Chapter 160818162

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article160818162
Full Date1893-12-16
Page Number36
Corrections32
Word Count6064
IllustratedN
Last Corrected2018-03-17
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleOn the Wrong Track
article text

THE NOVELIST.

ON THE WRONG TRACK.

[BY JESSIE WATERHOUSE.]

CHAPTER X.

Myrtis had been married for three months when, her mother, being taken seriously ill, she was obliged to leave her husband to go to Bea Bay. The pain of parting was to some extent softened by the cares lavished upon her husband. The compartment of the railway carriage in which she was to travel presented a sight calculated to make her fellow-travellers envious. A reading lamp was fixed on the window, for the railway lamps gave scarcely light enough to make reading plea- sant, and Myrtis had a long evening before her. Her husband thought her too precious to be allowed to travel by the coach which would have taken her direct to Bea Bay. She was to travel by rail to the nearest point of steam communication with Bea Bay, and Heywood had arranged by telegraph that she should remain for the night at an excellent hotel, to be forwarded on the following day by means of the landlord's buggy and pair of fast horses. A fur rug of the softest and thickest, a travelling cloak, lined also with fur, lay on the seat, a new book with an ivory paper cutter, several newspapers, a basket of fresh and dewy fruit ordered specially for the occasion, a little Indian basket-cosy, in which was a teapot of tea carefully strained from the leaves, another tiny basket containing sandwiches and cakes, and a spirit flask, in case of accident were placed conve- niently near. Her dainty small articles of luggage were in the netting, and the guard was liberally feed to watch over her comfort and to see that her luggage should be sent safely to the hotel from the van. At the last moment Heywood brought out of some hiding place a knot of violets, telling her that they would say prettier things to her than he

could.

Myrtis lay back amid her comforts with a heart too full to enjoy them. She asked her self how it was possible that any human being should be so happy without having deserved in any way to be thus blessed. To say that she had received no intimations that her hus- band was mortal would be ridiculous. She knew some of his faults and more of his foibles; she had learned that much patience would be needed on either side, to wait until mutual angles were worn away. But she knew that he was a man capable of love in the best and exacting sense of the word. She knew also that he was infinitely her superior in develop ment of heart and conscience; in nobility of natures she owned him to be her master. She was as proud of his love as she was happy

in its manifestations.

During the hours of the journey a latent desire, not merely to accept, but to be worthy of his affection, grew in her by great strides. Her conscience had never been quite easy on the point of having kept the knowledge of her former marriage from him. She knew instinc- tively that he would have kept no such secret from her. Surely frankness on this point would be the first step on this upward path, she thought. At first she thought of making her confession in writing, but that method seemed cowardly. He could not but receive a shock, and she could not doubt that in her absence he would suffer more keenly than if he could read her true repentance in her face. She remembered occasions when she was sure that he would have judged her fault leniently if she had had the courage to tell him that which he might now hear from a stranger.

On reaching home she found her mother a little better from her sudden attack of illness.

"My dear child," said Mrs. Elliot, "What a comfort it is to see you about among things again. I have a very good servant, but no one can wait upon me like you. But I feel that I have been selfish in bringing you away from George"

"He told me to tell you, with his love, that

he was sending you the most precious of his possessions to cure you," Myrtis said, laughing and blushing. "He would be a hard-hearted creature indeed if he could not spare me to my own mother when she is ill."

"And you are very happy, Myrtis. I need not ask the question. Your face has a lovely bloom that means something more than mere youth and health." .

"I am almost frightened of my own happi- ness," said Myrtis. "I don't deserve it."

"Ah, my child, love is a free gift; it looks for no reward, and perhaps admits no deserv- ing on the part of its object. But tell me how you spend your days, and I shall then be able to guess whether your happiness is likely to continue."

“I am frightfully busy," said Myrtis, laughing, delighted to be able to live over her happy days again. "In the first place,

George gives me an allowance. Now, I think it is very stupid to be idle as some girls are when they are married, for they feel dull from being left too much alone, and they go visiting and gossiping in consequence. So to avoid this error I begged George to let me begin without a servant. I get a woman in to do the rough cleaning and the washing. The rest I do myself. George said it would be a good plan for me to set aside all the money I save in this way for charitable objects which appeal specially to me, because it would be money of my own earning which I should give away. Then I am taking music lessons from this great professor who is now at the College of Music, and George likes me to keep up my French and German. All the rest of the time I am reading English literature of his choosing. I do not believe I ever waste a moment at home. George reads and talks over the books with me."

"To fill the hour and leave not a crevice for a repentance or an approval, that is happi- ness," quoted Mrs. Elliot. "Well, my dear, I believe your happiness will last, though some of your occupations may change as time goes on."

"But I have not told you that George is going to keep riding horses when I go back."

"But that will involve keeping a man- servant, and then you will find you must have a woman servant to wait on him."

"We mean to try doing without. George

and I are fully agreed that it will be our best plan to reduce our way of living to the very simplest, doing everything for ourselves that we can. When he is too tired, or comes home too late to attend to the horses, I shall see to them. But here I am chattering like a magpie instead of doing what lies to hand."

But the young wife's happy chatter did not prevent her from nursing her mother

speedily back to health. The children were made happy with a box of presents sent by their new brother. Mrs. Elliot was fed on good soups and nourishing dishes. Myrtis fascinated the servant, whom she persuaded to

learn many new dishes; she kept worry and noise away from her mother, mended old clothes and made new, amused the children, and as the invalid grew stronger she enchanted both her parents with her music and her brilliant talk on all the current subjects of the day. Three weeks rushed by, filled with endeavour to make the happiness of those to whom she owed her own existence, every second day bringing a letter from her husband

with some little token of his thought for her. Mrs. Elliot was about again, and rapidly regaining strength.

Myrtis was to return home in two days, and she went out on the last afternoon but one of her stay in her old home to sketch a certain little view on the coast. The sea was very

beautiful that day, softly shaded from the horizon line till the dark azure pencilling was lost in the pale blue of the shallow water near the shore, and softly tinted with purple reflections from some body of vapour too faint

to be perceptible from the land. Her heart was full of her husband; this sketch was to be for him. She knew she must work hard to finish it before starting for home. Most agreeably to her present purpose a large boat

appeared on the water, tawny-sailed and cutter-rigged. Instantly she set about trans-

ferring this new and charming feature to her picture, too much engrossed by her work to heed the approaching footstep of a man,

though afterwards she remembered having heard footsteps. They passed near her, but

still she painted on unheeding.

"Myrtis" She started up with a cry which was almost a shriek of horror.

Sebastian Westbrooke, worn and aged, with

haggard eyes, stood before her with out-

stretched arms.

"For God's sake don't look at me like that, my darling," he implored, drawing a step nearer, forgetful of everything but that he was

with her again.

"Keep away! keep away!" she cried, with dilated eyes and ghastly face, putting out her

hands in terror to ward him off.

"It's true then," he said. "For a few blessed moments I have been looking at you and hoping that the newspapers had lied, that there had been some fearful mistake. Oh Myrtis; Myrtis!" .

"What do you mean? There has indeed been a fearful mistake if this is not a night

mare. You were dead."

"My death was reported, but the report was contradicted a few months later. And you have gone through the form of marriage with another man. You who are my wife."

The wild agony of her eyes hurt him more cruelly than the groan she uttered as his words made clear the whole truth, which, in the confusion of her brain, she had failed to grasp.

"I have not come to reproach you, he said." It is too late for that. When I saw your marriage announced in the Adelaide paper I could have murdered you. You have turned all my life into dust and aches by what you have done; but I am fool enough to love you too well not to forgive you. I have left everything to claim and take you

away."

She stood dumb and self-convicted before him, helpless with a sense of being overborne by wrong unconsciously committed, scarcely

heeding his last words.

"What can women be made of? he went on." You thought I was dead, and without even hoping that the report might be false, without so much as looking through the news papers to search for some further word about the accident, you marry the next man who asks you. And I, poor idiot that I was, slaving night and day for you, grudging the hours of sleep as so much time robbed from the one purpose of my life, to earn enough money to give you a home, that we might make our home together. Why," he cried, with a sound like a hysterical sob, "I have even kissed the dirty bits of gold because they gave me the best promise that my banish- ment should soon be over. I have lived, worked, thought, and struggled for you. It was only the thought of you that kept a spark of life in me when they all made sure that I was gone; and all the while you were only longing to be rid of me. Why, why? I say. What had I done to turn your love to such

bitter hate?"

He panted too heavily to speak more, and Myrtis forcing herself to look at him replied,

"You deserted me basely and shamefully. You have no right to reproach me. I was terribly shocked by the report of your death, but I was glad to be free of a bond made in a moment of madness, and under a complete mistake as to your character."

"Ah ! I forgot, you never got my letter," he said, despairingly.

"I have heard no word from you. I saw your name the following week among the passengers for Albany. You certainly dare not reproach me."

In a few words Sebastian explained his mistake, and learnt in return that Myrtis had not seen his advertisement in the newspapers. All was made clear between them, and at last they stood facing each other with the dreary conviction that misery unspeakable lay before them in every direction.

"But you never cared for me," he said at last in a toneless voice, "'You would have believed impossibilities - nothing would have satisfied you - you would have felt me living."

Myrtis put her hands up to her head and clasped them there, looking at him in speech- less agony. She could find no word of excuse for herself. She could not remember whether she had loved him; only a mute wonder filled her brain to find that she had unconsciously

committed a crime.

"Have you told this other man?" he asked with sudden sternness. "Did he, a lawyer, marry you without obtaining proof of your freedom?" .

Myrtis took down her hands to wring them, but still she could not speak. He repeated the question and she shook her head. A long

silence followed.

" Myrtis," said Westbrooke at last, "I am trying to think, but my brain refuses to work under this fearful pressure of pain. I do not wish to reproach you; it seems to me that we have both been the victims of an extraordinary train of accidents. I begin to ask myself whether in the beginning I was wrong. If I had followed you home and declared that you were my wife we should not be standing here to-day feeling that our lives are ruined. I forebore to assert my rights because at that very hour I learned that I had lost all my money. You could not have married another man so soon for very decency. Besides, you would have known that I was yours heart and soul - yes, I begin to see it all now. I must take the larger share of the blame, and yet I was silent only for your sake, Myrtis."

"I don't know. I can't think," she cried, twisting ber hands in her despair. "What does it matter now who was wrong at first? If you have any pity in you go away and leave me to face this horror and wretched wreck of my life alone."

"I will go," he said, "but don't forget that yours is not the only happiness which is lost. How do I feel in finding that the woman I have worshipped all these months, the woman whom I have thought of as my wife, has never loved me, but has thrown herself into the arms of the next comer."

"How dare you speak so to me?" Myrtis blazed out. "I never loved you; I did not know you. I too might reproach you for taking an unfair advantage; but no, I will not stoop so low. I am most unhappy, not only for myself, but for my father and mother and my husband, for whom I would die."

"I am your husband, Myrtis."

"Never. I will never own that tie. I am George Heywood's wife by every link that can

bind two together. I will defy you and the law to tear us apart, but I can't keep my dear ones from suffering."

"I will leave you, Myrtis," said West- brooke. "I dare not stay near you while you talk in this way. You are driving me mad with your callousness to everything but your own feelings,"

"Oh, forgive me!" she cried piteously. . "How can I say what I feel? I can only cut this dreadful knot by dying. But go now. before we have said more dreadful things to

each other."

"When may I see you again, Myrtis? I will come to your father's house to-morrow evening. We will have no more concealments; you must prepare them for the truth."

"I cannot; oh, I cannot! My mother has been very ill; it will kill her to hear of any thing so terrible."

"There is nothing but trouble and grief for every one concerned," said Westbrooke gloomily. But your mother will not die from the shock. She knows that trouble must be borne."

"If I could only bear it alone," moaned Myrtle. "But go, go - I cannot think or breathe while you stand there."

He moved slowly away, not knowing where his feet carried him, his brain in a whirl, his heart torn and wrung with a sense of the uselessnessof his work and his suffering alike. The knowledge that Myrtis loved another man and shuddered to think of him made the future look like a dark and bottomless pit yawning before him.

Myrtis made several vain attempts to return home. At last she succeeded in mastering herself sufficiently to walk slowly in the direction of Dr. Elliot's house. Westbrooke was watching her from a distance, longing to rush to her aid, yet not daring again to encounter those eyes, in which he read aversion. He watched her long with a heart that was growing numb with pain; he saw her father's door open and close upon her, and he cast himself down to writhe like a tormented wild beast in his pain. .

"My dear Myrtis, how ill you look," her mother exclaimed in alarm. "What can you have been doing!"

Mrs. Elliot left her employment in the kitchen the moment that she saw her daughter's face, following her to her bedroom.

"Mother, come in here," said Myrtis. "Never mind what you are doing there. If I don't tell you what has happened at once I shall never be able to speak."

She spoke in a dry, harsh voice, panting as if she had run for a mile. Her mother made no reply; a dim perception was already dawning on her that Myrtis was standing face to face with one of the tragic aspects of life. In a few moments she was put in possession of the facts, but it was long before she was able to grasp the situation in all its painful particulars.

"Mother, if I could have spared you and father this dreadful discovery, if I could take the whole burden on myself, I would gladly consent to have my eyes put out."

"Hush! hush! my child. We have indeed brought this grief upon ourselves and you, though, Heaven knows, we were ignorant of what we were doing,"

"No, mother, I cannot let you say that. You and father were right in forbidding my engagement to a man of whom I knew nothing."

"That is not what I mean. Oh, child, child! your father and I knew that young Westbrooke was alive, that he had not been killed in that accident. We did not wish to upset you when you seemed cheerful and bright again after your illness. But my conscience pricked me; I knew in my heart that we ought to have told you."

Dr. Elliot returned to find his wife and daughter crying miserably in the bedroom of the latter, and he too had to be put in possession of the dreadful facts. He said very little, but the lines deepened in his kind face, and Myrtis thought his hair looked many degrees more grey since the early morning, when he had cheerfully left home.

To telegraph for Heywood was the first thing which occurred to him, and he sent an imperative message at once.

"Where is your marriage certificate?" he asked of his daughter. Myrtis had almost for gotten the existence of this document, which she had never unfolded from the day it was put into her hands. Some undefined feeling had kept her alike from destroying it or from taking it to her husband's house. After thinking for a little while she remembered where she had hidden the little writing-case in which it was locked. Having found it, she brought the case to her father, who took pos- session of it until Heywood should arrive. The rest of the day passed heavily enough to all concerned in this dreadful revelation. The parents suffered scarcely less than Myrtis, not only because they felt themselves indirectly instrumental in having brought about the disaster which had overtaken their child, but because they foresaw much annoyance and pain in the future which she was too much

blinded by present grief to foresee. Though the scandal which would be excited by the

disclosure of the first marriage of Myrtis might never reach their ears, they could not but know of its existence and shrink from that knowledge. Mrs. Elliot shivered in thinking that there were those among her neighbours at Bea Bay who would not be sorry to see her pride lowered.

Myrtis was fighting steadily against the con- viction that, sooner or later, she must yield to Westbrooke's right to call himself her hus- band. Death was her only means of escape from a fate which she felt would be un- bearable. But even the decision to cut short her own life must be postponed until the arrival of the man whom she regarded still as her husband. If sin can be expiated by suffer ing, the wrongdoing of Myrtis Elliot should have been wiped out that day.

At 8 o'clock in the evening Westbrooke arrived. Mrs. Elliot received him in dead silence, only acknowledging his presence with a bow. Dr. Elliot tried to feel justly towards him, but though he touched his hand in sign of greeting he could not force himself to speak. Nevertheless, harden themselves as they might, Dr. and Mrs. Elliot both saw and felt the suffering in his face. Myrtis did not raise her eyes.

Twice he tried to speak, but the sense that all three of his companions were hostile to him caused the words to die upon his lips. The third time the sound came.

"Have you come to any decision, Myrtis?"

he asked.

Mrs. Elliot flashed an angry look at him. She shook her head.

"My daughter has still to break this terrible news to Mr, Heywood," interposed Dr. Elliot. "He will be here immediately. The coach is due at twenty minutes past 8."

"May I speak to-to your daughter alone?" Sebastian asked, in a tone from which his former hesitation had disappeared. He only could not again speak the name of his wife before those who grudged his right.

Dr. and Mrs. Elliot looked at each other. The father wavered.

"I think not, Mr. Westbrooke, You have the law on your side, no doubt, but at present, since our daughter is under her parents' roof,

you must be content to address her in our presence."

"Then," said Sebastian, after an instant's struggle with himself, "though my own judgment tells me that it would be better for us all and happiest for the future that I should insist upon the right which you gave me of your own freewill, yet I cannot hurt you - even for your own good. If I could set you free I would, but until my death releases me as well as you I can only leave you. For the rest you must decide how or where your life is to be spent. You can let me know when you have decided."

A hasty knock. The opening door awoke Myrtis from the stupor into which those

words had thrown her.

"George!" she shrieked, remembering then that she was to have watched for his coming, to have made her confession on her knees before him alone. It was too late. Heywood stood in the room looking from one to the other, holding Myrtis in his arms.

"What does this mean ?" he asked, amazed to see Westbrooke there, yet remembering with a painful shock the August evening more than a year ago, when Westbrooke had come to his sister's house to ask for Myrtis. Yet surely he had been reported dead!

"It means," replied Westbrooke, since no one else spoke, "that this woman is my wife. Put her down, sir; you have no right to support her. She rejects me - but I can not see you usurp my right."

A swollen purple vein on his forehead looked like a serpent, his eyes glowed with rage, his voice shook.

"Oh, keep me, keep me, George! Don't listen to any one. I have deceived you, but I thought I was free. He left me directly we were married. I thought he had deserted me, and I could not tell you that I had been so in- sulted. And then news came that he was dead - and you came. Oh! do not push me away! Oh, George, George, it was all mad ness. I will kill myself if you send me away," sobbed Myrtis, clinging frantically to him.

"Hush! hush!" Heywood whispered, him self white and trembling. "Mr. Westbrooke, I must ask for an explanation from you."

"Again must I go over the story," Sebastian groaned, but he set the facts clearly enough before his hearer to show him where the real blame lay. Heywood listened in silence till

the narrative was ended.

"I wonder," he said, "that you did not write again and again on the chance that one of your letters might reach its destination."

"I thought of doing so very often, but the fear of having the letters returned was too much for me. And how should I have known that in less than a year my wife would so far have forgotten me as to give herself to you?"

Heywood was silent, thinking over the story. He understood now the appearance of Sebastian Westbrooke at his sister's house, and his distracted appearance when he asked

for Myrtis.

"I feel that we have been terribly to blame,

said Dr. Elliot. "We ought to have been frank with Myrtis, though I am sure we were right to stand firm in our refusal to allow her to engage herself to a man of whom we disap- proved on many and sufficient grounds. But it is useless to talk over past errors. The thing is what is to be done now?"

Myrtis began to tremble and shiver again. Sebastian cast a defiant look at Heywood, but his eyes instantly lost their fierceness as they

met those of the other man.

"Mr, Westbrooke and I have one interest in common," said Heywood, in a tone of the deepest melancholy. "We both desire beyond everything in life so to act as to secure the truest happiness for Myrtis."

Westbrooke's face was full of gratitude as he again met Heywood's eyes. Those words soothed the scorching pain of his heart. To feel himself understood and to be identified with Heywood in a generous desire to think of what was best for Myrtis quieted and com- forted him unspeakably.

"Therefore." Heywood went on, "I shall take for granted that you will be glad if any flaw can be found in your marriage."

Sebastian looked at him wildly for a moment, but he controlled himself.

"If by burning off my right hand I could free her I would do it gladly," he said. " If she came to me, caring for you, and should stay cold to me in spite of all I could do to win her, I should go mad and shoot myself. Her

I should never injure."

"Then will you let me ask you a few ques- tions concerning your marriage before the Registrar? Myrtis, will you give me the certi- ficate? I am not bound to believe anything

until it is proved."

Dr. Elliot handed the writing-case to his daughter, who opened it with trembling fingers, and handed a folded sheet of paper to Heywood. He took the certificate in his hand, spread the paper out, and looked at the

contents.

"This is not the paper," he said, handing it

back to Myrtis.

"That is what was given to me, she said, without putting out her hands.

He looked at it again, more closely this time, seeing the names of Westbrooke and Myrtis written in the blank spaces left within the printed lines. "Have you never looked at this?" he asked in a changed tone.

"Never. I have never even unfolded it." Myrtis answered, with a heavy sigh.

"It is more nonsense," he replied. "You were hoaxed on that occasion, my dear. If you have no other reason for supposing your self married to Mr. Westbrooke than the fact that you went through a ceremony with him at Mayfields you may rest assured that no power on earth can part us. You are certainly my wife."

"But - how - oh, George! Don't let

me--"

Myrtis knew nothing more. Darkness

closed round her.

When she came again to her senses she was lying out of doors, with the cool night wind blowing upon her face, the stars shining down on her, and the eyes of George Heywood watching her. She started and looked ner- vously past him.

"If you are looking for Westbrooke he is gone," said Heywood. "He thought you would be troubled by his presence. Your father has gone with him." She laid her head back, and a long shuddering sigh escaped her.

"Now that I am freed from that deadly fear," she said, in a low, husky tone, "I feel how frightfully cruel all this has been to him. I could think of nothing but the terror of being dragged away from you"--

"My dear girl, you must not talk about it any more. You may be seriously ill if you will not be quiet. Remember that I have the in- terests of my clients to think of. I rushed away in obedience to your father's telegram at the very last moment I should have chosen to leave town. Now that this wretched anxiety has ended happily for us, I must get back as quickly as possible. I don't suppose you will care to be left behind. And if you are ill I shall certainly not take you with me."

"No, oh, no! But I wish that we could have stayed until father and mother have recovered a little from this shock."

"Will it not do as well if we persuade them to return to town with us?"

"They would never leave the children."

"The children must come too. I think it can be managed."

"Oh, George! how good you are. But," she laid her hand timidly on his, "you seem changed, somehow. Do you despise me because of what you have heard?"

For a second or two he did not reply. Myrtis slowly took her hand away, feeling a deadly chill gather round her heart.

" 'Despise' is a word which cannot be applied," he answered. "I think you behaved in a headstrong and foolish manner. But I should not despise you for faults which are common to the human race. I confess that I am grievously and bitterly disappointed to find that you could keep such a secret from

me."

"Oh, George! I had fully made up my mind to tell you. I thought you understood why. I thought that I need not tell you before we were married. And on the journey down here I resolved to tell you, at all risks, as soon as we met again."

"But the disappointment is in finding that your desire for perfect confidence between us was so much less than mine. I understand to some extent your hesitation, but I could not have kept that sort of secret from you."

"Try to forgive me, George. If you knew how I have suffered you would forgive me."

"There is no question of forgiveness in- volved," he sighed.

For a time they sat together in silence. He knew that his dream of perfect happiness was over. Myrtis did not understand how she had wounded his ideal. His loss could not be made good. But as he sat and thought of her it came to him that he must make up for her deficiencies by his love, not forgetting that she must do the same by him.

"Henceforward, dearest," he said, bending over her, "let us pledge ourselves to perfect truth at all costs."

Myrtis promised with fast-falling tears and thick-coming sobs. The one great lesson of her youth bore its fruit in due season. She left her girlhood behind, with that terrible experience through which she had passed, but

she came out of her trouble a truer and sweeter

woman than she had given promise of becoming in the careless days of her youth.

Westbrooke pursued the two fools who had played so dangerous a practical joke upon him to the Northern Territory, and extorted from them confession of the part they had played.

They confessed to having found the office of the Registrar empty, to having induced a man, whose name they refused to give up, to per- sonate the Registrar; while Whitelock, who had been a clerk in the town office, drew up a certificate of marriage upon a form of im- pounding notice. Both men declared that the whole thing was intended as a joke which would be discovered immediately. They reminded Westbrooke that they had refused to take the money which he had offered them the next day in repayment for their help, always excepting the fee for the special licence, which they were unwillingly compelled to retain, and the money which he had bestowed upon them at the time of the marriage. They also reminded him that they had had his assurance of the young lady's safe return on the same day to the house of her father.

Westbrooke felt that it was useless to remon- strate with them. To his mind they simply represented blind agents of the terrible fate which had spoiled his youth. After paying a short visit to his mother he returned to Western Australia, where the good fortune supposed to be the compensation of unhappy lovers was his. He left South Australia with a heart full of sorrow, but no bitterness then mingled with the sorrow. From that night on which he learned that Myrtis had never been his wife dated a strong and warm friend ship with Dr. Elliot. The elder man's dislike to him melted away before the warmth of his sympathy for Sebastian's grief and mortifica- tion in the present and his bitter sufferings in the past. Words were spoken that night by Dr. Elliot as he walked away from the pain- ful scene with the only actor left suffering, which were never forgotten by Sebastian. Though he believed then, and for many a long day after, that no comfort could reach him, he did at last acknowledge to himself that the worst and unbearable element of his misery vanished by degrees that night - first when Heywood gave him credit for the true and generous aspect of his love for Myrtis; and. secondly, when Dr. Elliot spoke as he would have spoken in like circumstances to a dearly loved son. To him he confides by letter the schemes for developing the resources of the country, which fill his life with interest, receiving the warmest sympathy and sound, practical advice in return. His days are full of unselfish effort to add to the sum of good in the world, and though the trouble of his youth still shadows his life, he can no longer be called an unhappy man

THE END.