Imatges de pÓgina
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CHAPTER XV. AT LAST.

have at once your ear entertained with indeed, outgrown the stage, and the faculty music and good language, and your eye of making " imaginary puissance” has besatisfied with the garb and accoutrements come lost. In the theatre, as elsewhere, of war." In the same play, also, the the demand is now for the literal, the acactors were wont to introduce hobby-horses, curate, and the strictly matter of fact. and fight a mimic battle of very extravagant nature,

CASTAWAY. Ridicule of a stage army was one of the

BY THE AUTHOR OF “BLACK SHEEP," "WRECKED IN established points of humour in the old burlesque of Bombastes Furioso, and many

BOOK III. a pantomime has won applause by the comical character of the troops brought upon the scene.

It should be said, how- Two months have elapsed since the date ever, that of late years the more famous of the proceedings last recorded, and the battles of the theatre have been reproduced newspapers, for lack of something more with remarkable liberality and painstaking. exciting, have begun to chronicle the moveIn lieu of “four swords and bucklers," a ments of the barometer, and the prospects very numerous army of supernumeraries of a severe winter. If, however, throughhas marched to and fro upon the boards. out England the climate were as it is in In the ornate revivals of Shakespeare, Torquay this bright sunny morning, the undertaken from time to time by various weather prophets would be considerably managers, especial attention has been out in their calculations, and the disapdirected to the effective presentment of the pointment of the schoolboys and the cutbattle scenes.

The "auxiliaries” have fre- lers, who were looking forward to a three quently consisted of soldiers selected from weeks' skating season, would be intense

, the household troops. They are reputed to for here the air is soft and balmy, the sun be the best of "supers," imposing of aspect, bright and hot-so hot, that the gentleman stalwart and straight-limbed, obedient to toiling slowly up the hill stops just opposite command, and skilled in marching and the club, and unbuttons his long greatmilitary formations. Londoners, perhaps, coat, and lifts his hat to let the sea-breeze are little aware of the services their fa- cool his forehead. Then, reinvigorated, he vourite regiments are prompt to lend to proceeds, though his step is still slow, theatrical representations. Notably our and his breathing somewhat laboured; grand operas owe much to the Coldstreams his destination is, however, close at hand. and Grenadiers. After a performance of Through the trim and pretty garden he Le Prophète or L'Etoile du Nord, let us approaches a villa, perched on a green say, hosts of these warriors may be seen mound and overhanging the sea, and a hurrying from Covent Garden back to their young lady, who has been apparently barracks. Plays that have depended for watching for his arrival from the window, their success solely upon the battles they meets him in the hall with outstretched have introduced have not been frequent of hands, and with a face bright with late years, and perhaps their popularity pleasure. may fairly be counted as a thing of the You are come at last, Mr. Drage," she past. We have left behind us the times said. when versatile Mr. Gomersal was found “You

may be certain I came as soon as submitting to the public by turns his im- I could," said the rector, bending down, personation of Napoleon at Waterloo and and kissing her forehead; “ but it took Sir Arthur Wellesley at Seringapatam ; some time to settle my father's affairs, and when Shaw, the Lifeguardsman, after per- put matters in train for disposing of his forming prodigies of valour, died heroically share of the business to his partner. Howto slow music; when Lady Sale, armed ever, all that required my personal superinwith pistol and sabre, fought against heavy tendence is now at an end, and I have Afghan odds, and came off supremely escaped from London. And Margaret ?" victorious. Perhaps the public has ceased “Still progressing slowly, but surely. to care for history thus theatrically illus. You will find her greatly changed in aptrated, or prefers to gather its information pearance, dear Mr. Drage ; she is still very on the subject from despatches and special weak and very thin, but she has improved correspondence. The last theatrical ven- wonderfully since she came to this place, ture of this class referred to our army's and day by day we see a happy difference exploits in Abyssinia. But the play did in her. not greatly please. Modern battles have, “You told me in your letter that she

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to her now.

had made no allusion to anything that oc- “ you have just allowed that you are still carred during that dreadful time.'

very weak; don't you think that any con“Nor has she up to this moment. She versation of this kind had better be postis perfectly tranquil, and apparently not ponedunhappy, speaks frequently of Gerald, and “Not for one moment,” she said; “I am seems anxious that we should be married strong enough to hear anything, and shall as soon as possible; but sometimes she will merely be restless and uneasy until I know lie for hours without speaking, and when how much of what is constantly recurring I steal quietly up to her, I find the traces in my mind is true, and how much false. of tears upon her cheeks.”

Tell me, then, at once. I remember nothing “Poor dear Margaret! She knows I after fainting in the court. Stay,” she am coming ?"

added, seeing him hesitate, "you fear to "Oh, yes; and has been expecting you distress me. But I already know that very anxiously. If you like I will take you Philip Vane is dead. Did he die by his

own hand ?" Mr. Drage left his hat and coat in the “ That is not positively known,” said the pretty little hall where this conversation rector; “but it is believed that he acci. took place, and followed Rose Pierrepoint dentally fell from the pier at Dover. The into the drawing-room. On a couch before body was found two days afterwards off the window overlooking the sea lay Madge, St. Margaret's, and was recognised as that looking very pale and very delicate, but, as of a man who had left a portmanteau in the rector thought, wonderfully beautiful, the cloak-room at the railway. On being looking, as the rector also thought, more opened, the portmanteau was found to conlike a pictured saint than a human being; tain a shirt with blood-stained wristbands, with her long brown hair hanging over and heavily-mudded trousers and boots ; her shoulders, and her white hands clasped the latter corresponding exactly with the in front of her. Her eyes were closed, and footmarks on the Wheatcroft lawn. Further she did not open them until Rose said, inquiry proved that he had been in Spring"Madge, darling, here is our best friend." side on that dreadful day, having actually Then she looked up, and a bright burning called at my house and spoken to my ser

overspread her face as she partially vant; and all these circumstances, corraised herself on one arm, and stretched out roborated with your evidence, left no doubt the other hand. The rector took the hand, on the minds of the magistrates, who disand lifted it to his lips, dropping into the charged Mr. Heriot; while the coroner's easy-chair placed by the sofa as Rose left jury brought in a verdict of wilful murder

against Philip Vane. You are distressed, Margaret was the first to speak. Margaret, I had better stop ?” Do you find me much changed ?" she “No; pray go on.

And Gerald was said.

liberated at once ?" "No," said the rector, brightly, "nothing “Not merely liberated, but became the like so much as I had anticipated. You idol of the hour. The revulsion of popular have had a serious illness, and you are still feeling was extraordinary. Nothing, howvery weak, but your eyes are bright, and ever, not even his restoration to Rose's your voice is clear, as it was in the old days.” | arms, I think, gave him so much joy as

“The old days," echoed Madge, “how my discovery of a letter amongst poor Sir far off they seem ! part and parcel of Geoffry's papers, written two days before another life almost, so indistinct are they his death, a letter addressed to George, in

you know that up to this hour which he confessed his harsh treatment of my ideas of what happened at that fearful him, and implored his return to his position time are dim and blurred ?

Do
you

know and his home. You are crying, Margaret ?” that I have asked no one, not even Gerald, “They are tears of joy, dear friend. I not even Rose, for any details of those had no idea that letter had been written,

Do you know why I have been though Sir Geoffry had spoken of his in80 silent ?"

tention of writing it. Thank Heaven he The rector bent his head.

lived to carry that intention into effect. "Because," she continued, “I was wait- And Gerald-George-is now happy ?" ing for you, to whom I have given my Intensely happy. I know not which atmost confidence, to tell me all that had is the happier, he or Rose. Your illness occurred. I could not trust myself to talk has been the only blot on their felicity.” on the subject with them; I can with you.” “IS

suppose they will be married at once ?" "Margaret,” said the rector, gently, I asked Madge.

flush

the room.

to me.

Do

“ Now that you are convalescent, there way, to Harwich, and thence, per steamer, is no occasion for any further delay. Sir to Rotterdam. Remaining on the ContiGeoffry died intestate, and Gerald is con- nent a few months, and baffling all attempts sequently sole heir. He is going to sell to track him, he finally made his way to Wheatcroft, and, for some time at least, Havre, and then took ship for America. travel abroad. So soon as you are able to Mr. Delabole, being possessed of a large bear the fatigue of the journey they will sum of money and great business talents, be married and start."

found admirable scope for financing opera“Did they purpose taking me with tions in the United States, and is now one them ?"

of the leading lights of Wall-street. They did ; they have talked of it often. Mrs. Bendixen never received the letter George Heriot was only speaking to me which Philip Vane addressed to her on the about it two days ago in London.” morning of his flight, and knew nothing

“I shall relieve them of that responsi- of her intended husband's crime and fate bility,” said Madge, with a smile; "they until she read of both in a newspaper. The shall have no querulous invalid to destroy shock sobered her for a time, and she disthe happiness of their bridal tour.” appeared from society. There are rumours,

“ And what will you do, Margaret ?” however, that she has seen sufficient of the

“Wait till I am a little stronger, and charms of solitude, and intends reappearing then seek for some new situation.'

this season with an addition to her estaA sharp expression of pain passed across blishment, in the person of a husband—a the rector's face.

German tenor of military appearance and “Margaret," he said, bending over her a flute-like voice. couch, "months ago I asked you to become my wife. There was an obstacle then, and

George Heriot and Rose bave their home you refused—that obstacle no longer exists. in Florence; the artistic society of which Since then I have seen you surrounded by pleasantest of cities delights both of them. dangers, and difficulties, and trials of no Last autumn, while the Triennial Musiordinary kind, and in them all your good cal Festival was being held at Wexeter, a ness and your purity have been triumphant, lady suddenly detached herself from a large and rendered you more than ever dear to party, which was crossing the cathedral me. Margaret, I ask you once again : for yard, and running up to old Miss Cave, pity's sake, do not give me the same reply." who was standing looking on in admira

I–I could not go back to Springside,” tion, seized her by both hands and kissed she said.

her on the cheek. They had a short but “Nor is there any occasion for it, dearest animated conversation, then the lady one. By my father's death, I am rendered hurried off to rejoin her friends. more than rich. The physician, whom I “More friends among the quality, consulted in London, spoke to me words Susan ?” said Sam Cave, as he bustled up of hope, more cheering than I could have to her. “Who was that lady just now-the imagined; he told me that, by wintering bishop's wife or the new dean's daughter?" in a warm climate, my life may yet be pro- “Neither one nor the other, Sam,” said longed to the ordinary span. It is for you old Miss Cave, half laughing, half crying. to give me an interest in that life, Margaret. “You have seen that lady often before. What will do ?"

She is staying at the Deanery now with her “I would give my life to save yours," husband, who is a clergyman; but you reshe whispered. “I will devote half of collect her when she was our leading lady, mine to tending yours.”

and was called Madge Pierrepoint." She raised her eyes to his, and in them he saw the dawn of life and hope. “My darling, my own!"

Next Week will appear Mr. Delabole's friends at the board of A SHORT SERIAL STORY will be commenced in the extinct Terra del Fuegos Silver Mining

ALL THE YEAR ROUND, Company did him injustice in suggesting to be continued from week to week until completed, that he had intended to mislead by giving

entitled King's Cross as the address to the cabman. LELGARDE'S INHERITANCE, Heproceeded to that station, thence to Peter

In Twelve Chapters, borough, thence, per Great Eastern Rail

BY THE AUTHOR OP “THE ABBOT S POOL."

you

THE END OF CASTAWAY.

The light of Translating Articles from ALL THE YEAR Round is reserved by the Authors.

Published at the Office, 26, Wellington St., Strand. Printed by O. WHITING, Beaufort House, Dake St., Lincoln's Ion Fields.

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No.172. NEW SERIES.

rol, TII,

172

anythin' in the cowld. Bud let him take spoken roughly to her as he had never them all away wid him. Don't you have done before. May hated herself because nothin' to do wid them !"

the tears .came into her eyes. And Paul's Paul laughed. “ Nonsense, my good thoughts were busy with the future master woman. We must not vex the simple of Tobereevil. fellow."

“Yes," he said. “Is it too late to go toMay gathered up the bundles in her night ?" apron. * Poor bad little sticks,” she said, He let fall her hand and went out to the “I will put them out of the way.” hall-door. The snow was beginning to fall,

So Bid had to let her keep them, and and had blotted out the footprints of the went away muttering. May at once put messengers. It would be folly to make new the faggots out of sight, and returning to tracks across the peace of that white world Paul, found him walking about the room into the gloom of the Tobereevil Woods in a state of high excitement.

that night. Even to Paul's impatience it “Oh, my love !” he said, going to meet seemed that it must be so. May stood her. “Ill-luck is all over with me. The downcast on the hearth. There was somespell of the curse is broken. This what thing new and strange about Paul which you have done for me. No sooner is your made her hate the sight of Simon Finiston's hand clasped in mine than the world is feeble scrawl which lay before her on the turned upside-down for the purpose of mantelpiece. bringing me good fortune." “You silly old Paul,” said May, shaking

CHAPTER XXVI. A MORNING VISIT. her head. * Only that you are a poet, we EARLY the next morning May and Paul should not tolerate such nonsense.

set off together over the snow to Tobereevil. “My darling shall be lady of the land,” Paul would not go alone. He had a fancy went on Paul. “We will pull down the that the miser would be propitiated by the cursed old house, every stone of it; and sight of May's charming figure, in a little we will build up a new one-new stones, red cloak and white knitted hood. May, who new mortar, new timber; not an atom of was not so sanguine, went much against the old walls shall get mixed up with the her wish. She had a dread of the old man new ones. We will furnish it with every who had been the ogre of her childhood, luxury-"

and she did not believe in his new freak. “ But the people, Paul dear ? What will she found it hard that this change should you do for the people ?"

have come just as Paul was making him“Oh, the people of course. They shall self happy over the prospect of a simple pull down the old house, and build up the and an unambitious life. Yet she went to new one. They shall also have new cot- please him, trying to temper his wild ex. tages and low rents. I warrant you I will pectations, and ready to cheer him if his rub the rust off old Simon's guineas. There uncertain temper should give way to shall be schools and almshouses. We will another mood. ' It was impossible but that cultivate the land and have a mill on the both hearts should become a little chilled river. I will show that a man can be as they came nearer to their destination generous though sprung from a race of and emerged from the trees into the misers."

shadow of the dilapidated mansion. Paul “Yes; it will be a triumph. Oh, Paul, became pale, but he laughed and apwhat a life we have before us! But we peared in the best spirits. May was silent, must not ran too fast. We are not yet the and offered a secret prayer for the result lord and the lady of Tobereevil.”

of this venture, which seemed so awful. “We are virtually so.”

The doors were all barred up, and knocker “He is known to be very whimsical,” there was none. The bell was now bro- ! suggested May.

ken which had once roused Tibbie's ire i Oh, do not damp me!" cried Paul, with under Miss Martha's hand. To-day there sudden_impatience. “I have done with was no Tibbie to come and fight with the fear. Do not you thrust it back upon bold ones; it was the miser himself who

came shuffling across the hall. He came “No,” said May; " not for the world. and took away the bars, slowly and You will know better when you have seen with difficulty, and stood peering at them the old man.”

through the half-open door ; a weird, aged He did not hear the pain that was in her skeleton, very pitiful, very ugly, and susvoice. He did not notice that he had picious-looking.

me.”

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