|Chapter Number||XXXVIII - XLIII|
|Newspaper Title||The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939)|
|Trove Title||A Lost Life|
A LOST LIFE.
AND what of the faithful, enduring, long suffering Inez—a child almost in years, a woman in sorrows—oh, how many dreary years of silent sorrow the had lived in those short fire months,
since Egertoo went- away! She never Mid anything; the read and wrote, and went on with all the occupations ihe had been used to, and wu so quiet and grate, a* she had always been, that even Margaret and libel thought her more hopeful; bat Julian, who knew her io well, read her tearless calmness better, and he mw that the child's heart was breaking. "Inez, my dear child," he said, one after* noon, when they were alone, "yon make me very anxious about you j yon are killing your self." " * The sooner it is over, the sooner to sleep,'" said Inez, bowing her face on his shoulder. "My dear child," said Julian, passing his arm round her, and speaking in his tender, gentle way, "do I not suffer too P Hare I not enough to bear without the fear of loting too?" He knew well how to reach her heart } the alight tinge of reproach, gentle as it was, touched bar to the quiok. "Oh, Julian, forgi?e me!" said Inez. "I can't help it. I don't mean to grieve you." "But you do," said Julian. "How do you think I must feel when I see you almost dying, drooping day by day before my eyes? It is dreadful to bear." She was silent; but he felt her slight form quiver in every nerve, and presently he said, "Bouse yourself, my little sister. Surely, if I can hope, you can do so too P Should we not trust in God, and bow to the stroke of Heaven ?" "I can't bend before the blast and rise again," said Inez, almost passionately. MI must bow to the storm —and die!" " And is not that defying Heaven, my darling InezP" " Oh, Julian! Death is all I ask!—all I pray for." " Yon speak so, child i" said Julian, energeti cally. "You who have faced death in the terrible form of midnight murder ? You, who even now bear on your breast the proof of how frightfully near sudden death you once were, call the grave all you ask and pray for! Inez, do you forget that after death is eternity P Will all your high love and noble faith for Angelo purchase you a passport to Heaven ? Bather have you not loved a human idol instead, and 10 worshipped it that He who said,' lam the Lord thy God, thou shalt have none other gods but me,' has, in his great love, chastened you? Child, pray for life, not for the death you so impiously ask for, or the grave into which you are so madly hurrying." She had raised her face with a startled, frightened look; but now she hid it against him, weeping bitterly, almost convulsively, "Oh, Julian! Julian! spare me! have mercy!" He kissed her brow, and gently soothed her; and, when she grew calmer, whispered words of hope till be won from her lips a faint smile, and a whispered " Dear Julian, if it were possible to do so, I love you better than ever I did be* fore. I will never again be so impiously wicked as I have been." "Are you angry with me P" said Julian. «Ah K no, Julian," she replied; " rather am I grateful to you." And she bowed her head, and kissed his band.
Chaptkb XXXIX. w IdRTBBfI," Mid Julian, coming in towards the middle of the next day with several in hia hand; "one for yon, Miss Arandel; here, libel, are two; and for you, Inez," throwing eeveral into her lap, " a lot of business letters; one, I dare swear, from some muff of a oonsti* tuent, asking for an appointment" M Oonstitoents seem to think that members are made of appointments/* said Inez. " What if yonr letter, Julian ?" "From my—from Marion Book-eater," said the artist, remembering Margaret's presenoe jast ia time. There was a silence while he read, and then he put the letter in his wife's hand, with three words in Italian, which made Inez rise quickly, and read it over libel's shoulder; no rudeness in any of them to Margaret, who was occupied with her own letter. Marion's letter contained briefly the tale of her happiness, and an earnest entreaty from herself and Austin for Julian and label to come down as soon as they could. None of the three so deeply interested in her fate spoke j and, indeed, before they could do so, the door opened, and a servant appeared. « Miss de Caldara," ha said, "your servant Boms is here, and desires to see you directly." The Castilian rose calmly, but with a face [so white that Julian followed her out; and laying his hand on her shoulder to stay her, said to the servant, " Where is Barns ?" "In the breakfast-room, sir," wai the reply. "Very well," «aid Julian. " Inez," he added, in French, " I will go into the next room. If you want me, knock at the walL" She bent her head, and glided away. In the breakfast-room was Burns, but with fuoh a look of agitation, alarm, and perplexity in his face that for a moment Inez's very heart ?tood still, and it required all her strong will to ?peak as calmly as she did. « What has hap pened, Burns P Tell me the worst at once." " Oh, Miss Inez, I hope you'll excuse me. I can't understand what has happened, but you most come hack with me." "What has happened?" she repeated, rest* ing her hand heavily on a table near her. Startled by her stern tone and manner, the old man spoke more quietly. wThis morning, Miss Inez," said he, "not long ago, a fly stopped at the door just as I was crossing the hall. A very pretty foreign«looking lady got out, and, in rather broken English, asked if the Signor Angelo Rgertonhad arrived yet—whether he was at home? «ITo, ma'am/ •aysl; 'bat you can see his ward, Misede Caldara, who manages everything;' and I •bowed her into the morning room, and followed her to question her, for you see how she might have been a swindler, or something bad. So I told her very politely that I should be obliged to her for her name, in order to send for you. Then she up and said, very agitated like,« Bend lor this signora directly, then, for I am 01, and tell her I am Lady Bgerton, Bir Angelo's wife.' • Ma'am, that's impossible/ aayi I, flatly. Oh, Mist Inez," he exclaimed, " how ghastly you look! Is what she says true ?" "Hush!" said the Spaniard, touching him. "No, my faithful Burns, it is a mistake; but keep your own counsel. You have, I see, brought a carriage. I will join you direetlyj* Bkeie ft ke room, and for some ten ifnutiw
Banu wm alone; then the ntarned dressed, and he followed her. Julian Bothesay stood at the carriage door | he handed her in. sprang in himself, and bade Burns drive fast, and the noble grays did their part to well that in a very •hort time they reaohed St. James' Square. " Now, Ban?*," aaid Inez, " I will go up to the library, and you show this lady np to me there." She and Julian ascended the staircase; he went into her own boudoir, and she entered the library, which was opposite. The door opened, and a lady closely veileti entered. It was a strange and trying position for Inez—she herself all but Egerton's wife, and confronting a woman who claimed that position —but eren then her natural self-control did not fail her; bat before she could speak the stranger threw back her Teil, disclosing, to Inez's otter surprise, the soft, Madonna-like face of Genevra della Scala. " Barely we hare met before," exclaimed the Italian in her own language | " there is some thing in your face that I remember. Oh, signora! tell me, in mercy, where my husband, Angelo Bgerton, is." " Signora," said the Outflian, gently, and in the same tongue, "you are the Tictim of some strange mistake. Sir Angelo Bgerton is on* married; and, moreover, he never taw you in his life." "tfever saw me!" repeated the Italian, passionately. " Ton stand there so calmly and tell me that! Listen, signora. He came to Bologna, and on the strength of a former acquaintance in travelling he came to my aunt's houie; he wen my heart, and last Jane we were married. He was kind at first, but more than a month ago he left me suddenly. I pass over my despair. I had money and jewels, and when days became weeks, and he did not return, 1 became convinced that he had deserted me, and returned to England." She paused a moment, and then went on in a more agitated manner. " I determined to claim and -rindicate my rights for the sake of my unborn child, and I came to England, and straight on to your city of London; for I remembered his saying that his house was here—at your great station near the river." "London Bridge," said Lies. "Ah, yes!" said the Italian. "Well, there I asked the Inspector, as they called him, and asked him how I could find the address of a person in London, for I thought he must know. He was Very kind, seeing that I was a foreigner, and alone, and he asked me who I wanted. I told him the Signor Angelo Egerton, and he asked me if I meant Sir Angelo Egerton, the member of Parliament P I said < Yes, it mast, be the same;' and then he took me into an office and looked in a hugh large book which he called a Directory, and then put me and all I had in a carriage, and told the coachman to drive the lady to Sir Angelo Egerton's, St. James's Square." " She had spoken so rapidly and inooherently, half in broken Knglish, half in Italian, and that not the pure Tuscan whioh Inei spoke, and was so agitated, that it required all the Oastilian's attention to follow her j and when the unfortunate lady ended with a passionate burst of tears, Inei for a moment hardly knew what to say or do, for she had as much dislike to " a scene" as any man ever had. She hesitated only a moment, and then she bent orer Genevra, and soothed her as only a woman can, till she grew more calm, and then Inei spoke. " Tour story is a sad one; you have been cruelly deoei?ed and/orsaken, but not by Angelo Egerton. Look at this, and say whether your husband was like it." There was sereral photographs on the mantel* piece; she opened it and held it out. " This is Angelo Egerton, signora," said Inez. " Does that face look like the face of a man who could be false to all faith and honor V " Ho, no. Oh! Holy Mother! hare pity on me!" cried the Italian. "This man has deep *»d gray eyes, and hair as black as yours; and my hasband had black eyes and beautiful strange-lookinggolden hair,dark,but burnished." Inez started, and turned ghastly white, and for a moment everything seemed black dark ness—black with the utter sense of misery that had fallen on her in that moment. The whole truth flashed across her—ay, worse than the truth. Arthur Vivian had diseorered Egerton's pursuit, murdered him, and taken his name to deceive the poor girl, who was another Tictim of his reckless villainy! But she was too proud to let a stranger see her agony j and stern self command had so completely grown a second nature, that in a moment she recovered her calmness. "Listen," she said. "Should you know a picture of him 9" " Yet— ah, yes, signora," she replied. w Here is one," said Inez, taking from the mantoljiece a photograph of the portrait. "Is this your husband P" Oenevra took it, and gazed at it with dilating eyes and quivering lips j then she threw it from her, and clasped her hands on her brow. "It it! it it! Who and what is he? and what am IP" Inez took both her hands in her own. " Look at me," she said, quietly and firmly, " and tell me, Generra, were you married openly and fairly in the Romish Church, and by a priest. Be calm, for you injure yourself by such agitation. How, tell me," " It was in the Church of Our Lady that we were married," she replied; " openly and fairly, according to the Catholic rites, for he belonged to pur Church." "To your Church—he is an Atheist j but yon are his wedded wife," said Inez. " His name P" she asked. " Tell me his name, and all you know of him." "Is it for me to blacken a hasband to his wife P" said the Spaniard, recoiling. " Enough that his name is Arthur Vivian, and that I know no good of him. He hat been a bitter enemy to me and mine." "I am alone and forlorn—a stranger to your land; but this house is no place for hit wife," said the Italian, rising. " Generva!" said Inez. She turned—threw her armt round Inez, dinging to her almost like a child to its mother; laid her head ag*""t her, and wept aa only the broken-hearted weep. Gently and tenderly Inez toothed the poor Italian, and then bidding her wait a moment, and the would bring an old acquaintance, the left the room. Nearly ten minutes elapsed, and then Lies returned with Julian Bothesay.
Ohapto XL. Jvzian Bothmat and Ines had Tery readily decided what to do with Qenenra Vivian, at we moat now call her. As the expressed her de termination to remain in England, they de cided to place her in apartments toitable to her
means, which the disposal of her valuable jewels would make comfortable. Inez happened to know a very worthy couple, whom she had once befriended—old tradesmen of Sir Angelo'e—• who had lodgings to let; and there she placed the unfortunate Italian, engaging a sister of Mrs Slater as her personal attendant. Inez had a most painful and distressing scene to go through with Generva; for before they left Slater's house, Julian drew her aside, and told her that she must at once tell Mrs Vivian that her husband was under an accusation of murder. " She had better hear it gently," he very truly said, than suddenly, as she certainly would whenever Arthur was taken, and that might come any day;" and Inez could not but think him right, and she did tell the unfortunate wife as gently as possible s and although she bore it bettor than she had feared, Inez told Julian that H had been the moat trying scene she had ever gone through. The next day Julian and his young wife left for the North, and in the evening Lady Alice came to fetch Margaret to spend the evening with her. She wanted Inez to go too, but Inez said she must go over to St. James' Square, ac she had an appointment with Sgerton'i solicitor, Mr Seymour, on business relating to Falcon tower. The truth was that the poor child was worn oat and ill; constant wearing sorrow and sicken ing anxiety had begun at bat to toll upon her, and she shrunk from anything like society} so •he was glad when she found herself once more seated in the old library, with Leon at her feet, and the grand paintings ef the old masters looking down from the walls on her. Mr Seymour came soon after her arrival, but the butiness he had to transact was soon done, and then she was alone again. Alone, for a long time so buried in painful, anxious thought that she did not even hear a carriage stop, followed by a knock at the door, and then voices speak ing; then the door opeced, and a tall dark' flgure'entored, so silently that she did not hear any footfall, but it was rather that indefinite impression that some one was present which made her rise quickly and turn. "Angelo!" " Inez, my little one, my darling 1" She was folded in his arms, close, dose to his breast, in a clasp no human power could have loosed, and in that moment all the suffering and sorrow they had gone through was forgot ten, save as a dark dream that was past. He did not speak, he could not, till at last he held her off to gaze into the.face he so deeply loved. "Inez, Inez, how this dear face has changed —how ill and worn it looks!" "Ah, Angelo, the strongest flower will wither when the hand that cherished it is gone," said Inez, touohingly. He half smiled, and sat down in the seat she had left, and Inez knelt at his feet and kid her head against him, as she had done when a child, winding her slender fingers round his hand with the old, tender, clinging action. «Angelo, you too are changed; this grave brow has more lines, and this raven hair more gray than it had five months ago.". " Look at neither now, my little one," said Egerton, gently, drawing her head down on his breast again, and tenderly smoothing her dark tresses. "My journey has been a fruitless and very nearly a fatal one. Let it be forgotten. A page in my life obliterated." "It cannot be, Angelo. A page ones read can never be forgotten, and it is one I have not yet read. Ah, Angelo, it has been raeh a dark dream!" " Poor child, poor little one! I have learned from Burns all that has happened here, and I know what you have suffered." He did not even ask her if she had believed in his marriage, though the proofs of •it had been so great as to have made it almost pardonable to do so. But she understood him, and pressed her lips to his hand, while a bright tear glittered in her eye and fell; but presently she said, " You cannot know everything, for the worst only Julian and I know. Angelo, read me your page, and I will tell you mine.'' "It is shortly told, Inez; it is a rough chain that has bound us, if possible, closer together." Then he told her how he had discovered Vivian, by passing him one night in the com pany of one Alfleri; hew he had then, dis guised as a Spaniard, Carlos de Alava, got hold of Alfieri, and bribed him to introduce him amongst the conspirators, pledging himself not to betray them, and then how, at the very mo ment when Arthur seemed in his power, he was made a prisoner by the police, with all but Vivian. "He managed to escape," said Egerton. " They, say the devil takes care of his own. He had not recognised me till I spoke, but I saw him start slightly when I did so. Well, I was of course thrown into prison; and I toll yon, Inez, I can understand now, by bitter ex perienoe, what the Bastille, Oh&telet, or ChA teau d'Eu were. I had no trial—l was brought before no tribunal; and when I stated that I was no Spaniard or conspirator, but an Englishman, and a subject of the Queen's, with a right of appeal to the English ambassador, they disbelieved me. I did not give my name, because I did not, and do not wish, or intend it to be known, what had passed. They told me that they had received notice thai the Spaniard would try and pass for an Ing Use. That shaft came from Vivian, lam tare. It is true my darkness and somewhat Spanish appear anoe told against tee, for these foreigners think thai all English people are fair. Btill, I could see that they so far thought it possible that my statement of being an Englishman of rank might be true, that they did not venture to execute me as they did the rest, but contented them selves with keeping me a prisoner. I offered my jailor bribes to convey a letter to our ambas sador; but he said he dared not for his life do it. My child, those five months of captivity have been years of misery. But God was gracious, and I escaped at last. Some new governor or commandant came, who made me pay a heavy fine or bribe, and quietly released me. Oh, Inez, no one can thoroughly love freedom who has not endured captivity." She nestled closer to him, and whispered gently," 'Let the dead past bury it. dead.' Let that dark page be forgotten, save as another link between us." The strong man bowed his head, and tears fell on her upturned face He had sever loved her so well as then; for the sorrow they had just gone through had bound then, as he had said, yet closer—if that were possible.
Ohaptib ILL Tram wae plenty for Egerton to do. He had, ac he aaid, trailing, hia constituent* to address and appease for hia long abeenoe, and Tariooa other business matters to attend to. Of course, the night before, Inei had told him all that had taken place in hia abeenoe, and the
first thing he did the next morning was to write to Julian a few lines to ask him and his wife, and Rochester, and Marion, to go over to Faleontower the next day. Ines would be there to receive them, and he himself would join them from Cambridge the evening of the day after. Any one who did not know the man, to have read the letter would have thought him the coldest possible person, who did not care for Julian at aIL The next thing was to drive round to Beymour*street, and, after remaining a short while with Ines and Margaret, who warmly and affectionately weloomed him, he went with Ines to see Genevra Vivian, who had been so cruelly deceived by his name. It was a courtesy which his high chivalry instinctively gave to an unfortunate lady, who had, however unwittingly on his part, been injured through and in bis name. Meanwhile Mergaret was to get all ready for hers and Ines's immediate departure for the North, under the esoort of old Wylde and the Oastilian's maid, a respectable and matronly woman, who had for many years been her at tendant. 80 they went down to Faleontower Castle, leaving Angelo to job them there. The next morning Julian, libel, and the BoehMters arrived at the castle, and for the first time Austin Boehester crossed the thresh hold of the first and only man who had ever befriended him. Thenightthat Egerton was expected was a fine frosty moonlight night, and Julian and Austin walked down to the station to meet him. "We are only a little too early,** remarked the latter, at they pasted through on to the platform. MHa comes from Cambridge, doesn't he, Julian P" "Yes; Inn, you know, told us that he had to tat his constituents." "Ah, of courts," said Boehtstor. **By the way, did you tee a canard in this morning's paper about him P" ••Ho, what was it, Boehester P" "Only that in announcing the return of 'the young statesman. Sir Angelo Egerton,' they were pleased to assign a reason for his long ab sence during the session, which reason, they said, was' a secret political mission abroad.' ** Julian laughed, and said, ** They'll contradict it again to-morrow, when they find in his speech at Cambridge that * urgent and most strictly private family affairs which had required his departure at a moment's notice, had been the cause of his unavoidable absence}' and he is such a favorite that they will accept his excuse, which is the true one, after aIL So," he added, laughing," they call him a young statesman, do they ? He is eight and thirty, and he took his first seat in Parliament when he was twenty* one. He is a statesman of seventeen years' standing." Auitin sighed, for those seventeen yean ha had worse than watted. "Look, Austin, the train is coming in." Mlshe in it, I wonder P n said Boehester. The train stopped as he spoke, and several people got out The tall form of Egerton was conspicuous amongst them, and Julian stepped forwards, and the silent iron clasp of their hands spoke more of the deep strong love be tween them than language could have done. Neither spoke, but Julian finked his arm in Egerton's, and passed out to where Austin stood apart awaiting them. M Here is some one you knew long ago," said Julian, stopping. M Has Angelo Egerton forgotten Austin Bo ehester P" asked Austin. " No," was the reply," and Egerton held out the tame friendly hand that yean ago had been tendered in vain. "No, Austin Rochester, I have never forgotten you. Welcome to Falcon tower—thrice welcome home." He paused for no reply, and they walked on to the castle. That night, in the tame gloomy old library 'where, nearly a year before, the stern proud man had wept bitter tears of agony for the loss of his child-love, and the friend of his youth had whispered " Hope! thy child love lives for thet !** in that ancient room the same two friends sat alone long after all else were sleeping. "Thereis a fate against me and a doom upon me," said Julian. "All our attempts to take this black villain have failed." " Not all, Julian," said Angelo, gently 1 "you forget the portrait. lam as convinced as that I am sitting here that that portrait, and it atone, will be the means of Vivian's discovery; Dear Julian, you have not been upheld for ten years to fall at last." "Angelo, you are right It cannot be that Qod will uphold injustice." There was a silence, and then Egerton said, " There is a thing I want to speak to you about, and that is dear Marion and her husband. His ' estates are mortgaged to that Fakes we know too well, and Boehester literally has only two hun dred a year he can call his own • it will never do, Julian, for the present state of thing* to last, the money coming from his wife; it must inevitably end in more misery, perhaps a second separation." "I have thought of it, Angelo, but deferred acting until your return," said Julian. " Have you any plan P You know in all these yean I have spent so little of my income that it has accumulated in your care to enough to do more than release his estate, and who has so good a right as I—his wife's son P" "I have," replied Egerton, " and I daim the right to halve it with you, Julian; for if Marion is your mother, she is my dear sister; and moreover, there is a tie between Austin and me which would make him almost sooner take a service from me than you." Julian smiled, and said, " As you will, Angelo. What is the amount of the mortgage that rascal Fakes holds?" " Twenty thousand pounds at the least," he replied. MMy plan is simply to go to Fakes with the money in my hand, and buy the mort gage deeds of him, and burn them in Rochester's presence." " Will he let us do it P" asked Julian. "He can't help himself, if we will do it The deeds once in my hands, ha can't compel me to return them to Fakes 1 nor can he make you and me receive money of him if we don't choose. I toll jou plainly it is more for dear Marion's sake than his, though it is a great deal for him self, too, for I like him in spite of his faults. I think I bad better manage it at I suggest with Fakes." "Certainly," said Julian; "besides, you must draw my ton thousand pounds." **Ay, ay, I have always placed it with sepa rate bankers in my own name. I will write to morrow to Seymour, sending him the cheques and necessary instructions to pay Fakes the mort gages, and make you and me mortgagees in stead."- The fourth night from that the mortgage deeds came, and in the presence of Austin and his wife and daughter, and Julian, Egerton told
Austin what they were and flung them on the fire, and when BoehMter remonstrated and would lain hare refuted the gift, Julian bowed his head on Marion's hand and answered, "Iti* my gift to my mother. Let it rest." Egerton tamed his noble foot to Rochester, and touching his wife said, MBhe is my sister Marion, and throagh her son she has suffered for my mother's death. Let me make to her and her husband some reparation; let me have the pleasure of seeing her happy in knowing that the inheritance of his fathers belongs to her husband and his children." How could Rochester refuse a gift which was made to appear an obligation to the given, and given throughout with such thoughtful delicacy P Ten daye after the papers had the following announcement, prefixed, of course, by the in* variable " Marriage in High Life " :— " We have to announce the marriage of the Conservative leader in the Lower House, Sir Angelo Bothesay Egerton, of Faleontower, M.P. for Cambridge University, to Ines Jesuit* Maria de Oaldara, a young Spanish lady, who has long been the ward of the right honorable member. We understand that the fair bride is the only child of the late Count de Oaldara, and third cousin to Sir Angelo Egerton through his mother, the late Lady Egerton. The marriage was performed in the beautiful chapel of the cattle by the Bey. Hugh Bertram, rector of Fal eontower, and in the presence of a select num ber of friends, amongst whom were the famous artist, Mr Bothesay (who gave away the bride), Mr and Mrs Boehester, of Rochester Court, Lady Alice St. John, Mr and Mrs Courtenay, and her father, Monsieur de Oastelnau, Ac, Ac" 80 Ines de Oaldara became Lady Egerton; to the child and maiden beoame that sacred and holy thing, a wife.
Curai ILII. " Last Auoa, it is dose upon 8, and time you ease to diwM for Lady EgertonV Bo spoke Alice St. John's mud, who, having been with her some twenty yean, was • privi leged parson. "Hm Miss Arabella gone up yet, Mary?" " Tat, ma'am, and ao mtut yon." J Lady Alice rote, bat at that moment a ear* riage of aome eort dashed up to the door, and wai foUowed by a knock at the door, which made the mother atari, and aay tremblingly, "Mary, that is my son's knock; I am sore it is my son's knock." " The colonel, ma'am ? it can't be." "00, go, Mary, and see." Mary hurried down stair. Lady Alice heard his well-known voice ; his step bounded up the staiiease, the door was pushed open, and Alice Bt. John was clasped in her son's arms. "My darling mother, how nioe it is to see your sweet face again!" "My darling son, how nice it is to see your dear face again!" And then she turned him to the light, and put her hands on his shoulders, and gated into his eyes, as if she were reading his very souL They never dropped, bat met hers with his old bright, joyous smile. " Dear mother," he said, kissing her forehead, " I read your look, and your mother's heart may rest." "My noble boy—my brave son—are you sure, can you trust yourself entirely ?" " Mother, entirely— most perfectly. She is to me once again the child I have known so long, and at the same time Bgerton'a wife. You were going somewhere, mother, I can tell by a a hundred little things ; was it there P" "Yes, I was, dear Louis; it is a select musical party, but we will stay at home." " No, mother, I will go with you," said Louis, quietly and steadily; the sooner I meet her the better, and I had rather meet her in her hus band's home and in her husband's presence, than away from either.** "You are right, my son; we will go. Tell me first how it is we have you to-night, instead of three days hence, as your letter said?" " We had a quick passage over," he replied; " and I hurried on here on purpose to surprise you." The entrance of his cousin Arabella inter rupted him, and Lady Alice went to dress, for though she would rather have had her son at home th«t evening, she thought it better that he should meet Ines at once. " One thing let me say, Louis," whispered his mother, as they drove off, " treat her with your former intimacy j call her Ines, not Lady A£6FtOtt« " Surely, dear mother, that must depend upon how she meets me." " Not entirely, Louis. But as you will." "How comes it they are still in town, mother?" "Still, Louis! Sir Angelo has been away from May till but September, nearly two months ago, and then they were in the north, for the marriage took place direotly, and they only came up for the proroguing of Parliament. I suppose he wished to show there, as he had been away before." "I heard one of my travelling companions say to-day," observed St. John, " that the present ministry cannot survive next February, as they would probably be defeated on their budget, or even on the Queen's speech." " Ah, well," said Lady Alice, as the carriage stopped, "I don't understand these things; but I hope Bgerton and his party will come into office again.v " Ines had not long risen from the piano, and was sitting near the door, talking to Austin Rochester and his daughter, Mrs Bothesay; and, indeed, had just remarked how late Lady Alice was, when the names of " Colonel, Lady Alice and Miss St. John" being announced oaught her ear, and made her look up in sur prise and pleasure. " Colonel Loom !" she exclaimed, holding out her hand; and in her frank, oordial action, and in her voice and manner, there was no shade of embarrassment, nothing but the old friendly familiarity of her childhood; " how glad I am to see yon!" And Egerton, stepping forward, grasped his hand with the simple and expressive welcome— "Louis, old friend! welcome back to England and home." Quietly and keenly Lady Alice watched her son's face j but if for a moment he had felt any embarrassment, neither his face nor his manner showed it; and perfectly reassured, she sat down by lady Egerton, and saw him introduoed to Rochester, and then move on to speak to Margaret Arundel and several other old ac quaintances; nor did even her mother's heart feel any anxiety when, later in the evening, she heard him ask Inn to sing a song that he had been fond of when she was a child—no, for she was Ines Egerton; and the magic and holy name of wife had made his honorable nature crush in a year a love which, but for that, might perhaps have been long before it oould be vanquished. Four months have passed—the " black winds of March" swept drearily through the early spring air, and changes have taken place in both the public and private affairs of this his*
tory. Whoever Colonel St. John's travelling companion wu hit prediction had come tree, for the ministry then in offioe had alienated their own friends, and when Parliament met in February they were defeated on the Bojal Speeoh, and not venturing to dissolve, they were obliged to resign, and onoe more the Conserva tives came into power, and now again Angelo waa in the cabinet. So muoh for public ohangess now paea from Downing-stnet or Westminster Palace to that handsome West-end shop s there it a carriage before the door with the armorial bearings of Egerton on it; bat enter the house and paw up •tain into a quiet room out of reach of the noise and bustle of the rast city below it. There is a matronly woman at work by the window, but on a ooueh near the fire lies the form of Arthur Yirian's Italian wife—a soft, bright smile on her sweet face as her eyes rest on an infant who is lying on her breast, while leaning against the mantelpieos is the tall slight form of Lady Egerton, but there is a shadow en the dark beaatiful face as her calm, watchful eyes also rest on the child, and mark that he has his father's golden hair and black eyes, and will, one day, have his fatal beauty. The mother is thinking the same, too, for presently she looks up and says in her own tongue, " Ines, he is so like Arthur, I wish " She paused, something was on her mind that it seemed painful to say. " What is it, Genevra P" "Oh, Ines, he didn't do it! Ton told me he was only accused—he didn't do it!" M Genevra, do not ask me. If I were to toll you all I know and all I hare done, you would never again look on my lace, but would turn from me with hatred and loathing." *' From you !" said Genevra, almost passion- j ately, and with characteristic impetuosity. " Never! Nothing could make me do anything but love you with the deepest gratitude— nothing you could tell me could alter that." " Nothing ?" said Inez. « Well, as you will, OeneTra—you may try the test. Look at my hair, here and there it has gray amongst it, and for ten years H haa been there i you have your self wondered to see how in my teens I am so grave and passionless, so prematurely old, in plain terms. I was so from six yean old, and what think you changed my childhood into sor row and years that time had not added, what, but the death of the only mother I had ever known P More, because I witnessed her murder —I saw him escaping, and it is my evidence almost entirely that will conVict Vivian. It is I who, after yean of patient watching, dis covered him, and found means of obtaining proofs against htm; my Kps will, so to say, sign his death warrant. Not for vengeance did I act, but because, another man suffered, ay, stiffen still, for his crime—a man who can only be cleared by Vivian's conviction, Now, Genevra, can you truly repeat your words P" Genevra's answer was to clasp Ines's hand, and press her lips to it. M Ines, bitter as it is to me, you have only acted for the ends of justice, and nothing can undo the debt of gratitude I owe to you."
v CfKAPin XLTIL AXOHSST the crowd ascending the steps of the National Qallery one fine morning towards the end of March was oar old friend, Colonel St. John. As he entered the Ant room, he at once pereeired a figure which he recognised as that of old Mr Bertram, of Faloontower, whom he had met at the Egertons* t and the colonel walked up to and addressed him. The rector tamed .quickly, paused a moment, and then with a smile of recognition, held oat his hand. "Colonel St. John,how glad I am to see 700," he said, cordially. «I was coming to call on 70a to-morrow.** MI hold 70a to your intention, Mr Bertram," said the colonel} "you mast oome to dinner* Are 70a living in town f he added. " No, I am only here for a short while on some private business," was the reply. "I am staying with my old friend, Bir Angelo Egerton j and this morning I determined to spend here, as it is some years since I have been to see the gdlery." " Indeed!" said the colonel |** then you have not seen that magnifioeot piotare of Botaesay's, •Tekel.'" " No," he replied » I have heard of it, and I am most anxious to see it. Which room is it inP" " Farther on," said the coloneL " Sh«ll we more on P" "If you please," said Mr Bertram. They moved forward through several rooms till the colonel stopped. " Now, torn," he said, there it bangs." The portrait was striking enough to startle any one coming so suddenly apon it, but even that hardly aoooanted for the start which the rector gave, and the deathly pallor which for a mt>ment overspread his faoe, and he stood bend ing forwards looking on it with an intensity in his strained gaze which did not escape the colonel, though he naturally enough set it down to the effect of the picture, and presently he ?aid, in a low voice, "Is it not horribly beauti ful? One need hardly to be told that it has some strange history belonging to it." Hugh Bertram turned to him, and said in a voice resolutely calm and suppressed, as though he feared to trust it, " Has it a history P That phantom's face is as the faoe of Inez Egerton in a dream; the other, why has it the scroll Tekel on it, in fiery letters—what is the history of that picture P" " I do not know it all, only partly," said the colonel. "It is not a mere picture j it is a por trait of a living man, and as it was not told me as a secret, I may ssy it. You know that this belongs to Egerton, and was pointed by bis order P" M Yes," said Mr Bertram. " Who is it of?" " His mother's murderer,'* said the coloneL "HI told me so himself." Mr Bertram did not start now; the blow had gone too deep for language or outward sign; he stood for a few minutes with his eyes still fixed on the portrait, but seeing nothing and hearing nothing, and then by a strong effort he recovered himself, and touching the colonel, ; a»id quietly, NI do not feel Tery welL I shall , return home." "I hope you are not 01/* said Colonel St. John, anxiously. "My carriage is at your ?erviee." MThank you," said Mr Bertram; "but I have Lady BgerWs carriage ouUide," and with a polite bow he disappeared in the crowd. It was some time before, in returning, the colonel again entered the room where the pic ture hung. There was, for a wonder, only one person standing before it, and naturally St. John noticed him more than he otherwise would. He was rather tall, and slight and elegant, as far as a heavy cloak showed his figure; but that would not have attracted the oolonel's notice so
muoh, and he was passing in when a slight noiso made the stranger turn sharply. It was only for a moment, only for a minute that he saw his face, but that fleeting glance was enough for the colonel—the face, with its) devilish beauty, the lurid black eyes and glisten ing golden hair could not be mistaken—he waa the original of the portrait, he was the murderer of Jesuit* Egerton, and St. John's resolve waa instantly takes. He walked quietly on into the next room, so that the stranger could not leave the gallery without bis seeing him, and then he sat down and looked anxiously round. An intelligent-looking lad, apparently a shop or errand boy, was surveying one of the picture* with a look of profound admiration. St. John called him. "My lad.oome here." The boy obeyed. " Will you like to earn half-a-erown P" " Yes, sir," was the ready reply. " Then take this slip of paper to the polios office, Scotland Yard," continued Louis. "Go in a cab, and tell the man to drive for lib or death; promise him double fare, and ssturn to me." He tore a leaf from his pocket-book, wrote a few lines requesting the immediate presence of Harding the deteotive, and gave it the boy, who ran off in a moment. Perhaps twenty or five and twenty minutes elapsed, and then his messenger and a gentle manly looking man in black entered, and earns) up to him, and addnssed him in a quiet busi ness-like manner. "Are you sun, sir, that Mr Vivian is here P" "So far sun," said the oolonel, "that the man I mean is the exact counterpart of that portrait hen, called' Tekel.'" " Much obliged to you, sir, for what you have done. Leave all the rest to mci he won't es cape me again." Harding went with him to the entrance; then was a cab there with another polioemaa in plain clothes. Harding spoke a few words to him, and took up his position in such a way that Vivian's escape was impossible. Meanwhile Hugh Bertnm had nturao^4) St. James' Square. He was told that every on* was away. Sir Angelo had not yet come horn* from the Foreign-office, Lady Egerton had gone into the park with Mr Kothesay, and only ten minutes befon Mies Arundel had gone out with Lady Alice St. John. The rector said no m/we, bur went 'up stairs, only leaving orden when either Bir Angelo or Lady Egerton came in, they wen to be told he wished to see them; He did not have very long to wait befon he saw from the window Jalian Bothesay and Ines, and Egerton,. whom they had probably met, ride up together, and all three entered the house, for Julian was going to stay to dinner, and then go with Angelo down to the house. Almost immediately Egerton appeared in the drawing-room, where the rector was waiting. " You wish to see me, they told me," he said. "I do, Egwton—about that picture—that portrait in the National Gallery." He paused, striving to master his agitation, and Egerton said, " Who told you that it was) a portrait ?" "Oolonel St. John. I met him then. He asserted on your authority, that it is the -por trait of your—of the man who murdered your mother. Answer me trnly, Egerton, in mercy —is it true or false ?" " Like iron on his heart fell the words," It is." A silence then. " What is the name of the person who killed her P" " Arthur Vivian." " If yon please, sir," ssid a servant, opening the door, "Colonel St. John is below, and wishes to see you for fire minutes." Egerton left the room, but in less than five minutes the rector heard a carriage drive away, and Angelo came back. Hugh Bertnm addressed him at onoe. "St. John's coming is connected with the person we spoke of, Egerton. Tell me the worst—in pity tell me the worst at once.'* " Arthur Vivian is taken at last," said Eger ton. " Oh, merciful heaven, how can I bear it !— how can I bear it!" said the rector, ooverinf his face with bis clasped hands, and burning teen fell through his fingers. "Hugh Bertram, what is Arthur Vivian to youP" 11 My son—my only son !" " God help you!" said Egerton, bowing his head, and his stern lip quivered. Then was a dead stillness, and then the father rose up. " Egerton you an a stern and seven maa f but, by the love you bore your dead mother,— by all your hopes of mercy at the Last Day, show some meroy now, and span my wretched, guilty son, whose death cannot restore your mother to you." There was a depth and intensity of agony in the father's passionate appeal that touched Bgerton to the very soul. He lifted his held, and the musical tones, usually so firm, wen unsteady, as he answered, " Hen me, and do not lightly judge me a hard and meroilessaman. All these years another man has borne the stain—the conviction of that murder; one whom I love with almost more than a brother's love; but for that I had never so relentlessly pursued Vivian; but for that, I would now, for your sake, and for the sake of bis wife and child, span him. Can I do so when the life of aa innocent man is in the balance, and depending on his conviction P Oauld I have acted—avoid I now act otherwise P" " No," said Mr Bertram, with sudden calm nets. "Yon could only have done what yon have done. Oh, Egerton, is then no hope Was not your wife mistaken P" " listen," said Eg'rton. " Eight yean after the murder my wife drew the crayon drawing from which the portrait is done—dnw it from memory. Then is no hope." " One thing more I ask," said Mr Bertram. " When is this wife and child P Tell me all you know of them, for at least I can take them to my heart. Wifeless and childless, I must love something." Gently Egerton told him all he knew of Ge nevra, and ended by promising that early tho next morning his wife should take him to bar and tell her who he was. Borrow had laid a stern and heavy hansl OB Hugh Bertram. [TO BB OOMmCBO.]
Pbomuor Amos' oUm in jurisprudence at University College is to be thrown open to ladies. A Hindoo female boarding aehool is aboat to be opened in Calcutta. Baboo Keshnb Ohundt* Sen, who was on the committee, has with* drawn. Ah action was tried at the Blaekbarn County Court, on June SO, for the r oorerj of £2 alleged to bare been lent to a cabinet maker to enable him to pay the entrtnee-fee to a club known m " The Forty Thieret." It was explained that the club it com posed of brokers who riait sales and agree not to bid against each other. Judg* ment was giren for the plaintiff.