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voices united; Chartres striding from his chair to the window, and back to his chair, and Chetwyn sitting silent, till he groaned out, “That's the only word of sense that’s said; send for Brodie, directly.” In the midst of the hubbub re-entered John.

“Are the horses come back?” thundered out Chartres.

- “Yes, Sir.”

“Oh lal and is she killed ? where is she hurt? get her bed ready, and call Anne,” etc., etc., etc., while John stood mute, but with a sort of half-repressed grin on his face, that at once dispelled immediate alarm about her safety.

“Are the horses hurt?” asked Chartres.

“No, Sir.”

“Who brought them 7”

“The ostler at + + + + + +.”

“Any message 7”

“No, Sir.”

“Did you ask the man 2°

- “Yes, Sir.’

“Don’t stand twisting your mouth that way, blockhead, with your “yes” and ‘no l’ Tell us what passed.”

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“The man said, Sir, as how mistress and Mr. Sharpe—” (pausing.) “Speak out, Sir;” shouted Chartres. “Gone off, Sir, in a Dartford chaise.” “Impossible !” groaned Chetwyn. “Oh la!” “oh dear!” “how shocking!” “how very odd l’” “how sad an event!” screamed Miss Langston, and Mrs. Langston, and the two Miss Dixons, in every variety of intonation. “Awfully wicked l’’ observed the Rev. Doctor, deliberately exhausting a glass of port. “Order four horses to the chaise at the door! Henderson, you’ll accompany me — Dover Road! do you hear there?” and so saying Chartres left the room; mounted the flight of stairs in a hop, step, and jump ; hurried on a great coat; and was equipped for Calais in less than ten minutes. Meanwhile the ladies hystericised, and fainted, and ran this way and the other way, as ladies will do on such occasions; and the ladies’ maids chattered, and comforted, and cloaked as fast as they could ; while hartshorn, and sal volatile, and burnt feathers, were poured and scattered here and there, and the whole house one Babel of confusion; not one of the party dreaming of going, in spite of preparation for it, while a chance remained of gleaning more food for curiosity and scandal. The hubbub had scarcely at all subsided, when a loud rap at the door announced a visitor. “Not at home !” exclaimed Mr. Chetwyn, to prevent intrusion at such an unseasonable hour: but the mandate was unheeded in the general confusion below stairs. The ladies hearing footsteps ascending resumed their chairs, with as much calmness as they could muster. The door opened; and in walked Mrs. Chartres, more radiant with smiles than ever, though not a little surprised at the strange chaos which seemed to reign; while I followed close behind her, as cheerful and composed as if nothing had occurred to disturb me. “Very extraordinary, Mrs. Chartress very strange conduct this, Mr. Sharpe l’” said her husband sternly. “Where the devil have you been 7” cried her father. “Dear Mrs. Chartres | * exclaimed all the ladies at once. “Chartres,” I said, “ your wife is tired; take her up stairs, and she’ll give you a good hour's laugh: ” for though this denouement had never once occurred to either of us during the whole of the busy scene in which we had been engaged, I saw, by a glance of the eye, what it all meant.

“And now, Mr. Chetwyn, order us some dinner if you please; for we have not tasted any to-day.”

Manifold indeed were the inquiries, and ardent the curiosity—all unbonneted and unshawled again, but we could not gratify them : though when Chartres re-entered the room ten minutes after, and shook me by the hand most cordially, laughing all the time, and loudly commending my chivalry, the fair creatures almost forgot their disappointment that there was no elopement after all, in their unfeigned delight at the returning spirit of domestic harmony and love.

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CHAPTER X.

“Junonem interea compellat Jupiter ultro.”— AEN. X.

INDISCRETION is a failing not limited to youth or sex; nor is it by any means identified with careless indifference about every-day matters of pounds, shillings, and pence. Mr. Bumby was an early client of mine, for whom I felt considerable regard. Accident led me one day to his shop to purchase some trifling article of jewelery. I have a natural disposition to indulge in good-humored gossip with strangers, where circumstances pave the way; and occasional purchases, accompanied with friendly chit-chat across the counter, laid the foundation for a professional connexion between us, of no very important extent, yet profitable to me and satisfactory to him. Shortly after I became ac quainted with him, Mr. Bumby retired from

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