THE P/MLION ON THE LINKS
BY ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
ILLUSTRATED BY GORDON BROWNE
WORKS BY ROBERT Louis STEVENSON
AN INLAND VOYAGE.
EDINBURGH : PICTURESQUE NOTES.
TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY.
FAMILIAR STUDIES OF MEN AND BOOKS.
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS.
THE SILVERADO SQUATTERS.
A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES.
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.
THE MERRY MEN.
MEMORIES AND PORTRAITS.
THE BLACK ARROW.
THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE.
FATHER DAMIEN: AN OPEN LETTER.
ACROSS THE PLAINS.
ISLAND NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS.
A FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY.
WEIR OF HERMISTON.
LETTERS TO HIS FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
SONGS OF TRAVEL.
IN THE SOUTH SEAS.
ESSAYS OF TRAVEL.
TALES AND FANTASIES.
THE ART OF WRITING.
LAY MORALS, ETC.
RECORDS OF A FAMILY OF ENGINEERS.
MEMOIR OF FLEEMING JENKIN.
PRAYERS WRITTEN AT VAILIMA.
A CHRISTMAS SERMON.
TALK AND TALKERS.
WITH MRS. STEVENSON
WITH LLOYD OSBOURNE
THE WRONG BOX. THE WRECKER. THE EBB-TIDE.
THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS
" That girl, as you call her, is my wife." [p.
ON THE LINKS
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
ILLUSTRATED <BY QORDON 'BROWNE, R.I.
LONDON: CHATTO b* WINDUS
I. TELLS HOW I CAMPED IN GRADEN SEA- WOOD,
AND BEHELD A LlGHT IN THE PAVILION 1
II. TELLS OF THE NOCTURNAL LANDING FROM THE
III. TELLS HOW I BECAME ACQUAINTED WITH MY
IV. TELLS IN WHAT A STARTLING MANNER I LEARNED
THAT I WAS NOT ALONE IN GfiADEN SEA-
V. TELLS OF AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN NORTHMOUR,
CLARA, AND MYSELF 50
VI. TELLS OF MY INTRODUCTION TO THE TALL MAN 58
VII. TELLS HOW A WORD WAS CRIED THROUGH THE
PAVILION WINDOW 68
VIII. TELLS THE LAST OF THE TALL MAN 78
IX. TELLS HOW NORTHMOUR CARRIED our HIS
" THAT GIRL, AS YOU CALL HER, is MY WIFE " Frontispiece
THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS To face p. 2
IT WAS MY WHOLE BUSINESS TO FIND DESO-
LATE CORNERS 4
I WAS AWARE OF A LlGHT IN THE PAVILION 8
I THREW UP THE WlNDOW AND CLIMBED IN 10
I FOLLOWED HER AT A LITTLE DISTANCE 14
FOUR YACHTSMEN CARRYING A VERY HEAVY
HE LEAPED ON ME WITHOUT A WoRD 18
I COULD OVERLOOK NoRTHMOUR OR THE YoUNG
I SLID DOWN THE FACE OF THE SAND-HILL 26
SHE CALLED ME BY NAME 30
I LISTENED WITH FIXED ATTENTION 38
"SiETE ITALIANO?" SAID I 42
THE TRIO LOOKED SINGULARLY FOREIGN 44
I SEIZED IT WITH THE INTEREST YOU MAY
viii THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS
BERNARD HUDDLESTONE To face p. 62
NORTHMOUR WAVED A WHITE HANDKERCHIEF 70
I SAW A MAN RUNNING AS FAST AS HIS ATTITUDE
A FORMIDABLE VoiCE SHOUTED " TRADITORE ! " 76
WE COULD SEE THE FlGURE OF A MAN IN THE
THEY ALL BURNED BRAVELY 84
MR. HUDDLESTONE FELL BACKWARD ON THE TURF 86
HE WAS STRIKING FOR MY HEAD WITH THE
BUTT OF HIS REVOLVER 90
THE BOAT ROSE TO THE WAVES 96
THE PAVILION ON THE
TELLS HOW I CAMPED IN GRADEN SEA-WOOD,
AND BEHELD A LIGHT IN THE PAVILION
1 WAS a great solitary when I was young. I
made it my pride to keep aloof and suffice for
my own entertainment; and I may say that I
had neither friends nor acquaintances until I met
that friend who became my wife and the mother
of my children. With one man only was I on
private terms ; this was R. Northmour, Esquire,
of Graden Easter, in Scotland. We had met at
college ; and though there was not much liking
between us, nor even much intimacy, we were
so nearly of a humour that we could associate
with ease to both. Misanthropes, we believed
ourselves to be ; but I have thought since that
we were only sulky fellows. It was scarcely a
companionship, but a coexistence in unsociability.
Northmour's exceptional violence of temper made
2 THE PAVILION
it no easy affair for him to keep the peace with
any one but me ; and as he respected my silent
ways, and let me come and go as I pleased, I
could tolerate his presence without concern. I
think we called each other friends.
When Northmour took his degree and I de-
cided to leave the university without one, he
invited me on a long visit to Graden Easter;
and it was thus that I first became acquainted
with the scene of my adventures. The mansion-
house of Graden stood in a bleak stretch of
country some three miles from the shore of the
German Ocean. It was as large as a barrack ;
and as it had been built of a soft stone, liable to
consume in the eager air of the seaside, it was
damp and draughty within and half ruinous
without. It was impossible for two young men
to lodge with comfort in such a dwelling. But
there stood in the northern part of the estate,
in a wilderness of links and blowing sand-hills,
and between a plantation and the sea, a small
Pavilion or Belvidere, of modern design, which
was exactly suited to our wants ; and in this her-
mitage, speaking little, reading much, and rarely
associating except at meals, Northmour and I
spent four tempestuous winter months. I might
have stayed longer ; but one March night there
sprang up between us a dispute, which rendered
my departure necessary. Northmour spoke
ON THE LINKS 3
hotly, I remember, and I suppose I must have
made some tart rejoinder. .He leaped from his
chair and grappled me; I had, .to fight, without
exaggeration, for my life ; and it was only with
a great effort that I mastered him, for he was
near as strong in body as myself, and seemed
filled with the devil. The next morning, we
met on our usual terms ; but I judged it more
delicate to withdraw; nor did he attempt to
It was nine years before I revisited the neigh-
bourhood. I travelled at that time with a tilt
cart, a tent, and a cooking-stove, tramping all
day beside the waggon, and at night, whenever
it was possible, gipsying in a cove of the hills,
or by the side of a wood. I believe I visited in
this manner most of the wild and desolate regions
both in England and Scotland ; and, as I had
neither friends nor relations, I was troubled with
no correspondence, and had nothing in the nature
of headquarters, unless it was the office of my
solicitors, from whom I drew my income twice
a year. It was a life in which I delighted ; and
I fully thought to have grown old upon the
march, and at last died in a ditch.
It was my whole business to find desolate
corners, where I could camp without the fear of
interruption ; and hence, being in another part
of the same shire, I bethought me suddenly of
4 THE PAVILION
the Pavilion on the Links. No thoroughfare
passed within three miles of it. The nearest
town, and that was but a fisher village, was at
a distance of six or seven. For ten miles of
length, and from a depth varying from three
miles to half a mile, this belt of barren country
lay along the sea. The beach, which was the
natural approach, was full of quicksands. In-
deed, I may say there is hardly a better place of
concealment in the United Kingdom. I deter-
mined to pass a week in the Sea- Wood of
Graden Easter, and, making a long stage, reached
it about sundown on a wild September day.
The country, I have said, was mixed sand-hill
and links ; links being a Scottish name for sand
which has ceased drifting and become more or
less solidly covered with turf. The Pavilion stood
on an even space ; a little behind it, the wood
began in a hedge of elders huddled together by
the wind ; in front, a few tumbled sand-hills stood-
between it and the sea. An outcropping of rock
had formed a bastion for the sand, so that there
was here a promontory in the coast-line between
two shallow bays ; and just beyond the tides,
the rock again cropped out and formed an islet
of small dimensions but strikingly designed.
The quicksands were of great extent at low
water, and had an infamous reputation in the
country. Close inshore, between the islet and
It was my whole business to fold desolate corners
ON THE LINKS 5
the promontory, it was said they would swallow
a man in four minutes and a half; but there
may have been little ground for this precision.
The district was alive with rabbits, and haunted
by gulls which made a continual piping about
the pavilion. On summer days the outlook was
bright and even gladsome ; but at sundown in
September, with a high wind, and a heavy surf
rolling in close along the links, the place told of
nothing but dead mariners and sea disaster. A
ship beating to windward on the horizon, and
a huge truncheon of wreck half buried in the
sands at my feet, completed the innuendo of
The pavilion it had been built by the last
proprietor, Northmour's uncle, a silly and pro-
digal virtuoso presented little signs of age. It
was two stories in height, Italian in design,
surrounded by a patch of garden in which
nothing had prospered but a few coarse flowers ;
and looked, with its shuttered windows, not like
a house that had been deserted, but like one
that had never been tenanted by man. North-
mour was plainly from home ; whether, as usual,
sulking in the cabin of his yacht, or in one of his
fitful and extravagant appearances in the world
of society, I had, of course, no means of guessing.
The place had an air of solitude that daunted
even a solitary like myself; the wind cried in
6 THE PAVILION
the chimneys with a strange and wailing note ;
and it was with a sense of escape, as if I were
going indoors, that I turned away and, driving
my cart before me, entered the skirts of the
The Sea- Wood of Graden had been planted
to shelter the cultivated fields behind, and check
the encroachments of the blowing sand. As
you advanced into it from coastward, elders
were succeeded by other hardy shrubs ; but the
timber was all stunted and bushy ; it led a life
of conflict ; the trees were accustomed to swing
there all night long in fierce winter tempests ;
and even in early spring, the leaves were already
flying, and autumn was beginning, in this ex-
posed plantation. Inland the ground rose into
a little hill, which, along with the islet, served
as a sailing mark for seamen. When the hill
was open of the islet to the north, vessels must
bear well to the eastward to clear Graden Ness
and the Graden Bullers. In the lower ground,
a streamlet ran among the trees, and, being
dammed with dead leaves and clay of its own
carrying, spread out every here and there, and lay
in stagnant pools. One or two ruined cottages
were dotted about the wood ; and, according to
Northmour, these were ecclesiastical foundations,
and in their time had sheltered pious hermits.
I found a den, or small hollow, where there
ON THE LINKS 7
was a spring of pure water ; and there, clearing
away the brambles, I pitched the tent, and made
a fire to cook my supper. My horse I picketed
farther in the wood where there was a patch of
sward. The banks of the den not only concealed
the light of my fire, but sheltered me from the
wind, which was cold as well as high.
The life I was leading made me both hardy
and frugal. I never drank but water, and rarely
ate anything more costly than oatmeal ; and I
required so little sleep, that, although I rose with
the peep of day, I would often lie long awake in
the dark or starry watches of the night. Thus
in Graden Sea- Wood, although I fell thankfully
asleep by eight in the evening, I was awake again
before eleven with a full possession of my faculties,
and no sense of drowsiness or fatigue. I rose and
sat by the fire, watching the trees and clouds
tumultuously tossing and fleeing overhead, and
hearkening to the wind and the rollers along the
shore ; till at length, growing weary of inaction,
I quitted the den, and strolled towards the borders
of the wood. A young moon, buried in mist,
gave a faint illumination to my steps ; and the
light grew brighter as I walked forth into the
links. At the same moment, the wind, smelling
salt of the open ocean and carrying particles of
sand, struck me with its full force, so that I had
to bow my head.
8 THE PAVILION
When I raised it again to look about me, I
was aware of a light in the pavilion. It was
not stationary ; but passed from one window to
another, as though some one were reviewing the
different apartments with a lamp or candle. I
watched it for some seconds in great surprise.
When I had arrived in the afternoon the house
had been plainly deserted ; now it was as plainly
occupied. It was my first idea that a gang of
thieves might have broken in and be now ran-
sacking Northmour's cupboards, which were many
and not ill supplied. But what should bring
thieves to Graden Easter ? And, again, all the
shutters had been thrown open, and it would
have been more in the character of such gentry
to close them. I dismissed the notion, and fell
back upon another. Northmour himself must
have arrived, and was now airing and inspecting
I have said that there was no real affection
between this man and me ; but, had I loved him
like a brother, I was then so much more in love
with solitude that I should none the less have
shunned his company. As it was, I turned and
ran for it ; and it was with genuine satisfaction
that I found myself safely back beside the fire.
I had escaped an acquaintance ; I should have
one more night in comfort. In the morning,
I might either slip away before Northmour
ON THE LINKS 9
was abroad, or pay him as short a visit as I
But when morning came, I thought the situa-
tion so diverting that I forgot my shyness.
Northmour was at my mercy ; I arranged a
good practical jest, though I knew well that my
neighbour was not the man to jest with in
security; and, chuckling beforehand over its
success, took my place among the elders at the
edge of the wood, whence I could command
the door of the pavilion. The shutters were all
once more closed, which I remember thinking
odd ; and the house, with its white walls and
green Venetians, looked spruce and habitable in
the morning light. Hour after hour passed,
and still no sign of Northmour. I knew him for
a sluggard in the morning ; but, as it drew on
towards noon, I lost my patience. To say the
truth, I had promised to break my fast in the
pavilion, and hunger began to prick me sharply.
It was a pity to let the opportunity go by with-
out some cause for mirth ; but the grosser appe-
tite prevailed, and I relinquished my jest with
regret, and sallied from the wood.
The appearance of the house affected me, as
I drew near, with disquietude. It seemed un-
changed since last evening ; and I had expected
it, I scarce knew why, to wear some external
signs of habitation. But no : the windows were
10 THE PAVILION
all closely shuttered, the chimneys breathed no
smoke, and the front door itself was closely pad-
locked. Northmour, therefore, had entered by
the back ; this was the natural and, indeed, the
necessary conclusion ; and you may judge of my
surprise when, on turning the house, I found the
back door similarly secured.
My mind at once reverted to the original
theory of thieves ; and I blamed myself sharply
for my last night's inaction. I examined all the
windows on the lower story, but none of them
had been tampered with ; I tried the padlocks,
but they were both secure. It thus became a
problem how the thieves, if thieves they were,
had managed to enter the house. They must
have got, I reasoned, upon the roof of the out-
house where Northmour used to keep his photo-
graphic battery ; and from thence, either by the
window of the study or that of my old bedroom,
completed their burglarious entry.
I followed what I supposed was their example ;
and, getting on the roof, tried the shutters of
each room. Both were secure; but I was not
to be beaten ; and, with a little force, one of
them flew open, grazing, as it did so, the back
of my hand. I remember, I put the wound to
my mouth, and stood for perhaps half a minute
licking it like a dog, and mechanically gazing
behind me over the waste links and the sea ;
/ threw up the window and climbed in
ON THE LINKS 11
and, in that space of time, my eye made note of
a large schooner yacht some miles to the north-
east. Then I threw up the window and
I went over the house, and nothing can ex-
press my mystification. There was no sign of
disorder, but, on the contrary, the rooms were
unusually clean and pleasant. I found fires laid,
ready for lighting ; three bedrooms prepared with
a luxury quite foreign to Northmour's habits,
and with water in the ewers and the beds turned
down ; a table set for three in the dining-room ;
and an ample supply of cold meats, game, and
vegetables on the pantry shelves. There were
guests expected, that was plain ; but why guests,
when Northmour hated society ? And, above
all, why was the house thus stealthily prepared
at dead of night ? and why were the shutters
closed and the doors padlocked ?
I effaced all traces of my visit, and came forth
from the window feeling sobered and concerned.
The schooner yacht was still in the same place ;
and it flashed for a moment through my mind
that this might be the Red Earl bringing the
owner of the pavilion and his guests. But the
vessel's head was set the other way.
12 THE PAVILION
TELLS OF THE NOCTURNAL LANDING FROM
I RETURNED to the den to cook myself a meal,
of which I stood in great need, as well as to care
for my horse, whom I had somewhat neglected
in the morning. From time to time I went
down to the edge of the wood ; but there was
no change in the pavilion, and not a human
creature was seen all day upon the links. The
schooner in the offing was the one touch of life
within my range of vision. She, apparently
with no set object, stood off and on or lay to,
hour after hour ; but as the evening deepened,
she drew steadily nearer. I became more con-
vinced that she carried Northmour and his friends,
and that they would probably come ashore after
dark ; not only because that was of a piece with
the secrecy of the preparations, but because the
tide would not have flowed sufficiently before
eleven to cover Graden Floe and the other sea
quags that fortified the shore against invaders.
All day the wind had been going down, and the
sea along with it ; but there was a return towards
ON THE LINKS 13
sunset of the heavy weather of the day before.
The night set in pitch dark. The wind came off
the sea in squalls, like the firing of a battery of
cannon ; now and then there' was a flaw of rain,
and the surf rolled heavier with the rising tide.
I was down at my observatory among the elders,
when a light was run up to the masthead of the
schooner, and showed she was closer in than when
I had last seen her by the dying daylight. I con-
cluded that this must be a signal to Northmour's
associates on shore ; and, stepping forth into the
links, looked around me for something in response.
A small footpath ran along the margin of the
wood, and formed the most direct communication
between the pavilion and the mansion-house ;
and, as I cast my eyes to that side, I saw a spark
of light, not a quarter of a mile away, and rapidly
approaching. From its uneven course it ap-
peared to be the light of a lantern carried by a
person who followed the windings of the path,
and was often staggered and taken aback by the
more violent squalls. I concealed myself once
more among the elders, and waited eagerly for
the new-comer's advance. It proved to be a
woman ; and, as she passed within half a rod of
my ambush, I was able to recognise the features.
The deaf and silent old dame, who had nursed
Northmour in his childhood, was his associate in
this underhand affair.
14 THE PAVILION
I followed her at a little distance, taking ad-
vantage of the innumerable heights and hollows,
concealed by the darkness, and favoured not only
by the nurse's deafness, but by the uproar of the
wind and surf. She entered the pavilion, and,
going at once to the upper story, opened and
set a light in one of the windows that looked to-
wards the sea. Immediately afterwards the light
at the schooner's masthead was run down and
extinguished. Its purpose had been attained,
and those on board were sure that they were
expected. The old woman resumed her pre-
parations ; although the other shutters remained
closed, I could see a glimmer going to and fro
about the house ; and a gush of sparks from one
chimney after another soon told me that the fires
were being kindled.
Northmour and his guests, I was now per-
suaded, would come ashore as soon as there was
water on the floe. It was a wild night for boat
service ; and I felt some alarm mingle with my
curiosity as I reflected on the danger of the land-
ing. My old acquaintance, it was true, was the
most eccentric of men ; but the present eccen-
tricity was both disquieting and lugubrious
to consider. A variety of feelings thus led me
towards the beach, where I lay flat on my face
in a hollow within six feet of the track that led
to the pavilion. Thence, I should have the satis-
I followed her at a little distance
ON THE LINKS 15
faction of recognising the arrivals, and, if they
should prove to be acquaintances, greeting them
as soon as they had landed.
Some time before eleven, while the tide was
still dangerously low, a boat's lantern appeared
close inshore ; and, my attention being thus
awakened, I could perceive another still far to
seaward, violently tossed, and sometimes hidden
by the billows. The weather, which was getting
dirtier as the night went on, and the perilous
situation of the yacht upon a lee shore, had
probably driven them to attempt a landing at
the earliest possible moment.
A little afterwards, four yachtsmen carrying a
very heavy chest, and guided by a fifth with a
lantern, passed close in front of me as I lay, and
were admitted to the pavilion by the nurse.
They returned to the beach, and passed me a
second time with another chest, larger but ap-
parently not so heavy as the first. A third time
they made the transit ; and on this occasion one
of the yachtsmen carried a leather portmanteau,
and the others a lady's trunk and carriage bag.
My curiosity was sharply excited. If a woman
were among the guests of Northmour, it would
show a change in his habits and an apostasy from
his pet theories of life, well calculated to fill me
with surprise. When he and I dwelt there to-
gether, the pavilion had been a temple of
16 THE PAVILION
misogyny. And now, one of the detested sex
was to be installed under its roof. I remembered
one or two particulars, a few notes of daintiness
and almost of coquetry which had struck me the
day before as I surveyed the preparations in
the house ; their purpose was now clear, and
I thought myself dull not to have perceived it
from the first.
While I was thus reflecting, a second lantern
drew near me from the beach. It was carried by
a yachtsman whom I had not yet seen, and who
was conducting two other persons to the pavilion.
These two persons were unquestionably the
guests for whom the house was made ready ;
and, straining eye and ear, I set myself to watch
them as they passed. One was an unusually tall
man, in a travelling hat slouched over his eyes, and
a highland cape closely buttoned and turned up
so as to conceal his face. You could make out
no more of him than that he was, as I have said,
unusually tall, and walked feebly with a heavy
stoop. By his side, and either clinging to him
or giving him support I could not make out
which was a young, tall, and slender figure of a
woman. She was extremely pale ; but in the
light of the lantern her face was so marred by
strong and changing shadows, that she might
equally well have been as ugly as sin or as
beautiful as I afterwards found her to be.
ON THE LINKS 17
When they were just abreast of me, the girl
made some remark which was drowned by the
noise of the wind.
" Hush ! " said her companion ; and there was
something in the tone with which the word was
uttered that thrilled and rather shook my spirits.
It seemed to breathe from a bosom labouring
under the deadliest terror ; I have never heard
another syllable so expressive ; and I still hear it
again when I am feverish at night, and my mind
runs upon old times. The man turned towards
the girl as he spoke ; I had a glimpse of much
red beard and a nose which seemed to have been
broken in youth ; and his light eyes seemed
shining in his face with some strong and un-
But these two passed on and were admitted in
their turn to the pavilion.
One by one, or in groups, the seamen returned
to the beach. The wind brought me the sound
of a rough voice crying, "Shove off!" Then,
after a pause, another lantern drew near. It
was Northmour alone.
My wife and I, a man and a woman, have
often agreed to wonder how a person could be,
at the same time, so handsome and so repulsive
as Northmour. He had the appearance of a
finished gentleman ; his face bore every mark of
intelligence and courage ; but you had only to
18 THE PAVILION
look at him, even in his most amiable moment,
to see that he had the temper of a slaver captain.
I never knew a character that was both explosive
and revengeful to the same degree ; he combined
the vivacity of the south with the sustained and
deadly hatreds of the north; and both traits
were plainly written on his face, which was a sort
of danger signal. In person he was tall, strong,
and active ; his hair and complexion very dark ;
his features handsomely designed, but spoiled by
a menacing expression.
At that moment he was somewhat paler than
by nature ; he wore a heavy frown ; and his lips
worked, and he looked sharply round him as he
walked, like a man besieged with apprehensions.
And yet I thought he had a look of triumph
underlying all, as though he had already done
much, and was near the end of an achieve-
Partly from a scruple of delicacy which I
dare say came too late partly from the pleasure
of startling an acquaintance, I desired to make
my presence known to him without delay.
I got suddenly to my feet, and stepped
" Northmour ! " said I.
I have never had so shocking a surprise in all
my days. He leaped on me without a word ;
He leaped on me without a word
ON THE LINKS 19
something shone in his hand ; and he struck for
my heart with a dagger. At the same moment
I knocked him head over heels. Whether it
was my quickness, or his own uncertainty, I
know not ; but the blade only grazed my
shoulder, while the hilt and his fist struck me
violently on the mouth.
I fled, but not far. I had often and often
observed the capabilities of the sand-hills for
protracted ambush or stealthy advances and
retreats; and, not ten yards from the scene of
the scuffle, plumped down again upon the grass.
The lantern had fallen and gone out. But
what was my astonishment to see Northmour
slip at a bound into the pavilion, and hear him
bar the door behind him with a clang of iron !
He had not pursued me. He had run away.
Northmour, whom I knew for the most implac-
able and daring of men, had run away ! I could
scarce believe my reason ; and yet in this strange
business, where all was incredible, there was
nothing to make a work about in an incredibility
more or less. For why was the pavilion secretly
prepared ? Why had Northmour landed with his
guests at dead of night, in half a gale of wind,
and with the floe scarce covered ? Why had he
sought to kill me ? Had he not recognised my
voice ? I wondered. And, above all, how had
20 THE PAVILION
he come to have a dagger ready in his hand ?
A dagger, or even a sharp knife, seemed out of
keeping with the age in which we lived ; and a
gentleman landing from his yacht on the shore of
his own estate, even although it was at night and
with some mysterious circumstances, does not
usually, as a matter of fact, walk thus prepared
for deadly onslaught. The more I reflected, the
further I felt at sea. I recapitulated the ele-
ments of mystery, counting them on my fingers :
the pavilion secretly prepared for guests; the
guests landed at the risk of their lives and to
the imminent peril of the yacht ; the guests,
or at least one of them, in undisguised and
seemingly causeless terror; Northmour with a
naked weapon; Northmour stabbing his most
intimate acquaintance at a word ; last, and not
least strange, Northmour fleeing from the man
whom he had sought to murder, and barricading
himself, like a hunted creature, behind the door
of the pavilion. Here were at least six separate
causes for extreme surprise ; each part and parcel
with the others, and forming all together one
consistent story. I felt almost ashamed to be-
lieve my own senses.
As I thus stood, transfixed with wonder, I
began to grow painfully conscious of the injuries
I had received in the scuffle; skulked round
ON THE LINKS 21
among the sand-hills ; and, by a devious path,
regained the shelter of the wood. On the way,
the old nurse passed again within several yards
of me, still carrying her lantern, on the return
journey to the mansion-house of Graden. This
made a seventh suspicious feature in the case.
Northmour and his guests, it appeared, were to
cook and do the cleaning for themselves, while
the old woman continued to inhabit the big
empty barrack among the policies. There must
surely be great cause for secrecy, when so many
inconveniences were confronted to preserve it.
So thinking, I made my way to the den. For
greater security, I trod out the embers of the fire,
and lit my lantern to examine the wound upon
my shoulder. It was a trifling hurt, although it
bled somewhat freely, and I dressed it as well as
I could (for its position made it difficult to reach)
with some rag and cold water from the spring.
While I was thus busied, I mentally declared war
against Northmour and his mystery. I am not
an angry man by nature, and I believe there was
more curiosity than resentment in my heart.
But war I certainly declared; and, by way of
preparation, I got out my revolver, and, having
drawn the charges, cleaned and reloaded it with
scrupulous care. Next I became preoccupied
about my horse. It might break loose, or fall to
22 THE PAVILION
neighing, and so betray my camp in the Sea-
Wood. I determined to rid myself of its neigh-
bourhood ; and long before dawn I was leading
it over the links in the direction of the fisher
ON THE LINKS 23
TELLS HOW I BECAME ACQUAINTED WITH
FOR two days I skulked round the pavilion, pro-
fiting by the uneven surface of the links. I
became an adept in the necessary tactics. These
low hillocks and shallow dells, running one
into another, became a kind of cloak of dark-
ness for my enthralling, but perhaps dishonour-
able, pursuit. Yet, in spite of this advantage,
I could learn but little of Northmour or his
Fresh provisions were brought under cover of
darkness by the old woman from the mansion-
house. Northmour and the young lady, some-
times together, but more often singly, would
walk for an hour or two at a time on the beach
beside the quicksand. I could not but conclude
that this promenade was chosen with an eye to
secrecy ; for the spot was open only to the sea-
ward. But it suited me not less excellently ; the
highest and most accidented of the sand-hills
immediately adjoined ; and from these, lying flat
24 THE PAVILION
in a hollow, I could overlook Northmour or the
young lady as they walked.
The tall man seemed to have disappeared. Not
only did he never cross the threshold, but he
never so much as showed face at a window ; or,
at least, not so far as I could see ; for I dared
not creep forward beyond a certain distance in
the day, since the upper floor commanded the
bottoms of the links ; and at night, when I could
venture farther, the lower windows were barri-
caded as if to stand a siege. Sometimes I
thought the tall man must be confined to bed,
for I remembered the feebleness of his gait ;
and sometimes I thought he must have gone
clear away, and that Northmour and the young
lady remained alone together in the pavilion.
The idea, even then, displeased me.
Whether or not this pair were man and wife,
I had seen abundant reason to doubt the friend-
liness of their relation. Although I could hear
nothing of what they said, and rarely so much
as glean a decided expression on the face of
either, there was a distance, almost a stiffness,
in their bearing which showed them to be either
unfamiliar or at enmity. The girl walked faster
when she was with Northmour than when she
was alone ; and I conceived that any inclination
between a man and a woman would rather delay
than accelerate the step. Moreover, she kept a
/ could overlook Northmour or the young lady
ON' (THE LINKS 25
good yard free of him, and trailed her umbrella,
as if it were a barrier, on the side between them.
Northmour kept sidling closer ; and, as the girl
retired from his advance, their course lay at a
sort of diagonal across the beach, and would have
landed them in the surf had it been long enough
continued. But, when this was imminent, the
girl would unostentatiously change sides and put
Northmour between her and the sea. I watched
these manoeuvres, for my part, with high enjoy-
ment and approval, and chuckled to myself at
On the morning of the third day, she walked
alone for some time, and I perceived, to my great
concern, that she was more than once in tears.
You will see that my heart was already interested
more than I supposed. She had a firm yet airy
motion of the body, and carried her head with
unimaginable grace ; every step was a thing to
look at, and she seemed in my eyes to breathe
sweetness and distinction.
The day was so agreeable, being calm and
sunshiny, with a tranquil sea, and yet with a
healthful piquancy and vigour in the air, that,
contrary to custom, she was tempted forth a
second time to walk. On this occasion she was
accompanied by Northmour, and they had been
but a short while on the beach, when I saw
him take forcible possession of her hand. She
26 THE PAVILION
struggled, and uttered a cry that was almost a
scream. I sprang to my feet, unmindful of my
strange position ; but, ere I had taken a step, I
saw North mour bareheaded and bowing very
low, as if to apologise; and dropped again at
once into my ambush. A few words were inter-
changed ; and then, with another bow, he left
the beach to return to the pavilion. He passed
not far from me, and I could see him, flushed
and lowering, and cutting savagely with his cane
among the grass. It was not without satisfaction
that I recognised my own handiwork in a great
cut under his right eye, and a considerable dis-
coloration round the socket.
For some time the girl remained where he
had left her, looking out past the islet and over
the bright sea. Then with a start, as one who
throws off preoccupation and puts energy again
upon its mettle, she broke into a rapid and de-
cisive walk. She also was much incensed by
what had passed. She had forgotten where she
was. And I beheld her walk straight into the
borders of the quicksand where it is most abrupt
and dangerous. Two or three steps farther and
her life would have been in serious jeopardy,
when I slid down the face of the sand-hill, which
is there precipitous, and, running half-way for-
ward, called to her to stop.
She did so, and turned round. There was not
/ slid down the face of the sand-hill
ON THE LINKS 27
a tremor of fear in her behaviour, and she
marched directly up to me like a queen. I was
barefoot, and clad like a common sailor, save for
an Egyptian scarf round my traist ; and she pro-
bably took me at first for some one from the
fisher village, straying after bait. As for her,
when I thus saw her face to face, her eyes set
steadily and imperiously upon mine, I was filled
with admiration and astonishment, and thought
her even more beautiful than I had looked to
find her. Nor could I think enough of one who,
acting with so much boldness, yet preserved a
maidenly air that was both quaint and engaging ;
for my wife kept an old-fashioned precision of
manner through all her admirable life an ex-
cellent thing in woman, since it sets another
value on her sweet familiarities.
" What does this mean ? " she asked.
" You were walking," I told her, " directly
into Graden Floe."
" You do not belong to these parts," she said
again. " You speak like an educated man."
" I believe I have a right to that name," said
I, " although in this disguise."
But her woman's eye had already detected
" Oh ! " she said ; " your sash betrays you."
" You have said the word betray" I resumed.
" May I ask you not to betray me ? I was
28 THE PAVILION
obliged to disclose myself in your interest ; but
if Northmour learned my presence it might be
worse than disagreeable for me."
"Do you know," she asked, "to whom you
are speaking ? "
"Not to Mr. Northmour's wife?" I asked,
by way of answer.
She shook her head. All this while she was
studying my face with an embarrassing intent-
ness. Then she broke out
"You have an honest face. Be honest like
your face, sir, and tell me what you want and
what you are afraid of. Do you think I could
hurt you ? I believe you have far more power
to injure me ! And yet you do not look un-
kind. What do you mean you, a gentleman
by skulking like a spy about this desolate place ?
Tell me," she said, " who is it you hate ? "
"I hate no one," I answered; "and I fear
no one face to face. My name is Cassilis
Frank Cassilis. I lead the life of a vagabond
for my own good pleasure. I am one of North-
mour's oldest friends ; and three nights ago,
when I addressed him on these links, he stabbed
me in the shoulder with a knife."
" It was you ! " she said.
" Why he did so," I continued, disregarding
the interruption, "is more than I can guess,
and more than I care to know. I have not
ON THE LINKS 29
many friends, nor am I very susceptible to
friendship ; but no man shall drive me from a
place by terror. I had camped in Graden Sea-
Wood ere he came ; I camp in** it still. If you
think I mean harm to you or yours, madam,
the remedy is in your hand. Tell him that
my camp is in the Hemlock Den, and to-night
he can stab me in safety while I sleep."
With this I doffed my cap to her, and
scrambled up once more among the sand-hills.
I do not know why, but I felt a prodigious
sense of injustice, and felt like a hero and a
martyr; while, as a matter of fact, I had not
a word to say in my defence, nor so much as
one plausible reason to offer for my conduct.
I had stayed at Graden out of a curiosity natural
enough, but undignified ; and though there was
another motive growing in along with the first,
it was not one which, at that period, I could
have properly explained to the lady of my heart.
Certainly, that night, I thought of no one
else ; and, though her whole conduct and position
seemed suspicious, I could not find it in my
heart to entertain a doubt of her integrity. I
could have staked my life that she was clear
of blame, and, though all was dark at the present,
that the explanation of the mystery would show
her part in these events to be both right and
needful. It was true, let me cudgel my imagi-
30 THE PAVILION
nation as I pleased, that I could invent no theory
of her relations to Northmour ; but I felt none
the less sure of my conclusion because it was
founded on instinct in place of reason, and, as
I may say, went to sleep that night with the
thought of her under my pillow.
Next day she came out about the same hour
alone, and, as soon as the sand-hills concealed
her from the pavilion, drew nearer to the edge,
and called me by name in guarded tones. I
was astonished to observe that she was deadly
pale, and seemingly under the influence of strong
" Mr. Cassilis ! " she cried ; " Mr. Cassilis ! "
I appeared at once, and leaped down upon
the beach. A remarkable air of relief overspread
her countenance as soon as she saw me.
" Oh ! " she cried, with a hoarse sound, like
one whose bosom has been lightened of a weight.
And then, Thank God you are still safe!"
she added ; " I knew, if you were, you would
be here." (Was not this strange? So swiftly
and wisely does Nature prepare our hearts for
these great life-long intimacies, that both my
wife and I had been given a presentiment on
this the second day of our acquaintance. I had
even then hoped that she would seek me; she
had felt sure that she would find me.) "Do
not," she went on swiftly, "do not stay in this
She called me by name
ON THE LINKS 31
place. Promise me that you will sleep no longer
in that wood. You do not know how I suffer ;
all last night I could not sleep for thinking of
your peril." *
"Peril?" I repeated. "Peril from whom?
From Northmour ? "
" Not so," she said. " Did you think I would
tell him after what you said ? "
" Not from Northmour ? " I repeated. " Then
how ? From whom ? I see none to be afraid of."
" You must not ask me," was her reply, " for
I am not free to tell you. Only believe me,
and go hence believe me, and go away quickly,
quickly, for your life ! "
An appeal to his alarm is never a good plan
to rid oneself of a spirited young man. My
obstinacy was but increased by what she said,
and I made it a point of honour to remain.
And her solicitude for my safety still more
confirmed me in the resolve.
" You must not think me inquisitive, madam,"
I replied ; " but, if Graden is so dangerous a
place, you yourself perhaps remain here at some
She only looked at me reproachfully.
" You and your father I resumed ; but
she interrupted me almost with a gasp.
" My father ! How do you know that ? " she
32 THE PAVILION
66 1 saw you together when you landed," was
my answer; and I do not know why, but it
seemed satisfactory to both of us, as indeed it
was the truth. " But," I continued, " you need
have no fear from me. I see you have some
reason to be secret, and, you may believe me,
your secret is as safe with me as if I were in
Graden Floe. I have scarce spoken to any
one for years ; my horse is my only companion,
and even he, poor beast, is not beside me. You
see, then, you may count on me for silence.
So tell me the truth, my dear young lady : are
you not in danger ? "
" Mr. Northmour says you are an honourable
man," she returned, " and I believe it when I
see you. I will tell you so much ; you are
right ; we are in dreadful, dreadful danger, and
you share it by remaining where you are."
" Ah ! " said I ; " you have heard of me from
Northmour? And he gives me a good char-
acter ? "
" I asked him about you last night," was her
reply. "I pretended," she hesitated, "I pre-
tended to have met you long ago, and spoken
to you of him. It was not true ; but I could not
help myself without betraying you, and you had
put me in a difficulty. He praised you highly."
"And you may permit me one question
ON THE LINKS 83
does this danger come from Northmour ? " I
"From Mr. Northmour ? ", she cried. " Oh
no ; he stays with us to share it."
" While you propose that I should run away ? "
I said. " You do not rate me very high."
" Why should you stay ? " she asked. " You
are no friend of ours."
I know not what came over me, for I had
not been conscious of a similar weakness since
I was a child, but I was so mortified by this
retort that my eyes pricked and filled with tears,
as I continued to gaze upon her face.
"No, no," she said, in a changed voice; "I
did not mean the words unkindly."
" It was I who offended," I said ; and I held
out my hand with a look of appeal that some-
how touched her, for she gave me hers at once,
and even eagerly. I held it for a while in mine,
and gazed into her eyes. It was she who first
tore her hand away, and, forgetting all about
her request and the promise she had sought
to extort, ran at the top of her speed, and with-
out turning, till she was out of sight. And
then I knew that I loved her, and thought in
my glad heart that she she herself was not
indifferent to my suit. Many a time she has
denied it in after days, but it was with a smiling
34 THE PAVILION
and not a serious denial. For my part, I am
sure our hands would not have lain so closely
in each other if she had not begun to melt to
me already. And, when all is said, it is no
great contention, since, by her own avowal,
she began to love me on the morrow.
And yet on the morrow very little took place.
She came and called me down as on the day
before, upbraided me for lingering at Graden,
and, when she found I was still obdurate, began
to ask me more particularly as to my arrival. I
told her by what series of accidents I had come
to witness their disembarkation, and how I had
determined to remain, partly from the interest
which had been wakened in me by Northmour's
guests, and partly because of his own murderous
attack. As to the former, I fear I was disin-
genuous, and led her to regard herself as having
been an attraction to me from the first moment
that I saw her on the links. It relieves my
heart to make this confession even now, when
my wife is with God, and [already knows all
things, and the honesty of my purpose even in
this ; for while she lived, although it often
pricked my conscience, I had never the hardi-
hood to undeceive her. Even a little secret, in
such a married life as ours, is like the rose-leaf
which kept the Princess from her sleep.
ON THE LINKS 35
From this the talk branched into other sub-
jects, and I told her much about my lonely and
wandering existence ; she, for her part, giving
ear, and saying little. Although we spoke very
naturally, and latterly on topics that might seem
indifferent, we were both sweetly agitated. Too
soon it was time for her to go ; and we separated,
as if by mutual consent, without shaking hands,
for both knew that, between us, it was no idle
The next, and that was the fourth day of our
acquaintance, we met in the same spot, but early
in the morning, with much familiarity and yet
much timidity on either side. When she had
once more spoken about my danger and that, I
understood, was her excuse for coming I, who
had prepared a great deal of talk during the
night, began to tell her how highly I valued her
kind interest, and how no one had ever cared to
hear about my life, nor had I ever cared to relate
it, before yesterday. Suddenly she interrupted
me, saying with vehemence
" And yet, if you knew who I was, you would
not so much as speak to me ! "
I told her such a thought was madness, and,
little as we had met, I counted her already a
dear friend ; but my protestations seemed only
to make her more desperate.
36 THE PAVILION
" My father is in hiding ! " she cried.
" My dear," I said, forgetting for the first
time to add "young lady," "what do I care?
If he were in hiding twenty times over, would it
make one thought of change in you ? "
" Ah, but the cause ! " she cried, " the cause !
It is" she faltered for a second "it is dis-
graceful to us ! "
ON THE LINKS 87
TELLS IN WHAT A STARTLING MANNER I LEARNED
THAT I WAS NOT ALONE IN GRADEN SEA-
THIS was my wife's story, as I drew it from her
among tears and sobs. Her name was Clara
Huddlestone : it sounded very beautiful in my
ears ; but not so beautiful as that other name of
Clara Cassilis, which she wore during the longer
and, I thank God, the happier portion of her life.
Her father, Bernard Huddlestone, had been a
private banker in a very large way of business.
Many years before, his affairs becoming dis-
ordered, he had been led to try dangerous, and
at last criminal, expedients to retrieve himself
from ruin. All was in vain; he became more
and more cruelly involved, and found his honour
lost at the same moment with his fortune.
About this period, Northmour had been court-
ing his daughter with great assiduity, though
with small encouragement ; and to him, know-
ing him thus disposed in his favour, Bernard
Huddlestone turned for help in his extremity.
It was not merely ruin and dishonour, not
38 THE PAVILION
merely a legal condemnation, that the unhappy
man had brought upon his head. It seems he
could have gone to prison with a light heart.
What he feared, what kept him awake at night
or recalled him from slumber into frenzy, was
some secret, sudden, and unlawful attempt upon
his life. Hence, he desired to bury his existence
and escape to one of the islands in the South
Pacific, and it was in Northmour's yacht, the
Red Earl, that he designed to go. The yacht
picked them up clandestinely upon the coast of
Wales, and had once more deposited them at
Graden, till she could be refitted and provisioned
for the longer voyage. Nor could Clara doubt
that her hand had been stipulated as the price of
passage. For, although Northmour was neither
unkind nor even discourteous, he had shown
himself in several instances somewhat over-bold
in speech and manner.
I listened, I need not say, with fixed attention,
and put many questions as to the more mysterious
part. It was in vain. She had no clear idea of
what the blow was, nor of how it was expected
to fall. Her father's alarm was unfeigned and
physically prostrating, and he had thought more
than once of making an unconditional surrender
to the police. But the scheme was finally aban-
doned, for he was convinced that not even the
strength of our English prisons could shelter him
/ listened with fixed attention
ON THE LINKS 39
from his pursuers. He had had many affairs with
Italy, and with Italians resident in London, in
the later years of his business ; and these last, as
Clara fancied, were somehow connected with the
doom that threatened him. He had shown great
terror at the presence of an Italian seaman on
board the Red Earl, and had bitterly and re-
peatedly accused Northmour in consequence.
The latter had protested that Beppo (that was
the seaman's name) was a capital fellow, and could
be trusted to the death ; but Mr. Huddlestone
had continued ever since to declare that all was
lost, that it was only a question of days, and that
Beppo would be the ruin of him yet.
I regarded the whole story as the hallucination
of a mind shaken by calamity. He had suffered
heavy loss by his Italian transactions ; and hence
the sight of an Italian was hateful to him,
and the principal part in his nightmare would
naturally enough be played by one of that
" What your father wants," I said, " is a good
doctor and some calming medicine."
"But Mr. Northmour ? " objected your mother.
" He is untroubled by losses, and yet he shares
in this terror."
1 could not help laughing at what I considered
"My dear," said I, "you have told me your-
40 THE PAVILION
self what reward he has to look for. All is fair in
love, you must remember; and if Northmour
foments your father's terrors, it is not at all
because he is afraid of any Italian man, but
simply because he is infatuated with a charming
She reminded me of his attack upon myself
on the night of the disembarkation, and this I
was unable to explain. In short, and from one
thing to another, it was agreed between us, that
I should set out at once for the fisher village,
Graden Wester as it was called, look up all the
newspapers I could find, and see for myself if
there seemed any basis of fact for these continued
alarms. The next morning, at the same hour
and place, I was to make my report to Clara.
She said no more on that occasion about my
departure ; nor, indeed, did she make it a secret
that she clung to the thought of my proximity
as something helpful and pleasant ; and, for my
part, I could not have left her, if she had gone
upon her knees to ask it.
I reached Graden Wester before ten in the
forenoon ; for in those days I was an excellent
pedestrian, and the distance, as I think I have
said, was little over seven miles ; fine walking
all the way upon the springy turf. The village
is one of the bleakest on that coast, which is
saying much : there is a church in a hollow ; a
ON THE LINKS 41
miserable haven in the rocks, where many boats
have been lost as they returned from fishing ;
two or three score of stone houses arranged along
the beach and in two streets, one leading from
the harbour, and another striking out from it at
right angles ; and, at the corner of these two, a
very dark and cheerless tavern, by way of prin-
I had dressed myself somewhat more suitably
to my station in life, and at once called upon the
minister in his little manse beside the graveyard.
He knew me, although it was more than nine years
since we had met ; and when I told him that I
had been long upon a walking tour, and was
behind with the news, readily lent me an armful
of newspapers, dating from a month back to the
day before. With these I sought the tavern,
and, ordering some breakfast, sat down to study
the " Huddlestone Failure."
It had been, it appeared, a very flagrant case.
Thousands of persons were reduced to poverty ;
and one in particular had blown out his
brains as soon as payment was suspended. It
was strange to myself that, while I read these
details, I continued rather to sympathise with
Mr. Huddlestone than with his victims ; so com-
plete already was the empire of my love for my
wife. A price was naturally set upon the banker's
head ; and, as the case was inexcusable and the
42 THE PAVILION
public indignation thoroughly aroused, the un-
usual figure of 750 was offered for his capture.
He was reported to have large sums of money
in his possession. One day, he had been heard
of in Spain ; the next, there was sure intelligence
that he was still lurking between Manchester and
Liverpool, or along the border of Wales ; and
the day after, a telegram would announce his
arrival in Cuba or Yucatan. But in all this there
was no word of an Italian, nor any sign of
In the very last paper, however, there was one
item not so clear. The accountants who were
charged to verify the failure had, it seemed, come
upon the traces of a very large number of
thousands, which figured for some time in the
transactions of the house of Huddlestone ; but
which came from nowhere, and disappeared in
the same mysterious fashion. It was only once
referred to by name, and then under the initials
"X. X."; but it had plainly been floated for
the first time into the business at a period of
great depression some six years ago. The name
of a distinguished Royal personage had been
mentioned by rumour in connection with this
sum. " The cowardly desperado " such, I re-
member, was the editorial expression was sup-
posed to have escaped with a large part of this
mysterious fund still in his possession.
ON THE LINKS 43
I was still brooding over the fact, and trying
to torture it into some connection with Mr.
Huddlestone's danger, when a man entered the
tavern and asked for some bread-and-cheese with
a decided foreign accent.
" Siete Italiano ? " said I.
" SI, signor" was his reply.
I said it was unusually far north to find one
of his compatriots ; at which he shrugged his
shoulders, and replied that a man would go any-
where to find work. What work he could hope
to find at Graden Wester, I was totally unable
to conceive ; and the incident struck so un-
pleasantly upon my mind, that I asked the land-
lord, while he was counting me some change,
whether he had ever before seen an Italian in
the village. He said he had once seen some
Norwegians, who had been shipwrecked on the
other side of Graden Ness and rescued by the
lifeboat from Cauldhaven.
" No ! " said I ; " but an Italian, like the man
who has just had bread-and-cheese."
" What ? " cried he, " yon black-avised fellow
wi' the teeth ? Was he an I-talian ? Weel,
yon's the first that ever I saw, an' I dare say he's
like to be the last."
Even as he was speaking, I raised my eyes,
and, casting a glance into the street, beheld three
men in earnest conversation together, and not
44 THE PAVILION
thirty yards away. One of them was my recent
companion in the tavern parlour ; the other two,
by their handsome, sallow features and soft hats,
should evidently belong to the same race. A
crowd of village children stood around them,
gesticulating and talking gibberish in imitation.
The trio looked singularly foreign to the bleak
dirty street in which they were standing, and the
dark grey heaven that overspread them ; and I
confess my incredulity received at that moment
a shock from which it never recovered. I might
reason with myself as I pleased, but I could not
argue down the effect of what I had seen, and I
began to share in the Italian terror.
It was already drawing towards the close of
the day before I had returned the newspapers at
the manse, and got well forward on to the links
on my way home. I shall never forget that
walk. It grew very cold and boisterous ; the
wind sang in the short grass about my feet ; thin
rain showers came running on the gusts ; and
an immense mountain range of clouds began to
arise out of the bosom of the sea. It would be
hard to imagine a more dismal evening; and
whether it was from these external influences,
or because my nerves were already affected by
what I had heard and seen, my thoughts were as
gloomy as the weather.
The upper windows of the pavilion commanded
The trio looked singularly foreign
ON THE LINKS 45
a considerable spread of links in the direction of
Graden Wester. To avoid observation, it was
necessary to hug the beach until I had gained
cover from the higher sand-hills on the little
headland, when I might strike across, through
the hollows, for the margin of the wood. The
sun was about setting ; the tide was low, and all
the quicksands uncovered ; and I was moving
along, lost in unpleasant thought, when I was
suddenly thunderstruck to perceive the prints of
human feet. They ran parallel to my own course,
but low down upon the beach instead of along
the border of the turf; and, when I examined
them, I saw at once, by the size and coarseness
of the impression, that it was a stranger to me
and to those in the pavilion who had recently
passed that way. Not only so; but from the
recklessness of the course which he had followed,
steering near to the most formidable portions of
the sand, he was as evidently a stranger to the
country and to the ill-repute of Graden beach.
Step by step I followed the prints ; until, a
quarter of a mile farther, I beheld them die away
into the south-eastern boundary of Graden Floe.
There, whoever he was, the miserable man had
perished. One or two gulls, who had, perhaps,
seen him disappear, wheeled over his sepulchre
with their usual melancholy piping. The sun
had broken through the clouds by a last effort,
46 THE PAVILION
and coloured the wide level of quicksands with
a dusky purple. I stood for some time gazing
at the spot, chilled and disheartened by my own
reflections, and with a strong and commanding
consciousness of death. I remember wondering
how long the tragedy had taken, and whether
his screams had been audible at the pavilion.
And then, making a strong resolution, I was
about to tear myself away, when a gust fiercer
than usual fell upon this quarter of the beach,
and I saw, now whirling high in air, now skim-
ming lightly across the surface of the sands, a
soft, black, felt hat, somewhat conical in shape,
such as I had remarked already on the heads of
I believe, but I am not sure, that I uttered a
cry. The wind was driving the hat shoreward,
and I ran round the border of the floe to be
ready against its arrival. The gust fell, dropping
the hat for a while upon the quicksand, and then,
once more freshening, landed it a few yards from
where I stood. I seized it with the interest you
may imagine. It had seen some service ; indeed,
it was rustier than either of those I had seen
that day upon the street. The lining was red,
stamped with the name of the maker, which I
have forgotten, and that of the place of manu-
facture, Fenedig. This (it is not yet forgotten)
was the name given by the Austrians to the
/ seized it with the interest you may imagine
ON THE LINKS 47
beautiful city of Venice, then, and for long after,
a part of their dominions.
The shock was complete. I saw imaginary
Italians upon every side ; and for the first and,
I may say, for the last time in my experience,
became overpowered by what is called a panic
terror. I knew nothing, that is, to be afraid of,
and yet I admit that I was heartily afraid ; and
it was with a sensible reluctance that I returned
to my exposed and solitary camp in the Sea-
There I ate some cold porridge which had
been left over from the night before, for I was
disinclined to make a fire ; and, feeling strength-
ened and reassured, dismissed all these fanciful
terrors from my mind, and lay down to sleep
How long I may have slept it is impossible
for me to guess ; but I was awakened at last by
a sudden, blinding flash of light into my face.
It woke me like a blow. In an instant I was
upon my knees. But the light had gone as sud-
denly as it came. The darkness was intense.
And as it was blowing great guns from the sea
and pouring with rain, the noises of the storm
effectually concealed all others.
It was, I dare say, half a minute before I re-
gained my self-possession. But for two cir-
cumstances, I should have thought I had been
48 THE PAVILION
awakened by some new and vivid form of night-
mare. First, the flap of my tent, which I had
shut carefully when I retired, was now un-
fastened; and, second, I could still perceive,
with a sharpness that excluded any theory of
hallucination, the smell of hot metal and of
burning oil. The conclusion was obvious. I
had been awakened by some one flashing a bull's-
eye lantern in my face. It had been but a flash,
and away. He had seen my face, and then gone.
I asked myself the object of so strange a pro-
ceeding, and the answer came pat. The man,
whoever he was, had thought to recognise me,
and he had not. There was yet another question
unresolved ; and to this, I may say, I feared to
give an answer ; if he had recognised me, what
would he have done ?
My fears were immediately diverted from
myself, for I saw that I had been visited in a
mistake; and I became persuaded that some
dreadful danger threatened the pavilion. It re-
quired some nerve to issue forth into the black
and intricate thicket which surrounded and over-
hung the den ; but I groped my way to the links,
drenched with rain, beaten upon and deafened
by the gusts, and fearing at every step to lay
my hand upon some lurking adversary. The
darkness was so complete that I might have
been surrounded by an army and yet none the
ON THE LINKS 49
wiser, and the uproar of the gale so loud that
my hearing was as useless as my sight.
For the rest of that night, which seemed
interminably long, I patrolled the vicinity of
the pavilion, without seeing a living creature or
hearing any noise but the concert of the wind,
the sea, and the rain. A light in the upper
story filtered through a cranny of the shutter,
and kept me company till the approach of dawn.
50 THE PAVILION
TELLS OF AN INTERVIEW BETWEEN NORTHMOUR,
CLARA, AND MYSELF
WITH the first peep of day, I retired from the
open to my old lair among the sand-hills, there
to await the coming of my wife. The morning
was grey, wild, and melancholy; the wind
moderated before sunrise, and then went about,
and blew in puffs from the shore ; the sea began
to go down, but the rain still fell without mercy.
Over all the wilderness of links there was not a
creature to be seen. Yet I felt sure the neigh-
bourhood was alive with skulking foes. The
light that had been so suddenly and surprisingly
flashed upon my face as I lay sleeping, and the
hat that had been blown ashore by the wind
from over Graden Floe, were two speaking sig-
nals of the peril that environed Clara and the
party in the pavilion.
It was, perhaps, half -past seven, or nearer
eight, before I saw the door open, and that
dear figure come towards me in the rain. I
was waiting for her on the beach before she
had crossed the sand-hills.
ON THE LINKS 51
"I have had such trouble to come!" she
cried. " They did not wish me to go walking
in the rain."
" Clara," I said, " you are not frightened ! "
"No," said she, with a simplicity that filled
my heart with confidence. For my wife was
the bravest as well as the best of women ; in my
experience, I have not found the two go always
together, but with her they did ; and she com-
bined the extreme of fortitude with the most
endearing and beautiful virtues.
I told her what had happened ; and, though
her cheek grew visibly paler, she retained per-
fect control over her senses.
" You see now that I am safe," said I, in con-
clusion. " They do not mean to harm me ; for,
had they chosen, I was a dead man last night."
She laid her hand upon my arm.
" And I had no presentiment ! " she cried.
Her accent thrilled me with delight. I put
my arm about her, and strained her to my side ;
and, before either of us was aware, her hands
were on my shoulders and my lips upon her
mouth. Yet up to that moment no word of
love had passed between us. To this day I
remember the touch of her cheek, which was
wet and cold with the rain ; and many a time
since, when she has been washing her face, I
have kissed it again for the sake of that morning
52 THE PAVILION
on the beach. Now that she is taken from me,
and I finish my pilgrimage alone, I recall our
old lovingkindnesses and the deep honesty and
affection which united us, and my present loss
seems but a trifle in comparison.
We may have thus stood for some seconds
for time passes quickly with lovers before we
were startled by a peal of laughter close at
hand. It was not natural mirth, but seemed
to be affected in order to conceal an angrier
feeling. We both turned, though I still kept
my left arm about Clara's waist ; nor did she
seek to withdraw herself; and there, a few paces
off upon the beach, stood Northmour, his head
lowered, his hands behind his back, his nostrils
white with passion.
" Ah ! Cassilis ! " he said, as I disclosed my face.
" That same," said I ; for I was not at all put
"And so, Miss Huddlestone," he continued
slowly but savagely, " this is how you keep your
faith to your father and to me? This is the
value you set upon your father's life ? And you
are so infatuated with this young gentleman
that you must brave ruin, and decency, and
common human caution "
"Miss Huddlestone " I was beginning to
interrupt him, when he, in his turn, cut in
ON THE LINKS 53
" You hold your tongue," said he ; "I am
speaking to that girl."
" That girl, as you call her, is my wife," said
I ; and my wife only leaned a little nearer, so
that I knew she had affirmed my words.
" Your what ? " he cried. " You lie ! "
" Northmour," I said, " we all know you have
a bad temper, and I am the last man to be
irritated by words. For all that, I propose that
you speak lower, for I am convinced that we are
He looked round him, and it was plain my
remark had in some degree sobered his passion.
" What do you mean ? " he asked.
I only said one word : " Italians."
He swore a round oath, and looked at us,
from one to the other.
"Mr. Cassilis knows all that I know," said
" What I want to know," he broke out, " is
where the devil Mr. Cassilis comes from, and
what the devil Mr. Cassilis is doing here. You
say you are married ; that I do not believe. If
you were, Graden Floe would soon divorce you ;
four minutes and a half, Cassilis. I keep my
private cemetery for my friends."
" It took somewhat longer," said I, " for that
He looked at me for a moment half daunted,
54 THE PAVILION
and then, almost civilly, asked me to tell my
story. " You have too much the advantage of
me, Cassilis," he added. I complied of course ;
and he listened, with several ejaculations, while
I told him how I had come to Graden : that
it was I whom he had tried to murder on the
night of landing ; and what I had subsequently
seen and heard of the Italians.
" Well," said he, when I had done, " it is here
at last; there is no mistake about that. And
what, may I ask, do you propose to do ? "
" I propose to stay with you and lend a hand,"
" You are a brave man," he returned, with a
" I am not afraid," said I.
" And so," he continued, " I am to understand
that you two are married ? And you stand up
to it before my face, Miss Huddlestone ? "
" We are not yet married," said Clara ; " but
we shall be as soon as we can."
" Bravo ! " cried Northmour. " And the bar-
gain ? D n it, you're not a fool, young
woman ; I may call a spade a spade with you.
How about the bargain ? You know as well as
I do what your father's life depends upon. I
have only to put my hands under my coat-tails
and walk away, and his throat would be cut
before the evening."
ON THE LINKS 55
" Yes, Mr. Northmour," returned Clara, with
great spirit ; " but that is what you will never
do. You made a bargain that was unworthy of
a gentleman ; but you are a gentleman for all
that, and you will never desert a man whom
you have begun to help."
" Aha ! " said he. " You think I will give my
yacht for nothing ? You think I will risk my
life and liberty for love of the old gentleman ;
and then, I suppose, be best man at the wedding,
to wind up ? Well," he added, with an odd
smile, " perhaps you are not altogether wrong.
But ask Cassilis here. He knows me. Am I
a man to trust ? Am I safe and scrupulous ?
Am I kind ? "
" I know you talk a great deal, and sometimes,
I think, very foolishly," replied Clara, "but I
know you are a gentleman, and I am not the
He looked at her with a peculiar approval
and admiration ; then, turning to me, " Do you
think I would give her up without a struggle,
Frank ? " said he. " I tell you plainly, you look
out. The next time we come to blows
" Will make the third," I interrupted, smiling.
"Aye, true; so it will," he said. "I had
forgotten. Well, the third time's lucky."
" The third time, you mean, you will have
the crew of the Red Earl to help," I said.
56 THE PAVILION
" Do you hear him ? " he asked, turning to
" I hear two men speaking like cowards," said
she. " I should despise myself either to think
or speak like that. And neither of you believe
one word that you are saying, which makes it
the more wicked and silly."
" She's a trump ! " cried Northmour. " But
she's not yet Mrs. Cassilis. I say no more. The
present is not for me."
Then my wife surprised me.
" I leave you here," she said suddenly. " My
father has been too long alone. But remember
this : you are to be friends, for you are both good
friends to me."
She has since told me her reason for this step.
As long as she remained, she declares that we
two would have continued to quarrel ; and I
suppose that she was right, for when she was
gone we fell at once into a sort of confidentiality.
Northmour stared after her as she went away
over the sand-hill.
" She is the only woman in the world ! " he
exclaimed with an oath. " Look at her action."
I, for my part, leaped at this opportunity for
a little further light.
" See here, Northmour," said I ; "we are all
in a tight place, are we not ? "
" I believe you, my boy," he answered, looking
ON THE LINKS 57
me in the eyes, and with great emphasis. " We
have all hell upon us, that's the truth. You may
believe me or not, but I'm afraid of my life."
"Tell me one thing," said I. "What are
they after, these Italians ? What do they want
with Mr. Huddlestone ? "
"Don't you know?" he cried. "The black
old scamp had carbonaro funds on a deposit
two hundred and eighty thousand ; and of
course he gambled it away on stocks. There
was to have been a revolution in the Tridentino,
or Parma; but the revolution is off, and the
whole wasps' nest is after Huddlestone. We
shall all be lucky if we can save our skins."
"The carbonari!" I exclaimed; "God help
him indeed ! "
" Amen ! " said Northmour. " And now, look
here : I have said that we are in a fix ; and,
frankly, I shall be glad of your help. If I can't
save Huddlestone, I want at least to save the
girl. Come and stay in the pavilion ; and there's
my hand on it, I shall act as your friend until the
old man is either clear or dead. But," he added,
" once that is settled, you become my rival once
again, and I warn you mind yourself."
" Done ! " said I ; and we shook hands.
" And now let us go directly to the fort," said
Northmour; and he began to lead the way
through the rain.
58 THE PAVILION
TELLS OF MY INTRODUCTION TO THE
WE were admitted to the pavilion by Clara, and
I was surprised by the completeness and security
of the defences. A barricade of great strength,
and yet easy to displace, supported the door
against any violence from without ; and the
shutters of the dining-room, into which I was
led directly, and which was feebly illuminated
by a lamp, were even more elaborately fortified.
The panels were strengthened by bars and cross-
bars ; and these, in their turn, were kept in
position by a system of braces and struts, some
abutting on the floor, some on the roof, and
others, in fine, against the opposite wall of the
apartment. It was at once a solid and well-
designed piece of carpentry ; and I did not seek
to conceal my admiration.
" I am the engineer," said Northmour. " You
remember the planks in the garden? Behold
them ! "
" I did not know you had so many talents,"
ON THE LINKS 59
" Are you armed ?" he continued, pointing to
an array of guns and pistols, all in admirable
order, which stood in line against the wall or
were displayed upon the sideboard.
" Thank you," I returned ; "I have gone
armed since our last encounter. But, to tell
you the truth, I have had nothing to eat since
early yesterday evening."
Northmour produced some cold meat, to which
I eagerly set myself, and a bottle of good
Burgundy, by which, wet as I was, I did not
scruple to profit. I have always been an extreme
temperance man on principle ; but it is useless to
push principle to excess, and on this occasion I
believe that I finished three-quarters of the
bottle. As I ate, I still continued to admire the
preparations for defence.
" We could stand a siege," I said at length.
" Ye es," drawled Northmour ; "a very
little one, per haps. It is not so much the
strength of the pavilion I misdoubt ; it is the
double danger that kills me. If we get to
shooting, wild as the country is, some one is sure
to hear it, and then why, then it's the same
thing, only different, as they say : caged by law,
or killed by carbonari. There's the choice. It
is a devilish bad thing to have the law against
you in this world, and so I tell the old gentleman
upstairs. He is quite of my way of thinking.' 1
60 THE PAVILION
" Speaking of that," said I, " what kind of
person is he ? "
"Oh, he!" cried the other; "he's a rancid
fellow, as far as he goes. I should like to have
his neck wrung to-morrow by all the devils in
Italy. I am not in this affair for him. You
take me ? I made a bargain for Missy's hand, and
I mean to have it too."
" That by the way," said I. " I understand.
But how will Mr. Huddlestone take my in-
trusion ? "
" Leave that to Clara," returned Northmour.
I could have struck him in the face for this
coarse familiarity ; but I respected the truce, as,
I am bound to say, did Northmour, and so long
as the danger continued not a cloud arose in our
relation. I bear him this testimony with the
most unfeigned satisfaction ; nor am I without
pride when I look back upon my own behaviour.
For surely no two men were ever left in a
position so invidious and irritating.
As soon as I had done eating, we proceeded
to inspect the lower floor. Window by window
we tried the different supports, now and then
making an inconsiderable change ; and the
strokes of the hammer sounded with startling
loudness through the house. I proposed, I
remember, to make loopholes ; but he told me
they were already made in the windows of the
ON THE LINKS 61
upper story. It was an anxious business this in-
spection, and left me down.-hearted. There were
two doors and five windows to protect, and,
counting Clara, only four of us to defend them
against an unknown number of foes. I com-
municated my doubts to Northmour, who
assured me, with unmoved composure, that he
entirely shared them.
" Before morning," said he, " we shall all be
butchered and buried in Graden Floe. For me,
that is written."
I could not help shuddering at the mention of
the quicksand, but reminded Northmour that
our enemies had spared me in the wood.
" Do not flatter yourself," said he. " Then
you were not in the same boat with the old
gentleman ; now you are. It's the floe for all of
us, mark my words."
I trembled for Clara ; and just then her dear
voice was heard calling us to come upstairs.
Northmour showed me the way, and, when he
had reached the landing, knocked at the door of
what used to be called My Uncles Bedroom, as
the founder of the pavilion had designed it
especially for himself.
" Come in, Northmour ; come in, dear Mr.
Cassilis," said a voice from within.
Pushing open the door, Northmour admitted
me before him into the apartment. As I came
62 THE PAVILION
in I could see the daughter slipping out by the
side door into the study, which had been pre-
pared as her bedroom. In the bed, which was
drawn back against the wall, instead of standing,
as I had last seen it, boldly across the window,
sat Bernard Huddlestone, the defaulting banker.
Little as I had seen of him by the shifting light
of the lantern on the links, I had no difficulty in
recognising him for the same. He had a long
and sallow countenance, surrounded by a long
red beard and side- whiskers. His broken nose
and high cheekbones gave him somewhat the air
of a Kalmuck, and his light eyes shone with the
excitement of a high fever. He wore a skull-cap
of black silk ; a huge Bible lay open before him
on the bed, with a pair of gold spectacles in the
place, and a pile of other books lay on the stand f
by his side. The green curtains lent a cadaverous
shade to his cheek; and, as he sat propped on
pillows, his great stature was painfully hunched,
and his head protruded till it overhung his knees.
I believe, if he had not died otherwise, he must
have fallen a victim to consumption in the course
of but a very few weeks.
He held out to me a hand, long, thin, and
"Come in, come in, Mr. Cassilis," said he.
" Another protector ahem ! another protector.
Always welcome as a friend of my daughter's,
ON THE LINKS 63
Mr. Cassilis. How they have rallied about me,
my daughter's friends ! May God in heaven
bless and reward them for it ! "
I gave him my hand, of course, because I could
not help it ; but the sympathy I had been prepared
to feel for Clara's father was immediately soured
by his appearance, and the wheedling, unreal
tones in which he spoke.
" Cassilis is a good man," said Northmour ;
" worth ten."
" So I hear," cried Mr. Huddlestone eagerly,
" so my girl tells me. Ah, Mr. Cassilis, my sin
has found me out, you see ! I am very low, very
low ; but I hope equally penitent. We must all
come to the throne of grace at last, Mr. Cassilis.
For my part, I come late indeed ; but with un-
feigned humility, I trust."
" Fiddle-de-dee ! " said Northmour roughly.
" No, no, dear Northmour ! " cried the banker.
" You must not say that ; you must not try to
shake me. You forget, my dear, good boy, you
forget I may be called this very night before my
His excitement was pitiful to behold ; and I
felt myself grow indignant with Northmour,
whose infidel opinions I well knew, and heartily
derided, as he continued to taunt the poor sinner
out of his humour of repentance.
" Pooh, my dear Huddlestone ! " said he.
64 THE PAVILION
" You do yourself injustice. You are a man
of the world inside and out, and were up to all
kinds of mischief before I was born. Your con-
science is tanned like South American leather
only you forgot to tan your liver, and that, if
you will believe me, is the seat of the annoy-
" Rogue, rogue ! bad boy ! " said Mr. Huddle-
stone, shaking his finger. " I am no precisian,
if you come to that ; I always hated a precisian ;
but I never lost hold of something better
through it all. I have been a bad boy, Mr.
Cassilis ; I do not seek to deny that ; but it was
after my wife's death, and you know, with a
widower, it's a different thing : sinful I won't
say no ; but there is a gradation, we shall hope.
And talking of that Hark ! " he broke out
suddenly, his hand raised, his fingers spread, his
face racked with interest and terror. " Only
the rain, bless God ! " he added, after a pause,
and with indescribable relief.
For some seconds he lay back among the
pillows like a man near to fainting; then he
gathered himself together, and, in somewhat
tremulous tones, began once more to thank me for
the share I was prepared to take in his defence.
" One question, sir," said I, when he had
paused. "Is it true that you have money with
you ? "
ON THE LINKS 65
He seemed annoyed by the question, but
admitted with reluctance that he had a little.
" Well," I continued, " it is their money they
are after, is it not ? Why not give it up to
them ? "
" Ah ! " replied he, shaking his head, " I have
tried that already, Mr. Cassilis ; and alas that it
should be so, but it is blood they want."
" Huddlestone, that's a little less than fair,"
said Northmour. " You should mention that
what you offered them was upwards of two
hundred thousand short. The deficit is worth a
reference ; it is for what they call a cool sum,
Frank. Then, you see, the fellows reason in
their clear Italian way ; and it seems to them, as
indeed it seems to me, that they may just as
well have both while they're about it money
and blood together, by George, and no more
trouble for the extra pleasure."
" Is it in the pavilion ? " I asked.
"It is ; and I wish it were in the bottom of
the sea instead," said Northmour; and then
suddenly " What are you making faces at me
for ? " he cried to Mr. Huddlestone, on whom I
had unconsciously turned my back. "Do you
think Cassilis would sell you ? "
Mr. Huddlestone protested that nothing had
been farther from his mind.
" It is a good thing," retorted Northmour in
66 THE PAVILION
his ugliest manner. " You might end by weary-
ing us. What were you going to say ? " he
added, turning to me.
" I was going to propose an occupation for the
afternoon," said I. " Let us carry that money
out, piece by piece, and lay it down before the
pavilion door. If the carbonari come, why, it's
theirs at any rate."
" No, no," cried Mr. Huddlestone ; " it does
not, it cannot belong to them ! It should be
distributed pro rat a among all my creditors."
" Come now, Huddlestone," said Northmour,
" none of that."
" Well, but my daughter ! " moaned the
" Your daughter will do well enough. Here
are two suitors, Cassilis and I, neither of us
beggars, between whom she has to choose.
And as for yourself, to make an end of
arguments, you have no right to a farthing, and,
unless I'm much mistaken, you are going to die."
It was certainly very cruelly said; but Mr.
Huddlestone was a man who attracted little
sympathy; and, although I saw him wince
and shudder, I mentally endorsed the rebuke ;
nay, I added a contribution of my own.
" Northmour and I," I said, " are willing
enough to help you to save your life, but not to
escape with stolen property."
ON THE LINKS 67
He struggled for a while with himself, as
though he were on the point of giving way to
anger, but prudence had the best of the con-
" My dear boys," he said, " do with me or my
money what you will. I leave all in your hands.
Let me compose myself."
And so we left him, gladly enough, I am sure.
The last that I saw, he had once more taken up
his great Bible, and with tremulous hands was
adjusting his spectacles to read.
68 THE PAVILION
TELLS HOW A WORD WAS CRIED THROUGH
THE PAVILION WINDOW
THE recollection of that afternoon will always
be graven on my mind. Northmour and I were
persuaded that an attack was imminent ; and if
it had been in our power to alter in any way the
order of events, that power would have been
used to precipitate rather than delay the critical
moment. The worst was to be anticipated ; yet
we could conceive no extremity so miserable as
the suspense we were now suffering. I have
never been an eager, though always a great,
reader ; but I never knew books so insipid as
those which I took up and cast aside that
afternoon in the pavilion. Even talk became
impossible, as the hours went on. One or other
was always listening for some sound, or peering
from an upstairs window over the links. And
yet not a sign indicated the presence of our foes.
We debated over and over again my proposal
with regard to the money ; and had we been in
complete possession of our faculties, I am sure
we should have condemned it as unwise ; but
ON THE LINKS 69
we were flustered with alarm, grasped at a
straw, and determined, although it was as much
as advertising Mr. Huddlestone's presence in
the pavilion, to carry my proposal into effect.
The sum was part in specie, part in bank
paper, and part in circular notes payable to the
name of James Gregory. We took it out,
counted it, enclosed it once more in a despatch-
box belonging to Northmour, and prepared a
letter in Italian which he tied to the handle. It
was signed by both of us under oath, and
declared that this was all the money which had
escaped the failure of the house of Huddlestone.
This was, perhaps, the maddest action ever
perpetrated by two persons professing to be sane.
Had the despatch-box fallen into other hands
than those for which it was intended, we stood
criminally convicted on our own written testi-
mony ; but, as I have said, we were neither of
us in a condition to judge soberly, and had a
thirst for action that drove us to do something,
right or wrong, rather than endure the agony of
waiting. Moreover, as we were both convinced
that the hollows of the links were alive with
hidden spies upon our movements, we hoped
that our appearance with the box might lead to
a parley, and, perhaps, a compromise.
It was nearly three when we issued from the
pavilion. The rain had taken off; the sun
70 THE PAVILION
shone quite cheerfully. I have never seen the
gulls fly so close about the house or approach so
fearlessly to human beings. On the very door-
step one flapped heavily past our heads, and
uttered its wild cry in my very ear.
" There is an omen for you," said Northmour,
who, like all freethinkers, was much under the
influence of superstition. " They think we are
I made some light rejoinder, but it was with
half my heart; for the circumstance had im-
A yard or two before the gate, on a patch of
smooth turf, we set down the despatch -box ;
and Northmour waved a white handkerchief over
his head. Nothing replied. We raised our
voices, and cried aloud in Italian that we were
there as ambassadors to arrange the quarrel ;
but the stillness remained unbroken save by the
sea-gulls and the surf. I had a weight at my
heart when we desisted; and I saw that even
Northmour was unusually pale. He looked
over his shoulder nervously, as though he feared
that some one had crept between him and the
" By God," he said in a whisper, " this is too
much for me ! "
I replied in the same key : " Suppose there
should be none, after all ! "
Northmour waved a white handkerchief
ON THE LINKS 71
" Look there," he returned, nodding with his
head, as though he had been afraid to point.
I glanced in the direction indicated ; and
there, from the northern quarter of the Sea-
Wood, beheld a thin column of smoke rising
steadily against the now cloudless sky.
"Northmour," I said (we still continued to
talk in whispers), "it is not possible to endure
this suspense. I prefer death fifty times over.
Stay you here to watch the pavilion ; I will go
forward and make sure, if I have to walk right
into their camp."
He looked once again all round him with
puckered eyes, and then nodded assentingly to
My heart beat like a sledge-hammer as I set
out walking rapidly in the direction of the
smoke ; and, though up to that moment I had
felt chill and shivering, I was suddenly conscious
of a glow of heat over all my body. The ground
in this direction was very uneven ; a hundred
men might have lain hidden in as many square
yards about my path. But I had not practised
the business in vain, chose such routes as cut at
the very root of concealment, and, by keeping
along the most convenient ridges, commanded
several hollows at a time. It was not long before
I was rewarded for my caution. Coming
suddenly on to a mound somewhat more
72 THE PAVILION
elevated than the surrounding hummocks, I saw,
not thirty yards away, a man bent almost double,
and running as fast as his attitude permitted,
along the bottom of a gully. I had dislodged
one of the spies from his ambush. As soon as I
sighted him, I called loudly both in English
and Italian ; and he, seeing concealment was no
longer possible, straightened himself out, leaped
from the gully, and made off as straight as an
arrow for the borders of the wood.
It was none of my business to pursue ; I had
learned what I wanted that we were be-
leaguered and watched in the pavilion; and I
returned at once, and walking as nearly as pos-
sible in my old footsteps, to where Northmour
awaited me beside the despatch-box. He was
even paler than when I had left him, and his
voice shook a little.
" Could you see what he was like ? " he asked.
" He kept his back turned," I replied.
" Let us get into the house, Frank. I don't
think I'm a coward, but I can stand no more of
this," he whispered.
All was still and sunshiny about the pavilion
as we turned to re-enter it ; even the gulls had
flown in a wider circuit, and were seen flickering
along the beach and sand-hills ; and this loneli-
ness terrified me more than a regiment under
arms. It was not until the door was barricaded
I saw a man running as fast as his attitude permitted
ON THE LINKS 73
that I could draw a full inspiration and relieve
the weight that lay upon my bosom. North-
mour and I exchanged a steady glance ; and I
suppose each made his own reflections on the
white and startled aspect of the other.
" You were right," I said. " All is over.
Shake hands, old man, for the last time."
" Yes," replied he, "I will shake hands ; for,
as sure as I am here, I bear no malice. But
remember, if, by some impossible accident, we
should give the slip to these blackguards, I'll
take the upper hand of you by fair or foul."
" Oh," said I, " you weary me ! "
He seemed hurt, and walked away in silence
to the foot of the stairs, where he paused.
" You do not understand," said he. " I am
not a swindler, and I guard myself; that is all.
It may weary you or not, Mr. Cassilis, I do not
care a rush; 1 speak for my own satisfaction,
and not for your amusement. You had better
go upstairs and court the girl; for my part, I
"And I stay with you," I returned. "Do
you think I would steal a march, even with your
permission ? "
"Frank," he said, smiling, "it's a pity you
are an ass, for you have the makings of a man.
I think I must be fey to-day ; you cannot irritate
me even when you try. Do you know," he
74 THE PAVILION
continued softly, " I think we are the two most
miserable men in England, you and I ; we have
got on to thirty without wife or child, or so
much as a shop to look after poor, pitiful, lost
devils, both ! And now we clash about a girl !
As if there were not several millions in the
United Kingdom ! Ah, Frank, Frank, the one
who loses this throw, be it you or me, he has my
pity ! It were better for him how does the
Bible say ? that a millstone were hanged about
his neck and he were cast into the depth of the
sea. Let us take a drink," he concluded sud-
denly, but without any levity of tone.
I was touched by his words, and consented.
He sat down on the table in the dining-room,
and held up the glass of sherry to his eye.
" If you beat me, Frank," he said, " I shall
take to drink. What will you do, if it goes the
other way ? "
" God knows," I returned.
" Well," said he, " here is a toast in the mean-
time : ' Italia irredenta ! ' '
The remainder of the day was passed in the
same dreadful tedium and suspense. I laid the
table for dinner, while Northmour and Clara
prepared the meal together in the kitchen. I
could hear their talk as I went to and fro, and
was surprised to find it ran all the time upon
myself. Northmour again bracketed us together,
ON THE LINKS 75
and rallied Clara on a choice of husbands ; but
he continued to speak of me with some feeling,
and uttered nothing to my prejudice unless he
included himself in the condemnation. This
awakened a sense of gratitude in my heart,
which combined with the immediateness of our
peril to fill my eyes with tears. After all, I
thought and perhaps the thought was laughably
vain we were here three very noble human
beings to perish in defence of a thieving banker.
Before we sat down to table, I looked forth
from an upstairs window. The day was begin-
ning to decline ; the links were utterly deserted ;
the despatch-box still lay untouched where we
had left it hours before.
Mr. Huddlestone, in a long yellow dressing-
gown, took one end of the table, Clara the other ;
while Northmour and I faced each other from
the sides. The lamp was brightly trimmed ; the
wine was good ; the viands, although mostly
cold, excellent of their sort. We seemed to have
agreed tacitly; all reference to the impending
catastrophe was carefully avoided ; and, con-
sidering our tragic circumstances, we made a
merrier party than could have been expected.
From time to time, it is true, Northmour or I
would rise from table and make a round of the
defences ; and, on each of these occasions, Mr.
Huddlestone was recalled to a sense of his tragic
76 THE PAVILION
predicament, glanced up with ghastly eyes, and
bore for an instant on his countenance the stamp
of terror. But he hastened to empty his glass,
wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, and
joined again in the conversation.
I was astonished at the wit and information
he displayed. Mr. Huddlestone's was certainly
no ordinary character ; he had read and observed
for himself ; his gifts were sound ; and, though
I could never have learned to love the man, I
began to understand his success in business, and
the great respect in which he had been held
before his failure. He had, above all, the talent
of society ; and though I never heard him speak
but on this one and most unfavourable occasion,
I set him down among the most brilliant conver-
sationalists I ever met.
He was relating with great gusto, and seem-
ingly no feeling of shame, the manoeuvres of a
scoundrelly commission-merchant whom he had
known and studied in his youth, and we were all
listening with an odd mixture of mirth and em-
barrassment, when our little party was brought
abruptly to an end in the most startling manner.
A noise like that of a wet finger on the
window-pane interrupted Mr. Huddlestone's
tale ; and in an instant we were all four as white
as paper, and sat tongue-tied and motionless
round the table.
ON THE LINKS 77
" A snail," I said at last ; for I had heard that
these animals make a noise somewhat similar in
" Snail be d d ! " said Northmour. "Hush ! "
The same sound was repeated twice at re-
gular intervals ; and then a formidable voice
shouted through the shutters the Italian word
Mr. Huddlestone threw his head in the air ;
his eyelids quivered ; next moment he fell insen-
sible below the table. Northmour and I had
each run to the armoury and seized a gun.
Clara was on her feet with her hand at her
So we stood waiting, for we thought the hour
of attack was certainly come ; but second passed
after second, and all but the surf remained silent
in the neighbourhood of the pavilion.
" Quick," said Northmour ; " upstairs with
him before they come."
78 THE PAVILION
TELLS THE LAST OF THE TALL MAN
SOMEHOW or other, by hook and crook, and
between the three of us, we got Bernard Huddle-
stone bundled upstairs and laid upon the bed in
My Uncle's Room. During the whole process,
which was rough enough, he gave no sign of con-
sciousness, and he remained as we had thrown
him, without changing the position of a finger.
His daughter opened his shirt and began to wet
his head and bosom ; while Northmour and I ran
to the window. The weather continued clear;
the moon, which was now about full, had risen and
shed a very clear light upon the links ; yet,
strain our eyes as we might, we could distinguish
nothing moving. A few dark spots, more or
less, on the uneven expanse were not to be
identified ; they might be crouching men, they
might be shadows ; it was impossible to be sure.
"Thank God," said Northmour, " Aggie is
not coming to-night."
Aggie was the name of the old nurse ; he had
not thought of her till now ; but that he should
ON THE LINKS 79
think of her at all, was a trait that surprised me
in the man.
We were again reduced to waiting. North-
mour went to the fireplace and spread his hands
before the red embers, as if he were cold. I
followed him mechanically with my eyes, and in
so doing turned my back upon the window. At
that moment a very faint report was audible
from without, and a ball shivered a pane of
glass, and buried itself in the shutter two inches
from my head. I heard Clara scream ; and
though I whipped instantly out of range and
into a corner, she was there, so to speak, before
me, beseeching to know if I were hurt. I felt
that I could stand to be shot at every day and
all day long, with such marks of solicitude for a
reward ; and I continued to reassure her, with
the tenderest caresses and in complete forgetful-
ness of our situation, till the voice of North -
mour recalled me to myself.
" An air-gun," he said. " They wish to make
I put Clara aside, and looked at him. He
was standing with his back to the fire and his
hands clasped behind him ; and I knew by the
black look on his face, that passion was boiling
within. I had seen just such a look before he
attacked me, that March night, in the adjoin-
ing chamber ; and, though I could make every
80 THE PAVILION
allowance for his anger, I confess I trembled for
the consequences. He gazed straight before
him; but he could see us with the tail of his
eye, and his temper kept rising like a gale of
wind. With regular battle awaiting us outside,
this prospect of an internecine strife within the
walls began to daunt me.
Suddenly, as I was thus closely watching his
expression and prepared against the worst, I saw
a change, a flash, a look of relief, upon his face.
He took up the lamp which stood beside him on
the table, and turned to us with an air of some
" There is one point that we must know," said
he. " Are they going to butcher the lot of us,
or only Huddlestone? Did they take you for
him, or fire at you for your own beaux yeux ? "
" They took me for him, for certain," I replied.
" I am near as tall, and my head is fair."
" I am going to make sure," returned North-
mour ; and he stepped up to the window, hold-
ing the lamp above his head, and stood there,
quietly affronting death, for half a minute.
Clara sought to rush forward and pull him
from the place of danger ; but I had the pardon-
able selfishness to hold her back by force.
"Yes," said Northmour, turning coolly from
the window ; "it's only Huddlestone they want."
"Oh, Mr. Northmour!" cried Clara; but
We could see the figure of a man in the moonlight
ON THE LINKS 81
found no more to add ; the temerity she had
just witnessed seeming beyond the reach of words.
He, on his part, looked at me, cocking his
head, with a fire of triumph in his eyes ; and I
understood at once that he had thus hazarded
his life merely to attract Clara's notice, and
depose me from my position as the hero of the
hour. He snapped his fingers.
" The fire is only beginning," said he. " When
they warm up to their work, they won't be so
A voice was now heard hailing us from the
entrance. From the window we could see the
figure of a man in the moonlight ; he stood
motionless, his face uplifted to ours, and a rag
of something white on his extended arm ; and as
we looked right down upon him, though he was
a good many yards distant on the links, we could
see the moonlight glitter on his eyes.
He opened his lips again, and spoke for some
minutes on end, in a key so loud that he might
have been heard in every corner of the pavilion,
and as far away as the borders of the wood. It
was the same voice that had already shouted
" Traditore ! " through the shutters of the dining-
room; this time it made a complete and clear
statement. If the traitor " Oddlestone " were
given up, all others should be spared ; if not, no
one should escape to tell the tale.
82 THE PAVILION
" Well, Huddlestone, what do you say to
that ? " asked Northmour, turning to the bed.
Up to that moment the banker had given no
sign of life, and I, at least, had supposed him to
be still lying in a faint ; but he replied at once,
and in such tones as I have never heard else-
where, save from a delirious patient, adjured and
besought us not to desert him. It was the most
hideous and abject performance that my imagina-
tion can conceive.
" Enough," cried Northmour ; and then he
threw open the window, leaned out into the
night, and in a tone of exultation, and with a
total forgetfulness of what was due to the
presence of a lady, poured out upon the am-
bassador a string of the most abominable raillery
both in English and Italian, and bade him be
gone where he had come from. I believe that
nothing so delighted Northmour at that moment
as the thought that we must all infallibly perish
before the night was out.
Meantime the Italian put his flag of truce
into his pocket, and disappeared, at a leisurely
pace, among the sand-hills.
" They make honourable war," said North-
mour. " They are all gentlemen and soldiers.
For the credit of the thing, I wish we could
change sides you and I, Frank, and you too,
Missy my darling and leave that being on the
ON THE LINKS 83
bed to some one else. Tut ! Don't look shocked !
We are all going post to what they call eternity,
and may as well be above-board while there's
time. As far as I'm concerned, if I could first
strangle Huddlestone and then get Clara in my
arms, I could die with some pride and satisfaction.
And as it is, by God, I'll have a kiss ! "
Before I could do anything to interfere, he
had rudely embraced and repeatedly kissed the
resisting girl. Next moment I had pulled him
away with fury, and flung him heavily against the
wall. He laughed loud and long, and I feared
his wits had given way under the strain ; for
even in the best of days he had been a sparing
and a quiet laugher.
" Now, Frank," said he, when his mirth was
somewhat appeased, "it's your turn. Here's
my hand. Good-bye ; farewell ! " Then seeing
me stand rigid and indignant, and holding Clara
to my side "Man!" he broke out, "are you
angry ? Did you think we were going to die
with all the airs and graces of society ? I took
a kiss ; I'm glad I had it ; and now you can take
another if you like, and square accounts."
I turned from him with a feeling of contempt
which I did not seek to dissemble.
"As you please," said he. "You've been a
prig in life ; a prig you'll die."
And with that he sat down in a chair, a rifle
84 THE PAVILION
over his knee, and amused himself with snapping
the lock ; but I could see that his ebullition of
light spirits (the only one I ever knew him to
display) had already come to an end, and was
succeeded by a sullen, scowling humour.
All this time our assailants might have been
entering the house, and we been none the wiser ;
we had in truth almost forgotten the danger that
so imminently overhung our days. But just
then Mr. Huddlestone uttered a cry, and leaped
from the bed.
I asked him what was wrong.
" Fire ! " he cried. " They have set the house
on fire ! "
Northmour was on his feet in an instant, and
he and I ran through the door of communication
with the study. The room was illuminated by
a red and angry light. Almost at the moment
of our entrance, a tower of flame arose in front
of the window, and, with a tingling report, a
pane fell inwards on the carpet. They had set
fire to the lean-to outhouse, where Northmour
used to nurse his negatives.
" Hot work," said Northmour. " Let us try
in your old room."
We ran thither in a breath, threw up the
casement, and looked forth. Along the whole
back wall of the pavilion piles of fuel had been
arranged and kindled ; and it is probable they
They all burned bravely
ON THE LINKS 85
had been drenched with mineral oil, for, in spite
of the morning's rain, they all burned bravely.
The fire had taken a firm hold already on the
outhouse, which blazed higher and higher every
moment ; the back door was in the centre of a
red-hot bonfire ; the eaves we could see, as we
looked upward, were already smouldering, for
the roof overhung, and was supported by con-
siderable beams of wood. At the same time,
hot, pungent, and choking volumes of smoke
began to fill the house. There was not a human
being to be seen to right or left.
" Ah, well ! " said Northmour, " here's the end,
And we returned to My Uncle '.v Room. Mr.
Huddlestone was putting on his boots, still
violently trembling, but with an air of deter-
mination such as I had not hitherto observed.
Clara stood close by him, with her cloak in both
hands ready to throw about her shoulders, and
a strange look in her eyes, as if she were half
hopeful, half doubtful of her father.
" Well, boys and girls," said Northmour,
" how about a sally ? The oven is heating ; it
is not good to stay here and be baked ; and, for
my part, I want to come to my hands with
them, and be done."
" There is nothing else left," I replied.
And both Clara and Mr. Huddlestone, though
86 THE PAVILION
with a very different intonation, added, "No-
As we went downstairs the heat was excessive,
and the roaring of the fire filled our ears ; and
we had scarce reached the passage before the
stairs window fell in, a branch of flame shot
brandishing through the aperture, and the interior
of the pavilion became lit up with that dreadful
and fluctuating glare. At the same moment
we heard the fall of something heavy and in-
elastic in the upper story. The whole pavilion, it
was plain, had gone alight like a box of matches,
and now not only flamed sky-high to land and
sea, but threatened with every moment to
crumble and fall in about our ears.
Northmour and I cocked our revolvers. Mr.
Huddlestone, who had already refused a firearm,
put us behind him with a manner of command.
" Let Clara open the door," said he. " So, if
they fire a volley, she will be protected. And
in the mean time, stand behind me. I am the
scapegoat ; my sins have found me out."
I heard him, as I stood breathless by his
shoulder, with my pistol ready, pattering off
prayers in a tremulous, rapid whisper; and I
confess, horrid as the thought may seem, I
despised him for thinking of supplications in
a moment so critical and thrilling. In the
mean time, Clara, who was dead white but still
Mr. Huddlestone fell backward on the turf
ON THE LINKS 87
possessed her faculties, had displaced the barri-
cade from the front door; Another moment,
and she had pulled it open. Firelight and
moonlight illuminated the links with confused
and changeful lustre, and far away against the
sky we could see a long trail of glowing smoke.
Mr. Huddlestone, filled for the moment with
a strength greater than his own, struck North-
mour and myself a backhander in the chest ; and
while we were thus for the moment incapacitated
from action, lifting his arms above his head
like one about to dive, he ran straight forward
out of the pavilion.
" Here am I ! " he cried" Huddlestone !
Kill me, and spare the others ! "
His sudden appearance daunted, I suppose,
our hidden enemies ; for Northmour and I had
time to recover, to seize Clara between us, one
by each arm, and to rush forth to his assistance,
ere anything further had taken place. But
scarce had we passed the threshold when there
came near a dozen reports and flashes from every
direction among the hollows of the links. Mr.
Huddlestone staggered, uttered a weird and
freezing cry, threw up his arms over his head,
and fell backward on the turf.
"Traditore! Traditore!" cried the invisible
And just then, a part of the roof of the pavilion
88 THE PAVILION
fell in, so rapid was the progress of the fire. A
loud, vague, and horrible noise accompanied the
collapse, and a vast volume of flame went soaring
up to heaven. It must have been visible at that
moment from twenty miles out at sea, from the
shore at Graden Wester, and far inland from
the peak of Graystiel, the most eastern summit
of the Caulder Hills. Bernard Huddlestone,
although God knows what were his obsequies,
had a fine pyre at the moment of his death.
ON THE LINKS 89
TELLS HOW NORTHMOUR CARRIED OUT
I SHOULD have the greatest difficulty to tell you
what followed next after this tragic circumstance.
It is all to me, as I look back upon it, mixed,
strenuous, and ineffectual, like the struggles of
a sleeper in a nightmare. Clara, I remember,
uttered a broken sigh and would have fallen for-
ward to earth, had not Northmour and I sup-
ported her insensible body. 1 do not think we
were attacked ; I do not remember even to have
seen an assailant ; and I believe we deserted
Mr. Huddlestone without a glance. I only re-
member running like a man in a panic, now
carrying Clara altogether in my own arms, now
sharing her weight with Northmour, now
scuffling confusedly for the possession of that
dear burden. Why we should have made for
my camp in the Hemlock Den, or how we
reached it, are points -lost for ever to my recol-
lection. The first moment at which I became
definitely sure, Clara had been suffered to fall
90 THE PAVILION
against the outside of my little tent, Northmour
and I were tumbling together on the ground,
and he, with contained ferocity, was striking for
my head with the butt of his revolver. He had
already twice wounded me on the scalp ; and it is
to the consequent loss of blood that I am tempted
to attribute the sudden clearness of my mind.
I caught him by the wrist.
" Northmour," I remember saying, " you can
kill me afterwards. Let us first attend to
He was at that moment uppermost. Scarcely
had the words passed my lips, when he had leaped
to his feet and ran towards the tent; and the
next moment, he was straining Clara to his heart
and covering her unconscious hands and face
with his caresses.
" Shame ! " I cried. " Shame to you, North-
mour ! "
And, giddy though I still was, I struck him
repeatedly upon the head and shoulders.
He relinquished his grasp, and faced me in the
" I had you under, and I let you go," said he ;
" and now you strike me ! Coward ! "
" You are the coward," I retorted. " Did she
wish your kisses while she was still sensible of
what she wanted ? Not she ! And now she
may be dying ; and you waste this precious time,
ON THE LINKS 91
and abuse her helplessness. Stand aside, and let
me help her."
He confronted me for a moment, white and
menacing ; then suddenly he stepped aside.
" Help her, then," said he.
I threw myself on my knees beside her, and
loosened, as well as I was able, her dress and
corset ; but while I was thus engaged, a grasp
descended on my shoulder.
" Keep your hands off her," said Northmour
fiercely. " Do you think I have no blood in my
veins ? "
" Northmour," I cried, " if you will neither
help her yourself, nor let me do so, do you know
that I shall have to kill you ? "
"That is better!" he cried. " Let her die
also ; where's the harm ? Step aside from that
girl ! and stand up to fight."
" You will observe," said I, half rising, " that I
have not kissed her yet."
" I dare you to," he cried.
I do not know what possessed me ; it was one
of the things I am most ashamed of in my life,
though, as my wife used to say, I knew that my
kisses would be always welcome were she dead
or living; down I fell again upon my knees,
parted the hair from her forehead, and, with the
dearest respect, laid my lips for a moment on
that cold brow. It was such a caress as a father
92 THE PAVILION
might have given ; it was such a one as was not
unbecoming from a man soon to die to a woman
"And now," said I, "I am at your service,
But I saw, to my surprise, that he had turned
his back upon me.
" Do you hear ? " I asked.
" Yes," said he, " I do. If you wish to fight,
I am ready. If not, go on and save Clara. All
is one to me."
I did not wait to be twice bidden ; but, stoop-
ing again over Clara, continued my efforts to
revive her. She still lay white and lifeless ; I
began to fear that her sweet spirit had indeed
fled beyond recall, and horror and a sense of
utter desolation seized upon my heart. I called
her by name with the most endearing inflections ;
I chafed and beat her hands ; now I laid her head
low, now supported it against my knee ; but all
seemed to be in vain, and the lids still lay heavy
on her eyes.
" Northmour," I said, " there is my hat. For
God's sake bring some water from the spring."
Almost in a moment he was by my side with
" I have brought it in my own," he said. "You
do not grudge me the privilege ? "
" Northmour " I was beginning to say, as J
ON THE LINKS 93
laved her head and breast ; but he interrupted
"Oh, you hush up!" he said. "The best
thing you can do is to say nothing."
I had certainly no desire to talk, my mind
being swallowed up in concern for my dear love
and her condition ; so I continued in silence to
do my best towards her recovery, and, when the
hat was empty, returned it to him, with one word
" More." He had, perhaps, gone several times
upon this errand, when Clara reopened her eyes.
" Now," said he, " since she is better, you can
spare me, can you not ? 1 wish you a good night,
And with that he was gone among the thicket.
I made a fire, for I had no fear of the Italians,
who had even spared all the little possessions left
in my encampment ; and, broken as she was by
the excitement and the hideous catastrophe of
the evening, I managed, in one way or another
by persuasion, encouragement, warmth, and
such simple remedies as I could lay my hand on
to bring her back to some composure of mind
and strength of body.
Day had already come, when a sharp " Hist ! "
sounded from the thicket. I started from the
ground ; but the voice of Northmour was heard
adding, in the most tranquil tones : " Come here,
Cassilis, and alone; I wantto show you something."
94 THE PAVILION
I consulted Clara with my eyes, and, receiving
her tacit permission, left her alone, and clam-
bered out of the den. At some distance off I
saw Northmour leaning against an elder ; and as
soon as he perceived me, he began walking sea-
ward. I had almost overtaken him as he reached
the outskirts of the wood.
" Look," said he, pausing.
A couple of steps more brought me out of the
foliage. The light of the morning lay cold and
clear over that well-known scene. The pavilion
was but a blackened wreck ; the roof had fallen
in, one of the gables had fallen out ; and, far and
near, the face of the links was cicatrised with
little patches of burnt furze. Thick smoke still
went straight upwards in the windless air of the
morning, and a great pile of ardent cinders filled
the bare walls of the house, like coals in an open
grate. Close by the islet a schooner yacht lay
to, and a well-manned boat was pulling vigor-
ously for the shore.
" The Red Earl! " I cried. " The Red Earl
twelve hours too late ! "
"Feel in your pocket, Frank. Are you
armed ? " asked Northmour.
I obeyed him, and I think I must have become
deadly pale. My revolver had been taken from
" You see I have you in my power," he con-
ON THE LINKS 95
tinued. " I disarmed you last night while you
were nursing Clara ; hut this morning here
take your pistol. No thanks ! " he cried, holding
up his hand. " I do not like them ; that is the
only way you can annoy me now."
He began to walk forward across the links to
meet the boat, and I followed a step or two
behind. In front of the pavilion I paused to see
where Mr. Huddlestone had fallen ; but there
was no sign of him, nor so much as a trace of
" Graden Floe," said Northmour.
He continued to advance till we had corne to
the head of the beach.
" No farther, please," said he. " Would you
like to take her to Graden House ? "
" Thank you," replied I ; " I shall try to get
her to the minister's at Graden Wester."
The prow of the boat here grated on the beach,
and a sailor jumped ashore with a line in his
" Wait a minute, lads ! " cried Northmour ;
and then lower and to my private ear: "You
had better say nothing of all this to her," he
"On the contrary," I broke out, "she shall
know everything that I can tell."
" You do not understand," he returned, with
96 THE PAVILION ON THE LINKS
an air of great dignity. " It will be nothing to
her; she expects it of me. Good-bye!" he
added, with a nod.
I offered him my hand.
" Excuse me," said he. " It's small, I know ;
but I can't push things quite so far as that. I
don't wish any sentimental business, to sit by
your hearth a white-haired wanderer, and all that.
Quite the contrary : I hope to God I shall never
again clap eyes on either one of you."
" Well, God bless you, Northmour ! " I said
" Oh, yes," he returned.
He walked down the beach ; and the man who
was ashore gave him an arm on board, and then
shoved off and leaped into the bows himself.
Northmour took the tiller ; the boat rose to the
waves, and the oars between the thole-pins
sounded crisp and measured in the morning air.
They were not yet half-way to the Red Earl,
and I was still watching their progress, when the
sun rose out of the sea.
One word more, and my story is done. Years
after, Northmour was killed fighting under the
colours of Garibaldi for the liberation of the Tyrol.
Printed by BALLANTYNB, HANSON &> Co
at Paul's Work. Edinburgh
PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE
CARDS OR SLIPS FROM THIS POCKET
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY
Stevenson, Robert Louis
The pavilion on the links