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sently, or if you ever again dare to come into my presence, I solemnly declare that I will blow your brains out.” The blood rushed to Mr. Merton's face, and he was seized with a fit of temporary stupefaction as he read this extraordinary note. On partially recovering from the confusion with which he had been overwhelmed, he placed the slip of paper in Mr. Norman's hands, observing, "What can be the meaning of this ? My conduct to his wife! I have never spoken to Mrs. Rogers in my life. In fact, I have not the pleasure of knowing her even by sight.”

“Oh! this is intended for me,” groaned Mr. Norman, as he glanced his eyes over the contents of the piece of paper; "this is intended for me; the maid has given it to you by mistake."

Mr. Merton was scarcely less surprised on hearing this, than when he thought the opprobrious epithets and alarming threat were intended for himself. Still he was ignorant of the precise cause of the quarrel between the bibliopolic partners. “ I'll call some other time,” remarked Mr. Merton, taking up his hat to quit the place. “Good morning, Mr. Norman, for the present."

“Good morning,” sighed Mr. Norman.

Just as Mr. Merton was leaving the place, Joseph Jenkins re-entered, thinking the altercation between the two partners would by this time be over.

“Ah! Jenkins, this is a sad business," remarked Mr. Norman, as the other advanced to the desk.

What's a sad business?" inquired Joseph, eagerly.

"Why, this affair of Mrs. Rogers and myself."

“I don't at all understand you.”
“It's a horrible business."
“Pray explain.”

“I may as well; it cannot be concealed any longer. I have been carrying on an improper intimacy with Mrs. Rogers, and Rogers has found one of my letters to her, in which the fact is admitted."

“Ah! that is very awkward, certainly—a very awkward affair."

Joseph's notions of morality since his adoption of infidel principles did not dictate any stronger expression respecting the enormity of the crime of which his friend had avowed himself guilty. Of the crime itself, in fact, he felt no abhorrence at all. When he'spoke of the awkwardness of the affair, he simply alluded to the social and commercial inconvenience which would probably attend the discovery of the seduction of the wife of his friend's partner.

“What's to be done?” inquired Mr. Nor


“ I think,” replied Joseph, "your better way would be to leave the premises immediately, lest Rogers should re-enter, and, in the excitement of the moment, make an attempt on your life."

Mr. Norman took the hint, instantly left the premises, and hurried to his private residence, kept by a very interesting young woman, his own illegitimate daughter. He had not been ten minutes in the house, when he formed the resolution of eloping with Mrs. Rogers. With that view he wrote a cheque for a balance of £550 belonging to the business, then lying in their banker's hands. He immediately despatched a confidential messenger to the city for the purpose of procuring the money. On the arrival of the messenger, however, the answer was, “No effects.” This was unaccountable to Mr. Norman ; as he had himself, on the previous afternoon, added £230 to a former deposit of £320. He leaped into a cab, and hastened to the banker's to obtain an explanation of the mystery. The explanation was given. Mr. Rogers, the moment the bank was opened that morning, presented a cheque for, and of course immediately received, the entire amount. On the same day, it was discovered


that Miss Norman was enciente. Her elopement, the next morning, with Mr. Rogers afforded a clue to the parentage of the unborn infant.

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