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THE SCHOOL FRIENDS
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON
'DIGBY HEATHCOTE," SHIPWRECKS AND DISASTERS AT SEA," ETC.
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LIMITED
BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
GLASGOW, SIANCHESTER, AND NEW YORK
Mr. W. H. G. KINGSTON'S
TALES OF ADVENTURE IN ALL QUARTERS
OF THE GLOBE.
ADVENTURES IN THE FAR WEST.
With coloured Frontispiece and 36 Illustrations.
With coloured Frontispiece and 40 Illustrations.
ADVENTURES IN AFRICA.
With coloured Frontispiece and 42 Illustrations.
ADVENTURES IN INDIA..
With coloured Frontispiece and 36 Illustrations.
With coloured Frontispiece and 34 Illustrations.
KIDNAPPING IN THE PACIFIC;
OR, THE ADVENTURES OF BOAS RINGDON.
With coloured Frontispiece and 23 Illustrations.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS,
ANCE LOUGHTON and Emery Dulman were
brought up together at Elmerston Grammar-
School. They were both in the upper or sixth
form; but Lance was nearly at the head, while Emery
was at the bottom, of the form. They were general fa-
vourites, though for different causes. Lance was decidedly
best liked by the masters. He was steady, persevering,
and studious, besides being generous, kind-hearted, and
brave-ever ready to defend the weak against the strong,
while he would never allow a little boy to be bullied by
a big one if he could help it. Emery had talents, but
they were more showy than solid. He was good-natured
and full of life and spirits, and having plenty of money,
spent it freely. He was, however, easily led, and had in
consequence done many foolish things, which got him
into trouble, though he managed, on the whole, to main-
tain a tolerably good character.
Lance and Emery were on friendly terms; and Lance,
who thought he saw good qualities in his companion,
4 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
would gladly have won his confidence, but Emery did
not like what he called Lance's lectures, and there was
very little or no interchange of thought between them.
Without it real friendship can scarcely be said to exist.
They were, however, looked upon as school friends, and
certainly Lance would at all times have been ready to
do a friendly act for Emery.
Emery was somewhat of a fine gentleman in his way.
His father was a tradesman in the place, and wished
his son to assist him in his business, but Emery often
spoke of entering the army or one of the liberal profes-
sions. He therefore considered himself equal to those
whose fathers held a higher social grade than his own.
His father's style of life encouraged him in this. Mr
Dulman had a handsome house, and gave dinners and
parties ; and at elections took a leading part, and enter-
tained the proposed member and his friends, and indeed
sometimes talked of entering Parliament himself, and
altogether did a good deal to excite the envy of his less
Emery constantly invited Lance to his house, and
was really flattered when he came; for Lance's father,
who had died when he was very young, was a lieutenant
in the navy; and his widowed mother, though left with
only her pension to depend on, was a lady by birth and
education. Lance, however, very frequently refused
Emery's pressing invitations.
I never met such a stay-at-home fellow as you are,"
exclaimed the latter, when on one occasion Lance had
declined attending a gay party Mr and Mrs Dulman
were about to give. We shall have half the neighbour-
hood present-Mr Perkins, our member, and I don't know
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
how many other grandees-and we want some young
fellows like you, who can dance and da the polite.
Mother says I must get you, for we don't know what to
do for proper partners for the young ladies."
"I should have been happy to make myself useful,"
answered Lance, laughing; "but I am no great dancer,
and my poor mother is so unwell that I cannot leave
Oh, she has got little Maddie Hayward to look after
her, so I will come and get her to let you off."
I beg that you will not make the attempt," answered
Lance, more gravely than he had hitherto spoken. My
mother is seriously ill; besides I have work to do, and
any time I can spare I must devote to her."
Oh, but a little gaiety will do you good, and you can
cheer her up with an account of the party," persisted
Lance was, however, firm, and he returned in a thought-
ful mood to his humble little cottage in the outskirts of
A sweet fair face met him at the jessamine-covered
porch-that of a girl three or four years younger than
himself. It would not have been surprising had he
preferred her society to that of the fine ladies his friend
had spoken of, though he certainly was not conscious
that this had in any degree influenced him.
Madelene Hayward was indeed a lovely young creature,
sweet-tempered and good as she was beautiful. She
was the orphan child of a distant relative of Lieutenant
Loughton. Having been left, when still an infant, utterly
destitute, she had been adopted by the kind-hearted officer
at his wife's earnest wish, and brought up as their daughter,
TIHE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
although their own scanty means might have excused them
in the eyes of the world had they declined the responsi-
Mrs Loughton had devoted herself to Maddie's educa-
tion, and the young girl repaid her with the most tender
love. Some time before this Mrs Loughton's old servant
had married, and Maddie had persuaded her not to en-
gage another in her place, consenting only that a woman
should come in to light the fires and do the rougher
work which she was less able to perform. While Mrs
Loughton was well, she herself attending to what was
necessary, Maddie's duties were not very heavy, but since
her illness they had of necessity much increased.
Though she tried not to let Lance discover how hard
she worked, he knew that her attendance on his mother
must occupy the chief part of her time. His aim was
therefore to relieve her as much as possible. Where
there is a will there is a way. He soon learned to clean
his shoes, and purchasing needles and thread and
worsted, to mend his clothes and darn his socks; and
Maddie was surprised to find one morning that his bed
was made and his room set to rights, when she was sure
that Dame Judkin had not gone into it. She found him
out at last, and reproachfully asked why he had not given
her his torn coat to mend, and a pair of socks which she
had discovered darned in a curious fashion.
"I wanted to try if I could not do it," he answered,
smiling. "Just look at that sleeve-I defy it to tear
again in the same place."
Perhaps so, but as every one can see that there has
been a rent, I shall be accused of being a very bad
tailoress, and I am afraid you will find an uncomfortable
TIlE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
lump in the heel of your socks. Do, dear Lance, bring
the next pair requiring mending to me, and I will find
time to darn them."
Few could fail to admire Madelene Hayward.
How is our mother ? asked Lance, taking her hand,
as he found her waiting for him in the porch of their
She has at last dropped off to sleep; but she has
been in much pain all the day," answered Maddie. And,
O Lance! I sometimes fear that she will not recover.
Yet our lives are in God's hands, and we can together
pray, if He thinks fit, that hers may be preserved for our
sakes-I cannot say for her own, as I am sure, resting on
the merits of Him who died for sinners, she is ready to
go hence to enjoy that happiness He has prepared for
those who love Him."
But, Maddie, do you really think mother is so ill ?"
asked Lance, with an anxious look. I know that when
she is taken, the change to her must be a blessed one;
but, Maddie, what would become of you ? "
He spoke in a tone which showed the grief which
Madelene's announcement had caused him.
I have not thought about myself," she answered
quietly. My wish was to prepare you for what I dread
may occur, and to ask you to join your prayer with mine
that God will in His mercy allow her to remain longer
with us. He can do all things, and the prayer of faith
I am sure it does," said Lance. I will pray with
you. I have too often prayed as a matter of form, but
now I can pray from the bottom of my heart."
The young people lifted up their hearts and voices
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
as they stood together, hand in hand, in the porch, which
was hid by a high hedge from the passers-by.
They noiselessly entered the cottage. Mrs Loughton
was still sleeping. Perhaps even then Lance realized
the fact that Maddie was more to him than any other
being on earth, and he mentally resolved to exert all his
energies to procure the means of supporting her, should
she be deprived of her present guardian.
They sat together in silence lest their voices might
awaken Mrs Loughton. Maddie had resumed her work,
while Lance had placed his books on the table; but his
eyes scarcely rested on them-he was thinking of the
Mrs Loughton at length awoke. She appeared revived
by her sleep, the most tranquil she had enjoyed for many
a day. After this, to the joy of Maddie and her son,
she rapidly got better, and with thankful hearts they saw
her restored to comparative health.
Lance had no foolish pride, but he had refrained from
asking any of his schoolfellows, especially those who, like
Emery, lived in fine houses, to enter his mother's humble
cottage. One day, however, Emery overtook him as he
was returning from home. On reaching the cottage, his
companion pulled out his watch, observing that it was tea-
time, and saying in an off-hand way, "I daresay your
mother will give me a cup, for I am fearfully thirsty."
Lance, without downright rudeness, could not refuse
to ask him in.
The widow received her guest with the courtesy of a
lady, though, more acquainted with the world than her
son, she saw defects in the manners of his companion
which he had not discovered. She was not pleased.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS. 9
either, with the undisguised admiration Emery bestowed
on Maddie, and was very glad when Lance, bringing out
his books, observed, "Now, old fellow, I have got to
study, and you ought to be doing the same, and though
I don't want to turn you out, you will excuse me if I set
Maddie got up to remove the tea-things, and Mrs
Loughton took her work; so that Emery, finding that the
young lady was not likely to listen to his fine speeches,
at length, greatly to their relief, wished them good
EMERY had certainly not received the slightest en-
couragement to pay another visit to his schoolfellow's
abode. He, however, fancied himself desperately smitten
with the beauty of Madelene Hayward, and after this
very frequently sauntered by the cottage, or whenever he
could make an excuse to accompany Lance, he walked
with him towards his home, in the hopes of being again
invited in. Lance, however, sturdily refused to under-
stand his hints, and managed, generally without churlish-
ness, to get rid of him.
-Emery, however, met Maddie one day when out walk-
ing alone, and with a self-assurance of which no gentle-
man would have been guilty, in spite of her evident
annoyance, accompanied her till just before she arrived
Io TIIE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
Lance felt more angry than he had ever before been
when he heard what had occurred, and the next day
cautioned Emery not to repeat the offence, telling him
very plainly that his mother did not wish to see him
again at her cottage.
Emery, who stood somewhat in awe of Lance, looked
foolish; but trying to conceal his vexation, muttered a
sort of apology, and walked hurriedly away.
Emery had some time before made the acquaintance
of a person who had for a year or so been residing at
Elmerston, where he had acted as one of the inferior
agents in the last election contest. Sass Gange had been
a seaman. He was a long-tongued fellow, with an as-
sumed sedate manner, which gained him the credit of
being a respectable man.
Sass having been employed by Mr Dulman, Emery
became acquainted with him, and he had ever since taken
oains to gain the confidence of the lad, with considerable
success. Emery always found himself a welcome guest
at Sass Gange's lodgings, when the old sailor was wont
to indulge him in a pipe of tobacco and a glass of ale,
while he spun long yarns about his adventures at sea.
After leaving Lance, Emery made his way to Sass
What is up now, Master Emery ?" asked the old
sailor as the lad threw himself into an arm-chair before
the fire. "You look out of sorts somehow."
With good reason too, I should think," exclaimed
Emery. I have taken it into my head to admire a
beautiful young creature; and though my father is rolling
in wealth, and I suppose I shall come in for a good
share of it one of these days, I have just been told that
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
I must keep away from the house, and if they had their
will, never see her again."
"Well, take a blow, lad, and it will calm your spirits,
and we will then talk the matter over," said old Sass,
handing a pipe which he had just charged, and filling up
a tumbler with ale.
Now tell me all about it."
Emery gave his own version of what had just oc-
Don't be cast down, Master Emery," said old Sass,
"I will help you if I can. I have no reason to love that
young Loughton, and he is at the bottom of it, depend
upon that. If she was his sister, he would not be so
very particular; but that's not what I was going to say.
I once served under Lieutenant Loughton, and, thanks
to him, my back more than once got a scoring which it
has not forgotten yet. I vowed vengeance, but had no
opportunity of getting it; and as the lieutenant is gone,
why, I shall have a pleasure in paying the son what I
owed the father. We must bide our time, though; but
it will come if we are on the watch, depend upon that."
Emery, instead of being shocked at these remarks,
listened to them eagerly.
The rest of the conversation need not be repeated.
I must go now," said Emery, for we have a grand
party at our house to-night, and I must be at home in
time to dress.
Mr Dulman's party was the grandest he had evei
given. The member for the borough with all his family
was there, and he had persuaded a number of his friends
to come and honour Mr Dulman, by whose means he had
gained his election. All the magnates of the town were
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
also present, so that Elmerston had never before seen a
more brilliant assemblage.
Mr Dulman exerted himself to the utmost to make
the party go off well, and poor Mrs Dulman did her best,
though she always felt overwhelmed with the responsi-
bilities of the new position in which she was placed, and
awed by the great people. Emery, though not a bad-
looking young man, felt too much abashed to appear
to advantage, in spite of his off-hand manner among his
ordinary associates; and though he made many efforts to
do the polite to his father's guests, he as often failed from
awkwardness, and would have felt much happier smoking
his pipe and drinking beer with old Sass.
During the evening, as Mr Dulman went into the hall,
a letter was put into his hand by a messenger who had
been waiting to see him. He retired to a corner to read
it. His usually ruddy countenance turned deadly pale.
He hurriedly thrust it into his pocket.
I will attend to the matter to-morrow," he said, in
as firm a voice as he could command. It's impossible
to do so now."
He went to the supper-room, and rapidly drinking off
three or four glasses of wine, hastened back to his guests.
Many of them, however, remarked his agitated and ab-
sent manner, while some of his acquaintances observed
that old Dulman had been over-fortifying himself for his
As soon as his guests were gone he shut himself up
in his room, and spent the remainder of the night, with
the fatal letter before him, making calculations. Before
the rest of the family were up he had left the house, and
was off by the first train to London.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
The next day it was whispered that Mr Dulman, who
was known to have speculated largely in railway shares,
was ruined. People said that he had only love of
ostentation to thank for what had occurred, and tew
His fine house and furniture were sold, but his estate
did not yield a penny in the pound.
Ashamed of again showing his face at Elmerston, he
sailed for Australia, leaving his wife and younger children
living in a mean cottage in the neighbourhood, a small
allowance having been made to them by the creditors,
while Emery was sent to seek his fortune in London.
About the same time Sass Gange, for reasons best
known to himself, finding it convenient to leave the
town, went up also to London, where, with the character
of a highly respectable and confidential man, through
the influence of some of his political friends, he obtained
a situation as porter in the large West End draper's esta-
blishment of Messrs Padman & Co. Sass was not a
man to allow his talents to remain under a bushel. By
means of his persuasive eloquence, he soon induced the
confiding Mr Padman to place the most unbounded
confidence in his honesty and devoted attention to busi-
ness. When the cash received during the day was sent
to the bank by one of the clerks, Sass was invariably
ordered to follow, to be ready to assist him should he
be waylaid by pickpockets, and to see that he faithfully
deposited the amount as directed. Sass did not know
how much was carried, but he guessed that at times it
must be a considerable sum.
J4 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
SASS GANGE had been for some time in the employment
of Messrs Padman, when one day as he entered the shop
he saw behind the counter his former Elmerston acquaint-
ance, Emery Dulman, busilyengaged in serving a customer.
Emery did not recognize him, nor did he just then wish
to be recognized, so he passed quickly on to deliver the
parcels he had just brought in. He observed, however,
that Emery was even better dressed than usual-that he
wore a fashionably-cut black suit, a neck-cloth of snowy
whiteness, a gold ring on his finger, and a somewhat
large gold watch-chain, ostentatiously exhibited. As he
was repassing, Emery looked up, when Sass gave him an
almost unperceived wink, and turning away his head,
I hope that he will have the sense not to tell any one
that we are acquainted," he thought. I must let him
know where I live, and he will soon be coming to have
a talk over old times."
Sass might have been pretty sure that Emery was not
likely to tell any one that they were acquainted; indeed,
that young gentleman's chief pleasure was boasting to
his new associates of his highly-connected and fashion-
able friends, and bewailing the hard fate which had com-
pelled him to become a draper's assistant. Some were
inclined in consequence to treat him with respect, but
many of the older hands laughed at his folly, and having
discovered who his father was, observed that he was
fortunate in obtaining so good a situation in a business
for which he ought to be well suited.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
Sass soon found an opportunity of letting Emery Know
where he lived, and the next day received a visit from
him, when the usual pipe and ale were prepared for his
Curious that we should meet again, Master Emery,
in this big city," observed Sass. We all have our ups
and downs,' and you have had one of the downs' lately,
so it appears. Well, I have had them in my time. I
never told you that I got my education, such as it is, at
Elmerston Grammar-School, and I might have been a
steady-going burgess, with pink cheeks and a fat paunch,
if I had stuck to business. But I had no fancy for that
sort of life; so one morning, taking French leave of
school, and father and mother, and brothers and sisters,
I went off to sea. When I came back some years after-
wards, all who were likely to care for me were dead or
scattered; so I set off again, and knocked about in all
parts of the world till about two or three years ago, when,
having a little money in my pocket, and thinking I
should like a spell on shore, I found my way back to the
old place. I made myself useful, as you know, to the
grandees; and as I did not wish to go to sea again just
then, one of them got me this situation. Though I can't
say it's much to my taste, I intend to stick to it as long
as it suits me."
"I don't see anything very tempting in the life you
have led," observed Emery.
I have not told you much about its pleasures, the
curious countries I have visited, and the strange adven-
tures I have met with," answered Sass. For my part,
I would not have missed them on any account." "When
you come to hear about them, you will have a fancy for
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
setting off too, or I am much mistaken. With a young
companion like you I should not mind taking another
trip, and enjoying myself for a few years more afloat, in-
stead of leading the dull life you and I are doomed to in
Such was the style of conversation with which the old
rogue entertained his credulous young guest. The ad-
ventures he described were highly entertaining, garnished
as they were by his fertile imagination, and Emery began
to wonder how he could consent to remain on shore
when so delightful an existence might be led by going
off to sea.
Emery, however, had not got over his fancy for trying
to assume the airs of a fine gentleman. On Sundays,
though he went with his employer's family and the rest of
the young men in the establishment to church, as soon as
dinner was over it was his delight to saunter out into the
Park, and loll over the railings round the drive with a
gold-headed cane in his hand, watching the gay people
as they drove past in their carriages. Occasionally he
would lift his hat as if returning a bow from a lady, or he
waved his hand as if recognizing a gentleman acquaint-
ance. Some might have considered him only foolish;
but he was undoubtedly acting a lie, and trying to deceive
those around him. He was besides wasting time given
ior higher purposes.
Unhappily, not only such as he, but many others waste
time, without for a moment considering their guilt, and
that they will some day be called to account for the way
in which every moment of their lives has been spent.
In time Emery formed a number of acquaintances,
mostly silly lads like himself, and inclined to consider
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
him a remarkably fine fellow; several were vicious, and
they, as vicious people always wish to make others like
themselves, tried to induce him to accompany them to
see something, as they called it, of London life. He at
first feebly declined, but at length yielded ; and though
such scenes, it must be said to his credit, were not to his
taste, he was over-persuaded again and again, and soon
found that the greater part of his wages were spent at
theatres, dancing-rooms, and other places to which he
and his companions resorted. His employer, finding
that he was out late at night, spoke to him on the sub-
ject. He excused himself with a falsehood, saying that
he had gone to visit a friend of his father's, who had just
come up to town, promising that he would not again
break through the rules of the establishment. After this
he was very exact in his conduct, and again, in con-
sequence, rose in the estimation of his employer. He
had, indeed, an attraction to keep him at home. Mr
Padman possessed a daughter, a pretty, good-humoured
young lady; and though she was considerably older than
Emery, he took it into his head that she was not in-
sensible to his personal appearance and gentlemanly
manners. Whenever he had an opportunity, he offered
his services to attend on her; and as he made himself
useful, and he was quiet and well-behaved, they were
frequently accepted, while Miss MadeFene Hayward was,
happily perhaps, soon forgotten.
Thus a year or more went by. Poor Emery might
under proper guidance have become a useful member of
society, as all people are who do their duty in the station
of life for which they are fitted; but he wanted what no
one can do without-right religious and moral principles.
S8 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
MR DULMAN did not fall alone. The bank at Elmerston,
which had made him large advances, got into difficulties,
and though its credit was bolstered up for some time, it
ultimately failed, and many of the people in the place
suffered. Among others of small means who had cause
to mourn the wicked extravagance and folly of their
ambitious townsman, was Mrs Loughton. Some cursed
him in their hearts, loudly exclaiming against his extra-
vagance, which had brought ruin on themselves and
their families. Mrs Loughton bore her loss meekly.
The sum of which she had been deprived she had saved
up, by often depriving herself of necessaries, to assist in
starting her dear Lance in life. This was indeed a great
trial. Lance entreated her not to mourn on his account.
He was not even aware that she had saved so much
money, and only regretted that she should not have it to
benefit herself and Maddie. He had for long deter-
mined to go forth into the world, trusting, with God's
help, to his own industry and perseverance to make his
way. He was ready to take any situation which offered,
or to do anything which was thought advisable. All he
desired was to perform his duty in that station of life
to which he might be called, and to be able to assist his
mother and Maddie. To secure their happiness and
comfort was his great aim; for himself, independent of
them, he had no ambition. He was aware that talent,
such as his master considered he possessed, with honesty,
industry, and zeal, must, should he get his foot on the
ladder, enable him to rise higher. Still, metaphorically
71IE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
speaking, he was content to secure his position on the
ground where he stood, while he refrained from withdraw-
ing his attention, by looking up at the prize at the top.
By thinking only of the prize, and not duly employ-
ing the means to obtain it, many a man has slipped off
the ladder, and, crushed by his fall, has failed again to
reach it," the Doctor observed to him one day. Go on
as you propose, my boy, and never trouble yourself about
the result ; God blesses honest efforts when His assistance
is sought. I do not advise you to remain at Elmerston.
Seek your fortune in London. You may have a much
harder struggle to endure than you would here, but you
will come off victorious, and gain ultimately a respectable
Such was the tenor of the remarks of his late master
to Lance, during a visit he paid him, after he had left
school. His mother agreed with what had been said.
I should grieve to part with you, Lance; but as I am
sure it will be for your advantage, it must be done, and
we shall have the happiness of seeing you down here
when you can get a holiday."
"That will indeed be great !" murmured Maddie, who
had not before spoken.
She was in the habit of looking at the bright side of
things, and thought more of the joyful meeting than of
the long, long time they must be separated.
I will write to your uncle Durrant, and ask him what
he can do," continued Mrs Loughton. "My brother is
kind and generous, and though he has a large family,
and I fear his salary from the Government office he holds
is but small, yet I am sure he will do his utmost to assist
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
I ought to be at work without delay, mother," said
Lance; so pray write as you propose to unclq Durrant."
He cast a glance at Maddie, and added, I 'U do my
best to employ my time profitably while I am at home.
You know that I am happier here than I can be any.
"Yes," said Maddie, I am sure there is no happier
place than this."
The letter to Mr Durrant was written, and while wait-
ing for an answer, Lance spent much of the time not occu-
pied in study in the garden, very frequently with Maddie
as his companion. He had from his boyhood been ac-
customed to cultivate it, and he was anxious to leave it
in the most perfect order possible. It was pleasant to
sit reading with Maddie by his side, but pleasanter still
to be working in the fresh air among sweet flowers, re-
ceiving such assistance as she could give, and talking
cheerfully all the time.
The expected answer from Mr Durrant came in the
course of a few days. I lost no time in looking for a
situation for Lance, and I was able, from the report I
received from the Doctor, to speak confidently of him,"
he wrote. I have obtained one in the office of my
friend Mr Gaisford, a highly respectable solicitor in
the city, who, knowing Lance's circumstances, will
attend to his interests, and advance him according to
It appears very satisfactory, and we should be truly
grateful to your uncle," observed Mrs Loughton. "You
are to go to his house. You will have a long walk into
London every day, but that, he says, will be good for you.
He does not speak about salary, but as, from what I
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
understand, you are to take up your abode with him, I
hope that you will receive sufficient to repay him."
I would rather live in a garret on bread and water,
than be an expense to my uncle, who can with difficulty
support his large family," observed Lance; "and so I
will thankfully take any office where I can get enough to
maintain myself, even in the most humble way "
Well, well, dear Lance, your uncle and I will settle
that," said Mrs Loughton. He wishes you to go up the
day after to-morrow."
"So soon?" exclaimed Maddie; "his things will
scarcely be ready."
I must not delay a day longer than can be helped,'
said Lance firmly; I am eager to begin real work,
whatever that may be."
"You will always do what is right," said Maddie.
" And I will ask Mrs Judkin to come and help me
iron your things," and she ran out of the room, it
might possibly have been to hide the tears rising in her
Maddie was still very young; she had not before
parted from Lance, even for a day, and had as yet experi-
enced none of the trials of life. She would have felt the
same had Lance been her brother; she scarcely recog-
nised the fact that he was not.
The day of parting came. Mrs Loughton was unable
to leave the house. She clasped her boy to her heart,
and blessed him, committing him to the charge of One
all able and willing to protect those who confide in His
love. Maddie, attended by Mrs Judkin, whose husband
wheeled his portmanteau, accompanied Lance to the
railway station, and her last tender, loving glance still
22 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
seemed following him long after the train had rushed off
along its iron way.
Perhaps now for the first time he realized how com-
pletely his future hopes of happiness depended on her.
With manly resolution, and firm confidence in the good-
ness of God, he prepared, as he had often said he would,
to do his duty.
He safely reached his uncle's house, where he received
a kindly welcome from his aunt and a number of young
cousins. They looked at him approvingly; he was
likely to become a favourite with them.
I think you will get on with Gaisford," said his uncle
after the conclusion of dinner. He is an honest man,
and a Christian, and feels that he has responsibilities
which many are not apt to acknowledge. I will say no
more about him. You tell me you wish to do your duty;
and therefore all I can say to you is, to try and ascertain
what that duty is, and to do it."
At an early hour the next morning Mr Durrant
accompanied his nephew to Mr Gaisford's office. The
principal had not arrived. His head clerk scrutinised
Lance from under his spectacles for a few seconds.
Apparently satisfied, his countenance relaxed.
We can find work for him," he observed, after Lance
had been duly introduced; "and as you have to be at
your office you can leave him here, and the time need not
hang heavily on his hand till Mr Gaisford arrives."
Mr Durrant, promising to call for his nephew on his
way home, hurried off.
Lance had at once a draft placed before him to copy.
He wrote a clear, bold hand, Mr Brown, the head clerk,
watched him for a minute.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
"That will do-go on," he said, and returned to his
The draft was finished just as Mr Gaisford arrived.
The clerk took it in his hand, telling Lance to follow him
to their principal's room. While introducing him, he
placed it on the table, and withdrew.
Mr Gaisford, a middle-aged man, slightly grey, with
a pleasant expression of countenance, having glanced
over the paper, turned round and addressed Lance
Sit down," he said. Your uncle has told me some-
thing about you, but I should like to hear more. Where
were you at school ?"
Lance told him.
"You were the head boy, I understand."
He then asked what books he had read, and a variety
of other questions, to which Lance answered modestly
and succinctly. He then handed the paper back to
Lance, to give it to Mr Brown, who would find him some-
thing more to do.
"This is written as well as it could be," he observed.
" I always like to have my work well done, and I can
depend upon your doing it to the best of your ability."
That is what I wish to do," said Lance, taking the
paper and bowing as he left the room.
He had plenty of work during the morning. .Mr
Brown asked him to come out and take a chop with him
at one o'clock.
The head clerk was never long absent from the office,
as he might be wanted, and he made it a rule never to
keep clients waiting longer than he could help.
"Time is money, my young friend," he observed.
TIE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
" We should never squander other people's time more
than our own."
Lance worked hard till his uncle arrived just at the
usual hour for closing the office. Mr Gaisford had gone
away some time before.
He has done very well, sir," observed Mr Brown as
Mr Durrant entered; "and what is more, I feel sure he
will do as well every day he is here."
He and his uncle walked home together. Mr Durrant
told him that his employer promised to give him a salary
at once should the head clerk make a favourable report
"That he will do that, I am confident, from what he
Lance felt very happy, and wrote home in good spirits,
giving a satisfactory account of the commencement of his
career in London.
He generally accompanied his uncle to and from the
office, but he soon learned to find the way by himself.
He always went directly there and back, refraining from
wandering elsewhere to see the great city which to him
was still an unknown land. He was very happy in his
new home, and on his return each day he was greeted
by his young cousins with shouts of pleasure. Lance
was never tired of trying to amuse them.
With intense satisfaction Lance received his first
quarter's salary. He took it immediately to his uncle.
"This should be yours, sir," he said, though I fear
it is not sufficient to repay you for the expense to which
you have been put on my account."
His uncle smiled.
"I think you must settle that with your aunt; and if
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS. 25
she finds her household expenses much increased, you
shall pay the difference: to the room you occupy you
Lance received back the greater portion of the sum he
placed in his aunt's hands, and immediately forwarded it
to his mother.
The balance from next quarter, however, was somewhat
less, as he had to pay for a few articles of clothing. His
mother begged that he would not send her any more, as
she was sure he would soon require considerable additions
to his wardrobe. He, however, resolved to be very
economical, and with the assistance of Mr Brown, who
knew where everything was to be got the cheapest and
best, he found that he still had a fair sum left to forward
for the use of the loved ones at Elmerston.
Pay ready money," observed his friend the clerk.
" Owe no man anything; it's a golden rule, and assists
to give a good digestion in the day, and sound sleep at
Some time after this Mr Gaisford sent for Lance into
his room, and put a document into his hand.
Here, my young friend," he said, are your articles.
Your mother is a widow with limited means, and has,
moreover, not only brought you up well, but supported
an orphan relative, so I understand. Such as she has
claims on one like me, who am a bachelor with an ample
fortune. Such claims I must recognize, for I am sure
God does, whatever the rest of the world may think. I
say this to set you at your ease about the matter. You
have done your duty hitherto, and I am sure you will
continue to do it. Your salary will bc increased from
the commencement of this quarter."
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
Lance's heart was too full to thank his kind bene-
factor as he wished. He tried to express his gratitude;
at all events, Mr Gaisford understood him.
From that time forward it was evident that he rose
still more in the estimation of one who was a keen judge
LANCE had been more than a year in London, and
having been frequently sent with papers to clients in all
directions, he learned his way about the City and West
During the first autumn vacation, as it was soon after
his arrival, he had not gone home. He was looking
forward to a visit before the close of the following
summer. He kept up, however, a frequent correspondence
with his mother and Maddie. His greatest pleasure
was receiving their letters.
Mr Brown continued his friend, as at first, and took
pains to initiate him into the mysteries of his profession.
He was one evening in the West End, near the Park,
having been sent after office hours to a client's house
with the draft of a will. He had performed his com-
mission, and had just left the house, when he encountered
a young man, dressed in the height of the fashion, with
a gold-headed cane in his hand. The other stopped and
looked at him, exclaiming as he did so-
Upon my word, I believe you are Lance Loughton I"
and Lance recognized his former schoolfellow.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
What Dulman ?" he said, unconsciously scanning
him from head to foot. I did not know what had
become of you; I thought you were engaged in business
Hush, hush, my dear fellow let me ask you not
to call me by that odious name. I am Emery Delamere
on this side of Temple Bar. I had been sent to call on
a lady of fashion about a little affair of my employers,
and embraced the opportunity of taking a stroll in the
Park, in the hopes of meeting some of my acquaintances.
You, I conclude, are bound eastward ; so am I. We will
proceed together, though I wish you had got rid of a
little more of your rustic appearance. And now tell me
all about yourself. Where are you ? Who are you
employed with ? What are your prospects ?"
As soon as Emery's rattling tongue would allow him to
answer, Lance briefly gave him the information he asked
"Very good, better than I had thought, for I am
inclined to envy you. At the same time, the dull
existence you are compelled to lead would not have suited
my taste. However, you were always better adapted
to plodding work than I am," he answered, with a slight
degree of envy in his tone. But I suppose you have
managed to see something of London life; if not, let me
have the pleasure of initiating you. What do you say,
shall we go to the theatre? I have tickets for the
Haymarket, but it's a dull house, I prefer Drury Lane;
and though I ought to be in at ten o'clock according to
rule, I can easily explain that I was detained by Lady
Dorothy, and had to wait for an omnibus."
I am much obliged to you for your kind intentions,
28 TIE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
but I have no wish to go to a theatre, and beg that you
will not on my account be late in returning home, and
especially that you will not utter a falsehood as your
Falsehood that's a good joke," exclaimed Emery;
" you use a harsh term. We should never be able to
enjoy ourselves without the privilege of telling a few
white lies when necessary, ha ha! ha! Why, my dear
Lance, you seem as ignorant of the world as when you
were at Elmerston."
I knew the difference between right and wrong, as I
do now," answered Lance gravely, and I regret to hear
you express yourself as you are doing. I was in hopes
that the misfortunes you met with would have tended to
give you more serious thoughts. Excuse me for saying
so, but I speak frankly, as an old friend, and I pray
that you may see things in their true light."
Really, Lance, you have become graver and more
sarcastic than ever," exclaimed Emery, not liking the
tenor of his companion's remarks. "I only wished to
find some amusement for you ; and since you don't wish
to be amused, I will not press you further to come with me.
I myself do not care about going to the theatre, and
will walk home. with you as far as our roads run
Lance thanked him, and hoping to be able to speak
seriously to him of the sin and folly of the conduct he
appeared to be pursuing, agreed to his proposal.
Though Emery would rather have had a better dressed
companion, yet recouicting that Lance was a gentleman
by birth, he felt some satisfaction in being in his society;
for notwithstanding his boastings of the fashionable friends
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
he possessed, he knew perfectly well that none of those
whose acquaintance he casually made were real gentle-
You appear to be better off than I am in some
respects, Lance," he observed. "For though I stand high
in the opinion of my employer, and, I flatter myself, still
higher in that of his daughter, a very charming girl I can
assure you, they are not equal in social position to your
relatives ; and as you know, my desire has always been
to move in a good circle, and maintain a high character
among the aristocracy."
Though Lance could not help despising the folly of
poor Emery, he felt real compassion for him as he con-
tinued to talk this sort of nonsense.
Now, Emery," he said, we have been schoolfellows,
and you will excuse me for speaking freely .to you.
Would it not be wiser to accept the position in which
you are placed, to work on steadily to gain a good name
among those with whom you are associated, instead of
aping the manners and customs of people who enjoy
wealth and undoubtedly belong to a higher social grade
than you do. You will be far more respected, even by
them, if you are known to be looked up to by those of
your own station in life. I speak from experience : I am
treated with kindness and attention, not only by all the
clerks in the office, and their friends whom I occasionally
meet, but by the head clerk himself, not because I am
the son of a naval officer, but simply because I work
hard, and try to do whatever work is given me as well
as possible. Besides, my old friend, we should have a
higher motive for all our actions. Remember God sees
us; and though we may give our earthly masters eye-ser-
30 TI'E SCHOOL FRI1EDS.
vice, we cannot deceive Him. Yet we should be influenced
by a higher motive than that, not by fear alone, but by
love and gratitude to Him who has given us life and
health, and all the blessings we enjoy, and the promise
of everlasting happiness if we will accept the offer He so
graciously makes us, and become reconciled to Him,
through faith in the great sacrifice-His Son offered upon
the cross for us, His rebellious and disobedient creatures.
Pray seek for grace to realise the great fact that we are
by nature and conduct rebels, vile and foul-that if trust-
ing to our own strength, we are in the power of our great
enemy Satan, who is always trying to lead us astray-and
that we have no claim whatever to God's love and pro-
tection while here on earth, or to enjoy the happiness of
heaven when we leave this world-that there is but one
state of existence for which, if we die in rebellion, we can
be fitted, that is, to associate for ever with the fallen
angels justly cast out from His glorious presence."
Lance spoke with deep earnestness, holding Emery
tightly by the arm. He might never, he felt, have another
opportunity of putting the truth before him.
Emery suddenly snatched his arm away.
I really don't like the sort of things you have been
saying," he exclaimed, and I don't know what authority
you have for talking to me thus. I did not know what
you were driving at when you began to talk, or I should
not have listened so patiently, I can tell you. I asked
you in a friendly way to come and enjoy a little harmless
amusement with me, and you in return first give me a
grave lecture, such as some one might expect from a
Solon, rather than from a lawyer's clerk, and then preach
a sermon, which might be all very well if thundered out
r'1E SCHOOL FRIENDS. .1
by the Archbishop of Canterbury from the pulpit, but
really, when uttered by one young fellow to another, is
simply ridiculous. I hope, for your sake, that you don't
pester your brother scribes, and that head clerk you
speak of, with such balderdash, or favour your principal
with an occasional discourse in the same strain. We
are old schoolfellows, as you have remarked, so you will
not be offended at what I say. Ah !ah ah Good
evening to you, friend Solon; should we meet again, I
hope you will recollect such an address as you have just
given me is not to my taste. I have to go south; you
go north, I fancy; and Emery, swinging round his cane,
and cocking his hat on one side, sauntered off, whistling
a popular street air to show his unconcern.
Lance was too much hurt and astonished at the effect
his earnest and faithful remarks had produced to say
anything. He stood irresolute for a minute, feeling much
inclined to run after Emery, and to entreat him not to
take what he had said thus amiss. Just then he saw
that his old schoolfellow was joined by another youth of
a similar appearance, and the two went into a tobacco-
nist's together. It would be hopeless, he felt, to attempt
saying anything more. He therefore hastened home-
wards, hoping that he might before long have another
opportunity of again speaking seriously to Emery,
32 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
EMERY had been sent by his employer on a commission
of some importance. On his return he gave a highly
satisfactory account of the way he had performed it.
He had risen, in consequence of his address and sup-
posed abilities, high in the favour of Mr Padman, who
placed perfect confidence in his zeal and honesty. He
was always prepared beforehand with a sufficient excuse
when he intended to be late out, or to break through any
of the rules of the establishment. lie was utterly regard-
less of the truth Lance had put before him, that God at
all times sees us, and that those who deceive their fellow-
men are sure, misled by Satan, to be discovered at last,
and left to the consequences of their sin.
Emery, proud of what he considered his cleverness,
and trusting to the confidence Mr Padman placed in
him, became bolder in his proceedings. There was no
young man," he said to himself, so much thought of as
he was;" and believing that Miss Padman also looked on
him with a favourable eye, he determined to propose to
marry her. He consulted old Sass, who, seeing no
reason to doubt his success, advised him to try his
chance. If he failed, Sass, knowing his secret, thought
that he might take advantage of it. If he succeeded, he
himself would certainly benefit by the influence he had
gained over the young gentleman. Emery had to wait
some time for the desired opportunity of speaking alone
to Miss Padman. That young lady, however, did not
hold her father's shopman in the high estimation he had
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
fla.tered himself. Others had taken care to whisper that
Emery was not as correct in his conduct as he professed
to be, and she thought her father unwise in placing so
much confidence in him. When, therefore, he at length
made her an offer, she replied that she considered him
very presumptuous, and begged him to understand that
she had no more regard for him than for the boy who
swept out the shop, or for any one else in the estab-
lishment; and having discovered how he deceived her
father, she should put Mr Padman on his guard. As the
young lady was perfectly cool and decided, Emery had
discernment enough to perceive that her decision was
final, and as is often the case with weak natures, any
better feeling he might have entertained for her was
turned into hatred.
As there was no one else to whom he could express
his anger and vexation, he called as soon as he could
leave the shop on Sass Gange.
"Well, it was a toss up, I thought, from the first, and
you have lost," observed the old man. "However,
Master Emery, don't be cast down, there is as good fish
in the sea as out of it. If the girl threatens you, as you
say, I would advise you to cut the concern altogether.
You will get disrated, depend upon it, and be worse off.
Make hay while the sun shines. Now, my lad, I don't
want you to do anything that would get you into trouble,
but there is-nothing worth having without some risk.
You have often said you would like a new sort of life
instead of the humdrum counter-jumping work you have
got to do. What do you say to making a start for South
America or the Pacific? You might lead a jolly life
among the natives, with nothing to do and lots of pretty
34 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
girls to make love to, who would not treat you like Miss
Padman, that I can tell you."
Thus the old sailor ran on, describing in overdrawn
colours, with a large admixture of fable, the life he had
himself led in his early days. He did not say how he
had seen his companions, some murdered, and the rest
dying of disease, or that he himself had narrowly escaped
with his life.'
Emery listened eagerly. He had felt how unsatis-
factory was the life he was trying to lead, the constant
rebuffs of those into whose society he tried to thrust
himself, and the hopelessness of succeeding in his foolish
aims, and Satan was of course ready to suggest that he
might find far greater enjoyment in something new.
"It will be capital fun !" he exclaimed at last ; "but I
have spent every shilling of my salary, and am in debt to
a pretty considerable amount to some who look upon me
as Mr Padman's future son-in-law, and to others who
have taken me to be a young man of fortune ; and if I
were to sell my whole wardrobe, I don't suppose it would
fetch enough to pay for a good sea outfit and my
So I thought," said Gange; "and as I have a notion
that you have been shamefully treated by Miss Padman,
if I were you, I would help myself in a way I can suggest
to you, and the loss will fall upon her more than on hir
father, who is an old donkey, and it will do him io
harm either. The chances are that he will send you to-
morrow to pay the receipts of the shop into the bank,
and as business is brisk just now, it's likely to be a good
round sum. I shall be sure to be sent to look after you,
to see that no one picks your pockets, or knocks you
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS. 35
down, or makes off with it. Now, then will be the time
to fill your purse, and have some cash to spare for me.
I won't be very hard on you. To say the truth, I have
had a little business of my own on hand, and have made
up my mind to cut and run, so you won't have me here
as your friend much longer if you stay. Come, what do
you say? a free and independent life, with plenty of
money in your pocket; or hanging on here, to be snubbed
by Miss Padman, and jeered at by the other fellows at
your ill luck. She is sure to tell them, and the chances
are there is some one she likes better than you."
The unhappy youth listened to all the old tempter
said, instead of at once seeking for grace to put away
temptation and to say, Get thee behind me, Satan." He
consented to all Sass had proposed.
That's right !" said the old sailor, "I like your spirit,
my boy; I will help you, depend on me. You had better
get your portmanteau packed with all your best things,
and just carry it down the first thing in the morning.
You can tell the house-porter that you are going away
for a day; he will not ask questions, and I will send a
man to bring it here."
All other arrangements were speedily made. Sass had
evidently thought the matter over, and Emery was im-
pressed by what he fancied the clever way all risks had
been provided against.
Emery went home. He felt too nervous to sleep
soundly, and rising, lighted a candle and packed up his
portmanteau, keeping out his best things, in which to
dress in the morning. If questions were asked, he would
say that his mother was ill, and that he intended to ask
leave to go home in the evening. The thoughts of the
THIE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
sinfulness of the act he was about to commit did not
trouble him so much as the fear of possible detection.
Still, the plan proposed by Sass was so feasible, and the
arrangements he had made so perfect, that he had great
hopes all would go right. He thought the matter over
and over. Sometimes the remarks made by Lance would
force themselves upon him, but he put them away, mut-
tering, That's all old women's nonsense, I am not going
to be prevented from doing what I like by such stuff."
Dressing, and putting all the small articles of value he
possessed into his pockets, as soon as he thought the
porter would be opening the house he carried down his
portmanteau, observing to the man as he did so, that he
had had a sad letter the previous night, and should be
compelled to start for home as soon as he could get
leave from Mr Padman. In a short time the porter sent
by Sass appeared, and he got it sent off without any ques-
tions being asked. He then went back to his room, and
afraid of going to bed again with therisk of oversleeping
himself, sat down in a chair by his bedside. Not having
slept a wink during the night, his head soon dropped on
his chest. His dreams were troubled-he felt a fearful
pressure round his neck-it seemed that a cap was drawn
over his eyes-the murmuring sound of numberless voices
rang in his ears-he was standing on the platform at
Newgate, the drop was about to fall beneath his feet.
He had once witnessed such a scene, and gazed at it with
indifference, moving off among the careless throng with
the remark, Poor wretch he has got what he deserved."
Could it be possible that he himself was now standing
where he had seen the unhappy culprit launched into
eternity. He awoke with a start, and found to his satis-
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS. 37
faction that he had been only dreaming. His eyelids
were heavy, his eyes bloodshot. He washed his face in
cold water, and endeavoured to laugh off the recollection
of his dream while he brushed his hair and arranged his
cravat. He went down-stairs and joined his companions
in the breakfast-room. They rallied him on his rakish
look. He talked in his usual affected way, managing,
however, to bring in the falsehood he had already uttered
about his mother's illness. It would assist, he hoped, to
account for his not returning from the bank.
After a good breakfast he went with apparent diligence
to business, waiting with anxious trepidation to be sum-
moned by Mr Padman to convey the .money received
to the bank. Sometimes, as Lance's words, and the re-
collection of his horrid dream, would intrude, he almost
hoped that some one else would be selected; then he
thought of his debts, and the consequence of Miss
Padman's communication to her father, and the sneers of
his companions, and he resolved to carry out the plan
proposed by Sass Gange.
The expected summons came. He received nearly
400, with the usual directions.
I need not tell you to be careful, Dulman, and keep
out of crowds," said Mr Padman as he gave him the
Emery, buttoning up his coat, replied, with a forced
smile, that he need have no fear on that score, though it
was with difficulty that he prevented his knees from
knocking together as he walked away.
He hastened out of the house. As he expected, before
getting far, on looking back, he saw Sass Gange following
at his heels. Would it not be safer, after all, to pay the
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
money in? Miss Padman might relent-; and should he
be captured, the dreadful dream of the morning might be
realized. "Pooh they don't hang for' such things as
that," he said to himself.
Directly afterwards he felt Sass's hand laid on his
"Have you a goodish sum, my lad ?" he asked.
Seldom have had more at one time," answered
"Then come along, don't let us lose the chance."
Sass called a -cab, and forced his dupe into it. They
drove away to Gange's lodgings.
He ran in and brought down Emery's portmanteau,
and a sea-bag with his own traps. The cabman was
ordered to drive to Euston Square station. Sass had a
railway guide; he had been consulting it attentively;
they might catch a train starting for Liverpool.
Is it most in notes or gold ?" asked Sass.
"About a third in gold, the rest in bank-notes, with a
few cheques," said Emery.
Hand me out the gold, then, it will suit me best,"
said Sass. "I will be content with that as my share.
You can get rid of the notes better than I can."
Sass promised double fare to the cabman if he would
Emery wanted to keep some of the gold for himself,
but Sass insisted on having the whole of it. He made
Emery pay the fare. They had three minutes to spare.
You take our tickets," said Sass, second class for
me, there are no third, and a first for yourself. We had
better be separate; and if by any chance we are traced
thus far, it will help to put them off the scent."
71E SCHOOL FRIENDS. 39
Emery having no gold, took out a bank-note for ten
pounds. He felt somewhat nervous as the booking-clerk
examined it. It was all right, however, and he received
his change, and going on to the next shutter took a ticket
for his companion.
"All right," said Gange, get in, and sit at the
further side, and pretend to be sleepy or drunk, only
keep your face away from the light. Your portmanteau
is ticketed for Liverpool. Good-bye, my lad, till we stop
on the road, and I will come and have a look at you."
Gange disappeared. Off went the train, and Emery's
brain whirled round and round, even faster than the
carriage seemed to be moving. He tried not to think,
but in vain.
The other seats were filled, but he had not dared to
look at his companions. He heard them laughing and
talking. A board was opened, and dice rattled, still he
did not look up. Cards were produced.
Will any other gentleman join us ? asked a man
sitting opposite to the seat next to him. He caught
Emery's eye. "Will you, sir," he added in a bland
voice. "We play for very moderate stakes."
Emery knew something about the game proposed.
It would have been better for him had he been ignorant
of it altogether. A game of cards would enable him to
turn his thoughts from himself. He agreed to play.
He knew that he did not play well, but to his surprise
he found himself winning. The stakes were doubled.
lie still won. He thought that his companions were
very bad players. Again the stakes were increased, he
still occasionally won, but oftener lost. lHe had soon
paid away all his gold, and was compelled to take out
TIHE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
one of the notes which he had stolen; that quickly went,
and another, and another. He felt irritated, and eager
to get back the money he had lost; he had won at first,
why should he not again ? His companions looked calm
and indifferent, as if it mattered very little if the luck
turned against them.
When they came to a station, they shut up the board,
and put the cards under their railway rugs.
Emery had lost fifty pounds of the stolen money. He
felt ready for any desperate deed. Two of the men got
out at the next large station. Could he have been
certain that the money was in the possession of the re-
maining man, he would have seized him by the throat,
and tried to get it back.
The man kept eyeing him sternly, as if aware of his
thoughts. Just before the train started, he also stepped
out, carrying the board concealed in his rug.
"You have been a heavy loser, I fear," said a gentle-
man in the seat near the door. I would have warned
you had I thought you would have lost so much, but it
will be a lesson to you in future. I am convinced, by
their movements, that those were regular card-sharpers.
It's too late now, but you may telegraph from the next
station to try and stop them."
As this remark was made, it flashed into Emery's
mind that some one might telegraph to Liverpool to stop
him. He scarcely thought about his loss, but dreaded
that his agitation might betray him. The gentleman
naturally thought it arose from his being cheated of so
much money. Emery tried to look unconcerned.
A mere trifle," he said, forcing a 12ugh, I will try
and catch the rogues, though."
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS. 41
However, when he reached the next station, remember-
ing Sass Gange's caution, he was afraid to leave his seat.
"I might lose the train," he said, "and business of
importance takes me to Liverpool."
"As you think fit," observed the gentleman, but you
will now have little chance of recovering your money."
Emery was thankful when the train again moved on.
Sass Gange had not appeared at either of the stations.
Liverpool was at length reached. He looked about
expecting to see Sass, but he was nowhere to be found.
His own portmanteau was in the luggage-van, but the
sailor's bag was not with it.
Where to go he could not tell. His eye caught the
name of a hotel. He took a cab and drove to it.
It was too late to change any notes that night; but
he determined in the morning, as early as possible, to
get rid of those evidences of his guilt. In the meantime,
he went to bed utterly miserable.
MR PADMAN became anxious when neither Emery nor
Sass Gange returned at the expected time. On sending
to the bank he found that no money had been paid
in. He made inquiries if they had been seen, and
learned that Emery had sent for his portmanteau in the
morning. He at once despatched a messenger to Gange's
lodgings. Gange had left with his bag in the afternoon.
Mr Padman immediately suspected the truth. He sent to
42 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
the police, and to each of the railway stations. Lance's
master, Mr Gaisford, was his lawyer. He hurried to
consult him as to what other steps it would be advisable
to take. Lance was in the room receiving instructions
about a draft, and not being told to withdraw, remained.
With- sincere grief he heard of Emery's guilt.
"He comes from Elmerston, do you know him?"
asked Mr Gaisford, turning to Lance.
Yes," said Lance, he was a schoolfellow, and I saw
him but a few days ago. I have also frequently seen
the man who is supposed to have accompanied him."
If we can find out where they have gone to I will
send you down with an officer and a warrant. It will
save much trouble, and you will be able at once to
identify them, and the sooner they are captured the less
money they.will have spent."
The number of the cab happened to consist but of two
figures; a fellow-lodger of Sass had remarked it, and
heard him order the cabman to drive to Euston Square
station. A clue was obtained in the course of a few
hours, and a telegraph message sent to stop the fugitives.
Before Emery had reached Liverpool, Lance and the
officer, having warrants for his and Gange's apprehension,
were on their way.
The cunning old sailor, however, having obtained all
the gold as his share, had quitted the train and gone off
to Hull, leaving his unhappy dupe to follow his own
devices. The Liverpool police being on the look-out for
an old man and a young one allowed Emery to pass,
though not altogether unnoticed ; and when Lance and
the London officer arrived, the latter, suspecting the true
,tate of the case, inquired if a young man of Fnme!y's
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
appearance had arrived alcne. The hotel which he-had
driven to was at once discovered, and he was still in bed
when the officer, followed by Lance, entered the room.
He awoke as the door opened. As the officer, turning to
Lance, asked, Is that the man ? Emery gazed at Lance
with a look of the most abject terror, unable to utter a
Yes, I am sorry to say he is Emery Dulman," said
Lance, his voice choking with emotion.
The usual form of arrest was gone through. The
officer examined his clothes, and found the pocket-book
with the remainder of the stolen notes.
Is this your doing, Lance ?" asked Emery, at length
making an effort to speak.
"No, it is not; I wish that I could have prevented you
from committing the crime, and I am anxious to serve
you as far as I have the power," answered Lance; I
advise you to confess everything, and to restore the
money to your employer."
The unhappy youth was allowed to dress, and while at
breakfast told Lance everything that had occurred. Of
Sass Gange he could say nothing, except that he believed
he had entered a second-class carriage.
The wretched Emery, instead of enjoying the liberty
and pleasure he had anticipated, as he sat waiting for the
train, with his hands between his knees and his head
bent down, looked the very picture of misery and
I have been befooled and deceived by every one-
right and left! he murmured, evidently wishing to throw
blame on others rather than to condemn himself. Mr
Padman shouldn't have given the money to me to carry
44 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
to the bank,, and he ought to have known what an old
rascal that Sass Gange is. To think that the villain
should have played me so scurvy a trick, and have gone
off and left me in the lurch Then to have lost so much
money to these cheating cardsharpers. I expected only
to meet gentlemen in a first-class carriage. I would
punish them for robbing me if I could catch them-that
I would, and they would deserve it And now to have
you, Lance, whom I looked upon as a friend, ferret me
out and assist to hand me over to prison, and for what you
can tell to the contrary, to the hangman's noose, if the
matter is proved against me. I wish that I was dead, that
I do. If I had a pistol, I 'd shoot myself, and .get the
affair settled at once !" he exclaimed, jumping up and
dashing his fists against his forehead.
Lance did his utmost to calm the unhappy youth.
" My poor Emery, Satan has duped you as he dupes all
those who listen to his agents, or to the evil suggestions of
their own wicked hearts. 'All our hearts are deceitful, and
desperately wicked above all things,' the Bible tells us.
Notwithstanding which, had you sought for strength from
God's Holy Spirit, you would assuredly have resisted the
temptations thrown in your way. I have ever been your
friend, and I wish to remain so. You remember the
line in our Latin Grammar-' A true friend is tried in a
doubtful matter.' As a friend, I rejoice that through
God's mercy you have been arrested in the downward
course you had commenced. It must have led to your
utter destruction. Think what you would have become
with old Sass Gange as your counsellor and guide. You
will have much that is painful to go through-from that
you cannot escape; but thank our loving Father in
TIHE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
heaven for it. Far better is it to suffer a light affliction
here for a short season, than to be eternally cast out.
Never-let me entreat you-again utter the impious
threat of rushing into the presence of your Maker; but
turn to Him with a penitent heart, seeking forgiveness for
all your sins through the one only way He has appointed-
faith in our crucified Saviour : and oh believe me, He
will not deny you, for He has promised to receive all
who thus come to Him. He has said, 'Though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though
they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' Text
upon text I might bring forward to prove God's readi-
ness to forgive the greatest of sinners. Trust Him.
Throw yourself upon His mercy. Do not fear what man
can do to you. Submit willingly to any punishment
the just laws of our country may demand you should
suffer. Not that imprisonment or any other punishment
you may receive can atone for the sin you have com-
mitted in God's sight-not if you were to refund every
farthing of the sum you stole. As the blood of Jesus
Christ cleanseth from all sin, so through that precious
blood alone can the slightest as well as the deepest shade
of sin be washed away. I say this now, Emery, in case I
should be prevented from speaking again to you on the
subject. Reflect, too, on the condition in which you
would have been placed had you committed this crime a
few years ago, for then an ignominious death on the
scaffold would have been your inevitable doom, and
bless God that you will now be spared to prove the sin-
cerity of your repentance in some new sphere of life."
Happy would it be for criminals if they had, when
placed as Emery Dulman now was, faithful friends like
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
Lance Loughton to speak to them. Emery "now and
then, as Lance was addressing him, looked up, but again
turned aside his head with an expression of scorn on his
lips. Lance, however, was too true a Christian, and too
sincerely desirous of benefiting his former acquaintance,
to be defeated in his efforts to do so. Again and again
he spoke to him so lovingly and gently that at length
Emery burst into tears. I wish that I had listened to
you long ago, when you warned me of my folly, and it
would not have come to this," he exclaimed. I will
plead guilty at once, and throw myself on the mercy of
my employer whom I have robbed."
I do not know whether he will be inclined to treat
you mercifully. It may be considered necessary, as a
warning to others, to punish you severely," answered
Lance. But, my dear Emery, I am very sure that our
Father in heaven, whom you have far more grievously
offended, will, if you come to Him in His own appointed
way, through faith in the Great Sacrifice, with sincere
repentance, not only abundantly pardon you, but will
inflict no punishment, because the punishment justly
your due has been already borne by the Just and Holy
One when He died on the Cross for sinners."
The officer, looking at his watch, interrupted Lance
by saying that it was time to start. Emery was conveyed
to the station, and in a short time they were on their
way back to London.
The officer made inquiries at the different stations,
and at length discovered the one at which Gange had
left the train. He sent to London for another officer to
follow on his track.
Emery was conveyed to prison. He was tried, con.
THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
victed, and sent to gaol for twelve months' imprisonment.
Old Sass, however, was too cunning to be caught, and got
ofl to sea.
Lance obtained leave frequently to visit his unhappy
schoolfellow, who, now left to his own reflections,
listened to him attentively when with gentle words he
impressed on him the truths he had hitherto derided.
Before he left the prison Emery became thoroughly and
deeply convinced that he was an utterly lost sinner, and
that so he would have been, had he not been guilty of
the crime for which he was suffering, or the countless others
he had committed which his memory conjured up. Often
had he cried, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner That
prayer had been heard, and he now knew that God is
merciful, and that He has given good proof of His mercy
by sending Jesus, the pure and sinless One, to suffer on
the cross for every one who will trust to that sufficient
atonement which He thus made for sin.
God as a Sovereign with free grace offers pardon to
rebellious man," said Lance. He leaves us with loving
gratitude to accept it, and if we reject His mercy, justly
to suffer the consequence of that rejection, and to be cast
out for ever from His presence."
"I seeit !-I understand !-I do accept Hisgracious offer,
and from henceforth, and with the aid of His Holy Spirit,
will seek to obey and serve Him," said Emery. And I
feel thankful that all this has come upon me, for I might
never otherwise have learned to know Him in whom I
can now place all my trust and love."
At the end of Emery's term of imprisonment, with the
help of Mr Gaisford, Lance was able to procure him a
passage to Australia, where he had in the meantime
48 THE SCHOOL FRIENDS.
learned that his father had obtained a situation of trust,
and would be able to find employment for his son.
Lance went on as he had begun, and as soon as he was
out of his articles his loving and faithful Maddie became
his wife, his mother having the happiness of seeing him
the partner of his former employer before she was called
to her rest.
He heard frequently from Emery, who, ever thankful
for the mercies shown him by his heavenly Father, con-
tinued with steady industry to labour in the humble
situation he had obtained.
A decrepid beggar one day came to Lance's door with
a piteous tale of the miseries he had endured, and Lance,
ever ready to relieve distress, visited him at the wretched
lodging where a few days afterwards he lay dying. He
there learned that the unhappy man was Sass Gange.
Lance told him that he knew him. Sass inquired for
I'm thankful I did not help to bring him to the
gallows," he murmured. "The way I tempted the lad
has laid heavier on my conscience than anything I ever
did, and I've done a good many things I don't like to
Lance endeavoured to place the gospel before the old
man, but his heart was hard, his mind dull. In a rew
days he died.
PrINTEI' V I IAI.l.\AN' N HIANSNON AND CO.
EDINlt(,II AND L.ONO