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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about Edward Barnett; a Neglected Child of South Carolina, Who Rose to Be a Peer of Great Britain,and the Stormy Life of His Grandfather, Captain Williams.

’The mother grieved for her son’s absence—­he wrote from the tender ship asking for his clothes, and to buy off his discharge.  She applied to the Earl.  He deceived her—­gave her hope—­promised to write to the Admiralty—­was sorry, but the necessities of the war were such, substitutes were not allowed, and a discharge could not be granted.  Within a year the mother died, and Ellen was left alone.  Beautiful, helpless, with no one to protect her, was it a wonder she fell a victim to the vile plot laid for her?  Her seducer wearied of her after two years, and offered to settle a pension upon her and wed her to his base instrument Lambert.  She spurned the offer, and left the cottage where he had established her in splendid infamy.  None knew whither she went, and no tidings have since been heard of her.’

The seaman was pacing the floor in stern and gloomy silence.  He paused.  ‘And him?—­what became of him?’

‘He came back three years after,’ said the landlady, ’in sailor’s garb, but without a seaman’s manner.  He had learned dissipation, and was gloomy and fierce.  He had heard of his sister’s shame, and he swore a terrible revenge.  The Earl was in London at the time, but had he been here, Horace would have attempted nothing then.  “I will not strike him now,” said he—­“no! that were a poor revenge.  I will tame his pride first—­then destroy him.  Mine shall be no vulgar vengeance.”—­He however wrote a passionate letter to the Earl demanding his acknowledgment of his sister as his lawful wife, and threatening terrible vengeance.  This was idle, but I suppose it merely done to cover deeper designs.  He returned to sea—­was absent two more years, but re-appeared here some three months ago, since when he has been frequently seen about the neighborhood, and is supposed to subsist by poaching.  Curly Tom, the ruffian you captured last night, has been much with him.  He has again written to the Earl something which has made him furious—­so your father told me, who had been there, the good old man, trying to make him forego his pursuit of poor Horace.  There will be something terrible, I am sure.  God help us, and avert it.’

’Say rather, let his righteous judgments fall upon that base man and his infamous house,’ said the mariner sternly.  ’You need tell me no more.  I can picture my sweet child, pining, grieving over the lost character of him she loved—­two families of victims.  But shall not vengeance take its course?  It shall—­terrible and full.  But a short space of time shall elapse ere he shall be stripped of rank and title, and then—­’

‘Walter, you rave.’

’I speak in earnest.  I never threaten in vain.  But I must act now.  I must find Hunter.  How to do that—­’

‘I will take you to him,’ said the boy, ‘to-morrow evening.’

’Good.  I must have some talk with you, but now I must rest.  To-morrow night I shall have none.’

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