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to tell you—but if you would plase to go to her in the garden—not on the pond side, but on the other.”
“ I will go to her shortly, Deborah,” said Arthur Lee.
Deborah's invention was now at a stand. She was obliged to leave the room, and as she went out, she muttered to hersell
“ He is sure to be seen by Mr. Lee, and I'll be bound he'll say
who it was let him up to the chamber. Sure and if he had a little raal Irish acuteness in his brain he needn't tell at-all-at-all. Now I'd like to know how I shall get out of the bog in which I've thrust myself over the head and shouldhers. It's true, if I'm put out of this place,” she added, “ I'd have very little throuble to find another, where I'd get as much wages, and as good lodging, and boarding, the year round, as I have here, and no better, for there's no better to be had in any farm in the Canadas; and go where I might, from Lake Huron to the St. Lawrence, I should be happier no where than I am here. So I'll just listen as near the door as I dare, and if I hear them talkin' I'll run to his honour the Pastor, and tell hiin how it happened that I let Mr. Clinton into this house, and if that doesn't get me out of the scrape I'm in, nothing will, and with the lave of the saints I must seek another habitation."
Clinton was most uneasy. He feared that his breathing would betray him, or that he should be compelled to cough, or sneeze, or make some movement. of the room in which he lay was quite in dark shade, so that unless Arthur came round to the back of the bed he was not likely to be seen ; but every instant he expected that Arthur would come round, and he inwardly
cursed his folly in having placed himself in such a situation.
Arthur leaned in silence over the coffin of his sister, and Clinton heard his sobs growing louder and louder, until the mourner's tears fell in a copious shower on the face and bosom of the dead. Such grief, from such a quiet, sterling character, as Arthur, was too sacred for any eye or ear but that of heaven, and Clinton would have given any thing to have been out of the room. Yielding, as he always did, to the strongest impulse which acted on him, he arose to his feet, and, with assumed ease, walked near the door.
Arthur's nerves were unstrung by the indulgence of sorrow, and, though not inclined to superstition, he could not avoid giving way to the instantaneous conviction that it was a supernatural appearance which arose so suddenly before him. He staggered back, and dropped upon a chair ; but the blood, which had been driven by the shock with violence from his heart to his face and head, rushed back to the centre of life with equal impetuosity, when he recognised Clinton's voice from amid the gloom which enveloped that part of the chamber in which the figure stood.
“ However extraordinary,” said Clinton, “ my appearance here may seem to you, I beg you to believe, sir, that I had no other object in entering this chamber, than that of beholding once more, and for the last time, the fair and lifeless being before me.”
Arthur arose from the chair-trembling with passion; his ashy lips could scarcely speak the words with which they were charged.
“ Mr. Clinton,” at length he said, in very stern and
subclued tones," your audacity is equal to your falsehood. It would be incredible to me, that you could be so utterly lost to true feeling, as to venture to insult my sister's sacred remains by your presence here, if I did not see you
my own ears, though really I could almost distrust both my eyes and ears. Tell me, sir, by what means you gained admittance into this house this evening. Who, under my roof, was presumptuous enough to bring you hither? Whoever that individual was, though it was Miss Aoderson herself, she should lose my friendship from this hour, and nothing should recall it.”
“ I certainly shall not say who it was admitted me,” said Clinton, rattling with assumed nonchalence while he spoke, the leads in the pouch at his girdle. “ I persuaded them with very great difficulty, and they are not m the least to blame—not in the least."
“ Your refusal to tell me will be of no avail,” said Arthur, speaking quicker ; " I shall know, immediately after the interment, who it is. I will discover-and when I have discovered, I shall not forgive. This, how. ever, concerns you but little. I shall not dispute what you assert, Mr. Clinton, that to see my sister as she is, as you have made her, was the object which brought you hither. But
But now, I presume, you have gratified your curiosity. You have seen her breathless, colourlessDEAD—stretched in a coffin-prepared for a grave
if you are still curious, you may see near the cascade. I recommend you to go and look into it ; examine it well, sir, and feed your vanity with the delicious thought that the weak girl, who, to morrow at this time, will say to the worm • Thou art my sister, and my
brother,' died of a broken heart—and that you had broken it. And in the meantime, if you have the courage, look at your victim in the presence of her brother. Come near, sir;" he took up the lamp and passed it over the coffin from the head to the foot. “She is here-view her.” He then put down the lamp, and, changing his manner, walked to the door, and opened it, throwing it back to the full breadth of the doorway.
“Mr. Clinton,” said he, “ your presence here, is an unexampled impertinence. I request that you will leave this room, and this house immediately.'
Instead of complying, Clinton sat down on a chair close to the doorway, and very deliberately drew his belt tighter, saying
“ I obey no man's bidding. I am an adopted son of the woods. Free as a panther, or an eagle, I now come and go as I list. I shall lodge in this house to-night. It is the fashion you are aware for American farmers to be hospitable. It is also the fashion for American wanderers, like me, who become their guests, to remain in the quarters provided until they are tired of them. I shall not be one to break a good custom. I shall stay to-night in this house."
“ You refuse to go ?” said Arthur.
“I will not budge a step, by Jove! Take care Mr. Lee-take care how
warn you -you see I have a knife in
belt." “ By heaven, you shall go !” exclaimed Arthur, seizing him by the collar to throw him out of the room, and at the same time disarming him. A short, but fierce struggle, ensued; and Arthur, being much Clinton's superior in strength and height, succeeded in his aim. Clinton was
sent reeling out on the landing place, and Arthur drew the door close and locked it on the outside.
“ I am not desirous to disturb the house," said he, " and therefore I shall not say any thing more to you, Mr. Clinton, to-night. To
morrow is the day of my sister's burial ; during its sacred hours, also, you will be safe from me ; but if, on the day succeeding that you are about these premises,”
" I shall be in them,” said Clinton, whose complexiou had whitened into a startling paleness, and whose eye expressed a most dangerous sense of the indignity he had received. 5 And I shall be in them with one intention, that of seeking from you the only satisfaction for this insult which it is in your power to give me. On Monday, sir, either I must have your life-or you mine.”
“ Be it so,” said Arthur; and at that time he forgot that his principles were opposed to duelling.
They parted. Arthur returned to his chamber and there remained; Clinton went to a neat back kitchen, where the miller and Jacob, the States field-labourer, were sitting at a small table. They were speaking together in under tones, and enjoying, between the pauses of their conversation, a jug of cider. Clinton approached them, and, laying a hand on the shoulder of each familiarly, exclaimed
“ Well Jacob and Thomas ! are you holding a private consultation on the qualities of loam and grass, and the grinding of Indian corn, oats, and barley ?”
“ You here again, Mr. Clinton ?” said the miller, rising, and shaking him by the hand. “ I cannot but say I am glad to see you, in spite of all that is said to your disparagement. Sit down--take a drink of cider.”