Chapter 19814050

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Chapter NumberV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article19814050
Full Date1889-05-11
Page Number881
Corrections0
Word Count5096
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleUnder Capricorn
article text The Storyteller. Under Capricorn. [WRITTEN FOR THE QUEENSLANDER.] CHAPTER V. RANA MEL "MEM SAHIBA." BY ALICE HAM. Down by the scrub lived a poor splitter whoso wife was very ill; Marie daily visited the poor woman with comforts from Peradinya. The Major know this, and as she walked quietly homewards through the woods, eeoorted by Douglas, hor aunt's deerhound, who care fully balanced tho empty backet in his mouth, Marie looked up and beheld tha object of her thoughts riding towards hor down the hill. Sho know that this was no accidental meeting. "Excuse mo," said Major Sponeo, dis mounting as he oame up with hor, "bnt I thought I should meet you hero, and I par ticularly wish for a quiet talk with you—wore are oo fow opportunities." •' Oertainly," replied Mario, as sho stooped to pat Douglao and to hide a tell-tale blush; but tho Major ay it notwithstanding, and it oaused him a sudden pang. " Will you oame on to Peradlnya with mo P" oho asked; " Auntie said she hoped yon would cill to-day and stay to tea." "Bho is moet kind—thank you, but not to night. I think. How cool aad pleasant it is hero in tho scrub! Shall wa sit for a whilo on this log P I wiU tie Selim to thu old bauhinia tree. You remember I promised to tall yon aa Indian tale P" Marie felt annoyed with herself for that blush just now. "Yes," ohe said oareleosly; "a oad one something like Seeta's, was it notP" " _ es; and I must tell it you now. I should have done so before, for moro depends on it than you know." Something smote Marie with a sense of im pending trouble. The Major's faoe was grave and set, his voioe sad. She paled a little, aad spoke softly : " I am quite ready." They sat under the climbing vines that swung from tree to tree; while Douglas wit dignity deposited the basket in a hole in the log, and arranged himself at the girl's feet, eyeing the Major with oome disapproval. James Spenoe did not look at the faoe ne loved so muoh, but gazed absently at a dump of maiden-hair fern whioh grew at his feet; he was more nervous and less fluent than ever before, and consequently ashamed of himself. "He is going to tell me his trouble—what ever it is, mused Marie. "Why do people always make a oonfidante of me? It's the greatest compliment, of oourse, but oh! suoh a responsibility!" " Miss Lassel," began the Major, " I shall tell you the story narrative fashion, in the third rirson. You may draw your own conclusions; only ask that you will grant a littlo pitiful indulgence to the ohief aotor in the drama." "My judgments are not usually harsh." ("Can he," she thought, " be speaking of him self \ I am afraid of his story!" Then she continued aloud): "1 am all attention, as you said when I read you the poor soldier's Btory. Now, Major Speuce, please don't let this be as miserable as that!" "No one would think It so; bu,t then it concerns us more nearly." "Us! not me, surely P" "Ton wfll see. Oh! ohild, I am in your hands. Listen patiently; bear with mo!" THB XAJOa'S (POBT. Some sight or ten years ago an offioer of Cavalry at Calcutta retired, and was appointed Civil Commissioner for thejdistrict of Bokuldur, in the Madras Prssideney, the great oapital of whioh was the old oity of Ghuznapal, one of the most remarkable and the richest in India. The Commissioner's headquarters were there, when he was not travelling through his distriot to hold his durbars of justico and administration This Englishman had influonoe in the Court of the Maharajah of the distriot, who was friendly and tributary to the British Raj, or Govern ment, but who was an old man, feeble and miserly, aad, like many of his olass, given to duplicity in his dealings. The Maharajah's family were proud, -jealous, and ssorstly dis affected to British rule, and, while fawning on the old monarch, really hated him and watched eagerly for his end, each having his own plan deeply laid of seising tho gorgeous palace and its untold treasures. The Commissioner knew this, and used his influonoe ovor old Rau-Johar to persuade him to name his heir before all tho assembled thakoors, rajahs, influential natives, and British sahibs in the kingdom. This ho did, presenting for homage his infant grandson, his only son having beon Killed in a tiger-hunt. Inwardly chafing, but obliged to submit, the prinoes bowed before the brown baby, in his gold cap and pearl puttar, since the agio of the British Ita j had been held thus early ovor him, and ao a rich kingdom was saved for its old royal lino aad for England. The child's moon faood mother, gorgeous in her blue aad silver sari, blessed the Commissioner, kissing his hands, and, taking off the child's pearl girdle, plaoed it in thorn. •• Will the Sahib, protector of tho poor, who is our fathor aad brother aad soother, aad tha moot exoollent, deign to aooept those of tho RAni-Lalla and hor son, who will die for his E-ooUenoyifdooiredf" Of eouroo he hastened to assure them of his wish that they should oontinue to exist and prosper; and after a flourish of trumpets, and a procession of elephants, sowars, ana British cavalry, and when evening fell a display of fire works, the assembly dispersed; aud thus a ori-s was averted. I mention this as explaining oertain subsequent events. "The pearls!" asked Marie, girl-like, '-did you ever sco them ?" "Yes, I saw thorn. The Englishman has them atill," answered the Major, who oon tinued: After a while he est out with hi* babus, ehnnraesieo, and saioee, and tents and elephants for his quarterly tour of inspection and admi nistration. While he was absent the old Maha rajah died, and little Ran-Dal was King, undor the regenoy of his mother, who was oertainly a moot intelligent woman, but overbearing in the extreme, especially towards her nieces, who lived in the palace and trembled at her shadow. Tho only creature she loved was her boy. Hor husband's relatives sho detested aad mistrusted, as perhaps she had cause to do, aud the only person she oould depend on for advice were the British Commissioner and his oolloaguoo. One day a sowar (soldier), brilliantly equipped, arrived at the camp, and requested the prooonoe of the Commissioner in Ohuznoepal, as tho Prinesoo was in need of advice. Leaving his deputy in charge he returned, aad found that a plot had boon disoovered to take possession of the person of the little Prinos, ana to murder his mother, the Rani-Leila. Tho apprehension and oommittal of tho cul prits oooupied oome time, during whioh the Commisaio-sr and his suite oocuplcd a bungalow adjoining the palace, and well guarded. Ono day as ho sat smoking his cheroot undor tbe albi-xia tree ho hoard a dear rioh voioe singing in the garden of tho xenons tha lovely lament of Damayanti—the Mahubar&ta, as sho ad dresses the asoka flower (the heartsease of India), and bewails her absent love. He won dered at the cultivated tones, whioh were not those of the regent, and the purity of the accent, and concluded that the singer must be oome professional hired for tho amusement of tho ladies. The foUowing week % still greater surprise awaited him. The morning's durbar was over, and he sat with a babu making notes of the business done, whon a ohuprsssie entered, bowing low, " Will the lord of tho earth receive a poor suppliant," inquired tho visitor, "aad bring the blessing of the afflioted on his tribe ?" " Business hours are ovor," replied the Com missioner; "but stay!" The man—who wore the oourt livery salaamed and waited. "Is the suppUaat yourself, or some othor of hor Majesty's household P" " Nay, Excellence! it is the Prinoess." • - The Prinoess!" he exclaimed. He scarcely believed that, for he had seen RAni-Lalla ride out on her state elephant with her ohild and train. It was the young Maharajah's name day, and the Prinoess went ostensibly to offer flowers and toolsee loaves iv the taj, but really to show her son to the people, and assure them of his safety, and herself of their loyalty. "Nay, Exoellonoy, not the Runi-Lalle, mother of kings, but the Rana-Mel." This was the younger niece, of whose beauty and learning the Englishman had heard, but whom ho had only seen at a distanoe, shrouded in her sari on state occasions. He gave orders for the lady to be reoeived immediately with due oeremony, aad oalled for fresh cushions for the divan, then sat in his official seat greatly wondering. The portieres were parted, the servants salaamed, and a slight small figure, wrapped gracefully in delicately-embroidered muslin and crimson silks, stood before him, abashed and shy. Bowing low ho led her to the divan, then sat at the table, all attention, while her elderly fat ayah stood beside her mistress with folded arms, stolid and watchful. The other servants were dismissed. This girl was very pretty and gentle, and remarkably fair for a Hindft, almost white; her hair was not blank, but brown, with little rebellious curls about tho forehead that every breeze fluttered. Thero was a pathotio appealing look about her, and hor long lashes were wet with recent tears. Her youth, oh-dish beauty, and evident trouble, mado his pity and conoern greater even than his surprise. She laid her Uttle ringed hand on her forehead, eyes, and lips in token oi homage. " Nay, lady," said the Commissioner, "it is I who bow before your Highness." He spoke in Hindustani, and with all the Oriental ampli tude that the occasion required and etiquette demanded. Then he asked the reason of this unexpected honour, expressing some surprise that tho Prinoess had not employed her aunt's mediation. " Ah ! no, Sahib (it was the very voioe that had sung the Mahabaruta); Rdni-Lalla does not know." To his astonishment sho spoke in almost pure and very musical English, and at his surprise she flushed and smiled. "My pundit speaks it, Sahib; he taught me. May we speak so now ? My ayah is good and kind, but she must not know everything." "As you will, Prinoess. What then is your oause ? Is there some other plot ?" Then with dewy flashing eyes, and hand that nervously clasped and unclasped eaoh other, she poured out her complaint, though, indeed, the case seemed one quite beyond nis jurisdiction. With the exoeption of her sister, who waa of weak intellect and an invalid, it appeared, the child—sho was only seventeen— had no friend, and she was an objeot of jealousy to her aunt. The fame of hor beauty and attainments had travelled throughout the oountry, and there wore several aspirants to her hand, among others an old thakoor whose name was dreaded throughout the whole Presidency as that of a merciless tyrant and oppressor. Runi-Lalle who had the disposal of her niece insisted on her marrying this old monster, and, as she firmly refused' to do so, bad, it seemed,iarranged for her forcible ejec tion from the palace and secret abduotion by the emissaries of the Thakoor. All this her faithful pundit had disoovered. In her despair tho girl turned to the only person whom she re spected, and whoso power she, in her simplicity, oonsidered boundless. "I would never go. Sahib," she declared. 4' I would kill myself; there are many ways. But s«|Ve mo, you who ore the refuge of tho un happy!" The Commissioner explained that neither he nor his Government could very well interfere in a matter so personal. Then the Prinoess im {dored him to speak to hor aunt, to intercede or her—she would listen to Aim, "Sahib," she pleaded, "are you not our benefactor? the preserver of my oousia, the Ran P His mother would die for you almost, sinoe you saved him, Most Excellent." It was a reasonable idea. Ho promised to see the Regent next day, and Raoe brightened at onoe ; and, her excitement over, touched the pretty forehead, aud rose, blushing and shy again, as he led hor to the door; and, drawing tho sari about hor infantine faoe, she passed through the lane of salaaming rhitmatgars, and glided sway to hor sedan in tho sunny garden, eloeely followed by the stolid ayah, whom the Commissioner strongly suspected of being a spy on the girl. Thore wss aa almost European individuality about Runa-Mel that interested hiss, and oaused him some wonder. He had noticed the unusual absenoe of jewellery, with the exoeption of a prioelees ruby oollar, her command of English—whioh spoke of oareful study. Hor independence of. notion aad strength of foaling, oombined with her gentle simplicity and deuoate beauty, mado a study unique in his experience. This was np ordinary Hindu prinoeos. " Poor child!" he thought, and rooolved that if his influonoe oould do Ft he would save hor from what would bo a living death. Aeoordingly next day he requested an inter view with the Regent. On its Doing granted he pleaded tho cause of the Prinoess. Withholding the source of his information, he expended his eloquence in Indian flowers of rhetorio, but the moot powerful argument was his baby Majesty himself, who played trustfully with the tasssu of the Bahib's sword knot as he sat on his knee. Rani-Lsua summoned her niece, who oime in looking daintier than ever, with asoka flowers in her hair, and swathed in creamy silks, with rubies burning on her olive throat. Hor aunt told her the motive of the Sahib's visit, and Juettfoned her concerning hor wishes, as though lie did not already know them, professing to be shocked at the account of the Thakoor's reputation, as if she had not always known it. Finally she half promised to discountenance his suit, though her hearer distrusted a half promise given undor protest. This proposed alliance with a neighbouring prinoe would be an added strength to Rani-Dil, and would give his mother a powerful family oonnection. Several times the Commissioner saw tho ladies again; then, the Ghuzneepal business being finished, he returned to the oountry snd continued his tour. He often thought of the poor child, in a com passionate way. She was an enigma, too, a study whioh interested him, that was all; but he was annoyed one day to find his chief babu smiling, as well he might, to hoar the Sahib suddenly sing a verse from the Mahab&ruta, in the durbar tent, while he waited to receive petitioners. " Yes," remarked poor Marie looking keenly at the narrator and speaking in a tone of in differenon notwithstanding her pain, "like the Jndge in * Maud Miiller,' whom the lawyers smiled to hear 'humming in court an old love-tune.'" The Major would not meet the eyes that sought to read his faoe, but kept his own fixed on the dump of maiden-hair. There was a desperate calmness about him : "With this difference," he replied, "that the Judge was in love. The Commissioner was not—pray believe that." Then he oontinued his narrative. One day. two months afterwards, as he was on his way to the oapital, the Com missioner was stopped by a pnndit (teaoher) who asked for a moment's attention, and who, to his surprise, speaking in English, informed him that he came from Court with a message from ono in distress. " • Every prayer,' the pundit quoted,' whioh is uttorod, ftudn its way to the ear of Kishnii' whether man regards it or not; but no good benefactor like tho Buo Sahib would reject it;" he added, and deftly drawing a banyun leaf from his sleevo he dropped it into the English man's hand, and glided away chanting from I the Shastras. On the leaf had been ocratohod with a pin " Come, Sahib, help me! quick! 1 die! iam in prison. Go to my aunt, 0 brother of the poor!" The Commissioner had never travelled so faot as he did upon reading this missive. Abandon ing his elephant, and taking relays of horses, he soon reached Ghuzneepal; and lost no time in repairing to the palace. The Prinoess Regent was informed of his arrival, and, while bis attendants waited in the outer court, re oeived him in her throne-room with more than usually ceremony. After the place of honour among the courtiers hsd been duly assigned to him, hookahs and sherbet were handed round, followed by attar and pAn. Then RAni-Lalla suavely asked the reason of the honour of this visit by the representative of the British Raj. He intimated that he desired to speak in private to the Princess on important affairs. Gravely the Court glided away. To and fro, as directed, his orderlies paced the veranda, passing the door. There oould be no opportu nity for treachery. " Would the Moon of Hind deign to inform him of the health of her family, his Majesty— whom all things prosper—the afflioted RAna, and the young Rana-Mel P Had she kept her promise regarding her P Was the Thakoor very angry P" The moonfaoe fell, under the silver tissue; she played nervously with her jewelled bangles; she had hoped to prevent this. " Yes; they were well; the Thakoor waa angry. Ah yes!" " Might he see the RAna f" She refused at first; he quietly insisted aa she had expected he would do. Meanwhile things had been arranged. The Regent sent for her niece, who immediately appeared—o6 changed, so pale, and with' suoh rings of suffer under her eyes, all the pretty rose-leaf oolonr gone. But now the groat eyes shone at th • sight of her advocate, and spoke gratitude and appeal. "The RAna has suffered?" exolaimed the Commissioner. " She is ill; is it beoause of Vie Thikxjr-s anger P Of that there need be no fear. I shall see him to-morrow." RAni-Lalla g**pod, and besought him to do no Such thing. He would ruin them, he would east the evil eye on the little thing—the King; and so on. In hor dismay she betrayed her duplicity. Ho turned to the girl loaning book weakly on her divan. Not a soul thero knew a word of English save thoy two. The Com missioner spoke oarelessly, watching a fountain the while: " You have been in prison P" " Yes, Bahib—two weeks." "In thia palaceP" "Yes, Sahib; in the dungeon. It waa terrible. I should have died soon. They brought mo out just when yon oame. Oh, great lord, you will save me P" Her voioe was faint and calm. "Yes, indeed, poor child," he replied, still maintaining his eareleos manner. "Whydid they treat yon ao P" "I would not go with them—the Thakoor's sowars. I tried to kill myself—with a dagger." " Great Heavens! and then P" " I took the leaf from a vase. I hid it, and in tho dungeon I wrote with my scarf-pin. My teaoher speaks English. I called whon he passed near tne window. I dropped it through the bars. Ho oould not see me, but he know. • To the English lord,' I said." "Faithful fellow! he shall prosper." "Ho hatos that prinoe, who fa Moslem. Sahib, one told of my visit to your court that lay." "Of oourse. Your nurseP WelL I will to my boot. You aro a brave ohild, and you xntts\ be patient and trust me." She looked at him then as no creature bad ovor looked before—a light flashed into his soul —his eyes fell. The RAni-Lalla, siok with jealous dread, felt reassured as he turned to hor with all his usual deference. " Tho young RAna," he remarked," has been ill, I fear. You must be anxious. You will be oareful P J. will send a Frank lady from the Mission to see her—one who is a dootor." Tho Prinoess grew very urbane, and wished him and his Raj delighta eternal and power supreme! f« Jo haga! so haga!" (What will bs, will be) sho ejaoulated religiously ao thoy parted; and, disgusted at the hypocritical subtlety of the woman, the Commissioner rode away. But for the hint about tho Frank lady ho knew she would hare made the girl suffer oven moro. All this worried him. It was foreign to his usual official life, and now, to make matters worse, there was that look to haunt him. It had oome to that then! Well, perhaps he waa a romantic fool to have meddled with the thing at all! Why not let them marry the ohild to that ferocious" old out throat P It was her fate, her " Kismet," as it had been that of others. But then—she was not like others—and she certainly would put an snd to herself. What a spirit the baby-faced creature had ! Bah! he was disgusted, sick of the whole thing ! And be astonished his saiee by calling him " Budmush," " Son of a slave," and " lazy pigling;" which was irrelevant, and in this Bahib astonishing. That same day an idea came into his mind, and do what he would he oould not get rid of it. It burnt itself into his brain, with the adoring look he had inter cepted. Yes! You understand of courso !He was not a conceited man, I think, but neither was he purblind, and in hor candid simplicity the girl had shown him that she loved him. He was only a British official, in a prosaic age, but it was not a prosaio country, snd this thought kept repeating itself: " The mischief is already done. All the Court intend RAna by fair means or foul to marry the Thakoor. She will die flrst." He knew he was the only person who could save her, and also that there was only one way—to marry her himself ! (Marie started and grew pale. This, then, was bis wretched story ! Douglas growled, and linked the girl's trembling hand. James Spence noticed it all, but be went on, meohani oally almost, us we do when we are hurt to death.) The Reqael was ntrange enough. That sumo week he unearthed a plot which was on the very point of being carried out. In three hours poor pretty Runs would have been dead. He. sent * sowar to anaonnow his ooming, and mf aU uniform, mounted on his state elephant, with runners aad outriders, he set forth on the strangest oaremosions mission man ever under took. Tho Commissioner had thought it all out: had sought legal, clerical, and friendly advice, and had weighed all and decided. So he rode on a fatal errand—to propose himself for the hand of the Prinoess Runa-Mel. " Miss Lassel!" cried the poor Major, drop ping the third person at last, "it seemed to me thou that I oould dono less!" Marie felt faint aad strange. ** It was yourself then P" she inquired. "Yes! I knew it from tho first! You were aooepted of oourse?" She wondered at her own oalm ness. How strange it all was, and he looked 00 pale and spoke oo wearily. •*Yes, I was—with delight by the relieved Regent, and with rapturous astonished humility by Rana,for whom the myrmidons of the Thakoor were waiting with a oovered boat at the river-gate even then. The littlo creature clang to my very feet and would have oried over them if I had allowed her—littlo simpleton!" " You may spare yourself tho paia of particu lars, Major Spenoe. You married bar P" asked poor Mario. __ "I did, Heaven forgive me! We were married at the British Residency by tha chap lain, aad by Brahman rites, so ao to satisfy her as well. It made a groat stir of course at the time. It was years ago. Eventually our life was tranquil enough at the Residency, whioh 1 had altered to snit her—aad her native attend ants. I was vary careful of her oaste. She waa fond of study, aad I sent for the old pundit nnd made a sort of major-domo of him. Ho waa thoroughly reliable. I think she was happy —yes—l am glad to know she was then. As to, religion. I talked to her of Christianity, and she seemed anxious to learn its doctrines for my sake. Tho ladies of the Zenana Mission were always gladly reoeived, but she still clung to hor old faith, and seemed inclined to adopt the mystio philosophy of tho Brahm Somaj." " And the wives of ths officials," Mario asked —"the English ladioo—did they visit her P" "Certainly. Sho oharmod them, but she oould not understand their ways, or adapt herself to them, so they looked upon her a little severely sometimes. She must have been lonely whilo I was away. I took her with me when ever I oould. She had a dread of the Court, and her sister had died." "And shop You said onoe the did not die ?" "No. I have reason to believe she is still living-she was whon I left India." " Mrs. Spenoe did not leave then f" 4,Mrs. Spence! She was never called so; never thought of so—tho 'Mem Sahiba* they always called her." <-We_,l suppose it is all the same thing. You loft her then P" Marie's calmness, like his own, was that of despair, as each of thorn well know. "No! no!" replied Major Spenoe. "She left me three years ago, or rather oho waa taken from me, whilo I waa on circuit. Tho wet season was scarooly over. It waa impossible to take her with me I left hor surrounded by devoted attendants and kind friends. For some tips my wife had boon quiet and grave: somo timoo I fancied she bad become tired of her semi-European surroundings, though I re garded her native prejudices in every detail. Perhaps, poor girl, she learned gradually that I had married hor from pity, and had never loved as she had done. It was an experiment that I oee now was bound to end sadly of neoeosity. Heaven knows, I did all I oould to make her happy, and that her loving society waa'very sweet te me; but sho too often abut herself up with hor books and her Brahaaae, and I know now that they iaflnonood her against her oonnection with a foreigner, and she grew to think it her duty to leave me. That knowledge oame to mo too late. One day a ohuprassie oame from home and told me something was wrong. I rode hard to reaoh the Residenoy, thinking Raua waa ill it was the fever season ; but one glance at my deserted home told me all. She had loft a pitiful letter, aad a gift for remembrance—the rubies she wore at our first meeting. She entreated mo not to follow her, and told me she could never return to me. Then followed grateful incoherent prayers for my peace and pleadings for pardon. I respected her wish. She had gone to her cousin, the Maharajah— his mother was now dead. I did uot seek her, but wrote begging her to return, and kept all her apartments in readiness. She never came; four months afterwards they married hor to the young Prinoe tho Thakoor's son, and so united the territories." " Married her!" exclaimed Marie. "Yes, by Brahman and Moslem rites. Her former marriage was annulled. By native law she is his true wife; by English law she is mine. I should not have been able to obtain a divorce had I desired to do bo. This ring she ? laced on my finger on our weddinff day, and have not the heart to take it off. Her English wedding ring she left for me when she fled." "It is all so sad—so very sad," said Marie, " and I am more sorry than I oan tell," and as she spoko her eyes brimmed with tears. " Thank you ! I must - dree my weird' as my mother used to say. It was my own doing. But what would I not give to undo it—to have my freedom again ! I never knew till lately how I hated tbe bond that in the sight of Heaven is no less binding because it ia invisible! Till now I never loved. Marie," he oxolaimed as he turned bis haggard faoe to he at last, " You know—you must have seen—how I love you, dear. Have pity, and forgive me!" He dropped his faoe into his hands utterly broken down. This then was his declaration?—So different to (her girlish fancies—so unutterably aad. It waa as if a great black ourtain had fallen and blotted out the beautiful world. "I think we have been foolish, Major Spenoe," she said. "I could not.guess such a thing as this, and—and —I thought, of course —Oh! what am I saying f" She rose, her faoe crimson with blushes, her trembling hands wrung together, her tears falling. " Oh, James Sponce," sho oxolaimed, " you should have told mo this before !" "That ia what you Hang last night," ho answered sadly, "and I knew it then. God knows, and He only, what it has cost me to tell you now. No one else will ever know." Marie dashed away her tears; sinoere, im pulsive always, she knelt on the grass and laid ncr hand on the bowed shoulder. " Mrs. Alwyn was right; you are a good man: I shall think of you so always—always— and I am proud that you are my friend—my dear friend!" "And oo," he said, holding Marie's hand, and raising his faoe with sad yearning eyes towards hers, " our dream is done, our ways part, and there is only * good-bye.' Dear, will you kiss me onoe P" And Marie kissed him—on the forehead— sadly, tenderly, as one kisses the dead. He took the sweet brave wet faoe in his hands, like a child's, aad kissed it—twice—thrice; it was all like a solemn sacrament, a tender renuncia tion, deeper than any passion. "God forgive me, and bless you, my da? ling," he said; and then they arose, and wont their several ways. The next day Marie and Paul left Burne. [WI-- BK riXISHBD NEXT WB-K.]