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The old man was ill, and could not speak to keep him from longing after ill-omened much. “

"Forget all that,” he said, "but possessions. She was tender, upright, and there is one thing I would bid you re- somewhat superstitious, and the curse of member. Guard well this soul that God Tobereevil had been the terror of her life. has given back into your keeping. See The dread of it had made her patient in that in gaining her you have not lost her. poverty, and peculiarly unselfish in her Make her modest and holy, gentle and love; and her patience and love had so wise."

influenced her husband that he had never But Lady Archbold's pride was on the shown a desire to touch the rusting treasures return. She thought herself lectured, and of his race. Husband and wife had paid turned away with impatience, which she one visit together to Tobereevil, and had hardly took the trouble to conceal. At hastened away, shuddering at the wretchedthe same moment Katherine was led un- ness they had witnessed. But now he had willingly into the room, glancing about the been dead many years. place with an air of scorn. The pallid old Mrs. Finiston was in receipt of a small man upon the couch was an object of ridi- pension, and possessed also a trifling ancule in her eyes. When her father placed nuity of her own. But all this little income her beneath the hand which was extended would ranish when she died. No wonder, to bless her, she drew back in disgust. And then, that she prayed to be spared. No wonder then they all departed, and the train went that she stinted and saved with the hope of back to Camlough.

being enabled to give her son a profession. And May hid herself in her belfry to She had determined against making him weep. This was her first real grief. Kathe- a soldier. As a soldier he would be always rine had disappointed her. The sweet dream- poor; and in poverty, there was that danger playmate was no more. Pride shown to her of the longing for the riches of the misers self she did not mind, but contempt of her of Tobereevil. She would hedge round his uncle the loving heart could not brook. future from that risk.

And after all this Miss Martha's anxious Her high sitting-room window was words came true; for in two days Father bowed out towards the river, and the Felix was dead.

narrow panes between its ancient pilasters afforded a view over the bridge into the sun

shine. The dome of the Four Courts shone Paul FINISTON and his mother had for finely in the distance above the masts, many years lived in a high narrow house, on through the soft amber haze of a summer's the Quays, in Dublin, close by where a light day. She had resolved that under its shelter bridge springs over the dark running river. her Paul should yet win fame and gold: Tall spars congregated beside it, and old honourable fame, which he would prefer to brown sails flapped heavily in the water, wealth, gold, honestly earned, which he turning orange and red in the sun. High would generously share and spend. There above there were domes against the sky, were many great men even in her own and in the shadow of the up-hill distance little day who had grown up out of smaller loomed the ghostly outlines of many peaks beginnings.

The mother on the sofa reand pinnacles.

called a dozen such. Mrs. Finiston was a frail creature, who With a view to all this she had deprived was chained to a sofa in her dingy room. herself of comfort that he might be taught For years she had had nothing strong to by the best tutors in Dublin. He was now protect her but her trust in God, nothing seventeen, a student of Trinity, and had bright to look at but the face of her boy. taken a fair share of honours for his time. Yet with these two comforts she had He was not a genius, nor over-fond of managed to get on pretty well, and now books, but he loved his mother, and appreher son was turning into a tall brave lad. ciated the sacrifices she was making for Only let her live for a few years more and his sake. And, though he smiled a little at she might free him for ever from the her anxiety about the curse, his horror of it dangers that beset him.

was even greater than her own. She had saved her husband from the Thus Paul Finiston, sitting among his curse of his family, and she would also try books in the rude old window, would often to save her son. Her husband had been also raise his eyes and hopes to that dome the brother of Simon the miser. He had of promise against the clouds. He would obtained with difficulty a commission in stifle in his heart certain yearnings for an the army, and had been sent into the world open-air life; for travel, for change, for to seek his fortune. It had been her labour | the ownership of country acres, and the

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CHAPTER V. THE HEIR TO THE WOODS.

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up.”

power of mastership in a dominion of his able arrangements made, he sanntered own. He would determine within him to let slowly down the quay with his hands in his no weakness of purpose throw him in the pockets. He gazed with new interest at way of temptation. He would become a the movements of the men in the boats. learned hard-headed man of business, who He spoke to them from the wall, and was should found a new house to redeem the pleased when they invited him on board; honour of his name; and above all should but the very last moment of lingering have no leisure for bad dreams.

arrived, and Paul was at his post when the Paul,” said his mother one evening as coach drove up. he came in and settled down to his books, He scanned the faces inside, and recog“I have had a letter from the west." nised his charge with a thrill of relief.

“ From the west !” echoed Paul, startled, They did not appear awful after all, and thinking of the miser.

they looked very tired, and very glad of “From dear old Martha Mourne. She him at the door. This no doubt made is coming to Dublin on business with her Paul look also glad to see them, and the inlawyer. And she says, “I will bring poor troduction was quite pleasant and friendly. Timothy's child to see you.''

There was nothing to object to about Miss “Who is poor Timothy's child ?” asked Martha, except that her bonnet was a little Paul. “Her niece? I hope she is not grown bruised on one side ; but that was from fall

For he was very shy of women, ing asleep against the side of the coach. She having been accustomed to speak to none looked thoroughly a lady in her neat garbut his mother.

ments of lavender and black, and her quick“She is a child of about twelve years witted ways seemed to announce that she old, if I remember. And you must be kind was accustomed to be no inconvenience to to her, Paul. You must meet them at the any one. Beside her sat a slim little maiden, coach and bring them here."

in a grey pelisse and a deep straw bonnet Paul pulled a face over his book, a sign tied down with white, who was cherishof dismay which he would not have shown ing fondly a basket of roses, which had his mother for the world. He tried to be faded, in her lap. And, when the bonnet glad that she should see a friend, but turned round, there were discovered under for himself he had a dread of old women it cheeks flushed with fatigue, and bright and children. Still he would be kind to eager eyes; a sweet little bloomy carnathem and civil to them, if he could. Hetion of a face. would meet them at the coach-office, of The travellers, upon their part, saw a course, and carry all their band-boxes, if strong, graceful, good-looking lad. The need be. He would pour out the tea as he face was as good a face as ever woman was accustomed to do, and help little missy looked upon. The features were manly, the and old madam to cake. But after all eyes dark and steady under finely marked these things were resolved upon, it could brows. They were sweet-tempered eyes, surely never hurt any one that he should yet suggestive of passion. The forehead kick his old boots about his own little room, was broad; and the temples_too full and wish the good people safely back where for any man, but a poet.

The halfthey came from.

curled locks were thick and fair, and the At four o'clock next day the coach came mouth looked particularly truthful. It was in. It was a long, rose-coloured evening not a very firm mouth, and yet not weak. towards the spring, full of soft promise of Truthful-looking and changeful, and very sweet months yet to come; bars of red fell apt to smile. And it smiled broadly as across the bridge, and spikes of burnished Paul Finiston handed young missy and old gold tipped the clustering spars, while madam out of the coach. masses of light and shade rolled up and As for parcels, Miss Martha had only two down the shifting shrouds, gambolling like small bags and a large umbrella, and it living things.

was as much as Paul could do to get leave Paul had laid the cloth, and brought the to carry the latter. fat roast chicken and the slices of cold ham “No, my dear," she said, “though I from the nearest cook's shop; had set forth like you for offering. It is a good sign to the fresh lemon-cakes and the strawberry see a lad polite to old women. But I'd preserves. The tea was in the teapot and rather you'd take hands with little May to the kettle on the hob. He had placed the keep her steady on the crossings.”. muffins at a prudent distance from the fire, So Paul marched forward with May where his mother on her sofa could turn under one arm and the umbrella under the them at her leisure; and, all these formid-other, and Miss Martha followed with a

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bag in each hand. And, in spite of his home from India to reign in his stead, every dread of old women and children, Paul for one said it was a thing so plainly marked out got to be uneasy lest any of the Trinity by Providence and the local map-that fellows should happen to stroll down the the major couldn't but see it, and do as his street at the wrong minute, and behold this father had wished him to do; namely, take procession crossing the bridge.

Miss Belle, and in time the Loder property,

so soon as the days of mourning were at THE WHITE WITCH OF COMBE And perhaps things would have gone ANDREW.

their
way

if the Loders could have managed

to keep the major close, and not have let “I'll just go and see my Aunt Hagley : any one else have a chance. For he was see if I don't!"

fairly enough inclined to Miss Belle, when It was Mary Bernal who spoke, and it he first returned, and showed his liking was Jane Dalby to whom she spoke; and frankly. But in an evil hour for her he what she said she said with an air, as if accepted an invitation to stay a few days more was lying behind than the mere at Martin's Tor, the Rawdons' place; and words would show.

there he found Rose Kenealy, Mrs. RawJane Dalby tossed her head. “Go, and don's orphaned, penniless niece, whom they welcome!" she answered disdainfully. "For had adopted and brought up, and who was my part," she continued, “ I wouldn't own "ont" for her first year. as glib as you to an aunt like that old

To be sure the Rawdons, mindful of the Hagley. She's none such a dear to be common talk, had been careful to ask Belle 80 proud of!”

Loder at the same time as the major ; while, All very well, Jane, for you to cast to do them justice, no thought of little Rose, stones at aunt,” said Mary with a superior or her possible attractions, had entered into

“Me and them as knows- their calculations. She was but a child Here she stopped.

yet to them; and they did not think of “ Now then, go on, can't you ?” cried her marrying, any more than if she had Jane. “Out with it. You and them as been but ten years old instead of eighteen. knows what?"

They had known well and liked heartily "Well! we knows what we knows,” said old Darcy Crewkherne, and they had liked Mary, after a pause. “And now you're an

Julius too, when a boy ; and they wished to swered, Jane."

be neighbourly, that was all. And as Julius With which she left the servants' hall was anxious to both make new and retriumphantly, as one who has at least given establish old relations, he had gone to the enemy a check, if nothing worse ; going Martin's Tor willingly; and when he had up-stairs to adorn her young mistress, seen little Rose he had remained more Belle Loder; for it was dressing time; willingly. It was a case of love at first while Jane went to do the like office for sight; and the major was a man of a clear her young lady, Rose Kenealy ; both maids mind and determined will. having the same object at heart for each There could not be a more striking con

-the fascination of Major Julius Crewk. trast between two girls than there was herne, owner of Crewkherne Manor hard between Belle Loder and Rose Kenealy; by, and the handsomest man in Devon- and the contrast was not only on the outshire, as he was one of the best matches. side. Belle was a tall, largely made, sleepy

Now Crewkherne Manor and the Loder looking girl with a dead white skin, a proproperty lay handy to each other; and it fusion of straight and silky flaxen hair, had always been one of the favourite wishes and heavy-lidded eyes of light hazel, with of both houses, that the Crewkherne boy singularly large pupils. But you did not and the Loder girl would take a fancy to often see her eyes, for she had a trick of each other when they grew up, and so keeping them half closed; and only when enclose the two estates in a ring fence she wished to produce an effect did she that would suit every one concerned. Each open them fully. Rose, on the contrary, property alone was well enough; but, both was a small, slight, vivacious creature, with together, they would place the possessor a curly head of brightest brown, rose-red among the best of the county, and would cheeks, and large dark eyes that changed raise the joint families of Loder-Crewkherne with the light, being sometimes blue and to a position second to none in England. sometimes grey, but always bright and Wherefore it was, that when old Darcy frank, and tender or merry as the humour Crewkherne died and his son the major came took her. They were true Irish eyes, in

answer.

herited from her father, and were as elo- good deal, only complying because to refuse quent as other people's words. And the would be even more awkward, the girl, first sight of them bewitched Julius Crewk- hanging down her head and trembling all herne.

over, care quite close to the major, and That was the very phrase they had used taking a spray from her waist, tried to in the kitchen, when discussing the bearing fasten it into his coat. But her fingers of the major towards the two young ladies were marvellously slow and heavy, and she Miss Belle, she was the one as ought bungled over her simple task in an unacto be, but Miss Rose, she had bewitched countable way. She felt as if she were him. And the word was not used without going to faint, to die, to laugh aloud, or meaning; for the Devonshire folk believe burst into tears; she did not indeed know in witches to this day; witches both white how or what she felt; and it did not help and black; witches who cast a spell and her when the major, suddenly taking that witches who take it off again; witches little quivering hand in his, kissed it that do harm and they that do good. tenderly, saying in a soft whisper as he Wherein was the sting of Mary Bernal's held it up to his cheek : words, ich Jane Dalby had understood “May I ask your uncle to give me this, well enough; for Aunt Hagley, down at Rose? Will you give it me yourself?” Combe Andrew, was a white witch of The girl made no

She only power, and renowned as such through all drooped her pretty head still lower, while the country side.

her blushes faded into absolute paleness, Long before the dinner-bell rang and the and her slight figure trembled more. rest of the guests had assembled, Major “Do you love me, Rose ?” the major Julius Crewkherne lounged into the draw. went on to say. “Do you

love me well ing-room; and almost immediately after enough to like to stay with me for ever, came Rose Kenealy.

and marry me, and be my little wife? As Rose came in, fresh and simple as Will you not speak to me, my darling ?” usual, her dark-brown curly hair caught “Yes, I do love you," said Rose, in a back by a broad blue ribbon, and her white low voice. dress looped here and there with blue, And then the major took her in his arms, her small waist trimly belted, yet leaving and lifted her fairly off her feet, as he her free and elastic, the major thought her kissed her silently, his heart, as hers, too the loveliest little rosebud of a girl he had full for words. And when he set her down ever seen; and with a nature as sweet and again she fled, frightened, happy, confused, pure as her face. That frank look of hers in such trouble of joy as to be almost pain, was enough for him. Rose blushed to the till she found herself in faithful Jane's very roots of her hair when she saw who sympathetic arms. was standing there in the bay window This day at dinner no one knew what alone; but she looked only prettier for ailed Rose that she looked so shy, and yet blushing; and as she did not attempt to so happy; or what had come into her face run away, the major liked her all the better to render her so beautiful. Only the major for her girlish embarrassment.

knew, and only Miss Loder guessed. He came out from the bay of the win- So now the thing was done; and Major dow, and met her midway. It was a rare | Julius Crewkherne, the great match of the chance to see her alone; and he had made country, had committed himself to Miss up his mind to profit by the first that Rose Kenealy, a girl without a penny, just offered.

a pretty little maid with bright eyes, rose“What pretty flowers !” he said, point- red cheeks, a frank smile, and a true heart. ing to the flowers in her waistband. They While here was his naturally appointed were only a few sprays of jessamine, but bride, Miss Belle, who had everything in he spoke as if they were something quite her favour, shunted to the side, passed over,

as we might say jilted. “ I am so fond of jessamine,” said Rose, When Belle Loder heard the news, not simply.

the keenest observer could have said that “So am I,” returned the major. “Will she suffered, or indeed have told that you give me one for my coat?”

she felt at all. It was Mrs. Rawdon “If you like,” said Řose.

herself who told her, quite apologetically, " And fasten it in for me?”

and with many-repeated assurances that This was coming to rather close quarters; she had been as much taken by surprise as and Rose was not used to gentlemen's coats. any one could be. She had never thought Hesitating then a little, and blushing a lof such a thing! Rose, of all persons in

rare.

the world, little more than a mere child by which she had to pass. Years ago there yet, only just out of the nursery!

had been a murder on the cliffs, and the On which Miss Loder, who until now body had been buried in the very hovel had been sitting, as if carved in alabaster, where Dame Hagley lived; then a child counting her fan-sticks, suddenly lifted up had been found cast like a dead sheep in a her eyes and looked Mrs. Rawdon full in deserted quarry; and a man had committed the face. And her look was so sudden, so suicide at the entrance of the combe. So fierce, so direct, her eyes were so large, the that, on the whole, it was an awful district pupils so dilated, the look so fixed, that all round, and one cause of Dame Hagley's poor Mrs. Rawdon turned quite pale, and influence was that she dared to live where looked as if she were going to faint. Then others dared hardly pass.

But her very Belle dropped her broad white lids again, living there added to the general terrors took once more to counting her fan-sticks, of the place. and drawled out, in a low and level voice : People wondered when they saw Mary

“Yes, just so; but, you see, at eighteen setting her face towards the cliff path ; but it is rather late to consider a girl as a child, Mary shared some of her aunt's courage. and Major Crewkherne is a good match She “ favoured” her in appearance, and it where there is no fortune."

was not thought unlikely by more than Which last observation affronted Mrs. one that she might follow in her steps, and Rawdon, and destroyed all her sympathy take up the trade when the other let it for Miss Loder's disappointment.

fall. Still, for all that, it was a bold thing If riches give social influence, knowledge for a young woman of thirty to go along gives moral power; and not Mr. Darcy that lonely cliff in the evening, with the Crewkherne himself, when he was alive-- sun setting so fiery red, and the black and he had been the king of those parts, loneliness, the haunted depths of Combe so to speak-had the hold on the people Andrew to follow. But Mary had become that Dame Hagley had, Mary Bernal's interested in this matter of the major and aunt. To the outer eye she was just a tall, Miss Belle, and it was not a little that dark-browed, powerful, and still handsome would have turned her back. woman, of about sixty, living in a solitary About an hour's hard walking brought mud hovel set in the heart of a wild and her to the point where, deep in the darkdesolate combe or valley, where nothing ness below, she saw a faint glimmer which grew on the hill-sides

save gorse and told her that her aunt was at home. It bracken and heather, and where even sheep was almost dark by now, but Mary knew could find no pasturage; but to the eye of the way, and skirted its dangers dexterfaith she was greater than the greatest, ously. She was quite free and undaunted, holding the power of the viewless ones of and did not even start when once a straythe air in her hand, and holding with these ing sheep came full butt against her, and the keys of life and death. Yet if spirits once she nearly fell over the dead carcass thronged to do her bidding, they were of another. Presently she came down the spirits of less malevolence, if of greater hill, and along the narrow winding way power, than those which obey the black that led to the hovel. witch. It was the black witch who Her aunt heard her step, and came out banned, and Dame Hagley who removed to the door. the ban at the grievous cost and suffering “I knew you were a-coming,” she said, of the former. And it was well known that quietly; “and I've made your tea.” not the wickedest old witch or wizard of “That's good,” said Mary. “It's a them all but trembled before her, and had rough road.” cause to repent her evil deeds if Dame The two women were strangely unHagley took her in hand.

demonstrative in manner to each other. "That cursed little girl has bewitched There were no feminine effusions, no enthe major, and my aunt shall know the dearments, such as most women of all rights of it,” said Mary Bernal to herself, classes indulge in, but they met and when she heard the news; it was Miss spoke together like two men. And, inBelle herself who told her. “I'll go over deed, handsome and bold and strong as to Combe Andrew to-morrow.”

they were, they were not unlike beardIt was a hot and fiery sunset when Mary, less men, and they were like each other. getting leave for the evening, set out to her The same low, broad brow, the same firm aunt's. It was a brave thing of her to do, eyebrows, the same dark and steady eyes, for the way was lonely, and not only the the same fleshy lips tightly shut, so cruel valley had a bad name, but many a place in repose, so sweet when smiling, and the

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