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She said somethingher words came thick
and unintelligible. She had had a paralytic
stroke since hhe had last spoken. She could
not go, even if she would. Nor did Eleanor,
when she became aware of the state of the
case, wish her to leave. She had her laid on
her own bed, and weeping silently all the
while for her lost husband, she nursed Susan
like a sister. She did not know what her
guest's worldly position might be; and she
might never be repaid. But she sold many a
little trifle to purchase such small comforts
as Susan might need. Susan, lying still and
motionless, learnt much. It was not a severe
stroke; it might be the forerunner of others
yet to come, but at some distance of time.
But for the present she recovered, and
regained much of her former health. On her
sick-bed she matured her plans. When she
returned to Yew Nook, she took Michael
Hurst's widow and children with her to live
there, and fill up the haunted hearth with
living forms that should banish the ghosts.

And so it fell out that the latter days of
Susan Dixon's life were better than the


THE road through Kraiova and Orsova is
not the nearest way to London, but it is
decidedly the pleasantest in winter. With the
exception of a few hills about Kraiova, the
ground hardly has a single rise till within a
stage of Oreova. It was quite exhilarating
to scamper over it for hours together without
halt or check.

I passed a pleasant afternoon at Kraiova,
and was sumptuously entertained by the
post-mastera Wallachian officer of some
importancealthough I had no letter of
introduction to him. Kraiova is a pretty,
clean, comfortable place; by far the most
inviting of the Wallachian towns, and I should
have been by no means sorry to pass a few
days there. It seemed to boast an agreeable
and hospitable society. My host told me there
were balls and parties for every day in the
week during carnival time. There is capital
shooting in the neighbourhood, a very good
hotel recently built, and of which the natives
are rather proud; in short, better head-
quarters for a sporting party could hardly be
found in the Principalities.

I have often felt astonished that the banks
of the Danube should have been so neglected
by English sportsmen. There is, perhaps, the
best shooting now left in Europe to be found
there. The bustard is extremely common,
the wild goose equally so. Wild ducks,
plovers, every sort of waterfowl, swarm in
countless thousands. It is impossible for the
imagination to conceive their multitude without
having witnessed it. After all, too, the
best shooting-grounds are but ten days'
delightful journey from England; passing
through all the most beautiful scenery of
the Rhine and the Danube. Living is not
only cheap in Wallachia, but the people are
friendly and hospitable almost beyond belief.
Any person of respectability would find
himself living at free quarters during the greater
part of his visit. He would never be allowed
to come within hail of a Boyard's house
without being at once asked to sojourn there
as long as he pleased. He would carry away
with him many a gentle memory, and would
witness some scenes of life so quaint and wild
as to absolutely fascinate him, if he have one
spark of humour or imagination.

While making the best of these thoughts I
arrived, in the grey of the morning, at
Austrian Orsova, and breakfasted on that
odd-looking beefsteak and artificially cut
potatoes, which have, I think, become almost
as naturalised in Germany as sauerkraut
itself. From Orsova I rambled on through
the Banat, homewards. At Szegedin begins
the railway. It is not a very expeditious or
well-arranged railway, but it is a great relief
to have arrived there, nevertheless. The
fatigue of travelling in a half-civilised
country, the determined extortions of post-
masters and out-of-the-way innkeepers are
over; and, how pleasant it is to have escaped
from them, no one can tell better than the
persecuted traveller who has just concluded
a journey through Hungary and the Banat.

There are things enough, however, to make
a man sad in Hungary besides the peculations
of hotel-keepers and the difficulties of the
road. Austria has never forgiven what she
is pleased to call the rebellion of eighteen
hundred and forty-eight; and she rules over
this wretched province with a rod of iron.
It swarms with political spies. The
telegraph wires are always at work to convey
orders for the arrest or official murder of some
helpless wretch belonging to the liberal
party, who may have fallen under the
suspicion of the paternal government. People
are arrested in whole societies. If a gentleman,
known or believed to hold opinions at
variance with those of the local policeman,
should be so indiscreet as to invite a few
friends to a supper or to a merry-making at
his house, the chances are that their little
festivities will be interrupted by a party of
armed constables; and that they will be all
marched off together, and never heard of
more. Young and tenderly-nurtured women
are not even secure from these domiciliary
visits, and from being dragged away from
their homes by armed men at night. Yet
the result of all this is hardly satisfactory to
the paternal government. It is a notorious
fact that liberal opinions are daily gaining
ground in spite of all these desperate and
atrocious efforts to crush them. There
will as surely be another and a fearful
struggle in Hungary, as that day comes after
darkness. The period in the world's history
when a nation so powerful and high-spirited

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