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      His farm itself was at length forfeited, and Holgrave took shelter for the moment at old Hartwell's. The hut his father had reared when he married his mother, was still standing; the roof had fallen in, the ivy had grown over its walls; but even yet it sometimes sheltered the wandering mendicant, and often would the blaze of a large wood fire look cheerily through the shattered casement and the broken door, and shed an air almost of comfort over the bare walls. Holgrave remembered the ruin, as he was considering where he could abide until Margaret, who was far advanced in the family way, should be enabled to travel farther. His resolution was instantly formed; and refusing the assistance offered by Hartwell, and some other neighbours, and as decidedly rejecting the idea they proposed, of striving to regain possession of his house, he requested Lucy Hartwell to look to Margaret for a day or two, while he sought out a place to shelter them; and then, without mentioning his purpose, quitted the house.

      He went out and did a little work, but after an hour or so flung down the chicken-coop he was making, and rushed into the house. His usual question received its usual answer. He thought the doctor a hemmed fraud and the doctor thought him a damned fool.

      "Havehave you been here long?" stammered David, feeling he must say something.

      "He's a stouter man than his brother.""Stop that!" said Reuben roughly.

      Caro ran out once or twice into the garden; the flowers hung pale and stirless on their stems, and from the orchard, full of the babble of a hidden wind, came a faint scent of plums. The old walls of Odiam seemed to smell of the sunshine they had caught and held during the day. The gable-ends broke into the stars, and the windows gleamed in the yellowing light of the moon. Up towards the south the mass of Boarzell rose hullish and desertedfar away at Ellenwhorne a dog was barking, but all else was still."Oh, I'm a bit off colour to-night, but I can tell you I was a fine girl when I went away with Joeand all the time I lived with him, too, first at the Camber and then at New Romney; there was many as 'ud have been proud to git me from him. But I stuck to him faithful, I did, till one morning I woke up and found him gone, off on a voyage to Australiawonder if he met Roberthaving given me over to a pal of his for five pounds and a set of oilskins. Oh, I can tell you I took on something awfulI wasn't used to men in those days. But Joe's pal he was a decent chapthere was nothing the matter with him save that he wasn't Joe. He was unaccountable good to me, and I stayed with him three yearsand then I hooked it, scarcely knew why. I got a post as barmaid in Seaford, but the landlord took up with me and his missus chucked me out. And now I'm here."

      Such a discovery could not long remain a secret;the tale reached the ears of young De Boteler, and, already prepossessed in his favour, it was but a natural consequence that Calverley should rise from being first an assistant, to be the steward, the page, and, at length, the esquire to the heir to the barony of Sudley. But the progress of his fortunes did but add to the malevolence of the detractor and the tale-bearer; theft, sacrilege, and even murder were hinted at as probable causes for a youth, who evidently did not belong to the vulgar, being thus a friendless outcast. But the most charitable surmise was, that he was the offspring of the unhallowed love of some dame or damsel who had reared him in privacy, and had destined him for the church; and that either upon the death of his protectress, or through some fault, he had been expelled from his home. Calverley had a distant authoritative manner towards his equals and inferiors, which, despite every effort, checked inquisitiveness; and all the information he ever gave was, that he was the son of a respectable artizan of the city of London, whom his father's death had left friendless. Whether this statement was correct or not, could never be discovered. Calverley was never known to allude to aught that happened in the years previous to his becoming an inmate of the castle: what little he had said was merely in reply to direct questions. It would seem, then, that he stood alone in the world, and such a situation is by no means enviable; and although duplicity, selfishness and tyranny, formed the principal traits in his character; and though independently of tyranny and selfishness, his mind instinctively shrunk from any contact, save that of necessity, with those beneath him, yet had he gazed upon the growing beauty of Margaret till a love pure and deepa love in which was concentrated all the slumbering affections, had risen and expanded in his breast, until it had, as it were, become a part of his being.


      He must escape, for if he surrendered now the battle was over, and he would have betrayed Boarzell the loved to something he loved lessloved less, he knew it, though he wavered.




      "Hold, Lord de Boteler," interrupted Father John, calmly; "the threat need not pass thy lips: I go; but before I depart I shall say, in spite of mortal tongue or mortal hand, that honor and true knighthood no longer preside in this hall, where four generations upheld them unsullied."