|Chapter Number||IV - VI|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
ir the author of " Lady Hutton's Ward," &o. y (Reprint from " Family Herald.")
PI EVERY morning brought the young heir of j
.Jescourt to the bright suniay gardens, whero j .tt workod amongst tho strawberries.. As tho iays passed she bogan to loso something of hor
" Btartled manner, and laughed and talked to ¡m as sho would hayo dono to her own brother. Jis vanity was gratified by the swootest homage i all, the unconscious, unspoken love and ad
¡ration of tho young girl. Ho liked to watch
blushes on her face, and the quivering on fier lips when she caught tho first sound of his fouling footsteps. He uko to seo tho dark eyes
[roon, and then to Bee them raised to his with
beautiful startled light.
Insensibly his own heart beoamo interested. t first ho hod meroly thought of passing a ileasant hour j then ho admired Dora, and tried
believe that reading to her was an act of pure nevolenco ¡ but ns tho days passed on, sorao ling stronger and sweeter brought him there. [e began tolovo her, and she was his first love. Wonderful to roíate, these long tête-à-Utes id not attracted observation. No rumor of em escaped, so that no thom appeared in this 1 ith of roses, which led to the brink of a pro
It wonted tbrco days until the timo settled for I ¡e return of Lord and Lady Earle. Sir Harry
awrence, of Holtham Hall, aeked Ronald to end a day with him ; and having no valid ox iso, ho consented.
I shall not soe you to-morrow, Dora," ho lid. " I am going away for tho day."
She looked up at him with a startled faco, ao whole day without him I-then, with a dden, deadly pain, oamo the thought that ese golden days must end; the time must mo when sho should seo him no moro. Tho etty dimpled face grow pale, and a dark sha )w came into tho clear oyes.
" Dora," cried Ronald, " why do you look so iglitoned? What ¡Bit?"
She gave lum no answer, but turned away. e caught her hands in his own.
ire you grieved that I am going away for io wholo day ?" ho aBKed. But sho lookod BO teous, and so startled, that he waited for no ply. " I shall continue to oeo you," ho ro med. " I could not" lot a day pass without
And afterwards," sho Baid, simply raising .r eyea to his, full of toars."
Then Ronald paused abruptly,-ho had novor veu one thought to the " afterwards." Why,
cours* strawberries would not grow for evor, would not always be summer. Lord Earlo ould soon bo back again, and then ho must go iroad. Whero would Dora be then ? Ho did
it like the thought,-it porploxed him. Short was the timo ho had known her, Dora had, in mo mysterious way, grown to bo a part of uiself. Ho could not think of a day whoroin
should not see her blushing, pretty face, and ar the music of her words. Ho was startled, id clasped her littlo hands moro tightly in his
You would not Uko to loso me, Dora ?" ho tid, genily.
" No," sho roplied ; and then cearB fell from Her durk oyes.
Poor Ronald, had ho been wiso ho would uro flown then, but ho bent hiB hoad ovor her d kissed the toars away. The pretty rounded eck, so tait and childlike, ho kissed it again id then clusped the slight, girlish figure in his
" Do not shed another tear, Dora," ho lnspercd ; " vye will not IOBO each other. I ivo you, and you shall bo my wife."
ODO minuto boforo ho Bpoko, the idea had not "n crossed his mind ; it seemed,to him, after ords, (hut another voice bad spoken by his
Your wife !" she cried, looking at him in uno alarm ; " ah, no : you aro very kind and
od, but that could never bo." " Why not?" ho asked.
Because you aro so far above mo," replied io girl. " I ond mino aro servants and dopen ints of yours. Wo aro not equal ; I must am to forget you," sobbed Dora, " and break y own heart."
She could not havo touched Ronald more cply ¡ in a moment ho had pourod forth a rreut of words that amazod her. Fraternity d equality, caste and folly, his mission and lief, his lovo and devotion, were all mingled in e torrent of oloquenco that simply alarmed
" Never say that again, Dora," he continued, s fair, boyish fuco flushing. " You aro tho [Ual of a queen upon a throne ; you aro fair id true, sweet and good. What is a queen
oro than that ?"
" A queen knows more," sighed Dora. " I low nothing in all tho wido world."
Then I will teaoh you," ho soid. "Ah, oru, you know enough. You have beautiful loughts, uud you clothe them in beautiful ords. Do not turn from me j say you love e, and will be my wife. I love you, Dora ; do st make mo unhappy."
" I would not make you unhappy," sho soid, for the whole world, if you wUh mo to love Ju-oh, you know I love you ! If you wish 0 to go away and forget you, I will do my
But the very thought of it brought tears again he looked so pretty, so bewildered, between irrow and joy, so dazzled by groat happiness, |»â yet BO piteously uncertain, that Ronald was
.»ore charmed than over.
f'S"My darling Dora," ho said, " you do love
fe. Your eyes speak, if y0Ur lips do not tell ic Will you be my wife? I cannot live with
It was the prettiest pieturo in tho world to :u the color return to the sweet face. Ronald ent his head, and heard the gentle whisper.
" You shall never ruo your trust, Dora," he sid, proudly ¡ but she interrupted him.
" What will Lord Earlo say ?" she asked j and îonald was startled by the question'.
"My father can Bay nothing,'.' he repliod. 1 am old enough to pleaso myself, and this is free country. I shall introduce you to him, )ora, and tell him you have promised to be my rife. No more tears, love. There is nothing
mt happiness before us."
And so ho believed. He could think of lathing, care for nothing but Dora-her pretty ace, her artlesB, simple wayB, her undisguised ovo for him. There was but one excuse. He fas young, and it was his first lovo ¡ yet de "Pile his happiness, his pride, and independence, be did often wonder in what words ho should eil his father that he had promised to marry ho lodgckocpor's daughter. There were even
timea when he shivered, ag one seized with sud- den cold, at the thought.
The four days passed liko a long, bright droam. It was a protty romance, but sadly mis- placed-a pretty summer idyll. Thoy wcro but boy and girl. Dora mot Ronald in the park, by the brook side, and in the green meadows where the white, hawthorn grow. They talked but of one thing, their love. Ronald novor tired of watching Dora'B fair faco and pretty ways ¡ sho never wearied of telling him, over and over again, in a hundred différent waye, how grand and ho w kiud ho was, and how dearly sho loved
Lord Earle wroto to say that ho should ho homo on Thursday evening, and that thoy were bringing back a party of guests with thom.
" Thcro will bo no timo to tell my father just at present," Baid Ronald ; " so, Dora, we must koop our secret. It will not do to toll your father beforo I toll mino."
They arranged to koop the secret until Lord Earlo should bo alono again. Thoy woro to meet twico a day,-in the early morning, while tho dew lay on tho graBB, and in the evening, when tho Hall would bo full of bustle and gaiety.
Ronald felt guilty-ho hardly know how or why-when MB father oommisorated lum for tho two lonely weeks ho had spent. Lonely !-ho had not folt thom so ; they had passed all too quickly for him. How many destinies woro
settled in that short timo!
Thero was little timo for telling his aocrot to Lord Earlo. The few guests who had returned to Earlesoourt were mon of noto, and their host devoted himself to their entertainment.
Lady Earlo saw some groat chango in her son. Sho fancied thal he spout a great deal of time out of doors. Sho asked him about it, wondoring if ho had taken to study botany, for lato and early ho never tired of rambling in the park. She wondered again at the flush that covered his face ; but tho timo WOB coming when elie
would understand it all.
The chances arc great, that if Ronald at that timo had boon allowod as much of Dora's so- ciety as ho liked, ho would Boon havodÍBCOvorod his mistake, and no great mistake would hayo been dono ; but the foolish romaneo of the stolen meetings had a charm for him. In those hurried interviews ho had only timo to think of Dora's love,-ho novor noted her deficiencies ; ho was charmed with her tenderness and graeo ; her artlcBS affection told BO prettily ¡ tho differ-
ence betwoon her and those with whom ho waa accustomed to talk was so great ; her very igno raneo had a piquant charm for him. So thoy went on to their fate.
Ono by ono Lord Earlo's guests departed, yot
Ronald had not told his socrot. A new element crept into his love, and urged him on. Walking one day through tho park with his father, thoy ovortook Dora'B father. A young man was witli him, and tho two were talking earnestly to- gether, BO earnoBtly that thoy never hoard the two gentlemen ; and in passing by, Ronald dis- tinguished tho words, " You givo mo your daughter, Mr. Thorne, and trust me for making her happy."
Ronald Earlo turnod quiokly to look at tho Bpeaker. Ho Baw before him u young man, evi- dently u well-to-do farmer from IIÍB appearance, with a calm, kind faco, and clear honest eyes ; and ho was aBking for Dora,-Dora who was to bo bia wife, and live ut Earlesoourt. Ho could hardly control his impationco ; it Bcomod to him that evening would novor como.
Dinner was over at last. Lord Earlo sat with Sir Harry Lawronco over a bottlo of clarot, and Lady Earlo was in the drawing-room and had taken up her book. Ronald hastened to tho favorite trysting-placo,tho brook sido ; Dora was thero already, and ho saw that her faco was still wot with tears. Sho refused at first to toll him her sorrow. Then Bho whispered a pitiful little story, that mado her lovor resolve upon somo
Ralph Holt had been speaking to her father, and had asked her to marry him. She said " No j" but her mother wept, and her father grow angry, and said Bho Bhould obey him.
" He has a largo farm," said Dora, with bitter sighs. " Ho says I should livo uko a great lady, and havo nothing to do. Ho would bo kiud to my father and mother; but I do not love him," abo addod.
Clasping her tender little hands around Ro- nald's arm, " I do not lovo him," she sobbed; " and, Ronald, I do lovo you."
Ho bent down and kissed her pretty wooping face, all tho chivalry of "his nature aroused by
"You shall be my wife. Dora," ho said, proudly, " and not his. This vory evening I will toll my father, and ask his consent to our marriage. My motbsr is suro to love you, she is so kind and gracious to overy one. Do not tremble, my darling ; neither Ralph Holt nor any ono else sholl toko you from mo."
She was soon comforted ; thcro was no bound or limit to her faith in Ronald Earle.
" Go home now," ho said, " and to-morrow my father himself shall seo you. I will teach that young farmer his place; no more tears, Dora ; our troubles will ond to-night."
He went with her down tho broad walk, where every footstop crushed the sweet wild flowers, and then returned to the Hall. Ho walked very proudly with, his gallant head- erect, saying to himself this was a ireo country, and be could do what he liked ; but for all that, MB heart beat loudly when he entered tho drawing-room and found Lord and Lady Earlo. They looked up smiling at him, all unconscious that the be- loved son, the heir of Earlcecourt, was thcro to ask permission to marry tho lodgekeeper's daughter,
ROHALD EARLE had plenty of courage-no young hero over led a forlorn bopo with more bravery than ho displayed in the interview with his parents, which might have daunted a stronger man, As he approached, Lady Earlo .raised her eyes with a languid smile.
"Out again, Ronald !" she said. " Sir Harry Laurence left his adieux for you. I think the park possesses somo peculiar fascination. Havo you been walking quickly ?-your face is
Ho made no reply, but drew near to his mother ; he bent over her, and raised her hand to his Ups.
" I am como to tell you something," he said, " Father, will you listen to me ? I aBk your permission to marry Dora Thorne, the fairest, sweetest girl in England."
His voice never faltered, and the bravo young face never quailed. Lord Earlo looked at him
in utter amazement.
"To marry"-ho said-"Dora Thorne!
I And who, in the name of reason, is Dora '
" The lodgekeoper's daughtor," repliod Ro- nald, stoutly. " I love her, fathor, and Bho IOVOB
Ho was somewhat disooncorted when Lord Enrle, for all reply, broko into an uncontrollablo fit of laughter. Ho had expected a storm, Bomething of high tragedy,-expostulations, perhaps, and roproaohos,-anything but this.
"You cannot bo serious, Ronald," said his mother, smiling.
"I am BO much in earnest,"ho repliod, "that i I would givo up all I havo in the world-my
lifo itsolf, for Dora." I
Then Lord Earle ceased laughing, and looked earnestly at the handsome, flushed face
" No," Baid ho, " you cannot bo serious. You dare not ask your mother to rocoivo a servant's daughtor as her own child. Your jost is ia bad tasto, Ronald."
. "It is no jost," ho ropliod. " Wo Earles aro alwayB terribly in earnest. I havo promised to marry Dora Thorne, and, with your permission, I intend to keop my word."
An augry fluBh rose to Lord Earlo's faco, but ho controllod his impationco.
" In any case," ho roplied, quietly, " you oro too young to think of marriago yet. If you had ohoscn tho daughter of a duko, I should, for the present, refuse."
" I shall be twonty-ono in a few months," said Ronald, " and I am willing to wait until then."
Lady Earlo laid hor whito jovvollod hand on hor son's shoulder, and said gontly, " My dear Ronald, have you lost your Bcnses? Toll mo, who is Dora Thorne ?" She saw tears shining in his eyes, his brave young fuco touched hor heart. " Tell mo,'"sho continued, " who is sho ? -whero havo you soon hor ?-,what is she Uko ?"
" Sho is so bonutiful, mothor," ho said, " I am sure you would love hor, sho is fair and swoot
as sho is modest and true I mot hor in tho gardous some weeks ago, and have mot hcrovory day since."
Lord and Lady Earlo exchanged a glauco of dismay, which did not oscupo Ronald.
" Why havo you not told us of this boforo ?" askod his fathor, angrily.
" I asked her to bo my wife whilo you woro from homo," replied Ronald. " Sho promised, and I havo only boon waiting until our guosts loft us and you had moro time."
" Ia it to BOO Dora Thomo that you hayo been out so constantly ?" asked Lady Earlo.
" Yos, I could not lot a day pass without seeing hor," ho roplied ; " it would bo like a day
"Docs any ono else know of this folly ?" asked Lord Earlo, angrily. .
"No ; you may bo quito Bure, fathor, I shoulcl toll you before I told any ono olso," ropliod Ro-
Thoy looked at him in silont dismay, vexed and amtzod at what ho had done-irritated at his uttor folly, yot forood to admire his honor, his courage, and his truth. Both folt thatEOmo sons would havo carofully ooncoalod suoh a lovo affair from thom. Thoy woro proud of his can- dour and integrity, though deploring its causo.
"Toll na all about it, Ronald," said Lady
Without the least hesitation, Ronald told thom every word ; and, dospito thoir voxation, neither could help smiling, it was such a protty lovo story-a little romance,-all mado up of sunshine, smiles, toars, and flowers. Lord Earlo's face cleared as he listened ; and ho laid ono hand on tho gallant boyish figure.
" Ronald," said ho, " wo sholl disagroo about your lovo ; but, romombor, I do full justico to your truth. Aftor all, tho fault ¡B my own. I might have known thot a young fellow of your ago, loft all alone, was suro to got into niisckiof ; you have dono BO. Say no moro now ; I dearly and distinctly refuse my consent. I oppoal to your honor thot you moot this young girl no moro. Wo will talk of it ouothor time."
When tho door closed behind him Lord and Lady Earlo looked at ouch other. Tho lady's faco WUB palo and agitated.
"Oh, Rupert," sho said, "how bravo and noblo ho is ! Poor foolish boy, how proud ho looked of his absurd mistake ! Wo shall havo trouble with him. I forosoo it."
" I do not think so," roplied her husband. " Valentino Charteris will bo ' hero soon, and when Ronald sees her ho will forget this ruBtio beauty."
"It will bo bettor not to thwart him," inter- rupted Lady Earle " Let mo manago tho matter, Ruport. I will go down to tho lodgo to-morrow, and persuade them to send tho girl away ; thon wo will take Ronald abroad, and ho will forget all about it in a fow months."
All night long tho gentío lady'of EarloBCourt was troubled by strango droamB-by vague, dark fears, thal haunted her and would not bo laid to rest. " Evil will como of it," she Baid to hor Bolf, " evil and sorrow. The distant shadow saddens mo now."
The next day she went to the lodge, and asked for Dora. She half pardoned her eon's folly when Bho saw tho pretty dimpled faco, the rings of dark hair lying on tho white neck. Sho was charming and modest, but uniittod-oh, so unfitted-over to bo Lady Earle. Sho was gracoful as a wild flower is graceful ; but sho hal no manner, no dignity, no cultivation. She stood, blushing and confused, boforo the " great lady," unablo to find any words.
" You know what I want you for, Dora," said Lady Earle, kindly. " My Bon has told UB of tho acquaintance between you. I am come to say that it must be stopped. I do not wish to hurt you or wound you. Your own aenso must tell you that you can nover bo received cither by Lord Earle or myBolf BB our daughter. Wo will not 6peak of your inferiority in birth or position. You aro not my son's equal ia re- finement and education ; ho would soon discover that, and tire of you."
Dora had no words, the tears fell from her bright eyes ; this timo there was no young lover to kiss them away. She made no reply, and when Lady Earlo sent for her father, Dora ran away, Bho would hoar no more.
" I know nothing of it, my lady," said tho worthy lodgekeepor, who was oven more sur- prised than his master had been. " Young Ralph Holt wants to marry my daughter, and I have said that abo shall bo his wife. I never dreamed that sho knew the young master ; she has not mentioned bis name",
Lady Earle's diplomacy succeeded boyond her most sanguine expectations. Stephen Thorne and his wife, although rather dazzled by the fact that their daughter bad captivated tho futuro Lord of Earlcseourt, let common sense and reason prevail, aud they Baw the dis- parity and misery Euch a marriage would cause. Thoy promised to be gentle and kind to Dora, not to scold or reproaoh her, and to allow Bomo
little time to elapse before urging Ralph HOU'B
When Lady Earlo rose, she placod a twenty pound bank-note in the hands of Stephen Thorne, saying, " You are sending Dora to Eaet ham ; that will cover tho expenses."
11 could not do that, my lady," Baid Stcphon, refusing at first to toko the money. " I cannot sell poor Dora's lovo."
Then Lady Earlo hold out hor dolicato whito hand, nnd the man bowod low over it. Boforo tho Bun set that ovening Stephen Thorno had takou Dora to Eastham, where sho waa to ro- main until Ronald had gono abroad.
For a fow days it seemed as though tho storm had blown over. There was an angry iutorviow botwoen fathor and son, when Ronald declared that sending Dora away was a broach of faith, and that ho would find her out and marry hor how and whea ho could. Lord Earlo thought his words woro but the wild folly of u boy do privod of a muoh-desirod toy. Ho did not givo
thom serious heed.
Tho story of Earloscourt might havo been different, had not Ronald, while still amazed and irritated by his fathor's cool contempt, on countorod Ralph Holt. Thoy met at tho gato loading from tho fields to the high road ; it was closed between thom, and noithor would muko
" I hoyo a little account to sottlo with you, my young lordling," said Ralph, angrily. " Dovos nover mate with englos ; if you want to marry, chooso ono of your own class, and leave Dora
Thorno to mo."
" Dora Thorno is mino," said Ronald, grandly. " Sho uovor will bo," WBB the quick roply. " See, young mastor, I havo loved Dora Thorno sinco sho was o pretty, bright-oyod child. Hor father livod noar.my fathor's farm (hen. I havo cared for her all my lifo-I do not know that I havo over lookod at auothor woman's faco. Do not step iu botwoon mo and my love. Tho world io wide, and you can ohooso whoro you will-do not rob mo of Dora Thorno."
Thero was a mournful dignity in the man's
faco that touched Ronald.
" I am sorry for you," ho said, " if you lovo Dora ; for sho will bo my wife."
" Novor !" cried Ralph. " Sineo you will not listen to fair words, I dofy you. I will go to Eastham, and novor loavo Dora ugain until sho
¡B mv own."
High angry words passed between thom, but Rnlph in bia passion had told tho Beeret Ronald longed to know-Dora was at Eastham.
It was a ead story, and yot no rare one Love and joalouey robbod tho boy of his bettor Boneo, duty and honor woro forgotten. Under protenco of visiting ono of his oollogo Monds, Ronald went to Eastham. Lord and Lady Earlo saw him depart without any approhonsiou ; thoy novor suapoctod that ho know whoro Dora
It WOB a sad story, and bitter sorrow carno from it. Word by word it cannot ho written, but whon tho hoir of Earloacourt Baw Dora again, hor artloss delight, hor pretty joy and Borrow mixed, hor fear and disliko of Ralph, her lovo for himself, drove all thought of dufy and honor from his mind. Ho prayod her to becoino his wife eoeretly. Ho said that, once marriod, his father would forgive him, and all would bo well. Sho boliovod what ho said. Dora had no will but his. Sho forgot all Lady Earlo's warnings ; sho romomborod only Ronald nnd his love So thoy woro marriod in tho quiot parish church of Holmsmoor, twouty miles from Ensthum, and no human being oithor know or guessed thoir socret.
Thoro waa no oxcuao, no palliation of an act that was undutiful, dishouoiablc, and docoilful, -thero was nothing to plond for him, eavo that ho waa young, and had novor known a WÍBII ro
Thoy woro marriod ; Dora Thorno became Dora Earle Ronald paried from his pretty wifo immodiatoly. Ho arrangod all h¡B plans with what ho considered conaummato wisdom, Ho was to roturn homo, and try by overy argu- ment in his power to soften his futayor, and win his consent. If ho still rofuscd, then timo would BIIOW bim tho best course Como what might, Dora WOB his j nothing on earth could part thom. Ho cared for very little olso. Even if tho very worst oamo, ond his fathor sent him from homo, it would only bo for a time, and thero was Dora to comfort him.
Ho roturnod to Earloscourt, and though his eyes woro novor raised in clear, true honesty to his face, Lord Earle saw his son lookod happy, and boliovod the cloud had pasBod away.
Dora was to remain at Eastham until she heard from him. Ho could not write to her, nor could sho Bond ono lino to him ; but hopromiaod and boliovod that very soon ho Bhould toko hor
in all honor to Earlescourt.
IT was a beautiful morning, towards the end of Auguet ; the balmy swootnosB of the spring had given way to the glowing radiance of sum- mer. The golden corn waved in the fields, tho hedgerows woro filled with wild flowers, tho fruit hung ripo in the orohards. Naturo wore her brightest smiles. The breakfast-room at Eurlos court was a pretty apartment ; it opened on to a flowor garden, and through the long Fronoh windows carno tho Bwoct perfume of roso bios
It was a protty scone-the sunbeams foil upon the rich silver, tho dolicato china, the vases of flowers, and recherche dishes. Lord Earlo sat at tho head of the table, busily engaged with his lotters. Lady Earle, in tho daintiest of morning toilettes, was smiling over protty pink notes, full of fashionable gossip. Her dolicato patrioian face looked clear and pure in tho fresh morning light. But thero was no smile on Ro- nald's face. He was wondoring, for tho hun- dredth time, how he WOB to toll his fathor what ho had done. Ho longod to be .with his pretty Dora ; and yet thero was a severe storm to en- counter before ho could hope to bring her home
"Ah," said Lady Earle, Buddonly, "hero is good news,-Lady Charteris ia positively coming, Rupert. Sir Hugh will join hor in a few days. She will bo hero with Valentine to-morrow,"
" I am vory glad," said Lord Earle, looking up with picas uro and surprise. "We must ask Lady laurence to meet thom."
Ronald sighed ; his parents busily discussed the hospitalities and pleasures to be offered to their gucBts. A grand dinner-party was planned, and a ball, to which half the country-side were
to bo invited.
"Valentino loves gaity," said Lady Earle, " and wo must give her plenty of it."
" I shall have all this to go through," sighed Roland,-"fine ladies, grand parties, dinners and balls, while my heart long» to be with my darling ; and, in the midst of it all, how shall I
find time to talk to my father ? I will begin this very öay."
When dinner was over, Ronald proposed to Lord Earlo that they should go out upon the terrace, and smoke a cigar thore. Thon took piuco tho conversation with which our story opened, when the muster of Earlesoourt declared
his final resolve.
Ronald was moro disturbed than ho carod to oim even to himself. Onco tho words hovorcd upon his Upa that it was all too lato,-ho hod married Dora. Had Lord Earlo boon angry or contemptuous, ho would havo uttered them , but m the presenco of that calm, dignified wis- dom, ho was abashed, and uncertain. For the lust timo ho felt the truth of all his father said Not that ho loved Doia lesa, or repented of that lash private marnago; but Lord Earlo's appoal to his sonso of tho " fitness of tlunga " touchod
Thoro was httlo timo for reflection Lady Chartoris and hor daughter were coming on the morrow. Again Lady Earlo entered tho field as a diplomatist, and cunio oil' victououB.
" Ronald," Baid hiB mother, as thoy parted that ovening, " I know that as a rulo young mon of youl ago do not caro for tho socioty of oldorly ludios ; I must ask j ou to mako an oxcoption m favoi of Lady Oliurtona. Thoy woro vory kind lo mo at Groonoko, and you niuBt holp mo to ro turn it. I shnll coosidor ovoiy attontion shown to tho lady und hor daughtor us Bhown to my
Ronald smiled at his mother's words, and told her ho would novor fail m hor scivieo
"If ho sees much of Valontmo," thought his raothor, " ho cannot holp lovmg hoi, thon all
will bo well."
Ronald was not in tho UOUBO Vthon tho guosta arrived ; thoy carno rather boforo tho appointed tune Hia mothor and Lady Chartoris had gono to tho library togothor, leaving Valontino in tho dianing-ioom alone Ronald found hor thoro Opening tho door, ho saw tho BIOOVO of a white dross ; bohoving Lady Earlo was theic, ho wont carolcBsly into tho room,'thon started with as- tonishment at tho v iBion boforo lum. Onco m a century, perhaps, one socs u woman hko Vulou tmo Chartoris, of tho purest mid loveliest Greek typo, a calm, grand, magnificent blondo, with clear, stiaight blows, fan* han that ehono hko pohshod satin, and lay in thick folds around hoi queenly hoad ; tall mid stutoly, with a finished oiiBO and grace of manner that could only result from, long and cuieful training. Sho rosa whon Ronald ontered the room, and her boautiful oyofl woro hftod calmly to his faco. Suddonly a ruoh of ooloi dj od tho v, hito brow. Valentino I omomborod what Lady Earlo had said of hoi son, Sho know that both lus mother and hors wished that sho should bo Ronald's wife
"I bog your pardon," ho said, hastily , "I thought Lady Earlo waB hero "
"Sho is in tho library," euid Valontino, with
a «milo that dazzled lum.
Ho bowed and withdrow. This, thon, WOB Valautuio Ohaitoris, tho fino lady whoso coming ho had dreaded. Sho was very boautiful ; ho had never soon a faoo hko hers. No thought of lovo, or of comparing this magmfieoiit woman with simplo, piotty Dora, ovorontorod his mind. But Rouald waa a truo artist, and ono of no moan skill. Ho thought of that puro Grecian foco as ho would havo dono of a beautiful pic- ture, or an exquisito statue. Ho novor thought of tho loving sonBitivo woman's heart biddon
It waa not so difficult when dmnoi wns over to open tho grund piano for Valontino, to fotch hor music, and liston whilo Bho talked of opoius ho had novor hoard. It was pleasant to watch hor, as Bho sot in tho ovening glouining, hor su perb beauty ouhunood by tho delicate evening droBS of fine vvlnlo luco, tho shnpoly shoulders nero BO pohshod and whito, tho exquisito arms rounded and cluapod by a biacolot of poarl3. Sho wore a IOBO in tho bodice of her dross, and OB Ronald bent over tho mueio sho Was showing him, tho sweot, subtlo porfumo carno to him hko a messngo from Dora.
Valentino Chartoris had ono oharm ovon
grootcr than hor bounty. Sho talked well nnd giacefully-tho play of hor foaturos, the move- ment of hor lips, woro something not to bo for- gotten ; and her smilo accrued to bleak hko a sunbeam over her whole faoo-it was iriOBistible
Poor Ronald atood by hor, watching tho ox prossion thatscomod to chango with cvory word, listening to pretty, polished languago, that was m îtBolf a charm. Tho two mothora, lot ' g on, Btnilcd at ouch othor ; and Lord Earlo felt him- self rohoved fiom a hoavy weight of euro. Then Lady Earlo OBkcd Valontino to Bing. Sho wna quito freo from all affectation.
" What kind of mußio do you profor ?" sho asked, looking at Ronald.
" Simple old ballads," ho ropliod, thinking of Dora, and how prettily sho would simg thom.
Ho started whon tho first notos of that mag- nificent voice rang clear and swoot in tho quiot glouming. Sho Bang some quaint old Btory of a knight who lovod a maidon-loved and rodo away, returning after long years to lind a green grave. Ronald Bat thinking of Dora. Ah ¡ porhaps had bo forgotten hor, the protty, dimpled face would havo faded away. Ho felt pleased that ho hod boen true Thon tho musio
" Is that what you liko ?" asked Valentino Chartaria ; " it ¡B of the strongly sentimental Behool."
Simple, honcBt Ronald wondorod if sentiment wero a sin against otiquetto, or why fashionable ladies generally spoko of it with a anoor.
" Do you laugh at Bontimont ?" he asked, and Valontino opened hor fine eyes in wonder ut the question. Lady Earlo half ovorheard tho question, and smiled in great satisfaction. Matters must bp going on well, she thought, if Ronald had already begun to speak of sentiment. Sho never thought that hÍB heart and mind wero with Dora whilo ho spoke-pretty Dora, who cried over his pootry, and dovoully beliovod in the languago of flowers.
Tho ovening passed rapidly, and Ronald felt something Uko regret when it ended. Lady Earle was too wiso to make any commentB ; sho never asked her son if ho liked Valentino, or what ho thought of her.
" I am afraid y'ou aro tirod," she said with a charming Bmile; " thank you for helping to amuEO my friends." .
When Ronald thought over what he had dono, his share Boomed very small ; still his mother waa pleased, and ho went to rest, resolved that on tho morrow ho would bo doubly attentive
to Miss Chartoris.
Thrco days passed, and Ronald had grown quite at bia eaBO with Valontino. Tboy read and disputed over tho samo books. Ronald brought out his largo folio of drawings, and Valentino wondered at their skill. Ho bent over her ex- plaining the sketches, laughing and talking u
though there was no dark background to his
" You aro an accomplished artist," said Miss Charteris ; " you must havo given much timo to the study."
11 am fond of it," said Ronald 5 " if fato had not made mo an only BOH, I should havo chosen pointing ns my profession."
In after years those words carno back to thom uko a sad prophecy.
Ronald liked Miss Chartoris. Apart from her grand beauty, sho had tho charm, too, of a kindly heart and affeotioaato uaturo. Ho saw how much Lady Earlo loved hor, and ho formed a grand rosolve,-it was, that ho would toll Valontino all about Dora, and ask her to fry to influence his mother. With that ead aud aim iu view, ho talked continually to tho young lady ; ho accompamod her in all her walks and drives, und they sang and sketched togothor. Ronald, knowing himself sosifcly bound to Dora, forgot in what light his conduct must soom to others, Lady Earlo had forgotten hor fears ; she ha ¡oyod that hor sou was loaming to lovo Valen- tine, and hor husband shared hor belief.
All things just then woro couleur de rose at Earlesoourt. Ronald lookod and felt happy : ho had grout faith in Valontino's persuasivo
Days passed by rapidly j tho timo for tho grand ball was drawing near. Lady Earlo half wouderod whon her son would spoak of MissOhar toris, and Valontino wondorod why ho lingorod near her, why ofton'imca ho was on the point of speaking, and then drow book. She quito bo- liovod ho cared for hor, and elio liked him, in return, as inuoh as abo was cnpablo of liking any one She was no tragedy quoon, but 11 lov- ing, offootionato girl, unablo to reach tho hoight of Jove, or tho dopth of despair. She waa woll diapoaod towards Ronald,-Lady Earlo spoke so much of him at Grcouoko : sho know, too, that a marriago with him would delight hor mother,
Valontino's favorite impression of Ronald was doeponod whon elie saw him. Dospito tho ono groat act of duplicity whioh shadowed his whola lifo, Ronald was truo and honorublo. Vulontiuo admirod his clear Saxon faco and firm lips ; aho admired his bright doop oyoB, that dorkouod with ovory passing oniotion; she likod bia gontloi ohivalroua raannor, his oarnost words, his do forontial attention to horaolf, his aflootioiiule de- votion to Lady Earle
Thero was not 11 braver or moro gallant man in England than this young hoir of Earlesoourt. Ho inherited tho porsonnl beauty and courage of bia race. Ho gave promiao of a splendid man- hood ; and no ono know how proudly Lord Eurie bud rejoiced in that promiso.
In hor calm, stately way, Valontino likod him ; aho ovon loved him, and would havo boon happy us his wife. Sho enjoyed his keon intollootunl powora and his originality of thought, Even the " droudful politics " Hint scared and shockod
his fathor uuiUBod her.
Ronald, whoao heurt was full of d10 protty little wifo ho dared noithor soo nor write to, gavo no hood to Vulunlino's nionnor; it uover ocourrod to him that any othor construction could bo put upon his friendly liking for her.
Tho day carno for tho grand hall, and during breakfast tho ladies disoussod tim important question of bouquets ; from that the conversa- tion turned to flowora. " Thoro nro BO many of thom," Baid Vulcntino, " und thoy aro all so boautiful, I am ahvaya at a loss whioh to OIIOOBO."
" I Bhould novor hositato a momont," said Ro- nald, laughingly ; " you will ncoueo mo perhaps of being sentimental, but I must give tho pro feronao to the white lily bolls. Lilies of tho valley aro tho fairest llowors that grow."
Lady Earlo ovorhoord tho remark; no ono oho appoarod to notico it, and sho waa not much surprisod whon Valontino entered the ball-room to BOO whito lilies in hor fair hair, and a bouquot of tho samo donors hulf-ahroudod by green
loavoB in hor hand.
Many oyos turned admiringly upon tho calm, staloly beauty, and her whito flowora. Ronald saw them. Ho oould not holp romarking tho ox quÍBÍto toilette, mnrrod by no obtruBivo colors, tho protty lily-wrouth and fragrant bouquot. It novor occurred to bim that Valontino lind chosen thoso dolicato blossoms out of compli- ment to him. Ho thought ho had novor scon a fairer pioturo than this magnificent blondo, thon sho faded from his mind. Ho lookod round on thoso fair and noblo ladies, thinking tbut Dora's shy, swcot faco waB fur loyoiior than any thero. Ho lookod at tho costly jowols, the waving plumos, tho sweeping Batina, and thought of Dora's plain, protty dress. A Boftoned look carno in IIÍB eyes BB ho pictured his shy, grocoful wife Some day sho, too, would walk through thoso gorgoous rooms, thon all would admiro tho wisdom of his choice. So tho heir of Earloscourt dreamod, as ho watchod the brilliant crowd that began to lill tho ball-room ; but his rovorio wos abruptly brolion by a summonB from Lady Earle
"Ronald," Baid Bho, looking Blightly impa- tient, "havo you forgotten that it is your placo to open tho bull ? You must oak Miss Charteris to danoo with you,"
" That will bo no hardship," ho roplied, Bmil ing at his mother's earnest manner. " I would rathor danco with Miss Charteris than any one
Lady Earlo wisely kopt eilonoo ; her son wont
up to Valentino, ond mado his rcquoBt. Ho I danced with hor again and again,-not, as Lady Earle fondly hoped, from any unuaual prefer- ence, but because it govo him less troublo than seeking partners among strange young ladies, Valontino understood him ; thoy talked caEÍly, and without restraint. Ho paid hor no compli- ments, and Bho did not seem to oxpoct any. With other ladies, Ronald was always thinking, "What would they say if thoy know of that fair young wife at Eastham ?" With Valentine no Buch idea haunted him,-ho had an instinc- tive boliof in her true and firm friendship.
Lady Earle overboard a fow whispered com- ments, and tboy filled her hoart with dolight. Old friends whisporod to her that " it would bo a splendid match for her son," and " how happy sho would bo with such u daughtor-in-law as Miss Charteris, BO beautiful and dignified ;" and
all this beeaUBO Ronald wanted to secure Valen-
tino's friendship, so that sha might intercede for
Whon, for tho fourth timo, Ronald asked MÍBB Charteris " for the noxt dance," sho lookod up
at him with a smile
" Do you know how often wo havo danced to- gether this evening ?" ehe asked.
" What does it matter ?" ho replied, wonder- ing at tho flush that crimsoned hor face. " For givo mo, Miss Charteris, if I Bay thatyou realise my idea of tho poetry of motion."
" Is that why you ask me so frequently ?" she aaid, archly.
" Yes," repliod honeet Ronald ; " it is a great
pleasure. For ono good dancer there aro fifty
Ho did not quito understand the prettys
piqued expression of her face
" You havo not told me," said Valontino, "whethoryou Uko my flowers."
"They aro vory beautiful," ho roplied; but tho compliment of hor selection waa all lost upon
MisB Charteris did not know whothor he was simply indifferent or timid.
" You told mo those hlios wero your favorite ' (lowers," sho said.
" Yes," roplied Ronald ; " but thoy are not tho flowers that rosornblo you." He was think- ing how much simple, loving Dora was like tho protty, soft blossoms. " You aro like tho tall, queenly lilies."
Ho paused, for Valontino was looking at him with a wondering Bmilo.
" Do you know you havo paid mo two oom plimonts in loss thnu ftvo minutes ?" sho said. " And yosterday wo agreed that between truo friends thoy woro quito unnecessary."
"I-I did not intend paying idle compli- ments," ho ropliod. "I rnoroly said what I thought. You aro like a tall, grand, white lily, Miss Charteris. I havo often thought BO. If
you will not danco with mo again, will you walk , through tho rooms ?"
Many admiring glances followed thom,-a handsomer pair woro soldom soon. Thoy passed through tho long suite of rooms and on to tho coUBcrvatory, whero lumps gleamod like stars between the green plants and rare exotics,
"Will you roat hero?" auld Ronald. "Tho ball-room is so crowded one cannot speak thcro."
" Ah," thought Miss Oluirtoris, " then ho really hua something to suy to moj"
Despite her calm dignity and sorono mannor, Valentine's heart boat high. Sho lovod the gallant young heir,-his honest, kindly naturo had a gioal charm for her. Sho saw that tho handsome faco bonding over tho llowora waa agitated and palo. Misa Chartoris looked down at tho hhoB in hor hand. Ho caine noaror to hor, and lookod anxiously at her boautiful face
" 1 am not oloquont," eaid Ronuld : " I hovo no groat gift of speech ; but, Miss Chartoris, I should like to find BOHÍO words that would reach your heaitaud dwell (bore"
Ho wantod to toll hor of Dora, to doaoribo hor sweet face with ita dimples and blushes, hor graceful mannor, her timid, sensitivo dispo« sitiou. He wanted to mako hor lovo Dora, to holp him to soften his mother's prejudiocs and his futhor'B ongor ; no wonder IUB lips quivorod
and his voico fnltovod,
" For somo days past I havo boon longing to speak to you," continuod Ronald ; " now my oourngo almost finis mo. Miss Chartoris, Bay Boniothing that will givo mo confidence."
Sho lookod up at him, und any othor man
would havo road tho love in hor face.
" Tho simplest words you can uso will always intorost me," sho eaid, gently.
His fuco clearod, and ho bogan. "You aro kind and gonerous-"
Thon caine an interruption ; Sir Harry Laurence, willi a lady, entered tho conservatory.
" This is rofreahiug," ho said to Ronald. "I havo boon ton minutoB trying to got boro, the
rooms aro BO full."
Miss Chartoris Bnnlod iu roply, wishing Sir Harry had waited ton minutos iongor.
"Premiso mo," enid Ronald, detaining hor, aB Sir Harry pusaod on, " that you will givo mo ono
" I will do so," Bho ropliod.
"And you will liston to mo, Miss Chartoris ?" ho continued,-" you will hoar ull I havo to say ?"
Valontino mado no roply ; sovoral other pooplo como, Borne to admiro tho nleovo filled with fornB whioh droopod from tho wall by whioh she was standing, othors to broatho tho fragrant air. She could not Bpoak without boing ovorhoiird ; but, willi ii charming smile, she look a boautiful lily from her bouquot and held it out to him. Thoy thou went back to the ball-room.
"Ho loves mo," thought Valontino; and as far OB hor calm, sorono naturo WUB capablo of passionoto delight, sho felt ii.
"Sho will befriend mo, thought Ronald } " but why did sho giro mo this ilowor ?"
'The most remoto suspicion that Valontino bad mistakon him-that sho loved him-novor crossed the mind of Ronald Earlo. Ho was singularly froo from vanity. Perhaps if ho had had a littlo moro confldonco inhimsolf, the story of the EarloB might havo boon difforont.
Lady Charteris lookod at hor daughter's calm, proud face. Sho hud noticed the littlo inter- view in tho conBorvatory.aud drovv hor own con- clusions from it. Valentino's fuco confirmed thom,-thoro was a dolicato flush upon it, and a now light shone in lier luBtrous eyes.
"You hko EarloBoourt?" said Lady Obar tcrÍB to hor daughtor that evening, aa thoy sat in hor drossing-room alone
"YOB, mamma, I likoit vory much," Baid
" And, from what I ace," oontinued tho elder lady, " I think it is likely to bo your homo."
" Yea, I boliovo so," said Valentino, bonding Over her mother, and kissing hor. "Ronald has asked mo to give him ono half-hour to- morrow, and I am vory happy, mamma."
For ono so calm and statoly, it was admission enough. Lady Charteris know, from the tone ot her daughter's voico, that sho lovod Ronald
Ronald slopt calmly, hulf hoping that the end of his troubles WOB drawing nigh. Valentine, whom his inothor loved BO well, would interBede for Dora. Lord Earlo would be sure to relent ; i thon ho could bring Dora homo, and all would
bo woll. If over and anon a cold fear crept
into bia heart, that slmplo, protty Dora would * bo sadly out of place in that magnificent home, ho dashed it from him.
Miss Charteris slept calmly too, but her dreams woro different from Ronald's. She thought of tho timo whon aho should bo mistress of that fair domain, and tho wife of its brave young lord. She loved him woll. No ono had over ploased her OB ho had,-no ono would ever charm her again, Valontino had made the grand mistako of her life
[TO DU C0N1ISUED.]
ABOBE BY MAOHIMERY -An Irish immigrant, just arrivod in tho States, read the following in his American paper:-"The flannel-mouthed poll-parrot of the Paoli Scavenger baa too long roosted in the shadow of our good naturo. Let
him beware. Forbearance is no longer a virtue. _ Wo shall set his dainty plumage scurrying on the four windB of heavon, and givo his bloated carcass to tho vultures." Soou after porasiog this, he went to look over the printing offico of a paper by invitation. Contemplating <the mnehmo at full speed for a time, he exolained to his companion,-" Mother of Moses ! OB the Americans abuse each other by maobinory, it's, no wonder they pitch it so strong !"