Chapter 52442151

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Chapter NumberPART IV. I
Chapter TitleTHE RAKE'S PROGRESS.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52442151
Full Date1893-04-25
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count5350
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

TALES AND SKETCHES.

[SOW FIRST rOBHBHED.]

UNDER THE GREAT SEAL,

I ' A NOVEL,

Bï JOSEPH HATTON.

Author of " Clytie," " By Order of the Czar,"

"John Needham's Double," "Cruel Lou- don," tc.

[ALL BIGHTS RESERVED.]

l'ART IV.

CIUITER I.-Tm; RAKE'S PROGRESS.

"Mr«. Longford-Weet et home!" asked Mr. Harry Barkstead, dismounting from his boree ut the Hall door of Filby House, a ram- bling two storey mansion surrounded with gardens in which close-clipped lawns and ornamental yews were quaint and restful features of the place.

" Yes, sir," said a smart footman with thc servile courtesy of a town servant.

" Dobbs, put up my horse for an hour ; give him some oats," «aid Harry ; addressing Mr«. Longford-West's head groom, who was pass- ing in the direction of thc stables.

" Ves, sir," said Dobbs, taking charge of a chestnut that was just beginning to show thc effects of a hard gallop, his neck wet, his

mouth white with foam.

" A word with you, Mr. Barkstead," Siid Mrs. Cooper, thc housekeeper, who appeared ou the scene as thc hall door closed. " This way if yon please."

Harry followed Mrs. Cooper, beating his leather breeches just a little impatiently, and

she lcd him into her own room in the kitchen wing of the house. Here she turned on him a face paled with anger.

" What is it, Mrs. Cooper !" said Harry.

" Stop your visits to the lodge, and put no more of your verses into the alder tree by thc ten acre meadow, d'ye hear !"

"Docs Jessie object to my visits and my

verses!"

"I object to them."

" But I don't go to the lodge to see you, nor do you inspire my verses, Mrs. Cooper."

"No, but if you go to thc lodge again to Bee Jessie you'll see me," said Mrs. Cooper, her lips white with passion, her hands trembl- ing.

' "Shall I? Then I won't go again, Mrs. Cooper."

"God knows if thc mischief is not already done," was the reply ; "if it is, look toit, Mr. Barkstead. If the girl is but an orphan, she

is not without friends. "

"I hope not," said Harry.

.' And Norfolk's not without law either, for that matter, and Justice Barkstead, though he's your father, will hardly see even his son bring ruin upon tho helpless and thc innocent, though if report does nut wrong you, there's many a girl that could accuse you."

Having mastered her first emotion, Mrs. Cooper found her wordB come freely, and the

more she said' the more she felt she had to say.

"Indeed," said Hurry; "did Mrs. Long- ford-West know that you were going to honour me with these pleasant remarks!"

"No, sir, but I dare say she knowB you well enough not to trust you any further than she can see you. She can take care of her-

self."

"Oh, you think so," said Harry ; " shaU I tell her what you say ! Is the position of housekeeper at Filby House so poor a place you can afford to throw it away ! Or have you feathered your nest so well tliat you are thinking of retiring with some happy man into a snug little tavern, 'good accommodation for

man and beast !' "

"I can afford everything. Mr. Henry Barkstead, but to see my motherless niece go to the bad without an effort to save her."

As he spoke she drew a necklace from her pocket and flung it at his feet.

"And there's the bauble yon gave her. Take it and put it round the neck of some other softie who is fool enough to listen to your honeyed lies and promises."

"Very well, since you wish it," said Harry, fishing it from the floor with his riding whip.

" Ah, I dont doubt ye," said Mrs Cooper, opening the door in reply to Mrs. Longford West's belL " Good morning. Squire Bark- stead, the mistress is waiting to receive you."

"Look here, Mn. Cooper," said Harry. "I. look over your rudeness, firstly, because you are iu anger, and secondly, for the sake of your pretty little niece. Good evening."

As he closed tho door Mrs. Cooper flung

herself into a chair and burst into tears.

Mrs. Longford-West was a rich widow. She had been twice married, and scandal said she onght really to have been thrice a widow, though she was only five-and-thirty and did not look her age within some yean. Blonde, buxom, ample of bust and figure, just tull ciiongb not to be dumpy, she was thc picture of health, and bad a free and hearty manner that made men happy and at home in her society, and moBt of her lady visitors ill at ease, not to say uncomfortable.

She brought from her house and society in town the unrestrained manners of its loosest

social circles, and enjoyed the confusion they created among stranger guests who called upon her for thc first time. Nevertheless she managed to moke herself popular in the county. She save freely to everything and to everybody : to the Church, the races, subscribed liberally to thc hunt, patronised public institutions in a generous way ; and so managed to keep on visiting terms, if not with all the best families, at' least with such of them as were most before thc public.

Sir Anthony Barkstead was her nearest neighbour, and she made a great point of con- ciliating his prejudices and opinions as far as «he was able ; for, truth to tell, she aud his gallant and highly educated sou and heir were on the very best of neighbourly terms, indeed there were those who thought it even possible that Mrs. Longford-West, if anything hap-

pened to old Sir Anthony, might live to be a

Lady Barkstead. They, who allowed them- selves to speculate so for ahead in regard to the future of Mrs. Longford-West, did not know thc disposition andcharacter of Harry

Barkstead.

" Well, so yon have returned, my dear Hurry," said the lady of Filby House, giving him her plump, generous baud to kiss. " You

are more Quixotic tlutn I think if the Western city had not sonic other attraction for you be- yond seeing that poor young clerk of Petherick* off to sea. Perhaps you hod an engagement in Bath, eh !"

"No, I assure you, my dear Libby," said Harry, taking thc Bmiling, unresisting face ol Madame between his hands and kissing the white forehead, "pure friendship, on my

honour !"

"Swear by something inure reliable, my dear Harry," said the lady; "honour is foi serious, sober men, when they have sown al

their wild oats."

" Do you say so !" Harry replied, sittini by her side ou a rather uncomfortable ltaliat couch, "you ought to know."

"Y<on arc a brute, Harry," said Mrs Longford-West, "a perfect brute. Wlratd« you mean ?"

1 ' That you are the moBt charming of widow, and the most generous of friends." said he visitor, "and I desire to ask the most delight ful of her sex to accept a souvenir ofthat Cit] of the West which is distinguished because it ii the neighbour of thc Hath where first I hat the honour of meeting Mrs. Aylesbury

Norton."

"You arc very cruel, Harrys you know j

hate thc name of Norton. However I cami to marry into such a family heaven onl; kuowB ; I never should if I had met deal Longford-West before my young heart wai ensnared by Aylesbury Norton."

" And to think it is only five years since ni this happened, and I was sowing my first Bael of wild oats ns you would say, when I dance* that first cotillion with you."

" Don't talk of time ; it was made for mei who have not the wit and women who havi

I not the beauty to defy it."

i " You certainly have both the wit and tb beauty, my dear Libby. But here it is-tba J little souvenir ; they are famous for Easter!

fems and antiquities at Bristol they say ; I

ought this in College Green-it belonged to

an Indian Princess.'1

He opened a richly embossed case and drew forth a quaint brooch with a diamond set in pearls.

"There-do not say yon arenot always in my thoughts, and believe me when I add that 1 could not go to Bath for thinking of thc happy days that can never return."

" My dear Harry," said the lady tenderly, " you are always the same aweet, irritating, dear good fellow. It is a lovely brooch, thank you so much-and you may kiss me."

Harry put bis arms about the ample waist and took his reward heartily, declaring that he did not know what under heaven would happen to him if he should lose his dear, dear Libby.

" Ali, Harry, you haxe said the same thing to many another woman," was dear Libby's rejoinder.

" No, on my-well, on my sold," he replied. " I suppose you must bc forgiven ; young men will bo young men ; but oue day you will have to settle down you know-and oh ; dear Harry, what shall I do then? Unless-but there, it is not Leap Year."

"Only one year to wait," said Harry, "But don't let us talk about settling down ; if I am not called upon to settle up 1 shall not mind. Ho you remember what the poet says in thc tragedy !-' Widows know so much.' "

" You arc a wicked ccauip," said Mrs. Long- ford-West; "widows are poor, libelled, inno- cent creatures ; their only fault is that they are too tender, too forbearing with the men ; self-denial is their only fault, Take poor mc for instance. To save my life I couldn't help confessing that I love you-why should 1, when you know it ?"

"My dear, good generous Libby," exclaimed Hurry, taking another kiss from thc full, liberal lips of his hostess, and then rising to

go

" Why so soon ?" alie asked.

"Business, dear," he said; "business of importance at Yarmouth ; a personal message to the chief magistrate from Sir Anthony."

" Truly ?" she asked.

"Truly," he replied. "May I ring for Dobbs to bring my horse ?"

" Oh, yes, if it must be so," she replied.

Harry rung, the horse was ordered, and guest and hostess were about to part when Harry said, "By-the-way, the girl at thc lodge-Jessie ; Mrs. Cooper seems to think that a little civility I paid the girl has turned her head-thc truth is-"

"Only a little civility?" remarked Mrs. Longford-West, with a strong note of inter- rogation.

"No, mydearLibby.nowthatisunkind; you know lum fondof gardening and that yourman Dunn has no rival os a florist. I am sure Sir Anthony wonld give him any wages if he were free, which of course he never will be so long as his mts tress loves flowers, and he glories in making Pilby House the paradise it should be with such an Eve-I mean such a goddess."

" Now I know there is something wrong, Harry; you are paying compliments for the mere sake of talking ; what is it?"

" Well, between ourselves, that is exactly what I asked Mn. Cooper, who desired a few words with me as I came in ; and all I could gather waa that she wished me not to look in at the lodge any more. I hate mysteries, as you know, as I thought I would mention it ; one gets the reputation of being a gallant, however unworthy one is of the title-a Love- lace, as an old fool of a guardian once called me in the Park-and it is all over with a

fellow. Ah, well one day, as you say, the oats will all have been sown ; meanwhile, dearest Libby, nu revoir!"

"The reprobate,"said Mn. Longford-West, "the scamp, the prodigal! Oh, you goose, Libby Longford-West-you idiot, you foolish Clarissa ! You cannot help loving him ; they may, indeed, trnly say that the first sigh of

love is the last of wisdom !"

CHAPTER IL- HE CALLED rr LOVE.

It was a glorious day in September-the roads hedged with hips and haws and gay with browning leaves. The sky was bright, the wind was fresh. Sportsmon were in the stubbles and the turnips. The crack of their gnns wus heard afar, and the light whirls of smoke from their burnt powder marked tho occasional groups of gunners following the poor, brown coated partridge. Harry was in high spirits. He might have have been riding forth on some right worthy mission, so merry was he, talk- ing to his horse, singing snatches of old ballads, laughing now and then, and returning the greetings of passers-by with a bright, cheerful face that more than one mischievous wench turned round to gaze noon, but never unnoticed by the distinguished looking young

horseman,

" I'd not walk'd in that^arden,

The past of halt an hour,

When tlieie 1 saw two pretty maids,

Sitting; under a study tower, Tlie nm was lovely Naney,

So beautiful and fair, Tiie other wasa vtijrin,

Who did tile laurel wear.

He trolled out Zaccheus Webb's favourite song in a jovial merry way, and later it pleased his mood to chaunt a snatch of " Thc Miller of the Dee," giving more particularly full emphasis to " I care for nobody, and no- body cares for me."

Thc trot of his horse suited the measure of

thc rhyme, and the cheeriness of the day was in harmony with the song.

"A dare-devil," said the toll-gate man to u carter, who made way for the young squire. "None more so, I've heard say," was the carter's response ; and Harry, pulling up his horse to gather a sprig of honeysuckle, which he stuck into his button-hole, toasted thc women, as Charles toasted them hi Sheridan's famous comedy

Herc's to the maiden ot hashful fifteen,

Here's to the widow of fifty ;

Herc's to the Haunting, extravagant quean,

And hero's to thc housewife Uiat*s Ulrifty.

He was encouraging his low ambition ; thc ambition of thc gallant, ' the libertine, thc deceiver of women. His best impulses pre- senting themselves in opposition now and then, he beat np ribald songs or started selfish thoughts to keep lust and passion in the van. He was like a savage on the war-path beating his tom-tom and shouting his war-cry. He regarded women with bot little more consider- ation than the sportsman he had passed regarded partridges. Both were game to his mind, and his mind was common in those days among bucks and dandies. Such men counted their conquests as the North American Indian counted his scalps. There are similar crea tnres walking about disguised as honest men in these dayB aud will be to the end of time ; for God makes such things, unless it is as Miriam suggested in thc poem, that " thc devil slaven them so excellently that wc come to doubt who's strongest, He who makes or he

who mars."

It is hardly conceivable that Harry Bark- stead, fresh from seeing his friend off on a long sea journey, and charged with sweet and tender messages to thc girl who was pledged to he David Keith's wife, could contemplate the villainy that Mephistopheles instigated in Faust; a villainy indeed a thousand times blacker, and yet a villainy not altogether wholly inspired of the devil or of Barkste%d's own depraved mind, but half inspired by the f;irl herself ; half encouraged by her coquetry,

ter vanity of conquest, ber ambition to bc admired, her love of dress, and her conscious- ness of physical charms calculated to attract and therefore the more necessary to bo guarded, thc more blessed to have for the bestowal upon a true and pure love.

He called at Hartley's Row, having promised David that he would do so. It would please Miss Mumford, the boy lind said, and Mildred Hope would bc thc happier for his courtesy ; they would also bc proud to sec him. Oh yes, he called. They were both there, Mildred and Solly, both looking equally sad. He cheered them with {;ood news, told them of thc fine ship David

tad been lucky enough to sail in, spoke of his comfortable berth, and made some sentimental

remark about thc ship's name that quite took Mildred Hope, who felt for a moment in ber heart-great heart in a small body-that after all Slr. Barkstead might not be BO callous as she had feared, The Morning Star ! Yes it

was a name of happy omen Harry repeated ; he hoped Miss Hope would forgive him for quoting a poet, who was not popular in religions circles, but who really was not wholly bad ; it was from the " Giaour "

" She wu a forai of life and light, That seen become a parc of fiitrht,

And roae, whene'er f turned uiuie eye, The morning star of Memory."

" You don't read Byron, of course, Mies Hope," he went on ; "I suppose Mr. Crabbe is more to your liking!"

" I don't find time to read mach," said Mildred, turning her serious eyes full upon him, " but I have read Mr. Crabbe, and I know Aldborough. His books are quite recognised, I hear, iu London. We know little of them here, where we should know

them best."

" Bather prosy to be called a poet," said Harry, "but means well."

" Mo doubt," said Mildred.

"I suppose you will be going to Mr. Webb's, sir," remarked Miss Mumford.

" Well, yes," said Harry, " I thought of riding over now ; iny first business in Yar- mouth was to call and see you, and give you David's last message-his love, you know, and best wishes, and his desire that you should keep up good hearts about him. and so on ; and then lie charged me to tell Elmira Miss Webb, I Buppose I ought to say-that

he will look forward to hiB return ss thew happiest «Hy of his life, and all thc rest of it. You know the kind of thing a lad would say, Miss Hope, under the circumstances."

Harry's good spirits and thc flippant way in which he delivered his messages, the gaiety of his manner, the foppishness of his velvet

coat, his gold-headed riding whip, his clank-1 ing spurs, were out of harmony with the feeling of thc two women, and a kind of

rebuke to their environment.

Poor Sally Mumford, her heart full of love and anxiety for David ; and Mildred Hope, all sympathy for her friend, and with that deeper unspoken love for thc Iud that Sally only half-suspected ; they found no ready response to the young squire's messages and comments. There was un awkward pause, during which be tapped his peurl-buttoned gaiters and said he must go now, bis mare was a little fretful, and he thought he must give her a rest at the Norfolk, and drive over to Caister with his messages to Zacchcus. and Miss Webb. Did they think he should find

them at home ?

Mildred thought Zacchcus would be fishing. She saw The Scud off Gorleston in the early morning, and the Yarmouth men had mostly put out tile day before.

" And Miss Webb !" said Harry, " have you seen her?"

"Not since Sunday," said Mildred, "she

was at church."

" In a fine new gown," said Miss Mumford, " and a hat fit for u duchess."

" You don't approve of Elmira's fine feathers," said Harry.

"There time and place for everything," said Sally, "and with David away I must say I did think the girl he hos engaged himself to might have considered it in her fast and gown."

Sally spoke a little impulsively, set on to bc critical, not so much on account of Elmira's, finery, as by reason of the something flippant' and thoughtless, to say the least, in the manner of Mr. Borkstead's remarks about David.

" Bot young ladies, and especially pretty ones, Miss Mumford, have a license in the matter of their toilette, and Miss Webb always dressed a little above her station."

" Store's the pity," said Sally.

"David likes to see her in pretty gowns," said Mildred, addressing her friend Sally, "and she has taste, everybody must admit that. Poor Elmira, she hos a good heart, and she is right to try and be cheerful. Did you notice bow well she sung in the fisher- man's hymn, as they call it-a supplication

for those at sea ?"

"Oh, I have nothing against the dear child," replied Sally, regretting the words she bsd spoken ; " give my love to her, Mr. Bark- stead, if you see her, and me and Miss Hope have it in mind to pay a call to-morrow, and perhaps she will come to tea on Sunday after Church. But I will ask her that myself. And yon need not mention that I thought her too gaily dressed ; it might hurt the gel's feelings, and beaven knows I don't wish to do that.'T

"I'm very unhappy," said Sally, when Barkstead had jangled his spurs along thc Row, and mounted his horse, " about Elmira ; I am afeared this young man ÍB heartless, and I never believed in the truth of his friendli-

ness for our dear David. It's an awful thing for a gol to be without a mother ; and that Charity Dene's no good ; not a ha'porth of sense. As for Zaccneus why he's away for hours and sometimes for days ; what's to hinder a designing young mun like this reek lei!, prodigal squire, with his fine manners and bis grand ways, from making a fool of the loss, when she meets him half wuy with her vanity and fallals ?"

"Comfort yon," said Mildred. "Elmira has far more sense- than you think ; besides, she is proud, very proud ; in such a girl pride is a good thing, and she loves her father; furthermore she is engaged to bc married."

"Idon't care, I wouldn't trust ber out of iny sight if I was lier mother or her aunt or foster, or whatever it might bc ; she knows little more than how to do ber hair and wear her clothes, and she gives her mind to that only to mek folk gossip and set thc men a staring. You talk of her singin' in church,

didn't you see every young feller there, as we" come out, stare at her, and some bf the old ones too ? And Bho just knew all about it. I've no patience with such ways, and especially when ivvcrybody knows that our David, poor lad, is gone to sea and would break his heart if he thought she gave cause for a light word to bc said about her while he was away. It's bud enough when lie's at home to look after

her. "

" Poor David ! poor Elmira !" was Mildred's response; "we must pray that God will guard the motherless child. I will go and sec her every day ; she will often listen to mc ; there is much good in thc girl's heart."

"And. much vanity," said Sally. "I fear David, with his trusting soul and his ililli and honour, has sorrow in store there-yes I

do."

Then Sally began to cry and Mildred made an ingenious feminine effort to sooth ber ; and all the while Harry Barkstead was making his way to Caister, not driving, os he ut first in- tended, but sitting in the stern of The Swallow, which he had found at tho jetty with one of Webb's men, bound for the cottage with some fish and groceries and other

trifles that Zacchcus hod ordered him to procure end deliver at thc old house on the dunes, with a message that he mought or he monght not come ashore as the case might

bc.

It was sunset by the time thc Swallow ground her keel upon the Bhore at Glister. A light mist was stealing over the hillocks. The sea was sighing along the sands in long low waves. Harry assisted thc fisherman to haul up the boat. Charity Dene caine down from the cottage, her apron over her head. She woe main glad to see the squire; and mighty sure as Miss Elmira would bc the same. Miss Elmira had been that lonely she'd lighted u tire in the parlour and set ber a practising of the spinet, end they'd a been ex- pecting nf Mistress Mildred Hope so in the meantime Miss Elmira was playin' of herself und bad ben a-singing only just that minuit, as she was a-hopin' her father ud bc coinin' later on to supper.

And sure onough while they were walking up to thc garden gate Elmira's voice was heard faintly, and she was singing

"TwaMlowii In Cnptd'sshirden

For pleasure I did go,

To see thu fal rest flowers

That hi tlic panien grow.*

Elmira, had heard that Harry Barkstead bsd retnrned ; bnt it cannot be enid for a certainty that the fire in the parlour, the new Autumn dress, the bunch of flowers on tho table, and the song of Cupid's Garden were for him. At the same time it was reasonable to expect hè might call ; and David would like his friend to bc fittingly received.

Harry bestowed upon thc hand put forth tn freet him a long lingering pressure ; and when

Imlra protested that tie would be shaking hands all night, he sighed and exclaimed, Ah 1 if lt might be for «ver 1

Then he leaned pensively against the window and looked out into the garden, and likened the drooping and frost-smitten flowers to his own blighted hopes.

Elmira said she was sorry that parting

with David had made him so Bid.

Harry in reply said he envied David almost to hating him.

Elmira did not ask for David's messages, but remarked that she did not know why Harry should envy David. The gentleman boru did not usually envy the lad who came of ordinary parents, and had bis way to mako

in the world. Bunira said tbU with a little laugh of derision.

Harry replied that love levelled all ranks, and that beauty elevated the lowliest swain, and with other fine phrases gradually brought Elmira round to thoughts of Harry and not of

David.

It is true thev did speak of David. Every now and then Harry would drop a word or two of news from Bristol-how happy David was at going while in his place he (Harry) would not have left the woman he was going to marry for all the gold af an Eldorado. But David was a practical fellow ; he was like thc happy common people; ha thought of a house for his love with tome bits of furniture ; was as happy as Tom, the fisherman, sitting with his Poll on his knee the day before the wedding. David sent all kinds of fond messages ; ob, yes, he did that ;

so did one of the sailors send his love to

Jemima by a rough chap from Cardiff, and there was very much of the same kind of vulgar eiiiccrity in David's messages. "Tell Elmira I know the sort of house she likes ; tell her I mean to take her to London for tho honeymoon "-poor chap, he would be like a fish out of water in London-" ah, well, be's a good boy, means well, and really believes he is in love,"

After a little while, Elmira, who had begun by being somewhat prim, eat down by Harry, on the old chintz-covered sofa, and permitted,

him to hold her hand as he described London to her, and Cheltenham, and Bath, and thea chatted of Paris and the German spas, dropping in a sighing regret that girls would be in such a hurry to get engaged to be married, before they had seen the world and knew something of life; marriage brought troubles and responsibilities ; all very well, of course, when a girl bad enjoyed herself a little. And besides, how did a girl know whether she was really in love with a man until she had seen some examples of the sex ! Fancy any girl, with any pretensions to. beauty, confining her choice to Yarmouth !

"And passing by the handsome and fascinating Harry Barkstead," said Elmira, laughing.

"If Harry Barkstead hadn't been such a fool as to let his friendship for a conceited boy stand in his way, the prettiest girl in the country of Norfolk would have been in his

arms at this moment.

"And who may she be?" Elmira asked,, with a flash of her dark eyes.

" Oh, you witch 1" Harry exclaimed, slipping his arm round her supple waist and kissing ber, "you will drive me oraay."

"I think you are already a little gone iu that direction," said Elmira, struggling to her feet, her face flushed, bat without any- thing like anger in her eyes.

" Kimbra, I love yon ! I know I ama scamp to say so ; I know it is an outrage on friend- ship ; but I can't help it-"

"Oh, Harry !" was Elmira's only answer, though she moved away from the intended embrace that was meant for the conclusion ot his declaration.

" You forgive me, don't yon?" he asked, as. she evaded his tonch.

"Oh, yes," she said, "I don't see how I can lie angry."

" You always know I loved you !"

" How should I know when you never told nie?"

"If I had would you now be engaged, as he saya you are, to David Keith Î"

"That depends."

"Upon what f"

" Oh, don't ask so many questions. Come into the other-room ; Mrs" Dene will think it odd, and she is always joking mc about you."

" Is she ?"

"Says I like you best, and thinks you are such a gentleman \" ?

"I am infinitely obliged to Mrs. Dene,"" Harry replied.

" Oh, she is a great admirer of yours."

" Before we go, Elmira, may I come again

later?"

" How Inter ?"

" If your father docs not come home."

" No, sir, certainly not," said Elmira, her hand upon the door.

" I have so much to say to you."

" Don't you think you have said enough for the present?"

"Elmira," he said, gliding up to her before she had time to move, and laying bia hand upon her arm, "say you don't hate

me."

" Of course I don't," wa« the reply. " Then Bay you love mc."

" Oh ! that is a very different thing," she said, but her eyes encouraged the kiss that he pressed silently upon her lips, and as Bbe left him she returned the pressure of his hand.

"Charity," she said, "Mr. Barkstead has some news for you from your friend Mr. David Keith," and then she went hurriedly to her own room and flung herself noon the bed.

After a long talk with Mrs. Dene, Harry, said he must go, and he wished to say good evening to Miss Webb ; but Elmira sent him word that she had a headache und he must excuse her.

"Has she relented?" Harry was saying tb himself as he walked ulong the road towards Yarmouth. "I've known impulsive women do so after the most promising interview. Ah, well ! the chief pleasure of capture is in playing your fish. Once fairly hooked, Mrs. Charity Dene must help mc with the landing

net !"

f To bc continued. )