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rested almost against his ear. Stephen had
imagined him a raw, awkward boy, but when he
saw one who greatly excelled himself in exterior
advantages, he acknowledged the full force of
my objections to his intimate, domestic position
in our home, and grew jealous and uneasy.
Anna wished to get up the morning named, and
I did not oppose her, for Stephen was to come
for his letter at five. When she rose at three,
I watched her, as in a dream, dress herself in a
pretty morning wrapper, and arrange her soft
brown hair, until Trevor came calling impatiently
at the foot of the stairs.

Upon entering the office, Anna immediately
seized the London bag, and eagerly sought the
expected packet; she stamped it herself, and
laid it carefully aside, leaving the other letters
to the stamper. Old Nanny had taken her
usual post in the kitchen, and, when the stamping
was finished, and the stamper gone, she sat half
dozing by the fire, but by and by the absence of
customary sounds aroused her, and she tried to
open the door communicating with the office; it
was fastened inside. With a quick apprehension
of mischief, she hastened round to the other
door, which she found locked. She had presence
of mind to come and wake me quietly, and with
a duplicate key, which I possessed, we soon
entered the office. Trevor was not there, of
course, but Anna lay pale and insensible upon a
heap of bags near the counter.

I immediately guessed the meaning of the scene
before me, and, as I bent over my sister, I heard
the shrill whistle of an early London train, which
doubtless was conveying our confidential head
clerk from his fruitful field of labour. The usual
appliances restored Anna to consciousness, and,
after a few hurried words, I left her, pallid and
trembling, under Nanny's care. With the
mechanism of habit I proceeded to finish the sorting
of the letters, while my mind was busy in
conjecturing what I ought to do. If I made the
robbery known at the police-station of our own
town, the news spreading from one to another
would bring upon the Ellesmeres the accumulation
of claims which would be their ruin. Thus
pondering, I collected the letter-bills from the
various towns, and finding one of them missing
I put my hand into the bag to which it
belonged; from the bottom I drew forth a letter
which had stuck between the seams, and had
not fallen out when the bag was emptied: it was
in Trevor's hand, and bore the stamp of our
office dated the night on which Stephen had
spoken confidentially to us. He had evidently
slipped it into the bag after the tied bundles of
letters had been put in. It had been missed at
the post-office to which it was addressed, and
consequently had been returned to us by the
next mail. Here, then, was an important am
certain clue to his route; and, as I held it in
my hand, a tremor of exultation quivered
through my whole frame. A feasible plan presented
itself to me. At five a train started to
our country town where Mr. Jermyn lived, and
leaving the work to Anna, and what chance aid
he could obtain, I was speedily on my way to
Longborough, with Trevor's returned letter,
which I was, of course, unauthorised to open.

Trevor's letter was addressed to his "dear
wife," and instructed her to meet him at
Southampton before noon that day. Mr. Jermyn at
once communicated these circumstances to the
superintendent of police, and I returned home
in time to start Stephen off by the second train
to Southampton, to claim the packet that was
sure to be found in Trevor's possession.

It would be vain to attempt to describe my
father's grief; and of Ettie's agony none of us
have ever spoken from that time to this.

By night Anna was delirious; and, after the
excitement of the day, I had to begin an anxious
watch beside my twin-sister, Stephen's poor
Anna, for whom he had waited and worked
eight long years. She lay tossing to and fro,
and raving of the work that had wasted her
youthful energies and bodily strength.

What need is there to tell of Trevor's arrest
and conviction; of the black shadow that fell
on Ettie's youth; of Anna's dangerous illness
and Stephen's despair; of Mr. Ellesmere's pride
and prejudice broken down by his son's great
sorrow; and of the quiet marriage that quickly
followed Anna's recovery?

The laws of compensation and change move
the machinery of life as upon wheels. After the
lapse of a few years, Ettie married a younger
brother of Stephen's; Mr. Jermyn was at the
wedding, and I could not help moralising, as
women love to do when they believe themselves
in the right, especially upon a public question.
I dare say I uttered many fallacies on the effects
of low salaries upon honesty.

"You talk like a woman," was the only reply
Mr. Jermyn vouchsafed to my remarks.

    Now ready, price 5s. 6cL, bound in cloth,

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Price Is., uniform with PICKWICK, DAVID COPPERFIELD,
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