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- Thomas Wingfold, Curate V1 - 29/29 -


fishing-boat was lacking, and no fisherman would confess to having gone from that cove. The marks of the boat's keel, and of the men's feet, on the sand, if ever there were any, had been washed out by the tide. It was concluded that the thing had been pre-arranged and provided for, and that the murderer had escaped, probably to Holland. Thereupon telegrams were shot in all directions, but no news could be gathered of any suspicious landing on the opposite coast. There the matter rests, or at least has rested for many weeks. Neither parents, relatives, nor friends appear to have a suspicion of anyone."

"Are there no conjectures as to motives?" asked Helen, feeling with joy her power of dissimulation gather strength.

"No end of them. She was a beautiful creature, they say, sweet-tempered as a dove, and of course fond of admiration--whence the conjectures all turn on jealousy. The most likely thing seems, that she had some squire of low degree, of whom neither parents nor friends knew anything. That they themselves suspect this, appears likely from their more than apathy with regard to the discovery of the villain. I am strongly inclined to take the matter in hand myself."

"We must get him out of the country as soon as possible," thought Helen.

"I should hardly have thought it worthy of your gifts, George," she said, "to turn police-man. For my part, I should not relish hunting down any poor wretch."

"The sacrifice of individual choice is a claim society has upon each of its members," returned Bascombe. "Every murderer hanged, or better, imprisoned for life, is a gain to the community."

Helen said no more, and presently turned homewards, on the plea that she must not be longer absent from her invalid.

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.


Thomas Wingfold, Curate V1 - 29/29

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