Page images
PDF
EPUB

Egerton. Some men might throw into her voice. She take their revenge out of you knew that her strength could in another way.

But it ain't not long avail her in the mine. I don't go back on the struggle with this ferocious oath I sworn all them years. assailant; but there was just I shall kill you here, I judge, a chance, if she could hold on and chance the British gallows for a few minutes, that her 'Tain't a bad place this for cries might attract attention it now.

I guess we won't be and bring assistance. disturbed.”

As it happened, they did. He gave a short laugh and Ambrose Royle, puffing conglanced round him for a mo- fusedly along the upper path, ment. One hand was still found himself mounting the fastened on Maud's sleeve, but cliff, and suddenly recollected the other, with the revolver the hotel - clerk's directions. held loose in it, hung limply He paused and looked round, at his side. Quick as light, and perceived the other footway Maud's disengaged hand shot running parallel with his own out, twisted the weapon from some thirty yards farther down. his clasp, and sent it whirling Between the two there was over the cliff. The movement only a green slope, though was all too swift and sudden the cliff fell away steeply below for Watherston to prevent it; the second path. Ambrose but he only laughed again was considering whether he with the cunning chuckle of should descend the bill or walk insanity.

back to the junction, when a “Euchred! You think so. cry, emitted in Maud's clear I guess you have plenty of carrying voice, fell upon his sand, Mrs Egerton. But I ear.

He had not been trained can do without that thing to act quickly in emergencies, You may have helped to get and he commonly thought me quit of the gallows. I am

. many times before he did any. going to send you down there thing. But on this occasion

. after the gun; and then I he did

I

not hesitate. He reckon I can go back and tell answered the call with the the British police the poor lady first shout that rose autoslipped over the gulch, and her matically to his lips, which friend from the States could was the shrill whoop of the not save her though he tried hunting-field. The next mohis level best. How's that? ment Maud and her adverNow over you go!”

sary, both looking upwards, obHe released her for an instant, served a man careering down and Maud threw both arms the declivity towards them, round the slender trunk of the taking five yards at every larch-tree. The madman seized stride, arms and stick waving her by the shoulders and tried furiously, and view - hallooing to tear her away; but she clung with all his might. So disdesperately, and called for help conserting was the apparition with all the force she could that Jim Watherston stepped

[ocr errors]

We

back to receive the charge of are my guardian angel, I bethis unexpected reinforcement. lievel I might be down there But he kept his face to the foe if you had not come to help as he gave ground, forgetting me. What should I have done how narrow was the platform without you? I owe you my on which he stood. In his life now- as well as my happibackward movement he set one foot on a loose stone a few feet Ambrose raised the little from the edge, tripped and hand to his lips. Then he stumbled on the smooth slippery noticed that the white arm was turf, tried to recover himself, all bruised and livid under the slipped a yard backwards, and torn sleeves. then threw up his arms and Are you hurt ?” he asked with a wild cry disappeared anxiously. over the precipice.

“Oh no!" said Maud ; "there Ambrose might have shared is nothing the matter with me. his fate, for he was coming I am none the worse for the down the slope too fast to encounter, though I am afraid check himself. But Maud saw my late antagonist is. the danger and caught him by must go back as fast as we the arm

as he reached the can and have the poor wretch level. The impact brought got out and attended to." them both to the ground, safe, But as it turned out, Jim but with no margin to spare. Watherston needed no further They rose and peered cautiously attention. He had broken his over the steep descent, Ambrose neck in the final fall, and when very hot and panting, Maud the rescue party reached him with cheeks of marble but still they found him stiff and cold breathing quietly. It was one where he lay. of her characteristics that she was never “out of breath." Maud Egerton and Wilfred The American was sliding Fennell

married very down the nearly perpendicular “quietly" indeed at a Kentish face of the crag, rolling over village church. Ambrose was and over, and trying ineffectu- the best man; and in the roseally to stay his progress by covered porch of the village clawing at the loose stones and inn, before the wedded couple springing tufts of weed. Even drove away, while Wilfred had as they looked he fell sheer gone indoors to make some down through a drop of several final arrangements, he had a feet where the cliff curved in- few words with the bride. wards, and lay stretched out “ You are going to be very motionless on a flat slab of happy," he said. rock.

"I think so," she answered. Maud turned to Ambrose “But, dear Ambrose, I feel a with a little shudder. Then wickedly selfish woman. she held out her hand to you my husband and my life, him,

and I can do nothing for “ Poor mad Jim! But you you."

were

a

“For me?said Ambrose Ambrose smiled again. “Ah! with a faint smile. “Oh, I don't that screen! No; I shall bless count. I am only a poor old it always - and you.

I was thing, you know."

asleep and I awakened. And Don't! You are the best it is well that a man should do and kindest of men, and my that some time in his life, isn't dear friend.”

it ? I was slumbering too “Who was foolish enough to soundly all those empty years, imagine he might be something in a foolish dream of my own more to you than a friend. Do small self. You gave me a you know that?

better one.

Now I can always “Of course I know it," said dream of you." Maud ; “am I not a woman? “No," said Maud ; “don't It could not be; but I hate the dream of me or of anybody; thought that I have only come but be your real self and stay into

your life to gain happiness awake. There is so much to for myself, and to leave you do!” disappointed and distressed. “Even for a poor old thing? Perhaps it would have been Well, perhaps there is somebetter for you after all if you thing. At any rate, I shall not

, had never fallen asleep behind go to sleep again, I think.” my screen.

SIDNEY Low.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

THE IMPERIAL PRESS CONFERENCE-LORD ROSEBERY'S SPEECH-
A POLICY OF DEFENCE THE DECEPTION OF CABLES A TRUE
VISION OF ENGLAND THE LIMITATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE-
THE POWER OF THE PRESS - LORD MORLEY'S OPTIMISM THE
GENEROSITY OF CRITICS THE NECESSITY OF INVECTIVE-
JOURNALISM AND LITERATURE—THE USE OF THE CLICHÉ- THE
WORLD OF JOURNALISM—THE CENTENARY OF TOM PAINE-PAINE
AND THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION A MEMBER OF THE CONVEN-
TION—THE REPRIEVE OF LOUIS XVI.—THE RIGHTS OF MAN'-
NOTES BY THE WAY.'

[ocr errors]

THE Imperial Press Confer- them of the ancient and stately ence, held during the past civilisation which they would month, disclosed a warmth of find embodied in our time-worn feeling on either side which abbeys and cathedrals, and in could not but be grateful to our venerable colleges. With the friends of our Empire. To & quiet satire he urged them know all is to pardon all, and to see the country life of Eng. it seemed in many a perfervid land on their present visit, bemeeting as though the mis- cause when they next came it understandings which have might not be here for them to sometimes perplexed the Mother See. And then he bade them Country and the Colonies were marvel at the energy and alertswept away for over. The ness of England's commerce misunderstandings were inevit- and manufactures, and piotured able. Ignorance is a dark as surrounding and watching clouder of counsel, and if at all a prodigious and always times we have thought our inadequate armada. “ All Colonies exacting, they, on the these,” said he, "are yours as other hand, have found the tra- much as ours.

Your possesvelling Englishman haughtily sion, your pride, and your contemptuous, and have suffered home. from the shifts and wiles of These are words of wisdom that plague of Empire - the and sincerity. The Colonies remittance-man. And then share the pride and privilege comes a meeting, frank, inti- of England. What will they mate, enthusiastic, and all is give in exchange? Pride and forgotten save the ties of close privilege are nothing unless relationship and common policy. they are guarded with zeal and By the best of good fortune it with sacrifice, and if we are fell to Lord Rosebery to pro- to sustain the burden of Emnounce the speech of welcome, pire we must unite in a settled and he pronounced it with the policy of defence. With the tact and irony which he pos- Mother Country the Colonies sesses alone among modern stand or fall. Not one of them orators. Eloquently he told is strong enough or populous

[ocr errors]

enough to fight its own battles standing of the Empire s wants in the coming era of competi- and dangers, and this undertion. So many and so various standing alone has proved the are the interests which may long journey of the delegates presently turn the Pacific into well worth taking. England, à theatre of war, that prudence through the mouth of Lord as well as patriotism suggests Rosebery, has made her de& closer and more practical mand. The Colonies have union between England and recognised its justice through her Colonies. It is foolish and the mouths of their journalists. even criminal to hide the bitter “We have cadged long enough truth from our eyes, and it is on the Mother Country," convastly to Lord Rosebery's credit fessed an eminent Canadian. that he spoke out "loud and Said a delegate from Sydney : strong.” It was not for him “ Australians realised that if to cover up the facts and to there were any danger to Great say the pleasant thing. He Britain's supremacy on the seas spoke not as a politician ad- they were right in the thick of dressing his constituents, but it. Therefore the question of as & statesman confronted by naval defence was one of life men who asked for the truth, and death to them.” Here are not for deception. He sketched exemplified the two motives— the bellum tacens, the silent self-interest and pride—which war, in the midst of which we

bind men

and States most live, the armaments on sea and closely one to another; and if land, which the nations of in one of them there is a certain Europe are preparing in rivalry cynicism, for that very reason one with another, and in it holds those who recognise it time of seeming peace. He in the firmest of firm chains. declared with a proper pride First, then, in importance that we could and would build has

the question of Dreadnoughts, and he sent national defence. And after back to our young Dominions that, as we have said, it is well this message, that some per- that those who do their best sonal duty and responsibility to shape the opinions of our for national defence rests upon Colonies should have every man and every citizen. knowledge of England. Too And this has been the burden long have we been disparted of the speeches that through- from our natural friends and out the Conference were listened allies by deceiving cables. to with the sternest patience Silence itself does not mislead and acclaimed with the great- 80 effectually as a telegraphic est enthusiasm national de wire. Thrift suggests few fence. Did any discussion fall words or an inexpressive code. below the level of this high In either case ignorance, propurpose it met with a cold found and dangerous, is the response, if it were not received result. Nor is there any counin tired silence. On either side try in the world which it is there seemed a clear under- easier to misunderstand than

a

como

some

« PreviousContinue »