|Newspaper Title||Kyabram Union (Vic. : 1886 - 1894)|
NO !" Caarra? I. ' And o you sit on high three.lgged stools -with tour feet on the mantelpiece ? she asked, "lookinoi at him with deepest interest. She Swas sittiug in a comforahble ohair on the deck of the American man-oflwar. It was one of thoes, o.ditr which make an awkward woman look doelIy awkwe'd., tin only throw iinto ~muneaequiiite lines every beauty of a grace. tfat oune. h afternoon sun, too, which wa pouring downtl in a blaze of alsnoes intoulerble neat on the harbour, was here softened byh an awning, which only allowed toe tenderest of warm lights to tall on her face and smiling alese. She looked so intensely bewitchiong under iab- clrouumltances of becomlag chair and .lnotuOd snnehlne, that the young American it?ekauslOtigot to aumeer, and only gazed ae ndr s. he sat balanced it. anything but a -o.ire poeslun, on a rickety chair. 'And drink cocktail and thugs t she went T he Captain won't let ns-sit on three legIs etoole, I mes. There are one or two kitking about. ' He doesn't objrect so mnch to the cocktailse,' wih an odd note in hie voice whiu she did not notice.o ' What a shame ! Why won't he let you have them ?' ' They're awfully comfortable. But the Caprtain doesi,'i think it looks well-discipline and all that, yeo know. I say I There's ahsn music l Give me this dance, Mies Keith ? te tent eagerly forward, so eagerly that be lost the very precarious balance he and, and in his effort to recover aimse f, came with a crash to the .ock, spraelihg at her feet.' ' 'Wtiit did you do that for?' she asked Sravety, as he epiandg op wltl the agility l a 'sailor, from among the ruins of the chair. 'I don't know, I am sure' be aswered, perueetly indiflerent to the ludicrons buore he ?ad aut, aod coolly gatherieg up the rem nte:of 'tbe chair, which he carried to the aiue of the ship and dropped overboard. ' onlly kow,' he said, coming back to her, 'that when 1 was there I wanted to stay' there.' He laughed a genuine, pleasant laugh; buat leis eyes were inll of the most unmslitakeole admiration as he looked down at her. He had -cnly met her two hours before; bu?thosue toan &touri had done marelw ten changing the tenoor of Mr.r Maynard Ensoll's hitherto 'loverindiffereti life. With ger womae,' eyes bhe read the look. She made a slight, in,. patient gesture; hbut the next aecond abe wa amiling up at him again, ' n would soon tire cfbeulcsta wrie n' ee~. - I can just fancry ou l)oging for a ciasr, and a good run to ease your oremped limbs' 'I gueses you dobn't know. But I don't want metaphors, i wast a duance.' ' I'm ot going to dance any more, I threw my programme overbhord.' -Alltue conple. who had bee'o sitti~g and -traying about near them were loevking hack Co ton dancing. "She had refused them so persistenty all the afternoon that noneof the -een. came near her arma. It was such a decided case for the yonosg American ieusote ant--be having only danced with him-that dhey, after hd fashion of the generality of -men, not wishing to poach in another's watere, left him at last in undisturbed poe For a moment or two there was silence between them. He eat looking at her quire oblivious of the fact, in the Intensity of his nterest, that it was not polite to stare at a lady. S he lareuidly fanning herself, gozing in a dreamy, far-off way across the beautinul harbour, whioh has something so foreign in ite picturesque bhldii.gs and red-rooted bonuee. Great men-of-war; white painted troopships, with tiny cocleshells of boast. and noisy, black, smoking steam launche askhing i and out in bewildering and. dangerous confusion ; covered the it r, sparkling watesa. The hoarse cries of boatmen and sailors were oIftened io, harmony in the sUnny, drowsy -expanae "of air and seae There was no breezd, either from the land or fromnt the sea, whose oreat rose and fell beyond the harbour oar as gently as that of some sleeping child's. Tne heat hod been quite a froitful topic of conversation that aftemoon to daucere who had a difficulty on the subject of ideas, and to partnere personally totally indifferent to each other. Yet suddenly she shivered-with a violent, uncontrollahle shudder, as If with cold-and her face grew pinched and blue. What is the -matter' he asked in quaick alarm. ' don't know.' She turned to him again, smiling, hot her lips were stif, and only forced into that smile, 'I am cold, I think.' 'Cold I wish I ere You must bhe ill to be cold. Come downstaire and have some tea.' She rose, and they made their way to the companion, down which be carefully helped her. The refreshnleots. set out In lavisb profuslion, were being served on the lower deck Mies Keith only tik a few sips of the tea and then, at his suggestion, they strolled over towards the mesaeroom, where it was dusky and deserted. She sat down on a chair be brought her. ' Ave all your officers here 'she asked. 'No,' regretfully. ' Our First liseutennt is -_bslnt-Grant-George W. Grant. Ve call i-m our " Beauty." He and I areold chums. I'll show you his photo, if you like. But of -onrure you wouldn't like,' a faint flush of shame at his eagerness dyeing h' face. But eoand George W. Grant had bean' friend •ino-their echooldays. He was not a bit bendiome him.elf, though pleasant looking, with his strong 'well built frame, and hie oniform showed him off to advantage; bhot he had never felt a pang of jealousy as yet agatent his friend who had on more than one oecasion 'cout hint' cot,' ' I wooldn't matter to you if he had "carrots" and three twould make his photograph a moat Interesting study any way. Please show it to Hie cabin was close by, and as eager to amuse her as to show off his friend, he moved'away to fech the photograph. She sat waltingfor him. There was something motionless, rather than reposeful, in the languor of her position, and her face took the Game pinched blue look of mortal cold it had worn on the.upper deck. ' Here It i., MIss Keith.' She toon the leather.framed portrait with languid, fashionable Indifference, and looked ' le's a splendid looking chap, isn't he ' ha Skewd.with proud affection. 'It's a very fine frame,' she said. iHe broke tirn his frank, pleasant laugh. 'I ear, Miss Keith, that Is crushing. Why, ba's our show man-we're not a particulasrly Ro,4 looking set; in fclt, I heard one gilrt at Plymouth call U Charon' crew. Her friend --an :awfully ,pretry little girl - suggested Grant was Orpheus being rowed acroess ihe river Stoz in that ualy old gentleman'e fery boti.- Not bad. was Iti' ,,'I thought Charon rowed about all by him. elf/,|lsid Misl Keith, wish thoughtful slow. m-s', still lookling t she gor traitln her bands •Did he hsve a crew?' - Oh I- I'm sure I don't know. I nerer was -p in the cluss'c. Any war, that old Charon was enough by himself. Besides, Grant ia -ot in eearch of his wife,' with an amu.ed tone in his laugh which had eomebhing sig. Slianta i it - Perhaps ehe noticed it, fore he lookdup oat --IIn, wlth that slow, lanluid glauce, which --omeoell the pInk of affectation, and others tbe most bewSiching Irace in the world. Us was one of the latter. 'Ah I well,' he said. answering it because be could help himself, 'is ie'?t anything very .uch, only-nor Ciptain has a lovely little elcs about esletle,. All our men are mad about her--hut w are all poor-and-well, you. see, Grant is ao goodlooking that the Captain thinks he is just as wsll on this side -f the Atlatic.' 'I don't like your Captain,' she saId. The young man did not anewer • or, rather the1answer he made, appently a quit. Irrelevant one, wae eloquent : ' Have another cup of tea, or a cocktail t She laughed, and gave him hack the photo. _ratobh When he returned from plaotni it In tie, cabin, he found her talking to her -hapcrone. They were loing; he accom Plaled them on to the upper lack. A'! the _-'eetl were thronging towards she gangway. The Amersean olieore atood among thsm --lpIig them down into the pinnsces that were to take them ashor, or back to other • ui am so eory on aregoing I' exclaimed look that startled him, - It" we so searching, so appeaIloIg so "itifnl, so hopeless. BSt she turned way --wiftlylo hurry after Mrs. Maynard, Iravin_ an'p tain Stock cnaght aighi of him, and old hlm he mliht go withitulepnnac. -e Jikedt the youngman as well ash. could like •-Oone nnoder?Jl. command,- H., like the I 555*, bad been amused at hi. devotion that '-fternoon to ihe pgleiYMihKetit.' Head. i
ulred her blmselt, and on ocastmie souch as thess would he eympsaetrc as well as hospitable. Mr. Maynard Enroll leaped down on to the pinnace, not needing another command. Frum where he stood he could see her apparently chastering and laughing as gaily as the rest aot' e crowd. ed 'What could it mean r he asked himself in ltter perplexity. 'One would thilnk I could help her in some way.' He tried so catch her eye again, but he never one looked in the directre where he stood. The instant she pinnace reached the landing.-lace he nurried freward tso help the ladies off. It came to her turn. iFur a moment her hand lay in his. She looked up as him, thankmng him again wish abright smile for the ' lovely afternoon they had all given them.' And yet he would have sworn that behind the smile lurked the dark snadow he had seen in her erme a few momenta before. Under some' sudden impulse be soewered the shadow, not the smile. It ever I can do anything for you, ask mel' he whispered, hurriedly, hi, strong, steady hand lupinig cosely round here. T?en one paused on the etream of pretty girls and smiling women, all making flatter ing little speeches to him as he aesisted them on shore. He answered without really know tg what ha was saying. Was she offended at his audacity I His speech now seemed a piece of such unwar rantable impertiuenoe. But ao the pinnace steamed off again, she stepped out from among the little gromp of people standing on the shore, and looked alter the retreating launch-at him ! With a quick eaping t his, pulses, he raised his cap, girving it a little triumphal wave of salute high over his head. Cearrna IL 'It's a darned shame I' The speaker, George W. Grant, First Lieutanens on board tshe Plymouth, looked as if he meant is. Mr. Maynard Ensnll, sitting on the mess taole, his sands thra?s deep in his pockets, his lese dangling impatiently to and fro, looked as if he quite agreed. 'Stock is an infernai- ' I oubhtn't to have, spoken,' interrupted Enaoll, rather weaiily, bt rounesed to a sense of disciplie, by the wrathful, fiery eyes of his friend, 'only--' 'You couldn't help it-I should think not i It makes a man sick to see hie bullylng. He's it drunken-' 'Shut up l' Grant's reckless, fiery spirit mase Rneoll more careful for bis friend than he was for himrelf. Grant paced restlessly up the room and back again. If he could, at .that moment have taken his Captain by the throat an shaken the breath half ont of him, he would have been grateful. Only, unfortunately, the plan was not feasible, and he had enowgh control over himself as yes to understand the good senoe of his friend's advice. 'Well, old boy, I must be off,' he said, as he reached E,,sol again. 'Can [ give any mesagees? I hear you've been running "it hard.' with an amused laugh. E.isoll winced. It was a fortnight since their own dance, and he had certainly been 'running it hard.' He raised his eyes, which were dismally contemplating hisfeet stretched out now on to the back of the seat before him, and looked at his friend instead. Grant was splendidly handsome, with that generous brightnes of anger still lingering in his eyes, its fleash on his face. Ensoll remembered suddenly how long she had oorked at his portrait that day; how In. terested she had since been in overything concerning him that he-Eneoll-had told her. And with a curinous sensation, curious because he had never felt it before, he remem hered, too, how much he bad told her. But the sensation parsed as quickly as it came, almost before he had time to be troabled by it. Is passed in a sudden anxiety for the man who had excited it. 'What are you going to do this after. neon?' [I don't know. Perhaps I'll look in at the Princess'es dance. Stock was slanging me this morning because I haven't been seen "in decent company yet", " with a grim laugh. 'And then Gardiner has asked me todine with him tonithght. I hall .take my thinge ashore and dress there.' ' I wish you'd cut Gardinsr,' said Ensoll, impatiently, but with an anxious look la hie eyes. ' I believe he's a regular card. sharper.' The other flushed half.angrily, half.sbame. facedly. 'You mind your own business,' he said, grufly, and yet not unkindly. 'Do you think me a fool I gave you my word I wouldn't play high ; that ought to be enough for you.' Enmoll tumbled efr his uncomfortable perch without another word. Grant was a born gambler at heart. This evil propensity was one of the causes given by Captain Stock for his anger agalnset him hen he, a poor Lietenant, bad hbed the presumption to fall in love with his lovely little riece, Mirabella Stock. He was an inveterate foe togambling himself, and opposed it with all ise might among his men and r. icers. Ensoll had done his best to keep his friend out of the pale of. hic displeasure. He had even lasaly persuaded him to give him his word not to play high. As he could not have broken his own. ihe was satisfied with his friend's now. His own woes soon made him forget even his anxiety for Grant's hot temper and the well-known hate existing btween him and his Captain. Fort whole fortnight not to have a chance of seeing Miss Keith I He had inourred, the day before, the wrath of Captin Stock, and in consequence bad to suffer forit by hsving his leave stopped for a whole fort. night. It did not meke the sentence any lighter to know that the punishment, from a disciplinary point of view, was perfectly Just, sand thas, if it had been passed eany other man, it would have been harder. This suspension of all intercourse betweea him-elf and Miss Keith was intolsrable. Since that firnt afternoon they bad met nearlyevry day. Though never once stain had he caught a glimpse of that strange look, yet, in some subtle way it seemed to have become the foundation of a friendship, which, oateardlyonly an amusing ilirtation wa somethina very much more real. He had no doubt about his own feeliags or the sub jecl, and there was some kindness and tenderness underlying her bright society manner, which he felt without being able to analyse, and which filled him with thbe most glorioaus delight of hope. No I she could not be playing with him. They called her a desperate dflirt-a dan gerous, heartless coquestte-it had even been at firat hinted once or twice in his heariong, that she was fass, 'bad form,' inher reckless indifference to appearance@. But he found her all that was good, srand womanly, and seet. How he wished now he had sent her a measage by Grant I What, foolish, fats. reticence it had been, which kept him bark from even mentioning her came to his old friend. He wondered, a' the long, hut hours of the afternoon wore on, what Grant weuld thiokof ber. They would be sure to meat at the Priocess's thatafternooan. Graat had only returned from leave three daps beforem; he had been staring in town with OGadiner, who bad chambers in London. Though Grant had been ashore, he had spent most of hls ttme with Oradiner, who hbd come down to Southaea with him. Neithrr of' the two bad appeared at any of the scial entertainments' going: on in the p'ac. Grant, who had once heso the must preaure.tovingr young fellow in the world, seemed, sianc his last love-affair, to have taken a disgust to aocimey. Is was last that night wheo Grant returned. P'he two men did not bhve any opportunity of speakin to each othsr till the next morn ishe flrst glanoe at Grant told Enroll that something was wrong,. is thoughts £o 1 didyon like the "hop ")' he asked, as be leans over the bulwirks looking down at the water. which rieleted tbh dzling blue of the montioskay, Us did notsee, theresfore, thetaintstaxa his friend gave, nor how tbe palm, tired fate ulshed. Oh ! the tlop I' after d smood's pause, rosing himself appacntly from some other tin ofthought . It wag well enough, Heaps OPrestyliltll girls. Very hot and orowdsd, plusisig lodly to the point, seaing no other wayou turuing the conversation to her. Sbse' good.looklng,' with a languid slow. nes which sounded utter indiffrence. dood.lcokitg I t ,ndijnantily standIng OIiht. 'She oat and out tbe loveliect strernfe, startled, and yet coriously Ondistandlng look came into Grant's eyes a he looked into his fried's sager aos. 'I sy, Erroll, they told me, you know-' he hrcke off abruptly, and troned away. 'he the fill)on've gean oing in for, isn't nee.l1's fae flushed hotly, and then his lips seemed to pals a little1 for there Was somethlig behind his friend s spreeh, What wers ou going to sa' ?' he saked, ; ,' Obh !I don't' know ; only 1i think |1 s
rather a msetake,' traun alid, In a ruriuu, composed way. ' They all say so,' 'Gerat l' Ensoll laid him hand on his :boulder. compelling him to turn, so that he should ee his fae. He spoke quite quietly, but is was not natural. ' Why ja i mis. take?' 'Oh I-well, abe is a desperate flirt, and and-L heard-' ' You don't know what you are saying. If you are going to repeat any of that miter. able slander to me, you'd better clear out. It'. all the basest jealousy. She' Ithe sweetest, truest, purest girl I have ever met. ant I'd lay down my life to prove her Iaith I' Hi, voice, which had gradually risen Into indignant reproach, ended in a note of the moat perfect, triumphant confidence and ". t?;ned on his heel and walked across the deck, hardly conscious yet of bow much hi. words and manner betrraed. Grantacood looking after Him quite stupidly. Ensoll bad been perfectly rises when he had told him that he did not know what he was. ying. Ho had said something. But what it wr bhe could not tell now. Only it must have been somethil'g, In answer to that proud, eager look on his friend's face. He had heard yesterday all about the desperate flirtation between Esoli and Misse Keith. Yet he had forgotten it till this moment. He had gore through such a furnace of mental anuguth, such a storm of remorse, and helpless rage. and eesperate fear, thas all elo bhad be.n scorched up in their fires. But ist all came back to him now. CaAPrm1 III. The long, weary fortnight had come to ito end. E?asoll, restlessly pacing the deck the last afternoon of his detention looked curiously different to the laughing eyed young man who had danced there with such happy carelessness a month ago. But it was not the love.shirst of his heart whbioh had brousht those aet lines to his mouth and quenched the old brightness of his eyes. 'It's a shame, the way Gran is e cutting IEnoll ous,' aell one middy to another as they looked at him. Tbhey were both in a had tamper, having to stay on board that lovely afternoon, and, teing devoted amlrers of Eneoll, they were inclined to be abusive of his frisend and Captain alike. 'Grant knew Eneoll was gone on her. I call it caddish, now that Ensoll is out of the running. Grant and she are always together.' The other fully concurred. Ensoll had gathered from various things let slip in con. versation what was taking place on shore. Grsnt himself had never alluded to Misn Keith, and Ensoll was too proud to ask. lit the fierce pain at his heart would till him at moments with rage against Grant for trying to step between himself and Miss Keith. (nly for a momentary, careless amusement. For what else could it be? Grant had not forgotten Mirabella Stock. Even he, Ensoll, sceptic as he bad been on the subject of his friend's powers of devotion, really believed at last in his love and fidelity where. Mirabella was con? cerned. He knew how his unfortunate passion had changed his whole life. The Granti of today was no more like the Grant of a year before than a happy, care' less -choolboy is like the man whocomes out hardened reckless, bitter, from life's great battle. Yet here he was, idly flirtiln with Phoebe Keith-when he knew that her love was the life's happiness of his friend. For Ensoll was certain that Grant knew that be loved her. As be thought it over to day, he felt he could keep silence no longer; be woulo speak to Grant that night, when he returned to the ship from the Admiral's ball, where probably he would have danced all night with Phoebe I fit the pale light of the early summer dawn Ensoll found his opportunity. I want to speak to yo.,' he said curtly. 'Allright, old boy,' answered Grant care lesly, but he leant back heavily against the side of the ship, gazing across the silent barbour, with its gleaming lights and dark ships which iookeo like ghostly shadows in the torning twilight, and it seemed as if he did it to avoid meeting hie friend's eyes. Is it all up with you and Mirabella Stockr Grant's strong frame quivered from head.to foot,h as it the pitilese, curt question had stabbed him through. Then he answered slowly : It was all up long ago.' 'KeDo you mean, then, to marry Miss Keith ? 'larry her 1' he broke into a ha?rh, dis cordant laugh. 'Not much chance of my doing that l' 'Then will you--in Heaven's- name, tell me-' Bat a Sudden, swift change leapt into Grant's eyes, His whole face was convulset with fury, Will you tell me by what unwarrantable impertinence you question my affairs? Let me pass, and be hanged to you I' Eusoll, thrust aside, stood quite. still, Something seemed suddenly to have snspped within him-something that set his whole life jarring and clashing out of tune. It made him quite dizzy, as if the discord were pbhysical. Trust, faith, tender affection re spact, ere beiln crrushed maimed, slain, amid the mad. wild confusion of those other racing feslings. The friendeipo which had begun so long ago, which had lasred so faithfully, which had been the controlliog power, keepiog in beautiful barmony so many opposing feel. logs, purposes, aims, tastsa, was dead. Cie src'd IV, Mrs. Durrant was giving an 'at home' the next day. Her rooms were already crowded when the Americans managed to wedge their way into them. Eansoll gave an eager glance about him, and then his hears seemed to stop beating, sand h knew no more till he foun4 himAelt standing a little apart, with Phobe Keith. 'Ynu have been behaving very badly to us I' she said, lauehino off the dumb, pitiful appeasl of his great love looking at her from his eyes. But she had paled too. He tried to return a smiling reply, but the smile died abruptly on hie lips, u, recovering hie sense. al itlle, he was shocked at the change in her. 'How awfully ill you look 1' 'Don't stare at me like that,' she exclaimed pettihly ; ' and for goodness sake don't tell. me I am not looking well. I know that it is always only a polite way of telling a gIrl that she is growing ugly. Now I must go and. look after the Deople. Shall I introduce yo.u to any oel? But i suppose you know plenty 'of girls. Come and take me to get some tea .rereetly.' She turned saway ; there were some fresh arrivals. Mrs. Durrant was JUst greeting them, near tbedoorway. There waa smaldl, empty epace between them and ,MisnKeith. and Ensoll. , ' " . . I Ae Miss Keith turned from him towards the door, Mrs. Durrant caught ight of her. 'Oh I there is one of my young flende' 'she sa'd to the lady who: with her two daughters hsd jut entered.' 'Pb'.he dear, come here, and I wtliutrodnuc yOuto.Lady Mdeulasd. I want yno to look after her dughters.'• Mi o Kei'h advancing, suddenly stopped. Ltdy Marsland was staring at her with oerh alt,, k of petrified amszmrsnt, horror disgunt that everybody near turned to iook at bee 'Thank you, Mrs. Dutrantl' p.rdy Mlar. lend found ber voice at lest, 'It was clsar in Its nuotterable lodifgtaston, and reached half tbrough the crowded ritomn. ' I would rasher my daughers' were :not introduced to that youg person. ' Why my dear,' dropping her voice and flushing fa'intly at the scent she had been involuntarily been betrayed into mkhilng ' do you know that she was livino--why I there it the man I' One or' tWo sittit,= and standing near, cauuht distinctly the lo*rred accents. Aml no them'Enoll, who, at Lady Marsland's dr.t words, with one swift stride had etepped to Pi mhe'e tide. He, with all toeothe,rs looked touarda the doorwa.y Grant had not come with his brother olbicels. He stood there now, having Sost aried. He hsd apparently heard everythin, for bei fare wss white to the lips, and theae wa a mudons, dered look in his yre,. Phmhe Keith. as she caught slght of him. made oun step forward, looking up at bim with sorely the moit pitiful, anguished appeal that over looked out from a, woman's He met it with that same dated uore. mponsive gaco and then, in. a kind of stuntbling, aukward way, made a half turn au if to go away, . A violent shudder shook Phoebe from head to foot, and then, with a sudden nutlhtting of her head, a *trsightenltg into splendid, queenly dfgnIty of her ehtiekli.g fgure, shetuned, and walking switly throogh aslother door, vanished from among the gfez?ne, wonderfng, horeiedorond of fashion. able pleasure'seekera.' 'Eneoll glanced at the other doory Grant had fied'ton: There wa a breathless, silent .pause, preg. rent with utopoklb .qustllona and angwere, then everybody been talking aIlt'at once; some' to pace' toe. feln?. g teir • thsla"
lurIumiate hetose ito her awkward attuation ; some to express their cerrainty that they knew something like this would turn up with regard to nise Keith; others to deny the poeslbility of thea being anything true m it. Ina few minutes everybody in the room had some version of the sene. Lady Mars. land, vexed at her poelsion, and yet feeling that she had done quire tight In exposing lhe girl, told whet she knoew to Mris. Durrant, who was divided between horror, doubt, tears, andl'ager. Two years ago, Lady fMarslano had been staying an America at an hotel where three two were alo putting up. They save themselves out as man and wife. But various blgse madeit the other people one. pici us, and their suspicious were ore day contirmed when bthe young person who now called herself Mies Keith. gave out disrilctly to an old gentlemans who happened to tuort up thee' ons day, and who, it eDoered, was a relation of the gentleman with her, that she was not his wife. Lady Mreltand had seen or heard nothing of her eince, till ntoday. How was it that Mrs. Durant had made the acquaintance of such a person i Mrs. Darrant only knew her as the com. panion and adopted daughter of a friend of hers Ivlin( at the north of Ireland. This lady was very fond of her, and had madeher ake' her own name. Miss Keith, or whatever her name wee, had lived witsh her for two years, and she believed this lady knew he before that. Bot Entoll had waited for no explanations. He had rushed from tha house like a man driven by a lesion of devils. With hoburning eyes end parched lips, he walked blindly on, his hearst a very hell of consuming'flre, fed by the ever-growing flameseof hate, fury, andluet of revenge. His brain was too confuerd to form any plan of vengeance. The desire of it only burned there at his heart. The anguish of it was horrible. It must find voice and fulfilment soon, or be felt it would kill him. But as yet he could not think is out clearly. Physically and mentally he was prostrated, and his helplessness added to the torment. Not to be able to carry out vengeance before astl those other men came back to the abip that afternoon with their talk, their-it cut like a scourge on quirering, bare flesh-their scoffs, their jests upon her ! But when his brother officere did return, they said. not .a word. Perhaps his face silenced them ; perhaps they felt all the pity and shame of Is, for they all knew the great friendship thet had been between the two men, and how wetl Eu-oll had learned tolove her. Popular as Grant had been, there was one unlversal word of disgustat the cowardice he had betrayed that afternoon, for the piteous appeal in the girl' eyres had been seen hr many. C .ptain Stock. was up in town. Tney wondered what he would say when hbe returned on the morrow. Even Mirabelsa, who was known to have cared for the hand. some Lieutenant, and braved her uncle's wrath for his take, would turn in horror from hint now. Grant did not return to the ship that night. His abseuce without leave was freely commented upon, out of Ionsoltl' hearing. This would be the laut stroke, as far as btock was concerned. 'And then he'e been fooling around wish that fellow Gardiner, too, just lately. Play log recklessly ibis lest fortnight, he's lost a pile,' raid one, to wind up the many tbings that had at last placed Grant into the hands of his enemy. For they all knew that Stock would prove an implacable Judge, and that, to bring about the rain of Grans, had long been theearnest desire of his vindictive heart, Next morning Ensoll went ashore: He found Grant at the hotel which he frequented. Itneoll had hardly expectel to find him there. He only went Ito get information. Enrsoll entered his room without knocking. teshut the door after him, turning the key in the look. Grant, who was sitting smoking near the open window, had started to his feat. Neither spoke for a moment. Teen Esell; advancing into the room, said in a slow, homse voice : I' want an explanation of yesterday., Orarnt's face grew paler. ' She is my wife,' he said. ' Your wife I' Ensoil recoiled. The room seemed to reel round hlm. ' Your wife ? Why then-' I married her about two years ago. Do you remember that time I went to Cinein. oati met herthere and fell in love with her, and married her. In twomonths I had tired of her. I found out that I had never loved her. It was her beauty, I suppose.' He spoke in a strange, monotonous tone, as if repeatinug something learned by heart. ' I kept the marriage secret. You know that old uncle of mine? I was afraid of him. I had been plating high, and wanted his money. But I did not love her,' he went on, again, * though she did for me what costs a woman more than we can measure. To save me, she pretended that she was not my wife. She loved me well enough for that, and yet I-. There have been times during the last year when I have almost hated her I' 'You despicable coward i And yesterday, when she appealed to you to save her-you were silent-yoo--' ' Ensoll I' He put out his hands as If to ward off Enuoll. who had stepped forward. ' If you struck me-I could not ex. plain-and-I swear to you that for a mu. ment yesterday was half dated. I thought of nothing I could only see Mire. belle., As that woman spoke the whole sense of my lose fell upon me. I could realise nothing else. I did not even see -my wife. When I recovered, she had gone. But, Enroll, I swear to you I have made it all right this morning. I1 have written to Mrs.' Durrant-' 'You have not seen-your wife-yet ? 'No, Enroll. I am aoct qulite so lest as you think. I can't face her yet. That other will come hetween-' ' And yet you could let that other learn to love yoo. while Grant'e lips twitched with a sudden spasm of remorse and pain. ' I did try at first to keep away' from her; but I went mad at last; and it was only one week in which I gave way, one short week, and now--' , Ensoll turned from him in unntterahle anger ned loathit.i. Hle -eered so base, this man he had once loved so well. What ate you aoilu to do.' 'I don't know. If Pbomhe will let me, I will tiy and redeem the past.' But there was no life in the words or tone. They were inexpressibly dreary and hopeless; he was still thtuking most of that other girl. A knock at the door broke the strainued silence between them. Grant went over and ,opened it, taking a note from the waiter who had brought it. ie read it, then crushed it .in his hand, a sharp exclamation breaking from him. '.What i is it ?' Entoll, moved by the ashen pallor of Grant's face, asked hastily, etst: with fear that something worse bad belallen Pt ose. The only asawer Grant gave, was to" lose him the letter across the table. I, was from Oardiner. 'Dann Ga ou,- ' am leaving for India to.mboerow, ayrooknow. IshaLl hegltd ifyounwouldkindly square up today. I'am sorry I canOt o hwl.l bhte really mist have the cash. Youre,' ,I ,.' IHnalc OGADINE' t A civil note in a way; but those whd knew the man felt the mercilees grip of the iron hand bwhich had bannd the wordi Eooll understood all in a moment. He had heard of the high play. that had been going on. Grant, growing reckless, had broken his word. Indeed, the miserr of his position, the contempt of his own cowardice, had driven him into the arms of his old vice. Last night, after that Iteering with the wife he hadl so injuared, half mad as he felt, he had ilunged more reoktlesely than ever into tbhe cxcitement of play. In the light of the summer dawn, he had risen from the gaming table with nothing betweso him and disgrace. Gsrdiner had told him that he should have timesopay hisdeb~re of honour. This letter proved what bis mercy wae worth. • Tha letter fluttered from Ensoll's hand on to the table. The gestre was signficant. Grant felt it to the quick of his snal. 'Enlolll' he exclaimed hoarely, ' I am snunk too low foryol ever to take nolice of meagainr-and yet I must sin atill lower I I have done you a great wrong--all .nwittingly, Heaven knows. When the meu chaffed you about her, I never asspected that Miss Keith was-my wife I She hadohanged her name, you know. When I found itson,; I thought It wase about the teat silroke a man could bear. I badn't the courage to opeak. But now, for the ake of the oldfriendehip for her sake, if you will, for my diegrrae will be here, help me now. I swear that you shall not regret it. I will repey every cent. I will strive as man never strove before to become an honest man GOlve me this one sltp atu, leat i go down body and soul into Ene~ll had walked over to the window. He stood looking out arolss the common, over which hung, a wavering mist of heat., The Marine Artillerl wsre marcbing pat in the dlat ce: the muslcof their hand reached him. "He recalledtheday when it had palyed at their own dance--the first day he and she had 'met. ' Orant's role, so nloe to him, seemed only
Ika sauome far-oflf ound. It was the distant mtsia tha was wrapping him in, settiug all his pulses quivering, kindling into fire the blood in his veins. Yet he heard something of what Grant was saying, fur he we. thinking vaguely all tbe time his pulses were beating out the time of thnat mnic, of the lare sum of money behbad lying in a London bank. Of course Grant's talk of repaying it eras all nonsense. H.w could he? A year ago-no, a month ago-Enoill would have sitned the cheque, knowing that its repayment wes as impoeihble as that the stones on the shore should become gold. Beo such a gift would have been has a trifle to save his friend's honour. Would not he have laid down his life forit Afterwands., he supposed be mist have thought all thesethlngs, for they came back to him with a strange and dreadful familiarity. Slunt at this moment he was only really conosious of the music and the picture it conjured up 'Theg irl leaning forward in her low chair on the deck, smiling up Into his eyes. He saw every graceful line of the lovely fiore ; every turn of the dainty head' every smile, now tender, now.diedainful, of the lip,. ' Maynard, for the sakes of the past--' Ensoll turned round. ' No I' he said, Then be passed him, and went out of his presence for always. When the news was brought to him a little laser, his brother officers were startled, almost shocked athis demeanour. When ther received the messagethat Grant was deed-shabot by his own hand-a-bout half an-hour after Ensoll had left him, they felt that they could fling no more stones of reproach, contempt, or anger at him. Whast ever his sine, they habed met with a reckoning which made men afraid toutter their earthly judgments A cloud of gloom rested upon all the ship; Grant bhd been very popular. Even it he had not been, such an end. coming to one who haddwelt in their midst, would have cohered them, and there wes everything in this to darken and sadden the cames. hut Captain Stock, furious at the disgrace of the whole affair-of .the gamblinr, the secret marriage, the insult done his niece raged sod stormed until they all could scarcely beer it. There was something horriblsand ghastly in the volley of oaths and abuse floun over the dead, senseles body of their late comrade. It was then that they wondered still more how Enroll could stand by and listen-cold, impopsive, silent. But into his soul had gone the ron of that ' No I' Never to leave him free again from its wound. It was to chasten every joy, deepen every pain of his after life. It was to be the shadow cast by earthly love; to be the weari. ness of fulfilled ambitions; the fear of hit etrong manhood; the remorse of his old age. A ' No' to tiveon till the Day of Judgment, when he end that friend-whosee murderer he. counted himself-should meet and touch each other's hands' esIa, forgiving and forgiven I--' All the Year Round.