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258 TYLNEY HALL.

the Creole ;

" and my sight is not so keen as to pierce

through deal boards."

" But you thought I was there,, at any rate," retorted

Ringwood. The Creole was silent. He could not deny that he had

supposed Flora's votary to be with her in her temple,

but he did not care to enter on the reasons which had led

to that inference ; nor did he choose voluntarily to give up

Twigg, junior, as the culprit. This hesitation was attributed

to guilt by the passionate Ringwood, whose blood

was now

" risen to boiling heat. You are a coward, and

a liar to boot," he " said fiercely ; but the punishment

shall match the offence ;" and he seized the handle of the

engine with one hand, and the pipe with the other. St.

Kitts, who saw through his design, sprang forward to resist

its execution, and in an instant they were engaged in a desperate

struggle for mastery. Every sinew was stretched to

the utmost, the muscles started out on their hands, and the

veins of their temples swelled almost to bursting ; but the

superior strength of Ringwood prevailed. With a sudden

and violent effort he wrenched the grasp of St. Kitts from

the engine, and dashed him staggering some paces back-

ward, where, before he could recover himself, a gushing

jet of water drenched his whole person, from head to heel.

" "

You shall repent this, by Heaven ! said the Creole,

as soon as he recovered from the blindness and surprise of

the shock. " It is water that drips from me, but you shall

"

welter in blood !

f: The old story," replied Ringwood contemptuously ;

" but you are freely welcome to all you are likely to draw

from me, whether at boxing or single-stick ; for of course

you mean the weapons that belong to your caste."

"

Ringwood!" said the Creole, with eager earnestness,

"

grant me one request. Promise me, by your honour,

that if the stain on my birth should ever be removed, you

will meet me as your equal, with the arms of gentlemen

? "

"

Oh, with all my heart," answered

"

Ringwood ; there's

my hand on it; but, mind, I must have good proof,

evidence in black and white, and not in whitey-brown,

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