Chapter 18877220

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Chapter NumberXLV
Chapter TitlePERFECT FAITH
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18877220
Full Date1885-04-04
Page Number13
Corrections0
Word Count7333
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleArley
article text

FSÖTION.

(Vroni English, Am »rien ti, and other Periodical!,)

CHAPTER XLV.

PEBPBCX FAITH.

Philip's convalescence was quite rapid after the «vents related in the last chapter ; happiness isa great restorer, and he began to gain strength so fsBt that the surgeon told him he would not be obliged to re- main in the hospital more than a) fortnight longer

at that rate.

" And Mrs. Paxton." he said to Arley, whose face seemed to gain new beauty and brightness in propor- tion to Philip's progress, " one would almost imagine that you also had been suddenly restored from a severe illness, for I never saw such a change in any one before as there has been in you since your hus- band began to recover."

" It is not strange, ia it, that I should rejoice to have my husband restored to me ?" she asked, some« what tremulously, but he did not dream how much of significance her question contained, although Philip

understood it well.

"No-no indeedf he returned, "but really you seem like an entirely different person from what you were when you came here."

And he was right ; for she seemed suddenly to have been transformed from the sad-faced, unhappy woman who had come there expecting to see har hus- band die, into the brght and beautiful Arley whom

we first knew at Hazelmere.

She waa aomewhat more mature and dignified in her bearing, but with love and happiness bloasoming anew in her heart, with every trace of the old bitter- ness and despair wiped out, the lines of pain faded from her face like magic, her beautiful dark eyes grew bright and sparkling, a lovely flush tinged her cheeks, and ber mournful Ups were wreathed with

smiles once more,

The first time that Lady Elaine saw her after her reconciliation with Philip, she exclaimed :

"Ah! you have good news for me-Philip is

better."

" Yes, darling," Arley said, joyfully, " going to get well, and-we aro both better io body and soul.".

Lady Elaine understood at once, and kissed her with tremulous lips,

" I am so thonkf al," she murmured, "my own sister, may God grant that all your future bo bright-that no other shadow ever fall upon it."

Tears sprang to Arley's eyes, and she mentally

cried :

"Oh if I could only bring back happiness to her sor-

rowful heart."

" Have you told him who you are P" Lady Elaine

asked later.

"No not yet-I want to enjoy the luxury of being loved for myself-a poor, nameless waif, who has not a bit of dower with which to enrich her lord for awhile," Arley returned, with shining eyes, adding : " There will be time enough for disclosures

by and by."

" Have you bean with Miss McAllister ever since your return to London ?" Philip asked her one day, when Bbe had been telling him of her travels with Lady Horbsrt and har SOD.

" No, not all the time," Arley answered, a slight flush rising in her cheek. " I was with her for awhile until Lady Bl tine decided to open Mordaunt House once more, and I have been with her, *s a sort of companion, since then."

" Ah ! then Mordaunt House ana been reopened l'i said Philip somewhat surprised, "how does Lady Hamilton get along without her ?"

"She does not get along without-she has con« sentad to malte Mordaunt House her home whenever she is in Landon, and Elaine will spend a good deel of time, as befors, ,'at Hazelmere."

" What does Lady Blaine think of me P" Philip asked, a deep flash rising to his brow, and a troubled

look in his ejea,

" She thinks she will be very proud to own you as' a ' brother,' Arley has almost said, but she hastily substituted the word " ' friend ;' she knows all of that you have been doing during the past year-shs honors you for it, and-she helped make your peace

with me."

"God bless her I" he said, heartily. "I believe the Lily of Mordaunt ia almost an angel. Poor Wil 1" he added, with a heavy sigh.

" Yes, Elaine is the most lovely character I have ever known. Her sorrow is the only bitter drop in my cap now," Arley answered, echoing his sigh.

" Where would you like to live, Arley, when I am abla to go away from here P" he asked at another

time.

" Almost anywhere within our means, dear," she returned, with downcast looks. " You know," she added, with a mischievous glanes out of the corner or her eye, "to quote a homely adage, 'beggars

mustn't be choosers.' "

" Don't, darling, speak in that way of yourself," Philip said, really pained ; " but," he addad, after a moment, " I am glad that you are ' poor and mane less,' ss you used to say, for now I can prove to you that I really love you for yourself alone."

" Do !you dare to call the wife of Philip Paxton ' namelesa ?' Do you consider me * poor' when I have twenty thousand pounds In my own right in the Bank of England ?" ehe demanded, shyly.

" I have the bestof the argument, notwithstanding,'' , he retorted, smiling, " for you are indebted to me for both nnme and fortune. I cannot help glorying ia the fact, after all my cruelty in the past, aad my whole future life shall be devoted to you, my beloved. But you have not told me where you would like to live. How would you enjoy spending a portion of the year in the country ?"

"Ishould enjoy it exceedingly; but that would interefere with your business, would it not P Besides, it would be very expensive."

"But my business has been ia a flourishing con- dition of late, and will, doubtless, continue to be when I can get at it again, and I tbink it will warrant our consulting our taste and inclination regarding a

home."

" Will you still keep Eddie ?" Arley asked, .

" I should like to, if you do not object," Philip answered, regatding her somewhat anxiously.

_»t.? -

" I should object to his being sent away from you," . she said, earnestly. " I think he is a very promising

boy ; and since he is so interested in art.he will make a most ogreeobl" companion forme. Perhaps it would be wiee for us to take roomB in the city for awhile, and not be too haety about deciding upon a permanent home."

8be said this merely to test him, and never once suspecte'! that he had been trying her in the same

way.

"Very well, Arley," he said, quietly j "I shall be governed by jour wishes in all things. I perceive that you are rather fearful regarding the cost, but you need not bs, for I shall never trouble you here- after by living beyond my means," he concluded,

with a peculiar smile.

She smilad, too, thinking of the fortune which had recently como to her, and how ample their income would be for almost any kind of life which they might choose to live ; while, on the other hand, his plans were all motored, and he knew just what he

would do.

Arley had said that ehe should enjoy the country exceedingly, and, with a thrill of joy, he bad said to

himself :

" We will go to Elmsford to live. That grand old place will, after all, become my home. I can assume the duties of my new position, and-Arley will be Lady Paxton! I will go there, have everything made ready for her, and then surprise her with her new home and the secret which I have been keeping from

every one-"

Eddie was admitted to see Philip as soon as it was thought that he was able to receive visitors, and his surprise and delight upon¡learning that Arley was bia Uncle Philip's wife can be better imagined than de-

scribed. .

" There has been a misunderstanding between Mrs. Paxton and mysslf.for which I was wholly to blame," Philip explained to him whils Arley was out of the room for a few moments. " I do not want the sub- ject ever reforred to hereafter, but I wished you to understand that it was entirely my fault that we

wera separated."

" Yes, sir," Eddie said, with a wistful look at bim, BS if loth to believe that he could do anything very wrong. "I thought," he added, "that Bbe wasn't very happy when I saw her at the exhibition ; but I'm sure sbe'a all right now, for she has grown-oh, so much more beautiful lhnn ehe was then ! May I call

her auntie ?"

" If she likes you to do so, yes," and it is needless to add that Arley cheerfully granted him the privi-

lege he desired.

At the end of a fortnight from the time that he began to improve, Philip was pronounced well enough to leave the hospital,

" My first work shall be to make a home for my wife," he said on the evening before he was to go, '.' but I shall be obliged to go out of town on business for a little while first and it is impossible to take you with me, much as I dislike being separated from yen just now. Will you go and take possession of my rooms until I return, or would you prefer to go back to Lady Elaine until I come for you ?"

"I will go to her until you are ready for me, Philip, if you will allow Eddie to remáis with me, I shall be very lonely without you in a strange place. But," she added, a Bhadow flitting over her face, " is it absolutely necessary that you go ? Cannot you send some one to attend to this business for you ? I fear you are not able to travel yet; besides-"

" Besides what, my beloved ?" he questioned, fondly but gravely, as she hesitated, and fearing that

ehe wa« still doubting him somewhat.

" I cannot bear to let you go away from me, now that I have you back once more," she confessed, blushing like a shy girl, and hiding her face upon

bia shoulder,

'? Oh I Arley 1" he ciied, in a voice in which pain and joy were blended, " I do not deserve that you should love me like this. Oh ! if I could only wipe out from your memory and mine the past two years."

" Hush," she said, gently, " I do not believe that such a wish is right. Perhaps we both needed just that discipline to fit us for the future."

" And ia there no root of bitterniSB left in yonr heart P Way down in ita deepest recesses is there no scorn or contempt for me ?"

" None, Philip," she answered, with a grave sweet- ness, " the remembrance of the past will gradually grow to be like a dream to me.; and now I can only rejoice to find that the man I have loved is not a myth, au ideal, but a reality. Perhaps, Philip, if you had never been subjected to the temptations which have so beset you during theBe two years, yon never would have known the strength of character which you possess."

" The weakness you should have said," he interrup- ted, bitterly.

" Nay, you are strong," Bhe persisted, *' for you have come forth from the battle a coiquerer-you are like a hero who has fallen time after time -before his assailing foes, but who has bravely struggled up again to oppose them ; who has been desperately wounded, and will carry the Bears of the conflict to the end of his life, but which go to show that victory crowned bim at last,"

" Your words are very comforting-you are very lenient in your judgment of me," he replied, sorrow- fully, " but if I had not dragged you down with me --if I had not wounded you also, I could bear it better. Do you know," he added, earneatly, " that I would like the marriage service to be repeated over ne P That other seems like a .mockery-it was a mockery on my part, though Heaven knows that the vows which I have registered in my heart since you have given yourself back to me, are as solemn and sincere ae love and true repentance can make them.

Arley lifted her face, all shining with tenderness and joy, and kissed him.

" Let us never refer to the past again, please ;" she said ; " let us, though we have been husband and wife in the eyes of tbe world for two years, date our real marriage from now, and never again go back of it. I give myself to you without reservation ; I love you wholly, perhaps even more of depth and tender- ness than I did when you asked me, at Hazelmere, to be your wife. I have perfect faith in you, too, Philip, so do not let us mar our life with vain regrets or morbid repinings, The only thing that troubles me now, is that you must leave me, but-you will not be long away," she pleaded, in conclusion,

?' No longer than I can posBibly help, dearest. I do not know just how much of an undertaking I have before me, hut you may rest assured that 1 shall not remain away from my newly recovered Measure a day longer than I can possibly help."

The following morning Arley saw him start away on his trip, and then went back to Mordaunt House to wait with what patience eba could for his return.

Lady Elaine welcomed her back with delight.

" But she said, between smiles and tears,- " there is 'always a thorn with a rose,' and I cannot bear to think that you will, perhaps, have to leave me again. I am glad and thankful for your happiness, Arley, but I shall miss my Bister."

" We will not be separated more than is absolutely necessary," Arley returned. " I suppose that Lady Hamilton will claim you a portion of the time, but I shall insist upon having you the rest,"

"I expect I shall be between two fires all the . time," Lady Elaine responded, smiling. " But when

ore you going to tell Philip of our discovery, my Lady Alice ?"

"When he returns; weare then to decide about our future home, and I cannot delay the revelation longer, for, of course, a daughter of the house of Mordaunt will have o fitting residence in which to entertain her beloved sister and friends," Arley eaid, smiling, and not having the slightest suspicion that Philip had taken those¡matters into his own hands, and was even then discussing with his steward the elegont furnishings which were to embellish Elms- ford in honor of the home-coming of his wife.

CHAPTER XLVI.

WIIi HAMILTON.

Sir Charles Herbert and Ida Wentworth rode in Rotten-Row, according to the arrangement made during the evening spent at Mordaunt House, and the young baronet thought that he never had seen a picture more fair than the lovely girl made seated upon her glossy, coal-black steed, her graceful form elad in its perfectly fitting habit of dark green cloth a bat of the same coior, with a long, sweeping plume, upon ber small head, a delicate flush upon her cheeks, and a shy, tell-tale light in her beautiful eyes, which assured him that the project which he had in view would not prove an unsuccessful one,

'' I fear y.u will not think me a very accomplished borsewoman,"shesaid, pattiD£ theshiningneck of the beautiful horse, after Sir Charles had assisted her to mount, and while he was arranging her stirrups ; " so I 'trust you have not given me an animal that will require expert management."

She had tidden considerably, and was very fond of the exercise, but she was always a little timid upon a strange horse.

Sir Charles gave her a look whicb}sent the lovely color sweeping into her cheeks.

I never could hove trusted you upon Jet-nor indeed upon any horse-without first being perfectly' assured that there was not the slightest danger, from either its disposition or education. You will find my pretty mare a perfect lamb to -tanBge, yet like a bird for speed," be said.

> That ride WOB one never to be forgotten by either

of them.

They rode for nearly an hour in Rotten-Row among the elite, who gather there to display their elegant costumes and thoroughbreds, then they turned their herses' heads for a smart canter out on the ride I to Windsor, where, far from the noise and confusion

I of th» city, with only the birds and whispering

boughs of the over-arching trees for witnesses, Sir Charles told the gentle girllof his love for her, and won her promise to be his wife.

" I hove been a doomed man," he said, with a fond smile, when at length they turned their faces home- ward, "ev»r since that day when I made my first call upon Mrs. Paxton, after her return. It is strange how much has hinged upon the mere chanca of my being in that court-room in Madrid, and espousing

her cause."

"Chance P" Ina repeated, lifting her beautiful eyes to his face with a look of inquiry. " Do you thirik that anything in the world happens by

'chance' ?"

" What else would you call it, dear ? The fact of my having wandered aimlessly into that court just at that particular time? I had not the least object beyond idle curiosity to see how they conducted legal affairs in Spain,

" I believe that you were smt to save Arley, just OB you did save her. I think people are too apt to attribute many events of live to 'chance,' simply be canes tbey do not realize what power it is that impels and governs them-tbey imagine them to be merely ' happenings.' But notJiing 'happens.' . God ruli8," Ina concluded, reverently.

" And Always for the best, I suppose you would say, since you seem to trust him so implicity," Sir Charles returned, regarding her gravely.

"Yes, always for the best," she answered, with

sweet seriousness,

" Then, according to your theory, God has given yon to me, I bless him for the gift," Sir Charles said, drawing nearer to look down into those won derful blue-gray eyes, and speaking with thrilling

earnestness,

"Yes, He has given us to each other," Ino re- plied, with a slight trembling of her red lips. " How happy I am !" she added, naively, a moment after, " Who would ever havebolievod, when I was a poor little wolf in that fisherman's hut, that so muoh blessedness was laid up for me in the future !"

Sir Charles reached out and took possession of the smell prettily gloved hand that rested upon the pommel of the saddle.

" My darling, whot blesBedneBS I have secured for (he remainder of my life, since I am to have so sweet and gentle a monitor ever by my Bide. But," with a searching glance into her||blushing face, " how will your theory hold good in connection with Mrs. Pax ton's sad experiencia, and the cruel bereavement which has fallen upon Lady Elaine Warburton I"

" It is not 'my theory,' it is not a 'theory,' at all," Ina returned, earnestly, " It ia a living truth. God's ways are always right and beat. He can aee beyond and over all, He is tike an experienced gardener who knows just how to prune, and graft, and train the plants under his care ; he sometimes cuts off the most brilliant buds, the most promising shoots, in a way which, to those not understanding his motive, would seem like the most wanton destruction, when in reality the fnture life and beauty of the plant de- pended upon juat that kind of treatment,"

" But Arley Paxton would tell you that her life was ruined. Lady Elaine would say that she does not expect any real happiness this Bide of heaven,' Sir Charles said thoughtfully.

" I hQdly think that either of them would say just that," Ina returned, smiling, " although tbey both be- lieve that much of sorrow will be mingled with all their future ; but Arley Ia a better, a etronger woman already, for the trouble which she has had to bear» and she may live to see the wisdom of it; if she does not she will surely realize it hereafter, while Lady Elaine carries nothing but blessing with her wherever she goeE. I have been told that some one has named her the 'Lily of Mordaunt,'and most fittingly, I think, for ber life ia as full of beauty and fragrance as a lily."

" But it ia very ead that her prospects should have been BO destroyed,"

" Yes, it %s sad," Ina Baid, with a wistful look up into the handsome face by her «ide, " I fear that I could not bear sucho, trial with the patience and sweetness which she has manifested."

" We will not allow euch a fear to mar this day," Sir Charles said, with a fond pressure of the haBd which he still held, " And now, with your permis- sion, I am going home with you to tell Miss McAllister that I have won her treasure. Will she be very eevere upon me, do you think ?"

Ina broke into a low, musical laugh, though the beautiful color swept over her whole face at his

words.

" Auntie would never do or eay anything to make any one unhappy," she said.

" Would she not ?" returned Sir Charles with a mis- chievous glance, " then I shall tell her that two months ia all the time I shall allow my bride-elect for neceseary preparations."

" Ob, Sir Charles-" Ina began in a startled tone.

" Why Bbould I not have you, my darling, just as soon as possible," asked the fond lover, and she could

not tell "whynot."

«' Miss McAllister did not Bay him nay, either ; ehe must heartily approve of Sir Charles Herbert in every way, and would oppose no obstacle to his wishes.

" I am old, my dear," she said to Ina, when the young girl said that " two months" seemed " so soon," " and we cannot tell what the coming winter may have in store for UB, BO I should like to see you a happy wife while I can enjoy and share in your hap- piness."

So the day WOB set, and preparations immediately begun for the approaching wedding, though Ina, after learning of Philip's serious accident and subsequent illness, and that Arley had g.ae to him stipulated that if additional sorrow came to the girl whom she had learned to love so femdly, the marriage should be delated awhile out of sympathy for her.

But it was to be happiness, instead of sorrow for her, as we hove already learned, end as soon as Philip left the hospital and went away to transact his "importlint business,"she throw herself into all Ina's plans in the heartiest manner.

You have won a treasure," she eaid to her the first time she saw her after the engagement ; " Sir Charles is ona of the best men the world ever contained, and I believe he is going to have one of the sweetest of wives, too."

O&e day after Philip's departure, she went to see Miss McAllister, and found Ina surrounded by a host of dainty things pertaining to her trousseau, and her face lighted with interest.

You must let me help you about everything," she said. " Philip will probably be away some time, and I must have something to occupy my time to keep me from feeling my loneliness."

"There is plenty of work to be done," Miss McAllister answered, fondly regarding the smiling happy face, while a little song of thanksgiving thrilled her heart for the joy that had returned to I her, " and we will engage to keep you juBt BB busy ' as you desire to be ; so you may pull off your gloves

and begin at once."

Laughing softly, she wheeled up before her a table which was covered with piles of invitations waiting to be folded and put into their envelopes and directed ; tnd Arley, throwing aside her hat and mantle, sat down and copied names until her fingers

ached,

Every day after that she was there at her post to help, sometimes bringing Lady Elaine with her, though not very often, for the duties which she had assumed since coming to London, Buch as looking up and befriending the poor and sick, interfered with her spocdiag much time upon wedding finery, although she was often tempted to spend the day with those two eager happy girls.

It often caused her a pong as ehe looked upon them and thought how bright the future looked to them ; but it was only momentary, for every day the sweet spirit seemed t. become more sweet and pure, like fine gold from the refiner's fire, until she was able to reflect and partake of the bappinesB

of those around her.

One day, OB the wedding drew near, Arley staid a little later than usual, at Miss McAllister's.

She did not realise in the blight, cheerful rooms while her busy fingere helped to fashion 'pretty nothings' for the fair bride elect, that it could be BO dark and dismal outside ; but it was quite unpleasant, and as she stepped into her carriage to return to Mor- daunt House Bhe shivered with a sudden chill.

She would have been glad to go straight home, but she had promised to do an erand for Lady Hamilton at a drug store, and so Bhe gave her order to the driver, and was whirled away to Oxford-street,

Here instead of getting out herself she gave her prescription to the coachman asking him to get it put up for her, which he was very willing to do, and she sat in the carriage, waiting somewhat im- patiently, while he, was gone.

During this time a gentleman passed the carriage and looking up, saw the beautiful face at the window looking forth into the brilliantly lighted store,

Arley, however, hod not heeded him ; she had not heard the low exclamation which he had uttered upon seeing her, or noticed that after passing he had turned again and came up close to her carriage, where he stood somewhat in the shadow of it,

Her thoughts were full of Philip, from whom she had received a long letter that day, and she was wondering what the nature of his business could be to detain him from her so long.

Suddenly a voice arrested her attention-a voice which sent her heart leaping into her throat, and strange prickling pains flying over her whole body. turning her face os white OB death itself could have made ii, end making her head reel dizzily.

"Arley-Mrs Paxton," it said out of the chill darkness. " I do not wish to startle you, for I know what you believe ; but I thought if I could speak to you and you should recognize my voico, it might pre- pare you for the rest."

Arley clutched at the side of the carriage ; ehe felt as if ten thousand thunders were crashing in her ears, her voice refused to come at her bidding, her tongue seemed paralyzed and powerlesa to speak.

Apparently the man outaide could see her face, and realized how greatly she was agitated, for he con- tinued gently :

"Do not be so frightened. I would not have startled you BO for anything; but I long for the sound of a familiar voice ; speak Arley end tell me that you recognise me-that you are glad to see

me."

Then, indeed, Arley found voice and sense.

Leaning forward from the carriage window, she extended both her hands and cried in trembling

tones :

" Where are yon P Come here and let me look into your face. Ob, Wil, Wil ! can it be possible, or am I asleep and dreaming that you have come book f"

Before she had half completed her eager sentence, ehe felt her bands grasped in a strong, warm clasp a figure tall and manly stood at the window, and the face of Wil Hamilton, brave, noble Wil, wes looking down into hers, yet quivering in every muscle with mingled gladness and emotion.

" No, you are not dreaming, Arley, though I do not wonder that you should fear it, after believing me dead for BO long; but I am really and truly Wil-no myth, no spirit, but present in the body, though it ia almoat a miracle that I am, I have just arrived fromGlasgowvia theGrandMidland, and as it was too late to go down to Hazelmere, I was on my way to the Langham-walking, for I was too nervous and excited to be cooped up in a carriage-when passing you, the light from the store struck ful1 upon your face, and I recognized you instantly. I did not dare to present myself to you too suddenly, for I feared to startle you, and it seems that I frightened you sufficiently as it was."

" Oh, Wil, I cannot believe it even yet," Arley said in scarcely articulate tones, and still clinging to bia hands. " Get in here," ehe continued, excitedly» while ehe moved to make room for him, " and I will take you home with me. Your father and mother are here in London-Elaine too ; how shall we ever break this glad news to them P and ob ! we have so much to tell you, too."

I The excited girl hardly know what she waa saying,

and laughed nervously, almoat hysterically, OB she

concluded.

Wil Hamilton, scarcely lesa agtitated, availed him- self of her invitation end entered the corrioge, seating himself opposite ber.

" My father and mother here ! Elaine, too !" be repeated, in trembling tones. "Are they well?

Oh ! shall I see them to-night ?"

" Yes, all well, and yon shall see them in less than an hour; but oh I Wil, they have been heart-broken for you," and Arley here broke down, sobbing for

very joy.

" I know," he answered, huskily ; " but I am very thankful that they are here-it seemed an age to wait until to-morrow. I am afraid, however, that it will never do for me to go in upon them suddenly j I have upset you completely, and I fear it would be even worse with them. Arley, you must go home to them first, and'break the news to them BB gently as pos- sible, then I will come later," Wil concluded,

anxiously,

"It ia said that joy never kills," Arley replied smil- ing through her tears ; " but if you could give »)« such a shock, I should really fear for them, especially for your mother."

« ?$ ts-yes, they mußt be prepared first ; but where are theyP"

" At Mordnunt House."

"At Mordnunt House!" he repeated, astonished; "fiowiathat?"

" Elaine thought it would be pleasanter to be there by themselves while in London than to bein a hotel."

Arley thought this explanation would be sufficient for the piesent, .

" Eave they grieved for me very sorely ?" h e asked brokenly.

" Ob, it has been too ead for anything, Wil," Arley replied, weeping afresh ; " it baa nearly killed Sir Anthony and Lady Hamilton, and Elaine waa crushed at first, but at the eight of their grief shs seemed to lay away herself entirely, and has been like a pale, sweet saint whose mission it was to comfort them."

" Oh, it has been hard-hard !" Wil groaned, as the vision of their grief and the remembrance of his own experiences rose up before him.

" Yea, I do not know how any of them have borne it ; but I am nearly wild to leam oil that koa hap- pened to you, Wil, I will not question you now, though ; I will restrain my curiosity until you hove seen them," Arley said ; then she added : " I have some strange newa for you, too. You remember the discoveries that were made upon my wedding-day ?"

" Yes."

" You know I was bereft of name and fortune at one fell blow, but wonderful things have happened since. Elaine obtained a clue, and following it up hae unraveled all the tangled skein of my life by her perseverance ana patience ; and just think, Wil, I have turned out to be a ' lady of high degree.' "

" Indeed I That ia a discovery worth making," be said greatly interested,

" Yes; and you would never guess it, BO I may as well tell you-she has proved that I am her own sister-the peor little Alice who was supposed to have been lost at sea."

" Arley I It cannot be passible I" Wil exclaimed,

in astonishment.

" Oh, but it ia, my dear brother that is to be ; and," she added, with something of her old eauciness and your fair bride-elect has lost half her fortune by

the means.

" Only give me my bride and I caía nothing for the fortune," he returned, eagerly ; then continued; " But really, Arley, though astonished, I am deligh- ted. No arrangement could have suited me better. ButBhall you assume, or have you aeaumed, the

name of Lady Alice ?"

" No; everyone knows me by the name of Arley and it would be very awkward to change; besides the name ia not essential. But here comes Robert," ehe added, as the coachman made his appearance.

As be handed her the parcel which he had pur- chased, he apologized for having kept her waiting so long, sajing there were several to be waited upon before him ; but Arley replied, pleasantly :

" Never mind. I have met a friend who will go home with me, and I want yon to drive us there just as quickly as possible."

" Oh," she continued to Wil, as Robert sprang to his seat to obey, "if Philip was only here to-night, what a happy party we should make ! He ia out of town upon business."

On their way to Mordaunt House, they planned that Arley should enter as if nothing unusual had occurred, while Robert should drive Wil around to the stable, where he should remain in the coachman's room until eba should ring his bell, which was con- nected with the house and waa used to summon him whon wanted, when be wes to come to a side door, where ehe would admit him and conduct him to his

loved ones, j

But when the carriage stopped and she »lighted and went up the .steps, her heart beat so rapidly and she trembled BO, she feared that she should break down and frighten everybody nearly to death by her weakness before she could prepare them to receive

the wanderer.

Lady Elaine was just coming down stairs as she entered, and cried out when she saw her i

" How pale yeu are, Arley 1 Are you ill P And what made you so late ?"

Atley was so glad of that last question as a loop-

hole.

" Oh, you know, there is no end to bridal finery," ehe asid, with a nervous laugh, and trying hard to conquer her trembling ; .' and it was later than usual when I started to come home,"

" Yea, I know ; and you have worked over said bridal finery until you are tired out That is why you are so pale. Come up to my room, and let me help you off with your things, and brush your hair for you. You are damp, and shivering, and cold, and I fear you will be ill."

Lady Elaine regarded her anxiously, and winding an arm about her, gently forced her np ataira, and led her into her own bright boudoir.

CHAPTER XLVII.

MIMOSA.

When Wil Hamilton, in all the strength of his young manhood, started out with Major Powell's ex- pedition, he was full of enthusiasm over his antici- pated adventures.

Not a thought of danger or a suspicion of the terrible ordeal which loy before him entered hie mina or cast a shadow over the bright hopes which

animated bim.

He believed that the experiences which where to come would be of inestimable value to him in bia future career, and to be permitted to make one of the great explorer's company, was an .honor which he could not forego.

His voyage from Glasgow to New York WSB deligfaful, for the weather was all to be desired and he found many a pleasant compagnon de voyage.

Hejproceeded to Chicago¡where the major and the remainder of hie company were awaiting him, and tbey Btarted out at once for the un explored regions

of the Colorado.

All went well until the fatal evening, just as the sun was going down, the party passed along the brow of a precipice towards an open space a little beyond, which they had seen with their glasses, and which they had fixed upon as their halting place for

.he night.

No one thought of any especial danger-they had been in many places even more perilous than that and not a fear for their safety had disturbed them> and no one dreamed of the fearful calamity about to

overtake one of tbeir number.

Wil had diamounted from his pony and was lead" ing it along the narrow path, having more care for

the animal than for himself,

He never knew how it happened thftt he come to be so near the edge of the precipice, nor how he could have became so heedless; but hn suddenly stepped upon a rolling «tone, lost hie hold upon the bridle of his horse, felt himself plunging down down with frightful velocity through the deepening gloom and-knew no more until long afterward, he awoke tolfind himself in a strange, wild place and surrounded by strange, wild faces

He learned afterward that his fearful fall had been brcken midway by a tree which grew almost at right angles out of the rocks, aid whose dense foliage had probably been tha means of saving his life.

For one terrible moment he had hung suspended among its branches, then his form had slipped from among them and dropped into the chpem below.

Two Indians were lurking there among the brakee and brambles which grew there rank and green.

They hod been tracking the exploring party oil day, whether from motives of plunder or curiosity WBS never ascertained, but tbey bad known of a path which wound about the base of the precipice-au easier and less dangerous one-and thusitwos that they were hiding there at the moment of Wil Hamil-

ton's accident.

Ever watchful OB it waa tbeir nature to be, they had seen him the moment he had shot over the inmmit yet they mode no Bound, no effort to save him. They saw him as he hung so helplessly among the branches of that tree, and were as motionless as statues, until, in less than ic could possibly b. told, be dropped limp and senseless among the brakes at their feet.

Then they bent forward expecting to find him dead, but there were signa of life about the unfortunate man, thonghhe was badly scratched Bnd bruised, and without doubt, very seriously if not fatally injured,

A few swift gestures, a few brief sentences, spoken with Indian caution, then tbey stooped, gathered up tbeir helpless captive, and boro bim swiftly and noiseleBBly from the spot.

His hat had fallen almost where he bad loin ; a little further on hi sbandkerchief, which was in the lower side pocket of his coat, caught upon some bushes as they bore him away, andthese two articles were all that remained to tell the story of his awful plunge, thus giving rise to the conjecture that some wild animal had dragged him to his lair and there de-

voured bim.

The path at the base of[the|precipice WBB a wind, ing one, and the I-dians.-with their burden, hod long been out of sight when the horrified party above re- covered themselves sufficiently to seek for tbeir

comrade.

They could see nothing from the brow of the precipice, for daylight was fast departing, and every- thing in those mysterious depths wes shrouded in gloom.

But once arouied to a sense of tbeir duty, they mode thir woy, wifh all possible despatch, down the

other Bide of the mountain, and forced their woy into canyon to search for Wil's body. Th.y had no hope that they should find him living, but tbey hoped, at least, to find his remains and give them Christian

burial.

They found the spot where he had fallen among the brakes and brambles, for they were broken and displaced, and there were marks of blood. His bat was found, and at some dietance from it, as they searched with blanched end anxious faces, they picked up his hankerchief, but the body of tbeir comrade bad most mysteriously disappeared.

In that wilderness, where, tbey supposed, there wos not a human being besides themselves, it was but natural that they should arrive »t the conclusion which tbey did ; and after a long and fruitless search for the lair of tb. supposed despoiler, tbey were obliged to leave the place, though it WOB with sor- rowful faces and heavy hearts that they did BO.

But less than five miles away there was an Indian camp, and thither poor Will waa borne as rapidly as the ronghness of the ground and the state of his helplessness would permit.

Great astonishment and curiosity were manifested by the tribe when their scouts returned, net laden with deer and game, OB they had expected, but bearing instead . human body, and that of a pale-

face,

The "medicine man" was immediately called to attend to bim; an examination was made into the white man's injuries, and an arm and leg were found to be br.ken, while his body was badly bruised, and it was feared that there might be interaal injuries which would prove fatal.

He was taken to a wigwam, where his broken bones were not unskillfully set and bandaged, end his bruised body anointed with some compound known only to those rude people ; and then he was laid upon a comfortable couch of skins, a watcher was placed beside him, end then nothing more could be done for him but to wait until consciousness should resume its sway, or death should extinguish the spark of life which still remained in him.

It was several days before be carne to himself suffi- ciently to realize anything of what had happened to him, and then he wes greatly surprised to hear all about him strange voices speaking an unknown tongue, and to find himself guarded by a stately, grave-visoged red man.

He questioned him regarding his situation, but the Indian could not, or pretended be could not, under- stand anything that he said.

[(To be oontinued.)