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Wacousta: A Tale of the Pontiac Conspiracy--Volume 1 By John Richardson Characters: 32143

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

"To your companies, gentlemen, to your companies on the instant. There is treason in the fort, and we had need of all our diligence and caution. Captain de Haldimar is missing, and the gate has been found unlocked. Quick, gentlemen, quick; even now the savages may be around us, though unseen."

"Captain de Haldimar missing!-the gate unlocked!" exclaimed a number of voices. "Impossible!-surely we are not betrayed by our own men."

"The sentinel has been relieved, and is now in irons," resumed the communicator of this startling piece of intelligence. It was the adjutant of the regiment.

"Away, gentlemen, to your posts immediately," said Captain Blessington, who, aided by De Haldimar, hastened to deposit the stiffening body of the unfortunate Murphy, which they still supported, upon the rampart. Then addressing the adjutant, "Mr. Lawson, let a couple of files be sent immediately to remove the body of their officer."

"That shot which I heard from the common, as I approached, was not fired at random, then, I find," observed the adjutant, as they all now hastily descended to join their men.-"Who has fallen?"

"Murphy, of the grenadiers," was the reply of one near him.

"Poor fellow! our work commences badly," resumed Mr. Lawson: "Murphy killed, and Captain de Haldimar missing. We had few officers enough to spare before, and their loss will be severely felt; I greatly fear, too, these casualties may have a tendency to discourage the men."

"Nothing more easy than to supply their place, by promoting some of our oldest sergeants," observed Ensign Delme, who, as well as the ill-fated Murphy, had risen from the ranks. "If they behave themselves well, the King will confirm their appointments."

"But my poor brother, what of him, Lawson? what have you learnt connected with his disappearance?" asked Charles de Haldimar with deep emotion.

"Nothing satisfactory, I am sorry to say," returned the adjutant; "in fact, the whole affair is a mystery which no one can unravel; even at this moment the sentinel, Frank Halloway, who is strongly suspected of being privy to his disappearance, is undergoing a private examination by your father the governor."

"Frank Halloway!" repeated the youth with a start of astonishment; "surely Halloway could never prove a traitor,-and especially to my brother, whose life he once saved at the peril of his own."

The officers had now gained the parade, when the "Fall in, gentlemen, fall in," quickly pronounced by Major Blackwater, prevented all further questioning on the part of the younger De Haldimar.

The scene, though circumscribed in limit, was picturesque in effect, and might have been happily illustrated by the pencil of the painter. The immediate area of the parade was filled with armed men, distributed into three divisions, and forming, with their respective ranks facing outwards, as many sides of a hollow square, the mode of defence invariably adopted by the Governor in all cases of sudden alarm. The vacant space, which communicated with the powder magazine, was left open to the movements of three three-pounders, which were to support each face in the event of its being broken by numbers. Close to these, and within the square, stood the number of gunners necessary to the duty of the field-pieces, each of which was commanded by a bombardier. At the foot of the ramparts, outside the square, and immediately opposite to their several embrasures, were stationed the gunners required for the batteries, under a non-commissioned officer also, and the whole under the direction of a superior officer of that arm, who now walked to and fro, conversing in a low voice with Major Blackwater. One gunner at each of these divisions of the artillery held in his hand a blazing torch, reflecting with picturesque yet gloomy effect the bright bayonets and equipment of the soldiers, and the anxious countenances of the women and invalids, who, bending eagerly through the windows of the surrounding barracks, appeared to await the issue of these preparations with an anxiety increased by the very consciousness of having no other parts than those of spectators to play in the scene that was momentarily expected.

In a few minutes from the falling in of the officers with their respective companies, the clank of irons was heard in the direction of the guard-room, and several forms were seen slowly advancing into the area already occupied as we have described. This party was preceded by the Adjutant Lawson, who, advancing towards Major Blackwater, communicated a message, that was followed by the command of the latter officer for the three divisions to face inwards. The officer of artillery also gave the word to his men to form lines of single files immediately in the rear of their respective guns, leaving space enough for the entrance of the approaching party, which consisted of half a dozen files of the guard, under a non-commissioned officer, and one whose manacled limbs, rather than his unaccoutred uniform, attested him to be not merely a prisoner, but a prisoner confined for some serious and flagrant offence.

This party now advanced through the vacant quarter of the square, and took their stations immediately in the centre. Here the countenances of each, and particularly that of the prisoner, who was, if we may so term it, the centre of that centre, were thrown into strong relief by the bright glare of the torches as they were occasionally waved in air, to disencumber them of their dross, so that the features of the prisoner stood revealed to those around as plainly as if it had been noonday. Not a sound, not a murmur, escaped from the ranks: but, though the etiquette and strict laws of military discipline chained all speech, the workings of the inward mind remained unchecked; and as they recognised in the prisoner Frank Halloway, one of the bravest and boldest in the field, and, as all had hitherto imagined, one of the most devoted to his duty, an irrepressible thrill of amazement and dismay crept throughout the frames, and for a moment blanched the cheeks of those especially who belonged to the same company. On being summoned from their fruitless search after the stranger, to fall in without delay, it had been whispered among the men that treason had crept into the fort, and a traitor, partly detected in his crime, had been arrested and thrown into irons; but the idea of Frank Halloway being that traitor was the last that could have entered into their thoughts, and yet they now beheld him covered with every mark of ignominy, and about to answer his high offence, in all human probability, with his life.

With the officers the reputation of Halloway for courage and fidelity stood no less high; but, while they secretly lamented the circumstance of his defalcation, they could not disguise from themselves the almost certainty of his guilt, for each, as he now gazed upon the prisoner, recollected the confusion and hesitation of manner he had evinced when questioned by them preparatory to their ascending to the ramparts.

Once more the suspense of the moment was interrupted by the entrance of other forms into the area. They were those of the Adjutant, followed by a drummer, bearing his instrument, and the Governor's orderly, charged with pens, ink, paper, and a book which, from its peculiar form and colour, every one present knew to be a copy of the Articles of War. A variety of contending emotions passed through the breasts of many, as they witnessed the silent progress of these preparations, rendered painfully interesting by the peculiarity of their position, and the wildness of the hour at which they thus found themselves assembled together. The prisoner himself was unmoved: he stood proud, calm, and fearless amid the guard, of whom he had so recently formed one; and though his countenance was pale, as much, perhaps, from a sense of the ignominious character in which he appeared as from more private considerations, still there was nothing to denote either the abjectness of fear or the consciousness of merited disgrace. Once or twice a low sobbing, that proceeded at intervals from one of the barrack windows, caught his ear, and he turned his glance in that direction with a restless anxiety, which he exerted himself in the instant afterwards to repress; but this was the only mark of emotion he betrayed.

The above dispositions having been hastily made, the adjutant and his assistants once more retired. After the lapse of a minute, a tall martial-looking man, habited in a blue military frock, and of handsome, though stern, haughty, and inflexible features, entered the area. He was followed by Major Blackwater, the captain of artillery, and Adjutant Lawson.

"Are the garrison all present, Mr. Lawson? are the officers all present?"

"All except those of the guard, sir," replied the Adjutant, touching his hat with a submission that was scrupulously exacted on all occasions of duty by his superior.

The Governor passed his hand for a moment over his brows. It seemed to those around him as if the mention of that guard had called up recollections which gave him pain; and it might be so, for his eldest son, Captain Frederick de Haldimar, had commanded the guard. Whither he had disappeared, or in what manner, no one knew.

"Are the artillery all present, Captain Wentworth?" again demanded the Governor, after a moment of silence, and in his wonted firm authoritative voice.

"All present, sir," rejoined the officer, following the example of the Adjutant, and saluting his chief.

"Then let a drum-head court-martial be assembled immediately, Mr. Lawson, and without reference to the roster let the senior officers be selected."

The Adjutant went round to the respective divisions, and in a low voice warned Captain Blessington, and the four senior subalterns, for that duty. One by one the officers, as they were severally called upon, left their places in the square, and sheathing their swords, stepped into that part of the area appointed as their temporary court. They were now all assembled, and Captain Blessington, the senior of his rank in the garrison, was preparing to administer the customary oaths, when the prisoner Halloway advanced a pace or two in front of his escort, and removing his cap, in a clear, firm, but respectful voice, thus addressed the Governor:-

"Colonel de Haldimar, that I am no traitor, as I have already told you, the Almighty God, before whom I swore allegiance to his Majesty, can bear me witness. Appearances, I own, are against me; but, so far from being a traitor, I would have shed my last drop of blood in defence of the garrison and your family.-Colonel de Haldimar," he pursued, after a momentary pause, in which he seemed to be struggling to subdue the emotion which rose, despite of himself, to his throat, "I repeat, I am no traitor, and I scorn the imputation-but here is my best answer to the charge. This wound, (and he unbuttoned his jacket, opened his shirt, and disclosed a deep scar upon his white chest,) this wound I received in defence of my captain's life at Quebec. Had I not loved him, I should not so have exposed myself, neither but for that should I now stand in the situation of shame and danger, in which my comrades behold me."

Every heart was touched by this appeal-this bold and manly appeal to the consideration of the Governor. The officers, especially, who were fully conversant with the general merit of Halloway, were deeply affected, and Charles de Haldimar-the young, the generous, the feeling Charles de Haldimar,-even shed tears.

"What mean you, prisoner?" interrogated the Governor, after a short pause, during which he appeared to be weighing and deducing inferences from the expressions just uttered. "What mean you, by stating, but for that (alluding to your regard for Captain de Haldimar) you would not now be in this situation of shame and danger?"

The prisoner hesitated a moment; and then rejoined, but in a tone that had less of firmness in it than before,-"Colonel de Haldimar, I am not at liberty to state my meaning; for, though a private soldier, I respect my word, and have pledged myself to secrecy."

"You respect your word, and have pledged yourself to secrecy! What mean you, man, by this rhodomontade? To whom can you have pledged yourself, and for what, unless it be to some secret enemy without the walls? Gentlemen, proceed to your duty: it is evident that the man is a traitor, even from his own admission.-On my life," he pursued, more hurriedly, and speaking in an under tone, as if to himself, "the fellow has been bribed by, and is connected with-." The name escaped not his lips; for, aware of the emotion he was betraying, he suddenly checked himself, and assumed his wonted stern and authoritative bearing.

Once more the prisoner addressed the Governor in the same clear firm voice in which he had opened his appeal.

"Colonel de Haldimar, I have no connection with any living soul without the fort; and again I repeat, I am no traitor, but a true and loyal British soldier, as my services in this war, and my comrades, can well attest. Still, I seek not to shun that death which I have braved a dozen times at least in the -- regiment. All that I ask is, that I may not be tried-that I may not have the shame of hearing sentence pronounced against me YET; but if nothing should occur before eight o'clock to vindicate my character from this disgrace, I will offer up no further prayer for mercy. In the name of that life, therefore, which I once preserved to Captain de Haldimar, at the price of my own blood, I entreat a respite from trial until then."

"In the name of God and all his angels, let mercy reach your soul, and grant his prayer!"

Every ear was startled-every heart touched by the plaintive, melancholy, silver tones of the voice that faintly pronounced the last appeal, and all recognised it for that of the young, interesting, and attached wife of the prisoner. Again the latter turned his gaze towards the window whence the sounds proceeded, and by the glare of the torches a tear was distinctly seen by many coursing down his manly cheek. The weakness was momentary. In the next instant he closed his shirt and coat, and resuming his cap, stepped back once more amid his guard, where he remained stationary, with the air of one who, having nothing further to hope, has resolved to endure the worst that can happen with resignation and fortitude.

After the lapse of a few moments, again devoted to much apparent deep thought and conjecture, the Governor once more, and rather hurriedly, resumed,-

"In the event, prisoner, of this delay in your trial being granted, will you pledge yourself to disclose the secret to which you have alluded? Recollect, there is nothing but that which can save your memory from being consigned to infamy for ever; for who, among your comrades, will believe the idle denial of your treachery, when there is the most direct proof against you? If your secret die with you, moreover, every honest man will consider it as having been one so infamous and injurious to your character, that you were ashamed to reveal it."

These suggestions of the Colonel were not without their effect; for, in the sudden swelling of the prisoner's chest, as allusion was made to the disgrace that would attach to his memory, there was evidence of a high and generous spirit, to whom obloquy was far more hateful than even death itself.

"I do promise," he at length replied, stepping forward, and uncovering himself as before,-"if no one appear to justify my conduct at the hour I have named, a full disclosure of all I know touching this affair shall be made. And may God, of his infinite mercy, grant, for Captain de Haldimar's sake, as well as mine, I may not then be wholly deserted!"

There was something so peculiarly solemn and impressive in the manner in which the unhappy man now expressed himself, that a feeling of the utmost awe crept into the bosoms of the surrounding throng; and

more than one veteran of the grenadiers, the company to which Halloway belonged, was heard to relieve his chest of the long pent-up sigh that struggled for release.

"Enough, prisoner," rejoined the Governor; "on this condition do I grant your request; but recollect,-your disclosure ensures no hope of pardon, unless, indeed, you have the fullest proof to offer in your defence. Do you perfectly understand me?"

"I do," replied the soldier firmly; and again he placed his cap on his head, and retired a step or two back among the guard.

"Mr. Lawson, let the prisoner be removed, and conducted to one of the private cells. Who is the subaltern of the guard?"

"Ensign Fortescue," was the answer.

"Then let Ensign Fortescue keep the key of the cell himself. Tell him, moreover, I shall hold him individually responsible for his charge."

Once more the prisoner was marched out of the area; and, as the clanking sound of his chains became gradually fainter in the distance, the same voice that had before interrupted the proceedings, pronounced a "God be praised!-God be praised!" with such melody of sorrow in its intonations that no one could listen to it unmoved. Both officers and men were more or less affected, and all hoped-they scarcely knew why or what-but all hoped something favourable would occur to save the life of the brave and unhappy Frank Halloway.

Of the first interruption by the wife of the prisoner the Governor had taken no notice; but on this repetition of the expression of her feelings he briefly summoned, in the absence of the Adjutant, the sergeant-major of the regiment to his side.

"Sergeant-major Bletson, I desire that, in future, on all occasions of this kind, the women of the regiment may be kept out of the way. Look to it, sir!"

The sergeant-major, who had stood erect as his own halbert, which he held before him in a saluting position, during this brief admonition of his colonel, acknowledged, by a certain air of deferential respect and dropping of the eyes, unaccompanied by speech of any kind, that he felt the reproof, and would, in future, take care to avoid all similar cause for complaint. He then stalked stiffly away, and resumed, in a few hasty strides, his position in rear of the troops.

"Hard-hearted man!" pursued the same voice: "if my prayers of gratitude to Heaven give offence, may the hour never come when my lips shall pronounce their bitterest curse upon your severity!"

There was something so painfully wild-so solemnly prophetic-in these sounds of sorrow as they fell faintly upon the ear, and especially under the extraordinary circumstances of the night, that they might have been taken for the warnings of some supernatural agency. During their utterance, not even the breathing of human life was to be heard in the ranks. In the next instant, however, Sergeant-major Bletson was seen repairing, with long and hasty strides, to the barrack whence the voice proceeded, and the interruption was heard no more.

Meanwhile the officers, who had been summoned from the ranks for the purpose of forming the court-martial, still lingered in the centre of the square, apparently waiting for the order of their superior, before they should resume their respective stations. As the quick and comprehensive glance of Colonel de Haldimar now embraced the group, he at once became sensible of the absence of one of the seniors, all of whom he had desired should be selected for the court-martial.

"Mr. Lawson," he remarked, somewhat sternly, as the Adjutant now returned from delivering over his prisoner to Ensign Fortescue, "I thought I understood from your report the officers were all present!"

"I believe, sir, my report will be found perfectly correct," returned the Adjutant, in a tone which, without being disrespectful, marked his offended sense of the implication.

"And Lieutenant Murphy-"

"Is here, sir," said the Adjutant, pointing to a couple of files of the guard, who were bearing a heavy burden, and following into the square. "Lieutenant Murphy," he pursued, "has been shot on the ramparts; and I have, as directed by Captain Blessington, caused the body to be brought here, that I may receive your orders respecting the interment." As he spoke, he removed a long military grey cloak, which completely enshrouded the corpse, and disclosed, by the light of the still brightly flaming torches of the gunners, the features of the unfortunate Murphy.

"How did he meet his death?" enquired the governor; without, however, manifesting the slightest surprise, or appearing at all moved at the discovery.

"By a rifle shot fired from the common, near the old bomb proof," observed Captain Blessington, as the adjutant looked to him for the particular explanation he could not render himself.

"Ah! this reminds me," pursued the austere commandant,-"there was a shot fired also from the ramparts. By whom, and at what?"

"By me, sir," said Lieutenant Valletort, coming forward from the ranks, "and at what I conceived to be an Indian, lurking as a spy upon the common."

"Then, Lieutenant Sir Everard Valletort, no repetition of these firings, if you please; and let it be borne in mind by all, that although, from the peculiar nature of the service in which we are engaged, I so far depart from the established regulations of the army as to permit my officers to arm themselves with rifles, they are to be used only as occasion may require in the hour of conflict, and not for the purpose of throwing a whole garrison into alarm by trials of skill and dexterity upon shadows at this unseasonable hour."

"I was not aware, sir," returned Sir Everard proudly, and secretly galled at being thus addressed before the men, "it could be deemed a military crime to destroy an enemy at whatever hour he might present himself, and especially on such an occasion as the present. As for my firing at a shadow, those who heard the yell that followed the second shot, can determine that it came from no shadow, but from a fierce and vindictive enemy. The cry denoted even something more than the ordinary defiance of an Indian: it seemed to express a fiendish sentiment of personal triumph and revenge."

The governor started involuntarily. "Do you imagine, Sir Everard Valletort, the aim of your rifle was true-that you hit him?"

This question was asked so hurriedly, and in a tone so different from that in which he had hitherto spoken, that the officers around simultaneously raised their eyes to those of their colonel with an expression of undissembled surprise. He observed it, and instantly resumed his habitual sternness of look and manner.

"I rather fear not, sir," replied Sir Everard, who had principally remarked the emotion; "but may I hope (and this was said with emphasis), in the evident disappointment you experience at my want of success, my offence may be overlooked?"

The governor fixed his penetrating eyes on the speaker, as if he would have read his inmost mind; and then calmly, and even impressively, observed,-

"Sir Everard Valletort, I do overlook the offence, and hope you may as easily forgive yourself. It were well, however, that your indiscretion, which can only find its excuse in your being so young an officer, had not been altogether without some good result. Had you killed or disabled the-the savage, there might have been a decent palliative offered; but what must be your feelings, sir, when you reflect, the death of yon officer," and he pointed to the corpse of the unhappy Murphy, "is, in a great degree, attributable to yourself? Had you not provoked the anger of the savage, and given a direction to his aim by the impotent and wanton discharge of your own rifle, this accident would never have happened."

This severe reproving of an officer, who had acted from the most praiseworthy of motives, and who could not possibly have anticipated the unfortunate catastrophe that had occurred, was considered especially harsh and unkind by every one present; and a low and almost inaudible murmur passed through the company to which Sir Everard was attached. For a minute or two that officer also appeared deeply pained, not more from the reproof itself than from the new light in which the observation of his chief had taught him to view, for the first time, the causes that had led to the fall of Murphy. Finding, however, that the governor had no further remark to address to him, he once more returned to his station in the ranks.

"Mr. Lawson," resumed the commandant, turning to the adjutant, "let this victim be carried to the spot on which he fell, and there interred. I know no better grave for a soldier than beneath the sod that has been moistened with his blood. Recollect," he continued, as the adjutant once more led the party out of the area,-"no firing, Mr. Lawson. The duty must be silently performed, and without the risk of provoking a forest of arrows, or a shower of bullets from the savages. Major Blackwater," he pursued, as soon as the corpse had been removed, "let the men pile their arms even as they now stand, and remain ready to fall in at a minute's notice. Should any thing extraordinary happen before the morning, you will, of course, apprise me." He then strode out of the area with the same haughty and measured step that had characterised his entrance.

"Our colonel does not appear to be in one of his most amiable moods to-night," observed Captain Blessington, as the officers, after having disposed of their respective companies, now proceeded along the ramparts to assist at the last funeral offices of their unhappy associate. "He was disposed to be severe, and must have put you, in some measure, out of conceit with your favourite rifle, Valletort."

"True," rejoined the Baronet, who had already rallied from the momentary depression of his spirits, "he hit me devilish hard, I confess, and was disposed to display more of the commanding officer than quite suits my ideas of the service. His words were as caustic as his looks; and could both have pierced me to the quick, there was no inclination on his part wanting. By my soul I could .... but I forgive him. He is the father of my friend: and for that reason will I chew the cud of my mortification, nor suffer, if possible, a sense of his unkindness to rankle at my heart. At all events, Blessington, my mind is made up, and resign or exchange I certainly shall the instant I can find a decent loop-hole to creep out of."

Sir Everard fancied the ear of his captain was alone listening to these expressions of his feeling, or in all probability he would not have uttered them. As he concluded the last sentence, however, he felt his arm gently grasped by one who walked a pace or two silently in their rear. He turned, and recognised Charles de Haldimar.

"I am sure, Valletort, you will believe how much pained I have been at the severity of my father; but, indeed, there was nothing personally offensive intended. Blessington can tell you as well as myself it is his manner altogether. Nay, that although he is the first in seniority after Blackwater, the governor treats him with the same distance and hauteur he would use towards the youngest ensign in the service. Such are the effects of his long military habits, and his ideas of the absolutism of command. Am I not right, Blessington?"

"Quite right, Charles. Sir Everard may satisfy himself his is no solitary instance of the stern severity of your father. Still, I confess, notwithstanding the rigidity of manner which he seems, on all occasions, to think so indispensable to the maintenance of authority in a commanding officer, I never knew him so inclined to find fault as he is to-night."

"Perhaps," observed Valletort, good humouredly, "his conscience is rather restless; and he is willing to get rid of it and his spleen together. I would wager my rifle against the worthless scalp of the rascal I fired at to-night, that this same stranger, whose asserted appearance has called us from our comfortable beds, is but the creation of his disturbed dreams. Indeed, how is it possible any thing formed of flesh and blood could have escaped us with the vigilant watch that has been kept on the ramparts? The old gentleman certainly had that illusion strongly impressed on his mind when he so sapiently spoke of my firing at a shadow."

"But the gate," interrupted Charles de Haldimar, with something of mild reproach in his tones,-"you forget, Valletort, the gate was found unlocked, and that my brother is missing. HE, at least, was flesh and blood, as you say, and yet he has disappeared. What more probable, therefore, than that this stranger is at once the cause and the agent of his abduction?"

"Impossible, Charles," observed Captain Blessington; "Frederick was in the midst of his guard. How, therefore, could he be conveyed away without the alarm being given? Numbers only could have succeeded in so desperate an enterprise; and yet there is no evidence, or even suspicion, of more than one individual having been here."

"It is a singular affair altogether," returned Sir Everard, musingly. "Of two things, however, I am satisfied. The first is, that the stranger, whoever he may be, and if he really has been here, is no Indian; the second, that he is personally known to the governor, who has been, or I mistake much, more alarmed at his individual presence than if Ponteac and his whole band had suddenly broken in upon us. Did you remark his emotion, when I dwelt on the peculiar character of personal triumph and revenge which the cry of the lurking villain outside seemed to express? and did you notice the eagerness with which he enquired if I thought I had hit him? Depend upon it, there is more in all this than is dreamt of in our philosophy."

"And it was your undisguised perception of that emotion," remarked Captain Blessington, "that drew down his severity upon your own head. It was, however, too palpable not to be noticed by all; and I dare say conjecture is as busily and as vaguely at work among our companions as it is with us. The clue to the mystery, in a great degree, now dwells with Frank Halloway; and to him we must look for its elucidation. His disclosure will be one, I apprehend, full of ignominy to himself, but of the highest interest and importance to us all. And yet I know not how to believe the man the traitor he appears."

"Did you remark that last harrowing exclamation of his wife?" observed Charles de Haldimar, in a tone of unspeakable melancholy. "How fearfully prophetic it sounded in my ears. I know not how it is," he pursued, "but I wish I had not heard those sounds; for since that moment I have had a sad strange presentiment of evil at my heart. Heaven grant my poor brother may make his appearance, as I still trust he will, at the hour Halloway seems to expect, for if not, the latter most assuredly dies. I know my father well; and, if convicted by a court martial, no human power can alter the destiny that awaits Frank Halloway."

"Rally, my dear Charles, rally," said Sir Everard, affecting a confidence he did not feel himself; "indulge not in these idle and superstitious fancies. I pity Halloway from my soul, and feel the deepest interest in his pretty and unhappy wife; but that is no reason why one should attach importance to the incoherent expressions wrung from her in the agony of grief."

"It is kind of you, Valletort, to endeavour to cheer my spirits, when, if the truth were confessed, you acknowledge the influence of the same feelings. I thank you for the attempt, but time alone can show how far I shall have reason, or otherwise, to lament the occurrences of this night."

They had now reached that part of the ramparts whence the shot from Sir Everard's rifle had been fired. Several men were occupied in digging a grave in the precise spot on which the unfortunate Murphy had stood when he received his death-wound; and into this, when completed, the body, enshrouded in the cloak already alluded to, was deposited by his companions.

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