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A Child of the Glens by Edward Newenham Hoare

Ho was looking at his watch for the hundredth time


"Aye,

I didn't like that," said Hendrick; "but he is a steady boy, and may do well when the conceit has been taken out of him a wee bit."

"If only a 'wee bit' is taken, there will be what the people call a good little wee lock left. But I sincerely hope, for his own sake, that his pride will be taken out of him. He is insufferable."

CHAPTER VIII.

For the present, at least, Jim was elated with a pardonable pride in his watch, and, after the manner of youths thus recently set up, he looked at it again and again during his walk next morning across the headlands to Ballycastle, where he had to catch the Ballymoney car, thence to proceed to Ballymena by train. Ho was looking at his watch for the hundredth time, and half smiling to himself at his rash and boastful words as to making it the means of discovering his family history, when a sudden thought occurred to him. He looked long and eagerly at the watch, while his pale face flushed up. "I have it," he muttered; "and if I'm right, I shall take down the minister a bit."

It was a long, tedious journey by foot and car and rail that lay before him, and his patience was almost exhausted when he reached his destination. Once arrived, he immediately sat down to write in his humble lodgings. The watch bore the name of the maker, "John Turnwell, Leeds, 7002." Was

it not possible that a record had been preserved, stating when and to whom the watch had been sold. Ho did not know whether such was the practice, but at all events he would inquire. A brief note was soon written and left ready for the morning mail; then the tired and excited lad went to bed, and dreamed of a beautiful lady who said she was his mother, and that his father was a lord, and had been murdered by the repulsive-looking man in the locket; and then a carriage and pair came thundering up to his lodgings, and his employer stood in the hall as he passed down, and congratulated him, and called him "my lord." Then he thought he saw the man in the locket looking at him with hard, cold mouth, and then the face grew smaller till it shrunk into the locket, and it was open on the breast of the dead woman as she lay on the sands; and he saw himself and Elsie standing by the body. In a moment he passed into the little figure, and felt himself turning to call Mike McAravey, as he had done so long ago. The horror of that last vision awoke him. It was late, and he had only time to get his letter posted and to hurry to his office.

But Jim could not rest, till in the course of a few days a letter arrived with the Leeds post-mark. He trembled as he took it in his hand, and then as he read a flush mantled up his face, and he burst into a laugh as he saluted himself in the cheap mirror that adorned the mantelpiece--

"Aw, mi lord! Glad to make your lordship's acquaintance!"

The note ran thus:--

"WATCH AND CLOCK FACTORY, LEEDS,

"August 19, 187--.

"SIR,--In reply to your favour of the 16th inst. we beg to say that we always keep a register of all watches made or sold by us.

"No. 7002, an English lever made by ourselves, appears to have been purchased by Lady Waterham, of Burnham Park, in this neighbourhood, on the 21st of October, 185--.

"We should advise you to communicate at once with her ladyship, who is now at home.


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