Page:Once a Week, Series 1, Volume II Dec 1859 to June 1860.pdf/551

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538
[June 2, 1860.
ONCE A WEEK.

alt = In the foreground, the shore of a sedgy lake; beyond it, an open carriage drawn by a dark horse, with two people in it looking at the lake apprehensively. The light is dim, the sky oppressive.

I had no time to think, or cry, or breathe. My uncle, with arm uplifted to heaven, cried out at once, “The lake!”

*****

Beneath that sad sheet of water where I, in my youth, had spent so many happy hours, hard by the sedge, the sight of which but a few days before had spread such terror in my breast, the lifeless form of Edith Gersom was discovered. Dank, wet, and limp was her dress, for she had been there many days, and tangled and dishevelled one side of her silken hair, as in the room wherein she betokened to us all her sad fate; while the locks on the other side, still close fixed to their place, told how closely her weary head had clenched the muddy sedgy pillow of its choice. Hand upon heart, sad smile upon lip, weary half-closed eyelid, told even then the history of her life. It was all love, and trust, and betrayal, and despair.

Many years have elapsed since the events of which I have spoken occurred, and of those who were witnesses of that sad scene all but three have gone to their resting-place. But the other six lived long enough to enable them, again and again throughout years, to compare with us their impressions of what we all saw. Yssbrooke has long since passed into other hands, and the girl-ghost of the Lake at Yssbrooke has, with additions and variations, become a story to amuse festive parties, or to frighten silly children. I need not say that with such it is regarded as idle gossip. Nevertheless, I was not many years ago at a gathering in that neighbourhood where the circumstances were mentioned more as they strictly occurred. The appearance of the dead girl was scouted as idle talk. To the dismay of the company assembled, there was another present who could with me lay his hand upon his heart, and say: “We were present, and we saw her!”

Ernest R. Seymour.




AN ICE STORM.

COMMUNICATED BY THE CAPTAIN OF H.M.S. SIMOON.

At 11 a.m., on January 14th, in latitude 38° 0′ 50″ S., longitude 20° 0′ 45″ E., we were steering south, with the wind E.S.E. It had been looking dirty and rainy to the northward for an hour or so, and it gradually approached us. We commenced to take in some of the sails, and in a few minutes, with the wind changing to the N.N.E. it broke upon us with a pretty sharp squall and some rain; but all of a sudden down fell large lumps of ice, not at all resembling hailstones, but rough ragged pieces of clear ice as big as a breakfast-cup or a soap-dish. It only lasted about one minute or so, which was fortunate, or we should have had our sails knocked to pieces, and really, I think, loss of life. One piece, after passing from hand to hand, weighed three ounces, and I should imagine they were of six ounces weight