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a small village far away. Its precise “Ay, lass, I know what you'd name does not signify. It was made say,” said her mother, rising, and up of a couple of l's, as many r's, speaking in an excited manner. “As with a y and a w as the floating sure as you're born that's the uncle power. No one in Market Hill knew you've heard me speak of so often ! much about it, anyhow. Least of Will Cobbold, that Mounsey yonder all did Mr. Mounsey, of Mounsey in his fine park is my brother. There Park, trouble himself to learn where can't be another such name in the young Will Cobbold, the drunken world; for father, he called him carpenter's son, had bestowed him- Morley Magnus after his two godself.
fathers, the chemist and the draper As for old Will, he and Mr. Moun-' of Herket. You see if your gentlesey were always at twos, as the neigh- man don't come from Herket in the bors said. As a Christian, the gentle- Forest, you see if he don't. He went man reprobated the loose habits of to foreign parts better nor twenty the workman; as a magistrate he years agone. He was as clever as you fined them, and that heavily. So please, but always a close gripe; and, that Will's days were, at this time, if you'll believe me, he has never exceptionally evil, and his heart to- once wrote home-since he heard that wards the new magnate of the dis- poor father died, and mother and me trict was bitter.
was in trouble, and he was asked to He wrote out his griefs to his son help with a few dollars; and he rollat the unpronounceable village; and ing in riches, as one may say.” expressed, as his private opinion, "Well, mother,” said Will, “supthat “Miss Letty Dormer, of the pose we give them all a start at the Cottage, who was agoing to be his old place, and travel there unexwife, and Mr. Ratcliffe put aside as pected ? I reckon our fine gentleif he had been nothing better nor a man won't be quite so down on dummy, would have her hands full father when his own niece has got when she got the old Radical ; and his son, hey, Mary?” that she had better think twice afore “Not much of a get,” said Mary, she did what no one in the world saucily. could undo when did.”
But Will gave her one for her imThis letter young Will read to his pertinence, and they cried quits over wife Mary, as he sat by the fireside the punishment. with her and her mother, not a month The preparations for Letty's marafter his marriage.
riage with the rich possessor of Moun“What Mounsey may that be?” sey Park were still going on in a lanasked Mrs. Jones, Mary's mother. guid, intermittent sort of way; the “I was a Mounsey myself afore I girl protesting, the mother insisting, saw poor Jones.”.
the man persevering, and expressing "Don't know," said young Will, himself confident as to the future. “ more nor he be a mainly rich Meanwhile, George Ratcliffe came gentleman as hav' been in the East back to Market Hill, and his presence, somewheres; but no one knows much while it comforted Letty, served to about him.”
make all things more confused. His “His name mayn't be three M's firm. refusal to be dismissed on any-Morley Magnus ?" asked Mrs. thing short of her expressed desire, Jones in a vague way.
and Mrs. Dormer's as firm refusal to “Ay, that I know it is,” said Will; allow of his pretensions, made a kind " and many's the good laugh we've of tumult in the place which set had over it in the town.".
every one talking. But no one “Why, mother!” cried Mary, knew the exact' rights of the case. who had turned quite pale.
All that was certain was, that there
was a hitch somewhere; that Letty ceed against me. That is all. It is looked miserably ill, and George simply a question of our utter ruinRatcliffe miserably unhappy; and yours and mine together, Letty-or that of the whole of the quartette con- your consenting to be his wife. Now, cerned, Mr. Mounsey, of Mounsey I leave my fate in your hands.” Park, was the only one who kept “You mean in fact, mamma, that any appearance of content, or who you have sold me to this man,” said seemed, as the doctor said, as if he Letty, with a strained unnatural could eat a mutton chop without calmness; "and that I must pay the choking. He never spoke to any price—by myself?'' one in confidence. He was not the “You may call it what you like, kind of man to give his confidence. Letty ; but why choose such unpleasBut he often said, as a matter of ant terms? The fact is the only course, to his neighbors, “When I thing to be dealt with ; unfortunately am married, I will do so and so ;" for us both." "That must wait till we have come “Unfortunately-yes, indeed !" back from our tour;" “When I sighed Letty, still with that fixed, have my wife at Mounsey Park, this strained look. “But I must speak to and that will be better arranged;" George. I can do nothing, say all said in the quietest and most nothing, without him." positive tone imaginable—the tone “I don't see much good in going of a man who, as he himself said, to him for advice,” said her mother, “ rode to win.”
irritably. “It is your affair, not his." One day Letty was sitting in the “Mamma!" remonstrated Letty. little morning-room, to which lat “Well, my dear, so it is. The terly she had retreated as a place of question is one which you alone can refuge, her mother having the fine answer. Will you marry Mr. Mounlady's natural disinclination to sit in sey, or must I be ruined and rendered anything but the drawing-room. penniless for the remainder of my Here she was hiding in sad mood life? That you have no love for me, enough, thinking over her position, I knowand wondering how she should get Here Letty raised her large gray out of the net that was being daily eyes with .a plaintive look, saying, drawn more closely round her, when in a deprecatory manner, “Mamma, her mother came in.
I do love you! You know that I “Letty," she said, abruptly; do!" "things have come to a crisis, and “But," continued Mrs. Dormer, now you must decide our future.” in a martyr-spirit, sweetly self-for
“Mamma! I have decided !” an- getful, “if you have no love for me, swered Letty, with her weary air. you surely have some kind of family “Why will you torture me so pride; you would scarcely like your cruelly?!!
father' name (you loved him) to be “The cruelty has not been on my dragged through the mire, as it must side," said her mother. " I said so be." once before, and I say so now again.” “Oh, mamma! mamma !"' cried
" It would be hard to make me poor Letty, breaking down in sobs believe that,” said Letty.
and tears, “do not mention poor "So! then, I must tell you the papa's name in the business; there is whole truth. Listen, Letty; if you sacrilege enough in it without that!" had been obedient, and had done as “You are hard on me, Letty,” you ought, you need never have said Mrs. Dormer, tears in her eyes, known it. I owe Mr. Mounsey too, “but perhaps I have deserved several thousands of dollars; and if it; and if it will make matters betyou do not marry him he will pro- ter for you—I am sorry for you, my poor child !" she added, with a companionship,” said Mr. Mounsey, genuine burst of feeling rare in her. gallantly, as the two women entered
Then the two women, the ice the room. “Is my term of probabroken, clasped in each other's arms, tion at last come to an end ?" sobbed out their grief in concert, This last was addressed to Letty, which at least destroyed the coldness with a tender air that accorded ill that had sprung'up between them, with his fierce and fervid face. and made them partners in suffering, “I have just heard that mamma not, as formerly, antagonists and owes you money,” said Letty, plungenemies.
ing into the heart of the matter at a While they were sitting there, both bound. feeling the sacredness of the anguish “A mere nothing, my dear.” of the moment, the servant came to “Don't call me dear, sir," intertell them that Mr. Mounsey was in rupted Letty, angrily. the drawing-room, the time of his “Indeed, absolutely nothingdaily visit having arrived.
not so much as a cobweb between “Letty, what am I to say to him ?” Mrs. Dormer and her son-in-law; asked Mrs. Dormer, drying her eyes, rather a large sum, I confess, between yet still weeping; "am I to tell him Mrs. Dormer of the Cottage and yes or no? He has come for his Mr. Moupsey of Mounsey Park. You final answer to-day, and I dare not see I am a man of business, my dear put him off any longer.”
young lady—pardon. the slip, it “I cannot, mamma, till I have would come—and though prepared seen George,” sobbed Letty. “If to do all that is handsome by my it is only a question of this money, relation, not prepared to give away George may help us. So long as I my money to individuals who have thought you wanted me to marry for a no claim on me. Don't you see the settlement only I did not mind re- justice of this for yourself?” fusing you; and I could not put “Yes," said Letty, straightly. George forward; I could only re- “ Then the whole thing is a mere main true to him, and hope for the matter of money. If I can get this future; but if it is money that can loan of yours to mamma paid off I be paid off, mamma, if he can raise shall hold myself free from the promthe sum you want, will not this set ise she has made for me. If I canyou free? and then will you not re- not" lease me?"
" This, my charming Letty, will “Certainly, if I could get out of be a receipt in full of all demands,” the man's debt I would not press interrupted Mr. Mounsey, taking you, my dear. But it would be a her hand in his and forcibly kissing splendid provision for you !" said it. She wiped it with her handkerMrs. Dormer, regretfully, looking chief immediately after, with an air back to the flesh-pots. “You must of the deepest disgust; and the come yourself now, Letty! I dare man's fierce face took a dark look it not face him alone any more. Ah! was well she did not see. my child, you little know what my At this moment there passed the life has been of late between you window which looked on the drive both,” she added, shuddering. a group of four, two of whom were
"I will go with you, mamma," men and two were women. The said Letty, resolutely. “From me, men were the Cobbolds, old and at least, he shall learn the truth.” young Will, both dressed in their
And they went together, arm in Sunday best, and both sober, which, arm; the two who had been so long for the elder of the two, was a estranged suddenly become friends. blessed privilege becoming daily
“I augur well from this happy rarer. The women were Mrs. Jones,
from Wales, and her daughter Mary. uncle !" And the two Cobbolds The front door stood open, as is so rubbed their hands behind their hats, often the case in the country, where and looked as if they liked it. there is neither fear nor danger, and “My word, but she has a spirit, the party entered the hall without Will !" whispered the father, with a knocking. They did, however, knock grin. at the drawing-room door, and then “Fine !" returned Will, with an they all entered.
approving nod. “Who in heaven's name are you Her tone startled Mr. Mounsey all, and what do you want? Cob into sudden reflection. bold ! young William !" cried Mrs. “There must be some mistake Dormer, angrily.
here,” he said, in a mild voice, turn“Morley Magnus ! brother Morley ing to Mrs. Dormer and Letty, and Magnus !” said Mrs. Jones in a tear- speaking in a conciliating manner. ful voice, wiping her eyes with her “No, ladies, there is none,” said shawl. And, “Well uncle, and how Mrs. Jones. “That man is my own are you?'' said Mary, who was a pert brother, who got into a little bit of young woman in her way.
trouble when he was a lad, about Then Mrs. Jones fell on his neck some sheep as found their way to and kissed him, and Mary took his father's. He were transported, he hand and shook it heartily, sideways. were, sorry am I to say it; and when
" Who are these lunatics?'' said his time was out he wrote as how Mr. Mounsey, with a fine air of dis- he had gone farther off to foreign dain. He did not start, nor blush, parts. But he never wrote no more, nor show any other emotion than though we heard of him, and how that of surprise tempered with pity he had made mines of gold. He and contempt.
left us to starve, if we'd a mind. He -* Your own sister, sir," said old never sent us a penny, or a pair of Will.
old shoes, though he knew we were “My wife, Mr. Mounsey," chimed bound to be in trouble when father in the younger man; and Mary, with died. His name is Morley Magnus her head in the air, repeated airily, Mounsey, ladies. His poor father, “ Your niece, uncle.”
he named him the three M.'s after “Sister! I have no sister! who Mr. Morley—he were the chemist, dares to say I have a sister ?" said and Magnus were the draper, of our Mr. Mounsey of Mounsey Park, town—who was his godfather, and fiercely.
stood for him. And this girl of “Hear to him! Hear to him how mine, Will Cobbold's wife-and a he disowns his own flesh and blood !” good girl she is, and a tidy wife he cried Mrs. Jones, more tearfully have got, though I say it as shouldn't, than before. “Oh, Morley Magnus, and though she has a spirit as would that ever I should have lived to see face a lion—she's a Mounsey, too. this day! And mother and me has For I kept the old name to her, as always looked for you to come when the Mounseys they was better blood your time was out, and you was a than the Jones's; and many's the free man once again; and father time poor Jones and me have had died in trouble, and they took our words on the same. And hearing house !”
from Will Cobbold there that you “Silence, you old witch !” shouted had Morley Magnus here among you, the owner of Mounsey Park; but I made bold to come and see if he Mary, who had a spirit, flashed out would help me and mine—for I am with “Witch yourself, old man. No only a lone widow, ladies—and man shall miscall my mother to my maybe raise Will and his father a bit face, if he were twenty times an in the world."
“Raise them so high, my fine tion. “Now, Mr. Mounsey was friends, that you will all be indicted rich, but he was not a gentleman. for conspiracy, and trying to extort And to think of Letty being old money," said Mr. Mounsey. “In Cobbold's niece-how horrible !" seeking to ruin me you have only “And the wife of a convict," destroyed yourself; and, by the put in George, a little grimly. Lord, you shall have it hot!” he “I should not have been old cried, passionately.
Will's niece, only his son's wife's “Mamma, this man is too hate- mother's,” laughed Letty ; she had ful,” said Letty, indignantly. “A begun to laugh again in these later thief, a convict, it is surely done times. “That would have been near with now!"
enough, however. Not that I should “ You will be prepared with that have minded Mrs. Jones or Will little sum I spoke of this day week, Cobbold, or the convict taint either, when your bill falls due ?'' said Mr. George, if it had been you," she Mounsey, with a frigid bow to Mrs. added, fondly. Dormer, and a fiery glance to Letty, “My dear, don't suggest such horwhom else he ignored.
rible ideas,” said Mrs. Dormer, shud“ Yes," said Letty, boldly. dering. " There are certain subjects Mr. Mounsey raised his eyebrows. which are not to be jested on.”
“Undeveloped resources,” he said, “So Mr. Mounsey seems to with a sneer, still addressing Mrs. think,” said George; " for I heard Dormer. “I can scarcely think that he has left the Park, and put it your young beggar friend, Mr. Rat- into Brille's hands for sale." cliffe, can raise the funds; but I pre- “What a blessing," said Letty. sume you know where to find your But her mother, with a glance in market. You have missed one good the mirror opposite, looked dubious. settlement, madam ; but better luck "I am sorry it has all come out next time !"
so ill against him," she said. “He And, with an insolent laugh, he was not a gentleman ; but all the took his hat, and passed out. same, Mounsey Park was a charm
“Pay it?" said George, when ing domain.” Letty told him all; “why, of course “Even with Will Cobbold at the I will pay it. I can raise the money; gates, and that conviction for sheepnever you mind how, Letty. We stealing to be turned up at any shall only have to wait a little longer, time?" asked George, a trifle conand work a little harder, and maybe temptuously. live a little simpler, that is all. But “Money can do a great deal," we are safe now, and I think the answered Mrs. Dormer. money well spent.”
“Yes, it can,” replied George, "Ah! what a thing it is to have drawing Leity to him tenderly. “It to do with a gentleman,” said Mrs. can heal two broken hearts, and Dormer, with languid enthusiasm, make two despairing wretches the and her usual happy knack of setting happiest people in the world—can't herself just that one step in front of it Letty ?? her circumstances which is the line “Yes, George," said Letty, with that separates welcome from resigna- her hand in his.