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Distraction again swept over the mind of the peeress. She would not be hindered from going to the disfigured body which now lay in an adjoining chamber. There she sees the forehead, the neck, and the heart of her beloved pierced with gun-shot wounds, about which the congealed blood lay thick. The teeth are set as in the last fierce pang of dissolution; the hands are clenched; the eye, half open, still glares a desperate defiance from its overspreading film. A mortal sickness shoots through the heart of the bereaved bride, and again she falls into a swoon. Out of this she revives as before to a state of frenzy, which no medical skill is able to overcome, or even to subdue. Meanwhile, Jane is little less wretched, but she throws herself on that heavenly Comsorter who alone is able to sustain the mourner in an hour like this. Her watchful and tender husband also is migh to soften the violence of her anguish by his heartfelt participation in it. “Leave me alone awhile, Arthur,” was her request after the first shock was a little subsided, “let me give free scope to my misery, and pour out my soul before my God, then I shall be calmer.” He left her accordingly, and she joined him in an hour self-possessed, and able to listen to her grandfather's account of his finding of the body, and the taking of the murderer, as well as to discuss with both the best means of breaking the dreadful tidings to her father. Illness had prevented the Pastor from setting out from the lodge as soon as he could have wished, and he had not answered the letters because he anticipated that every morrow would see him sufficiently restored for
the journey. When at length he did set out, two farming men, and four Indians, belonging to the village, that had sprung up in his valley, accompanied him, having errands of their own to Quebec. They travelled partly in the night as well as through the day, the Pastor being extremely anxious to reach the city some days before the execution. The forest of St. Antony divided that gloomy swamp in the midst, along which Clinton had been journeying the fatal night of his death. The Pastor and his humble friends had to cross this forest. It was early in the morning and still dark. Their torches alone illumined the tangled path whose track they were pursuing. To beguile the dreariness of the hour and the way they conversed upon sacred subjects, and the peace and confidence these topics instilled into their minds rendered them proof against all fears. When nearly through the forest they were startled by a gipsy, who earnestly requested that the Pastor would follow him to a great tree which stood a little off the path, telling him a shocking deed had been done, and as a magistrate, which he knew Pastor Wilson was, he called upon him to investigate it. The Pastor turned off from the path accordingly, sollowed close by his friends, and, to his utter dismay, saw in the hollow of the vast tree a dead body, which he presently discovered to be that of his grandson, Clinton. The gipsy then pointed out the Settler, who stood in the grey darkness leaning against the stem of a cedar close by, “That is the murderer,’ which was done, but not without great difficulty.
While the Pastor and his grandchildren are conversing, the Settler is carried forwards to prison amid the groans, hootings, and threats of the people, whom the gipsy informed of the particulars of his guilt. “I saw him drag the gentleman from his horse after he had fired at him once ; when he had him down he shot him twice, as deliberately as if he had been putting a mere animal of the woods out of its dying torments.” The uproar was very great in the streets. The prisoner was unbound from his ragged pony at the prison door, where he returned the eager gaze of curiosity that was bent on him with a savage glare that made the beholders shrink, and then, assuming an aspect of dogged indifference, entered the gloomy barriers which had been a living tomb to thousands. It was upon this same day that the fisherman Jacques, who had rescued Jane from the deep in the early part of this story, and whose wife first prompted her to seek shelter in the settlements over which Pastor Wilson presided as magistrate, hearing of the doom of the Pirate, his old captain, came to see him in the prison. Af. terwards he sought out Madame Barry, and gave her such an account of the manner in which Anderson had been trepanned into joining the mutineers of her husband's ship, and of his total guiltlessness of a participation in the plunder and murder of Barry, that she became convinced she had wronged him in her mind, and immediately visited him, assuring him of her entire forgiveness; not content with this, she immediately set about endeavouring to obtain a commutation of his pan