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Glad to quit the inhospitable region, we commenced the descent shortly after eleven, and re-investigations? traced our tracks to the Plateau of Storms; then we followed the usual course, and paused at Buchan's Well at 11.50. Here the temperature was 376, aneroid 25.700, and a strong breeze from southwest-by-west blowing. In our descent we now traversed, though not without danger, the huge slopes of snow in the Red Burn which we had beheld with apprehension and avoided when ascending. Then for some three hundred feet we traversed the south side of the burn; and near the crossing where we had paused for our first luncheon, Colin the guide boldly committed himself to the steep bank of snow, and seating himself, slid over it into the deep ravine, a feat of considerable hazard. Warburton followed; and I brought up the rear, suffering no harm, barring slight damage to a finger by the friction. Renzo was far more cautious. No amount of coaxing would tempt him to follow us, and with great sagacity he made a deviation, following the outline of the rocks, and keeping a somewhat zigzag course. At about two thousand nine hundred feet, we saw the track of a hill-fox; and a few ptarmigan about two thousand four hundred feet. Last autumn, I saw reynard's track at an altitude of nearly four thousand feet, and ptarmigan at three thousand five hundred and seventy feet. I have never seen these birds higher than Buchan's Well, or lower than two thousand feet. At two thousand one hundred feet we paused at a well which was opened up by Mr Brown of the Inland Revenue, Fort-William, last season, and found the temperature of the water 35.4.

Pursuing our way cautiously downwards, we reached the Lake again (eighteen hundred and forty feet above the sea) shortly before one o'clock, amid a strong south-westerly breeze, rain and cloud-fog; and when at last reaching the Peat Moss at the foot of the mountains, we found a strong south-south-westerly wind sweeping towards the front side of the barometric depression. At 3.13, at sea-level, Fort-William, I found temperature was 481, of the water of the Loch 44:3, and the aneroid 29-285, having fallen 0.082 since the morning. Then to our hotel, which we reached in a pitiable plight, but nothing the worse for our adventures; and in a few minutes we were consoling ourselves with hot coffee and a pipe, preparatory to enjoying the excellent fare of our estimable host.

William could be chosen for such important Not only is the mountain the highest in the United Kingdom, but it rises almost directly from the sea-level, is on the Atlantic border, and in the very track of many of the most serious storms that travel from west-southwest to east-north-east, sweeping over the British Isles from the ocean, doing such immense damage to shipping and other property, and causing the loss of so many lives. Observations from Ben Nevis in permanent continuance, backed by Government, would enable us to give most effective aid in sending warning to our coasts, and to the continent, when such cyclonic storms are approaching. If a substantial observatory-house were erected there, to insure daily observations on the mountain during the storms of winter, with a subterranean telegraph-line for the purpose of conveying early intelligence of coming storms, the value of such an outpost station not only to Great Britain, but to the whole of Northern Europe, could scarcely be overestimated.


A STORY OF THE PRIMROSE WAY. CHAPTER XV.-'SHE LOVES ME. I SHALL WIN HER YET!' 'PERHAPS,' thought Strange, as the train bore him swiftly towards the great metropolis, 'it is the best thing that could have happened that Gilbert should have carried his jest so far. I can't step in between Lumby and the woman he is going to marry. And yet she does not love him. It's the She brightens merest marriage of convenience. when I go near her, and Lumby's coming makes her dull at once.' (And this was not his egotism, but the simple truth.) 'I can't leave her! Never see her again?' Oh, vacant world! Let any man who has loved, remember what such a prospect seemed to him in the hot-blooded days of youth. The conflicting purposes in his mind so tore him, that by the time at which the train reached the terminus, his nerves were trembling and twitching, and he was so irritable as to be downright hungry for a quarrel with anybody who might present himself. He had chambers in town, which he had for the past year used but rarely, and to them he despatched his man, whilst he himself took a cab and sought out Gilbert. That ardent chum lived in Dane's Inn; and Val, eagerly dashing from his cab, rushed up the courtyard, nearly overturning the old Crimean commissionaire in his haste, and reaching Gilbert's door, rained such a shower of blows upon it, that the startled echoes rolled and tumbled over one another down the darkened staircase, in their haste to answer. Mr Gilbert in person responded to this urgent summons.

I can only here refer to the valuable results which I am very pleased to state have been worked out, under the auspices of the Scottish Meteorological Society, by Mr Buchan, from my daily observations of last season; but I am convinced that high-level stations in connection with observatories at lower levels adjacent, would prove of immense value to the country in the matter of weather forecasting. By such stations working together, we deal as it were with vertical sections of the atmosphere, and having regard to pressure, tem- Hillo, Val! That's you, old man? Delivered perature, humidity, and wind, can investigate at from the house of bondage, eh?'-Strange glared different altitudes the nature and conditions at him from the semi-darkness; but the expres attending the approach of the many disturbances' sion of his face being unseen by Gilbert, that -some of which are warned from New York by young gentleman flowed on: Come in. Had the praiseworthy enterprise of Mr Gordon Bennett to take strenuous measures-hadn't I? Thought of the New York Herald, to whom the thanks I'd make 'em strong enough to lift you. Come in.' of the British nation are due. What more 'You unmitigated ass!" said Val, fairly boiling suitable positions than Ben Nevis and Fort- over.



Eh?' said Mr Gilbert. 'Oh! A slow smile lit up his broad mid-England countenance. 'Overdid it a bit, eh?'

'What did you mean by piling message on message in that idiotic way?'

'Here's gratitude,' said Mr Gilbert, with appealing hands spread abroad. 'Here's a specimen of thankfulness for friendship's toils!-Come in,' he continued, clawing Val by the shoulder and dragging him into the little hall. "Three shillings for expenses; and sixpence for a drink to the commissionaire. You can't grumble at that three journeys-twopence a journey. Hand over.' Val walked up and down in the sitting-room, heaping contumely on the over-zealous Gilbert.'Three-and-six,' was that gentleman's sole response to all objurgations.

Strange, taking an inward survey of himself, became conscious of his own condition, and made an effort after calmness. 'I don't want to quarrel,' he said.

'No?' interjected the stolid Gilbert incredulously.

'Don't irritate me, there's a good fellow. I've had one or two things to disturb me, and the last straw may break the back of human patience.'

'You give me three shillings for the telegrams,' said Mr Gilbert humorously, and pay me back the sixpence I gave the commissionaire, and I'll let the matter sleep.'

'There's your money,' cried Val, throwing it on the table. Don't speak to me again.'

Mr Gilbert gathered up the money and threw it out of the open window. 'Don't you go into any more dull houses,' he answered; or if you do, don't ask me to lug you out of 'em!' Val was striding from the room; but Gilbert laid a hand upon his shoulder. 'Look here, Val,' he said; a joke's a joke.'

And an ass, an ass,' said Val in answer, and disappeared majestic.

'Mr Strange!' cried Gilbert, following to the head of the staircase-Val was half-way down, and made no response-'Mr Strange!'-Val paused; perhaps Gilbert was going to propose a meeting, to avenge his outraged feelings.You'll find your three-and-sixpence in the courtyard, Mr Strange,' said Gilbert, in a voice of smoothest courtesy; and thereafter he exploded in a peal of laughter, which echoed up and down the hollow staircase, and pursued the unhappy Val half-way to the entrance of the Inn.

Driving to his own rooms, the young man found their solitude unbearable, and wandered aimlessly into the streets. There any chance object caught his eye and claimed attention with a foolish exigence which irritated him, though he submitted to it. A porcelain vase in a shop window; a looking-glass surrounded by diminutive Cupids and Brobdingnagian wreaths of flowers; a coal-scuttle; the presentment of an imbecile Madonna framed in smoke-dried oak, and otherwise striving to look old; the exposed steel of a case of surgical instruments-anything seemed to be good enough to stare at. He wasted a little vacant observation upon each of these things, and upon many more, until, pausing to examine, with needless curiosity, a thermometer which hung in an Oxford Street optician's window, and having slaked that futile interest,

beside the thermometer, he saw the face which all this time had dwelt within his thoughts. It was a cabinet photograph, and so lifelike in its expression that it almost startled him. For one minute he was amazed, but in the next he became angry. By what right did any rascally shopkeeper dare to exhibit this sacred face to the public gaze? He was ready to quarrel with anybody, and entered the shop. Luckily, there were one or two people there already, and he had time to cool. He had no right to ask an account of the shopman; but being there, he must do something, and so, in place of making a disturbance about the photograph, he bought it. With the lovely face lying against his heart, he walked homewards. Reaching his own rooms, he set the photograph before him, and looked at it long and eagerly. Beautiful, impassive, smiling, it looked back at him, and the fancy which passion has always at command gave it life and colour. Fate beckoned him as he looked, and her gesture was imperative, because he was willing to obey her. When men choose to yield, Fate is always imperative.

Seeking, amongst a lot of tumbled papers in a drawer, for an envelope large enough to hold the photograph, he found but one, on the back of which were scrawled a number of lines, which he remembered once to have chosen haphazard from Shakspeare for mottoes in some Christmas sport. They had been written in pencil, with one exception, and were now faded and half illegible. The one exception was a line of Longaville's in Love's Labour's Lost-Thy grace being gained, cures all disgrace in me.'

"There is my motto,' said Val. Thy grace being gained, cures all disgrace in me.' He kissed the photograph, and put it in the envelope, and sealed it there. He had no more doubts

about going back now. He had no plans, no resolves. What would come, might come; and he was content henceforth to drift with the tide, and to go whithersoever it might carry him. And being in haste to meet Fate half-way, he called suddenly to mind the fact that he had ample time to catch the midnight mail; and having instructed his servant to meet him at the station, he consigned the sealed envelope to his breast-pocket, and strolled slowly thither. He had no longer any will to fight against his love; and he put away all thoughts of Gerard from his mind, and was at peace in his Fool's Paradise.

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"Yes,' said Val, 'I suppose so.'-She went on playing softly. Those dancing chips,' he quoted, o'er whom thy fingers walk with gentle gait.' 'How quaintly pretty!' she said, looking round again. 'Whose is that?'

It is from one of Shakspeare's sonnets,' he answered. He longed to speak the whole of it, but had not courage. The mere want of daring to do so little, spurred him, and stung him so that in a second he was ready to do all. 'Constance!' he murmured, and she turned again and looked at him. Her face was suddenly pale, and there was a visible fear in her beautiful eyes. 'I cannot go away without a word.' Her eyes drooped as his gazed passionately into them; the blood surged up to her face and left it pale again. 'If you loved the man you are pledged to marry' -the floodgates once open ever so little, farewell restraint I could not speak. How dare I But you do not love him, and it is no dishonour in me that I plead my cause. I have loved you from the hour when I first saw you. I tried to go away. The telegrams that came a fortnight ago were sent at my request, to call me to London, away from you. I went; but I could not stay. My heart dragged me back again. I cannot live without you.'

She rose, pale and trembling, and stood before him. 'By what right,' she asked, still with lowered eyes, 'do you speak to me so? Might it not have been more honourable to have made your first appeal to Gerard-to your friend?'

He turned ghastly pale at that rebuke, and the room whirled round with him. He reached out a pair of trembling hands and seized on the piano.

'No, no!' she said. 'I did not mean to be so cruel. Go! Forgive me. Leave me. You must never speak such words to me again. Let us never meet again, for pity's sake.'

He looked at her doggedly, seeing her as if through a shining mist. You love me,' he said, 'and not Gerard.'

At that instant, Reginald's voice was heard below calling Constance!' With one sweeping gesture, she commanded him from the room. He passed out at one door; and she, with a motion that seemed the mere continuation of her gesture, left by another. But as they went, each gave a backward glance, and again their eyes met. Constance!' cried the voice below. She waved her hand once more against him, and was gone. He passed upward to his own chamber. 'She loves me,' he murmured. 'I shall win her yet!' (To be continued.)

TWO STARTLING ADVENTURES. NEARLY forty years ago, I was in the habit, during my school holidays, of spending a long time at certain intervals with my grandfather, who was an eminent surgeon living in a small town in Suffolk. I was a great favourite of his, and consequently began to look on his house as a sort of second home. One day, I regret to say the old gentleman whilst going his rounds caught a severe cold, which confined him to bed, but from which he anticipated nothing serious. Unfortunately, however, to our great

sorrow, his illness proved more serious than at first expected, and in a few days the poor old gentleman was no more. I went from home with my parents, a distance of thirty-two miles, to attend the funeral. The distance in those days being too great to admit of our returning the same day, we were compelled to stay the night after the funeral at the house. As the space in the house was rather limited, I was asked if I should be afraid to sleep in the bed in which my grandfather died; an idea which I indignantly_repudiated. It was forthwith arranged that I should pass the night in that room. In justice to those who suggested the idea of my being afraid, I ought to say that that part of Suffolk was intensely superstitious, and that, considering I was only a boy of fourteen, my consenting to sleep in the room was, under the circumstances, somewhat courageous. I retired to rest at the usual time, no doubt with my thoughts full of stories I had heard or read about ghosts and ghostly visitants. I turned my attention to the bed on which I was to spend the ensuing hours, as I fondly hoped, in sweet oblivion. It was a huge old-fashioned four-poster, with heavy curtains hung on rings, which rattled with every movement of the bed, and was, at the time of which I am writing, a highly aristocratic bedstead; but considering all the attendant circumstances, its funereal appearance was not calculated to inspire my youthful breast with any but the most dismal sensations.

I undressed and got into bed, devoutly hoping that my slumbers might not be disturbed by the appearance of any spiritual visitor. The curtains near the head of the bedstead being partially drawn, by turning my head in either direction, my gaze rested on them. At that time, there was nothing equivalent to our modern night-lights, and save for the reflection of the fire in the grate, my room was in darkness. These curtains seemed, to my already half-terrified fancies, to be hiding-places for any number of ghosts, all ready to confront me, the moment I should be rash enough to throw off my earthly cares and commit myself to the arms of Morpheus. However, I at last fell asleep.

My repose was of a troubled nature. I fancied I heard strange noises in the room, but at anyrate I awoke after being asleep a short time--I suppose about two or three o'clock in the morning, fancying I heard the curtain rings rattling. I thought it must be my agitated state of mind which caused this idea. Imagine, then, my horror and fright when I saw, by the faint glimmer of the now expiring fire, that the curtain on one side of the bed was being forcibly jerked aside by some unseen hand. I trembled from head to foot, and cowered beneath the blankets, expecting I hardly knew what. Again and again did this unseen hand jerk the curtain. It could not have been a trick of the imagination. I was unable to cry out even if I had been inclined to do so. At last, after having given about half-a-dozen angry jerks, ineffectually as regards pulling the curtain aside, I was left to enjoy such rest as I could reasonably expect to get before morning.

Never was daylight more eagerly welcomed by anybody than it was by me that morning. With the earliest dawn I sprang out of bedfeeling braver than I had done a few hours

I usually occupied; and on awaking in the morn-
ing, I found that everything in the room had
changed! I could not account for it.
I was
not a sleep-walker; but here I was ensconced
in another bed, with my clothes neatly folded
up at the foot. I tried to run over the events
of the preceding day; but though I remembered
everything that had occurred, I could think of
nothing which might account for this extra-
ordinary metamorphosis.

When the time came for getting up-which I knew by hearing the old clock on the stairs-I rose and dressed. On going out of my room, I perceived that I had been removed in some way during my sleep. I was quite at a loss to understand how. However, the mystery was explained. After I had gone to bed, an old


I went down-stairs more thoroughly impressed with regard to eerie visitants than I remember ever to have been before. My preoccupied air-friend of my grandfather's had arrived unexfor I was debating whether or not to mention my pectedly with his wife. They had calculated adventure-attracted attention, and drew forth on stopping the night, and the only room availmany questions, to all which I replied with very able for the worthy couple was that in which guarded answers. At last I told the whole story, I was asleep. After much deliberation, it was adding that I had never believed in ghosts before, arranged that I should be turned out, to make and should like to find out the truth of this one. room for them. On going to my room to My story seemed to them incredible. But at awake me, I was found fast asleep. My grandlast, in spite of the solemn proceedings we had mother, a kindly old dame, proposed removing witnessed the day before, a smile stole over the me if possible without awaking me, which was, face of my grandmother. It was quickly sup- as she said, a pity. Forgetful, therefore, of the pressed, and she said: 'I think I can explain the probable consequences, the old lady took me in mystery, young gentleman; let us come and try.' her arms, and deposited me safely in the bed in which I found myself in the morning. Although this was done with the best intentions, yet it was, I think, a rash proceeding, as the results in the case of a sensitive child might have been

We all followed the old lady up-stairs into the room where I had passed the night. She went to the side of the bed and pointed to the curtain rings. We then saw the explanation of the whole matter, which was as follows.


before-and proceeded first to dress, and then to examine my room, in order to ascertain if possible by what means my ghostly visitor had made his entrance and exit. The door, being hidden from my view when in bed by the curtain, presented itself as the most probable means. I examined it as well as my agitated state of mind would permit. Nothing, however, appeared to show any signs of my visitor's entrance. It was securely locked, as I left it the night before; and there was no sliding panel or anything of the sort which could have admitted anybody. I then turned towards the window; but that too was fastened; and I confess I gave the affair up as incomprehensible.

My grandfather was, as I have said, very celebrated in his day, and consequently had a large practice. His night-bell-in order not to disturb the other inmates of the house-was hung in his room close by his side. When the old gentleman was taken ill, absolute silence was enjoined. This bell, therefore, was taken down, and the wire fastened to the curtain rings. On the night in question, some young men, strangers in the place, and consequently ignorant of my grandfather's illness and death, were going home rather noisily at the somewhat early hour at which my adventure took place. Being bent on mischief, they commenced pulling the night-bell handle, in order, as they no doubt observed, to rouse the old gentleman.' Every pull, therefore, gave a corresponding tug at the curtains; hence my terror and fright in thinking that some unearthly visitor was in my room, trying to pull them aside. My mind was set completely at rest by this simple explanation; and I went home that day fully convinced that there is a reason to be found, if one will only try, for the specious ghost stories which foolish people constantly publish for the benefit of the ignorant and credulous.

My other adventure, which happened some years before the one I have just related, was not of so startling a nature. At the same time, it was calculated, young as I was, to cause me a considerable amount of uneasiness. I was staying at the same house during my grandfather's lifetime. Being a mere child, I was of course not permitted to stay up late by my worthy grandmother, who used to send me to bed about seven

think that these two adventures serve to show that however improbable an event may be at the time, there is generally an explanation to be found for it, without ignorantly and foolishly attributing it to supernatural agency. I consider that the present mania for so doing is calculated to do an immense amount of harm, especially to the young and ignorant.



AFTER a brisk canter, and while the sun was still above the horizon, Arthur and Rachel were returning from the ride mentioned in our last chapter, when just as they reached a hollow or 'dip' in the ground at no great distance from the farm, Rachel exclaimed: "There is a man on horseback making signals to us. See! there he is, by that patch of cotton-wood trees.'

Arthur looked in the direction indicated; and there, surely enough, was a man waving his hat, as he rode briskly towards them. They reined up; and in a couple of minutes the man, who was a stranger, came alongside. Say!' he cried; 'air you Squire Arthur from the Holt Ranche?'

Arthur replied in the affirmative. "Then, boss, Squire Holt wants you to meet him at the Ogley Ranche, as soon as you can.'

At the Ogley Ranche!' echoed Arthur, in surprise. 'Why does he wish me to join him there?'

'Guess that ain't none of my business,' said the man sulkily; and it ain't none of my

don't. But I reckon I heard him talking about the reason; he has concluded to buy a piece of land away in the hills. The man that belongs to it has come down about it, and Squire Holt proposes to stay at Ogley's to-night, and go on fresh in the morning.' began Arthur.

'It is very curious'

But the stranger interrupted him. 'Wal, boss,' said he, 'it ain't no affair of mine. When Squire Holt found I was going past the Gaisford Ranche, he asked me to call and tell you, but said I might cross the track of you and Miss there, and to do so, if I could, as he wanted you at once. I've done it; I've earned the two dollars he paid me, and I don't care a single cent what comes of it.' With this the man struck his heels into the pony's side; and ere Arthur could fairly make up his mind what to say, he was beyond hearing.

'I suppose I must go,' said Arthur ruefully; 'but it will be dark long before I get to the Ogley Ranche.'

'I did not like the look of that stranger,' said Rachel. 'I noticed that he would never meet your eye. I cannot think why he should deceive us; but you ought to ride over to Mr Holt and learn if the message was genuine.'

'It would take me as long to get to the ranche and back to this place, as it would to ride to Ogley's,' replied Arthur; 'so I should have all the bad part of my ride in the dark, and perhaps offend my uncle. No; there can be no great harm in obeying. So good-bye, Rachel,' he said, as they shook hands; and tell your father why I have not returned.'

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Mexican, her nephew, presented himself. "Now, Cipriano,' began Carlota, 'you tell to the Señorita what you have hear about Señor Arturo!'

The Mexican spoke very briefly and to the point. He said that Cuervo the Uté captain had met him, and warned him that men were lying in wait to shoot Señor Arturo, if they could get him near the hills that night; that these men, were a white, and two 'bad' Apachés; and that Arthur was on no account to ride out to the mountains alone. He was to say also that some attempt would be made to decoy him there by a feigned message from his uncle.

Gaisford paused for an instant; and then, with the air of a man accustomed to act promptly, exclaimed: 'I see it all!-Ride, Rachel, to the Holt Ranche; tell them to send every man they can muster, well armed, through the gulches to Ogley's Ranche.'

'No, father; send some one else,' cried Rachel, as she shook the reins of the pony and prepared to ride off. 'I shall follow Arthur. He cannot be above a few miles up the pass, and I may overtake him before any danger happens.' And before her father could reply, she was off on her swift little steed.

The sun was already out of sight, and twilight, beautiful but short-lived, was setting in.

'Bring up three horses!' shouted the farmer to one of his men who just then came in sight.'Carlota! I will ride with this man and Cipriano to the ford, and meet Texas Dick. You can tell the others as they come in where we are gone to ; and send them on, as soon as they can get mounted, to Ogley's Ranche. I will fetch the weapons.' Saying this, the farmer entered the house, leaving Carlota and the young Mexican intently watching the progress of Miss Rachel.

'Golly! how Señorita Rachel is riding!" exclaimed Cipriano presently. 'But the pony splash very little water at the creek. By thunder! she have swim through, to save time. She mucha brave girl. The creek twenty foot deep there.'

It was even so; and the farmer, who had just emerged, laden with firearms, knowing the deep, treacherous holes of all the streams in the vicinity, turned pale as he saw his daughter plunge through the creek' at a spot dreaded for its danger, evidently doing this to save the time which would be consumed in riding round by the ford. She emerged safely, however, on the other side, and rode swiftly away.

'Now mount, Cipriano!-And you, Ned,' continued Gaisford, as the horses were led up; 'here are rifles and cartridges.-Send on the other men, Carlota, as I told you.-Now, boys, are you ready? -Off with you!'

The party started at a sharp trot, taking a line somewhat different from that followed by Rachel, as their aim, in the first instance, was to meet Texas Dick and his men, who, they knew, would remain at work at the new corral until sundown.

Little was said; but many an anxious glance was cast towards the distant foot-hills, until a group of five or six men, easily to be recognised as Texas Dick and his assistants, came in view on the further side of the creek. A piercing 'halloo' from the farmer drew the attention of

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