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ZACHARY BROUGH'S VENTURE.

let here? We've got to go out of this house at six o'clock, and mother is so ill. I don't know what to do."

Her voice trembled at the last words, but not with tears-the extremity was too great for weeping.

"Where is your mother?" asked Gundry. "In here.'

A steep flight of stairs went straight up from the house-door, but the child's eyes turned to a room on the ground-floor. Gundry put his head in, and saw, through the open inner door, a woman lying on a pallet against the wall, opposite the window. Her face was turned towards him, and at once he knew that the hand of death was on her.

The child did not move to let him pass, but he put her gently aside, and advanced to the sickbed. The sufferer was propped up in a half-sitting posture, her eyes closed, her breathing short and rapid; she did not seem to hear or notice him. Her head drooped a little, and the child knelt down and supported it. He wondered how long she had been kneeling there, alone with the dying. The hands that lay on the coverlet were wasted to skeletons. The pallet was comfortless, yet even in this poor place there were marks of care, of tenderness and refinement. The woman's dark hair was smoothly plaited in one long heavy braid which would have reached to her waist. On her temples it was loose and wavy: the child had been wiping her damp brow. A child's mug

with water in it stood on the floor beside her. "A Present from Carstowe" was stamped on it in gilt letters. Gundry's eye fell on this mug, and his heart gave a convulsive throb.

"What's your name, my dear?" he said thickly, turning to the child.

"Alice Langdale."

The strong man stepped to the mantel-piece and leaned upon it for support. That dying woman could be no other than his boyhood's love. From the days when they had played in the meadows and gone a-maying together when she was Alice Morison at Carstowe, he had loved her with his whole heart. She was a little above him. He worked and waited--asked her, and she said him nay. It was a terrible blow; but he hoped on still. He would work and wait yet longer, and then try again. But while he waited, there came to the village an artist, handsome as a prince, and with a charm of grace and courtesy that every one felt; and he, too, loved Alice Morison-wooed her true and fairly, won her, and brought some of his relatives in state to the wedding, that every one might see that his friends were ready to receive her as they ought; and it was all over for Gundry. But he thought she was happy-happier than he could have made her, and he tried to bear it well.

He had left Carstowe when she was gone, hating the place. He prospered, and married a good housewife, who bore him sweet children; but never once had he felt for her one thrill of the passion he had had for Alice Morison: he loved her faithfully, but the old spark had never kindled up again.

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And now, as his senses slowly recovered from the shock, and his eyes became accustomed to the light of the room-dim, after the glare outsidehe perceived, lying prone, full length, in the shadow close under the window, the figure of a man-drunk. Gundry knew that face. This was the artist; and he had brought her to this.

The dying woman moved, and uttered a faint, unconscious sound. Gundry turned towards her, and met the child's eyes; she was watching him, and her wan little face flushed crimson for her father's sake. He turned from her, covering his face with his hand. The sweat of agony stood on his brow; nothing but the child's presence could have kept him from spurning with his heavy heel that villain lying there.

The room stifled him. Muttering something about looking for a place to go to, he strode out, and turned up one of the little alleys hard by. There he stood, leaning against the wall, and wiped his streaming forehead. The cool air revived him a little, and the sound of St. Abbot's Church clock across the river, striking three, roused him to the dire need of seeing what could be done. Only three more hours before mother and child would be turned out into the street, unless he could procure grace for them. To do what must be done was the habit of his life. With a supreme effort he mastered himself, and went back to ask the little Alice why they had to go. Was it for rent?

"We owe some rent," she answered, colouring painfully, "but they let us stay on this one more day-till six o'clock. Then the other people have to come in. But I thought, if there was any other place for them to go to, perhaps they would wait till mother was a little better."

"That's it, my dear," said Gundry heartily, wondering at the womanly thoughtfulness in this little, childish mind. "I'll look round and see what there is. Never you fear but we'll find something," and he hurried away, in fear lest Death should come before he could get back again, yet longing for the mercy of release for the hapless sufferer. Everything else must be set on one side for the present. Already the necessity for action had brought back a degree of steadiness to his trembling limbs.

He met a boy who directed him to Charles Square. It was at the foot of this lane, and he was relieved to find no one there as yet but his own foreman. Sounds of feet and voices came from the room above.

"You don't say there's anybody in the house!" exclaimed Gundry.

"Indeed there is, sir. All along where the flood's been worst, the people are living in the houses, in the top rooms. There's nowhere else for them to go."

"There'll be fever, as sure as I'm here," said the master, sniffing the terrible odour of the floor he stood upon.

"It's come already, sir. There were three cases down Middle Lane, and two in North Lane, and two more down Archway Lane last night. That makes it all the worse, because no one up in the town will take in anybody from the Leas.

I've just been telling this woman upstairs that she might as well order her children's coffins as keep 'em here, and she said she had been all over the place this morning, trying to get in somewhere else, and there wasn't a room to be had. All the lower houses are washed out below, and the families crowded into the top." Here was a terrible deadlock. Gundry stood pondering. The foreman asked him questions about quick-lime and concrete. He answered them fully, and told the man to wait outside the house; he would bring down the cart himself, as near as carts could come to this back square. Then he walked slowly back to the house he had left, and passed it; it was useless to go in, with nothing to say.

What could be done? No one would take in the incoming tenants. No one who let decent lodgings would take in Mrs. Langdale herself, without an offer of such payment as would raise a suspicion of foul play somewhere. He thought of his own home; but the fever-his children -and that husband! He ought not to do it: his wife would say so. But where else could Mrs. Langdale go? Death!-oh, if death would hasten! "Never does, when it's wanted," he thought grimly.

He had glanced in at the open door as he passed, and seen the weary child and failing mother just as he had left them. He walked on, up Middle Lane. When he came in sight of the cart and Chris, he stood stock still. Something must be thought of, before he gave his next command.

He had stood some minutes, and Chris was looking and wondering, when another figure turned into Middle Lane-an elderly gentleman, with harsh, strongly-marked features, and shrewd brownish eyes gleaming under shaggy grey eyebrows, a long body and a curious amble in his walk. This was Mr. John Zachary Brough, the belligerent vestryman who had been chiefly instrumental in getting the repairs taken in hand in Charles Square, and now had come down to support the builder in his battle with inspector and owner. A sudden thought flashed into Gundry's mind-he stood still, to gain time.

"Good day, Gundry. Any hitch?" asked Mr. Brough at the first sight of his face.

"Not about the work, sir,-people not come yet. But I've come upon a terrible case in Archway Lane."

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Mr. Brough looked up, surprised and touched by the rough builder's evident emotion.

Gundry was desperate. "What I was thinking, sir," he said, with a tremendous effort, "it has only just crossed my mind. You know your old caretaker's rooms at the top of your warehouse, where I was repairing the roof the week before last. Would you let them go there, for as many hours or days as she lasts ?"

"Couldn't get in," said Mr. Brough. "We've stowed sacks all along the landing, so that there's no way of getting to those rooms, except through my own house."

Gundry could not give up his last hope. "It would only be the once up, sir," he said. "She'll never come down alive."

Again Mr. Brough looked in surprise. He had a reputation for doing Quixotic things, but this was rather much for any one to expect, even of him.

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Gundry drew out his pocket-book and opened it where a blank cheque lay. "Will you do it for twenty pounds, sir?" he asked.

Mr. Brough looked keenly at him. "No, I will not," he answered, "but for an old friend of yours, I will do it at whatever rent they are paying where they are now. Can you get her moved?"

Gundry uttered a "Thank you" hardly audible. The tears had come to his eyes at last. "Can you get her moved, I asked you," said Mr. Brough sternly.

"My cart is here," said Gundry, with a look that Mr. Brough understood.

"Let me see it," he said, turning up the lane. "No," turning back. "I'll see her first. This is my affair now, Gundry, but you must let me have your cart if I want it."

"Thank you, sir," said Gundry again. Then suddenly remembering, he added, "The husband's lying there-drunk." He had to stop and set his-teeth before he could go on. he gives you no trouble. He had better not know where she is."

"I'll see

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ZACHARY BROUGH'S VENTURE.

"No, not conscious. And I am changed." He had grown a beard since last he saw her, just twenty years ago.

They reached the house. Mr. Brough leaned through the open outer door, and tapped gently on the door within.

"Come in," said the child. She was in her old place at her mother's side, but her attitude, her drooping eyelids, told of almost overpowering weariness. At the sound of heavy steps, the mother's eyes opened. The dimness of death was in them, but her mind was clear; she saw the two strangers entering.

"Claude," she said instinctively, trying to look round; then recollecting herself, "Alcie."

"Yes, mother." The child looked appealingly at the two men. Mr. Brough stepped forward and knelt beside the pallet.

"I see you are very weak," he said, with an effort to lower his voice which made it gruffer than ever. "Does she know?" he added, turning

to the child.

"She did-if she remembers," said Alcie in a half whisper.

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Mr. Brough turned again to the mother. "I am sorry to find that you have to leave this house," he said gently. You are very unfit for exertion, but I hope we can arrange to move you without troubling you much."

Her large dark eyes looked wonderingly into his face. 66 Who are you?" she whispered. "I am Zachary Brough-your servant for Jesus' sake," he answered.

A faint, pure light came into those dying eyes at the sacred Name. Feebly the woman raised her wasted hand and laid it in his : reverently he held it and covered it with his other hand. The damp of death was on it. He drew out his large soft handkerchief and wiped her hands and brow.

"Who is your doctor?" was his next question. "None. He could do nothing for me," she whispered. Mr. Brough smothered another grunt.

"Can she take nourishment?" he asked, turning to the little nurse.

"Only water," she answered, with her quick flush. There was no sign of other nourishment in the room. Again Gundry set his teeth.

"We will try if she can take a little milk,” said Mr. Brough, rising and giving Alcie the handkerchief. Have you any one to help you, my dear?"

"Only Mrs. Ryan upstairs, when she can," said Alcie, "and Laurence."

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"Well, it will be only to put your things together," said Mr. Brough. We will move your mother just as she is, bed and all."

There was hardly a thing in the room; and as he turned and saw this, Mr. Brough's eyes fell on the prostrate man and lingered there. The heavy flush of intoxication could not hide the remnants of once noble beauty. The hair, thin and grey, showed the full contour of the true artist head; the lips were thin; there was not one sensual line about the face. Deep compassion spoke in the rugged face that looked down upon it. Mr. Brough knew what it meant when

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No, he was Laurence Ryan from upstairs, evidently regarded as a friend in need. Time pressed. Mr. Brough sent Laurence for some milk, and hastened to look at the spring-cart. was long enough to serve as an ambulance waggon. Chris was sent off post haste with a pencil note to Mr. Brough's housekeeper. Meanwhile Gundry drove the cart down to be unloaded. A short and victorious battle was fought over the house repairs. Chris returned, and drove Mr. Brough back to his office, where he had an appointment. A few people turned their heads, and wondered what the town councillor was doing in Gundry's cart. He observed it with satisfaction. It might chance to be of consequence that the whole responsibility of these proceedings should rest on him, not on the builder whose name was painted on the cart.

Mr. Brough's office was part of the house he lived in. He despatched a messenger to fetch his own family doctor, and went to business. His housekeeper, well used to her master's ways, was already executing his orders. In a very short time, Chris drove the cart back again, supplied with a deep bottom of fresh straw, rugs, and pillows. Gundry met him at the entrance

to the Leas. This time he could not leave the boy outside; his help was needed.

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What are we going to do, father?" asked Chris.

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"Take a sick woman to a lodging Mr. Brough has found for her," answered Gundry. "We shall have to take her in to his own house first, but don't say a word about that. If you are. questioned, say just what I have told you."

Mrs. Ryan had come home, and was fussing in and out, with a flush on her face and a nimbleness of tongue which raised suspicions that she also was acquainted with the bottle. The dying woman lay still, her large eyes following the movements of those about her, but as if she were too feeble to take note of them. Yet Gundry fancied that she looked searchingly at him. Her look pierced him; but he was steady now. He had hardened himself to go through anything,

for her sake.

A change had come into little Alcie's face since he left, as though some new terror had been suggested to her, and conflicted with the mortal weariness which almost deadened her power to feel. She looked into Gundry's face, then at her mother, then back to him again.

"We won't hurt her, my dear," he said, putting his hand on her shoulder. "We'll lift her so carefully, the move may do her more good than harm.'

As he spoke, he saw Alice Langdale's eyes fixed on him again, with that searching look. Whether she recognized him or not, his voice stirred something in her. But there was no time to feel; he was "astonied" against everything but the darts of pity that shot through him when he met that child's eyes. Her father still lay on the floor, conscious of nothing.

Gundry next examined the pallet, and was relieved to find that an old, thick counterpane, doubled, stretched from head to foot. They could lift on that. He laid a rug over the patient; then, he taking the head and Chris the foot, they carried her out. The back of the cart was let down, and with the help of willing hands among the by-standers, the sufferer was gently laid in the place prepared for her. The child climbed in after her, and took her seat on one of the bundles at her mother's side, holding the sun-shade which the thoughtful housekeeper had sent to shield her from the glare of outdoor light.

Gundry said aside to Laurence: "If the man can't shift for himself by six o'clock, they must

take him off to the police station." The boy nodded, without speaking. Mrs. Ryan called a blessing after them as the cart drove off; but even the talkative party of River Leas people assembled were hushed by the dread Presence visible upon the woman's face. She had "kept herself to herself," and "never neighboured with them," except to do a kindness, on occasion, and they had disliked her accordingly; but she was of kin to them now, by the double touch of death and love, as she passed slowly from their sight, watched over by her little child.

Chris drove at a walking pace. Gundry walked on the pavement, watching to see by Alcie's face if any sudden change should come. It was like a dream to the little girl, this change from Archway Lane, the dreary room and dreadful loneness of responsibility, to riding through the sweet air and sunshine, with some one to take care of her. Childlike, she looked about her, and felt the strain relax, almost forgetting, for the moment, those terrible words of Mrs. Ryan's about her mother's "lasting" but for a little while.

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THE OLD COLOURS.

"Love thou thy land, with love far-brought From out the storied past, and used Within the present . . .

you know how the Union Jack is composed ?" General Gordon once asked of a lady whom he was visiting, and finding that her impressions were-like those of many others who are proud of our national flag, somewhat ill-defined, he sat down on the hearthrug, and by the aid of pencil and scissors, made the matter clear. It was recently suggested that a copy of the Union Jack should become part of the teaching material of every Board School in the three kingdoms, and that the lesson in patriotism which General Gordon gave his friend, and so nobly exemplified in his own person, should be one of the first instilled into the minds of growing boys and girls, the future men and women of England.

No nobler could they learn. The flag itselfendeared to the nation by a thousand associations of valour, pluck, endurance, pathos, carries-for those who have the skill to read it-its history in its face. Jack, derived from Jacque, the surcoat worn by English soldiers from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, became the Union Jack, when, in 1606, the red cross of St. George, England's ancient banner, was joined to the white cross of St. Andrew, and a hundred years later, 1707, took to itself a third ally in the cross of St. Patrick. The three crosses displayed on a blue ground, the two latter being placed contiguously, are easily traced, and though the

device may be indefensible in heraldry, the flag as it waves in the breeze must ever kindle the national imagination, and revive in its memory deeds of imperishable renown. When we forget our great traditions; when we neglect to tell them to our children; when the heart no longer burns within us, and the fancy remains cold before the thrilling story of the past,-surely the twilight of our national life shall have set in.

A great history lies behind us. From its separation with Normandy, the story of England's struggle begins. Then it was that her flag first became terrible on the seas, and her passion for conquest made her a nation of soldiers, "when every yeoman from Kent to Northumberland valued himself as one of a race born for victory and dominion." Not ever was the sword uplifted for right and righteousness, and many a brave blow has been struck in an unworthy cause, for in all war there is evil, and in English aunals the love of supremacy has sometimes been its inspiration. But history as it grows from century to century enshrines deeds of individual and national heroism we would not willingly let perish. And it is well, surely, not to foster pride and vanity, but to keep alive the tradition of heroism handed down to us from our forefathers, that we sometimes rally under the old colours, and talk of the old memor

THE OLD COLOURS.

able days, and ask ourselves their meaning and their worth.

Who that loves the land to which he was born is not stirred, more than with trumpet call, as he sees in stately cathedral, or village church, the ragged remnant of some standard that once led men to victory or to death. The bit of decaying silk brings home to us with far more force than any historian's pen the pomp, the circumstance, the terribleness of war. Dunkeld Cathedral, there hangs the disused standard of the 42nd, the Black Watch, whose history as a regiment is one of splendid achievement, and almost unparalleled success. At Alver

In

stoke church, on the sea-border of Hants, is preserved a fragment of stained silk, all that remains of the old colours of the 44th Regiment, sole voice left to repeat a story of courage and endurance, perhaps unequalled in British annals, for who can recall the march through the Kyber Pass without a lump rising in his throat, as he dwells on the splendid fortitude that faced overwhelming odds to shield the women and children and helpless camp-followers from dishonour and death, rather than surrender. In the beginning of January 1842, sixteen thousand souls marched out from Cabul; seven days later, one survivor staggered into the fort at Jellalabad. An army perished, but the women and children were saved.

Of

To tell the story of England's defenders were to place all history under contribution. Marlborough-the "bogie-man" of little French children-Voltaire says that he never stormed a fortress that he did not take, nor enter on a battle without retiring as victor. Can we of later days forget Wellington:

"He that gained a hundred fights

Nor ever lost an English gun"?

or Havelock, or Gordon; Inkermann, "the soldier's battle;" the heroic and disastrous charge of the Dragoons, Hussars, and Lancers at Balaclava? It was at Balaclava, too, that Sir Colin Campbell, unbaring his head, cried with emotion, "Greys! gallant Greys! I am sixty-one years old, but if I were young again I should be proud to serve in your ranks." This same regiment woke Napoleon's envy and admiration, as he said with a sigh, "What a pity that I must cut them down!" unknowing then that their unequalled courage at Quatre Bras was to lose the day for

him.

Of

To speak of the sister service is but to add praise to praise. Elizabeth's reign was the age of romantic daring and adventure: it was then that the vastness of the world was first discovered, and since then it is English ships and English seamen who have ruled the seas. our English sailors De Witt-a generous foe-said: "They may be killed, but they cannot be conquered." The spirit that animated Admiral Russel at La Hogue still prevails: "If your commanders play you false," he said as he visited his ships, "overboard with them, and with myself the first!" Admiral Carter was the first to break the French line. He was struck by a

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splinter of one of his own yard-arms, and fell dying on the deck. He would not be carried below; he would not let go his sword. "Fight the ship," were his last words; "fight the ship as long as she can swim." Our sailors have not forgotten Nelson's last charge to the fleet. Whether on the burning deck, drawn up in line, and calmly awaiting the word of command, or called suddenly to face death on a sea unvex't by storm, in the blaze and splendour of a June day, for our sailors still

"The path of duty is the way of glory."

These are but single seed-corns from that ripe harvest we hold in our national granaries, and each, no doubt, can supply from memory a hundred other instances of deeds that are turning points in the world's course. We are great as a nation in so far as we remember and hold them in honour, for "does not every true man feel that he is himself made higher by doing reverence to what is really above him? No nobler or more blessed feeling dwells in man's heart."

But not alone to our soldiers and sailors-deep as is our debt to them-do we owe those lifegiving, soul-elevating memories it is our part to cherish.

"Peace hath her victories

No less renowned than war."

The old colours have floated over many a battle that was never fought with sword or gun, and bear on their folds the record of victories purchased at no cost of blood. Think of England's great Valhalla, Westminster Abbey, where lie

"In brasse or stoney monuments

The princes and the worthies of all sorte." One recalls Addison's noble meditation among those tombs of dead and gone heroes; but it is one of England's step-children who has perhaps best expressed the feeling that moves us all when we turn, oppressed, from the splendid monuments to kings and statesmen, and stand among the grave-stones of Poet's Corner. "Notwithstanding the simplicity of these memorials, I have always observed that the visitors to the Abbey remained longest about them. They linger as about the tombs of friends and companions, for, indeed, there is something of companionship between the author and the reader. Well may the world cherish his renown, for it has been purchased, not by deeds of violence and blood, but by diligent dispensation of pleasure. Well may posterity be grateful to his memory, for he has left an inheritance, not of empty names and sounding actions, but whole treasures of wisdom, bright gems of thought, and golden veins of language."

From the revival of English letters under Elizabeth, with Shakespeare as "its outcome and flowerage," how splendid is the tale of achievement: what new resources of thought and language are at literature's disposal, what a vast and fertile territory has been conquered by the pen. Among our national heroes-bloodless victors-let us not forget the masters who have given thought an articulate voice..

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