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help starting, as I saw suddenly of horrible mockery which had underneath their applause and driven me out of myself in my first laughter a snarl of cursing, which experience. All kinds of mocking was the real expression of their cries sounded around me. “Let thoughts. I felt disposed in the him a little blood to calm him same way to curse the speaker, down." " Let the fool have a though I knew no reason why. taste of it himself, doctor." Last

He went on a little further, ex- of all came a voice mingled with plaining what he meant to do; and the cries of the sufferer whom I then turning round, approached was trying to shield—“Take him the table. An assistant, who was instead ; curse him ! take him waiting, uncovered it quickly. The instead." I was bending over the audience stirred with quickened man with my arms outstretched, interest, and I with consternation protecting him, when he gave vent made a step forward, crying out to this cry. And I heard immediwith horror. The object on the ately behind me a shout of assent, table, writhing, twitching, to get which seemed to come from the free, but bound down by every two strong young men with whom limb, was a living man. The lec- I had been standing, and the turer went forward calmly, taking sound of a rush to seize me. I his instruments from their case looked round, half mad with terror with perfect composure and cool- and rage; a second more and I ness. “ Now, ladies and gentle- should have been strapped on the men,” he said : and inserted the table too. I made one wild bound knife in the flesh, making a long into the midst of the crowd, and clear cut in the bound arm. I struggling among the arms stretchshrieked out, unable to restrain ed out to catch me, amid the roar myself. The sight of the deliberate of the laughter and cries—fledwound, the blood, the cry of agony fled wildly, I knew not whither, in that came from the victim, the panic and rage and horror, which calmness of all the lookerson, filled no words could describe. Terror me with horror and rage indescrib- winged my feet. I flew, thinking able. I felt myself clear the crowd as little of whom I met, or knocked away with a rush, and spring on down, or trod upon in my way, the platform, I could not tell how, as the others did at whom I had “You devil," I cried, “let the wondered a little while ago. man go.

Where is the police ? No distinct impression of this where is a magistrate ?—let the headlong course remains in my man go this moment! fiends in mind, save the sensation of mad human shape ! I'll have you brought fear such as I had never felt beto justice !" I heard myself shouting fore. I came to myself on the wildly, as I flung myself upon the edge of the dark valley which wretched sufferer, interposing be- surrounded the town. tween him and the knife. It was pursuers had dropped off before something like this that I said. that time, and I have the recollecMy horror and rage were delirious, tion of singing myself upon the and carried me beyond all attempt ground on my face in the extremat control.

ity of fatigue and exhaustion. I Through it all I heard a shout must have lain there undisturbed of laughter rising from everybody for some time. A few steps came round. The lecturer laughed, the and went, passing me; but no one audience roared with that sound took any notice, and the absence

All my

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of the noise and crowding gave me new here, or such a cursed a momentary respite. But in my idiot, as not to know the danger of heat and fever I got no relief of the mines? You are going across coolness from the contact of the yourself, I suppose, and then you'll soil. I might have flung myself see.upon a bed of hot ashes, so much “But tell me," I said ;

my exwas it unlike the dewy cool earth perience may be of use to you which I expected, upon which one afterwards, if you will tell can always throw one's self with a yours now.' sensation of repose. Presently the Of use !” he cried staring; "who uneasiness of it made me struggle cares? Find out for yourself. If up again and look around me. I they get hold of you, you will soon was safe : at least the cries of the understand.” pursuers had died away, the laugh- I no longer took this for rudeter which

made my blood boil ness, but answered in his own way, offended my ears no more. The cursing him too for a fool. “If I noise of the city was behind me, ask a warning I can give one; as softened into an indefinite roar by for kindness," I said, “I was not distance, and before me stretched looking for that.”' out the dreary landscape in which At this he laughed, indeed we there seemed no features of attrac- laughed together there seemed tion. Now that I was nearer to something ridiculous in the thought: it, I found it not so unpeopled as and presently he told me, for the I thought. At no great distance mere relief of talking, that round from me was the mouth of one of each of these pit-mouths there was the mines, from which came an a band to entrap every passerindication of subterranean lights: by who allowed himself to be and I perceived that the Aying caught, and send him down below figures which I had taken for to work in the mine.

6 Once travellers between one city and there, there is no telling when another, were in reality, wayfarers you may get free,” he said ;

one endeavouring to keep clear of what time or other most people have a seemed a sort of pressgang at the taste of it. You don't know what openings. One of them, unable hard labour is if you have never to stop himself in his flight, adopted been there. I had a spell once. the same expedient as myself, and There is neither air nor light, your threw himself on the ground close blood boils in your veins from the to me when he had got beyond the fervent heat, you are never alrange of pursuit. It was curious lowed to rest. You are put in that we should meet there, he fly- every kind of contortion to get at ing from a danger which I was it, your limbs twisted, and your about to face, and ready to en- muscles strained.” counter that from which I had - For what!” I said. fled. I waited for a few minutes For gold !” he cried with a till he had recovered his breath, flash in his eyes—"gold ! there it is and then : “What are you running inexhaustible; however hard you from?” I said; “is there any dan- may work there is always more, ger there?” The man looked up and more!" at me with the same continual " And to whom does all that question in his eyes—Who is this belong?" I said. fool?

- To whoever is strong enough "Danger !” he said. “ Are you to get hold and keep possession

more

-sometimes one, sometimes an- rounded and drew in the unwary. other. The only thing you are sure I could even hear the cries with of is that it will never be you." which their victims disappeared

Why not I as well as another? over the opening which seemed to was the thought that went through go down into the bowels of the my mind, and my new companion earth. By-and-by there came fly. spied it with a shriek of derision. ing towards me a wretch

“ It is not for you nor your kind,” dreadful in aspect than any I had he cried. • How do you think you seen. His scanty clothes seemed could force other people to serve singed and burnt into rags; his you? Can you terrify them or hurt hair, which hung about his face them, or give them anything? You unkempt and uncared for, had the have not learnt yet who are the same singed aspect; his skin was masters here."

brown and baked. I got up as he This troubled me, for it was true. approached, and caught him and “I had begun to think,” I said, threw him to the ground, without “that there was no authority at heeding his struggles to get on. all—for every man seems to do as “Don't you see,” he cried with a he pleases: you ride over one, and gasp, “ they may get me again.' knock another down; or you seize He was one of those who had a living man and cut him to pieces" escaped out of the mines; but -I shuddered as I thought of it, what was it to me whether they " and there is nobody to interfere.” caught him again or not? I

" Who should interfere?” he wanted to know how he had been said.

Why shouldn't every man caught, and what he had been set amuse himself as he can ? But yet to do, and how he had escaped. for all that we've got our masters, Why should I hesitate to use my he cried, with a scowl, waving his superior strength when no one else clenched fist in the direction of the did ? I kept watch over him that mines; “ you'll find it out when you he should not get away. get there."

You have been in the mines?" It was a long time after this I said. before I ventured to move - for “Let me go!” he cried; “ do you here it seemed to me that for the need to ask?" and he cursed me moment I was safe—outside the as he struggled, with the most city, yet not within reach of the terrible imprecations. “They may dangers of that intermediate space get me yet. Let me go !” which grew clearer before me as “ Not till you tell me," I cried. my eyes became accustomed to o. Tell me and I'll protect you. If the lurid threatening afternoon they come near I'll let you go. light. One after another the fugi- Who they, man? I must tives came flying past me, people know.” who had escaped from the armed He struggled up from the ground, bands whom I could now see on clearing his hot eyes from the the watch near the pit's mouth. I ashes that were in them, and could see, too, the tactics of these putting aside his singed hair. bands—how they retired, veiling He gave me a glance of hatred the lights and the opening, when and impotent resistance (for I a greater number than usual of was stronger than he), and then travellers appeared on the way, cast a wild terrified look back. and then suddenly widening out, The skirmishers did not seem to throwing out Aanking lines, sur- remark that anybody had escaped,

are

are.

and he became gradually a little did not make a mock at me as he more composed. “Who are they!” darted by. The laughing-stock of he said hoarsely; "they're cursed all those miserable objects, the wretches like you and me: and sport of fate, afraid to go forward, there are as many bands of them unable to go back, with a fire in as there are mines on the road: my veins urging me

on !

But and you'd better turn back and presently I grew a little calmer stay where you You are out of mere exhaustion, which safe here."

was all the relief that was possible “I will not turn back," I said. to me. And by-and-by, collect

“I know well enough: you can't. ing all my faculties, and impelled You've got to go the round like the by this impulse, which I seemed rest,” he said, with a laugh which unable to resist, I got up and went was like a sound uttered by a wild cautiously on. animal rather than a human voice. Fear can act in two ways: it The man was in my power, and I paralyses and it renders cunning. struck him, miserable as he was. At this moment I found it inspire It seemed a relief thus to get rid me. I made my plans before I of some of the fury in my mind. started, how to steal along under “It's a lie," I said; “I go because the cover of the blighted brushwood I please. Why shouldn't I gather which broke the line of the valley a band of my own if I please, and here and there. I set out only fight those brutes, . not fly from after long thought, seizing the mothem like you?

meut when the vaguely perceived He chuckled and laughed below band were scouring in the other dihis breath, struggling and cursing rection intercepting the travellers. and crying out, as I struck him Thus, with many pauses, I got near again, -- You gather a band! What to the pit's mouth in safety. But could you offer them?— where my curiosity was as great as, almost would you find them? Are you greater than, my terror. I had better than the rest of us? Are kept far from the road, dragging you not a man like the rest? Strike myself sometimes on hands and me you can, for I'm down. But feet over broken ground, tearing make yourself a master and a chief my clothes and my flesh upon the -you!”

thorns; and on that further side "Why not I?” I shouted again, all seemed so silent and so dark in wild with rage and the sense that the shadow cast by some disused I had no power over him, save to machinery, behind which the glare hurt him. That passion made my of the fire from below blazed upon hands tremble: he slipped from the other side of the opening, that me in a moment, bounded from the I could not crawl along in the darkground like a ball, and with a yellness, and pass, which would have of derision escaped, and plunged in- been the safe way; but with a to the streets and the clamour of the breathless hot desire to see and city from which I had just flown. I know, dragged myself to the very felt myself rage after him, shaking edge to look down. Though I my fists with a consciousness of was in the shadow, my eyes were the ridiculous passion of impotence nearly put out by the glareon that was in me, but no power of which i gazed. It was not fire; restraining it; and there was not it was the lurid glow of the gold, one of the fugitives who passed, glowing like flame, at which counthowever desperate he might be, who less miners were working. They

more

one

-sometimes one, sometimes an- rounded and drew in the unwary. other. The only thing you are sure I could even hear the cries with of is that it will never be you.'

which their victims disappeared Why not I as well as another? over the opening which seemed to was the thought that went through go down into the bowels of the my mind, and my new companion earth. By-and-by there came flyspied it with a shriek of derision. ing towards me

a wretch “ It is not for you nor your kind," dreadful in aspect than any I had he cried. “How do you think you seen. His scanty clothes seemed could force other people to serve singed and burnt into rags; his you ? Can you terrify them or hurt hair, which hung about his face them, or give them anything? You unkempt and uncared for, had the have not learnt yet who are the same singed aspect; his skin was masters here."

brown and baked. I got up as he This troubled me, for it was true. approached, and caught him and “I had begun to think," I said, threw him to the ground, without “ that there was no authority at heeding his struggles to get on. all—for every man seems to do as Don't you see,” he cried with a he pleases: you ride over one, and gasp," they may get me again.” knock another down; or you seize He was of those who had a living man and cut him to pieces" escaped out of the mines; but -I shuddered as I thought of it, what was it to me whether they " and there is nobody to interfere." caught him again or not? I

" Who should interfere?” he wanted to know how he had been said. “Why shouldn't every man caught, and what he had been set amuse himself as he can? But yet to do, and how he had escaped. for all that we've got our masters, Why should I hesitate to use my he cried, with a scowl, waving his superior strength when no one else clenched fist in the direction of the did ? I kept watch over him that mines; “you'll find it out when you he should not get away. get there."

“You have been in the mines ?” It was a long time after this I said. before I ventured to move — for “Let me go!” he cried; “do you here it seemed to me that for the need to ask?" and he cursed me moment I was safe—outside the as he struggled, with the most city, yet not within reach of the terrible imprecations. “They may dangers of that intermediate space get me yet. Let me go!" which grew clearer before me as “Not till you tell me," I cried. my eyes became accustomed to " Tell me and I'll protect you. If the lurid threatening afternoon they come near I'll let you go. light. One after another the fugi- Who are they, man?

I must tives came flying past me, people know.” who had escaped from the armed He struggled up from the ground, bands whom I could now see on clearing his hot eyes from the the watch near the pit's mouth. I ashes that were in them, and could see, too, the tactics of these putting aside his singed hair. bands—how they retired, veiling He gave me a glance of hatred the lights and the opening, when and impotent resistance (for I a greater number than usual of was stronger than he), and then travellers appeared on the way, cast a wild terrified look back. and then suddenly widening out, The skirmishers did not seem to throwing out flanking lines, sur- remark that anybody had escaped,

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