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a few weeks' expenses of their hum- upon her now than to see her walk ble home; two or three mementos blindly, confidingly, lovingly, to a of Lily, such as a piece of ribbon desolate future?' At this point and a flower she had worn in her of his musings, he heard the streethair ; and some old letters and pa- door open and shut, and heard a pers, worn and faded. He took stumbling step in the passage bethem from the box, and sadly read low. Looking over the papers in one and another. Among them the iron box, he came upon two were letters from Lily's father to which he opened and read. They her mother during their days of were the last two documents concourtship; and certain terms of ex nected with the career of Lily's fapression in them brought to him ther. One was a full quittance for the remembrance of sentiments al- a sum of money which the unhappy most similarly expressed by Alfred. man had embezzled; the wording The same vague declarations of of the other was as follows: being able to make large sums of a
In consideration of my fathermoney by unexplained means; the same selfishness, the same boast
in-law paying the money due to fulness, were there embodied. But
Mr. James Creamwell, which I have not the same remorse which Alfred
wrongfully used, I solemnly prohad already experienced ; that was
mise not to trouble my wife with to come afterwards, and the de
my presence as long as I live, and spair which ever accompanies it.
not to make myself known to my "We were happy, then, my daugh
children in the future, should we
meet by any chance. For the wrong ter and I,' the old man murmured ; “happy before he came. My daugh
that I have done, I humbly ask
their forgiveness. ter's life might not have ended as it did, in misery; might not have
“RICHARD MANNING.' been passed, as it was, in miserable “He has kept his word,' mused repinings. He brought a blight Old Wheels; ‘from that time I have upon us.' And then came the never seen him, never heard of him. thought, ‘Like father, like son.' I have wondered often if he is alive. He paced the room with disturbed No one but I have ever read this steps. “ Alfred's father,' he thought, paper, unless Alfred, when he took 'wrecked the happiness of the wo- the money from this box-- But man who loved him, who trusted no; he could have had no thought implicitly in him — wrecked the for anything but his unhappy purhappiness of my daughter, who pose.' once was as bright as my darling Old Wheels was interrupted in Lily. And how she changed un- his musings by the whining of a der the consequence of his vice dog at the door. “That's Snap's and his folly! How she drooped, voice,' he said, and going to the and drooped, until life became tor door, he saw the faithful dog waitture! As she trusted him and be ing for him. Snap, directly he saw lieved in him, and sacrificed her the old man, looked into his face self for him, so Lily trusts and appealingly, and walked towards believes and is ready to sacrifice the stairs. Old Wheels, taking the herself for Alfred. Shall I allow candle, followed the dog downher to do this, blindly? The end stairs, and found Jim Podmore would not be the same, for Lily asleep at the bottom. Snap, havcould not live through it. How ing fulfilled his mission, waited pacan I save my darling? Would it tiently for the old man to act. not be better to inflict a sharp pain “Come, Mr. Podmore,' said Old
Wheels, gently shaking the sleep- for I wanted—to ask you someing man; you mustn't sleep here. thing. Come upstairs, and get to bed. Old Wheels thought it best not
The tired man murmured 'All to interrupt the current of Jim's right,' and settled himself comfort- thoughts, and therefore did not ably to continue his nap. But Old speak. Jim shook himself much Wheels shook him more roughly, as a dog does when he comes out and he rose to his feet wearily, and of the water, and having, it is to be leaning against the wall, seemed presumed, by that action, aroused disposed to fall asleep again in that his mental faculties, proceeded. position.
'We've had a talk-to-day-me Come, pull yourself together, and some mates—and I made up urged Old Wheels, taking Jim Pod- my mind—that I'd speak—to some more's arm ; 'you'll be more com- one-as might know-better than fortable in your own room than us. I meant you.' here.'
'Yes. What were you speaking Thus advised, and being well about?' shaken, Jim 'pulled himself to "Well, you see—it come in this gether,' and with many incoherent way. I never told you — about apologies, accompanied Old Wheels Dick Hart-did I ?? . upstairs. When he arrived at 'No—not that I remember,' rethe first landing, he appeared to plied Old Wheels. think he had gone far enough, and 'He was a mate of our'n-Dick quite naturally he stumbled into Hart was. As good a fellow-as the old man's room, and fell into a ever drawed—God's breath. He chair.
was working-on our line-a many Come, come,' persisted Old months ago. He ain't working Wheels, 'I am not going to allow there now—not him-ain't working you to fall asleep again. Bed's the anywhere— can't get it. Willing proper place for you.'
enough- Dick Hart is—and a'I should like,' murmured Jim, breaking his heart — because he 'to go to bed--and sleep—for a can't get it. He's a doomed man month.
-Mr. Wheels—a doomed man! Old Wheels laughed slightly at and might as well — be dead -as
alive. Better—a dooced sight bet“You wouldn't expect to wake ter— if it warn't for his wife and up at the end of the time,' he said, kids.' continuing to shake Jim Podmore. Jim Podmore was evidently
'I don't know—I don't care- warming up. His theme was powerI'd like to go to bed-and sleep ful enough to master his fatigue. for a year. All right, Mr. Wheels Old Wheels listened attentively. —don't shake me—any more ! - 'It might have happened - to I'm awake--that is, as awake-as me—it might happen—to me-any I shall be—till to morrow morning. night—when I'm dead-beat. What I beg you—a thousand pardons- then?' he asked excitedly, to the for troubling you. I suppose — no small surprise of Snap, to whom you found me asleep-somewhere. this episode was so strange that he Where?'
stood aside, gazing gravely at his "On the stairs.
master. “What then?' Jim repeat‘Ah-yes. I thought-I should ed. “Why, I should be—what Dick ha’ fell down-in the streets—as Hart is-a-wandering about, in I walked along. I was so-dead- rags—a-starving almost. I should beat. I'm glad- you woke me up be worse than him--for when I
think—of the old woman upstairs times—and when the accident-asleep-and my little Polly takes place—he goes almost mad. that is my star—my star, Polly is ! But that doesn't alter it. The ac
—and think of them with nothing cident's done — and Dick Hart's to eat-like Dick Hart's old wo made accountable. He's took up man and kids—I shouldn't be able —and tried—and gets six months.
- to keep my hands—to myself. If what he did—had ha' been his And I shouldn't try to—I'm cursed fault — he ought to have been — if I should !
hung-but they didn't seem-quite Old Wheels laid his hand with to know—whether he was to blame a soothing motion on the excited or whether—he wasn't-so they man's shoulder.
give him six months — to make Be cool, Mr. Podmore,' he said. things even, I suppose. While “Tell me calmly what you want. Dick's in prison - his wife's conYou are wandering from the sub fined—with her second-and how ject.'
they live — while he's away from "No, I ain't,' responded Jim 'em — God knows! Some of us Podmore doggedly. “I'm sticking gives a little—now and then. I to it. And it ain't likely—begging give twice—but what Dick's wife your pardon— for being so rough got—in that way was-next to no—that I can be calm—when I've thing—as much as we could afgot what I have got — in my ford. Dick Hart- comes out of mind.'
prison—a little while ago—and What's that?'
tries to get work—and can't. He Jim Podmore looked with ap gets a odd job — now and thenprehension at Old Wheels, and then by telling lies about himself—and turned away his eyes uneasily. his old woman-gets a little char
“Never mind that--it's my trou ing—but they've not been ableble- and mustn't be spoken of. to keep the wolf— from the door. Let's talk of Dick Hart.
It's got right in- and there they You were about,' said Old are-pretty-nigh starving--him and Wheels gently, 'to tell me some the old woman-and the kids.' story connected with him.'
Jim Podmore's drowsiness com‘He was as good a fellow -as ing upon him powerfully here, he ever drawed breath-and had been had as much as he could do to in the Company's service-ever so keep himself awake. He indulged many years. There was nothing himself with a few drowsy nods, agin him. He did his work—and and then proceeded as though there drawed his screw. Little enough! had been no interval of silence. He got overworked-often—as a Well, we had a talk about him good many of us gets — a-many -to-day, me and my mates. We times too often-once too often made up — a little money — not for poor Dick—as I'm going to tell much--but as much—as we could you, short. It must ha' been — afford—about six shillings—and eight months ago — full — when sent it to his old woman. But we Dick Hart—worked off his legs— can't go on-doing this—and one with long hours—and little rest of the men said that if it come to had a accident. 'He took a oath the officers' ears—or the directors' - afterwards — that he was that —that we'd been making up money dead-beat-before the accident —for a man as has been discharged that he felt fit to drop down dead -and's been in prison—and's cost with fatigue. He couldn't keep the Company a lot o' money in his eyes open-as I can't, some- damages—(for they had to pay two men—as was able-to afford a out knowing exactly what it lawyer; there was others—as was was ?' poor—who didn't get anything) — “Yes,' replied Old Wheels goodthat if it come to the directors' humouredly, 'but it never did ears—we should likely-get into happen.' trouble ourselves.'
Ah,' pondered the puzzled man, Having come to the end of Dick 'but this will, though.' Hart's story, Jim Podmore dozed “What will ? off again, and would have fallen "Didn't I tell you, I didn't know into deep sleep but for Old Wheels what. But it'll happen-as sure nudging him briskly.
as my name's— Jim Podmore. It's Well?' asked the old man. buzzing about my head now,--and
"Ah, yes,' said Jim ; ‘I was al- I can't make it out.' most forgetting. What I want to Nervousness,' suggested Old know is-is Dick Hart responsible Wheels, 'brought on by over- for what he's done? Is it right work.' – that a respectable man--a hard- "Mayhap, but there it is. What working man — a honest man — would you call it now? Give it a should be compelled-to work un- name.' til he's lost-all control over his. It is a presentiment, I should self— till he's ready to drop-as say.' I've told you before-and as I've "That's it. I've got-a presentibeen ready to myself —and that ment. Thank you. Good-night, then—when a accident happens Mr. Wheels. I've got-a presentiwhich wouldn't have happened — ment-and it'll come true—as sure if he'd been fresh — or if a fresh as my name's— Jim.' man had been—in his place is With that Jim Podmore staggered it right, I want to know,' and Jim upstairs, with faithful Snap at his Podmore raised his arm slowly and heels, and within an hour Old lowered it, and raised it again and Wheels heard the street-door bell lowered it again, as if it were a pis ring, and hurried downstairs. ton, 'that that man-should be put -in prison—should be disgraced -should lose his honest nameshouldn't be able to get work-for
CHAPTER XXXVI. his old woman -- and the young
FELIX GAINS A CLUE. uns—and that they should be almost starving—as Dick Hart's peo Felix intended to leave Lily ple's doing now?'
after he had seen her safely within Fortunately for Old Wheels, who doors, but the old man begged him would have found these questions to come in. A look from Lily devery difficult to answer, Jim Pod- cided him, and the three faithful more was too tired and too sleepy souls ascended the stairs to the old to wait for a reply.
man's room. Old Wheels entering 'If I don't go upstairs—imme- first, gave Lily an opportunity to diate,' he said, rising slowly to his say hurriedly to Felix, feet, you'll have — to carry me. Don't tell grandfather of my So I'll wish you-good-night, Mr. fainting, Felix. It might distress Wheels, and thank you.'
him.' He pausedat the door for the pur- He promised her. pose of asking one other question. Nor of what passed between
'Did you ever feel-that some you and Mr. Sheldrake.' thing was going to happen-with- "Very well, Lily.'
She spoke in a whisper ; she was people suppose that cunning is one so thrilling with exquisite sensitive of the principal specialties of wisness that any harsher sound would dom, but it is not always so. A rare have been a disturbance to her strength, which shows itself almost happy state.
· invariably in great and good results, 'I will think of what you have lies in the man who is wise and not said to-night, Felix; you are right cunning—who is wise from honesty I know—you must be right.' (The of purpose. Felix was this. He unspoken words came to her: 'My was sincere in all he did-honest heart tells me so.”) “Thank you in all he did. It is a pleasure to for it, Felix, with all my heart. be able to indicate, even by such
Their hands met in a tender clasp. mere outlines as these, a character They entered the room the next which too many persons do not bemoment, and Old Wheels looked lieve in. towards them with a pleased ex- Beginning to earn his living by pression in his face, brought there his pen, and being enabled to act by the circumstance of Lily and in a certain measure independently Felix lingering for a few moments and to take his own view of things, in the passage. It betokened a it was natural that he should exerconfidence between them.
cise his small power in the cause It was one o'clock before Felix of right. It was not his ambition took his departure. The conversa to be the Don Quixote of literature, tion between him and Old Wheels but he could no more resist the inhad turned principally upon the clination to strike hard blows at mental disturbance of Mr. Podmore, public shams and injustice than, and upon his presentiment. This being naturally truthful, he could made a great impression upon Felix, resist the inclination to tell the and, although he was almost asham- truth. Of course he could effect ed to confess it to himself, took fast but little good. The great shield behold of his mind. He was predis- hind which imposture and knavery posed for some such influence, from found shelter, and which protected the thought of the crisis that seem- dishonesty and hypocrisy, suffered ed to be imminent in the life of the but little from his attacks; but here woman he loved. That it must and there he made a dent, and that come, and soon, he was convinced, was a great satisfaction to him. He and he thought to himself it would was a faithful soldier, and fought be almost a wise act to hasten it, with courage. if possible. He had quietly made He knew that in some way Lily's it his business to acquaint himself brother was in Mr. Sheldrake's with the nature of Mr.. Sheldrake's power, and accident revealed to transactions; and, notwithstanding him the nature of the bond between that that gentleman was close and them. In his crusade against knavcrafty, Felix had learned much con- ery, he became acquainted with the cerning him. Theknowledge sprang unmitigated roguery that was pracnaturally, as it were, out of Felix's tised under the protection of the profession. He was correspondent institution which, with a grim and for two country newspapers, and ghastly humour, has been denomihad managed to insert the thin nated the great national sport. His end of his wedge into the wall of friend Charley, who introduced him London journalism. Steadily and to the columns of the Penny Whisunobtrusively he was working his tle, was the first who opened his way, and was sanguine and con- eyes to the knavery. It seems to fident of the future. Very many be a recognised necessity that all