206 11v A HOLLOW OF THE HILLS.

believed it true for a minit! And that was why, afore this happened, I had a dream, right out yer, and dreamed she kem t0 me, all white and troubled, through the woods. At first I thought it war my Sadie; but when I see she warn’t like her old self, and her voice was strange and her laugh was strange then I knowed it was n’t her, and I was dreamin’. You ’re right, Mr. Key, in wot you got off just now—wot was it? Better to know nothin’ -— and keep the old thoughts unchanged.”

Have you any pain?” asked Key after a pause.

No; I kinder feel easier now.”

Key looked at his changing face. Tell me,” he said gently, “if it does 11ot tax your strength, all that has happened here, all you know. It is for lzer sake.”

Thus adjured, with his eyes fixed on Key, Collinson narrated his story from the irrup- tion of the outlaws to the final catastrophe. Even then he palliated their outrage with his characteristic patience, keeping still his strange fascination for Chivers, and his blind belief in his miserable wife. The story was at times broken by lapses of faint»