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around. It was as though the murdered stood before them to claim his own! The stranger broke into a loud laugh. What the devil ails you all ? are you afraid of a man without a finger?' and his laugh. ter was louder than before.
I'll not go into the room,' said Knox, in a low broken voice. • Then the watch and ring are mine,' said the stranger. "You have forfeited the wager;' and he began to fill the bag with the coin.
'It's a base juggle to rob me of my property,' cried Knox, whose courage returned as he witnessed the unghostlike manner in which the stranger fingered the money.
*Keep to your wager, man,' cried Thomas, we'll see you rightly dealt with. He can no more do what he says, than raise the prince of darkness himself.'
Will you stand to your bargain?' asked the stranger. "I will; and defy the devil and all his works.' He took a candle and a loaded pistol, and went towards the room. If ever the agony of a life were condensed into the short space of a few minutes, that was the time. Ruffian as he was, he was a pitiable object. Pale and trembling, without making an effort to conceal his distress, he paused and turned irresolute even at the threshold of the door. Shame and avarice urged him on. He entered the room and closed the door.
If I say that I looked on as a calm spectator of these proceedings, I should say falsely. I began to grow nervous, and was infected with the superstitious feeling which had evidently taken possession of my companions. The only unconcerned person was the stranger; at least, he was apparently so. He very coolly tied up the money, watch, and ring in the bag, and placed them on the table. He then took two pieces of paper, and wrote some characters on both; one he handed to Thomas: it was marked with the name of the gauger : the other he kept himself. He advanced to the fire, which was blazing brightly, and, muttering a few words, threw into it a small leaden pacquet, and retired at the same moment to the end of the room. The flames had hardly tiine to melt the thin slieet-lead, ere our ears were greeted with the most terrific and appa:ling explosion that I have ever in my life heard, and as though the elements were in unison, a deafening thunder crash shook the house to its very foundation. Every man was thrown violently to the ground; the chairs and tables tumbled about, as though imbued with life; every door was burst open by the shock, and hardly a pane of glass remained entire. This, with the screams of the women, and the groans of the men, if any one could withstand, without actual terror taking possession of his heart, he must be a bolder man than I was. For several minutes (for so it appeared to me) did we lie on the floor in this state, expecting, momentarily, the house to fall over us in ruins. All was, however, silent as death, except the pealing of the thunder and the roaring of the storm; so that when the sense of suffocation was somewhat removed by the fresh air forcing through the open doors and windows, we ventured to hail each other.
It was some time, however, before we could get a light; and that accomplished, our first care was to look to our friend in the back parlor. We found him lying on his face quite insensible, and bleeding from a wound in the head, which he must have received in falling. We brought him into the large room; and after a time, when people could be brought to their senses, we procured restoratives. I never shall forget the wild and ghastly look with which he first gazed around him. He looked around, as though seeking some horrid object. It's gone,' he cried ; 'thank God !-what a horrid sight !-who saw it?' 'Saw what? who?' asked Thomas. "Just as bloody and ghastly, as when I pitched him down the shaft,' cried he incoherently.
Hush! hush !' said Thomas ; 'collect yourself—you don't know what you're talking of.'—Who says I murdered him ? ' cried the miserable being before us. "Who says I got his money? He's a liar, I say a liar. His money is sunk with him. Let 'em hang meI am innocent.—They cannot prove it.' It became too distressing. Fortunately for the feelings of all, the unhappy man, or rather maniac, relapsed into insensibility, and in that state was conveyed home.
It was not till then that we thought of the stranger. No trace of him could be found. The money, ring, and watch, had disappeared.
Strange were the rumour's abroad the next day at St. Agnes. Some men going very early to work, averred they saw a horseman flying over the moors, crossing shafts and pits, without once staying to pick his way. It could have been no human horseman, nor steed, that could have sped on such a wild career. There was another report, which accounted for the appearance and disappearance of the stranger in another way. Some smugglers reported, that on that night they saw a beautiful French smuggling lugger sheltering from the gale in a little unfrequented bay along the coast. It might have been one of the crew, who had made him. self acquainted with the circumstances he mentioned, and which was no secret, and made this bold dash for a prize : but this version of the story was scouted, as quite unworthy of the slightest credit. The former was the popular belief.
If any one iof the dramatis persone of the above sketch should happen to cast his eye over it, which, by the way, is the most unlikely thing possible, seeing the great probability that they have all been hanged long since; but if by alibi, or any other convenient means, only one should have escaped from justice, he will bear witness to the faithfulness of my narrative ; and acknowledge, with gratitude, the obligation of immortality in the Monthly Magazine.
Supposed to be Mungo Park's Soliloquy.
While from the forest frowning down the steep,
With features rude as when the world began,
No friendly negro bids the stranger stay-
Ye bright sands, rippling with inconstant wave,
Scared from the swampy dingle far below, Spreads the wild pelican her wings of snow, And on her tender errand as she flies, To my strained sight what long-lost forms arise ? Of love and friendship, as in act to part, Pressed their warm fingers to my withering heart, But could not calm the fever of unrest, Th' impassioned pulse that played within my breast; That undefined, perchance, celestial fire, Which still shall glow, till worlds themselves expire. Yes, let the dreary wilderness extend On the dark thicket, blackest clouds descend, Or envious sand-hills guard the secret spring, Yet check not Enterprise his early wing.
LINES WRITTEN AT SEA.
As desolate I roam,
Sighs for its native home;
That grace the cherished spot :
The sailor's rugged lot.
And strive not to repine,
And view the eddying brine :
My heart seems heaving too;
Come crowding fast to view.
Its cheering chorus gives,
Where now his vessel lives?
When her fresh sails were set-
They now are dripping wet.
On Afric's rugged shore,
In that dark country's lore.
Together we have spent ?
Each wish towards home be sent,
Each web of fancy spun,
As shadows to the sun;
Another still succeeds-
O’er which it freshly bleeds.
Of young life to the lees,
Of thoughts so prized as these ;
Within their viewless sphere,
For those more doubly dear.
ON THE DEATH OF MAJOR LAING.
I wish I were laid upon Zara's sand,
Where thou art so calmly lying;
But an ebb to its wane supplying.
And soon does the life-blood thicken;
As the ambushed arrows quicken.
Where it not for one forsaken,
And the Syrtes' currents waken.
Is the couch were thou art lying-
And the Simoom's blazon flying.
LOVE, DEBT, OSTENTATION, MARRIAGE.
When a young man of fashion is rarely seen at Crockford's of a night, seldom at Tattersall's of a Monday, and only for a few minutes at White's, it is a symptom of a disease of the heart or the purse, and requires peculiar treatment. Diseases of the heart, though violent for the time, are of much shorter duration, and are much more easily cured, than those of the purse; as many patients have lived to certify. Though the first symptoms of both maladies resemble each other, all that follow are different. The man far gone in love or in debt, leaves his accustomed haunts, the Beau window in St. James' street, that cynosure of lustrous eyes; no longer exhibits himself in a nonchalant posture, with looks that mock the passers by; two newspapers in one hand,