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down again. To the top of Snowdon from
Llanberis is not a bit more difficult or
complex an adventure than a climb up Snow Hill
from Holborn. The way from Beddgelert is
more tedious.

Upon the strength of my first walk about
Wales I set up as a guide, and was showing a
friend over the Welsh mountains on a subsequent
occasion. He did not fully enjoy rain,
and set out after breakfast from Carnarvon
one wet morning, only induced so to do by
the assurance that it was only seven miles to
Llanberis, and that I, being an old Welshman,
knew the way. But ways look different
in different weather, especially to people who
have only seen them once or twice. We got
up among unknown mountains, passed
romantic lakes, over which now and then the
sun broke fitfully. The walk was glorious,
but we were out of the Llanberis road; and,
as It shortly became evident, on the wrong
side of Snowdon. Then the rain came down
in sheets, and we arrived, wet through, and
glowing famously, at a small straggling
village. Disposed naturally to fortify our
constitutions with brandy and water, we stopped
at the village inn. Pure Welshno English
spoken. "Have you brandy?" Shake of the
head. "Have you rum?" Shake of the head.
"Have you gin?" Nod—"Yek, yek." And
the good woman brought us whiskey. Each
of us had accordingly a glass of hot whiskey
and water, for which the landlady knew
enough English to make a charge of twopence
a head. Cheap, certainly, but we had not
wherewith to pay. A dire catastrophe broke
in upon our peace, we had both left Carnarvon
without change, and were afloat with
nothing smaller than a sovereign. Change
for a sovereign was not to be had in Bettwys.
I doubt whether twenty shillings in
silver could have been raised by the united
fundholders of the whole village. A sovereign
was too much to leave for fourpence with
a magnanimous wave of the hand and a
"never mind the change;" while not to pay
so moderate and fair a demand, would have
been absolutely wicked. The woman stared
at us and grinned, and left us to do as we
could. Then my good genius reminded me
that in the compendious list of my luggage
was included half-a-dozen postage stamps.
We thought the problem solved. I offered
them in triumph; but, alas! the worthy
woman shook her headshe had not the
least idea what they were. We said that
she might sell themtake them to the Post
Office; she shook her head and smiled on
helplessly. Nobody in Bettwys writes or
receives letters, it appeared. Then there
arose from the chimney-corner a grey-headed
Welshman who had been looking on. He
picked up the stamps, examined the gum at
the backs, and looked at the Queen's heads.
Having satisfied himself, he put the six
stamps into his pouch, and gave the woman
fourpence. She curtsied and looked pleased.
The man looked solid and commercial. If
ever Bettwys be a great town, that was the
sort of man you would expect to see thriving
on 'Change there. He ought to have been
born in Change Alley.

We went on through wind and sun and
rain, under wild snatches of cloud, that rolled
in great volumes, chorussing to the eye a
music of their own through the broad heaven.
Instead of making a seven mile walk to
Llanberis, we traversed nineteen miles of a most
glorious countryall of it new and
unexpectedand at last contrived to find our
way into Beddgelert. It was a place quite
out of our route; but the pedestrian who
cares about his route does not deserve the
legs he walks upon. That unexpected march
upon Beddgelert is another of my choice

I might go on conjuring up such
recollections by the hour together, but I do not
want to be a bore, so I will leave off. I have
wished simply to show people how they may
go out for a pleasant walk. There is a fine
season now before us, though indeed every
season is fine to the man whom I should
regard as a right-minded pedestrian. Only I
mean to say, that a season of travelling caps,
trunks, portmanteaus, plaids, and so forth, has
set in; and while half of our neighbours are
up the Rhine and down the Rhone, we who
remain behind have no reason to envy any
man his continental trips. We have only to
make up our minds, and take a hearty walk
or two at home in the old country.


In what manner I became acquainted with
that which follows, and from whom I had it,
it serves not to relate here. It is enough that
he was hanged, and that this is his story.

          *           *          *          *          *

"And how came you," I asked, "to be—" I
did not like to say hanged for fear of wounding
his delicacy, but I hinted my meaning by an
expressive gesture.

"How came I to be hanged?" he echoed
in a tone of strident hoarseness. "You would
like to know all about itwouldn't you?"

He was sitting opposite to me at the end of
the walnut-tree table in his shirt and trousers,
his bare feet on the bare polished oak floor.
There was a dark bistre ring round each of
his eyes; and theybeing spherical rather
than oval, with the pupils fixed and coldly
shining in the centre of the orbitswere
more like those of some wild animal than of
a man. The hue of his forehead, too, was
ghastly and dingy; blue, violet, and yellow,
like a bruise that is five days old. There
was a clammy sweat on his beard and under
the lobes of his ears; and the sea-breeze
coming gently through the open Venetians
(for the night was very sultry), fanned his
long locks of coarse dark hair until you
might almost fancy you saw the serpents of

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