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and that in despite of all stratagems that have been laid to capture him, and of the sum of money set upon his head. Report affirms, that he bears a charmed life. However, this time it will go hard with him, as the cavern in which he is supposed to be concealed, is watched upon all sides. We must not omit to mention the brave conduct and presence of mind evinced on that occasion by Miss Catherine O'Neile, who fortunately happened to be staying in the house at the time. How she managed, in such a short time, without any assistance to apprise the police of the affair, is a matter of wonder and admiration to all who have been made cognizant of the event.'”

The O'Neile drew a long breath as he concluded ; a proud, bright look lighted up his handsome old coun. tenance, as, turning to Catherine, he said,

“ Why, Kathleen, I think that ought to sharpen your vanity a little, my girl. Come here and be kissed.” He took the shining graceful head between both his broad hands and pressed it fondly to him. “Sure it's yourself

, who are the light of my eyes, and the joy of my heart! God keep you, my darling, from all harm! You are a true O'Neile, and worthy of the old stock-every inch of you!” Then a change came over his face, as he sorrowfully said—“Ah, how I wish! —but wishes are vain—that you had been born a man, instead of a poor feeble girl. If Pierce had only been true to his name !” The concluding sentence was said in an under-tone, as if to himself.

“ But he's gone -gone! and left his poor old father; and the once proud name of O'Neile may after all be represented by strangers, for who can tell if Otway will live to man's estate; or should he do so, what he may turn out? It is a strange world--a very strange world !”

Catherine raised herself from the kneeling position beside her uncle, and exclaimed, with a passionate outburst-"Uncle, don't say that! don't encourage such a fearful thought—don't, uncle !” And she gazed around her in a distracted manner, as she exclaimed—“What could happen to Otway? What has given rise to such an idea ?" Then, as if recollecting herself, she added



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more calmly, as she observed the astonishment upon every face at her strange manner and words——“Otway is a noble boy, and promises much in the future.”

“So did the other at his age, and with more mental abilities than Otway can ever hope to possess. Yet what have they done for him? Better far that he should have died, than have lived to be disgraced and dishonoured."

Mary, the one of all the family who ventured the least to give an opinion, upon hearing the brother, whom she had not forgotten, and the playmate of her childhood, so harshly remembered, could not refrain from speaking, and in her timid, deferential way, said, “ Father, those are harsh words from the lips of an O'Neile--an O'Neile who should be above harbouring enmity for ever. I thought it was only the weak and cowardly who understood that.” Then warming with her subject, and no longer timid, she continued“ Great souls are ever lenient, aye, and can take to their heart an offender, in consideration that he was, in an evil hour, tempted beyond his strength. To forgive is divine, for is it not one of Heaven's greatest attributes towards erring mortals? Think of that, father, and do not forget that you are an O'Neile!”

“ It is because I am an O'Neile, girl, that I cannot forgive." Then in a severe tone-“Mary, I will hear

Let us change the subject.” Mary now felt how useless any further argument would be, so she, without another remark, continued her previous occupation, but not before meeting Catherine's glance fixed upon her with an expression of grateful admiration. She now stood up, and came over to take the hand that eagerly responded to the warm pressure, for Mary not only loved Catherine, but admired in her that strength of will and independent spirit, of which she herself was so deficient. And have we not all a proneness either to admire, or censure in others the very qualities which are wanting in ourselves ?

How that long day passed for Catherine is more

no more.

easily imagined than described. Evening came at last, and, immediately after dinner, pleading a headache, she retired to her room. She collected what money she possessed, and some trinkets left her by her mother, that she thought might be useful to her cousin Pierce. It was seven o'clock when she contrived to leave the house unobserved.

The spot appointed for her meeting with him was, at least, three miles distant from the Court.

An hour's brisk walking brought her to the entrance of the Dell, that was shut in on both sides by steep hills, but which, as she proceeded, grew wider. Catherine had a habit of talking to herself, no doubt engendered by walking so much alone. To her great surprise, the first words she uttered were taken up and repeated distinctly. She stopped and listened, frightened at the dimness and solitude that reigned around, till reason came to assure her that it was but the echo of her own thoughts that had alarmed her; and the better to test it she called out—"Pierce!" which was immediately taken up and sent back to her. Yet, in spite of this certainty, she remained immoveable, not daring either to advance or retire. The hour, the place, the purpose that brought her there, now, for the first time, presented themselves more forcibly to her mind; and an undefined fear crept over her, as she stood upon the spot that was known, far and near, throughout the country, as the “ Bloody Dingle," into which neither man, woman, nor child would enter after sunset. Even at noon, with life and light surrounding them, when any unforeseen circumstance obliged them to cross it, all thoughts passed from their mind at the time, but those of devotion, and of recommending their souls to God and the saints, till its melancholy view faded from their sight. The sun seldom shone upon the place, seldom softened with its magic beams the blight and sadness that hung over it.

Many years before, it was said that a fearful murder had been committed there, though the exact spot was


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uncertain, there being no heap of stones to mark it. (In Ireland it is customary, upon the spot where a murder or a suicide has been perpetrated, for every one who passes by, to throw a stone.) Few, indeed, ever had occasion or fancy to approach the Dingle.

As Catherine remembered this, a shudder came over her, and she almost began to regret that she had ventured to come. With all the love she bore her cousin, and the anxiety she felt upon his account, it is doubtful whether, if at the time of her setting out she had thought of the place, she would have had the courage to do so. Now, there was no help for it-she was there, and must await the appointed hour; to retrace her steps seemed to her an utter impossibility.

The moon, that seemed to have been long struggling to force its way through the dense clouds which were wandering over it, now came out in all its beauty, lighting up the broad rugged Dell, with its patches of silvery water and enormous grey stones, that now seemed to assume all sorts of fantastic shapes in the misty light. On each side rose darkly and majestically the perpendicular slopes from which hung, in thickening downward growth, the wild mountain heath and the blackthorn, which last, by its strange form, lent a more characteristic appendage to the wild forsaken spot. And above, crowning those heights, waved the branches of the wild mountain poplar, from whose withered foliage the screeching night-owl sent forth its ominous cry, as if of despair, over the deep-shadowed, sleeping earth. The moon, just then overhead, came out from behind the clouds, revealing the unhallowed spot in all its savage grandeur and beauty, as if to compensate it, by one transient gleam at last, for the absence of the light of its more glorious rival.

To appreciate such a scene as this, one should see it lighted up by the moon, when its pale mystic spell is felt to belong to the mysteries and fascinations of the night-world.

To complete the supernatural aspect of the scene, Catherine now perceived, some few yards before her, a diminutive old woman, bent forward and leaning upon crutches. She evidently must have risen out of the ground, for the moment before she was not visible there. She wore a grey petticoat, short enough to let the bare feet below be seen; a red cloak, patched and discoloured in many places, was wrapped round her body; upon her head was tied a handkerchief, from underneath which fell, in weird-like masses, long silver hair. As she advanced, Catherine could perceive the hag-like expression of the face, if face it could be called, for there was nothing to mark it as such, except the pair of dark sinister eyes, that seemed to glow like burning coals. All form and beauty, if there had ever been any, had long quitted that face, which now appeared like one flattened mass, with here and there a protuberance to show where features had once been. She tottered up to Catherine, before the latter had recovered sufficiently from the shock caused by her unexpected appearance, and began mumbling something in old Irish. It was some time before Catherine could understand what she was saying, so inarticulate was the voice. However, upon hearing her own name, coupled with her cousin's, she was soon convinced that the old woman had been sent there by him, to ascertain if the coast were clear. This being the case, she now led the way, Catherine following her, till they came to a wretched mud hut. In one corner a bundle of straw was huddled together, upon which the sleeping form of a lad of about thirteen was stretched. In the opposite one was a heap of smouldering ashes, and above them a hole in the roof, through which the smoke passed.

The old hag, after allowing Catherine to rest awhile, now told her to accompany her to the back of the cabin. They soon came to the little cabbage garden, in the centre of which Catherine could distinguish a small

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