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his face with his hands, and wept like a
child.

"Come! " I said, after a time, laying my
hands on his shoulder. " I am not very
impatient to know your secret; but it is time
that we thought of returning. What about
the cloak ? You have not restored it to the
owner."

"No, my dear fellow, and I never intend
to do so. She has consented to my retaining
it. That cloak has warmed her dear limbs;
and the sight of it shall warm my heart till
the last hour of my existence."

On the way home my friend (who was
accidentally drowned in the river Jumna,
about two years ago) spoke as follows:

"Ten years have now elapsed since that
lady and I were fellow-passengers on board
of a ship bound from London to Calcutta.
She was then seventeen years of age, and I
twenty. On the voyage we became very much
attached to each other, and eventually loved
each other devotedly. And, what was more,
we were betrothed. It was arranged that as
soon as practicable, we should be married. I
was compelled, on arrival, to remain at the
college at Fort William for a year, to pass
an examination; she was obliged to proceed
to a large station in Bengal, to join her
family. Her father was a member of the
civil service; previous to her arrival he had
promised Alice (that is her name) to an old
man, a judge, who had been twice married,
and who was then a widower. This old man
was very rich, and hadas he still hasgreat
influence with the government. A brother
of his was one of the lords of Leadenhall
Street, and of this country. For some time
after our unhappy separation we
corresponded regularly; but suddenly the
correspondence ceased. Her letters to me, and
mine to her, were intercepted. Meanwhile,
the old judge, to whom she had been
promised, paid his addresses to her. She
refused him. Many devices were resorted to
in order to wean her affections from me.
They all failed. At length they hit upon
one which had the desired effect. They
caused a paragraph to be inserted in one of
the Calcutta journals, to the effect that I had
married the daughter of a half-caste merchant.
Alice was permitted to see this paper; but
none of those contaiaing my indignant denial
of the truth of the announcement.

"In disgust at my imagined faithlessness,
and in despair and recklessness, Alice at
length accepted the hand of the old judge.
They were married. When made acquainted
with this horrible fact, I became half-mad.
I drank very hard, had an attack of delirium
tremens, and was sent home for change of
air and scene, to recruit my health. On my
return to India, after an absence of eighteen
months, I was sent to Dacca, where there
was not the slightest chance of my ever seeing
Alice. Subsequently, I was, at my own
request, transferred to these provinces, but
sent to Bandaa sort of penal settlement for
refractory civilians; not that I ever committed
any offence beyond that of loving
Alice and being beloved by her. You must
understand that, owing to the influence of
his brother, her old husband, shortly after
his marriage with Alice, became the great
man he now is; and he had only to express
a wish in this country, touching the
appointment or disappointment of any junior
in the service, to have such wish instantly
realised. My only surprise is, that when it
became necessary for her to pass through this
district, I was not ordered away to Scinde, on
some trumpery business, alleged to be special.
Had there been any idea that we should
meetas, by the merest chance we have
metagain in this world, I should certainly
have been removed, and ordered to some
other station miles away. I have never
seen her since we parted in Calcutta, now
more than nine years ago, until this very
day. But, thank Heaven! she loves me
still!"

"I was afraid, when I saw you talking to
her beneath that clump of trees, that"—
I was about to make some observations.

"Ah, no! " he interrupted me. " There
is no danger. Great and lasting as my love
for her is, I could not bear the thought of
taking the slightest advantage of her feelings;
or to see her fall from the sphere in which
she holds a lofty and proud position. She
is not happy, neither am I. But spirits will
recognise each other, and be united for ever
and ever. Ours is not a solitary case; sometimes,
when ladies in India fall, they deserve
far more of pity than of blame."

Now Ready, Price Threepence, or stamped Fourpeace,
THE PERILS
OF
CERTAIN ENGLISH PRISONERS,
AND THEIR TREASURE
IN WOMEN, CHILDREN, SILVER, AND JEWELS.
FORMING
THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
Of HOUSEHOLD WORDS; and containing Thirty-six
pages, or the amount of One regular Number and a Half.
Household Words Office, No. 16, Wellington Street
North, Strand. Sold by all Booksellers, and at all
Railway Stations.

Also ready, price Five Shillings and Sixpence, neatly
bound in cloth,
THE SIXTEENTH VOLUME
OF
HOUSEHOLD WORDS
Containing the Numbers issued between the Fourth of
July and the Twelfth of December, Eighteen Hundred
and Fifty-Seven.

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