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dark, I ftopped to recollect on which fide was the door opening to the lane that I had perceived the day before. Oh! there is no conveying an idea how my foolish heart beat, when, as I stood in this old gloomy place, I heard the rustling of the dried pot herbs, and at length foniething move among them, and foftly, softly, step among the matting; it was the garden cat; she came closer, purring and carefsing me, and I never remember a sensation more welcome than the certainty that my fears had at that moment been excited only by this inoffensive animal. I now acquired compofure enough to find the door; it was fastened, and dread again seized me. I felt about for the bolts, and found them, but could draw only one of them. All my efforts were fruitless with the other, though I applied my whole strength, and I then gave myself up far. loft--for a moment. I was under the neceffity of leaning against the wall to recover my breath, and consider to what expedient I could have recourse. I
thought a stone or an iron tool might affist me, and began, though in almost perfect darkness, to search for one, and fortunately I found in the window, to which the little light without doors guided me, a piece of a broken iron rake. I returned then with better hope to the inexorable bolt, and at length it gave way before my perseverance. The door was open, and I was in the lane.
“ I was again compelled to stop to recover my breath. I looked round me, undetermined which way to go; and in- . deed I had not yet confidered whither to bend my steps if I succeeded in escaping from my prison, the prospect of getting out alone filling my whole mind.
“ My situation was still most distressing-I was alone, unprotected, and a Atranger I had not the least idea which direction it would be safe to take to lead me from my pursuers, and to some place from whence I might find a conveyance to London. But it is, perhaps, only those who have felt themselves in the
power of people they at once dread and despise, who can judge how much less wretched any fituation appeared than it would have been to have remained in the house I had left. I was, I hoped, free from that odious Darnell, and every other evil seemed light. - “ Fortunately I took the way, though by mere chance, that led to a common and in about half an hour I reached a more sandy and beaten tract, which would, I thought, if I followed it, cons duct me to a village or a town. I went on near a 'mile, and approached the end trance of another lane, but I then found it necessary to fit down, for 1 feared that if I fatigued myself too much, I should be overtaken by the inorning light before I could reach any place that might be an asylum against pursuit. It was better to manage my strength, and not to exhaust it all at oncé.
“ I reted myself, therefore, in a sort of hollow way worn by heavy carriages at the entrance of this lane, and listened to the dult night noises, congratulating myself that all was so quiet; for only the bells of a few sheep that fed on the common, and at a great distance the found of a water mill, and now and then the barking of a village watch dog, came in the pauses of the wind, which had now much abat. ed of its violence; but judge, my dear friend, of my apprehension and astonishment, when all at once I heard, and as I thought immediately near me, the yell of human voices, of men and women, either in riotous frolic or drunken contention ;. some laughed, some hooted, others fang or swore, and two or three were quarrelling and uttering words of abuse and menace, I cannot describe what I felt at that moment; I cannot recal it without shuddering. The noise seemed, I thought, approaching
Oh yes, there was no doubt but that it came nearer and nearer, and now it was so near that I could diftinguish oaths, curses, and thireats. How my heart fickened at the dread of fall. ing into such hands! What or who
could they be? and was it of me they were in pursuit ? --Away fled all the fortitude I fancied I had collected and could exert! Terror absolutely deprived me of my breath. Thefe people, for I heard the voices of women among them, were either villagers fent in pursuit of me by Darnell, or they were night ruffians, vagabonds, gipsieș, or some fuch associated marauders; and the very idea of being in the power of such persons was more terrific than that of even Darnell himsels, for of him my contempt abated my apprehension.
I sat still, however, because I had no power to move, and thought that it was. impossible I could escape from this party, of whatsoever persons it was composed; but fortunately they took the way above the excavation of land-rock where I sat, and I crept closer within its crumbling hollows, as I heard them walking immediately above my head. They paf-.. fed ; I listened, and their voices became fainter and fainter, yet I continued to hear