|Chapter Number||XXIII - XXV|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
g. the author of " Lady Hutton's Ward," &c.
AB timo passed on all constraint between Lord Earle and his daughters woro uway ; Ronald
pondered himself at the forco of his own tare for them. Ho had much improved sinco his return. Ho did wonders upon the eBtato ; model cottogcs seemed to ariso by magic in nlace of tho wrotched tenements inhabited by ooor tenants ; schools, alms-houses, churches, all tcsthW to kia zeal f°r improvement. People began to speak with warm admiration of the Earlescourt estates and of their master.
Neither did he negleot sooial duties; old friends woro invited to Earlosoourt ¡ neighbors WCro hospitably entertained. His name waa mentioned with respect and ostcem ; tho tide of popularity turned in his favor. As the spring drew near Lord Earle became anxious for his dsu'liters to make their oM6i<i,in the great world. They could have no better chaporono than his o»u mother. Lady Helena was speaking to ¡um one morning of their purposed journey, vfhen Lord Earle suddenly interrupted her.
" Mother," Bo said, " whoro are all your |enels ? I never seo you wearing any."
» I put thom all away," said Lady Earle, " when your father died. I shall never wear them again. The ' Earle jowols ' aro always \ orn by the wife of the roigning lord, not by tho
widow of his predecessor. Thoso jewels aro not mine."
" Sholl wo look thom over?" asked Ronald j " some of them might bo roset for Beatrica and Lillian."
Lady Hclona rang for hor maid, and the heuTV casos of jewellery were brought down. Beatrice waB in raptures over them, and hor <i»ter smiled at her guy bright words.
Hie jowols might have sufficed for a king'B nuiom ; the diamonds woro of the first water, full of flro'liko points of living flame ; the rubies uVhcd crimson ; delicato pearls " gleamed pale!) " upon their velvet beds j there woro eniorolds of priceless value. One of the most beautiful and costly jewels was an entire suite of opah intermixed with small diamonds.
" These," said Lord Eurie, raising tho pre- cious stones in his hand, "aro of immonao value ¡ somo of the finest opals over seen aro in this necklace ; they woro takon from the crown of an Indian prince, and bequeathed to
one of our ancestors."
" So much is said about the unlucky stone -the pierre du malheur, as Iho Fronoh call the opal-that I did not caro BO much for thom."
"Giro mo tho opals, papa," Baid Beatrice, laughing j " I have no suporstitious fears over them. Bright and beautiful jowols always seemed to mo one of tho necosearics of life. I prefer diamonds, but those opals oro magnifi-
She hold out her hands, and for tho first time Lord Earle EUW tho opal ring upon her Anger. He caught the pretty white band in his own.
The question carno upon her suddenly like a deadly Bhock ; she had forgotten all about tho ring, and only wore it from habit.
For a moment her heart seemed to stand still and her senses to dosort hor. Then, with self-posscBsion worthy a better cause, Beatrico looked up into hor father's faoo with a smilo.
" It wus given to mo at ' Tho Elms,' " sho said, so simply, that the samo thought orossod the minds of hor three h'Btoncrs; it had boen given by Dora, and her daughlor did not liko
to any so.
Lord Earle looked on in proud delight whilo his beautiful duughtors choso the jowelB thoy liked best, The difference in taBto struck and amused him. Beatrico ohoso diamonds, fiery rubiej, purple umothysts ; Lillian cared for nothing but tho pretty palo poarls and bright
" Somo of thoso settings are very old fashioned," said Lord Eurie. " Wo will have ne« designs from Hunt and Roskoll. They anist be reset before you go to London."
Hie first thing Beatrico did was to take off the opol ring and lock it away. She trembled ¿till mfli the shook and fear of that question. The fatal secret vexed her. How foolish she had beeu to risk so muoh for a few stolen houi'B of happiness-for praiso and flattery !-sho could not say for love.
* » # # # # *
The timo ao anxiously looked for came atlast. Loid Earle tool, possoision of h¡B town houso, und his daughters prepared for their début,
It WaB iu overy rcspeot a BUccCBflful ono. People were in ruptures with tho beautiful sisters, both so charming, yet so unlike : Beatrice, brilliant und glow ing, hor magnificent face haunt- ing tlioso who saw it uko a beautiful dream ¡ Lillian fair and graceful, unlike her sister as is s lily to a rose.
They soon became the fashion. No ball or u>irt'f, no dance or concert was considered com- plete without thom. Artists sketched them to- gether as " Lily and Rose," " Night and Morn \ «g, " Sunlight and Moonlight ;" thoy sketched
'ibem separately. Poets indited sonnets to
them; friends, admirors, and lovers thronged .'round thom. As Beatrico said, with a deep drawn sigh of perfect contentment, " this is life,"-and she rovelled in it.
That Bamo year tho Earl of Airlie attained his majority, and bocome the centre pf all fashionable interest. "Whether ho would many»" und "Whom ho would bo'likely to marr) ? ' those two questions interested every mother and daughter in Belgravia. There had not been such an eligible parti for many years. Hie savings of a long minority alone amounted
'o » splendid fortune.
Tbo young earl had vast estates in Scotland, lenton Hall and Craig Castle, two of the Guest scats in England, were his. His mansion "' Belgravia was the envy of all who saw it. r°irog, almost fabulously wealthy, singularly generous and araiablo, tho young Earl of Airlie «a« the centro of at least half a hundred matri womal plots ; but he was not eaBily managed. Mommas with blooming daughters found him a difficult subject. He laughed, talked, danced, walked, and sodc, as society wished him to do ; out no one had touched his heart, or oven his fancy. l,or¿ ¿ir]ie wa3 hea,^.^^ an[j t},ere seemed no prospect of his ever being anything else. Lady Constanco Tachbrook, the prettiest, daintiest coquette in London, brought all her artillery of fascination to play, but without success. The beautiful brunette, Flora Cran- bourne, had laid a wager that, in the coureo of 'wo woltzes, she would .extract three eompli meats from him, bat she failed in tho attempt. Lord Airlie was pronounced incorrigible.
Jhe fact was that his lordship bad been sen «Wy brought up. Ho intended to marry when
e could find some one to love him for himself »na not for his fortune. For this some one
hie ideal of all that -was beautiful, noble, and true in woman-the earl was always aearohing, but as yot had not found.
On all sides bo bad hoard of the boauty of Lord Earle's daughters, but it did not iutorcst him. Ho had been hoaring of, seeing, and fooling disappointed in beautiful women for somo yoors. Many people modo a point of mooting the "new beauties," but ho gavo himself no particular trouble. Thoy were like every one else, ho supposed.
One morning, having nothing olso to do, Lord Airho went to a fite given in tho boautiful grounds of Lady Downham. He wont early, intending only to romain a short time. Ho found but few guests had arrived ; after paying the proper amount of homage to Lady Down ham, the young earl wandered off into the grounds.
It was all very pretty and pleasant, but ho had seen the samo thing beforo, and waa rather tired of it. Tho day was more Italian than English, bright and sunny, tho sky blue, tho air clear and filled with frogronoo, the birds singing as they do Bing undor bright warm skioE.
Flnga wero flying from numerous tonta, bands of music wero stationed iu different parts of the grounds, the fountains played merrily in the sunlit air. Lord Airlie walked mechanically, bowing in reply to the numorous salutations ho
A protty little bower, ti perfect thiokot of roses, caught his attention ; from it one could too nil over the lake, with its gay pleasure boats and tho brilliant crowd who proforred the cool calm water to the land. Lord Airlie sat down, owu ing to himself that he hud never found rosos so fragrant before. His inteution was to amuBo hinvolf somewhat solGshly, by watching other people He boliovad himself to bo quite alone, but boforo he had removed a largo flower that interfered with the full perfeotion of the view, ho heard voices on tho other Bido of the thick sheltering roso-bush.
He listenod involuntarily, for ono of the voices was olear and pure, tho othor full of the richest musio ho had ovor heard, low and traînante,-at timos swoot aa the murmur of the cuBhat dove, and again ringiug joyously and brightly.
" I hopo wo shall not havo to wait boro long, Lillian," tho blithe voico was saying. " Lady Helena promised to tako us on the luke."
" It is Tory pleasant," waB tho reply ; " hut you alwayB like to bo in tbo very contre of gaioty."
"Yea," said Beatrico i "I havo bud enough of solitude and quiot to last ma for life. Ah, Lillian, this ÍB all very beautiful and glorious. You think so, but do not admit it honcBtly BB I
There was a faint musical laugh, and then
the sweot voico resumed.
" I am charmed, Lillian, witb thJB London lifo j this is worth calling lifo, overy inomont ia a goldon one. If thorn ia a drawback, it con- sists in not being able to speak one's mind."
" What do you mean?" asked Lillian.
" Do you not understand ?" was the reply. " Lady Helena is alwayB talking to mo about cultivating what she calls ' ologant reposo.' Poor dear grandmamma, hor perfect idoa of good manners seems to mo to bo a simple ab- sence (in society, at least) of all emotion and all fooling. I, for one, do not admiro the nil ad- miran system."
"I am Büro Lady Holona admires you, Boo,"
Baid the sister.
"Yes," was tho careless roply. "Only magino, Lillian, yesterday, whon Lady Cairn told mo somo story about u favorito young friend of hore, the tears came to my eyes. I could not help it, although the drawing-room waa full. Lady Helona told mo I should represa all outward emotion. Soon after, when Lord DolcliOBtcr told mo a ridioulous story about Lody Everton, I laughed,-heartily, I, muBt confcBS, not loudly, though, and sho looked at mo. I shall novor manage ' ologant roposo.'
" You would not bo half so charming if you did," replied her sister.
" Then it ia so tempting to say at times what one really thinks ¡ I cannot resist it. Whon Lady Everton tolls mo, with that tiresome Bimper, that she ' Really wonders at herself,' I long to tell her other people do the same thing. I should enjoy, for once, tho luxury of telling Mrs. St. John that people flatter her, and then laugh nt her affectation ; it is a luxury to Bpcak tbo truth at all timos, ia it not, Lilly ? I detest every thing falso, oven a falso word ; therefore I fear Lady Helona will never quite approvo of my mnnnor."
" You aro so frank and fearless, At ' Tho Elms,' do you remember how ovory ono seemed to feel that you would say just the right thing at the right time," said Lillian,
" Do not mention that placo," replied Bea- trice j " thiB lifo is so different, I Uko it so much, Lilly-all tho brightness and gaioty. I feel good and contented now. I' was always reBtless and longing for life ; now I havo all I
There was a pauso then, and Lord Airlie louged to soo who the speakers wero-who was the girl that spoke such frank, bright wordB -that loved truth and hated all thingB false, what kind of face went with that voice*, Sud- denly tho young earl remembered that he was listoning, and he started in horror from his seat. Ho pushed asido the clustering roses ; at first he saw nothing hut the goldon blossoms of a drooping laburnum ; then, a little further on, he saw a fair head bonding over some fragrant flowers ; then a face BO beautiful, so perfect, that something like a cry of surprise carne from Lord Airlie's lips.
Ho had seen many beauties, but nothing Uko this queenly young girl. Her dark, bright eyes wore full of fire and light j the long lashes swept her cheok ; tho proud, beautiful lips, so haughty in repose, so sweet when smiling, wero perfect in shape and color. From the noble brow a waving moss of dark air rippled over a white neok and shapeloss shoulders. It was a face to think of and dream of, peerless in its vivid, exquisito coloring and beautiful features. He hardly noticed the fair-haired girl.
" Who can she be ?" thought Lord Airlie. "I believed that I had seen every, beautiful
woman in London."
Satisfied witb having seen what " kind of face went with the voice," the' young earl left the pretty roBo thicket. His friends roust havo thought him slightly deranged. Ho went about asking everyone, " Who ÍB here to-day ?" Amongst others, ho saluted Lord Dolchester with that question.
" I cBn scarcely tell you," replied his lordship. " I am somewhat in a puzzle. If you want to know who is the queen of tbo file, I can tell yon. It is Lord Earle's daughter, Miss Beatrice
Earlo. Sho ;s over thero, see, with Lady Down
Looking in tho diroction indicated, Lord Airlie saw the face thnt haunted him.
" Is that Miss Earlo ?" ho asked, quiotly.
" Yes," said Lord Dolchestor, with a gay laugh. aud if I woro young und unfottorod, sho would not be ' Miss Earle ' much longer."
LOBD AIIILIE guzed long and earnestly at the beautiful girl, who looked so utterly unconscious
of the admiration she excited.
"1 must ask Lady Downham to iutroduco mo," ho said to himself, wondpring whether tho proud face would smile upon him ; aud, if she carried into praotico hor favorito theory of say- ing what she thought, what would sho say to
Lady Downham smiled whon tho young earl mado his request.
" I havo been besoiged by gentloinon request- ing introductions to Miss Earle," she enid.
" Contrary to vour general rulo, Lord Airlie, you go with tho orowd."
He would go anywhero for one word from thoso porfeot lips. Lady Downham led him to the spot whoro Beatrice stood, and in a fow
courteous words introduced him to her.
Lord Airho was celebrated for his amiable, pleasing manner. Ho always know what to say, and how to say it; but whon those magnificent eyos looked into IIÍB own, the young oarl stood
silent und ubaebod. In vain he tried to multar
a few confused words of greeting,- Ins faco flushed, and Beatrico lookod at bim in wonder. Could thiB man gar.i'ng so roverontially at her be the impenetrable Lord Airlie ?
Ho managed at length to say something about the beauty of the grounds and the brightness of tho day. Plainly as eyes could Bpçak, hors askod, had ho nothing to say ?
Ho lingered by her sido, charmed and fasci- nated by¡Jior graooj sho talked to Lillian and to Lady Holuna ; she received the homage offered lo her so unconscious of his proscnoo and his regard, that Lord Airlie waa piquod.
Ho waa not acou6toiuod to bo overlooked.
"Do you novor grow tired of flowers and files, Miss Earlo?" ho asked at length.
" No," replied Bortrico, ',' I could novcr grow tired of flowers, who cbuld ? , As for files, I have seen low, und havo liked each ono hotter than the last."
" Perhaps your life has not boen hko mino, spent umongst thom," ho said,
" I havo livod amongst flowore," ehe replied, " but not amongBt fates ; thoy bave all tho charm of novelty for mo." *
" I nhould like to enjoy them as you do," ho said. " I WÍBII you would toaoh mo, SIiss Earle."
Sho laughed gaily, and tho sound of that laugh, Uko a sweet, silvery chime, charmed Lord
Airlio still more.
Ho found out the prettiest plcusuro boat, and persuaded Beatrice to lot him row her aoross I tho lake. Ho gathered a beautiful water-lily
for hor. Whon thoy landed ho found ont a Boat in the prettiest spot and placed hor there.
Her simplo manner delighted him. Ho had novor met any ono Uko her. Sho did not blush or look oonsoiouB, or recoivo his uttontions with the half-fluttered sentimental air common to
moBt young ludios of his acquaintance
She never appeared to romombor that ho WUB Lord Aiilie, or sought by any artifice to koop him nour hor. Tho bright sunny bourB Boomed to pass rapidly lia a di cuni. Long befoio'tlio day ended tbo young earl said to himsolf that ho bud met his fato, that if it took years to win her ho would count thom well spent, that in all the wido world she WOB the " only ono " for him.
Lord Earlo was somewhat amused by tho solicitudo tho young noblomun showed in making IIÍB acquaintance and consulting his tastofl. Aftor Lady Downham'e filo ho called regularly at tho houso. Lady Helona liked him, but could baldly decide which of her grund
children it was that attracted him.
Tho fastidious dainty young oarl, who h.id smiled of tho idoa of love, and had disappointed' half the fusliionsblo mothers in Bolgravia, found
himself a victim at last. * !
? Ho WOB diffident of his "own poworo, hurdly during to hopo tlmt hu should succeed in win- ning the most beautiful and gifted girl in London. Ho was timid in her presence, and took rofugo
All fashionable London was taken by surpriao when Lord Airlio throw open his magnificent house, and, under tbo gracious auspices of his aunt, Lady Lccomtc, issued invitations for-a grand ball.
Many wero the conjecturée, and great tho excitement. Lord Earlo smiled as ho showed Lady Helena tho cards of invitation.
" Of course you will go," ho said. " Wo have no cngagomont for that day. Soo that the girls look their best, mothor."
Ho felt very proud of his daughters ; Lillian looking EO fair and sweet in her white silk dross and favorite poarls ¡ Boatrieo liko o quoon, in a cloud of white lace, with coquettish dashes of crimson. The " Earlo " diamonds Bhono in her dark hair, clasped the fair whito throat, and circled the beautiful arms. A magnificent pomegranate blossom luy in the boddice of her dress, and she carried a bouquet of whito lilies
mixed with scarlet verbena.
The excitement over the ball had been great It seemed Uko a stop in the right direction at last. Tho question was, with whom would Lord Airlie open the ball ? All the belles and beauties were on the qui vive.
Tho question was soon decided. Whon Bea- trico Earle ontcred tho room Lord Airlie went straight to meet her, and solicited her hand for the first dance. She did not know how much was meant by that one action.
He wondered1 as bo lookod upon her, the queen of tho most brilliant ball of the season, whether she would ever lovo him,-if it was within the limits or bounds of possibility that sho should ever care for him. That evening, for tho first time, he touched the proud heart of Beatrice Earle. On all sides Bho heard
nothing but praises of Lord Airlie,-his wealth, talent, his handsome porson and chivalrous manner. The ladies wero eloquent in praise of their young host. Sho looked at him, and for the first time remarked the noblo, dignified car- riage, the tall, erect figure, the clear-out patri- cian face,-not handsome, according to the rules of beauty, but from the truth and honor written there in nature's plainest band.
Then Bho saw-and it struck her with sur- prise-how Lord Airlie, so courted and sought after, distinguished her. She saw smiles upon friendly faces, and beard her ñamo mingled with
" My dear Miss Earle," said Lady Everton, "you havo accomplished wonders-conquered the unconquerable. I believe every* eligible
young lady in London has smiled on Lord | Airlio, and all in vain. What charm havo yon used to bring him to your feet ?"
"I did not know ho was there," replied Boa trice. "You like figurative language, Lud)
" You will find I am right," roturucd Lady Everton. " Romomber I was tho first to con- gratulate you."
Beatrico wondered, in a Bweot, vaguo way, if I thoro could bo anything in it. Sho lookod again j at Lord Airlio. Surely any one might bo pioud of tho love of suoh a man. Ho caught her glance, and hot- face fluohod. In a moment ho was by hor side.
" MisB Earle," ho said, ougorly, " you told mo tho othor duy you liked flowers. If you have not boon in tho conservator), niay I escort you thoro ?" ,
Sho silently accepted his arm, and thoy went through tho muguificont suite of rooms into tho cool, fragrant conservatory.
Tho pretty fountain in the midst rippled musically, aud tho lamps gleamod Uko palo stnrB botweou masses of gorgeous colors.
Beatrico wss almost bewildered by tho profu- sion of hoautiful plants. Tier aftor tier of BU perb flow crs rose, until tho eye w as dazzled by tho varied hues and brightness-delicate whito heaths of raro pet fection, flaming azaleas, fuchsius that looked Uko show ors of purple ied wine. Tho plant that charmed "poatrico most
was ono from far-off Indian clunes-dohcato perfumed blossoms, dangling like golden bolls from thick, sheltering groon ' leavos. MisB Earlo stood boforo it, silent in eheoundmiration. ' " You Uko that flower ?" said Lord Airlie.
" It is one of tho'prottioBt I over saw," sho replied.
In a momout ho gathered tho fairest sproyB from the prooious Iroo. She criod out in dismay
"Nay," said Lord Airlio, "if ovor) flower boro could bo compressed' into one blossom, it would hardly be a fitting offering to you."
She smilod at the vory Fronch comphmout, and ho continued,-"I shall always have a great nffootion for that tree."
"Why?" she asked, uuoonnoiously.
" Bocauso it has ploa-od you," ho roplied.
Thoy stood by tho pretty plant, Boatrioo touching tho goldon hells softly with her fingett. Somothing of1 tho1 magic of tho scone touched her. She aid not know why tho fountain i ipplod so musically, why the Howers seemed doubly fair UB her young lover tulkod to hor. Sho had boon loved. Sho had hoard inneli of lovo, hut sho herself h id 'never known what it really meant. Sho did not'know why, after a timo, hor proud bright oyes drooped, und no\or mot Lord Airlio's gaze,-why hor face flushed, and grow palo ¡ why his words woko a now, strungo, boautiful music in hor heart,-musió that uovcr died, until---"
" I ask for ¿ne spray,-only ono,-to keep in momory of this ploasmit hour," said Lord Airlio, after a pause.
Sho gave him a spray of tho delicate golden bells. f
" 1 should Uko to bo curious' and rude," ho said, " and ask if you over gavo any one a flower beforo?" , , I
" No," sho replied. <
"Then,I shall prizo, this doubly," ho iptei. rnptcd. , ,
That evening Lord Airlio placed tho golden blossom carefully away. . Tho time carno whep ho would have purted with any treuimro on ourUi rather than that.
But his question, had suddenly disturbed Beatrice. For a moment her'thoughts flow to tho aca-shoro at Knutsford. Tho present faded from her ¡ abo saw Hugh Fornoly's fnco us it lookod whon ho offcrod her tho beautiful lily. Tho vory rotnombranco mado hor shudder as though seized with mortal oold,-and Lord
Airlio Baw it.
" You aro cold," ho said ; " how oarcloss I am to koop yon standing 1" 'Ho helped hor to draw tho costly lace shawl around hor shoulders ¡ then Beatrice was herBelf again, and thoy relumed to tho ball-room j but Lord Airlio lingorod hy Mies Earle. ' _ "
" You havo enjoyed this ball, Beatrice ?" said Lord Earlo, asho bailo his daughters good-night.
" I havo, indeod, papa," she replied ¡ " this" has hoon the happioBt ovoning of my life.",
i " I can guess why," thought Lord Earle, OB ho kissed tho bright faco upraieed to bim ; " thoro will bo no Jwrotohod underhand lovo business there."
Ho^as not much surprised on tho day follow- ing when Lord Airlio was the first morning caller, and romaiuod until last, not leaving until Lady Holona told bim thoy Bhould all bo at tho opera that ovoning, and should perhaps soo him thoro. Ho regretted that bo had promiecd Lady Mordon his box for (benight ; in answor to whioh Lady Earlo felt hors elf bound to aBk him to join them in thcirB. ,
All night Beatrice had dreamed of the true noblo faco which began to haunt her. She, usually ao careless and regardless of all flattery, remembered every word Lord Airlio hod Bpoken. Gould it bo truo what Lady Everton said, that
ho eared for her ?
Her lover would havo boon spared many anxious hours could bo havo soon how the goldon blosiomB wero' tended und cared for. Long afterwards thoy wore found with tho littlo treasuros'guarded so carefully.
When Lord Airlie had taken his departure, and Lord Earlo found himBolf alone with his mother, Jio turned to her with the happioBt look sho had ever Been upon his face.
"That seems to mo a settled affair," he said. " Beatrice will make a grand countess-Lady Airlio, of Lynnton. Ho L 'ho finest young fel- low and tho best matoh iu England. Ah, mother, my folly .might havo been punished moro severely. Thoro will be no mésalliance
" No," said Lady Earlo, " I havo no fear for Beatrice ; sbo is too proud ever to do wrong."
IT was a protty'lovo Btory, although told m I crowded London ball-rooms, instead of under tho shade of green treoB, Beatrice Earle began
by wondering if Lord Airlio did caro for hor; j
she ended in loving bim hcrBelf.
It was no child's play this time ; with Bca
trio to lovo once waB to love for over, with a I
fervor and intensity which cold and worldly |
natures cannot oven understand.
Tho time oamo when Lord Airlie stood cut distinct frotn the world, when tho sound of his name was like music, when she saw no other
face, heard no other voice, thought of nothing clso save him. He began to think there might bo some hopo for Him ; the proud, beautiful face softened and brightened for him as it did for no other, the glorious dark eye« never met bia own,
the frank, bright words died away in his pre- sence. Seeing all thoso things, Lord Airlio felt some little hope.
For the first time ho felt proud and pleased with the noble fortune and high rank that was his by birthright. He had not eared much for thom beforo ; now ho rejoiced that ho could lavish wealth and luxury upon ono so fair and worthy as Bearrico Earle.
Lord Airlie was not a confident lovor. There wero times when he felt uncertain as towhothor he should succeed. Porhops truo und roverential love is always timid. Lord Earlo had smiled to himeelf many long wooka at tho " pretty play " enacted beforo him, and Lady Earle wondered " whon tho young man would spoak out," loug beforo Lord Airlie himself presumed to think that tho fairest and proudest girl in Loudon would aocopt him.
No day over passed during whioh ho did not muuago to eco hor. Ho was indefatigable in finding out tho balls, soirées, and operas she would attend. Ho was her constant shadow, never happy out of her sight, thinking of her all duy, dreaming of her at night, yet half nfriud to risk nil and ask hor to bo his wife, lost he should lose hor.
To uninterested spootators, Lord Airlio wua a handsome, kindly, honorable young mun. Intellectual, sntnunhnt fastidious, lavishly generous, a gieat patron of tbo fino arts; to Beoti'ieo E'irlo ho was tho ideal of all that was noble and geneious. Ho was a prtneo amongst mun. Tho proud heart was conquerod. She loved him, and she suid to hoiself that sho would rather lovo lum as a noglootod wifo than bo tho worshipped wife of any other man.
Tho remembrance of Hugh Fornoly crossed her mind at timoi-not very ofton, und novor with any groat foav or npprohonsion. It seemed to hov moro Uko ti dark, disugreoablo drouin, tliiin a reality. Could it hu possiblo that sho, Beiitnco Earlo, the daughtor of that proud, noblo father, so Btornly truthful, BO honoiablo, could ever have boen so mad or so foolish ? Tho vory roniouibranco of it inndo tho beautiful faco crimson. Sho could not onduro the thought, and nlways drovo it hastily fiom hor.
The 15th of July was drawing noar ; tho two years had nearly passed, yet sho was not afraid. Ho might never return, ho might forgot her, although, remouiboring his looks and words, that sho feared could not bu. If-oven if ho went to Seabay-if ho wont to " Tho Elms," it was not probable that ho would ovor discover horl whereabouts, or follow her to olium that ub Burd promise. At tho vory worst, if ho dis- covered that she wiis Lord Eavlo's daughter, sho believed that hor rank and position would dii7zlo and frighten bim. Raroly ua those thoughts came to hor, and Bpoodily as Bho thiust them from her, sho considered thom a voiy dear priée for the littlo novelty ond ox eitoment that bud biokon tho dead level calm of lifo at "The Elms."
Lord Airlio, dobnting within himBolf whether ho should risk tho q.iostion upon which tho happiness of his Ufo dopondod, during tho whirl and turmoil of tho.London season, decided that ho would wail until Lord Earle roturnod to Earlesoourt, und follow him thoro.
« The summer bogan to grow warm ; tho haw- thorn and uppjo blosBornB, had all diod away; the corn waved in tho fields, ripo and golden ; the hay was all,gnthoiod in ; tho orchards woro Ulled with fr»it- , ï'io 15th of ( July-tho day.
that in her heart Beatrico Earle had half feared -was pust mid gouo. She bud boon nervous and half frightenod whon it carno, starting, and turning deadly palo at the sound of the bell, or of rapid faoUtopa Sho laughed at ' horsolf when the day ended ; how was it likely ho would find her ? What was thoro in common
bbtwceu the boautiful daughtor of Lord Earlo and Hugh Funioly, tho captain of a trading vessel ? Nothing, suvo folly, and a foolish pro miso, rashly askod nnd rashly givon.
Tin oo days boforo Lord Earle loft London ho wont, by appointment, to meet somo friends ut Brookes'. While thoio, u gentleman ontorod the room who drew his attention most forcibly, -a young" man, of tall and Btately figuro, a noblo head, ' magnificently Bot upon broad shoulders; a fino manly figuro, with proud feu turoa, changing every moment,-at tnnoB all uro and light, the eyes clear and glowing ; again, gentío aa the faco of a amiling woman. Lord Earle looked at him attentively ¡ thoro scomod to him something fucniliur in tho grand outlino of the hoad und face ; something he lind anco known and loved in the quiok, impetuous movemonts, tho imporial ourriago, so strongly mixed with easy, Biniling giaco.
" Who is that ?" ho inquired of his friend, Captain Langton. "I huvo eithor soon that gentleman beforo, or havo droamod of bim "
" Is it possiblo you do not know him ?" cried the enptuin. "Thut ÍB Lionel Duero, your ' next of kin,' if I am not miBtnkou."
Pleasure and pain Btrugglod in Lord Earlo'B heart. He romomboiod Lionel many yoarB ago, long boforo he did tho faoliBh deed that had cost him so much. Lionol bad spent somo timo with him ut Eailcscourt ; ho remembered a pi in eely boy, handsome and high-spirited, proud and impetuous, bravo to rashness, gonorous to a fault ; a floreo hator of everything moan and underhand, truthful and honorable; his greatest error want'df cool, calm thought.
Lionce Dacre was a poor relation in thoso days ; now ho was heir of Earloscourt, heir to tho title that, with all his strange political notionB, Ronald Earlo over hold in high honor ; heir to tho grand old mansion and fair domain his father had prized so highly. Pleasure and pain wera strangely intermingled in his hourt
when ho remembered that no son of his would ever succeed him, that ho should never train his BUccessorV Tho handsome boy, who had once seemed so far beneath him, must take his placo one doy.
Lord Earle crossed 'the room, and, going up to the young man, laid ono hand gently upon
" Lionel," he said, " it is many years since wo mot. Havo you no remembrance of mo ?"
i Tho frank, clear eyes looked straight into his. Lord Eurle's heart warmed as ho guzod at the honöst, handsome fuco.
, " Not tbo least in the world," ropliod Mr. Daero^ slowly. ',' I do not remember over seeing you boforo."
i "Thon I must havo changed," said Lord ¿orlo. " When I BOW you last, Lionol, you were little more than twelve years old, and I gavo you a tip the day you went back to Eton. Charlie Villiers was with you."
"You oro Lord, Earle," interrupted Lionol. "I carno to London purposely to seo you;" and his frank face flushed, and ho hold out his band in greeting. /
"I have been anxious to see you," said Lord Earle. "I bare not been long in England,
We must bo better acquainted; you aro my
"Your what," eaid Mr, Daoro, wondoringly.
" My heir," replied Lord Earle. " I have no son ; my ostatos aro entailed, and you aro my
noxt of kin."
" I thought you had half-a-dozen heirs and heircsse'e," enid Lionel. " I romombor some story of a marriugo ; to-day I hoar of nothing
but the bountiful Miss Earle."
" I have no Bon," interrupted Lord Earlei Badly. " I wrote to you lost week, tiskùig you to visit mo. Havo you any settled home ?"
" No," roplied tho young man, gaily. " My mothor is at Cowes, and I havo boon with her."
" Whore aro you staying ?" asked Lord Earlo. .' I am with Captain Poyntz at his chambers ; I promised to spond somo days with 'him," re- plied Liouol, who began to look slightly be-
" I must not ask yuu to breuk an ongugo mont," said Lord Earlo ; " will you dine with na this ovoning, nnd whon you lcavo Captain Poyntz como to us ?"
" I shall bo very plonsod," suid Lionel, and tho two gentlemen loft Brookes' togathei.
" I must introduce you to Lnily Earle and my daughtors," suid Ronald, us thoy walked along. " I have beon so long absent from home and friends thai ii scorns strange to claim relation- ship with auy one."
" I novor could understand your fauoy for
broiling in Africa when you might lmvo been ' happier und havo dono good at homo," Biiid
" Did you not know p have you novor hoard why I went abroud ?" askod Lord Enrlo, gravely.
" No," roplied Lionel. " Your father neve invited mo to Enrlosconrt after you loft."
In ti fow words Lord Earlo told his heir that ho had married against IIÍB fathor's wish, and in consequence had novor boon pardoned.
" And you gavo up everything," said Lionel Duero,-" homo, friends, and position, for tho lovo ol' one woninn ! Sho must havo boon well worth loving."
Lord Earlo grow pulo, us with suddon pain, j
Had Dom been so woll worth loving P Hod she boon worth the heavy prico ?
" You uro my heir," ho said, gruvoly, " one of my own ruco ¡ bofoieyouontorour family circle, Lionol, and tako your piuco thoro, I iiniiat tell you that my wife and I pin tod yours ego, never to mool, nguiu. Do not mention her to mo ¡ it pnins ino,"
i iiouol lookod at t ho sad faco ; hu could under- stand tho shudowB thoro now,
" I .will not," ho said. " She must have boon-" ?'*
"Not ono word moro," intorrupled Lord Enrlo. " In your thoughts lay no unjust binnie to hor. Sho loft mo of hor own froo will. My mothor lives with mo ; BIIO will bo ploiiBcd to soo you. Romombor, 7 sharp."
" I shall not forgot," said Lionel, pained at
the sad words and the Bad voico.
As Loid Eurie woul home, ho thought moro thun ho bud over dono before. " ' She must havo boon-' Wluit-what did Lionol suspect her of? Poor Dora I" For Iho first timo during thosu longyourB a softer and moro gentío thought of Dora raino to him. Could it ho that, seeing thoir divided lives, peoplo judged na his young kinsman bud judgedP-that they thought Dora wrong, oriminal, porliupa ? And sho had novor hi hor whole Hfu givon ono thought to any other than himsolf; nny, her very errors-tho deed ho nould jiot pardon-carno from hor grout, af-
fection for bim.
Poor Dorn, tho pretty blushing faco, willi its sweet shy oyos and rosy lips, oiuno boforo bim, tho artless, girlish love, tho tender worship. Tf it bud .boen anything OIBO, any other fuult, ho must havo forgiven her in thut hour. But his wholo henri recoiled nguiu as tho hutcd scono
roso beforo bim.
"No," ho said. " I cannot forgive it. lean not forgot it. Mon shall respoet Dora ¡ no ono must lniejudgo her; bul 1 ounnot luke hor to my heart or my homo uguin."
" In tho hour of doath," ho murmured, " I will forgivo hor."
ÍTO lill CONTINUE».]