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A Child of the Glens by Edward Newenham Hoare

And he at once recognised McAravey


has scared you so, Elsie?" he said, kindly, as he stopped the headlong child; "are you in mischief, and running away from anybody?"

"O Mr. Hendrick, we 've found a drowned lady on the shore, and I 'm running to tell the people; father's with her."

"Where?" cried the reader, quickly.

"In the sandy cove, where we get the sea-wrack."

"Well, Elsie, you run on to McAuley's, and ask him to bring down some spirits in case she might be alive still; and lose no time--there's a good girl."

So saying, Hendrick sprang over the low fence and hurried down the shore. He soon saw through the dusk a tall figure bending over some object on the sand. It rose as he approached, and he at once recognised McAravey. The old man was singularly excited and flurried--far more so than when he had joined Elsie.

"Thank God some one has come!" he cried; "and you 're the very man I 'd like to see."

"Is she quite dead?" said Hendrick, kneeling beside the body.

"Aye, dead enough and stiff," answered the old man; "but see, the tide is almost on us. Let's fetch her up a bit. I did not like to touch her till some one came."

Between them they lifted the body into a place of safety, and then McAravey,

whose agitation had not diminished, said, with affected indifference--

"While we are waiting I 'll just drag up a wee lock of that weed; there is no use letting the tide fetch it away again." So saying, he proceeded to lift in his arms the heaps that were nearest the sea, and to place them beyond the high-water line.

Meanwhile Hendrick had been examining the features of the dead woman, and was startled to recognise one with whom he had conversed only the day before. This was the only important point brought out at the inquest, which took place in a couple of days. Hendrick deposed to having met a woman dressed like the deceased, as far as he could judge, walking on the cliffs past Fair Head. She had asked him about a short cut to Tor Bay by a rocky path which led abruptly down to the shore, and which, she said, she half-remembered. He had warned her that the way was a dangerous one, especially in bad weather. She had laughed, and said she had once been down the Grey Man's Path, and had known the coast well in childhood. She had not told him her business in Tor Bay, but had said they might, perhaps, meet there. Had anything else passed? Yes, he had given her a little tract, as she seemed anxious and troubled. Anything else? No, except that when parting she had asked him the correct time in order to set her watch. Did Hendrick see the watch? No, but he thought she wore a chain, and was certain she had spoken of setting her watch, which she said had gone down. This matter excited some interest, because, though the tract given by Hendrick was found in the pocket of the dress, no watch or chain could be discovered. Had the unfortunate woman been robbed, and then thrown into the sea? Or had the watch and chain been stolen by Mike or the children, who first found the body? Or might they not easily have been lost from the body that had been so long tossed by the waves? Elsie's examination did not tend to clear her of suspicion. Her answers to the preliminary questions as to "the nature of an oath" were somewhat flippant and unsatisfactory. As to the chain, she first spoke positively of having seen it, then hesitatingly, ending by saying she was frightened and knew nothing about it.

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