his face was transfigured, and his eyes shone with con-
cupiscence; indeed it seemed as if he luxuriously pro-
longed his occupation, and dallied with every diamond
that he handled. At last, however, it was done ; and,
concealing the bandbox in his smock, the gardener beck-
oned to Harry and preceded him in the direction of the
Near the door they were met by a young man evi-
dently in holy orders, dark and strikingly handsome,
with a look of mingled weakness and resolution, and
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
very neatly attired after the manner of his caste. The
gardener was plainly annoyed by this encounter; but he
put as good a face upon it as he could, and accosted the
clergyman with an obsequious and smiling air.
"Here is a fine afternoon, Mr. Rolles," said he: "a
fine afternoon, as sure as God made it ! And here is a
young friend of mine who had a fancy to look at my
roses. I took the liberty to bring him in, for I thought
none of the lodgers would object."
"Speaking for myself," replied the Reverend Mr.
Rolles, "I do not; nor do I fancy any of the rest of us
would be more difficult upon so small a matter. The
garden is your own, Mr. Raeburn ; we must none of us
forget that ; and because you give us liberty to walk
there we should be indeed ungracious if we so far pre-
sumed upon your politeness as to interfere with the con-
venience of your friends. But, on second thoughts,"
he added, "I believe that this gentleman and I have
met before. Mr. Hartley, I think. I regret to observe
that you have had a fall."
And he offered his hand.
A sort of maiden dignity and a desire to delay as long
as possible the necessity for explanation moved Harry
to refuse this chance of help, and to deny his own iden-
tity. He chose the tender mercies of the gardener, who
was at least unknown to him, rather than the curiosity
and perhaps the doubts of an acquaintance.
" I fear there is some mistake," said he. "My name
is Thomlinson and I am a friend of Mr. Raeburn's."
" Indeed ?" said Mr. Rolles. "The likeness is amaz-
Mr. Raeburn, who had been upon thorns throughout
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
this colloquy, now felt it high time to bring it to a
" I wish you a pleasant saunter, sir," said he.
And with that he dragged Harry after him into the
house, and then into a chamber on the garden. His
first care was to draw down the blind, for Mr. Rolles
still remained where they had left him, in an attitude of
perplexity and thought. Then he emptied the broken
bandbox on the table, and stood before the treasure,
thus fully displayed, with an expression of rapturous
greed, and rubbing his hands upon his thighs. For
Harry, the sight of the man's face under the influence
of this base emotion, added another pang to those he
was already suffering. It seemed incredible that, from
his life of pure and delicate trifling, he should be plunged
in a breath among sordid and criminal relations. He
could reproach his conscience with no sinful act; and
yet he was now suffering the punishment of sin in its
most acute and cruel forms the dread of punishment,
the suspicions of the good, and the companionship and
contamination of vile and brutal natures. He felt he
could lay his life down with gladness to escape from
the room and the society of Mr. Raeburn.
"And now," said the latter, after he had separated
the jewels into two nearly equal parts, and drawn one
of them nearer to himself; "and now," said he, " every-
thing in this world has to be paid for, and some things
sweetly. You must know, Mr. Hartley, if such be your
name, that I am a man of a very easy temper, and good
nature has been my stumbling block from first to last.
I could pocket the whole of these pretty pebbles, if I
chose, and I should like to see you dare to say a word ;
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
but I think I must have taken a liking to you ; for I de-
clare I have not the heart to shave you so close. So, do
you see, in pure kind feeling, I propose that we divide ;
and these," indicating the two heaps, "are the propor-
tions that seem to me just and friendly. Do you see
any objection, Mr. Hartley, may I ask ? I am not the
man to stick upon a brooch."
" But, sir," cried Harry, "what you propose to me is
impossible. The jewels are not mine, and I cannot share
what is another's, no matter with whom, nor in what
" They are not yours, are they not ? " returned Rae-
burn. " And you could not share them with anybody,
could n't you ? Well now, that is what I call a pity ; for
here 1 am obliged to take you to the station. The police
think of that," he continued; "think of the disgrace
for your respectable parents; think," he went on, taking
Harry by the wrist; " think of the Colonies and the Day
" I cannot help it," wailed Harry. " It is not my fault.
You will not come with me to Eaton Place."
"No," replied the man, "I will not, that is certain.
And I mean to divide these playthings with you here."
And so saying he applied a sudden and severe torsion
to the lad's wrist.
Harry could not suppress a scream, and the perspira-
tion burst forth upon his face. Perhaps pain and terror
quickened his intelligence, but certainly at that moment
the whole business flashed across him in another light;
and he saw that there was nothing for it but to accede
to the ruffian's proposal, and trust to find the house and
force him to disgorge, under more favourable circum-
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
stances, and when he himself was clear from all sus-
"I agree," he said.
" There is a lamb," sneered the gardener. " I thought
you would recognise your interests at last. This band-
box," he continued, "I shall burn with my rubbish;
it is a thing that curious folk might recognise; and as
for you, scrape up your gayeties and put them in your
Harry proceeded to obey, Raeburn watching him,
and every now and again, his greed rekindled by some
bright scintillation, abstracting another jewel from the
secretary's share, and adding it to his own.
When this was finished, both proceeded to the front
door, which Raeburn cautiously opened to observe the
street. This was apparently clear of passengers ; for he
suddenly seized Harry by the nape of the neck, and
holding his face downward so that he could see nothing
but the roadway and the doorsteps of the houses, pushed
him violently before him down one street and up another
for the space of perhaps a minute and a half. Harry had
counted three corners before the bully relaxed his grasp,
and crying, "Now be off with you! " sent the lad fly-
ing head foremost with a well-directed and athletic kick.
When Harry gathered himself up, half-stunned and
bleeding freely at the nose, Mr. Raeburn had entirely
disappeared. For the first time, anger and pain so com-
pletely overcame the lad's spirits that he burst into a fit
of tears and remained sobbing in the middle of the road.
After he had thus somewhat assuaged his emotion, he
began to look about him and read the names of the
streets at whose intersection he had been deserted by
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
the gardener. He was still in an unfrequented portion
of West London, among villas and large gardens ; buf
he could see some persons at a window who had evi'
dently witnessed his misfortune; and almost immedi-
ately after a servant came running from the house and
offered him a glass of water. At the same time, a dirty
rogue, who had been slouching somewhere in the
neighbourhood, drew near him from the other side.
" Poor fellow," said the maid, "how vilely you have
been handled, to be sure! Why, your knees are all cut,
and your clothes ruined ! Do you know the wretch who
used you so?"
"That I do! " cried Harry, who was somewhat re-
freshed by the water; "and shall run him home in spite
of his precautions. He shall pay dearly for this day's
work, I promise you."
"You had better come into the house and have your-
self washed and brushed," continued the maid. "My
mistress will make you welcome, never fear. And see,
I will pick up your hat. Why, love of mercy ! " she
screamed, "if you have not dropped diamonds all over
Such was the case; a good half of what remained to
him after the depredations of Mr. Raeburn, had been
shaken out of his pockets by the summersault, and once
more lay glittering on the ground. He blessed his for-
tune that the maid had been so quick of eye; "there is
nothing so bad but it might be worse," thought he; and
the recovery of these few seemed to him almost as great
an affair as the loss of all the rest. But, alas! as he
stooped to pick up his treasures the loiterer made a rapid
onslaught, overset both Harry and the maid with a
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
movement of his arms, swept up a double handful of
the diamonds, and made off along the street with an
Harry, as soon as he could get upon his feet, gave
chase to the miscreant with many cries, but the latter
was too fleet of foot, and probably too well acquainted
with the locality; for turn where the pursuer would, he
could find no traces of the fugitive.
In the deepest despondency Harry revisited the scene
of his mishap, where the maid, who was still waiting,
very honestly returned him his hat and the remainder
of the fallen diamonds. Harry thanked her from his
heart, and being now in no humour for economy, made
his way to the nearest cabstand and set off for Eaton
Place by coach.
The house, on his arrival, seemed in some confusion,
as if a catastrophe had happened in the family ; and the
servants clustered together in the hall, and were unable,
or perhaps not altogether anxious, to suppress their
merriment at the tatterdemalion figure of the secretary.
He passed them with as good an air of dignity as he
could assume, and made directly for the boudoir. When
he opened the door an astonishing and even menacing
spectacle presented itself to his eyes; for he beheld the
General and his wife and, of all people, Charlie Pendra-
gon, closeted together and speaking with earnestness
and gravity on some important subject. Harry saw at
once that there was little left for him to explain plenary
confession had plainly been made to the General of the
intended fraud upon his pocket, and the unfortunate
miscarriage of the scheme ; and they had all made com-
mon cause against a common danger.
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
"Thank heaven!" cried Lady Vandeleur, "here he
is ! The bandbox, Harry the bandbox ! "
But Harry stood before them silent and downcast.
"Speak! " she cried. "Speak! Where is the band-
And the men, with threatening gestures, repeated the
Harry drew a handful of jewels from his pocket. He
was very white.
"This is all that remains," said he. "I declare be-
fore Heaven it was through no fault of mine ; and if you
will have patience, although some are lost, I am afraid,
for ever, others, I am sure, may be still recovered! "
"Alas!" cried Lady Vandeleur, "all our diamonds
are gone, and I owe ninety thousand pounds for dress ! "
" Madam," said the General, "you might have paved
the gutter with your own trash ; you might have made
debts to fifty times the sum you mention ; you might
have robbed me of my mother's coronet and rings ; and
Nature might have still so far prevailed that I could have
forgiven you at last. But, madam, you have taken the
Rajah's Diamond the Eye of Light, as the Orientals
poetically termed it the Pride of Kashgar ! You have
taken from me the Rajah's Diamond, " he cried, raising
his hands, ' ' and all, madam, all is at an end between us ! "
" Believe me, General Vandeleur," she replied, "that
is one of the most agreeable speeches that ever I heard
from your lips; and since we are to be ruined I could
almost welcome the change, if it delivers me from you.
You have told me often enough that I married you for
your money ; let me tell you now that I always bitterly
repented the bargain ; and if you were still marriage-
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
able, and had a diamond bigger than your head, I should
counsel even my maid against a union so uninviting and
disastrous. As for you, Mr. Hartley," she continued,
turning on the secretary, "you have sufficiently exhib-
ited your valuable qualities in this house; we are now
persuaded that you equally lack manhood, sense and
self-respect ; and I can see only one course open for you
to withdraw instanter, and, if possible, return no
more. For your wages you may rank as a creditor in
my late husband's bankruptcy."
Harry had scarcely comprehended this insulting ad-
dress before the General was down upon him with an-
"And in the mean time," said that personage, "fol-
low me before the nearest Inspector of Police. You may
impose upon a simple-minded soldier, sir, but the eye
of the law will read your disreputable secret. If I must
spend my old age in poverty through your underhand
intriguing with my wife, I mean at least that you shall
not remain unpunished for your pains; and God, sir,
will deny me a very considerable satisfaction if you do
not pick oakum from now until your dying day."
With that the General dragged Harry from the apart-
ment, and hurried him downstairs and along the street
to the police-station of the district.
Here (says my Arabian author) ended this deplorable
business of the bandbox. But to tbe unfortunate Secre-
tary the whole affair was, tbe beginning of a new and man-
lier life. Tbe police were easily persuaded of bis inno-
cence; and, after be bad given what help be could in tbe
subsequent investigations, be was even complimented by
one of tbe chiefs of tbe detefti-ve department on tbe pro-
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
bity and simplicity of hi* behaviour. Several persons in-
terested themselves in one so unfortunate; and soon after
be inherited a sum of money from a maiden aunt in
Worcestershire. With this he married Prudence, and
set sail for Bendigo, or according to another account, for
Trincomalee t exceedingly content, and with the best of
STORY OF THE YOUNG MAN IN HOLY ORDERS
THE Reverend Mr. Simon Rolles had distinguished
himself in the Moral Sciences, and was more than usually
proficient in the study of Divinity. His essay " On the
Christian Doctrine of the Social Obligations " obtained
for him at the moment of its production, a certain celeb-
rity in the University of Oxford ; and it was understood
in clerical and learned circles that young Mr. Rolles had
in contemplation a considerable work a folio, it was
said on the authority of the Fathers of the Church.
These attainments, these ambitious designs, however,
were far from helping him to any preferment; and still
he was in quest of his first curacy when a chance ram-
ble in that part of London, the peaceful and rich aspect
of the garden, a desire for solitude and study, and the
cheapness of the lodging, led him to take up his abode
with Mr. Raeburn, the nurseryman of Stockdove Lane.
It was his habit every afternoon, after he had worked
seven or eight hours on St. Ambrose or St. Chrysostom,
to walk for awhile in meditation among the roses. And
this was usually one of the most productive moments
of his day. But even a sincere appetite for thought, and
the excitement of grave problems awaiting solution, are
not always sufficient to preserve the mind of the phil-
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
osopher against the petty shocks and contacts of the
world. And when Mr. Rolles found General Vande-
leur's secretary, ragged and bleeding, in the company
of the landlord ; when he saw both change colour and
seek to avoid his questions; and, above all, when the
former denied his own identity with the most unmoved
assurance, he speedily forgot the Saints and Fathers in
the vulgar interest of curiosity.
"1 cannot be mistaken," thought he. "That is Mr.
Hartley beyond a doubt. How comes he in such a
pickle ? why does he deny his name ? and what can be
his business with that black-looking ruffian, my land-
As he was thus reflecting, another peculiar circum-
stance attracted his attention. The face of Mr. Raeburn
appeared at a low window next the door; and, as chance
directed, his eyes met those of Mr. Rolles. The nur-
seryman seemed disconcerted, and even alarmed; and
immediately after the blind of the apartment was pulled
"This may all be very well," reflected Mr. Rolles;
" it may be all excellently well; but I confess freely that
I do not think so. Suspicious, underhand, untruthful,
fearful of observation I believe upon my soul," he
thought, " the pair are plotting some disgraceful action."
The detective that there is in all of us awoke and be-
came clamant in the bosom of Mr. Rolles ; and with a
brisk, eager step, that bore no resemblance to his usual
gait, he proceeded to make the circuit of the garden.
When he came to the scene of Harry's escalade, his eye
was at once arrested by a broken rosebud and marks
of trampling on the mould. He looked up, and saw
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
scratches on the brick, and a rag of trouser floating from
a broken bottle. This, then, was the mode of entrance
chosen by Mr. Raeburn's particular friend ! It was thus
that General Vandeleur's secretary came to admire a flow-
er-garden ! The young clergyman whistled softly to him-
self as he stooped to examine the ground. He could
make out where Harry had landed from his perilous
leap; he recognised the flat foot of Mr. Raeburn where
it had sunk deeply in the soil as he pulled up the secre-
tary by the collar; nay, on a closer inspection, he seemed
to distinguish the marks of groping fingers, as though
something had been spilt abroad and eagerly collected.
"Upon my word," he thought, "the thing grows
And just then he caught sight of something almost en-
tirely buried in the earth. In an instant he had disin-
terred a dainty morocco case, ornamented and clasped
in gilt. It had been trodden heavily under foot, and thus
escaped the hurried search of Mr. Raeburn. Mr. Rolles
opened the case, and drew a long breath of almost hor-
rified astonishment ; for there lay before him, in a cradle
of green velvet, a diamond of prodigious magnitude and
of the finest water. It was of the bigness of a duck's
egg; beautifully shaped, and without a flaw; and as the
sun shone upon it, it gave forth a lustre like that of elec-
tricity, and seemed to burn in his hand with a thousand
He knew little of precious stones; but the Rajah's
Diamond was a wonder that explained itself; a village
child, if he found it, would run screaming for the near-
est cottage; and a savage would prostrate himself in
adoration before so imposing a fetish. The beauty of
NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS
the stone flattered the young clergyman's eyes; the
thought of its incalculable value overpowered his intel-
lect. He knew that what he held in his hand was worth
more than many years' purchase of an archiepiscopal see;
that it would build cathedrals more stately than Ely or
Cologne ; that he who possessed it was set free for ever
from the primal curse, and might follow his own incli-
nations without concern or hurry, without let or hin-
drance. And as he suddenly turned it, the rays leaped
forth again with renewed brilliancy, and seemed to pierce
his very heart.
Decisive actions are often taken in a moment and
without any conscious deliverance from the rational
parts of man. So it was now with Mr. Rolles. He
glanced hurriedly round, beheld, like Mr. Raeburn be-
fore him, nothing but the sunlit flower-garden, the tall
tree-tops, and the house with blinded windows ; and in
a trice he had shut the case, thrust it into his pocket, and
was hastening to his study with the speed of guilt.
The Reverend Simon Rolles had stolen the Rajah's
Early in the afternoon the police arrived with Harry
Hartley. The nurseryman, who was beside himself
with terror, readily discovered his hoard ; and the jewels
were identified and inventoried in the presence of the
secretary. As for Mr. Rolles, he showed himself in a
most obliging temper, communicated what he knew
with freedom, and professed regret that he could do no
more to help the officers in their duty.
"Still," he added, " I suppose your business is nearly
at an end."
" By no means," replied the man from Scotland Yard;
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
and he narrated the second robbery of which Harry had
been the immediate victim, and gave the young clergy-
man a description of the more important jewels that
were still not found, dilating particularly on the Rajah's
"It must be worth a fortune," observed Mr. Rolles.
"Ten fortunes twenty fortunes," cried the officer.
"The more it is worth," remarked Simon, shrewdly,
'the more difficult it must be to sell. Such a thing has
a physiognomy not to be disguised, and I should fancy
a man might as easily negotiate St. Paul's Cathedral."
"O, truly!" said the officer; "but if the thief be a
man of any intelligence, he will cut it into three or four,
and there will be still enough to make him rich."
"Thank you," said the clergyman. "You cannot
imagine how much your conversation interests me."
Whereupon the functionary admitted that they knew
many strange things in his profession, and immediately
after took his leave.
Mr. Rolles regained his apartment. It seemed smaller
and barer than usual ; the materials for his great work
had never presented so little interest; and he looked
upon his library with the eye of scorn. He took down,
volume by volume, several Fathers of the Church, and
glanced them through ; but they contained nothing to
"These old gentlemen," thought he, "are no doubt
very valuable writers, but they seem to me conspicu-
ously ignorant of life. Here am I, with learning enough
to be a Bishop, and I positively do not know how to
dispose of a stolen diamond. I glean a hint from a
common policeman, and, with all my folios, I cannot so
much as put it into execution. This inspires me with
very low ideas of University training."
Herewith he kicked over his book-shelf and, putting
on his hat, hastened from the house to the club of
which he was a member. In such a place of mundane
resort he hoped to find some man of good counsel and
a shrewd experience in life. In the reading-room he
saw many of the country clergy and an Archdeacon ;
there were three journalists and a writer upon the
Higher Metaphysic, playing pool; and at dinner only
the raff of ordinary club frequenters showed their com-
mon-place and obliterated countenances. None of these,
thought Mr. Rolles, would know more on dangerous
topics than he knew himself ; none of them were fit to
give him guidance in his present strait. At length, in
the smoking-room, up many weary stairs, he hit upon
a gentleman of somewhat portly build and dressed with
conspicuous plainness. He was smoking a cigar and
reading the Fortnightly Review; his face was singularly
free from all sign of preoccupation or fatigue ; and there
was something in his air which seemed to invite confi-
dence and to expect submission. The more the young
clergyman scrutinized his features, the more he was con-
vinced that he had fallen on one capable of giving per-
"Sir," said he, "you will excuse my abruptness; but
I judge you from your appearance to be preeminently a
man of the world."
"I have indeed considerable claims to that distinc-
tion," replied the stranger, laying aside his magazine
with a look of mingled amusement and surprise.
" I, sir," continued the Curate, "am a recluse, a stu-
THE RAJAH'S DIAMOND
dent, a creature of ink-bottles and patristic folios. A
recent event has brought my folly vividly before my
eyes, and 1 desire to instruct myself in life. By life,"
he added, " I do not mean Thackeray's novels; but the
crimes and secret possibilities of our society, and the
principles of wise conduct among exceptional events.
I am a patient reader; can the thing be learnt in
books ? "
"You put me in a difficulty," said the stranger. "I
confess I have no great notion of the use of books, except
to amuse a railway journey; although, I believe, there
are some very exact treatises on astronomy, the use of
the globes, agriculture, and the art of making paper-
flowers. Upon the less apparent provinces of life I fear
you will find nothing truthful. Yet stay," he added,
" have you read Gaboriau ?"
Mr. Rolles admitted he had never even heard the
" You may gather some notions from Gaboriau," re-
sumed the stranger. "He is at least suggestive; and