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Copyright, 1895 

The Professor's Experiment 

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" Thought* are bat dreams till their effects be tried." 

The lamp was beginning to burn low ; so was the fire. 
Bat neither of the two seemed to notice anything. The 
Professor had got upon his discovery again, and once there, 
no man living could check him. He had flung his arms 
across the table towards his companion, and the hands with 
the palms turned upwards marked every word as he uttered 
them, thumping the knuckles on the table here, shaking 
some imaginary disbeliever there — and never for a moment 
quiet — such old, lean, shrivelled capable hands I 

He was talking eagerly, as though the words flowed from 
him faster than he could utter them. This invention of 
his — this supreme discovery would make a revolution in 
the world of science. 

The young man looking back at him from the other side 
of the table, listened intently. He was a tall man of about 
eight and twenty, and if not exactly handsome, very close 
<S to it. His eyes were dark, and somewhat sombre, and his 

mouth was thin-lipped, but kind, and suggestive of a nature 
that was just, beyond everything, if hardly sympathetic. 
It was a beautiful mouth at all events, and as he was clean 
shaven, one could see it as it was, without veiling of any 
kind. Perhaps the one profession of all others that most 
fully declares itself in the face of its sons is that of the law. 
A man who has been five years a barrister is seldom mis- 
taken for anything else. Paul Wyndham was a barrister, 
and a rising one — a man who loved his profession for its own 

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sake, and strove and fought to make a name in it, though 
no such struggle was needful for his existence, as from his 
cradle his lines had fallen to him in pleasant places. He 
was master of a good fortune, and heir to a title, and ten 
thousand a year whenever it should please Providence to 
take his uncle, old Lord Shangarry, to an even more com- 
fortable home than that which he enjoyed at present. 

The Professor had been his tutor years ago, and the af- 
fection that existed between them in those far off years had 
survived the changes of time and circumstance. The Pro- 
fessor loved him — and him only on all this wide earth. 
Wyndham had never known a father, the Professor came as 
near as any parent could ; and in this new wild theory of 
the old man's he placed implicit faith. It sounded wild no 
doubt — it was wild — but there was not in all Ireland a 
cleverer man than the Professor, and who was to say but it 
might have some grand new meaning in it. 

" You are sure of it ? " he said, looking at the Professor 
with anxious but admiring eyes. 

u Sure ! I have gone into it. I have studied it for twenty 
years, I tell you. What, man, d'ye think I'd speak of it 
even to you, if I weren't sure ? I tell ye — I tell ye," he 
grew agitated and intensely Irish here — " It will shake the 
world ! " 

The phase seemed to please him ; he drew his arms off 
the table and lay back in his chair as if revelling in it ; as 
if chewing the sweet cud of it in fancy. He saw in his 
mind a day when in that old college of his, over there, only 
a few streets away — in Trinity College — he should rise, and 
be greeted by his old chums and his new pupils, and the 
whole world of Dublin, with cheers and acclamations. Nay ! 
it would be more than that — there would be London, and 
Vienna, and Berlin I He put Berlin last because perhaps 
he longed most of all for its applause, but in these dream- 
ings he came back always to old Trinity and found the 
greatest sweetness in the laurels to be gained there ! r^ 

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" There can't be a mistake," he went on, more now as if 
reasoning with himself than with his visitor, who was 
watching him, and was growing a little uneasy at the pallor 
that was showing itself round his nose and mouth — a pallor 
he had noticed very often of late when the old man was un- 
duly excited or interested. " I have gone through it again 
and again. There is nothing new of course under the sun, 
and there can be little doubt but that it is an anaesthetic 
known to the Indians of Southern America years ago, and 
the Peruvians. There are records — but nothing' sufficient 
to betray the secret. It was by the merest accident, as I 
have told you, that I have stumbled on it. I have made 
many experiments. I have gone cautiously step by step 
until now all is sure. So much for one hour. So much for 
six, so much for twenty-four, so much — " his voice rose al- 
most to a scream, and he thumped his hand violently on the 
table, " for seven days — for seven months I " 

His voice broke off, and he sank back in his chair. The 
young man went quickly to a cupboard and poured out a 
glass of some white cordial. 

" Thank you — thank you," said the Professor, swallowing 
the nauseous mixture hurriedly, as though regretting the 
waste of time it took to drink it. 

" Why talk any more to-night ? " said the young man 
anxiously, " I am going abroad in a few days, but I can 
come again to see you to-morrow. It is late." He glanced 
at the clock, which pointed to ten minutes past eleven. 
The movement he made in pointing pushed aside his over- 
coat and showed that he was in evening dress. He had 
evidently been dining out, and had dropped in to see the 
Professor — an old trick of his — on his way home. 

" I must talk while I can," said the Professor, smiling. 
The cordial, whatever it was, had revived him, and he sat 
up and looked again at his companion with eyes that were 
brilliant. " As for this pain here," touching his side, " it is 
nothing, nothing. What I want to say, Paul, 


He bent towards Wyndham, and his lips quivered again 
with excitement. " If I could send a human creature to 
sleep for seven months — then why not for seven years — for 
ever ! " 

Wyndham looked at him incredulously. 

" But the last time " 

" The last time you were here, I had not quite perfected 
my discovery. But since then some of my experiments 
have led me to think — to be absolutely certain — that life can 
be sustained with all the appearance of death, upon the sub- 
ject, for a foil week at all events." 

" And when consciousness returns ? " 

" The subject treated wakes to life again in exactly the 
same condition as when he or she fell asleep — without loss 
of brain or body power." 

" Seven days ! A long time ! " The young man smiled. 
" You bring back old thoughts and dreams. Are you a 
second Friar Laurence ? Even he, though he could make 
the fair Juliet sleep till all believed her dead — could not 
prolong that unfortunate deception beyond a certain limit. 

1 And in this borrow 'd likeness of shrank death 
Thou shalt continue two and forty hours. 9 

Less than two days — and yet thou Conjuror " — he slapped 
the Professor's arm gaily — " you would talk of keeping one 
in death's bonds for years ! " 

" Ay, years ! " The Professor looked back at him, and 
his eyes shone. Old age seemed to slip from him, and for 
the moment a transient youth was his again. " This is but 
a beginning — a mere start ; but if it succeeds — if life can be 
sustained by means of this drug alone— for seven days — 
why not for months and years ? " 

11 You forget one thing," says the young man. " Who 
would care for it ? Why should one care to lie asleep for 

11 Many I " said the Professor, slowly. 

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He ceased, and a strange gloom shadowed his face. His 
thoughts had evidently gone backward into a long dead 
past — a past that still lived. " Have you no imagination ? " 
he said at last, reproachfully. " Think, boy, think ! When 
affliction falls on one — when a grievous sorrow tears the 
heart, who would not wish for an oblivion that would be 
longer than a sleeping-draught could give, and less per- 
nicious than suicide." 

" The same refusal in both cases to meet and face one's 
doom," says the young man. u You would create a new 
generation of cowards." 

" Pshaw 1 there will be cowards without me," said the 
Professor. " But here, again, take another case. A man 
we will say has had his leg cut off— well, let him sleep until 
the leg is well, and he will escape all the twinges, the 
agonizing pains of the recovery. This is but one instance ; 
all surgical cases could be treated so, and so much pain 
saved in this most painful world ! " 

u Ah ! I confess a charm lies there," said Wyndham. 

41 It does. And yet it is to the other thought I lean — to 
the dread of memory where grief and shame lie." The 
Professor's gaunt face lost again its short return of youth, and 
grew grim, and aged, and white. " See," he leant towards 
Wyndham, and pressed him into a chair beside the dying 
fire, " to you — to you alone I have revealed this matter, not 
so much because you have been my pupil, as that you have 
a hold on me. You think me dry, and hard, and old. All 

that is true. But " his voice grew if possible harsher 

than ever. " I have an affection for you." 

It seemed almost ludicrous to think of the Professor as 
having an affection for anything beyond his science, and his 
discovery — with his bald head, and his bleared eyes, and his 
cold, forbidding face. The young man gazed at him with 
pardonable astonishment. That the Professor liked him, 
trusted him, was quite easy to understand — but the word 
affection ! 

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" It surprises you," said the old man, slowly, perhaps a 
little sadly. " Yet there was a time ... ." He 
moved and poked the fire into a sullen blaze. " I married," 
he said, presently. " And she — well I loved her, I think. 
It seems hard to remember now it is so long ago, but I be- 
lieve I had a heart then, and it was hers. She died." He 
poked the fire again, and most of it fell into the grate — it 
was all cinders by this time, and the younger man shivered. 
44 It was well. Looking back upon it now,' 1 said the Pro- 
fessor, coldly, " I am glad she died. She would have inter- 
fered with my studies. Her death left me free ! but for that 
freedom I should never have found out this ! " He tapped 
some papers lying loosely on the table — three or four pages, 
no more, with only a line or two upon them — vague sug- 
gestions of the great discovery that was to shake the world 
— so vague as to be useless to anyone but himself. 

44 You had no children then ? " asked Wyndham, who 
had never even heard that he was married until now. 

44 One." The Professor paused, and the silence grew al- 
most insupportable. u He, too, is dead 1 And that, too, is 
well 1 He was of no use. He only burdened the world." 

« But " 

44 Not a question " The old man silenced him. " I 

cast him off." There was something terrible in the indif- 
ference with which he said this. 44 He was a fool. A 
criminal one. I heard — later — that he had married: no 
doubt, as great a fool as himself. I hope so. Set a thief 
to catch a thief, you know." 

He laughed bitterly — the cruel, mirthless laugh of the 
embittered old. 44 For the rest I know nothing," he said. 

44 You made no enquiries ? " 

"None! Why should I?" 

44 He was your son." 

44 Well' ? Does that make a black thing white ? No — no. 
My son — my child is here 1 " he touched the loose papers 
with a loving hand. 

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Wyndham did not pursue the subject further, and as if to 
show that it was ended, he stopped and threw some coals 
upon the fire that now seemed to be at its last gasp. A 
tiny smoke flew up between the fresh lumps, and after that, 
came a little uncertain blaze. The fire had caught the 

The Professor had gone back to his heart's desire. 

44 To see the blossom of my labor bear fruit ! That is 
my sole, my last demand from life. I have so short a time 
to live that I would hasten the fulfilment of my hopes." 

" You mean — " 

" That I want to see the drug used on a human being. I 
have approached the matter with some of the authorities at 
Kilmainham, with a view to getting a condemned criminal 
to experiment upon, but up to this I have been refused, and 
in such a presumptuous manner as leads me to fear I shall 
never receive a better answer. Surely a man respited 
for seven days, as has been the case occasionally, might as 
well risk three seven days in the cause of science." 

Wyndham shrugged his shoulders. " I have never met 
that man," said he. But the Professor did not hear him. 

" The most humane people in the world," said he, " refuse 
help to the man who has devoted twenty years of his life to 
the cause of humanity. Such an anaesthetic as mine would 
work a revolution in the world of medicine. As I have 
told you, a man might not only be unconscious whilst a 
limb was being lopped off, but might remain so until the 
wound was healed, and then made free of pain and perfectly 
well, be able to take his part in the world again." 

44 It sounds like a fairy tale," said Wyndham, smiling. 
44 You have, I suppose, made many experiments ? " 

44 On animals ; yes. And of late without a single failure ; 
— but on a human body, no. As yet no opportunity has 
been afforded me. Either jealousy or fear has stopped my 
march, which I feel would be a triumphal one, were the 
road made clear. I tell you I have addressed many leading 

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men of science on the subject. I have asked them to be 
present. I would have everything above board, as you who 
know me can testify. I would have all men look on, and 
bear witness to the splendor of my discovery!" Here 
again the Professor's strange deep eyes grew brilliant — 
once again that queer flash of a youth long ago departed 
was his. " I would have it shown to all the world in a blaze 
of light. But no man will take heed, or listen. They 
laugh. They scoff. They will not countenance the chance 
of my killing some one ; as if," violently, " the loss of one 
poor human life was to be counted, when the relief of mil- 
lions is in the balance ! " 

He sank back as if exhausted, and then went on ; his 
tone hard, yet excited. 

" Now it has come to this. If the chance were given me 
of trying my discovery on man, woman or child — I should 
take it, without the sanction of the authorities — and with 
it that other chance of being hanged afterwards if the ex- 
periment failed." 

44 You feel so sure as that ? " questioned Wyndham. The 
old man's enthusiasm had caught him. He too was looking 
eager and excited. 

" Sure ! " The Professor rose, gaunt, haggard, and with 
eyes that flashed Are beneath the pent brows that overhung 
them. 4i I would stake my soul, nay, more, my reputation, 
on the success of my discovery. Oh, for a chance to prove 

At this moment there was a low knock at the door. 

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a Of all things tired thy lips look weariest " 
44 What shall I do to be forever known ? " 

Thk handle was turned, and the door opened with a con- 
siderable amount of caution (the Professor did not permit 
interruptions). It was evidently however, the caution of 
one who was suppressing badly a wild desire to make a 
rush into the room, and presently a man's head appeared 
round the corner of the door, and after it his body. He 
came a yard or two beyond the threshold, and then stood 
still. His reddish hair was standing out a little, and his 
small twinkling Irish eyes were blinking nervously. He 
looked eagerly first at the younger man, who was his mas- 
ter, and then at the Professor, and then back again at 

" Well, Denis," said the latter, a little impatiently. 
" If ye plaze, sir, there's an unfortunate young faymale 
on the steps below." 

The Professor frowned. As if such an ordinary occur- 
rence as that should be allowed to interfere with a discus- 
sion on the great discovery. Wyndham spoke. 

" If she is noisy or troublesome, you had better call a 
policeman," he said, indifferently. 

" Noisy ! Divil a sound out of her," said Denis. " She 
looks for all the world, yer honor, as if there wasn't a spark 
o' life left in her ! Sthretched in the hall she is, an' the 
color o' death." 

" In the hall ? " said Wyndham, quickly. < " I thought 
you said she was on the steps." 

" She was. She "—cautiously— 44 was 1 But—" He 

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paused and scanned anxiously the two faces before him. 
" It's bitther cowld outside to-night — so I tuk her in." 

And indeed though the month was May a searching wind 
was shaking the city, and biting into the hearts of young 
and old. As often happens in that " merrie month " a light 
fell of snow was whitening the tops of the houses. 

" I had better see to this," said the young man, rising. 
He left the room, followed by Denis (who had stopped to 
throw a few more coals on the now cheerful fire), and went 
down to the cold, bare, hideous hall below. The light from 
the solitary gas lamp scarcely lit it, and it took him a few 
seconds to discern something, that lay on the worn tar- 
paulin, at the lower end of it. At last he made it out, and 
stepping nearer saw that it was the figure of a young and 
very slight girl. She was lying on the ground, her back 
supported against a chair, and Wyndham could see that 
Denis had folded an old coat of the Professor's that usually 
hung on the hat stand, and placed it behind her head. 

The light was so dim that he could not see what she was 
like ; but stooping over her he felt her hands, and found 
that they were cold as ice. Instinct, however, told him 
that life still ran within her veins, and lifting her quickly 
in his arms, he carried her upstairs to the room he had just 
left, and where the Professor still sat, so lost in fresh 
dreams of the experiment yet to be made, that he started as 
Wyndham re-entered the room with his strange burden ; it 
was indeed with difficulty that he brought his mind back to 
the present moment. He had forgotten why the young 
man had left the room. 

" She seems very ill," said Wyndham. His man had fol- 
lowed him and now, through a sign from his master, he 
pulled forward a huge armchair, in which Wyndham placed 
the unconscious girl. 

The Professor came nearer and stared down at her. She 
was very young — hardly eighteen — but already misery or 
want, or both, had seized and laid their cruel hands upon 

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her ; dabbling in dark bistre shades beneath her eyes, and 
making sad hollows in her pallid cheeks. The lips, white 
now, were firmly closed as if in death, but something about 
the formation of them suggested the idea that even in life 
they could be firm too. 

It was a face that might be beautiful if health had 
warmed it, and if joy had formed a seat within the heart 
that now seemed at its last ebb. The lashes lying on the 
white cold cheek were singularly long and dark, and Wynd- 
ham roused himself suddenly to find himself wondering 
what could be the color of the eyes that lay hidden behind 
that wonderful fringe. 

Her gown was of blue serge, neatly, even elegantly made, 
and the collar and cuffs she wore were quite primitive in 
their whiteness and simplicity. She had no hat or cloak 
with her, but a little grey woollen shawl had been evidently 
twisted round her head. Now it had fallen back, leaving 
all the glory of her rich chestnut hair revealed. 

Involuntarily the young man glanced at her left hand. 

There was no ring there. An intense wave of pity swept 
over him. Another ! Dear God ! What cruel sorrows lie 
within this world of Yours ! 

The face was so young, so free of hardness, vice, of taint 
of any kind, that his very heart bled for her. Misery alone 
seemed to mark it. That was deeply stamped. Looking at 
her, he almost hoped that she would never wake again — 
that she was really dead, but even as this thought crossed 
his mind she stirred, sighed softly, and opened her eyes. 

For a while she gazed at them. On the Professor im- 
passive, silent — on the younger man anxious, pained ; and 
then with a sharp, quick movement, she released herself 
from the arm Wyndham had placed round her, and raised 
herself to a sitting posture. There was such terror in her 
eyes as she did this that the younger man hastened to reas- 
sure her. 

u You are quite safe here," he said, kindly. The girl 

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looked at him, then cast a frightened glance past him, and 
over his shonlder, as though looking fearfully for some 
dreaded object. " My man found you on the steps outside. 
Tou were ill — fainting, he said — so he brought you in here 
to," with a gesture towards the Professor, "this gentle- 
man's house." 

The girl looked anxiously at the Professor, who nodded 
as in duty bound, but who seemed unmistakably bored for 
all that, and angry enough, to frighten her afresh. 

" If you will tell us where you live," said Wyndham, 
gently, u we shall see that you are taken back there." 

The girl shrank visibly. She caught the little shawl that 
had slipped from her, and drew it round her head once 
more, almost hiding her face. 

" I can find my own way," she said. The voice was low, 
musical ; it trembled, and as she moved forward to pass 
Wyndham, so did she. She even tottered, so much indeed 
that she was obliged to catch hold of a table near to keep 
herself from falling. 

" It is impossible for you to walk to-night," said the 
young man, earnestly. " And there is no necessity for it. 
My servant is at your disposal — he can call a cab for you 
and he is quite to be trusted — he will see you to your 

The girl hesitated for a moment, then lifted her heavy 
eyes to his. 

" I have no home," she said. 

It was a very forlorn answer, and it went to Wyndham's 
heart. God help her, poor girl, whoever she was. He 
glanced again at her clothes, which were decidedly above 
the average of the extremely wretched, and he was conscious 
of a certain curiosity with regard to her — a distinctly 
kindly one. 

The girl caught the glance and turned away her head. 

" You can at least sa} r where you want to be driven," 
said he, gravely, but with sympathy ; he hesitated for a mo- 
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ment and then went on. " So questionB #111 be a6k6d," he 

She made no answer to this, and White he waited for onfe 
the Professor broke in impatiently, 

" Come, girl, speak ! Where do you wtat to go ? Where 
do you lire f " 

On this followed another shorter siteticfe, And then at last 
she spoke. 

" I shall not go back," she said. Her tone Was low, but 
defiant, and very firm. 

"That means you will not tell," said the Professor. 
"Then go — do you hear — go! You fire interrupting us 
here." He motioned towards the door, Where Deriis fetOdd 
mute as a sentinel — he was indeed ari old soldier for* ike 
matter of that. 

The girl stepped quickly, eagerly forward, tttit Wyrtdbain 
stopped her imperatively, and standing between he* and the 
door, he spoke to the Professor. 

" It is impossible to turn her out tit thid hour— in thin 
weather." He stopped, and now looked at the girl and 
spoke to her. 

"Why can't you trust us?" he said, with ahgry re- 
proach. " Why can't you let us do something fbt you t 
You must have a boine somewhere, however bad." 

The girl thus addressed turned Upon hiih suddenly With 
miserable passion shining in her large, dark ey&. 

" I have not," she said. " tinder the sky of Odd, thert 
is no creature so homeless as I am." 

Her passion Was so great that it struck the listeners into 
silence. She made a little gesture with her* artns suggestive 
of awful Weariness, then spoke again. 

" There was a place where I lived yesterday. It Was not 
a hoine. I shall hot live there again. I h*¥d left it. I 
shall not go back." 

" But wherd, then, are you going f " Asked Wyridhaffi im- 


11 1 don't know." She drew her breath slowly, heavily. 
It was hardly a sigh. There was enough misery in it for 
ten sighs. But her passion was all gone, and a terrible in- 
difference had taken its place ; and there was such con- 
summate despair in her tone, as might have touched even 
the Professor. But it did not. He had begun to study her. 
He was always studying people, and now a curious ex- 
pression had crept into his face. He leaned forward and 
peered at her. There was no compassion in the glance, no 
interest whatever in her as a suffering human thing, but 
there was a sudden sharp interest in her as a means to a de- 
sired end. Thought was in his glance, and a wild longing 
that was fast growing to a hope. 

" Have you no plans, then ? " asked the young man. His 
tone was sad. He had looked into the depths of her dark 
eyes, and found there no guile at all. 

" None ! " She was silent awhile, and then very slowly she 
raised her head — her brows contracted, and she looked past 
them both into vacancy. If she was communing with her 
own heart the results were very sad. Despair itself 
gathered in her eyes. She turned presently and looked at 
Wyndham. " I wish," said she, with a forlorn look, " that 
I had the courage to die." 

It was unutterably sad. This young creature,with all 
her life before her, praying for courage to end it. Graving 
for death in the midst of life, wishing she had the courage 
to escape from a world that had evidently given her but a 
sorry welcome. 

Wyndham looked round at the Professor as if expecting 
him to join in his commiseration for this poor, unhappy 
child, but what he saw in the Professor's face checked him. 
It startled him, and stopped the tide of sympathy for a 
time— as great floods will for the moment always catch and 
carry with them the milder rushes of the rivers near. 

The Professor's face was indeed a study. It was radiant 
— alight with a strange and sudden hope. His piercing 

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eyes were fixed immovably upon the girl. They seemed to 
burn into her as though demanding and compelling an an- 
swering glance from hers. 

She obeyed the call ; slowly, languidly, she lifted her head. 

u So you would die ? " said he. 

"Yes," the word fell listlessly from her lips: but she 
stared straight at him as she said it, and her young unhappy 
face looked nearly as grey as the old merciless one bending 
over it. 

" Then why live ? " pursued he. " Death is easy." 

" No, it is hard," she said. " And I am afraid of pain." 

" If there were no pain, you would risk it then f " 

She hesitated. His glance was now indeed so wild, so 
full of frantic eagerness, that it might readily have fright- 
ened one older in the world's ways. To Wyndham waiting, 
watching, it occurred that the Professor was like a spider 
creeping towards its prey. He shuddered. 

" Speak girl, speak 1 " said the Professor. His agitation 
was intense, and almost beyond control. Here I Here to 
his hand was his chance. Was he to have it at last, or 
lose it for ever ? Wyndham could stand it no longer, he 
went quickly forward, and standing between the Professor 
and the girl, took the former by the shoulders and pushed 
him gently backwards, and out of hearing. 

" If this drug of yours possesses the life-giving properties 
you speak of," said he, sternly, " Why speak to her of death ? 
Do you honestly believe in this experiment ? Or do you 
fear it — when you suggest this sort of suicide to her ? " 

" I fear nothing," said the old man. " But we are all 
mortal. We can all err, even in our surest judgments. The 
very cleverest of us can be deceived. The experiment 
— though I do not believe it — might fail ! " 

At the word fail he ronsed. 

" It will not 1 It cannot 1 " he cried, with vehemence. 
" But in the meantime I would give her her chance, too. 
She shall know the worst that may befall her." 

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" Why not tell her all 1 " said the young man, anxiously. 
li It," hfe hesitated and fcolored faintly. " It would givfe he* 
her chance perhaps in another world if your experiment 
failed, tt would take from her — in part — the sin of deliber- 
ately destroying herself." 

*fche Professor shrugged his shoulders. He thought it 
wadte of time this preparing for another world — another 

" You think then that I should tell her." 

" I do. I think, too," said Wyndham, strongly, 4< that 
if ytiut Experiment succeeds you should consider her in 
your debt for ever." 

" I shall see to her future, of course." 

il If," said the young man, gloomily, " anyone could see 
tfc the future of such an one as she is ! " 

The Professor looked at him. 

u You are out of sorts to-night," he said, " Your nat- 
tltfti instinct is deadened in you. That girl does not belong 
to the class of which you are thinking. Whatever has 
dfitfctt her to hef present desperate state of mind, it is not 

u tou think that ! " Wyndham looked doubtful, but 
watt still conscious of a faint wave of relief; and the Pro- 
fessor watching him, smiled, the tolerant smile of one who 
Understands the Cranks and follies of poor human nature. 

" If so," said Wyndham, quickly, " she should surely not 
be subjected to this experiment at all. Shfe " * 

" For all that, I shall not lose this chance," said the Pro- 
fessor, shortly. He turned, and went back to the girl. 

She was sitting in the same attitude as when he left her 
— hfei* hands clenchfed upon her knees, her eyes staring into 
the fire. God alohfe knew what she saw there. She did 
not change her position, but sat like that, immovable as a 
statue, as the Professor expounded his experiment to her ; 
attd theti asked her the cold, unsympathetic question as to 
whether, now shfc kttfcw what thfc risk wad, shfe would accept 

1$. l\ gaight jnj*n cjeaj;!*, tyjt if no*, it wqflM «ea» fftfetj 
and protection in the future. 

Wfe§n ^e bad f}nishe<}, she turged her sombre eygf on 

" I will ta|o the risk," she p%i<|. 

Wyndham made * movement aq if to speak, but tfee Pro- 
fessor checked him. 

** Of course if the experiment is successful/' he wd, 44 I 
S^ftll provide for you for life." 

" I lppe you will not ^ve tq provide fqr me," sh$ said. 

At this, a little §ilence fell upon the roqin, that seeniedto 
gfefll 1$. ^he frofes^qr broke it. 

" f w ^gree, thm ? " 

" I agree." She rose, and hp}d out her hand. "> Qiy^ me 

Wyndham started, Ijis Yqicg yibratiflg witfe feorrqr. 
f* Bjfq, no," he criec|. " §N does not understand 1 & I H*! ?, **> 
the PrQfes§qr, " neither dp yog. Jf this thing feils, i^ W*ll 
jnjean jnurder. Think, I entreat yqu, before it is top lat$ |o 
(h^ajc. Thjrt girl," ppinting to t\& ypqng stranger, w^o 
Was standing regarding j^ w i t ^ g ^jj curiosity—" ?bg }s 
ira* ft cfeild. She cannot know fopr qw& inin^. $1)0 qugfet 
not to be allowed to settle so stupendous a question, pqqk 
at |ter I " gis yojpe shpok. 44 Many 4 happier girl at her 
j^ge Tfoujd still foe in her schoqlrooin. §}# is so ypftfig |h*t, 
whatever her ^rrp^gs, Ijer sorrows pi$y tje, she has §til} t|n)e 
befqr$ her tQ c 9 n fltt e F or live them flpwn. Professor, I im- 
pl6re you, do not go on with this." 

£he Pfofesgor res^P^ » contemptuous glance pfi bJm for a 
njpmegt, tjipn swept it frqin him, and addressed Jjhe gif). 

14 Yqu §rp wijlipg ? " he saic|. 

44 Yes." She spoke quite firmly, but sh$ w^s lifting frt 
Wyndham. It was a 8{,r*nge lpqk, iflacjp HP Q f surprise, 
§3$| fpig@ otfrer feeling, Jiardly defined. 

44 §he is ijqt ajlj" ferpke |fl Wyndham aga^, veb$p&entjy. 
" Tfcfrt if yqu tp bf poRfidefed, tqo. If thi* sleep qf ygur 


making terminates fatally, have you considered the conse- 
quences to yourself? " 

The Professor smiled. He pointed to the girl, who stood 
marble-white beneath the dull gaslight. 

44 Like her, I take the risk," he said. " I think I told 
you a little while ago that I would chance the hanging." 
His smile — a very unpleasant one — faded suddenly, and his 
manner grew brusque and arrogant. " There — enough," 
he said. " Stand aside, man. Do you think that now — 
now, when at last my hour has come — that I am likely to 
let it slip, though death itself lay before me ? " 

44 For God's sake, Professor, think yet a moment," said 
the young man, holding him in his grasp. 4i She is young 
— so young ! .... To take a life like that." 

44 1 am going to take no life," coldly. " I see now that 
you never had any faith in me at all." 

44 1 believe in you, as no other man does," rejoined Wynd- 
ham hotly. " But surely at this supreme moment a doubt 
may be allowed me. If this thing were done openly in the 
eye of day — in sight of all men, it were well — but to try so 
deadly an experiment here — at midnight — with no witnesses 
as it were — great heavens, you must see the pitfall you are 
laying for yourself. If this experiment fails " 

44 It will not fail," said the Professor coldly. 44 In the 
meantime," he cast a scornful glance at him. " If you are 
afraid of being called as a witness, it is," pointing to the 
door, 44 still open to you to avoid such a disagreeability." 

Their eyes met. 

44 1 don't think I have deserved that," said the other, 
proudly, and all at once in this queer hour both men felt 
that the tie that had bound them for years was stronger 
than they knew. 

44 Stay then," said the Professor. 

He went into an inner room and returned with a phial 
and glass and advanced towards the girl with an almost 
buoyant step. There was, indeed, an exhilaration 

./ sr i i 


whole air, that amounted almost to madness. He looked 
wild — spectral, indeed, in the dim light of the solitary 
lamp, with his white hair thrown back and his eyes shining 
fiercely beneath the rugged brows. 

44 Are you ready ? " he asked. 

She made a slight gesture of assent, and went a step or 
two to meet him. She was deadly pale, but she stood with- 
out support of any kind. The Professor poured some of 
the pale fluid from the phial into the glass with a hand that 
never faltered, and the girl took it, with a hand that fal- 
tered quite as little, but before she could raise it to her lips, 
Wyndham caught her arm. 

44 Stop," cried he as if choking. " Have you thought — 
have you considered that there is no certainty in this 
drug." Her eyes rested for a moment in his. 

44 1 thought there was a certainty," she said, slowly. 

44 A certainty of death, perhaps," said he, poignant fear 
in his tone. " At this last moment I appeal to you, for 
your own sake. Don't take it. If you do, it is doubtful 
whether you will ever come back to life again." 

She looked at him steadily. 

44 1 hope there is no doubt," she said. She raised the 
glass and drank its contents to the dregs. 

As she did so, some clock in the silent city outside struck 
the midnight hour. 

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"A land of darkness, as darkness itself, and of the shadow of 
death j without any older, and where the light is as darkness," 

MeEfijjNg Jia4 broken through the sullen gloom of night, 
and still the twp pen watched beside the couch, on which 
the gprj Jay, seemingly }n ajl the tranquility of death. The 
Professor's drug had been calculated to keep her asleep for 
exactly six hours. So long a time would be a test. If she 
Jived, and wpfce at the right time, then he would try again. 
He would make it wprtb her wb jle. For the younger man, 
during thip anxjpus vigil ? there bad been passing lapses of 
p)emory ? Jbat bfy however, would have disdained to acknowl- 
edge as §|eep ? |>ut witty the pld man there bad been no ques- 
tfcn of pJrfiFipi* ; and, now, as the vital moment drew near 
that should test the trutji of the great discovery, even 
Wyndham grew abnormally wide-awake, and with nervous 
Jja^rt-ejnkings watched tfte pale death-like face of the girl. 

Could it be unrpa} ? ^Vyndbam rose once and bent over 
Jjgr, No faintest t>riea{;ty canie frpm ber lips or nostrils — the 
whole face had taken the pinched ashen appearance of one 
who had lain for a full day dead. The hands were waxen, 
and the forehead too. He shuddered and drew back. At 
that moment he told himself that she was dead, and that 
he had undoubtedly assisted at a form of murder. 

He turned to the Professor, who was sitting watch in 
hand, counting the moments. He would have spoken, but 
the old man's grim face forbade him. He was waiting. At 
twelve o'clock the girl had sunk into a slumber so profound, 
so representative of death, that Wyndham had uttered an 
exclamation of despair, and had told himself she was indeed 
■truck down by the Destroyer, and now when six o'clock 

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strikes she ought to rise from ber strange slumbers if the 
Professor's drug possessed the powerful properties attributed 
to it by its discoverer. 

As ^Yyudham stood watching the Professor, a sound 
smote upon his ear. One 1 Again the city clock was toll- 
ing the hour. The Professor rose, his face was ghastly. 
One, two, three, fpur, five, six 1 

Six ! The Professor bent down over the girl, and Wynd- 
ham went near to him, to be ready to help him when the 
moment came — when the truth was made clear to him that 
his discovery had failed. Wyndbam himself had long ago 
given up hope, but be feared for the old man, to whom his 
discovery had been jnore than life or love for over twenty 

Tbe Professor still stood peering into the calm face. 
Six I and no sign, no change I 

Already the sun's rays were beginning to peep sharply 
through the window ; there was a slight stir in the street be- 
low. Six-thfrty ; and still the Professor stood gazing on the 
quiet figure, as motionless as \t. Seven o'clock and still no 
inovement. The face now lovely in its calm, was a marble, 
and the limbs lay rigid, the fingers lightly locked. Death, 
death alone could loofc like that 1 

Palf-past seven ! As the remorseless clock recorded the 
time, t\xe Professor suddenly threw UP his arms. 

K She is plead 1 " be said- " Oh ! my God I " 

He reeled forward, and the young man caught him in his 
arms. He was almost insensible, and was gasping for breath. 
Wyndbam carried him jntp an adjoining room and laid him 
on a J>ed, and finding him cold covered him with blankets, 
ftyis, $q far as it went, was well enough for the moment, 
font what was the next step to be ? The old man lay gasp- 
ipg, am} evidently there was but a short step between bis 
state and that of his victim outside. Yet how to send for 
a doctor wfth that viptifn outside ? To the Professor whose 
hours were numbered it would mean little or nc 

Digitized by V 



to him, Wyndham, it would mean, if not death, eternal dis- 
grace. He drew a long breath and bent over the Professor, 
who was now again sensible. 

" Shall I send for Marks, or Drewd ? " he asked, naming 
two of the leading physicians in Dublin. 

The Professor grasped his arm ; his face grew frightful. 

" No one — no one," he gasped. " Are you mad. Do 
you think I would betray my failure to the world. To have 

them laugh — deride " he fell back gasping still, but 

menacing the young man with his eye. By degrees the 
fury of his glance relaxed, and he fell into a sort of slumber, 
always holding Wyndam's arm, however, as if fearing he 
should go. He seemed stronger, and Wyndham knelt by 
the bed, wondering vaguely what was going to be the end 
of it all, and whether it would be possible to remove the 
corpse outside without detection. There was Denis — Denis 
was faithful, and could be trusted. 

Presently the Professor roused from his fit of unconscious- 
ness. He looked up at the young man, and his expression 
was terrible. Despair in its worst form disfigured his fea- 
tures. The dream of a life had been extinguished ! He 
tried to speak, but at first words failed him, then — 

" All the years — all the years ! " he mumbled. Wynd- 
ham understood, and his heart bled. The old man had 
given the best years of his life to his discovery, and now — 

" I have killed her ! " went on the Professor, after a min- 
ute or two. 

" Science has killed her," said Wyndham. 

"No. I, with my cursed pride of belief in myself. I 
have killed her," persisted the old man. " I would to God 
it were not sol" He did not believe in anything but 
science, yet he appealed to the Creator occasionally as some 
moderns still do to Jove. His lean fingers beat feebly on 
the blankets. " A failure — a failure," he kept muttering, 
his eyes fixed on vacancy. " I go to my grave a failure ! I 
set my soul on it. I believed in it, and it was naught." 

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He was rambling, but presently he sprang into a sitting 
posture, his eyes afire once more. " I believe in it still," he 
shouted. " Oh, for time, for life ; to prove ... oh 
God, if there is a God, grant me a few more days ! " He 
fell into a violent fit of shivering, and Wyndham gently 
laid him back in his bed, and covered him again with the 
blankets, where he lay sullen, powerless. 

Try not to think," implored the young man. 

44 Think— think— what else is left to me. Oh ! Paul." 
He stretched out his arm and caught Wyndham. " That it 

should be a failure after all, I wish " He paused, and 

then went on, " I wish I had not tried it upon her: she was 
young. She was a pretty creature too. She was like 

. . . someone " He broke off. 

44 She was a mere waif and stray," and Wyndham, trying 
to harden his voice. 

44 She was no waif or stray of the sort you mean," said 
the Professor. "Her face — was not like that. There," 
pointing to the room outside, " go, look on her for yourself, 
and read the truth of what I say." 

44 It is not necessary," said the young man, with a slight 
shudder. And again a silence fell between them. It was 
again broken by the Professor. 

44 She was full of life," he said 44 and I took it." 

44 She wished you to take it," said Wyndham, who felt 
choking. Her blood seemed to lie heavily on him. Had he 
not seen, countenanced her murder I The Professor did 
not seem to hear him, his head had fallen forward, and he 
was muttering again. 

44 She is dead ! " he whispered to himself. He made a 
vague but tragic gesture ; and then after a little while, 
14 Dead I " he said again. His head had sunk upon his 
breast. It was a strange scene. Here the Professor dying 
— out there the girl dead — and between them he, Paul 
Wyndham. What lay before him ? 

He roused himself with an effort from his horrible 

Digitized byVjOOQLC 

28 TQE PlfQFltexaps VXPpMtMMT, 

thoughts, and made a feint effort to withdraw tys h$nd 
from the Prpfessor's ; but though tlje Jatter had fallen injio 
a doze be still felt the atteppt at withdrawal, and tightened 
his clutch pn Wyndham, and all at once it seeinei} tq the 
young man as though tap years had rolled backward, and 
he was s.till the pupil, and this old man bis tutor, and the 
days were once more present when he had been ordered here 
and there, an4 taken his directions from him, and loved and 
reverenced him, stern and repellent as he was, as perhaps no 
tutor bad ever bpen reverenced before. 

After a Jittle while tbe Professor's grasp relaxed, and 
^Vyndjiain rose to }iis feet. A shrinking from entering the 
room beyond was combattecj by a wi}d desire tp go tbere, 
and look once again upon the slender forni pf the girl, lying 
|n death's sweet repose upon her couch. He went to the 
door, hesitated involuntarily for a second pr two, and then 

How still is death ! And hpw apart 1 Nothing pan ap- 
proach it — or move it. He looked at hej: long and earnestly, 
and all at once it came to him that she was beautiful. He 
bad nqti thought her heautiful Jast n}ght, but now, the dig- 
nity pf de#tb ba4 touphed her, and her fear and ber indiffer- 
ence and her despair had drppped from her, and the face 
shone lovely — the features chiselled, and a vague smile upon 
the small closed }ips. He noticed ope thing, and it struck 
hjm as strange, — that pinched look about the features that 
^e had noticed an h°ur ago was gone npw. ftye mpi}th was 
gpft, the rouncjed phin curved as if in life. AJmost there 
seemed a little bloom upon the pale cold pbeelfs. 

Wit}i a heavy sigh he turned away, and leaning bis arm 
upon the mantel shelf gave himsplf up a prey tp miserable 
thought. The fire had died opt long ago, and tjie mornipg 
was cold and r$w, and frpm under the |ll-fitting (Joor a little 
barsh wind was rushing, fhe Professor, though actually a 
rich man, bad never cared to change the undesirable 1}P U ?P 
that; bad sheltered bun when {frat he tried $ f§U wit)} £>r- 

Digitized by LjOOQIC 

ME PX0FE8S0&S kXPEklkENT. 29 

tune, and conquering it came out at once to the front as a 
man not to be despised in the world of science. 

What was to be done f The Professor would have to see 
a doctor, even if the medical man were brought in without 
his knowledge. Would it be possible to remove the — that 

girl — and trust to to-night for her removal to . To 

where ? Again he lost himself in a sea of agonized doubt 
and tincertainty. 

Oehis wdtlld still be here, 6f course ; but what could 
Denis do t He fell back updn all the old methods bf con- 
cealing dead bodies he had ever heard of, but everything 
seemed impossible. What fools all those others ibust h&ve 
beeh. Well, he could give himself up and explain matters ; 
but then the Professor — to have his great discovery derided 
And held up to ridicule. The old man's look, as he saw it a 
little while ago, seemed to forbid his betrayal of his defeat. 
Great heavens, what was tb be done f 

He drew himself up with a heavy sigh, and passed his 
hatld across his eyes, then turned to go back to the inner 
room to see if the Professor was still sleeping. As he went 
he tried to avoid glancing at the couch where the dead' form 
lay, but when he got close some force stronger than his will 
cbmpelled him to look at it. And as he looked he felt 
turned into stone. He seemed frozen to the spot on which 
be stood ; his eyes refused to remove themselves from what 
they saw. Staring like one benumbed he told himself at 
last that he was going mad. How otherwise could he see 
this thing ? Sweat broke out on his forehead, and a cry 
escaped him. The corpse was looking at him ! 

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" Look then into thine heart and write ! " 

Very intently too, and as if surprised or trying to re- 
member. Her large eyes seemed singularly brilliant, and 
for a while the only thing living about her. But all at 
once, as though memory had returned, she sprang to her 
feet and stood, strong, and utterly without support, and 
questioned him with those eyes silently but eloquently. 
The queerest thing about it all to Wyndham was, that in- 
stead of being enfeebled by the strange draught she had 
drunk, she looked younger, more vigorous, and altogether 
another person from the forlorn, poor child of eight hours 
ago. Her eyes were now like stars, her lips red and warm 
— the drug had, beyond doubt, a property that even the 
Professor had never dreamt of; it gave not only rest, but 
renewed health and life to those who drank it. 

Seeing Wyndham did not, or could not speak, she did. 

" I am alive ! Alive ! " she cried, with young and happy 
exultation. Where was the desire for death that lay so 
heavily on her only a few hours ago f It was all gone. 
Now, it was plain that she desired life — life only. Her 
voice rang through the room fresh and clear, filling it with 
music of a hope renewed, and so penetrating that it even 
pierced into the room beyond. And as it reached it, another 
cry broke forth — a cry this time old and feeble. 

Wyndham rushed to answer it, taking with him his last 
memory of the girl, as she then stood, with her arms thrown 
out as if in quick delight, and her whole strange beautiful 
face, one ray of gladness. 

The Professor was sitting up in bed a mere wreck, but with 
expectation on every feature. He was trembling visibly. 

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" That voice," he whispered wildly. " That voice ! I 
know it. Long years ago, I knew it. Boy, speak — tell me 
whose voice was that." 

Wyndham knelt down beside him, and took his hand in 
his. He too was trembling excessively, and his eyes were 
full of tears. 

" Sir," he said softly, " she is alive." 

" She. She— Who?" asked the Professor— he bent for- 
ward — his features were working. 

44 That girl . . . last night . . . She lives, Sir. 
Tour experiment has not failed after all." 

He feared to look at the Professor when he had said this 
and bent his head leaning his forehead on the wrinkled hand 
he held. It quivered slightly beneath him, but not much, 
and presently the old man spoke. 

44 She lives ! " His voice was stronger now. Wyndham 
looked up, and found the Professor looking almost his 
normal self, and with that expression in his eyes that the 
young man knew, as meaning a sharp calculation. 

44 Yes. I have spoken to her, will you see her ? " 

44 No." The Professor silenced him by a gesture. He 
was evidently in the midst of a quick calculation now. 

44 The hour she woke ? " he asked presently, with such a 
vigorous ring in his tone that Wyndham rose to his feet 

44 Two minutes ago." 

44 Hah I " The Professor went back to his calculations. 
Presently a shout broke from him, 44 I see it now," he cried, 
victoriously. 44 1 see where the mistake lay. Pool ! that I 
was, not to have seen it before. It was a miscalculation, 
but one easy to be rectified. An hour or two will do It. 
Here, help me up, Paul " 

44 But Professor, it is impossible, you must rest ; you — " 

44 Not another moment, not one I tell you," cried the 
Professor furiously. He lunged out of bed. 44 This thing 
must be seen to at once. What time can any man be sure of, 

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that he should waste it ? The Discovery must be assured. 
And what time have I 7 " 

He fell forward. He had fainted. Wyndham laid him 
back, and rushed frantically into the next room. 

The girl was standing just where he had left her. But 
her arms were outstretched no longer, they were better em- 
ployed — they were doing up her hair. 

There was a glass on a wall opposite to him, and by this 
she was trying to bring herself back to as perfect a state 
of respectability as circumstances permitted her. 

" You must go," said Wyndham. " And at once. Do 
you hear ? At once." 

And indeed it was imperative that she should be out of 
the house before the arrival of the doctor, for whom he was 
now about to go. 

She rose. And suddenly gladness died from her face, her 
arms dropped to her sides, something of the old misery, but 
not all, settled down on her once more. 

" I can go," she said. " I — I am not so afraid now when 
it is day, but — he said — " 

t>oor child, she had remembered the bargain of the night 
before. She had not thought it worthy of thought thfen, 
believing Death indeed lay before her when she drank that 
draught, but, when she woke, when memory returned to her 
(and it always came quickly after such a draught as that), 
she had gladly told herself that now all her troubles were 
at an end, that the old man would provide for her, protect 
her. And now this young man, so forbidding, so unkind, 
with his harsh voice and ways ; and yet last night he had 
seemed so kind ! 

" He is dying 1 " said Wyndham shortly. " A doctor must 
be summoned without delay. I shall arrange for your going 
— for your safety, but you must be quick." He rang the 
bell for Denis, who was waiting fbr him belo*. The Pro- 
feasor's only servant was a charwoman, whb left nightly at 
ten, and did not return till the same time next mbrnifag. 


" You need provide for nothing," said the girl ; she 
caught up the little shawl that had been wrapped round her 
last night, and moved towards the door. 

" Stay a moment, you can't go like this," said the young 
man distractedly. " I have a servant who will take you to 
some place of safety. It is impossible that you should go 
like this. Why — " awkwardly. " You haven't even got a 

She stopped and looked at him. 

" It is not you who are responsible," she said. " And " 
— she drew her breath quickly — "after all no one is. I 
took that drug of my own accord, of my own will, but he 

did promise to — to . But if he is dying f " She looked 

at him anxiously, making the last speech a question. 

44 I am afraid so." 

44 Then that is at an end." She went towards the door. 

44 Wait for my servant," entreated he, following her, and 
laying a hand upon her arm. 44 1 cannot allow you to go 
like this." 

44 1 don't see what it is to you," said she. 

" It is much — a great deal. For one thing, the Professor, 
if he recovers, would never forgive me for letting you go 
out of his life without reparation — without the fulfilment of 
his promise to you. You are in his debt remember. It," 
eagerly, 44 was a bargain. And after all, if you throw off 
his responsibility now, where will you go ? You say you 
have no home. No " 

44 Nothing ! Nothing ! " she said. He could see her face 
pale again, and again that dreadful look of despair, of hope- 
lessness, that had crowned her last night, aged and made 
miserable her face. 

He turned gladly from the sad contemplation of it to ad- 
dress Denis, who had entered the room, his small twinkling 
eyes as bright as ever ; but, then, he had slept tranquilly 
the whole night through by a kitchen fire, that would have 
been hard to rival in heat and brilliancy. Amongst all 

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Denis' many virtues, one stood out : he could always be 
depended upon to look after himself. And really that is a 
great thing in a faithful servant ; so many of them like to 
pose as martyrs in the cause. 

Wyndham led his servant a little aside. 

" You see this " He hesitated for a word, and then 

said, " young lady — you will take her away at once. There 
is not a moment to be lost. Get her out of the house di- 
rectly. I am going for a doctor. The Professor is seri- 
ously ill. Do you understand ? You are to lose no time. 
You must take her away at once." 

Denis stared at him in the appallingly nonunderstanding 
way that belongs, I believe, to the Irish servant alone. It 
doesn't mean that they don't understand; it only means 
that they are taking it all in, with a cleverness that few 
other servants can show at a moment's notice. 

" An' where, yer honor ? " 

" Anywhere out of this ! " 

This struck him as abominably unfeeling, and he added 
hastily, " To the safest place you know — the very safest. I 
depend upon you, Denis. Treat her as you would your own 

Digitized by 




"For the shades are about us that hover, 
When darkness is half withdrawn, 
f And the skirts of the dead night cover, 

The face of the live, new dawn." 

Ths doctors when they came could do nothing for him. 
The Professor, though hardly an old man as the ordinary 
acceptation of the word goes, being still within the seven- 
ties, had so burnt out his candle at both ends that all the 
science in Europe could not have kept him alive for another 
twenty-four hours. A spice of gruesome mirth seemed to 
fall into the situation, when their declaration was laid bare, 
and one thought of the Great Discovery ! 

Wyndham was the one who thought of it, and a wild 
longing to rouse the old man who was now sunk into an 
oblivion that presaged death, and compel him even in his 
death throes to reveal the secret that might bring even him 
back to life, seized upon him. But he felt it was impossi- 
ble ; and presently the two great men went downstairs to 
consult each other, and he was left alone with his dying 

They had hardly gone when, watching as he incessantly 
did the face of the Professor, he noticed a change. He 
bent over him. 

44 Why doesn't she speak now," said the Professor. He 
was thinking of the girl's voice. A voice that had taken 
him back to his early days in some strange way. 

u Master," said Wyndham — he, too, had gone back to the 
old days — " you are thinking " 

" Of her. They said she was dead." 

4< Who was dead ? " asked Wyndham, 

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At this the old man roused. He had not known Wynd- 
ham's voice the first time, but now he did, and he turned 
and looked at him ; and presently consciousness once more 
grew within his eyes. • 

" It is you, boy. And where is she f " 

" She ? The girl you mean ? " 

" Yes. ... I promised her. You remember . . . 
It is late now, very late * . . and I must sleep. But 
. . a word, boy ... I have left you all, and she 
. . . Out of it . . you must give her . . . Give 
her ..." he sank back. 

" All — all," said Wyndham, eagerly. 

"No . . No" — he rallied wonderfully — "three hun- 
dred a year — that for a girl. . . . The rest is yours. 
. . . But see to her. ... I can trust you. You 
are a good boy. But your Greek, boy — your Greek is bad 
— your aorists are weak. You must mend — you must 
mend. . . ." 

His dying eyes tried to take the old stern look as they 
rested on Wyndham — the look he used to give the boy 
when his Greek or his Latin verses were hardly up to the 
mark, but presently it changed and softened into a wider 
light. " The boy " in the last of all moments, was for- 
gotten for the love that was strongest of all. 

" She was very like my wife," he gasped, Daintly — and 
fell back and died. 

It was all over. The doctors had taken their departure, 
and the old dismal house was very still. The Professor 
had died in the morning, and it was quite night again be- 
fore Wyndham had time to think of ordinary matters. It 
was the presence of Denis, who had come up to see — prob- 
abty — how his master had continued to live so long with- 
out him — that brought back the thought of the girl to 


" Where did you take her?" he asked, listlessly. Even 
as the words passed his lips he knew it was most important 
that she should be found again. She was now the inherit- 
ress of three hundred a year — no mean thing for a girl who 
only last night was ready and willing to die, of want, 
amongst other things, no doubt. 

" To the Cottage, sir ! " 

44 To " Wyndham gazed at him as if too astonished 

to give way to the words that evidently lay very near to 
his tongue. 

44 The Cottage, sir. Yer own place, sir." 

44 The Cottage," repeated Wyndham, now breaking forth 
in earnest. 44 What the devil did you take her there for ? " 

His extreme anger would have cowed perhaps any other 
servant in Europe, save Penis. That good man stood to 
his guns without a flinch. 

44 Pegs, sir, 'tis you can answer that," said he, with quite 
an encouraging air. 

44 What d'ye mean, Denis ? " demanded Wyndham almost 

44 I'm manin' — what I'm manin'," said Denis, who cer- 
tainly was not violent at all. 4t Ye know yourself, sir, that 
the first thing ye said to me about the crathur was to take 
her to the safest place ye knew." 

44 Well," said Wyndham, with anger he tried hard to stifle. 

44 Faix, yer honor, it seemed to me that the safest place J 
knew for the young lady was the house that belonged to 
yer honor." 

This no doubt was distinctly flattering, but at the mo- 
ment the flattery did not appeal to Wyndham. The girl 
down there : and what the deuce was he to do with her ? — 
and what would all the people round be thinking ? — for the 
most part country folk. The Cottage lay twenty miles 
outside Dublin. The Rector, Mr. Barry, would for one be 
positively enraged. He would require all sorts of explana- 

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Denis had waited for a reply, but finding none, now went 

" Anything wrong, sir ? " 

u Anything ! " said Wyndham. " Were you mad that 
you should take a — a person like that down to my house ? 
A girl found lying on the Professor's doorstep I Good 
heavens, man, what could you mean by it f " 

He exaggerated a little when he said " my house." As a 
fact he lived very little in the cottage, only using it when 
he felt tired and overdone by work. His real home was to 
be found in rooms in Dublin; pleasant rooms in Upper 
Merion Street. There he entertained his bachelor friends, 
and was highly regarded by his landlady. He was one o? 
those men — more usual than that the coming young lady 
believes — who thought a great deal more of their work and 
their reading, and their golf, than of the opposite sex. 

" Well, sir, there's this," said Denis, who had remained 
beautifully calm. " Besides tellin' me I was to take her to 
a safe place, ye specially said as she was to be thrated as 
me own daughter. I remimber the words well. Now ye 
know well, sir, havin' bin intimate with me an' Bridget 
since ye wur in yer first throusers, that we haven't a chile} 
between us ; an' yet for all that I tuck it for manin' that 
the young lady was to be given to Bridget." 

" You took a great deal upon yourself then," said Wynd- 

" May be so," said Denis, pursing up his lips. " But ye 
said as how she was to be thrated like that ; an' if a girl 
was my daughter, why — I'd take her to Bridget." 

It was impossible to go into this involved affair. Wynd- 
ham dismissed him with a gesture ; but Denis dallied at the 

" I suppose there's something wrong, sir f " persisted he. 

" Nothing," said Wyndham, putting a match to his 
cigar, " except that you are the most infernal ass I ever 


With a heavy heart Wyndham, assisted by a physician 
of great note, had gone through the Professor's papers. 
There were few of them, and with regard to the experiment 
only a few useless notes here and there, principally written 
on the backs of envelopes. There was nothing connected 
— nothing that could be used. The Professor, it seemed, 
had been in the habit of writing on his brain, and on that 
only. Alas ! There was nothing left wherewith to carry 
on the great discovery ! 

Wyndham abandoned his search with a sigh. There was 
no doubt now that the wonderful experiment was lost to all 
time. With this sad ending of it he told himself he had 
closed one chapter in his life, but he made a mistake there 
— the chapter was only beginning. 

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"In her is highe beauty without pride, 
And youth without© greenhood or folly, 
To all her workes virtue is her guide. 
Humbless hath slain in her all tyranny ; 
She is the mirror of all courtesy, 
Her heart a very chamber of holiness, 
Her band minister of freedom for airoess ! " 

— Chauckb. 

41 No," says Susan. The word is not a denial, it is merely 
an ejaculative expression of the most extreme astonishment, 
largely mingled with disbelief. 

The sun is glinting through the trees in the old orchard 
right down on her head, striking a light from the glancing 
knitting needles she has now let fall into her lap. This old 
orchard is the happy hunting ground of the Barry children 
old and young ; the place where they rush to in their joy- 
ous moments, the place where they crawl to with their 
griefs and woes. To-day neither joys nor griefs are near 
them, and it is not of sheer love alone for its mossy old 
apple trees and its sunlit corners that Susan had tripped in 
here a while ago with a dilapidated old novel tucked into 
her apron pocket, and the eternal sock with the heel half 
turned between her pretty fingers. After her had straggled 
Betty, a slender creature of sixteen, and Tom the baby. 
Tom was five, but he was always the baby, there having 
been no more babies after him, principally because his 
mother died when he was born. And last of all came Bon- 
nie, the little cripple — hopping sadly on his crutches, until 
Susan saw him, and ran back to him and caught him in her 
arms, and placed him beside her on the warm soft grass, 
putting out her much-washed cotton skirt that he might sit 

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upon it, and bo be protected from even an imaginary damp 
— and had cuddled him up to her, to the many droppings 
of the stitches of the long-suffering heel. 

Carew, who came between Betty and Susan, was away, 
fishing somewhere in the Crosby river, and Jacky had not 
put in an appearance since breakfast. How on earth his 
lessons are going to be prepared between this — two o'clock 
— and five, makes Susan wonder anxiously — why doesn't he 
come home — what can he be doing ? 

She has hardly got further than this in her thoughts of 
the truant when suddenly he appears upon the scene, a very 
rosy, bright-eyed rascal, big with news. Indeed it was the 
coming of Jacky and the astounding revelation in his open- 
ing sentence, — that he had sprung upon them in the most 
unprincipled way, without a word of warning — that had 
drawn from Susan that heavily emphasized " No I " 

She speaks again now. 

u I don't believe it," she says. 

" Oh, Susan, why not ? " asks Betty, who is sitting with 
her hands folded behind her head, perhaps because if she 
brought them forward she might find some knitting to do 
too. Idle hands they are, only made for mischief; so is the 
face to which they belong. 

" Because it's nonsense," says Susan, shrugging her 
shoulders, and drawing Bonnie closer to her. " And be- 
sides, I don't want to believe it." 

" Oh, I do," says Betty, with a little grin from under her 
big sun-hat. " Go on, Jacky." 

" I saw her, I saw her plain," says Jacky, his rosy round 
face fired with joy at the thought of being for once the 
bearer of important news. " She was walking about in the 

" In," from Susan, in a severe tone, " Mr. Wyndham's 
garden ? " 

" Yes, in there." Jacky now looks as though he is going 
to burst. " Why don't you believe me. I saw^ 

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you. I saw her quite plain. An' her hair is dark, a lot 
darker than yours, an' she's got a blue frock like your Sun- 
day one, only better ! " 

Susan interrupts him with dignity. 

" I don't see how, Mrs Denis" (Denis' wife was always 
called Mrs. Denis ; if she had any other name, it was sunk 
beneath insuperable barriers.) Mr. and Mrs. Denis she 
and her husband had been since the Priest poured his bless- 
ing down upon them and made them one in the old chapel 
built on the rock at the end of the village. This rock gave 
the Parish Priest a distinct crow over the Protestant Clergy- 

" Ye would quote me the Scriptures, would ye I " Father 
McFane would call to Mr. Barry as the latter drove by the 
chapel in his Norwegian on his way to the church beyond. 
" An' what did Saint Paul say ? ' Like a house founded 
upon a rock.' Why here's the rock, man. Come in, come 
in ; where are ye going ? " 

It occurred every Sunday, and Mr. Barry would smile 
back at Father McFane, and nod his head, for the two in- 
deed were great friends; as the Protestants and Roman 
Catholics often are in small places, until some one comes 
into them, with wild news, and absurd tidings, from incen- 
diaries outside, to upset the loving work of years. 

" I don't see how Mrs. Denis' niece or cousin, or whatever 
she is, should have a better gown than mine," says she. 

" But she isn't Mrs. Denis' cousin, she's too young," says 
Jacky. " She's a girl, and she was pulling the flowers like 
anything, and if she belonged to Mrs. Denis she wouldn't 
be let do that ! " 

Jacky's English is always horrible. 

" Oh, you've dreamt the whole thing," said Susan, con- 
temptuously. " Run away and play " She has for- 
gotten about the lessons. 

" Oh, you are a marplot. I am going to believe in Jacky 
for once in my life. Don't go, Jacky. Jacky, come back* 


If you don't Aunt Jemima will make you do your les- 

This has a magical effect. Jacky swerves round. 

44 She is there," says he, indignantly. 4; I did see her." 
He seems to dwell on this fact with gusto. " An' she's not 
Mrs. Denis' niece. On old Meany down by the mill says 
she's been there for four weeks." 

44 The plot is thickening," says Betty, lazily. 44 'Tis a 
clever villain whoever she is : fancy her being here for four 
weeks without the very size of her shoes being known 
throughout the length and breadth of Curraghcloyne. 
Four days ought to have done it. Go on Jacky. Had she 
a cloven foot by any chance ? " 

44 No. But," and Jacky's e^es widen, and he seems to 
swell, 44 Meany says she's a prisoner." 

44 A what?" 

44 Yes ; a real prisoner I She's not let go out of the place. 
Mrs. Denis never opens the front gate now, but comes out 
by the little green one we can see from the hall door, an' 
even that's locked when she comes out an' goes back again, 
Meany says." 

44 Mrs, Denis very seldom comes out by any other," says 

44 But she doesn't always lock it behind her," puts in 
Betty, who is evidently beginning to enjoy herself. 

44 Now she locks the front gate too," says Jacky, trium- 

44 It's perfectly thrilling," declares Betty sitting up and 
growing openly interested. Betty is frivolous. 44 A pris- 
oner ! and a young girl ! Can she be the long lost Princess 
of our infancy ! And imprisoned by Mr. WyndhamI Oh, 
the terrible man." 

" She is of course a friend of Mrs. Denis'," says Susan, 
with the grand air of one who will have the truth at any 
price, and who is bent on dismissing all theories, save the 
practical one. " It's the most natural thing in the world. 


We all know Mr. Wyndham told her he wouldn't come , 
down for a month or two, and so she is entertaining a niece 
or a cousin, or something.' ' 

" She isn't a niece of Mrs. Denis', anyway," persists 
Jacky, obstinately, "she," with a hopeful, yet doubtful 
glance at Betty, whose latest idea has struck him, " she is 
much more like a — a princess." Again he looks at Betty 
as if expecting her to bring him through this difficulty of 
her own making, but Betty fails him, as she fails most 

" After all I dismiss the romantic element," says she, 
nursing her knees and swaying herself indolently to and fro 
in the warm sunshine. " I incline now towards the super- 
natural. Susan, addressing her elder sister with due so- 
lemnity, perhaps she is a ghost ! " Her face thus uplifted is 
sufficiently like Susan's, to let all the world know they are 
of kin, but Betty's face, piquant, provocative, as it is, lacks 
the charm of Susan's. Betty is pretty, nay, perhaps some- 
thing more, for the Barrys are a handsome race, but Susan 
— Susan is lovely. It is useless saying her nose is not pure 
Greek, that her mouth wants this or that, that her forehead 
is a trifle too low. Susan, when all is said, when long argu- 
ment has been used, remains what she was before — lovely. 
The smiling earnest lips, the liquid eyes, the rippling sunny 
hair — all these might be another girl's, but yet that other 
girl would not be Susan. Oh 1 beauteous Susan ! with your 
youthful, starry eyes and tender, mirthful timid air, I would 
that a brush and not a pen might paint you ! 

" A ghost. Nonsense ! " says she, now contemptuously. 
" But," thoughtfully, " what a queer story." And again, 
with a wrathful glance at Jacky, " After all, I don't be- 
lieve a word of it." 

" Oh I I do. I want to," says Betty, who revels in sensa- 
tions. "And the ghost development is beautiful. I'd 
rather see a ghost than anything. As you looked, Jacky, 
did she vanish into thin air 1 " 

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44 No ; only round the corner," says Jacky , reluctantly. 
He would evidently have liked the vanishing trick. 

44 Very disappointing. But perhaps that's her way of 
doing it. Corners are always so convenient." 

44 If the gates are all locked," says Susan, turning sud- 
denly a magisterial eye upon her brother, " may I ask how 
you saw her.'* 

44 Ah ! that's part of it. That," says Betty, 44 is where 
the fire and brimstone come in. That's what makes her a 
ghost. It isn't everybody can see through stone walls," 
said she, lowering her voice mysteriously, and glancing at 
the staring Jacky. 44 She had evidently the power to turn 
Mrs. Denis' walls into glass ! It's very unlucky, Jacky, 
for ghosts to fkll in love with people, and I'm sorry to say 
I think this one has developed a mad fancy for you." 

44 She hadn't ! " says Jacky, who is now extremely pale. 

" Circumstances point to it," says Betty, who is nothing 
if not a teaze. 44 And when ghosts fell in love they do 
dreadful things to people. Things like this!" she has 
risen, and is now advancing on the stricken Jacky with her 
slender arms uplifted, and long fingers pointed downwards 
and arranged like claws. She has taken to a sort of prance, 
a high stepping walk that brings her knees upwards and 
her toes outward, and she has worked her face out of all 
recognition in an abominable grin. All this taken together 
proves to much for Jacky, who, his fiice now visibly paler, 
descends precipitately upon Susan. 

Susan had been seeing to the comfort of her little 
Bonnie, and had therefore been ignorant of Betty's flight 
of fancy until the moment when Jacky stumbles somewhat 
heavily' against her, and looking up she sees Betty'B diabol- 
ical pose. 

44 Betty, don't ! " says she, glancing back to Jacky's fece, 
which is indeed a mixture of pluck and abject terror. 

44 Would you not warn him, then," says Betty, reproach- 
fully, returning, however, to her ordinary appearance ; and 


making an aside at Bonnie, a pretence at shooting him with 
her first finger and thumb that sends the delicate little 
creature into fits of laughter. u Poor old Jacky I " return- 
ing to the charge. " It isn't for nothing that ghosts reveal 
themselves. It is easy to see that this one has her eye on 
you I " 

" She hasn't," says Jacky again, who is on the point of 
tears. He is evidently not partial to ghosts. " And it 

wasn't through a glass wall I saw her — it was " he 

stops dead short. 

" Yes," says Susan, still severely. " Do be quiet, Betty, 
and let him speak. It was ? " 

" Through the hole in the wall near the garden," confesses 
Jacky, doggedly, but somewhat shamefacedly. 

" You see it was through the wall, after all," says Betty, 
breaking into a delightful laugh. " She'll get you Jacky, 
she'll get you yet." 

" I don't think it is a very nice thing to peep through 
other people's walls into their grounds," says Susan, more 
from the point of view that she is the eldest sister, and 
bound to say a word in season now and then, than from any 
feeling of horror at the act. " All boys peep through holes 
in walls, when lucky enough to find them. How would you 
like it ? " says she, " if you were found doing it." 

" But it wasn't found," retorts Jacky, sulkily. 

44 Susan," Betty breaks into the argument, with a vivac- 
ity all her own, u you have no more morality than a cat. 
You are teaching him all wrong. It isn't the not being 
found out, Jacky, that is of importance, as Susan is most 
erroneously bent on impressing upon you ; it is the fact of 
peeping in itself that makes you the," shaking her finger at 
him, * 4 miserable sinner that you are." 

" Sinner yourself," says Jacky, now driven to desper- 
ation, and the most unreserved impertinence. 44 1 often 
saw you look through the hole in the wall yourself." 

At this, instead of being annoyed, both Susan and Betty 

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give way to inextinguishable mirth; wherewith Jacky, 
who had perhaps hoped that his shot would take effect, 
prepares once more to march away. But Betty, making a 
sudden grab at him, catches him by his trousers. 

" Wait awhile," cries she, still shaking with laughter. 
" Susan, seize his arm. Tell us the rest of it. Was 

" I won't tell you anything ; and I'm sorry I told you a 
word at all. Let me go, Betty. D'ye hear. You are tear- 
ing my breeches " 

" And you are tearing our hearts," says Betty, " Jacky, 
darling. Go on ; don't be a cross cat, now, of it. Was 
she ?" 

"Twice as pretty as you, anyway," says Jacky, with 

" Is that all? Poor girl," says Betty, who is very hard 
to beat. " Prettier than Susan." 

" Yes. Lots." 

" She must be a real princess then, and no ghost. I'd 
like to leave a card upon her. Perhaps you would kindly 
push it through the hole in the wall, Jacky." 

This is adding to the insult, and Jacky with the loss of a 
button or two, and serious injury to his suspenders, breaks 

" There now ! " says he, beginning to cry. " Look what 
you've done; and no one to mend it, and Aunt Maria will 
be angry, and father will give me twenty lines — " sobs 
check his utterance. 

Susan rises hurriedly, and with a whispered word to 
Bonnie, she passes him on to Betty, who in spite of her 
carelessness, receives the little fragile creature with loving 
arms, hugging him to her, and beginning to ransack her 
memory for a story to tell him, such as his soul loveth ; 
then Susan slipping her arm round Jacky's shoulder 
whispers soft comforts to him. He shall come in now and 
do his lessons with her, so that father shall not be vexgrt 


this evening, and after dinner (the Rector's family dined at 
two, and had high tea at seven) she would take him with 
her up to Crosby Park. 

Jacky's recovery is swift: his sobs cease, and he 
graciously allows himself to be kissed. To go to Crosby 
Park is always a joy. The big, huge, handsome place, 
with its long gardens and glass houses, and best of all, its 
absentee landlord. 

It is indeed quite ten years since George Crosby had been 
in the Park, and in all probability ten more years were 
likely to elapse before he came again. The last accounts of 
him were from Africa, where he had had a most unpleasantly 
near interview with a lion, but had got off with a whole 
skin, and another not quite so whole : The lion had come 
to grief. 

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" Where there is mystery, it is generally supposed that there most 
also be eYil." 

It is three o'clock as Susan, with Jacky in tow, leaves 
the Rectory gate and goes up the village towards the broad 
road beyond that mounts steepwards to Crosby Park. Cur- 
ragholoyne possesses but one street, and a very small one, 
too, but as a set off to that it teems with interest. 

This morning a pig fair was held in the " fair field " — a 
square mass of beaten earth — anything but u fair," and as un- 
like a field as possible, and now that the " payers of the 
rint " have been mercifully removed, bought or sold — the un- 
sightly patch is covered by young colts that are being rid- 
den up and down by their owners, with a view to showing 
them off; whilst in the far part of the field, over there, 
cows, sheep and donkeys are changing owners. 

Here, in the main street, much lively conversation is go- 
ing on. On the right Salter, the hardware man — a virulent 
Methodist who calls himself a Protestant — is retailing to a 
hushed and delighted group the very latest ritualistic news 
of the curate just lately imported, and who, if a most esti- 
mable man, is undoubtedly abominably ugly. Short and 
stout and ill-made, poor Mr. Haldane has not proved a suc- 
cess amongst the Protestants of the parish. His views are ex- 
treme, and so are his looks, and as Betty most unkindly put 
it, he should on his ordination have been at once despatched 
by the bishop of the diocese as a missionary to the Cannibal 
Islands, with a view to getting rid of him as quickly as 
possible. He is a sore trial to Mr. Barry, the rector of the 
parish, and Susan's father. But he had to replace the last 
curate in a hurry, that young man having resigned his 
charge at a moment's notice, because the Rector would not 


give his sanction to having matins at 6 a. m., he said, but in 
reality because Susan had the evening before rejected him 
with a haste that deprived him of all hope. 

Just now the excitement amongst the groups at Salter's 
is growing intense. The curate had been knocked down. 
No ! But he had fallen — and so on — and so on. A few 
shops lower down comes Mr. Murphy's the undertaker. 
He, too, as indeed do all the shopkeepers in Curraghcloyne. 
stands in the front of his shop door chatting to all who 
come and go. A little, fat, jolly man, rather useless you 
would think in a solemn business like his, and yet the best 
undertaker for all that in the seven parishes round. Per- 
haps it is well to have a cheerful person of that sort to dis- 
pel the dreadfnl gloom of death. However it is, he is a 
universal favorite, and no wonder, when I tell you he is the 
man in all Curraghcloyne who can tell you most about the 
babies ! The ones come, the ones to come immediately, and 
those in the middle distance ! The gayest, happiest little 
man in the town, with a wife as rosy as himself, and quite a 
crowd of embryo little undertakers swarming round his 
knees. But these, and many more of the Curraghcloyne 
celebrities sink into insignificance before Ricketty, the pro- 
prietor of " The Crosby Arms Hotel." This name is 
painted on a swinging signboard, with a huge boar beneath. 
The crest of the Crosbys from all time. 

Ricketty — his name was once Richards — but time and 
many devoted friendships has brought it down to Ricketty, is 
a huge benign Irishman, with the biggest jaw in Europe, and 
the smallest eyes. To his bones flesh have grown, until now 
he might have exhibited himself in the most fastidious show 
in New York as the " Last of the race of Anak," or some 
such attractive title. 

And as most big men are, so is he — the mildest-mannered 
man on earth, who would have run away if he had been 
asked to scuttle a ship, and who would have fainted if the 
idea of cutting the throat, even of a mouse, had been sug- 

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gested to him. One side of his hotel has the usual bar 
blind up in it, behind which is a parlor, where on special 
occasions the politicians congregated to air their eloquence. 
The other side is given up to a fancy shop, kept by his sis- 
ter, Miss Ricketty. 

Miss Ricketty is the wit, and therefore the scourge of the 
village (very little wit suffices for a village such as Cur- 
raghcloyne), and though nearly stone deaf, knows more of 
the " goings on " of her neighbors than anyone else in the 
small town. 

Of course there is a bank and a post office in Curragh- 
cloyne. And a town hall, where the future tenors and 
sopranos of the world sometimes " kindly consent," to sing 
to the poor people round them. And there is the draper's 
shop called " The Emporium," very justly, of course, and 
there is a market-place too where everyone says the beef 
and mutton are both bad and dear — but even the interest of 
all these fails before the caustic tongue of Miss Ricketty. 

Just as Susan reaches the window of the hotel that holds 
Miss Ricketty's show of note-paper, ballads, bull's-eyes, 
woollen mufflers, the latest thing in veils ten years old, and 
the flotsam and jetsam of various seasons past, she finds 
herself iace to face with Wyndham. 

" You have come back," says she, involuntarily. She is 
glad to see him. He is — well — scarcely an old friend, be- 
cause the distances between his comings and goings to the 
cottage make such broad margins on the leaf of time that 
he has hardly come into quite close contact with the family 
at the Rectory. But they have known him for a long time, 
and they have liked him, and there is a good deal of soft, 
pleasurable welcome in the glance that Susan gives him. 
He has been away now, she tells herself, quite two months. 

" Yes," says Wyndham, smiling. His smile is a little 
preoccupied, however. "And how are you, Jacky? My 
goodness, how we are grown. You 11 be as big as Ricketty 
presently if you don't put a weight on your head." 


Jacky sniggles, but, like Wynd ham's smile, his sniggles 
are a little preoccupied. Having shaken hands with the 
latter he retires behind Susan, and wonders if Wyndham is 
going up to the Cottage, and if he is will the ghost catch 
him. He rather hopes it. It would leave him, Jacky, free, 
anyway, and Mr. Wyndham is a big man and would be a 
better match for her. 

Susan, too, is thinking of the ghost. As Wyndham is 
facing now, the Cottage lies before him. Is he going to see 
the mysterious " Prisoner ? " Perhaps he is married to 
her? This seems delightful. Like an old romance — so 
much nicer than the commonplace marriages of to-day. 
She scans Wyndham's face swiftly with a view to saying 
something nice and kind to him, if she sees anything there 
to help her to believe in this sentimental marriage. But 
evidently she seems nothing, because she says nothing. 
After all, she tells herself, it is of course a secret. 

" I hope you will come in and see father," she says, 
presently, when she and Wyndham have discussed the town 
and its inhabitants, and she has told him all the news. He 
is in the habit of sleeping at the Cottage whenever he does 
come down, and in the habit, too, of spending his evenings 
at the Rectory, which is only just over the way from the 

" Not to-night, I'm afraid," says Wyndham. u I must 
go back to town by the evening train." 

A slight frown gathers on his brow, but he dismisses it 
as he bids her good-bye. 

" Remember me to him," he says quickly, absently. He 
pinches Jacky's ear, and is gone. 

Susan who has been inveigled into a promise concerning 
bull's-eyes, is now led triumphantly into Miss Ricketty's 
shop where that spinster is discovered in an old English 
attitude, her body being screwed out of all shape in her en- 
deavor to catch sight of some one going down the street. 
Her window is quite blocked up by her shoulders, and her 


deafness prevents her from knowing of Susan's coming 
until Jacky, falling over her left leg, which is sticking out 
behind in mid air, brings her back to the perpendicular and 
a view of Susan. 

She is a small woman, thin to a fault, and shrewd visaged, 
with a quizzical eye, and a bonnet. The latter is of the 
historic coal-scuttle shape, and must have been a most ad- 
mirable purchase when bought — " warranted to wear," in 
the truest sense of the word, as it has lasted without a 
break for at least fifty years : As no one in Curraghcloyne 
ever saw her " outside of it," and as she is popularly sup- 
posed to sleep in it, it may safely be regarded as a sound 
article ; even her worst enemy had once been heard to say 
that, " no mather how great an ould fool she was wid her 
tongue," she had made no mistake about " the bonnet." 

" An' is that you, Miss Susan, me dear ? " says she, when 
Jacky has picked himself up, and she has ceased to rub her 
ankle. " Ye're as welcome as the flowers in May, though 
divil a flower we had this year, w^d the rain, an' all. Ye're 
not in a hurry, miss, are ye now ? Ye can spare a minute 
to the ould maid ? Come in, then." 

She opens the little gate that hinges on to her little 
counter, and draws Susan inside, to her " parlor," as she 
calls the tiny space within — a cosy spot, in truth, where, in 
the winter, a fire burns briskly, and with a wall lined with 
bottles that make glad the souls of children. To Susan 
Barry the old maid has given all the heart that remains 
from her worship of her giant brother. Perhaps it is the 
almost childish sweetness of her manner that has won the 
old maid's heart, or else the young unconscious beauty of 
her — beauty being dear to the Irish heart. However it is, 
she has a warm corner in Miss Ricketty's. 

"An' how's your good aunt?" says the spinster, ad- 
justing the bonnet with one hand, whilst with the other 
she pulls out from under the counter a huge ear-trumpet, 
half a yard long, and big enough at the speaking end to 


engulf Susan's small and shapely head. " She's been ex- 
pectin' that clutch o' eggs I promised her, no doubt, but 
them hens o' mine might as well be cocks for all the teggs 
we get out of them." 

" Aunt Jemima knows that eggs are scarce now," cries 
Susan, softly, into the gulf. 

" Scarce I 'Tis nothin' them ungrateful hens is doin' for 
us now, an' we who coddled 'em up all the winther. The 
saints forgive thiml Miss Susan," leaning towards the 
girl, and speaking with the suppressed emotion of the born 
gossip, " was that Mr. Wyndham as wint up the street just 
now f " 

" Yes," says Susan. " I was talking to him just before I 
came in here." 

" No ! Blessed Vargin ! " says Miss Ricketty, recoiling, 
who had, of course, been the first to hear of the mysterious 
stranger at the Cottage, and who had indeed told the news 
to her brother, under promise of secrecy, that she knew he 
would not keep. Nor did she want him to keep it. How 
can you gossip unless you have someone to gossip with I 
That is why people spread scandals. 

" And what was he saying ? " asks she, presently, when 
she has produced a little box of figs and given them to 
Jacky, with a view to keeping him quiet until she has got 
the last word of news out of Susan. 

" Nothing, I think," says Susan, running over mentally 
her late conversation with Wyndham. "He won't have 
time to see father to-night, because he is going back to 
town by the evening train." 

" Is that what he says ? " Miss Ricketty gives her bon- 
net a push. " Faith, he's full of smartness. An' did he tell 
ye nothin' at all ? " 

11 Oh, it was I who told him everything," says Susan. 
" He wanted to know how the new curate was going on for 
one thing, and " 

" If 'twas Misther Haldane he was askin' afther so kindly , 


I could a tould him something" says Miss Ricketty. " But 
never mind him! What else was Misther Wyndham 
sayin' ? " 

" There was not time to say anything," says Susan, 
laughing. " He was in a hurry, and so was I — at least 
Jacky was — he wants you to give him two pennyworth of 
bull's-eyes. Though really, after those figs " 

" Miss Susan." The old maid puts Susan's last remark 
aside with an eloquent gesture. " Have ye heard anything 
sthrange about the Cottage lately ? " 

Susan starts, and Jacky comes to a dead set, the last fig 
between his finger and thumb. Jacky must be far gone in- 
deed when having anything edible between his fingers he 
delays about putting it between his lips. 

44 Ye have, I see," says Miss Ricketty. 44 I'm tould, me 
dear," looking behind her, and beside her, and to the door, 
and now for even better security putting up her opened 
palm to one side of her mouth, " That there's a young — a 
— " she hesitates as if to choose a word, then comes to a 
safe conclusion, u A laymale there," she says. 

44 There's a girl there. I think," says Susan, nervously. 
44 At least," here Jacky looks at her appealingly , and she 
changes her sentence, 44 Some one says there is. A niece, 
or a friend of Mrs. Denis, I suppose." 

44 Arrah ! Suppose ! " says Miss Ricketty, with consider- 
able eloquence, but without committing herself. 

44 Well, if not that," says Susan who is full of her late 
romantic idea about a secret marriage between the unknown 
and Wyndham, 44 Perhaps — perhaps Mr. Wyndham knows 
something about her." 

Miss Ricketty turns sharply, and looks at her. But the 
girl's lovely, open, tranquil face betrays nothing but a soft 
enthusiasm. A sense of amusement fills Miss Ricketty's 

44 Fegs, I'm thinkin', ye're on the right thrack," says she 

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" Tou won't say it again, Miss Rioketty , will yon ? " 
says Susan, " But I have thought — at least it has occurred 
to me— that perhaps she's Mr. Wyndham's wife ? " 

This is the little too much for Miss Ricketty. She gives 
way suddenly to a fit of coughing, and turning her back to 
Susan dives under the counter, whether to recover from a 
very proper confusion, or to indulge in very improper 
laughter, can now alas! never be known. When she 
emerges, however, her face is a fine crimson. 

" That would be very romantic, wouldn't it ? " says 
Susan, looking at her, and speaking softly, yet with a pretty 
delight. " A marriage like that — with nobody knowing 
anything — except they two you know — and I feel sure she 
is lovely, and Mr. Wyndham is very nice looking too, and 
after awhile, perhaps we shall know her. He will introduce 
us to her, and we shall be friends, and " 

" 'Tis a beautiful story," says Miss Ricketty, breaking 
in with unction. " An' beautiful stories, we all know, come 
thrue. I wish ye joy o' the bride at the Cottage, Miss 
Susan, but I wouldn't be for intherferin' wid the young ■ 
married people too soon, if I were you, me dear." 

" Of course, I shouldn't do that," says Susan hastily, her 
fair face growing earnest. " But I thought that if " 

" Well, ye'd betther wait I think," says Miss Ricketty. 
" 'Tis bad bein' in a hurry, as Misther Haldane found out 
last night." 

" Mr. Haldane f What has happened to him f " 

" Fegs, miss, it seems that last night as he was de- 
scendin' the steps from the vesthry, he thripped, God help 
us, an' fell on his ugly mug, an' broke his front teeth." 

" Oh I How dreadful ! " says Susan, real compassion in 
her tone, though the new curate is rather farther beyond 
the range of her sympathy than even the old. " I wonder 
father hasn't heard of it." 

" It seems the poor gintleman is keeping it dark," says 
Miss Ricketty, " wid the thought of gettin' thim put in 

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agin, widout anyone knowin'. But," wrathfully, u 'twill 
be no use for him. I see that villain of a Salther down 
there," with a glance out of the window, " tellin' every wan 
of it. Why ye must have seen him yerself, miss, as ye 
come by," and suddenly Susan does remember the crowd 
round Salter's shop door, with Salter himself in its midst. 
" He's got hould of it, for sure, and if he has 'twill be short 
shrift for Misther Haldane." 

" But why f " asks Susan. 

" Why this, miss ! He hates your clergy because he's 
not in wid ye like. A Methody he is — an' Mr. Haldane 
goes agin his grain, wid the candles an' the flowers an' that, 
an' he says how that Mr. Haldane had a dhrop too much 
last night when he thripped on the vesthry stairs." 

" What a shame 1 " says Susan, indignantly. " I know 
for a fact that Mr. Haldane is " 

" Yes, of course, miss. But that's how thim Methodys 
does. An' as for that Salther himself. I don't believe in 
him. 'Tis a power o' whisky he can get undher his own 
belt widout bein' found out, until his timper is up. I know 
for a feet that 'twas only a week ago that he bate his poor 
wife until she let a screech out of her that would have 
waked Father D'Arcy himself, only that the seven sleepers 
aren't a patch on him." 

It appears she cannot even spare her parish priest ! 
Susan, who has risen, and who is now dragging Jacky from 
under the counter, where he has been in hot pursuit of a 
kitten, bids her old friend good-bye for the present. 

"Youll tell Miss Barry about the clutch," says the 
spinster, and — " Yes " shouts Susan into the terminus, a 
little louder than usual, perhaps, because Miss Ricketty 
lifts up her hand and shakes it at her reproachfully. 

"Wan would think I was deaf!" says she, tragically, 
whereupon both she and Susan laugh together. The girl's 
happy mirth — seen if not heard — delights the old maid be- 
hind the counter. 

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44 Good-bye, me dear, an' God bless you," says she, and 
disdaining to even see Susan's pennies, she thrusts a big 
parcel of sweets into Jacky's small hands. 

44 Keep a few for Masther Bonnie," whispers she, as she 
kisses him, and sends him after his sister. 

At the door, however, Susan turns back, and once more 
calls down the trumpet. 

44 You will contradict that thing about Mr. Haldane, 
won't you ? " says she, " surely it is bad enough that he 
should have lost his front teeth without having scandalous 
stories spread about him. Besides, they will make father 
very unhappy." 

44 I'll look afther him," says Miss Ricketty, 44 if only to 
oblige ye, me dear. Though I think I'm not wantin'. 
Providence seems to have his eye on that young man." 

44 Oh, poor man, I'm afraid not," says Susan, 44 He was 
ugly enough before — and now his front teeth are gone I " 

44 That's it," says Miss Ricketty, 44 whin next ye look at 
him, ye'll see what a fine openin' the Lord has made for 

The last vision Susan has of Miss Ricketty shows her 
leaning back in her chair, with her apron over her bonnet, 
convulsed with joy at her own wit. 

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"Nature often enshrines gallant and noble hearts in weak bosoms 
— oftenest, God bless her! in female breasts." 

Quits close to the gardens Susan meets one of the under 
gardeners at Crosby Park. 

" I suppose Master Jacky and I can go in and see the 
gardens, Brown ? " 

14 Oh, yes, miss, o' course. But I'm afraid there's no one 
there. As it happens no one's working there to-day. 'Tis 
a holiday, you know, miss. An' the gates are locked/' 

It happens, indeed, to be a Saints' Day, or holiday — one 
of the innumerable Saints' Days that are held sacred in 
Ireland, and on which no man will work — if he is a Roman 
Catholic laborer — though the loss of the day's hire is a 
severe strain upon his slender resources. And the funny 
part of this arrangement is, that though they are too re- 
ligious to support their families by working on these days, 
they never know whose Saints' Day it is, or anything in 
the world about him — or her. 

44 Oh ! " says Susan — she had forgotten about its being a 
holiday, though both the maids had gone to chapel in the 
morning, leaving her and Betty to make up the many beds. 
Her tone is so disappointed that Brown drags out a key 
from his trousers pocket. 

44 If ye'll take this, miss, ye can let yoself in, an' ye can 
lave it at the lodge wid Mrs. Donovan whin ye're goin' 

44 Oh! thank you, Brown," says Susan, joyfully, and 
diving into her pocket she produces twopence (it is quite a 
sum for Susan, whose pennies are very scarce) and gives it 
to him, an instinct born with her — a sort of pride — com- 

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pelling her to reward the underling. And yet she had re- 
fused to give Tommy — the baby — the youngest of all, and 
the dearest to her of the children after Bonnie — a halfpenny 
out of that twopence only this morning. 

44 Thank you, miss," says Brown, with considerably more 
gratitude than he would have shown another if she had 
given him half-a-crown, and Susan, who had paid for the 
key quite as much for her own sake as for Jacky's, goes on 
her way rejoicing. 

Yes, the gate is locked. Susan having unlocked it, care- 
fully removes the key, locks it on the other side, and goes 
down the broad, beautiful, scented path with Jacky beside 
her. Some of the houses are near, but not so worthy of 
notice as those that come after, and through these they 
hurry to the great glass ones beyond — where the roses are 
all a growing, all a blowing, in magnificent profusion — and 
that are always kept up in a very perfect state, though the 
master of them be in the Soudan, or North America, or 
the highest peaks of the Andes. 

Between these two sets of house runs a wall, now laden 
with cherry trees in full fruit, and as Susan and her brother 
emerge from the seeding house into freer air, Susan catches 
sight of something that brings her to a standstill. 

Against the wall, where the cherries are growing, lies a 
ladder, and on the top of it — a man. 

Now Susan knows all the gardeners at Crosby Park, and 
even those beneath them, and certainly this man is not one 
of them. 

She turns and retreats on Jacky, who is just behind her, 
and for a moment fear covers her. She has never been 
brought face to face with a thief before. Few girls have 
been — and a desire to fly is the thought uppermost in her 
breast. She glances upward fearfully to the figure on the 
top of the wall, who is hastily pulling off the cherries and 
dropping them into the basket he has slung on to the top 
of the ladder. She draws her breath quickly. Could any- 
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thing be more premeditated — could anything show more 
plainly what a determined rogue he is? And to-day of all 
days ! A holiday ! when, of course, he knew that all the 
gardeners would be away, and the place safe to him ! No 
doubt he had climbed the outside wall — thieves can do any- 
thing — and had found the ladder inside with which to rob 
poor Mr. Crosby, who is now, goodness knows, how many 
miles away. 

Susan stands rooted to the ground, not knowing whether 
to stay or fly. Old stories of heroines return to her, and it 
seems to her that it would be base to steal away now and say 
nothing : even if she happened to gain the walk outside, it 
is doubtful whether she should meet any servant, this being 
a Saints' Day : and if she did would they be willing to 
tackle a real live thief single-handed ? As she hesitates she 
again looks at the man and notices that he is glancing from 
right to left, hesitating, as if either uneasy or else with a 
view to choosing the best fruit. Both ideas anger her, but 
the second more than the first. Uneasy ? of oourse he is ! 
And no wonder, too. A thief must necessarily be uneasy. 
And to attempt to steal here, in this lovely secluded place I 

The owner of Crosby Park has been so long away that 
Susan has almost adopted his place as her own. Many 
years ago Mr. Crosby, who had been a pupil of Mr. Barry's, 
had given directions that every member of the Barry family 
should have free right to his grounds, and Susan once come 
to years of discretion — not so long ago — has taken great ad- 
vantage of this kindly permission. It is so near to the 
Vicarage, and so lovely 1 All its walks and pretty windings 
are so well known to her. They have been much to her 
indeed during all these years, though so little to the actual 
possessor of them — who has evidently found more pleasure 
in shooting grizslys than in cultivating cherries ! 

That now someone has come to steal these cherries seems 
dreadful to Susan. With that poor man away, too 1 at the 
end of the world probably, shooting, or being shot, by some 

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of those awful Indians I Again she casts her frightened 
glance at the thief still high on his ladder, and secure from 
detection now that all the servants are away : and some- 
thing in his air — an insolent security, perhaps — drives her 
to action. 

No ! she will not fly. She will tell him at all events what 
she thinks of him before flying. She makes her way 
straight to the foot of the ladder, wrath in her bosom, and 
thus addresses him. 

" 1 wonder you aren't ashamed of yourself," cries she, 
righteous indignation in her tones, and in her lovely uplifted 

The sweet voice rings up the ladder. The start that the 
thief on the top of it gives, when he hears her, condemns 
him to all eternity in Susan's eyes. "No one," argues 
Susan to herself, " ever starts, unless they are guilty." 
Susan is very young ! 

The man casts a sidelong glance at her. It is so one- 
sided that Susan hardly sees him, but evidently he is trem- 
bling, conscience-stricken, because he makes no reply. 

" Come down ! " says Susan again, her courage mounting 
with the occasion. Her tone is now severely calm, and 
without a vestige of fear. After all he is a poor creature 
whom even a girl can frighten, so small is the courage of 
the unrighteous! "Do you know what you are doing? — 
You," with accumulated scorn, " are stealing !" 

This terrible charge brings the culprit round. He sinks 
upon the topmost rung of the ladder as if overcome, and 
pulls his cap over his eyes, evidently to avoid recognition. 
Says Susan to herself. " He is ashamed, poor creature," 
and seeing the abject attitude of the wretch she grows 
bolder, and presses the wondering Jacky to her side, and 
tells him to take courage. This poor man will not kill 
them. No — no, indeed. 

" Yes, stealing," repeats she, her fair, beautiful face up- 
lifted to the sinner's above her. There is a second pause, 

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during which, perhaps, the sinner takes note of it. " I," 
begins he, then pauses. Susan's eyes are looking into his, 
and Susan's face, implacable and austere, no doubt has 
daunted him. But Susan tells herself that conscious guilt 
has rendered him silent. After awhile, however, he makes 
another attempt. 

44 1," says he again, and again stops. It is contemptible I 
Susan turns a scornful glance upon him. 

44 It is not to be defended," says she. " To steal from a 
garden like this! From a garden that the owner has so 
kindly left open to many people— who has besides been so 
kind, and who has helped all the poor in the district. He 
has given forty blankets where another has given ten, and 
coals without restriction everywhere. And these beautiful 
gardens, too — he has given these as a recreation to some 
who have no lovely gardens of their own, and now you take 
advantage of a day like this, when all the servants are 
away, to defraud this kind, kind man, and steal his cherries. 
Oh ! how can you bear to be as bad as that ?" 

44 If you would hear me," begins the man, on the top of 
the ladder, in a low tone. He is evidently immensely 
touched by the scorn of the young Evangelist below, be- 
cause his voice is very low, and uncertain. 

44 There is nothing to be said," says Susan, her eyes 
gleaming with honest disgust. "There is no excuse for 
you. You are here stealing Mr. Crosby's cherries, and, as 
I said before, you ought to be ashamed of yourself." 

44 Still, miss, if you would listen a moment." He has 
pulled his cap even closer over his brows. 

44 You needn't do that," says Susan. " Poor creature ! 
you need not be afraid of me, I will not give you up to 
justice! " 

44 Thank you kindly, miss," comes from the wretched 
creature behind the cap. He is evidently struggling with 

44 1 don't want you to thank me," says Susan, who is 


feeling inclined to cry — she has often read of thieves but 
never met one until now, and it seems to her all at once that 
they are decidedly interesting — so ready to hear — to receive 
admonition too— " I want you to promise me that for the 
future you will abstain from — from thieving of any sort." 

" I'll promise you, miss. I will indeed. I'd promise you 
anything." Poor thing 1 He seems quite overcome. 
44 But, miss, I wasn't really stealing just now 1 " 

44 Oh, nonsense!" says Susan, a revulsion of feeling 
makes her once again hard to him. Confession is good for 
the soul, but denial — and such a useless denial too — caught 
in the act as he was — savors of folly, that worst of all 
things — for which there is no forgiveness — 

44 Do you think I did not see you ? Why look at that 
basket. It is nearly full. How can you say you were not 
stealing those cherries. Better to show some regret, than to 
carry off your crime in such a barefaced way." 

It is hardly barefaced. The unhappy culprit's face be- 
ing now quite hidden by his cap. 

44 Just think," says Susan, her clear sweet voice trembling 
with grief because of this sinner. " If you had a garden, 
would you like people to come into it and steal your 
fruit ? " 

The poor thief is evidently beginning to feel the situation 
acutely. He has taken out his handkerchief in a surrepti- 
tious fashion, and is rubbing it to his eyes. 

44 1 shouldn't mind if it war you, miss," says he, in a 
stifled tone. 

Poor thing I' He is evidently very sorry. 

44 You won't give me up, miss ? " 

44 No, no," cries Susan, hastily. " But I do hope you see 
and are grieved for what you are doing. When people are 
so good and so generous as to let other people go through 
their grounds, and get a great deal of enjoyment out of 
them, I think the least those others may do, is to respect 
them, and their shrubs, and fruit, and flowers." 

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u You're right, miss. I seem as if I never saw it like 
that till now." 

" Ah ! that's what they all say," says Susan, sadly, and 
with a sigh : She has a good deal to do with her father's 
impenitent penitents. " But you are no doubt from some 
distant parish. A tramp, I suppose ? " says Susan, with 
another sigh. " At all events I am sure you do not belong 
to this part of the world, as your voice is strange to me." 

44 I've come a long way, miss, indeed." 

44 Poor man I Perhaps you are hungry," says Susan. 
Again she searches her pocket and produces the last coin in 
it — the last coin she has in the world for the matter of that 
— and lays a sixpenny bit on the lowest rung of the ladder, 

14 Perhaps this may help you," says she. " I'm sorry I 
haven't any more— but I haven't 1 And now remember I 
expect you to keep your promise. I shall not report you, 
or get you into trouble of any sort, in feet this " — gently — 
" shall be a secret between you and me, but I do expect 
you to go away without those cherries, and with the prom- 
ise never to steal again." 

44 1 promise you that, miss, most gratefully. I'll never 
steal again. But miss, might I give the cherries to you or 
the young gentleman ? "* 

44 No, no," says Susan, in horror. She catches Jacky's 
hand and draws him away from temptation. After going 
a yard or two, however, she looks back ; and the thief, who 
had been looking after her, again pulls his cap hurriedly 
over his guilty fece. 

44 The gate is locked," says she, 4< how will you get out? " 

44 The way I came, miss," says the bad man, with open 
signs of contrition. 

44 1 see — yes," says Susan, sadly. u But go at once. I 
trust you — remember." 

44 I'll never forget it, miss," says the unhappy man, sink- 
ing down upon the ladder and covering his fece with his 

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u Jacky," says Susan, when they have left the garden 
and locked the door carefully behind them, " if you ever 
say a word about that poor creature, 111 never think the 
same of you again. Do you hear ? He is a wretched thief, 
but I have given my word not to betray him, and you 
must give your word too. Poor man, I think he was sin- 
cerely sorry. You won't say a word at home or anywhere, 

" No," says Jacky. He looks at her. " Why couldn't 
you have taken the cherries f " says he. 

It takes the entire remainder of the walk home to make 
the " why " clear to him 1 

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14 He knew not what to say, 
And so he swore." 

Wyndham, when he met Susan, had been in rather a dis- 
gusted mood. Shortly after the Professor's death he had 
gone to Norway for a month with the friend whom he had 
arranged to go with on the morning following the luck- 
less night that had seen the last of the Professor's ex- 
periment. He had induced his friend to wait for him — the 
latter consenting with rather a bad grace — until the Pro- 
fessor's funeral was over, and his affairs looked into. He 
had had a last conversation with Denis about the uninvited 
guest whom the latter had taken to the Cottage, and had 
told him to find a suitable home for her at once — comfortable 
— luxurious even — if necessary, as she was now undoubtedly 
the possessor of £300 a year — but at all events to get her 
out of the Cottage without further delay. He spoke per- 
emptorily, and Denis promised all things ; yet only yester- 
day, on his return, be had heard from Denis' own lips that 
still that girl was located in the Cottage. 

" Didn't I tell you to get her a home somewhere else ? " 

11 Ye did, sirr, ye did. Faix I don't wondher ye're mad, 
but 'twasn't aisy to do it." 

" To do what ? " firmly. 

" To get her to go." 

" What nonsense ! A girl like that — as if she could re- 
sist. Why, one would think there wasn't a policeman any- 
where. Do you mean to tell me she refused to go ? " 

" No, sir ; that's not me manin'. 'Tis that ould fool of a 
wife o' mine. It seems she got set upon her wan way or 
another, an' do all I could I couldn't gi^. l^er, b to turn the 


young lady out. 'There's room for us all here,* says 
Bridget. * But that's not his ordhers,' says I — manin' you, 
sir. ( But whin is she to go?' says she. * That's nothing 
to me,' says I. ' 'Tis so,' says she. 'A comfortable home he 
tould ye to git for her, and where'll she find wan but here ' 
— an' divil a fat I could move her from that. Don't you 
iver get married, Misther Paul. It will be undoin' o' ye. 
Ye won't have a mind o' yer own in six months." 

" I've a mind now, anyway," says Wyndham, still swear- 
ing, " and that is to get rid of you without another second's 

" An' I'm not surprised, sirr," says Denis, drawing him- 
self up and saluting. He is an old soldier. " It was most 
flagrant disobadience. But what can ye do wid a woman, 
sir ? Fegs, nothing. Nothing at all. They carries all be- 
fore thim — even a man's conscience. Whin Bridget refused 
to let her go, what could I do ? " He pauses satisfied, hav- 
ing put the blame upon his particular Eve. Is it yer wish 
that I tackle Bridget agin, sir f " 

u No. I shall go down to Curraghcloyne myself to-mor- 
row," said Wyndham, getting rid of him with a gesture. 

He had gone down, had met Susan, had read something 
in her face that seemed to him (whose senses were very 
much alive to impressions on the subject) to be studying 
him — wondering at him. It was with a still more enraged 
feeling he left her, and went on to the Cottage, where, to his 
supreme indignation, he found, for the first time on record, 
the entrance gate locked. 

Good heavens ! What could be the meaning of this 1 
Were they determined to compromise him in the eyes of the 
world 1 When he has rung the bell until it is hopelessly 
smashed, someone comes to the gate, and without opening 
it says, in a voice evidently meant to alarm any unwelcome 

"Who's there?" 

u Only the master of this place," says Wyndham, grimly, 


who has recognized Mrs. Denis' handsome brogue even un- 
der these new conditions. Indeed, it would be hard to mis- 
take it anywhere, as Fitzgerald, who knows her, says, " you 
could sit on it at any moment without the slightest chance 
of a breakdown." 

" Glory be ! " comes in a muffled tone from Mrs. Denis, 
and with tremendous fuss and flurry, she draws the bolt, un- 
locks the gate, and opens it wide to Wyndham. 

" Oh, yer honor, who'd a' thought to see yerself this day ! 
Faix, I thought 'twas still in thim Haythin Countries ye 
were. Sure, if I'd known I'd have had the gates open to 
yer honor — and I hope ye'll forgive me cap, sir — I've 
another wan just ironed, an' — " 

" Are you preparing for a siege? " demands Wyndham, 
grimly, " or what may be the reason of this * barring out ' 
on your part. Anything threatening on the part of the 
land leaguers, or the Home Rulers round here ? " 

" Oh, law, sir. How could ye think o' sich a thing? It 
was only that the young lady, sir, was a trifle nervous." 

" She will have to take her nerves somewhere else," says 
the barrister. " Now, Mrs. Denis, I hear from your hus- 
band that it is your fault that this — this distinctly un- 
desirable person is still a resident in my house." 

Mrs. Denis, who has been bowing and scraping up to 
this, now grows suddenly alert. 

" Arrah, what are ye sayin' at all," says she. " D'ye 
mane to tell me that Denis knew ye were come back, and 
niver give me tale or todin's of it ? " 

"That is altogether besides the question. The thing 

" Faix, the raal thing is this," says Mrs. Denis. " That 
I'll break ivery bone in that thraitor's skin the next time I 
see him. Why," says she squaring her arms, and growing 
so wrathful that the questionable cap on the top of her 
head begins to quiver, " sixpence would have brought any 
boy down from Dublin wid the news of yer return, and — " 

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with a truly noble declaration of an innate dishonesty. " I 
could thin have," she stops herself happily at the last 
moment. " Made mesilf clane to meet ye," says she. 

Wyndham who is sufficiently Irish himself to put in the 
broken paragraph, smiles coldly. 

44 I am not going to discuss Denis with you," says he. 
44 What I want to know is, why these gates are locked ? " 

41 Well, sir, there was this. When the young lady came 
she was that upset wid bad thratement of wan sort or 
another that she seemed to be tremblin' all over. But whin 
I questioned her as to what ailed her — not a word could I 
git out of her. I put her to bed, an' she just clung to the 
waH like, turnin' an' twistin' her purty head, an' always 
keepin' away from me, an' refusin' the tay even, till the 
night came down upon us. Ye will renumber, sir, that it 

was in the airly mornin' that Denis " At this word she 

breaks off and grows again intensely angry. 

44 That varmint," says she, 4< what did he mane by not 
tellin' me. Wait till I get me hands on him." 

44 Yes — the early morning," says Wyndham, bringing her 
back somewhat impatiently to the place where she had 
broken off. 

44 Well, yes, sir. I beg yer pardon. She come in the 
airly mornin', an' I could see at once that she was very sad 
at her heart, an' so I just tuk her in as I tell ye, for Denis, 
though a divil all out in most ways " — here again a most 
ominous frown settles on her forehead — " is still a man to 
be depended on where a woman is concerned. And so I tuk 
her in to oblige ye, sir." 

44 To oblige me," says Wyndham. 

44 Well, sir, I thought so thin 1 An' " — she pauses, and 
looks straight at him u an' ye'll nivver regret it, sir. If ye 
saw her a bit afther she came, an' her delight at yer purty 
place. 4 Why, there's flowers growin',' she'd say, as if she 
never see them before except whin sellin' I 4 And, Mrs. 
Denis,' says she, 4 1 like these walls,' says she. 4 They is 

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so high,' says she. * An' it would be very hard for anyone,' 
says she, * to git through thim, or even to look over thim 1 ' 
Faith, 'tis little the cray ture knows of the boys round here, 
I said to meself whin she said that. But I declare to ye, 
sir, it went to me heart whin she said it, for it made it plain 
to me like, that there was someone in her life that she was 
thinkin' of, that she didn't want to get through these walls 
or thim aither. If he did, I could gather from what she 
said that it would be wid no good intintions towards her- 

" Has she said anything as to where she came from ? or 
who she is ? " asks Wyndham, with most disgraceful want 
of sympathy for this moving story. 

" No, sir, sorra a word, barrin' that she was very un- 
happy until yer honor sint her here." 

" Till I sent her here. What on earth do you mean ? " 
says Wyndham, indignantly. " You must know very well 
that it was that blundering idiot of a husband of yours that 
brought her here." 

" Fegs, 'tis plain that ye know Denis anyway," says 
Denis' wife complacently. " Idjit is the word for him sure 
enough I But, however it is, sir, the poor young lady is 
very continted here entirely, an' " — waxing enthusiastic — 
" 'twould do your heart good to heer her singin' about the 
garden, for all the world like wan o' thim nate little 

This expectation on Mrs. Denis' part that he will find de- 
light in the thought of the unwelcome stranger making her- 
self at home in his garden and singing there like a " nate 
little thrush " naturally adds fuel to the fire that already is 
burning vigorously in Wyndham's breast. 

" Look here 1 " says he, so fiercely that Mrs. Denis starts 
backwards, " you've taken a wrong impression of me alto- 
gether if you think I shall for one moment sanction the 
presence of that girl here. Tour husband has got me into 
this mess with his confounded stupidity, but I can trust 

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myself to get out of it — and I expect you to understand at 
once that your ' thrush,' " scornfully, " will be out of this 
within twenty-four hours." 

With this he brushes by her, his temper — never very 
sweet, now considerably the worse for wear. 

Nice situation, by Jove ! If it comes to the old man's 
ears there will be the devil to pay : and its sure to. He 
had felt there was something queer in his aunt's and Jo- 
sephine's manner yesterday when he called at their house in 
Fitzwilliam-square. Why if it gets about there isn't one in 
forty amongst his acquaintances who would refuse to be- 
lieve in the real facts of the case. . . It is a most con- 
founded affair altogether. If he hadn't gone abroad trust- 
ing — like the fool that he was — in Denis' ability to get her 
out of the Cottage — at once, he could have done it himself 
and so speedily that no one would ever have been the wiser 
about it. But now it has gone a little far ; people no doubt 
are beginning to talk. Well, it shall go no farther. He 
will put an end to it at once. This moment. 

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" My heart is sad and heavy 
In this merry month of May, 
As I stand beneath the lime tree 
On the bastion old and grey." 

" This moment " has come ! As Mrs. Denis, routed, but 
by no means vanquished, disappears hastily round one cor- 
ner of the pretty cottage, someone else comes round the 
other. A young girl, singing sweetly, merrily, though in a 
subdued voice. Just as she reaches her corner she looks 
behind her ; her singing ceases, and an amused look bright- 
ens her face — a face that has known much sadness. Again 
she looks behind her as if expecting something — this time 
turning her back on Wyndham, and now, a moment later, a 
huge dog tears across the grass, and literally flings himself 
upon the girl, whose tall but slender frame seems to give 
way beneath his canine embraces. For a second only, then 
she recovers herself, her pliant body sways forward, and 
catching the dog's handsome head in her arms a merry 
tussle ensues between them. It is almost a dance, so agile 
is the girl, so bent is the dog on entering into the spirit of 
the fun with all his heart. 

Wyndham watching feels no sense of amusement. Indig- 
nation is still full upon him, and now it grows more intense 
as he sees the dog — his dog — a brute hitherto devoted to 
himself, lavishing its affection upon an utter stranger. 

He makes an impatient movement, which the dog's quick 
eye sees, and bolting from his late companion he comes 
bounding towards Wyndham, from whom, it must be con- 
fessed, he gets but a poor welcome. 

The girl turning, surprised at the dog's desertion of ber, 
becomes suddenly aware that there is someone bey 

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as Wyndham emerges into sight she makes a movement to 
fly, then stands stricken, as if turned to stone. 

It is impossible under the circumstances but that she 
should be known to Wyndham, but as he looks at her he 
tells himself that if he had not known that Denis had 
brought her down here on the morning of the Professor's 
death, he would never have recognized her. Her dress, for 
one thing, is so different I Of course he had found time to 
send a check to Mrs. Moriarty before going abroad for the 
use of the " Waif," as he had somehow called the girl to 
himself, not knowing her name — a sum handsome enough 
to dress her — as the young heiress of a most unexpected 
three hundred a year should be dressed — and it comes to 
him now, that the " Waif" had not been slow in the spend- 
ing of it. No doubt Mrs. Moriarty had been the " middle 
man," but the " Waif" had known what she was about, or 
else some well known instinct had directed her. 

" Well born ! " Pah ! A poor, miserable girl like that 
with a shawl thrown over her head when first he saw her — 
and yet, her face, her feet 

He can see them from beneath her petticoats. They are 
not like mice by any means, but they are of the proportions 
usually assigned to those who have many grandfathers, and 
they are very delicately clad. 

If he has not recognized her at all at first, she had barely 
recognized him. That was because of the surprise — the 
shock perhaps. She had almost come to believe in the pos- 
sibility of living here always and alone ; never seeing any- 
one except kind Mrs. Moriarty and Nero, the dog. 

She has turned as white as death, and Wyndham looking 
at her tells himself it is the memory of that last dreadful 
night, when she had accepted death as her portion, rather 
than the life that lies behind her, that has flamed her cheeks, 
and brought that terror into her eyes. 

But in a minute all these theories of the clever barrister 
are distilled, and floated into air. 

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Having seen him, and dwelt upon his face, the color in 
her own face has crept back and with a sharp sigh of relief 
she draws nearer to him slowly — the dog, who has gone 
back to her, following, his muzzle in her hand. 

"I — I thought you were a stranger," says she, faintly. 

It is an odd sentence I A stranger I What else is he to 
her 1 Her manner, however, makes it clear to him, that 
she has lived, since her entrance into the Cottage, in con- 
stant dread of being discovered by someone, and of being 
dragged back to a former existence— to which death, as she 
had proved to him that night, seems far preferable. 

This accounts for the locked gates, and the girl's admira- 
tion for the walls, an admiration that no doubt has but little 
to do with the ivy, and the Virginian creeper, now throw- 
ing out its palest leaves of green, and the other trailing 
glories that have lifted them into a dream of beauty. 

" Your thought was very nearly right," says Wyndham, 
with a cold smile ; he is quite unmoved by the nervous pal- 
lor, and the frightened expression on the young face before 
him. Barristers after a while get accustomed to young 
frightened faces, and lose their interest in them. " But, no 
doubt, you remember me." 

He pauses, and the girl looks at him for a moment. 

" Yes," says she, slowly, her eye sinking to the ground. 
That last dreadful scene, in which he had played so con- 
spicuous a part, and when in the sullenness of her despair 
she had welcomed death, lies once again clear as a picture 
to her eyes. She shudders, and a faint moisture breaks out 
upon her forehead. 

" I am glad to see you quite recovered," says he in a tone 
which belies his words. " If you will be so good as to come 
indoors, I should like to speak to you for a few minutes 
about your future." 

His tone is so curt, so positively unpleasant, that the girl, 
coloring deeply and without another word moves towards 
the hall door of the charming cottage, and leads the way 

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through the porch — so exquisitely festooned with delicate 
greeneries — into the long many windowed room beyond. 
This room runs the entire length of the house, and over- 
looks the garden. As she goes a deep melancholy fidls 
upon her. What has he come to say ? Why is his manner 
so unkind ? That night — that awful night — he had seemed 
to befriend her — to take her part — and now 

" You are of course aware," says Wyndham, formally, 
when they have reached the drawing-room, — the drawing- 
room that used to be his, but that now seems to slip out of 
his possession, as he sees the slender figure of the girl turn 
after his entrance, as if to receive him. " You are of course 
aware that the late Professor — Mr. Hennessy — left you 
three hundred a year ? " 

The girl standing midway between one of the windows 
and Wyndham, makes a slight affirmative movement of her 
head. She would have spoken, but words failed her. 

" That was in accordance with his promise to you. If 
the experiment foiled, well," with a careless shrug, " there 
was nothing. If it was successful — you were to be the 
gainer by it." 

His voice is clear, unemotional, there is a sort of " laying 
down the law " about it, that takes every spark of sympa- 
thy that there might have been quite out of it. 

" Yes." This time she manages to speak, but she colors 
as she speaks, and blushes very painfully ; and now her 
eyes seek the ground. If one were to exactly describe her, 
one would say — but very reluctantly, I think — that she 
looks ashamed. 

" With three hundred a year you should be able to " 

She interrupts him. 

44 It is too much — far too much," says she, with an effort. 
" I don't want so much as that. Fifty pounds a year would 
be enough — I am sure I could " 

She stops. 

" All that is beyond question," says the barrister, coldly. 

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" It was the Professor's wish that you should have three 
hundred a year, and now that he is gone, there can be no 
further argument about it. He has no near relations so far 
as I can make out, so that there is no reason why you 
should not accept the money left to you by him. What I 
came to-day for, was, not about the Professor's gift to you, 
but to know what you intend to do with it." 

"With it?" 

" Yes — what, in fact, are you going to do? " 

" What am I going to do? " She looks up at him for the 
first time, a startled expression grows in her large dark eyes. 

" We all have a future before us," says Wyndham, " aijd 

you " He hesitates here, hardly knowing how to go on 

with those earnest eyes on his. " Of course, I feel that for 
the time being, I am in a sense bound to look after you — 

the Professor being an old friend of mine, and you " 

Again he stops. It seems impossible indeed to refer to that 
strange scene where he had had so prominent a part. " You 
will understand," says he, " that the Professor wished you 
to be placed in an assured position, and he left me to see to 

Here the girl makes a sharp movement of her hands de- 
scriptive of fear. 

" Naturally," says Wyndham, in answer to that swift 
movement of the pretty hands. " You object to my inter- 
ference. But I must ask your forbearance in a matter 
that — " with a steady look at her — " does not concern me 
in the slightest degree. Tou must really forgive me if I 
seem impatient. But as you are aware I know nothing 
about you, and to look after you as the Professor asked me 
to do, requires thought. I lie in complete ignorance about 
you. I can see that you are educated, but beyond that I 
know nothing." 

" Ah ! you know nothing indeed," says she quickly. " I 
am not educated. I know hardly anything. I am one of 
the most ignorant people alive." 

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" And yet—" 

" I have read anything I could find to read," interrupts 
she. " And at one time I went to a day-school, but that is 

" I see," says Wyndham. His tone is indifferent, but in- 
wardly, curiosity is stirring him. So little education and 
yet so calm, so refined a manner ! Who is this girl, with 
her well-bred air, but with, too, the little touches here and 
there that betray the fact of her having lived not only out 
of the fashionable world, but very far from even the out- 
skirts of it. What whim of Fate has given her that shapely 
head — those shell-like ears, and pointed fingers, yet given 
her into the clutches of the middle classes. 

" You would wish to enlarge your studies f " asks he 

For the first time since she came towards him, in the 
garden outside, she now lets her eyes rest frankly upon his. 

" Oh ! if I could I " says she. 

" That is very easily to be managed I should think. You 
have three hundred a year of your own and can command 
advantages, that hitherto I imagine from what you say have 
been withheld from you." He waits a moment as if expect- 
ing her to speak, — to make some comment on his words, but 
she remains mute. 

" If you could tell me something of yourself— your his- 
tory — what brought you to this," says Wyndham, "it 
might make matters simpler for both you and me." 

The girl shrinks backwards as though he had struck her. 

« No— no," cries she, quickly. 

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* 1 wept in my dream for I fancied 
That yon had forsaken me, 
I woke, and all night I lay weeping 
Till morning, bitterly." 

Wtndham lifts his brows. 

" Pray do not distress yourself," says he. " It is a free 
country, you can speak or be silent just as you wish. It 
had merely occurred to me that there might be friends of 
yours — naturally very anxious about you — and that I 
might convey to them a message from you." 

The unsympathetic nature of his tone has restored the 
girl to her usual manner, more than anything else could 
have done. She glances at him. 

" Friends ! " says she, bitterly. 

" At all events," says Wyndham, who has now begun to 
acknowledge his curiosity with regard to her, even to him- 
self, and is determined on pushing the matter as far as pos- 
sible. " There must be someone on the lookout for you*' 9 

At this she turns as white as death. 

" Is there? — Have you seen — have you — " she looks as 
though she is about to faint. " Heard anything ? " 

u Nothing — nothing at all," exclaims he quickly, a little 
shocked at her agitation, that seems excessive. " Do not 
be frightened, I assure you I know as little of anyone con- 
nected with you as I know of yourself." 

Here again he gives her an opening, if she wishes to 
make a declaration of any sort, and again she remains mute. 
There is something even obstinately silent in her whole air. 

Her hands in her lap are tightly clasped, as though to 
help her to keep her secret to all eternity. 

" You will not confide in me I see," says he, with a little 


contemptuous shrug. " And after all there is no earthly 
reason why you should. I am as great a stranger to you 
as you are to me, and if I spoke at all it was, believe me, 
because I fancied I might be of some assistance to you. 
But women nowadays have taken the reins into their own 
hands, and I have no doubt that you will be able to manage 
your own affairs to perfection. In the meantime, however, 
if I can be of the slightest use to you in looking out a 
suitable home, for instance, I hope you understand I 
shall be delighted to do all I can." 

The girl has drawn nearer during this speech, and is now 
standing before him, the frightened eyes uplifted, and her 
breath coming short and fast. " You mean — but here — 
can I not — might I not — a home you said " 

" Well, yes," says Wyndham. " A home where you 
might have a companion and be very comfortable — but not 
here you know." 

« But " 

" You can't stay here I'm afraid," says Wyndham, who 
between his anger and his suspicions of her is beginning to 
wish he had never been born. 

The girl turns away from him, in so far that only her 
profile now can be seen, whilst her right hand has caught 
hold of the back of a chair near her, as if for support. 

" But, why ? " asks she in a low tone — " Mrs. Moriarty 
likes me to be here." 

" But you see," says Wyndham, gravely, " it is my house, 
and not Mrs. Moriarty's." 

" Yes." She looks at him as if hardly understanding, 
but presently an expression grows upon her face that gives 
him to know that she thinks him churlish. 

" It is quite a big house," says she. 

There is a pause. A pause in which he tells himself that 
evidently up to this she had been accustomed to houses 
of very cramped limits. The Circular Road in Dublin 
would supply such houses, built for respectable artisans, 

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and clerks in commercial places, and the best of the decent 
strata that cover the earth and are of the earth earthy. The 
Circular Road or some other road has no doubt supplied the 
kind of house to which the girl has been accustomed — this 
girl, with her pale patrician face, and her singular strength 
of mind. It is she who at last breaks the silence. " There 
is plenty of room for me," says she. 

" I know. Of course I know that," says Wyndham, hur- 
riedly. " But then you see it — it wouldn't do, you see." 

He looks deliberately at her, as if to explain his mean- 
ing, but nothing coming of the look he falls back once more 
upon facte. 

" I come here sometimes," says he. 

41 Yes, Mrs. Denis told me that," says the girl. " But," 
eagerly, " I shouldn't be in the way at all. I could stay in 
that little room belonging to Mrs. Denis — that little room 
off the kitchen." 

" Oh, that isn't it," says Wyndham, frowning in his em- 
barrassment. How the deuce is one to say it plainly to a 
girl who can't, or won't, or doesn't understand. " The fact 
is " He has begun with the greatest bravery, deter- 
mined to explain the situation at all hazards, but happen- 
ing to meet her eyes — this clever barrister who has faced 
many a barefaced criminal victoriously, breaks down. The 
eyes he has now looked into are full of tears ! 

"Look here," says he almost savagely , " it's out of the 
question. Do you hear f " His tone was so terribly 
abrupt that it strikes cold to the heart of the poor girl 
looking at him. If he is going to turn her out of this house, 
this haven of refuge, where, where can she go f 

She struggles with herself; some touch of dignity that 
belongs to her — wherever she came from, or whoever she is 
— giving her a certain stength. 

" Of course — I see——" She is beginning to stammer 
dreadfully. "I am sorry about it — but I thought — I fen- 
ded I could stay here. But now — I can go, I can go some- 

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where. There must be other places, and indeed, just now 
you told me there were other places, and that I could go 
to " 

She struggles with the word " them," the final of her sad 
sentence, but can't speak it, and now all her hard found 
dignity gives way to her everlasting shame, and to Wynd- 
ham's terrible discomfiture she bursts into a passion of 

" Don't — do that," said Wyndham, gruffly. It is im- 
possible to conceal from himself, the fact that he is fright- 
ened out of his life. Fear because of her tears is nothing, 
but it is with ever increasing self-contempt that he knows 
that he going even so far as to give in and let her stay at 
the Cottage. After all there are many other places for him 
in this big world, but for her, perhaps, not so many, and 
she seems to have set her heart on this little spot, and hang 
it all I why can't she stop crying? 

" Oh I'm sorry," says she, at last, trying passionately to 
stifle her sobs. She has turned away from him to the window, 
and there is something in her whole attitude so descriptive 
of despair, and fear, and shame, that in spite of his anger, 
pity for her rises in his heart. " I don't know why I'm cry- 
ing. I don't often cry. But if I leave this, where shall I 
go ? Where shall I hide myself? " 

What on earth has she done ? Her words denote fear — 
a guilty fear ! What if he should be about to take as a ten- 
ant for the Cottage a well-known and hardened criminal, for 
whom perhaps the police are even now on the lookout. 
Her face, however, belies her tone, and for the rest he has 
not the courage to face again a flow of those pitiful tears. 
Stay she must I 

One last protest, however, he makes, as a salve to his con- 

44 What do you see in this place that so attracts you ? " 
asks he, with ever increasing grumpiness. The girl turns 
-> him a flushed and tearful face. Digitized by Google. 


" I never knew what a home could be like till I came 
here," says she. " Never, never ! You have had one, all 
the world has had one, except me. It means new life to me. 
Oh I " bitterly, " it is the only life I have ever known — the 
only happiness. If, sir — " she comes towards him and 
with a little impulsive action holds out her hands — "if I 
might stay " 

" Well, you can," says he ungraciously. 

He gives in so suddenly, and she is naturally so unpre- 
pared for so quick a surrender, that for a moment she says 
nothing. Her eyes are fixed on him, however, as if trying 
to read him through. They are beautiful eyes, and Wynd- 
ham, his professional instincts on the alert, finds himself 
wondering what lies behind them in that brain of hers. 

" Do you mean it ? " says she at last, breathlessly. " If 
you do I cannot thank you enough. Oh ! To stay here, 
within these lovely walls," instinctively she glances out of 
the window to the ivy-clad walls as if in their protection 
she finds great comfort. A moment later a cloud gathers on 
her forehead. " But you don't like me to stay," she says. 

" It doesn't matter what I like," says Wyndham, who 
certainly does not shine on this occasion. " The arrange- 
ment we have come to now is, that you are to rent this cot- 
tage from me, at what sum we can agree about later on." 

" To rent it ! I shall then be— It—" She tries to 
hide the joy in her eyes, feeling it to be indecent. " It will 
belong to me." 

" Yes," says Wyndham. At this moment he feels very 
little more will make him positively hate her. 

" It will no longer be yours ? " — her voice is trembling. 

" In a sense, no." He turns and takes up his hat, this 
interview is getting too much for him. There will be an 
explosion shortly if she goes on like this. 

" It seems very selfish," says the girl. She is looking at 
him, though for the last three minutes he has refused to 
look at her. " I am taking your house away from you." 


" There are other houses." He is now putting on his 

" Ah 1 that is as true for me as for you." 

" We have come to an agreement, I think," grimly. 
" Let us keep to it." He turns to the door. 

" You are going," says she, nervously. She follows him. 

" You " She stops, and courtesy compels him to look 

back. Two troubled eyes meet his. 

" When ? " stammers she. 

" I shall come down some day next week to make final 
arrangements," says he impatiently, and again takes a step 
or two away, getting so far this time as to turn the handle 
of the door. Here, however, agafn he glances back. She 
is standing where he last saw her, her young face looking 
troubled, frightened, and uncertain. 

" Next week I " repeats he jerkily, it is disagreeable to 
him to think that it is through his fault that the nervous 
anxiety has crept into her eyes. " And — er — good-bye." 
He certainly had not meant to do it, but he now holds out 
his hand to her, and with a little swift eager movement she 
comes to him, and slips her own into it. 

A slim little hand, and beautifully shaped, but brown, 
and looking a little as though it had done some hard work 
in its time, yet the grace with which she gives it to him is 

Just at the gate he meets Mrs. Denis again. 

" This young lady," says he, abruptly, " seems to have 
set her heart upon living here. It is extremely unpleasant 
for me, but she appears to have no other place to go to. 
She will therefore become my tenant. She will, you under- 
stand, take the Cottage from me." 

" Bless us an' save us ! " says Mrs. Denis. " An' yer 
honor — what will you do 1 " 

" Keep out of it ! " says Wyndham, coldly. " I suppose 

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she will arrange to keep you on. She — what's her name ? " 

u I don't know, sir ; she don't seem to like to spake abut 
it. Miss Ella, I calls her.' 9 

" Ella. Did you say her Christian name was Ella? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Ah," thoughtfully. " Well, good-bye— " 

" But, sir, you'll be comin' again J " 

" Yes, next week to arrange about the rent — not after 

He strides through the gate and up the road. 

" Faix, an' I'm thinkin' ye will," says Mrs. Denis, watch- 
ing him with her arms akimbo till he disappears round the 
corner. " 'Tis mighty purty eyes she's got in that mighty 
purty head of her : an' so he's not goin' to turn her out 
after all 1 Didn't I tell you, Bridget Moriarty," rubbing 
her chin, on which a very handsome beard is growing, 
" that he'd soften whin he put his glance upon her I " 

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44 Jest and youthful jollity, 
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles, 
Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles." 

" Where's our beloved auntie f " asks Mr. Fitzgerald, 
looking generally round him from his seat on the tail of 
Betty's gown. 

It is the evening of the same day, and still divinely 
warm. Not yet has night made its first approach, and 
from bush to bush the birds are calling, as if in haste to 
get as much merriment out of the departing day as time 
will give them. From here — in the bushes round the 
tennis ground — the one solitary court, that Carew Barry 
and his cousin, Dom Fitzgerald, have made with their own 
hands, after a hard tussle with the Rector for the bit of 
ground, that seemed to him quite a big slice off his glebe- 
to the big syringa tree beyond, the sweet glad music of 
the birds swells, and grows, filling the evening air with 
delicate throbbings. Ever the little creatures seem to call 
one to another; passionately sometimes, as if bursting 
their little throats in their wild joy, and anon softly, plead- 
ingly, but always calling, calling, calling. 

From the old-fashioned garden beyond comes the scent 
of the roses. All old world roses as befits the garden, but 
none the less beautiful for that. The rose celeste, and the 
white nose unique, the cabbage rose, and the perfect rose 
of a hundred leaves, all lend their sweetness to the air ; in- 
deed on this June evening the place is " on fire with roses." 

The little group sitting on the edge of the tennis ground 
seems very happy and contented ; lazy, perhaps, is a better 
word. Susan as usual has Bonnie in her lap, and Tom, the 

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baby, has fallen asleep with his head on Betty's knee. 
Jacky, still full of memories of the awful burglar he had 
interviewed in the morning, is wondering whether he will 
raid the village to-night, and if so, whether he will carry 
off Aunt Jemima! whilst Carew, the eldest son, who is 
seventeen, and therefore a year younger than Susan, is 
lazily dwelling on the best choice of a stream for to-mor- 
row's fishing. 

His cousin, Dom Fitzgerald, is the first to break the 
lovely spell of silence that has fallen on them. He is a 
cousin of the Barrys — and a nephew of their father's, and 
of Miss Jemima Barry also, the Rector's sister, who since 
the death of her sister-in-law has always lived with them, 
and who, if a most exemplary person, is certainly what is 
commonly described as " trying." 

The parish of Gurraghcloyne is small ; the income even 
smaller. But if Providence, in giving Mr. Barry this 
parish as his special charge, had been niggardly to him in 
money matters, it had certainly made up to him lavishly in 
another respect. It had given him, for example, a large, 
and what promised to be an ever-increasing family, so in- 
creasing, indeed, that it would ultimately have beaten the 
record but for the untimely death of Mrs. Barry, who had 
faded out of life at Tom's birth. She was then just thirty- 
two, but she looked forty. 

To her husband, however, gazing at her dead face, sur- 
rounded by its lilies and white roses, she looked seventeen 
again — the age at which he had married her — and though 
he was a man entirely wrapt up in his books and theories, 
it is an almost certain thing that he never forgot her, and 
that he mourned and lamented for her, as few men whose 
lives are set in smoother places do for their beloved. 

Miss Barry, his sister, came on the death of his wife and 
took possession of the house — Susan being then just thir- 
teen. She had but a bare sum wherewith to clothe and 
keep herself, and was therefore of little use in helping the 

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household where money was concerned ; and it was, there- 
fore, with a sense of thankfulness that the Rector four 
years ago accepted the charge of Dominick Fitzgerald, an 
orphan, and the son of a stepbrother of his wife. 

The poor, pretty wife was then a year dead, but he knew 
all about Dominick's people. The Rector himself came of 
a good old Irish family, and his wife had been even more 
highly connected. Indeed, the lad who came to Mr. Barry 
four years ago — though he had inherited little from his 
father, would in all probability succeed to his uncle's title, 
and five or six thousand a year. A small thing for a 
baronet, but still worth having. Of course there was al- 
ways a chance that the uncle, a middle-aged man, might 
marry, though he was consumptive and generally an in- 
valid ; but all that lay in the future, and at present it was 
decided that the boy should be given a profession, but hav- 
ing proved remarkably idle and wild at school — though 
nothing disgraceful was ever laid to his charge — his uncle 
in one of his intervals of good health had desired that he 
should be sent down to Mr. Barry, for whom Sir Spencer 
Fitzgerald had an immense respect and a little fear, for a 
few reasons Jhat need not be specified. Though, if Sir 
Spencer only knew it, the Rector was the last man in the 
world to betray the secrets of any one. 

The Rector accepted the charge gladly. He had passed 
several young men (who had been private pupils of his be- 
fore his marriage) very successfully for the civil service, 
and he was doing his best for Dominick now, whom from 
I the very first he liked, in spite of the reputation for idle- 
ness that came with him. 

Indeed, Dom Fitzgerald had fallen into the family circle 
as though it had been made for him, and had grown to be 
quite a brother to his new-found cousins. He at once grew 
fond of Susan, and became on the spot a chum of Carew's, 
who was reading with his father, for the army and expected 
to pass next year. And he quarrelled all day long with 

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Betty, who accepted him as a " pal " from the moment of 
his appearing. Betty inclined towards slang. 

As for the children they all loved him ; and, indeed, it 
must be said that he loved them, and sp$nt a considerable 
amount of the fifty pounds allowed him for yearly pocket 
money upon them. 

"Well, where is she ?" persists he, turning a lazy eye 
from one to another, at last resting it on Susan. 

" She has gone down to Father Murphy's about Jane," 
says Susan, reluctantly. " You know Jane is always 
breaking everything, and to-day she broke that old cup of 
our great grandmother's, and Aunt Jemima was very angry. 
She has gone to tell Father Murphy about it, and to say 
she will never -take a Roman Catholic servant again, unless 
he punishes Jane severely." 

11 And Father Murphy will laugh," says Carew with a 
shrug. " He knows she must take Catholic servants or do 
without them. All the Protestant girls of that class here 
are farmers' daughters and either won't go into service at 
all, or else only to Lady O'Donovan's or the O'Connors." 

44 Oh I you should have heard Jane," cries Betty going 
off into one of her peals of laughter. " When Aunt 
Jemima had reduced her to a rage she came in weeping to 
me, — all the forlorn hopes fall back upon me." 

44 True ! Even this poor old forlorn one," says Dom 
promptly seizing his opportunity to lift his head from her 
gown to drop it upon her lap. 

After which there is a scuffle. 

44 Oh ! never mind Dom," says Susan impatiently — 
44 What did Jane say to you about the cup." 

" She said — * Go away, Dom.' " 

44 I'm sure she didn't," says Dom with an aggrieved air. 
44 It's an aspersion on my character, Susan ! You don't be- 
lieve this do you ? " 

44 She said," goes on Betty, very properly taking no 
notice of the interruption. " 4 Law, Miss Betty, Miss, did 

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ye iver hear the like o' that : Did ye iver hear sich a row 
about nothinV " 

" ' It wasn't about nothing,' I said, ' Because you know 
how even father valued that cup — though an uglier thing I 
never saw in my life.' " 

" * Fegs, I don't know what ye call anything' said Jane 
(she was crying all the time, you know how she can roar) : 
' But yer Aunt herself tould me that that cup is a hun- 
dhred years ould, if a day, an' wid that, to make sich a 
screech over it. Faix it must have bin,rotten wid age, Miss ; 
an' no wondher it come to bits in me hands.' " 

They are all delighted with the story. 

" I don't think Aunt Jemima would have been so cross 
with poor Jane," says Susan in a low tone and with a 
glance round her to make sure of no one's being within 
hearing, " but for those eggs this morning." 

" The eggs under the speckled hen ? " asks Jacky. " I 
heard her speaking about them : Won't they come out ? " 

Susan shakes her head, and Carew and Dominick edge a 
little out of sight. The latter, under a pretence of feeling 
too warm, hides his face under the big straw hat that Betty 
has thrown upon the grass beside her. 

" They should have come out ten days ago," says Susan, 
" but they " — she casts an uncertain glance at Carew, who has 
turned over, and is now lying with his face upon his arms, 
and is evidently developing ague fever — " but they didn't." 

" Were they all addled ? " asks Jacky with amazement. 

" No. They were all boiled," says Susan. 

" Boiled I " says little Bonnie sitting up with an effort. 
" Who boiled them ? The hen ? " 

At this there is a stifled roar from under Betty's hat, 
whereupon the owner of it lifts it and discovers Mr. Fitz- 
gerald plainly on the point of apoplexy. 

" Just the sort of thing one would expect from you," 
says she scornfully. " No wonder you want to hide your 
face : But you shan't do it under my hat anyhow." 

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" Oh) Carew, think of that poor hen waiting and waiting 
for three weeks, and then for ten days more. I call it hor- 
rid/' says Susan. " I really think you ought to be ashamed 
of yourselves, you two." 

" Ought we 1 Then we will be," says Dom. " Never 
shall it be said that I shirked my duty, at all events : 
Carew, get out of that, and be ashamed of yourself in- 

" Oh, that's all very fine," says Betty, " trying to get 
out of it like that. But let me tell you that I think " 

However, what Betty may think of people who put 
boiled eggs under sitting hens, is for ever lost to posterity, 
because at this moment Jane, with red eyes and a depressed 
demeanor, comes hurrying up to them across the small 
lawn, a covered basket in her hand. 

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"0, coward, conscience, how dost thoa afflict me.' 

" Fob you, miss," says she, handing the basket to Susan. 

Susan turns crimson. That basket ! She knows it well. 

" For me ! " stammers she. 

" Yes, miss ! " 

" Who—" nervously,—" Who brought it? " 

" A boy, miss." For an instant Susan's heart feels re- 
lief, but for an instant only. 

" Whose boy ? " falters she. 

" I don't know, miss. He came an' wint in a flash like. 
I hope, miss, as there isn't anythin' desthructive in it," says 
Jane, whose misfortunes of the morning have raised in her 
a pessimistic spirit. " They do pay thim moonlighters are 
goin' about agin." 

"Do you mean to say the — the messenger said noth- 

" No, miss, except that it was for you. That was all, 
miss, and I'm not deaf, though I wish I was, before I heard 
all that was said to me this mornin' about an ould cup 

that " Here she lifts her apron, and sniffs vigorously 

behind it. 

"Oh, it can't be for me," says Susan, with decision, 
" Take it away, Jane. There has been some mistake, of 
course. Take it away at once. Do you hear ? The — the 
boy will probably call for it again in a little time." 

" I don't think he will, miss. He looked like a runa- 
way," says Jane. 

" Good heavens ! How interesting ! " says Mr. Fitzger- 
ald, breaking at last into the charmed silence that has held 

em all, since the advent of Jane and the mysterious 

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basket. " Who can this unknown admirer be ? No doubt it 
contains roses," staring at the basket : " or heliotropes — 
heliotrope in the language of love means devotion ! Susan, 
are you above a peep ? " 

" Yes, I am," says Susan, hastily. 

" I am not," says Betty, springing forward, and pulling 
open the cover. " Oh I I say ! Cherries ! And such 
beauties too. Susan, you are in luck." 

" And so are we," says Fitzgerald, putting a hand lightly 
over her shoulder, and drawing up a bunch of the pretty 
fruit between his fingers/ 

" Oh, I think we ought not to eat them — I do, indeed," 
says Susan, in a small agony. There can be no doubt now 
about the fact that the thief, repentant and struck to the 
very soul by her eloquent pleadings, had sought to redeem 
himself in her eyes by sending the stolen cherries to her. 
Whether with a view of giving her the pleasure of eating 
them, or with the higher desire of proving to her that he 
hadn't devoured them, must, she feels, and hopes (because 
to meet him again would be very unpleasant to her), for 
ever remain unknown. 

" Poor fellow ! " thinks she, regarding the cherries with 
mixed emotions, that are not altogether devoid of admira- 
tion for her own hitherto unimagined powers of persuasion. 
" He was certainly and sincerely penitent. One could see 
that." She feels quite an uplifting of her soul. Perhaps, 
who knows, she has been born as a worthy successor 
to Mrs. Fry, or some of those good people. But then, 
after all, it is, undoubtedly, to Mr. Crosby, he should have 
made restitution, not to her. It is, however, difficult to re- 
store English cherries — a rather perishable commodity, to 
an owner who happens to be at the moment in the middle 
of Africa, or America, — or China for all she knows. 

" Not eat them," says Betty, indignantly. " Why, what 
else are you going to do with them. Make them into 

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" They are not mine — I'm sure they are not mine," says 
Susan. " Who, for instance, could have sent them 1 " 

Here Jacky makes a movement. 

" Jacky, you know nothing ! " cries Susan, turning indig- 
nant, warning eyes upon him; whereupon Jacky , remember- 
ing his promise, subsides once again into dismal silence. 

41 Jacky, I smell a conspiracy 1 " says Dominick, who has 
caught the look between them. " And you are the Head 
Centre. Speak, boy ! whilst yet there is time ! " 

44 I've nothing to say," says Jacky, sulkily — who is 
naturally of a somewhat morose disposition, and now feels 
postively ill at not being able to divulge the delightful 
story, of which these glowing cherries are the result. 

44 Susan ! I do believe you have at last got an admirer ! " 
says Carew, in the complimentary tone of the orthodox 
brother, who never can understand why on earth any fellow 
can admire his sister. " Gome ! out with it : he seems a 
sensible fellow anyway. Flowers are awful rot, but there's 
something in cherries." 

44 Betty, when I fall in love with you I'll present you 
with a course of goodies," says Dominick, regarding that 
damsel with an encouraging eye. 

44 1 have no admirers, as you all know," says Susan, her 
pale and lovely face a little heightened in color. She is 
thinking with horror of what would have happened if that 
poor awful thief had brought them in person. But, of 
course, he was afraid. 

44 Perhaps Lady Millbank sent them," suggest Betty, 
after a violent discussion with Fitzgerald on the head of 
his last remark. 

44 1 saw her in town yesterday." 

44 So did I," says Carew. 44 Like a sack — not tied in the 

Susan feels almost inclined in the emergencies of the mo- 
ment to say 44 perhaps so," and let it stand at that, but cop- 
science forbids her. 

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" She would have sent a footman and her card," says she, 
dejectedly. " No," decidedly, and preparing to close up 
the basket, " they are not meant for me, and even if they 
were, I could not accept them, unless I knew where they 
came from." 

" Do you mean that you are not going to give us some ? " 
says Betty, rising, not only figuratively but actually to the 
occasion, and standing over Susan. " I never heard any- 
thing so mean in all my life." 

" Susan ! " says Fitzgerald mildly, but firmly, u if you 
think to escape alive from this spot with these cherries, let 
me at once warn you of a sense of impending danger." 

" Oh ! I say, Susan, don't be a fool," says Carew, turning 
his lazy length upon the grass, a manoeuvre that brings him 
much closer to Susan and the cherries. 

" It's a beastly shame," says Jacky, in a growl. And at 
this little Tom, as if moved to the very soul — or stomach 
— sets up a piteous howl. 

Susan, with all the " young martyr " air about her, looks 
sternly round. No, she will not give in, and it's perfectly 
disgusting of them to think so much of eating things. 
Her glance finishes at Jacky, who is scowling and threaten- 
ing her with the fellest of all fell eyes, and then descends at 
last on Bonnie ! 

Bonnie, who is lying in her arms, his pretty, thin, patient 
little face against his shoulder. Poor little Bonnie! 
Darling little Bonnie ! who has said nothing — not a word — 
but whose gentle eyes are now resting on the fruit. Bon- 
nie, whose appetite is always miserable — so difficult to 
please. Susan, seeing that silent, wistful glance, feels her 
heart sink within her. 

Must she — must she deny him ? Her poor little delicate 
boy. Her best beloved of all the many that she loves. 
Oh, she must. She will be firm. These cherries really are 
not hers. Even for Bonnie she — 

The child stirs in her arms and sighs, t 


gentlest little sigh — only one who loved him could have 
heard it, but with that little sigh went out all Susan's stern 
resolutions. Almost unconsciously her hand goes towards 
the basket that holds the cherries. Slowly, slowly, at first, 
as if held back, but as it nears the glowing fruit it makes 
a rush as it were, dives into it, and in a second more 
Bonnie's thin little paws are filled with a huge and crimson 
bunch of the sweet cherries. 

Alas! for Susan's principles. They have all vanished 
away like snow in the sun, beneath two little pain-filled eyes. 

Alas, for Susan's principles again. As Bonnie's white 
little face lights up as he catches the pretty fruit, and bites 
one of them in two with his sharp childish teeth, and as 
after that he lifts the other half of it to Susan's mouth, 
and presses it against her closed but smiling lips, she does 
not refuse him. She opens her lips, and against all her be- 
liefs lets the stolen thing glide between them. The happy 
laughter of the child as she takes the fruit is nectar to her 
and in a little joyous way she hugs him to her, catching 
him against her breast, and though she does not know it, 
her one thought is this — 

" Let all things go so long as this one is happy." And 
certainly Bonnie for the moment is happy with his cherries. 
But the cherry he gave her is the first and only one out of 
her basket that passed between her lips. And that is self- 
denial, I can tell you from experience — for a girl of 

After this there is a general raid upon the basket, Betty 
and Fitzgerald being quite conspicuous in their efforts to 
secure the largest cherries, whilst Jack runs them very 
hard. And Susan, afraid lest the supply should fail before 
Bonnie gets a handsome share, pulls him to her and fills his 
little hands. But her own hands ! Never ! Stern is her 
youthful virtue! Those stolen cherries! No, no, she 
could not touch them, and besides to watch Bonnie's de- 
light in them, is enough for her. 

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Bonnie 1 It seems such a sad critiqne upon the little 
fragile child racked with rheumatism and so sadly disabled 
by it. 

In happier days, when he was, in truth, the bonniest lit- 
tle being of them all, his poor mother — now mercifully in 
heaven — had given him the dear pet name. And of course 
it had clung to him through all the ills that followed. 

The beginning was so simple, so easy to be described. A 
wet day when the child had escaped from home and had 
been forgotten until the early dinner reminded them of him. 
There were so many to remember, and they all ran so 
loosely here and there, that up to that hour no one had 
missed him. His mother was dead ! The keynote of course 
lay there. She was dead and lying in her grave for a year 
or more, and the young things who tried to take her place, 
when they had asked a question or two, never thought of 
Bonnie again. Carew, the eldest boy, then only twelve, did 
not appear at dinner either, and it was naturally and care- 
lessly supposed that Bonnie was with him. 

Alas ! for little Bonnie. Late that night he was discov- 
ered and brought home, saturated to the skin, and almost life- 
less. Asleep he had been found beneath the shade of a big 
beech tree, and sleep eternal he would have known indeed 
had he not been discovered before morning by the frightened 
people from the vicarage who, when night set in, had gone 
hunting for him far and near. The Rector himself roused 
from his notes and papers by Susan's terrors, had joined in 
the search, but it was Susan who found him, tired, ex- 
hausted (after a ramble in which he had lost himself, poor 
little soul) and wet through from the rain that had fallen 
incessantly since three o'clock in the afternoon. 

It was Susan who carried him home, staggering some- 
times beneath the weight, but strong in the very misery of 
her fear. When at last home was reached, it was Susan 
who undressed him, and lay awake the long night through 
with him, holding him in her warm arms to heat his shiver- 

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ing little body. And, indeed, when the morning came he 
seemed nothing the worse for his exposure. 

Bat towards the evening he began to shiver again, and 
next day he was lying prone, racked with all the pangs of 
the rheumatic fever. The3 r twisted and tore his little 
frame, and though at the last the doctor pulled him through, 
and he rose again from his bed, it was but as a shadow of 
his former merry self—a stricken child — a cripple for life. 

Poor Susan — then thirteen — took it sorely to heart. Her 
mother in heaven ; had she looked down that night when 
Bonnie lay under the dripping tree, and seen her pretty 
lamb, alone, deserted ! The mother who had left him to 
Susan to look after and care for. She had seemed to think 
more of Bonnie in her dying moments than of the baby 
who had brought death to her with his own life. Susan 
had been left in charge as it were— sweet Susan — who was 
barely twelve, and who with her soft shy ways and lovely 
face, should have been left in charge herself to someone 
capable of guiding her tender footsteps across Earth's 
thorny paths. 

Her remorse dwelt with her always, and became a bur- 
den to her, and made havoc of her color, for many a day. 
Oi course she grew out of all that — youth, thank God, is 
always growing — and at last after many days, joy came to 
her again, and all the glorious color of life, and all the 
sweetness of it. But she never lost a little pulsing grief 
that came to her every now and then, telling her how she 
ought to have seen, that Bonnie had not wandered so far 

Oh ! if only he could be made strong and well again. 
This was the heart of the sad song, that she often sang for 
herself alone, when time was given her, in her busy life. 

She had dreamed dreams of how it would be with the 
little lad if he could have been sent abroad. She had heard 
of certain baths, and of wonderful cures worked by them. 
If be could go abroad to one of them he ™g|| b A 


But such baths were as far out of her reach as heaven it- 
self. It seemed hard to Susan, to whom life was still a 
riddle. And she reproached herself always — and always 
mourned that there would never come a time when Bonnie 
would be strong again, as he was when his mother left him ; 
and when she might meet that dear mother in heaven 
without fear of reproaches. 

All this lay in the background of Susan's life, and now 
as years grew, seldom came to the front. But, the child 
was ever her first thought, and her dearest delight — and 
the fact that he was not as his brothers were was the one 
little blot on the happiness of her young life. 


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11 that this calculating soul would cease 
To forecast accidents, time's helping errors 
And take the present, with the present's peace, 
Instead of filling life's poor day with terrors." 

About seven o'clock Wyndham (who had come up to 
Dublin by the afternoon train), going down Nassau Street, 
finds himself face to face with a tall, big, good-humored look- 
ing man of about thirty-two. 

" Hallo ! That you ? " cries the latter, stopping Wynd- 
ham, who in somewhat preoccupied mood would have gone 
by without seeing him. The preoccupation disappears at 
once, however, and it is with genuine pleasure that he 
grasps the hand held out to him. 

" You, Crosby, of all men ! " 

" Even so." 

" Why, last week, when we met in Paris, you told me you 
were going to Vienna to see a friend there." 

" The friend came to me to Paris instead the very day 
after you left." 

" But I thought you had arranged with him to go on an 
expedition to some untranslatable place in Africa ? " 

" So I had, but he proved disappointing. Hummed and 
hawed, said he couldn't go just now ; but perhaps a little 
later on. One saw through him at once. I told him I 
never travelled about with fellows 9 wives, and that settles 

" He was going to be married f " 

" Of course. Love was writ large all over him — in huge 
capitals. And he was in such a hurry over everything. 

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People in love are always in a hurry — to get back. So I 
dismissed him with my blessing, and a bauble for the ven- 
turesome young woman he has chosen to explore life's 
boundless ways with him. R. I. P. He's done for, and 
a right good fellow he was too I Well, what's np with 

"With me?" 

" Think I can't see ? You're out of your luck in some 

" Nothing much any way," says Wyndham, with an in- 
voluntary smile. 

" Too vague. Too vague by half," says Crosby, laughing. 
It is the happiest, heartiest laugh. " Come, what's the 
matter ? Out with it. Money ? " 

" No, no," says the barrister, laughing in turn. 

" Still there is something." 

" Is there ? I don't know," says Wyndham, in a tone 
half comical, half forlorn. 

At this Crosby thrusts his arm into his, and wheels him 
down the street. 

" It must be hunger ! " says he, gaily, seeing the other is 
not ready for confession yet. That the confession will come 
he knows perfectly well. Ever since they were boys to- 
gether, Wyndham, whose brain was then as now very 
superior to Crosby's, had still always given in to the per- 
sonal attractions of the stronger and older boy, whose big 
fists often fought Wyndham's battles for him on the public 

Crosby had been a big boy then, he is a big man now. 
And in spite of his adventurous wanderings by land and 
sea, looks younger than Wyndham, though he is actually 
four years older. A splendid man, bronzed, bearded and 
broad shouldered, with the grand look of one who has been 
through many a peril, and many a fight, who has led a 
cleanly life, and can look the world in the face fearlessly. 
His eyes are large and blue and full of life and gaiety. He 

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has a heart as true as gold, and a strong right arm, good 
for the felling of a foe, or the saving of a friend. 

" For my own part I'm starving," says he. " Gome along ; 
we're near our club, and you'll dine with me. Considering 
what a stranger I am in my own land, you'll be able to help 
me out a bit. I feel as of I did not know anyone — that is, 
if you are not going anywhere else. There's a wander- 
ing look about you. No J No other engagements 1 That's 

They had reached the steps of the Kildare Street Club 
by this time, and presently are in the pleasant dining- 

" By the way, talking of engagements," says Crosby be- 
tween the soup and fish. " I have one for to-night, at your 
aunt's — Mrs. Prior's. In some odd fashion she heard I was 
in Dublin, and sent a card to the Oresham for me. You," 
glancing at Wyndham's evening dress, " are going some- 
where too, perhaps." 

" There, too," says Wyndham, u I've got out of it a good 
deal lately, but it doesn't do to offend her over much. She's 
touchy ; and the old man, my uncle, Lord Shangarry — you 
remember him t How he used to tip us at school long ago t 
— makes quite a point of my being civil to her." 

" To her, or 1 " 

" My cousin J " Wyndham lifts his brows. " I feel sure 
my cousin is as indifferent to me as I am to her." He 
pauses : " still I will not conceal from you that my uncle 
desires a marriage between us." 

" Is this the cause of your late depression f " asks Crosby 
with a quizzical expression. 

" Not it," says Wyndham. " By-the-bye," a little hur- 
riedly, " what of that late adventure of yours in Siam ? — you 
were just telling me about it when " 

Crosby at once plunges into the interrupted anecdote, 
bringing it, however, to a somewhat sharp close. 

" Tou know what life is I " says Wyndham a little m< 

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oodily T 



When it is over. " I envy you ; I often think I too should 
like to break off the threads of society that bind one in, and 
start on a career, that would leave civilization and — its 
worries behind." 

" Its worries t " 

" Well, gossip for one thing and that delicate espionage 
that so often leads to the damning of a man." 

"Poor old boy, got into deep water," thinks Crosby 
whilst toying with his champagne. 

" Once in it one never gets out of civilization," says he. 
" It sticks to one like a burr. Don't hope for that when 
you start on the wild career you speak of, For myself I 
like civilization. It's clean for one thing — savages don't do 
much in the way of washing. But I confess I like wander- 
ing for wandering's sake. It's a mania with me. . Here to- 
day and gone to-morrow. That's the motto that suits me* 
Yet I daresay in time I shall get tired of it." 

44 Not you 1 Where are you going next 1 " 

4i Not made up my mind yet. But I'll tell you where I've 
been last. Right into Arcadia I A difficult place to find 
nowadays, the Savants tell you — but the Savants, like the 
Cretans, are all liars. And in my Arcadia I fell in with an 
adventure, and met " 

He pauses, and leaning back in his chair clasps his hands 
behind his head and gives way to silent laughter. Evi- 
dently some memory is amusing him. 

44 Some one who apparently was kind to you," says 
Wyndham, indifferently, breaking off from the stem, but 
not eating, the purple grapes before him. 

" Kind ! " says Crosby. " Hardly that." 


" More than that." 

" She told you " 

44 That I was a thief." Wyndham 's indifference ceases 
for a moment. 

44 Strong language," says he. 

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" True, I assure you. Do I look like one f Ever since 
that terrible denunciation I have often asked myself 
whether so much knocking about as I have known has not 
ruffianized me — in appearance at all events." 

"Where on earth is the Arcadia you speak of?" asks 

" Well, to tell you everything, I went down to Curragh- 
cloyne this morning to have a look at the old place." 

" What I There I Why I was there to-day too," says 
Wyndham, and then pauses as if suddenly sorry he had 

" We must have missed each other, then, and come up by 
different trainso" 

" I suppose so," says Wyndham, slowly. " And so your 
Arcadia is Curraghcloyne f Fancy an adventure there ! " 
He shrugs his shoulders and leans back in his chair. " Tou 
have had so many real adventures that I expect you like to 
revel in imagining one now and then." 

" Perhaps so," says Crosby. " Still even in Arcadia one 
doesn't like to be called a thief. I say it is getting late, 
isn't it. Tour aunt spoke of ten. It is now well after 
eleven. Buck up, my child, and let us on." 

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11 The web of our lift is of * mingled yarn, Good and ill together." 

The rooms are crowded to excess, and it is with difficulty 
that Crosby and Wyndham make their way to the place 
where some one has told them their hostess is to be found. 
They have arrived very late, in spite of Crosby's attempt 
at haste, so late indeed that already some of the guests are 
leaving, a fact that had somewhat embarrassed their journey 
up the staircase. The heat is intense, and the perfume of 
the many roses makes the air heavy. 

Quite at the end of the music room Wyndham sees his 
aunt, and presently she, seeing him and Crosby in the door- 
way, makes them a faint salutation. The Hon. Mrs. Prior 
is a tall woman, with a high aristocratic nose, fair hair, and 
blue eyes — now a little pale. She was the handsomest of 
the three daughters of Sir John Burke, and, what is not 
always the case, had made the best marriage. Her young- 
est sister, Kate, had however done very well too when she 
married James Wyndham, but the eldest sister had made a 
distinct fiasco of her life. She had run away with a ne'er- 
do-weel, a certain Robert Haines, who came from no one 
knew where and went no one knew where either, taking Sir 
John's favorite daughter with him. It was hushed up at 
the time, but the old man had caused ceaseless secret in- 
quiries to be made for the missing daughter, always, how- 
ever, without result. It was for a time a blot upon the 
family history, but it was forgotten after a while, and Mrs. 
Prior and her daughter have for some time taken leading 
parts in Dublin society. 

A tall thin woman is singing very beautifully as the two 
young men enter, and Mrs. Prior's slight movemenkPf 

igi ize y g 


recognition to her nephew conveys with it, a desire that he 
should not seek her until the song has come to an end. 
And presently the last quivering note dies away upon the 

air, and the crowd is once more in motion. Lady H is 

being congratulated on the beauties of her voice by many 
people, and Mrs. Prior having done her part, is now able to 
receive her nephew and Crosby without having to pause 
and wonder who she is to speak to next. 

Indeed, Lady H 's singing has virtually wound up 

the evening. Few would care to sing after her, and now 
the rooms are beginning to look deserted. 

" Always a laggard, Paul," says his aunt, who, having 
bidden good-bye to her principal guests, has left the rest to 
her daughter. " But I suppose something of it must be 
put down to to-night." She smiles at Crosby, whom she 
has known since he was a little boy. " You should have 
been here earlier, you two, she sang even better in the be- 
ginning of the evening. It was l Allan Water,' and you 
know how that would suit her voice. But now that you 
have come so late, you must stay a little later and have 
supper with Josephine and me." 

She talks on to them in her cultivated yet somewhat hard 
voice, rising now and then to say good-bye to someone, 
until the rooms are quite cleared and her daughter is able 
to join them. 

Josephine Prior comes across the polished floor of the 
music-room to where they are sitting in a curtained recess ; 
she is as tall as her mother, and as fair, and a little harder. 
Miss Prior was undoubtedly the handsomest girl in Dublin 
this season (now all but over), and has been for the past 
two or three. Tall, distingude, and with irreproachable 
manners, there are very few who can outdo her. She 
sweeps up to them now, her pretty silken skirts falling 
gracefully around her, and her mother rising, motions her 
into her own seat — that next to Wyndham's, while she 
sinks into a chair on Crosby's left. 

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It has been a settled thing with Mrs. Prior for years, 
that Josephine, her only child, should marry Paul Wynd- 
ham, who, though only a barrister, is still a very rising one, 
and heir to his grand-uncle, Lord Shangarry. To know 
Josephine a countess I There lay all the hope, all the am- 
bition of Mrs. Prior's life. And the fact that old Lord 
Shangarry shared her hopes about this matter, naturally 
led to the idea that in time it must be accomplished. If 
Paul were to offend his uncle, then — well, then — the title 
would be his indeed, but the enormous income now attached 
to it, not being entailed, could be left as Lord Shangarry 
wished. Few people fly in the face of Providence where 
thousands a year are concerned, and Mrs. Prior depended 
upon Wyndham's common sense to secure him as a husband 
for her daughter. As for Wyndham — though up to this 
not a syllable has passed between him and Josephine to 
bind him to her in any way, he has of late brought himself 
to believe that a marriage with her, considering the stakes 
—is not out of the question. She is a handsome girl too— 
and as a countess — would look the part. 

Now as she seats herself beside him, he again acknowl- 
edges the beauty of her chiselled nose and chin. But — 
yes, there is a but — . All at once it occurs to him, that 
beauty is very seldom to be found in perfect features. The 
really artistic face has always one feature, quite beyond the 
bounds of art I Strange that it had not occurred to him be- 
fore I Still — Josephine is undoubtedly handsome. 

Josephine's voice is like her mother's, clear, and very 
hard. She is talking now. 

" Do you know we were down in your part of the world 
the other day," says she. " We were lunching with dear 
Lady Millbank, and then went on to your cottage. We 
wanted to get some flowers. You know how mean Lady 
Millbank is about her roses, so we decided on saying noth- 
ing to her, and trusting to your place. But when we got 
there," with an elephantine attempt at playfulness, " the 


cupboard was bare, at all events to us, because we could not 
get in." 

" Yes, so odd I " says llrs. Prior. " We rang and rang, 
and rang, but no one came for quite a long time. At 
last your housekeeper appeared, a most disagreeable person, 
my dear Paul. She was indeed almost rude, and said she 
had your orders to admit nobody t " 

She looks back at Wyndham, who looks back at her with 
an immovable countenance. 

44 Not my orders certainly," says he, calmly. " I was 
abroad until the other day, you know, so I can hardly be 
responsible for Mrs. Moriarty's manoeuvres." 

His voice is perfectly even, though a perfect storm of 
rage against Mrs. Denis is rendering him furious. Con- 
found the woman 1 what does she mean by seeking to create 
a scandal out of a mere nothing — a mountain out of a mole- 
hill I 

Crosby, glancing at him steadily for a moment, turns his 
eyes away again and breaks into the discussion. 

44 1 am sorry you did not go up to my place," says he, 
addressing Miss Prior. " It is quite a terrible thing to con- 
template — your having been in want of flowers." 

" Ah I But you weren't there," says Josephine, with a 
wild attempt at coquetry. 44 If you had been, we might 
have made a raid on you." 

44 Well, I'm at home now," says Crosby, cheerfully. 
44 You must come down some day soon, and help me to 
gather my roses." 

44 You mean to stay then," says Josephine, leaning a little 
towards him across her mother. She is quite bent on 
marrying her cousin, though she is as indifferent to him as 
he is to her, but in the meantime she is not above a slight 
flirtation with Crosby. To tell the truth, this big, good- 
humored, handsome man appeals to her far more than Paul 
has ever done. 

44 Until the autumn at all events," says he. 

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As for Wyndham, he is still sitting mute, apparently 
listening to his aunt's diatribes about society and Dublin 
society in particular, but in reality raging over Mrs. Denis 9 
shortcomings, and the deplorable Irish sympathetic nature 
that has led her to sacrifice everything — even the excellent 
situation she has at the Cottage — to a mere passing fancy 
for a girl whom she has known at the longest for four or 
five weeks. 

Crosby, noting his abstraction, is still rattling along. 

" Now it's a promise, Mrs. Prior, isn't it ? You" — here 
he glances deliberately at Josephine — " you will come and 
look round my place soon, won't you f I'm thinking of 
making up a little house party in September or August, 
and I hope you and Miss Prior will leave a week open for 
me." He throws a look over his shoulder. " You too, 

" Thank you," says Paul, absently. 

" What a charming idea," cried Josephine, ecstatically. 
Here she decides upon clapping her hands, and she does it 
in her perfectly well-bred way. The result is deadly. " To 
stay with a bachelor I Mamma, you will consent f " 

Mamma consents. Josephine, again leaning towards 
Crosby, says something delightful to him. It has seemed 
to her since Crosby's coming that to have two strings to 
your bow is a very desirable thing. Paul is well enough, 
and in the end, of course, she will marry him, though at 
times she has thought that he — but, of course, that is non- 
sense. He would be afraid to marry anyone else — afraid of 
his uncle I What a pity he is not Mr. Crosby, or Mr. Crosby, 
Paul I Well, one can't have everything one's own way, 
after all, and there is the title t Lady Shangarry — Mrs. 
Crosby ! — Yes, the title counts ! But really Paul is so very 
dull, and Mr. Crosby, though he has no title, so infinitely 
better off than Paul will ever be ; and the Crosby's is an 
old family, dating back to — goodness knows where I — still a 

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Finally she gets back to the title, and stays there. 

44 But yes, really, dear Paul," Mrs. Prior is saying, " I 
think that housekeeper of yours, or caretaker, or whatever 
she is, takes too much upon her. I tried to explain to her 
I was your aunt, and indeed she has seen me several times, 
. but I could not shake her determination to let no one in. 
Anyone might be excused for imagining that she was con- 
cealing something." 

" Garden party for her own friends, no doubt," says 
Crosby. He has cast a half-amused, half-enquiring glance 
at Wyndham, but the latter's face is impassive. 

" I think it a little serious," says Mrs. Prior. "Young 
men, as a rule, are always imposed upon by women of her 
class; caretakers, of course, I mean," with a careful glance 
at the innocent Josephine. " Landladies and that. Do you 
think, dear Paul, that she is quite honest t " 

44 Quite, I think." 

44 Then why this extraordinary step on her part f This 
locking out your very nearest, and," with an open glance at 
Josephine, " dearest ? No — no, George," to Crosby, 44 you 
really must not jest on this subject. I feel it is quite im- 
portant where Paul is concerned. You really know of no 
reason, Paul, why she should have forbidden us an en- 

Is there meaning in the question t Wyndham looks at 
her steadily before replying. 

44 1 was in France at the time," says he, carelessly. 44 If 
she had a motive, how could I know it f " 

Crosby leans back, and crosses his arms negligently. 
44 What an idiotic equivocation," thinks he. 

44 You certainly ought to speak to her about it." 

44 Of course I shall speak to her." 

Crosby smiles. 

44 1 really think you ought," says Mrs. Prior. 44 You can," 
severely, " mention me if you wish. I consider she be- 
haved extremely badly. And I quite tremble for the dear 

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little old place. You know it was an uncle of ours — a 
grand-uncle of yours — who left the place to your mother, 
and as girls we — that is, your aunts and I — used to be very 
fond of running up from your grandfather's place in Kerry 
to spend a few weeks in it. We were all girls then — your 

mother and I, and you " She stops, and sneezes most 

opportunely behind her lace handkerchief. The innocent 
Josephine had touched her foot under cover of her gown. 
Of course the aunt who had disappeared so unpleasantly 
had better not be mentioned. 

" I hope, Paul, you will see that this woman keeps the 
dear old place in order," says Mrs. Prior, rather hastily. 

" To confess a dreadful truth," says Wyndham, smiling 
somewhat briefly, " I have almost made up my mind to let 
the Cottage. It has been rather a burden to me of late. 
And " 

"To let it. But why?" 

44 Well, as you see yourself," says Wyndham, desperately, 
14 Mrs. Moriarty does not seem capable of looking after it. 
It is an awful bore, you know, and," with a rush of affection 
hitherto unborn, " the idea of her having kept you out of 
the place seems to put an end to my trust in her for ever." 

Crosby flecks a little point of dust off his coat sleeve. 
" Oh, the handsome liar," thinks he. 

44 But my dear boy you must not be too precipitate. A 
word to her would perhaps " 

44 I've quite made up my mind," says Wyndham stead- 
fastly. " I shall look out for a tenant." 

44 Dear Paul I " says Mrs. Prior, touched by this nephew- 
like act, 4i I of course appreciate your sweetness in this 
matter. It is very dear of you to be so angry about the 
woman's incivility to me, and if you have made up your 
mind about getting a tenant for the dear old cottage, I think 
I can help you." 

Here Crosby leans forward. It is proving very interest* 


" You mustn't take any trouble," says Wyndham, " I 
couldn't allow you." 

" It will be no trouble — for you," says Josephine, break- 
ing into the conversation very affectionately. 

" Thanks awfully, but I think I've got a desirable tenant 
in my eye," says Wyndham. " One suitable in every re- 

" The real thing is to know if he is solvent," says Mrs. 

" Oh, I think so — I think so," says Wyndham thought- 

" Is he young or old t " asks Josephine, who feels she 
ought to show some interest in his affairs. Wyndham re- 
mains wrapt up in thought for a moment then apparently 
wakes up. " Oh, the tenant," says he dreamily. " Not old ; 
no, not old I " 

" At that rate you must introduce us to him," says Mrs. 
Prior, with quite surprising archness. " Solvent and not 
old? Quite a desirable acquaintance! What is his name,. 

" I don't know," says Wyndham. 

" Not know t But my dear Paul I " 

" I positively don't," says Wyndham, in quite a loud 
voice. It occurs to Crosby that now at last he is telling 
the truth, and that he is wildly glad at being able to do so. 
But the truth ! Where does it come in f Crosby grows 
curious. " Strange as it may sound the name is unknown 
to me. And for the matter of that nothing is settled. 
There have been only preliminaries. There must always be 
preliminaries you know," talking briskly to his aunt. 

" Well, be careful," says Mrs. Prior. " And whatever you 
do Paul, don't take a lady tenant. They are so difficult I 
Now promise me, Paul, you won't take a lady as a tenant." 

Providentially at this moment the very late supper is 
announced, and Paul, rising, gives his arm to Josephine, 
after which the conversation drifts into other channels. 

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41 This is the short and long of it." 

The moon is streaming brilliantly over the silent streets 
as the two men leaving Fitzwilliam-square turn presently 
into Stephen's Green, and then down Dawson Street. 
Crosby's footsteps are bound for the Oresham Hotel, and 
Wyndham, who should have gone the other way, consider- 
ing his rooms are in Elgin Road, walks with him silently 
and so mechanically, that it becomes at once plain to Crosby 
that he has lost himself a little in a world of troublous 

Determining to let him find his way out of his mind's 
labyrinth by himself, Crosby maintains a discreet silence, 
refraining even from good words, and the whistle that has 
come to be part of him, during his strange wanderings by 
sea and land, and is difficult to discard when in the midst of 

It is not until they have reached the railings that run 
round Trinity College — where the glorious light of the 
moon is lighting up the old and splendid pile, that Wynd- 
ham speaks. 

" I've had the deuce of a time," says he. 

" Well, I could see that," says Crosby, turning his cigar 
in his fingers. " I'm rather disappointed in you, do you 
know, Paul. How you are to make a fortune out of your 
profession is to me a mystery. Throw it up. Tou are cer- 
tainly not a liar born." 

" I'm in a tight place," says Wyndham, disgustedly, " but 
I daresay I'll get out of it well," reluctantly. " Good 

" Not a bit of it," says Crosby, tucking his arm into his ; 

g Digitized by VjOOQlC 


44 come and have a pipe with me, and — if you can bring 
yourself to it — give voice to this worry of yours, and get it 
off your mind." . 

A pipe is a great help ; soothed by it, and the influence 
of the society of his old chum, Wyndham, seated comfort- 
ably in a huge armchair in Crosby's room, tells the latter 
the whole of his remarkable acquaintance with his unknown 
guest at the Cottage. 

It is, to confess the truth, a rather lame story, very 
lamely told ; and at the close of it Wyndham looks at his 
friend, at least at as much of him as he can see, Crosby 
being now enclouded in smoke. He had been smoking very 
vigorously indeed all through the recital, and there had 
been moments when he had seemed to be choking, but 
whether altogether from the smoke Wyndham felt uncertain. 

" Well, that's the story," says he, at last, flinging himself 
back in his chair. 

There is a short silence. 

" Then I suppose you could not think of a better one ? " 
says Crosby, beginning to choke again. 

44 Oh, I knew how you'd take it. How any fellow would 
take it," says Wyndham, wrathfully. " I can see that there 
isn't a soul in the world who would believe such an idiotic 
story as mine. But there it is, and you can take it or leave 
it as you like. But for all that, Crosby, you ought to know 
me well enough to understand that I should not trouble 
myself to lie to you unless there was occasion for it." 

At this Crosby gives way to a roar. 

44 Well, I honestly believe there's no occasion now," says 
he ; u and for the rest, dear old chap, of course I believe 
every word you have said. You must be thoroughly hipped 
or you'd have seen how I was enjoying the joke. Come, it 
seems we have both had adventures in Arcadia ; and that 
we have both come in rather sorry fashion out of them." 

44 Oh, you— you can afford to speak of adventures," says 
Wyndham, rueftilly. 44 You're accustomed to them— but I 

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—I confess this last and first has been enough for me. You 
who have faced lions " 

44 Not so many, after all," interrupts Crosby, laughing. 
44 Don't magnify them like that. I've shot a few, I confess, 
but I only seem to remember seven. One does remember 
them when one's face to face with them. But there is not 
such a lot to remember after all." 

44 It would serve, so far as I am concerned," says Wynd* 
ham, frankly. " Indeed I think I could do with one— 
always supposing he was dead. As for how I feel now, it 
is as though I were in a den of them, and I doubt if I'll 
come as well out of it as Daniel did." 

Crosby regards him with an amused eye. 

44 Apropos, your tenant," says he. 44 When are you going 
to introduce your aunt to your young man ? " 

44 Oh, get out," says Wyndham. 

44 That's a lion if you like," says Crosby. 

44 Which ? My aunt or my tenant f " 

44 1 haven't seen the tenant. Still it strikes me that she 
will be a lion too. I'd get out of that den if I were you." 

44 Well, I want to. But what's one to do. I can't get 
rid of either of my lions." 

44 Not even of the tenant f " 

44 1 don't see how I can, now I have given my promise." 

44 Well ! Introduce them to each other, that's a capital 
suggestion if you will only look into it. Whilst they claw 
each other, you may be able to make your escape." 

44 Introduce them 1 " Wyndham pauses, as if sounding 
the proposition, then gives way to wrath. 44 Hang it," says 
he, 44 you are worse than Job's three comforters all rolled 
into one I " 

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44 No hinge, nor loop 
To hang a doubt on." 

Today is Sunday. The first Sunday since that eventful 
day when Susan had tackled and disarmed the thief, and 
certainly the warmest day that has come this season. In 
here in the church, the heat is almost intolerable, and 
Susan, when the Litany begins, feels her devotion growing 

She has indeed up to this had a good deal of troublous ex- 
citement. To keep one eye on Jacky, who had left home in 
a distinctly resentful mood, and the other on Tommy, who 
doesn't believe in churches as a satisfactory playground, is 
a task to which few would be equal, and even now, when 
Tommy has been reduced to silence by Betty and lemon 
drops, the excessive warmth of the day leaves Susan too 
tired to follow the beautiful service. 

Mechanically she says, " We beseech Thee to hear us, 
good Lord," but her mind is wandering, and presently her 
eyes begin to wander too. 

The curate ! How hideous he is, poor little man, and 
what a pity he is so painfully conscious of the loss of his 
front tooth, and what a lovely light that is from the window 
falling on his gown. It must be nice outside now. How 
the fires are buzzing on the panes, just like the organ. 
Maria Tanner should not be laughing like that, if father 
saw her he would be so angry, and Maria is such a nice 
girl and so clever — took all the prizes at the Diocesan Ex- 
amination last year, and her sister is considered quite an 
excellent housemaid by Lady Millbauk. What a pretty 
bonnet Lady Millbank has on ; those violets suit her. Who 

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is the man in the pew behind her ; whj*, that is the Crosby 
pew — and 

For one awful minute Susan feels the walls of the church 
closing in upon her ; a sensation of faintness — a trembling 
of the knees— oppressed her : she is conscious of all this — 
and then the mist fades away. 

No, no. Of course it was not true. It was impossible. 
A remarkable likeness, no more ! She could have laughed 
almost at her own folly, and very nearly did so, in her 
nervous state, but providentially the sight of a gloomy 
black and white tablet erected to the memory of a dead and 
gone Crosby that stands out from the wall right before her, 
prevents this act of desecration. 

She — she will look again. If only to assure herself of 
her own folly. Slowly, slowly, she lifts her eyes, the eyes 
that now are standing in a very white face, and looks with 
a desperate courage at the Crosby pew. Her eyes met full 
the eyes of its one occupant, and then Susan tells herself 
that it is all over, and death alone is to be looked for. 

For the eyes of the Crosby pew-man are the eyes of 
Susan's thief. There can be no mistake about it any longer. 
The man who sits in Mr. Crosby's pew and Susan's repent- 
ant thief are one and the same. 

Her eyes seem to cling to his. In the fever of horror that 
has overtaken her, she feels as if she could never remove 
them. For a full minute the man in the Crosby pew and 
Susan kneel, staring at each other, and then suddenly some- 
thing happened. Lady Millbank, who is sitting in the pew 
before that of the Crosby's, turns round and hands Susan's 
thief a prayer-book. That in itself would be very well ; 
everyone should give a thief a prayer-book, but Lady Mill- 
bank has accompanied her gift with a friendly nod of recog- 
nition, a charming smile — the smile that Susan so well 
knows — the smile that is only given to those whom Lady 
Millbank desires to honor or to be in with. 

It is all quite plain now. The thief is Mr. Crosby, and 

Digitized by VjjVJvJV LC 


Susan with a groan lets her face fall upon her clasped hands, 
and hopes vainly for the earth to open and swallow her up 

But the earth is a stupid thing, and never does anything 
nowadays. Not a single earthquake appears for Susan's 
accommodation, and the good old church is not conscious of 
even a quiver. The service goes on. The Litany is done. 
They all rise from their knees and the curate gives out a 

"Oh Paradise! Oh Paradise ! " 

Poor Susan feels as if " Oh Purgatory I " would be much 
nearer it so far as she is concerned. She would have stopped 
the hymn there and then if she could, feeling utterly upset 
and nervous. But it would take a great many feelings to 
stop a church service when it is once in full swing, and the 
hymn goes on gaily in spite of Susan's despair. It reaches 
indeed a most satisfactory ending in spite of a slight con- 
tretemps occasioned by the one unlucky Protestant maid 
belonging to the rectory, called Sarah. 

Poor Sarah had that day for the first time put on a hat 
of which a brilliant majenta feather is the principal feature. 
Hitherto it had not caught Miss Barry's eye — a wonder in 
itself even greater than the majenta feather — as this esti- 
mable spinster with a view to keeping the servants 9 moral 
conduct perfect has elected that they shall sit on a bench 
in the big square rectory pew right before her and her 
nephew and nieces. 

It is at the beginning of the first verse that Miss Barry's 
eye lights on the monstrosity in Sarah's hat ! Feathers 
and flowers are abominations in Miss Barry's eyes when 
worn by the " common people," as she calls those beneath 
her in the social scale. How dare that impertinent girl 
come to church with such an immodest ornament on her 
head ? What on earth is the world coming to f She must, 
she will, speak to her — impossible to let her enjoy that 
feather another second. 

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If she can't speak, she can at all events sing at her. 

She darts across the pew, and leaning over Sarah's 
shoulder sings, piercingly into her ear — 

" Oh Paradise! Oh Paradise ! Sarah, what do you mean? 
(Rising note). How dare (prolonged shriek on top note) 
you wear that feather, girl? Where did you get that 

She is simply screaming this to the hymn tune. You all 
know the hymn of course, and can understand how Miss 
Barry's voice rose to a shrill yell in the u Dare." Sarah, 
with a convulsive start, turns round. It seems to her that 
this loud voice shouting in her ear must be heard by every 
other soul in the church, and frightened, ashamed, she 
sinks down into her seat and prepares to hide herself and 
the majenta feather behind her prayer-book. But at this 
breach of church etiquette Miss Barry grows even more in- 
censed, and proceeds to rouse the wretched girl to a sense 
of her further iniquity by well directed and vigorous 
punches and prods of her prayer-book on her back. 
Whereon Sarah dissolved in tears rises to her feet once 
more. She is evidently on the verge of hysterics, and 
would have undoubtedly given way to them, but that at 
this moment, Betty, who is afraid of nothing under heaven, 
lays her hand on Miss Barry's arm and forcibly pulls her 
back to her accustomed place. 

The hymn has now come to an end, and only Sarah's 
stifled groanings are heard upon the air. Most people take 
these to be the buzzing of the innumerable blue-bottles col- 
lected in the window panes, so that the whole affair goes 
off better than might have been expected. 

Slowly, slowly, go the minutes — slower and slower still 
is the voice of the curate, as he intones the commandments. 
The blue bottles, as if invigorated by it, buzz louder than 
ever, until poor Sarah's sobs are completely drowned. 

The heat grows more and more intense. Jacky beneath 
its pressure has fallen sound asleep, and is now giving 

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forth loud and handsome snorings. Miss Barry, horrified, 
makes frantic signs to Dominick, who is next to the culprit, 
to stop this unsolicited addition to the church music that 
Jacky has so " kindly consented " to give, and Dom waves 
back at her wildly. No — no, of course. He quite under- 
stands; he will see that no one interferes with the dear 
boy's slumbers on any account whatever. The wavings 
backwards and forwards grow fast and furious — furious on 
the part of Miss Barry, and really as fast as lightning on 
the part of Mr. Fitzgerald, who is having a thoroughly 
"bon quart d' heure " — but Carew ends it. 

He has been trying mentally to get through one of his 
papers for his next examination, and finding Jacky's snores 
a deadly .interruption to his thoughts, he fetches that 
resounding hero a telling kick on a part that shall be name- 
less, which brings him not only to his senses, but the floor. 

There is a momentary confusion in the rectory pew, but 
as every member of the congregation is more or less 
drowsing, Jacky is picked up and restored to his seat be- 
fore the real meaning of the confusion is known. And, in- 
deed, when any one does look, all the Barrys are sitting so 
demure and innocent that no one could connect them with 
anything out of the way. Susan, alone flushed and un- 
nerved, in spite of her determination not to do it, looks 
quickly at the Crosby pew — to find the thief looking at her 
with a singular intensity of regard. It is at this moment 
that Susan for the first time In her young happy life, wakes 
to sympathy with those unfortunate people who sometimes 
J wish that they were dead. 

The curate, a short squat little man — a man so short in- 
deed that a footstool has had to be placed in the pulpit for 
him to let the congregation see him as he preaches, is now 
droning away like the flies ; " shooting out shafts of elo- 
quence to the bucolic mind," is how he puts it when writ- 
ing to his people, but even his people, if here, could hardly 
catch the shafts to-day. The fact is, he has not yet had 

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time to get in the teeth he lost by his fall last week, and, 
however admirable his discourse may be, the beauties of it 
are known to him alone. 

The farmers who are awake are leaning forward, their 
hands to their ears to catch the gospel words that never 
reach them. Lady Millbank has fallen gracefully asleep. 
Sarah is still weeping copiously, but now — thank heaven — 
quietly. The curate, vainly striving to pronounce his 
" this " and his " that," grows more and more nervous. 
He leans over the pulpit and thunders at the sleeping 
farmers, and at the leading families around in whose pews 
too " Somnus " is holding a full court. Farther and farther 
he leans, striving with his parishioners as much as with his 
teeth — a very passion of anxiety grows upon him. He 
lifts his arms from the desk before him, the desk that is 
supporting him and waves them frantically. 

" Hear — hear, my brethren," cries he. " Hear and 


His cry, like the Excelsior young man's clarion, rings 
loud and clear. It wakes some of the sleepy members, who 
look up to see what it is all about. But when they do look 
up there is nothing to see I 

Most unexpectedly and disgracefully — considering its re- 
lation to the church — the footstool had given way with a 
crash, and Mr. Haldane, the curate, had given way with it, 
and disappeared holus bolus into the big old pulpit. 

For quite a minute — though no doubt " to memory dear " 
— the curate is certainly " lost to sight," and when at last 
he ventures once more to mount the offending stool and 
look down at his parishioners it is to find that the far larger 
half of them are gladly streaming down the aisle to the 
fresh air outside, under the fond delusion that " Church is 

These are the specially drowsy ones. The crash caused 
by the curate's unpremeditated descent had roused them 
from their happy dreams, and on opening their eyes, seeii 

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no preacher in the pulpit, they had naturally come to the 
conclusion that the performance was at an end. 

Yain to call them back I Mr. Haldane spreads out his 
arms to heaven in a mournful appeal, but hearing some 
unmistakable tittering to his left, turns and incontinently 

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"Life is thorny and youth is vain." 

Not so quickly as Susan, however. He could hardly 
have flown with the fleetness of that heart-troubled nymph. 
She— at the first chance, when her father, rising hurriedly 
at the flight of his curate, had breathed the blessing — had 
flown down the side aisle and through the small oak door 
into the golden air outside. And from there into a small 
lane, filled with flowering weeds, that led straight home- 

Running, racing indeed, goes Susan, with her heart on 
fire, as her cheeks, and her lovely childlike eyes darkened 
and bright with the sense of coming disaster. . 

She never draws breath until she finds herself safe in her 
own little room with just five precious minutes (precious 
unusual five minutes, gained only by that swift run that 
had left them all behind) in which to think out as calmly 
as she can what has befallen her. 

A thief! She had called him a thief! He— Mr. Crosby. 
The distinguished traveller ! Oh ! What is to become of 
her ? Not even now, at this last gasp, does she try to per- 
suade herself that the man in the Crosby pew was a fraud 
— that he wasn't Mr. Crosby : She knows as positively as 
though she had been introduced to him that he is Mr. 
Crosby ! 

Introduced to him ! As if . She covers her face with 

her hands. No. No, there need be no fear of that. He 
will go away soon. At once. People say he cannot bear 
civilized life, that he always hankers after savages, and 
lions, and things. He will go away, of course. Oh ! if only 
he will go away soon enough, and never come back. Susan 


with her hands before her gentle eyes has sadden dreams of 
people who have been devoured by lions, and for the first 
time fails to see the extreme horror of it. 

Yes, he will go away soon, and in the meantime — well, in 
the meantime, it is very unlikely that she will come face to 
face with him ! 

" Susan, Susan, are you there?" 

" Yes," says Susan. She goes to the door and finds 
Jacky on the threshold of it. 

" Dinner is ready," says that solemn youth. " And they 
sent me up for you." 

" I can't come down," says Susan. " I have a headache, 
Jacky. Dear, dear Jacky, say I have a headache. And I 
have too. I have indeed. There won't be any lie. The 
heat — you must have felt the heat in church — you fell asleep 

" Yes, I know," says Jacky, in his queer way, that al- 
ways expresses anger with difficulty suppressed. " You 
won't come down then ? " 

" No. I can't — I " she lifts her hand to her head. 

Jacky hesitates, turns slowly, and then throws a glance 
at her. 

" Susan, did you see that man in the Crosby pew ? " 

Susan's nerves being a little overwrought she almost 
jumps at this. 

" Yes, yes," says she in a hurried way. 

" He was very like the thief, wasn't he ? " says Jacky 
anxiously. Susan colors hotly. 

" Nonsense, Jacky," with a very poor attempt at scorn. 
" That gentleman in Mr. Crosby's pew was, I think, Mr. 
Crosby himself, or, at all events, some friend of his." 

" Well, the thief was the image of him," says Jacky 
slowly. That's the worst of Jacky, he is always so abom- 
inably slow. " I looked at him and I said to myself ( that's 
Susan's thief, ' " and, with awful obstinacy, " I think it 
was too." 


" No, no, no," says Susan. " It was Mr Crosby I tell 
you. I saw Lady Millbank nod and smile at Mm." 

Jacky considers. 

" Very well," says he, in a thoroughly unconvinced tone. 
He moves away a bit and then looks back. " If that is 
true," says he " Mr. Crosby looks like a thief." 

At half-past three Susan, having come to the conclusion 
that sitting up here won't help her out of her difficulty, 
wanders downstairs and into the schoolroom, where Betty 
makes much of her, and makes her sandwiches out of the 
still warm mutton, which in spite of their nastiness and her 
headache Susan devours with avidity. Hunger is a great 
sauce ; no one has ever yet invented one to beat it, and, per- 
haps if all were known Susan's ache belongs more to the 
heart than the head. When the sandwiches are finished 
she declares herself much better, and Jane coming to say 
that Lady Millbank is in the drawing-room, she rises and 
expresses a desire to see her. 

Lady Millbank, or " The Sack," as the irreverent young 
Barrys always call her, thinks it the correct thing to be in 
with, and civil to, her Rector — without giving herself any 
unnecessary trouble. The drive from Millbank to the Par- 
ish Church is five good miles, so she always makes a point 
of lunching with some of her friends and taking afternoon 
tea at the rectory. Even so far she would not have con- 
descended but that the Rector, poor as he is, has sprung 
from a good old stock, and that his wife was a connection 
of the late Sir Geoffrey Millbank. 

" So sorry to hear you have been ill," says she as Susan 
enters. Susan is a favorite of hers. " The heat, eh." She 
speaks exactly as she looks. She is one of those people 
who can be very gracious when they like, and perfectly 
abominable on other occasions. She is ugly and shapeless, 
and careless about her dress, but no one could mistake for 
a minute that she was well born. 

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" It was very warm," says Susan. 

" You look pale, my dear. I think, Miss Barry, she ought 
not to go to church this evening." 

" No, no. Of course not, Susan," says Miss Barry, se- 
verely, who is sitting behind a wonderfully battered old 
teapot that has certainly seen service, and must have been 
pure at heart to have come out of the trial thus victor- 
iously, though maimed and wounded. It is the pride of 
Miss Barry's life, and had come down to the Rector after 
many days. 

" I suppose you saw that George Crosby has come home," 
says Lady Millbank. " I had heard a rumor of his coming, 
a week or so ago, but thought nothing of it. Such a man 
as h$ is can never be relied upon, and when he turned up 
actually alive last week, I was more surprised than I can 
tell you." 

Last week ! She had seen him — had talked with him. 
Had he told her ? Susan's heart sinks within her. Posi- 
tive despair makes her raise her eyes, and look at Lady 
Millbank. Oh ! if 

But Lady Millbank is still chatting on, and in her eyes, 
as they meet Susan's, there is no " arrive pensta. No — he 
had not betrayed her. 

" I don't suppose we shall see much of him. He is al- 
ways on the stampede," Lady Millbank is saying. " One 
would think from his habits that he was a criminal running 
before the law. I told him so. Ah," rising suddenly and 
looking out of the window, " there he is ! And coming here I 
Of course to call upon Mr. Barry. Your brother was a 
great friend of George Crosby's father, I think. Eh ? " 

" There was a friendship," says Miss Barry. " Susan, 
how pale you are. Come out of that dark corner, child, 
and sit near the window. The air will do you good." 

" I like being here," says Susan, quickly. 

There is no time to say any more. Susan's " thief" is in 
the room I 

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"A secret is in my custody if I keep it; bat if I blab it, it is I 
that am prisoner." 

The Rector has come in, and has stayed to have a cup of 
tea with Mr. Crosby. Lady Millbank declares herself 
charmed and very jealous. He never leaves his beloved 
books to see her I Mr. Barry smiles and then falls back 
upon the memories of Crosby's father that are always so 
dear to him. He is a tall, gaunt man, severe, with a far 
away look, and indifferent air of those who live with dead 
authors, and who are besides a little worried by the money 
transactions of life. 

To have to think of the daily needs is hateful to Mr. 
Barry, who ought to have been a bachelor, with nothing but 
his notes to worry him — living in a world in which he could 
sit loosely. Even now, he sometimes forgets how time flies, 
and to tell him that Susan is almost a woman grown, would 
have roused him to quite an extraordinary wonder. The 
world goes on, whilst he stands still, and to-day the drag- 
ging of him out of his shell, even to the ordinary business 
of a drawing-room conversation, has bewildered him. After 
a little while he retires. 

His sermons — his visits to the sick — the poor (he never 
visits the rich unless they specially send for him) — all these 
things concern him : but when he knows himself happiest 
is when his study door is shut for the night to all intruders, 
and he can read, read, read, until the little hours begin to 

As Crosby entered the drawing-room Susan felt her heart 
stand still. She rose mechanically and held out her hand 
to him, as he came up to her, but she did not lift her eyes. 
She felt vaguely conscious that she had flushed over cheek 


and brow. Such a blush ! So quick — so deep ! Oh, he 
must have seen it and known the meaning of it. 

If he did, he made no sign whatever, and until the de- 
parture of Lady Millbank he devoted himself to the Rector. 

When Lady Millbank rose to say good-bye, Susan told 
herself that now at last the ordeal was at an end, and that 
he would go too. But apparently he had no intention what- 
ever of stirring. And the climax came when Dom and 
Garew asked him to come out into the garden and have a 
cigarette. The cigarettes were Dom's. Mr. Crosby seemed 
only too willing to accept this lively invitation, and Dom, 
thrusting his arm through Betty's, asked her to come along 
with him. 

" And you, Miss Barry," says Crosby, now walking up 
deliberately to Susan, who is still sitting in her shady cor- 
ner. The elder Miss Barry had gone out into the hall to 
bid Lady Millbank a last adieu, and tell her of the latest 
misdoings of the young women of the Christian Association 
in Curraghcloyne. " I hope you will come too." 

" Oh, yes, Susan — come on," says Betty. " It's lovely 
outside to-day, and father won't be able to see the smoke 
through the beech hedge." The Rector objects to smoking 
so that Dom and Carew have quite a time of it keeping 
their pipes and cigarettes out of his way. 

" I hope you will come," says Crosby. He is bending 
over Susan now, and he has distinctly lowered his tone. 
" Do you know I have come over to-day to see and thank 
you. I felt it quite my duty to do it." 

" To thank me ? " For the first time during the after- 
noon Susan looks straight at him. Her large and lovely 
eyes are full of wonderment. " To thank me ? " 

" Yes, indeed ; I have great cause to be grateful to you," 
says Mr. Crosby, with such extreme earnestness and 
gravity that she rises. What if after all she was wrong, 
and the thief was not really Mr. Crosby. 

A cousin perhaps — a disagreeable one — cousins are very 

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often disagreeable, and often too, more like one than one's 
own brothers are. Of course, if he was a kinsman, Mr. 
Crosby would be very grateful to her for hushing up the 
whole affair, and telling nobody. And yet — 

Again she lifts her eyes and studies his face. No— not 
even twins were ever so alike as this man and the man that 
stole the cherries. 

" Are you coming ? " calls Betty, impatiently, and Susan 
moves forward. In a moment she is stepping from the low 
sill of the rectory drawing-room on to the little plot of 
grass beneath — disregarding Mr. Crosby's hand as he holds 
it out to help her. 

She and he are well behind the others now, and Crosby 
speaks again. 

" Tou don't ask me why I am grateful," says he, re- 
proachfully. " Don't you care to know f I care to tell 
you. I have had it on my mind since that day in the gar- 
den. You remember ? " 

" Yes," says Susan. She stops short, and confronts him 
with flushed cheeks and nervous eyes, but with a little touch 
of courage that sits most charmingly upon her. " I do re- 
member. You — you were the man who " she hesitates. 

" Stole the cherries ? " suggests he. 

" No," coldly ; " who sat on the top of the ladder and 
made fun of me." 

There is a little silence. 

" That is a most unkind speech," says Crosby, at last. 
" After all, I don't feel as grateful now, as I did a minute 
ago. I came here to-day to thank you for looking so kindly 
after my property, and you meet me with an accusation 
that absolutely strikes me dumb." 

At this Susan cannot refrain from bitter jest. 

" True," says she, scornfully ; " one can see how silent 
you are." 

Mr. Crosby regards her with apparent awe, tempered 


with grie£ 

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44 If you persist in your present course," says he, " I 
shall commit suicide. There will be nothing else left for 
me to do." 

44 In the meantime," says Susan, with astonishing spirit, 
44 you had better come into the garden. They are expect- 
ing you." 

Not so veiy much after all. Betty, Carew, and Dom 
Fitzgerald are engaged in a lively discussion on Miss 
Barry's wild attack on the unoffending Sarah in church 
this morning, and in the delights of it, have almost forgot- 
ten Mr. Crosby. The children are playing about on the 
tennis ground below, and Crosby's eyes fall on Bonnie as 
with great difficulty and with the help of a stick, he tries 
to follow little Tom. Jacky, in the distance, is stretched 
on his stomach reading. 

44 Those are your brothers? " asks Crosby, looking more 
deliberately at Bonnie, whose charming little face, though 
pale and emaciated, attracts him. 

44 Yes, I have four brothers and one sister." 

44 Five brothers, I thought." 

44 Oh, no, Dominick Fitzgerald is our cousin. He lives 
with us nearly altogether, and father is coaching him for 
the Indian Civil." 

44 Oh, I see. That little brother," gently indicating Bon- 
nie, 44 does not look very strong." 

44 No, he had rheumatic fever, and he has not been," cor- 
recting herself, hastily, as though it is impossible to her to 
say the more terrible word — " very strong since." 

" What a beautiful face," says Crosby, involuntarily. 
And indeed the loveliest flower of all this handsome Barry 
family, is the little suffering, cripple child. 

Susan is conscious for a moment of a choking in her 
throat. Oh, her little lovely darling brother. To hear 
him praised is a great joy to her, but with the joy follows 
pain unutterable. If only she had looked more closely 
after him. And poor, poor mamma — who had told her to 


* be a mother to him ! Then all at once she remembers the 
cherries and, how he had enjoyed them ; and a queer pas- 
sion of feeling, arising first of all from the fact that Crosby 
had admired the child, makes her turn to him. 

44 Mr. Crosby, I want to. tell you something," says she 
timidly ; " those cherries that you sent me " — he is about 
to teaze her again, to pretend he knows nothing of the gift, 
but her face, pale now and filled with a strange but care- 
fully held back emotion, keeps him silent. " They gave 
Bonnie a happy half-hour. No matter how I am feeling 
towards you, about your pretending to be — you know — 
still, if only for the pleasure your cherries gave Bonnie, I 
feel intensely thankful to you. He is not strong, as you 
see. They say he will never be strong again, and it was 
my fault ; for I forgot him one day — one day — and mamma 
was dead too. I was cross to you about your pretending 
to be a thief — I hope you won't mind me." 

It is such a childish speech, and there is such tragedy in 
the dark eyes 1 She has not broken down at all. There is 
not a suspicion of tears in her low, clear, young voice ; but 
that the child's ill health is a constant grief to her, is not to 
be doubted for a moment. 

44 If it comes to that," says he, slowly, " it is I who ought 
to apologize. And the worst of it is I haven't an apology 
ready. The plain truth is that I couldn't resist the situa- 
tion. If I could hope that you would try to forgive me " 

He breaks off. Susan has looked at him and through the 
deep gloom of a minute ago a smile has broken on her face. 
Such a smile I It makes her look about twelve years old, 
and is indescribably pretty. " What a lovely child," says 
Crosby to himself. She holds out her hand to him frankly. 

44 But don't tell anybody," says she, in an eager little 

44 Tell I 4 Is thy servant ' — But the brother over there 
catching cold on the grass with a book before him. He was 
with you, I think." 


" Ah I Jacky and I are chums," says she. This seems 
to settle the question. It occurs to Mr. Crosby that it 
would be rather nice to be chums with Susan, and he 
vaguely wonders if she would accept a chum who was not 
one of the family. Is Dominick a chum ! But then he is 
one of the family. When Susan has chums does she trust 
them — have little secrets with them ? If so he may clearly 
rise to the desired position in time ! He is conscious of a 
sense of exhilaration as he tells himself that Susan once re- 
garded him as a thief, and that he is bound by her to keep 
that regard a secret. 

" Oh ! There you are, Mr. Crosby," says Carew. " Come 
here and sit down." 

" Don't sit on Betty whatever you do," says Dominick 
from his place beside her on the grass, " she'd be sure to re- 
sent it. She takes after our own particular auntie in the 
way of temper ; Susan my darling," making a grab at Su- 
san's ankle which she has learned from long practice to 
avoid — u come and sit down by me — No f Your brain 
power must be weak. Have a cigarette, Mr. Crosby. You 
need not mind the girls. It is all we can do to keep our 
4 baccy ' from them." 

" If I wanted your nasty * baccy ' " says Betty, " It isn't 
likely you would be able to keep it from me. Give Mr. 
Crosby a match." 

" Thanks, I have one," says Crosby. He had accepted 
Dom's offer of a cigarette without hesitation, and indeed 
would have smoked it to the bitter end, rather than offend 
any member of the little group around him. They all 
please him, they all seem in unison with him — frank, happy, 
rollicking youngsters, without a scrap of real harm amongst 
them. Perhaps the secret of their success with Crosby lies 
in the fact that in spite of his being well in tbe thirties, he 
is still a boy himself at heart, with a spice of mischief in 
him not to be controlled. The cigarette, however, proved 
very tolerable and Susan having seated herself wh< 

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can distinctly see her, be feels that he is going to spend an 
uncommonly pleasant afternoon. 

" It's a shame to say Betty's got a temper," says Susan. 
" I'm sure she hasn't — not a bad one, anyway." 

" You needn't defend me, Susan," says Betty, clasping 
her long, lean arms behind her head. " I prefer to do it for 
myself-— and," with a fell glance at the doomed Dominick, 
" I think I know where revenge lies ! " 

" I give in," cries Mr. Fitzgerald, frantically ; " Betty — 

" Never," says Betty. 

" Ifcyou burn my fly-book a second time, I warn you that 
there will be murder," says Dom, " and then, Betty, have 

u A public retraction, then ! " demands she, viciously. 

" A hundred of them. I swear to you, Mr. Crosby, that 
I wronged her, and that her temper is like that of an angel, 
and not a bit like our Aunt Jemima " — softly — " may I be 

" Did you hear her' in church ? " asks Carew, turning to 
Crosby. " Aunt Jemima, I mean, not Betty. She was 
mad with Sarah this morning " 

Crosby looks rather helplessly round him. 

" Another sister ? " asks he. 

" No — no," says Susan ; whilst the others explode, and 
Crosby, unable to resist their gaiety, joins in the merri- 
ment. " A servant " 

" Had a majenta feather in her hat," cries Betty, roaring 
with laughter ; " and Aunt Jemima hates feathers, and " 

" This is my story, Betty," interrupts Carew ; " I insist 
on telling it. When the Paradise hymn began, Aunt Je- 
mima saw the feather " 

" Pounced upon Sarah I " cries Susan, who is nearly in 
hysterics, " Oh, did you see her ? She sang the most dread- 
fill things at her until the poor girl nearly fainted, and " 

" And then our only auntie punched her in the back with 

igi ize y g 


her prayer-book," puts in Dom. " Really, Betty, I did 
wrong you. You aren't in it with her. She cussed and 
swore like anything, but worse than all, Susan, was her ri- 
bald rendering of music hall songs within the sacred pre- 
cincts of the church." 
" Nonsense, Dom, you spoil the story by exaggeration." 
" Exaggeration ! My dear girl, didn't you hear her 1 
Why, she was shouting it. She got rather mixed up in the 
music — I'm bound to say the two times are not the same— 
but she managed it wonderfully. Tou heard her, Carew 
didn't you ? 

' Where did you get that hat ? ' 

" I waited for the rest, but I suppose her courage failed 
her, or else the organ drowned it ; at all events the second 
line — 

1 Where did you get that tile V 

did not come in. But I think we ought to speak to our 
auntie, Susan, don't you ? That sort of thing is very well 
outside, but in a church. Betty, you look as if you'd love 
to speak to somebody. We'll put you on for this job. You 
shall expostulate with Aunt Jemima on her deplorable 
weakness for low-class comic songs." 

" I shall leave you to interview her on the subject," says 

" Interview ! What a splendid word," says Dom. 
" What '11 you sell it for ? " But Betty very properly de- 
cides on not hearing him. 

Softly, sweetly, the sun is going down, topping the distant 
hills, and now falling behind them. A golden color is light- 
ing all the world. Overhead the swallows are darting here 
and there, and from the beds of mignonette in the old- 
fashioned garden exquisite perfumes are wafted ; and now 
" at shut of evening flowers " faint breezes rise, and corners 
grow rich in shadows, and from the stream below, comes a 
song that makes musical the happy hours. 

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Crosby with a sigh of distinct regret, rises to his feet. 

" I fear I must go," says he. 

" What, not so soon ? " cries Carew, getting up too ; in- 
deed as Crosby persists, though evidently with reluctance, 
in his determination to leave them, they all get up, the in- 
nate courtesy of this noisy group being their best point. 

" Have another cigarette for the walk home ? " says Dom, 

" We'll all go with you to the gate," cries Betty. 

" I suppose a big traveller like you doesn't play tennis," 
says Carew diffidently, but with an essence of hope in his 

" Oh, don't I ! " says Crosby, " I'm quite a dab at it I can 
tell you. If I were to come down to-morrow afternoon, 
would there be any chance that any of you would be here to 
play a game with me ? " 

He looks at Susan. 

" We'll all be here," cries Betty ecstatically. To have a 
new element thrown into their daily games seems too en- 
chanting for anything. " You will come ? " 

" May I ? " says Crosby. Susan had not answered, and 
now he purposely addresses her. 

" Oh, I hope you will," says she cordially. She had been 
thinking hurriedly if it would be possible to ask him to 
luncheon — to their early dinner. But with the children 
and Jane's attendance — Oh, no I a thousand times no. Tet 
it seems so inhospitable. 

" Thank you, I should very much like to come. It is 
quite taking pity on an unfortunate bachelor," says he. 
And this being settled, they all in a body prepare to accom- 
pany him to the gate. Even little Tom runs up to them, 
and Bonnie, with uneven steps hurries as fast as the poor 
mite can. Susan turns to help him, and Crosby, watching 
her for a moment, follows her, and taking the child in his 
arms, without a word swings him to his shoulder. 

At the gate, having bidden them good-bye, and Dom hav- 

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ing taken Bonnie on his back for a race home, Crosby looks 
at Susan. 

" Are you fond of cherries ? " asks he. His face is pro- 
foundly grave, but she can see the twinkle in his eyes, and 
her own gave him back a reproachful glance. 

This playing with fire is hardly prudent. 

" Sometimes," says she demurely. 

" And you, Bonnie ? " asks Crosby, pinching gently the 
child's pale pretty cheek, as he rests on Dominick's back. 
" You like them I'm sure. Well I'll send you some to-mor- 
row and every day while they last, and perhaps the red of 
their cheeks will run into yours. See that it does now." 

The child laughs shyly, and Crosby turns to Susan 

" Good-bye, Miss Barry ! " 

" Oh, don't call her that," cries Betty. " That makes her 
sound like Aunt Jemima. Susan tell him he can call you 
by your own name." 

This handsome advice ought, thinks Crosby, to fill Susan 
with angry confusion. But it doesn't. 

44 You may, you may indeed ! " says she, quite sweetly 
and naturally looking him fair in the eyes. " I should like 
you to call me Susan — and I am very much obliged to you 
for promising the cherries to Bonnie." 

She gives him her hand, he presses it, and goes up the 
road towards his home. A little thorn in his heart goes 
with him. If he had been her own age would she so 
readily have permitted him to call her Susan ? I daresay 
she regards him as quite a middle aged old fellow, and truly 
next to her youth, that promises to be eternal, he is nothing 

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u Fear oftentimes restraineth woYds, 
Bat makes not thoughts to cease." 

The weather since the beginning of the summer has been 
exceptionally warm, and to-day has outdone itself, 

Here in the cottage garden, surrounded by its ivied walls, 
the heat is excessive, and there is a certain languor in the 
lithe figure of the girl as she comes forwards, the dog be- 
side her, to greet Wyndham, that meets his eye. Perhaps 
nervousness has conduced to the pallor that is whitening 
her lips and brow, and is making even more striking the 
darkness of her appealing eyes. There is something about 
her so full of grief suppressed that he hastens to allay it. 

"I have come you see," says he. He holds out his 
hands, and she lays hers in it. He holds it a moment. 

" To speak about our rent." He smiles at her. The 
smile, to tell the truth, is a little grim, and hardly reassures 
her. " I have come to the conclusion that as you wish to 
become my tenant you must pay me a huge rent." 

" Ah, and I have been thinking," says she very sadly, 
with the mournful air of one who is giving up all that is 
worth having in this world, " that I shall not be your tenant 
at all — and shall never pay you any rent." 

" Do you mean to say," says Wyndham, reading her like 
a book, but humoring her mood, " that you've found an- 
other house more suited to you." 

u Oh no, it isn't that. There is no house I shall ever like 
as well as this." 

" Then let me tell you beforehand that I shall charge you 
a very handsome rent," persists Wyndham, trying to be 
genial. He smiles at her, but the smile is a dismal failure. 

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" I can't accept your offer — I can't indeed," says the girl, 
who, in spite of her protests, has brightened considerably 
beneath his apparent determination to let the cottage to 
her. "This is your own house. Your mother gave it to 
you. Mrs. Denis has told me all about it, and if you give 
it to me, you will never come here again." 

" I shall indeed — to collect my rent," says Wyndham, a 
little touched by her evident earnestness, and assuming a 
more natural air of lightness. 

" Ah that ! " says she. She pauses a moment, and then, 
" If," timidly, " you would promise to come here sometimes 
to see your dog, and the flowers, I might think of it. . . 

. . I could keep out of your way when you came. I 
could sit in my own room ; and you could " 

" What a cheerfhl prospect for you," says he. " I'm not 
a very agreeable fellow I know, when all is told, but I be- 
lieve I am so far on the road to respectability as to be incap- 
able of enjoying myself, at the expense of another fellow 
creature's comfort. Fancy my taking the joys of the coun- 
try with the knowledge that you were stifling in some cellar 
downstairs with a view to saving me from the annoyance 
of your presence." 

" It wouldn't be a cellar, and it isn't downstairs," says 
the girl, anxiously. " It is a pretty little room — upstairs." 

" It's all the same," says Wyndham. " The prettiest 
little room in the world is a bore if one is imprisoned in it." 

Silence follows upon this. Wyndham, going forward, 
stoops down to a bed of seedlings, that he had ordered to 
be planted a month ago. They are in a very promising 
condition, and the regret he feels for this little home of his 
that is slipping through his fingers increases. And yet to 
thrust her out — he knows quite well now that he will never 
do that. 

"Mr. Wyndham," says the girl. She is at his elbow 
now. " Don't be so sorry about it — I shall go ! To-mor- 
row if possible." 



He is not prepared for this, nor for the soft breathings 
of her voice in his ear. He turns abruptly. 

" All that is arranged," says he, peremptorily. " You 
cannot go — you have nowhere to go to — as," pointedly, 
44 you tell me. In the meantime it is absolutely necessary 
that you should have someone to live with you." 

" There is Mrs. Denis," says she, nptfvously. 

" Not good enough for an heiress like you," returns he, 
smiling. Now that he has finally, most unwillingly, and 
most ungraciously given in to the feet that she is to be his 
tenant, he feels more kindly towards her, and more human. 
u You will want a lady companion to read with you. — You 
say you wish to go on with your studies — and to go out 
with you." 

"Go out!" She regards him with quick horror. "I 
shall never go out of this. Never," cries she. 

The extraordinary passion of her manner checks him. 
She has sunk upon a garden chair, as if incapable of sup- 
porting herself any longer, and from this she looks up at 
him with a sad and frightened face. 

" I will leave," says she, at last. It is a most mournful sur- 
render of hope, and all things that make life still dear to her. 

" There is no necessity for that," says Wyndham hur- 
riedly. " If I knew more — if I knew how to help you — 
but," breaking off abruptly, " you yourself have decided 
against that. You must pardon me. You have already 
told me that you do not wish to tell me of yourself— your 
past " 

She makes a little gesture with her hand. Wyndham 
standing still upon the gravelled path looks at her. 

" I have been thinking about that," says she, " and," with 
growing agitation, " it has seemed very ungrateful of me to 
distrust you. You, who have done so much for me— who 
are now giving up your lovely home for me. Mr. Wynd- 
ham," rising and coming towards him, " I have made up 
my mind, I — will tell you all." 

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11 Confidence imparts a wonderons inspiration to its ] 
It bears him on in security, either to meet no danger or to find mat- 
ter of glorious trial." 


Shb seems powerfully affected by this determination, so 
much so as to be almost on the point of feinting. Wynd- 
ham catching her by the arm, presses her back into the gar- 
den chair. 

" Not a word," says he. "Why should you tell me? " 

" I must, I will ! " She sits up, and with marvellous 
strength of will recovers herself. " There is very little to 
tell," says she, faintly. " I have lived all my life in one 
house. As a little child I came to it. Before that I remem- 
ber nothing. If," she looks at him, " I tell you names and 
places you will keep them sacred f You will not betray 
me ? " Her glance is now at once wistful and frightened. 

" I shall certainly not do that," says he, gravely. " But 
why speak if you need not ? " 

" I don't know." She pauses, clasping her hands tightly 
together, and then at last. " I want to tell you." 

" Well, tell me," says Wyndham, gently. 

" The name of the people I lived with was Moore," says 
she, speaking at once, and rapidly, as if eager to get rid of 
what she has volunteered to tell. " They called me Moore, 
too. Ella Moore, though I know, I am sure, I did not be- 
long to them." 

" Ella." 

" Yes, Ella, I think," hesitatingly, " that is my real 
Christian name, because far, far back someone," pressing 
her hand to her head, as though trying to remember, " used 
to call me Elly. Someone who was not Mrs. Moore. It 

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was not her voice. And Moore — that is not my name, I 
know." Her tone has grown quite firm. " Mrs. Moore 
always called herself my aunt, but I don't think she was 
anything to me. She was kind sometimes, however, and I 
was sorry when fehe died. She had a husband, and I lived 
with them ever since I can remember anything." 

u Perhaps you were Mr. Moore's niece." 

44 Oh, not that ! " She grows very pale, and makes a 
quick gesture of repulsion with her hands. " Not that. 
No i Thank God ! " She pauses, and he can see that she 
has begun to tremble as if at some dreadful thought. " She, 
Mrs. Moore, died two months ago, and after that he — she 
was hardly in her grave — and he. . . . Oh, it is horri- 
ble ! " burying her face in her hands. u But he — he told me 
he wanted to marry me ! " She struggles with herself for 
a moment, and then bursts into wild tears. One can see 
that the tears are composed of past cruel memories, of out- 
raged pride, as well as grief. 

44 Oh, monstrous ! " says Wyndham, hurriedly. He begins 
to pace rapidly up and down the walk, coming back to her, 
when he finds her more composed. 

44 It is true though," cries she miserably ; 44 Oh ! how I 
hate to think of it," emphatically. " When I said no, that 
I'd rather die than marry him (and I would) he was fhr- 
ious. A fortnight afterwards he spoke to me again, saying 
he had ordered the banns to be called, and when I again said 
I would never consent, he locked me in a room, and said he 
would starve me to death, unless I gave in. " I," clench- 
ing her small white teeth, " told him I would gladly starve 
in preference to that. And for three nights and two days I 
did starve. He brought me nothing. But I did not see 
him, and that kept me alive. On the third day he came 
again, and again I defied, and then — then — " she cowers 
away from Wyndham, and the hot flush of shame dyes her 
cheek. u Then— he beat me ! " 

44 The scoundrel I " says Wyndham between his teeth. 


" He beat me," says the girl, dry sobs breaking from her 
lips, " until my back and arms were blue and swollen — and 
then he asked me again if I would give in and marry him. 
And I " 

Here she pauses, and stands back as if confronting some- 
! one. She is looking past Wyndham and far into space. It 
is plain that that past horrible degrading scene has come 
back to her afresh. The gross indignity — the abominable 
affront, is again a present thing. Again the blows rain 
upon her slender arms and shoulders. Again the brute is 
demanding her submission, and again, in spite of hunger 
and pain and fear, she is defying him. Her head is well 
upheld, her hands clenched — her large eyes ablaze. It is 
thus she must have looked as she defied the cowardly 
scoundrel, and the effect is magnificent. 

" I said no again 1 " The fire born of that last conflict 
dies away, and she falls back weakly into the seat behind 
her. " That night I ran away. I suppose in his rage he 
forgot to lock the door after him, and so I found the matter 
easy. It was a wet night and very cold. I was tired, half 
dead with hunger, and with bitter pain. That was the 
night " 

She comes to a dead stop here, and turns her face away 
from him. A shame keener than any she has known before, 
even in this recital made to him, is filling her now. But 
still she determines to go on. 

" That was the night your servant found me I " 

" Poor child," says Wyndham. His sympathy, so unex- 
pected, coming on her terrible agitation, breaks her down, 
she bursts into a storm of sobs. 

" I would to God," says she, " that I had died before he 
found me. Yes ! yes I would, though I know it was His 
will, and His alone, that kept me alive— half-dead from cold 
and hunger as I was. I can't bear to think of that night. 
And what you must have thought of me I It was dreadful 
—dreadful. Tou shrank from me because I courted death 

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so openly. Yes — yes you did," combating a gesture on his 
part, " but you did not know how near I was to it at that 
moment. I was famished — bruised — homeless. I was 
almost senseless. I knew only that I could not return to 
that man's house, and that there was no other house to go 
to. That was all I knew, through the unconsciousness that 
was fast overtaking me. To die seemed the best thing — 
and to die in that warm room. I was frozen. Oh 1 blame 
me, despise me if you like, but anyone would have been glad 
to die, if they felt as homeless and as starving as I did that 

" Who is blaming you ? " says Wyndham, roughly. 
11 Good heavens ! is there a man on earth who could blame 
you, after hearing so sad a story ? Because you have met 
one brute in your life, must you consider all other men 
brutes f" 

His manner is so vehement that Ella, thinking he is an- 
noyed with her, shrinks from him. 

" Don't be angry with me," says she, imploringly. 

" Angry with you ! " says he, impatiently. " There is 
only one to be angry with, and that is that devil. Where 
does he live f " 

She gives him the road and the number of the house 
where she had lived with the Moores. A road of small 
houses, chiefly occupied by artisans and clerks, a road not 
very for from the Zoological Gardens. 

" But what are you going to do ? " asks she, nervously. 
" You will not tell him I am here." 

" Of course not. But it is quite necessary that a fellow 
like that should feel there is a law in the land." 

" But if you say anything about me," says she in a tone 
now thoroughly frightened; "he will search me out, no 
matter in what corner of the earth I may be." 

" I don't think so, once I have spoken to him," says the 
barrister, grimly. 

14 You mean J " She looks at him timidly, " Y014 think 


that if " She breaks off again. " He told me that his 

wife, who he said was my aunt, had made hjm guardian 
over me, and that he would be my master for ever." 

" Even supposing all that were true, and Mrs. Moore was 
your aunt, — which I doubt — and had left her husband 
guardian over you ; still there are limits to the powers of 

" Then if you see him you think " — with trembling anxiety 
— " you can tell him that he has no hold over me ? " 

" Yes, I think so." 

"And I shall be free l n 

"Quite free!" 

Ella leans forward. Her hands are upon her knees, and 
are tightly clenched. She is thinking. Suddenly a soft 
glow overspreads her face. She lifts her eyes to his, and he 
can see that a wonderful brilliance — the light of hope — has 
come into them. 

" It is too good to be true," says she, slowly. 

" Oh, no, I hope not. But I wish I had a few more par- 
ticulars, Miss Moore. I am afraid," seeing a shade upon 
her face, " I shall be obliged to call you that until I have 
discovered your real name. And to do that you must help 
me. Have you no memory that goes farther back than the 
Moores? You spoke of some one who used to call you 
EUy " 

" It was a woman," says she, quickly. " Often, often in 
my dreams I see her again. She used to kiss me— I re- 
member that." 

It is such a sad little saying — once, long ago — so long ago 
that she can scarcely remember it, some woman used to kiss 
her ! But evidently since that, tender kisses had not fallen 
into the poor child's lot. 

" But she died. I saw her lying dead. I thought she 
was asleep! She was very beautiful — I remember that 
too. I don't want to see anyone dead again. Death," says 
she, with a shudder, " is horrible." 

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This comes sharply from her — who had braved the terrors 
voluntarily so very lately, that Wyndham looks at her in 
some surprise. 

" You," says he. " And yet that night when the Pro- 
fessor gave you something that might have led to death, 
were you frightened then ? " 

" I think I have explained that," says she, with a slight 
touch of dignity. 

" True." He continues the slow pacing to and fro upon 
the garden path that he has taken up occasionally during 
this interview. " There is nothing more, then, that you can 
tell me f The lady of whom you speak, who used to kiss 
you — was perhaps your mother ? " 

" I think so — I believe it," says the girl. She turns to 
him a face flushed and gratified. " Mr. Wyndham, it was 
kind of you to call her that — a lady I — to me, too, she seems 
a lady, and, besides that, an angel." 

A lady I Wyndham's kindly instincts go out to this 
poor waif and stray with an extreme sense of pity. A 
lady ! Very likely, but perhaps no wife. The mother, if 
a lady, has certainly left the gentle manners of good birth 
to this poor child, but nothing else. A vindictive anger 
against the vices of this life in which he lives, and the still 
greater anger against the betises of society that would not 
admit this girl into their ranks, however faultless she may 
be, because of a blot upon her birth, stirs his soul. That 
she is one of the great unknown seems very clear to him, 
but does not prevent his determination to hunt out that 
sooundrel Moore and break his hold over the girl. In the 
meantime it would be well for her to mix with her kind. 

" About a companion," says he. " You told me you 
were anxious to continue your studies. I think I know a 
lady — elderly, refined, and gentle— who would be able to 
help you. You could go out with her." 

" I shall not go out of this house," said the girl. She 
had begun to tremble again. " Mr. Wyndham, do not ask 


me to do that. Even," slowly but steadily, " if you did 
ask me I should refuse. I will not go where I can be 
found. This lady you speak of, if she will come and live 
with me, and teach me — I should like that ; but " 

" You will require very little teaching, I think," says 
Wyndham, who has been struck by the excellence of both 
her manners and her speech, considering her account of her 
former life. 

44 I know nothing," says she calmly. " But, as I told 
you I had read a good deal, and for the past three years I 
used to go as nursery governess to a Mrs. Blaquiere, who 
lived in Westmoreland Road. I used to lunch with her 
and the children, and she was very kind to me, and she 
taught me a good deal in other ways — society ways." 

"You were an apt pupil," says he, gravely; a little 
doubtfully, perhaps. 

" I liked the way she talked, and it seemed to come very 
easy to me after a while," says the girl indifferently, not 
noticing his keen glance at her. " But this governess, this 
companion," asks she. " Will she want to go out — to be 
amused ? If so I could not have her. I shall never go 
out of this place until " 

" Until ? " asks he. 

" You tell me that man has no longer any power over 

me. I " She looks at him and again terror whitens 

her face. " I am sure you are wrong, and that he has the 
power to drag me away from this, if he finds me." 

" I should advise you not to dwell on that until I have 
found him," says Wyndham, a little stiffly. The successful 
barrister is a little thrown back upon himself by being told 
that he will undoubtedly find himself in the wrong. 

44 But this Mrs. Blaquiere, who was so kind to you. Why 
do you not apply to her for protection ? " 

"She and her husband and her children all went to 
Australia in the early part of last spring, and so I lost 
sight of them." 

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" Lost your situation too ? " regarding her carefully. 

" Yes ; and I had no time to look for another. Mrs. Moore 
grew ill then, and I had to attend her day and night, until 
she died. The rest I have told you." 

" I see 1 " says Wyndham. " Tell me again this man 
Moore's address." He writes it now in his pocketbook, 
though it was written well into his brain before, but he 
wished to see if she would falter about it the second time. 

He bids her good-bye presently, refusing her timid offer 
of tea. 

At the gate he finds Mrs. Denis, presumely tying up a 
creeper, but most undoubtedly on the lookout for him. 

" Good evening, yer honor." 

" Good evening," shortly. Wyndham is deep in thought, 
and by no means in a good temper. He would have 
brushed by her ; but armed with a garden rake, a spade, 
and a huge clipper Mrs. Denis is not lightly to be dealt with. 

" Askin' yer pardon, sir. 'Tis just a word I want wid 
ye ; Miss Ella, the crathure — ye're goin' to let her stay 
here, aren't ye ? " 

" Yes," says Wyndham gruffly. 

" The saints be praised," says Mrs. Denis piously. 
u Fegs ! 'Tis a good heart ye have, sir, in spite of it all." 
What the all is she leaves beautifully indefinite. " An' sure 
'twas meself tould Denis — that ould raprobate of a fool o' 
mine — that ye'd niver turn her out. For where would she 
go," say 8 I, " if he did. A born lady like her. An' there's 
plenty o' room for her here, sir." 

" I daresay," says Wyndham, feeling furious. " But for 
all that I can't have all the j'oung women in Ireland stay- 
ing in my house just because there is room for them." 

" God forbid, yer honor ! All thim young women would 
play the very divil wid the cottage, an'," thoughtfully, 
"aitch other too. Wan at a time sir, is a good plan, an' 
I'm glad it's Miss Ella has had the first of it." 

This remarkable speech is met by Wyndham with a 


stony glare that goes lightly over the head of Mrs. Denis. 
That worthy woman is too much elated with the news she has 
dragged out of him, to care for glares of any sort. Child- 
less, though always longing for a child, and especially for a 
daughter, Mrs. Denis 9 heart had gone out at once to the 
pretty waif that had been cast into her life in so strange 
a fashion, and now she hastens back to the house to get 
" her Miss Ella a cup o' tay, the crathure ! " and wheedle 
her out of all the news about the masther. 

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" Tell me how to bear so blandly the assuming ways of wild young 

Truly they would be unbearable if I had not also been unbearable 
my self as well." 

— Goethe. 

When Mr. Crosby had told the Barrys that he would 
come down next day for a game of tennis they had not al- 
together believed in his coming, so that when they see him 
from afar off, through the many holes in the hedge, walking 
towards them down the village street, surprise is their 
greatest sentiment. 

" Susan 1 " says Dominick solemnly, pausing, racquet in 
hand. " It must be you. I always told you your face was 
your fortune, and a very small one at that. You'll have to 
marry him, and then we'll all go and live with you for ever. 
That'll be a treat for you, and will doubtless make up for 
the fact that he is emulating the Great Methusaleh. If I 
can say a good word for you, I — I how d'ye do, Mr. 
Crosby. Brought your racquet, too, I see — Carew. Now 
we'll make up a set : Mr. Crosby and " 

" Miss Susan, if I may," says Crosby, looking into Su- 
san's charming face, whilst holding her hand in greeting. 
There are any amount of greetings to be got through when 
you go to see the Barrys. They are all always in evidence, 
and all full of life and friendliness. Even little Bonnie hur- 
ries up on his stick and gives him a loving greeting. The 
child's face is so sweet and so happily friendly, that Crosby 
stoops and kisses him. 

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44 Certainly you may," says Susan, genially. " But I'm 
not so good a player as Betty. She can play like anything. 
But to-day she has got a bad cold in her head. Well," 
laughing, " come on, we can try : and after all, we can only 
be beaten." 

They are as it happens — and very badly too— Mr. Crosby , 
though no doubt good at big games, being rather a tyro at 

" I apologize 1 " says he, when the game is at an end, and 
they have all seated themselves upon the ground, to rest 
and gather breath, " I'm afraid Su — Miss Susan — you will 
hardly care to play with me again." 

" I told you you could call me Susan," says she, calmly. 
44 Somehow I dislike the Miss before it. Betty told you 
4 Miss Barry ' sounded like Aunt Jemima, but I think ' Miss 
Susan ' sounds like Jane 1 " 

u Poor old Jane I And she's got such an awful nose ! " 
says Betty. " I think I'd rather be like Aunt Jemima 
than her." 

" Susan hasn't got an awful nose," says Bonnie, stroking 
Susan's dainty little Grecian appendage, fondly. " It's a 
nice one." 

44 Susan is a beauty," says Betty, " We all know that I 
Even James went down before her. Poor James I I won- 
der what he is doing now ! " 

" Stewing in the Soudan," says Carew. 

u He was always in one sort of a stew or other," says 
Dominick, " so it will come kindly to him. And after Su- 
san's heartless behavior " 

" Dom 1 " says Susan, in an awful tone. But Mr. Fitz- 
gerald is beyond the reach of tones. 

44 Oh, it's all very well you're taking it like that now," 
says he, 44 but when poor old James was here it was a differ- 
ent thing." 

44 It was not," says Susan, indignantly. 

44 Are you going to deny that he was your abject slave ? 

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That he sat in your pocket from morning till night — well, 
very nearly night ! That he followed you from place to 
place like a baa-lamb. That you did not encourage him in 
the basest fashion ? " 

" I never encouraged him. Encourage him 1 That boy I " 

" Don't call him names, Susan, behind his back," says 
Betty, whose mischievous nature is now all afire, and who 
is as keen about the baiting of Susan as either Carew or 
Dom. " Besides what a boy he is 1 He must be twenty- 
two at all events." This seems quite old to Betty. 

" What did you do with the keepsake he gave you when 
he was going away ? " asks Carew. He is lying flat upon 
the warm grass, his chin upon his palms, and looks up at 
Susan with judicial eyes. " What was it ? I forget now. 
A lock of his lovely hair ? " 

" No," says Betty — " A little silver brooch : an anchor ! " 

" That means hope 1 " says Dominick, solemnly. " Su- 
san, he is coming back next year — what are you going to 
say to him ? " 

" Just exactly what everybody else is going to say to 
him ! " says Susan, who is now crimson. " And I didn't 
want that horrid brooch at all." 

" Still you took it," says Betty. " I call that rather 
mean — to take it, and then say you didn't want it." 

" Well, what was I to do ? " 

" Refuse it. Mildly, but firmly," says Mr. Fitzgerald. 
" The acceptance of it was, in my opinion, as good as the 
acceptance of James. When he does come back, Susan, I 
don't see how you are to get out of being Mrs. James 1 
That brooch is a regular binder 1 How does it seem to you, 
Mr. Crosby ? " 

" You see I haven't heard all the evidence yet," says 
Crosby, who is looking at Susan's flushed, half angry, 
wholly delightful face. James, whoever he is, seems to have 
been a good deal in her society at one time. 

u There's no evidence," says she, wrathfully. " And I 

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wish you boys wouldn't be so stupid I As for the brooch— 
I hate it— I never wear it." 

" Well, if ever anyone gives me a present I shall wear it 
every day and all day long," says Betty. " What's the 
good of having a lover if people don't know about it ? " 

" Is that so ? " says Mr. Fitzgerald, regarding her with 
all the air of one to whom now the road seems clear. " Then 
the moment I become a millionaire — and there seems quite 
an immediate prospect of it just now — I shall buy you the 
Koh-i-noor, and you shall wear it on your beauteous brow, 
and proclaim me as your unworthy lover to all the world." 

" I will, when I get it," says Betty, with tremendous sar- 

" The reason you won't wear it," says Carew, alluding to 
Susan's despised brooch, " is plain to even the poor inno- 
cents around you. Girls, in spite of all Betty has said sel- 
dom wear their keepsakes. They get cotton wool and wrap 
them up in it, and peep at them rapturously on Christ- 
mas Day or Easter Sunday, or on the beloved one's birth- 
day, or some other sacred occasion. What's James' birth- 
day, Susan ? " 

" I don't know," says Susan, " and I don't know either 
why you tease me so much about him. He is quite as lit- 
tle to me as I am to him." Her voice is trembling now. 
They have gone a little too far perhaps or is the memory of 
James " stewing in the Soudan " too much for her ? Which- 
ever it is, Mr. Crosby is growing anxious for her — but all 
the youngsters are now in full cry, and the proverbial 
1 cruelty of brothers and sisters is well known to many a 
long-suffering girl and boy. 

" Oh, Susan," says Betty, " where does one go to when 
they tell naughty naughties ? Dom, do you remember the 
evening just before James went abroad when he went into 
floods of tears because she wouldn't give him a rosebud 
she had in her dress ? It took Dom and me, and Carew, 
nd a pint of water to restore him." 

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At this they all laugh, even Susan, though very faintly 
and very shamefacedly. Her pretty eyes are shy and 

" He wanted a specimen to take out with him to astonish 
the natives," says Carew. " You were the real specimen he 
wanted to take out with him, Susan, but as that was im- 
practicable just then (it will probably be arranged next 
time), he decided on taking the rosebud instead." 

" He wanted nothing," says Susan, whose face is now 
bent over Bonnie's as if to hide it. " He didn't care a bit 
about me." 

" Indeed he did, Susan." 

A fresh element has fallen into the situation. Everyone 
looks round. The voice is the voice of Jacky. Jacky, who, 
up to this, has been as usual buried in a book. This time 
the burial has been deeper than ever, as the day before yes- 
terday some one had lent him Mr. Stevenson's enthralling 
" Treasure Island," from which no one can never extract 
themselves until the very last page is turned. Jacky since 
he first began it has been practically useless, but just now 
a few fragments of the conversation going on around him 
have filtered to his brain. 

Now in his own peculiarly disagreeable way he adores 
Susan, and something has led him to believe that those 
around her are now depreciating her powers of attraction, 
and that she is giving in to them for want of support. 
Well, he will support her. Poor old Jacky I he comes 
nobly forward to her rescue, and as usual puts his foot in 

" He liked you better than anyone," says he, in his slow 
ponderous fashion, glaring angrily at Betty, with whom he 
carries on an undying feud. " Why, don't you remember 
how he used to hunt you all over the garden to kiss you ! " 

Tableau ! 

Betty leads the way after about a moment's awful pause, 
and then they all go off into shrieks of laughter. Jacky 

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alone, sullen, silent, not understanding, stands as if petrified. 
Susan has pushed Bonnie from her and has risen to her feet. 
Her face is crimson now, her eyes are full of tears — invol- 
untarily Crosby rises too. 

" He used not," says poor Susan. Alas, this assertion is 
not quite true. " And even if he did, you," to the horrified 
Jacky, " should not have told it. You Jacky 1 " trembling 
with shame. " I wouldn't have believed it of you. It was 
hateful of you ; you," with a withering glance around, " are 
all hateful, and — and — " 

She chokes, breaks down, and runs with swift flying feet 
into the small shrubbery beyond where lies a little summer- 
house in which she can hide herselfl 

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" Tears are often to be found where there is little sorrow," 

An embarrassed silence fells upon the group she leaves be- 
hind her. It had not occurred to them that she would care 
so much. They had often chaffed her before. It must — it 
must have been Mr. Crosby's being there that had put her 
out like that. To tell the truth they are all penitent — 
Betty perhaps even more than the others. But even her 
remorse sinks into insignificance before Jacky. His takes 
the nature of a wrathful attack upon the others, and ends 
in a storm of tears. 

" You've been teasing her ; you know you have— and 
she's mad with me now. And I didn't mean anything. 
An' she's crying, I know she is. And you're all beasts — 

It is at this point that his own tears break forth, and 
like Susan, he flees from them — but, unlike Susan, howl- 

" I didn't know. I didn't think she'd care," says Betty, 
in a frightened tone. " We often teased her before," and 
she might have said more but an attack of sneezing lays 
her low. 

" But before a stranger," says Carew, anxiously. " I am 
afraid Mr. Crosby, it is because you were here." 

" It isn't a bit like Susan to care like that," says Dom. 
" I say," contritely, " I'm awfully sorry. I wonder where 
she is, Betty." 

" In the summer-house. She always goes there when 
she's vexed or worried." 

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" Why don't you go to her then ? " 

" I can't. I've a cold. I'll wait awhile," says Betty, 
holding back. 

" I think as it has been my fault," says Crosby, quietly, 
" that I had better be the one to apologize. Where is this 
summer-house of which you speak ? " 

" Right round there," says Betty eagerly, pointing to the 
corner of the house. 

" Just behind the rose trees," says Dom, giving him a 
friendly push forward. 

" You can't miss her," says Carew, who is dying to give 
him an encouraging clap on the shoulder. They are all evi- 
dently very anxious to get the task of " making it up " 
with Susan, on to any other shoulders than their own. 

" Well, I think I'll take a little hostage with me, or shall 
we say a peace offering," says Crosby, catching up Bonnie, 
and starting with him for Susan's hiding-place. " Anyway 
I've got a pioneer," says he. " He'll show me the way." 

The way is short and very sweet. Along a graveled 
pathway — between trees of glowing roses, to where in the 
distance is a tiny house made evidently by young untutored 
hands, out of young and very unseasoned timber. 

A slender figure is inside it. A figure flung miserably 
into one of the corners, and crying — perhaps after all, more 
angrily than painfully. 

" Now what on earth are you doing that for f " says 
Crosby. He seats himself on the rustic bench beside her, 
and places Bonnie on her knee. It seemed to him that that 
would be the best way to bring down her hands from her 
eyes. And he is not altogether wrong. It is impossible to 
let her little beloved one fall off her knees, so quickly, if re- 
luctantly, she brings down her right hand so as to clasp 
him securely. 

" What are you crying about ? " goes on Crosby, very 
proud of the success of his first manoeuvre. " Because 
somebody wanted to kiss you ? You will have a good deal 

Digitized byLjOOQlC 


of crying at that rate, Susan, before you come to the end of 
your life." 

He is laughing a little now, and as Bonnie has climbed 
up on her knees, and is pulling away the other hand from 
her face, Susan feels she may as well make the best of a bad 

" It wasn't so much that," says she. " Though," anxiously, 
" Jacky exaggerated most dreadfully. As to my objecting 
to their teazing me about James Mcllveagh — you have not 
seen him, or you would understand me better. It is not 
only that he is uninteresting, but that he is awful 1 His 
nose is like an elephant's trunk, and his eyes are as small 
as the head of a pin. And his clothes — his trousers — I 
don't know where he got his trousers, but Dom used to say 
his mother made them in her spare moments. Not that 
one would care about a person's trousers, of course," says 
Susan, with intense earnestness, " if he was nice himself, 
but James wasn't nice, and I was never more glad in my 
life than when he went away." 

" He's coming back, however." 

" Yes, I know, and I'm sorry for it, if they are going to 
tease me all day long about him, as they are doing now. I 
think," with a hasty glance at him, born of the fact that 
she knows her eyes are disfigured by crying, " you might 
have tried to stop them." 

u Well, you see, I hardly knew what to do at first," says 
Crosby, quite entering into the argument. " And when I 
did, it was a little too late. Of course, it seemed to me a 
very possible thing that you might have given your heart 
to this young man with the nose and the unfortunate trous- 
ers, who is stewing in the Soudan." 

" You might have known by my manner that I hated 
them to tease me about him," says Susan, very little ap- 
peased by his apology. 

" I'll know better next time," says Crosby, humbly. 
u But when I heard he had been following you about like a 

Digitized by V^jVJUvIv^ 


baa-lamb, and that you had taken that anchor from him, and 
that he used to " 

He is checked by a flash from Susan's eyes. There is a 
pause. Then suddenly she presses her face into Bonnie's 
flaxen hair, and bursts into smothered laughter. 

44 Well, I don't care. He did — once. All round the 
gooseberry bushes, and I threw a spade at him, and it hit 
him on the head, and I thought I had killed him. I," 
with another glance at Crosby, now from between Bonnie's 
curls, " was dreadfully frightened then. But now I almost 
wish I had. Anyway he never tried to — he never, I mean," 
confusedly, " hunted me again I " 

44 I begin to feel sincerely sorry for James," says Crosby. 
44 He seems to me to have led but a sorry life before he 
started for the Soudan. When he comes home next year, 
what will you do ? He may be quite "—he looks at her and 
smiles — " a mighty hunter by that time." 

Susan laughs. 

41 Like you," says she. 

Crosby looks at her. It is a ready answer, and with an- 
other might convey a certain meaning, but with Susan 

44 Ah, I'm afraid of gooseberry bushes," says he. 44 They 
have thorns in them. James, you see, surpasses me in 
valor. Talking of valor reminds me of those you have left 
behind you, and who have sent me here as their pleni jtoten- 
tiary, to extract from you a promise of peace. They are 
all very sorry they annoyed you so much about the redoubt- 
able James ; and they desired me to say so. I was afraid 
to come by myself, so I brought Bonnie with me. Bonnie ! 
tell her to come back with me now, and say 4 Peace is re- 
stored with honor. 9 Say it for her, Bonnie." 

44 Peace is restored with honor," repeats Bonnie, sweetly, 

44 There, that settles it," says Crosby. 44 He knows his 
lesson. So do you ; come back and forgive us all." 

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44 Oh, I can't," says Susan. " They would know I had 
been crying. Look at my eyes ; they are quite red." 

" They are not, indeed," says Mr. Crosby, after an ex- 
haustive examination. " They are quite blue." 

44 Oh, yes, that, of course," impatiently. 44 But, well — 
really, how are they ? " She leans towards him, and gazes 
at him out of the blue eyes with an extraordinary calm. 
44 Would they know I had been crying ? " 

44 They would not," says Crosby. 44 It is I alone who am 
in that secret. And, by the way, Susan," stopping her as 
they both rise ; 44 that is the second secret we have between 
us; we are becoming quite fashionable — we are growing 
into a society, you and I." 

44 1 wish you would forget that first secret," says Susan, 
blushing a little. " And anyhow I hope you won't tell the 
others that you found me — you know — cfying." 

44 Ah, that makes me remember our first secret," says 
Crosby. 44 You know that on that never-to-be-forgotten 
memorable occasion you said you trusted me I " 

44 Did I ? " Susan is blushing furiously now. 44 How 
can I recollect all the silly things I said then. I have for- 
gotten them all — and I'm sure you have too I " 

44 Not one of them," says Crosby. 44 They are now classed 
with my most priceless memories. 4 Go and steal no more, 9 
you said — and I haven't up to this." 

Susan laughs in spite of herself. " Well, at all events I 

can trust you then, not to betray me to them " She 

points to the late temple of her tears. 

44 You can trust me for that or anything else in the wide 
world," says Crosby. 

He takes up Bonnie again, and they go slowly back to 
the others. 

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" 80 bright a tear in Beauty's eye, 
Love half regrets to kiss it dry." 

As Susan appears the guilty ones upon the tennis ground 
move simultaneously towards her, Betty with, a shy little 
rush, and holding out to her her racquet. 

" Come and have another game, Susan, and you, too, Mr. 

" Yes, do," says Carew. " Tea will be here in a moment." 
He evidently holds this out as an inducement to Crosby to 
remain. Mr. Fitzgerald nobly backs him up. 

41 Also Aunt Jemima I " he says, enthusiastically. 

This joke, if it is meant for one, is a dead failure 1 No 
one even smiles. Susan, who is feeling a little shy, and is 
horribly conscious that in spite of Crosby's assurances her 
eyes are of a very tell-tale color, is fighting with her brain 
for some light, airy, amusing remark that may prove to all 
present that she had only run away from them in mere 
search of physical exercise — when suddenly the rather 
forced smile dies upon her lips, and her eyes become fixed 
on some object over there on her right. 

" What is it, Susan ? A' ghost ? " asks Dom, who is equal 
to most occasions. 

" No," says Susan, in a low voice. " But — this is the 
third time. And — look over there — at that 8}'camore tree 
in the cottage garden. Do you see anything? " 

"See what? 'Is there visions about?'" asks Dom. 
41 Really, Susan, you ought to consider our nerves. Is it 
the ' Bogie Man,' or " 

" It is a girl," says Susan. <4 There, there again ! Her 
face is between those two big branches. Mr. Crosby," 
eagerly, "don't you see her?" 


" I do," cries Carew, suddenly. " Oh ! what a lovely 

It may be remembered that the rectory and the Cottage 
are only divided by a narrow road and two high walls. At 
the farthest end of the Cottage grounds some tall trees are 
standing — a beech, two elms, and a sycamore. All these 
uprear themselves well above the walls, and cast their 
shadows in summer and their leaves in winter down on the 
road beneath. They can be distinctly seen from the rectory 
tennis court, and indeed add a good deal of charm to it, the 
road being so narrow, and the walls so much of a height, 
that strangers often think the trees on the Cottage lawn 
are actually belonging to the rectory. 

44 Yes, I see too," says Crosby, leaning forward. 

44 Yes, yes," cries Betty. 44 But is it a girl ? " 

And now a little silence falls upon them. 

Over there, peeping out between the leaves of the soft 
sycamore tree, is a face. There is nothing to tell if it be a 
boy's or a girl's face, as nothing can be seen by the shapely 
head. And its soft abundant tresses of chestnut hair are 
so closely drawn back into a knot behind that they are 
hidden by the crowding branches. The eyes are gleaming, 
the lips slightly parted. So might a Hamadryad look, 
peering through swaying leaves. 

" It's the prisoner," says Jacky, in an awe-struck tone. 

44 The apparition, you mean," corrects Mr. Fitzgerald 
severely. " Prisoners as a rule have bodies, spooks have 
none ; Jacky, you lucky creature, you have seen a ghost." 

41 Is it a boy or a girl ? " asks Betty, in an anxious tone. 

44 A most pertinent question," says Fitzgerald, who is 
taking the situation with anything but the seriousness that 
is so evidently demanded of it. 44 But, as I have before re- 
marked, there is no body to go by, and naturally no clothes. 
It is therefore unanswerable." 

Crosby has said nothing. He is indeed deeply occupied 

U Digitized by G00gle 


with the &ce. So this is Wyndham's tenant I A very 
lovely one. 

Again a slight doubt arises in his mind about his friend. 
And yet Wyndham had seemed thoroughly honest in his 

14 1 know it's a girl," says Susan with decision. " Jacky 
has seen her ; and what a pretty one. Oh ! there, she's 
gone." And, indeed, the Hamadryad, as if becoming sud- 
denly conscious of the fact that they are looking at her, 
draws back her head and disappears. " I'm afraid she saw 
us," says Susan, contritely. " She must have thought us 
very rude. I'll ask father to let me call on her, I think. 
She must be very lonely there. And even if she is only 
Mrs. Moriarty's niece still she must have been educated to 
make her look like that." 

" Perhaps," says Crosby, speaking with apparent careless- 
ness, and looking direct at Susan, " She might not like to 
be called upon. I have been given to understand that she 
is not a niece of Mrs. Moriarty's, and " 

« No — but what then ? " asks Carew. 

" A tenant of Mr. Wyndham's. He is a friend of mine, 
you know. And he told me lately he had grown very tired 
of the Cottage, and was willing to take a tenant for it. 
This lady is, I presume, the tenant." 

" The more reason why we should call upon her," says 

" But isn't she very young," says Betty, " to be a tenant 
all by herself? ? 

This startling question creates a slight pause. 

" To be young is not to be beyond misfortune," says 
Crosby, at last, in a grave and very general tone. " No 
doubt this young lady has lost her father and mother, and 
is obliged to — er — do without them." 

This is distinctly lame. 

" Poor thing," says Susun, sympathetically. 

11 We might ask her over here sometimes," says Carew. 


" But if she has lost her parents lately," puts in Crosby, 
hastily, " she might — perhaps — one should not even with 
the best intentions force oneself upon people in such deep 
grief as hers " 

" She wasn't in mourning, anyway," says Betty, who can 
always tell you to a pin what anyone is wearing, " she had 
a little blue bow near her neck." 

Crosby recovers from this blow with difficulty. 

" At all event*," says he, " I have heard through Wynd- 
ham that she desires privacy at present. No doubt when 
she feels equal to receiving visitors she will let us all 
know ! " 

" No doubt," says Dominick, who has been studying Mr. 
Crosby closely, and with covert amusement. 

" 111 ask Mr. Wyndham about her," says Susan. " I 
think she would be happier if she could tell about her sor- 
row. One should be roused from their griefs, father says. 
And even if out of mourning — I didn't see any blue bow, 
Betty — still, I am sure she must be sad at heart." 

" Well, consult your father about it," says Crosby, as a 
last resource. In spite of his affection for Wyndham he 
had doubts about his tenant. 

At this point Jane appears, bringing a tray, on which 
are cups and saucers, teapot and cream ewer, some bread 
and butter and sponge cake. Susan had spent the morn- 
ing making the sponge cake on the chance of Mr. Crosby's 
coming. They had decided in conclave that it would be 
better to have tea out here on the pleasant grass (though 
there is no table on which to put the tray), rather than the 
small and rather stuffy drawing-room. They had had a 
distinct fight over it with Miss Barry, but Dominick, who 
can succeed in anything but his exams., overcomes her, and 
carries the day. 

" Put the tray down here," says Betty, with quite an air, 
seeing that Susan has given way a little beneath the want 
of the table. " Down here on the grass, near^^Q^'ll pour 


out the tea," this with a withering glance at Susan, who is 
slightly flushed, and apparently ashamed of herself. " We 
haven't any rustic tahle yet, Mr. Crosby," says Betty, with 
immense aplomb, " but we're going to have one shortly," 
this with all the admirable assurance of a fashionable dame, 
who has just been ordering a garden tea table from one of 
the best London houses. She nods and smiles at him. 
" Dom is going to make it. Susan," with a freezing glance 
at that damsel, " do you think you could manage to cut 
the sponge cake ? " 

" Cut it ! " says Jacky, who is sharp to see that the idol- 
ized Susan is being sat upon, and who still feels that he 
owes her reparation of some sort. " Why couldn't she cut 
it ? She made it." 

Susan bursts out laughing. It is too much, and they all 
follow suit. 

" What, you made it ? " cries Crosby, taking up a knife, 
and beginning a vigorous attack upon it. " Why didn't 
you make it bigger, when you were about it ? The feet 
that it is your handiwork, has — judging by myself— made 
us all frightfully hungry. Thank heaven, there is still 
bread and butter, or I don't know what would become of 

They are all laughing still, indeed their merriment has 
quite reached a height, when Susan, looking over her shoul- 
der, nearly drops her cup and saucer, and sits up as if lis- 

" Someone is coming," says she. 

" Aunt Jemima I " declares Betty, indignantly, who is 
sitting up too. 

Tramp, tramp, tramp, comes a foot along the gravel path 
that skirts the side of the house away from them. Tramp, 
tramp, evidently one of the heaviest feet in Christendom is 

" You're right," whispers Dom. " 'Tis the fe' o' her feiry 
feet! Aunt Jemima to a moral!" 


And Aunt Jemima it is, sweeping round the house with 
her head well up, and the desire to impress that they all 
know so fatally well, full upon her. 

44 Don't stir, Mr. Crosby. I really beg you won't. This 
is a rather al-fresco entertainment, but I know you will ex- 
cuse these wild children." Here the wild children give way 
silently, convulsively. 

" It is the most charming entertainment I have been at 
for years," says Crosby, pleasantly. " Where will you sit ? 
Here ? " He is quite assiduous in his attentions, especialfy 
about the rug on which she is to sit. Not his rug, at all 
events ; Susan has half of that. 

44 Thank you," says Miss Barry, " but I need not trouble 
you. I do not intend to stay. I merely came out to see if 
these remarkably ill-mannered young people were taking 
care of you." 

She speaks with a stiff and labored smile upon her lips, 
but an evident determination to be amiable at all risks. 

44 Won't you have a cup of tea, Aunt Jemima ? " asks 
Susan, timidly. 

44 No, thank you, my love. Pray don't trouble about me. 
I," with a crushing glance at poor Susan, " have no desire 
whatever to interfere with your amusement. I hope," 
turning to Crosby, " later on, I may be able to see more of 
you, but to-day I am specially busy. I have many worries, 
Mr. Crosby, that are not exactly on the surface." 

44 Like us all ! " says Crosby, nodding his head gravely. 
44 Life is full of thorns!" 

44 Ah ! " says Miss Barry. She feels that she has now 
44 impressed " him indeed, and is satisfied. 

44 We travel a thorny road," says she. 

Crosby sadly acquiesces. 

44 True," says he. 

44 Adieu ! " says she. She makes him an old-fashioned 
obeisance, and once again rounds the corner and disappears. 

Digitized by 



" I don't think it was very nice of you to make fun of 
her," says Susan, reproachfully, to Crosby. 

" Fun of her. What % do you take me for f " says he. 
" Make fun of your aunt ! Because I said life was full of 
thorns ? Well," with argument looming in his eye, " isn't 

" Thorns f " She pauses, as if wondering. " Oh, no," 
says she. It seems a pity to disturb so sweet a faith, and 
Crosby, with a renunciatory wave of his hand gives up the 
impending argument. 

" Awful lucky she went away so soon," says Carew, as 
the last bit of Aunt Jemima's tail disappears round the 
corner. " She'd have led us a life had she stayed. She's 
been on the prance all day, on account of those Brians." 

" Yes— isn't it awful ! " says Betty. 

" Who are the Brians ? " asks Crosby. 

" Farmers up on the hill over there," pointing far away 
to the south. " Very well-to-do people, you know, with 
their sons going into the Church, and their daughters at a 
first-class school in Birmingham. Aunt Jemima, thinking 
to help them on their road to civilization, sent them a bath 
— one of the round flat ones, you know — as a present, last 
month, hearing that they were expecting the girl home for 
her holidays. And " 

Here Betty breaks off, and goes into what she calls 
" kinks " of laughter. 

" Well ? " says Crosby, naturally desirous of knowing 
where the laugh comes in. 

" Ah, that's it," says Dom. " Really, Betty, I think you 
might hold on long enough to finish your own story. It 
appears Aunt Jemima went up to the farm yesterday and 
found that they had taken the batli as an ornament, and 
had nailed it up against the sitting-room wall with four 

long tenpenny nails, and " Here, in spite of his lecture 

to Betty, Mr. Fitzgerald himself gives way, and Calling 
back upon the grass shouts with laughter. 

Digitized byLjOOQlC 


44 They took it," gasps Carew, u as some curio from some 
barbarous country. A sort of shield you know. A savage 
weapon I They had never seen a bath before ! Oh ! my ! " 
Be too has gone into an ecstasy of mirth. " I expect they * 
thought it was straight from South Africa." 

" Poor Aunt Jemima," says Betty, when she can speak. 
44 It must have been a blow to her." 

" Talking of blows," says Carew, turning to her sharply, 
and somewhat indignantly. " I never knew anyone blow 
their nose like you, Betty; you've been at it now since 
early dawn." 

44 Well, I can't help it," says Betty, very rightly aggrieved, 
41 if I have got a cold in my head." 

44 I've a cold too," says Jacky, dismally. Jacky is always 
dismal. " But it isn't as bad as Betty's. My head is 
aching — but Betty's nose is only running." 

A frightful silence follows upon this terrific speech. Mr. 
Fitzgerald, who can always be depended upon at a crisis, 
breaks it. 

44 Not far, I trust," says he, with exaggerated anxiety. 
14 We could hardly spare it. Betty's nose is the one pre- 
sentable member of that sort in the family." 

Betty between the pauses of this speech can be heard 
threatening Jacky. 44 No — no-^never. I won't give it 
now. You're a little wretch ; even if I promised to give it 
I don't care. I'll take it back. You shan't have it now." 

But all this is so distinctly not meant to be heard that 
no one takes any notice of it, and any serious consequences 
are prevented by the fact that Dominick rising, throws him- 
self between the puzzled Jacky and the irate Betty. In 
the meantime Crosby draws himself along the rug until he 
is even closer to Susan, who now again is looking serious. 

44 What is troubling you, righteous soul? " asks he, lightly. 

44 How do you know I am troubled ? I am not really." 

44 Yet you are thinking, and very gravely too." 

44 Ah, that is another thing. I was thinking," says Susan, 

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gently, " of the girl in there," nodding towards the Cottage. 
" It must be a very sad thing to have no one belonging to 

" Sad indeed ! But you must not let your sympathy for 
her run too Car afield. If not a father or mother she must 
have — other ties." 

" Brothers you mean, or sisters?" 

" Yes, just so. Brothers or sisters. They'll turn up 
presently, no doubt." 

He looks at her as if waiting for an inspiration, and then 
it comes to him. 

" What a sympathetic mind you have," says he. " And 
yet you don't give me a share of it. Tou have known me 
quite a long time now, and I have no father or mother — yet 
you have not wept with me." 

" I didn't know 1 " says Susan. " And besides, there was 
no long time surely. Father told us you had no father or 
mother, but — have you" — with hesitation — 44 no people be- 
longing to you, Mr. Crosby 1 " 

44 One sister," says he. 

44 One sister. And why doesn't she live with you f " 

44 Ah I you must ask her that. Perhaps she wouldn't care 
about it." 

44 1 should think she would love to live with you," says 
Susan. She utters this bold sentiment calmly, kindly — 
without so much as a Blink of her long lashes. 

Crosby looks at her. Is she real, this pretty child ? His 
inclination to laugh dies within him, and so dies, too, the 
inclination to utter the usual society speech, that with most 
society girls would have been considered the thing on an 
occasion like this. Both are done to death by Susan's eyes. 
So calm, so sweet, so earnest ; and so entirely without a 
second meaning of any sort. 

44 Well, you see, she doesn't," says he. 

44 But why?" asks Susan. She is feeling a little angry 
with the unknown sister. To live with Carew if he were 

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well off enough to have her would, Susan thinks, be a most 
delightful arrangement. 

" It seems she prefers to live with another fellow/' says 
' Susan stares at him. He nods back at her. 

u Fact ! " says he. " Horrid taste on her part, isn't it f " 

" Oh I see," says Susan, slowly. " She's married." 

" Very much," says Crosby. " At all events her husband 
is. She doesn't give him much rope. However j'ou'll see 
her soon, as she is coming to stay with me. She always 
makes a point of coming to me for my birthday whenever I 
chance to be in Ireland or England for it. I suppose I must 
be going now. I say, you two fellows," turning to Carew 
and Dom, " why are you so lazy — why don't you come up 
and help me to shoot the rabbits f They are getting be- 
yond the keepers' control." 

Dom and Carew glance at each other. 

" Can we ? " says Carew. They seem a little tongue-tied. 

" As often as ever you like. Look here, be up at six to- 
morrow morning, and we'll catch them feeding. And if you 
will stay and breakfast with me it will be a kindness to a 
solitary man." 

" Oh, thank you," says Dominick, rapturously. Carew, 
however, looks a little crestfallen, whereupon Dom begins 
to whisper in his ear. The words "every second shot" 
reaches Mr. Crosby. 

" If either of you want a gun, I can find you one," says 
he carelessly, after which joy unruffled reigns. 

" I make only one stipulation," says Crosby. " That you 
won't shoot me." 

44 Oh, hang it, we are not such duffers as that ! " says 

They all laugh at this, and all, as usual, accompany him 
to the gate to give him a kind send off. 

As he disappears up the road past the little side gate of 
the Cottage, Dom makes a rush back to the house. " I 

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must go and polish up the old gun/' says he. Betty fol* 
lows him, with Tom and Jacky. 

" How kind he is," says Susan, turning to Garew. Her 
tone is warm and grateful. There is no doubt that Carew's 
answer would have been equally warm, but it never comes. 

A little sound — the creaking of a rusty hinge at this mo- 
ment attracts his attention, and Susan's also. They glance 
quickly towards the little green gate of the Cottage. 

It is slowly opening ! 

And now a face peeps out, very cautiously, very nervously. 

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44 Dear, if yon knew what tears they shed 
Who live apart from home and friend, 
To pass my house, by pity led, 
Your steps would tend." 

It is the face that had peeped out of the branches of the 
sycamore tree a little while ago. A charming face ! The 
eyes glance down the little lane, and then suddenly seeing 
Susan, rest with a frightened expression, on her. As this 
is the first time in all Susan's experience that anyone has 
ever betrayed the smallest fear of her, she naturally gives 
herself up to the contemplation of her newborn slave. Her 
eyes and those of the mysterious stranger meet. 

" Oh, how pretty ! " thinks Susan to herself, but she says 
nothing, being lost in wonder and admiration — and the girl 
peeping out of the doorway, as if disheartened, draws back 
again, and would in another minute have disappeared alto- 
gether but for Carew. 

He makes a sharp gesture. 

" Wait ! " cries he in a low tone, though hardly conscious 
that he is speaking at all ; and again the pretty frightened 
head comes into sight, between the leaves of the luxuriant 
ivy that frames the gate. 

44 Susan ! " says Carew in a voice of low and hurried en- 
treaty, and Susan responding to it, speeds quickly up the 
road and into the little gateway. 

" Oh, come in, come in ! " breathes the stranger in a 
whisper, putting out her hands and catching Susan's in a 
soft grasp. " I have seen you so often — I," flushing and 
smiling timidly, " have watched you from the sycamore 
many a day. And it's very lonely here. You will come 
in for a moment, won't you ? " 

Susan smiles back at her and passes through the small 

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green gate. Ella, pleased and palpitating, glances back, to 
see Carew looking after them, like a young culprit at the 
door of a forbidden Paradise. 

" Won't you come, too ? " cries she beneath her breath, in 
that soft curiously frightened sort of a way that seems to 
belong to her. " Hurry ! hurry ! " She looks anxious, and 
it is only indeed when Carew has come inside the gate, and 
she has with her own fingers fastened and secured it, that 
the brightness returns to her face. 

" It's very good of you," says she, smiling rather shyly 
at Susan. 

" Oh, no," cries Susan with a charming courtesy that be- 
longs to her. " It is very good of you to let us come and 
see you. You know," softly, " we had heard — understood 
— that you did not wish to be intruded on. That is," 
stammering faintly, " that you didn't wish to see people, 
and so " 

" It is all quite true," says the girl distinctly. " I don't 
want to see people. Not everyone you know. But some- 
times when I hear your voices over there," pointing towards 
the rectory garden, " laughing and talking, I have felt a 
little lonely." She is looking at Susan, and Susan can see 
that her eyes now are a little misty. " To-day," wistfully, 
" you were laughing a great deal ! " 

". Yes, yes, I wish we hadn't been," says Susan, who is 
beginning to feel distinctly contrite, until she remembers 
that after all some tears were mingled with her mirth. 
" But now that we have met, you will come and join us 
sometimes, wont you ? And indeed, to-day ! I wish you 
had come to-day. We should all have been glad to see you. 
Shouldn't we, Carew ? " 

" I am sure you know that," says Carew to Ella. A 
warm color is dyeing his handsome young face, and there is 
the tenderest, most reverential expression in his voice. 
Carew is of that age when " the light that lies in a lady's 
eyes " can mean heaven to him. 

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" I shall never leave this place," says Ella, quickly. "All 
I want is to stay here, in this lovely garden, by myself." 

" Yet you said you felt lonely," says Susan, anxiously. 

" Yes — I know." She looks down as if puzzled, uncertain 
how to go on. " Still I would rather be lonely than go out 
into the world again." 

" Poor thing," thinks Susan. " I was right ; no doubt 
she has just lost everyone that was dear to her." She 
glances at Ella, as if in search of crape, but Ella's navy 
blue skirt and pretty pale blue linen blouse seem miles away 
from woe : and, yes, Betty had seen that blue bow near her 

" I know this garden so well," says Susan, with a view to 
changing the sad subject. " We used to come here often 
before you came. Mr. Wyndham sometimes stayed here 
for weeks at a time, but now, of course, that is all changed. 
Oh, I see you have planted out some asters in the round 
bed. They will be lovely later on. I suppose," thought- 
fully, " you like gardening." 

" I love it," says Ella, with enthusiasm. " Only I don't 
know anything about it. Mrs. Denis gives me hints." 

" I love it too," says Susan, " but for all that," as if a lit- 
tle ashamed of herself, " I like to see people sometimes. I 
couldn't live on gardening alone. And you'll find you 
can't either. In fact," gaily, " you have found it out al- 
ready. That's why you called us in. Oh, you'll have to 
come over to our place. Do you like tennis f " 

" I have never played it." 

"Golf, then?" 

" No." Her tone is very sad, and Carew turns sharply 
upon poof Susan, who had only meant to do her best. 

" There are other things in the world besides golf and 
tennis," says he. 

" Oh, of course — of course," says Susan, hastily. " It is 
only people who live in the country who ever really care 
about things like that, and no doubt you " > 

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" I don't believe I know anything at all," says Ella, very 

" Well, you know us now at all events," says Carew, 
very happily, with the light and ready manner that belongs 
to all large families. His tone is a little shy, perhaps, the 
; tone of the boy to the lovely girl, when first love's young 
' dream dawns upon him, but Susan and Ella take the joke 
very kindly, and the laughter that follows on it, clears the 

"You are Mr. Wyndham's tenant, aren't you?" says 

" Yes," now in a glad and eager voice, " Though at first 
I wasn't." She pauses here, drawing back as it were. 
Has she said too much ? Susan, however, has evidently 
Been nothing in the small admission. 

" I like Mr. Wyndham," says she. " We all do, indeed. 
What we are afraid of now is, that as you have the Cot- 
tage, we shan't see so much of him. But perhaps," gaily, 
" you will put him up sometimes, and then we can renew 
our acquaintance with him." 

Here Carew turns an awful crimson, and casts a glance, 
meant to annihilate, upon the innocent Susan. 

" I don't know : I'm not sure," says Ella, dejectedly — 
evidently she has seen as little in Susan's suggestion as 
Susan herself. " He has only been here once since I came, 
and Mrs. Denis seems to think he won't come very often. I 
wish he would come, and I'm glad you like him, because I 
like him too." 

Carew here begins to wonder if he ever had liked Wynd- 
ham, and on the whole thinks not. 

Ella has taken a step towards Susan. 

" What is your name f " asks she, timidly, but very sweetly. 

" Susan Barry." 

" That sounds like the beginning of the catechism," says 
Carew, who is, as we know, a clergyman's son, and there- 
fore up to little points like this. 


" I knew it," says Ella, still very shyly, to Susan, " I 
knew it in a way. Mrs. Denis told me. But I wanted to 
be quite sure. You are Miss Barry ? " 

" Oh, no, only Susan," says the pretty proprietor of that 
name. " My aunt is Miss Barry. But I hope you will call 
me Susan. It is," mournfully, " a dreadfully ugly name, 
isn't it?" 

" No — no, indeed. I like it." 

" I hope you will like mine," says Carew, breaking into 
the conversation. " It is Carew ; Susan and the others call 
it ' Grew,' but that's an abbreviation of me, to which I ob- 
ject. But your name," says he. " We should like to know 

Has he thrown a bomb into the assembly ? Something 
at all events has stricken the stranger dumb. She shrinks 
backwards, playing with a branch of the Wigelia Rosea 
near her, as if to hide her embarrassment. What is her 
name f She tells herself that she does not know — that she 
disbelieves in the name forced upon her by those dreadful 
people she had lived with — after. After what f Even that 
is vague to her. Was it after her mother's death? Hints 
and innuendoes from the Moores had given her to believe 
that Moore at all events was not her real name. But be- 
yond that she knows nothing. 

" My name is Ella," says she, in a miserable tone. " Call 
me that if— you will." 

" Such a pretty name," says Susan. " Why did you 
think we shouldn't like it? So much nicer than Susan; 
isn't mine horrid ? But what is your other name ? " 

Here they all start. A loud ring at the big gate over 
there has taken them from their own immediate concerns — 
to another. Ella turns deadly white, and shows a distinct 
desire to get behind Susan. Mrs. Denis is to be seen in the 
distance, flying towards the entrance gates. 

Presently it is opened by her, and Wyndham walks in. 

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44 Mark ye, (he nogs) in modest maiden guise 
The red rose peeping from her leafy nest. 
Half opening, now half-elosed, the jewel Ilea 
More bright her beauty seems, the more represt ! " 

Wyndham pauses in the gateway, and then comes for- 
ward. His astonishment at seeing the two Barrys here is 
unbounded. So unbounded indeed, that Ella, who has been 
the first to see him, and who therefore naturally has been 
the first to notice it, is quite frightened. She goes quickly 
to him. 

" It was my fault. I asked them to come in. Do you 

" I mind? I quite understood that it was you who would 
mind," says he. There is no time for any more. Susan has 
come forward. 

" How d'ye do, Mr. Wyndham ? " says she. 

Wyndham gives her his hand mechanically, murmuring 
the usual meaningless, but courteous, words of greeting 
that are expected of one, no matter what worries lie on the 
heart, troubling and mystifying it. And Wyndham, in 
spite of his legal reputation of being one of the smartest 
barristers in Dublin has, to tell the truth, been consider- 
ably mystified of late. 

The day after he left Ella, he had gone to that part of 
Dublin described by her as the place where the man, Moore, 
lived. A squalid place, though still with an air of broken 
respectability about it, and with quite an extraordinary 
number of ill-dressed urchins playing about the hall door- 
steps. They were of that class, that though their garments 
were almost in rags, they had still shoes and stockings, of 

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sorts, on their feet, and an attempt at a frayed collar round 
their necks. It gave Wyndham a sense of disgust to think 
that the girl who was now living in his dainty cottage had 
once lived in such an atmosphere as this ; and when he had 
gone down the hideous road twenty yards or so, the cer- 
tainty that had begun at the first yard, that she could 
never have lived there, had deepened. But this idea gave 
him little comfort. If she had ever lived here, it was only 
to say the least of it, deplorable. If she had not lived here 
she had lied to him, and was an impostor. And if the 
latter supposition was true he had rented his cottage to an 
impostor, and a clever one, too. She had taken him in be- 
yond all doubt, and he was looked upon as rather a bright 
and shining light amongst his confreres at the Bar and at 
the University Club, and in the other various resorts for 
rising young men in Dublin. 

When he knocked at the door of the house mentioned by 
her, he told himself that of course he had come on a fool's 
errand ; yet when the woman who answered the door, — a 
highly respectable person, and frightfully dirty, in a re- 
spectable way — told him, " That no Moores lived here," 
he felt as though someone had struck him. He must have 
looked extremely taken back, because the respectably dirty 
lady roused herself sufficiently from the dignity that 
seemed to cling to her as closely as her grime, and con- 
descended to say she had only been there a short time, " an' 
p'raps Mrs. Morgan, nex' door, could give him the infor- 
mation he was lookin' for." 

Wyndham had taken the hint, he scarcely knew why, 
and had gone " nex' door," to receive, as he honestly be- 
lieved, the same answer. But, not Mrs. Morgan, in a 
tight-fitting gown, draggled at the tail, and with her sparse 
front locks in curl papers (she said " curling tongs an' 
methylated spirit played the very juice wid your hair ") 
gave him a very handsome amount of news about the miss- 
ing Moore. 

ji| Digitized by VjOOQIC 


She was a very genial person ,in spite of the carl papers 
—or perhaps because of them — and she invited Wyndham 
into her " best front n in the most cordial way — even 
though she knew he was not going to take it. 

" Tes 1 of course, she had known Mr. Moore. He used 
to live next door, but some months ago his wife died, and 
he had seemed a little unsettled like, since." 

" There was a girl f " 

" Oh, yes, Ella Moore." 

" Their daughter ? " 

" Law, no, sir. Her niece, poor Mrs. Moore would call 
her at times, but I don't think she was even that. I don't 
know the truth of it rightly, but that girl was * quite the 
lady,' sir, round here, an' she found some people who took 
her up, an' had her as governess for their children. Big 
people out in some o' the squares. Mrs. Moore had her 
with her when she took the house nex' door. Ella was a 
little creature then, an' used to be cry in' always for some- 
one. Her mother, I used to say, but Mrs. Moore was very 
dark entirely, an' never let out. Is it about Ella you're 
comin', sirf I'd be glad to hear good of her — but I sup- 
pose you know she fled out of Moore's house one night, 
an' was never seen again? Some said as how Moore 
wanted to murder her, or did murder her, but he wasn't a 
man for that, I say. Anyway, up he sticks, and dis- 
appears after a bit. The police looked into it for a while, 
but nothin' came of it. They do say," mysteriously, " that 
Moore wanted to marry her, and that she'd have nothin' to 
do with him. But law, some people would say anythin'. 
An,' of course, he was old enough to be her father. You 
wouldn't be likely to know anythin' of her, sir f " in the 
wheedling tone of the confirmed gossip. 

" No," says Wyndham, calmly. " What I want is the 
man Moore. You can tell me nothing, then ? " 

" No, sir. . . Get out I " to two or three little children 
who have appeared on the threshold, anxious, no doubt, for 

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their dinner, and wondering what is keeping their mammy. 
" But if you did hear of Miss Ella — we all used to call her 
4 Miss Ella,' though she was, as it might be, one of our- 
selves — I'd be glad to get a word from you. She was very 
good to my little Katie, an* she would come in of an even- 
in' an' give her a lesson, just as if I could pay for it. 
There was very few like her, sir, an 1 that I tell you," says 
Mrs. Morgan, whose eyes, in spite of her wonderful dirti- 
ness, are handsome now because of the honest, kindly tears 
that shine in them. " An' it's me own opinion," goes on 
the grimy woman, " that she never belonged to them 
Moores at all — that she was stolen like by Mr. Moore 1 " 

" Or by his wife f " suggests Wyndham. 

" Oh, no, poor soul," says Mrs. Morgan. " She," with 
delicate phraseology, " hadn't a kick in her 1 But we often 
said, my husband and I, that perhaps Mrs. Moore had been 
a servant in some great family, an' had taken a — a child — 
that beggin' yer pardon, sir, mightn't be altogether 

This view of Mrs. Morgan's takes root in Wyndham's 
mind. An illegitimate child 1 An unacknowledged scion 
of some good family ! Poor, poor child I Poor Ella I 

" You may be right," he said. The interview was at an 
end. Seeing two of Mrs. Morgan's children peeping in 
again, hungry and disconsolate, he beckons them to him, 
and after a while they slowly and with open distrust creep 
towards him. Was that the Katie — that little dark-eyed 
handsome child — that she used to teach ? Wyndham caught 
her and drew her towards him, and pressed half-a-sovereign 
into her hand, and then caught the little boy hanging on 
her scanty skirts, and pressed another little yellow piece 
into his soft but unwashed palm, after which he bid the 
grateful Mrs. Morgan adieu, and walked out of their lives 
for ever. 

But what she had told him went with him. Who is this 
girl Ella Moore ? This girl who is no^.^s^tjeiQ^^^ 


had insisted on her being bis tenant ; on ber paying him 
rent. Tbat was as mucb to satisfy ber as to satisfy some 
scruples of bis own. Sbe was really, of course, no more to 

bim tban any otber tenant might be — and yet 

For one tbing, wbo is sbe ? One does not, as a rule, rent 
tbeir bouses to people not only unknown, and without a 
reference, but actually without a name I 

" I quite understood it was you wbo would mind." 
There was rancor in the voice that had spoken those few 
words, and the rancor had gone to Ella's heart. Was he 
angry with her ? Displeased ? Should she not have asked 
the Barrys to come in ? She loses her color, and shrinks 
back a little, and Carew, glancing from her to Wyndham, 
whilst the latter is murmuring his greetings to Susan, tells 
himself that Wyndham is a brute, with a big, big B, and 
tbat in some way this mysterious girl — this lovely girl — 
has her life made miserable by him ! This is, as we all 
know, manifestly unfair, as it is really Wyndham whose 
life is being made distinctly uncomfortable by this " lovely, 
mysterious girl." But Carew is too young to see a second 
side to any question that has his sympathy. 

u I think we must go now," says Susan, holding out her 
hand to her new acquaintance. " It is very late — too 
late," smiling, " for a formal visit." Wyndham winces. 
Is his informal ? " But we shall pay that soon, now that 
we know we may come. And of course you and your " 

She pauses, the thought coming to her that she really 
does not know if Mr. Wyndham is actually this pretty 
girl's landlord. And, besides" your landlord," how badly 
it sounds. " You and your landlord 1 " oh, impossible. 
Sbe had been very near making a great mistake. 

So she hesitates, and Wyndham misinterprets her pause. 
He feels furious. What was the word she was going to 
use f " Lover," no doubt, in the innocence of her young 


and abominably stupid heart. He feels brutal even to- 
wards the unconscious Susan just now. Yes, that is what 
all the small world round here will think. His color rises, 
and he feels all at once guilty as though the very worst 
facts could be laid to his charge — whilst all the time he is 
innocent. Innocent ! Oh, confound it I The situation is 
absolutely maddening .... and if it comes to the old 
man's ears I . . . . Lord Shangarry is not one to be easily 
entreated, or to be convinced either. . . . An obstinate old 
man, who if he once caught an idea into his old brain would 
find it very hard to let it go again. 

" And of course you and Mr. Wyndham," says Susan 
now hastily, not understanding Wyndham's frown, " have 
many matters to discuss. 1 ' 

The speech is wound up very satisfactorily after all. 

" Certainly not. I beg you won't go on my account," 
says Wyndham, stiffly. 

" Not for that," says Susan, gaily, " but because fether 
will be wondering where we are." Wyndham, who has al- 
ready heard a little of the gossip that is beginning to cir- 
culate around the Cottage, almost groans aloud here. Father 
would be wondering indeed if he only knew. " By-the-bye, 
Mr. Wyndham, now that " — she looks at Ella and holds out 
her hand to her — " she tells us she would like to see us 
here sometimes, we can come, can't we f " 

She smiles delightfully at Wyndham, and the wretched 
man smiles back at her in a way that should have moved 
her to tears had she seen him but, providentially, after a 
mere passing glance at him, she has given her attention to 
Ella, who pleases her imagination immensely. 

" Certainly, if Miss Moore wishes it," says he. " You 
know this place is no longer mine ; Miss Moore is my ten- 
ant now. She is, therefore, at liberty to do what she likes 
with it. You must not ask me what she can or cannot do. 
I am that most disagreeable of all things, a landlord — noth- 
ing more. d ^ ^ Google 


His tone is even colder than he means it to be. The Rec- 
tor, what will he say when he hears of this visit of Susan's? 
The Rector, who is so ultra particular — and this girl with- 
out a name — so— almost certainly illegitimate I Fancy the 
Rector's face when he hears of this thoughtless visit of 
Susan's ! Mr. Barry is a good man, and charitable in his 
own line, but to give his countenance to a friendship be- 
tween his daughter and a girl nameless — unknown. 

" We are telling her," goes on Susan, sweetly, " that she 
must come and see us sometimes too — just across the road, 
you know. But she says she will not. Can't you persuade 
her, Mr. Wyndham ? Though you are only her landlord, 
as you say." Is there meaning in her tone ? Does she 
think f Wyndham glances at her suspiciously, and then 
knows he ought to be ashamed of himself, " Still land- 
lords have weight, and you know father would be so pleased 
if she would come to us sometimes." 

" I daresay," says Wyndham, who can almost see Mr. 
Barry's face when the idea is suggested to him. The Rector, 
with his aristocratic tendencies, that the very depths of 
poverty have not been able to subdue, would think it 
monstrous Susan's being here at all, with a girl so wrapped 
in mystery — a girl so enveloped in the base gossip that 
already is arising about her in the neighborhood, because 
of her strange tenancy of the Cottage — a gossip that must 
inevitably include him, Wyndham, too 1 How is her coming 
here to be accounted for ? Who will hold him guiltless of 
the knowledge of her coming. 

" If you are going," says he, turning suddenly to Susan, 
" I shall go with you ; I wish to speak to your father." 
He has made up his mind on the moment to lay the whole 
affair open to the Rector. It seems the only thing to be 
done, if his tenant has decided on knowing the Barrys. 
" You tell me Miss Moore is anxious " 

u Your name is Moore then ? " says Susan, gently, going 
a step towards her. 



" It is not I " say 8 the girl, almost passionately. 

There is a silence. Wyndham feeling the water closing 
over him more and more, still, with the girl's troubled eyes 
upon him, comes to the rescue. 

" It is at all events the only name by which she is known 
at present," says he to Susan. " I am looking into her 
affairs, and hope in time to be able to unravel them. That 
is the good of being a barrister, you see. And now— if you 
are ready ? " 

Susan bids good-bye again to Ella, who is looking a little 
subdued and uncertain now ; Carew does the same, holding 
her hand lingeringly as if wishing to say something sym- 
pathetic to her, but finding words fail him. Wyndham, 
following him, and Susan would have passed through the 
gate into the road outside, but that Ella, with a quick, 
softly spoken word, full of emotion, stops him. 

" I have done something wrong," says she, in a breathless 
whisper. " Wait — do wait — one moment, and tell me, tell 
me " Tears are standing thick within her eyes. 

u There is much to tell you," says he, impatiently. *,* But 
no time in which to tell it." 

" About f " Her face pales, and she looks eagerly at 

him, laying even a restraining hand upon his arm, in her 
growing fear. 

" Yes— about that fellow." 

"Mr. Moore?" 

" Yes." 

" Oh, you will stay — you will tell me ! " cries she, In low, 
but panting tones. " Oh, don't leave me in suspense. Even 
if you can't stay now you can come back again, if only for 

five minutes! Oh, do! You will? He " She looks 

as if she were going to faint. 

" There is no need for fear of that sort," says he, quickly. 
" He knows nothing of you, or where you are. Yes, if I 
can," reluctantly, " I will come back." 

He follows the others now, and as he reaches Susan and 

Digitized by V^jUVJsTIV^ 


Carew, they all three distinctly hear the click of the lock 
of the garden gate behind them. 

Susan looks at Wyndham in a startled way. 

" I — I think some one must have been very unkind to 
her," says she ; " don't you ? To lock herself up like that 
—and never to want to see anybody — Mr. Wyndham, why 
don't you try to find out her enemies ? " 

" I am trying," says Wyndham, looking into the calm, 
earnest intelligent eyes raised to his. 

" Father would help you," says Susan. " Was it because 
of that you wanted to see him to-day ? " 

" Yes," says Wyndham. There is no time for more. 

Mr. Barry is coming up the road. He had evidently 
seen them all come out of the green gate of the Cottage. 
His face is grave and stern. 

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M Mystery magnifies danger, as a fog the son ! " 

His greeting to Wyndham is of the coldest. He does 
not speak to him, but turns at once to Susan. 

44 Your aunt wants you," says he severely, and the girl, a 
little chilled, a little apprehensive, disappears within the 
rectory gate, carrying Carew, a most unwilling captive, 
with her. 

When she is gone the Rector feces Wyndham. 

" How is this, Wyndham 1 " asks he, quietly, yet with 
unmistakable indignation. 

" How is what ? " asks the younger man a little haughtily. 

" Was it you who took Susan into that cottage ? " 

" No. But even if it had been — I see no cause for the 
tone you have assumed towards me." 

" That is what I suppose you call * carrying it off,' " says 
the Rector, his pale face betraying a fine disgust. 

" Mr. Barry 1 " says Wyndham, as if the other had struck 

He has flushed a dark red, and now turns as if to walk 
straight away up the road and out of the Rector's ken for 
ever. But suddenly he halts, and looks back, and Mr. 
Barry, who has seen many phases of life, and is quick to 
discern the truth, however deep in the well it lies, beckons 
to him to return. If this young man cannot clear himself, 
he may still plead circumstances. 

44 If you could explain, Wyndham." 

44 That '8 what offends me," says Wyndham, with some 
passion. He has refused to return an inch, so the Rector 
has had to go to him. It wouldn't do to shout his conver- 
sation, considering all the young people who live on one 

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side of the road behind the right hand wall, and the one 
"young person" (the Rector has the gravest suspicions) 
who lives on the other side of it. What if they should all 
chance to hear ? Wyndham is still talking. 

" Why should I have to explain ? You have known me 
many years, Mr. Barry. Of what " — looking him Mr in 
the face, " do you accuse me ? " 

"That hardly requires an answer," says Mr. Barry, 
calmly. And all at once Wyndham knows that the trouble 
he had dreamed of is already on him. There is gossip rife 
in the neighborhood about him, and this mysterious tenant 
of his cottage. People are talking — soon it will come to 
the old man's ears, and to his aunt's, and to Josephine's. 
The last idea is the least troublesome. " You must surely 
have heard some rumors yourself. I am willing — I am 
most anxious," says the Rector, with growing earnestness, 
" to hear the truth of a story that seems as it now stands 
to be disastrous to two people. You, Wyndham, are one 
of them. No, not a word. Hear me first. I want to say 
just this, that if I was a little harsh to you a moment ago, 
it was because of Susan. One's daughter has the first 
claim. And she — that child — to be . . . You tell me 
you did not take her to see " 

"I told you that," says Wyndham, " and I told you too," 
very straightly, " that if I had done so I should see no rea- 
son why I should be ashamed of it. However, I had 
nothing to do with your daughter's visit to Miss Moore. 
It appears Miss Moore asked her to come into my . . . 
her • . . " 

The Rector stops him with an impatient gesture. 

" Whose is it — yours or hers ? " asks he. 

" Mine, yet hers in a sense, too," begins and ends the 
fluent lawyer, whose fluency has now at his need deserted 

u I do not understand your evasions." 

" If you will let me " 

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" I want no explanations," says the Rector, coldly. " I 
want only one answer to one plain question — who is this 
Miss Moore ? " 

He looks straight at Wyndham. The extenuating cir- 
cumstances he had believed in grow smaller and smaller. 

Wyndham hesitates. Who is she, indeed I Who is this 
tenant of his ? 

44 You hesitate, I see," says Mr. Barry. " You have the 
grace to do even so much. But at all events you cannot 
deny that you permitted the presence of my young daugh- 
ter in that place beyond." 

U J » 

44 A truce to subterfuges, sir I " cries the Rector. " A 
plain answer I will and must get. Who is this girl who 
lives in your house, and refuses to see or know anyone in 
her neighborhood ? " 

44 1 don't know," says Wyndham, sullenly, angered be- 
yond control. 

44 1 do," says the Rector, 44 and may God forgive you for 
your sin. She is " 

44 Be silent 1 " cries Wyndham, interrupting him so im- 
periously that the older man stops short. " She is my ten- 
ant. . . My tenant, I repeat — And," haughtily, " no 

Silence follows upon this. The Rector, lost in thought, 
stands, with clasped hands behind his back, and his eyes 
upon the ground. His silence incenses Wyndham. 

44 You can believe me or not, as you like," says he, turn- 
ing on his heel. 

He moves away. 

44 Stay — stay ! " cries Mr. Barry, suddenly. 44 We must 
get to the end of this. If I have wronged you, Wyndham, 
I regret it with all my heart, but there has been some talk 
here, and Susan — she is very young — a mere child. I could 
not stand that. You tell me there is nothing to be con- 
demned in all this business — that she— this girl in there, is 

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only your tenant. But landlords do not visit their tenants 
except on compulsion, so far as I know, and you — what has 
brought you here to-day ? " 

" Just that," says Wyndham, who is still at white heat — 
" compulsion. If you would condescend," angrily, " to lis- 
ten to my explanation, I might perhaps make you under- 

" I shall be only too glad to listen," says Mr. Barry, with 

"But here — how can I explain here ?" says Wyndham, 
glancing round at the open road, and the walls. " Walls 
have ears." 

But Mr. Barry does not budge. And Wyndham gives 
way to rather sardonic laughter. 

" I suppose," says he, " you would not let me under your 
roof until all this is perfectly clear." 

The Rector still remains immovable. 

" The roof of heaven is above us always," returns he, 
whereupon Wyndham, who has sympathy with determina- 
tion, laughs again, but more naturally this time, and forth- 
with tells him the whole story of his acquaintance with 
Ella from that first strange night until to-day. 

" Bless me," says the Rector, when the recital is at an 
end. He strokes his clean shaven chin thoughtfully. 
" What an extraordinary tale I " 

" Not too extraordinary to be believed, I hope," stiffly. 

" No, no. I believe you, Wyndham. I believe you thor- 
oughly," says the Rector gently. " I am indeed sorry for 
my late distrust of you. But you will admit that there 
was cause. That poor girl I You have utterly failed, 
then, to discover those people with whom she had been liv- 
ing before that — that dreadful night f " 

" So far, yes. But the fact that they once did live there 
goes far to establish the truth of her — " he stammers a 
little, but Mr. Barry takes him up. 

" Her story ? It entirely in my opinion establishes the 

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truth of her story." Wyndham's stammer has added to the 
truth of his declaration so far as the Rector is concerned. 

44 You have a more liberal mind than mine," says Wynd- 
ham. " I have told you so much that I may as well make 
you my Father Confessor in toto." The smile that accom- 
panies this is rather strained. " As a fact there was a time 
when I did not believe in her story myself; and now — when 
I have to — well — it makes me feel rather poor, you know." 

44 You have no occasion to feel anything," says the Rector, 
44 except that you have been a kind friend to her. Do you 
think you will be able to trace that fellow Moore ? " 

44 1 hope so. I have engaged a detective, one of the 
smartest fellows in Dublin, and I depend upon him to run 
down that scoundrel in a month or so." 

44 In the meantime I shall make it my business to explain 
to everybody how matters really are," says the Rector. 
44 To tell the people we know round here that " 

44 1 beg you won't," says Wyndham, hurriedly. 44 Have 
I not told you how she desires privacy above all things ; 
how she dreads her discovery by that man. I know it all 
sounds mysterious, Mr. Barry — that it is asking a great 
deal of your credulity, to expect you to believe it all. But 
I still hope you will believe me, and at all events I know 
her secret is safe in your hands. I myself have thought of 
suggesting to her to face matters bravely, and if Moore 
should prove troublesome, why to fight it out with him. I 
cannot believe he has any actual claim on her. But she has 
such an almost obstinate determination not to risk the 
chance of meeting him that I fear she will not be moved by 
what I say. This shutting of herself up in that cottage 
seems a mania with her ; such a mania that I cannot but 
think her story true, and that she suffered considerably at 
that fellow's hands." 

44 It looks like it," says the Rector. 

44 Perhaps you will be able to combat her fears," says 
Wyndham, rather awkwardly. <4 Would be ve 

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you could; as this mystery surrounding her is — er — de- 
cidedly uncomfortable for me. Tou have seen that." 

" I wonder you ever consented to the arrangement." 

" I never meant to ; but she seemed so utterly friendless, 
and she seemed to cling so to this place (a harbor of refuge 
it was to her evidently), that I found it would be almost 
brutal to refuse." 

" It was a charitable deed," says the Rector. 

" Not done in a spirit of charity, however. I assure you 
I regret it more and more every day of my life," says 
Wyndham, with a short laugh. " However, in for a penny 
in for a pound, you know, and I had promised the Professor 
to look after her. I have now engaged a companion for 
her — I think you may remember Miss Manning t She was 
a governess of the Blakes some years ago — you used to 
know them." 

" Manning 1 Oh, of course, of course," says the Rector. 
" A most worthy creature. I never knew what became of 
her after Mary Blake went to India." 

" Got another situation, and a most miserable one. Left 
it, and was found in direst poverty by the person I got to 
hunt her up. Her delight at my proposal to her to live 
with Miss Moore was unbounded. It will at all events be 
a blessing to get her out of that stuffy room I found her in. 
She looked so out of place in it. Tou know what a nice- 
looking woman she was, and so well got up always. But 
yesterday. ... I advanced her a little of her salary 
at once — to — to get anything she might want, you know — 
and I expect that next week she will come to the Cottage." 

The Rector has heard this rather halting recital straight 
through without comment. Now he lifts his eyes. 

" You are a good fellow, Wyndham," says he, slowly. 

" For heaven's sake, Mr. Barry — not that," says Wynd- 
ham, impatiently. " I expect I'm about the most grudging 
devil on earth. And if you think I enjoy helping this girl, 
or Miss Manning, or anyone else, you make a 

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What I really want is to be left alone, to run my life on my 
own rails without the worry of being crossed or stopped by 
passengers, or goods, or extras." 

"Ah 1 we can none of us hope for that," says the Rector. 
" The most selfish of us have to live, not only for ourselves, 
but for others. You spoke of yesterday, as having seen 
Miss Manning. Have you — told the young lady in there 
of her coming ? " 

" Not yet. I had no time indeed. When I found your 
daughter there I felt I ought to take her away as soon as 
possible, simply because you did not know how matters 
were, and I had a hint — as to gossip. I must go back now, 
however, and tell her before my traiii leaves." 

" You have little time," says the Rector, glancing at his 
watch. " Go. Make haste." 

"There is one thing more," says Wyndham, quickly. 
11 And I think you should hear it. She — I don't know any- 
thing for certain — but I feel almost sure that the poor girl 
is illegitimate. And of course, you " 


" You would not like an acquaintance between her and 
your daughters?" 

" You mistake me there," said the Rector. " A misfor- 
tune is not a fault. And the fact that this poor girl has 
been the victim of others' vices should not be allowed to 
militate against her." 

" Hardly a feet ! " says Wyndham, quickly. u I speak 
only from very uncertain data, and yet " 

" I know. It seems unhappily only too likely, however! 
There, go— you have little time." 

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"Weeping and wailing, care and other sorrow, 
I have enough on even, and on morrow.' 9 

Ella is inside waiting for him when he returns. She had 
heard his step, and had opened the little gate to let him in. 

" Oh ! you have come ! How long you have been. I 
thought you would never come," cries she in her agitation. 
Then, frightened at her own impatience, " I — I thought per- 
haps you had gone away — and forgotten." 

" There were certain things that had to be said to Mr. 
Barry," says Wyndham. He slams the gate carelessly be- 
hind him, but Ella passing rapidly by him, turns the key 
in the lock. 

" It is very stupid of me, I know," says she, reddening 
at his glance of surprise. " But the other day I thought" 
— paling — " that I saw him 1 " 


" Yes." 

" Where could you see him as you never leave this J " 
He is still feeling a little sore about her determination to 
hold herself aloof from everyone. 

" I," reddening, " was up in that tree over there," point- 
ing to the sycamore. 

" Up there ! What on earth for ? " 

" I wanted " — here poor Ella hangs her head — " to see 
into the rectory garden. They— they were all laughing 
there, and I could hear them, and " 

She stops short in her somewhat dismal confession. 

"I see," says Wyndham, quickly, all his coldness sud- 
denly dying away. Poor child I This little picture of her 
—climbing with difficulty into that great tree to catch even 

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a glimpse of the gaiety of others, goes to his heart. "Was 
it there that " 

" Yes it was there I thought I saw him. I may, I must," 
anxiously, " have been mistaken — don't you think I must 
have been mistaken ? — but I did see a man just like him 
turning up the corner of the road that leads to the village 

" I am sure you were mistaken," says Wyndham. " As 
a fact I know he has disappeared altogether. If he wanted 
to spy upon you here — if he thought you were in the coun- 
try anywhere, what would be more likely than that he 
should live in his old house and make expeditions round 
about Dublin with a view to coming upon you sooner or 
later? But I have heard from the woman who lived next 
door to him that " 

" Mrs. Morgan," says Ella, eagerly. 

11 Tes, Mrs. Morgan." He pauses, and is quite conscious 
of a glow of satisfaction at her words. They are indeed 
" confirmation strong" of the truth of her story all through. 
She had known this Mrs. Morgan, and been known by her. 
" And," cries Ella, eagerly, " she said? " 

" That he had left his house immediately/ after your dis- 
appearance. That looks as if your going had frightened 
him — as if he thought he might be made answerable to the 
law for your safety — as if he feared you had — that is," 
.... He stammers here a little. 

" I know," says the girl, interrupting him gently. " As 
if he feared — I had put an end to my life. And " — pain- 
fully — " as you know — I was willing to risk the chance of 
losing it, at all events." 

" Oh, there was no risk," says Wyndham, hastily. " But 
what I want to say is that I believe Moore fancied himself 
liable to prosecution if he could not say what had become 
of you. He had treated you abominably, and no doubt the 

neighbors were talking, and " He himself is talking 

quite at random now. He has not yet got over his late 

j3 DTgitized byX^OOgle 


" slip." " Anyway his not being seen since points to the 
feet that he has gone abroad." 

" No, no," says the girl, shaking her head with conviction. 
She is very pale now. " To me it seems that he has left 
home to look for me I I know — I know," affrightedly, 
" that he is looking for me." 

" Just because you saw a fancied resemblance to him in a 
man going down the road ? " 

" Not that altogether. Though that did give me a shock, 
and I still fancy " 

" Come, that is being absolutely morbid," says Wyndham, 
with a touch of impatience. " The man is gone, believe me. 
And even if not, what claim has he on you ? " 

" That I don't know, but he said he had a ' hold on me 9 
until I was twenty-one, and I am only eighteen," with a 
sigh that is evidently full of a desire to wish away three 
good years of her young life. 

" I don't believe a word of it," says Wyndham, promptly. 
" And in the meantime, now that in my opinion he is well 
out of the way, why don't you try to enjoy your life — to 
see people — to " 

" I am enjoying life. Oh ! " with a sudden, quick, happy 
smile, " if you only knew how much." 

" Tet you confess to loneliness. To a desire to see those 
around you." 

" Yes." She colors and taps her foot on the ground, then 
laughs. " And now I have seen them," says she, with a 
swift upward glance at him that lasts only for a moment. 

u The Barrys. Yes, but there are others. And now you 
know the Barrys you can easily know everyone else down 
here — you can make friends for yourself, and go out, and 
pay visits, and " 

" Oh, no," cries she, quickly, with a sudden terror indeed. 
" No no," putting up her hands, " I can't — I won't — I'll 
never go out J Mr. Wyndham, don't, don't ask me to do 



It is in Wyndham's mind to say to her that it would be 
of considerable benefit to his social lookout if she would 
only consent to know people, and make herself known, and 
break through this deplorable attitude of secrecy that she 
has taken up, but a glance at her young frightened face de- 
ters him. He shrugs his shoulders over his own ill-luck, 
and bears it. 

" I — you are angry with me again, 9 ' says Ella, nervously. 
" But I can't go out of this place. I can't indeed — unless 
you could send me somewhere across the sea where he could 
never find me — but to leave this." Her lips quiver, and 
she turns aside. 

" Nonsense ! Who wants you to leave this ? " says 
Wyndham, roughly. " But I think you ought to have some 
common sense about you. You have no one to give you ad- 
vice of any sort, and you are about the most headstrong 
girl I ever met." 

" I have taken your advice," says she. " Always — al- 
ways." Her face is still turned away, and her voice sounds 

"Always when it suited you. But not now, when it 
might be of some use. Of course I can see quite plainly 
that that old idiot Mrs. Moriarty is backing you up in all 
your nonsensical fears, but there will soon be an end to 
thtft. I have engaged a lady to come and live with you, 
and give you lessons, and knock some sense into your head, 
I hope." 

" A lady to live with me. You have found her, then ? 
You meant it ? " 

" Naturally I meant it. And I only hope she will be 
able to show you the folly of your ways — a matter in which 
I most signally have foiled." 

Wyndham has worked himself into quite a righteous 
fever of wrath against her. Good heavens, what a row 
there is bound to be on shortly with his aunt, about this 
obstinate recluse. He has gone a little too far. The girl 


turns upon him gently indeed, but with a certain dignity in 
her air. 

" As I have told you, I can always leave this," says she. 
" But it will be to a place where I can live alone, and where 
I shall never have to leave my home, even though it be a 
garret. I — I have thought of a convent," her voice falter- 
ing. " But I am a Protestant, and — " she sighs heavily. 
" Mr. Wyndham," cries she suddenly ; " why do you want 
me to go out — to know people t Why ? " 

Wyndham, who could have given one very excellent rea- 
son for his wish, remains determinedly silent. 

" You see," cries she triumphantly. " You have no rea- 
son at alL And I am ever so much happier by myself. I 
don't say but that if I were somebody else, I should not 
like to go into that garden there," pointing towards the rec- 
tory. " But as it is, it would frighten me to step outside 
the gate." 

" And how long is this state of things to go on ? " asks 
Wyndham. " Until you are ninety 1 " 

41 Ahl he can't live till then," says she. " And besides, 
long before that I shall be old and ugly, and he won't care. 
You know," growing crimson, " what I told you ! " 

" Yes." Wyndham frowns. " You told me enough to 
know he was a most infernal scoundrel." 

" I suppose he is that," says she thoughtfully. " Though 
I don't think really he would ever murder anybody. You 
see he didn't even murder me. He only wanted to marry 
me ! That was what made me so angry. If he had made me 
marry him," turning to Wyndham with a quick, sharp 
movement. " You think that would mean that I should 
have to live with him always t " 

She pauses as if eager for an answer, and when he does 
not speak, she says imperatively — 


Wyndham nods his head. 

" It wouldn't, however," says she with angry emphasub 

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" I'd have run away after I was married, just the same. 
Only I thought it better to do it before I " 

There is so much force, so much girlish venom in her 
tone, that Wyndham feels inclined to laugh, but the little 
" air mutin " she has taken, sits so curiously, and with such 
an unexpected charm upon her, that somehow his laughter 
dies within him. Something about her now too, as she 
stands there flushed and defiant, strikes him as familiar. 
Who is she like ? 

" For a young lady so very valiant, I wonder you are so 
afraid to face the world," says he gravely. 

" Ah, I am not afraid of the world, but of him I " says she. 
" And — " she draws closer to him, and now all her bravery 
has died away from her, and she looks as greatly in want of 
courage as a mouse. " I'm afraid of this new lady too 1 
Is she — kind — nice — will she — be angry with me some- 
times ? " 

" Very likely," says Wyndham. He softens this dis- 
agreeable answer, however, by a smile. " No — you must 
not be afraid of her. She is an old friend of mine, and very 
charming. And she is quite prepared to love you." 

" Ah 1 Then you have said " 

" The very prettiest things of you, of course " — sardon- 
ically — " So keep up your courage." 

" She will come ? " nervously. 

" On Thursday." 

" And you ? " 

" When you and she have reached the point of open war, 
I daresay she will drop me a line, to come to her rescue." 

41 It will be to mine," says she, smiling, but very faintly. 
Tears are in her eyes. " You — you will come with her, 
won't you ? Don't let me have to see her alone at first. 
You know her, and I don't. And you — " 

" Very well, I'll bring her," says Wyndham, with an in- 
ward groan. What the deuce is going to be the end of it 

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He does not leave by the little green gate this time, but 
going down at a swinging pace (that has a good deal of 
temper in it) to the principal entrance, meets there with 
Mrs. Moriarty, who has been on the lookout for him for 
the past half hour. 

" An' did ye hear what happened to Denis, yer honor ? " 

" To Denis ? " abstractedly. Then recovering himself, 
and with a good deal of his late temper still upon him. 
" Of course, I've been wondering all day where he was. 
Not a soul to attend to me. He was drunk, as usual, I sup* 

" Fegs, you've guessed it," says Mrs. Moriarty, clapping 
her hands with unbounded admiration. " Dhrunk, he was 
— the ould retrobate." 

" Well, I hope he'll turn up this evening at all events," 
says Wyndham. " It is extremely uncomfortable going on 
like this. If he can't attend to me, I'll have to get another 
man. I have borne a good deal already, and I hope you 
will let him fully understand, that if he isn't at my rooms 
at seven, I shall dismiss him." 

- " An' who'd blame ye," says Mrs. Moriarty. " Faith, 
I've often thought of dismissing him meself. But," slowly, 
" he can't be at yer rooms at seven yer honor." 

" And why not ? " angrily. 

" He's bruk his arm, sir." 

" Broke his arm ? " 

" Just that, sir. Bad scran to him. An' the docther 
says he never saw a worse compound fraction in his life. 
'Twas all through Timsey Mooney. Timsey and him's at 
war for a long time, an' yestherday Timsey said he'd break 
his head, an' with that Denis said he'd have the life ov him ; 
and 'twas the divil's own row they had afther that ; only," 
with a regretful air, " it was Denis' arm that got bruk, an 1 
not Timsey 's head." 

" So Denis got his arm broken ? " 

" Yes, sir. An' that Timsey Mooney as sound as iver. 

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Not a scratch on him. I've alwas tould ye that there's 
nayther luck nor grace wid Denis. But what am I wastin' 
words on him at all for ? 'Tis about the young lady I'm 
curious. She's to stay, sir ? " » 

"Yes — yes. I told you that before. And I have ar- 
ranged with a friend of mine, a very accomplished lady, to 
come down here and live with her as a companion." 

" A companion is it ? " Mrs. Moriarty strokes her beard. 
" She's been very continted wid me." says she. 

" I daresay. But this lady, Miss Manning, is to be a gov- 
erness to her, to teach her — to see to her manners, and — " 

" To tache her her manners is it ? She's got the purtiest 
manners I ever yet see," says Moriarty, with a smothered 
indignation. " Tache her, indeed ! " 

It is plain that Mrs. Moriarty is already consumed with 
the pangs of jealousy. 

" She is coming, at all events," says Wyndham, shortly. 
" And I request you will treat her with every respect, as 
one of my oldest friends." 

44 She's ould thin," anxiously. 

" She is not young." 

Mrs. Moriarty shakes her head with the air of one who 
would say, " We all know what that means." 

" Is she kind-hearted, sir ? Miss Ella is terrible timid- 

" Certainly she is kind. But, of course, she will expect 
' Miss Ella,' as you call her to follow her lead in most ways. 
I " — with meaning — " shall take care she is not interfered 
with in any way. I hope you quite understand all this." 

" I understhand, yer honor. She's ould an' cross, an' 
Miss Ella is to follow her, about everywhere. But " — with 
a last lingering remnant of hope — " she won't be comin' for 
a while, sir, will she ? " 

" She is coming on Thursday." 

" Oh, murther I " says Mrs. Moriarty sotto voce, as he 
shuts the gate behind hint. 

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"Ther ia fal many a man that crieth * Werre, werre ' that wat fol 
litel what werre amonnteth. Werre at his begynnyng hath so greet 
an entre and bo large, that every wight may entre when him liketh 
and lightly find werre; but oertes what ende schal falle thereof, it is 
not lightly to knowe t " 

" Nothing will do for these beastly hens it seems bat the 
garden," says Betty, indignantly. " Susan, stand there, 
you No, there I " gasping. 

" Oh, they've scratched up ail the mignonette," cries 
Susan, rushing to the point indicated, an escaliona bush, in 
which three culprit hens are lurking. " Were there ever 
such wretches ; and plenty of food in the yard, too? It 
isn't as if they were starved. CushI Cush! Bother 
them! They won't come out. Have you got a stick, 

" Here's one. I declare I'm out of breath from hunting 
them. And the cock is the worst of all. I hope I'll live 
to see the broth he is made of Not that I'd touch it 1 Hi ! 
Hi I " with a frantic dab at the hens with her stick be- 
neath the too friendly escaliona. " Would be too full of all 
malice and bitterness. There is one of them, Susan ; run I 
run ! to the gate 1 She's going that way. Ah ! You've 
got that anyway." 

" That," I regret to say, is a stone directed with unerr- 
ing aim by Betty, and received by the hen on her shoulder, 
with a shock that makes her bound not only into the air, 
but " Over the garden wall," and into the yard beyond with 
a haste, that perhaps she calls undue. And now Susan has 
routed out the other two, and with a cackling that would 
rouse the dead, they rush after their companion towards 
that spot in the wall that is easiest for the purposes of in- 
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gress and egress from the yard to the garden. Susan 
races alter them, u shooing " with all her might, generously 
supported by Betty and her shower of small stones. So 
ardent, so blood-thirsty is the chase, it is matter for wonder 
' that the hens, having once gone through such an encounter 
could ever brave it again. But hens are amongst the 
bravest things living. Amazons in their own line-— it is 
indeed popularly supposed in our neighborhood that the 
souls of those defunct termagants have entered into them, 
and at all events there does not rest a doubt now in the 
minds of Susan and Betty, that in half an hour's time those 
hens will have returned to the charge, as fresh as ever. 

" We must get a wire-netting put up along there," says 
Betty, angrily. " What's the good of our planting seeds 
and roots and things for the amusement of those abomina- 
ble hens? And why should they think there are more 
grubs under a picotee than under a common daisy ? " 

" I wish there was a netting put up," says Susan, who is 
distinctly flushed, "but who's going to do it? Father 
won't. Wiring costs something, and there would be a good 
bit of it to be put up there," pointing to the long wall. 

" Maybe Dom would, when he gets his next half year's 

" I don't think you ought to ask him," says Susan. 
" He is not our brother, you know." 

" He's nearly as good," says Betty. 

" Still he isn't, and I, for one, wouldn't ask him." 

" I would. The only thing is that perhaps father wouldn't 
like it." 

" I know he wouldn't." 

" What's to be done, then ? Are we to spend oui time 
hunting these blessed hens until the day we die ? If so," 
tragically, " I hope that day will come full soon. Oh, I 
declare, there's the cock I Run Susan, run. Oh, the vil- 
lain; the ringleader. Catch him, Susan. Oh, there, he's 
gone under the laurels. Oh, the artftil thing." 

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" No he isn't," cries Susan. " He's over there, near you. 
I see his leg. This side — this side, Betty. Ah, now you 
have him. Hold him ; hold him tight." Betty has caught 
hold of the king of the yard, and is dragging him ruthlessly 
from his hiding place. There are yells from the cock and 
muttered execrations from Betty. But finally the cock has 
the best of it. With a whirr and a whoop he makes a last 
grand sprint, and once again knows the splendors of free- 

Away he goes down the garden path, and away go the 
girls after him. 

" Squawk, squawk, squawk," cries the cock, and " Oh if 
I catch you 1 " cries Betty, under her breath. Her breath 
is indeed running very short. Susan's has given way en- 

" Oh, he is going to the tennis ground," shrieks Betty, 
distractedly ; and indeed the cock, with a view of circum- 
venting the enemy, is making for that broad course. 

At the rustic gateway, however, that leads to it from the 
garden, a third enemy appears upon the scene. An enemy 
that takes off his hat and makes such a magnificent attack 
with it that the cock, disheartened, gives way in turn, re- 
treats, chassis a little, and finally with a wild skirl swoops 
over the garden wall after his wives, and is gone. 

" It was a famous victory I " cries Mr. Crosby, when the 
defeat of the cock is beyond doubt. 

He is looking at Susan. Such a lovely, flushed, and 
laughter-filled Susan 1 A Susan with soft locks flying into 
her beauteous eyes. A Susan with soft parted lips, and 
breath coming in little merry gasps. 

" You were just in time 1 " cries she, running up to him, 
with happy camarderie in her smile. " But for you we 
should have been hunting him all over the place. What 
lucky fortune brought you at this moment?" smiling 
blandly into his eyes, and giving him her hand. " Just hap- 
pening to be passing by ? " 

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4< No, I was coming to see you all," says Crosby. He 
had nearly stopped at the " you," but she looks so young, 
so without a thought behind her, that he felt it would be 
useless. She would not understand, and even if she did it 
would only annoy her. A girl of the world — that would 
be different. She would laugh at this suggestion of a flirta- 
tion. But Susan 

" Well, come and see us all," says Betty, gaily. " We're 
all round the corner, I fancy." 

And indeed most of them are. The children in the far 
distance chasing butterflies with a net just constructed by 
Dom, whilst he and Carew are listening with apparently en- 
grossed interest to their aunt, who, with curls shaking, and 
an air of general excitement about her, is holding forth. 

" Is that you at last, Susan," says she, shaking her curls 
more vigorously than ever. " Where have you been t How 
d'ye do, Mr. Crosby 1 I must say, Susan, you are never to 
be found when wanted." 

" The hens got into the garden," begins Susan, coloring a 
little beneath this rebuke uttered before Crosby. 

" Oh, hens I What are hens," cries Miss Barry, tragic- 
ally, " when human beings are dying ? " 


" Yes. I've just been to see poor dear Miss Blake, and I 
really believe she is at death's door." 

" Oh, I am sorry," says Susan. 

" She's been at that uncomfortable portal for the past 
year," says Betty, with distinct scorn. " In my opinion it 
would take a lot of pushing to make her pass it." 

" Elizabeth 1 This frivolity is absolutely disgraceful," 
says Miss Barry , directing a withering glance at Betty, who, 
it must be said, bears up beneath it with the utmost forti- 
tude. " Dr. Mulcahy was with her — I've always thought 
him a distinctly vulgar person, but really after what he 
said of poor Miss Blake to day, I feel justified in my 


" What did he say, auntie ? " 

" I hardly like to repeat it. An insult to a poor dying 
creature seems impossible, doesn't it, Mr. Crosby ? 3ut I 
heard him myself. After all, why should not I speak ? 
One ought to expose monsters ! My dear," to Susan, 
" Lady Millbank had called to ask how Miss Blake was — at 
least I suppose it was for that purpose — but she mumbles 
so, on account of those false teeth of hers, no doubt, that I 
scarcely heard what she was saying. But I did hear what 
Dr. Mulcahy said to her a moment afterwards. He was 
speaking of poor dear Kate Blake, and I distinctly heard 
him say she was ' low ! ' " Miss Barry pauses dramatic- 
ally, but beyond a smothered sound from Dom, nothing is 

" Aren't you shocked, Susan ? Or must I believe that 
the young people of this generation are devoid of feeling. 
A Mulcahy to call a Blake 'low.' It struck me as so 
abominable a piece of impertinence that I went away on 
the instant. I don't know of course how Lady Millbank 
took it, but I hope she put down that insolent man, with- 
out hesitation. Fancy a Blake being called l low ' — why, 
poor dear Kate ! she is as well-born as ourselves." 

" But, auntie ! " 

" Nonsense, my dear. Don't talk to me. Tou children 
would find an excuse for anyone." 

" It was only that I think he meant that she was not so 
very well " 

" Born ? Not so well-born as the rest of us ? Tou must 
be mad Susan. A creature like Dr. Mulcahy to talk of 
birth at all is absurd. Why his father was a draper in 
Dublin. But that he should cavil at Kate Blake's birth is 
outrageous. Why the Blakes — " She stops as if over- 
come by wrath, find Dom takes up the parable. 

" I thought you knew, Susan," says he, reproachfully, 
but in a cautious tone, heard only by the youngsters of the 
party; "that it was poor Miss Blake's forefather who 

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planted that tree of good and evil, over which Adam came 
sucb a cropper." 

Af^er this it is a relief to everybody when Miss Barry, 
with a singularly brief ferewell to Crosby, betakes herself 
to the house. It is quite as well she has gone so soon, as 
Carew and Dominick were in the last stages of convulsive 
laughter, and could not certainly have held out much 

44 1 say, isn't Aunt Jemima a regular corker ?" says Dom, 
presently — addressing everybody in general. 

44 She didn't understand," says Susan, who feels a little 
sorry that her aunt should appear in so poor a light before 
a man like Crosby — who is, of course, accustomed to a 
fashionable world and its ways. 

44 1 think she has a very kind heart," says he, promptly, 
seeing her distress and smothering the laughter that is con- 
suming him. a Of course she had no idea that the doctor 
was alluding to Miss Blake's state of health." 

44 You knew," says Susan, with a touch of indignation, 
turning to Carew. 4< Why didn't you make it clear to her? " 

44 Why, indeed ? " retorts he. 44 You tried to do it, and 
how did you come off? Catch me explaining her mistakes 
to Aunt Jemima. More kicks than ha'pence for my pains." 

Bonnie has come over to Susan, and casting his crutches 
aside, has slipped into her arms, his head upon her knee. 
A head that she strokes softly, softly, until, until at last the 
little lad fells fast asleep. 

44 He had such a bad night," says Susan, as Crosby now 
comes up, and seats himself beside her. I 

44 1 expect that means that you had a bad night too." 

44 Oh, no," reddening. 44 1— I'm all right. But he " 

44 It seems absurd," says Crosby, suddenly, 44 that a child 
like that should be a prey to rheumatism. Are you sure 
the doctors have told you all the truth ? " 

44 1 think so." 

44 But are they reliable authorities ? " 

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" I'm afraid bo," says Susan, sighing. " But," gently, 
" don't let me trouble you with our sorrows. Tell me of 
yourself. Your sister is coming, yon say." 

" For my birthday. Yes, next month." 

"Your birthday?" 

" I told you, didn't If It will be in a few days now." 
1 " A few days," Susan's voice is low as usual, but primed 
with a curiosity that she has much difficulty in suppressing. 

" The third of August. It always makes me feel like Ah 
Sin, Bret Harte's Chinee — soft, you know. Eatherine is 
coming for the great occasion. That's my sister's name, 
Katherine. You will like her, I think." 

" Is she like you f " asks Susan. 

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11 Ask not her name : 
The light winds whisper it on every hand." 

a Not a bit," says he, shaking his head. " Just the re- 
verse. She is young and skittish, whilst I am old and dull." 

" Not dull," says Susan. 

44 Lazy then. That comes of age, too, you know." 

44 You weren't too lazy to hunt the hens just now," says 
Susan, as if combating some disagreeable remembrances. 
44 And you weren't too lazy to mount a ladder a month or 
so ago." 

44 Ah I Susan. That's unkind. You shouldn't hold up 
my past misdeeds to me. If you do, I'll hold up your in- 
discretions to you. Your lengthened conversation with a 
thief, for example. You know you did think me a thief 

Susan makes a gesture. 

44 Oh, yes you did. There is no getting out of that. You 
even made me promise never to steal again. And I haven't. 
Not so much as the proverbial pin I That's good of me, 
isn't it? Shows signs of grace, eh? Really, Susan, I 
think you might say something. Give me one word of en- 
couragement I But perhaps you don't believe in my refor- 
mation ? I know ever since that day when I was stealing 
the cherries you have had the lowest opinion of me." 

44 1 wish you wouldn't talk like that," says Susan, her 
charming brows drawing together, 44 it is very stupid of 
you, and you know you don't mean a word of it. Stealing I 
How could you steal your own cherries. What nonsense it 
all is. If you have nothing better to say than that, you," 

¥ Digitized by V^QOQlC 


with a sudden and most unusual discourtesy, " had better 
go away." 

" Never 1 Wild horses wouldn't draw me from this," says 
Crosby. "I'll say something * better 'at once. I'm sure 
you have the highest opinion of me. Will that do? And 
may I stay now ? " 

Susan gives him a glance from under her long lashes, that 
is still a little resentful — a very little — but she says nothing. 

" Must I go then ? " says Crosby. " I wouldn't have be- 
lieved it of you Susan, to send a poor lonely creature adrift 
like this." 

" You are not so very lonely," says she. She gives him 
another lovely, half-angry glance. 

" I am indeed. There is not a soul to speak to me when 
I go back to my silent home. And hours must elapse be- 
fore I can with any decency go to bed. Susan, be merci- 
ful I Let me stay here, and talk to you of—" He stops. 

"Of what!" says Susan, still eminently distrustful. 
" What are you going to talk about ? That last thing " 

" I'll never mention cherries again." 

" You must keep to that. And now," lifting her face and 
smiling at him in a little fugitive way, " Go on about your 
sister. You haven't told me anything about her except her 
name. Katherine, is it not ? " 

" Katherine Forster." 

"Mrs. Forster?" 

" No. La4y Forster. She married one of the Forsters of 
Berkshire. The eldest one, George Forster, is a very good 
chap — you'll like him too." 

Susan had grown thoughtful. Dim recollections of the 
Forsters as being extraordinarily wealthy people, have come 
home to her. 

" I think I told you that Katherine is coming here to cele- 
brate my birthday," says Crosby. 

"Yes; but your birthday, when is it?" asks Susan, 
anxious to know when these alarming visitors are to arrive. 

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" The third of August. Didn't I tell you ? Katherine 
likes to think she is coming here to do me honor on that 
day — that's how she puts it in words. To turn my house 
upside down, however, is what she really means. But I 
submit. The old house will stand it. She isn't half bad, 
really, and certainly not more than half mad. I think 1 
told you, you would like her." 

" Yes," says Susan, who has begun to quake at the 
brother's description of his sister. "And she will be 
here ? " 

" In about ten days' time. George, that's her husband, 
is a first-class shot, and this place has been pretty well pre- 
served in spite of its absentee landlord ; I hope he will en- 
joy himself. Katherine is bringing a lot of her friends 
with her." 

" Hers ? " Susan's tone is a little feint. If only this big 
society dame's friends — what is going to happen? Mr. 
Crosby is so kind that he will be sure to make his sister 
ask her up to the hall. And how could she — Susan — hold 
her own with these clever people of the world — people 
who — 

Crosby breaks into her silent fears. 

" Hers principally. But some of them are mine too — in 
a way I I really am so little at home that I haven't time 
to cultivate lifelong friendships. But Lady Muriel Ken- 
nedy I have known all my life — and liked. I hope " — sud- 
denly — " when Katherine comes, you will spare her a little 
of your time." 

" You are very kind. If she would care to have me," 
falters Susan, disjointedly. Her eyes are on the ground. 
To spare Lady Forster a little of her time ! As if Lady 
Forster would even care to know her 1 How could she — 
Susan — make herself at home with people like that — 
people who had lived in fashionable circles all their days. 
Frivolous people like Lady Forster, and lovely people like 
Lady Muriel Kennedy — had he called Lady Muriel lovely f 

dy Muriel lovely I 

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"That is begging the question," says he, laughing. 
" Who wouldn't care to have you ? How silent you are, 
Susan. Not a word out of you ; I'll begin to think you 
are in love presently. People in love are always silent — 
dwelling on the beloved absent, no doubt." 

41 1 am not in love," says Susan, with singular distinct- 

" Not even with * James ? ' I forget his other name. He 
would be a beloved absent — wouldn't he t " 

" Absent or present he would not be beloved by me," 
says Susan, calmly. She pauses. Her head is slightly 
turned from Crosby, so that only the perfect profile can be 
seen. The fingers of her right hand are lying tenderly on 
Bonnie's sleeping head. The fingers of the left are pluck* 
ing idly at the grass by her side. All at once she turns 
her glance straight on Crosby. 

" Were you ever in love f " asks she. 

" Susan," says Crosby seriously, " I don't think you 
ought to spring things upon one like that. My heart may 
be weak for all you know. And really I begin to think of 
late that it is." He pauses ; Susan remaining sternly un- 
sympathetic, however, over this leading speech, he goes on. 
" What was your question ? " asks he. 

This sounds like basest subterfuge, and Susan casts a 
glance of scorn at him. 

" I asked you if you had ever been in love. Please don't 
answer if you don't want to. After all, I am sure I should 
not have asked you." 

" You can ask me anything you like," says Crosby with 
resignation. " Yours is to command, mine to obey. Yes " 
— comfortably if surreptitiously disposing himself on the 
tail of Susan's gown — " I acknowledge it. I have had my 
little disappointment. It was a frightful affair I I don't 
believe anyone was ever so much in love as I was — then I 
I was just twenty-one, and she was just — something or 
other. It's bad to remember a lady's age. 

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Anyway I 



know I loved her — I loved her," says Crosby, rising now to 
tragedy, " like anything ! I can't even at this hour speak 
of it without tears 1 " 

" Oh, nonsense, you're laughing," says Susan, with fine 

44 1 am not indeed. It is hysterics. If only you had gone 
through half what I have, I might expect a little sympathy 
from you. However, to continue : she was lovely, Susan ; 
and she was tall. Taller than you. She had coal black 
eyes, and a nose that I have always considered Roman. I 
adored her. I used to walk about o' nights looking at the 
moon (when there was one) and telling myself it was the 
image of her." 

44 The image of her. I must say I think you were hardly 
complimentary," says Susan, who seems to be on the look- 
out for slips. " There is nothing in the moon but a man, 
and a hideous one too. Just like the clown at the circus." 

44 True," reflectively. " Then it couldn't have been the 
moon I compared her to. Perhaps," thoughtfully, " it was 
a star. Ah I " joyfully, " that's it. My own particular 
star. See?" 

44 No," says Susan contemptuously, and then, " I don't 
believe you ever compared her to anything." 

44 1 did. I did, indeed. Even quite lately," says Crosby. 
But this ambiguous speech receiving no recognition, he goes 
on : " If, as your contemptuous silence evidently means, 
Susan, you think me incapable of love, you are greatly in 
the wrong. I assure you I did compare her to that star. 
There was one special one ; but, somehow, I can't find it 
lately. It must have been removed I think — and besides 
the star I remember quite well being under an hallucina- 
tion that led me to believe that the wettest day under 
heaven was full of sunshine when she was present, and that 
when she wasn't present, no matter how brilliant the sky 
might be, that the sun never shone. Come, now, Susan ! 
Be just I That was real love, wasn't it 1 " 

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44 I really don't know," says Susan. There is a slight 
pause. Then " go on." 

44 Go on ? " 

"Did she die?" 

"Die? Not much," says Crosby, cheerfully. "Though of 
course," relapsing into very suspicious gloom, " she was dead 
to me. She," with deep melancholy, " thought I couldn't 
furnish a house up to her form, so she threw me over." 

" What an odious girl," says Susan. For the first time 
a spark of sorrow for him lights her eyes. She flushes 
softly with most genuine indignation. Crosby looks at her. 

44 She was a very pretty girl," says he. 

44 For all that," quickly, ** you must hate her." 

44 On the contrary, I think I love her." 


Susan's face grows disdainful. 

44 Even more than ever I did." 

44 You are very constant." 

44 That's the first compliment you ever paid me. But to 
end my tale— I saw her in town last March." 

44 Tes ? " Susan has lifted her flower-like face, and is 
gazing at him. 

44 You met her ? And she — she . • ." 

44 Was a widow " 

44 A widow — and so you and she ... It is quite a 
romance I " says Susan, in her soft voice ; speaking hur- 
riedly, almost stammering indeed in what is perhaps her 
joyful excitement over this beautiful ending to a sad love 
story. " And she was as beautiful as ever." 

44 Well hardly," said Crosby, slowly, as if recalling a late 
picture to mind. " She is now, I am sorry to say, all 
angles. She was once plump. Her nose struck me as any- 
thing but Roman now, and her eyes were blacker than ever 
— I wonder who blacks them 1 " 

44 Yet when you saw her — you must have thought of the 
past. You must hav e ■" 

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" You are quite right, I thought strongly of the past. I 
thought of nothing else. I said to myself, ' At this mo- 
ment this woman might have been your wife, but for — ' — I 
forget the rest — I — believe I fainted. When I recovered I 
knew I loved her, as I had never loved her before. She 
had refused me I " 

" I suppose that's what people call cynicism," says Su- 
san, regarding him with open distrust. 

44 I don't know what any other fellow would call it," says 
Crosby, mildly. " I only know that I call it a blessed re- 
lief. I felt quite kindly towards her, and went forthwith 
and bought her tickets for something or other, and sent 
them to her with a line saying I was going to Africa for 
ten years. But there's no more animosity. I look upon 
her now as a woman who has done me a really good turn." 

" I don't think," says Susan, with sweet seriousness, 
" that you ought to speak of her like that. I dare say she 
was really very fond of you, but if you were both very poor 
how could you be married ? " 

44 Is that the view you take of it f " says Crosby. 4< What 
a mercenary one. And from a child like you. Susan I I'm 
ashamed of you I" 

44 Oh, no, you know what I m^an," says Susan, blushing 
divinely whilst making her defence. " There might be un- 
kind people behind her, you know, forbidding her to marry 

Crosby stops, and his thoughts run swift to the mysteri- 
ous u James." Were there unkind people behind her, when 
that gallant youth declared his passion t 

44 Might there t And if there were, should she listen do 
you think t " 

44 Ah ! some would ! " says Susan, speaking out of the 
great wealth of worldly lore that can be gathered from 
eighteen years of life. " But others," thoughtfully, 
44 wouldn't." 

44 To which section do you belong 1 " 

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" Oh, me ; I don't know," says Susan, growing suddenly 
very shy. " I shouldn't do anything — I — I should wait." 

" Would you ? " says Crosby. There is something in the 
girl's soft young face, now lowered and turned from him, so 
full of gentle strength that he wonders at it. Yes, she 
would wait for her lad : " Though father, an' mither, an' a' 
should go mad." Is she waiting for James ? 

" I'm afraid after all I must destroy your illusion," says 
he, presently. " I don't think she could have been in love 
with me. Not overpoweringly, I mean. She had a little 
money of her own, and I had a little of mine, so that we 
should not have been altogether paupers. But she was 
dreadfully addicted to diamonds and man milliners, and 
bibelots of all kinds. I have other reasons, too, Susan, for 
thinking she did not really love me. She never gave me a 
keepsake 1 Now you — you have had a keepsake." 

" Mr. Crosby ! " Susan's face is crimson. " I wish " 

" I know. I beg your pardon. Of course I should not 
have mentioned it. But you and I are old friends now, Su- 
san, and somehow it is permissible for me to confide to you 
the hollow fact that no one ever gave me a silver brooch, 
with " 

Susan lifts Bonnie's head gently, and shows a dignified, 
but most determined, desire to rise. 

" Don't," says Crosby, quickly. " You'll wake him." 
He points to Bonnie's lovely little head, and Susan pauses 
in her flight. " Besides I shan't say another word — not 
one I I swear it. What I really wanted was your compas- 
sion. I have never had a keepsake given me in all my life, 
save one." 

" Surely one is enough," says Susan, slowly. Curiosity 
after a moment overcomes her dignity, and she says unwill- 
ingly, " Is it a nice one f " 

" I desire no nicer," says he. He pulls his watch from 
his pocket, and on the chain close to it — on a tiny silver 
ring of its own — hangs a silver sixpence. 

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" That I Only a sixpence ! " Susan's voice is rather un- 
certain. What a sixpence is that ? She — she didn't — " Of 
coarse," says she, " I know a broken sixpence is a very 
usual thing between lovers. But this — It is not broken, 
and — and not old either. I must say when she gave you a 
keepsake she—" 

" She hardly gave it," says Crosby. " She only laid it 
on the last rung of a ladder that led up to some " 

That sentence is never finished ! Bonnie's head is now 
lying on Susan's rug. But Susan herself is already far 
over there, her head very high indeed and her rage and her 
indignation even higher. 

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41 My love is like the sky : 
As distant and as high. 
Perchance she's fair and kind and bright, 
Perchance she's stormy, tearful quite— 
Alas ! I scarce know why." 

Is this Susan t 

Crosby, standing at the little gate leading into the rec- 
tory garden, feels a spasm of doubt. He has come down 
this morning to make it up with her, as the children say, 
after that slight quarrel of y ester eve, a quarrel that was all 
on her side. Her remorseless refusal to bid him good-bye 
had left him a little desolate. 

Is that really the sedate Susan — that slender nymph fly- 
ing over there in the distance, racing rather — with Tommy, 
as a willing prey, running before her. 

Crosby has through time grown accustomed to think of 
Susan as a demure maiden, slightly puritan in type, 
though no doubt with a latent wilfulness lying beneath the 
calm exterior. But now that the latent wilfulness has 
broken loose he finds himself unprepared for it. Susan 
running there in the sunshine, with her hair apparently just 
out of the tub, and hardly yet dry, floating behind her, is 
another creature altogether. And such hair, too. Such 
; glorious waves on waves glinting golden in the sun's bright 
rays, with Susan's face peeping out of it now and then. 
How wild, how mad, how soft the bright hair looks, and 
how sweet are the ringing cries that come from Susan's 
parted lips. 

" The bear has you, Tommy 1 He's coming. He " — 
making a dab at the excited Tommy — " will have you soon. 
In another moment he'll be on you. Tearing you " 

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Quite a sprint here on the part of Tommy, and increased 
speed accordingly on Susan's part. "And his claws are 
sharp. Sharp 1 " 

Tommy in his flight turns terrified eyes on Susan over 
his shoulder. 

" Oh, Susan don't, don't I " shrieks he, filled with joy and 
terror. The terror constitutes three-fourths of the joy. 
And now he flies again for his life, the deadly hear, the 
ruthless pursuer, dashing after him, with relentless energy. 

Crosby watching, tells himself with a somewhat grim 
smile that it is Tommy alone who would flee from such a 
delightful enemy. Perhaps his thoughts are touched with 
a tinge of disappointment at finding Susan in this mad 
mood. Yesterday she had seemed to him angered and dis- 
turbed when she left him so abruptly, and he had gone 
home with a growing sense of contrition strong upon him. 
It had been strong enough to bring him down this morning 
with half a dozen apologies — to find that she has forgotten 
all about this offence and — him ! 

Here lies the real thing. The Susan he had imagined as 
being a little out of joint with her world— just a very little 
daintily offended with him — is not the Susan who is here 
now, and who is running round the garden in merry pursuit 
of her little brother, with her eyes gleaming like diamonds, 
and evidently as gay as a lark I 

She is close on Tommy now. She has put out a hand to 
grasp him, but Tommy is full of enterprise, doubles like a 
hare, and is now rushing frantically towards the gate on 
which Crosby is leaning. 

This brings Susan, who is still in hot pursuit of him with 
her face towards Crosby. Now more distinctly he can see 
her. What a lovely — perfect — child — she is. With her 
loose hair floating behind her, like that of the Immortal 
" Damosel," and the little soft gasping laughs coming from 
her open lips. " Joie de vivre " is written in every line of 
her fece — and every curve of her lissome body. ^ 

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All at once, even as he watches her, this joy dies out of 
her face. " She has seen me," says Crosby to himself and 
forthwith he opens the gate and advances towards her. 
Tommy in his race has reached him, and now breathless 
flings himself into his arms turning to look with affected 
fright at the coming of Susan. 

It is a very slow coming, and has evidently something to 
do with her hair — as can be seen through the branches of a 
big escaliona, on Crosby's left. He determined to give her 
time to struggle with that beautiful hair. " Tommy, you 
ought to fall on the gravel and embrace your preserver's 
knees," says he, " I have evidently saved you from an un- 
timely death, if all I heard was true. I think, however, 
that you might have warned me that bears were about." 

He is quite conscious whilst speaking, that Susan is still 
making frantic, but ineffectual efforts to do up her hair, so 
he goes on, " Where's your particular bear ? " asks he. 

44 Here I " says Susan, as she steps in the most unexpected 
fashion from behind the tree; he can see that she is greatly 
disconcerted, and that she would never have come from be- 
hind it, if remaining there was any longer possible. But 
she had seen and heard him, as he had seen and heard her ! 

She advances now, her expression cold and unkindly, and 
her hands still struggling with her hair, in her desire to 
reduce it to some sort of reason. 

44 Why trouble yourself about it," says Crosby, " It is 
the prettiest thing I ever saw, as it is." 

44 It is not pretty to me," says Susan, crushingly. Her 
arms are still above her head, and as she speaks to him she 
weaves into a superb coil the loose strands of her soft hair. 
In spite of this, however, the little locks around her brows, 
loosened and softened by the late washing, are straying 
wildly, flying here and there of their own sweet will, and 
making an aureole round Susan's head, out of which her 
eyes gleam at Crosby with anything but friendship in them. 

44 How d'ye do f " says he, blandly. 

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"How d'ye do?" says Susan in return. She lets her 
hand rest in his for the barest moment, then withdraws it. 

Crosby regards her reproachfully. " You are angry with 
me still," says he. " And after a whole night of reflec- 

" I am not angry at all," says Susan. " Why should you 
think so?" 

" Yes, you are," says Crosby. " I can see it in your 
eyes. Your very hair is bristly. And all because — " He 
stopped as if afraid to go on. 

" Because what ? " asks Susan, with a touch of severity. 

" Because I once got sixpence out of you ! " He is not 
able to resist it. 

" Tommy," says Susan. " Your collar is dirty, and you 
must come back to the house with me to get another." As 
she speaks she catches Tommy, who has not yet got to the 
years of civilization, and who hates clean collars, and pre- 
pares to march him off. 

" Tommy," says Mr. Crosby ; " wait a minute ; your 
sister won't — but perhaps you will. There is a photog- 
rapher in town to-day — he has come down from Dublin. 
And your aunt says she would like to have some of you 
photographed." Here there is a distinct slowing in Susan's 
march past, though she disdains to turn her head, or show 
further mark of interest. " Don't you want to be photo- 
graphed, Tommy f I do badly." 

" What is it f " asks Tommy, whose views of amusement 
as a rule mean lollipops and those only, and who has no 
knowledge of cameras or kodaks. 

" It's painful as a rule," says Crosby. " But children 
seldon) suffer. It's only people of my age, who come out 
with their noses twisted. Did you ever have your nose 
twisted, Tommy f It hurts awfully, I can tell you. But," 
with a glance at Susan, " other things hurt worse. You 
ought to speak to Susan, Tommy. To tell her that pro- 
longed cruelty sometimes ends in the death of the victim." 

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At this Susan feces round. " What I think is," says 
she, " that you ought to give me back that horrid six- 

" It isn't horrid." 

^ You should give it back at all events." 

" Oh, Susan — anything but that. My life even." 

" What," with mounting indignation, " can you want it 
for ? Except to annoy me." 

" Is thy servant a slave ? I want it as a memento of the 
only occasion on record on which I was called a * kind — 
kind man, 1 and a ' good ' and an * honest ' one besides. 
You did call me all that, Susan. And yet now " 

Heaven alone knows what would have been the end of all 
this, but for the providential appearance of Miss Barry and 
Betty upon the scene. 

"My dear Susan, have you heard? But, of course, Mr. 
Crosby has told you. Good gracious, what is the matter 
with your head child ? " 

And, indeed, Susan's hair had again found freedom, and 
is flowing down her back in happy shining waves. 

" I have just washed it," says Susan, shamefacedly. 

" An admirable deed," says Miss Barry, who is in too 
great a state of delight to lecture with her usual fluency, 
and who indeed feels inclined to be lenient. "But you 
should not come into publicity, my dear child, until it is dry 
and carefully dressed again. However," beaming upon 
Crosby, who begins to quite like her, " youth will be youth, 
you know ! And what do you think, Susan ; there is a 
man down from the best photographer in Dublin. From 
Chancellor, I believe. And I am thinking of having our 
pictures taken, if only to send some copies to your uncle in 
Australia — my only brother, you know, my dear. He will 
be so pleased to get them, and, really, it is a grand oppor- 
tunity. Of course you, Mr. Crosby, have had yours taken 
in every quarter of the globe, but we country mice seldom 
get the chance of seeing ourselves as others see us." 

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14 1 haven't been photographed for quite ten years," says 
Crosby, " and I feel now as if it were my duty to sit again. 
Miss Barry, if you are going to be photographed to-day 
will you take me under your wing ?" 

" I shall be pleased indeed," says Miss Barry, with much 

44 Won't it be fun," cries Betty, clapping her hands. 

44 And the hour ? " asks Crosby. 

44 About two. What do you think, Susan ? Two would 
be a good hour, eh ? " 

44 Yes, a good hour," says Susan, without interest. 
Then, suddenly, " Is — are you going to have Bonnie 

44 My dear Susan ! " Miss Barry flushes the dull pink of 
the old when shamed. " Why should we send all our 
pictures to your uncle at once ? It — it would probably 
confuse him. Another time we may think of that," says 
Miss Barry, who has counted up all her available shillings 
this morning to see if it would be possible to send all the 
children, but had found they fell decidedly short. She 
would have died, however, rather than confess this to a 
stranger. 44 Just mine and yours, and — but I am afraid 
your father will never consent to be taken — and Betty's and 
Carew's — just the eldest ones. You can see, Mr. Crosby, 
that just the eldest ones will be those most acceptable to 
their uncle." 

44 Yes, I see," says Crosby. He had seen it all, indeed. 
As if in a dream Miss Barry's purse has been laid open to 
him and the contents made bare. The two shillings for 
herself, and the two for Susan, and for Betty and for 
Carew, eight shillings in all, and, after that, nothing ! He 
has seen too the pride of the poor lady, who would not ac- 
knowledge the want of means wherewith to provide photos 
of the younger children for their uncle abroad, but put her 
objection to their being taken on the grounds of their youth. 
He bad seen, too, Susan's face as she heard that Bonnie was 

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not to be taken. Oh, the quick, pained, disappointment of 

" At two then," says he, " we shall meet at the photog- 

" Yes. Two sharp," says Miss Barry, who seems quite 
excited. " Susan, I think I shall wear my new lace cap." 

" I think you ought to wear your hair just as it is now," 
says Crosby to Susan in a low tone, as he bids her good- 
bye. It is impossible for her to reftise him her hand with 
her aunt looking on, and though Crosby is aware of this it 
is, to his shame I confess, that he takes it and holds it in a 
warm clasp before he lets it go. 

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* But I know best where wringeth me my shoe." 

" Betty, was I looking frightful ? " asks Susan, drawing 
her sister away as soon as Crosby is out of sight. " Tell 
me quite the truth. Don't gloss things over just to please 

"I won't," say 8 Betty, giggling. "I'll be as honest as 
the sun. Tou looked," pausing wickedly, " something be- 
tween Meg Merrilees and a wild Indian, with a bias towards 
the latter. But that needn't put you out. He's accus- 
tomed to wild Indians. And when one has lived with 
people fifty years or so, one gets to admire them. I 
shouldn't wonder if he admired you. Tou must have taken 
him back to the good old days. Why didn't you sing, 
4 Way down upon the Swannee Riber ' for him ? That 
would have finished the conquest." 

" You don't seem to know what wild Indians are," Susan 
remonstrates, calmly. " They live in North America, and 
couldn't sing a nigger song to save their lives. Tou don't 
seem to know either that it was in Africa that Mr. Crosby 
spent* most of his time, and that the blacks there aren't nig- 
gers at all." 

" Oh, it's all the same," says Betty, airily. " A black's a 
black for a' that. And if they don't sing one thing they 
sing another. And anyway, I could see by the gleam in 
Mr. Crosby's eye as he looked at you, and your flowing 
locks, that he loves wildness in every form." 

Susan is silent for a time then. 

" Betty," in a low tone, " how old do you think he is ? " 

" I don't think he has beaten Metbusaleh yet, if you mean 

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44 No, but really I mean how old, eh ? " 

44 Well," carefully, " allowing him the fifty years he spent 
with his blacks, and the fact that he told us that he started 
at twenty-three on an adventurous career, he must be now 
well into the seventies." 

Susan's laugh — so evidently expected here — sounds to 
herself a little forced, though why she could not have ex- 

44 Oh ! not so old as that." 

" Well, perhaps not, by a year or so," says Betty, as if 
determined on being absolutely fair and accurate to a frac- 

" Do you know," says Susan, a little reluctantly, but as 
though she must say it, " 1 — of course I know he is ever so 
much older than any of us, but for all that, somehow, he 
doesn't seem to me to be — well — old you know ? " 

Betty nods, and Susan encouraged by this treacherous 
sign, rashly takes a further step. 

44 It has even sometimes seemed to me," says she, nerv- 
ously, " that he is quite young." 

44 That reminds me of something I read this morning," 
says Betty, who is beginning to enjoy herself. 4< It ran like 
this. 4 On the whole I consider him one of the youngest 
men of my acquaintance.' " 

44 Where did you read that ? " asks Susan, with open sus- 

44 In a book," smartly. 

44 Well, I suppose so. And what book, and who said it ? " 

44 A frisky duchess." 

44 She was young, of course ? " 

44 Not very I " Betty grins. 44 Eighty-two or there- 

44 Oh, well, then, no doubt she was alluding to a mere boy 
of her acquaintance." 

" Not at all ! To another frisky person of the opposite 
sex. A young thing of one hundred and five, or so." 

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" What do you mean, Betty ? You don't suppose that 
Mr. Crosby is a hundred and five or so ? " 

" I don't indeed. I put him in the seventies, if you re- 
member. That would make him quite a babe to the duchess 
I speak of. She said her centenarian had the brightest, 
the most engaging manners, and of course that reminded 
me of Mr. Cros . Where are you going now, Susan ? " 

" I want to put fresh cuffs on Bonnie's shirts, 1 ' says Su- 
san. Her tone is a little reserved, and there is a deepening 
of dignity in the delicate lightness of her steps as she turns 
away that tells Betty she is in some way offended. 

Betty stricken, but with a conscience clear, runs after her 
and tucks her arm into hers. 

" Have I vexed you ? " asks she. 

" Vexed me 1 " Susan's tone is rather exaggerated. 
" No. How could you have vexed me ? " 

" That's true," says Betty, comfortably, who never gets 
deeper than the actual moment. "Then I'll come with 

" But why should I bring you in 1 " asks Susan, who has 
a new queer fancy to be alone. 

11 To do your hair for one thing," says the tease of the 
family, with delightful " bonhomie." " Really, Susan, you 
can't appear in public like this twice. And you know we 
are going to be photographed in — what is the hour now ? 
Good gracious, it's growing very late. We must run. Bon- 
nie's shirts can't be done to-day. But I'll help you with 
them to-morrow. Oh I there's, auntie— " 

" Susan, you must make haste," cries Miss Barry, hurry- 
ing round the corner. " There is no time to be lost. And, 
my dear, your hair ! How fortunate you washed it to-day I 
— when neatly done up it will look beautiful! Betty, I 
have been thinking of having you taken with your hat on. 
Your best hat " 

" Oh, auntie," says poor Betty. 

" No — well — perhaps not. What do you think, Susan J " 

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" I think she would look nicer without it," says Susan, in 
answer to an agonized glance from Betty. " And you, 
auntie? 1 think we ought to put a fresh bow in your cap. 
That side one is always falling down. You have a little bit 
of ribbon, haven't you ? " 

" Yes, I think so — in the top drawer," says Miss Barry. 
" Susan," suddenly, " how could you ask such an uncom- 
fortable question before Mr. Crosby I " 

" What question ? " asks Susan, turning very red. 

" Why — as to whether I was going to have Bonnie pho- 
tographed. I was quite taken aback," says Miss Barry, 
shaking her curls, " And, indeed, it was only the natural 
4 savoir faire ' that belongs to me " — to give Miss Barry's 
Parisian accent would pass the wit of man — " that enabled 
me to conquer the situation. You might be quite sure Su- 
san that if I had the money, Bonnie, and Tommy too, 
should have been sent to their dear uncle." 

" I see, Auntie. I am sorry," says Susan, with honest 
deep regret. 

" I suppose," say 8 Miss Barry, with the air of one ad- 
dressing a forlorn hope, " that you and Betty have noth- 

It is plain that the poor lady had set her heart originally 
on having a u full set " to send to the uncle abroad, but 
that reasons, financial, had crushed her hopes. 

" I have only sixpence," says Susan, sadly. " You, 

" I spent the twopence I had, yesterday," says Betty, 
" on hairpins." 

" Hairpins I " cries Miss Barry, indignantly, " And your 
hair not up yet I " 

" They were for Susan," explains Betty, angrily, who had 
indeed bought them for Susan, but who, nevertheless, had 
spent an enjoyable hour with them, doing up her own hair, 
and seeing how she would look next year, when " grown 

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" Well, that's the end of it," says Miss Barry, with the 
courage of despair. " I certainly won't ask your father for 
a penny, as I know he hasn't one to spare this month ; and, 
indeed," sighing, " I only hope that those reports about 
that bank in Scotland are untrue. It is in that he has in- 
vested the five hundred pounds he has laid aside for Carew 
— for his crammer, you know, and his outfit, and all the 
rest of it. I daresay the scare will come to nothing, but at 
all events he is a little pressed just now, so that for a mere 
luxury like this, I think we had better not ask him for any- 

" Of course not," says Susan. " But Auntie," slowly, 
and a little nervously, " would you mind very much if— if 
Bonnie had his picture taken, instead of me. I have al- 
ways so longed for one of his. He is so delicate, and " 

She stops suddenly, a terrible feeling in her throat forbid- 
ding another word. 

" My dear Susan I And you the eldest I Why, it would 
be quite an insult to your dear uncle. No, no," says Miss 
Barry, " we must depend upon another time to get Bonnie 
and Tom taken." 

Susan turns away. Will there ever be " another time " 
for Bonnie ? So frail in the warm summer-time — how will 
it be with him when the snows and the frosts set in ? 

" At all events I think I will take him down with me to 
see the rest of us taken," she says presently, in a depressed 
voice. " It will amuse and interest him. You know how 
clever he is." 

" Yes, by all means, and I'll take Tommy," says Betty. 
" Though goodness knows if after that we shall any of us 
come out alive." 

Susan has started very early (it is only ten minutes after 
one), so as to give Bonnie plenty of time to get down to the 
village without fatigue. Miss Ricketty will give him a seat 
in her place— a penny out of the last sixpence will buy him 

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a cake or some sweets, and then with a little rest he can 
easily go on to the room rented to the photographer by Mr. 
Salter, the hardware Methodist 

She has now reached Miss Ricketty's, and has been wel- 
comed by that excellent if slightly eccentric spinster with 
open arms. Bonnie is literally in her arms — and now is 
esconced in the cosiest corner of this cosy little shop, be- 
hind the tiny gateway. Indeed, Miss Ricketty is prepar- 
ing in a surreptitious manner to bring down a jar of un- 
speakably beautiful bull's-eyes for Bonnie's delectation, 
when Susan intervenes. 

" No. No, indeed, dear Miss Ricketty. He has a penny 
of his own to-day. And he loves buying. Don't you, Bon- 
nie. Another day — perhaps. And I think a cake would 
be better for him, don't you? You would rather have a 
Queen cake, Bonnie, darling, wouldn't you ? " appealingly. 

" Yes," says Bonnie, out of the sweetness of his nature, 
seeing she desires it, though his soft eyes are dwelling on 
the lollipops. But that he can't have both is a foregone 
conclusion, as Susan tells herself with a sigh. The remain- 
ing flvepence will have to do many things until next week, 
when father will give her. her tiny weekly allowance again. 
Besides, a cake is ever so much better for him than bull's- 
eyes. Thus Susan consoles herself. 

"Are you goin' to be took, Miss Susan?" asks Miss 
Ricketty, settling herself, as she calls it, for a good chat. 

Susan laughs. 

" Not by the sergeant, anyway," says she. 

" Ah ! ye will have yer joke now. An' sure I'm a silly 
old fool. But ye're goin' to have yer picture done, aren't 
ye. Fegs, 'twould be a shame if ye didn't. 'Tis a mighty 
purty picture would be lost to the world if you held back. 
Why all the world is crowdin' to that man's door. I saw 
Lady Millbank go in just now v An' at her time o' life ! 
Law, the vanity o' some folk 1 D'ye know what me brother 
said to me to-day ? " 

• ■ * 


" What ? " asks Susan, who is growing interested. 

" Whether I wouldn't like to see me own face on a card. 
An' I tould him as I had seen it for sixty years in alookin' 
glass, an' that was good enough for me." 

" But, Miss Ricketty," says Susan, seeing with her deli- 
cate sense of sympathy beneath the veil that conceals Miss 
Ricketty's real desire to be " seen on a card," a why not be 
taken ? It would not give you pleasure perhaps, but see 
what pleasure it would give to others. And as for me, I 
should love a photograph of you." 

" Oh now, Miss Susan I Sure ye know, ye wouldn't care 
for a picture of the likes of me." 

" I should like it more than I can say," says Susan. 
" Miss Ricketty," with pretty entreaty, " you really must 
make up your mind to it." 

"Well, 111 be thinkin', I'll be thinkin'," says Miss 
Ricketty, who is all agog with excitement and flattery. 

44 1 suppose Miss Susan, dear, that shawl they sent me, 
from America would be too bright ? " 

44 The very thing," says Susan. "It would be lovely. 
And your people in America will certainly recognize it, and 
it will give them great pleasure to know that you treasured 
it so highly." 

41 There's a lot in that," says Miss Ricketty, musing — 
she muses considerably. " Well perhaps," here she pauses 
again. " It may be," says she at last. She might, per- 
haps, have condescended to explain this last oracular speech 
but that her bright eye catches sight of three young ladies 
going past her window. 

44 There they go 1 There they gol Look at them, Miss 
Susan, my dear ! Did ye ever see such quare crathures ? 
May the Vargin give them sense ! Look at their hats ; an' 
the strut o' them ! They've a power o' money, I'm tould. 
4 Articles of Virtue ' Mr. Connor called them the last day 
he was in here ; but faith, where the virtue comes in — they 
do say — But that's not talk for the likes c^ypu^or me dear. 


But tell me, now, Miss Susan, what of Mr. Crosby. I've 
heard that he — oh, murdher I talk of the divil — " 

Miss Ricketty retires behind a huge jar of sweets as 
Crosby comes into the shop. 

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"Bead in Seneo, and read eke in Boeoe, 
There shall ye see express, that it no drede is. 
That he is gentle that doth gentle deedes." 

Cbosbt looks a little surprised at finding Susan here. 

tt How d'ye do," again says he. 

Susan without enthusiasm gives him her band. She is 
busy wondering what could have brought him in here of all 
places. Fond of chocolates, perhaps. 

44 Why, there you are, Bonnie," says Mr. Crosby gaily. 
" No wonder I didn't see you in that nice big chair. How 
d'ye do, 'Miss Ricketty. I hope you have been behaving 
yourself properly since last I saw you." 

" Oh ! Mr. Crosby." The old maid shakes her head at 
him with delight. 

" No fresh flirtations, I trust." 

" Oh ! hear to him ! " — Miss Ricketty is laughing like a 

14 And how is the giant ? " 

44 Me brother is very well, thank you, sir. An' he wants 
to see ye badly about that cricket match in the Park. 
They say that Tim Murphy is goin' to be very throuble- 
some over it." 

44 Not a bit of it. Tell your brother that I've squared 
the militant Tim, and that he will turn up all right. 
What charming sweets, Bonnie 1 I love sweets. Don't 
you ? " 

He has made a sign to Miss Ricketty, who is now making 
up a splendid parcel. 

44 Bonnie has had a cake," says Susan. She would have 

said a great deal more if Tommy had been in question. In- 
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deed, then she would have refused distinctly, but Bonnie's 
little lovely smiling face, and the joy she knows it will give 
the gentle child to share Mr. Crosby's gift with his little 
brother, stops her. She says nothing more, though it is 
actual pain to her to have to accept these sweets for her 
brother from Crosby. It is a debt she owes to Bonnie to 
suffer thus. But then, what does she not owe Bonnie ? 

" 4 L'appetit vient. en mangeant,' " says Crosby, " Miss 
Ricketty, don't be in such a hurry to tie up that parcel. 
Bonnie and I want something out of it first." He puts a 
delightful box of chocolate creams on Bonnie's knee as he 
speaks, then turns to Susan. 

" I suppose I daren't offer you anything," says he, in a 
low tone. Miss Ricketty becomes at once absorbed in a 
bottle of bull's-eyes." 

" No," says Susan, gently, " thank you." 

" Not even an apology ? " 

Susan glances quickly at him, and then hesitates. Per- 
haps she would have said something, but at this moment 
Miss Barry, with Betty and Dom and Carew enter the shop. 

" We saw you through the window," cries Betty, and 
suddenly Susan's thoughts run riot. Had he seen her 
through the window ? " And so we came in. We must 
hurry, Susan, all the world is going to have its picture 
taken. Even Lady Millbank ; though goodness alone knows 
why. And such a guy as she looks in that velvet mantle, 
that heavy thing " 

" A regular over-mantle," says Dom. 

" Bless me," says Miss Barry, suddenly, breaking off her 
conversation with Miss Ricketty over the proper treatment 
of young fowl when they come to be three months old. 
" Susan, you and Betty are wearing the same frocks." 

" Yes, it was I who arranged that," says Betty, calmly. 
" In some way, Susan and I have never worn these frocks 
together before, and 1 have heard that those old Murphy 

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"Not the Murphys, Betty. The Stauntons," says 

44 It doesn't matter, they are all old. maids alike," says 
Betty, lightly. ** Anyway, I have heard that some of the 
weird women of Curraghcloyne have said that we were short 
of clothes, because Susan and I had only one dress between 
us. This," smoothing down her pretty serge frock, " is the 
one in question. So I'm going to be photographed with 
Susan in it, if only to upset their theories, and give them 
some bad half hours with their cronies — cronies never spare 

a You and Susan are going to be photographed together," 
says Miss Barry, who is getting a stormy look in her eyes, 
" You will not then be taken separately ? " 

" Oh, yes," says Betty, airily. " Separately too. I hate 
double pictures as a rule, but when duty calls — " 

Miss Barry is now making wild, pantomimic signs to 
Susan. " Stop her I " her lips are saying. " Stop her at all 
risks, or we shall be eternally disgraced." 

And indeed, the poor lady had not another penny to 
spend beyond what she had already arranged for. If this 
double picture that the rash and reckless Betty speaks of 
becomes an accomplished fact, who is to pay tot it ? Not 
Miss Barry certainly, because she has nothing 7/ith which 
to pay. And naturally the photographer will demand his 
just fees, and then all will come out, and — 

She is on the point of appealing to Miss IUcketty when 
Pom nudges her. 

44 It's all right," whispers he. " I have enough for that. 
I've settled it with Betty." 

Miss Barry gives him a grateful look, greatly inter- 
spersed with rebuke. Such a throwing away of good 
money. As if that conceited child could not be satisfied 
with one representation of her face. She must really speak 
to Dom about his folly, later — a little later on. 

It doesn't seem folly at all to Dominick, who 

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generous youth, if extravagant — and who would give a 
great deal more to this photographic business if it was in 
his power. But a great deal has been spent of late on 
cartridges for the murdering of Mr. Crosby's rabbits, so 
much indeed that cigarettes have grown scarce, and pipes a 
luxury, spite of even the small sums that Carew has thrown 
into the common fund. Carew has generally a shilling or 
two in his pockets, the Rector deeming it advisable to give 
to his eldest son, out of his terribly inadequate income, a 
certain amount of pocket money, to prepare him for the 
time when he will be thrown on his own resources ; to teach 
him to economize now, so that when he is gazetted and has 
to rely on his own slender allowance, he will be able to un- 
derstand how to make money go as far as it can. 

All through the boy's educational course, he had felt it a 
sort of madness to put him into the army at all. A boy 
who must necessarily live entirely on his pay — a forlorn 
arrangement in these fast days, and one out of which only 
ten per cent, rise successfully. But the last wish of his 
dying wife had been that Carew should enter the army. 
She had come of a good fighting stock herself, poor soul, to 
which she remained faithful, having fought her own fight 
with poverty most bravely until she died ; and the Rector, 
who had cared less and less for earthly things since she 
had gone to Heaven, had not the heart or the strength to 
refuse that dying wish. 

" You're sure you have it J " whispers back Miss Barry 
to Dom. 


" Then I " sharply, " it would have been much more to 
your credit if you had kept it I " 

" To my credit, yes ! " says Dom. 

" A more disgraceful display of extravagance Miss 

Barry, either from the forced whispering, or indignation, 
here grows hoarse, and coughs a little, whereupon Miss 
Ricketty, who is now intensely interested, and is listening 


with all her might, holds out to her a jar of jujubes. But 
Miss Barry waves them off. 

" I suppose it is the last penny ? " asks she, still address- 
ing Dom in a whisper, but with a magisterial air. 

" Yes — nearly," says he. 

The "nearly" is a concession to the truth. He has in- 
deed three, shillings left out of his monthly allowance, but 
these are already accounted for. They are to buy three 
copies of Betty for his own special apartment. One to be 
hung up over his gun, one over his bookcase, and one over 
his study table. 

" Thatfs the one youTl never see," Betty had said to him, 
tauntingly, and most ungratefully, when he told her of the 
decision he had come to about his last three shillings. 

Miss Barry, now turning away from him with a heart 
decidedly heavy, directs her conversational powers on 

" I congratulate you on being in good time," says she. 
" When Betty and I started we had great trouble in getting 
Carew and Dominick to come with us. They were dread- 
fully late, and we said then, Betty and I, that you would 
surely be late. But you," smiling and wagging her curls, 
" have behaved splendidly. I do appreciate a young man 
who can be punctual." 

Susan glances quickly at her. "Young man ! " Is she 
in earnest, and after all that Betty had said? 

"Young man." Is he a young man? Well, she has 
often thought so— she had even told Betty so — here she 
glances at Betty, but Betty is now enjoying a word to word 
dispute with Dominick. 

Anyway she had told her. But Betty — what does she 
know? She has declared a man once over thirty, old. 
But Aunt Jemima thinks otherwise. And really when one 
comes to think of it, Aunt Jemima — at times — is very 
clever I Almost deep, indeed ! And certainly very clever 
in her conclusions. 


44 Look, there are the Blakes coming out," cries Betty 
suddenly, who is standing on tiptoe at the window, which 
commands a fine view of the entrance to the photographer's. 
" Auntie — Susan — let us go, before any other people come." 

With this they all in' a body cross the road, Carew having 
caught up Bonnie, who is all eagerness to see this wonder- 
ful thing that will put Susan's face on paper. 

Upstairs they marched in a body, to find themselves 
presently in a most evil smelling corridor, out of which the 
studio opens. Here they wait perforce, until at last the 
studio door opens and some people of the farming class, 
and very flurried and flushed, walk nervously down the 
little lane between them. 

44 Now is your time I " says Betty, who is really quite 
irrepressible to-day. She takes the lead, and they all 
swarm after her into the studio to find there an emaciated 
man in highly respectable clothes regarding them with a 
melancholy eye. Collodion seems to have saturated him. 

" Aunt Jemima, you first," says Susan. 

" Yes, certainly," says Dom. " First come first served. 
And you know in spite of Betty's well-meant endeavors, 
you entered the room first." 

" Besides which it is the part of the young to give way 
to their elders," says Miss Barry, striving to keep up her 
dignity whilst dying with terror. The photographer and 
the great big thing over there with dingy velvet cloth over 
it has subdued her almost out of recognition. 

44 Now auntie, come on. He's looking at you." " He " 
is the photographer, who has now indeed turned a lack* 
lustre eye on Miss Barry. 

44 We are rather pressed for time," says he in a lugubri- 
ous tone. " Which lady wishes to be taken first J " 

44 Answer him, auntie," says Susan. 

44 What impertinence I Hurrying us like this," says Miss 
Barry. She has recovered something of her old courage 
now, though still being frightened, and turns a freezing eye 

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upon the photographer, who is so accustomed to all sorts 
of eyes, that it fails to affect him in any way. 

" Really, auntie, you ought to have yours taken first," 
says Dominick, seriously ; " and as soon as possible. 
There's murder in that man's eye. Don't incense him far- 

The photographer is now standing in an adamantine at- 
titude, but his eye entreating cries, " Come on, come on." 

But no one stirs. 

" A most insolent creature," says Miss Barry, who has 
unfortunately taken a dislike to him. " Look at him, one 
Would think we had to have our pictures taken by law 
rather than by choice. Susan, did you ever see so villain- 
ous a countenance. No, my dear, I — I really feel — I 
couldn't have my picture sent to your uncle if taken by an 
assassin like that." She holds back. 

" Nonsense, Miss Barry," says Crosby, gaily. " You 
have too much spirit to be daunted by a mere cast of coun- 
tenance. And we — we have no spirit at all — so we depend 
upon you to give us a lead." 

u I assure you, Mr. Crosby, if it had been any other man 
but this . . However I submit." 

Whereupon with much outward dignity and many inward 
quakings she approaches the chair before the camera and 
seats herself upon it. 

" A little more this way, please ma'am," says the photog- 

" Which way f " asks Miss Barry, in a distinctly aggres- 
sive voice. 

" If you would pose yourself a little more like this," and 
the photographer throws himself into a sentimental atti- 

" Mercy ! What ails the man ? " says Miss Barry, turn- 
ing to Crosby. " Do you, my dear Mr. Crosby, do you 
think the wretched being has been imbiding too freely ? " 

" No, no, not at all," says Crosby, reassuringly. " You 

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must sit like this" — coming to the photographer's help 
with a will — " just a little bit round here, d'ye see, so as to 
make a good picture. That will give a better effect after- 
wards, and of course he is anxious to make as good a photo- 
graph of you as he can." 

At this Miss Barry condescends to move a little in the 
way directed. She clutches hold of Susan, however, dur- 
ing the placing of her, and whispers thrillingly, 

" I don't believe in him, Susan ! Look at his eye. It 
squints I Could a squinter give one a good photograph f " 

" Now, madam I " says the camera man, in a dying tone. 
He had heard nothing, but is annoyed in a dejected fashion 
by the delay. " If you are quite ready." 

" Are you f " retorts Miss Barry. 

" Yes, ma'am." He comes forward to rearrange her 
draperies, and herself, her short colloquy with Susan hav- 
ing been sufficiently lively to disturb the recent pose. He 
pulls out her gown, then steps back to further study her, 
and finally takes her head between his hands with a view to 
putting that into the right position also. 

If the poor man had only known the consequences of 
this rash act he would perhaps rather have given up his 
profession than committed it. 

" How dare you, sir ! " cries Miss Barry, pushing him 
back, and making frightful passes in the air, as a defence 
against another attack of his upon her maiden cheek. 

" Carew, where are you ? Dominick ! Susan, Susan, do 
you see how I have been outraged ? " 

" Dear auntie," says Susan, in a low tone, Carew and 
Dominick being incapacitated for service, "you mistake 
him. He only wants to arrange you for your picture ! It 
is always done. Don't you see ? " 

" I don't," says Miss Barry, stoutly. " I see only that 
you are all a silly set of children, who do not understand 
the iniquity of man ! This creature " — she points to the 
photographer, who has gone back in a melancholy way to 

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his slides, and is pulling them in and out, by way of exer- 
cise perhaps. " However, Susan, I'll go through with it. 
Insolent and depraved as this creature evidently is, coming 
from a huge metropolis like Dublin he scarcely knows how 
to behave himself with decent people. I must request you 
to tell him, however, that I refuse — absolutely reftise — to 
let him caress my face again ! " 

Thus peace is restored with honor, for the time being. 
And the unlucky man who has been selected by an unkind 
Providence to transmit Miss Barry's face to futurity once 
again approaches her. 

" Now, ma'am, if you will kindly sit just so, and if you 
will look at this — a little more pleasantly, please " — hold- 
ing up a photograph of Lord Rosebery that he has been 
carrying about to delight the Irish people. " Ah ! that's 
better — that earnest expression will " 

" Who's that J " cries Miss Barry, springing to her feet. 
44 Is that the Radical miscreant who has taken old Glad- 
stone's place J God bless me, man, do you think I'm going 
to be pleasant when I look at him ? " 

The wretched photographer, now utterly dumbfounded, 
casts a despairing glance at Crosby, who is certainly the 
oldest, and therefore probably the most sensible, of the 
party. The noise of feet in the passage outside of growing 
impatient customers is rendering the poor man miserable. 
Yet it is impossible to turn this terrible old woman out, 
when there are so many with her waiting to be taken, and 
to pay their money. 

44 1 assure you, sir, I thought that picture would please 

the lady. I'm only lately from England, and they told me 


44 A lot of lies. Ah, yes, that's of course," says Crosby, 
interrupting him sympathetically. u But what they didn't 
teach you was that there are two opinions, you know. You 
can show Lord Rosebery to the people who have not a 
shilling in the world and not a grandfather amongst thejp ; 

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but I think you had better show Miss Barry a photograph 
of Lord Salisbury, and if you haven't that one of the 
Queen. She's quite devoted to the Queen." 

" I wish I'd been told, sir," says the photographer, so 
wearily, that Crosby decides on giving him a substantial 
tip for himself when the sittings are over. 

" Now, ma'am," says the photographer, returning to the 
charge with splendid courage, seeing Miss Barry has re- 
peated herself in the chair, after prolonged persuasion from 
Carew and Susan. Betty and Dominick, it must be confessed, 
have behaved disgracefully. Retiring behind a huge screen, 
und there stifling their mirth in an extremely insufficient 
manner, gurgles and indeed gasps have come from between 
its joints to the terrified Susan. 

" And now, ma'am, will you kindly turn a little more 
this way." The poor man's voice has grown quite apolo- 
getic. " Ah, that's better 1 Thank you, ma'am. And if I 
might pull out your dress? Yes, that's all right. And 
your elbow, ma'am, please." 

" Good gracious, why can't he stop," thinks poor Susan, 
who sees wrath growing again within Miss Barry's eye. 
u It is just a little, a very little, too pointed. Ah, yes. 
There 1 And your foot, ma'am — under your dress, if you 

Here Miss Barry snorts audibly, and the photographer 
Btarts back ; but hearing is not seeing, and he rashly re- 
gains his courage and rushes to his destruction. 

" That's well, very well," says he, not being sufficiently 
acquainted with Miss Barry to note the signs of coming 
war upon her face, " and if you will now please shut your 
mouth " 

Miss Barry rises once more like a whirlwind. 

" Shut your own, sir I " cries she, shaking her fist at him. 

There is one awful moment, a moment charged with elec- 
tricity ; then it is all over. The worst has come, there can 
be nothing more. Miss Barry is again pressed into her 

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chair. The photographer having come to the comforting 
conclusion that she is a confirmed lunatic spares no more 
paind over her, refuses to adjust her robe, to put her face 
into position, or revise her expression, and simply takes her 
as she is. The result is that he turns out the very best 
photograph he has taken for many a year. 

After this things go smooth enough, until at last even 
Betty — who has proved a troublesome customer, if a very 
charming one— declares herself satisfied. 

" No more, sir ? w says the photographer to Crosby, whom 
he has elected to address as being the principal member of 
the party. To speak to Miss Barry would have been be- 
yond the poor man. 

" Oh yes, one more," says Crosby. 


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" If sorrow stole 

A charm awhile from Beauty, Beauty's self 
Might envy well the charm that sorrow lent 
To every perfect feature." 

Hi draws Bonnie forward, Bonnie who has been sitting 
bo quietly in his corner for the past thirty minutes en- 
chanted with the strange scene. He had cared nothing for 
his aunt's eccentricities ; he had thought only of the won- 
derful things that were done behind that dingy black velvet 
curtain. Oh, if he could only get behind it too, and find 
out. The sickly child's frame was weak, but his mind was 
fresh and strong and ran freely into regions far beyond his 

With the boy's hand in his Crosby turns courteously to 
Miss Barry. 

" I hope you will let me have this charming face taken, 
if only for my own gratification," says he. " I have long 
wished it. And as he is here — if you will allow me. It is 
quite an ideal type, you know — I may have him photo- 
graphed 1 " 

" Yes.— yes," says Miss Barry, with slow acquiescences, 
uttered between her pauses. And then all at once, as if she 
has come to the end of her hesitation, " Yes, certainly." 
She looks at Susan as if for approval, but Susan does not 
return her glance. She has cast down her eyes, and is dis- 
tinctly pale. 

Poor Susan I So delighted at the thought of having a 
picture of her Bonnie given her ; yet so sorry for the occa- 
sion of it. She has lowered her eyes so that no one may see 
what she is thinking about, or what she is suffering — the 

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quick beating of her heart is also a secret known only to 

The throbs run like this : Oh, how good of him! Oh, 
no matter what he is — or whom he loves — he will surely 
give her one of Bonnie's pictures I — a picture of her lovely, 
pretty Bonnie ! 

Meantime Bonnie is being taken by the photographer. 
And so still, so calm a little subject he is, that his picture 
is perhaps the best of all after Miss Barry's — which is 
unique. Just Bonnie's head ! Only that ! But so sweet, 
so perfect, and the earnest eyes 

The photographer tells them that they shall have them 
all in a week or so. The photographer's " week or so" is so 
well understood by the people that the Barrys tell them- 
selves in whispers in the little studio, that if they get them 
in a fortnight they may thank their lucky stars. 

" A fortnight with that man," says Miss Barry, with ill- 
subdued wrath. "A month you mean. I tell you, he's got 
the evil eye I " 

Having thus relieved herself, and the photographer hav- 
ing vanished into a room beyond, she rises into happier 

" Anyway — in spite of him," says she, pointing towards 
the dark doorway into which he has vanished, " this must 
be called a most happy occasion. An auspicious one even 
indeed." Miss Barry is always on immense terms with her 
dictionary. " I really think," with sudden sprightliness ; 
" we should all exchange photos. I hope, Mr. Crosby," 
turning pleasantly to him, u that you will give us qpe of 

" I shall give you one with pleasure, Miss Barry," says 
Crosby, " and feel very proud about your wanting to have 
it. I shall, however, demand one of yours in return. As 
to your suggestion about a general exchange — I think it 
delightfhl." He turns suddenly to Susan. " I hope you 
will give me one of yours," says he. 

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Susan hesitates. To give her picture to him, when he 
thinks Lady Muriel Kennedy so lovely — why, if he thinks 
a girl is so very lovely — she has described Lady Muriel to 
herself as a mere girl — why should he want a photograph 
of hers ? 

Miss Barry has noticed Susan's hanging back, and won- 
dering that she should refuse her photograph to so good a 
friend, comes quickly forward. 

" Susan ! I really think you might give Mr. Crosby your 
picture. You know, Mr. Crosby, I have always kept the 
girls a little strict. And perhaps Susan thinks " 

" I don't," says Susan, with sudden vehemence. She has 
shrunk back a little. Her lovely eyes have suddenly grown 
shamed. " It — isn't that, auntie." 

" Oh, my dear, if it isn't that," said Miss Barry, and 
being now called by Dominick she turns away. 

" Auntie takes such queer views of things," says Susan, 
pale and unhappy. " It seems, however, that she would 
like me to give you my photograph. Well " — grudgingly 
— " you can have it I " 

" I didn't want it on those terms," says Crosby. " And 
yet," quickly, " I do on any terms." 

" Oh no," says Susan, " Auntie is right. Why should I 
refuse it to you ? " 

" Susan," says he, " is the feud so strong as all that ? 
Will you refuse me your picture ? " 

" No. I shall give it," says she, faintly smiling. " But 
I shall make a bargain with you. If you will give me one 
of Bonnie's, you shall have one of mine." 

" I gain, but you do not," says he. " For you should 
have had one of Bonnie all the same. But what has come 
between us, Susan f I thought I was quite a friend of 
yours. Why am I to be dismissed like this without even a 
character? Tou must remember one great occasion, when 
you said that anyone who was allowed to go through my 

grounds would be sure to treat me with respect — or some- 
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thing like that. Now you have often gone through my 
grounds, Susan, and is this respect that you are offering 

" I thought," says Susan gravely, " that you promised 
never to speak of that again." 

"Of what? Respect?" 

44 No — of that," reluctantly, 44 that day in the garden." 
The dawn of a blush appears upon her face, and her eyes 
rest on him reproachfully. " You are not to be depended 
on," says she. 

44 Oh ! Susan ! " 

His air is so abject that in spite of herself Susan laughs, 
and presently she holds out her hand to him with the 
sweetest air. " Anyway I have to thank you a thousand 
times for having had my Bonnie's picture taken," says she. 
44 And I knew you knew — that I wished for it." She gives 
him her hand. Tears rise to her eyes. 44 Tou could never 
know how I wished for it " says she. 

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"Words would bat wrong the gratitude I owe 700 
Should I begin to apeak, my soul's so fall, 
Then I should talk of nothing else all day." 

" Now, Miss Manning," says Wyndham in his quick, alert, 
business-like way. He steps back, and motions her to go 
through the gateway that Mrs. Denis had opened about 
three inches a minute ago. 

Miss Manning, a tall, thin, rather nervous looking lady 
of very decided age, steps inside the gate and glances from 
Wyndham to Mrs. Denis and back again, interrogatively. 

"This is Miss Moore's housekeeper, cook, and general 
factotum," says Wyndham, making a hasty introduction, 
and with a warning glance towards Mrs. Denis, who has 
dropped a rather stiff courtesy. " Tours too ! She will 
remove all troubles from your shoulders, and will take ex 
cellent care of you, I don't doubt. He pauses to give Mrs. 
Denis — who is looking glum, to say the least of it — room 
for one of her always only too ready speeches — but nothing 
comes. " Eh 1 " says he, in a sharp metallic voice that 
brings Mrs. Denis to her senses with a jump. 

" Yes, sir," says she — and no more. No promises of obe- 

Wyndham hurries Miss Manning past her. 

44 The other maid you can manage," says he, in a low tone, 
44 and no doubt Mrs. Denis after a while. She is a highly 
respectable woman if a little unreasonable, and a little too 
devoted to your pupil. About the latter," hastily, 44 you 
know everything — her whole history — that is, so far as I 
know it — even to her peculiarities. You quite understand 
that she refuses to leave these grounds, and you r 


her reasons for refusing. Reasons not to be combated. 
They seem absurd to me, as I don't believe that fellow has 
the slightest claim upon her, but she thinks otherwise. 
And — well — They are her reasons," he pauses, " and there- 
fore to be respected." 

" Certainly," says Miss Manning, in a low, very gentle 
voice ; " and I shall respect them." Her voice is charming. 
Wyndham tells himself that he could hardly have made a 
better choice of a companion for this strange girl who has 
been so inconveniently flung into his life. Miss Manning's 
face, too, is one to inspire instant confidence. Her eyes are 
earnest and thoughtful ; her mouth kind, if sad. That she 
had endured much sorrow is written on every feature ; but 
troubles have failed to embitter a spirit made up of nature's 
sweetest graces. And now, indeed, joy is lighting up her 
gentle eyes, and happy expectancy is making warm her 
heart. A month ago she had been in almost abject poverty 
— scarce knowing where to find the next day's bread — when 
a most merciful God had sent her Paul Wyndham, to lift 
her from her slough of Despond to such a state of prosperity 
as she had never dared to dream of, since as a child she ran 
gaily into her father's meadows. 

" I am sure of that," says Wyndham, heartily. " I am 
certain I can give her into your hands in all safety. I 
know very little of her, but she seems a good girl — not alto- 
gether tractable, perhaps — but I hope you will be able to 
get on with her. If, however, the dulness, the enforced soli- 
tude, becomes too much for you, you must let me know." 

" I shall never have to let you know that," said Miss 
Manning, in a low, tremulous tone. " A home in the country, 
a young companion, a garden to tend. For long and very 
sad years I have dreamt of such things, but never with a 
hope of seeing them. And now — if I have seemed poor in 
xny thanks, Paul " 

She breaks off, turning her head aside. 

« Yes — yes, I understand," says Wyndham, hurriedly, 


dreading, yet feeling very tenderly towards her emotion. 
Once again he congratulates himself on having thought of 
this sweet woman in his difficulty. 

" And for myself," says she, calmly, now again, " I should 
never like to stir from this lovely garden." They are walk- 
ing by one of the paths bordered with flowers. " I have 
been so long accustomed to solitude, that like my pupil, I 
shrink from breaking it. To see no one but her and," deli- 
cately, " you, occasionally, I hope, is all I ask." 

" You may perhaps have to see the Barry s now and then, 
the Rector's people. They live over the way," says Wynd- 
ham, pointing towards where the rectory trees can be seen. 
" I found the last time I was here that Susan, the eldest 
girl, had come in, or been brought in here, by Miss Moore, 
so that there is already a slight acquaintance, and with 
girls," says the barrister, sotnewhat contemptuously, " that 
means an immediate, if not altogether undying friendship." 

" Yes," says Miss Manning. She feels a faint surprise. 
" It is not so much then that she does not desire to know 
people, as she refuses to stir out of this place ? " 

" That is how I take it. I wanted her very much to move 
about — to let herself be known. Honestly," coloring slightly, 
" it is rather awkward for me, to have a tenant so very 
mysterious, as she seems bent on being. I urged her to de- 
clare herself at once, as my tenant, and wait events, but she 
seemed so terrified at the idea of leaving these four walls 
, that I gave up the argument. Perhaps you may bring her 
to reason. Or perhaps the Rector and his youngsters may 
have the desired effect of putting an end to this morbidity. 
By-the-bye, I am going over to the rectory, after I have 
introduced you to " 

" Ella " was on the tip of his tongue, but he substitutes 
" Miss Moore " in time. 

The very near slip renders him thoughtful for a moment 
or two. Why should he have called her Ella 1 Had he 
ever thought of her as Ella 1 Most positively never. r 

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He is so absorbed in his introspection that he fails to see 
a slight timid figure coming down the steps of the Cottage. 
Miss Manning touches his arm. 

" Is this Miss Moore ? " cries she in an excited whisper. 
" Oh, what a charming face I " 

And, indeed, Ella is charming as she now advances — very 
pale, as if frightened, and with her dark eyes glancing anx- 
iously from Wyndham to the stranger, and back again. 
She has no hat on her head, and a sunbeam has caught her 
chestnut hair and turned it to glistening gold. 

" I hope you received my letter last night," says Wynd- 
ham, calling out to her and hastening his footsteps. " You 

see," awkwardly, " I have brought — brought you " He 

stops, waiting for Miss Manning to come up, and growing 
hopelessly embarrassed. 

" Tour friend, my dear, I trust," says Miss Manning, 
gently, taking the girl's hand in both her own, and regard- 
ing her with anxious eyes. 

Ella flushes crimson. She has so dreaded, so feared this 
moment, and now — this gentle, sad-eyed woman, with her 
soft voice and pretty impulsive speech ! Tears rise to the 
girl's eyes. Nervously, yet eagerly, she leans forward and 
presses her lips to Miss Manning's fair, if withered, cheek. 

Wyndham, congratulating himself on the success of his 
latest enterprise, takes himself off presently to inspect a 
farm five miles farther out in the country, that had been 
left; to him by his mother, with the Cottage. He has de- 
termined on taking the rectory on his way back to meet 
the evening train — to enlist further Mr. Barry's sympathy 
for his tenant. He tells himself, with a glow of self-satis- 
faction, that he is uncommonly good to his tenant ; but so, 
of course, he ought to be — that dying promise to the Pro- 
fessor being sacred, and if it were not for the affection he 
had always felt for that great, dead man, he would beyond 
doubt never have thought of her again. . « There is 
much moral support in this conclusion. 

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Yes, he will spend half an hour at the rectory. He can 
get back from the farm in plenty of time for that, and Miss 
Manning being an old friend of the Rector's, the latter will 
be even more inclined to take up her pupil, which will be a 
good thing for the poor girl. He repeats the words " poor 
girl," and finds satisfaction in them. They seem to show 
how entirely indifferent he is to her and her fortunes. That 
mental slip of his a while ago had alarmed him slightly. 
But " poor girl," to call her that precludes the idea of an} r - 
thing like — Pshaw I 

He dismisses the " poor girl " from his mind forthwith 
and succeeds admirably in getting rid of her, whilst blow- 
ing up his other tenants on the form. But on his way back 
again to Curraghcloyne her memory once more becomes 

To-day, so far, things have gone well. She had seemed 
satisfied with Miss Manning, Miss Manning with her. And 
as for the fear of an immediate scandal that seems quite at 
rest. But in time the old worry is sure to mount to the 
surface again. For example, when Mrs. Prior hears of her 
— Ella — he wishes now, trudging grimly over the uneven 
road, that he had not led that astute woman to believe his 
tenant was a man — as she inevitably must — there will be a 
row on somewhere that will make the welkin ring, and after 
that, good-bye to his chances with Lord Shangarry, who 
has very special views about the right and the wrong. 

If only this silly girl could be persuaded to come out of 
her shell and mingle with her kind, all might be got over 
after a faint wrestle or two, but no I Angrily he tells him- 
self that there is no chance of that. Soft as she looks, and 

gentle, and lov (h'm he kicks a stone out of his way) 

and pleasant looking and all that, he feels absolutely sure 
that nobody will be able to drag her out of her self-imposed 

After this diatribe it is only natural that he should, on 

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entering the rectory garden, feel himself a prey to aston- 
ishment on seeing amongst a turbulent group upon the 
edges of the tennis court the " poor girl " laughing with all 
her heart. 

He stands still within the shelter of the laurels to ask 
himself if his eyesight has failed him thus early < in life. 
But his eyesight still continues excellent, and when he sees 
the " poor girl " pick up Tommy, and plant him on her 
knee, he knows that all is well with his visual organs. 

The feet is that almost as he left the Cottage, by the 
front gate, Susan had run across the road and hammered 
loudly at the little green one. This primitive knocking has 
become a signal now with the Barrys and Ella, and soon 
the latter had rushed to open the door. There had been 
entreaties from Susan that she would come over now — now, 
at once, and have a game of tennis with them. She did not 
know tennis. All the more reason why she should begin to 
learn, and Aunt Jemima was quite pining to know her ! 

" Yes, do come I " 

" No — no, I can't. I have said I would never leave this 

44 Oh ! that— of course— but— Oh !— " 

Here Susan breaks off abruptly. Who is that pretty, 
tall lady coming down the path ? It is Miss Manning, and 
Ella very shyly introduces Susan to her. 

44 Miss Manning, tell her to come and play tennis with us 
this afternoon," says Susan. * 4 Not a soul but ourselves, 
and she's very lonely hepe. Father says she ought to see 

44 1 think as your father does," says Miss Manning, gently. 

"And will you come too?" asks Susan. "Aunt Je- 
mima," with born courtesy, " will come and see you to- 
morrow, but in the meantime " 

44 1 am afraid I have some unpacking to do," says Miss 
Manning smiling, having fallen in love with Susan's soft, 
flushed face and childish air. " But if you can persuade 

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Ella — I know, my dear," to Ella, who has turned a sad face 
to hers — a face that has yet the longing for larger life upon 
it, " that you wish never to leave this place. But to go 
just across the road. . . And there is no one there, Miss 
Barry tells you ; and it is only a step or two, and," smiling 
again, " if you wish it, I'll go over in an hour and bring you 
back again." 

« No— don't do that," says Ella. " You are tired." She 
hesitates. Then looks out of the gateway, and up and down 
the lane. It is quite empty. 

" Well, I'll come," says she, giving her hand to Susan. 
It is evidently a desperate resolve. Even as she says it 
she makes a last drawback, but Susan clings to her hand, 
and pulls her forward, and together the girls run down the 
lane to the rectory gate and into it, Ella all the time hold- 
ing Susan tightly, as if for protection. 

This was how it happened that Ella first left the shelter 
of the Cottage. She was most kindly received by the 
Rector, who spared a moment from .his precious books to 
welcome her — and even agreeably by Aunt Jemima. Ella 
had gone through the ordeal of these two introductions 
shyly but quietly. She had, however, been a little startled 
at finding that added to the Barrys congregated on the 
lawn (a goodly number in themselves) there was a strange 
gentleman. Crosby struck her at first sight as being 
formidable ! — an idea that, if the young Barrys had known 
it, would have sent them into hysterics of mirth. 
> Crosby had strolled down early in the afternoon, and 
now Wyndham, standing gazing amongst the shrubberies, 
can see him turn from Susan to say something or other to 

Wyndham in his voluntary confinement feels a sharp 
pang clutch at his breast. He stands still, as if unable to 
go on — watching the little pantomime. 

Tommy is speaking now. The child's voice rings clear 


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" 111 tell you a story." He has pat up a little fat hand 
and is pinching Ella's cheek. Ella has caught the little 
hand and is kissing it. How pretty 

" Silence 1 " cries Crosby gaily. " Tommy is going to 
tell Miss Moore a story." 

There seems something significant to Wyndham in his 
tone. Why should he demand silence in that imperative 
manner, just because Miss Moore wishes a story to be told 
to her ? He hesitates no longer ; he comes quickly forward 
and up to the group. 

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" To feel every prompting of pleasure, 
To know every pulsing of pain- 
To dream of Life's happiest measure, 
And find all her promises vain." 

Susan sees him first, and pushing Bonnie gently from her, 
rises to meet him. 

44 How do you do? " says she. 

44 That you, Wyndham ? " cries Crosby. " You are just 
in time to hear Tommy's story. Miss Moore has promised 
to lend him her support during the recital." For all 
Crosby's lightness of tone there is a strange scrutinizing 
expression in his clever eyes as he looks at Wyndham. He 
knows that Ella Moore's presence here must prove a sur- 
prise to him, and how will he take it ? The girl seems well 

enough, but . And if Wyndham has been capable of 

placing so close to this family of young, young people some- 
one who 

He is studying Wyndham very acutely. But all that he 
can make out of Wyndham's face is surprise and something 
that might be termed relief: nothing more. As for the 
girl I She is the one that looks confused. She rises, hold- 
ing Tommy by her side, and looks appealingly at Wynd- 
ham. She would have spoken perhaps, but that the Rector, 
who has not yet gone back to his study, takes up the 

44 We are very glad to have persuaded Miss Moore to 
come here to-day," says he, in a tone to be heard by every- 
one. " She has told me that you came down this morning, 
bringing Miss Manning with you. That will be a source of 
pleasure to us all I am quite sure." He bows his courteous 

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old head as amiably as though Miss Manning over the road 
could hear him. It is a tribute to her perfections. After 
this he buttonholes Wyndham, and draws him apart a bit. 

" She's a nice girl, Wyndham. A nice girl, I really 
think. A most guileless countenance 1 But not educated 
you know. Betty and Susan — mere children as they are — 
could almost teach her. 9 ' 

The Rector sighs. He always regards his girls as having 
stood still since his wife's death. Children they were then, 
children they are now. He had not seemed to live himself 
since her death. After that, indeed, all things stood still 
for him. 

" Yes. But she seems intelligent — clever," says Wynd- 
ham, a little coldly. 

" I daresay. And now you have secured Miss Manning 
for herl That was a wise step," said the Rector, thought- 
frilly. " She owes you much, Wyndham : I was glad when 
Susan persuaded her to come over here to-day. But I 
doubt if she will consent to go further. She seems terrified 
at the thought of being far from your — her home. Have you 
not yet discovered any trace of that scoundrel, Moore f The 
bond between them might surely be broken." 

" There is no bond between them. Of that I am con- 
vinced," says Wyndham. 

" I trust not. I trust not," says the Rector. He makes 
a little gesture of farewell and goes back to his beloved 
study, his head bent, his hands clasped behind his back as 

" We're waiting for you, Mr. Wyndham," calls out Betty, 
arching her slender neck to look over Dominick's shoulder. 
The wind has caught her fair fluffy hair and is ruffling it. 

" Yes. Come along, Wyndham," says Crosby, " Tom- 
my's story is yet to tell." 

" Better have one from you instead Mr. Crosby," says 
Susan hastily. She knows Tommy ! " You can tell us all 
Qbout lions and niggers and things. You'd like to bear pf 

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lions and niggers, Tommy," in a wheedling tone, " wouldn't 

Wyndham by this time has joined the group, and scarcely 
knowing how, finds himself sitting on half of a rug, the 
other half of which belongs to his tenant. 

" I want to tell my own story," says Tommy ; with de- 
termination. He is evidently a boy possessed of much 
firmness, and one not to be done by anyone, if he can help it. 

" But Tommy," persists Susan, who has dismal reasons 
for dreading his literary efforts, " I think you had better 
not tell one just now. We — that is " 

41 Oh I do let him tell it," says Ella softly. 

" My dear Susan," says Crosby, u would you deprive us 
of an entertainment, so unique 1 One we may never enjoy 
again ? " 

" Well, go on, Tommy," says Susan, resigning herself to 
the worst 

" There once was a man," begins Tommy, and pauses. 
Silence reigns around. " An' he fell into a big bit of 
water I " The silence grows profounder. 

" 'Twas as big as this," making a movement of his short 
arms a foot or so from the ground. 

At this there are distinct groans of fear. 

u An' he was drownded — a little fish ate him." 

" Oh, Tommy 1 " says Susan, in- woeful tones, who can 
now pretend to be really frightened with a free heart. 
Evidently Tommy's story this time is going to be of the 
mildest order. " He didn't really eat him ? " 

" He did. He did ! " says Tommy, delighted at Susan's 
fright. " He ate him all up. Every bit of him I " 

Here Susan lets her face fall into her hands, and Tommy 

" But he wasn't killed," says he. He looks anxiously at 
Susan's bowed head. " No, he wasn't ! " Susan lifts her 
head, and shakes it at him reproachfully. "Well, he 
wasn't, really," says Tommy again. This repetition is not 

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only meant as a help to Susan to mitigate her extreme 
grief, but to give him pause whilst he makes up another 

" Oh, are you sure ? " asks Susan, tragically. 

" 1 am. The fish swallowed him, but he came up again." 

" Who gave the emetic ? " asks Dominick, but very prop- 
erly no one attends to him. 

" Yes, well, what's after that ? " asks Betty. 

" Well," Tommy stares at the earth and then, with happy 
inspiration, " the nasty witch got him." 

" Poor old soul," says Carew. 

" The witch, Tommy ? But " 

" Yes. The witch," angrily. "An' then the goat said " 

" Goat I What goat ? " asks Ella, very naturally, con- 
sidering all things. 

" That goat," says Tommy, who really is wonderful. He 
points his lovely fat thumb down to where, in the distant 
field, a goat is browsing. His wandering eye had caught it 
as he vaguely talked, and he had at once embezzled it and 
twisted it into his imagination. 

" Yes? " says Susan, seeing the child pause, and trying 
to help him. " The goat ? " 

" The goat — an' the witch." Long pause here, and plain 
incapacity to proceed. Tommy has evidently come face to 
fitce with a cul de sac. 

" Hole in the Ballad," says Dominick to Betty , in a low tone. 

"Go on, Tommy," says Susan, encouragingly. Really 
Tommy's story is so presentable this time that she quite 
likes to give him a lift, as it were. 

" Well, the witch fell down," says Tommy, goaded to en- 
deavor, " an' the goat sat on her." 

"Not on her," says Susan, with dainty protest. "You 
know you frightened me once, Tommy, but now " 

" Yes, they did, Susan. They did." In his excitement 

he has duplicated the enemy. " They all sat down on her I 

Everyone of them. Twenty of them 1 " 


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" But, Tommy, you said there was only one goat." 

This is rash of Susan. 

"I don't care I" cries Tommy, who is of a liberal dis- 
position. " There was twenty of them. An' they all sat 
down on her. First on her stomach, an'," solemnly turn- 
ing himself, and clasping both his fat hands over the seat of 
his small breeches, " an' then on her here 1 " He lifts his 
hands and smacks them down again. He indeed most 
graphically illustrates his " here ! " 

/There is an awful silence. Susan, stricken dumb, sits 
silent. She knew how it would be if she let that wretched 
child speak. 

Shamed and horrified, she draws back, almost praying 
that the earth may open and swallow her up quick. She 
casts a despairing glance at Crosby to see how he has taken 
this horrible fiasco, before following Dathan and Abiram, 
but what she sees in his face stops her prayers, and, in 
&ct, reverses them ! 

Crosby is shaking with laughter, and now, as she looks, 
catches Tommy in his arms and hugs him. 

Another moment, and Betty breaks into a wild burst of 
laughter, after which everyone else follows suit. 

41 I'm going to publish your story, Tommy, at any price," 
says Mr. Crosby, putting Tommy back from him, upon his 
knee, and gazing with interest at that tiny astonished child. 
44 There will be trouble with the publishers. But I'll get it 
done at all risks to life and limb. I don't suppose I shall 
be spoken to afterwards by any respectable person, but 
that is of little moment when a literary gem is in question." 

Tommy not understanding, but scenting fun — laughs 

" I don't think you ought to encourage him like that," 
says Susan, whose pretty mouth, however, is sweet with 

41 One should always encourage a genius," says Crosby, 


There is a little stir here. Tommy has wriggled out of 
Crosby's lap, and has gone back to Ella ; who receives him 
with — literally — open arms. Wyndham is watching her 
curiously. Her manner all through Tommy's absorbingly 
interesting tale has been a revelation to him. He had 
found out for one thing that he had never heard her laugh 
before — at all events not like that. No, he had never heard 
her really laugh before, and indeed, perhaps poor Ella in all 
her sad young life had never laughed like that until now. 
It had been to the shrewd young barrister as though he 
had looked upon her for the first time to-day, after quite 
two months of acquaintance. He who prided himself, and 
had often been complimented on his knowledge of character 
— his grasp of a client's real mind from his first half-hour 
with him or her. 

Her mirth had astonished him. She — the pale frightened 
girl — to laugh like that. There had been no loudness in 
her mirth either, it had been soft and refined, if very gay 
and happy. She had laughed as a girl might, who had 
been born to happiness in every way — to silken robes and 
delicate surroundings, and all the paraphernalia that go to 
make up the life of those born into families that can count 
their many grandfathers. 

Once or twice he had told himself half impatiently — 
angry with the charge laid upon his unwitting shoulders — 
that the girl was good looking. Now he told himself some- 
thing more. That she was lovely, with that smile upon her 
face, as she sits — all unconscious of his criticism — with 
Tommy in her arms, and 

Up-glancing brightly mischievous, a spring 
Of brimming laughter welling on the brink 
Of lips like flowers, small caressing hands 
Tight locked " 

around the lucky Tommy's waist. 
But now she puts Tommy (who has evidently fallen a 


slave to her charms, and repudiates loudly her right to give 
him away like this) down on his sturdy feet, and comes a 
little forward to where Susan is standiug. 

" I'm afraid I must go now," says she. 

" Oh, not yet," says Susan, " There is plenty of time. It 
isn't as if you had to drive five miles to get to your home.' 

" Still — I think " She looks so anxious, that Susan, 

who is always charming, understands her. 

44 If you must go," whispers she sweetly " if you would 
rather — well then, do go. But to-morrow, and every other 
day, you must come back to us. Carew " 

44 I'm here," says Carew, coming up, and blushing as well 
as the best of girls as he takes Ella's hand. " I'll see you 
home," says he. 

" I don't think it will be necessary," says Wyndham 
shortly. Then stops confounded at his own imprudence, 
considering all the circumstances. Yet the words had 
fallen from him without volition of his own. " The fact is," 
says he, quickly, " I too am going now, and will be able to 
see Miss Moore safely within her gate." 

Carew frowns, and Susan comes to the rescue. 

" We'll all go," cries she gaily. 

44 The very thing," says Crosby. " That will give me a 
little more of your society, as I also must drag myself 

The " your " is so very general that nobody takes any 
notice of it, and they all go up the small avenue together. 

" You were surprised to see me here ? " says Ella, in a 
nervous whisper to Wyndham, who has doggedly taken 
possession of her, in spite of the knowledge that such a 
proceeding will in the end tell against him. 

44 1 confess I was," stiffly. 

44 You are displeased ? " 

44 On the contrary. You know I always advised you to 
show yourself; to defy your enemies. You can defy them, 
you know^" 

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" Yes — but — I mean that after all I said to you about my 
dislike, my fear of leaving the Cottage, you must think it 
queer of me to be here to-day." 

u I do not, indeed. I think it only natural that you 
should break through such a melancholy determination. 
Besides, no doubt," with increasing coldness, " you had an 

" Yes. Yes, I had," says she, quickly. 

" Ah I " A pause. a Someone you have seen lately ? " 

" Quite lately." 

Second pause, and prolonged. 

" I suppose you will soon see a way out of all your dif- 
ficulties ? " 

No doubt she had fallen in love with Crosby, and he 
with her, and 

" No, I don't think there is any chance of that," says she, 
mournfully. " But when Su — Miss Barry, asked me to 
come here I couldn't resist it. You can see for yourself 
what an inducement she is." 

Susan ! Is it only Susan ? He pulls himself up sharply. 
Well, and if so, where is the matter for rejoicing ? Of 
course, being left in a sense her guardian by the Professor, 
he is bound to feel an interest in her — but a vague interest 
such as that should not be accompanied by this quick relief, 
this sudden sensation of — of what ? 

Dominick, just behind him, is singing at the top of his 
lungs — sound ones, 

" As I walked oat wid Dinah 

De other afternoon, 
De day could not be finer, 

Ho! de ring-tailed coon ! " 

He is evidently pointing this nigger melody at Betty, 
who has been rash enough to go walking out with him. 
She has gone even farther. She has condescended to sing 
a second to his exceedingly loud first, a stroke of genius on 

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her part, as it has taken the wind out of his sails so far as 
his belief in his powers of teasing her (on this occasion, at 
all events,) are concerned. 

Mr. Wyndham takes the opportunity pf the second verse 
coming to a thrilling conclusion, to break off his conversa- 
tion with Ella. And now, indeed, they are all at the little 
green gate, and are saying their adieux to her. And pres- 
ently they have all gone away again, and Ella, standing in- 
side, feels as if life and joy and all things have been shut 
off from her with the locking of that small green gate. 

" Isn't she pretty f " cries Susan, enthusiastically, when 
they have bidden good-bye to Crosby and Wyndham too, 
and are back again on their own small lawn. 

" She's a regular bud," says Dom, striking a tragic atti- 
tude. He doesn't mean anything really, but Carew, with 
darkling brow, goes up to him. 

" I think you ought to speak more respectfully of her," 
says he. " It isn't because she is alone in the world that 
one should throw stones at her." 

" Betty, I appeal to you," says Dominick. " Did I throw 
a stone ? Come, speak up. I take this as a distinct insult. 

The man who would throw a stone at a woman . He's 

gone t " says Mr. Fitzgerald, staring at Carew's disappear- 
ing form. " Well, I do call that mean. And I had ar- 
ranged a peroration that would have astonished the natives. 
Anyway, Susan," turning, " what did I say to offend him ? 
Called her a bud. Isn't a bud a nice thing ? I declare he's 
as touchy about her as though she were his best girl." 

" What's a best girl ? " asks Betty. 

" The one you like best." 

" Well, perhaps she's his," growing interested. " Susan, 
I do believe he is in love with her." 

" Do you," says Susan, thoughtfully. And then, " Oh, 
no. Boys never fell in love." 

" Dom thinks they do," says Betty, turning a saucy 

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glance on Fitzgerald. She flings a rose at him. " Who's 
your best girl ? " asks she. 

" Need you ask," returns that youth with his most senti- 
mental air. ( 

" I don't think I quite approve of her," says Miss Barry, 
joining in the conversation at this moment, and shaking 
her curls severely, " I thought her a little free this after- 

" Oh, Auntie ! " 

" Certainly, Susan ! Most distinctly free." 

" I thought her one of the gentlest and quietest girls I 
ever met," says Carew, who has strolled back to them, after 
his short ebullition of temper — unable indeed to keep away. 

" What do you know of girls ? " says Miss Barry, scorn- 

" I'm sure she's gentle," says Dominick, who is so devoted 
to Carew that he would risk a great deal — even his. friend- 
ship — to keep him out of trouble, " and very, very good ; 
because she is beyond all doubt most femininely dulL" 

" Pig," says Betty, in a whisper. She makes a little 
movement towards him — and a second later gets a pinch 
and a wild yell out of him. 

" What I say I maintain," says Miss Barry, magisterially. 
" She may be a nice girl. A gentle girl. The grandest 
girl that was ever known ! I'm the last in the world to 
deprecate anyone. But who is she ? That's what I want to 
know. And no one knows who she is. Perhaps of the 
lower classes for all we know. And, indeed, I noticed a 
few queer terms of speech. And when I said she was free, 
Susan — I meant it. I heard her distinctly call that child " 
— pointing to him — u Tommy. Now if she is as I firmly 
believe — (your father is a person of no discrimination, you 
know), a person of a lower grade than ourselves, didn't it 
show great freedom to do that ? Yes. She distinctly said 
* Tommy.' " 

" Well, she didn't say * Hell and Tommy,' anyway," says 

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Dominick, who sometimes runs over to London to see the 

" If she had," says Miss Barry, with dignity, who has 
never seen the outside of a theatre, " I should have had no 
hesitation whatsoever in sending for the sergeant, and giving 
her in charge." 

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1 She outwardly 

All that bewitches sense, all that entices, 
Nor is it in oar virtue to uncharm it." 

It is a week later and the village is now stirred to its 
depth ! Such gaieties ! Such gaddings to and fro ! Such 
wonderful tales of what Lady Forster wore and Sir William 
said, and how Miss Prior looked. Gossip is flowing, freely, 
delightfully, and Miss Ricketty, whose shop is a general 
meeting place, is doing a roaring business in buns and bis- 

The Park in fact is full of guests. " Every corner," says 
Miss Blake to Mrs. Hennessy, in a mysterious whisper, " is 
full to overflowing. I hear that some of the servants have 
to be accommodated outside the house, and that Mr. Crosby 
has painted and papered and done up the loft over the 
stables in the latest Parisian style for the maids and 

u My dear 1 " says Mrs. Hennessy, in an awfiil tone — . 
very justly shocked, then " You forget yourself, Maria I " 

" Faith I did," says Miss Blake, bursting into an irre- 
pressible giggle. " Law, how ftinny y'are. But they're 
safely divided, I'm told, one at one side o' the yard, the 
other at this, as it were. Like the high churches we hear 
of in England. The goats and the sheep, ha — ha." 

" But where are the maids ? " 

" Over the stables at the western side, some of them." 

" You don't say so," says Mrs. Hennessy. " filess me, 
but maids like that. They wouldn't like — you know, the — 
er — the atmosphere I " 

" Oh, there's ways of doing away with that too," says 


Miss Blake, with a knowing air. " But you'll come in, 
won't you, for a cup of tea. Jane's dyin' to have a chat 
with you." 

Miss Blake is hardly to be trusted in matters such as 
these, her imagination being extraordinarily strong. And 
indeed, the idea of those stables rose alone from her great 
mind I But although there are still corners in the splendid 
old Hall to let, it must be confessed that it is pretty full at 

Guests at the Park I Such a thing had not been heard 
of for many years. Not for the last eight years at all 

Then Crosby, who was about twenty-five, came home 
from Tibet, and his sister Katherine, who was quite a girl 
—being six years his junior — had been brought over from 
England by her aunt to freshen up her old love for him, 
and to stay with him, for his birthday. Not longer I The 
birthday came off within the week of their arriving. Lady 
Melland was a woman of Society, who hated earwigs, and 
early birds, and baa-lambs, and insisted on bringing quite a 
big company " on tour " with her on this re-introduction of 
the brother to the sister, and had organized a distinct rout 
at the Hall during her memorable stay. It had created a 
tearful, if pleasurable impression at the time, and people 
are beginning now to wonder in this little village if Lady 
Forster will be a worthy representative of her aunt. Or if 
perchance the aunt will again take up the deal. For Lady 
Melland has, they say, come here with her. 

However for once " they say " is wrong. 

Katherine Crosby had married Sir William Forster two 
years after the termination of that remarkable visit, and 
nothing had been seen of her since that, until now. She 
had, however, in between shaken off Lady Melland. 

She had brought an innumerable company in her train, 
thus justifying the idea of the Curraghcloynes that she 
would probably follow in her aunt's footsteps, and as I 

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have said, the village has waked to find itself no longer de- 
serted, but the centre of a very brilliant crowd. 

Yesterday was the first of August, Saturday. And a 
most unendurable one on the small platform of the railway 
station. Possibly during its brief existence so many basket 
trunks have never been laid upon its modest flags before. 
To-day is Sunday, and possibly also the parish church has 
never had so large a congregation within its white-washed 
walls. Even the Methodists, quite a large portion of the 
Curraghcloyne people, deserted their chapel for the Ortho- 
dox Church. Even Miss Ricketty had been heard to say 
with distinct regret, " That she wished she was a Protestant 
for once." 

The Hall pews, which number four, and for which Mr. 
Crosby, during all his wanderings, had paid carefully, are 
all filled, and the three seats behind them again, that have 
vacant sittings in them, are all filled also, with the servants 
of the people in the four front seats. Never was there such 
a display in the small church of Curraghcloyne ! And it 
was acknowledged afterwards by everyone in the town that 
though the Rector did not " stir a hair," the curate was 
decidedly " onaisy." The curate was unnerved beyond a 
doubt. He grew fetter and stouter as the service went on, 
and he never knows to this day how he got through his 
sermon. He says now, that people oughtn't to spring peo- 
ple on one, without a word of preparation ! 

Susan tried to keep her eyes off the Hall pews, but in 
spite of herself her eyes wandered. Betty did not try to 
keep her eyes off at all, so they wandered freely. She was 
able, half-an-hour later, to tell Susan not only the number 
of guests Mr. Crosby had, but the exact color of each gown 
the women wore, and she told Susan privately that she 
thought, if ever she were a rich woman, she would never 
let her servants wear red ribbons in their bonnets in church. 

Mr. Haldane is rushing through his sermon at the rate 
of an American liner ! And presently the service is over, 

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and all move with the cultivated leisurely steps, that are 
meant to hide the desire to run, towards the open door. 

Some of the other rectory people have gone through the 
side door, and, with Bonnie's hand fast clasped in hers, Su- 
san is following after them, when a well-known voice calls 
to her — 

" Susan, my sister wants very much to know you. Will 
you let me introduce you to her ? " 

Susan turns her face, now delicately pink, and she sees a 
small, dainty, pretty creature holding out her hand to her 
with the prettiest smile in the world. 

Is this Mr. Crosby's sister ? 

" How d'ye do," says Lady Forster, in a very clear if low 
voice, " George has been chaunting your praises all last 
night : so naturally I have been longing to see you. 
George's friends as a rule are a fraud — but " 

She pauses. Evidently amused at the girl's open sur- 
prise, not so much at her words as at her appearance. 

" I'm not a bit like George. Am I ? " says she. 

No, she is not. Crosby is a big man if anything, and she 
is the tiniest creature. Her features are tiny too, but ex- 
quisitely moulded. The coquettish mouth, the nose " tip- 
tilted like a flower," the well-poised dainty head, the hands, 
the feet — all are small, and her figure slender as a fairy's. 
She is wonderfully pretty in a brilliant fashion, and her 
bright eyes are alight with intelligence. She is altogether 
the last person in the world Susan would have imagined as 
Crosby's sister. And yet there is certainly a likeness be- 
tween them — a strange likeness — but, of course, his sister 
should have been large and massive, not a little thing like 
this. Susan had always told herself that she should be 
dreadfully afraid of his sister — but to be afraid of this sis- 
ter 1 

Lady Forster, indeed, is one of those women who look as 
if they ought to be called " Baby " or " Birdie," but in real- 
ity she was named Katherine at her birth, with a big and a 

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stern K, not a C — which we all know is much milder — and 
never did Susan hear her called anything less majestic by 
anyone. Not even by her brother or her husband. And 
this was probably that, beneath her charming butterfly air, 
there lay a good deal of character and a strength of will, 
hardly to be suspected in so light a creature. 

" No," says Susan, shyly. She smiles, and involuntarily 
tightens her fingers on those she is holding — Lady Forster's 
fingers. " But — " Still a greater shyness overcomes her 
here, and she grows quite silent. The " but," however, had 
been eloquent. 

u You see, George. She thinks I am infinitely superior 
to you. How lovely of her." She laughs at Susan, and 
pats her hand. " Tou will come up and lunch with us to- 
morrow, won't you ? It is George's birthday. And con- 
sidering the slap you have given him just now you can 
hardly refuse. It will be a little sop to his pride, and that's 
frightful ! He thinks himself a perfect joy ! I'm told that 
in Darkest Africa, the belles there " 

Here Crosby gives her a surreptitious but vigorous 
nudge, and she breaks off her highly-spiced and distinctly 
interesting, if slightly unveracious account of his doings in 

" What's the matter with you ? " asks she, whispering to 
her brother ; who whispers back to her many admonitory 
things ; she turns again to Susan. " We shall expect you 
to-morrow then. It will be a charity to enliven us, as we 
hardly know what to do with ourselves, being strangers in 
a strange land." 

u Thank you," says Susan, faintly. How on earth can 
she ever summon up courage enough to go and lunch up 
there with all these fashionable people. It is she who will 
be the stranger in a strange land. 

" That is settled then," says Crosby, quickly. Had he 
feared she would go on to saj f something more, to say that 
she had an engagement ? "I will call for you at twelve." 

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" Oh, no," says Susan. " I," confusedly, " I can walk up. 
It — it is too much trouble." 

" George doesn't think so," says Lady Forster, with a 
faint grimace. " Is this your brother ? " 

She bends in her quick way, and turns up Bonnie's beau- 
tiful little face and looks at it earnestly. 

" What a face ! " cries she. " Is every one beautiful 
down here f I shall come and live here, George. No use 
in your putting me off. I'm determined. It is a promise 
then ? " to Susan, smiling vivaciously. " That you will 
come to-morrow, and another day. We must arrange an- 
other day — you will bring me up this small Adonis," pat- 
ting Bonnie's cheek, who smiles at her (children love all 
things pretty), " to see me." 

" I shall be very glad," says Susan, tremulously. Then 
Lady Forster trips away to rejoin her friends, who are 
standing beside the different carriages, and quarrelling 
gaily as to who shall go home with who — and for a second 
Crosby is alone with Susan. 

" You said it was a promise." 

" Yes," says Susan, " but — I have not known any very — 
very " 

" Smart folk," says Crosby, laughing. " Well, you'll 
know them to-morrow, and I expect you'll be surprised 
how very little smart they are." 

« But " 

" There shan't be a * but ' in the world." 

" It is only this," miserably, " that I shall be shy, and • 

" Not a bit of it. And even if you are," he looks at her, 
" you may depend on me. I'll pull you through. But 
don't be too shy, Susan. Extremes are attractive things. 
Fatally attractive sometimes." He pauses. " Well, so 
much for the shyness, but what did your * and ' mean ? " 

" It meant," says Susan, with deep depression, " that 
they will all hate me." 

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" I almost wish I could believe that/' He laughs again, 
as he says this, and gives Bonnie's ear a pinch, and follows 
his sister. Two minutes later, as Susan rejoins her own 
people at the little gate that leads by a short cut to the rec- 
tory, she sees him again, talking gaily, and handing into 
one of the carriages a tall, and very handsome girl, dressed 
as Susan had never seen anyone dressed in all her life. It 
seems the very perfection of dressing. She lingers a mo- 
ment — a bare moment — but it is long enough to see that he 
has seated himself beside the handsome girl, and that he is 
still laughing — but this time with her — over some reminis- 
cence, as the carriage drives away. 

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" Anxiety is the poison of human life." 


" I suppose I'll have to go," says Susan, who is evidently 
terrified at the idea, crumpling up a small note between her 
fingers. A most courteous little note sent by Lady Forster 
this morning, Monday, the 3d of August, to ask Miss 
Barry's permission for Susan to lunch at the Park. She 
— Lady Forster — had met her charming niece yesterday, 
and had induced her to promise to come to them on this, 
her brother's birthday. And she hoped Miss Barry had 
not quite forgotten her, but would remember that she was 
quite an old friend, and let her come and see her soon. 

It was a pretty little note, and delighted Miss Barry, yet 
Susan found no pleasure in it, and now sits glum and 

44 Go ! " cries Betty. " I should think so. Oh, you 
lucky girl." 

41 Would you like to go, Betty, if it were your case f " 
this wistfully. Oh, that it were Betty's case I 

44 Is there anything on earth that would keep me away," 
cries Betty, enthusiastically. " What fun you will have 
there. I know by Lady Forster's eyes that you are safe to 
have a good time. I think," gloomily, " she might have 
asked me too." 

44 1 wish she had," says Susan, fervently. 44 If— I had 
one of you with me I should not feel half so nervous." 

44 What makes you nervous f " asks Carew. 

44 Well, they are all strangers for one thing — and besides," 
rather shamefacedly, t4 they will be very big people, of 
course, and at luncheon there will be entrees, and dishes, 

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and things I have never even heard of, and," almost tear- 
fully now, " I shan't know what to do." 

" There are only two things to be remembered really," 
says Mr. Fitzgerald, slowly, but forcibly. " One is not to 
pick your teeth with your fork, and the other is even more 
important. For goodness sake, Susan, whatever you do, 
don't eat your peas with your knife. All that sort of 
thing has gone out. Has been unfashionable for quite a 
year or more." 

" Oh, it's all very well for you to make fun of it," says 
Susan, resentfully. " You haven't to go there." 

" And is that what you call * well for me ? ' I wish I 
was going there, if only to look after your manners, which, 
evidently by your own account of them, leave a great deal 
to be desired. By-the-bye, there is one thing more I should 
like to impress upon you before you start. Never, Susan — 
no matter how sorely tempted — put your feet on the table 
cloth. It is quite a solecism nowadays, and " 

" If you won't go away, I shall," says Susan, rising with 
extreme dignity. But he leans forward, and catching the 
tail of her gown just as she is gaining her feet, brings her 
with a jerk to her sitting position again. After which they 
all laugh irrepressibly, and the emeute is at an end. 

" What a lot of servants they had in church," says 
Betty, alluding to the all-absorbing guests at the Pad*. 
" I suppose that tall woman was Lady Forster's maid ? " 

" Yes, and the little woman was Mrs. Prior's. By-the- 
way, that squares matters. Mrs. Prior has grown several 
yards since last year." 

" It seemed to me that each maid sat behind her own 

" So as to keep her eye on her. And very necessary too, 
no doubt." 

"Did you see that pale young man, ever so thin and 
wretched-looking, but so conceited ? His hair was nearly 
down to his waist, and he hadn't any chin to speak o&" 

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"Oh that," cries Betty, eagerly. "That's the poet. 
Yes, he is, Susan. He's a real poet. Miss Ricketty told 
me about him yesterday. He has written sonnets and 
whole volumes of things, and is quite a poet. Miss Rick- 
etty says that's why his hair grows like that." 

" Samson must have been the laureate of his time," says 
Dominick, thoughtfully. 

" So that was the poet," says Susan, who had heard of 
his coming from Crosby. " Well, he certainly looked 
queer enough for anything. I wonder," nervously," who 
was the tall girl sitting next to Mr. Crosby." 

This was the tall girl whom Crosby had driven away. 

" I don't know," says Betty. " Wasn't she pretty f 
And wasn't she beautifully dressed? Oh, Susan, didn't 
you want to see yourself in a gown like that ? " 

" No," says Susan, shortly. 

" Well, I did. I wanted to know how I'd look." 

" As if you didn't know," says Dominick, encouragingly. 
44 Like Yenus herself 1 " 

"I never heard she had her frocks from Paris," says 
Betty, crunching up an unkind little shoulder against him* 

44 You've heard so little, you see," says Dom, with gentle 
protest. " Now, as a feet, Venus had her frocks made 
by » 

" Well f " with a threatening air. 

44 Miss Fogerty," naming Betty's own dressmaker. 

44 Pshaw ! " says that slim damsel, contemptuously. 
44 However, Susan, that girl was pretty anyway. I wonder 
who she was ? Had she a maid, I wonder ? There was a 
dark-looking woman amongst the servants farther on. Just 
behind the poet. Perhaps it was hers." 

" Oh, no," says Dom, gravely. 44 That was his." 

44 His ?" 

44 The poet's. Yes." 

44 Nonsense 1 " says Betty. " What would he want » 
maid for?" 

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u To comb his locks and copy his sonnets, 1 ' says Dom, 
without blinking. 

" Nonsense ! Men don't have maids," says Betty, who 
seems to know all about it. 

" Oh, here is someone from the Park," cries Jacky, 

" Is it Mr. Crosby or Lady Forster? " asks Susan, anx- 

" Both of 'em," says Jacky, in his own* sweet laconic style. 

The smart little cart, with its wonderful pair of ponies, 
rattles up to the door, and Miss Barry, who had known that 
someone would come to fetch Susan, and had therefore put 
on her best bib and tucker, emerges from the flower-crowned 
porch of the rectory to receive Lady Forster, her old face 
wreathed in smiles. It is sweet to her to see Susan ac- 
cepted, admired by the Park people. " Our own sort of 
people," thought the poor old maid proudly, who had strug- 
gled with much poverty all her life. 

And Lady Forster was quite charming to her. Insisted 
on going to see the old garden again, " which she quite re- 
membered." Lady Forster had never stuck at a tarradid- 
dle or two, and was, after seeing it, genuinely enthusiastic 
over its old-fashioned charms. Might she bring her friends 
to see it? They had never, never seen anything so lovely I 
It would be a charity to show them something human, these 
benighted town people. To hear her, one would imagine 
she despised the town herself, whereas, as a feet, she could 
never live for six months out of it. 

Miss Barry was elated — so elated indeed that she took a 
dreadful step. She invited Lady Forster, and all her 
friends, to tea next Friday, without a thought as to the 
consequences — until afterwards! Lady Forster accepted 
the invitation with effusion. There was no getting out of 
it Miss Barry felt during that dreadful " afterwards." 

Meantime Susan had found herself, comparatively speak- 
ing, alone with Crosby, when she came downstairs, after 

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putting on her best gown and hat. She had brought some- 
thing with her besides the best gown and hat ; a little silken 
bag, made out of a bit of lovely old brocade she had begged 
from Miss Barry a month ago. She had cut it out, and 
stitched it, and filled it with lavender seeds, and worked on 
it at odd moments when no one but Betty could see her (she 
was afraid of the boys' jokes) the words " Mr. Crosby, from 

At first she had thought of buying something for him — 
something at Miss Ricketty's, who really had, at times, 
quite wonderful things down from Dublin, but her soul re- 
volted from that. What could she buy him that he would 
care for ? And besides, to buy a thing for a person one 
likes, and one who had been so good to Bonnie I No. She 
could not. It seemed cold, unkind. So she decided on the 
little bag that was to lie in his drawer and perfume his 
handkerchiefs, and tell him sometimes of her — yes — her 
love for him! Because she did love him, if only for his 
goodness to the children, and to her Bonnie first of all. 

She had been afraid to run the gauntlet of the boys' criti- 
cisms, but Betty she clung to. A confidante one must have 
sometimes, or die I 

" You know he told me, Betty, when his birthday would 

" Yes. So clever of him," said Betty, who, if she were 
at the point of death, could not have refrained from a joke. 

" Well, he has been good to the chicks, hasn't he ? To 
darling Bonnie especially." 

" Oh, he has — he has indeed," Betty declared, remorse- 
fully, melting at the thought of the little crippled brother 
who is so inexpressibly dear to them all. 

Betty had hurried up with Susan to get her into her best 
things, and then had given her sound advice. 
" Give it to him now, Susan. Lady Forster," glancing 


out of the window, " is talking to Aunt Jemima. Hurry 
down and give it to him at once. It is the sweetest bag. 
No one," giggling, " can say less than that for it. It's quite 
crammed with lavender." 

" Yes, I will," says Susan, valiantly. 

She doesn't, however. She hesitates, and is, as usual, 
lost. She tries and tries to take that little bag out of her 
pocket, and give it to him, but courage fails her. And 
presently Lady Forster carries her off, and now the Park is 
reached, and she finds herself in the lovely, sunny drawing- 
room, and, after a while, in the dining-room, and still that 
little fragrant bag lies perdu. 

Susan glances shyly round her. Sir William Forster, a 
tall young man, with a kindly eye, takes her fancy at once, 
and there is a big girl over there and a big woman here, 
(they must be mother and daughter), who make her wonder 
a great deal about their strange garments. Mrs. Prior is 
here too, and Miss Prior — Mr. Wyndham's people. And at 
the opposite side of the table Mr. Wyndham himself! Be- 
side him sits the poet, a lachrymose young man with long 
hair, and a crooked eye, and the name of Jones. No won- 
der he looks depressed. 

He has got his best eye fixed immovably on Susan, who 
seems to appeal even to his high ideal of beauty — and in- 
deed throughout the day, she suffers a good deal, off and 
on, from his unspoken but quite open adoration of her. 
Poets never admire. They adore. And for a simple coun- 
try maiden this style is somewhat embarrassing. On Mr. 
Crosby's right hand is sitting the tall and beautiful girl, 
with the pale roses near her throat, with whom he had 
driven home from church on Sunday. It seems all quite 
clear to Susan. Yes, this is the. girl he is going to marry. 
But a girl so beautiful as that could make anyone happy. 
She had heard someone call her Lady MurieL Rank and 
beauty and sweetness — all are for him. And surely he de- 
serves them all ; and that is why she is at his right hand. 



" Thou didst delight mine ear, 
Ah ! little praise thy voice, 
Makes other hearts rejoice, 
Makes all ears glad that hear, 
And shoot my joy. Bat yet, 
O song, do not forget." 

Susan is seated beside a very fashionably dressed girl, 
with an extremely good-humored face, and Captain Lennox 
— a man of about thirty or thereabouts — who seems to find 
pleasure in an every two-minutes contemplation of her 
young and charming face. In this, the good-humored look- 
ing girl — Miss Forbes is not a whit behind Captain Lennox, 
she too seeming to be delighted with Susan. And indeed 
everyone seems to have fallen in love with pretty Susan, 
because presently the stately young beauty sitting next to 
Crosby, and who had come in a little late for luncheon, 
whispers something to him, and then looks smilingly at 
Susan. Crosby, in answer to her words, says quietly — 

" Susan — Lady Muriel Kennedy is very anxious to know 
you. Miss Barry, Lady Muriel." 

" I went past your charming old home yesterday," says 
Lady Muriel, in tones barely above a whisper, but which 
seems to carry a long distance. " I quite wanted to go in, 
but I was afraid." 

" Well, you'll be able to satiate your curiosity on Friday," 
says Lady Forster, " as we have been asked to tea on that 
day at the rectory." 

" How delightful," says Lady Muriel. 

" Your house is quite close to the Cottage, is it not, Miss 

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Barry ? " asks Mrs. Prior. " My nephew's place, you know,'' 
nodding at Wyndham, who changes color perceptibly. 
Good heavens. What is going to happen next. 

u Yes," says Susan ; " only the road divides us." 

" Then you can tell us about Mr. Wyndham 's new tenant. 
You," smiling archly, " are quite an old friend of m} r 
nephew's, eh ? " It is quite safe to make a jest of the friend- 
ship with this insignificant little country girl, as, of course, 
Paul, or any other man of consequence, would not waste a 
thought over her. 

" Almost, indeed," says Susan. " But as to the tenant — " 

Crosby drops a spoon, and Susan a little startled turns her 
head. It it not on him, however, her eyes rest, but on 
Wyndham, who is looking at her with a strange expression. 
Is it imploring ? despairing ? or what 1 It checks her at all 

" I know very little," she murmurs, faintly. 

"Been flirting with him," thinks Mrs. Prior promptly. 
" All country girls are so vulgar. Any new man. . • 
And I daresay this tenant of Paul's is by no means a nice 
man either." 

There might have been a slight awkwardness here, but 
providentially Lady Forster, who is never silent for two 
minutes together, breaks into the gap. 

" What's this, George ? " asks she, peering into a dish be- 
fore her. " Are you prepared to guarantee it. It's j'our 
cook, you know, not mine. Looks dangerous, and there- 
fore tempting; and anyway, one can only die once. N Ohl 
is that you ? " to a late man who has strolled in. " Been 
losing yourself as usual. Come over here, and sit beside 
me, you innocent lamb," patting the empty chair near her, 
" and I'll look after you. I'll give you one of these," point- 
ing to the dish ; " I hate to die alone. What on earth are 
they ? " glancing at the little brown curled-up things, that 
seem filled with burnt crumbs. " Will they go off George ? 
Bombs, eh ? " 

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Here the butler murmurs something to her in a discreet 

" Oh ! Mushrooms ! Good gracious, then why don't they 
try to look like them." 

" Have you any brothers ? " asks Miss Forbes, turning to 

" Don't answer," says Captain Lennox. " She's always ask- 
ing after one's brothers. Tell me, instead, how many sisters 
you have. Much more interesting. I love people's sisters." 

" I'm George's sister," says Lady Forster, glancing at 
him thoughtfully. 

" And my wife 1 " says Sir William, with such an over 
assumption of martial authority that they all laugh, and his 
wife throws a pellet of bread at him. 

Susan grows thoughtful — filled with a slight amazement. 
She had been nervous, almost distressed at the idea of hav- 
ing to lunch at the Park. Its habitues, she told herself, 
would be very grand folk, and clever, and learned, and 
would talk very far above her little countrified head. And 
now, how is it ? Why, after all, they are more like Dom in • 
his queerest moods than anything else.' 

41 What shall we do after luncheon ? " says Lady Forster. 
" I am willing to chaperone anybody." She glances at 
Lady Muriel, and Susan intercepts the glance. 

Is it Lady Muriel and Mr. Crosby, she is thinking of 
chaperoning ? 

% " Oh, I like your idea of supervision," says the Guards- 
man who had come in late, and who was called Lord Jack 
by everybody, only because, as Susan discovered afterwards, 
his name was Jack Lord. This naturally was inevitable. 
" You once undertook to chaperone me, and let me in for 
about the most risqu6 situation of my like. I came out of 
it barely alive, and very nearly maimed." 

" Yes — I don't think Katherine would make a very ex- 
cellent chaperone," says Mrs. Prior, who likes Crosby, but 
cordially detests his sister. 

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" What a slander," cries Lady Forster ; " easy to see you 
don't understand me ! I'm a splendid cbaperone. A born 
one. Always half a mile ahead — or else in the rear. One 
should always be ahead if possible, as it gives the poor crea- 
tures a chance of getting up to you in an honorable way, if 
the enemy should come in sight. Whereas the turning and 
running back business always looks so bad. No, better be 
in front of them. I'm going to write a little treatise on the 
art of chaperoning for all right-minded married women — 
and I hope you will accept a copy, dear Mrs. Prior ? " 

" I don't expect I shall get one," says Mrs. Prior, with a 
distinct sneer. 

" Oh, you shall indeed. Honest Injun," says Lady 
Forster. " You'll be delighted with it." 

" I feel sure of that," says Captain Lennox in an aside to 
Miss Forbes. t 

" But really what shall we do this afternoon, George f " 
asks his sister, " ride — drive ? " She has left her seat and 
has perched herself on the arm of the handsome old chair 
in which her husband is sitting at the foot of the table. 

" What about the Abbey, Bill ? " asks Crosby, addressing 
his brother-in-law. 

" No use in asking ' Billee Barlow ' anything," says that 
young man's wife. " He hasn't an idea on earth. Have 
you Billee J And the Abbey is miles off, and — Do you ride, 
Susan? I am going to call you Susan if I may." 

She pauses just long enough to give Susan time to smile 
a pleased if shy assent. 

" Susan is so pretty," says Captain Lennox, absently. 

" Eh ? " says Crosby, quickly, and with a suspicion of a 

" Very, very pretty," repeats Lennox, fervently. 

Crosby glances at Susan. This absurd joke, this jest on 
her name — with anyone else here it would be a jest only, but 
Susan — would she. . . Her color is faintly, very faintly 
accelerated, and she is looking straight at LennoxQ 


" My name ? " says she, taking up the meaning he had 
not meant, " Do you really think it pretty. The boys and 
Betty despise it." 

Her gentle dignity goes home to all. Crosby is indignant 
with Lennox, and, indeed, so is Sir William. Sir William's 
wife, however, I regret to say is convulsed with laughter. 

" It is certainly not a name to be despised," says Len- 
nox, courteously, who is now a little ashamed of himself. 

" I like to be called by my Christian name," says a 
singularly young looking married woman. " Puts people out 
so. They never know whether you are married or not for 
the first half hour, at all events." They are now in a body 
strolling into the drawing-rooms, and Miss Forbes has gone 
back to her cross-examination of Susan. 

" Four brothers ? So many ? And all grown up f " 

" Oh, no 1 Carew is the eldest, and he is only seventeen. 
But we have a cousin living with us, and he is twenty." 

" What lovely ages," cries Lady Foster. " George why 
didn't you tell me about Susan's boys ? Tou know I adore 
boys. Susan, you must bring them up to-morrow. Do you 

" They will be so glad," says Susan ; " do you know," 
blushing shyly and divinely, " they were quite envious of 
me because I was coming here to-day." 

" Oh ! why didn't you bring them with you. Seventeen 
and twenty ! The nicest ages in the world." 

" Certainly not the nicest," says Lennox, who is a born 
tease. " You, Miss Barry," looking at Susan, " are thir- 
teen, aren't you ? " 

"Oh, no. Much, much more than that/' says Susan, 
laughing. Strangely enough she had begun to feel quite a 
liking for her tormentor — divining with the wisdom of youth 
that his saucy sallies are filled with mischief only — and no 
venom. " I was eighteen last May." 

" How very candid," says Miss Prior, whose own age is 
growing uncertain, and who is feeling a little bitter over the 

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attention paid to Susan. If Paul should prove unconstant, 
there is always the master of the Park to fall back upon, or 
so she has fondly hoped till now. But there is no denying 
the fact that Crosby has been very anxious all this after- 
noon about Susan's happiness. 

"Nonsense!" says Lennox. "Tell that to well, to 

somebody else." 

" But that's what I am really," says Susan, who is 
secretly disgusted at being thought thirteen. " I was born 

" Don't tell that," says Lady Forster, putting up her 
finger. " It will be fatal twenty years hence." 

" Still* I'm not thirteen," says Susan, with gentle protest. 
" And I think anyone could see that I'm not." 

"I could, certainly," says Crosby, coming to the rescue. 
" In my opinion anyone that looked at you would know at 
once that you were forty." 

At this they laugh, and Susan casts her so very unusual 
ire behind her. 

" You will bring up the boys to-morrow, then 1 " says 
Lady Forster, who is always chattering. " And we'll go 
for a long drive ; and have a gipsy tea. That will be better 
than nothing. And as we go, Susan shall show us the bits. 
No use in depending on George for that. He knows noth- 
ing of the scenery round here, or any other scenery for the 
matter of that, except African interiors, kraals, and nasty 
naked nigger women, and that. So immodest of him. Hell 
come to grief some day. We can go somewhere for a gipsy 
tea to-morrow, can't we George. I'm dying to light a fire." 

" What, another I " says Lord Jack, regarding her with a 
would-be, woe begone air. He lays his hand lightly on his 

" It's going to rain I think," says Sir William presently, 
who is standing in one of the windows. 

" * Ruin seize thee, ruthless king,' " exclaims Miss Forbes. 


" It always rains in Ireland, doesn't it ? " says Lady 
Muriel, in her soft low voice. 

" Oh, no. No, indeed 1 " cries Susan eagerly. " Does it 
Mr. Crosby f " 

" Certainly not. Lady Muriel must prolong her stay 
here," smiling at the beautiful girl leaning in a picturesque 
attitude against' the window shutter, " and take back with 
her a more kindly view of our climate." 

Tes. It is quite settled, thinks Susan. He loves her, 
and she — of course she loves him. And he wants her to 
prolong her stay, most naturally. And most naturally, too, 
he would like her to take back to England, a kindly impres- 
sion of her future home, of her future climate. Oh ! how 
pretty ; how lovely she is ! 

Heavily, heavily beat the raindrops on the window 

" Never mind," says Lady Forster, who nothing daunts. 
" We'll have a dance. You love dancing Susan, don't you ? 
Come along then. Take your partners all, and let's waltz 
into the music-room." 

In a second Susan finds Captain Lennox's arm round 
her waist, and through the halls and the library, they dance 
right into the music-room beyond. After her, Crosby, with 
Lady Muriel come, and after them Lady Forster with — no, 
not Lord Jack after all — but Sir William. 

And now the big woman whom Susan had noticed at 
luncheon has seated herself at the piano, and the poet has 
caught up a fiddle, and if the big woman can do nothing 
else on earth she can at least play dance music to perfec- 
tion, and the poet " poor little fellow," as Susan calls him 
to herself: (if he could only have heard her !) does not 
make too many false notes on the fiddle, so that she dances 
very gaily, feeling as if her feet are treading on air, and 
answering Captain Lennox's whispered, honeyed words with 
soft smiles, and hurried breathing. Oh, how lovely it all 
is ! And, oh ! how happy Lady Muriel is going to 1 

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The waltz has come to an end, and now Crosby is stand- 
ing before her. And now his arm is round her waist, and 
he — oh, yes, there is no doubt of it — he dances even better 
than Captain Lennox, and it is good of him, too, to spare 
so much time from the lovely Lady Muriel. 

" Susan," says Crosby as they pause at the end of the 
room, " I consider your conduct distinctly immoral I The 
way you have been going on " 

"Who. I?" 

" Yes, you ! Don't attempt to deny it. Your open flirta- 
tion with Lennox " 

" What ? " Susan lifts her dewy eyes to his. Suddenly 
she breaks into the merriest laughter. " You're too funny 
for anything," says she. 

" Not for another dance, I hope." He laughs too, and so 
gaily. • And again his arm is round her, and away they go 
once more, dancing to the big lady's happiest strains. 
There is a conservatory off the music-room, and into this he 
leads her presently. 

" You have no flowers," says he. " I must give you 
some. These roses will suit you." 

" They suit Lady Muriel too," says Susan, remembering. 

"Yes? Oh! yes. I gave them to her this morning. 
Well, it shan't be roses then. These pink begonias f " 

" I should like those better," says Susan ; she takes them 
tranquilly. It was, of course, quite right that he should 
wish to give her flowers, different from those he had just 
given his fiancee. She had reminded him just in time. 

Crosby had been thankful for her suggestion, but for 
very different reasons. He had forgotten about Lady 
Muriel's roses, and to give her the same 

14 The rain is clearing away," says he, looking out of the 
window. " Still," as if to himself) " I think we had better 
take an umbrella.' 9 

44 An umbrella?" 

44 On our way home." 

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" Mr. Crosby," eagerly, " you need not take me home. 
You must not. There is really no necessity. Oh I " 
anxiously, thinking of Lady Muriel and his desire to be 
with her, u I hope you won't come." 

" That is not very civil, Susan, is, it?" says he, smil- 
ing. He pauses and looks sullenly at her, a new expres- 
sion growing in his eyes. " Of course, if you have ar- 
ranged to go home with anyone else " 

" No. No, indeed. But to take you away from your 
guests " 

M My guests will live without me for half an hour I have 
no doubt." His tone is quite its old joyous self again. 
" And I promised your aunt to see that you got safely back 
to her, and, as the children say, ' a promise is a promise.' 
Here are your begonias. Shall I fasten them in for you ? " 

He arranges them under her pretty chin, she holding up 
her head to let him do it, and then they go back to the 
music-room, where Sir William catches him and carries him 
off for something or other. Susan, sinking into a chair, • 
finds Josephine Prior almost immediately beside her. 

" Those pretty begonias ! " says she. " How they suit 
you, though hardly your frock. Of course" — with ele- 
phantine archness — u I need not ask who gave them to you. 
Mr. Crosby is always showering little favors on his women 
friends. Those roses to Lady Muriel " — Susan holds her 
breath a moment — " and these begonias to you, and opera 
tickets to others, and last night such a delicious box of 
marron glaces to me." She forgets to add that he gave a 
similar box to each of his lady guests, having run up to 
Dublin in the morning and brought them back with him 
from Mitchell's. 

" I declare the sun is coming out at last," says Lady 
Forster. " It is going to be a glorious evening. What a 
swindle ! We have been quite done out of our day. I do 
call that maddening. Never mind, we must make up for it 
to-night. We will have — what shall we have, Dolly f " to 

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Miss Forbes, " a pillow scuffle ? Yes. That will be the 
very thing. And, Susan, you shall stay and sleep and help 
us. And we'll get the boys up. They would be splendid 
at it, and give even us points, I shouldn't wonder." 

" I have promised Miss Barry," says Crosby, in a dis- 
tinct tone, " to take Susan home this evening at six, and 
I'm afraid it is rather after that now. Will you go and 
put on your hat, Susan f " 

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" Heart'aease I found where Love-lies-bleeding 
Empurpled all the ground, 
Whatever flower I missed unheeding 
Heart'aease I found. 11 

The day is still lingering, but one can see that night is 
beginning to coquet with it. Tender shadows lie here and 
there in the corners of the curving road and in and among 
the beech trees that overhang it birds are already rustling 
with a view to slumber. The soft coo-coo of the pigeon 
stirs the air, and on the river down below. 

44 Now winding bright and full with naked banks," the 
first faint glimmer of a new moon is falling — falling — as 
though sinking through it, to a world beneath. 

44 What are you thinking of, Susan f " asks Crosby, at 
last, when the sound of their feet upon the road has been 
left unbroken for quite five minutes. Susan had chatted to 
him quite gaily all down the avenue, and until the gates 
were left behind, but after that she had grown — well — 

44 Thinking ? " she looks up at him as if startled out of a 

44 Yes. What have you been thinking of so steadily for 
the past five minutes ? " 

Thus brought to book, Susan gives him the truest an- 

44 1 was thinking of Lady Muriel Kennedy. I was think- 
ing that I had never seen anyone so beautiful before." 

44 That's high praise." 

"You think so too ?" 

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" Well — hardly. She is handsome, very handsome, but 
not altogether the most beautiful person I have ever seen." 

" To me she is," says Susan, simply. 

" That only shows to what poor use you have put your 
looking-glass," says he, and Susan laughs involuntarily as 
at a most excellent joke. Crosby glancing at her, and 
noting her sweet unconsciousness, feels a strong longing to 
take her hand and draw it within his arm, and hold it, but 
from such idyllic pleasures he refrains. 

The dusky shades are growing more pronounced now. 
" Eve saddens into night." The long and pretty road, bor- 
dered by overhanging trees, though still full of light just 
here, looks black in the distance and overhead, 

" The pale moon sheds a softer day, 
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam." 

After a little silence Susan turns her head and looks 
frankly at him. 

" Are you going to be married to her ? " asks she, gently 
and quite naturally. 

" What ! " says Crosby. He is honestly amazed and con- 
scious of some other feeling too, that brings a pucker to his 
forehead. " Good heavens, no — what put that into your 

" I don't know. I — " she has grown all at once con- 
fused, and a pink flush is warming her cheek. " Of course 
I shouldn't have asked you that. But she is so lovely, and 
I thought — I fancied — I am afraid," her eyes growing 
rather misty as they meet his in mute appeal, " you think 
me very rude." 

" I never think you anything but just what you are," 
says Crosby, slowly. " I wonder if you could be rude if 
you tried, I doubt it. However, don't try. It would spoil 
you. As for Lady Muriel, she wouldn't look at me." 

Susan remains silent, pondering over this. Would he 
look at her f 

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" Should you like her to ? " asks she at last. 
* " To look at me f " Crosby is now openly amused. 
" The cat may look at the king, you know." 

" Oh, but she—" 

" Is not the cat? That's rude anyway. Susan, I take 
back all the handsome things I said of you just now. So 
I'm the cat and she is the queen, I suppose. Well, no ; I 
don't want Queen Muriel to look at me. It would be 
rather embarrassing, considering all things. She is a very 
high and mighty young lady you know, and I'm terribly 
shy. On the whole, Susan — " he pauses, and studies her 
a minute, " I should prefer you to look at me." 

His studying goes for naught : not a vestige of blush ap- 
pears on Susan's face or any emotion whatever. His little 
flattery had gone by her. " Oh, you know what I mean," 
says she. 

" Do I f You are often very deep, you know ; but if you 
mean that perhaps I should like to marry Lady Muriel. 
Well, I shouldn't." 

" How strange," says Susan. " I think if I were a man, 
I should be dreadfully in love with her." 

Crosby laughs. 

" So you think you could be dreadfully in love f " says ho 

Susan's lips part in a little smile. 

" Oh, not as it is. I was only thinking of Lady Muriel. 

. . . and you — that you ought to be. . " 

11 Dreadfully in love t How do you know I am not — 
with somebody else ? " 

She shakes her head. 

" No, you are not," says she. " After all, I think you 
are just as little likely to be dreadfully in love with anyone 
as I am." 

" Susan ! You are growing positively profound," says 

They are now drawing near to the rectory gates, and 
Susan's fingers are stealing into her pocket, and out agam-^i 


with ' nervous rapidity. Oh, she must give it to him now, 
or never. To-morrow it will be too late. One can't give a 
birthday gift the day after the birthday. But it is such a 
ridiculous little bag, and she has seen so many of his pres- 
ents up at the Hall — and all so lovely, and in such good 
taste. Stilt, to let him think, after all his kindness, that 
she had not even remembered his birthday. 

" Mr. Crosby," says she, and now the hand that comes 
from the pocket has something in it. " I — all day, I " — 
tremulously — " have been wanting to give you something 
for your birthday. I know," she pauses, and slowly and 
reluctantly — and in a very agony of shyness, now holds out 
to him the little silken bag filled with fragrant lavender. 
u I know " — tears filling her eyes — " after what I saw to- 
day . . . those other gifts — that it is not worth giving, 
but — I made it for you." 

She holds it out to him, and Crosby, who has colored a 
dark red, takes it from her, but never a word comes from 

The dear, darling child 1 To think of her having done 
this for him ! ... To Susan bis silence sounds fetal. 

" Of course," says she, " I knew you wouldn't care for it. 
But " 

11 Care for it ! Oh, Susan ! To call yourself my friend, 
and so misjudge me 1 I care for it a good deal more, I can 
tell you, than for all those other things up there put to- 

There is no mistaking the genuine ring in his tone. In- 
deed his delight and secret emotion amasses even himself! 
Susan's spirits revive. 

" Oh, no," protests she. 

" Yes, though. No one else," says Crosby, " took the 
trouble to make me anything 1 That's the difference, you 
see. To make it for me — with your own hands. It is easy 
to buy a thing — there is no trouble there." He looks at 
her present, turning and twisting it with unmistakable 


gratification. " What a lovely little bag, and filled with 
lavender, eh ? " 

" It is to put in your drawer with your handkerchiefs," 
says Susan, shyly still ; but she is smiling now, and looking 
frankly delighted. " Betty made me one last year, and 1 
keep it with mine." 

" So we have a bag each," says Crosby, and somehow he 
feels a ridiculous pleasure in the knowledge that he, and 
she, have bags alike, and that both their handkerchiefs will 
be made sweet with the same perfume. And now his eyes 
fall on the worked words, that lie criss-cross in one of the 

" Mr. Crosby, from Susan." 

" Do you mean to say you actually did that too? " asks 
he, with such extreme astonishment, that Susan grows ac- 
tually elated. 

" Oh, yes," says she, taking a modest tone, though her 
conceit is rising, " it is quite easy." 

" To me it seems impossible. To do that — and only with 
one's fingers. It beats typewriting," says he. " It is 
twice as legible. Do you mean to say you wrote — worked, 
I mean — that with a common needle and thread ? " 

" I did indeed," says Susan, earnestly, whose heart again 
knows a throb of exultation. Why, if he could only see 
the cushion she worked for Lady Millbank's bazaar ! 

" It must have taken a long time," says he, thoughtfully. 
And then, " And to think of you doing it for me ! " 

"Oh, for you," says Susan. "You who have been so 
kind to us all ! I," growing shy again, " I am very glad 
you really like that little bag ; but it is nothing — nothing. 
And I was delighted to make it for you, and to think of 
you all the time as I made it." 

"Were you, Susan?" says Crosby, as gratefully as 
possible, though he feels his heart in some silly way is sink- 

" I was, I was indeed I " says Susan openly, emphatically. 


44 So you must not trouble yourself about that." Crosby's 
heart foils another fathom or two. 

" I'll try not to," says he, with a somewhat melancholy 
reflection of his usual light-heartedness. They had ar- 
rived at the gate now, and Susan holds out her hand to 

" Remember you have promised to bring up the boys to- 
morrow for their gipsy tea," says he, holding it. 

" Yes." She hesitates and flushes warmly. " Might I 
bring Betty,'too?" 

" Why, of course," eagerly. " Give my love to her, and 
tell her from — my sister that we can't have a gipsy tea with- 
out her." 

" And Lady Forster ? " Susan grows uncertain about the 
propriety of asking Betty without Lady Forster's consent. 

" Now, Susan ! As if you aren't clever enough to know 
that Eatherine delights in nothing so much as young people 
— she's quite as young as the youngest herself— and that 
she will be only too pleased to see a sister of yours." 

There is emphasis on the last word. 

" You think then she likes me ? " Susan's tone is anxious. 

" I think she has fallen in love with you." She smiles 
happily and moves a step away. But his voice checks her. 

44 Not the only one either, Susan." 

44 Oh, not Captain Lennox again. I have had one lecture." 
Susan looks really saucy, for once in her life, and alto- 
gether delightful, as she defies him from under her big straw 

44 No, I was thinking of " 

44 Yes? "gaily. 

44 Never mind." 

He turns and walks away, and Susan laughing to her- 
self at his inability to accuse her further runs down the lit- 
tle avenue to her home. There is a rush from the lawn as 
she comes in sight. 

44 Oh, there you are Susan ! " 

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" How did it go off? " 

" Were they all nice ? Were you nervous 1 " 

" Is the house lovely ? " 

" Oh it is," says Susan, now having reached a seat, and 
feeling a little consequential with all of them sitting round 
her and waiting on her words. " You never saw such a 
house t Much, much more beautiful than Lady Millbank's." 

" Well, we all know it's twice — four times the size, but 
.Lady Millbank's furniture was " 

" Oh I That's all changed. Mr. Crosby has furnished 
his house all over again from beginning to end. Of course 
we've been through it many times when he was away, but • 
now you wouldn't know it. It appears he has had things 
stored up after his travels — left in their cases, indeed — that 
lately have been brought to light. The drawing-room is 
perfect, and — the pictures " 

" And the people ? " asks Betty, impatiently, who is dis- . 
tinctly material. 

" Very, very nice too. That is most of them. Miss 
Prior was there. She — well, I can't bring myself to like 

u What did she do to you ? " asks Dom. 

" Oh, nothing ; nothing really, only " 

" That's enough," says Carew. " You didn't hit it off 
with her evidently. ' r 

Susan hesitates, and as usual is lost. 

" I can't bear her," says she. 

" And that lovely girl who drove home with Mr. Crosby f " 
asks Betty. 

" Ah, she is even lovelier than I thought," says Susan, 
with increased enthusiasm. She finds it quite easy to praise 
her now. " And so charming. She wished particularly to 
be introduced to me, and — " 

" Did she ? " from Betty. " What a good thing that she 
likes you. If she marries Mr. Crosby she may be very use- 
ful to us." 

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" I don't think she's going to marry him/' says Susan, 

"No?" with growing interest. "They," casting back 
her thoughts, " looked very like it on Sunday. How do you 
know ? " 

" I asked him," says Susan, simply. 

" What ! " They all sit up in a body. " You— asked 
him ? " 

" Yes. Does it sound dreadful ? " Poor Susan grows 
very red. " It," nervously, " didn't sound a bit dreadful 
when I did it. And," desperately, " I did anyway." 

" It wasn't a bit dreadful," says Carew, good-naturedly. 

" Not a bit. Go on, Susan," Dom regards her with large 
encouragement. " Did you ask him any more questions f 
Did you ask him if he would like to marry you f There 
wouldn't be a bit of harm in that either, and — " 

" Dominick t " says Susan in an outraged tone. 

Here Betty promptly catches his ear, and pulling him 
down beside her begins to pummel him within 'an inch of his 

" Never mind him, Susan. He's got no brains. They 
were left out when he was born. Tell us more about your 
luncheon party." 

" There is so little to tell," says Susan, in a subdued voice. 
Her pretty color has died away, and she is looking very pale. 

" What about the poet t " 

" Oh I the poet. His name is Jones ; of all the names in 
the world." 

Here she revives a little, and at certain recollections of 
the illustrious Jones, in spite of herself her smiles break 
forth again. " He," she bursts out laughing. " It sounds 
horribly conceited, but I really think he believes he is in 
love with me. Such nonsense, isn't it ? " 

(Oh ! too pretty Susan ! who wouldn't be in love with 

" I don't know about that," says Dom, who has escaped 

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from Betty 's wrathful hands and is prepared to go any 
length to prevent a recurrence of the late ceremonies. " He 
might do worse ! " 

44 And so the house is lovely," says Betty, with a regret- 
ful sign. Now if only they would ask her there ; but of 
course nobody remembers second girls. 

" Yes, lovely. The halls are all done up ; and there are 
paintings on the walls, and as for the marbles they are ex- 
quisite ! " 

" Nice simple people apparently," says Dom. " Were 
they glass or stone, Susan ? Alleys or stony taws ? Did 
you have a game yourself? I'm afraid our education has 
been a little neglected in that line— but still I can recollect 
your doing a little flutter in the way of marbles about half 
a decade or so ago ; and you won, too ? " 

" I suppose you think you're funny," says Betty, which 
is about the most damping speech that anyone can make, 
but Mr. Fitzgerald is hard to damp. He gives her a re- 
proachful glance and sinks back with the air of one thor- 
oughly misunderstood. 

44 For the matter of games I suppose they," Betty is 
alluding to Mr. Crosby's guests, " wouldn't play one to 
save their lives ; quite fashionable people, of course ! " 
Betty plainly knows little of fashionable people. " Hardly 
even tennis, I daresay. They would call that, no doubt, 
fatiguing. Were they — were they very starchy ? " 

44 So far from that," says Susan. 4t That — " she hesitates. 
44 I'm almost sure I heard quite right — and certainly Lady 
Forster asked Mr. Crosby to let me stay on this evening, 
and sleep there, so that I might take part in — " 

She pauses. 

44 Private theatricals ? " cries Betty, excitedly. 

44 No. I think it was a 4 Pillow Scuffle ' they called it." 

There is a solemn silence after this, and then — 

44 A pillow scuffle ! " says Betty, faintly. 44 Are they so 
nice as that f " 

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" They are. They are very nice, just like ourselves." 

This flagrant bit of self-appreciation goes for a wonder 
unnoticed beneath the weight of the late announcement. 

" Why on earth don't they ask us to go up," says Dom- 
inick, who has many reasons for knowing he could do much 
with a pillow. 

" Well, they have asked you," cries Susan eagerly ; " not 
for a pillow match, but for afternoon tea in the woods to- 
morrow. She (Lady Forster) you know was delighted 
when she heard of you boys, and she said I was to be sure 
and bring you. And there is to be a fire lit, and — " 

" Oh, Susan ! " cries Betty, in a deplorable tone, tears fast 
rising to her eyes. " I think you might have said you had 
a sister." 

" So I did. So I did," eagerly ; " and you are to come 
too; and — " 

"Oh, no? not really." 

"Yes, really." 

"Oh, darling Susan I" 

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u As long as men do silent go, 
Nor faults nor merits can we know. 
Yet deem not every still place empty, 
A tiger may be met with, so." 

Friday has dawned, and is as delightful a day as ever' 
any miserable out-of-door entertainer can desire ; and Miss 
Barry, in spite of her tremors, and her fears for the success 
of this, her first big adventurous party, feels a certain sense 
of elation. Yes, to-day she is going to entertain all the 
party at the Park : yesterday the Park had entertained all 
her young people. The good soul (so good in spite of her 
temper and her peculiarities) has felt deep joy in the 
thought the children had been not only invited, but actually 
sought after, by all those fashionable folk up there, and 
though she would have died rather than boast of it to her 
neighbors, being too well-born for boasting of that kind, 
still her own heart swelled with pride at the thought, that 
in spite of their poverty, the children's birth had asserted 
itself, and carried them through all difficulties, to the society 
where they should be. 

So happy has she been in her unselfish gladness, that she 
has forgotten to scold one of them for quite ten hours. 
And now Friday, the day of her coming triumph has ar- 
rived, and she has risen almost with the sun that has 
brought it. There is so much to be done you see : the best 
tablecloths to be brought out, and the old Queen Anne tea- 
pot to get a last rub, and all the cakes to be make I There 
will be plenty of time for the baking of them before five 

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o'clock, at which hour Lady Forster has arranged to come 
with all her guests. 

Susan and Betty have been busy with the drawing-room 
— one of the smallest rooms on record — a fact, however, 
made up for lavishly by the size of the furniture, which 
would not have disgraced a salon. It is now, to confess the 
truth, in the seer and yellow stage, and some of the chairs 
have legs that are distinctly wobbly, and by no means to 
be depended upon. 

" Hurry up, Susan," says Betty. " The room will do 
very well now, especially as no one will come into it. They 
are sure to stay in the garden this lovely evening. Come 
and see about the flowers for the table." 

" Oh, look at that screen," cries Susan ; and indeed, as a 
feet, it is upside down. 

" Never mind ! Come on," says Betty impatiently, drag- 
ging her away. " Even if it is the wrong way up it doesn't 
matter. It looks twice as Japanesey that way. I wonder 
if the boys have brought the fruit yet ? " 

When first Dominick had heard of Miss Barry's intention 
of giving a party for the Park people he had decided that 
at all risks it should be a success. But his quarter's allow- 
ance was, as usual, (he had received it only a month ago) 
at death's door, and only thirty shillings remained of it. 
He had at once written to his guardian saying circum- 
stances over which he had no control — I suppose he meant 
his inability to refrain from buying everything his eye lit 
on — had made away with the sum sent last June, and he 
would feel immensely obliged to Sir Spencer if he could let 
him have a few pounds more, or even give him an advance 
on his next allowance. The answer had come this morning, 
had been opened hurriedly, but alas t had contained instead 
of the modest cheque asked for, a distinct and uncompro- 
mising " No." 

" Mean old brute ! " said Dom indignantly, referring, I 
regret to say, to his uncle. " I wrote to him for a bare 

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fiver, and the old beast refuses to part. Never mind, 
Susan ! We'll have our spread just the same. I've thirty 
shillings to the good still, and that'll get us all we want." 

" No, indeed, Dom," said Susan, flushing. " You mustn't 
spend your last penny like that. We'll do very well as we 
are, with auntie's cakes." 

" We must have fruit," says Mr. Fitzgerald with deter- 
mination. " Do you remember all those grapes yesterday, 
and the late peaches and things ? " Indeed they had had a 
most heavenly day yesterday — a distinctly rollicking day — 
in the woods, and had played hide and seek afterwards 
amongst the shrubberies, at which noble game Lady Forster 
and Miss Forbes had quite distinguished themselves ; the 
latter beating Dom ail to nothing in the dodging line, and 
reaching the goal every time, without being caught. It 
had been altogether a splendid romp, and the Barrys had 
come home, flushed and happy, and with so much to tell 
their aunt, that their words tumbled over each other, and 
were hard to put together in any consecutive way. I think 
Aunt Jemima was a little shocked when Betty told her that 
Lady Forster had called Carew u a rowdy dowdy boy," but 
she fortified herself with the thought that no doubt the 
world had changed a good deal since she was a girl — as no 
doubt it had. Anyway the children were delighted, and 
Dominick felt that nothing they could do for the Park peo- 
ple, and especially for that jolly Miss Forbes, could be good 

" We must have some grapes," said he, " and even if it is 
to be my last penny, Susan, I am sure I can depend on you 
to patch up my old breeches so as to carry me with decency 
if not with elegance through the next two months." 

" But, Dom — I really don't think you should — *-" 

" Never mind her," Betty had said promptly here, Betty, 
who is devoid of any sort of false shame, and looks upon 
Dom as a possession, " of course, we must have fruit." 

" And those little cakes at Ricketty's, with chocolate on 

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them. Put on your hat, Betty, and come down town with 
me, and well astonish the natives yet t " 

But Betty had too much to do, and finally Carew had 
gone off with Dom on their foraging quest, and now, as the 
girls come out of the drawing-room, they meet the two boys 
" laden with golden grain," like the " Argosy," and eager 
to display their purchases. 

Such grapes ! Such dear sweet little cakes ! They are 
all enchanted ; and soon the table, delicately laid out in a 
corner of the queer, pretty, old garden, is a sight to behold! 
And beyond lies the tennis court — one only — but so beauti- 
fully mown, and rolled ! looking like the priest of famous 
history, all " Shaven and shorn." 

• • • • • • • 

" Didn't I tell you it was a perfect old garden ? " Lady 
Forster is saying, addressing Lady Muriel, who is laughing, 
quite immensely for her, at one of Carew's boyish jokes. 
Lady Forster is dressed in one of her smartest gowns — a 
mere trifle perhaps, but done to please, and therefore a 
charming deed. And all her guests incited by her, no 
doubt, have donned their prettiest frocks, so that Miss 
Barry's garden at this moment presents a picture more 
suggestive of a garden party at Twickenham than a quiet 
tea on the grounds of an old Irish rectory. 

" It is too pretty for anything," says Lady Muriel " I 
wouldn't have missed it for a good deal I think it was 
very kind of your aunt, Mr. " 

" Carew ! " says he, quickly. 

41 May I ? What a charming name 1 It was very kind 
of your aunt, Carew," smiling, " to ask us here ! " 

" It is very kind of you to come," says Carew. 

" Do you run over to town ? " asks Lady Muriel It has 
occurred to her that she would like to repay this pretty 
kindness of Miss Barry. 

" Oh, no," shaking his handsome head. And then frankly, 
" We are too poor for that." 

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il Ah ! your sister ought to come," says she. After -which 
she grows thoughtful. 

Crosby glances quickly at her. He had heard that last re- 
mark of hers, and somehow resents it. Susan — in London. 

He had taken his cup of tea from Miss Barry a little 
\ while ago, and carried it to where Susan was sitting, throw- 
: ing himself on the grass at her feet, his cup beside him. 
Lady Muriel's words grate on him. He looks up now at 
the pure proGle beside him, and wonders what would be the 
result of starting Susan as a debutante in town under good 
auspices. What ? 

" You are thinking," says Susan, softly, breaking into his 
reverie gently. 

" Yes, I was thinking," He looks up at her. " If I said 
of you, would you believe me? " 

" Not a bit," gaily. " Anyone would say that." 

"Would they?" His regard grows even more pro- 
nounced. How many have said that to her ? How, indeed, 
could anyone refrain from saying it ? and — he draws his 
breath a little quickly here — as conviction forces itself on 
him — and everyone with truth ! " Susan I This is dis- 
graceful," says he, carelessly. " You must have had a long 
list of flirtations to speak like that." 

Susan laughs merrily. She is in high spirits. All is go- 
ing so well, and even Lady Millbank has praised the tea- 
cakes. Lady Millbank, who never praises anything ! But 
to-day Lady Millbank has changed her tune. Perhaps no 
one had been so astonished as she, to see all the Park peo- 
ple here to-day in this quiet old garden. She had been 
asked to meet them, of course, being a friend and distant 
relation of the Rector's, but she had dreamed of seeing only 
Lady Forster, for half-an-hour or so, as a concession to her 
brother's parish priest, and now — now — here they all are ! 
All these smart people, who had refused to go to her only 
the day before yesterday ! Now, horrid snob that she is, 
she goes quite out of her way to be nice to the Barrys. 

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" A disgraceful list, Indeed 1 " says Susan, laughing down 
into Crosby's eyes. Oh ! what pretty eyes hers are I 

" You acknowledge it, then." 

" Certainly. It is a list so bare that one must be ashamed 
of it. Not even one name ! " 

" What about James, the redoubtable ? " 

" Oh, if you are going to be stupid," says she, and rising 
with a pretty show of scorn, she leaves him. It is not en- 
tirely her scorn of him, however, that leads her to this 
drastic step ; it is an appealing glance from Betty, who is 
sitting near her aunt, looking perplexed in the extreme. 
There is cause for perplexity. Next to Miss Barry sits the , 
poet ! Unfortunately Miss Barry had heard a great deal 
about this young man and all his works, and plainly con- 
siders it her duty to live up to him, if possible, during his 
visit to the rectory. She has now put on quite a literary 
air, and her best spectacles, and is holding forth on litera- 
ture generally, with a view to impressing him. She suc- 
ceeds beyond her expectations ! The great Jones, who is 
reclining beside her in an artistic attitude, becomes by de- 
grees smitten into stone, so great, so wondrously surprising 
are some of her utterances. Through all his astonishment, 
however, he holds on to the artistic pose. Having struck 
it with the intention of conquering Susan, he refuses to 
alter it until, at all events, she has had a good look. It may 
be a long time, poor girl, before she will get the chance of 
seeing anything like it again ! 

" What's the matter with his leg?" asks Dom, who has 
just come up, in a whisper to Betty. " It's got turned 
round, hasn't it?" 

" It looks broken," says Betty. " But it's all right. It's 
a way he has with it. For goodness sake, Dom, stop auntie, 
if you can." 

But auntie is enjoying herself tremendously, and now 
seeing her audience greatly increased, and the poet evi- 

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dently much struck, her voice rises higher, and she beams 
on all around her. 

44 My two favorite authors," she is now saying, " are — 
and I'm sure you will agree with me, dear Lady Porster, 
and you too, Mr. Jones. Your opinion," with alarming 
flattery, " is indeed important. My two favorite authors 
are, dear Wilkie Troilope and Anthony Collins 1 " 

Great sensation 1 Naturally everyone is impressed by 
this startling; declaration, and Miss Forbes is actually over- 
come. At all events she subsides behind her parasol, and is 
for a little time lost in thought. 

14 Yes, yes. Charming people, charming ! " says Lady 
Forster quickly, if a little hysterically, and the poet hav- 
ing seen Susan's eye upon him and his pose, and feeling 
that he has not endured the last half hour in vain, strug- 
gles into a more every-day attitude. Pins and needles, 
however, have set in, in the most pos£ of the legs, he is 
conscious of a good deal of unpleasantness, and at last a 
desire to get up. Essaying to rise, however, it distinctly 
declines to support him, and to his everlasting chagrin, he 
falls " plop " upon the ground again, in a painfully inartis- 
tic position this time. 

" Anything wrong, old man. Got a cramp ? " asks Cap- 
tain Lennox, hauling him into sitting posture. 

44 It is nothing, nothing," said the poet sadly. Oh I what 
it is to dwell in the tents of the Philistines ! " I was 
merely overcome by the beauty of this divine spot." He 
gives a sickly glance at Susan. " Such tones you know I 
Such color 1 Such a satisfying atmosphere ! " 

Here Susan, who is under the impression that he is ill, 
brings him hurriedly a cup of coffee, which he takes, press- 
ing her hand, and murmuring to her inaudible, but no doubt 
very " precious " things. 

44 One yearns over the beautiful always," says he. It is 
plain to everyone that he is yearning over Susan, and 
Crosby looking on, feels a sudden mad longing to kick him 

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over the laurel hedge on to the road below. " And such a 
spot as this wakes all one's dreams into life. Those trees ! 
Those distant glimpses t The little soft throbs of Nature — 
Mother Nature ! All, all can be felt 1 " 

" I wish to heaven I could make him feel something t " 
says Sir William in a low but moving tone. 

" And there — over there. See those green glimpses. 
The parting of the leaves." 

" Oh, go on, go on," says Miss Barry, growing tearful 
behind her glasses. " This is indeed beautiful ! " % 

" Dear lady, you feel it too I There," pointing to where 
the Cottage trees seem to become one with those of the 
rectory — at which Wyndham starts slightly. " One can 
see the delicate blendings of Nature's sweetest tints, and 
can fancy that from between those pleasant leaves a face 
might once again, as in the old sweet phantasies, peep forth. 
This dear place looks as if Hamadryads had not yet died 
from out the world : as if still they might be found inhabi- 
tating these lovely ways. Almost it seems to me as if 
their divine faces might even now be seen, peeping through 
those perfumed greeneries beyond.' 9 

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Involuntarily, unconsciously, all their eyes follow his, to the trees 
in the Cottage grounds. 
And there— 

"All orators are dumb when beauty pleadeth." 

" Spite is a little word, but it represents as strange a jumble of 
feelings and compound of discords as any polysyllable in the lan- 

A profound silence falls on the group. Captain Lennox, 
whose eyeglass is immovably fixed on something in the dis- 
tance, is the first to break it. 

" Almost it does ! " says he, mimicking the poet's lachry- 
mose drawl to a nicety. But no one laughs ; they are all 
too engrossed with what they see, peeping out shyly from 
between the branches of those trees below, that seem to be- 
long to the rectory, meeting them as they do, and mingling 
with them so closely, that one loses memory of the road 
that runs between. " I feel as if I saw one now. How do 
you feel, Forster ? " 

Sir William laughs : 

" A charming Hamadryad beyond dispute," says he. 

Charming, indeed ! Crowned by the leaves that hang 
above her head, Ella's lace is looking out at them, like some 
lovely vision. Her face only can be seen, but that very 
distinctly. To her, unfortunately, it had seemed quite cer- 
tain that she could not be seen at all. It was so far away, 
and they would be talking and thinking, and it was so hard 
to resist the desire to see them. Carew had insisted on her 
being asked to join their party, and Susan had begged and 

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implored, but Ella had steadfastly refused to accept the in- 
vitation. And then Susan had remembered that strange 
minute or two during her luncheon at the Park, and the 
evident anxiety of Mr. Wyndham that Mrs. Prior should 
know nothing about Ella, and had refrained from further 

Now again this uncertain certainty occurs to Susan, and 
she makes a little eager gesture, hoping that Ella will see 
her and take the hint, and go away. But alas ! Ella is not 
looking at her, or at Carew, or anyone, except — strange to 
say — at Mrs. Prior. 

There is an intensity in her gaze that even at such a dis- 
tance Susan, who is eminently sympathetic, divines. 

" It's her bonnet ! " thinks Susan, hurriedly, who had in- 
deed been immensely struck by Mrs. Prior's head garment 
on her arrival. Such a tall aigrette 1 and such big wings 
at the sides! Again she makes little passes in the air 
meant for Ella's benefit, but again in vain. Turning with 
a view to enlisting Carew's help, she finds herself close to 

His face is livid. He is indeed consumed with anger. 
Good heavens, is the girl bent on his undoing ? Is she de- 
termined wilfully to add to the already too risqu£ situation ? 

" Carew might do something," whispers she to him, 
softly. " He might run across and tell her she can be seen, 
or " 

She looks round for Carew, and Wyndham follows her 
lead, to see Carew behind an escalonia bush, waving his 
arms frantically in the air. There is intense anxiety in the 
boy's air, but something else too. There is, as Wyndham 
can see, heartfelt admiration ; and beyond all doubt the ad- 
miration outweighs the anxiety. He is conscious of a sen- 
sation of annoyance for a moment, then his thoughts come 
back to the more pressing need. He looks at Susan, and 
then expressively at Mrs. Prior, and Susan, in answer to 
Ms evident entreaty, goes quickly to hgr. ?iz jgnd suggests 


softly a little stroll through the old orchard, but Mrs. Prior 
peremptorily puts her aside, and taking a step forward 
comes up to Wyndham, and looks straight at him in a ques- 
tioning fashion, at which, as though by the removal of Mrs. 
Prior's eyes from hers, Ella all at once ceases to be under 
some strange spell — the charming head between the syca- 
more trees disappears from view, and no more is seen of 
Mr. Jones' Hamadryad. 

" Though lost to sight to memory dear ! " breathes Cap- 
tain Lennox, sentimentally. " I feel I shall remember that 
goddess of the grove as long as I live." 

The tiny excitement is at an end for most of the guests, 
and they are now chatting gaily again of petty nothings, 
all except Mrs. Prior, who is still looking at Wyndham. 

" Who is that girl f " asks she, in a low but firm tone. 
Wyndham would have spoken, but Carew breaks angrily 
into the conversation. His heart is sore, his boyish indig- 
nation at its height. Surely there had been disrespect in 
their tone as they spoke of Ella ! He had specially objected 
to that word " Hamadryad." 

" She is a young lady who has taken Mr. Wyndham's 
cottage," says he, in his clear young voice, " and a friend 
of my sister's." 

" Oh, indeed ! " says Mrs. Prior. " I congratulate you, 
Paul," turning a withering glance on him, " on your taste 
in tenants ! " 

The evening lights are falling, falling softly, tenderly, 
but surely. The crows are sailing home to their beds in 
the elm trees, cawing as they come. The tall hollyhocks 
are growing indistinct, the tenderer colors fading into 
white. There is a rising odor of damp, sweet earth upon 
the air. Lady Forster is making little signs of departure, 
not hurried signs by any means — she seems, indeed, rather 
reluctant to say good-bye, but Mrs. Prior had said some- 
thing to her, on which she had risen, the others following 
her example. There is no doubt about Mrs. Prior's . 

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to go. With her face set like a flint she is already bidding 
Miss Barry a stiff farewell, and is waiting with ill-concealed 
impatience for Lady Forster. 

44 Good-bye, Susan," says Crosby, coming up at this mo- 
ment to the slim maiden who bears that name. " Though 
you deserted me so shamelessly a while ago I bear you no 
ill-will. I understood the action. It was a guilty con- 
science drove you to it. I asked you a simple question and 
you refused to answer it. I ask it again now." A pause, 
during which Susan taps her foot on the ground, and tries 
to assume a puzzled air that would not have deceived a boy. 
14 And you still refuse, Susan f " tragically. " Is it that 
you can't ? " 

44 Can't what ? " blushing fatally. 

44 Can't say that the redoubtable James is nothing to you." 

44 1 suppose you want to drive me away again," says Su- 
san, demurely. 

44 That subterfuge won't answer a second time. Don't 
dream of it. If you attempt to fly me now I warn you that 
I shall grapple with that blue tie round your neck, and — 
you wouldn't like a scene, Susan, would you t Come, is he 
nothing to you ? " 

44 1 really wonder," says Susan, struggling with a desire 
for laughter, that brightens up her pretty eyes, and curves 
the corners of her lips, u that after all I have said before, 
you should still persist in this nonsense." 

44 That still is no answer. I don't even know if it is non- 
sense. I begin to suspect you of being a diplomatist, Su- 

44 1 am not," says she, a little indignantly. " I am noth- 
ing in the world but what you see ; just Susan Barry." 

44 And that means — shall I tell you what that means ? " 
He is smiling lightly, easily, but a good deal of heartfelt 
passion can lie behind a smile. 44 Shall I ? " 

This is another question. But Susan, softly glancing, 
puts that question by. 


" What, no answer to anything ? " 

" Not to silly things." She shakes her head. " Besides, 

it's my turn now. Do you " she lays her hand lightly 

on his arm and looks cautiously round her, " do you think 
it— is all right ? " 

" All right. How should I know ? You refuse to an- 
swer me, and what do I know of James ? " 

" Oh, oh, oh 1 " Her soft voice shows irritation, and her 
hand trembles on his arm as if she would dearly like to 
shake him. " I begin to hate James." 

" Ah, now we get near the answer," said he. " I feel 
better. Go on. What's to be all right ? " 

" You saw Ella, Mr. Wyndham's tenant, you know, in 
the tree over there a little time ago. What do you think 
about it ? I thought Mrs. Prior looked put out. But what 
can it matter to her who is living there ? Did she want the 
Cottage ? " 

" It seems a fair solution of the problem," says Crosby, 
thoughtfully, and after all truthfully enough. Certainly 
Mrs. Prior has worked for eighteen months not only for the 
Cottage but for the owner of the Cottage and all the rest of 
his possessions for her daughter. 

" But she won't be disagreeable to poor Ella, will she ? " 

" Won't she if she gets the chance," thinks Crosby. 
" Must see that she doesn't get it, though." 

" No, no, of course," out aloud. 

" And you think it doesn't matter her being seen ; that 
nothing- will come of it f " 

" Only a most infernal row," thinks Crosby again. 

" Naturally, nothing. Besides, Mrs. Prior is going home 

" Oh, I'm glad of that," says Susan. " I didn't like her 
expression when she saw Ella. And now I must go, Lady 
Forster wants to say good-bye to me." She turns, then 
runs back again. " Oh, a moment. Tell me," looking at 

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him eagerly, but shyly, " You— do you really think it has 
gone off—well ? " 

The eyes are so anxious that Crosby feels it is impossible 
to jest here. This little party has seemed a great deal to 
her ; quite a tremendous event in her calm, isolated life. 

44 I heard Katherine say just now," says he, " that she 
had never enjoyed herself so much in all her life 1 " And if 
he hadn't heard Katherine say that, I hope it will be for- 
given him. 

" And — and the others f " 

u The proof of the pudding is in the eating," quotes he, 
solemnly. " In my opinion you will have to get up the 
sergeant and all his merry men to turn them out." 

44 Oh ! now ! " says Susan, with a lovely laugh — that has 
such sweet and open gratification in it. " That's too much. 
And you," anxiously, " you weren't dull f " 

He pauses. Then — 

" I don't think so." He pauses again, as if to more reli- 
giously search his memory. " I really don't think so ! " 

At this Susan laughs with even greater gaiety than be* 
fore, and he laughs too, and with a little friendly hand 
clasp they part. 

It doesn't take the Barrys, that is Susan, Dom, Carew, 
and Betty a second after their guests have gone, to scamper 
down the road to the little green gate, and beat upon it the 
tattoo that is the signal between them and Ella. And it 
takes only another moment for Ella herself to open the gate 
cautiously, whereupon she finds herself instantly with her 
hands full of cakes, and fruit and sweets, that they have 
brought her from their party ; leaving the rest to the chil- 
dren, who had really behaved remarkably well all through 
the afternoon, thanks to the sombre Jacky, who had kept 
them under his unflinching eye. 

44 Well, we're alive," cries Betty. " Rather the worse for 
wear, but still in the land of the living. And really, it went 

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off miraculously well — for us. Not even a fly in the cream. 
You saw us, I know. How did we look ? " 

" Oh, it was all so prettj' ; so pretty I " says Ella, a little 
sadly perhaps, but with enthusiasm that leaves nothing to 
be desired. " Yes, of course, I saw you. I climbed up the 
tree. But," nervously looking at Susan, " I'm afraid they 
saw me." 

" Certainly they saw you," says Carew, a little hotly. 
" Why shouldn't they ? " 

" Oh no. I didn't want that. I am sorry," says Ella, 
with evident distress. " I thought I was quite safe there — 
that no one could see me. But — Susan — did Mr. Wyndham 
see me ? " 

" Yes," says Susan gently. Ella's distress at once grow- 
ing deeper, she goes on hurriedly, " But, as Carew saj f s, 
why not ? It is your own place — your own tree — and I 
have always said you ought to come out — and mix with 

41 No, no," hurriedly. All at once it seems to her that 
she must tell Susan the whole truth ; how it is with her — 
and her horror of being discovered by that man — and the 
past sadness of her life, and the present loneliness of it. 
But not now ; another time, when they are quite alone. 

" The poet saw you at all events," says Dom. " He's not 
quite right in his head, poor old chap, and he got very 

mixed. He thought you were a Hindoo idol " 

, " Dominick ! " Betty turns upon him indignantly. 
" How disgracefully ignorant you are I After all papa's 
teaching! Hamadryads aren't Hindoo idols. They are 
lovely things. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!" 

" I am. I am," says Mr. Fitzgerald, with resignation. 
" I really don't think I shall pass any exam." 

" You don't try," says Susan with a slight touch of 
anger. " You don't put your mind into your work. And 
it is such a shame towards father. Why don't you try ? " 

" He does try 1 " says Betty, angrily. She is 

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dently on the defensive — on the side of the prisoner at the 
bar — that they all stare — a matter that brings her to her 
senses in a hurry. She to defend Dom, with whom she is 
always at daggers drawn. A gleam of pleasure in Dom's 
eyes enrages her, and brings the crisis. 

" He does try," repeats she. " But," with a glance at 
Dom meant to reduce him to powder, " he has no brains." 

The glance is lost. Dom comes up smiling. 

" You've got it," says he. And then, " anyway, Miss 
Moore, our only poet thought you were a Sylvan Goddess. 
Will that do, Betty ? Didn't he, Carew ? " 

" He's a fool," says Carew, morosely. 

" Did you notice him, Ella ? " asks Betty. "A little man 
with a dismal eye and a nose you could hang your hat on ? 
If poets are all like that, defend me from them ! He goes 
about as if he was searching for a corner in which to weep, 
and he looks as if " 

" 'E didn't know where 'e are," quotes Dom. 

" Yes, I saw him. He was sitting near you, Susan, and 

I saw Mr. Wyndham, and " She pauses, and a faint 

color steals into her cheeks. " Susan, who was that woman 
with the high things in her bonnet ? " 

" High things? " Susan looks puzzled, and Ella goes on 
to describe Mrs. Prior's bonnet with more extreme accuracy. 

" That was Mrs. Prior — Mr. Wyndham's aunt. Fancy 
your noticing her. Do you know, Ella, I can't bear her, or 
her daughter. They are all so — so unreal — so cruel, I think 

But Ella is hardly listening. Her eyes are troubled. She 
is thinking — thinking. 

" It is strange," says she at last, " but somehow it seems 
to me as if I had seen her before. Not here — not now — but 
long, long, long ago." She makes a little movement of her 
hands as if driving something from her, then looks at Su- 
san. " It is nonsense, of course." She is very pale, and her 
smile is dull and lifeless. " But — I have seen her some* 

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where in my past — or someone like her ; but not so cold — 
so cruel." 

" She is Mr. Wyndham's aunt," says Susan again. " Per- 
haps the likeness you see lies there." 

" Perhaps so. But no, he is not like her," says the girl 
earnestly. " No, it is not Mr. Wyndham she reminds me 

" My goodness, Susan," says Betty suddenly, " perhaps 
we should not have left all those cakes with the children. 
They will make themselves ill, and we shall have a horrid 
time to-morrow." 

" Oh, and Bonnie I " says Susan, paling. She kisses 
Ella hurriedly and races home again up the quiet little 
shadowy road, without waiting for the slower coming of 
those behind her. 

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* Fortune makes quick despatch, and in a day 
May strip you bare as beggary itself." 

"Is this thing true, George t " 

" What thing ? " asks Crosby. 

41 Oh, you know, you know. You," turning her cold 
eyes on him, with actual fury in their depths, " must have 
known it all along." 

44 My dear Mrs. Prior, if you would only explain." 

Mrs. Prior motions him to a seat. She is already dressed 
for dinner, though it is barely seven o'clock. She had, how- 
ever, determined — after a stormy interview with Josephine 
on their return from the rectory — on seeing Wyndham at 
once, and demanding an explanation with regard to " that 
creature," as she called her. Wyndham, it seemed, how- 
ever, had not yet returned. 44 Gone to see her, no doubt," 
cried Mrs. Prior, with ever rising wrath, and thus foiled in 
her efforts to see him she had sent for her host, who, of 
course, being a bosom friend of Wyndham 's, and living 
down here, must have known all about it from the first. 

44 Do you think I need f " says she, with a touch of scorn. 
44 Are you going to tell me deliberately that you do not 
know what this — woman — is to Paul ? " 

44 His tenant," says Crosby, calmly. 44 What's the mat- 
ter with that ? Lots of fellows have tenants." 

44 That is quite true. It is also true that 4 lots of fel- 
lows 1 ' " she draws in her breath as if suffocating ; 
« have " 

44 Oh ! come now ! " says Crosby. 

44 You would have me mince matters," says she in her 

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low, cold voice, that is now vibrating with anger. " It is 
inadmissible of coarse to mention things of this sort. But 
I have my poor girl's interest at stake, and I dare to go 
far — for her. This arrangement of Paul's down here, close 
to you," she gives him a sudden quick glance ; " in the 
very midst of us as it were, is a direct insult." 

44 So it certainly would be, if matters were as you sup- 
pose. I am confident, however, that they are not. I have 
Paul's word for it." 

" Oh, a man's word, on an occasion such as this ! " 

44 Well, I suppose a man's word, if you know the man, is 
as good on one occasion as another ! " says Crosby. " And 
why should he lie to me about it f I have no interest in 
his tenants. If, as you seem to fancy, she is ? " 

" Oh, hush ! " says Mrs. Prior, making an entreating 
gesture. " Don't speak so loud. That poor child of mine 
— that poor, poor child — is there ; " pointing to the door on 
her left. " And if she heard this — it would almost kill her, 
I think." Mrs. Prior throws a little tragedy into her pale 
blue eyes. " Her heart* is deeply concerned — is filled, in- 
deed, with Paul ! As you know, George, for years this en- 
gagement has been thought of." 

" Engagement ? " 

11 Between," a little impatiently, but solemnly, " Paul 

and " She stops as if heart-broken and covers her face 

with her handkerchief. 

44 Virginia," is on the tip of Crosby's tongue, but by a 
' noble effort he swallows it. 

44 My unhappy Josephine," says Mrs. Prior, having com- 
manded her grief. " For myself, I cannot see what the end 
of this thing will be." 

44 It's an unlucky name beyond doubt," says Crosby, 
growing historical. 4< I don't think I'd christen another — 
h'm — I mean, I don't think it is a good name to call a girl 
by, don't you know ; but I fail to see where the unhappi- 
ness comes in this time I " 

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14 Don't you ? Do you imagine my poor child would wed 
a man with such disgraceful antecedents ? I had thought 
of the marriage for next year ; but now I And dear Shan- 
garry had so set his heart on a union between my girl and 
Paul. Only last month he was speaking to me about it. 
It will be a horrible blow to the poor old man. Indeed, I 
shouldn't wonder if he disinherited Paul on account of it." 

Here she looks steadily, meaningly at Crosby. It is a 
challenge. Crosby quite understands that he is to convey 
to Wyndham that he is to give up his tenant, or else Mrs. 
Prior will declare war upon him, and prejudice the old man, 
his uncle, against him. 

" On account of what ? " asks he, unmoved. " Because 
he has a tenant in his Cottage, or because ? " 

" Oh, tenant I " Mrs. Prior makes a swift movement of 
her white and beautiful hands. 

" Or, because f " 

She interrupts him again as he had expected. He had 
no desire whatever to go on, to say to her " because he 
will probably refuse to marry your daughter," would have 
been a little too broad. He had risked the beginning of 
his speech with a hope of frightening her into some sort of 
propriety. But he had failed. 

" There will be a scandal," says she, with determination. 

44 Not unless somebody insists upon one." Crosby crosses 
one leg over the other, with a judicial air. " And scandals 
are so very vulgar." 

44 Quite the most vulgar things one knows — but they do 
occur for all that. And if Shangarry once knew that Paul 
so much as wavered in his allegiance to Josephine, he would 
be very hard to manage." 

44 But, has it then gone so far as that ? " 

44 Far ! What can be farther f A girl — a young girl, 
and a — well, I daresay there are some who would call her 
beautiful — kept in seclusion ; called for decency's sake his 
tenant " 

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" Oh, that I " says Crosby, " I wasn't alluding to that. 
I mean, has this affair between your daughter and Wynd- 
ham gone so very far ? Is this engagement you hint at — 
a thing accomplished ? Has it been settled ? " He leans 
towards her in a strictly confidential manner. " Any words 
said ? " 

"Oh, words! What are words?" says Mrs. Prior. 
" Deeds count, not words. And all our world knows how 
attentive he has been to my poor child for years." 

This is a slip, and she is at once conscious of it. 

" Years I Bad sign," says Crosby, stroking his chin. 

" I don't know what you mean by that," irritably, and 
with a view to retrieving her position. " The longer the 
time, the greater the injustice — the injury afterwards. I 
feel that my poor darling is quite compromised over this 
affair. I need hardly tell you, George, who know her, and 
how attractive she is." Crosby nods feelingly — and I hope 
offers up a prayer for pardon ; " that she has refused many 
and many a magnificent offer because she believed herself 
pledged surely, if unspokenly to her cousin. Her great at- 
tachment to him " — all at once Crosby sees Josephine's 
calm, calculating eyes, and passionless manner — " has been, 
I now begin to fear, the misfortune of her life ; because 
certainly — yes, certainly, he led her to believe, all along 
that he meant to make her his wife." 

" Well, perhaps he does," says Crosby. 

" What ! And do you imagine I would submit to — to— 

that establishment — whilst my daughter " She buries 

her face in her handkerchief. " Shangarry will be so 
grieved," says she. , This is a second threat, meant to be 
conveyed to Wyndham. Crosby represses an inclination 
to laugh. After all, she has chosen, poor woman, about the 
worst man in Europe for her ambassador. To him, Mrs. 
Prior's indignation is as clear as day. With his clear 
common sense he thus reads her : 

She bus doubts about Wyndham's relations with Ws 

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pretty tenant, but she has deliberately set herself to believe 
the worst. The worst of her, however, would not be the im- 
moral attitude of the case, but the dread that the girl would 
inveigle Wyndham into a marriage with her, and so spoil 
her daughter's chance. The girl, as she saw her through 
the spreading branches was very beautiful, and Josephine — 
well I There was a time when she was younger — fresher. 

" I really think, Mrs. Prior, you are making a mountain 
out of a mole-hill," says he presently. " I assure you, I 
think this young lady, now living in the Cottage, is noth- 
ing more or less than Wyndham's tenant. Why make a 
fuss about it f I am sure if you ask Wyndham — by-the- 
bye, why don't you ask him ? " 

"Because he refuses me the opportunity," says Mrs. 
Prior. " I sent for him. He was not to be found. He 
purposely avoids me this evening. But he shall not do so 
to-morrow ! I am his aunt, I have every right to speak to 
him on this disgraceful subject." 

" Not disgraceful, I trust," says Crosby, who is now 
devoutly thanking his stars that Mrs. Prior is not his aunt. 

" Utterly disgraceful, when I think of how he has be- 
haved to my poor trusting girl " 

" Still," says Crosby, thoughtfully, " you tell me there 
were no words said." 

" No actual words ! " 

" Ah — the others are so useless," says Crosby. 

Mrs. Prior lifts her eyes to his for a moment. Real 
emotion shines in them ; and all at once Crosby is con- 
scious of a sense of shame 1 Poor soul, however mistaken, 
however contemptible her trouble — still it is trouble, and 
therefore worthy of consideration. 

" I can see you are not on my side," says she, at last. 
" You have no sympathy with my grief, and yet you might 
have. I have had many griefe in my time, George, but 
this is the worst of all. To have my daughter thus 
treated. Of course after this I could not — I really believe 

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I could not sanction her marriage with Paul." She pauses, 
and delicately dabs her handkerchief into her eyes. Her 
hopes of a marriage between her daughter and Wyndham 
have been at such a low ebb for a long time that there is 
scarcely any harm in declaring now her determination not 
to wed her daughter to her cousin at any price. If things 
should take a turn for the better, if her threats about in- 
forming Shangarry should take effect, she can easily get out 
of her present attitude. " Yes — such trouble ! " She dabs 
her eyes again. " First my sister's terrible marriage with 
a perfectly impossible person — you know all about that, 
George — poor, dear Eleanor — and then my Cither's will, 
leaving everything to Eleanor and her children, though he 
had so often excommunicated her, as it were. And the 
trouble with that will. The searching here and there for 
Eleanor — poor Eleanor — such awful trouble — advertise- 
ments, and private enquiry people, and all the rest. As you 
know, it is only quite lately that certain information of her 
death without issue having come to hand, I have been en- 
abled to live." 

" Yes. Yes, I know," says Crosby. He is on his very 
best behavior now. 

"You have always appreciated my sweet girl at her 
proper worth, at all events," says Mrs. Prior, dabbing her 
eyes for the last time, and emerging from behind her hand- 
kerchief with wonderfully pale lids. 

" I have. I have indeed," exclaims Crosby, warmly. 
Anything to pacify her! His manner is so warm, so 
ardent, that Mrs. Prior pauses, and her mind starts on an- 
other track. With rapidity her thoughts fly back and then 
forward. Crosby is quite as good a match as Paul, if one 
excludes the title. And perhaps — who knows ? 

" George," says she softly, but with emotion, " perhaps 
you think me hard. But a mother — and that dreadful girl 
lives there alone is this house — and he visits her — and — can 
you still, from your heart, tell me that she " 

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She breaks off as if quite overcome, and unable to go on. 

" I can tell you this, at all events," says Crosby, " that 
she does not live alone. Wyndham has engaged a lady to 
be a companion to her." 

" Paul I " Mrs. Prior turns her eyes, moist with her late 
emotion, on him, eyes now full of wrath. " Is she an 
imbecile, then, this girl I Must Paul engage a keeper for 
her. What absurd throwing of dust in the eyes .of the 

" A companion, I said." 

She throws him a little contemptuous glance, and with 
agitation begins to pace up and down the room. " A nice 
companion ! They are well met, no doubt ! " cries she, sud- 
denly. " This * companion ' and her charge. I tell you, 
George, I shall get at the root of this." 

"I don't think you will have to go very deep," says 

" You think it is so much on the surface as that ? I 
don't. And I shall take measures. I shall know what to 

There is something so determined in her air as she says 
this, that Crosby looks at her with some consideration. 
What is she going to do ? 

But she is looking down upon the carpet, and is evidently 
thinking. Yes — she knows what she will do. She will go 
to that girl to-morrow, and tell her plainly what her posi- 
tion is. She will so speak, and so argue, that if the girl is, 
as George Crosby pretends to suppose, a virtuous girl, she 
will frighten her out of her present position. And if she is 
what Mrs. Prior, with horrible hope, determines she is, well 
then, no harm will be done, but the " little establishment," 
as she calls it, will infallibly be broken up. There is an- 
other thought, however. Crosby just now had spoken 
almost tenderly of Josephine. If there is the smallest 
chance of Crosby's being attracted by her, Mrs. Prior feels 
that she could stay proceedings with regard to Paul with a 


most willing hand. If not I Anyway, there is a whole 
evening to think it over. 

"What do you think of doing?" asks Crosby at this 
moment a little anxiously. To attack Wyndham before 
them all, downstairs • . . That would be abominable, 
and yet he would hardly put it beyond her. 

" Ah ! that lies in the future," says she. She rises 
languidly from the chair into which she has sunk and smiles 
at him. "I am afraid I am keeping you from your other 

44 Not at all, not at all," says Crosby, amiably. " You 
are keeping me only from my man, and my tie, and the rest 
of it." 

He bows himself hurriedly, but amiably, out of the room. 

B. Zebley. 

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" Where jealouaie is the jailour, many break the prison, it opening 
more wayes to wickedness than it stoppeth." 

It is indeed perilously near the dinner hour I Mrs. 
Prior, after a few words with Josephine — who had evidently 
had her dainty ear applied to the key-hole, and who is dis- 
tinctly sulky — had gone downstairs and into the smaller 
drawing-room, where she finds a group on the hearthrug 
gathered round a little, but friendly autumn fire, discussing 
all in heaven and earth. They have evidently come down 
to earth as she enters, because the name of Susan Barry is 
being wafted to and fro. 

" Oh I she's lovely — lovely I " Lady Forster is saying 
with enthusiasm. " Such eyes, and with such a funny ex- 
pression in them sometimes ; sometimes when she isn't so 
dreadfully in earnest, as she generally is. After all, per- 
haps the earnestness is her charm I She is certainly the 
very sweetest thing — George!" She turns, looks round 
her, and finding Crosby not present, laughs, and makes a 
little gesture with her hands. " George will never be able 
to go back to his niggers ! " In her heart, being devoted 
to her only brother, she hopes this will be the case. 

" If you don't take care she will marry your brother," 
says Miss Prior from her low seat. She is protecting her 
complexion from the light of the big lamp near her by a 
fan far bigger than the lamp. 

" Well, why not f " says Lady Forster, who detests 

" A girl like that — a mere nobody — the daughter of an 
obscure country parson." 

" Oh I not so very obscure I " says Lady Muriel, in her 

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gentle way. " Mr. Barry is very well connected ; I have 
met some of his people." 

" Still — hardly a match for Mr. Crosby." Josephine 
waves her fan lightly, yet with a suggestion of temper. 
Her mother, who has subsided into a seat, listens with an 
interest that borders on agitation to the answer to this 
speech. On it hangs her decision about the girl at the 
Cottage. If Crosby's people support Crosby in his in- 
fatuation for that silly child at the rectory then — nothing 
is left to Josephine. 

u Do you know," says Lady Forster, " I don't feel a bit 
like that. Let us all be happy is my motto. I think," 
thoughtfully, " I am not sure, mind you — but I think if 
George wanted to marry a barmaid or something like that, 
I should enter a gentle protest. But if he has set his 
heart on this delightful Susan ... I Isn't she a 
heart, Muriel f Such a ducky child." 

" I thought her delightful, and her brother, too," says 
Lady Muriel, laughing at Katherine's exaggerations. " She 
is decidedly pretty at all events. Even more than that 1 " 

" Oh, a great deal more," says Captain Lennox, who has 
come into the room with some of the other men. 

" And of very good family, too," says Lady Millbank, 
who is dining with them. The Barrys, as has been said, are 
a connection of hers, but always up to this — on account of 
their poverty — scarcely acknowledged, and kept carefully 
in the shade. But now, with this brilliant chance of a mar- 
riage for Susan, she is willing to bring them suddenly into 
the fuller light. \ 

" But penniless I " puts in Josephine, carefully. 

" Ah ! what do pennies matter," says Lady Forster 
sweetly, but with a faint grin at her husband, who is near 
her. He, too, feels small affection for the stately Josephine. 
" And if George fancies her — why, it will keep him from 
marrying a squaw — they don't call them squaws in Africa, 
do they ? Something worse, perhaps f " 

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" Not much difference," says Captain Lennox. " But the 
squaws as a rule wear more clothing than the Zulu ladies, 
and that might perhaps — " 

" Oh, good heavens I " says Lady Forster. " It might in- 
deed. If they wear less petticoats than the dear old 
squaws. . . And if he should bring one here. Fancy her 
advent into one's drawing-room. People would go away." 

" I don't think so. I really don't," says Captain Lennox, 
reassuringly. " I believe honestly you might depend on 
• people ' to support you under the trying circumstances. 
What are friends for— if— " 

" Oh, well, I couldn't stand it, if you could," says Lady 
Forster, with a glance at him. " And I don't want George 
to marry a nasty Zulu, anyway. What do you think, 
Billee Taylor J " to her husband. " Isn't Susan nicer than 
a Zulu woman f " 

" I've not had much experience," says Sir William, 
lazily. " But I. daresay you're right." 

" But listen ! Isn't it better for George to marry Susan 
than to go out there again, and perhaps give you a sister- 
in-law * mit nodings ' on her f " 

" It's very startling," says Lennox. 

" Take time, Billy, before answering, you might commit 

41 Really the question is," says Josephine, in her cold, 
settled way, " whether it would be wise to encourage a mar- 
riage so distinctly one-sided in the way of advantage, as 
that between. . . " 

" Yes, yes, yes," interrupts Lady Forster, impatiently. 
" But if George goes away again I have a horrid feeling that 
he won't come back at all. You see he is too much one of 
us, to bring into our midst a dusky bride. And men have 
married out there. And if he likes this charming child, 
and she likes him. . . People should always marry for 
love I think, eh, Billee ? " turning to her husband. 

" I always think as you do," says the wise ma 

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"Billee Barlow! What an answer!" She looks aggrieved, 
and throws up her little dainty fairy-like head. " Do you 
think I'd have married you if I hadn't — liked you ? " 

" Was that why you married me ? " asks he, laughing, 
and bent on teasing her. 

" No." She turns her back on him. " I don't know why 
I married you except — that you were the biggest duffer in 
Europe ! " 

Forster roars. 

" I'm glad I'm the biggest," says he. " It's well to be 
great in one's own line." 

" Well, that's where it is," says Lady Forster, returning 
with perfect equanimity to the original subject. " And if 
it comes off, Susan will be a perfect sister-in-law. One has 
to think of oneself, you know ! And what I dwell on is, 
that I'll have the greatest fun bringing her out in town. 
I've thought it all over. She will have a regular boom ! 
There won't be a girl next year in it with her. I know all 
the coming debutantes, and she could give them miles and 
beat them." 

Miss Prior laughs curiously, and Lady Forster looks at her. 

"You think?" 

"That you are the most disinterested sister on earth, 
or " 


" The most selfish." 

Lady Forster, who is impetuous to a fault, makes a move- 
ment as if to say something crushing — then restrains herself. 
After all, it is her brother's house — this girl is her guest. 

" Oh, not selfish ! " says she, sweetly. " I have a strange 
fancy that George adores her." 

" Strange fancies are not always true," says Miss Prior. 
" Sir William, do you agree with Katherine about this 
adoration ? " 

Sir William shrugs his shoulders. How should he know. 

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" Oh, Billee's a fool ? " says Lady Forster, in her plaintive 
voice. " Aren't you, Billee ? " 

44 My darling ! You forget I married you," says Forster, 
in his tragic tone, whereat she rolls her handkerchief into a 
little ball, and throws it at him. 

Mrs. Prior, who had sat on a lounge near the door listen* 
ing silently to this conversation, now makes up her mind. 
There is nothing to be hoped from Crosby I To morrow, 
then, she will see this " tenant " of Paul's, though all the 
guardians and chaperons in Europe rise up to prevent her. 

44 But are you really so sure that your brother is in love 
with Miss Susan ? " asks Lennox of Lady Forster, in a low 
tone, unheard by the others. 

44 No, I'm not I " declares she, with astounding frankness. 
44 1 only wanted to be a tiny bit nasty to Josephine, who 
I'm sure has her eye on him in case another complication 
foils. No indeed " — sighing — " no such luck. Wanderers 
like George are like confirmed gamblers or drunkards, or 
that sort of extraordinary person. They are beyond cure. 
I'm sure that in spite of all that pretty Susan's charms he 
will go back to his nasty blacks and his lions, and his gen* 
era! tomfoolery." 

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"They begin with making falsehood appear like troth, and end 
with making troth appear like falsehood," 

Mrs. Pbiob knocks gently at the front gate of the Cot- 
tage, not the little green gate so well known to the Barry s; 
and after a little delay Mrs. Denis' martial stride can be 
heard behind it, and her voice pierces the woodwork. 

"Who's there?" 

" It is I, Mrs. Prior." Mrs. Prior's tones are soft and 
suave, and persuasive. " That is you, I think, Mrs. Denis. 
I recognize your voice as that of an old friend. I have been 
here before, you know, several times, and I quite remember 
you. My nephew — your master, Mr. Wyndham, has at last 
let me know about his tenant, and I have come" — very 
softly this — " to call on her." 

That she is lying horribly and with set purpose is beyond 
doubt. To herself she excuses herself with the old, sad, 
detestable fallacy, that her words are true, whatever the 
spirit of them may be. 

Mrs. Denis, astute matron and alert Cerberus as she is (a 
rather comical combination), is completely taken in. She 
is the more ready to be deceived, in that she is at her heart, 
good soul, so unfeignedly glad to think that now, after all 
this time, her master's people are coming forward, to recog- 
nize, and no doubt make much of the " purty darlin' " under 
her care. Her care. Never for a moment has she admitted 
Miss Manning's right to chaperon Ella, though now on ex- 
cellent terms with that most excellent lady. 

She does not answer Mrs. Prior immediately, but strokes 
her beard behind the gate, and smiles languidly to herself. 

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Hah I He's tould 'em I He's found it for himself that he 
loves her I The crathure ! An' why not ! Fegs there 
isn't her aqual between this and the Injies 1 An' of course 
it is a mark of honor designed by him to his young lady, 
/'that his aunt should come, an' pay her respects to her. 

For all this, she is still cautious, and now opens the gate 

to Mrs. Prior, by only an inch or so at a time. Mrs. Prior, 

• on this, calmly and with the leisurely manner that belongs 

to her, moves forward a step or two, a step that places her 

parasol and her arm inside the gateway. 

"You are, I can see, a most faithful guardian," says she, 
pleasantly, and with the distinctly approving tones of the 
superior to the efficient inferior. " I shall take care to tell 
Mr. Wyndham my opinion of you." The little sinister 
meaning in her speech is clouded in smiles. She takes an- 
other step forward that brings not only her arm and parasol, 
but herself, inside the gate ; thus mistress of the situation, 
she smiles again — this time a little differently, but still 
with the utmost suavity. 

" This young lady ? " asks she. " She is in the house no 
doubt f If you could let me see her without any formal 
introduction. It would be so much more friendly it seems 
to me." 

Mrs. Denis' ample bosom swells with joy and pride. Her 
beard vibrates. "Friendly." So they are going to be 
friendly — those people of his I After all perhaps Miss Ella 
is a princess in disguise ; and they have only just found it 
out. Well, she looks one — wid her little feet, an' her little 
hands, an' those small features of hers. 

" No, ma'am," says she, addressing Mrs. Prior, with a 
courtesy she seldom uses to anyone. " Miss Ella is in the 
garding ; an' as you say ye'd like to see her all be yerself, 
if ye'll go round that corner, ye'll find her aisy, near the 
hollyhocks. An' I'll tell ye this," says Mrs. Denis, squar- 
ing her arms, and growing sentimental, " 'Tis plazed ye'll 
be, whin ye do see her." 

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" I feel sure of that," says Mrs. Prior. She speaks quite 
calmly, yet a rage of hatred shakes her. Glad to see this 
abominable creature, who has interfered with the marriage 
of her daughter ! 

" She's got the face of an angel, ma'am." 

" And the heart of one, of course," says Mrs, Prior. The 
sarcasm is thrown away upon Mrs. Denis,who is now burst- 
ing with a paean addressed to her goddess. 

" Ay, ma'am. Fegs 'tis aisy to see the masther has bin 
tellin' you about her." 

" Just a little," says Mrs. Prior. " He J " 

" He thinks a dale of her," says Mrs. Denis, putting her 
hand to her mouth, and speaking mysteriously. " I can see 
that much, but 'tis little he says. But sure ye know him. 
'Tis mighty quiet he is entirely." 

" Yes, I think I know him. But this. . . • young 
lady " 

" Wisha I 'tis only keepin' ye from her I am. An' 'tis 
longin' ye are to see her ov course." 

" You are right, my good woman," says Mrs. Prior, " I 
really don't think I was ever so anxious to make the ac- 
quaintance of anyone before. . . Round that corner, you 
say ? Thank you. I shall certainly tell my nephew what 
a trustworthy guardian you make." 

She parts with Mrs. Denis with a little gracious bow, 
and a sudden swift change of countenance that strikes that 
worthy woman at the time— but unfortunately works out a 
little late. Stepping quickly in the direction indicated, 
Mrs. Prior turns the corner and goes along the southern 
border of the pretty Cottage until she reaches a small iron 
gate that leads to the garden proper. 

In here, soft perfumes meet one in the air, and delicate 
tints delight the eye. The little walks run here and there. 
The grasses grow. And from the flowering shrubs sweet 
trills are heard sounds beautiful, and 

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44 Not sooner heard 
Than answered, doubled, trebled more, 
Voice of an Eden in the bird 
Renewing with his pipe of four 
The sob ; a troubled Eden rich \ 

In throb of heart." 

The grandeur of the dying autumn strikes through all; 
for over there as a background to the still brilliant flowers, 
are fading yellows, and sad reds, and leaves russet brown, 
more lovely now perhaps than when a life dwelt in them. 

Mrs. Prior moves through all these things untouched by 
their beauty — on one thought bent. And all at once the 
subject of her thought lies there before her. The clearest, 
sweetest thought 1 

Ella, on one of the many small paths, is standing as if 
struck by some great surprise. She is looking at Mrs. 
Prior earnestly — half-fearfully — with eager meaning in her 
large dark eyes — as of one trying to work out some prob- 
lem, that had been suggested many years ago. 

The sight of the girl standing there, with her hand 
pressed against her forehead as if to compel thought, drives 
the anger she is feeling even deeper into Mrs. Prior's soul. 
Such an attitude 1 As if not understanding 1 The absurd 
put on innocence of it is positively — well . . . disgust- 

And always Ella stands looking at her, as if frightened 
by the sudden unexpected visitor, but presently through 
her fear and astonishment another look springs into life. 
Her eyes widen — she does nothing — she says nothing — but 
anyone looking on would say that the girl all at once had 
remembered. But something terribly vague had touched 
her : something startling out of the past that until that mo- 
ment had lain dead. Oh, surely she knows this lady. Has 
met her somewhere — 

As if impelled by this mad fancy she goes quickly to- 
wards Mrs. Prior. 


44 I — Do I know you ? " asks she, in a low tense way. 

" I think not/' says Mrs. Prior, in her calm trainante 
voice, that is now insolent in a degree. A faint, most cruel 
smile plays upon her lips. " You, and such as you, are 
seldom known by — us." 

The girl stands silent. No actual knowledge of her 
meaning enters into her heart, but what does come home to 
her in some vague way is that she has been thrust back — 
put far away — cast out as it were. 

" I don't understand," says she, a little faintly. 

44 Oh, I think you do," says Mrs. Prior, with cultivated 
rudeness. " But I have not come here to-day to inform 
you as to your position in life. I have come rather to ex- 
plain to you that your— er — relations with my nephew, 
must come to an end — and — at once.". 

44 Your nephew ? " 

44 Has Mr. Wyndham not spoken to you of his people 
then? Rather better taste than I should have expected 
from him. But one may judge from it, that he is not yet 
lost to all sense of decency." 

The insolence in her tone stings. 

44 You must believe me or not as you like, 94 says the girl, 
drawing up her slight figure, " but I don't know what you 
are speaking about. Do you mean that you think it wrong 
of me to have rented this Cottage from Mr. Wyndham ? " 

Mrs. Prior raises her pince-nez and looks at her. 

44 Really, you are very amusing," says she. 44 Now what 
do you think it is ? Right ? Your views should be inter- 

44 If not this house, I should take another," says Ella. 
She is feeling bewildered and frightened, and she has grown 
very pale. 

44 Of course, if you insist on the innocent rdle," says Mrs. 
Prior coldly, shrugging her shoulders, " it is useless my 
wasting my time. If, however, you have any regard for 
Mr. Wyndham, who, it seems, has been very kind to you " 

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— she glances meaningly round the charming little home 
and garden — " if distinctly unkind to himself, it may be of 
use to let you know, that your presence here is very likely 
to be the cause of his ruin." 

" His — ruin I " The unmistakable horror in the girl's 
foce strikes Mrs. Prior as hopeful, so she proceeds briskly. 

" Social ruin I It will undoubtedly mean his disinherit- 
ance by his uncle, Lord Shangarry, and — the rupture of his 
engagement with the girl he — loves ! " 

She plants this barb with joy. The telling of a lie more 
or less has never troubled her during her life. 

" The girl — he loves ! " Ella's voice as she repeats the 
words sounds dull and monotonous. She is quite ghastly 
now, and she has laid her hand on the back of a garden 
chair to steady herself. 

" Yes. The girl he has always meant to marry ! " She 
lays great stress on the last word. That ought to tell. 
" Whom he meant to marry until your — fascinations " — 
she throws destestable meaning into her speech — base, as it 
is detestable — " alienated him — for the moment 1 " 

All at once Ella recovers herself. 

" Oh ! you are wrong, wrong I w cries she vehemently. 
" Somebody has been telling you what is not true, what is 
not the case 1 Mr. Wyndham does not — does not " — she 
trembles violently — " love me. Not me — anyone but me. 
Oh ! who could have said such a thing ! Believe me, do be- 
lieve me," she comes forward, holds out her hands implor- 
ingly, " when I tell you that I am the last girl in the world 
he would fall in love with. If you know this young lady he 
loves, go back to her, I implore you, and tell her it is all 
untrue — that he loves her, and her only, and that all she 
has heard to the contrary is not worth one thought. Oh ! 
madam 1 If he should be hurt through me. . . . Alter 
all his goodness to me ! Oh. ... go ... go to 
her and tell her what I say 1 " 

She stops, and covers her face suddenly with her hands. 

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She is not crying, however. Tears are far from her eyes. 
But the misery of death has swept over her soul. 

M rs. Prior gives way to a low laugh. 

" Why didn't you go on the stage," she says. " Ton 
would have made even a better living there. But perhaps 
; you have only just come off it f " 

• The girl lets her hands drop to her sides, and turns pas- 
sionately upon her. 

" Why won't you believe me ? " cries she, with sudden 
wild vehemence. " What have I done that you should dis- 
believe my word 1 " Her eyes are bright with grief and the 
eager desire that is consuming her, to make things straight 
for Wyndham and the girl he loves. Wyndham who has 
been so good to her, who has brought her out of such deep 
waters I To hurt him. To injure him. The very thought 
is unbearable. She has involuntarily — unknowingly — 
drawn up her svelte and slender body to its fullest height, 
and with a courage that few women could have found under 
circumstances so poignant, so filled with agonized memory, 
and with yet another feeling that perhaps is bitterest of all 
(though hardly known), she looks full at her tormentor. 

" Can't you see ! " cries she, with a proud humility, 
u how wrong you must be 1 How could I interfere between 
Mr. Wyndham and the woman he loves? Who am If 
Nothing." She throws up her beautiful head with a touch 
of inalienable pride, and repeats the word distinctly, 
" Nothing." 

" Less than nothing," says Mrs. Prior, who is only moved 
to increased and unendurable hatred by her beauty and her 
unconscious hauteur. " So far as he regards you ! " 

Ella draws her breath quickly. 

" If so small in his regard, how then do I prevent his 
marriage with the girl he loves ? " 

Alas! for the sorrow of her voice 1 It might have 
touched the heart of anyone ! Mrs. Prior, however, is im- 
pervious to such touches. 

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" Don't you think it very absurd your pretending like 
this ? " says she, contemptuously. " Of course, in spite of 
the absurd innocence you pretend, one can see that you 
quite understand the situation, and how unpleasantly you 
are in the way. If he had brought you anywhere but here, 
it might have been hushed up, but to the very house his 
poor mother left him. Why, it is an open scandal 1 And 
an insult to my daughter." 

The girl makes a shocked gesture I " It is your 
daughter, then? But," quickly, " now that you know he 
doesn't love me, and you can tell her — and — — " she is look- 
ing eagerly, with almost passionate hope, at Mrs. Prior. 

"Tell her! Tell my daughter about you!" Mrs. 
Prior's voice is terrible : " How dare you suggest the idea 

of my speaking to my girl of " She checks herself with 

difficulty, and goes on coldly, " No doubt you believe Mr. 
Wyndham will be to you always as he is now. Women of 
your class delude themselves like that. But — when he mar- 
ries — as he will — as he shall — you will learn that a wife is 
one thing and a mis " 

She breaks off in the middle of her odious word, as 
though shot ! A hand has grasped her shoulder. 

" Hould yer tongue, woman, if there's still a dhrop o' 
dacency left in ye! Hould yer tongue, I say." 

The voice is the voice of Mrs. Denis. 

" May I ask who it is you are addressing ? " asks Mrs. 
Prior, releasing herself easily enough. Putting up her eye- 
glass, she bends upon Mrs. Denis the glare that she has al- 
ways found so effectual for the undoing of her foes. But 
Mrs. Denis thinks nothing of glares. She is indeed at this 
moment producing one of her own, beneath which Mrs. 
Prior's sinks into insignificance. 

" Faith ye may 1 " says she, advancing towards the enemy 
with a regular " come on " sort of air. " An 9 as ye ask 
me, 111 give ye yer answer. Ye're the aunt of a nevvy 
that has ivery right to be ashamed o' ye ! Know ye is it J 

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Arrah 1 " Here the unapproachable sarcasm of the Irish 
peasant breaks forth, " Is it that ye're askin' ? Fegs, I do 
thin, an' to me cost, for 'tis too late I am wid me knowl- 
edge." She pauses here, and planting her hands on her 
ample hips, surveys Mrs. Prior with deliberate scorn. 

" Oh ! ye ould thraitor ! " says she at last. 

Tableau ! 

It is open to question, whether Mrs. Prior's instant anger 
arises most from the word " ould " or " thraitor." Probably 
the " ould." 

" You forget yourself," cries she, sharply — furiously. 

" Ye're out there," says Mrs. Denis, " for 'tis I'm remim- 
berin'. 4 Oh, Mrs. Denis,' " with a wonderful attempt at 
Mrs. Prior's air — " ' an' is that you J ' — so swate like. An' 
* I'll be tellin' me nevvy what a good guardian ye are. — An' 
'tis me nevvy tould me to come, an' pay me respecks to 
your young ledy.' " Here Mrs. Denis lifts her powerful fist 
and shakes it in the air. " I wondher to the divil," says 
she, " that yer tongue didn't sthick to yer mouth when ye 
said thim words. Yer newy indeed ! Wait till I see yer 
nevvy I 'Tis shakin' in yer shoes yell be thin! Worse 
than ye made this poor lamb," with a glance at Ella, who 
has drawn back and is trembling violently, " shake to-day." 

" You shall have reason to remember this. . . This 
most insolent behavior. You shall know. ..." be- 
gins Mrs. Prior, white with wrath, but Mrs. Denis will have 
none of her. 

" I know one thing, anyway," says she, " that out ov this 
ye go, this minnit-second. Ye can tell yer nevvy all about 
it, whin ye git out, an' the sooner ye're out, the sooner ye 
can tell him ; an' I wish ye joy of the tellin' ! Come now ! " 
she steps up to Mrs. Prior with a menacing air, " Quick 
march I " 

This grand old soldier — with whom even her husband, 
good man and true as he had proved himself on many a 
battlefield, would probably have come off second best 

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sst at a 



close tussle — now sidling up to Mrs. Prior, with distinct 
battle in her eyes, that lady deems it best to lay down her 
arms, and sound a retreat. 

" This disreputable conduct only coincides with the whole 
of this establishment," says Mrs. Prior, making a faint 
effort to sustain her position whilst being literally moved 
towards the gate by the powerful personality, and still more 
powerful arm of Mrs. Denis. The latter does not touch 
her, indeed, but she keeps waving that muscular member 
up and down like a windmill, in a most threatening man- 
ner. " Tou understand that I shall report all this to Mr. 

44 Ye've said all that before," says Mrs. Denis, with great 
contempt. " An' now I'll tell you something. That report 
ye spake of, in my humble opinion, will make mighty little 
noise 1 " 

After that she closes the gate with scant ceremony, on 
Mrs. Prior's departing heels. 


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* To hear an open scandal is a curse : 
Bat not to find an answer is a worse." 

Mrs. Prior thus forcibly ejected (ejections are the vogue 
in Ireland), commences her return journey to Crosby Park, 
smarting considerably under her wrongs, and the big um- 
brella she is holding over her head. She has gone but a 
little way, however, when, on suddenly turning a corner, 
she finds herself face to face with Wyndham. 

He has evidently been walking in a great hurry, but as 
he sees her he comes to a dead stop. All his worst fears are 
at once realized. The fact is that Crosby had missed Mrs. 
Prior at luncheon hour, a most unusual thing, by-the-way, 
for her to be absent, for she dearly loved a meal, and he had 
asked Miss Prior where she was. Miss Prior had said she 
did not know — hadn't the faintest notion — perhaps gone for 
a prowl and forgotten her way home. Crosby, somehow v 
had felt that the fair Josephine was lying openly and freely, 
and had at once given a hint to Wyndham of Mrs. Prior's 
conversation with him on the previous night ; even suggest- 
ing that Mrs. Prior's unusual absence from luncheon might 
have some connection with the Cottage. The result of all 
of which is that Mrs. Prior now finds herself looking into 
her nephew's eyes, and wondering rather vaguely what the 
next move is going to be. 

His eyes are distinctly unpleasant. They had been anx- 
ious, horribly anxious, when first she saw them, but now 
they seem alive with active rage. 

" Where have you been ? " asks he, immediately, his face 
set and white. Crosby, then, had been quite right in his 

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*' I have been doing my duty," returns Mrs. Prior, who 
has pulled herself together. Her tone is stern and uncom- 

" You have been at the Cottage." 

" You have guessed quite correctly." 

a You have seen that poor girl, and " 

" I have seen that most wretched girl, and told her my 
opinion of her." 

Wyndham makes a sharp ejaculation. " You spoke to 
her, insulted her, that poor child ! " He feels that reproach 
is no longer possible to him. What has she said, what in- 
deed has she left unsaid. Great heavens, what monsters 
some women can be. 

" I explained to her her position. Not that she needed 
explanation, in spite of all her extremely clever efforts at 
an innocent bearing. I passed over that, however, and told 
her — hoping that perhaps she had some real feeling for you 
— though I understand that class of person never has any 
honest feeling — that beyond all doubt Lord Shangarry 
would disinherit you if he heard of your connection with 
her." She pauses here. This is her trump card, and she 
looks straight at Paul as she plays it. 

It proves valueless. He passes it over as though it were 
of no consequence whatever. 

" I don't know what to say to you," says he, struggling 
with his passionate rage, and grief, and shame. " I hardly 
know how to condemn you strongly enough. I wish to God 
you were not a woman, and then I should know what to do. 
This girl you have so insulted is a girl as good and pure as 
the best girl you have ever met, and yet you have gone 
down there," pointing in the direction of the Cottage, 
" and deliberately hurt and wounded her. I wonder you 
had the courage to do it. Are you," growing now furious, 
" a fool that you couldn't see how sweet and gentle and 
innocent she is." 

" Is it your intercourse with this sweet and gentle and 

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innocent girl that has made you so extremely rude ? " asks 
his aunt, in her low, well-bred voice. " If so I consider I 
have done an extra duty by my visit to her. It may have 
results. Your disinheritance by Shangarry, for example, is 
sure to have an effect upon her. I am afraid, alter all, it 
is you who are the fool. In the meantime, Paul, I can quite 
see that your infatuation for an extremely ordinary sort of 
girl has blinded you to her defects. Some of these people, 
I am told, quite study our manners nowadays ; but she 
lacks distinction of any sort. That you happen to be in 
love with her at present of course prevents your seeing 
these foults." 

" You seem so remarkably well up in the affair," says 
Wyndham, who could now have cheerfully strangled her, 
" that I suppose it will be quite superfluous to tell you that 
love has no voice in the matter. I am not in love with her, 
and she most positively is not in love with me." 

Mrs. Prior makes a contemptuous movement of her thin , 

" So very odd," says she. " Do you suppose, my dear 
Paul, with the stake you have in view, that I expected you 
to say the truth — to tell me that you had fallen violently 
in love with this little paltry creature who has come out of 
no one knows where, except yourself, to go back to no one 
knows where, when you are tired of her f " 

" Look here," says Wyndham, driven beyond all courtesy 
by some feeling that he can hardly explain, " I think you 
have the worst mind of any woman I have ever met. I see 
now that it is useless to try to convince you, but remember 
— remember always," he makes a distinct pause, as if on 
purpose, as if to fasten the words on her mind, u what I 
say to you now, that anyone who calls Ella Moore anything 
less than the best woman on earth— lies I " 

"Your infatuation has gone deep," says Mrs. Prior. 
" Few men would speak so strongly in favor of the virtue 
of their — friends." 

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" I understand your hideous hint," says Wyndham, who 
has now grown cold and collected. u You are a woman, 
and it is hard to tell a woman that she lies. But if you 
were a man I shouldn't hesitate about it." 

" As I tell you, she has not improved your manners," 
says Mrs. Prior, with a bitter smile. She has not dreamt 
the affair would take this turn. She had believed that 
Paul, through dread of Shangarry's displeasure, would at 
the most have made light of the matter, have parried the 
attack, and perhaps have sworn fresh allegiance to Joseph- 
ine on the head of it. That he should defend this " crea- 
ture," and defy her — his aunt — because of her. . . The 
situation has become strained beyond bearing. 

" If you do not love her, and she does not love you, and 
is not even your friend," says she, sneeringly, " what is she 
to you f " 

u My tenant. Neither more nor less." 

" Tou mean to tell me— on your honor — that she pays 
you rent J " 

" Certainly she does." 

" She is a bona fide tenant, nothing more ? Then if so, 
why all this mystery ? Why did you give me to under- 
stand weeks ago that she was a man ? " 

" Tou understood that for yourself. And with regard to 
the mystery, it seems that she is desirous of privacy." 

" How very modest ; and what an extraordinary tenant 
to pick up. May I ask where you first heard of her f By 
advertisement f " 

" No." 

"How then?" 

For a moment Wyndham hesitates. Hesitation is sup- 
posed to lead to ruin, but Wyndham comes out of it sound 
in wind and limb. His mind had suffered a shock as it fell 
back upon that tragic scene in the Professor's room, but 
recovered from it almost immediately. 

« Tou may have heard of Professor Hennessy," says he. 


44 A very distinguished man. He told me of her, just be- 
fore his death. Now," sarcastically, " have I answered 
enough of your questions? Is your conscience quite satis- 
fied as to your duty ? " 

" It is open to anyone to make light of sacred subjects," 
said Mrs. Prior, with dignity. " Duty to me is the one 
sacred thing in life. I have taken this matter in hand, and 
in spite of all you have said, Paul, I may as well warn you, 
that I shall not take your word for it, but shall sift it 
steadily to the bottom. I consider that my duty to both 
you, and to my daughter." 

44 To Josephine ? " 

" Yes — to Josephine. Are you prepared to say that you 
have no duty towards her. 

44 Not that I am aware of." 

44 After all these years. After all Shangarry has hinted 
and said t After all the notoriety — the talk, the gossip of 
our world 1 That a man should pay pointed attentions to 
a girl for two years — should come and go — be received at 
her mother's house — and escort her to balls and concerts 
and to theatres ; is all that to go for nothing ? Is my poor 
girl to be cast aside now as though nothing had occurred — " 

44 If you are alluding to Josephine," says Wyndham, 
coldly and calmly, " I can't see that anything has occurred 
to cause her annoyance of any kind. I am afraid you are 
misleading yourself. You ought to speak to your daugh- 
ter, and she, no doubt, will post you up about it. I, for my 
part, can assure you that there is nothing between us — nor 
has there ever been. Your daughter is as indifferent to me 
as," emphatically, " I am to her." 

He feels abominably rude as he says this, but he feels too 
the necessity for saying it. And after all the onus of the 
rudeness lies with her. Mrs. Prior is silent for a moment, 
more from anger than from inability to speak ; then she 
breaks out — 

44 1 shall write to Shangarry." 

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44 You can write," says Wyndham, quietly, " to anyone 
on earth you like." 

44 You distinctly then decline to carry out your engage- 
ment to my daughter ? " 

44 My dear aunt. Surely you exaggerate. When was 
there any engagement t " 

44 It was the 'same thing. You paid her great attention, 
and Shangarry has set his heart on it." 

44 1 am sorry for Lord Shangarry." 

44 You refuse then " 

44 Distinctly," says Wyndham. He lifts his hat and hur- 
ries past her. She waits a little, watching him, until he 
disappears round the corner that will lead him to the 

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" For what wert thou to me ? 
How shall I say?" 

Hs finds Ella standing, where she had stood throughout 
her interview with Mrs. Prior, beneath a big horse chest- 
nut tree in the garden. She had resisted all Miss Man- 
ning's entreaties to come indoors, and lie down, and have a 
cup of tea (that kind woman's one unfailing receipt for all 
diseases and griefs under the sun), and had only entreated 
piteously that she might be left alone. 

Now as she hears Wyndham's step upon the gravel she lifts 
her head , and the white misery of her face, as he sees it, makes 
his heart swell with wrath within him. Great heavens, what 
had that fiend said to her 1 He struggles with an almost 
ungovernable desire to go to her, and press those poor for- 
lorn eyes against his breast, if only to shut them out from 
his vision, and he struggles too, it must be confessed — not 
so successfully — with a wild longing toigive way to bad 
language. A few words escape him — breathed low indeed, 
but extremely pungent. They bring some feint relief, but 
still his heart burns within him, and indeed he himself is 
surprised at the intensity of his emotion. 

She does not speak, and he does not attempt to shake 
hands with her. It is impossible for him to forget that it is 
his own aunt who has thus wantonly insulted her — who has 
brought this terrible look into her young face. She — 
who has known so much suffering, who is now indeed only 
slowly recovering from a life unutterably sad. 

" I know it all," begins he, hurriedly, disconnectedly — 
he, the cold, clever barrister. " I met her just now— just 
outside the gate. She is a woman of a most vindictive 

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temper. I hope you will not let anything she may have 
said dwell for a moment in your memory. It is not worth 
it, believe me. She is unscrupulous." He is almost out of 
breath now, but still hurries on. " She would do anything 
to gain a point. She " 

" You are talking of your aunt/' says Ella at last, in a 
stifled tone. 

" Yes. And God knows," says he, with vehement bitter- 
ness, " There was never anyone more ashamed to acknowl- 
edge anything, as I am to acknowledge her. You — you 
will try to forget what she said — " 

" Forget ! Every word," says the girl, lifting her hands, 
and pressing the palms against her pretty head, " Seems 
beaten in here." 

" But such words — so false — so meaningless — the words 
of a malicious woman — used to gain her own purpose—" 

" Still they are here," says she, wearily. 

" For the moment — but in time you will forget not only 
her words, but her." 

" Her ! I shall never forget her." She turns to him with 
quick questioning in her eyes. " Is she really your aunt, 
Mr. Wyndham? It is strange — it is impossible — but I 
know I have seen her before. In my dreams sometimes 
now, I see her. But in my dreams she does not look 
as she did to-day." She shudders, and presses her 
fingers against her eyes, as if to shut out something. 
" She is lovely there, and kind, and so beautiful, and she 
calls me * Ellie.' I must be going mad, I think," cries she, 
abruptly. " A brain diseased sees queer things ; and when 
I saw her in the rectory garden, yesterday, all at once it 
came to me that I knew her — that I had seen her before. 
Perhaps," she goes closer to him, and examines his face 
with interest, marking every line as it were, every feature, 
until Wyndham begins to wish that his parents had granted 
him better looks, and then — " No, no," says she, sighing, 
" I thought, perhaps it was her likeness to you that made 

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her face seem familiar. But you are not like her. She," 
sighing again, " is very handsome." 

This is a distinct " take down." Wyndham, however, 
bears up nobly. 

" No," says he, " I am grateful to say that I resemble my 
father's family, plain though they may be. The Burkes, 
of course, were always considered very handsome." 

" Burke." She looks at him again, and frowns a little, as 
if again memory is troubling her. " The Burkes were—" 

" My mother was a daughter of Sir John Burke." 

" Yes, yes. I see. And the lady who was here just 
now, Mrs. — " 


" She was a daughter too 1 " 

" I regret to say so — yes." 

" Well, my dreams are wrong," says she, as if half to 
herself. " And yet — " She breaks off. 

She moves away from him, and in an idle, inconsequent 
way, pulls at the shrubs and flowers near her. He can see 
at once that she is thinking, wrestling with the troubled 
waters of her mind, and there is something in the dignity 
and sadness of the young figure that appeals to him, and 
awakens afresh that eager desire to help her, that had been 
his from the first. 

After awhile she comes back to him, her hands full of 
the late flowers that she nervously pulls from finger to 
finger in an unconscious fashion. 

" I can't live here any longer," says she. " I should not 
have come here at all. She— -has quite shown me that." 

" I have already told you that not one word Mrs. Prior 
said is worthy of another thought." 

He is alluding to Mrs. Prior's abominable suggestions as 
to the real meaning of the girl's presence in the Cottage. 

" Mr. Wyndham," says Ella, resting her earnest eyes on 
his, " perhaps I have never let you fully understand how I 
regard all you have done for me. How grateftd I am to , 

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you — a mere waif— a nobody 1 But I am grateful, and be- 
lieve me, the one thing that has cut me to the very heart 
to-day, is the thought that I — I," with poignant meaning, 
" should be the one to cause dissension, between you and — 
and — and her." 


"Yes. Yes. She told me." 

" She ? Who ? Her ? " This involved sentence is taken 
no notice of. 

. " It was your aunt who told me. But you can explain 
to her " 

" To her ? To whom ? My aunt ? " 

"Oh, no. No." She pauses. " Surely you know." At 
this moment something in the girl's air makes Wyndham 
feel that she is believing him guilty of a desire to play the 
hypocrite— to conceal something. " It cannot have gone so 
very far ," says she, miserably. " A few words from you to 
her " 

" To her again f If not my aunt ? " demands he, frantic- 
ally. "What her?" 

She looks at him with sad astonishment. 

" I see now, you wouldn't trust me," says she. Her eyes 
are suffused with tears. She turns aside, her hands tightly 
clenched as if in pain. Then all at once she breaks out. 
" Oh," cries she, passionately, " why didn't you tell her at 

Tell her at first ! Who the deuce is " her ? " 

" Or even me ! If," miserably, " if I had known I should 
not have come here, and then there would have been no 
trouble — no wondering — no mystery ; and there would have 
been no misunderstanding between you and " — she draws a 
sharp breath — " the girl you love ! " 

" Good heavens ! Do I find myself in Bedlam ? " cries 
Wyndham, who is not by any means an even-tempered 
man, and who now has lost the last rag of self-controL 
"What girl do I love?" 

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But his burst of rage seems to take small effect on Ella. 

" Of course," says she, in a stifled tone, directing her at- 
tention now to a bush near her, plucking hurriedly at its 
leaves, " if you wish to keep it a secret. And you know I 
said you didn't trust me. And of course if you wish to 
" Her voice here sounds broken. u To tell me noth- 
ing — you ere right. Quite right. There is no reason why 
I should be let into your confidence.'' 

" Look here," says Wyndham, roughly. He catches her 
arm and compels her to turn round. " Let's get to the 
bottom of this matter. What did my aunt tell youf 
Gome now ! Out with it straight and plain." 

He has occasionally entreated his clients to be honest, 
but usually with very poor results. Now, however, he 
finds one to answer him even more straightly than he had 
at all bargained for. Ella flings up her head. Perhaps she 
had objected to that magisterial " Gome now." 

" She said you were in love with her daughter, and that 
you had meant to marry her, until — my being here inter- 
fered with it ; she " The girl pauses and regards him 

anxiously, as if looking to him for an explanation, " didn't 
say how I interfered." 

" She said that 1 " Wyndham's voice is full of suppressed 
but violent rage. 

" Yes. That. And a great deal more," she goes on now, 
vehemently. " That my being here would ruin you. That 
some lord — your uncle — your grand-uncle — Shan — Shan- 
bally — or garry was the name," striving wildly with her 
memory, " would disinherit you because you had let your 
Cottage to me. But that wasn't just. Was it? Why 
shouldn't you let your house to me as well as to anybody 
else — Mr. Wyndham," with angry intonation. " Is that 
three hundred a year the Professor left me, mine really f 
Did he leave it to me at all ? Oh ! if he didn't — if I am 
indebted to you for all this comfort, this happiness — " 
She breaks down. 

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" You are entitled to that money. I swear it," says 
Wyndham. " His very last words were of you." 

" You are sure ? Of course, if not. . . That might 
be the reason for their all being so angry with me." 

She is so very far off the actual truth, that Wyndham 
hesitates before replying to her. 

" I am quite sure," says he, presently. " The money is 

" Then I do not understand your aunt," cries she, throwing 
up her 8 mall head proudly. " She said a great many other 
things that I thought very rude. At least I'm sure they 
were meant to be rude by her air ; but they were so stupid 
that no one could understand them. I hardly remember 

them. I only remember those about " She breaks off 

suddenly — tears rise in her saddened eyes. "I wish — I 
wish," cries she, in an agonized tone, " you had told me 
that you loved her." 

" Loved her ! Josephine ! " 

" Is that her name ; your cousin's name f n 

" Yes, and a most detestable name it is." There is frank 
disgust in his tone. The girl watches him wistfully. 

" Perhaps, after all," says she. She hesitates, and the 
hand on the rose bush now trembles, though Wyndham 
never sees it. " Perhaps it wasn't your cousin she meant. 
I misunderstood her, I dare say. It," she looks at him 
with eager searching young eyes, " it was someone else, 
perhaps ? " 

" Someone else ? " 

" You are in love with ? " She draws back a little, al- 
most leaning against the rose bush now, and looking up at 
him from under frightened brows. 

" I am in love with no one," says Wyndham, with much 
directness, " with no one in the wide world." He quite be- 
lieves himself as he says this. But in spite of this belief a 
sensation of discontent pervades him, as looking at the girl 
he sees a smile, wide and happy, spreading over her charm- 
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ing face. Evidently it is nothing to her. She has had no 
desire that he should be in love with — her. 

" There is one thing," says he, a little austerely — that 
smile is still upon her face — " if you really desire privacy 
you should be careful about letting yourself be seen. Yes- 
terday, in that tree," he points towards it, and Ella colors 
in a little sad ashamed way that goes to his heart, but does 
not disturb his determination to read her a lecture, " you 
laid yourself open to discovery and therefore to insult. 

" The getting up into a tree or looking at people is noth- 
ing," argues he, coldly. " It is the fact that though you 
wish to look at people you refuse to let them look at you — 
that makes the mischief Anyone in this narrow society of 
ours who decides on withdrawing herself from the public 
gaze is open to misconception — to gossip — and finally to in- 
sult. I warned you of that long ago." 

" I will not, I cannot. You know I cannot go out of this 
without great fear and danger," says Ella, faintly. 

" I know nothing of the kind. This determination of 
yours to shut yourself away from the world is only a 
species of madness, and it will grow upon you. Supposing 
that man found you, what could he do ? " 

" Oh, don't, don't," says she, faintly. She covers her eyes 
with her hands. Then suddenly she takes them down and 
looks at him. " You have never felt fear," says she. She says 
this quickly, reproachfully, almost angrily ; but through 
all the anger and reproach and haste there runs a thread of 
admiration. " But I have. And I tell you if— that man — 
were to see me again — were to come here and order me to 
go away with him — I should not dare to refuse." 

" He knows better than to come here," says Wyndham, 
curtly. " You may dispose of that fear." 

" Ah," says she, sighing. " You don't know him." 

"I know — if not 'him individually — his class," says 
Wyndham, confidently. " Give up, I counsel you, this 
secrecy of yours. See what it has brought upon you to- 
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day. And these insults will continue. I warn you," he 
looks at her with a frowning brow, " I warn you they will 

14 She," Ella looks at him timidly. " You think she will 
come again 1 " 

u Mrs. Prior t " — contemptuously ; " no ! But there will 
be others. What do you think people are saying ? " 

" Saying of me ? " She looks frightened. " They have 
heard about that night at the Professor's ? " questioned she. 
She looks now almost on the verge of fainting. " Your 
aunt — she — did she know— she said nothing." 

" No. She knows nothing of that," saya Wyndham, hur- 
riedly. After all it is impossible to explain to her. But 
Miss Manning will know. She will know what to say. 

" She only saw me in the tree," says the girl, with a 
voice that is now half sobbing. " And then she thought 

you that I — Oh ! " more wretchedly still — " I don't 

know what she thought ! But "—trembling — " I wish I 
had never climbed into that tree." 

" Because she happened to see you — never mind that. 
She's got eyes in the back of her head. No one could 
escape her," says he, touched by her agitation. 

" I am not thinking of her," says Ella, proudly — making 
a gesture that might almost be called imperious. " I am 
only vexed because you are angry with me about it. But " 
—eagerly — " I never thought anyone would find me out, 
and, I did so want to see, what you — what " — quickly cor- 
recting herself and coloring faintly — "you were all doing 
in the rectory garden." 

" If you want so much and so naturally," says he, " to 
see your fellow people, why didn't you accept Susan's in* 
vitation. It would have prevented ail this." 

" I know. But I couldn't," says she, hanging her pretty 
head. " You know I tried it once, and it was only when I 
got back again here — here into this safe, safe place— that I 
knew how frightened I had been all the time. And you 

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may remember how I fancied then, on my return, that I 
had seen " She stops as if unable to go on* 

" I know. I remember. But that was a mere hallucina- 
tion, I am sure. Tou must try to conquer such absurd 
fears. Promise me you will try." 

" I will try," cries she, impulsively. She holds out to 
him her hand, and he takes it. " I will indeed. You have 
been so good to me, that I ought to do something for you. 
But all the same " — shaking her head — " I know you are 
vexed with me about this." 

" For your sake only. This abominable visit of my 
aunt's, for example " 

" Yes. About the girl you " She stops and with- 
draws her hand. 

" I thought I had explained that," says he, with a laugh. 
" But what troubles me is, the thought that you may be 
again annoyed in this way. Not by her, I shall see about 
that," with force. "But there may be others. And of 

course your welfare is " He checks himself—" of some 

consequence to me." 

" Is it 1 " She has grown cold too. " Your aunt's wel- 
fare must be something to you as well." 

" Do you mean by that — that you don't think I am on 
your side f " She lifts her heavy lids and looks at him. 

" You told me, that my affairs were nothing to you. 
That they did not concern you in the smallest degree." 

" Was that — some time ago t " 

" Yes. Almost at first." 

" Don't you think it is a little vindictive to visit one's 
former utterances upon one now ? " 

" I don't know." 

" Well, good-bye," says he, quickly. He turns, wounded 
more than he could have believed it possible to be by a girl 
who is positively nothing to him. Nothing ! he quite in- 
sists on this as he goes down the path. 

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But now — what is this ? Swift feet running after him ; a 
small eager hand upon his arm. 

" Mr. Wyndham ! Don't go away like this. If I have 
offended you I am sorry, I — " Her lips begin to tremble 
now, and the eyes that are uplifted to his are dim. " I am 
dreadfully sorry. Oh 1 don't go away like this 1 Forgive 
me ! " Suddenly she burst into tears. " Do forgive me ! " 

" Forgive ? I ? It is you who have to forgive," stam- 
mers he. "Ella!" 

He has laid his hand upon hers to draw them from her 
eyes, but with a sudden movement she breaks from him, and 
runs back to the house. At the door, however, she stops, 
and glances back at him, and he can see that her face is 
radiant now, though her eyes are still wet with their late 

" Good-bye ! Good-bye I " cries she. She raises both her 
hands to her lips and in the prettiest, the most graceful 
fashion, flings him a last farewell This manner of hers is 
new to him. It is full, not only of friendliness, but of the 
joy of one who has been restored once more to happiness. 

On the avenue of Crosby Park Wyndham meets the 
master of it, who has plainly been strolling this way with a 
view to meeting him on his return. 

" Well I " says Crosby. Then seeing the other's face, " I 
was right then ? " 

" Tou were. She had made her way in, and insulted the 
poor child in the most violent way." 

" I felt sure she was up to mischief," says Crosby coloring 
hotly ; he, too, is conscious of strong resentment. That any 
one should go from his house to deliberately annoy a girl — 
a young girl, and one so sadly circumstanced — makes his 
usually easy going blood boiL " I thought her manner to 
you at breakfast was over suave. Well f " 

"There is hardly anything to tell you. That she was 


there, — that she spoke as few women would have had the 
heart to do, is all I am sure of. No. This more. That that 
poor child, thank God, didn't understand half of her vile in* 
sinuations. I could see so much. But she was cut to the 
heart for all that. If you could have seen her face, so> 
white, so frightened. I tell you this Crosby " 

He never told him, however. He broke off short — as if 
not able to trust his voice, and Crosby, after one sharp 
glance at him, bestowed all his attention on the gravel at 
his feet. And as he waited for the other to recover his 
serenity, he shook his head over the whole affair. Yes, this > 
was always the end of this sort of thing. If Wyndham 
didn't know it he did, Wyndham was desperately in love 
with this " waif" of his — with this girl who had sprung out 
of nowhere — who had been flung upon his hands out of the 
angry tide of life. Presently, seeing Wyndham continuing 
silent, as if lost in a train of thought, he breaks in. 

" How did you know Mrs. Prior was there f " 

" Prom herself." 

" What ! You met her ? " 

" Just outside the gate." 

" And," Crosby here shows signs of hopeful joy, " had it 
out with her t " 

" On the spot. She denied nothing. Rather led the at- 
tack. One has but a poor vengeance with women, Crosby, 
but at all events she knows what I think of her. Of course 
there is an end to all pretence of friendship with her in the 
future, and I am glad of it." 

" I hope you didn't say too much," says Crosby, rather 
taken aback by the sullen rage on the other's brow. 

" How could I do that ? If it had been a man " 

" She might well congratulate herself that she isn't, if 
she could only see your eyes at this moment," says Crosby 
laughing in spite of himself. " But she'll make mischief 
out of this, Paul, I'm afraid." He is silent a moment, and 

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44 Your uncle is still bent, I suppose, on your marriage 
with her daughter ? " 

" Yes, rather a bore," says Wyndham, frowning. " I 
don't like to disappoint the old man." 

41 You mean ? " 

44 That I should not marry Josephine Prior, if my ac- 
cession to a throne depended upon it." 

44 So bad as that f " 

44 Is what so bad as that ? " struck by a meaning in the 
other's tone. 

t « Why — your infatuation for your tenant." 

" My — . . Oh, of course, I might have known you 
would come to look at it like that," says Wyndham, shrug- 
ging his shoulders. With another man he might have been 
offended. But it is hard to be offended with Crosby. u Still 
you are a sort of fellow one might trust to take a broader 
view of things." 

44 What broader do you want me to take f " begins Crosby, 
slightly amused. " But to get back to our argument — 
mine, rather. I think it will be bad for you if you quarrel 
with Shangarry over this matter. The title, of course, 
must be yours — but barren honors are hardly worth get- 
ting. And he may leave his money away from you. You 
have told me before this, that he has immense sums in his 
hands to dispose of— and much of the property is not en- 
tailed. You should think, Paul. You should think." He 
was the last man in the world to think, himself, on such an 
occasion as this. 

44 1 have thought." 

44 You mean f " 

44 1 don't know what I mean," says Wyndham,— then, 
with sudden impatience-— 44 Is love necessary to marriage ? " 

Crosby laughs. 

44 Is marriage necessary at all f " says he. 44 Why not 
elect to do as I do, live and die a jolly old bachelor f " 

44 Ah ! I don't believe in you," says Paul, with a rather 


mirthless smile. " If I went in for that state of life, de- 
pending on you as a companion, I should find myself left — 
sooner or later." 

44 Well, then," says Crosby, who has no prejudices, " Why 
not marry her ? " 

44 Her?" 

44 Your tenant — this charming, unhappy, pretty girl, 
who, believe me, Wyndham," growing suddenly grave, 4< I 
regard as much as you do, with the very deepest respect." 
Crosby has his charm. 

44 You go too far," says Wyndham, looking a little agi- 
tated, however. " I am not in love with her, as you seem 
to imagine." Crosby smothers a smile, as in duty bound. 
44 And, besides, even if I did desire to marry her, how could 
I do it ? It would kill Shangarry with his queer old-fash- 
ioned ideas. ... A girl with no name. . . . And 

our name — so old . It would kill him, I tell you. And ! 

And besides all that, George, I don't care for her, and she 
doesn't care for me. • . not in that way." 

44 Well, you are the best judge of that," says Crosby. 
44 And if it is as you say, I am sorry you ever saw her. She 
has brought you into a decidedly risqu£ situation. And 
she is too good-looking to get out of it — or you, either, 
without scandal." 

44 You have seen her f " Wyndham's face is full of 
rather angry enquiry. 

44 My dear fellow ! Don't eat me ! We all saw her yes- 
terday, if you come to think of it, in that tree of hers. You 
may remember that ass Jones' remarks about a Hama- 

44 Oh, yes, of course. And you thought " 

44 To tell you the truth," says Crosby, " I thought her 
the very image of— Don't hit a little one, Wyndham I But 
I did think her more like Mrs. Prior, than even Mrs. 
Prior's own daughter is." 

44 What absurd nonsense ! And yet, now D I. 


she — Ella — Miss Moore said she felt as if she had seen Mrs. 
Prior before." 

" That's odd. And yet not so odd as it seems. Many 
families totally unrelated to each other are often very much 
alike; I daresay Mrs. Prior and Miss Moore's mother, 
though in different ranks of life, might have possessed fea- 
tures of the same type and nature very similar, too. Same 
features, same manners, you know, very often." 

" That ends the argument for me," says Wyndham, with 
a frown, " Miss Moore's manners are as far removed from 
my aunt's, and as far above them as is possible." 

He brushes rather hurriedly past his friend. But his 
friend forgives him. He stands indeed in the middle of the 
avenue, staring after Wyndham's vanishing form. 

" And to think he doesn't know he is in love with her," 
says he at last. " Any fellow might know when he was in 
love with a woman. Well ! " with a friendly sigh of deep 
regret. " I am afraid it will cost him a good deal." 

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" What a rich feast the canker grief has made, 
How has it suck'd the roses of thy cheeks! 
And drank the liquid crystals of thy eyes." 

Autumn is dead ! It has faded slowly and tenderly away, with 
the great sudden changes — no desperate looking back towards the 
life departing — no morbid rushing towards the death in front. Del- 
icately but very sorrowfully it went to its grave and was buried al- 
most before one realized its loss. 

And now winter is with us ; chill and still chiller grow the winds 
and harsh the biting frosts. 

"The upper skies are palest blue 
Mottled with pearl and fretted snow ; 
With tattered fleece of inky hue, 
Close overhead the storm clouds go, 
Their shadows fly along the hills, 
And o'er the crest mount one by one ; 
The whitened planking of the mill 
Is now in shade and now in sun." 

It is as yet a young winter just freshly born, and full of 
the terrible vitality that belongs to infancy. Sharp are the 
little darting breezes, and merry blow the blinding showers 
of snow, still so light and fragile — laughed at by the chil- 
dren, and caught in their little up-turned hands, but still 
sure forerunners of the bitter days to come, with the baby 
winter shall be a man full grown and bad to wrestle with. 

To these days so cold and pitiless to the fragile creatures 
of the earth little Bonnie has succumbed. Into his aching 
limbs the frosts have entered, racking the tender little body 
and bringing it to so low an ebb that Susan, watching over 
him with miserable fear and terrible forebodings from 
morning till night, and from night again to morning (she 

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never now lets him out of her sight, refusing even to let 
anyone else sleep with him) lives in secret awful terror of 
what every day may bring. 

Cuddled into her young warm arms at night, she clasps 
him tightly to her, feeling he cannot be taken from her, 
whilst thus she holds him — whilst still she can feel him— ^ 
feel his little beloved form, now, alas, mere bones with their 
sad covering that seems to be of skin only. And to her 
Father in Heaven she prays — not only nightly when he is 
in her arms, or at intervals when she is on her strong young 
feet, that he will spare her this one awful grief— the death 
of her pretty boy I 

No mother ever prayed harder — entreated more wildly— 
(yet always so silently) for the life of her offspring than 
Susan prays for the continuance of this small life. 

For the last week he has been very bad, in great and in- 
cessant pain, and Susan abandoning all other duties, has 
given herself up to him. 

No one has reprimanded her for this giving up of her 
daily work, though the household is suffering much through 
lack of her many customary ministrations. Even Miss 
Barry has forgotten to scold, and goes very silently about 
the house, whilst the Rector's face has taken a heart-broken 
expression. The look it used to wear, as the elder children 
so well remember, after their mother's death. 

All day long Susan sits with her little boy, sometimes, 
when his aches are worse than usual, hushing him against 
her breast, and breathing soft childish songs into his ear to 
soothe his sufferings, and keep up his heart, whilst her own 
is breaking. 

For is it not her fault that he is suffering now 1 If she 
had not forgotten him, this little lamb of her dead mother's 
fold, left by that dying mother to her special care, he might 
be now as well and strong as all the rest of them I 

She is sitting with him now in the schoolroom, 1; 

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back in the old armchair, quite motionless, for the suffer- 
ing child within her arms has fallen into a fitful slumber, 
when the door is opened and Crosby enters. He had left 
the Park about a month ago, and had not been expected 
back for some time — not until the spring, indeed, but some- 
thing, unknown or unacknowledged, even by himself, had 
driven him back, after four weeks, to this small corner of 
the earth. 

" Sh I " breathes Susan, softly, putting up her hand. A 
warm flush has suddenly dyed her pale face, grown white 
through grief and many watchings. Her surprise at seeing 
Crosby is almost unbounded, and with it is another feeling 
of joy, of comfort, of support. All through her strange joy 
and surprise, however, she remembers the child, and that 
he sleeps. Of late his slumbers have grown very precious. 

Crosby advances slowly, carefully. This gives him time 
to look at Susan, to mark the sadness of the tender face 
bending over the sleeping child — to mark also the terrible 
lines of suffering on his. But his eyes wander always back 
to Susan. 

In her grief how beautiful she is ! How human ! How 
womanly ! And with the child pressed against her breast. 
Oh I Susan ! you were always pretty, but now I The grief 
is almost divine t Oh, little young Madonna I 

But then to have Susan look like that I He wakes from 
his dreams of her beauty with a sharp anger against him- 
self. And now only one thing is uppermost in his mind — 
Susan is suffering t Well, then, Susan must not be allowed 
to suffer I 

" He is ill," he says quickly, in a low tone. 

" Oh, so ill 1 He — he has been ill now for three weeks. 
The cold — that hurt him." She lifts her face for a moment, 
struggles with herself, and then lowers her head again, as 
if to do something to Bonnie's little necktie, lest he should 
see her tears. 

" Tell me about it," says Crosby, drawing up a chair, and 


seating himself close to her and the boy. There is some- 
thing so friendly, so sympathetic in his action that the poor 
child's heart expands. 

u Oh, you can't think how bad it has been," she says. 
" This dreadful cold seems to get into him. Speak very 
low. He slept hardly two hours the whole of last night." 

" How do you know that f " quickly. 

" How should I not know f " surprised. " I slept with 
him — who should know if I didn't t n 

11 Then you did not even sleep two hours f " 

" Oh, what does it matter about me t " says she, in a low, 
impatient tone. " Think of him. All last night he cried. 
He cried dreadfully ! And what cut me to the heart," says 
the girl, in an agonized tone, " was that I think sometimes 
he was keeping back his tears for fear they should grieve 
me. Oh I how he suffers I Mr. Crosby," suddenly, almost 
sharply, " should people — should little, lovely, darling chil- 
dren like this suffer so horribly, and when it is no fault of 
their own 1 Oh I " passionately. 

"It is frightful! It is wrong I Father is sometimes 
angry with me about saying it, but how can God — be so 
cruel ! " 

Her tone vibrates with wild and angry grief, yet still she 
keeps it low. It strikes Crosby as wonderful, that through 
all her violent agitation she never forgets the child sleeping 
in her arms. 

He says nothing, however. Who could to comfort her in 
an hour like this. He bends over the sleeping child and 
looks at him. Such a small face, and so lovely — in spite 
of the furrows pain has laid upon it. How clearly writ 
they are. And yet the child is like Susan. Strangely like. 
In the young blooming face, bending over the emaciated 
one, the likeness can be traced. 

" You think — you think," whispers Susan, eagerly, fol- 
lowing his gaze, and demanding an answer to it. 

"He looks ill- But-" 

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" But ? " There is a terrible enquiry — oh, more, poor 
child — there is terrible entreaty in her question. 

" Susan," says Crosby, " there is always hope. But the 
child is very ill." 

" Ah I " She shrinks from him. " That there is no hope 
is what you want to say to me." 

" It is not. Far worse cases have sometimes recovered. 
But in the meantime," anxiously, " I think of you. You 
look exhausted, you shouldn't keep him on your, lap like 
that. I have just seen Miss Barry, and she tells me you 
keep him in your arms by night and by day." 

Susan turns upon him with an almost fierce light in her 
gentle eyes. 

" I shall keep him in my arms always — always, when he 
wishes it. I — " she stops. " He can't die whilst I hold 
him," cries she. She draws in her breath sharply, and then 
as if the cruel word " die " has stung her, she breaks into 
silent, but most bitter weeping. 

" This is killing you," says Crosby. 

" Oh I I almost wish it were," says she. She has choked 
back her tears, fearing lest the sleeping child should be dis- 
turbed by the heaving of her chest. She lifts her haggard, 
sad, young eyes to his. " It is I who have brought him to 
this pass. Every pang of his should by right be mine. It 
is I who should bear them." 

" It seems to me," says Crosby, gravely, " that you are 
bearing them." 

He waits a moment. But she has gone back to her con- 
templation of her little brother's face. She is hanging over 
him, her eyes fixed on the pale fragile features, as if fearing 
— as if dwelling on the thought of the last sad moment of 
all, when he will be no longer with her — when the grave 
will have closed over him. 

Presently, Crosby — seeing her so absorbed — rises, very 
quietly, and takes a step towards the door. 

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As he moves she lifts her head, and holds out to him the 
one hand free. 

" Mr. Crosby," whispers she, with a dreary attempt at a 
smile, " I don't believe I have even said so much as * how 
d'ye do' to you. I certainly have not welcomed you 

" No," says Crosby. " Not one word of welcome. But 
how could I expect it at such a time." 

u And anyway, I need not say it," says she, her eyes fill- 
ing. " You know you are welcome." 

" To you, Susan f " 

" To me ! You know — you must know that," says Susan, 
with the sweetest friendliness. 

• ••••••• 

Crosby goes straight into Mr. Barry's study, where he 
finds the Rector immersed in his books and notes, and there 
makes clear to him the subject that only five minutes ago 
had become clear to himself. Yet it is so cleverly described 
to Mr. Barry that the latter might well be excused for be- 
lieving that it had been thought out for many days and 
carefully digested before being laid before him. The feet 
was that he — Crosby — was going to Germany almost im- 
mediately. Certainly next week, though even more cer- 
tainly he had not thought of going to Germany, a country 
he detested, so late as this morning. There were wonderful 
baths there, he said, and a specialist for rheumatic people. 
lie made the specialist the least part of the argument, 
though in reality it was the greatest, as the professor he 
had in mind (who had come to his mind during his inter- 
view with Susan, so sadly miserable with that child upon 
her knee) was one of the most distinguished men alive 
where rheumatic affections were in question. If Mr. Barry 
would trust his little son to him — would let him take Bonnie 
to these wonderful, life restoring baths, and to this even 
more wonderful specialist he would regard it as a great 
privilege— as a mark of friendship— of esteem. 

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Poor Mr. Barry I He sank back in bis chair, and covered 
his eyes with his hands. How could he take from a perfect 
— well a comparative stranger — so great a boon. All the 
old instincts — the pride of a good race fought with him, but 
with the old instincts and the pride love fought and gained 
the victory. 

The child. Had he the right to refuse life to the child 
because of his senseless shrinking from obligations to an- 
other. He asked himself this question over and over again 
whilst Crosby who sincerely pitied him, because he under- 
stood him, waited. And then all at once the father saw the 
child, bathed in sweat, and moaning with awful pain — and 
human nature prevailed He gave in. 

"I can never repay you, Mr. Crosby," he said, in a 
shortened tone, standing tall and grim, and crushed behind 
his table — his sharp aristocratic features intensified by the 
shabbiness of the furniture around him. 

" There is nothing to repay," says Crosby, lightly. " This 
is a whim of mine. I believe in this specialist of whom I 
tell you — many do not. But I have sufficient cause for my 
belief, to ask you to entrust your little son to my care. I 
tell you honestly it is a whim.' If you will gratify it, it 
will give me pleasure." 

Mr. Barry rises, and walks to the window. His gaunt 
figure stands out clear before it and the room. 

" No, no," says he. " You cannot put it like that. Do 
not imagine ail your kind words can destroy the real mean- 
ing of your kind action. This is the best action, sir, that I 
have ever known," his voice shakes. " And as I tell you I 
can never repay it. . . . But the child — " 

He turns more sharply, as if going to the window, merely 
to adjust the blind, but a slight glance at him has told 
Crosby that the tears are running down his cheeks. Poor 
man ! Poor father ! 

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" The child will be safe with me," says Crosby, earnestly. 

" I know that." The Rector turns all at once — his face 
is now composed — but he looks older — thinner — if that 
could be. He comes straight up to Crosby. " I am a dull 
old man," says he, hurriedly. " I can't explain myself. But 
I know what you are doing — I know — I — " He hesitates. 
" I would pray for you — but you have no need of prayers." 

" We all have need of prayers," says Crosby, gravely. 
" Mr. Barry, this is an adventure of mine, out of which no 
man can say how I may come. I take your child from you, 
but how can I say that I will bring him back to you ? If 
you will pray, pray for him, and for me too, that we may 
come back together." 

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" Tears from the depth of some divine despair." 


Thus it was arranged, and when another week has come 
and gone, the day arrives when Crosby is to carry off little 
Bonnie to distant lands with a view to his recovery. 

Susan had of course been told ; and there had been a 
rather painful scene between her, and her aunt, and her 

" Bonnie to be taken from her," and so soon. 

" But for his good, Susan." 

She had given in at the last as was inevitable, with many 
cruel tearings at her heart, and miserable beliefs that his 
going now, would mean his going for ever. He would 
never come back. And they would bury him there in that 
strange land without his Susan to comfort him, and soothe 
his dying moments. 

It was with great fainting of the spirit that Susan rises 
to-day. To-day, that will see her little lad carried away 
from her — no matter in whose kindly hands — to where she 
cannot know under three days! post whether he be alive or — 

At one part of his dressing (he has never yet since his 
first illness been dressed by anyone but Susan) she had 
given way. 

Of course the child knew he was going somewhere with 
Mr. Crosby — he liked Crosby — " to be made well and strong 
4 my own ducky,' " as Susan had told him, with her heart 

But I think it was when she was half way through his 
dressing, and kneeling on the floor beside him, was fasten- 
ing his small suspenders, that Susan's courage failed her. 

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" Oh ! Bonnie ! Oh, my own Bonnie ! " she cried, press- 
ing her head agaimst his thin little ribs. 

" Susan," said the child, earnestly, turning and clasping 
his arms round her bent head. " 111 come back to you. I 
will indeed I I promise ! " 

It was a solemn promise. But it gave Susan nothing 
but such an awful pang of sure foreboding, that it subdued 
her. Despair gives strength ! She stopped her tears and 
rose, and ministered to his little needs, and became as 
though grief was no longer hers — as though she lived and 
moved as her usual self. This immobility frightened her — 
because she knew she would pay the penalty for it later on. 
When he was gone ! 

• •••••• 

Now standing in the garden awaiting Mr. Crosby and 
the carriage that is to carry the boy away from her for six 
long months, she is still dry-eyed and calm. 

Here it comes ! She can hear the horses' hoofs now, and 
the roll of the carriage wheels along the road. And now it 
is stopping at the gate. And now 

Mr. Crosby has jumped out and is coming towards her. 

" Tou must say good-bye to me here, Susan," says he, 
" because there will only be good-bye for the little brother 

" Good-bye," says she. 

" Obedient child." But as he holds her hand and looks 
at her he can see the rings that grief has made around her 
beautiful eyes. Seeing him still waiting as if for a larger 
answer, as she thinks, though in reality he is only silent 
because of his studying of her sad sweet face with its tears, 
and its courage, so terrible in one so young — says, tremu- 
lously, " I have not even thanked you ! " 

" That is not it," says Crosby. " There is nothing to 
thank me for, but there is something, Susan, you might 
say ! Tell me that you will miss me a little bit whilst I'm 

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Susan's hand trembles within his, but answer makes she 

" Well 1 " says he, again, as if determined not to be de- 
frauded of his rights by this child — this pretty child She 
may not love him, but surely she may miss him. 

Susan raises her eyes, and he can see that they are filled 
with tears. 

" Oh I I shall I " says she, earnestly. " I shall miss 
you, and long for your return." 

This fervid speech is so unlike Susan, that all at once he 
arranges a meaning for it. Of course I Bonnie will be 
with him — she will long for the child's return. If he re- 
sents a little this thought of Susan's for Bonnie to the en- 
tire exclusion of himself, he still admires the affection that 
has inspired it, and that desolates her lovely face. 

" Susan, I shall take care of him," says he, earnestly. 
" Trust me in this matter. If human skill can do anything 
for him, I shall see that it is done. If care and watching 
and attention is of any use, he shall have it from me." 

" Ah t but love ? " says Susan. " He has been so used 
to love ! And now he will not have me — Mr. Crosby ! " 
clasping her hands together as if to keep the trembling of 
them from him. " Try — try to love him. He is so sweet, 
so dear, that it can't be hard — and — and " 

She stops, her face is as white as death. 

" I would to God, Susan," says he, " that you oould have 
come with us too ; but that — that was impossible." 

" I know ; I know. And of course I seem very un- 
grateful. But he is so ill — so fragile. So near to — " She 
shivers as if some horrid pain had touched her. " And it 
is to me he has turned for everything up to this. And to- 
morrow " — suddenly she lifts her hands to her face, and 
breaks down altogether — " Oh t who will dress him to- 
morrow f " 

The end has almost come. Bonnie has said good-bye to 

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bis father and all the rest of them, and is now clinging to 
Susan, and crying bitterly. Poor Susan I She is very 
pale, and is visibly trembling, as she holds the child to her 
with all her strength — as though to let him go is almost 
impossible to her ; but she holds back her tears bravely, 
afraid of distressing him further. 

" I told you, I should have taken you with us," says 
Crosby in a low tone to Susan, more with a view to light- 
ening the situation than anything else. But the situation 
is made of material too heavy to be blown aside by any 
such light wind. Susan pays' no heed to him. He is quite 
aware indeed, after a moment, that Susan neither sees nor 
hears him. She is holding the child against her heart, and 
breathing into his ear broken words of love, and hope, and 

At last the final moment comes. Crosby has shaken Mr. 
Barry's hand, who is looking paler and more gaunt than 
usual, for at least the fourth time, and has now come to the 
carriage in which Susan has placed Bonnie, having wrapped 
him warmly round with rugs. Betty is standing near her. 

" Good-bye," says Crosby, holding out his hand to Betty, 
who is crying softly. 

" Oh, good-bye," cries she, flinging her arms round his 
neck, and giving him a little hug. " We shall never forget 
this to you. Never." 

" I shall bring him back," says he, smiling. He pats 
her shoulder — dear little girl — and turns to Susan. 

" Don't be unhappy," he whispers, hurriedly. " You 
spoke of love for him I I shall love him ! I shall never 
let him out of my sight, Susan. I swear that to you ! 
You believe me. You will take comfort ! " 

" I believe you," says Susan, lifting her miserable eyes 
to his. " And I trust you." 

" Good-bye, then." 

" Good-bye. I heard what you said to Betty. You will 
bring him back. That is a promise." 

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" With the help of God I'll bring him back to you," says 
Crosby, solemnly. " And now, good-bye again." 

" Good-bye," says Susan. And then, to his everlasting 
surprise, she leans forward, lays her hands upon his shoul- 
ders, and presses her lips to his cheek, not lightly or care- 
lessly, but with heartfelt feeling. She shows no confusion. 
Not so much as a blush appears upon her face. It seems 
the most natural thing in the world — to her I 

That it is gratitude only that has impelled her to this 
deed, is quite plain to Crosby. He pushes her back from 
him very gently, and stepping into the carriage is soon out 
of sight. 

But the memory of that kiss goes with him. It seems to 
linger on his cheek, and he can still see her as she raised 
her head, with her lovely tear-dimmed eyes on his. It was 
all done in the most innocent, the most friendly way. She 
had no thought beyond the feet that he was being very 
good to the little idolized brother. It was thus she showed 
her gratitude. 

But even through gratitude to kiss him! Suddenly a 
fresh, a most unpleasant, thought springs to life. No 
doubt she regards him as an old fogey. A man of such 
and such an age ! A kind of bachelor uncle. Oh t con- 
found it ! He is not so very much older than she is, if one 
comes to think of it. He feels a rush of anger towards 
Susan, followed by a strange depression, that he either will 
not, or does not understand The anger, however, he un- 
derstands well enough. There is no earthly reason why 
she should think him old enough to kiss like that. It was 
abominable of her. 

He is conscious of a longing to go back and have it out 
with her. To ask her at what age she considers a man 
may be kissed. But at this point he checks himself, and 
gives way to a touch of mirth that is a trifle grim. She 
might mistake his meaning, and say twenty— that would 
be about her own age. 

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And of course it is impossible to go back, the journey 
once begun. Though why he had undertaken the charge 
of this child except to please her he hardly knows. And 
in all probability the cure will never be effected. And then 
she will go even further, and regret having given him that 
insulting kiss — of gratitude. And what on earth is he to 
do with this child : this burden t 

Here he looks round at the little burden. Bonnie is 
asleep. All the tears and excitement have overcome him, 
and he is lying back in a deep slumber, and in a most un- 
comfortable position. 

Crosby bends over him, and tenderly, very tenderly, 
lifts the small delicate flower-like bead from its uneasy 
resting place against the side of the carriage, and lays it 
softly on his arm. And thus he supports it for the rest of 
the drive, until Dublin being reached he gives him into the 
care of a trained nurse procured from the Rotunda, who is 
to accompany the child abroad. 

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41 How goodness heightens beauty." 

" O, what a Christmas Day," cries Betty, springing oat 
of bed and rushing to the window. 

" You will catch your death of cold," says Susan sleepily ; 
but in spite of this protest, or rather in despite of it, she 
too jumps out of her cosy nest and hurries to the window. 
" Oh what a morning ! " breathes she. 

And indeed the world seems all afire to-day. The sun is 
glittering upon the snow, and the snow is casting back at it 
lights scarcely less brilliant. All the trees and shrubs are 
gaily decked with snowy wraps and armlets, whilst here and 
there through the universal white, big branches of holly 
berries, scarlet as blood, peep out. 

" Ouf ! Yes. But it's cold," says Betty, after a moment 
or two. 

" I told you you would catch cold," says Susan, turning 
upon her indignantly, though in reality she stands quite as 
big a chance of meeting the dread foe as Betty. 

"Ill catch you instead!" cries Betty, with full intent. 
Whereon ensues a combat that might have given the gods 
pause. A most spirited hunt ! that takes them round and 
round the small bedroom a dozen times or more. It is a 
regular chase. Over the bed, and past the wardrobe, and 
behind the dressing table — it was a near shave for Susan 
that last, and full of complication — but she gets out of it 
with the loss of only one small china ornament. The very 
least concession that could be made to the god of Battle. 

And now away again! Over the bed once more, and 
round a chair, deftly directed at the enemy's toes — and 

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• • . After all the very bravest of us can sometimes 
know defeat, and Susan is at last run to earth between a 
basket chair and a trunk. 

After this they condescend to dress — both a little ex- 
hausted, and Betty, I regret to say, jibbing at her bath. 

" If it was hot I'd say nothing," says she. " When I'm 
married 111 have a hot bath in December." 

" Who'd marry you I " says Susan, and then, like the im- 
mortal parrot, is sorry that she spoke. Showers of icy 
water descend upon her ! 

But now breakfast is ready, and they must hasten down, 
with a last look out of their' favorite window at the golden 
coloring there. 

" I suppose it's almost warm where Bonnie is," says 
Betty, after a slight pause. 

" I hope so. Yes. I think so." There is, however, 
doubt in Susan's tone. It seems impossible to believe any 
place warm with that snow-burdened garden outside. 

"It must be warm," says Betty. "Bonnie could not 
stand cold like this, and the last accounts were not bad" — 
this rather doubtfully. 

" No. But " Susan's face, that had been glowing, 

now loses something of its warmth : " Not good either. 

Still. . . Betty " She looks at her sister, " don't 

you think Mr. Crosby is a man one might depend upon ? " 

u Oh, I do. I do, indeed," says Betty. " He," earnestly,' 
and with a view to please Susan, " is so ugly that anyone 
might depend upon him." 

" Ugly I He certainly is not ugly," says Susan. " I 
must say, Betty, I think sometimes you make the most 
foolish remarks." 

" Well, I'll say he's handsome, if you like," says Betty, 
slightly affronted. " Anyway he has been very good to 
Bonnie. I suppose that's what makes him 

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your eyes. And he has been kind too. Could anyone b4 
kinder ; and sometimes, Susan, I feel that I love him just 
as much as you do." 

" Oh I don't love him," says Susan, flushing. 

" No ? Is it gratitude, then ? Well, whatever it is you 
feel, Susan, I feel just the same — because he has been so 
kind to poor Bonnie." 

Susan turns away without replying. And then "We 
must go down," says she. 

" Well, come," says Betty, a little urgently. " I'm sure 
I have only been waiting for you, Susan. I wonder what 
Christmas cards we shall get." 

" One from Dom anyway." Mr. Fitzgerald had been sum- 
moned home by his guardian for Christmas, much to his 

" Oh, that ! But Dom doesn't count 1 " says Betty, tilt- 
ing her pretty nose in rather a disdainful fashion- 

Breakfast is nearly over, however, before the post arrives. 
The postman of Curraghcloyne has had many delays to-day. 
At every house every resident has given him his " Christ- 
mas Box," and sometimes a " stirrup cup " besides, so that 
by the time he gets to the rectory he is very considerably 
the worse for wear. Yet he gives out his letters there with 
the air of a finished postman, and accepts the rectory an- 
nual five shillings with a bow that would not have disgraced 
Chesterfield. That his old caubeen is on the side of his 
head, and his articulation somewhat indistinct, detracts in 
no wise from the dignity of the way in which he delivers 
his packages and bids Mr. Barry " All th' complaints o' t' 
saison I " 

" Oh, here's one from Dom," cries Betty, tearing open her 

post. " And written all on the back. What on earth has 

he got to say on a Christmas card ? Why didn't he write 

\ letter? * My dear Betty, I feel as I write this that you 

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don't know where you are. That shows the great moral 
difference between you and me. I know where I am, and I 
wish to heaven I didn't. Old uncle is awfully trying. Puts 
your back up half-a-dozen times a minute. I don't believe 
I'll ever get back ; because if he doesn't murder me I shall 
infallibly murder him, and then where shall we all be? I've 
written most religiously all over this card (I chose a big 
one on purpose) so that you cannot, in the usual mean fash- 
ion peculiar to girls, send it on again to your dearest friend 
as a New Year's offering. See how well I know your little 
ways 1 ' " 

" Isn't he a beast ! " says Betty, with honest meaning. 
u And it would have done so nicely for old Miss Blake. 
You see she has sent me one, though I had quite forgotten 
all about her. I must say Dom is downright malignant. I 
suppose I'll have to buy her one now. All the rest of mine 
have ' Happy Christmas ' on them, and it does look badly 
to send a card like that for New Year's day. Dom's has 
both Christmas and New Year on it, and of course it would 
have suited beautifully. Oh, Susan," pouncing on a card 
in Susan's hand, " what a beauty, and nothing written on 
the back. You will let me have it for Miss Blake, won't 

" No, no, 9 ' says Susan, hastily. She takes it back quickly 
from Betty. A little sharp unwelcome blush has sprung 
into her cheeks. 

" Who is it from — James ? " 

" James 1 Are you mad ? " says Susan. " Fancy my 
caring for a card from James. Why, here is his, and you 
can have it to make ducks and drakes of, if you like." 

" But that then ? " questions Betty, with some pardonable 
curiosity, pointing at the card denied her. 

" It is from Mr. Crosby. Don't you think, Betty," the 
treacherous color growing deeper, " that one should treasure 
even a card sent by one who has been so good to Bonnie? " 

" I do. I do indeed," says Betty, earnestly. " And 

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after all, one would treasure a card from most people. 
Even this," flicking Dom's somewhat contemptuously," I'D 
have to treasure, as I can't send it away to anyone/ Susan, 
I .wonder if Ella has got any cards besides those we sent 
her ? Shall we go to her this afternoon and ask her ? " 

" I don't suppose she can have got any," says Susan, 
thoughtfully. " You know she keeps herself so aloof from 
the world. She had yours and * mine certainly, and 

" Did Carew send her one ? " 

" Didn't you know ? " Susan laughs a little. " I didn't 
think it was a secret. I went into his room yesterday, and 
saw an envelope directed to Ella, and said something about 
it, but I really quite thought he had told you too." 

" Well, he didn't 1 After dinner, Susan, let us run down 
and see her, and show her our cards." 

" Oh no," says Susan, shrinking a little. " If she had 
none of her own, it might make her feel — feel lonely ! " 

" That's true," says Betty. 

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— " Who would trust slippery chance." 

But after all, Ella has a card of her own, that is not from 
Susan, or Betty, or Carew ! Some hours ago the post 
brought it to her, and she has gone out into the garden, 
that is now lovely in its white garments, with the red ber- 
ries of the holly trees peeping through the snow — to read 
it, and look at it again. 

The walks have been swept clear by Denis, who has come 
down from Dublin to spend a long (a very long) and happy 
Christmas week with his wife. A third person in Mrs. 
Denis' kitchen and private apartments might have ques- 
tioned about the happiness, but that it is a lively week 
goes beyond all doubt. 

With Ella's card a little line had come too. Mr. Wynd- 
ham was coming down by the afternoon train, to see to 
something for Crosby, who had written to him from Carls- 
bad, and he hoped to call at the Cottage before his return. 
Ella reads and re-reads the little note. The afternoon train 
comes in at one o'clock. It is now after twelve. Soon he 
will be here 1 How kind he is to her ! How good ! And 
to remember that Christmas card ! She had heard Susan 
and Betty talking of Christmas cards, and they had sent 
her one, each of them, and Carew had sent one too. They 
also were kind, so kind, but that Mr. Wyndham should re- 
member her, with ail his other friends to think of 

Alone in this dear garden, with no one to hear or see her, 
she gives way to her mood. Miss Manning has gone up to 
Dublin to spend her Christmas Day with an old friend, 
urged thereto by Ella, who, indeed, wished to be alone after 
her post had come. Now she can walk about . 

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speak to her own heart without interruption, Mrs. Denis 
being engaged in that intellectual game called " words " 
with her husband. Oh, how happy she feels ! How ex- 
traordinarily happy ! She laughs aloud, and lifting her 
arms crosses them with lazy delight behind her head, and 
amongst the warm furs that encircle her neck. This ac- 
tion draws her head backwards — her eyes upwards 

Upwards I To the top of the wall on that far distant 
corner. There her eyes rest as if transfixed — and there 
grow frozen in this awful horror that has come to her. 
Where is the happiness now in the eyes — the young, glad 

She stands as if stricken into stone, staring into a face 
that is staring back at her. 

On the wall close to the old tree, from which she loves to 
look into the rectory garden, and wave a handkerchief to 
the children there to come to her, sits Moore, the man from 
whom she had fled ; the man whom she dreads most of all 
things upon earth ; the man who wanted to marry her ! 

Oh dear, dear Heaven, is all her good time ended ? Such 
a little, little time, too — such a transient gleam of light ! 
And all so black behind it. Like a flash her life spreads it- 
self out before her. What a childhood I Unmothered, un- 
beloved 1 What a cold, terrible girlhood — and then a few 
short months of quiet rest and calm, and now again the old 
hideous misery. 

It seems impossible for her to remove her eyes from those 
above her — to move in any way. Her brain grows at last 
confused, and only two words seem to be clear — to din 
themselves with a cruel persistency in her ears. 

" All is over I All is over 1 " 

They have neither sense nor meaning to her in her pres- 
ent state, but still they go on repeating themselves. " All 
is over ! All, all, all is over." 

The man has caught a branch of the tree now, and with 
a certain activity, considering the squareness and the bulk T 

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of his body, has swung himself into it, and so on to the 

He is coming towards her. The girl still stands immov- 
able, as if rooted to the gravel walk ; but her mind has re- 
turned to her. Alas — it brings no hope with it. This man, 
who has been a terror to her from her childhood, has now 
again come into the circle of her daily life. She draws 
back as he approaches her — her first movement since her 
frightened eyes met his — and holds up her hands, as a child 
might, to ward off mischief. This coming face to nice with 
him is a horrible shock as well as an awakening. She had 
believed herself mistress of her fears of him, though her 
horror might still obtain, and now, now she knows that both 
her horror and her fear are still rampant. 

44 Well, I've found you at last," says the man, advancing 
across the grass. " And here 1 " There is something ter- 
rible in his tone and in the looks of scorn he casts at the 
pretty surroundings, beautiful always, though now wrapped 
in their snowy shrouds. " Four months ago I was here," 
says he, after a lengthened pause. " I was on your track 
then, but a mere chance put me off it. Four months ago I 
might have dragged you out of this sink of iniquity — had I 
but known ! " 

Ella is silent. That day when she had run back from 
the rectory and fancied she saw him turn the corner of the 
road. That fancy had been no delusion then I Ah ! why 
had she played with it. 

44 Have you nothing to say f " asks he slowly, sullenly, 
gazing at her with hard, compelling eyes. a No excuse to 
make, or are you trying to get up a story ? I tell you, 
girl, it will be useless. This speaks for itself." Again he 
looks round him, at the charming cottage, the tall trees, the 
dainty garden and winding walks. 

44 There is no story," says Ella at last. Her voice is dry 
and husky ; she can hardly force the words between her 

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" You lie I " says the man, fiercely. " There is a story, 
and a most one for you." His eyes light with a sud- 
den ftiry, and he looks for a moment as though he would 
willingly fall upon her and choke the life out of her slender 
body. His manner is distinctly brutal, but yet there is 
something about it that speaks of honesty. It is rough, 
cruel, hateftil, but honest for all that. A certain belief in 
himself is uppermost. 

He is a tall man, very strong in build, and with strong 
features too. His dress is that of the comfortable, half 
educated artisan ; but he shows some neatness in his attire. 
His shirt is immaculate, his hair well cut, and altogether 
he might suggest to the unimpassioned observer that he 
was a man who had dreamt many dreams of rising above 
the life to which he had been born. He is at all events 
not an ordinary man of any type, and distinctly one to be 
feared, if only for the enormous strength he had put forth 
to fight with his daily surroundings, and with his past (a 
more difficult enemy still) so as to gain a footing on the 
ladder that will raise him above his fellows. 

The girl shrinks from him, frightened even more by the 
wild light in his eyes, than by his words, and as she shrinks 
he advances, contempt mingled with menace in his eyes. 

" You thought I should never find you," says he, with 
cruel slowness. " But mine you were from the beginning, 
and mine you are still." 

Ella makes a faint and trembling protest 

" Deny it," cries he. " Deny it if you can I Your own 
mother left you to me. A mother who was ashamed to tell 
her real name. She left you — a waif, a stray to my charity, 
and so, of my charity I bought you through my wife. 
You are mine, I tell you. Hah I Well you may hide 
your face. Child of infamy — now sunk in infamy 1 " 

His strong, horrible face is working. The girl, as if pet- 
rified by fear, has fallen back into a garden chair, ahd is sit- 
ting there cowering, her face hidden in her shaking hands. 

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" So," continues the man in mocking accents, the very 
mockery of it betraying the intolerable love he had borne 
her, in her sad past : a love now deadened, but still half 
alive, and quick with revengeful wrath. u You ran away 
from me — not so much from hatred of me— but for love 
of him." 

" Of him ? " Ella lifts her haggard face at this. 

" Ay, girl Of him ! The man who has dragged you 
down to this — who has brought you here to be a bird in 
his gilded cage. D'ye think to blind me still. I've fol- 
lowed you, I tell you, step by step. You didn't reckon on 
my staying powers perhaps. But I had sworn by the 
heaven above me," lifting his hand — large and rough and 
powerful — to the sky — " that I would have you, dead or 
alive ! " He pauses. u When you left me, I thought at 
first — that I had been too harsh to you. But I was wrong: 
such as you require harshness." Again he grows silent. 
" You ran to him, then, because you loved him ! Such as 
you love easily — has it occurred to you, however, to ask 
yourself how long he will love you ? " 

" I — someone must have been telling you strange things. 
All this is impossible," says the girl, pressing her hands 
against his beating heart. " No one loves me ; no one." 

"And you do not love anyone? Answer that," says 

" No. No — except " She hesitates miserably. She 

had thought of Susan — she had meant to declare her love 
for Susan as her sole love, but another form had suddenly 
risen between her and Susan, and she loses herself. 

" Another lie," says Moore, with a sneer. " Lies become 
fine ladies, and you seem to be making yourself into one in 
a hurry. But you'll find yerself out there " — (with all his 
care he sometimes drops into his earlier form of speech, and 
that " yerself" betrays him). " You're not built for a fine 
lady. You — you," furiously , " who came out of the gutter ! 
Yet I can see you have been doing the fine lady very con- 


siderably of late — so considerably that you can now lie- 
like the best of them. But," with a touch of absolute 
ferocity, " I tell you, your lies will be of little use to you 
with me. I've dropped on the truth of your story — and 
there shall be an end of it. To my dead wife your dead 
mother left you — and from my dead wife, you have come to 
me again. To me you belong — I am your guardian — you 
are bound by law to follow me." 

Ella makes a terrified gesture, then sinks back upon her 
seat, pale and chilled to her heart's core. 

" To follow you ? " The words came from between her 
lips, whispered rather than uttered ; but he hears them. 

" Ay — to follow me. You shall not stay in this home of 
infamy another hour if I can prevent it. And prevent it I 

His rugged, disagreeable face, so full of strength, lights 
as he speaks these words of command. 

" I cannot go," says the girl, faintly. She puts out her 
hands again with that old childish movement, as if to ward 
off something hateful to her. There is so much aversion 
in this act that Moore's temper fails him. 

" Hate me as much as you will. Still — come with me 

you shall ! " says he. " Do you imagine " Here he 

takes a step towards her, and catching her by the wrist 

swings her to and fro with distinct brutality, then lets her 

go. s li Do you think, having once found you, I shall let you 

go? No — though — " He makes a pause, and standing 

before her pours his words into her unwilling, nay, but 

half understanding ears. " Though I so despise you 

that I would now consider my name dishonored if joined 

with yours even now when I know you not to be worth the 

picking up — still I will not let you go. You are mine, and 

with me you shall leave this old country and seek another. 

I start for Australia to-morrow week, and you shall start 

with me. Together we shall seek that land." 

" I cannot go," repeats Ella, feebly. She looks magnet- 
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ized. The old terror is full upon her, and it is Ivifc a dying 
effort to resist him that she now makes. " I — I — " She 
stops again, and then bursts out, " It would kill me. 
Oh ! " holding out her hands wildly, " why do you want me to 
go away ? Why do you want me to leave this place ? How " 
— miserably — " can I be of any help to you ? Of any use ? 
You know," in softest, most piteous accents, u that I hate 
you — why then take me with you ? Why not let me stay 
here in peace ? " 

" In sin you mean," says Moore, his harsh voice now 
filled with a new virulence. " Make an end of this, girl — 
for come with me you shall. What," violently, " you 
would not live with me, who would have honorably married 
you ; but you would live with him, who will never marry 

" I do not desire that he should marry me," says the girl 
drawing herself up. Even in this terrible moment, when 
all her senses feel dulled — a look of pride grows upon her 
beautiful face. " And he does not live here." 

" Enough of that," gruffly. " You have told lies suffi- 
cient for one morning. Get up, and come with me." 

" Come with you ? " 

" Aye— and at once 1 " 

" But," she has risen, as if in strange unreasoning obe- 
dience to his command, being fully beneath the spell, born 
of her horror and fear of him — " but — I must have time- 
to write — to leave a word. He has been so kind — so kind. 
Give me" — her fece is deadly white now, her tone an- 
guished. " Only one moment to go in and write a line of 
good-bye to him." 

" Not one ! " says Moore, sternly. " I shall not even 
wait for you to take off those garments — the garments of 
sin, that you are wearing. You shall come as you are — 
and now." 

He lays his hand upon her arm, and draws her towards 
the gate ; still, as in a c|ream, she follows him. The bitter? 

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ness of death is on her, yet she goes with him calmly — 
quietly. Perhaps there is a hope in her heart that as she 
had run away from him once, she might be able to do so 
again. But could she? Would he not — having been 
warned by her first escape take pains to guard against a 
second. She knows that in her dreams, when he is not 
here, she could defy him, elude him, but to defy him when 
he was present would be too much for her ; and besides he 
is her lawful guardian ; he has said so. Her own mother 
had left her to him. He might call in the policeman in the 
village, and so compel her in that way. But oh, to go 
without saying good-bye to Mr. Wyndham 1 

He had said he would come to-day ! But all hope of his 
coming now is at an end. And Mrs. Denis 1 Not even to 
see her — she might have helped her. And not to say one 
word to her, or to Susan ! What — what will they all think 
of her 1 

At this moment they come to the hall door of the Cot- 
tage, and she stops suddenly, and makes a little rush to- 
wards it, but the clutch on her arm is strong. 

" To say one word to Mrs. Denis," gasps she, implor- 
ingly, damp breaking out upon her young forehead. " Oh I M 
beating her hands with miserable agony upon her chest, 
" think how it will be 1 They will for ever and ever re- 
member me as ungrateful — unloving — a creature who had 
taken their love, and abused it. They will be glad to for- 
get me 1 " 

"I hope so," says he, coldly — utterly unmoved — nay 
knowing even pleasure in her grief. " The sooner they for- 
get you, and you them, the better. They 1 " He repeats 
the word. " Why don't you say * He ' and be done with 
it," cries he furiously. " What a hypocrite you are." 

He almost drags her to the gate. Ella, half feinting, 
finds herself at it. It is the last step. In here lies safety 
and happiness and peace — out there— —Moore turns the 
key in the lock, and pulls at the handle of the door. Tee, 

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it is all over. The door opens. At this instant a long, low 
passionate cry escapes from Ella. 

Wyndham is standing in the roadway just outside the 


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"Narrow minds think nothing right that is abore their own ca- 

" What is the meaning of this," says Wyndham. He 
comes in quickly, locking the door, and putting the key in 
his pocket. He has taken in the situation at a glance. 

" It means that I have come here to take this girl out of 
your hands," says Moore, who shows no fear, or anything 
else, save a concentrated hatred of the man before him. 

" Then you have come on an idle errand," says Wynd- 
ham, haughtily. " I should advise you to amuse yourself 
on Christmas Days in future, with something more likely to 
prove amusing. This young lady," with strong emphasis, 
" does not stir from this spot except at her own desire." 

" She is coming for all that," says Moore, doggedly. 
Wyndham glances from him to Ella, who now, white as a 
sheet, is standing trembling, like a frightened creature, with 
one small hand uplifted to her lips, as if to hide their trem- 
bling. Her eyes are agonized, but in some way Wyndham 
can see that though she fancies hope dead, still hope in him 
has lit one small spark. 

" Are you going ? " says Wyndham, addressing her 

" No, no," breathes she, from between her frozen lips. 
She takes a step forward. " Don't let me go," says she. 

" Certainly I shan't let you go," says Wyndham, with 
the utmost cheerfulness. " As a fact, indeed, I forbid you 
to go. I have excellent authority for looking after you." 

" What authority ? " asks Moore, who has now struck a 
most aggressive attitude upon the gravel path. " I shall 
question that, You to talk of authority. Why I tell yWr| ( 


that you, and such as you, cut a very bad figure in a court 
of law." 

" Never mind that, my man," says Wyndham. " I have 
no time now for impromptu speeches. May I ask what 
claim you have on this young lady f " 

" I am her rightful guardian," says Moore. " And I 
shall exercise my rights. Open that gate, or it will be the 
worse for you. You talk of claims. What claim have you f 
Is she your wife f or your " 

Wyndham, who is now as white as Ella herself, turns to 
her : " Go away," says he, quickly, " go at once." 

" Hah ! you don't like her to hear it," cries Moore, now 
in a frenzy, as Ella, only too glad to get back into the be- 
loved house, runs quickly towards the Cottage. He would 
have intercepted her flight, but Wyndham prevents him. 

" But if not your wife, what is she t Your mistress ? " 

" Hold your tongue you scoundrel," says Wynd- 
ham, his eyes blazing. 

" Hold yours," says Moore. u Is she your wife t Come, 
answer that." 

" No," says Wyndham. " But " 

" No buts for me," says Moore. u I know the meaning of 
your but ! Come, who's the scoundrel now f " 

" You, beyond all doubt," says Wyndham. " Stand back, 
man," as the other makes a lunge towards him, " and listen 
to law if not to reason. You have as much claim on her as 
the beggar in the street beyond, and you know it." 

"I do not." Moore shows an air of open defiance. 
" Her mother died in my wife's house and my wife died later 
on and left her to me. That makes me her guardian, I 
reckon. As for you," turning upon Wyndham, defiantly, 
" I wonder you can look an honest man in the face after 
what you've done to her." 

" I can look an honester man than you in the face," says 
Wyndham, quietly. " But let's come to business* You 
wanted to marry her — eh ? " 

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"She told you that?" 

" Certainly she told me that." 

" She told you most things it seems to me," with a sneer, 
that is full of trouble and jealousy. " Aren't you ashamed 
to repeat them — to me ? " He pauses, and his face grows 
positively livid. * 4 To me who would have married her fair 
and square, whilst you — what have you done ? " He steps 
forward, and makes as though he would have clutched at 
Wyndham's collar, but the latter flings him backward. 

" Well, what have I done? " 

44 Ruined her body and soul." 

44 You are wrong there," says Wyndham, who has re- 
covered from his sudden temper, and is now quite calm. 
14 You had better sit down, and let us talk it over. You 
are wrong on all counts. I have done her no injury. You 
are not her proper guardian. She is in a position to sup- 
port herself." 

44 She is not," says Moore, coarsely. 

44 But she is, I assure you if," with elaborate politeness, 
44 you will permit me to explain. Miss — what is her name y 
by the way, Moore ? " 

44 That," with a scowl, " is for you to find out." 

44 True. Well, I shall find it out. In the meantime I 
suppose you quite recognize the fact that all is at an end 
about that idea of yours, that you have any power over 

44 It would take a good lawyer to oonvince me of that," 
says Moore, insolently. 

44 A good lawyer," says Wyndham. u Well, name one." 

44 Paul Wyndham for one." Moore laughs sardonically, 
as he says it, and looks at his antagonist as if defying him 
to question the power of the man he had named. 

Wyndham smiles. After all what a compliment this man 
has paid him. He dips his hand into his waistcoat pocket, 
and brings out a leather card case and hands it to Moore. 
The latter opens it 

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There is a slight silence, then Moore gives him back the 
case in silence. 

" So you are Paul Wyndham f " says he. His face has 
changed color, but still his bull dog courage sticks to him. 
u Then you ought to be the more ashamed of yourself." 

" I expect I'll make you very much ashamed of yourself," 
says Wyndham, " and that almost immediately. An abduc- 
tion has a very unpleasant sound nowadays, and generally 
means trouble to the principal actor in it. I'd advise you 
to sit down, and let us talk sense. I know all your deal- 
ings with this — this young lady, and they scarcely redound 
to your credit. In fact I am pretty sure they would lead 
you into mischief, and — six months' hard labor — if elo- 
quently stated. That is the very least you would get — un- 
less " 

" Six months I I am going abroad on Thursday next." 

" Are you t I wouldn't be too sure if I were you," says 
Wyndham, grimly. " It's as bad a case of persecution as I 
have ever gone into. And I may as well say at once, that 
if you persist in your determination to carry off this poor 
child against her will, I shall call in the village police, and 
expose the whole matter." 

Moore, who had been cowed by Wyndham's name, and 
the stern air of the barrister, in spite of his show of defi- 
ance, falters here, and the result of the long conversation 
that ensues between the two men leaves all in Wyndham's 
hands. At the end, seeing the game is up, Moore gives in 

He acknowledged that Ella's name was not Moore. It 
was Haynes. She was no relation of his or his wife's — but 
undoubtedly her mother had left the girl to their charge 
when dying, and as she was useful and his wife was fond of 
her, they kept her with them. Her father was dead. Mrs. 
Haynes had always been very reticent. He was of opinion 
that she had once been in better circumstances. Haynes 
was not respectable — he, Moore had an idea that his father 

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had cast him off. He was not at all sure that Haynes was 
his real name. He had indeed reasons for thinking it 
wasn't, but he had never been able to discover anything ; 
and when the child was left to them, his wife had insisted 
on calling her Moore. She had gone by that name ever 

All this information was not given until payment had 
been demanded and acceded, and after that there had been a 
final settlement by which all the small belongings of the 
girl were to be delivered up to Wyndham ; over this part 
of the transaction Moore had proved himself specially 
shrewd. As the game was up he was determined to see 
himself really well out of it ; and in the end he made so ex- 
cellent a bargain that Wyndham found himself a good deal 
out of pocket. The price he paid was certainly a heavy 
one for two boxes, that might contain anything or nothing, 
and, for an astute lawyer like Wyndham, bordered on the 
absurd. Beyond doubt, if he went to law with the fellow, 
Ella would have got her own, but then, there would be the 

publicity, and . Anyway he paid it — not so much for 

the boxes, however, as for the certainty that Moore would 
go abroad and leave Ella free. It was for that he bought 
and paid. But in spite of his better sense, that told him if 
there were anything in the boxes worth having, Moore or 
his wife would have traded on them long ago, still he looked 
forward to the examining of them, with a strange anxiety. 

When they came, they brought only disappointment with 
them — one was a hideous trunk, absolutely empty — the 
other a small dressing-case that had been costly when first 
made, the clasps and fastenings being of silver. The bottles 
inside had no doubt been made of silver, but they were all 
gone. It was a melancholy relic, and Wyndham, looking 
at it, told himself that probably Ella's mother had picked 
it up for the sake of its outside beauty (the wood was Cor- 
omandel, and very pretty) at some cheap sale. Inside it 

as as empty of information as the trunk itself— a reel or 

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two of thread, a pair of old black silk gloves, and a little 
bit of fancy work half done, being the only things to be 
seen. No letters or clue of any sort. It looked like the 
dressing-case of a young girl. On the lid was engraved the * 
letters E. B. He was right then — of course Ella's mother 
had bought it. What could E. B. have to do with Mrs. 
Haynes. Unless her maiden name. But it seemed a com- 
mon story scarce worth looking into any further. All that 
was to be seen to now was Moore's departure. And this he 
saw to effectually — getting up on a pouring morning to see 
Moore off, and giving him half of the check agreed on, as 
he left the outward bound ship, that took Moore with it. 
The big trunk he got rid of through the means of Denis, 
who burnt it, and the dressing-case he took down to Ella, 
who regarded it with reverence, and made a little special 
place for it on one of the small tables in the drawing-room 
of the Cottage. It was all that remained to her, poor child 
— all that she knew — of the woman who was her mother. 

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41 Were my whole life to oome one heap of troubles 
The pleasure of this moment would suffice, 
And sweeten all my griefs with its remembrance." 

Fob the twentieth time within the last hour Susan has 
rushed tumultously to the window, under the mistaken 
impression that she has heard the sound of wheels — and for 
the twentieth time has walked back dejectedly to her seat 
to the slow accompaniment of her aunt's voice. 

" Impatience, Susan, never took a second off any hour 1 " 
It sounds like a heading from a copy book. 

But Susan after each disappointment feels her spirits rise 
again, and with glad delight in her heart, trifles with the 
work she is pretending to do. Betty and the boys are on 
the top of the garden wall, and have promised to send her 
instant tidings of the approach of the carriage. Susan felt 
she could not watch from there the home coming of her 
Bonnie. The workings of the human mind are strange, and 
Susan, who had climbed many a wall in her time, and still 
can climb them with the best, shrank with a sort of nervous 
terror from being up there — on the top of that wall when 
he came ! — she would have to climb down, you see, to meet 
her little sweetheart, whereas here it will be so easy to run 
out and catch him to her heart, and ask him if he has for* 
gotten his Susan during all these long, long days. 

But truly this sitting indoors is very trying. It would 
be much better to go to the gate and wait there. Even 
though those others on the garden wall will have the first 
glimpse of him, still — at the gate she would have the first 
kiss. Her father had gone to the station to meet him, bud 
had forbidden the others to go with him. Susan had been 


somehow glad of this command. But to go to the gate ! 
She had thought of this often, but had somehow recoiled 
from it through a sense of nervousness, but now it grows 
too much for her, and flinging down her work, she runs out 
of the room and up to the gate, and there stands trembling 
— listening. Waiting ! 

Waiting for what ? She hardly knows. Crosby's letters 
of late have been very vague. They scarcely conveyed any- 
thing. But that Bonnie is alive is certain, and that is all 
that Susan dwells on now. God grant that he be not worse 
than when he left her — that he is better there seems no real 
reason for believing. But still he is coming back to her — 
her little boy ! 

And in this fair spring weather too — so closely verging 
on the warmer summer. That will be good for him. If 
Mr. Crosby had not taken him away when he did — surely 
those late winter frosts and colds would have chilled to 
death the little life left in his precious body ... A 
perfect passion of gratitude towards Crosby shakes her 
soul, and brings the tears to her eyes. She will never for- 
get that, never. And though, of course, he has failed in a 
sense, and her little Bonnie will come back to her as he 
went, on crutches that had always hurt so cruelly poor Su- 
san's heart — still, he had done all he oould — and he is to be 
reverenced and beloved for ever because of it. Who else in- 
deed would have thought of the delicate child — or 

Oh! what is that? 

She strains forward. Now — now really the sound of 
wheels are here. They are echoing through the village 
street — and now . • • Now a shout has gone up from 
the denizens on the top of the garden wall — and now a car- 
riage has turned the corner. 

It has stopped. Mr. Crosby springs out of it ; he looks 
at Susan, but Susan after one swift glance does not look at 
him ; her eyes have gone farther ; to a small, slim, beauti- 
ful boy who gets out of the carriage by himself— and slowl; 

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but without a crutch — goes to Susan, and precipitates him- 
self upon her with a little loving cry. 

" Susan 1 Susan 1 " says he. 

" Oh, Bonnie 1 Oh, Bonnie ! " Her arms are round him. 
They seem to hold him, as though she could never let him 
go again. " Oh, Bonnie 1 you can walk by yourself." 

Suddenly she bursts into a storm of tears ; and the child 
clinging to her, cries too. " You can walk. You can walk 
alone." She repeats this between her sobs, her face buried 
in the boy's pretty locks. It seems, indeed, as if she had 
nothing else to say — as if everything else is forgotten by 
her. The injury she had done him has been wiped out. He 
can walk without the aid of those terrible sticks. 

The child, thin still, and now very pale through his 
emotion, yet wonderfully healthy in comparison with what 
he had been, pats her with his little hands; and presently 
he laughs — a laugh so free from pain, and so unlike the old 
laugh that was more sad than many others' tears — that 
Susan looks up. 

" It is true then," says she ; " but walk for me again, 
Bonnie ! Walk ! " Again Bonnie's laugh rings clear — how 
sweet the music of it is — and stepping back from her, goes 
to his father, who had followed him out of the carriage, and 
from him to Crosby, and from that back again to Susan, 
slowly, carefully, yet with a certain vigor that speaks of 
perfect health in the near future. 

Susan, who has looked as if on the point of fainting dur- 
ing this little trial, catches him in her slender arms. She 
is trembling visibly. 

Crosby goes to her quickly. 

" I should have given you a hint," says he remorsefully. 
" I thought of only giving you a glad surprise ; but it has 
been too much for you. I should have said a word or two." 

" There is nothing, nothing you have left undone," says 
Susan, looking at him over Bonnie's head, and speaking 
with a gratitude that is almost fierce. " Nothing 1 " 

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The others have all got down off their wall by this time, 
and are kissing and hugging Bonnie. After all, if they had 
had the first view of the carriage, still Susan has certainly 
had the best of the whole affair. Mr. Barry, with his hand- 
some, gaunt face, radiant now, is endeavoring to hold them 

44 You will come in ? " says Susan to Crosby. " Auntie 
is waiting for you, to thank you, as if" — her eyes slowly 
filling again — " anyone could thank you." 

" Oh, you can ! " says Crosby, laughing. " I was never 
so thanked in all my life. Why, your eyes, Susan ! They 
hold great worlds of gratitude. You'll have to stop being 
thankful to me, or I shall run away once more. And," he 
looks at her with a half laugh on his lips, but question in 
his eyes, " you would not like to drive me into exile so soon 
again, would you ? " 

" No, no ! " says Susan. " You have been a very long 
time away as it is." 

44 You have missed me, I hope — by that." 

" We have all missed you," says Susan, softly. 

" That's a very general remark. Have you missed 

44 Every hour of the day," says Susan, fervently. Too 
fervently, too openly. Crosby laughs again, but there is a 
tincture of disappointment in his mirth this time. 

44 Faithful little friend 1 " returns he gaily. " No Susan, 
I don't think I'll go in now ; but tell Miss Barry from me 
that I shall come down to-morrow to see her and my little 
charge. By-the-bye, I have kept my promise to you about 
loving him. It was easy work ; I don't wonder now at 
your love for him, I assure you I feel downright lonely at 
the thought of leaving him behind me." 

He presses her hand lightly, and goes towards Bonnie. 

44 Well, good-bye old man ! " says he, catching the child 
and drawing him towards him. 

44 Oh, no. Oh 1 you won't go," says Bonnie, anxiously. 

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" For the present — I must. And mind you go to bed 
early and sleep well, or there will be a regular row on when 
next we meet." 

" Ton will come this evening f " says the child, hardly 
listening to him. 

" No," he shakes his head. 

" To-morrow, then ? " entreats the child, clinging to 

" To-morrow, yes." He whispers something in his ear, 
and the boy, flinging his arm round his neck, kisses him 
warmly. Crosby smiles at Susan. 

44 See what chums we are, 9 ' says he. 

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u What Zal said once to Rustnm, dost thou know? 
'Think none contemptible who is thy foe.' " 

To-morrow brings him, faithful to his word. It brings, 
too, a great many gifts with him. Is there one child of the 
house forgotten f Not one. And even Miss Barry is re- 

" Oh 1 how good, how kind of you,' 9 says Susan. " Fancy 
remembering every one of us." 

" I don't believe I was ever called good before," says 
Crosby. " It makes me feel like the bachelor uncle." As 
he says this he thinks again of the kiss that Susan had once 
given him. " And old, quite hopelessly old ! " 

" Nonsense," says Susan. " Youf" — looking at him — 
" You are not old." 

" Go to ! flatterer. You really shouldn't, Susan 1 Flat- 
tery is so bad for people generally, and for me in particular. 
I'm very open to it." 

" I don't flatter," says Susan. She laughs and runs away 
to answer a call from her aunt, who is evidently struggling 
with an idea, in one of the rooms within. 

" Who's that on the tennis ground?" asks Crosby of 
Betty as they are standing on the hall doorsteps. 

" Oh ! don't you know f That's James. He came back a 
week ago. Of course, now I think of it," airily, " you 
couldn't know, as we were unable to write to you for the 
past week. But it's James. Your remember hearing 
about him f " Crosby does. u Well, he's home on leave 
now. But," says Betty, giving way to suppressed mirth, 


" I think bis wits have gone astray, and he believes his 
home is here. Anyway, we can always find him somewhere, 
round any corner, from ten to eight. And — " She grows 
convulsed with silent mirth again. " He's just as spooney 
on Susan as ever ! " 

44 Yes ? " says Crosby. 

44 He's perfectly ridiculous. He is here morning, noon, 
and night. And when she lets him, he sits in her pocket 
by the hour. Of course it bores her, but Susan is so ab- 
surdly good-natured that she puts up with everything. 
Come down and have a game of tennis. Do ! n 

Betty, who is 44 bon camarade," with Crosby, slips her 
hand into his arm and leads him tennis-wards. 

So, this is James ! Crosby gives direct attention to the 
young man on the tennis ground below him. A young man 
got up in irreproachable flannels, and with a sufficiently 
well-bred air about him. Crosby gives him all his good 
points without stint. He is well got up, and well-groomed, 
and decently shaved — and confoundedly ugly. He laughs 
as he tells himself this. There is solace in the thought. In 
fact, James Mcllveagh with his big nose and little eyes, 
and the rather heavy jaw, and the general look of dogged- 
ness about him, could hardly be considered a beauty except 
by a deluded mother. 

He is playing a set with Carew, against Dom and Jacky , 
who is by no means to be despised as a server. It occurs 
to Crosby, watching him, that he is playing rather wildly, 
and giving more attention to the hall door in the distance, 
than to his adversary. Game and set are called for Dom 
and Jacky. It is with an open sense of joy upon his ugly 
face that Mr. Mcllveagh flings down his racket and 
balls; and indeed presently, when he goes straight to- 

Towards whom f 

Crosby, curious, follows the young man's going — and 
then sees Susan. 

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Susan, with Bonnie I A Bonnie who now trots happily 
beside her, and is evidently quite her slave ; a pretty un- 
doing of the old days, when she was always his. Tommy, 
full of toys brought by Crosby — a white rabbit, a perform- 
ing elephant, an awful bear, and various other delightful 
things tucked under his fat arms — is following them. 

And now Mcllveagh has reached her. He is speaking to 
her. Crosby, with a grim sense of amusement at his own 
frame of mind, wonders what on earth that idiot can be say- 

Presently Susan, smiling sweetly, and shaking her head 
as if giving a very soft refusal to some proposal on the part 
of James, comes this way. Tommy has caught hold of 
Bonnie's hand — the new Bonnie, who can now run about 
with him — and is dragging him towards the little wood, and 
Susan is protesting. But now Bonnie is protesting too. 
" I can go, Susan. I have walked a great deal farther than 
that I have really." Crosby, watching still, as if infatu- 
ated, can see that Susan is studying Bonnie silently, as if 
in great amazement. 

This little, well Bonnie, seems almost impossible to her. 
Bonnie ! going for a run — alone into the wood. 

Crosby comes up to her. 

" I hardly realize it," she says gently — her eyes still upon 
the retreating form of the child. 

" A great many things are hard to realize," says he. 
" For my part I find it very hard to see myself supplanted." 


"Decidedly. And by the redoubtable James. By the 
way, Susan, I think you gave me a distinctly wrong im- 
pression of that hero in the beginning of our acquaintance. 
He doesn't look half so wild as you represented him." 

" As for that," indifferently, "I suppose they have drilled 

" He's quite presentable," glancing at the young soldier 
, in question, who, a few yards off, is looking as 

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ugly as any 

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impressionist could desire, and sulky into the bargain. He 
can see that Susan is sitting with a stranger, and evidently 
quite content — and — who the deuce is that fellow, anyway f 

44 What did you expect him to be ? " asks Susan. 

" Unpresentable, of course. I 'ye been immensely taken 
in. And by you, Susan I You quite led me to expect some- 
thing interesting — a rare specimen — and here he is, as like 
one of the rest of us as two peas." 

44 Did you expect him to have two heads 7 " asks Susan, 
with a rather ungrateful levity, considering James is an old 
friend of hers. 

44 1 hardly hoped for so much ! " says Crosby. li I'm not 
greedy ! As a rule I am thankful for small mercies, per- 
haps," with a thoughtfhl glance at her, " because big ones 
don't come my way. And I don't think you need be so 
very angry with me, Susan, because I think the excellent 
James less ugly than," with a reproachful air, " I had been 
led to believe ! " 

44 1 think him hideous," says Susan, promptly, and with 
no attempt at softening of any sort. 

44 Alas ! Poor James ! But do you t Really ? n 

44 Very really," says Susan, laughing. u Just look at his 

44 It's a good honest one," says Crosby. 44 If a trifle " 

" Well, I suppose it's the trifle," says Susan* 

" I have seen worse." 

44 Oh 1 you can think him an Apollo if you like," says Su- 
san, with a little shrug. Shrugs from Susan are so unex- 
pected that Crosby regards her with interest. The unex- 
pected is often very delightful, and certainly Susan, at this 
moment, with her little new petulant mood upon her, is as 
sweet as sunshine. It seems all at once to Crosby that he 
is seeing her now again for the first time, with a fresh idea 
of her. What a little slender maiden — and how beautiful, 
even in her thin " uneducated" frock, that has so often seen 
the tub, and is of a fashion of five years ago. And yet in 

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a way, that old frock is kind to her — (who would not be 
kind to her ?) It stands to her, in spite of its age. It 
throws out all the beauties of her delicately-built, but 
healthy young figure. 

Susan here, in this primitive gown, is Susan ! Susan got 
up in silks and laces and satins, and all the fripperies of 
fashion, what would she be like? 

It is a question quickly answered. Why she would be 
Susan, too ! Nothing could change that gentle, tender heart. 
He feels quite sure of that. It would only be Susan glorified I 
A Susan that would probably reduce to envy half the so- 
called society beauties of the season. 

Here he breaks through his thoughts, and comes back to 
the moment. 

" I don't like your tone," says he, reproachfully. " It 
savors of unkindness. And considering how long it is 
since last we met " 

Here Susan interrupts him, remorse tearing at her soul. 

" I know ! Seven months I " 

" Tou must have found it long," says Crosby. " I make 
it only twenty-two hours, and," consulting his watch, " six* 
teen minutes." 

" Oh ! if you are alluding to yesterday ! " says Susan, 
with dignity that has a sort of disgust in it 

"Of course-" 

" I thought you were alluding to your being away in Ger- 
many. And as to finding it long," resentfully, " I think 
you must have found it very much longer, if you can count 
to a mfnute like that." 

Was there ever such a child f Crosby roars with laughter, 
though something in his laughter amounts to passionate 

" Forgive me, Susan ! " He leans forward, and takes her 
hand. As he feels it within his — close clasped, and not 
withdrawn— and with Susan's earnest eyes looking into his 
— words spring to his lips, " Susan, once you took me under 

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your protection. Do you remember that old garden, and 


Whatever he was going to say is here rudely broken in 
upon by the advance of James, who, though distinctly ugly, 
looks no longer dull. He seems now dreadfully wide-awake. 
Susan draws her hand quickly away, and Crosby, who be- 
lieves she has done this lest James should see the too 
friendly attitude, is still further mortified by her manner. 

41 1 think I told you you were not to speak of that — that 
hateful day again," says she — and turning from him as if 
eternally offended seats herself on a rug quite far awaj T from 
him, and in such a position that James can find a resting- 
place at her feet — a fact he is very swift to see. 

The others have all come up now, and Dom, who is ter- 
ribly conversational, opens the ball. 

44 What are you now, James ? " asks he. 44 General ? " 

44 Not quite," responds James, gruffly — who naturally ob- 
jects to being chaffed in the presence of the beloved one. 

"Colonel? Eh?" 

44 Don't be stupid, Dom," says Susan suddenly. 4i He is 
a lieutenant, but soon he'll be a captain. Won't you, 
James ? Come up here, and take part of my rug." 

44 Oh, no I No I " says James, in a nervous flurried tone 
that is filled with absolute adoration. 4< I like being here." 

« But " 

44 My dear Susan, why interfere with his mad joy?" says 
Dom in a whisper, that is meant to be perfectly audible, and 
is so to all around. 4i He'll catch cold to a moral ; and he's 
frightfully uncomfortable. But to sit at your feet : What 
comfort could compare with that ? " 

44 Several," says Susan calmly. " Come here, James. I 
want to talk to you." 

And indeed from this moment she devotes herself to the 
devoted James. Crosby she ignores completely, and when 
at last he rises to go, she says u Good-bye" to him with a 
very conventional air. 

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44 Are you really going — and so soon ? " The others have 
moved a little away from them. 

44 What is the good of my staying when you won't even 
look at me?" 

" I am looking at you," says Susan, flushing scarlet, but 
compelling her eyes to rest on his — for a moment only, how- 
ever. 44 But — you know I don't like you to allude to that 

" It was a very small allusion. It gave you," slowly, 
u your chance, however." 

« My chance?" 

"To amuse yourself with the man of war." 

44 You think that I " 

" I think a good deal at times," he laughs lightly, if a 
little anxiously. " I am thinking even now." 

"Of me?" 

44 Naturally," smiling. " Am I not always thinking of 

44 But what — what ? " demands she imperiously — tapping 
her slender foot upon the ground. 

44 That you do not believe the martial James so hideous 
after all." 

44 Then you are wrong — quite wrong ! " vehemently. 

44 Yes ? Well then— I think now " 

44 Now ? " 

44 That you are a very dangerous little coquette." 

Susan's color fades. A frown wrinkles her lovely brow. 

44 1 am not I " says she coldly. " If all your thinking has 
only come to that — I — despise your thoughts." 

It is the nearest approach to a quarrel he has ever had 
with her ; but instead of depressing him, it seems to exalt 
him, and he goes on his way, apparently rejoicing. 

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"There has fallen a splendid tear 
From the passion flower at the gate, 
She is coming, my love, my dear, 
She is coming, my life, my fate." 

To-day the sun is out, and all the walks at the Cottage 
are glittering in its rays. Sparks like diamonds come from 
the small white stones in the gravel, and the grassy edges 
close to them — clean shaven by Denis — who is down again 
on a penitential visit to his wife — are sweet and fresh, and 
6uggestive of a desire to make to-day's work a work again 
for to-morrow — so quickly the spring blades grow and 

Wyndham, as he walks from the station to this pretty 
spot, had taken great note of Nature. Lately the loveli- 
ness — the charm of it I — the desire that the heart grows for 
it, has come to him : has sunk into his soul. As he goes 
life seems everywhere, and with it such calm 

And here in this old home, what a place 

it is I A veritable treasury of old-world delights. 

41 Dewy pastures, dewy trees, 
Softer than sleep— all things in order stored, 
A haunt of ancient peace." 

As he walks from the gate to the Cottage, a slim figure 
darting sideways brings him to a standstill. After her 
bounds a huge dog. Wyndham restrains the cry upon his 
lips that would have called the dog to him ; and standing 
still, watches the pretty pair. 

He has come down to-day with the intention avowed and 
open to his heart, of asking this girl to many him. That 
the deed will mean ruin to him socially, he knows, but he 

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has faced the idea. That she will probably accept him 
seems clear, bat that it will not be for love seems even 
clearer. She has always treated him as one who had given 
her a helping hand out of her slough of despond, but no 

Many days have led to his decision of to-day — and many 
thoughts — and many sleepless nights. But he has con- 
quered all fears save that supreme one, that she does not 
love him. 

This marriage, if he can persuade her to it, will offend 
his uncle, Lord Shangarry. Not a farthing will that old 
Irish aristocrat leave him if he knows he has wedded him- 
self to a girl outside his own world : a mere waif and stray 
—disreputable, as many would call her. 

Disreputable 1 

It was when this thought of what his friends' view of 
his marriage would be first came to him, and with it a mad 
longing to seize the throats of those hideous scandal 
mongers, that Wyndham knew that he loved the girl he 
had saved and protected — and most honorably loved. 

And to-day — well, he has come down to ask her to marry 
him. Shangarry '8 money may go — and all things else that 
the old lord can keep from him ; the title will still be his — 
and hers — and with his profession, and the talent that they 
say is his — and the money left him by his dead mother 
(Oh 1 if she had lived and seen Ella I) he may still be able 
to keep up the old name — if not in its old splendor, at all 
events, with a sort of decency 

Ella is now running towards him, as he stands in the 
shelter of the rhododendrons — the dog running after her, 
jumping about her, with soft velvety paws, and a wagging 
tail Suddenly he springs upon her and threatens the 
daintiness of her frock. " Down now. Down now. Down 1 " 
cries she, laughing. She catches the handsome brute round 
the neck, and looks into his eyes. 

" Does he love his own missis then ? Then down. It is 

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really down now, sir. Not another jump. See," glancing 
ruefully at her pretty white serge dress — " the stains you 
have made here already." 

How soft, how delicate is her voice, how full of affectioi: 
for the dog. Surely, 

" There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple." 

Wyndham comes forward very casually from amongst 
the bushes. 

" Oh, you," cries she, coloring delightfully, but showing 
no embarrassment — he would have liked a little embarrass- 
ment. He tells himself that the want of it quite proves 
his theory that she regards him merely as a good friend — 
no morel 

" Yes, I have run down for an hour or so. You " — look- 
ing round him — "have been quite a good fairy to my 
flowers, I see." 

14 Oh, your flowers ! " says she gaily, yet shyly too. Her 
air is of the happiest. She has, indeed, been a different 
creature since Wyndham had assured her a few months 
ago, of Moore's actual arrival in Australia. " Why, they 
are mine now, aren't they ? You have given them to me 
with this." She threw out her arms in a little appropria- 
te way towards the garden. 

44 In a way — yes." He pauses. Passion is rising within 
him. " Come in," says he, abruptly. " There is something 
I must say to you." 

The pretty drawing-room is bright with flowers, and there 
is a certain air of daintiness — a charm — about the whole 
place, that tells of the refinement of its owner. It is not 
Miss Manning who has given this delicate coziness to it — 
Miss Manning, good soul, who is now in the kitchen, very 
proud in the fond belief that she is helping Mrs. Denis to 
make marmalade. No I In every cluster of early roses, in 
every bunch of sweet smelling daffodils, in the pushing of 
the chairs here, and the screens there, Wyndham can see 
the touch of Ella's hand. 

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In the far off window, on a little table, stands the dress- 
ing-case that he had sent her, after his interview with 
Moore. It is open, and some of the contents — what re- 
mains of them — with their silver tops, are shining in the 
rays of the sun. The girl's glance catches them, and all at 
once the merry touch upon her lips dies away, and gloom 
settles on her brow. The lost bottles — the battered and 
dismantled case, seem to Wyndham but the broken links 
of a broken life, and a thrill of pity urges him to instant 

11 Don't look like that, Ella." And then with a burst of 
passion and grief: u My darling I what does it matter?" 
And then again, almost without a stop, " Ella, will you 
marry me ? " 

For a moment she looks at him as if not understanding. 
Then a most wonderful light springs into her eyes. But 
when he would have gone to her and taken her in his arms, 
she puts out hers and almost imperiously forbids him. 

" No," says she, clearly — if a little wildly, perhaps. 

" But, why — why ! Oh, this is nonsense ! You know — 
you must have known — for a long time that I love you." 

" I did not know," says she, faintly. " I — Even now it 
seems impossible. Don't I" as he makes a movement to- 
wards her. " Don't misunderstand me. I know now," her 
voice breaking a little, " that it might have been. But 
what is impossible," her young voice growing rounder, 
fuller, and unutterably wretched — " is that I should marry 

" You think because " But she sweeps his words 


" It is useless," says she, with a strength strange in one 
so few miles advanced upon life's roadway, until one re- 
members how sad and eventful those few miles she has 
trodden have been — how full of miserable knowledge — how 
full of the cruel lesson — how to bear I "lam nobody, less 
than nobody. And you— are somebody. Do you think I 


would consent to ruin your life — the life of the only one, 
who has — who has ever stood my friend ! " 

"This gratitude is absurd 1" he breaks in, eagerly. 
" What have I done for you ? Let you the Cottage at a 
fair rental ! " 

"Ah, no!" There is irrepressible sadness in her air. 
She struggles with herself, holding her hands against her 
eyes for a little while — pressing them hard as if to keep 
down her emotion. " I won't — I can't go into it," says she, 
brokenly. "But when I forget — Mr. Wyndham." She 
turns upon him, passionately. " Never ask me that ques- 
tion again. Nothing on earth would induce me to link my 
name with yours — " She pauses, and a hot blush covers 
her ffcce. " My name ! " she repeats her words with deter- 
mination, though he can see how the determination hurts 
her. " I have no name." 

" That is all the more reason why you should take mine," 
breaks he in, hotly. 

" And so — destroy it ; I shall not indeed," says the girl, 
firmly. Her firmness is costing her a good deal. It causes 
Wyndham absolute physical suffering to see the pallor of 
her face — the trembling of her slight form. But that he 
can shake her decision seems improbable. Something in 
her face takes him back to that terrible hour in which he 
first saw her, when with pale face, and undaunted spirit, 
she accepted, the chance of death. Her voice, even in this 
,hour of renunciation of all that she holds dearest rings 
clear. " Do you think I would requite all your kindness to 
me, by being the cause of your disinheritance by your 
uncle. Do you think Lord Shangarry would ever forgive 
your marriage with a woman, of whom no one knows any- 
thing — not even her parentage." 

" I am willing to risk all that — " 

" But I," slowly, " am not." 

" Ella — if you loved me." 

" Ah 1 " a cry breaks from her— a cry that betrays her 

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secret, and convinces him of her love for him. It is full of 
exquisite pain, and seems to wound her. Is it not because 
she loves him that — a Well, then," says she, miserably ; 
u say I do not. Think I do not." 

44 1 will not think it," cries he, vehemently, " until you 
say it. Ella, my beloved, what has this old man's wealth 
to do with you or me. What has the world to do with us ? 
Come now, look into it with me. Here are you, and here 
am I, and what else is there in all the wide world for us 
two, Ella ; " and now he breaks into earnest, most manly 
entreaties, and wooes her with all his soul, and at last — as a 
true lover should — upon his knees. 

But she resists him, pushing his clasping hands away. 

44 1 will not I I will not ! " repeats she, steadfastly. 

44 Oh, you are cold ; you do not care," cries he, suddenly. 
He springs to his feet, angry, yet filled with an admiration 
for her — that has, if not increased his love — made it more 
open to him. A strong man himself, and hard to move, he 
can see the splendid strength of this poor girl, who because 
of her love for him, refuses his love for her. 

His sudden movement has upset the small table on which 
the dressing-case is standing, and brings it heavily to the 

There is a crash, a breaking asunder of the sides of the 
case, and here on the carpet before their astonished gaze 
lies a small sheaf of letters, and a faded photograph. 
Where had they come from? Had there been a secret 
drawer? Wyndham stooping picks them up. A name 
catches his eye. Why, this thing surely is a certificate of 

As he reads, hurriedly, breathlessly, going from one let- 
ter to another and back again, from the few pages of a small 
disconnected diary, to the marriage certificate in his other 
hand, his face grows slowly, white as death. 

44 Oh, what is it ?" cries Ella, at last. 

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44 Give me time." His tone is full of ill-repressed agita- 

Again he reads : — 

The girl drops on her knees beside him, her face no less 
white than his. What does it all mean ? What secret do 
these old letters hold? The photograph is lying still upon 
the floor, and her eyes riveting themselves upon it, feel at 
once as though they were looking at someone — someone re- 
membered — loved! She stares more eagerly. Surely it 
reminds her too of . • . of — she leans closer over it. 
. . . of someone — feared — and hated ! Oh 1 how could 
that gentle face be feared — or hated — and yet — was there 
not someone — who — 

" Oh ! I know it," cries she, suddenly, violently. She 
springs to her feet as if stung, and turns a ghastly face on 
Wyndham. " Look at it," cries she gasping, pointing to 
the photograph at her feet. " It is like your aunt, Mrs. 

" Like your aunt 1 " says Wyndham slowly — emphatic- 
ally. The hand with the letters in it has dropped to his 
tiide, but he is holding those old documents as if in q, vice. 

14 Mine — Mrs. Prior — oh, no — oh, no," says Ella, making 
a gesture of fear and horror. 

44 Yes, yours and mine, Ella ! " There is passionate de- 
light and triumph in his whole air. u A moment ago you 
said you had no name — now — now " striking the papers in 
his hand, 44 you have one I These are gepuine, I swear they 
are, and they prove you to be the granddaughter of Sir 
John Burke, and of— strangest of all things — the Pro- 

44 1 — how can I understand — What is it?" asks she, 

He explains it to her, and it is, indeed, all that he has 

said. The breaking up of that queer old dressing-case that 

afterwards Mrs. Prior had most unwillingly to admit, be- 

onged to Ella's mother — the lost Eleanor Burke — brought 

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all things to a conclusion. There was the diary in it that 
proved the writer to be Eleanor Burke beyond all doubt 
and the heiress of her dead father, Sir John ; and there was 
the marriage certificate that proved poor Eleanor's marriage 
to as big a scamp as could be found in Europe, which is 
saying a good deal ; and there were many other letters be- 
sides — to show that the scamp who called himself Haynes 
to evade the law (and his father) was the son of Professor 
Hennessy. That Ella had forgotten the other name her 
poor mother bore " Haynes," and had let her identity be 
lost in the word Moore, had, of course, much to do with the 
unhappy mystery that had so long surrounded her. After 
Sir John's death — that left Eleanor his eldest girl his heir, 
or failing her, her children, much search had been made for 
Eleanor under the name of Haynes — but naturally to small 
avail. Anyway the whole thing had gradually sunk out of 
sight, Eleanor was accepted as dead, and her fortune lapsing 
to Mrs. Prior, she reigned in her stead. 

" Yon see how it'is," says Wyndham, who from a rather 
prematurely old self-contained man, has developed into an 
ordinary person, full of enthusiasm. " You are now Miss 
Hennessy — a hideous name, I allow. But you were," with 
a flick of humor, " so very anxious for a name of any sort, 
that perhaps you will forgive the ugliness. And yon are 
heir to a good deal of money on both sides. Mrs. Prior 
will have to hand out a considerable amount of her capital, 
and as for me. ... I feel nothing less than a defrander. 
You know your grandfather, the Professor, left me the bulk 
of his fortune — not knowing you were so much as in the 

world at the time he made his will Of course, that 

too Are you listening, Ella ? " 

The fact that the girl is not listening to him has evoked 
this remark. Whatever " grey grief " had to do with her 
a few minutes ago before the breaking of her mother's 

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dressing case, it has nothing to do with her now. All the 
splendor of youth has come back to her face— and all the 
happiness ; yet still it is quite plain to him that her mind 
is not set on the money that fate has cast upon her path — 
or on the high chances of gaining a place in society — but 
on — 

44 No," says she, slowly — simply — and with a touch of 
trouble, as if bringing her mind with difficulty back to 
something far away. 

" You must give me your attention for a moment," says 
he sharply. Ever since he discovered that she was not only 
the possessor of a very good name in spite of its ugliness, 
but also the heiress of a very considerable sum of money, 
all passion has died out of his tone. If he thought, how- 
ever, by this to deceive her with regard to his honest feel- 
ing for her, he is entirely mistaken. " There are things to 
which you will have to listen — to which you ought to wish 
to listen. And if," with a frown, " you will not think of 
your good fortune, of what will you think ? " 

There is a long silence. And then — 

There is a little rush towards him, and two arms are 
flung round this neck. 

" I am thinking," cries she softly! clinging to him, " that 
now I can marry you." 

Heavenly moments on this side of the sky are few and 
1 far between. It is Ella, so strangely unlike a woman, who 
breaks into the delicious silence. 

" That night ! I wish now " 

" Wish nothing so far as that is concerned. That night I 
saw you first, gave you to me." 

" But " 

" That sounds like fright," interrupts he, laughing. " But 
you are not easily frightened, are you. That night — you 
see I insist upon going back to it," catching her hands and 

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drawing her to him — " no, you shall not be ashamed of it. 
That night in which we both met for the first time you were 
not frightened. You walked towards death without a 

" Ah I I was too wretched then to be frightened of any- 
thing," says she. 

She looks at him, a smile parts her lips, and slowly, 
slowly she leans towards him until her cheek is resting 
against his. 

44 1 should be frightened now," says she, softly, tenderly. 

His arms close round her. He clasps her to his heart. 

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1 u Your heart is never away, 

But ever with mine, for ever, 

Forever, without endeavor, 
To-morrow love as to-day, 
Two blent hearts never astray, 

Two souls no power may sever, 

Together, O my love, for ever ! " 

There was a deal of trouble over it for a while, but 
when that faded photograph and the certificate and the 
diary were brought into a larger light things smoothed 
down. Shangarry saw at once how it must end, and ac- 
cepted the situation gracefully, but Mrs. Prior was a little 
hard to manage until Ella (who refused point blank to meet 
her) declared her determination not to take more than half 
the money that had been left to her by Sir John Burke, her 
grandfather. It was quite astonishing how Mrs. Prior 
softened towards her after that. But Ella stood firm and 
would not see her. 

Later on she might consent to meet — at Lord Shangarry's, 
perhaps (who had fallen in love with the pretty, gentle girl 
who had endured so much), or at Lady Forster's house this 
season ; Lady Forster had written a very charming note — 
but not just now. Gentle as Ella was she could not forgive 
too readily. Yes, Lady Forster's would be the best place. 
They would be in town after their honeymoon, and there 
they could see Mrs. Prior, and break the ice as it were. 

But to-day no ice has to be broken. Ella, who has ar- 
ranged with Wyndham to meet him in the old rectory 
garden, has gone over quite early to be petted and made 
much of by all there — Carew excepted. That unhappy 

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youth, his first grand passion having been ruthlessly laid in 
the dust, and with yet another new trouble that had arrived 
by the post some days ago, upon his shoulders, has carried 
himself and his injured affections far, far away, to a distant 
trout stream. 

Wyndham is staying with Crosby, who is most honestly 
glad of his friend's successful exit from a difficult situation. 
He has indeed been highly sympathetic all through, aston- 
ishingly so for so determined a bachelor, as he seems to 
Wyndham, who six months ago had seemed quite as deter- 
mined a bachelor to Crosby. Only to-day, at luncheon, he 
had told Wyndham not to mind about leaving him when 
the u rectory " called. He (Crosby) might walk down there 
later on. But he advised Wyndham to hurry up, to start 
as early as he liked, not to wait for him, and so forth. 
Wyndham took him at his word, decided not to wait, and 
was therefore naturally a little surprised to find Crosby on 
the doorsteps not only ready to go with him but distinctly 
impatient. This seemed such devotion to the cause, such 
honest friendliness towards him and Ella, that Wyndham 
felt quite grateful to him. 

" How happy they look ! " says Miss Barry to Susan, 
finding herself alone with her niece for a moment. She is 
looking at Wyndham and Ella who indeed seem to have 
reached their pinnacle of bliss. " And no wonder," with a 
sigh. " He is a most excellent match. Not only money, 
but a title — in the distance. I can't help wishing, Susan," 
sighing again, and more heavily this time, " that it had been 

" Me ! I wouldn't marry him for anything," says Susan, 

44 That's what girls always say," says Miss Barry, mourn- 
fully, " until they are asked." Perhaps she herself had 
said it many times. " But I assure you, Susan, money is a 

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good thing — and your poor father just now, with the loss 
of this four hundred pounds that he had laid aside for 

" Oh 1 I know," says Susan, miserably. " It is dreadful 
Poor, poor father — and poor Carew too. I suppose he can't 
go in for his exam, now." 

" No, I'm afraid not, unless some miraculous thing should 
occur. Susan ! " Miss Barry looks wistfully at her niece. 
" James now, he will be well off— and he could help us. If 
you could " 

" Could what ? " Susan's eyes are almost menacing. 

" Think of him — in that way. He is well off, my dear, 
and " 

" I shall not marry James," says Susan, distinctly. " I 
wonder how you could suggest it to me." 

" Certainly he is very ugly," says Miss Barry, who has 
grown, poor soul, very meek of late ; the smashing of the 
bank that had held the four hundred pounds, the savings 
of years, that the Rector had laid by with the hope of put- 
ting his eldest boy into the army, has lowered her spirit. 
Poverty seems to pursue them. And the sight of the 
Rector crushed and more gaunt than usual has gone to her 
old heart. If only Susan, any of them could be provided 
for I How happy that girl Ella is ; how rich the man is 
who has chosen her, and yet is she to be so much as com- 
pared with Susan. Miss Barry's soul swells within her 
with the injustice of it all. 

If only Susan could be induced to think of James Mcll- 
veagh. But no, Susan is not like that. She looks up sud- 
denly, and there before her eyes are James and Susan stroll- 
ing leisurely, in quite a loverlike way, towards the little 
shrubbery. Could the girl have taken her hint to heart. 
A glow of hope radiates her mind for a moment. But then 
come other thoughts, and fear, and trouble, and a keen, 
strange disappointment. 

No, no, Susan I Susan to be worldly ! Her pretty girl ! 

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God grant she has not been the means of driving her to 
belie her better — her own — self. 

" Good gracious 1 If Susan comes back and tells her she 
has engaged herself to James because of her father's 
trouble — because of Carew's trouble— what shall she dof 
Miss Barry, who is hardly equal to emergencies so great as 
this, looks with a certain wildness round her. Who can 
help her ? That foolish girl must be sent for : brought back 
from that shrubbery where Miss Barry, in her panic, feels 
now assured James is once again for the hundreth timt pro- 
posing to her, and being (no doubt to his everlasting aston- 
ishment) accepted. The last words can't have been said as 
yet : there may still be time to drag Susan out of the fire. 

Wyndham and Ella and Miss Manning are coming towards 
her. Ella is gone home; it is nearly seven o'clock and 
Wyndham will have barely time to see her to the Cottage 
and catch his train to Dublin. Miss Barry bids him a 
rather hurried good-bye, and then looks round for Betty. 
Betty is always useful — when she can be found I But un- 
fortunately Betty and Dom have gone off to eat green 
gooseberries in the vegetable garden, a fearsome occupation, 
of which they are both disgracefully fond, and that seems 
to affect their stomachs in no wise. Betty, therefore, is not 
to be had, but Miss Barry's troubled eye wandering round 
sees Crosby, who is sitting with Bonnie on his knee, and 
with courage born of desperation she beckons him to come 
to her. 

" Mr. Crosby , I want Betty. Where is she f " 

" I think she went into the garden a moment ago with 

" Do you mind — would you be so good as to tell her I 
want her, and at once." 

" Certainly," says Crosby, laughing, " though she and 
Dom, or both, bring down all the anathemas in the world 
on my head." 

He starts on his quest. A little glad, indeed, to get 


away from the others. Early in the afternoon he had had a 
little tiff with Susan— just a small thing, a mere breeze, and 
certainly of his own creating. He had said something 
about James — why the deuce can't he leave James alone f 
But it seems he can't of late ; and Susan had been a little, 
just a little — what was itf — offended f Well, put out in 
some way at all events. Perhaps after all she does care for 
James. Like to like you know — and youth to youth ; and 
there can be but a year or two between him and Susan. 

At this moment there is a quick movement of the 
branches on his left ; someone is pushing the laurel bushes 
aside with an angry impatient touch, and now 

Susan has stepped into view. A new Susan; angry, 
pale, hurried. Her soft eyes are dark and frowning, but as 
she sees Crosby they lighten again, and grow suddenly thick 
with tears. Then, as though in him lies comfort and pro- 
tection, she runs to him, holding out her hands. 

He catches them, and saying nothing, draws her down 
the bank and into a little leafy recess that leads to a small 
wood beyond. The touch of her hands is good to him ! She 
has forgiven then, that late little conflict. She can be 
angry with James, too, it seems. Confound that fool! 
What has he been saying to her I 

"Well?" says he. 

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44 My lady is so fair and dear 

That all my heart to her is given ; 
One word she whispered in my ear 
And earth for me was changed to heaven. 

He has held one of her hands all the time, but now she 
releases it. She has recovered herself marvellously, but 
there is still a good deal of nervousness in the laugh that 
breaks from her as she seats herself in the old rustic seat in 
the corner. 

" Well — what f " She is evidently prepared to carry it 
off boldly. 

" You don't mean to tell me there was no reason for that 
look in your eyes just now f " 

There is a very obstinate look in his own eyes just now 
at all events I 

"What look?" 

11 Susan," says Crosby, with a solemn shake of his head, 
" you might as well give it up at once. You were never 
made for this sort of thing. You wouldn't take in a new- 
born infant. Come, get it off your mind. Make your con- 
fession. What has the immaculate James been doing f " 

" James ! " She tries to look surprised, but breaks down 
ignominiously. " Oh ! Nothing," hurriedly. " Nothing 
. . . Nothing at all really I Only — he's so stupid." 

"He's been stupid very often of late, hasn't he? Look 
here I" severely, " you are suppressing something; either 
you or he (and you for choice, I should say, judging by the 
obvious guilt upon your countenance) have been doing 
something of which you are thoroughly ashamed. Even 


such small signs of grace are to be welcomed, but in the 
meantime I think a fuller confession would make for the 
good of your souL Come, what have you been doing? " 

44 It was James a moment ago," says she slowly. 

44 Was it ? " quickly. 44 1 thought as much. But what 
was he doing a moment ago?" 

44 Nonsense I " flushing hotly, 44 you know what I mean ; 
that it was James you were accusing a moment ago." 

44 True ! And it should have been you. I am in fault 
this time, then. That makes a third." 

44 No, indeed, because I am not in fault at all." 

44 Then it was the immaculate one I What of him ? Has 
he been at his old game again. Chasing you round the 
garden to " 

44 Mr. Crosby ! " There is indignant protest in her tone, 
but the rich color that rises to her cheek tells him that his 
guess has been at least partly accurate. 

44 Not that," says he. 44 Foolish James ! " Even as he 
says these idle words he is cursing James up hill and down 
dale for the abominable impertinence of him. No little 
shred of allowance for James' honest love for this pretty 
maiden enters into his heart. 

44 Well — go on I That is only a negative statement — if it 
is a statement at all." 

44 There is nothing to tell. And " — she pauses — " And 
anyway I won't tell it," says she. 

Crosby suppresses a desire to laugh. Oh how sweet — 
how sweet his little darling is. 

44 Not even to me ? Your guide, philosopher, and friend ? 

Susan " He is looking into her eyes, as if compelling 

an answer, u he proposed to you again, didn't "he ? " 

44 Oh, yes," says Susan, as if throwing a load off her mind. 
14 And when I told him again that I couldn't and wouldn't 
—he — he was horrid. And he wanted " She stops. 

44 Yes," Crosby's voice id sharp now, "But you 
didn't " 

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" No. No. But I hate him." 

44 So do I with all my soul," says Crosby, more to him- 
self however than for her hearing. He stands looking on 
the ground for a bit, and then : 

" So you have refused the gunner : Poor James I Ton 
don't really care for him then? " 

" I thought all the world knew that," says Susan. 
" Why," with almost pathetic contempt, " can't he know it f 
It is unkind of him, isn't it, to make me so unkind ? But I 
can't love him ; I can't " — a little sigh escapes her. 

The rose on the straggling bush above her is not sweeter 
or more beautiful than Susan is now, with her pretty bent 
head, and her flower-like face, and all the delicate beauty of 
her soul shining through her earnest eyes. 

A strange nervousness seizes on Crosby* He takes a 
step towards her, however, and takes both her hands in his 
strong clasp. 

" Susan ! Am I too old ? " says he. 

Susan turns her startled eyes upon him. Grows crimson, 
and then deadly white. She pulls her hand out of his, and 
turns away — but too late — too late to hide the rapture in 
her eyes, that the heavy tears in vain are trying to drown. 

"Susan! My darling! My own sweet little girl! 
Susan ! " his arms are round her now. " Is it true f So 
you do care for me I For me — such an old fellow next to 
you — you," clasping her to him, and laughing, " are only 
a baby, you know. But my baby now, ehf Oh, Susan, is 
it true?" 

Susan tightens her hand upon his arm, but answer makes 
she none. 

44 Afterwards you may be sorry — thirty-four and nineteen 
—a great many milestones between us, you see." 

44 Ah ! It is you who will be sorry," says Susan, lifting 
her head a minute from the safe shelter of his breast to 
look at him. It is a lovely look. Poor James I if he had 
only seen it! 


" Are you going to lead me such a life as that," says 
Crosby, laughing. " I don't believe it." 

" You know what I mean." 

" I don't indeed. I don't even know if you love me yet." 

" Oh, as for that ! " Suddenly she laughs too, and with 
the sweetest tenderness slips one arm round his neck, and 
draws his head down to hers. "And besides, I'm very 
nearly twenty I " says she. 

" Look here," says Crosby, presently. " Too much hap- 
piness is bad for any man ! Now you sit over there," put- 
ting her into a far corner of the old garden seat, " and I'll 
sit here," seating himself with the sternest virtue at the 
other end. " Don't come within a mile of me again for 
a while, and let us be sensible and talk business. When 
will you marry me ? Next week ? " 

" Next week f " with a laugh. " Is that talking busi- 
ness f " 

" The best business! " 

" Oh, nonsense ! " 

" Where does the nonsense come in f I've been waiting 
all my life for you, and what's the good of waiting any 
longer — even a day ! See here now, Susan I In seven days 
you could " 

" I could not, indeed ! " She breaks off suddenly. " Tou 
are coming nearer." • 

" So I am," says he, sighing, and moving back to his 
corner. " Good Susan ! Keep reminding me, will you f " 

" I certainly shall," says Susan, who has perhaps been 
only half understood up to this. 

" Well — if not next week — next month f " 

" Oh, no," says Susan. " In a year perhaps I——" 

" How dare you make such a proposition t Come now, 
Susan, you have heard the old adage beginning, * Life is 
short.' " 

" Yes, but I don't believe it I And besides No, 

don't stir ! And besides — you are coming nearer I", b ^ 


" It is all your fault if I am. You are behaving so dis- 
gracefully. The idea of your mentioning a year. I shall 
appeal to your father." 

"I am certain he won't hear of it at all. He. Oh. { 
There you are coming closer again." 

" Susan," says Crosby, sternly ; " enough of this. Ill 
stand no more of it. You shan't keep me at arm's length 
any longer." 

" I f What had I to do with it f " says Susan, arching 
her charming brows. 

After which it takes only a moment to have the arm in 
question round her again, and to haye her drawn into it — a 
most willing captive. 

" Do you remember when you made me promise I would 
never steal anything again 1 " asks Crosby, after an elo- 
quent pause. 

" Yes." 

" Well, I have broken that promise." 

" You haven't, I hope." 

" I have though. I," with disgraceful triumph, " have 
stolen your heart." 

" Not a bit of it," cries Susan, with a triumph that puts 
his to shame. " I gave it to you. Deny that if you dare." 

He evidently doesn't dare. He does something else, how- 
ever, that is quite as effective* 

" Well, it's a month, anyway, isn't it J " says he. " In a 
month we'll get married, and we'll go away — away, all by 
ourselves, Susan — just you and I to the heavenly places of 
the earth. You shall see the world, and the world shall 
see you — the loveliest thing that is in it." 

" You mean that we shall go abroad t " says Susan. " To 
Rome, perhaps ? " 

" To Rome or any other spot your fency dictates, so long 
as you take me with you." He draws her to him as he 
says this, and — u Susan, will you answer me one word." 

Susan's clear truthful eyes fasten upon his. by 


44 What is it f " asks she, softly. 

44 Am I the one man in all the world you would see the 
world with ? " 

The clear truthful eyes do not falter. 

44 Why do you ask me that ? " says she. " Surely you 
know it." 

• •••••• 

" Where is your father f " asks he, presently. " Let us 
go and tell him." 

" Tell father." Her tone has an ominous trembling in it. 

" Why, of course," says Crosby, regarding her with some 
surprise. It must be forgiven him, if he thinks Mr. Barry 
will be decidedly glad to hear the news. 

" Oh, I couldn't," says Susan, growing quite pale. " He'll 
be very angry with me. He will keep on thinking of me 
as a child, you know, and I can't get him out of it. When 
I put on long frocks last year, I thought he'd see it then — 
but he didn't — and even the doing up of my hair wasn't 
of the slightest use." 

" We might give him a third lesson," says Crosby. 
" Come on, and let us get it over." 

14 You I " Susan draws back, and her tone now is dis- 
tinctly fearfhL " You couldn't go without me, could you? 
By yourself, I mean t " 

44 1 could, of course," says he. 44 But — " 

44 Oh, then do," cries Susan,, giving him a little push- 
there are unmistakable signs of cowardice about her. And 
all at once to Crosby comes the thought — how pure at 
heart all these people are— how 44 far from the madding 
crowd" of self seekers. She has not realized that he is 
what most of his town acquaintances call a 4( good match." 
She is even afraid to announce her engagement to her father 
lest he should think her too young to marry. It sounds in- 
credible, but a glance at Susan, and a vision of the sad man, 
sitting alone with his new sorrow and disappointment, in 
his little study beyond, dissolves all suspicions. 

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THE P&0PX8S0&8 EXPERtMStff. 426 

"Yes — do go," says Susan. "To tell you the truth, 
father is in rather a disturbed state of mind just now, and 
I'm afraid he won't receive you very well. He may be 
grumpy I He is unhappy I He has lost a great deal of 
money lately." 

"A great deal ?" 

" A very great deal. Four hundred pounds I " Susan 
looks tragic. " And it had been set aside to put Carew 
into the army — so of course he feels it. The bank failed 
you see." 

" Banks will do these rude things at times," says Crosby. 
" But what I fail to see is, why you can't come with me, 
and get your blessing on the spot." 

" Why, I've told you," reproachfully. " Father is in a 

bad temper, and he " She pauses. " Oh, I can't go," 

says she. " But you can " 

44 Alone t After the awful picture you have just drawn 
of your father's wrath I Have you no regard for my life, 
Susan f Is this your vaunted love for me f To abandon 
me remorselessly to the foe I Is it safe, do you think? 
Suppose I never come back ? " 

" Tut ! " says Susan. " There— go on I But be sure you 
say it isn't my fault I " 

" That makes an end of it," says Crosby. " Tour fault. 
Whose feult is it, if it isn't yours f Susan, I refuse to stir 
a step without you. I feel it is your distinct duty to be 
there— if only to see fair play — and be a witness at the in- 
quest afterwards. Besides, I should like you to gather up 
my remains. You might give a helping hand so far. Seri- 
ously, darling," drawing her to him, " I think it would be 
wise of you to come with me. He would understand so 
much better if— if only you will look at me as you are look- 
ing now." 

" Well, I'll come," says Susan, sighing dejectedly, but 
with another look that makes his heart sing aloud for joy. 

"That's a darling, Susan! But now, before ( 


must put you through a strict cross-examination. To begin 
with — you are positive you love me ? " 

" Positive." Susan, laughing, lays her hands against his 
shoulders, pressing him back. 

" That doesn't look like it ! " 

" It's true though ! " laughing. 

" And it isn't out of pity ? " 

" I'll certainly have to pity yon soon! Are you going 
out of your mind ? " 

44 No wonder if I were." He swiftly undoes that unkind 
touch upon his shoulders, and takes her in his arms and 
kisses her. 

" I don't think that is cross-examination I " says she, re- 
proachfully — who no doubt later on will be capable of de- 
veloping a little wit of her own. 

" Tou are right. To continue then. How much do yon 
love me f " 

" Better/' Susan's eyes, now sweeter than ever, raise 
themselves to his for one shy moment, 4< than anyone." 

" That is vague, Susan. Give it a voice. Better than 
— Bonnie ? Oh no," quickly, " I shouldn't have asked that. 
Don't answer it, my sweetheart," pressing her head against 
his breast. " We'll take another. Tou love me better 
than you thought you would ever love anyone — tell me that, 

" Oh much, much more," says she. She clings to him 
for a moment, then steps back, and a little air of medita- 
tion grows on her. " Do you know," says she in a low, 
rather ashamed tone, " about this very thing I have lately 
been very much surprised at myself." 

It is irresistible! Crosby bursts out laughing. Such 
happy laughter. 

" What are you laughing at ? " asks Susan, a little 

" At you." 

"At me?" 

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" Yes — because you are just the sweetest angel, Susan ! 
What sort of rings do you like best ? " 

Susan is silent for a moment, and now through all the 
rose white of her skin, a warm flush rises. 

" You are going to give me a ring f " says she. " Do 
you know, I hadn't thought of that. A ring I I have 
never had a ring I " 

He draws her head softly down upon his breast. 

" Your first will be a sacred one then I It will be our 
engagement ring, my darling I " 

" I should like a blue ring," says Susan, shyly, after a 
little while. 

" Like your own eyes. Sapphire then f So be it. It 
will do for a first one. But you must have a keeper for it, 
Susan, and you must leave that to me." He is silent a 
moment. " Where are the best diamonds to be got J 

" Now come," says he. " I think honestly we ought to 
tackle your father together I " 

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11 My heart is fall of joy to-day, 
The air hath music in it" 

Mr. Barry is Bitting at his shabby writing table, in his 
very shabby study. His pale refined face seems paler than 
usual, and there is a look of dejection in his sunken eyes 
that goes to Crosby's heart. He has entered the room 
without a word of warning — a very reluctant Susan at his 
back, and has therefore caught that look on the Rector's 
face, before he has had time to take it off, 

"Mr. Barry," begins he quickly. "I — we — Susan, 
where are you ? — we," with emphasis that devastates the 
soul of the culprit next him, " have come to tell you, that 
— Susan, this is mean," as Susan makes a base effort to 
hide behind him once again. " That Susan and I," he 
laughs a little here, partly through nervousness, and partly 
because of an agonized, if unconscious pinch from Susan, 
on his arm ; " want to get married." 

Mr. Barry lays down the pen he has been holding since 
their unexpected entrance, and stares at Crosby as though 
he were the proud possessor of two heads, or else a decided 

At last — a flush dyes the pallor of his face. 

44 Sir," says he, with dignity. " If this is a jest " 

44 Not a jest such as you think," breaks in Crosby, 
quickly ; 44 though I hope our life together " — with a quick 
glance back at Susan, who still declines to show herself; 
14 will have a good deal of laughter in it. What I really 
want you to know " — gently — 44 is that I have asked Susan 
to marry me, and she has said 4 yes,' if " — with charming 
courtesy — " you will give your consent." 

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Mr. Barry rises from his chair. If he could be paler 
than he was a moment since, he is certainly so now. 

" Do you mean to tell me that you want," he points at 
the only part of the abashed Susan that he can see ; " that 
you want that child for your wife ? " 

There is a slight pause. It is long enough for Susan to 
cast an eloquent glance at Crosby. " I told you so," is the 
gist of it. 

" She is nineteen," says Crosby. " And she says that 

Here he comes to grief; it seems impossible to so true a 
lover, to say out aloud that Susan has confessed her love 
for him. He turns round. 

( u I really think, Susan ! it is your turn now," whispers 
he. " You might say something.") 

Susan gives him an indignant glance hadn't she told 

him how it would be. But dignity sweeps her into the 

" It — is quite true, papa," says she, faltering, trembling. 

" What is true ? " asks her father. She is not trembling 
half so much outwardly as he is trembling inwardly. 
" This thing, can it be true. And that baby — but is she a 
baby. How many years is it since the other Susan — his 
own Susan — died f " 

" That — that I love him ! " says Susan, brokenly. When 
she says this she covers her face with her hands as if dis- 
tinctly ashamed of herself, and Crosby divining her 
thoughts, lays his arms round her and presses both hands 
and face out of sight against his breast. 

Mr. Barry looks at him. 

" She is only a little country girl," says he. As if dis- 
liking the definition of her, Susan releases herself and 
stands back from Crosby. " And you — have large posses- 
sions—and a position that will enable you to choose a wife 
anywhere. Susan — has nothing ! " 

41 She has everything," says Crosby, hotly. 

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look at her I know it is I who have nothing. What money, 
what position, could compare with the wealth of her beauty. 

. . . And now this gift of her love ! .... I am 
only too proud. I think myself only too blest to be allowed 
to lay at her feet all that I have." 

! He turns to his pretty sweetheart and holds out his hand 
to her frankly. And she comes to him. A little pale, a 
little unnerved, but with earnest love in her shining eyes. 
And as he bends to her — she gives him baok with honest 
warmth the kiss that in her father's presence he gives 

It seems a seal upon the truth of their declaration. Mr. 
Barry going to her, lays his hands upon her shoulders. He 
is pale still, but the look of depression that almost amounted 
to despair that marked his face as Crosby first came in is 
now gone, and in its place is hope — and some other mean- 
ing hard to place — but pride perhaps is the nearest to it. 

" God bless you, Susan, always," says he solemnly. In 
this moment, as he looks at her, for the first time it comes 
to him that she is the very image of her dead mother. " It 
is a great responsibility," says he — his words are slow and 
difficult. " Try to be worthy of it 1 Be a good woman and 
love your husband I " 

" Oh, I will — I will, papa," says Susan, throwing her 
arms round his neck. It seems such an easy request. 
And all her fear of him seems gone. She clings to him. 
And the father presses her closely to him, but nervously, as 
if afraid of breaking down. 

Crosby can see how it is, and touches Susan lightly on 
the arm. 

" Go into the garden," he whispers to her. " I will meet 
you there presently." 

There is a last quick embrace between father and daugh- 
ter, and Susan, who is now crying softly, leaves the room. 

" You will let me have her," says Crosby, turning to the 
Rector. " And I thank you for the gift. I think," earn- 

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at mooer GBtty i " y° u know enough of me to understand bow I shall 

rbeaotj! prise it." 

j Mr. Barry comes back from the window. 

» allowed " It is such a relief," says be, quickly, and with extraor- 

dinary honesty. " It will be a weight off my mind. It is 
, . . , such a prospect that I could never have dreamed of for her. 

• They tell me," absently, "that she is very pretty, her 

mother — at that age. . . ." He does not continue his 
sentence. A heavy sigh escapes him. " I have had great 
trouble lately," says he after a minute or two. " And this 
' ° — coming unexpectedly, has unnerved me." 

• " There shall be no more trouble that I can prevent ! " 

„' says Crosby gently, calmly, yet with strength. "You 

must think of me from to-day as your son." He pauses. 
" By-the-bye, I hear that there is some little difficulty about 
Carew's continuing his profession. That would be a pity 
considering how far he has gone. We must not allow that." 
" There is no * we ' in it," says Mr. Barry, his thin white 
face now whiter. " I can do nothing in the matter. As 
J]T you have heard so much you, of course, know that the 

money that I had laid by for Carew's start in life has been 

" That failure of a bank f Yes. But " 

" You are giving a great deal to my daughter, Crosby," 
says the Rector quickly. " I cannot allow you to give to 

> in is 







" My brother, sir ! Come, Mr. Barry do not make me 
feel I am kept at arm's length by Susan's people. If a man 
can't help his own brother who can he help? And after all, 
if you come to think of it, have you any right to prevent 
my helping him — to check his career like this f Besides," 
laughing, " you may as well give in, as I am going to see 
him through, whether you will or not. If I didn't there 
would be bad times for me with Susan." 

There is something about him — something in his happy, 
strong kindly manner, that precludes the idea of offence of 

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any sort ; and Mr. Barry, after a straggle with his con- 
science, gives in. That suggestion about his having any j 
right to deny the boy his profession, had touched him. ; 

"Well, that's settled, 7 ' says Crosby comfortably. And it 
gives an idea of the charm of his character, that as he says 
it, no feeling of chagrin, of smallness enters into the soul of 
the man he has benefited. Mr. Barry, indeed, smiles a hap- 
pier smile than his worn face has known for many a day. 

" God bless you, Crosby ! " says he. And then, pausing 
and coloring — the slow and painful color of age — " God 
bless you, George. It is useless to speak. I cannot say 
what I want to say. But this " — His tone,* nervous and 
awkward always, now almost stammers. " This I must 
say, that Susan ought to be a happy woman." 

" Oh, as to that," says Crosby laughing again, a little j 

nervously himself now, as he sees the other's suppressed 
emotion, " I hope so. I'll see to it you know. But there's 
one thing sure — that I'm going to be a happy man." 

He looks towards the window. l 

" I think she is waiting for me in the garden," says he. ' 

" Well, go to her." But as he walks to the door the Rec- 
tor follows him, struggling in his silent way with some 
thought ; and just as Crosby is disappearing through it the 
struggle ends. Mr. Barry goes quickly after him and lays 
his hand upon his shoulder. 

" Oh, Crosby ! " says he, with sharp feeling. " It is good 
to give happiness to others I It will stand to you all your 
life, and on your deathbed, too. There, go to her ! She is 
in the garden, you say." 

And there indeed she is, waiting for him. He finds her 
in the old summer-house watching shyly for him from be- 
tween the soft green branches. And soon she is not only j 
in the garden — but in his strong and loving arms. ij 

THBBND.|Tr ir y £>. Zebley. 


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