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and monotonously giving and taking the odds,

while the noble owner of this much-praised “AMONG THIEVES.”

animal was amusing himself in the same way

in some more aristocratic region. All betting London was in a ferment of It was getting dusk in the streets of London, excitement; knots of disreputable men were when Grantley left his club, and strolled caregathered at the corners of the street, whose lessly down Piccadilly, apparently as heedless vocation no one would be in the slightest de- of the life surging round him as if he saw no gree ignorant of, after a single glance at the cut one. The pace was getting a very killing one of their clothes-the white hat and black with him now. He couldn't conceal from himband, which was once the sign of a Radical, in self that he had been losing greatly lately, and the palmy days of the madman Henry Hunt; that he looked forward with feverish anxiety to the face under that hat, which seems to have Peep o' Day's running first to set him all right reached the acme of human sharpness and again. He passed a knot of sporting men, who human cunning; the bird's-eye fogle, the were reading the latest intelligence, and heard closely-cut suit of tweed, and the tight trowsers the running fire of whispered remarks that rose all that make up the character which I must be as he went by: forgiven for calling “horsy;" for no other “He'll make a good thing of it if Peep word can express it half as neatly.

o’Day does the trick. He has put a most treWhat a wonderful insight into human cha- mendous pot of money on, and, by George, if racter does Charles Dickens possess, when he anything does happen wrong, won't it be a says that these men seem to have been imbued come-down for him?" with the very spirit of the animals they attend It was sickening, and this was the reward to, and when he makes “ Rob, the grinder," he was attaining to-to have his name and querulously wonder why horses and dogs and prospects canvassed by every dirty snob in the sporting pigeons should do men such harm- street. “Devil's own get the devil's wages," innocent things like them!

came home forcibly enough to him then, by way Hoarse mysterious whispers are circulated of proverb. He strolled on, though, as careless amongst these men, and secret offers of “five and haughty as the best of his “swell” class. to four on 'Paddle your own Canoe,'” or of and pursued his way till he reached a small "taking the odds against. Lord Strathmore's mean-looking house, with an undefinable air of hilly,"" are bandied freely about; for in a few something wrong clinging to it-a house in days the greatest race in sporting England will which the blinds were all down as close as be run, and the mingled fun and misery which though it held the dead—and gave a gentle tap make up the great play of the “ Derby Day" | at the door. be enacted.

London people are very incurious as a class : The horse that Grantley had laid so much but even they, as they passed, turned and money on seemed to be in everyone's mouth, looked with astonishment at the swell gentlein that sporting circle, and men would remove man, and wondered what his business might be the eternal bit of straw from between their lips | in that out-of-the-way spot. to give utterance to the wish “ that they might! The door was opened by a dark Jewey. die if they wouldn't back Peep o' Day' with looking man, with a quantity of Mosaic jewellery Challoner on his back, agin the whole bilin' of in the shape of rings and charms, and whose em at any odds.” And the knowing ones face, in contrast with the captain's high-bred Winked mysteriously, and hinted that they features, looked ludicrously different. Grantley might have seen him take his gallop, and that whispered some talisman and was admitted to nothing on four legs could ever hope to touch an inner sanctum, where were assembled some Am. And clean through the blazing May-day half-dozen men, who were so intently occupied the devoted band remained at their corner, over a green table that they scarcely raised their balking still in mysterious confidential whispers, / heads as Grantley entered; but kept on repeat. ing, in a monotonous way, such words as “I tracted their fickle allegiance? A good many mark the king,” “ Your deal,” and remarks to people used to laugh at that song, and called it the like effect.

overdrawn "all stuff and nonsense;" but I be. It really is too bad. I must apologise for lieve it was much more true to life than would leading my readers into such bad company; | be agreeable for some gentlemen who shake the but it is no use my concealing the fact that the elbow to suppose. It was the old old story of house was one of the most notorious gambling the ruling passion-a passion before which love hells in wicked London, and the men in the and honesty, and manly feeling and Christian room were playing unlimited loo. It is not charity, pale their fires-a passion which makes worth my while to try and do a little bit of the votaries to the full, aye more infatuated than word-painting here, in the style of the great were those wretched dupes whom the Horsel novelists, or in the language of that life-like Venus held in her fell bondage. play “Rouge-et-Noir,” so you must imagine! It might have been the chance recollection of for yourselves the frenzied gestures, the his suffering wife that made Grantley's hand clenched hands, the muttered imprecation, I shake, and his nerve weak to-night; but he ceras large sums changed hands, and the ill- 1 tainly played as badly as the merest tyro who concealed cry of joy as a lucky player pocketed | might be handling the cards for the first time; his gains. Any ordinary observer who didn't and luck-that Bona Dea of the gambling enioy the insight into these things that the mysteries-seemed entirely to have deserted novelists aforesaid do, might imagine that the him. And yet the coolness of the man was proceeding was one of the most common every- | wonderful. He remained cool and impassive, day kind, for there was certainly nothing of taking his immense losses in a calm way which the Maurice d’Arbel sensation here.

Campbell's “stoic of the woods" would have “Ah! you are come at last, Grantley. Now | admired immensely. L'l trouble you to give me my revenge. I feel Men came dropping in from the Opera and rather like winning to-night. You know the the House" to finish their night," and he talked cards are with me."

to them carelessly and with the utmost noncha"As you like, my lord,” answered Grantley, I lance: calmly," and I think we'll treble the stakes.” “ Tietjens was in great form, I suppose, as

"Now or never !” thought he, as he sat | Lucia-and Gardoni as good as ever? Did down with his opponent to begin the “un- Disraeli say anything about the new Reformlimited.”

bill ? and was Lowe as savage as ever?" and The good-tempered-looking young nobleman all that kind of thing, while the passions of (who had not left Christ-church very long, and hell were raging at his heart, and something was seeing life in this ingenuous way) seemed to very like ruin was staring him in the face, and have spoken with the spirit of prophecy, for when other men as luckless as himself were they had not played long before Grantley had wildly cursing their losses, or drinking brandy to write a cheque of some magnitude.

furiously to drown all reflection. "There, now we will leave off if you like, ! Would his luck never turn? Was there no Grantley," said the mere lad, his adversary;"I chance of his making some great coup yet, and havn't now much more than I dropped the winning something back out of his immense other night."

losses ? It was kindly meant, but fell very short. It didn't matter to the young nobleman who

• The night is very young yet," said Grantley, was winning his money so much. He was cer. " and you are surely not afraid "

tainly one of the richest peers in the list of " That I shall have to use my latch-key?" | those who adorn the pages of the “golden laughed the young fellow. “Oh dear me, no. book.” A thousand or so would not make any Let us double again, if you like."

difference in the rent-roll of young Viscount And the stakes were doubled, and again Salford; but to him he couldn't conceal from Grantley lost, with a terrible curse on his ill his mind that this kind of game, if carried on luck trembling on his lips.

long and equally unfortunate, must end in utter “I'll have some brandy before we begin ruin, and the consequences. Even now pictures again,” he said, hoarsely. "I am off my play | crossed his mind of the breaking up of his to-night, that's certain."

establishment; the seedy half-pay kind of life at And all this time did no compunction cross some foreign watering-place, where he would be his mind that he was breaking his plighted | obliged to herd amongst the Englishmen who word to his wife ? - that she was sitting wearily, I had been “unfortunate”-that is, had cheated sadly, waiting his arrival, with the bitter tears their creditors; and where he would be compelled which she could not repress falling on her to exercise the arts of a bird of prey to keep cheek, and the weary heart-wrung moan escap-body and soul together. And then the house ing her lips: “I know he has broken his word | and furniture in the hands of the greasy.Vll. and is gambling again"?

lanous Children of Israel, with their long dirty Does any one of my readers remember a talons, handling and appraising all the sumpsong, by Mr. Henry Russell, which used to be a

tuous furniture of the great house in Portman, great favourite with the people once, before the street, where, even now, his wife sat waiting an reign of the besotted comic songs, such as weeping--through all the weary watches s. “ Champagne Charlie” and “Slap Bang," at. waiting and weeping,

still lost.

You all remember the old-fashioned story of along, and cursing the whole world"a terrible the man who played with the strange-looking woman: so hideous, so reckless, so fiercelma adversary who always kept his foot carefully woman who has been steeped in infamy from concealed; and who, after winning every earthly | her girlhood !a woman whose past is a catapossession, kindly offered to play the unfor- logue of crimes, whose future seems a hopeless tunate hero for his soul! It is an absurd fable, hell !--the woman who has never forgotten God, of course-anilis fabella-amere old-wife's tale; because she has never known Him who has but still Grantley to-night seemed to be playing never repented, because evil has been her good for so lower stake. His opponent certainly was from childhood.” not the devil, but merely a good-humoured, rosy, Such a woman, so admirably photographed good looking young Englishman, with immense by Mr. Kingsley, crosses our path as we move breadth in his shoulders, and a smile that showed along the deserted street, and we can only his white teeth continually, and who, lo tell shudder as we hear her ribald curses, and wontruth, was almost frightened himself at the way I der if at any time she knew a mother's love, or in which he was winning from the great Grant- / lisped a prayer at a mother's knee. ley, and rather expected to lose it all before they Down an alleu a fostering horrid lane with separated; but I very much question, if the

heaps of filthy garbage corrupting the air, and fable before-mentioned were to have become

bringing cholera and fever in its every breath, reality, whether Grantley would have hesitated. |

and into a small house where, like the other one, An evil demon seemed to be continually whis

the blinds are down, and mystery broods over pering in his ear: “Go on! You must get

the neighbourhood. I must make use of the your old luck soon !" and he went on doubling

fern-weed to obtain entrance; for those that and trebling the stakes recklessly, and lost

have not the talismanic herb, or the wooden leg

of Asmodeus, a strange hard-sounding pass"This will be a hot night's work for Grant

word is necessary. Inside, a scene that would ley," whispered the men about the table. “As

look well painted by Ostade or Teniers, if for Salford, he will be able to get that pair of

England possessed such painters, sat three men, ponies he promised Coralie for the Park.”

each-at least from a casual glance-of different Here I shall leave him for a moment, and

nationality. As to the one who sat smoking a take me with you out of the polluted place into

short pipe, and drinking spirits out of an apology the fresh air of the London street, which

for a glass, there could be no mistake. Bill seems like a whiff of Paradise after the stillings,

mning Sykes was written in every lineament of the gambling-room. Enjoy the night-air while you brutal close-shaven face, in the small cruel eves may. Take a good long breath of the baliny

ay with murder in every glance of them, in the May night; for I shall have to take you in- l Thick

| thick gladiator bull-neck, in the bull-dogdoors again with this magic wand of mine, and

jowl-a man evidently of immense strength, the change, I am inclined to think, will not be

well-set thick form, and arms whose muscles for the better beautifully calm and quiet after

the close-fitting canvas jacket did not in the the noise and turmoil and ever-passing stream

least conceal-a man, in fact, with whom, if of life that crowded it during the day.

necessity compelled, you would be readier, as the One solitary policeman turns his bull's-eye

Scotch have it, “to crack wi' than fecht wi';" fall upon us, and eyes us suspiciously; then,

though you would be excessively sorry to do apparently satisfied, resumes his walk, and

either: when I add that every time he opened his muses upon the chances in life which have

mouth he garnished his hoarse remarks with turned night into day for him.

the most dreadful allusions to his blood and A faint sound of revelry comes from higher

heart and liver, I shall have completed his por. up the street, where a knot of drunken clerks

trait, are making night hideous by the declaration that they are all “magnificent bricks," and | The man who sat near him, and was amusing bound to have a spree that night.

himself by chaffing him, was evidently an IrishAll very well for that night, perhaps; but man; there was no mistaking the half-cunning, not so well when they wake next morning with | half-simple expression of his features, which a head-ache, which makes the small amount of a decided cast in one of his grey eyes only brain that they possess boil like molten lead, heightened. An air of devil-may-care, reckless and makes their hands shake as they hold the drollery characterized bis every movement, and pen, and their eyes stationary in their foolish served to make the grim surliness of the animal young heads, like those of a cod-fish,

he addressed more striking through comparison. And at the corners of the street, perhaps, a | Any sporting man could have told you his ghostly figure, in unwomanly attire, with hollow | sporting name, under which he generally figured painted cheek, and bold defiant face, yet shiver- | in the prize-ring as a promising man in the ing in this warm night, and buddling herself light-weights, and that would be "The Tipperary into the shadow of a door-way as we pass. Bantam,” but any attempt to ascertain his family Not all unwomanly yet, perhaps, though she is name (he had probably forgotten it himselő homeless and friendless—the despised of the would only lead us into a confused mass of despised--the forlorn creature whom Christian aliases as they figured on the charge-sheets and charity, in all its rarity, never visits. And further the “true-bills" of the county-courts, where he on, some other woman, worse still, reeling had played a prominent part through a little

weakness he had for breaking into people’s | peoples from whom his refined nature revolted ; houses.

I had suffered to be called mate and companion The third (who was treated with some respect by every house-breaker and law-breaker he had by his companions) was a foreign-looking man, come into contact with. Could he but take the with pale, regular features, slight form, and an news to Nathalie, that their mutual foe was air that once had been noble, but now bore the foully murdered outside a gaming-house, that unmistakable brand of disgrace. Very strange would be the crowning point of a glorious train though, to find a man of even slight pretensions of vengeance. She would marry him, love him, to gentility in such company! Look closer at be his slave for ever-80 she had assured him; him, as he lurks in the shadow, and scowls at and Della Croce, with the impulsive nature of his mates, and you will recognize Count della his country, had learnt to love Nathalie after a Croce. What his business there was, we shall | fashion, and associated her case with his, till not be kept long in suspense ere we know, mutual sympathy led to a warmer feeling.

He was just going to make an observation to “It's all settled, then," said Sykes (I call him the sulky English ruffian, when a low tap was Sykes, with all due reverence tothe master-mind heard at the door, and the latter jumped to his that created the blood-thirsty master-ruffian), feet with a tremendous curse.

“and, so long as we get off all right with the “ Arrah, now, and don't be making a fool of swag, you may take the captain swell all to your yerself,” roared the Irishman, with a rich oily self; though I'ın thinking you mayn't find him Corkonian accent: “shure it's only the bit of a quite so easy to manage." gossoon."

If the Bobbies come up we shall find it a The bit of a gossoon was a small boy, cer- thrifle more difficult still, laughed the Irish. tainly not five feet in height, but with a face man. “Though bedad I wouldn't give much of aged cunning mingled with impudence. A for any Bobby's nob after the least taste in life mass of rags of every colour, evidently the of that sapling ye have in yer hand, Misther remnant of various articles of clothing, hung Sykes !" loosely about him, and he spoke in a hoarse “Never fear me,” growled the ruffian adwhisper, that might have been produced by ex- | dressed. “I haven't got my ticket for nothing; posure to all weathers, or ardent spirits, or a and by heaven I'll leave my mark before they mixture of both.

send me out again !” “Well, Barney, what luck? Did ye spot Beautiful and harmless aspiration! Does it not him?” asked the “Tipperary Bantam."

show the wisdom of our truly paternal govern. “That I did," said the urchin, with a grin : ment, in allowing Mr. Sykes and his brethren “Coz vy? I crep' along in the shadow, don't tickets-of-leave, that they may come back to yer see? and the swell's been and gone into their dearly-beloved native country, and pursue Bellingham's" (which was the gambling-house). their trifling little amusements of garotting, and

“Did he see yer?" growled Mr. Sykes. the like, unbarmed and unsuspected ? “ Cos if he did he'd safe to be fly. Did yer One gets quite a breath of fresh air in turning watch the ‘ouse?'

to Scene III. of the series I have been intro“In course I did," said the boy, "and ducing to you in this chapter : and, as for the watched all the swells a coming out; and I'll contrast, well, such things may be easily found take my Dicky there's only the swell and in broad London; every species of wickedness another there now.”

may be discovered in the metropolie, if not every “D'ye hear that, Count?” said Mr. Sykes, species of good. addressing the Italian. “Now's our time. It is past one, and Ella Grantley has not dared Surely we are a match for them two fellows- to go to bed. She sits up, watching and waitand if we ain't, this will do their business," ing, jumping up in expectation at every footstep affectionately handling, as he spoke, a mur- that comes up the street, and sinking down with derous life-preseryer, and regarding it with a a moan of weary disappointment as the footvillanous grin.

steps die away in the distance, and still her hus“Mind one thing,” said Della Croce: “ leave band comes not. And who shall say what vain the man I showed you to me. With the other regrets crossed her mind as she reflected on the fellow you can do as you like. I dare say you one great, irretrievable mistake she had com. will get enough off him to pay you for the mited in marrying this man, contrary to the night's work.”

wishes of her friends, contrary, perhaps, to all There was a contemptuous disdain still lin- |

contemptuous disdain still lin- | dictates of prudence; because, forsooth, he was gering about the disgraced man as he spoke to handsome and plausible, and had the report o the two ruffians he had in his pay, and to whose a brave soldier ! There was no warning voice, level he was almost reducing himself in the she sighed, at the time, to warn her, no warning lowest depths of crime and misery—the de sigh from the storm that was lurking on the scendant of the Viscontis herding with the horizon, no finger-post on the road to speak dregs of wicked London! But it was to make the dangers in the journey. All se one loved stroke for revenge, even when the smooth and calm ; and yet, after one si smart of the wound still rankled in his breast- |

year's voyage, what a shipwreck bad she made even while sporting circles had not ceased talk- of all her dearly-cherished hopes and joys. ingof his disgrace and disappearance : for this then there was Charley-was it wrong to he had been content to liye among scenes and 'regretfully of what shę might have bee

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wrong to think

she listened to that honest young fellow's vows?, He must sell his commission instantly: that Was it treason to her marriage-vow to wonder would fetch some couple of thousands, and what he might be doing, how he had borne his might stave off the impending ruin- just as men great disappointment? For Ella had enough throw down houses and walls to prevent a fire of woman's cunning to know that her refusal spreading and then, if that horse only were to had almost made him desperate. Probably he run first next Derby, if he might only be gladhad inarried, and was happy with his wife, and dened with the sight of those familiar black-and--and-a great gush of tears came to her aid red colours gleaming in the van of the mighty at that juncture, and she wept long and bitterly. rush of horses, then of course it would be all Ah! pitiful that tears should stain those glo- right, and he wonld try to leave off gambling rious eyes --- that the innocent young heart altogether! On the other hand, suppose that should be breaking thus early, when some wives some foul play should injure the horse he had have not quite awaked from the blissful dream risked so much on, supposing that some cursed of married love. Was that his footstep? mischance should lose him the race-he had Surely he is coming! Ab, now she will sur heard of cases, not few, nor very far between, prise him! She will pretend to have fallen considering the “men of honour" who took asleep at her post, and he may feel some pang share in them, when a ball, judiciously adminisof remorse when he finds that she has kept the tered to a horse whose winning was a certainty, weary watches for him! “Disillusion ! disen- had effectually ruined all the prospects of winchantment!" It is only a servant, to inquire ning -- supposing all this, then would come whether she wants anything more that night, utter, certain ruin! O cursed day that he first and if John is to wait up for the Captain ? touched card! O cursed companion that first

To Ella's imagination even the face of the led him into the ways of evil, and taught him to servant seemed to wear a compassionate ex- be cunning at the gaming-table, and applauded pression, and her voice seemed to be lowered his early successes in the making of that little into a tone of feeling, and she would, in all game which is such a sad amusement! Well likelihood, discuss the Captain's irregularities might the chronicler Froissart say of gamblers with the other servants. Wearied and dis- as well as of the English people, “ Ils s'agusted, Ella fell asleep-poor heart! And, as musaient triste.And not a thought of his wife, to the prison-captives' home-scenes and bright not a thought of Nathalie crossed his infatuated visions of liberty shine transiently in dreams, 80 mind. As for the latter, it was, perhaps, a to the gambler's wife the old familiar Hall came blessing that he had no time to spare for the back with all winning associations, and she saw pricks of conscience the memory of that injured her mother and the squire, and her sister Katie, woman and of her vow of vengeance caused and seemed to sob herself to rest on the mother's him. One excitement had completely swaltrue bosom. Telle est la vie,it isn't all sun- lowed up another. It is no wonder that the shine in this world of ours !

record of the career of great criminals like | Redpath should be distinguished by reckless extravagance and mad dissipation. It requires

some overpowering, superior stimulus to Chap. XXIII.

conquer the feeling of dread, some mighty

agent, to drown the voice of conscience A STRUGGLE IN THE DARK.

- which I think is never entirely stifled, only

muffled sometimes-and not a dread of the While this cheerful and harmless trio are re- violence hanging over bis head. No kind angel hearsing the effect of the little piece of “still had whispered to him that Fate, in the shape of life” they intend playing, we may as well return the ragged imp, had been dogging his steps to the gentlemen whom they have marked out from the club to the gaming-house, untiring, as their victims so coolly, for the benefit of one unfoiled, lurking in shadow of houses and in of whom Mr. Sykes so tenderly prepared that doorways, till the quarry was well-marked ugly bludgeon of his. The gambling-room home-that murder and robbery were guarding where he left them has considerably thinned; the portals of the very house he was in. The the only two players are Grantley and the young bad and the good fare alike in this : no evilnobleman, still as intent upou their lawless play boding fear crosses the mind of the good, as they were an hour ago, Grantley's face, wild honest, cheery citizen when he gaily kisses his and baggard in its expression, the deep lines hand to his smiling wife on the doorstep, on his furrowed into his brow, the painful twitching of way to the station to catch the morning-train : as much of his lips as the heavy moustache he little dreams, as he snaps his fingers to the shows. All augur that the “little game” is crowing child in her hands, that on this side of not progressing favourable with him. It is the grave he shall behold wife and child again madness now what was simply greed of gain never; and that they shall see him perhaps & before; and he hates his adversary, who is so mangled, sickening mass, which the eye of love, Courteous and so genial, with the hate of hell. cunning as it is, will fail to identify! And perTo think that, after all, the great Grantley haps 'tis a wise dispensation. Bethink you, should be fairly pigeoned, cleaned out, by a what a world this would be, did every creature mere lad, who had only just made his first voy. know his own fate — did each man behold age in the perilous sea of gaming!

| veluti in speculo the fogs and sorrows of his

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