|Chapter Number||XLII - XLVI|
|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||Josephine's Divorce|
THE LES3 SAID ABOUT HIM THE BE'.IER. 11 Well, it is the most extraordinary thing I ! ever heard of in my life!" said Lucius Cottrill. ; It was Monday morning, and he had just j
come to the office, and waa standing looking about him, as if for some missing article. j " Extraordinary, indeed!" replied old Sally, ? who, contrary to all custom and precedent, was j withia the hallowed precints of the office- j 111 seed the blind down when I come from church, and saya I, ' You're determined to get your eleeping done, however, young gentle man.' And I goes in- and I tries the doer, and it ien't locked, and I takes " " Yes, yes," eaid Lucius, iiflpatiently; " I know. You took his breakfast, thinking he waa still in bed." " Deed I did, sir; and there wasn't no Mr. Godfrey, and I calls at the bottom of the stairs, •ays I " " Yes, yes," again interrupted Lucius, who hated detail, and had, besides, heard the whole story over once. " I calls," began old Sally again, not in the least minding him. " Says I, ' Mr. Godfrey, decent folks is about having their dinners. You've slept till better nor one o'clock in'the day, sir.'" " And he did not answer, of course," eaid Lucius, quickly. " Now then " " He did not answer," persisted Sally, who •aw no reason why her communication should not have its full weight. "He said not a word. Well, the next thing I did, Mr. Lucius, was > j " " Sally," interrupted Lucius, " have you any idea where he is gone to ?" " I haven't, 6ir. Well sir, as I was saying, the next " " Because that is the matter most in point, and whether he means to come back," said Lucius. " If he knows when he's well off, hell come back, sure enough," said old Sally. "It was but the other day I Eaid to him, says I " " Never mind that now, Sally; you had better go, I think," said Lucius, glancing at the clock. " 111 go, Master Lucius, safe enough," said the old woman, perfectly acquainted with her master's taciturn disposition. "But it's my opinion, Mr. Lucius —that is, if my opinion goes for snything—though, perhaps " "What is your opinion?" asked Lucius, ?harpl y< " Why, that he's gone pleasuring somewhere and has forgot himself. Hell be back before night, I'D be bound. Anyhow, I've took the cream for his tea." With this important communication old Sally departed. Lucia* gave a sigh of relief. He felt tho roughly vexed at the defalcation of Hugh God frey, especially at that juncture. And he felt very uncertain as to the probability of seeing him again. "He told me he wanted to leave," thought he. " What a fool the young man must be!'" " I knew he wouldn't do," said Mr. Juggins, when the news was imparted to him. " You should have had my Peter, sir." " How old is Peter ?" " Peter's only fifteen, but he has twice the head of Hugh Godfrey. I felt it rather hard, Mr. Lucius, that you passed over Peter." " Humph!" said Lucius, too disconcerted to enter into the subject. He clung to a secret hope.that Hugh Godfrey might return, though such a thing was un likely, seeing he had taken all his possessions with him. This forlorn hope was shared by old Sally, who had a loaf of stale bread to eat, and a basin of sour milk to throw away in con sequence, for Hugh never came. Day after day his desk was vacant, and his little parlor deserted. Bally, who took an interest in him, in spite of his delinquencies, watched and listened, and ?Jept with her bedroom window open until, as she said, she " got quite a catch of rheumatis'." But Hugh never came. Uo. The conclusion to this unpleasant »fl«ir was that he had run away. Lucius was forced to accept this conclusion, and old Sally, too, at last. Abraham Cottrfll was not surprised when he heard that the junior clerk had absconded. From the first he had regarded him as an un profitable servant, and the conduct of Lucius in the matter seemed inscrutable. "It is not often Lucius gets taken in," he said. " I can't imagine how it was." Julius Warburton was in happy ignorance of the transaction. He was thoroughly enjoy ing himself at Cray's Hill, and his uncle and Eleanor were to accompany him back to Lang ford. Lucius had planned for himself a pretty little interview with Eleanor. He had hoped that she would thank him, and, so to say, pat him en the back for his kindness to ber protege. But now the protege had absconded, and the less said about him the better. Julius, who had offered so obligingly to pay for his pretty cousin's whistle, would be vic timized, and was, therefore, the most natural person to be patted on the back. He, Lucius Cottrill, would stand in a very inferior position. Lucius sighed wearily at the disappoint ment of his scheme ; but he was not a man to let his inner world trench upon the outer. He had power to call off his thoughts even from Eleanor Warburton. Office hours were beginning, and they found him cool, collected, and acute as ever. Certainly the firm of Cottrill and Son pros pered in his hands. Not for nothing had Lucius ploughed his face with wrinkles. They were curious wrinkles. Sometimes, under the influence of excitement, they would smooth out and leave the young face scarcely marred, and the keen eyes would soften and the mouth relax. Then, despite his angu I larity, Lucius would be interesting, and almost I handsome—handsome, with a rare intellectual j beauty that a woman, capable of appreciating I such a thing, would be drawn towards by an I invisible fascination. j That woman had not come across his path as ] yet. j •—— i Chapter XLLTJ. BBIGHT AND BEAIJTIFtXI. BLBAVOB. j " Thb Warburtons are come, Lucius," said ' his father, one day, as they were sitting down j to dinner. > " Are they ?" replied Lucius, carelessly. ! He was already acquainted with the feet, so j that he could hear it with calmness, and with out apparent excitement.
Standing at his office door that morning, ex changing a few last words with a client, the Warburton's carriage had rattled by. Lucius had caught eight<#f a fair face, crowned with chesnut hair, and a small gloved hand that waved a recognition to him. He had not made any acknowledgment, nor had he been conscious of the existence of any other occupant of the carriage. His heart gave one mighty bound, and, then seemed as if it Buddcnly stood still. I In a moment he had recovered himself, and. ! had quietly gone on with his argument. I " I don't think Mr. Lucius saw us," said Eleanor. " Oh, he is always up to the eyes in law! He never sees any one," replied Julius. "Heis an interesting young man. He looks as if he thought a great deal," said Eleanor. " I don't know what you call interesting, Nell," said Julius, in a tone of dissatisfaction. "He is a sharp-faced little lawyer .'—that's what he is!" "lam afraid Miss Warburton will be vexed about that young scamp," said Abraham to his son. " She won't like her cousin having given security for him." "He can well afford it," replied Lucius, * sharply. " Well, well! we have lost nothing, and we con perhaps accommodate matters as between friends. I thing one of us had better step up this evening," added the old man, looking at his son. Lucius' eyes were on his pjate. He said, without raising them: " Very well" " I don't suppose I can go. lam too tired, and the hones have been to Merriton and back to-day. How would it be if yon walked up ? Tour legs are younger than mine." " Very well," replied Lucius. " You can explain to Miss Warburton how it was, and that we did the best we could. You could fix a day for them to dine here. Next Thursday would do." " Very well," again replied Lucius. " Miss Warburton can call any time she likes. She is sure to be fluttering in and out of Langfcid like a butterfly. The sight of her will do my old eyes good." " I will tell her," said Lucius. " And, Lucius, don't be aa cold as ice," said bis father, anxiously. " They are old friends, and 1 have a great mind to go myself." "I think," replied Lucius, "that, if you remember, Mr. Juggins is coming to see you about Peter. He said eight o'clock." "Ah! little Peter. Well, well, I will stay. I feel quite done up with the heat." "It has been hot," said Lucius. He did not speak again, except " yes " and '* no," in reply to absolute questions. Abraham was too well accustomed to his son's unsociable ways to feel any surprise. The dinner passed off heavily, as usuaL Then Lucius rose from the' table, without the least appearance of haste. " You—you will just spruce up a little," said bis father, who teemed anxious that bis son should make some kind of appearance. "If you think it necessary, I will," replied Lucius, with a quiet smile. He had intended, all along, to make an elaborate toilette—the most elaborate, perhaps, that he had ever made in his life. But then it was a gold letter day. Eleanor Warburton had come. He dressed himself in the best suit he had; he smoothed and brushed bis hair, and fastened a geranium into bis button-hole. When he came forth, he looked like a lover going to visit bis mistress. " On my word, Lucius, I hardly knew you!" exclaimed the old man. "You are ten years younger than you were an hour ago." Lucius smiled his grave, quiet smile. Then he set off towards Julius Warburton's villa. He walked briskly along, his eyes fixed on the ground. He rarely saw or heard anything that was passing. The last thing the young ladies of Langford dreamed of was getting a look from Lucius CottrilL He felt a gush of inexpressible happiness. His* meditations were entirely upon Eleanor. The evening sky, necked with red and purple, the loaded wagons of fragrant hay, that passed him from time to time, the soft, tender notes of the birds—all were unnoticed. As he walked he saw only Eleanor's bright eyes, and the shining of her chesnut locks. When he reached the garden gate he was •till thinking the same thoughts. He had not seen her since that day when he picked up the dead flowers from the grass ; but he had never been separated from her in affection. And now the interval seemed but a moment, so fresh and vivid was his memory. Bright and beautiful Eleanor! All this time he had entirely forgotten Julius; but now, opening the garden gate, his eyes softened, his wrinkles smoothed, and his month tender in its expression, he came suddenly upon a human figure, lying at its full length under a tree. The figure was that of Julius Warburton. He got up directly. "Ah, Mr. Lucius, is it you?" said he, hold ing out his hand. "How very wonderful! Is anything the matter with the firm ?" "How shoald there be?" replied Lucius, displeased, and a cloud rising between him and his love. " Oh, no reason at all. Only one never looks for you anywhere but at the desk." Julius could hardly treat the man he fancied his rival with decent politeness. Lucius walked on in silence. "It is always so," thought he. "In Para dise one must look for the sting of the serpent." Julius did not speak either. " I wonder what he is come poking about here for?" said he to himself. Another bend in the walk, and then a view burst upon Lucius Cottrill. Eleanor Warburton! She was looking at the gold and purple clouds in the sky, her eyes fixed intently upon them, her hands clasped as if in admiration of the noble works of God. So grand she looked, her white dress falling about her, her splendid hair Ugh ted up with the sun's departing radiance, that Lucius paused, unwilling to disturb her. Her beauty filled him with inexpressible delight; he forgot everything else on the whole earth. The pause was momentary. Julius had paused, too ; then he exclaimed pettishly : " Nell, I won't have your dog in the-garden. Juit see where he has been !" Eleanor turned quickly round, the grandeur of the look atill upon her. Then she came for ward, smiling, and with her hand extended. " Mr. Lucius Cottrill! lam sure lam rery glad to see you." lucius bowed. He seemed afraid of the
little hand, so white and dazzling. Then, seeing it still extended, he shook it in a cordial manner, and without apparent embarrassment. Julius gloomed over in a moment. " Eleanor," said he, " did you hear what I said about your dog ?" " Yes," replied she, her glance passing over him and resting upon Lucius. " I hope Mr. Cottrill is well ?" she said. " Quite well," replied Lucius, enveloped in a kind of rose-colored halo, and hardly knowing what he was abont. " I have the most pleasurable recollection of I a visit I once paid him," continued Eleanor. "It was in my school days, I believe. I hope you are still living in that dear old house in Bishop-street ?" " Yes," replied Lucius, still in a rhapsody. Julius gloomed over worse than ever. "My father has sent you a message," said Lucius. He and Eleanor were walking slowly towards the house, Julius sullenly following. "He says he hopes to have the pleasure of see ing you." "That he will!" cried Eleanor. "I will come and call upon him with papa, to-morrow." "We are going out to-morrow," put in Julius. "No we are not," retorted Eleanor, throwing a glance over her shoulder. " The Mertons expect us. I told Mr. Charles " " Yes, and so did I, and the visit was con tingent," said Eleanor, with another hasty glance over her shoulder. " Papa and I will certainly call," added she, addressing Lucius. " When is Mr. Cottrill the most at liberty ?" " Oh, any time to yon, Mits Warburton," replied Lucius. 'Til have the dog chained," growled Julius, still walking sullenly behind. The path, in fact, did not admit of three. "Jenkins ahall " "Jenkins had better mind what he is about. I will not have Pompey touched," said Eleanor, glancing sharply at him. "Go to papa, Julius, and tell him Mr. Lucius is come." "You can tell him yourself, Eleanor," said Julius, turning white. " No, I can't. I want to show Mr. Lucius the grounds. This way, if you please," added she, with a smile, that transported Lucius to the seventh heaven. It was a charming garden, full of rare flowers and fragrant shrubs. But Lucius saw them not. The eyes, the hair, the voice, the unutter able delight of Eleanor's presence—this was enough! Flowers and shrubs were super fluous. He was recalled to his senses by the ques tion: " Will you please tell me about Hugh God frey? How is he getting on?" Lucius hesitated. . "I hear you have been trying to make some thing of him. It was really very good of you to attempt to teach him Latis. Lucius seemed embarrassed^ " I shall call and see him to-morrow," said Eleanor, in a quiet, decided tone. Lucius could delay no longer. " I am very sorry," he began ; " but the fact is, Mr. Godfrey has not turned out welL" M Why, what has he done?" asked Eleanor, anxiously. "He has—in fact he hat run away," replied Lucius, unable to put the fart into other than the plainest English. " Whew!" exclaimed Julius, who was still following in the track. "Indeed he has," said Lucius, regretfully. " And where has he ran to ?" asked Eleanor. " To his old habits and his old companions, I fear. It is a great pity we undertook him. I am very sorry," said Lucius, gravely. " That*s a good joke, your being sorry," cried Julius, his ill-humor getting the msstuij of him "Whyso,pray. And I thought you were gone to papa," said Eleanor, turning suddenly upon him. "Oh, Cottrill and Son will loose nothing," replied Julius, a little frightened by the flash in Eleanor's eye. "Except time and patience," said Lucius, calmly. " Dear me! what will papa say ?" exclaimed Eleanor. "That we are a parcel of fools," returned Julius, from behind. "Julius!" "I don't care, NelL You may browbeat me as much as you like. I say we hare been— very silly," added he, mi—ing the obnoxious word. " I am sorry," said Eleanor, " very sorry in deed. But it can't be helped. I suppose it is the last chance gone." " There are chances still left, if he would seize them," replied Lucius, " but I fear he won't. He hates work. He would rather starre." Eleanor stood thoughtfully tapping her tiny foot upon the ground. The two men looked at her—Lucius with ardent devotion, Julius with discontent and ill-humor. " 111 have it out with her when this fellow goes," thought he. By and by Lucius did go. Squire Warburton was taking his after-dinner nap, and was not visible ; so Lucius, still enthralled by the pre sence of Eleanor, sauntered leisurely back to the garden gate. Here he delivered his invi tation. " My father hopes you will all dine with us on Thursday," said he. " I can't," said Julius; "I am going to Sand hills." Lucius fixed his eyes imploringly on Eleanor. She nodded graciously. " Papa and I will come," replied she. "Eleanor, you had better hear what uncle says. He may not like " " Yes he will like; he always likes what I like," said Eleanor, quickly. " Oh, very well; I shall go to Sandhills by myself." " Do." There was a pause. Eleanor's eye kindled and her cheek glowed. ; " I will punish him for this," thought she. Chapter XLIT. SO MARRY HE, DEAR. " Nell, you are beside yourself," said Julius Warburton. Lucius Cottrill had departed, and Eleanor was sitting on a garden chair, leaning back with an air of supreme indifference to the pre sence of her cousin. "In my house," continued Julius, who was in a towering passion; " before my very eyes, to coquette and flirt with that man." Eleanor rose and drew the gossamer scarf* she was wearing over her shoulderr.
"I am going in to papa. When you have 1 done talking, you can follow.'' "Nell! you shall listen; I can't bear it?" cried Julius, lashed to jealous fury. "That man! that Lucius——'' "Well?" Eleanor had moved on a few paces. Now . she turned her head and looked back. "Well?" "He will think that you —I had better not say, perhaps," added Julius, alarmed again. " I neither know nor care what he thinks of me," said Eleanor. "I am pretty certain what he thinks of you." "What?" " That you are a very ill-tempered, ill-behaved fellow." "Eleanor!" This was uttered reproachfully. He was softened by her saying that she did not care. "And I think so, too." "Eleanor"—here Julius had come and thrown himself on the grass before her—" why do you make me so very miserable ?" "Don't be ridiculous, Julius. Get up. lam going in to tea." " Have I not been rery good to you, Elea nor ? Is there anything I would not do for you?" " Oh, I am excessively obliged for all your attentions," replied Eleanor ; " but indeed I want my tea, Julius." " You are cruel, Eleanor. Why do you treat me as if you hated me ?" " I don't hate youv I like you when you are in a good temper." " How can I be in a good temper when I see you flirting with that odious Lucius Cottrill ?" "He is not odious. I like him. A sensible, clear-headed, intelligent man, such as he is, cannot be met with every day." Julius groaned. " I tell you what, Nell, I can't bear this sort of thing any longer. It is time we put an end to it." "To what! to my being here! I will go to morrow, if you like." •* You know I don't mean that." " What do you mean, then ?" "I mean—l mean—that—that . You like me, Nell, don't you ?" "Oh, yes." "And I like you. Suppose we oome to an arrangement," said fulius, frightened out of his wits at what he was doing, and yet impelled to it as the bird is to the rattlesnake. " What land of an arrangement do you al lude to ?" asked Eleanor, quietly, and without the remotest idea of what was coming. " Well—l . You know, Nell, lam very fond of you." " Yes." "And my uncle likes me, and—and I want a lady like person as—that is to say, to he " " To be your housekeeper," suggested Elea nor, with the utmost gravity. "Oh, no! not my housekeeper, my—my wife," gasped Julius, breathless with the exer tion and alarm of getting out the words. " Oh," said Eleanor, coldly. " Nell, my darling," burst out Julius, with prodigious enthusiasm, "dohave me. It will bother me to death to pick and choose a wife from out of a host of young ladies, and I must get married, I must indeed. Do marry me, dear." Eleanor laughed. "Because we will be as happy as the birds of the air, and you shall have no sort of trouble, ril keep on Jarvis—she's my housekeeper, and ?ess to everything. And, Nell, you need not sew on a button, or do any earthly thing, and Til never be cross with you, my darling, but love and cherish you to my life's end." As he said the words, Julius, who had been gradually raising himself from the ground, stood firm on his legs. He now stretched out his hands to Eleanor, as if to seal the compact with an affectionate salute. But she shpped aside out of his way. " Come, Julius, let us go in. Papa will be wanting me." " Not till you have given me an answer. I shall go distracted if you trifle with me any longer. Will you give me an answer !" "My answer is, that we had better keep as we are" " That's no answer at all." " It's the only one I can give." Julius threw himself on the grass again, and hid his face in his hands. "Come, Julius," said Eleanor, trying to suppress a laugh, "it is too late in the day for these kind of pranks. We mean to be friends always, don't we ?" Julius did not reply. He was rocking him self about the grass, as if in mortal anguish. Eleanor looked at him a few minutes ; then, finding all attempts to move him ineffectual, she left him to his fate and went quietly in to tea. Chapter XLV. "ONXT LEAVE IT TO ME." It was not Lucius Cottrill's custom to inter fere in any way with the domestic arrange ments of the house. He rarely noticed matters to him so trivial and unimportant. He was satisfied that the housekeeper, who had super seded old Sally, was walking in her steps, and silently plodding along in the path of duty. So much was allowed her per week for household expenses, and there it ended. The housekeeper did do her duty. No table was better spread or better served than the CottriUs', and the system of domestic economy went on in a calm and easy flow without ruflling anybody. But on a certain Thursday, marked by Lucius as one of the most important days in his life, he seemed unable to keep in his proper place. The office, enthralling as it was, could not con tain him. He woke all at once to the keenest anxiety about the very trifles he had despised. He went in and out of the rooms, and was a very martinet in his exactness. Not a hair must be out of place the day Eleanor Warburton was coming. His father, reflecting much on the awkward ness of a lady visitor, after dinner, alone in the drawing-room, had proposed to obviate it by inviting Miss Pankes, an elderly spinster of ad mirable position in the town, and who was an occasional visitor at the house. But Lucius negatived the proposition with great vehemence. Not for worlds would he have Miss Pankes. "Well, then, Mrs. Heathcote, perhaps she will do." "No, nor Mrs. Heathcote, either." "Lucius, you are hard to please. Whom will you have?" said his father. " Nobody." " Lucius, it will be rather dull for w " No, if won't. It won't be at all dulL"
" Well, I don't mind. I only thought " " Dear father, your thoughts are always kind and right," said Lucius, persuasively; "but only leave it to me—leave it to me." "Very well, Lucius, I have no objection. Here are some nice engravings, and we need not sit long over our wine." Lucius drew a long breath. He had escaped an imminent danger, for the intrusion of Miss Pankes would have dashed the cup of joy from his very lips. It would have prevented the success of a delicious scheme he had concocted. The great, old-fashioned drawing-room had a window opening upon the garden. Through this window he felt intuitively certain Eleanor would step. He caw her now, her dainty feet crossing the soft turf of the lawn, her flowing garments trailing after her, her bright eyes glancing hither and thither. There was a gate; he knew she would open it, and pass through into the orchard. There she would stand among the knotted stems of the apple trees, his nymph of old, the light shining on her radiant hair, as it did when she bewitched him. Grave, stern, unsociable Lucius Cottrill spun this romance out of a few flimsy possibilities. Well, when she had retired, he would, after a short pause, rise from table and leave the old men at their wine and their talk. He would go after Eleanor. His kind, benignant old father would not mind it, and as for Guy Warburton, if he did, Lucius did not much care. By-and-bye, when the cloth was laid, and the old family plate glittered on the table, and all was ready for the feast, the Warburtons' car riage came rattling down tht street. It con tained Eleanor and her father—no one else. Julius, at the last moment, Jried hard to come; but Eleanor held him fast to his Sandhills scheme. "You have refused Mr. CottriU's invitation," she said j " and now, if you don't go to Sand hills, you must stay at home." Eleanor stepped from the carriage attired in white, and her hair simply braided. Lucius felt intoxicated with the rapture of that mo ment. There was a welcome reception for old friends, and many greetings. When these were over, Abraham Cottrill led Miss Warburton down to dinner with great state and solemnity. That dinner was to Lucius as a feast of the gods. His behavior was quiet and agreeable. He was too perfect master of himself to betray his feelings by any unwarrantable impuUe. He was calm, cool and collected—never more so. Still, stimulated by the society of the woman whom he loved, he relaxed from his usual taci turnity and let light shine upon the stores of knowledge he had from time to time collected —not obtrusively or pedantically, but because, whatever subject was started, as a matter of course he knew all about it. Squire Warburton was not an intelligent man himself. In his young days education had not been what it is now. But he had great natural shrewdness, and his reverence for the Cottrill genius was roused. " That young man will rise to the top of the tree some day," he thought. As for Eleanor, she sat and listened. At the fitting moment, when the dessert was over, she rose and gracefully retired. Lucius held open the door for her as she passed out. Then he sat down again quietly, and without any show of excitement. He did not, however, sit long. The two old men were discussing "joint-stock banks," and he thought the discussion might be carried on without him. He withdrew, intending to follow Eleanor. She was not in the drawing-room. He thought so! A book of engravings • lay open on the table, and her white handkerchief—a soft, fragile thing, trimmed round with lace— lay upon the floor. He took it up, handling it with veneration. A straw that she had trod upon would have respect in the eyes of Lucius Cottrill. He went out of the bay window. She was not in the garden. Her light footsteps had left no trace, on the velvet lawn. She had gone onwards; and onwards Lucius followed. When he reached the orchard gate, it was open. There she was, softly pacing the well trodden turf, her hands clasped behind her, her eyes fixed upon the ground. She did not see him all at once, and he stood and watched the sunbeams flicker on her hair and invest it with a kind of glory. He was entranced. He could have watched for hours, but that Eleanor saw him and came forward. "Ami* trespasser, Mr. Lucius ? My soul yearned for this dear old orchard. "Do you remember the orchard P" said Lu cius, walking beside her, his whole being hushed into a delicious repose. "Oh, yes! as well as if it were yesterday. I was but a child in those days." " You did not strike me as being a child," said Lucius, quietly. Eleanor did not reply. The hush and stillness of the place might have fallen on her spirit with the same deep tranquility that it had done on that of her companion. At any rate she walked on silently. There was a rustic seat under one of the apple trees, and here Lucius made her rest; and when she had rested, he led her back through the garden and showed her every bowery nook, and told her about his father's roses, and chatted gaily and airily. If he kept on the outskirts of the great thing he was proposing, he did it lest he should startle her too soon, not because he feared or doubted. Eleanor, like a bird uncaged as yet, had her songs, and flights, and freedom. The lark, up in yonder cloud, did not dream of captivity less than she did of love! Chapter XLVI. "I SEE, BIB! I SEE!" Ant one would suppose that Hugh Godfrey, having, by his own act and deed, sunk to the hut step in fortune's ladder, would set about retrieving his misfortune as quickly as he could; that he would go back to Langford, entreat Lucius Oottrill's forgiveness, and beg to be taken back into favor. That haven, safe and honorable, might have appeared doubly desirable, seen across the stormy wares in which he was likely to be engulphed. But no such thing, The last idea that oc curred to Hugh was to retrace his steps to Langford. Indeed, to speak more correctly, it never occurred to him at aIL His greatest, bitterest disappointment was Mr. Sandilands. A competency, got together without labor, would exactly have suited Hugh Godfrey. His mother's inheritance he had lost by speculation, so that precedents were not in
his favor. Still, he had relied on Mr. Saudi lands' power and generosity. And the worst luck that ever had happened to him was Mr. desertion. He had a wild, vague hope that, after all, this awkward affair of the note might haTe been a mistake. He could not wholly give up his friend. It might have been a mistake, and Mr. Sandilands' departure a joke. Mr. Sandi lands might all the time be snugly ensconced at Sandilands' Luck. "It is worth inquiring after," thought Hugh, as he walked down the street. He would have gone to the races, hut that he had a feeling of dread lest he should be met again by the danger he had so narrowly es caped. Lest the police should be instructed to look out for him, he thought the sooner he quitted Merriton the better. The precise lo cality of Sandilands' Luck had been described to him by his quondam friend. It was seven miles on the other side of Mcriton. '•You turn to your left," Mr. Sandilands had said, "directly you get out of the town, and go through some half dozen fields. The fields lead you into a lane, and you go on, without turning either way, till you see a house stand ing on an eminence. That is Sandilands' Luck." Nothing could be plainer or more satisfac tory. It was tolerably cool, for the sun had clouded over. Suppose he took a stroll in quest of Sandilands' Luck ? He soon reached the outskirts of the town, in the direction that had been pointed out to him. Very soon he found the fields, and the fields passed, he got into the lane. So far so good. Hugh's spirits began to revive. After all, matters might not be to desperate as he imagined. There was no doubt he should find his friend to be a ; reality, and then he had only to appeal to his sense of honor. To be sure, Sandilands might be on the race-ground at Merriton, but his family would be at home, and if Hugh could hook himself on to them for a time, so much the better. It was Hugh's nature, as it is that of a para site plant, to obtain nourishment from the root and fatness of another. He plodded his weary way down the dusty lane, mile after mile, with wonderful energy. He was upheld by the hope of finding aid and consolation at its close. But this lane, like the long lane bo often quoted, seemed literally to have never a turn. On, on it stretched, and on, on Hugh tramped, till human nature began to fail. "He said seven miles," thought he; "I must have walked twelve." The midday sun beat full on bis head; vege tation was stunted in the neighborhood of San dilands' Luck, and there were no trees to shelter him. He was spent with fatigue, and ready 4o drop, still he had no alternative bat to tramp on. At length, to his great delight, the lane, hitherto cramped up between high hedges, widened out. Hugh looked hither and thither, hoping to see the much wished for house on the hill, but he looked in vain. The lane had indeed come to an end, but it opened upon a wide, bleak common, that stretched as far as the eye could reach. The common was covered with short, mossy turf, interspersed with bushes of furze and gone. On the turf a number of sheep were feeding.; the shepherd was stretched on the ground fast asleep. Hugh stood ruefully gazing about him, then he went np to the shepherd, meaning to ask him the way. The shepherd was an old man and deaf, and it was not easy to rouse him. When he was roused, it took some time to make him com prehend what it was that Hugh wanted. He was not, however, deficient in intelligence by any means. " Fve known hereabout fifty year or more," said he, " and I've never heard tell of such a place." "A house on a hill, and twelve acres of grass-land," shouted Hugh. " There ain't no grass-land about here. You see it lies near the tea, and pasturage ain't worth nothing. No gentleman in his right mind would buy land here." " But are there no houses at all ?" inquired Hugh, eagerly. " None at all, sir. General Philpot's—his is the nighest, but it's seven miles from here. There's no one of the name of Sandilands, or anything like it, in this neighborhood, I am pretty sure, sir." Hugh sat down in despair. " How far am I from the next village ?" he •aid. " I want to get something to eat." " Well, sir, you goes across that sheep-path till you como to the other side of the common. Then you goes on three or four miles, and then " j " Three or four miles!" cried Hugh, almost | with a shriek. " Why, I've walked from Mer riton already." "Ah! it's a goodish step from Merriton. You come by the long lane." "It was a long lane, indeed!" exclaimed Hugh. " Why, I thought it would have spun on all the rest of my life." " Well, sir, I'm just going to have my din ner in that hollow there, where the water's trickling. It's a natural spring, sir, and I've drank of it this many a year. Perhaps you'll eat a morsel, and rest till it's a bit cooler." " Thank you," replied Hugh, " I should be very glad. I'm regularly dead beat." The old man got up, and leaning on his stick —he was very old and infirm—walked to the hollow, where lay a wallet containing his dinner. A brown loaf, a piece of cheese, and a lump of cold, fat bacon —this was the shepherd's re past; his drink was the clear water of the spring. Had the provisions been coarser than they were, Hugh would have been truly thank ful. He felt literally famished. Before the old man touched a morsel, while yet the food lay spread out upon the grass, he raised his cap and, looking up, said a simple prayer of thanksgiving. Then he and his guest fell to with great zest. " I have been a shepherd all my life," said the old man, "and it ain't a very high lift in the world; but I've been happy and contented. What are you, sir, pray ?" "I—l—am nothing!" stammered Hugh, taken rather aback by the question. "Are you a gentleman of fortin' then, sir? It's only them as can afford to do nothing." " Oh, no, I have not a fortune; lam a poor man. I have only a few shillings in the world," replied Hugh. "Eh! that's a bad look out," said the shep herd ; "at your age, 6ir, and well dressed, and with the use of your limbs! It's time—no offence, I hope—it's time you made some use of yourself." " I can't help it," said Hugh; " I have been •0 unlucky."
'^Onlucky! I don't like that word, sir; it ain't a Christian word! Christian men, su\ dosen't go by luck. They goes by the rule of right, and that brings 'em luck, as you call it." " I am not sure of that," replied Hugh, who had finished his dinner, and was lying on the grass. " I've known good people that have had everything turn out badly, and it wasn't their fault either." "Sir," said the old shepherd, solemnly, " there is such things as the dispensations of Providence, and we can't gainsay 'em. They come like the wind, and we can't tell from whither. Those trials has to be borne with patience. But in the common run of events, if a man uses the talents as the Almighty has given him, and strives, and is steady and say —don't (ell me, sir, that man will come right as sure as that there road across the com mon leads on to the sea." Hugh was silent. He had never tried that path the shepherd spoke of, and perhaps he never would. " I've been working a many year, sir," con tinued the old man, " and I've saved a little money, and that cottage over there is my own ; and I've got childer as is doing well for them selves in this world. But this I know; if I hadn't worked —aye, worked hard, too—we should hare been in the union by now. It don't do to work one while and be idle another, sir." " Perhaps not," replied Hugh. " And I'd advise you, as is young and hearty, to put your shoulder to the wheel and get on, sir. There's plenty as will help you turn your shillings to pounds if you have a willing mind." " I wish I knew such a person," said Hugh. "You might go to my old master, if you liked. He has a lot of land—middling land it is ; but he's farmed it high. He may happen give you a job." "Thank you, I don't lite farm work," said Hugh. "What do you like, sir?" " Well, I don't know," replied Hugh, still lying idly on the grass. " I think I shall look about me." "Ah!" said the old man, "I see, sir! I see! I had better go back to my sheep." [to be continued.]