Imatges de pÓgina

Paul's determination to return the next not striven against the danger. His weakday whence he had come. No persuasion ness in temporising with the miser at that would induce him to think of remaining last interview now appeared to him as a longer than this one night. The master of crime of the darkest hue. His cowardice Camlough was vexed at his obstinacy, but had wrought the evil, and the sin was on Katherine said carelessly to her father as his head. she left the dinner-table: "Oh, do not Not all Sir John's polite efforts, not all trouble about it; believe me he will stay!" Katherine's fascinating attentions, could

After dinner, Katherine, her father, and restore to Paul the good spirits which he Paul set out for a ride about the estate in had enjoyed only an hour ago. He said the long soft light of the early summer good-night to his entertainers while it was evening, so that Paul might make the most yet early, and retired to the chamber of the few hours at Camlough. The ex- which was prepared for him. When there, cursion was a pleasant one, till on their re- however, he did not go to rest, but walked turning homeward in the dusk, a wild- feverishly about the room, thinking on his looking man flung himself suddenly before own weakness and on the sad case of the Paul's horse, throwing up his arms and poor, and loading himself with the bitterest uttering curses upon the whole race of the reproaches. When at last he flung himFinistons. Paul, always sensitive to the self on his bed he was ill in mind and feelings of the poor towards himself, body; and when morning came the guest started with a great shock, and urged on was found unable to leave his room. his horse past this evil-wisher, who seemed Thus began a fever which wasted Paul's to have started out of the furze-bushes to strength for two or three weeks. Katherine banish his contentment. Sir John lingered was in great dismay, so much so that her behind, and after some parleying with the father was surprised in a great degree, wayfarer, rode after his visitor, and re- never having seen her show feeling for joined him with a grave countenance. any one before. His concern as to the sick

“I am sorry to hear this,” he said; “I man was increased by this anxiety of his have learned from the man that Simon daughter. He agreed to all her arrangeFiniston is evicting the people.”

ments, sent for the country doctor who “Is evicting ?” asked Paul, in amaze- attended to his own gout, and who lived on ment.

the western side of the Golden Mountain, This very day; the man says so. inviting this gentleman to spend a fortnight His own wife and children are among a at the castle. To the servants and outhundred who have been turned out, without door retainers it was merely said that the notice, upon the hills. He was working guest had got a cold. This was Kathe elsewhere, and has been running all day on rine's wish, so Sir John made a point of it

, his way to Tobereevil. This is bad in- though he could not understand it; and deed. I had hoped you might have had every care was taken to prevent a rumour influence to prevent such iniquities." of serious illness getting abroad. Kathe

Now this was many weeks before the rine's old nurse sat by Paul's bedside night real evictions took place at Tobereevil; and day, and Katherine herself often stole but here was one of the many occasions on in and sat motionless behind the curtains, which rumour declares that a thing has with looks so pale and distracted that no actually occurred long before it is possible one could have any doubt but that the that it can have happened. A whisper of patient's life was at least as dear to her as Simon's intention had blown over the her own. And it was understood that Miss mountains, and taken the shape of the Archbold was engaged to Mr. Finiston. tragic story which Sir John now told to At last, after much suffering, Paul was Paul.

able to rise from his bed. He was very A dark flush overspread the young weak in body and mind, but this was to be man's face, and his head sunk on his expected for a time. Sir John gave him his breast. He seemed stunned by this news, arm as he walked up and down the lawn, the truth of which he never thought of and Katherine waited on him with dainties. doubting, and did not speak again until But as the invigorating days of early they arrived at the castle door. By that summer passed over his head, and his body time the stunned feeling had left him, and became strengthened, it was found very his mind was in a flame. This iniquity had strangely that his mind did not regain its been done under his very eyes, and he had natural balance. Hiš memory was a blank, not seen it. He had been warned, and had his thoughts could not fix themselves on

“ Yes.

anything for more than an instant. It was Paul Finiston is the heir-in a short time some time before Sir John could persuade will be master; and he seems quite untainted himself that this failure of mental powers by the besetting sin of his family. I prewas so complete and unvarying as it proved dict a noble career for him, and I cannot itself to be. There were moments when but think it happy that my fortunes should Paul seemed dimly conscious of an ex- be linked with his.

I have not gone to traordinary change within himself, and seek him, nor forced my daughter's fancy. struggled to shake off the cloud which had She has had her own way, as I have settled on his brain, to remember whence always allowed her to have it. If the he had come, and how he bad brought him result is satisfactory you are not to call self to Camlough. But as days went by me worldly." even this slight effort became too much for After this Lady Archbold no longer called him. The past dropped away from him Paul a simpleton, but became anxious to and left him at least in peace.

He was

see his virtues and to behold his mind placid and calm, sometimes silent for long restored to health ; the welfare of Katherine hours; sometimes talking with curious being, as usual, her only care. Neverthesimplicity of the things around him. · He less Paul did not grow wiser nor less fanshrank from society, spending his time tastic in his ways. He would pass hour roving aimlessly through the hills and after hour picking pebbles from the rocks little glens, or losing himself among the and flinging them into the sea. He would high green walls of the beech alleys. Lady sit high up in the hills, and hold conArchbold, who had recovered from the verse with the sheep. The herds were half attack of illness which joy had brought afraid of him, though they liked him, for upon her, pronounced Paul a simpleton, besides his singing to the sheep they often and wondered why Katherine had brought heard him declaiming to the mountains ; him to the place; but Sir John rebuked with head thrown back, and arms folded her for so rash a judgment.

on his breast, addressing the unconscious “You do not understand, my dear. He cliffs in lofty language. Whilst he rambled came here as intelligent a young man as about in this way

Katherine was often seen could be found. This is only the effect hovering at a little distance. She followed of illness, and will pass away.

For him about like a nurse trying to guard a Katherine's sake we must be patient with refractory child of whom she has some him."

dread. She scarcely ever lost sight of, but Lady Archbold refused to believe in the seldom ventured to approach him. Her engagement. She did not wonder that face had grown very white, and lost a great Katherine should have bewitched him deal of its beauty, and her eyes had got a away from May, but she looked on Paul as strangely timorous look. The people talked a beggar as well as a simpleton. Sir John quite openly about Miss Archbold's engageconsidered that it was time to change her ment to a fool. She had been over hard to mind, and took her to walk with him down please, and now her heart was set on an the terraces in the glow of the setting sun, idiot. It was wonderful to see her so meek, while two peacocks strutted behind them so absorbed in her care of one person, being with their magnificent tails spread. never angry now, except when she heard

“ Do you not notice how Katherine is whispers about her fool. Then she would altered ?" said Sir John. “Her heart is fly into such a fury that every one fled engaged at last, and for that we must be from before her face. thankful. A worthy affection will make When many weeks had gone past, the her all that we can desire."'

parents of Katherine consulted as to what "I had no idea you were so exceedingly steps ought to be taken in Paul's case. The unworldly," answered his wife.

doctor prescribed amusement and excite“I do not pretend to be altogether ment; so the heads of the people at Camanworldly. I could not afford it now. lough began to devise plans for the diverBut this thing is fortunate from a worldly sion of this demented young man. point of view."

Things were just in this state when Bid “ Fortunate !!!

arrived at Camlough, with her basket on “ My love, do not publish our conver- her arm. She hoped to tempt the maids sation. I know a good deal of the history to buy of her wares; at all events her of Tobereevil. Its owners have been merchandise was to be the excuse for hoarding treasure for over three hundred her appearance, and coming over the lower years. They have spent literally nothing hills that sloped towards the castle it


chanced that she met Paul face to face. she knew that May was no better than She curtsied to him and nodded at him, when she had left her,

So Bid crept but he never gave her a glance. The round to the back door as before, and change in his looks struck fear to the stepped noiselessly into the kitchen. This heart of his simple friend.

time Bridget had no need to put her finger “Misther Paul!” said Bid, following on her lip, for Bid's spirits were so crushed him, “don't

remember me ?"

that she was as quiet as a ghost. Miss He stopped and gazed at her, and shook Martha came to her presently and sent her his head. “I never saw you before,” he into May's chamber. said, and walked on with his head drooped Poor Bid had little art to break her on his breast.

terrible news. She told it out bluntly, in “Oh, Heavens! what is this !” cried a burst of sympathetic sorrow. Bid.

“Oh, my dear,” she said, “ there's little Misther Paul!" she said, following him use in goin' to look for Paul. He's strayin' again, " I seen Miss May yesterday. You about yon bills like a lamb that's lost its never forgot yer own Miss May ?”

mother. He doesn't know you norme, Paul turned and stared at her again, nor e'er a wan belongin' till him. They with the same blank look in his



he's promised in marriage to yon don't know what you mean,

" he said. bould cruel hussy that took him away wid “Oh mother o God! have you forgot her out o’here, an' she walkin' about afther her!” cried Bid; but Paul noticed her no him like a cat afther a mouse. But a woman more, only walked on and left her, and the might as well marry hersel till our poor old woman sat down on the heather and Con at home. God sees it's the black wept till her eyes were sore.

word to come out o' my mouth to yer ear, A milkmaid was coming over the hills but our cliver gintleman has no more sinse with her milk-pail on her head. She left nor a fool.” stopped and looked at Bid, and asked her May sat up in her bed, devouring every why she was crying. Poor Bid was too word that fell from Bid. The old woman sorrowful too think of anything but the glanced at her fearfully, as if she feared the truth.

news would kill her on the spot. “I met Mister Paul,” she said, “an' not “I knew it,” said May, quietly.

"I a bit he knewn me."

knew it was not his own will that did it. “Wirra whisht, ould woman, don't you Now, Bid, I'll get well. Open that window know that the man is mad ?"

wide, and bring me something to eat.” Now, indeed, it was Bid's turn to Bid stared at her vacantly. question; but for May's sake she re- "Oh, Bid dear, don't loiter. Hurry, membered that she must be wise. She ac- and do what I tell you, for I have no time cepted the milkmaid's invitation to the to lose." castle, and sold a pair of blue glass ear-rings Bid did as she was told, putting her on the spot. She was brought into the wonder aside to wait for another time. She kitchen, and afterwards had an invitation opened the window wide, and the river to the housekeeper's private room, where and the flowers looked in at May. She she disposed of all her jewellery, and was trotted away to the kitchen and came back hospitably entertained. When she started with a basin of soup. Greatly amazed was to return homewards she had learned all Miss Martha to find May sitting up in her that could be learned as to Paul's unhappy bed, and Bid holding a basin of soup to her state.

mouth. As she came homeward over the moun. Miss Martha was very busy at this tains her head was dizzy with grief. Paul time. It was the hay-making season, and Finiston mad! How could she carry such she had got to look after her labourers. So news to May. The hope of the country Bid stayed with May; she sat by her bedwas gone on the wind, but for the moment side during the long summer day, telling she thought May's the hardest share of the her stories of the pleasant summer world trouble.

out of doors. She talked, just as if she had She'll break her bit o’a heart," said Bid. got a sick child to nurse, of how the river “She'll turn to the wall an' die.'

was laughing on the stones because the When the old woman came to the end of sun was trying to dry it up; but the source her weary journey, and walked up the in the mountains was too plentiful for garden path, she saw the blinds were still that. How the cock was scolding his down in the cottage at Monasterlea, and wives because the chickens were long about


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open window.

the girl.

very much."



walking, and the young ducks were gone off this thing for the sake of your

little in search of water to have a swim. Nothing May ?” sad did Bid tell to May, but every tale had Miss Martha jerked a tear or two out of life in it, and a sparkle of fun and joy. her eye. She was impatient with herself

The next evening Miss Martha found for not feeling sterner.
May up and dressed, and sitting at the “ That is all very fine,” she said ; “but

how am I to take possession of an able“You see I have got well, Aunty,” said bodied young man ? Am I to ride to

“We have a great deal to do, and Camlough and carry him off in my pocket ?” I can't afford to be sick."

May had no longer any smiles for her “ Thank God you are better, my darling; aunt's fidgety little speeches. Her eyes but what have we got to do ?”

gazed strangely out of the window, with “In the first place there are all these that fixed bleak look which they had taken people who are to be driven out of their when Paul was expected and did not come, homes.

We must try and do something like eyes that had given up seeking for the for them. There will be sick people thing that could give them joy. amongst them.”

“I do not know how that will be," she Miss Martha looked grave. “I am ready said ; “I do not know yet." to do what I can,” she said. “ I cannot do She closed her eyes, and Miss Martha

thought she slept; but she was pondering “ Bid has gone to the mountain,” said all the time over that difficult problemMay,“ to see how things are going. She how could Paul be carried out of the will be back here in the morning with the country and saved ? She had no doubt news. And, Aunty, there is another thing at all that his present state was directly --you and I have got to save Paul Finis- owing to the influence of the curse. ton."

Anxiety must have caused that sudden Now, my love, forgive me, but I will and mysterious illness which had left his not hear a word about that graceless young mind a wreck. She thought of him happy

A person who behaves as he has and light-hearted as she had first seen him, done is never worth a thought. When Had he stayed in that foreign country to your health is a little stronger, my darling, which an honest impulse had driven him, you will regain a proper spirit. Till then he would not now stand blighted in his have patience, and do not mention the prime. It was she who had brought him man's name.”

into danger, she who had kept him under May's face had become as white as the the cloud, and now she must send him mountain snow. She caught the arms of away from her, so that his troubles might her chair, and held them tightly. Some come to an end. It was only a poor comminutes passed before she spoke again. fort for her to know that he had already

“Aunt Martha,” she then said, you forgotten her, so that it would cost him no have not understood me. I will explain pang if he were never to see her again. myself better, and you will not refuse to Of her own future she did not dare to listen to me. Paul Finiston has lost his think. mind, and he is in the

of an enemy.

Miss Martha's thoughts on the subject I feel that he will never recover, never be were very different. The old lady did not the man God intended him to be, while he quite believe in the story of Paul's loss of is here in this country, under the shadow memory, and suspected that Katherine of the curse which he has so feared. If he had bewitched him, and that he had chosen were away in some bright new country the to stay at Camlough. She had not, howtrouble would leave him, and he might ever, the heart to thrust such opinion upon there live his life as he ought to live it. May. If the child believed him mad, why Don't believe I wish for him here that I let her believe so. may

hear his voice and see his face, for I Meanwhile Bid had arrived at home on am a truer woman than you think me. the eve of a day of affliction. People were What I ask is this—do you take Paul to passing from one cabin to another, saying France, or to Italy if you like better, and sad farewells, and mourning together over place him with good people, and leave him the woe that was come among them. The there to God. I will manage here during Kearneys were carrying their small possesyour absence, and will be happy, feeling sions into a cave under a cliff, where they we have tried to save him. Now you intended to live till they could sell their know what I mean, Aunty. Will you do ! pig and their little bits of furniture. With

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the few pounds that such sale would bring visiting cach other, all the short summer they must start by-and-bye, a sad and night, sitting round the fires for the few timid band of wanderers, to seek their dark chill hours talking over their past, or fortunes or misfortunes in some unknown trying to predict the future. Con sat by and dreaded town. Some others were the fire in the Kearneys' cabin, his face dark doing likewise, thanking God as they with gloom, his hands clasping his knees worked, that things were not worse with under his chin, his eyes roving from the them.

red hearth to Nan, and from Nan back to “ Sure it's the summer sky we have over the hearth. The girl was busy meanwhile our heads," said one. “If a body must making jackets for the little brothers, and sleep on the grass, it's good to have it cloaks for the small half-naked sisters out dhry.”

of every rag of stuff she could find, in. "You say well,” said another; “we're cluding the bed-clothes.

The little ones betther off nor the old people—heavens be sat round her, awed into unusual hush, their bed! What debate could me an' the and watching every stitch with the eyes

of baby make if the snow was blindin' our frightened rabbits. eyes and freezin' our hearts.”

“God help ye!” said a visiting neighThe Lord wouldn't let that happen bour, “but ye're the long wake family!" twicet,” said a third.

Nan threw her head back, and stifled But there were others who could not groan. make an effort to be cheerful ; the people “Misther Paul! Misther Paul !" she who had their sick and their dying to pro- said, “thin why did you

desave us?” vide for. What could Tim's old father, and “ Arrah whisht !" said the neighbour; little Bride's crippled grandmother do but “ could he carcumvint the devil ?” die on the side of the hill? There was “Mick ! the daylight's comin'. Will you patient Norah in the last stage of con- run an' thry if you see a sight o' Bid ?" sumption, and there was a mother of The neighbour went out sighing. many children who had been bedridden “Well, well, well! but the obstinate

The children clung to their hope is in that girl !”. mother, who could not move, and moaned “She ought to ba' come back," said over the horror which the morrow was to Nan; "she ought to ha' come back.” bring to them; and the woman with the sick Here Bid and the house-mother entered daughter sat with her arms round her dying the cabin together. The old woman had child, and prayed with frantic earnestness been detained, condoling and helping in that God would take her home before the many houses on her way. cruel hour should come. Sympathising suf

“Well!” cried Nan, springing to her ferers passed in and out of the cabins, and feet, and dropping her work. wept a little with one, and wept a little “The curse is down on Paul," said Bid, with another; while each would rebuke her solemnly; "ye have ne'er a wan to look to neighbour for the despair which she felt but the Lord'!". herself.

Nan crouched on the floor and buried Bundles were packed, and Sunday clothes her face in her gown. put on. In most cases where there was a “Get up girl, get up! There's worse strong healthy father or brother, he had off nor you. Ye've all got yer feet undher gone away already to look for work in the ye,

blood in

yer veins." nearest town, or in some other part of the Young enough !" wailed Nan, as a todcountry. Those who were to begin their dling child tumbled into her lap. journey to-morrow, were all the weak, if “Ye'll make yer mother break down," not the helpless. People were dressed said Bid; “I looked for betther things from already for their travel, for there was no ye. Ye haven't the sick an' dyin' to take thought of sleeping on that last ever-to-be- on yer shouldhers. Get up now an' be a remembered night before they left the woman, Nan Kearney.

An' I'll show ye homes that had sheltered them, never to Katty Daly, that can't stir, an' her seren see them more. They kept walking about, little girsheens all cryin' round her bed."

for years.

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