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companied Mr. Vane to the hall-door; curled up his feet beneath him on the pointed out to him where were the plea- | bench, pulled out a cigar, and was just santest walks in the grounds, how best to about to light it, when, glancing up from reach the spots from whence the favourite under the brim of his hat, he saw the views were to be obtained, and handed him clergyman standing beside him. the keys of the conservatory and the gates Philip Vane dropped the cigar, and opening into the home park. Mr. Vane sprang to his feet. received all this politeness very coolly, “Who are you?” he cried, “and what inwardly determining to take the first op- are you doing here ?" portunity of revenging himself on Mr. De- “There is no occasion for you to disturb labole for the unceremonious treatment yourself,” said the new comer, quietly liftreceived at that gentleman's hands. ing his hat. ‘My name is Drage, and I
Left to himself, Mr. Vane strolled idly am rector of one of the parishes in Springabout the grounds switching the heads off side. I am speaking to Mr. Philip Vane, the flowers with his cane, and cursing Dela- I believe ?” bole's impudence for having relegated him “That's my name," said Vane, shortly, to the duties of the second fiddle.
and resuming his seat," though I cannot Make the best of your time, my good imagine how you knew it, unless you
read friend,” said he, stretching himself upon a it off my portmanteau, when you were bench shaded by the overhanging branches dodging about the station this morning." of a large tree,
make the best of your I knew it before I was dodging about time, to swagger and give yourself airs, the station, as you are politely pleased to and show that you are the head of the say,” said Mr. Drage; “ I know a great concern ; while I am, or am supposed to deal more about you, as you will find out, be, only one of its paid officers; for within before this interview is at an end !" a week, or ten days at the outside, I shall “ The deuce you do!” said Philip Vane, be my ogrn master, and if you attempt with a cynical smile; I did not know my anything of that kind with me then, I fame had extended to these parts. And shall be in a position to tell you my what do you know about me, pray, Mr.opinion of you in the very plainest lan. I forget your name. guage. Don't think I have not noticed of
“My name, I repeat, is Drage !" late how very tightly you have drawn "Drage-Drage," muttered Vane. “Any the rope which binds me to you! Tele- relation of Drage, of Abchurch-lane ?” graphed for when I am away, told to go
“ His son.” here and there, to find out this and that, "A most respectable man, holding a brought down here and shunted on one leading position in the City. My dear Mr. side, as though I were a mere clerk, whose Drage, I am delighted to make your acbusiness it is to make memoranda of what quaintance." And he held out his hand. may pass between their excellencies! Oh, “I do not think,” said Mr. Drage, my good friend Delabole, you may take taking no notice of the movement; “I do your oath I will not forget this. When not think that you will be quite so pleased once my marriage with Mrs. Bendixen is to make my acquaintance when you have an accomplished fact, and I have the know- heard all I have to say !” ledge that I am beyond any harm which you Philip Vane looked hard at his comcould do me, then you shall taste the leek panion, and noted with astonishment the which you have compelled me so frequently hectic flush in his cheeks, the brightness of of late to swallow. I will put my foot on
I will put my foot on his eyes, the mobile working of his mouth. . your neck, as you have put yours on mine, “You may say what you please,” he said, I will Hallo, who's this coming this shortly. “It is a matter of perfect inway? One of the gardeners, I suppose. difference to me. If you were in the City, No, by Jove! the parson who was at the your father or your father's clerks could station, and who seemed to take such in- tell you what position I hold there. City terest in us and our movements. What men are careful of what they say of each can he want? He must be a friend of Sir other; but you are a parson, and are Geoffry's, and makes his way through the privileged, I suppose ?” grounds as a short cut from one part of “I am a parson. It was in that capacity his parish to the other. He will see I am I became acquainted with the circuma friend of the general's, and will want to stances, the knowledge of which has inenter into conversation. I hate parsons, duced me to seek you out. You are about and shan't take any notice of him.” to be married, Mr. Vane?”
With this amiable resolve, Mr. Vane “The dullest of laymen could have told me that,” said Mr. Vane, again with a “ You shall find one at least who scorns cynical smile; “the report was in the to discuss even the possibility of such an newspapers.”
arrangement. Let us bring this interview “ Exactly; but the point I am coming to a close; you will clearly understand my to has not yet found its way into the news- object in seeking it. I came to warn you papers, though it will probably be published that if you persevered in carrying out this ere long.”
marriage, I will most assuredly hand you “And it is?"
over to the law !" “It is that you are married already!” “And I warn you that if you interfere
As Mr. Drage pronounced these words, in my business, I will kill you !” said Philip a chill crept over Philip Vane, and for an Vane, savagely. instant he felt stupefied. But he speedily “Such a threat has no terrors for me," recovered himself, and looking his com- said the rector. panion straight in the face, said:
"Perhaps not," said Vane, with a con“Either you have been befooled yourself, temptuous glance at his companion's feeble or you are trying to make a fool of me. In frame; “however, I will find some means the latter case a hopeless and dangerous of bringing you and your client to reason.” experiment.”
“Stay, cried Mr. Drage, “I did not "I should not attempt to put my wits come here to bandy threats, but simply to in antagonism to yours," said the rector, discharge a duty. I will take no answer quietly, “but facts have been said to be from you now, irritated as you are by the stubborn things, and the marriage register discovery that your position is known to of Chepstow Church, with the signature of me. Think over what I have said, and Philip Vane and Margaret Pierrepoint in save yourself from the commission of this one of its pages, is still extant !"
great sin. If you have occasion to write to “Who told you of this ?” asked Vane, me you know where I am to be found.”. breathing hard and speaking low.
Philip Vane hesitated, then bowing his “Your injured and deserted wife !" head, he said in a low tone:
“Is the woman who once passed under “You are right. Do not think any more that name still alive ?” inquired Vane, of the wild words I uttered in my rage; anxiously.
leave me to think over the circumstances “The lady who has the terrible misfor- in which I am placed, and the manner in tune to hold that position,” said the rector, which I can best extricate myself from the drawing himself up and looking at his com- danger into which I was about to plunge. panion with disgust," is alive and well." Leave me and—Heaven bless you for your “And you come from her?”
kindness." No, I am here on her behalf, but not Mr. Drage looked at him with brimming with her knowledge."
eyes, and lifting his hat slowly walked off. There was a momentary silence, broken “That was the best way of settling him," by Vane, who said: “And what is your ob- said Philip Vane to himself, as he watched ject in seeking this interview with me?" the rector down the path. “I must push
“ To warn you that I am cognisant of this marriage on at once, and make some the position in which you stand; to warn excuse for its being perfectly quiet." you against the commission of the crime which you contemplate
“ And to ask for a round sum to buy off the opposition of yourself and your interest- EXTRA DOUBLE NUMBER FOR ing accomplice. Is not that it, Mr. Drage?”
CHRISTMAS, 1871, “You scoundrel !” said Mr. Drage. “Do you dare to address such language to me- SLAVES OF THE LAMP. a clergyman ?”
"If it comes to a question of language,” said Vane, with a laugh, “I believe that
Now ready, price 5s.6d., bound in green cloth, 'scoundrel' is scarcely a term much bandied
THE SIXTH VOLUME about in clerical society. As a matter of fact, I have found many gentlemen of your cloth not less open to a bribe than the rest
ALL THE YEAR ROUND. of the world.”
To be had of all Booksellers.
JUST PUBLISHED, THE
OF THE NEW SERIES OP
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 C. WRITING, Beau!ort liouse. Duko St.. Lincoln's Inn Fiolds
JALL THE YEAR POUNDS
THE WICKED WOODS OF
panion. Her laugh was so pleasant, and
she was not afraid to talk, and she bad TOBEREEVIL.
such very lovely purple-coloured eyes !
Mrs. Finiston said: “And this is the little Italian !” kissed May, held her off
and looked at her, and kissed her very CHAPTER VI. MISS MARTHA MAKES A PROMISE.
heartily again. But after this she had no May had suddenly stepped from dream- eyes nor ears for any one save Martha. It land into a world of reality and bustle. was on Martha that her eyes had longed to What business could have brought so many rest. She had wished for, and been almost people together? Who could have built hopeless of, this visit. She had much to so many houses; and how did each person say to this friend. She could not set out know his own ? The best novelty of all, for the other world without first opening and the one which she had most leisure to her heart to her. She might have written examine, was the great tall boy who had to Martha, was in the habit of writing to untied her bonnet-strings, and who was her. She told her punctually that Paul looking at her and talking to her, as if she was an inch taller, and that butter was had been some one of importance—a grown very dear. But a gnawing anxiety was person at least-instead of being only little still stored ap in that heart which so proMay from Monasterlea. In a world where tested that it must rid itself of a burden. such people as this were to be found there She had waited and waited, hoping for was no knowing what one might expect. this chance visit. It is so much easier Since the shock of her disappointment in for a woman to explain herself to a friend, Katherine from Camlough her imagination while looking in the eyes or holding the had been empty of an idol
. Her heroine hand, than to put a plain statement upon had vanished; but now, behold a hero! paper. May, with a well-piled plate before her, * Paul,” said the mother, “will you take folded her little hands under the table, and the little girl to see the shops? They will sighed—a sigh of ineffable joy, whose still be open for an hour.” flavour was so high as almost to take away She spoke pleadingly, and turned to her appetite.
urge her petition by a look. But Paul was Paal found May a most unusual little already tying on May's bonnet. person. He wondered if it was her age “Oh, I hope they will not be shut," said that made her so pleasant to him. She the little girl, earnestly; "I have so many was not at all grown up, and yet was things to buy. Beads for Nanny, and far from being a baby. He had never ribbons for Bridget, and a cap with strings known a girl of this age before. It seemed for Con the fool. He loses all his hats, to him that he had never even passed one and gets pains in his ears." in the streets. All the rest whom he had "If the shops be shut,” said Paul, “why seen were either grown-up women or chil- we shall only have to break in the doors.” dren. But this one was child enough to “But I should not like you to get into be petted and treated without ceremony, trouble on my account,” said May, as they yet woman enough to be a desirable con- swept down the stairs at a flying pace.
She was divided between her admiration of life. For a sick, lonely woman I have had Paul's prowess and her fears for his safety: very few whims. But now I believe that I “I'd much rather not make any disturb am soon going to die." ance,” said she.
Miss Martha cleared her throat twice “We shall see," said Paul, mischievously. before her voice was ready to answer.
The shops were found to be open. Never “Of course I am not going to laugh at was there such an expedition of wonder you, Elizabeth. It may, as you say, be a and excitement. Paul led his enchanted fancy. Very likely. But then, as we companion first into a large boot and shoe have all got to die, it may happen to come shop, and asked for woollen caps with true. And you would like to arrange for strings for protecting the ears of fools. He it, just as if it were going to come true. I next introduced her to a millinery establish approve of that. Be ready for a thing, ment, festooned with bonnets and head and it is nothing when it comes. If this dresses, feathers and flowers, satins and appears coming, send for me without the tinsels, the like of which May could not delay of an instant, and I have no doubt at have imagined. And here Paul politely all that we shall help each other. There, asked for rosary beads “fit for the pious now, we have faced it. And that being use of old women in the country.” May over, let me remind you that I am older thought it very odd that it should be so than you, and shall probably die first." difficult to get the things she wanted. Mrs. Finiston choked back a little flutter After this they went to picture-shops for of the heart. “I could wish to live," she cap-ribbons, and to a jeweller's for sugar- said, "and I will send for you if there is stick. In the end, however, and after time. In the mean time, I like to have much perseverance, they succeeded in get, things settled. There is Paul! Suppose I ting all they had been seeking for and left him now, he has not a penny nor a something more besides. For Paul, hap- friend in the world." pening to have, by accident, the price of a “He is the heir of Tobereevil,” said pair of new boots in his pocket, recklessly Miss Martha, boldly. expended half the sum on a cross of bog “Martha!" almost shrieked Mrs. Finiston, oak for May. It was handsomely carved, letting her friend's hand drop in dismay. and hung round her neck by a pretty black “Now, Elizabeth, be quiet. There has chain. May was so absorbed and trans- been a great deal of nonsense talked about fixed by gratitude and surprise, that he that curse, and I believe that it has worked had almost to carry her over the next two all the harm. If Simon Finiston had not crossings to save her from being run down known that he was cursed he would proby the jaunting-cars. And as his mind bably never have been the miser that he is. was rather uneasy about the money, he Weak-minded people will submit to fate. soothed his conscience by laying out the The fascination of being marked out and other half on a pretty new Bible for his prophesied over is strong for little souls. mother. He resolved to wear his boots They like the eccentricity, and fall in with for another half-year. He would send it, and pander to their morbid expectations. them to the cobbler, and entreat the sullen Simon Finiston had as good a chance as servant in St. Audrey’s-street to give them any man in the world, and his ruin is upon a little extra blacking every morning for his own head.” the future. And if all that did not make Mrs. Finiston was aghast at this speech. things right, why then that disagreeable She was so utterly surprised that for a future must e'en take care of itself.
moment she forgot her own troubles. Meantime the two friends in the high Never before had Martha Mourne been room had been occupied in dividing the heard to condemn Simon Finiston. But mother's trouble, share and share alike, the explanation of this outburst was easy, between two faithful hearts.
though poor Mrs. Finiston was too preocIt was nothing very new that Miss cupied to see it at the time. Miss Martha Martha had to bear; only the old, old had a fine little morsel of sublimity at the story, with the slight variation of Mrs. bottom of her simple heart. It may be Finiston's fears about her boy. The little that at this moment the memory of Simon bit of novelty being a vivid expectation of Finiston, as he had been once, was dearer her own approaching death.
to her than the reality of young Paul in his “I know you won't laugh at me, Martha,” present state of youthful undevelopment. she said, “though, of course, I do not insist But Miss Martha saw the drift of her friend's that this may not be a fancy. But you fears, and her handful of dried sentiment know I have been tolerably brave all my was cast out of the way like a sheaf of old lavender from a drawer. The future of a than if we had got everything at first. young man, she acknowledged, was more and please, Aunt Martha, do come close to precious than an old man's past.
the window and see what a beautiful present The shock of this surprise over, Mrs. he has bought me!" Finiston returned to her own affairs.
The entrance of a lamp here revealed “But, Martha, Martha ! what happens Paul's face, which broadly reflected the to one man may happen to another." girl's delight. The mother, who knew the
“ I see no fears for your lad," said Miss secret of the broken shoes, and the friend Martha. “Unlike his uncle, he has grown who did not, exchanged meaning glances. up quite apart from the dangerous in. They said to one another without words: fluence. He knows the evil, yet he has “This lad is not likely to become a churl no morbid dread of it. And I see in his or a miser!"' eye that he is no shallow soul. My friend, As Miss Martha was going out to her you must commit him to God and to me. lawyer's next day, Mrs. Finiston put her à If you go first I will try to be Elizabeth. question which it may be thought she might I am not a mother, but it may be that it is have put to her before. in me to act a motherly part.”
“ And now that I have time to think of Mrs. Finiston sobbed, and squeezed the it, Martha, what is this business that has spinster's fingers.
brought you up to town ?" "Well, then, let us see. He will one The answer was hard to give, but Miss day be called upon to accept the inheritance Martha was honest, and it came out of Tobereevil. Do as we will the future bluntly. will place him in that position. You have “My landlord thinks of raising my prepared him well to receive such a trying rent,” she said, showing some confusion of stewardship. He will be close to us who manner, " and"-here she was looking are his friends. He will bring a generous anxiously over the table for the gloves ardour to the righting of what is wrong. which were on her hands-“I do not feel And you know I am not so credulous as justified in complying with his demand.” some, and I hold that when a person is Mrs. Finiston knew well who the landstriving to do his best, the Lord is very lord was. Truly old Simon's disease was likely to step in and help him.”
progressing “ It is true,” said Mrs. Finiston, with many more sobs; “I have sometimes had CHAPTER VII. TRYING TO BE ELIZABETH. dreams like this, but the bitterness of my Miss Martha was right and wrong when fears always frightened them away. she persuaded Paul's mother that her fears
“And as I have found you so credulous of approaching death were unfounded. of prophecies," went on Miss Martha, with Three years passed away, and Mrs. Finisincreased liveliness of manner, “I will ton still lived, still languished on her sofa, venture to foretell something which the and paid her son's college fees, and wrote least superstitions may expect to come to letters to her friend at Monasterlea. But pass. One Paul Finiston brought evil into one morning, while Miss Mourne bustled the country Another Paul shall cast it briskly about her breakfast-room, she got out. We shall see your boy break this ugly the news that Mrs. Finiston was no longer spell upon his race, and begin a reign of in the world. The end had been quick; peace among our hills !”
there had been scarcely any warning, and Miss Martha wound up this little period little time for reluctance and regret. with a most unusual note in her matter-of- Then Miss Martha, reading her letter fact voice. And Mrs. Finiston, carried with red eyes, had reason to remember that away by the eloquence of her friend, flung she had said, "I will try to be Elizabeth." her arms round her neck and wept all the She would have remembered it in any remnant of the tears she had to weep. case, but the special reason which suggested But in the course of a few minutes this it came in the form of a message from the scene was interrupted by the young people dead. It was simply, “Go to Simon,” bursting in at the door, May flourishing scrawled feebly upon a morsel of paper. The invisible purchases over her head, and dying hand had been unable to write more. calling upon every one to admire them in Well, Miss Martha would go to Simon. the dark.
She knew all that would have been added “And, oh, such hunting as we have to those few eager words had there been had !" she exclaimed. “We were in at least time. Miss Martha would go to Simon. ten shops before we could get anything we Now Martha Mourne was not romantic. wanted. And it was so much better fun | Even in her youth she had been remark