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an hour and a half longer, she never came
down again. He won the father's heart,
though, by his capacity as a listener, for
some people are not at all particular, and,
so that they themselves may talk on
undisturbed, are not so unreasonable as to expect
attention to what they say.

Will did gather this much, however, from
the old man's talk. He had once been quite
in a genteel line of business, but had failed
for more money than any greengrocer he had
heard of; at least, any who did not mix up
fish and game with greengrocery proper.
This grand failure seemed to have been the
event of his life, and one on which he dwelt
with a strange kind of pride. It appeared as
if at present he rested from his past exertions
(in the bankrupt line), and depended on his
daughter, who kept a small school for very
young children. But all these particulars
Will only remembered and understood, when
he had left the house; at the time he heard
them, he was thinking of Susan. After he had
made good his footing at Mr. Palmer's, he
was not long, you may be sure, without
finding some reason for returning again and
again. He listened to her father, he talked
to the little niece, but he looked at Susan,
both while he listened and while he talked.
Her father kept on insisting upon his former
gentility, the details of which would have
appeared very questionable to Will's mind, if
the sweet, delicate, modest Susan had not
thrown an inexplicable air of refinement over
all she came near. She never spoke much;
she was generally diligently at work; but
when she moved it was so noiselessly, and
when she did speak, it was in so low and soft
a voice, that silence, speech, motion and stillness,
alike seemed to remove her high above
Will's reach into some saintly and inaccessible
air of gloryhigh above his reach, even as
she knew him! And, if she were made
acquainted with the dark secret behind, of his
sister's shame, which was kept ever present
to his mind by his mother's nightly search
among the outcast and forsaken, would not
Susan shrink away from him with loathing,
as if he were tainted by the involuntary
relationship? This was his dread; and thereupon
followed a resolution that he would
withdraw from her sweet company before it
was too late. So he resisted internal
temptation, and staid at home, and suffered and
sighed. He became angry with his mother
for her untiring patience in seeking for one
who, he could not help hoping, was dead
rather than alive. He spoke sharply to her,
and received only such sad deprecatory
answers as made him reproach himself, and still
more lose sight of peace of mind. This
struggle could not last long without affecting
his health; and Tom, his sole companion
through the long evenings, noticed his increasing
languor, his restless irritability, with
perplexed anxiety, and at last resolved to
call his mother's attention to his brother's
haggard, care-worn looks. She listened with
a startled recollection of Will's claims upon
her love. She noticed his decreasing appetite,
and half-checked sighs.

' Will, lad! what's come o'er thee? ' said she
to him, as he sat listlessly gazing into the fire.

' There's nought the matter with me,' said
he, as if annoyed at her remark.

' Nay, lad, but there is.' He did not speak
again to contradict her; indeed she did not
know if he had heard her, so unmoved did he

' Would'st like to go back to Upclose Farm? '
asked she, sorrowfully.

' It's just blackberrying time,' said Tom.

Will shook his head. She looked at him
awhile, as if trying to read that expression of
despondency and trace it back to its source.

' Will and Tom could go,' said she; ' I must
stay here till I've found her, thou know'st,'
continued she, dropping her voice.

He turned quickly round, and with the
authority he at all times exercised over Tom,
bade him begone to bed.

When Tom had left the room he prepared
to speak.


LATE in the afternoon of the 14th of
February last past, an individual who bore not
the smallest resemblance to a despairing lover,
or, indeed, to a lover in any state of mind,
was seen to drop into the box of a Fleet
Street receiving-house two letters folded in
flaming covers. He did not look round to see
if he were observed, but walked boldly into
the shop with a third epistle, and deposited
thereon one penny. Considering the suspicious
appearance of this documentfor it's
envelope was greenhe retired from the counter
with extraordinary nonchalance, and coolly
walked on towards Ludgate Hill.

Long paces soon brought him to St. Martin's-
le-Grand, for he strode like a man who had
an imminent appointment. Sure enough,
under the clock of the General Post-Ofiice, he
joined another, who eagerly asked,—

' Have you done it? '

The answer was, ' I have! '

' Very well. Let us now watch the result.'

Most people are aware that the Great
National Post-Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand is
divided into halves by a passage, whose sides
are perforated with what is called the
' Window Department.' Here huge slits gape
for letters, whole sashes yawn for newspapers,
or wooden panes open for clerks to frame their
large faces, like giant visages in the slides of a
Magic Lanthorn; and to answer inquiries, or
receive unstamped paid letters. The southern
side is devoted to the London District Post,
and the northern to what still continues to
be called the ' Inland Department,' although
foreign, colonial, and other outlandish
correspondence now passes through it. It was with