|Chapter Number||V - VII|
|Chapter Title||A LEAF FROM MR. HELMSTONE'S DIARY.|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Grantford Grange|
BY, MAEY KYEE DALLAS.
¡f ' ( OHATTEE V.
, A IEA1' EBOSI MB. HEEMSTONE'S DIABT.
" HAVE I done wrong ? I hope not. I trust not. I mean no harm. I am COUBOÍOUS of my .responsibility as a minister of the GoBpel ; as qui old man ; as tho friend of the dead boy's father. Yet perhaps some would havo called me imprudent. I have taken thiB stranger's word for himself ; I have truBted in my own knowlodgo of man, and havo engaged him as little Otho Grantford'e tutor.
" What woro tho words dead Mr. Grantford said to me? Lot me remember thom. They ate almost the words of his remarkablo will :
" ' Helmstono, I will leave this boy in a mea suro in your charge. But that I desire him to bo continually at the Grange, I would place him under your care at the parsonage. As it is, I desire you to retain a fatherly interest in him and to procure a tutor for him. A young man -a gentleman-one who will teach him not only to read Greek and Latin, but will instruct him in the accomplishments necessary to his sex and rank. To you alono I daro to leave the choice, for you alono love tho boy. That you may not bo interfered with, I have arranged matters so that you may defy impertinent
> "He said this to me a week before his death, standing tall and straight and ruddy on my hearth. Tho firo-light fell upon him, and ho looked so little Uko one near tho grave that I oould not help saying, " My dear Mr, Grantford, life is uncertain to us all, yet you are likely to qutlivo mo. You are much younger, much healthier. You will, I hope, live to see little Otho a man, at least to select his tutors your-
" He looked at me -with a strange sadness in his blue eye. Tho handsome Grantford eye.
" ' Helmstone,' said he, ' whde I live I will be my boy's instructor. I will have no tutor, no teacher of any kind, to come between Otho and myself ; but though what you Bay is true, and I am robust and not yet old, I feel that I shall not live long. You, with your pcouliar feel- ings, can scarcely understand perhaps why it should influonco mc, but my death has been predicted.'
"'Predicted!' I cried. 'Have you been ^dreaming bad dreams or imagining visions ?'
" * Nay,' said ho, ' nothing so mysterious' My oraclo is an old Gipsy hag, who mouthed and mumbled over my palm. She told mo I must die in tho Ootober of this year by a vio-
" ' Surely,' I bogan. He laughed :
" ' Of course I do not believe the hag read the future,' he said. ' But true words are often spoken by ohanco in this world. I feel sure I -shall not see tho next year ; I feol doubly sure
I shall not livo to Bee Otho a man.'
" It is strange-Very strange That was tho first night of October. On the tenth they brought him baok to the Grango, shot through tho body by an accidental discharge of his own
" So I, a man BO much his senior, read his will. In it my duties were Bet forth. Within a year I was to provide a tutor for little Otho. I have searched, but I never found one exactly to my mind until I met
" Let mo pause before I oven writo his name. Let me record, for my own comfort hereafter, every circumstance. On the road, after dark, my horse having fallen lame, I was attacked by a man who demanded of me the jewels which form the'portion of my wards, the Miesos Kent. I preferred death (as who would not) to such a betrayal of my trust. J think I should havo fallen a victim to the rage of the miserable wretoh but for a stranger-a total stranger then-who started from the roadside. Ho delivered mo from my danger, and walked upon tho way homo with me. His manners were those of a gentleman, but he was dressed like a beggar. Let mo consider-was this against him ? Surely, in the eyes of men. I cannot think the angels so judge us. Yet rags and poverty often assooiate themselves with vice and crime The Christian is seldom a beggar. And
he was not a beggar. He reseated charity. But that, fainting at our door, ho was without power to combat our friendly intentions, he would have gone on his way, and we should havo met no more. ,
" My wife took a fancy to him, lying on his ?sick bed. She insisted from tho first that he was of high birth. Even now she nods and smiles, and insinuates that she knows moro than I do of him. Probably ; women are acute. Besides, I have shrewd suspicions that she had a private peep into a package whioh came near being lost beneath our roof, and which doubtless contained family papers.
" Curiosity has been the failing of the best of women since the days of Eve, and Mrs. Helm
stone is but human«
" At that time, on his recovery, he left us. That very evening a stranger poisoned himself in the church vestry. I WOB summoned. It was my young friend, Lionel. I cannot de- scribe my emotions.
" We brought him home to the parsonage, and he lived. As he recovered, I began to dis- cover that he had a glorious education, mental and physical-that his morals were good. I ascribe his attempt at suicide to temporary in- sanity, caused by disappointment. When he
said to me :
" ' My only earthly object now seems to be to procurethe means of gaining a livelihood in some way not utterly dagrading to a gentleman,' it entered my mind at once that here was the
tutor for little Otho.
" I said nothing. I prayed for guidance.
" I reasoned thus :
" I have in my power the means of benefiting two at once. Surely this young man is worthy. His misfortunes should be in his favor, not against him. Yet I will act prudently. The next day I took Mm into my study.
" ' Lionel,' I said (I did not know his sur- name)-' Lionel, would you accept a situation as tutor to a young gentleman ?'
" Ho looked at me, bit his Ups, seemed to crush down his rising pride (that pride is his worst fault, apparently), and said :
" ' Yes, Mr. Hcltnetono ; as well a tutor, per- haps, as anything.'
" ' Then,' I said, ' I am able to offer you such a position ; but first I must request you-not m a spirit of idle curiosity, but aB a duty to the boy and to myself-to tell me your name and something of your past life.'
" He lietened quietly.
" i I do not blame you,' he said. ' I will tell j ou the truth. My real name I must conceal. The one I have adopted is Malcolm-Lionel Malcolm. My past has been innocent. I have,
ÜB you know, reooived an education not quite contemptible ; but all my life I have followed an ignis fatuus-a splendid thing at a distance, I can toll you.
'Thó false hope of my Ufe is gone. You seo before you a poor man who desires to earn his broad-no more, no less. I will willingly be a tutor, hut not under my own name. I thank you for kindness. I will not endeavor to persuade you to look upon me as ono you can
"'Better, perhaps, that I should struggle for independence anywhere else upon tho face of
the broad earth than hore.'
"I acted on impulso-I grasped his hand. " ' I trust you, my dear boy,' I said.
" ' Even if you never know moro of mo ?' he
" ' Aye,' said I. 'Let the dead past bury UB dead. If Lionel Malcolm be the name of a good man henceforth, I for one will willingly forgot he ever had another. Men may call me a sily old man if they hear of this, but I can think no ill of you. I can feel no danger in making you the tutor of my dear little ward. It is a ward of mino-a child of nino years old.'
" Then I said some words, as was my duty, on the responsibilities he would assume.
"'It ÍB not only the mind, but tho heart, you will form,' I said. ' All his life the boy may unconsciously obey your precepts. You will be called upon to answer for any harm his soûl receives from your instruction. I beliovo you will teaoh him only good.'
" ' WiUingly nothing else,' ho said.
»" I told him I was sure of that, and then
went on :
" ' Tho boy is an orphan and tho heir of great wealth. His name is Otho, and he is the son of tho late Mr. Otho Grantford of tho Grango hard by.'
"As I spoke I was startled by my young friend's singular behaviour.
"He started to his feet, clasped his hands, and ejaculated :
" 'The Grange! It is too muoh-too muoh !' " * Do you know tho Grange ?' asked I.
"'Yes,' ho replied; 'forgive mo ; go on.'
"I did. I told him how it happened that I became in a measure the guardian ef the boy ; the unhappy end of poor Mr. Grantford's singular marriage, and his fear (often expressed to mo) that some of tho strange relations of his mother-who certainly looked liko ono of that singular race, the gipsies-should exeroise an influonce over him. I told him moreover that, as tho child's tutor, ho must watch him closely, and never let him wander from his sight. Above all, watch and restrain any tendency to wildness and recklessness, which ho inherited
from his mother.
"Then I said:
"'Do you accopt tho ohargo ?'
" He answered, in a peculiar tono. " ' It is my fate-I accept it.'
" Then he asked suddenly who were the other inmates of the Grange. I told him Miss Geraldine, and Miss Honderson, her govorness. I did not tell him that Lady Géraldine was bcthrothed, and that her wedding-day was fixed, for it did not appear to me that the affair had anything to do with the businosB in hand, or that I should bo anght but impertinent in speaking of what concerned the young lady
" Miss Henderson insists that I should have informed Mr. Malcolm of the engagement. Wlty ? I wonder. I ask her, but sho only shakoB her head mysteriously, and says I will soe. To-day we went to the Grango together, and I left him thero. Otho and he aro friends already. Well, well, I hope all will be for the best. I think woll of him. I belie ve his story, and indeed cannot understand why I should feel some qualms of conscience '..lion I reflect upon my aot.
" Wait a momont. Tho reason I havo is an odd one. I am ashamed of it ; but I will put it down. It is a look I saw on Mr. Malcolm's face-a look he gave Otho."
A PAGE FBOJI MOSEü'S DIABY.
" FOB monthsl have been taken at the Grange,
unuor a laise name, in wliat J. cannot but feel
to bo a false position ; yet I am not unhappy. I was at first. I was indeed wrotohod, hope- less. Now how bright all things appear to mo ! I am a boy again at heart. I waken from slumber with glad hopes. for tho day-I lie down at night to dream bright dreams ; and all because I have mot and known Geraldine Osproy.
" She dawned upon me in her bright beauty when I was most hopeless. Her smile, her voice, her presence gave me new life, I have smiltd at the fancy that love is bom in a mo- ment; I believed it the growth of dayB and years, I know bettor now. From the first instant I loved her. Who could help it ? A mad dream, wiseacres might say ; but I will indulge it.
" True, I am poor j but I have health, and youth, and energy, I will woo her, win her, and carve for myself a path to fame and for- tune Better possess her love than all the broad acres of the universe.
"The ignij fatuus I have followed has failed me; but this new-born light cannot be also false, deceptive, vain, True, I may never reach it ; but that will be because it is too far beyond my best deserts, not because the object of my hopes is in itself a delusion.
" Does she Uko me? I do not know-I can- not tolL She smiles, but emilcB aro natural to her ripe lips. She speaks softly to me; but would she harshly address the vilest wretch on earth ? Perhaps I love in vain, but the hope
itself wiU ennoble.
"As for this little Otho, I neither quite love nor quite- Bah! would I write hate,'-I hate a child ! No, no. Heaven help me to Bay no. Otho, the child I teach and guard from harm, I do love. It is only Otho Grantford, the man that is to be, of whom I think as of an uncon- scious enemy. Soon I can even love him, the future man I am moulding ; and at tho worst, it is but a feeling I know to bo wrong and blush for. Let me forget it, and write only of the present, in which moves and breathes a sunny faced child whose clinging fingers, whose beam- ing eyes, whose coaxing baby ways, despite his saucy wildness, have won my heart.
"I am happy-happy-happy. To-day we' rido to the Lake side to sketch ; I have pro- mised to give Geraldine some lessons in water colors. I look forward to the moments I shah posB beside her joyfully. Such moments are always treasured by me as a miser troasureB gold.
" At some suoh moment I shall cast the die which will deoido my fate. I shall learn whether I am to be blessed or most wretched
amongst men. But then she also must know that I am living undor an assumed name must know my real one, and pardon or refuso to pardon tho deceit.
" Thank Hoavon tko-nanie I own in an un- tarnished one. My motive in concealing it only ono for which I must blush, because it betrays falso pride and weakness. If she weds mo sho will wed a man of untarnished honor, who ¿ares to claim the namo of gentleman.
" Tho sooner I trust tho secret to her kcoping the botter. The sooner-if Bho loves mo-that I cast it off and battlo manfully with fortuno in some field where tho rewards aro famo and wealth, the botter. »
"Iknow not whether this bracing northern ah makes men moro manly, but new qualities eeom developing themselves within mo. When first I stood at the door of the Grange I dreamt of a life of luxury and idlonoss ; now I long to aot-to bo no moro a usolcss drone-to help myself and others. Shall it be to-day ? Shall I break the bonds of proorastination and do what I have to do to-day P Is jt too early ? could I win hor bettor by waiting longer? Fato sholl docido ; I cannot.
" At tho thought of what her answer may bo my hoart throbs, my cheeks burn. Can it be that I Bhall over clasp thoo to my heart-kiss thy red lips-coll thee tenderly by tho fondest name that lips can utter, and proudly stand bo- foro tho world calling theo my wife ! Geraldine,
can it be ? Can it be ?"
KEAETS AHD HOPES.
IT was early in tho aftornoon of a bright Spring day that two ladies waitod impatiently upon tho broad porch of the Grange. Beyond the garden three horsos and a little Shetland pony stood ready for thoir riders, and tho older of the ladies glanced now toward them and now towards an upper window with a reproving glauco which would havo carried terror to tho hearts of a whole " first class " in any seminary. It was a look only a governess could havo giyon, and MÍSB Hondorson was indeed a no- table member of that honorable body. Tho departed master of tho Grange had engagod hor services as governess to his young niece years bofore, and abo now remained in tho capa- city of ohaperone and companion bonoath its roof. Whatever might happen, Goraldino had been well provided for. A certain sum settled upon her years boforo placed her boyond the reach of poverty for life ; and though tho bl- oome she possessed was scarcely epough to tempt fortune-huntors, it was amply aufiioiont for hor overy wish, and her drees was costly and becoming in tho extreme. She stood play- ing with her riding-whip upon tho poroh ¡ hor oyos cast down, and a flitting blush upon her ohoek. Sweet faneios woro in her mind, and the bosom rose and foil softly under hor dark habit. A picture of happy idleness sho looked in tho pure May sunshine
Quito too content for tho impatient governess. Sho looked upon hor pupil almost indignantly
and advanced towards hor.
" Mr. Malcom has forgotten that punctuality is a virtuo, I'm afraid," Bho said. " Our habits have been on half an hour, and ho is not hore yet. It's a bad example for Otho, my dear."
"ProbablyitisallOtho'flfoult," said Goraldino, looking up. " I heard him at his wildost' and naughtiest this morning."
" The pupil's habits aro to be formod by the teachor," said Misa Hondorson. " If Otho is not undor subjection yet, when will he bo ?"
"Never, I lanoy," ropliod Goraldino.
"I'm much afraid you aro right," said the govornoss. "Yet I liko the child-I always havo ; I novor was so weak with anyone boforo. Listen-yes, thoy aro coining."
A child'B voice filled the hall and rang out upon tho poroh Uko a peal of sweet bells.
"Ain't I glad it's over. Hi! Shag,Shag,old pony! I'm coming! Hi for a ride! hi!, hi!
Hurrah ! Hurrah !"
" What a dreadful noise!" said Miss Hondor- son. "And the boy will break his neck down thoso stairs at that rate. Gracious ! Thero he is sliding down the bannisters. Oh, dear mo !"
As she spoke, Otho, in a picturesquo High- land suit ho often woro, dashed past them and down the garden path to the sido of the Shet- land pony, Shag ; following him moro sedately come his tutor, Lionel Malcolm. He smiled OB he glancod toward tho excitable Uttlo Otho, al- ready mounted on his pony, and bowed grace- fully to both ladies.
" I am late, I fear," ho said.
" Half an hour behind the appointed timo," said Miss Henderson, gravely.
" Blame Otho then," said the tutor. " It is one of his wildest days, and it was difficult to mako him believe that Laiin grammors had their place in it as well OB Shotland ponies, I succeeded, however, and the lessons wero learnt. Was I right, Miss Hondorson P"
"Porfoctly," said tho lady; "but your sketches wiU suffer, and my specimens will be few, I fear."
And Bhe glanced at a little reticule in which a tiny geological hammer reposed.
" Allow me then to conduct you to your horse without delay," said tho young mon.
And, offering an arm to each lady, all three were soon without tho gate, and, a few moments afterwards, wero riding along the road at a rapid rate ; the two young people a little in advance, and Otho beside Miss Henderson, who hod won his love by many Btealthy caresses, which Bhe would havo fancied deleterious to her dignity to have indulged in openly. Lionel Malcolm and Geraldine Osprey rode boldly, and MisB Henderson more timidly. Otho professedly guarding her from all harm, kept Shag at hor side, and somehow the two were left consider- ably in the rear in a short space of time.
"It isn't right," said Miss Henderson to herself. "I ought to chaperone her better. But young people will bo young, I suppose. Well, Otho, so you Uko to ride with mo ?"
" YeB," said the child. " Besides, Mr. Mol com says gentlemen always protect ladies. I'm taking care of you, you know. I'm your sweet-
"Who ever told you anything about sweet- heart, Otho ?" asked Miss Henderson.
"I don't know," said the boy, "but I'm yours."
His chubby face looked so enchanting as he uttered the words that the governess could not help giving him a very motherly pat on the head despite the possibility of observers at tho windows of the houses on the road, and saying, quite aloud :
" Don't I wish you belonged to me, you little
"HI did, would you make me learn Latin ?"
asked the child.
AU the govornesa returned to Miss Hender-
son on tho instant. .
" Of course," sho .said. " All good, smart boys learn Latin."
"But don't you think it's nasty?" askod
"Latin nasty? Certainly not," said Miss Henderson. " Latin nasty ! Oh, dear mo, Otho, no. It's quite essential to an education. It's exceedingly useful too."
""I hoto it," said Otho.
" You mustn't hale Latin, Otho."
" I do r and mathematics, and geography, and history, and all the rest of it."
',' Otho, I'm afraid you aro a naughty boy." " I'm not-I'm good; but I do hate 'em." " You'U like them some day."
"Never. I Uko ridim» Snag, and fishing, and playing baU, but I hato study. Whon I'm a man catch me learning Latin. I'll play out of doors from morning until night, and livo in tents Uko Gipsies."
" Who over told you about such bad, wander- ing people as Gipsies ?" askod Miss Hondorson.
" I know about 'em," auBworod Otho. " I'll live that way. All fun and no Btudy. I wish I was a littlo GipBy boy."
"You must'nt wish anything so truly fright- ful," said Miss Hendorson. "Poor, ignorant things, with no roofa to covor thom, who stoal and tell fortunes, and can't ofton read, and I'm afraid don't believe in nnything good or holy. You ought to thank God every night, Otho, for making you a happy little Christian boy, with such advantages. A Gipsy, my poor child. You don't know what you WÍBU for. Let us ride a littlo faster, and como up with the others, my dear."
"But don't they ever read ?" asked Otho. " Novor, that I know of, poor things." " Then thoy oan't learn geography ?"
" Oh 1 dear no."
" Nor ciphor ?"
" I Bupposo not. Thoy aro as bad as heathon, I expoot.
" It must be splendider than I thought, to bo a Gipsy," criod Otho, "No books and no ciphering ; as happy as Shag,"
As ho mutterod theso words they carno in sight of Lionol and Goraldino, who were riding Bide by sido up a smooth, green slopo, dotted with old and Btatoly trees.
" What aro thoy talking about, I wondor,"
said Otho. "I can't think. Look how ho
whispers to her. I wish I had such a big horso and was as big as Mr. Maloolm."
What woro thoy talking of it was timo for somebody to ask. It had bogun with tho weather and the flowers and tho sunshine Wandored tlienco to pooms they had road and picturos thoy had Been, aud come at last to
" Thoy Bpoak of childhood's joys," said Lionol. " I do not envy them. I am happier now than over in my boyhood ; and as for hopo, my air castles aro splendid. I would chango places to-day with no king on earth."
"Aro you of so contontod a disposition?" asked Geraldine. " Or has something happonod to mako you unusually happy ?"
" I am riding with^o«, Miss Osprey," said
The girl bluBhed.
" Whore did you learn to flatter ?" shoaskod. " I speak the simple truth," said Lionol. " I know of nothing which could make me happior."
Geraldine did not look offondod, and ho con- tinued softly :
" I havo known you but a short time," ho said, " but that period onfolds all of pure hap Einoss I havo ever known, Near you, I know
ow tho angels fool in heaven."
. Geraldine Osprey cost ono almost terrified look towards 'bim, aud then with a laugh not quite natural in its tone, said ;
" I am too much of a country girl to bo fond of Buoh compliments. What do you Bay to a race. Oaa you boat mo in ono, I wonder. The goal to bo yonder clump of trees P"
Lionol, as in duty bound, complied ; and they came to the spot designated, side by side
There an ovont occurred whioh diverted tho conversation for tho time being.
Under tho oaks, upon tho grass which car- peted tho earth, lay a woman's form, onvelopod in a coarse cloak," face downwards, with its hoad reposing on its arms.
So motionloss was this figure that the idoa of death instantly suggested itself to both equostrianB, and Goraldino uttered an exclama-
tion of horror.
" Is Bho dead, poor soul ?" she asked. " Pray, Mr. Malcolm, dismount and look at her. Sho
may ,bo only vory much hurt and in need of
Lionel sprang from his horso at once and ap- proached tho prostrate form, bosido whioh ho knelt down. Lifting the oloak, he touched tho form beneath with his hand. It was warm and breathing.
" This is no dead woman, MÍSB Osprey," ho said, as he resumed an oroct position. " Sho is only asleep, I think."
Miss Osprey rodo closer.
" Call to her," she said, " I am afraid to ride away and leave ono of my own sox thus.
She must bo ill to lie thoro.
" l lanoy sue is intoxicated, said lionel.
" Hero good woman, wake up. What aro you lying hore forP Aro you ill?
At the Bonnd of his voico tho form stirrod and a dark hoad lifted itself. Two groat blaok eyes woro turned sloopily toward tho faces of the two who bont above it, and then a litho figure sprang to its feet and stood boforo thom,
" Thero'B nothing tho matterwithme, gentle- folks," said a clear, merry voice. "I thank you for caring. 'Tisn't everybody would stop to ask. I've travelled until I'm footsore, and maybe a glass of beer made mo heavier than usual, but who could blame mo, young gentle- man, that know I'd boon on tho tramp with my huBband, a tinker, for BO many days, any moro than they oould you for thinking me tipsy ? Yon's a pretty lady. Will sho have hor fortune told, think you, sir ? for I road the stars aB my mothor did bofore me, and I como of gipsy kin, if I'm only hah? a gipsy myBelf."
" WiU you havo your fortune told, MÍSB Osprey?"
Goraldino drew her glovo from her small right hand, and dropped a piece of silver into the gipsy's palm.
" If you choose to promiso rae good luck, you may," sho said. " And romembor, nothing short of an emperor will suit mo for a husband.
Tho gipsy gavo an arch look, and caught tho tapor fingers in her own. She was a tall, bold looking, handsome woman of five-and-thirty, or perhaps not quite so much. Poor as her clothos were, thoro was some coquetry about their -arrangement, and she had tied her abundant ebon hair with a scarlet ribbon, and wore some cheap pins and rings, with great colored glass settings.
That sho had something of the actress in her composition, was evident tho moment she took Geraldine's hand in hers, and cast a glance upon it. Even Lionel could not help being impressed by her look and voice.
" You are rich enough now," she said, " and you don't caro to be richer. StiU you will bo.' It'B written hero plain as a book. You'U bo happy enough in the end, but there's trouble before you-such trouble as you know nothing of now. I wish it wasn't here, but jit is, lady. There's a lover hero, too-a handsome man, who is fond of you, and you like him, too-a fair-haired man, taU and slender, with blue eyes. Fate says you are to bo his wife. What- ever happens, think of that. Trouble and enemies and false friends lie between you, but you will havo liim at last, and you'll ride in your coach along with him. But then I see an enemy in your path-a dark man ; beware of him. It's a good fortuno, after aU. Better begin with trouble and end with joy, than begin with joy and end with trouble.1"
Geraldine withdrew her hand, and Lionel held out his with the usual douceur.
The gipsy caught it, glanced at it, shuddered from head to foot, and shrank away. " Take back your money, sir," she said, " I can't earn it. I won't teU you what I see. I would not
for ten times that silver."
" Keep the money," he said. " I'm not eaeUy frightened. TeU me what you saw ia those Uttle lines upon my palm."
"No, no,' said the gipsy ; "no!" *" I " Was it so terrible 1"
" Horrible," said the woman. Lionel laughed again.
" Come, lot mo know my fate," ho said.
"You'll know it too soon, protty goutlemau," said the gipsy. " Good byo ; thank you both, and good bye."
And sho walked away, wrapping her cloak
"' An odd gipsy," said Lionol, re-mounting and riding to Goraldine's Bide "Do you be- hove in hor roading of your palm, Misa Osprey ? One thing, at least, is certainly true Thoro is ono near you who loves you. Look at me, Goraldino-liston to ino. I know we woro strangers a year ago, but what is timo to lovo ? Already you aro noeossary to my oxistonoo.- I adore you as fow womon havo ovor boon adorod. Words cannot paint tho depth of my tenderness for you. I lovo tho ground you walk on, tho air you broatho, anything, howovor slight, whioh you havo worn or touched. I shall lovo you thus until I die. Doro I hopo, in roturn, for somo littlo liking-dare I say, in timo, Geraldine may also lovo me P"
Ho paused, and looked into tho girl's oyes for an answor. Thoy mot lxia with a look ho oould not understand. Ho caught her hand,
and found it cold as ice. '
" One word, my love," ho whispered-" ono word of hope"
Thon Goraldino spoko :
" Hush, Lionol Malcolm," she said j " I can not listen to suoh words ! I cannot answor as you wish. Oh, why havo you spoken thus to me-why havo wo ovor mot ! I might havo gone on blindly, and never guosBod how bright life might bo. I havo had a glimpso of light and lost it ¡ I- Oh ! I am mad to spoak thus to you. I have said what, as a .gentle- man, you aro bound to forgot. Lionol Malcolm, I um betrothed to another. I shall ne thal other's wife oro long. I commit a sin in listen- ing to you as I do. Lot go my hand-I com- mand you. Oh! wrotohed girl that I am. Liouol, pity ino ; don't look at mo ; don't hold my hand ; don't mako mo say moro, and shamo mysolf still farther. Go-leave mo for over !"
But Lionel olaspod tho fingors olosor. Per- haps ho hardly know what ho was doing.
"You aro botrothod to anothor," ho said, dreamily-"you, whom I lovo so. Nay, I'm dreaming ; it cannot be."
" It is true," said Goraldino j " it was true when you carno hero. I should havo remom
borod it botter."
Lionol turned toward her almost fiercely.
" Geraldine Osprey," ho cried, " do you lovo that man, whoovor ho may bo ? Toll mo truly, do you Jovo him P I seo you do not ; I hear it in your voice, I read it in your pyes. Suroly you will not broak my heart to koop faith with one you do not lovo-better ovon for him to own tho truth. You do not lovo bira, Geruldino, and I wUl not givo up all hopo. It is my life I plead for. You do not love bun-and I cannot leavo you."
" If I lovod liira you might stay," said Goral- dino. " I do not ; and for that vory reason I must bid you loavo me for evor. My marriago with the-tho-gontloman I havo mentioned ia inevitable. Only tho doatu of one of us oan provont it. I havo promisod to bo IIÍB ; I havo solemnly vowed to give him my hand, although I have novor led him to hopo that my hoarb went with it. Oh, Lionol Malcolm, if you roally caro for mo-if you aro roally tho truo-hoarted gentleman I think you-you will not foroe mo
to utter anothor word."
Sho strugglod to disengago hor hand, and Lionel slowly unolasped his fingers.
*'It is madnoss-it is folly-it is my death !"
" It may bo mino, also," droppod from tho palo Ups of Goraldino Osproy ; "yot it must bo borne. I cannot explain-I cannot toll you why my fato is sealed. Think tho best of mo you can ; boliovo I never intended to tritio with you, and adieu, Wo aro not alono-Otho and Miss Hondorson aro near. Adieu-for ever !"
She turned hor horse as Bho spoke, and rode away, leaving Lionol, motionless and pallid, gazing aftor hor, the imago of despair.
" Miss Hondorson," she said, as sho rodo
toward that lady," " I feel very muoh fatigued and not quito woll. Will you ride home with mo ? Otho can remain with Mr. Malcolm."
('You do look ill," said tho govornesB ; "and you wore quito blooming whon wo Btartod out. Perhaps tho brcoze from the lako has boon too strong for you. Como, my dear, lot us go home at once. Otho, romombor your sketob, and bo a good boy."
And the Indios rode away togothor. ,
fTO BE CONTINUED ]