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helped her, and filled her glass, and telling | Lady Lendrick would take me and the the servant that he need not wait, sat down children.' opposite her. " From what Beattie said I “ He did not offer you a home with himgather," said he, “ that the Chief is out of self?” said Sewell, with a diabolical grin. danger; the crisis of the attack is over, and “ No,” said she, calmly; "but he objected he has only to be cautious to come through. to our being separated. He said that it was Isn't it like our luck ?”
to sacrifice our children, and we had no Hush! - take care."
right to do this; and that, come what might, “No fear. They can't hear even when we ought to live together. He spoke much they try
these double doors puzzle them. on this, and asked me more than once if our You are not eating.”
hard-bought experiences had not taught us “ I cannot eat; give me another glass of to be more patient, more forgiving towards wine.”
each other." “ Yes, that will do you good; it's the old “ I hope you told him that I was a mirathirty-four. I took it out in honour of Len- cle of tolerance, and that I bore with a drick, but he is a water-drinker. I'm sure saintly submission what more irritable morI wish Beattie were. I grudged the rascal tals were wont to go half mad about – did every glass of that glorious claret which he you tell him this ? threw down with such gusto, telling me the “ Yes; I said you had a very practical while that it was infinitely finer than when way of dealing with life, and never resented he last tasted it."
an unprofitable insult.” "I feel better now, but I want rest and * How safe a man's honour always is in a sleep. You can wait for all I have to tell good wife's keeping !” said he, with a sav. you till to-morrow - can't you ?”
age laugh. " I hope your candour encour" If I must, there's no help for it; but aged him to more frankness; he must have considering that my whole future, in a meas- felt at ease after that ?” ure, hangs upon it, I'd rather hear it now.” “Still he persisted in saying there must
"I am wellnigh worn out,” said she, be no separation.”. plaintively; and she held out her glass to “ That was hard upon you ; did you not be filled once more ;
" but I'll try and tell tell him that was hard upon you ?”. you.”
No; I avoided mixing up myself in the Supporting her head on both her hands, discussion. I had come to treat and with her eyes half closed, she went on you alone.” in a low monotonous tone, like that of one “But you might have said that he had reading from a book :-“We met at the no right to impose upon you a life of — what station, and had but a few minutes to con- shall I call it ? incompatibility or cruelty." ter together. I told him I had been at his "I did not;I told him I would repeat to house; that I came to see him, and ask his you whatever he told me as nearly as ! assistance; that you had got into trouble, could.” He then said, “Go abroad and and would have to leave the country, and live together in some cheap place, where were without means to go. He seemed, I you can find means to educate the children. thought, to be aware of all this, and asked 1,' said he, will take the cost of that, and me, Was it only now that I had learned or allow you five hundred a-year for your own knew of this necessity ? He also asked expenses.
If I am satisfied with your husif it were at your instance, and by your wish, band's conduct, and well assured of bis refthat I had come to him ? I said, 'Yes; you ormation, I will increase this allowance."" bad sent me.” Sewell started as if some- “ He said nothing about you nor your refthing sharp had pierced him, and she went ormation - did he ?” on — " There was nothing for it but the “ Not a word.” truth; and, besides, I know him well, and if 6. How much will be make it if we sepahe had once detected me in an attempt to rate ?” deceive him, he would not have forgiven it. He did not say. Jodeed he seemed to He then said, · It is not to the wife I will make our living together the condition of speak harshly of the husband, but what aiding us." assurance have I that he will go out of the “ And if he knew of anything harder or country ?' I said, “ You had no choice be- harsher he'd have added it. Why, he has tween that and a jail? He nodded assent, gone about the world these dozen years back and muttered, • A jail — and worse; and telling every one what a brute and blackyou,' said he,' what is to become of you ?' I guard you had for a husband — that, short told him I did not know; that perhaps of murder, I had gone through every crime
towards you. Where was it I beat you with | not a word of reproach, not a syllable of a hunting-whip ?"
blame; his manner was full of gentle and “At Rangoon," said she, calmly.
pitying kindness, and when he tried to “ And where did I turn you into the comfort and cheer me, it was like the affecstreets at midnight ?"
tion of a father." At Winchester."
" Where, then, was this great trial and “ Exactly; these were the very lies — suffering of which you have just said I could the infernal lies — he has been circulating take no full measure ?” for years; and now he says, If you have “ I was thinking of what occurred before not yet found out how suited you are to I met Sir Brook,” said she, looking up, and each other, how admirably your tastes and with her eyes now widely opened, and a dispositions agree, it's quite time you should nostril distended as she spoke; " I was
Go back and live together, and if thinking of an incident of the morning. I one of you does not poison the other, I'll have told you that when I reached the cotgive you a small annuity.'”.
tage where Sir Brook lived, I found that he “ Five hundred a-year is very liberal,” was absent, and would not return till a late said she, coldly.
hour. Tired with my long walk from the “I could manage on it for myself alone, station, I wished to sit down and rest before but it's meant to support a family. It's beg- I had determined what to do, whether to gary, neither more nor less."
await his arrival or go back to town. I saw “We have no claim upon him.”
the door open, I entered the little sitting“ No claim ! What! no claim on your room, and found myself face to face with godfather, your guardian, not to say the im- Major Trafford.” passioned and devoted admirer who followed Lionel Trafford ?" you over India just to look at you, and spent “Yes, he had come by that morning's a little fortune in getting portraits of you. packet from England, and gone straight out Why, the man must be a downright impos- to see his friend." tor if he does not put half his fortune at “ He was alone, was he?”
" Alone! there was no one in the house "I ought to tell you that he annexed but ourselves.” certain conditions to any help he tendered Sewell shrugged his shoulders, and said, us. They were matters,' he said, 'could " Go on. best be treated between you and himself; The insult of his gesture sent the blood to that I did not, nor need not, know any of her face and forehead, and for an instant them.'”
she seemed too much overcome by anger to “I know what he alluded to."
speak. “ Last of all, he said, you must give him “ Am I to tell you what this man said your answer promptly for he would not be to me? Is that what you mean?” said she, long in this country.”
in a voice that almost hissed with passion. "As to that, time is fully as pressing to “ Better not, perhaps," replied he, calmly, me as to him. The only question is, Can " If the very recollection overcome you so we make no better terms with him ?” completely." “ You mean more inoney ?”.
“That is to say, it is better I should bear “ Of course I mean more money. Could the insult how I may than reveal it to you make him say one thousand, or at least one who will not resent it.” eight hundred, instead of five ? ”
" When you say resent, do you intend I * It would not be a pleasant mission,” said should call him out ?
- fight him?" she, with a bitter smile.
“ If I were the husband instead of the "I's
suppose not; a ruined man's wife need wife, it is what I should do — ay,” cried she, not look for many pleasant missions, as wildly, "and thank Fortune that gave me you call them. This same one of to-day the chance." was not over-gratifying."
“ I don't think I'm going to show any
such " Less even than you are aware,” said gratitude," said he, with a cold grin. she, slowly.
he made love to you, I take it he fancied " Oh, I can very well imagine the tone you had given him some encouragement. and manner of the old fellow; how much of When you showed him that he was mistaken, rebuke and severity he could throw into his he met his punishment. A woman always voice; and how minutely and painstakingly knows how to make a man look like a conhe would dwell upon all that could humiliate founded fool at such a moment." you.”
" And is that enough ?” No; you are quite wrong. There was “ Is what enough?"
“ I ask, is it enough to make him like a are welcome to every farthing I have about confounded fool? Will that soothe a wife's me." insulted pride, or avenge a husband's in- “ Your scheme is too glaring, too palpable jured honour ?"
by half. There is a vulgar shamelessness in “ I don't know much of the wife's part; the way you make your book, standing to but as to the husband's share in the matter, if I win whichever of us should kill the other. had to fight every fellow who made up to I read it at a glance,” said he, as he threw you, my wedding garment ought to have himself into a chair ; " but I'll not help to been a suit of chain-armour.”
make you an interesting widow. Are you “ A husband need not fight for his wife's going ? Good-night." flirtations ; besides, he can make her give She moved towards the door, and just as these up if he likes. There are insults, she reached it he arose and said, “ On what however, that a man," and she said the word pretext could I ask this man to meet me? with a fierce emphasis, .“ resents with the What do I charge him with ? How could I same instinct that makes him defend his word my note to him ?” life.”
“ Let me write it,” said she, with a bitter “ I know well enough what he'd say; he'd laugh. “ You will only have to copy it.". say that there was nothing serious in it, " And if I consent, will you do all the that he was merely indulging in that sort of rest ? Will you go to Fossbrooke and ask larking talk one offers to a pretty woman him for the increased allowance ?” who does not seem to dislike it. The chances "I will." are he'd turn the tables a bit, and say that “Will you do your best - your very best you rather led him on than repressed him.” to obtain it ? Will you use all the power
“And would these pleas diminish your and influence you have over him to dissuade desire to have bis heart's blood ?” cried she, him from any act that might injure me! wild with passion and indignation together. Will you get his pledge that he will not
“ Having his heart's blood is very fine, if molest me in any way?” I was sure - quite sure — he might not have “I will promise to do all that I can with mine. The fellow is a splendid sbot.” him."
“I thought so. I could have sworn it,” “ And when must this come off - this cried she, with a taunting laugh.
meeting, I mean?” “ I admit no man my superior with a pis- “ At once, of course. You ought to leave tol,” said Sewell, stung far more by her this by the early packet for Bangor. Hardlaughter than her words ; " but what have I ing or
Vaughan - any one - - will go with to gain if I shoot him? His family would you. Trafford can follow you by the mid-day prosecute me to a certainty: and it went mail, as your note will have reached him devilish close with that last fellow who was early." tricd at Newgate.”
“ You seem to have a capital head for “ If you care so little for my honour, sir, these sort of things; you arrange all to perI'll show you how cheaply. I can regard fection," said he, with a sneer. yours.
I will go back to Sir Brook “I had need of it, as I have to think for to-morrow, and return him his money. two," and the sarcasm stung him to the I will tell him besides that I am mar. quick. ried to one so hopelessly lost to every " I will go to your room and write the sentiment and feeling, not merely of the note. I shall find paper and ink there ?” gentleman, but of the man, that it is needless “ Yes; everything. I'll carry these canto try to help him; that I will accept dles for you,” and he arose and preceded nothing for him — not a shilling; that he her to his study. “I wish he would not may deal with you on those other matters mix old Fossbrooke in the affair. I hope he spoke of as he pleases; that it will be no he'll not name him as his friend." favour shown me when he spares you. “I have already thought of that,” said There, sir, I leave you now to compute she, as she sat down at the table and began whether a little courage would not have to write. After a few seconds she said, served
better than all your cunning.". “ This will do, I think: " “ You do not leave this room till you give me that pocket book,” said he, rising, and “SIR, - I have just learned from my wife placing his back to the door.
how grossly insulting was your conduct to"I foresaw this, sir,” said she, laughing wards her yesterday, on the occasion of her quietly," and took care to deposit the money calling at Sir Brook Fossbrooke's bouse. in a safe place before I came here. You The shame and distress in which she returned here would fully warrant any chas- | door, she put her arm and hand into a large tisement I might inflict upon you ; but for marble vase, several of which stood on the the sake of the cloth you wear, I offer you terrace, and drew forth the pocket-book the alternative which I would extend to a which Sir Brook had given her, and which man of honour, and desire you will meet me she had secretly deposited there as she enat once with a friend. I shall leave by the tered the house. morning packet for Holyhead, and be found There, that's done,” said he, handing at the chief hotel, Bangor, where, waiting her his note as she came in. your pleasure, I am your obedient servant. “ Put it in an envelope and address it.
"I hope it is needless to say that my And now, where are you to find Harding, or wife's former guardian, Sir B. F., should wh ever you mean to take with you ?” not be chosen to act for you on this occa- “ That's easy enough; they'll be at supsion.”
per at the Club by this time. I'll go in at once.
But the money ?” “I don't think I'd say that about personal “ Here it is. I have not counted it; he chastisement. People don't horsewhip now- gave me the pocket-book as you see.” adays."
“ There's more than he said. There are “ So much the worse. I would leave it two hundred and eighty-five pounds. He there, however. It will insult him like a must be in funds." blow."
“ Don't lose time. It is very late already “Oh, he's ready enough — he'll not need nigh two o'clock; these men will have poking to rouse his pluck. I'll say that for left the Club, possibly ?” him.”
“No, no, they play on till daybreak. I “And yet I half suspect he'll write some suppose I'd better put my traps in a portblundering sort of apology; some attempt manteau at once, and not require to come to show that I was mistaken. I know I back here." know it as well as if I saw it- he'll not fire " I'll do all that for you.” at you."
“ How amiable a wife can be at the mere “ What makes you think that ?”
prospect of getting rid of her husband !” “ He couldn't. It would be impossible “ You will send me a telegram ?” for him."
“Very likely. Good-bye. Adieu." “ I'm not so sure of that. There's some- “ Adieu et bonne chance," said she, gaily. thing very provocative in the sight of a “ That means a good aim, I suppose ?” pistol muzzle staring at one a few paces off. said he, laughing: I'd fire at my father if I saw him going to She nodded pleasantly, kissed her hand shoot at me."
to him, and he was gone. “I think you would,” said she, dryly. “ Sit down and copy that note. We must send it by a messenger at once.”
“I don't think you put it strongly A MOMENT OF CONFIDENCE. enough about old Fossbrooke. I'd have said distinctly, - I object to his acting on MRS. SEWELL's maid made two ineffectual account of his close and intimate connection efforts to awaken her mistress on the followwith my wife's family.”
ing morning, for agitation had drugged her “ No, no; leave it all as it stands. If we like a narcotic, and she slept the dull heavy begin to change we shall never have an end sleep of one overpowered by opium. “Why, of the alterations."
Jane, it is nigh twelve o'clock," said she, “If I believed he would not fire at me, I'd looking at her watch. Why did you let not shoot him,” said Sewell, biting the end me sleep so late?”
“ Indeed, ma'am, I did my best to rouse “ He'll not fire the first time; but if you you. I opened the shutters, and I splashed go on to a second shot, I'm certain he will the water into your bath, and made noise aim at you."
enough, I'm sure, but you didn't mind it all; “ I'll try and not give him this chance, and I brought up the Doctor to see if there then,” said he, laughing. " Remember," was anything the matter with you, and he added he, “ I'm promising to cross the felt your pulse, and put his hand on your Channel, and I have not a pound in my heart, and said, No, it was just over-fatigue; pocket.”
that you had been sitting up too much of “Write that, and I'll go fetch you the late, and hadn't strength for it.” money,” said she, leaving the room; and, “ Where's Colonel Sewell ?” asked she, passing out through the hall and the front hurriedly.
of his pen.
“ He's gone off to the country, ma'am ; “ Yes, ma'am, it always do; every one is least ways he went away early this morning, much genteeler-looking when they're poorly. and George thinks it was to Killaloe.” Not but old Mr. Haire said she was far • Is Dr. Beatie here?”
more beautiful than ever.” Yes, ma'am ; they all breakfasted with “ And is he here too?" the children at nine o'clock.”
“Yes, ma'am. It was he that pushed “Whom do you mean by all ?”
Miss Lucy down into the arm-chair, and “ Mr. Lendrick, ma'am, and Miss Lucy. said, Take your old place there, darling, I hear as how they are coming back to live and pour out the tea, and we'll forget that here. They were up all the morning in his you were ever away at all.”” lordship's room, and there was much laugh- " How pretty and how playful! The ing, as if it was a wedding.”
poor children must have felt themselves " Whose wedding? What were you say- quite old in such juvenile company." ing about a wedding ?”
They was very happy, ma'am. Miss “Nothing, ma'am; only that they were Cary sat in Miss Lucy's lap all the time, as merry -- that's all.”
and seemed to like her greatly.” “ Sir William must be better, then ? ” “There's nothing worse for children than “Yes, ma'am, quite out of danger; and taking them out of their daily habits. I'm he's to have a partridge for dinner, and the astonished Mrs. Groves should let them go Doctor says he'll be down-stairs and all and breakfast below-stairs without orders right before this day week; and I'm sure it from me.” will be a real pleasure to see him lookin' " It's what Miss Lucy said, ma'am. · Are like himself again, for he told Mr. Chaytor we quite sure Mrs. Sewell would like it?'” to take them wigs away, and all the poma- " She need never have asked the questum-pots, and that he'd have the shower- tion; or if she did, she might have waited bath that he always took long ago. It's a for the answer. Mrs. Sewell could have fine day for Mr. Chaytor, for he has given told her that she totally disapproved of any him I don't know how many coloured scarfs, one interfering with the habits of her chiland at least a dozen new waistcoats, all dren.” good as the day they were made; and he " And then old Mr. Haire said, . Even if says he won't wear anything but black, like she should not like it, when she knows all long ago; and, indeed, some say that old the pleasure it has given us, she will forgive Rives, the butler as was, will be taken back, it." and the house be the way it used to be “What a charming disposition I must formerly. I wonder, ma'am, if the Colonel have, Jane, without my knowing it!” will let it be — they say below-stairs that he “Yes, ma'am," said the girl, with a pursedwon't."
up mouth, as though she would not trust " I'm sure Colonel Sewell cares very little herself to expatiate on the theme. on the subject. Do you know if they are Did Colonel Sewell take Capper with going to dine here to-day?”.
him?" “Yes, ma'am, they are. Mies Lucy said “ No, ma'am; Mr. Capper is below. The the butler was to take your orders as to Colonel gave him a week's leave, and he's what hour you'd like dinner.”
going a-fishing with some other gentleman “ Considerate, certainly,” said she, with a down into Wicklow." faint smile.
“I suspect, Jane, that you people below“And I heard Mr. Lendrick say, • I think stairs have the pleasantest life of all. You you'd better go up yourself, Lucy, and see have little to trouble you. When you take Mrs. Sewell, and ask if we inconvenience a holiday, you can enjoy it with all your her in any way;' but the Doctor said, “You hearts.” need not; she will be charmed to meet you." “ The gentlemen does, I believe, ma'am;
“ He knows me perfectly, Jane,” said she, but we don't. We can't go a-pleasuring calmly. “ Is Miss Lucy so very handsome ? like them; and if it ain't a picnic, or a thing Colonel Sewell called her beautiful.” of the kind that's arranged for us, we have
“ Indeed I don't think so, ma'am. Mr. nothing for it but a walk to church and Chaytor and me thought she was too robust- back, or a visit to one of our friends.” eous for a young lady; and she's freckled “ So that you know what it is to be too, quite dreadful. The picture of her be bored!” said she, sighing drearily. low in the study's a deal more pretty; but mean, to be very tired of life, and sick of perhaps she was delicate in health when it everything and everybody." was done."
“Not quite so bad as that, ma'am; put " That would make a great difference, out, ma'am, and provoked at times — not in Jane."