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THE FATALISTS.

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CHAPTER I.

Get thee gone, for I do see
Danger and disobedience in thine eye.

SHAKESPEARE.

HEN Plunket quitted the breakfast. parlour, reluctant to depart from the case tle without making another effort for Fanny's restoration, he ascended, instead of directing his steps towards the 'hall-door, as lady Courteney might have wished, the stairs to gain sir Richard's apartment. He was informed by one of the housemaids whom he met in the corridor, that the baronet, only slightly indisposed, was read ing the newspaper in his dressing-room, VOL. IV.

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Agreeably surprised at this unhoped-for information, Charles advanced with a soft tread towards the apartment, and knocked gently on the door, when the baronet's well-known voice from within, and to which our hero's heart, with quickened throb, affectionately responded, bade him enter.

Plunket, feeling some inquietude as to the reception he might receive, with a trembling hand unclosed the door; but every disquieting thought vanished, when, aş, the good baronet raised his eyes from off the paper over which he had been poring, our hero perceived the mantling blood rushing in a full tide of joy to his patron's countenance to give him a hearty welcome." My dear Charles, how truly rejoiced I am to see you!” cried sir Richard, extending his willing hand, and forgetting, in the surprise of this unexpected meeting, every motive for displeasure he .was taught to entertain against his protégée.

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" My dear, my excellent patron, my more than father!” exclaimed Plunket, receiving, with duteous affection, the offered hand which he pressed respectfully to his lips, while his eyes glistened with a tear, “ how does this unexpected, this unhoped-for kind welcome repay me for all your letters of late have made me suffer ! You are now undeceived, I hope, sir, with regard to the invidious impressions made on your mind to my disfavour; and as time presses, shall spare me on that subject all unnecessary vindication. A business of a more urgent nature " • “ Not undeceived, Charles,” interrupted the baronet, recalled by this speech to a recollection of the circumstances which excited his displeasure against our hero; “ but as I expect nothing like infallibility in so young a man, I feel inclined to overlook your errors.”

“ Whatever these errors, my good sir, may have been,” resumed Plunket, with modest confidence," they never rendered

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me forgetful of what I owed my best friend and benefactor. But a duty now more urgent and impressive than even that which I owe to my injured fame, claims all my attention, and demands in like manner from your ear a patient hearing."

The baronet returned a nod of assent, and pointed to a chair, on which Charles, taking his seat, thus continued." Fanny, one of my first and best friends from the moment I became an inmate of your family-Fanny, the once-faithful attendant of your late respected lady, has disappeared, or been spirited away, in a most strange unaccountable manner. Letters, sir Richard, bearing your signature, as Mrs. Harty has already informed you, have been brought her, the purport of which conveyed your impatient desire for a meeting, of which lady Courteney was not to be in, forined, in order to advise with her rela: tive to your daughter. Your name has been employed in this manner, to draw the unsuspecting woman into a private in

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