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TYLNEY HALL. 347

a suitable answer when the door opened and Mrs. Hamilton

entered, accompanied by the Creole and Squire Ned.

The Baronet rose up, and with assumed firmness went

to meet his sister, whom he embraced, and then placed her

in a chair beside his own.

" I know it all, Kate," he said ;

" it is a cruel sentence,

but I can bear it till I believe it. All the world to one is

"

long odds, but if I stand alone

"

No, not alone," said Mrs. Hamilton

"

; my voice shall

rise with yours for the mildest, kindest being that ever

breathed. They are murderers that call him so."

" That is true, Kate," said the Baronet

"

; as well stab

a man as his good name. It was never laid to us before.

Bating in a field of battle or fair lists, a Tyrrel was never

charged with bloodshed."

"

Except Sir Walter Tyrrel, who shot King Rufus,"

said the Squire ; and, as he spoke, he fixed his eye so intently

on the Creole, that the latter winced under it. The

solitary organ seemed to him as that one eye which painters

sometimes use as a type of the Omniscient. It was a

searching glance that penetrated his very soul ; and, from

that instant, a new alarm was planted in a bosom already

beset by all the anxious inquietude that belongs to con-

scious guilt. The course of crime never did run smoother

than that of true love ; it is equally subject to accidents and

obstacles, to rumour, jealousy, suspicion, and detection.

Thus, Ringwood was dead ; his brother was an outcast,

and the father, by his own confession, had received his

death-blow: the path to the goal the Creole aimed at

seemed straight and open, but at each step unforeseen difficulties

arose, unexpected dangers presented themselves, and

parties never dreamt of threw themselves in the way in

attitudes adverse to his success. Hence he proceeded en-

vironed with terrors, like a man who is walking upon ice,

which every now and then, by an audible crack, gives him

warning of the insecurity of his foundation. It was not,

therefore, without some internal shudderings and misgivings

that he became the auditor of an earnest consultation,

how his fugitive kinsman might be discovered and

induced to return to a home where he would be received

with open arms.

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