Robert. Half his enjoyment and interest in the great wealth he had amassed came from the feeling that his son would do so much with it. Yes, his son was to go into Parliament,-to found a family which should hold its own with the ancient proprietors of the soil, and take a foremost place in the county. And now, it was Robert who had deliberately deceived him, and set him at defiance. It was intolerable!

In the first violence of his passion he had utterly cast off the ungrateful fellow; but upon calmer thoughts he could not help feeling that he himself would be the greatest sufferer by such a deed. What would there be to live for? What interest should he have any longer in the place and property? He had better sell it all, and go to his great warehouses in Manchester, and try to forget everything but business. If the truth were told, he already began to regret his angry words, and though he was too proud to own it, he would have given much to unsay them.

Mr. Wilson had just ordered his horse, to try if a ride would do him any good, for he was too restless and uneasy to settle down to his usual occupations. He stood waiting on the drive, when he saw a boy from the Post Office approaching the house, and went to meet him.

'What is it?' he asked.

A telegram, please, sir. It's for Miss Wilson,' replied the lad, touching his cap with great deference.

Mr. Wilson took it eagerly. Yes, certainly, it was addressed to his daughter, but what business had she to be having telegrams without his knowledge? He had all an Englishman's respect for a sealed envelope, and would never have thought of opening a private letter, or interfering in any way with Laura's correspondence. But this was quite another matter. A startling communication like a telegram must always, he considered, be public property for any member of the family.

Thus silencing any remaining scruples, he hastily opened it, and read,

'Robert Wilson, Trewithian, to Laura Wilson, Hurst Court. 'Annie is dying. She is delirious with fever, but constantly repeats that you promised to come to her. Do not delay, I implore you. Will send to meet every train at St. Elvyn Station.'

Mr. Wilson read the words several times before he fully realised what they meant. Meantime the groom had come round with the horses, and stood waiting with them at the door. The sound attracted his master's attention, and a sudden thought came to him. Should he put the telegram in his pocket and ride off for the day as though nothing had happened? It was his first impulse, for what right had the rebellious son thus to make sure of his sister's sympathy? But some softer chord in his nature had been touched, and he could not do it.

'Don't stand wasting your time there all day!' he cried, irritably, to the obsequious groom. "Take the horses round. I'll send for

them if I want them.'

He turned to enter the hall, and met Laura on the point of coming out, dressed for walking.

'Look at this!' he said, holding out the telegram to her. 'It is from Robert. I wonder whether you, too, mean to defy and disobey me!'

The words were rough, but his daughter thought she could distinguish in them a tone of relenting.

'No, indeed, father,' she replied quietly. I will do nothing without your permission.'

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Then she read that short message, in which between the lines she found a cry of despairing anguish.

Poor Robert! For his sake she must keep her courage and patience. She looked up earnestly at her father.

'I am afraid that I have been to blame, and that this is partly my doing. I heard from Robert on the day he came here that his wife was at Mere, and I went to her, thinking to persuade her to let you know of their marriage. But the strange thing was that she

had been deceived too, and had no idea that Robert had kept it secret from us. Indeed, I meant well, but I fear the sudden shock of hearing all this must have caused her illness.'

There was a pause, and Laura felt that the suspense was almost more than she could bear, but she wisely kept silence.

'What is she like?' asked Mr. Wilson presently, pointing with his thumb in the direction of the telegram.

A very pretty young girl, with a gentle, refined manner; not at all the designing woman I expected to find. I am not easily impressed, as you know; but she won my heart completely, and I remember telling her, if ever she should be in trouble to send for me. And now she is dying! Father, may I go?'

The words were quietly spoken, but there was a tone of suppressed feeling in them, which startled the hard, prosperous man.

She was a sensible girl, was Laura,' he thought, not easily taken in by anybody; and if Robert's wife believed it was all open and aboveboard, why, really, she wasn't so much to blame.'

With all his rough manner, he had a soft heart after all, easily touched by a woman in trouble. And here was this poor creature actually dying; his own daughter-in-law, too!

'Yes, Laura, you may go if you think you can do any good,' he exclaimed. I'll telegraph to Saunders of Mere to meet you down there. He's a clever fellow, and I don't mind expense.'

There was a pause, and then he added in a lower voice,—

'If it comes to the worst-I mean, if anything should happenwhy, it will be a comfort to the poor fellow to have you there.'

Laura had listened in mute surprise and gratitude, and even now she dared not speak, for fear of breaking the strange charm which had so softened him. She pressed her father's hand in a warm grasp, and then hastened to get ready for her journey.

Her preparations were soon made. Then she went to her mother's room to tell her what had happened, but this interview she did not dread, as she was sure of the fullest sympathy in all she might do for Robert, who had always been his mother's darling.

It was late that night, after a long, tedious journey, that she reached the little station of St. Elvyn, and found a carriage waiting there for her.

A telegram from Dr. Saunders met her to say that he was detained at Mere by a serious case, but would come down by the night express to Cornwall.

What a terrible expedition that long, dark drive up to Trewithian seemed to poor Laura, who had no experience of those rough Westcountry roads. She was constantly jolted from side to side, and seemed to be at times driving up a mountain side. But the longest journey comes to an end at last, and after ascending a stony lane, worse than anything which had gone before, the carriage suddenly stopped in front of a low, stone cottage.

Laura looked out eagerly, and could distinguish a light in the upstairs room, but all else seemed in darkness. With some difficulty she made her way, amongst loose stones, to the door, which was whitewashed on either side, evidently to serve as a direction on a dark night. She gave a gentle tap, almost dreading to be heard, but the door

was opened at once, and her brother stood before her, so pale and changed that she would scarcely have recognised him.

She dared not ask the question which trembled on her lips, but Robert's first words told her that she was in time.

How good of you to come, Laura!' he said. 'It was strange how she asked for you, again and again, in her delirium.' 'Is she better now?' whispered his sister.

He shook his head sadly.

'My poor Annie! She is quite conscious now, but in a state of prostration from which it seems impossible to rouse her.

Our old friend, Dr. Kerrow, is here, and he gives very little hope of her life if this stupor continues.'

'What caused this sudden illness?' asked Laura, under her breath, and not venturing to look up in her brother's face.

'Dr. Kerrow says she must have had a chill, and then that long, miserable journey: when she got here old Mally said she could read death in her face.'

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'Robert, I must tell you .' began his sister, laying her hand on his arm and determined to confess her share in this sad adventure. But he stopped her hastily.

'No, no, Laura, not now!

Come and see her at once.'

They went up the rude, narrow staircase, to the dimly-lighted chamber, where there was scarcely room for the bed with its homely chintz counterpane. Dr. Kerrow and old Mally were standing near, but on a few whispered words from Robert they left the


He bent down and said gently,

'Annie dear. You asked for my sister, and she has come. I will leave her with you.' Then he quietly withdrew.

The sick woman was lying still with her eyes closed, but at these words she started, and looked up.

Did I ask for you? I forget. It is too late now,' she said wearily, and turned away.

"Oh no! not too late!' replied Laura eagerly, as she knelt down by the bedside. You will soon be well again, and then you will remember all about it.'

'No, I am dying,' she murmured. I have no wish for life; it is better thus.'

There was a moment's silence; then Laura thought she heard a faint sound, and leaning forward she caught the scarcely uttered breath,

'Oh, how I trusted him!' Alas! yes.

young life.

Here was the secret grief which was consuming her

Laura could scarcely control her tears, but she felt that this might be her opportunity.

'Robert has deceived you,' she said, speaking in a low tone as one thinking aloud. And you do not love him enough to forgive him. Knowing him to be weak and yielding you do not love him enough to live for his sake, and help him to nobler things.'

Annie started with a sudden pang. Those plain words had roused her at last. Was this, indeed, the truth? Had she been unforgiving

and selfish; a faint-hearted traveller in the journey of life? It was as if a mirror had been suddenly held up before her, and she could see her own conduct in its true light.

Was it too late now? Poor Annie could not tell, but at least, if strength were granted to her, she would no longer lie down despairing by the road-side.

She clasped her hands in silent prayer. Time passed on, and at length the anxious watchers saw that she had fallen asleep.

Slowly the long hours wore away in that hushed chamber; it was a night of terrible suspense, for all knew that life and death hung in the balance.

In the morning, when Dr. Saunders arrived, he found that he was no longer needed. Annie awoke refreshed from her long, peaceful sleep; the crisis was past, and she was saved!


Upon the bells.'-Zech. xiv. 20.

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Where hymn and swelling anthem fill
The dim cathedral aisle ;
Where windows bathe the holy light
On priestly heads that falls,
And stain the florid tracery,

And banner-dighted walls!

And then those Easter-bells in spring.
Those glorious Easter chimes,
How loyally they hail thee round,
Old Queen of holy times!
From hill to hill like sentinels
Responsively they cry,
And sing the rising of the Lord
From vale to mountain high.

I love ye, chimes of Motherland,
With all this soul of mine,
And bless the Lord that I am sprung
Of good old English line.
And like a son I sing the lay

That England's glory tells;
For she is lovely to the Lord;
For you, ye Christian bells.

And heir of her ancestral fame,
Though far away my birth,

Thee, too, I love, my forest land,
The joy of all the earth.

For thine, thy mother's voice shall be,

And here, where God is King,

With English chimes, from Christian


The wilderness shall ring.

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