Chapter 94768816

See chapter in newspaper

Chapter Url
Full Date1888-09-01
Page Number17
Word Count5949
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleSouth Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889)
Trove TitleThe Legacy of Cain
article text


Bv WILKIE COLLINS, Author of 'The Woman in White,' 'The Evil Genius/, &o,, fte.

Published by special arrangement with the author. All rights reserve!.] SECOND PERIOD (Cosxhtced) : . EVENTS IN THE FAMILY, BELATED BT TH£ GOVERNOR, Chapter XLL— -Belated bt tb^ Governor.

I looked at Eunice. She had risen, startled by her first suspicion -of the. per son who was approaching us through the shrubbery, but she kept her place near me, . only changing her position so as to avoid ~ confronting Helena. Her qnickened breathing was all that told me of bhe effort ' that she was making to preserve hoi' self control.

Entirely free from unbecoming signs of hurry ana agitation Helena opened her business with me by means of an apology/ ?* Pray excuse me for disturbing you. I am obliged to leave .the house on one of n-y tiresome domestic errands. If you will kindly permit it I wish to express be* fore I go my very sincere regret for what I was rude enough to say when I last had the honor of seeing you. May I hope to be forgiven? How do you do, Eunice? Have you enjoyed your holiday hi the country ?' Eunice neither moved nor answered. Having some doubt of what might happen if the two girls remained together I pro* posed to Helena to leave the garden and to let me hear what she had to say hi the house. 'Quite needless,' she replied. ' 'I shall not detain you for more than a minute. Please look at this.' She offered me the portfolio that she had been carrying and pointed to a morsel of paper attached to it, which contained this Inscription— 'Philip's Letters to Me. Private.— Helena Gracedleu.' ' I have a favor to ask,' she said, 'aud a proof of confidence in you to offer. Will you be bo good as to look over what you find in my portfolio ? I am unwilling to give up the hopes that I had founded on, our Interview when I asked for It. The letters will, I venture to think, plead my cause more convincingly than I was abla to plead it for myself. I wish to forget what passed between us, to the last word. To the last word,' she repeated emphati cally, with a look which sufficiently In formed me that I had not been betrayed to her father yet. 'Will yon indulge me ?' .she asked, and offered her portfolio for the second time. A more impudent bargain could not well have been proposed to me. I was was to read and to be favorably Impressed by Mr. Philip Danboyne's letters; and Miss Helena was to say nothing of that unlucky slip of the tongue relating to her mother, which she had discovered to be a serious act of self betrayal — thanks to my confusion at the time. If I had not thought of Eunice, and of the desolate and loveless Ufa to which the poor girl was so patiently re signed, I should have refused to read Miss Gracedieu's love-letters. But as things were I was influenced by the hope (innocently encouraged by Eunice herself) that Philip Dunboyna might not be bo wholly unworthy of tha sweet girl whom he had injured &b I had hitherto been disposed to believe. To act on this view with the purpose of pro-. moting a reconciliation was impoasibla unless I had the means of forming a coxw rect estimate of the man's character. J.t seemed to me that I had found the mews. A fab chance of putting hia sincerity fe- a trustworthy test was surely offered by the letters (the confidential letters) which I had been requested to read. To feel this as strongly as I felt It brought me at once to a decision. I consented to take the portfolio on my own conditions. 'Understand, Miss Helena,' I said, ' that I make no promises. I reserve my own opinion and my own right of aotlon.' ' I am not afraid of your opinions or your actions,' she answered confidently, 'if you will only read the letters. In the meantime let me relieve my slater there of my presence. I hope you will soon re cover, Eunice, in the country air.' If the object of the wretch was to exasperate her victim, she had completely failed. Eunice remained as still aa a statue. To all appearance she had not

even heard what had been said to net. Helena looked at me and touched her forehead ttfith a significant entile, ' Sad, isn't ifr ri' she said, and bowed and weat feirkidy away oa her household expand. We were alone again. Still Eunice never moved. I spoke to her, and produced no impression. Be gin niag to feel alarmed, X tried the effect of touching her. With a wild cry she started into a- state of animation. Almost at the same moment she weakly swayed to and fro aa if the pleasant breeze in the garden moved her at Its will, lita the flowers. I held her up and led her to the seat. ' There is nothing to be afraid of,:- 1 said. ' She has gone.'' iJanice's eyes rested on me in vacant EKrpriee. ' Sow do yon know ?' she asked. ' I Lear her ; but 1 never see liar. Do you Bee her I' 'My dear child, of what person are yew speaking V fehe answered, 'Of no person. I axa s;x-skiug of a voice that whispers and urepts me when Helena is near.' * : What voice, Eonice i' ' The whispering voice. It called me ds tighter trhen I first heard it. My father gptaks — he has spoken, I dare say, to you ? — of my mother, the angel. That good spirit has never come to me from the better world. It is a mock-mother who comes to me — some spirit o£ evil. Listen to thie. I was awake in my bed. In tha dark I heard the mock-mother whispering close at my ear. Shall I tell you what; she said ? She eaid, ' I am your mother.' Oh, I heard it ! I remember how 1 longed for light to eee her by ; I prayed to her to show herself to me. She said, ' My face was hidden when I passed from life to death ; my face no mortal creature may see/ I hare never seen her; how can you have seen her? But 1 heard her again jnst now. She whispered to me when Helena was standing there where yen axe standing. She freezes the life in me. Did ehe- freeze the life in you ? Did yon hear her tempting me? Don't speak of it if yon did. Oh, not a word ! not a word !' A nia.ti who has governed a prison may say with Macbeth, 'I hare supped fall with horrors.' Hardened as I was — or ought to have been — the «£Gect of what I bad just heard turned me cold. If 1 had not kno?m it to be absolutely impossible I might have believed that the crime and the death of the murderess were known to Eunice as being the crime and the death of her mother, and that the horrid discovery had turned her brain. This was simply impossible. What did it n-ean ? Good God ! what did it mean ? My sense of my own helplessness was the first sense in me that recovered. I thought of Eunice's devoted little friend. A woman's sympathy seemed to be needed sow. I rose to lead the way oat of the garden. ** Selina will think we are lost,' I said. ' Let us go and find Selina.' *'Hot for the world !' she cried. ' Why not ?' ' Because I don't feel sure of myself. I might tell Selina something 'which she nrnst never know ; 1 should be bo sorry to frighten her. Let *ne stop here with you.' : I resumed my place at her side. *' Let me take your hand.' I gave her my hand. What composing iijfiaence this simple aet may or may not Jiavo exercised it is impossible to say. She was quiet; she was silent. After an interval I heard her 'breathe a long-drawn sigh of reKef. ' I am afraid 1 have Burprised jon,' she said ; ' Helena brings the dreadful time back to me ? ' She stopped and shuddered. ' Don't speak of Helena, my dear.' 'But I am afraid you will think — be- «acse I have said strange things — that I hare been talking at random,' she in sisted. ' The doctor will say that If you meet with him. He believes I am deluded by a dream. I tried to think so myself. Ic was of no nee ; I am quite sore he is wrong.' I privately determined to wateh for the doctor's arrival and to consult with Mm. Eunice went on — ' I have the story of a terrible night to tell you ; but 1 haven't the courage to -tell it now. Why shouldn't you come fjaek srifch me to Hie place that I am stay ing at— a pleasant farmhouse, and each kind people. You might read the account of that night in my journal. I shall not regret the misery of having written it, if it helps yon to find out how this hateful second self of mine has come to me. Hceh ! I want to ask yon something. Do yon think Helena fs in the house f' ' So ; she has gone out.' ' Did ehe say that herself % Are you cere!' ' Quite sure.' She decided on going back bo the farm while Helena was out of the way. We left the garden together. For the first time my ?companion noticed the portfolio. I happened to be carrying it in the hand that waa nearest to her as die walked by my side. ' Whece did yon get that V she asked. It was needless to reply in words. My hesitation spoke for me. 'Carry it in your other hand,' she eaid ; 'the hand that's farthest away from me. 1 don't want .to see it ! Do you mind waiting a moment while I find Selina ? You will go to the farm with us, ?won't yon ?' I bad to look over the letters, in Eunice's own interests ; and I begged her to let me defer my visit to the farm until the next day. She consented after making me promise to keep my appointment. It was of some im portance to her, she told me, that I should make acquaintance with the farmer and his wife and children, and tell her how I Jikcd them. Her plans for the future de pended on what those good people might Ibe willing to do. When she had recovered her health it was impossible for her to go home again while Helena remained in the house. She had resolved to earn her ovra living if she could get- employment as a governess. The farmer's children liked Her; she had already helped their mother in teaching them, and there was reason to hope that their father would see his way to employing her permanently. His house offered the great advantage of being near enough to the town to enable her to hear news of the minister's progress towards recovery, and to see him herself when safe oppor tunities offered from time to time. As for her salary, what did she care about money? Anything would be acceptable, if the good man would only realise her hopes for the future. It was disheartening to hear that hope, at her age, began and ended within such narrow limits as these. No prudent man -would have tried to persuade her, as I now did, that the idea of reconciliation offered the better hope of the two. ' Suppose I see llr. Philip Danboyna when I go back to London,' I began, ' what shall I say to him i' ' Say I have forgiven him ' 'And suppose,' I went on, 'that the blame really rests, where you all believe it to rest, with Helena. If that young man returns to you, truly ashamed of himself, truly penitent, will yon ? ?' She resolutely interrupted me—' No 2' ' Oh, Eunice, you surely mean Yes ?' ' I mean No I' 'Why?'J 'Don't ask me. Good-bye till fco xuorxow.' Chapter XLIL No person came to my room, and nothing happened to interrupt me while I -was reading Mr. Philip Danboyne's letters. One of them, let nie esy at once, pro duced a very disagreeable impression on me. 1 have unexpectedly discovered Mr*. Tfcnbruggen — in a postscript. She is making a living as a medical rnbber (or masseuse), and is in professional attend ance on Mr. Dunboyne the elder. More cf thia a little farther on.

Having g-£,e tnrongh the -whole eollec- l ticn of. yeang Dnnboyne'a letters, I set j vayeeH to review the differing conclusions j which the correspondence had produced on my mind. 1 call the papers submitted to ma a j correspondence, because the yceate? pisb j of PfaUip s letters exhibit notes in pencil, } evidently added by Helena. These ex- preEs, for the most part, the interpretation which she had placed on passages that j perplexsd or displeased her ; and they j have, as Philip's rejoinders show; been j employed as inateriais when she irrote her I replies. On reflection I find myself troubled by complexities aad contradictions in the view presented of this young man's character. To deefde positively whether I can justify to myself and to.sny regard for Euaie9 aa attempt to reunite the lovers requires mere time for consideration than I caa reasonably expect that Helena's patience will allcv.'. Having a (jiiiet uoar or two still before me, I have determined to make extracts from tha letters for my own nee, wltli the mtention of referring to them ^hile I am still in doubt which way nif decision ought to incline, I shall present them hera to speak for themselves. Is there any objection to this ? If one that 1 can Bee. In the first place chess extracts have a value of their own. They add necessary information to the present history of events. In the second place I am under no obligation to Mr. Gracedieu'e daughter which forbids me to make use of her port folio. I told her that I only consented to receive it under reserve of niy owa right of action — aad her assent to that stipula tion was expressed in the clearest terms. Exrr.At.Trt rnou Mr. Philip Dcskoyse's 1. You blame me, dear Helena, for not having paid proper attention to the ques tions put to me ia your last letter. I have only been waiting to make up my mind before I replied. First question — Do I think it advisable that youshould write to my father ? Bo, my dear ; I beg you will defer writing until yon hear from me again. Second question — Considering that he is still a stranger to you, is there any harm in your asking me what sort of a man my father is 2 No harm, my sweet one : l)ut. as yon will presently see, I am afraid you have addressed yourself to the wroug man. My father is kind in his own odd way — atod learned, and rich— a mare high minded and honorable man, as I have every reason to believe, doesn't live- Bat if you ask me which he prefers, his books or his son, I do him no injustice when £ answer, his books. His reading =aud iiis writing are obstacles between us which I have never been able to overcome. Thie is the more to be regretted because ha is charming on the few occasions when I find him disengaged. If you wish I knew more about my father — we are ia com ? plete agreement as usual — I wish, too. But there is a dear friend of yours aad mine, who is just the person we want to help us. Need I say that I allude to Mrs. Staveley ? I called on her yesterday, hot long after -ehe had .paid a visit to my father. Lack had favored her. .She arrived just at the time when hunger had obliged him to shut up his books and ring, for something to eat. Mrs. Staveley secured -a favorable reception with her customary tact: and delicacy. He had a fowl for his dinner. She knows his weakness of old ; she volunteered to carve it for him. If I can only repeat what this xleyer woman told me of their talk you -will have a portrait of Mr. Dunboyne the elder — not perhapea highly finished picture, but, as I hope and believe, a good likeness. Mrs. Staveley began by complaining to him of the conduct of his son. I had promised to write to her and I had never kept my word. She had reasons for being especially interested hi my plans and prospects just then, knowing me to be attached (please take notice that I am quoting her own language) to a charming friend of hers, whom I had first met at her house. To aggravate the disappoint ment that I had Inflicted the young lady had neglected her too. No letters, , no information. Perhaps my father would kindly enlighten her? Was the affair golcg on ? or was it broken off ? My father held out his plate and asked for the other wing of the fowl. ' It isn't a bad one for London,' he said ; *' won't you have some yourself?' ' I don't seem to have interested you,' Mrs. Staveley remarked. 'What did you expect me to be in terested in V my father inquired. ' I was absorbed in the fowl. Favor me by re turning to the subject.' Mrs. Staveley admits that ehe answered thiB rather sharply — 'The subject, sir, was your son's admiration for a charming girl ; one of the daughters of Mr. Gracedieu, the famous preacher.' My father is too well-bred to speak to a lady while his attention Is ab sorbed by a fowl. He finished the second wktg, and then he asked if 'Philip was engaged to be married ?' ' I am not quite sure,' Mrs. Staveiey confessed. ' Then, my dear friend, ire will wait till we are eure.' *' But, Mr. Dunboyne, there is really no need to wait. I suppose your son comes here now and then to see you ?' ' My son is most attentive. In course of tune he will contrive to hit on the right hour for his visit. At present, poor fellow, he interrupts me every day.' ° Suppose he hits upon the right time to morrow.' 'Yes?' *' £bu might ask him if he ia engaged V ' Pardon me. I think I might wait till Philip mentions it without asking.' *'? What an extraordinary man you are !' 'Oh, no, no — only a philosopher.' This tried Mrs. Stavefey's temper. Yon know what a perfectly candid person our friend is. She owned to me that she felt Inclined to make herself disagreeable. 'That's thrown away upon me,' she said; ' I don't know -what a philosopher is.' Let me pause for a moment, dear Helena, I have inexcusably forgotten to speak of my father's personal appearance. It won't take long. I need only notice one interesting feature which, so to speak, lifts his face out of the common. He has an eloqnent noBe. Persons pos sessing thiB rare advantage are blest with powers of expression not granted to their ordinary fellow- creatures. My father's nose is a mine of information to Mends familiarly acquainted with it. It changes color like a modest young lady's cheek. It works flexibly from side to side like the rudder of a ship. On the present occasion Mrs. Staveley saw it shift towards the left hand aide of his face. A sigh escaped the poor lady. Experience told her that my father -was going to hold forth. ' Yon don't know what a philosopher is ?' he repeated. ' Be so kind as to look at me. I am a philosopher.' Mrs. Staveley bowed. - 'And a philosopher, my charming friend, is a man who has discovered a ey&tem of life. Some systems assert themselves hi volumes— my system asserts itself in two words : Never think of any thing until you have first asked yourself if there is an absolute necessity for doing it at that particular moment. Thinking of things when things needn't be thought of is offering an opportunity to worry ; and worry is the favorite agent of death when the destroyer handles his work in a lingering way, and achieves premature results, never look back, and never look forward, as long as you can possibly help it. Looking back leads the way to sorro -v. And looking forward ends in the cruellest of all delusions — it; encourages hope. The present time is the precious time. Live for the pasuiag day ; the passing day Je all that we can be sure of; You sag gtibltd juet now that 1 shcu!-2 ask my soa ;

If he »ras engaged to be married. How do we know what wear aad tear of your rei-vons texture I succeeded in saving when I said— 'Wait till Philip mentions it without asking.' There is the personal application of my system. I have ex plained it in my time to .every -woman on the list of my acquaintance, including the female servants. Not one of them has re warded me by adopting my system. How do you feel about it V Mrr. Staveley declined to say whether she had offered a bright example of gratitude to the reat of the sex. When I aeked why, she declared that it was my turn now to tell her what I had been doing. You tvDl anticipate what followed. She objected to the mystery in which my pros pects seemed to be involved. In plain English, was I, or was I not, engaged to marry her dear Eunice. 1 said, 'no.' What else could I say ? If I had told Mrs. Slaveley the truth when she insisted on my explaining myself she would have gone b£;k to my father and would have appealed to his sense of justice to forbid our marriage. Finding me obstinately silent she has decided on writing to Eunice. So tto parted. But don't be disheartened. On my way out of the houEe I met Sir. Staveley coming in, aad had a little talk with him. He and his wife ar-d his family are going to the sea side next week. Mrs. Sfcaveley onee oat of our way I can tell my father of our en gagement without any fearof consequences, If she writes to him, the moment he sees my name mentioned, and finds violent language associated with it, he will hand the letter to me. ' Your business, Philip; don't interrupt me.' He will say that, and go back to his books. There is my father, painted to the life ! Farewell for the present. Remarks by E.G. — Philip's grace and gaiety of style might be envied by any professional author. He amuses me, but he rouses my suspicion at the satne tiois, This slippery lover of mine tells me to defer trriting to his father, and gire3 no reason for offering that strange advice to the yotmg lady who is soon to be a member of the family. Ia this merely one more instance of the weakness of hi3 character ? Or, now that he is away from my influence, is he beginning to regret Eunice already ? Added by £7ie Governor. — I too have my doubts. Is the flippant nonsense which Philip has written, inspired by the effervescent good spirits of a happy young man.2 Or is it assumed for a purposed In this latter case I should gladly conclude that he was regarding his conduct to Eunice with becoming emotions of sorrow and shame. Chapter XLIII. 3Iy next quotations will suffer a process of abridgement. I intend them to present the substance of three letters, reduced aa folloTTS : — 2. Weak as he may be, Mr. Philip Dan boyue shows (hi his second letter) that he can feel resentment and that he can ex press his feelings In replying to Miss Helena. He protests against suspicions ] which he baa not deserved. That he does sometimes think of Eunice he sees no reason to deny. He is conscious of errors and misdeeds, which — traceable as they are to Helena's irresistible fascinations — may perhaps be considered rather his mis fortune than his fault. Be that as it may, he does indeed feel anxious to hear good accounts of Eunice's health. If this honest avowal excites her sister's jealousy he will be disappointed in Helena for the first time. The third letter shows that this exhi bition of spirit has had its effect. His imperious young lady regrets that she has hurt his feelings, and Is rewarded for the apology by receiving news of the most gratifying kind. Faithful Philip has told this father that he is engaged to be married to Miss Helena Gracedieu, daughter of the celebrated Wesleyan preacher, and' so on, and so on. Has Mr. Dunboyne the elder expressed any objection to the young lady ? Certainly not! He merely objects on principle to looking forward. 'How do we know,' says the philosopher, 'what accidents may happen, or what doubts and hesi tations may yet turn up. lam not to burden my mind in this matter till I know thatlmuBt do it. Let me hear when she is ready to go to church and I will be ready with the settlements. My compliments to miss and her papa, and let ds wait a little.' -Dearest Helena, isn't he funny 1 The fourth letter has been already men tioned. In this there occurs the first startling reference to Mrs, Tenbruggen by name. She is in London, finding her way to lucrative celebrity by twisting, turning, and pinching the fleahof credulous per sons afflicted with nervous disorders, and ehe has already paid a few medical visits to old Mr. Dunboyne. He persists in poring over his books while Mrs.. Ten broggenoperateSjgometlmesonhiscramped right hand, BonietimeB(in the fear thothis brain may have something to do with it) on the back of his neck. One of them frowns over her robbing, and the other frowns over his reading. It would be de- . lightfully ridiculous, but fov a drawback. Mr. Philip Dunboyne'a first impressions of Mrs. Tenbruggen do not In-line him to look at that lady from a humorous point of view. Helena's remarks appear againon these letters. She feels not quite sure of Philip even yet. No more do I. 3. The fifth letter mast be permitted to apeak for itself :— I have flown into a passion, dearest Helena ; and I am afraid I shall make you fly into a passion too. Blame Mrs; Ten bruggen ; don't blame me. On the first occasion when I found my father under the hands of the medical rubber she took no notice of me. On the second occasion — when Bhe had been in daily attendance on him for a week at an exorbitant fee — she said in the coolest manner — 'Who ia this youog gentle man?' My father laid down his book for a moment only. ' Don't interrupt me again, ma'am ; the young gentleman is my son Philip.' Mrs. Teabraggen eyed me with an appearance of interest which I was at a loss to account for. I hate an impudent woman. My visit came suddenly to an end. The next time I saw my father he was alone. I asked him how he got on -with Mrs. Tenbrnggen. As badly as possible, it ap peared. 'She takes liberties with my neck ; she interrupts me in my reading ; and ehe does me no good. I shall end, Philip, in applying a medical rubbing to Mrs. Tenbruggen.' A few days later I found the masterful ' masseuse' torturing the poor old gentle man's muscles again. She had the audacity to eay to me— 'Well, Mr. Philip, when are you going to marry Miss Eunice Gracedieu?' My father looked op. *' Eunice 2' he repeated. ' When my son told me he was engaged to Miss Gracedieu he said * Helena !! Philip, what does this mean ?' Mrs. Teabroggea was so obliging as to answer for me. ' Somo mistake, sir ; it'a Eonice he is engaged to.' I confess I forgot myself. ' How the devil do you know that?1' I burst out. Mrs. Tenbruggen ignored me and my langusge. ' I am sarry to see, sic, that your eon's education has been neg lected ; he eeems to be grossly ignorant of the laws of politeness.' '* Never mind tbe laws of politeness,' says my father. ' You appear to be better ac quainted with my son's matrimonial prospects than he. is himself. How is that?' Mrs. Tenbruggen favored him ?svith another ready reply. 'My autho rity is a letter, addressed to me by a rela tive of Mr. Grficedieu — my dear and in timate friend, Mibs Jillgall/' My father's keen ejeB travelled backwarde asd fonv&rds between hie female surgeon

and his som ' Which am I to believe ?:! . he enquired. ' I am surprised at) your j asking the question,' I said. Mra. Ten- ,? bruggen pointed to me. ' Look at Mr. \ Philip, sir, and you will allow him one \ merit. He is capable of showing It, when \ he knows he has disgraced himself. ' ! Without intending ifc, I am sure, my father infuriated me ; he looked aa it he believed her. Out came one of the smallest and strongest words In the Eng lish language before I could stop it — 'Mrs. Tenbraggen, you lie !' The illus trionB rubber dropped my father's hand —she had been operating on him all the time— and showed us that she could assert her dignity when circumstances called for the exertion. 'Either your son or I, sir, must leave the room. Which is it to be ?' She met her match in my father. Walking quietly to the. door he opened it for Mra. Ten brnggen with a low bow. She stopped on her way out and delivered her parting words— '? Messieurs Dunboyne, father and son, I have but one thing to say. Nobody has ever yet insulted me without having reasoD, eaoaer cr later, to regret it. In the meantime I keep my temper, and merely regard you as a couple of black guards. ' °With that pretty assertion of her opinion she left us. When we were alone there was but one course to take ; I made my confession. Is is impossible to tell you how my father re ceived it — for he sat down at his library table with his back to me. The grat thing he did was to aBk me to help Ma memory, ' Did you say that the father of these girls was a parson ?' ' Yes ; a Wesleyan minister.' 'What does the minister think of you ?' ' I don't; know, sir.' ' Find out.' That was all ; not another word could I extract from him. I don't pretend to have discovered what he really has In his mind. I only venture on a suggestion. If there is any old friend In your town ?who has any influence over your father, leave no means untried of getting that friend to say a kind word for us. And then ask your father to write to mine. ThJs fs, as I see it, bur only chance. There the letter ends. Helena's notes on it show that her pride is fiercely in terested In securing Philip as a husband. Her victory over poor Eunice will, as she plainly intimates, be only complete when Bhe is married to young Dunboyne. For the rest, her desperate resolution to win her way to my good graces is sufficiently intelligible now. My own impressions, derived from the fifth letter, vary. Philip rather gains upon me ; he appears to have some capa- ! city for feeling ashamed of himself. On i the other hand I regard the discovery of an intimate friendship existing between ' Mrs. Tenbiuggen and Miss Jillgall with gloomiest views. Is this formidable mas seuse likely to ply her trade hi the country towns? And is it possible that she may come to this town ? God forbid ! Of the other letters m the collection I need take no special notice hi this place. The one recent event In Mr. Gracedieu's family worthy of record Is of a melancholy nature. After paying hfa visit today the the doctor has left word that nobody but the nurse is to go near the minister. This seems to indicate but too surely a change for the worse. Helena has been away all the evening at the gkla' school. She left a little note informing me of her wishes — *'I Bhall expect to be favored with your decision to-morrow morning in my housekeeping room.' At breakfast- time the report of the poor minister was still discouraging. I noticed that Helena was absent from the table. Miss Jillgall suspected that the cause was had news . from Mr. Philip Dunboyne arriving by that morning's post. tJ If you will excuse the use of strqngianguage by a lady,' «be -said, 'Melenalooked per fectly devilish when she ppened the letter. ?She rushed away and locked herself up in her own shabby room. Cheering, isn't it t' As usual good Selina expressed her sentiments without reserve. I had to keep my appointment ; and the sooner Helena Gracedien and I understood : each other the better* I knocked at the door. It was loudly unlocked and violently thrown open. Helena's temper had risen to boiling heat; she stammered with rage when she spoke to me. ' ' Have you read Philip's letters V 'Yea.' 'May we count on your influence to help us ? I want a positive answer.' I gave her what she wanted. I said, 'Certainly not.' She took a letter from her pocket, opened it, and smoothed it out on the table with a blow of her open hand. ' Look at that,' she said'. I looked. It was the letter addressed to Mr. Dunboyne the elder which I had written for Mr. Graeediea with the one object of preventing Helena's marriage. 'Of course I can depend on you to tell me the troth ¥' she continued, ' Without fear or favor, Wss Helena, yon may depend on tJuot.' 'The signature to the letter, Mr. Governor, is written by my father. But the letter itself is in a different hand; Do you, by any chance, recognise the writing ?' ' I do.' ' Whose writing is it ?' 'Mine.' {To bs continued.)