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Mr. Harmer lay on his bed, and the warm light of the afternoon sun streamed bright and full upon his face. It was tranquil and peaceful as in life, and his lips were parted in a calm smilea smile as of the peace and forgiveness he felt as he died.

He looked after her as she went lightly away among the trees, her footsteps scarcely sounding in the limp, new-fallen autumn leaves, and a shade of compunction came over his face. He was certainly a blackguard, he knew it well, but, by heavens, he would try to make this little girl happy. They would be rich some day, and then they would travel for years, and when he came back his evil name would have died out, and he could then lead a quiet, happy life, perhaps at the old house there; and thenand then, who knows; perhaps little children would grow up round him: surely then he must be happy. Could it begood God! could it be possible that he might yet turn out a good man after all? "Yes, there was hope for him yet." And as Robert Gregory turned away, there was a tear in his eye, which was even now growing heavy and red from long excesses and hard drinking, and a sigh, and a half prayer from the heart, from which for long years such things had ceased to rise.

Sarah retired delighted with her present, and promising to be ready on Wednesday. We then had a long chat over our plans. Papa, who had, I think, a strange tinge of romance in his disposition, quite looked forward to the adventure, and he and Polly talked it over with great glee. Papa said that he should write to Mr. Petersfield, tell him that we had found the chamber, and ask him to come down and be present at the finding of the will, so that he couldshould the box be too large for us to carrygive us his advice as to the best course for us to pursue.

"You have heard that our brother was murdered?"

"It was a dangerous experiment, Polly, but the fact that you so nearly succeeded, proves that it was not a hopeless one, as I should have unhesitatingly have pronounced it to be, had you asked my opinion before starting. It shows that the will is in existence still, and no doubt as she was leading you towards Mr. Harmer's room, she was going down the upper staircase towards the secret chamber, in some closet in which it is undoubtedly concealed. I only hope that Miss Harmer will not, when she returns home, and hears what a narrow escape she has had, destroy the will at once. However, we must do as we have done before, hope for the best."

It happened to be a wet day, so that, contrary to our usual habit, we were indoors when the boy came up with the note. Papa signed the receipt, and the lad left before he opened it. When he did so, he glanced at the contents, and dropped it on the table with almost a groan.

In truth we both needed it. I was pale and nervous; all the scenes and emotions of the last three months had shaken me very much, and I think that had I not gone to the sea-side I should have had a serious illness of some sort. Papa, too, looked ill and worn. He had felt mamma's loss very much; and, indeed, the long watching and the constant noting the signs of her rapid decay, all so clear to his medical eye, must have been a terrible trial.

"My dear Robert," Sophy said, "please don't talk in that way. I am your wife, and shall be very happy anywhere with you; besides I have not been always accustomed to luxury. I was born and lived until I was twelve or thirteen in a cottage as a poor village girl. And please do not remind me of scenes where I had no right, and where I never deserved to have been. Do not let us think of the past at all, Robert; it is perhaps not very pleasant for either of us. Let us think of the futureit is all before us, and we are not worse off than thousands of others; but you did not answer my question, how cheap could we get a little parlour and bedroom?"