tion of that wise Providence who knows and does what is best. An obstinate hope fastened itself into her mind, that perhaps the granting of her own fervent prayers might be consistent with the Divine will towards Allan, and that he might at last become renovated in mind as well as in body, into the Allan of happier days. “Do you suppose the paper has been signed that makes Allan a beggar, and Clanmarina a ruined village?” asked Lady Edith with deep anxiety of Lady Anne. “The Jesuits are not men to delay an hour grasping what they can.” “Most probably the deed was signed when I saw it, with a false date, to make it legal now,” replied Lady Anne thoughtfully; “Father Eustace intended to have done so with my documents.” “Even if Allan be utterly stripped, his soul, dearer to me than all beside, may yet be snatched from slavery in this life, and from destruction in the life to come; ” said Lady Edith solemnly, while covering her face with her hands in a state of irresistible pleasure that such a hope yet remained to her; and that pleasure was redoubled when Dr. Campbell entered the room to announce that, by means of bleeding the patient within an inch of his life, he had been rendered conscious, though his existence depended on perfect quietness of mind and body. When all that medical aid could do had been done, and Allan in the darkened room was laid quiet, breathing and apparently sensible, though


unable to speak, Lady Edith requested Dr. Camp-
bell himself to call at Eaglescairn Castle, on
his way back towards Inverness, there to give
information of the accident, and to mention his
own injunctions as to the perfect repose, on pre-
serving which, Sir Allan's life evidently depended.
Not knowing how to anticipate that Father Eus-
tace would act, Lady Edith prepared herself for
all contingencies, and felt scarcely surprised, though
very much annoyed, when within the very shortest
period possible, a chariot and four arrived at her
little garden-gate, from which alighted Lady
Eaglescairn escorted by Father Eustace.
There was an aspect of extreme agitation and
perplexity in both their countenances, perfectly
natural in so sudden a calamity; but nevertheless
Lady Edith could not but hope that some part of
their evident chagrin might spring from appre-
hension lest the deed of conveyance had not yet
become valid which was to make Sir Allan a
beggar, which was to enrich his advisers, which
was to make the Chief of M*Alpine partner in a
concern that caused every shareholder to be a
bankrupt slave for life, – which was to make
Father Eustace despotic lord of all he surveyed.
The noise of the carriage, of the footsteps, of
the voices outside the window, reached Lady Edith
when silently seated beside her scarcely breathing
charge. Rising, therefore, cautiously, she stole out
of the room, and almost flew down stairs to pre-
vent the visitors from gaining access within her
porch, as she knew that once in the house, it

would be impossible to keep out or to turn out the priest, without such a scene as would probably cost Allan his life. Father Eustace knew, as she did, that once in that room he would become master there. Lady Edith hurried out by the glass door of her own sitting-room, and gliding hastily round to the front entrance, met the party and stopped them as Father Eustace was about to ring a peremptory peal at the bell. “My patient shows very faint signs of life,” said Lady Edith, endeavouring to suppress all outward evidence of agitation, and addressing her intended visitors with very distant politeness; “if a mere pin dropped in my small house it might startle him, and the slightest disturbance would extinguish all our hopes. You will therefore agree with me, I trust, Lady Eaglescairn, that only one person should attend upon Sir Allan.” “Certainly, and that one shall be myself,” replied Father Eustace, with an eye as keen as that of any wild animal watching for its prey, and advancing eagerly towards the door. “It is a duty which I came here resolved to do, towards a valued member of my flock.” “I have no proof to what flock Sir Allan belongs. No clergyman of any creed shall have access to my guest until he asks to see one and names him,” replied Lady Edith firmly. “I have Dr. Campbell's authority for saying that the smallest excitement would cost Sir Allan his very life, that faint spark of life which remains. My patient has no relatives within reach, and as the kind providence of God has thrown him again on my care, no inducement can make me admit any one into his room but myself and the sick-nurse, till Dr. Campbell gives an explicit order that I shall.” Lady Edith looked up steadily to meet the infuriated eye of Father Eustace, and certainly the stoic had for that moment forgotten his philosophy when he added threateningly between his set teeth:— “I must see M*Alpine. Lady Edith, I never either loved or hated in vain, and if you hinder my seeing Sir Allan you will repent it. I know that in general you are as hospitable as an Arab. Give me, then, under your roof a crust of bread and a nook in which to rest.” “Nothing short of death could be more unwelcome to me in that room than yourself, sir; and, as Allan needs nothing but quiet, that is a luxury easily obtained, of which in my cottage he shall be secure. Every human being must unite in wishing to avert the danger of a brain-fever from the sufferer, by leaving him undisturbed.” “Wherever duty calls, no impediment can prevent my going,” replied Father Eustace sternly. “If you stop me, it is at your peril. Sir Allan needs the offices of my Church, and he shall have them.” “ Not while this house is mine and Dr. Campbell forbids your entrance. For many days Sir Allan can require nothing, as he is forbidden to speak or even to think. It is now distinctly the will of Providence that my patient shall thus be aloof from all intercourse with any of us. All that you or I can do is, to pray for him.” With these words Lady Edith gravely but politely took leave, and was retreating through the glass door, when she observed Father Eustace deliberately advance to the front entrance and give an authoritative knock. She instantly followed him, and, as M*Ronald’s fine soldier-like figure appeared at the door, she turned round saying with a half smile, “You see, sir, my house is not only my castle, but better garrisoned than you expected. Any attempt to intrude here will certainly be defeated.” Independently of all the unspeakable sorrow that M*Ronald had suffered on account of his grand-daughter Bessie, he always was a perfect Covenanter of the old school in his horror of a Romish priest. From boyhood he had classed Popish superstition with Pagan idolatry and Mahometan delusion, as being all perfectly on a par; no sooner therefore had he received Lady Edith’s sanction for keeping out “the Cardinal of Clanmarina,” as Father Eustace was now frequently called, than with a look of quiet determination, such as he wore when heading the forlorn hope at Bergen-op-Zoom, he planted himself in the doorway, and ten stout men could not have forced the passage. M*Ronald abhorred Father Eustace with his whole heart and soul, but the old soldier's manner was perfectly respectful. He would will

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