|Chapter Number||XLVIII (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
<Vrom eajRlllb, tmtrlcau, nud ulticr Periodic*!».)
W11 Hamilton siehed heavily.
"You make me very unhHppy, Mimosa," he said, in a husky voice. " I never intended you any wrong, my poor girl."
She lifted her head with a proud gesture at those laet words.
"Pomanda's daughter can do without the pale face's pity !" she 8bid, haughtily.
Then a painful cri maori swept over her wan face &nd she added, sadly and humbly:
" I know he meant no wron¿ ; it in only poor, foolish Mimosa who has been wrong. There was no one among her father's people who had power to touch her heart, no brave to whoee wigwam ehe WAS willing to go ; but when the pale-face came, with a brighter light in his eye», with iviBdom in his speech, with gracious words and gentle courtesy-so differ- ent from the rude ways of the men of the forest, the poor Indian girl was foolish enough to look up to bim, to linger for his smile and the sound of hii Voice, and to tremble when he epoke pleasant warda to her. Sha forgot that the eagle never mues with the sparrow, until the pole-face told her of the beautiful, golden haired equaw over the sea, and how bis heart is full of bitterness hecause he could not return to her. But now he shall go back to her and his own people. Mimosa has sworn it, and ehe will perform her vow.
Wil was deeply moved as he listened to the dying girl: there was infinite tenderness in her low, sad tones, and every word was full of a pathos that WOB vary touching.
" I shall be very grateful to you, Mimosa, but I Should be much happier if you could get well and be happy yourself, after I am gone. I will hope that 70a may, at all events ¡; but will you not tell me, ha added, anxious to change the subject, " bow you learned to speak my language so correctly F"
The girl flushed again, and with evident pleasure, while a glow of pride came into bereyes.
" Three summers ago Mimosa went to visit the ttibe of Pomanda's brother, beyond the Red Uiver of the North, and a pale sister with a voice like the nightingale's, and, eyes like the meadow violet, Came to teach the poor red men. Mimosa's heart was hungry to leam, she had always wanted more than her own people could give her, and she sat often at the feet of the pale sister who taught her the lan- guage of her fathers, and," hesitating, and casting a furtive glanée at her companion, " and about the Great Pether, and the good Christ who died for the white man, the red man, all people. Does the pale-face know Him ?"
"Tes, Mimosa, I know that Christ died for every one," Wil answered, with a strange tension about his heartstrings.
"Does the pale-face love him 1" she asked, with almost breathless eagerness.
His'eyes drooped and a flush slowly mounted to his brow. He knew that he did not love Him, in the way that she meant, and he was speechless belora her. Had he come into the wilderness to be taught the truths of the gospel by this simple girl P
A wistful look swept over her face; then she said:
"Mimosa will search for the pale-face in the
happy hunting grounds by and by ; she hopes that |
he will come to them, for she loves the good Christ, and will not be afraid to go away to them when He calls her ; for she knows that there her heart will never be heavy any more,"
She arose, her face all alight with hope, bnt it eoon faded, and she continued in a weak voice.
" Mimosa cannot come again to look upon the pale- face, for her spirit is weary and her feet aro slow ; but .let him not lose his courage, for, when Mimosa's cpirit
is free he shall be free also."
She stooped, and, with a suddenness for which bs waa wholly unprepared, preeeed her burning lips to hil for one instant, and then was gone,
He never saw her again ; but he often inquired for har, and was told that she was failing, and far too ill to leave her own wigwam.
- Six weeks after the last sad interview, Arrow came one morning, a little after sunrise, to hie tent, his face grey and st6rn, his brow gloomy and overcast,
" Let the pale-face make ready for the trail," be briefly commanded."
Wil looked at him inquiringly, but his heart was beating heavily with mingled hope and fear.
"The Great Spirit has called the flower of Pom anda's tribe to his b.nppy huntiBg grounds, and she > will never make glad tbe hearts of her people any
more. But the chief my father, made a vow that when Mimosa ceased to breathe the pale-face should . be free« When the sun rose my sister was gone and ' ttie chains of the captive broken. Come." *
He turned abruptly end went out of the tent, while Wl, trembling in every limb at the glad tidings of bis freedom, yet with tears of sadness gathering in bis eyes at the untimely end of the gentle Indian giri, made baste to equip himself for a long march,
. As he passed out of his tent, he found Arrow wait- ing for him. He made a gesture indicating tlmt Wil was to follow bim, and immediately plunged into a narrow path, leading through the forest.
There was not a sound about the Indian camp, an omoious stillness seemed to hang like a pall over every wigwam and not a person was visible any-
? As they passed a little open glade a short distance from the camp Will saw a new-made grave.
Mimosa had been buried at sunrise.
Anew covered his face with his blanket and went on j tut Wil, breaking a bough from an Acacia tree( , i moved forward and laid it reverently upon the
narrow mound; then with a sigh of regret for the dead, but with courage and hope once more animating both heart and body, he turned from the place for ever and followed his guide,
For mnny days they inarched eastward, the Iudian Bad and Mlent for his heart was heavy ; Wil (¡rowing every hour moro hopeful and eater.
They paused upon their journey only long enough to eat their simple meals und tike needful rest, and at lust, just as the Bun w«-.s Betting attar a glorious day, Arrow halted upon a alight ruo of ground and pointed towordä a dusky vipour whbh waa curling over the tops of some trees not far distant.
" lhere the puce-luca will find friends," he said,
" Ia there a white settlemei t there ?" Wil asked. The Indian nonded assent.
Joy shone in <Vil Hamilton's eyes, and h- trembled
It wai, very sweet ufter the Ion«, weary months of hie captivity, to fi.d himself ut lau so near civiiiz tiin und friends aj¡ain.
" You will come with me and rest nwbilo, before you resume your long inarch back, will you not?'' he begged of Arrow, for ho had grown thin and pale during their trjiiiL' journey, eatinj but vry little, und looking so ead ib.t Wil's heart ached for
The Indian's lips grew tremulous, in spite of bis forced stoicism, at the words of sympathy.
"The heart ot Arrow is hea^y," he said, sadly; ''he will not rest until h« comes again to the bed
where Mimosa sleeps."
"But it is ft long distance : you will be ill if you do not toke proper rest and food,1' Wil returned.
His companion merely shrugged his shoulders in reply, and' folded his blanket more closely about him, as if impatient to be gone, and Wil Baw that it would be useless to ur^a him, so all that remained for him to de was to toke his leave of him,
" I thank you, Arrow," he said," for your guidance during our hard journey, and I ehall always remem- ber your kindness to me, Of course, it has not been pleasant to be detained against my will among your people, but, perhaps, that was no fault of yours,"
Again Arrow shrugged his shoulders,
"Pomanda knew that hie daughter loved the pale- face, and he hoped to make a great warrior of him that ehe might live and be happy," he answered.
" Was that the reason you have kept me so long ?"
" Not at first," Arr«>w anawored ; " Pomanda Uves the gleam of yellow gold, and he hoped to get It by keeping the pale-face; but when that hope was dead he began to Bee that Mimosa's f »ce shone when the white man WBB near, and grew sad when be was away ; then he B»id : ' The child of a great chief must be happy, we will make a brave of the pale-face and he shall take her to his wigwam, for she ehall not droop and fade like a flower' before the boar frost.' But Mimosa's face grew white, her spirit faint ; the Great Spirit had whispered to her ; she commanded that the pale-face be set free, and-the dying never sue in vein,"
Wil waa deeply moved, but the day was foBt waning and he was anxious to reaoh the settlement bufore night, and he knew he must hasten.
He took his purse from his pocket; there was considerable coin, both (¡old and silver in it, and held it out to his companion.
" Take this to Pomanda," he said, "there is gold in it enough, I hope, to make bim feal that I am not
But Arrow's eyes lighted with a sudden flash,
" Pomanda shall not have the white man's gold/ he said, proudly ; " he whom Mimosa loved shall not pay for the care her people gaye him,"
"Then thke this for yourself, Arrow," "Wil ex- claimed, with an unsteady lip, while he drew a heavy gold ring from his finger, " and keep it as a token of my gratitude to you and your sister for ali your kind-
ness to me.*'
The Indian did not refuse, and allowed Wil to put it upon his fiu^er, then drawing a small pouch from beneath his blanket, he thrust it hastily into the young man's hand, turned quickly away, dashed into the woods, and disappeared from sight.
Opening the pouch, Wil discovered, to his amaze- ment, gems of various kind.
They were all in the rough, of course, but he knew enough of their formation to perceive that they bade I fair to be of great value.
But there was no time then to examine them Closely, and concealing them about his person, he set off ata brisk pace toward the settlement which Arrow had pointed out to him.
He found it without difficulty, and it proved to be merely a rude western village ; but he succeeded in obtaining a night's lodging, and the next morning, procuring a conveyance, proceeded to the nearest railway-station, which was many miles distant, whence he started at once for New Tork.
Arriving there, he secured a passage upon the first steamer bound for England, and ere long was plough- ing the seas toward his native land, as fast as steam
Rnd sail could take him.
" CAN IT BB TBUB ?"
We left Arley, after her meeting with Wil, before the druggist's store, in Lady Elaine's boudoir, whither ehe had been led by the gentle girl, agitated and i.lmost unnerved in view of the astonishing newe which she was about to communicate,
I But with a resolute effort of her will, she suddenly
rallied her sinking heart and bent herself to her task.
She would not allow Elaine te wait upon her, even though she appeared anxious to do so.
"I am perfectly able to take care of myself," she said gaily, as she threw aside her wraps, and took off ber hat, " you must not make yourself too useful to me, for you know I do not expect I can have you all the time, now that my liege lord haB claimed me. But, dear, I have a very particular request to make of you to-night."
"A request," Lady Elaine repeated, smiling, and and relieved to see Arley's colour coming back, " surely you would ask nothing amiss, and I may safely promise to grant it even before I know what
"That is a dear-now mind, j ou have promised, and I Bhall not allow you to retreat." Arley returned
" Well, I met a very dear friend a gentleman, to- day, and he said that he should call at Mordaunt House to-night-"
" Philip?" interrupted Lady Elaine, with a merry glance at Arley's cheeks which were fast becoming
crimson with excitement.
" I am not going to tell you who just yet ;" Arley answered with a wise look ; but I want you to let me turn dressing maid just for once, and array you as I like, then I will go and put ou something bright and pietty to keep you company."
Lady Elaine grew pale, and a quiver ran through
her whole body.
" Arley," ehe cried in a voice of pain, "you are eeking eometbing very hard of me, for-I have worn nothing but this," with a pathetic ¿lanes down at the black dress, "since-since-"
"Yes, darling, I know, ever since those dreadful tidings of Wil carne to you," Arley sail tenderly. " But," Bhe continued," do you suppose he would like to see you in such sombre robes all the time ?"
" No," waB the low reply, made with tremulous lips, " but-"
Arley would not allow her to go on, I
" Neither do I, and as I am going to assume gay attire to-night, in honour of our visitor, I ask as an especial favor, that you will do the same."
" But will it not appear very strangrP" objected Lndy Elaine, regarding Arley wonderingly.
" You will not think so when you know who is coming; and never mind if it does just for once,and it will pleasp mu so much. Do you remember the ball at Hazelmere, and have you the dress that you wore then ?"
" Where is it ?"
" In a trunk in my wardrobe ; but, Arley, I cannot wear that," Lady Elaine »aid, looking like a statue of snow, for the thought of it brought H flood of tender memories surfing over her.
" Phase, dear." Arley pleuded, earnestly, " I would
j not be cruel or wound you for the world, but I feel as
if I muBt ees you in it just once more-I will nover ask you again to do anything of this kind, only grant me my request to-night."
Lady Blaine sighed, but she made no further ob- jection, for she was always ready to sacrifice her own feelings for the sake of others. She thought it a strange caprice of Arley's, but she imagined that Philip must be the visitor whom she expected, and
that in her jny at his home-coming she wished every J
body to be gay.
Without further words Arley found and brought the lovely dress, and with nervouB fingers helped her sister to put it on. Then she brought some soft, creamy lace from her own treasures and arrsnged it just as she remembered she had worn it about her neck that night at Hazelmere. She brought a cluster of small, pare liliea to fasten at her throat, when Lady Blaine started, and put them from her with a
"LiliesI"she cried, sharply, Wil's own flowers, which you know are so sacred to me I Surely, Arley, I this is not kind.
Arley bent and kissed her with trembling Ups-her tsBk waa growing harder every moment ; but Wil
must not see her in black.
"Dear," she whispered, "would it not be »joy to you tu dress thus for him, if you could only imagine for once that you are dressing for Wil-"
" How could that be possible when I know he is dead ; how can you have the heart to ask me to im- agine anything like that ?" she cried, in a voice of
" I know that they wrote that he WBS dead," Arley returned, with brilliant eyes, " but, you know, they never found him ; and I have sometimes thought that there WBB a possibility that they were mistaken, after
" Oh, Arley 1 what strange spirit possesses you to- night ? Are you eo happy in the prospect of Philip's arrival that you forget bow bruised and sore and desolate my poor beart ia ?" Lady Blaine cried, with something of passion in her voice.
" It is not like you," she went on, reproachfully. 1 know that they never found hie body," and an icy chill seemed to seize ber here as she remembered how they had explained that ; " but, do you suppose if he had been living, he would have-.remained away from me so long, without one word to relieve my ens pens«?"
" Not if he could have helped it, dear," said Arley,
" What would hinder him ?"
" I eui imagine several things." " Such as what ?"
" He might have been ill,"
" He would have written ; then illnesB might have kept M>n from me but it would never have kept him silent so long," muttered Lady Blaine, with unwaver- ing faith.
*' No, it would not if he could have got a letter to you, but I can imagine circumstances which might render that impossible. I can imagine-shall I tell you what ?" Arley asked, with a strangely earnest
" Yes, tell me if you wish ; but get through with your freak BB soon as possible for my sake ; you are in a very unaccountable mood to-night Arley," was was the weary reply.
Arley began determined now to finish her story.
" Well, then," I can imagine that when Wil fell ovei that horrible precipice, he might not have been killed-that a tree or something might have broken his fall, and that inBtead of being dragged by some wild beast to his lair, some Indians-for we have
read that portions of the united states are BIIII
inhabited by Indions-»iiff/¡¿ have seen bim fall, and picking bim up in their stealthy way carried him away to their c<mp, where he might have been retained as a captive, in the hope of securing a reward or
ransom for him-"
" Arley, Arley !" the sweet voice rang out very sharply. ".You have heard something-y ou are try- ing to prepare me for something-"
She gasped for breath and could not go on, for the suddenesB of the thought almoBt paralyzed her.
Arley gathered her close in her trembling arms, drew the golden head down upon her bosom, and with her lips against her cheek, whispered :
" And if I were, could you bear it ? Could you bear to have me tell you that good news has come to us from over the sea to-night and that some one is coming here to tell us all about it, and-and-"
" Arley," Lady Blaine said, a strange calm settling upon her, and lifting her white face to look at her aiater. " You are going to tall me that Wil, himself is here I That is why you have dressed me as you knew he would like to see me ; that is why you wanted to put those lilies on my breast."
*. And if it wera ali true, could you bear it P" Arley interrupted, with shining eyes, yet trembling like o leaf; and the beautiful ' Lily of Mordaunt' knew that
it was true.
Without a word she fell back in her aider's arma limp and white, and Arley was dismayed.
She put out her hand towards the bell-rope to summons aid, but Lady Elaine eloppad her with a gesture, '
" I shall not faint," she whispered. " I shall be stronger soon, but, oh I tell me, can it be true P"
"That Wil was not killed ; that he had a dreadful fall, bat a blessed tree saved bim; that Indians instead of a wild beast, picked bim up, bruised and broken, and carried him far away into the wilder- ness where they have held him a captive ever since f Yes, dear, it is all true, only I cannot stop to tell you half, for he is waiting to do that, But I am eo glad that I was chosen to bring yon these blessed tidings, for you have given me back so much of happiness, and I am nearly wild with joy to think that the Bhadows are about to be lifted from your life."
" Wil here I my own noble-hearted Wil, safe, and waiting to see me ! Oh, Arley, I feel almost as if earth and sense were slipping away from me ! Hold mecloBe, dear; let me feelyonr arms clasped tight
about me, to assure me that it is not a vision of my | imagination. Ob, thank Heaven 1"
The gentle girl was utterly strengthless for the time being; ehe could not move, she could scaroely think ; yet she waa conscious of the one transporting fact that her dear one was not dead, that he lived and loved her still, that he had returned and «as even then waiting to clasp her to his fond heart
Arley was very much disturbed by her helplessness ad, laying her gently down upon the couch where they bad been sitting, she brought a flask of eau de cologne and bathed her face and hands, after which, she went for a glass of wine, and made her drink
This treatment seemed to hive the desired effect for Lady Elaine began immediately to recover her dormant energies. A realizing sense of the great jo; that had come to her began to assert itself ; impatience to see the returned loved one seized har! the pathetic look which had overwhelmed her beautiful face began to fade away ; the light of a great happiness came back to her eyes, and her lipa* though still tremulous, regained something of their usual brightness.
" I am better, she said, sitting up ; but she seized
the flask of cologne which Arley still held, and drenching her banderchief, bathed* her face and head, and eagerly inhaled its pleasant perfume ; but she was still trembling in every limb.
"I am afraid that I have told you too suddenly," Arley said, regarding her anxiously: "I know I made a blungle of it, and it was the hardeBt thing I ever did in my life ; but Wil is waiting, and I was so eager for you to know. Darling, now you will for- give me for being so cruel as to ask you to dress so gaily ; but I could not bear that Wil should see you in mourning for him."
Lady EUine caught her about the neck and gave her a little hug ; then she laughed aloud-auch » happy, though somewhat nervous laugh, aa had not escaped her lips for many a long month.
" Bring me a glass please,' she said, a beautiful color coming into her cheeks, " for I cannot trust to even your perfect taste now; no, indeed, I would not have had him see me in those dismal robes for anything. " Ah I" she continued, looking into the hand-mirror which Arley had brought her, " I can" not improve upon your work, and I might have known it, for your tiste is faultless."
"My tsBte faultless P" Arley cried, gaily. "I have but made you look as nearly as possible like the ' Lily of Mordaunt' who was the cynosure of all eyes at the ball at Hazelmere, Now, dear," she added, more gently, " are you ready P Shall I go and bring Wil here to you, and then go to break the news to Sir Anthony and Lady Hamilton ?"
"Yee; but-oh, Arley, can it be trueP Lady Blaine cried, brokenly, growing white again as the lilies upon her bosom.
" You must be calm or I shall not go for him," Arley returned, almost sternly ; " and just think of the suspense that he is enduring all this time."
" True was the more composed response; " I W»B selfish not to think of that myself."
Arley bent to kiss her sister, and then weat to call the waiting lover.
Swiftly passiDg along the corridor, she ran down a side staircase to an entrance facing the stables.
Here she rang the coachman's bell, and then, open*
ing the door, stood waiting for Wil.
Presently she saw him coming, but he staggered almost like a man intoxicated. He waa deathly pale, Bnd she saw that he was almost as unnerved as Lady Elaine had been ia prospect of this reun-
"Stop!" she said, firmly, as he would have rushed past her without even asking where he should find bia loved one, " You must not go to her like this it has been a feai ful shook to her already, and if you are not calm she will be ill."
" I know, but I thought you would never come,'' Wil answered, putting his hand to his head in a dazed way ; " and I can hardly believe that I am home after »11-I am almost afraid that I am asleep and dreaming, and shall wake up to fina myeolf in that wretched wigwam in that western wilderness. But I will not be BO weak," he added, straightening himself resolutely ; and Arley turned witheut another word and noiselessly led him up the stairs and toward her Bister's boudoir.
She aoftly turned the silver handle and opened the door, »nd'there, standing in the middle of the floor in an eager, listening attitude, her scarlet lips parted, her blue eyes shining like stars, her spotless drees trailing about her, and the lilies on her breast quiv- ering with every pulsation of her heart, waa the Iovliest vision that she had ever seen.
Pushing Wil gently within the room, she closed the door, the happy tears raining over her face and her heart fall of wondroui joy,
She went to her own room, and, while dressing herself in festal robes for this glad occasion, gathered
something of mora composure, and then went to break the news to Sir Anthony and Lady Hamilton, which ehe succeeded ia doing with less excitement and abruptness than when she had told her sister.
Who can describe the joy thit reigned at Mordaunt House that night P No one could do justice to it, for the reunion was one of those blesBed and perfect events which weak words are far too feeble to por-
When all had grown somewhat composed after the exciting meeting, Sir Anthony, in a broken and trembling voice, said :
" My boy, you know I used to say that I did not believe in a God-a personal being, who loved and cared for human beings as His children. I said and believed, or at least tried to satisfy myself that I believed that the laws of nature were all the God there was, and that religion and the worship of a Supreme Being was but a mere sentiment, But the life of this dear girl," taking the hand of Lady Elaine, who waa sitting beside him, " during the past year, end now your wonderful preservation with all the attending circumstances, and your return to us, have convinced me to the contrary. Hence- forth," he'continued, reverently, "I shall confess my belief and trust in an All-Wise Buter, and my future shall be spent In His service, to prove my gratitude for this supreme hour of my life,"
Lady Blaine lifted his trembling band to her
" Dear Sir Anthony," she said, while grateful tears stood ia her lovely eyes, for he bad oftsn grieved and wounded her by bis scepticism, " this is the crowning joy of all I"
? CHAPTER L.
Before Arley slept that glad night, she wrote a full account of what had transpired to Philip, and begged him to return to her just as soon as possible.
"We are all so happy that we want you here to share it with us," she said ; " and when you do come the reunion will he complete-perfect."
A few days brought a reply, as fond and tender as the most exlaoting heart could wish ; but Philip said he could not return just yet. He hoped it would not take him miicb longer to complete his butines*, He supposed he could run up to London for Q few hours, but that would be very unsatisfactory, and he felt that it would be better for bim to remain until he had settled everything to his mind,
Arley, though disappointed, strove to be content and to make the best'of it. She was so sore of her happiness and his truth, that ehe could afford to be patient for a little longer, she thought,
Annie Vane and her husband were telegraphed for at the earliest possible hour the next morning after Wil'« return, and not many hours elapsed before they Vf exe on the spot to greet him,
Misa McAllister and Ino were also sent for to come and rejoice with the happy household ; and it did not seem as if there could be a more blessed family on earth than that which gathered around the hospitable board in Mordaunt House upon that day.
Lady Hamilton sat by the hour and feasted ber eyes upon the face of her idolized eon. Sir Anthony got up a dozen times during the day to go and take bim by the hand,
" I cannot feel quite sure, even yet, that it is true unless I touch you, to assure myself tbatyou are really flesh and blood," he would say, tremulously, as if to apologise for the act.
Lady Blaine was content te simply sit by her lover's side, where she could look at him and lietel to his Toice ; but her face was once more the radiant face of the Lily of Mordaunt.
Arley, growing every moment more buoyant and like the bright girl that ehe was when we first knew ber, flitted about like a lightsome fairy, performing little offices of love for the dear ones about ber, and attending to the comfort of the family generally, for no one elee seemed capable of doing it, eo absorbed were they in the returned wanderer; while Bddie Winthrope followed her from room to room, feeling almost as if she was an odd one and left out in the cold, and bo wished te make it up to her by showing her all the attention in his power,
Once, when they were passing through the hall to- gether, Atley put her arm about his shoulders and gave him an ecstatic bug.
"Isn't it beautiful, Eddie, to have every body BO happy B once more P And when ancle Philip
A soft kiss dropped from tremulous lips upon his forehead told him better than words could have done what that coming would be to her.
"Yes he assented, with a little sigh, half of content half of sadness, BS he thought of those two lonely graves in the distant churchyard ; " it seems almost
" But be added with a flash and a fond glance up into her face, "I never thought anybody could grow so lovely as you do/*
" Thank you,little flatterer," she returned,laughing, "it is all because I as so happy. Happiness Is a great beautifier, it is said. But Eddie," she asked suddenly, " how is that invalid limb?"
" Oh it is ever so much better ; there is no soreness at all now that last wash that the surgeon gave me has done it a great deal of good."
"I WBB thinking," Arley said, speaking very tenderly, for the boy was exceedingly sensitive about his lameness, " that I would like to take you to Monsieur Roulina', and have that new foot fitted to you, so that you can get used to it a little before uncle Philip comes, and give bim a pleasant surprise Besides, there is to be a grand wedding very soon, to which we are invited, and I shall want my boy to make as fine an appearance as possible."
The boy wound his arm about her waist with an
" How good you were to say that I might always stay with you and Uncle Philip-bow I love you !' he said, earnestly.
" Why Eddie!" Arley cried, deeply touched by this manifestation of feeling, " it wasn't because I was 'good* at all, I shall even have to confess to being a little selfiBh about it, I wanted you, for I began to love you that day whan I first met you in the or gallery. But come, I want you to go to the conser- vatory with me, to help me cut and arrange some flowers-we must deck the whole house to-day in honor of our guest, and then by and by we will steal away for an hour or so, and go to see Monsieur
Ina Wentworth'« wedding-day drew near, and when Wil heard ot it and that Lady Blaine, Arley, and Annie had been chosen to act OB bride-maids-for Ina said she would have only those whom ehe loved about her, when she took her marriage vows upon her-he declared that if Sir .Charles and his fair bride-elect did not object, they would make a double wedding of it, for be did not intend to stand upon ceremony,
bnt claimed his wife at once.
All seemed to be pleased with this arrangement. even Lauy Elaine did not demur, though it gave her very little time, and so it was decided that there should be two brides instead of one upon the ninth of¡¡December, the day set for the ceremony.
-Philip was notified of this decision, and wrote that he thought he should be able to get through with his
business so as to return the day before the wedding, and though Arley was growing very impatient, she was still very happy, and so busy and interested in the happiness of others around her, that the dtys slipped very quickly by.
Eddie was provided with his new foot and found that he was not nearly so awkward with It as he bad expected to be at first. Arley was greatly astonished and no less delighted, when, on the day that they went by appointment to gel it, he walked a little way down Oxford street with her, and scarcely limped,
She had an errand at her lawyer's office-which was only a »hort distance from Monsieur Boulins rooms-which was no other than to commission the good man to settle an annuity ofa hundred pounds upon good Jane Collins, and Captain Bancroft's desti-
La J y Elaine had already made the same provision for them, and thus those humble, but whole-hearted people were made comfortable for the remainder of
The day before the double wedding-the day set for Philip's return-arrived, and all through its long hours Arley watched for her husband with almost feverish impatience and anxiety.
But he did not come.
Late in the afternoon there carnea telegram to her saying that, to his great disappointment, he had missed hiB train, but he would surely be with her early in the morning.
This was a great and unforeseen trial to the young wife, and for awhile made her sad and depressed.
" It is too bad, Annt Arley ; I am so tony," Eddie said, glancing ruefully at her overcast face, and slip- ping bis hand within hers to show his sympathy,
' She heaved a deep sigh ; then she turned to him
with a smile,
" I was so sure that he would come that it seemed
very hard to get this," she said, touching the tele- gram ; " but I will try not to cloud the happiness of any one else, and the few hours that must intervene will soon slip away."
" I will imagine," she added to herself, " that to- morrow will be my own-my real wedding-day, also, and that Philip will then coma to claim his bride," and she exerted herself all the evening to make everything bright and pleasant for those
Just as the family were about to espérate for the night, Arley and Lady Elaine were standing together with their arms twined about each other, and Sir Anthony went up to them and laid a hand upon the shoulder of each,
"The ' Lily' and the ' Hose' of Mordaunt," he said, smiling fondly upon them," two of the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed in this world of ours; Heaven bless you both I I love you both almost as if you were my own daughters,"
Morning(came-a beautiful, cloudless morning-a perfect day such SB gloomy London rarely knew,
and there were sweet voices, radiant faces, and bogy
hands and feet in Mordaunt Honse,
At nine o'clock a carriage drove rapidly down the street, stopped before the door, and Philip Paxton* strong, well, and never handsomer, sprang lightly to
A figure at that moment suddenly disappeared from the window above the hall, and when he en- tered the vestibule below, a lovely vision came gliding down the stairs to greet him.
It was Arley, in » dainty white wrapper, with simply a bunch of roses in her belt.
Philip's heart gave a great bound at the eight of her, and his eyes were aa tender as a lover's, as he
bent to look into hers.
" My darling !" he said, gathering her close in his arms, " at last I bave you ; we will never be separ- ated again while we live ; and you are wearing the roses that I love best in the world I Do you know why I love them ?" he asked, touching them ten* derly.
" Perhaps for the very esme reason that I wear them," Arley answered, with shining eyes, as she laid her soft cheek against his and nestled closer to
" What is that ?" he asked,
" Once, when we were at Hazelmere, I gave you a crimson rose, and you called me the ' ROBS of Went«? worth.' Do you remember ?"
" Yes," he answered ; " and I never see a crimson rose without thinking of it, and I have always loved it, because these dear hands fastened one above my heart that evening. But," he added, with a gltd light in his eyes, " I shall give you a new name to« day."
Arley looked up with smiling inquiry.
" Wait,"he said, ''until after the wedding, and then I will tell you what it is ; but whatever It may be, to me you will ever be the brightest and sweet-
est Rose that blooms."
'? And I bave a little secret for you also, when all this comfueion Is over," Arley replied, archly. "But come and have your breakfast. I ordered it prepared for you, for I was sure that you would be here about this time, I will pour your coffee with my own hands, and then I must run away to dress, I ought not to have waited until now.
" Why did you, dear?" Philip asked, with mock gravity,
" Beoauee, you know," she returned, with a shy glance and a bewitching blush, " I did not not thick it would quite do to have all my bridal finery crushed by such a ruthless pair of arms.
Philip laughed such a glad, hearty laugh, and
folded her still closer in his fond embrace.
At eleven o'clock the aristocratic bridal party from Mordaunt House passed, with" stately etep and Blow," up to the altar of St. George's church, Hanover
Annie Vane and ber husband led the train, and took their station at the right, Pbilip and Arley came next, and passed to the left, while the two brides and grooms arrayed themselves in tha
A brilliant throng had assembled so witness this double marriage, with which so much of interest and romance was connected, and it was really an occasion long to be remembered,
The two maidens about to plight their troth wore the conventional white satin, with exquisite veils of rare old point-one the gift of Lady Hamilton, the other of Lady Herbert-and fairer brides the "sun ne'er shone on," The ever appropriate orange blossoms graced fair Ina Wentworth, but Lady Blaine wore nothing but white lilies upon her bosom and gracefully drooping among the folds of her veil.
It was Arley's idea ; and Wil, when he saw his gentle bride-elect come forth from her hands, thanked her with shining eyes. |
: Annie Vane's dress was of a heavy corded silk-a very delicate shade of pink, the effect of which waa enhanced by an eiqieite set of diamonds, her father's gift to her upon her own marriage-while ehe bore in ner hands a basket of pink and white azaleas,
Arley wa esp ecially lovely in cream-white silk with rich crimson roses at her throat and in her belt, anda basket of beautiful blush-roses in her hand,
When the rector came forward in his robes to
perform the ceremony, requesting the parties to join their right hands, Philip quitely reached down and took Arley's in a strong yet tender clasp ; and when Wil Bnd Sir Charles repeated the solemn marriage service, she saw his lips moving also, and knew, with a quick heart-throb, that he was renewing his own vows, while the solemn look upon his face told her that never again, while life should last, would be swerve from his allegiance to her,
She felt doubly sure of it when, after they had
entered their carriage, its curtains drawn close¿to îeà turn to Mordaunt House, he drew her again in bia arme, and murmured :
" My darling, I feel as if to-day were our real wed« ding-day."
And then ehe told him how the same thought had come to her the night before, when she had received his telegram,
" It was the handsomest bridal party that I ever saw," the Duchess of Bladesboto said to Sir Charles'
' mother, when, after the «rand breakfast was overt '
she went, to congratulate her upon the acquisition of so sweet a daughter; and many of the other guests were heard to echo the same sentiment.
When at laBt it was all over, and the happy couples bad departed upen their journey, Philp led Arley away to the little room over the hall, where he had seen her wheo he alighted from his carriage that morning,
" I want you to my self for a little while," he said " and," he added, " I told you that I should give you a new name to-day-shall I tell you now what
" If you wish, Pbilip," she answered, thinking it was some foolish pet name that he bad though! of,
" Well, then, you are no longer simple Arley Pax- ton, wife of a bumble barrister ; henceforth you will be known as Lady Paxton, Baroness of Elmsford."
" What do you mean ?" she asked, with wonder« wide eyes.
And then he tbld her of the death of his three cousins and his aunt, and that he was thus left tie only heir to the large estate of his uncle, with an In- come which would enable them to lire about as they liked during the remainder of their life;
He said that he should give up his business ia the city to hie clerk, for his estate would be all the care he should wish for, and thus they could reside in the country during all the pleastfntest portion of the year. He told her that he had been to Elmsford dux« ing all the past weeks, attending to having the house and grounds put in thorough repair, and having Borne refurnishing done which he thought a certain dark-eyed lady would like-this had been the "bnei ness" which had required hia Immediate attention upon leaving the' hospital.
"Now I haye confessed, and will proceed to take your deposition-you said you had one to make," be concluded, smiling,"
"Yes, Philip," Arley said, regarding him earnestly; " It is the secret of my birth." He gave her a startled look.
"You have discovered-you have learned who you arel" he said, astonished.
. "Yes, and"-growing a trifle pale, while eba watched bim closely/for she meant to teat bim ?%
little further-" couid jou bear to learn that, though I have been ed ucated to fill a high position, and per- haps am fitted for one, that my parentage was not such BB would entitle me to itP"
He never hesitated an instant, but drew her close
to hil heart,
" My darling I" be said, and there was a note of passion in his voice ; " every one has a sort of pride in his or her antecedents, but I believe I should rejoice to learn that you were of the humblest origin so that I might prove to you how I love my wife, and bow proud I am to give her a position which she is worthy to fill. Dearest, I do not care who you are, or to whom you owe your being since 1 have won what I mist care for-your love and trust."
She lifted ber head from his breast and stood proudly before him then. She was almost regal in
" Thilip ! Philip I" she cried, and there was an exultant ring in her sweet tonee. " I am Lady Alice Warburton, eldest daughter of the Duke of Mordaunt and Haine is my own suter ; but oh ! I am far more proud to be the wife of Philip Paxton, and to know that he loves me for myself, than I am of my noble
He did not speak for a full minute. Her tidings had amazed bim, striken him dumb, and if the truth had been known, he was more sorry than glad to
learn of her exalted station in life.
" How can that be possible ?" he asked at last, in
a very grave tone.
Of course the «tory bad to bo all told over to bim but we know it, and will not linger upon it, i
How wonderful it all iel" he said, when she had I related everything; "and," with a blush of shame mantling his cheek. " how I schemed and plotted for the Mordaunt fortune!*! made gold myjidol, and lost everything- sacrificing even my good name and self-respect to achieve my ignoble pur- pose. But when I came to my senses and realized my ale, bow strangely I have been dealt with ! I not only regained your love, the most precious of all things to me now, but fate bad seemed to hurl me into the very lap of luxury and heap honors upon me, How I bless that sweet sister of yours for the rough kindness which, like a mirror, n fleeted my moral deformity and vileness, and led me to draw baok from the precipice over which I was about to plunge, and recover the honor and manhood which I had so nearly lost. My beloved, how much we both owe to the lovely . Lily of Mordaunt !' "
OUR NEW TALE.-We com- plete above the Interesting tale "ABLET." The new story, the first chapters of which will ap- pear next week, is entitled " TUB STOLEN MAKBIACE," and will be found eminently readable and full of engrossing incident.