Chapter 20333646

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Chapter NumberXIX
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20333646
Full Date1880-06-19
Page Number777
Corrections0
Word Count6983
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleAdam and Eve
article text

The Storyteller.

Adam and Eve.*

CHAPTER XIX.

BY MRS. PARR, Authoross of "Dorothy Fox," "The Gosan Smithy," &c., &c.

EXCEPT the long surging roll of the waves, as in monotonous succession they dashed and broke against the rocks, not a sound was to be heard. The night had grown more lowering; the

sprinkle of stars wu hid behind the dense muse* of cloud, through which, ever and anon, the moon, with shadowy face, broke out and feebly cast down a glimmering light Below, the outspead stretch of water lay dark and motionless, its glassy surface cold and glittering like steeL Walking a little in the rear of Adam, Eve Bhuddered as her eyes fell on the depths, over whose brink the narrow path they trod seemed hanging. Instinctively she shrank closer to the cliff-side, to be caught by the long trails of bramble which, with bracken and gone, made the steep descent a bristly wall. Insensibly affected by external surroundings, unused to such complete darkness, the sombre aspect of the scene filled her with nervous apprehension ; every bit of jutting rock she stumbled against was a yawning precipice, and at each step the took she died some different death. The terrors of her mind entirely absorbed all her former in* difference and ilUhumor, and she would have gladly welcomed any accident which would have afforded her a decent pretext for breaking this horrible silence. But nothing occurred, aod they, reached the open piece of green, and were dose on the crumbling ruins of St. Peter's chapel, without a word having passed between them. The moon struggled out with a great effort, and to Eve's relief showed that the rigxig dangers of the path were past, and there was now nothing worse to fear than what might happen on any uneven grassy slope. Moreover, the buss of voices was near, and, though they could not see the persons speaking, Eve knew, by the sound, that they could not be very far distant. Having before him the peculiar want of reticence gener ally displayed by the Polperro folk, Adam would have given much to have been in a position to ask Eve to remount the hill and get down by the other side ; but under present circumstances he felt it impossible to make any suggestion; things must take their course. And without a word of warning he and Eve gained the summit of the raised elevation which forma a sheltered back* ground to this favorite loitering-plaoe, at once to find themselves the centre of observation to a group of men whose noisy discussion they bad apparently interrupted. " Why, 'tis my son Adam, ain't it I" exclaimed the voice of Uncle Zebedee; and at the sound of a little mingled hoarseness and thickness Adam's heart sank within him. ' And who's this he's a got with un, eh V "Tis me, Uncle Zebedee,' said Eve, stepping down on to the flat, and advancing towards where the old man Btood lounging. ' Eve, you know.' ' Awb, Eve, is it V exclaimed Zebedee. ' Why, how long's t'wind veered round to your quarter, my maid ? Be you two Bweetheartin', then—eh V 'I've been all day up to Aunt Hepdbah's,' said Eve quickly, trying to cover her confusion, 4 and Adam came to fetch me back : that's how it is we're together.' ' Wa-al, but he needn't ha' fetched 'cc 'less he'd got a mind for yer company, I s'pose,' returned Zebedee, with a meaning laugh. ' Come, come, now! 't 'ull niver do for 'cc to try to cabobble Uncle Zibedee! So you and Adam's oourtyin', be 'cc ? Wa-al, there's suffin to be said again that, I s'pose ?' and he looked round as if inviting concurrence or contradiction. ' Her's my poor brother Andrer's little maid, ye knaw, shipmates,' and he made a futile attempt to present Eve to the assembled company, ' what's dead—and dro wnded—and gone to Davy's locker; so notwithstandin' I'd lashins sooner 'twas our Joan he'd ha' fix'd on—Lord ba' massy I' he added, parenthetically, 'Joan's worth a horgv head o' she—still, what's wan man's mate's another man's pison ; and, howsomedever that lies, I reckon it needn't go for to hinder me fra' drinkin' their healths in a drap o' good liquor. So come along, my hearties; and, making a movement which sent him forward with a lurch, he began muttering something about his aea-lege, the effect of which was drowned in the Bhout evincing the ready satisfaction with which this proposal for friendly conviviality was hailed. Eve drew in her breath, trying to gather up courage and combat down the horrible suspicion

* The right of rupuhlirhing " Adam and Eve in Qiit'eiirlnnil hiu bouu purchased by the prourltjtorp of the

that Undo Zebedee wu not quite himself— didn't exactly know what he was saying—had taken too much to drink. With congratulatory Intent she found herself jostled against by two or three others near her, whose noisy glee and uncertain gait only increased her fears. What should she do J Where should she go ? What had become of Adam ? Surely he would not go and leave her amongst— But already her question was answered by a movement from some one behind, who, with a dexterous interposition, succeeded in placing him* self between Uncle Zebedee and herself. 'Father!' and Adam's voice sounded more harsh and stern than usual, 'leave Eve to go home as she likes ; she's not used to these sort o' ways, and will not take things as you mean them' 'Eh ! what? How not mane 'em f exclaimed old Zebedee, taken aback by his son's sudden appearance. ' I arn't a said no harm that I knaws by ; there's no 'fence in givin' the maid a wet welcome, I a'pose.' A buu of dissatisfaction at Adam's interference inspired Zebedee with renewed confidence, and with two or three sways in order to get the right balance he managed to bring himself to a stand still right in front of Adam, into whose face he looked with a comical expression of defiance and humor as he said : " Why, come 'long with us, lad, do 'cc, and name the liquor yerself, and see it passes round free, and turn and turn about; and let's hab a song or two, and get up Rooty Treloar wi' his fiddle, and Zeke Orgall there 'ull dance us a horn* pipe,' and he began a double-shuffle with his feet, adding, as his dexterity came to a sudden and somewhat unsteady finish, ' 'Tis a ill wind that blows nobody no good, and a poor heart what niver rejicea.' Eve during this time had been vainly endeavor log to nuke her escape—an impossibility, as Adam saw, under existing oircumstanoes ; and this de cided him to use no further argument, but, with his arm put through his father's, and in company with the rest of the group, he apparently con ceded to their wishes; and, motioning Eve on, the party proceeded along the path, down the steps, and towards the quay, until they came in front of the Three Pilchards ; now the centre of life and jollity, with the sound of voices and the pre paratory scraping of a fiddle to enhance the pro mise of comfort which glowed in the ruddy re flection sent by the bright lights and cheerful fire through the red window-curtain. 1 Now, father,' exclaimed Adam, with a resolute grip of the old man's arm, 'you and me are home ward-bound. We'll welcome our neighbors some other time, but for this evening let's say good night to them.' 'Good-night!' repeated Zebedee ; 'how good night? Why, what 'ud be the manin' o' that? None o' us ain't agoin' to part company here, I hopes. We'm all goin' to oast anchor to the same moorin's—eh, mates V ' No, no, no,' said Adam, impatiently ; ' you oome along home with me, now.' ' Iss, iss ; all right,' laughed the old man, try ing to wriggle out of his son's grasp ; ' only not just yet awhile*. I'm agoin' in here to drink your good health, Adam lad, and all here's aoomin' with me—ain't us, hearties f 'Pack of stuff—drink my health !' exclaimed Adam. ' There's no more reason for drinking my health to-night than any other night Come along now, father ; you've had a hard day of it, you know, and when you get home you can have whatever you want quietly by your own fireside.' But Zebedee, though perfectly good-humored, was by no means to be persuaded ; he continued to laugh and writhe about as if the fact of his detention was merely a joke on Adam's port, the lookers-on abetting and applauding his deter mination, until Adam's temper could restrain itself no longer, and with no very pleasant explosion of wrath he let go his hold, aud intimated that bis father was tree to take what course pleased him most. ' That's right, lad 1' exclaimed old Zebedee, heartily, shaking himself together. ' You'm a good son, and a capital sailor man, but you'm pore company, Adam—verra pore company.' And with this truism (to which a general Bhout gave universal assent) ringing in bis earis, Adam strode away up the street with all possible speed, and was standing in front of the house door when he was suddenly struck by the thought of what had become of Eve. Since they had halted in front of the Three Pilchards, he had seen nothing of her ; she had disappeared, and in all probability had made her way home. The thought of having to confront her caused him to hesitate ; should he go in ? What else could he do ? Where had he to go ? So, with a sort of desperation, he pushed open the door and found himself within the sitting-room. It was empty ; the fire had burned low; the wick of the unsnuffed oandle had grown long—evidently Eve had not returned ; and with an undefined mix ture of regret and relief Adam sat down, leaned his arms on the table, and laid his head upon them. During the whole day the various excitements he had undergone had so kept his mind on the stretch that his powers of keen susceptibility seemed now thoroughly exhausted, and in place of the acute pain he had previously suffered there had come a dull heavy weight of despair, before which his usual force and determination seemed vanquished and powerless. The feeling uppermost was a sense of the injustice inflicted on him ; that he, who in practice and ptinciple was so far removed above bis neighbors, should be made to suffer for their follies and misdeeds, should have to bear the degradation of their vices. As to any hope of reclaiming them, he had long ago given that up, though not without a certain disappoint ment in the omniscience of that Providence which could refuse the co-operation of his valu able agency. . Adam suffered from that strong belief in him self which is apt, when carried to excess, to throw a shadow on the highest qualities. Outstepping the Pharisee, who thanked God that he was not like other men, Adam thanked himself, and fed his vanity, by the assurance that had the Polperro folk followed hiß lead and his advice they would now be walkiug in his footstepß ; instead of which they hud despised him as a leader and rejected him as a counsellor, bo that, exasperated by their ignorance and Btung by their ingratitude, he had cant them off and aban doned them for ever ; and out of this disappoint*

ment had arisen a dim shadow of mum far-off future, wherein he caught glimpses of a new life, filled with fresh hopes and successful endeavors.^ From the moment hi<* heart had opened towards Eve, her image seemed to be associated with these hitherto undefined longings ; by the light of her love, of her presence, her companion ship, all that had been vague seemed to take shape and grow into an object which was real, and a purpose to be accomplished, so that now one of the sharpest pricks from the thorn of dis appointment came of the knowledge that this hope was shattered, and this dream must be abandoned. And, lost in moody retrospection, Adam sat stabbing desire with the sword of dcs« pair. ' Let me be—let me be 1' he said, in answer to someone who was was trying to rouse him. 4 Adam, it's me ; do look up !' and, in spite of himself, the voice which spoke made him lift his head and look at the speaker. ' Adam, I'm so sorry ;' and Eve's face said more than her words. 'You've nothing to be sorry for,' returned Adam, sullenly. ' I want you to forgive me, Adam,' continued Eve. ' I've nothing to forgive.' ' Yes, you have ;' and a faint flush of color came into her cheeks as she added, with heaita ting confusion,' You know I didn't mean you to take what I Baid as you did, Adam ; because'— and the color suddenly deepened and spread over her face—'because I do care for you—very much indeed.' Adam gave a despondent shake of his head. ' No, you don't,' he said, steadily averting hi* eyes ; ' and a very good thing too. I don't know who—that wasn't foroed to it—would willingly have anything to do with Buch a God-forsaken place as this is. I only know I'm sick of it, and of myself, and my life, and everything in it' • Oh, Adam ! don't say that; don't say you're, sick of life —at least, not now ;' and she turned her fac6 so that he might read the reason. ' And why not now Vhe asked stolidly. ' Wfaafc bave I now that I hadn't before!' ' W°7» you've got me.' ' You ! You said you couldn't give me the love I asked you for.' ' Oh, but I didn't mean it What I said was because I felt so hurt that you should suspect me, an you seemed to.' 'I never suspected you—never meant to suspect you. All I wanted you to know was that I must be all or nothing.' 1 Of course ; and I meaut that too, only you— but there, don't let's drift back to that again ;' and as she spoke she leaned her two hands upon his shoulders and stood looking down. ' What I want to cay is that every bit of love I have is yours, Adam. I am afraid,' she added shyly, ' you had got it all before ever I knew whether you really wanted it or not' • And why couldn't you tell me that before!' he said bitterly. ' Why, is it too late now ?' asked Eve, humbly. ' Too late! you know it can't be too late T exclaimed Adam, his old irritability getting the better of him ; then, with a sudden revulsion of his over-wrought susceptibilities, he cried : ' Ob, Eve, Eve! bear with me to-night; I'm not what I want to be. The words I try to speak die away upon my lips, and my heart seems sunk down so low that nothing can rejoice it To* morrow I shall be master of myself again, aad ail will look different' ' I hope so,' sighed Eve, tremulously. ' Things don't seem quite between us as they ought to be. I shan't wait for Joan,' she said, holding out her hand. ' I shall go upstairs now ;so good-night, Adam.' • Good-night,' he said ; then, keeping hold of her hand, he drew her towards him, and stood looking down at her with a face haggard and full of sadness. The look acted as the last straw which was to swamp the burden of Eve's grief. Control was in vain ; and in another instant, with Adam's arms around her, she lay sobbing out her sorrow on his breast, and the tears, as they came, thrust the evil spirit away. So that when, an hour later, the two said good-night again, their vows had been exchanged, and the troth that bound them plighted ; and Adam, looking into Eve's face, smiled as he said ; ' Whether for good luck or bad, the sun of our love has risen in a watery •ky. 1 Chaftkb XX. Most of the aotions and events of our lives are chameleon-hued; their colors vary according to the light by which we view them. Thus Eve, who the night before had seen nothing but happi ness in the final arrangement between Adam and herself, awoke on the following morning with a feeling of dissatisfaction and a desire to be critical as to the rosy hues which seemed then to color .**?» advent of their love. The spring of tenderness, which had burst forth within her at eight of Adam's humiliation and subsequeat despair, had taken Eve by surprise. She knew, and had known for some time, that much within her was capable of answering to the demands which Adam's pleading lovo would most probably require ; but that he hod inspired her with a passion which would make her lay her heart at his feet, feeling, for the time, that though he trampled on it, there it must stay, was a revelation entirely new and, to Eve's temperament, rather humiliating. She had never felt any sympathy with those love-sick maidens whose very existence seemed Bwallowed up in another's being, and had been proudly confident that, even when supplicated, she should never seem to stoop lower than to accept. There fore, jußt as we experience a aense of failure when we find our discernment led aatray in our per ception of a friend, so now, Although she studi ously avoided acknowledging it, she had the con sciousness that she had utterly misconceived her own character, and the balance by which she had adjusted the strength of her emotions had been a false one. A dread ran through her lest ebt should be seized hold upon by some further in consistency, and Bhe resolved to set a watch on the outposts of her senses, so that they might not betray her into further weakness. These thoughts were still agitating her mind when Joan suddenly awoke, and, after a tiun.l, roused herself Hufficient.ly to my : 1 Why, what ovur mudo you p'>|> "IV in Hiu-h a hurry last night, Evo / I runuud in a little after ten, and there wasn't no sigiiß of you nowhere^

and then I come upon Adam, and he told me 70a wai gone up to bed.' ' Yes,' said Eve ;' I was so tired, and my foot began to aobe again, so I thought there wasn't any use in my sitting up any longer. But you were very late, Joan, weren't you ?' ' Very early, more like,' said Joan ; ' twas past wan before I shut my eyes. Why, I come home three time* to see if uncle was back ; and then I wouldn't stand it no longer, so I went and fetched un.' 'What, not from where he was? ex claimed Eve. Joan nodded her head. lOh lore !' she said,' 'taint the fust time by many ; and,' she added, in a tone of satisfaction, I 1 lets 'em know when they've brought Joan Hocken down among 'em. I had Jerrem out, and uncle atop of un, 'fore they knawed where they was. Awb, I don't stand beggin' and pray in', not I ; 'tis " whether or no, Tom Collins," when I come, I can tell 'cc.' ' Well, they'd stay a very long time before they d be fetched by me,' said Eve, emphatically. 1 Awb, don't 'cc say that now,' returned Joan; 4 where do 'cc think there'd be the most harm in then, Bittin' comfortable at home, when you might go down and 'tice 'em away, or the goin' down and doin' of it V 4 I've not a bit of patience with anybody who drinko,' exclaimed Eve, evading a direct answer. 'Then you'll never cure anybody of it, my dear,' replied Joan. ' You'm like Adam there, I reckon, wantin' to set the world straight in one day, and all the folks in it bottommost side up wards ; but, as I tell un, he don't go to work the right way. They that can't steer 'ull never sail; and I'll bet any money that, when it comes to be counted up how many glasses o' grog's been turned away from uncle's lips, there'll be more set to the score o' my coaxin' than ever 'ull be to Adam's bullyragginV ' Perhaps so,' said Eve ; and then, wishing to avoid nny argument into which Adam could be brought, she adroitly changed the subject, and only indifferent topics were discussed until, their drawing completed, the two girls were ready to go down-stairs. The firßt person who answered the summons to breakfast was Uncle Zebedee, not heavy-eyed and shuine-faced, as Eve had expected to see him, but bright, and rosy-cheeked as an apple. He had been up and out Binc9 6 o'clock, looking after the repairs which a boat of his was laid up to under go ; and now, as he came into the house, fresh as a lark, he chirruped, in a quavery treble- Tom Truelove wooed the sweetMt fair That e'»rto tar wu kind, Her face was of a booty rare. * That's for all the world what your'n is,' he said breaking off to bestow a smacking kiss on Joan. ' So look sharp, like a good little maid as you be, and gi'e us summat to sit down for ;' and he drew a chair to the table and began flourishing the knife which had been set there tot him. Then catching sight of Eve, whose face, in her desire to spare him, betrayed an irrepressible look of consciousness, he exclaimed, 'Why they've bin tellin' up that I was a little over-free in my speech last night about you, Eve ; is there any truth in it, eh ? I doan't fancy I could ha' said much amiss, did I ?' ' Oh, nothing to signify, uncle.' "Twas sommat 'bout you and Adam, warn't it ?' he continued, with a puzzled air; 4 'tis all in my head here, tho' I can't zackly call it to mind. That's the divil o' bein' a little o'ertook that ways,' he added, with the assnranee of meeting ready sympathy. ' 'Tiß so bafflin' to Bet things all ship-shape the next mornin'. I minds ?o far as thiß, that it had somehow to do with me holdin' to it that you and Adam was goin' to be man and wife ; but if you axes for the why and wherefore I'm blessed if I can t«U 'cc.' ' Why, what ever put such as that into your head ?' said Joan, sharply. ' Wa-al, the liquor, I reckon,' laughed Zebedee. ' And somehow or 'nother Maister Adam didn't seem to have over much relish for the notion;' and he screwed up his face and hugged himself together aa if his whole body was tickled at his son's discomfiture. ' But, there, never you mind that, Eve,' he added hastily ; ' there's more baws than wan to Polperrro, and I'll wager for a half score o' chaps ready to hab cc without yer waitin' to be took up by my son Adam.' Poor Eve! it was certainly an embarrassing situation to be placed in, for, with no wish to conceal her engagement, to announce it herself alone and unaided by even the presence of Adam was a task Bhe naturally shrank from. In the endeavor to avoid any direct reply, shesatwatohiog anxiously for Adam's arrival, her sudden change of manner construed by Zebedee into the effect of wounded vanity, and by Joan into displeasure at her uncle's undue interference. By sundry frowns and nods of warning, Joan tried to convey her admonitions to old Zebedee, hi the midst of which Adam entered, and, with a smile at Eve and an inclusive nod to the rest of the party, took a chair and drew up to the table. 'Surely,' thought Eve, 'he intends telling them.' But Adam sat silent and occupied with the plate before him. 'He can't think I can go living on here with Joan, even for a single day, and they not know it,' and in her perplexity she turned on Adam a look full of enquiry and meaning. Still Adam did notßpeak ; in his own mind he was casting over the thing he meant to say when, breakfast over and the two girls out of the way, he would iuvite bia father to smoke a pipe out side, during the companionghip of which he in tended taking old Zdbedee decidedly to task, and, putting his intended marriage with Eve well to the front, clinch his arguments by the startling announcement that, unless some re formation was Boon made, he would leave his native place and seek a home in a foreign land. Such words and such threats as theße could not be uttered to a father by a son save when they two stood quite alone, and Adam, after meeting a second look from Eve, shook his head, feeling satisfied that she would know that only some grave requirement deterred him from immedi ately auuouncing the happiness which henceforth was to crown his life. But our intuition, at the best, ie somewhat narrow, and, where the heart is moßt concerned, most faulty ; therefore Eve, and Adam too, felt each disappointed in the other's want of acquiescence, and inclined to be critical on the lack of mutual sympathy,

< Suddenly the door opened and in walked jerrem, smiling and apparently more radiant than usual, under the knowledge that he was more than usually an offender. Joan, who had her own reasons for being very considerably put out with him, was not disposed to receive him Very graciously. Adam vouchsafed him no notice whatever. Uncle Zebedee, oppressed by the sense of former good-fellowship, thought it discreet not to evince too much cordiality, so that the onus of the morning's welcome was thrown upon Eve, who, utterly ignorant of any offence Jerrem had given, thought it advisable to make amends for the pettish impatience she feared she bad been betrayed into on the previous morning. Old Zebedee, whose resolves seldom lasted over ten minutes, soon fell into the swmg of Jerrem's flow of talk ; a little later on, and Joan was forced to put in a word, bo that the usual harmony was just beginning to recover itself when, in answer to a remark which Jerrem had made, Eve managed to turn the laugh so cleverly back upon him that Zebedee, well-pleased to see what good friends they were growing, exclaimed : ' Stop her mouth ! stop her month, lad! I'd ha' done it, when I was your years, twenty times over 'fore this. Her's too sarcy—too sarcy by half, her is 1' 'Up started Jerrem, but Adam was before him. ' I don't know whether what I'm goin' to say is known to anybody here already,' he burst out, • but I think its high time that some present should be told by me that Eve has promised to be my wife,' and, turning, he cast a look of angry defiance at Jerrem, who, thoroughly amazed, gradually sank down and took possession of his chair again, while old Zebedee went through the dumb show of giving a long whistle, and Joan, muttering an unmeaning something, ran hastily out of the room. Eve, angry and confused, turned from white to red, and from red to white. A Bilence ensued—one of those pauses when some event of our lives seems turned into a gulf to separate us from our former surroundings. Adam was the first to speak, and, with a touch of irony, he said : ' You're none of you very nimble at wishing us joy, I fancy.' ' Atad no wonder, you're a tooked na all aback so,' said old Zebedee ; "t seems to me I'm foaced to turn it round and round afore I can swaller it for rale right-down truth.' ' Why, is it so very improbable then ?' asked Adam, already repenting the abruptness of the disclosure. 4 Wa-al, 'twas no later than last night that you was swearin* agen' and eussen' everybody from stein to starn, for so much as mentionin' it as likely. Kow,' he added, with as much show of ditpleaaure as his cheery weather-beaten old face would admit of, ' I'll tell 'cc the mind l'te got to'ards these sort o' games ; if you see fit to board folks hi the smoke, why, do it, and no blame to 'cc : but hang me if I can stomach 'cc sailin' under false colors I* 4 There wasn't anything of false colors about us, father,' said Adam, in a more conciliatory tone; ' for, though I had certainly spoken to Eve, it was not until after I'd parted with you last night that she gave me her answer.' ° Awh!' said the old man, only half propitiated. 'Wa-al, I a'pbse you can settle your eonsarns without my help ; but I can tell 'cc this much, that if my Joana had took so long afore she could make her mind up, I'm blamed if her ever should ha' had the chance o' bein' your mother, Adam, so there! : Adam bit his lips with vexation. 4 There's no need for me to enter upon any further explanations,' he said ; 4 Eve's satisfied, I'm satisfied, so I don't see why yon shouldn't be satisfied.' 4Awh, I'm satisfied enough,' said Zebedee; 4 and so far as that goes, though I ain't much of a hand at epeechifym', I hopes that neither of 'cc 'ull never have no raison to repent yer bargain. Eve's a fine bowerly maid, to you'm well matched there ; and so long as she's ready to listen to all you say and bide by all you tells her, why 'twill be set fair and sail easy.' 41 can assure you Eve isn't prepared to do anything of the sort, Uncle Zebedee! exclaimed Eve, unable to keep silence any longer. 'I've always been told if I'd nothing else I've got the Pascals' temper, and that, according to your own showing, isn't very fond of sitting quiet and being rode over rough-shod.' The whistle whioh Uncle Zebedee had tried to choke at its birth now came out shrill, long, and expressive ; and Adam, jumping up, said: ' Come, come Eve, we've had enough of this ; surely there isn't any need to take such idle talk as a serious matter? If you and me hadn't seen some good in one another we shouldn't have taken each other, I suppose ; and thank the Lord, we haven't to please anybody but our two selves.' ' Wa-al, 'tis to be hoped you'll find that task asier than it looks,' retorted Uncle Zebedee, with a touch of sarcasm, while Jerrem, after watching Adam go out, endeavored to throw a tone of re gret into the flattering nothings he now whispered by way of congratulation ; but Eve turned im patiently away from him. She had no fnrther inclination to talk or to be talked to ; and Uncle Zebedee having by this time sought solace in a pipe, Jerrem joined him outside, and the two sauntered away towards the quay. Left to the undisturbed indulgence of her own reflections, Eve's mood was no enviable one—the more difficult to bear because she had to control the various emotions struggling within her. She felt it was the time for plain speaking between her and Adam, and rightly judged that a proper understanding come to at once would be the safest means of securing future comfort. Turn and twist Adam's abrupt announcement as she would, she could assign but one cause for it, and that cause was an overweening jealousy; and, as the prospect came before her of a lifetime spent in the midst of doubt and suspicion, the strength of her love seemed to die away and her heart grew faint within her. For surely if the demon of jealously could be roused by the tight of com mon-place attentions from one who was in every way like a brother—for so in Eve's eyeß Jerrem seemed to be—what might not be expected if at any time circumstances threw her into the mixed company of strangers ? Eve had seen very little of men, but whenever chance had afforded her the opportunity of their Bociety she had in variably met with attention, and had felt inwardly gratified by the knowledge that she was attracting admiration ; but now, if the gave way to this

prejudice of Adam's, every time an eye was turned towards her the would be filled by fear, and each time a look was cast in her direction her heart would sink with dread. What should she do 1 Give him up ? Even with the prospect of possible misery staring at her, Eve could not say yes; and before the thought had more than shaped itself a dozen suggestions were battling down the dread alter* native. She would change him, influence him, convert him, anything but give him up or give in to him. She forgot how much easier it is to conceive plans than to carry them out; to arrange speeches than to utter them. She for got that only the evening before, when, an op portunity being afforded, she had resolved upon telling Adam the whole circumstance of Reuben May, and the promise made between them, while the words were yet on her lips she had drawn them back, because Adam bad said he knew that the promise was " nothing but the promise of a letter ;" and Eve's courage had suddenly given way, and by her silence she had led him to con clude that nothing else had passed between them. Joan had spoken of the envious grudge which Adam had borne towards Jerrem, because he had shared in his mother's heart, so that this was not :the first time Adam had dropped in gall to mingle with the cup of his love. The thought of Joan brought the fact of her unexplained dis appearance to Eve's mind, and, full of compunc ition at the bare suspioion of having wounded that generous heart, Eve jumped up, with the in tention of seeking her and of bringing about a satis factory explanation. She had not far to go before she came upon Joan, rubbing and scrubbing away as if the welfare of all Polperro depended on the amount of energy she could throw into her work. Her face was flushed and her voioe unsteady, the natural consequence of such violent exercise, and which Eve's approach but seemed to lend greater force to. 'Joan, I want to speak to you.' ' Awh, my I dear, I can't listen to no speakin' now,' replied Joan, hastily,' aud the tables look ing as they do.' ' But Tabithy always scrubs the tables, Joan; ? why should you do it ?' ' ' Tabithy's arms ain't half so young as mine, worse luck for me or for she.' Having by this time gained a little insight into Joan's peculiarities, Eve argued no further, but Bat herself down on a convenient seat, waiting fof the time when the rasping sound of the brush would come to an end. Her patience was put to no very great tax, for after a few minutes Joan fiang the brush along the table, exclaiming: 'Awh, drabit the ole scrubbing I must give over. I b'lieve I've had ennf of it for this time •t all events.' ' Joan, you ain't hurt with me, an you V said Eve, trying to push her into the seat from which ' she had just risen. ' I wanted to be the first to tell you, only that Adam spoke as he did, and took all I was going to say out of my mouth; it leaves you to think me dreadfully sly.' 'Awh, there wasn't much need for tellin' me,' said Joan, with a sudden relax of manner. 1 When I didn't shut my eyes o' purpose I could toll, from the first, what was certain to happen.' "It was more than I could, then,' said Eve. 'I hadn't given it a thought that Adam meant to ? apeak to me, and when he aaked me I was quite taken aba^k, and said "no " for ever so long.' " What made 'cc change yer mind so sudden*, then V said Joan, bluntly. Eve hesitated. 'I hardly know,' she add, with a little con fusion. ' I think it was seeing him so oast down made me feel so dreadfully sorry.' ?H'm,' said Joan, 'didn't '«c never feel bo sorry for t'other poor chap that wanted to have 'cc, he to London—Reuben May!' ' Not enough to make me care in that way for him, I certainly never did.' ' And you do care for Adam, then f 'I think I do.' 'Think!' • Well, I am aura I da' • That* better. Well, Eve, I'll »ay this far'— and Joan gave a sigh before the other words would come out—' I'd rather it should be you than anybody else I ever saw." The struggle with which these words were said, their tone, and the look in Joan's face, seemed to reveal a state of feeling which Eve had not sus pected ; throwing her arms around her, she cried out: • Ob, Joan ! why didn't he choose you ? you would have been much better for him than me.' 1 Lord bless the maid I' and Joan tried to laugh through her tears, 'I wouldn't ha' had 'unif he'd axed me. Why, there'd ha' ben murder 'tween us 'fore a month was out; us 'ud ha' bin hung for one 'nother. No ; now don't 'cc take no such stuff as that into yer head, 'cos there's no sense in it. Adam's never looked 'pon me not more than a sister;' and, breaking down, Joan sobbed hysteri cally ; ' and when you two's married I shall feel 'uokly aa if he was a brother, and be gladder than e'er a one else to see how happy you makes un. 'That's if I do make him happy,' said Eve sadly. 'There's no fear but you'll do that, 'said Joan, resolutely wiping the tears from her eyes ; ' and 'twill be your own fault if you bain't happy too yourself, Eye. Adam's got his fads to put up with, and his fancies same as other men have, and a masterful temper to keep under, as no. body can tell better than me ; but for rale right down goodne* I shouldn't knaw where to match his fellow—not if I was to search the place through; and, naiad 'cc, after all, that's some thin' to be proud of in the man you've got to say Maister to.' Eve gave a little smile. ' Bat he must let me be mistress, you know, Joan.' ; All right; only don't you stretch that too far,' said Joan, warningly, 'or no good 'ull come of it; and be forrigbt in all you do, and spake the truth to un. I've many time wished I could, but with this to hide o' that one's, and that to hush up of others, I know he holds me for a downright Hard ; and so I am by his measure, I 'specta.' f ' I'm sure you're nothing of the sort, Joan, said Eve; 'Adam's always saying how much people think of you. He told me only yesterday that he was certain more than half the men of the place had asked you to marry them.' Did bef said Joan, not wholly displeased

that Adam should hold this opinion. ' Ah, and *x they may, I reckon, afore 1 shall find a man to say "yes" to.' ' That v what I used to think myself,' said Eve. 4 In, and so you found it, till Roger put the question,' replied Joan, decisively. Then, after a minute's pause, she added, ' What be 'cc goin' to do 'bout the poor Bawl to London, then —eh f You must tell him somehow.' 'Oh ! I don't see that,' said Eve. ' I mean to write to him, because I promised I would, and I ?hall tell him that I've made up my miud not to go back, but I shan't aay anything more ; there isn't any need for it that I see ; at least, not yet awhile. 'Beat to tell un all,' argued Joan. 'Why shouldn't *cc t 'Ti» the same, so far as you'm concerned, whether he's killed to wance or diea by inches.' But Eve was not to be persuaded. ' There isn't any reason why I should,' she said. 'No reason ?' replied Joan. ' Oh, Eve, my dear,' she added, 'don't 'cc let happiness harden your heart; if love is sweet to gain, think how bitter it is to lose, aud, by all you have told me, iyou'll forfeit a better man than most in Reubeu .May.' [TO BE CONTINUED.]