|Chapter Title||EDITHA'S RESOLUTION.|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
|Trove Title||A Mystery|
(From English, American, and other Periodicals.)
Everybody who knows anything about Newport -- the Brighton of America -- knows that the season there is one long scene of gaiety, pleasure, and
And this year bade fair to eclipse all previous years, owing to the unusual brilliancy and elegance of its entertainments, its incessant round of pleasure, the presence of numberless beautiful women, with their magnificent toilets, and the great number of distinguished guests from abroad.
Among these latter one in particular seemed to attract great attention, on account of his noble
personal attractions, the report of his great wealth; and, more than all, because of his being unmarried, handsome, and -- thirty.
He was an F. R. C. S., had graduated with high honors, and the reputation of his skill was in every- body's mouth, while it was stated upon the best authority that he was heir prospective to large estates in both England and France, though where they were situated and of their extent no one seemed to know.
"Mr. Tressalia, allow me to present to you my daughter, Misa Dalton."
Such was the introduction of Paul Tressalia, the distinguished étranger, to Editha Dalton, as per- formed by Mr. Dalton, one golden summer evening, as Editha sat by herself upon the broad piazza of their hotel, musing rather pensively upon the events of the past two years.
Editha lifted her large blue eyes, which filled with instant admiration as they rested upon the handsome stranger, and she gracefully saluted him, realizing at once that she was in the presence of a man of power -- one of the kings of the earth, born to rule by the might of his superior intellect, and yet with a velvet hand withal, as the mild dark eyes and the gentle expression of his mouth asserted.
Mr. Tressalia, on his own part, was evidently powerfully attracted by those same large and expressive eyes, which were reading his face with such a comprehensive glance.
His gaze rested admiringly on the slender figure, with it mein of blended grace, reserve, and dignity, attired, so simply yet artistically, in its robe of spotless embroidered muslin; on the small head, with its silken aureate crown ; on the sweet face, so full of expression and the impress of latent
Her small hands seemed to him like "symmetrical snow-flakes," her feet like little mice peeping from beneath the flowing robe, and all her movements full of " sweet, attractive grace."
Mr. Tressalia noted all this during the cere- mony of introduction, and realised at once that he had " met his fate" in this being " fair as Venus,
"Face and figure wove a spell
While her bright eyes were beaming."
Editha had not mingled very much in the gaieties of Newport as yet -- she could not enjoy them ; her heart was sore and sad ; she could not forget the two dear ones so recently gone, nor the young promising life confined by prison
Not a day passed that Earle Wayne's noble face did not rise up before her, and she seemed to hear his rich, clear voice asserting constantly, " Their saying that I am guilty does not make me so. I have the consciousness within me that I am innocent of crime, and I will live to prove it yet to you and the world," and the knowledge of his cruel fate was a constant pain. But now she was almost insensibly drawn out of herself and her sad musings.
Mr. Tressalia possessed a peculiar charm in his gentle manner, and in his brilliant and intelligent conversation; and almost before she was aware of it, Editha found herself joining and enjoying the party of choice spirits who seemed to own him their centre.
The ice once broken, who shall tell of the bright, delightful days that followed?
And yet in the midst of all she did not forget Earle; every morning on rising, and at evening on retiring, her thoughts flew to that gloomy cell, with its innocent inmate suffering for another's crime.
Every week she faithfully dispatched her floral remembrance ; but Mr. Dalton's servant having re- ceived permanent instructions upon that subject, they never left the hotel, and were ruthlessly des- troyed and their beauty lost,
People were not long in discovering that the beautiful heiress, Miss Dalton, was the charm that bound the distinguished Mr. Tressalia to Newport, and the desirableness and suitableness of an alliance between them began to be freely discussed and com- mented upon ; while, as if by common consent, all other suitors dropped out of the field, as if convinced of the hopelessness of their cause, and she thereby fell to the charge of the young Englishman upon all
But Editha began to feel somewhat uneasy at the way matters were settling themselves.
She liked her new friend extremely ; he was a man that could not fail to command everywhere re- spect and admiration, and she could not help enjoy- ing his cultivated society ; but she did not enjoy be- ing paired off with him, to the exclusion of every- body else, upon every occasion ; for her woman's instinct told her whither all this was tending, and she knew it ought not to be.
Mr. Dalton, however, was exceedingly elated over the prospect, and took no pains to conceal his satisfaction, nor to contradict the gossip regarding an approaching engagement, while, at the same time, he was never weary of recounting Mr. Tressalia's merits to his daughter.
When at length Editha began to excuse herself from accompanying him upon excursions of pleasure, and to retire to her own rooms upon some slight pretext, when he joined them at evening on the piazza, her father became highly incensed, and fumed and fretted himself almost into a fever on
account of it.
" Editha, you will oblige me by not being quite so indifferent to Mr. Tressalia's attentions," Mr. Dalton said one day, upon their return from a brilliant re- ception given on board a French man-of-war lying
at anchor in the harbor.
The commander was a friend of Mr. Tressalia's, and had given an elaborate breakfast and reception to him and his friends, together with some other distinguished people sojourning at Newport.
Editha and Mr. Dalton had been among the guests, and the former had been perfectly charming in her dainty lawn, embroidered with rich purple pansies, and her jaunty hat, surrounded with a wreath of
the same flowers.
She had attracted marked attention from com- mander and officers, and also from many of the guests, and in this way bad succeeded in saving her- self from the Usual " pairing off."
She had been somewhat reserved, too, in her manner toward Mr. Tressalia, and her father had sworn more than once to himself at her evident avoidance of him.
She blushed at his remark, but said, very quietly :
" I am not aware that I treat Mr, Tressalia in-
differently, papa. He is a very pleasing gentleman,
and I enjoy his society exceedingly."
" Then why did you avoid him so persistently to- day ?" he demanded.
" I would not appear to avoid any of our friends," Editha said, with a deepening flush, " but really, I do not enjoy being monopolized by one person so entirely as I have been the past two or three
"What particular objection have you to Mr.
"None whatever; I repeat, he is a very culti- vated and agreeable gentleman, and I enjoy his
"Then I desire that you may show a little more pleasure in it," Mr, Dalton returned impatiently.
" "In what way, papa? how shall I show my pleasure in Mr. Tressalia's society?" Bditha asked, looking up at him with a droll expression of innocence.
Mr. Dalton flushed hotly himself now.
In was not an easy question to answer, for of course he could not say that he would like her to become unmaidenly conspicuous in her pleasure, and it was rather a difficult and perplexing matter to make a rule for her to follow, and one, too, that would bring about the end he so much desired.
" What a question, Editha! " he exclaimed, after a moment's thought, " when you are pleased with any- thing, it is not difficult to show it, is it?"
" Oh, no ; but then there are different degrees of pleasure you know, and from the way you spoke, I thought perhaps you desired me to adopt the superlative, and that I fear, would be 'mortifying to you,'" she said, with a sparkle of mischief in her
She was laughing at him now, and Mr. Dalton did not find himself in a very agreeable position.
He remembered that he had once chided her very severely for being so demonstrative, and cautioned her not to " gush," saying it was all "very well for a young lady to express her feelings in a proper way, and at a proper time, but it was mortifying to him to have her carry quite so much sail."
Editha doubtless remembered it also, and referred to this very lecture judging from her words and manner, and for a moment he hardly knew, what reply to make.
"I think your sarcasm is a little ill-timed," he at length said, stiffly. "Mr. Tressalia has hitherto paid you marked attention, and you have not demurred; but your avoidance of him to-day could not fail to occasion him surprise and pain, and also remark on the part of others. As for your being monopolized by one person, as you express it, there are very few young ladies in Newport, who would not be very glad to be chosen from among the many by a man like Paul Tressalia."
"It is not Mr. Tressalia that I object to at all -- it is the idea of always being paired off with him as if no other gentleman had any right to approach me," Editha said, with heightening colour.
" You object to him, then, as a permanent escort ?' " Yes, sir, I do," she answered, decidedly. "And why, if I may ask ?"
" Because I do not wish to accept attentions which might lead Mr. Tressalia to imagine that I possess a deeper regard for him than I really have," Editha said candidly, yet with some confusion.
" Then you mean me to understand you regard Paul Tressalia only in the light of a friend, and you are unwilling that friendship should develop into any warmer sentiment?" Mr. Dalton asked, with lowering brow.
" Yes, sir," was the firm, though low reply.
" That places me in a very fine position ; for -- for -- I may as well out with it first as last -- that gentle- man has asked my permission to address you with a view to marriage, and I have given it," and Mr. Dalton looked very much disturbed and angry.
" Oh, papa!" Editha exclaimed, in pained surprise and flushing deepest crimson.
" Well ?" he demanded, almost fiercely, while he eyed her keenly.
" I am very sorry you have done so, for it cannot be," and her voice trembled slightly as she said it.
"Because -- I can never care for him in any such way as that.
" In any such way as what ?" he asked with a
"You know what I mean well enough -- the warmer sentiment of which I have already spoken," she answered, with a rush of tears to her eyes at his
She struggled a moment for self-control, and then
" I admire Mr. Tressalia exceedingly; he is a man who must command any woman's respect and esteem; he is cultivated and refined, and possesses one of the kindest, most generous natures, but --"
" But you don't want to marry him ; is that it ?" he interrupted.
" No, sir, I do not," she said very firmly, but with another rush of color to the beautiful face.
Mr. Dalton's face grew dark, and he hitched ner- vously in his chair.
" I am sure I cannot conceive what possible objec- tion you can have to him as a husbund ; he is hand- some as a king, polished, distinguished in his pro- fession, and rich enough to surround you with every elegance the world can afford."
"I have already told you my sole objection -- I do not love him," the fair girl said wearily.
" Pshaw !" I am sure he is fitted to command the love of any woman."
" Yes, air, he is very noble, very good, very at- tractive : and I cannot tell you why I do not, but
simply that I do not."
"And you would not accept him if he should pro- pose for your hand?"
"No, sir," was the low, but very steady, reply.
Mr. Dalton'a eyes flashed ominiously; be was growing furious at her obstinacy.
He had decreed that she should marry the dis- tinguished young surgeon, and who was reported heir to such large possessions.
It will be remembered that we have stated gold was Mr. Dalton'a idol, consequently he was anxious to secure so valuable a prize, so that in case his own supply of this world's goods should fail him, he
would have an exhaustless reservoir to which he|
could go and replenish.
" I desire that you consent to marry Paul Tressalia, whenever be sees fit to ask you to become his wife," he said, in tones of command.
" I regret that I cannot gratify that desire, sir."
"You will not?" " I cannot."
" Do you utterly refuse to do so ?"
" I do most emphatically," Editha answered, coldly
"Perhaps your affections are already engaged -- perhaps you have already experienced that passion you term 'love' for some one else," her father said, half eagerly, half sneeringly.
"I have never been asked to marry any one; no one has ever spoken of love to me," she replied, with drooping lids and very crimson cheeks.
" That was very cleverly evaded, Miss Dalton," he returned, with a mocking laugh, " I was not speak- ing of the love of any one for you, but of yours for
some one else."
"I decline to discuss the subject further with you, sir, but refuse to accept Mr. Treesalia'a attentions any longer with a view to an alliance with him."
Miss Dalton was beginning to show her independ- ent spirit.
"Perhaps," sneered Mr. Dalton, now thoroughly aroused, and made reckless by her opposition, " your tastes would lead you to prefer to marry that handsome young convict whom you professed to admire so much, once upon a time."
Mr. Dalton had had his fears upon this subject for some time, owing to the constancy with which she sent him the tokens of her remembrance ; but he had never hinted at such a thing until now.
Editha's proud little head was lifted suddenly erect at his words ; her eyes, blue and gentle as they were usually, had grown dark, and flashed dangerously; her nostrils dilated, and her breath came quickly from her red, parted lips.
He had touched upon a tender point.
" Papa," she cried, in proud, ringing tones, " If I loved any one, and he was worthy, I should never be
ashamed of that love."
"Nor to marry its object, even though he had served a sentence in a State prison," he jeered.
"Nor to marry him -- still providing he was worthy -- no, matter what misfortunes had overtaken him, nor what position in life he occupied."
If Earle Wayne could have heard those words how
he would have blessed their author.
" Aha!" her father cried, bitterly ; " perhaps you do
even love this -- this --"
" Father?" Miss Dalton had risen now from her chair, and stood calmly confronting the enraged man ; but she was very pale.
" Father," she repeated, " I cannot understand why you should be so exceedingly bitter toward me whenever I happen to differ from you upon any point ; neither can I understand the change in your general treatment of me during the last two years. You used to so gentle and indulgent with me until after mamma and Uncle Richard died, and it is very hard for me to bear your scorn and anger. But please do not think I intend to be disrespectful or wilful -- but I consider that neither you nor any one else has a right to speak to me in the way you have done to-day regarding a subject so sacred at the dis- posal of my affections. They are my own, to be be- stowed whenever and upon whoever my heart shall
" Hear me out, please," she said, as he was about to angrily interrupt her.
"I claim that I have a perfect and indisputable right to judge for myself in a matter so vital to my own interests and happiness, and when the proper time comes I -- shall exercise that right. Please do not misunderstand me. I have no desire to dis- please you, nor to go contrary to your wishes. I would not seem to threaten, either; but you have wounded me more deeply than you can imagine to-
day, and I must speak freely, once for all. I cannot
allow any one -- not even my own father -- to dispose of my future for me."
"Do I understand you to mean that you would marry a man whom everybody looked down upon and despised, if you happened to take a fancy to him ?" Mr. Dalton demanded, in a voice of thunder, and utterly confounded by the girl's independence.
"It would make no difference to me whether others despised him or not, if he was mentally my equal, and I considered him worthy of my affec- tion," was the brave, proud reply.
"Even if disgraced as a felon, as Earle Wayne has been disgraced ?"
" Even if he had innocently suffered disgrace, and expiated another's crime, as Earle Wayne has done, and is doing," she answered, quietly ; but the deep blue eyes were hidden now beneath the white lids, two very bright spots had settled on her cheeks, and her hands trembled nervously.
It was cruel to wring her secret from her thus ; but he was her father, and she must bear it as patiently as she could.
His next words, however, acted like on electric battery upon her.
They were spoken hoarsely end menacingly :
"Editha Dalton, you are a fool, and I would see your whole life a wreck before I would see you
wedded to him."
" Thank you, papa, for your flattering estimate of my mental faculties, and also for the tender, fraternal interest which you manifest in my future happiness ; but, if you please, we will close the discussion
With uplifted hand, flashing eyes, and a haughty little bend of her slender body, she glided quietly from the room.
"Pride in her port, defiance in her eye."
Sumner Dalton looked after her in amaze and ground his teeth in baffled rage.
HOPES AND FEARS.
" Whew !" he exclaimed, after a moment, " my beloved daughter is developing a surprising spirit. I had no idea there was so much grit bottled up in her little body. I shall have to mind my p's and q's, or all my plans will amount to nothing ; it will not do to arouse her antagonism like this. I must re- member the wisdom of Burke, who sagely remarked : ' He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill ; our antagonist is our helper.' I have no desire to strengthen her nerves, or sharpen her skill -- clearly, opposition won't do for Editha Dalton ; we must employ winning smiles, soft speeches, and strategy. I must take heed to my ways, else my independent, fiery little banker will yet be refusing me the handling of her plethoric purse, and that, under the circumstances, is a pleasure I should miss exceedingly. Nevertheless
I intend to have my own way about certain matters and things."
Such was Sumner Dalton's muttered colloquy with himself, after having been so abruptly left alone by his indignant daughter.
For some time past he had made large demands upon Editha's income, giving as a reason for so doing, that he had loaned largely to a friend of late, who having failed to pay as he had promised, he was somewhat crippled in his own money affairs.
Editha, generous and tender-hearted to a fault, of course credited his statements, and immediately surrendered the most of her income into his hands, and it is needless to remark that it slipped through his fingers in the easiest manner imaginable, and he presented himself to her on quarter-day, with a punctuality that was as surprising, knowing his habits, as it would in a better cause have been
But for the present he said no more to her on the subject of either Mr, Tressalia's attentions or inten-
His manner was more affectionate and kind, and Editha began to feel that she had perhaps spoken more hastily and severely than she ought to her only parent ; consequently she exerted herself more to please him for the little while they remained at
Mr. Dalton, watching his opportunity, hinted to Mr. Tressalia that perhaps it would not be well to hurry matters to a crisis, even though they had only a few days longer to remain at Newport ; but he gave him a cordial invitation to visit them in their city horne, encouraging him to hope that on a more intimate acquaintance he could not fail to win the
That gentleman appeared to see the wisdom of all this, particularly as he had noticed and been some- what hurt by her avoidance to him, and he did not force his attentions upon her, nor seek to monopolize her society as he had hitherto done.
So the last week of Editha's stay at the sea-side, was marked by only pleasant events, and there was nothing to look upon with regret, aa they returned
to their home for the winter.
It was the last of October when they left Newport, and the twenty-third of December was the day set for Earlie Wayne's release from prison.
He had entered the tenth of April, bnt according to the State law, a prisoner was allowed two days of mercy in every month, for prompt obedience to the rules of the institution, and the faithfal performance of all duties; consequently he had gained during the three years, three months and eighteen days.
Editha knew of this through Mr Felton.
Earle Wayne himself did not keep a [?]
account of his time, than did the fair, [?] who, despite everything, was so true [?] friend to him.
The first duty upon returning to her home [was to?]
write him a little note.
"MR. WAYNE:"-- It ran, a little formal [?] on account of Mr. Dalton's sneers and [?] "In about two months I shall expect to [?] with you once more. Will you coma directly home at that time ? as I have an important [?] for you, also a package belonging to you [?] my care by Uncle Richard, just before he died.
Ever your friend,
When this note was handed to Earle, [?] in- stantly recognized the handwriting every color forsook his face, his hand trembled, [?] gathered before his eyes.
He had not seen that writing since the
flowers had ceased to come, and its [familiar? char-]
acters aroused so many emotions that for the [?]
he was nearly unmanned.
He thrust it hastily into his bosom, [feeling he could?] not open it with so many eyes upon him [?]
it lay all day long against his beating heart [?]
to be opened when he could be alone [? and un-]
When at last he did break the seal and [?] was sadly disappointing.
It seemed cold and distant -- a mere [?] to come and get what belonged to him [?] the message -- doubtless something [? related to his]
studies -- which Richard Forrester had left [?]
His heart was full of bitterness, for [?]
Forrester's death he had not seen a [? kind] face or received one word of kindly [?]
from any one.
He could not forget editha's long and [?] -- the long, weary months, during which [?]
promised to send him some token and [?]
She had other cares and pleasures; had [? been] probably occupied by her fashionable [?] acquaintances, and it could not be [? expected] she would give much thought to [? a con-]
vict ; doubtless she would not have [?] him now, had it not been a duty she [?]
wishes of her uncle, he reasoned, with
pain in his heart.
Editha was, he knew, nearly or quite [?] she had been in society nearly two years [?] chance she had already given her [?] worthy, fortunate man, who could [?] position befitting her beauty and [?]
business had he, who would henceforth [?] man -- a pariah among men -- to imagine [? she] would think of him, except, perhaps, with [? a]
feeling of pity.
But even though he reasoned thus [?] and tried to school his mind to think [?] never presume to believe that Editha [?]
anything of regard for him, even though [?] signed herself " ever your friend," yet [?] a dull feeling of despair creeping over [?] the prospect of his approaching liberation [?]
He had a little box in which he [?]
dried and faded flowers -- the Iast he [?]
from her -- and he looked at these [?] a mournful smile, and a swelling [?]
heart, and his eyes grew misty with [?] he remembered the sweet-faced, implusive [? girl who]
had so generously stood up and [?]
that crowded court-room.
He remembered how she had grie[?]
own relunctantly given evidence, [?] so far toward convicting him ; how she [?] hot cheek upon his hand and sobbed [?] for his forgiveness, and her look of [?]
trust in him, when she had told him that [?] need to prove his innocence to her, she [?] his word in the face of the whole world [?]
A strange thrill always went through [?] thought of the burning tears she had [?]
and his sad fate, and which had [?] hand which she had held clasped in [?]
It was a sort of sad pleasure to look [?] all this, and think how kind she had [?]
his own heart he knew that be loved her [? and would] never love another ; but he had no [?]
of her in that way; if she had only [?]
occasionally, it would not be quite so [?] but she had not kept her promise, she [?]
him in spite of her eager protestations [?]
He would gladly have gone away from [?] soon as he should be liberated, and [?]
pain of meeting and parting with her [?] written and requested it, and he [?] package again, while he would [?]
sage which his kind friend, Richard [? Forrester had]
left for him.
His eyes dwelt fondly over those these [?] "ever your friend," even though he [?] read them.
They were stereotyped, what she [? would]
have written to any unfortunate [?]
face did brighten, and they were like [?] ment to his bruised spirit, and cheered [?]
maining weeks of his stay not a little.
" Yes, I will obey her summons," he [? said with a] sigh, as he folded the tiny sheet, carefully [?]
it in its envelope, and then returned it [?] pocket near his heart. "I will go to her [?] into her deep, clear eyes, and fair, [?]
once more -- I will touch her soft hand [?] even if it be in a long farewell, I will [? hear her] speak my name, and then I will go [?] forever. To stay where I should be [?] her, even once in a while, and perhaps [?]
happy in the love of another, would [? be more]
than I could bear."
"But, oh! my darling," he cried, in anguish, "if only this terrible blight [?]
come upon me -- if I might but have [?]
would have come a day when I could [?]
you such a position as -- but ah! why did [?] such vain dreamings -- it can never [?]
alone can help me to bear the dread [?]
Yet notwithstanding his despair of [?]
anything but an object of pity to [? the woman]
he idolized, those last two months of [?] the brighter for the coming of that [?] winged messenger which Editha had [?] which day and night lay above his [?]
Earle will be free the twenty-t[? hird -- Christmas]
comes two days later. I will have the [?] veying Uncle Richard's bequest, [?] ready, and he shall have it for a Christmas [?] can get papa's consent."
Thus Editha planned as the month [?] came in cold and wintry, and grew [?]
more impatient with every succeeding [? day].
"Papa has been more kind to me [?]
believe but that I can persuade him [?]
papers, and then I will ask Earle to eat [?] goose with us. I will make everything [?]
cheerful that he will forget those [?] the long, long months he has been
But she realized even as she [?]
thus, that she would doubtless have [?]
ing these matters ; and yet she hoped [?]
the whole, and the money
so true i
to her home
ra and ¡mini peet to shsii :ouie directly^ 1 important tt S to you and fi )ef ore ho died, friend,
¡DITHA Du,, to Earle, aai| ing overy pi trembled,
-B since hi|
id ila fana
[?] cannot be so cruel. I shall get Mr. Felton
[?]de for me -- is such a little sum compared the whole, and the money would do Earle so [?] good; it will help him to hold up his head [?] he gets nicely started in business for himself. [? I wonder] if he is changed much," she went on with [?] color, and a quickly beating heart, as [? she] remembered the strong, proud face, with its handsome eyes, the tender yet manly mouth, [? which] used to part into such a luminous smile when he looked up to her. " I wonder if he has my flowers -- how fond of them he always was! I have them everywhere about the house on Christmas day -- there shall be no other guests except [? Mr.] Felton; I will coax papa to let me have it all
[? my] own way for once, and I will try and muke
[? him] forget."
[?] day by day she thought of him and planned [?] his comfort and happiness ; the days grew longer [? and] longer to her as the time drew nearer, until she was so restless, nervous, and impatient, that her
[?] failed, and all her interest in other things
[?] week before Christmas she sought her lawyer [?] had a long talk with him regarding her uncle's
[?] was the first he had heard of it, for she had [? been] loth to say much about it, knowing her father's [?] opposition. But it could be put off no longer [?] she hoped Mr. Dalton would be ashamed to [?] his signature when the paper should be pre [?] d by the lawyer, and though Mr. Felton was [?some]what surprised at the information, yet his ad-
[?miration] for the fair girl increased fourfold as he [?] how heartily she appeared to second Mr.
I will make out the papers with pleasure, Miss iDalton," he said, "you want them for Christmas [? and] they shall be ready, and a fine gift it will be [? for] a young man. Poor fellow! I always felt sorry [? for] him, he was such a promising chap, and I am
[? sure] he's going to have something to start with -- [?] need it bad enough with every man's hand
[? again]st him."
"Yes, sir; but I believe Mr. Wayne will live down
misfortune and command the respect of every [? one] who ever knew him," Editha said, flushing.
[? She] did not like to hear Earle pitied in that way, [? as if] he had fallen into sudden temptation and was [? guilty]; she knew he was innocent, and she wanted [? every]body else to think so too.
[? You] will come and dine with us that day, will [? you] not, Mr. Felton? I shall invite Earle to dinner.
[? I want] to make the day pleasant for him if I can; [? he is ] so alone in the world, you know," she added.
Mr. Felton searchod the flushed face keenly a mo-
ment, then said :
"Thank you, Miss Editha, I shall be happy to do [?] I am also somewhat alone in the world -- that it will be agreeable to all parties. Have you [? talked] this matter over with Mr. Dalton ? Does he [? approve] of the measures you are taking ?"
Editha's face clouded.
"No," she answered, reluctantly, " papa does not [? approve] of my giving Mr. Wayne the money ; but [? of course] it must be done. It was Uncle Richard's [?]
"Ahem! excuse me, Miss Editha, but how old are
[?]" Mr. Felton asked, reflectively.
"I was twenty the twentieth of November,
"Then you will not be of age until the twentieth next November, I am sorry to disappoint you ; since this bequest was not included in the will [? of] Mr. Forrester, and you are under age, you can [?] no property to any one without Mr. Dalton'a
Editha's face was very sad and perplexed.
"So papa told me himself," she sighed. " Is there [?], Mr. Felton, that I can give Earle this money without his signing the papers ?"
"I am afraid not. He is your natural guardian, everything will have to be submitted to his approval, at least until the twentieth of next November, nearly a year."
"But UncIe Richard made me promise that I would
[?] it to Mr. Wayne just as soon as his time ex- [?], and I must do it." Editha said, almost in [?]
She had hoped that Mr. Fulton could find away to
[?] her out of this trouble.
"The law is a hard master sometimes," he said, sympathizing with her evident distress ; " but I will [?] out the papers as you desire, and perhaps we [?] advise and prevail upon your father to do what is [?] on Christmas Day."
"Then you do think it is right Earle should have the money ?" she asked, eagerly.
"Certainly, if it was Mr. Forrester's wish, since the money was his own to do with as he chose ; but I am
[? sorry] he was not able to add a codicil to his will. [? It] would have saved all this trouble, for no one could [? [? have] gainsaid that. Do not be discouraged, however;
[?] may be able to persuade Mr. Dalton to see things [?] we do. You shall have the papers by the twenty- [?]
"I have been thinking," Editha said, musingly, that if you could have it before, and we could get [? pa]pa to sign it, it might save some unpleasant feel-
[ings]. If we should wait until Christmas Day, and
[?] refuse before Earle, it might make him
[? more? ? un]comfortable."
"Perhaps that would be the better way, and I will [?] to it for you as soon as possible," Mr. Felton [?] [? Editha] went home in rather a doubtful frame of [? mind.]
"[?What] will Earl do if papa will not consent ?" she [?], the tears chasing each other down her [? cheeks]. "He will not have any money, and with [?no] one to hold out a helping hand, he will become [?disheartened.]
"A clear case of love !" Mr. Felton said, thought- [? full]y,upon Editha's departure. "It's too bad, too,
[?] of course it would never do for her to marry [? him] with the stigma upon his character. Poor fel- low, he'll have a hard time of it if Dalton won't [? give in], for people are mighty shy of jail-birds, be they ever so promising; and her father, according to my way of thinking, loves money too well to give up a pretty sum like ten thousand.
(To be continued.)