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of "much" more time, and "lengthened
inquiries!"

"Linked sewerage long drawn out!"

The chief engineer admits that this will
involve a considerable outlay; but adds, "that
it would have been premature to mention it
here, as it is dependent on the settlement and
partial completion, of the main drainage."
So, the foregoing "estimates" are quietly
admitted to be fallacious as estimates of
anything but a part of the expense; which (as
regards the whole) is therefore no estimate at
all. The close of the sentence finishes the
incompleteness to perfection. "Neither have
I taken into account," says the report, "the
cost of extending the system of drainage into
the suburban districta provision which it
becomes daily more imperative to make;"
and therefore it has been omitted.

It is not for a dirty and neglected town
like me to presume to touch too closely upon
the delicate texture of bank-notes; but I have
heard that those who do possess, and know
how to use the "blunt," are not disposed to
mistake a pen for a pickaxe. They cannot
see their way through so much paper and
red-tapery. Insurance Companies have
declined to lend the indefinitely large sums
required, and even the Exchequer Loan
Commissioners have politely excused
themselves. Printed speeches and "minutes"
take no effect upon them; and, as for all the "talk",
they say, it is "all round my pickaxe."
It is not to the point.

THE ONE BLACK SPOT

ON the evening of a cold, bleak March day,
in an early year of this century, a woman,
scantily clad, led a boy about eight years
old along the high-road towards the old city
of Exeter. They crept close to the hedge-
side to shelter themselves from the clouds
of dust which the sudden gusts of east wind
blew in their faces.

They had walked many miles, and the
boy limped painfully. He often looked up
anxiously into his mother's face, and asked if
they had much farther to go? She scarcely
appeared to notice his inquiries; her fixed
eyes and sunken cheek gave evidence that
sorrow absorbed all her thoughts. When he
spoke, she drew him closer to her side, but
made no reply; until, at length, the child,
wondering at her silence, began to sob. She
stopped and looked at her child, for a
moment, her eyes filled with tears. They had
gained the top of a hill, from which was
visible in the distance the dark massive
towers of the cathedral and the church spires
of the city; she pointed them out, and said,
"We shall soon be there, Ned." Then, sitting
down on a tree that was felled by the road-
side, she took "Ned" on her lap, and, bending
over him, wept aloud.

"Are you very tired, mother?" said the
boy, trying to comfort her. "'Tis a long way
but don't crywe shall see father when we
come there."

"Yesyou will see your father once
more."

She checked herself; and, striving to dry
her tears, sat looking wistfully towards the
place of their destination.

The tramp of horses, coming up the hill
they had just ascended, drew the boy's
attention to that direction. In a moment he
had sprung from his mother, and was shouting,
with child-like delight, at the appearance of
a gay cavalcade which approached. About
thirty men on horseback, in crimson liveries,
surrounded two carriages, one of which
contained two of His Majesty's Judges,
accompanied by the High Sheriff of the county;
who, with his javelin men, was conducting
them to the city, in which the Lent Assizes
were about to be held.

The woman knelt until the carriages and
the gaudy javelin men had turned the
corner at the foot of a hill, and were no
longer visible; with her hands clasped
togetther, she had prayed God to temper with
mercy the heart of the Judge, before whom
her unfortunate husband, now in gaol, would
have to stand his trial. Then, taking the boy
again by the handunable to explain to him
what he had seenshe pursued her way with
him, silently, along the dusty road.

As they drew nearer to the city, they over-
took various groups of stragglers; who had
deemed it their duty, in spite of the inclement
weather, to wander some miles out of the
city to catch an early glimpse of "My Lord
Judge," and the gay Sheriffs' officers. Troops,
also, of itinerant ballad-singers, rope-dancers,
mountebanks, and caravans of wild beasts,
still followed the Judges, as they had done
throughout the circuit. "Walk more slowly,
Ned," said the mother, checking the boy's
desire to follow the "shows." "I am very
tired; let us rest a little here." They lingered
until the crowd was far ahead of themand
were left alone on the road.

Late in the evening, as the last stragglers
were returning home, the wayfarers found
themselves in the suburbs of the city, and the
forlorn woman looked round anxiously for a
lodging. She feared the noisy people in the
streets; and, turning timidly towards an old
citizen who stood by his garden-gate chatting
to his housekeeper, and watching the passers-
bythere was a kindness in his look which
gave her confidenceso, with a homely
courtesy, she ventured to inquire of him
where she might find a decent resting-place.

"Have you never been here before? " he
asked.

"Never but once, sir, when I was a child,
many years ago."

"What part of the country do you come
from?"

"Uffculme."

"Uffculme? How did you get here?"

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