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thoughts, and rejoiced over my discomfiture. It was now said openly in the village, that Edward, being only an illegitimate son, Miss Mary would be the heiress of all her father's wealth. My friend the curate, who numbered fewer years than myself, had long looked upon the fair girl with admiring eyes; he had perhaps betrayed his secret feelings too strongly, for Grindell suddenly grew rather shy; and then reports rendered him unwilling to intrude himself upon the family, as he feared he might be suspected of mercenary motives. I was therefore the only visitor at the Fort-for by that name, as the most appropriate one we could think of, we called the habitation of these strangers. Neither Mrs Grindell nor Mary improved in their looks, and I thought I could perceive an alteration for the worse in the captain's appearance. He was often stricken with sudden bursts of passion without any apparent cause, while his strength and activity seemed to be unaccountably diminished : he would drop down into a chair, as if no longer able to support himself; and though he would not acknowledge that he was ill, he often paused in his discourse, and gasped for breath. He had given up going to church, if it might be called going, when he never went beyond the door; and of course his wife and daughter were deprived of the solace which their attendance upon divine service had afforded them. Grindell also kept within doors more than he had been wont. The deck, as he had called the green plat before the door, had been his favourite lounge; and in pacing up and down its circumscribed limits, he had enjoyed the sort of exercise to which he had been long accustomed, and was enabled to keep a look-out upon all that was going on within the house.

One exceedingly dark and stormy evening, in the month of September, in which the equinoctial gales had commenced at an unusually early period, I was much surprised by a tap at the window of my little parlour, which opened, after the French fashion, into the garden. Hastening to ascertain the cause, I caught a glimpse in the fitful light of a female figure ; and a sort of instinctive feeling, for I certainly did not recognise the party, told me that it was Mary Grindell. I instantly unclosed the window, and in another moment her arms were about my knees, and she entreated me to save the life of Edward, of her dear brother. Much amazed, I raised her up; and by a strong effort endeavouring to render herself coherent, she told me in a few brief words, that we had all been deceived in supposing that Edward had in reality quitted his home. In consequence of his determination to do so, his inhuman parent–if parent he could be-had seized his person, and confined him in a dungeon-like place constructed amongst the cellars. This circumstance she had only discovered an hour before; and by the conversation which she had overheard between Grindell and the black, which revealed it, she felt assured that, disappointed in their hope of compassing his destruction by a protracted imprisonment, they would take his life. In her distraction at the thought of murder, she had forgotten the danger to which she was about to expose her father; and though I felt very little desire to save him from the gallows, which he so justly merited, I knew that poor Mary would never forgive herself, if she should be the cause of bringing a parent to an untimely death, and therefore determined, at every personal risk, to preserve Edward's life without making the affair public by applying to the civil power. Mary having, by a most fortunate accident, found a key which opened the garden-gate, had been enabled to fly to me at this alarming juncture.

It was of consequence that she should not be missed, and I therefore conducted her back, arranging all the way our plan of operations. It was still early in the eyening, and the deed contemplated by the associate ruffians was not to take place until after midnight. Being well acquainted with the interior of the house, and on friendly terms with the great dog, I hoped to achieve my object without bloodshed. Possessing myself of the key after I had admitted Mary, I instantly summoned the curate to my aid. We armed ourselves with pistols, and entered

the garden without difficulty. It was now necessary to be very cautious, and drawing on thick worsted stockings over our boots, we got into the house without noise. It had been fastened up for the night in the interval which had elapsed between Mary's return; but she had contrived to withdraw the bolts, and pushing open the door, we went straight to the pantry, where we heard the black singing, or rather chuckling, over some national ditty, and the key being on the outside, locked him in. The window we knew was too high to permit his escape, nor could his single strength avail to force open the ponderous door. Thence we proceeded to the parlour. Grindell was sitting with his back to the door, and was not disturbed by our entrance. In a moment each seized an arm; and though, by a strong effort, he endeavoured to shake us off, we succeeded in unscrewing his wooden leg, and getting possession of his pistols. Shouting for the black, he made a desperate resistance, but without avail. We steadily maintained our hold, speaking calmly, and waiting until he had exhausted himself by convulsive exertions to get free. When he had no longer the power of resistance, we told our errand, and insisted upon his accompanying us to Edward's prison. Apparently he felt that he was ill, and by no means in a condition to refuse, for he permitted us to move him forward. We soon reached the cellar, unbarred and unbolted the door, and Edward, starting on his feet, though scarcely recognisable from the effects of his long confinement, saw at once that he was free, and in hurried, yet intelligible words, poured out his thanks. We carried Grindell back to the upper floor, for by this time he was nearly insensible. Mrs Grindell and Mary, who had been locked up above stairs, soon joined us, and we assisted them in putting the dying caitiff to bed. It was agreed to keep the black still in confinement, while my friend ran for the doctor, and Edward performed some very necessary ablutions, and changed his dress. He told me, what I had long suspected, that Grindell had joined the character of pirate to that of the commandant of a privateer.

I now ascertained that this unfortunate youth liad learned, a few months before, from the confession of one of his reputed father's dying associates, the particulars of his own birth. His parents, who were passengers on board a vessel captured by this wretch, had both been murdered, while he had been brought up as the illegitimate child of their destroyer. Affection for Mrs Grindell and for Mary had induced him to keep this secret, until at length, worn out by brutal treatment, being seized in an attempt to make his escape from the house, he told his persecutor all that he knew, and was instantly incarcerated in the cellar, whence Grindell and the black determined that he should never come out alive. Upon the arrival of the doctor, he pronounced the patient's case to be hopeless. Grindell, without expressing remorse or sorrow for his past deeds, from the moment in which he felt that he had been overpowered, resigned himself to our guidance, and now executed a will, in which, after an ample provision to his wife, he divided the whole of his property between Edward and Mary.

The wretch did not long survive this act of justice. He died at the end of three days, and we lost no time in getting rid of the black, who, terrified by the prospect of a halter, was but too happy to agree to return to Africa in order to escape the penalty of his crimes. The guns of the Fort are now sold; Edward and a very charming wife are living in the house, which has undergone several improvements; while Mary and her mother have betaken themselves to the neighbouring parsonage, my friend the curate proving a successful wooer.

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ONE winter evening, when ‘norland winds were piping' loudly, but harmlessly around the walls of our old substantial English dwelling, our whole family, consisting of four persons-namely, my father and mother, my sister and myself—were sitting before a cheerful fire, enjoying that dim delicious hour that intervenes between the night and the day, ere shutters are closed, or candles placed on the table. On the present occasion, this hour was spun out to an unusual length, and yet not one of us felt inclined to have the lights brought in. My father, who had been much abroad during his life, was peculiarly animated in his narration of the various scenes he had witnessed, and our questions ever and anon stimulated him to some fresh recollection. A pause at "last ensued, however; and the close of the twilight enjoyment seemed inevitable, when my sister put a question which prolonged it for a considerable time further. What,' said she, was the happiest passage, father, in your life?'

Bless her dear heart ! had the candles been flaring upon the table, she would not have put that question. She was then eighteen, and the blissful dream of love was uppermost in her thoughts. But my father's reply had no reference to that subject, as the reader will learn, if he has patience enough to peruse the following story, as it came from the narrator's lips

'I shall tell you, my children,' said our father, ' what passage in my life gives me most satisfaction in the retrospect. Soon after your mother had united her fate with mine, I fell into a respectable and profitable business in New York, where, as you are aware, that competency was earned which now enables me to pass the evening of life in comfort in my native England. The occupation which I followed required my daily presence for some

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