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her dying day. Adelaide's audacity had cause of this. Adelaide was standing disposed of her first determination, and, on the step above him, with her glorious as for the second, why, the piece of Lady face bent sternly, almost fiercely, down Ascot's mind which was to be given to on his, and the hand from which the Adelaide was, somehow, not handy; fan hung pointed towards him. It was but, instead of it, only silent tears, and as beautiful a sight as he had ever seen, withered, trembling fingers, which wan- and he calınly wondered what it meant. dered lovingly over the beautiful young The perfect mouth was curved in scorn, hand, and made the gaudy bracelets on and from it came sharp ringing words, the wrist click one against the other. decisive, hard, clear, like the sound of a

“What could I say, Brooks? what hammer on an anvil. could I do," said Lady Ascot to her “Are you a party to this shameful maid that night, “ when I saw her business, sir ? you, who have taken his ownself come back, with her own old name, and his place, and his prospects way? I love the girl more than ever, in society. You, who professed, as I Brooks, I believe. She beat me. She hear, to love him like another life, took me by surprise. I could not resist dearer than your own. You, who lay her. If she had proposed to put me in on the same breast with him—tell me, a wheelbarrow, and wheel me into the in God's name, that you are sinning in middle of that disgraceful, that detest- ignorance." able woman, Brittlejug's drawing-room, William, as I have remarked before, there and then, I should have let her had a certain amount of shrewdness. do it, I believe. I might have begged He determined to let her run on. He for time to put on my bonnet; but I only said, “You are speaking of Charles should have gone.”

Ravenshoe.” She sat there ten minutes or more, “Ay,” she said, sharply; “ of Charles talking. Then she said that it was Ravenshoe, sir-ex-stable-boy. I came time to go, but that she should come here to-night to heard them all ; to ask and see Lady Ascot on the morrow. them, did they know, and did they dare Then she turned to William, to whom to suffer it. If they had not given me she had not been introduced, and asked, an answer, I would have said such would he see her to her carriage ? Lord things to them as would have made Saltire was next the bell, and, looking them stop their ears. Lord Saltire has her steadily in the face, raised his hand a biting tongue, has he? Let him see slowly to pull it. Adelaide begged him what mine is. But, when I saw you eagerly not to trouble himself; his among them, I determined to save a lordship, with a smile, promptly drop- scene, and speak to you alone. Shameped his hand, and out she sailed on ful—". William's arm, Lord Saltire holding the William looked quietly at her. “ Will door open, and shutting it after her, your ladyship remark that I, that all with somewhat singular rapidity. of us, have been moving heaven and

“I hope none of those fools of ser- earth to find Charles Ravenshoe, and vants will come blundering upstairs be- that we have been utterly unable to find fore she has said her say," he remarked him? If you have any information about aloud. “Give us some of your South him, would it not be as well to consider African experiences, Mr. Smith. Did that the desperation caused by your you ever see a woman beautiful enough treatment of him was the principal cause to go clip a lion's claws single-handed, of his extraordinary resolution of hiding eh ? "

himself? And, instead of scolding me William, convoying Adelaide down and others, who are doing all we can, to stairs, had got no further than the first give us all the information in your step, when he felt her hand drawn from power ?" his arm; he had got one foot on the “Well, well,” she said, “ perhaps you you have the goodness? I saw Charles Charles, in his headlong folly and Ravenshoe to-day.”

stupidity, had contrived to do before “ To-day!”

this time, must be told in another “Ay, and talked to him."

chapter--no, I have not patience to “ How did he look ? was he pale ? wait. My patience is exhausted. One was he thin? Did he seem to want act of folly following another so fast money? Did he ask after me ? Did would exhaust the patience of Job. If he send any message ? Can you take one did not love him so well, one would me to where he is? Did he seem much not be so angry with him. I will tell broken down? Does he know we have it here and have done with it. When been seeking him ? Lady Welter, for he had left Adelaide, he had gone home God's sake, do something to repair the with Hornby. He had taken the horses wrong you did him, and take me to to the stable ; he had written a note to where he is."

Hornby. Then he had packed up a “I don't know where he is, I tell bundle of clothes, and walked quietly off. you. I saw him for just one moment. Round by St. Peter's Church—he had He picked up my hat in the Park. He no particular reason for going there, was dressed like a groom. He came from except, perhaps, that his poor foolish I know not where, like a ghost from the heart yearned that evening to see some grave. He did not speak to me. He one who cared for him, though it were gave me my hat, and was gone. I do only a shoeblack. There was still one not know whose groom he is, but I pair of eyes which would throw a light think Welter knows. He will tell me for one instant into the thick darkness to-night. I dared not ask him to-day, which was gathering fast around him. lest he should think I was going to see His little friend was there. Charles him. When I tell him where I have and he talked for a while, and at last he been, and describe what has passed here, saidhe will tell me. Come to me to-morrow “ You will not see me again. I am morning, and he shall tell you ; that going to the war. I am going to Windwill be better. You have sense enough sor to enlist in the Dragoons to-night." to see why.”

“ They will kill you,” said the boy. “I see.”

“Most likely,” said Charles. “So “ Another thing. He has seen his we must say good-bye. Mind, now, sister Ellen. And yet another thing. you go to the school at night, and say When I ran away with Lord Welter, that prayer I gave you on the paper. I had no idea of what had happened We must say good-bye. We had better to him — of this miserable esclandre. be quick about it." But you must have known that before, The boy looked at him steadily. if you were inclined to do me justice. Then he began to draw his breath in Come to-morrow morning. I must go long sighs—longer, longer yet, till his now."

chest seemed bursting. Then out it all And so she went to her carriage by came in a furious hurricane of tears, herself after all. And William stood and he leant his head against the wall, still on the stairs, triumphant. Charles and beat the bricks with his clenched was as good as found.

hand. The two clergymen passed him on “And I am never to see you no more! their way downstairs, and bade him no more! no more!”. good-night. Then he returned to the “No more,” said Charles. But he drawing-room, and said,

thought he might soften the poor boy's “My lord, Lady Welter has seen grief; and he did think, too, at the Charles to-day, and spoken to him. moment, that he would go and see the With God's help, I will have him here house where his kind old aunt lived, with us to-morrow night.”

before he went away for ever; 90 he

her dying day. Adelaide's audacity had cause of this. Adelaide was standing disposed of her first determination, and on the step above him, with her glorious as for the second, why, the piece of Lady face bent sternly, almost fiercely, down Ascot's mind which was to be given to on his, and the hand from which the Adelaide was, somehow, not handy; fan hung pointed towards him. It was but, instead of it, only silent tears, and as beautiful a sight as he had ever seen, withered, trembling fingers, which wan- and he calmly wondered what it meant. dered lovingly over the beautiful young The perfect mouth was curved in scorn, hand, and made the gaudy bracelets on and from it came sharp ringing words, the wrist click one against the other. decisive, hard, clear, like the sound of a

“What could I say, Brooks? what hammer on an anvil. could I do," said Lady Ascot to her “Are you a party to this shameful maid that night, “ when I saw her business, sir ? you, who have taken his ownself come back, with her own old name, and his place, and his prospects way? I love the girl more than ever, in society. You, who professed, as I Brooks, I believe. She beat me. She hear, to love him like another life, took me by surprise. I could not resist dearer than your own. You, who lay her. If she had proposed to put me in on the same breast with him—tell me, a wheelbarrow, and wheel me into the in God's name, that you are sinning in middle of that disgraceful, that detest. ignorance." able woman, Brittlejug's drawing-room, William, as I have remarked before, there and then, I should have let her had a certain amount of shrewdness. do it, I believe. I might have begged He determined to let her run on. He for time to put on my bonnet; but I only said, “ You are speaking of Charles should have gone."

Ravenshoe." She sat there ten minutes or more, “Ay,” she said, sharply;“of Charles talking. Then she said that it was Ravenshoe, sir-ex-stable-boy. I came time to go, but that she should come here to-night to heard them all; to ask and see Lady Ascot on the morrow. them, did they know, and did they dare Then she turned to William, to whom to suffer it. If they had not given me she had not been introduced, and asked, an answer, I would have said such would he see her to her carriage ? Lord things to them as would have made Saltire was next the bell, and, looking them stop their ears. Lord Saltire has her steadily in the face, raised his hand a biting tongue, has he? Let him see slowly to pull it. Adelaide begged him what mine is. But, when I saw you eagerly not to trouble himself; his among them, I determined to save a lordship, with a smile, promptly drop- scene, and speak to you alone. Shameped his hand, and out she sailed on ful_” William's arm, Lord Saltire holding the William looked quietly at her. “ Will door open, and shutting it after her, your ladyship remark that I, that all with somewhat singular rapidity. of us, have been moving heaven and

“I hope none of those fools of ser- earth to find Charles Ravenshoe, and vants will come blundering upstairs be- that we have been utterly unable to find fore she has said her say," he remarked him? If you have any information about aloud. “Give us some of your South him, would it not be as well to consider African experiences, Mr. Smith. Did that the desperation caused by your you ever see a woman beautiful enough treatment of him was the principal cause to go clip a lion's claws single-handed, of his extraordinary resolution of hiding eh?"

himself? And, instead of scolding me William, convoying Adelaide down- and others, who are doing all we can, to stairs, had got no further than the first give us all the information in your step, when he felt her hand drawn from power?". his arm; he had got one foot on the “Well, well,” she said, “ perhaps you

you have the goodness? I saw Charles Ravenshoe to-day.”

“ To-day!”
“Ay, and talked to him.”

“How did he look ? was he pale ? was he thin? Did he seem to want money? Did he ask after mę? Did he send any message ? Can you take me to where he is? Did he seem much broken down ? Does he know we have been seeking him ? Lady Welter, for God's sake, do something to repair the wrong you did him, and take me to where he is.”

“I don't know where he is, I tell you. I saw him for just one moment. He picked up my hat in the Park. He was dressed like a groom. He came from I know not where, like a ghost from the grave. He did not speak to me. He gave me my hat, and was gone. I do not know whose groom he is, but I think Welter knows. He will tell me to-night. I dared not ask him to-day, lest he should think I was going to see him. When I tell him where I have been, and describe what has passed here, he will tell me. Come to me to-morrow morning, and he shall tell you ; that will be better. You have sense enough to see why."

“I see.”

“Another thing. He has seen his sister Ellen. And yet another thing. When I ran away with Lord Welter, I had no idea of what had happened to him of this miserable esclandre. But you must have known that before, if you were inclined to do me justice. Come to-morrow morning. I must go

Charles, in his headlong folly and stupidity, had contrived to do before this time, must be told in another chapter—no, I have not patience to wait. My patience is exhausted. One act of folly following another so fast would exhaust the patience of Job. If one did not love him so well, one would not be so angry with him. I will tell it here and have done with it. When he had left Adelaide, he had gone home with Hornby. He had taken the horses to the stable ; he had written a note to Hornby. Then he had packed up a bundle of clothes, and walked quietly off.

Round by St. Peter's Church—he had no particular reason for going there, except, perhaps, that his poor foolish heart yearned that evening to see some one who cared for him, though it were only a shoeblack. There was still one pair of eyes which would throw a light for one instant into the thick darkness which was gathering fast around him.

His little friend was there. Charles and he talked for a while, and at last he said* “ You will not see me again. I am going to the war. I am going to Windsor to enlist in the Dragoons to-night.”

“They will kill you," said the boy.

“Most likely,” said Charles. “So we must say good-bye. Mind, now, you go to the school at night, and say that prayer I gave you on the paper. We must say good-bye. We had better be quick about it."

The boy looked at him steadily. Then he began to draw his breath in long sighs—longer, longer yet, till his chest seemed bursting. Then out it all came in a furious hurricane of tears, and he leant his head against the wall, and beat the bricks with his clenched hand.

“And I am never to see you no more! no more! no more !”

“No more," said Charles. But he thought he might soften the poor boy's grief; and he did think, too, at the moment, that he would go and see the house where his kind old aunt lived, before he went away for ever; so he

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And so she went to her carriage by herself after all. And William stood still on the stairs, triumphant. Charles was as good as found.

The two clergymen passed him on their way downstairs, and bade him good-night. Then he returned to the drawing-room, and said,

“My lord, Lady Welter has seen Charles to-day, and spoken to him. With God's help, I will have him here with us to-morrow night.”

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And so you see here we are all at sixes and sevens once more. Apparently as near the end of the story, as when I wrote the adventures of Alured Ravenshoe at the court of Henry the Eighth in the very first chapter. If Charles had had a little of that worthy's impudence, instead of being the shy, sensitive fellow he was, why, the story would have been over long ago. In point of fact, I don't know that it would ever have been written at all. So it is best as it is for all parties.

Although Charles had enlisted in Hornby's own regiment, he had craftily calculated that there was not the slightest chance of Hornby's finding it out for some time. Hornby's troop was at the Regent's Park. The head-quarters were at Windsor, and the only officer likely to recognise him was Hornby's captain. And so he went to work at his new duties with an easy mind, rather amused than otherwise, and wondering where and when it would all end.

From sheer unadulterated ignorance, I cannot follow him during the first week or so of his career. I have a suspicion, almost amounting to certainty, that, if I could, I should not. I do not believe that the readers of Ravenshoe would care to hear about sword-exercise, riding-school, stable. guard, and so on. I can, however, tell you thus much, that Charles learnt his duties in a wonderfully short space of time, and was a great favourite with

When William went to see Adelaide by appointment the morning after his interview with her, he had an interview with Lord Welter, who told him, in answer to his inquiries, that Charles was groom to Lieutenant Hornby.

“I promised that I would say nothing about it,” he continued ; “but I think I ought: and Lady Welter has been persuading me to do so, if any inquiries were made, only this morning. I am deuced glad, Ravenshoe, that none of you have forgotten him. It would be a great shame if you had. He is a good fellow, and has been infernally used by some of us—by me, for instance."

William, in his gladness, said, “Never mind, my lord ; let bygones be bygones. We shall all be to one another as we were before, please God. I have found Charles, at all events ; so there is no gap in the old circle, except my father's I had a message for Lady Welter."

“She is not down; she is really not well this morning, or she could have seen you."

“It is only this. Lady Ascot begs that she will come over to lunch. My aunt wished she would have stopped longer last night."

"Your aunt ?"
“My aunt, Lady Ascot.”

“Ah! I beg pardon ; I am not quite used to the new state of affairs. Was Lady Welter with Lady Ascot last night?”

William was obliged to say yes, but felt as if he had committed an indiscretion by having said anything about

it.

“The deuce she was !” said Lord Welter. “I thought she was somewhere else. Tell my father that I will come and see him to-day, if he don't think it would be too much for him."

“Ah, Lord Welter! you would have come before, if you had known—"

“I know, I know. You must know that I had my reasons for not coming. Well, I hope that you and I will be better acquainted in our new positions ; we were intimate enough in our old."

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