winkle of the fire came into view, and a few seconds later he was able to distinguish his father standing beside his grey horse, talking to a man who was lying upon the ground near the fire. Not wishing to play the part of an eavesdropper, he was careful to remain out of earshot. It was only when he saw the man rise, heard him utter a threat, and then approach his father, that he rode up. Neither of the men became aware of his approach until he was close upon them, and then both turned in surprise.
"James, what is the meaning of this?" his father cried. "What are you doing here, my lad?"
For a moment the other scarcely knew what reply to make. At last he said:--
"I came to assure myself of your safety, father. Alice told me you had gone out, and I guessed your errand."
"A very dutiful son," sneered Murbridge. "You are to be congratulated upon him, William."
James stared at the individual before him with astonishment. What right had such a man to address his father by his Chr