secret impenetrable to all, save the Omniscient Searcher of

the human heart ; but his subsequent address and counsel

to Raby seemed too certainly to prove, as his stepmother

inferred, that he had studied to turn the tragedy to his own

benefit. With all her knowledge of his implacable hatred

against the deceased, with all her participation

in his guilty

aspirings, and in spite of her own sinister promptings,

she acquitted him of every thing but the secondary sin of

rejoicing in the death of his enemy.

" The very head and front of his offending

Had this extent no more."

On the other hand, the progress of his own advancement in

life and love had been adroitly urged ; the very tone of

levity, even, with which the calamity had been mentioned,

contributed to deaden whatever natural feeling had been

excited by the catastrophe, and with a considerable degree

of composure St. Kitts proceeded in search of the gamekeeper,

to give him directions for the removal of the dead

body. Guided by the report of the gun, he soon found

old Mat, whom he led to the melancholy spot where the

lifeless body of his young master lay stiffening in its


" Oh ! my God," exclaimed the aged forester, as he

gazed at the horrid spectacle, " when will there be an end

to accidents with guns ? Look at his chest ; he must have

been leaning on the muzzle. Many a time and oft I warned

him against the like."

"It was no accident," said the Creole.

ie No accident !" excalimed old Mat, with astonishment,

"but sure enough here's his own gun lying in the fern,

loaded and primed."

" And yonder you'll find another," said the Creole,

pointing towards a clump of bushes, lf with the pan open

and the barrel empty."

The gamekeeper proceeded to the spot, and to his

amazement picked up a weapon which his eye instantly re-


cognised. This is a different sort of gun," he said, as

he carried it in his hand to the Creole, " to what I looked

for. I thought mayhap to find an old musket with a barrel

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines