|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Old Stanley's Will|
Old Stanley's Will.
By J. B.
You are welcome, gentlemen. Come, musicians, play. A ball! A ball ! give room, and foot it, girls.
Romeo and Juliet
The matrons flung their gloves,
Ladies and maids their scarfs and handkerchiefs,
Upon him as he passed. And the commons made A shower and thunder with their caps and shoutss.
I never saw the like.
AND now, dear reader, we will leave Bob to the happy night's rest which he deserves, and Mrs. Handson and Paul to have their supper, while we go as far as Clark's assembly rooms, Elizabeth street. About twenty or thirty bachelors were each inspired with the one idea that it would be a grand thing to give a ball in honour of their lady friends ; and now, the idea being perfected, the ball has commenced. As we have to do with but one of the bachelors in question, we will quietly ignore the rest and proceed to introduce
the only one in whom we are bound to take an interest. Behold, then, our hero, Herbert Howard, M.D., the happy owner of a beautiful residence with its surrounding grounds, situated at Ryde, on the Parramatta River, called Stanley Park ; a young man of immense wealth, and pro- perty besides- of high, social standing, great talents, and handsome bearing-a lion in the matrimonial market. The question is, who can tame him, suffiently to put the halter round his neck ? He is tall, square-shouldered, and head well set, surmounted by a wealth of crisp brown curls, high, broad, white forehead, and eyes dark-brown-piercing, yet tender, deep and honest ; a decidedly firm mouth enclosing a strong white set of teeth, a square chin cleanly shaved, and a nose neither Roman nor Grecian, but in keeping with the rest of his features, with handsomely curved nostrils. It is not a common face, and has a most charming smile when called for, but as a rule is very grave, and even stern. He is clever, wealthy, and handsome ; what more would you have? He is a little over thirty years of age, and a rising man in his profession, who for some reason will never let or occupy his Ryde estate, and who, to the annoyance of all match-making mothers, seems to be suffering from misogamy. People wonder why he is so attached to his profession, being so thoroughly independent of it, and yet they prefer him to all other city doctors and call him in on the slightest provocation. He is popular and beloved by rich and poor alike. He had taken a liking to Carl Guiseman, who was some years his junior, and visited his mother's house, non-pro- fessionally, more than any other. Carl was con- genial to his taste, for his goodness of heart and merry disposition. Emmeline and Annette laid the flattering unction to their souls that he was kissing the nurse for the sake of the child, and threw out their feelers accordingly. Carl was fond of his sisters, and not a little anxious that one of them should become the wife of his friend, whom he admired for his amiable qualities, and respected for his talents as well as his riches, and in whose friendship he rejoiced.
He now stood with Carl at the ball-room door waiting to escort Mrs. Guiseman and her daughters, who had just arrived and were re- arranging their toilette in the ladies' waiting room. At last they came towards them ; Mrs. Guiseman, in rick black velvet, cream lace, and diamonds, looked handsome. The Misses Guise- man, in pale blue crape, satin ribbons to match, pale pink sprays of flowers tastefully arranged about their skirts, and tiny knots of the same in their bosoms and hair, also looked handsome. When they saw their brother's companion they were in the seventh heaven. Mrs. Guiseman's face was shining more than ever ; it was radiant, beaming. Emmeline and Annette caught and reflected back the glory depicted there.
" See, Annette, our darling doctor must be
waiting for you," Emmeline whispered to her
" Oh, no ! indeed, it must be you," answered Annette, blushing consciously and wishing in her heart that Emmaline was right.
But much to their annoyance Dr. Howard, after politely bowing and shaking hands with the trio, tucked their mother under his arm and walked down the whole length of the ball-room, leaving Carl to escort his sisters and follow if he chose. They did so, looking very sheepish in- deed-with " Ichabod" written on their faces but soon brightened again with the thought that he did not want to show a preference for either of them in public, so made their mother a sort of compromise. The room was brilliantly lighted, and decorated with flags and flowers all around its four walls ; the band was in the gallery out of sight, and the last strains of " Oh how delight- ful" had died away as they entered. All the company were assembled, for it was late, and many looked with envious eyes upon Mrs. Guise- man walking by the side of the doctor, and hang- ing on his arm as if she had a right to it.
" I see you like to keep the fashionable hour, Mrs. Guiseman," said Dr. Howard. "Do you always come so late as this to balls ?"
" Oh dear no, doctor," she replied, fanning her face, which was red with the excitement of the occasion. " We was detained. Mrs. D-kept the girls waiting for their dresses ; I make a point of always employing the fashionablest dressmaker, you know. My poor Guiseman always told me never to spare no expense on them ; for a pound here or there is no object to
us, you see."
" They certainly do Mrs. D-'s taste much
credit. I think they look particularly handsome,"
" Do you now ? ' she replied. " How proud my Emmie would be to hear you say that, for she thinks you a pagan of affection, I can assure you ; that's just what she said. But I oughtn't to be telling tales out of school !-he-he-he."
The doctor, unable to resist a smile, led her to a seat, and then went to seek his partner for the next dance. The programmes were very nearly filled up, so Emmeline and Annette had to resign themselves to the inevitable, and be wall- flowers for the best part of the evening, which they did with a very bad grace ; it made them look upon balls in general as "vanity and vexation of spirit." However, Dr. Howard was able to give them a waltz each, which was like a small drop of oil upon the troubled waters - only a wee drop, for rebellious feelings surged in each girl's heart against " that horrid little vixen who chose to keep them waiting ; she should wait for her money-they would take care of that." They had a few more dances as the night wore on-with other gentlemen besides their dear doctor ; still, for girls who were in the habit of dancing every dance, the ball was a failure, and they were not sorry when it was over. But when Mrs. Guiseman whispered to them in the waiting-room, where they were cloaking and hooding themselves for their de- parture, what the doctor had said about their appearance, it went a long way towards restoring their equanimity; and then again they were comparatively happy when, standing in the street ready to jump into their carriage, Carl
said to the doctor :
" I say, doctor, dismiss your carriage and come home with me in ours. Let us have a quiet smoke in my smoking-room before retiring. Occupy our spare room and breakfast with us
can't you ?"
' Well, old fellow, I don't mind. I'll come
without disturbing your visitors' room, though ; the missing of a nights rest is nothing unusual
for me. '
He sent his carriage away and stepped into theirs-by the side of Mrs Guiseman again. Carl mounted the box, and the coachman smacked his whip and drove them home when the first gray streak of dawn had appeared. All traces of disappointment now fled from the countenances of the girls-for their hero, their idol, was sitting opposite to them in their own carriage It was just as if he really did belong to the family after all. Mrs Guiseman, too much overcome with fatigue, began to nod in her corner.
Annette said ' Poor mamma, how very un- selfish she is. Balls and parties are no pleasure to her, but she only lives and moves for us." And then, folding her hands, she sighed.
"Yes, and even stayed on that we might dance ' Sir Roger ' chimed in Emmeline.
"She allowed for your having come so late, Miss Emmeline" said Dr Howard " Why, the programmes were nearly all filled in before you
" Oh ! ' said Annette, " mamma is so tender- hearted , she would give the order for our dresses to a miserable little nobody who cannot afford a sewing machine, and so kept us waiting. Mamma wanted to do her a good turn, for which
she returned evil."
Dr Howard knew very little about dress making or dresses, excepting when they were particularly attractive, but he could not help comparing the daughter's statement with her mother 's, and felt that there must be a lie somewhere. He wondered how Carl could belong to these people. He felt disappointed, and just a little bit disgusted with the mother and sisters of his friend. He looked cold and stern as he sat there, and was annoyed with himself for joining them. He never spoke another word, but began to think deeply, when suddenly his reverie was rudely broken, and Mrs Guiseman' s dreams came to an abrupt ending, by the stopping of the carriage and the pulling up of the horses.
"Ah! here we are at last," said she "What a nice nap you young people have had."
"Why, mamma you have been snoring," said the eldest daughter.
" Me snoring ! I never do such a thing."
She took Carl's arm as he stood at the carriage door to assist her, and walked into the house quite affronted, the rest of the party following. Good nights were exchanged, and then laughingly corrected by "good mornings ," the ladies ascended to their rooms, and Carl and his companion turned into the comfortable smoking room appropriatedd for his own use. They drew up their easy chairs on each side of the table, and Carl, throwing himself into his wearily, said, " By Jove! I am no advocate for this sort of thing. A fellow has to be at his chambers at a certain hour in the morning, after a hard night's work or not. I shall not go to bed either; where's the use ? Why, the sun is rising now. Help yourself, doctor " he pushed his cigar case towards him, and then for some time they smoked in silence.
It was such a snug little room, and many a pleasant hour Carl Guiseman spent there with his own chosen friends. On winter nights a cheerful fire was always burning in the pretty little stove, by his fond mother s orders; but now in the spring time a small fancy screen hid the empty grate, which was capped with a marble mantelshelf, and held the thousand and one be- longings of a bachelor-fishing rods and tackle, tobacco pouches and pipes, &c. A pair of foils crossed like a pair of scissors adorned the wall where the pier-glass might have been , opposite the fireplace there was a bay window, now thrown open to admit the morning air and to vent the wreaths of smoke rising from their cigars. It looked upon the rear of the house, and gave one a splendid view of all the outhouses in connection-coach house, stables, fowl houses, &c. It was not a romantic view, but Carl was not romantic, and chose the room because of its free ventilation for smoke. Under the window was a lounge for a comfortable nap when he chose to take it, and one side of the room was fitted up with shelves from floor to ceiling, care- fully stored with law books and works of literatureture, art, and fiction; the floor was covered with a fanciful oilcloth, and a handsome gasalier de- pending from the ceiling made it altogether a most attractive homely little room for a bachelor.
They continued to puff away in silence for some time, enjoying the smoke heartily, when
" Doctor, do you know you are an enigma to your friends!" Puff, puff, puff.
" How so, Carl? he answered, his face relax- ing into a smile.
'"Well" continued his host, "here you are on the wrong side of thirty you know, with health, wealth, and good looks too, and a score or so of handsome girls sighing after you, and yet you make no attempt whatever to change your con- dition, stick to your profession like a man who needs it. You are an enigma and I feel myself going with the tide in trying to solve you, but I
The doctor laid his cigar down on the ashplate by his side, and gravely answered:
" There is a solution, my friend, but it's a long story-one that I have never breathed to a living soul. I should only be called a romantic fool for my pains, and I'm afraid I value the world's opinion too highly to risk it. You are so thoroughly practical, perhaps you would be the the first to laugh at me , but no, I think you are too genuine to do that. There's nothing I should like better than to unburden my heart to you of its hopes, and fears, and plans, for, after all, Carl, my boy, I have not a real friend in the world." He added in an undertone to himself:
" And yet, who knows ? be might be able to help
Carl impulsively, and with some pardonable curiosity, said "fire away then, like a good fellow, and make a clean breast of it. I feel quite confident that you have never done any thing for one to laugh at, or cry over either. I
promise you not to laugh or to betray. Now go
"Well, then, ' said the doctor, "to begin at the beginning. You remember when and how I entered my profession. "
" Yes,' Carl said, " when I was just entering my teens and thought I was a man. Go on."
" You know," continued Dr Howard, " that I was an orphan adopted by a maiden aunt (peace to her memory), that I had no expectations what- ever when she spent her little all to educate and help me to win the profession I had chosen. You also know that poor old Stanley, for some un- accountable whim, left me everything he pos- sessed, which enabled me to make her last days on earth peaceful and happy, and to reward her for her unselfish devotion to my interest. And yet-and yet I feel the property to be mine in trust only , that on his deathbed, poor miserable old man, he repented when it was too late to act ."
" How so ?" said his eager listener, who held his cigar between his fingers-too much inter-
ested to smoke.
" You shall hear all , but first I must go back many years before I made his acquaintance at all.
This is the romance of the story. One day I had occasion to step into an omnibus going out to Darlinghurst, when I found sitting opposite to me two young ladies , they were laughing and chatting together. One was tolerably good look- ing, but the other-oh, Carl, my boy, she was lovely , my own ideal of true female beauty; a blooming brunette, not a blemish on the skin, with a rosebud mouth made for kisses, which, laughing as she was, disclosed the prettiest pearl
like teeth you ever saw, and made her face all dimples. And then her eyes, tender and lustrous, of a velvety brown ! I was spellbound, fascin- ated, I know not what. I could not take my eyes from her radiant countenance, when sud- denly she met my ardent gaze, and blushing rosy red turned her beautiful head to look out of the window behind her, and so the spell was broken."
" She must have thought you a rude fellow, I daresay, and did that purposely," said Carl.
" Of course she did, ' continued the doctor, " and it made my ears tingle and the blood rush to my head mercilessly. I knew I had been rude , that was the worst of it . At length the omni-
bus stopped in William street opposite a ladies' boarding school, and they prepared to leave it. Her companion stepped out first and she followed, but the brute of a driver-I did think him a brute then-he thought it was all right and moved on just as she took her first step down, and was consequently thrown on her face to the ground. I rushed to the rescue, helped her to rise, and asked if she was hurt. 'My foot is, I think, just a little,' she said faintly, giving her arm to her companion and making an attempt to cross to the pavement, poor darling; but as she did so she became a deathly white, and a moan
of pain escaped her. 'Allow me to assist you,' I said ' Oh dear me, Blanche, I have sprained my foot, she almost sobbed to her companion, ' I cannot put it to the ground. ' Other vehicles were coming before and behind, as it was the busiest time of the day, and so there was danger ahead if she did not move on. It was no time for ceremony, I caught her slender form in my own arms and fairly carried her across to the pavement; But she, poor girl, from pain and fright, had fainted. ' Where do you live, young lady?' I asked of Blanche. 'Here, sir, if you please, she answered, pointing to the boarding school. 'I'm so afraid Mrs Holwood will be angry.' She rang the bell and we were admitted into a little parlour called the visitors' room. A tall and pompous lady arose from her chair and came towards us with horror written on every feature. She turned up her cold gray eyes till only the whites of them were visible and ex- claimed, ' What is the meaning of this, sir ? Blanche, I insist upon an explanation. ' I answered, still clasping my precious burden, ' The youug lady has met with an accident, getting out of an omnibus, and has sprained her foot, I fear, let me place her on this couch. ' I de- posited her there safely. ' Dear me! how very care-
less!' remarked Mrs. Holwood (for it was she); 'and was it absolutely necessary for you to-to- to carry the young lady, sir!' 'Oh, Mrs Hol- wood,' Blanche said quickly 'she would have been lying in the road all this time-perhaps run over-but for this gentleman' s kindness .' ' Sir, we tender you our thanks on behalf of this young lady, and as it is not in accordance with the rules of my establishment to admit gentle- men, especially-hum, hum-.' 'Madam,' I in- terrupted 'I cannot fail to understand your meaning but, pardon me, I am a gentleman and a doctor-not without experience, in spite of my youthful appearance. We are wasting time, and the dear young lady needs all our attention.
I then whipped out a small case of instruments, which I had a habit of always carrying about with me in preparation for unforeseen accidents, and taking out a knife slit the little boot en- casing the delicate foot, which was swelling visibly, right down across the instep, and so far relieved her. ' Bring some wine and water at once,' I said, 'and a little scent-eau de cologne, or something-quickly.' I was master of the situation, and so my orders were soon executed. Mrs Holwood looked me all over, from my head downwards, with a freezing stare, and just as freezingly said, ' Sir, your name ?' 'Dr Howard, madam, at your service,' I answered, bowing coldly. I was only a beginner then, and my name was not so well known as it is now. Soon my sweet little patient began to revive, and was able to thank me I had no excuse for remaining longer, but went away promisiug I would call again to morrow. I did call, but was told ' Miss Gertie was getting on nicely and needed no further medical assistance.' That was all; no message of kindness. I am convinced to this day that the old bag believed I was no doctor, but an adventurer, for the next day I saw Dr. W---s carriage standing at the door. I need not tell you how I hung about that place for months longing and hoping, to see her dear sweet face once more, but I never saw it again. My little darling-my heart's first and only love-I have never seen the woman yet to equal her in face and figure-with such sweetness and good-
ness shining in her eyes. That is my love story, Carl; I'll not ask you what you think of it but I tell you this-I am quite sincere in all I have
" Well, go on , it's awfully interesting. I'm in in love with her myself, said Carl. "Take another cigar. No! Well, proceed."
Dr Howard drew his breath till it almost sounded like a sob, and continued:
" You remember what a fuss poor old Stanley made about me because I saved him from the larrikins one night ten years ago, don t you ? "
" I remember you were nearly knocked over yourself trying to rescue him, and that the old fellow was right to make it fuss. Go on."
" You are too partial, my friend. But do you know he never lived on his Ryde estate at that time, but chose to take lodgings in some obscure part of the town, and was called ' Mister Stanley' by the street boys? Sometimes they used to pelt him with mud as he walked the streets. He never gave away a sixpence, and by strangers was taken for a beggar. Can you remember him
" I should think so," said Carl. His snow- white head and heavy white brow- his projecting forehead and cold steal blue eyes-are as vividly
before me now as then."
"Then", said the doctor, "your memory is faithful to you. I did not know him personally for some time, and was actually under the same impression as a great many more. I thought him to be a poor and lonely man. When I led him home in safety that night my coat-tails nearly torn off, we looked a pair. He took a violent fancy to me and asked me to come and see him often, and I, pitying his miserable solltary life, did my best to cheer it. Imagine then my surprise when one day he asked me to accompany him up the river to his 'residence' at Ryde , he could read the astonishment in my face evi-
dently, for he said in some surprise, 'Do you mean to tell me you did not know who I was? - Godfrey Stanley of Stanley Park-eh !' I answered, 'I did not know you were Godfrey Stanley, or that you were the owner of Stanley Park. There are more Stanleys than one. I thought you another man altogether. You have quite taken my breath away.' ' Hum-you have startled me, I think,' he said rubbing his grizzly chin thoughtfully , ' you only pitied me, eh? A miserable, childless lonely old man I truly am. Your pity has not been thrown away, young man. God reward you for it. ' I fancied I saw tears glittering in his eyes as he muttered, half to himself, half to me-' You're not like the rest of 'em-you're not like the rest of 'em; come on-come with me. ' It was a beautiful balmy morning-a blue and golden day-a day when one feels tempted to leave the dusty city and walk abroad in green fields, or to drift about in a boat on the smooth waters of our pretty harbour. I almost felt like a boy again when we took our seats in the steamer and glided gently up the beauti- ful Parrramatta River. Such pretty rustic houses, and glorious foliage of every hue of green, sprang up on each side of us. What an exquisite pano- rama, but too short for me, as we soon came alongside of Ryde; I would have preferred going right on to Parramatta, but, humouring Stanley, I followed him. After about five minutes walk we reached the park gates. He opened them and led me up a pretty avenue reaching to the house-quite a quarter of a mile long-and then into his house. I think he looked younger than ever I had seen him before ; perhaps it was because he could not conceal the pride he felt in showing me over his mansion. He made me stay all day and remain the night. I had not many patients then and could manage it, and it was quite a pleasant change for me too. The next morning we met at the door of the break- fast parlour and entered together-when lo ! was I dreaming? There over the mantelpiece hung an oil painting, kitkat size. It was the face of her whom I only knew as 'Gertie.' There was no mistaking it, the artist had done her justice. She seemed to smile down upon me , I saw nothing but the beautiful girl I loved. She ap- peared to stand before me in real flesh and blood. I stood riveted to the spot In the meanwhile Stanley had seated himself at the breakfast table. His back being towards me, he turned his head to see what detained me from taking my place there as well. The next thing I remember was the crash of his chair as it fell to the ground, and his pulling at the bell violently, passion working in his face till the veins were swollen. Only an old married couple were on the premises, to guard the house during his absence and to attend to him when he chose to visit it. The old woman now entered in answer to the bell, white and trembling she stood before him like a culprit. 'Who's been meddling with that? he demanded in a thick voice pointing to the portrait. 'I don't know,' she replied in a sulky tone twisting nervously the corner of her apron into a knot. ' You don't know, don't you ? It's a black lie -- you know that much. I'll ram it down your false old throat, you witch! he muttered in a sort of undertone like distant rumbling thunder. 'Set it the way it pleases me. By heaven, if you think to beard me in my own den this way you shall answer for it . I'll smash it ! burn it ! trample on it !' He stamped his foot and raised his voice as he threatened , then turning to me he added ' Young man, sit down and eat, she has raised the devil in me and maddened me. ' He left the room with an oath on his lips, while I stood petrified. ' What does it all mean ?' I asked upon recovering myself. The old woman had thrown her apron over her head and was sobbing aloud. 'Tell me what it means, will you not trust me? How has the picture so
offended your master ?' 'Oh dear ! oh dear ! I wish I was dead,' she cried. ' The poor child. The poor child, how I love her ! I thought to turn his flinty heart, but he hasn't a heart at all.
It's nothing but a stone.' 'You will not trust me then ?' I said, turning to leave the room. 'I will if you give me time, young gentleman,' she answered, at the same moment mounting a chair to do Old Stanley's bidding. She lifted the picture down from the hook, gazed on it with a mother's look of affection, clasped it to her bosom, kissed it, and then with one great sob that trembled through her frame she replaced it with the bonny face turned to tho cold pitiless wall. I think I could have embraced the faith- ful creature; her emotions had made 'the knot climb into my throat.' I know I went towards her and helped her down from the chair as I would have done a younger and fairer woman. The little attention evidently pleased her, for she said, 'God bless you for that kind act; I will tell you now what you wish to know: - That dear child you have seen there,-she pointed to the picture -- is his own flesh and blood. She wedded for love! for he gave her none. She begged, and her young husband (then her lover) begged too, the old man's consent to the marriage , but he swore against it and said, when he gave her plenty to eat and drink and to wear, what right had she to many and leave him! No, let her remain single and all his should be hers, but he was not going to enrich any adventurer that chose to make love to her. Those were his words, young man. He next sent her away from me, the only friend the poor child had, to be kept under lock and key at some stuck up board- ing school in Sydney, but she managed some- how to escape the hundred eyes that were on her and she ran away. She sent him a letter afterwards to say she was married. I saw him read it with livid trembling lips and eyes that had no pity.
Then it was he bade me turn the picture for ever, and left this place to live in Sydney. When he came with you here yesterday he looked hap- pier, and even younger, as if he might relent. I ventured to set the picture right, and you see the result. ' 'Married? I said in some excite- ment, married ? And turn his own daughter from the house ? ' 'No, not his own daughter ; she was his sister's child, but he never loved the sister and could not love the child.' 'Poor girl, poor Gertie!" I uttered with tears in my eyes. 'Where is she now ? what is she doing. ' ' Ah, I don t know, sir. I dare not leave here-it is as much as my place is worth-and I cannot seek her. My husband is here, and will not let me brave the master's anger.' I put a piece of money in her hand and left her in a fresh burst of tears, poor old woman I could not eat-the food would have choked me. I left the house, and walking down the avenue threw myself on the ground under the shelter of a wide spreading tree, and waited and watched for the steamer. Jonah was not more grateful to the gourd than I was to that majestic tree, and Jonah was not more miserable at its decay than was I at the rotten withered hope I had nursed in my bosom; my love could no longer be mine; she was mar- ried, and disinherited-perhaps struggling in poverty. You have no idea, Carl, what a miser- able man I was for some time after that. The sweet face haunted me in my dreams. I avoided Stanley for weeks, nay months. The very fact of my doing that must have raised me even higher in his estimation, as the sequel will show. He felt no doubt that knowing him to be a rich man I had no wish to seek him or cheer him any longer. He was right I could not honour his hoary head, loathing him as I did. However, one morning about six months afterwards a tele- gram was put into my hand running thus - 'Master is dying, come at once,' and signed 'Andrew Camden, Stanley Park, Ryde.' Andrew Camden was the husband of the woman who was my poor Gertie's second mother. I forgot everything then but that the miserable old man was going to his last account-perhaps without a prayer, without a friend. I hurried, and was fortunate in catching the steamer just as she was starting. I reached the house in due time, and old Andrew was there to meet me. He touched his cap and sald, 'I am glad to see you, sir.'
' How is he ? I asked ' Ah, he'll never speak again, sir. He had a stroke last week, but rallied out of it and said he would have no doctor.
When I mentioned your name he said, " Aye, but i've frightened him away, and I'm not going to going to ask his pardon. I've made an atonement which he will find out soon perhaps. I'm not ungrate- ful. But look here, old Andrew, if it should so be that death should come upon me unawares like, mind,you remember, send for him at once, for I love the young dog though he has held himself aloof. " So, sir, as this morning at 4 o'clock he had another stroke, and has never spoken since, I thought it right to send for you.'
'Quite right, my man. Now show me to his bedroom. Ah, there he lay, prostrate, power- less, stricken down. When I approached his bedside he fixed his eyes upon me-he knew me. The old woman, who had been praying at his bedside, rose from her knees and took up her position behind the bed. I felt his pulse and tried his heart, and then knew that his moments were numbered; he was dying and dying fast. His eyes had a beseeching pleading, piteous look in them trying to make them speak-to act for his tongue. He continued to gaze on me with a painfully steady stare. If eyes ever spoke they spoke to me then. 'Am I dying?' they said. I nodded my head. ' You are going fast, Mr.
Stanley, I said, ' I am too late to save you. Can you speak at all? Can I be of any use to you ?' Ho made a movement with his hand as if to take mine. I anticipated the wish and grasped his long lean hand in mine. Something like a smilee flitted over his features, like moonlight struggling through an obscuring cloud, and with a desperate effort he breathed like a whisper in my ear two words, 'Gertie'-'help,' and sank back. His spirit had fled with a prayer. It was a prayer, Carl , I felt it was a prayer , on his deathbed he repented his cruelty to the poor girl. He would mid have altered the will, but the time had passed never to be recalled; and I solemnly swear that it was a broken hearted appeal to me for justice to find his niece and to give her her due. I failed to interpret the language of his eyes at the time ; I know they pleaded and that was all. When I learnt that I was his heir the interpreta- tion was complete. I have exerted myself in every way to discover poor Gertie, but hitherto have failed; yet something tells me I shall find her some day, and perhaps you are the very man to help me, Carl. "
" And will you give up everything for an idea
like that?" Carl asked.
" It is not an idea, but reality. I have my profession, and that is the reason I do not neglect it ; for when I do find her the inheritance is hers by the law of heaven, by the law of charity, while I am nothing but an interloper. Don't attempt to alter my decision, old fellow. My story is told."'
"No," said Carl, "your's is a noble heart, a great mind ; I could not act in that way. My heart is not so true; my mind weak as water. I am so hard, doctor; but you are a brick. I will help you if I can, and there is my hand on it."
A silence of some minutes ensued, and fresh cigars were lighted. It was 5 o'clock now, and the rosy clouds of day dawn llluminated the east, when suddenly unearthly cries and screech- ing filled the air, with which men's voices were mingled. A shuffling of feet was heard in the hall, and Carl's door was rudely pushed open to admit our friend Rob, with torn shirt and un- kempt hair, and looking otherwise dissipated, marshalled between groom and footman, each of the two latter with a chicken under his arm - hence the cries. But we promised Bob a chapter to himself, and he must have it.
(TO BE CONTINUED)