|Chapter Number||XXXIII - XXXVI|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
By the author of " Lady Huttoa'a Ward," 4o.
A yrBOlE week had passed, and tho " sonfe tbing " Beatrice" longed for had not happoned. Life went on quiotly and Bmoothly. Hor father »nd Lady Earle busiod themBolves in talking of preparations for tho marriage. Lionel Dacro and Lillian slowly drifted into tho fairyland of hopo. Lord Airlie wroto every day. The flowers bloomed, the birds sang, and the sun shone, just as though no dark secret hung over
Every morning Beatrice, with tho sanguino hopefulness of youth, said to herself, " Some- thing will happen to-day ;" every night she thought, " something must happen to-morrow ;" but days and nights went on calmly, unbroken by any event or incident Buch as BIIO wished.
The timo of roprievo was rapidly passing. What should BIIO do if, at the end of the three weeks, Lord Airlio roturned and Hugh Fornely carno to Earlescourt ? Through tho long Bunny hours that question tortured her, tho suspenae siokoned her. Thoro were times when she thought it would bo easier and better to dio at once than pass through this lingoring agony of
But Bhe was young, and youth is over san I juiuo ¡ she WUB bravo, and tho bravo raroly de-
spair. She did not quite realise the difficulties of her position ; and she did not think it possible that anything could happon to tako her
from Hubert Airlio.
Only ono porson noted the chango in Boatrice, and that WUB her sister, Lillian Earlo. Lillian missed tho high spirits, tho brilliant ropartoo, tho gay words, that had nando homo so bright ; over and ovor again she had said to horsolf that all was not well with her sister.
Lillian had hor own Booret-ono she had hardly as yet whispered to herself. From her earliest childhood sho had been accustomed to give way to Boatrico. Not that there was over any partiality displayed, but tho wilful young beauty genorally contriyed to hnvo her own way. By her engaging manner and high spirits, sho Bccured everyone's attention ¡ and thuB Lillian was in part forgotten, and another instance af- forded of tho truiam that two suns can never shiue in one hemisphere.
She was very fair and gentío, this golden haired daughter of Ronald Earle. Her face was so puro and spiritual that it might huvo becu sketched for the face of an angol ; the tender violet eyos were full of cloquonce, the white brow full of thought. Her boauty novor dazzled, novor took anyono by storm ; it won by slow degrees a plnco in one's heart.
She was of a thoughtful, unobtrusivo naturo j nothing could have made her worldly, nothing oould have ruado her proud. Sweot, calm, serene, ignorant aliko of tho heights of happi- ness and tho depths of despair, gifted too with a singularly patient disposition and amiablo temper, no one had over seon Lillian Earle angry or hasty ¡ her very preaenco seemed ful of rest and peace.
Naturo had riohly ondowod her. She had a quick, yivid fancy, a raro and beautiful imagina- tion ¡ and perhaps her grandest gift was a «trong, deep lovo for religion. Not that Lillian was given to " preaching," or boing diB agroeably " proper," but high and holy thoughts carno naturally to her. When Lord Earlo wanted nmusomont, ho sont for Beatrice-no one could whilo away the long hours as Beatrice could j when ho wantod comfort, ndvioo, sym- pathy, ho sought Lillian. Every ono loved her, much as ono IOVCB the sunbeams that bring light
Lionel Dacro lovod hor host of all. His only wonder was that any could ovon look at Boatrico when tho was near. Ho wondored somotimes whether sho had not been made ox pressly for him-sho was so strong whero bo was weak, hor calm sereno pntienco controlled his impetuosity, hor gentío thoughtfulnoss balanced bis recklessness, hor sweet graceful humility cor- rected his prido.
Sho influenced him moro than ho know-one word from her did wonders with him. Ho loved her for her fair beauty, but most of all for tho pure guileless heart thnt know no shadow of ovil-the world had novor even broathed upon
Lionel Dacro had peculiar ideas about women. His inothor, who had been a belle and a beauty in her day, was worldly even to the tips of her fingers. The only le.aons she had over taught him wero how to keep up appearances, how to study fashionable life and keep pace with it. Ho neuer remembered that she had folded his little
hands and taught him a prayer-Mrs, Dacre would have thought that lost time.
She had been a lady of fashion, struggling always with narrow means j and there were times whon her son's heart grow-sick, remem boring the falseness, tho meanness, the petty cunning manoeuvres she had been obliged to practico.
As he grew older, and began to look round the world, he was not favorably impressed. Tho ladies of his mother's circlo wore all striving to- gether for the foremost placo. He heard of enTyi joalousy, scandal, untruth, until ho won- dered if all women were alike.
He himself was of a singularly truthful, honorablo nature-all docoit,"all false appear-
ances were hateful to him. Ho bad formed to himself on ideal wife, and ho rcBolvod to livo and die unmarried unless ho could find Bomo one to realise it.
Lillian Earlo did. Ho watched her keenly ; she was truthful and open na the day. Ho never heard a false word from her, not even ono of the trifling excuses that pass current in so- ciety for truth. Ho said to himself, if any ono waB perfect, surely Bhe ÍB. Ho could dotect no fault, nnd the virtue that ho loved best waa hers. To use his own expression, ho let his heart rest in her ; all he had ever hoped for or dreamed of waB centred in her. He set to work deliberately and with all the ardor of his impetuous naturo
to win her lovo.
At first she did not understand him ; then by degrees he watched tho pure young heart awaken to con»ciousneBB ; it was the prettiest development of love ever witnessed. At the sound of his footsteps or his voice the faint beautiful color flushed into her face, the light came into her oyes ; and whon ho stood by her «de, bending his handsome hoad to read her secret, she would speak one or two words, then Mrry away from him. If ho wished to join " in her walks or rides, she begged to bo ex
with trembling lips and drooping eyes.
^She hardly know herself what had como to
why the world eeomed suddenly to haye skyW1_ 6° fair~Bhftt msd° ire»h lu,'re in tho
. , e' ?*? Taguo delicious happiness stirred 1 e eeatl° heart. She longed for, yet half
dreaded, Lionel's presence. When ho was near her, the little hands trembled, and tho sweet faco grow warm and fluihcd. Yet tho moasure of her content and happiness seomed full.
Lionel saw it all, and ho wondered why such a precious treasuro as tho love of this puro in- nocent girl should bo his. What had ho over douo to desorvo it ? Through her ho began to rospoct all other women, through hor ho bogan to valuo tho high and holy teachings ho had hitherto overlooked. She was his ideal realised. If over tho timo shouid come for him to bo dis- appointed in her, thon ho would boliovo all things false-but it novor could bo.
How should he toll hor of his lovo?-It would bo Uko trying to cugo a startled dolicato bird. Ho stood abashed before hor Bwoot innooonco.
But the time carno whon ho rosolved to woo and win her-whon ho felt that hÍB Ufo would bo unbearable without her; and ho said to himself that Lillian Earlo, tho swootost and purest, and fairest, and boat of girls should bo his wife, or ho would novor look upon a woman's faco nguiu.
Lionol felt somo slight jealousy of Beatrico ¡ ho paid doarly for it in tho dark aftorduys. Ho fancied that sho eclipsed Lillian. Ha thought that if ho spoko to Lord Earle of his lovo, ho would insist upon both marriages taking placo on ono day ; and then his fair, gentío love would, as usual, bo second to her brilliant Bister.
" That sholl never bo," ho said to himsolf. "Lillian shall hayo a wodding-day all hor own, the honora unshared. She shall bo tho ouo contro of attraction, tho ouo thought."
Ho dotorminod to say nothing to Lord Earlo until Beatrice was married ; surely thoir wedding must tako place soon. Lord Airlio seemed un- able to exist out of hor prosonco. Whon they wore marriod and gone, Lillian should havo hor turn of admiration and lovo. It was nothing but proud, jealous caro for hor that mado bira delay.
And Lillian discovered her own secret at lnet. She know Bho loved Lionel. Ho was unlike any ono olse. Who was BO handsome, eo bravo, or good ? Sho liked to look shyly at tbo frank, proud face, nnd the caroloss wave of hair thrown back from his brow ; his voico made
musio in her henrt, and Bhe wondered whother I ho really earod for her.
In her raro sweot humility sho novor saw how far sho was abovo him ¡ she novor droamod that ho looked up to her as a captain to his quoou. Ho was ulwaya by hor aide, ho paid hor a thou Band graceful attentions, ho sought hor advico and sympathy ; some unspoken words seomed cvor on his lips. Lillian Earlo asked horsolf ovor and ovor again did ho love her.
Sho was soon to know. From Borne enrolóse words of Lord Enrlo's Lionol gathered that Beatrice's marriago would take placo in Novom bor. Thon ho decided, if ho coould win hor consont, that Lillian's wodding should bo whon the spring flowers woro blooming.
August, with its rioh warm days, had ended. Early in September Lillian stood alono on 'tho «boro of the deop, clear lake. Lionol saw hor there, and hastened to join her, wondering at the gravo expression on her face.
"What aro you thinking of, Lilly ?" ho asked.
" You look sad and sorious."
" I was thinking of Boatrico," sho replied j " Bho seems so changed, so dill.rent. I cannot
" I can," said Lionel. " You forget aho will Boon lonvo tho old life far behind her. Sho ia going into a new world ¡ a chango BO groat may well moko one thoughtful.
" Sho loveB Lord Airlio," returned Lillian
sho could hear even then tho musical voico say- j ing, " I lovo him BO dearly, Lilly "-" Bho can- not bo unhappy."
"I do not mean that," ho replied ¡ " thought and BÜcnco aro not always caused by unhappi ncBB. Ah, Lilly," ho oried, " I wondor if you guess ovor BO faintly at tho thoughts that fill my heart j I wonder if you know how doarly I lovo you. Nay, do not turn from mo, do not look frightoncd. To mo you uro the truest, noblest, and fairest woman in tho world. I lovo you so fully, Lilly, that I have not a thought or wish away from you. I am not worthy to win you, I know ; you aro far above me, as is the Bun shining overhead ¡ but if you would try, you might mako mo what you would. Could you
uko mc ?"
Tho swoct flushed faco was raised to his ; ho road tbo happiness shining in tho clear eyes ; but she could not spenk to him ; words Beemod to die upon her lips. Lionel took the little whito hands, and clasped them in hÍB own.
" I know I Bhould frighten you, Lilly," he said, gently. " Forgivo mo if I spoko too abruptly. I do not wish you to decido at once. Tako mo on trial-EOO if you can loam to love mo in weoks, months, or years. I am willing to waid a wholo Ufo-timo for you, my darling, and would think the timo well spent. Will it bo possible for you ever to like mo ?"
" I like you now," she said, Bimply.
" Thon promiso to endeavor to love me," he persisted-" will you,Lilly ? I will do anything you wish mo j I will try my best to bo half as good as you aro. Promise mo, darling-my life haBgs on your answer."
" I promiso," she said ; and ho know how
much the words meant.
On the little white hand that rested in his own ho sow a pretty ring ; it was a largo poarl set in pale gold. Lionel drew it from her
" I shall take this, Lilly," he said ; " and when Beatrice is married and gono, I sholl go to Lord Earle ond ask him to givo you to mo. I will not go now ; wo will keep our Boorot for a Bhort time. Two lovo affairs nt once would bo too much. You will leam to love me, and when the spring time comefl perhaps you will make me OB happy as Lord Airlio is now. I shall keep the ring, Lillian ¡ you are my pearl, and this will remind mo of you. Just to mako me very happy, say you are pleaaod."
" I will say more than that," she replied, a hoppy smile rippling over her face-" I bavo more than half learned my lesson."
Ho kissed the pretty hand and lookod at the fair, flushed face he dare not touch with his lips.
" I cannot thank you," he said, his voice full of emotion. " I will live for you, Lilly, and my life Bhall prove my gratitude. I begin to wish the spring were nearer. I wonder if you will havo learned your lesson then."
LOBD A-BMB'B return to Earlescourt had been delayed. The changes to take place at Lynnton involved moro than he thought. It wa» quite three weeks bofore he could leave the Hall and sock again tho presence bo lovod best
Three weeks, and nothing had happened. Beatrice had watohed caoh day begin and end
until her hoart grew faint with foar ; she WOB as far as over from a solution of her difficulties as far as ovor from finding herself freed from Hugh Fornoly.
Lord Airlio on his arrival wis startled at tho chango in her brilliant faco. Yot ho was flat- tered by it He thought how intensely sho muet lovo him, if hi. abBonco could affect hor BO Btrongly. Ho kissed tho pule featuroB ovor and ovor again, declaring that ho would not leavo her any moro-no ono elso knew how to tako
care of her.
Thoy wero all pleased to wolcomo him, for every one liked Lord Airlio, and the family cirelo did not soem comploto without him. That very night ho had an lnterviow with Lord Earlo, and besought him to allow tho marriage to tako place as soon aa possible. Ho had boon miser ablo away from Boatrico, ho doolnrod, and ho thought Bhe looked palo and grave. Would Lord Earlo bo willing to say Novombor, or tho
lattor end of Octoboi ?
" My daughter must arran.o tho timo hor self," said Lord Earlo¡ "whatever day sho choosos will moot my approval."
Lord Airlie w ont back to the drawing-room whoio ho had loft Beatnco, and told hor Lord Eoilo's answer, Bho smiled, but ho saw the proud lips quivor as sho did so.
WaB ovor woman woood so chivalrously ? At another timo, only ono mouth since, his pas sionato loving words would havo mado BwootoBt mueio to hor, now she hatonodand tried to look Uko horsolf, but hor hoart »as cold with vaguo,
" Tho 14th of October." Clover Lord Airlio -by somo system of calculation known only to himself, ho persuaded Beatnco that that was tho
1 lattor end of tho month "
" Not another word," ho said, gally. "I will go and toll Lord Earlo. Do not eny aftorwards that you havo ohanged your mind, as many ladies do Beatrice, say to mo, ' Hubort, I pro- miso to marry you on tho 11th of Ootobor."
She ropcatod tho words aftor him.
" It «ill bo almost wmtor," ho added ; " tho flowers will havo faded, tho loavoB will havo fallon from tho troos ; yot no suminor day mil over bo so bright OB that."
Sho watched him quit tho room, and a long, low cry o»mo from hoi lips. Would it ovor bo ? She nont to the window, and lookod at the trees. Whon tho groon loaves lay do_d, should sho bo Loid Airho's wife?-or would tho dark oloud of shame and sorrow have fallen, hiding her for over from his sight ?
Ah, if sho had bcon moro prudent ' How tamo and foolish, how distasteful the romaneo sho had once thought delightful seomed nowl
If she had but told all to Lord Earle !
It wa» too lato now It is hard for youth to suffer. Despito the deadly fear that was coiled around hor heart, Boatrico still folt Bomotlung hko hopo. Hope is tho last thing to die in the human broaBt, it was not yot dead in hora.
At loast for that one evening-tho first of Loid Airho's loturn-Bho would bo happy. She would throw tho dink shadow away fiom hor, folget it, and onjoy hor lover's society. Ho should soo smiles on her faco, and hear bright notds such us he loved. Let the morrow bung what it would, she would bo happy to night. And sho kept hor word.
Lord Airlio lookod book afterwards on that ovening as ouo of tho plonsantcst of his life. Thcro was no shade upon the beautiful faco ho lovod so well. Beatrice was all life and anima- tion , hor gay, 8«eot words charmed ovory ono who heard thom Evon Lionel foi got to bo jealous, and admired hor moro than ho ovor
Lord Earlo smilod as ho rcinmkod to Lady Holena that all hor fcurB for hor grandchild's health woro vam-tho truo physician hud como
Whon Lord Airlio bado Beatrice good night ho bent low ovor tho whitojowolledhand.
" I forget all time when with you," ho said , " it does not seem to mo ton minutes since I carno to Earlcaoourt "
The morrow had to como , and it brought tho lottor sho bad dreudod, yot expected to see.
It waB not filled with loving, pnasionato wordB, as was tho first Hugh had writ ton. Ho said the timo had como whon ho must havo an unBwor whon ho mUBt know from hor own lips at what period ho might claim tho fulfilment of hoi pro- miso-whon eho would bo his wife.
Ho would wait no longer If it waa to bo war, lot tbo war begin ; ho should win. If peace, so much tho bolter. In any case, ho was tired of suspense, and must know at once what Bho intonded to do. Ho would trust to no moro promises ; that very night ho would bo at Earlcscourt, and mUBt seo her. Still, though ho intonded to enforce his rights, ho would not wantonly causo her pam. Ho would not Beek tho prosenco of hor father until she had seen him, and tboy had settled upon somo plan of
" I know the grounds round Earlcscourt well," ho wroto. " I wandered through thom many nights three weeks ago. Thoro IB u nar- row path runs from tho gardens to tho shrub bory , moot mo thoro at 0 , it will bo dark then, and you need not fear being Boon. Remember, Beatrice, at 9 to night I shall be thcro, and if you do not come I must aeok you in the IIOUBO -for BOO you I will."
Tho lottor fell from her hnnde ; cold drops of fear and shamo Btood upon hor brow ; hatred and disgust filled her hoart. Oh, that she should over hovo placed horsolf in tho power of
such a man '
Tho blow had fallen at last. She stood faco to face with her shamo and fear. How could sho meet Hugh Fernoly ? What should she say to him ? How must such a meeting end ? It would but anger him tbo moro. " He should not even touch her hand in greeting," she said to horsolf, and how could he enduro hor con- tempt ?
She would not see him, She dare not How could she find time? Lord Airlie never left her Bido. She could not meet Hugh. The web seemed closing round hor, but sho would brook through it
She would send him a letter Baying she was ill, and begging him to wait yet a little longer. Despite his firm worda, ehe know ho would not refuso if she wrote kindly. Again carno the old hope-something might happen in a few doyB. If not, sho must run away, if everything failod, and sho could not freo herBolf from him, then Bhe would leave homo ; in any case she would not fall into his hands-rather death than that.
Moro than once she thought of Caspar's words. He was BO true, so brave, he would have died for her. Ah, if he could but help her, if she could but call him to her aid. In thiB tho dark hour of her life, by her own deed, she had placed herself out of the reach of all human help.
Sho would write-upon that tho waa deter- mined ¡ but who would take tho letter-whom could sho ask to stand at tho shrubbory goto and give to the strangor a missivo from herself? If eho askod such a fovor from a Borvant, »ho would part with her Beeret to one who might hold it as au iron rod over her. She was too proud for that. Thoro waa only ono in tho world who could help hor, and that WOB hor
She Bhrank with unuttorablo ahorno from tel- ling her. Sho romembered long ago at Knuts- ford that she had said Bomothing, and tho soared, startled expression of her sister's faco was with hor still. It was a humiliation beyond all words. Yot, if sho could undergo it, thoro would bo a comfort in Lilliau'j sympathy. Lillian would tako her lottor, she would seo Hugh, and tell him she was ill. Ill BIIO folt in truth. Hugh would bo paoifiod for a time if ho saw Lillian. She oould tbink of no othor ar- rangement. That evening sho would toll her aister j thoro wus rest oven in tho thought.
Long boforo dinnor Lady Heloua oaiuo in search of Beatrice : it was high timo, sho said, that orders were sent to London for hor trotts seatt, and tho list mUBt bo inado out at once
She sat calmly in Lady Holonn's room, writing in obedionoo to her words, thinking all tho timo how sho should toll Lillian, how bost mako hor understand tho deadly error, yot BOVO horsolf as muoh as she could. Lady Earlo talked of lacoB and ombroidery, of morning drosBOB and jewels, whilo Boatrico went ovor in hor mind ovory word of hor confession.
' That will do," said Lady Earlo, with a smilo ; " I havo boen vory oloquout, but I fear it has been in vaia. Hare you hoard anything I havo eaid, Boatrico?"
Sho blushod, and lookod so oonfuaod that Lady Kolona ead loughingly
1 You may go-do not bo ashamed. Many years ago I was just as muoh in lovo mysolf, aud just as unablo to (hink of anything olao us you
Thoro was somo difficulty in finding Lillian ; Bho was discovered at last in tho library, looking over Bouio fino old ongraviugs with Mr. Dacro. Ho looked up hastily whon Boatrico askod hor sistor to spare hor half an hour.
" Do not go, Lilly," ho Baid, jestingly ; " it ia only Bomononsouso about wedding dresses, Lot
ÜB finish this folio."
But Boatrico had no gay words for him. Sho lookod gravo, although sho Mod to forco a smilo,
" I oanuot understand that girl," ho said to hiniBolf, us tho library door olosod behind tho two Bistors. " I could olmoBt faucy something lay heavy upon her mind."
" Lilly," said Boatrioo, " I muoh want you. I am sorry to toko you from Lionol ¡ you uko boing with him, I think."
The fair faco of her Bistor fluBliod warmly.
" But I want you, doar," sho Buid. " Oh, Lilly, I nm iu bitter troublo ; no ono eau help mo but yon."
Tlioy wont togothor iuto tho littlo boudoir Boatrico called hor own. Sho placed hor sistor in tho CBBy lounging ohair drawn nour tho win- dow, thon half knelt, half Bat at hor feet.
" I am in suoh troublo, Lilly !" BIIO criod ; " think how groat it is whon I know not how to toll you."
The swoet, gontlo faco lookod wondoeiiigly into hor own. Boatrico olaspod hor sistor'a
"You must not judgo mo harshly," sho said. " I am not good liko you, Lilly j I novor could bo patient and gentío as you. Do you remem- ber, long ugo, at Knutsford, how I found you ono morning upon the oliffs, and told you how I hated my life ? I did hato it, Lillian," sho con- tinued. "You can novor toll how muoh ; its quiet monotony was killing mc. I have dono wrong ; but Bin ely they aro to blamo who mado my life what it was thon ; thoy aro to blamo who shut mo out of tho world, instead of giving mo my rightful sharo of ¡Is plcnBuro. I cannot toll you what I did, Lilly."
Sho laid hor beautiful, Bad faco on hor Bister's hands. Lillian bent over hor, and whisporod how dearly sho loved her, and how she would do anything to holp hor.
" That vory morning," BIIO Buid, novor raising hor oyes to her siBter's faco-" that morning, Lilly, I mot a Etranger-a gentleman ho seemed to mo-and ho watohed mo with admiring oyes. I mot him again, and ho epoko to mo. Ho walkod by my sido through tho long meadows, and told mo Btrango stories of foreign landB ho had visited-suoh storioB I I forgot thnt ho was a strangor, and talked to him as I nm talking to you now. I mot him again and again. Nay, do not turn from mo ; I ahull dio if you shrink away."
Tho gontlo arms olaBped her moro closely.
" I am not turning from you," ropliod Lillian, " I cannot lovo you moro than I do now."
" I mot bim," continued Boatrico, " ovory day, unknown to you, unknown to ovory ono about mo. Ho praised my beauty, and I was filled with vain joy j then ho talkod to mo of lovo, and I listened to him without angor. I swear to you," she cried, " that I did it all without thought ¡ it was tho novelty, the flattery, tho admiration that pleuBcd mo, not him, I boliovo, Lilly. I rarely thought of bim. He interested mc ; ho had eloquent words at his command, and, Booing how I loved romance, ho told mo stories of advonturo that held mo cnohaincd and broathlosB. I loBt Bight of him in thinking of tho wonders ho rolntod. Thoy oro to blamo, Lilly, who shut mo out from tho living world. Had I boen in my proper plnco hero at home whero I could havo aeon and judged pooplo lightly, it would not havo happened. At first it was but a pleasant broak in a life dreary boyond words ; thon I lookod for tbo daily allowanoo of flattery and homage. I could not do without it. Lilly, shall you hold mo to have been mad when I tell you tho timo oamo that I allowod that man to hold my hands OB you aro doing, to kiss my face, and win from mo a promise that I
would bo his wife ?"
Beatrice lookod up then, and saw the fair, pitying face almost white as snow,
" Is it worao than you thought ?" she asked.
" Ob, yeB," said Lillian ¡ " torriblo, irrotriov
able, I foar."
THBBB waB unbroken silence for some minuteB ; then Lillian bent ovor her sister, and
" Toll mo oil, darling ¡ perhaps I can help you."
" I promised to bo his wifo, Lilly," continued Beatrice. " I am euro I did not mean it. 1 was but a child. I did not renlieo all that the worda meant. He kissed my face, and said ho should oomo to claim me. Believe me, Lilly, I never thought of marriogo. Brilliant piotureB of foreign lands filled my mind ; I only looked upon Hugh Fernely as a means of eacape from
a life I dotosttd. Ho promised to tako mo to places tbo names of which filled me with won- der. I never thought of leaving you or mamma j I novor thought of the man himaolf OB of a
" You did not caro for him, thon, BB you do for Loid Airlio ?" interposed Lillian.
" Do not pain me," answered Bontrico. " I lovo Hubort with tho lovo that comes but once
i lifo ; that man waB nothing to mo, oxcopt that hiB flattery, nnd tho excitement of contriv- ing to moot bun, made my lifo moro ondurablo. Ho gavo mo a nug, and said in two y oars' timo ho should roturn to claim mo. Ho was going on a long voyago. Lilly, I felt rohovod when ho wasgono, tho novolty was over, I had grown tired. Besides, whon tho glamor foil from my oyoB, I was ashamed of «hat I had dono I tried to forgot ali about lum j ovory timo tho re membranoo of bun carno to my mind I drovo it from mo. I did not think it poBSiblo ho would ovor roturn It was but a BUininor's pustimo That Bummer has durkenod my life. Looking back at tho timo, I own I did vory wrong. Thoro is groat blamo to bo attaohod to mo , but Buioly thoy who sont mo out of tho living woild aro guilty also
" Romtmbor all through my Btory, dalling, that I um not as patient and gentle OB you. I was rostlcBS nt 'Tho ElniB,' ns a bird in a cago, you wore content I was lain, foolish, and wil
ful j but, looking baok at tho impotuous, impon ous child, full of romance, untrained, longing for tho stufe of lifo, lougiug for chango, for ox citomont, for guioty, chafing undoi restraint, I think thoro was somo little excuso for mo. There WOB no oxcuao for »hut followed. Whon Lord Earlo spoke to us that day-you roiucmhor it, Lilly-nud uBkcd so kiudly if wo had oithor of UB a Bociotmoui livos-whon ho promised to pardon Liiything, pioudod wo kept nothing from lum-I ought to havo told him then, Thoro is no oxeuso for that error. I was aelmmed. Looking rouud upon tho noble facoB hanging on tho walls, looking at lum, so pioud, so dignified, I could not toll lum his child had dono what no lady over did Oh, Lilly, if I had told lum, I should not bo knoohng hore at yo m
foot now "
Lillian made no reply, but proaaod tho proud, diooping figure moro closoly to horBido
"lean hardly toll tho loBt," Bald Bontrico, " tho worda .lighten mo us they sound. Ho was going away for tn o y cars, tina mun who has boon the buno of my life. Ho was to dann mo whon ho returned. I no\oi thought ho would loturn , I was so happy, 1 could notbolioio it." Hero
sobs choked hor uttoiancc
PrtBonlly sho continued-" Lilly, ho is boro , ho claims mo and ulso my promiso to bo his
A look of unuttoinblo dioad caine over tho fair, pitying faco.
1 Ho «roto to mo throo wooka Binco , I tnod to put him oif. Ho wroto again this morning, and Bwonrs ho will BOO mo, Ho will bo hoi o to night at 9 o'clock. Oh, Lilly, BOVO mo, suvo mo, or I shall die!"
Deep, bitter sobs roso to tho proud lipe.
" I novor knolt to any ono befara," Bho said , " I kneel lo you, my sister. No ono elso can holp mo. You munt soo lum foi mo, giro lum a letter from mo, and tell bim I am voiy ill. It IB no untruth, Lilly ; I am ill, my bruin burna und my heart is cold with foars Will you do
tina for ino?"
"I would i athol almost givo you my lifo," Bald Lillian, gently.
" Oh, do not say that, Lilly. Do you know what thoro is at Btako ? Do you romombor iny futhcr's words, that if oior ho found ono of UB guilty of any deceit or any clandestino lovo affair, oven if it broko his liourt, ho would sond tho guilty ono from lum and novor BOO hor nguiu? Think, darling, whut it would bo for mo to luivo Eurlesoourt, to louvo ull tho magill fioonoo I lo\o so dourly, und drug out a wonry lifo at 'The Elms.' Think you I could hiook Lord EUIIO'B angry scorn and Lady Uelona's pained wonder ? Knowing our futhoi as you know him, do you boliovo ho would pardon
"I do not," replied Lilly, aadly
"That is not all," continued Boatrico. "I might boar unger, scorn, and privation, but, Lilly, if this misorablo seciol is discovered, Lord Airlie would COOBO to lovo mo Ho might huvo forgiven mo if I had told him lit first, ho would not do so now Ho would know that I had hod to him und docoivod him. I cannot loso lum, I cannot givo him up. For our mothor'a Boko, for my sako, holp mo, Lilly. Do what I havo
" If I do it," said Lillian, " it will givo but a fow days' reprieve, it will avail nothing ; ho will bo boro again "
" I shall think of somothmg in a fow days," onswored Beatnco, wistfully. " Somothmg must happon, Lilly ; heaven could not bo so cruel to mo ¡ it eould not rob mo of my love. If I can- not free myself, I Bhall run away. I would rathor Buffer anything than face Lord Airlio or my father. Say you will holp mo for my lovo'e sako ; do not lot mo IOBO my lovo."
" I will help you, sold Lillian , " it ia against my bettor judgment, agnmBt my idea of light, but I cannot rofuBO you. I will BOO the person, and givo him your lottor, Beatnco, lot mo per- suado you. You cannot froo yourself I BOO no way-running away is all nonsonso-but to toll Lord Earle, toll your lovor, anything would bo bettor than to livo as you do, a druwn sword hanging over your hood. Toll thom, and trust to their kindncBBS , at least you will havo peace of mind then. Thoy will provont him from an- noying you "
' I cannot," sho sold, and tho breath scorned to como in quick, hot gasps from her lips
' Lillian, you do not know what Lord Airlio is to mo. I could novcr meet hiB surpriso or anger. If over you lovo anyone, you will under Btand bottor. Ho is cvorything to me. I would suffer any sorrow, even death, rather than eeo his faco turned coldly irom mo."
She loosened her grasp of Lillian's hands and foil upon tho floor, weeping bitterly and passion ately ; ,hcr Bister, bending over her, heard tho pitiful worda-" My lovo, my lovo ! I cannot lose my love !"
The passionate weeping ceased, and tbo proud faco grew calm and still.
" You cannot toll what I havo suffered, Lilly," she said, humbly. " Seo my pride is all beaten down ¡ only those who havo had a secret eating heart and lifo away could tell what I havo en- dured. A fow moro days of agony like thiB, and I shall bo free for over from Hugh Fernoly "
Her BiBter tried to soothe her with gontle words, but tboy brought no comfort.
" He will be hero at 9," Bho cried, " and it is G now. I will write my letter. Ho will bo at the shrubbery çate. I will manage so that you ' eball havo timôi'?Givo him this noto, speak to
him for mo, toll him I am ill and cannot seo him. Shall you bo frightoned ?"
" Yos," replied Lillian, gontly, " but that will not matter I must think of you, not of
" You nood not fear him," abo aaid " Poor Hugh, I could pity him if I did not hate him Lilly, I will thank you when my agony is over,
I cannot now "
" Sho wrote tho truth , it was but a fow kind words, Baying sho was ill, and unablo to seo bim, ho must bo satisfied and willing to wait yet a Uttlo longer
She gavo tho lottor to her sistor Lillian's hoart ached as sho noted tho trombhng hands and quivering lipa
" I havo not askod you to koop my soorot, Lilly," sho Bald, sorrowfully
" lhere is no need," waB tho aimplo roply
*. it * * # «? *
Sir Harry and Lady Lowroueo dined thntdoy at EarloBoourt, and it wus noarly 0 bofoio tho gentlomon, who did not sit long oicr their wine, carno into tho drawing roora Tin ovoning waa somewhat chilly , a blight lire burned in tho gi ato, and tho lamps woro lighted Sir Hurry But donn to his fin onto game of CIIOSB with Lady Holonii, Lord Earlo challenged Lndy Law ronco to a gamo of coarto lho young pooplo wcroloft to thomsehos
"In twenty years' time," said Lionel to Lil
han, " wo may seek lofuga in cards , nt prosent, music and moonlight uro proferablo, Lilly Tau novor Bing to mo , como to tho piano now "
But silo remembered tho dreaded hour »as drawing nom
" Prny oxouBO mo," she loplicd, " I will sing for you prosontly "
Ho looked siïrpnsod, it was the first timo sho had over rofusod lum a faioi
" Shall wo finish tho folio of ongiaviugs ? ho
Knowing thal ouco seated by IIIB Bide it would be impossible to got away, sho again declined, but tin» timo tho fair fuco Unshod und tho snoot oyos droopod
" How guilty you look ' ' ho Bind " Is thoro any mystery on hand ? Aro you tirod of mo? Or is thoro to bo unothor important consultation o\or tho wedding drosses ? '
" I havo BOiuothiug to attend to," sho rophod, evasively ' Got tho folio rondy-I shall not bo
Buitrico, who had listened to (ho bnof din loguo in foionsh auspouBO, non cunio to tho rcBouo, asking Lionol to gno them tho benolltof Ina clear, ungmg touoi in a trio of Mondóla
"My 'clour, nuging touoi ' is quite at your sorvico," ho Bind, with a enulo " Lilly IB very unkind to mo to m^lit '
lhoy wont to the piano, whoro Lord Airlio nuuited thom , and Lillian, looking at hoi emull jowollod watoh-Lord Curie's proflout-BOW thal
it wanted tliroo minutos to 9
Sho ut once quitted the room, unobsonod as sbo thought, but Lionol saw hor go
No nords tan toll how distasteful und ropug nant wns tho task BIIO had undertaken Sho would havo aullciod anything almost to havo ovudod it Sho who bud novor had ii secret, she wliOBo ovory wold ond action «oro open UB tho day, sho who Bhrnuk from nil deceit und untruth us from a deadly plaguo, to ho mi tod up with a wrotohod clandestino lovo nlfun like tina I Shi to steal out of hor fathei s hoiiso at ]ii(,ht, to moot a s*i linger, and plead hoi sistor B ouuao with lum I lho thought Biokonod hor, but tho beau tiful faco in its wild Borrow tho Bad voico m ltB passionate anguish, urged her on
Lillian went hastily to hor own room. Sho took a Ungo blaek ahawl and drow it tightly lound her, hiding tho protty ovoning dress and rich pearls lhon, with the lottor in hoi bund, BIIO went down tho stuueaso that led fiom her rooms to the gurdon
Tho nn,ht was dark, honvy clouds sailed swiftly acioss the sky, tho wind nioanod fitfully, bonding tho till ticos na it woro in ungo., thou whispering lound thom UB though suing for pur don Lillian hud novor boon out nt night alono before, and hor first sensation was one of fear Sho crossed lho gardens whoro tho autumn llowors woro fading , tho lights sliono gaily from tho Dull windows, tho ehrubbory lookod durk and mysterious Sho WOB frightenod at tho Bilenco and darkness, but wont bravoly on Ho waa thoro By tho guto sho saw a tall figuro wrapped in a travelling dook, OB sho crossed tho path, ho Btoppod hastily forwurd, crying with a voice sho novoi forgot
" Boatrico, at last you havo como '"
" It is not Beatrice," BIIO eau], shrinking from the outstretched arms, "I am Lillian Ernie My Bistor is ill, and bus sont you this "
Huon r_,n_Br_ took tho letter fiom Lillian's hands, and read it with a muttered oulh of dis appointmont 'lho moon, which had boon struggling for the last hour with a mass of clouds, shone out faintly ; by its light Lillian BOW a tall man, with a dark, hundsomo faco, brownod with tho sun of warm olimoa, dark oyos that had in thom u wistful Badness, and firm lips Ha did not look like tim gentlomon sha wus accustomed to Ho was polito und respect ful Whon ho hoard her nome, ho took off IIIB but and romuinod uncovered during tbo intor
"Wail," ho aaid, "ah' muBt I wait yot longer? Toll your Biator I havo waitod until my yearning wiab to seo her is wearing my life
" Sho is really ill," returned Lillian " I am alarmed for hor Do not bo angry with mo if I say abo IB ill throufeh anxiety and fear "
" Has abo sent you to exoueo her ?" bo OBkod, gloomily " It IB no UBO Your sister IB my promised wifo, Miss Lillian, and seo her I will "
" You mußt wait at looBt until sho is willing " said Lillian, and her calm, dignified mannor in fluenced bim ovon moro than her words, as eho lookod earnestly in Hugh Fornely'B face
It was not a bad faco, sho thought, thoro WOB no cruelty or meanness tbero Sbo read lovo BO fierce and violent in it that it startled her Ho did not look hko ono who would wantonly and wilfully mako hor suter wrctohod for life Hopo grew in hor hoart as she gazed Sho resolved to plead with him for Beatnco, to ask him to forgot a childish, foolish promise-a childish error
"My Bister IB vory unhappy," she said, bravely, ' BO unhappy that I do not think she can boar much moro ; it will kill her, or drive
her mad "
" It ia killing mo," he interrupted
"You do not look cruel, Mr Fornoly," con tinued Lillian " Your face is good and truo t I would trust you Releaso my autor Sho was but a foolish, impetuous child when sha ruado you that promise. If Bho keeps it, all her
lifo will bo wretched ; bo generous, and release
" Did sho bid you ask mo?" he said.
" No," she replied ; " but do you know what tho keeping of tho promiso will cost her ? Lord Earlo will nover forgivo hor. She will have to loavo homo, Monds, sister, all abo lovea and values most. Judgo whethor she could over caro for you, if you brought this upon her."
" I cannot holp it," ho Baid, gloomily. " Sho promised to bo my wife, MÍBB Lillian-beaven knows I am apoaking truthfully-and I have livod on hor worda. You do not know what tho strong lovo of a truo man is. I lovo her so, that if sho choso to placo her little foot upon mo, and trample tho life out of mo, I would not say hor nay. I must soo hor-tho hungry, yonrning love that Oils my heart muBt be satis- fied." Great tears shouo in his oyoa, and doop aoba shook bia Btroug frumo.
"I will uot harm her," ho said, "but I must BOO hor. Once, and onco only, her boautiful faco lay upon my breast-the boautiful proud faco ! No mother ovor yournod to soo her child again as I long to seo hor. Lot her como to mc, Miss Lillian ; let mo kneel at her foot as I did boforo. If sho aonds mo from hor, thoro will bo pity in death ; but sho cannot. Thoro ¡B not a woman in tho world who could Bend suoh lovo UB mino away.
" You cannot understand," ho continuod. " It is moro than two years Binco I loft bor ; night and day hor faco has boon boforo mo. I havo lived upon my lovo ; it is my lifo-my everything I could no moro eond it from my breast than I oould tear my hoart from my body, and still livo on."
" Even if my sister enrod for you," said Lillian, gently-for his passionate words touched hor-"you must know Unit Lord Earlo would novor allow hor to keep suoh a promiso as that."
" Sho know nothing of Lord Earlo whon it was mode," ho roplied ¡ " nor did I. Sho WOB a boautiful child, pining away liko a bright bird shut up in a enge. I promised hor froedom and liborty ¡ BIIO promised mo her love Whoro was Lord Earlo thou ? She was safe with mo. I lovod her ¡ I waa kinder to hor than hor own father j I took euro of hor-ho did not."
" It is all oluingod now," said Lillian.
" But I cannot ohongo," ho nnsworod. " If fortuno lind mudo mo u king, should I luivo loved your eislor less P Is a man's honrt a play- thing? Onn I call book my lovo? It has worked mo woo onough."
Lillian know not what to say in tho prosonca of this mighty lovo; hor gontlo ollbrts at media- tion woro soai'od away. Sho pitiod him-sha pitied Beatrice
" I am euro you can bo gonorous," abo Bind, after a short silenoo. "Qroat, true, noblo lovo is novor Bolllsh. My sistor can novor bo happy with you ; relenBo hor. If you foroo hor, or ruthor try to foi.o hor, to koop this rush pro- mise, think how sho will dislike you. If you uro gonorous, and rolcaBO hor, think how sho will esteem you."
" Docs BIIO not lovo mo ?" bo oskod ; and his voico was hoarse with pain.
" No," said Lillian, gontly ¡ " it is bettor fo. you to know tho truth. Sho does not lovo you
-abo novor will."
" I do not boliovo it !" ho oricd. " I will novor bcliovo it from any lips but hor own. Not lovo mo ? Great hoavon ! Do you know you aro spanking of tho woman who promieod to bo my wifo ? If sho tolla mo BO, I will beliovo hor."
" Sho will toll you," anid Lillian, " and you miiBt not blamo hor. Como again whon sho is
" No," roturnod Hugh Fomoly ¡ " I havo wnitod long onough. I am hero to BOO hor, and I swear I will not leave until sho has spoken to
Ho drow n ponoil-cnso from his pookot, and wrote a fow lines on tho onvelopo which Boo
teico hud sont.
" Givo that to your Bister," ho said, softly ; " and, Miss Lillian, I thank you for coming to me. You haye boon vory kind mid gontlo. You have a fuir, truo fuco. Never break a toon's hoart for pastimo, or bocnuso tho long sunny hours hang heavily on your hands."
"I wish I could eay somolhing to comfort you," .ho said. Ho held out hid hand, ana sho
could not rofuso hors.
"Good-bye, MisB Lillian! Clod Moss you for your sympathy."
" Good-bye," she replied, looking at tho dark, poBeionato face sho was novor moro to soo.
Tho moon was hidden behind a donso mass of thiok clouds. Hugh Fernoly walked quiokly down tho puth, Lillian, tuking tho folded paper, run aoross tho gardons. But noithor of thom saw u tall, erocl figure, or a palo, striokon face ; noithor of thom hoard Lionol Duero utter a low cry as tho shawl fell from Lillian's golden hoad.
Ho lind " triod tho trio," but it did not plooao him ; ho did not want music, ho wanted Lillian. Beatrice played badly, too, OB though Bho did not know what BIIO woro doing. Plainly enough Lord Airlio wanted him out of tho way.
"?Whoro aro you going?" askod Boatrico, as ho placed tbo mUBÎo upon tho piano.
"To look for a good cigar," ho replied¡ "neither Airlio nor you nood protend to bo polito, Boo, and say you hope I Bhnll not loavo you. no wontB to toll you somothing oleo about bliss, felicity, el celera; and you will boploasod
to hoar him."
Ho quitted tho drawing-room, and went to his own apart mont, whoro a box of choioo cigars awaited him. Ho Bclected ono, and wont out into lho gordon to onjoy it. Waa it chanco that led him to tho path by tho Bhrubbory ? Tho wind swayed tho tall branches, but there cama a lull, and then ha hoard a murmur of voices. Looking over tho hedgo, ho saw tho tall figura of a mun, and tho alight figure of a young girl
Bbroudod in a black shawl.
" A maid and hor Bweoiheart," said Lionol to himself. " Now that is not prooisoly tho kind of thing Lord Earlo would liko ; Btill, it is no busi-
ness of mino."
But tho man's voice atruok him-it was full of tho dignity of truo passion. Ho wondored who ho was. Ho saw tho young girl plico her < hand in his far a moment, thoa hasten rapidly
Ho thought himself strickon mad whon the blaok shawl foil, and showed in the faint moon- light tho fair face and golden hair of Lillian
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
TnEBB is scarcely e single joy or sorrow within tho oxperienco of our fallow-creatures whioh wo Hare not tested, yet tho belief in the good and boautiful has never forsaken us. It has been medicino to us in sickness, richness in poverty, and the best of all that over delighted
us m health and success.
FBEBBUVATIOI. ov LEATES.-By a aimple process of applying melted boeswax over tbo leaves, they retain the brilliancy of color, and closely retemblé wax flowers or loaves.