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He would find out who Miss Florimond at
the Hall was. Florimond was a beautiful
name, Belton was romantic, in spite of
weighing thirteen stone. What an ending it
would be if hebut then there was that Sir
Charles, the actual culprit. It would be an
excellent secondary punishment to cut him
out. So, at the end of two months, Belton
ordered a new suit of clothes; a bright green
satin waistcoat; with a diamond stud in the
frill of his shirt, which would have equalled a
king's ransom if it had been real; a pair of
boots with fixed brass spurs on the heels;
and set off, without consulting anybody, to
resume his apartments in the Rus in urbe.

The pica of a sudden call to town soon
explained to his housekeeper the cause of his
disappearance; and he lost no time in making
all the inquiries he could venture on without
exciting suspicion. With this view he
resumed his piscatorial pursuits, and as he
discovered that near the scene of the dreadful
transaction there was a house of entertainment
called the "Isaac's Arms," in honour of
old Isaac Walton, he betook himself to his
rod, and strolled, in a very unconcerned
manner, from brook to brook, till, at the close
of a sharp October day, he found himself in
the coffee-room, or rather the bar, of the
wished-for hotel.

If there appears a little frivolity in the ease
with which Mr. Belton reconciled himself to
the sad event, you must bear in mind that he
considered himself free from any moral guilt
attending the affair. He could not justly be
charged with any intentional wrong, and as
he had only had a very few minutes'
intercourse with the unhappy victim of the laws
of society, he had no feelings of regret
for the loss of a personal friend. He had,
therefore, got entirely over the first shock
of the scene; and, if the truth must be told,
I fear some little portion of pride and
gratification mingled with his remembrance of the
dead. It is not every ship-broker who takes
part in a duel with a Sir Charles. "A
meeting" is an heir-loom of feudal times, and
a very knightly method of settling a dispute.
No duellist has yet been hanged; and, till
that tremendous event takes place, the pistol
will be the only argument resorted to by
people who have perhaps no other way of
showing their patrician blood. These
considerations had some weight with Mr. Belton;
and though he would have scorned to join a
housebreaker in forcing his way into a larder,
he considered it rather a feather in his cap
that he had assisted at an affair of honour.
Murder is so much more aristocratic than
theft.

The bar of the "Isaac's Arms " was left in
solitary possession to Belton all night. The
landlord had been bottling off his winter's ale,
and felt the effects of the operation so powerfully
that he could not speak. In answer to
some questions about Miss Florimond at the
Hall, he hiccuped a good deal about the odds
being five to one, and then remembered that
the name was Miss Rosamond, and that she
was a chestnut filly rising four. The candles
burnt themselves nearly outthe gusts of a
rising wind were heard against the outside
wallsa pale, watery moon moved ghostlike
in the sky, like the wreck of the flying Dutchman
floating noiselessly over the wavesthe
waiter, who enacted the parts also of gardener
and stableman, came in with "the gentleman's
slippers", and Belton, who was now
very sleepy, could only gather from the rather
indistinct replies of the multifarious
functionary, that, though they were very dull just
now, there would be rare doings next week,
as Sir Charles was going to marry the young
lady at the Hall. The surname of Sir Charles
was unknown to the intelligent hostler; the
Christian name of the young lady laboured
under the same disadvantage. He had never
heard him called anything but "Sir Charles"
and had never heard her called anything at
all. But the marriage was to be on Wednesday,
and both horses were ordered for eleven
o'clock. This was ample food for a long series
of meditations. Miss Florimond was going
to marry the survivorforgetting the gallant
young fellow who had died for her sake. The
whole picture of that awful hour presented
itself afresh. He saw the frightful wound;
the preternatural calmthe rigid features
and the girl was about to lay her hand, before
the altar, in the hand of the man who had
pulled the triggerwho had taken the aim!
He tried to banish the thought, but couldn't.
It haunted him, and oppressed his spirits
beyond the power of brandy to raise them.
Great were his efforts in that way; and
perhaps his unnatural excitement was
produced by the unusual quantity he drank to
explain the extraordinary incident which
occurred that night. I am not superstitious;
but it is useless to deny that persons under
strong agitation of the nervous system have
their senses so sharpened that they see strange
unearthly appearances which it is impossible
to account for by the ordinary laws of nature;
and, however difficult it may be to bring
ourselves to a belief in these startling departures
from the usual course of human affairs, I think
that the evidence that "such things be" is
irresistible and conclusive.

The " Isaac's Arms" was a long, rambling,
old-fashioned inn, with a narrow passage
running through it from end to end. The
bedrooms lay to the south of this passage,
while a window or two looked northward over
some quiet fields, by the side of which lay the
parish road. "With the candle in his hand,
Belton paused a long time on his way to bed,
and looked out of the window. The night
had grown wilder than beforethe wind was
louderthe obscurations of the moon darker
and more frequent. In one of the sudden
clearings of the sky he thought he saw
something in motion on the narrow road, but the
light of his own candle confused him, and

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