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George Tressady' has failed, with all had at her lodgings in the village, and its brilliancy and power, to attain that uer supper when she returned at night, rank as a political novel to which the She would not have been afraid to walk genius of its author might otherwise back to the village alone—not she. have raised it.

There was nothing more terrible to be H. D. TRAILL. met with than the black-faced mountain

sheep. The dark shadows cast by the boulders did not trouble her. She was innocent and unafraid. To-night Larry,

the boy, who used to run with the bag From Blackwood's Magazine. over seven miles of brown bog twice OUT OF THE NIGHT,

a day to intercept her Majesty's mails The post-office was a little bit of an at Mulla Cross, had come to escort her iron house, a police-hut dating perhaps home, but she had not needed him. from troubled times. There was She looked tired as she set the place piece of deal across it for a counter, and in order, took the key from an upper behind that shelves and pigeon-holes for shelf, and turned out the light. It was the stamps and the modest supply of no wonder she was tired.

So many stationery and post-cards which the years she had been waiting for a lettei village of Gurtnalacken required. that never came. Every day when the

The postmistress was a brown-eyed, bag came in, her heart would begin to clear-skinned woman. She was very beat with dull, heavy throbs, foreseeing short-sighted; and that gave her eyes a its own disappointment. Every night look of question, a look of wonder, ere she slept she would whisper courage which made her face youthful and inno- to herself, since no one knew what the cent, though she was no longer a young new day might bring; every morning woman. Her eyes seemed to ask .con- she awoke a little blithe because of the stantly “When? when?" and any one same expectation. Many years of discoming towards her at a little distance appointment had not taught her hopemade her pale with expectation. She lessness. would peer at you with parted lips as She turned the key in the door and you came up her way, and then when locked it, and stepped into the dark she recognized you as a Tom or Larry night. Larry was trotting along comof her daily life, her air of excitement panionably on his bare feet. There was would settle to a dull languor, as if light up in the castle yonder over the it were but one of many disappoint- wood and the sea. Old Lady Conyers ments.

was dying there-a proud, insolent old She lived in a cottage in the village, woman who had held that the world which after all was not so far, once you was for her caste and her Creed, and rounded the turn; but from the post- who now, perhaps with amazement, office, looking down from its rough hill- found herself called upon to die like any path over acres of stones and boulder's clown of them all. to a little rust-colored rivulet in the A man was stepping up the mounravine, there was no sign of human tain road towards them. It was too habitation.

dark to see his face,' but his step stirred The postmistress had stayed late it in Mary's heart a wild irrational hope. the office. She liked the loneliness of A moment more, and his shoulders her glen, and was sorry that she could loomed darkly, shoulders wider than not make her home there; but the iron most men's; and the man stopped. hut was only provided for a sentry on Mary stopped too, with a sudden quietduty, and there was no sleeping accom- ness now that the thing she had been modation within its four grey walls. expecting all these years had happened. She picked her scanty bit of dinner

"Mary!" he said, in a low voice. there, taking scarcely more than would

“It is you, Geoffrey, at last." keep a bird alive; but her breakfast she

"It is I at last, Mary."

“Go on a little way, Larry, and wait thought I had forgotten you, that I had for me while I speak to my friend." drowned your eyes in those years when

The urchin trotted away into the I lived and sinned. But I never forgot darkness, and the man and woman were you; you were the one woman for me; left facing each other. He did not offer I was an unhappy and doomed wretch to take her hand, and she scarcely felt the hour I shut you out of my life.” that she expected it. She looked up at "At your mother's bidding." him in a puzzled way.

The man started. “I knew your step, and your voice is "My mother! I was forgetting. She the old voice. I should never have is dying now, and I should be with her. known your face.”

You know she is dying?” “You were never good at seeing, “They said this morning she would Mary."

not last the night. Good-bye, Geoff"I can see that you are changed.”

rey." It is twenty-five years since we said Good-bye, Mary. We shall meet good-bye, Mary. Many things change again.” in that time.”

He went off quickly in the direction of "1 bare not changed.”

the light among the trees, and Mary “No. You have thought of me morn- went soberly on towards the village. ing and night. You have lived in the Little Larry stole out from the shadows hope of hearing of me again. You be- of the hedge and shivered. came postmistress when old Mrs. Barry “ 'Tis late, miss. My mother'll think died, so that if a letter came you would we're lost.” be the first to handle it."

“We shall soon be home now. You "How did you know?

saw the gentleman, Larry?“No matter; I knew. You might have “I saw some one, miss. The night is been a happy woman with a home and powerful dark. Half the time I could love, with a man to work for you, and ha’swore you were talkin' to yourself.”: children on your bosom. And you gave That night old Lady Conyers died. it all up for me. And after we had There was a deal of excitement in the parted at Cratloe Bridge I made no sign village; and gossip in some form or annor token for twenty-five years. You other makes the post-office one of its were not wise, Mary.”

centres. There were many stories “If it were to do over again, í should about the great lady's death, to which do it."

Mary listened with a' faint show of “You have no regrets, then?”

interest. If her lips were blanched, She lifted her eyes to him, and they and a faintness sometimes compelled were full of light. She held out her her to put her hand to her side, it was hands, but the darkness perhaps hid because she was listening for one name; them from him, for he made no move- but it was never spoken. The silence ment to take them.

had closed about him that had lifted for “I would rather have had you for an one short quarter of an hour, and she hour, and afterwards the years of lone- was not able to break it. liness and longing, than have married She listened with dilated eyes and

man of my own people and been parted lips to the details of the death happy with him."

and the funeral and the reading of the You kept our secret well, Mary.” will.

“Very well. None ever suspected it. “She died in her bed," said one, “that Our one summer in the caves and the left many a one to die in the ditches." islands was

Scandal has

And another, "She grudged to the never touched me. None ever knew poor, and after all, her money goes to that I had a gentleman for my lover, them she hated. The cousin from Enand he the wildest of the wild Conyers,” gland takes it all, except the little hit

“I have come a long way to look on that goes to Miss Eva. 'Tis a pity for your face, Mary-a long, long way. I the poor that Miss Eva isn't rich. She's

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our own,

614 LIVING AGF.

VOL. XU.

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a good lady, God bless her, an' no come. She never allowed herself to Conyers at all.”

think that he had come and gone; he “But there is a son,” Mary ventured had said he would see her again. To at last.

that promise she held greedily, despite The gossip looked at her with a smile the years of his silence before. of compassion.

His sister was still at the Castle, had "Sure, where are your wits wanderin' indeed been seen in the village, where to at all? Sure, he gone to she stole like one ashamed to offer help Australy an' lost in it years ago, when and comfort. She was likely to stay in you an' me was girls."

the Castle. The English cousin was not Mary said no more. She knew better, anxious to dispossess her; and what For some reason or other they were would she do in the world, who had alkeeping Geoffrey's return a secret, or ways been as a little child under the else the news of it had not reached the heavy hand of her mother? Freedom village. The Castle and the village had to fly out in the world was of as little little kindly contact. Old Lady Conyers use to her as it would have been to an was not the Lady Bountiful sort; and unfledged bird. Her only gain was that the way through the village led now she might minister to the poor and where. The servants at the Castle were

the sick, after whom her heart had English. Except when Larry brought yearned all those years. Scraps of the post-bag to the Castle gates, there gossip about her came to Mary's ears. was not direct communication.

“She's as shy as a birdyeen, and if a But Geoffrey had said they would bit of a gossoon even looks into her face meet again, and Mary never thought of she's all one blush.” Or, “ 'Tis she has doubting his word. She spent all her the compassionate heart; an' where did days at the post-office now, not daring she get it at all, at all? The tears is to be absent for a minute, lest in that ready to her eyes for the laste bit of a minute he should come, and not finding tale o' distress. Sure, 'tis a fairy her should go away, perhaps for an- changelin' she must be, for it isn't in the other quarter of a century. She stayed Conyers' breed.” late at the post-office. It was after

Mary listened avidly to such things. eleven that night when she met him. Sometimes on a Sunday, when the postHe might choose the same hour to come office was closed, she would climb the again. All day the sound of a foot on hill and wander through the Castle the road brought her heart into her woods, hovering on the skirts of them, mouth; and so many times she had to where she could get a glimpse of the endure the sickness of disappointment. Castle itself, and the winding roadway Every night as she slowly made her prep- up to its great doors. But no such arations for returning to the village, figure as she looked for ever came forth. her heart listening in her ears for his She saw the lady of the Castle pacing foot, she thought that when she went the terrace with her dogs, and reading out into the dark she would again see from an open book in her hands. She his figure stepping up the mountain saw that the lower rooms were all road towards her. She grew pale and shuttered, and from the chimneys the scared-looking with the constant strain; faintest, thinnest thread of smoke but still he never came.

issued; the house might have been unThe days turned round and round, and inhabited. The horses had been sent Lady Conyers had been two months in a way to be sold, all except Miss Eva's her grave. The gossip about it was shaggy old pony, which she drove in a dying out now, though Mary, whenever low basket-chaise about the roads. The a neighbor dropped in for a talk, place surely had no sign of a man's stealthily turned the conversation that presence. way. She had not dared again to hint

One day Miss Eva herself called at the at Geoffrey; yet it was strange that post-office. It was the busy time of none of them had heard that he had day, and the people were all out in the fields. She and Mary had never before He talked of many things, things of been face to face; but as Mary looked long ago." at her she recognized with a sharp pang Miss Conyers looked at her curiously, the sweet and handsome mouth and the almost shrinkingly. fine thin nostrils. The eyes, too; his "I did not know he knew any one in eyes had been gay and coaxing, and the the village. But if you knew him, be light in his sister's faded eyes was not glad that he is dead. It is better to of earth, yet once the hue must have think of him in the hands of God, than been the same, and the dark curling as a lost sheep caught in the thorns of lashes were still the same.

sin." Mary felt herself growing paler, and “I tell you he is not dead." the perspiration came out thick and Miss Conyers looked at her mourncold all over her face. Her lips went fully, and turned away. blue, and a mist hid from her the lady's “What a strange delusion!” she said face. She heard the sweet, appealing to herself. “Poor woman she is evivoice:

dently a little crazy! She must have “I am afraid you are ill. Pray sit been a very pretty girl once.” down, and I shall fetch you some A slow flush crept over her still fair water."

and soft skin, and she walked with her: “I am not ill,” she answered, dragging eyes downcast. herself back to earth, yet her hand "No," she said to herself again. “I held on by the counter to keep her from pray he may not have that to his acfalling. She was nerved all at once by count. There are too many women to: a sudden wild resolution.

bear witness against him before the “Miss Conyers,” she said, “I humbly Throne.” beg your pardon for asking the ques- And then her thoughts took another tion. Is it true that Mr. Geoffrey has turn. come home?

“My mother raved of him when she The lady looked at her with an air of

was dying. Question and answer; it shocked surprise.

was as if there was some one we could “I am afraid you are very ill, my poor not see or hear present, and speaking: woman. What can you know of my with her. Her eyes always gazed the: brother?”

one way, as if some one stood by her “Is it true, miss? I heard he was bed, towards whom she looked.” home, and I wanted to know."

But Mary, still trembling from the There was an anguish of appeal in the shock miss Conyers's words had been to voice to which Miss Conyers responded, her, sat in her wooden chair wiping her “It is not true.” Her voice fell, and clammy face, and smiling faintly. the ready tears came into her eyes.

“How could he be dead?” she said, “If you ever knew him you must pray “when he talked with me there for a for him. He is dead."

quarter of an hour, and little Larry “Dead! he is not dead. I spoke with waiting all the time. He neither kissed him two months ago,—the very night me nor touched my hand, but I saw him your mother was dying,-at the door and spoke with him. And he said he there, not a yard from where you would come. I waited twenty-five stand.”

years before to see him; and it's not “My poor woman, it was a delusion. in two months my patience is giving out He died in Melbourne on Christmas eve, this time." Pray for him; he needed all your Yet still her hands were cold and prayers."

clammy, and still the perspiration came He said he had come home to-to- out on her face in great chilly drops. see his mother, who was dying

About three o'clock Larry came for the “He died on Christmas eve.”

bag. “It is a mistake. He is not dead. He “Larry accushla,she said coaxingly, hurried away to be with his mother. "you remember the night old Lady Con.

yers died, how I met a friend at the called by Walpole “The father of doorstep, and talked with him?"

vertu in England,” rivalled the king “An' I went down the road a bit an' in the extent of the treasures which waited. It was mortial dark, an' I he had gathered together during his heard you talkin', talkin', with bits o' travels on the Continent, among them silence between.”

being the busts and statues known as “But you saw him, Larry?".

the “Arundel Marbles." "Oh, ay; I saw him right en gh. A

The Duke of Buckingham, again, big dark man in the night.”

bought of Rubens his collection of “Yes, yes, Larry. If any one told you paintings and other works of art, you didn't see him, what would you which went to decorate York House in say?"

the Strand. The age which witnessed I'd say I seen him all the same.” the beginnings of art collecting also

“You're a good boy, Larry, a very saw the commencement of the art good boy,” said Mary, passing her hand sales. The dispersal of the pictures of kerchief across her lips. “Now, run King Charles I. was spread over three with the bag. And here's a penny for or four years. When Parliament reyou for yourself. You won't forget you solved to sell the royal collection, saw him, will you, Larry ?”

agents from many foreign princes and KATHARINE TYNAN. amateurs from all parts of Europe

were eager to participate in the biddings. The Spanish ambassador is said to have bought so many paintings and other articles of value that eigh

teen mules were required to carry From Chambers' Journal,

them from Corunna to Madrid. AnCURIOSITIES OF EARLY ART SALES.

other purchaser of fame was Cardinal The days are still comparatively re

Mazarin. Raphael's Seven Cartoons cent in which matters of art

were, at the instance of Cromwell, purconsidered of very slight importance, chased for the nation at a cost of and the collector or virtuoso was re

£300. The Duke of Buckingham's colgarded as an eccentric being possibly lection was removed by his to harmless but hardly worthy of serious Antwerp during his banishment, and attention. Thus Lord Macaulay views

was sold there by auction. The conHorace Walpole's passion for curiosity tents of Sir Peter Lely's gallery were hunting with something like derision sold by auction, as we learn from when he writes of him as returning Horace Walpole, the sale lasting forty from the recreation of making laws days, and realizing a very large sum. and voting millions “to more impor- Catalogues now begin to lend toeir tant pursuits-to researches after aid to the purchaser, an early example Queen Mary's comb, Wolsey's red wat, informing us of a sale to take place the pipe which Van Tromp smoked

"at the two white posts against the during his last sea-fight, and the spur statue at Charing Cross,” referring which King William stuck into the

most probably to the name of an inn flank of Sorrel.” Now, however, when in that neighborhood. No person was our point of view has somewhat to bid less than sixpence at a time. changed, and when illustration of the The vicinity of Covent Garden in Lonsocial life of past times is welcome don has ever been the chosen resort of from whatever quarter it may chance auctioneers, and here at the close to come, we regret that the details of of

the seventeenth century early art sales and of their frequenters find certain Edward Millingare so meagre. The habit of making

ton established at the “Vendu collections of pictures and other works next Bedford Gate, Charles Street, of art dates practically from the reign Covent Garden." In announcing the of Charles I. The Earl of Arundel, sale of the goods of General

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