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with facsimiles beneath, and bankers' cheques,
and a heap of leaden coin, and piles of incomplete
bank-notes; and all the evidences of a
coiner's and a forger's trade,—the suspicion
of which had caused those bitter quarrellings
between poor Ellen and my husbandthe
knowledge of which had caused her death.

With these things I saw also a letter addressed
to Ellen in my husband's handwriting.
It was an unfinished letter, as if it had displeased
him, and he had made another copy.
It began with these wordsno fear that I
should forget them; they are burnt into my
brain " I never really loved her, Ellen; she
pleased me, only as a doll would please a
child; and I married her from pity, not from
love. You, Ellen, you alone could fill my
heart; you alone are my fit helpmate. Fly
with me Ellen—." Here, the letter was
left unfinished; but it gave me enough to
explain all the meaning of the first weeks of
my sister's stay here, and why she had called
him villain, and why he had told her that she
might tell me, and that I would not believe.

I saw it all now. I turned my head, to see
my husband standing a few paces behind me.
Good Heaven! I have often thought, was
that man the same man I had loved so long
and fondly ?

The strength of horror, not of courage,
upheld me. I knew he meant to kill me, but
that did not alarm me; I only dreaded lest
his hand should touch me. It was not death,
it was he I shrank from. I believe if he had
touched me then, I should have fallen dead
at his feet. I stretched out my arms in
horror, to thrust him back, uttering a
piercing shriek; and while he made an
effort to seize me, overreaching himself in the
madness of his fury, I rushed by him, shrieking
still, and so fled away into the darkness
where I lived, oh! for many many months!

When I woke again, I found that my poor
baby had died, and that my husband had gone
none knew where. But the fear of his return
haunted me. I could get no rest day or night
for dread of him; and I felt going mad with
the one hard thought for ever pitilessly
pursuing methat I should fall again into
his hands. I put on widow's weedsfor
indeed am I too truly widowed!—and then
I began wandering about; wandering in
poverty and privation, expecting every moment
to meet him face to face; wandering
about, so that I may escape the more easily
when the moment does come.


WE were all yet looking at the Widow
after her frightened voice had died away,
when the Book-Pedlar, apparently afraid of
being forgotten, asked what did we think of
his giving us a Legend to wind-up with? We
all said (except the Lawyer, who wanted a
description, of the murderer to send to the
Police Hue and Cry, and who was with great
difficulty nudged to silence by the united
efforts of the company) that we thought we
should like it. So, the Book-Pedlar started
off at score, thus:

GIRT round with rugged mountains
The fair Lake Constance lies;
In her blue heart reflected,
Shine back the starry skies;
And watching each white cloudlet
Float silently and slow,
You think a piece of Heaven
Lies on our earth below!

Midnight is there: and silence
Enthroned in Heaven, looks down
Upon her own calm mirror,
Upon a sleeping town:
For Bregenz, that quaint city
Upon the Tyrol shore,
Has stood above Lake Constance,
A thousand years and more.

Her battlements and towers,
Upon their rocky steep,
Have cast their trembling shadow
For ages on the deep:
Mountain, and lake, and valley,
A sacred legend know,
Of how the town was saved, one night,
Three hundred years ago.

Far from her home and kindred,
A Tyrol maid had fled,
To serve in the Swiss valleys,
And toil for daily bread;
And every year that fleeted
So silently and fast,
Seemed to bear farther from her
The memory of the Past.

She served kind, gentle masters,
Nor asked for rest or change;
Her friends seemed no more new ones,
Their speech seemed no more strange;
And when she led her cattle
To pasture every day,
She ceased to look and wonder
On which side Bregenz lay.

She spoke no more of Bregenz,
With longing and with tears;
Her Tyrol home seemed faded
In a deep mist of years,
She heeded not the rumours
Of Austrian war and strife;
Each day she rose contented,
To the calm toils of life.

Yet, when her master's children
Would clustering round her stand,
She sang them the old ballads
Of her own native land;
And when at morn and evening
She knelt before God's throne,
The accents of her childhood
Rose to her lips alone.

And so she dwelt: the valley
More peaceful year by year;
Yet suddenly strange portents,
Of some great deed seemed near.

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