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put forth all her energies. By a strong effort, which severely wrung her tender wrists, she broke from the bonds which confined her arms, and wrestled violently. Surprised by this unexpected resistance, her captors both relinquished their hold, and Alice, unable to support herself on her feet, which were still bound, fell heavily.

"Help, help!" she cried, as the men stooped to raise her.

Quick, as if he had risen from the earth, the tall dark figure of a police constable stood over her. She saw something cleave the air, heard a dull crushing blow, and one of her enemies fell like a stone. Seeing the fate of his companion, the other flung aside his long cloak and closed with his powerful adversary, but not before the constable had aimed another and still heavier blow. But the stroke had been misdirected; it missed its object, and the force of the action wrenched the truncheon from the holder's grasp, and hurled it several yards away.

And now a struggle for life and death ensued. The constable was by far the weightier and more athletic man, but his superiority of muscular power was counterbalanced by the youth and activity of his opponent. The issue of the contest hung long in even scales. Now one, now the other, reeled or bent back beneath the

weight or skill of his adversary. The combatants were well matched and the result still remained doubtful. The officer of the law at length began to lose breath, and his younger adversary, who had practised all the arts of an experienced wrestler, now redoubled his efforts to throw his heavy and powerful foe. On a sudden the mask freed his right arm, bright steel gleamed aloft in the moonlight, and then down it came, plunging deep into the constable's arm. Again the hand rose. Again the weapon quivered in the air, and again it descended with more fatal aim. But the blow was caught in its fall, the weapon was wrenched by force from the hand which held it, and buried in the owner's side. The struggle was over at last. The wounded man relinquished his hold, pressed. both hands to his side, reeled back, and dropped heavily to the ground.

Without waiting to ascertain the condition of his worsted foes, the officer helped Alice to her feet, and assisted her into the house, more dead than alive.

"Come, come," said he, in a tone of rough encouragement," you must arouse yourself. This is no time for fainting. These men must not lie in the road and die. They must be brought in here, for a time, at all events. There's no other house near."

Her deliverer's voice and words, though rough, reinvigorated her. She dressed quickly, and having bathed her face plentifully with cold water, once more returned to the scene of action below stairs.

Both her former captors were by this time brought in. The man who had been struck down at the outset was sitting, handcuffed and powerless, in one corner of the apartment. He seemed to have partially only recovered from the blow which had felled him, for his look was disturbed and his eyes wild. A handkerchief soaked with blood was bound round his head, and as Alice entered he shunned her glance and dropped his chin on his bosom with a determined and sullen expression. Opposite him lay his companion in defeat, stretched at full length on the couch, still, at last, and inanimate. And before him stood the constable, bandaging the arm which, his prostrate adversary had severely wounded. Glancing hastily around, her flesh seemed to creep and contract as she saw the blood-stained head, livid face, and savage expression of the manacled culprit, who had been so roughly handled by the arm of the law at the commencement of the encounter. Turning, however, from the sight, and observing the deep gash her deliverer had received in her defence, she stepped

forward to offer her assistance, but in doing so the features of him who lay on the couch came in view.

"Great God!" she exclaimed, clapping her hands together and shaking in every limb.

She spoke no more, but stood gazing, speechless, on the well-known face.

The young, noble, and talented Henry Mansfield lay before her.

The painful occurrences of the night, coupled with the shock which her nerves sustained at finding in the midnight ruffian, who would have robbed her of liberty and virtue, her former suitor and friend, Lord Esdale, were too severe a trial for her strength. The officer, observing that she seemed faint, stepped forward just in time, and received her in his arms as she sank back.

When consciousness returned it was daylight, and the dear accustomed face of her husband hung over her, and his lips spoke consolation and encouragement.

As memory gradually recalled the circumstances of the previous day, and the past night, it occurred to her as surprising that Tom should have thus speedily returned. He understood the look with which she regarded him.

"To-morrow, Alice, dear," said he, soothingly, “to-morrow, I will tell you all.”

"All what?" answered she,inquiringly, arousing herself and resting on her elbow; "I would rather hear it now; I am quite recovered and able to listen, indeed I am."

"Well," said Tom," I reached Derby yesterday evening, but could not divest my mind of strange suspicions which had taken complete possession of me. I directly made inquiries for the address given in the letter, but no one was able to give me the information I sought. I bethought me of a directory, and eagerly read through the pages with ever-increasing anxiety; but neither the name, nor house, nor any name resembling them was to be found. My anxiety grew painful. It suddenly occurred to me that on my way to town yesterday I had passed a man whose face I knew, and who seemed to be scrutinizing me. I felt convinced of some foul play, and ran back with all speed to the railway station, just in time to catch the last uptrain for London. I never rested one moment until I found myself again at my own cottage door."

"It is very strange," said Alice, musingly, when Tom had finished speaking. "Can count for it?"

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