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CHAPTER III.

WHEN Harry Blake was first impri- or protract the steady march of time; soned, he bore stoutly up against his and in due time the day of trial arfate. But stone walls, and close, pent- rived. It was a bright day in the auup chambers, with their stilling stag- tumn when skies are cloudless, and the nant air, and their murky twilight, are fields and trees were clad in rainbowglorious inventions for mildewing the liveries. It was an idle time, too, in heart, and breaking down strength and the country, and from far and near the hope; and they soon began to tell inhabitants of town and hamlet gaupon him. It might have been the thered in to see the sight. A man loss of his accustomed exercise in the with his life at stake, and struggling open air, or the want of the sight of the and battling for it, with so mighty and blue sky, and of his old home, or a shrewd an adversary as Law. It was dread of the fate which might become indeed a great sight. It was worth his, or,—and there were many who going miles to witness. Nor was it the believed this,-it might have been the less exciting that they knew the vicworkings of his own evil conscience, tim, and that many of them had that were making such wild work with hitherto admired his noble and upright him. But certain it is, that although character, and loved the man. But he when he was first confined he seemed had shed blood, and must pay the right glad as the day approached, in forfeit. which he would have the chance of The court-house was a venerable, meeting the charges against him in old stone building, standing by itself, in open court; yet as the time drew near, the midst of a green lawn; and at some his spirits drooped; and it was observ- distance from any house. But its solitude ed, that the more often he conversed was now broken by the hum of voices; with his lawyer, the more gloomy he for from every quarter people were became; and that the very mention of pouring in; old and young, females, and the trial drove the blood from his even children were there. Some were cheek. It was observed, too, that after speaking on indifferent subjects; of the these interviews he walked moodily up times; of the difficulties with England; and down the room, with his arms of the state of the crops; and one old folded, and muttering to himself, as man, broken-down and tottering, of his those do who have heavy burdens on fields—of what he intended to plant in their hearts, and that his face was them on the following year; and of pale and wasted, and his look troubled. young trees which he had set out; of At other times he remained for hours the pleasure he anticipated, in sitting with his arms crossed on the table, and under their shade when they should his forehead resting upon them, in such become great, and tall, and overshaddeep thought that he did not move owed his house. “They were saplings when persons came in. There were now; but they would grow fast; and many among his friends who attributed in a few years, would be quite shady;" his changed appearance to his confine- and the old fellow laughed, and shook ment, and mental anxiety as to the re- his head, and rubbed his hands, as he sult of his trial, and still persisted in thought of it. In three weeks the soil their belief of his innocence; but then was on his coffin; and when those trees there were those who thought other were grown, they had passed into the wise, and who fancied that remorse possession of strangers; and the hands had begun its work, and that as the day that planted them were dust. of retribution approached, Harry's Some were talking of the murder; bold heart, which had hitherto borne and of Wickliffe; and of what a pest him up, was failing him. They said it he had been to the country round, so was an evil omen to see him sinking quarrelsome; and what a pity it was thus, and giving up as if he were als that a fine young fellow like Harry ready a doomed man; they did not like Blake should have to die for having it-it seemed a harbinger of a darker slain a man like him. Then they spoke fate.

of Mary Lincoln; and one of them lowNeither hope nor dread can hasten ered his voice, and said, that he heard

that this was killing her. He had seen sel for the prosecution rose to open his the doctor, who had been at Mr. Lin- cause, they were so silent, that they coln's twice a day, since Harry Blake's seemed not even to breathe. imprisonment, and he had said, that he He dwelt briefly, but clearly, on the was afraid it would go hard with her; facts which are already known. He she was very ill. Then the conversa- stated that he should prove that, on the tion was interrupted by the arrival of day of the murder, the prisoner and more new comers. In another part of Wickliffe had been together at a lathe lawn, an old man was leaning on a vern, not far from Schenectady; that a cane, addressing a crony, who seemed quarrel had arisen between them, as old and time-worn as himself. and blows had passed; that the pri

“Ah! neighbor Williams,” said he, soner had knocked Wickliffe to the “this is a very sad business—a very floor; that Wickliffe had fled, and that sad business. I knew his father before the prisoner had only been detained him; and I have known Harry since from following him by force, and had he was a mere baby-who'd 'a thought then called all there present to witness it of him?-who'd 'a thought it ?" that he would be revenged on that man

Neighbor Williams shook his head; for the wrong done him, if it cost him as much as to say, that nobody would his life; that he had finally been rehave thought it; but seemed to think leased by those who held him, on profurther expression of opinion unneces- mising not to follow Wickliffe, but ihat sary, for he said nothing.

he had positively refused to promise “He was a warm-hearted little boy; that the quarrel should drop there. and a very likely man—a very likely That shortly afterwards he left the man,” continued the first speaker. “It house alone, taking the path which grieves me to see him here. It does, Wickliffe had already taken ; that two indeed, neighbor Williams.”

of the persons who had been at the tavAgain neighbor Williams shook his ern with him shortly afterwards left the head; probably to intimate, that it inn and took the same road which he grieved him too; but as before he re- had taken; that on arriving at a very mained silent.

lonely part of it they were alarmed by It is a matter of some uncertainty, the cries of a person in distress, and how long neighbor Williams might uttering the words, “Mercy, mercy, have been thus entertained by his com- Harry!” That these persons galloped panion, had not their conversation been to the spot from which the sound seeminterrupted by a general buzz of “ Here ed to proceed, and found a man kneelhe comes!" The next moment, Harrying at the side of another just murderBlake walked through the crowd, with ed, and grasping in his hand a knife an officer on each side of him. He which was driven to the haft in the was exceedingly pale; but his face breast of his victim; that the murdered was full of calm determination, and his man was Hiram Wickliffe, the person step firm and strong. He looked nei- with whom the prisoner had just quarther to the right nor left; and, appa- relled, and on whom he had sworn to rently without noticing a soul, entered be avenged, and that the person kneelthe court-house. The crowd gathered ing at his side was Harry Blake, the closely at his heels; and the next in prisoner. There were footprints about stant were striving and struggling and the road, where there had evidently fighting, to obtain a good position in been a struggle, and these footprints the court-room.

had been examined and compared with Harry Blake seemed quite collected; the foot of the prisoner, and were found and the crowd felt somewhat disap- to coincide in size. pointed, that a man who had commit. He stated his case concisely, yet ted a murder should look like other clearly, and seemed to think the facts men. Some whispered that he was a sufficiently strong, to require but little hardened reprobate, not to show some exertion of eloquence or ingenuity on remorse; and others said, that none his part. It is needless to linger on but an innocent man could appear so the detail of the testimony confirming calm and composed. There was a the case, which the lawyer had stated great deal of whispering and talking in opening. It was most clearly proved, among them, whilst the jury were get- although every effort was made, by a ting empannelled; but when the coun severe and strict cross-examination, to

embarrass and confuse the witnesses. effort was made by his lawyer to prove It had been observed, when Walton his general good character, his amiable and Grayson were called, that the pri- disposition, and the little probability of soner became exceedingly pale; and his being guilty of a crime like this. when Grayson swore that he saw him He felt a strong inclination to admit stab Wickliffe, he compressed his lips, the murder, and to attribute it to a as if a sudden pain had shot through blow struck in the heat of anger in a him, and clenched his fingers toge- renewal of the quarrel which had been ther, and bent his head down; nor interrupted at the tavern; but Blake did he look up until Grayson had left had positively forbidden a defence of the stand. The old man was terribly that nature, declaring that it was agitated, and his testimony was drawn false; and that if he attempted to asfrom him by piecemeal. He tottered sert what was untrue, he would conas he left the stand; and as he passed tradict him in the open court. And where Blake sal, he muttered in a low after a long and labored and hopeless tone:

speech, the lawyer sat down. “ I couldn't help it, Harry-indeed I The reply of the counsel for the procouldn't; for it was the truih."

secution, and the charge of the judge, Blake looked paipsully at him, but were both conclusive against him; and made no reply.

without leaving their seats the jury He had little or no desence to make. returned a verdict of—“Guilty of He could not contradict the facts. An Murder.

CHAPTER 1V.

)

When Mary Lincoln came to herself, threw herself upon her bed! how busy
she would have gone back to Harry that little head was! how jt teem-
Blake's cell; but her father was afraid ed with hopes, and fears, and plans,
that it would prove too much for her and schemes to aid Blake! how confi-
strength, and he persuaded her to de- dent she was of his innocence, and that
fer it until the morrow, promising that he would be acquitted, without a sha-
if she were then well he would accom- dow upon his name! Hour after hour
pany her. She made but feeble objec- passed while she lay there. Once or
tion, for she felt heavy-hearted and iwice the door opened, and her father,
almost reckless. Her father led her or one of the females of the family,
down the steps, and placed her in his looked in, and seeing her so quiet, sup-
wagon, and they drove off. It was a posed that she slept, and closing the
gay sunshiny day; and parts of the door gently, went out.
road which they had to pass were Sleep came at last; but it was trou-
thickly settled, and there were people bled and broken; and when morning
scattered along it, and in the fields. dawned, she found a woman watching
The news of the murder, and of Harry at her bedside, and learned that she
Blake's arrest, had already got wind, was in a high fever. Still she made
and as they passed, those who knew light of it, and got up; and although
them stopped to look at them, and she felt sharp pains shooting through
shook their heads, and said, “ that this her limbs, and her head swimming,
day would be a sad one to some of old she contrived to dress hersell, and to
George Lincoln's folks; that it was a go down stairs. In vain the nurse re-
pity so heavy a blow should fall on monstrated. She replied that she had
one so young as she was-she was a promised to go to Harry Blake that
mere child-God bless her !"

day, and that she would keep her proMary Lincoln sat quietly by her fa- mise; but when she reached the hall, ther's side, not noticing those whom she tottered so, that she was compelled they met, nor speaking until she reach- to abandon her intention, for the pried 'her home. Her father lifted her son was a long way off, and to admit out of the wagon in his arms, and ac- that her strength was gone. Well, if companying her up stairs, told her to she could not see him, she could write; be of good heart, and left her to herself. and going to her own room and lockWhat a chaos of bewildering thoughts ing the door, she wrote a long letter. was in that young girl's brain as she It was a very cheerful one, full of hope VOL. XI-NO, LIII.

66

and gay anticipations, and of plans and face. He said that his patient was deprojects to be carried into effect when cidedly better; she had little fever and he should be once more free. And she was rational; only keep her quiet and had so much to show him, and so much calm, and she would do well. for him to do then. She begged him It was a morning of great excitement to keep up his spirits, for he was sure to Mr. Lincoln, however, for it was to be acquitted. She felt very san- that of Blake's trial. He had concealed guine of that; and excepting that she this from his daughter, and had encould not see him every day, she felt deavored to encourage her hopes, but no uneasiness as to the result, and was there was something in his subdued happy-quite happy. She folded the manner and his attempts at cheerfulletier, sealed and directed it; and with ness, as he spoke that morning of her own hands gave it to the person herself and Harry, and put aside the who was waiting for it. She bade curtain of her bed and pressed his lips him, in a cheerful tone and with a to her sunken forehead, and whispered bright smile, give it to Harry him- her to keep up her spirits and all would self-to say that she was well-quite be well, which made her feel more diswell, and in good spirits; that she had pirited than ever. been unable to go to the prison that It was late in the afternoon, that day, but would come to him to-mor- George Lincoln was sitting in the hall

, row. She waved her hand gaily to when he heard a horseman galloping the man as he galloped off. Who in hot haste up the lane. He had not would have thought that the poor lit- dared to leave his daughter that day; tle heart of her who was keeping up but a friend who attended the trial had so brave a face was breaking, and that promised to send him immediate word in a minute from that time, she was of the verdict, so that, whatever it was, locked in her own room, with her face he might divulge it carefully to his buried in her hands, shedding the bit- daughter. He started up and hurried terest tears she had ever wept in her to the door; as he did so, the horselife? What sad and dreary thoughts man dashed into the yard, and at the came over her then-fears like sha- top of his voice bawled out:dows, which she could not define nor “ They've found Harry Blake guilty grasp, seemed flitting around her, hem- of murder, by God!" ming her in on every side, until she The old man shook his hand at him, felt that there was no hope left; and and made signs for him to be quiet; and that he and she were parted for ever. fearful that his words might have Oh! how forlorn and helpless she reached his daughter, without waiting would be if he were gone! How lone- to hear the particulars, hurried up to ly the world would be, to live on, day her room; and there he saw what made after day, week after week, and months him through life a sadder man than he and years, and never see him again, had ever been before ; for, stretched nor liear his voice; and to know that on the floor, directly under the winhe was in his grave; that as long as dow, to which she had evidently bech she lived, though hundreds might be attracted by the arrival of the horseabout her, and love her, and do all that man, his daughter lay. A thin stream they could to make her happy, still of blood was trickling from her mouth, that he would never be among them and her eyes were closed. He caught again. No, no! it could not be-it her in his arms-a faint struggling could not be. She felt that it would breath escaped her lips. He thought, kill her.

too, that she murmured the name of The day passed heavily, and as night Harry Blake; but it might have beea was closing in, an answer came from fancy, for her breath ceased, and when Blake; but it came to one whom it the loud cries of her father had brought could not comfort, for Mary Lincoln to his assistance other members of the was delirious.

household, there was nothing to be Several weeks passed, and still she done, but to lay on the bed the lifeless balanced between life and death; but body of her who had been the pride of one morning, the physician came down thai old man's heart ! stairs from her, 'with a smile on his

CHAPTER V.

On the night preceding the execution, versation gradually wandered off to in the bar-room of the Blue Horse, Harry Blake and his trial, and his apwere assembled half-a-dozen men, proaching death. most of whom had been there at the "Don't you think they might pardon time of Blake's quarrel with Wick- him ?" inquired Caleb Grayson, who liffe. A dull and melancholy group. was one of the party, and who had they were. It might have been the been sitting among them, without takabsence of the jolly face and merrying any part or showing any interest voice of old Garret Quackenboss, who in their conversation, until it touched was gone to Albany, to lay in a stock of upon the subject of Blake's execution ; subsiantials, to keep up the well-known but then he seemed keenly alive to it, gastronomic character of the Blue and with his features working with Horse; or it might have been the great intense anxiety, he repeated his quessize of the bar-room, with its murky tion: “ Don't you think they might? corners, whose darkness was scarcely I wish they would. Do tell me, some relieved by the dim light which flick- one. What do you think?" ered up from a dying fire, aided only I heard that Mary Lincoln's father by the sickly flame of a single candle ; did his best for him, but it was of no or it might have been the approaching use,” replied one of those addressed. end of one who had so lately been But you must not grieve about it so. among them, that had this chilling ef- against him. Even Harry said so himfect on their spirits. But certain it is, self." that rarely had the bar-room of the You couldn't help being a witness Blue Horse contained so dull a party. The old man's face brightened, and

Somehow or other, they had grad- something like a smile passed over it, ually drawn close to the fire, and as as he said: “Did Harry say so? Well, the night had closed in, and the wind I'm glad of that, I'm glad of that; for railed about the old house, their con- it makes me very sad when I think versation had assumed a sombre char- that it was I and Walton who put him acter, and they whispered in each where he is indeed it does." others' ears, strange stories of robber “ It was no fault of yours," said the ies, murders, midnight assassinations, man, " and you mustn't let it trouble and even of ghosts; and on this subject you. I'm sure I should have done as one of them was positive, having had you did. Ah! here comes some one." a private ghost in his own family for The last words were called forth by years—an aunt in the fourth degree, by the sound of a horse clattering up to ihe mother's side, who haunted a hen the house. Then the loud voice of a house on his father's place; and what man was heard bawling out for some

remarkable, after her last one to take his horse ; and in a few mivisitation, ten eggs, and the old game- nutes a tall man, unknown to them all, cock, the patriarch of the barn-yard, entered the room, with a short whip in were missing ; showing that ghosts his hand. There was little in his feawere partial to eggs, and not particu- tures, or the appearance of his person, lar as to the age of poultry. Another of to encourage familiarity; for his comthem mentioned in a confidential way plexion was swarthy and sallow, and to the whole company, that his grand- his expression anything but prepossessfather had walked a mile, in a dark ing; and his dress was coarse and wood, one very stormy night, in com- soiled, as if from hard travel. pany with a ghost, which behaved in a He paused a moment, and looked very civil and gentlemanlike manner; about him as he entered the room; and so much so, that the old gentleman up then striding across it, drew a chair dito the day of his death asserted, that rectly in front of the fire, in the midst ghosts were a very ill-used class of of the astonished group, and held his beings, and that, for his part, he wished feet to the blaze. that many people who pretended to be “A threatening night, friends," said their betters only were as good as he at length, addressing them. they were. From this topic the con There was something in the stern

was

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