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into giving me up, will you, dear? You'll be true to me, Norah ?"

He looked at her wistfully and sadly, a strange foreboding of evil coming over him.

"Haven't I sworn it, Harry Duncan," cried Norah, passionately, "haven't I said I'll be your wife, and no other man's, by the kind heavens above us, and is it doubting me you are? I'll be true to you in life and in death, and never a thought will I give to Michael White or the bravest man alive. Why will ye ask me, and what is it that makes ye down and sad? Oh, Harry, Harry, I'd die if aught happened to you, my lad, so don't be frighting me with your looks and your questions."

She rose to her feet, her blue eyes sparkling with tears, and her pretty mouth quivering, and Harry lifted her bundle, and they prepared to descend.

"D'ye see that bold ship, Harry?" she cried, as she looked seaward and pointed to the gray horizon, on which an evening fog was rising; "she's standing for here, with her sails all set. Look, Harry; she's a brave sight."

The young sailor turned, and shading his eyes with his hand, looked long and earnestly.

""Tis a man-o'-war," he said, at length; "and she's making for here; but she'll tack, you may be sure, for what would she want here?"

“Ah, well, I must be going home," said Norah, turning reluctantly away. "Aunt Jenny will be wondering what's come to me. Come, Harry."

They proceeded towards the village, pausing now and then to gaze on the moon, which was slowly rising in all her splendor behind the cliffs, but at length they stood at the little wicket-gate of Norah's home.

"You'll be away early, Harry, I'm thinking," she said, half sadly, as she took her bundle from him.

"I'll not see you again for a day or two, will I?"

"I guess not," said the young man, gravely; "but that won't break your heart, Norah. Shake hands, my girl, before I go, and don't let that fellow Michael be threatening you again. You tell him bold out you're my promised wife, and he'll let you be, never fear. He's hankering on, thinking he'll get you. Good night, Norah dear, and the good God keep you."

With a heavy heart, Harry Duncan left her; and as Norah watched his retreating figure, a terrible feeling of desolation crept over her, and but for very shame she would have run after him and begged him not to go, to wait but one day before he started. But she controlled herself, and with a heavy sigh she entered the cabin.

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There were strange tales whispered of Michael White, and how he lived. He had no apparent trade, but yet never seemed to want money; he spent a greater part of his time in lounging about the cliffs, and would lie, hour after hour sometimes, seemingly half asleep, gazing out to sea, and then would vanish for several days together, none knew where. Those who passed his lonely cottage on the downs late at night averred that there were bright lights in his window, and loud noises, and old men shook their heads, with meaning looks, but none gave utterance to the suspicions that all shared. Norah disliked him excessively, all the more for his avowed preference for her, and hoped that after the decided rebuff she had now given him, he would cease to persecute her. For a few days afterwards he certainly avoided her, but Norah was far too deeply engrossed in another thought to notice it now. Harry Duncan had been gone three days longer than she had ever known him stay away, and she

began to scan the horizon out to sea with very anxious eyes.

"He will not come," she murmured, sinking down on the grass with tearful eyes on the evening of the third day. "I shall never see him again. Oh, Harry, why did I let you go? The heart was heavy within me when ye left me, for I felt as I'd see you no more. Oh, Harry, my darlin', what wouldn't I give to see your bonny face again?"

And a wild wail of passionate grief burst from the poor girl, as she sat wringing her hands on the lonely cliff. At last, with a heart oppressed with heavy forebodings, she slowly descended the narrow broken path, and entered the cottage where she lived. Her aunt sat on a low stool near the fire, where the kettle was boiling for tea; the tears were running down her bronzed cheeks as fast as they could chase each other, but she brushed them away as Norah entered, and rising quickly bent over the kettle, and lifted the lid.

"You're late, Norah girl," she said, in tones that she vainly endeavored to steady; "where have you been? It's time tea was laid."

But her niece did not heed the question. Stepping hastily up to her, she laid her hand on Mrs. Grey's arm, and staring almost fiercely into the face of her aunt, exclaimed, "Don't be hiding it from me, Aunt Jenny. For the love of heaven, tell me quick. Is it Harry?"

"It is," sobbed Mrs. Grey; "he's gone, poor boy. They've just found his boat, bottom uppermost. My poor girl, don't take on. It's the Lord's doing. The good God has taken him."

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her-of a broken heart. But Norah did not die. The months crept slowly by, the trees grew golden, then brown, and then bare, the days were short and cold, and Winter gave notice that he meant shortly to make his appearance, but still Norah took her work daily to the spot upon the cliffs where she had last sat with Harry, and in spite of the biting winds and frozen grass, wept bitter tears hour after hour over the stone that was to her like the tomb of her lost one. Meanwhite, Michael White began once more to persecute her with his presence, and finding out her daily haunt, sought her there again and again, sitting by her side and striving to cheer her, and lead her into conversation, but carefully avoiding as yet all words of love, that she might have no excuse for repeating her former rebuff. But poor Norah could not endure his presence at a spot that seemed sacred, in her loving fancy, to her lost Harry. She did not wish to be cheered; she liked to hug her grief, and muse and weep over the happy days of old; and with pleading eyes she would sadly say, "Oh, Michael, let me be!


Sure, I'm too sad to talk to Won't you please, leave me alone? It's poor company I am, with my heart buried in the sea."


But Michael was not to be daunted. "It's bad for you, my girl," he would answer. "I know you're grieving sore for him that's dead and gone; but you're young yet; maybe you'll smile again when the spring comes, and the winter is over."

"Will I smile when Harry lies dead?" cried the poor girl, with streaming eyes. "Will I be glad that the heavens are blue over his grave? Will I care that the flowers bloom again, when he is not here to pick 'em for me? No, no, Michael White; I'll never smile again. My heart is broke entirely."

When she found that he sought

her still, she avoided the spot, and wandered instead along the shore beneath the tall cliffs, shuddering as the thought occurred to her that Harry's bones might be whitening somewhere among the crags. Michael White sought her in vain at her accustomed seat, and inly cursing her obstinacy, descended into the village, to see if he could find her, or whether she were ill. But Mrs. Grey, who liked him as little as her niece did, shirked his questions, and refused to tell him where Norah was gone.

"She'll not be wanting you, I'm thinking, Michael White," she answered brusquely. "The poor girl's heart is nigh broke, and she's best alone. She ain't company for none now, poor dearie; the good Lord pity her." And Michael strode away with muttered imprecations, and all the more determined to gain his object.

Thus the winter passed slowly away; and one bright afternoon in spring, Norah sat on a large rock at the foot of the cliff, knitting with rapid fingers, and ever and anon raising her sad eyes to watch the white sails that passed along the horizon. She was sadder than usual that afternoon, for as she came over the beach she had seen all the fishermen putting off their boats to try their luck, and the scene brought back with painful vividness old sunny days when she had gone down to wish Harry good luck, and watch his vessel disappear across the tossing waves that now washed over his whitened bones. She no longer gave way to wild bursts of passionate grief, but as her heavy feet wandered towards her hiding-place, large scalding tears rose to her eyes, and rolled slowly down her sad white face, silent witnesses of the bitter grief within. And as the blue wool jerked and flew over her active fingers, deep sighs rose unbidden to her lips, till at length laying down

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her work, she rested her head upon her hand, and gave way to her sad thoughts. A man was coming along the shining wet sands towards her, and she dreamily watched him as each firm tread seemed to dry the circle of sand around his foot, and again as it was lifted to leave it wetter than before. He was dressed in the uniform of the Navy, and with his hands clasped behind his back, and his head bent down, strode rapidly on, as if engrossed in thought. What was it that made Norah turn crimson to the roots of her wavy hair, and then again as pale as ashes, as he neared her, and while her heart beat so that she could hear it, lay down her work on the rock beside her, and rise to her feet? The sailor raised his head. Could the grave give up its dead, or the waves their prey? One cry from his lips of Norah, my darling!" and she was in his arms, crying, laughing by turns, and vainly trying to speak to him. His story was soon told; how his boat had been capsized in a squall, and how he had clung on to its upturned keel until picked up by the very man-of-war that he and Norah had watched on the evening before he started. The captain was short of hands, owing to a fever that had carried off several of his men; and, glad of so stalwart a substitute, had taken poor unwilling Harry to the coast of Africa. That was how poor Norah through eight long months had nearly broken her heart over the dead love that had never been dead. Loud and long were the rejoicings of the village over the return of the lost one, for Harry was a general favorite; and the young man laughingly declared that his arm was totally useless, owing to the severe shakings it had had since he made his appearance. He did not have to beg very hard to induce Norah to promise to be his wife at once; and the banns were put up on the follow

ing Sunday at the tiny church on the downs. But there was one to whom his return gave no pleasure, but, on the contrary, filled his heart with rage and hate. As Michael White, with livid face and close-set mouth, heard the two names called (for he was at church, having been told Norah was to be asked), he inly vowed that while he lived Norah Grey should never be Harry Duncan's wife.


"WHERE'S Norah this afternoon, Mrs. Grey?" asked Harry Duncan, as he stood at the cottage door one day, about a week before his marriage.

Mrs. Grey came to the door with her chubby baby in her arms. "Well, Harry, she's gone along the shore to the rocks to gather rack," she answered. "Mrs. Penn, she've got a bad leg, and the doctor told her to put rack poultices to it. Her girl ain't in to-day, so Norah said as she'd fetch it. You'll find her easy on them rocks off towards Smugglers' Creek."

Harry shook his head smilingly. "I can't go after her, Mrs. Grey," he answered. "I must go to Addleton to make some purchases. Time's getting on. Only eight days more, you know."

He strode away with a happy laugh, calling back to say, "Tell Norah I'll look in as I come home, somewhere about nine o'clock." He was gone, bright and happy, up the cliff path and across the downs, towards the little town of Addleton, all unconscious of the black cloud that was gathering over his head. Meanwhile Norah, with the light free step of former days, and the roses once more blooming in her cheeks, proceeded to the rocks that at low tide were Covd with the seaweed she sought. She reached the rocks, a good two miles from the village; but the tide still covered them, and

climbing on to a huge boulder, she sat down to wait till its receding waves should leave the dark bronzegreen masses bare, for her to gather the full round pods that contained the pulp ordered for Mrs. Penn's bad leg. At first she sat patiently, her thoughts full of her approaching marriage, and the cosy little cottage that she and Harry were to share, not three hundred yards from the home that had been hers for twelve years; but happiness is restless, and soon, springing to her feet, she proceeded to climb the cliff to peer into a wide and deep crevice that her quick eye had detected some yards above her head. From point to point she climbed, clinging to projecting pieces, for it was a very perilous path, but Norah was as active as a sailor boy, and soon stood panting and breathless in what seemed to be a tiny cavern. When she had a little recovered her breath, she proceeded to explore it, and to her surprise found that it extended deep into the cliffs, and there were signs of its having been at some time or other inhabited, for broken boxes and empty bottles were scattered carelessly, and pieces of cord and a man's hat lay in one dim corner. As Norah's eyes rested on the latter, a sudden suspicion made her stoop to examine it. As she did so, a heavy hand was laid on her shoulder, and starting up with a cry of fear, she found herself face to face with Michael White. For some seconds they stood gazing at each other in silence, both secretly astonished at the sight of the other. Then Michael spoke.

"I've often heard that the devil helps his own," he said, in low harsh tones, with a sneering smile; "so I suppose he brought you here. What are you looking for, and how came you here?"

Norah's heart beat fast and thick, as she realized how com

pletely she was in this man's power; but with an unshrinking eye, and a defiant toss of her head, she said, "And what is that to you, Michael White! Sure, I'm as free to come here as yourself?"

"Perhaps so," returned the other, with a short laugh; "but not quite as free to go, as you'll find. Have you told your lover, Harry Duncan, to meet you here? because, if so, you'll mayhap have the satisfaction of seeing him take a leap from the cliff."

Norah made no reply. She felt that this was no time or place to rouse the man's fierce temper. She was completely in his power; Harry was the only person likely to come and look for her, and Michael looked quite capable of doing as he implied, and tossing him from the cliff, for he was a large and powerful man, and stopped short of nothing when he was in a passion. "Have you thought it all over, Norah?" he said, in a quieter tone, after she had stood some time in silence; "do you see how completely I have got you now? If you have, you will listen reasonably to what I say. I never meant to let you marry Harry Duncan; but if I had, this act of yours would have stopped it. You have one choice before you-to vow to be my wife, and never to breathe a word of this cave to living mortal, or-" he paused, and then added, in a lower tone-"to go where you can tell no tales."

He ceased, and Norah, brave as she was, felt a cold shudder creep down her. She knew he was not a man to say more than he meant, and guessing that the tales men whispered of him were true, and that this was the cave in which his smuggled goods were concealed, she knew that he would not let her escape to reveal the secret of it. She felt that the two alternatives were equally horrible, and yet could see no escape from them.

"Let me think, Michael White," she said, quietly. "I love Harry Duncan, and I hate you. But life is sweet. Give me time to think it over." The man laughed a fiendish laugh. "Aye, aye," he said, “you shall have time to think it over; but you're not going to stay here, and escape as you came, or let young Duncan come and fight for you. Come with me;" and he seized her hand.

Norah shook him off with flashing eyes. "Let me be!" she exclaimed angrily; "I'll not stir."

But Michael took a small bottle from his pocket, and pouring some of its contents on his handkerchief, hastily flung the latter over her face, and held it there by sheer force. In vain Norah struggled. The chloroform was too powerful for her; her brain reeled, and she became senseless. When she came to herself, she was lying on a coarse blanket in a little cave, which was dimly lighted by a hole through the side, far above her head. At first her eyes could distinguish nothing, so dim was the light, and so confused her brain from the effects of the drug; but gradually she could distinguish large bales of goods in sackcloth wrappers, barrels, and boxes, here and there an empty bottle, a broken pipe, and a box of matches, and the strong wooden door that kept her a prisoner. A prisoner she was, and no mistake; and the more she thought it over, the more helpless did she feel.

She lay on her blanket, for her head ached and swam, and she feared lest any movement should bring the hated Michael again before her eyes. It seemed that hours since she came to herself had passed, when he opened the door, and stood gazing at her. Norah did not move or raise her eyes.


"Sulking?" he said, with slight sneering laugh; "well, that won't hurt you, or anybody else.

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