Speak to me, Ringwood," he murmured, " speak, for


the love of Christ ! but the answer was the mortal rattle

in the throat, the eye suddenly grew opaque, and the head

dropped on the bosom. The charge had been received in

the chest, and the blood, flowing inwardly, had filled the


" There passed the !


natural shudder " he ;

is dead."

" said the Creole, with a

f{ Oh no no no," groaned Raby, and instinctively

he passed his hand from the mouth to the wrist, and

thence to the heart ; but there was no breath, no pulsation,

and Hope, which had prompted the test, recoiled with the

benumbing shiver which nothing but the contact of Death,

that awful torpedo, can communicate. His whole frame

shook with a violence that threatened dissolution ; a cold

sweat broke out in large beads upon his brow nature

could bear no more; and, clasping his bursting temples

between his hands, he dropped like a stone upon the turf.

From this swoon he was recovered by St. Kitts, and for

some minutes his look was so vague and vacant, and his

brow so calm, that reason seemed actually to have merged

in idiotcy ; but as the cruel truth again dawned upon him,

he fell into the former ecstasy, and springing to his feet,

and wildly stretching his arms abroad, as if in appeal to

the whole wide earth and sky, he burst into a melancholy

cry of " Oh. God ! what shall I do ? " and again, and

again, and again it was repeated, as a thousand diverging

thoughts concentred afresh in the same dreadful focus.

" You must fly,"

said the Creole, in a thrilling whisper,

as if the Avenger of Blood were already at hand.

" This

will be called murder would to Heaven, Raby, you had


lived on better terms with your brother !

" Oh, it is too true !

" exclaimed Raby, wringing his

hands till the blood started under the nails, as he resigned

himself to the pangs of that bitter self-reproach with which

the living are apt to contemplate all bygone differences

with the dead. "But I loved him better than my own

life. I loved him and oh, that I were now lying there

in his stead ! Yes," he continued, " he was good, kind

generous, noble the best of brothers "

; and, grasping the

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines