Page images
PDF
EPUB

equipment and subsequent disbursements, had reduced him to the miserable pittance of a few shillings. Let him fly whithersoever he would, and by whatever means he might attempt his escape, money was indispensable; and this article of vital necessity he could only obtain from his uncle. Irritated as he doubtless must be against him for having acted in a manner so diametrically opposed to his own expressed opinions and wishes, and especially since it had brought him into so perilous a predicament, he felt confident that Goldingham's purse would be gladly placed at his disposal if it could conduce in the smallest degree to his safety. To him, therefore, he determined to have recourse in the first instance; but even in this there was considerable difficulty.—He felt that he had acted a part sufficiently prominent in the late rebellion, to make it probable that the house would be beleaguered with spies and soldiers for his apprehension, so that his uncle might become dangerously, perhaps fatally, compromised by his opening a communication with him, either in his own person, or through the instrumentality

tender jogging towards him in the cart which

hat over his face, and assuming a clownish walk and dialect to avoid recognition, ventured to of a letter for him. Not contented with giving hin the information he sought, the communi

stop him and inquire the way to Mr. Golding

cative fish-dealer stated that the gentleman in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

oi others. What course to adopt where none
suggested itself without some startling objec-
tion

, he was utterly at a loss to determine; he
therefore resolved to approach as near to Gold-
ingham Place as he could with safety, to recon-
notre the premises strictly, to pick up all the
information in his power, and to act according
1o circumstances and the expediency of the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

woment.

Thus determined he pushed stoutly forward, und without encountering any material incident bad arrived within a few miles of his uncle's residence, when he beheld Hewson the fish

the used for the conveyance of his commodity
into the interior. Knowing this man to be a

gossip, Reuben drew the flap of his

professed

[ocr errors]

ham's house

, pretending that he was the bearer

sharp look out for the young gentleman; and its to be subjected to the scrutiny of the patrolling the forward, looking eagerly as he advanced for a

question had been arrested and carried before ital de the magistrates, though he was now out upon bail, on account of his nephew, one Mr. Reuben érzéin, Apsley, having joined the Brummagem King —that soldiers were quartered in his house, 'ear and stationed about the grounds, keeping a dekens that strong parties of the militia, through one of which he had just passed, were patrolling te make the road for several miles round Lyme,

with orders to arrest all stragglers who could not give a good account of themselves. He would have continued retailing the news some time longer but that Reuben, by no means anxious party, hastily bade him good evening, and as soon as he lost sight of the cart struck into a narrow cross road, along which he walked at a

Not many minutes had elapsed, however, when he caught the sound of horses' hoofs behind him, and not doubting that it was some of the mounted officers of the militia, he ran rapidly

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

brisk pace.

[ocr errors]

baring admitted light enough to ascertain that

reply; "it belongs to Lord Trevanian, a tantivi

would give up his own father to be hung if he

hiding-place. None offered that presented even a chance of concealment, but on one side of him be beheld a stately mansion, flanked with a high wall, which he hastily skirted, intending to take refuge behind the building. At the farther angle of this enclosure there was a handsame summer-house, of two stories; the

upper one, which appeared to communicate with a garden on the inside, was furnished with a low window that overlooked the country, while a door opened from the lower room into the fields en the outside. It was ajar-he entered, and

[ocr errors]

the place was used as a wood-house, he drew the door after him, and ensconced himself, as ell as the darkness would allow, behind a pile of faggots and billets. Here he presently caught the trampling of horses, and heard one of the riders say to the other, “ Shall we ring the bell and search the house?"

man, not for the world," was the

[ocr errors]

“ Sblood!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Тогу,

a prerogative man, a high-flyer, one who

VOL. I.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

had in any way been aiding or abetting his Bira mingham Majesty. His son, the Captain, was with Lord Lumley when they seized him; he is coming back to Lyme with the troops he com: mands, and if he should get scent of a rebel here at Harpsden Hall, he would presently blow him out of one of Kirk's petards into Dorchester gaol.” Their conversation now became inaudible, and Reuben was left to his own rer flections, which filled him with a deeper des pondency than he had yet experienced. He was hurt beyond measure that his uncle should have been subjected to so much disgrace and vexation upon his account. His scheme of gets ting money from him to facilitate his escape, was rendered utterly abortive by Hewson's information that Goldingham Place was occupied by soldiers, and beset with spies ; - both sea and shore were strictly guarded by night and day : the roads were covered with patrolling parties, from one of which he had just had a most narrow escape; the whole country was up in arms against the fugitive rebels ; and he had taken present refuge on the premises of a relentless

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »