Chapter 94768095

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Chapter NumberSECOnD PERIOD (CONTINUED.). XXXIII
Chapter TitleRELATED BY THE GOVERNOR.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94768095
Full Date1888-08-11
Page Number17
Corrections0
Word Count6371
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouth Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889)
Trove TitleThe Legacy of Cain
article text

|Kftratnte. ?

THE LEGACY OF GAIN.

By WILKTE COLLINS, Author of 'The Woman in White,' 'The Evil Genius/t &&, &c.

Published by special arrangement with the author. All rights reserve!.] SECOND PERIOD (Cohtinued) : EVENTS EN THE FAMILY. %ELAIED BY THE GOVERNOR, Chaptee XXXm,— Related By The Governor.

' Do yon know that lady ?' Miss Helena asked, as we entered the house. ' She is a perfect stranger to me/' I answered. ' Axe yon sure yon have not forgotten lier ?' ? 'Why do yon thick I have forgotten fcer?' 'Because she evidently remembered you.' '

^-^-*w *mw^ +m*na .a-av -WAVUWU 1UUA.VU Hit IUD twice. If this meant that my face was familiar to her, I could only repeat what I bad already said. Never, to my know ledge, had I seen her before. Leading the way upstairs, Miss Helena apologised for taking me into her father's bedroom. 'He Is able to sit up in an arm-chair,' she said ; ' and he might do more, as I think, if he would exert him self. He won't exert himself. Very ead. Would you like to look at your toom, before you see my father 2 It is quite ready for you. We hope' ? she favored me with a fascinating smile, de voted to winning my heart when her in terests required it — ' we hope you will pay us a long visit ; we look on yon as one of ourselves.' I thanked her, and said I would shake hands with my old friend before I went to my room. It is out of my power to describe the shock that overpowered me when I first saw the minister again, after the long in terval of time that had separated ub. Nothing that his daughter said, nothing that I myself had anticipated, .had pre pared me for that lamentable chang«. For the moment I was not sufficiently master of myeelf to be able to speak to him. He added to my embarrassment by ._ the humility of his manner, and the formal elaboration of his apologies. ' I feel painfully that I have taken a liberty with you,' he said, 'after the long estrangement between us— for which ray want of Christian forbearance is to blame. Forgive it, sir, and forget it. I hope to show that necessity justifies my presumption in subjecting you to a wearisome journey for my sake.' - Beginning to recover myself I begged that he would make no more excuses. My interruption seemed to confuse him. 'I wished to say,' he went on 'that you are the only man who can understand me. There is my only reason for asking to see yon, and looking forward as I do to your advice. You remember the night ? or was it the day ?— before that miserably woman was hanged ? You were the only perscn present when 1 agreed to adopt the poor little creature, stained already (one may cay) by its mother's infamy. I think your wisdom foresaw what a terrible responsibility I was undertaking; you tried to prevent it. Well, well ; yoa have been in my confidence — you only. Mind ! nobody in this house knows that one of the two girls Is not really my daughter. Pray stop me if you find me wandering from the point. My wish is to show that you are the only man I can open myheaitto.. She ? ' He paused, as if in search of a lost idea, and left the sentence uncompleted: ' Yes,' he went on, ' I was thinking of my adopted child. Did I ever tell yon that I baptised her myself ? and by a good scripture name too — Eunice. Ah, sir, that little helpless baby is a grown-up girl now, of an age to inspire love and to feel love. I blush to acknowledge it ; I have behaved with a want of self control, with a cowardly weak ness ? . No, I am Indeed wandering this time. I ought to have told yon first that I have been brought face to face with the possibility of Eunice's marriage. And, to make it worse stall I can't help lUdng . the 'young man. He comes of a good family— excellent manners, -highly edu cated, plenty of money— a gentleman hi -every sense of the word. And poor little Eunice is so fond of him ! Isn't it dread ful to be obliged to stop her dearly loved Philip — the young gentleman's name is Philip. Do yon like the name ? I say I am obliged to stop her sweetheart ha the rudest manner when all he wants to do is to aek me modestly for my sweet Eunice's Land. Oh, what have I not suffered, without a word of sympathy to comfort me, before I had courage enough to write to yon ! Shall I make a dreadful confes aion ? If my religious convictions had not stood in my way I believe I should have committed suicide. Put yourself in my place. Try to see yourself shrinking from a necessary explanation when the happi ness of a harmless girl— so dutiful, so affec tionate — depended on a word of kindness from your lips. And that word you are afraid to speak! Don't take offence, sic ; 1 mean myself, not you. Why don't you ssy something?' he burst out fiercely, incapable of perceiving that he had allowed

me no opportunity of speaking to him. 'Good God, don't you understand me, after all?' The signs of mental confusion In his talk had so distressed me that I had not been composed enough to feel sure of what he really meant, until he described him self as ' shrinking from a necessary ex planation.' Hearing those words, my knowledge of the circumstances helped me ; I realised what his situation really ?was. ' Compose yourself,' I said, 'I under stand you at last.' He had suddenly become distrustful. 'Prove it,' he muttered, with a furtive look at me. 'I want to be satisfied that you understand my position.' 'This is your position,' I told him. ' You are placed between two deplorable alternatives. If you tell this young gen- * tlemanthat Miss Eunice's mother was a criminal, hanged formurder, his family — even if he himself doesn't recoil from it — will unquestionably forbid the marriage, and your adopted daughter's happiness will be the sacrifice.' ' True !' he said. ' Frightfully true ; Go on.' 'If, on the other hand, you sanction the marriage and conceal the truth, you commit a deliberate act of deceit ; and you leave the lives of the young couple at the mercy of a possible discovery which might part husband and wife, cast a slur on the children, and break up the house hold.' He shuddered while he listened to me. *' Come to the end of it,' he cried, I had no more to say, and 1 answered him te that effect. ' No more to say ?' he replied. 'You have not told me yet what I most want to know.' I did a rash thing ; I asked what it was that he most wanted to know. 'Can't you see it for yourself?' he demanded indignantly. 'Suppose you were put between thoee two alternatives which you mentioned just now.' ' Well ?' ' What would you do, sir, in my place. Would you own the disgraceful truth — before the marriage— or run the risk and keep the horrid story to yourself ?' Either way my reply might lead to serious consequences. I hesitated. He threatened me with his poor feeble band. It was only the anger of a moment ; his humor changed to supplication. He reminded me piteously of byegone days ; 'You used to be a kind-hearted man. Has age hardened you 1 Have you no pity left for your old friend ? My poor heart is sadly in want of a word of wisdom, spoken kindly.'

Who could have resisted this? I took his hand, ' Be at ease, dear minister. In your place I should run the risk and keep that horrid story to myself.' He sank back gently in his chair. 'Ob, the relief of it,' he said. 'How can I thank you as I ought for quieting my mind 1' I seized the opportunity of quieting his mind to good purpose by suggesting a change of subject. ' Let us have done with serious talk for the present,' I proposed. 'I have been an idle man for the last five years, and I want to tell you about my travels.' His attention began to wander, he evi dently felt no interest in my travels. 'Are von sure, 'he asked anxionalv 'that

we have said all we ought to say 2 No i' he cried, answering his own question. ' I believe I have forgotten something — I am certain I have forgotten something. Perhaps I mentioned It in the letter I wrote to you. Have you got my letter ?' I showed it to him. He read the letter, and gave it back to me with a heavy sigh. 'Not there 1' he said de sparingly. ' Not there !' 'Is the lost remembrance connected with anybody in the house ?' I asked, try ing to help him. ' Does it relate, by any chance, to one of the young ladies ?' ' You wonderful man. Nothing escapes you. Yes, the thing I have forgotten concerns one of the girls. Stop ; let me get at it by myself. Surely it relates to Helena ?' He hesitated ; his face clouded overwith an expression of anxious thought. ' Yes, it relates to Helena,' he repeated ; 'but how?' His eyes filled with tears. ' I am ashamed of my weakness,' he said faintly. ' You don't know how dreadful it is to forget things in this way.' The injury that his mind had sustained now assumed an aspect that was serious indeed. The subtle machinery which stimulates the memory by means of the association of ideas appeared to have lost its working power in the intellect of this unhappy man. I made the first suggestion that occurred to me rather than add to his distress by remaining silent. ' If we talk of your daughter,' I said, 'the merest accicent — a word spoken at random by you or me — may be all your memory wants to rouse it.'1 He agreed eagerly to this. ' Yes ! Yes ! Let me begin. Helena met yon, I think, at the station. Of course, I remember that ; It only happened a few hours since. ' Well,' he went on, with a change hi his manner to parental pride, which it was pleasant to see, 'did you think my daughter a fine girl? I hope Helena didn't disappoint you ?' ' Quite the contrary.' Having made that necessary reply, I saw my way to keeping his mind occupied by a harmless subject. 'It must, however, be owned,' I went od, ' that your daughter surprised me.' 'In what way?' ' When she mentioned her name. Who could have' supposed that you — an in veterate enemy to the Boman Catholic Church— would have christened your daughter by the name of a Roman Catholic saint 2' He listened to this with a smile. Had I happily blundered on some association which his mind waB still able to pursue 2 'You happen to be wrong this time,' he said pleasantly. ' I never gave my girl the vname of Helena ; and what is more I never baptised her. I wrote to tell you that my poor wife had made me a proud and happy father. And surely I said the child was born while sh.9 was on a visit to her brother's rectory. Do you remember the name of the place ? I told you it was a remote little village, called ? can you remember the name? he asked with a momentary appearance of triumph showing itself, poor fellow, in his face. After the time that had elapsed the name had slipped my memory. When I confessed this he exulted over me with an unalloyed pleasure which it was cheer ing to see. ' Tour memory is failing you now,' he said. 'The name is Long Lanes. And what do you think my wife did — this Ib so characteriatoric of her—when I pre sented myself at her bedside. Instead of speaking of our own baby, she reminded me of the name that I had given to our adopted daughter when I baptised the child. ' You chose the ugliest name that a girl can have,' she said. I begged her to remember that * Eunice' was a name in Scripture. She persisted in spite of me. (What firmness of character!) 'I detest the name of Eunice,' she said ; 'and now that I have a girl of my own, it's my turn to choose the name ; I claim it as my right.' She was beginning to get excited ; I allowed her to have her own way, of course. ' Only let me know,' I said, 'what the name Is to be, when yon have thought of it.' My dear sir, she had the name ready, without think log about it. 'My baby shall be called by the name that is sweetest in my ears, the name of my dear lost mother. We had— what shall I call it ?— a slight difference of opinion when 1 heard that the name was to be Helena. I really could not reconcile it to my conscience to baptise a child of mine by the name of a Popish saint. My wife's brother set things right between us. Aworthygood man ; he died not very long ago— I forget the date. Not to detain you any longer, the rector of Lorg Lanes baptised our daughter. That is how she comes by her un-English

name ; and so it happens that her birth Is registered in a village which her father has never inhabited. I hope, sir, you think a little better of my memory now.' I was afraid to tell him what I really did think. He was not fifty years old yet, and he had just exhibited one of the sad symp toms which mark the broken memory of old age. Lead him back to the events of many years ago and, as he had just proved to me, he could remember well and relate coherently. But let him attempt to recall circumstances which had only taken place a short time since, and forgetfulness and confusion presented the lamentable result just as 1 have related it. The effort that lie had made, the agita tion that he had undergone in talking to me, had confirmed my fears that he would overtask liis wasted strength. He lay back in his chair. ' Let us go on with our conversation,' he murmured. ' We haven't recovered what I had forgotten yet.' His eyes closed and opened again languidly. 'There was something I wanted to recall,' he resumed, ' and you were helping me.' His weak voice died away ; his weary eyes closed again. After waiting until there could be no doubt that he was resting peacefully in sleep, I loft the room. CiJArTEit XXXIV. A perfect stranger to the interior of the house (seeing that my experience began and ended with the minister's bed chamber), I descended the stairs, in the character of a guest in search of domestic information. On my way down I heard the door of a room on the ground floor opened and a woman's voice below, speaking in a hurry, ' My dear, I have not a moment to spare ; my patients are waiting for me.' This was followed by a confidential communication, judging by the tone. 'Mind! not a word about me to that old gentleman 1' Her patients were waiting for her — had I discovered a female doctor? And there was some old gentleman whom she waa not willing to trust — surely 1 was not that much injured man. Reaching the hall just as the lady said her last words I caught a glimpse of her face, and discovered the middle-aged stranger who had called on ' MIsb Jill gall,' and had promised to repeat her visit. A second lady was at the door, with her back to me, taking leave of her friend. Having said good-bye, she turned round — and we confronted each other. I found her to be a little person, wiry and active, past the prime of life, and ugly enough to encourage prejudice in persons who take a superficial view of their fellow-creatures. Looking impar tially at the little sunken eyes which rested on me with a comical expression of embarrassment, I saw signs that said There Is some good here, under a dis agreeable surface, if you can only find it. She saluted me with a carefully ' performed curtsey, and threw open the door of a room on the ground floor. ' Pray, walk In, sir, and permit me to introduce myself. I am Mr. Graced tea's cousin — Miss Jillgall. Proud indeed to make the acquaintance of a gentleman distinguished in the service of his country — or perhaps I ought to say in the service of the law. The governor offers hospi tality to prisoners. And who introduces prisoners to board and lodging with the governor?— the law. That, at least, is how I understand it. Beautiful weather for the time of the year, is it not? May I ask — have you seen your room ?' The embarrassment which I had already noticed had extended by this time to her voice and her manner. She was evidently trying to talk herself into a state of con fidence. It seemed but too probable that I was indeed the person mentioned by her prudent friend at the door. Having acknowledged that I had not seen my room yet my politeness attempted to add that there was no hurry. The wiry little lady was of the contrary opinion. She jumped out of her chair as if she had been shot out of ib. ' Pray let me make myself useful ; the dream of my life Is to make myself useful to others, and to such a man as you — I consider myself honored. Besides, I do enjoy running up and down stairs. This way, dear sir j this way to your room. , y She ekipped up the stairs and stopped on the first landing. ' Do you know, I am a timid person, though I may not look like it. When I am afraid my hands turn cold. They are cold now. My curiosity gets the better of me, and I am going to be Inquisitive. Did yon notice a lady who was taking leave of me just now at the house door?' I replied that I had seen the lady for a moment, but not for the first time. 'Just as 1 arrived here from the station,' I said, 'I found her paying a visit, when you were not at home.' 'Yes— and do tell me one thing more.' My readiness in answering seemed to have inspired Miss Jillgall with confidence. I heard no further allusion to cold hands, no more confessions of overpowering curiosity. ' Am I right,' she proceeded, 'hi supposing that Miss Helena accom panied yon on your way here from the station?' 'Quite right.' 'Did Bhe say anything particular when she saw the lady asking for me at the door ?' 'Miss Helena thought,' I said, 'that the lady recognised me as a person whom she had seen before.' 'And what did you think yourself ?' 'I thought Mias Helena was wrong.' 'Very extraordinary!' Wibh that remark Mies Jillgall dropped the subject. The meaning of her reiterated enquiries was now, as it seemed to me, clear enougb. She was eager to discover how I could have inspired the distrust of me expressed ha the caution addressed to her by her friend. When we reached the upper floor she paused before the minister's room. ' 1 believe many years have passed,' she Baid, ' since you last saw Mr. Grace* dieu. I am afraid you have found him a sadly- changed man. You won't be angry with me, I hope, for asking more ques tions. I owe Mr. Gracedieu a debt of gratitude which no devotion on my part can ever repay. You don't know what a favor I shall consider it if you will tell me what you think of him. Did it seem to you that he is not quite himself ? I don't mean in his looks, poor dear — I mean in fiitt mind.' There was true sorrow and sympathy in her face. I believe I should hardly have thought her ugly If we had first met at that moment. Thus far, she had only amused me. I began really to like Miss Jillgall now. ' I muBt not conceal from you,' I re plied, ' that the state of Mr. Gracedieu'a mind surprised and distressed me. But I ought also to tell you that I saw him perhaps at his worst. The subject on which he wished, to speak; with me would have agitated any man In his state of health. He consulted me about Ms daughter's marriage.' Miss Jillgall suddenly turned pale. 'His daughter's marriage?' she re* peated. ' Oh, you frighten me !' ' Why should I frighten you ?' She seemed to find some difficulty in expressing herself. ' I hardly know how to pnt it, sir. You will excuse me, won't you ? if I say what I feel. You have in fluence — not the sort of influence that finds places for people who don't deserve them and gets mentioned in the news papers — I only mean influence over Mr. Gracedieu. That's what frightens me. How do I know ? Oh, dear, I'm asking another question ! Allow me, for once, to be plain and positive. I'm afraid, air, you have encouraged the minister to con cent to Helena's marriage.' ' Pardon me,' I answered, 'you mean Eunice's marriage.' 'No, sir! Helena.' 'No, madam! Eunice.1' ' What does he mean ?' said Miss Jill g.ll to herself. I heard her. 'This is what I mean,'

I asserted in my most positive manner. ' The only subject on vfWch the minister has consulted me is Sftas Eunice's marriage.' My tone left her no alternative I?ub to believe me. She looked not only 1)6' wildered but alarmed. After what had passed between only one conclusion was poBsible. ' Oh, poor man, has he lost himself in such a dreadful way as that ?' she said to herself, 'I daren't believe it.' She turned to me. ' You have bean talking with him for some time. Please try to remember. While Mr. Gracedieu was speaking of Eaneece did he say no thing of Helena's infamous conduct to her sister ?' Not the slightest hint of any such thing, I assured her, had reached my ears. ' Then,' she cried, ' 1 can tell you what he has forgotten ! We kept as much of that miserable story to ourselves as we could, in mercy to him. Besides, he was always fondest of Eaneece ; she would live in his memory when he had forgotten the other — the wretch, the traitress, the plotter, the fiend !' Miss Jillgall's good manners slipped, as it were, from under her ; she clenched her fists as a final means of expressing her sentiments. ' The wretched English language isn'thalf Btrong enough for me,' she declared, with a look of fury. I took a liberty. 'May I ask what Miss Helena has done ?' I said. 'May you ask? Oh, heavens! you must ask, you shall ask. Mr. Governor, if your eyes are not opened to Helena's true character, I can tell you what she will do ; she will deceive you into taking her part. Do you think she went to the station out of regard for the great man 2 Pooh ! she went with an eye to her own interests, and she means to make the great man useful. Thank God, I can ston that !' * She checked herself there and looked suspiciously at the door of Mr. Gracedieu'a room. ' In the interest of our conversation,' she whispered, 'we have not given a thought to the place we have been talking in. Do you think the minister has heard us V ' Not If he Is asleep— as I left him.' Miss Jillgall shook her head ominously. 'The safe way is this way,' she said. ' Come with me.' Chapteh XXXV. My ever helpful guide led trie to my room — well out of Mr. Gracedieu's hear ing, if he happened to be awake— at the other end of the passage. Having opened the door, she paused on the threshold. The decrees of that merciless English despot, Propriety, claimed her for their own. 'Oh, dear !' she said to herself, 'ought I to go In?' My interest as a man (and, what -is more, an old man) In the coming dis closure, was too serious to be trifled with in this way. I took her arm and led her into my room as if I was at a dinner party, leading her to the table. Is it the good or the evil fortune of mortals that the comic side of life and the serious side of life are perpetually in collision with each other ? We burst out laughing at a moment of grave Importance to us both. Perfectly inappropriate and perfectly natural. Bat we were neither of as philosophers, and we were ashamed of our own merriment the moment it had ceased. *' When you hear what I have to tell you,' Miss Jillgall began, 'I hope you will think as I do. What hasslipped Mr. Gracedieu's memory, it may be safer to say — for he is sometimes irritable, poor dear — where he won't know anything about it.' With that she told the lamentable story of the desertion of Eunice. In silence I listened from first to last. Sow could I trust myself to speak as I must have spoken in the presence of a woman? The cruel injury inflicted on the poor girl, who had interested and touched me in the first innocent year of her life— who had grown to womanhood to be the victim of two wretches, both trusted by her, both bound to her by the sacred debt of love — so fired my temper that I longed to be within reach of the man with a horsewhip hi. iny hand; Seeing hi my face, as I suppose^ what was passing in my mind, Miss JfllgaU ex pressed sympathy and admiration in her own quaint way, ' Ah, I like to see you so: angry ! It's grand to know that a man who has governed prisoners has got such a pitying heart. Let me toll you one thing, sir. You will be more angry than ever when you see my sweet girl to morrow. And mind this— it is Helena's devouring vanity, Helena's wicked jealousy of her sister's good fortune, that has done the mischief. Don't be too hard on Philip. I do believe, if the truth was told, he is ashamed of himself. I felt inclined to be harder on Philip than ever. ' Where ia he 2' I asked. Miss Jillgall started. ?'Oh, Mr. Governor, don't show the severe' side of yourself, after the pretty compliment I have just paid to you. What a masterful voice, and what eyes, dear sir; what terrifying eyes. I feel as if I was one of yonr prisoners and had misbehaved my self.' i . I repeated my question with improve ment I hope in my lookB and tones ; ' ' Don't think me obstinate, my dear lady. I only want to know if he is in this town.' Miss Jillgall seemed to take a curious pleasure in disappointing me ; she had not forgotten my unfortunate abruptness of look and manner. ' You won't find him here,' she said. ' ' Perhaps he has left England ?' ' If you must know, sir, he is In London — with Mr. Danboyne.' The same startled me. In a moment more it recalled to my memory a remarkable letter addressed to me many years ago, which will be found in my introductory narrative. The writer —an Irish gentleman, named Dunboyne —confided to me that his marriage had associated him with the murderess, who had then been recently executed, as brother-in-law to that infamous woman. This circumstance he had naturally kept a secret from every one, including hiason, then a boy. I alone was made an excep tion to the general rule, because I alone could tell him what had become of the poor little girl who, in spite of the dis graceful end of her mother, was still his ^H^'* *,f the chUd *''* no* keen pro vided for he felt It his duty to take charge of her education and to watch over her prospects in the future. Such had been his object in writing to me, and such was the substance of his letter. Miss Jillgall's keen observation noticed the Impression that had been prodaced upon me. ' Mr. Dunboyne's name seems to surprise you,' she said. 'This is the first time I have heard you mention it,' I answered. She looked as if ahe could hardly be lieve me. 'Surely you must have heard the name, she said, ' when I told yon about poor Euneece 2' 'No.' 'Well, then, Mr. Gracedieu mast have mention it? 'No.' . This second reply in the negative Irritated her. ' At any rate,' she said sharply, ' you appeared to know Mr. Banboyne's name just now.' 'Certainly.' ' And yet',' she persisted, ' the name seemed to come upon you as a surprise. I don't understand It. If I have men tioned Philip's name once I have men tioned it a dozen times.' We were completely at cross-purposes. She had taken something for granted which waB an unfathomable mystery to me. 'Well,' I objected, 'if you did mention his name a dozen times ? excuse me for aisklng the question— what then ?' 'Goodheavens !'criedMIss Jillgall, ' do you mean to say you never guessed that Philip was Mr. Danboyne'a eon ?

I was petrified. His son! Dunboyne's son ! How could I have guessed it ? At a later time only, the good little creature who had «o innocently deceived me, remembered that the mischief might have been wrought by the force of habit. While he had still a claim on their regard, the family had always spoken of Eunice's unwortiy lover by his Christian name ; and what had been familiar in their mouths felt the influence of custom, before time enougu had elapsed to make them think as readily of the enemy as they had hitherto thought of the friend. _ But I was ignorant of this ; and the disclosure by which I found myself sud denly confronted was more than I could support. For the moment speecil was beyond me. His son ! Dunboyne's son ! What a position that heartless wretch had occupied, unsuspected by his father, unknown to himself ! Kept in ignorance of the family disgrace he had been a guest in the house of the man who had consoled his infamous aunt on the eve of her exe cution — who had saved his unhappy cousin from poverty, from sorrow, from shame. And but one human being knew this. And that human being was myself. Observing my agitation Miss Jillgall placed her own construction on it. ' Do you know anything bad of Philip?' she asked eagerly. 'If it's something that will prevent Helena from marrying him tell me what it is, I beg and pray.' I knew no more of the man (whom she still called by his Christian name) than she had told me herself j there was no help for it but to disappoint her. At the same tune I waa unable to conceal that I was ill at ease, and that it might be well to leave me by myself. After a look round the bedchamber to see that nothing was want ing to my comfort, she made her quaint enrtsey and left me with her own inimi table form of farewell. ' Oh, indeed, I have been here too long. And I'm afraid I have been guilty once or twice of vulgar familiarity. You will excuse me, I hope. This has been an exciting interview — I think I am going to cry.' She ran out of the room and carried away with her some of my kindliest feel ings, short as the time of jour acquaintance had been. What a wife and what a mother was lost there — and all for want of a pretty face ! Left alone, my thoughts inevitably re verted to Dunboyne the elder, and to all that had happened in Mr. Gracedieu's family since the Irish gentleman had written to me in bygone years. The terrible choice of responsibilities which had preyed on the minlstqf s mind had been foreseen by Mr. Dunboyne, when he first thought of adopting his in fant niece, and had warned him to dread what might happen in the future if he brought her up as a member of the family with his own boy, and if the two young people became at a later period attached to each other. How had the wise foresight, which offered Buch a contrast to the poor minister's Impulsive act of mercy, met with its reward ? Fate or Providence (call it which we may) had brought Dunboyne's son and the daughter of the murderess together ; had inspired those two strangers with love ; and had emboldened them to plight their troth by a marriage engagement. Was the man's cruel betrayal of the trust placed in him by the faithful girl to be esteemed a for tunate circumstance by* the two persons who knew the true story of her parentage, the minister and myself? Could we re joice hi an act of dastardly infidelity which had embittered and darkened the gentle harmless life of the victim ? Or could we, on the other hand, encourage the ruthless deceit, the hateful treachery, which had put the wicked Helena — with no exposure to dread if she married — into her wronged sister's place ? Impossible.- In the one case as hi the other, impossible. Equally hopeless did the prospect appear when 1 tried to determine what my own individual course of action ought to be. In my calmer moments the idea had occurred to my mind of going to Dun boyne the younger, and if he had any sense of shame left exerting my influence to lead him ;back to his; betrothed wife. . How could I now do this consistently with my duty to the young mark's father, know lug what Iknew,andnotforgettingthat I had myeelf advised Mr. Gracedieu to keep the truth concealed when I was equally ignorant of Philip Dunboyne's parentage and of Helena Gracedieu's treachery. Even if events so ordered' it that the marriage, of Eunice might yet take place — without any interference exerted to produce that result one way or the other on my part — It would be just as impossible lor me to epeak out now as it had been in the long past years when I had so cautiously answered Mr. Dunboyne's letter. But what would he think of me if accident led sooner or later to the very disclosure which I had felt bound to conceal ? The more I tried to forecast the chances of the future the darker and the darker was the view that faced me. ; To my sinking heart and wearied mind good Dame Nature presented a more ac ceptable prospect when I happened'to look out of the window of my room. There I saw the trees and^owerbeds of a garden, tempting me irresistibly under the cloud less sunshine of a fine day. I was on my way out to recover heart and hope, when a knock at the door stopped me. Had Miss Jillgall returned? When I said. ' Come' in': Mr, Gracedieu opened the door and entered the room. He was so weak that he staggered as he approached me. Leading him to a chair, I noticed a wild look in his eyes and a flush on his haggard cheeks. Something had happened. 'When you were with me in my-room,' he began, 'did I not tell you that I had forgotten something ?' ' Certainly you did.' ' Well, I have found the lost remem brance. My misfortune— I ought to call it the punishment for my sins — is recalled to me now. The worst curse that can fall on a father is the curse that has come to me. I have a wicked daughter. My own child, sir .' my own child !' Had he been awake while Miss Jillgall and I had been talking outside his door 2 Had he heard her ask me if Mr. Grace dieu had said nothing of Helena's In famous conduct to her sister, while he was speaking of Eunice 2 The way to the lost remembrance had perhaps been found there. In any case, after that bitter allusion to his 'wicked daughter' eome result must follow. Helena Grace dieuand aday of reckoning might be nearer to each other already than I had ventured to hope. I waited anxiously for what the minister might say to me next, {To be continued.)