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leisure at Camlough: May was invited to move in it quite plainly; but when I enjoin the lovers in all their walks andi ridos, tered there was nobody to be seen !". And and it often fell to hier share to feel herself May wouldlanswer slyly, “ Indeed, madam, one too many
She learned a trick of let. I don't bellove it is haunted by anything ting her horse lag behind the others, and of more mischievous than myself!" losig, lierself in the dingles, in quest of This was all very well, and for a time wildi strawberries. Sometimes Sir John she kept the ponderous lady at a distance. Archbold made a fourth in the rides, and The hour of her defeat was at hand, howpaid her old-fashioned compliments, and evers, and one night she heard Mrs. Lee's told' her of the new improvements which gentle knooks upon her bedroom door. For Ite meant to make about the place; a rustic a moment May thought of making, no anBridge here, a plantation there; and May swer, and pretending to be asleep. But cheerfully studied the points of view, and it wont be quite useless," she decided faithfully gave him her opinion on these the next moment, “ for she would come in matters. But quite as often she was entirely and wake me, I believe !"** left to her own reflections. This did not “Mrs. Lee, I am just stepping into bed," trouble her, for.she had a vast love of beauty was her answer. It was certainly true, and a turn for noting character, and the new for she had put out her light, and stood in images that crowded her own mind made a her night-dress, in the moonlight, in the constant entertainment for her from morn- middle of the floor. ing till night. The lovers were an unfailing “My dear Miss May,” came back to her source of delight to her. Her heart leaned through the keyhole," you will not object towards them in quite a motherly fashion. to an old woman's sitting at your bedside She had read about lovers, but she had never for an hour?” beheld a real pair before. She followed in May saw that she was conquered. She their wake, admiring, in her simplicity, what opened her door and retreated to her bed, she conceived to be an example of the where Mrs. Lee followed her, and sat down greatest happiness of life. She spent long before her like a nightmare. Mrs. Lee had dreamy days, thinking over the matter, on a large white nightcap, and even the down among the lilies and sedges under moonlight had no power to make her look the bridge, or wandering through mazy like a spirit of night or mysterious angel and shimmering dingles. The world was visitant. very glorious, thought May, in her maiden “My dear,” began Mrs. Lee, “I should meditation, and human life was very beau- not torment you with my complaints if I tiful, and richly blest.
had any one else to go to for sympathy." Mrs. Lee and May and Katherine were This was said in an accent of such real all lodged in the same wing of the castle. sadness that May gave up her impatience Their windows all opened out upon the and became attentive. great balcony. May was rather afraid to “ I'm very sorry if you are in trouble, trust herself on the balcony alone, lest Mrs. Mrs. Lee,” she said. Lee should loom forth and take possession Thank
you, my dear,” said Mrs. Lee, of her. Mrs. Lee had a handsome sitting-“and truly I am in sore trouble. Love room off her bedroom, and it often pleased has always been a mischief-maker, they her to spend the day in its solitude. May, say, but young men used sometimes to a less important person, had only a pretty take advice from their mothers. My son little dressing-room, furnished with writing- used, but now he will not listen to a word table, books, and pictures; but she, too, that I speak. My dear, I want you to say liked to spend an hour in her retreat. This a few words to the lady.” sitting room and this dressing-room ad- In the earnestness of Mrs. Lee's affliction joined one another, the wall between being she had forgotten the formality of her usnal but a partition. When Mrs. Lee heard style of address. May's patience, however, May stirring in her nest, she was apt to was not proof against this speech. She leave her own and come knocking at sat up and spoke out her mind. May's door. When May heard Mrs. Lee Now, Mrs. Lee, I should like to show leave her room, she was apt to fly to the respect to all you say ; but I find it very balcony, and thence escape to the gardens. hard to pity what you seem to feel.
I Upon the strength of many disappointments think nothing could be more fitting than Mrs. Lee built a theory that the dressing the match, and as for your son, I think room was haunted. “My dear ma'am,” she Miss Archbold only too good for him, if would confide to May, “ I heard some one there be any difference between them.”
That's what she thinks herself, I dare ' he has always fallen in love with some nice say,” said Mrs. Lee, beginning to weep; girl before that age. Let him marry her ** and I do declare I believe there is no at once, and not wait till he has begun to kind-heartedness left among young women think that she is not as handsome, or as now-a-days. But if she does think so, clever, or as angelically tempered as he why does she not tell him so and send him would like her to be. Most young men away?"
are prevented by want of money. He shall * Send him away!" echoed May; “I not be so prevented.' In this humour my don't understand you at all, Mrs. Lee.” brother made his will, and so, my dear
“I see that plain enough, my dear, and ma'am, it happens that if Christopher be a I will tell you all about it. You think married man before the last day of next that Miss Archbold is going to marry my September, he will be richer than most men
in the kingdom. If he be not married by “Of course I think so," said May. that time he will be poorer than any
other - What else could I think?"
poor young man by just this much, that “What else, indeed? But she is not he will not know how to work." going to marry him, and she is going to “And this is July," said May; "they ruin him for life.”
ought to be getting ready for the wed“Oh no, I could not believe it.”
ding.” “ That will not alter the matter at all,” "There will be no wedding here,” said said Mrs. Lee, crossly.
the troubled lady. * That is true, but I mean-you know
Oh, Mrs. Lee !" eren were she capable--" May paused. "There is no wedding thought of, except “ In that case, Mrs. Lee, she would not be in my son's poor bedazzled brains. I told worth thinking of. Your son would not you before that it was this girl's amusebe ruined for life, I dare say.”
ment to lead him on to his ruin. And I “You know nothing about the matter tell you so again.” when you say so," retorted the distressed “But does she know the circumstances, lady. “My dear ma'am, I came here to as you have told them to me?" tell you the whole story. I suppose you
"I told them to her myself seven or have heard my son spoken of as a man of eight months ago. She only laughed and wealth ?"
said the old gentleman had made an exMay admitted that she had heard him ceedingly awkward arrangement.” so spoken of.
“ Perhaps she does not like to be tor"Well,” said Mrs. Lee, grimly, “ I have mented about the matter. She may
choose three huvdred a year which my husband to be a little mischievous, but I will not left me.
It was all he had to leave. And believe that she can be so wicked as you he said, “The child is a boy ; let him think.”
“ You don't know her as I know her. May was silent, not daring to ask if upon You have not seen her with other lovers the reversion of his mother's three hun around her, my dear. She was the centre dred pounds a year rested Christopher's of a crowd of them when we met her first, sole claim to be considered a of and she turned them off one by one, and wealth.
seemed to delight in their vexation. At " And so he should have been brought that time I thought Christopher would up to work, and he would have worked,” have married a sweet little girl, the went on Mrs. Lee, “if I had not had a daughter of his tutor in England. She brother who was a rich bachelor. He was was fond of him I am sure, and though m old man, and all his great wealth had she had not a penny, he need not care for never made him happy. He had been that. But this Katherine put her clear out always called a woman-hater, but when of his head.” hre was dying he sent for me, and he made “Would it not be well to appeal to her me some confession about his views of life. father and mother-I mean Sir John He said he believed a single life led to all and Lady Archbold ?" said May, now sorts of folly and wickedness, and that he thoroughly roused to comprehend the situahad been a miserable man because he had tion, and feel interested in averting this been so lonely. He had willed all his for- threatened danger. tune to my son, on condition that he should “I tried that before," said Mrs. Lee, marry before he was twenty-three. If a gloomily," but I might have saved my pains. yonng man has any good in him,' said he, I believe they are afraid to interfere with the
girl. They declared politely that they never ness with which he had flung himself could think of influencing their daughter's down. His face was buried in the grass, affections. As if I wanted them to do so! and he was sobbing; and May could not I asked for nothing but that she should move to go away and leave him, for the make
reason that he was lying apon her muslin May began to share in the poor lady's skirt. She tried to draw it away without dismay.
disturbing him, but this was impossible. “So then I should have left this place He started at the movement and looked up. in anger," said Mrs. Lee, “ only for fear of Oh, Mr. Lee, I. am so sorry!" said making a quarrel, and destroying any hope May; “I could not help being here !" that might be left. If the lady would He looked at her angrily for a moment, marry my son I should be thankful, though, with a burning blush on his perturbed face. indeed, I do not like her. My poor boy Then he laughed uncomfortably, and begged loves her, and at all events his fortune her pardon. would be secured. But if she turns him “I see I have spoiled your dress," he away now at the last moment, when he said, “but, of course, I did not do it inten. finds himself ruined and disappointed, he tionally. Of course, if I had seen you I will fall into a despair which she with her should not have come here." light ways could scarcely even dream of. “It was very unlucky,” said May, And things are no better to-day than they least if you mind it. But my dress has were weeks ago.”
got no harm." This conversation went on for some time “ Mind it?" he said. “Of course I mind longer, and during the course of it much that you should have caught me lamentof the heaviness and unsightliness of Mrs. ing like a woman. But I trust myself Lee's outlines became softened away, and to your charity; and believe me I have was never after visible to May's pitying reason for grief. At least I think I have,” eyes. These two new friends parted at last he added slowly, passing his hand over with an understanding that May should- his face. “I may be foolishly wrong, and if opportunity offered, make interest for if so I will come and tell you, some day Christopher, and plead his cause with soon, of my happiness. I dare not deKatherine. And after Mrs. Lee had gone scribe to you what that happiness would away, May lay a long time still awake, be like. But I think that I have reason wondering over the iniquity that had just for grief.” been made known to her. She found it in " I hope with all my heart that you are the end too monstrous to be believed in. wrong,” said May, "and that you may get Before she went to sleep she had per- your happiness. If you
don't snaded herself that Katherine must come Well, if I don't ?” forth, triumphant in honesty, from under ' I was going to say something which the cloud of this suspicion which was at I had better not say,” said May. “You present hanging over her.
would perhaps think me impertinent and
interfering.' CHAPTER XVII. KATHERINE SPEAKS HER MIND.
“Perhaps I should,” said Christopher, It was not long before May had an op- reflecting," and that would be unfair. I portunity of learning Katherine's senti- will not ask you to say another word. ments towards Christopher, as well as Good morning, Miss Mourne ; I am going towards some other people and things. a little further down the stream to fish."
One morning she was entertaining her- And so he walked off, forgetting that, in self after her own fashion, alone, in the order to fish, it is necessary to have a rod, dingle beyond the rustic bridge over the or some other apparatus for the purpose. stream. She was sitting in the shelter of a But May was a gentle critic, and would large oak, stringing the ripe rowan-berries not have laughed at him for the world. into a long scarlet chain. So occupied she After that May dropped her brilliant heard a rapid step, and a muttering voice chain from the bridge, and watched it floatcoming over the little bridge, a crunching ing down the stream. Then she turned in the underwood close by, and then some away, and walked up the hilly garden one fell prone upon the moss at the foot of towards the castle. Katherine was leaning her tree; the other side of the tree at which over the balcony, alone. She had been she was sitting. This was Christopher looking down towards the dingle and could Lee, in deep distress. He had broken the see a long way. May mounted the balcony stately, fan-shaped ferns by the reckless- and approached her, seeing that, as
drew near, Katherine looked expectant, and gently, "you don't know what you are ready for conversation. This was unusual, saying. Lovers will not be shaken off so but it was what May desired. She was too easily. I speak from much experience. much disturbed by the mistakes of her while you-you have never had a lover,
neighbours to be at peace with her own have you ?” said she, looking at May, | thoughts. She was full of indignation keenly.
against somebody. Who that somebody “No, indeed !” said May, hastily, and might be it behoved her to find out, that blushing a vivid blush, that wandered she might not in the zeal of her fancy from her cheeks to her forehead, creeping make a martyr of the innocent.
up even among the little rings of her Stay here a little," said Katherine, win- hair. She felt vexed with herself for blushningly, as May hesitated, not knowing ing, for she knew of no reason why the whether to pass her or remain unbidden at question should annoy her. And there her side. And May seated herself on the was Katherine looking on with amused edge of the balcony, leaning back against curiosity. an urn full of geraniums ; folded her hands “How red you turn !" said Katherine, | in her lap, and expected to be catechised. who had never blushed, save with anger,
“You have been walking with Mr. Lee?" in her life. “But you need not be ashamed. · said Katherine, not rudely, but with the It is no reproach at all, living out of the
air of one who considered she had a right to world as you do.”
“He said he would go further ap the do not wish for a lover. But I think I can river to fish,” said May, demurely. understand how a man ought to be treated
“Oh!" Katherine looked surprised and by a woman whom he loves—for whom he a little disappointed. She had perhaps ex- is willing to give up everything in the pected some pitiful tale of her lover's des-world.” peration.
“Do you indeed ? So you have studied “You were walking with him some the matter. Come, now, tell me all about time?” she asked again, after a minute, it," said Katherine, looking delighted. during which she had been eyeing May, “He ought not to be encouraged, and who sat with her dark head against the then left to break his heart," said May, geraniums, her eyes half shut, gazing with another subtle quiver of excitement drowsily down through the sunshine to dyeing her cheeks. “Even if the river, the way by which Christopher “Even if what?" asked Katherine.
“Miss Archbold, I am afraid I shall * Not walking,” said May; "sitting and make you very angry. standing."
“No such thing,” said Katherine ; “ I am “Oh!" said Katherine, impatiently," and accustomed to hear dirges about broken talking, of course. He was complaining hearts. You are not such an original person 1 to you of me all the time ?"
as you think. And your enthusiasm about “ No,” said May, mischievously, “ we lovers' rights is exceedingly amusing. Go never even mentioned your name.
on with that speech which you were afraid “ I am glad to hear it, I am sure,” said would overwhelm me." Katherine, with a mortified smile. “But I “I was going to say your conduct would had thought it might be otherwise, know- be cruel to Mr. Lee, even if his fortune as ing his habit. He is a dreadfully low- well as his happiness were not so entirely spirited young man.
I am tired to death at your mercy. of him.. I wish they would go away."
So you have picked out that story “ Then why do you not tell him so, and already,' said Katherine, looking right I send him away at once ?” asked May, well pleased.
rousing up so suddenly, and speaking with “I picked out nothing," said May, in-
truth getting about. But, my simple May trembled while she spoke, believing maiden, how am I to blame if people will that Katherine would think her interference make a mess of their family arrangements ? quite outrageous. But Katherine's un- If a man chooses to lose a fortune for my easiness all vanished at the attack. Her sake, how am I to prevent his being so face kindled with smiles.
silly? If I had been his mother I should “My dear little girl," she said, indul. I have brought him up better. The world
I had gone.
pen then ?"
will talk about it, and will call me a pression, and we had some hours of charmmonster. But they ought rather to cry out ing conversation. Mamma gave him our on him for a fool. As for encouragement, cards, and he came to us in London. There how am I to judge of a lover unless I have is no doubt that we shall see him here soon. proper time? People ought to be capable He belongs to this country, and his history of taking care of their own affairs. If a is quite interesting. He has been some years person sees a risk, why not turn upon his abroad, and is coming to visit his inheritheel and
go another way? Now if a man ance for the first time. He was reserved were to show spirit, and prove manfully about himself, but we heard all his story rebellious
from a friend of his father's. Mamma does "Well," asked May, “ what would hap- not quite approve of him, for the old man
may live a long time, and is not very re"Why then I should think him worth a putable. Still, he must die. And the little pains. I have no mercy on a fool.” nephew will be quite a millionaire."
“Poor Mr. Lee !” said May. “And have Who is this gentleman ?" asked May, all your lovers been fools, Miss Archbold ?” suddenly. -66 What is his name?"
* All," said Katherine, " or at least I “ Did I not mention? I thought yon have found it easy to make them fools for knew. He is Paul Finiston, handsome and the time.” Katherine had warmed won- proud, and they say he is a poet. One derfully with her subject as she went on: could see it in his eyes that night on board It was evidently one upon which she loved the ship. He had a way of folding his to discourse. “There is just one person, arms and seeming to forget everything and she continued, “whom I have thought everybody, himself as well as the rest. worth an effort; for whose sake I could This was, of course, when the danger was acknowledge that my heart is not made over, and there was nothing more to be of flint. While such a one lives,” here her done. It piqued my vanity at first, but I lip curled, “I have no pity for such soon saw that though a gentleman, indeed, simpletons as Christopher Lee!"
it was evident that he had not been accusHave
you told Mr. Lee of the existence tomed to the ways of polite-society. It is of this person ?" asked May, gravely, after little things like this that made me say he some rueful reflections upon Christopher's might be inclined to be rebellious. But hard fate.
dear me, Miss Mourne, how white you are Katherine laughed gaily. "You amusing grown little goody!” she said, blithely, “do you “ Am I?” said May, “never mind. Tell think that I also am a fool? I have been me something more about Paul Finiston." frank enough with you, but you don't sup
you know him ?” asked Katherine, pose it is my habit to carry my heart upon sharply not say that,” said May, “ for I
sleeve ?" “Was this person rebellious ?” asked | left my Paul Finiston in Dublin a great May, rushing into another question to avoid many years ago. I have no acquaintance the opportunity of declaring what she with your admirer, Miss Archbold.” thought about Miss Archbold, and her “ Your Paul Finiston ?” said Katherine, habitual line of conduct.
with a sudden elevation of her handsome Not quite," said Katherine, with an air chin. of mystery;“but he looked as if he could "Forgive me if I speak awkwardly," be. You will see him, I have no doubt, said May; “I mean the Paul Finiston with by-and-bye.” Here the young lady sud- whom I had some acquaintance." denly became thoroughly confidential. This was said with dignity, and Kathe“ The first time we met was on board ship, rine was at a loss how fitly to express her when we were returning from our travels, displeasure. But fitly or unfitly, her sense quite a short time ago. We were coming of May's audacity must be made known to from Calais to Dover, and there was a the offender. storm, and people were frightened. Every- “And with whom you hope to renew body behaved like a fool, including mamma your acquaintance," she said, bluntly, and and papa, who were both ill. He took with a look and a tone that made May care of us all, and, as I had fully expected, again turn pale. he made himself my devoted attendant. “Do not speak to me like that,” said the Towards the end of the passage the wind young girl quickly. “I shall be glad if you fell, and all the stars came out. Nothing will talk upon some other subject.' could be more favourable to a romantic im- But I will not drop the subject,” said