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; you like."
those terrible thirty pieces were Ro- | said, at parting ;“ I never felt so queer mau, he says they probably weren't. before. Do you think a chill could I couldn't understand all about the possibly affect one's head a little, denarii and shekels, but he says the darling ?” Temple tax was always paid in Jewish “I'll ask papa what he thinks,” said money, so the priests were more likely I, being used to consider my father's to have only Attic coinage in their pos- judgment infallible. session. So I don't mind now, Harry “Good beavens, Kit !
What can a dear wear the little thing as long as parson know about one's liver ? They
meddle enough already with things I was a good deal surprised not to that don't concern them. Don't incite see him for another week. I had a hur- them to further efforts.' ried note or two from him, telling me It was so like his speech that day on he was unable to get over to the rec- the moor that I shrank back a little, tory, and lamenting the separation. half-startled. There were words of passionate fond- " Then see a doctor about it," I said, ness always, yet the language was so a little coldly, in spite of myself. unlike Harry, somehow so abrupt "I will, I think. Good-night, my and almost disconnected, that I should darling ;” and with a fervent embrace have felt a little anxious about him, he was gone. only that I told myself it was silly to My dear old father was to preach at worry over trifles, and I heard he had the Dewsbury garrison church on the been over to the Stockton races on Sunday - a duty in which he took a the regimental drag, and to a pigeon- simple delight, for he had been an match with some of the officers. I hate army chaplain in the Crimea, and pigeon-shooting, and I was a little sorry dearly loved a red coat. I begged hard to hear of that, and rather astonished to go with him, for I loved the garrison at his having gone ; and Cousin Dick, church with its band and the hearty when he came back from Stockton, singing from a thousand warriorasked me if Curzon were out of sorts, throats — and then I knew Harry was or what? He had been very hilarious to help take the men there, and I did at the races, but seemed in a queer.sort so enjoy seeing him in uniform ; but I of temper as well. It was like one of had a little cold, and it threatened rain, Cousin Dick's amiable remarks, and so so my father would not let me go. I was his suggestion that the 2nd Wilt- was watching for him when he reshire brewed extra-powerful champagne turned, and ran to help him off with cup ; so I treated him and his relation his macintosh, for the rain had fulfilled with silent scorn, though I couldn't its threat. He was very silent and abhelp being a little unhappy too. sent as I undid the fastenings ; but as
However, one's powers of fretting I took the dripping thing to hang it on are considerably dulled by the rose- its peg, he suddenly drew me close to colored mist of a happy love-dream, him, macintosh and all, and kissed me. and Harry's devotion atoned for every- It was so seldom he did that, except thing in the one hurried visit he paid for good-night and good-morning, that me that week. It was in the evening, I looked up surprised, and met his and he said he had heaps of work and eyes fixed on me with a troubled couldu't stay long ; but he was so full and tender look which filled me with of self-reproach for Stockton and the a vague alarm. pigeous, and so caressing and fond in 6 Poor little Kathleen ! his contrition, that I was quite happy, girl ! " he murmured, half to himself; and only remembered afterwards that and then he walked hastily away to his there had been a certain something study, and shut himself in. unlike himself.
I looked in bewilderment at Cousin “I haven't been a bit the thing since Dick, who had come home with my that chill I took the other day,” he father to luncheon, as he often did on
Sundays, and saw that he was regard- your happiness would be safe in the ing me with a gaze in which there was hands of a young man who has let a certain exultation.
himself be overtaken as Harry Curzon " What on earth is the matter ?” I has to-day. If I should find him inasked.
clined to intemperate habits, my duty, I nothing astonishing,” re- fear, would be very clear to see.” sponded Dick, with affected indiffer- Oh, papa, papa ! don't break my Only what any one might have heart! You know
- every one can tell expected, if they'd only listened to me. you — how steady Harry is !” Curzon was roaring drunk at church- " That was my earnest belief, or I parade this morning, and insulted my should never have agreed to your enuncle to his face – that's all."
gagement. But Richard tells me there For a moment I stared at him in- have been some strange stories about credulously. Then - " It's a shameful him of late
so strange that I have falsehood l " I cried, and darted into been asking Maylands, as
we walked the study after papa.
part of the way home together, whether With one arm about my shoulders as there was any mental weakness in the I knelt by his side, my burning face family. But Maylands declares there pressed against his knee, he told me was never anything of the kind, and he very gently, very tenderly, that it was is in a position to speak with confithe dreadful truth. Every one had no-dence.” ticed how strange my poor boy looked “ But oh, we may all do wrong once, when he first arrived at church, and all papa dearest ; and if every one turns through the service he had seemed from us, how can we ever atone ?" hardly able to sit still ; but when the 66 Heaven forbid I should deny any sermon began he had suddenly burst one a chance, little girl. Harry Curzon out into loud and scornful laughter, is young, and there is ample time to and rising from his seat, sauntered out, amend. But your future must not be whistling under his breath.
risked. We will wait and see how mata “ He is hardly more than a boy,” said ters stand before I can let things promy father, in a voice of deep grief, ceed further. Meanwhile I cannot let "and a man may sometimes feel an you see too much of each other.” extra glass at the mess-table more at “At least I may write?” I im
than he would if he were older ; plored. but to be the worse for drink at noon “I prefer you should not do so. I. on a Sunday morning, and to set an will see him on Tuesday evening at the example like that to his men !”
barracks, when I am with Colonel May" But Harry!" I sobbed - “Papa, lands, and will explain my reasons to it isn't possible! Why you know he him for insisting on at least a forthardly ever touches anything stronger night's probation. What ? — does that than water, and they call him the blue- seem too hard ? A fortnight is not a ribboner in the regiment !"
lifetime, little girl — it is soon past." 'Yes, no doubt for that very reason But oh, that fortnight never came to he would be more readily affected than its end, for Tuesday evening saw the another man. Drunk ? Oh, there can't shipwreck of all my future life. be a doubt of it! Put it to yourself, My dear father came home from barKathleen, my child : Would an officer racks looking ten years older; and and a gentleman conduct himself in when he told me that all was over, his such a manner in the house of God if | voice broke so that in my agony I failed he were sober ?
I am very greatly to understand, and it was long before distressed, on your behalf, my little I could clearly gather all that had taken girl. Colonel Maylands may perhaps place. hush up this matter in consideration for It seems that he and Colonel Maythe son of his old friend, but it con- lands were sitting in the ante-room
me deeply to consider whether after ness, and talking it all over.
Colonel Maylands had just told my I think I was too heart-broken to refather of his severe reprimand to Harry sist. I let papa pack up all my little for the affair on Sunday, and low Harry treasures the ruby ring, the few short had seemed overwhelmed with shame notes, the curly lock of raven hair ; only and bewilderment, but had annoyed I kept the glove he kissed that night him by obstinately declaring that he we parted at the rectory gate, and a had not touched a drop of anything few withered flowers, and the dancing stronger than coffee that morning, card of the militia ball, where the when he heard a noise of furious voices “Henry Curzon” stood out boldly and from the mess - room, and throwing firmly so many, many times. open the door they found Harry en- They would not let me write a single gaged in a violent quarrel with Mr. line of farewell; and when a note Vyvian. It seems they had been sit- came for me from Harry, blotted and ting smoking, when Mr. Vyvian, who scrawled — my poor, poor fellow ! is only a boy, and hadn't heard of mamma put it in the fire, and never Harry's and my engagement, began told me. She did not mean to be cruel, remarking on my cousin Dick's fool. I'm sure ; but mothers never feel for ish behavior about me, which all the their daughters quite as much as fathers world could see. Harry grew very an- do, somehow, it seems to me. That gry, and told Mr. Vyvian to hold his night, Dick, coming in, met Harry tongue, and Mr. Vyvian laughed, and hanging about the gate, in the darkness very foolishly and impertinently said and the rain, looking, as the groom something about my preference for told mamma's maid afterwards, Dick, and the probability of my marry- like a ghost than hisself." Oh, my ing him. Harry with a dreadful excla- poor boy!
He demanded to see me, mation caught him by the throat, and and that brute Dick ordered him off the just as my father opened the door he grounds. Harry tried to push past had seized a kuife from the mess-table him, and Dick, who thinks the and would have stabbed Mr. Vyvian strongest man in the county, dared to with it, liad not Colonel Maylands just catch my poor boy by the collar. In grasped his arm iù time.
an instant Harry lad knocked him My poor, poor Harry! he seemed down, and had him by the throat. utterly stunned and bewildered, and Dick screamed — the coward ! — and stood staring at them, flushed and hor- the stablemen and gardeners ran out, rified at what he had been about to do, and dragged Harry off. He just stood
- for Mr. Vyvian and he were firm looking at them for a moment, in that friends, and Harry could not have hurt same bewildered way, and then he a fly when he was sober, - and yet he turned and disappeared into the night. had hardly touched a glass of sauterne And I, sitting by the fire in my dressat dinner that night.
ing-room, weeping bitter tears for him, Ah, it could not be passed over! I and never knowing ! Ah, how glad I knew it, I knew it ! Even Colonel was that Dick's coat was torn, and his Maylands's affection for Harry, and the face cut, and that he couldn't walk desire of every one to spare a son of without limping for a week! their old commanding officer, could not And save for the tears that fell on hush up a thing like this. Mr. Vyvian, the newspaper paragraplı, where “ Lieuterribly shocked at what had happened, tenant Henry Curzon resigns his conmost generously begged the colonel to mission in the 2nd Wiltshire Regiment," overlook it ; but the mess-waiters had I heard no word of my Harry for many seen it, and it could not be hidden. a weary month to come. All Colonel Maylauds could do was to Oh, that year that followed ! how desire Harry to retire from the service did I ever live it through ? I could not before any steps could be taken — my be so weak and wicked as to let life be poor, poor Harry, who loved his pro- spoilt because its happiness had gone ; fession so, and took such pride in it! but oh, how utterly the taste had gone
out of everything! I tried to be a seen his name in the police courts halfgood daughter, since I might never be a-dozen times for street brawls, and a wife ; but sometimes I looked at the reputable things of that sort.
He's too little churchyard, and sighed to think decent-minded a fellow to go in for dis. how long it might be before I found sipations of the worst sort, but when rest and peace within its moss-grown he's not racing, he's card - playing. walls. Somewhere during that winter Extraordinary thing! when while he Dick asked me to marry him. I was was in the regiment he hated cards glad he did, for it gave me a chance of couldn't get him to take a haud at telling him how I despised him for all whist — and he hardly ever made a bet. his couduct about Harry, and how II can only fancy there's some bad strain should love my boy, and him only, to somewhere in the family, though I the end of my days, even though we never knew of it; and it's come out never met on earth again. Dick weut all at once iu him. Drink's done most away in a passion, and I was anything of it, of course ; they say he never but sorry that he did.
looks sober; though how a man cau It was in the last days of the next keep perpetually the worse for liquor March that my dear father died. for some nine months, and not suffer There was little suffering — a sort of in his general health, I can't undergentle fading away, almost like a little stand.” child falling asleep. I think neither Where he was, or how he lived, no mamma nor I realized what was con- one seemed to know. I made up my ing til: the blow. was just about to fall. mind I would go and try to find out. I was sitting by his sofa one evening, When I told my mother my decision, his dear hand clasped in mine, when she was unutterably shocked. he opened his eyes all at once, and “It's altogether impossible, Kathsaid :
leen !” she said ; “you must be mad "Forgive me, little girl, if ever I to suggest it. If womanly feeling on seemed hard to you. Tell Curzon I your part doesn't prevent it, common grieved sorely ; give the boy my love, sense ought to. Don't dream of such a if ever you should meet him. Kiss thing." me, Kathleen."
But I persisted. And as I stooped to lay my lips on - You know there was nothing poor his, his gentle spirit passed away to Harry would not do for me," I said. the country which had always been its “ I often think if I had seen more of home.
him just when these dreadful things When I began to recover from the began, I might have kept him from shock of this grievous loss and blow, them. No one has tried to help him there began to be borne in upon me a all through — he shall see at least there new, vague impulse. I had a great is one hand held out to him if he will longing to find out Harry, and to give but try to turn back, even yet.” him my father's message. The desire So, as my twenty-first birthday fell in was very strong upon me to see his May, and I came into possession of all face once more - to try if a hand held the considerable fortune my dear father out to help might not even yet have had left me, there was really no possipower to save.
bility of thwarting me, and my mother Colonel Maylands, when he came to had reluctantly to give way. my dear father's funeral, had given my For a little while it seemed as if my mother some small news of him.
efforts would all be in vain. I could “ He's gone to the dogs about as fast hear nothing of Harry's whereabouts. as any fellow I ever knew,” he said. At last I had word of his having been “That tidy little fortune his father left seen at a race-meeting in a certain bim has all but gone,
hardly town of Essex ; and, having friends in a few hundreds left, I'm told. Heaven the immediate neighborhood, I deterknows how or where he's spent it ; I've mined at once to go down there.
in a year
I reached Marnay Court late on a Heaven knows how near to it I've been Saturday evening - so late that I did sometimes. Yes, it's true,” as I looked not get up in time for church the next at him. “Since the day you kissed me morning, but slept off my fatigue, and last, Kitty, I've done no single thing to spent a lazy, quiet day among the roses make me unworthy — degraded though in the garden. My host and hostess I am — to hold your hand to-day.” were old people, and unused to church- Harry, can this be true ?” I asked, going twice a day ; so I started off to as I yielded my hand to his poor, evening service by myself, and chose a feeble, trembling clasp. “Don't you distant church I remembered from a call intemperance an unworthy thing ? " former visit- a quaint place of great “Kitty, believe me, even my worst age, far in the heart of the country. I enemy has never put lying among the was early when I arrived, having list of my sins, - I say to you solemnly started betimes, so I skirted the low that I have never once been drunk in churchyard wall, and made for a bench all my life. Yes, you look shockel, overlooking the distant country, with but I tell you the truth. People say the long, faint sea-line on the horizon. I'm seldom sober, I know; and there As I approached the bench, a man rose isn't a doubt I've done things, time hastily from it, and stood before me after time, that I haven't had the least and in an instant I knew that it was consciousness of — but it's never been Harry.
under the ivfluence of liquor. Why, Harry !
but oh, how changed ! look at me! Are my eyes bloodshot ? From the shabby and careless dress, to - do I look like a man who has been the look of wild despair on his still drinking hard for a year? You could handsome face, there was not one tell from my breath in a minute — why, thing to remind me of my boy-lover I haven't had even a glass of beer iu a my Harry of the happy rectory days. week."
“Kitty ! oh, Kitty!" – and the next It was perfectly true, I could see. minute he was on the ground at my " But what, then — why
9: I stamfeet, passionately kissing the hem of mered.
“No, I'm not insane, -I thought My heart was sick within me as I that, too, – but I've been to the best raised him from that attitude of pro- men on the brain and nerves, and they found humiliation, and made him sit all insist I'm as sound as a bell, in
my beside me on the little wooden bench. mind. Heaven kuows what strange The change in him was still more ap- and awful disease it is.
I've never parent close at hand. The old light in been free, this whole year, from this
quenched, and instead of dull pain and weight in my head this the bright, confident bearing of past black depression and these awful fits days, there was the hopeless, dogged of reckless despair. Sometimes I find look of lim who has ceased to struggle myself, to my horror, on the verge of with fate, and has owned it master. some act that appals me with dismay ;
" Oh, Kitty, Kitty ! ” his very and heartily as I dislike cards, I can't voice was altered, so deep, and wild, see one without a mad desire to play. and hoarse why did you ever leave I've found out I had a gambling ancesme? If you had not cast me off I tor, somewhere about Charles the Secshould never have come to this. As ond's time — I sometimes fancy I've long as you were with me I had the inherited his passion, and that it broke strength to fight against myself. I out all of a sudden last summer at could hold out while you were by. Lay Dewsbury. Whatever wrongs he ever your little fingers on mine, as you used did have been revenged in his descendto do – don't shrink from me, for ant. I'm broken in health, and ruined Heaven's sake, or it will kill me. I in pocket; the last few hundreds I swear to you, Kathleen, that I've in-owned went at the races last week. jured no living soul but myself ; though The last ten-pound note I have in the