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I will answer for our laying hands on her,
before Mr. Hartright- even if he does come
back. I see! yes, yes, I see! The finding of
Amir Catherick is the first necessity: make
your mind easy about the rest. Your wife is
heir, under your thumb; Miss Halcombe is
inseparable from her, and is, therefore, under
your thumb also; and Mr. Hartright is out of
the country. This invisible Anne of yours, is
all we have to think of for the present. You
have made your inquiries?"

"Yes. 1 have been to her mother; I haw
ransacked the village- and all to.no purpose."

"Is her mother to be depended on?"


"She has told your secret once."

"She won't tell it again."

"Why not? Are her own interests
concerned in keeping it, as well as yours?"

"Yes- deeply concerned."

"I am glad to hear it, Percival, for your
sake. Don't be discouraged, my friend. Our
money matters, as I told you, leave me plenty
of time to turn round in; and / may search
for Anne Catherick to-morrow to better
purpose than you. One last question, before we.
go to bed."

"What is it?"

"It is this. When I went to the boat-house
to tell Lady Clyde that the little difficulty of
her signature was put off, accident took me
there in time to see a strange woman parting
in a very suspicious manner from your wife.
But accident did not bring me near enough to
see this same woman's face plainly. I must know
how to recognise our invisible Anne. What is
she like?"

"Like? Come! I'll tell you in two words.
She's a sickly likeness of my wife."

The chair creaked, and the pillar shook once
more. The Count was on his feet again- this
time in astonishment.

"What!!!" he exclaimed, eagerly.

"Fancy my wife, after a bad illness, with a
touch of something wrong in her head- and
there is Anne Catherick for you," answered Sir

"Are they related to each other?"

"Not a bit of it."

"And yet, so like?"

"Yes, so like. What are you laughing

There was no answer, and no sound of any
kind. The Count was laughing in his smooth,
silent, internal way.

"What are you laughing about?" reiterated
Sir Percival.

"Perhaps, at my own fancies, my good friend.
Allow me my Italian humour- do I not come
of the illustrious nation which invented the
exhibition of Punch? Well, well, well, I shall
know Anne Catherick-when I see her- and so
enough for to-night. Make your mind easy,
Percival. Sleep, my son, the sleep of the just;
and see what I will do for you, when daylight
comes to help us both. I have my projects and
my plans, here in my big head. You shall pay
those bills and find Anne Catherick- my sacred
word of honour on it, but you shall! Am I a
friend to be treasured in the best corner of your
heart, or am 1 not? Am I worth those loans of
money which you so delicately reminded me of
a little while since? Whatever you do, never
wound me in my sentiments any more. Recognise
them, Percival! imitate them! I forgive
you again; I shake hands again. Good night!"

Not another word was spoken. I heard the
Count close the library door. I heard Sir
Percival barring up the window-shutters. It had
been raining, raining all the time. I was cramped
by my position, and chilled to the bones. When
I first tried to move, the effort was so painful to
me, that I was obliged to desist. I tried a
second time, and succeeded in rising to my knees
on the wet roof.

As I crept to the wall, and raised myself
against it, I looked back, and saw the window
of the Count's dressing-room gleam into light.
My sinking courage flickered up in me again,
and kept my eyes fixed on his window, as I
stole my way, step by step, back, along the wall
of the house.

The clock struck the quarter-past one, when I
laid my hands on the window-sill of my own
room. I had seen nothing and heard nothing
which could lead me to suppose that my retreat
had been discovered.


ON the south-eastern coast of Africa, about
eight hundred miles from the Cape of Good
Hope, is Vasco de Gama's " Land of the
Nativity;" that green, mild, tempting land which he
and his discovered on the twenty-fifth of
December, fourteen hundred and ninety-seven; just
ten years after Bartholomew Diaz rounded the
Stormy Cape, known since as "of Good Hope."
Vasco de Gama called the land Terra Natalis, in
honour of the day of its discovery; also Terra
de Fumo, because of the dense clouds of smoke
perpetually hanging over the table-lands, from
the burning of the coarse Ixia grass growing
there. It is the Land of Smoke to the present
day, and from the same cause; much to the
discomfiture of astronomers and star-gazers, who
might as well attempt to make observations
through the atmosphere of a London fog, as
through the smoke-clouds which for ever darken
the briliancy of those summer skies.

The Land of the Nativity, or Natal, as we
English call it, is in a chaotic geological condition.
The ground has been so upheaved and split
open, so jammed together and sundered, that
no one can say what lies uppermost and what
beneath, or judge, from position, of priority of
formation. Granite and gneiss, slate, trap,
and sandstone are tumbled together, as if they
had been flung down anyhow out of a Titan's
hod, and left to lie where they fell;
everywhere are evidences of convulsion and wreck,
and of new conditions created on the ruin of the
old. The great peculiarity, though, of the