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And, although occasional depression of ward man had been hurried, by an overstock and reduction of dividend are na- powering passion, into an act for which turally trying to the temper of share- he heartily despised himself. There were holders, though A and B have each their earnest entreaties that he might be allowed indubitable remedy for what appear to to reveal the marriage, exhortations to them to be shortcomings and mismanage courage and plain-dealing; keen self-rement, though Y could build the ships, and proach at the part which he had played, Z could man them, at half the present and an almost contemptuous dashing aside expense, there is little doubt that the P. of the feeble arguments in favour of secrecy and 0. Company has, for the thirty odd with which his bride evidently answered years of its existence, been as highly him. Then there were brief directions as thought of both by the government, whose to her sojourn by the seaside, and the contractor it is, and the public who are arrangements for the birth of the expected its customers, as by us, whom it has so babe, and there was one letter, the last, obligingly taken on trial.
written after the child's birth, and just as he was about to start on his Swiss journey,
which thus concluded : “When you tell LELGARDE'S INHERITANCE, me that to own our marriage would kill
your father, I can say no more ; but that IN TWELVE CHAPTERS. CHAPTER IX. danger once remo
moved, not an hour shall THERE was a long, long silence between pass before I claim my wife and child in us two, a silence, on my part, of bitter, the face of day.” No wonder this letter angry disappointment. Let those who have was blistered with tears. We found other never felt poverty despise me for dreading letters too, addressed, not to Miss Hilda, a return to it. I am not ashamed to own but to Nurse Oliphant;
these were in stiff that the thought was gall and worm- writing and bookish English, evidently wood to me: though not for my own sake, written by some one to whom a letter was Heaven knows.
a great and unusual effort. They announced “Perhaps he is dead,” I said, at last; the arrival of the child you are interested I could not help it; but Lelgarde stood in,” and alluded to certain arrangements with a brighter light in her eye and a for its comfort as mentioned previously. deeper flush on her cheek than I had seen There was one more paper of melancholy for many a day, and her first words took interest, the slip from the Times containing me by surprise.
the account of the accident by which Henry “ Thank God !” she said, heartily; then, Hamilton lost his life ; and there was a in answer to my looks, I suppose: “Yes, bundle of receipts, all addressed to Nurse thank God, the mystery is out; the Oliphant, for the sum of two hundred wretched feeling I have had is gone.” pounds, evidently paid yearly, for the
She turned to the half-finished picture maintenance of the luckless boy. These which we had hung on the wall, the went on to the time when nurse's and Miss picture in which the fair feeble face, with Hilda's death occurred within a few days its light-hearted look, was piteous, when of each other, now about ten years since. one thought of that poor weak child's after Lelgarde eagerly pointed out the signature, life.
“Gideon Hatterick," and the date, “ The “Rest in peace,"Lelgarde said, solemnly; Coombe Farm, near Hollyfield.” " the wrong shall be right at last. Oh! I “ That is what I wanted. Where is it? thank God, I do thank him that I am freed Somewhere in Devonshire or Cornwall, I from this crime, this injustice; and now, think. I will look it out in Bradshaw, and Joan, what is to be done?”
we will start at once." “These other papers may afford some "Gently, my dear," I said, for she looked clue, perhaps,” conscience forced me to say far too much excited to act calmly and
"I hope so.” And thereupon she sat sanely just then, "you must take advice down on a footstool, and spread out on her before you
do anything." lap the papers, nine or ten in number, There was a tap at the door, and the which the secret recess had contained. astonished face of the young
kitchen-maid There were one or two letters written in who entered reminded us that in our ab- li a bold, manly hand, and in a tone to match, sorption we had allowed church-time to from the young husband evidently, though pass, and that all the servants were gone. only the initials were signed. It was plain "Mr. Seymour Kennedy, ma'am," she that a naturally honourable, straight-for-said; " but I wasn't sure you was in.
did not come,
“Oh! show him in,” cried Lelgarde, in “You promised to be guided by my adan eager tone, and she rushed out to meet vice, you know; and my advice is--do him at the door, her hands still full of nothing at present. Wait-take timepapers, with what he evidently took for look about you; there is at all events no delighted welcome.
immediate call for action.” " The very person I wanted !” she cried, Up went my Lelgarde's head. eagerly ; "come in; I want advice. You “You hardly grasp the question, I think,” will give it me.
she said. I tried to signal caution to her, but it Mr. Kennedy smiled at the idea, and was thrown away; she held out her hand, answered as if she had been a child. and he took license to hold it in his, as “You must help me then. What is it I indeed she almost led him into the drawing- do not grasp ?". room. I never saw his disagreeable face “You do not realise that every moment show so much genuine satisfaction as it I spend here, as mistress of this place, I did at that moment. I could have shaken am adding to the cruel wrong that has Lelgarde for the impression which I saw gone on so much too long already. No she was creating:
immediate call for action ? When for “I am so glad I came,” he said in the months I have been enjoying what is not soft voice that irritated me; “I was hoping my own.
Oh! if you knew ! to waylay you as usual in the lane; and She stopped-flushed, agitated—not to when you
I took alarm, and him could she hint at all that she had sufcould not help coming to ask if anything was fered. amiss."
“ We will talk of this when you are “ Providence sent you!” said Lelgarde, calmer," he said in the same soothing voice; rather melodramatically.
“I shall probably be here again in a few "Well, I at least shall give Providence weeks-and 1-I need hardly say how a vote of thanks,” he answered in a tone glad I shall be to serve you. Till we do which chilled her high-wrought enthusiasm, meet again, let me entreat of you to take and she subsided with a blush; seeing no compromising steps." which, he spoke still more gently. “Now Lelgarde did not answer; and shortly will you tell me in what I can serve you ? afterwards Mr. Kennedy wished us goodI think I need not talk about the pleasure bye, leaving on my mind a curious impresit will give me," and he glanced at me as sion that, without a cold look, or an unmuch as to say "go," to which I replied courteous word, he had been offensive. with a look
expressing, “not if I know it." Not a word, not a look of his could have “ Read those” said Lelgarde, and placed been found fault with; and yet I felt quite the papers in his hands. I watched his sure of two things—that he thought Lel. countenance narrowly as he read, but it is garde's warm welcome was due to her prounnecessary to say that my scrutiny was spect of being penniless, and that he was entirely thrown away. Coolly he read not the man to interest himself in a pennithem one by one, and laid them down in less woman. regular order; coolly he folded them up “I will have no more of lawyers,” Lelagain, and then said:
garde cried, impatiently, when he was gone. "Well, this is annoying-very."
* Mr. Graves ? Yes, Mr. Graves may be In spite of my own previous reflections consulted by-and-bye, perhaps, but surely, that it was annoying-very-I felt irate now, you and I can act for ourselves, Joan. with him.
We will go to Hollyfield to-morrow.” “What ought she to do, do you think ?” And she lost no time in setting about I asked tartly enough.
our preparations; examining train papers, “ Well ; I should hope there may not be and giving orders to the astonished Mrs. much trouble about the matter. There is Bracebridge. No one who saw her that no proof that the youth is alive; still less day, all eager interest, and noted her clear. that he ever knew his own identity. It is headed and prompt arrangements, could for him to advance the claim ; and after all have identified her with the drooping, he may not be able to establish it.” pining girl, who had lately gone moping
Lelgarde had quite regained her self- about the house. Not once did her spirits possession; she spoke with quiet dignity. flag. We went to the afternoon service,
“ I will take care that there is no diffi- and there, when my stubborn old spirit was culty about that; only how to set about inwardly growling at Providence, I saw her finding him ?”
sweet face uplifted in real thankfulness.
Only when we left the church a little tinge wives to bring the money, I fancy-not of melancholy seemed to steal over her. nice men.” The days were lengthening fast, and some- “ Are you thinking of Mr. Seymour thing of daylight lingered still. She passed Kennedy?” I could not help asking . her arm through mine, silently led me up She raised her eyes to mine in amazea path through the plantations, which ment. brought us to the top of a knoll behind the “Of Mr. Seymour Kennedy? Certainly house. Athelstanes lay below us, a grey not. I was not thinking of any one in mass of building. The red light in the particular." sitting-rooms was shining out comfortably And therewith we both became silent, in the growing darkness; the cows were and continued so till the butler came in walking in slow procession from the milk with our bedroom candles. ing-shed to the paddock; the garden showed The next morning we started early, slept traces of Lelgarde's design for spring on the road, and before noon on the followbeauties. She turned to me with a rather ing day found ourselves at the little hillwistful smile.
town of Catcombe, the nearest station to “Come and gone! Mine has been a the village of Hollyfield. strange, short reign, has it not ?" I could not answer. I felt the necessity
CHAPTER X. of being angry with somebody, and thought vindictively of the poor feeble creature, The fly at Catcombe was not to be had, whose selfish weakness had left this legacy but after considerable demur a shandredan of doubt and disappointment behind her, of some sort was obtained, driven by a the unfaithful sister, the undutiful daughter, flushed rustic in fustian and velveteen. the weak wife who dared not own her The population gathered in the street to husband, the cowardly mother who forsook see us start, and we felt ourselves public her sucking child.
characters for once in our lives. But Lel. “God forgive her!” I said, in as Chris-garde at least forgot herself, almost forgot tian a manner as people generally offer that the errand on which she came, in the loveliprayer.
ness that surrounded us when once we left But Lelgarde answered earnestly, “Yes, the little town. God forgive her !” And silence fell be- From the moment we started we were tween us.
gradually mounting, and before long a Her next words startled me a little. thickly wooded bank rose on our right; on
“ Joan, do you remember how they our left was a descent as thickly wooded, brought us here the first day to have a view ending in a little noisy brook that sparkled of the old house? Ah, me! Harry Goldie out into the light, now and then, a dash of may become a great artist, but it is not here white in the tender April green. A long that he will visit me. Come, let us go ascent brought us out on a heathery comhome,” she added immediately, and all the mon, whence we could see all around, over evening she was very silent--the reaction, hill and dale, to the sea; and then we began doubtless, from the morning's excitement. to descend.
She sat on the hearth-rug, as she often “I can see no sign of a house, and yet I used to do, gazing into the depths of the suppose Hollyfield is not far off,” said Lel. fire, till I asked if she was reading her garde ; and, even as she spoke, there opened fortune there.
out in the glade below a little cluster of “No," she answered, smiling, “I was houses round a church and parsonage. No thinking what silly things day-dreams safer nook could certainly have been chosen
wherein to bury a secret. Our driver “A truism, my dear.”
touched his hat, and looked for orders. “Especially when they concern other “To the parsonage," said Lelgarde, people. Most likely what one would plan decidedly. for them would be very little to their taste.” She was very pale, her lips compressed, "Probably."
evidently a little nervous, but self-possessed After a long pause, as if beginning quite nevertheless. For myself, I own I felt as another subject, she said abruptly:
if we were pulling the string of a shower“I fancy men have a singular dislike to bath. The parsonage, a little ivy-covered any obligation.
thatched cottage, stood close to the church. " They like money, though—no matter yard wall; and at the garden gate we got how they get it," I said.
out, and walked up to the door. A round“Do they? They do not care for their eyed, rosy.cheeked maid-servant gazed at us
in surprise, and seemed doubtful what to the imploring "please,” and looked into say, when Lelgarde asked if we could her young face with sudden kindness. speak to the clergyman.
“You know him, then ?” he said. “Or to Mrs. to his wife?” she was "No," she answered, blushing a little, obliged to end, not knowing what name to “ but I believe him to be a relation of my mention.
own; I think I know who he is. Unless I “Ha 'ant got n’ar a one,” was the can find him I shall be very, very unanswer; and then, stepping back and happy. " knocking at a door, the damsel proclaimed * You know who he is !” cried the old aloud: “ Zur, zur, if you please, zur, here man, eagerly; then, checking himself, “but be two ladies a come.
I see you want to hear all I can tell you I think Lelgarde began to realise that before you tell your story. It is not much. her quest had its awkwardnesses; but she I came to the parish—let me see- -four-andstood her ground with upraised head and twenty years ago; and at that time I believe quiet, fearless look, a match, as she always young Hamilton was at the farm, a little was, for all merely human encounters. But infant, under Mrs. Hatterick's care. Mrs. we were both relieved, I thi when the Hatterick was a good woman.” clergyman, emerging from his study, proved He paused, musing; there was a misty, to be a venerable, silver-haired gentleman unpractical look in his mild blue eye, which, of benevolent aspect.
connected with the untidy room and the “In what can I serve you? Will you loaded writing - table, made me set him walk in ?” he said, politely; and we entered down as a dreamer and a scribbler more his study, a room in truly bachelor-like than a worker. His next words confirmed disorder, littered with books and papers. my idea. Very shy and uncomfortable he looked, and “I suppose most old people feel that they I could not help feeling that we were pro- have not done as much good in the world bably taken for well-got-up beggars of in- as they might; but this is my case, espetrusive manners.
cially when I think of that
lad. There Lelgarde began, her voice gathering has always been a mystery about him, and firmness as she went on.
perhaps I ought to have made it my busi“I am come to ask if you can give me ness to try to clear it up, and ascertain if any information about a child, at least a there was any wrong-doing in the matter ; youth–I supposema young man”—(the but I am not clever at finding the right rector looked alarmed)—"who was brought moment for beginning things—and then it up, I believe, by some people of the name is too late.” of Hatterick, at a place called the Coombe “You knew him?" I suggested, as he Farm, in your parish ?”
showed signs of going off into a reverie of “Poor Henry Hamilton ?” said the self-reproach. clergyman, looking surprised, and much “Knew him ? Poor lad, he used to come interested.
to me every day from the time he was Lelgarde met the look with one more seven years old to be taught his Latin and eager.
English, and such smatterings in general “ Yes. Oh, that is the person
I as I could give him. Mrs. Hatterick was Where is he?" And she looked ready to a just woman, and while she lived the boy start up and fly to him.
had his due." The old parson shook his head.
“Do you know who paid for his mainte“ If you could tell me that, my dear nance ?” asked Lelgarde. young lady, you would make me a very Somebody paid, and pretty regularly ; happy old man," he said, feelingly. a respectable-looking old person used to
“ Is he dead ?” I found myself asking; come at long intervals to visit the farm ; and I suppose the tone was peculiar ; for but I rather think she was merely an agent both my listeners looked at me in surprise. for other people. I cannot tell. The boy
"No," the old man said-(his name was himself led as happy a life as a boy could Benson, as we found out afterwards)— | lead during his growing-up; even after “no, I trust not; but where he is, or how Mrs. Hatterick died, he held his own well he is faring, God knows-the God of the enough, though Gideon Hatterick is a orphan,” he murmured, almost to himself. rough man.” Will you please tell me about him. It
Why did he go away ?-for I gather is not for nothing that I ask,” Lelgarde that he is gone,” said Lelgarde. said.
“Ah! that is what I blame myself for; He smiled at the childish emphasis on my unhappily dilatory, absent habits," said
Mr. Benson, with a sigh. “Poor youth, he “Oh! how hard ! how unjust !” said trusted me, and would always have been Lelgarde, tearfully. guided by me. He was, it may be, fourteen “He implored me to suggest some line or fifteen years old when Gideon Hatterick in which he might hope to secure inde. came to ask my advice, saying that the pendence, and earn his own bread. I income paid for young Hamilton's main- turned to the date of his letter-it was tenance had suddenly ceased. It had been several weeks old—and there was another paid either in person by the woman I told | of more recent date, written hastily, almost you of, or in bank-notes sent by post, angrily, in which he said that as even I generally from London ; so that they had would take no notice of him in his distress,
he could bear his life no longer, and had “ Did not she—that person- -ever give resolved to give up a name to which he any account of the child ?" asked Lelgarde was constantly told that he had probably eagerly.
no right, and plunge into the world, to “She stated, I believe, that both his sink or swim. My dear young lady, may parents were dead, and that this annuity you never feel as I have felt, that you have would be paid as long as no questions let a soul drift away to its ruin, when a were asked. It seemed a common story kind word might have saved it.” enough- " He hesitated and coloured like “But surely-surely you have heard of a girl; then went on: “The lad had always him since then ?” Lelgarde said, almost been treated more or less as a gentleman, imploringly. as indeed he deserved to be; he associated She had turned very pale, and looked chiefly with two young nephews of mine, disappointed and weary. who were living with me at that time. I “ I lost no time," said Mr. Benson. "I exhorted Gideon Hatterick to keep him in spared no pains. I could not be angry at the same way for awhile, and let the youth the insolent answers I got from Mrs. Hatlook about him; Gideon was well-to-do, terick. I deserved it all, and more, Heaven and could afford it; and I think he loved knows. But I could find out nothing. The Hamilton; indeed, we all did, for he was a boy had gone off, I suppose had changed noble-natured fellow, and full of talent too, his name, for I could not trace him. One poor lad. Just at that time one of my or two gentlemen had lodged at Hatterick's own dear boys fell sick, and I had to leave the summer before for fishing and sketchthis place to a curate, and take him to ing, and had taken a good deal of notice, I winter in Italy—he had nobody but me." believe, of the lad; but the Hattericks
“ And what happened ?" I ventured to either could not or would not remember ask, as the pause grew long.
their names ; and when I got them at the “Ah! here comes the sad part. My post-office I had no clue to their addresses." poor young nephew grew worse and worse “But you know their names ?” said my —in the spring I had to leave him there— sister, breathlessly. in foreign soil—my poor lad. The last few “I did know them,” he said, “but there weeks I never left him; I was more were several of them, and it is ten years absorbed in him than any human creature ago.” has a right to be in any one exclusive Lelgarde looked thoroughly dispirited. thing. When, after the funeral, I brought The quest seemed abruptly ended, the clue myself to open the packet of letters that lost utterly. She put her bundle of papers had been accumulating, I found one from into Mr. Benson's hands with a few words poor young Hamilton, imploring me to of explanation. give him some advice and help, or at all " Read these,” she concluded, "and events a kind word. Gideon Hatterick, I pity me, for I am the mistress of Athelalready knew, had married again, a hard stanes.” grasping
woman not well spoken of in the parish. She hated poor Hamilton, and had
On the 27th of April will be commenced stirred up her husband to consider him a
A NEW SERIAL STORY, burden, and to treat him as a drudge. He was sent out to labour in the fields, and, worse than that, he was every hour taunted
THE YELLOW FLAG. with his dependent position, with what they
By EDMUND YATES, believed to be the disgrace of his birth.” Author of "BLACK SIIEEP," "NOBODY'S FORTUXE," &c.
The night of Translating Articles from ALL THE YEAR Round is reserved by the Authors.
Published at the Unive, 26, Wellington St., Strand. Printed by O. Wuiting, Beaufort House, Duke St., Lincoln's lop Fielda.