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there, before my eyes, in veritable flesh and blood, stood my quondam friend, wrapped in the same identical plaid I saw him wear while flitting from the new-made grave in the early part of the night.

Where he had been I was now at no loss to conjecturedoubtless filling up the grave, and again covering the earth with its snowy mantle, the falling snow obliterating all traces of the circumstance.

“ Dead men tell no tales,” said he, as he took from beneath the folds of his ample plaid the identical spade which I had seen and examined at the grave; and, breaking the woodwork of it in two across his knee, he threw the whole into the fire, stirring it up at the same time, till the flames rose high in the chimney, consuming, in a twinkling, every vestige of the fatal witness.

Not aware that I had seen the instrument before, he rather curiously observed

Not that I doubt your solemn oath, but that might have been discovered and identified by others. But how goes our patient ? Still asleep. I trust he won't awake till the doctor comes ; till then I pray you listen to a short explanation of the

; strange occurrences of this mysterious night. Whether you belong to these parts I know not ; but few people within fifty miles of the parish of Glamis who have not heard of the peerless charms of Annie Lawson”.

“ Annie Lawson ?" I exclaimed. “Yes," he repeated, drily. “Annie Lawson. Didst thou

. know any maiden in thy youth who bore that charmed name ?

She was my cousin ; but, fortunately, I had sufficient control over my feelings to remain silent, while he thus continued :

“There is not time for leading questions or cross-examinations at present, therefore I shall at once and hastily proceed to my narrative.

“ The maiden, whose name I cannot repeat, I from childhood tenderly loved, and, I have every reason to believe, was

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as tenderly loved in return. She was meek and gentle as a lamb, but, as I grew up to manhood, I became wild, irresolute, and unsettled in my habits, a short residence at Dundee having changed my whole nature, excepting my unchangeable affection for the only woman I had ever loved. It is a long story; but suffice it, in the meantime, to say that, having wasted my little patrimony, and not having been brought up to any profession, I was often reduced to great straits; and, more from the taunts I experienced from Annie's guardian-since the death of her parents—than from any good purpose or resolution of my own, I bound myself, for a short period, to learn the handicraft of a gardener. For some years I had been debarred from her uncle's house, although I not unfrequently met him, only to experience, however, some bitter taunt or reproach, which so deeply rankled in my soul that I gradually, at last, came to the calm resolution that it would be no crime to rid the world of one who, perseveringly and systematically, set himself, so far as I could judge, to oppose the union of two hearts evidently designed by Nature and God for each other, and-you know the sequel.'

“A terrible resolution," I interrupted.
"Have patience; I have not quite done yet.

A terrible resolution, doubtless; but you must take into account the long series of provocations I had received, although I frankly admit that nothing can by any possibility justify the deliberate taking away the life of a fellow creature. But these taunts and reproaches had worked me up to madness, and my diseased imagination and unsanctified mind not only coloured, according to my wishes, every untoward event of my life, but easily found fertile excuses for the perpetration of any deed, however dark and tragical, for the purposes of resentment. But a truce to these dark thoughts, which have now for ever fled from that breast so long their foul nursery and habitation. Annie's uncle and guardian was a man of high principle and unbending rectitude of conduct, and doubtless 'is intentions were good in acting towards me as he had done,

and, on a mind differently constituted than mine, such conduct might have had a different effect. Generally speaking, however, the human heart can be much more effectually touched, and melted into obedience, by the tender accents of persuasive love than by harsh, cold, and unfeeling sarcasm and bitter reproaches, however much these, in reality, may be deserved by the object of such vituperations. Taunts and reproaches drove me to madness, but the few words you uttered of generous impulse changed, in an instant, my whole being. The milk of human kindness again flowed warmly into my soul, and, while momentarily and secretly asking forgiveness for my great crime, I blessed my God for those sweet accents of considerate love, when I deserved nothing but the direst punishment which the hand of man or God could inflict. Love in my heart took the place of hatred, sympathy came in the stead of resentment, tenderness transplanted rancour, affection cast out every root of strife and bitterness. The sequel, I feel, will show this to have been the turning point of my destiny. Such, my friend, is an instructive phase of human life."

The door was suddenly opened from without, and anxiously and enquiringly entered the bustling landlord, ushering in, with all due formality, the worthy doctor. Having divested themselves of their snow-covered garments, the latter cautiously approached the bed. What account Boniface had given of the occurrence we never knew, but it was evident the doctor treated the case as contusion of the brain, occasioned by a fall, in which belief we were content to allow the man of skill to remain.

“A severe contusion,” he said, as if speaking to himself; “ but the pulse is strong," turning round, and encouragingly addressing us. “Just assist to turn him gently on this side. There ; that will do. Now, bring the candle."

The change of posture appeared to have brought the sufferer to consciousness, for no sooner had the light shone upon his agitated features, than he opened his eyes, and looked enquiringly around.

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“My father!" I exclaimed, and threw myself on his neck.

“My son !” he faintly replied, “ is it, indeed, thus we meet again ?

Need I tell how I watched by his bedside with all a loving son's devotion and solicitude, until his gradual yet complete restoration to health ? or how we again lifted him up on his faithful Donald, and took our way from the little, lonely hostelrie to the neighbouring glen of Ogilvy—I walking on the one side and James Howden on the other, our conversation sweet, soft, and subdued, as became our new relationship t or how dear Annie Lawson, still comely and beautiful, though no longer young, met us with a sweet smile of thankfulness and joy as we entered my father's cosy homestead ? or how a happy wedding took place in the glen a few months afterwards. and James Howden and Cousin Annie at last were united in the bonds of holy wedlock?

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A SWEET, sweet lassie was dear loved Annie Glen. With a light and graceful figure, a winning and engaging manner, and an education much above her rank in life, Annie might have graced the home of any squire in the parish. And she was not without her woers in that high station, for all forgot the miller's daughter in the sylph-like being who moved as a queen among her compeers.

Squire Grahame, whose small estate was only a short distance from the mill of Airniefoul, seemed to be more smitten than all others with the charms of the lovely maiden ; and many a basketful of rare and beautiful fruit did the miller get from the prolific garden of Kincaldrum, accompanied always with a rich bouquet of flowers, grouped with much taste and skill, and which Annie, with a blush, would unhesitatingly receive from her good-natured, but not far• seeing father. In riding past, Mr Grahame never omitted calling on the miller, nor of exchanging, if he could, a glance with his lovely daughter. For Annie had now reached that period of girlhood at which it was not unnatural that her little heart should flutter, and her cheek redden, at the sight of such a gallant cavalier, whose attentions to her father could not be misconstrued or mistaken. Then, again, wherever she was seen in the mill, or in the field, in the garden among her flowers, or seated, at her little window, trellised with roses and honeysuckle-she was ever graceful in the pure simplicity of nature.

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