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doubt by bribery, will soon be exposed, and meet with the punishment it deserves. That wretched tool will, in a court of justice, be forced to reveal those who tempted him to such a hazardous step, and the means they took for

And would you like to know how it has all come about ?" interrupted Ned.' “ Don't think, Mr Deepwell, that I would have split so long as I was fairly used. No, no; you may .thank Mr Frank Everly there for what bas happened. He had the insolence to insult my wife, sir; and rather than that should go unavenged, I would sacrifice myself, and every lawyer in Scotland.”

“ You hear him, Mr Strickland ?” said Deepwell. “ You hear that he has got up this most false charge out of revenge. The lie is well substantiated, is it not ?"

Mr Strickland only smiled.

“ Why, sir, I trust you do not for a moment believe it?" he added, with an attempt at an expression of scorn, and trying to take

" You will pardon me if I retain this,” said Strickland, laying his hand firmly upon it.

“ For what purpose ?” asked Deepwell.

“ That it may be put into the hands of the public prosecutor," was the deliberate reply.

“ You think it a forgery, then?” “ I have no doubt of it."

“ It is a forgery !” cried Frank, wildly. “Deepwell forged it. I didn't wish him to do it; but he assured me that it would not be discovered, and I consented to be silent."

- Mean, cowardly villain!" muttered the lawyer, through his compressed lips. “But this lie will not avail you."

He said this as lie was walking towards the door, for the purpose of departing-a movement, on his part, which Strickland took no method of preventing. But, on opening the door, he started back in astonishment and consternation; for there stood the procuratorfiscal with assistants, armed with warrants to arrest both himself and Frank. The charge was stated, the prisoners were handcuffed, the will was given up to the authorities; and the two witnesses, having been bound over to appear at the proper time, were allowed to return home.

The amazed Richard and the chuckling lawyer were left alone.

“ Didn't I do it nicely?” asked the latter, rubbing his hands in great glee. - What a discovery !” ejaculated Richard.

« But, pray,

tell me all about it."

“Let us have supper first,” answered the lawyer, ringing the bell.

They got supper, and Strickland told Richard all that he knew and all that he suspected.

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" Poor fools !" muttered the young man.

Alas! he was not much other himself; for that night he had many sweet dreams of revenge, and in the morning he cherished them as anticipations of reality.

CHAPTER XVII.

PUNISHMENT AND FORGIVENESS.

The law may have its delays, and in civil cases these may be vexatious enough; but the criminal, when apprehended, feels that its meshes close around him only too swiftly, and that no step is left untaken which may lead to his conviction. So experienced Simon Deepwell and Frank Everly. In a very few weeks, they were placed at the bar of the High Court, and were bitterly conscious that their

escape was hopeless. In order to secure the punishment of both, their indictments were alike, and extended to the charges of forging, or uttering, knowing to be forged. The public prosecutor, after the searching investigation which he instituted, concluded, as Strickland had done, that Frank was the actual forger; but the crime could only be brought home to him by putting the lawyer in the witness- box, a proceeding which would result in the acquittal of the latter. This he was by no means inclined to do, since he doubted not that Deepwell was the originator of the fraud; he, therefore, preferred to risk the finding of the capital charge, in order that both might be convicted of the second offence.

The trial was not a very long one; for the testimony of the two principal witnesses was strong, and not to be shaken. The prisoners' counsel strove indeed to weaken it by referring to the part they themselves had in the nefarious transaction; but its truth recommended itself too clearly to the minds of the jury to be set aside. A verdict of guilty on the second count was returned, and Simon Deepwell and Frank Everly were sentenced to transportation for life.

may not describe the horror and despair of the unhappy yonth, when he found to what his guilt had led him. Possibly, in his frenzy, he would have lifted his hand against his own life had he not been strictly watched, and thus have consummated a life of profligacy and crime. But justice, in whose inexorable grip he was, mercifully prevented such a deed, and he was afforded space for repentance, though we fear, in a felon's experience, repentance is seldom either sought or found.

Deepwell was not less abased or mortified; yet, far from deploring

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bis crime, he only cursed his infatuation in linking himself to ono
who had so little self-command. Still, he bore his fate with his
usual appearance of repose; and whatever agony might be endured
within, it was not allowed to slow itself.

Farewell to both. Their dark part in this our story is done, and
we veed not follow them in their misery and wretchedness. But, as
they vanish from our view, do their characters and fate afford no
warning to others ? We only ask the question, we answer it not.

Richard Everly was now the owner of Netherton, the possessor of its broad acres and green woods. The tenants of the estate rejoiced greatly at the issue; for already had they begun to feel the straitening influence of Deepwell's management. Old Everly, though harsh and vindictive to his son, had not, generally speaking, been a severe or exacting' man. As a landlord, he had been liberal and forbearing; and as the result, the farms of Netherton were fertile and productive, greatly different from those on the adjoining estate of Rockhart Hall, where the soil was equally good, but wbere a grasping factorship was established.

Mr Strickland was as good as liis word. He spoke to Richard in favour of Ned Oakham), and advised him to retain him in his situation, seeing that it was entirely through his agency that the fraud had been detected. Richard was inclined to do so, but on other grounds. He remembered his wife when she used to attend on Mrs Everly-remembered how gentle she was, and how kind she had been to himself. He had often regretted that she had been united to one so far her inferior, and in every way unsuited to her; and it was this recollection that weighed with him chiefly, now when he was called upon to deal with them as their master.

A week or two had passed away since he had taken up his abode at the Hall, and no intercourse had taken place between him and Ned; neither had Elizabeth seen him, though she longed to know if forgiveness was to be obtained. Both were now very anxious; for, from the long and apparently studied silence, they dreaded the worst, and began to think that it was quite impossible for their offence to be overlooked. The neighbours, too, regarded them with aversion; for had they not, accurding to their own confession, done a most disgraceful thing? Dejected and dispirited, they confined themselves to the cottage; and in those sad days of silent isolation both of them had time to thiuk deeply. Elizabeth uttered no word of reproach, although she had great grounds for charging the whole

her husband, But she was too much of a woman, too much of a wife, thus to vex and annoy.

She saw that Ned suffered deeply, and was, in his own heart, laying all the blame upon himself, and she strove rather, by an increase of tenderness and kindness, to lighten the load of self-reproach which rested upon him. To Ned himself, that period, though a trying, was also a

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purifying one. Of late, a blessed change had been working in his nature. From that night in which he had overheard the conversation between Frank and his wife, many new and better thoughts had been filling his mind. After the rage had somewhat subsided, reproach deep and cutting had seized him. His harshness and cruelty to his wife appeared before him in all their heinousness. He was conscious that Frank's words, however galling, were true, She had united herself to one far beneath her, and in no way had he tried to make her comfortable. He was joyfully amazed to hear her say, that she would prefer him a thousand times to Frank--that she would be for ever true to him. Every man, even the worst, has a bare corner in his heart; and if that can be touched, his being is thrilled to its centre, and, mayhap, the work of reformation then and there begins. Now, rough and passionate as Ned Oakham was, he was human, and it was not impossible for humanity to assert itself within him. And though the change went on very silently, it was not the less real, as his true-hearted wife fuund from the absence of those harsh words and harsher acts which she had long heard and felt.

They were sitting together one night by the fire. Elizabeth was sewing at a shirt for Ned, but Ned himself was idly gazing into the fire. Somebody suddenly opened the door, came along the passage, and advanced into the kitchen. It was Mr Everly.

Both the inmates started up, though neither spoke; only the trembling wife hastened to place a chair for their guest.

“ Thank you,” said Richard, kindly. “ But how does it happen, Elizabeth, that neither you nor Ned have been to visit me at the Hall? All the tenants and dwellers on the estate have been up but you; and I have looked for you for several days."

Elizabeth glanced timidly at Ned, hung down her head, and sighed.

“We could not do it, sir," replied Ned, in a husky voice. “We felt we had no right to be there, after what we had done-that is, after what I had done. Osir," he added, turning pleadingly to Richard, “I cannot ask you to forgive me; but Bess there is innocent. She pled with me not to sign the will, but I forced her to do it. I alone am guilty.”

“No, no," cried Elizabeth. “ We were both to blame; but, O sir, if you could forgive us,

“ Listen to me, my friends," said Richard, mildly. great temptation placed in your path, and you fell before it. Elizabeth, you I entirely acquit; and will also forgive Ned, if he promise to be a very good husband in time to come. There, I see he will; these tears are promise sufficient. Now, let the past be forgotten. I retain

you

in
your

situation."
And a more faithful servant you will not have on the estate,"
cried the weeping, joyful wife.

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" That I am sure of,” said Richard, with a smile, holding out his hand, as he rose to go.

Ned was entirely overcome, and wept like a child. Kindness and affection had done their genial part; and he was now won over to virtue's side. That generous act of his master's had fixed his already awakened soul; and not all the gold in Britain would again tempt him to a crime such as he had already committed.

Among the first visitors to the new owner of Netherton, was Mr and Mrs Gray; and Richard felt something like happiness stealing over him during the period of their stay. When they left, he became very dull, and one day departed for Edinburgh, to bring Henry out with him,

He found the young man in anything but a happy, cheerful state. Diamond and he had been trying to associate together as they did before the memorable night of explanation; but they had begun to learn that the names of brother apd sister did not harmonize with their feelings. Their hearts, charged to the brim with love, and pressed down by the thought that a union was impossible, would not allow them to assume that frankness and open, unreserved freedom which the relation they ostensibly maintained towards each other should have prompted; so that, by mutual consent, they shunned private meetings, and hardly met but in the presence third party

Henry willingly consented to go to the country with his friend for a short time, but not to make a permanent residence there, as Richard urged. He felt he could not leave Edinburgh, could not separate himself from the object of his affection, and could not leave Mrs Ford, who had been so kind to him.

“But Mrs Ford will go too,” suggested Richard. “I am in want of a housekeeper, and no one would suit me so well.”

• But Diamond! I cannot leave Diamond," answered Henry, with a heavy sigh.

Richard could not blame him for such a display of devotion, and reluctantly gave up the plan he had formed. . He agreed to go

for a week or two, however, fancying that this short period of separation would prove beneficial to them both.

On the night before they departed, he met her alone, and told her where he was going.

She made no remonstrance; but tears came into her eyes, and she turned aside to hide them.

“ Diamond, what mean those tears ?” cried Henry, with excitement. Do you forego your resolution? If so, say but one word,

She turned quickly towards him, held out her hand, and said, "Good-bye, brother.

And so they parted.

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