She turned to him as she spoke ; but it “I have a conscience," said she de. was very unlike Lady Arabella to stammer murely. “And it urges me to say you so much over a few harmless remarks. would have done more wisely by remain

Colonel Clark-Winter marked her hesi-ing in Australia.” tation; he followed up the conversation. " And I, too, have developed a con

Are you doubtful as to whether she science, and it tells me I did rightly in will — or will not?” he asked grimly. returning to look after you." “ Will — what?"

ΤΙ eyes met – eloquent dark eyes “Marry Mr. Monkton?”

to which words were unnecessary. “ It is, of course, problematical. You Phil went round to her side. cannot make young people act as you like, “ Con !” he whispered.

“ My liide can you ?"

Con!” " Mine are obliged to do so.”

“ I am going to sing," she replied, in a The stern emphasis of his words made tone of grave remonstrance. • Listen! Lady Arabella look across to the young This is a favorite of Aunt Arab's. You Clark-Winters who were present.

And will like it." she felt more compassion for them at that sometimes, dear, beside the rippling river, moment, than, at any other before

In the twilight when the shadows linger since.

low, “ Constance Selwyn is entirely beyond And across the misty moorland echoes ever my control,” she said, with a proud air All the tender love that blessed me years that became her well.

ago, " But your son, I take it, is not. And And mem'ries come to charm me into glad. is it not rather impolitic to throw her so much in the society of one son when the Your voice I hear amid my life's long sadness,

With dreams of old that fade into the light, other is away?” “We are expecting Edward home this

Your face I see, a guiding star by night. week,” she said gravely.

And it's sometimes, only sometimes, The old warrior smiled approvingly.

Thro' the stillness and the pain, “That is good hearing! Let us hope

As I linger 'mid the shadows, his visit will be a long one.".

That I hear your voice again. “I don't know," sighed Lady Arabella. Sometimes, dear, beside the rippling river, “ He comes seldom, and stays a very

When the night-breeze murmurs from the short time — too short for me. But, I

far-away, suppose we are rather quiet people, and Sighing for the days gone by forever, he is used to a bigger world."

Dreaming of the heart's love-music, hushed The colonel's smile deepened. He was sometimes, dear, I seem to see you standing sincerely glad to hear that Edward Monk

And I feel, amid the gloom your guiding ton was coming home, no matter for how

hand, short a time; sincerely glad, also, that it All my sadness into song beguiling, was on the cards that he should marry As once more beside the rippling stream Constance. He would not fail to be

we stand. charmed with her, that went without say.

And it's sometimes, only sometimes, ing. For himself, he liked Phil. He did

That I see your face once more, more. He coveted Phil.

With its tender smile to guide me The Clark Winters were rich in the

To the peaceful Heavenly shore, matter of daughters, but they had no Where 'tis always, always, darling, sons; and to remedy this, a son-in-law was

Always resting after pain, the next best thing. The colonel set his

In the never-changing gladness, heart on Phil.

When our hearts shall meet again. “ Edward Monkton is all very well,” “It is a sad song,” said Phil, after a said he, “ but I like big men - something long pause, when she had ended. “Sing to show for my money- · Helen is tall, something brighter, dear." she wants a tall man; yes,” looking at him Her fingers strayed over the notes, critically as he leaned over the piano to touching first one chord and then anlook into Constance's eyes. Yes, Phil other, with a sort of lingering love for the is the kind of young fellow to please suggestions of melody which they imme."

parted. She seemed, with head bent Poor Phil again! And he was so happy down, to be listening to the voice of the just now – even though he could not in- notes. duce Constance to acknowledge that she “ I like it,” she said presently. was wild with delight at seeing him. “ That song? And so do I - only –


for aye

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it is my first night at home, love. Sing | live permanently on a shelf above your me something for myself."

head. And a fool is a nuisance, always in The voice was low and caressing, there the way. No, my dear, your Phil is was no resisting it.

neither, he is an ass, I grant you. I am Constance dared not look up. She let modest, you perceive; and he is only an herself drift with the hour, and poured out erring, sinful kind of a wretch after all. her heart in the passionate words he was You know that, don't you, Con?” longing to hear. She sang so that none " I know this," and she drew down his could help hearing, and a hush fell over head, and kissed him tenderly. "I have the room; and the wonderful throbbing my own opinions - I must live, and wait, melody pulsated in the heart of the man and see – whether you are a greater saint, who hung over her, hardly daring to move, or," and she laughed a little, "a greater lest he should destroy the spell.

fool. Good-night, Phil. God bless you, The evening passed like a dream, and at and God keep all harm from us both, last it was all over. The last guests had dear." rolled away over the silent moorlands, and “Amen!” he echoed, with many addithe Tower was quiet once more.

tions needless to be recounted. Two figures stood behind the motion. But in Constance's heart there was a less "man”in armor, and the moonbeams weight of care. “Ned is coming home. strayed over both lovingly.

Ned is coming home," she kept on reHe drew her close to him.

peating, without one grain of pleasure in “ My darling!” he whispered passion-the repetition. “And what is to become ately." At last I have you all to myself of us?- and even now you are shaking for fear What, indeed, little mistress Con ? No of others !"

one knew, not even Colonel Clark-Winter, “Oh, Phil! if they came - if they saw not even Lady Arabella. - what would they say?".

It was a perplexed little head that My dearest dear,” cried the unabashed sought its pillow. A perplexed mind that Phil. " I don't care two pins. I would found refuge in sleep. But all through behave like this before them all."

ihe night she was pursued by a phantom, “ You wouldn't!" she retorted, with a a goblin of ill-omen - and this elf took laugh.

the face and the form of Edward MookThey stood talking for some moments, ton. then, as if a sudden recollection had come “What a sbame! What a libel!” Phil to her, Constance started.

would have said — probably did say the "Oh, Phil!” she cried hastily. “Such next morning, when he was told. bad news! Ned is coming home."

But of course it was Phil who said so. And once again the sunlight broke over Who else could it be? Phil's face, as he repeated the words he had previously used to his mother with

CHAPTER v. reference to Ned.

In due time Mr. Monktop arrived, and “Dear old boy, bless him! I am in his arrival was a marked contrast to that luck!”

of Phil. Constance drew back in some astonish- The carriage met him at the station - a

mile and a half away — and the stout Phil!" she cried. “Do you mean horses brought him in triumph home. it?"

Every old woman, and every toddling “ Mean it? I should rather think I do. child' knew that he was coming, and was I'm as glad as I can be, that's all." on the lookout for his arrival. There were

Constance laughed. Then she looked plenty of people to greet him. grave, and took hold of both his hands, Poor Phil had been found wandering looking into his dark eyes with her cooler about the market-town on his way to a grey ones.

cab-stand. Cabs are good enough for “Phil, my dear old Phil!” she said prodigals. The carriage-and-pair are fitgently, and there was a sound as of tears test for the hope of the family. in her voice. " You are either a saint- And Ned looked his part to perfection.

forgive me, Phil a fool! Which He was a very correct young fellow, his are you?”

luggage in beautiful order, his “man," "An't please your majesty — neither!faultlessly attired, behind him. was the instant rejoinder. * A saint is an Sir Edward, who was on the platform, inconvenient kind of creature to keep greeted him with outstretched hand, and knocking about a house. He ought to his son, with a grave smile, took it




warmly, but yet not with the warmth of exhibit some slight feeling for these usePhil. He would no more have kissed his ful relatives - once in a “blue moon." old father than he would have flown, and But he started when he saw Phil. certainly not in public.

“ Phil!” he exclaimed, for once moved He gave Lady Arabella his cheek dec. out of his ordinary tones. orously. She was his mother, so much And Phil, as usual, bent down and gave he could concede.

him a brotherly salute that might bave Then he pulled his cuffs down, and been heard beyond the gates. pruned himself up. It was always the “I thought you were in -in - Ausdiplomatist you saw when you looked at tralia !” ejaculated the diplomatist, when Edward Monkton the younger. He never he recovered his breath and his “pose.". forgot himself. The station-master re- “ And so I was - once upon a time,” ceived a gracious nod – Phil had nearly said unrepentant Phil, in a rollicking tone. wrung his hand off — and the old fat “ But I thought better of it. Come along, coachman, Stephen, only had a “HowNed, and I'll take you to your room.” are you, Stephen?”hurled up at him with The housekeeper and some of the upper gravity and studied politeness, where if it servants were in the hall to do honor to had been Phil

the heir, and Edward Monkton acknowl. “If it 'ud 'a been t other ’un," said edged their presence with a nod or two, as Stephen, as he gave the horses an extra he followed his brother's steps, but in his flick of special severity; "he'd 'a held own room he thawed a little. out of his hand, an' he'd 'a said, “How " Phil, he said with more empresseare yer? I am glad to be at home agin!' ment than Phil had ever heard him use He's a man, he is !” said the old coach- before. “Phil, that's the loveliest girl man angrily. “This ’un is a lump of I've seen!” ice!”

“Who?” asked the younger brother “ Is Constance here?" asked the “lump cautiously. of ice" with calmness as they were rolling

" Who?" - he stared " where are along by the side of the moor, through your eyes, that you ask such a question ? some of the most beautiful Border scen. Constance Selwyn, of course. I never ery.

saw any one so lovely before." Lady Arabella smiled and sighed at the Phil colored to the roots of his hair, as same moment.

he walked to the window and looked out, “ Yes, she is.”

leaning his arms on the sill as he stood. The same thought darted at once into Then he turned back into the room the minds of Sir Edward and his son. again, all sunshine and warınth as before. “Why is she pot with us?"

“ Yes," he said gaily, “she is, and as “She did not know we had left," said good as she is beautiful. She is longing Lady Arabella, answering the unspoken to see your sketches, and to hear you sing. thought. “We came away in such a She has not heard you since she was a burry."

little, tiny girl, you know — and that is a Edward Monkton leaned back serenely, long time ago." and looked about approvingly:

Edward Monkton smiled indulgently. “The game seems plentiful," he ob- “Not so very long ago, I fancy. She served graciously, with a lordly air, and would make a sensation abroad, Phil." his father replied almost obsequiously. “She made one in London, I can tell

“Oh, yes, it is indeed. You will have you," cried the enthusiast, waxing warm some capital spori, I assure you, later on." in generous praise. “And yet she came “ New keeper good ? ”

back here as simple and as nice as any “ Excelleni. Could not be better." two-year-old! Oh, the wonder of it in

Then they were all three silent, and at these days !" the next turn, the Tower came in sight. Edward Monkton mused quietly.

On the steps stood Constance with “ Is she staying here at present?" he Blanche and Phil, and Edward Mookton's asked his brother. eyes brightened as they rested upon Con. “ Yes, for some time."

He advanced to her with that old-fash- The elder nodded his head. That was ioned courtesy, which won him so much well; it exactly suited his views. He sat approval in courtly circles; and Constance down to meditate when Phil left him, smiled frankly as she gave him her hand. choosing a large deep chair for his dream

To Blanche was vouchsafed as much of ings, which he drew up to the hearth on his cheek as his mother had touched. which a fire of pine logs were crackling She was his sister, and men are bound to land kindling.



Mr. Monkton looked into the flames, “ Mind that you are good to Ned, darpicturiog his future as he saw it there. It ling. He holds the key to the position, was an attractive future, although widely you know, the Pater swears by his opindifferent from what he had originally ions, and it is of the first importance to chosen and planned.

stand well with him." Edward Monkton was not a marrying “ I am afraid I don't like your pattern, man,” his friends had kindly agreed. Ned, dear,” she whispered in reply. Friends, as a rule, do settle these little Then, seeing the shocked look on his face, points for us without much ado; they also she added: “ But, you see, I do not know obligiogly select our “ partners,” and ar- him so well, do I? When I do, I shall range details of personal or family diffi- probably change my mind, and think difculty with complacent kindliness.

ferently." All these things our friends do for us “Of course you will," he assented out of pure good-will. So kind of them, brightly. “Ned' is wonderfully clever, so thoughtful, so — comprehensive word and a thoroughly good fellow all the way - so nice!

through. You cannot fail to like him. Í Edward Monkton's friends had arranged am nowhere when he comes in.” a good many trifling details of his life and “ Tastes differ, Phil." career for him, after this fashion. Now, “ Yours may - I shall not object to he dreamed of upsetting all this; which that. But the world, and those who know, was very needless trouble on his part, of predict a bright future for Ned. He will course.

be a big Someone before he dies; while He could do nothing but sit and gaze 1, chèrie, am only the failure of the fam. into the fire, and dream of the face he ily. You see the sort of being I am had seen; Constance Selwyn's face — the how could you choose me?" most beautiful one he had seen, he re- “We do not talk of failures until the peated, since he had left Darmstadt. end comes,” said she, nestling closely to

His resolution was soon taken; and his side. “No, Phil, you are not a failure, then, with a quick glance at his watch, whatever you may please to say." Edward Monkton rose to prepare for din- Then Phil threw back his head, while

he held her tightly. His eye kindled, be In the mean time, Phil was having the stood erect. most uncomfortable half hour he ever re. “Some day, dear, there will come for membered having.

us — happiness and perfect love, in which Something in Ned's manner vexed him we can be content. You will not tire of as he had not been vexed before.

waiting, will you ?" He looked down He strode about his room restlessly; into the sweet, clear grey eyes that were and then, all at once, he sat down by the so true and so patient. “You will not window.

'weary in well-doing,' will you?” " What a fool I am!” he exclaimed. “Will I, indeed? How dare you ask “ Con is right; I am one. Can he see me?" And the bright, mocking smile her, and not admire her? Of course not. Aashed back upon him. “Am I not waitWho could? And here I must vex my ing all the time?" jealous old heart because he thinks she is " True, indeed. But does it seem long, lovely. Phil, my boy, do you know, I Coo?" believe you are losing the few wits you “It's a long lane that has no turning, originally possessed."

dear," she replied evasively. - Brighter And shaking his head solemnly, he went days are in store for us, you will see. into his evening dress, making vigorous “God grant it,” he said gently, and as resolutions all the time to encourage his Ned entered the room the two moved furbrother's admiration, if by that means he ther away from each other. could put Con on a better footing with his Ned saw nothing suspicious in their father.

manner, and he was bent on being gra“It is such a pity that we are a couple cious. of penniless urchins !” said he, with a He advanced, holding a spray of delilaugh, as he walked out into the corridor. cate blossoms in his hand. “We must make up to Ned, and win him “Will you wear these?” he asked gen. over to our side. It will be the only way tly, “ they are not particularly lovely, but to insure success."

they are the best these houses seem to And finding Constance in the drawing, produce.”. room, he stole his arm about her waist as She took them with a little look of apol. he whispered :

ogy at Phil, but his bright smile reassured



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her, and she rewarded the donor with a “ Then - have some – that is all. When merry glance of thanks as she said, you have — come and talk to me. Before

“ You must not abuse the Tower or any- ihat - it is impudence to dream of dragthing it contains. That is high treason ging a girl down to poverty; that's all, hereabouts. Everything at Monkton is Phil. There's my advice; I make you a perfection."

present of it." He bowed gravely.

For once Phil looked grave. " I will remember,” he said, " and your “ Thank you, sir," he said quietly. “I word shall be law. You are very good to will think it over." think so kindly of us.".

" Ay, do,” said Sir Edward, glad that Then he commenced to chat with them the discussion was over. In reality it was both about ordinary topics in a pleasant just beginning, but Sir Edward did not and genial way; and presently other know that. guests came in with Sir Edward and Lady The two men turned in at the open Arabella.

door, and Phil busied himself in pouring

out tea. None of the ladies were down CHAPTER VI.

yet. Sir Edward liked these little minis“ DAD," said Phil the next morning, as trations on the part of his tall son; they they were walking down.stairs to break- flattered him, and he was glad to feel that fast. “Dad, I am going to tell you a se. Phil liked them too. cret."

By degrees he began to feel more kindly “Bless me, Phil,” exclaimed Sir Ed. towards the young man. “ Phil,” he said, ward, as he settled his glasses on his as he buttoned up his driving-coat and

“ But you've chosen a very inop- put on his gloves. “I will tell you what I portune moment. We will arrive at the will do for you. I will watch you. If you breakfast-room door in a moment." make an effort to help yourself, I will

“I always make my strokes in a hurry.” help you. There, I'll say no more. A

“Very well,” sighed his father. Say nod is as good as a wink, you know." on, only make short work of it.”

“ Thank you, sir,” Phil replied as beDad,” said Phil, taking his father's fore. “I will think it over." arm affectionately, “I want to marry – He watched his father drive away, and Constance. How is it to be done?

lighting a cigar, he walked slowly away to To say Sir Edward was astonished is to the river. give a feeble estimate of his state of mind. “I'll think it all over to day, and decide.

His small round eyes stared at Phil in Dear little girl! I must make myself the most absolute amazement; and the more of a man for her sake." same feeling deprived him of his usual He reached the river, and strolled along fluency of speech.

as far as the mill. It was very quiet and He gasped and sputtered ; had it been peaceful, and the air was fresh and bright. any one else who had presumed to tell him "I don't want to go abroad again," he such a thing, he would have been furious; said. “I think I'll try the same dodge as it was only Phil who had been so auda- over here. There's Brook's farm standing cious he only gnashed his teeth and looked empty. Suppose I have a shy at that, and unutterable things.

see what I can make of it. Why shouldn't Phil patted his arm good-humoredly. a man farm in England on the same lines

“I know, dad, I know,” he murmured as he would abroad? He might make it encouragingly, “I thought it would be a pay. I've a very good mind to try.". bit of a bother, at first. You will be rec- Then a sharp cry came on the wind to onciled to the idea after a time. How is his ears - once twice it to be managed ?"

Phil flung away his cigar. When Sir Edward recovered his speech, “Some one in trouble," he exclaimed, he felt strongly tempted to rage. But by as he answered with a shout. “ I'm with degrees it dawned upon him that that you,” he called aloud as he ran down to would not be the right course to adopt the water's edge. “Where are you? with Phil. It never had been.

He caught sight of a head rising on the He tried another plan.

surface of the water — a child's head. Phil “Will you be so good as to tell me,” he knew it. He remembered the youngster, asked gravely, " what are your prospects it was the miller's little daughter. Hasin the near future ?"

tily flinging off his coat, he sprang in after Phil laughed.

her, and caught her hair. “I have none,” he replied, after his “Keep still, Elsie, I've got you," he mirth had spent itself.

called out, for the child, in her terror, had

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