But I turned and left him, without waiting to hear what he supposed. I was not going to stand there to expose my tortured feelings to the insolent laughter and impertinent curiosity of a fellow like that.

But what was to be done now? Could it be possible that she had left me for that man? I could not believe it. Me she might forsake, but not to give herself to him! Well, I would know the truth--to no concerns of daily life could I attend; while this tempest of doubt and dread, of jealousy and rage distracted me. I would take the morning coach from L--- (the evening one would be already gone), and fly to Grassdale, I must be there before the marriage. And why? Because a thought struck me, that perhaps I might prevent it--that if I did not, she and I might both lament it to the latest moment of our lives. It struck me that some one might have belied me to her: perhaps her brother--yes, no doubt her brother had persuaded her that I was false and faithless, and taking advantage of her natural indignation, and perhaps her desponding carelessness about her future life, had urged her, artfully, cruelly on, to this other marriage in order to secure her from me. If this was the case, and if she should only discover her mistake when too late to repair it--to what a life of misery and vain regret might she be doomed as well as me! and what remorse for me, to think my foolish scruples had induced it all! Oh, I must see her--she must know my truth even if I told it at the church door! I might pass for a madman or an impertinent fool--even she might be offended at such an interruption, or at least might tell me it was now too lat--but if I could save her! if she might be mint was too rapturous a thought!

Winged by this hope, and goaded by these fears, I hurried homewards to prepare for my departure on the morrow. I told my mother that urgent business which admitted no delay, but which I could not then explain, called me away to (the last large town through which I had to pass). My deep anxiety and serious preoccupation, could not be concealed from her maternal eyes; and I had much ado to calm her apprehensions of some disastrous mystery.

That night there came a heavy fall of snow, which so retarded the progress of the coaches on the following day, that I was almost driven to distraction. I travelled all night of course, for this was Wednesday: tomorrow morning, doubtless, the marriage would take place. But the night was long and dark; the snow heavily clogged the wheels and balled the horses' feet; the animals were consumedly lazy, the coachmen most execrably cautious, the passengers confoundedly apathetic in their supine indifference to the rate of our progression. Instead of assisting me to bully the several coachmen and urge them forward, they merely stared and grinned at my impatience: one fellow even ventured to rally me upon it--but I silenced him with a look that quelled him for the rest of the journey;--and when, at the last stage, I would have taken the reins into my own hand, they all with one accord opposed it.

It was broad daylight when we entered M--- and drew up at the Rose and Crown. I alighted and called aloud for a postchaise to Grassdale. There was none to be had: the only one in the town was under repair. `A gig then---fly--car--anything--only be quick!' There was a gig but not a horse to spare. I sent into the town to seek one; but they were such an intolerable time about it that I could wait no longer: I thought my own feet would carry me sooner, and bidding them send the confounded conveyance after me, if it were ready within an hour, I set off as fast as I could walk. The distance was little more than six miles, but the road was strange, and I had to keep stopping to enquire my way--hallooing to carters and clod-hoppers, and frequently invading the cottages, for there were few abroad that winter's morning,-- sometimes knocking up the lazy people from their beds, for where so little work was to be done--perhaps so little food and fire to be had, they cared not to curtail their slumbers. I had no time to think of them, however: aching with weariness and desperation, I hurried on. The gig did not overtake me: it was well I had not waited for it--vexatious rather, that I had been fool enough to wait so long.

At length however, I entered the neighbourhood of Grassdale. I approached the little rural church--but lo! there stood a train of carriages before it--it needed not the white favours bedecking the servants and horses, nor the merry voices of the village idlers assembled to witness the show, to apprize me that there was a wedding within. I ran in among them', demanding, with breathless eagerness, had the ceremony long commenced? They only gaped and stared. In my desperation I pushed past them, and was about to enter the church-yard gate, when a group of ragged urchins, that had been hanging like

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