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CHAPTER L.

ALICE IMPARTS HER DISCOVERIES.

writing ; of that there could be no doubt And what was not Gertrude's was Ken neth's.

Oh, God of mercy, what was to come toThe next day was the Sabbath. Peace day, after that yesterday of pain ? shone from the clear autumn sky, and glori- Sir Douglas lifted his bonnet from his brow fied the common things of earth. Birds and looked up to the serene heaven before sang, flowers opened wide, streamlets and him. Thy will be done. The will be falls seemed to dance, as they rippled and done," said the trembling human lips. And rolled in the light. The freshness of the hard was the struggle to echo the words in morning was over the cultured fields; the the shuddering human heart. freshness of the morning was over the bar- Much has been said and written of the ren moor; the freshness of the morning tortures of the Inquisition, and the cruelty sparkled in the dewy glen. Neil had prom- of those who look on and yet not show ised his old nurse to " step into her sheil- mercy. But what are physical tortures ing,” his mother being absent, and go with to tortures of the mind ? What “grand her to church; for which the old woman Inquisitor" ever looked on with more stony was already pinning on her snowy cap, and indifference to unendurable suffering than best shawl, and smiling, not at herself, but at Alice Ross as she watched the flush of cola vision of Niel, in her glass.

our rise to cheek and temple — fade to Alice asked sadly and demurely, and very ghastly paleness — and big drops stand on anxiously, if she might walk with her half- the marble brow; while the breath of life brother, and if he would mind setting out seemed to pant and quicken as if suffocation half an hour “ too soon," as she had some- would follow. thing very particular_to say to him. Sir Even she started at the long moan which Douglas consented. They walked in utter burst from that over-charged bosom, as her silence great part of the way, as far as the half-brother closed his eyes and leaned back

broomy knowe," where Alice had first on the bank. talked with him of “kith-and-kin love." He had read it all. ALL. There they halted, and there they sat down, Not in vain had Alice Ross paid her long there she reminded him of that day! There visit to the blind beggar with the indented

-in a sort of frightened, subdued whisper- scar on his thin right hand. Not for the ing voice

Alice said, “I know well that first time — no nor for the hundredth - was since that day I myself have forfeited much that hand exercising its unequalled skill at of my claim to brother's love, though it scems imitation and forgery; nor that apt and torto me even now that I love you better than tuous brain devising schemes of ruin or venall

ay, even better than my dream of wed- geance on those who had offended. ded love! But whether I bave forfeited or The passionately torn letter, gravel-stainnot, I feel cannot bear others should deceive ed and soiled, had apparently its corresyou; and I've brought to this place what ponding half, also gravel-stained and soiled must be shown, though it wring my heart in (and carefully bad Alice's light heel and the showing, and yours in the reading. It's clever band sought the very spot where all I can do, in return for your mercy and Kenneth's mad passion had ground it into indulgence to me. All I can do in return the earth in the morning.) But the half is to prevent your being deceived by others ! that corresponded in form, altered the whole God knows what we are all made of! I've sense of the letter. The sentences referring not had an hour's peace since I picked this to her love for Sir Douglas were apparently up. Kenneth trampled it under foot just addressed to Kenneth. Her notice that she as you went to speak with him .yesterday would be in Edinburgh read like an apmorning; and I was out gathering flowers; pointment to him to meet her there. Her allu. and then I thought it looked so unseem- sions to the necessity —" if all this torment ly in the garden-ground; and then as I continued " of confession to her husband, gathered it up I saw - I could not help see- barely escaped the sense that she had to ing some strange words; and at last — make confession of a return of his unlawful at last — oh! Douglas, do not have any an- passion. The letter only stopped short at a ger with me! - nor much with her; for it's clear implication of sin. Perhaps even the my belief there is witchcraft round her, and two.bold accomplices employed in its connone can help loving her that sees her.” coction felt that on that hinge the door of

Sir Douglas looked strangely into Alice's possible credence would cease to open. All eyes as she handed him the gravel-soiled, was left in doubt and mystery. Except that earth-stained papers.

It was Gertrude's to that bold avowal of guilty love an answer

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had been secretly delivered, conveying all ing her huge brown leather psalm book, the encouragement it was possible to give : wrapped in a clean white cotton pocketreferring to the old day of Naples; to the handerchief. Neil gave it gently into her little note of adieu, telling him they were withered grasp, with a kindly pat on her parting " for a time, not for ever,” that it shoulder, and turned to accompany his was better for him, for her, for all.

father to their usual seat. Sir Douglas The passage that hoped he “would see passed onwards as in a dream, his face was the decency, the necessity, of withdrawing very pale. from Glenrossie,” was a little fragment “Papa's hand, that he burt yesterday, wanting in the torn sheet.

seems to pain him very much," Neil whisNo one could read the letter and still pered to Alice. She nodded demurely think Gertrude a true and holy-hearted without speaking. It was not right to wife; though those who choose to give her speak in "church. Neil ought to know " the benefit of the doubt,” might believe that. sin only imminent, not yet accomplished. Sir Douglas sat very pale, still, and

The part that was forged was not more stately by the side of his handsome little stained or spoiled than the portion which son, and many a kindly glance wandered was no forgery. Every word fitted nat- to the pew when the boy's full

, sweet, and urally in every sentence. If ever human strong voice rose to join the psalmody. being held what looked like proof incon- The young laird was the idol of Sir Dougtrovertible leading to miserable conviction, las's tenantry: “ He was just what auld Sir Douglas held it that day, as he sat on Sir Douglas himsel' had bin ; a thocht the wild, fair hill with all the peace and stouter, may be, but just the varry moral o' beauty of nature spread around him. him."

He rose at length, and held his right So the service went on, till all of a sudhand out to Alice; his left was bandaged den Sir Douglas gave a deep audible groan. and in pain. She put her slender fingers They were reading the first chapter of the forward to meet his touch, and felt the icy Gospel of St. Matthew, and had come to dampness that speaks of faintness at the the nineteenth verse : “ Then Joseph, heart. He cleared his throat twice before her husband, being a just man, and not speaking, and then said with an effort : willing to make her a public example, was "I believe you have done right. Be satis- minded to put her away privily.” fied that you have done right : it was a Young Neil started at the groan, and duty not to let me remain in ignorance.” clasping his father's hand in his own, looked

Then he stood still and looked wistfully anxiously up in his face, and half rose from out on the lovely scenery, the lake below, his seat, as though expecting bim to leave the hills above, the grim rocks of Clochna- the church from illness. But Sir Douglas ben, the valley where smiled Glenrossie, sat still, his eyes steadily fixed on the minthe speck of white light that denoted where ister. lay the Hut, with a still tinier spark of scar- It is strange that women who have been let reflected from the dag, set up on the falsely accused, never think of drawing days they meant to visit it.

consolation from the fact that the holiest "Fair no more! pleasant never, never of all women whose lives are recorded, the again!” he murmured to himself, as he one woman who was permitted to be as it gazed ; then he turned slowly to Alice. were the link between earth and heaven,

“We must go on to church. Say noth- according to the transmitted history of the ing of all this to any fellow-creature. Be Christian religion, had to endure her share as usual; I shall, I trust, be as usual. This of earthly shame. Nor only that, but that is the battle of LIFE.”

a lesson as to the fallibility of all human At the gate of the churchyard were the judgment lies wrapped in the written acusual groups of men, women, and chil- count of the conduct of her husband dren uncovered, greeting with smiles and Joseph. He was a “just

A good respectful curtseys their beloved chieftain man, merciful, affectionate, anxious to do and landlord. In general he had a kind that which was right in the sight of God; word or sentence for each and all. He anxious to bear himself fitly and with all tried twice, but his voice faltered, for they indulgence to his neighbor. But his huinquired in return after “her Leddyship man mercy extended only to “ putting her at the Castle,” and the answer choked in his away privily.” He would not put her throat.

to public shame, though his own trust was His boy Neil turned into the gate, hold- broken. That was the sum of all, till the ing the old nurse by the hand, and carry- | angelic vision made all clear.

man.

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As Sir Douglas listened, he also leaned | a tender little kiss, the bandage over the to the side of that incomparable mercy wounded hand. which would spare shame. He knelt a little “I may be away more days than you exlonger in final prayer than usual, before he pect, dear Neil. You will do all as if I passed out into the sunshine and greeted were here — lessons : conduct: care in the assembled groups with a degree less of shooting : all — won't you ?” abstraction, still holding Neil by the hand. “I will, father; I will. Trust me, father,

Arrived at Glenrossie, he shut himself up You can trust me, can't you ?” and the in the library and wrote.

boy smiled, with bis sweet candid eyes fixed His letter was not long. It was addressed full upon his father's face. to Gertrude, and enclosed the gravel- “Yes — yes! Oh God! let me trust stained papers which Alice had given him. you, my son, if I never again trust any He wrote the address and sealed it, with a other human being ! firm unshrinking hand; but long he sat and And to the consternation of Neil, Sir gazed at it after it was written, as if in a Douglas Aung his arms round his son's neck painful trance ; and when be rose from the and sobbed like a child. In the morning, table where he bad been writing, he felt as while dawn was yet breaking and Neil lay though threatened with paralysis, and yet wrapped in happy boyish slumbers

, stood a moment holding by the brass-bound rapid wheels once more sounded softly table, fearing he might fall.

along the great fir-avenue; the caressing Then he passed to his own dressing- feathery branches that had bent over Gerroom, and sent for Neil.

trude's departure the previous day, brushed “ Neil, my boy,” he said, “ I am going to over the roof of the carriage that now London ; I am in great pain.” He paused, bore her husband from home. The squirrel unable to proceed.

leaped and scampered up the brown steins, “ My dearest father ! yes ; I can see you and the scattering cones fell to the earth, are in pain. You will bave some surgeon ? and lay on the dewy grass in silence. How did you do it ? how could you get

Great was the silence in Glenrossie that hurt ? And the innocent boy stooped day: the master had departed. with his eyes full of tears, and kissed, with

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The following are the results, says the Me-| tins hermetically sealed. It has none of the chanics' Mayazine, of the trials of various common objectionable appearances or flavours American bresch-loading rifles as reported by of preserved meat; and, being ready cooked, is the military commissioner appointed to exam- exceedingly cheap at the retail price of 7d. the ine them. The Roberis breech-loader fired 84 pound without bone. This is not more than balls in six minutes, an average of 14 in one 6d. a pound with bone; and if it be true that minute, all striking inside the target, and pene. one company alone in Australia could send us trating 15 one-inch planks laid side by side. annually the beef of 10,000 fat oxen at this The Sharpe's rifle fired 100 balls in less than price, some of us may yet live to see beef com. seven minutes, and penetrated the thirteenth ing down in price in the general markets of plank. The Millbank rim-fire gun fired 99 this country. balls in six minutes and a half, and penetrated the eleventh plank. The Lansom gun fired 12

PAY MAGAZINE WRITERS. - The balls in one minute. Ball's carbine expelled 75 Springfield Republica", in its literary gossip, balls in nine minutes and a half. The Prussian tells us : “The Atlantic pays generally five needle gun, which was tested in the same way dollars per page for prose, though some writers as the others, fired an average of six to seven receive much more than this. Edmund Kirko balls a minute, and penetrated the eleventh got one hundred dollars for his Chicago Conplank. The Remington breech-loader fired spiracy. The market value of poetry seems 100 balls in 6 minutes and 53 seconds, and to vary a good deal. One poet says, that for penetrated the eleventh plank.

some of his best productions he has received

from the Atlantic only five dollars, while, for CHEAP BEEF. - The Food Committee of far poorer ones, ten dollars have been awarded the Society of Arts has done good service, ob-him. Those who have had experience in bar. serves the Daily News, by calling attention to gaining at this establishment, for the sale of a now importation of boiled beef from Austra- literary wares, opine that the price paid therelia. Messrs. M'Call, of 137, Houndsditch, for, depends a good deal upon the mood of have on sale a first consignment of 60,000 lbs. the editor-in-chief; if he is in good humour, of Australian beef, and have made arrange the seller is liberally compensated; otherwise, ments for taking a similar quantity every not. Harper's rates are about the same, five month. The meat is the best Australian beef, dollars per page for prose." not salted, but carefully stewed and packed in

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PART II.

my heart,

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artists and literary men all clever and

well educated. This is the only really wellThe next morning Ursula and I had a educated society in Florence; the fashionlong talk together about Monsieur Jacques. able people are of an unbelievable ignoShe told me that she had known him ever rance. The Del Nero's husband was an since she was sixteen years old, and that he avvocato. I don't think I saw any English was established in Florence when she and faces, except those of papa and one or two her father were living there ; and then she of his men friends, in all the years that I said, in a sort of natural way which went to lived in Florence. I was fourteen when I

went there, and I am twenty-four now; 5 He had nobody, and I had nobody, and that makes ten whole years, doesn't it ?” so we drew together.”

Her account of her life sounded very “But Colonel Hamilton was with you strange and desolate. Her father seemed then, wasn't he?” said I.

to have taken such little care of her, that I "Oh, yes," she answered ; “but papa felt really shy of asking her many questions. never cared at all about the things I cared Later, the outline was filled up for me by for, and then I usedn't to see much of him Monsieur Jacques, who told me that Colo-I never was much with him — but I nel Hamilton was a perfect monster of selloved him dearly for all that,” — and her fishness — altogether the most heartless man eyes filled with tears. “ At first I was too that he had ever met with. Instead of takyoung to go into the world, and then ing the least pleasure or interest in his Jacques used often to come and spend the child, he was, on the contrary, in despair at evening with me because it was so lonely having a daughter of that age, and kept her when papa was away dining out or at the entirely in the background. He used to go theatre.”

about in all the bad fashionable society of “ And used you to be left quite entirely Florence, got up in the most youthful style alone ?” said I. - Had you no woman in and lavishing every luxury upon himself

, the bouse to look after

you
?"

while poor Ursula had hardly decent clothes “ Oh, I had the Meneghina, our old Ital. to her back. More than once, the good Del ian maid," she replied. “ She generally Nero had given her a gown, without which used to bring in her work and sit with us. she would have been unable to accompany When I was eighteen, I thought that, per- her even into the modest Italian circle to haps, papa would then take me out with which they belonged ; and in spite of all him, but I think he liked best going out by this, Monsieur Jacques told me that she had himself; it left him so much more free and perfectly doted upon her father while he independent. I suppose that was the rea- lived, and had nearly died of his death. It son why he never introduced me to any of seems that he had retained his handsome his friends, or took me to the houses of the looks and charm of manner to the last, and people that he knew.”

although he was as hard as a stone, always “Then did you never go out at all ?” contrived to be good-tempered and pleasant said I.

at home. “Oh, yes, I went out a little, but into Certainly nothing could be much more quite a different set from papa's. I went strange than the state of things between to Giambattista's parties Giambattista Ursula and her friend. At first I supposed Giacomelli was my singing master. Such a it must be foreign ; - it was, however, evidear old fellow! and he had delightful mu- dently not so much foreign as individual, sical parties every Sunday, to which papa for it excited far greater indignation in allowed me to go.

Madame Olympe's mind than it did in "Well,” said I,“ but did you go to these mine. I had certainly never seen any parties alone ?"

manners in the slightest degree resembling "No," she answered. “Our landlady, the theirs ; but after the movement of surprise Del Nero, went to them, and I went with which they created in me at first, I soon her. She lived in the floor above us, and I got accustomed to them, and the whole used often to go up there of an evening relation had a side so touching and pretty, when papa went out and they were at home. that, notwithstanding its somewhat unusual It was there that I first met Jacques. The manifestations, I began by accepting, and Del Nero used to play splendidly on the ended by sympathizing with it. Ursula's piano, and he used to accompany ber on strength and decision were like health to the violin. She, too, had musical evenings the little morbid mortal who looked up to which were charming ; the society was en- her as morally far superior to himself

, and tirely Italian, composed of doctors, lawyers, his devotion and knowledge of the world

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were everything to so young a woman, Madame Olympe and myself, and was putwhose impulsiveness, combined with her ting her au courant of the affairs of the vilextreme simplicity of character, tended to lage. They did not appear to be in a very put her greatly in the power of designing flourishing condition, as far as morality was people. In spite of the weakness of his concerned, for he continually began acnature, the singleness of his desire after her counts of proceedings which, after the three welfare invested him in some sort with the first suggestive words, had to be imparted authority of a father or a brother.

in a whisper, to the great annoyance The change of air and of surroundings of poor Madame Olympe, who neverthehad already done me so much good, that less could not help laughing at the abon the Wednesday morning I was actually surdity of the thing. The curé would be able to take a little walk with Margery gin: — “Madame la Comtesse has doubtbefore breakfast. The park is not very less heard about Thérèse Pichon ? Is she large, but there are charming walks all aware that only three nights ago . .

...?" round it : not shrubbery, but regular wood- aud then a long whisper. I endeavoured land paths; it being, in point of fact, simply immediately to begin a little subject with a bit of the forest enclosed. The weather Monsieur Kiowski; but I saw, by his abwas quite heavenly, and the purity and sence of all rejoinder, and the frightful elasticity of the air something enchanting; vacancy of the eye he riveted upon me, one felt all the time as if one were drinking that he was straining every nerve to catch vivifying draughts of some electric water. the luckless Thérèse's little adventure. A The soil is sandy, drying directly after the minute afterwards it would be, with great heaviest rain, and the air is of the light, ex- gravity, “Has Madame la Comtesse been hilarating quality which always goes with told that Auguste Leroy is going to leave that particular kind of soil. Poor Margery the village ? It appears that on Wednesasked me anxiously when I meant to go day last, one of the keepers going his rounds home, and was greatly relieved when she in the forest at midnight, found him. ..." found that I did not mean to exceed the Then another whisper, and at the end, limit I had originally fixed to my visit. She “ His brother says that after that he will was comfortable enough, she said, but they keep him no more. Dame! It is the third were an unsociable set, and did not live in time that it happens !” At last there came the least like English servants. At about a story, in which “ la Malheureuse" played eight in the morning every one went down, a great part, and was repeated with strong took a little bowl from a shelf on the wall, reprobatory emphasis. This story was a got it filled with cafe au lait

, and drank it very long one, and presently reached such with a little bit of bread-and-butter, stand- an appalling crisis that even poor Madame ing; There was nothing like a breakfast-Olympe, who was, as one may say, “ to the table, and nobody thought of sitting down. manner born,” could stand it no longer, but

They then all dispersed, and did not meet calling out, " The boat! the boat!” hastily again until after our dejeûner a la fourchette jumped up from table, and ran to the winat about twelve, when they had their second dow. breakfast. This was devoured in all haste, 66 The boat! where's the boat ! let me see after which they again separated. There the boat!” cried Monsieur Kiowski, throwwas nothing like a servants’-hall, as in our ing himself impetuously into the spirit of great houses, and no assembling in the the thing, and nearly overturning the table kitchen as in our small ones. The men- in the wild excitement with which he tore servants remained by themselves, and the to the window. It was only the boat which women sat entirely in their own rooms. comes down the river every morning regu. Excellent rooms they were, Margery told larly. To-day it appeared in the very nick me; large, airy, with every comfort, and a of time, and deserved extra notice : but I look of prettiness and elegance that was observed that whenever it appeared it alquite unknown with us. Supper, which ways created a slight agitation. I suppose took place after our late dinner, brought that the general monotony of their lives them together again, but only for the pur- ended with making little events become impose of eating — which ceremony, like the portant in their eyes. When it had passed previous one, was got over as speedily as out of sight they returned to the table. possible.

I do not think that in the whole course of At breakfast we had Monsieur le Curé, my life I ever beheld any human creature from Marny a stalwart, weather-beaten- devour as Monsieur le Curé did : he ate looking man, with a demure, rather sly, but largely of soup, of both the hot dishes and not bad countenance. He sat between of the three cold ones, besides the salad and

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