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into the parlour. I must speak a word to the
happy pair before they retire."

"I can't see you," said Mr. Tillotson, in a
voice trembling. "You have no right to come
into this house. I warned you already."

"Go, go," said she, imploringly. "Why do
you come here in this way?"

"To see him," he said, pointing fiercely, "and
to tell him that I want none of his compliments
or his infernal patronising or pauper relief, and
that I despise it, and that I won't have it.
That's what I've come for."

She turned very pale now. Mr. Tillotson
looked at him, then at her.

"I say," he went on, in a louder voice, " I
shall not have it. How dare you attempt it? I
know the game and the policy of itto make
me helpless by 'loading me with favours.' The
good and the just man! But I won't have your
clemency or help. I despise it. And I tell
you, Tillotson, to your face, it's shabby, mean,
contemptible, and despicable, to try and get such
an advantage over me in my misfortunes."

"What does this mean?'' said Mr. Tillotson,
sadly, and turning to his wife. "What am I to
do with this endless persecution?"

She said nothing, but stood there overcome,
overpowered, and with her hands clasped and
eyes cast on the ground.

"I fling it back," said Ross, stamping
furiously. "One more week, and the courts shall
have decided for me. Yes. I know it. I'll
foil you in that wayyou and your patronising
of me, as if I were a common pauper that you
were relieving. What a charitable lord to come
and release me from a jail! I can tell you, I had
loads of friends that would have done as much
and more! After all, it's not very much to
lie under the weight of an obligation for a week,
for a wretched two hundred pounds!"

Mr. Tillotson started. "Two hundred
pounds!" he exclaimed. Then his eyes lit up.
"Ah! what is this?" he said, turning to Mrs.
Tillotson. "Could it be? So this is what you
have done?"

In dreadful agitation she ran to him, almost
sinking down before him. "O, forgive me,"
she said. "I meant to explain it, and I can
explain it all. He was in misery, they told me
arrestedand I dare not ask you——"

He smiled bitterly. "Dare not ask me! It
only wanted that! But why make any
business of this?" he said, calmly, and turning to
Ross. "You see now I am quite innocent in
the matter. There is the benefactress and
liberator you have to thank. I knew nothing
of it."

Ross looked from one to the other with fierce
eyes, then burst into one of his loud laughs.
"This is flattering," he said. "My dear, sweet
cousin is true to me, after all. So it was you,
was it? O, this is getting rich. I am very
glad to hear it. With all your arts and tricks,
Tillotson, you haven't turned her against me
yet. No, nor never shall. And you know you
made a mistake, and stepped in where you had
neither law nor right to step in. And now it's
coming against you. My dear child, God bless
you for your humanity, and taking me out of
jail, like St. Paul, and our poor Tillotson all in
the dark the whole time!" And he pointed to
him, and again laughed his harsh laugh.

But Mr. Tillotson did not hear or heed him.
His eyes were upon that pale and shrinking
figure, that seemed to sink more and more to
the earth every instant.

"I may go now," said Ross. "This was
well worth walking up and down the street
for! It was indeed! It's a weight off my
mind. 'Pon my soul, I couldn't have slept,
thinking I owed you such an obligation. But
with her it is different. Recollect, she was
pledged to me from a childmy property, waiting
my time and placeletters, my friend, letters
that you never got or never saw, and then you
come with your melancholy madness, and step
in shabbily when I was far off. Serve you
right! Serve you right! Reap as you sow,
my friend. Good night!"

He was at last gone, and that scene ended.
From that night (and the night of Mr. Bunnett's
ball was long talked of in the City, and the
presence there of "an uncommonly fine young
woman whom Tillotson had just married, and with
whom he was as happy as a king'Gad, my boy,
you or I would change places with him!") from
that we may conceive what a widening gulf
there was between husband and wife. She had
sunk down before him, and in those musical
accents had protested to Heaven that it was for
his sake that she had concealed that little matter,
and for no other reason in the wide world. And
this explanation he had accepted with the
mournful acceptance that was habitual to him.
He had lost confidence, and with confidence
had lost everything. To that night (the night
of Mr. Bunnett's ball, when everything came up
from Bulmer) both husband and wife looked
back with a shudder. Meanwhile, Ross's news
was almost correct, and the great Appeal Case
was to be presently decided, not in a week, as
he had said, but in about three weeks' time.

                              Now ready,
                THE FIFTEENTH VOLUME,
               Price 5s. 6d., bound in cloth.
** The back numbers of All the Year Round, in single
copies, monthly parts, and half-yearly volumes, can
always be had of every bookseller, and at every

        Shortly will be published, in Three Volumes,
                THE SECOND MRS. TILLOTSON.
      Tinsley Brothers, 18, Catherine-street, London.

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