|Chapter Number||SECOnD PERIOD (CONTINUED.). XXXVIII|
|Chapter Title||RELATED BY THE GOVERNOR.|
|Newspaper Title||South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889)|
|Trove Title||The Legacy of Cain|
THE LEGACY OF CAIN.
By WILKIE COLLINS, Author of 'The Woman in White,' 'The Evil Genius,', &c, &C,
Published bv special arrangement with the author. All rights reserve!.] SECOND PERIOD (Coktisued) : EVENTS IN IHE FAMILY, RELATED BY THE GOVERNOR, Ciiai'tec XXXVIII — Related uv the Governor.
I waited a little after the receipt of Mr. Gracedieu's message, considering under its new aspect the position in which I found myself placed. Had the minister's desire to see me been inspired by his daughter's betrayal of what 1 had unfortunately said to her ? Although he would certainly not consent to receive her Dersonallv she would be at
liberty to adopt a written method of communication with him, and the letter might be addressed in such a manner as to piqae his curiosity. If Helena's vin dictive purpose had been already accom plished, and it Mr. Gracedieu left me no alternative but to present hia unworthy wife in her true character, I can honestly say that I dreaded the consequences, not as they might affect myself, but as they might affect my unhappy friend In his enfeebled state of body and mind.
»\ nen jl enteiea nis room ne was still in bed. The bed-curtains were so drawn, on the aide nearest to the window, as to keep the light from falling too brightly on his weak eyes. In the shadow thus thrown on him it was not possible to see his face plainly enough, from the open side of the bed, to arrive at any definite conclusion as to what might be passing In his mind. After having been awake for Eome hours during the earlier part of the night he had enjoyed a long and undis
turbed sleep. ' I feel stronger this morn ing,' he said, 'and I wish to speak to you while my mind is clear.' If the quiet tone of his voice was not an assumed tone, he was surely ignorant of all that had passed between his daughter and myself. ?'Eunice will be here soon,' he pro ceeded, 'and I ought to explain why I have sent for her to come and meet you. I have reasons, serious reasons, mind, for wishing you to compare her personal ap pearance with Helena's personal appear ance. Wait and hear why ! I want you to observe them carefully, and then to tell me which of the two, on a fair com parison, looks the oldest. Pray bear in mind that I attach the greatest importance to the conclusion at which yon may arrive.' He spoke more clearly and collectedly than 1 had heard him speak yet. Here and there I detected hesitations and repe titions, which I have purposely passed over. The substance of what he said to me is all that I shall present in this place. Careful as I have been to keep my record of events within strict limits, I have written at a length which I was far indeed from contemplating when I accepted Mr. Gracedieu's invitation. Having promised to comply with the strange request which he had addressed to me I ventured to remind him of past occasions on which he had alluded to his
daughters, and had pointedly abstained, when the subject presented itself, from speaking of their ages. ' You have lefb it to my discretion,' I added, ' to decide a question In which you are seriously in terested r slating to these two young ladies. Have I no excuse for regretting that I have not been admitted to your confidence a little more freely ?' ?' You have every excuse,' he answered. ' But you trouble me all the same. There ?waa something else that I had to say to you, and your curiosity gets in the way.' He sald'this with a sullen emphasis. In my position the worst of evils was sus pense. I told him that my curiosity could wait, and I begged that he would relieve his mind of what was pressing on it at the moment. ' Let me think a little,' he said. I waited anxiouelv for the decision at
which he might arrive. Nothing came of it to justify my misgivings, 'Leave what I have in say mind to ripen In my mind,' he said. ' ' The myBtery about the girls' ages seems to irritate you. If I put my good friend's temper to any further trial he will be of no use to me. Never mind if my bead swims ; I'm used to that. Now listen.' Strange as the preface was, the explana tion that followed was stranger yet. I offer a shortened and simplified version, giving accurately the substance of what I heard. The minister entered without reserve on the mysterious subject of the ages. Eunice, he Informed me, was nearly two years older than Helena. If she out wardly showed her superiority of age any person acquainted with the circumstances under which the adopted infant had been received into Air. Gracedieu's childless household, need only compare the so called sisters in after life, and would thereupon identify the eldest - looking young lady of the two as the offspring of the woman who had been hanged for murder. With such a misfortune as this presenting itself as a possible prospect, the minister was bound to prevent the girls from ignorantly betraying each other by allusions to their ages and their birth days. After much thought he had devised a desperate means of meeting the difficulty —already made known, as I am told, for the information of strangers who may read the pages that have gone before mice. My friend's plan of proceed incr TififV \m f.lia nafniu rtf if a-vr\r\nt*A
him to injurious comment, to embarrassing questions, and to doubts and mtsconcep tiocs, all patiently endared In considera tion of the security that had been attained. Proud of his explanation, Mr. Gracedieu's vanity called upon me to acknowledge that my curiosity had been satisfied, and my doubts completely set at rest. No, my obBtinate common sense* was not reduced to submission even yet. Looking back over a lapse of seventeen yearSj I asked what had happened, in that long interval, to justify the anxieties which still appeared to trouble my friend. This time Dpy harmless curiosity could be gratified by a reply expressed in three words — nothing had happened. Then what jn heaven's name was the minister afraid of ? His voice dropped to a whisper. He said — ' I am afraid of the women.' Whrb'artifaA fTiA nrnmAn 9
Two of them actually proved to be the servants employed in Mr. Gracedieu's house at the bye- gone time when he brought the child home from the prison. To point out the absurdity of the reasons that he gave for fearing what female curioBity might yet attempt if circum stances happened to encourage it would have been a mere waste of words. Dis missing the subject, I next ascertained that the minister's doubts extended even to the two female warders who had been appointed to watch the murderess in turn during her last days in prison. I easily relieved his mind In this case. One of the warders was dead. The other had married a farmer in Australia. Had we exhausted the list of suspected persons yet ? No, there was one more left, and the minister declared that he had first met her in my official residence at the time when I was governor of the prison. 'She presented herself to me byname,' he tald, 'and she spoke rudely. A Miss
? . He paused to consult his memory, and made the effort in vain. Having been reminded of the name only a few years since I was able to helo him, ' That's it !' he cried—' Miss Chance.' My friend had Interested me in hia imaginary perils &t last. It was juat poEBible that be might have a formidable peiBon to d&al with now.
During my residence at Florence the chaplain and I had taken many a retro spective look (as old men will) at past events in our lives, My former colleague spoke of the time when he had performed clerical duty for his friend, the rector of a parish church in London. Neither he nor I had heard again of the ' Miss Chance ' of our disagreeable prison experience, whom he had married to the dashing Dutch gentleman, Mr. Tenbruggen. We could only wonder what had become of that mysterious married pair. Mr, Gracedieu being undoubtedly igno rant of the woman's marriage it was not easy to say what the conaeqoence might be, in his excitable state, if I informed him of it. He would in all probability conclude that I knew more of the woman
ican ne cia. jl aeciaea on Keeping my own counsel for the present at least. Passing at once therefore to the one consideration of any Importance, I en deavored to find out whether Mr. Grace dieu and Mrs. Tenbruggen had met, or had communicated with each other in any way, duiing the long period of separation that had taken place between the minister and myself. If he had been so unlacky as to offend her she waa beyond all doubt an enemy to be dreaded. Apart, how ever, from a misfortune of this kind she would rank, in my opinion, with the other harmless objects of Mr. Gracedieu's morbid distrust. .. In making my enquiries I found that I had an obstacle to contend with. W Yt\la Tia -Fair- 4-TtA wannrrnfinf* Jnriiian/ta
of the repose that he enjoyed, the minister had been able to think and to express himself with less difficulty than usual. But the reEerves of strength on which the useful exercise of his memory de pended began to fall him as the interview proceeded. He vaguely recollected that 'something unpleasant had passed be tween that audacious woman and himself.' But at what date — and whether by word *of mouth or by correspondence — was more than his memory could recall. He believed he was not mistaken in telling me that he 'had been in two minds about her.' At one time he was satisfied that he had taken wise measures for his own security if she attempted to annoy him. But there waa another and a later time when doubts and fears had laid hold of him again. If I wanted to know how this had happened he fancied it was through a dream ; and if I asked what the dream was it bewildered him to think of it. He could only beg and pray that I would spare his poor head. Unwilling even yet to submit uncondi tionally to defeat, it occurred to me to try a last experiment on my friend with out calling for any mental effort on his own part. The ' Miss Chance' of former days might by a bare possibility have written to him. I asked accordingly if. he was in the habit of keeping his letters, and If he would allow me (when he had rested a little) to lay them open before him, so that he could look at the signa
tures. ?? xou mignx nna cue lost recol lection in that way,' I suggested, 'at the bottom of one of your letters.' He was In that state of weariness, poor fellow, in which a man will do anything for the sake of peace. Pointing to a cabinet in his room, he gave me a key taken from a little basket on his bed. ' Look for yourself,' he Bald. After some hesitation — for I naturally recoiled from examining another man's correspondence — I decided on opening the cabinet at any tate. The letters — a large collection — were, to my relief, all neatly folded, and en dorsed with the names of the writers. I could run harmlessly through bundle after bundle in search of the one. name that I wanted and still respect the privacy of the letters. . My perseverance deserved a reward—and failed to. get it. The name I wanted steadily eluded my search. Arriving at the upper shelf of the cabinet I found it bo high that I could barely reach it with my hand. Instead of getting more letters to look
One of them was an old copy of the Times, dating back as far as December 13, 1858. It was carefully folded, longvrisa, with the title-page uppermost. , On the first column, at the left-hand side of the sheet, appeared the customary announce ments of births. A mark with a bloe pencil against one of the advertisements attracted my attention. I read these lines : — ' On the 10th inat ,the wife of the Rev. Abel Gracedieu, of a daughter.' The second newspaper, bearing the same date, waa published in an English country town — no doubt the town in which Mr. Gracedieu was performing his duties at the time. The announcement of the birth here was exactly similar to to the announcement in the Times ; the name of the place in which the child was born being In both cases left out. I naturally assumed that the advertisements had been inserted at the desire of Mrs. Gracedieu ; and, after all that I had heard, there was little difficulty In at tributing the curious omission I had noticed to the caution of her husband. If Mrs. Tenbrusrzen fthen Miss Chance') had
happened to see the advertisement in the great London newspaper Mr. Gracedieu might yet have good reason to congratu late himBelf on his prudent method of pro riding againBt accidents. I turned towards the bed and looked at him. His eyes were closed. Was he sleeping ? Or was he trying to remember what he had desired to say to me when the demands of my curiosity had obliged him to wait for a later opportunity ? Either way there was something that quickened my sympathies in the spectacle of his helpless repose. It suggested to me personal reasons f orchis anxieties, which he had not mentioned, and which I had not thought of up to this time. If the discovery that he dreaded tcok place his household would be broken up and his position as pastor would suffer in the estimation of the flock. Hia own daughter
would refuse to live under the same roof with the daughter of an infamous woman. Popular opinion among his congrega tion, judging a man who had passed off the child of other parents as his own, would find that man guilty of an act of deliberate deceit. Still oppressed by reflections which pointed to the future in this discouraging way, I was startled by a voice outside the door — a sweet sad voice — saying, 'May I come in ?' The minister's eyes opened instantly,* he raised himself in bis bed. ' Eunice at last !' he cried. ' Let her in.'
Chapter XXXIX. I opened the door. Eunice passed me with the suddenness almost of a flash of light. When I turned towards the bed her arms were round her father's neck. 'Oh, poor papa, how ill you look I' Commonplace expressions of fondneEs, and no more ; but the tone gave them a charm that subdued me. Never Tiad T ffilt an indnlorpnf frrariinla TVTr
Gracedieu's unreasonable fears as when I saw him In the embrace of his adopted daughter. She had already reminded me of the bygone day when a bright little child bad sat on my knee and listened to the ticking of my watch. The minister gently lifted her head from bis breast. ' My darling,' he said, ' you don't Bee my old friend. Love him and look up to him, Eunice. He will be your friend too when I am gone.' She came to me and offered her cheek to be kissed. It was sadly pale, poor soul — and I could guess why. But her heart was now full of her father. 'Do you think he is seriously ill ?' she whispered. What I ought to have said I don't know. Her eyes, the sweetest, truest, loveliest eyes I ever saw in human face, were plead ing with me. Let my, enemies make the wont of It if they like- ? 1 did certainly lie. And If 1 deaerved my punishment, I got it ; the poor'child believed me. ' Now I am happier,' she said gratefully. ' Only to hear your voice seems to encourage me.
On our way here Selina did nothing but talk of you. She told me I shouldn't have time to feel afraid of the great man ; ha would make me fond ot him directly. I said, 'Are you fond of him?' She said, ' Madly in love with him, my dear.' My little friend really thinks you like her, and is very proud of it. There are some people who call her ugly. I hope you don't agree with them V I believe I Bhould have lied again i£ Mr. Gracedieu had not called me to the bedside. 'How does she strike you?' he whis pered eagerly. ' Is it too soon to ask if she shows her age in her face T' ' Neither in her 7ace nor her figure,' I answered; '''If; astonishes me that you can ever have doubted It. No stranger, jodging by personal appearance, could fail to make the mistake of thinking Helena the older of the two.' He looked fondly at Eunice. 'Her figure seems to bear oat what yon say,' he went on. ' Almost childish, isn't it ? ' I could not agree to that. Slim, supple, simply graceful In every movement, Eunice's figure, in the charm of first youth, still waited its perfect devolop ment. Most men, looking at her aa sh9 stood at the other end of the room with, her back towards us, would have guessed her age to be sixteen. Finding that I failed to agree with him, Mr. Gracedieu's misgivings returned. 'You speak very confidently,' he said, ' considering that you have not seen the girls together. Think what a dreadful blow it WGuid be to me if you made a mistake.' I declared with perfect sincerity thab there was no fear of a mistake. The bare Idea cf making the proposed comparison was hateful to me. If Helena and I hid happened to meet at that moment I should have turned away from her by InBtinct ; she would have disturbed my impressions of Eunice. The minister signed to me to move a little nearer to him. 'I must say it,' he whispered, 'and I am afraid of her hearing me. Is there anything in her face face that reminds you' of her muerabls mother V I bad hardly patience to answer the question; it was simply preposterous. Her hair was by many shades darker than her mother's hair ; her eyes were of a different color. There was an exquisite tenderness and sincerity in their expres sion—made [additionally beautiful, to my mind, by a gentle, uncomplaining sad ness. It was impossible even to think of the eyes of the murderess when I looked at her child. Eunice's lower features, again, had none of her mother's regularity of proportion. Her smile, simple and sweet, and soon passing away, waB certainly not an inherited smile on the maternal side. Whether she re sembled her father I was unable to con jecture, having never seen him. The one thing certain was, that .not the faintest trace, in feature or * expression, of Eunice's mother was to be seen in Eunice herself. Of the two girls, Helena, judging' by something iu the color of her hair, and by something ia the shade of her complexion, might pos sibly have suggested, in those particulars onlv. the accidental resemblance to mv
terrible prisoner of past times which was totally absent in the prisoner's own daughter. The revival of Mr. Gracedieu's spirits Indicated a temporary change only, and was already beginning to paw away. The eyes which had looked lovingly at Eunice began to look languidly now ; his head sank on the pillow with a sigh of weak content. ' My pleasure has been almost; too much for me,' he said. ' Leave ma . for a while to rest and get used to it.' Eunice kiesed his forehead— and we left . ' the room.
Chapter XL. When we stepped out on the landing I - observed that my companion paused. She , ; lcoked at the |wo flights of stairs below ....-.—- us before she descended them. It oc- : I :. curred to me that there must be some- \ . ' body in the house whom she was anxious to avoid. ; ' Arrived at the lower hall Bhe paused again, and proposed in a whisper that we should go Into the' garden. As we ad- ~ ' vanced along the backward division or the hall, I saw her eyes turn distrustfully towards the door of the room in which Helena had received me. At last my slow perceptions felt with her and under stood her. Eunice's sensitive nature recoiled from a chance meeting with the wretch who had laid waste all that had once been happy and hopeful in that harmless young life. ' Will you come with me to the part - of the garden that I am fondeBt of 1' aha' asked. I offered her my arm. She led me in silence to a rustic seat placed under tlia shade of a mulberry tree. I saw a change In her face as we sat down — a tender and beautiful change. At that moment the girl's heart was far away from me. There was some association with this corner of ' the garden on which I felt that I must , not intrude. 'I was once very happy here,' she said. ' When the time of the heartache came eoon after, I was afraid to look at the old tree and the bench under it. Bat that is all over now. I like to remember the hours that were once dear to me, and to see the place that recalls them, . Do you know who I am thinking of ? Don't be afraid of distressing me. I never cry now.' ' My dear child, I have heard your sad story — but I can't trust myself to speak of it.' ' Because yon are so sorry forme ?' ' No words can say how sorry I am !' ' But you are not angry with Philip V 'Not angry! My poor dear, Lam afraid to tell you how angry I am with him.' 'Oh, no! You mustn't say that. If you wish to be kind to me — and I am sore you do wish it — don't think bitterly of Philin '
When I remember that the first feeling she roused in me was nothing worthier of a professing Christian than astonishment I drop in my own estimation to the level of a savage. ' Do you really mean,' I was base enough to ask, 'that you have forgiven him ?' She said gently, ' How could I help forgiving Mm ?' The man who could hare been bleat with euch love as this, and who could have cast it away from him can have been nothing but an idiot. On that ground — though I dared not confess it to Eunice— I forgave him too. ' Do I surprise you ?' she asked simply. ' Perhaps love will bear any humiliation. Or perhaps I am only a poor weak creature. You don't know what a comfort it was to* me to keep the few letters that
1 received from Philip. When I heard that he had gone away I gave his letters the kiss that bade him good-bye. That was the tune I think when my poor bruised heart got used to the pain ; I began to feel that there was one consola tion still left for me — I might find in ? forgiving him. Why do I tell you all this 1 I think you must have bewitched _ . me. Is this really the first time I have seen you ?' She put her little trembling hand Into mine ; I lifted it to my lips and kissed it. Sorely was I tempted to own that I had pitied and loved her in her infancy. It was almost on my lips to say, ' I remem ber you an easily -pleased little creature, amusing yourself - with the broken toys which were once the playthings of my own children.' I believe I should have said it, if I could have trusted myself to speak composedly to her. ThiB waa not to be done. Old aa I was, versed as I was In the hard knowledge othow to keep the mask on in the hour of need, this was not to be done. Still trying to understand that I was little better than a stranger to her, and still bent on finding the secret; of the sym
'fir. thy tfcat catted ce. Eunice pat a etrange tfUCEtion to me, ' When you were young yourself,' she said, *' did you know what ito was to love, and to be loved — and then to loae it all ¥' It is not given to many men to marry the woman who has been the object of their first love. My early life had been darkened by a sad Btory ; never confided to any living creature ; banished resolutely from my own thoughts. For forty years past that part of my buried self had lain auiet in its grave — and the chance touch of an innocent hand had raised the dead, and set us face to face again ! Did I know ?what it was to love, and to be loved, aud then to lose it all I '* Too well, my child ; too well !!I That was all I could eay to her. la the last days of my life I shrank iroin speak ing of it. When I had first felt that csVaniity, and had felt it moat keenly, I . might have given an answer worthier of me atid wor icier of her.
Giie. aroppea my nanu ana sat oy me m sitenw, tbiuking Had I — a-ifchoufc mean ir.i: it, God knows— had 1 disappointed hvr - 'Did yon expect me to tell my om sad story,'3 I said, %'&a frankly and as trust luliy as yon have told yours ¥' ' r :b, don't think that. I know whit »n effort it was to you to answer me at all. YeB. indeed, I wonder whether I may ask something. The sorrow you have just told me ot is not the only one — is it ? ioa have had other troubles I' 'Many of them.' ' There are times,' she went on, ' when one can't help thinking of one's own miserable self. I try to be cheerful, but those times come now and then.' She stopped and looked at me with a piile fear confessing itself in her face. 'You know who Selina Is?' she re sumed. *' My friend ; the only friend I had till you came here.' I gneBEed that she was speaking of the quaint kindly little woman whose ugly surname had been hitherto the only name known to me. '* Selina has, I dare say, told yoa that I have been ill,' she continued, 'and that I am staying in the country for the benefit of my health.' It was plain that she had something to Fay to me far more important than this, and that she was dwelling on trifles to -rain time and courage. Honins to helo
her I dwelt on trifles too, asking common place questions about the part of the country in which she was staying. She answered absently, then, little by little, impatiently. The one poor proof of kind ness, that 1 could offer how was to say no more. ' Do yoa know what a strange creature I am?' she broke out. 'Shall I make you angry with me ? or shall I make yon laugh at me ? 'What I have shrunk from confessing to Selina — what I dare notcon feEB to my father — I muat and will con fess to you !' There was a look of horror in her face that alarmed me. I drew her to ma so that she could rest her head on my shoulder. My own agitation threatened to get the better of me. For the first time since 1 had seen this sweet girl I found myself thinking of the blood that ran in her reins and of the nature of the mother who had borce her. ' Do you recollect what happened up stairs?' she said. 'I mean when we left my father and came out on the land ing.' It was easily recollected ; I begged he* to go on. ** Before I went downstairs,' she pro ceeded, ''you saw me look and listen. Did you think I was afraid of meeting some person ? and did yon guess who it was I wanted to avoid ?' 'I guessed that — and I understood you.' ** If o ? . Ton are not wicked enough to understand me. Will yoa do me a favor ? I want you to look at me.'
head for a moment so that I could examine her face. 'Do you see any thing,' sb.3 asked, ''which makes yon feat that I am not in my right mind ?' ' Good God ! How can you ask aauh a horrible question ?' She laid her head back on my shoulder with a sad little sigh of resignation. 'I ought to have known better,' she said, ' there is no such' easy way out of it as that. Tell me — Is there one kind of wickedness more deceitful than another ? Can it lie hid in a person for years to gether, and show itself when a time of suffering comes 1 Did you ever see that, -when you were master in the prison ?' 1 had seen it — and, after a moment's doubt, I said I had Been it. ' Did you pity those poor wretches ?' ' Certainly 2 They deserved pity.' ' I am one of them !' she said. ' Pity mj-. Tf WplpTia Innfes at me — -if T-fnlcma.
speaks to me — if £ only see Helena by accident— do yon know what she does ? She tempts me ! Tempts me to do dreadful things! Tempts -me ? ' The poor child threw her arms round my neck and whispered the next fatal words in my ear. The mother ! Prepared as I was for the accursed discovery, the horror of it shook me. She kft me and started to her feet. The inherited energy Bhowed itself In furious protest against the inherited evil. 'What does it mean?' she cried. 'I'll submit to anything. I'll -bear my hard lot patiently if yon will only tell me what it means. Where does this horrid trans formation of me out of myself come from ? Look at my good father. In all this world there is no man so perfect as he is. And, oh, how he has taught me. There isn't a single good thing that I have not learnt from him. since I was a little child. Did yon ever hear him speak of my mother 2 You must have heard him. My mother was an angeL I conld never be worthy of her at my best ; but I hive tried ! T have tried 1 The wickedest
girl in the world doesn't have worse thoughts than the thoughts- that hare come to me. Since when? Since Helena — oh, how can I call her by her name as if I still loved her ? Since my sister — can she be my sister, I ask myself sometimes ! Since my enemy — there's the word for her— since my enemy took Philip away from me. What does It mean ? I have asked in my prayers, and have got no answer. I ask you. What does It mean ? You must tell me ! Ton shall tell me ! What does it mean ?' Why did I not try to calm her ? I had vainly tried to calm her— I who knew who her mother had been and what her mother had been. At last she had forced the sense of my duty on me. In mercy to her I used the strong hand and put her back in the place by my side that she had left. It was use less to reason with her, it was impossible to answer her. I had my own idea of the one way in which it might be possible to charm Eunice back to her sweeter self. 'l*t us talk of Philip,' I said. The fierce flush in he face softened, the swelling trouble of her bosom began to subside as that dearly- loved name passed my lips. There was some influence left In her which resisted me. Her voice sank, but she said the word ' No.' ' '
'?Whynot?' '' 'I have lost all my courage. If yoa ' talk to me of Philip you will make me cry.' I drew her Bearer to me. If she had been my own child I don't think I could have felt for her more truly than I felt at that moment. I only looked at her : I only said 'Cry .!' The lore that was in her heart rose and poured its tenderness into her eyes. I had longed to see the tears that would comfort her. The tears came. There was silence between usfor a while. It was possible for me to think. In the absence of physical resemblance between parent and child, is an unfavor able influence exdrcioed on the tendency to moral resemblance? Assuming the possibility of ench a result as this Eunice (tniirefy unlike her mother) must, as I
concluded, have been possessed of quail- i ties formed to resist, aa well as of qualities doomed to undergo, the infec tion of evil. While therefore I resigned myself to recognise the existence of the hereditary maternal taint I firmly believed in the counter-balancing influences for good which had been part of the girl s birthright. They had been derived, perhape, from the better qualities m her fathex s nature ; they had been certainly developed by the tender care, the re ligious vigilance which had guarded the adopted child so lovingly in the minister s household ; and they had served their purpose until time brought with ib the change, for which the tranquil domestis influences were not prepared. With the srtat, the vital transformation which niarke the ripening of the girl £nto the woman's maturity of thought and passion, the new power for good, strong enough to resist the new power for evil, sprang into beitig. and sheltered Eunice under the supremacy of love. Love, ill-fated aud ili-'bestowcd, but love that no profanation could stahi, that no hereditary evil could conquer, the true love that had bean, aad TrsB,and would be, the gaardian angel of Eunice's Jifo. Still absorbed in these speculations, I ?was disturbed by a touch on my arm. 1 looked up, Eunice's eyes were fixed on a shrubbery at eome little distance from tis, which closed the vies? of the garden on that side. I noticed that she «T-a« +ramli7«»4v TCfsxi-.itwnfr *n alarm Oft?*
was visible that I could discover. I asked what she had seen to startle her. She pointed to the shrubbery. ' Look again,' she said. This time I saw a woman's dress, among the shrubs. The woman herself appeared in a moment more. It was Helena. She carried a small portfolio, and she approached us with a smile. (To be continual.) ? 4i ? —