sees many ladies, and the child never saw anyone in her life but him.”

“I give you my word of honour that I look upon Miss Power as a sister,” cried the young man. “You have always been present, you know I have never spoken a word to her that could deceive her into any other thought."

“That is all quite true, Monsieur, but the poor little one loves you already without knowing it; she watches foryour coming, she is desolate when you are gone, all her days are spent in thinking of you, and she is no longer gay as before."

Sir Guy stood quite still for a moment before he answered. He did not doubt the woman's sincerity for a moment, he felt she was right, but it pained him to leave the pretty child who had won his fancy without a word.

“I am not to see her any more ?” he said slowly at last.

[ocr errors]

“If Monsieur would send Mademoiselle an excuse—would say he was suddenly called away,” Marcelline said, hesitating.

"I understand,” Sir Guy answered. “I will do as you say."

"Monsieur, I offer you a thousand thanks. You have a good heart," and Marcelline turned to go.

“Good-bye,” Sir Guy said, shaking her hand, and the worthy soul in some confu. sion wished him “bon voyage."

Mon Dieu !" she said to herself, as she toiled up the Rue d'Ernemont, “but those Englishmen are odd. They understand, though, what is meant by honour."



A FEW hours later, Dolores was stand.

ing by the garden gate, looking wistfully down the road, when a stranger, whose advancing figure she had been listlessly watching for some time, paused in his ascent and came towards her.

"Miss Power P" he said, removing his cap. "Yes, I am Miss Power."

Without another word he handed her a note, and, replacing his cap, turned away.

But not before, with the curiosity of a person who sees few strange faces, Dolores had remarked his features and bearing.


“What can it be?” she exclaimed, trembling with excitement as she tore open the note. It was written in English, and ran thus:


“I greatly regret to leave Rouen without having finished my sketch of you, but I am suddenly called away to Paris, and start to-night. I have to thank you a thousand times for your kindness and patience in sitting so long to me, and be assured that I shall not soon forget the fortnight in Rouen which you have made so pleasant for me. I will as soon as possible send you a copy of your portrait, and trust you will pardon me if I have not been happy enough to render justice to so sweet an original. “Believe me, sincerely yours,



A sudden chill crept over the girl while she read, as though a cloud had come before the bright sunshine and made everything cold and dark. The colour died out of her cheek—she leaned against the gate almost gasping for breath, and then with sudden passion she flung herself upon the ground sobbing piteously. So Marcelline found her an hour later, with a strange con. science-stricken pang.

"If I had never taken his money," she muttered to herself in a troubled voice. If for the hateful gold I should have sold the child's happiness ! Whatisit, myangel?" she said softly, coming a little nearer to the stricken form. “What ails thee, chérie ?" and she stooped down and tried to take the trembling hand.

“Go away, go away,” sobbed Dolores. “Do not come near me. I don't want you !” and she snatched herself passionately from Marcelline's kindly grasp.

« ElőzőTovább »