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      When they were out of sight he walked slowly to the new ground near the crest of Boarzell, which was being prepared for the winter wheat. He made a sign to the man who was guiding the plough, and taking the handles himself, shouted to the team. The plough went forward, the red earth turned, sprinkled, creamed into long furrows, and soothed Reuben's aching fatherhood with its moist fertile smell. It was the faithful earth, which was his enemy and yet his comforterwhich was always there, though his children forsook himthe good earth to which he would go at last."My lord, the king, wishes to hear you on the alleged grievances."

      The party was shown to a large room at the rear of the house. Frank suggested that a front room would be preferable; but the Doctor told him that in a Japanese hotel the rear of the establishment was the place of honor, and that in a hundred hotels of the true national type he would probably not be located half a dozen times in a front apartment. The room where they were was very speedily divided into three smaller ones by means of paper screens, such as we find in every Japanese house, and which are known to most Americans in consequence of the large number that have been imported in the last few years. They can be shifted with the rapidity of scenes in a theatre, and the promptness with which the whole appearance of a house can be changed in a few minutes is an approach to the marvellous.

      "Baroness de Boteler, I said not that your child lives."It was about midnight that Wells, who had been thinking a great deal of the probability of gaining access to the fortress, went to the smith's quarters, and proposed to attempt an entrance. Tyler commended his devotion; and the galleyman, provided with a rope, to which an iron hook was affixed, and a flask or two of wine, dropped unobserved into the water. He swam on as softly as possible beneath the wall, and in the shadow cast by the moonlight. There was one part where he observed that an angle of the building cast a broad shade on the parapet; and here, without a moment's hesitation, he stopped, and throwing up the rope, the hook caught. Though encumbered by his wet apparel, he climbed up with the agility of a boy; but the instant his figure appeared above the wall, two men with drawn swords sprung forward.

      There was a sudden halt at this intelligence, and many an exclamation at the presumption of the insolent commons. However, after some consultation, it was deemed most prudent to come as little as possible in collision with the rebels, but, under countenance of the mayor, to pass through the city, and then, as the most probable security, claim the hospitality of the worthy abbot of Westminster.


      So in his latter days Reuben came back into the field of politics which he had abandoned in middle age. Once more his voice was heard in school-houses and mission-halls, pointing out their duty and profit to the men of Rye. He was offered, and accepted, a Vice-Presidentship of the Conservative Club. Politics had changed in many ways since he had last been mixed up in them. The old, old subjects that had come up at election after electionvote by ballot, the education of the poor, the extension of the franchise, Gladstone's free breakfast tablehad all been settled, or deformed out of knowledge. The only old friend was the question of a tax on wheat, revived after years of quiescenceto rekindle in Reuben's old age dreams of an England where the corn should grow as the grass, a golden harvest from east to west, bringing wealth and independence to her sons.


      "Now, mother, this letter is addressed to you, but it is intended for everybody; and I know you'll read it to everybody, and have it handed round, so that all can know where I am and what I have told you about Japan. When I don't write to each one of you, I know you will understand why it is,because I am so busy, and trying to learn all I can. Give my love to each and every one in the family, and tell Mary she knows somebody outside of it that wants a share. Tell her I often think of the morning we left, and how a handkerchief waved from the railway station when we came away. And tell Mary, too, that I haven't yet opened her list of things I am to get for her; but I haven't forgotten it, and have it all safe and right. There are lots of pretty things to buy here; and if she has made a full catalogue of Japanese curiosities, she has given me enough to do for the presentand the presents.