|Chapter Number||XXX (CONTINUED)|
|Newspaper Title||The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)|
(strom Eoalub, American, «od other p rlodleBla.)
" Gladly ; it will be something to do, something to think about beside myself," Richard returned, con siderably animated, while neither gentlemin had a suspicion of the strange thinga which their journey
waa to reveal to tbem.
At the end of tour weeks from the time of his accident, Sir Harold's physician said it would be safe for bim to travel, and, accordingly, accompanied by his friend, he at once proceeded to Chalons, which he hnd resolved to make his starting point in the
A week waa occupied in reaching the city, where, after resting a day or two, they procured a carriage and drove oat to what had once been a fine eatate, but which, evidently for tbe want of funda, had long been neglected and unimproved.
The old manor houee was still closed, and it was only after repeated attempts and a prolonged search that the travellers found any one who knew aught
of the family.
In a little cottage on the edge of a forest belong- ing to the estate, they finally stumbled upon an old man living alone, and Sir Hnrold began to have some hope that at laat he might be able to learn Bomething of the family.
The man said he bad once been a servant in the family, and he appeared to take their fallen fortunes
greatly to heart.
" Ah, monsieur," he said, sadly, " the fatea were all against us, A curse ia on the race. The land so beautiful once, has all run out. The last of the Renoua is gone. Ah, me 1 ah me 1 that I should live
to see it 1"
"Do you know what has become ot Monsieur Senau'a widow-and were there any children ?" Sir Harold at last succeeded in asking, after a third attempt to gain the garrulous old man's at
" No, monsieur ; after master and Monsieur Aleck died no one was left but the mistress and Made- moiselle Alice ; and they seemed like to die with grief and the other trouble that had come on them ; and one night they went away, and no one ever knew where they went."
" And who waa Mademoiselle Alice-a daughter P"
demanded Sir Harold.
" Ay, monsieur."
" And what was the ' other trouble' that yon re-
ferred to ?"
" Alack 1 it waa such as no man of pride could well bear. She ran away with a strange gallant, and came back, after a year, with la petite ia ber arms," the old man said, shaking his bead, and wiping away a tear.
" Ah 1" said Sir Harold, with a grave and troubled
" Ay, monsieur ; and the trouble killed the proud master ; he never looked up after it. The neighbors jeered and held aloof, because mademoiselle bad been proud, too, and high-headed, and it seemed a good bone for the t< .»uck, that grief should come to her. He diod b i came back ; she did not even get to the fe 1 /but she staid with the mis- tress after, that, an», t^e two clung together in their troubles, In a little while Monsieur Aleck came back from Australia. He waa rich. He said he would restore the farm: The mistress and mademoiselle began to look cheerful and take heart once more, But the uncle sickened; he died, with small-pox. But he made a will, and Mademoiselle Alice waa an heiress in spite of her shame, and people began to fawn and take notice once mure of her. But ahe scorned them all ; she grieved ever, and grew so restless and nnhappy living here, that the mistress at last gave up to her, and they went away. They gave me money, but did not tell me they were going. I woke one day and found them gone. I live here alone. I can tell no more," and the old man sighed
"But did they not leave the place in care of some
one ?" asked his interlocutor.
" I cannot tell. Nobody comes here. I see no one. Perhaps the euro may know."
This waa not much more aside from the revelation of Alice's abame than Sir Harold had learned upon hia previous visit, and he began to fear he would never discover anything more satisfactory.
He was considerably mortified upon learning the story of wrong and shame connected with the only living heir of the Kenau's; and it waa with lesa enthusiasm than he had ever experienced, that he sought the oura of the parish to see if any further information could be gained,
He had not thought of the cure when he waa there before, and aa he was an old resident he might have considerable to tell, he reaaoned.
The good man received his visitors courteouely, and liatened with great apparent interest while Sir
Harold made known hie errand.
"There has been deep trouble in that family, and there seems to be something of a mystery connected with it also," he said in reply to the baronet. " It is even as the servant haa already told yon, and nearly every one in the pariah believes in the Btory of shame. Some five or six years-yea, fully six it mnat be-ago, there came a1 étranger into this neighbourhood, He waa out) of health he said, and had come here to spend hie vacation and recruit He waa not long in making ¿he acquaintance of the beautiful Alice Kenau, Äj^wj^accounted the loveliest girl in all the PBriiBH|]ÇtJJ'l*î*»9wfiat haughty and proud. She WBB IjljF-^" "WTKIT TrJStf¡$L§b*riger, and
lip ""88^ byte^rv
I people began to fear that all waa not right, and
warned her against him, for try as they would, they -g,!pu!d not discover who he was. Soon after, they
'^iXdieiippeared, and nothing was heard from them
* "ore than a year. Her father took the sad event
1 Hcj3> hei>rt » te drooPed and died in less than wSrentba from the time of bia daughter's flight. L few months afterward Alice usaaddenly reappeared, bringing a beautiful, fsir-baired, blue-eyed babe in [ her arma. I visited her, and tried to comfort her,
for she waa nearly heart-broken upon learning of her fathei'a death, and that it was ber conduct that had killed him. There seemed some deeper sorrow on her mind, too, but sbo waa very reticent regarding her life daring her absence, though when I questioned her, abe declared that ehe waa a lawful wife, and j thowed me her wedding ring, although abe could
produce no certificate of her marriage. She ahunned all society, and never appeared to notice the sligh t and jeers of her former associâtes ; but one day I called at their home ; it waa deserted ; they had | gone, and no one knew anything about their depar-
ture. This ia all that anyone knowa of them, and I the event seems to be surrounded with mystery."
" I am told that their circumatancea pecuniarily were much improved during the last of their residence here," Sir Harold remarked, when the euri had con- cluded bia atory.
" Yea, monsieur; the long absent brother of Mon aiour Retíou returned just after Misa Alice came back. He had acquired a handsome property, and proposed to do great things for the old place ; but he oleo shortly died, and left all his fortune to the
j poor girl who had Buffered bo much, and of whom he | appeared to be very fond."
" Chat knoledge ia a great relief to my mind," ans- wered Sir Harold, " for wherever the family may be they doubtless hate plenty .of means; but I am deeply greived to learn of the shadow that has fallen upon that young girl."
" It ia a great misfortune, monsieur, for they were I always very much respected before, and their daugh
, ter considerad one of the brightest ornaments society
! had, notwithstanding that their means were limited," | replied the cure, sadly.
Sir Harold and Richard took their departure, feel | ing as if their errand had been almost fruitless, and [ deeply disappointed that they could learn no more.
" My search ia cut short sooner than I exptcted, | for I know not which way to turn now," the baronet I enid to Richard, after leaving the euro.
' I see nothing for you to do but give it up for the j present, and advertise largely, trusting to circum-
atancea to reveal the hiding-place of those you seek. It ia evident that, wherever they are, they do not wish their place of residence to be known," Richard I returned.
" Do you feel in the mood for travel ?" his friend asked, after a thoughtlul silence.
'Yes, anything to pass the time," was the indiffer | ent response,
" Then what say you to a trip to Strasburg P We I are on the direct route, and we might spend a few
| days there both profitably and pleasantly."
" Very well, then to Strasburg we will go."
They repaired to the station, purchased u their | tickets, and were soon flying along the railway to- ward that ancient and noted city, and the surprising developementa awaiting them.
" Thus helpless man, in ignorance sedate.
Bolls unconscious down the torrent of his fate 1"
THB HAHBUQK BKCOED,
They had taken an expresa train and hoped to reaeh Straaburg some time during the night,
All went well until they reached Bar le Due, where they learned that a freight train bad run off the track a few miles beyond, and this event would occasion them several hours' delay.
' Thia is exceedingly uncomfortable, for if there ia one thing I dislike more than another, it la wait- ing at a railway station," Sir Harold said, aa he paced impatiently up and down the platform.
Not long after the inward-bound expresa came thundering up ta the station, bringing the not very encouraging intelligence that the work on the wreck waa progressing but slowly.
A few passengers alighted, and then the train moved on again.
One of the few who left the cara waa a young and fine-looking man, the aight of whom caused Richard Byrnholm to start forward with an exclamation of | surprise and pleasure.
The stranger waa of medium height, of a rich, j dark complexion, and resembled him in both face
and figure, and appeared to be near the same age,
" Eugene, old fellow, how under the ann did you ever get here?" he demanded, clapping the new j comer upon his shoulder.
The young man started and turned quickly.
"Richard 1" he cried, aa greatly astonished as the other, while his whole faoe lighted with pleasure, aa he abook him heartily by the hand. "Ho* did I i get here ?" he went on, laughing. " By the Paris | express, as you must have Been ; but what are you
doing in Bar le Due ?"
" Waiting for the train to go on to Strasburg ; the accident beyond is detaining ua. But I thought you were in Rome."
" And so I waa a fortnight ago ; bat I have good newe for you, Richie, boy-I have received an ap I pointment at home, which will aet me up wonder-
fully, and I shall no longer need to trespass upon your kindness-"
"Don't mention it, Eugene," Richard interrupted, with an uneasy glance at Sir Harold, who waa standing near, and turning he immediately intro-
After explaining a little more fully the cause of their detention, Eugene Byrnholm-for the stranger proved to be a cousin of Richard's-claimed their companionship.
" I have a little matter of business to attend to here," be said, "after which we will look about the place. Bar le Due baa a number of attractions | for pleBSure-aeekera."
"When were you ever here beforeP" Richard caked, in surprise.
" About four years ago," the young man returned, j hia face growing instantly grave, almost aad.
"Come," be added, linking bia arm familiarly within that of bia cousin, " I am now going to a pretty little church that I know you will like to
Thus those three men turned and walked down the atreet, never suspecting what great évente were hinged upon that apparently accidental meeting of
the two cousins.
Eugene Byrnholm led them toward the town, which ia situated upon a hill at some distance from
At the foot of thia hill there stands an ancient little church, denaely overgrown with moss, ivy, and lichens, and seeming; like some venerable patriarch I beside tbe more modern dwellings which cluster
I around it '
" Thia churchy ia very old, and was built long be- fore the newer ¿jottion of the town on the hill wob thought of," Eugene explained, aa they entered ita
He then sought the sexton, and asked permission to look at the chutea records.
It waa of couratpgranteQ,
The books wera brought, and appearing to know just where to look for what he wanted, Eugene turned to a page, and copied into a little book tha1 he had with ni m the record of a marriage in which his own name figured.
' Ah, I see," Richard said, emiling, aa he compre- hended what Se was about, Waa it in Bar le Due
that tbat event occurred P"
" Yes ; and I promised a certain little woman that when I returned I would bring a copy of tbat trans- action with me. The original-the one that should have been her?-was loaf., or forgotten, or a'ome tbing," Eugene replied, the shadow again on bia face ; then drawing hiB cousin a little one side he began to ply him with eager questions, while Sir Harold stood by the table listlessly turning the pages of the book he had juat left
Strange that he should have turned baekward in- stead of forward t-and, as he thought of it afterward all the éventa of that day were paesing strange I
That he should bave proposed going to Strasburg > that they should have been detained at Bar la Due; that Eugene Byrnholm should have been returning to his native land just at this time, after three years of exile, and meeting them there, should have led*
them to that little church at the foot of the bill ! it waa almost marvellous 1
But the finger of fate-the hand of Providence rather-led them there, and ao be found that atrange record, aa he stood by tbe table in the vestry, and carelessly turned the leaves of the church bookb, while the cousins convereed of personal matters a few steps sway.
Some one coming in at the door arrested his hand, or he would have turned that last leaf also, and
never seen those names written there.
He glanced up, the leaf slipped from his fingers, bia hand dropped upon the page just below the fourth line f Jom the top,
It waa the euri who had come in, and who, with a courteous bow to the strangers, passed on into th church to apeak to the sexton.
Involuntarily Sir Harold's eyes fell again upon the page and a shock like that caused by an electric battery shot through every fibre of his being, for there, right before him, written in clear but delicate characters, waa the name of " Alice Marie Renau," while juat above it, in a bold hand, was the name of anotherj person-a man of whom he had heard, but
never seen I
A startled cry escaped him, and he bent closer to read the record of a marriage that had occurred six years previous.
His cry attracted the attention of Richard Byrn- holm, and he at once approached bim.
"Have you also found something interesting there ?" he asked,
For reply the baronet pointed to the record he had just read,
Richard's quick eye dropped upon the pa¿e.
One glance wes sufficient. He dropped into a chair standing near, bia strength all gone, every ves tige of color forsaking his face, and even hia lipa.
" Merciful Heaven !" he cried, " can it be true P Do you know what it means ?" and be shook like a reed.
Sir Harold thought hia emotion greater than the occasion demanded, but he replied thoughtfully and very gravely.
" Yea ; instead of ehame and dishonor for the girl whom I have been seeking, it means anama and a place in the world worthy her fath s daughter, and I swear she shall have it if I can find the man who wrote his name there above hers," he concluded, sternly.
" Give me the book, Let me look again. I may not bave read those names aright; and oh I it would be too cruel to be deceived in this thing;" Richard said almost wildly, as be seized the church record and drew it toward bim again.
Again he read the names that he had seen before and then dropped his head upon the book, feeling weak aa a little child, -and nearer a state of uncon* sciouBneea than he had ever been in his life before,
" What aila, you, Richard P Why should that re- cord affect you thus ?" demanded Sir Harold, regard- ing him wonderingly.
He put ¿bis hand out aa if the words had jarred upon him,
" Leave me alone for a few minutos pleflse. I am too completely upset to tell you anything now," he murmurred, and respecting his request, but greatly surprised, Sir Harold went to seek the curd to ques- tion him about that marriage that bad occurred six years before.
Yds, the good old man remembered the event perfectly. He never forgot a face that he had once seen and he always noticed particularly those whom
Alice Marie Renau, he said, waa a delicate-looking girl, with hazel eyeaandaoft chestnut bair; while the man she had married waa light, with cold glit- tering eyes of a peculiar colar, and a sinister emile about his thin lipa.
" He was deeply grieved to hear such a sad tale of them, for the young girl bad appeared devotedly attached to her lover," the cure* reaumed, after Sir Harold bad related something of the circumstances that had transpired aince. " But," he went on, " they had been legally married, and he would give him a writing to certify the fact."
This he did, and Sir Harold felt well repaid for the disappointment and annoyance that he had ex- perienced at being detained at Bar le Due by the
Even should he never find Alice, be would yet have the satisfaction of being instrumental in re. moving the stigma from her name, and it should be bia first duty to write to the cure of the little pariah near Chalons, informing him of his discovery, and asking him to right the wrong that had been done the girl in the eyes of the public, He went back to Richard after learning this, and found him alao copying the record, but with a hand that trembled so, that one would scarce recognize bia handwriting.
A fierce, lurid light was gleaming in his eyea, and bia lipa were cet bb with some iron resolution, though hia face waa still deathly white.
" Are you ill, my boy ?" bia friend aaked, startled by bia haggard look.
" I believe ao-I don't know-let ua go home," he said, passing his band wearily across hia brow, and staggering to bia feet.
"What has happened to diaturb you ao? Why ?bould you talk of gcing home P I thought we were to go on to Strasburg P Sir Harold said, beginning to feel alarmed at both his look and words.
Eugene came up at this moment and Richard made a sign to the Baronet to say nothing more ; but bia cousin alao exclaimed at seeing him:
"Are you ill, Richard P"
" Yea, I believe I am, nearly. I feel as if I had been stunned ; let ua get ont of thia place ; I cannot breathe here," he returned impatiently, and turning, he walked quickly from the place, followed by hia
Inatead of proceeding up the hill to take a glance at the town, aa they had propoBed doing, he etrode briskly back toward the station, outstripping the others considerably, and when they reeched the place, they found him purchaaing a ticket back to
'Whet does this mean, Richard-are you not geing to Strasburg?" Eugjrne Byrnholm Baked in
" No ; I bave changed my mind, I must go back -back to England once more," he aaid, excitedly, and turning to tbe agent, be aaked how soon the
train waa due.
" In ten minutes," was the welcome response.
Sir Harold regarded bia young friend in per-
Something evidently bad terribly upset him, and doubtless he would confide in him when a proper time arrived, ao he conducted himself accordingly.
" If that ia tha case," be aaid, " I think we ahall all go together, for of course I care nothing for the trip to Strasburg alone," and be, too purchased a
ticket for Paris.
Ten minutes later they were speeding back over the way they had but just come.
A SUDDEN SHOCK.
The three months following the disturbance in the school-room at Dunbarton Priory paaaed quietly, and even pleasantly. The lines of care and anxiety that had been occasioned by Misa Camilla's insolence and ill-treatment, faded out of Pearle'a face, after tbat young lady's withdrawal ; she had no more headaches or heart-aches from that cause, and not unfrequently her sweet, clear laugh waa heard ringing out at some comical prank of her pupils.
The children continued to improve rapidly, and grew to love their beautiful governess more and more. Francita alao was very kind to her, and made auch progresa in her French and German, that she became an object of euvy to her slater, who waa not nearly aa aucceeaful ander her masters ; and thia of itself increased her dislike g1 Pearle.
" I hate her," the often said, after eoming in con- tact with her; and ao allowed no opportunity to pass to show her acorn and ill-will.
Meantime, Ambrose, the young heir, had returned to hie home, and his cautloua mother, warned by her auspicious daughter, banished the governess entirely from the drawing-room, and exerted all har powers to prevent her darling ion from cominp^új. contact with the atrangely beautiful girl.
And atrangely beautiful she waa growing, too. It might have been tbe result of the quiet, peaceful life she waa leading ; it might have been the pure country air and living, but a great change waa
visible in Pearle.
She waa gaining in flesh, and her form grew plump and beautifully developed; her cheeks, which at first had been hollow and very pale, became round and full and tinted with a lovely color; her eyea were gradually losing their anxious, hunted expression and beginning to light up with something of their formar brilliancy and sparkle. The ead, drooping linea about her mouth were fading out, her lipa were a deep, rich scarlet, while smiles were no longer strangers to them.
There were sad hours and dark days for her, but despair and rebellion had been driven forever from their throne in her heart, and they were not so frequent as they had bean,
Her trust in an infinite wisdom was strong and steady ; she knew there waa some purpose in all tbia discipline, even though she might be obliged to walk in the dark for years without discovering what
Whenever abe grew aad and disheartened abe always Bought Amy, and the little fairy, with her innocent, gleeful prattle, would always drive her gloom away.
Her love for the child strengthened every day, for ehe wos a winsome, affectionate elf, and clung to her kind protectresa with a fondness almost amounting to reverence, that waa remarkable in one
It almost seemed as if she realized that Pearle bad saved her from being thrown upon the cold charity oE the world, and something of the obliga-
tion she owed ber.
" Dear auntie-the best auntie that ever waa-Amy loves you a thousand hearts' full," abe would say, in her loving momenta, while she caressed Pearle'a soft cheek with her fairy fingers and nestled her bright bead against her shoulder.
Shs dearly loved to build air-caatles and plan the great tilings she would do when she was grown.
" When Amy ia a lady," she would preface ber stories,- spreading out her skirts to their utmost extent, and raising herself upon the tips of her toes, as if to hasten the much-wished for day, " ehe will have such a fine, fine house, and auntie shall bave the very biggest and prettiest room in it. She shall always wear a velvet dress, too, like Lady Fennel sea's, and beautiful shining things in her ears and on her fingers, and nobody shall ever make her cry or look sorry then."
" How are you going to manage all this ?" Pearle would ask, much amused with her plane.
" Oh-it will come somehow," she answered, wrink- ling up her forehead and aesuming a reflective look; and Pearle, though she knew it was only childish prattle and nonsense, waa nevertheless in- finitely comforted and soothed by it.
" If I bave lost all that once made life ao beauti- ful, I can never be very miserable while I have such a darling to love me," ehe would say ; and grateful for this morsel, she fulfilled her duties faithfully and patiently, striving to mark each day with some good
deed done. .
The spring melted into summer; the hot days came on, and Lady Fenelaea began to talk of a trip to the cool breezy bills of Scotland,
She owned a email villa among the Pentland Hills not far from Edinburgh, where the family were in the habit of spending a few weeka of every year.
Accordingly, the first of July found them settled in the midst of euch a scene of enchantment as Pearle had never seen before.
Lord Ambrose accompanied them at his mother's request, thongh previous to this it bad not been easy to persuade him ; his excuse being that " those quarrelsome children annoyed him ao."
But in spite of his mother's precautiona he had met Pearle lèverai times, and he bad secretly resolved to meet her many times more.
Lady Fenneliea bad been unusually gracious to her governess of late ; she could well afford to be gracious to any one who had succeeded in makiag such modela of her heretofore unmanageable Chil- eren, and ehe had kindly told her that Amy might make one of their party to the mountains, if she would allow her to share ber room.
This the devoted girl was only too glad to do, and ehe grew positively radiant bb she watched the child's delight during the journey to the PentlanH
While here the chidren were only required to leam half lessons and thia merely to prevent their being idle, and keep them in order. Amy was now admitted to the schoolroom, and abe did not show bereelf the least intelligent of the trio by any means. Misa Francita, being older and more de- mure, waa excused from duty entirely during this
One morning Lady Fennelsea informed the chil- dren that they were to have a holiday and a picniffion a grassy knoll on one of the hills near by, from which there wat a beautiful view of Edinburgh i,nd
Miss Meliert and a servant were to accompany them, the former to keep them in order, the latter convey camp«ehairs a hamper of good things, and
protect and wait upon them ; while she partly promised that if she felt equal to the effort shs and the Misses Fennelsea would join them during tha
afternoon and return with them.
Could her ladyship have known that her idolised son contemplated making one of their number also, she would not have settled herself for a quiet day with a new novel, with quite so mnch satisfaction as
Lord Ambrose bad taken his guo.and, accompanied by his dogs, had set out early in the morning osten- sibly to hunt, bnt in reality he had a ely project in hia head, and waa determined to be upon the ground
before the picnickers should arrive.
The little company were in high spirits, and Pearle, under the influence of the bracing air and the freedom from care and restraint, found herself feeling very light-hearted, and every no w and then breaking f orth> into some sweet carol aa she climbed the woodland path,
On reaching their destination the children cried out with delight, for it almost seemed aa if some good fairy, aware of their anticipated pleasure, bad been there before them, and eapecially prepared for their coming.
In the centre of the knoll there had risen, as if by magic, a spacious booth or arbor made of young saplings cut down, their trunks sharpened and driven into the earth, while their topa were brought
together and twined in the centre.
Quantities of trailing vines and woodland flowers decorated thia picturesque arrangement, while it waa literally thatched with the loveliest full-blown Scotch heather,
" What a charming arbor I" exclaimed Pearle, par« ticipating in the children's delight. " I wonder what good fairy baa done thia ?"
The " good fairy " suddenly made hil appearance in the form of a broad-shouldered, stalwart young man, with a very red face, and clothing considerably, the worse for ita rough contact with hughes and' briers. \
" Ambrose 1 brother Ambrose!" shouted Fred and
Clara simultaneously. \
Doffing bia hat, and revealing a brow covered with perspiration, the young man made a low bow to- pearle, while he aaid, with a mixture of amusement and humility: , .
" The fairy waa too clumsy to-vanish into thin air upon hearing your voices, even it\he had not been caught in the thicket and for the moment unable to release himself. However, I hopo my humble efforts will be appreciated." x t "
" It is very lovely-really quite artiatic, my lord,'» .
Pearle said, demurely, while he watched the colour v ' which his unexpected appearance had occasioned, come and go in her cheek,
" It is perfectly beautiful, and it will be ao de- lightful to eat our lunch in," said Clara, with a very bright face.
" My reward is ample," said her brother, patting
her cheek, " and now," with an appealing glance at - Pearle, "my agency in thia matter having been dis- covered, and beiDg alao ' one of the children,' I do not see but that I may be permitted to claim my share of the holiday sport.''
"Ob, dol do!" the children cried, dancing about bim fer joy, and delighted to fiad that their stately brother could descend from hia dignity and feel an interest in their pleasures."
But the fair governess looked grave.
She knew that Lady Fennelsea would not approve of this arrangement, nay, that she would undoubtedly be very angry if she knew that the heir of Dumbar- ton Priory waa spending the day and making merry with a poor governess.
But what could she do under the circumstances P The young man evidently intended to remain, and it would be entirely out of her province to interfere in any way. '
" I will not fret," she said to bereelf, after a moment of thought. "I could in no way have either foreseen or prevented euch an event ; if bis lordship desires to give Mb brother and slater pleaaure, there ia no reason that I know of why he ehould not do bo. I will cast care to the winda to-day, and take the 'good the goda provide' as if I, too, were a child once
With this conclusion arrived at, she resolutely put aside every unpleasant thought, and entered heartily into the children's enjoymeat of the day,
Lord Ambroae, with the assistance of the servant^ arranged the camp-cbaira within the arbor, and then invited the weary company to be seated, which, after their long walk, they were glad to do:
"Do you approve of my morning's work, Miss Melfert ?" the young man asked, with a mischievous sparkle in his eye, as he placed ber chair opposite the entrance to the arbor, where she could command a delightful view.
He bad noticed her grave look when he bad spoken of remaining with them, and surmised its
"I think you are a very successful architect," Bha returned, evasively, and glancing around the tasteful arbor. " Thia, surely ia a fitting bower for even Titania herself."
" Thanks. Now, pray, imagine yourself the queen of the fairlea, and rest here, while I bring you a cooling draught from yonder limpid spring."
He gave her a laughing glance, and, bowing low before her, darted away.
He was back again in less than five minutes,"6"et^L
ing a eilver cup filled to the brim with cool, epark^
ling water which, bending upon one knee, in mock reverence before her, he presented to her, saying:
" It ia fitting thua to serve the queen."
Pearle made a gesture of disapproval at his posi- tion; but, after quaffing the cooling drink, ehe, smilingly, though with heightened color, commanded him to serve her retinue in the esme manner, which he, obedient to the letter, proceeded to do,
A half-hour waa spent lu resting, after which they had gamea and stories for another hour, and then it was time to begin to think about the good thinga ia the hamper. A spotleaa damask cloth was spread down in the centre of the arbor, and Pearle proceeded to arrange with dainty care the many delicacies which Lady Fennelaea-had ordered to be prepared
Lord Ambroae watched her fora few moments, then, declaring that such a feast abould be decked with Flora's richest offerings, he set forth with the children to see what treasures they could find.
Before Pearle bad quite completed ber arrange- ments they all returned, with banda full, and hi» lordship with bia deft fingen iaahioned a dainty bouquet to lay before each plate.
Never had there been a more delicious lunch, or one partaken of with keener relish ; never had the
children's faces been brighter, nor their voices ' merrier, their hearts happier ; while Ambrose Fennel- sea thought that no fairy queen could be more lovely than Pearle waa as ahe sat opposite him, her face fluahed. and radiant, her eyes sparkling as they had not done before aince'.the happy days at Aahton Manor, and looking like a floral queen, with a wreath of blue-bells, which Clara had fondly twined for her; reBting upon her rich brown hair, and contrasting beautifully with the pure white of her brow.
They lingered long over the tempting viands, making the clear air ring with their merriment, for the heir of Dunbarton Priory, made himaelf very entertaining, and Fred and Clara found ttemielvej wondering why they had not discovered before that their brother was so delightful,.
After lunch had been disposed of, they begged that they might be allowed to fish for awhile on the margin of a small lake at the foot of the bill, and the young man, desirous that the day should b > satis- factory in every respect, assented.
Pearle said she would remain in the arbor, as Amy was tired, and abe preferred ahe should rest for awhile. Besides, the fragments of their feast, and the dishes, muat be gathered up, and abe would 'stay
to superintend it.
So tney departed without her, and, after assisting the servant to repack the hamper, and bidding him join the fishing-party if.he liked, she spread a shawl upon b heap of boughs and vines at one side of tho arbour, and tempted Amy to lie down for awhile.
The cbitd, nothing loth, dropped upon the fra- grant bed with a eigh of content, and waa soon fast
Pearle, glad to be quiet for a little while, sat down upon the ground beeide her, and drawing a little volume of poems from her pocket, she made a table of a camp-chair, and waa soon absorbed in the con-
tenta ef her book.
The solitude of the place, the aoft, balmly air, the ?weet trilling of the birds in the tops of the trees, the drowsy hum of the bees that had been attracted by the accumulated flowers and the crumbs from the feast, the effort to read after the unneual relaxation and enjoyment of the day, gradually overcame Pearle ; her eyelida grew heavy, a delicious sense of peace and rest stole over her, her head drooped slowly, until it rested upon her arm on the camp chair, her eyes closed, and she, too, slept.
She made a picture passing fair. No painter upon his canvas ever caught such a sweet repose.
" And ne'er did Grecian chisel traoe
A nymph, a naiad, or a grace Of finer form or lovelier 1 ace."
Sleeping thus, she dreamed a strange, suggestive dream. She thought she was climbing what ap- peared to be an interminable ladder, and every round that she ascended some evil wea overcome, some trouble and sorrow waa left babied. Onward and upward she went, without the power to turn back, until she bad accomplished what seemed to be miles and mileB of the toilsome way.
She glanced below into the depths from which she had climbed, and shuddered. What a weary way I How much of ill I have paBsed through t How dark, and dreary, and toilsome the ascent! she seemed to say. Then turning ber eyes above she Baw that «t every step the way grew brighter, until the top/of the ladder wob lost in a halo of golden
glory^ffhile just beyond the misty veil she thought
_ she abw a brilliant crown suspended.
*~ Hähall I eyer .reach it?" ahe asked, "Can it be
for me' ÍN Shall I ever rest in such brightness and glory as that P"
In her longing and eagerness she seemed to forget where she waa ; she lot go ber hold upon the eidea oj the ladder, reaching up her banda as if to eeize upon what ehe saw. A sudden dizziness overcame her, she loat her footing, and fell down, down into the depths
and darkness below.
A sudden shock, a thrill of keenest pain, and she was broad awake to find a strangely familiar face bending over her. A sinister ami e curved the cruel lipB, a fierce lurid light gleamed in the cold steel like-eyea that wera eagerly searching her counte-
A light mocking laugh rang out on the still air aB her lids flew epen, and the sound made her shiver with a deadly dread,
" Aha, my bonny bride, I have found you at last 1" were the triumphant words that greeted her ring- ing ears, intonea of almost diabolical glee, as she lifted her head and stared at him in horrified silence.
The face waa the face of Adieon Cheetham 1
The voice that of her loathed and hated husband,
j ' (To be Continued.)