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"Not exactly," answered he;

suspicions."

"And I," said Alice.

"but I have my

"It looks," continued Tom," it looks as if he

had decoyed me away."

"Was he killed?" asked Alice.

"No, he lives still," answered her husband.. "Where is he?"

"Downstairs."

"Is there any chance of his recovery?" "None," answered Tom; "the medical man says there is no hope. He has somewhat rallied, however, and is able to converse, though feebly. He has sent for his lawyer, and wishes to see us by and bye. It is his last wish, he says, and he hopes we will grant it before he dies."

“Have you seen him, then?" asked Alice.

"Not yet," replied Tom; "he declined to see. me until the lawyer came."

About an hour later, Mr. Fussle's arrival was announced. He remained a few minutes in conversation with his fast sinking client, and then bowed himself into Tom's presence with obsequious civility.

"Will you have the condescension, my

I mean, Sir," said the little man, checking himself,

S

significantly," to step into his Lordship? I fear he has not long to live."

Tom drew his wife's arm through his own, and led her into the sick room. The wounded man was still extended on the couch, where they had laid him down on the previous evening. The stained shirt and under-clothes, which they had not ventured to remove, were covered with a blanket, and his head was supported by pillows. The fine eyes, whose varied glance had so often fascinated courts and drawing-rooms, now expressed anguish and remorse, and his hair hung down, lank and dishevelled, beside features which were wan and writhen with suffering. The hand of death was on him, and it was evident that the respite would be but short. Feebly turning towards the door, as the slight disturbance caused by Tom's entrance aroused him, a faint tinge of colour overspread his features at recognizing the new comers.

In silence they stood near the bed. The dying man passed his hand over his brow, which was damp with a cold and clammy perspiration, and seemed to be collecting his thoughts.

"Come nearer," he said, at length, "I am faint and weary, and my voice may not reach you. Come nearer, unless you fear to approach me. God knows, I am harmless now."

"Allow me to arrange your pillows, my Lord," said Fussle, officiously.

"Be silent," answered Mansfield, somewhat hastily," and trouble not a dying man with titles and dignities not his own. Yes, not his own," continued he, again addressing Tom and Alice. "Not his own. Thomas Mansfield," he said, solemnly"start not, for such is your name-you have been cruelly wronged; though, to do myself some justice, your wrongs did not all spring from me. Let me, on my death-bed, repair the years of injustice you have suffered, and clear my conscience of the sin and crime which burden it. I feel now better disposed towards you than ever in my life before. May God grant me the pardon I never can expect from you! And yet you are good; I am about to make you happy, and perhaps the memory of Henry Mansfield, when dead, may be less odious than the thought of him whilst living. Speak not," he said, quickly; "I know, I feel that you forgive me; but let me first earn it by the confession I am about to make. Fussle, draw near, and you," pointing to his accomplice of the previous night, " you too."

As he finished speaking, his head again fell back, and he lay quite motionless, with closed eyes.

"I am afraid he is gone," said the doctor, placing his finger on the wounded man's pulse.

"No," said Mansfield, opening his eyes again; "but I am weary, weary; my head is weak." And then, after a few minutes' thought, he spoke to the following effect. But his speech was broken and interrupted by frequently recurring exhaustion. And we will put his narrative into our own words in the next and concluding chapter.

CHAPTER XX.

HE first time I met you at Littleton's house," said Mansfield, "there was something in your appearance which struck me with astonishment.

You

were then painting your wife's portrait. From that moment I hated you with all the bitterness of my spirit, and resolved to plan your destruction. The reason of my hatred I could not then tell. I had never seen you before, nor had I the faintest conception who you were. I was jealous, too, of your position so near her whom I intended for my wife, not that I had reason to suppose your acquaintance could ever become more intimate than it then was. When, after a time, I saw, as I could not fail to see, that love had sprung up between you, my hatred was redoubled. I never dreamt it possible that the poor painter could be accepted in preference to the brilliant and elegant heir to a barony; but still it was gall and bitterness to think you could be preferred for one instant to me.

that

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