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THE veteran's eyes were bloodshot; his hand
was heavy; his list slippers were twisted
crookedly on his feet; and his body swayed to
and fro on his widely-parted legs. If he had
tested his condition, that night, by the unfailing
criterion of the model ship, he must have inevitably
pronounced sentence on himself in the usual
form:—"Drunk again, Mazey; drunk again."

"You young Jezabel!" said the old sailor, with
a leer on one side of his face, and a frown on the
other. "The next time you take to night-walking
in the neighbourhood of Freeze-your-Bones,
use those sharp eyes of yours first, and make
sure there's nobody else night-walking in the
garden outside. Drop it, Jezabel !—drop it!"

Keeping fast hold of Magdalen's arm with one
hand, he took the letter from her with the other,
put it back into the open drawer, and locked the
bureau. She never struggled with him, she never
spoke. Her energy was gone; her powers of
resistance were crushed. The terrors of that
horrible night, following one close on the other
in reiterated shocks, had struck her down at
last. She yielded as submissively, she trembled
as helplessly, as the weakest woman living.

Old Mazey dropped her arm, and pointed with
drunken solemnity to a chair in an inner corner
of the room. She sat down, still without uttering
a word. The veteran (breathing very hard
over it) steadied himself on both elbows against
the slanting top of the bureau, and from that
commanding position, addressed Magdalen once

"Come and be locked up!" said old Mazey,
wagging his venerable head with judicial severity.
"There'll be a court of inquiry to-morrow morning;
and I'm witnessworse luck!—I'm witness.
You young jade, you've committed burglary
that's what you've done. His honour the
admiral's keys stolen; his honour the
admiral's desk ransacked; and his honour the admiral's
private letters broke open. Burglary!
Burglary!  Come and be locked up!" He slowly
recovered an upright position, with the assistance
of his hands, backed by the solid resisting power
of the bureau; and lapsed into lachrymose
soliloquy. "Who'd have thought it?" said old
Mazey, paternally watering at the eyes. "Take
the outside of her, and she's as straight as a
poplar; take the inside of her, and she's as
crooked as Sin. Such a fine-grown girl, too.
What a pity! what a pity!"

"Don't hurt me!" said Magdalen, faintly, as
old Mazey staggered up to the chair, and took
her by the wrist again. "I'm frightened, Mr.
MazeyI'm dreadfully frightened."

"Hurt you?" repeated the veteran. "I'm
a deal too fond of youand more shame for me
at my age!—to hurt you. If I let go of your
wrist, will you walk straight before me, where I
can see you all the way? Will you be a good
girl, and walk straight up to your own door?"

Magdalen gave the promise required of her
gave it with an eager longing to reach the
refuge of her room. She rose, and tried to take
the candle from the bureaubut old Mazey's
cunning hand was too quick for her. "Let the
candle be," said the veteran, winking in momentary
forgetfulness of his responsible position.
"You're a trifle quicker on your legs than I am,
my dearand you might leave me in the lurch, if
I don't carry the light."

They returned to the inhabited side of the
house. Staggering after Magdalen, with the basket
of keys in one hand, and the candle in the other,
old Mazey sorrowfully compared her figure with
the straightness of the poplar, and her disposition
with the crookedness of Sin, all the way
across "Freeze-your-Bones," and all the way
upstairs to her own door. Arrived at that destination,
he peremptorily refused to give her the
candle, until he had first seen her safely inside
the room. The conditions being complied with,
he resigned the light with one hand, and made a
dash with the other at the keydrew it from the
inside of the lockand instantly closed the
door. Magdalen heard him outside, chuckling
over his own dexterity, and fitting the key into
the lock again, with infinite difficulty. At last
he secured the door, with a deep grunt of relief.
"There she is, safe!" Magdalen heard him say,
in regretful soliloquy. "As fine a girl as ever
I set eyes on. What a pity! what a pity!"

The last sounds of his voice died out in the
distance; and she was left alone in her room.

Holding fast by the banister, old Mazey made