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148 TYLNEY HALL.

round for the speaker, and his brow darkened with dis-

pleasure when he recognised the face of the fortune-telling

woman, as she made her way through the hedge by the side

of the road. He was immediately going to ride forward,

but she sprang suddenly before him, and caught hold of

the bridle.

" Let go, woman," he cried, his face flushing with

anger, and his hand mechanically raising his riding whip

above his head.

' '

Let ! go I say ; I will hear no more of

your infernal gibberish."

' ( "

Lower !

your whip she answered, with the tone and

look of a command. " I have been used to stripes lately ;

but, of all that breathe in the wide world, Walter Tyrrel

is the last that should lay a lash on me!"

" "

!

Begone, hag cried the Creole, in a still fiercer voice,

for he was offended at the familiarity of her address ;

' ' if I

touch him with the spur you may repent the consequence."

" And your repentance," said the woman, reddening,

' ' should exceed mine ten times told ; but you know not

what you do. I know things that, to hear, would thrill

you with ecstacy and others that should freeze you to

the spot!"

"

Enough," said the Creole "

; I know my

own fortune

"

better than any gipsy I must and will ! pass

" Pass over my body then," said the woman, releasing

the bridle, and planting herself with outstretched arms full

before him in the middle of the road "

; ride on, Walter

Tyrrel, break these arms that nursed you, and mangle this

bosom that nourished you."

"

Impudent impostor!" exclaimed the Creole, rising

"

but you have been set on.

into uncontrollable rage ;

Dare to propagate this malicious invention, breathe it into

another human ear, and it shall be the last syllable your

tongue shall ever utter, if I tear it out with my own

hands."

" Walter Tyrrel/' replied the woman, as if she delighted

in repeating the name, " no ear but your own has heard it,

and no other shall hear it, provided you will listen to the

rest. But deny me that, and I will proclaim it at noon-

from the Market- Cross.'"'

day

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