Page:Yorkshire Oddities, Incidents and Strange Events.djvu/233

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221
The Tragedy of Beningbrough Hall.

Had Martin only known that this ruffian had been the murderer of her who had been dearer to him than anyone else in the world, there is no doubt but the blow would have fallen heavier, and would have spared the hangman his trouble.

Giles then threw open his window and fired off his gun, to alarm the inmates of the Hall.

In a few minutes the servants made their appearance, amongst them Philip Laurie, with a ghastly face. A sign passed between him and Vasey, and he recovered some of his composure. The captured ruffian had assured him he would not betray his accomplice.

Vasey was taken into custody, and on the following day was removed to York Castle, where he was committed for burglary with intent to commit murder.

When Mr. and Mrs. Earle heard of what had taken place, the latter came with the utmost speed into Yorkshire. Mr. Earle, fearing arrest for treasonable practices, did not venture to do so.

Laurie's conduct had already excited suspicion. He had not been seen issuing from the Hall on the night of the attempted robbery with the other servants, and was found on the spot fully dressed, and that not in his usual costume, but one which looked as if intended for a disguise.

Mrs. Earle sent for him to her boudoir, and dismissed him from her service. As yet there was no charge sufficiently established against him to warrant her committing him to custody; but, she added, Vasey had declared his full intention to confess before his execution.

Laurie, a desperate man, flung himself on his knees, and implored his mistress not to send him away; or if, as he heard, she was about to escape with Mr. Earle to France, would she allow him to accompany them?

She indignantly thrust the wretch from her. He started