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were stained with every indescribable hue that long exposure to the weather, damp, and rottenness, can impart to tenements composed originally of the roughest and coarsest materials. The windows were patched with paper, and stuffed with the foulest rags; the doors were falling from their hinges; poles, with lines on which to dry clothes, projected from every casement; and sounds of quarrelling or drunkenness issued from every room.
“The solitary oil-lamp in the centre of the court had been blown out, either by the violence of the wind, or the act of some inhabitant who had excellent reasons for objecting to his residence being rendered too conspicuous; and the only light which fell upon the broken and uneven pavement was derived from the miserable candles that here and there twinkled in the rooms of such of the more fortunate residents as could afford to indulge in so expensive a luxury. A gutter ran down the centre of the alley, all the sluggish odors of wlich had been called forth by the rain ; and, as the wind whistled through the old houses, the doors and shutters creaked upon their hinges, and the windows shook in their frames with a violence which every moment seemed to threaten the destruction of the whole place.
" The man whom we have followed into this den walked on in the darkness; sometimes stumbling into the main gutter, and at others into some branch repositories of garbage which had been formed by the rain,
until he reached the last house in the court. The door, or rather what was left of it, 'stood ajar for the convenience of the numerous lodgers; and he proceeded to grope his way up the old and broken stair, to the attic story.
“ He was within a step or two of his room-door, when it opened ; and a girl, whose miserable and emaciated appearance was only to be equalled by that of the candle which she shaded with her hand, peeped anxiously out.
“. Is that you, father ? ' said. the girl.
666 Who else should it be?' replied the man gruffly. • What are you trembling at? It's little enough that I have had to drink to-day; for there's no drink without money, and no money without work. What the d-l's the matter with the girl ? '
"I am not well, father- not at all well,' said the girl, bursting into tears.
566 Ah!' replied the man, in the tone of a person who is compelled to admit a very unpleasant fact, to which he would rather remain blind if he could. You must get better somehow, for we must have money. You must go to the parish doctor, and make him give you some medicine. They're paid for it, d-n'em. What are you standing before the door for? Let me come in, can't you?'
Father,' whispered the girl, shutting the door behind her, and placing herself before it, · William has come back.'
666 Who?' said the man, with a start.
66. Hush!' replied the girl: William, Brother William.'
666 And what does he want?' said the man, with an effort at composure, - money? meat? drink? He's come to the wrong shop for that, if he does. Give me the candle; give me the candle, fool: I ain't going to hurt him. He snatched the candle from her hand, and walked into the room.
Sitting on an old box, with his head resting on his hand, and his eyes fixed on a wretched cinder-fire that was smouldering on the hearth, was a young man of about two and twenty, miserably clad in an old coarse jacket and trousers. He started up when his father entered.
66 • Fasten the door, Mary,' said the young man hastily, – fasten the door. You look as if you didn't know me, father. It's long enough since you drove me from home: you may well forget me.'
“6 And what do you want here now?' said the father, seating himself on a stool, on the other side of the fireplace. What do you want here now?'
“Shelter,' replied the son: “I'm in trouble; that's enough. If I'm caught I shall swing; that's certain. Caught I shall be, unless I stop here; that's as certain. And there's an end of it.'
- You mean to say you ve been robbing or murdering, then ?' said the father.
“Yes, I do,' replied the son. • Does it surprise you, father?' He looked steadily in the man's face; but he withdrew his eyes, and bent them on the ground.
“Where's your brothers ?' he said, after a long pause.
*** Where they'll never trouble you,' replied the son: •John's gone to America, and Henry's dead.'
56. Dead!' said the father, with a shudder which even he could not repress. “Dead,' replied the young man.
• He died in my arms, - shot like a dog, by a gamekeeper. He staggered back: I caught him, and his blood trickled down my hands. It poured out from his side like water. He was weak, and it blinded him ; but he threw himself down on his knees, on the grass, and prayed to God, that, if his mother was in heaven, he would hear her prayers for pardon for her youngest son. “ I was her favorite boy, Will,” he said ; "and I am glad to think now, that when she was dying, though I was a very young child then, and
my little heart was almost bursting, I knelt down at the foot of the bed, and thanked God for having made me so fond of her as to have never once done any thing to bring the tears into her eyes. O Will! why was she taken away, and father left ?” There's his dying words, father,' said the young man: make the best you can of 'em. You struck him across the face, in a drunken fit, the morning we ran away; and here's the end of it
“ The girl wept aloud; and the father, sinking his head upon his knees, rocked himself to and fro.
“If I am taken,' said the young man, 'I shall be carried back into the country, and hung for that man's murder. They cannot trace me here, without your assistance, father. For aught I know, you may give me up to justice; but, unless you do, here I stop until I can venture to escape abroad.'
- For two whole days, all three remained in the wretched room, without stirring out.
On the third evening, however, the girl was worse than she had been yet, and the few scraps of food they had were gone. It was indispensably necessary that somebody should go out; and, as the girl was too weak and ill, the father went, just at night-fall.
“ He got some medicine for the girl, and a trifle in the way of pecuniary assistance. On his way back, ho earned sixpence by holding a horse; and he turned homewards with enough money to supply their most pressing wants for two or three days to come. He had to pass the public-house. He lingered for an instant, walked past it, turned back again, lingered once more, and finally slunk in. Two men whom he had not observed were on the watch. They were on the point of giving up their search in despair, when his loitering attracted their attention; and, when he entered the public-house, they followed him.
66. You'll drink with me, master,' said one of them, proffering him a glass of liquor.