Chapter 112409154

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112409154
Full Date1885-06-27
Page Number4
Corrections0
Word Count797
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleBowral Free Press and Berrima District Intelligencer (NSW : 1884 - 1901)
Trove TitleThe Christmas Fairy
article text

THE CHRISTMAS FAIRY.

CHAPTER X.—CONTINUED.

Poor Bevtie ! How could slie lielp, through all her anguish, the glad throb of ber heart that she would have no rival in her lover's thoughts ? Iu her noble unselfish ness she would fain he should be happy—? whatever her own fate, but love is scarcely love that can say without a struggle— " It ib better that he love another than me,"— that does not thrill with the thought—" We may be parted for ever; the wide seas may roll between us; yet he loves me still. He is mine —and I am his."

"Then," the girl said, very low, " I shall not be all unhappy. Oh! you have not ?wronged mo! It is so much to be loved. But I wish—for your sake, you had never

known me."

' Hush 1 Hush I'

Close to his heart he held her; again and again his lips pressed hers—it seemed as though he could not put her from him ; and •when at length he loosed his clasp, and ris ing, turned to the door; he staggered like a drunken man; and at the door he paused and looked back.

She was standing where he had left her —with locked hands and face as white as the dead. He made one step back to her— stretching out his hands ; but with a gesture almost of terror, she drew baek. He stop ped—his hands fell to his side. ' Not for ever 1' he said, huskily. ' Bertie—my life —not for ever?'

But she only looked at him in dumb agony; her lips parted, but no sound came from them. One moment their eyes met: one word from her—one movement towards him —and he had been at her feet.

But the girl stood motionless, with only that agonised look in her violet eyes; and leigli Falconer turned from her and went out from her presence, and this time did not look back. He had almost failed before ; he dared not a second time brave so fierce a temptation.

When Mrs. Evelyn looked into the par lour more than an hour later, it was empty; and going outside she called to Bertie, who responded from above that Lord Falconer had been obliged to go away in a hurry.

It wasn't like him not to say good bye to me," thought Mm. Evelyn; and a vague uncomfortable feeling oppressed her, for somehow Bertie's voice did not sound quite as usual.

She had tact enough, however, to make no remark when Bertie came down to din ner ; and abstained from overtly noticing that the girl was very white and ate next to nothing. Fortunately for Bertie, the three other members of the family were still ab

sent.

That evening—just before Mrs. Evelyn and Bertie started for the theatre, a letter came from Lord Falconer to the former en closing one for Bertie.

To Mrs. Evelyn he confessed that Bertie had become too dear to him for him to

continue his intercourse with her family. He 6poke gratefully of the kindness he had recoived aud took all blame to himself for the wrong lie had done ; but there was now only one thing to do—to place himself be yond the tempation of seeking to do .a yet greater wrong.

In conclusion he asked that the closed letter might bo given to Bevtie.

' I hope,' lie said, 'that you have faith enough in her, if not in me, to deliver it unopened.'

And that request Mrs. Evelyn obeyed.

Alone'_in her room that night, Bertie read the following few lines:— .

• Your mother may perhaps show you, Bertie,' Lord Falconer wrote, ' the letter I have written to her. I have told her that

dure no longer visit your family, because

you have become too dear to me for my honour. I lmvo said nothing of wlmt passed between us ; and I do not think sho will question you. It is surely enough for lior to know that I alono am to blame ; the rest is between your heart and mine. Bertie, I must not say any more to you .... You have forgiven mo ; but oven your forgive noss cannot lighten the load on my con science. I must say farewell- -my heart's lovo; but my every thought is yours for

over.

1 Leioh Falconer.'

Her burning tears blotted the paper ; her quiTering lips kissed it over and over. It was placed in her bosom beside that other sacred letter—her doomed father's message to the unknown friend; and many a time, in the dreary months to come, was it taken from its rcsting-place and read again, and wept over with bitterest tears.

[TO PK CONTISUKP.]