Chapter 174513773

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Chapter NumberXLVII
Chapter TitleGUILT.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article174513773
Full Date1892-06-25
Page Number5
Corrections0
Word Count5269
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)
Trove TitleThe Devil's Own. An Australian Story
article text

THE DEVIL'S OWN.

CHAPTER XLVII. GUILT.

AN AUSTRALIAN STORY BY MRS. RICHMOND HENTY. (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

Be sure your sin will find you out. MOSES. That I grieve, that's true. But tis a grief of fury, no despair,

And if a manly drop or two fall down It soalds along my oheoks Hko tbo croon wood, That spluttering in Uio flame works outward into tears. DitYPEy. Sir Hubert Armylngo Is in Paris “incog," nay certain of his gossiping acquaintances, not finding his namo in tbo list of arrivals, or at any of the hotels ho has hlthorlo fre quented. Tbo aforesaid noquaintancos know that ho is in tbo French Capital, because they have soon In in with thoir own oyes more than onco, though ho has not recognised them. “ Evidently on tho sproo with some crea ture, ” says old Lady Job Snokcloth, n verit able old gossip of sixty-ftvo, shaking her false frissotlo, whicu is more nbundant than htr oharity. Nevertheless, It is quite true Sir Hubert is in Paris “ Incog. ” Moreover, too abstracted in bis peregrinations to notico his friends or his enemies, ho is in tho state of mind of a man .standing over a yawning abyss, which ho will swallow him up—no enviable frame of mind. For months past ho baa left no stone un turned to discover whether Gustave was drowned or not. Sir Hubert thinks not; Loon, his servant, who has left him 'lately, says otherwise, “but theso cursed servants toll such infernal lies, who can believe them. I don’t enro' a fig for Gustavo 5 wouldn’t mind if ho was flayed alive, wasn’t ho deep as if ho didn’t know me, but 1 dared not send him : away. If ho was not drowned he has that case of jqwols—voluablo jewels,” ho says, chuckling over tho thought how ho gulled those Australians with that very imposing Russian leather ease, Sir Hubert has spoilt a small fortune in detectives, visits to Mar seilles,. to Gustavo’s old haunts Sir Hubert knows eso well, no, there was one placo lie had not attempted-ho dnro not, sho would at once recognise him; trust her for that, poor girl, and then it would bo all up with him. “ I wonder if sho had any hand in stealing that box from tho don—that case of the pistols and all those papers and other things.” Ho tnehed pale at the thought and shook with fright at tho idea, which seemed to dawn on him as ho stood with his back to tho fire musing uncomfortably. He rung tho boll for somo brandy, it would steady his nerves. Yes, ho would give flvo hundred francs to Pioot, with a oluo about. her. It might pay. Ho would still remain incog. 110 had not given his card, only his name, opohen very Fronchly to tho waiter. The Waiter was English, and had put it down on on tho list ns Rupert Avalanche; Lot it bo so, a disguised name would bo more useful. His suit with tho widow had not progressed ono inch. N’importo thcro wore lots of pretty women who would jump at a baronet with such a rent roll. Sir Hubert paused in his thinkings and poured himself out somo broody, ns tho waiter drew tho soda cork. Spirits of any kinds tho baronet rarely touched, and wines but sparingly. Ho was too great a rogue to bnvo bis head muddled and his plottings ranrrod by injurious bever ages. “That old fox Williams, tho lawyer, must bo written to. Tho mnnA Inst letter was insulting. What could tho brute moan?" Tho baronet bit his lip. “Had Williams dis covered anything, or has my continual ab sence from ray birth placo trmdo tho old beast suspicious?” Sir Hubert chuckled at tho word ‘birth place,’ Tbo brandy had given him nerve, for ho laughed to himself as he sallied forth to lake tickets for tho theatre. Tho now piece so much talked of. “Mademoiselle Corinno acta in tho now piece to-night?” bo asks. “Mais oui, monsieur,” said - tho .ticket official, quite accustomed to bo questioned about Mudlo. Corinno. “I’ll take Lnruo, sho wants management. 1 fancy sho knows more about mo than sho pretends, and with all her fawning sho has tbo claws of a cat.” Sir Hubert bad quite recovered his spirits after a good dinner before tho curtain drew up that nigbt at tho theatre, and ho devoted his time to a good stnro at tho occupants of tho boxosand stalls. “Ah!” ho gasps to himself. “Who is that in .the stalls? Gustavo I" Gustavo is staring hard at tho. Baronet, perfectly coo! and col lected, almost impertinently, thinks Sir Hubert, who is much too shocked and sur prised to have any presence of mind. “Tho dovii 1” ho mutters through his shut teeth, for ho knows it !s nil over with him. That tho courier loft tho Jiangaloro with that box; He could tell it In tho man’s look. But nothing daunted, ho will not giro in. He will sco tho fellow and look pleasantly surprised at seeing him alive, and “as hand some as ever.” Regardless of tho clamour of the manager’s speech, which has no attrac tions or interest for him, he thinks, tho Baronet, with an apology to Lis companion for his anxiety to moot an old friond ho sees, leaves tho box, hurries along tho passage and downstairs to tho stalls—whore, to bis ineffable disappointment, tho stall is empty. Gustavo has disappeared—no one knows whither. Sir Hubert questions the different 0 literals about, together with tho fow loiterers lounging up nnd down, to while away tbo time under cover. Tho street is almost deserted, and tho fow that hurry to and fro have no llmo to waste words. Not a solitary cab is to bo soon nor 1 cab-driver to bo interrogated. Sir 'Hubert stamps bis patent leather boot Curiously with rage, not caring to bide his bo returns to bis box—whore bis companion gets a very hard time of iL ! ‘They say Corinno won’t appear to-night, baring met with a bad accident, what can it bo,” says Laruo/soothingly— not knowing that iho is.adding fucl to tho flro of Sir Himort’s wrath, in mentioning tho namo of tho popular wtroas, Madame Lnruo has not tho least idea that Mademoiselle Corinno is in any way connected with tho Baronet, who as sho knows, laughs at virtue. Fortunately for her, Sir Hubert is hot listening or Madame Lnruo night have a fow more curses than is due to ber from the Baronet,when in his “tontroms". m she terms tho word sho has caught up from somo of her victims. “Ho is very bad,” she, says to herself—noticing that bor companion is as white ns death—and biting his lip till tho blood comes. Using her moat coaxing Ways, ns she notices ho is trying to hide his emotion, she, after somo persuasion, prevails upon Sir Hubert to go homo with her—sho is giving a supper party that night She must bo homo early, “lots of Monsieur’s friends would bo there.” 80 they drive away together—not watting for Lbo-eurtain- to drop on tho first net Sir Hubert is tbo life of tho pari}’ to-night —cards nro. introduced cautiously by the hostess, for sho is in hourly dreed of her friend’s temper. Sir Hubert stakes high plays recklessly—losing his money good-, naturodly, for a wonder. “Who cares? a short,lifo and a merry one,” says ho, na ho drinks bumper after bumper of champagne, losing money faster and foster to the men’s delight, 1 Xlago, terror, rovongo, htjtrcd, murder, are all gnawing at his heart—bub ho smothers thorn in his breast—thus charming Madame Larue’s friends, Who laud him to tho skies for his easy going disposition, delighted at getting so simple a dupe, and wondering at tbo groat change for good in their old com rade; 'lt is very Into before tho party break up and separate for tho , night.- The Baronet returns to bis hotel, giving orders that a paper is to bo placed in his room onrly, ho is “nations about that now piece at the Francaiso to-night,”ho says to the porter who hands him his candlo ; though why ho Is eager to see tho paxior ho himself cannot make out—the now piqco.is, nothing .to. him,ho thinks," Hum why feel eager to 'see tho first morning nows; is it a presentiment of evil ? “ pshaw—lie docs not believe in such trash,” he says As ho slams tho door,’ regat dless of disturbing other visitors in the hotel. He bos horrible , dreams pagne. Why “will that woman . keep such poison?" ho says, as ho awakes late in the day,and is about to ring for some soda water, when ho hears voices in deep conversation outside his sitting room. Ho turns the key of tho door before taking up the paper lying on tho lablo. Drawing up the blind a little, for tho day Is dim and foggy, ho secs three gendarmes looking at the hotel on tbo oppo site side. His hand shako* as ho eagerly, takes up tho paper.and begins to road as fol lows, (though his thoughts wont back to tho voices outside together with tho police watch ing tho hotel);— • “An actress burnt to death.” “ Wo regret to stato that an accident of a serious kind hap pened Inst evening to Mademoiselle Corinno, the well-known and popular actress of the TheatrcJJFrnncaisc, Tho ladyjwasjroading by

tho flro when hor dress caught firo,nnd before a or o could como to her rO jcuo she was horribly burnt. Mademoiselle Corinno wns married when very young to Joan Sanglot, the notorious murderer, whoso dupe, rather than accomplice, sho became. There is a curious history attached to this llond in human shape. Sftnglot murdered no less than live victims before bo was convicted, and tor some plausible reason managed to got bis -sente jcq commuted to transportation for life to Now Caledonia, from which place ho, with several other convicts, managed to escape, and reached Sydney in an open boat lie then became a billiard marker, then a waiter, dually a valet in an English family who brought him homo with them. Iloro lie scorns to have commenced his murderous practises again, and added two more murders to his Ust of crimes, managing to oludo oven tho Lnglish police. Before her' death Made moisol 0 Corinno made a statement which will imtcrialiy assist in bringing this bloodthirsty ruffian to justice, abject terror nlono, has pre vented her from doing so before.” “It is stated that Sanglot is in Paris, pass ing. under tho assumed niuno of nil English baronet, Sir Hubert Armytago, ono of tho victims of his murdoroua bund—but ho will Ibid it impo.ssibo to evade tho police this time, they being on the alert for their prisoner.” lie roads and ro-reads the account with .mgry glaro and clenched lists. “She’s peached—l guessed as much—l have time yet.” Listening at lh> door'for a second, ho drosses hurriedly and quietly, his hand almost 100 shaky to button bis collar—ho would give pounds for some stimulant but dnro not ringj though uncertain as to there being any reason for fear. Tho hotel, for tunately for him, has two entrances, tho back ono in another street—ho has found this out long ago though ho wonders why ho took the trouble to notieo such an idea at the time. Sorted for a few minutes ho covers his eves to collect his thoughts, for his head acfics badly. A sharp nip calls him to his senses— ho his fully prepared, ho thinks, and so ho gives a nmflled snore—then steals out of tho room, through tho bedroom to a hack passage staircase,locking each door of his rooms after him. Hurrying out into tho stroot ho slowly beckons a cab, and gels in, telling tho driver to drive on and fast up tho Champs Elysuo —“he is lato,” ho says, “his friend will miss him.’ Near tho Barrier ho gets out and strolls through, first stopping, for a glass at a small cabaret near, thou makes a run for it. Ho ran on and on, never stopping to look book until tho night had closed in, then almost faint with exhaustion and side with font, ho stopped at the sight of a building standing out, gaunt and weird looking against tho grey, blue sky of night. Ho stood still for a moment, as if to con sider, then looked about him, listening atten tively. No sound cxcopt tho swaying of a few branches over head or the distant barking of a sheep dog on some far away farm. Nothing to bo seen bat tho funeral-looking pile of desolation in tho dim moonlight. lie know tho place well—this was not tho first time ho had talcon ref ago there. “ Hounded by tho devils onoo more, and once more too many for them—it Ln’t a tempting haven of rest,” ho added with a curse, looking up at tho ghostly ruin, which hud for years boon tho torror of tho neighbor hood for its uncanny look and its haunted reputation. Not many years before a party of strolling players, trudging along on their way to Paris, singing merrily and talking jovially had boon suddenly pulled up by a severe snowstorm,and had put in for shelter at this grim-looking dwelling. But their laugh ter had bccu turned to terror, as startled by tho stiango noises in tho place. They had hurried fortli again into tho sloct and wind, choosing tho blinding snow rather than tho unearthly groans of ghostly visitors. So the place had romainol the haunt of tho bats ami the owls or perchance a stray anil hungry wolf, who had no fesrs except for his next mcnl. The man opened tho door, startling some night bird ns ho entered, shutting tho door after him cautiously, but not bolting it. Then, fooling bis way along tho wall, ho soon found himself in anjnncr room. ‘Tftis reminds mo of Wangnrno and tho old diggers, but there—hark ! wns that voices or tho wind? Sir Hubert Launcclot Armytago, Ha, ho, -your excellency must hurry up a bit." Voices in the distance made him hasten his movements. Hastily kicking aside some straw, lie drew back tho heavy holt and lifted n small hut weighty trap door in' tho floor of a corner of tho room. Swinging himself down, he closed the trap door quietly as ho descended. Then listened again. Passing on to an inner room, shuddering at the (lamp and unwholesome smell that pervaded the place. Ono, two, throe seconds passed, all was quiet. “ Bah ! it’s only the market people. What a fool I am to bo so easily frightened—hark !” Vioccs over head, tramping of feet on tho boarded floor above him sent tho blood surg ing through his veins as ho crouched down in a corner and hold his breath. Tho trap door wns lifted and a gons d’armo, with a lantern peered into tho depths of. tho darkness below. 1 “Snore! nom do Dion quel odeur, pouf porsone rion,” thou with a clanging sound tho trap door was shut down again. Again voices disputing or arguing—a tramp ing of fcot—thon all was still. Ho waited some time in silence and dark ness, counting tho moments, as it wore, thus allowing bis pursuers ample time to g;t away from the place before ho moved towards tho door. Thon he struck a light,muttering a curse at the sight of some human bones, to gether with burnt rags which wore in a corner of the room. Ho started, looking a second timo at tho rags, ho paled at tho scrutiny. “This is the devil’s own den,” ho said aloud, “but it is a good thing for tho devil’s own that there arc some cowards in the, world —frightened at haunted houses. Ha, hn, rny hearties 1 1 shall bo miles away boforo you will again smell a rat, or may bo a dead body in this old barn. Now for it—to lift up tho trap door and bo miles away in tho forest of Fontamcbluo, perhaps, before tho morn ing's light can show tho track.” Ho struck a second match, thou seized a heavy piece of limber lying on tho oarlhou floor near him, thrusting it upwards agtinst tho trap door. To his ghastly horror it resisted. They had bolted it on tho outside. lio gave a yell of rage, os the whole situa> lion flashed upon him. “ A prisoner! with a vengeance! sentenced to a living death. To die in this beastly hole of starvation. Tho guillotine were hotter. Boh 1” ho hissed, “bolts have never baffled mo yet, why should they now —curse them.” Ho lifted the beam again, and with a mad- 1 man’s strength, hurled it furiously against j tho dour. In vain. Only some loose masonry came j clattering down from tho walls, with a shower of dust that almost blinded him. | Exhausted with repeated and vain attempt*, ho dashed tho beam down with a curse and gave' himself up to consideration. “If I scraped the walls hare wi h my knife it wouldn't help mo, and tho cursed roof is so thick and solid 'twould take days, oven if I did succeed in getting a ray of light— phew, how d—d stilling It is J I’ll get as far as 1 can from tho smell of those infernal bones, ” lie sat down on tho floor, asking himself over and over again, “is it to bo a living death in this demon’s haunt or the guillotine? They wont let mo off this time, now sho had poached, which is it to be? Cheer up mate, don’t give in. Ha, ho, I’ve boon in worse fixes than this. I'll bravo tho hell hounds yet. I could only got air, air, it is stifling, this stench.” His brain whirled, ho felt dazed, then after a while ho slept from utter exhaustion. And ns tho day dawned, some cold slimy,thing crawled over his face,-awakening him with a start and a shudder to the darkness only, though ho know it must bo day. Listening attentively, ho heard tho sounds of some sheep bolls, then ho know there'was no hope. “I will shriek and yell loud enough to startle the very market women themselves as 1 they pass, crossing themselves and mutter ing a prayer to tho Bon Diou for their safety. Ho know them of old—hadn’t ho scon them more than once hurrying by in abject terror? Nob daring oven to glance at the Devil’s Don, a name ho had given this panic giving hovel.” Hours passed away. Often did ho try with all his strength to force open tho door in vain. Voices in tho distance or tho quick footsteps of laughing, loving children on their way to school would stop nis work and ho would shout'till ho was hoarse, the sound echoing through tho place, but tho little foot only sounded quicker as they died away . in. the distance. It was long since ho had oaten or drank. Ho foil sickening—sick unto death—though not hungry, yet ho couldn’t utlor a prayer. Prayer? lio bud forgotten how to pray. Had ho over uttered a prayop?- Yes, long yours ago, when as a little child ho had knoll In childish innoconoo at bis mother’s knoo in their own Htllo homo in Provonoo. His

mother, a good, loving woman, now lying at rest in a quiet grave near his old homo. All his early life came baok before him. “Bab!” ho said. “Maudlin thoughts won't help a man. They will seek mo again soon ; they must—they sholl. Better any death than this. Pouf! it’s suffocating. I’ll make a hole in the door and undo the bolt,” ho said, a ghastly expression of delight coming over the haggard deathly features. Ho sol to work again, though with loss vigor. 110 was fast losing his strength, and, worse than all, ho was getting thirsty. His knife broke at the first attempt at boring the bard wood. With n curse, ho struck a light— his last match—and found a rusty nail, the only implement loft to him. For a time ho worked away with a will, but only for a lima Largo drops of perspiration trickled down bis face .as bo again sank on the ground, his mouth parched with thirst, lie felt faint—gasping for air. “Too late! too late! God deserted mo long ago, I cannot pray.” Ho slept for a while, too heavily to fool the rats or other obnoxious things crawling about and over him. Then awaking suddenly ho passed his hands over his brow U make sure ho was not dreaming. “ Dreams," ho whispered, in softer tones than ho had over used. “It was at the little —Seringa Cottage—she was hearing the little ones their prayers—my pretty Vera, Mine? No"—softly—“sho was never mine. Mine. Me—a devil incarnate. Oh, God, have mercy! Only a little water. Too late, too late! Ho dies not hoar me; why should He? lin, ha! I belong to the devil—the devil’s own—ha. hi I Fancy my praying—a joke I It is too late ! Hn, ha, ha, ha I" His eyes dilated; then the voice changed to weak, pitiable tones— J “Will she pray for me—my pretty Vera— Vera! Oh, God, have merer! mercy! I can not breathe—only a little' water—mercy— ! death rather than days like this—mercy—ha; ha! Vera, my pretty one—oh, God, have mercy !—have—. —” Ho swooned again, loaning his bond against tho wall. For a timo there was silonco; but not for long. There wore still hours of torturo for tho poor wretch. His cries had been hoard. Tho school children, terror-stricken at the sound, had gone two miles round qnito out of thoir way, to avoid tho haunted house. Peasants on thoir way to market had heard loud cries, had complained to the police; but the wise-looking officials only shrugged their shoulders and shook thoir heads incredu lously, saying something jokingly about chil dren’s fancies and old women’s whims, add ing by way of a clincher to so unsavory a topic, "Hadn’t a body of them boon there? Hadn’t they examined the place? Pouf I a fool’s errand. They hod found nothing, much loss a human being. ’’ Months passed away. . Tho short December days wore getting shorter and more wintry, when tho schoolmaster, finding his school falling off from tho dread which had pos sessed many of tho little tribe to pass the haunted house in tho dark afternoons, com plained to tho police authorities, then to the profot of tho district, bringing a signed poti- i tion from many n well-to-do former and affluent inhabitant of tho neighborhood, bog ging tint tho haunted houso might ho pulled down. Tho petition was accepted, much to i the relief of fho district. Tho haunted house was pulled down. • In one of the lower vaults or rooms of this terror-striking haunt, they found the ghastly skeleton of a mac, .stark and stiff, in the attitude of kneeling, tho head bowed down on tho beam. In his hand, tightly clutched, was a card—it was ‘ a little photograph of Vera, Gustave bad coaxed out of tho nurses one bright sunshiny morning by the sea at Bay ton, and had presented it to his master on Christmas Eve on hoard tho Bangalore. CHAPTER XLVIII. SrAKIIIA.CE. Ay, marriage is a life-long miracle, Tho self begetting wonder daily fresh, Tho Eden whore the spirit and the flesh are one again. Reserve thy judgment. Hamlkt. “Those whom God has joined together lei no man put asunder,” says tho venerable rector of Mnrloy, in solemn tones The ceremony is over—the joyous peal of bells of the old church in tho valley chimp out thoir glad tidings. As Lord Veroker lifts her veil and clasping her to his heart, kisses his bride, then puts her hand through his arm and marches her away to tho vestry triumphantly, the picture of happy pride in his now possession, followed by the nearest and dearest of tho party, who sign the registry without any misgivings as to tho future of Rudolph Veroker and Vorn, his wife. Tho school children, each with a basket of flowers, are at tho church door,. waiting to strew tho path of tho bride with bright blossom*!. The children are struck with admiration at the two little boys of the wedding party—Percy Fortoseno and Puck. It was before pages came into fashion at weddings, though tho little follows look very courtly and fascinating in thoir rich purple velvet suits with old Ineo collars and ruffles, no wonder tho little girls are captivated. One tiny doll of a child in particular, who cannot take her largo blue oyes off the handsome little figure of Sir Lancelot, ns nurse insists upon having him called. Puck notices the look of admiration and is so charmed by it that ho marches straight up to tho little fair haired girl, boldly, and gives her a good kiss, without any ado to tho amusement of tho congregation and tho envy of oil tho other Mttlo girls, who ar6 watching tho frightened flushing face of thoir schoolfellow. , All oyes are anxiously looking in ono direc tion, tho vestry door, which opens, and tho bride appears on_ the arm of her husband. She looks so girlish and lovely oven in her rich train of pearl white sotin, bordered with myrtle and lillies of tho valley. There is a ham of admiration, as sho passes down the aisle, from many of tho inhabitants of tho district who had never as yet seen her and cannot believe that she is more than one and twenty, Then the company file out of church to tho carriages that await thorn at tho gates, some preferring to walk across tho grounds to the old castle, whore tho dojounor awaits them. “She’s as bonnic a bride as I have set eyes on sinco tho old squire brought his beautiful young wife homo many years agono. 1 mind it well," said old Granny Gorso, ono of tho octogenarians of tho village, who had craned her nock outlaid said, “God bless the both of ye,” as tho young couplo passed down flic eluirch yard path. Marlcy doesn’t know itself, thoro is suoh a brilliant mass of bunting and triumphant arches, along tho street of the quiet village. No ono is forgotten—feasts and festivities arc rife from a dinner to the poor to .a dance in ho barn and a harvest homo supper, where tho lads and tho lasses are to “trip it, trip it, trip it merrily,” to tho stirring sounds of tho village band. Tho bride's wedding presents are magnifi cent—speaking well for tho popularity of both brido and bridegroom. Tho Duke’s gift is ono of his prettiest estates in the north—Woodloigh the Duchess and Miss Vavasour following suit in gener osity by countless articles of use and orna ment, Tho Earl has presented bis favorite with a magnificent set of diamond butterflies—tho admiration of tho whole party, Tho billiard room looks more like a minia ture exhibition, thoro is such a variety of j lovely gifts in all parts of tho handsome rooms. Gfts from the tenantry, from tho Borvants,mixod with priceless jewels and valu able china, hut the article that has created the greatest sensation is tlio gift of old John Benson, much to his wife’s disgust, for she had presented a handsomely bound family Bible, of ponderous weight and unquestion able respectability, which “John had spent nigh a whole day in town choosing tho object' in question, insisting upon choosing, tho ugly thing himself to her disgust, and there it was, spread at full length—glittering in all its dazzling brightness on tho billiard table, close' alongside a chased silver loa and coffee service from tho Duke*a tenantry." Everybody was looking at ’old Benson’s gift in wonderment, perhapsi. at its being there at all and in snob company. “ What the dickens is it?’’ said Norman Portcsouo, staring bard at tho object. “A warming pan,” said Miss Vavasour, brimming over with laughter at tho idea. “A warming pan, lo warm tho bad on cold nights?” " What a jolly idea," said Norman, who. was ao charmed with tho notion that ho de clared ho would take half a dozen of thorn out lo Australia- with him, and present them to Ihoso of his friends in Now Zealand and other places troubled with cold winters. “You will not want it in Victoria, Mr. Forlcscuo, unless you fill it with ioo to cool tho hot regions ’thoro," said Lady Adohi, mischievously—she is having a dospernto flirtation with Mr. Forth, but loaves off her intresting conversation to quiz Mr. Portosciio, whom she delights In teasing about his own country. The sun is still shining hrightfy through tho stained glass windows as tho I company crowd into (ho spacious, hall to wish God speed to-tho happy couple. I Lady Vorokor, .who has been almost hugged

to dentil by tho younger children in the nur series looks prettier, if possible, than ever, in her silver grey travelling dross as she trips down stairs to the hall, there to bo smothered in kisses, and congratulated by tho assembled company. “God bless you, little sunbeam,” says tho Earl, wljo has been wheeled into tho hall to take a last look at his favorite. “Good bye, dear," says Vera, sweetly, kiss ing tho white forehead lovingly, “take care of yourself till our return, your homo is to bo with us now; Dolly would pine away and die if you loft," she says, quoting tho words tho Earl had used that night in Grosvonor Square. “ ifou must have this for my sake, it will remind you of us,” she adds, placing her magnificent bridal bouquet of lilies of tho valley on tho rug that covers his feet. “Good bye, dear,” she says again ns sho hastens to tho carriage, “ I think it’s rather hard my wifo should got nil tho kisses, Aunt Dot,” says Lml Vcroker. “1 won’t allow it;” and ho bestows a good plump kiss on tho cheek of Aunt Dorothy, much to tho surprise and delight, of tho kind old lady, who, colouring up to the oyes, declares, laughingly, that “she has not had anything so refreshing for many a long year. ” “God bless you, my little girlie,” says tho Duke, his proud, handsome face all aglow with satisfaction, as he kisses his new daugh ter lovingly, .before putting hor into the carriage; then wrings his son’s hand warmly, saying “God bless you, my son.” From tho valley comes tho son ,of the reapers, for harvest in in full swing and tho busy folk uro piling up tho golden sheaves but they pause in their song and stop llinir work as tho carringo comes down tho hill, when they cheer lustily—hats aloft—as they watch it on its way to tho station, where a special is waiting to convoy tho happy pair to ono of tho Duko's scats in tho north. Over hill and dale, come tho r hiines of tho old church, tolling that two loving hearts had boon made ono. “And so through life and death they wont, Both hand in hand in doing good ; Sho nobler through-his wide content; Ho, gentler by hor womanhood;" (TUB END.)