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of present security, and perceiving close to him a dark vista, which he knew terminated in a deep and tangled coppice, he turned into the woodland path, and directed his steps to the friendly thicket.
Although for several years he had never visited this place, the scenes of his boyhood were quite familiar to him. He remembered that at no great distance stood an ancient hermitage, where he had often taken shelter from summer heat, and rested on its stone-bench when shooting the covers in winter. He struck into the path which led to it-here in happier days he had loved to wander, and here he hoped in his distress to find a temporary refuge. Much attention appeared to have been bestowed on the improvement of this beautiful little spot: the luxuriant bloom which covered the exotics and rare plants with which it was thickly studded, showed that no trouble or expense had been spared to ornament it; and the studied care with which it was kept, indicated most strongly that it was the favourite resort of his once-loved Emily. Suddenly he started, and drew a pistol from his belt; but as quickly returned the weapon with a smile-a bronze statue, of human size, had startled him-he reached the place where the well-remembered bower had stood ; it was no longer there, but on its site, embosomed in forest trees and rich shrubs, a Grecian temple of exquisite proportions was erected.
In front of this beautiful building the wearied rebel stood—the sun was shining with oppressive brilliancy-sick and exhausted, he was about to seek some humbler spot to repose in, when it occurred to him that this lonely edifice would most probably be unfrequented during those turbulent times, and that here he would be in comparative safety. The door was half open, and without further hesitation the fugitive entered.
Within the portico, a number of beautiful casts occupied the niches between the pillars, and vases and stands of flowers nearly filled the floor.
A door leading to an inner apartment was closed, but no sound intimated that it was occu pied. While O'Hara paused, voices at no great distance were heard-every thing was
perilous to him, and with the prompt decision of necessity, he determined to enter the interior of the edifice.
Having closed the outer door, he silently opened the other; no one was in the apartment, but every thing announced that a female had but lately left it. A lady's work-box was lying on a rose-wood table, a piano-forte was unclosed, and an uncovered harp seemed to have been but recently deserted. All about this retired chamber was singularly beautiful; the furniture was sumptuous, and the silk draperies of pale pink gave a luxurious colouring to the splendid paintings which occupied the panels of the walls and ceiling. Beside a sofa, heaped with pillows of down, a table stood, on which books and printed music were scattered; while on another, at the opposite side of the room, fruit, wine, and other refreshments were placed.
Hardly crediting the reality of what he saw, the fainting, wretched O'Hara hastened to avail himself of the relief which had been so unaccountably afforded. The delicious fruits dissipated his feverish thirst, and the wine re
cruited his sinking spirits. He felt his hardihood return with his strength, and throwing himself on the sofa, gave himself up to the consideration of what his future fate might be. The heat of the weather—the prodigious physical fatigue he had undergone, and the influence of wine incautiously drank, immediately produced unconquerable drowsiness, and, unable to combat its influence, he placed his arms on the table, and in a few moments was buried in profound repose.
When O'Hara awoke, he was surprised to find the light had faded; he felt something on his face, and on removing it, discovered that a veil of the finest texture had been spread over him while he slept, and the light had been excluded by Venetian blinds, which had been drawn down to protect him from the rays of the declining sun.
He sprang up hastily—some one had visited him while he slept, but a moment's reflection assured him that nothing hostile had approached his couch. He re-admitted the light, and surveyed the room, to find if he was still alone. No person was there, but on his pistols a small billet was placed—he took it up the paper fell from him again, for a hasty glance told him it was the well-known writing of her whom he had once so fondly loved
.“ Accident has saved your life by conducting you to the only place which is impassable to your enemies. The pursuit after you, and the wretched victims of this ruined cause, is bloody and incessant. There is no hope but in concealment. If you will accept of protection from one you once honoured with your friendship, and who sighs for an opportunity of convincing you that her crime to you was not her own, you are safestir not, on your life. If your pride will not allow you to owe your safety to the woman you once loved, permit her to be slightly serviceable by remaining where you are, until she can make arrangements to expedite your escape. To leave your present asylum would be madness. Of this, one glance from the window will convince you-For a time-adieu !"
.:54. Merciful God! what humiliation am I