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“ Are you sure that you never saw it was that poor, weeping, terrible woman, opened? Do you remember our conversa- my cousin Hilda. Yes, that was when it tion the first evening that we met Mr. Sey-1-my vision, I mean-really happened, in mour Kennedy? I begin to think that some truth, not in fancy. It was she who used recollection of your first visit has all this to come, with her terrible weeping, and time been working in your brain without wake me up at night, and bring me down your own knowledge."
here, poor little, cold, scared thing, and “Are you certain that you did not dream show me the secret of the hiding-place, all this yourself?"
and repeat again and again those words “Well, that is a question we can soon about wrong never being right; and make settle; I will undertake to teach you the me promise to look here in case I should way to open the hidden drawer as you ever be mistress of Athelstanes.
What taught it to me last night.”
ever these papers contain, remember, Joan, The breakfast-bell sounded before we I said all this before I looked at them.” were ready for it: and we would not keep “ Then Miss Hilda, not Miss Ethel. the servants loitering over their work on a dreda, was your tormentor after all. But Sunday morning: but, as soon as we had surely, Lelgarde, she was bed-ridden, or, despatched the meal, we bastened to search rather, sofa-ridden; had she not lost the the ebony cabinet. I must confess that I use of her limbs ?” felt a little doubtful of my own senses, “Of course she had; every one said so. when I saw its improbable aspect, and Oh! I see this room now just as it used to Lelgarde was inclined to laugh at me, per- be, and her waxen-looking face and hands, haps really to hide some little tremor. and draperies, all as white as snow, on this “ Is this the little ivory knob?
This red couch. That was the dreadful thing; third one on the right side ? I do not be seeing her lie motionless all day, and then lieve it, Joan; it is impossible to get a being visited by her in this stealthy, sufficient hold of it to pull it-ah!” fearful way at night; and then she wept.
She broke off suddenly; with unexpected Oh! how is it I ever forgot that weeping ?” force the little projection seemed almost to “She must have been a most persistent spring to meet her fingers, and, as she humbug, or else crazy,” I said, feeling angdrew out the peg, down fell the small un- thing but charitable towards Miss Hilda. covered box with its hoard of tightly com- “Let us see what she had had to turn pressed papers.
her brain. I almost begin to think I can "There was I dreaming ?" I ex- guess,” said Lelgarde, growing a shade claimed; but Lelgarde interrupted me paler. She opened the first paper, glanced with a shrill cry, half fright, hálf relief, over the few lines which it contained, did and clasped her fingers over her eyes.
the same with the next, and then placed “I see-I see it all. I remember the them in my hands with a strange sort of whole of it!" she cried, eagerly; "it all smile. “No wonder," was all she said. comes back to me. Oh, poor little crea- The first paper was a certificate of the ture, how I suffered! how scared and ter- marriage of Hilda Atheling with Henry rified I used to be."
Hamilton at some church in the City; the Are you crazy, my child ? What is it second, bearing date about a year later, you remember?
recorded the baptism of a second Henry “ This drawer—that opening—was not Hamilton, at a seaside town, far away in it just what a child would remember? | the West of England. And the way I was shown it—the fright!
The secret of Hilda Atheling's life was Oh, no wonder I had a nervous feverno out at last. wonder I ran away: this has reminded me of everything.”
On the 27th of April will be commence * Tell me what it is, quickly, dearest; but don't get so excited about it.”
A NEW SERIAL STORY, Gathering the papers ap in her hand, she said :
THE YELLOW FLAG. “I do not know what these are, I never did know; but, Joan, I know now who it
BY EDMUND YATES, was that frightened me at Athelstanes; it | Author of “BLACK SHEEP,""NOBODY's Fobitse,” &c.
The light of Translating Articles from ALL THE YEAR Round is reserved by the Authors.
Published at the Ofico, 26, Wellington St., Strand. Printed by O. WHITING, Beaufort House, Dake St, Lincoln's Ion Field
FALL THE YEAR ROUND
WITH WHICH IS INCORPORATED
No.176. NEW SERIES.
SATURDAY, APRIL 133, 1872.
BY THE AUTHOR OF "HESTER'S HISTORY."
THE WICKED WOODS OF
earth were more than enough to satisfy his
appetite. He ate but once a day, and the TOBEREEVIL.
fire was allowed to go out as soon as his dinner had been cooked. This was a new plan of saving, for formerly he had been
used to have a fire, however small, at which CHAPTER XXXI. THE FALSE LOVE,
to warm his frail body in the winter SIMON was getting through the cold weather. So now he suffered sorely from weather badly. He missed Tibbie, and he the cold, though that was little to Simon missed the fool. He had now to light his while he felt that he did his duty. He scrap of fire with his own trembling fingers, missed the fool even more than Tibbie, for and to cook his morsels of food himself. He Con would not now be coaxed within his had no one to scold, no one on whom to vent doors; but would nevertheless come hoverin passion the anxiety of his mind, which ing about the place, peering in at the key. feared that he must yet be robbed, and holes, and flattening his white face against live to die a pauper. His soul, too, was the window-panes. Simon was often unracked by tortures of doubt as to his consciously an object of close observation nephew's fitness for the trust which had to the fool, who, with the strong fascination been reposed in him. In the business of of hatred, would watch him unseen through wringing money from the tenants he did some secret loophole; but if Simon chanced not show that eagerness and ingenuity to espy him, this irregular visitor would at which Simon had hoped to find in him. once vanish off into the woods. He had proposed to grant a small piece Whilst Tibbie and Katherine of mountain land to a certain old beggar making their way into the house, Simon woman, so that she might build herself a was sitting in state in his freezing den, exhouse, and live in it free of rent. There pecting the arrival of the new agent upon was an audacity in this proposal which had business. His pistols were beside him on terrified the miser. How was he safe in the table; for he never forgot that he was the hands of a person who could conceive subject to a danger from the presence of and give utterance to such an idea ? He his nephew. The fear of the fulfilment of could only keep watch over the doings of the prophecy by Paul haunted him unthis nephew and agent, exerting himself ceasingly, and made him wary in his dealmeanwhile to make amends, by personal ings with this young man, whom he had economy, for any extravagance which the adınitted into his confidence. He never young
man might perpetrate. He had | turned his back upon him for a moment, now reduced the cost of his living very and never, during their interviews, moved low, powder and shot being the chief items from the table where the pistols lay near of his expenditure; and larks and thrushes, his hand. To-day he was sitting thus, crows and sparrows, were the dainties provided against danger, when Paul made which supplied the absence of more ordi- his appearance—a good deal changed from nary food. Since Tibbie's disappearance the Paul of a few months ago, looking pale he had not enjoyed the luxury of bread. and thin, with restless eyes and a nervous The birds of the air and the roots of the l and uneasy expression about the mouth.
He looked as if the sun had not shone support them. For the future I shall exon him for a year. His dress, too, was pect you to understand me in this matter. more careless than it used to be, and he If the people will not pay you, you must appeared altogether as if things were far send the people away.” from well with him. The change did not I have no liking for the work, sir. I escape Simon's eye, and he was pleased don't see how I can obey you. with it. * The young man is taking a “ Then, sir, I don't see how you can lesson from me," thought the miser; "he expect to be my heir. I am not bound to is growing more saving of his pocket, and leave my little property to you. I have more sparing of bis enjoyments. I see that connexions in England, wise, rich men, I have but to be patient with him, and he who look well to the increase of their store, will get turn out well."
and deserve a helping hand on that acPaul drew his chair to the opposite side count. To them shall go every penny I of the table, and uncle and nephew set to am possessed of, if you set up your ideas in work to do their business together. They opposition to mine." made a striking contrast, though there was Paul flushed and turned pale. The time some likeness between them.
Paul had was gone past when such a threat as this his mother's fair skin and fair hair, and had no terrors for him. It was dreadful was so far unlike the race of the misers, to him now, for the thirst for who were of a swarthy complexion. He taken possession of his soul. It enraged had a broader forehead than had been the him to think of those wise, rich men from share of any of his fathers, but he had the England coming over here to plant, and arched nose of the Finistons, and the dark to sow, and to build upon his land. He flashing eye, deep-set under graceful brows. was convinced that he could rule the There was enough likeness between the old country better than they could do, and it and the young man to make a looker-on might be well to save the many by the tremble for what Paul might yet become. sacrifice of a few. Evil must be done in
Paul delivered over the money which he order that good might come of it. Paul had collected for rent, but the sum fell swiftly argued thus in his own mind that short of the miser's expectations.
clouded mind which was no longer what it “So !” cried he in a passion, “I see that had been. already you have allowed yourself to be He was conscious of a falling off in his imposed upon. They tell you they cannot own mental powers, in his capacity for pay. I ask them to look at me. Is there thought and feeling. The consciousness à man on the property who lives with tortured him, but he could not see where rational temperance except myself? Let he had gone wrong, nor discern any means them find
money, you and I by which he could become better or wiser must quarrel. If you will not deal fairly in the future. He could not even think with them, somebody else shall do it. the matter out, for his mind would not Every man who will not pay must quit the fasten on it, and all his moral perceptions place."
were becoming hazy and dull. His memory “You had better let them stay where was whimsical; certain ideas passed away ! they are," said Paul. “Good times may from it, like the mist of breath from off a come, and they may be enabled to meet glass, whilst others enlarged themselves, your demand. Turn them out of the became distorted, and were not to be country, and where are the wealthier effaced. He forgot at this moment his tenants to fill their place? You will find former desire to be independent of the empty cabins, and no money at all." miser, his aspirations after honest ir
" That is your ignorance," said the dustry, however meagre the reward. He miser; “but I am willing to teach you. thought no more of the plans which May There are shepherds, Scotchmen, who had helped him to map out. He remen. would take the whole mountain from me bered only that he wanted Tobereevil, ar. at a handsome rent. Now am I-a
-a man also that if he quarrelled with the miser, practising self-denial in my own person, certain rich men from England would step to make enormous sacrifice for the sake of into the inheritance which he coveted. pampered beggars who, I doubt not, will Upon this one point his mind fastened its , have their two meals in the day? My plan strength, and the fierce desire for posses is to get rid gradually of the poorest sion took firm hold of his brain. He amongst my tenants. People have no right promised Simon that he would see abou: to live in a country which is not able to the matter,
“See about it in time, then," said the she had retired slowly and cruelly, and miser, “ for you have natural disqualifica- against his will. Longing would not bring tions for your office, and you will need to her to him, despair could not break down work hard in order to overcome them. But the barrier which had erected itself between I will give you time, for we are a slow race them. As he stood there, wrestling with in developing. As young men
an agony such as he had never suffered spendthrifts, and seem in danger of being before, her saddened eyes seemed to shine ruined, but time improves us, and we grow out of a cloud which was beyond and wise as we grow old. So you may go above him. His woe became intolerable, away now, and think over this matter of and he tried to dash it from him, hurrying the Scotch shepherds. Have a calculation upward through the chambers of the made by the next time you come here, and mouldering mansion, and striving to relet me know how soon we shall be ready vive within him all his old loathing of the for them."
race which had dwelt in it, and of their Paul went away with slow steps and treasure which had made them what they aching heart, knowing that he had bound were. These fierce efforts wasted him, himself to do work which his soul ab- and he looked thin and worn as he wanhorred, and yet feeling himself utterly un- dered, more tranquilly now, from room to able to struggle with the unholy force room. A happier thought of his love came which had thus dragged him into bondage. uppermost in his mind, and an unutterable Having thus, as he believed, sold himself longing for her presence took possession of to evil, he shrank from the eye of the him. If she were only here to receive the heavens, and from the sad face of the land confession of his weakness ! With this which lay so sadly waiting for its deliver- better thought in his mind, he looked up
He was seized with a passionate and saw Katherine. desire to gloat over the old walls, which The place of this meeting was on that contained somewhere that treasure which high remote passage lined with goblin was to make him master of everything presses, where, not quite a year ago, the that a man could covet in the world. miser had essayed to make a bargain with As he went up the grand staircase the the pedlar. Paul had not seen it since thought of May crossed his mind, a vision that evening when he had suddenly of her imploring face arose before his eyes, sickened with fear, and had fled from the and for a moment the madness of supreme spot, hoping to return never more.
Now anguish made him dizzy. What would his wanderings had unexpectedly brought she say when she found that he had fallen him here again. Katherine had been lookso low? But the throe passed, and again ing out of the little window from which he he thought with delight of the miser's himself had gazed whilst the miser sorted gold, then reflected with sudden wonder his wares; the place was dim and ghostly, upon the condition of his own feelings, and she made a striking picture with her since this new joy of avarice had more white-clad shoulders and gleaming head lit power to keep its hold of him than had up by the only ray that found its way into sorrow for the pain of his love. Was it the twilight. possible that May had become less dear to She turned to him smiling with genuine him than she used to be? He groaned at delight. this thought, and almost declared to him
you have come at last," she said ; self in his passion that it must be so. If “ but how did you know I was here?” this were indeed the case, then must he “ I did not know that you were here,” rush on headlong to an evil end. Was said Paul. this, indeed, a fate that was pursuing him? Ah, well! you see, I drew you to the Must the love of May be thrust out of his place. I knew that you were coming to heart by the power of that curse which Tobereevil to-day, and I thought I should was already beginning to work upon him ? ask you to take me home through these He leaned against the wall, and hid his dreadful woods." face between his hands. He was not false, Certainly,” said Paul; but he said it nor had he tired of her tenderness. She unwillingly, for he had some expectation was still rare, and holy, and beautiful in that May would come to meet him; and his eyes; but he only seemed to understand at this moment he felt feverishly anxious this, not to feel it with his heart, into to meet her. If he could but see her just which had come the greed for gold. He now, the barrier of reserve might be seemed to see her at a distance, whither broken down between them. Now he
could confess, could ask for help; later his his heart shook with terror of an evil far mood might change, so that the words he greater than anything he had imagined. wished to speak would be no longer on Oh, I have said too much. Surely I his tongue.
have forgotten myself. Whispered words “We had better go at once,” said Paul. between friends ought to be kept sacred, “May is coming to meet me.”
ought they not? I am sure you know that Katherine laughed.
girls are apt to make confidences to each “You need not be uneasy about her, for other. But I forgot that
have known she is making cakes, and she could not so little about women.” Katherine sighed. leave them. She would not risk the proper “I have already said too much. I will shade of brown upon the crust—not for the not be guilty of making mischief between sweetest conversation that heart ever held you." with heart."
“You are rather late with that resolu“You wrong her,” said Paul. “She can tion,” said Paul. “I am at a loss to know do much for those she loves."
why you have spoken so at all.” “Who are they?” said Katherine. “May Katherine turned away a little towards love any one! The fancy makes me the embrasure of the window, and her head smile."
drooped on her hands. “You forget that she loves me.”
“I have done wrong,” she said, “and I Katherine shrugged her shoulders. cannot say any more. A woman must not
“Does that idea really still bewitch betray herself. I did not mean to speak, your imagination? You think May loves only when one has a passionate interest at you ? It is so odd.”
heart, prudence sometimes gets swept away “I remember that you are a lady,” said upon the wave of too much feeling. Paul; “but you try my patience too much.” It came slowly into Paul's mind that her
“Do I?” said Katherine. “I admit meaning was to drive May out of his heart, that I am rather outspoken. I am not like and thrust herself therein. He burned with her-calm, cold, and proper. My patience surprise and shame, that a woman, and is tired. I cannot quietly look on and see such a woman, should love him unsought. one like you bound heart and soul, for life, He pitied her, was grateful to her, admired to such an iceberg."
and despised her, all in one moment. Then She was still leaning against the little indignation took possession of him as he window, with her head and shoulders thought of May; and a superstitious dread ! framed by it. A stray gleam of sun had of Katherine mingled itself with his anger. pierced the opening; illumined her golden The spirit of maddening despondency head and scintillating eyes; put a carmine which pursued him, whispered to him touch on her speaking lips, and a rosy now that this woman was a part of his evil curve of light round the rim of her peachy destiny, that she would separate him from face. The white-furred shoulders stirred May, and thus help his ruin. When Ka. slightly, and the jewel at her throat quivered therine looked up to see the effect of her as if with feeling. Never was un- words, she saw a face not full of tenderlovely soul more enchantingly disguised. ness, but of hatred and anger. Her blue Paul stood opposite, wrapped in the twi- eyes met his, and opened themselves scared. light, leaning against one of the goblin The sun shone more brightly through the presses. His face was stern, but he started little square of window, and made Katheas a flashing look of honage was flung rine more beautiful every moment, intensi. upon him, flattering him from head to foot. fying its lustre in her frightened eyes, and Katherine went on without waiting for shedding a more golden bloom on her him to recover from his surprise.
cheek, which had turned pale with real * Ah, you think she is not an iceberg. woe. For the second time in his life Paul Men are so easily deceived. A few sweet found himself struggling with the frantic words will keep you happy for year. desire to harm a fellow-creature; and on That is while you are suitors; but how the very same spot whence he had fed will it be through life? A selfish mate, from the temptation so many months ago. a cold heart-freezing all the warm efforts But the fear in the woman's eyes touched of your own. One who can make cruel all that was manly in his nature, and this plans to fool you while you are her lover passion left him suddenly, and he was —what will she be for sympathy after shocked at himself. years have gone past ?"
" It is getting late,” he said. “That “What do you mean?” asked Paul, and bright gleam comes just before sunset.