family. None of them knew
what to think. How could they? Sam felt most anxious to satisfy
them, as speedily as possible, that Anne's alarm was not his doing,
and he therefore said to Newsham, "Just look under the sofa."

Newsham looked; but he saw nothing. George crawled out the moment Anne
shrieked, and contrived to get away from the house unseen--except by
some of the servants, who took no notice of him.




CHAPTER IX.

HARROWAY got safely home, and speedily divested himself of his
disguise. When Freeport made his appearance, he found George busily
engaged writing letters.

"Well, Sam, is it all right?" inquired Harroway.

"I am happy to say it is, George; but a most extraordinary thing took
place there. Listen to this."

Freeport here narrated very circumstantially all that related to the
old woman under the sofa.

"Are you sure that Newsham is not making a fool of you?" said Harroway.

"Quite sure. What makes you think that?"

"Why, they say that he is in league with Mrs. Missevery, who is still
living, and that you will never get a farthing of the money."

Freeport stared at George in a stupor.

"It looks very like a trick," continued Harroway.

"And now that I come to put this and that together," said Sam, "I feel
disposed to agree with you."

"Have you touched any of the money yet, Sam?"

"No. But it is all there in the bank."

"Not a bit of it. The cheque for four hundred guineas is refused
payment, on the ground of 'no assets.'"

"You don't say so?"

"A fact. Old Newsham has probably discovered that you hoaxed him about
the £20,000 in the funds, and he has done this as a return; and serve
you right."

"But isn't it very strange that Flood should be taken in, too? He saw
her, and declared it was impossible she could recover. What's the use
of doctors, if they don't know these things, eh?"

"Not at all strange. You know how easy it is to deceive a doctor, and
make yourself out very ill, when you are as well as can be."

"Very true, George; yes, you're right. But I am not going to let that
pettyfogging old vagabond play me a trick of this kind without telling
him my mind. Give me a sheet of paper. Mr. Newsham, sir, What shall I
say, George?"

"Oh, don't be intemperate, but facete. Just say--


"SIR,

When you see Mrs. Missevery again, which I trust will be before long,
give my love to her. It was not a bad joke of yours--that of killing
the old girl for my benefit; but as I cannot touch the money, why--

I remain, yours, in great disgust,

"S. FREEPORT."


Sam wrote the above, and despatched it. The following is the reply
it elicited. Newsham was indebted to his daughter Anne for the
suggestion:--


"SIR,

From the tenour and substance of your note, I believe you to be
an insane person; and if you remain in York, I shall apply to the
authorities to have a restraint placed upon your actions.

"Yours obediently,

"J. NEWSHAM."


"Here's a go," cried Sam. "He says I'm mad, George. I must insist on
his making an apology; and if he don't I'll----; no, I wont touch him,
because he's Anne's father."

Harroway, fearing the joke might be carried too far, let his friend
into the whole secret. Freeport had played so many tricks off upon
George, that he could not be angry; and when he found out that the
money was not a delusion, but in the bank, he laughed very heartily.
To face the Newshams again was more than even Freeport's coolness was
equal to; and a circumstance soon occurred that took him to London.

The colonel heard of the band having played "Jock o' Hazeldean," and
he was very wroth with Sam. He gave an order that the band should not
go out again to parties; and a hint was dropped that, for the future,
Captain Freeport would not be allowed to go away whenever he pleased,
to be absent continually from parade, and in total ignorance of
everything that related to his company and the regiment.

The major, who was a great friend of Freeport's, advised him to
exchange, if he couldn't make up his mind to conform; "for," said he,
"if you ever give the colonel another chance, he will not fail to bring
you to a court martial."

"As for exchanging," said Sam, "I might get out of the frying-pan into
the fire; and as for recollecting when this is to be done, and that is
to be inspected, and when committees sit, and all that sort of thing,
it is more than I can do. I've got lots of money now; and I am a single
man, with no incumbrances--no wife--no children--no nothing--to provide
for. Why shouldn't I retire on half pay? Here am I, with ten thousand
pounds, and a tiara of diamonds and emeralds. I'll go up to town and
keep open house in Portland Place. Hang me if I don't."

George Harroway and Anne Newsham were married in York Cathedral, on the
1st of February, 18--. The former was in his twenty-third year, and the
latter had just seen her nineteenth. Harroway was a handsome man; but
he was not a man of talent. He was far from a fool; but his intellect
was certainly not above mediocrity. Anne was not handsome, but she was
good looking; and in point of ability and ready wit, very few men had
an advantage over her, while not one in a thousand of her own sex could
be placed in competition.

In common with her sisters, Anne Newsham received "a good plain
education," but she was not "accomplished." In point of general
information on matters connected with the world, Anne was remarkably
well stocked; and she could talk rationally and sensibly on any
topic--no matter what it might be. Her knowledge of horses, dogs, and
whatever appertained to sport, appeared to be instinctive. She had a
kind and warm heart, but her light and off-handed remarks would have
led many persons to suppose the contrary.

When Freeport arrived in town, he hired a cab to take him to the house
of his elder brother in Belgrave Square, where he was well received,
and closely interrogated as to the amount he had come in for. Rumour
had set it down at £150,000; but, without going into particulars,
Sam said it was "somewhere about ten thousand a-year." His family
had always regarded Sam as a drain--as so much a year out of pocket;
the reader therefore may conclude that his avowal of such affluent
circumstances was listened to with considerable satisfaction.

Sam brought with him to London an order on Denison, Heywood, Kenneth, &
Co., for £9350, the balance of his account with the Yorkshire banker,
and this amount was placed to a floating credit. There was no house
vacant at the time in Portland Place; but Sam had set his heart upon
that locality, and went into lodgings for a month or six weeks, when he
was accommodated with a very desirable residence, lately occupied by a
gentleman who was going abroad for the benefit of his health. Gillow
furnished it in a remarkably neat manner; and Blew (whose discharge was
purchased by Sam), was ordered to take care of everything, and see that
nothing was spoilt.

Freeport was at one time very fond of driving, but he had Mrs.
Missevery's carriage and horses sent to London, and therefore he never
appeared except in a heavy landau, and a handsomer turn-out was not
to be met with in the Park. Before long Sam Freeport's house was an
"open" one in all conscience. It was the rendezvous of nearly all
the young officers about town. When Sam was there, he welcomed them
heartily; when he was not, Blew did the needful. A dowager duchess with
an immense jointure, or a very rich heiress, was constantly flitting
before him; but somehow or other Freeport could never see a pretty face
without falling violently in love with it, and no man ever suffered
more from a multiplicity of affections. In less than four months Sam
had proposed to seven ladies, and was accepted by every one; but, to
use his own phrase, "a hitch about the settlements, or something or
other," always stood in the way of his happiness, and, as far as
matrimony was concerned, a fatality was hanging over him.

In all other matters Freeport had a run of luck which was almost
too great for credence. Without the slightest idea of the game
of whist, he would cut in at a table, and against the best play win
almost every rubber, holding three or four honours every other deal.
At races, he would back a horse against the field, because he fancied
the name, and as sure as fate the animal he selected would win. If a
picture, or anything else, were knocked down to him at an auction,
somebody would offer him something for his bargain. He would take five
at billiards from a man who was able to give him twenty, and win the
game by a succession of crows. Even in the most trifling things he was
the luckiest fellow living. If, by accident, he knocked the lightest
of claret glasses off the table, it would be taken up unbroken. If,
from an exuberance of animal spirits, he "bonneted" a man at a fair,
no one ever seemed to see him do it, and somebody else was sure to get
attacked by the party who found himself aggrieved. If he happened to
get into a scrape, he had always at command some speech by which he was
immediately exempt from the consequences of his transgression.

One night Sam went alone to the Surrey Theatre, and took a private box
all to himself--on the second tier of boxes--that he might gaze on an
actress without interruption or remark. In those days, the Surrey was
lighted up with oil. The lamp immediately opposite to Freeport was
as dull as an oil lamp could be, and fancying that it was "a patent
screwing-up affair," Sam leant forward and began to screw away most
vigorously. He screwed, and screwed, but without effect; and at length
he capsized the oil, which trickled down into the pit, and caused a
fearful commotion amongst the respectable part of the community therein
seated. Loud were the cries of "Shame! shame!" "What are you at, sir?"
"Turn him out." "Blackguard!" "Where's the police?" When Freeport saw
the eyes of the nation, as it were, upon him, he laughed convulsively,
which made him shake the lamp the more, and the oily shower was thereby
increased. The manager of the Surrey very soon appeared, expostulated
in extremely indignant terms, and requested to know who Sam was.

"Are you ignorant, sir, who I am?" inquired Sam.

"I am," said the manager.

"Then, sir, that circumstance alone," rejoined Sam, "induces me to look
over the abrupt and uncourteous nature of your conduct and address.
I am the Solicitor-General, sir. I came here to admire the acting
for which this theatre is becoming famous; but the lights and the
language are of a nature which certainly do not meet with my approval,
and if the Lord Chamberlain does not take away your licence, it will
not be for the want of representation."

The manager begged Sam not to be hasty, and said it was a mistake and a
misunderstanding--that the house was going to be lighted with gas--that
Miss Vincent was going to be engaged--that "THE WOOD DEMON" was soon
coming out, and he hoped that the Solicitor-General would not take
offence.

"Under these circumstances," said Sam, in the gravest manner possible,
"of course the case is altered. No man has the drama more at heart than
I have. I glory in the drama. I do, upon my honour. They may talk as
they please about suo sibi gladio, but the drama is a nationality.
Come to my chambers, in King's Bench Walk, to-morrow, and I may give
you an idea or two on this subject which may be of use to you."

The manager bowed, said he felt highly gratified that the
Solicitor-General was so kind, and that he would not fail to avail
himself of so distinguished a compliment.




CHAPTER X.

GEORGE HARROWAY'S mother was extremely disgusted at the idea of her son
having married the daughter of a country attorney, and she endeavoured
to suppress the "occurrence" in the Times and the Chronicle, and
the paper published at Bath, where she resided. She had no notion, nor
could she have been made to understand, that in the county where her
son married, he, with his £6,000 a-year, was looked upon as a mere
cypher, or nonentity, while Anne Newsham was the favourite of all the
most important personages. The Earl of Lingfield had given up his
house to the young couple for their honeymoon, and had gone to stay at
Wipley--and "confound the little minx for saying she would never marry
to be an old man's nurse!"

Harroway asked his wife one morning to read the newspapers to him.
This was a favourite employment of Anne's, and George loved to listen
to her remarks. She took up the Morning Post, and found it full of
Captain Freeport of the----Foot. It was "understood (so the editor
probably heard from Sam's own lips) that Captain Freeport would stand
for Middlesex."

It was "not true that Captain Freeport was one of the eight in the
forthcoming match on the Thames. That gentleman proposed to leave
London for Paris on the 24th instant."

"Stanhope Leicester, Esq., has been appointed a member of the committee
for adjudging the prizes at the Smithfield Cattle Show, in the room of
Captain Freeport, who will be absent from the metropolis when the show
takes place."

"Anne, dear, you are inventing?" cried Harroway.

"Indeed, I am not, George," she replied. "And here he is again!
Bell's Life informs us that the famous match at billiards, between
Major Warde and Captain Freeport, and on which such heavy stakes were
pending, was won by the latter officer, who in the last game scored 42,
running, off the red ball."

"There's nothing else worth reading in this paper," said Anne. "Give
me the Chronicle, George." After perusing it for a few minutes,
she exclaimed, "Why, George, here's more of Freeport, and probably
this accounts for his trip to Paris. 'We are given to understand
that an action for breach of promise of marriage will shortly be
tried in the court of Queen's Bench. The plaintiff is the widow of
a deceased alderman, and the defendant a captain in the army, well
known in the sporting world, and famous for his unbounded hospitality.
Serjeant Wilde and Mr. Campbell are retained for the plaintiff. The
Solicitor-General, Mr. Maule, Mr. Thesiger, and several other gentlemen
whose names we have not heard, for the defendant.'"

The above was scarcely read, when the letter-bag was handed over to
George. There was an epistle from Freeport himself. The seal was broken
hastily.


"MY DEAR GEORGE

Now, don't laugh at what I am going to tell you, for it is a very
serious business. I am up to my ears and eyes in a law suit, and am
now off for Paris. If it goes against me, which it may, you know, I'm
an exiled man for ever. The fact is this,--I proposed to an elderly
lady, whom I first saw at my brother's house. The whole thing was a
lark from beginning to end. I did it to satisfy my brother's wife that
the old lady's grief for her late husband, who has only been dead three
months, was all moonshine. However, I have engaged no end of lawyers,
and if they don't bring me through, I'll never trust a lawyer again.
I wish you could get Newsham to come up here and manage it; for these
London fellows are so horribly dilatory, and seem to take no interest
in a fellow's concerns. If I get clear of this, I'll never speak to
a woman again, young or old. Tell your wife that this creature, who
fancied I was in earnest, is as ugly as the old woman under the sofa.
The misfortune is, that they all suppose I have ten thousand a-year,
and if they go and give damages in proportion, I shall be left without
a sixpence. Already have I paid away to these lawyer fellows £500 in
fees--only fancy, eh?

"Tell Newsham he must come up to be my friend. He will find everything
comfortable in my house, where I have left Blew in charge. Ask him if
they can seize the furniture, &c. The tiara of diamonds and emeralds
I've got with me. They'll not get that, I warrant 'em. I took on that
tiara as a talisman of good luck which I'll never part with.

With best love to your wife, believe me your affectionate friend in
trouble at present, "

S. Freeport.

"P.S.--My address is Meurice's Hotel, Paris."


This letter was enclosed to Newsham, who was very fond of showing his
importance, and who wanted at that moment to go to London. He wrote to
Sam for a power of attorney, which Sam very readily and gladly gave
him, and thanked him at the same time for yielding to his entreaties.

Harroway and his wife were strolling round the grounds one clear cold
evening. The former had his gun with him, to shoot a hawk which had
made sad havoc amongst the earl's tumbler pigeons. The gun was on half
cock, but by some accident it went off, and the whole contents of the
barrel passed through the body of Anne's Scotch terrier, and killed
him. The dog was a great favourite with every one--it was such a sharp
and clever looking dog. Anne was sorely distressed at his fate; but the
more distressed at what she thought was their bad luck. This feeling
took so strong a hold of her, that the once bold Anne Newsham was now
quite timid. She lost her nerve, even on horseback, and she feared to
allow her husband out of her sight.

"It may be this place that is unlucky, George," she said. "Let us
leave it, and go back to York."

Harroway yielded, and they returned to occupy a house he had rented
equi-distant from Newsham's and the barracks. But the locality, it
seemed, had nothing to do with their luck.

About two o'clock one morning--before they had been settled a week--the
house was discovered to be on fire, and it was with the greatest
difficulty that Harroway and his wife got down the staircase, which
was in flames. They lost nearly everything that was of a perishable
nature, but George only laughed at this, to dissipate the gloom which
the accident cast over Anne's once bright face.

"What nonsense it is to cry over trifles," he would exclaim, "and talk
about bad luck. These things happen to other people, and why should
they not happen to us?"

Harroway obtained leave, and they went to spend a few days with an old
bachelor, who lived a short distance from the city, until another abode
was got ready for them.

On the estate was a small lake, and there was a small boat for the
amusement of those who were fond of rowing. George induced Anne to get
into the boat, and he rowed round the margin. When they returned, he
discovered that he had lost a little plain gold ring, which his wife
had placed on his finger the day they were married, requesting him at
the time never to remove it without her permission. It was impossible
to conceal the loss from her. She missed it, and asked what had become
of it. Harroway told the truth, and Anne was miserable.




CHAPTER XI.

NEWSHAM arrived in London, and settled himself in Captain Freeport's
mansion in Portland Place. Blew was all civility, and gave a very
disparaging account of everybody on earth, except his master, who was
(he said) a perfect gem of a man--without fault or blemish. Acting
on the power of attorney, Newsham very soon took the case out of the
London attorney's hands, and he wouldn't have anything to say to any
of the counsel then employed, because none of them had ever gone the
northern circuit, and consequently "didn't know what sharpness meant."

He admitted that the case was a very bad one, and that on "the merits"
Freeport stood no more chance than a cat without claws. "But," said
Newsham, to himself, "if Billy Snuffles does not take a fatal legal
objection before the case is closed, I'll eat my own head off."

The person spoken of as Billy Snuffles was the best black letter lawyer
in England. He was a man of great talent, and had an immense practice;
and no man ever had such luck in his profession. It was quite equal to
his client's luck at cards or billiards. Newsham had first brought him
into notice, and had been his constant friend for many years. Snuffles
(he was never known by any other name) said Sam's letters to the lady
were very strong and positive indeed, and he could not see how on earth
they were to be "rebutted." "But, Newsham," said he, "a case is not
lost till it is won, and in the course of our experience we have seen
some queer things turn up."

"We have indeed," replied Newsham, "and I sincerely hope we shall do
'em in this. We must watch and hope; give 'em their tether, and let 'em
go on."

The day of trial came on. The Attorney-General made a most brilliant
speech, and earned his hundred guineas well. He represented his client
as a lady of great personal charms and varied accomplishments, and
the widow of a gentleman of rank. Freeport was described as "a most
inhuman person"--as a "trifler with the feelings of innocence"--"a man
revelling in wealth, and gloating over the impunity which it gives to
the possessor."

Sam's letters were then read and commented upon, and they caused no
little laughter from the bench, the bar, the jury, and the public--the
expressions were so curious. As for Newsham, who knew Sam well, he
could scarcely do his duty--he giggled so.

The awful time came for the defence. Snuffles looked at Newsham, and
Newsham looked at Snuffles, who, by instinct, as it were, said to the
bench, "My Lords, I think there is no case to go to the jury." He then
turned over the leaves of his brief, on which he had taken notes, and
suddenly muttered to himself, "I thought not."

"May it please your Lordships," said Snuffles, "there is no proof
whatever of my client having refused to marry this lady; and if she's
the delightful creature described by my learned friend, I doubt not he
would marry her to-morrow."

Hereupon there was a terrible commotion amongst the wigged heads, and
some chuckling on the part of Newsham. A fierce argument then took
place, which resulted in the following judgment from the Lord Chief
Justice:--"We are of opinion that the plaintiff must be nonsuited.
The letters of Captain Freeport are certainly evasive, and many persons
would glean that he never intended to marry the plaintiff; or if he
ever did so intend, he had changed his mind. At the same time, that
is not sufficient for the Court. Proof of refusal is necessary; and
proof of refusal we have none. The plaintiff asks the defendant when
he intends to perform his promise. The defendant, in reply, says,
'My love, what do you say to joining a pleasure party to Margate?'
The lady's solicitor then addresses the defendant, and the defendant
tells him he is 'astonished at his impudence.' It would be monstrous
to torture this into evidence of refusal. The plaintiff must be
nonsuited."

"Has the master won it, sir?" inquired Blew, quite pale with anxiety,
when Newsham came out of court.

"Of course!" replied Newsham. "What do you suppose I came up from
Yorkshire for?"

"Long life to you!" cried Blew. "Your equal is not to be met among
any of these blackguards who have been a pursuing of him. The captain
himself must have thought it hopeless, or never would he have fled
the kingdom. He's game to the backbone; though I must confess he was
awfully cast down when they took him into court about the business."

Sam came back from Paris post haste, and embraced Newsham, whom he
called his "deliverer."

"How did you manage it, Newsham, eh!" asked Sam.

"It was Lombard-street to a China orange," replied Newsham, out of
breath from the violence of Sam's embrace.

"I wish the old girl was Lombard-street," said Sam. "We should have no
more law suits, Newsham. I'm blowed if we should. Look here, Newsham.
Have they made you comfortable, old boy? It was not the act of an
insane person to send for you--was it? Look here. You said once
you'd put a restraint on my actions. I wish to heaven you could put a
restraint on everybody else's actions. By Jove, that Lord Denman looks
as if he'd transport a man without remorse, and cast a poor devil in
damages, just for a lark. What's the meaning of their wearing those big
wigs? What about George? How does he get on? Have they had a fight yet,
or do they continue to coo like turtle doves? It was a great mistake in
Anne not marrying me. How rosy you look, old boy! One would fancy you
had been to Paris, where everybody paints and makes themselves up. Look
at me. I'm now a perfect mass of rouge, and cosmetique, and black,
and pearl powder, and I don't know what all. I never saw such pockets
as they've got to their billiard tables; not bigger than the top of
that inkstand--just the size of the ball. I had not a chance. Lost
every game. Luckily, I didn't bet. Let's have dinner, Newsham."




CHAPTER XII.

HARROWAY had been married three months, when one morning, after parade,
he heard the major casually remark, "I am very sorry to hear that Mr.
Glenworthy, the great banker, has destroyed himself."

"Indeed!" said some one else. "What's the meaning of that?"

"They say," replied the major, "that the bank must go; they have rather
overdone the thing."

Harroway was interested in this bank--that is to say, he was a
proprietor to the extent of one year's saving from his income; but so
close was he respecting his private affairs, he did not join in the
conversation, further than remarking, "Poor fellow! I am very sorry to
hear it."

Instead of going home to his wife, George Harroway went to Newsham's.
He found the old man absent and fidgety, and unusually incoherent in
his replies, and what appeared very odd to Harroway, was that Newsham
regarded the self-destruction of the best client he ever had as a mere
matter of course.

"I hope there is no truth in the report that the bank is likely to
break, for I should not like to lose that £4,500" said George.

"Oh dear, no!" said Newsham. "Oh dear, no! quite safe--quite safe!"

The old man fixed his little sharp grey eye upon his son-in-law, and,
after vacantly staring at him for at least a minute, burst into tears,
and covered his face with his hands.

"What's the matter?" asked George.

"Oh God!" said Newsham, pressing his forehead, while the tears rolled
down his cheeks, "this is worse than all!"

"What do you mean?" inquired Harroway.

"You will soon know. Too soon, I fear. I can never survive it."

"If you mean that the bank has gone, or is going," said Harroway, "you
need not let that trouble you. Your interest is not greater than mine;
and a loss twice as great might very easily be survived. It is a bore
to lose money in this way; but it can't be helped. Those who venture
should be prepared for kicks sometimes, as well as halfpence."

"God help you!" cried the old man. "Don't curse me!"

Newsham looked twenty years older in the space of an hour. He was a
very young-looking man for his age; but suddenly he seemed to break up,
and become grey-headed. Harroway observed this wonderful change, and
begged him to open his heart.

"Know the worst at once!" cried the old man. "The bank has
gone--crash--I am ruined! And we all are ruined! And you are ruined!"
He could say no more; his head fell upon his chest, and he seemed
stupid with his own reflections.

Harroway was hurt for the old man's sake, but he did not understand how
he himself could be ruined. The bulk of his property was "all safe in
government funds." He roused the old man, and begged him to explain.
But all he could elicit was this,--"They will take out judgment against
the wealthiest."

The phrase was unintelligible to the young man, and he proceeded to
question further, but to no purpose.

Newsham became like a madman, and Harroway wrote a note to Anne, who
was always looked up to in cases of difficulty, to come immediately.
Anne came, and found her father quite childish. He laughed, and then
wept, and then laughed again. She thought he had been drinking, and was
surprised; for it was not Newsham's wont to indulge during the day.

"He says we are all ruined," said George.

The old man clutched a letter which he drew from his waistcoat pocket,
and this letter Anne contrived to snatch from her father's hand. With
eager eyes she read as follows:--


"Newsham, these are the last lines my pen will ever write. I cannot
live to see the awful wreck which is so close at hand, and the ruin of
all those who are nearest and dearest to me--friends, relatives, and
connexions. The fault is all mine. Poor dear Anne. Her husband's all,
to go in this way! I am glad I never saw his face. Farewell Newsham."


"This is from Mr. Glenworthy," said Anne. "What can it mean?"

"He has destroyed himself," said George, "and your father says the bank
has gone. I had only £4500 there. How does he make out I lose my all?"

The old man smiled, and then shut his eyes.

Anne, who had often listened to discussions about the responsibility of
parties, saw it at once, and she said in a solemn tone--"Then, George,
we are ruined! All is gone! I felt this was impending!"

George Harroway turned deathly pale. He had an hereditary fondness
for wealth, and knew the importance attached to it. Far from being
purse-proud, he inwardly rejoined in the knowledge that he was worth
much money. To hear that it was all gone--to suspect only that it was
in danger--was too fearful a blow to bear up against. He seated himself
in a large chair, clutched the arms of it, and looked perfectly aghast.
His wife knelt before him, and begged him to listen to her--to act
like a man--but he seemed deaf and dumb. His senses were apparently in
complete abeyance. In vain did she say to him, "George, dear, I have
been the cause of this misfortune; had it not been for me, you would
never have risked your fortune thus, and lost it; but you are still
young, George, and bright days may yet be in store for us. The loss of
your riches ought not to diminish your happiness. So long as we have
enough to live upon, we can fancy we have countless heaps of gold.
Speak to me, George, and help me to give some consolation to my poor
old father, who, at his age, will have to begin life anew in poverty.
We shall be better off than many of our neighbours, for we do not stand
alone in this calamity. The man who has destroyed himself has left
behind him a wife and thirteen children, who never knew what it was to
have whim or wish ungratified. George, do not stare so unmeaningly."

This last sentence caught Harroway's ear, and he replied, "Anne, dear,
you told me once you had a horror of poverty. Well do I remember that."

"True!" she cried, clutching his arm, and looking into his eyes to
rivet the attention she had aroused. "True, George. But then I thought
it was far off. Now that it is near, George, I can laugh at its
horrors. For me it has no horrors. As the inhabitant of a wretched
hovel with you, I could be as happy as though the walls of a palace
surrounded us. Whatever be our fate, let us battle with it, George,
dear."

"Good girl!" said old Newsham, proudly, moved by her firm voice
and the courage she showed--"brave girl! You are worth a thousand
fortunes--even such as mine, which was twice as great as his, though
nobody knew it but myself and that poor man who is now no more."

Harroway was equally struck with the courage of his wife, and embracing
her, he called on God to spare her unto him so long as he should live.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Sam Freeport carried on faster than ever, after his return from Paris.
He sent for a French cook, whose dishes were the admiration of the best
qualified judges. Of his wines there never was any other opinion than
that they were unexceptionable.

But Freeport became tired of hearing himself called "that excellent
fellow, Sam." The life palled on him, and at length he preferred the
conversation with Blew about old times, to that of any of his numerous
visitors.

"It's a great bore, Blew, to be a man of fortune," said Sam one
morning. "I don't feel half so happy as when I had not a sixpence, and
had to tax my wits how to raise the wind for current expenses. If the
old regiment was not ordered out to Bangalore, or some such place or
other in the East, I think I'd try and get back."

"How would you manage with the colonel, sir?"

"Oh! as for that, I could soon manage. I could get the servant maid to
say I saved the child's life, by preventing a mad dog from attacking
her--and they'd yearn towards me instanter."

"London is not a very nice place, after all, sir," suggested Blew. "I
think you would like Belfast much better, sir."

"Not a bit of it," rejoined Sam. "It is not the place. One is just
the same to me as another. It is the regiment, Blew. It is the
mess--wherever that is, that's the place for me. I was--let me see--16
from--27--that's eleven years with the regiment, and no man was ever so
much loved in it. If I can manage it, Blew, I'll go back. What do you
say, will you take to pipe-clay again, eh?"

"Wherever you go, I'll follow, sir. But I'll never 'list again, sir.
If the regiment is going to Bangylower, sir, you'd better change your
mind, and get into the regiment that's at Belfast. You'd be delighted
with Belfast, sir. The Belfast ladies is the beautifullest ladies in
the whole world, sir, with their dark blue eyes, and their nut brown
hair, and their ivory teeth, and their little mouths."

"Don't go on any more about them," said Sam, "or you'll make me break
my vow, never to have anything to say to them again. Besides, the
ladies are very handsome in the Indies, or else the pictures of 'em
don't speak the truth."

"Well, sir, it don't signify to me. Wherever you go, there will your
faithful servant Blew be in attendance. I'm so used to the irregular
life you have led me for the last nine years, that any other life would
be the death of me."

Freeport was a man who never pondered. When an idea came into his
head, he carried it out at once. Blew was therefore requested to call
in the bills--to let the house for the remainder of the term--and put
everything in train for a start to any part of the world, on a day's
notice.

Sam had been seven months in town, and in that time had parted with
more than half of his money; and it was doubtful whether the residue
would cover his outstanding debts. He had no Horse Guards interest
himself; but his brother knew several persons who had, and they were
always glad to exert it whenever called upon to do so.

Sam paid his elder brother a visit one morning--the first since the
trial, and was about to unbosom himself, and tell the whole truth, when
his brother, with a solemn face remarked, that it was "a bad look out
for poor young Harroway?"

"What's the matter?" asked Sam. "Has Anne bolted, or what? She was a
rum girl, and I'm quite satisfied she never loved him." Here he
looked at himself in the glass.

"No, poor fellow!" said Sam's elder brother. "He has not only lost
everything, but he is hunted to death by bailiffs."

"Nonsense!" ejaculated Sam. "How's that? George was beastly rich, and a
most careful fellow, too."

"He lost it by the failure of a Joint Stock Bank. One of your imperial
affairs, Sam."

"Not the Bank that Newsham is concerned in?"

"The same!"

"Has it broke?" inquired Sam, with well feigned anxiety.

"Yes. Didn't you see it in the papers?"

"Oh, heavens!" exclaimed Sam,--reeling towards the couch--"then I'm a
ruined man!"

"I hope you had nothing in it, Sam?"

"Yes--yes. Everything was there deposited at interest. Oh Edward! this
is an awful business. You have turned me deadly faint. Let me have a
glass of Madeira. Is there no remedy against a bank that breaks?"

Sam's brother's heart palpitated fiercely when he heard this; but as
Sam seemed so dreadfully cut up, he thought it as well to console
him by saying he would not lose all, and that eventually it would be
recovered from the proprietors.

"Eventually!" whined Sam. "That's all very well, but what am I to do in
the mean time? starve, or what? Can I live upon my half pay?"

"No, Sam, you need not starve. You can very easily get upon full
pay again, and until the first instalment is paid you from the bank
proprietors, Robert and myself will make you some allowance, which you
can refund."

"It's an awful business!" murmured Sam, burying his head in the sofa
pillows. "But thank Heaven it is no worse! Poor George Harroway! I pity
him from the very bottom of my heart!"




CHAPTER XIII.

HARROWAY quietly gave up all that he had, as soon as he found it would
be taken away from him by legal process. An estate which was left to
his mother for life had been settled upon Anne. It was situated near
the New Forest, and though it was very extensive, it was not very
profitable. His mother had some five or six hundred a year besides; but
then she was in debt, and in absolute want of ready money;--so much so,
that she had been compelled to rent the estate and reside in Bath.

Harroway, for months, lived in constant dread of being arrested and
taken to prison to satisfy some of the new creditors who were
springing up in all directions and parts of the kingdom. Newsham's
household property was sold off, and the old man went for a season to
York Castle. Every one that Newsham had any influence over,--and their
name was legion--was in the same condition as himself--penniless--and
beggared. Mrs. Newsham and her three unmarried daughters went to
Liverpool.

"Really, George, dear," said Anne, one night (as she sat mending
George's socks, over a tallow candle), "we are not so badly off, after
all. Poverty is not half so bad as I took it to be--as far as I can
see, it only teaches us what we can do without--for my part, I am quite
as happy in this merino dress as I should be in the most expensive
velvet--and although this light is not so bright as it might be," (she
snuffed it as she spoke,) "yet it brings us much nearer together, for
we have both to get near to it--you to read and I to sew. It was a kind
act of my old god-father to buy our books and give them to us--for we
seem to read them with twice the pleasure. George, I bought you some
cigars to-day--for it is a curious thing, whenever you smoke I never
have the toothache. I dare say you will think this very selfish in me;
but really, George, if you knew what I suffered from my teeth, you
would forgive me. You will find them on the sideboard yonder, dearest.
I wish you would begin, for I felt a twinge just now."

Harroway was quick enough to see that Anne's reason for buying cigars
was not dictated by selfishness. But he would not dispel the pleasure
he could see she felt in practising this innocent deception, and he
readily complied with her wishes. As he lighted the cigar with a coal,
which he took up with the tongs, a tear glistened in each eye--a tear
of gratitude to fate, which, while it robbed him of all his worldly
goods, had given him an equivalent in a woman whom he could love,
honour, and respect.

"There's one thing, George," continued Anne, "which annoys me beyond
description; and I shall not be sorry when the day arrives for us to
leave England for another country, where no one will know anything
about us. What I allude to is being regarded with pity by so many
people. I detest being pitied; it makes my blood boil with rage. I
remember one day rushing an old horse at a bank which was too much
for him; and the beast came down, and gave me the most flying purl
I ever had in my life. I sprained my ankle very severely, and hurt
my left hand; but the pain was nothing like so bad as what I felt on
hearing some person say, Poor thing! There's something so dreadfully
humiliating in being called 'Poor thing,' or 'Poor creature.' I would
much rather have a slap in the face. I think, if I was a man, I would
strike any person who pitied me. 'Poor Mrs. Harroway!'" she imitated
a lady of their acquaintance. "Only fancy that coming from a woman who
has a disgusting dwarf for a husband, whom I would not be united to for
fifty thousand a-year--an ill-nurtured, peevish, jealous, unpopular
creature--much more like a ragged, knock-knee'd pony than a man.
'Poor Mrs. Harroway!'"

"Hark, dear!" cried Harroway, half frightened. "There's some one below.
Listen! he said 'Where is he?' I hope they will never separate us."

"That they shall never do, George," said Anne. "We will go together."

There was a knock at the door.

Anne called out in a firm voice, "Come in;" and she drew herself up to
face whoever it might be.

The door was partially opened, and a head appeared, whence issued, in a
deep bass voice,


"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme grows."


"Come in, Sam," cried Harroway--(and Anne laughed heartily). "What has
brought you down here?"

"Fate, sir, Fate," was the reply. "Well, sister Anne, I am glad to see
you looking cozy and comfortable over a mutton fat. How are you? What
is it the poet says--contentment--joy--and something or other, eh?
Well, never mind. It will be all the same in less than a hundred years."

Here Freeport slapped George on the back, and inquired what they had
had for dinner.

"Roast mutton," said Anne; "and we are going to have it cold to-morrow,
and hashed the day after."

"No you are not," said Sam. "I want to see it now. I am cruel hungry.
Have you any pickles?"

"Yes," said Anne, "and George still drinks gin and water."

"Then we shall have a happy repast," said Sam; "and over it I will tell
you all about myself. Blew is outside--he'll get everything ready, if
your servants are out of the way. Don't get up, sister Anne. My man
knows where everything is kept by instinct."

"We lock everything up now, Sam," said George. "I'll go and get it out
for you."

While Freeport was discussing the cold mutton and pickles, he gave the
Harroways to understand that in a few days he would be gazetted to the
old corps--that he had spent all his money, and had done his brothers
most beautifully. He declared that the happiest moments he had spent
since they parted were the present; and the joyous expression of his
countenance was sufficient to satisfy them he spoke the truth. Sam
voted an idle life a great nuisance, a sentiment which amused Harroway
vastly. He intended, he said, to call on the colonel, and not take the
slightest notice that they had ever had any differences. "In short,"
said Sam, "I'll write and ask him for a room in his house."

When Anne saw her husband's face overspread with laughter,--when she
heard him break out occasionally into a roar, at the narration, by
Sam, of scenes that he had taken a part in, she was delighted that he
had paid them a visit; and when Freeport praised her father's ability,
and said--"Mark my words, if Newsham don't turn all this business to a
good account, and before five years pass away, accumulate no end of a
fortune,"--she was truly enchanted. These last observations seemed to
inspire Harroway with hopes, and he took another glass of grog on the
strength of them.




CHAPTER XIV.

ANNE retired, but Sam kept his friend up the whole night long. From the
next room Anne could hear them screaming with laughter. She lay awake,
listening to the noise, which was like the sweetest music to her ears.

The following morning, while Harroway and his wife, and Freeport,
were at breakfast, Blew came into the room, and said to his master,
"There's an ill-looking thief, sir--I beg your pardon, ma'm, for using
the expression (he looked at Anne)--prowlin' about the premises, with
B-A-Y-L-E-A-F marked on his ugly countenance."

"With what, Blew?"

"Bailiff, sir--I'd take an oath of it."

"What makes you think that?" asked Sam.

"Why, sir, he's got one of those netted comforters on his neck, and
he's got one of those thick fusten shootin' coats. But, however, sir,
I'd swear he was a bailiff, if it was only by his high-lows--they are
laced nattily up the front, with leather strings, sir."

"Look here, Blew!" said Sam, handing him a large carving fork--"just
mount guard at the door, and see that he does not come in here for the
next quarter of an hour."

"Faith, I'll not let him in for the next twelve-month, if it comes to
that," said Blew, who left the room, and seated himself on the top
stair, where he hummed--


"O say, thou dear possessor of my breast!
Where's now my boasted liberty and rest?
Where those gay moments which I once have known
And where that heart I fondly thought my own?

"From place to place I solitary roam,
Abroad uneasy, nor content at home,
I scorn the beauties other eyes adore--
The more I view them, think thine own the more."


When Blew left the room, Harroway put down his knife and fork, looked
up at the ceiling, and groaned heavily.

"What's the meaning of that?" asked Sam. "Surely, you don't funk a
bailiff? Lord, man, they're nothing, when you are used to 'em."

"Mr. Harroway does not funk a bailiff, or anything else, Captain
Freeport," said Anne, taking up Sam rather too sharply, considering
she was his hostess. "But you'll recollect, Captain Freeport, that Mr.
Harroway is a married man, and not quite so selfish as the rest of the
world. He knows that to be taken away from this would annoy me, and
therefore the chance of it annoys him."

"Well, if he doesn't funk, why should he make that disagreeable, dismal
noise?"

Harroway saw the blood rushing into his wife's cheeks--the veins in
the neck swelling--and the eyelids moving quickly, preparatory to an
outbreak; and he placed his hand gently on her arm, and said, "Anne,
dearest, don't dispute. Sam is quite right. I do funk these fellows.
They worry my soul out."

"And you shall laugh at 'em, old George," said Sam, tapping him
significantly on the shoulder, and winking his left eye. "Listen to me,
Mrs. Harroway, and you are all right."

When the colour was receding from Anne's cheeks, and gradually
diffusing itself--when she was changing from anger to gratitude--when
she saw that Freeport knew George's failing as well as herself, and
that his object was to cheer and aid him--her face was perfectly
beautiful--the eyes were heavenly.

"Look here," continued Sam, "you don't know that fellow Blew, Mrs.
Harroway. He is one of the most invaluable men that ever served his
country or a master. I'll be bound to say that that man will know
before to-morrow morning what officer in the corps has the best
shirts and pocket-handkerchiefs, and I shall never be at a loss for a
respectable get-up in that particular. I leave everything to Blew. He's
worth £200 a year to me."

One recollection flashed across George's mind; and notwithstanding
he did funk the bailiff, he fell back in his chair and laughed
hysterically, and his wife did the like at the bare idea that a man
could be so consummately cool, and have the face to confess it.

"Irish linen--Scotch cambric--book muslin--such an assortment, eh,
George?"

"Sam! Sam! Do leave off, or you'll be the death of me," laughed George.

"It's all right," responded Freeport. "Blew would never let the fellow
in without orders. You know, he'd poke his eye out with that fork just
as soon as look at him. Now, then, look here. Not one minute before
Blew came in, I had made up my mind to go to the mess, after breakfast,
and get two bottles of our old Madeira, and take them down to the
castle, and spend the day with Newsham--talk about the beastly past and
a better future, and cheer the old man's heart up."

Poor Anne burst into tears. The kindly feeling that accompanied Sam's
words was too much for her.

"Come! come!" cried Sam--"none of this. I don't funk bailiffs, or
anything of that sort; but, by Jove! to see a woman like you shed tears
turns me regularly topsy-turvy."

Sam's large blue eyes distilled several drops; but he ate a radish
savagely, and looked at his plate, so that they were unseen by those
who sat at table with him.

After a brief pause, Sam began again: "Look here, George, you and
sister Anne had better leave this to-night, at about eight o'clock.
Post over to Wakefield, and go on to Barnsly; there rest a day, and
then take the coach up to London. The colonel will give you leave, for
he never denied any man a reasonable request in his life. The regiment
leaves England in two months, and you can live quietly in ambush till
then. At about twelve o'clock, I will put on your blue frock coat, and
go out. As soon as I see the bailiff, I'll pretend to elude his grasp.
He'll walk along side of me for a minute or so, and when I look at
him, he'll say, 'Mr. Harroway, I wish to speak with you.' I'll mend my
pace, and try to wind him. He'll then touch me, George. I know these
fellows so well, you know. When he touches me, I'll stop. Then he'll
show the writ, and then I'll offer him a couple of sovereigns. That
will insult him; for no bailiff will take a tip lower than ten pound.
After some parley, I'll do the civil, and crave for a parting with my
wife. He'll grant this, in hopes of a glass of grog. When I return you
must pretend, sister Anne, to weep and be dreadfully downcast, and I'll
make a speech like the dying confession of a man going to be hanged.
When I am gone, let that be a signal for you two to be off, as soon as
you can get ready; but I'll write you a letter when I am safely caged.
Recollect, that in this corps we are all brothers and sisters. We are
the only family in the world that does not quarrel; and the reason is,
we never give each other cause to.--Do we, George?"

"No, Sam, I am happy to say we never do. Your difference with the
colonel is the only one I can remember; and I hope, and verily believe
that even will blow over."

"Blow over!" echoed Freeport. "Blow over! I'd bet you ten thousand a
year----"

The door opened, and a portly gentleman entered. Blew, with the fork in
his hand, and his eye on his master, closed it after him.

It was the colonel. He walked up to Freeport and shook him by the hand.
"I knew you were here," said the colonel, "when I saw that rascal Blew
sitting on the stairs picking his teeth with a carving fork. I am told
you are to rejoin us; and believe me, my dear Sam, when I say I am very
happy to hear it."

"I was this moment, sir, about to pay my respects to yourself and
Mrs. Sneed; but circumstances of what they call 'an untoward' or
'an unfroward' nature--which this boy Harroway can explain--will, I
fear, debar me that pleasure for some days to come. Meanwhile, you
will oblige me by conveying to Mrs. Sneed my kindest remembrances and
regards. I shall not be gazetted, sir, till the 13th or 14th of next
month."




CHAPTER XV.

SAM was accosted by the bailiff, and eventually arrested; but the offer
of a bribe of two sovereigns was so great an insult that Freeport was
not allowed "the tender parting" he anticipated. He was taken to the
Castle forthwith, and the heavy doors closed upon him. Sam expected to
find Newsham dreadfully cast down and dejected; but, to his surprise,
he found the old man hard at work, giving instructions to his head
clerk.

"Well, old boy," said Sam, as soon as he was in Newsham's presence,
"who'd have thought of ever meeting with you in a cage? I fancied
you were much too knowing a bird to get caught, eh, Newsham?"

"What, my dear friend, Freeport!" exclaimed the old man. "I am very
glad to see you. This is the place, Freeport, to test the sincerity
of friendship; and when I get out again, I shall be wiser than I have
been. It was very kind of you to come and see me. Sit down."

"Not a bit kind," replied Sam. "I was brought here; arrested, sir, in
York, for £2500."

"Are you serious?"

"I am," whispered Sam in the old man's ear. "The bailiff took me for
George; they are going to start away for London to-night. When they get
there, I suppose I can easily get out of this?"

"Of course you can, and have a splendid action of trespass against the
sheriff into the bargain. Capital! capital! How were they? Does my girl
still keep her spirits up?"

"Doesn't she!" cried Sam. "She's much the best man of the two. George's
spirits departed with his gold!"

"It was an awful blow," said the old man, jauntily. "Just see how grey
it has made me. But we must make the best of it."

"Of course," ejaculated Sam. "It's a folly to talk of life's troubles.
There's always two sides of the way. I told 'em you would turn it to
account; and I know you will--wont you, old fellow?"

Newsham smiled, and remarked, "If I don't, depend upon it no one
else can. We shall see. Why, within the last three days," whispered
Newsham, confidentially, "I have shifted some £250,000 worth of
responsibility from the shoulders of other people to my own; and the
certificate will rub off all that along with the rest. By the bye,
Freeport, all Mrs. Missevery's property, which was left to you, went
with that of others."

"What a lucky fellow I am," said Sam. "For if I had got it, I should
have left it to you to manage, and it would have been lost. Now that
just establishes my theory--namely, that a man like me has no business
with more than he absolutely wants. I don't mean to say I should
have cried about it; but I might, Newsham, you know, and made myself
unhappy; but as I never had it, why, of course, I have no cause for
lamentation. I gave it out, however, that I was deeply involved; and
when I write to my brother from 'York Castle,' I shall certainly get
something for present expenses--as a sort of consolation. What a
rascally world this is, to be sure, Newsham, eh? Swindling ought to be
made legal in this age."

"No, no, my good sir," said the old man, "you must not destroy the
fabric of business. The laws are all very well as they stand. They
require no sort of alteration. To try and mend the law, is to make it
worse."

"Well, I suppose you know best," said Sam. "Let us have a glass of
Madeira, and then I'll go and stroll round the place, and let you go on
with your work. At what hour do you dine?"

"At the usual hour," said Newsham. "One or two people, who expect
future favours, are very attentive and supply my wants. You will find
lots of good company here, taking the air and exercise, and the greater
part of them abuse me. It is very natural they should; but still it
ought to teach us a lesson never to advise men what to do with their
money. If they are fortunate, you are the wisest and best creature in
the world; if they are unfortunate, then you are the greatest rascal
that ever breathed, even if you lose as much as the whole of them put
together."

True enough, there was an abundance of company in the castle. Men of
all ages and ranks, and they all seemed to know each other. Sam was a
stranger in the crowd, but he did not long remain so. A very old man,
who stood about six feet two inches high, and whose thick hair was
as white as the driven snow, approached him, and bowed in the most
graceful and dignified manner imaginable.

"Have you ever been in a jail before?" inquired the old man, with a
pleasing inquisitiveness.

"Never, but I have often been devilish near it," returned Sam, in his
own peculiar quaint way.

The old man smiled, and said, "I am glad to see your troubles do not
sit heavily on your head, sir."

"I have not a trouble in the world," said Sam. "What's the use
of having troubles when they can be so easily removed by people
themselves?"

"That's the spirit of philosophy, sir," said the old man, "and I wish
I could impart it to these poor folks around. See what dejection is
everywhere visible! The only joy they have is when the door opens to
admit a companion in distress. Yonder stands a man, with his eyes upon
the ground, whom I have known for the last twenty years. He was a very
opulent corn factor. When I spoke to him yesterday, he didn't recollect
me. That poor youth, with his hands in his empty pockets, is the son of
a man who died immensely rich. He represents one of the oldest families
in the riding. The boy inherited his father's gambling propensities,
and has lost everything. His heart seems broken."

"He could not have had any to break," observed Sam. "A stout,
burly-looking fellow like that taking on about losing money! He ought
to be ashamed of himself. I pity women and children who suffer, but I
don't pity the speculators at all."

"The man in the white top-coat, leaning against the wall, is a great
ironmonger," continued the old man. "His losses have driven him to
drink, and from the expression of his face, I should say he was drunk
now. His course, I fear, will be pursued by many."

"I am glad to say," said Sam, "I had nothing to do with it. I am here
as a security."

"I have been an inmate of these walls for the last four years," said
the old man, "and I shall probably never get out of them. I was a
defaulter in my accounts, though I never knew what became of the
deficiency."




CHAPTER XVI.

AWAY from his friends in the regiment, and domiciled in obscure
lodgings in the Edgeware Road, George Harroway began to mope. He would
look out upon the street, and stare for an hour together, without
speaking a word. Anne used to talk incessantly, but her wit and
vivacity began to lose their effect. He could not help laughing at her
remarks; but his face would relapse, almost immediately, into that
gloomy expression which seemed to have there settled itself. Whenever
they went out to walk, Anne led him wherever she listed. "It is all the
same to me," was his constant reply to her questions.

One Sunday evening, they strolled towards the Serpentine. Harroway cast
his eyes upon the water and sighed. A tremor ran through his wife's
every vein, and a thousand horrible thoughts crowded upon her. She
employed all her art to get him to take a part in a conversation; but
notwithstanding that he said "Yes" and "No" occasionally, it was very
evident he was not listening to what she said.

When they returned, Anne had the misfortune to break a small looking
glass. Her heart sunk within her when she beheld the fragments on the
floor. There is an old superstition in Yorkshire that whoever breaks
a looking-glass will be unlucky for seven years. But she rallied,
and went down to dinner with a face beaming with smiles. Their means
were very limited, for the paymaster was the only person they could
rely upon; nevertheless, George Harroway insisted on sending to a
neighbouring public house for a dozen of port wine, and, for the
first time since he had been married, he got very drunk indeed. Anne
thought little of this; but lo! the next morning, immediately after
breakfast, he opened, with his own hand, another bottle, and took a
draught out of a tumbler. His wife remonstrated, and Harroway begged
of her to "mind her own business." Before five o'clock in the evening
he was again intoxicated, and talked like a madman. He accused Anne of
being the cause of all his misfortunes, in consequence of her reckless
extravagance and passion for gambling--her vanity in supposing she
knew anything about horses, and letting him in for £10,000 on the
last Derby. The poor girl had never betted in her life, beyond a pair
of gloves or a new bonnet, but still she admitted the truth of all
he declared, and kneeling beside him, as he lay upon the couch, she
implored his pardon for all her past imprudence, and promised to behave
better in future. This unqualified confession of error soothed the
excited mind of Harroway, and ere long he fell asleep, and breathed the
laboured breath of heavy intoxication.

Anne sat beside him, stitching her fingers off, and stifling her sighs
lest they should, by chance, disturb him.

At about eight o'clock there was a postman's rap at the door, which
awoke George Harroway, and startled his wife. The former stared around
the room in astonishment. Poor fellow, he had been dreaming of other
circumstances than those which oppressed him. While his wife broke the
seal of the letter, which was to her address, George turned round and
was about to compose himself once more to slumber.

"George, George, dear!" she exclaimed. "Here is some luck at last.
Somebody has sent us a bank-note for £50."

"I'd bet it is a bad one. One of those d----d imperial affairs!" he
grunted.

"No, dear George. Look at it. I wonder who it can be! Not a word, and
the handwriting of the address I never saw before. We shall go on
swimmingly now, George."

"Of course, we'll make a fortune!" observed Harroway.

"We'll not do that, dear George," said Anne, good temperedly; "but
we can take a trip to Calais, George, and enjoy ourselves until the
regiment embarks. George! don't go to sleep again. Sit up and talk."

"I'm not going to sleep, dear," said Harroway, pettishly, and in
another minute he was snoring loudly.

Anne sat working till twelve o'clock, then, collecting her thoughts, as
well as she could, she tried to form a future.

To her intense horror, Harroway awoke, and craved for some brandy and
water. She gave it, with feigned cheerfulness, but the bottle had
nearly fallen from her hand.

Day after day was spent in idleness and dissipation by Harroway, and in
pain and anxiety by his wife. It was necessary for her to cash the £50
note, to meet some little bills, which demanded urgent settlement. She
went to her dressing-case, where the note was placed, and to her dismay
it was not to be found. She searched her drawers, her work-basket, and
every place where it might have been deposited for safety (although
she was certain she put it in the dressing-case), but it was not to
be found. Doubtless it had been stolen. Since the great calamity Anne
had never alluded to their bad luck, but the words were constantly on
Harroway's lips. Anne, therefore, did not like to tell him of their
loss. She tested her ingenuity to know how the sum could be replaced.
There was but one way--the sale of her watch, and a variety of trinkets
which she never wore, and which he was not likely to miss.

The landlady effected this little matter, and disposed of the property
at a moderate sacrifice of value.




CHAPTER XVII.

FROM York Castle, Sam Freeport wrote the following letter to his friend
Harroway:


"MY DEAR GEORGE

I am so very happy here with Newsham, that I should like to remain for
a month longer; but the time is nearly up, and I must prove to the
sheriff, that I am not you but myself, and by these means get out.
A more decent set of people I have never met, and I feel under some
obligations to you, old boy, for giving me an opportunity of making
their acquaintance. There is no fear of being bitten by mad dogs
here--no fear of being run over by carriages; 'pon my word, George,
it is a most desirable residence for any man of retired habits, and
to an antiquary it ought to be a luxury. Here's Julia Caesar, and the
Clifford Tower, and it is impossible to say what all. The living is
unexceptionable. Newsham has no end of friends, who are very bountiful.
Blew brings down the mess Madeira; but as Newsham says the sheriff is
responsible for putting me here instead of you, I think I shall call
upon him to pay for it. Old Newsham is making no end of money. I say,
George, what a jolly thing a profession is, if a fellow happens to be
clapt in jail. Bobby Tort is to come down here to see me to-morrow for
a few minutes; but I will make him stop all day, and no doubt he will
get well rowed when he goes home. I owe you £7 for a bill you paid at
the White Horse on my account. That elder brother of mine is a regular
brick. Believe me, my dear George, with kind regards to sister Anne,
your loving SAM."


[CAPTAIN FREEPORT IN YORK CASTLE.]

When George Harroway received this letter, he was in an extremely bad
humour, in consequence of some imaginary impertinence shown to them
by the landlady, who was (Harroway said) attempting to presume upon
their poverty, and give herself airs. He read the letter, sneered, and
muttered, "Sam Freeport is an unmeaning, flippant fool."

"Don't abuse poor Freeport," cried Anne. "Really, George, I think he is
the most kind-hearted creature breathing."

"Do you? Just read that," said her husband, and he tossed the letter to
her; and rising from the table, paced the room in anger.

"My beloved George!" cried Anne; "you must have misunderstood Freeport.
It is impossible to conceive a more kind letter. Read it again,
dearest."

"I have read it once, and that is enough," responded Harroway. "I bear
misfortunes as well as most men; but I will not allow Freeport or any
one else to twit me about my circumstances."

"Surely he never intended to do so, George."

"Well, Anne, if you like to take his part to my prejudice, there is an
end of it; but I know Freeport better than you do, and I say he did.
I never paid £7 for Freeport to the White Horse man, and what does
he mean by sending it? Why, to insult me, to show you how poor I am,
because you refused him, and married me. I can see through his motives."

Harroway was a great deal too much excited to admit of being reasoned
with, and Anne pretended to agree with him, and denounce Freeport; but
before she went to bed, she got hold of George's pocket-book, where
Sam's York account was kept, and sure enough, there it was written,
"paid Sam's bill at the White Horse, £7 3s. 6d."

The next morning, when this was triumphantly shown to Harroway, he
positively denied ever having said one syllable against Sam, whom he
declared to be the best fellow that ever broke bread.

Poor Anne fancied that her husband's reason was deserting him, and in
the thought she almost lost her own. He took it into his head to be
jealous of Sam Freeport, and scowled at his wife whenever the name was
mentioned, or the man himself alluded to.

There was another matter which excited Harroway. He was excessively
proud of Anne's personal appearance, and observing that her walking
dress was getting somewhat shabby, he proposed that she should get
another.

"I tell you what it is, Anne," said he; "if you can't come out in a
good dress and clean kid gloves, I will not be seen with you; and if
you have not got the money just now, why, pawn your watch, which is of
no use to you."

Anne had longed for an opportunity to reveal the secret which tormented
her, and now that opportunity appeared, she determined not to lose it,
and told the whole truth. Harroway became furious--not because the £50
note had been stolen--not because she had sold the watch--but because,
he said, she had deceived him. "How can I place confidence in a woman
who acts in that way?" he vociferated. "A man may tell his wife as many
falsehoods as he may deem it expedient; but for a woman to deceive her
husband--oh! Anne, Anne, I could not have believed you guilty of such a
thing!"

She could have shed a flood of tears at the reflection and this
reproach: but she repressed them, and argued the point with great
dignity and tact.

Amidst all these miseries, Anne sat down and wrote cheerful letters to
her family and friends--letters which spoke of her happiness that her
dear husband bore up so well against his severe misfortunes, and made
her contented with the lot which it had pleased Providence to assign
them. Her honest heart accused her of falsehood; but she felt convinced
that the goodness of her motive would, before any tribunal, extenuate,
if not absolutely pardon the offence.




CHAPTER XVIII.

THE day came when Harroway and his wife were to embark with a
detachment of the regiment for Madras. The detachment was under
the command of Freeport, a circumstance which annoyed Sam beyond
measure, for he hated responsibility of any kind. There was now a
marked difference in George Harroway's manners. He became captious
and argumentative. If his friends did not pay attention to everything
he said, he would say to himself, "Ah, I am a poor devil now, and am
slighted, of course." If, on the other hand, they made more of him than
formerly (as was the case), he would feel his altered circumstances
the more keenly, and become repugnant, and frequently offensive in his
remarks.

"May I read to you, George?" Anne would sometimes ask.

"If you like--but I don't care about it," he would reply; and in the
middle of a passage which she imagined would particularly interest him,
he would begin to whistle "Isle of beauty, fare thee well!"

Wretched as was Anne, she still kept up those bright looks which she
wore in days when her heart was light and happy. Nothing seemed to
daunt her. In stormy weather, or in calm weather--when the wind was
fair or foul--she was always the same good tempered, lively looking
Mrs. Harroway, ready to do a kindness for any one, or raise a laugh
amongst others, though her own breast ached with its sadness. Sam
Freeport could not imagine she was unhappy, and the more he looked at
her the more he liked her; and he looked at her so often that, for the
third time in his life he fell in love with her, and could think of
nothing but Anne from morning till night.

Harroway, one day at table, observed Sam's tender looks. He kept his
eye closely on his wife, to see if she returned them, or gave him any
encouragement. She did not, but Sam still gazed on. After dinner they
repaired to the deck, and Freeport, as usual, asked Anne to walk with
him. She took his arm, and they paced the deck together--Sam saying all
sorts of pretty things, and Anne reasoning with him on their absurdity;
but in so pretty a manner that he could not be offended though he was
hurt. George watched them, and his soul seemed all on fire. The loss
of his property was for the time forgotten, in the insult which he
conceived was offered to his honour. Formerly he would have laughed at
the scene before him; but now it almost drove him to madness. In order
to conceal his rage from the eyes of others he retired to his cabin. On
entering it he saw the brandy-bottle on the swinging-tray, and to give
a zest to the anathemas of which he delivered himself, he took a large
portion, and very slightly diluted it.

Anne observed George leave the deck, and as soon as she possibly could,
without appearing rude to Freeport, she followed him. He was stretched
on his couch, with his eyes closed. She placed her hand upon his
feverish forehead, which he removed, coldly and contemptuously. She
inquired if he were ill. He replied, "Begone, I hate you!"

"Why do you hate me?" she asked, in an under tone, lest the servants in
the cuddy should hear her.

"You know the cause," he murmured.

"Indeed, I do not know that you have any cause to hate me, George," she
cried. "You may be sorry that you ever saw me; but I have been a good
wife to you, and as long as I live I will never be otherwise."

"It is false, Anne!"

"It is not, George!"

"You have given Freeport encouragement to pay you more attention than
it is proper you should receive, and I'll be revenged. Freeport shall
answer for it."

"I'll swear to you, George----"

"I would not believe you, if you were to swear till to-morrow morning,"
he interrupted her; and rising from the couch he was about to leave the
cabin, but Anne turned the key quickly, and stood before the door.

"Let me out this moment!" cried Harroway, the opposition inflaming the
excitement already caused by the ardent spirit.

"Never," she exclaimed, "till you can behave as a reasonable man."

"I am determined!"

"You shall not."

He seized her by the arm. She leaned back more firmly against the door,
looked him steadily in the face, and begged him not to make a noise and
a fool of himself at the same time. He loosed his hold, and resuming
his seat upon the couch, he burst into tears. His wife had scarcely
seated herself beside him, when Freeport rapped at the cabin door, and
called out, "George, come on deck and smoke a cheroot. Here's a sail in
sight--a homeward-bound--and we shall speak her in an hour!"

"George is asleep," cried Anne; and in order to convince Sam she had
spoken the truth, she called out, "George, dear, awake! There is a sail
in sight. Thank you, Captain Freeport; we will be on deck presently."

In a very short time Harroway became composed and rational. He craved
forgiveness, which was granted; and putting on his cloak, he proceeded
with Anne to the deck. They sat upon one of the hencoops, and watched
the vessel, impelled by the strong trade wind, bounding towards her
home, and seeming to exult in her speed.

With the exception of Mrs. Harroway, there was not a soul on board
that would not have gladly returned to England, had it been in their
power to do so, so great was the horror entertained of India; and the
nearer the homeward bound vessel approached them, the more silent and
thoughtful the whole party became. The homeward-bound took her studding
sails in, hauled her mainsail up, and backed her mainyard, and came
within hail.

Presently, a hoarse voice exclaimed, "Halloa! Sam Freeport! how are
you?"

"How are you?" roared Sam in return, waving his cap, and then, taking
the glass from the captain of the ship, he descried a man who had
formerly been in his regiment, but had exchanged into another, in the
hope of getting on better in India.

"Who is it, Sam?" inquired Harroway.

"Raxton," replied Sam, "looking as yellow as a buttercup."

Raxton and Harroway were great friends as youngsters. Holding on by the
mizen shrouds, Harroway greeted him.

"What, George!" exclaimed Raxton, "are you going out? What's the
state of the consols, my Rothschild?"

After a few civilities were exchanged, the ships parted, and each
steered her own course.

Gloomy as they all seemed, and were, Mrs. Harroway's tongue soon
put them in good humour; and before they went down to tea, it was
universally admitted that "whatever happens in this world is all for
the best." In the evening whist was proposed, and played till nine
o'clock, when the company retired to rest, contented and happy, with
the exception of one--namely, she to whom all were indebted for such
contentment and such happiness. She dreaded that her husband would be
guilty of some folly that would cost him his commission; or that his
tendency to excesses would endanger his life; or that something might
happen to herself, and leave him without a protector to save him from
absolute ruin and disgrace. Fate seemed to sneer at them. The wools
which she had purchased to make slippers for her husband, had faded;
the bobbins and cotton turned out rotten; the needles were rusted and
useless; even the miniature of her father had suffered from the sea
air, and the paint had peeled off from the ivory.




CHAPTER XIX.

WHEN the troop ship, after a tedious passage, arrived at Madras, orders
were received that the regiment was to proceed to Bengal. Sam went
on shore, and made the acquaintance of nearly all the community. He
procured for the Harroways an invitation to stay with one of the judges
while the vessel was refitted.

Freeport's first impressions of India were very favourable. People in
those days were more hospitable than in these, and the treatment they
received precisely came up to Freeport's idea of the way exiles in the
east should behave towards one another. Harroway, too, was agreeably
disappointed; and after leaving Madras he was comparatively steady--to
his wife's intense satisfaction.

Sam was advised to hire servants in Madras for the mess, and he did so,
and christened "the twelve" after the months in the year, "January,
February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October,
November, December."

When the detachment under Sam's command had landed in Calcutta, and
were safely housed in Fort William, the ship which brought them into
port took fire, and was burnt to the water's edge. Fortunately for the
Harroways, Blew had taken all their traps out of her, when he removed
those of his master; nearly every one else had been less urgent in
getting their boxes out of the hold, and lost them. Sam always declared
that if he had not been on board, George's luck would have burnt or
sunk the ship, when they were out at sea; and in this opinion he was
not singular in the regiment.

Freeport very soon established himself in the good graces of the
Calcutta community; and being in command of the detachment, with the
band, he made himself of great importance before the bulk of the corps
arrived.

"We'll establish the mess at once," said Sam; and the mess was
established. "We'll sink formalities, and call on everybody!" said Sam,
and the proposition was agreed to.

One morning Freeport stepped over to Harroway's quarters, and said as
they had been to various evening parties, it struck him they ought to
give a ball. Mrs. Harroway suggested that they should wait till the
remainder of the regiment arrived, but Sam declared that they ought to
do it then or never, for if they waited the eclat would be gone.

Harroway agreed with Sam; and Anne instantly withdrew her objection,
and consented to write the invitations.

Sam was determined that everything should be done in "first rate
style," and gave orders which placed the mess funds in a rather rickety
condition.

The evening came, and Freeport took an early dinner with the Harroways.
He insisted on lending Anne Mrs. Missevery's tiara of diamonds and
emeralds, and the brooch and bracelets to match. She declined, on the
ground that a plain book muslin dress was not sufficiently handsome for
such ornaments, and they would be preposterous. George instantly said
that it was very evident she knew nothing about dress, or she would
know that the simpler and plainer the dress, the better the jewellery,
if it were good, looked on the person. Anne then accepted Sam's offer,
and he sent Blew for the case. When it was opened, they had all a very
hearty laugh.

"They are really very handsome!" exclaimed Anne, as she replaced
them in the case. "How often have I heard these things talked about!
They are said to be part of a set which a noble lord sold in York,
without the permission of the rightful owner. The affair was hushed
up, but the first night Mrs. Missevery wore them there was an immense
sensation in the room; for a young lady called out, 'Mamma, I declare
there is a woman in your tiara of diamonds!'"

"And they will cause a sensation to-night, I hope," said Sam. "I like
sensations. You are right, Mrs. Harroway; they are very handsome
indeed. I cannot afford to give them to you, because I keep them for
luck; and hitherto they have done me much service."

"Do you know," said Anne, "I am afraid to wear them. They are very
valuable, and I am so extremely unfortunate with borrowed property."

"They certainly are valuable," said Sam, "for Hamlet offered me fifteen
hundred guineas for the set." (This was true.) "But you need not be
afraid. Let Blew keep them till you are ready to go. No harm can happen
to them."

Freeport and the Harroways went early to receive the guests. It was
a most curious circumstance; but the first lady who entered the room
so extremely resembled Mrs. Missevery, when dressed for a ball, that
Sam was half frightened, and when she fixed her eyes so intently,
and stared at the magnificent tiara, Anne had great difficulty in
persuading herself that India was not the receptacle for the departed,
and Mrs. Missevery was certainly "moving in the society." Harroway
declared himself of opinion that it was no other person; and when the
room filled, and Sam led the lady forth to dance "for luck, and out
of respect for the dear departed," both Harroway and his wife were
involuntarily carried back to the memorable night which had been so
propitious for Sam Freeport.

The tiara, in good sooth, did cause a sensation; and Anne felt the
eyes of every lady in the room upon the top of her head. One lady, who
was very proud of her own jewellery, remarked in Sam's hearing, that
they must be paste; and such opinion soon became general.

Amongst others present was a young girl, with large blue eyes and light
flaxen hair. She had a tall commanding figure, and was, on the whole,
a very showy personage. Her countenance was peculiarly winning--though
the expression of her face had very little meaning in it. Her
complexion was most beautifully fair and brilliant; and she appeared
to have a vast number of admirers. She was married to an elderly
gentleman, who seldom accompanied her to parties; and on this night he
was enjoying a rubber at the club, and playing for much higher stakes
than he could afford to lose.

Unlike Freeport in this particular, as in many others, George Harroway
knew the names of very few people in the room; but curiosity prompted
him to inquire that of the lady just described. He was informed she was
a Mrs. Rosny.

"Rosny!" exclaimed Harroway, within himself (quoting a speech of Henry
IV. of France)--"love me and serve me, for I am fully satisfied with
thee!"

Ere many minutes had elapsed, Harroway and Mrs. Rosny were seated side
by side on a couch, and chatting tête-à-tête. Anne was delighted
to see this, for his indifference to everyone had become tedious and
disagreeable.

Mrs. Rosny thought Harroway the handsomest man she had ever beheld. He
could see she admired him, and therefore he strove to please her by
pretty compliments.

Various people approached her, amongst others, Sam himself, and
reminded her of engagements to dance; but she excused herself to all,
and sat out. Harroway led her to the supper-table, and after they
returned to the ball-room, their incipient flirtation continued.

"George is coming out in a new line," remarked Freeport to Anne.

"Is he?" she replied, feigning she had not observed him.

"Look at him!" returned Sam. "He has been talking to that pretty woman
all night, and she seems regularly head over ears."

The fact was, Sam was a little piqued.

"I should not be at all surprised; for you will admit he is the
handsomest man in the room," said Anne.

"Nothing of the kind," said Sam, laughing. "He is not anything like so
handsome as I am."

"Well, as I am beginning to grow jealous," she replied, "just see if
you can prevail, and attract her by your winning ways."

"Now then, observe!" said Sam; and he left Mrs. Harroway, and
approached Mrs. Rosny and George.

The lady answered some query Sam put to her, but in such a manner as
convinced Freeport she wished he would stay away. That colossus of
coolness was not to be driven off, and he went on questioning further;
but only with the same effect. The more impatience Mrs. Rosny betrayed,
the more resolved was Freeport to remain. At length he got a chair,
and seated himself on her left hand. Harroway and Mrs. Rosny remained
silent, and looked steadily upon the floor. Several ladies were about
to quit the room for their homes, when Sam was compelled to give up
his persecution, and see them into their carriages. The moment he was
gone, Mrs. Rosny's face beamed with smiles, and she resumed the very
interesting conversation with George Harroway which Sam Freeport so
abruptly interrupted.

Mrs. Harroway watched them closely. The repulse to Freeport amused her,
but she was at a loss to account for the extraordinary change which
had come over the conduct of her spouse. She was not jealous, but she
thought his attentions were too marked, and the lady's unqualified
acceptance of them rather unbecoming. There they sat until the room was
almost empty, when Harroway very tenderly put Mrs. Rosny's shawl over
her shoulders, and led her to her carriage.




CHAPTER XX.

"I AM charmed with Calcutta!" cried Harroway, the following morning, at
breakfast. "There is a light-heartedness about the place which pleases
me vastly."

"I am glad you like it, as we are likely to remain here for some time,"
said Anne. "And how did you enjoy yourself last evening?"

"Exceedingly!" he replied. "That Mrs. Rosny is one of the most
agreeable persons you can imagine. We must make their acquaintance."

"Then you had better call upon them," suggested Anne.

"I intend doing so," said Harroway. "It strikes me that while we are
here we had better make ourselves comfortable."

"I quite agree with you, George, and----"

At that moment Freeport entered the room to inform them that the rest
of the corps were coming up the river Hooghley.

Sam was in anything but a good temper. Mrs. Rosny (whom he spoke of
as "a cold unmeaning thing") had sorely wounded his vanity, and this
was a grave and serious matter with Freeport. On being questioned by
Harroway, as to what he was going to do with himself that day, he
replied that he intended to take a boat, and proceed down the river to
meet the colonel.

When Freeport took his departure, Harroway made a particularly neat
toilet, and placing himself in a palanquin, he repeated to the bearers
some Hindostani words which he had committed to memory the night
before. After being jolted for five-and-twenty minutes, he arrived at
a large gate. The Durwan very politely inquired, in a mysterious way,
"Kon saheb?"--What gentleman? "Doctor Saheb," said George; and the
gates were instantly thrown open, and "bang" went a gong.

Mrs. Rosny was suffering from a severe headache (so she said), but she
contrived to talk in an animated tone, and occasionally to laugh and
show her beautiful teeth. Harroway thought, and so did many others,
that she looked even prettier by daylight than by candle-light. The
visit was prolonged to an hour's length, when the gong again sounded.
Mrs. Rosny said, "this must be my lord and master!" and begging
Harroway to stay tiffin, she removed herself to the opposite side of
the marble table, and sat as prim as the mistress of a boarding-school
just about to say grace before meat.

What was Mrs. Rosny's surprise to see Captain Freeport enter the room!
What was Harroway's discomfiture! What was Sam's disgust on beholding
George! Sam had gone to pay his respects--charged with cut and dried
speeches and quotations from Byron, Shelley, and Keats. At the gate he
had been refused admittance, but by chance he threw his arms out,
opened wide his eyes, and said, "I'm a doctor!"--when he was let in
immediately. "I thought, Freeport, you had gone to meet the colonel,"
said Harroway, after an awkward pause.

"Couldn't get a boat," said Sam, rather doggedly.

"The bore, perhaps," suggested Mrs. Rosny. "At this season of the
year----"

"Oh! a horrible bore! Horrible! Horrible!" ejaculated Freeport, giving
action to the words, and glancing at George Harroway. "Never knew such
a bore in the whole course of my life!"

Sam made up his mind to sit his friend out; but in this he was foiled
also; for his friend would not move; and they left the house together.

"I'll tell you what it is, George," said Sam--when they got into the
road--"you have no more consideration in you than a Chinese image. I
went there by appointment, as you might have seen, and there you sat,
like a gawky, although I gave you as broad a hint as could be. The
same thing occurred last night. You wouldn't go--although you saw,
as plainly as possible, you were wanted to make yourself scarce. I'm
surprised that a man who has lived so much in the world, isn't more a
man of it!"

"Really, Sam, I am very sorry," returned Harroway. "I had no idea of
your engagements, my dear fellow; but it shall never happen again."

"Very well, then; you understand the thing now," said Sam.

"Oh! perfectly," said Harroway. "Come and take luncheon with us, and
say no more about it."

"It's an understood thing?" said Sam, making his fore finger and thumb
into a bargaining note of interrogation, and looking the acme of
knowingness.

"An understood thing!" repeated Harroway, with a frowning seriousness,
while inwardly he was consumed with laughter.

When he reached his quarters in Port William, George was greeted by his
wife. She seized both his hands, and said, "George, dear! a letter from
my father brings us very, very good news!"

"Impossible?" cried Harroway, fancying from her extreme joyousness that
the bulk of his fortune was coming back to him. "What is it?" and he
grew pale with anxiety for the reply.

"The purchase money is placed at the agents', George, and there is no
chance now of your losing the step! Was it not good of the dear old man
to think of us before any one else?"

"Why, that's certainly better than nothing," quoth Harroway. "Yes--very
good of him indeed."

Anne's heart fell from its zenith of joy into an abyss of misery; but
she hid her feelings, and turning to Freeport, she said--"I have never
thanked you for lending me those handsome ornaments. I have redelivered
them safely into Mr. Blew's custody."

Sam was vexed with George's coldness, and he replied--

"Why, I never intended you to return them. I intended you to keep them.
I was only joking, when I said I could not afford to part with them.
I don't value 'em at one straw. Keep 'em, or sell 'em, or do what you
like with 'em!"

"Indeed not!" said Anne. "I would not think of it; at the same time, I
am not insensible of your generosity. They are emblems of fortune with
you; with us, they might be the very reverse."

"You are quite right not to accept so handsome a present, and deprive
Freeport of so many valuables," observed Harroway; "but as far as luck
is concerned, I should say it would be utterly impossible to change
ours for the worse. I should not be at all surprised to hear, by the
next ship that arrives, that the agents have failed, and the purchase
money is only sixpence in the pound."

"Well, dear, and that would not be the death of us!" said Anne,
laughing.

"Of course it would not," said Harroway.

"What nonsense to talk about the agents breaking," said Sam. "The thing
is quite absurd!"




CHAPTER XXI.

MR. and Mrs. Rosny requested the pleasure of Mr. and Mrs. Harroway's
company to dinner, and the invite was accepted. The style in which
their friends lived struck the subaltern and his wife with amazement.
The table glittered with silver and glass, and literally groaned
with the weight of the viands placed upon it. The word "sumptuous"
but feebly conveys to the mind the order of extravagance that there
prevailed. Mr. Rosny was a merchant in an extensive way of business,
and enjoyed a considerable amount of public confidence. His hospitality
was as unbounded as was Sam's when that gentleman kept open house in
Portland Place.

Anne enjoyed herself very much. The scene was new to her. But Harroway
was exceedingly vexed and disappointed that he could not sit beside the
hostess--that honour having fallen to a person of greater importance.
He handed in a lady, who must have thought him a most uncouth monster;
for he never once opened his lips to her, beyond performing the
commonest civilities. It was half past ten o'clock before the ladies
rose from the table, and long before then Freeport had yielded to the
effects of the punkah, and was sound asleep in his chair.

Harroway was one of the first to go into the drawing room, and when Mr.
Rosny was left alone, he attempted to arouse his sleeping guest; but in
vain. A grunt, and "all right!"--or "don't be a childish fool!" was the
only response his endeavours met with.

The servants, after their master had retired to the drawing room,
thought they might as well try to awaken the sleeper; but annoyed
with their importunity, and fancying that he was at mess between two
impudent ensigns, he folded his arms tightly across his chest, and then
threw his elbows out, suddenly; and so effective was the deed, that the
servants filed off right and left, and suffered Freeport to sleep on in
peace and quietness.

Towards midnight the party broke up, and the host and hostess sought
repose after the labour of entertaining so many persons who were
comparative strangers to them. The oil in the greater part of the
wall-shades was burnt out; and when the bearers went to extinguish such
of the flickering ministers as remained, they did not observe that
Freeport was still sleeping in the dining room.

At about two o'clock in the morning Freeport awoke. He had not the most
remote idea of where he was; but fancied he was at home, of course.
All was dark around him--and he wished to find the door and go quietly
to bed. He arose from his chair and felt for the wall, which he found
after stumbling over several chairs, and other articles of furniture
that stood in his way. Running his hand along the wall in search of
the door, Freeport at length came to it, and very carefully walked
out, and got into the drawing room. He there fell over several things,
and at last came in contact with something muffled up in a blanket. He
kicked it, and said, "Get up, you wretch! How often have I told you
never to sleep here? I'm not going to have my sitting room turned into
a dormitory for you black brutes. Get up you!"

It was an ayah that Sam stumbled over. The affrighted woman rushed
up stairs into Mr. Rosny's loom, and declared there was a Sahib below
stairs.

"Kia bat?" (What do you say?) asked Mr. Rosny.

"Ek Sahib," (a gentleman) said the affrighted ayah, shuddering.

"Nonsense!" exclaimed Mrs. Rosny. "That woman is always eating opium
and smoking bang. She's mad," and then, addressing the ayah Mrs. Rosny
said, "Jou, pawgal." (Begone, you fool!)

Freeport thought the disturbed person, who was sleeping on the
carpet, was still in the room, and he growled out, "Get some hog"
(ag--fire), he meant to say, "Buttye lao" (bring a light); but as he
was not answered, he roared, "Blew!" with all his might and main.

It never occurred to Rosny that Sam had been left asleep, and his wife
knew nothing about it.

"Blew! you vagabond!" roared Sam.

The native servants became alarmed, and ran out of the house.

"Egad! there is somebody," said Rosny. "What's the meaning of this?"

Rosny was not what is termed "a plucky man," by any means, and though
his curiosity was very great, he was nevertheless remarkably slow in
gratifying it.

"Don't, for heaven's sake, my love, go down stairs," cried Mrs. Rosny.
"You may be assassinated."

"I'm not afraid!" said Rosny; but if he were not afraid, it is
odd that he took full five minutes to slip on his dressing gown, and
went no further than the landing, when he called out, in a subdued
voice--"Bearer! Bearer!"

Sam heard him, and imagining that the voice proceeded from an officer
who had rooms in the same staircase, he exclaimed, "Ah, you may sing
out 'Bearer' till you are as black in the face as they are! but if I
can get a candle, I'll settle some of their hashes, and teach Master
Blew a lesson into the bargain."

Such an expression as "settling the hash," seemed to Rosny so
bloodthirsty that he hardly knew how to act. He determined to "face
the foe," so he said; but then he proceeded to dress; and seemed very
particular about his garments. Mrs. Rosny, who was commonly a timid
creature, on this occasion was very brave. She seized the taper and
rushed down stairs as fast as possible.

"Good Heavens! Mrs. Rosny!" exclaimed Sam, when he saw her, "what is
all this? What brought you here? Welcome to this dreary abode!"

"What brought you here?" said the lady, laughing.

Sam looked round the room, the truth flashed across him
instanter--and he made the most humble apology.

Mrs. Rosny then raised a loud and ringing laugh, which she knew would
reach her husband's ears, and bring him down stairs. Down he came,
and on beholding Freeport (his heart being freed from its alarms), he
joined his wife in the laugh, and pronounced the whole affair to be "a
deuced good joke."

       *       *       *       *       *

At half past eleven next morning Sam called at the house, in the hope
of finding Mrs. Rosny alone, and talking over the unfortunate affair
which had happened; but to his horror and dismay, there was George
Harroway, who seemed quite as much at home there as was Mr. Rosny
himself. Freeport now saw that his presence was de trop, and, having
made up his mind to flirt with Mrs. Harroway, he abridged his visit,
and returned to the fort.

Mrs. Rosny seemed vastly amused with the adventure of the past night,
and while she buried her pretty face in her hands, and laughed at her
own thoughts, she shook her ambrosial curls in a way which made George
Harroway think her a perfect Hebe.

The hours sped quickly while Harroway and Mrs. Rosny discoursed, with
impressiveness, on an infinity of subjects. It was tiffin time. George
was invited to remain, and did so; and it was past four o'clock before
he got home, where he found Sam Freeport superintending the putting up
of a piano, which he said he had "bought at a sale--just for luck."




CHAPTER XXII.

HARROWAY suggested to his wife the propriety of fitting up their
quarters in something like "style," and proposed attending an auction
for the purpose of making purchases. She gave several reasons why they
should do nothing of the kind:--1st. She heard the Colonel say they
were likely to move up the country earlier than was expected; 2nd, they
had already sufficient for their wants and position; and, 3rd, they
had no money, and could only make an outlay by running into debt. All
these reasons were over-ruled, as absurd, childish, and ridiculous. "As
for debt," her husband observed, "I am told it is the custom of the
country."

Anne had heard her husband often boast that he never owed a shilling
in his life for more than a few days together, and this change of
sentiment she regarded as a bad omen. She argued the point strenuously;
but she might have spared herself the trouble, for he became extremely
irate, and vowed that in future he would never consult her respecting
any of his affairs.

Day after day there came into their quarters some costly article
of furniture, glassware, china, plate, &c. &c. &c. And at length a
carriage and pair was purchased, and a very handsome saddle horse. The
facility with which he gained credit edged Harroway on, and in less
than one month he was upwards of £1,000 in debt, when in reality he
could not have commanded a hundred.

Since their acquaintance with the Rosnys, Harroway had become very
abstemious, both at home and abroad. His wife had strong suspicions,
but she did not venture to breathe them. The Rosnys, at Harroway's
request, were invited to dine, and then those suspicions grew into a
certainty, and Anne felt that the friendship which existed between
her husband and Mrs. Rosny had better terminate, ere it led to the
unhappiness of all parties. Had she been satisfied that her husband
could take care of himself--had she been assured that he would not
have fallen to ruin, and perhaps destitution, her pride would have
induced her to return to England, and never see his face again. But
she saw before her his downfall, if she left him to himself; and
bitter would have been the reflection to her that one who commenced
life so auspiciously closed his career in infamy and disgrace, when,
by judicious conduct on her part, it might be in her power to save
him. It was no fault of hers, but she felt that his union with her was
the cause of his pecuniary misfortunes, and of whatever alteration
those misfortunes had wrought in his disposition, his nature, and his
habits. How was she to act? That was the question. Others, besides Sam
Freeport, paid her great attention, and she could easily have flirted,
and made Harroway jealous. But that would have brought on the very
crisis she wished to avoid. To feign not to see the growing attachment
on her husband's part, would be to give him an impunity. As for the
lady, Anne saw that her preference for George was purely a preference
of the day, and that as soon as he left her locality, he would not hold
the faintest place in her memory, and that whatever place he then held
would be very speedily filled up by some other admirer.

Mr. Rosny seemed rather pleased than otherwise at the attentions his
wife received, while for Harroway he evinced a particular liking and
regard. This increased Anne's difficulty, and she really knew not
what to do. Wherever Mrs. Rosny's carriage was to be seen, there was
Harroway (who got the nick-name of "the count") riding by the side of
it. No matter whether Mr. Rosny was present or absent, it was all the
same. Freeport had frequently expostulated with his friend, but to no
purpose. He was invariably answered with a laugh.

There was to be a public ball in Calcutta, in celebration of the
glories of some hero, and Anne intended going; but when the evening
came she declined doing so, apparently to her husband's satisfaction, a
circumstance which wounded her to the soul. She had reason to be glad
she stayed away, for George had scarcely left her when she received a
long letter from her father. He spoke of his circumstances in the most
cheering terms, and the certainty, if he were spared for a few years
longer, of retrieving all, or at least realizing a handsome fortune for
his family, herself included. But strange to say, the money the old
man sent to London was not deposited, for the purchase of Harroway's
company, according to his instructions, and was lost by the failure
of the house through which it was remitted. But her father faithfully
promised that before long, and in good time, the amount should be
forthcoming.

"I declare," sighed Anne, as she folded up the letter, "the ill luck is
all upon his own side, and if he had not lost all his money in the way
he did, he would have lost it in some other."

And then she debated with herself whether she should show the letter to
her husband or not.




CHAPTER XXIII.

AT the ball, Mrs. Rosny appeared in great splendour. Not only in her
beauty, but in her dress, did she outshine every other lady present.
Harroway was waiting at the door, and took her from her husband's
arm the moment she arrived on the landing. Rosny did not remain ten
minutes in the room. He seemed far from collected and comfortable, and
retreated hastily and unobserved.

"Oh! such a thing is going to happen!" said Mrs. Rosny, looking up
imploringly in George's face, and shuddering, while a pretty smile
played about her lips.

"I hope not," said Harroway.

"Oh, it must, I fear," said the lady. "You will hear of it to-morrow."

"What is it?" he inquired.

"A calamity," she sighed.

"It will not affect you, I hope," said George, tenderly.

"Not me, perhaps," she remarked. "But poor Mr. Rosny. He will be
obliged to go away."

"You don't mean to call that a calamity," remarked Harroway, with a
quiet laugh.

"Oh, but that's not all. It's quite dreadful, really. Such a thing, to
be sure! But it can't be helped."

"Do tell me," said George. "If you have a sorrow, let it be my
happiness to share it."

"Perhaps I will, after this dance," she replied. "What is it to be? A
quadrille?"

"No; a waltz."

"I'm so glad of that," quoth the lady. "I hate quadrilles."

When the dance was over, Harroway led Mrs. Rosny to a quiet part of the
room.

"Oh, dear!" she said; "I am almost afraid to tell you; but you must not
mention it to a soul."

"On my life, I will not," said George, impatient to be informed.

"If they could only have put it off for another month," said the
lady, pouting her lip, and picking to pieces a rose-bud, "I should
not have cared; but Rosny says it will not look well for me to appear
in public while he is away, and there is to be that fancy ball on the
twenty-third, and my dress and everything is all ready. I never knew
anything so provoking. Though I can't see what I have to do with the
firm."

Harroway begged her to be explicit; and she then told him in confidence
that the firm of which her husband was a partner, would suspend payment
on the following day, and that "poor Mr. Rosny" was then on his way
to the Danish Settlement.

Where the "Danish Settlement" might be, George Harroway was profoundly
ignorant; but he supposed it was somewhere in, near, or contiguous to
Denmark, and certainly not in India. He knew, however, the misery and
the utter wretchedness which usually attends the crash of a mercantile
firm in the mother country, and he supposed the results were the same
in the east. He supposed, moreover, that Rosny had deceived her,
innocent young creature, as to the privations she would have to endure,
and what would be the altered state of their circumstances. Harroway
knew what he himself had suffered, and he sympathised with Mrs. Rosny
from the very bottom of his heart; and when she arose to fill an
engagement to dance with some one else, he watched her take her place
with the tenderest emotions that pity can call up. He wondered whether
Rosny would really take himself off to another country and leave that
fair face and fragile form without a protector, in a land where she had
no relations, and probably few friends, now that the winter of their
circumstances had set in. Verily, in these matters, was George Harroway
very green. What were his sighs and longings, as he looked at that
woman, to possess the fortune that he once possessed! Casting aside
all courtesy, he took her from her partner the moment the quadrille
was concluded, and led her to a couch, where he talked to her, not
despondingly, but in a very serious strain. The more she laughed, and
the gayer she looked, the more George Harroway sorrowed for her lot.
He told her, as a means of alleviating the jagged feelings she would
probably experience, that he was once worth six thousand pounds a year,
and that, at the present time, he was "worse off than worth nothing;"
and although she replied, with an unmeaning smile, ill-becoming her
words, "So Captain Freeport mentioned the other evening," he attributed
it solely to that ignorance of worldly affairs which a truly feminine
character ought to possess. Her recurrence to the forthcoming fancy
ball reminded him of a young child amused at the pomp attendant on its
parent's funeral. Her levity and cheerfulness increased his feeling
for her, and it was with difficulty he refrained from tears. Some
other person claimed her as his partner, and she was again obliged to
leave George Harroway's side. He walked into the refreshment-room, and
while he swallowed a glass of champagne, he cursed his ill luck; for
to his acquaintance with her, and to his friendship with her husband,
he attributed the failure of the firm and the reverses of fortune
Rosny and his wife were about to experience. The night waned, and the
ball-room thinned.

Harroway saw Mrs. Rosny to her carriage, bade her good night, blessed
her, and promised to see her on the following day; then, returning to
the supper-room, he drowned her griefs and his own together in a bottle
of his favourite wine.




CHAPTER XXIV.

FOR the want of something better to do, and being extremely annoyed
with Harroway, Sam Freeport, at the ball, paid very great attention
to a Miss Pannoety, a brunette, who spoke English with a foreign
accent. It was neither a French, German, Italian, or Spanish accent.
Miss Pannoety was not good-looking; but plain, and very thin. In looks,
she was the very reverse of Mrs. Rosny; and perhaps this had something
to do with Freeport's selection of her, for Mrs. Rosny was entirely out
of Sam's favour. Some one told Freeport that Miss Pannoety had three
lacks of rupees; and, to a question "how many thousand pounds sterling
is that?" he was informed, "Thirty." "Thirty thousand pound sterling,"
reckoned Sam, "would give me about twelve hundred pound a year. Well,
I may go further and fare worse--I'll have her. There will be no
chance of her making me unhappy, at all events. She looks old enough to
make up her mind at once, and say 'yes' or 'no;' and before I part with
her this night, I'll put the question."

After rehearsing to himself two or three little speeches which were
likely to captivate "the brunette," Sam seated himself beside her, and
commenced the attack. The flattery soothed Miss Pannoety--she was not
used to it--no man before had been bold enough to tell her she was
beautiful, and hint that she had "a soft Ionian face"--a "child of the
Isles." She was thrown into a kind of coma, and when the question came,
she was only too glad to answer in the affirmative.

It was extraordinary the progress that Freeport could make in a few
hours. He used to run immense risks of failure; for, in reality, he did
not care.

The following day, Freeport called upon Anne, to tell her of his
success in having engaged himself to an heiress, a woman worth thirty
thousand pounds. Anne could not laugh at his facetiousness, for she was
too unhappy; but she listened to his description of "the brunette," and
made several remarks.

"You don't seem cheerful to-day. What is the matter?" inquired Sam.

"Nothing in the world," she replied. "But I am weary."

"What has become of George?"

"I know not. He went out immediately after breakfast, and I have not
seen him since."

"I tell you what it is," said Sam, "George is making a great fool of
himself, and you ought not to allow it."

"He means nothing," returned Anne; "and why should not he amuse
himself, poor fellow? Besides, how can I control him?"

"Well, you ought to try," urged Sam. "I have spoken to him two or
three times; but he only laughs at me. If I was a married man, in his
circumstances, I'd be ashamed to go on as he does."

Anne could not help smiling; but it was a great exertion. After a brief
discourse, Freeport took his departure, and left Mrs. Harroway to her
own reflections. George was at that moment conversing with Mrs. Rosny.
His sorrow had very considerably abated since she told him that the
house and furniture, carriages, horses, &c. &c., were settled upon
herself, and couldn't be touched, besides two lacks of rupees (£20,000)
in bank of Bengal shares.

"Poor Mr. Rosny," she exclaimed, "this is the second time it has
happened. The first time caused the death of my predecessor. Everything
went. But, thank Heaven, people are wiser now-a-days, and Rosny
learnt prudence in his last misfortune. But then there's something so
horrid in seeing one's name in the papers, and then to be cooped up
for a month, just for the sake of appearances! Oh, dear, it is quite
dreadful! I have a very great mind to take a trip to Penang for my
health. I wish we could make a party."

"Oh, don't go to Penang, pray!" cried George. "Come and stay with us
till Rosny can return."

"I am afraid of the Fort. They say it is unhealthy. But I should be
delighted if you could come and stay here. I could go out with Mrs.
Harroway, and she would protect me."

"Of course you could," said Harroway. "There could not be the slightest
objection to that?"

"And I might go to the fancy ball with you?"

"Of course you could. Why not? I'll propose it to my wife as soon as I
get home.

"Had I not better write to Mrs. Harroway, and ask her?" suggested Mrs.
Rosny.

"Ah! perhaps that will be best," conceded Harroway.

"Poor Mr. Rosny!" sighed the lady. "We had a very pleasant party
last evening--had we not?"

       *       *       *       *       *

Freeport called on "the brunette," and found her to be a woman of
business, as well as of "keen sensibility." She was full of the
breaking up of Rosny & Co., which, by this time, was all over Calcutta.
The brunette discussed the amount of dividend that would be probably
forthcoming, and she estimated it at a remarkably low figure. She
pulled Mrs. Rosny into very little pieces, and told Sam an infinity of
stories which were piquant and amusing. The brunette's father was a
merchant, who did business in a safe and quiet way, and he had also "a
foreign accent," for when his daughter introduced Sam, he said, "How do
you do, sare?"

The brunette was infected with a family pride, which induced her to be
continually discanting on her grandfather, who had been "in the Sudder
Board." (What the Sudder was Sam had not the most remote idea.)

The brunette, too, had a way of interlarding her conversation with
Hindustani words, such as "mutlub" "pench," "gup" "mahin hoga,"
"chul" "acha," "cheechee," "bundobust," and so forth. On Sam, who
was ignorant of every tongue but his own, these words were thrown away,
and what was worse, they frequently destroyed the context. In "society"
the brunette was on her guard, and did not use these familiar parts of
speech; but in her home, nature would out, and nothing in this world
could hold them in.

The brunette, by daylight, disappointed Freeport, and he had to tax
his powers of dissemblance to the very utmost to enable him to conceal
his feelings. He stayed tiffin, and when the sun had gone down, he rode
out with the brunette and her fat father in their carriage, a sort
of Patagonian landau. On the course Sam crossed his arms, and laid
himself back, in a very commanding attitude, and whenever he met any
of his friends or acquaintances, he bowed with a profundity that was
quite overpowering. Sam saw Mrs. Harroway, and his face was instantly
lighted up with a smile, and he kissed his hand in such a manner that
she was forced to laugh heartily as soon as the Pannoety's carriage had
passed, although she was truly wretched. Anne felt alone in India.
Freeport's fun reminded her of other days, and after the momentary
merriment which it occasioned was over, her recollections were replete
with bitterness and disgust.




CHAPTER XXV.

"INDEED not! I will do nothing of the kind!" exclaimed Anne, after
reading a letter from Mrs. Rosny, and destroying it.

"What is that?" asked her husband.

"An invitation to spend a fortnight with Mrs. Rosny--she is so lonely,
poor thing."

"And why shouldn't you accept it, Anne?"

"Because, George, I prefer remaining in my own house."

"Is not that very selfish of you?"

"It may be. But she must have older friends than myself, and more
congenial spirits in this place."

"Here is a poor woman in distress of mind, her husband forced to flee,
and leave her alone; she asks you a favour, and you refuse to grant it,
because you like your own house better than hers, and will not give it
up for a fortnight. Selfish! dreadfully selfish!"

"I will never be an inmate of her house, George."

"Then, under the circumstances, invite her to stay with you, instead.
That is the least you can do."

"No, nor shall she ever come here, except as a mere visitor."

"Why not?"

"Because I dislike her."

"That's no reason at all," urged Harroway, "why you should not be
civil. If you wont go there, you must invite her to come here. The fact
is, you believe all the idle tales and stories that have got abroad
to the poor innocent creature's disparagement. It is the penalty that
every pretty woman has to pay--to be pulled to pieces and run down by
all the plain ones that surround her."

"Really, George, you don't take me to be a downright fool, do you?"

"Of course not. That's the reason I argue the point. Come, come; either
accept her invite, or ask her to remain with us till old Rosny can
return?"

"Never!" replied Anne, firmly.

Harroway strolled to the quarters of his friend Sam, whom he found
entertaining the brunette's fat father. Harroway was introduced as "our
colonel," and resuming his seat, Sam recommenced the most extravagant
rhodomontade imaginable, and appealed to "the colonel," ever and anon,
to confirm his statements, or assist his memory. When the brunette's
father had taken leave, and driven from the door, Sam said,

"Now, George, we will have a mild glass of grog, and a cheroot, as
of yore--talk of old times, or of the present--if you think them
more agreeable. Look here, George, I feel disposed to back out of my
engagement with the brunette. Instead of having thirty thousand pounds,
she has not got a fifth part of it, and that the fellow hints about
settling, and all that. Besides, brunettes are so very common in this
country, I should prefer a blonde. But the misfortune is, I have been
fool enough to write to her no end of letters, out of that book of
mine, and there might be some difficulty, you know, in getting off the
bargain. What would you recommend?"

"Really, Sam, I don't know how to advise you. It was very foolish,
certainly in you, putting pen to paper."

"Of course it was. But it is done, and it can't be helped. I shall know
better another time. What could I say--eh, George?"

"Oh, say you've changed your mind, or say you can't afford to marry."

"But then that's no excuse," argued Sam. "Look here, George," he
continued, stretching his humorous face forwards, and laughing the
while; "couldn't I say that an order has just been received from the
Horse Guards, to the effect that no officer in the Queen's service
can marry without the Queen's consent, on pain of forfeiting his
commission?"

"Yes, you might say that," replied Harroway, smiling at the idea; "but
would they believe it?"

"Oh, I'd make 'em believe it," said Sam, puffing away, and looking all
confidence in his own powers of persuasion. "Why, George, if it comes
to believing it, I'd sit down in their presence, and write a formal
letter to Lord Hill, asking him if he would procure the consent of the
Queen to my uniting myself in wedlock to Clementina Georgiana Pannoety,
daughter of Augustus Frederick Pannoety, and grand-daughter of the
Sudder Board,--requesting his Lordship, at the same time, to send his
reply to the said Clementina Georgiana--and then, you know, I could
leave them to forward it, and pay the postage--eh, George? It strikes
me that that's a very good way."

"You'll be getting into a scrape," said Harroway.

"Not a bit of it," laughed Sam. "I don't think I could get into a
scrape with the authorities, if I tried; and if I did, I could very
soon get out of it."

"There will be no harm in making the experiment," remarked Harroway.
"But I am doubtful of the success, Sam."

"Sure to succeed, George," exclaimed Freeport. "Would you believe it,
my dear fellow, they positively don't know where Portland Place is!
There's an amount of ignorance for you--eh, George?"

"Do you intend going to this fancy ball on the 23rd, Sam?" inquired
Harroway.

"Of course I do," replied Freeport, "and we are going to have a group.
I shall appear as Othello, the brunette as Desdemona, and the
old fellow as Iago. I wish you'd come as Cassio, George, just to
heighten the effect."

"You are joking, Sam," said Harroway.

"I give you my word and honour I am not," he replied. "Dresses of the
most costly material were ordered this very morning; and I read the
play to the brunette, and very nearly burst out laughing, when I came
to that part about 'scaring a skin as white as monumental alabaster.'
Oh, such a lark, George! She had never heard of the play before!"

After immoderate laughter, in which his friend joined, Harroway
regretted that he would be unable to take a part in the group, as he
had made up his mind to go as Henry II.

"What's the fun of going as Henry II.?"

"Oh, nothing--a mere whim."

Sam looked at Harroway steadily, and said--"I shall advise Mrs.
Harroway to go as the Duchess of Guienne."

"What do you mean?" said Harroway, pretending not to understand him.

"Oh, I know who your Fair Rosamond is to be, my good fellow. I tell
you what it is, George, I never saw a man so altered as you are in the
whole course of my life."




CHAPTER XXVI.

FREEPORT was anxious to have Anne's approval of his plan for getting
rid of his engagement with the brunette; and, for this purpose, he
called upon her. But before he touched upon the topic, he alluded to
the costume in which her spouse was to appear.

"Henry the Second?" said Anne; and then, thinking for a few moments,
she tossed her head in disgust. "And how do you intend to go,
Captain Freeport?" she inquired.

Sam told her the whole story of "the group."

"Do you know, I am disposed to be very mischievous?" said Anne.
"And you would do me a great favour if you would aid me in a little
rebellion against my lord and master. If you had not George's welfare
at heart, I would not ask you."

"What is it? I'll do anything in the world for you, from resigning the
service up to jumping into the river," cried Sam.

"Nothing so dreadful as either," said Anne, with a dejected smile. "But
if you could go as Henry the Second yourself, and take the brunette as
'Fair Rosamond,' it would afford me great satisfaction to witness the
vexation it would occasion in others."

"Glorious! glorious!" ejaculated Sam. "I'll do it, with all my heart.
I'll teaze George to death, and Mrs. Rosny too, when we meet there. But
how can I get the dresses, eh?"

"You can easily find out where George and his Rosamond are getting
their dresses made up, and order the facsimiles. Go to Madame
Gervaine's. But I doubt not you will devise means to carry out the
detail, now that I have made the suggestion."

"All right," said Sam. "Yes; leave it all to me. I will go to the
brunette at once, and I will tell her it is impossible to procure
the proper black for Othello's face, and we must go in some other
characters. What's more, I will make her take me in her palanquin
carriage, and order the dresses. How disgusted George will be. It's
capital. How came you to think of it?"

"There's no time to be lost," said Anne. "You must get them made up at
once, or you will be too late."

Freeport borrowed a friend's buggy, drove to the brunette's mansion,
talked her over in a few minutes, and was soon on his way with her to
Madame Gervaine's.

On the tables were spread out, as "decoy ducks," a variety of costumes
in various stages of perfection. Some were correct enough to be
recognised, others required explanation. The most magnificent of the
collection was a skirt of rich rose-coloured satin, a jacket of deep
blue velvet, trimmed with ermine, with long sleeves richly embroidered
in gold; and for the head-dress was a veil, also embroidered in gold.

"And what may this be?" inquired Sam, pointing to the dress just
described.

"Fair Rosamond!" was the reply.

"And who may be going as fair Rosamond?" he asked.

"That I am not permitted to say," said the milliner.

"Then do not, by any means," said Sam; and then turning to the brunette
he remarked--"I have not seen anything that would become you half so
much as would that. Take my advice--have one like it."

The milliner was fearful of offending Mrs. Rosny by making up a
duplicate of her dress; but then the brunette was too good a customer,
and too touchy, to be told that the dress of Fair Rosamond would not
become her. There was Madame Gervaine between her two good customers;
one of them she was sure to lose. The brunette gained the day, because
she was the best and most regular pay; and Mrs. Rosny was already so
deep in the books, that if she withdrew and settled accounts, the loss
of her custom would be of very little consequence. Then was brought
forth the costume of Henry II., or something that that monarch was
supposed to wear--velvet and gold, purple satin, and so forth; and
these materials, when put into shape, were to cost Sam Freeport four
hundred and fifty rupees, or forty-five pounds.




CHAPTER XXVII.

HARROWAY had not the slightest idea that his wife would go to the ball;
and he seemed a little ruffled when she expressed her intention. Nor
did he quite understand her willingness to escort Mrs. Rosny. His dress
was intended, (so he told his wife,) as that of "David the First, King
of Scotland."

Freeport and the brunette were very early. They sat under the canopy,
or "in the bower," as Sam called it--till the room was well filled, and
then they sallied forth for admiration.

Mrs. Rosny made a point of always being late, and it was nearly eleven
before herself and the Harroways made their appearance on the night in
question. They had not been in the room more than one minute when Mrs.
Rosny beheld Miss Pannoety and Captain Freeport.

[THE TWO FAIR ROSAMONDS.]

"Well, I declare!" she gasped. "Oh, that horrible creature! I could
really sit down and cry with passion."

"What is the matter?" asked George Harroway.

"To think, after all my trouble and anxiety, that that abominable
shrivelled wizened mahogany thing should appear as my double! This, I
suppose, is one of Captain Freeport's practical jokes!"

Harroway and his wife both caught sight of Sam and his brunette.
Harroway was extremely annoyed, and sympathized with Mrs. Rosny; but
Anne laughed out loudly—and thus threw salt on Mrs. Rosny's lacerated
feelings.

"I am sorry now that I sent the carriage away," said Mrs. Rosny. "I
would go home at once--I am ashamed to show myself. Horrible creature!"

"What, another Fair Rosamond!" said an old friend of Mrs.
Rosny's--extending his hand.

"You don't mean to call that creature fair?" she answered, and
turned away. "Let us sit down in some obscure corner. Did you ever know
anything so provoking, Mrs. Harroway?"

"Very provoking," quoth Anne. "But don't let any one see that you are
annoyed. Disguise your feelings. Just walk round, and never notice
them. The contrast ought to delight you. I will remain here. Now walk
round the room quietly, with Mr. Harroway."

The advice was followed; and ere long Mrs. Rosny and Harroway were
followed by Sam Freeport and his "fair Rosamond." Miss Pannoety had no
notion that her double was to be Mrs. Rosny.

"You must pay her a compliment," said Sam, "as soon as you catch her
eye. Tell her how nice she looks, and ask her to be our vis-à-vis in
the next dance."

"What are the people grinning at?" said Mrs. Rosny to Harroway. Had she
looked round, she would have seen Sam setting all sorts of ridiculous
faces. Sam did not care about her chagrin. She had several times
severely wounded his vanity, and to wound hers in return was sweet
rather than otherwise. Nor had he the slightest consideration for his
friend George.

Presently, Harroway and Mrs. Rosny halted opposite to Anne's chair,
when Freeport drew up Miss Pannoety and "formed line,"--placing the two
ladies shoulder to shoulder.

Miss Pannoety then complimented Mrs. Rosny; but she received no answer.
Sam then asked George if they wanted a vis-à-vis. Harroway tried
to get up a scowl; but it ended in a titter. This enraged Mrs. Rosny,
and leaving his arm, she sat beside Anne, who enjoyed the scene, and
gloried in its success.

A more vain woman than Mrs. Rosny never existed. She had gone to that
ball fully determined to be the character of the evening; and when she
saw Harroway and Sam laughing together, she concluded that she had been
betrayed, by one in whom she reposed the greatest confidence--and she
determined never to speak to George after that night. Her suspicions,
moreover, were confirmed. Sam had left his Rosamond in the bower, while
he went to "apologize" to Harroway, and after they had laughed in each
other's faces, Sam slipped his arm through that of his brother monarch,
and led him up to Miss Pannoety.

"Let me introduce my friend, Colonel Harroway," said Sam, "and, if you
are not engaged, he will be delighted to dance the next quadrille with
you."

She said she would be "very happy."

Harroway felt that he was in a very awkward position--saddled with a
Rosamond, whom he wished to avoid--but he was obliged to bow. Sam was
afraid George might run away, and not come near her again--so he saw
Miss Pannoety well on his arm, and left them in conversation. Freeport
now approached Mrs. Rosny, and requested the honour; but she coldly
declined, and looked across the room.

"Will you, Mrs. Harroway?" said Sam, addressing Anne. "Will you
give me the happiness?"

Anne consented, and soon found herself opposite to her husband and
Sam's brunette.

Mrs. Rosny now encouraged all her discarded beaux to pay her
attention, and she was literally surrounded and hidden by them; and
when George Harroway attempted to disperse the mob, and engross all her
attention and smiles, he felt repulsed, and cut dead.

Before supper time Mrs. Rosny disappeared from the room, and left the
Harroways to get home in the best manner they could, which, by the
way, was in Sam Freeport's friend's buggy. It was thus Mrs. Harroway,
by a little clever ingenuity, put a satisfactory end to her husband's
desperate flirtation with "the perfect Hebe."




CHAPTER XXVIII.

A FEW days after the ball, Harroway came to his senses. He stayed at
home, talked to his wife, read to her, and was, in every respect, what
he used to be when he had not a care in the world. One morning, they
rose at break of day and walked by the river's side towards Garden
Reach. The cold weather was about to set in, and the birds chirped as
though they belonged to a colder clime. The river was assuming a bluish
tint, and seemed vying with the sky. The ships even wore a jaunty air;
and when the sun got up, a happier scene could hardly be gazed upon.

"Look, dear George," cried Anne, "see how the sun dissipates yonder
fog, and laughs at it. Oh! how I hope we may survive all our
misfortunes and folly, and that the evening of our life may yet be
cheerful and happy."

"You may well say 'folly,'" returned Harroway. "Well, Anne, for your
sake, as well as my own, I hope the omen may be propitious. Misfortune
makes some men wise, but of others it makes perfect fools."

"Never mind that," returned Anne; "let us look to the future and not to
the past. Do you know, dear George, I feel quite excited and joyous."

They walked along the road, talking of other times, till Anne felt
rather fatigued, and proposed returning. They had not re-crossed the
Hastings Bridge when a large dark cloud appeared exactly before them,
and from it issued vivid forked lightning, which was followed by loud
thunder. They hastened towards home, but before they reached the Fort,
large drops began to fall, and by the time they passed the gate both of
them were completely drenched. In their sight, and within twenty yards,
a sepoy on guard was struck dead by the lightning, and his musket
twisted like a corkscrew. It was an awful storm, and while it lasted
neither Harroway nor his wife spoke a single word. When it passed over,
they sat down to breakfast, and in the middle of the meal Sam Freeport
walked into the room, looking more dejected than can be described.

"Have you heard of a man being killed at the gate?" inquired Sam.

"Yes; we were unfortunate enough to see it," replied Anne.

"And have you heard," said Sam, looking at George, "that that plausible
scoundrel who dined at our mess last week, and for whom I went security
for £800, has walked out of the country, and left me to pay it?"

"You don't mean to say so?" exclaimed Harroway, turning pale.

"I do, indeed," said Sam, "and how I am to stump up, without parting
with the tiara, I really don't know."

"How foolish of you to go security for any man, especially for one whom
you could know so very little of," remarked Anne.

"For any man!" echoed Sam, with a laugh. "For any man, eh? Bless your
soul! I have gone security for half a dozen since I have been in
Calcutta. They told me it was a mere matter of form; and, as such, I
signed the bond. I never supposed for a moment that the fellow would
be such a vagabond as to leave me in the lurch by running out of the
country. I say, George, that's an Indian matter of form, eh?" and at
the last sentence Sam laughed; but to Mrs. Harroway's discomfiture her
husband did not join him, but looked very serious and twitched his
whiskers.

"Go security?" reiterated Sam, savagely munching a muffin, "Go
security? Let me see. I have gone security for one, two, three, four,
five, six, seven--for seven fellows; and take them at an average of,
say £800 a piece, that's seven times eight--fifty-six--five thousand
six hundred pounds! Where they'd get anything like that out of a
captain of a marching regiment, with nothing but his pay, a handsome
face, and an extravagant disposition, I don't know. As for the
tiara, I'm blowed if they shall ever have that, for I told Blew
before I came here to consider it his own property, till I told him to
the contrary."

"But you were not the only security, were you?" asked Anne. "If there
is another, you will only have to pay half."

"No," replied Sam, "there is another, for the fellow asked me to be
'one of two;' but suppose, as the major says, the other security has
not got a sixpence to bless himself with. What then? Why, they can come
down upon me for the whole of it. It's quite awful! It's the first bit
of bad luck I have had since I have been possessed of the tiara. This
is a bit of George's luck. Isn't it, George?"

Harroway became very uncomfortable, and began to abuse the country, and
one of the table servants for no fault whatever.

Harroway was on duty that day, and he put on his uniform to go out.
As he was brushing his whiskers, his eye caught sight of his flute,
and he mechanically took it up, and while he was thinking of Sam's
conversation, he attempted to sound it. But the instrument would not
sound, and in a fit of rage, Harroway raised his strong arm and smashed
it to pieces against the window sill, uttering, at the same time, some
violent words; then, rushing down the staircase, he proceeded to the
men's barracks.




CHAPTER XXIX.

"WHAT on earth am I to do, Anne?" said Harroway to his wife, when he
returned from duty. "I am in a great difficulty, and trust to you for
the best advice."

"What difficulty?" she inquired.

"Why, the fact is, Anne," he continued, "I put my name to a piece of
paper for that fellow of whom Sam spoke the other day, and the chances
are that I shall have to pay for it."

"How very provoking!" she exclaimed. "Well, George, I did not think you
could be so foolish. How came you to put your name to a paper?"

"That's more than I can tell you. The way he came over me was perfectly
magical. It was at an auctioneer's show rooms. He came up, and told me
a very amusing story, and two or three bits of scandal--admired the cut
of this blouse, and declared it the most gentlemanlike thing he had
ever seen--begged the loan of it as a pattern--slipt his arm through
mine--asked me to do him a favour--walked me up to a desk--put a pen
in my hand and a slip of paper--and before I had time to think of what
I was doing, or make inquiry of him, he was possessed of my autograph;
for I wrote 'G. Harroway, Lieut. H. M.----Regt.'"

"George! George! How could you be such a fool?" cried Anne.

"I tell you I don't know," he answered. "For his character, as far as
money matters are concerned, was at the lowest ebb at the very time.
He just wheedled me out of my name as you would wheedle a knife, or a
piece of broken bottle, out of a young child's hand."

"But who is he?" she asked.

"Oh, he's a very well-known character. I met him at ----'s, and ----'s,
and I once tiffed with him at Rosny's counting-house."

"And what may be the amount, pray, for which you have made yourself
responsible?"

"Ah, dear! that is the worst part of it," said Harroway. "All I know
is, that he got my signature at the foot of a blank slip of paper, and
now that he has fled the country, I am pretty certain he made use of
it."

Poor Anne became faint with anxiety. Had she known the worst, she could
have faced it; but here was something hanging over them, and they knew
not to what extent it would affect them in life, or character even.

Day followed day, and Harroway heard no tidings of his "autograph."
They were beginning to hope and believe that it had not been made use
of, or that George was known to have nothing, and was protected by his
poverty from the pains of responsibility. But, alas! one morning he
received the following letter from an agency house.


"Calcutta ----

"DEAR SIR,

Your promissory note for Rs. 4500, at thirty days date, in favour
of Mr. Quickley, and by him indorsed to us, fell due yesterday. We
shall feel obliged by your taking up the same with as little delay as
possible.

"We remain, dear sir, yours faithfully,

"GROVILE & Co."


"Thank Heaven it is no worse!" cried Anne, as she saw George's jaw
fall, after rending the above. "I declare to you, George, I am
comparatively quite happy. It might have been ten times the amount."

"But how is it to be paid?" asked Harroway.

"Why, we must sell off all these useless things, and be contented with
walking instead of riding."

"Well, but all these things have to be paid for, recollect."

"That is another matter; you must at once meet this debt you are called
upon to pay. Let that Mr. Blew, who is always attending auctions
and buying and selling, come and clear the rooms out and dispose of
everything for what it will fetch; and you must go in person to these
people, Grovile & Co., and say the affair shall be settled in a few
days."




CHAPTER XXX.

THE household furniture, plate, glass, &c. &c., which Harroway fancied
were perfect bargains--"dirt cheap"--sold for something less than half
of the cost. As for the carriage and horses, and the Arab, the whole
were knocked down for the price of the carriage alone. The proceeds
were enough--barely enough--after deducting commission and so forth,
to pay off the promissory note and the interest thereon. Sam, too, had
a sale, but on a different principle to George's. He left all to Blew,
and told him to do the best he could; and Blew wrote out a description
of everything, and sent it round to all the residents of the Fort. They
were informed that "those articles, the property of a distinguished
field officer, were for disposal by private contract." The prices,
which were double of what Sam had bid for them, were readily realized,
and the amount handed over to him; but it did not suffice to meet his
share of the 8,000 rupees, which he had to pay for Mr. Quickley.

It was now to be considered how Harroway was to pay for the furniture.
The sircars (clerks) were becoming troublesome, and the auctioneers
began to write polite notes. Freeport also wanted money, and went over
to the Harroways to have a consultation.

"I hear," said Sam, shutting his left eye, and looking very knowing out
of the right, "that there is a bank that lends money on very moderate
terms, and the best thing we could do, George, would be to have a 'dig'
at it."

"What are the terms?" asked Anne.

"The terms are these," said Sam. "You must undertake to pay off so
much a month, and get two fellows to be surety for you. Now, George,
I have been surety for so many they will no doubt take me as a surety
for you, and you can very easily get another, for there are lots of
people of our acquaintance who are in the same sort of circumstances
as ourselves, and would be glad of an exchange of names. You can, of
course, be security for me. What amount do you want, George, eh?"

"I think about seven hundred pounds will do, Sam. Wont it, Anne?" asked
George.

"About that sum," she answered, "or borrow an even six hundred, George.
But how can you liquidate such an amount out of the savings of a
subaltern's pay?"

"That's my look out," exclaimed Sam. "Ain't I going to be his security?
I'll take care that he pays it."

There was no other way of raising money, and money had to be raised.
Anne, therefore, made no further remark.

"I think I will borrow one thousand pounds, while I am about it," said
Sam, "and pay it off by instalments as soon as I can, or else I'll make
my brothers liquidate it, just to make them bear their absent brother
in mind; or, if my luck gets bad, sell the tiara."

These arrangements were agreed upon. The money was advanced with
wonderful despatch, and Harroway, on the guarantee of Sam Freeport and
a penniless lieutenant, undertook to pay off two hundred rupees (£20) a
month from his pay, leaving themselves something less than one hundred
(£10) a month to live upon. How it was managed it is almost impossible
to understand, but not only did Harroway and his wife live within their
very limited means, but they contrived to make a good appearance.




CHAPTER XXXI.

FREEPORT carried on in his usual way. He gave his quiet little
parties, to which he asked the most extraordinary people that Calcutta
could produce. His engagement with Miss Pannoety was for some weeks
considered as "still pending," as the letter to Lord Hill was
despatched, and everything depended on the answer. But at last it was
broken off in the following manner:--Mr. Pannoety fancied that his
daughter was pining, and attributing it to the anxious state of her
mind, in regard to the royal consent or refusal, he resolved to tempt
Sam with a glorious offer, which was, that he, Freeport, should retire
from the army, marry Clementina Georgina, join his father-in-law in
business as a partner, and take a third of the profits, which were then
very considerable.

As soon as Freeport received the letter which contained this offer, he
laid it before his friend, Mrs. Harroway, for her advice. At the same
time he expressed himself, in jest, disposed to join Pannoety.

"Don't think of it for one moment," said Anne.

"I think I must," said Sam. "She is not handsome, certainly; but look
at the wealth."

"Be advised, and remain as you are," urged Anne.

"Well, but just compare the circumstances," he argued. "Here am I with
the responsibility and bother of my company on my shoulders; obliged to
be up at gun-fire; present every evening at four o'clock; whereas, if
I was old Pannoety's partner, I should be literally rolling in wealth,
and living in the lap of ease, comfort, luxury, and splendour."

"Nothing of the kind," said Anne. "Before a week had passed away,
you would be wretched. Recollect how glad you were to return to the
regiment from your open house in Portland Place."

"Ah, but I am older now," Sam remarked.

"Not at all," Anne returned. "You will be the same person that you are
now, and were then, if you live to be a hundred years old."

"Very well, I suppose I must be guided by your advice," conceded Sam;
"but how am I to answer him."

"Ask him if those are the only conditions on which he will consent to
your marriage with his daughter; and if he says 'yes,' then beg to
decline, and there will be an end of it."

Freeport did precisely as Anne suggested, and his engagement was soon
at an end. In honour, or rather in celebration of the event, he gave
a dinner party to a dozen friends. But the very next morning he made
several visits, and fell desperately in love with a fair and pretty
face, which caused him great uneasiness for many a long day.

The young lady to whom Freeport lost his heart had just arrived in
India. She was gratified with the attention Sam paid her, and she grew
to like him exceedingly. Mrs. Harroway had seen her, and pronounced
her to be "a very nice person," which delighted Sam, and caused him to
propose earlier than he otherwise intended. A more tender and touching
epistle than the one he copied out of his book, could scarcely be
conceived, and it carried the girl and her friends along with it, and
gained for Sam the victory he so much desired. All was arranged, and
on an early day Freeport was to lead the young lady to the altar. But,
alas, for the mutability of human affairs!

Mrs. Rosny had never forgiven Freeport for marring the effect of her
appearance at the fancy ball, and as soon as she heard that he had
broken off the match with the brunette, Mrs. Rosny became curious to
glean a few particulars, and she therefore called, for the second time
in her life, on Miss Pannoety--who complained bitterly of Freeport's
conduct, and called Sam a monster; and after a little she produced some
of his letters.

"No one would believe a man could be so deceitful," exclaimed Mrs.
Rosny.

"Indeed they could not," said the brunette.

"I wish you would allow me to show these letters to a friend of mine,"
said Mrs. Rosny.

"You may do what you please with them," said the brunette; "they are of
no use to me now."

As soon as she was in possession of the packet, Mrs. Rosny hastened
home to peruse its contents. She was edified and amused, and from
excessive laughter she was compelled to stop reading for several
minutes together. But this laughter did not compensate for his
depriving her of George Harroway's conversation and attentions. When
she thought of that, she was quite furious. Mrs. Rosny therefore
enclosed a fair portion of Sam's impassioned letters to the brunette,
and sent them anonymously to the young lady to whom he was about to be
married. There could not be any doubt about the handwriting; it was
recognised instantly as Freeport's. The style, too, was unmistakeable;
and the bold impudence with which he had copied out stanza after stanza
from various old authors--and addressed them as "lines to Clementina
Georgina"--was peculiarly striking. The young lady showed these letters
to her friends, and those friends would not near of the match, to Sam's
intense vexation and trouble. He shut himself up for a week, and kept
his bed.




CHAPTER XXXII.

THE Harroways continued to live very quietly and happily for several
months, when there arose a new source of anxiety for Anne. A film
appeared over both of George's eyes, and there seemed to be doubts
whether he would not entirely lose his sight. This lasted for about
five weeks, and during that period Anne had not a good night's rest.
She was almost afraid to hope, lest her hopes should be blighted. She
watched him by night and by day, and when he was disposed to listen she
would read to him until he fell asleep.

The film disappeared, and Harroway was himself again; but the mental
anxiety, and bodily labour were too much for Anne's strength, and as
soon as she knew her husband's sight was safe, she felt completely
exhausted and unable to lift her head. She always endeavoured to
raise a cheerful laugh, whenever George came to talk to her; but she
frequently failed, and showed how weak she was by giving way to tears
instead. A doctor who was called in recommended "Darjeeling" as the
only possible cure; but, as Anne very truly remarked, "he might as well
recommend the moon; for although it might be all very well for people
in poor Mr. Rosny's position to migrate from place to place, heedless
of expense, yet it was not everybody that had the means of moving three
or four hundred miles in this country."

But without "Darjeeling," Anne recovered, and set herself to bring up
all arrears in her accounts. A few days after she was able to sit up, a
home letter, from her father, was put into her hands. She trembled as
she opened it, lest it should disclose some painful news. But it did
not. On the contrary, it began by stating that "the money for purchase
was deposited, and all was quite safe this time; that the aspect of
affairs with him was very cheering; that he was overwhelmed just then
with business, and could not write further."

"Now, mark my words," said Harroway. "There will never be a step in
the corps so long as I stand first for purchase. It is very good and
generous in the old man, to be sure, Anne; but such is the nature of
our luck--a kindness is thrown away upon us."

The regiment was ordered to leave Calcutta, and proceed to a station
some distance in the interior. Harroway obtained leave to remain behind
for a month--as they thought it would be better to proceed alone
than in company with the corps. When the month--a very tedious one
to them--had passed away, a budgerow (large boat) was hired, and the
Harroways embarked for their destination. It was at about the end of
the cold weather; the change of scene and the quiet of the boat were
extremely grateful to them, and they felt happier than they had been
for some time past. Harroway had taken charge of a valuable double
barrelled gun for a friend, and when they anchored for the evening, he
amused himself and his wife by going on shore, and shooting whatever
was deemed worthy of powder and shot. In the morning they watched the
natives catch the fish, and when they were on their journey, they
would sit aloft--Anne sketching the various places they passed, while
Harroway read aloud to her. They were so comfortable, and so contented
with the life they then led, that they could have wished that the
journey was twice the distance. At length they were within one day's
run of the station they were ordered to, and everything was carefully
put up for removal from the boat, as soon as they landed.

There was a sunken log off Patna, some few years ago, which was fatal
to very many boats, and to some of their passengers; and the evil
genius that pursued the Harroways run their budgerow so completely
cross this log that the action of the stream capsized her. They had
just time to get into the cooking boat, when the budgerow was forced
into the deep water, where she went down. Harroway and his wife stood
upon the bank, watching, in mute astonishment, the place where the
waters had swallowed up all that they had in the world.

"When is this luck to end?" said George, despondingly.

"I think, dear, it must have ended now," cried Anne. "If it had not,
one of us would have been drowned. As it is, we are spared to each
other, and in good health. Really, George, dearest, we ought to be
thankful for that."

"That's one way of looking at it, certainly," said George.

"And it is the only one, depend on't," she laughed.

       *       *       *       *       *

At Patna they received great kindness and attention from the principal
authority present, and in the evening they were forwarded on to
Dinapore in an easy carriage, and conducted to Captain Freeport's
bungalow.

"Why, what's the meaning of all this?" cried Sam, when he heard their
voices. "I have been down at the ghaut all the evening, straining my
eyes looking for your boat, and Blew is down there now, waiting for
you."

"We landed at Patna," said Anne.

"What made you do that?" asked Sam.

"We couldn't help ourselves," replied Harroway.

"Why, how's that?" questioned Sam.

"The boat went down, and was lost," cried Anne.

"Well, by Jove!" ejaculated Sam, "I never knew such people in my
life! Never mind--you will have a run of good fuck yet, George. It
is impossible that this can last. Make yourselves as comfortable as
possible to-night, and to-morrow we will devise means for the future.
You had better remain in this place, and I will go and take up my
quarters with some one else."




CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE following morning, at breakfast, Blew brought in Freeport's
letters--at least a dozen. Sam opened them, made himself acquainted
with the contents, and then commented thereon. There was a dun from the
bank, for a monthly instalment; there was a request, on the part of
a wine, beer, and cheroot merchant, that a remittance might be made;
there was a small account for patent leather boots; there was a letter
from a friend, giving him a true account of his last love's looks, and
promising to ascertain, if possible, whether she relented, and whether
there was a chance of his gaining his heart's most earnest wish; then
came a bill for ices and soda-water; and several pretty little letters
from ladies, who kept him informed of all the gossip of Calcutta.
To each and every of these epistles, he replied in a characteristic
strain. But that to the wine, beer, and cheroot merchant's address must
be here given, as a specimen of Freeport's business correspondence:--


"DEAR SIR,

I am in receipt of your favour, requesting a remittance, and have the
pleasure to enclose you an order for fifty rupees--the balance shall
be forthcoming on an early day. You will oblige me by requesting your
people to send me another batch of cheroots--exactly like the last;
and, if it would not put you to too much trouble, I should like you
to procure for me four or five very superior cricket bats, and half a
dozen balls, and a few packs of playing cards. You will be glad to hear
that the troops, both European and native, in this station, enjoy the
most perfect health, and, from various inquiries made in the district,
I am happy to state that a most abundant harvest may be expected. The
indigo crops are promising, and the fertility generally is beyond
description. Several accidents have of late taken place on the river;
but though the sacrifice of property has been great, no lives have been
lost. The weather is still delightful, although the middle of the days
is somewhat too warm to be pleasant.

With reference to the playing cards, I should like them to have
enamelled backs. Those that are not enamelled, are very unpleasant to
deal, after they are a little used.

"Believe me, dear Sir, yours faithfully,

"SAM. FREEPORT."


Harroway and Anne laughed loudly when Sam read the above to them. He
had never been out of cantonments, and he was quite ignorant of the
health of the troops generally, and of the state of the crops; but as
he said himself, "What can it signify? I wish to be civil and polite,
and as long as I say something on these matters, why the object is
effected."

But what was their amusement when they saw the substance of Sam's
information embodied as a leader in one of the Calcutta daily
newspapers!




CHAPTER XXXIV.

"THIS is what I call living very mildly," observed Harroway to his
wife, one morning; "this is cantonment life in the East."

"Why, George, if we do not live very mildly, we can never meet our
engagements," she replied; "and remember, that to be dunned is more
than you can bear."

"But then I want to see the people, and know them," returned
Harroway. "What say you, shall I conform to the custom of the country,
and make a round of calls? I confess I always fancy one looks like a
hungry wolf prowling about in search of dinners; but it must be done."

"Indeed not, George," she urged; "we cannot afford to entertain, and
therefore I think we had much better stay at home."

Harroway gave in, and in accordance with his wife's desire he called
upon no one in the station. Many persons set them down as very odd
people; others fancied that they gave themselves airs; others declared
they were probably saving money and stingy; others surmised that
Harroway had been promoted from the ranks, and that his wife did
not feel at home in society, and therefore shunned it; while a few
scandal-creating creatures hinted that there were some queer stories
about them.

There was a cricket match played one Thursday forenoon, and George
Harroway was one of an eleven. He made a very good score, and when he
carried his bat off the field, he was complimented by the lookers-on,
who sat beneath the shade of the tent. A middle-aged gentleman, whom
Harroway had not seen before, opened a conversation with him, and
George invited him to dine at the mess that evening, and the invitation
was accepted.

It happened that on the evening in question there was a very large
dinner party at the house of the officer commanding the station, and
all the married people of Harroway's corps, himself and his wife
excepted, formed a part of the company.

The wife of Harroway's guest was one of the most mischievous tattlers
that ever set folk by the ears. She was very fond of putting this and
that together, like the servant-maid in the play, and then arriving at
a conclusion, which was unalterable. She was now perfectly satisfied
and convinced that when the ladies of the regiment spoke of the
Harroways as "unfortunate people," they did not use the word "wicked"
out of mere charity. "I don't mean to say," she reasoned with her
husband, "that they are not man and wife now; but take my word for
it, Major Goggleheigh----" (She had a way of tossing her head instead
of finishing her malicious sentences.)

The imputation flew with a rapidity which was almost incredible, and
talking about the really unfortunate and unoffending couple soon became
a means with many of beguiling some portion of the tedious hours of the
hot weather.

One evening Sam Freeport walked down to the ghaut, as was his custom
whenever a steamer arrived, to make the acquaintance of new arrivals,
and on the way back he was accompanied by a steady-going officer, then
commanding the wing of a regiment of native infantry. Harroway's name
was incidentally mentioned, and the "queer story" was alluded to.
Freeport was seldom seen in a passion, or even ruffled in temper; but
on hearing so vile and false an insinuation directed against a man to
whom he had been under numberless obligations in bygone times, and
against a woman whom he regarded, and truly, as a paragon of virtue,
and all else that exalts the female character, his reason seemed
suddenly to forsake him, and it was with great difficulty he refrained
from breaking his walking stick over the head of the man whose lips had
repeated so shameful a rumour.

As soon as he could speak, Freeport demanded the authority. The officer
said that he did not remember any person in particular who mentioned
it, but that the circumstance was very commonly talked about. This
enraged Freeport more than ever, and he swore that he would never rest
till he found out the guilty persons, and punished them. He sought
the colonel, who expressed his extreme sorrow, and promised to do
all in his power to set the matter at rest. But this did not satisfy
Freeport. He called upon every one, out of his corps, with whom he was
intimate, and questioned them closely. At length he traced the offence
to the Goggleheighs, and to the major's house he proceeded in haste
and anger. There was considerable shuffling and evasion, which Sam was
not disposed to let pass without lengthy comment and severe reproach.
He demanded in writing an admission of the error, and an expression of
sorrow on the major's part; and his demand was complied with.

Freeport debated with himself whether he would be justified or not in
withholding from Harroway what had come to his knowledge. There was a
good deal in favour of his putting Harroway in possession of the facts,
and, on the other hand, there was a good deal against his adopting such
a course. At length he tested the propriety of his measures by asking
himself whether,--if it were his own case,--whether, if he stood in
Harroway's position, he would like to be informed, or kept in ignorance
of what had been said, and what was probably still believed beyond the
precincts of the station? The result of his deliberation was this:
he walked to Harroway's poor abode, took George aside, and simply
stated all that had taken place. Harroway's eyes flashed fire, his
lips quivered, he clenched his fists, and his face was overspread with
paleness, induced by the violence of his passion.

Harroway promised Freeport faithfully that he would not be guilty of
impropriety, and that he would look upon Major Goggleheigh's apology as
sufficient; and no doubt he was at the time quite sincere: but, alas!
his own ill-luck threw him, a few days afterwards, and before his wrath
had subsided, into the company of the very man whom of all others it
were well that he should avoid.

There was another cricket-match, and Harroway went in, determined to
make "no end of a score." The cricket-ground was in sight of Harroway's
bungalow, and Anne had borrowed an opera-glass (from the major's wife)
to see "dear George's beautiful batting," of which, by the way, she
used to talk a great deal, whenever she wanted to make him on good
terms with himself. The very first ball put George Harroway out!

The other side, and their backers, raised a hearty cheer, which was
succeeded by screams and loud huzzas, and several very enthusiastic
persons jumped about like cannibals, and then threw themselves down on
the ground and laughed more like maniacs than reasonable men. The "fun"
was enormous, though the wit, perhaps, was very much out of proportion.
Harroway could neither understand nor believe that the ball touched
the middle stump, albeit there it was, stretched at full length on the
field. His astonishment redoubled the shouts, for he had been heard to
say, "I'll go in first, and see the other ten out." As he walked to the
tent, Harroway looked towards his bungalow, and thought how dreadfully
annoyed poor Anne would be when she heard those cheers which proclaimed
his defeat, and reflected that the corps had not a ghost of a chance
since he was unable to score a notch. He was correct in supposing Anne
was annoyed, for she shed tears, not for the corps' disappointment,
but because she knew how hurt George would be when he saw the round
"0" opposite to "Harroway" in the printed report of the match in the
newspapers.

The first person who accosted Harroway when he reached the tent was
Major Goggleheigh. "You are not so fortunate to-day, Mr. Harroway,"
said he, with an unmeaning and would-be-kind sniggle. Harroway dropped
his bat, walked up to Major Goggleheigh, and replied, "By heavens! Sir,
if ever you dare speak to me again, I'll--I'll----" Here he raised his
clenched fist to a level with his chest, whereupon a young ensign--a
very knowing boy, of his regiment--rushed up, and placing his arm round
the infuriated man's waist, he led him, as he would lead a child, away
from the dangerous vicinity. By the time he was led back to the tent,
Major Goggleheigh had taken his departure.




CHAPTER XXXV.

WHEN Harroway got home his wife condoled with him, but attempted to
laugh off the misfortune of being put out by the first ball. She
thought he was very foolish to think so much about such a trifle, and
could not comprehend how it could make so deep an impression upon his
spirits. He never spoke a word the whole evening, and was extremely
cross. There was another circumstance that puzzled Anne.

Sam Freeport came to the house, looking unusually lugubrious, and took
George into the verandah, where she heard George emphatically declare,
"I don't care one----. I'd do it again." Anne began to imagine
George had been foolish enough to bet larger sums than he had been able
to pay, on his own powers at cricket. This suspicion harassed her, and
she was almost driven to distraction. When they returned to the room,
Harroway asked Freeport to take a cheroot and a glass of brandy and
water; but, for the first time in the recollection of Anne, Sam made
some excuse, and sorrowfully took leave.

"What is the matter with you, George?" Anne inquired.

"Nothing in the world," said Harroway. "Why do you ask that?"

"Because you appear disturbed."

"I am no more disturbed than you are, nor half so much."

"Well, I am very glad to hear it, George; I thought you were annoyed at
being put out so early to-day."

"Then, if you thought that, why did you ask what was the matter with
me?"

Anne retired, and left her husband alone. He paced the room till a very
late hour, talking to himself, and when he was tired out, threw himself
into the easy chair, and fell asleep.

The next morning the major called at Harroway's quarters, and asked the
servants if their master had risen. The servants said "No," which was
the case. The major used occasionally to look in after parade, to have
a gossip with the Harroways, and when Anne heard his voice, she went
out into the sitting-room to receive him, and ordered coffee.

"What has become of Harroway this morning?" asked the major.

"He sat up very late last night, and he is tired," replied Anne, and
she called out, "George, don't be lazy! Here is the major!"

Harroway made no reply.

An hour passed away in a confused conversation, both on the part of the
major and Mrs. Harroway. The former had a painful duty to perform, and
the latter saw that there was some unpleasantness at hand, though she
had no idea of what it could be.

It was getting late, and high time for the major to go home for
breakfast, but Harroway did not make his appearance. George pretended
to be asleep, and was deaf to the numerous calls of his wife.

"I must see George," said the major. "Make him get up."

Anne went into his room and aroused Harroway from his reverie. He
pronounced it a great bore to be disturbed in that way, but after
making a hasty toilet he came out.

The meeting was a very awkward one on the major's part. He had known
Harroway as a mere boy, and had always liked him; and for Mrs. Harroway
he had the highest regard and esteem.

Anne saw that the major wished to say something to her husband in
private, and she therefore left the room.

"How could you have been so mad as to raise your hand to that man,
George?" said the major.

"I know not," Harroway answered. "I have borne him a resentment, and he
spoke to me and grinned, when I was recently annoyed by another matter
of trifling import."

"The fact is," said the major, "you have exposed yourself to be tried."

"I cannot help it," sighed Harroway. "Has anything been done in the
business?"

"Yes; and I am grieved to say, George, I am now present to place you
under an arrest."

After a silence of some minutes, Harroway went into his dressing-room
and brought out his sword, which the major took away with him.

Anne could not comprehend these mysterious proceedings, and she was
fearful of questioning her husband in his present state of temper. It
was not long, however, before he made her acquainted with his position,
and the probable consequences of his rashness. The announcement amazed
her, but she did not reprove him for what seemed beyond remedy. She
was grieved that upon so small a provocation (for Harroway had never
informed her of the first cause) her husband could resort to so violent
an act; and those who were equally ignorant with herself regarded him
as insane. Freeport, who was a perfect creature of hope, thought that
nothing more than a severe reprimand from supreme authority would be
the result. Harroway, on the other hand, who was a creature of despair,
predicted that he would be cashiered. Anne knew not what to think,
and none of her acquaintances could help her to an idea. All doubt,
however, was speedily set aside by a communication from head quarters,
to the effect that a general court-martial was to be assembled for
Lieutenant Harroway's trial.

Now that she was no longer in suspense, but informed of the worst, Anne
set herself to consider how her husband could best defend himself.
Harroway then deemed it his duty, and only just to himself, to assure
her that the remark on the cricket ground was not the provocation he
received, but that it merely afforded an opportunity of resenting in
person the insult and the wrong of which he then apprized her.

Unfortunately for them, the very persons whom they most wished to
advise with were members of the court, namely, the major and Sam
Freeport, and they, of course, kept aloof.




CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE day for the trial arrived, and George Harroway stood charged with
"conduct unbecoming the character of an officer, in having, at----,
on the ---- day of ----, 18--, raised his hand in a menacing manner
against Major Goggleheigh, of the ---- Regt., and uttered, at the same
time, threatening words."

There could be no doubt as to George Harroway's guilt. All he desired
was to bring before the tribunal the fact of having been deeply injured
by Major Goggleheigh, and being accosted by him when he had just
suffered a disappointment. He desired this, in the hope of modifying
the opinion of the court as to the heinousness of the offence in a
military point of view. To effect this object, he put a question to
Major Goggleheigh, when one of the members (who, by the way, had
read a great deal of military law, but who was utterly ignorant of
its principles, or even the power of words) suggested that George's
question was a leading one, and quoted Hough to support his dictum,
that "such questions could not be allowed."

There seemed to be a difference of opinion on this knotty point, and
the court was "cleared" in consequence.

While Harroway was cooling his heels outside the court, he could not
help expatiating with the adjutant on the absurdity and the injustice
of his being excluded from the discussion; and there certainly appeared
to be a good deal of truth and common sense in his remarks.

The court, after half an hour's deliberation--(if fourteen men,
including the Deputy Judge Advocate General, all talking together on a
point of which two thirds of the number had not the least glimmering of
an idea--can be called "deliberating,") was opened, and the prisoner
was informed that the question was considered "irrelevant." Harroway
then proposed another, when the member who was well read in Hough
and Simmonds instantly suggested that "the court had met to try the
prisoner, and not Major Goggleheigh."

"There can be no doubt about that," said Sam Freeport, drily.
"Nevertheless, I can't see why Major Goggleheigh should not say whether
or not he had lately repeated matters in public to the prisoner's
prejudice."

"I don't see that at all," replied the objector. "It is clearly laid
down in Simm----."

"Clear the court!" cried another member, in a loud voice, which
startled the president, and the court was cleared accordingly.

The president had never been on any court martial before. From his
boyhood upwards, till he attained his majority, he had been on staff
employ, and since then it had been his good fortune never to be called
upon to perform such disagreeable duty. He had not the most remote idea
of the principles or the rules of evidence, and (poor man!) throughout
the whole trial he appeared far more frightened and embarrassed than
the prisoner. His inward prayer was, evidently, that he might never be
called upon to give his casting vote on any question.

The debate was a stormy one--and Harroway and the adjutant could almost
hear the words of several of the members. The Deputy Judge Advocate's
voice had been overwhelmed in the cross fire that was kept up between
"the well-read man" and Sam Freeport, and the commentaries from all
quarters (except from the president's quarter) which their respective
observations elicited. The tumult in about twenty minutes dwindled to
a calm, and the fact of "the court's open" was duly announced by the
junior member. "The well-read man," by quoting the authorities (which,
by the bye, had no bearing on the point at issue), carried the day
against the common-sense view of Sam Freeport, and the prisoner was
informed that his second question could not be allowed.

It is not an easy matter for a man, who is unused to interrogation,
to frame questions under favourable circumstances; but when the
natural difficulty is increased by artificial means, the case becomes
desperate. Harroway then wished to know whether the witness could in
any way account for what must have appeared to him a very unwarrantable
outrage--without reference to the cricket match.

The well-read man instantly suggested that the witness could
only answer that question from hearsay, and hearsay evidence was
inadmissible.

"Not at all," cried several members with reference to the witness's
ability to speak from personal knowledge.

"Then I'll show it to you very clearly laid down," responded "the
well-read man"--"with reference to the law;" and he forthwith dipped
into Kennedy.

The well-read man had the reputation of being a very clever fellow, and
when he read aloud the trite truth--a great admirer of his exclaimed:
"Sure enough. There it is. He is quite right!"

A murmuring ensued. The president looked to the right and left,
in a painful state of dubitation, until "Clear the court" was
resounded--when the prisoner and the adjutant left the room for the
third time.

"They are continually clearing the court," remarked Harroway, when he
got outside, "but hang me if it does not seem to be muddier and muddier
after every clearance!"

The Deputy Judge Advocate having obtained a patient hearing on this
occasion, he pointed out very clearly, that there was not the slightest
objection to any of the questions put by the prisoner, whereupon "the
well-read man" reminded the D. J. A. G. that it was not very respectful
to the court to pronounce an opinion on questions which the court had
solemnly decided, and the majority of the members concurring in this
view, the D. J. A. G. was requested to be more guarded in future.

The D. J. A. G. was a new hand--lately appointed to the department--and
smarting under the rebuke, he maintained silence during the subsequent
discussions. The third question was then thrown overboard, and the
court was opened once more.

Harroway had about him the very apology which Major Goggleheigh had
given to Freeport; but Anne had prudently advised him not to produce
it, except for the purpose of contradicting Major Goggleheigh, if
he deposed to no knowledge of former provocation. Feeling himself,
however, at an utter loss as to the means of bringing his point
forward, he produced the apology, and requested that Major Goggleheigh
might be asked whether or not it was in his handwriting?

The well-read man (Heaven save us from such men!) intimated to the
court that "before documentary evidence (!) could be received, it
was necessary that the court should know what was its nature, in order
that the court might judge as to the propriety of making it a matter of
record or not."

The murmur which commonly precedes the opening of a discussion had just
commenced, when Harroway, in a firm and respectful tone thus addressed
the president: "I remember, sir, about four years ago, being present
at a famous trial in the Court of Queen's Bench. The witness deposed
to certain facts which were not in accordance with what he had stated
in a letter, and the counsel, who was examining the witness, doubled
up the letter in such a way that the words, 'yours very truly,' and
the signature could only be seen, and then he asked him whether the
handwriting was his or not. The witness owned it, and the letter was
then read out in court. Now, sir, if that was irregular, I think it
would not have been allowed."

The president breathed hard, and looked straight before him--(oh! such
a vacant look!)

"Have you any report of that case? Can you mention any book where it is
to be found?" inquired the well-read man.

"I have not," replied Harroway.

"Then," said the well-read man, looking round the court with an air of
triumph, occasioned by a consciousness of his own sagacity, "then, I am
afraid the court would not be justified in trusting to the prisoner's
memory, especially when Hough speaks so plainly as he does."

"What Hough is that?" asked Sam.

"The major!" replied the well-read man, proudly.

"I wouldn't place much reliance on his opinions," observed Sam. "As
for the case alluded to by the prisoner, I remember it well. I was
present at the time."

"With the prisoner, perhaps?" suggested the well-read man.

"Yes, sir, with the prisoner."

"Clear the court!" cried the president, for the want of something else
to say--and the court was cleared accordingly.

"Well, if military law is not a perfect farce," exclaimed Harroway,
"all I can say is, that it is very like one."

"It is like most human institutions, my good fellow," remarked the
adjutant, who was a shrewd man, "it is open to be greatly abused by an
indiscriminate selection of those who are eligible by rank (though not
qualified) to dispense the duties entrusted to them."

"Oh! hang your philosophy!" remarked Harroway, laughing. "I'm a
practical man, my dear sir."

"The court's adjourned till to-morrow!" cried out the junior member.
"Come in!"

"The case ought to have been settled in an hour," muttered Harroway.
"Confound your human institutions, say I. I only wish they were a
little more humane, and not so trying to the temper!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Harroway related to his wife all that he could remember of the day's
proceedings. She was not well pleased; for it seemed to her that
the majority of votes, which prevented him putting such reasonable
questions, would carry a verdict and severe sentence against him. She
therefore modified his defence very considerably, and directed the
appeal more to the passions than to the reason of the tribunal. As far
as Harroway could judge, he thought there were nine against him, and
four favourably disposed. They talked over what they might do, if the
worst came to the worst, and although Anne put a very bright face upon
their prospects, in good truth they were far from cheering.

While Harroway and Anne were debating about what might be done in the
event of his being cashiered, a very different scene was being enacted
at the house of the president, who had a dinner party on that evening,
to which Sam Freeport had been invited. The president took Sam into a
corner of the drawing room, and reverted to the court martial, while a
young lady was squalling away at the piano--


"A place in thy memory, dearest,
Is all that I claim;
To pause, and look back when thou hearest
The sound of my name."


"What do you think of this business?" asked the president.

"I only hope," said Sam, "they don't publish the reports of courts
martial in this country."

"No; they don't," said the president. "But why?"

"Because," said Sam, "they will take us to be a parcel of born idiots.
I don't like to tell you what is generally said--but really--oh! How
very nicely this young lady sings!"

"Never mind the singing," said the president, in great anxiety. "What
do they say?"

"I don't like to tell you," said Sam. "'Pon my word, how beautifully
she touches her instrument; and, except Persiani, I never knew a woman
who had her execution of voice."

"Never mind her voice," said the imbecile president of the general
court martial; "tell me what they say?"

"Then it must be in strict confidence," said Sam, looking as grave as
possible.

"Oh, in strict confidence," said the agitated old man.

"Well," whispered Sam, "they say--mind you, they say, but I don't--they
say that when the commander-in-chief comes to read the whole affair, he
will give us all a most owdacious wigging; and as for you, he'll make
you an invalid."

"God bless me, you don't say so!" responded the president. "Why, I
should only draw 900 Rs. (£90) a month, and perhaps get a mere nothing
for retiring?"

"I don't know what you will draw," said Sam. "I only tell you what
people say."

"How could it be averted?" asked the president.

"Why, by taking a firm line," replied Sam. "By exercising your
authority, and putting a stop to a parcel of ridiculous discussions and
forecastle quibbles, which will bring the whole of us into disgrace,
and make us marked men for life."

"But how can I do it?" said the president.

"Why, by snubbing the first man that makes ridiculous objections. But,
recollect, you must be firm," said Sam.

"Oh, I'll be firm!" said the president. "Yes, you are quite right--I'll
be firm. I don't want firmness."

"I know you don't," quoth Sam. "But what I desire is to see you
exercise it."

"The invalids?" soliloquized the president, in Sam's presence and
hearing. "The invalids? I'll write to my friend, the adjutant-general
to-morrow, and tell him I am suffering' acutely from tic douloureux."




CHAPTER XXXVII.

ON the second day of the trial, a change came over the spirit of the
court. The prisoner was allowed to put whatever questions he pleased,
and the well-read man was in a minority on all the points he mooted.
The president was not so firm as might have been expected from his
promise; still, his fears of being invalided for imbecility awakened
him to a sense of his authority, and he tore up all the slips of paper
which the well-read man threw across the table, without looking at the
observations thereon written. The proceedings were at length closed,
the verdict found, the punishment awarded, and the packet despatched to
the supreme authority, for confirmation or otherwise. Harroway made up
his mind that his commission was gone; but his wife had a presentiment
that nothing so calamitous as that would happen to them. Twenty-five
tedious days passed away, and the Harroways were hourly expecting
their doom. At about two o'clock one morning, Sam Freeport's voice was
heard in the verandah. He was shouting out, "Bearer, open the dur-wazy
(door)--quick, you!" Harroway got up, and welcomed his old friend
warmly, although he believed him to be the harbinger of bad news.

"Here's a pretty business," said Sam.

Harroway was afraid to inquire.

"Just what I expected!" Sam continued. "They made a mess of it, and you
are all right!"

What a relief was that sentence to the mind of Harroway, and to the
mind of his wife, who was listening on tip-toe at the door.

Anne dressed hastily, and went out to hear the particulars, which Sam
declared to be these:

"The court," said he, "found you guilty, and sentenced you to
be placed at the bottom of the list of the lieutenants; but the
commander-in-chief is of opinion that you ought to have been
cashiered, and therefore he has not approved of the sentence given
by the court, and you are therefore to be released from arrest, and
ordered to return to your duty. The colonel has this in a private
letter. The general order will not be here for the next five days."

"How very fortunate!" exclaimed Anne.

"You may well say that," returned Sam; "but it is just my luck that
befriended him. If I had not got that apology from old Goggleheigh,
you could never have produced it, and then your case would have been
better than it was, and the loss of rank sufficient; for, don't you
see, George, that after accepting an apology, your conduct was the less
excusable; and this view has doubtless been taken at head quarters. I
hope it will teach you a lesson to be more careful in future. Let us
have some brandy and water. It is of no use going to bed now, as I must
be up for parade in a couple of hours."

They sat talking till the day dawned. Freeport was as happy at the
result as were the Harroways themselves; and most heartily did he make
them laugh by his imitation of the president, and various other members
of the court martial.




CHAPTER XXXVIII.

FREEPORT was now put to his wits end to ward off the importunity of
his creditors. He had to sell everything he possessed to meet trifling
debts and pay his servants. Instalment after instalment remained unpaid
to the bank, and the secretary was beginning to grow weary of receiving
very lengthy letters about everything but the payment of what was due
and owing. It is true, Sam sometimes alluded to it in a P.S., but not
often. Harroway had been applied to on Sam's account; and he told the
truth--namely, that he had paid, and would pay his own debt; but that
it was entirely out of his power to meet the engagement entered into
for his friend.

Freeport was then threatened with an action; but he remonstrated
against so harsh and arbitrary a proceeding in such warm, or rather
such cool terms, and recommended patience, so forcibly, as the quickest
way to get paid all, that his epistle had a marked effect. He then
took it into his head to bore the bank for an additional loan; and
his correspondence with the secretary was becoming so bulky and
unprofitable, that it was deemed advisable to let Captain Freeport
alone, and say nothing about the original debt, at least for the time
being; and that was all Freeport wanted.

It was resolved at last to sue Sam for the amount of his balance--some
nine thousand rupees; and a writ of summons was accordingly served upon
him. He caused the document to be framed and glazed, and had it hung
up amongst his pictures, resting assured they would never go to such
lengths as they threatened. But he was disappointed. One evening, on
going down to the ghaut to meet the steamer, he met a Calcutta bailiff,
who instantly made his acquaintance.

"You don't mean to say," said Sam, in an expostulatory attitude,
and putting his hat well on one side, while he whiffed away at his
cheroot--"you don't mean to say you have arrested me?"

"I must do my duty, sir," observed the bailiff.

"Of course you must," said Sam; "England expects that every man will do
his duty. Of course you must. Well, my good sir, how shall we travel?
The prospect of meeting my old friends in Calcutta delights me. Shall
we go by land, or by water? I hope you are well provided with money to
defray our expenses; for, as you may reasonably suppose, I am very hard
up, indeed."

"I think, sir, we had better go down by the steamer, sir," responded
the bailiff. "They tell me, sir, there will be a downward boat the day
after to-morrow."

"I am agreeable to anything," said Sam. "Meanwhile, come away to my
quarters."

As they proceeded to Sam's bungalow, Sam asked the bailiff an infinity
of questions on various topics. The trip from Calcutta; the fare on
board the flats; the temperature on the river; the healthy condition,
or otherwise, of the metropolis, &c. &c. &c.

"Have a glass of Madeira and a biscuit," said Sam, when they entered
the bungalow.

The bailiff thanked him.

"Look here," whispered Sam, extending his eyelids; "I shouldn't like it
known just yet that I am arrested; for it is very probable that I may
be able to arrange it in the course of to-morrow, or next day; and I
have a few friends coming to take a quiet dinner this evening, and play
a rubber of whist. Couldn't you put on a frog coat, and a stock, and
come out as a military man, just for a day or so, or until we go away
together?"

The bailiff smiled, and Freeport continued:

"Oh, of course you can. Come in here, and I'll rig you out. Be
reserved, and say as little as possible."

Freeport had taken charge of a host of things belonging to an old
friend of his, in the 3rd Dragoons, and amongst them was a frogged
coat, an undress cap, and other articles of uniform.

Having dressed the bailiff up, he gave him the name of his friend,
"Captain Drones, of the 3rd Dragoons."

The bailiff gave Freeport to understand that he couldn't allow him out
of his sight; but upon Sam's word of honour that he would never think
of an "escape," or anything of the sort, the restriction was taken off,
and a mutual understanding arrived at. Freeport, in the meanwhile,
wrote a letter to the doctor, and begged to be placed on the sick-list
for a few days, as he had a violent bleeding at the nose, which was
always increased by the sound of musketry.

The evening came, and Freeport's guests dropped in one by one, and were
respectively introduced to his friend, "Captain Drones." The dinner was
placed on the table, and the bailiff took his seat on the host's right
hand. Sam wanted to fill him with wine, but the bailiff was cautious
and abstemious. Sam was frequently observed to laugh--at nothing,
seemingly--but the party assembled little dreamt of what was passing
through his brain, and what intense fun it was to him to reflect on
"how deuced well the man looked in decent uniform."

When the dinner was over, Blew ran out the card tables; and while he
was doing so, George Harroway remarked to Freeport, that Drones was a
very mild sort of fellow.

"Ah! poor fellow," said Sam. "He has a good deal on his mind at
present. The fact is, he is not himself, George. A better hearted
fellow never existed. The more you know him, the more you will like
him. He is a very reserved and haughty man; he always was; but it wears
off in time. Just let me ask him if he will cut in."

Freeport glided across the room, and inquired of the bailiff if
he would have a hand at cards? The bailiff had not the slightest
objection, for he was fond of whist, and played remarkably well. It was
his good fortune to be the major's partner, and they scored up a heavy
rubber against Sam and George Harroway.

"I say, old Drones," said Sam to the bailiff, "by Jove, if you go on
in this way, blow me if you will ever get paid. Recollect, you have a
horrid bad prospect before you. Eh, old boy? Drink a glass of Madeira."

The bailiff loosened his stock and chuckled in a manner which made Sam
Freeport laugh so uproariously he could not pour out the wine without
spilling it over the counters.

It is extraordinary how prepossessed some men become with others with
whom they win money at cards, or any other game of chance. The major
grew to like Drones, and thought him a very amiable person. He looked
over the defect in Drones' pronunciation of the English language, and
regarded his dropping the letter "h" rather as a misfortune than a
fault.

"Don't you see a great difference, Captain Drones, in Sam?" asked
Harroway, with a view to teaze Freeport. "Has he not aged awfully?"

"Not a bit of it," answered Sam. "Am I, Drones? Eh? Play away, old
boy. A club led. Aged! Not a bit of it. I'm as young as ever. Ain't I,
Drones?"

"I don't see much difference," said the bailiff.

"Of course you don't," continued Sam. "Who ever did? Play away!
Singing, 'Ring a ting ting a ting tong, this world it runs round upon
wheels.' I say, Drones; don't look over my hand. It's a d----d bad
habit you have contracted since we played together last."

The bailiff denied the charge in a very serious manner; so much so,
that the major and Harroway mistook the man's nature for an inimitable
display of humour, and they began to laugh loudly, an amusement in
which Sam Freeport heartily joined.

"Come over and breakfast with us to-morrow morning," said the major to
Freeport.

"I am afraid we can't do that," Sam replied, "for Drones has some
business to settle with Smyth, and I am going to take him down in the
morning."

"Then come and take a quiet dinner with us," said Harroway, "and we
will have a rubber afterwards."

"I am afraid we can't do that either," said Sam, "for reasons which I
will explain to you by and bye.--What's that? A heart? I've got none.
There's a trump. Take it up, George. There's another!"




CHAPTER XXXIX.

"DRONES! Drones! Derrick Drones!" pondered Anne, when Harroway informed
her of the name of Freeport's guest. "Why, George, that must be the man
of whom Freeport tells so many good stories."

"To tell you the truth, I thought him dull," replied Harroway. "But
then Sam says he is not himself just now."

"According to Freeport's description, he must be a man of infinite
humour, and I have some curiosity to see him. He has only one eye. Has
he not?"

"No. He has as many eyes as I have. What made you think that?" asked
Harroway.

"Because I am convinced Sam has told me that his friend had the
misfortune to lose an eye. Are you sure, George?"

"Sure! Why, you cannot suppose I would be mistaken on a point like
that? I am not blind of either of my eyes, thank heavens!"

Now this was one of those points which Anne never would give up. All
that Freeport had told her of Drones she remembered, and amongst
other things, that he had but one eye. She therefore reverted to the
question, and caused Harroway to be vexed.

"I tell you what it is," he exclaimed, "the man has most perfect sight,
and that's enough. Say no more about it."

"But really, George, it is so provoking to be contradicted on a matter
of which I am so certain. It is not impossible for you to be mistaken.
What could have induced Freeport to describe a man as blind of one eye,
if he had perfect sight?"

"Very well; have it so!" murmured Harroway. "Have it so: but I am quite
prepared to swear the contrary of your view. There let it rest. I
shall say no more about it." And thereupon, after the fashion of most
persons who make similar declarations, he began a long harangue on the
obstinacy and positiveness of the female character.

Anne retaliated, and the dispute was not likely to be closed that
night; for both parties were perfectly satisfied that the other was
wrong. To put an end to the matter, and to show his wife the absurdity
of pitting hearsay against sight, he wrote the following note to
Freeport, and despatched it at once:--


"My dear Sam,

Has your friend Derrick Drones one eye or two?

Yours, G. H."


To this Freeport replied,--


"Only one: but keep it secret. How came you to guess, eh?"


"This is more than I can understand, Anne," exclaimed Harroway, when
the reply came back. "It seems you are right, after all. But I would
not hesitate to take my oath this moment that he has two eyes. To me it
is inexplicable how there could be any difference on such a point."

       *       *       *       *       *

Sam introduced the bailiff to every one who called upon him, and
three days passed over without any negotiation respecting the debt.
He had just made up his mind to obtain a month's leave on very urgent
private affairs, when it struck Sam that he might pledge the tiara of
diamonds, and raise the money from a wealthy merchant in the station,
when, to his intense joy and satisfaction, he received a letter from
his brother, containing a bill upon a mercantile house in Calcutta for
one thousand pounds. Sam had no difficulty in discounting this bill at
twelve per cent., and two and a half commission; and the bailiff being
"satisfied," he embarked on a downward boat, and returned to the City
of Palaces.




CHAPTER XL.

THE mail which brought Freeport the means of paying his heaviest
debt, brought the Harroways a very odd letter from old Newsham. It
was incoherent in some parts and indefinite in others; but the strain
throughout was wild, joyous, and light-hearted. Still it did not afford
Anne much happiness, for she feared her father was engaged in some
rash and glowing speculation, which would reduce him a second time to
poverty, and make him, perhaps for ever, the inhabitant of a prison.
Harroway did not view it in this light, thinking that it augured a
certain fortune, in which they would share, eventually.

The Sonepore race meeting was about to take place, and Freeport
proposed that the Harroways should go. Anne objected on the ground of
expense, but George over-ruled the objection, and bade her make ready.

They had never before seen so many persons, all known to each other,
encamped together. The novelty of the scene rendered it pleasing, and,
forgetful of all their debts and difficulties, they felt perfectly
happy.

The races commenced, and the stand was crowded with spectators. Very
large odds were loudly offered on a favourite steed, and without
looking at the animals, Freeport cried out "done;" and Harroway,
trusting to Sam's luck, followed his example. In less than a quarter
of an hour they were each sixteen hundred rupees richer. Sam was
satisfied, and, like a prudent man, declined to run any more risks.
Harroway, on the contrary, feeling a glow of good luck, had another
venture or two and lost back the sixteen hundred rupees, and several
hundreds besides. Small as the sum actually was, it was to them a great
consideration, and how to pay it, and be punctual with the instalment
to the bank, caused Anne a good deal of anxiety, and made her very
uncomfortable during the remainder of the meeting. All the while she
was laughing, and amusing the many who flocked around to listen to her
merry and witty tongue, she was calculating their means, and inwardly
denouncing her husband's folly.

As they were returning to their home, and crossing the river, Anne
said to her husband, "Since you have given an order on the paymaster
for your losings, it behoves us to think how we are to provide for the
monthly call."

"There's lots of time to think of that," was Harroway's remark.

"No; there is very little time," she replied. "The day is drawing near,
and it would look bad to be behind hand."

"Well, I can't bother about it now. I am thinking of something else,"
he retorted.

"It strikes me, George," she rejoined, with a most winning and humorous
smile, "that we cannot do better, under the present circumstances, than
dispose of our plate and take to German silver."

Harroway was horrified at the proposition, but he could not help
joining in her laugh.

"There is a great deal of fun," she observed, "in thinking of the
poverty of the rich. Is there not, George?"

"I don't see any fun in it at all," he replied.

"Don't you, dear?" she rejoined. "Well, I declare it is very amusing.
Do you know, I feel certain that before long we will be in very
different circumstances, and the most pleasant reminiscences of our
lives will be these days of pinching, screwing, and contriving. The sum
you have lost is small, very small; and it might, you know, have been
great, very great, for you had immense temptation and I wonder how you
withstood it; but, at the same time, it behoves us to meet the affair,
and so to arrange that it may not give us any temporary or subsequent
annoyance."

"You are a good old creature, Anne," said Harroway, conscious of his
own inferiority of mind. "You may do just as you like."

They landed and walked to their home, but not a servant was to be seen.
They entered the bungalow, and Harroway called loudly for candles,
but no answer. He proceeded to the out buildings, and found them
deserted also. A lucifer match gave them a light, and with the aid
of a small wax taper they discovered that the abode had been stript
of all that was of any value. In the bed-room, the ayah was found,
stretched upon the floor in a state of unconsciousness. The poor woman
(the only faithful servant they had) was under the influence of some
very powerful narcotic, evidently administered some twenty-four hours
previous to the arrival of her master and mistress.

Anne rushed to her dressing-table to get some sal-volatile from the
medicine chest, but the medicine chest also had been carried away.
Her work-box even was gone. Nothing remained but the bare table, a
few chairs, and an old mattress to lie down upon. The servants had
conspired, robbed the house, and made a safe retreat into some other
part of the country.




CHAPTER XLI.

"IT is pretty certain that the bank will get no instalment this month,
although we shall be obliged to take to German silver," observed
Harroway. "What are we to do?"

"I confess I am unable to devise any scheme, George. Unless you can ask
those whom you assisted in former days to assist you, now that you are
in a difficulty," replied Anne.

"There is only one man who is in a position to lend me money," said
Harroway, "and I used to accommodate him so often before he came in for
what he has, that really I feel justified in asking him; albeit, the
prospect of repayment is certainly very remote. It is a disagreeable
thing to remind a man of an obligation; but there is no help for it in
my case." With these words, Harroway walked quickly to the house of a
young lieutenant, not very far distant from his own abode. He found his
friend in an unsettled state of mind, and a groan frequently escaped
him.

"You don't seem very comfortable this morning, Beavy," said Harroway.
"What is the matter?"

"Did you ever feel conscious of having been cheated?" asked Beavy.

"Often," replied Harroway.

"Then you know how vexatious it is?"

"Yes; it is most annoying to feel that you have been cheated."

"And by a scoundrel whose very physiognomy, independent of his manners,
ought to have induced you to shun him as a low, disreputable villain,
who ought to be scouted. But there is some excuse for me. I had taken
too much wine."

"I hope you have not been stuck?" said Harroway.

"Stuck?" echoed Beavy. "Stuck? I have been cheated out of six thousand
rupees by that Captain Rooke, at écarté. Here is a copy of the
scoundrel's ill-spelt note, reminding me that he is 'off to-morrow, and
if it would be convenient,' &c."

"I am very sorry to hear it," returned Harroway. "But it serves you
right; for you heard his character discussed the other night at the
mess table; and you must have heard it said that he 'rooked' Rosbourne
out of nearly a thousand pounds, by taking points from Rosbourne,
and flattering his skill, when it was well known he could have given
Rosbourne eighteen out of twenty-four."

"All very true," quoth Beavy. "All very true; only the misfortune is,
George, we always find out our folly when it is too late to repair it."

It was not the time to ask for a loan from his friend; and Harroway
paid a visit to Freeport, who was just as badly off as himself.

"Why don't you ask Beavy to pay the instalment for you?" said Sam. "He
would do it in a minute."

"I doubt not he would," said Harroway; "but then he has just suffered
an awkward loss, and I don't like to ask him."

"What loss?" inquired Sam; and Harroway related the particulars.

Freeport was very angry, and sent to Beavy to appear before him
immediately.

"So you have been a regular fool, to play with a noted leg--have you?"
commenced Freeport, when Beavy entered the room. "Have you paid him?"

"No, not yet," was the reply.

"Then do so at once. Send him a cheque instanter. I have not the most
remote doubt on my mind you were cheated; for I am quite satisfied no
man with such a villanous countenance as that fellow has could play
fair if he tried. If his luck were ever so good, he would assist it
with his art. But never mind, I'll have a hand with him, and we'll
see if he rooks me. He drops his cards, does he? A card-dropper, eh?
Pay him the money, Beavy, and if I don't get every penny of it back
again, never trust to me again."

Freeport sat down, and wrote the following note:--


"MY DEAR ROOKE,

Give me the pleasure of your company to tiffin, after which we will
have a little mild play.

Yours,

S. FEEEPORT."


Rooke took the bait, and at about half-past one he was at Freeport's
bungalow. Sam greeted him very graciously, and after a hasty, but
hearty meal, they were both engaged. Sam played away in his usual
careless maimer--looking about the room, occasionally patting his
dog on the back, and discoursing with Rooke on indifferent subjects,
unconnected with the game, while his adversary was intent on the points
and counters. Freeport won several games, and as many gold mohurs; and
Rooke proposed to increase the stakes to five gold mohurs.

Sam assented, and they fired away again. Rooke was dealing, and while
Sam was drinking a glass of beer out of a large pewter tankard, gave
himself eight cards, instead of five; four of these cards he contrived
to drop "by accident," and, by the same "accident," only picked up one
of them. The remainder were left till the hand was played out, when
Rooke afforded himself an opportunity of putting them into the pack.
The score was getting heavy against Freeport, and Rooke was becoming
remarkably facete and loquacious.

"By the powers, look at that!" he would ejaculate, whenever Sam turned
up a king. "Blood an' ouns! what a narrow escape I had." (This phrase
always followed his marking a point.) "Marry, come up, my jewel!" (This
was whenever he looked out for a king himself, and got one.)

"What are you about?" cried Sam, as Rooke fished up one of his dropped
cards.

[SAM DETECTS HIS ADVERSARY IN THE VERY ACT.]

"I've dropped a card. Who's play is it?" said Rooke.

"You dropped a whole handful," replied Sam. "Just look under the table."

"Impossible!" cried Rooke, somewhat disconcerted, and looking under the
table. "Faith, there are cards down, but I couldn't have dropped
them."

"Do you take me for a fool?" asked Sam. "Do you suppose I have not
observed you do the same sort of thing at least a dozen times--and
always at this particular point of the game?"

Rooke became very pale. With a tremendous effort he recovered himself,
and asked Sam what he meant. The reply was, "I believed you to be a
cheat and a scoundrel before, and now I am certain of it."

Rooke got up, with the intention of leaving the room; but Sam cut off
his escape by standing in the doorway. "You are not going to get off so
easily as you expect, my good fellow. I find you guilty of disgraceful
malpractices, and I'll punish you," said he.

"What nonsense it is, kicking up a row," said Rooke, feeling alarm at
the fixed and firm look of the good-natured Freeport. "If you dispute
the thing, why the account does not stand, and there's an end of it."

"No, there's not," quoth Freeport. "I believe you victimized a young
officer of my regiment last night, and you were paid this morning.
He declared you had cheated him, and my object in asking you to come
and play here, was to find out how you did it. I am happy to think I
have been successful. Are you prepared to disgorge your last night's
winnings?"

"Yes; but say nothing about it," said Rooke, handing over Beavy's
cheque, with a sigh. "There now, it is all right. I hate disputes."

"What an atrocious villain you are," replied Sam. "And I fear there
are more of your kidney in this country; fellows who sit down, without
the slightest remorse, and rob a young man of his means, and plunge
him into debt for the remainder of his life. If I should ever rise to
be the commander-in-chief, I'll take a line of my own, and hang such
scoundrels as you are."

"What's the use----" (Rooke was about to speak.)

"Hold your tongue, sir," roared Sam, "or I will send for my servant
to horsewhip you. The number of fathers, brothers, and sisters that
are caused anxiety and annoyance by such harpies as you, is beyond
calculation."

"Come, come, now----" (Again Rooke tried to speak.)

"By the Lord Harry," exclaimed Freeport, "if you interrupt me any more,
I'll have your hands tied behind your back, and I'll send for the band,
and have you dragged through the cantonments to the tune of the Rogue's
March. I am a quiet fellow, generally; but when I am roused, I am a
British lion. Is there any chance of a notorious swindler like you
commanding a regiment? What are you? How do you stand in your corps?"

(Rooke was a senior captain at this time. He hid his face in his hands,
and writhed under the address from Freeport.)

Freeport resumed--"I have been informed, on the most undoubted
authority, that you are now receiving a monthly payment of fifty rupees
from a mere boy--out of his pay--for money won from him at cards. Is
that true, or not?"

"Oh, quite false!" said Rooke.

"You lie, sir," returned Freeport; "and unless you confess it--nay
more, unless you give me the boy's name, and write to absolve him from
further payments--leaving me to forward your letter--I will bring the
whole matter to the notice of the authorities."

"For God's sake!" cried Rooke.

"You wicked monster," ejaculated Sam, "to say such a thing. My terms
are these; and I call on you to conform to them. There's the pen and
ink and paper."

Rooke attempted to write, but his hand shook so fearfully he could
scarcely pen a word sufficiently plain to be read.

"What have you written?" said Sam, snatching the paper from him. "You
begin with 'My dear Charley.' Are you not ashamed of yourself? You will
be hung yet; and if I should happen to be within a reasonable distance
of the place of execution, I'll go and see you swing. I feel that I
could smoke a cheroot, and have pleasure in observing your agonies. Now
I come to look at you, I remember having seen you some few years ago at
a billiard room in Dublin."

"Never was in Dublin in my life," said Rooke.

"What!" cried Sam; "I would swear to you! You were constantly playing
with that famous marker. I know you by your eye: and now I come to
think of it, they told me that you had won £10,000 of an Indian prince?
How did you do it? By billiards, cards, or dice, or by what, eh?
Did you ever win ten thousand of such a person, or not?"

"Yes; but----"

"And you were in Dublin?"

"Now you mention it----"

"Mention it, you villain! Yes, I will mention it."

By this time Sam was pretty well exhausted, and he abruptly showed
Captain Rooke the door. As that gentleman was walking out, Freeport
raised his foot.




CHAPTER XLH.

FREEPORT never mentioned to any of his brother officers the particulars
of what passed between himself and Captain Rooke. He returned to
Lieutenant Beavy his cheque, and suggested that George Harroway was in
sad want of money, and he (Beavy) ought to offer him assistance. The
suggestion was acted upon, and the Harroways were temporarily relieved
from their distress of mind.

The climate of India began to make a fearful inroad on the constitution
of Anne, and the continued dread in which she lived of some calamity
overwhelming them completely altered her appearance.

Harroway saw this, and it made him more miserable than could be well
described. Anne's clear intelligent eye lost its brightness; her laugh
was as frequent, but nothing like so hearty; and those indomitable
spirits, which, hitherto, were rarely known to flag, were now kept up
only by a violent effort of nature. She aged suddenly, as it were, in
appearance; and the mind seemed to follow her looks. The regiment was
ordered to proceed upwards, to another station, and it was necessary to
prepare for the march. They had very little to "pack up," but Anne had
scarcely strength to perform that duty. As for Harroway, he was, in all
such matters, perfectly useless.

It gave Freeport great pain to observe the marked difference in Anne,
and he felt as much for her as did her husband. It pained him to see
her smile at his pleasantries, for her smiles were full of hollowness
and despair; and what was more painful still, she seemed to cultivate
her own original wit for the purpose of leading others to suppose she
was not unhappy; and many a time and oft, when her quaint sayings
elicited peals of laughter, she could not disguise that she shared not
in the enjoyment she occasioned.

"I hate, detest, abominate, and abhor this country," said Harroway,
shutting up the regimental order book, which gave the detail of the
march. "I have a great mind to sell out and go home."

"Don't think of such a thing," said Anne. "You would be very foolish
to give up your profession now; and after all, dear George, this is a
better poor man's country than England. There is no want here; and by
living prudently we can always live happily."

These words had scarcely passed Anne's lips, when the major was
announced. He did not even speak to Anne, but walking up to Harroway,
he shook him by the hand, and said, "What a lucky fellow you are,
George. I am very glad of it."

"Oh, very lucky," replied Harroway; "very lucky. Sit down, major. What
is the news?"

"Nothing particular; but I think you need not have been so reserved."

"About what?" inquired Anne.

"Now, none of your mystery," said the major. "And George, too,
pretending to keep the thing quiet, is uncommonly good."

"You are the mysterious person, major," said Anne. "I have not an idea
of what you are alluding to, and I am sure George has not."

"Charlotte was acquainted with the old lady," said the major, "and we
never knew, strange to say, that you, George, had any expectations in
that quarter."

"Upon my life, you are talking parables, major," remarked Harroway,
"and neither of us can fathom them!"

"Have you not had any letters by this mail?" asked the major.

"Not one!" replied both Harroway and his wife.

"Did you know an old lady named Blaney?" said the major, looking at
Harroway.

"Of course I did," he answered. "She was a first cousin of my father's.
Old Blaney was a West India merchant."

"Well, she is dead," quoth the major.

"I hope she is happy, and has left us something," said Anne, who had
never heard her name before.

"Left you something!" quoth the major. "But you are trifling with me.
You must have heard of it."

"I assure you, we have heard of nothing," Harroway asserted.

"Then I am delighted to be the first to tell you that you have come
in for a large fortune," said the major; "at least a hundred thousand
pounds! Mrs. Blaney has left you all she possessed."

"It cannot be true," said Harroway. "And, if she did, depend upon it
there would be some flaw or other, which would deprive me thereof.
Besides, had it been the case, major, some one of my friends or
relatives would surely have written to me."

Anne believed that her husband had come in for Mrs. Blaney's fortune;
but George only smiled at her hopes. But he listened attentively to her
pros and cons, and never slept a wink the whole night.

The next morning brought the Harroways not less than twenty-three
overland letters. The very postage on them drained Anne's purse of the
last piece of silver. The budget portended a change of circumstances,
and they knew not which envelope to break open first. Old Newsham's
well-known hand invited the earliest notice--the more especially as his
letter was addressed to Harroway, and not to his daughter, as usual.

"What is the matter, George?" said Anne, when she saw her husband's
hand tremble, and the colour recede from his cheek, while he was
reading.

"He says," replied Harroway, "that he is a millionaire--that we are to
return to England immediately, and that he will restore to me the whole
of the fortune he was the cause of my losing. He adds, that his wildest
visions are all realized; and begs to be kindly remembered to Sam
Freeport. I can read no more," replied Harroway. "I feel quite as faint
as I did in that dreadful moment when I was made sensible of having
lost it all. Indeed, dear, I am not equal to this."

Anne shuddered, and grew chill, on the momentary reflection that her
thoughts for the future had ceased--that come what would, or could,
George would no longer have to struggle for the means of livelihood.
They sat looking at each other for at least ten minutes without
speaking. At length Harroway laughed idiotically, and opened another
letter.

"Can this possibly be real?" exclaimed Harroway.

"What, George?" said Anne, fancying that he alluded to what her father
had written.

"Why, Anne, that Mrs. Blaney has left me the whole of her property,
which is stated to be worth £76,000. The major was right, it seems.
This letter is from a disappointed young gentleman, who throws himself
on my bounty--so he writes."

Anne could not trust her husband's eyes, and attempted to read the
letter herself; but her tears prevented her.

Harroway opened a third letter, which came from a man named Bates. It
ran thus:--


"MY DEAR HARROWAY,

You broke off our correspondence, some years ago, by expressing an
opinion that you neither credited my word, nor trusted my honour. I was
your debtor, without the means of paying you; and my circumstances, bad
as they were, were embittered by so severe a remark. I have just come
in for moneys which ought to have fallen to me long before you ever
had an opportunity of wounding my feelings; and I lose not a moment to
remit you the sum of seven hundred and twenty-five pounds, and trust,
that in acknowledging the receipt, you will do me the justice to admit
that, numerous as the blackguards of this world may be, I am not worthy
of being included in the category."


"Seven hundred and twenty-five pounds!" cried Harroway. "Bah!"

"Don't look at it in that way, George," said Anne. "Think of yesterday,
and of our conversation last night, and you will not feel half so
proud, George. We have committed several lies to paper, since we
have been in difficulties, and it is hard to judge our neighbours
uncharitably."

"What a teetotum world it is, to be sure!" said Harroway, after reading
the fourth letter, and without reference to his wife's admonition.
"Look at that. I have got my promotion, for only £300 above the
regulation. Send the bearer out for wax lights, my love; it is
impossible to read by these mutton fats; and only look at the mass of
correspondence I have got to wade through. Hulloa! here is a curious
affair, sealed with a thimble, and directed to Mr. Captain George
Arroway, 'Squire, Leftinnent of the ---- Regt. of Foot in the Fort of
William in the East Indies of Bengal."

Anne was too happy to laugh at the odd address of this letter; but when
George put it on one side, and laughed, and muttered to himself, "we
can look at you by-and-bye," her curiosity was excited, and she begged
him to give it to her. He complied with her request, and looked her in
the face, prepared to hear that it disclosed some unimportant act of
boyish folly, which in poverty would have jagged his very soul, but
which in affluence he could turn into jest.

Anne opened the epistle, and read as follows--


"HONERED SIR,

If you please Sir my husbind ringed the bels, Sir, for you weddin,
and thou you gave the Clergeemen his fea, and pade evry body still my
husbin was never recompensed, poor man, who dide in aperplexy, and
was sorely distressed for bred at the time. I ear you are coinin gold
in indee, and if this be true I only ope you will be so good as to
remember the day as when you karried offe the most amiablest of girls
that ever warked on God a mighty's hearth.

"I in great respect remain your obedient

"SARAH WADHAM."


George Harroway laughed heartily, when he heard this appeal; but his
wife shed tears, from the sheer reflection that, had that letter
reached them only a few days before, it would have given her more pain
than all the debts that ever were hanging over them. Through the vista
of wealth, she could see, in her imagination, old Sally Wadham's face,
and while she read to her husband the remaining letters, which were of
no import, the days of childhood became so vivid, she could not believe
that there was a roaring sea between herself and the walls of dear old
York.




CHAPTER XLIII.

THE Harroways were vastly amused at the change which came over a few of
their limited acquaintance. Persons who had been barely civil, became
oppressively polite. Not that they expected any favours from these
rich folks. The devotion appeared to be paid to their wealth, for the
sake of its power. The poor subaltern might have called all round,
anxiously wishing for an invite; but in vain. The same man, with so
many thousands a year, was teased for his conversation.

Freeport borrowed sufficient to pay off all his debts; and Anne in her
secret heart would have been delighted had they amounted to double the
amount, that George might show him how welcome he was to their help.
Sam, with all his coolness and quaintness, was a man of good principle,
and fearing lest he should die, and George Harroway never be paid, he
insisted on Anne taking care of his tiara of diamonds and emeralds,
on the plea that he was afraid it might be lost on the march, as Blew
had taken to drinking. He felt that his luck would be in danger, but
he preferred running the risk to leaving Harroway without security. He
"made a fool of himself" when he parted with his "best of friends," and
covering Anne's hands with kisses, he shed tears which would have made
George jealous had they escaped any other man.

"I know not what there can be in this country to make me like it," said
Anne, as they embarked on the steamer, "but I leave it, George, with a
thousand regrets."

"Mention it not," replied her husband. "When I once put foot on British
soil, I shall shudder at the very name of India."

"That is very ungrateful of you," she rejoined. "Even this dull place,
wherein I have spent many an anxious and wretched hour, seems to say
'good bye' to me in so kind a way that I am sorry to part with it."




CHAPTER XLIV.

WHEN they arrived at Calcutta, Rosny got hold of Harroway and wanted
him to embark a sum of money in an "opium spec," which was to yield a
profit in five months, of quadruple the outlay, but George smiled, and
said--

"No, Rosny. I have been stung once, and now I am all for safety."

"Come and dine with us to-morrow evening," said Rosny. Harroway,
without thinking, mechanically answered, "We shall be very happy." He
was sorry that he accepted the invitation, a moment afterwards, for he
feared Anne would be displeased; but it could not be avoided, and he
didn't like to retract, lest Rosny should take it ill.

Anne was indignant and irate, when informed of the engagement, and she
threw so much of her own spirit into her remarks, she reminded Harroway
that although she had been a forbearing and a passive woman, as a poor
man's wife, she was no longer to be trifled with; she reminded him
warmly of his neglect of her, and notwithstanding he tried to laugh it
off, he felt humbled in her presence. His manners, however, were so
kind, and he so readily offered to write an excuse, that Anne's alarms
were soon dispelled, and she experienced a strong curiosity to witness
the meeting, and some sorrow that she had so severely reproached him.

The Rosnys were living in the same extravagant style, and in the same
house. They had a large party, and by the time the Harroways were
announced the greater portion of the company had assembled.

Mrs. Rosny wore her most becoming dress, and her prettiest smiles. She
shook Anne warmly by the hand, and greeted her, and said how happy she
was they had met again; but when she pressed George's hand, gently, she
became pale, agitated, awkward, and silly. She endeavoured to disguise
her confusion by talking rapidly and in a lively strain, but she gave
utterance to the most exquisite nonsense. Rosny was a remarkably shrewd
and sharp man, and he could see an immense deal; but then he was a man
of peculiar temperament, and had a strong dislike to looking. He opened
a conversation with Mrs. Harroway, all about the Upper Provinces,
where he had never been; and he contrasted them with the lower, and
dwelt with emphasis on the superiority of "tone" in the society of the
latter. Anne yielded, for while she was assenting to propositions, it
was easy enough to use her quick grey eyes, and observe her spouse and
Mrs. Rosny, who were chatting together very cozily at the other end
of the room, Mrs. Rosny having led him there to show him a beautiful
engraving, which, to her infinite disgust, the provoking-man admired,
and commented upon in the most matter-of-fact manner possible, without
once looking tenderly into the large and lustrous blue eyes, which had
in readiness for him a most imploring expression. She raised her marble
arm, and pointed her pretty little finger to a figure in the picture
which she most admired, or pretended to admire, and while she did this,
she showed the dimple in her elbow; but the heart of Harroway had grown
as cold as the stone to which I owe my metaphor. She sighed audibly;
and Harroway was cruel enough to ask her if she had ever travelled
in one of the company's accommodation boats; and when those delicate
coral lips sorrowfully said "No," he was unfeeling enough to say,
"Then you have no idea of the comfort of them. The Government deserves
the greatest credit, really; for I question whether they pay or not.
They carry, comparatively speaking, very little cargo, and the number
of passengers cannot be very great." All this, too, was uttered in a
rather loud and demi-pompous demi-affected tone, so different from the
gurgling whisper adopted by Mrs. Rosny when she dilated on the merits
of the engraving--"the young Jewess appealing to the inquisition in
Spain."

Mrs. Rosny was determined that Harroway should flirt with her. She had
shown him extreme kindness when most people were indifferent to him,
when he was a "mere nobody," as it were; and now that Rosny described
him as a man of "enviable capital," she considered that her honour, or
rather her reputation, was at stake if she did not gain an ascendancy
and enlist his affections afresh; but the winningness of even a very
handsome and very lively woman was of little avail with a man of whom
misfortune had made a perfect fool, and whose reason had returned with
the tide of prosperity. The cold "good night" which Captain Harroway
bade Mrs. Rosny cut her to the soul; but it made her a more exemplary
woman than ever she had been before, although old Rosny thought her a
much more tiresome creature.




CHAPTER XLV.

THE regiment reached its destination, and Sam Freeport made the
acquaintance of all the leading people at the time referred to. The
never-ending topic of conversation was banks and investment of capital.
Freeport listened very attentively to several of the chief orators on
these subjects, and picked up all the conventional jargon applicable
thereto. He then set himself up as a first-rate financier, and
discoursed on all sorts of monetary transactions, in such wise as to
induce all who listened to him to believe that he knew more about such
matters than most men in the country. The result was that Sam Freeport
was invited, in a most complimentary letter, to become a bank director.

Sam said that his money was all locked up in England, and he could
not, therefore, command the required qualification. That difficulty,
however, was very soon got ever. A single share was transferred to him,
and registered in his name, and sure enough, there was Samuel Freeport,
Esq., published to the world as a bank director.

The officers of his corps were convulsed with laughter when they came
to hear of it; and Sam's open and avowed declaration that he would
never refuse any poor devil a loan, no matter who he might be, tended
to increase the merriment. His remarks in "the minute-book" were
extremely clever, if they were only looked at as "wordy nothings,"
bearing the appearance of deep thought and considerable experience. For
some time Sam neither did any harm nor good. He attended regularly,
for the sake of the chat over his cup of coffee, and voted with the
majority whenever there was a difference of opinion. But at length
there became a balance of power, and a show of party, when Sam Freeport
(a man who never could keep an account in his life, or look after his
own little means), virtually regulated the disposal of operations,
which, with justice, might be deemed "stupendous." Sam saw pretty
well which way the wind was blowing, and determined to be fair to
both parties. He therefore, before going to a meeting, would spin a
rupee in the air, and call out, "if it is Billy, the king, I vote for
Bosher, if it is a woman, I vote for Slew;" and acting honestly up to
his resolution, he frequently got the credit of being a variable and
inconsistent director, who did not know his own mind for two meetings
together. But Sam also got the credit of being a very straightforward,
upright, and conscientious man, and no parsnips in this world were ever
more plentifully buttered with the real lacteal produce, than was Sam
Freeport with sweet words from both parties. Frequently would he laugh
to himself, while in the act of shaving, and exclaim--"Upon my soul, it
is quite refreshing to hear such universal testimony to one's perfect
knowledge of all business transactions," and then, spinning the rupee,
he would add, "well, what's the odds, so long as we're happy? Here
goes!"

One Wednesday morning Sam Freeport, as usual, attended in his
directorial capacity. A very important question was discussed. It
involved a very strong measure, which might be viewed in fifty
different lights by the proprietary and the public at large. His
co-directors, as usual, were divided, and it came to Sam's turn to give
his opinion. He forgot, at the moment, whether Bosher or Slew had won
the toss, and the very fact of his forgetfulness made Sam go off into
a violent fit of laughter, whereupon he was reminded by every one that
the question was one of great weight.

"I have a deuced good mind to vote with you," said Sam, to a
gentleman (Slew) who could not help laughing at Freeport's expression
of face. "We are evidently the only people who agree."

"How do you mean?" said Bosher, a little frightened, for he was deeply
interested in the issue.

"Why, that the whole thing is a regular farce," replied Sam.

"I don't see that," said Slew.

"Don't you?" said Sam. "Then I'll vote with Bosher, and prove it."

There was an immense sensation, during which Bosher cried out--"Vote,
Freeport, vote away--vote, my good fellow--Slew is badgering you--vote
away, Freeport."

"No, I'm blow'd if I will!" cried Sam. "Look here! While our
deliberation was confined to a sort of pawn-broking business, I
contented myself with voting by head or tail."

"Explain," cried Slew, indignantly.

"I understand you, Freeport," cried Bosher, in a conciliatory tone.
"But vote away, Freeport, and discuss it afterwards."

"No! no!" quoth Sam. "I am not so easily to be caught, old boy. What I
mean is this: I have thought it more impartial to spin a rupee in the
air, and thus leave to Providence and chance an honest correction of
human passions and prejudices, self-interest, and so forth; but since I
find a really weighty and important question, I am awakened to a sense
of my own impropriety in pretending to control what I don't comprehend;
and if two-thirds of us did the same, it would be an act in accordance
with our consciences, however displeasing it might be to our vanity.
The idea of this farce being enacted twice a week, eh!"

Sam threw himself back in his chair, and roared with laughter; then,
suddenly assuming a grave face, and bending forward, he remarked:

"I only hope it may never be turned into a tragedy. From this hour I
have done with it. But, before I go, I will record the only sensible
minute perhaps I have made in the books--namely, that it would be
much better to give a man fifty thousand rupees a year for the entire
management of the concern, and place him above temptation, and make
him more responsible, than pay as we do now, and be subject to this
absolute mockery."

"You are quite wrong," cried Bosher.

"I can't see that," said Slew. "But vote away, Freeport. It is getting
late, and I want to smoke a cheroot. Vote, my dear fellow. Bosher is
cantankerous--vote away!"

"Not a bit of it," retorted Sam. "It would be rascally, I think, in me,
with nothing at stake here, to trifle with the interests of men who
have thousands of pounds embarked in the Institution. I reproach myself
for doing what I have done already. I retire. Good bye to you. I wish
you all success."




CHAPTER XLVI.

IN order to prove, beyond all question, that he had become a steady
character, and was a completely altered man, Sam Freeport transmitted
to his relatives in England, copies of the newspapers wherein he
flourished as a bank director. He moreover interlarded his letters so
thickly with "percent.," "premium," "dividends," "stock," "reserve,"
&c., &c., that they believed his heart and soul were devoted to
money making. His rich brother, who was a man of liberal spirit, was
delighted at the change that he fancied had come over Sam; and feeling
conscious that Sam's extravagant and careless turn of mind had alone
prevented the old man from sharing his property more favourably to the
youngest son, he determined on doing the proper thing, and increase
Samuel's store. Four thousand pounds were accordingly remitted to Sam,
as a gift, and a hope was expressed that it would soon be doubled by
prudent management.

When Freeport received the letter, he chuckled, rubbed his hands, and
resolved on going home on medical certificate. Another fortnight found
him packing up his traps, and very shortly after he was in Calcutta,
where he threw away a goodly sum of money on frivolities, and renewed
his acquaintance with Mrs. Rosny, who was more civil and kind to him
than when he was quartered in the Fort.

No man ever left the shores of India, perhaps, with so extensive a
circle of acquaintance as Sam Freeport. He appeared to know everybody,
and everybody knew him. His visit to England was without any object
beyond that of seeing the Harroways, and talking over troubles which
were past and gone.




CHAPTER XLVII.

AFTER a few days' stay in Bath, the Harroways set off for York. It was
a dark and foggy night when they entered the city; but Anne fancied she
could see the inmates of every house they passed. How sweet to the ear
was the dialect of her town's-people, and how impatient did she become
to arrive at her father's door. A wagon in one of the narrow streets
impeded their progress, and the post boy was obliged to rein in and
walk the horses. Anne hurriedly put down the glass window, and called
out to him to go on faster, faster! It was not possible; and presently
they had to stop; for the post-boy having bullied the wagoner, he gave
his horses a rest. The chances were they would be half an hour detained
in that narrow street, and Anne suggested to her husband that they
should walk, and leave the carriage to follow them. It was cold, and
Harroway had just awoke from a sound sleep. He therefore recommended
patience. But Anne opened the door and sprung out, and he was compelled
to follow.

"Is this what you call walking, Anne?" laughed Harroway, as he ran
after his wife.

"'The more haste the less speed,' I declare," cried Anne. "I am weary,
George--support me!"

She leant upon his arm, and walked quietly, till they reached the
well-known door.

Old Newsham was all alone. Since he had taken to dabbling in stocks
so extensively as he then was doing, he suffered none of his family
to be in the house with him. His mind was bent on figures, and the
slightest interruption almost drove him mad. He expected his favourite
child every moment; yet he was intent on a very intricate calculation,
and debating with himself the best way of making a good "hedge" in
a grand project he had just engaged in. A long and loud rap at the
door assured him Anne had arrived, albeit he heard not the sound of
carriage wheels. Still, old Newsham stayed to multiply 93 by 66 before
he seized the candle and rushed from his office to the hall. He could
not have recognised Anne, but for her voice and her eyes. They, alone,
were unchanged. He used to be very proud of Anne's girlish looks,
and he felt sorry to find they had departed. She did not look old,
but passe'; and this, Newsham did not expect to find in Anne, at
twenty-three years of age.

But time had altered Newsham, even more than it had altered his
daughter. His hair was as white as snow; his forehead, from continual
thought and anxiety, was a mass of small wrinkles or furrows; his eyes
were restless, and always wide open; he had a way, too, of pinching his
fingers, and biting his under lip, which Anne had never observed in him
before. Formerly, Newsham was a very talkative man, and his manners
were blandness and suavity personified; but he had become so reserved
and silent, that his demeanour almost amounted to rudeness. He had not
exchanged more than a dozen sentences with Harroway and Anne, when he
touched upon business.

"I will restore to you," said Newsham, seizing his pen, and making
figures on the blotting-paper, "I will restore to you the amount of
property you lost through my advice, and an awful sum it is to give
up, certainly (he sighed). But, recollect, Captain Harroway, that the
money you embarked as an investment ought to be deducted; for, if a
man speculates on another's advice, and loses, he ought to pay for it
himself."

"Oh! certainly," said Harroway--"certainly."

"And then, there is another thing," said Newsham. "That money which I
first deposited for the purchase of your company, that ought to be
deducted. It was on your account, you know."

"By all means," conceded Harroway.

"With interest," observed Newsham.

"Yes, with interest."

"Of course, the money that I deposited a second time you will repay to
me, because you have the value of it in your promotion?"

"That, of course!"

"That, also, with interest?"

"Yes."

"And there are several other matters of smaller importance, but which
I must have deducted. Now, to-morrow, I shall not have one moment to
spare; I have a meeting here, to transact some very important business.
Here are bills on my bankers, in London, which will be accepted on
presentation. The amount is one hundred thousand pounds; for the rest,
you must give me a little time."

"This is much more than ever I expected," replied Harroway. "But, tell
me, will the payment distress you?"

"Distress me!" sneered the old man, with a toss of his head. "The world
is too full of fools for all that!"




CHAPTER XLVIII.

ANNE did not feel so happy in the home of her childhood as she had
anticipated. She had pictured to herself that it would remind her of
days and scenes when she had never tasted of sorrow, and when the heart
seemed bursting with its excessive joy. But all was changed. The walls
were bare, and there was a cold, poverty-stricken appearance about the
whole place, which made her miserable. They could hear Newsham pacing
the room, and talking to himself. Anne got up, crept down stairs,
and looked through the half-opened door. There stood her father,
gesticulating, as though he were making a speech in a confidential
manner, and explaining to a number of persons something which they
did not comprehend. Then, he sat down, and grinned placidly; then, he
seized his pen, and wrote with wonderful rapidity. She thought the
old man must be mad, or that he had some project in his head which
had for its end, delusion, deceit, and illicit gain. The thought that
either the one or the other suspicion was well-founded wounded her to
the soul. She returned to her room, and imparted her suspicions to her
husband; and she further suggested the prudence of George's realizing
his money and securing it. Harroway laughed at her ideas of danger; but
that wonderful foresight, which some women are possessed of, caused her
to press the matter; and at length she brought him over to be guided
by her advice, and insisted on his going to London, without delay, and
losing not a moment in drawing his money from her father's bankers.
Anne began to doubt, indeed, whether so large a sum was forthcoming,
and thought that, perhaps, the old man only fancied he was possessed of
so much wealth as he talked about. This created in Harroway a kindred
doubt; and the next morning, at daylight, he took a place in the mail
coach for London, leaving Anne alone with her father.

When Anne came down to breakfast, the change in her father's habits was
even more visible than ever. Instead of everything around him being
clean and comfortable, if not costly, there was a filthy tablecloth,
spread upon the commonest deal wood table, two or three cups and
saucers, of various patterns, bone-handled knives, and steel forks,
pewter spoons--and all the other table appointments to match. He asked
a few questions about India; but evidently they were not asked out of
mere curiosity, but with a view to some speculation. He was about to
order a carriage and horses to convey Anne to Thorp Arch, where her
sisters and her mother were residing; but suddenly he checked his hand,
and told Anne she had better write in her husband's name. The meanness
which characterised this act of her father's was very palpable, and it
shocked, while it amused her. A half-starved cat, which belonged to the
cook (the only servant he kept) came and mewed piteously beside Anne's
chair, and she instantly cut a piece of the cold mutton and gave it to
the poor creature.

"Good God, child!" cried Newsham, "where on earth did you learn such
extravagance? Consider the starving creatures in the streets, who
would be glad of that wholesome meat! Rats and mice, and such vermin,
are the proper food for dogs and cats. When they cease to provide for
themselves they become useless. Never bestow your bounty upon animals."

"You used to be very fond of dogs and cats, father," said Anne, smiling.

"I know, my dear, I used to be very fond, in former days. I hope you
have not forgotten the meaning of fond. But I know better now. I
made a calculation the other day, and I proved that, if I had saved
all the money which I threw away on dinners, parties, and follies, for
a period of seventeen years, and had gone on compounding the interest
every three or six months, the difference would have been to me no less
than forty-three thousand pounds. Supposing I had saved £700 the first
year--the interest of that for three months at 4 per cent, would have
been £7. The interest of that £707 for three months more, would have
made it amount to £714 14s., and so on. Then when the second year's
savings came to be added, it would have gone on like a snow ball, till
at last it would have been a mountain. Compound interest--Compound
interest! Oh, it's a wonderful--a glorious--thing, when you come to
think of it. And so very simple, too. A child may see it. The money
that is squandered in this world is beyond conception. Here is a pewter
table spoon. If it were of silver, its value would be ten shillings--if
I kept it for twenty years--it would cost me £30 or £40, if not more.
Think of that! Oh!"

"But then you give up comforts," argued Anne.

"Indeed not," responded the old man, "I am as comfortable now as ever I
was in my life. I want nothing beyond what you see here."

"Then your argument cuts both ways. What is the use of great wealth, if
you do not want it?" urged Anne.

"You speak foolishly," said Newsham. "But it is my fault. I brought you
up in absurd notions of show--instead of teaching you the benefits of
substantiality. It cannot be helped now. Here is the carriage. I will
see you all on Sunday."




CHAPTER XLIX.

HARROWAY, in person, presented his bills on Newsham's London banker.
It was an anxious five minutes that he passed while the old, bald
headed man who was at the head of the firm inspected them--pressed his
forehead--muttered "three days' sight," and referred to a large ledger
which was spread open before him.

The old man put on his spectacles--looked at Harroway--and said, in a
slow and measured voice--"Mr. Newsham has advised me of these bills. He
says they are drawn in favour of his son-in-law. Are you that party, or
his agent?"

Harroway replied, "I am Captain Harroway--the party in whose favour
they are drawn."

"Who are your bankers, may I ask?"

"At present I have none."

"Then, perhaps you would have no objection to open an account here?"

"Not the least. I formerly banked with a house in King William street;
but they didn't behave very well to me on one occasion."

The old man, with a trembling hand, wrote "accepted" across the bills,
and handed them to Harroway. "When they become due," said he, "if you
bring them here, we will carry the amount to your credit."

Harroway bowed assent, and left the office. He felt somewhat nervous,
without knowing why, and although his bankers in the city had not
behaved well to him, still he knew them to be shrewd men of business,
and it struck him he would consult them. On entering the little
parlour, he was instantly recognised, shaken warmly by the hand, and
congratulated on having come in for Mrs. Blaney's property.

After a few minutes, Harroway produced Newsham's "accepted" drafts, and
explained all the circumstances relating to them. The partners looked
at each other, and smiled--much to Harroway's discomfiture.

"I hope it is all right?" said Harroway.

There was no reply--and this circumstance, combined with the last words
of his wife, ("George, now, whatever you do, get your money, and make
it safe,") put Harroway on tenter hooks. He inquired if they would
negotiate the bills. They answered "No--not without a guarantee and
security." He then asked if they had reasons for doubting the solvency
of the acceptors. One of the partners remarked that the acceptors were
mixed up in a bubble for constructing a city on the banks of the Ohio,
which was to become the emporium of the whole world; and that for weeks
past, their credit was doubtful. Harroway then told them what the old
man said about "opening an account," and he asked the advice of his old
bankers. They advised him to place the sum to floating account, and
draw it out by degrees, and here they gave a decided opinion that, if
he attempted to draw the whole sum out at once, the firm might suspend
payment.

Harroway did not sleep for more than twenty minutes together until the
bills became due. He called on the acceptors, and his fears were almost
dispelled by the jaunty air the old man put on, and the encomiums
he passed on Newsham's gigantic powers of mind, and extraordinary
good fortune. He was advised by the old man, not to allow the money
to remain with the bank, but to invest in American bonds, or buy an
estate. This inspired Harroway with confidence, and he said he "would
rather let it remain." Harroway was invited by the old man to give him
the pleasure of his company to dinner that evening.




CHAPTER L.

ANNE'S mother and sisters were overjoyed to meet with her again.
But Anne observed a great difference in them. Although their style
of living was in striking contrast to the style she observed in her
father's domicile, still there was a discontented manner in her mother,
which her sisters seemed to partake of. She delivered her father's
message--that he would see them on the following Sunday; but it grieved
her to find that, instead of the announcement being hailed with joy,
it was heard in silence, and with apparent regret. Anne began to think
that George's money was in jeopardy, and in that thought she was
extremely anxious. She questioned her relations about her father's
affairs, but gleaned no information; for the best of reasons--they were
unable to afford any. This redoubled her fears, and Anne longed for
the hour when a letter from George would relieve her mind. The Sunday
morning came, and Newsham arrived at Thorp Arch. All his children
were present, and Mrs. Newsham reminded him of that circumstance;
but he merely tapped his front tooth with his forefinger nail, and
abstractedly remarked that it was "very gratifying indeed."

In the evening the old man walked with his family in the garden;
but in the midst of a conversation he would stop suddenly, and make
calculations on the gravel walk, with his oak stick. He asked Anne what
had become of Freeport, and before she could reply, he quite forgot
having mentioned his name.

Newsham's return to York was a relief to his family; and yet, when he
was gone, they appeared more unhappy than when he was amongst them.
The old servants had heard of "Miss Anne's" return, and came from a
distance to welcome her back, and give her a blessing. They, too, were
changed, and spoke of "bygone days" with a sigh.

Anne received a letter from her husband; but it was so vague and
indefinite she knew not what to make of it. He believed (he said) all
would be right, and would inform her as soon as it was settled. She
questioned her mother again and again, as to their means; but she could
glean nothing further than that her father had amassed an immense sum,
by speculations, and that he was endeavouring to double it.

It was the 1st of February--the anniversary of Anne's marriage; Newsham
was reminded of it, and he came to spend the day at Thorp Arch. He was
unusually cheerful and gay, and more like what he was in former days.
Towards evening dark clouds gathered in the west, and several flashes
of vivid lightning, unaccompanied with thunder, issued therefrom.
Towards nine o'clock the wind whistled round the house, and old Newsham
had an extra glass of toddy, and sat over the fire, chatting merrily.
The wind lulled about half-past ten, and the family retired to bed. At
midnight, the wind got up again, and increased till it blew a strong
gale. By two o'clock it blew a hurricane, which roared so loudly that
it was almost impossible for men to hear one another's voices. The
houses shook, the chimneys of nearly all of them fell with a crash;
and even on the dry land the stoutest hearts were struck with terror
when they contemplated the fury of the elements. The Newsham family
congregated in one small room, and endeavoured to pacify Anne, who,
when she was awakened, was dreaming that she saw George on the deck of
a Hull steam boat; and nothing would satisfy her that he had not taken
his passage in one of those boats, and was then on his way to join her.
The gale continued throughout the whole of the next day. The cattle,
in the fields, instinctively threw themselves down at full length, to
avoid being driven along and dashed against whatever might stand in
their way--the birds were blown towards the southward, unable to stem
the howling blast; the largest trees were torn up by the roots, and
those which stood were stript of their smaller branches; the world
seemed coming to an end, and in the general alarm old Newsham forgot
the magnitude of his transactions, and all that related to them.




CHAPTER LI.

NEWSHAM'S London banker, a Mr. Brade, was once a conspicuous member
of society, but having narrowly escaped being convicted of murder
for having shot an antagonist in a duel, he was not known, by the
married and the moral, except as a man of business and a wealthy
banker. Late in life he had married a young lady, who commenced her
career as a singer upon the boards of the French Opera, in Paris, and
who subsequently came to England as governess to a family connexion
of Brade's. She was a very pretty little Parisian, and she had the
most compact little figure imaginable. Her manners were extremely
captivating, and she sang with great skill and taste. She called
herself "Madame La Comtesse de Fleur" when she first came to England;
but she was generally known, after marriage, as "Madame Brade." She was
not "visited" (as the phrase goes), and she cared very little about
that; for she had immense resources within herself, and she preferred
being the queen of all her husband's bachelor acquaintance, to sharing
with others the admiration that is bestowed upon her sex in large
assemblies.

The evening on which Harroway dined with Mr. Brade, he met some ten
or twelve persons who were utter strangers to him. There was a novel
writer of some celebrity, who had made a "heroine" of Mrs. Brade;
there was a magazine poet, who had written at least five and thirty
sonnets to her, and had published them in his favourite periodical;
there was a renowned wit, who invariably allowed Madame to have the
advantage of him in repartee, and turn the laugh that he raised against
himself; there was one Frank Derriden, famed for his funny songs
and irresistible humour; there was a great antiquarian who had just
returned from Egypt; there was a comedian, into whose face no man could
look (until he got used to it) without laughing immoderately; and there
were several partners of various banks. Harroway was struck with the
extraordinary manner in which Madame Brade divided her attentions.
Every one whom she spoke to fancied he was "the favoured guest," so
varied and so winning was the expression of her face. Before he had
been ten minutes in her company, he seemed to know her just as well
as if he had been acquainted with her all his life. She had taken the
trouble (as she did on all occasions) of previously inquiring from
Brade what was Harroway's profession, what part of the country he came
from, where he had travelled, &c. &c.; and she had an impromptu
conversation, already made for him--a conversation that fitted him
exactly. There was a degree of levity in Madame Brade's manner; but
then it was mingled with so much empressement and seeming candour,
that it pleased rather than disgusted even the most scrupulous. During
the evening she sang several pieces from the fashionable operas of the
day, and, off the stage, Harroway had never heard the like before. His
soul was entranced; and as he drove to his rooms in Suffolk-place, he
said to himself, "Hang me if any banker with a wife like that can be an
unsafe man. While I am in town I shall cultivate their acquaintance."

       *       *       *       *       *

The following morning Harroway called on Madame, and had the
satisfaction of hearing all the people he had met on the previous
night pulled to little pieces, one by one. His vanity was flattered by
certain praises Madame bestowed not upon him, but at him. The
fact was, she saw what was his weak point--namely, a full appreciation
of riches--and she directed her discourse straight for the heart.
Harroway was captivated, and thought her the most delightful creature
on the face of the earth.

On the night of the 2nd of February, Harroway went to a ball; but
finding it rather stupid, he returned early. It occurred to him that,
before retiring, he would write several letters, and he was in the
act of sealing them, when he felt a hand upon his left shoulder. He
was startled, for he had seen no one enter the room. He turned round
sharply, and beheld the face and form of old Newsham, who appeared to
be dripping wet. "Good heavens, sir!" exclaimed Harroway, "what has
brought you to London?"

"Save your money! Trust not to Brade!" was all he heard (or seemed to
hear--for he was all alone in the apartment).

Harroway was very much alarmed, but he had the presence of mind to look
at his watch. It was ten minutes past one. He tried to persuade himself
that his sight had deceived him; and yet the pressure on his shoulder
was so heavy and palpable, he could not doubt his sense of feeling as
well as of sight. He called the servants up and questioned them; but
one and all protested that the door had not been opened since he came
in. Remain alone he could not, and therefore he ordered a hackney-coach
to be called, went again to the ball, and stayed till the last of the
guests departed, which was not till nearly five o'clock.

Although he was wearied, Harroway could not close his eyes. The
wrinkled brow and white hair, the bony cheek and compressed mouth of
Newsham, were too indelibly stamped on his memory.

The hour of business came, and he went into the city. He drew on Brade
for half of the amount in his hands. The cheque was honoured, and on
the following day Harroway drew for the remainder. That also was paid.
Then was the time for Harroway's old bankers to "smash" their great
rival and foe. They caused a steady run for a few hours on Brade's
bank, and they broke it!

Harroway was walking down Regent-street, about four o'clock one
afternoon, ruminating on a thousand things, and wishing for the morrow,
that he might be once more on the road towards his wife. Harroway was
in one of those moods when the eye sees, but observes not; and although
he looked in the face of nearly every man and woman he met, he could
not have recollected their features a moment afterwards. Suddenly,
he was seized round the waist, or rather the hips, and held aloft in
the air, by some strong man, who held his head down, so as to render
recognition impossible. After a few moments, however, he was placed on
the ground, and to his wonder and amazement (for Sam had never told him
of his movements) he beheld Freeport, whose first words were, "Lord,
how light you've got, George! You're a mere feather! What have you been
doing, to make away with yourself in this manner, eh?"

"Good gracious Sam, is that you?" cried Harroway. "What can have
brought you home?"

"Cashiered, sir! cashiered, sir!" answered Sam, in his own off-handed
way. "It can't be helped--walk along. You must have heard of it."

"Indeed not," exclaimed Harroway, with a dejected countenance.

"It could not be helped!" repeated Sam, sorrowfully.

"What was it for?" inquired George, anxiously; but conscious that it
was for no disreputable offence that would affect Sam's honour.

"The fact is," said Sam, laughing loudly in George's face, "the fact
is, George, they found me guilty of paying ready money for a variety
of things I bought at an auction. What a spoon you are, George, to be
taken in so easily!"

It was an immense relief to Harroway to hear that Freeport was not
cashiered, and right glad was he to see Sam's face again. He forgot,
for the time being, all about his affairs, and proceeded to ask a
hundred questions, and give replies to an equal number.

"Now then, George, let us think of dining. Where do you hang out?" said
Freeport.

"I am staying in lodgings here, in Suffolk Place."

"Lodgings! lodgings!" exclaimed Sam. "A man of your property in
lodgings! Bless my heart, I'm living at the Burlington! And what's
more, I've got a small party this evening. Men in our position in life,
George, can't afford to live in lodgings. Military men of our rank in
lodgings!"

As Sam uttered these words, he assumed a pompous air, buried his chin
in his cravat, and swaggered haughtily along the pavement, until
Harroway stood still, and begged and prayed of him to desist, and not
make him laugh so loudly and indecently in the public streets.

"Breathes there a man so dead," asked Sam, looking searchingly into
Harroway's face, with an expansive wave of the hand, "who never to
himself hath said--this is my own my native land!"

"For Heaven's sake, Sam, desist!" cried Harroway. "Look, man, everybody
is staring at us!"

"Well, let 'em stare, poor devils," responded Sam. "What did we come
back from Bengal for, but to be stared at? Stare, sir! It is one of the
few glorious privileges of a Briton! Let 'em stare. The first fellow
that I catch staring, I'll shake hands with him."

An old gentleman, with long grey hair, and jet black moustachoes,
caught Freeport's eye. Sam confronted him, and Harroway bit his lips to
preserve gravity.

"How do you do? I'm glad to see your grace out again!" said Sam, bowing.

The old gentleman bowed, and, in a courteous voice, replied:

"I am General Wight."

"A thousand pardons, General," said Sam. "I thought I was addressing
the Duke of Devonshire."

"Not the least offence," returned the General, with a smile, and passed
on, as Sam raised his hat, gracefully.

"I cannot stand this," laughed Harroway.

"Then I don't know how you will stand the way I mean to gull my party
this evening, about India," observed Freeport. "Really, George, the
people of England will believe anything. Not only the people, sir, but
the higher classes--men, who you would suppose ought to know something.
But no, sir, you may cram them without limit or reserve. Hang me, if I
have not a good mind to buy a lot of medals, and give myself out as the
hero of Rangoon and Scringapatam--the saviour of our dominions in the
east--stand for the city of London, sir--get returned--carried about
on men's shoulders, sir--and dragged through the streets in a phaeton,
decorated with flags!"

"You exaggerate their ignorance, Sam," said Harroway. "They are not so
bad as all that."

"Very well, you shall see," said Freeport; "only don't laugh, and throw
a doubt on my statements by doing so."

       *       *       *       *       *

Freeport's party consisted of five gentlemen, whose acquaintance he
had but recently made. There was a member of Parliament (a Welch-man);
a major, on the half-pay list; an unattached colonel, who had been in
the West Indies (and who was in the habit of telling as many "stories"
about them, seriously, as did Sam of the East Indies, in jest); a
student of Lincoln's-Inn, who was then employed in writing an article
on the Afghanistan campaign, for publication in one of the reviews.
This gentleman was naturally anxious to hear a man who had been in
"the very thick of it," speak his mind openly, and without prejudice
to any one. The fifth guest was a decrepit doctor, who never had had
any practice, and who was never likely to have any, though he was the
author of several very scientific medical books.

The half-pay major had been a very sporting character in his day, and
the cloth was no sooner removed than he said to Sam:

"I say, Freeport, what sort of racing have you in India?"

"The best in the whole world!" said Sam. "I have seen a field of
five-and-thirty Arabs start for a welter. Harroway, don't be a cork;
tool that carriage round, please."

"What's a welter worth?" said the major.

"Oh, four or five hundred gold mohurs, or so," said Sam, with
matter-of-fact coolness.

"And what's a gold mohur?"

A gold mohur?--Five pound ten."

"Is the pace good?"

"Wonderful!" cried Sam. "My best Arab once did his mile in 1-13, and
was beaten hollow!"

"Were you fortunate on the turf?"

"Very! I won nine thousand pound at the last meeting, at
Crammeramdambore!"

"I beg your pardon--where?"

"Crammerromdodombore," said Sam, emphatically, but boldly, having
forgotten the word he had himself invented.

"How do you manage for jockeys?"

"Natives. People of the country."

"Do they ride well?"

"Beau-eu-eu-tifully!" cried Sam, as he lighted a cheroot. "Very
superior to your Day, and your Robinson, and those fellows. A native,
you know, never loses his self-possession. If an English jockey is
collared by his adversary--if he finds a horse suddenly on his own
beast's quarter--I don't know whether you have observed it, but I
have frequently--he becomes anxious, and sometimes uses the spur and
the whip when he might prudently reserve it; but a native jockey,
sir--a native of India--he's as collected, and as cool as a
cucumber; there's none of your top-sawyer movement of the elbows with
him--none of your muscular movement of the legs." [Here, Sam Freeport
threw himself into the attitude of a jockey hard-pressed, but gently
feeling the animal's mouth, and slightly grinding him up to the pace
required.] "Lord, sir, close as wax--the eye intent--it is beautiful to
see them ride! They have such nerve--such judgment--such temper--such
command. Harroway, do oblige me by passing the port and sherry coach,
and making the claret and madeira follow. You remember that boy of
mine, Harroway, called Corryborry? How beautifully he used to ride, eh?"

"Superb!" responded Harroway, perceiving that Sam had a carte
blanche. "Superb!"

"I was once compelled to put that boy to a very severe trial,"
continued Sam, looking at the major. "I had a heavy sum on the
event. In this country, it would be considered cruel, but in India
it would not; for endurance and fortitude, without a murmur, is the
characteristic of the genuine Indian, such as he was. I had a match for
500 gold mohurs. One of my horses against another stable; Corryborry
was to ride. Twice round the course, a distance of four miles. The
boy, sir, said he was a stone too much for the horse, and that I must
lose if I started for the race. These fellows are deuced knowing, and
I listened to him eagerly. After a little, the faithful Ethiopian
remarked: 'Puspration se hoga.' Puspration means sweating, as you may
suppose," said Sam; "se hoga, signifies you may do it by those means."

"God bless me!" cried the doctor.

"Well, sir," resumed Sam, "it was the cold weather, and I wrapped the
boy up in blankets, placed him before a roaring coal fire, and poured
in hot grog to an incredible extent. Like all the Hindu race, he seemed
to like it, and you never saw a fellow in such a state of intoxication
in your life. Meanwhile, he was perspiring like fury, and fancying he
was in a river, he began to strike out, as though he were swimming.
This made him perspire more than ever, and at last he was regularly
exhausted, and called for more grog, which I gave him. Well, Sir, as he
had to ride the day after this, I thought it right to make him sober,
and sent for a particular herb, which grows in all the gardens."

"What's the name of the herb?" asked the doctor.

"The native name is kabdub," replied Sam; "but I forget the botanical
name. Do you remember it, George?"

"No--I do not," said Harroway.

"Well, the botanical name does not signify," said Sam. "But all I can
say is, that it brought the boy to in no time; and when he got into
the scales the next day--by Jove! sir, so far from being a stone over
weight, I was forced to put a shot-belt round his waist, give him a
heavy whip to carry, and put the heaviest stirrups I could find on the
racing saddle, just to bring him up to the minimum weight agreed upon."

"How horribly cruel!" cried the member of parliament.

"Horribly cruel, I admit," said Sam. "But then, we get into the habit
of cruelty in India. We have such examples set us by the government,
one can't help being cruel."

"How do you mean?" inquired the member

"Why, look how the government exacts its rents from the Zimeedars!"
expostulated Freeport.

"How do you mean?"

"What do I mean?" echoed Sam. "Why, if a poor wretch does not stump up
to the very day, don't they put a ring through his nose, and drag him
through the market-places?"

The member of parliament stared with astonishment.

"Not only the Zimeedars, but the Zimeedaranees," continued Freeport.
"Oh, it's shameful!"

"What are Zeemaranees?" said the member.

"Why, women--handsome women!" responded Sam, indignantly. "Women,
sir--lovely women! Have you never seen pictures of Hindu women with
a ring through the nose?"

"Yes; but I thought that was an ornament," said the member.

"Ornament, eh?" said Sam. "Ah, that's how the East India Company humbug
you all! Ornament, eh? Ask Lord Auckland if it's ornament. What about
the Begum Bammeroo's case?"

"I never heard of that," said the member.

"No; of course you didn't," said Sam, filling his glass. "You never
hear of anything. 'Keep it dark,' is the East India Company's private
motto. 'Senatus Anglicæ virtutes omnibus,' and so forth, is all bosh!
You never heard of the Begum Bammeroo's case--eh!"

"Never!"

"Harroway, you know all the particulars," said Sam. "Just relate them."

"Why, really, Sam," replied Harroway. "I don't think it is worth while.
Bygones should be bygones; and it appears to me there is no prospect of
redress."

"I beg your pardon," said the member. "What we want is evidence."

"Oh, if you want evidence," said Sam, "get up a committee in the House
of Commons, and call on me. I'll give evidence enough about the state
of things in India. Why, sir, you would hardly believe that not one man
in five hundred that you meet in that country, has a shoe to his foot,
a rag on his back, or a covering for his head, to protect him from the
vertical rays of a burning sun. And yet, here are you all, sitting
deliberately in cold debate, and imagining that the Indian is nursed in
the lap of luxury, and leading a life of affluence and ease!"

"But is there not a free press there?" said the member.

"A free press!" quoth Sam. "Bless your innocent heart, they are all in
the Company's pay. The government there allows them so much a month to
put a good face on everything, and the governor-general is obliged to
come down with something handsome besides. Just ask Sir John Hobhouse
about the free press of India. What could be more infamous than burking
the case of the unfortunate Begum of Bammeroo?"

"What was it?" asked the member.

"Why, the facts are simply these," said Sam, slowly knocking the ash
off his cheroot with his little finger, and taxing his imagination to
the highest point. "About two years and a half ago--just as we were
proceeding to Afghanistan----"

"The maddest project that ever was undertaken in this world," said the
student, who was writing on the question.

"Of course it was," conceded Sam; "downright insanity; but of that
anon. I'll tell you all about it, for I was there, on Keane's staff,
and consequently I know everything relating to it."

"Well, but what about the Begum Bammeroo?" said the member, impatiently.

"The Begum Bammeroo," resumed Sam, "was the only child of the Dorogah
of Juanpore--an island to the westward of Chundfurm, in the Central
Provinces."

"What is a dorogah?" asked the member.

"A dorogah," said Sam, "is a kind of Scotch laird, or a species of
Prince of Padua, who has come in for his property."

"I understand."

"Well, sir, during the lifetime of the dorogah, he caused an immense
quantity of golahs to be dug."

"What are golahs?"

"Golahs are pits for holding salt--and he represented to the government
that the number of these golahs was only nineteen; but after his
death, it was discovered that the number was twenty-seven. On this
the secretary to the government put himself in communication with the
minister of the Begum's court, and without consulting the Begum, who
knew nothing about the matter, the minister swore hard and fast that
there was not a golah in the whole principality. The Governor-general
looked on this as a piece of utter deceit, and he said to himself, 'if,
as a mere girl, she can be capable of this, what will she do when she
comes to grow older?' and without any further ado, he confiscates all
her jagger."

"What's a jagger?"

"Her lands, her principality. Well, sir, the Begum makes an appeal
to the nearest court, through her lawyer, Mr. Daw; and the judge,
Mr. Ogelby--in hopes of getting into favour with Auckland, the
viceroy--imprisons the Begum for life, and sentences Mr. Daw to five
years on the roads; and there's the lawyer now, breaking stones, and
the innocent Begum immured in a garret of her ancestral castle. That's
what they call the blessings of British rule!"

"How strange this has never reached the ears of the Imperial
Parliament!" exclaimed the member.

"Not a bit strange!" said Sam. "It is a part of the system of
concealment that is carried on. As I told you before, you know nothing
of India. As long as you get a return of the exports and the imports,
you are satisfied."

"This state of things shall certainly be brought forward," said the
member.

"And call on me to bear you out," said Sam. "I was born a liberal; and,
by all that's palatable, I will die a liberal. Harroway, I am quite
tired of calling on you to send round the wine. If you don't drink
yourself, my dear fellow, be considerate towards other people."

"The mortality amongst the troops is very great, I understand," said
the doctor.

"I should think it was," replied Sam. "It is by no means uncommon for
a company to be 110 strong one day, and on the next not turn out 25,
including the captain and the subs.

"Dear me, you don't say so!"

"I do, though! Cholera, sir, cholera! And yet they go on feeding the
men on buffalo beef, which the medical profession there say is the very
keystone of the disease!"

"I can readily understand that," said the doctor.

"Of course you can," said Sam; "and so can any rational man. But what
can you do against a despotic and obstinate government? Eh?"

"Very true!" cried every member of the party, George Harroway included.

Freeport went on, telling the most preposterous fabrications, which
were listened to with interest and avidity, until half-past twelve
o'clock, when the company dispersed--each member being delighted that
he had acquired some information respecting our dominions in the East.
The member asked Sam, on parting, to allow himself to be proposed as a
member of the Travellers' Club, to which Sam assented on the reiterated
assurance that it was "very select, and by no means promiscuous.'

"Now, George, we will have a quiet glass of brandy and water and
a weed," said Sam, as soon as his guests had departed. "If I have
overrated the amount of ignorance of the better class of Englishmen
regarding India, you have only to tell me so; if not, why hold your
tongue. What you have heard me say to-night is nothing to be compared
to what I have told my brothers and their wives; and I give you my word
and honour they are as shrewd a set of people, in all matters connected
with this country, as you will meet with in the United Kingdom. Keep to
truth, and you are looked upon as prosy. Tell them all sorts of lies,
and you are regarded as entertaining and instructive."

"I suspect your friend, the member, will be making a fool of himself,
by acting on your information."

"Not a bit of it," responded Sam. "He'll forget all about it before
to-morrow evening. He is a rich man, and not an agitator; and India is
so far off, nobody in this country cares a brass farden what goes on
there, except those pecuniarily interested; and as long as they get
their dividends, why, what do they care?"




CHAPTER LII.

THE storm had abated towards the evening of the 2nd of February,
and old Newsham became impatient to get back to York. He found a
letter from Brade, amongst others, and he opened it hastily, read,
and trembled; and, seizing the candle, he walked round and round the
room, muttering to himself. Newsham knew that if Brade's bank failed
he would be shackled for years; and the remonstrance about the bills
in Harroway's favour alarmed him. He placed the light upon the table,
seated himself in his large chair, and began to think how he could
meet so awful a contingency as the bankruptcy of the house of Brade.
A bright thought had just flashed across his brain, and he took a pen
in his hand, and looked up at the ceiling. The pen fell from his hand,
his eyes were fixed, not staring, for the expression, though intent,
was subdued; his lips lay apart, and the whole frame was motionless. He
longed to call out for help, but the voice had gone away. He tried to
grasp a pencil to write down a few words to his wife, to tell her what
he had, where it was, and how to dispose of it; but there he sat, and
gazed, unable to move hand, or foot, or eye. Death, holding in one hand
the scythe, and the hour-glass in the other, stood out in high relief
from the ceiling and beckoned to poor old Newsham to depart with him.
He struggled violently, and endeavoured to rise from his chair, but
Death seemed to laugh at his efforts, and dismayed him. He coveted the
kisses of his children, and a parting word from them, but there was no
hope. His head fell upon his shoulder, and he slept away from the world
as calmly as a weary child reposes its head upon its mother's breast.
He was found next morning by the cook, who raved, and ran to one of
the prebends, to make known the event. His family came; but no one,
except Anne, dared gaze upon poor old Newsham. In death, the wrinkles
had all disappeared, and his forehead was as smooth as her own. There
was a placid smile upon the face, which looked more youthful than Anne
could ever remember it in life. She seized the hand, which struck a
chill unto her heart, and she faintly screamed as the peculiar electric
coldness pervaded her every vein. She kissed her dead father tenderly,
and bitter tears, "affection's fondest tribute to the dead," trickled
from her own warm cheek upon his. The room was soon crowded, and a
middle-aged man, whom Anne had not seen for many a year, led her away
from the painful scene, and after speaking some words of kindness and
comfort, returned to be the foreman of the jury assembled to inquire
into the causes of the old man's death.




CHAPTER LIII.

HARROWAY was not surprised to hear of Newsham's death. The unsettled
state of his affairs gave great trouble and anxiety. The demands
upon his estate came in thickly enough; but those upon whom he had
corresponding, or even greater claims, were not disposed to show
themselves. It was a well known fact, that old Newsham might have
retired from business with an immense fortune, but no one knew where
it was, or how invested. His papers, which were intelligible enough
to himself, were mysteries to other people, and the more they were
examined the more inexplicable they became.

After many fruitless attempts to ascertain what was the real condition
of the estate, Harroway advised the widow to avoid responsibility, and
have nothing to say to it; to let it go, pay its own debts, and get
paid as it best could. A provision for the widow and her children was
guaranteed by Harroway for life, and they left that part of the world
where they had experienced so many changes, and retired to a quiet
country town in an adjacent county.

Harroway and Anne took a tour upon the Continent, and Sam Freeport
betook himself to London, to write a book about the East, with a view
(he said) of getting himself into notice, and eventually procuring the
government of some colonial possession, where he might leave everything
to his ministers, and lead the life of an absolute monarch. The work
progressed but slowly. "Little and good" was the author's motto, and
he therefore filled only half a sheet of paper per diem. When the
work had extended to what Sam calculated to be three volumes, he took
it to a bookseller, and consulted him about the publication. What was
his disgust to learn that it would only make a decent sized pamphlet.
The mere name of "pamphlet" was enough to shock Freeport. What he
wanted was a work--a regular work.

A government, that of Madras, fell vacant, and Sam sent in his
application, with the following P.S.:--"I am prepared to carry out
all sorts of economy; and as a proof of my sincerity in making this
statement, I should have no objection to take the office at two-thirds
of the present salary." But it was not on the cards (to use Freeport's
own phrase), and his hopes were blighted by the claims of others.

Time wore on, and Freeport's means began to dwindle; his brothers
warned him that they would make no further advances, and that the best
thing he could do would be to join his regiment at once, and endeavour
to live on his pay.

"And this is my last five pound note!" soliloquised Sam, as he
smilingly took the piece of paper out of his purse, and kissed; it
for good luck. "Yes, by Jove, you are my last five pound note. In you
consisteth all my worldly wealth. I wish I knew some rich widow or
heiress whom I might endow with you."

"I'll keep you, my darling," continued Sam, folding up the note and
putting it into his pocket. "You shall be a sort of 'reserve fund;'
'bonus;' a 'par privilege;' a 'dividend.' Now I thoroughly
understand what they meant by a 'reserve fund.' Yes, you are my
'reserve fund;' and, though you are a little one, and not likely to
grow any bigger, why, what does it signify, so long as we have lots of
credit? Eh?"

Most men, in Freeport's circumstances, would have glanced at the past,
and sorrowed over the sums they had literally thrown away; but it was
not Freeport's nature to do anything of the kind. With the past he
never troubled himself, and through life he had invariably felt that no
man had a right to make himself miserable, or anticipate misfortune.

A card was placed in Sam's hand, bearing the name of Mr. Wrexton,
a young gentleman to whom he had on several occasions shown some
civility. The young gentleman was shown up, and after a few minutes'
conversation he invited Freeport to go down into the country with
him. Sam said he was getting very tired of town, and the change would
delight him. The young gentleman remarked that his aunt, whom he was
about to visit, was a very hospitable old lady, and generally managed
to afford her guests a good deal of amusement. Freeport made his
arrangements at once; and it was understood that they were to start at
nine o'clock the next morning.

Sam beguiled the time with his incessant talk; and from the big way
in which he spoke of his affairs in general, and his portly manner
conjoined, a stranger might readily have concluded that he was one of
the wealthiest and most influential men in all England.

Towards evening they arrived at a lodge, and after wending their way
through a long avenue of oaks, they were put down at the door of an
old, two storied, brick house, which was nearly covered with ivy.
Freeport was introduced, and Mrs. Wrexton expressed her happiness to
see him. The house seemed full of guests, married and single, and
some seven or eight children, attended by half the number of nursery
maids, were running about the hall, previous to going to bed. The
dinner hour came, and Freeport joined the rest of the party. There were
some six or seven gentlemen, and as many ladies; and with wonderful
rapidity Sam speculated upon all of them. At dinner time he found
himself beside a lady in deep mourning. Freeport was quite charmed
with her conversation, and she fully appreciated his original remarks
and good-natured wit. Sam felt perfectly happy, and his feelings were
depicted in his face. It was evident to the lady that Sam had not a
painful thought or care in the world, and this she attributed to easy
circumstances.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the course of the evening, "the lady in deep mourning" was asked
to sing. She went to the piano, and after playing one or two rather
mournful airs, she filled the room with her delicious notes, and
elicited much applause.

"Who is she?" whispered Freeport, to young Wrexton.

"She is the widow, I believe," whispered Wrexton. "But I never saw her
before."

"She is a monstrously fine woman!" observed Sam, in the lowest tone of
voice.

"Very much so," rejoined the other.

Sam moved quietly up to the piano, and resumed the conversation which
was abruptly broken off when the lady left the dinner table. She looked
up in his face, and inquired prettily if he chanted. Of course he
did, and without much pressing, "favoured the company" with "the old
enchanter's part"--(the lady playing the accompaniment.)


"And not a tear or aching heart
Should in the world be found."


When the ladies retired, young Wrexton proposed whist. To oblige
them and make a fourth, Freeport took a hand; but his thoughts were
elsewhere, and he kept revoking, trumping his partner's tricks,
playing out of his turn, and making other mistakes of a nature very
disagreeable to persons who attend to the game.

The following morning various excursions were in progress. Some were
for visiting a curious rock, some miles distant; others rode on
horseback to the nearest town--and young Wrexton shouldered his gun
and roamed round the woods for the purpose of getting a pheasant or
two. But Sam declared he had a severe headache, and therefore preferred
lounging about the library, and reclining on a couch. The truth was
this: the widow, at breakfast, refused to join any party, and Sam
stayed at home [he was "at home" everywhere] in the hope of having a
quiet chat with her. And he succeeded in his design; for as he reclined
on a couch in the library, when the house was deserted by its inmates,
the door was opened, and the lady walked up to one of the shelves, and
took down a book, without observing Freeport (of course) and without
being observed, as she fancied. Sam arose and approached her; but when
he spoke, the book fell, she uttered a faint shriek, turned round, and
expressed her surprise. No woman but an actress could have done it half
so well.

The lady placed her hand upon her heart, as though she wished to
prevent its palpitating; and she breathed quickly through a sweetly
pretty smile. Sam Freeport was on his knees instanter--languishingly
praying for pardon, which was granted with a kindliness and grace
beyond the power of any pen to describe, and which few minds can
imagine.

Freeport admired the widow excessively, and for her personal
attractions, notwithstanding she was some years older than himself,
would he have married her, had he been a man of fortune; but as he had
but a solitary £5 in the world, or as (in his own words) all his wealth
was in his waistcoat pocket, he was delighted to reflect that she was
well off.

Freeport's attentions became "marked," and it was very clear that the
widow was glad to receive them. One moonlight night, the visitors
strolled upon the lawn in front of the house. After walking for a short
time, Sam led the lady of his love away from the party, and down the
avenue, towards the gate. She looked round several times, as though
she dreaded to go so far away; but Sam walked on, talking in the most
impressive manner, and bidding her not to be alarmed, and assuring her
there were no ghosts or goblins.

The widow sighed, and so did Sam.

They stopped suddenly, and looking into the widow's face, which was
perfectly beautiful in the moonlight, Sam asked her to be his. She made
no response that could be heard; but she looked assent, and shortly
afterwards spoke to him more endearingly than he was usually addressed.

Freeport sealed the contract, and they returned together to the lawn,
to be quizzed by young Wrexton, who had himself a great regard for the
widow.

The lady under whose protection the widow was living felt annoyed that
she should wander forth alone with Captain Freeport, and she showed her
feelings so plainly that the widow was very angry, and in an irritated
moment, she spoke in terms which amounted to ingratitude. This brought
down the censure of another lady, and this worked up the widow into a
passion, and she cried, and declared that she was persecuted.

It was agreed between them that Freeport should proceed to London, and
that the widow should follow, and on her arrival in town they were to
be united.

Sam accordingly took leave of his kind hostess, and returned to the
Burlington; and in his absence, young Wrexton made such desperate love
to the widow, that his aunt became frightened for his safety, and
rejoiced when she left the house, with the avowed intention of becoming
Mrs. Freeport.

With what joy did Sam Freeport receive his intended bride! In his
ecstasy, he quite forgot he was without the means to defray the
expenses of their wedding. But he contrived to borrow £50 from an old
friend, for the purpose.

A week passed very merrily away, and madame proposed that they should
visit France. Her spouse was "quite agreeable to go anywhere;" but he
delicately hinted that his funds were low just then, and that, if she
could conveniently come down, it would save him a great deal of trouble.

She stared, on hearing this declaration; and, imagining he was in jest,
she smiled.

"Who's your banker?" asked Sam, raising a cup of tea to his lips.

"Alas!" she cried, "I have no bank."

"You don't mean to say you have no money," said Sam, elevating his
eyebrows, and laughing.

"Not one sous. But somewhat in debt!"

Sam whistled, and then remarked:

"Well, my angel, I don't know how we are to manage, for I am blowed if
I have got any."

"I thought," said Mrs. Freeport, seriously, "that you had a large
private fortune."

"I can't help what you thought," he replied, "any more than I can
help what I thought myself; but what I tell you is a fact."

"I am deceived!" exclaimed Mrs. Freeport.

"So am I, by Jove!" replied Sam; "but what's the odds, as long as we
are happy?"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Harroways purchased an estate in Leicestershire, and thither
repaired. George kept his hunters, and enjoyed his meets with the
hounds; but his wife could never be prevailed upon to mount a horse.
But she was very happy, nevertheless, and a great favourite with every
one in their neighbourhood. And Anne became the mother of a fine little
boy, to the vast joy of her husband, who was longing for an heir to
succeed to his property.

Sam Freeport and his wife were compelled to return to India, for the
captain's leave was almost expired. He borrowed some money of George
Harroway to purchase his wife's outfit, and in the letter which
contained his demand he inserted the following ominous sentence--"I
say, George, dear, tell sister Anne, with my love, that marriage, with
me, has been rather a queer business."


THE END.

BARRETT Printer, Roupell Street, Blackfriars, LONDON.



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