Chapter 93841070

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleTHE LITTLE SCHOOLHOUSE.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93841070
Full Date1886-12-25
Page Number1
Corrections0
Word Count16254
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouth Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889)
Trove TitleDr Harden's Theories: A Christmas Climax
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Dr. Harden'* Theories:

A CHRISTMAS CLIMAX.

IB* the Late MAUD JE.VNNK FRANC-l

[Copyrights reserved.] Chapter I. — The Little Schoolholtsk.

*' In the wide waste there still is a tree.' — Bryan. A dusty road, bare of herbage, or juat ?kirted by the suspicion of what might have been herbage bad not the heat of many days' ?nnsbine «nd hot winds witted it down, and crisped and embrowned it till it bore little semblance of vegetation. Poet and rail fences on either hand, with here and there, perchance, a stunted growth of kangaroo hedging or dusty furze, the solitary survivors of what had been

uaiuuucu uy bu« auiniuouH rarmer wno naa fenced the land for a substantial and verdant bordering to 'his holding, were to b9 semi everywhere— east, went, north, and south— the came parallel lines prosaically bounding land upon which, considering it waa the beginning of December, and the harvest ready or nearly ready for the ingathering, bore little prospect of anything bountiful being the result of that ingathering. The aun was sloping down to the -went, though still some hours from its setting, one hot afternoon at the beginning of this same month, when, along the road we have attempted to describe, in groups of twos and threes, with book or dinner-satchel on arm or back, came a number of cchool-children on tbeir homeward way — Home turning to the riglit. Borne to the left, tome pursuing the medium course in the centre of the duHty road ; while others, creep ing under the fenceH or climbing over them, as best pleased their farjey, wont ' across lots,' as the Americans say — each the short* it cut. to their own j articular homo. X*ookiri£ along the road, it might have occa sioned a stranger * question of surprint; as to wheie the homes of all these children were to be found, or at what fount of learning in that hot dusty district they had been imbibing. But. in reply to this last query, a bend in the road, or rather a sharp turn of its fencing, romd which two or three stragglers were still sauntering, betrayed the existence of a wooden structure, slonptnef lontoi which was stretched a rode but broad verandah, a cluster of tobacco trees, and, yet more wonderful in that bare region, a rather fine gum-tree that towered its branches over the roof and lent what must have afforded a delightful siiade during the many hours in which the sun fell hotly upon it. There was nothing striking in the appearance of this structure. It was simply one of the old (trim ili ve schoolhousps, put up by the united efforts of some of the male members of the several families at little expense hnyond that of time and labor, and some of these males, though they acknowledged tbe necesaicy for the culture of their young ones, graded uot a little tbis disposal of their time, and wouiu have been better pleased, ax many are in the |iresent time, if Government hud kindly stepped in and saved them the trouble, even at ??»?- ex pense of pauperising them. The windows were wide open— so was the door, but there was little to be seen besides cloud h of dust that were evidently in process of being swept up from the floor by two stout maidens, whose turn it doubtless was to per form this office and assist in clearing tbe room, for it was the end of the week, and everything was required to be in perfect order for tbe Sabbath school and an afternoon service which was regularly held there every Sunday. In a small room, rudely partitioned from i the school proper, the doorway screened by a cm tain of old faded damask, the window of I which was also widely open, sat the teacher, & tall tlight girl, her graceful head with its eimply knotted but abundant brown Lair bend ing over a desk engaged in making a few last entries for the week, while at the window, impatiently watting for their sister, bto-d two children — a pretty delicate- osking boy of ten, and a little girl two or three years younger, whose soft blue eyes, and tilky blond hair falling over her shoulders, scarcely harmonised with the schoolmates who had already pa*sei out homewards. ?'Oh, Mada, haven't you finished ?' presently exc'a:noed the boy, lather fretfully, 'It's so hot litre, and I do ho want to get home.' 'I fat-cy we shall find it nutter in the sun than it is hero, Harold,' his sister answei-ed pleasantly, without looking up. ' However, 1 have just finished my work, and if .Su-seyaud Norah have done their1* there will be nothing (o hinder our departure. ' She «se as the spike, p'aced her bouke in the recess, wiped her pen, and locking her desk took down her hat and paras jI from their accustomed hook, and pushing aside the cur tain peeped into the other room. ' Ii'k all doiip, te:u:lier,''s4id one of t!»ft girls, bb felin naehrd ht-r own haA, an old Ta-n o' Slianter, on her head, and took up her luiuli bag and books. ''Books and everything tidily arranged, TCmah ?'' queried the young lady. 'Yea 'm, and locked up,' and the smil ing girl presented the key. Then with, a country reverence, and a 'good bye. Miss Harden,' the two girls, nothing loath, ran oil'. 'Mow then, Winny, we will go,' exclaimed Mit-n Harden, with something of a sigh ol relief, and cloning the windows, all but a narrow t-tiip it the top of each, and limilly locking the dior behind her, «h-; stool a menu-nt undtr the verandah pulling on her long glovi-K. Thi-n tsluvating her paiasjl and swinging her lunch and workbasket on her aim, the turned her back on the schoolhouse. 'Till Monday!' she ejaculated -;\ultingly, though half under hc-r breath. Her little brother heard her, however. *' Yea I till Monday. I'msogk-J. 1 wixli it w»« not so hot though,' he murmured. ' - -n« can't inn, or jump, or play mu^Ii in tbe nun even if it is a holiday.' And they turnud off from the road, and wen- ;di nit to creep under the fence, when the nuund of wheels rapidly apf r ^cbuifj behind them brought them t-- a Htttnd. 'oh! its Hob; Bob Ellingham ! Harrah : Xow wi: won't liAVf; to walk home,' cried Harold. His M*trr it-proved him, but there w.-w a ??Tjnile on hir li( s and alight in her grey eyi'B ttiat robbed the reproof of its severity, while the prettiest caloi- stole into her cheek as «he tti od waitiug at the corner of the road fur the advent of the buggy and its driver. 'Tin not too late after all,' he exclaimed joyfully, as throwing his reins on one aide he sprang to the ground, eagerly seizing the younp; lady's -iUtBttfct-bed bands of welcome in Ijoth hid. ' I was detained at Riwton — have had Lard work to come up to time ; and Mada, dear,' he added aotto vocr, 'I have brcn in aperl'fct fume all the while, afraid that you would walk hoinu tlirou^li all this heat, when I at li-utt could havn spared you tbat.' ' \V'-- might have waited, crtninly, but I did rot really - xpeet you Bob — I thought you were miles away, said Mada., demurely. ' h'o I was ; but not to j far to remember that thin in Friday afternoon, and ? well, in fact, 1 made up my mind to come, and here 1 am. Corr.«- dear !' and he took her hand in his ui ehe sprung to the teat at his side, the children nrcding no invitation, having already om fortably ehtablifhed th«n.-*elv»'s oa the back teat. 'Take us a long way, pleasp,' plea-led ?\Vini-y. 'That's jubt what we skull like!' echoed Haio^d ; and Hubert Kllingham turned laughingly to the young lady at his side, on whoee soft cheek tbe color was deepening. 'All right!' he replied, 'I am willing enough, will it be too hot for you, Mada.'' 'i'tw-re in a nice littfa breeze springing up we.it waitl — we tltall fet'l it more in driving. May I take the longer track '. I have 80 much to Bay, and mo little time, ta say it in, for there will nut be much chanco in the house, with everybody about, you know ; and I must be off tirst thing in the morning.' ' Do what you like, Bub ; you know you |»f npi-al'y do,' repliel Mada significantly. ' Do I ': 1 with I did,' he answered ruefully, as he drove slowly off. ' If I did there would be no more toiling through the sun for you, Mada ; no more wearisome contending with a heated atmosphere and dull intellects. I would have yi.u— oh, you know where I would have yon— just where I could shield you from every sorrow or care.' 'No, Bob; even yuu. could not do tha*.,' s»id Ma4a rather gravely. 'Besides, p?rhap*, a little of this roughness is good for me.' she added, brightening up. 'I don't complain a bit for myself — that is,' she faltered, ' I can wait a wLilefor a better state of things, bit t do care for my father, who — poor old did— has bsen bo strange in his obstinacy ; and I do grit ve for the dear little mother, with her gentle refined nature so utterly unfitted for the life she is in, and I do fret for my brothers, who but for this craze of poor father's might have been fitting themselves for other thing*. As for Joanne and myself, we are younx, and Can look forward.' ' Have you any pity to bestow upon me.?' asked Lob reproachfully. ' I rather fancy I have had my part of the burden to bear, sin^ it has kept you from me.' M( ij ' O, but you can look forward with Jeanne and myself,' replied Mada with a laughing flash of her grey ayes, and a slight toss of Un graceful head. But the next moment t!i-s merry lipa took a sorrowful curve, as though she recognised his right to a fellowship in the trouble, and in a low voice she presently added — 'Yes; poor Bob! It is a little lia'd 011 yon, 1 acknowledge, to have all your pleisaul plans broken u|-— no — not broken up— only de layed,' she continued more brightly. 'Delayed! for how long, Mada? How mnch longer is this farce to continue?' asked Sob impatiently. 'So far as your father is concerned it may go on for an indeiinite period. I want my wife at the head of my borne to make it home to me ; and here she in doing her best to ruin her health, and suffering all bind of privations at the samutiiue, aii all for what V — a mi-re whim, a myth, vrhi :h has I tnriMd out sxk «very one predicted it w«ui-J— «

complete failure. Why should we wait any longer? Sorely they can do without you? At least they have Jeanne; and, Mada, I nave no one.' ' i ou have your sister, Bob ; and besides,' she added gravely, 'lam very well, and in the presentstate of affairs I could not leave my parents. £ven my little help is necessary t,j keep things together, everything has gosc *) wrong.' ' Of coun-e it has, but how long is this to last, Mada? Here is Christmas close at hand again— another Christmas and nothing done. No sign of change excepting from woneto worte.' ' I am not so sure of that. There is an atmospheric change of some kind looming. Mote trouble at hand, I am sure of that, only I bavent quite found out what yet,' said Mada, half under her breath, for there was a lull in the children's voices for a moment, and though they would scarcely have compre hended her metaphor she cared to run no ritlc. 'What have you found out?' asked Bob eagerly. '1 don't want you to have more trouble even for a moment, my poor Mada, but if nothing short of an eartbouake can break up this state of things ? What have you found out, dear? Tell me tbat,' he continued, leaving his sentence incomplete. ' Here's the slip-panel, and there's Oscar. We may not have another chance together.' Mada's eyes turned upon her brother, who was slowly throwing down the panels, and under cover of the children's voices, who were fully prepared for a triumphal entry, she re plied— 'Three yenis ago father mortgaged the farm ; no one knew, not even mother, till lately; he is so reticent. And 1— well, 1 foucd it out by a mere accident.' 'Isthatallv 1b there nothing more to tell, Mada?' said Bob, quietly, as if what she Ltd told was no news to him. 'Xot quite all,' snid Mada, taking her basket flix! books and handing them out to her brother. ' I am not certain, not quite cor tain, of this, mind ; but I believe no iateiest has been paid upon the mortgage up to this date, and that is likely to be foreclosed directly.' 'How soon?' asked Bob, almost taken off his guard by the intelligence, which he kaew very well, if true, would change everything for the Hardens as much as an earthquake would do— pn-sibly for himself as well. 'After Christinas, 1 think— soon at any rate,' she whispered hurriedly, as she gave him her hand and sprang from the baggy. CiMri.it II.— Tub Uocron's Ciu/.e. One 1 1- whom riersiMsion and belief Hn-i ri|;-ieil into faith, and taiUi became A --»f f - 'ii-.le intuition. — Words woktii. Tl-e;,..i -:-mtnodioue, and well-furnished licux- w it*, fair and leafy surroundings, which li . forrnei-ly been occupied by ih: Harden and hit family, lay back among the hilL«. Among these a!w- were nestled the houses of the d-x-.tor's patients. Most of them well-to-do, and affording him an excellent practice, which .is lit have been still further extended had he so willed it, for he wan clever in his profession, and having been successful in many serious cases of u, complicated character— in many dangerous operations, had obtained a considerable reputation, which must have worked well for his income but for a certain impatience or indifference he was apt to manifest over the smaller ailments of man kind. l'erhaps it was not so much impatience with his professional duties as a longing after a little freedom— a change of some kind — for he had followed hiB prolesBion for many years, and confessed to being a little weary of its mono tony, lie bad long coveted leisure to bestow upon his own particular fancies — he wanted opportunity to indulge his own especial hobbies — and failing this grew moody and dis satUlied ; eome even whispered inattentive to Lib practice and his patients. Had he possessed a competency to enable him to retire and follow his hobbies to the top of his bent he would have had no hesitancy in throwing up his practice and turnirig over his professional duties to others. But no such competency existed. He had insured his life that in case of hie death his wife, to whom he was greatly attached, might be secured from poverty, and he had also a considerable sum in the National Bank to his credit, otherwise the expense of livingand of bringingupandedu cating his family swallowed up nearly all that hie professional Inborn brought in. His eldest son was married, and had fol lowed his father's profession in a country town ship ; hiB eldest daughter was the wife of a riting surveyor. Three sons and three daughters made up the home circle; two youths of lo and 13, Alfred and Oscar, with little Harold — and Mada and Jeanne, and lutle Winny, the pet and darling of all. The two v.lUetttlt.MghtetB had completed their «du eati'.n ; but their younger brothers were yet in the height of their studies, when the first six ck of earthquake came which revolutionised ! everjtbiug. j It came partly through a slight accident, I which laid the doctor aside from his profes sional engagements and compelled him for a time to obtain the services of a locum Uncnn, The enforced rest was not unpleasant to him — it left him plenty of time for reading— and he presently began to recover from the effects of the accident, and was soon able to move about his garden, an t special hobby of his— one in which his skill and artistic taste as an amateur florist was veiy apparent. Then, as he enjoyed the rest and refreshment, the fr--«dom which he had so long craved after, the question obtruded itself in his mind why that freedom should not be. continued. What need for r«tum to the old round of duties? Why, with funds that were lying dor mant in the bank, he should nnt secure a block of land, build a houBe upon it, and put into practice some of the innumerable theories on agriculture that he had so long delighted to study ah theories only, and giving his profes sion to the windy, settle down to a country life iind agricultural pursuits, carried out as only a fetienlinc man could '. O, he had beautiful theories, there i.s no doubt of that. The wilderness, for him, was to bloseom like a rose, but he had not the re motest intention of putting his owu hand to the plough. No, he was to superintend — to direct. Alfred and Oecar, and by-and-bye little Harold, iniiHt all be familiarised with practical work. He would, of course., have to employ labor ; there would be no difficulty in obtaining that. The theory waa beautiful ; it promised to be a wonderful success. Ha had yet to learn how dependant, of all men, is the agriculturist on tlie dew, and the rain, and the sunshine from Heaven; how even science, and those *' inexorable laws' which Rome of our scientists m- learnedly propound, must yield to the mandate of Him ' who holdeLh the winds in the hollow of His hand,' and behind the ' windows of Heaven' sometimes restrains the bestowal of blessing for Jiis own wine purposes, which it is not lor our tinite rninds lo gra*p — lie turni-th ri-.«:rs into a uikltruesi', and tin- w.ttur epringa inU dry ground. lie LiirneUi tile wilderness into standing uuurr, and dry ground into wiitcr springs. \V1iobo is v. itte, and ulia'l observe ttif-He things, t»tu tlif-y shall understand the Jo-inK-l'miliicM ol Uil Lord. But we are digressing, and njt in the leaat following out the doctm-'a reasoning. He bb.w things from' the scientist's point ol view, and if he found that science could not always solve hit* diilicultiep, or that the theories deduced therefrom varied as much as the propounded of those theories, or as the very winds that at times spring up to overturn them, as every body knows they do, he still went straight forward, wedded to theories of his own, and, feeling assured that they must be right, was obstinate in proving or trying to provo that they were ko. in the leisure moments of his return to health he laid out bis plans, and without con sulting any one, not even bin brother, a wealthy shipping merchant at the port, who he was tolerably certain would vehemently oppose his determination, he purchased a large block of land up north, which had the great advantage, as the land agent with whom he negotiated set forth, of having both house and barns already upon it — everything indeed for immediate pos session. Then, still unknown to bis wife and family, he made arrangements with his locum Uncus to retain both house and practice ; and not till the very lant moment, when change of purpoiie seemed an impossibility, was the future carer of his household made known to them. Well, it was tu-eless to protest, for the thing was done, and quiet, gentle Mrs. Harden took up tliie new burden of life, as she had done many another, revolving for her husband's and her children's sake to make the best of it. Of course there was, as we have Baid, a moral earthquake in the midst of them. The merchant hroi.htr caroeto reason angrily with the doctor for undertaking a business be did not under stand, and relinquishing a profession he had followed all his iile. Frank Harden, his eldest son, followed suit, disgusted, as he said, that his father should spoil his own prospects and the prospects of his family by such a crazy undertaking; just, too, when his young brothers were in the midst of their education, and would soon be ready for entering en their several professional studies; just, too, when his sister Mad.i was likely to become the tutnei of a rising solicitor— a prospect which hi* father's mad proceedings might blight in the bud. It made, however, no difference in this last particular, only in fact percipitating matters and bringing the gentleman m question to the declaration point, though knowing her father as she did Mada protested that it would be useless to apply for connect .'it the present stage of the proceedings — that for this they mint wait — and for thf timfl b*ing, th«-ref«ire, Robert Elling lijaii, though inc.bt unwillingly, had to let tbe n,:.tter rest. Tin-re wa* in fact nothing «-.Ue to be done. Kvtrything had i^-tn determined :ipon— even ti'parfcUc&i: lcr {.ucktng c-juitr.enced before tbe

doctor had even thought of visiting his new pessestioBB. It then occurred to him that it might be as well to be personally assured of the condition of the homestead before re moving hie family and furniture; so taking his son Oscar with him he departed on the exploration. The boy was very much of his own tempera ment, and was wild with delight at the change of life, with the excitement of plenty of fresh air and freedom from study, and the prospect of unlimited rides on a horse of his own. He was fully prepared, boy as he was, to seoond hiB father in the new lift he was taking up. Whether the doctor experienced a shock to his ideas when he surveyed his acquisition must e\er remain unknown. The bare, bleaklook ing houto, innocent of trees or garden, though externally large and with a suffi ciency of sooma, rough aa they were, for the wants of the family, was in itself enough to quench the lights of a dozen tht-- nes ; and the surrounding country, with nothing but a low line of mallee scrub in the far horizon, and with little but a stunted tree or busb to break the monotony of the long lines of rough fencing which everywhere met the vii w was, -to say the least of it, depressing. But the doctor was not depressed, or if he were he made no show of it. In truth those theories of his threw a rose tint over the bleakest proa iwcte. He saw things not as they were, but ns they would be when science had been brought to play upon them. It was a mere wildermsH now, but in time all this would be changed— all should yet be green with rich pasture and lovely with a garden of fruit and Mowers. The barns, to his sanguinu vision, ?were overllowing with the produce of the land. It was a strange cra/.e, as people truly called it, but he thoroughly enjoyed it ; and O4c.tr »'i« ready to drink in all 1i\h father's tlvtiori'-* and to uphold him at every turn. lJoctor Harden did, however, see it iiecoj sary beJor» conveying his drlioatn wife and daughters to their new home to huve some little renovating prut-esses introduced. At no small expense, therefore, workmen wore brought up from Adelaide, ami some of the modern im provements in papprhanging and plastering applied to the bare, discolored wall*!, certainly putting a different aspect on things. An to the gurdtn, or the piece of ground round the house designed for one, that lie decided must be left till he could *ui-erintend it at leisure. Mean while they could bring many of their pot plants fiom the old home, and such shrubs as would bear transplanting, and a few quickly growing climbers would soon transform the front of the house from itB present bleak aspect to a verdant bower. Then came the final quitting of the old home and itB associations ; but however his wife and family felt this it was evident that the doctor's only sensations were those of pleasure and lreedom. ' It had added a dozen years to his life.' he said ; and with that view of the case he silenced the flow of tears and the low tnur murtngs of regret that but for the love they bore to the husband and father would have been unrestrained. But all this had transpired three years ago. Meanwhile how had the doc tor's theories prospered? His verandah indeed was, as he promised, a mass of greenery. A gaiden had flourished tolerably by dint of a great deal of labor and expense bestowed upon it. A stunted hedge of furze surrounded the houee premieep, but other things had not ad vanced. Harvest after harvest had proved unproductive, in spite of the capital spent upon the soil— a capital that had melted so rapidly wheie all had been expenditure and no return, that, us Mada had t»!d her lover, it had been necessury to heavily mortgage the whole, land to carry on proceedings at all and purchase the needful machinery. Besides, the doctor's theory and practice did not agree. It was one thing to lay down plans ; it was another thing to Bee them performed. The doctor found to his cost that the only labor he could attain, besides being very expensive, was often very inefficient and unskilled, and entailed both fatigue and trouble up m bimielf. Then, too, tbe hot wind burnt up hie wheat, and ruined his young plan tations, scientifically laid out us they were ; or the heavens refused the genial rain and gathered no blackness when the parched up earth demanded it ; and all his schemes fur irrigation fell flat for want of money to fur ther them. Crop after crop failed, and at length cash became so exceedingly scarce that with all its expenditure he found it ne\t to impossible to meet the interest, much less to refund the mortgage money. There had come a time at last when even the common household expenses could not be met, and by a tacit agreement both mother and daughters resolved to endure any straits rather than trouble the doctor for what they felt sure was not obtainable. In this criais Mada had undertaken to be the provider, and had occupied the school a mile distant that happened fortunately to be without a teacher. This would bring the needful supplies, while at the same time she could educate her little brother and sistf r, and could feel at least that she was doing something to ward off the evil day. Accident had revealed to her the fact o the mortgage. Her father's troubled face, though he still said nothing, and her own quick observations, convinced her that all was poing wrong— that the interest had not been paid for at least that year. There could be no other re suit than a foreclosing according lo the, - urnm in which the mortgage had be.en injudiciously arranged. 'Ami then- -what would become of them all ?' She was glad to have. I&obert Ellineham to contide in. lio knew so much of these liiatterti ; and it was a relief to her to find that he did not feel greatly alarmed for the result. Only, of course, it demanded a httle thought end a little tact, especially with a man who, like the doctor, did not care for hia private » flairs to lje interfered with, and waB very -ipt obstinately to persist in the wrong to his own and his family's detriment. CliAITKU 111.— BKAIUJ1NC THE L)0N. 'Courage mountetb with occasion.' 'My dear Mada, listen to reason; things cannot go on as they have been doing, it's a moiitl impossibility, and I cannot see way the preterit state of aHairs should not work well for us, they ought to ; they must.' After all they had found the opportunity they wanted of an hour together that evening after the little ones were in bed. the doctor engrossed in his study, bis wife busy with her work basket, and Jeanne and the boys somewhere about the premises, but giving a wide berth to the two who so seldom met. Jeanne, in truth, had given a broad hint to her brothers, and they, nothing loath, had gone oil with their dogs to the very extremity of the section, while she, herself, sauntered away to one of the men's huts whose wife had a week-old baby to enlist a new set of sympathies. Mada and her lover were seated on a fallen Ing undr- r shelter of an old winnowing-machine ttiut stood not far from the bam. The night wan glorious; a full clear moon shone down upon them, softening all the rough places with its silvery light, and making even the pad docks with their poor thin crop almost beauti ful. There was a soft reviving bree/.e stirring amongst the wheat and rustling the meagre heads— that was all they saw immediately around them ; the lueagreness was not visible in the moonlight. In the distance, for the uld barn was a considerable distance from the hmite, they could bee tbe white garden gate gleaming in the middle ol the hedgerow, and beyond that tbe toft lamplight from the sittiiig-rooiu windows, both of which were open, and the curtains drawn aside to admit the breeze that had sprung up so pleasantly after sunset. Altogether it w.-w a peaceful scene— at least in the moonlight ; but Mada and Robert were scarcely tuking it peacefully. Mot, indeed, that they did not feel the pleasure of these few moments together— so few and eo far batween as they were; but, as Robert Ellingham ex pressed it, 'the moral earthquake w.is brginnieg, and they were experiencing a little of tbu depression of the lowering atmospheric changes'— at least Mada was. Her com panion somehow seemed to be gathering courage and life from wl'-^t was impending, and was trying to reason away the fears of hiB lady and infuse a little of his otva hopeful spirit into hers. ' You see,' he continued, rising and walk ing up and down, ' the whole scheme has been a failure, as everyone knew it would be. The land is poor, and if it were not so the doctor knows just as mnch about practical farming as 1 do. Why, the very horses have been eating their heads off. - )f course they must eat, bu there was no feed worth speaking of this year, or last either. As to the wheat crops, ther-% has been httle enough worth harvesting you say, and this carting water has 'been an cxpon uive affair. Of course the irrigation scheme fell through. Ah yes ! it has all been a failure from beginning to end, and even with favor able seasons I can't for the life of me see that it would have been mnch better. How your father could have resigned a good practice and have thrown away his money in the purchase of euch land it beats me to imagine.' ''My father had so many scientific theories in sis head that he thought he could conquer any soil, and make it productive ' — said Mada gravely — ' That is it, yon see — theory — theory — theory —all theory, and not an ounce of practice. All very well if there had been money enough to allow for failures. But the doctor would never make a practical farmer if he tried it for fifty years, ' said Robert forcibly. ' He can manage things on a anall scale— where ho can walk round and sue his orders carried out. He i« a splendid amateur florist, as everybody knows, The pity of it in that he did not keep to that and his profession.' ' Y«H,'*ighed Mada, looking troubled ; 'but you see, Kobert, the deed in done. How to undo is the next question.' ' Yt*, diiilinf. we ai«* beating about the bush and wasting cur few precious moments,'' he eagerly replied, again sitting down by her side and taking her hand in Doth his. 'It just brings me to whiit I said at first. Some thing niust be done to Jivtit the n.Uchief, and,

after all, dear, if the wont cornea to the wont —if the land and property must go— welL to put it more broadly, if there has to be a clean sweep of everything, though I can scarcely think matten can have been so recklessly con ducted as to bring snch as entire wreckage why, your father has still his profession, and it's my belief he could easily resume his old practice. The boys can be got into something, I should think, through your uncle's influence. You must give yourself to me, darling, and we can take the two little onesforawhiletUl things ate settled. Why, tbe whole thing is con tained in » nutshell,' he continued enthusiasti cally, ' and I don't see, Mada dear, way we should wait any longer ; I shall speak to the doctor to-night.' 'Oh no, Bob! not to-night,' said Mada imploringly. 'But why not, darling? You cannot give roe ono sufficient reason. Besides,' he con tinued more gently, 'I do not like this ap partntly underhand proceeding; no good can come of it. I was always against it. The doctor can't reasonably object to me as a son-in-law. I am not a rich man, but I'm doing well, and have already a good home in waiting. How long I have waited, Mada,' he added reproachfully, 'and perhaps needlessly. IS'ow my sitter Cissy is to be married shortly after Christmas, I shall lose my housekeeper, Mada dear. I must apeak ; it will be better for all parties if I do.' ' I wish father would tconnde his troubles to you. It would be much better if he would speak cut. We should know then what we have to expect,' said Mada. ' I mean to know a little more than I do now before I go back tt- town,' said Robert significantly. ''Fair heart never won fair lady.' My heart never has been faint. It was only for the sake and at the will of the ' fair lady' I was dumb. But, darling, fur once I am going to take my own way, and see if it is not a good one.' They had a great deal to say to each other after that — more interesting to themselves than to us ; and when they again rose and sauntered towards the houce, the old clock in the sitting room chimed out 11 Mrs.Harden, Jeanne, and the boys had alrt ady retired, and through the opt n window of the study they could see the doctor at the table co'lecting books and papers together preparatory to seeking his room. ' I shall be up in tbe morning to see you off, Hob dear,' whisi.eied Mada, as they parted at the door. She ran off quickly to her room, and Bob Kjlingham went forward to 'beard the lion in his den.' 'Can 1 speak to you for a few minutes, doctor?'* he exclaimed, Walking boldly into the room with the deiermit&tion of a man who felt hiB cute was good, And yet with just that degree of heart-beating which more or leas must come on such occasions. ' I know it's late,' he added deprecatingly, ' but I leave early in tbe morning, and have no other oppor tunity of Beeing you alone.' The doctor faced round upon him with his hands full of papers. There wan nothing very formidable in his appearance. He looked young even now for his aix-and-Sifty years. Well built and upright, his hair and be*rd iron-grey to be sure, but Well kept and silky looking, and by no means deteriorating from his appearance, Fhrenologically speaking he had a line bead, a good broad intellectual brow ; but there were two developments that were particularly apparent— the one ideality, the other firmness to a larec degree— the first giving color to his theories; the other to his obstinate persistence in them, right or wrong. There was a little set of the mouth as he faced round on itobert, fixing the full power of his keen grey eyes upon him, that gave the young man a httle chill. He felt, somehow, as if he were a patient under inspection, and that his ailments, whatever they were, were not likely to escape that searching gaze. Did the doctor indeed guess something of the nature of the impending interview ? Surely he must do so. But there was no possible reason for his refusing his daughter ; she was of age, and bad a right to be considered — so thought her lover as he braced, himself up for the en counter. ' I wont to ask a favor of you, doctor,' Bub went on, hastily, determined this time that nothing should stop him. ' It's a good deal to aHk, I know, for I want you to give me your daughter.' ' Humph ! So that ib your business, is it, Mr. Ellingham ?' said the doctor, dryly, turn ing round again to the table and slowly placiDg his papers in a portfolio as he Rpoke. 'I suppose I may be at no Iobb to understand to which daughter you allude '( 1 have three, you remember.' 'No, doctor. I think your penetration cannot be in fault there,' replied Bob, waxing a little impatient. 'Mftda and I have been long attached.' ' Ah em ! Is it not rather late in the day to come and ask for what it stums you have al ready taken ''.' said the doctor, still with his back turctd to the. petitioner, i od his hands busy with his papers. 'Yes, honestly speaking, it ia,' said Bob, warming with his subject. ' I ought to have spoken right out long aga It wai not my fault that I did nut. But Mada thought you might not like it — that in this new life of youra she could not well be spared, tine would nutalluw me to speak.' ' Oh !' said the doctor drily. ' Aud now,' he prcHently continued in the came style, 'the embargo, 1 presume, is removed. Mada thinks tbat in this phase of the new life she can well be spared. Ik that so ':'' 'No,' said Robert indignantly, for ho felt kecnly_tlie unjust sarcasm of the tone ; 'Mada is an exemplary daughter. She protests that she is needed more than ever. But, doctor, I cannot sea it. I protest against it, because' — be added slowly, as though weighing his words — ' I fail to find any need of it.' 'A good daughter is always a need :'n a house,' said the doctor eententiously, us he removed the ashes from his pipe in preparation for a final smoke. ' Well, dootor !' exclaimed Ellingham at last, impatient at what appeared tu him frivolous delay, 'what about my suit? Y»u have known me a long while nuw ; have you any objection to me as a son-in-law 2' r- Do yon thiuk for a moment, Robert Elling ham,' said the doctor, turning round fiercely, 'if 1 had an objection — the rery ghost of one -that I should have tacitly allowed your visitB from time to time, when, to any mere superficial gaze, they could mean bat one thing ? No, sir ; I have no objection to you as a tonin-law. I never had ; but I confess I have wondered not a little why you have nut come to me before.' '? 1 told Mada ho. I knew you must think :t Btrange,' said Bob apologetically. And determined that his want of frankness Bhuuld occasion no more delay, and resolved to come to a perfect understanding at once, he con tinued eagerly, 'You give me leave to tell Mada that you consent to our marriage, doctor '!' 'How soon 't' aeked the doctor, without re moving hiB pipe. ' At once— if possible. But no, I suppose Mada will not hear of that,' said Bub, witii an afterthought. ' But at Christmas, or as soon after as she will consent to.' 'Humph!' was the doctor's single ejacula tion, and he walked across the room and re lighted his pipe before he mode further answer. ' Christmas !' at last he exclaimed. 'Christ- mas may bring changes to us all.' 'The moral e rtbquake,' thought Robert, as he watched his future father-in-law slowly pacing up and down tbe room, puffing out heavy volumes of smoke from his pipe as he walked. 'Doctor,' cried Bob, desperately, 'I wish you were out of this, and back in the old home under the hills. The garden, the house, and the practice too are all going to rain, and I have reason to know that your successor would gladly creep out of it. lie is not liked, and is in debt everywhere.' *' Ah !'eaid the doctor quietly. ' He o-.ight to have made a good thing of it, but there was nothing in him.' ' The people had no confidence in him,' said Bob, following up his advantage. 'And no wonder— he was scarcely ever sober. They wiBh heartily, many of them, that they had their old doctor again,' he added, diplo matically. ' Well,' said the doctor, after a long pause, during which he had paced the length of the 1 room three or four times, 'it is getting late, and I see no use in prolonging the dis cussion.' 'But you consent to give Mada to me?' said Bob, hurriedly, resolved on a full edaireiucment of the matter this time. 'Yes, ye»,' and I hope you will make her happy. She's a good little girl, and of course we shall miss her,' said the doctor, huskily, ' but 1 can't tell you how soon I can part with her— that will depend upon circumstances. I can't spare her yet.' And Bob, feeling dismissed— for the doctor placed his band on tbe lamp, preparatory to turning off the light— took up his hat, saying, 'I'll just take a whiff of my pipe out in the air belore 1 turn in. ijood night, doctor !' and he paused out into the moonlight again. 80 far he had gained 1i»b point, and after all, now that the trial was over, it did not seem much of a trial. Tbe 'lion he bad bearded' had not proved very formidable. He was glad it was over, nevertheless, and that the doctor had promised to give Mada to him 'eome time.1' He might have guessed that his fre quent visits could not escape a certain con struction— a child might have discovered their motive. But then, they had thought — both Mada and himself— that the doctor was so en grossed in tbis cra/« of his that the mere out sidr, of things— the practical workings of hie family life— were invisible to him. They had reckoned without their ho?t it appeared. Spite of bis ' craze' he saw and knew more than they gave him credit for. '?Yet so far,' Bob thought, 'he had gained bis print. Mfldfl was now bis premised wife, by her fkther'B permission ae well an her own const nt. The rest would come and loan,' he Comfortably concluded between the whiffs of hi* pipe. Ab to ether matters the doctor had not hundred him wiib his confidence. ' He had betn tc!*M»bly daring, toe, in putting before

him the poiobihty of an may return to the old life if be were ready for it— or compelled by circumstances to be ready— and in response there had been a partial admiwon of a pending change. That was all; but even that was some thing—it might lead to more. He walked long in the shadow of the scanty hedgerow till the moonlight paled and drooped towards its letting, booking from her window Mada aaw him slowly pacing up and down. Once, when he stopped to replenish his pipe, she caught light of his face aithe moon's dear sheen fell full upon it. 'She wai not disappointed. Oh, no; she could see that. It was thoroughly complacent,' ihe thought with a nnile, and drawing her curtain she went back contentedly to bed, 'Father has not refused him,' she whispered to herself aa she laid her head down again on her pillow. ' He would not look like that or walk so calmly up and down if he had.' And presently the heard the outer door open and tHoae, and his footsteps pan along the piustge to the bed that awaited him in her brother's room. They had no tine to themselves in the morn ing — even the little ones were up and around- Bob had only just a moment at the last to whisper as he lingered behind, the children happily having run forward and climbed into the trap for their promised ride a short distance down tbe road. 'It's all right, Mada, darling; the doctor gave his consent willingly; we had nothing to tear ; you'll get a letter from me by next post explaining things, and if all's well I'll be back again next Friday,' and with a hurried em brace they parted, and Mada stood watching the buggy as it passed out of sight and tbe children came running back to the house, ex hilaiaUd by their ride and eager for their breakfast. CliAITKU IV.— A Tjioitot'un Smash. A lucky otianoe that oft decides the (ate Of mighty tuonarchs. — Thomson. Dr. Harden sat under his verandah in the shadow of the dolichas, whose small, thick growing delicate leaves had already covered pillars and roof, and woven themselves in and out the rude latticework into a oool refresh ing bower. At one side of this verandah a hammock had been swung, but the doctor pre ferred the rough, roomy elbow chair, wnich being well cushioned formed as luxuriant a seat as he required. A small table, also of home construction, stood by his side, upon which lay his tobacco- doucIi, hi* bible, and a glass of sugar beer, for though the breeze was pleasant tbe shii was still poieut, and cooling drinks were decidedly desirable. It was a calm and quiet Sabbath morning. The doctor and Mada were alone m the house, with the exception of the servant in the kitchen. The rest of the family bad gone to church, some nine miles distant, the young ptople— .leanne and her brothers— on horse back, Mrs. Harden and the children in a neighbor's buggy. At the present moment Mada was busy within doors, and her father sat alone, with only the twittering of the birds that flew in and ourthe leaves, the cawing of the crows, the hum of insect life, the rustle of the leaves as the breeze swept past and playfully shook them as it went, and now and then his daughter's soft movements as she passed from room to room, -smoothing and puttie g away and setting in order, to disturb tbe stillness. He was not reading— some controversial, pamphlet lay on his knee, the open page turned down. As a rule be enjoyed con troversy, and no matter how absurd the tbejry he waded through it, sifting, as he said, the chaff from the wheat, though very frequently he was oblfged to own that the wheat was in infinitesimally small proportions. Bat this morning he sat leaning far bask in his chair, his LandB lying passive along its cushioned sides, looking sadly out upon the dry, un promising garden that lay before him, and wondering that he had ever thought it worth while to struggle with a soil which, in spite of all the science he had brought to bear upon it, had yielded him bo little return. It waa hard to come to such a conclusion —hard to have to acknowledge himself defeated, even to himself. It would be more humiliating still to have the defeat known, but to that he was quite aware things were rapidly drifting. 'Defeated! No; he would not acknow ledge that even yet. Things had proved adverse, that was all. His theories, properly carried out, were right enough. Ye», every thing had been adverse, everything had failed— not because of the barrenness of the soil merely — that his system would eventually have conquered ; but he bad bad a parcel of ignoramuses to contend with— men who could not understand his methods, or if they did were too indolent to follow out hia instructions, arid professed not to understand them. He had n.ide no headway what*-vcr. His crops year l$ jear were tnieerab.'e— wheat, or barley, or l'lcerj. The very peas this ye*r hrid tuen estoi aw.-iy ny Ki?ne w^rrn or Lirii ai a --;n as they j it two or three inches of ^reeu iVaf above the jjicuiid. An to his gardeu, it. iVjs a n.e/e bnrlpfqne on the bright acre -»f «n';ud, with its pretty conservatory, that hid been a WitcetK to the rucccts of hie theories io til h- me under the hills. 'And it wn- g'-ing t-- n.in, was it? A!l his beautiful lawn*, his c-ioice tveta and flowers, were being recklessly dfvtroyed. What a fity ; what a disgraceful shame !' T.ia doctor raided himself .tbruply in hiu ch.vr, and '.oiAtd indignantly -juI on the dried tip bfr1« and withered geraniums of hi-t present j,'irden plot, for which they had been able to spire a j water, or very little, this enanon ; but ic was on the ruin of his old beautiful garden of Ihe (jf.pt he in reality was looking. He roused himself presently and returned to his former theme, the reasons for the failure in hie new life. Unskilled labar — yea; and long dry seasons, nnseaHonabte rains tbat brought with them red rust ; scorching winds that dried up and shrivelled the young ears before they reached maturity ; burnt up pad docks tbat offered no pasturage to his cattle ; and lntt of all, the want of money to help him to rectify his failures and to hold up against them. What was his position now? To obtain money for machinery and various farming ap pliances he had moitgaged the whole atf.ur, as he could now tee very unwisely. The three years had been tided over, nothing more. In one thing and another the money had abso lutely melted, and there was little to show for it; and now at Christmas, or a short time after, the foreclosing of the mortgage must come. They would have to clear out, for he had nothing to pay. If there were only a loophole through which he could honorably creep and return to his former position. Leaning back again in his chair, and still looking dreamily ont through the vista of dolichas to the stunted hedgerow beyond, tbe vision of the old home came before him — the quiet luxury of its furnishings, the beauty of all around it, his own study over looking the garden, where, in spite of his medical dutieB, he had spent many a pleasant hour. Even some of hiB old patients came before htm whose cases he had successfully treated, and who consequently gave him in return great confidence and regard. He went off into a dream over this very professional life, and wondered musingly how it had grown so distasteful to him when it had afforded him so many triumphs. Had he committed a folly in relinquishing a path he had followed so long and so well— that too in tbe very prime of his life, or if a little past tbe prime at any rate in the very zenith of a successf al warfare against disease ? Maybe he had, maybe he bad. The query was, whether it was toa lnte to retrace, his footsteps, whether after a\\ that was not the enly course left open to him. There was a loud clatter of wheels along the broad dusty road that led past the slip panels insight of tnehouse— amad.wild rnsh of horse's hobfs. It was followed by a sudden crash, and then by anomnions pause. The doctor started to his feet, and Mada and the servant girl came running from the houne just as a feeble ' cooee ' waa borne down upon them by tbe breeze. ' Oh, father dear, there is an accident, 1 am sure,' exclaimed Mada, turning pale. 'Yes,' said the doctor, in a cool professional tone of voice, which he bad not assumed for many along day. and he walked briskly forward to the scene of the disaster, closely followed by Mada, who had snatched up her hat as she ran through the passage ; her father wore simply bis velvet smoking cap. Even as they hurried forward she had time to think how muoh more like a doctor than a farmer he still looked, and to rejoice that in case his services were re quire that he was in reality a skilful surgeon. ' A thorough smash,' he exclaimed, as they neared the fence. ' Oh !' wailed |Mada pitifully, ' I am sure somebody must be hurt.' ' Hurt !' said the doctor, drily, ' it will be a miracle if it ia no worse than that,' and he flung down the slip- panels and stepped into the road. A buggy— one of those light, airy vehicles which one occasionally sees upon country roade, but which are so utterly untit for their rough inequalities— lay wrecked againat the opposite fence ; the horse, to which one slender ?haft still hung as it had snapped off in contact with tbe fence, had evidently fallen, but had recovered itself, and stood, trembling, at a little distance. Where were the occupants of the buggy ? At first sight .they were invisible, but the next moment the full view of the disaster burst upon tbe doctor and his daughter. Staggering to his feet with a wild cry, a man csme towards them, exclaiming, ' Help 1 help 1 my wife— she's dead 1 she's dead 1' ' Where is she ?' returned tbe doctor, all his professional coolne.es returning to him as he crossed the broken fence, followed by Mada and the stranger. A fair yonng girl lay. deathly pale, among tbe buggy cushions. She had evidently been thrown over the fence -with the first crash. Dead, was i-lie ? To all appearances she was so indeed, foi hex eyva weie closed and her lips, white, and the daik purple line round the eyes bud month rendered the pallor more visible. 'We must help her, exclaimed Doctor Harden, as he bent over the ^roetriito girl, feel ing the i'u'tie i.nd Leteniue tt the Leu t, and

'^?J^1*' **»*«*-«» tempWfrom I which blood was slowly trickling. 'Ifed*. I run to the cottage and oaUSuniu-a Ned they S are eure to be lounging indoors.' j '.They are coming, father,' replied Mada ' excitedly; 'they have seen the aoudent. Oi, ! father,' she whispered eagerly, 'is iha dead 7— can nothing be done Vr 'Dead!— no; she is not dead. We mutt get her to tbe house; shell come round. Go and get a bed ready, Mada, and one of the men's wives, if you need help.' ' Dont be afraid,' «»id Mada. ai ahe passed the stranger, who. sick and giddy with his fall and agonised with fear for the aafety of his companion, stood leaning against the fenoe, looking helplessly down at the doctor's raove 2»e«»t8' . ' Don't be afraid, the lady ii not dead. My father u a doctor, and very clever ; he will do all we can ;' and she ran off to the house to prepare for the patient, who by the time she reached it was being carried slowly through the slip-panels and past the garden hedge, while one of the young women from the cottages came flying along aaross the paddock, and was presently at hand to give her assistance. 'Poor young thing t Do you think aho'a dead, miss ?' said tbe woman gravely. 'My father says not, and he knows,' said Mada; 'but I can't talk, Mrs. Rowe, .Tait place these pilIowB-so, please. Now will you lay out those towels, and see for warm water, while I go to father's room for bis c»se of in struments and sponges V' Mada waB a thorough doctor's daughter, aud, after the first fright was over, prompt ia action, and with plenty of presence of m;n3. Her father knew this, and gave a little glance of satisfaction as be fallowed the men into the room with their senseless burden and saw her laid upon the bed. She was not dead certainly, but it was well for her and for her husband that the accident had happened where it did, and that she lui fallen into such good hands. 'How pretty she is,' thought Mai* as she stood by her father's ^ide and held water and sponges, and saw him lift the fair hair aud bathe the ghastly wound, skilfully strapping and bandaging it, and as skilfully ascertaining that no bones were broken. 'A slight concussion, that is all,' he answered to Mad*'s eager questioning ; '? Bhe is rt covering consciousness already ; get her into bed and keep her quiet. I will come in again presently. I'll go now and see after the other patient, for 1 du not think he has escap3d un hurt.' Lying already in the doctor's chair, with the two utt-B by his side, one of whom was tia looung his necktie, the other bathing his temples with water, the 'other patient,' aa the doctor called him, had swooned away, looking quite as ghastly as the lady he hid just, quitted. 'Something more serious here,' he ex claimed, as he took hold of his coat sleeve and noticed that the right arm hung helplessly down by his side. ' Here's a bone wants Betting/1 and having seen that the sot* in his study was cleared of the books and papers that littered it, be had the sick man cirried in and divested of his coat, and the broken arm was presently set in masterly style, while toe man stood by in amazement at the ease with which it was accomplished. '?It might have been worse,' said the dostor cheerfully, as his patient came out of his fnint to find himself prostrate on the sofa and his arm in splints. 'You have both esciflel very well, let me tell you. It's little short of a miracle.' 'My wife! Is she safe?' said the young man, attempting to rise. 'Ye*, safe and well cared for— less hurt than yourself. The cushions save) her. Sit still, my good sir, if you want to gjt well and not undo my work.' 'Thank God for that! And you, doctor, how can I thank you '!' ' By keeping that arm of youw still.' said the doctor drily. 'I'm not fond of having my work to do over again. You've everything on your side ; there has been no time lost, no swelling to prevent the bone knitting. So thank God, and take courage. We can take care of you and your young wife too.' Chapter V.-— What Came of it. O yet we trust that somehow good Will be tbe final goal of ill.— Tbnxtbox. 'If that horse of mine manifested a villainous disposition in baiting with ue yesterday, he certainly showed some dis cretion in the spot he selected for the final catastrophe,' muttered Stephen Dale to himself as he gl&noed round the com fortable quarters in which he found himself on waking early next morning, and thought over, as much as the pain in his arm would allow him to think, both the disasters and deliver ances of the previous day. Of tbe pain he had been reminded when he attempted to move the disabled member, but as the violent twinge lessened in acutenenB, and he gradually sank into an easier pusitiun, be had leisjre to look around and survey the situation, and to be grateful at least for the pleasant q-iarteM into which he had so strangely been brought. It w.ih early morning, aa we Baid, and the rosy light from the fleecy clouds, the anttuC couriers of tbe sun, that as yet had sent no golden shaft to dissipate them, was throwing a red glow through the window near which he lay. All things were visible under that rosy mint. The broad nofa, which had been im provised by clean sheets and quilts aod pillows into a comfortable bed, first attracted his attention. From that he glanced at the walls lined with books, medical books many of these as no rightly surmised, but not these alone ; there were books of .science and philosophy, of poetry, even of fiction, on every hand, could he have seen their titles. Dr. Harden's study was a iitultutiiinparvo, it contained much or little of everything, tbough in small spaoe. There was a professional side to the room, where ominous-looking phials and Latin labelled drawers and terribly mysterious cases were visible. These sufficiently proelaimedthe professional character of his host, of which indeed the skilful manipulation of his arm left no doubt. The mystery was why this son of .'Eeculapius had isolated himself from all centres of civilization, and where were the patients who fell into hia hands, if indeed he still practised the healing art. Very comfortable quarters they were in which he found himself. The floor was covered with thick matting, and the window drapsd with green moreen to shield the room from the too fervid entrance of the afternoon sun as it veered round to the west. There waa the doctor's chair, large aid roomy, and well worn. A heavy round table was drawn up near the window, and on tbis were heaped books, papers, and writing mate rials, with the customary student's lamp, which bad been extinguished the night before, and a floating taper substituted. The light, however, had not been required, for the doctor's draught had afforded his patient a quiet night, and the fact that the fracture in his arm had been so immediately reduced, and had proved but a simple fracture after all, and that no swelling had succeeded to complicate matters, very much minimised the pain that of course he in some degree suffered, especially after a restless movement. If his horse in hiB superior wisdom, as he laughingly said, had not singled out this par ticular spot for the wreck of tbe buggy the consequences might have been far different. But Stephen Dale acknowledged in hiB heart a higher wisdom than that of bis horse in the Providence that had preserved himself and his wife from death, tbough in accordance with his natural disposition to see the ludicrous side of things he could even afford to laugh at his own sufferings. 'They are a splendid family — this doctor's,' he said to himself, aB in the early morning he lay all alone watching the incoming light. With the exception of some very distant sounds no one within the household seemed to be waking. 'A splendid family, from the doctor himself down to tbat pretty little Winny who stole in last night, fixing on me such a compassionate look from her sweet childish eyes, her rosy lips taking so sorrowful an expression. What a thorough lady is Mrs. Harden— gentle, refined, and sympathif ing ; and the daughters, Mada and Jeanne, graceful, and I should say accom plished girb), and yet versed in all the arts of skilful nursing and genuine hospitality. The sons, too, are fine fellows. But what are they all buried here for? It's a thorough mystery — a mistake, to say tbe least of it.' There were presently little indications of a roiiEing household. Doors were opened and windows lifted, and voices— somewhat aub dued in consideration no doubt for the sick visitors— gave Stephen Dale a sense of return ing to lite He would have liked to get up himself, but his disabled right arm and certain sharp reminders of his helplessness when he attempted to move convinced him that 'the better part of valor' in his case was to lie still, at any rate till some one came to asswt him, or till be had received a visit from tbe doctor. He had been assured that his young wife waa well cared for, and doing well, though he had not been permitted to see her. Of one thing he was certain, he owed a vast debt of gratitude to his kind host and family, without whose help in that bare region he scarcely dared think of what might have happened. Dr. Harden; why, surely the name was familiar to him ? Where had he beard it '! Ab, now he remembered ; Frank Harden was a friend of bis brother's, and surely, now he thought of it, it was the young doctor's father who had given up a fine practice for an agri cultural freak. And this was the farm carried out on scientific principles, was it? 'Plenty of theory,' hia brother Jim bad told him, ' and a minimum of practice.' And by the appearance ol tbe land on cither side the fence, and the general absence of trees and foliage in the garden, so he should think. Dr. Fivatt, he remembered, had said that the whole family had buried themselves. He should like to have a hand in the resurrectioning of them. Be looked round the room again, and smiled grimly. ' Easy enough to see how things have gone on,' he muttered. 'The doctor farina from his study table. He deals oat hie theories, t-it t*eing tbat they are tut into

i-raetioe k auvUwrthing. Perhaps he may ndeont occasionally toawhewJus plan an earned ont; bat left '» hired lialpa, who do ? ot appreciate anything thai giv-x teasmim txottble, of eoune they are foJutct. *pd nut have but one tenninauo'^- WelL I abcold like to see him out of this U poi&leTffit wwe only in simple urKtfade and adjabtatum at his As a aurcetffui tsi't iud estate agwti Stephen Dale felt that Vu help vxu pm3u* The only thing waa to obtain the needful oob hdenoe, to win through the shadow of mmtv* Oat seemed to enshrine (he dootor and oil family. . After this the dan flew by rapidly, bring ing perfect restoration to &e pretty young wife, and, by a slower procew, healing to her husband's broken arm. It was pretty to see her devotion to him, her careful attention to the doctor's orders, her intense interest io every detail of those direction*. 'You have a splendid little wife, Dale—* capital nune,' said the doctor, one day a« they ?at together in the cool of the evening under tbe verandah. The ladies were seated wita their work in the sitting-room, where they could en joy the oool breeze through the win dow and yet have the benefits of the lamp. The children were in bed, while Alfred and Oscar had not yet returned from the dis tant town whither they had gone for store* and letters. 'Yes,' aaid Dale slowly. 'Minnie iia jewel of the first water, tar better than I deserve. But your own wife and daughters are beyond all praiie— thoughtful, kind, and helpful — as though to tbe manner' bom. Doctor 1' he suddenly added, with the deter mination of a moment; for the time of hisdepar ture wsb approaching, and he bad obtained no confidence at present, or anything to work upon, though from all he saw around him, and the silent depression which rested on the family, in spite of their hospitable efforts at en tertaining and enlivening— he was quite con vinced, to use hia own expreuion, that 'everything was going to the dogi.' ' Doctor 1 are not you out of your sphere in these regions? What inducedyou to give up your splendid vocation, and the op portunities it afforded you of doing good to yourself and others, for agricultural toil? Don't answer me if you think tbe question im pertinent,' he added quickly, for the doctor was silent for a moment, and he feued bis dirtclnets had given offence. 'I do not mean it for impertinence. I only ask because I feel personally concerned. Having myself been so kindly apd skilfully treated, I speak in the cause of the Buffering,' he added, impressively. ' You have full liberty to ask, ana I have no legitimate reason for withholding an answer,' responded the doctor gravely. ' The fast ii, that in the first instance 1 had been in the harness so long that I fretted a little, and longed for freedom. Tuen I have always been a dabbler in horticulture— well, something mote tfcan a dabbler, perhaps. I was eminently successful, as Doth garden and greenhouse tes tified. My flowers and shrubs took prizrs over and over again. This love of horticulture led to the study of agriculture. I held, and for the matter of that! hold still, that farming carried on on scientific principles ia alone likely to be permanently successful. Have I proved it a tnccesB? you ask. No, I have not, and for many reasons. The seasons have been against me, it ib true, but I might have combated with thtin had I possessed a larger capital, and bad really skilled labor to back me. Irriga tion means unlimited expenditure, and my sources of expenditure were by no means un limited,' he added with a somewhat bitter smile. 'The theories were right enough; X hold finely to them— but money failed, and labor failed. I could not carry out my scheme*, or overcome the infertility of the land as I might have done had not resources failed.' '? However,' he continued after a moment's silence, during which tha voices fron; the sitting-room were dreamily audible, and the distant warbling of a magpie, waking ia the moonlight, came floating towards them on the breath of a rising breeze, *' The game is nearly up. You will understand it must be so. The whole concern is mortgaged — I have no means of reclaiming— it must go.' 'Well, doctor,' replied his patient, 'Yon must forgive me for saying that I am inclined to think it is the very beet thing that could happen. It must have been a harassing affair from first to last. You can, of course, take up yonr profession again?' ' Yes. I suppose I must put on the harness I have thrown off,' replied the doctor with a half sigh, 'at least,' he added, ' for a while. I shall always believe that the rest has done me good, it I have loBt by it. But it will be like beginning life over again, or nearly so, and that's rather hard to one of my years.' ' Yeg, doctor, but you are strong and hale y6t,' said Dale hopefully. ' You Have years of life brittle you, and lots ot auffariog lo al leviate. There must be a pleasure in that.' 'Ati '.' taid the doctor, '' that is one side of the picture ; the other side is the suffering that all jour skill and effort fails to alleviate. How ever, men and women, and children, too, uivut die. A doctor is not omnipotent— the keys of life and of death are not in his hands, bat ia Gcd's. That has al trays consoled me in un ?ucceteful cisep, where my best efforts have proved fruitless,' and rising as he spoke, he struck a match, lighted his pipe, and sauntered slowly out into the moonlight. Dale kne;y that the conference was ended for the time. But before he went he reeolved to know more, otherwise he could never show his gratitude by being of service to the family in tbeir present straits, as he felt confident he could be. ' It ia juM; possible,' thought the dostor, as lie slowly paced up and down in the moon light, under the shadow of his stunted hedge row. ' It is just possible that Dale can be of some assistance in warding off this foreclosing ; at leatt, in enabling me to bring things to a more successful issue. I may as well contide in him now I have the chance— but, after all,' he continued, straightening himself a little; ' since affaire must Be wound up, it ia better to put a brave face on it. I'll have the whole natter out with Dale tomorrow, for he leaves next day. I'll go to Adelaide with him, con trive fomehow to see Frank and young Robert Ellingham. Well battle ont the matter to gether.' And as he puffed away at hia pipe he became more and more reconciled to the move ment ; for, to tell the truth, the failure of bis agricultural enterprise was causing a reaction of disgust, and now he was every moment be coming more and more eager to be quit of it, and to resume his old professional duties with a certain amount of zest which a long absence had partly occasioned. 'Mary,' he exclaimed to his wife,, when they retired for the night, and the whole house hold had lapsed into silence, 'will you ha very sorry, my dear, to leave this place ?' 'Do you really mean it, dear?' his wife asked, with a sudden uplifting of her head and an ominous brightening of her eyes, which told of nothing but pleasure at the thought. ' I really mean it. In fact, it is scarcely a matter of choice,' said tbe doctor gravely. ' I think I have tired you all with my agricultural theories— or failures. We'll nave to go back to the old life, little wifie, and I sfirewdly imagine you. will not regret that.' 'And you, Theo? Will you regret it?' r.Eked bis wife anxiously amidst her joy. 'No,' he replied steadily. 'The 'crazfl,' as some of them termed it— if indeed it were a ctai«— is over. I can theorise very well, but I see it wants a good practical man to carry out the theories. Well, we will just take up the old life where we left it off. Who knows? Perhaps in the old place, and among tha old people I' Chafier VI.— Yielding to Ciechmhtances. To make a virtue of necessity. 'Leave the whole working of the matter to me, doctor,' aaid Stephen Dale heartily, after that gentleman had fully stated his position and the difficulties of the case were laid bare. ' It is all contained in a nutahelL I'll work the affair as much to your advantage as I can, you may rely upon that. You need pot move a finger in it. That will leave yon time to see your professional successor. Dr. WhatV his name ? Arrange with him, which it will ba easy to do, sinoe it seems he is anxious for a trip to the old country ; slip quietly into the practice once more, into the house and all why, there is nothing easier.' There certainly did not seem much difficulty as Dale put it. Indeed djnieuttiM appeared ts be wonderfully smoothing themulvea out. The doctor himself felt well and strong, and not unready for the old routine. Perhaps the entire rest and change, even the very dis cipline of disappointment and defeat had been good for him, as it ia for many of us. His wife and children had not seen him walk so erectly or look eo bright for many a day. Three weeks yet to Christmas— a good deal to accomplish in tbat time — but then there were willing and able hands enough to do it, and hearts loyal and eager to accomplish any thing. The doctor, true to hia determination, went off to Adelaide with his patianta. Of coarse he drove, for Dale's arm waa still of no use to him, though progressing splendidly. The old buggy bad been so utterly wrecked that it wan doubtful whether it could ever be resuscitated, but another had been readily obtained. The whole family were gathered under the verandah to witness tbe departure of the guests under the doctor's convoy. Mada and Jeanne bad become greatly attached to young Mrs. Dale. She had especially formed a warm friendship for Jtanne. ?'If only Jem could see her, Steve!' she exclaimed to her husband more than onoe. ' What a wife she would make for him !' ' Jim shall see her, never fear,' returned her husband, laughing. 'We cant compel them to like each other, bat we can put a spoke in the wheel without too visibly becoming match-makers,' he added quizzically. . It was difficult after that departure, and in view of the changes impending, to settle into the usual routine. Nothing, however, oonldbe done to forward the final exodas till further dSmctiens xeached them from both the doctor and Mv. Dale. So the boys bad to go back to their work, Jeanne to her household duties, and Mada to her sobooL ' . Mada, indeed, thought that it was a good

thing that she had the (school to occupy her mind. Her leisure moments had for a long time past been occupied in quietly preparing tier trousseau, and Jeanne had as quietly given bet assistance, eo that little remained to be done. Bobert EUingham had waited so lonjr that it would be scarcely reasonable toexrwct him to consent to further postponement of their marriage. Bhe most, however, assist in the packing, and see lier father and iii'itnnr thoroughly installed in tbeir old home firaL Yes ; Robert must consent to that. She had rot quite fathomed the extent of his endurance, however. By the end of the week, just as the last scholar had disappeared from the dusty road, as Mada turned the key of the schoolroom door after the weekly cleaning up, leaving it ready for Sunday occupation, Harold's sharp ears detected the swift rolling of wheels, and amoment after, waving his cap in the air, ana jcakiDga wild rush forward, he shouted to hi* little Bister. ' Here's Bob, Winny ; let's run and Bceethim. ,. . Mada turned rorrod, a smile on her lips ana » pretty color in her cheeks, as her little brother and sieter ran forward. Meeting the bturft? a short distance up the road she saw the torses brought to a stand, and the children scrambling into their accustomed place iu the back seat, whicli was in readiness for them. *' Don't eay you did not expect me, Mada darling,' exclaimed Bob, as in another moment the hoises wne drawn tip before the school room doer, and leaping to the ground he held the joung lady's bands clasped tightly in hia. ?'Don't say you were not listening for th9 sonudof my cliariot wheels ?' he added, with a merry twinkle in his eyes ; ' Mada, you know you were!' 'No,' said Mada demurely. 'You have forgotten that your last letter spoke of a week's delay. How should I expect you '!' 'How? 'Why, has there not been a blessed change in all things, and new prospects opened np, and new certainties arrived at. since that letter? My dear Mada, do you think after all I have heard since then that anything could bare kept me away 1' replied Bob, in affected surprise. *rHave you seen father V askci Mada esgerly, as he handed her to the seat at hi' side and drove slowly off. 'Kather!' he returced. 'Why, that's partly what has brought me. It's all settled, or eoon will be. I have a letter from the

doctor for your mother. Tho3e dearly beloved fellows, Dale and bis brother Jim, and your brother Frank, are managing everything swim miogly, taking all the trouble from the doctor's shoulders. And do yon think that /,-who have 80 large an interest in the matter, could be con tented to remain in town leaving m-i interests to take caie of themselves?' he added signifi cantly. ' But nothing is decided yet,' said Mada

BlgULUC&UViy. 1OUT lUbero&ba Will uu\« w *bide a wee,' Bob. Great movements are not made in a moment.' *' I allow that,' replied Bab, with a laugh. *' We have a whole fortnight for outs. Mada dear.' 41 A fortnight ? Till Christmas, you mean ?' ' Yf s, to our Christmas ; that day is to bo essentially yonrs and mine, you know.' 'And ours ton, Bob,' shouted Harold desperately. 'Win and I like Christmas Day as well as any one !' ' Yon young rascal, you !' exclaimed Bob laughing, and snatching off the boy's cap as be leant eagerly forward to assert his right to the day in question. ' Let's Bee if your ears have been sprouting lately. I was not talking 1 to yon, sir.' | ' Ko, but you were to Mada ; and if Christ- i mas Day is only yonrs and hera, what are we ? to do?' said Harold ruefully, putting on his ' cap again. I

??Oh, I resign the plum pudding to your j tender mercies; and yon may have all my : share of the sweetie?, so that I have Mada/' j returned Bob audaciously. j 'Come, come, Bob, this will never do; wh»t j is the me of mystifying the children ?' said j Mada, coloring like a rose. ' I vote that the business of the meeting be adjourned, Harold, j sit down, or yon will have to walk. AVinny, i be quiet, child ; no one is going to take your j Christmas away.' j ' Not a bit of it,' said Bob, with' emphasis ; j 'and Mada dear, since you dislike mystifying, j shall I enlighten the children as to why Christ- j may Day ib especially to be ours?' he added j miicnievowly. I 'Certainly not!' she replied in alarm. 'Say j nothing- at all about it; and please to re- j member, sir, that it takes two to make a , bargain.' 'That i8 what I jnst do remember, darling; and we too are so well agreed that ? ' 'Wait and see.' interrnnted Mada. 'At

any rate hove a little discration at present,' she added so determinedly that he took the j bint, replying, j 'Moors the word. Ill wait a wee.' ! They drove quickly along after that, talking on more general subjects on account of the ', little ' pitchers,' whose ears seemed more than usually long that afternoon ; and as that bill of ? fare was no inducement for delay, were soon j mlllng in at the slip panel and alighting : *at the how, where Otcar stood awaiting i them, and taking poBi-esgion of the buggy drove off with the children to the stables, . leaving Mada and Robert to enter alone. 'A letter from father, mother mine,' that . was Mada's salutation. Mis. Harden rose with ?? bands extended, and Jeanne sprang to her ! feet, exclaiming as she heartily returned Eobert EUingham's greeting, 'Now, then, we shall hear what we have to do. Father said he would be able to tell t» when he wrote next.'

Mrs. Harden sat »mili^g over her letter, while Mada went to lay aside her things, and Jeanne passed out under the verandah, for Bobert notified that he had something to say to her. She stood before him, her hands clasped, and a wSpjUjnatt-. smile on her lips. 'Well, Bob, what is it ?' ahe asked saucily. ''See here, Jeanne,' Bob answered eagerly, ' I want your help ; you must aide far and not agaitut me, mind! Remember the years I have waited.' ' Poor fellow ! Well, what can I do ?' 'Well, yon will find out presently that your father agrees with me — that all the moving can very well be accomplished without Mada. Thereto) e, that onr marriage bad better take place on Christinas Day. Kow, don't exclaim, there is positively nothing to hinder— nothing that ought to binder. Jeanne, have pity on a poor fellow !' ' Bnt Mada ! What trilUfcc say 1 After all it is she who will have to decide. And it is so very soon,' said Jeanne, in perplexity. -rSoon! Why, I've waited ? ' 'Ah, yes ! I know that ; you haven't waited ?even years though,' said Jeanne laughing. 'I'll allow yon nave been very good, but it doe* come suddenly at last. Of coarse,' she added thoughtfully, 'we can do without Ulada's help : andso much is done there won't be much to do.' 'Of course not. Besides, you'll get other faelo : Frank. nromiseB that. He and his wife.

and Dale ana his wife and brother will all be hereby Christmas— to the wadding, you know. Frank will be here the day before with boxes -from the city, full of all good things. ; and Mre. Dale will arrange the wedding dress and dresses for the bridesmaids, so they will be first-class ; you will only have to send your patterns, she say*.' 'Upon my word, you have managed it all nicely between you,' said Jeanne, excitement and pleasure flushing her face; 'there appears to me not much, left for us to do. Doss Mada know anything of these arrangements ?' ' Not yet ; the children were with us. She would not let me speak. Oh, you must help me, Jeanne. Dale and his wife will take care of your mother and the two little ones till all u straight for them ; and I guess the ' moving ' after all wiH be a merry one.' 'Hide-all I am,' arid Jeanne entmuinti eally. 'Yes, it will do beautifully if we can only get Mada to contest. Ill help you; it

niiiuuiuuij we weuuiDg »nu -_-nriB»iuM jjuy o»e trouble, yon know,' she added mis «hier«tBdy. 'One pleasure, you mean?' ^ 'It fetbsr has been sufficiently decided in tmiettertke little raotkerwillbeewyto win oTer,u4ontamed Jeanne, 'half the batHe will *e woo. Hen comes Mad* ; now 111 vacate, and go and look after tke fateof my teacakes,' and she r» round the side of the house as -Msda*ame thrambtte-frant door. Father was soffieteBtty determined, and per .bapfrMadst1* pale ebetksgave emphasis to the ?decinon » the matter's mind. At any rate, the w«ght«rtirifoieace infavorot the marriage Afada'bad to yield, «nd Bob w«nt off elated vitfc sis moots*, *-nd ready to forward every arrangement, execute any oommiisioB, and expcoisBiBattsss gtmraliy. *'I sboold certainly -Atom in any owe to ?peridCfamtmas Say with you,' wrote the dWor tobiBiwife. MMsda- weddns;, dear little girl, will be rather a private affair; tmt ?iwwan^aind tswt,«nd if it were left till we «8«sMwJd ia*JWB4h»detaywonld very likely fetfthraenoMttfas, «nd that wmld«oMnalv be fettfe Fllinghsiii. £ttirirtBUsDw/is-agood *W. **«*V M*4a miil be. better out of the taring. ^abBiwedsJWt and «foaage sadly, andtfae.waMw«tab-iloUMtoanieaadS9dMy «wl^#ne ta -&***?* «to *esd». After ?ha wadaww «? *' m 'I' can- jw»«top to «ae to ?bawMSMig «f^ny booh* and swgioU nsstru wiawsjj suQ lnts-yoniwa»ts» «UM«en«» town, toJfceilMeb. Wifie, I am not sorry to be back at the old work, it isvore conffsniftl so U. I bare .laarat, pecbaps by bitter ex peaanoejaudisoate low, that Tarn not cut ont fora fanner.'

Chapzbb VII. anbXiabt.~Thc Chssstuas Climax. 1st me not to «*e marriage of true minds admit fra faaiiBsao. -4ll*S»MA«|. Ohmtmas Day! bright and lovely, with a elear bine »ky, wed such a soft sweet bree^p ttat it awmeo the batbinger of a happy future, besricg on {ts-wtngs all kmdly congratulation*. P/tor Mada, oveipowned by eatFsatiea, had to yield gracefully at last and consent to

leave ths old farmhoufli . ,,*_,„' rate,' she thought, 'we« » ? bs -. vm together, or neaHy «o, and our il h i me ri der the hills will not be fay from ray new one. can often see them all.' . , She had her share, too, in some of the pack ing, for she helped her father w.th his books ami (these were aWy^'y^'X Adelaide and -'out of the road, as u.^car eaid leaving them the etuSy to arrange for Ihe important ceremony from the decoration of which «-riB was reliirionslv excluded. TnehousTw' filled with wedding guest^ Where they we.e all placed at nipht ^ a miracle, or would have seemed so to those wh', have no acquaintance with the elast^ity of country accommodations. Of course the old ba, ti w:is utilised, and with its fragrant beds of sweet -.sn:ellicg liay wpII snpplwd with rugs ot variouBdeBrriptiims, made a spacious, pleisint, if not artisticapartment for tho gentlemen. p»r ticularly so as the nights wore warm, and plenty of fresh air came in at the ungla/.sd window of the loft. . l-'rsak and hiB wife, the DAks ami their brother were there— for though Stephen LUU' ?nro= fn* frnm rprnvr-rpd hs would not be ao

sent. And .'em wa? quite as mijch attracted bv pretty Jeanue as his sister-in-law could desire. Mr. S. Harden, the msrehant, from tho Port, with a son and daughter, and l'ob Ellingham's tister Cissy, whosi- own wedtiinz had bfen postponed for a short time. These all arrived the night liefcu-p, with certain mysterious boxts which filled tilt? air ?with the fragrance of good things

as they wore carried on to tne pinery. Other boxes them were, m're daintily packed. Of theee tin- ladies ti'k posse^-iion eagerly, and presently thi- whole aspect of Mada's room was changed by the exquisite diostes and beautiful fabrics that were heipod in all directions, drawn like fairy gifts fp-prn beneath the box-lids. The bridal dross white silk and lsce, with tlic bridal veil like a white filmy cloud thrown over it ; the l-3»uti- fully modelled travelling dress and bonnet to correspond ; and the bridesmaids' dresaoa, 'things of beauty,' over which they were goirg into ecstacies, all thi-3e were the frifta of Mrs. Dale. Her husband's oft'etiuKs were more substantial, and awaited the return of the bridal pair to their new home. Mada escaped at last from the hanr.s of her friends, and from the fairy gifts that told hev so plainlv that she was going to leave the old home. Kot that she would nave had it other wise. Bob Kllingham was all that she could desire in a huBband, and in the ir.'uUt of tho very natural grief she felt at saying good-bye to her girlish years she was conscious of a stroDg undercurrent of pleasure and hippi ness at the thought of being his wife. But it was a wrench after all of old home ties, which

it seemed to her could never be quite the same again. And so C'hriatrr.as Day dawned, bright and cool, with sweet breezes, aB we have said. In stead of the soft chime of bells there was the catclling of magpies, and those had ventured very near the house that morning, and incu sGine of the higher trees of the garden, and were there pouring forth a gush of rich melody, The young men were up betimes an 3 away into the scrub, four miles distant, returning with wonderful appetites and branches of pine and wild shrubs, with which to complete th-- decorations in the study. It was all (unshed by breakfast time and everything in a Btate of peifection, only awaiting the appointed tirr.e and the arrival of the clergyman to hu levfaled. There waa a very merry party gathered round the early -breakfast table that morning. The doctor and Mrs. Harden were the quietest and gravest,, as perhaps was ouly natural, Mada kept cloce by her mother all the morn ing, and more than once there were tears in

the mother's eyes as she covertly looked upon her daughter bo soon to be taken from her. But Bob Ellingham and Jem Dale did their best to keep the ball of fun rolling and to nirlce every one on good terms with themselves and all about them. The doctor, to be sure, had a little sanae of defeat to annoy him. He felt it more in the presence of his brother, who had prognosti cated it. The merchant, however, had the good eense and kindnesB to avoid thf trouble some topic, so that all went pleasantly forward without a hitch of discomfort. It is astonishing, after the lengthened pre parations required for these ceremonies, how soon the ceremony itself is over. A Hash of silk and lace, goseamor and flowers, a few words, a golden circlet, a concluding prayer, and all is past. The bride and bridegroom come forth to share together for all time the

sorrows and the joys of life. So Mada put off the beautiful bridal dress and Hid aside her veil, which for a short time longer she had worn at the wedding breakfast ; a noble cold collation, by-the-bye, which Doctor Frank had decorated with the crimson berries and daik leaves of the holly, inter spersing it here and there amidst the bridal flowers, and crowning the 'old world plum pudding,' for, as he said, they must not forget that it was Christmas Day, or amidst their rejoicings the birth of the Holy Child Jesua, to whose advent they owed all 'peace and goodwill.' A few minutes more and the farewells were spoken, amidst kisses and tears, and seated by Bob Eliingbam's side Msiawas driven away, followed by the customary shower of rice and slippers. It was the last she saw of the old faiiubouup. A little later still Mr. and Mrs. Dale, the doctor, and Mrs. Harden, and the two excited children, Horace and Winny, who had thoroughly had their share of Christmas, left ako for Adelaide in a substantial buggy, with two excellent hones, and a very merry party were left behind to finish out the Christmas festivities and to complete the packing. Doctor Frank, of course, with his wife, playing propriety, and keeping, professedly at least, Lhe young people under control. Butafter all, in after years, Oscar oted to refer with con siderable gusto to ' that jolly time they bad at Mada'e wedding.'

ou cue ikiui unugcu uuuuo, wiui auiiic wu Hiderable loss to the doctor certainly, but by no ttveaas eo ranch at he had dreaded. A good practical man, with Sume strong and stalwart sons to back him, took possession of it. He was not without capital, yet was not above laboring: with his own' hands— and was thoroughly competent to do it — while he brought' some science to bear upon the land, and saw some of the doctor's theories success fully carried out aB they never had been in the doctor's time. And as to the doctor, he went back con tentedly for afew years more to his old pro fession, and to the culture in his intervals of leisure of garden and greenhouse, which, under his careful tending, were beautiful indeed. He always said that he did not regret his experi mental fanning, from which others were now benefiting. At the same time he was willing to admit that theories, however good in them selves, were insufficient without abundance of

good practical effort to carry them out, ani capita) enough to ensure their working. They might call it 'the doctor's craze' if they chose. He should never regret that he had had the ' ' craze' out. He was all the better for it. Alfred Harden followed in hi.s father's and brother's footsteps, and chose the medical pro fession for his future. But Oscar had been so impregnated with a love fcr the free country life that he could settle to nothing near Ade laide, to after finishing his education, which had been sadly broken in upon by the exile, and taking part in the wedding festivities of his sister Jeanne and Jem Dale, he was allowed to indulge his predilection, and in after years may possibly bring some of his father's theories into healthy exercise— the theories that as a boy he had so heartily endorsed and hadtritdto utiliseonthedesolate old sections in 'Dryland,' as he had named it. Only to his science he added good sterling experience and common-sense labor, without which agricul tural sneeess cannot be expected.