Chapter 854988

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Chapter NumberXXII (CONTINUED) - XXIII - XXIV - XXV
Chapter Title
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article854988
Full Date1882-07-15
Page Number2
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Word Count9172
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Newspaper TitleThe Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Trove TitleThe Lust for Gold
article text

¡FICTÏOH.

(Fruin Enfilait, .»lu.rlc.a, «Dil olbar Periodicals.)

The Lust for (¡old.

CHAPTER XIII.-Continued.

Without waiting for an invitation to enter, he opened the door, and walked into tbe room, Agnes following. She caught sight, as ano did so, of a very white face, a puir of very large, dark eyes, and of a shining head, whose short crisp, raven locks clung in graceful rings all over it, lying upon a pile of pillows on the bed nt the opposite Bide of the large and cheerful apartm-nt. It was avery sweet and attractive face, Agnes thought, although it was so wan and white.

The young yiri looked up with a glnd smile as the doctor approached her bed, and a faint flush tinged

her cheek.

" flow are you this morning, Béfate ?"' he asked, bending down to take her hand, while Agnes was astonished at tho tender cadence which his voice assumed,

" You good man-to como so early. I am reslly better to-day, nt ler.Et I feel as frisky os a kitten, the sick girl answered, in bright, cheorlul tones.

Dr. Van Dorn laughed.

" Voo'll do for a kitten, you small piece of human

ity, but I don't know about the oiher pirtofyour statement. How would you like a visitor? I've brought my sister to see you, ns I promised," and he

beckoned Agnes to Approach,

She came forward, and the young invalid held out one little white band, with a frank sweet smile.

" It is very kind of you to come," she said, while her great eyes searched Agnes' face with a glance which thrilled her through and through,

"Ido not feel AS if you Bre a stranger, for your brother has told me so ranch about you, and I have been teasing him to bring you for a long time; but he is such a-tyrant," with an arch glance at Dr. Van Dorn, "that he would not say ' yes'until yesterday Sit down here, now, and let mo look at you-you are

not a bit liko him."

Agnes felt instantly drawn toward the invalid, she was so fresh, sweot, and simple in her mnnner; and she took the seat indicated, expressing her pleasure at being ebie to coma to relieve the monotony of her

sick room.

" I'm a tyrant am I ? Dr. Van Dorn said, shaking bis finger at his patient in mock displeasure, " I have not time to argue the point with you just now, but I shall not forget it, you black-eyed midget. Now you two may chatter like a couple of magpies for ju^t one little half hour, and then, Agnes, you must go ; he sure you tell h.r what the fashions are, for pretty soon she will need to be thinking about such vanities ; tell her what you have been doing in Chicago this winter, and anything pleasant that you can think ot, but when the half-hour is up, mind that you scatter, or I shall-"

He did not finish his threat, but backed oat of the room, laughing lightly, and shaking his finger men- acingly at them both.

Agnes regarded him with surprise.

Could this be the same man who bad been so gloomy and depressed only yesterday-who had gone about with moody brow, firm-set lips, with no smile, and scarce" a word for any one ?

Now his face was clear, his ups smiling, his eyes tender, his tones gentle as a woman's.

Who was this frail girl ?-what was there about her to charm him thus ? or was it only an assumed lightness, an appearance of gaiety and cheerfulness, put on for the sake of a patient in whom be was deeply interested F

" It is good to see some one young like myself, and bright and well," Bessie said, as the door closed, and looking up into Agnes' beautiful face. " You cannot be much older than I," she added, tucking one small hand under her cheek and nestling con- tentedly back upon her pillows.

" I am nineteen-nearly twenty," Agnes replied.

" And I am seventeen ; but any one would not bslieve me to be over seven," the sick girl SBid, laughing, as she held up one of her wasted hands, and ran the other through her short clustering curls,

" You do look very young ; I should not think you more than fifteen," responded her companion.

"If that brother of yours would only let me get up and put on some long skirts, I think I should be- gin to feel young-ladyish again ; but be bas me so completely under that arbitrary thumb of his, that I've nearly loBt my identity, and I do not dare to move unless he says ' presto change.'"

Agnes smiled.

"Tom said you wore lonely and low-spirited ; I do not think you appear to be so," she enid.

" Who could be low spirited when he is around ? If he comes to talk with me for ten minutes, I am happy for half a day," the young girl said naively j " but sometimes he cannot get time to run in and see me but once, and then I get lonely lying here and looking at the same things all day. Shall you stay

in New York long ?"

"Some weeks longer, probably; my mother ar- rived lost evening."

" Ah ! that beautiful mother of whom I have heard your brother speak. Are you like her ?"

Agnes laughed merrily at this question.

J " I should not dare to tell you that I am, if Tom has Bpoken of her in that way ; I should not like to appropriate your compliment."

i " Is it a compliment ? Well, then, I do not believe one would do for you both," Bessie returned with a look of undisguised admiration at her visitor.

" I shall have to run away from such barefaced flattery as that," Agnes said, gaily ; then, to change the subject, she asked, glancing at some birds at the

other end of the room: " Are those your birda in the

Window ?"

" Yes-Tom, Dick and Harry I call them," Bessie replied, with a low,silvery laugh. "They are not very elegant names, but I like them all," and she colored slightly. "Dick and Harry are old Battlers

here but Tom belongs to a friend who asked me to | give him a bit of my sunlight."

Agnes thought she could tell by the increasing flush on tbe invalid's cheek, to whom the little songster belonged, and why he had been christened

" Tom."

" How long have you been ill ?" she asked.

" Oh ever so long-too loar» to talk about," Beisie said, with a sigh, then added: "What a lovely way you have of doing your hair t-it looks like satin, nnd it muBt take you a long while. I shall get rid of all such fuss for the present, but I look like a boy with my curly crop," and again she ran her fingers through the pretty euria that clustered around ber

fuco.

" They are very becoming to you, and, when your I cheeks fill out and get rosy, you will look like a pic-

ture, Agnes said, thinking that she was very like a picture now, and feeling more and more"drawn to-

ward her.

They chatted on until the tiny clock chimed the half-hour after ten, and then AgneB instantly arose,

" I have overstaid my time five minutes," she said, with a look of surprise.

"Oh ; I am so sorry-not that you have staid, but because the time is up. Came again to-morrow, will you.?"'

," YOB, if Tom says so."

" H9 will-he must. I'm going to begin td show him that I have a will of my own as well as he," and the little lady nodded mischievously as she waved her hand in farewell to her new friend ; and AgneB returned to her mother, who listened with a peculiar smil- while she related her interview, and spoke of the sweet little stranger who had so strongly ap- pealed to her sympathies and good-will.

CHAPTER XXIII.

" HA VU TOÜ TOLD HUB ?"

Agnes did go again and again to visit the little in- valid, and always carno away leaving a little more of her heart behind her; a fact which seemed to please Dr. Van Dom exceedingly, who, Btrange to say, always had plenty of time to listen to her praises.

Indeed, Bessio Lijjhtwell was a frank, beautiful« pure-hi arted child-happy and cheerful in spite of the wearisome hours tlmt she waa obliged to spend upon her bed, though she always made light of it, if any one mentioned the subject, instantly changing it to talk of something entirely foreign to it.

Agnes judged that she must have been a merry hearted little thing when she was well, and full of pranks nnd mischief, perhaps.- But she saw that beneath the bright and sparkling surface, there was an under-current of deep and earnest feeling ; for now and then she would give utterance to some sweet, pure thought, that betrayod a good deal of character

and much depth of thought.

Sometimes Dr. V>w Dorn would come into the room while tbey were together-for Eliot had now safely passed the crisis of his disease, and would live, if nothing new set in~-and Agnes always noticed that same change in his manner that ehe had observed

the first time she had seen Bessie.

It was as if he came into a new world, leaving every care and trouble outside, and lived only for her while he was there ; and it gradually began to drawn upon her mind that her brother had grown to love the frail little maiden whom he had been in- strumental in restoring to health-or rather the hops of returning health.

One afternoon Agnes had been with her more than an hour when the young doctor suddenly came in upon them. B- ssie had been permitted to be dressed for the first time to-day, and «it up by the window and she looked very lovely, tbongh fragile, in her pure white wrapper, with a crimson shawl flung lightly over her shoulders, as she lay back in the great arm chair and enjoyed this new luxury.

A¿nes, however, had thought that Bhe was unusu- ally quiet and reserved, though her eyes were brighter, and there was a deeper tinge of color in her cheek than she bad ever seen there before.

The doctor walked over to her now, and took his post behind her chair where he could look down upon her, and it was with a very tender, satisfied expression that be did so.

"Agnes," he Bud, glancing up athis sister, "I think you must be a good nurse, for this little girl is growing steadily better ever since you began your

visits to her."

" Thank you, Tom, I am glad I have been of some use for once in my life," Agnes answered, smiling, while the " little girl" referred to flashed a look up from ber great eyes at the speaker, which plainly indicated that she did not think the credit all be- longed to Miss Agnes Van Dorn.

" How is the pulse to-day, my small woman ?" the doctor asked, reaching down and capturing one of the little members that had been idly toying with a bunch of carnations that be had tossed into her lap upon entering the room.

Agnes bad thought oí late that he was in the habit of holding those thin hands much longer than the occaeion required ; but now she waB amazed to see him deliberately slip a beautiful ring, with a great, gleaming diamond in it, upon one of those tiny fin- gers, and then cover the whole hand with his broad palm, while the young girl's fair face flushed a rich, warm crimson, as she shot a sort of appealing look up at him and then at Agnes,

" Have you told her, little one ?" be asked lond enough for his sister to hear.

Those great eyes fell, the curly head drooped, and the delicate face grew rosier than before, while her pretty lips formed a voiceless negative.

" I told you to," said the doctor, s tender smile on his lips, aa he viewed the by no means unattrac- tive picture of confusion before him.

Up came both bead and eyes now, the latter with a saucy look of defiance in them, though the rich color did not abate one whit, and the strong man laughed outright, a glad, triumphant laugh.

" AgneB," he said, turning to his astonished sister, " I told this young rebel here to inform you that she was to become Mrs Tom Van Dorn just as soon as she is able to attend a'little more to the fashions and follieB of the times. Perhaps, however, you may be able to expedite matters for us somewhat, by sug- gestions, as doubtless you have had recent dealings with the arbitrary fairy who governs their laws.

" Tom!" exclaimed Agnes, longing to shake her brother, " you are a naughty boy not to have told me of this yourself before, instead of confusing this poor child so. Bessie"-coming to her and kneeling down by her side-" I am glad-I shall be delighted

to have another sister."

"Shall you, really?" the young girl interrupted, engerly, and with lips that trembled, " I was afraid

you might not like it."

" Is that the reason you have been so quiet and reserved-almost ead, to-day ?" Agnes inquired,

kindly.

" I did not mean to be reserved, but I am such a useless piece of humanity just now, and liable to be for a good while yet, I fear," Bhe returned, tremul-

ously.

" Do not let that trouble you, dear, and I'm sure if Tom takes you in hand you need not fesr about the future, judging from the past," and Agnes kissed her heartily and fondly,

"I bave one comfort, however,"Bessie said, look- ing really happy and relieved at this warm recep- tion, while she cast another saucy glance at her manly lover, " in thinking that the doctor will have a chance to keep his hand in practising upon one patient, if all others fail bim."

" Hush that nonsense, you little croaker," Dr. Van Dorn laughed. " I shall have plenty of patients, but my wife will not be among them. You're good for half a century or more yet, moueie-though," droping his voice tenderly, " it hal been a pretty hard pull for you during the past few months,."

" To-morrow," he continued, more lightly, *' Agnes is going on a little shopping excursion, to order you a carriage dress, and the iirst mild morning I am going to drive you to the park, and bring you back with some real rot« in your cheeks--these don't amount to an j thing," and he pinched her still crimson cheek with a light laugh.

" Oh I if I can get out into the air once more I believe I shall get well," she said, with an eager, longing light in her eyes.

" Of course you will,- but you bave not told me what you think of this yet," her lover answered, as he uncovered the glittering stone upon her finger.

" It is beautiful, isn't it, Agnes ?" the happy girl asked, with a half deprecating glance at her lover's

sister.

She had never addressed her thus before, and she wes not quite sure that she would be pleased with the liberty.

" It is truly, you timid dear, and now that you have broken the ice, don't let it freeze again," Agnes replied, kissing her again ; then shs added :

" But I see that Tom has had the ring made too large, for a chance, I suppose, for yonr finger to grow. You'll bave to have a guard, and here is just the thing on my watch-chain. It is one I used to wear until my finger grew too large, You shall bare it as the seal to our new relationship,"

She took it from the chain and placed it abovo the diamond engagement ring, and it proved to be just what was needed, while Bessie's fair fice beamed with pleasure over the gift.

" Now good-by," ehe said, rising, " I am off to tell mamma this delightful piece of news."

She knows it already," ber brother sang ou, after her, but she either did not or would not heart and the lovers were lett alone.

"Now I have found out why Tom looked so troubled and depressed when he was at home and any one spoke of his patients. He bad learned to love this bright, pretty girl, and feared the was not going to get well. I wonder how he could consent to come home at all while she was so sick," Agnes Van Dorn murmured to herself, OB she sought her own room after leaving Bessie, the tears dropping

fast as she went.

Tom had always been her idol ; he was her only brother, and she was exceedingly proud of him and his brilliant attainments; and now to know that he

had given all the best affection of his heart to another, even though she had also learned to love the girl he had chosen, caused her a momentary pang; it seemed somehow as if he was slipping away from her, and dropping out of her world.

She was rather ashamed of these feelings, and of her tears, however, and stood a moment outside the de or to wipe them away before she went into her

mother's presence.

Mrs. Yan Dorn looked up smilingly as she came

in.

" In teBrs again, my daughter ?" she said, gravely, as she noticed her emotion and downcast counten-

ance

" Do you know, mamma, Tom has just told me of his engagement ?"

Mrs. Van Dorn laughed softly.

" Yes, dear, and it is to the-or one of the dearest little maidens in the world-just the bright, pure, hearted girl that Tom needs for a wife to keep him cheerful, and from getting moody and depressed over his patients, who seem to trouble him so."

And have you known all about it since you came mamma ?" Agnes asked, reproachfully.

" Yes, dear ; but Tom was not quite ready to tell it to any »te else-he wished the little invalid to get a trifle stronger before subjecting her to the excite- ment of a formal introduction to her future relatives » indeed, be has not felt quite sure that she was going to live long enough to become anybody's wife, until within a few days. She has been improving rapidly during the past week, he tells me. Are you not pleased with her?"

Mrs. Van Dorn searched her daughter's face earn- estly, ns she asked this question.

" Yes, mamma ; but-"

" But we do not quite like to give up our brother, or the idea that any one else has a stronger claim upon him than ourselves," interrupted the matron, playfully, and 'reading Agnes' heart like an open

book.

" That is just it, mamma, and I know that it is horribly selfish in me ; but Tom has always been my especial pride and paragon, you know."

" Kot even excepting a certain colonel whom I have the pleasure of knowing ?" retorted Mrs. Van Dorn with eyebrows raised in mock surprise

" Well-of course-you know," Agnes began rather incoherently, and then she burst out laughing though the tears still stood in her eyes.

It wai a hard thing to surrender this beloved brother even to dear little Bessie Lightwell, whom she had begun to love even before she dreamed of

this.

" Yes, I know," said Mrs, Van Dorn, with gentle gravity, " that I must soon give up both son and daughter to the dearer love of others, and it is not an easy matter for a mother to feel that Bhe is no longer first in the affections of her children-"

"But,mamma, you. do not suppose we are going to love you any the less for having formed these new ties?" Agnes cried, with pained eagerness.

"No, love ; nor will your brother love you any the less on account of the new tie be has BO recently

formed."

"You have the best of the argument, I must confess, mother dear, and I will not be foolish any more. I must say, too, that if I had been allowed to choose my own sister-in-law, I could not have been better pleased than I am with Tom's choice unless he could have married Laura," Agnes said, heartily,

Mrs. Van Dorn smiled slightly, and seemed about to make some reply, but thought better of it, and let

the matter rest as it was.

The invalid improved very rapidly after this.

She had dreaded exceedingly the revelation of her engagement to Dr. Van Dorn, being extremely sensitive regarding her feeble condition.

But with the ordeal once safely passed, and after the cordial reception which she bad met from hor lover's friends, all her appréhensions vanished.

In a few days Bhe was able to ride, and very fair and lovely, too, Bhe looked in the delicate mauve colored robe, with its handsome trimmings, which Agnes bad selected for her, and the dainty hat, with ita pale rose garnishings, framing the clustering curls and giving a piquant look to her face that was positively bewitching.

After this a drive to the Park beeame a daily occurrence, while each time she appeared to grow stronger ; a lovely color came to her pale cheeks' and a merry light began to dance in her great dark

eyea,

The dreadful disease which had BO long threatened her life was fast being conquered and put to rout, and as (he felt the blood conrsing naturally in her veins once more her natural vivacity returned to

her.

Dr. Van Dorn watched her with the most jealous care. He would not allow her to become fatigued in the slightest degree ; he would not tolerate any- thing like excitement for her, and no trouble was deemed too great if it would serve to shield her from all that was unpleasant or disagreeable, or give ber the least pleasure.

It WOB a pleasure to see him when he came into the presence of this bright, artless child-for she seemed scarcely more than that-drop the load of care which had oppressed him all day, and give him Belf up to the great and absorbing love which his strong nature had yielded to her.

It was happiness without alloy to him to hoar her clear, glad laugh, with the ring of fast returning health in it-to listen BB she parried his jests with quick, keen flashes of wit ; and but for the sorrow and anxiety which Mrs. Van Dorn and Agnes felt for Laura-the lonely prisoner awaiting her trial-there would have been no cloud to mar their enjoyment or the delight they experienced in the society of this new daughter and sister that was to be.

CHAPrER XXIV.

ELIOT HABCOTJBX'S ABBIST.

The crisis was p&tsed, and Eliot Harcourt was slowly getting better.

Dr. Van Dorn remained with him all through that long night, which they thought would be his last? and when he at length aroused from the heavy stupor which for BO many hours bad benumbed his senses. with the light of reason in his eyes, and recognized the friend who had been so faithful and untiring, the strong man was obliged to make some excuse to leave him for a moment and go into an adjoining

room to hide his emotion.

" Thank God-thank God, it will all come right now !" he murmured, ae the great tears gathered in bis eyes and rolled over his bronzed cheeks.

" Laura ?" was the first word that Eliot uttered, as he turned his eyes appealingly to his friend when he

returned.

" Laura ÍB well, and has returned," Dr. Van Dorn told him, thinking the intelligence would set his

mind at rest.

And it did. He was too weak at that moment to comprehend what her return meant, and, with a sigh of relief, he turned upon his pillow and dropped

into natural slumber.

To Laura this cheering news was like a message of encouragement from heaven, and she began to brightenvisibly immediately.

And yet it seemed cruel that she could send him no word-no token of love. She knew that he loved ber, but she bad learned it through a tbiid party ; he had never told her that his heart was hers, nor

claimed that affection from her which belonged alone to him, and «he could give bim no sign of her devotion, nor of the anxiety which had nearly broken her heart during MB illness. His pride had

sealed her lips.

But now be was improving.

" He will get well," she thought ; " I shall see him again-I shall look into his eyes, and hear hie voice, and that will be joy, even though the worst may

come."

As Eliot gained strength his inquiries could not be avoided, and Dr. Van Dorn,was obliged to tell him of Laura's arrest and imprisonment,

He did not appear very much excited, fjjfit'was something that he knew must come soonerjor later ; but a lurid light sprang into his eyes, aujf his thin lips came together with an expression th&t foretold trouble for some one iu the future for this trouble of hers. '

One day, upon ascending the stairs' leading to his patient's room, Dr. Van Dorn was confronted on the upper landing by a auspicious-looking indi- vidual elad in a blue suit ornamented with brass

buttons.

" How is the chap in yonder f " the man demanded abruptly.

The young physician's face grew dark at the ques- tion, and his cheeks lost something of their florid hue as he replied :

" Gaining slowly but surely." " Able co Bee company ?"

" Ko."

" How long before he'll be well enough ?"

" Not for a week or morí. What do you want ?' the doctor asked with a frown.

" I've got a little document that I want toread to him," the man answered, with a grin, and tapping his breast-pocket significantly.

"You can't do it to-day," Dr. Van Dorn said, sternly, " nor to-morrow, nor the next day. Any unusual excitement would throw him into a relapse immediately."

" Very well, doctor, I'll bide your time, if it ain't too long ; bnt I've got to get my paw jan that chap sooner or later, and BO you'll not mind if I pace my beat out here until I've done it,"

" In other words, your mean you have an order for Mr. Harcourt's arrest," Dr. Van Dorn said, with repressed excitement, and speaking in a low

tone.

" Exactly."

" What is the indictment against bim ?" the young man asked, thoughtfully.

" Complicity in that Waldron murder."

A bitter emile curled the young physician's lips ; it seemed SB if one trouble did but tread upon the

heels of another.

" Very well, I have no wish to put any obstacle in the way of your duty ; but you cannot come near my patient for three days at least, and in the mean- time I will try and prepare him for what is to come' You can patrol this hall night and day if you see fit' but you are not to cross that threshold until I give

yon leave."

" All right, boss 1 them were my orders before coming here, so we'll call it settled until you tip me the wink that the time's up I" returned the officer, good-naturedly, as the doctor turned away to Eliot's

room.

The third day following this conversation Eliot sat up for the first time, and he broke the intelli- gence to his friend, together with such other facts as he bad been able to gather in the meantime, aa to why he was suspected as an accomplice in Laura's

crime.

The officer was then allowed to serve his warrant, to which Eliot listened, with a rather scornful smile, and with that same lurid light in his eyes that had been there when he heard of Laura's imprisonment.

Ho was to be allowed to remain where he was, with an officer stationed at his door, until he wes strong enough to be present at the trial, which-on account of some new and startling evidence-could not now be conducted without him.

" How long will it take to prop me up sufficiently to go through with this ordeal ?" he asked Dr. Van Dorn, after the man had done his duty and retired.

" A couple of weeks, if you will behave yourself

properly."

"I'll behave, I promise you ; and the quicker it is all over with the better for every one of UB ; but-let Mrs. BoxenB Waldron beware I-she Bhnll suffer for the miechief that Bhe has wrought,"

" Don't get excited, old ige - '.

good." or^^LSl

" I know it, and I'll wait Ui-esifBa(jy 8Bjep fore I vent my ¡re. But howj* *hetions owi

getting along, Tom P lou frorst í^e3 p_ about tbem." TilPS*.- *£?_,.

"Finely: and, old fellow, lover i.*is,V>Mi over that little one over yonder íuto-n up]

one, Bnd nm the happiest man alivfc?t «our»-« »w^ ' confessed, with a very red face. 't >0wmi ''

Eliot gave him a look of surprise, ia -^ ._ " I'm glad of it, Tom-you deserve tilge ínefeítliti the world. I wish you all joy, but-iced such a

What he was going to add was cWty Protest!

heavy sigh and firmly compressed lips. neceBsar

" None of that, Harcourt, or your * couple,e believe will be lengthened to four," the doctor saf oí the ingly; "and," ho added, with a sly gIannrY- ?" might just as well huve finished your Benton*0"'0- *?' do not suppose that I could have'taken can. oi: *'11

all these weeks-and you rr.ving like a madman -

not learn something regarding your hopes and f C0DH Now let me tell you, El, you have nothing to fe?ecei that little snow-drop behind the gratings yonder WIV been drooping during all your illness, and it o níV needed a few words from me the other morning611 ' tell her that you were out of danger, to make he m

chipper as a spring robin.

"Nonsense," muttered Eliot, gloomily.

" Well, if it is nonsense to you, I can't help it; but when I told her that you'd pull through all right, she just grasped both of my hands with a look of gratitude that I shall never forget, and swallowed a great sob that made my own throat ache, and then sho turned away to hide the joy in her eyes ; if you don't think those are propitious signs, I should like to know what are."

"Bah ! doctor, don't try to prop me up with false Hopes, What right has a poor, poverty-stricken devil to think of such things, when be knows they are beyond his reach P"

" Poor folks like to be happy as well as the rich, and if you care anything for Laura Preston's futnre or your own, either, I would advise you to improve your opportunities."

" What opportunities ?" Eliot asked, with a short laugh, " According to the papers, the future does not look very promising to either of us."

"A fig for the papers; you know,and I know very well that, with the evidence you have in your possession, this thing will all eome out right in the end. But you have talked enough-don't speak an- other word ; go to bed and to sleep-don't even think for the next two hours," with which injunction the doctor abruptly took his departure, thus leaving his patient alone

He did not, however, follow the advice given him, but sat silent and depressed for a long time.

To him the future looked exceedingly dark.

When this trial terminated, even if he stood clear of the charge ngainst him before the world, it would be with an almost empty purse and shattered health ;

for he knew that it would take him a long time to

recover his former vigor and strength, and be able to do battle for his living once more.

He loved Laura Preston with all the strength of bis manly heart, and had a hope that bis affection was returned, aside from the doctor's recent en- couraging statements.

He c mid not forset how Laura had clung to bim thht last night before leaving the city, when he went to bid her " good-by ; " he could not forget how her beautiful eyes bad lingered on his face, nor bow her hands had trembled in his parting clasp. It bad re quyyyKii the pow r of hia strong will on that - 'ôècnsion to* PreVBnt him from telling her of his

mighty loTfW'1 VeSR'n2 for B "* oE noPe from her to brighten Haag*"T'

But he waafeWully Proud- He belonged to a

proud and wilfuÎY^^e^ he *ould rather his tongue had become * '?'"" mouth than to have been guilty of »suing the ricu ">s* to 8b»re his poverty; or, in other words, as l*u Iter'y ex- pressed it, begging her to share her inheritance ".'..

bim.

He knew that ehe would gladly do it if she loved him ; she would never stop to consider that she was rnieing bim from a lower plane to her own level ; but he could never forget it ; he could never humble himself sufficiently to accept an) thing of the kind from the woman whom he loved. She must look up to him and respect him, feeling that she could rely upon bim in any emergency-that he was able to take care of her, instead of tho reverse,

If she bad been poor he would not have hesitated an instant ; he would have won her and exulted in the winning, and then gone forth proud to struggle for a moderate income to share with her ; and now, even if she should be cleared from this charge, and they thould both go free, he felt that this barrier must still exist ; he would not go to her with empty hands, even though his heart was rich and full to overflowing.

"Poverty is a wretched curse," he muttered, moodily, and then crept weakly to bed and tried to forget himself in sleep.

The next day when Dr. Van Dorn came to pay his regular visit be was accompanied by an exceedingly queer-looking individual of perhaps 60 years.

Be wore a shabby suit of butternut brown, a tum- bled and not immaculate shirt, a wilted collar, which waB surrounded by an antidiluvian stock. A pair of coarse cowhide boots encased his feet, and his tall old-fashioned beaver was battered and worn. He had scarcely a bair upon his head, which shone as if it bad been polished by some laborious process, and the green cotton umbrella and the shabby bag which he carried would neither of them have been consi- dered ornaments to a person's outfit,

Eliot regarded the stranger with surprise, not un- mixed with amusement, for he appeared as awk-

ward as he was old-fashioned.

" I have brought you a visitor," Dr. Van Dorn said with a twinkle in his eyes.

Eliot bowed courteously to the old gentleman, ivhose keen eyes were searching his face with a shrewd, comprehensive glance and the young physician went on to explain :

" I found him standing on the corner just under your window staring at a poster on which your own name figures somewhat largely ; in other words, at a bulletin board ; and he asked me if I knew where you could be found, I said yes, und he insisted upon coming to see you at once, £s he is or was an sid friend of your mother's."

" Indeed," said Eliot, surprised, and bestowing a rather more interested look upon the stranger.

" Yes, yes," the man returned, with a succession )f bobs with his shining head ; " but they've got you n a tight place, haint they, youngster P"

"Excuse me," Eliot replied, with a trifle of hau eur, " you said, I believe, that you were an old riend of my mother's, I do not remember having

iver met you before."

The old man chuckled, and began walking non halsntly about the room, examining the pictures ind bric-a-brac, punching first a chair cushion hen a hassock, and lastly the bed, with the point of is umbrella, much to the invalid's annoyance, not

o say disgust.

" Perhaps not, perhaps not," he answered, while is little round black eyes twinkled cunningly ; " but

have not a faint recollection of a very cross baby, 'ith a very red face and a very naked head "-rub ing his own suggestively-« not the most attractive

°>ït

tPUÜV

jt «? v

a'cltei

3,¡náLLL .

eo.flt., Ï o'O >>>.

tL Ohut < oten^Veceivec ought ¿ BBII bv

' 'JJ JO o'cloi -

iidered înt'^LIOt *

aaarv i t«» Ee1 .c

s ne«,» ifc isue»..-^. ion of - ( The break ,-aud it... ^ >81SUncedto

of Orange- W¿J .^ . ¿r Cat .

Prince of Th¿ ¿«^woïpn MI

«Äbe animated «¿Jw»}*««

mother Ä yo? furz,es' »l«rrfK an unpleasant th'P, the . UBT y¿".

ewered, clasping «4TS^££be *

ing it in a Bomewhaito. creature u.s

feared it wae liable to ulu,8t bof°» m &

."." tover the a,»*11"' ,«

ßmp" _aehorfc ti};fí"c¥^^

CHAPTER8fine- R^^W

CHAPTER e and prin^^^f Wal£ A. Tau* FBjchesB of Edinburgh, the Dr. Van Dorn went out t. of Connaught, .&" Di laughing quietly to himself over the strange «5harac ter which he had picked up, and the new-comer was left alone with Eliot.

" Won't you have a chair, Uncle Job P" he asked, adopting the title which be bad been accustomed to

bear his mother use.

" I ain't one of the setting kind. I like to be stirrin' about," he replied to the invitation, and with nn indifferent and rather scornful glance at the richly upholstered chair which Eliot had indicated.

"But," the young man began, with some embar« rassment, " my head and nerves are still very weak and-the squeak in your boots is'nt very musical."

" Bless my soul 1 bless my soul ! why didn't you say so before ?" cried the old man, whereupon he plunged himself into tbe nearest chair, while he re« garded the pair of coarse, stout boots upon his feet with a remorseful expression, that was, to say the

least comical.

Eliot smiled with amusement; but he remem- bered beering his mother speak of the man's eccen- tricities, while at heart he was one of the best creatures alive. *

\

" Light in the upper story, are you ? What's been the matter ?" be asked, regarding Eliot seriously.

" Brain fever."

" Whew I that's bad. Been sick long ?"

"Several weeks."

" Poor boy," was the sympathetic rejoinder to thia " you've needed your mother, and Emeline waB a nurse that knew a thing or two, too ; I remember how she pulled John Hixon, your step-grandfather's brother-through a ron of fever, when everybody else thought sure he'd go under. He owed his life to her, and couldn't say enough in praise of her. Bat poor Emeline's gone with all the rest," and his voice softened to tones of real tenderness as he

said it.

" I've been down to the old place," he added, after a moment, and hastily brushing a tear from his

eye, " I didn't expect p find it shut up ; it looked 1

desolate and neglected." * _ . ,

" Yes," Elliot said, with a heavy eM>, " andlrV. m^ sorry it has to be BO,-out it cannot b^}$¡$f^i£h "» ^ --ft in redu^circumstances^l^^^ died, air. Vobliged to PjfiÇl (gage on the

place in ore aL^SÛJ oegß^. give me an educa- tion. Since the order tvabout all I could do to keep the iuteWil p\Vi'd up, and support myself, though I would be glad to make improvements

thers,"

" Why dou't you sell it ?" curtly asked the old gentleman, with his little sharp eyes fixed keenly on

Eliot's face.

" Sell the old homestead I" he said quickly, a flush mounting to his forehead; "thehome where my father and mother lived for BO many years, and were so happy 1 I could not think of auch a thing, Uncle Job, as long as I am able to earn a dollar."

" Humph I" reflectively grunted Mr. Temple, but there was a gratified expression on his face, which betrayed that his companion's reply had pleased

him.

" What do you do for a living P" he asked, after o,

moment of silence.

" I am an artiet."

Mr. Temple pursed up his lips at this, but re- marked , philosophically :

" Well, I s'pose people must have pictures an«i «^ gimcracke, and I don't know but the business is all A**. right, if it only fetches in the tin," .<>,*xn d.

Eliot colored again. " Ifl^Shoto- .

Precious little " tin" or any other kindj^f^g^j ,, «. his profession brought him of late, aníí the reflection ' i

was by no meons a comforting onerto him. r

You're single-handed as yepu take it," was his < visitor's next remark, and with an inquiring glance

about the room. / E

Eliot regarded hirnAjith a look of perplexity. *' "I beg pardonv-5 did not understand you,"he said. y

" Hain't made a fool of yourself and got married, n I mean," explained bia companion, somewhat gruffly

as if maninga was a state to be shunned and despised = by everybody. e

" Oh, no, indeed !" answered the young man, with ' a laugh, which, however, had a ring of bitterness in ,e it, and which did not escape the keen ears of his £ listener, " what could I do with a wife when it ia 'c close work for me to support myself and keep up .

the interest on that mortgage P" u

" Perhaps you'd like a wife, though, if everything tVl was all right ?" Mr. Temple aald, with a twinkle in U his eyes. Then he added, more soberly, while he UI watched closely every expression on Eliot'a face : °'

"But if you're hard pressed for money-you've 0J been sick solong-I could let you have a trifle to ,Di help you out, say twentyflve or thirty dollars-I'm ^

a leetle mite ahead in the world." '

"Thank you," the artist replied, struggling to [^ keep his lips from twitching, " but it is againßt my j-0 principles to borrow or get in debt in any way. Let

me be well and strong once more, and I'll begin the. ii

battle anew, and piddle my own canoe." ",, W,i °?

,iv i A ». ,. .... . . rd In the sha

You've got Emeline's spirit over again-IA« W d -,.

one of your energetic, persevering women, w . f¿

wouldn't give up to anything, if she once underf8 j*^

a job; and you'll come out right side up if "* ,;¿OCK got that, kind of grit in you," Mr. Temple r^ ,_=.?_¡»j. approvingly, his own lips twitching sligb,set(;je?18hed by fi about this scrape you're in," he conting. ¿.V^iÎ*8' 8nd

are you going to do about it P" T >f Ä"^ n

"Face the muBic, tell the truth, anl a

sequences," Eliot answered, indifferen he had not much to fear from the '

to,

«he

pr iked v ahc f B t .nan, >oola ^ . j^TBvoijfc,

'43ence of

ae aettl

pidly caixed up in it ? and 1 so ino, anywoy ?"

.ipacity.a caught the tender in .. the fa¿ he uttered Laura's name, voidedj noted the faint flush that /ould \ie speaking of her.

rain-Mr. Waldron's-Aunt Roxj's tully pjuiatjQfjj-¡f yon can compre ii« arr ? |nlid statement," Eliot answered,

laug'fimg.

"Sartin. I-your Aunt Roxy waB-ia Roxena

Eliza Hixon here in New York ?"

Mr. Temple appeared semewhat confused just now, j and he, too, grew very red in the face BB he asked J

this question.

" Yes. I forgot that you must know her."

" Know her ? I reckon I have reason to remem- ber something about her," Mr. Temple remarked,

dryly, adding :

"If Emeline was noted for her energy and perseverance, Roxtna was no less so for her ehrewdneee, and-well, to bo muderate, I'll call it calculation. You find her a pretty keen kind of a woman, don't you ?" he asked, sharply.

"Yes, I think Mrs, Waldron is not lacking in ability," Eliot said, coldly.

" Then this Miss Preston is a relative of William Waldron's, you eayP Come, I want to know all about this affair. I may as well tell you that I am only a few weeks home from the East, and when 1 found that Emeline and all tbe folks down yonder were gone, I made up my mind to hunt you up and

see what kind of a chap you were I'm a lonely | old fellow, and I thought for the Bike of the good will that your mother bore me, you might perhaps give me a welcome, and let me share your crust, if you had one, until I could look about a little for a

place to settle in."

It would be difficult to describe the piercing look which the old man fixed upon the invalid's face OB

--?a he said thiB.

¿Tei A. kindly gleam shone in the eyes which Eliot ?3°J raised to him se he said heartily, and with a smile :

Jit " I am glad you found me, Uncle Job, ond I reckon *?' that I have something rather better than a crust to

share with you, if I haven't yet made my fortune. >' "* But about thiB trouble in which you find me, and

which you are so kind ae to feel interested in for me, . ' draw your chair a little nearer, for there are some v - things that I do not wish the curious to kaow about

v-niDtjuat yet, and I will tell you the circumstances,"

-> "Jying' nd Eliot related the facia of Trixy'e sickness and

» -i the Uh<= suspicious evidence jphich Mrs. Waldron

ela- fy aL°.n«wdi£Covered;herpersec|utionof I--££' and her fllÄj"£*e «V day that b\¿ ff£ íef t the city. He also spv^8 |Jl°r.aiï.e>lO; 7s loe circum- stances attending it, wi- "^V^"oe/ned from Dr.

Yan Dorn, but he did not" mention The discovery he had made in Trixy'a room on the night preceeding his departure from New York, That he was reserv- ing for the day of the trial, hoping that it might prove a coup de maître in Laura's cause, and go far toward bringing the real guilty party to justice.

" Well ! well I well I" Mr. Temple said, with a doubtful shake of his shiny head. " I am afraid there is rather a bad look for the poor girl ; and be "'. cause you had favoured her, and went away on the

I «ame day that ehe disappeared, they take it for

\ granted that you too, are concerned in it- is that

\ the way you reason it ?" j

" Yes," Eliot answered with averted eyes.

i'Um!" ejaculated his interrogate k nothing eecap-1 ing his notice. " You say the u' ^ who lftît this j <^. property willed that it should r¡- u to or/e if the ***7 other died. Who was to h&vegrl j case the died,

« '* i toot"

, I " Aunt Roxy's sons, William and Fred."

* " Yes, yes ; I eee. One is dead, and if the other is

-hung-"

" Uncle Job ! dont- please '" Eliot cried, with ^»Ue Ups, and writhing as under a blow.

T'$Jk; ffi? eoul ! bless my eoul ! What did I say ?"

exclaimed the little old man, springing to his feet, excitedly, and beginning to walk nervously up ^i down the room again, and catting remorseful »/' {¡?¡¡; at the youngman, who was white to gbast^ie¿\,C'

" There J I've begun that thundering noH^, ^ J

he said, stopping short in the middle of the ttf °¿ fy>¿ hie thick boots squeaked unmercifully upor1*?<j£ awkward silence that followed his unfortunate. ; speech ; whereupon, with asavege frown, he dex

txously slipped the offending articles from his feet, ?i and Eliot was amazed to behold them incased in a H pair of the finest of silken hose,

i "I must let off steam somehow," Mr. Temple I resumed, nervously, as he wiped the perspiration T- from his red face, ond recommenced his pacings.

" I did not mean anything as bad as that, my boy the word came out before I thought-and of course it will all come out right ; but mark my word, you'll find that Roxeny Eliza Hixon has had more to do with it than appears on the surface. I know her of old, and she can turn her hand to almoBt anything v to gain a point, or-a penny. But, Eliot, my lad«

you're true blue-you're worthy to be Emeline's con, as you have shown by not turning the cold shoulder upon a lusty-looking old codger like me ; and now ", I'll tell you I am going to stay by and see this thing

fought out. I'll be at that woman, if it takes the last * red ' in my pocket ; and so, young man, i! you need a few thousands for lawyer's fees, just say the -«irrt, for I'm the party that can 6upply them."

A stopped before Eliot to see how he would j - "k this information.

,°J ^e young man glanced up into his face with a «- ' Y"1 f surprise, and then his eyes dropped again

a"¿!^ silk stockings, WBB the man playing a

-JP ''.lencv

" ;'EAM Hea, glance followed bis, and after a gri

f AÏ, 18t a^it> he chuckled softly to himself : - j need ' nPe-»k> did not £or8et tQfit I nn<i tbem on ' Btaff ^ainxoctly correspond with them shabby

v diyonder; Bnd I've had a tough time

. ï 1msy things, too," with a glance at

1,al Its that he had discarded. " But,

', I didn't wiitt you to love 'o I stepped into this rig just ve me. It's many a year since brown, but I've seen the time .ml as shabby aeuit of clothes as vvwhide boots, too ; and I didn't

s inside, either," he concluded, .¡h.

io see through the little ruse that had upon bim, and he coloured again ; but ' 'was glad that the eccentric old man had «ut!» 3U8t a" ne nal1,

j-iU J^ue old man-a lone old man," he went

ot tëemê* young relative did not reply. " I nevfr 'once, al-I thunk the Lord, I didn't, too I" he added« imely heue asperity ; " but when a body gets to be -sty, he begins to wish be bad some one m the

..?u,"_7bo had n little interest in bim, and if you'll

j I'll stay by you until this trouble is over. Prom ffte-y Hixon shan't beat you if I can help it. I

nad^B I can, for I can fight to the tune of one bur. oduid thousand dollars, and "-sticking his tongue

o his cheek, and squinting up one eye knowingly lut" maybe a leetle more. Say, shall we cast in our he *s together, youngster P"

, wiEliot's eyes grew moist, in spite of his manhood

en this speech, which «as both appealing and pro- tective. He was glad to see his mother's relative and friend-would have been just as glad bad he continued to play the part of a shabby old farmer, with apparently not a surplus dollar in his pocket; but to discover bim such a host in himself, and eo willing and «lager to co-uperate with him and assist bim through the impending trouble, touched bim in a tender spot.

Bat one thing puzzled him.

He could not quite understand his frequent and acrimonious allusions to Mrs, Waldron, and found himself wondering what could have occurred in the p st to set bim so against her.

" You are very kind, Uncle Job," he said, heartily. "It will be a great comfort to have so stanch a friend to stand by me, and I appreciate your good nees, I hope, though, that you feel quite sure that you would have been just as sincerely welcomed as my dear mother's friend, if you had not told me of your prosperity. I am truly glad, however, that the world has used you eo well, and I am sure you de-

serve it."

" Tut, tut, bay ; I've got my share of faults as well as the rest of humanity ; but I know you are tired, and I'll leave you alone for a little while. This is a hotel, isn't it ?"

" íeE."

" Then I'll go and seo If I can get,a room and a bit of something to oat, for I'm both tired and hungry ; besides," with a humorous twinkle of his keen eyes, " I don't feel quite natural in this kind of a rig. I'll show you Bomething a little more civilized to-mor-

row."

He resumed bia coarse boots, gathered up his shabby valise and the faded umbrella, which looked ns if it might have done service for his ancient namesake, or even as far back as the time of the flood, and deported ; while Eliot settled back in his chuirjweiry indeed from the prolonged interview, but with a sense of relief, and satisfaction and cheerfulness, such as he hud not experienced for many a month,

He had found a true friend, and a link which had once belonged to the happy past-a friend of his mother's, whose tender memories of her touched a chord m his beart, makiDg it vibrate with some- thing very like love for the strange old man him

self. ¿ji . ,..

{To be continued.) -f "" ' '? -.- 0 ? , v..