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faith in human virtue. Surely a lawyer's case is as bad. He deals with the bad side of human nature. He comes constantly into contact with meanness and malice, with falsehoods, with deceit, with petty trickery, with forgery, with perjury, with all "the passions that make earth hell;" and often he has to labor for men who are influenced by all evil feelings, and to give them his time and his brains.
All that is bad enough to be sure; but it is worse to have to think, as many do think, that much of all these evils might be prevented by the profession which is afflicted by them. Yet no attempt seems to be made to prevent the evil operation of evil passions. How much malice is encouraged by lawyers! How much meanness is supported by lawyers! How much petty trickery is developed by lawyers! How much forgery is concealed by lawyers! How much perjury (and this is a serious matter, gentlemen) is suborned by lawyers! These are questions that might have a little discussion; and if I can provoke the partial ventilation of the condition of a profession that is socially on the decline, for the chief reason that it is also professionally on the decline, it will be to some purpose that the story of the facts in the case of the Moriarty estate has been told so boldly, but not, it is to be hoped, so uninterestingly, by
School Days in the Dominion.
BY E. LAWSON FENERTY, ESQ., HALIFAX, N. S.
HE clocks of Winder were solemnly booming out the hour of nine when the volunteers, dusty and travel-stained, passed through on their way to the camping ground situated just outside the town.
Our youthful adventurers, feeling very tired and looking quite as sleepy, trudged along wearily. Phil's opinion in reference to the fun of walking fifteen miles had undergone a very material
change; in fact he had become a willing convert to his companion's view of the matter. But it was, as McLeod said, looking exceedingly disgusted, "after you had lugged a fellow all the way here
to find that out."
"Well;" replied Phil philosophically, "we're here, so it's no use to grumble."
"Does your aunt live near here?" asked McLeod anxiously; "I am awful tired."
"So am I, and hungry."
“Well then, let us go. We can go over to the camp to-morrow."
"It's too far," objected Phil. "She lives away across in the other side of the town; besides, it's too late now; I'm going over to the camp. Come on!"
"Look here;" exclaimed McLeod indignantly, abruptly halting before a shop window, the light from which streamed over the two boys, "you have just been cramming me about having relation's here;" and he looked steadfastly at Phil. "It's just like you though. I ought to know you by this time; I'll find a place to stay;" and he turned and strode away.
"See here, Cloudy;" said Phil, hastening after him, and laying his hands on his companion's arm, "it's no use having a row here; you can believe me or not, but I won't go there to-night. Come along over to the camp! I'll risk finding a place to sleep; come on;" slipping his hand into his companion's arm.
McLeod suffered himself to be led along, grumbling at being used so shabbily, Phil wisely not replying, fearing another hitch.
They had proceeded this way for some time when, by mere good fortune, they came upon the camping-ground. Having been so intent upon their differences as to have allowed the company to pass completely out of sight, they were hunting for the place from very general directions obtained from a person they had met just on the verge of the town.
"We're all right now;" exclaimed Phil, turning aside to climb a fence that separated the muster-ground from the road. "See the tents, what a slew!"
"Are we all right though;" grunted McLeod, incredulously, as he followed Phil. "I won't be all right till I'm asleep. I wonder where the company is?"
"It's no use to try and find that now," said Phil.
at the tents; we might hunt all night and then not find it. Let us turn in the first good chance."
"I would like to punch your head;" said McLeod suddenly, after they had been walking for some time in silence. "Would you?" Phil replied grimly.
"Yes I would, for lugging a fellow about."
"Well what did you want to go for first? I wouldn't have thought of it only for you; so stop your growling. Here is a bully place," he continued, stopping before a huge pile of hay that was stacked beside a large tent, which they afterwards discovered to be the commissariat.
McLeod walked around, eyeing it contemptuously. He was not in a mood to be satisfied with anything. "Well," he said at last with a grin, "if that is one of your aunt's beds it's big enough; but I s'pose it will do. Good night Mrs., what's your aunt's name, Phil?" and he bowed very politely to a cow that was tethered a short distance off. "She looks uncommonly like you Phil, or I mean you look like her, only younger."
"O stop your rubbish. I thought you were sleepy." The night was beautifully clear and warm, and the two boys slept in their bed of fragrant new mown hay as quietly and soundly as if at home, their true boyish hearts not having a care to disturb their slumbers.
But while they were sleeping on peacefully there under the stars, it was anything but peace in their homes in Croasdale. Mrs. Blair had not seen Phil since morning; dinner time came and passed and no Philip, but that was not unusual, he might be with his friends; tea time, and not home yet, but still she did not feel alarmed; but as the sun went down and the shadows of night deepened around, she almost unconsciously went to the door for every passing sound, hoping, yet hardly believing it was her boy. The great clock across the way tolled out the hour of nine, when he was always home unless by special permission. Its deep tones struck on her ear like a knell, and involuntarily she shuddered, as she hastened to the door to look anxiously out into the darkness. Oh! she murmured, if Horace would only come; her prayer was answered, as a strong, steady step resounded along the sidewalk, stopped at the gate, and then turned in.
She did not wait for him to come to the door, but met him in the path.
"Well, what is the matter, Sis?" he asked, using the old pet name, as he observed the voice tremble when she spoke.
She told him all her trouble.
"You must not fret about it," he replied, "the boy is safe enough, he has been off somewhere and is late getting back, that is all; trust him for taking care of himself." All this was asserted in a thoroughly confident tone, nevertheless he had doubts, and very serious ones, as to Phil's whereabouts; but he did not allow them to become apparent, or at least did not wish to. "He is so infernally mischievous, hard to say where he has gone," he thought; and unconsciously the thoughts shaped themselves into words.
"What did you say?" she asked eagerly, after he ceased thinking aloud.
"That he would take care of himself."
"No, no, not that, but the last words," and she looked anxiously into his face; they were standing in the hall now under the lamp.
"Did I say anything more ?" he asked, looking embarrassed, half suspecting that he had committed himself.
"Yes, yes, you muttered something, but I could not catch the words."
"Oh, it was nothing, at least I can't remember saying anything else."
This was strictly the truth, but only half of it; he was a lawyer and used the article sparingly, on the principle, I presume, that it was too valuable a commodity to use indiscriminately; and then the circumstances justified a "suppressio veri,” he thought.
But this only half satisfied her, and she looked it. "Alice, go in and sit down or lie down, all this is folly; to allow a few hours absence to upset you," said her brother as he observed a big tear well up beneath the eyelids, and the lips quiver He spoke kindly but firmly, and, opening the sitting room door, led her in.
"There, Grandma," he said cheerfully, "look after this girl, or she will make herself sick about that-scapegrace."
The old lady who was sitting up straight as a rush sewing, raised her eyes. "Not the least necessity for it," she replied, crisply; “Philip can take care of himself anywhere; he is a real little man," (proudly.) "I shall not allow myself to fret, even if he is out all night."
"Bravo!" exclaimed Mr. Morel, feeling the contagious influence of the old lady's bright convictions. Mrs. Blair for a time sat
quietly, her brother leaving them to discover if possible any tidings of the runaway.
"Curse that boy," he muttered, as he stepped out into the night, "if any thing has happened it will kill her." This was a strong expression, but she was his only, his pet sister, and when she had needless trouble inflicted on her, it angered him almost beyond endurance.
She sat in her room after all were asleep waiting hour after hour, each adding to the agony of suspense. The little ray of hope still flickered on,- but oh! so dimly,-until a neighbor, more kind than prudent, brought the news that a boat on the river, belonging to her brother, was gone from its moorings, and had been found bottom up on the shore near the bridge; then it went out altogether, and with it the proud hopes she had fondly entertained for his future. The air-castles built, of which he was the hero,these thoughts and their kindred clustered around her like a panorama of the future that was to have been; and as the night wore on, there she sat, till the grey dawn came flickering between the openings in the curtains, falling upon a face that looked as if time had drawn a veil over all hope, and fixed it there forever. Her heart was too full for utterance; but when Regy came in to receive his morning kiss and ask for his brother, she caught him in her arms and sobbed pitifully. The little fellow turned his wondering blue eyes to his mother's, and with childish instinct tried to comfort her by nestling closer.
Mr. Morel did not come in until nearly eight o'clock, deferring his visit until he had heard something definite to communicate. He had heard about the boat; this looked as bad as it well could. However, a dozen other causes might have brought that about; but he did not for an instant suspect that his sister knew of this circumstance. He was on his way down to the river to verify the rumor, when, by the merest accident, he discovered that his nephew had left town in company with the volunteers the afternoon previous. Without losing any time he at once hastened to his sister's with the good news.
He was shocked beyond measure when he saw the effect of the night's vigil on her face. As he entered alone she looked up sadly.
"Was any one here during the night," he asked, half suspecting the cause of the wan face.
"I know I try to
"Yes, Horace," she said in a hopeless tone.
hope, but it is very hard."