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was never greater; he was very successful in raising money, yet his foreboding about dying on the journey was only too sadly realised. His appearance before the Monmouthshire County Association was an oratorical triumph, but the effort was too much for him, and he was laid aside for a week. Proceeding on his way, he preached at various places antil he came to Swansea. The next day, which was the Sabbath, he preached twice, " like a seraph," and again on the Monday evening, but with much feebleness. As he came down the pulpit stairs he was heard to say, This is my last sermon.” The words were prophetic ; he was taken ill, seriously. ill, the same night, and gradually sank into his last sleep. On the Friday morning he said to those about his bed, “I am leaving you. I have laboured in the sanctuary fifty-three years, and this is my comfort, that I have never laboared withoat blood in the basin." He evidently meant that he had always preached the Gospel, for he added, “Preach Christ to the people, brethren. Look at me; in myself I am nothing but ruin, bat in Christ I am heaven and salvation.” He then repeated a favourite Welsh hymn, and, waving his hand, exclaimed, “Good-bye! drive on!” "It seems another instance," says his last biographer, “of the labour of life pervading by its master idea the hoar of death. For how many years the 'one-eyed man' of Anglesea had gone to and fro on his humble nag! Lately his friends had given him a gig, that he might be more at ease in his Master's service; still he had his old horse-companion of his many journeys. While he was dying the old mountain days of travel came over his memory. 'Good-bye,' said he, drive on.' He turned over and seemed to sleep. He slept, indeed. His friends tried to roase him, bat the angelic postman had obeyed the order, the chariot had passed over the everlasting hills. So he died, July 19, 1838, in the seventythird year of his age and fifty-fourth of his ministry."

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Author of Unforgotten,” “Windaway Hill," fc.

CHAPTER XVII.-A RETREAT. In pursuance of this resolve of increased watchfulness, John found each day some reason for calling in Portsmouth Square. Once or twice he saw Irene, though not alone, and on each occasion he received a look which conveyed to him the meaning that she

would faithfully observe her promise, and that she held him to a faithful performance of his whenever the time should come.

It might be long, John hoped, before any scheme should suggest itself, which, even to Irene, could appear feasible, and, in the interval, something might occur to change the current of her thoughts. But in this hope he was destined to be disappointed.

On the Taesday of the next week Irene again appeared in Summer Street, sent thither on some small commission by Miss Ingram, who was made unhappy by her pupil's feverish excitement and restlessness, and who thonght a good deal of outdoor exercise would be better for her than over-mach study.

“I must speak with you, John,” she contrived to whisper, anobserved, “you must walk home with me."

"I am going to the Athenæım this evening. Oar way will be partly together," he said, rising, when Irene prepared to go.

“John,” she said, as soon as the front door had closed behind them, “it is all settled. I shall have four and a half days of perfect quiet for painting.”

“I am very glad; and how ? ”asked John.

“I am going to tell you; of course, you will have to help me, as you promised. Last evening I bad a letter from Mrs. Walton, asking me if Miss Ingram could spare me to come next Monday and remain until Saturday with her at Easton-on-the-Sea, and Miss Ingram said I might write and say "Yes.' It is very kind of her; people are often kind except in just the one thing that would really do us good."

“And you will have some opportunity for painting at Easton ? I am very glad.” And John felt quite relieved.

“No, I shall not ; that is not it! How should I? Mrs. Walton disapproves, like all the rest. You know that ; how tiresome you

are !"

“How, then ?" asked John, submissively.

“I have written to Mrs. Walton to say that I will come on Monday, but can only remain for that day. Miss Ingram sapposes the invitation accepted for the entire week; so, you see, I shall bave from Monday to Saturday free; no one wondering where I am, or frightened about me. Your cousin will think I am at Easton, and Mrs. Walton that I am safe in Portsmouth Square"

“But where are you to be ? " asked John, anxiously.

“It is about that you have to help me. You promised faithfully and will perform. You will let me into your void house, No. 30. No place could be safer or better for my parpose. How fortunate it is empty again."

“Oh ! nonsense, Irene; it is absurd, impossible. I cannot do that."


“It is not absurd, and you will do it,” she answered, firmly. "There is not an atom of furniture; nothing !

"You will pat a few blankets and a chair, and a kettle, and a teapot, and cap, plate, and knife, and a little coal and sticks. And you must put plenty of bread and some butter, and a bit of meat if you like, and a pot of jam. I can bring some tea and sugar.”

"Nay, dear, it can't be. You would be ill living like that, and be frightened, all alone, And it would be found out, sure to be, when Mrs. Walton returns."

“I shall not be ill or frightened; you will be close by. Never mind its being found out; perhaps I will tell Mrs. Walton myself, and coax her not to tell Miss Ingram. But I don't care much what happens after. All I want is a few days to myself, to show whether I can paint or not, and have that I will. Now mind, John," sbo. went on, stopping him as he tried to speak, “you must be sure to. bring in everything I want for painting. Here is a list,” and she forced an envelope into his hand. “ Most of the things you will. find in the box; but there are a few you must please get in town, and you must hire an easel if you can manage to get it in, or, if not, you most arrange something that will do. There are six shillings in that envelope with the list. I am afraid it is hardly enough,"

"Irene; you know that is not what I mind.”

“I know it, dear; I know it perfectly," she said, ber peremptory tone altering to one of affectionate persuasiveness. Then her manner changed again. “John," she said, “if you betray me; ) shall be sorry, but I shall never speak to you again as long as I live, never ! If you keep your promise and help me I shall love you always, and for ever!” “Bat, Irene-"

"Husb !” she said, “and listen. I told Mrs. Walton that I should leave Easton by the 6.50 train, so I shall be waiting in Sammer Lane by about twenty minutes after eight, and you will be there with the key. Good-night,” and she dashed down one of the side streets, which would lead her to Portsmouth Square equally well with the way they were taking.

" Irene, stay; stop,” entreated John; but she was out of sight.

The next day, both in his dinner-hour and again in the evening, he found some necessiiy for calling on his cousin, hoping to find a chance of speaking to Irene, who, however, took care to be out of the way. Then he sent her a letter by his sister Lettie, arging all manner of arguments for the relinquishment of the wild scheme, and begging her to write to Mrs. Walton, saying she now found herself able to accept the invitation for the entire week. To this appeal he received the reply by post, “I shall be at 30, Sammer Lane, by 8.20, Monday night."

Mach perplexed and troubled was John. He had hoped and believed that the strong dissuasive arguments arged in his letter must prevail, but no; nothing, he was assured, would nduce her to give up her plan. She would inevitably appear on Monday evening at the door in Summer Lane.

What should he do ? Should he write again and say decisively that, anless she assured him the plan was abandoned, he should inform Miss Ingram ? From what he knew of Irene's disposition, from his own consciousness of former yieldings, he believed that this threat would be discredited, and therefore wholly ineffectual; and that the only preventive would be really to communicate the matter to his cousin. If he did so, there would be, as she had said, an end of all friendship between them-a consequence which be could not conceal from himself would be, to him, bitterly painful. And to be betrayed might make her desperate, reckless, and lead to something worse. How immovable her determination, was proved by the very wildness of the scheme; and yet, wild, out-ofthe-way as it was, it certainly presented none of those dangers, too dreadful to think of, with which she might be surrounded, if she carried out the yet madder purpose of running away. how she looked when she said, “It is I who shall die." Most likely she was not strong; both her parents had died in early middle life. With her passionate nature the ecstacy of resentment, mortification, disappointment, into which she would fall, were she betrayed, might have serious consequences. Perhaps he had better yield !

Better or not, yield he did. And when once he had resolved to aid Irene in this strange escapade, his thoughts and efforts were given night and day towards furthering her purpose, and rendering her solitary abode as tolerable as, under the circumstances, was practicable; nor was be without some boyish pleasure in the excitement and grotesqueness of the adventure. Fortunately for the success of his secret preparations, John's movements were very seldom the subject of comment or observation with his family, his good sense and reliability having led to the quiet confidence that for wbatever he did there was a good reason. No one asked why, on these evenings, he was less at home than asnal, or how it was that on two successive nights he had let himself in after all in the house had retired to rest.

Monday evening came, and final preparations made, John waited in the quiet of Summer Lane antil, rather earlier than he had expected, he saw Irene coming. Her dress was slightly a disguise, for, though the weather was fine, she wore a cloak saitable for rain, and she had tied a veil over her hat.

“You have all ready?” she asked, eagerly. "How good you

are !"

way to

“Yes; I have done my best, but it is very bare and uncomfortable."

“We had better make baste and go in for fear we should be seen,” she said, looking round, anxiously.

“Irene,” John said, “I am not coming in. Yon must let me judge in that matter; I am older than you. I will go this the office every day and return, and will pass two or three times each evening. You must write me a note every day, and slip it under the door at the corner; here, where I have put a little stone to hide it."

They had just reached the garden entrance, where the door stood ajar. And you must tell me how you get on; and if there is any. thing you want, be sure to write it, and, if any way possible, you shall have it. I have put the bed in the room next mine; I thought you would feel less lonely. Just tap very lightly on the back of the fireplace when you go up to bed if you are all right. I shall hear, but you must not take a light there, nor into the room where the easel and other things are, it might be seen. The breakfastroom shutters are always kept closed, so you can safely burn a light there, and I have put a little fire."

“Thank you, thank you much. Some one may see uz; had I better not go in ? ” she said, nervously, hearing steps going down Summer Hill. Kiss me, John ; it is rather lonely.”

“Will you give it up, dear? You had better," he suggested, eagerly; "you could sleep with Rose to-night, and we will think what to do to-morrow.”

“Give ap! Not for the world. I am not afraid,” and she pushed open the door, entered without even saying “Good-night," locked the door behind her, and, with equal speed, passed from the garden into the house, locking that door also. In the passage she stood a moment. How quiet it was, and how dark it looked upon the stairs. A light showed invitingly from the breakfast-room. She had better not go in now, she thought, but see the other rooms before the fast-failing light was quite gone ; and she went ap the stairs. How loud her footsteps sounded, and how the stairs creaked! What was that noise ? A front door shutting, she thought; John going in next door. She wished he had come in with her; well, he was not very far away. This was her bedroom. How kind! Not the few blankets, that she had asked for, bat a nice little bed; how neatly it was made.

Then she darted into the next room, where the departing daylight was aided by the shining in from a street-lamp near the corner. How delightful! There was an easel, a canvas ready stretched upon it; and on a table, extemporised by a foldingstand and a tray, stood brushes, colours, oil, and palette.

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