|Chapter Number||THIRD PERIOD. LIII|
|Chapter Title||HELENA'S DIARY RESUMED.|
|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 by special arrangement mth the author. All rights reserve!.] THIRD PERIOD. Chapter LIU. — Helena's Diary Resumed.
After the heat of my anger had cooled 1 made two discoveries. One cost me a fee to a messenger and the other exposed me to the insolence of a servant. I pay willingly in my purse and my pride, when the gain, is peace of mind. Through my messeoger I ascertained that Eunice had never left the farm. Through my own en
quiries, answered by the waiter wltn an impudent grin, I heard that Philip had left orders to have his room kept for him. What misery our stupid housemaid might have spared me if she had thought of putting that question when I sent her to the hotel. The reBt of the day passed In vain speculations on Philip's motive for this sudden departure. What poor weak creatures we are. I persuaded myself to hope that anxiety for our marriage had urged him to make an effort to touch the heart of his mean father. Shall I see him to morrow ? And shall I have reason to be fonder of him than ever ? We met again to-day as usual. Heiias -behave! Infamously. When I asked what had been his object in going to London I was told that it was 'sTmatter of business.' He made that UI-.U-. ___.......*. _.? ..AaIIw* AH (C l*H ..Anil**
thought I should believe ifc. I submitted in silence, rather than mar hia return to me by the disaster of a quarrel. Bat this was an unlucky day. A harder trial of my self-control was still to come. With out the slightest '. appearance of shame Philip informed me that he was charged with a message from Mrs. Tenbruggen ! She wanted some Irish lace, and would I
be so good as to tell her which was the best ehop at which she could buy it ? Was he really in earnest? 'You,' I said, ' who distrusted and detested her — you are on friendly terms with that woman ?'' He remonstrated with me. ' My dear Belena, don't speak in that way of Mra. Tetbruggen. We have buth been mis taken about her. That good creature has forgiven the brutal manner in which I spike to her. She was the first to propose that we should shake hands and forget it. My darling, don't let all the good feeling be on one side. You have no idea how tind]y she speaks of yon, and how anxioaB she is to htlp us to be married. Come ! come ! meet her half way. Write do-ra the name of the shop on my card, and I will take ft back to her.' Sheer amazement kept me silent ; I let him go on . He was a mere child in the hands of Mrs. Tenbruggen ; she had only to determine to make a fool of him and she could do it. But why did she do it ? What advan tage had she to gain by insinuating herself in this way into his good opinion, evidently with the intention of winning her way to my gocd graces as well ? How could we two poor young people be of the smallest use to the fashionable masseuse ? My silence began to irritate Philip. ' I never, knew before how obstinate yoa conldbe,' he said j ' you force me to tell yon that I am under an obligation to Mrs. Tenbruggen. My quarterly allowance won't be payable for a month to came ' You don't mean to say you have bor rowed money of her !' I burst out. Without the slightest appearance of embarraesment he answered, *' Only ten
UUUUUOt The son of a gentleman taking ten pounds from an adventuress, and looking as if he congratulated himself on having got the money ! If there is any mean thing to be done in our interests after we have become Mr. and Mra. Danboyne I know which one of the married pair will doit. I held my tongue ; I assumed my smile. It is all very well for men to talk about the deceitfulness of women. What chanca (I should like to ask somebody who knows about it) do the men give us of making our lives with them endurable except by
deceit i l gave way, or course, ana wrote down the address of the shop. He was so pleased that he kissed me. Yes ! the most fondly affectionate kiss that he had given me for weeks past was njy reward for submitting to Mm. Ten biuggfn. She is old enough to be his mother, and almost as ugly as Miss J til sall — and ehe has made her interests his interests already. On the next day I fully expected to re ceive a visit from Mrs Tenbraggen. She knew better than that. [I only got a polite little note thanking me for the address, and adding an artless confession — ' I earn more money than I know what to do with ; and I adore Irish lace.' The next day came, and still she was careful not to show herself -too eager for a personal reconciliation. A splendid nose gay was sent to me with another little note — 'A tiibute, dear Helena, offered by one of my grateful patients, Too beau tiful a present for an old woman like me. I agree with the poet — 'Sweets to the sweet.' A charming thought of Shakes peare's, is it not ? 1 Bhould like to verify the quotation. Would you mind leav ing the volume for me in the hall if I cal to-morrow V Well done, Mrs. Tenbruggen J She doesn't venture to Intrude on Bliss Grace - dien In the drawing-room, she only wants ts verify a quotation in the hall. Oh, god dess of Humility (if there is euch a per Bon), how becomingly you are dressed when your milliner is an artful old woman! While this reflection-was passing through my mind Mies Jillgall came in — saw the nosegay on the table — and instantly pounced on it. ' Oh, for me ! for me !' she cried. 'I noticed it this morning on Elizabeth's table. How very kind of her i' She plunged her Incrutaltive nose
Into the poor flowers and looked up senti mentally at the ceiling. ' The perfume of goodness,' she remarked, ' mingled with the perfume of flowers !' *? When you have quite done with it,' I said, ' perhaps you will be so good as to return. my noEegay ?' ** Your nosegay !' she exclaimed. ' There is Mrs. Tenbraggen's letter,' I replied, 'if you would like to lock at It. She did look at it. All the bile in her body flew up Into her eyes and turned them green ; she looked as if ehe longed to scratch my face. I gave the flowers afterwards to Maria ; Miss JiHgaU's nose had completely spoilt them. It would have been too ridiculous to have allowed Mrs. Tenbruggen to consult
snaKespeare in tne nau. i naa tne Honor of receiving her in my own room. We accomplished a touching reconciliation, and we quite forgot Shakespeare. She troubles me; she doea indeed trouble me. Having set herself entirely right with Philip she is determined on per forming the same miracle with me. Her reform of herself Is already complete. Her vulgar humor was kept under strict restraint; the was quiet and well-bred, and readier to listen than to talk. This change was not presented abruptly. She contrived to express her friendly interest In Philip and in me by bints dropped here and there, assisted in their effect by answers on my part, Into which I was tempted so skilfully that I only discovered the snare set for me on reflection. What is it, I ask again, that she has in view In taking all this trouble 1 Where is her motive for encouraging a love-affair which Ti/ri. _ f m__li __ __i- i~___ 3 ? a j ? %. ?
Jiiii8 diugitu luusii uavu uuuuunmu to xior as an abominable wrong inflicted on Eunice 2 Money (even if there was a prospect of tnch a thing in our case) can not be her object ; it is quite true that her success sets her above pecuniary anxiety. Spiteful feeling against Eunice is out of the question. They have only met once ; and her opinion was expressed to me -with evident sincerity. 'Your slater is a nice girl, but she is like other nice girls — she doesn't interest me,' there tis Eunice's character, drawn from the life In few words. In what an irritat ing position do I find myself placed ! If ever before have I felt so interested in trying to look Into a person's secret mind ; and never before have 1 been so completely baffled. 'I had written as far as this, and was on the -point of closing my journal, when a third note arrived from Mrs. Ten biuggen. She had been thinking about me at
of the day ; and, kindly as I had received her, Bhe was conscious of being the object of doubts on my part which her visit had failed to remove. Might she ask leave to call on me, in the hope of improving her position in my estimation 1 An appoint ment followed for the next day. What can she have to say to me which she has not already said ? Is it anything about Philip, I wonder. Chapter LIV. At our Interview of the next day Mrs. Tenbruggen's capacity for self- reform ap peared under a ; ew aspect Sae dropped all familiarity with me, and she stated the object of her visit without a superfluous word of explanation or apology. 1 thought this a remarkable effort for a weman ; and I recognised the merit of it by leaving the lion's share of the talk to my visitor. In these terms she opened her business with me : 'Has Mr. Philip Danboyne told you why he went to London ?' 'He made a commonplace excuse,' I answered. ' Business, he said, took him to London. I know no more.' ** 'it on have a fair prospect of happiness, Miss Helena, when yoa are married — your future hut band is evidently afraid of you. I am not afraid of you ; and I shall confide to your private ear something Tfthich yen have an intere&t In knowing.
The business which took young Mr. Dan bojne to London was to consult a compe tent person ca a matter concerning him- [ self. The competent person is the sagacious (not to say sly) old gentleman whom we used to csill The Governor. Yoa i know him, I believe 1' I 'Yes. Bat I am at a loss to imagine why Philip should have consulted him.' ''Hare you ever heard or read, Mis3 Helena, of each & tiling as ! an old man's fan.y?' ' I thhik I have.' ' Weil, the governor haB taken an old man's fancy to your sister. Tiiey appeared to understand each other perfectly when I was at the farmhouse.' 'Excuse me, Mrs. Tenor nggen, th*fc ia what I know already. Why did Philip go fco the governor V She smiled. ' It anybody is acquainted vrith the true state of your sieter's feel inee the governor is the man. I sent Mr. Dimbo} im to contalt him— and there is the reaeon Sot it.'1 This open avowal of her motives per plexed and offended me. After declaring herself to be interested in my marriage engagement, bud she changed her mind and resolved on favoring Philip's return to Eunice I What right had he to consult anybody about the state of that girl's feeliEgs ? Jtfyfeelingsformtheonly subject of enquiry that was properly op9n to him. I should have said spinething which I might have afterwards regretned if Mrs. Tenbroggeu had allowed me the oppor tunity. Fortunately for both of .us she went on with her narrative of her own proceedings. 'Philip Duoboyne is an excellent fellow.' she continued. 'I really like
him ; but he has his faults. He sadly wants strength of purpose ; and, like weak men in general, he only knows his. own mind when a reaoiute friend takes him In hand and guides him. I am his resolute friend. I saw him veering about between you and Eunice, and I decided for his eake— may I say for your sake alao i — on putting an end to that mischievous state of Indecision. You have the claim on him ; you are the right wife for him — and the governor,1 was (as I thought likely from what I had myself observed) the man to make him see It. I am not in anybody's secrets ; it was pura guesswork on my part, and It has su- ceeded. There is no more dcabt now nVtnnt IVT^od T?nntiu'o eoTlf.1TleTit.n- Tlifl
question is settled.' ' In my favor ?' ' Certainly In your favor — or I should not have said a word about it.' ' Was Philip's visit kindly received ? or dfd the old wretch laugh at him V 'My dear Miss Gracedien, the old wretch is a man of the world, and never makes mistakes of that sort. Before he conld open his lips he had to satisfy himself that your lover deserved to be taken Into his confi dence on *the delicate subject of Eunice's sentiments. He arrived at a favorable conclusion, I can repeat the questions and answers — after putting the young man through a stiff examination — just aa they passed — 'May I enquire, sir, if she has spoken to you about me ?' ' She has often spoken about you.' Did she seem to be angry with me V She is too good and too sweet to ba angry with you' 'Do you think she will forgive me?' 'She has forgiven you.,* Did she say so herself?' 'Ye3, of . her own free will.' * Why did ehe refuEe to see me when I called at the farm V * She had her own reasons — good reasons.' 'Has she re gretted it since V ' Certainly not.' ' Is it likely that she would consent if I pro posed a 'reconciliation V ' I put that question to her myself.9 'How did Bhe take it, sir?' 'She declined to take it.' 'You mean that Bhe declined a reconcilia tion ?' * Yes.' * Are you sure she was In earnest f 'I am positively sure.' That last answer seems by young Dunboyne's own confession to have been enough, and more -than enough for him. He got up ta
go — sna cnen an oaa catng Happened. After giving him the most unfavorable answers the governor patted him pater nally on the shoulder and encouraged him to hope. ' Before we say good-bye, Mr. Philip, one word more. If 1 was as young as you are I should not despair.' There is a sudden change of front. Who can explain it 2' The governor's resolution to reconcile Philip and Eunice explained It, of coarse. With the best intentions perhaps Mrs. Tenbruggen had helped that design by bringing the two men together. 'Go on,' I said ; ' I am prepared to hear next that Philip has paid another visit to my sister and has been received this time.' 1 must say this for her — she kept her temper perfectly. ' He has not been to the farm,' she said, ' but he has done something nearly as foolish — he has written to your sister.' ' And .he has received a favorable reply
She put hsr hand into the pocket of her dresB. ' There Is your sbter's reply,' she said. Any person who has had a crushing burden lifted, unexpectedly and instantly from off their minds will know what I felt when I read the reply. In the most posi tive language Eunice refused to corre spond with^Philip or to speak with him. The concluding words proved that Bhe was in earnest — ' You are engaged to Helena. Consider me as a stranger until you are married. After that time yon will be my brother-in-law, and then I may pardon you for writing to me. ' Nobody who knows Eunice would have supposed that she possessed those. two valuable qualities — common sense and proper pride. It is pleasant to feel that I can now send cards to my sister when I am Mrs. Philip Danboyne. 1 returned the letter to Mrs. Tenbraggen with the sincerest expressions of regret for having doubted her. ' I have been unworthy of your generous interest in me,' I said ; ' I am almost ashamed to offer yon my hand.' She took my hand and gave it a good hearty shake. 'Are we friends V she asked in the simplest and prettiest manner. 'Then let us be easy and pleasant again,' she went on. ' Will you call me Elizabeth 1 and shall I call you Helena % Very well. Now I have got something else to say— another secret which must be kept from Philip (I call him by his name now, you see) for a few days more. Your happiness, my dear, must not. depend on his miserly old father. He must have a little Income of
his own to marry on. Among tne hundreds of unfortunate wretches whom I have relieved from torture of mind and body, there is a grateful minority. Small, small, but there they are ! I have influ ence among powerful people, and I am trying to make Philip private secretary to a member of Parliament. When I have succeeded you shall tell him the good news.' What a vile humor I must have been in at the time not to have appreciated the de lightful gaiety of this good creature. I went to the other extreme now and be haved like a gushing young miss fresh from school. I kissed her.
She' burst out laughing*. 'What a sacrifice ?' she cried. ' A kiss for me, which ought to have been kept for Philip. By- the bye, do yon know what I should do, Helena, in your place ? I should take our handsome young man away from that hotel.' I will do anything that you advise,' I said. ' And you will do well, my child, in the first place, the hotel is too ei pensive for Philip's small means. In the second place, two of the chamber maids have audaciously presumed to be charming girls ; and the men, my dear — welj, veil. 1 will leave you to find that out for yourself. Ia the third place, you want to have Philip under your own wing ; domestic familiarity will make him fonder of you than ever. Keep him out of the EGit of company that he meets with in the
b!lliard-roora and the smoking- room. You have got a spare bed here, I know, and your poor father is In no condition to use his authority. Make Philip oneof the family. This last piece of advice staggered me. 1 mentioned the proprieties. Mrs. Ten brnggen laughed at the proprieties. 'Make Selina of some use,' Bhe sug gested. ' While you have got her in the bouse propriety is rampant. Why con dt nm poor helpless Philip to cheap lodg ings ? Time enough to cast him out to the ftatherbed and the fleas on the night be fore the marriage. Besides, I shall be Ia and out constantly — for I mean to cure yonr father. An atmosphere of virtue Ecrronnda Mama Tenbruggen. Think cf it.'
Chapter LV. I did not think of it, and scandalous consequences followed. Philip came to vis, and lived ia our house. 'Let me hasten to add that the protest of propriety was duly entered on the day before my promised husband arrived. Standing in the doorway — nothing would induce her to take a chair, or even to enter the room — Miss Jillgall delivered an harangue. Mrs. Tenbruggen reported it In her pocketbook as if she was represent ing a newspaper at a public meeting. Here it is, copied from her notes : — ' Miss Helena Gracedien, my first Im pulse under the present disgusting circum stances was to leave the house and earn a bare crust in the cheapest garret I could find in the town. But my grateful hearfa remembers Mr. Gracedum. My poor afflicted cousin was good to me when 1 was helpless. I casnot forsake him whon h-; is helpless. At whatever sacrifice of my own Eelf-respect, I remain under thin roof so dear to me for the minister's sake. I notice. Miss, that you smile. I see my once dear Elizabeth, the friend who has so bitterly disappointed me ? ' She stopped and put her handkerchief to her eyes, and went on again — ' the friend who has so bitterly disappointed me, taking satirical notes of what I eay, I am not ashamed of what I say. The virtue which will not stretch a little, where the motive is good, is feeble virtue indeed. 1 shall stay in the house and witness horrors, and rise superior to them. Good morning, Miss Gracedieu. Good morning, Elizabeth.' She performed a magnificent curtsey, and (as Mrs. Tenbruggen's experience of the stage informed me) made a very creditable exit. A week has passed, and I have not opened my diary. My days have glided away in one de licious now of happiness. Pnilip has been delightfully devottd to me. His fervent courtship, far exceeding any similar atten tions which he may once have paid to Eunice, has shown such variety and such steadfastness of worship that I despair of describing it. My enjoyment of my new life la to be felt — not to be coldly con sidered and reduced to an imperfect statement in words. For the first time I feel capable, if the circumstances encouraged me, of acts of exalted virtue. For instance, I could save my country if my country was worth it. I could die a martyr to religion if X had a religion. In one word, I am ex ceedingly well satisfied with myself. The little disappointments of life pais over me harmless. I do not even regret the failure of good Mrs. Tenbruggen's efforts to find an employment for Philip worthy of hisabQitieBand accomplishments. The member of Parliament to whom she had applied has chosen a secretary pos seseed of political Influence. That is the excuse put forward in his letter to Mrs. Tenbruggen. Wretched corrupt creature. If he was worth a thought I should pity him. He has lost Philip's services. Three days more have slipped by. The aspect of my heaven on earth is beginning to alter. Perhaps the author of that wonderful Frenchnovel,Z\4OTcZ-aMift&, isrightwhen he tells na that human happiness is misery in 'masquerade. It would be wrong to say that I am miserable. But I may be on the way to It ; I am anxious. To-day, when he did nob know that I was observing him, I discovered a preoc cupied look in Philip's eyeB. He laughed when I asked if anything had happened to vex him. Was it a natural laugh ? He put his arm round me and kissed me. Was it done mechanically 1 I dare say I am out of humor myself. I think I had a little headache. Morbid, probably. I won't think of it any more. It has occurred to me this morning that he may dislike being left by himself while I am engaged in my household affairs. If this is the case, intensely as I hate her, utterly as I loathe the idea of putting her in command over my domestic dominions, I shall ask Miss Jillgall to take my place as housekeeper. I was away to-day in the kitchen re gions rather longer than usual. When I had done with my worries Philip was not to be found. Maria, looking out of one of the bedroom windows Instead of doing her work, had seen Mr. Dunboyne leave the house. It was possible that he had charged Miss Jillgall with a message for me. I asked If she was In her room. No ; ehe too had gone out. It was a fine day, and Philip had no doubt taken a little stroll — but he might have waited tUl I could join him. There were some orders to be given to the butcher and the green grocer. I too left the house, hoping to get rid of some little discontent caused by thinking of what had happened. Returning by way of High street— I declare I can hardly believe it even now-— I did positively see Miss Jillgall coming out of a pawnbroker's shop 2 The direction in which she turned pre vented her from seeing me. She was quite unaware that I had discovered her ; and I have said nothing about it since. Bnt I noticed something unusual In the manner hi which her watch-chain was hanging, and I asked her what o'clock it was. She said, ' You have got your own watch.' I told her my watch had stopped. ' So has mine,' she said. There is no doubt about it now ; she had pawned her watch. What for? She lives here for nothing, and she has not had a new dress since 1 have known her. Why does she want money ? Philip had not returned when I got home. Another mysterious journey to London? No. After an absence of more than two hours he came back. Naturally enough I asked what he had been about. He had been taking a long walk. For hia health's sake ? No ; to think. To think of what ? Well, I might beaurp rlsedtohearit, buthisidle life was be ginning to weigh on his spirits ; he wanted employment. Had he thought of an em ployment ? Rot yet. Which way had he walked 1 Anyway ; he had not noticed where he went. These replies were ail made in a tone that offended me. Besides, I observed there was no dust on his boots (after a week of dry weather), and his walk of two hours did not appear to have heated or tired him. I took an oppor tunity of consulting Mrs. Tenbruggen.
Sho had anticipated that I should appeal to her opinion, as a woman of the world. I shall not set down in detail what she said. Some of it humiliated me ; and from some of it I recalled. The expression of her opinion came to this. In the absence of experience, a certain fervor of tem perament was essential to . success in the art of fascinating men. Either my temperament was deficient or my intellect overpowered it. It was natural that I should suppose myself to be as susceptible to the tender passion as the meet excitable woman living. Delusion, my Helena, amiable delusion. Had I ever observed, or had any friend told me, that my pretty hands were cold hands ? I had beautiful ejes, expre&sive of vivacity, of Intelligence, of every feminine charm except the one inviting charm that finds f&vcr in tLe eyes of a man. She then
entered into particulars, which I don't deny showed a trne interest in helping me. 1 was ungrateful, sulky, self opinionated. Dating from that day's talk with Mrs. Tenbruggen, my new friend ship began to show eigns of having caught a chill. Bat I did my best to follow her instruc tions—and failed. It is perhaps true that my temperament is overpowered by my intellect. Or it is possibly truer still that the fire in my heart, when it warms to love, is a fire that burns low. My belief is that I surprised Philip instead of charming him. He re sponded to my advances, but I felt that it was not done in earnest, not sponta neous. Had I any right to complain ?
was X in earnest i Was 1 spontaneous i We were making love to each other under false pretences Oh, what a fool I was to aek for Mrs. Tenbraggen's advice ! A humiliating doubt has come to me suddenly. Has his heart been inclining to Eunice again ? After such a letter as she has written to him ? Impossible. Three events since yesterday, which I consider, trifling as they may be, intima tion a of something wrong. First, Miss Jillgall, who at one time was eager to take my place, has refaaed to relieve me of my housekeeping duties. Secondly, Philip has been absent again on another long walk. Thirdly, when Philip returned, depressed and Bulky, I caDght Mifsa JiUgall looking at htm with (utcreBt and pity visible In her skinny face. What do these things mean ? Not one of them, Philip Included, cares
U,r me— bat I can frighten them, at any rate. Yesterday evening I dropped on tho floor as suddenly as if I had been uhot — a fit of Borne sorb. The doctor lioiiettly declared that he waa at a loss to account for h. He would have laid me under an Internal obligation if he had failed to bring me back to life again. As it Is, I am more clever than the doctor. What brought toe fit on is well known to me. Rage — furious, over powering, deadly rage — was the cause. I am now in the cold-blooded state which can look back at the event as composedly as if it had happened to some other girL Suppose that girl had let her sweetheart know how she loved him, as she had never let him know it before. Suppose she opened the door again the instant after she had left the room, eager, poor wretch, to say once more, for the fiftieth time — ' My angel, I love you !' Suppose she found her angel standing with his back to wards her, so that his face was reflected in the gltB3. Aud suppose she discovered in that face, so smiling and so street when his head had rested on her bosom only the moment before, the most hideous. ex- pression of disgust that features can be tray. What are the consequences which might be expected to follow ? Perhaps she might drop down dead under the out rage goffered to her; perhaps ib might only be a fit. And when she recovered from the fit, what next ? Who knows ? I am In a fiae humor! What I have just written has set me laughing at my self. Helena Gracedieu has one merit at least — she is a very amusing person. I slept last night. This morning I am strong again — calm, wickedly capable of deceiving Mr. Philip Dunboyne as he has deceived me. He has not the faintest suspicion that I have diECovered him. I wish he had courage enough to kill somebody. How I should
enjoy hiring the nearest window to the scaffold and seeing him hanged ! Mies JiUgall is in better spirits than ever. She is going to take a little holi day, and the cunning creature makes a mystery of it. ' ' Good-bye, Miss Helena. I am going to stay for a day or two with a friend. ' What friend ? Who cares ? Last night I was wakeful. In the dark ness a daring idea came to me. To-day I have carried ont the idea. Something has followed which is well worth entering in my diary. I left the room at the usual hour for attending to my domestic affairs. The obstinate cook did me a service ; she was insolent ; she wanted to have her own way. I gave her her own way. In less than five minutes I was on the watch in the pantry, which has a view of the house door. My hat and my parasol were wait Ing for me on the table in case of my going out too. In a few minutes more I heard the door opened. Mr. Philip Dunboyne stepped out. He was going to take another of his long walks. I followed him to the street in which the cabs stand. He hired the first one on the rank, an open chaise ; while I kept myself Viiiirlon (n a. nrinn Annr
The moment he started on his drive I hired a closed cab. 'Double your fare,' I Bald to the driver, '.' whatever It may be, if yon follow that chaise cleverly, and do what I tell yon.' Be nodded and winked at me. A. wlcked-looklng old fellow ; just the man I wanted. We followed the chaise. Chapxek LVI. — Helena's Diaky Re sumed, When we had left the town behind us the coachman began to drive more slowly. In my ignorance I asked what this change in the pace meant. He pointed with his whip to the open road and to the chaise ia the distance. ' If we keep too near to the gentleman, miss, he has only got to look back and he'll see we are following him. The safe thing to do is to let the chaise get on a bit. We can't lose sight of it out here.' I had felt Inclined to trust hi the driver's experience, and he had already justified my ^ confidence hi him. This encouraged me to consult his opinion on a matter of some importance to my present interests. I could see the ntcesslty of avoiding dis covery when we had followed the chaise to its destination ; but I was totally at a loss to know how it could be done. My wily old man was ready with his advice the moment I asked for it. ' Wherever the chaise stops, miss, we must drive past it as if we were going somewhere else. I shall notice the place while we go by ; and yon will please Bit back In the corner of tie cab so that the gertleman can't see you.' ' Well,' I said, ' and what next ?' ' Next, miss, I shall pull up, wherever it may be, out of sight of the driver of the chaise. He bears an excellent character, I don't deny it ; but I've known him for years— and we had better not trust him. 1 shall tell you where the gentleman dtopped ; and you will go back to the place (on foot, of course), and see for
youreeu wiutto \aj pa uunef Byocuuiy u there happens to be a lady In the case. No offence, miss ; it's in my experience that there's generally a lady in the case. Anyhow, you can judge for yourself, and you'll know where to find me waiting when yon want me again.' 'Suppose something happens,' I sug gested, ' that we don't expect 1' ' I shan't lose my head, miss, whatever happens.' ' All very well, coachman ; bnt I have only your word for it.' In the irritable state of my mind the man'B confident way of talking annoyed me. ' Begging your pardon, my young lady, you've got K(i£ I may say so) what they call a guarantee. When I was a young man I drove a cab in London for ten years. Will that do 2' ' I suppose you mean,' I answered, 'that you have learned deceit in the wicked ways of the great city.' He took this as a compliment. ' Thank you, miss. That's it exactly.' After a long drive, or so it seemed to my impatience, we passed the chaise drawn up. at a lonely house, separated by a front garden from the road. In two or three minutes more we stopped where the road took a turn, and descended to lower ground. The farmhouse which we had left behind us was known to the
driver. He led the way to a gate at the side of the road and opened It for me. ' In your place, miss,' he said silly, ' the private way back is the way I should wish to take. Try it by the fields. Torn to the right when you have passed the barn, and you'll find yourself at the back of the house.' Be stopped and looked at his big silver watch. ' Half-past 12,' he Bald, 'the chawbacons — I mean the farmhouse servants, mise — will be at their dinner. All in your favor, bo far. If the dog happens to be loose, don't forget that hia name's Grinder ; call him by his name, and pat him before he has tune enough to think, and he'll let you be. When you want me, here you'll find me waiting for orders.' I looked back as I crossed the field. The driver was sitting on the gate smoking his pipe, and the horse was nibbling the grass at the roadside. Two happy animals, without a burden on their minds. After passing the barn I saw nothing of the dog. Far or near no living creature appeared ; the servants must have been at dinner as the coachman had foreseen. Arriving at a wooden fence I opened a gate in it and found myself on a bit of waste ground. On my left there was a large duck pond. On my right I saw the fowlhouse and the pigatyes. Before me was a high impenetrable hedge, and at some distance behind it — an orchard or a gaiden, as 1 supposed, filling the inter mediate space — rose the back of the house. I made for the shelter of the hedge in the fear that some one might approach a window and see me. Once sheltered from observation I misht consider what I should
do next. It was Impossible to doubt this was the house In which Eunice was living.. Neither could I fail to conclude that Philip had tried to persuade her to see him on those former occasions when he told me he had taken a long walk. As I crouched behind the hedge I heard voices approaching on the other side of it. At last fortune had befriended me. The person speaking at the moment was Miss Jillgall, and the person who answered her was Philip. 'I am afraid, dear Mr. Philip, you don't onlte understand mv nweet EnnfwwM
Honorable, high-minded, delicate In her feelings, and oh, so unselfish I I don't want to alarm you, but when she hears you have.been deceiving Helena ? ' ' Upon my word, Miss Jillgall, you are too provok ing. I have not been deceiving: Helena. Haven't I told you what dis couraging answers I got when I went to Bee the governor? Haven't I shown you Eunice's reply to my letter * Yoa can't have forgotten it already?' *' Oh, yes T have. ;Why should I re member it? Don't I know poor Euueece was in your mind all the time?' ' You're wrong again. Eunice was not in my mind -all the time. I was hurt — I wag offended by the cruel-manner in which, she had treatedjne. And what was the consequence? So far was I from deceiv ing Helena— she rose Jn my estimation by comparison with her sister ?'* ' 'Oh, come, come,' Mr. Philip, that won't do. Helena rising In anybody's estimation? Ha, ha, ha TV - 'Laugh as much as yon like, Miss Jillgall, you won't laugh away the facts. Helena loved me ; Helena was true to me. Don't be hard on a poor fellow who is half distracted. What a man finds he can do on one da; he finds he can't do on «nmtfoprj - Try to understand that, a change does sometimes come over one's feelings.' ' Bless myfloul, Mr. Philip, that's just what I have been understanding all the time. I know your mind as well as yon know It yourself. You can't forget my sweet Enneeee.' . - ' I tried to forget her, Miss JillgalL On my word of honor as agentleman, I tried to forget her, in justice to Helens. Is it my fault that I failed ? Eunice was in '-mind, as you said just now. Oh, my friend — for you are my friend, I am sure — persuade her to see me, if it's only for a- ; minute!' ' Mr. Philip, you are hard and un reasonable. I have tried to persuade hezy and I have made my darling cry. No thing you can say will induce me to distress her again. Go back to yonr Helena.' 'Too late.' 'Nonsense!' 'I say too late. If I could have married Helena when I first went to stay in tho house I might have faced the sacrifice. Aa ? it is I can't endure her ; and (I tell yoa this in confidence) she has herself to thank:
for what has happened.' 'Is that really true?' ??Quite true.' 'Tell me what she did.' 'Oh, don't talk of her! Persuade* Eunice to see me. I shall come back again, and again, and again till yon bring her to me.' ' Please don't talk nonsense. If sh» ~ changes her mind, I will bring her with pleasure. If she still shrinks from Ifc, I regard Euneece's feelings as sacred. Take my advice; don't press her. Leave her time to think of you, and to pity you— - and that true heart m»y be yours again, if you axe worthy of it.' ' Worthy of it % What do you mean ¥* 'Axe yon quite sure, my young friend, that yon won't go back to Helena ?' ' Go back to her? I would cub toy throat if- I thought myself capable of doing It'!' 'How did she set- you against her? Did tiie wretch quarrel with you ?' ' It might have been better for both of us if she had dose that. Oh, her ful some endearments ! What a contrast to the charming modesty of Eunice. If I was rich, I would make it worth the while of the first poor fellow I conld find to rid me of Helena by marrying her. I don't like saying such a thing of a woman, but If you will have the troth ? ' 'Well, Mr. Philip— and what is the truth ? -' ' Helena dfaguBts me.' (To he continued. )