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AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
ILLUSTRATED BY GEORGE CRUIKSHANK.
BOOK THE FIRST.
THE FATE OF THE PURSUIVANT. Assisted by the stream, and plying his oars with great rapidity, Guy Fawkes soon left the town far behind him; nor did he relax his exertions until checked by Humphrey Chetham. He then ceased rowing, and directed the boat towards the left bank of the river.
“Here we propose to land, Miss Radcliffe," observed the young merchant to Viviana. “We are not more than a hundred yards from Ordsall Cave, where you can take refuge for a short time, while I proceed to the Hall, and ascertain whether you can return to it with safety."
“I place myself entirely in your hands, Master Chetham,” she replied; “but I fear that such a course will be to rush into the very face of danger. Oh! that I could join my father at Holywell! With him I should feel secure."
“Means may be found to effect your wishes,” returned Humphrey Chetham ; “but, after the suffering you have recently endured, it will scarcely be prudent to undertake so long a journey without a few hours' repose. To-morrow,-or the next day, you may set out."
“I am fully equal to it now,” rejoined Viviana, eagerly; "and any fatigue I may undergo will not equal my present anxiety. You have already done so much for me, Master Chetham, that I venture to presume still further upon your kindness. Provide some immediate means of conveyance for me and for Father Oldcorne to Chester, and I shall for ever be beholden to you."
“ I will not only do what you desire, Miss Radcliffe, if it be possible," answered Chetham ; “but, if you will allow me, I will serve as
“And I,” added Guy Fawkes.
“All I fear is, that your strength may fail you,” continued the young merchant, in a tone of uneasiness.
“Fear nothing, then,” replied Viviana. “I am made of firmer material than you imagine. Think only of what you can do, and doubt not my ability to do it, also.”
“I ever deemed you of a courageous nature, daughter," observed Oldcorne ; “ but your resolution surpasses my belief.”
By this time, the boat had approached the shore. Leaping upon the rocky bank, the young merchant assisted Viviana to land, and then performed the same service for the priest. Guy Fawkes was the last to disembark; and having pulled the skiff aground, he followed