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thus in every possible manner, she suddenly changed her tone of civility for one of bullying violence.
"Murther, murther it is that ye know of, ye young villains! Ah! the bloodyminded young ruffians! Och, ye'r not fit to be at liberty." And so saying, the hag turned upon the boys, and pushed them across to the farther end of the room. "Get in there while I fetch an officer. Oh! the horrible young vampires! sure an' I could see it in their eyes; they look'd as if they'd done it. Barney, you dog," she added, to the supposed deaf man, "seize the vagabones and the man sprung up and grasped the terrified culprits by the collar, while the woman passed out, closing the door after her.
It was in vain they screamed, and shrieked, and shouted, and prayed Barney to let them go; he was inexorable, and with brutal threats of violence insisted upon their making less noise, while he surveyed their garments and searched their pockets.
"Off with them togs," said Barney, sullenly, or I'll have ye hanged imajitly. Come, off with them, and here's a change in which the police won't know ye, my gallows-birds;" and as he spoke he picked from the dirty heaps upon the floor some ragged garments which had been cast aside as useless by a beggar.
At the bidding of Barney, who stimulated their activity by threats, the boys, frightened beyond measure, took off the clothes they wore, and attired themselves in the rags which were handed to them.
"By the powers," said Barney, with a horrid laugh, "it's of no use lettin' the jailor have such illigant garments as yourn, and I'm the boy that'll take care of 'em. It's of no sarvice at all lettin' ye be taken in dacent clothes, and the owld lady's gone for a constable, and ye'll be sure to be hanged for the murther."
"But we hav'nt committed murder, sir, we don't know how he was killed," said Gregory, imploringly.
"Who was killed?" inquired Barney; come, out with it." "Will you promise to let us go if we tell you all we know," asked Sam.
Oh, there it is now, you do know somethin', then," replied Barney, with a sneer. "We found him under the snow in the park," sobbed Gregory.
"That's all very fine is that tale, but that story won't save ye'r necks," said the
At this moment the old hag put her ugly face round the edge of the partly opened door, and with significant nods to Barney, urged him to make the best of his opportunities. "Don't let 'em escape, Barney dear-don't let 'em escape unless they make a clane breast of it. To give ye their clothes is the laste the young vagabones can do to get ye to save their necks; but the constables are comin', and if they have no wish to go to the gallows, they'll be quick in telling ye all about it. Here, Barney, try your scholarship on that," continued the woman, tossing in a printed placard headed "Ten Pounds Reward," which for a few moments engrossed the attention of the person addressed. "May be," added the hag with a grin at the boys, "it's a reward that's offered for catching the young rascals."
These remarks were not lost upon the terrified lads, who began to believe that their lives might be in danger. Again they prayed and besought, and again they promised to tell all they knew; nor did Barney neglect to avail himself of the occasion, but elicited a complete description of the position of the body in the park, and what dress it appeared to wear.
"A pair o' boots it had on, didn't ye say, and brown cloth trowsers?" asked Barney, looking over the hand-bill," and a cloak seemed to be wrapped round the legs?"
The boys again repeated all they knew. Every now and then they were interrupted by some gibberish slang which passed between Barney and the woman, and which seemed to afford the latter great satisfaction, and made her rub her dry horny hands together like two broad chips. Barney then passed out from the room into the shop, again closing the door after him, when Mrs. Mallalieu thus addressed Gregory and Sam:-"Ye see Barney's so violent, he'd have ye hanged for comin' here to offer to sell the dead man's clothes; but I've been persuadin' him to let you off before the constables come. Suppose ye tell him ye'll give him ye'r tother clothes, and say no more to anybody about the body ye've found. It's well for ye that it was Barney and me as you told it to, or else ye'd have been given to the constables at once."
"Oh yes, we'll give him the clothes," said both the boys at once.
"And mind ye say nothin' about the body to a livin' sowl."
The lads promised solemnly not breathe a syllable about the matter, and to give the clothes freely to Barney, for which the old hag said she would see what she could do for them, and opening the door, peeped into the shop.
'Quick, quick-he's out o' the shop; turn up the street, and niver look behind ye," she exclaimed, clapping her hands like wooden clappers together.
"By the mass!" said the woman, "I'd be sorry to miss the clothes, Barney, and may be there'll be somethin' better. Oh, ye'd be quite foolish to miss gettin' the clothes." "I'll go, I'll go," interrupted Barney. 'But what's to be done with these togs?" said he, pointing to the clothes of Samuel and Gregory.
savage pleasure at his appearance, and examined the cloak curiously. On the floor of the back room Barney unfolded the bundle in the light of the wood fire, and showed a handsome watch, chain, and seals, some money, a silver pencil-case, a heavy gold ring, a jewelled breast-pin, and a silk handkerchief.
"Ah! lave them to me, I'll mind them to-night-but in the manetime get into the park, Barney; make clane work with the gintleman, so as to be ready to apply for the reward to-morrow."
With these words they parted. About two o'clock the next morning Barney returned to Mrs. Mallalieu, who answered his soft rap at the door. He was dressed in a blue cloth cloak, and carried a small bundle under his arm. The old hag grinned with
"It's him, safe enough," said Barney, "and so we're sure o' the reward."
The boys were too glad to escape, and made the best use of their legs in flight- The old woman again examined the while Barney, rushing out of a passage cloak, and folding up the various articles close by, made a pretence of pursuing in the inside of it with the clothes of the them. Having, however, seen that the boys, she made them into a compact parcel direction which they took was towards the in silence. The two then, with the assistnorth of London, the thief-for he was no ance of a bar of iron, which Barney fetched other-turned his steps towards Mrs. Mal- out of the shop, raised the hot hearthlalieu's establishment, and was soon after-stone, and pushed the bundle into the wards in deep consultation with that piece cavity of considerable size which proved to of ugliness in what she facetiously called be beneath. The stone being returned to her back parlour. The conversation was its place, the crevices at its sides were conducted in whispers, but by the gestures filled with dust, and everything restored to of the pair, evidently referred to the hand- its original position. Mrs. Mallalieu and bill to which allusion has been made. It her agent soon afterwards retired to rest. contained an announcement that George Frederick Parker, of Zara Cottage, Uxbridge Road, was missing, and that a reward of ten pounds would be paid to any person who should give such information as would lead to his restoration to his friends if alive, or the discovery of his body if he was dead.
"But could you bring away no more, Barney?" inquired the woman.
"It wouldn't do," replied he, "'cos of the 'dentification; they couldn't 'dentify him."
At an early hour in the morning of the day after which Gregory and Sam had paid their visit to Mrs. Mallalieu, information was given by Barney to the parties named in the printed notice, that he had found the body of Mr. Parker; upon which, four constables and a superintendent were directed to accompany the man to the place indicated. Having arrived at the spot, the constables found beneath a heap of snow (which the superintendent remarked suspiciously to Barney, had been only recently disturbed), the body which had been described, and which was immediately removed, attended by a crowd of people, to a public-house near the gate of the park. The corpse was not much decomposed, and was immediately recognised by the servants from Zara Cottage as the body of their master, Mr. Parker, the secretary of the Grand Marine Joint-Stock Mining Company. It was remarked, at the same time, by them, that the jewellery which their master usually wore had been removed, and that there was a broad contused wound on the
forehead, as if some violence had caused the death of the deceased.
On the same evening a coroner's inquest was held, and the news having spread, many of the persons who had been anxious to find Parker and Meanwell attended. By one of these it was proved that Meanwell had been heard to vow vengeance against the deceased on the day when Parker had last been seen alive, and that he had left the office of the Company in a violent manner, with the declared purpose of finding him. The servants at the cottage swore, moreover, that Meanwell had been at their master's house in a state of violent agitation, and had ransacked his drawers and papers. These facts, taken together with the marks of violence on the body, and the removal of the jewellery which Parker was accustomed to display, induced the coroner to direct the jury to return a verdict of "Wilful Murder against Henry Meanwell," which they did accordingly.
watching had stolen the roses that were wont to mantle there, grew even paler still.
"I am glad," said the speaker with hesitation, in his blandest tones, and with a tear sparkling on his eyelid, "I am glad that a no less affectionate or considerate friend should tell you what has happened; but yet I would gladly have avoided saying what I am about to speak, did I not feel that a heart so gentle and loving as yours, dear Franky, deserves to be very kindly treated."
"Oh how dreadful you look to-night!" said Frank, trembling; "don't tell me if it is very horrible-and yet-is my papa dead?"
"If your father was accused of some great crime," said the surgeon solemnlythen stopped as the boy turned his large eyes full upon his face, exclaiming
"I would never believe that he wilfully did wrong-never!" The cheeks which were pale as snowdrops the moment before, grew crimson as he spoke.
Mr. Keen drew the lad nearer him, laid his white hand softly upon his head, and said, with some hesitation, "But, my dear Frank, suppose that appearances are against your father-suppose that in an evil hour of passion-suppose that-"
Misfortunes are blessings in disguise; and when, from a violent shock to body or mind, insensibility and delirium supervene, it is a merciful release from pain, which would otherwise be too agonizing to be endured with life. In Mrs. Meanwell's case indeed it was fortunate that she had been incapable of knowing what was going on around her, or the magnitude of her misfortunes. Her intervals of consciousness now became longer, and the medical attendant entertained hopes of the ultimate restoration of her mental faculties if her bodily strength did After a few moments-clasping the sur not give way. But the irritation of the geon's hand, and pale and gasping, the boy brain, which had been caused by the dis-looked up with a wild, but sorrowful exturbances of angry visitors, described in pression "There," said he, "I can the former chapter, had produced inflam-listen--now. I-I-know-oh! yes, matory symptoms, which rendered it neces-know-what you are going to say!" sary that the patient should lose a con- The words were almost choked by the siderable quantity of blood from the arm. violence of the boy's feelings; and the This, and other remedial measures, had re- benevolent man who listened was struck duced Mrs. Meanwell to a state of extreme dumb by the torrent of passionate emotion weakness. which seemed to rend the heart of the delicate speaker.
Oh, let me die! let poor mamma die! and let us both lie down together!" exclaimed Frank, passionately, as he sank on his knees beside the doctor, down whose cheeks the tears began to flow.
"I can-can guess," panted Frank, "the meaning of your-your changed looks. Oh! tell me-is it-is it nothe seemed to have no power of utterance for a few seconds, and then with a convul sive sob he screamed-" Parker ?"
Mr. Keen supported poor Frank in his arms, and pressed him to his breast in silence. He knew that he had no consolation to give which would not have seemed mockery at such a time. Afterwards by
Mr. Keen had attended the inquest, and seemed in no way surprised at the result. He visited his patient at a late hour the same night. With a melancholy countenance, and still lightless eye, at the conclusion of his inquiries about the patient, he beckoned Frank into an adjoining room, where he requested to be left alone.
"My dear boy," said the surgeon, taking Frank's hand, "another misfortune has befallen you."
The boy, from whose cheeks incessant
single words he led the mind of the boy gradually to understand that his father had been accused of the murder of Parker, and that there was an amount of circumstantial evidence against him which made the case a very doubtful one; indeed, that the most favourable result which could be expected, was a verdict of manslaughter when the case came to be tried.
"Mercy! mercy!" sobbed the boy, kneeling as if in prayer, with his hands pressed over his pale face; "mercy! mercy! let me and mamma die and sleep quietly together!"
"Events are in the hands of a loving and merciful God," said the surgeon, "but His purposes are not always plain. Trust Him, Frank; all things work together for good."
sit in her fixed eyes, that appeared to look far into the future; and a smile of blissful serenity lingered round her marble lips.
Frank knew his prayer was answered. His grief could find no words. In silence, and in breathless awe he softly took his mother's hand, and drawing it towards him, pressed it to his lips as he knelt beside her bed. Those who stood round, struck by the beauty of the act, knelt around the boy, and prayed also.
Thus in the spring-time of Frank Meanwell's life did the storms of
seem to gather round and overwhelm him; dashing down fondest hopes, and breaking the tenderest ties, the hurricane swept by.
"Mercy! mercy!" still repeated the boy fervently; "let my mother die! My father tried for murder-Oh, may she never see the day! Oh, let her die! let her die!"
His prayer was answered. A gossip, rejoicing in the important news she had to tell, called at the house, and in the hall below detailed, with loud garrulity, exaggerated particulars of the discovery of the body, the inquest, and the verdict. The door of the invalid's room had been left slightly open, and the words "Meanwell," "Parker," and "Inquest," fell upon her ear. "Hist! listen!" said she to the nurse, who sat sleepily in an easy chair beside her bed, but who was startled into wakefulness by the sudden rising of the invalid. "And so then they returned a verdict of wilful murder against Henry Meanwell," said the gossip below.
As if sympathising with what was passing within, a tempest roared without. With a voice of thunder it tore through the leafless oak, while ever and anon it fractured its stalwart limbs, and seemed to laugh in triumph at its victory over the king of the forest; with a solemn bass it chaunted o'er the dead through the sombre foliage of the cypress and the yew; with more martial music it roared, like the defiant shoutings of a giant excited with wine, through the huge arms of the budding elm; with the sound of dashing billows it rushed through the poplar and the ash, while it went whistling piteously through the pliant willow. Like a mighty army of invaders leaving desolation in its track, the vast mass of air swifter than a
bird swept across the land, hurling every obstacle from its path. At sea, ships were torn from their anchorage, and were shattered on the pitiless rocks ere yet the sailors in their fright could lighten their burden; on land, the lead was torn from the house tops, and showers of tiles made Steeples and tall chimneys rocked on their bases, or came crashing down, making frightful ruin in The great struggle between Winter and Spring was over; and the forwith tears on her white cheeks-like a dew-mer, with precipitous haste, fled from the laden lily. She had heard the worst, and it combat, roaring, and raving, and howling had killed her; yet in death there must away vengefully, leaving what ruins he have been some cheering assurance, some could to indicate his power. glimpse of a happier future for those she loved, for upon her face there was no ex
A wailing shriek of stricken agony from the sick room, followed immediately by the screaming of the nurse, announced some new calamity to the household, and brought Frank, followed by the surgeon in fresh dangerous the streets. alarm, back to his mother's bed. His prayer was indeed answered. She was dead! There she lay, with her blue their fall. veined hands crossed upon her bosom;
There were storms, too, of another kind. From all parts of the kingdom began to be pression of pain. She had seen the rainbow heard a cry for vengeance against the diin the cloud; a bright Faith seemed to rectors and all the active promoters of the
Grand Marine Joint-Stock Mining Com- to keep the stem (b) very cool, you will thereby condense the vapour which passes
pany. Members and peers denounced in Parliament the ruinous scheme, and demanded the punishment of the guilty parties. Under the influence of the pressure from without, the Commons passed a bill forbidding any of the directors to leave the kingdom, or dispose of their effects; and the House of Lords immediately afterwards resolved "that the conduct of the officials of the Company had been scandalous and fraudulent," &c. A
secret committee of the House gave in a report, impeaching Bamford, Parker, Billing, Meanwell, Chaplain, Byles, Oakleigh, and many other persons, as having been guilty of dishonest practices in connexion with the Company. It was decided that the whole available property of these men should be confiscated for the relief of their victims. Still the storm raged. The houses of some of the directors were at-ing of the candle. But whence comes the tacked by mobs, broken into, ransacked, water? However strange it may appearand set on fire. Effigies of Bamford and the flame produced it. Pure carbon, uniting Billing were burned in public thoroughfares; with oxygen, produces a red heat only; and the announcement of Parker's death, some other gas is therefore present when and of the verdict against Meanwell, was re- flame is seen. Moreover, carbon and oxyceived everywhere with savage satisfaction. gen by their union do not form water; we are thus led to suspect that the water pro(Continued at page 93.) duced by the flame of the candle must de-pend upon some gas before unknown to us. How shall we prove this? Availing our
GRANDFATHER WHITEHEAD'S selves of the fact that what is called gal
LECTURES TO LITTLE-FOLK.
vanic electricity has the power to decompose bodies through which it passes, let us try if we cannot separate the component parts of water. I have here what is called a galvanic battery, and as I do not like to show you any instrument without explaining its construction, I shall digress for a moment, to tell you the manner in which it is made. The outside vessel (A) is a
MY DEAR LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS.At a period of the year when bathing is a healthful and favourite amusement, it is not inappropriate that I should talk to youon the wonderful properties of water, and the extraordinary nature of its composition. Besides, in doing so, I redeem a promise as people ought always to endeavour to do.
along, which will be found to drop as a fluid from the end (a). The stem is kept cool to absorb the latent heat of the vapour which arises from the candle, and which has derived its warmth from the combustion going on in the flame. The fluid is nearly pure water. It absorbs, in condensing, a little of the carbonic acid gas, which, as you already know, is formed by the burn