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came to him. A dozen more thanksgiv. | breakfast. “Such shouting and dragging ings, promises, and intentions were being of luggage, and such stormy voices! made. Mrs. Aylmer knelt, and made hers Then, actually — yes, actually – a man also. What would she not give to him if began whistling in the room above mine. only Joyce might be made whole? What I could hear him distinctly. He pregift would be too precious ? What thanks-vented my having any rest. Hotel life giving too great? As she knelt her weary certainly is very uncomfortable.” And she years of thraldom faded away; one sorrow looked daggers across the table at Mrs. blotted them all out; one great longing, Aylmer. Their English servant, who intense and almost fierce, filled her heari. waited to see if they would require more Her look of anguish must have crept over toast, rolls, eggs, etc. (for the squire inher face; for a peasant woman, younger sisted wherever he went on having his than the rest, paused as she passed Mrs. regular breakfast at his regular hour), was Aylmer's chair, and the look of kindred too well trained to make any remark; but that a seen sorrow generally gives, flashed later on, when Mrs. Aylmer and Joyce from her brown eyes. The look was re- were going out and crossing the courtflected in Mrs. Aylmer's sad ones, and yard, their civil landlord, hat in hand, this stranger peasant stopped and said hurried out to meet them. He begged to quite simply, as only a French woman be allowed to inquire if their rest had could :
been broken; he was so grieved to think “ Madame est seule, et madame est madame might have been incommoded, étrangère, n'est-ce pas ? Ah! madame, but he could not have hindered it. It was vous ne savez pas quelle sympathie j'ai the night train from Barcelona, and pas.' pour vous. Je voudrais bien vous aider. sengers going on to Paris often rest at Ah! la pauvre madame !” And she held Perpignan. “There have not been many, out her brown working hands and stroked though, this season. Spain is not so much Mrs. Aylmer's thin, white, diamond-ringed the fashion. Some years it has been
Some steps came clattering along crowded ; they come, they rush for beds, the stone floor, and Mrs. Aylmer nervously for café, for attendance, for everything! turned her head. What if her husband or and then," with a significant shrug, “ they Miss Eliza should find her kneeling in a make the tour of the town, and they are foreign church, and a peasant woman like off that evening. That is the way, mathis talking to her ? But only some more dame. But then they are not English: countrywomen entered, and poor Mrs. like madame!” He ended with a proAylmer turned again, and, looking into the found bow. kindly, honest face beside her, answered: “Who arrived last night?” Mrs. Ayl. “Oui, je suis seule.” For was not her mer asked, not the least caring to know, daughter taken from her? and had her but for something to say, and unconhusband ever been anything to her? And sciously her eye rested on some portmantears again filled her sad eyes.
teaus waiting in the courtyard. H. C. in “ Mais, madame! la pauvre madame ! letters that were yellow from much travelelle n'est pas seule," answered the soft, ling greeted her. G. H. and W. R. also thrilling voice. “Voilà, ma me! voilà !” stood a little way behind. And she pointed to the altar before which “I cannot say, madame. Some gentle.. the lamp was swinging and burning. “Il men, young, I believe, and foreigners. I vous enseignera; Il vous aidera; Il est was not expecting arrivals, and I was at a toujours avec nous - le bon Dieu.” What neighbor's, and they have not yet de. was there in this simple little speech that scended ; but see, madame, they come.” touched the suffering heart so? What Clattering down the broad stone stairs fresh depth of faith did it reach ?. What rushed three young men. new comfort did it bring? Surely even “I say, this is the queerest place we little speeches are the gift of God, and the have stumbled on yet. Where shall we smallest sayings sometimes have the great- get some food ? Not into that funereal est results. Mrs. Aylmer came away that room we were shown into last night, I morning happier, stronger in her faith ; hope. Look out, Henry! It is your turn she no longer felt forsaken; one was with this time. You go and tackle 'monsieur her in her hard fight, and she felt certain the landlord, and do the thing well. No that one day, oh ! one day, he must let her nonsense, mind. His best food and wine, be the conqueror.
or we cut it at once, and some horses out But a hard and fresh trial came for her directly, for we are not going to stop in on the morrow. “ Did you hear that this hole all day, and the time of the Bornoise last night?" Miss Eliza asked at deaux train tonight. Now then! Go it, old boy! There he is bowing and scrap- “ Acquaintances of yours, Hal? or only ing to the elderly lady in black."
the proper thing to do, etcetera, etcetera, Mrs. Aylmer turned with a sudden dig- when you meet sour-faced old women with nity. Was this the way to talk about her? pretty daughters, eh ? " chaffed one of his She had forgotten that Englishmen would friends. scarcely expect to find English ladies in “ I don't know them from Adam," rolled this little, out-of-the-way town. "I say, out in a great falsehood from his lips; what are riding-horses?' I get so awfully but hearing a door open suddenly, and confused after those Spanish names, an fearing the squire should be the next to swered a strangely familiar voice ; but in approach, he hurried to the landlord's pria moment it was hushed, for Henry Cot. vate little sitting-room, and there, without terville caught sight of Mrs. Aylmer's asking any questions, he saw, safe enough, face, proud, quiet, and very pale. In- " Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Aylmer, Miss stinctively he raised his hat, but she took Eliza Aylmer, femme de chambre, valet. no notice of him; she drew herself up, England,” all written in the landlord's taller and straighter than ever. “ Joyce, pointed writing. His next search was for my darling, the sun is too hot ; we will go an indicateur, and there he found a train back," she said, and she took her daugh. for Bordeaux in two hours. Then he ter's hand. Her very dress brushed called his companions, and said if they Henry Cotterville on the staircase as he meant to stay a day in such a hole he did still stood, hat in hand, too astonished to not, and he should start that afternoon. take it off, or make any other sign of rec- They could stop if they wished, and join ognition. She looked consciously at her him at Bordeaux the next morning. And daughter, dreading what effect this meet- as for food, he could not touch anything ing might have; but Joyce looked into in that awful salon — the very sight of it Henry's bewildered face with the utmost was enough, so he should go to his room unconsciousness of ever having seen him and write some letters. before, and Mrs. Aylmer breathed freely “Never knew you turn crusty before, again. As for Henry Cotterville, he stood Hal. Better get what fun you can out of dumbfounded. He had not heard of the place.” Joyce's illness, and her passing him by in But Henry was firm, and as discretion that unmoved manner gave a greater forms the better part of valor, he disshock to his vanity than he could have creetly shut himself into his room till it thought possible. If the faintest sign of was time to go to the station. recognition had been given him, his moth. In the mean while Mrs. Aylmer was in er's lectures would have fallen to the a fever; she was thankful, yet miserable, ground, and he would have done his best that Joyce had not recognized the author to enter again the forbidden ground, and of all her trouble. Yet did it not show reiostate himself in the Aylmer favor. that she was even worse than any doctor The future that was mapped out ior him had expected ? Then the squire happened was not half so much to his taste as the to be in a more than usually restless state future he had mapped out for himself. of mind that morning, and he was conHe had not been so petted or looked up to tinually up and down, in and out, till Mrs. since his visit to Aylmer; neither was the Aylmer was in an agony. young lady he had promised to propose to, What if they should meet on the stairs after this Spanish tour, half as pretty as as she had done? What if the squire Joyce Aylmer.
should hear his name? Bloodshed would But her property had always been a be a certainty, and the most ghastly scenes Naboth's vineyard to the Cottervilles, and went across her mind. A murder. Her as it joined the portion of the estate that husband taken up for manslaughter and was állotted to Henry as a younger son, hanged in a foreign land. She a witness. Lady Cotterville deemed it essential they Joyce an invalid for life. Everything should be made one. Besides this ques- that was awful seemed to live and pass tion of division and arranging of land, across her imagination that morning, and Lady Cotterville had also very decided through it all came Miss Eliza's cutreasons of her own that her favorite son and-dried, sharp, annoying speeches. No should not intermarry with the Aylmers. wonder that Marie, the femme de chambre,
“ It is a deuced bore," Henry said to looking at her in the afternoon, cried : himself; “but she need not have cut me “Ah! madame, qu'elle est souffrante !" in that very decided manner.” And he A rush of color came into the ashen put on his hat again, and twirled his mous- cheeks at this unexpected sympathy, and tache with a very offended air.
I a longing to know how long this new go also.
terror must last broke the restraint that | asked, unsnapping her black bag and was almost killing her, and with a trem. bringing out a little travelling-map of bling voice she asked if those gentlemen France. “ There,” laying her finger de. were going to remain long?
cidedly on one spot and her thumb on “Ah! no, madame! No one but ma. another. “ There ! there is Bordeaux. dame lingers here; it is no favorite Here is Perpignan. As we are here, what place. They go immediately. See, ma- could be more direct ?” dame, there is the carriage for them. But Mrs. Aylmer, with a pertinacity One departed at noon, and the other two Miss Eliza was astonished at, stuck to her
decision. Mrs. Aylmer looked out of the window. “ Bordeaux was out of the question.” The portmanteaus were being strapped | Then, nearly taking away the squire's and on to the carriage. H.C. was now being Miss Eliza's breath, this rash woman lifted up! But its master? Two men boldly proposed crossing the frontier and smoking cigars, and tossing up heads or going a little into Spain. tails with some franc pieces that were evi- "Into Spain !” the squire cried, as if dently soon to be tossed to the cocher by she had propounded a journey up to the the way they were joking with him, were planet Mars. waiting eady to get in. Whom were “Into Spain!" Miss Eliza echoed, electhey waiting for? Would they get off trified. safely? Would the squire just go out “Yes, into Spain,” Mrs. Aylmer an. now and see them ?
swered calmly. She had thrown her “Go! Go!” the poor lady nearly bomb, and she was prepared for any battle screamed in her terror.
that would ensue. Presently the landlord came out with The squire and Miss Eliza looked at some red wine twinkling in three tum- one another; then, taking up her stocking, blers. They all clinked glasses, and then "One, two, three,” she counted her the two young men jumped into the car. stitches. "I say nothing,” she said, but riage, and with a parting nod from them, her sniff was ominous. and a low bow from the landlord, they The squire was left to do battle alone. drove off.
“ Do you mean it, madam ?” he began. “ But where is Mr.- where is the “Yes, I mean it," she answered. Had other ?” Mrs. Aylmer asked.
not Henry Cotterville just left that coun. He went at noon,” Marie try, and would she feel safe anywhere in repeated.
France now? “Are you sure? Are you quite sure ?” “Then I think you are demented," he Mrs. Aylmer asked, with a painful doubt- shouted. ing in her eyes.
Miss Eliza cleared her throat in an af. “Certainly,” Marie answered. “I saw firmative manner. him depart."
But, demented or not, Mrs. Aylmer “She is strange, very strange," the girl stuck to her point, and before the next thought; “but then these English they week she had taken her party across the are peculiar.”
border. They stopped at Tarragona, at The next stage in their tour Miss Eliza Tortosa, and at Barcelona. At last she for the first time suggested, and unluckily lost heart too; she did not like to own it, her proposal was Bordeaux.
but this Spanish travelling seemed quite a “Oh, no,” Mrs. Aylmer cried, “Bor. failure - perhaps it was only the hotter deaux would never do."
weather, she tried to think; but she made “ Pray, why not?” Miss Eliza asked up her mind they would return and get sharply. "In a town of thai sort I should back into France, and perhaps try Italy, think we might get our clothes better when some people in their hotel persuaded washed, and there would be sure to be a her to go as far as Valentia, it was considProtestant church where we might wor.ered such a healthy place. They almost ship. These chapels are very well for held their hands up, to hear the Aylmers you, but for me it is painful to see people had not visited Seville, Cordova, or the kneeling and praying before dolls." Alhambra.
“ Bordeaux is too English,” Mrs. Ayl- “What do I care for a parcel of hum. mer said, clinging to any reason she might bugging Spanish buildings?” the squire fairly give ; "and you know Doctor Dal- grumbled. “ We have places enough in rymple said a total change."
Yorkshire to hold all their trumpery ruins " What effect do you believe this change in." has done, or is likely to do?” Miss Eliza Mrs. Aylmer colored almost guiltily;
“ He is gone.
she did not like her husband's ignorances it came into the Plaza, and stopped before being so very openly shown to any one. the great gateway of Santa Martin; Valentia should be their last visit in Spain; the soldiers presented arms and knelt she felt she had made a mistake in com- down, and the priest descended bearing ing, but this should be the end.
the Host. The weather was very hot; the sun “ He has been to one who is dying,” shone down pitilessly. Miss Eliza's tem- Mrs. Aylmer heard, and then the crowd per did not improve with the increased dispersed. temperature, and a large green fan was What was it that made her look so anxadded to her bag. One day she attempted iously at Joyce, and take her hand? What to go for a walk, but a crowd of beggars was it that made her notice her daughter's surrounded her, and she had to take ref- face was very pale ? What gave her a uge in a shop.
sudden aching in her already sad heart? “ The woman behind the counter said If death were so near her in one street, • Anglice !'or some such word, and shut what should hinder its coming nearer? the door to protect me from them. I don't Why would Miss Eliza's words come back know how she knew I was English, for I to her? The sun was hotter than ever did not say anything to her. I held my that day, and when Joyce returned she cloak round me, and held my umbrella could eat no luncheon. tight, and waited about a quarter of an “ You have walked her out in the eye of hour. It is not safe to walk in such the meridian sun. You know how dangerplaces."
ous it is. I have told you so often,” Miss “They would not hurt you, I think,” the Eliza said, a little triumphantly. squire grinned, always open to anything in “She's only tired; she wants rest,” the shape of a contradiction.
Mrs. Aylmer said. Miss Eliza was the “ They had better not,” Miss Eliza an- last person to whom she would confide the swered. “Still it is not proper for En- dreadful dread that had crept over her. glish women to be unprotected in such a Joyce had no rest that night. She lay land. The men all look like cutthroats, tossing and disturbed, not sleeping, yet and the women are known to be the most not quite awake. She was feverish and immoral in the world."
hot, and her head was burning. Mrs. “ You won't be mistaken for one of Aylmer had noticed an English doctor's them. You need not fear,” the squire name in the list of visitors that hung on chuckled. “An uncommonly handsome the wall of the entrance-hall, and she said lot they are, though.”
she should ask him to come and see Miss Eliza resorted to her knitting in Joyce. high dudgeon. Then, another of her “What! Fling away more money, on grievances was, to see how utterly useless those fellows !
the squire grumbled. her good advice had become. Mrs. Ayl- “ You are never satisfied.' mer at home was a totally different woman “ You should not have walked her so from Mrs. Aylmer abroad. There, weak. continually," Miss Eliza said, peppering minded as she was, she had just sense an egg. enough to be guided; bere, you might Mrs. Aylmer did not listen to these re. as well talk to the winds. She was out marks, but she sent a little note by her sight-seeing and dragging Joyce about all maid to a certain Doctor Temple, in a day long.
room Number 83 in their hotel. Perhaps, “You will repent it,” was her daily warn though, he would not come; perhaps he ing. “It is most imprudent to be out in was retired, or even a clergyman. She the eye of the meridian sun. You don't sighed; but about five minutes afterwards know what fever you may take, and if you a rap at the door reassored her, and a kinda die the officials will bury you that very faced, white-haired old man was bowing to evening.”
her. One day, after a more than usually se- “ You have sent me this note,” he said, vere warning, Mrs. Aylmer was returning still holding Mrs. Aylmer's little message. through the Plaza de Martin with her “ It is true I am a physician, and if I can daughter. A crowd was assembled there, be of any use to your invalid, or any comand she stopped to see what was the cause fort to you, I shall be very glad. I have of it. Flags were flying down the street, been traveiling for the health of my wife, through which a carriage was slowly pass. so I understand anxieties,” he said, with ing; soldiers walked in front and by the kind smile. side of it. Wherever the carriage passed “Really, really, this was a little too the people fell on their knees. Presently much," the squire thought. “Not even
allowed now to eat one's breakfast in fury; now and again (and then the mother's peace.” Something, though, in the stran-heart sank within her), she was crying to ger's quiet, self-possessed manner stopped her, as she had once heard her cry, and any grumbling.
the sound then was full of entreaty, of You are very kind,” Mrs. Aylmer said, despair, of anguish. getting up from her chair;. "perhaps I “You must never leave her; she knows have been unnecessarily alarmed,” and you through it all," the kind old doctor here looked instinctively at Miss said. Eliza, who had finished her egg and was Did he know what words of healing he giving the empty shell a decided tap with was saying? Did he understand the sor.
" but she is our only child." rowing heart beside him? Souls and "] perfectly understand," the doctor bodies are very nearly allied, and some replied. Perhaps he understood even doctors have the great gift of ministering more than his words intended, as he stood to both. Once Mrs. Aylmer had partly looking at the group before him.
told him the reason of their coming “Come in and sit down,” the squire abroad; and then she had also said how said, Yorkshire hospitality overcoming his Miss Eliza had disapproved her taking natural irritability. “Can't offer you any. her daughter about so much. thing good, sir. Haven't seen a breakfast “You did quite right,” he answered, since we left home ; but take what we and even if he thought it had been a little have got."
overdone he did not acknowledge it. Mrs. Aylmer went to see if Joyce was On the sixth morning he looked at Mrs. ready to receive her new visitor. The Aylmer's white face, and wondered if she doctor stayed in the sick-room for more could bear the strain of knowing that the than half an hour, and when he came out crisis of Joyce's illness would arrive there was a gentle pity on his face that within the next twelve hours. No; she made Mrs. Aylmer snatch both his hands had enough to bear, he thought; so he and cry, “She is not ill! She is not ill! went down-stairs to the squire and Miss She is not going to die! Oh, Joyce ! my Eliza and told them. “It will not hurt Joyce !"
them,” he said to himself. “No no,” he answered reassuringly. The squire said no word, but he turned “I have not said that, and she has such a his back upon the doctor, and the tears good mother that I shall look to your streamed down his face. Miss Eliza's nursing more than to my medicines. She knitting was on the table by her; but requires very, very great care; but between somehow it was not touched, and she was us both, please God, we will restrain the continually blowing her nose. fever. It is very well you sent for me as Joyce's sleep lasted ten hours; her you did, for we were leaving this even- mother sat by her side holding her hand ing."
the doctor had prescribed it. · But you
will not go ?” the poor “She shall have her as long as she mother cried.
may.” He had three daughters at home "No, I certainly shall not leave ; you in England, and his eyes filled with tears. and I must nurse our patient together.” At the end of the ten hours a change
He did not think it necessary to tell came over the invalid, and a slight stir Mrs. Aylmer, but his first action was to made Doctor Temple look anxious. Mrs. send his own wife into another hotel, and Aylmer, catching his look, read the reason then he gave himself up entirely to the why. charge of Joyce and her mother. For “Oh! my God, give her back!” she nearly a week the girl lay quite delirious; gasped. now and then she was singing a few bits Joyce's blue eyes opened, and with a from some old songs, now and then talk- perfect recognition she looked at her ing to imaginary people ; sometimes, but mother and smiled. very seldom, she was speaking of Aylmer. “She will do," the doctor said, quietly Almost always each speech ended with pushing Mrs. Aylmer aside and taking her the cry of “Mother! mother!” Oiten place. He dreaded the reaction to Mrs. she started up with her hands held out, Aylmer, and the least excitement before and her face all alight, as it used to look Joyce might yet be fatal for her. in the old days, and she was evidently But the mother's love was stronger than chafing again at some fresh injustice, or the mother, and in another minute Mrs. she was crying to her mother with that Aylmer was the nurse again. The doctor protecting sound in her voice, as if she went to tell the news down-stairs. were shielding her from some invisible The squire could not speak. “ God