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Wadpole; they had discussed where he to gain time. He saw in Christopher's should go, and what he should do, and face that he had been witness to what had Georgy had promised that during his ab- passed between him and Robin, and the sence she would keep him posted up in all knowledge made him feel much less at the news of the neighborhood.

ease than he seemed. Rising, be stood What would she think now when she up, and with a questioning look waited for learned that Robin had gone with him ? Christopher to begin. He could not tell her that a mere chance, How contrarily to anything we may an unforeseen accident had brought about conceive, are the tragedies in real life an event which she would always believe usually played out ! accusation, invective, must have been decided on at the very reproach, sound natural enough on the time they were conversing. Georgy's stage, but standing face to face the inwas not a disposition to overlook a de jured and the injurer, the froth of many ception; he would, he felt, forfeit her words is out of place. So at least it friendship forever. The rector, too, what seemed to Christopher. What he had to would he think of it, and the other friends say needed no prelude to discover his he had made in the county among his outraged feelings. Indignation, wrath, neighbors ? All would blame, all con- suffering, what mattered it to the man demn him, and rightly too, because none who had planned to rob him of the one knew the real facts of the story; if they treasure dearer than life? He had to save did, whatever they might say, they would Robin, that was the thought to be kept befeel differently.

fore him: time enough for self, when this How strangely inconsistent is human horrible crisis was past. nature! Never before had Jack seemed “I have heard you ask my wife to leave to value the good opinion of others so her home with you," he began, and it highly. Not for worlds would he have even struck Jack bow different to his acknowledged to himself that he regretted usual way, was his manner of speaking. the step he had taken, but a thousand “You tell her you love her, and you seek pricks of conscience came to torment to ruin her.” him.

Jack winced internally. A few words, two or three disjointed “ I loved Robin Veriker," he said, “be. sentences dropped by Robin had given fore you ever saw her.” him the key to all he had made her sensi- “ And she - did she love you?” tive heart suffer, and the thought of that " I was not in a position to ask her then, newly-awakened love shrinking back with I was poor, penniless, and I gave a promshame because of the fear that it had ise to her father that I would go away given itself to one by whom it was not without speaking to her: although I kept wanted, stirred him with a compunction my word, I thought she understood, and he had never felt before. It was true he when by chance we met here on this very had played with her, trifled with her, spot where we are standing now, I be. thinking of his own pleasure, not of her lieved that she was bound to me as I felt pain.

bound to her." Was this what he was still doing? Jack made a pause as if to keep under

His answer came in the vows he regis. bis emotion, and then in a cold, dry voice tered to protect her, to shield her, to de- he added, “You know what had happened vote his whole life in striving to make her in the mean time — how with poverty, happy:

sickness, starvation, staring at them, to Could he do this?

save her father she had married, you." Suddenly the instinct that some one was Ah! Jack, no need to fling such scorn near, rather than any sound he heard, into that word. The man before you

feels made him look up and turn half round; it to the full his inferiority: while you have was Christopher standing close to liin. been speaking, he has watched each tura

“ Have you been here long?" Jack of your mobile face, and summed up the asked, and supreme as seemed the mo. scanty measure of his own merits. ment, terrible as was the situation, Chris. I knew it was to save her father," topher could but marvel at the self-com- Christopher said, “ but your name was mand shown in putting the question, no never so much as mentioned by either of start, no change of countenance betrayed them, until the day you called ; when she any emotion,

told me she had seen you here I was igno. . For some time behind the brushwood rant that before she had been aware of there, I have."

your existence.” No need to tell that; Jack had but asked “What could a girl say of a man who

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had left her? She did not know that Ij " It is my one hope," Christopher conwas coming back. I did not realize myself tinued; "if you love her you will spare then how I cared for her. I had known her, I told you I had heard almost all that her so long as a child, a pet, a plaything, passed between you, and I know that she that the thought of anything more had is in your power and I am at your mercy:' hardly presented itself until in telling me Jack looked away, Christopher's face of his illness, her father spoke of her be troubled him. ing left in the world alone and friend. “ Your father makes her life a very less."

hell,” he said. “Was it you then, who suggested that “I promise that they shall not remain he should write to us?"

another day under the same roof together; Jack gave an assenting movement. ask anything you will of me, and I swear

" It seemed horrible,” he said, as if in to carry it out to the very letter." excuse: “to picture a girl like Robin, Jack looked at him fixedly, his eyes without any natural protector. There was were strained to search him through and enough to shield her from while her father through. lived; he gone, what might not have be. “ And if so,” he began," after what you fallen her?"

know — towards her could I trust you Hardly worse than threatens to befall to be the same?” her now,” said Christopher sternly.

A flush deepened on Christopher's face. For a moment Jack stood silent.

“In anything which concerns her,” he “ Your wife is perfectly innocent,” he said sadly, “ you may trust me entirely; began : “and as far as that goes, this my misfortune is to love her, my crownmeeting which I asked of her, was but to ing misery,” he added bitterly, " that she bid her farewell. I could not stay here, does not love me. Did I know of any and be silent any longer, and I was going sacrifice by which I could ensure her hapaway, my plans were settled and all ar- piness I should not hesitate to make it, rangements made. If your father's bru- but short of taking my own life, I cannot tality had not driven her into my arms, set her free; if I could — I would not we should be parted now, I should have come between you." left her, I could have gone then with my Was he speaking the truth ? Jack felt secret, safe in my own keeping

an inward conviction of his sincerity Christopher groaned audibly.

forced upon bim — in spite of the efforts “But now,” continued Jack, his voice he had made, he had never succeeded in grown husky, his face working, and thinking meanly of Christopher. troubled, “after seeing her on her knees “ You must give me until to-morrow,before me, imploring help for our old he said, and the struggle he was making friendship's sake, begging me to aid her showed itself in his face and the hoarse, in escaping from the insults and tyranny broken tones of his voice. which are daily, hourly, heaped upon her, keep silent about this meeting to her?""

never! Whom has she to turn to if I “If you desire it, from me she shall fail her?

never hear that I have spoken to you." The

eyes that met his gave the answer. “ A letter sent to your house would “ You are, I know, her husband, but — "it be delivered to you unseen ?” “I am, unfortunately,” said Christo- “ I will take care it is given to no other pher," for her and for me too; although hand than my own.” I would never haye been so had a word 6. And a letter to her?" been dropped of you. It was what I “Shall be faithfully delivered.” begged her father to tell me, was there There was a moment of hesitation : any obstacle he knew of against our mar- Jack looked as if he was going to speak riage, and he said no;” in the anguish again, then of a sudden he wheeled round, of his soul the words Christopher spoke and to Christopher's surprise, he was came bitterly. “What motive had he to gone : the crackling of Lough and branch deceive me so cruelly? When I told the hasty retreat he was making,

“He didn't know he was deceiving then all was still, and Christopher was you,” interrupted Jack chivalrously; "he left standing alone. but suspected that Robin cared for me, Like the rush of many waters desolaand he had no faith in my love for her.” tion overwhelmed him. No one was near you did, you do love her?"

not an eye could see him, and casting Jack looked at him with surprise, but himself on the ground he lay still and made no answer.

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From Blackwood's Magazine. the inn-door, the weather had cleared a

little. Well do I remember the drive:

the cold, keen air; a pale half-moon lightSEVERAL years ago it fell to my lot to ing up the sombre landscape; dark islands be on the march with a subaltern of my of bog alternating with pools of shimregiment in Ireland. I was taking a dé- mering water; hill-slopes near but mystetachment into a remote part of the coun- rious. As far as I can remember, we entry, where I believe some disturbances tered the grounds of Innishderry Hall were apprehended, and we had been about a mile and a half from the town. started off at pretty short notice. I have Already the country had begun to wear a even now a lively recollection of a long prettier aspect; patches of wood aprailway journey, the dingy stations we peared; and after passing the lodge-gate, passed, the tedious stoppages, occasional we began to descend a valley – broken, plashes of rain against the carriage-win- rocky ground, with clumps of spruce and dows, and our final exit from the train in larch either side till, suddenly a dark, draughty shed with a sloppy plat- emerging from this, the drive swept round form. From here we had a good long a corner, and we were in view of the sea. march to our haltips-place, through a sad- A few minutes more, and we were looking colored waste, past hillsides of black bog, down over a charming little bay shut in hardly a sence worth calling one to be by cliffs, with a boat high and dry up the seen, now and then a tumble-down hovel beach; and from this point till we sighted by the roadside, and off and on the rain the lights of the house, copse, park, and pelting down in the sort of searching cold heather intermingled one with the other showers one gets in bleak parts of Ire- to our left, while on the right great white land in the autumn-time. The town where lines of surf quivered and broke in the we were to stay the night was no excep- moonlight. tion to the general dinginess. After set- It was a beautiful scene as it presented ting the men down into their billets, we itself to us in the obscurity of the nigbil. prospected the principal inn in the time. Possibly by day some of its enplace, got a couple of very middling bed-chantment might have been missing, but rooms, and inade up our minds to make we did not see it in daylight. Such as it the best of the situation. We had di was it probably impressed ine and stamped vested ourselves of our wet uniform, itself in my memory, more on account entered our little sitting-room with its of the subsequent incidents which enwelcome, peat-piled fire, examined some sued than anything else. hideous sacred prints hung round the The house, as we drew up to it, seemed walls amongst them I remember one of a large and handsome one. It had a great St. Veronica displaying a large handker. many windows, a steep-pitched roof, and chief with the Saviour's face upon it - was partly ivy-clad. Two long ranyes of and were busy planning what to associate out-buildings were attached to it, one at with whisky and the jacketed potato, when either end, and from that nearest us as a note was brought in and handed to me, we approached, ran out an old wall with a message that some one was wait. matted with ivy.stems, and forming an ing for an answer. It was addressed to enclosure screened by a row of thorn“ The officer commanding detachment, trees, behind which one could just make Regiment;” but one saw at a glance it out the ruined gable-end of a small buildwas not an official communication, the ing. Our driver, who had been most unenvelope being a dainty white one, and communicative all the way out as to our the handwriting almost unmistakably that host and hostess, condescended to tell us of a lady. It turned out to be a very this was a very ancient chapel, which courteous invitation from a Mr. and Mrs. some ancestor of the family had pulled M- of Innishderry Hall (we will call down and dismantled, “bad luck to him!” it), who, having heard that some troops The fine entrance hall — I can recall it were passing through Moynetown to-day, now – warıned by an ample stove and hoped for ihe pleasure of the officers' well lighted up, with a few dressed skins company at dinner that evening. This lying about, and a huge ebon cabinet over was really a timely as well as a hospitable against the door, made a cheery contrast offer, so A-, my subaltern, and I, at to the outside car and surroundings we once agreed to accept it.

bad just left. Round the walls were Fortunately, when evening came round, grouped a splendid pair of stag's horns, and the rickety-looking car that was to a fox's head and brush, a stuffed seal, jolt us to our entertainers clattered up to and other trophies of a sporting life ; and

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a black buffalo's massive frontlet, sur- up to him to ask what it all meant, when mounting a sheaf of assegais, suggested dinner was announced. at once what we afterwards learned to be At the dinner-table I found myself on the case, that our host had been in South the left of our hostess, the baronet oppoAfrica. "I wonder what sort of people site me. A was placed some disthey are, major ? ” were A- 's words to tance down on the opposite side, so that me, sotto voce, as he gave his sleeves a I could keep an eye on him, which I soon final jerk and glanced down critically at began to think I must do. I had now an his boots, while we followed the butler to opportunity of noting more particularly the drawing.room. A moment more, and Mrs. M—'s personal appearance. Her we were face to face with our new ac- age I should judge to have been somequaintances.

where about eight-and-twenty or thirty, I do not recollect anything very note considerably under her husband's. Her worthy about our host. He was a tall figure was faultless; neck and arms of and rather handsome man, but of some that nameless tint one has so often seen what faded aspect - quiet and genial in imperfectly described in novels his manner. "I am an old soldier my. “creamy-white; a corona of hair of that self," was his greeting to us, “and I never deep auburn-red which so sets off a fair like any one in the service to pass our woman; and a face of singular beauty, place on duty without our finding him of which you forgot everything but the out." But our hostess! As I shook eyes the moment you looked into them. bands with her she at once engrossed my Such eyes they were! Their particular attention. I am at a loss now, as I was size, shape, this or that color, would never then, to define the nature or cause of the occur to one; it was their strange, almost peculiar interest she seemed at once to weird, effect when turned on you, that excite in me. Certainly she was a re. one felt. It was as though they divined markably handsome woman, but my ob- what you were thinking of, and could anservation of her at the moment of intro-swer your thoughts. Yet it was not a duction was quickly diverted by the satisfactory or a restful face. I can recall strange demeanor of A. I had turned certain half-disagreeable sensations I exround and was in the act of presenting perienced as her eyes occasionally rested bim, when he suddenly started, stoppe on mine while we talked, and once or and, without attempting a salutation or twice a flash as of something almost advance of any kind, stared at her. For malevolent seemed to pass out of them. the instant, the situation was embarrass- One incident I recollect.

We were ing. Was the man going to faint, or was discussing pictures, and Mrs. Mhe off his head, or what? There he pointing to some fine family portraits stood, stock still, facing Mrs. M-, till hung round the dining-room, said, “ My in a severe tone I said, “A- this is husband and I are distant cousins, Major our hostess."

“ Mrs. M- allow me to P, so that you see we are mutually introduce Mr. A- This appeared to represented here; and yonder is a lady of rouse bim a little, for he made a sort of bygone days, supposed to have been very backward movement, which might do wicked, and to be like me." I looked up, duty for a bow, though a very poor apol. and sure enough there gazed down on me ogy for it, and said, " I-I- I beg your from the canvas a woman's face strikingly pardon," retiring immediately into the like the speaker's - so like, that except background. If this was bashfulness, it for the quaint costume, the portrait might was a curious forin of it, I thought, and have been taken for her own.

It was a certainly new in my knowledge of A-finer specimen than usual of the formal This little incident over, I had leisure to yet fascinating style in which our great. look round the room. Tliere appeared great-grandmothers have been depicted to be about a dozen people in all. Mr. for us - a stately attitude, regular but M- introduced me to a relation of his, immobile features, and exuberant charms a baronet whose name I forget; to a par- sumptuously if somewhat scantily draped. son, who assured me in Hibernian ac. The lady's figure, as it chanced, was cents that troops had been down here turned towards our end of the table; she “repealudly;" and to a niece, whom I held a fan in her hand; the lips had a was to take in to dinner. I caught a mo- disdainful, almost derisive, smile; and mentary glimpse of AM, and saw to my the eyes, which in such pictures usually surprise that he was furtively but intently appear to be contemplating the spectator, watching the lady of the house from an and to follow him about, seemed directed obscure corner. I was quietly slipping full on our hostess. “There is certainly

LIVING AGE, VOL. XXXIX.

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a likeness," I said, " but the lady on the eign to him, for he was ordinarily a wall is entitled, I feel sure, to an entire cheery, common-sense fellow, not easily monopoly of the wickedness." Mrs. disturbed. At length it seemed that our M laughed, and winged a glance at hostess became aware of the intent ob me, and the smile and the eyes were those servation she was being subjected to; and of the portrait.

before the ladies rose from the dinnerAnother circumstance I remember dis. table, her handsome features had grown covering in looking round the table, very white, there was a visible trembling which, had I been superstitious, might movement in her hands,gand her eyes not have added to my comfort. We were took an uneasy expression not previously sitting thirteen. Mrs. M-, I rather there. think, must have noticed me counting the As soon as we men were left alone, and numbers, for she made some remark, as almost before we could reseat ourselves, if in reply to my thought, “So sorry we A- turned to our host, and in an odd, were disappointed of one of our party at muffled voice announced that he felt unthe last moment."

well, and begged permission to take his Meanwhile A- was again attracting departure. Mr. M- glanced at me my attention by his extraordinary behav- with a puzzled air. He was so very sorry. ior. His partner, a pretty-looking, lively Could he do anything?. And, of course, girl, was evidently doing her best to make the carriage was entirely at Mr. A's herself agreeable, and he was answering service. By this time it was evident ber in an intermittent fashion; but I could something was really amiss with A- - ; see he was eating very little, and crum- so I made some sort of excuse that I bling his bread in a nervous, preoccupied feared he had had a hard day's march and manner, while every now and then his got soaked, sent our sincere apologies to eyes wandered to Mrs. M_, with a cu. Mrs. MM, and rejecting the kind offer rious, fixed stare that was positively ill of the carriage, we found ourselves out mannered and altogether unaccountable. again in the moonlight. The moon was Instinctively I turned to the same quarter well up; and as we passed the old ruinous to see what could be the object of this chapel, you could see, through a little persistent scrutiny, but in vain. There, pointed window in the gable, the wall be indeed, was a beautiful woman, dressed to yond half lit up, and dappled over with perfection, and with those wonderful eyes; long shadows from the thorn-trees along but what right had he to gape at her like side. We walked for a little while in si. that? I began to wonder if she or any lence, I deliberating what to say, whether other of the

guests would observe A—'s to be stern or sympathetic, but decidedly rudeness. I tried to catch his eye, but inclining to the former. Indeed, whether without success. In a little while I lapsed he were well or ill, the extraordinary ges. into comparative silence, and set myself to tures and demeanor of A—that evenwatch A —'s movements more narrowlying were unbecoining in the extreme, and as well as I could, across the table. After taking place as they did in the presence a time it seemed to me that the direction of his senior officer, could not be passed of A -'s gaze must be at Mrs. M—'s over. “ Mr. A " at length I began, head or a little above it; but there was in an official tone, “I must ask what is nothing I could see to account for this. the meaning He had been hurry. To be sure, she wore, fastened into the ing on with his face averted from me; but thick top coil of her hair, a jewelled or- now, as I spoke, he suddenly stopped, pament of some kind that seemed to turned round, and grasping my arm, sparkle at times with intense brilliancy; broke in with “So help me God, major, but still, why this repeated and offensive the devil stood behind her!” “The contemplation at her own table of a mar. devil stood behind her!I said, in utter ried woman, on whom, so far as I knew, amazement; “ what on earth do you neither A - nor I had ever set eyes be mean?” “I mean what I say; the devil fore? Could these two have been known was standing behind her all the time.” to each other in some bygone love-affair, His voice fell almost to a whisper, and he or was the man gone out of his wits, or looked back towards the house, which had he taken too much drink?

was still in sight. I could have no doubt How this memorable dinner struggled who he meant by her; but I was so taken on to a conclusion, I hardly remember. aback, that what to go on saying to the The more fidgety I got, the more irresisti- man, I knew not. It was obvious he was bly was I drawn to watch A-. His under some strange mental delusion. face wore a pale, scared aspect quite for- | We walked on. Presently be spoke again,

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