Chapter 20333765

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Chapter NumberXXI
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article20333765
Full Date1880-06-26
Page Number809
Corrections0
Word Count6119
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)
Trove TitleAdam and Eve
article text

The Storyteller.

Adam and Eve.

CHAPTER XXI.

BY MRS. PARR, Authoress of "Dorot[?]y Fox." "The Goeau Smithy," &c., &c.

THE month was well advanced before Eve's[?] letter had reached Reuben May. It came to him one morning when, notwithstanding the fog which reigned around, Reuben had arisen in

more than usually good spirits—able to laugh at bis neighbors for railing against weather which he doclared was good weather, and seasonable. The moment the postman entered the shop hit heart gave a great bound— -tat who but Eve would write to him?—and no sooner had his eyes fallen on the handwriting than his whole being rejoiced, for surely nothing but good news could he heralded by suoh glad feelings. With a resolute self-denial, of which on moßt occasions Reuben was somewhat prcud, he refused him self the immediate gratification of his desires, and with a hasty glance laid the letter on one side, while he entered Into a needlessly long dls cussion with the postman, goaaipped with a customer, for whose satisfaction he volunteered a minute inspection of a watch which might have very reasonably been pui off until the morrow; and finally (there being nothing else by which the long-coveted pleasure could be further delayed) he took up the letter and care fully turned it this side and then that, before breaking the seal and unfolding the paper. What would it say ? That she was coming back—coming home ? But when T—how soon T In a month—in a week—now at once ? In one flash of vision Reuben saw the furniture polished and comfortably arranged, the room smartened up and looking its best, with a biasing flre and a singing kettle, and a cosy meal, ready laid for two peopleJ and then all they would have to say to one another ; on his part much to hear and little to tell, for his life had jogged on at a very commonplace trot, his business neither better nor worse; but still, with the aid of the little sum his more than rigid economy had enabled him tosav«v they might make a fair start, free from all debt and able to pay their way. These thoughts only occupied the time which Reuben took to undo the complicated folds by which, before the days of envelopes, correspon dents endeavored to baffle the curiosity of those who sought to know more than was intended for them. But what is this? for Reuben's eyes had been so greedy to Buck up the words that he had not given his mind time to grasp their meaning. ' Not coming back ! never—any —more I' ' I like the place, the people, and, above all, my re lations, bo very much that I should never be happy now away from them/ He repeated the words over again and again before he seemed to have the least comprehen sion of what they meant; then, in a stupor of dull despondency he read on to the end, and learnt that all his life was a blank, and that the thing he had dreaded so much as to cheat him self into the belief that it could never happen had come to pass. And yet he was still Reuben May, and lived and breathed, and hadn't much concern beyond the thought of how he should beat send the things she had left to Polperro— the place she never intended to leave—the place she now could never be happy away from. Later on a hundred wild schemes and mad desires wrestled and fought, trying to combat with his judgment and putting to flight his sense of resolution ; but now, .as in the first moment of death, with the vain hope of realising his loss, the mourner sits gazing at the inanimate form before him, so Reuben, holding the letter in his hands, returned again and again to the words which had dealt death to his hopes, and told him that the love he lived for no longer lived for him. For Eve had been very emphatio in enforcing this resolve, and had so strongly worded her decision that, try as he would, Reuben could find no chink by which a ray of hope might gain admittance —all was dark with the gloom of despair, and this notwithstanding that Adam had not been mentioned, and Reuben had no more certain knowledge of a rival to guide him thau the jaundiced workings of a jealous hoart Many events had concurred to bring about this blamable reticence. In the first place, the letter which Eve had commenced as a mere fulfilment of her promise had grown through a host of changing moods ; for, as time went on, many a sweet and bitter found its way to that stream whose course did never yet run smooth ; and could the pages before him have presented one titho of these varied emotions, Reuben's sober nature would have rejoiced in the certainty that such an excess of sensitiveness needed but time and opportunity to wear itself out. It was nearly two months now since it had been known all through the place that Adam Pascal was keeping company with his cousin Eve; and the Polperro folk, one and all, agreed that no good could surely come of a courtship carried on after such a contrary fashion—for the two were never for twenty-four hours in the same mind, and the game of love seemed to resolve itself into a war of extremes wherein anger, devotion, suspicion, and jealousy raged by turns, and afforded equal occasions of scandal and surprise. To add to their original difficulties, the lovers bad now to contend against the circumstances of time and place, for during the winter, from most of the men being on shore, and without occupa tion, conviviality aud merrimeut were rife ' fho right of rppiihlisbwi; " A<lkiu and Kvo" in Queensland ha* bveu purohfu«xi by the proprietor* of the Qi'.tentlandir.

among them, and from bell-ringing night, which ttsfcered in gunpowder»plot, until Valentine's Day wu pasted, WTel*, dances, or amuwmenta of any kind which brought people together were wel comed and well attended. With the not un natural desire to get away from her own thoughts, and to avoid aa much as waa possible the opportunity of being a looker-on at happi ness in whioh she had no personal share, Joan greedily availed herself of every invitation whioh waa grnft «r oonld be got at, and, as waa to be expected, Eve1, ycnmg, fresh and a novioe, became to a certain degreto htfooted with the anxiety to participate in moat of these* awosements. Adam made no objection, and though he did not join them with much spirit and alacrity ho neither by word nor deed threw any obstacle in their way to lessen their anticipation or spoil their ptauare, while Jerrem—head, chief, and master oi otrcmotUMH-foond in theae occasions ample opportunity for trying Adam's jealousy and tick ling Eve's vanity* Nettled by the indifference* wMeh, from her open cordiality, Jerrem soon saw Ere" felt towards him, he taxed every art of pleasing to its tttaaoat with the determination of not being baffled in his attempts to supplant Adam, who in Jerrem'a eyes was a man dptofl rthom fortune had lavished her choicest favors, flora m Polperro—Zabedee's son—heir to the Lottery—tttptoro of her now in all but name, what had Adam to desire ? While he, Jerrem, belonged to no one, could eiaim no one, had no name, and could not say where he came from. Down in the depths of a heart in which nothing that was good or bad ever lingered long, Jerrem let this fester i ankle, until often, when be teemed most gay and reckless, some thoughtless word erf idle joke would set it smart ing. The one compensation h« looked upon as given to him above Adam was tKe power of at traction, by which he could supplant him with others and rob him of their affection, so that, though he was no more charmed by Eve's rare beauty than he was won by her coy modesty, no sooner did be set that Adam's affection was turned towards her than he coveted her love, and desired to boast of it U being his own. With this object in view, he began by enlisting Eve's sympathies with his forlorn position, inferring a certain similarity in their orphaned condition, which m-igift Well lead her to bestow upon him her especial interest and regard ; and so well waa this part played that before long Eve found her self learning unconsciously to regard Adam as severe and unyielding towards Jerrem, wbom misfortune it was to be too easily influenced. Seeing her strong in her own rectitude, and no lees convinced in the truth of Jerrem's well-in tentioned resolutions, Adam felt it next to im possible to poison Eve's ears with tales and scandals of which her innocent life led her to have no suspicion ; therefore, though the sight of their slightest intercourse rankled within him, he was forced to keep silent, knowing, as be did, that if he so much as pointed an arrow every head waa wagged at him, and if he dared let it fly home every tongue Was ready to cry shamo on bis treachery. So the winter wore away, and, as e*«ch day lengthened, Adam found it more difficult to master his suspicions, to contend with his sur roundings, and to control the love which bad taken complete hold aod mastery of all his senses. With untiring anxiety be continued to dodge every movement of Jerrem and Eve—all those about him noting it, laughing over it; and, while they thwarted and tricked him, making merry at his expense, until Jerrem, growing bold under such auspicious countenance, no longer hesitated to throw a very decided air of love-making into his hitherto innocent and friendly intercourse. Shocked and pained by Jerrem's altered tone, Eve sought refuge in Joan's broader experience by begging that she would counsel her aa to the best way of putting a stop to this ungenerous conduct 'Ah, my dear I* cried Joan; 'unless you'm wantin' to see murder in the houße, you mustn't braithe no word of it. "IV ud be worse tban death to Jerrem if't should iver come to Adam's ears; why, he'd have his life, if he swuug gallows-high for takin' of it; so, like a good maid, keep it from un now, 'cob they'm all on the eve 'o uturtin', aud by the time they comes home agen Jerrem 'ull have forgot all about 'cc.' Eve hesitated. ' I told him if ever he spoke liko that to me again I'd toll Adam.' ' las ; but you won't do it, though,' returned Joan, "cob there ain't no manin' in what he says, you knaw. Tin only what he's told up to scores and hundreds o' other maidens afore, the rapskallion-rogued raskil! and that Adam knnw*, and'a had it in his mind from fust along what game he was after. Us two knaws un for what he is, my dear ; wan beat loved where he's least trusted.' 'It's so different to the men I've ever had to do with,' said Eve. ' las, but you never knawed but wan afore you corned here, did 'co V 4 1 only knew one man well,' returned Evo. ' Awh, then, you must bide a bit 'fore you can fathom their deepness,' replied Joan; 'and while you'm waitin' I wouldn't adviße 'cc to take it for granted that the world's made up o' Reuben Kays—nor Adam Pascals neither ;' and she ran to the door to welcome a coußin for whose approach she had been waiting, while Eve, Worried and perplexed, let her thoughts revert to the old friend who seemed to have quite forgotten her; for Reuben had sent no answer to Eve's letter, and thus had afforded no oppor tunity for the further announcement she had in tended making. His silence, interpreted by her into indifference, had hurt her more than she liked owning, even to herself; and the confession of their mutual promise, whioh she had intended making to Adam, was still withheld because her vanity forbade her to speak of a man whose affection she had undoubtedly overrated. Already there had been some talk of the furniture being Bent for, and with this in view the next time she caw Sammy Tucker she asked him if he had seen anything of Captain Triggs. Sammy, as was his wont, blushed up to the eyes before he stammered out something about having mot ' un just for a iniuit comin' down by Place, 'cos he'd oin up there to fetch sommit he waa goin' to car'y to London for Squire Trefry ; but that waj» a brave bit agone, so p'r'apa,' added

Sammy, 'he's back by now, 'coa they waa *> ?tartin' away that ebenin'.' Eve made no other remark, and Sammy turned away, not sorry to escape further interrogation, for it had ao happened that the opportunity alluded to had been turned by Sammy to the beat advantage, and he had contrived in the Bpaea of ten minutea to put Captain Trigge in poasea aion of the whole facts of Adam and Eve 1 a court' abip, adding that 'folks said 'twas a bumin' sham* ©' he to marry she, and Joan Hocken fo'ced to stand by and look on, and her's (indica ting by his thumb it was his step-mother he meant) 'a tooked on tar'ible bad, and bin at moody-hearted as could be ever since.' Captain Triggs nodded his head in sympathy, and then went on his way, with the intuitive conviction that this bit of newß, which he in tended repeating to ' thickee chap in London,' would not be received with welcome; 'how ever,' he reflected, * 'tis allayß best to knaw th« want, bo I shall tell 'uu the fust time I meets 'un, which v safe to be afore long, 'cos o" the ofe gentleman,' meaning thereby an ancient silver watch, through whose medium Captain Triggs and Reuben had Btruck up an intimacy. How Keuben blessed that watch, and delighted in those ancient works which would not go, and so afforded him an opportunity for at least one visit 1 Each time the Mary Jane came to London, Reuben was made acquainted with the fact, and the following evening found him in the little cabin, poring over the intricacies of his antique friend, whose former capabilities, when in the poueasion of his father, Captain Triggs was never weary of recounting. Standing behind Reuben, Triggs would nod and chuckle at each fresh difficulty that presented itself, delighting in the proud certainty that after all the London chap *ud find ' the ole gentleman had proved wan too many for he;' and when Reuben, desirous of further information, would prepare his way for the next visit by declaring he must have another try at him, Triggs, radiant but magnanimous, would answer : ' Iss, iss, lad ; do 'ec—come agen ; for tis aisy to Bee with half a eye that 'taint wan look nor two neither that 'ull circumnavigate the insides o' that ole chap, if 'taint to his likin* to be set agoin.'

Chapter XXII. It was some weeks after the receipt of Eve'a letter that Reuben, hating paid several fruitless Tiaits to Kay's Wharf, walked down one after noon to find the Mary Jane in, and Captain Triggt on board. The work of the short winter s day was all but over, and Reuben accepted an invitation to bide where he was and have a bit of a yarn. • You've bin bad, haven't 'cc V Captain Trigg* said, with friendly anxiety, as, seated in the little cabin, their faces were brought on a level of near inspection. "Me—bad?' replied Reuben. 'No. Why,what made you think of that V 1 'Cos you'm lookin' bo gashly about the gills. • Oh, I was always a hatchet-faced fellow,' said Reuben, wondering, as he spoke, whether his lack of porsonal appearance had in any way damaged bis cause with Eve, for poor Reuben was in that state when thought*, actions, words, have but one centre round which they all seem unavoidably to revolvo. % 1 But you'm wuss than ever, noy*. I reckon, continued Captain Triggs, * 'tis through addlin' your head over them clocks and watoheß toe close, eh ?' 'Well, perhaps so/ said Reuben. 'I often think that, if I could, I should like to be more in the open air.' . . ' Come for a voyage with me, then,' said Tnggi, heartily. ' I'll take 'cc and give 'cc a shake-down free, and yer mate and drink for the aitin'. Come, you can't have fairer than that said now, can 'cc?' A wild thought rushed into Reuben's mind. Should he go with him, see Eve once more, and try whether it was possible to move her to some othor decision ? ' You're very kind, I'm sure,' ho began, ' nnd I feel very much obliged for such an offer ; but— * 4 There, 'tia nothin' to be obliged for,' inter rupted Trigga, thinking it was Reuben's modesty made him hesitate. 'We'in a hand short, so anywise there's v berth empty ; and as for tho vittals they allays cooks a sighfe more than u» can get the rids of. So I'm only ulTerin' 'cc what ua can't ate ourselves.' ' I think you mean what you're saying,' said Reuben—'at least,'he added, smiling, 'I hope you do, for 'pon my word 1 feel as if I should like very much to go.' ' Iss, sure. Come along, then. Us shan t ptart afore next week, and you'll be to Brutol and back 'fore they've had time to miss 'cc here.' • Bristol V ejaculated Reuben. ' I thought you were goiug to Cornwall again.' ' Not to wance, I ain't; but wouldn't 'cc rather go to Bristol ? 'Tia a brave place, you know. For my part I'd so boou see Bristol aa Loudon—'tia pretty much o' the same look-out here as there.' But while Captain Tiiggs had beuu ssiyiug theso words his thoughts hud made a sudden leap to wards the truth, and, finding Reuben not ready with a remark, he continued: "Taint on no uc count of the young female you corned abroad here with that's inakiu' 'cc think o' Cornwall, is ' Yea, it is,' said Reuben, bluntly. ' I want to see her. I've had a letter from her, and it needs a little talkin' over.' • Awh, then I 'spects there's no need for me to tell 'cc that her's took up with Adam Pascal. You knaws it already V Reuben felt as if a pike had been driven into bis heart, but his self-command stood him in good stead, and he said quite steadily: 'Do you happen to know him, or anything about him V ' Awb, iss ; I knawa 'en fast enuf,' aaid Triggrf, who felt by intuitiou that Reuben's desire was to know no good of him, ' and a precious stomachy chap he is. Lord I I pities the mpjd who'll be his missis; whether gentle or simple t, her's got her work cut out afore her.' 'In what way i How do ye in can ?' 'Why, he'a got tue temper o' the old 'un to stand up agen, ami wherevrr he show* his f.u >; bo UJUHt he head and chief, .ui'l iuu«L l.iy d-wn the law, and you must heaikcu, tv act by it, or else look out for »qualW

Reuben drew hia breath more freely. ' And what is he ?' he asked. ' Wa-all, I reckon he's her cousin, you know,' answered Triggs, misinterpreting the question, ' cos he's ole Zebedee's awnly son, and the ole chap's got houses and lands, and I dunno what aIL But there, I wouldn't change with 'em ; for you knaw what they be, all alike—a drunkin', fightin', cussin' lot. Lor'a I cudn't stand it, I cudn't, to be drunk from mornin' to night, and from night to mornin'!' ' And is he one of this sort V exclaimed Reu ben, in horror. ' Why, are her relations like that!' 'They'm all tarred with the 'wan brush, I reckon,' replied Triggs. 'If not, they cudn't keep things goin' as they do ; 'tis the drink car'ys 'em through with it. Why, I knaws, by the little I've a-done that ways myself, how 'tis. Git a good skin ful o' grog in 'cc, and wan man feels he's five, and so long as it lasts he's got the sperrit and u'll do the work of five, too ; then, when 'tis beginnin' to drop a bit, in with more liquor—and so go on till the job's over.' 'And how long do they keep it up?' said Reuben. ' Wa-all, that's more than I can answer for. Let me see,' said Triggs, reflectively; ' there was ole Zeke Spry, he was up eighty-aeben, and he used to say he'd never that he knowed by, and could help, bin to bed not to say sober Bince he'd corned to years o' discretion—but in that ways he was only wan o' many; and after he was dead 't happened just as t' ole chap had said it wud, for he used to say, "When I'm tooked, folks u'll get up a talk that ole Zebe Spry killed bisself with drink ; but don't you listen to it," he says, " 'cob' 'taint nothin' o' the sort—he died for want o' breath, that's what killed he;" and I reckon he was about right, else there wudn't be nobody left to die in Polperro.' ' Polperro !' said Reuben ; * that's where your ship goe3 to ?' "No, not exactly ; I goes to Fowey : but they bain't over a step or so apart—a matter o' six miles, say,' There was a pause, which Captain Triggs broke by saying : ' Isa, I thought whether it wudn't surprise 'cc to hear 'bout it bein' Adam Pascal; they'm none of 'em over-much took with it, I reckon, for they allays couuted on 'im havin' Joan Hocken ; her's another cousin, and another nice handful, by all that's told up.' Reuben's spirit groaned within him ; ' Oh, if I'd only known of this before,' he said,' I'd have kept her by force from goin'; or if she would have gone, I'd have gone with her. She was brought up so differently,' he continued address ing Triggs. ' A more respectable woman never lived than her mother was.' ' Awh, so the Pascals all be ; there's none of 'em but what's respectable and well-to-do. What I've bin tellin' of 'cc is their ways, you knaw ; 'taint nothing agen 'em.' ' It's quite decided me to go down and see her, though,' said Reuben. 'I feel it's what her mother would have me do ; she in a way asked me to act a brother's part to her when she was dying, for Bhe didn't dream about her having anything to do with these relations whom she's ot among now.' ' Wa-all, 'twas a thousand pities you let her go then,' said Triggs,' and though I'm not wantin' to hinder 'cc—for you'm so welcome to a passage down to Fowey as you be round to Bristol— still don't it strike 'cc that, if her wudn't stay here for yer axin' then, her ain't likely to badge from there for your axin' now ?' 11 can but try, though,' aaid Reuben, ' and if you'll let me go when you're going ' ' Say no more, and the thing's settled,' replied Triggs, decisively. ' I shall come back to London with a return cargo, which u'll have to be de livered ; another wan u'll be tooked in, and, that aboard, off us goes.' ' Then the bargain's made,' said Reuben, hold* Ing out his hand ; ' and whenever you're ready to start you'll find me ready to go.' Captain Triggs gave the hand a hearty shake in token of his willingness to perform his share of the compact; and the matter being so far settled Reuben made his necessary preparations, and with all the patience he could summon to his aid endeavored to wait with calmness the date of departure. While Reuben was waiting in London, activity had begun to Btir again in Polperro. The season of pleasure was over; the men had grown weary of idleness and merry making, and most of them now anxiously awaited the fresh trip on whioh they were about to start. The firßt run after March was always an im portant one, and the leaders of the various crews had been at some trouble to arrange this point to the general satisfaction. Adam's temper had been sorely tried during these discussions, but never had he so well governed it, nor kept his sharp speech under such good control; the reason being that at length he had found another outlet for his wounded sensibility. With the knowledge that the heart he most oared for applauded and sympathised with his hopes and his failures, Adam could be silent and be calm—to Jerrem alone the cause of this altera tion was apparent, and with all the lynx-eyed sharpness of vexed and wounded vanity he tried to thwart and irritate Adam by sneering remarks and covert suggestions that all mußt now give way to him ; it was nothing but ' follow my leader' and do and say what he chose—words which were as pitch upon tow to natures so readily inflamed, so headstrong againt govern ment, and impatient of everything which savored of control; and the further misfortune of this was that Adam, though detecting Jen-em's in fluence in all this opposition, was unable to speak of it to Eve. It was the single point relating to the whole matter on which the two kept silent, each regarding the very mention of Jerrem's name as a fireband which might perchance destroy the wonderful harmony which for the last week or so had reigned between them, and which to both was so sweet that neither had the courage to endanger or destroy it. At length the day of departure had tome, and, as each hour brought the inevitable separation closer, Eve's heart began to discover itself more openly, and she no longer disguised or hid from those around that her love, her hopes, her fears were centred upon Adam. In vain did Jerrem try, by the most despairing looks and despondent sighs, to attract her atten tion, and entice her to an interview. Away .from

Adam's side or, Adam absent, from Joan's com pany, Eve would not stir, until Jerrem, driven into downright ill-humor, was forced to take refuge in sullen silence. It had been decided that the Lottery waa to start in the evening, and the day had been a busy one; but towards tho end of the afternoon, Adam managed to spare a little time, whioh was to be devoted to Eve and to saying the farewell whioh in reality waa then to take place between them. In order to ensure a certain amount of privacy, it had been arranged that Eve should go to an opening some half-way up Talland Lane* and there await Adam's approach, whioh he would make by scrambling up from under the olu% and so across to where she could see and come to meet him. Aooordingly, at soon m 5 o'olook had struck, Eve, who had been fidgeting about for some time, got up and said: ' Joan, if Jerrem comes in, you won't tell where I've gone, will you?' 4 Well, seem' I don't knaw the whereabouts of it myself, I should be puuled,' said Joan. 'I'm goin' up Talland Lane to meet Adam,' faltered Eve;' and aa it's to say good-bye, I—we don't want anybody else, you see.' The tremulous tone of the last few words made Joan turn round, and, looking at Eve, she saw that the gathered tears were ready to fall from her eyes. Joan had felt a desire to be sharp in speech, but the sight of Eve'a face melted her anger at once, and with a sudden change of manner she said: ' Why, bless the maid, what's there to cry about? You'm a nice one, I must Bay, to be a sailor's wife! Lore, don't let 'em see that you frets to see their backs, or they'll be gettin' it into their heads next that they'm somebodies and we can't live without 'em! They'll come back soon enough, and a sight too soon for a good many here, I can tell W Eve shook her head. ' But will they come back?' she said despair ingly. ' I feel something different to what I ever felt before—a presentimont of evil, as if some thing would happen. What could happen to them, Joan V 'Lord bless'ee! don't ax un what could happen to 'em. Why, a hundred things—they could be wracked and drowned, or catohed and killed, or tooked and bung ;' then, bunting into a laugh ac Eve's face of horror, she exclaimed, 'Pack o*. stuff, nonsense I don't 'cc take heed 9* no fancies nor rubbish o' that sort. They'll come back safe enuf, as they've allays afore: nothin's ever happened to 'em yet, what should make it now ? T*world ain't a'comin' to an end 'cos you'm come down fra* London town. There, get along with 'cc, do,' and she pushed her gently towards the door, adding, with a sigh,' 'Twould fee a poor tale if Adam was never to come back now, and if the first time he ever left behind un anything he oared to see agon.' Eve s yon reached her point of observation, and under shelter of the hedge she stood looking with anxious eyes in the direction from whioh Adam was to come. It had been a clear bright day, and the air blew fresh and cool; the sky (except to windward, where a few white fleecy masses lay scattered about) was cloudless; the sea of a deep indigo-blue, flecked with ridges of foam, which unfurled and spread along each wave, crested its tip, and rode triumphant to the shore. Inside the Peak, over the harbor, the gulls were congregated, some fluttering over the water, some riding on its surface, some flying in circles over the heights, now green and soft with the thick fresh grass of spring. Down the spine of the cliff the tangle of briar-wood and brambles, though not leafless, still showed brown, and the long trails, whioh were lifted and bowed down as the sudden gusts of winds swept over them, looked bare and wintry. Eve gave an involuntary shiver, and her eyes, so quick to drink in each varied aspect of the sea, now seemed to try and shut out its beauty from before her. What should she do if the wind blew and the waves rose as she had seen them do of late, rejoicing in the sight, with Adam by her side ? But with him away, she here alone—oh, her spirit sank within her ; and, to drive away the thoughts which came crowding into her mind, she left her shelter, and, hurrying along the little path, crossed the cress-grown brook, and was Boon half way up the craggy ascent, when Adam, who had reached the top from the other side, called out: 'Hallo! I did'nt think to find you here. We'd best walk back a bit, or else we shall be just in the eye of the wind, and it's coming on rather fresh.' ' You won't go if it blows, Adam ?' and Eve's face betrayed her anxiety. 'Oh, my dear one,' be said kindly, 'you mustn't think of the wind's having anything to do with me; besides, it's all in our favor, you know : it'll rock us to sleep all the sooner.' Eve tried to smile back aa Bhe looked up at him, but it was a very feeble attempt. 'I don't want to feel frightened,' she said, ' but I can't help it ' Can't help what ?' ' Why, thinking that something may happen.' ' Oh, nonßense!' he said,' there's nothing going to happen. It'B because you care for me, you think like that. Why, look at me—ain't I the same? Before this, I never felt anything but glad to be off and get away ; but this time'—and he drew a long sigh, as if to get rid of the oppres sion—' I seem to carry about a lump of lead in side me, and the nearer it comes to saying good bye the heavier it grows.' Thu sympathy seemed to afford Eve some con. solation, and when she spoke again it was to ask in a more cheerful tone how long their probable absence would be, where they were going, what time they would take in getting there ? To all of which Adam answered with unnecessary exact ness, for both of them felt they, were talking for talking's sake, of things about which they knew all they could know already. Yet how was it possible, in the light of opeo day, when at any moment they might be joined by a third person, to speak of that which lay deep down in their hearts, waiting only for a word, a caress, a tender look, to give it voice. Adam had had a dozen cautions, entreaties, in j unctions, to give to Eve ; he had been counting through every minute of the day the time to this hour, and now it had come, and he seemed to

have nothing to say, could think of nothing, ex* •ept how long he could possibly give to remaining. 'By Jo?e!' he exclaimed, as after more than an hour had slipped away —time wasted in irre levant questions and answers, with long pauses between —when neither could think ot anything to say, and each wondered why the other did not ?peak. *By Jove, Eve, I must be off! I didn't think the time had gone bo quick. We mustn't •tart at the furthest later than 8 ; and if I ain't there to look after them, nobody'll think it worth while to be ready.' They were back under shelter of the hedge again now, and Adam (who possessed the singu lar quality of not oaring to do his love-making In public) ventured to put his arm round Eve's waist and draw her towards him. ' You'll never let me go again,' he said,' with out bein' able to leave you my wife, Eve, will you ? 'Tis that I b'lieve is pressing on me. I wish now more than ever that you hadn't per sisted in saying no all this long winter.' ' I won't say no next time,' she said, while the hitherto restrained tears began to fall thick and fast. Adam's delight was not spoken in words, and for the time he forgot all about the possibility of being overlooked. 'Then, when I come back, I shan't be kept waiting any longer V ' And we shall be married at one* T 'Yes.' Adam strained her again to his heart ' Then come what may,' he said, * I shan't fear it 80 long as I've got you, Eve, I don't care what happens. It's no good,' he said, after another pause. 'The times up, and I must be off. Cheer up, my girl—cheer up ! Look up at me, Eve—that's a sweetheart f Now, one kiss more, and after that we must go on to the gate, and then good-bye indeed.' But the gate reached, and the good-bye Baid, Eve still lingered. 4 Oh, Adam!' she cried, 'stop—wait for one Instant!' And Adam, well pleased to be detained, turned towards her once more. ' Good-bye, Adam, Qod watch over you !' ' Amen, my girl—amen ! May He watch over both of us, for before Him we ore one now, Eve; we've taken each other, as the book has it, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sick ness, and in health.' ' Till death do you part,' said the sepulchral tones of a vi ke behind the hedge, and, with a laugh at the start he had given them, Jerrem passed by the gate, and went on his way. [TO DE CONTINUED.].