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"Give them to me."
They are yours, freely, on those terms."
"You hear that, Luke," cried he, aloud; you Titus this is no robbery. Mr. Coates ‹ Know all men by these presents.' — I call you to witness, Lady Rookwood gives me these pretty things."
"I do," returned she; adding, in a whisper, on the terms which I proposed."
"Must it be done at once?"
"I fear not to look on.
is off his guard now.
"And you ?"
Each moment is precious. He
You do it, you know, in self-defence."
"For the same cause."
"Yet he came here to aid you?"
"What of that?"
"He would have risked his life for yours?"
"I cannot pay back the obligation.
"The document ? "
He must die!"
"Will not that suffice-why aim at life?"
"Will be useless then."
"You trifle with me.
You fear to do it."
"About it, then-you shall have more gold."
"I will about it," cried Jack, throwing the casket to Wilder, and seizing Lady Rookwood's hands.- -"I am no Italian bravo, madam -no assassin no remorseless cut-throat. What are you-devil or woman
Luke Bradley, I say."
who ask me to do this?
"Would you betray me?" cried Lady Rookwood.
"You have betrayed yourself, madam.-Nay, nay, Luke, hands off. See, Lady Rookwood, how you would treat a friend. This strange fellow would blow out my brains for laying a finger upon your ladyship."
"I will suffer no injury to be done to her," said Luke; "release her."
"Your ladyship hears him," said Jack. “And you, Luke, shall learn the value set upon your generosity. You will not have her injured. This instant she has proposed, nay, paid for your assassination."
"How?" exclaimed Luke, recoiling.
"A lie, as black as hell," cried Lady Rookwood.
"A truth, as clear as heaven," returned Jack: "I will speedily convince you of the fact.". Then turning to Lady Rookwood, he whispered-" Shall I give him the marriage document?"
"Beware!" said Lady Rookwood.
"Do I avouch the truth, then?"
She was silent.
"I am answered," said Luke.
"Then leave her to her fate," cried Jack.
No," replied Luke; "she is still a woman, and I will not abandon her to ruffianly violence. Set her free." "You are a fool," said Jack.
"Hurrah, hurrah!" vociferated Coates, who had rushed to the window. "Rescue, rescue !—they are returning from the church-I see the torchlight in the avenue-we are saved!"
"Hell and the devil!" cried Jack, "not an instant is to be lost. Alive, lads-bring off all the plunder you can- - be handy!"
Lady Rookwood, I bid you farewell," said Luke, in a tone in which scorn and sorrow were blended. "We shall
"We have not parted yet," returned she; "will you let this man pass? A thousand pounds for his life."
Upon the nail? asked Rust.
By the living God, if any of you attempt to touch him, I will blow his brains out upon the spot, be he friend or foe," cried Jack. "Luke Bradley, we shall meet again. You shall hear from me."
Lady Rookwood," said Luke, as he departed, "I shall not forget this night."
"Is all ready?" asked Palmer, of his comrades. "All."
Stay," said Lady Rookwood, in a whisper to him. "What will purchase that document ? "
"A thousand pounds? "Double it."
"It shall be doubled." "I will turn it over." "Resolve me now.'
"You shall hear from me." "In what manner?”
"I will find speedy means."
"Your name is Palmer? "
"Palmer is the name he goes by, your ladyship," replied "but it is a fashion with these rascals to have an
"Ha! ha!" said Jack, thrusting the ramrod into his pistol barrel, as if to ascertain there was a ball within it; are you there, Mr. Coates?-Pay your wager, sir."
"The hundred we bet, that you would take me, had the chance."
if ever you
“Take you !—it was Dick Turpin I betted to take.” "I am DICK TURPIN-that's my alias! replied Jack. "Dick Turpin! then I'll have a snap at you, at all hazards," cried Coates, springing suddenly towards him.
"And I at you," said Turpin, discharging his pistol right in the face of the rash attorney "there's a quittance in full.”
ON quitting Lady Rookwood's chamber, Luke speeded along the gloomy corridor, descended the spiral stairs, and, swiftly traversing sundry other dark passages, issued from a door at the back of the house. Day was just beginning to break. His first object had been to furnish himself with means to expedite his flight; and, perceiving no one in the yard, he directed his hasty steps towards the stable. The door was fortunately unfastened; and, entering, he found a strong roan horse, which he knew, from description, had been his father's favourite hunter, and to the use of which he now considered himself fully entitled. The animal roused himself as he approached, shook his glossy coat, and neighed, as if he recognised the footsteps and voice.
"Thou art mistaken, old fellow,” said Luke; "I am not he thou thinkest; nevertheless, I am glad thy instinct would have it so. If thou bearest my father's son as thou hast borne thy old master, o'er many a field for many a day, he need not fear the best mounted of his pursuers. So ho! come hither, Rook."
The noble steed turned at the call. Luke hastily saddled him, vaulted upon his back, and, disregarding every impediment in the shape of fence or ditch, shaped his course across the field towards the sexton's cottage, which he reached just as its owner was in the act of unlocking his door. Peter testified his delight and surprise at the escape of his grandson, by a greeting of chuckling laughter.
"How?-escaped!" exclaimed he. "Who has delivered you from the hands of the Moabites? Ha, ha! But why
do I ask? Who could it have been but Jack Palmer?" 'My own hands have set me free," returned Luke. am indebted to no man for liberty-still less to him. But I cannot tarry here; each moment is precious. I came to request you to accompany me to the gipsy encampment. Will you go, or not?"
"And mount behind you?" replied Peter ; manner of conveyance."
"I like not the
And Luke turned to depart.
I care not if
"I will not delay you a moment," rejoined the sexton, opening his door, and throwing his implements into the cottage. "Back Mole-back, sir," cried he, as the dog rushed out to greet him. Bring your steed nigh this stone, grandson Luke-there-a little nearer-all 's right." And away they galloped.
The sexton's first inquiries were directed to ascertain how Luke had accomplished his escape; and, having satisfied himself in this particular, he was content to remain silent; musing, it might be, on the incidents detailed to him.
High edges impeded the occasional gaps, affordthrough which he was
The road Luke chose was a rough unfrequented lane, that skirted for nearly a mile, the moss-grown palings of the park. It then diverged to the right, and seemed to bear towards a range of hills rising in the distance. view on either hand; but there were ing glimpses of the tract of country riding. Meadows were seen steaming with heavy dews, intersected by a deep channelled stream, whose course was marked by a hanging cloud of vapour, as well as by a row of melan