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mended his pace, to be as near as might be to the young ladies.

“ Did not some of your relations suffer there, Jupiter ?"

“Yes, miss, two of my poster'ty-my grandmother and aunt Venus."

Isabella repressed a smile, and said, with unaffected seriousness, “it was a shocking business, Bessie—a hundred and fifty poor wretches sacrificed, I have heard papa say. Is it true, Jupe, that their ghosts walk about here, and have been seen many a time when it was so dark you could not see your hand before

your

face ?" “I dare say, Miss Belle. Them that's hung onjustly always travels."

“But how could they be seen in such darkness ?”

“'Case, miss, you know ghosts have a light in their anterior, just like lanterns."

“Ah, have they? I never understood it beforewhat a horrid cracking that gibbet makes! Bless us! and there is very little wind.”

“That makes no distinctions, miss; it begins as the sun goes down, and keeps it up all night. Miss Belle, stop one minute--don't go across the hill —that is right in the ghost-track !"

“Oh don't, for pity's sake, Isabella,” said Bessie, imploringly.

“Hush, Bessie, it is the shortest way, and" (in a whisper) “I want to scare Jupe. Jape, it seems to me there is an odd hot feel in the ground here." “There sarten is, miss, a very onhealthy feeling."

“And, my goodness! Jupiter, don't you feel a very, very slight kind of a trembling-a shake-or a roll, as if something were walking in the earth, under our feet ?"

“ I do, and it gets worser and worser, every step.”

“It feels like children playing under the bed, and hitting the sacking with their heads."

“Oh, Lord, miss-yes--it goes bump, bump, against my feet.”

By this time they had passed to the further side of the hill, so as to place the gibbet between them and the western sky, lighted up with one of those brilliant and transient radiations that sometimes immediately succeed the sun's setting, diffusing a crimson glow, and outlining the objects relieved against the sky with light red. Our young heroine, like all geniuses, knew how to seize a circumstance. “Oh, Jupe," she exclaimed, “look, what a line of blood is drawn round the gibbet!" “ The Lord have marcy on us, miss !"

And, dear me! I think I see a faint shadow of a man with a rope round his neck, and his head on one side-do you see, Jupe ?"

Poor Jupe did not reply. He could bear it no longer. His fear of his young mistress--his fear of a scolding at home, all were merged in the terror Isabella had conjured up by the aid of the traditionary superstitions with which his mind was previously filled ; and without attempting an answer, he fairly ran off the ground, leaving Isabella laughing, and Bessie expostulating, and confessing that she did not in the least wonder that poor Jupe was scared. Once more she ventured to entreat Isabella to give up the expedition to Effie's, for this time at least, when she was interrupted and reassured by the appearance of two friends,

of two friends, in the persons of Isabella's brother and Jasper Meredith, returning, with their dogs and guns, from a day's sport.

“What wild-goose chase are you on, Belle, at this time of day?" asked her brother. “I am sure Bessie Lee has not come to Gallows hill with her own good will."

“ I have made game of my goose, at any rate, and given Bessie Lee a good lesson, on what our old schoolmaster would call the potentiality of mankind—but come,” she added, for though rather ashamed to confess her purpose when she knew ridicule must be braved, courage was easier to Isabella than subterfuge, “Come along with us to Effie's, and I will tell you the joke I played off on Jupe." Isabella's joke seemed to her auditors a capital one, for they were at that happy age when laughter does not ask a reason to break forth from the full fountain of youthful spirits. Isabella spun out her story till they reached Effie's door, which admitted them, not to any dark laboratory of magic, but to a snug little Dutch parlour, with a nicely-sanded floor-a fireplace gay with the flowers of the season, pionies and Guelder-roses, and ornamented with storied tiles, that, if not as classic, were, as we can vouch, far more entertaining than the sculptured marble of our own luxurious days.

The pythoness Effie turned her art to good account, producing substantial comforts by her mysterious science; and playing her cards well for this world, whatever bad dealings she might have with another. Even Bessie felt her horror of witchcraft diminished before this plump personage, with a round, good-humoured face, looking far more like the good vrow of a Dutch picture than like the gaunt skinny hag who has personated the professors of the bad art from the Witch of Endor downwards. Effie's physiognomy, save an ominous contraction of her eyelids, and the keen and somewhat sinister glances that shot between them, betrayed nothing of her calling

There were, as on all similar occasions, some initiatory ceremonies to be observed before the fortunes were told. Herbert, boylike, was penniless ; and he offered a fine brace of snipe to propitiate the oracle. They were accepted with a smile that augured well for the official response he should receive. Jasper's purse, too, was empty: and after ransacking his pockets in vain, he slipped out a gold sleeve-button, and told Effie he would redeem it the next time he came her way. Meanwhile there was a little by-talk between Isabella and Bes

sie; Isabella insisting on paying the fee for her friend, and Bessie insisting that “she would have no fortune told, -that she did not believe Effie could tell it, and if she could, she would not for all the world let her.” In vain Isabella ridiculed and reasoned by turns. Bessie, blushing and trembling, persisted. Effie at the same moment was shuffling a pack of cards, as black as if they had been sent up from Pluto's realms; and while she was muttering over some incomprehensible phrases, and apparently absorbed in the manipulations of her art, she heard and saw all that passed, and determined that if poor little Bessie would not acknowledge, she should feel her power.

Herbert, the most incredulous, and therefore the boldest, first came forward to confront his destiny. “A great deal of rising in the world, and but little sinking for you, Master Herbert Linwood-you are to go over the salt water, and ride foremost in royal hunting-grounds.”

“Good !--good !--go on, Effie.”

“Oh what beauties of horses—a pack of hounds --High ! how the steeds go-how they leap--the buck is at bay—there are you !"

“Capital, Effie !-I strike him down ?"

“You are too fast, young master I can tell no more than I see the sport is past--the place is changed there is a battle-field, drums, trumpets, and flags flying--Ah, there is a sign of danger-a pit yawns at your feet."

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