Chapter 195881821

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Chapter NumberXII
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article195881821
Full Date1886-11-19
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count8651
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Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitlePort Adelaide News and Lefevre's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1883 - 1897)
Trove TitleDora Dunbar. An Australian Story
article text

moveltet.

DORA DUNBAR. AN AUSTRALIAN STORY;

CHAPTER Xtl.— (COXTINUED.)

BY " M O N V

Over the first hurdle as easily as so many birds, ihey pass; the second the Bsme, but at the third th&re is a collision, and the favorite, The Comet, comes to the ground, where horse and rider He motionless beneath the hoofs of the other animals. No sooner have they passed through than the former straggles np and canters cfi across the coarse, leaving his rider lying in a little huadled-up, brightcolored heap, sqggeBtive of awful horrors in its stirless stillness. ' White and sick I step down from the seat, burying my face in my hands shudderingly. "Dora, yon little goose," chides Nance, « yon are frightening yourself over nothing. He isn't hart, look," drawing me up to the seat again, from which lean seethe boy limping cfi on a policeman's arm. "He might have been killed, Nance," I gaEp. " He might have been, bathe isn't. Come, yon are missing the racs." It has lost its interest fot me, though I am glad to see Gilderoy come in first, with Sir Patrick a good second, and I feel not a -little disgusted with the hundreds of men round, not one of whom had moved an Inoh to gee if the jockey thrown was killed or not.. They all rash oS the moment the race is over, and so, to some extent, make amends. Many of the ladies repair to the carriage paddock at the same time, Mrs. Peyson and my companions among them, leaving the stand almost deserted. Among the few left I remain, glad to be, in a sense, alone, and regain control of my nerves. " Miss Dunbar, yon look pale, are yon ill?" with well-feigned solicitude Norton Fowler asks. " I thought yon went with the rest," I say in blunt surprise. "Sol did, bat I turned back, I'm not wanted, and I wanted to speak to yon. The shook has npset yon; can 1 get yon a glass of water or wine, or anything ?" "Nothing, thsnk you, I shall be right • presently." " Tender heart!" he murmurs; to be crashed at once by my prosaic retort. " fiddlesticks, Mr. Fowler; mind the widow doesn't overhear you." • Bsddening, he asks, " What of your promise ? Appearances are against me, I know, but let me cxplainl Mrs. Peyson asked mc to drive her down, and, as I had no excuse to Offer, I had to consent." " And tad to sit tied to her side with eyes and ears for no one else?" feigning ieslousv and thereby gratif ing his vanity considerably. " Not until you whitened me with your frosty greeting," he replies. " Have I satisfied you ? I conld not be so rode as to refuse her." "Especially when inclination eaicl 'consent.' " "If inclination said that, it was the hope of seeing yon that prompted the advice." "Save your sweet nothings for her ears, Mr* Fowler. I lik9 consistency above all things." " Why not practice it, then? I never find yon twice in the same modd. Yoa are amiable, contradictory, aggravating, charming, and distant by turns? The evil spirit yon charmed out of me the other day mu3t—" " Have entered into me. Is that what yoa mean?" "It amoonts to nearly the same," he Bmiles. "I believe it did. I never felt so hateful." "Confusion merits forgiveness, I absolve you," he rejoins, "prove your penitence by promising to let Mrs, Aroroft bring yoa to Fernlea on Saturday week." ",1B die going?" "I haven't asked her yet, but I feel'snre she'll eay yes, and her Bister also. Mr. Aroroft has already. Will you coma ?" "If she will take me." CHAPTER XIII. Saturday "week beholds as, after an early dinner,setting out for Fernlea. It is a lovely day, Spring-like in its mild beauty, and we are all in the best of spirits. " Mr. Arcroft rides with Nance, his betterhalf and I occupying the buggy. We drive through C—, where we are joined f>jr Mr. Alexander, who had alsoheen invited, and he and the other two canter gaily on in front,"indulging occasionally in a race, which takes away my breath to look at; then ambling sqberly back to meet as, and see how we are progressing. It is nearly dusk when we reach Fernlea, and we note gladly the firelight glowing through the crimson curtains, for it has toned chilly daring the latter part of oar jcorney. t$$r. Fowler is waiting on the steps to welcome ns, which he does heartily and gracefully.; leading the way at once to the' 5re whose light we bad seen. A splendid one it is, illuminating every corner of the comfortable room, and we toast enjoy ably before

it for a few minntes, ere we . repair 10 oar rooms. • ~ ^ance and I share the one, arid I redreBs my hair while die exchanges her habit for the black gown we had brought over in a small valise. "Snu'g bachelors quarters," I remark to h^r, with a glance roand the pretty room. "Yes. The Williams' family used to "live shere, and sometimes come up for.the summer now," she explains, fighting with a rebellions pin. The lamps ars lit in the parlor when we return to it, and on our way we catch a glimpse through the half-open door of the adjoining room, of the dinner-table, looking very inviting in its display of snowy linen and glittering glass and china. . Bound it we gather presently, and do ample justice to the good things before as. Mr. Fowler is a model host, and the plump, pretty girl—the housekeeper's daughter, as we learn later—who flits -to and fro between the table and sideboard, is an excellent wait- ress.- . The gentlemen rise from the table with as by common consent, and accompany /U3 to the parlor., Oar host establishes as in the easiest seats about the fire, and exerts himself to the utmost.'jnhis (piiet, jgracafal way, to render the evening a pleasant one.' > 7 * In laughtet and talk the minutes pass swiftly, and presently,our surprise, Mr. bowler draws aside a window portiere, ' and reveals a piano—an Erard. . " Miss Stairj is it trespassing too ; far on good-nature to ask yoa to favor as with a Utile music?"- • • • " By no means/' shepromptly rejoins; " I had no idea, though, you were apianist, Mr. Fowler S" "Nor am I. The instrument is the property of Miss Williams, 'who would feel honored, I know, by your nsing it." " What will yoa have?'* asks Nance, as she takes possession of the music stool. " Come, I feel magnanimous, and 111 sing each one's favorite, providing that I know it. Mr. Fowler yours first. Oh, but yon needn't tell me—it's * The Bridge,' isn't it ?" Almost erehe assentsshe heginsit. "' And the 'harden laid apbn me - : Seemed greater than I could bear'," sings.Nance with intense feeling. . "I don't admirp;y.our choice,Fowler?' says Mr. Arcroft, aB the little, khorus of applause at; the end of the: song dies away. " it's enough to give onfe the bines."

"'Tastes differ,'" quotes Nance "Fll gm you Edgar's favorite-now, Mr. Fowler ; set what jou think "of it." . v. . Arid,, with dancing eye?,. she ^strikes uj. •'McCarthy's Marej" of aU things.' Laughing is no, name for the explosion' that accompany her dashirg performance; s< irresistably comic is it'lhat it carries UB tl. .away.-, .... ..... ,..,.,. .... ... .,.,,,....„. ^ .. " Think it compares favorably Xnfh * The Bridge,' Mr. Fowler?!' "asks $ance, swinging round at its finish: with SpoopendyHdi Jolemnity; tiut.convulsed with laughter, ne can not " Humph 1 I must sober you all," saye Trance. V.This is Martha's,"" and, softly and eweetly.stiV .sings "Tired," ttoberingus effectually. ' ' . - . \ . "Waal's the. name of "yours, pot ? . Is It * Strangers Yet 7 I'm she sings it all the same, not waiting" for an answer. . . " Now, Bit," with an arch glance at Mr. Alexander, " what can I favor you with?" His answer is so low that I miss it, but I notice that she reddens and shakes her head. " Will this do ?" she asks mischievously breaking into " Pretty-lips." " Egad! Gilbert, that sounds tempting, eh V laughs Mr. Arcroft. "Hither," acquiesces her betrothed, looking as if he meant it. Looks are all he indulges in, though, for Nanoe's rule is, " no spooning in public." "Thank you BO much," says our host earnestly, as she returns to her chair. " It'e many a long day since these old walls wit nessed such a treat, or their occupant enjoyed ouch a laugl^. I hope yon have not tired yourself ministering to our pleasure ?'' " Not at all," Nance assures him. The next half hour we spend examining s goodly collection of photographs, sketches, and paintings, after which cake, coffee, and wine, etc., are brought in, and end the evening. ' . We are ap betimes the following morning. and, before breakfast, take a turn in the large but rather neglected garden, lying in the front and right of the house. There our host joins ns with some smiling remark about " early birds." " Are we to look on you as the ill-fate<" worm of the proverb, Mr. Fowler?" ask Nance, saucily. '•An it please you," he laughs. " Happ. worm, I should say ; but, Miss Stair, is i not as much as you can do to manage you: one big prize,". with a meaning glanoe at Gilbert, who had jast lounged lazily out on the step?. "Almost," admits Nance, "so I make you over to Dot," she concludes, coolly, as.Gilberl joins us. "Do you accept the gift?" he asks, presently, as the other two Btroll on absorbed in each other* - " Have I the option of refusal ?" "Would yoa exercise it, supposing that you had?"' "Undoubtedly. Miss Stair has not the power to dispose of other people's property." " Yoa talk in parables, Miss Danbar; please interpret this one for me," he says Etiffly. There is no necessity," I answer care- Your density ia only donned for the occasion." " I insist upon an explanation," he crys, half laughing, half angry. " It is adding insult to injury to deny me one after that remark." " Permit me, then, to congratulate yon on the happy event to take place on the -28th. Now do you comprehend?" "More gossip 1" 1b his oontemptaous ejaculation. « What have yon heard now?" " Simply that on that date Mr. Fowler -and Mrs. Peyson publicly ratify their mutual -exohange of .hands and hearts," I retort, recklessly. It is false—utterly false." " I heard it for a fact." « Miss Danbar, how long have yoa known me now?" "Ten weeks; more or less," wonderingly. ^ 1 « Have you ever daring that period found me false to my word, or known me to break my word?" No-o," I reply, hesitatingly, rather. " Then yoa can believe me now, I hope." f 1 suppose so," in ungracious assent. " 4 I repeat -then—it is false. When did yon hear this precious piece of news ?" Yesterday morning." And from whom, may I ask ?" Yon may ask, bnt I may not tell." " I might have known that," bis lips carl-, ing scornfully. " £ heard it incidentally, Mr. Fowler, and was bound by no promise to keep it secret, as yoa insinuate." Then why not tell me your author ?" " Because I would rather not," inanely. The truth ia, I had overheard Mr. Alex- 1 antler communicating the news to Nance.

and, apshehad either aotidentally ^r purposely failed to repeat it to me, I did not wish them to know I knew. Ah well," sighs my companion, "when • woman sayS die won't, it's useless to attempt to make her eay she will." " Then don't try," I advise, as the breakfast bell rings. During the meal, Mr. Fowler directs our attention to a steep rooky hill, visible from the dining-room windows, and informs us that it we can muster courage to climb it the view from the top will amply repay nBAfter breakfast we all stroll over to its base—half a mile ofi—and pausing there, debate whether to climb or not to climb. Eventually, we four juveniles set oS up its side, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Arcroft sitting at the foot to wait oar return. . Flushed and breathless, we gam the summit and gaze, lost in admiration, around. Blue in the distance on our right, beyond the intervening sandy knolls and grasy slopes and belts of forest land,rises Mount Gambier, while on our left, and away to the tear, curves ihe-river with its bluff headlandB «nd turbid torrent, and beyorid 0»1s again, quivering vrd glitteririg in *be morning breeze, and un, lie two large' lagoons set m a frame of cattle groves, against a background of bush. Having duly jadmired the views and re- •rained our breath, we tiBgin the descents « Be careful, Miss Stair, these rooks are very slippery," advises Mr. Fowler, as she springs from'rock-to rook,-but his warning caametolate. , , Even as he speaks she loses her footmg.and with a cry of mingled fear and j»ain, comes Jieavily to the ground. In a moment we gather round, but she will not allow us to touch hen , , " Lat me alone," she gasps, breathless and shite with pain, lying just where she fell; urning a deaf ear even to Gilbert's entreaties. "Nanoe, dear," he expostulates, "you oust let us carry you down," then, as the pallor deepens about her mouth and the -lender figure stiffens into insensibility, the strong man groans aloud. ; " Nance I my Qod, she is dying 1" he cries hoarsely, " Nance, Nance, my darling, speak '.o mc " She has fainted,'' sharply interrupts Mr. Fooler, "let us move ha if we cm before she •omea to." . - , ... " " Very gently they raise her, and, with difficulty, menage to bear their senseless burden' eafely to the foot: of the ejippery jlope, where, Mrs. Arcroft, her first agitation over,

with great self-possession takes charge of her. ^ ' Soon ahesueceeds in bringing her round The hazel eyes open, and, looking wonderingly from faoe to face, asks the question the farnt voice ntters in another minute. . " Where am I? What lias happened ?'' Gently Gilbert reininds her, arid, with an. oaa, .pitiful little laugh, she^truggleei up to a sitting position. ; ««I am right now,", she assures us, '« after scaring the wits out of you all—how etupid ofn>el"'j- i " Touhad a nastyfall, Miss Stair," says Mr Fowler. . . . . " Yes. : r I deserve it, though, lor being eo foolish. - If yon lend me y'orir arm, Gilbert, I think l oan get alorig now. I feel much better." Nevertheless, it h only with the help offMr. Arcroft's arm top that she oan make any progress." . J - Oa reaching the honse, Mrs. Arcroft insists upon her lying down for a wlnle, while Mr. Fowler preecribes a glaBS of wine, the joint effect of their advice being that, an hour afterwards, she is, comparatively speaking, herself.8gain. But it ia evident that the shock has npset her too much to admit of her riding home and the question arises, what is to be done? ,, ,, T Bide her horse, Ebony, I aouldn t were 1 ever so willing, nor dbes Mrs. Arcroft care to mount it,and the buggy will only accommodate tW"Lst me ride," begs Nance, "I can stick on right enough—" "Nonsense," interrupts Mr. Aroroft, "Ebony would soon let you see the opposite." " What is it ?" asks Mr. Fowler, who has been out ol the room during the discussion, and re-enteri! just in tim8 to catch the last remark. A few words explain matters,andhe quickly settles them, begging to be allowed to drive one of ns down in the dog-cart. " I have to visit C— to-morrow at the 2atest," he assures Mrs. Arcroft, in reply to her gracefully expressed"reluctance to put him to any inconvenience, " and my going down with you will insure my being in good time for my engagement: and give me pleasant company in exchange for a lonely drive, too." His ofier is gratefully accepted, and it is eventually settled I am to be his companion, as driving i3 not one of my accomplishments, and Nance is hardly equal to driving herself. „ It is late in the afternoon when we leave Fernlea, resisting all entreaties to remain till morning, both on Nance's account and mine. . "We mast make our invalid over to mother's care as soon as possible, and, besides, Miss Dunbar's duties claim her at half past nine." explains oar chaperone. Accordingly' ,Nance takes my place in the buggy, well wrapped in shawls and rugs, out of whioh she looks back smilingly at me perched up at Mr. Fowler's side in the dogcart, behind the mare whose trotting capabilities have made her famous in the C— district. " 'It's an ill wind that blows nobody gcod,' Mr. Fowler," she cries merriiy. " Confess now that in your heart of hearts you are not sorry I came to grief." Before he can answer, Mr. Aroroft shakes the reins and the ponies rattle off, with us after them. My oompanion makes a few preliminary inquiries anent my comfort, then launches the opinion: . " This is more than I deserve," with a huge sigh. "People eddom get their departs in this world," I remind him. "Then I may count myself the more fortunate." "What is the good fortune here?" I ask, wilfully dense. " The pleasure of baring you all to myself for two whole hours." " Is that your idea of happiness—a two hours' monopoly of a wouian's company ?" • <Not a woman's, but the woman's." he says, daringly, but I am not in an impressionable mood. " Whioh means," I laugh contemptuously, " that for the next two hours I have the honor of being the woman—" < Not for the next two honrs only, but to the latest hour of my life!" he breaks in hotly. "Dora—Miss Danbar, yoa can see, yoa mast have Been, that I love yon, with a love that must beeitber the blessing or curse of my life, for evro if—" "Now is my time," I say to myself, silencing him with an imperative gesture, and I exult in the thought, bnt, looking into the handsome eager face, my heart fails me a little. "StopI Mr.Fowler," I say, "anavowal of love in a dog-cart doesn't suit my sense Of the romantic at all." t "Why not?" he asks, angrily; " wha does it matter about the place, if the love b true?" O v " Don't yon eee," I query lightly, " it robs womati of her greatest triumph—the bring-

ing of a ' man,~proud man,' to her feet literally as well as figuratively?" 0 Mf -that's all," he retorts-grimly, " the a«fect is soon remedied," and removing the reins to his right hand, he sinks on one knee beside me, keeping one eye on me and the other on the mare, and cutting altogether such a ridiculous figurethat I fairly roar with laughter. " For pity's sake get up," I gasp at length, holding my aohing sides, and, after making several vain attempts to gain my ear, he bounces up, grinding his teeth with rage. " By heavens, you shall hear me I" he cries, seizing my wrist in his iron grip.- "Let me go I" I say coldly, calm at once, and, with a muttered apology, he removes his hold. "Pardon me," he begs humbly, Jooking repentantly at the marks on my wrist. " It is nothing," I return carelessly, slipping my hand out of sight. " It was brutal of me, but yoa drove me oat of my senses nearly. I was never more in earnest, and your laughing—" " No more need be said, Mr. Fowler, we will change the subject if you plsase." " Not till you answer my question." "I wasn't aware that you asked me one." - " No, you couldn't hear me. I asked you night I hops that my love was returned— whether you loved me well enough to become my wife?" Now that the opportunity I have longed for is within my graep, I am seized with a strange hesitation to avail myself of ithesitation prompted partly by ooneideration for him, but chiefly, I must confess, by the thought that suddenly thrills me through— what, if in rejecting and humiliating him, I dash my own hopes of happiness to the ground 1 After a pause, I say soberly— " The question is too important to answer hastily, Mr. Fowler, you had better give me a day or so to think it over." "A week if you like. I shall be down again next Saturday, all being well; will you answer it then ? And I promise that I - will. :> CHAPTEP. XiV. : D?poaiting Nance at Mr?. Stair's, we wait only long enough to explain bow the accident happened, and effect my removal from the dog-cart to the buggy, ere we post on to Sannyeide.

With an air of indifference, only half assumed, I listen to the pressing invitation down Mr. Fowler receives, and, it is needless to say, accepts. " We shall expect you on Sunday, then," are Mr. Arcroft's last words to him. " I ehallbe sure to come," he replies, looking meaningly at me as he speaks. " Daring the following week, New Zealand letters bring me news of an addition to my slender stock of relations, in the shape of a nephew, whom his patriotic pater has already named Bruce. Of course there was never such a baby as their "king of the household," as Freddie calls him, and I am treated to a minute description of his personal appearance, etc., etc. The same mail brings me a budget from home—most of it, as usual, from Ag, with a characteristic postscript in Vic's scrawl. " Dearest Dora," writes Ag. " A thousand thanks for your last most welcome edition of the " Camborough Weekly News," aB Vio has named your letters. By-the-by, apropos of Vic, be prepared to see him walk in on you one of these days. Tour descriptions of Western District life nas BO taken his fanoy—he was always horse-anddog mad you know—that I expect to find him missing at an early date. C—, I suppose, ranks highest in your estimation now. Poor old S—, and its humdrum existence, would be intolerable after your raoeB, balls, and bazaar's eh ? to say nothing of Sunnyside. I am in love with your description of it—it must be beautiful. " Grandmamma Dunbar," — doesn't it sound odd ? sends you her dear love and messages innumerable, but ,aa I have no dcubt she will repeat them all in the letter she is sending you, I'll omit them. How funny it seems, Freddie a mother, Dot? (Ilikeyourinew name fine.) As Jo said in "Little Woman," we are "growingup with a vengeance." I should likeso much to see my little nephew —ours I ought to say—I am quite impatient for Christmas. Do you like his name ? Bruce Sutherland 1 It sounds first rate in my opinion, and mamma agrees with me, but papa dubbed it "rubbish 1" thinking Thomas preferable. Mrs. Sutherland would have liked' JohnJ after Mr. S. Now, dear, I have a little news that will surprise you. I have discovered the sender of my valentine. It was Mr. Williams, after all, so you are not a good judge of people's tastes. He did me the honor last Monday, of asking me to become Mrs. W. (this is striotly in confidence mind,) and I said " No," because, had I accepted him, you would have been in duty bound to take his successor, as Freddie did his predecessor, and three of the same ilk in one family would never do. - C Seriously, ma soeur, I said "No" because, I could never love him as a woman should the man she marries. He seemed very mnch in earnest and went away looking so downcast that I longed to call him back and comfort him—poor fellow I On Wednesday evening oar amateurs gave a grand dramatic and mudoal entertainment. I honored it with the " light of my presence," as Will Stephens said, in that love letter of long ago. Miss Wells eang two Bongs, and, as usual, was warmly encored. Messrs. Aitken and Thurston eclipsed themselves—in fact all our amateurs were in excellent trim. "Home again," was the drama, and it passed off very well. Miss Dana and Miss Horn took the ladies' parts. Sasan, our new girl, is at once the bane of my existence, and the origin of my -heartiest laughs. Her sayings and doings would fill a book 1 This morning I caught her poIiBhing the doorplate with gravel, of aU things I and yesterday when a great centipede ran ont of the wood and made off aaross the hearth, she started] after it, with eyes extended like big saucers, ejaculating in her new-chum surprise: "Holy Father 1 what a wurrum!" (worm.). Vic thinks her fine fan, and glories in drawing her oat; bat I almoBt lose patienoe sometimes,' as, for instance, when she dries the dinner dishes, pots, pans, and alii on one of the; tablenapkins. To change the subject, though, mamma had one of her old bad turns last week, bat she got over it sooner than osuaL I shall be glad for her sake when the warm weather comes; the winter tries her severely. Monday was such a lovely day, that I tried to get her out for a drive, but could't coax her from the fire. Uncle Vic—as I call him nowmanaged to entice her out as far as the garden gate, and was duly proud of his success. The reference to Uncle Vic, reminds-me of the chief's cold reception of the news of his grandson's advent. He sent us all to Coventry for "forty eight hours after the letter came/and he certainly does look a youthful grandfather, He owes Lex and Freddie a grudge for making him one. Yoa mention a Mr. Fowler rather often in your letters—who and what - is he ? a rival for Mr. Cotton? Come I "develop meaBly particulars," Dot, or I shall grow suspicious of your silence, and conclude that thereby hangs a tale,BO unbosom yourself. Don't

leap withcut looking well, dear ! Remember what Josh Billings—vasn'tit?—said. "Marrifg? is pesky.-risky." Bat I am taking time by the forelock, or fetlock, as you said in the daj 8 of pinafores and porridge. ' Heigho I how we used to laugh at your vain efforts to big words. Do you remember declaring " It was enough to expaterate an angel," the morning you were searching for your stocking uni it on your foot all the time? Early as it is to do so, we have commenced counting the days to Christmas, so anxious ate we to see you* again. It doesn't seem like the same house with you and Freddie both out of it. Ah me! dear, how little we thought in the old days of being scattered in this fashion! " Far away," was one of the eong3 sung at the concert, and I took quite a fancy to it—it seemed so appropriate to us Just etruck ten, and, as the chief's home, that means bed-time, so good night and happy dreams. Kind regards to Mr. Cotton. Let him know that Mr. Ford, his old associate in tbe bank here, has tied the fatal knot, Miss Lawrence being the happy girl. Post me a C paper now and then, I'd like to see one. " Qaifc that," I hear the chief ordering Vie, who has a light in the kitchen, what doing it's hard to eay. Either than be sent off a la naughty child, I'll " vamoose" at once. Write soon, Doll, and harry Christmas on if yoa can. With fondest love from all—As. With a smile I picture to myself the undignified retreat that followed those last hasty lines, then I take np the torn half sheet in Vic's writing. "Dear Doll," he begBB, " as they are all writing to yoa, I think I'll send a line, too. First let me tell you this is a measly pen, so don't sliDg me a sermon about my scribble. Besides, I got the bark taken off two of my fingers in a football match on Saturday, and they're a bit stiff yet,lut no matter, we won the match by two goals. Tom Bart kioked one and Barr the other. . We gave them pie properly, and they hooted U3 coming home (the state school boyB),so then we set to cro w- irg, and soon drowned their row. My eye ! weren't they ropeable. I say, old gal, hunt m9 up a billet as boundary rider or something over that way, I'm sick of S , and the chief's nag-nagging, and only for Mamma and Ag I'd' slope over weBt. I don't like leaving them minus my protection and good company, but you get me a post, and Til bring them with me. Big talk, eh? (To be contimvd.)

M A R_Y^CR AY, BY JULIA MAC,RUDER. It would bs difficult to find a region wherein,extremes meet more strikingly tftan in that portion of the Pocifiic Coast along which some of tbe posts of the United Stales Army are situated. The refinements in advanced civilization are, in many cases, as scrupulously adhered to by the garrison officers and their families as ..they are unknown and ancared for among the rough miners and ranchers who surround them. As a natural result of all this there is no sort of intercourse between the two classes, end each knows comparatively little of the habits and lives o! the other. One exquisite afternoon, when the sun was going down with a Nscft gorgeousness unknown to Eastern skie3, there came along a little woodland path a tall young girl, whom it would have been somewhat difficult to identify with either of the clasees referred to. She might have been daughter or Bister to one of the officers,but that a sort ofruralness, as far as,possible from akwardness, seemed to characterise her. But, as to her face, she was beautiful enough to be Clara Vere de Vere —or a wood nymph—though in reality she was very far removed from either type. She was only Mary Gray, the teacher of the little Ehool where the rough miners' children went to get their early store of learning. Being left dependent on her own exertions, on the death of her father, she had come from a somewhat more civilized community to take this school, and had got board in the family of the patents of some of her pupils, plain, hard-working people, who did not understand her ways, and cared so little to investigate them that they let her entirely alone, not knowing what a boon they conferred thereby. So she lived her lonely life, scarcely knowing that it was lonely. No girl could have been less introspective and analytical of self, and she did not once suspect that her soul was enfolded like tbe fragrance in a roeebud. She no more dreamed of a fuller life than the colorless, scentless bud, in its wrappings of dingy green, dreams that' it needs but the magic tcuoh of the sun to burst into a joyous and fragrant rose. Was the costume she wore on the evening we are speaking of an elegant toilet or not ? Who shall say ? It was the simplest white cotton dress that clad her slim beauty with a fitness that made it seem a part of it, and the hat she wore was a plain white sraw that seemed to set on her dainty head and shade has bine eyes as no either Jbit of millinery in the world could have done. It was a wsrm evening, and the white kerchief that crossed . on her breast left bare a portion of the roundness of her milk-white throat, and out- - lined, rather than concealed, the elim beauty of her (igure. She had two shabby iittle j books in one hand, and in the other a great glowing banch of heliotrope, pulled with the wanton greediness with which we mass together the ox-eye daisies and golden rod of onr country walks. Now and then, as. she strolled along, she held this bouquet close to her face and inhaled its sweetness with a keen, sensuous enjoymentv She was entirely unconsoious of self, and certainly nothing was farther from her thoughts just now than that she was the object of attention from a pair of very interested eyes. These were in the possession of a tall young officer, who came sauntering toward her, with that indescribable ease of bearing which familiarity with barracks and ball rooms sometimes—By no means alway—imparts. He was dressed in a sort of fatigue uniform, and was smoking a cigarette, which he threw away as he came nearer the young girl, liftiDg his cap at the same moment. Mary knew, of oonrse,that he was one of the officers from the post. She had often seen them, as she had seen the birds of the air, but she had never spoken to one of them, and she would almost as soon-have expected one of the birds to sweep down and engage her in conversation as she would have expected one of the officers to talk to her. It was not exactly that she felt them so far above her—only. altogether different. Five minutes later the episode had passed out "of her mind. NotBO with C&pt. Daroy. He had once had susceptibilities almost as keen as Mary's now, -and while these were now somewhat the worse for wear, lie was still fastidious enough to be fired to something like enthusiasm by the wonderfal beauty of the girl he had met so unexpectedly in that lonely wood. He must find out who she was at all costs, and so, after watching her out of eight, he set off rather rapidly toward the post to make inqniries at onoe. He had recently been ordered here, in a general upturning in army oiroles, but he was determined to find-come one to give him the information he desired. A month passed. Perhaps* it was very mnch such a month to Daroy as numerous others he could recall. But what a month for Mary Gray 1 What a revelation of wonder I What an undreamed of flood of glory had been poured out on her poor, dull, patient little Kfe! Poor little life indeed 1 It had been Stagnant and uninspiring enough before,

and now- it was to learn to the <ast letter, all the mysterious lessons of joy and pun that are taught only in the school of loue. -,.*.-••* " * ' • - Onca more tho setting son illuminated the. quiet iittle woodland path, arid once more little Mary Gray is strolling homeward in tbe eaented summer air. But this time she was not alone. A handsome young soldipr walked, with familiar ease, at her side, and now, as they reeohed a fallen log that obstructed their path-way, he gave ber his hand to help her to cross it, apd when she stepped upon it and paused a moment, he drew cloger and passed his hand around her waist. "Wait a minute," he said softly, "let us stop and see the sun set." Their present positions put their faces on a level, and, by a common impulse, they moved nearer each other and their oheebs were pressed together. They rested so a moment, in the stillness of content, and then the yGung man moved a little apart from her and framed her lovely face with his hands, feasting his gaze upon the sweetness of her eyes. The silence, which lasted neither knew how long, was broken at last by Daroy, jas his hps softly framed the word:" "Darling." - .. She moved her head a little.that she might rest it on his shoulder, arid the gyeat wave of tenderness that, swept from her to him lifted the young man's soul to a conscious exaltation. . .. , . - . ... - , .. Siiange^hijjsrnew this "feeling is to me 1 I have never fftt it before," lie said, surprised at the Eiricerity of Iris own words. A score of love affairs he had had—one, indeed; that ante-dated arid he thought would outlast the rest—but nothing in bis past experience had been like this. A sudden look of trouble crossed liis face, and he moved away from herasheeaid: " I forgot to tell yon, little., one, that I won't be able to meet you to-morrow evening as. usual. Our Colonel's wife expects some lady visitors, who are to.arrive to-night, and there is to be a dance in their honor tomorrow night—a stupid affair, which I shall be greatly bored i>.y, but I can't refuse to lend a hand at the preparations, especially as one of the ladieB happens to bs an .old acquaintance. So you must bid zfegood-by now, for two whole days, and you mtist promise not to miss me too much." . .- , _ ' A look of .frightened trou|>ietca'me into heir face as, he spoke,and she rian.her 'arm through his'and jflnog ad clpse to him tbat'. he Ssould not help elaeplng' tier jo his heart. ." Don't speak to me of not rirfssirig ybri,. You would .hot have me 161 . Bnt, oh, I shall beEO anxions about you. Forgive me for beggirig you onoe more to be very careful about

Ben Woods. .... " What, a determined little .goose it ;is.l'' said Dawy, Carre3sirigiy, . • Th9 n^t time I oatch Ban ;Wopd£ '(H»mriittiing £ joudnight trespass.upon another man's claim, I shall not be content to let him off simply with one knock-down. blow,. but. I'll cudgel Jiim well for having caused my little one all these bars and misgivingg.V .„ . .., . \ '. ' * ' " Bat you don't know how desperate these men are," said Mary,anxiously/ "He never will forget .you, and the"-worst of it is he will not dare to attack you-openly/ Oh, lie careful for my sake. Keep .out pf -his ,way until his.anger has had, time' ,ta JBOOI, andjdon't go-about, after dark. I almost feel as if he might Start up froiriVbehirid those bushes now." . .- .. . .;. '.--; , He put her from Jiim a riromeht, that he might give her a look ef fond ^reassurance. Then' he said suddenly : - " Yob will make me late for drill, you small enchantress, you 1 I will meet you, as usual in the wood, day after tomorrow. And now come and give me a kiss, all of your own accord." But Mary had never done this yet, and she only smiled and stood still. Then she raised her beautiful troubled eyes and looked at him. He met her look with one of answering fondness. "Come," he said softly, "if Mary loves me, she will surely come." "My little darling," he Boid softly, over again. His voice was quiet and tender, and reflected nothing of the agitation {bat shook hers as she murmured in low, incoherent whispers: " Oh, my dear one! My dear one I Take care of yourself. Think what it would be to me if anything should happen to you. Oh, be prudent, be watchful, for my sake." He put her from him with fond reassurances, and saying a Jiasty good-by, vanished from her sights It happened that as Mary was returning from a solitary walk which had been inexpreseably lonely and depressing on the evening appointed for the dance at the gamson, she came suddenly upon Ben Woods,' talking in low, threatening tones with a man 1 whom she recognised as one of the most reckless characters of the mining camp near by. Both men had evidently been startled at seeing her. She longed to see Daroy again that she might put him on his guard, but he had told her he would be otherwise engaged this evening, and so the prospect of being able tooommunioate with him seemed hopelees. She walked on very Badly, and when Bhe reached the rongh dwelling that was all she bad of home, she observed rather languidly that its inmates were talking together on the porch,-with an appearance of unusual interest. She oared little about it, until Darcy'a name struck her ear, and then she, listened ! eagerly. All she oould learn was that during the morning Darcy had ridden np to the postoffice of the village, in company with a lady who was staying at the poBt, and that Ben Woods, who happened to be lounging near | the horse-block in front of the office, had out at the lady's horse with a switch he held in his hand, which had caused it to rear suddenly, and although the lady was a good horse-woman and had quickly controlled the animal, she had been a good deal alarmed. Darcy, meantime, had gone into the office, but returned just in time to -see what happened, and had etruck the ruffian with his whip across the cheek and neck, making the blood come, after which,the lady bein£ a good deed unstrung, he had mounted and ridden away with her, leaving Ben nttering savage threats of vengeanoe. All this, recited in Mary's hearing, chilled her poor little heart with terror, and made what had seemed hopeless and impossible ten minutes ago, seem now practicable and imperative. She was resolved to communicate with Darcy, and, as only one way presented itself to her mind, that she must take. . She waited until the lather of the family' had gone off for his evening gossip at the village store, and the kind mother had taken her little ones to bed, and then, when she herself was supposed to be safe in : her own room up Btairs, she crept' oat of the house, wrapped in a dark cloak, with-the hood drawn over her head, and flew, rapidly down! the garden path, and out into the road. - She felt no impulse of fear for herself. It was all. absorbed in her terror for the safety 61 him who was so much dearer to her than her own life. It was a quiet time and she met noxne. When she reached the garrison there was a great deal of excitement prevailing, and she was allowed to slip in annotioed; Makingtier way round to the back of the long, low room, from which she could hear the sound of xnasio and festivity, she saw ttiat, as there was no porch here, there was no one standing abont who might see her; so she climbed upon some lumber which happened to be there and tried to see into the room. The shatters, however, were closed on this side, but, when she cautiously tried to part the tinea near where she stood Bhe found that it yielded a little. Through the aperture thus created she looked in. The eight that met her eyes literally ( dazzled her. The festoonB of greens and flowers, the brilliant lights, and above all, the bewildering oostames, were so

unlike anything «be .bad sverieeehbefore that ehe brcame breathless for an instant." Bnt in all this brilliant throng one Couple waB preeminent. Surely no man of them'-all had such elegance of form and distinction of bearing as.C&ptaia Darcy, who WOB looking splendid to-night, jn his glittering uniform, aod surely do. woman of them all oonld compete with the sumptuous beauty he was clasping in hi3 arm as they whirled around the roo n *to a maddening waltz tune which the band was playing. Sie was a dazzling brunnette, dressed in a gorgeous pink satin which displayed her creamy neck and arms with a startling liberality to Mary's astonished gaze. A circlet of diamonds clasped her roupd throat, and solitare diamonds glermed at her ears and scintillated in her dstkh&ir. Ia an interval of the dance this couple paused juat .inside the window at which Mary was watching. He bent eagerly towards his . companion and said in fervent, excited tones, as he lightly wielded her jewelled fan:. " Hive I tired you, deareet ? Forgive me. It has been 60 l^ng sinoe I have held you to my heart—and I have ;m|3sed yon so^and longed for you—and JbeenEO wretched and lonely withous,youi; . V. Ho? the fin?,-eyee, .that Mary loved so, gleamed as he s.Mdcit I How;the dark cheek flaihed I How fftstandeager came the deepdcawnhreaths. ; Hd looked at her, with an xait9d, - fervid Joo,k, oompared ; with which the fond and tender gaze he had so often bestowed on little Mary geemed weak aud meaningless. ' - • ' _ ' , ,: .Y . "Have you, indeed, been eo wretched?" asked Darcy's compariioh,"^?itti a splendid gleam in her dark' eyes; "I might perhaps have doubted that, - from certain hints let fall— " ' .. , "What 1 hints r : asked r Darcy, suddenly., "As to a certain rustic beauty, with whom Capt. Darcy has tieeri seen walking in quiet and sequestered spots." Mary's heart beat loud as she .listened breathlessly. "How con yon listen to.such nonsense?" said Darcy lightly, gazing at her ,with a fond reproachfolness. > ' "I did ndtlisten to it—or, if J did, it was only to laugh at it,'', returned'his companion, showing her gleaming. *eeih in & -dazzling smile.' " No, indeed ! ~ If ever I conclude to try the undiverting pastime..of 1 .being jealous, it will-be of hp rastio beautyv , I know, yoa too Weill- The luxuries ..and- -refinements of Ufe are >11 potent with yotu ! Baaticity and poverty are not for you. ' Cleopatra sailinjg down'the Nile might pp^sjbly,,causa ose a pang or FO, but no rural Pbyli^.lV : " STou know me weII, asyou my beauti-

ful one," he answered^ ft.What created being could ever charm, me after: yoa 7 TYoa will have to acknowledge at last -that yoa are my destiny, as l am yoirs." . . Mary hearcl .it roll and tier heart seemed turned tosto.ee. .-.-{She-did -notj-far one instant deceive herself. - She-not x>nly felt, and knew that, Daray did not love her, bat-she perfectly realized tbat heriever had loved ber. Arid she comprehended, at the ^ame time, as she had never done 'before-'the depth and length- and heighth and strength of the great love tie had awakened in her. Bat now onee more those strains of music smote, the air, arid Darcy pat his arm around hi»-beautifal-coH)panion, -and > they floated away; among .the merry whirl of dancers. The Tapidjnotioai £he confasion of dolors, Hie mingled sounds, seemed -to take away-little Mary 's senses, and^ 8he «ank into , a sitting posture, almost- fainting. ; in s few minutes she was roused by hearing voices, and when ehe recognized Ben Woods' in one of these, her strength seemed to return to her at a bound, and in a moment ehe was eager and alert. Listening intently, she was made aware of the plan of each recklessness as only crazy men would : have attempted. They had resolved to watch Darcy, and, when an opportunity offered, to fire at him, and then make their eseape. In a; few minntes, they passed on, without having seen Mary, who was screened by the shadows of the house. She sprang to her feet, animated and resolute. A present, immediate danger threatened the being who was Btill all the world to her, and although she knew now that she waB lighter than nothing to him, idle was ready to do and date anything to save him. She bent forward to the window once more, and sought, with eager eyes, for the couple she bad recently been watching, but they were nowhere to be seen. Convincing herself that they, had left the room she slipped noiselessly from her. place and' stole aronnd to the outer side of the tiouse. There she saught a glimpse, ahead of her, of two figures walking ofi towards the sea-wall that -ekiirted over the grassy path, she kept them in.viewyherself qnite unobserved, nntP 'she reached a little dump of bushes very rtear to where the wall ran, and as they passed by this and kept straight on, she resolved to screen herself there until she could think of jome expedient to warnDarcy. From hereetie sould see every movement of the haridsorne sonple as thay walked hp to the sea-wall arid 3tood a moment" gazing oat over the water, radiant beneath this silver moon. For a moment they stood there in silence, her band within his arm, their* faces tamed seaward. Then, at the same instant, they turned toward each other and their eyes met. ... For an. instant. Mary felt as- if she muBt cry out in her agony and desolation, and she might have done so had she not that instant become aware of csrtain sounds that reawakened her fears and made her forget herself. Ben Woods and bis accomplice were standing within a few feet of tier, and as she stood breathlessly listening to their mattered words, one of them raised a pistol and took deliberate aim at Darcy. . Bat before the click of the trigger was heard, Mary had sprang from her place of concealment and thrown herself forward. She was just in "time, A second more and Darcy would have been a dead man; bat he was saved. The bullet, aimed at his heart, was turned aside, arid little Mary had rerceived it in her own. She fell forward, almost without a cry, .and as the murderer tprned and fled Darcy caught her 'in his sirms. " Mary 1" he cried, dimly comprehending in therindst of his, bewilderment that Bhe had given up her life for his, what is it, are yoa hurt? Are you dying,'Mary? Speak to me, ' darlingl" 1 . . • ^helittle familiar word came from himunconsciously in his. excitement^arid 'sorely it did no harm. The .sumptuous creatore on whom he had so recently/lavished his endearmentsi had fallen swooning to tbe ground, and the poor little forsaken-one to whoin it had onoe been ^applied so tepdexl^ heard it now for the. last time. She., was almost gone, Kit at that word a gleam of,. light oame into her eyes, and for one instant they were raised to his with the jold confiding light, and then they closed for- .ever. Brethren, if it be failure to patiently lay foundations, to calmly wait for the dews and rains of heaven to penetrate the soil down 4o the rootletB of Christian life,- to faithfully, painfally plough and sow wid harrow for future harvests; to enrich and prune and graft for future fruit-bearing; to place the tratn of God and the integrity and efficiency of the church above pulpit calls . and newspaper notoriety; if this be a failure, God make us all magnificent failures, wearing onr crowna modestly and manfully. The road to ambition is too narrow for friendship, too crooked for love, too rugg$<i for honeBty, and too dark for ecienoe.