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things illuminated by his own interests, capable of nothing beyond it. And now one

And now one of his main objects was to catch some scent-for the bulldog has an excellent nose- -of Thomas's faults or failings, and follow such up the wind of his prosperity, till he should have a chance of pulling him down at last.

His first inclination towards this revenge was strengthened and elevated into an imagined execution of justice when Mary fell ill, and it oozed out that her illness had not a little to do with some behaviour of Thomas's. Hence it came that, both consciously and unconsciously, Mr. Stopper was watching the unfortunate youth, though so cautious was Thomas that he had not yet discovered anything of which he could make a definite use. Nor did he want to interrupt Thomas's projects before he found that they put him in his power.

So here was a weak and conceited youth of fine faculties and fine impulses, between the malign aspects of two opposite stars—watched, that is, and speculated upon by two able and unprincipled men; the one, Mr. Molken, searching him and ingratiating himself with him, “ to the end to know how to worke him, or winde him, or governe him," which, Lord Bacon goes on to say, "proceedeth from a heart that is double and cloven, and not entyre and ingenuous ;” the other, Mr. Stopper, watching his conduct, not for the sake of procuring advantage to himself but injury to Thomas. The one sought to lead him astray, that he might rob him in the dark; the other sought a chance of knocking him down, that he might leave him lying in the ditch. And they soon began to play into each other's hands without knowing it.

CHAPTER XX.

Captain Boxall's Proposal.

BOUT three weeks before the occurrences

A

last recorded, the following conversation took place between Richard and John Boxall over their wine.

“I tell you what, brother,” said the captain, you're addling good brains with overwork. You wont make half so much money if you're too greedy after it. You don't look the same fellow you used to.

“I hope I'm not too greedy after money, John. But it's my business, as yours is to sail your ship.” ·

I can't sail my ship too well, nor you attend to your business too well. But if I was to sail two ships instead of one, or if I was to be on deck instead of down at

my

dinner when

she was going before the wind in the middle of the Atlantic, I shouldn't do my best when it came on to blow hard in the night.” That's all very true.

But I don't think it applies to me. I never miss my dinner by any chance."

“Don't you turn your blind eye on my signal, Dick. You know what I mean well enough. I've got a proposal to make the jolliest thing in the world.”

I'm listening.”
Mary ain't quite so well again—is she

66 Go on.

now ?”

so fast.

“Well, I don't think she's been getting on

I suppose it's the spring weather.” Why, you may call it summer now. But she ain't as I should like to see her, the darling."

Well, no. I must confess I'm sometimes rather uneasy about her."

And there's Jane. She don't look at home somehow."

For some time Richard had been growing more

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and more uneasy as the evidence of his daughter's attachment to Charles Wither became plainer. Both he and his wife did the best they could to prevent their meeting, but, having learned a little wisdom from the history of his father's family, and knowing well the hastiness of his own temper, he had as yet managed to avoid any open conflict with his daughter, who he knew had inherited his own stubbornness. He had told his brother nothing of this second and now principal source of family apprehension ; and the fact that John saw that all was not right with Jane, greatly increased his feeling of how much things were going wrong. He made no reply, however, but sat waiting what was to follow. Accumulating his arguments, the captain went on.

“ And there's your wife : she's had a headache almost every day since I came to the house."

“Well, what are you driving at, John ?” said his brother, with the more impatience that he knew all John said was true.

What I'm driving at is this," answered the

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