Chapter 221487246

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Chapter NumberLXXXVII - Continued
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1904-08-05
Page Number2
Word Count5026
Last Corrected1970-01-01
Newspaper TitleLithgow Mercury
Trove TitleAnother Man's Wife
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Another Mao's Wife.

By BERTHA M.CLAY. - Author of "A Woman's Temptation,"- ; "Beyond Pardon," "Lcvo - Works Wondora," etc., etc.,

CHAPTER LXXXV11. — Continued.

"Doctor,", she said, -touching, his arm,: "1 want to send for Iiim, for Sir .Jerome. This is his wife that is -dying', and while there is yet time he should be able, to say kind woids to her— to ask her pardon for

all tiie pain and trouble ins rashness had caused. It is . true 1 was the most of all to biumc, My weakness began it. But I liuve told her that, and she lias forgiven me. lie will feel more eon-tented ail his life if he sees her now, and knows how good and sweet she is;, how the real.Lulia is not like the rash girl lie used to know- of old." "Yes, yes, i. think he. should come." "It will .be well for you to write and toll him all; and tell him to lose: no time. Can. you' post the letter to-night?" v "J will/' "And then is it not right of Lawrence to -conic? He loves her,' she loves him.: Lulia 'is now,; close., to that other world,' . .-where people are as God's angels, that- .-neither marry nor ure given in -marriage; -there will ho no wrong in giving him the mem ory of her last look, her Just words, her last smile;" > "J. will send for him to-morrow." . .-.Beryl- .had changed -in -those hours. All personal .'thoughts, all personal loves, and- hopes, and sorrows seemed to have been put out of sight. SJio thought only for others; for Lei i a, over whom she liiiiig in- a compassionate tenderness, where any re morse- for . the part sho had hud in Lelia's sad fate was lost in Lelia's deep pence. Calm, grave, sympathising, tender, a ministering spirit rather than a- human creature,: she stood, by Lolia, and she met Jerome and Lawrence., Tho same greeting' was bestowed on each — a scxf-t touch of tiie hand, the soft words:— "It was right to come; she expects you. Come to her."- And so . the last day in Lelia's life came, and they faced the solemn mystery of- death-. On a . low pallet in the middle of tiie room . Jay - Gclia "Sothron/ drifting out of the narrowness, of; this life into tiie wide- noss of the world beyoml. The , man wlio.h-ad loved her. and never married her, the man who had married her und never : loved : her, stood on either, side. Lady Beryl sat on - the edge of the low bod; tears raining from her dusky violet o.ves. In that hour it seemed, so pitiful tluit this young friend should die so young as she. was. Airs; Sot-liron - took Lady Ber yl's hand. . - "Beryl you. havu -been: t-hu sweetest of friends to me. More , t-hun a sister, since we first met, when wo -did not know liow closely our lives touched! Do you remein- -Ijer that suiiimer daj' ill Biarritz when I sa-id to you that 1 wo-iild gladly go right tlirougli the gates of doal.iv to -be a host- ago for the mail you loved and mourned'.' Darling .Beryl, -more t-lian most -mortals' I have had ' my wish— my dying shall buy your happiness! .Strange tlmt I can give

,yuu wiiau i. jiuvur -iia-ii nor ciiiimecii ler-- ome, accuse yourself of liotiving. Ail : our lives go oir in ways we cannot understand. Our lessons are for the world to come. Where is your -hand, .Jerome? Yours, Ber yl? The day grows dim. So now I join your two hands, as tliey . shall be joined at tiie altar,- ami as your, hearts are joined; and may blessings follow .-you Tor ever, and nothing put you two asunder! Law rence, all .earthly. loves ami cares fall from me; but us 1 go away, I think, of you as- the purest.; truest, .dearest heart that over I inet. Anna, Doctor, brotlier and sister, friend , to the friendless, shelter -to -tiro deso late, you two will surely in all your lives reap a -.-harvest of blessings, because ,vou have, been so good to inc. Good-bye, good bye!" . ' . - -. . CHAPTER LXXXVIH. AVIJ ERE WILL SHE BI3 MARRIED ?" . It was .two weeks. from that sunny ' May inorning when.Rulph "Marshall, bold in do ing what lie was sure was -right, tolcl his story to Sir. Jerome... . It was. June now. Tiie day was equally suiiiiy: ami sweet; but ' t-lic summer had come instead of- the spring ami the; story hud rolled to its end. Its end was here in the .quiet -grass-grown gru- -veyartl of the A-bbey- Church, : where-' a grave Was opened -beside - the . one whore Mar shall's wife hud been laid. A little funeral party— Sir - Jerome. Soth ron, two gentlemen quite unk-iiown to the Jew Sothronwokl .villagers who had cur-' .-Jously,. -gathered;., two ladies just: as-un known, and closely veiled — though some- guosscrs concluded one to ijo Lady -Beryl Medford — and a ladies' ma-id who was in black like the -others and cried a great deal —made up the little company which ' had arrived by train at Shepherd's Bush;" " The village people said this was. the De-- Jia Morris who rail away, come to be bur ied by her kindred. . A. few days after,, some of them, wander ing' back, found two new wJiilo . stones by these graves, and on one was, DELIA MORRIS. Wife of Ralph Marshall;

On. the other, OELIA MORRIS, ,. AVife of Jerome Sothron.- . : - . But on tho Abbey .Church was also set a small tablet bearing the words, OELIA SOTJIRON, Aged 22. No quo liecdod : or understood that little ' notice, of t-he death, va-t Wiiidcrton, of a- Mrs. Celia Sothron. That was 'all -that was said, for Beryl's sake. But people did wonder, ami wonder a groat,. ...why. that grand wedding did not come, off at St. George's,- which so ciety really, felt , had - been promised, - and .society was consequently defrauded cruelly. Lady Ileath exhausted all her voluble 'En glish and all. lior, adjectives in explaining tliut Lady 13oryl niul Sir tluroino would not Ixi married so soon ul'ter Francis Soth-' ron s death. 'Plus was all the .reason that Ludy Ileath ever knew for deferring, and hlio was free to state that sho thought it a very idle one. But she added tlmt "-her lovely child was also out of spirits, having lost a dour friend, mid wedding bells could vl,1K I'on the heart was lamenting," .1 lie nyirrmgu ol Mrs. Ranleigli and Mi'. Rubble was a very grand alTuir, but did not eonsolo -people for not seeing the vcrv beautiful Lady Jleiyl again at tile altar. Air, Rubble found that lie was not quite us well acquainted with I, aura's a (lairs as lie had fancied, for lie had several lingo bills to pay which lie hud not expected.

. , , ""iiu on ui in« uontinent, iviul there wi\s tulk of Norwuv uud S wit/or- land, and not coining hack until winter. Lnidy Beryl went with her father mid his ,wifo to. Windmuro Lodge, -und after a little tho roses re-bloomed on her cheeks, and the. happy, light Ailed her sweet eyes, and to Lady Heath's intense joy tho wedding ./preparations were resumed, and two or , th roe, .more costumes were needed, because the. wedding was to be in October and not in June, Sir Jerome, at Sothron wold, Jinislied the restorations, '"und gradually lie, too, found li-is lost colour, his vigour, the clear ring to his voice, ami tho spring to lus step; but that furnace, of lire for two weeks had -loll- Sir Jerome a graver "if -no loss ardent man. August had come. All the doors and tho windows of Wmdnicrc Lodge were, open to tile warm, flower-scented air. Tiie brouk- fast-tuble was spread. Lord Alfred was in his place witli his paper, -and Ladv Heath at her place by the silver urns. Anil in came Beryl. Once more she was n creature of tho summer, clusters of voscs at her throat and licit of her white dress, lier eyes shining, her lm-ir a bewildering maze, like a fluff of spun gold. _"Ah, ma -belle, now you are once more like yourself." sni-d Ladv ITeitlb. "Ilow - much more charming this is than the dull

things— black, grey, anil lavender— you have been wearing lately." "You 'know Jerome is coming to-day, and I/have not seen him for two months — not since he and Mrs-. Marvel brought mo here, the duy before you came," said Ber yl..,.: 'It is time he made an appearance," said Lord Alfred, crossly. "I remember the days when he did not need two invita tions,' nor even one, to come and see you. There is no need to talk about the rcpuirs and; work at the Abbey, and the' house in town, nor about his: cousin Francis's trag ic dentil — there is more in it Ulan tlmt — I don't k-now just -how to make Sothron OUt."-;' .-. . v.You can make . him out just us lie is, and just as- 1 think him," said -Beryl, with spirit, '.'a good true, dear, generous, noble man. Tiie very best tliut ever was; and whatever lie does is just right!" ;-. "Yes, yes, my angel, quite so," said La dy Heath,. f-I am sure -that is- what my adorable Alfred means." "1 mean what I say," replied the ador able Alfred, "that t-h-is putting, the wed ding off was absurd. Talk of October for a marriage!- Where will she be married?- Here in. this little box, with a parish and church that is crowded by. two hundred people? At; London, where there is posi tively, not a living soul -in- October? At Win-dorton? Tlmt ; would be absurd. -'At Sothronwold? . J ust as ridiculous. ' 1 don't see how she is to be married at all— it is impossible!" ''Why, my , adorable Alfred,'-' said ills bride, "all tlmt. is really necessary for a .marriage is a bride and groom, und some one to .give tiie bride away; and, of course, the minister to marry them." "Do not worry, my good jiapa," said .Beryl, -.'.laughing. "My uncle, the carl, has solved the .-difficulty,. I had a letter from him last night, and. he -wishes me to be nmrried the same day as my cousin Amel ia .and Sir .Eustace Friar. Surely vou know the great chureh near Heat-herton Castle will hold all the world: and as for guests, the cusLJe will lie crow-ded." "What could be better?" cried Lady Heath, "that is the home. -of your family, Tiie Earl is the head of -tho -house.", " Hitherto Lady Heath had: not been ask ed to the castle, though in London she had been among the guests at a dinner anil a ball given by the Earl. Tliis uro- posal. for Beryl's ...marriage at t-he castle opuiiod tiie way to aicl recoir- nition for which , Lady Heath was long- mg. Vlfrod w-s ' Iprclsliii .ris..coiiii<ng..'round?".- said "Ho is- better. . pleased witli you, papa,, since Lady. Heath took yoir in charge, " said Beryl, mischievously.- "Here come the letters. . .There, will be one Tor each of you about the . plan, and— as soon -as I have spoken of .it to Sir ' Jerome, I-. shall write my uncle 'yes.' " When breakfast endeil, Beryl took a wide garden, hat and. set oil-, to the where she had agreed . to meet Sir Jerome as lie walked from the station. , She had not seen linn for two months— she did not wish to meet him in the midst of the great group of servants surrounding' Lord and Ladv Heath. hnew the spot /she im-d designated, a .little rustic bridge, above a stream that brawled noisily in a narrow bed of rocks. fringed with bracken and mosses, and long .swinging alders and willows. The sun silted through- tiie trees that., shaded the .stream, birds skimmed . along the water, all . tiie world seemed glad, in harmony with the heart of Beryl. Tiien, along the I1il i-li>' lll/trvrl I I, ,.l. - 1 . «

.i'uvh, sue saw -nim coming, er- ect, eager, at a rapid, pace, and down the path , she flew to meet' him, and tile iiext in iti ute was folded in his arms. . ''Oh> Jerome, .. what a, long, long time since I saw you!" "j\),y darling, 1 thought it would never uircl! suid he. 'Mwy siit tl.ow-n uniler a great Ijuech tree, .seen led us if you fiave e/iuiiiretl. it is KO '"g! sighed .Beryl, looking in liis-- e.yes. '-Uut I. ciuinot seu that vou have." » Gh, but J, have— in my declines; I love -)'ou I-1-" times better than ever before. How tumble- ,it is without j'ou!" Beryl laughed a low, pieusing laugli. : "An-d now.:. -to comfort ... me, , dear JierVl after my miseries, sot the day when I in'av take you away.- from everyone, and keen you all to myself." : "My. uncle. has taken that upon himself " squl Beryl, drawing Qie carl's letter from her. pocket, and: -leaning lier golden head against his shoulder us lie read It. "The eighth October! Wliy dill lie not say tho first?" . , ft'! '. M-te-P1.®. he" . m iglit ivavc said the thirtieth I" .- J.t was almost lunuli-tiinc when' thov at length thought to go into the house.' , Hand-; in hand,: tliey went over the bridge. J'lieii: Beryl remembered.' She stopped, and looked into lier lover's face. "The gipsy's second bridge!" she said. .' .Tliora were, two great -perils; those passed safely, all would -be well. --.Alt,.' Jerome, there- were two!" Don't believe ,in gipsies, dear," said Jerome. "But in this the gipsv was right we- shall be -happy ever artor.'V---. CHAl'TER LXXXIX. ; "A ALAT1UAC0N1AL CONTRAST. ('But- where is she, the Aridal ;flower - v Thut niuet. be made a brhie'ero noon? She.onturs, glowing with the moon Of.Eden on its bri-tlal bower." : ,T , . — In Memorj am. Nature is ..never lovelier than in Sussex un-iler -Uie mellow Oelolxir Ktrn iitirl uovnp

sun shone ..clearer-.: than that- -which rose on Beryl's wedding-day. The splendid castle was Jull of noble guests; the bright faces of . bevies of young- girls were to be seen m every room,-; , and the . music of glad young: :.voipes : rippled tlirougli the hulls. From L the , turrets -, of . tiie custle hanncrs flew, . the- silken folds- waving out above tiie woods vol. oak,-: chestnut,-, mid linden, that hail -not begun to. lose their leafy, honours.' Arches- of, flowers- and- evergreens were rais- eel across: the- braad road leading from the castle -to the grand old -church.' Along tho wayside stood smiling little girls- in white, >iiik, anil .blue, with '.'baskets full of flow ers to- scatter, before the -bride. Fiw ami wide -over., the Sussex - downs the hells of the .castle and of, the : old church rang out wedding cliimes. - , It was .a most beautiful sight when tho two wedding parties, 'dividing in the . ves tibule, moved -up the two- wide aisles i to the chancel, where. Sir Jerome : Sothron ami Sir-Eustace - Friar . waited on either, side with their attendants. The church was filled witli - waiting, - sympathising re latives anil- friends. Lord Hurley Medford ami his wife were there, and t-he Hamp tons, and that staunch friend, Ravliii; and ninny more;- an-d tho organ pealed -tiie wed ding march,, und all looked in prpwl, fond greeting at. the.coming hri<li. jady Amel ia Heath, a liamlsome girl,- wearing while satin; with a sumptuous veil tluit was an nlmost /priceless heirloom in her family, crowned witli orange flowers, enmo with lier father and mother, and -attended by six bridesmaids an imlo -blue -brocade. :

Up the other aisle came Beryl- Medford, with her» father, attended by his .friends, and preceded by four tiny maidens of six. in ilelicaii rose-colour — smiling little chcr- uhs. among whom Beryl, looked, in her dress of foamy white lace ami lier match less pearls. like Venus surrounded by Love. She moved down tile great aisle us in a dream; the -heavy brocade 'train under tho lace weighing nothing upon -lier; sho had wings. Her lowered violet eyes saw no thing but tile aisle she Iro-d. She was too lost in lier great happiness to hear the hum of admiration tliut arose on every hand. To lier for ever after the incense of while hvucmlhs meant, (lie crowning peace, tiie period, joy ol that hour of her heart's true marriage. Her hands lightly clasped as she came forward gave something strangely saintly to lier mien. For lier nil llvis luxury about lier meant nothing. She lunl been born in luxury; it was the natural, unnoticed sur roundings of lier life, und her life itself was in the affections of lier heart. For her the. world did not exist. She ldti'il her eyes once witli a flash of joy anil adoring love to tiie face of Jerome, as lie met lier at the alter. Tliey were a royal couple standing there m their remarkable beauty, triumphant at last over the -long sorrows of 1 heir lives. Dure and sweet as lier own 1 hyacinths, sho stood .by Jerome's side as I

the last notes of the wedding inarch quiv ered oil the air. Lord Itavlin, -standing near, thought of the sweet worus — "On me she -ben-ils her blissful eyes, And then on thee; tliey meet thy look, And brighten like the star that shook Betwixt the palms of Paradise!" Four days later tiie eyes of visitors at the Louvre gallery were drawn rather to a very noble -and very beautilu-1 pair who were passing slowly through the rooms than to the pictures on the wall. No face among all these masterpieces of art was. sweeter und lovelier than that, of this ra diant creature in holilrope lints mid dus ky purple, setting off her golden hair anil pearly skin. Beryl hud been at tile galleries of the Louvre before, hut now she seemed for the first time to see tlicni, because she was now- looking at them tlirougli Jerome's .eyes, Thay day tliey had taken, leave of Lady Heath, who was taking lier udorabie Alfred buck to tliu-t beloved Vienna from , which, for Beryl's: sake, she had suffered a' year of . exile. „ .The laughter roused by Lady Heath's parting benedictions had scarcely rippled away from Beryl's lovely lips, us she paus ed before picture after picture,., and alas for the artists! she 'only reully admired pictures .where there -was some face or fig ure that seemed' to her to hear a trace- of. Jerome; and he was -no better art critic, for lie only admired the pictures that had such golden n leslius of hair,, or such dusky violet /eyes, _or sucil , exquisite dimpled chin as lie saw , in Beryl, lie had at Sothron- -wolil A-bboy a gallery of many valuable pictures;: iie was willing to add to the col lection if Ber.vl desired'-it;' but, for himself, lie 'thought- that his eyes . would never need the recreation of- pictures,- ns the lovely face of Beryl surpassed all the trophies of art. - ' - "Beryl, " .sa-i-d Jerome, softly in her oar, "look there, in the archway to the next room. -That is surely Lawrence." A slender, . . eroct -figure, in black stood there, holding a hat with a wide-mourning. - band.' -..Tliey.-: went "toward- liini. Tiie- face of Lawrence ; lit -.up in welcome. : Lawrence looked a li tt-le older, graver, more resorv- - ed, but -was interesting' still. '-'I-Iow good to meet you! To say good bye,; too, --before --a -long journey. I have joined .-an expedition into the heart of Af rica. I -hope to Icarn to. do something there, that shnll be of some service to the world." .v "But- we shall sec you for. some ' days yet," said Beryl. "No.- I. start to-night.. I have 'been- here- getting a few needed scientific instruments. I have seen almost no one that I know- only; by tiie way, I saw Mr. niul Mrs. Robbie." ..- ; , - ., -. "Oil, are they here?" said Beryl, doubt fully. - ''They left to-day. They were at the am bassador's ball, and Madam Rubble so ar oused the wrath of lier lord, by dancing with various amiable attaches,- tliut lie or dered trunks packed forthwith.'' ''What, does lie not allow Laura to dance? And she is so fond of it," cried Beryl. : "1 think she may dance;, now and. then, witli such partners us lie chooses; but lie is terribly jealous .and dominant, und I pitied her,.-..- She is- an altui'oil woman. 1 do not know ..whether sho regards her hus- bund witli more fear or more hate, for I- saw both, in lier face." "Oil, what a dreadful - fate!" cried poor /Beryl. "I do hope we sllull -not meet. Be tween dislike of Mr. Rubble, and pity for jioor Laura, it would make mu - unconifor- l.nihln. "

Jiijt- tliey did . meet them, in .jSovombcr, in Venice. It was sunset, ami in a blue and gilt gondola; Jerome and Beryl were drift ing, seated side by side, mingling nil. that was beautiful ill their surroundings- with the sweet droums of their confident love, when, sweeping down across tho still wa ters of the lagoon came what for ostenta tious splendour - might ' have been Cleopat ra's barge. The rowers were in orange and -blue, the cushions nird curtains were of plush of crimson and purple, with gilt fringes; the two passengers sat as far from each other as the -length of the gondola ; the. short, coarse, fat, bull-nocked man, with his great hands on his knees, "his< lit tle. o.ves remorselessly fixed on the woman, who lounged among the cushions al ike en-d of the boat. . - In an embossed velvet of gold -and black, with a black velvet hat: witli a gold col oured plume, large diamonds shining in her ears, and in tile bracelets on her aiMiis, Laura made a , striking figure— brilliunt, handsonio,-: l-estless. : , As the two gondolas ncarcd, Beryl : saw Laura's; parasol lowcrod between herself and . Rubble, and Lnura niutlu a sign to a ..uniformed: . Itulinn ofliecr, in a gondola near. Vei'y likely Mr. Rubble saw or sos- jiectuil as much, lie crossed -the space be twucn, jerked the -parasol from li is wife's hand anil tossed it into the lagoon. Turn ing he recognised Sir Jerome, and ordered the gondoliers to bring them together. A greeting was inevitable. Laura braced lier- seii to meet it. - . dear Beryl, one can see by your lieautiful face .. that you- are yet -in the honeymoon." , v, ... , .;'4 trust- hor-fnee - will .. always be as beau tiful." said Jerome. "Then her . fate will bo quite exception al, snid Laura, and- as the boats drifted apart, her low , mocking laugh" -was borne to them across the waters. CHAPTER XC. 1 " ANOTHER MAN'S WIFE IS NOW MY OWN WIFE." Once more it is July, ami for the second.

time since her marriage: Beryl, has come from her home in Hyde Purk Gardens, in all its London-season glitter .and -gaiety, to what she calls her "'blissful home" — at Sothronwokl Abbey. That summer-house: on which Jerome bestowed so much, -time ami thought standing -on, a knoll, rising: above the grass and trees of tiie park, and' commanding a wide view where . openings have been mndc among the foliage in - ev ery direct-ion, is with Beryl . a. favourite re sort. She is hero now, kneeling on the suiuineivhouse- floor; lier- eyes fixed on : the': little king; of SothronwohL a potent sov ereign not' a year old. Beryl, . in her blue si;k morning -robe, her curlg as sunny as in lier childhood, lier- white arms stretched out, with / -the loose sleeves falling .-- back from their softness, /.lier violet . eyes all overflowing with love and pride, the most adoring ot smiles on her face, woos to her bosom the laughing, riotous Cupid, who holds last one finger of his rosy nurse, and looks longingly into the eyes of his moth er. Then he looks at his pink pi m up legs, and lakes courage from: their evident fit ness for walking. lie take's one forward step; his nurse withdraws her finger, mid then -he makes the perilous - journey, nncl buries h-is .happy. .countenance in the' bosom of his mother. What, then, is- Beryl's- pride?' Did- over : child walk so well before! But her joy is incomplete unless" shared by . him who to lier crowns and. compasses all joy; Close u.t .hand, Sir Jerome, coming toward the-. summer-house, with Anna Marvel und Anna s little girl trotting between tlicni. Uer.Vl ilurts lorivnril In m<«.i

. H'.1' bY CIUI walk! N He walks y 0u must see him. Don't go nearer,, or lie will not walk at all, Gracic Iot hahy walk to you," i :V i thl? "rrangcinont is being made Bcij 1 leans, lier head „on hur 'husband's bo- sonj. as Ins nrips clasp about her waist. - Beryl says .Anna Marvel, "I think womu7i'l\ ever Taw.'" U, you say all the l>ost that can be said of a fa-ta;.;/?-" »'- »» « n.J.U!i About, his neck, A" You are (loarost, handsomest — " »Sir Jeroino cuts short thu. euloirv Svith a laugh, and at the joviul sound the liiihv mstead 0f wulkmp, sits d0i - ' At this moment .tlie Centro of niisi.rW r%"clwt., ::",scU v "«o0r "ami m six steps roaches Grace Marvel "hmi tries to take jiossession of hoc corals' The ' «?-'W»warfhyt0Aarido>bS' lus fnfhei s shoulders, anil a friinmOiv,i procession moves to tho house, whdrc the

Hamptons and Sir Eustace Friar and -his wife arc amusing themselves at lawn ten nis, and where that afternoon they expect to greet that incorrigible bachelor, Lord llavlin, who is finishing his wedding tour and his honeymoon. It was on this same July morning -that Fanny Ilume passed through liu; park to the churchyard, and laid lier oflurincs on the grave of Delia Marshall. Every week Funny brought flowers Lo Delia's grave; when sho hail arranged her flowers, and pulled up a little weed or two that marred tho spot, she stood thinking of the blonde viking, who lind sailed long ago to the Caribbean Seas. She heard the church gate click, and looking up she saw Ralph Marsha!! coming toward lier. Fanny flushed, and looked down. She was recall ing Ralph's scorn of lier luibit of telling lies. "Thou there, lass!'.' cried Rqlph. "Well, come then, let's make up, for I've sailed well round Hie world since last I set eyes on thee, anil never have 1 seen -any one half so much to my liking as a lass linmcd Fanny Hume." , - "I thought you hated me," said Fanny. "Not J. I hate fibbing, my lass; but I do> love a faitliful heart, and you are so faithful to your lady, 1 make sure when we are once spliced, you'll bo true as steel to Ralph Marshall, and in token of that same, 1 brought along a. wedding ring. See if it fits, my lassx" ''How did you know 1 wasn't married?" demanded Fanny. "If I'm so good-looking: as you say, It stands to reason ITI have lovers plenty;" but sho fitted on the ring given her. . , "I've heard from Sir Jerome more than once or twice, and he louned me money lo finish out buying my ship, and he'll lease mo a snug cot-tago hard by the Abbey. So come along; I'm going down to the Abbey to see Sir Jerome, and we'll mention to your lady that you'll lie Fanny Marshall m -three weeks." -VWell, you ure masterful exclaimed Fanny. ''Yes, my lass,'- quoth Ralph, "and so I jay out to be, and as loving ns tiiev make 'em. .. . ;.. NWell, I declare I wouldn't marry you, nQi' any other man, if I/had not seen from u|y lady and Sir; Jerome how like a pair of- '..'blessed- a'ngcls two folks can get on to gether," - ''Thero's not exactly the making of an gels in. up"," said. ./Ralph; '''but we'll get on well— very well," - .--But not only to Fanny and Marshall had the home-light of Beryl's and Jerome's been as a beiu-on. eAVhen the Abbey guests and their hosts gathered; in the cool evening, on the terrace — a charming assembly ! Lord Ravi in looked towurd Beryl, in her white brocade, walking up, alio down witli his own fair bride, and said to Jerome: ; VJt was the sight of your wonderful hap piness, your devotion to each, other, your goodness to everybody, your home a cen tre of, all that is bust and noblest, that made. mo resolved to seek just such u love, and just such a home for myself." . "I tliink," ..said Sir -.Jerome, "I am the happiest man in the world. I consider -my great : blessedness, and I wonder at it; and 1 look back trembling and amazed, to cer tain hours of anguish when, torn between good and evil, I despaired' of all livings, finding my heart in the possession of an other , man's wife. Tlmnk Heaven, the days of anguish and despair are ended, and she, my -darling, my life's dear crown, is now my own wife!" THE END.