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of the pole, will you? and let go of my arms."

He gave a short hard laugh, but never

"I suppose we're about two thousand feet
high," says he, aud it seemed to me that he
had something between his teeth. " If either
of us was to fall, he'd be a dead man before
he touched the ground."

I would have given the world at that
moment to be able to see his face; but what
with my own head being downwards, and all
his weight hanging to my arms, I had no
more power than an infant.

"John! " I exclaimed, " what do you
mean ? Catch hold of the pole, and let me
do the same. My head's on fire!"

"Do you see this ? " said he, catching my
arms a couple of inches higher up, and looking
right into my face. " Do you see this ? "

It was a large, open clasp-knife, and he
was holding it with his teeth. His breath
seemed to hiss over the cold blade. " I
bought it this eveningI hid it in my belt
I waited till the clouds came round and
there was no soul to see. Presently I shall
cut you away from the balloon. I took an
oath that you should never have her, and I
mean to keep it!"

A dimness came over my eyes, and everything
grew red. I felt that in another
minute I should be insensible. He thought
I was so already, and, letting my arms free,
made a spring at the pole overhead.

That spring saved me. Our wrists were
bound together, and as he rose he drew me
along with him; for I was so faint and giddy
that I could make no effort for myself.

I saw him hold by the pole with his left
hand; I saw him take the knife in his right;
I felt the cold steel pass between his wrist
and mine, and then

And then, the horror of the moment gave
me back my strength, and I clung to the
framework just as the thong gave way.

"We were separated now, and I was still
secured to the trapeze by one ankle. He had
only his arms to trust to and the knife.

Oh, the deadly, deadly strife that followed!
it sickens me to think of it. His only hope
now lay in the cursed weapon; and so, clinging
to the wood-work with one hand, he
strove to stab me with the other.

It was life or death now, and I grew
desperate. To feel his murderous clutch
upon my throat, and, in the silence of
that hideous struggle, to hear the report
of a champagne corkfollowed by a peal
of careless laughteroverhead .... Oh,
it was worse than death, a hundred times

I cannot tell how long we clung thus, each
with a hand upon the other's throat. It may
have been only a few seconds; but it seemed
like hours to me. The question was simply
which should be strangled first.

Presently his gripe relaxed, his lips became
dead-white, and a shudder ran through
every fibre of his body. He had turned giddy!

Then a cry burst from hima cry like
nothing human. He made a false clutch at
the trapeze, and reeled over. I caught him,
just in time, by the belt round his waist.

"It's alloverwith me," he groaned between
his set teeth. " It's all over with me!
Take your revenge! " Then his head fell
heavily back, and he hung, a dead weight on
my arm.

I did take my revenge; but it was hard
work, and I was already half exhausted.
How I contrived to hold him up, to unbind
my foot, and to crawl, so laden, up the ropes,
is more than I can tell; but my presence of
mind never failed me for an instant, and I
suppose the excitement gave me a sort of
false strength while it lasted. At all events
I did it, though I now only remember climbing
over the basket-work, and seeing the
faces of the gentlemen all turned upon me as
I sank to the bottom of the car, scarcely
more alive than the burthen in my arms.

He is a penitent man now, an Australian
settler, and, as I am told, well to do in those

This is my story, and I have no more to



WHEN London was empty, I, wishing to
enjoy a solitary ramble, left our populous and
stirring agricultural village in Kent, swarming
with above two hundred and thirty souls
(infants in arms included), and after half an
hour's walk to it, reached our railway
station. At half-past ten in the morning I
arrived at London Bridge.

I forced my way into the grand mart
of literature, Paternoster Row. Here there
were many stops, but I pushed on. Breathing
awhile, as is natural at Amen Corner,
my mind became filled with the vastness of
the space I had thought so small.

I am addressed with rudeness; I am
hustled by a ruffianly fellow in a dirty blue,
darkly-stained blouse, who wields a long
ragged staff, and is driving round the corner,
with many blows, several sorely distressed
bullocks and about a score of panting sheep,
all pitifully bellowing and bleating, towards
a still narrower passage which runs up on my
right hand to Newgate Street, and passes by
what once was the Royal College of Physicians,
but is now a shambles.

I sought refuge in a bookseller's shop,
where knowledge for the people was
conspicuously inscribed on a board; and there I
inquired of the respectable person behind the
counter what sort of a place it was which
begot so dangerous a nuisance in the busy
haunts of men, especially of men engaged in

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