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Dogwood had departed without any thing definite being agreed

Sir Edward started up when the valet entered.

“ Ha! Dogwood, you have returned," he exclaimed. “What success. Quick, man, quick; say if you have gained any thing."

“Don't distress yourself any more, Sir Edward,” answered Dog. wood, with lofty confidence. “ Your enemy can trouble you no

I have deprived him of his sting. Here is the certificate, along with letters from your brother to his wife.”

The baronet clutched with eager hands at the packet, and assured himself that the good news were true.

“My brother's handwriting, sure enough," he cried, looking at the letters. “Dogwood, you are invaluable. You have saved me. Tell me how you secured these, and if the opposite party know what has escaped them ?”

• They know nothing, Sir Edward, absolutely nothing. I do not suppose that they have the slightest idea of the existence of these documents; at all events, they do not dream of their loss. I managed to secure them without creating the smallest suspicion. With a view to reconnoitre, I assumed the character of an English printer

, and called at the young man's lodgings. As good fortune would have it, he was out ; and being shown into his room to wait for him, I managed to rifle the secret drawer ere he appeared. He was entirely deceived by any appearance, thought I was what I represented, and declined engaging for London, as I expected. I then took my departure, and here are the papers, Sir Edward."

“ Capitally managed, Dogwood, capitally managed. We can langh at then now. Light me that taper. These dangerous papers must exist no longer."

While Dogwood lighted the taper, the baronet read the certifcate carefully. “In Sussex,” he muttered, with satisfaction. “Tis well. No possibility of the proceedings being rumoured in that district; and possibly their witnesses are dead."

The valet now pushed forward the light, and the baronet beld the letters one by one over the flame, till they were reduced to ashes, Dogwood looking on with a grim smile. The certificate came last, and this Sir Edward watched as it was being consumed, with a triumphant smile on his countenance. The keen flame curled up the paper, blackening and destroying it as it proceeded, blotting out for ever letter by letter, till nothing but fleecy graj ashes remained, which slowly floated down to the floor.

• Now, we are all safe,” exclaimed the baronet, stamping on the
remains with his foot, and causing them to fly like dark snow-
flakes in all directions.

“ Thus perishes the hope of our enemy.,
shus am I established as the impregnable possesser of my
title and estate.”

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Assuming the character of an honourable and injured manman conscious of his indisputable right to the position he held, yet willing, nay eager, to have any claim which might be set up, tested, Sir Edward Rockhart hurried on the course of proceedings. Deeming all proper and conclusive evidence destroyed, he thought his opponents at the moment powerless, and was anxious to get the law to decide ere they had time to hunt up other proof, or stumble upon any thing which might lead to a knowledge of the locality in which Ringald’s marriage was celebrated. He kriew how very important this was; for though, at a future time, strong evidence might be had, yet a previous decision by the Court in his favour would present a barrier to them almost insurmountable. Instead, therefore, of allowing the prosecutor to push matters on, as is the common practice, he, the defender, was the most active and eager, colouring his proceedings by a professed anxiety to have justice immediately done-evincing thereby, or at least intending to evince, his confidence in the justice of his cause, and his readiness to meet and crush any impostor who dared to come against him.

Mr Strickland, as we have seen, expected this course to be taken by the baronet; and had he been as scant of proof, and as powerless to establish his client's claim, as it appeared he was, he would have dune his utmost to obtain delay, and gain time for a better preparation. But having the best of all reasons to know, as our readers are aware, that the game was in his own hands, be offered no obstruction to Rackrent's haste, but, on the contrary, agreed to every suggestion of his, calculated to bring the case at once into Court.

Mr Everly, anxious as he was to assail the baronet, was alarmed by what be considered the lawyer's precipitancy, and more than once could not help hinting at the advantage of gaining a little time; but the quiet coolness of Strick land could not be gainsayed. He reminded bim that they had got all the proof it was likely they could ever obtain; and though one or two legal links were awanting, he was sure he could present a case of such moral certainty to the jury, as to make them conscious of the young man's right.

This was not a very lawyer-like argument; and had Strickland been really in the position be represented, he would have been the last to

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have rested in this delusive hope. He might, of course, have allayed Richard's anxiety at once, by informing him of the power he had gained by means of Ned; but this by no means suited the lawyer's purpose. He wished to guard against the possibility of the other party coming to be aware of his legal advantage, and, at the same time, to gratify his own intense love of management. He wished to give a surprise both to friend and foe-to delight the one, and crush the other, by a sudden and unexpected move; and he took all means to conceal the power he could at any moment wield.

Diamond and Ned were the only persons in his secret, and these being instructed to maintain silence, remained faithful; so that, as the time of trial drew near, the baronet was in his own estimation perfectly secure, and Henry and his friends somewhat disheartened. Nevertheless, the little, bustling lawyer wrought out his plans with secret activity, and chuckled to himself as he contemplated the moment when his grand cards would be played.

The law's delays are proverbial, and lawyers give out that they can't be helped; but we suspect that in this direction, as in every other, “where there is a will there is a way;" for by means known only to themselves, Rackrent and Strickland managed to bring their case before a jury in a very short time. Some months, of course, did elapse ; but this is nothing, when it is considered that, by a little manoeuvring on the part of either agent, it might have been as many years.

On the morning of the day of trial, Henry and Richard rose with anxious hearts. They went to Newington for Mr Gray. Diamond and Andrew were to accompany them to the Court. On the plea of pressure of business, Mr Strickland had been invisible for some days, and had requested that none of them might seek to see him till the case was decided; they were therefore very much in the dark as to how matters were to be conducted. They found the party at Newington quite ready, and immediately set out for the Parliament House.

When they entered the Court, it was already well filled; for the case had created much interest.

A seat, however, had been reserved for them, and this they entered under the particular attention of the spectators, who soon learned that Henry was the youth who claimed to be the heir to the Rockhart title and estate, His free, frank, generous countenance at once gained their sympathy; and among the ladies especially, he had many well wishers.

In a few minutes, Sir Edward Rockhart entered by an opposite door, and took his seat behind that part of the bar allotted to his counsel, Dogwood following, and occupying a bench at his back. The baronet glanced towards Henry and his party, letting his eye rest on the young man with a look of cold disdain, though, in his inmost

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soul, he started to see the resemblance he bore to his brother. Another eye, however, arrested his-a wild, flashing eye, that rayed forth deep vengeance in its glance--the dread, powerful eye of his wronged son-in-law. He met the terrible gaze with a look of vindictive triumph, and turned loftily aside.

At this moment, the counsel and agents made their appearance, and took their places at the proper ends of the bar. Strickland, looking up to where his friends were seated, nodded and smiled, his round, good-humoured face free from all anxiety, and really glowing with suppressed satisfaction.

Every one now rose to their feet to receive the Lord-President, who had no sooner seated himself on the bench, than the jury were formed, placed in the box, and the case was announced as ready for being opened. Then the stout, robust advocate, who sat in front of Mr Strickland, rose to address the jury for the prosecution, and on him all eyes were turned. He was an elderly man, with a large head,

the hair of which was as grey as the wig that nearly covered it. He was the very picture of good-nature and mirthfulness. When he laughed, he did it as much with the shoulders as with the mouth; and so much did he enjoy fun, that scarcely did he ever get through a pleading-speech, without setting the bench and bar in a roar, in which he himself joined most heartily. On this occasion, however, he had little scope for witticism. It was a very grave, important case in which he was for the pursuer, and it therefore demanded the clear, logical skill which he also possessed. Smoothing his face into its very gravest expression, he faced the enclosed twelve, and thus spoke :

“Gentlemen of the jury, you are this day met to decide on a very inportant matter. In this crowded room are two gentlemen, who both claim the title and estate of Rockhart Hall, a large and valuable territory in one of our southern counties. The eldest of these gentlemen has been in possession for twenty years, and was deemed by every one the true and lawful owner thereof. The other, in whose behalf I now stand before you, is a young man, who has been humbly, yet respectably, brought up, and who only a few months ago was made aware, by documents that came into his possession, that he was the legitimate heir to those lands and that title which I have named. That is, he was convinced in his own mind that such was his position; and he comes before you to-day, asking to be put in possession of his rights. Of course, gentlemen, I need not tell you that the duty you have to discharge is an important one. It may seem hard for a gentleman, who has so long possessed such an exalted position, to be deprived of it; but this feeling, which, as men, you may cherish, must, as jurors, be discarded. If it be proved to you that the young man, my client, is the true heir, justice requires that you give him bis right; and

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10 confident am I of your impartiality and the reality of our claime, that I look forward with certainty and satisfaction to the issue. I trust, in the course of the trial, to make out a case so morally and legally plain, as to recommend itself to the feelings of justice and equity which reside in every man's breast. I will thank you to give me your attention, while I rapidly state the facts which the evidence will establish.

Nearly twenty years ago, in the dusk of the evening, a young gentleman knocked at the door of a Mrs Ford, who resided in the Capongate, and asked that lady if she could accommodate a lady lodger. The reply was in the affirmative, and that same evening the lodger came, and was introduced to the landlady by the same gentleman as Mrs Smith. The shrewd Mrs Ford soon perceived that the lady was about to give birth to a child, and had many misgivings on the subject, her idea being that it was a case of illicit connection. However, she said nothing either to the lady herself or to the gentleman, who continued to visit her frequently. In a short while, the childma boy—was born. Still nothing was said, by which the landlady could learn who the people were. She could judge that they had moved in the higher ranks of life, but remained profoundly ignorant of their true name and connection. Months passed away, during which the gentleman continued his visits, and the child grew strong and healthy. One day, when the mother and child were in the room, and the landlady in the kitchen -Do other person being in the house-the latter heard a wild shriek, and running in, found the lady lying on the floor, a stream of blood Howing from her mouth, over a newspaper which was in her band. Medical aid was instantly procured, but life had fled the lady was dead. She had died, gentlemen, and given no sign as to who she was, or who was the gentleman that visited ber, and was evidently the father of her boy. Mrs Ford lived in hopes that the mystery would be cleared up when the young man called again; but he came no more, and she and her husband had to bury the body at their own expense. By this time the child had got twined round their hearts, and they could not bear to send it to the poor-house, as they might have done. With praiseworthy benevolence, they resolved to bring it up as if it had been their own, and this noble deed they nobly fulfilled. Years passed on; the child grew into a youth, the youth into a man, and no clue was had as to his birth. Anxious and naturally so, as you will admit-on this latter point, he, along with a friend, was searching in a bureau which had belonged to his mother, when they accidently touched the spring of a secret drawer, which opened, and revealed a paper withia. This they examined, and saw that it was an unposted letter, written by the ladý to her husband, and that the gentleman to wbom it was addressed could be no other than Mr Ringald Rockhart, the eldest

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