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as I am now, I shall almost bring myself to you care for, and God knows it is not for believe that Doctor Asprey is wrong, and me, owing as I do almost everything to that I, as it were, exist upon my illness. your kindness, to sit in judgment on matters That was a sharp attack that I had last which took place almost before my exnight, but it seems to have left no special istence. Your conduct to her has been ill effect behind it, as I am in my normal atoned by your conduct to me, and if my state of lassitude and weariness."

futher lost his wife through your acts, I “ Even, that is good hearing,” said have found a second mother in you." Gerald, “ for I was prepared to find you a As he said these words he bent over the prisoner to your room, and I had something coach, and kissed the wan cheeks, down particular to say to you.".

which the tears were coursing. Then he “ Again,” cried the invalid, with api continued: “But you will not refuse to lifted eyebrows and a quaint expression of make reparation by letting me see my horror in her face. "Oh, for the happy father to clear his mind of the groundless days, when we had no mysterious commu- suspicion which has so long possessed him, nications to make to one another. I begin and of showing how harshly his wife was to feel myself like a modernised Mrs. Rad- treated by him.” cliffe, and expect to find trap-doors in the “I should not object to that,” said Mrs. library floor, and see sheeted spectres Entwistle, with something of the old sargibbering in the park."

castic ring in her voice. Major Heriot “You will readily understand what I never appreciated my sister, and, even in have to ask you," said Gerald. "I need his most devoted days, treated her with a not enter into the details of the quarrel frigid courtesy which would have led any between father and son. I may simply say woman with a little spirit to hate him.” that it arose from my obedience to an obliga- "You will not object, then, to my seeing tion laid on me by my mother on her death- Sir Geoffry, and acquainting him with bed, and

what
you

told me last night ?” “Is it positively necessary, my dear boy, “You must do as you will," said the that we should enter into these family invalid, wearily; "but a very short time, matters?” asked the invalid, querulously. and I shall be beyond the influence of his

" It is,” said Gerald, “in so much as wrath, however violent it may be.” that in his conduct to me, as in every act So the concession was granted, though of his life subsequent to his parting from unwillingly, and Gerald determined to go my mother, Sir Geoffry has been guided by down to Springside, where he had ascera belief in his wife's misconduct, if not tained that his father was residing, and actual shame. It is necessary that he make an effort to see him. He was suffishould be enlightened on that matter, and ciently acquainted with the violence of Sir that the truth should be told to him." Geoffry's temper to appreciate fully the

Gerald,” cried Mrs. Entwistle, with an difficulty of his task, and he allowed to ineffectual struggle to raise herself on her himself that, even if he succeeded in obcouch, "you would not betray me?” taining admission into his father's presence,

"I wonld vindicate the memory of the he would yet be far from attaining the dead," said Gerald.

object of his visit. Once admitted to an “But at my expense. Wait till I am gone, audience, much doubtless rested with him, my dear boy; you will not have to postpone and his success would greatly depend on your explanation long, and—and my views his power of holding himself in check, and have somewhat altered since last night.” rendering himself invulnerable to the

“ You wish you had not told me this taunts, and worse than taunts, with which story," said he, bending over her and he was likely to be greeted. Looking at taking her hand.

the motives which influenced him, the re“With all my soul I wish it,” said Mrs. stitution of his mother's good name, and Entwistle, earnestly. “It is natural enough the reparation of the wrong which had and to be expected, of course, but your been done to her during her lifetime, and manner seems changed and different to- to her memory since her death, the young wards me this morning. And I-I have man felt that he would be enabled to fulfil been, and am so fond of yon."

his self-imposed task in the spirit in which “ But she was my mother," said Gerald, he had conceived it. It would be a difficult sadly. " Ah, you will not leave her memory task no doubt, but it should be undertaken with this stain upon it! I am, I know, the in a proper spirit, and would, he hoped, only person in the world whose affection be carried out successfully.

Gerald did not purpose going to Spring- It was Rose Pierrepoint, with her promise side until next morning. He did not think of delicate beauty developed and matured, it would be kind to leave Mrs. Entwistle and with the bloom of health and quiet conuntil he had seen whether the access of tent in place of the anxious, irritable exillness, which had induced her to send for pression which her face formerly wore. Doctor Asprey, gave any signs of reappear- “You startled me, Mr. Gerald," she ance, and, moreover, he had something else said, with a half-langh.

“ You came so* to do that morning. Something particular, quietly behind me on the grass that I did apparently, so attentive was he to a second not hear you." toilet, which he seemed to think it necessary “But you expected me, Rose ?” to perform after quitting his aunt's presence, “Oh yes; but at the moment I was and at the conclusion of which he left the thinking of-something else." house and struck across the park towards “ You are as candid as ever." Kensington Gardens.

" You would not have me otherwise, Mr. The broad walk, which had been lately Gerald ?” filled with fashionable promenaders, was “Certainly not. Equally certainly I now almost deserted, and the turfy paths of will not have you call me Mr. Gerald." the long green alleys were already dotted “What would Mrs. Entwistle think if with freshly fallen leaves. In many spots she heard me call you anything else ?" the grass had been worn away entirely, in

“ Mrs. Entwistle is not here. What more it was brown, brittle, and stubbly; the made you refer to her ?" leaves lay where they fell, being not yet suffi- “I don't know; she came into my ciently numerous, in the gardener's opinion, head.” to be worth the trouble of collection. The “I notice she always does come into children usually found there, taking in the your head, or, at least, you always allude best imitation of fresh air under the cir- to her, whenever you are annoyed. You cumstances, had gone to the seaside, ac- did not like Mrs. Entwistle, Rose ?” companied by their nursemaids, and even “I did not take any violent fancy to the shabby-genteel people, whose business in her.” life seems to be to sit on the extreme edges of “ So I was sorry to see. the seats and eat captains' biscuits, had for- “Were you? Well, then, if it will saken their hannts. Struck by the contrast please you, I will take a violent fancy to between the gaiety which the scene had her, Mr.-I mean, Gerald.” presented on the last occasion of his visiting “Don't be absurd, Rose ; you are in one it, and the desolation which then character of your teasing humours, which always ised it, Gerald Hardinge stopped and looked provoke me.” round, then, with a shiver, was turning

“ Then

you

should not have written to me away, when he caught sight of a figure, to meet you at so short a notice, and come with its back towards him, some little dis- upon me so suddenly when you arrived. tance off.

It was lucky your letter found me, as I A female figure, trim, neat, and lissome, might have started off for my holiday." strolling along with somewhat langaid “I knew you would not go without letsteps, and idly pushing up the grass with ting me know, and giving me the chance her parasol. Just the sort of figure to in- of saying good-bye. Rose, can you be duce a wish to see the face belonging to it. serious for a minute ?” No wonder, then, that Gerald Hardinge, There was something in his tone which after a minute's hesitation, started in par- caused her to put off her light laughing suit.

manner in an instant. “Of course I can, " I'm going blind, I fancy," he said to Gerald," she said, earnestly. himself, as he hurried along. “It was by nonsense pains you Ithe merest chance that I saw her, and yet “You know there is nothing I love to I felt certain she would not neglect my listen to so much," interrupted Gerald; summons. How wonderfully graceful she “but just now I have something in downis; how much improved since the old right sober earnest to say to you, my child. days!"

You have known me, little Rose, in two The next moment he had gained the very different positions in life.” lady's side. She gave a little cry as he “Yes,” said Rose, rather sadly; "long stood suddenly before her, hat in hand. ago, when you were a scene-painter ; now, She had been startled by his appearance, when you are a-a swell.”. and the colour flushed up into her cheeks. “Yes ; you fancy that I have returned to

• If my

name.

of

my family, but it is not so. Mrs. Entwistle him of its truth. Whether I fail in this, is my aunt, it is true, but I have yet living or whether I succeed, all I should ask of a father, who has discarded me.

him would be the permission to bear his Discarded you, Gerald—for what?"

I want no money from him. I “Principally for siding with my mother, would take none." with whom also he had quarrelled, believing “ Then if your father is still obdurate she had deceived him. It has just been against you, Gerald, you will go on living my fortune to discover that his suspicions as you have done lately?”

my mother were utterly unfounded, and “Not entirely, little Rose. In the first I am going to him to-morrow to prove this place, I shall have you with me, and in the to him."

next I am determined to shake off this laziComing on such an errand he will be ness ander which I have so long been sure to welcome you and take you back labouring, and to work for

my living.” into favour, Gerald,” said Rose, with yet “That's good hearing, Gerald," said the a touch of sadness in her voice.

girl, looking ap delightedly at him. “What 'I am by no means so sure of that. If you said last, I mean,” she added, noticing he does, well and good. I will ask nothing the smile upon his face; "though I don't of him but his recognition and his name. mean to deny that to become your wife “What is his name, Gerald ?”

will be the fulfilment of my dream of "That you shall not know, little Rose, happiness." until I have seen him. Curious, too, that " It is very sweet of you to make such a you should ask, as it is a matter in which confession. How long have you had this you may be interested.”

dream, Rose?” “I, Gerald ? How ?”

“Almost all my life, it seems to me. It “Surely you must know ! Surely long began I think in the old days at Wexeter, ere this your heart must have told you how when you used to give me drawing lessons dear you are to me, Rose. Will you not in Miss Cave's lodgings. You recollect answer me ?” he said, taking her hand and Wexeter, Gerald, and Madge ?" passing it lightly through his arm.

“Yes,” he said, “of course I recollect “I-I-I thought you liked me, Gerald,” Madge well.” said the girl, looking down.

“I was almost jealous of Madge once, I “Liked you!” he echoed, with a laugh. remember. I used to think you

liked her, “I like you so much that I am going to Gerald, but that of course was absurd. ask you to be my wife, to share my for- Poor darling Madge, how surprised she tunes, and to take my name when," he will be at what I have to tell her! I shall added, with a touch of bitterness, “when write to her directly I get home.” it is decided under what name the re- “I think you had better leave it until mainder of my life is to be passed! What you can tell her something more definite, answer do you give me, Roso ?”

dearest,” said Gerald. “By to-morrow She gave him none, beyond what was night I shall know what effect the comconveyed in the momentary upward glance munication I have to make to you will of her large eyes, and in the slight pressure have upon my father, and you can then from the little hand that trembled on his write more fully as to your future to your arm. It was, however, apparently enough sister. Now talk to me about yourself. for Gerald, who, after glancing hastily round to see that there were no observers The approach of autumn, which strikes within sight, bent down and touched her with dismay the inhabitants of most waterforehead with his lips.

ing-places, whether inland or on the coast, " Thank you, dearest one," he said. is regarded very calmly by the dwellers in “You are taking a leap in the dark, and Springside, for to those who have been have not the least idea what fate may be prudent enough to invest their savings in in store for you. But, whatever it is, 1 lodging-houses in that favourite spot, there shall be by your side to share its troubles. is no portion of the year which does not Another twenty-four hours will determine bring its due amount of profit and gain. whether I am to remain an outcast under When the summer is over, and the London a false name, or to resume my position families, who have been making a holiday as my father's son.”

sojourn in the city of springs, return to “You are determined, then, to see your the city of smuts, the Springsidites view father, Gerald ?”

the departure of their visitors with perIt is my duty to tell him what fect composure. They know that after a I have heard, and to endeavour to satisfy very short interval, jast long enough for

“ I am.

them to go through the process of a Geoffry was seated at the window of the "thorough clean up," and the substitution of dining-room, looking out into the garden, winter for summer furniture, their lodgings and wondering what he should do if chance will be again filled, and this time by a class ever removed Mrs. Pickering from his serof tenant, rich, valetudinarian, and certain vice. The mere idea of such a contingency to remain for many weeks. This interval, made him hot with vexation; it was not like however, though made much of by those the same place without her, and nothing who take advantage of it for the perform- seemed to go on rightly in her absence. ance of necessary labour, is generally voted “And yet,” said the old general to him. desperately dull by the better class of in- self, “and yet I'm likely to lose her at any habitants, most of whom try to make their moment. She's a young woman still

, and escape to more congenial places. Sir

Sir a handsome woman, and attractive in every Geoffry, in particular, very much resented way, and is certain to be picked up sooner the state of affairs at this doll season of the or later. If I were a younger man myself year. Most of his club cronies were away; I should be too glad of such a wife; and it was next to impossible to get up a rubber; of course there are hundreds who have the and even the few friends admitted to the same idea. Perhaps at this

very

moment intimacy of Wheatcroft, were among the there is some confounded fellow talking to defanlters. Cleethorpe was shooting in her, and making up his mind that he'll ask Scotland, and Mr. Drage had gone over to her to marry him. What's that?” attend a church congress, which was being He started, and, shading his eyes with held at Bircester. Sir Geoffry could have his hand, peered out into the gloaming. put up with all of this if Mrs. Pickering “ I could have sworn I saw a figure," he had been at home to talk with and read to said, turning back into the room, “but him, but she had asked for a few days' there is nothing there. I'm nervous toholiday, and of course he had not dreamed night, and shall set the doctor's warning at of refusing her.

defiance, and take a glass or two of port. The instant she was gone, the old gene- Absurd to think that a man of my figure, ral felt her loss. There was a letter from without any hereditary tendency to gout, Irving—a long letter-full of business, should which he would have liked to submit to He stopped, attracted by the noise her consideration, and in which he would made by the opening of the door, and not stir without her advice. He had grown looked in that direction. He saw the door accustomed to consult his housekeeper in open, and a man's figure enter the room almost everything, and to place great re- and advance quickly towards him. For an liance on her judgment.

instant the old general thought he was “A wonderful woman, sir !" Sir Geoffry attacked, and his hand closed upon the said of Mrs. Pickering to his friend Clee- neck of the decanter he was lifting from thorpe, just before the gallant captain the sideboard, as his handiest weapon of started for his shooting-box in the High defence. lands. “A wonderful woman!

The figure, however, stood upright and men have a knack of hitting the right nail motionless before him. As far as he could on the bead, but this they do by accident, make out in the dull uncertain light it was by intuition, as it is called, and can never that of a tall, well-knit young man, with a tell you why! Now, Mrs. Pickering is full and flowing beard. always right, and can always give you her Sir Geoffry eyed it for a moment in reason for being so. You did me an im- silence, then he said : “Who are you, and mense service, sir, when you persuaded what is your business here, sir?”. that lady to undertake the management of “I want to see you, was the reply; my household.”

but no sooner did the old general hear But Mrs. Pickering was gone, and had the tones of the voice from which it was taken her judgment with her, and Sir attered, than he relaxed his hold of the Geoffry was left alone, to use strong lan- decanter, and stepping a pace forward, guage at his loneliness and the dreariness waved his hand toward the door. of his house, and to render the lives of his “I know you now!” he cried, in loud and servants almost insupportable, by the variety angry tones; “I cannot discern your feaof his orders and the caprices of his queru- tures, but I recognise your voice! How lous temper.

you insult me by your presence ? Leave On the second night after Madge's de- the house at once !" parture, just at the time that she was Father,” said the young man, submisentering the grounds at Hollycombe, Sir sively.

dare

Most wo

name.

ere this

my family, but it is not so. Mrs. Entwistle him of its truth. Whether I fail in this, is my aunt, it is true, but I have yet living or whether I succeed, all I should ask of a father, who has discarded me.

him would be the permission to bear his “Discarded you, Gerald—for what?”

I want no money from him. I “Principally for siding with my mother, would take none.” with whom also he bad quarrelled, believing “Then if your father is still obdurate she had deceived him. It has just been against you, Gerald, you will go on living my fortune to discover that his suspicions as you have done lately?” of my mother were utterly unfounded, and “Not entirely, little Rose. In the first I am going to him to-morrow to prove this place, I shall have you with me, and in the to him.”

next I am determined to shake off this laziComing on such an errand he will be ness ander which I have so long been sure to welcome you and take you back labouring, and to work for my living." into favour, Gerald,” said Rose, with yet “That's good hearing, Gerald,” said the a touch of sadness in her voice.

girl, looking ap delightedly at him. “What “I am by no means so sure of that. If you said last, I mean,” she added, noticing he does, well and good. I will ask nothing the smile upon his face; “though I don't of him but his recognition and his name. mean to deny that to become your wife " What is bis name, Gerald ?"

will be the fulfilment of my dream of “That you shall not know, little Rose, happiness." until I have seen him. Carious, too, that " It is very sweet of you to make such a you should ask, as it is a matter in which confession. How long have you had this you may be interested."

dream, Rose ?” “I, Gerald ? How ?”

“ Almost all

my life, it seems to me. It “Surely you must know! Surely long began I think in the old days at Wexeter,

your heart must have told you how when you used to give me drawing lessons dear you are to me, Rose. Will you not in Miss Cave's lodgings. You recollect answer me ?” he said, taking her hand and Wexeter, Gerald, and Madge ?" passing it lightly through his arm.

“Yes," he said, “of course I recollect “I-I-I thought you liked me, Gerald,” Madge well.” said the girl, looking down.

“I was almost jealous of Madge once, I "Liked you!” he echoed, with a laugh. remember. I used to think you liked her, “I like you so much that I am going to Gerald, but that of course was absurd. ask you to be my wife, to share my for- Poor darling Madge, how surprised she tunes, and to take my name when,” he will be at what I have to tell her! I shall added, with a touch of bitterness, “when write to her directly I get home.” it is decided under what name the re- “I think you had better leave it until mainder of my life is to be passed! What you can tell her something more definite, answer do you give me, Rosc ?”

dearest,” said Gerald. “By to-morrow She gave him none, beyond what was night I shall know what effect the comconveyed in the momentary upward glance munication I have to make to you will of her large eyes, and in the slight pressure have upon my father, and you can then from the little hand that trembled on his write more fully as to your future to your

It was, however, apparently enough sister. Now talk to me about yourself.” for Gerald, who, after glancing hastily round to see that there were no observers The approach of autumn, which strikes within sight, bent down and touched her with dismay the inhabitants of most waterforehead with his lips.

ing-places, whether inland or on the coast, “Thank you, dearest one,” he said. is regarded very calmly by the dwellers in “You are taking a leap in the dark, and Springside, for to those who have been have not the least idea what fate may be prudent enough to invest their savings in in store for you. But, whatever it is, 1 lodging-houses in that favourite spot, there shall be by your side to share its troubles. is no portion of the year which does not Another twenty-four hours will determine bring its due amount of profit and gain. whether I am to remain an outcast under When the summer is over, and the London a false name, or to resume my position families, who have been making a holiday as my father's son.'

sojourn in the city of springs, return to “You are determined, then, to see your the city of smuts, the Springsidites view father, Gerald ?"

the departure of their visitors with perIt is my duty to tell him what fect composure. They know that after a I have heard, and to endeavour to satisfy very short interval, jast long enough for

arm,

“I am.

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