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the gate, and the housekeeper's head was to be seen at the window. Lucy had no time to
CHAPTER IX. lose.
Go,” she whispered to Billy Green, “and tell him who sent you that I will see him. My LUCY waited with feverish suspense the mofather is absent on business, and will not be ment when, after their long separation, she back before to-morrow; but, notwithstanding was to see her former playmate again undishis absence, I am watched like a prisoner. I turbedly. The hours seemed to creep along shall not be able to steal away until after din- with snail-like slowness; the hands of the
Let him await me then at the old tomb- clock would not move on. At dinner she was stone near the three pines. Every child knows scarcely able to swallow a morsel, so that the the place; he will easily find it by inquiring old housekeeper asked her anxiously if she was for it."
unwell, and what ailed her. She sought to “I myself will conduct him thither, and appear gay and unconcerned, although she stand guard lest any one should overhear hardly succeeded in doing so. At last the you."
servant went to work again after carefully “Do so, good man, and take this for your bolting the gate; the old housekeeper seemed trouble."
to have fallen asleep in her easy-chair. Now Billy Green pocketed with a chuckle the was the time for Lucy to steal away. She small coin which Lucy handed to him, and slipped noiselessly on tiptoe to the door, and vowed in return, without being asked for it, then anxiously looked back. The housekeeper eternal fidelity and silence; and he really in- had her eyes open again, and asked, dreamtended to redeem his promise, in order to grat- ily, “ Where are you going, Lucy ?" ify his hatred against the Puritan. He passed “Into the garden,” said the girl. “I am the returning servant with a smile of great sat-| going to look after the new plants.” isfaction.
“Go, my child. But do not stroll farther “Did you find the man you were looking away from the house, for you know that your for ?” he asked him, maliciously.
father does not like you to do so, especially in The servant contented himself with eying his absence. If he should learn of such a Billy distrustfully,
thing, he would scold us both." “Let me give you a piece of good advice,” “I shall remain in the garden." said Billy to him. “On leaving the yard “Very well, very well,” murmured the old henceforth, you had better lock the gate lest woman (a relative of Henderson), and fell once a fox should steal your Puritan chickens while more into her doze. you are pursuing his trail !"
Lucy, as she had said, went in the first place He disappeared with a peal of laughter be to the garden. It consisted of a few modest hind the shrubbery on the bank, before the flower-beds and a small orchard. On one side servant was able to make a fitting reply to were to be seen the beehives, to which old him. The stone which he hurled after the Henderson devoted particular attention. Their vagabond fell noisily into the water, and ex- industrious inmates swarmed in great numbers eited anew the mirth and sneers of Billy past Lucy toward the neighboring forest, Green, who was very proud of having so com- where they sought for richer spoils of honey. pletely fooled the servant.
The daughter of the house was well known to the sagacious insects. A bold little bee seated
itself on Lucy's hand, which it had taken, per- | precious and gorgeous objects. The stern orhaps, for a white blossom; but, probably find- ders of old Henderson had suddenly put an ing out its mistake, it soon unfurled its brown end to all this. How many tears had the wings and sped forward, as if to show her the privations imposed on her all at once wrung way. A gate led from the garden into the from her! She thought night and day of those open fields ; closed on the inside with a wooden charming times, and every thing beautiful and bolt. The girl drew it back with a trembling magnificent was associated in her mind with hand, as though she were about to commit a Ludlow Castle. There lay the country she was great crime. Thus she had crossed the thresh- yearning for, the lost paradise of her childold of her paternal home, and stood still for hood. a moment, hesitating whether to proceed or It was for this reason that her meeting with not. Indescribable anxiety filled her once Thomas in Haywood Forest had made so deep more. The little bee was still humming before an impression upon her. All the old wounds her, and flew on boldly and carelessly, filled commenced bleeding afresh, and memory with no such apprehensions, and, if it thought fanned her slumbering love into a bright flame. at all, thinking only of the sweet honey which Nothing was needed but an opportunity, a was in store for it. Suddenly a swallow darted beck, and Lucy would leave her hateful paterdown out of the air, and the little bee paid nal home and return into the arms of her forwith its life for its first sally into the fields. mer playmate. The imagination of this girl of Lucy had not noticed the occurrence, for she seventeen looked upon the youth as a savior was too much engrossed in her own thoughts ; and deliverer from the jail in which she felt otherwise, perhaps, it might have served as a herself imprisoned. The warm life-blood circaution to her. But, as it was, passion and culating through her veins, throbbed for enhot blood carried the day, and she was bound joyment and pleasure, which had so long been to see Thomas, even though it should cost her denied to her. The gloomy Puritan allowed life.
his daughter none of the amusements for which Young as the girl was, she possessed a young persons so justly yearn; even the most strength of will bordering on obstinacy. innocent joys were forbidden to her. She was Something of old Henderson's puritanic stub not permitted to go out, except in the company bornness was to be found in her character. of her father, or under other surveillance, nor His severe treatment had aroused her indigna- ever to attend a rural festival. Old Hendertion, and she was determined to bear no longer son detested the notes of a bagpipe or violin ; the restraint imposed upon her. She had for he considered dancing a terrible sin, and every merly become acquainted with another and other harmless pleasure a heavy crime. This more brilliant life than that she was compelled was in keeping with the spirit of the times, and to lead now at the quiet house, in the company with the views of those sectarians. Lucy was of her old relative, and under the surveillance not even permitted to sing, and yet she was of her morose father. At that time, when her famous for her fresh and charming voice. Mr. mother still lived, and she was yet allowed to Lawes, the music-teacher at the castle, after hold daily intercourse with the inmates of Lud- hearing her, had been so delighted as to offer, low Castle, she had been the partner of their of his own accord, to give her the necessary joys and manifold amusements. For days she instruction and cultivate her voice. The surly was permitted to play in the sumptuous apart- Puritan would not even permit this, and had ments of the castle, surrounded by all sorts of rejected the offer under the pretext that the
human voice was destined only to praise the anxiously after her, and the smoking chimney Lord, and that no instruction was necessary like a finger cautioning her against what she for this purpose. Lucy had borne all this long was about to do. She seemed to hear a wellenough, in her opinion_his exaggerated sever known voice calling her back in plaintive tones. ity, her joyless loneliness, the rude and oppres. These remembered tones pierced her heart ; sive treatment she had to endure, and the her knees trembled involuntarily, and her feet privation of the most innocent amusements. seemed nailed to the ground. But the next The moment had come for her now to indem- moment she thought of the promise she had nify herself to some extent. Her heart was given to the friend who was waiting for ber, unconsciously filled with longings for liberty, and turned her back resolutely upon her home and for some change in this tedious and mo and the spirits of her domestic hearth, which notonous life.
were following her warningly. Once more she Her friend's message reached her when such turned before setting foot on the small bridge was her frame of mind. She felt like a pris- that was to lead her to the opposite bank. oner whose cell is opened by a compassionate The house had disappeared and was concealed hand, and rushed rashly out of the garden. from her eyes. It seemed to her as though It was not until she had left it that she began she had no longer a home. to reflect, and bashfulness stole upon her heart. She crossed the bridge with a rapid step, Her anxiety increased at every step as she and breathed freely again only after reaching moved from her father's house. Every tree the opposite bank. Behind her lay the gloomy by the wayside seemed to her a spy, and be past, and before her the flowery meadows hind every shrub she thought she saw some and the mute forest, where her lover was waitone watching her. She had to fear the worst ing for her under the pines. How lovingly did from her father's severity in case he should her heart throb toward him! But her home ever learn that she bad disregarded bis orders seemed not yet willing to give her up; it sent in such a manner. Her heart felt no love for, after her a faithful messenger who pursued her but only intense fear of him; but it was not steps with stubborn perseverance. She heard this feeling alone that deterred her now. Her a panting sound behind her, but was not conscience, her virgin shame, raised their courageous enough to turn. The pursuer warning voices in her bosom. Both advised came nearer and nearer, howling and barking, her against the step she was taking; they spying and seeking. It was the faithful watchspoke to the hesitating girl softly, it is true, dog that had hastened after her. Now he but impressively enough. Her heart throbbed jumped up to her, and gave vent to his joy with tumultuous agitation and threatened to at finding her in loud barking and wonderful burst her close-fitting black bodice. All sorts leaps. Evidently out of breath be pressed his of objections arose in her soul, and more than shaggy bead against her airy form, and looked once she turned her eyes back toward the at her with his sagacious, good-natured eyes. house which lay so quiet in the noonday sun. She was unable to bear his glance, which So long as Lucy saw this house where she was seemed a silent reproach to her. This unesborn, and at the door of which she had so pected witness was a burden to her. Vainly often sat with her lamented mother, conceal did she drive the animal from her side; the ing her curly head in the lap of the kind-heart-dog, usually so obedient, refused to leave her; ed matron, she still felt tempted to return. he returned to her again and again; neither The windows seemed to her like eyes looking | her prayers nor her threats were of any avail.
From her earliest childhood he had been ber, the forest only to kill the time till the hour of constant companion; he had grown up with meeting, but the game had been safe from his her, always a friend, a careful guardian, and bullets. His thoughts were engrossed in somenow, perhaps, more than ever. This thought thing else, and Lucy's charming image stood presented itself again to Lucy, and yet she constantly before his eyes. She was the prey would not suffer the dumb monitor near her. which he had chosen, and the description She begged and scolded, she threatened and which Billy Green had given him of her beauty entreated, but the dog did not move from the only added to the flame burning in his heart. spot. At the best, he remained a few steps It was not love, but a wild intoxication that behind, and trotted after her mournfully and had seized his senses, an infatuating fascinahanging his head. The girl would not tolerate tion which suddenly changed the whole charhis company at any cost. It was almost with acter of the hitherto innocent youth. tears in her eyes that she ordered him to go The designated spot lay somewhat off the home; but it was all in vain, he stuck to her highway, on a hill, where one could not be heels like the warning voice of conscience. seen, and yet, shielded by the dense shrubHer impatience caused her to forget every- bery, could survey the whole neighborhood. thing—his fidelity and love, his long, long A gray, moss-grown slab covered the grave of services, and her old affection for him. She an unknown knight, who had fallen here several picked up a stone and hurled it at the faithful centuries ago in a duel, or by the hands of animal. The dog uttered a loud howl, and assassins. The inscription had long since belimped off with a bleeding foot. Her head be come illegible, and the name had been forgotgan to swim, and she thought she would faint. ten, but the legend had stuck to the bloody On looking up again, she discovered that the spot, and did not even allow the slain knight to dog bad already disappeared.
find rest in his grave. Passers-by asserted that She hastened forward now to make up lost they had often seen a pale youth seated on the time, but she still seemed to hear the panting slab, surrounded by his dogs. The superstitious of the faithful dog behind her, and to see the peasantry of the neighborhood avoided the reproachful glance wbich he cast on her when road leading past the grave. It was but rarely the hand which had bitherto always caressed that any one ventured to set foot on this weird bim raised the stone against him. She felt a spot, and even the birds seemed to sbun it. load weighing down her heart as if she had | Profound silence reigned all around. The committed a crime. Her conscience raised its heavy branches of the sombre pines did not warning voice once more, but it was again in move, and the tall grass murmured almost invain. She could already see her destination, audibly. Such was the spot which Lucy had the three lonely pines and the old tomb. The chosen for her interview with Thomas; she last scene had heated her warm blood still was sure that no one would watch and disturb more, and added to her obstinacy. Her cheeks them here. She herself was not afraid, for old were flushed, her pulse was throbbing, a sort Henderson had remained free from the superof wild frenzy had seized her soul. Thus she stition of the common peasantry, and had edurushed toward her fate.
cated his daughter in this spirit. Thomas waited likewise with feverish ex A shrill whistle uttered by Billy Green incitement for the arrival of the girl, for whom formed the impatient youth of the girl's ar80 ardent a love bad arisen in his heart over- rival. Soon after she stood before him, breathnight. He had hunted during the morning in less, and unable to utter a word. Thomas
signed to Billy Green, who disappeared at once
after à pause.
“Alas! Since my dear mother's in the shrubbery, and the lovers were alone. death I have not bad a single merry hour. My
“At last! At last!” cried Thomas. “I father became more morose from day to day, was already afraid you would not come.” and held intercourse with no one. You know
“Was I not obliged to come after you had that he joined the Puritans, and, like them, is called me?” she replied, affectionately. “I at 'variance with the whole world. He reads should have come even though it had cost my all day long in the Bible, which he carries life.”
constantly about him; he looks, with sullen “Lucy, do you love me?"
hatred, upon every thing that is not in keep“Ask me, rather, if I ever ceased to love ing with his austere notions. I am obliged to you. All my thoughts have always been with follow his example, although this kind of life you and your sister at Ludlow Castle. Oh, is so odious to me that I long for death every how I have longed to meet with one of you, day. I am kept at home like a prisoner, and and unbosom the grief weighing down my am watched at every step. No matter what I heart! At length I saw you yesterday in may do, it is always a sin in father's eyes, and Haywood Forest. My heart throbbed impetu- he pronounces every pleasure a bait of hell. I ously toward you, but I could not utter a syl- cannot bear it any longer. If I had not met lable in that hateful crowd. What did I suffer you, I should surely have carried my resolve for your sake on seeing you exposed to such into effect.” deadly peril! Thank God, you were sayed, 6 What resolve ?" they did not kill you.”
“To throw myself into the Teme where it is “You see I got off tolerably well. But let deepest." us no longer speak of me, and, least of all, of “Oh, you bad girl! Would you really have my adventure yesterday. I hope I shall one been capable of doing that?” day get even with the rabble, and wreak ven “Yes, I would, and you know that I was geance on them for the contumely which they already in my childhood able to take firm heaped on me. Tell me, rather, about your resolutions. But since I have found you affairs, your life. We have not seen each again, and since you have told me that you other for so long; it has been almost an eter- love me yet, I will live. Oh, I love this life nity for me.”
so dearly, when it smiles at me so gayly from “Really? Oh, would that I could believe your eyes !”
“Yes, we will live," said Thomas, pressing “Did I ever tell you a falsehood? Were the girl's slender form to his heart. “ To live you not always my dearest friend since my and enjoy sball be our motto. Away with the earliest childhood ? Come, sit down ; let us morose teachings of the hypocritical Puritans ! chat together as we used to do in former What do their gloomy sermons concern us? times."
God did not create the beautiful world in vain. He took her hand, and drew her down to He did not vouchsafe us our joyous youth in his side on the moss-grown slab. He folded vain. Despite all canting, sanctimonious vilher to his heart, and she did not prevent him lains, we will enjoy the present. What does from imprinting glowing kisses on her lips and the flower bloom for, if we are not allowed to cheeks.
pluck it; what does the wine grow for, if we “You want to know about my life during are not to drink it ? Our lips are created for these latter years ?" she asked, with a sigh, I something else besides singing tedious psalms