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“What kind of person ?” repeated Monsieur Simonet. “The kind I prefer. She will have plenty of money. Madame Cassonade can give her a handsome portion, and she will succeed to I know not how much when her mother dies."

“ And you, uncle, will do in this instance what you promised in the other ?"

“ Hein! I do not remember. What was that?”

“ You said that I should marry on equal terms—as far as money was concerned."

Monsieur Simonet winced. He was caught in his own trap. To be sure, he never meant to have given anything, but then the words were uttered. He bethought himself, moreover, of the fact that Madame Cassonade, a keen, money-making person like himself, would insist upon a convention spéciale in the contrat de mariage, by which her daughter should be assured of an equivalent to the fortune she brought. There was no getting out of that, so he grumbled out something which, if not a cheerful assent, was, at all events, not a refusal.

Jacques Mignerot had experienced more than one surprise that day, but the greatest was when he beheld Anatole and his uncle arm-in-arm, descending the great staircase. He rubbed his eyes in astonishment, doubting what he saw, but when he observed that they crossed the street and entered Madame Cassonade's shop together, a suspicion of the truth began to dawn upon him.

“ Célestine,” he said to his wife, when that lady entered the loge, I have a secret to communicate.”

“A secret! You !" exclaimed Madame Mignerot, scornfully. “How came you possessed of a secret, I should like to know ? Stupid ! why do you keep me in suspense ? Speak, then!"

“As soon as you will let me. Listen! Monsieur Simonet and Mon. sieur Anatole—while I am speaking, Célestine—are there!”

He pointed over the way.
“ And what then ? butor !"

“Then,” replied Jacques, taking a pinch of snuff-“something is in the wind!"

“ Mignerot! if you excite in me a crispation de nerfs, you know the consequence !"

And the fair creature scowled angrily on her helpmate, while her fingers suddenly contracted.

The hint was sufficient. Jacques delayed no longer, but told her what he had seen and what he suspected. Madame Mignerot was half disposed to bestow a cuff on her husband for his audacity in arriving at a conclusion of so much interest without her permission, but as the secret was now hers she forbore from doing so in her feminine anxiety to make the most of it.

“ Don't stir from this place,” she said, “till I come back.”

It was some time before that event happened, for there was not a house in the quartier where Madame Mignerot had an acquaintance which she did not enter to communicate the wonderful news that Mademoiselle Cassonade was going to be married immediately to Monsieur Anatole Duval.

And, unlike the generality of Madame Mignerot's news, it was true.

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No further impediment preventing them, Mademoiselle de Gournay and Justine left Paris the same evening under the escort of Hubert, who, before he set out, wrote a letter to the landlord of the Coq d'Or at Amiens, informing him of several particulars which, with the object he had in view, it was necessary Jean Lalouette should know.

Railway travelling is so rapid that little opportunity now offers for rendering the thousand petits soins which, when a lady was in the case, made a journey formerly so pleasant: nevertheless, during theirs, Hubert found the means of being more than serviceable to Bianca.

That he loved her need scarcely be said : her beauty, her wrongs, her noble nature, all the circumstances of her situation, all he had heard before he saw her, and all that happened since, combined to invest her with attributes which it was impossible for him to refrain from loving.

And Bianca ? How did she feel towards Hubert ?

His manifest honesty of purpose, his generous indignation, his tender sympathy, his zealous devotion to her own and her father's cause, were elaims upon her gratitude which she could not refuse to acknowledge ; and those claims once admitted, the transition to another sentiment was not, perhaps, remote, even if that mysterious affinity--the cause of which none can explain-had been wanting.

But whatever their mutual feeling, it had only a mute, and on Bianca's part an unconscious, existence. Her immediate thoughts were all centred on her father, and Hubert's sense of honour was too high, his desire to release Monsieur de Gournay and restore him to his former position too earnest and sincere, to permit him to speak of or allude to anything but the means of achieving that object.

Could Bianca's wish have been fulfilled, she would have hurried instantly on her arrival in London to the prison where her father was confined, but Hubert set before her so many good reasons for not doing so, and promised so faithfully that not an hour should be lost in taking the necessary steps for procuring Monsieur de Gournay's liberation, that she reluctantly consented to wait at the hotel to which she was conducted.

Hubert's first impulse was to drive at once to his banker, procure as much money as he required for his purpose, pay off the debt for which Monsieur de Gournay was incarcerated, and so end the affair by a coup de baguette ; but, on second thoughts, it struck him there might be forms of law with which he was unacquainted that would make it more desirable he should not proceed in the matter without availing himself of the best legal advice that was attainable.

The confidence which Sir Richard Gurney had bestowed for a long series of years on a certain Mr. Scoble, who was the family solicitor, satisfied Hubert that it was to him he ought to apply, and to that gentleman's house he went direct. It was still early in the morning, and Mr. Scoble had not yet left home for his office; indeed, he had not quite finished breakfast when Hubert was announced.

“ Well, upon my word-upon my word,” said Mr. Scoble, laying down the Times and shaking hands with his visitor, “who could have ex

pected-yes, expected-expected--that I should have seen-yes, seenyou here, Mr. Hubert-Hubert? I thought-yes, thought--you never meant-never meant to come back to England again-yes, England

again!"

Tautology was the chief peculiarity of Mr. Scoble’s conversational style. His profession had accustomed him to be profuse of words, but he made up by rapidity of speech for the waste of repetition.

“ However surprising my return,” said Hubert, smiling," it is, as you see, a faet. I am here in my own proper person.”

“Glad of it, Mr. Hubert-Hubert, glad of it; wanted, I know-yes, wanted. Breakfasted? Hardly, at this hour--this hour. Young men of fashion, much too soon-much too soon! John!"-to the servant who entered—“cup and saucer-cup and saucer-plates, things-plates, things--Mr. Hubert Gurney-yes, Hubert Gurney. Ham, eggs, toast, John-eggs, toast-yes, eggs, toast.”

It was with difficulty Hubert could persuade Mr. Scoble that he had actually accomplished the difficult feat of breakfasting before ten o'clock, and that the cause of his visit was a pressing matter of business.

“Ah, business, hey—business! As I say-as I say, business must be attended to. Sir Richard quite well, I hope : nothing wrong therenothing wrong there?”

“To the best of my knowledge, no. But I have not yet seen my father. I only arrived from Paris an hour ago. What I have to speak of relates to one who is a perfect stranger to my family."

“Stranger, hey-stranger ? At present you mean, Mr. Hubert--at present. Better known by-and-by-by-and-by-ha! ha! ha!"

Hubert could not help colouring as the lively lawyer, keeping his eye fixed on the young man's face, went rattling on:

“Nothing rash, I hope nothing rash. Your own master, Mr. Hubert; independent-independent, fortune of your own; yes, yes, aware of that -aware of that.

Still

, Sir Richard, you know-Sir Richard-father's consent, as I say-father's consent always necessary.”

“You are mistaken, Mr. Scoble; the business İ—that is, the gentleman whose affairs I wish to speak of

"Oh, gentleman-gentleman, that's it, hey—that's it? Well, well, couldn't help thinking-couldn't help thinking ; quite time I should, you know, Sir Richard long wished it; free to choose anywhere--free to choose ; quite time, yes-yes, quite time.”

“ To come to the point, Mr. Scoble, a French gentleman, whom I do not personally know, but in whose fortunes I am much interested, has suffered a grievous wrong, here, in London. He has been thrown into prison on the most foul and villanous pretext that can possibly be imagined, and I have come to you for assistance in obtaining his speedy release."

“Beg your pardon, Mr. Hubert-beg your pardon ! Command mecommand me!”

As briefly as he could, Hubert then told his story without interruption. To do this he was obliged to refer to Monsieur de Gournay's letter, which Bianca had placed in his hands, translating it as he went on, Mr. Scoble's knowledge of French being, as it were, nil, and though the lawyer eyed him curiously while he read, as if he were putting together the pieces of an intricate puzzle, he made no comment on the indirect motive-if indirect it were--by which Hubert had been influenced.

“Serious this—serious this, shameful, scoundreliy!” he exclaimed, when Hubert ended. “Quite right to come to me quite right. Forms, as you say-forms to be gone through. Money not enough in these cases; search for detainers; other claims, perhaps ; not that there are not that there are; might be, you know—might be; governor of prison always supposes 80; responsible for debt if he makes a mistake-makes a mistake. In a hurry, I see; no wonder—no wonder, shameful, scoundrelly-yes, yes, very bad case—very bad case. Go' over it again as we drive along; brougham at the door-soon get to office; one of my clerks—clerkstake up the matter—yes, yes--matter directly."

The story was repeated, and Mr. Seoble, who at first had paid attention to the facts only, now listened to the names.

“Markey de Savon—Markey de Savon-yes, yes, know who he is; rich man, very, very ; large estate close to Loxwood close to Loxwood; heard of him before, many years ago, bad man always—bad man! Over here, indict him for conspiracy-yes, conspiracy, yes; afraid we can't get at him in Parry. That fellow Loovel, though, trounce him if we catch him. Names nearly alike, Mr. Hubert; odd that-odd that! Great name, Gurney! Baron of Exchequer! Sir Richard, too, richest commoner in Sussex ! · French once! Yes, I believe som

-believe so.

Sir Richard often talks of it. Proud of his family, Mr. Hubert-proud of his family. So, so, here we are—here we are! Walk in—walk in; soon settle this matter-soon settle this matter."

When he reached his private door, before opening a single letter of the pile that heaped his desk, Mr. Scoble sent for his head clerk.

Vowles," he said—“Vowles, there is a French gentleman-French gentleman-name of Goorney-Goorney-Whitecross-street, debt four hundred, detaining creditor Loovel; find out attorney, search office search office; debt and costs paid by us ; French gentleman out, quick as possible-quick as possible !"

These instructions were sufficient, and the clerk withdrew, to return in an hour with the requisite information.

Mr. Vowles threw away as few words as his principal expended.

“Fluke and Hitch, Chancery-lane ; no detainers; costs, seven four two; receipt in full; discharge.'

“Fluke and Hitch? Sharp fellows! sharp fellows! Stared, I dare say-yes, stared, no doubt-stared a good deal ?” Mr. Vowles nodded.

“Knew they would-knew they would. French frogs seldom payseldom pay. Now, Mr. Hubert—now, Mr. Hubert, what's to be done with the Baron-done with the Baron ?”

“I should like to accompany the messenger who takes the order to the prison."

By all means, if you wish it—by all means. Brougham here? Gone back!' Foolish—foolish. Call cab; nothing else, Mr. Hubert-nothing else. Dine at six, Mr. Hubert-dine at six. Manage to come ?"

This was the only sly allusion to a possible state of affairs which Mr. Scoble had allowed himself to make since he had heard Hubert's explanation. As on a former occasion, it brought the eloquent blood into the young man's cheek; but amidst his confusion, which did not escape Mr. Scoble's quick eye, he accepted the proffered hospitality, and left the lawyer's office, buoyant with hopeful expectation.

79

OVINGDEAN GRANGE.

A TALE OF THE SOUTH DOWNS. *

By W. HARRISON AINSWORTH, Esq.

Part the Ninth.
BRIGHTELMSTONE IN 1651.

I.

HOW THE KING WAS SHUT UP IN THE HIDING-PLACE.

It is scarcely necessary to say that the menacing intruders who surprised Charles at his toilette were Stelfax and Micklegift. The Ironside leader's first act was to possess himself of the pistols and rapier, which the king had incautiously laid upon the table, and deliver them to his companion.

“Ha! betrayed !” exclaimed Charles, springing towards the table in search of his arms, and perceiving to his dismay that they were gone.

Even in this extremity he did not lose his self-possession, but eyed his foes resolutely and even haughtily.

“What makes you here?” he sternly demanded.

“I am here to arrest thee, Charles Stuart, in the name of the Parliament of England, and by order of his Excellency the Lord General Cromwell. Surrender thyself my prisoner--rescue or no rescue-or I will shoot thee through the head."

“ Beware ere thou liftest thine hand against the Lord's anointed!” exclaimed Charles, with a look and gesture so full of majesty that it inspired awe in both his hearers, and the Ironside captain involuntarily lowered the pistol which he had levelled at the king.

Charles instantly perceived the slight advantage he had gained, and sought to profit by it. If he could only gain time, he thought, assistance might arrive. He glanced around to see if there was a hand-bell within reach, a whistle, or any other means of giving the alarm. But nothing presented itself.

“For the second time, I ask thee, Charles Stuart,” said Stelfax, “ dost thou yield thyself a prisoner, or wilt thou compel me to lay violent hands upon thy person?”.

“Off, villains!” exclaimed the king, retreating a few paces. “Touch me at your peril. I will resist to the death.”

“Be ruled by my counsel, O insensate young man!” exclaimed

* All rights reserved.

VOL. XLVIII.

G

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