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The Breton Mills

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Jopyrighted by the Autlior, and published by arrangement with Uim. lPTER XXXV. A I'OPULAR LEADSE. Market hall was full of excited workraen when Curran pushed the door open anc stepped in. Some would be orator had beei trying to voice the wrongs oí the people, bul ■wken the whisper ran along Üie seats thal Curran was at the door every head was turned. ïhen, as if by a common impulse, the hole audience rose to their feet, and thi building seemed to tremblo with the cheer that burst from the brawny throats. Here was au orator .indeed, a man who could set before them their suiïerings and wring theii hearts with self pity ; who could make each soul of them wonde]' at bis owu imtience. He made his way slowjy ujj the aisle with sinaplo greetings for his friends, as they stretched out their griray hands to him. But hls srnile was so sad aud hopeless that every glad face sobered as he passed. He inounted the platform and turned his face toward them. He seemed but the ghost oL bis former inagnificent mauhood, but the people cheered him again, and those in the ïear leaped upon their seats in the eagei-neso to seo their hero. ïhen all held their breatli to listen; even the girls in the gallery stopped their excited whispering while they waited for hls grand ringing tones that had thrilled the faintest hearts so many times before. Would he never begin? "What is this meeting for?' The orator his coming had interrupted, was only too glad to explain. "We don't iet our rights. We get a little, but that's all, and we mean to fetch the Í'OUng boss te his milk to-niorrow ; don't we, ads:' A shout of eager assent went up from the crowd. Tlien all was still ngain. Now would como the torrent of wordsol flame. Yes, Curran had stepped forward to the very edgt of the platform, m his old habit. Uut wha was the felle v with baudaged head pushing his way so rudely upthe maiü aisle, as if he bore tidingsi Xt mast bo ill tidiugs to make him in such laste. But Curran had beguii to speak. "You ai"! makine a mistake. my frienos - a great misiike. The youngmaster has doua weM by yoi, and Le will do letter, if you vill give hiiu time to think. Such mighty ideas as have pot into his mind can't Ije Btopped. They will not let him halt long; he must be gwept forward. But you must wait for him. You have waited for your cruel and beartlesf) ma-sters thousands of years. Will you only sUow yourselvfle Impatient and insolent to the ürst one wlio shows himself kind toward you ! Do you want to make his name an example and a warning for his class? I have heard their scoffs and taunts already- the air is full of them. Look, they say, at the way the people treat the man who tries to help them. Friends, you are making a terrible mistake." The Eght of the man's noble geuius had flushed liis pale cheeks and flashed beautiiully in his steel blue eyes. His voioe, that had seenied weak and unsteady as he began, rang out its bell like tones again asbe saw the sullen faces soften under his matchless power. "He has made vour village blossom by his love; he lms brought smiles to your weary chlldren's faces; he has planted hope in a thousund desperate hearts. Do you ask me how I know? I see it in your eyes. I see it in the way your heads rest on your broad shoulders. And will you use j'our uew manhood to do him in jury Í" But the man with the bandaged head had reached tho platform, and at this very ïnoment, when the orator paused to let his ineaninK sink into the hearts of the people, he touched Curran on the shoulder and whispered a few hurried words in his ear. The peoplo saw their hero's face blanch. He turned to the fellow with a look that would break a man's heart, and seemed to be asking him a question. As the agitator listened to the reply his knies trembled under him and he sank into a ohair, and still the messenger of evil bent over him and kept whispering with poisonous breath into his ear. At last Bailes stood back from his victim, who bowed his head upon his hands. Curran's whole body shook with the violence of his passion. The inert j)t-ople waited. They knew nothingelseto do. Their hero mignt have died before them, thoy would uever have thought to stir from their seats. But he rose at last, and Bailes grinned diabolicaily behind him. Thev would bear another story now. "Friends, you have heard'what I said." He spoke as it' u great weight was upon him and his voire carne slowly. "Irepeat it, be patiënt with your young inaster: he means well by you." But Bailes rushed forward and, teariigthe bandajes from his head. threw them upon the platform at his f eet. Disease had settled m nis bruises and his face was frightfully Bwolleu and disüg-ured. He might have been a ghoul or a guome instead of a human being. "Kevenge him, men," he screamed, throwIng up his arms, "if you have any spirit in you. I have just told him- some of you knew it - how that bojr has stole his wife and spit on the laws, as if they were uot for the rich like him." It was more liko a groan than a shout that went up from the crowd before him, which only waited a word from the bowed, brokeu man thev loved, to become a bloodthirsty mob. M ould he givo them that wordi He nací leapeu to tus ieet ana thrown out tus long right arm in its graudest gesture, and the murmur of the people died down. His face was as white as a dead iiian's, an ashy white, but his oyes flashed lightning. "VVhose wrong is itthen, this hideous ereature's or mine i I will settle my own grievances, I need no mob to right me." Thea Curran paused a moment. When he began again it was in a lower tone. "Besides, the inan is wrong," his voiee trembled like a child's. "I have no - no," he almost broke down, "I have no wife- I mn - I am not weU, I must go to my ted, but bef ore I go I want to be sure you will make no mistake to-night or to-morrow." He folded his anus across bis broad chest in a sublime offort of selfcontrol. His blood boiled in mad fever, eyery moment was worth a world to him, agonizing pictures floated bef ore his dimmed visiou, but he would riot stir trom his post till he had conquered this mob. "Philip Breton has shown himself fair to you, be fair with him. If he never did auother thing for you - he - he has yet deserved your- youf patience. You wül excuso rae now, I will see you to-morro w butl need rest. Can I depend on you'í" He did not even look at them; nis attitude, as he waited with downcast eyes, was oí a man who talks in his sleep. "Yes- yes," shouted the people, and then he turned and stepped off from the platform. He carne down the aisle very strangely. At first he would hurry and notice no one. Then, as if by a mighty effort, he would walk very r slowly, then raster again. Then he would stop short and put out his hand to sonie perfect stranger. Many eyes watched him curiously when he separated from his eager friends at the door of the hall and walked rapidly away. 11' Curran luid turned oiï to the road that 'led to Philip Breton's house on the hill he would not have goue far alono, but he did not even look that way so long as the half tamed mob could see him. And the people scattered in disappointmeiit to their homes. Uut Curran is no longer walking in his first direction ; he has turned on his heel umi made a route for himself across the flelds. His face is pointed toward the lights thut vet shine down at him from the stone house on the hiü. And the ro;uls are not straiglit enough for the errand he is on, nor is walkii enough, he breaks into a run. Now Lo fallí over a low felice so violsntly that a limb might have been broken, but he only loses his hat and runs on, liis long hair shaking down over his pale set face as he runs. His breath (■unies like the jiufling of a locomotiva; ha can hear Uis heart thi'ub loudei thaii his footfalla W luit doos he seok ! What will he do when he looks again on his f aithless and dishonored wife and on the man who has put this deadlicst shame upon him? Punishmentcan wipe out uothing, vengeance never assuaged oue pang of human anguish yet. Butmercyor pity or reason are üed from his maddened soul to-night, while the furies whip him on. CHAPTER XXXVI. TOO FOND A EUSBAN'D. The dranken lawyer very nearly feil as he tried to step off the counting room piazza, and almost made up his mind it would be more desirable to lie down in some soft spot and go to sleep, than take the long wulk ho had set himself. But the cool breeze seemed to refresh him marvelously, and in another moment he despised the green hollow under the elm that had looked so inviting, and hurried up toward Philip Breton's house. He shook his head wisuly as he walked. H took a prtty smart man to get ahead of John Giddings, drunk or sober. The young mili owner wasn't nearly as frightened as usual. Somethmg. was in the wind. Ha ought to have watched him closer lately, but Giddings concluded he vroa in goDd time vel with Breton 'at one end oí tne vil lage, his wife at the other, and himself, the acute lawyer, between them. The lawyer had walked as far as Silas Ellingsworth's house, when he caught sight of a pair of horses on a fast trut, drawing a close coupe. Elegant pairs and chariots of that description wera not so eornmon iri Bretonville as to malee it doubtful who might own this one, and besides it must have been an occasion of peculiar necessity that called for such uuaristocratic haste. Giddings was perfectly delighted with his own sagacitv. He knew httnan nature pretty well. fhen a mau gets another in an unpleasant situation, he must count on the unfortunate struggling to escape. If it happens to be a woman, he need not be so watchful - women are all fatalists. But it takes a pretty smart man to get ahead of John Giddings. "WhSa, whoa, I say." The lawyer had thrown himself in front of the excited horses, and the driver had to pull up to keep from running over him. " Vhoa, I say." Then he stepped to the door of the carriage and turning the knob threw it wide open. The moonlight revealed a woman surrounded with carpet bags and shawls. A thick brown veil concealed her featui'es, but Mr. Giddings took off his hat to her. "Mts. Breton, I beHeve." MVhy yes," she did not r'ecognize him, "but I ain in a huiTy," she said nervously di-awing back. "Drive on Henry." "No, you don't," insisted Giddings, mounting the steps. "Í guess you don't know me." His liquor began to overeóme him agaiu, "name's (iiddings, aint goiu' far, areyoui" "To Europe," she answered quiekly, recogïiziug him at last. "1 have no further occaion for your services, I have paid you, laven't I?" "Ifot s'inuch as your second husband's paid me since," he gurgled. "If you're goin' so far, guess I'll go to, 1 like your family, Miss Breton.'' "Drive on, I command you,"she screamed, and the horses started. Giddings lurched forward, and Bertha put out her white hands and tried to push liim back. He clutehed, with an oath, at sornething to hold to, but she loosened her India shawl and the man carried it with him into the ditch. But he leapeö to his feet. "Hold! stop! pólice! pólice!" but Giddings had no suoner spoken than the vil] age policemau laid his hand on his arm. "Here I um. sir, what'll j'ou have?" "Stop that earriage ; arrest that woman, ahe is a criminad." Giddiugs had shaken off the policemau's grasp and started to run af ter the carriage. "You must be very drunk," said the other, overtaking him, "that is Mr. Breton's wife." "Í know that," screamed the Jawyer, "and I teil you to stop her, let me go." "More likely you're the criminal. Hallo, what you doing with that Indy shawl. Guess Hl have to look you up. Como along quiet, 110 w." But Giddings was perfeetly frantic. He fought with his feet and hands, and with his teeth, kicking, tearing and biting like a wild beast. "Don't let her escape, I say, never mind me, I'll give you a thousand dollars. Hl tear your heart out, you villaiu. Stop her, stop her!" The ofiicer grew angry at last, and drew his billet, but still the fellow struggled and screamed like a wild creature, till blow after blow paralyzed his arms, and flnally stretehed him unconscious and bleediug on the ground. "Iremens," growled tho polieeman, as he lifted him to his feet s?oii aftir, and led him alohg, subdued at last. But a woman had stood in her window as the carriage had rolled by, and she had recognized the equipage, too. A suddeu change cume over lier face. "WhiTe are you going, Jennie?" Her husband looked up ralmly trom his paper. "Out a minute," she hardly looked at him, "that is all." "But it is almost 'J o'clock, my dear, what can you want out f" Her breath came f ast, and two bright red spots burned in her eheefo. Mr. EUingsworth had oever geen her so pretty. He must keep her so a few moments. Hë stepped to tho door and turnad tho key, then he put it in his pocket and threw hiniself back ou his chair agaiu. She faced him with üashing eyes. "How dare you- am 1 your slaveï I want to go out." Her husband settled down cozily in his seat, and siuiled his old brilliant smile. She had Hever seen him laugh any more than the rest of his acquaintances. He might, perhaps, have laugned befora au intímate, but men lika Silas EUingsworth have uo liitimates. "How lovely you are when j'ou are angry. I seo I have made a mistaUe in being so amiable with you. What treats I have lost. Why, you are better than an aetress, my dear. 8uch coloring ai. yours does not hui't the complexión." Precious time nras flying: the carriage had rolled away out of sight; victim hadoutwitted her - her haUj would be balked forever, and al) for her husband's fooUsh caprice. She stam])ed her foot at him. "I must go." There was vet time to rouse the vülagers, and tetch back the fugitives from justice. Oh, what dovil of stupidity had poaBCCScd her nise husband to-niglit "Give me the key." She had come close to him, but she did not scream when she was angry, her voice grew low and almost hoarse, "ar 1 will leave you f ore ver." He had laid aside his paper now, with quite a serious air, and Jane lelt vaguely frightened; she had never seen him sober with her. Oould he do any moro than others when they are angry J She did not reason about it ; she only began to be afraid of her owu words. His was the only nature ir thu world could have tamed her BO corapletely. Kvery moment Philip lireton's carriage was bearing the nomuu Jane hated to gui'ei.y and peace that her false beart liad never deservcd. But there were fleoter hórsea in Bietonville tliari his; they could be pursued; they could bc overtakeu and dragged back in greatcr ignoiulny than ever. it would be mure terrible ior Berthaeven than il' the bhuv had come while she sal serene in her ownhome. To be o vertak sn in flight would oap her shame. Jane threvt herselt into her husband's arias. She kissed his eyes, lus mouth, his white neck; shc covered hia smooth hands 'nlt kistes; twiniag her urnis about his neck she lavishfd the tenderest of oarressing epitheta on bjm. Thenahedrew beiselt' away; Her blaekhairiiad beei Jy loosened, and 1 d hung wrll down her flnshed uheeks. She iiad raised her hands and clasped theraover her bosom; her lij)s parted; surely no human buiiíj can resüt aui-ii wistful beauty as hei's. "Please let ü:r go." But before lio could answer she hearda noise like thundqr and rushed to the window. Öhe sees uothing, but the sound comes on nearer and uearer; it comes ívotu the hiii. Something white gleams in the moonlight. "What il" you a ef' asked Mr. Ellingsworth earelessly, returaing to his newspaper. Sbe holds hei1 breath Nearer it comes, PhiJip's white horse Joo 011 a mad gallop. But Philip is not upon him. Who is that rider, witfi long, uncovered hair and pale, haggard face? e strikes the maddened animal eveiy moment for better speed, lliough now they seem ilying faster than the wind. The man is C'urrau. Let him be his own avenger, then. CHAPTER XXXVII. THE PilICE OF HAPPINES... The Breton carriage liad passed tho last house in the village, whon Philip lcaned out f or one last look at the home of his childhood and the scène of the only work he should ever do. He was almost a boy yet; it seemed only a few days since ho had looked at the great world only as a play ground. It was a short work he had done ín the few days of his manhood, and even that had been condemned. Dear old milis, with their bold towers and massive walls, but his no longer. His heritage was sold, his birthright lost. He turned his eyes away; it was more tlian he could bear. On the hill back above the village he saw for tho last time, as the road wound off toward Lockout, his house, that was. "Deserted"' seemed wri ten on its stone walls. It had never looked so noble to him, asort of halo seemed to float above it. He could see the window of the room whero he veas boni, but for uha1; a worthless life. '■(Jood-by," he miirraured. ïheroadasit followed the winding river made nnother turn, and the lights of the village were shut away froffi his luisty eyes. The horses were ti-otting at their best. There as none too much time. It was far botter than he had hopod. The dangers had gathered so thicklv, there had seemed at one time hardly more í uan a chance for escape. Peril seemed on every hand, enemies to spring irom every covert, and stretch out their bands to stop the fugitivas. But the village was far behind aow. A few moments more and the steaming horses would draw up at the Lockout station, and they would be whirJed away taster than any pursuer to peace and safety and honor. "How odd it all is, setting out in this way as if we were eloping." Philip was reaching forward to take her hand, but he drew back, as if he were stung. How terribly thoughtless she was. "I explained about the steamer's early morning start." "Do you know," resumed Bertha softly, "how pleased I am to have this trip to Europe ? It is a sort of wedding jouruey isn't it f How good Crod had been, to let him keep the awful truth from her. It would have crushed her, the very thought of her shame. It was crushing him. '"I shall enjoy it very much," she said, putting out her hand to him, in unusual fondness. "'lamafraid I haven't retui'ned your goodness very well." No more she had "Where shall we go firsti" "To the south of France, God willing," he added solemnly. Bertha looked at his face with a new aniiety. The moonhght seemed to bring out all me marics oí ms terriDie care ana surtermg. But he gazed at her in astonishment; he had never seen an expression so near love in her oyes for hitn. Was her heart softening, woiúd she yet make up to liim in her new love all that he lost for her sake? But her lips were moving. "I shall be better with you than I use'l to be. I - I - " she dropped her eyes before his passionate joy, the sadness had gone in an instant f rom his face, his future seemed beautifully radiant again. "I feel different toward you, dear." He bent forward to draw her to his heart. He was paid for everything. He hafl taught his wife to love him as he dreamed she could love. She had lifted her rapt face toward his. It had come - the moment he had given his life for. But suddenly his heart stopped beatiug; there was a sound of a galloping horse. Fhilip kissed his wife, but as solemnly as if she were dead, and put her away í'roni him. He leaned forward and looked back over the road they had come. He saw nothing at first, but he heard the sound of a horse's hoofs. He put his hcad far out. It might have been a white speek in the road, but as he looked the speek became larger and clearer. Ifc-was a white horse, ata dead rijn, on their comise. Philip Breton's heart, that had just been almost bursting with its new happiness, was a great, cola stone in his breast. And he faneied he could escape, with euemies like his and a whole village against him. He could see only one pursuer. Ah, he kuew who it must be. And that pursuer grew nearer every moment. "Drive f aster," he shouted to the coachman, "run the horses." How like the wind his pursuer came. Philip had thought there was but one horse that could leap so mightily. Why this was that one, his own horse Joe. Why it might be a servant from his home with something that had been forgotteu. It need not be the worst peril his fancy could picture? But he dared not hope. "Isn't this delightful," exclaimed Bertha. "There can't be any danger of our missing the train at this rate." "Whip y our horses; don't sjiare them - faster." If anything should break their troubles would all end that night. And the strain on the harnesses and the groaning axles was bevond all caleulation of the makers. The horses, too, liad got past the control of the driver. He had no more occasion to urge the wild creatures; instead, he was pulling at the reins with all his strength, but to no purpose, except so far he had kept them in the road. The rider of the white horse was hatless, and his long, loose hair and his swinging hand, as he struck the panting white ftanks of the horse, gave him an unranny look as if thero were no deed of horror too blood curdling for him to do. The harse dropped big flakes of foam from his mouth, foam mingled with blood; his eyes and nostrils were dilated with agony; his breathing was like fïerce gusts of wind in a tempest. Philip Breton Knew the rider as well as the horse. Hispursuer was Curran ; and the implacable laws made him yet the Irasband of the woman whom Philip Breton had made hls wi U: They were almost at Lockout. The carriage gave a terrible lurch at a turn in the road. The horses were almost taken off their f eet, but still there was no accident ; the Windows of the carriage grazed the solid w-all of rock without being broken, and in a moment the hoises, now subdued, were trotting down the hill toward the city. But the fugitives had hardly eseaped the Out through the rocks when the pursuer entered it. He had almost overtaken them. He struck the horse's white flanksa pitiless blow. It was at the very spot whero Curran had sa ved Bertha's life from the mad dog, that the old horse, torced beyoad his strength, stopped as if lightning had struck him. The blood wel led in torrents from his mouth and nostrils; he quivered like a leaf, and Uien feil dead in his tracks. The rider shot over the creature's head with the gathered momeutum of that mad race, and struck the jagged rock with a sickening crash. Curran was dead. wi .


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