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hush that precedes thunder in sultry
weather. The expanse before him was lost
in utter blackness. A strange quaking
unnerved his heart. It was the sky and
scenery of his vision! The same horror
and misgiving! The same invincible fear
of venturing from the spot where he stood.
He would have prayed if he dared. His
sinking heart demanded a restorative of
some sort, and he grasped the bottle in his
coat-pocket. Turning to his left, as he
did so, he saw the piled-up mould of an
open grave, that gaped with its head close
to the base of the great tree against which
he was leaning.

He stood aghast. His dream was
returning and slowly enveloping him.
Everything he saw was weaving itself into the
texture of his vision. The chill of horror
stole over him.

A faint whistle came shrill and clear over
the moor, and he saw a figure approaching
at a swinging trot, with a zigzag course,
hopping now here and now there, as men
do over a surface where one has need to
choose their steps. Through the jungle of
reeds and bulrushes in the foreground this
figure advanced; and with the same
unaccountable impulse that had coerced him in
his dream, he answered the whistle of the
advancing figure.

On that signal it directed its course
straight toward him. It mounted the low
wall, and, standing there, looked into the

"Who med answer?" challenged the
new comer from his post of observation.

"Me," answered Tom.

"Who are you?" repeated the man upon
the wall.

"Tom Chuff; and who's this grave cut
for?" He answered in a savage tone, to
cover the secret shudder of his panic.

"I'll tell you that, ye villain!" answered
the stranger, descending from the wall.
"I a' looked for you far and near, and
waited long, and now you're found at

Not knowing what to make of the figure
that advanced upon him, Tom Chuff
recoiled, stumbled, and fell backward into the
open grave. He caught at the sides as he
fell, but without retarding his fall.

An hour after, when lights came with
the coffin, the corpse of Tom Chuff was
found at the bottom of the grave. He had
fallen direct upon his head, and his neck
was broken. His death must have been
simultaneous with his fall. Thus far his
dream was accomplished.

It was his brother-in-law who had crossed
the moor and approached the churchyard of
Shackleton, exactly in the line which the
image of his father had seemed to take in
his strange vision. Fortunately for Jack
Everton, the sexton and clerk of Shackleton
church were unseen by him crossing the
churchyard toward the grave of Nelly
Chuff, just as Tom the poacher stumbled
and fell. Suspicion of direct violence would
otherwise have inevitably attached to the
exasperated brother. As it was, the
catastrophe was followed by no legal

The good vicar kept his word, and the
grave of Tom Chuff is still pointed out by
old inhabitants of Shackleton pretty nearly
in the centre of the churchyard. This
conscientious compliance with the entreaty of
the panic-stricken man as to the place of
his sepulture gave a horrible and mocking
emphasis to the strange combination by
which fate had defeated his precaution, and
fixed the place of his death.

The story was for many a year, and we
believe still is, told round many a cottage
hearth, and though it appeals to what many
would term superstition, it yet sounded, in
the ears of a rude and simple audience, a
thrilling, and, let us hope, not altogether
fruitless homily.

                MR. DICKENS'S NEW WORK.

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In 1 vol. Demy 8vo., Price 7s. 6d., with ILLUSTRATIONS
         AND A PORTRAIT, the SIX PARTS of
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