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"Halloa! What's that down there?" said
a voice whose tone was familiar to me. I
uttered a faint but frantic cry.

I heard a moment's whispering, and the
hollow echo of departing footsteps, and then
all was still again. The voice over head once
more addressed me.

"Courage, George; keep up your spirits!
In two minutes I will come and haul you.
Don't you know me?"

I then did know that it could be no other
than my old rival, Richard Leroy. Before I
could collect my thoughts, a light glimmered
against one side of the well; and then, in the
direction opposite the fallen table of flint, and
just over it, Richard appeared, with a lantern
in one hand, and a rope tied to a stick across
it in the other.

"Have you strength enough left to sit upon
this, and to hold by the rope while I haul you

"I think I have," I said. I got the stick
under me, and held by the rope to keep
steady on my seat. Richard planted his
feet firmly on the edge of his standing-
place, and hauled me up. By a sleight of
hand and an effort of strength, in which
I was too weak to render him the least
assistance, he landed me at the mouth of a
subterranean gallery opening into the well. I
could just see, on looking back, that if I had
only maintained my position on the ledge of
flint, and improved it a little, I might, by a
daring and vigorous leap, have sprung to the
entrance of this very gallery. But those ideas
were now useless. I was so thoroughly worn
out that I could scarcely stand, and an
entreaty for water preceded even my expression
of thanks.

"You shall drink your fill in one instant,
and I am heartily glad to have helped you:
but first let me mention one thing. It is
understood that you keep my secret. You
cannot leave this placeunless I blindfold
you, which would be an insultwithout
learning the way to return to it; and of course,
what you see along the galleries are to you
nothing but shadows and dreams. Have I
your promise?"

I was unable to make any other reply than
to seize his hand, and burst into tears. How
I got from the caverns to the face of the cliff,
how thence to the beach, the secluded hamlet,
and the sleeping village, does really seem
to my memory like a vision. On the way
across the downs, Leroy stopped once or
twice, more for the sake of resting my aching
limbs, than of taking breath or repose
himself. During those intervals, he quietly
remarked to me how prejudiced and unfair we
had all of us been to him; that as for
Charlotte he considered her as a child, a little
sister, almost even as a baby plaything. She
was not the woman for him; he for his part,
liked a girl with a little more of the devil
about her. No doubt he could have carried
her off; and no doubt she would have loved
him desperately a fortnight afterwards. But,
when he had once got her, what should he
have done with such a blue-eyed milk-and-
water angel as that? Nothing serious to
annoy us had ever entered his head. And
my father ought not quite to forget the
source of his own fortune, and hold himself
aloof from his equals; although he might be
lying quiet in harbour at present. Really it
was a joke, that, instead of eloping with the
bride, he should be bringing home the eloped

I fainted when he carried me into my
father's house, and I remembered no more
than his temporary adieu. But afterwards,
all went on slowly and surely. My father
and Richard became good friends, and the old
gentleman acquired such influence over him,
that Leroy's "pleasure trips" soon became
rare, and finally ceased altogether. At the last
run, he brought a foreign wife over with him,
and nothing besidesa Dutch woman of great
beauty and accomplishments; who, as he
said, was as fitting a helpmate for him, as
Charlotte, he acknowledged, was for me. He
also took a neighbouring parish church and
its appurtenances into favour, and settled down
as a landsman within a few miles of us. And,
if our families continue to go on in the friendly
way they have done for the last few years, it
seems likely that a Richard may conduct a
Charlotte, to enter their names together in a
favourite register book.


Until I was fifteen I lived at home with
my widowed mother and two sisters. My
mother was the widow of an officer, who was
killed in one of the battles with Hyder Ali,
and enjoyed a pension from the Indian Government.
I was the youngest; and soon after
my fifteenth birthday she died suddenly. My
sisters went to India on the invitation of a
distant relation of my mother; and I was sent
to school, where I was very unhappy. You
will, therefore, easily imagine with what
pleasure I received a visit from a handsome
jovial old gentleman, who told me that he
was my father's elder half-brother; that they
had been separated by a quarrel early in life,
but that now, being a widower and childless,
he had found me out, and determined to
adopt me.

The truth was, the old man loved company;
and that as his chief incomea large one
was derived from a mine, near which he lived,
in a very remote part of the country, he was
well pleased to have a young companion who
looked like a gentleman, and could be useful
as carver, cellar-keeper, and secretary.

Installed in his house, a room was assigned
to me, and I had a servant, and a couple of
excellent horses. He made me understand
that I need give myself no further anxiety on
the subject of my future, that I might abandon
the idea of proceeding to India in the

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