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there happened to be men who had not the truth ; for though this society has its only caught sight of a few valuable prin- branches in the borough of Hackney, inciples, but who also were resolved to cluding Bethnal Green, it has hitherto make an attempt to put them to perma- had nothing but an Inquiry Office throughnent use. Accordingly they have ever out the Tower Hamlets. To this ofñce since continued to meet together, and there come week after week several genhave established a system of administer- tlemen from the West-end, who devote ing charitable funds, which, if not as com- themselves with praiseworthy diligence plete and satisfactory as they could wish, to the work of examining cases of appliis at least a step in the right direction. Ication for relief which have been referred am alluding to the Hackney Association hither from all parts of London - the for improving the condition of the Poor. cases being those of persons resident in The most noticeable feature of this asso- the Tower Hamlets - careful reports of ciation is that it is composed of resident which, after due investigation, are forinhabitants of Hackney, of all classes and warded to those who have asked for the creeds, and that, whilst inviting the co-inquiries to be made. But, as yet, the operation of ministers of all denomina- only persons connected with this office tions, its operations are not under their who live in East London are the secredirection, and its almoners are its own tary and the agent. Nor, except in peagents. I am told that the zeal and in- culiar cases, and then only as a loan, is dustry of several of the lay members of relief ever given by this committee. Elsethis association is worthy of all praise. where, I understand, inquiry forms but a But I also understand that some clergy- part of the business of the Society. To men of the neighbourhood keep aloof what extent the principles which I have from them, and moreover that, with some advocated in this paper are acted upon, exceptions, they do not receive the sup- through the instrumentality of the port which they desire from the noncon- Society, in other parts of London, I do not formist ministers. Why the latter should know. But in any case, even if it has not be apathetic in this matter I do not ex- yet succeeded in inducing the West-end actly see ; because I should have thought and suburban clergy to cast their charitthey were less trammelled by burdensome able funds into a common treasury, to traditions in this respect than the clergy. I be administered upon a uniform system, If they suppose that it is a secular busi- it must be doing good service as a centre ness, which would interfere with their of information, of discussion of principles, devoting themselves to the preparation and especially as a means of affording needful for the discharge of spiritual du- publicity to the various relief agencies ties, I can but refer them to the spiritual which cross each other's paths in any achievements of Stephen, the table- given neighbourhood. I am far from server. I think that there must be some thinking that we East London clergy, confusion in their minds as to what it is always excepting our advertising brethren, that really constitutes spirituality, and stand in greater need than the clergy of that they fail to perceive that spirituality the West of publicity in order to keep our does not consist in the thing done, but in relief proceedings within the bounds of the way in which it is done. After whats innocence. The mere fact of our having I have said concerning the prominence so much less than they to give, and so of the lay element in the Hackney Asso-many more poor among whom to districiation, it may seem odd that I should bute it, would itself settle that point. Still have to record that the prime mover of we do need -- what we certainly have not the plan from the first has been a clergy- got — some means of co-operation, for man.* This association is now a branch the purpose of arriving at common prinof the Charity Organization Society ; butciples in the administration of charitable it was in active operation before that so- funds. Nor is it the clergy alone who ciety came into existence.

are in this need. At present the various Some of my readers will perhaps here agencies, societies, chapels, as well as exclaim :-“ He is coming to the point churches, act in complete isolation from at last; we had almost begun to think each other. And no doubt they will conthat the Charity Organization Society tinue to do so, until, as I have said, some must be utterly unknown in East Lon-great emergency again puts all their madon.” Well, to some extent, that is about chinery out of gear; when out of the con

| fusion let us hope that there may arise a • The Rev. E. C. Hawkins, Head Master of St. { new and better order. John's Foundation School.

From Macmillan's Magazine. Jon her part, for she carried their food A SLIP IN THE FENS.

straight past them and hurried on to the

house as soon as she saw Elsie. CHAPTER VIII.

“Well, child, you're looking fresh MRS. GAITHORNE had hardly slept, but enough now, though you were up so late was astir soon after daybreak. On her last night, or this morning as I ought to way downstairs she peeped into Elsie's say." She rested her sieve of corn for a room and found her fast asleep, looking minute on the table. “I ran in to tell so placid and happy that she did not dis- you that it's well after all you decided on turb her.

stopping here, for that was Joe Bailey's Mrs. Gaithorne moved much more slow-boy who you frightened, and it's like to be ly than was usual with her, at the begin- all over the parish soon that you were out ning of such a busy day as this promised there." to be. It seemed as if she was planning “ Did he know me, then?” Elsie asked some scheme to set matters right. Pres- quickly. ently, when she had fastened back all the “I've heard no sound of you as yet, but shutters and set the kitchen-door open, there is no knowing how those things she took her black bonnet down from the come out, and I wouldn't for anything hook, tied the strings in a decided man- | that you'd be going away just now — that ner, as if she had made up her mind, and would set all their tongues a-going; but set out for the dairy. The air was cold I think we can manage that they don't and raw, and there was a heavy fog over know nothing about it. As for Master the meadow. The fens are in a perpetual Claude, I've got a trimming ready for him ague. Yesterday they were parched and as soon as I can catch him alone.” feverish, now they shuddered with the The “trimming" heightened the colour cold. Many people waste their lives here, on Elsie's cheek, but she said nothing. and know nothing different. If Mrs. Gai- “ Joe's father was took worse in the thorne had been conscious of a lighter air evening, and it was in going to fetch while she lived with the Lillingstones, she physic for him that he took fright at you, attributed it, in some vague way, to wealth the little fool. Now if you'll clean out and its influence; so she did not know the dining-room,” gathering up her sieve, that she felt its heaviness, she only said “ I'll take up the hot water myself. We to herself, “If I hadn't plenty to do I must manage to keep you as much as posshouldn't like to hear that engine going sible out o' their way this morning ;” and all day long,' and she quickened her pace, Mrs. Gaithorne went back to the fowls for the thought of “ plenty to do” brought that had huddled impatiently round the to her mind the plenty well done which door. always stirred her housewifely pride, and She was still feeding them when Elsie now coaxed her back into cheerfulness. ran back to her quickly. But this cheerfulness was not thorough, “Here's a note I've found on the table ; and it did not spend itself pleasantly. it's directed to Miss Grey." Jim the farm-boy felt its energy, and so “That's Mr. Claude's writing,” said did the dairy people, though somewhat Mrs. Gaithorne, taking it from her hand. deservedly, for they showed a tendency “ Well! what can he be up to now? to gossip, quite unusual at that early Well, I suppose I must take it to Miss hour,

Mildred, but why he can't speak to her Elsie slept long after her usual time, when he's in the same house with her is but Mrs. Gaithorne was still in the dairy more than I can make out. I hate those when she went down. As she lighted the nonsensical whimsies. I'll call them in fire and set the place in order, she went a few minutes, and take it then. Now be from time to time to the door and looked as quick as you can with your work, there's out at the morning. This had brightened no time to waste." into pleasantness. The dew had settled An hour later the room was looking on the grass, and showed the tracks of fresh and pleasant, with its French winthe fowls as they grouped wistfully round dow open. Mr. Lillingstone was walking the brick path waiting for Mrs. Gaithorne. thoughtfully up and down under the veThen Elsie reproached herself for loiter- randah, waiting for the ladies. Mildred ing, and was going out to find her, when came in and looked round hurriedly. an unexpected cackling of the fowls an- ' “ There you are, uncle. I wanted to nounced her arrival. The loud remon- find you, for I have a note from Claude. strative cackle that quickly succeeded He went off to Cambridge before six this, however, noted the unusual conduct o'clock."

Mr. Lillingstone looked up, then down “I shall be ready at any time," and she again, without saying anything, but he turned away quickly to receive Dobree listened attentively.

and his companions ; at the same time, “ He says he is so disappointed at not Laura stepped out into the verandah, getting nets here that he has gone to get dressed as usual in frills and smiles. some in Cambridge ; and he will bring a Mrs. Gaithorne, who had followed close croquet set with him also, that the eve- behind with the breakfast, overheard Milning may not be so dull; but I think it is dred retailing the contents of the note; a pity, do you not ? The day would have and as she left the room she thought passed off better if he had stayed here to Claude a worse coward even than she had amuse them.”

suspected. “Oh, oh!” said Mr. Lillingstone, still "I can tell you what that letter was pacing up and down, and continuing his about, Elsie,” she said, as soon as she got own musing. “The butterfly nets !- is back into the kitchen. “Mr. Claude's it ?" then stopping before his niece, he gone to Cambridge, and he won't be back held out his hand for the note, and, fixing till dinner-time. Like enough he didn't his glass on his nose, he glanced over it, care to be all the morning with his father," but did not wait to read it.

she added, smiling satirically to herself. “ Mildred,” he said, in a confidential This suggested “the trimming” to Eltone, “ you're a sensible girl; I can trust sie's mind, so she was rather glad that you. Let me have a word with you before Claude was out of the way for the time. the others come down," and the two When the post came in, Mr. Lillingwalked out into the garden.

stone called Mildred as he had promised. As soon as they were out of hearing He told her what had passed in the night, from the house, Mr. Lillingstone began, and spoke out his anger very strongly “ Did you hear a noise in the night ? " against Claude, “not altogether on ac.

“Of screaming ? yes ; it woke me up. count of the affair with Elsie, but for his I did not like to disturb Mrs. Gaithorne deceit in the matter. Such a mean, paltry to ask what it was :. but afterwards the lie; I have hardly slept all night for maid ran upstairs and told me it was some thinking of it; "and the old man stopped boy; she did not wait, however, to give and turned away his face. “I've had my any further particulars."

eye upon him for some time," he said, Mr. Lillingstone nodded to himself. after a little while ; “and now I begin to He had already made sure that it was El- have my doubts of Claude. However, sie by asking Mrs. Gaithorne. “Well ! he's gone,” he resumed, with more enerIt was a boy who made the noise. He gy, “and we must try to keep him away. was startled by seeing two figures near I think I have settled how to do it." these in-teresting ruins; and those fig. Then Mr. Lillingstone showed Mildred ures,” he added slowly, pointing every that the original plan for Claude to stop word with his eye-glass, “ were that maid at the farm to read was now quite out of and our Claude." He stepped back a the question. Indeed, it would not be pace or two to see the effect this would advisable for him to come back at all, so have on Mildred. “Well, young lady, he intended to send Luard after him at what have you to say to that?"

once with instructions for him to remain She met his inquiry with a quiet smile, where he was, as they would all follow but this amused look soon changed to one him there in the course of the day. Then of sadness. “I am not so very much Claude was to go down with them into surprised.”

Scotland. He would not venture to ob“God bless my soul!” exclaimed her ject to this, under the circumstances ; and uncle, coming down at once from his su- when once there it would be easy to find perior position. “My good girl, what do some quiet place where he could read till you mean?”

the vacation was over. . “Very little ; only I thought his man- Mildred knew Claude too well to feel ner rather odd yesterday, and I noticed so confident of the ultimate success of that the girl behaved a little oddly too ; – this device ; but she said nothing, as she but here are the party from the inn. If did not wish to make her uncle uncomyou wish this to be hushed up we ought fortable to no purpose, and she could not not to be seen consulting together.” suggest anything that would be more bind

" You are right; but I shall want to ing on Claude. speak to you after post is in. I shall have The version that was to be given to letters of importance ;” he looked at her everybody around was easily arranged. intelligently.

| Mr. Lillingstone had received a letter

from Captain Macneill — to whose place! You can.tell her of Macneill's letter and, they were going – persuading him very by-the-by, you will not forget to dwell on strongly to hasten the journey. His broth-, the point he makes of introducing his er, also, a schoolboy friend of Mr. Lil- girls to her.” lingstone's, had just come home from the Shortly after, the whole place was in a Continent, with his two daughters. They bustle, and there was running upstairs, were now in Perth, but they would not and in and out; but only Mildred and think of staying there after the last week her uncle knew what it was for. Those in September, as the younger was too del who had nothing to do stood in the dooricate to bear the cold of the north. Cap- way, and jostled the others who were tain Macneill urged his friend to go down busily employed ; for when Mr. Lillingat once, as it would be much more cheer- stone had told Mrs. Gaithorne he wanted ful for his nieces if they had companions, to send into Cambridge at once, he let in what he chose to call his “ dull country fall that they would all go away the same place."

day, but he did not say why; therefore all Mr. Lillingstone had really heard from except that quick-sighted widow thought Scotland that morning, and though the something very unusual must have hapletter was only a repetition of hospitable pened. Mildred was upstairs with her civilities, now that the visit was imminent, mother, and no one ventured to question he was glad to avail himself of it to the the old gentleman as he paced restlessly letter.

up and down the long passage, waiting “ As he was on such intimate terms till some vehicle should be found for with Macneill, a word or two aside to him Luard. He held the note ready written when they met would prevent any possi- for Claude in his hand, and muttered to bility of the young people finding out that himself as he kept looking at the door. he had somewhat strained its meaning.” Presently Elsie ran in from the yard to

While he was planning this there flashed say that the spring cart would not be through his mind an additional satisfac-back from Soham before eleven o'clock. tion.* The companions were to be young While she was still speaking, Jim came ladies - intellectual, handsome girls." back breathless from the inn with the He little suspected Claude's aversion to answer that Watson had just started for "intellectual” women. If they were Newmarket; then Mrs. Gaithorne set agreeable, they exacted too much of his upon the boy and rated him soundly for indolence; and if they were disagreeable, taking a wrong message. “It wasn't he positively wriggled at the thought of Watson they wanted - it was the gig." being shown up by them. It was the “If Watson had gone, no doubt the worst thing his father could have devised. gig had gone too,” Dobrée suggested in Meanwhile he valued himself on it very mediation. But old Mr. Lillingstone much; this was plain in his increased cursed the whole country, and did not pomposity when he closed the conversa- care who was in the wrong. tion.

“What do you say to try at the “Well, now, Mildred,” making a slight Wiley's ?” said Bordale, from behind. ceremonious bow to his niece, as he shut “Well, of course," retorted the old his glasses with a click, “ I think we may man, facing round upon him suddenly. say that we have dismissed this little af. “Why the deuce hadn't they thought of fair quite satisfactorily, and — as it is that before ?" likely to pass off without any more diffi- “I'll run down there,” said Bordale, culty - it would be judicious to withhold snatching up his cap. “I suppose anythis from your mother; we should only thing will do ?” . be giving her unnecessary pain. But, “ It doesn't matter what, so that you begad!” and the disturbing thought low-l get a horse that will go," insisted Mr. ered his tone a little, “she may have been Lillingstone, regardless of Luard's entry alarmed too! Do you know if she was?" into the town.

"Oh, no ; when I took her a cup of “All right!” Bordale shouted, as he tea this morning she was much as usual ; ran across the meadow. and since then she has eaten a good Meanwhile Luard was standing by, breakfast, and has gratified Mrs. Gai- without presuming to offer a word. Mr. thorne by saying she was surprised she Lillingstone was getting restless again had slept so well.”

when Bordale suddenly appeared through “Good," said Mr. Lillingstone, in a the road-gate, driving furiously in somesententious tone. “ Now you go and thing very high, that might have been a prepare her gently for our move to-day.' butcher's cart.

"Splendid to go,” he called out as he ! time,” Mrs. Gaithorne said, looking after dashed past the window, and pulled up him. suddenly before the kitchen door. “Have “Do you think he'll overtake them ?” to be your own whip; not even a boy to Mildred asked. be got."

| “Yes, sure ; he's quick, and they'll be “Now, then,” said Mr. Lillingstone, I kept back a little at the ferry.” instantly taking Luard's arm and walking Dobree got down to the river just as with him towards the door, “ you will be the cart was landing on the opposite side, as quick as you possibly can. Give this so that was made all right. He was reto Claude in time to prevent his return-turning slowly when Scholefield called ing here."

after him from the inn, where he had But when Mr. Lillingstone let him go, been to fetch a specimen case that Laura Luard did not bound into the cart with had professed a great curiosity to see. the alacrity which was expected of him. As they walked on, Dobree told him of He had prolonged difficulty in getting the the change of plan, and how Luard and note into his breast-pocket, during which Bordale had gone off to keep Claude in time he cyed the horse with an unmistak- Cambridge, as his father had decided on able expression.

going to Scotland at once and wished to “Don't like the look of him, eh ? " see him before he started. said Bordale, who had got down and was “Well, I thought something had hapready to give him the reins.

pened, because Mrs. Gaithorne's boy It was a gaunt, raw-boned animal, and i came in a great hurry to ask for the loan its ears were set back with an expression of the gig. What is the reason of this ? " as unmistakable in its way as Luard's. “That is what no one knows, and Mr. It had, too, a trick of slightly showing Lillingstone was so anxious to get Luard its teeth at intervals.

off that I asked no questions; but I “Involuntary muscular action, that. strongly suspect that this sudden move The pace will take it out of him," and has something to do with young LillingBordale laughed as he looked past Lu- stone. I thought that the story of ihe ard at Dobree.

nets' as they gave it out at breakfast, Luard did not seem so sure of this ; he was rather flimsy, and you must have nostill stood hesitating. I don't mind ticed that Mr. Lillingstone was quite predriving," Bordale said good-naturedly. occupied the whole time. I think there “Ill-looking beast certainly ; but with must be something wrong between the the two of us we shall get in all right.” father and son,” he repeated, reflectively.

Luard looked from Bordale to the “ Part of his duties seem to have fallen horse, and back again at Bordale, then on you,he added presently, laughing, as jumping into the cart he said over his he looked at the little tin case. shoulder, to Dobree, “You said one “ It would appear so; but it is a pity might as well come to the end at once, Bordale has gone. From what Mrs. didn't you?"

Watson has just told me, he might have “I did not say a violent one, though,"entertained Miss Laura with the last Dobree retorted, laughingly; “but you'll edition of his ghost story; for they say be punctual to-night, or I shall feel that as a boy was passing through the bound to look you up.”

farm last night he saw a man and woman “Oh, he's safe enough with me," said standing at the dairy-door, just where Bordale, flourishing his whip as he drove they ought to be, and he persists they off.

were the ghosts. It is lucky for me you They had just turned into the road, passed, or I have no doubt í should still when Mildred came running down stairs, be listening to Mrs. Watson's roundas Mrs. Gaithorne was hurrying into the about story." larder. “Do you know if any one re- Dobree thought for a few minutes. minded them of the post-horses ?”

“Well,” said Scholefield, breaking the “ Bless me! No; I'm sure they silence, “ do you think you can throw any didn't !” exclaimed Mrs. Gaithorne, light on the mystery ? " looking about in a great bustle, "and that “What do you think? Suppose the Jim's so slow; but there's Mr. Dobree, ghost to be Claude Lillingstone, and that if he wouldn't mind.”

The was seen - and not alone - I can unDobree was ready to go anywhere. derstand the pressing nature of his busi“ If he'd run down to the ferry, just by ness in Cambridge." the inn, he'd catch them before they got “Yes ; but would he have come back over. It's a good thing you spoke in again to-day?"

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