|Chapter Title||A HAPPY MEETING.|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Grantford Grange|
BY MABY' KYLE DADLAS.
« CHATTER XXXI.
A HATTY MEETING.
LIONEL Peyton was freo onco moro-as freo as one in MB position could be. Truly it was but sorry freedom, when the mere recognition of his features by any country bumpkin of thom all would bo his death-knoll. Yet after all, it was a reprieve, and the humon heart, OB long as it boats within youth's breast, must hope. The great deep breath ho drew, the sparkle that come into his eyes, the tint that flushed his oheek, when, onco beyond the limits of tho village, ho drew himself te his full height and looked book upon its roofs and spires, told that
this was true of his at loast.
All this hunting of bim-all this ignominy ?which clung to him-all the danger that hovered over his path day and night-all tho wrotched thoughts which must have dwelt within his soul, banished, disgraced and lonely as ho was all tho mieery of living under false names and concealing from those ho mingled with thoso little foots which drop unoonsoiously from every man's tongue-had not quite orushed him yet, for he was innocent. A guilty man would havo died long hoforo had he suffered but ono half
For a moment the sense of freedom sufficed
him. But soon tho thought of thoso within that village saddened his heart once more. What would he not have given to have seen his mother, to have known how she fared ! How many a wretched moment would have boen blotted out by a mero glimpse of Geraldine; and a kind word from the old pastor and his wife would have done muoh to him. Yot, on peril of his life, ho dared not enter those quiot streets, especially in tho broad light of noonday -dared not moke thoso inquiries which would have satisfied him of his mother's welfare.
AB for the Grange, it would havo boon easy enough to gain it by lonely oountry roads, but every servant on the placo know his faco and stood ready to denounoe him. He should but hazard his life for nothing.
"When will the day of justice como!" sighed Lionel. " How long must I bear this ban ! God ÍB merciful-God is just. It must come
ere I die."
He stretched his hoad toward tho town as ho spoke. He strained his eyes to see tho groy walls of the Grange. It seemed to him as though tho silent prayer ho uttered must be answered as by some miracle. But the days of miraoles aro over, ond tho fates woro weaving yet for him shadows instead of sunshine in tho
web of life. '
How strange it was that at that very mo- ment nothing but apace divided him from Geral- dine. AB ho gazed into tho distance ho could seo but a cloudy mass of groy where tho Grange arose, yet on its wido porch, looking straight to- wards him, Bat tho mistross of his heart. Fa- vored by the breath of aunshino spread ovor tho rising ground on which ho stood, BIIO could see a little speck there. It might havo been a sheep, a cow, a man, or only eorao stump or bush. In the dietanoo it was quite shapeless ; yet she could not take hor oyes from it. An idlo curiosity she fancied it-nothing more.
Absolutely the lovers were looking at each other, and noithor so much as guessed it.
Lionel saw but the wall of the Grange and a dark blot ho guessed to be the porch. She saw only a little speck that Bcemed to move. How can wo -wonder at the veil Death flings be- tween us and our lost onos, when oven in Lifo a Btrip of curtain, a closed door, or evon empty air and feeble mortal sight, may interpose a bar- rier between ourselves and tliOBO we most desiro to meet.
Lionel stood gazing at the shadow. Geral- dine fixed her great dark oyes upon the distant object ; and ho sighed,
" Geraldine, -when shall I meot theo !" and she sobed beneath her breath,
" Oh, Lionel, my bost beloved ! what has Fate dono to you ? And neither understood the yearning thrill that shook eaoh frame ; neither knew that from his hand to hers a boo might havo flown in one brief seoond.
Neither could ho guess that Geraldine wore mourning weeds, or know of the scone in the church, nor of the long funeral train which, a few days previously, had borne tho body of his cousin Richard to its last resting-plaoo. For aught ho knew the marriage she had Bpoken of as inevitable had token place and sho was now another's. For ought be knew tho man he had smitten to the earth in his indignation-the man who seemed to him the most unfit of all the world for suoh a blessing-now called her his.
He dared not quite believe this, but the doubt and fear that it might be so flitted bat- like on black wings through his soul moro than once in that brief interval, and made him sicken and turn pole.
At last, Blowly and sadly, he turned his oyes from the Grange and walked away towards the high-road, intending to toke the first conveyance which passed and leave his destination to chance entirely.
He sauntered on slowly, meeting no pedes- trian and hearing only the wheela of market carta and waggons for some timo, and at last, just as he was growing weary, carno in sight of a little road-side tavern, a poor place and evi- dently a new one. As ho glanced in at tho door there seemed to bo only a woman there, and her he had never seon before ; and this being tho case, there could scarcely be peril in venturing in to recruit his strength with such entertainment as tho place afforded. Accordingly ho stopped forward, and stooping to avoid contact with the low doorway, entered the room.
It was low and long. At the left side stood a bar, with some boor barrels and casks behind it, and a number of cloudy glasses, ranged in a row, a few lemons, a tray and a groat eartbem pitcher upon it. Opposite, a counter with, stale gingerbread, some jars of candy and a basket of wilted apples set out at one end; and ranged about without tho least attention to order, some tables and stools, evidently for tho accom- modation of any guests who might grace the inn with their prosenco.
It was an uninviting place, but botter for thia to Lionel, forjhe would scarcely be apt to meet any of thoso faces he most dreaded within its
Sitting down at one of the tables, he ad- dressed the woman, who advanced to moot him, politely, and orderod a meal of some kind and a glass of ale.
" The ale is easy oome by," said the woman ; " but as for the dinner, 'taint as handy. You see customers is Beares here, and she don't have things as she would if they was plenty. Besides BIIO'S out. I'm her sister and don t live hore reg'lor. Let's see-you wouldn't like to wait while we killed o chicken and plucked it and
" Indeed I would not," said Lionel.
" She has got the keys in her pockot, so I can't get at no ham," proceeded the woman, still alluding to the absent hostess by that pro- noun only. " I wish she'd come. Tell you, though, you could eat her eggs."
" They would suit mo very well," said Lionel. "And bread and butter, and a pickle ?" " If you please."
The woman vanished. A clucking was heard m the hen-house close at hand, and soon she returned triumphant with the eggs in her apron. With a sharp dexterity amusing to observe, she popped them into a saucepan, set them to boil- ing with a handful of sticks in the bottom of a Btove set for summer use in the fireplace, and asked, over her shoulder, the momentous ques-
" Soft or hard, Bir ?" Received her answer, set the table, and retired to the end of the room where Bhe had been at needle work, in less time than it takes to tell it.
Lionel was not inclined to conversation, and the woman held her peace, until a noise without attracted her attention, and running to the door, she saw a stout middle-aged woman in a widow's cap approaching.
" Come at last, hev yon ?" sho called. " Wall, here s folks come for dinner and nothin' to giv3 em but eggs. Pity you couldn't hov hurried a
The woman addressed answered by making ' »hat speed she could, and once in the room, began to pour out voluble apologies. The place was so out of the way and she had had
such bad luok. It wasn't so in her husband's time,' &c, &o.
To all of whioh Lionel listened and replied abstractedly enough, for IIÍB mind was full of other things.
Ho hod finished his meal and almost emptied his glasB before one word tho woman uttered really made an impression on bim. Then one dropped right into the midst of his thoughts as though it bolongcd there-"The Grange." Lionel almost thought he hod fancied it. But no ; as ho turned MB face quickly towards the ' woman it WOB ropoated.
" The Grango-Grantford Grange. I knowed the name of the place, but oouldn't remember it. Betsy has lived thoro a year o'most, and she likes it all but the cook. Thoy none of 'em like tho cook ; she's an awful temper. Wall, Betsy's juBt come down tuSuko'swoddiri' ; and, lawful aoy, tho things that has been happonin' there. You'd think that thoro murder was enough to last one while ; but no. Mr. Richard Osprey ¡B dead now-dropped like a stone at his sister's weddin' in church, and never spoke agin."
"Lawful say?" ejaculated tho younger wo- man. " What was it-hoart disease ?"
"Kinder a fit, I reokon," said tho widow. " He was to give the brido owoy-that's port of the episcopal service, you know, and-bless me ! aro you ill, sir ?"
She broke off to ask the quOBtion, in alarm, for quite unconsciously Lionel had dropped his head upon his hands and uttered a deep groan. Her words brought him to biitsolf. He lifted a face pallid as that of death, and answered :
" No-not ill ; at least not now. Go on."
"Perhaps I'vo frightenod you already, if you're nervous, by talking of dropping dead," said the woman. " Some is easy taken aback by Buch things. I shan't say another word."
Lionel aroso to his feet and advancod towards her.
" You misapprehend me," ho said. " Tho truth is, I know the family at tho Grange, and
the nows startled mo."
" Horrible, isn't it, air ?" Baid the woman. " Poor young gentleman ! Though if tho truth is told, he might have beon moderate in his drinking, Thoro wasn't a bit of hope from the first. It's an awful thing ! Tho formor owner waa Bbot in the woods, and little Otho-you've hoard of that, of oourse-was murdered by his tutor, and now this boro hoir drops dead. Seems to bo a kind of fato in it, don't thoro,
" Fato ! Ah, yes ; an ovil fato indeed," mut- tered Lionel. " And Bhe is mnrried ?"
" Miss Osprey-that's the queerest part of all," said tho landlady. " It's hard to be suro of the truth when you get at it second-hand ; but, I'm told, that though tho ring was r.igh about on hor finger, she wouldn't let the aervico go on, and told the gentleman abo wouldn't hev him if sho lived o thousand years. From what I'm told, thoro was a regular time. Ho Baid, ' Wo'ro os good as married now ;' and the minister said, ' Not without the lady's consent ;' and she cried and ho swore, right in ohurch, and sho wont home in hor wedding clothes without being married at all, and the match is broken off for good.-I declaro you're ill again,
Lionel had turned faint with the sudden ro vulsion of feeling ; but ho shook his hoad.
" No," he said, " I am well, porfectly woll ; but this news has agitated mo."
"Better take a glass of brandy and water,"
said the hostess.
But Lionel shook his hoad, and paying for his refreshments, walked away, quietly enough, but with a burning brain and vnldly throbbing
" I must seo hor," ho said ; " como what may, I must BOO her now. Oh, God ! to think thnt I shouldbe on outlaw-a convict-awrotch who trembles beneath tho oye of his fellow man ! I, Lionol Peyton, who havo never in my life-time broken the low-who have a lino of gentlemen for my ancestors-who om tho heir of an estate OB noble os any in the land ! I would chango places now with the poorost laborer who carries a hod, save for pity for tho wretch who should take my place. It must bo a horrible dream, a nightmare, from whioh I must owakon. It cannot bo true."
Yet it was so terribly true, and he knew tho truth so well, that oven in his great excitemout ho dared not risk tho open oxhibition of his face by daylight to the Bervunls at tho Grong«, but lurked about in tho groen shelter of woods and corn-fields, until the shades of evening gathered over the aceno.
Then, choosing the loneliest paths, he mado his way towards the Grango, aud soon found himself within its gordon. Tho houso was dark save for ono light in the kitchen window and ono upon tho second floor at a little window whioh opened upon the balcony.
Creoping towards .the first on tiptoe, Lionol saw all the servants assembled about their toa table, enjoying themselves mightily and laugh- ing with the boisterous înorrimont of thoir olasB as they discussed some topio of general interest. It was evident that all were there, and now, if ovor, was his opportunity for an interview with Geraldine. His heart told him that the light which glimmorcd from the little window on the second floor burned for hor, and nover did dying martyr long for heaven more earnestly than ho longed to reach the spot which en- shrined tho idol of his soul. Ho gavo a glance towards tho low, old-fashioned balcony, measured the distance with a practised oyo, and thon stepped upon the porch. Making a step of tho balustrade and another of tho strong wooded branch of the old vine which draped the columns, he drew himself up to the railing of tho baloony, and vaulting lightly over, stood before the lighted window and looked into the apartment from which it opened. It was the little Btudy which had been his during his tutorship of little Otho. Still upon the wall hung the violin on which ho had given tho childbut afewlessonsbefore his abrupt doparturo from the Grange. Books, maps and drawing materials were piled here and there, nnd a huge pair of globes stood beside the desk in which the little heir was so fond of hiding marbles, tops and balls to trifle with when his
tasks wearied him.
All remained unchanged, and Geraldine had evidently made it her own apartment, for amidst tho relics of thoso hours of study stood embroidery frames and work baskets, the books »ho loved and her guitar, and on the tablo a vase of vermilion geraniums and white roses.
And there, in the midst of the little room, she sat, beautiful as ever in hor sweeping sabio robes, hor eyes full of the look of one who dreams of absent or doported joys ; her white hands clasped ; her cheek as pole as any lily. For tho moment the sight of her face sufficed Lionel, and he stood motionless and perfectly content and gazed upon her.
"Beautiful, beautiful oreature?" he sighed. " Fairer than any living woman-better-purer
And then in his passionate tenderness he knelt down and kissed the very folds of lacs through which ho saw her, and knelt thero still with his eyes fixed upon the face which love
had made so dear to him.
I From within, the silvery ticking of a clock
upon the mantel carne out into tho night air. All was so still thnt Lionel could count tho dainty throbs, saying to himself, " In one mo- ment I will speak to her-in a moment moro ;" and still delaying the breaking of the Bpell which bound him. Tt was delicious to kneel there and gaze upon his darling. At last, how- ever, that no longer contented him ; and then he feared to startle her by speaking, or oven merely crossing the low window sill.
He hardly dared to tap softly on the pane, but he did that in a few moments, and BOW hor turn her head toward the casement. He tapped again. She started to her feet.
" There is some one there," Bhe said.
In a moment more sho.had shrunk towards the door, half sobbing: "I Bee some one-I
see some one ?"
Then he parted the lace curtain and stepped
into the room.
"Miss Osprey, it is I, Lionel Peyton," he said. "For Heaven's sake, call no one. Let mo have a few words vrith you."
And as he spoke, and her eyes rested upon bim, and her mind grasped the truth that he of whom she had been dreaming was actually before her, Geraldine Osprey yielded to the im- pulse of the instant, and with a cry rushed for
ward, and threw herself into Lionel Poyton's arms. It was a moment whioh repaid him for all'the miserable wanderings and hiding, for alt tho bitterness whioh his false position had givon him. As ho strained her to his heart, he absolutely sobbed with tho fullnosa of his mighty joy.
" She loves me," ho breathed softly. " Oh, my God, thou art very merciful to mo yot, for thou hast not estranged hor from me."
Hand in hand tho lovers sat down togethor, when the first paroxysm of emotion was past, and as they lokod into each other's oyes, and BOW the traces of paBt suffering written thoro, felt their tendcrnosB for each other strengthen and grow deeper.
Hor woman's heart sent tho groat pearly tear-drops to hor oyos, and hor hoad sank upon
" I can seo it all in your face," sho said " all the pain and privation, the fear and sorrow. Oh, Lionol, how has it fared with yon ? How havo you lived ? Toll mo all. I hove followed you with my heart, but it was into such voguo darknoas. If you could but havo let mo hoar from you in some woy, I should havo boon sparod so much. I know it was impossiblo ; but now, toll me all."
"First toll mo of yourself," said Lionel. " They tell mo your brother is dead."
"Poor Riohard," Bighod Geraldine "Yes, ho is dead, indood. God knows I would have saved his life at tho cost of mine, yot Heaven only knows from what deed of modniss that sudden death saved mo. It has roloasod mo from o fate too horriblo to contomplnto. Know- ing of his death, perhaps you know tho oir oumstancoB connected with it. An hour more, Lionol Peyton-nay, but a few minutos more oflifofor him-and you and I had novor mot each other. Somo day I will toll you all ; enough now that I am free. No torturo could compel mo to hecomo again the afliancod wife of the wretch I loathed BO bittorly."
" Tho story waa truo, then," said Lionol. " You refused him at tho altar ?"
Instead of ausworing at onco, Goraldine turned her beautiful dark eyes upon hor lover's faco, and gazed on him imploringly.
" Don't think ill of me," sho said. " I must soom a Btrango, weak oroaturo to you, but you can never know how my heart was torn. I Bhould not havo lived long had ho olaimod me as his wife, Lionol. But my brothor's lifo hung in tho balance, and I dared not cast it down. Ho was in that man's power. All his days woro poisoned by tho knowledgo that it was so. Innocent OB you oro, I believe him to havo boon, but tho samo ohargo brought against you would havo been brought against him, had Simoon Blix boen angered by my not. When I sought release on any tarma, no matter what loss of for- tuno thoy involvod, ho answered, ' Marry mo, or I'll hang Diok.' Ho could havo dono it, Lionol, and I was a sister. I oould not havo my brother's death upon my soul."
Lionol drow her to him.
"Purest and host," ho whisperod, "I havo never doubtod the excellence of your motives. I have guessed the truth in a'moasuro, but not fully. What strange, terrible dostinios havo boon meted out to thoso of our lino. Our an- cestors must havo boon guilty of foarful crimes, for which wo aro punished in their stood, or ovil spirits haunt tho Grange, and oaBt their spoils about its dwellers. I havo not spoken of my mother yet. How is she?"
" Woll," said Goraldine, " and living still with tho Helmstonos. I havo ondoavorod to cultivate hor friendship, but she hated my bro- ther for standing in your place, and inoludes .me in hor dislike Sho grioves for you terribly, and passes her days in tears, blaming herself for what ocourrod most bittorly. So Mrs. Holrastono tells mo. She hoB faith in you, as I havo, Lionol-that good old lady. Sho fools sure that all wiU oonio to light, and tho mystory of that poor cmld's murder bo a mystery no longer, beforo long. She has moro hope than I hove, Lionol."
" God bloBs hor," said Lionol, " and thank Him for the women I havo mot." And thon ho told her of the little Quakeress, Ruth, and of her kindly trust in him. Goraldino wopt as sho listened to that, and to tho whole story of his capturo and reloaso.
" I love hor for it," she said, "yot who could bolieve you tho foul wretch they have ondeo vorod to point you ? Even that old dotoctivo knows you aro innocont now. Lionol, you aoted nobly then, and God requitoB tho noblo dood, tho noblo thought. I Jcnoio that it is so. Trust Him, Lionol, even when tho clouds brood darkest over your path, for behind thom His light shines always."
" I do trust Him, love," said Lionol, " yot I havo no hopo of roloaso from this dark doom on oarth. Every doy tho likelihood that tho truth will be discovered grows loss and loss. The fiond hiaiBolf must have had a hand in the
murder of the poor child whoso innocont life stood between mo and my heritage, if indeed ho woro murdered. Yet the fact that he did possoss the land which, but for his oxistonoe, would havo been mine, is proof of my guilt to any mon on earth. We aro a sordid race, Geral- dine. Gold ia tho bait by which tho Evil One can luro ua to any orime, and no man can be- lieve his neighbor incorruptible. Sometimos I wish this weary life wore oyer, thinking what it may bring to rae boforo its close Now, when I fool that I must leave you soon, that porhaps wo may nover moot again on earth, I can ima- gine nothing happier than to kiss you and dio ; my last look bont upon your faco ; tho last sound in my ear your voico. Knowing how slight a probability there is of my oror being reloascd from this false acousation-knowing that I must bo a wanderer upon oartb, an out- cast amongst mon until I die, savo for some miracle, I have done wrong in coming hore at all ; I know it, Goraldino, yet I could not withstand temptation. Oh, heaven, who could ? No mon of my mould-no man who loved as I do."
" Do you truly love me so ?" said Goraldino. " Truly." Ho clasped her to his boort as ho spoke. "Perhaps some other has lorod as I do, but I cannot bolieve it, for was thero over such an object to adore ? No joy could be a joy without you, no Bpot on oarth beautiful, no fate blest. Honor, and wealth, and friendship, power and glory, would bo worthless, unblest by thy smüo. I would not caro to bo tho greatest monarch who ever ruled adoring sub- jects, wero you not my queen. I cannot think of Heaven without thinking of thy love as its crowning joy. Oh, if you knew what you were to mo ! Con you not see it in my oyes-can you not hear it in my voice, Geraldine ? Love ! It is not love. There is some better name for it, I know, amongst the angels. And I must leave you. Oh, Heavens, I must leave you!"
Geraldino hid hor fair faoe upon his shoulder. "Ifyoulovome thus," sho said, "you shall not go alone. I know that in another case I should be bold and unmaidenly in speaking thus, but what torturo would not bave wrung from me had you been happy, free and prosperous, I utter now without o blush. You love me. Hove you. I will be your wife, Lionel Peyton, and Bhare your fortunes, whatever thoy may be, BO long as we two live. I Bharo them now with my soul, suffer when you suffer, grieve when you grieve. Let me have the right no man con dispute to share them openly."
Lionel caught hor hands in both of his, and
strove to see her face.
"You speak from impulse. You cannot mean it," be aaid. " Yon know what I am-a man doomed to shameful death, a homeless outcast, who has no right to call wifo or house or lands or life his own. Reflect, best beloved,
" I know you are wronged. I know you ore unjustly perseouted. I Jcnoio I love you," she whispered.
Lionel's breath came sobbingly from his deep chest. He paled and flushed alternately.
" God keep me from doing wrong," he said. " Let not my selfish love injure this my trea- sure. Oh, you know what bliss your -words must give me, Geraldine, but for your sake I dare not listen as to a thing that may be. I should wrong you bitterly."
" Moro bitterly by refusing to listen," said Geraldine. "Every moment is a torture. I tremble for your safety. I grow faint with horrible presentiments. I know no rest on your account. If evil come to yon, it cannot be worse to me than it is now. No ; in the worst event, I should not be so miserable. I
speak truly, Lionel. I know what I say. I shall never repent-never."
" Butlisten, darling," panted Lionel. " Think what my life muet be. No spot moy be quite safo ; no namo can bo mine long. At an hour's notice I must take to secret flight ; perhaps, when wo indulge the sweetest drooms of safety, some face or voico we havo known may riso boforo us to dissipate them.' And then, for aught wo know, the truth-nioy nover bo mado clear, and I may some day moot a felon's doom. Weigh the thought woll, my darling ; look at it in all its shades of misery. You, puro and spotloss as you aro, would bo pointed out as a felon's wife. You would hate me for bringing suoh disgrace upon you. You would repent tho impulso of an unguardod hour, and I-oh, bettor ovon to know you forgotful of me, tho wifo of some happier man, bloat, honored, ohorishod, than to know that I was the wretched cause of all your misery. I doro not-I doro not occopt your sacrifice,"
Tho girl's lip quivered. Sho drow a littlo proudly from his arm,
" I do80rvo to havo my bold offor rejooted," sho Boid. "I should not havo trusted your words so ontiroly."
Lionel uttered a groan.
" Is that your interpretation of my motivo ? " ho said. " You tempt mo boyond resistanoo. Heaven forgive me if I wrong you. Hoavon help mo to Bholter you from ill. At least I can offer you a hoart entirely yours, a strong arm, and a hoart strong also to defy tho ills of life, since you aro mino. Bo my wifo, Geraldine Perhaps fato may ordain a happior end than I dore hopo. Perhaps somo doy I shall stand with an untarnished nomo and an unspotted fame boforo my fellow mon, bflô for whom you
nood not blush."
Thoy Bat silent after this for many moments. Only tho suddon striking of the dook aroused thom to a remombranco of tho flight of timo. Geraldine was the first to Bpoak.
"Itis nino," she said." "In ono hour wo shall no longer be alone. Miss Honderson has gone out to poy a visit, and tho carriago will go for her at ten. Wo have littlo time to work, as you must bo faint and hungry, and you oro travel-ataiued and toil-worn. Wait horo awhilo -no ono will ontor. I will find you some ro
Sho wont to a little room adjoining as sho spoko, and brought a basin, a ower of wator, and somo snowy towels, and loft him to lavo his faco and hands, whilo sho, locking the door, stolo on tiptoo to tho stororoom.
Soon sho oamo back, with hands and apron full. She spread a dainty lunch upon a little table, and mado tea for him. She urgod him to cat and drink, and ministored unto him fondly and tenderly as though abo had boon his wife already.
Sho smiled to see the color return to his ohcok and lip, and prattlod quito merrily whilo ho finished his meal. Then sho sat down bo side him.
" I am not a poor girl," BIIO said. " You know that, and my proporty is easily convertible into ready monoy. Boforo many days I con nrraugo ovorything so that no trace of my existonco nood remain to my lawyer or my bankor. Go to Now York at once. Thoro is no botter liiding-plaoo ou earth. Thoro as sumo whatovor disguise, and whatovor nnnio you choose. On Thursday, como to the address I shall write on this card, and you will find" mo
waiting for you.
" Arrango mattera for our marriage, and for our instant departure to somo European coun- try. I prcfor France. Wo both understand tho language- almost woll enough to pass for nativos, and Paris is a glorious hiding-place Onco thoro, wo aro safe, and I shall nover aosiro to roturn to my nativo land, unloss tho time should como in which you oon safoly claim your horitngo. I havo no foar but that you will win your way to honor ond competence, and for tho name, what docs it matter, so that tho namo is what I hoar you callod by ? I Bhall love it for your sake,"
Lionel's hoart boat fast,
" Tho plan is feasible," ho said. " I should hove loft America long sinoo, but that I oould not Bundor myself from you so utterly. You being with mo, tua land whsv« I dwoll is homi», whatever it may bo. Yot it seems too great a joy to hopo for. I cannot boliove in its frui-
" I am moro hopoful," said Goraldine. " Oh, that wo wore on tho broad bluo sea already, with watery miles betwoon us and this danger- ous shore. I shall not sleep until I meet you, and wo must part now for a while. Listen : that is tho carriage. In fifteen minutos my old governess will bo hore, and fond as she is of me, I doro not trust her. You ' must go ; and, Lionol, sweet as it is to meet you, thora may bo danger in your coming hore Leave for Now York this very night, and bo cautious for my sake. On Thursdoy oome to this ad- dress," and Bhe placed a card in his bond, "and so surely as I live, I will meet you. Havo you money for your journey ? Nay, do not scruple to toko it from mo ? Am I not to bo your wife ?"
" My means are sufficient," said Lionel, put- ting asido the purso she profferod -with a MBS of the littlo whito hand. "Now, Heaven bloss you, darling. You cannot think how much moro preoious you hove modo mo to myself. I shall do as you desire, and leave for Now York to-night, but I long to linger hore, and oatch at least a casual glimpso of you. Oh, my angol, my lovo, my treasure."
Ho folded her in hiB orms, bent to kiss hnr forehead, hor chook, and her scarlet lip, and then Btcpnod out upon tho balcony.
Geraldine, extinguishing tho light, followed
"Be careful of yourself," she whispered again. " Oh, my love, if any harm should como
to you !"
Again their hands and lips mot, and then Lionel lowered himself ovor tho balustrade.
Geraldine watohod him as ho made his de- scent, and gave a littlo sigh of relief as his foot touched t!ie ground.
"Good-bye," she whisporcd, and from tho leafy shadow of the porch oamo up the answer :
" Good-bye until wo meet, love.
Thon a soft footfall smoto the grass, and ho
In tho still starlight Goraldine sunk upon her knees and prayed for him-prayed as wo pray seldom in our lives, or listening angels would link earth to Heaven, and its woes and sins would vanish. Few words sho uttered, but hor heart wont up to the foot of the great whito throne, and the certainty that she was hoard and answered banished hor terrors, and filled her with great joy.
[TO »E tOKTlNUED]
IN the garden of a certain noblemanjs country house there happened to bo fixed up at different spots pointed boards with this request : " Please not to pluck the flowers without leove." Some wag got a paint-bruah and added an " s " to the
"I HAVE a place for everything, and you ousht to know it," said a married man who wos looking for his bootjack after his wife was in bed. " Yes," said she, " and I ought to know where you keep your late hours, but I don't
A HAN bought a horse on condition that ho should pay half down and be in debt for tho remainder. A short time after, the seller de- manding payment of the balance, tho other answered, " No ; it was agreed that I should bo in your debt for the remainder ; how can that bo if I pay it ? '
"THE GOOD OLD TIMES."-The old timeB were not good times, at least for servants. Here is a deod which, now-a-days, would bo deemed most brutal and unmanly, recorded in Peyp's Diary oa rather commendablo than otherwise :
" December 2, 1680. This morning, observing j some things to bo laid up not as thoy should be by my girl, I took a broom and basted her till she oried exceedingly." ,
KEBPING HEB WOBD.-MÍSB Caroline Brewer, aged about 70 years, died in the almshouse in Portland, Maine, on the 28th nit. She had been an inmate of the house for the last 35 years, and bad not spoken a word in all that time. Having been disappointed in love in early life, she made a vow never to apeak another word, and she religiously kept her row till her tongue was paralysed in death.-New