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under the circumstances, he alone could enjoy. Then he passed up the stairs and bade the waiter begone.
'But I carry the General's dessert,' protested the man.
Vincente was indeed at table with Estella. He looked up as the priest entered, fingering a cigarette delicately.
• How soon can you take the road ?' asked Concha abruptly.
· Ten minutes—the time for a cup of coffee,' was the answer, given with a pleasant laugh.
" Then order your carriage.'
Vincente looked at his old friend, and the smile never left his lips, though his eyes were grave enough. It was hard to say whether aught on earth could disturb this man's equanimity. Then the General rose and went to the window which opened upon the courtyard. In the quiet corner near the rain-tank, where a vine grows upon trellis-work, the dusty travelling-carriage stood, and upon the step of it, eating a simple meal of bread and dried figs, sat the man who had the reputation of being the fastest driver in Spain.
'In ten minutes, my good Manuel,' said the General.
' Bueno,' grumbled the driver, with his mouth full—a man of few words.
• Is it to go far?' asked the General, turning on his heel and addressing Concha.
'A long journey
To take the road, Manuel,' cried Vincente, leaning out. He closed the window before resuming his seat.
* And now, have you any more orders ?' he asked with a gay carelessness. 'I counted on sleeping in a bed to-night.'
* You will not do that,' replied Concha, 'when you hear my news.'
• But first you must promise me not to make use of the information I give you against any suspected persons, to take, in fact, only preventive measures.'
* You have only to name it, my friend. Proceed.'
The old priest paused and passed his hand across his brow. lle was breathless still, and looked worn.
It is,' he said, 'a very grave matter. I have not had much experience in such things, for my path has always lain in small parochial affairs—dealings with children and women.'
Estella was already pouring some wine into a glass. With a woman's instinct she saw that the old man was overwrought and faint. It was a Friday, and in his simple way there was no more austere abstinent than Father Concha, who had probably touched little food throughout the long hot day.
* Take your time, my friend ; take your time,' said the General, who never hurried and was never too late. A pinch of spuff now-it stimulates the nerves.'
It is,' said Concha at length, breaking a biscuit in his long bony fingers and speaking unembarrassedly with his mouth full, * it is that I have by the merest accident lighted upon a matter of political importance.'
The General nodded and held his wine up to the light.
• There are matters of much political importance,' he said, ' in the air just now.'
A plot,' continued Concha, 'spreading over all Spain; the devil is surely in it, and I know the Carlists are. A plot, believe me, to assassinate and rob and kidnap.'
‘Yes,' said the General with his tolerant little smile. "Yes, my dear Padre. Some men are so bloodthirsty; is it not so ?'
* This plot is directed against the little Queen; against the Queen Regent; against many who are notable Royalists occupying high posts in the Government or the army.'
He glanced at Estella, and then looked meaningly at the General, who could scarcely fail to comprehend.
Let us deal with the Queen and the Queen Regent,' said Vincente; 'the others are probably able to take care of themselves.'
None can guard himself against assassination.'
The General seemed for a moment inclined to dispute this statement, but shrugged his shoulders and finally passed it by. 'The Queen,' he said. "What of her?'
. In response, Concha took a newspaper from his pocket and spread it out on the table. After a brief search up and down the ill-printed columns, he found the desired paragraph and read aloud:
• The Queen is in Madrid. The Queen Regent journeys from Seville to rejoin ber daughter in the capital, prosecuting her journey by easy stages and accompanied by a small guard. Her Majesty sleep3 at Ciudad Real to-night, and at Toledo to-morrow night.'
• This,' said Concha, folding the newspaper, ‘is a Carlist and revolutionary rag whose readers are scarcely likely to be interested for a good motive in the movements of the Queen Regent.'
True, my dear Padre—true,' admitted Vincente, half reluctantly,
• Many kiss bands they would fain see chopped off. In the streets and on the Plaza I have seen many reading this newspaper and talking over it with unusual interest. Like a bad lawyer, I am giving the confirmation of the argument before the argument itself.'
No matter—no matter.'
* Ah! but we have no time to do things ill or carelessly,' said. the priest.
My story is a long one, but I will tell it as quickly as I can.'
* Take your time,' urged the General soothingly. “This great plot, you say, which is to spread over all Spain
* Is for to-morrow night, my friend.'
(To be continued.)
THE ENGLISHMAN'S CALENDAR.
1 William Stanley Jevons, economist and logician, b. 1835.
John Howard, philanthropist, b. 1726.
Arthur Young, agricultural economist, b. 1731.
Robert Fairfax, musician, 1514.
Sir William Dugdale, antiquary, b. 1605.
The Duke of Wellington d. 1832.
Walter Savage Landor, poet and prose writer, d. 1861.
Fall of Delhi, 1857.
Richard Bonington, painter, d. 1828.
13 VOL. III.-NO. 15, N.S.
25 Antarctic Expedition started, Sir James Ross, 1839.
Relief of Lucknow by Havelock, 1857.
First meeting of the British Association, 1831.
Horatio Nelson, admiral, b. 1758.
Bishop Percy, d. 1811.
(5) This ascent, undertaken for scientific purposes, attained the height of over six miles. (9) Gilbert discovered Newfoundland, and, entering the harbour of St. John on August 5, 1583, was the first to plant the English flag in America ; his ship foundered on the homeward voyage. (11) Stubbs describes this treaty as scarcely inferior in practical importance to the Charter itself. (14) The founder of Harvard College, United States, left England at the age of thirty, and died in America little more than a year later, leaving half his fortune to help to endow a à college at Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is also the anniversary of the day on which Marlborough received his commission in the Foot Guards, 1667, at the age of seventeen. (19) We commemorate Caxton on the day on which he completed the translation of 'Le Recueil des Histoires de Troie,' the first book ever printed in the English language. It was printed at Bruges, but the date of publication is not known. The first book printed in England was his translation, 'The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers,' published November 18, 1477. (30) That fructifying collection The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry' was first published in 1765.
J. M. S.