tragedy. Well it is for us that we don't know beginnings when we see them, that we often mistake them for endings, and smile where tears are due.

different too. "He never understood Llewellyn," she used to say, and our hearts indorsed that condemnation with instant sympathy. I never asked questions about our grandfather, for the mention of him It was dark when Uncle Llewellyn went was sure to bring a shadow over our talk, away. The clear, musical tones of his and mother refrained as a rule from de- voice sounded in the doorway as he and tailing painful circumstances to us. But mother exchanged good-byes. The light one day, after a series of anecdotes con- of the lamp hurt mother's eyes as she cerning the virtues and wisdom of a dog came in from the darkness, and she shaded of Llewellyn's, one of his numerous pet them with an uplifted hand. It was the animals, mother ended her tale with the light that made the eyes glisten as with refrain, "Poor little David!" and Gladys tears, for the mouth was smiling. In a hastily asking, "Why do you call him minute she caught us up and kissed us, 'poor' mother? Did he come to a bad and merrily chased us to bed. "This is end?" we were told how he had been the end of all difficulties for Llewellyn," I found killed by poison, his body thrown am sure she was saying in her heart; out on the hillside over the garden wall." and everything is going to be well with Our horror must have been almost as him from this day always." And for her. great, I think, as the horror of his young self? What had become of her own grief master and mistress when the little body at parting from him? It had cleared away was first seen; and when mother added, absolutely I believe, dissolved by the force David had offended your grandfather," of her love. I remember a laugh of real the picture of a monster assumed distinct | joy she gave when the first letter came form in my mind. Theo said, I remem- from Uncle Llewellyn. I recall nothing ber," But where was your mother, mother; couldn't she have saved David?" Then silence fell upon us all. Gladys and I had always supposed the mother of that house was dead, for nobody had ever mentioned her to us; but when Theodora spoke, no answer or explanation of any kind was given.

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Once when we were little toddling things we saw Llewellyn. It must have been very soon after our mother's second marriage, when we had been living at the rectory about a year. It was before Wynne was born, I know. “Yes, here are my children Llewellyn; now at last I can show them to you," mother said, and whilst clinging round her, we three chubby baby girls were made to hold out hands and look up at the slim young-looking uncle whose name was well known to us even then.

Uncle Llewellyn and mother and we spent the whole of one day together. We got very friendly with the tall man before long, and pestered him for high jumps and races, and I remember that he was very good-natured. I suppose now that day was a tragic one to mother. Uncle Llewellyn had come to say good-bye before leaving England, indefinitely it seemed; for when we used to say to mother afterwards, "When is Uncle Llewellyn coming home, mother?" mother always sighed and looked away, and turned the talk to something else. So that long day that Uncle Llewellyn spent at the rectory was the beginning of the

about succeeding letters for a long time, excepting that the stamps occupied us a good deal, and that the scrawliness of the handwriting had a vague interest for us.

The next time I saw Uncle Llewellyn

but I must not go on to that day yet. There were hearsays and signs. We heard the name spoken now and then by our stepfather, not in mother's tones; we, at least I, grew to be conscious of contention in the air, setting in from some quar. ter unawares at intervals. Then mother would look jaded and ill, until the storm somehow lumbered away, for no reason connected with the life we were cognizant of. Once it flashed upon me that these seasons followed the coming of foreign letters, and I began to watch and to fit the events together. I was then first aware how seldom any letters did come from abroad, and mother did not seem to notice this, indeed I felt certain that she rested when they did not come. Yet the sweet child-stories were still often told, and in the telling of them smiles came breaking over the beautiful mouth as of old, and the eyes grew liquid in the love-light that shone through them.

It was during the terrible days of the period of tumult, whilst mother's anguish was at its height, that Martha told Gladys and me all I knew for a long time of what had happened about Uncle Llewellyn. Theodora was not mistaken, she had seen our uncle on the day of our garden feast. He did not look like a beggar then, Martha assured us; but there was something

wrong she knew at the time, for he would | Martha in the time of tumult, and the parnot come into the house until he was cer- tial relief that came when mother seemed tain of finding our mother alone. He somehow to have been lifted up above made a friend of little Thee that day, and reach of the tormenting fiends, closed the sent her with a message to mother. The terrible past. Why look at it or think of odora must have promised secrecy to her, it any more? I heard afterwards that she would never have given her word to a Uncle Llewellyn had been sent to prison. stranger. After all, his offence could not have been a very serious one, or perhaps it was only that nothing very dreadful against him was proved, for the term of his imprisonment was a short one. But, as I said, we knew nothing of this at the time I am writing about, and never thought about Uncle Llewellyn at all.

After that first visit he often came and went, Martha said, and until nearly the end our stepfather knew nothing of it. Of how he came to be hanging about our place at Christmas when mother was away Martha could not tell. I told her about Theo's fancy of seeing his face against the glass of the passage window.

Uncle Llewellyn had been the haunting shadow of mother's life that autumn and winter and cold spring. She never could refuse him anything; and Martha told us how one trinket after another had gone, and everything valuable mother possessed even the watch, that still made believe to be in its place by means of a pierced scallop-shell slipped inside her waist-band. Mother's beautiful furs were sold at last; she said she could not bear to wear them, because Theodora had loved them so.

The secret visitor came and went, and looked shabbier as time went on; he was often the worse for drink, Martha said. She knew that mother and Thee had met him on the last evening of the mission when they came home so late. Things were getting rapidly worse by that time. Sometimes Uncle Llewellyn went away for several weeks together; when he came back he was dreadful to look at. "He took up hopelessly with bad companions, joined a gang of thieves." I shall never forget how those whispered words of Martha's made me shiver, whilst Gladys's eyes grew large, and her face flushed and took a sort of wild expression. It was after one of his long absences that Gladys saw Uncle Llewellyn and mother standing such a long time in the rain. The next day he took refuge in the rectory, hoping it would prove a safe biding-place, for the police were after him then? and mother would have given her life to save him. Martha knows the plan of escape she had contrived. If only a few things had fallen out a little differently, it would have succeeded, and then Well I suppose things really never could be different from what they are. Anyhow, Llewellyn was not saved.

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After the crisis when mother went away, we heard no more of him. I think we forgot even to wonder what had become of him. We only had that one talk with

The open grave was in October. Christmas came round again at last.

"Bring us a great many candles," Gladys said, on the evening before Christmas day. "Madeleine and I are going to sit up very late in the schoolroom reading."

She insisted upon Wynne going early to bed, however, and carried him off herself. Then she drew the curtains across the schoolroom window, which was at the front of the house and overlooked the garden gate (the schoolroom was over the hall and front door), made the fire half up the chimney, lighted candles on the man. telpiece and upon the schoolroom table, drew two rickety armchairs to the fireside, piled books in a heap between us, and settled herself to look in the fire. After all Gladys could not turn herself into an absorbed reader by force of will. She was terribly restless, poor child, and my heart was bleeding. What could I do to help her? I don't think we did help each other except by being close in bodily presence. My heart yearned over Gladys; she could not bear things as I could and can. We managed to stay up in the schoolroom until twelve o'clock. The last hour from eleven to twelve was a quite silent and idle one. Even I could not read. Gladys put no more fuel on the fire after eleven struck. There was an old tall clock in our schoolroom which had come from mother's home. It stood against the wall, between the fireplace and the window, just behind where we were sitting. It had a loud tick; the marked, even sounds soothed us a little that night. Gladys sat on the ground and leaned her head against my knee. By-and-by she threw her handkerchief over her face — a favorite habit of hers when she was tired. I looked into the embers then; Gladys's right hand lay loosely in my left, the moments ticked away, the clock began to strike twelve. Then Gladys sprang to

her feet.

leine, can't we?" I hesitated a moment and looked round the room. The candles were sputtering and flaring; two had gone out. The clock finished striking. Hush! there was a knock at the front door under the window. Just one rap. Nothing answered the rap; no sound within. Had every one gone to bed, then, except us two? even our stepfather? That wasn't likely; he always sat up till twelve.

"We can go to bed now, Made- | piercing, of a winter landscape in the sunshine. The sun-god at midday even could win no victory there, it is true; but he cast his better magic over the enchanted land. We almost ran along, our footsteps clattered, we did not speak. I began to feel not only the glow that exercise gives to the body, but the rhythmic flow of imagination which this communicates to the mind. I was happy for the space of half a mile or so. We came to the cross-roads where the sign-post stands, and were hurrying on straight ahead without changing our direction, when we noticed a small group of people to the left of us, standing looking at something by the roadside under the hedge. Gladys led the way to join the group, and I followed her.

"Perhaps it was fancy," I said, "and there wasn't a rap at all. Nobody would be likely to rap in the middle of the night." Listen; it came again, one rap, louder this time. Then we heard the study door open, and footsteps treading the hall to the door. Everything sounded clearly in the silent house. Gladys and I stood close together and listened. We heard our stepfather undraw the bolts and chains, and take down the bell that hung inside the shutter, then he opened the door, and there came a pause in sound, of a few seconds only, and after that the door was banged to with an angry noise, barred and locked within, and we heard our father's retreating footsteps. Instinctively we drew towards the window, and putting our ears within the drawn curtains, heard a man walking down the gravel walk, and soon came the click of the garden gate, and then everything was silent inside and outside.

"Poor body!" I heard a woman say, "he must have crept under the hedge to die." "He's starved to death, I doubt,' said another.

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We pressed between the speakers and saw too; the body of a man, in ragged and scanty clothing, sitting as he had died under the branches of a bare black-thorn, arms fallen to the sides, mouth slightly open, sallow cheeks, short, stiffened hair, eyes closed, -Oh! perhaps he was asleep when he died. I hope he was asleep. He must have been asleep, and he didn't know everything so very dreadfully.

I looked at Gladys. She was as white as the corpse before us. I pulled her I don't know how I felt, it was like a away. "Come away, Gladys," I said; lump of ice being formed in my heart."we cannot do any good here." We never said to each other, "Who could So we went home together, and neither it be?" or "what has happened?" We got into bed somehow, and somehow fell asleep; but I awoke often between then and the morning, and always with a feeling of the intense cold of the night. It was freezing bitterly out of doors.

The Christmas day that followed was a dreary one. Morning prayers were read in the church; there was nothing else to mark the day. Wynne's chilblains were so bad that he did not care to take a walk with us after the service. We thought we might perhaps get up a little feeling of exhilaration if we went for a tramp along the frosty roads. The sun had broken through the morning fog whilst we were in church. There was not any snow on the ground; but the trees were covered with rime, and now the beauty of the cold giant kingdom could be understood. I always thought of the winter season as the reign of the giants of old Norse mythology - terrible giants they were, and my heart rebelled against them but I never could deny the beauty, weird and VOL. LXXIII. 3777


of us spoke again until we were inside our own garden, and when Gladys told me, "That man is Uncle Llewellyn, Madeleine. It's the very same I saw with mother." But no one else seemed to know who it was.

Two days after the body was buried on the pauper side of the churchyard. Our stepfather read the funeral service over the grave, of course. I wondered did the sound of the rectory door being banged in the middle of the night, echo in his ears? It did continually in mine, and with it came a sense of shame and sin new to me in those days.

We made wreaths of ivy into two loveknots, put one upon the grass that covered mother's mound, and laid the other above the nameless grave; and all the time I kept repeating to myself one verse out of a favorite hymn of Theodora's:

Heart of Christ, oh! cup most golden,
Taking of Thy cordial blest,
Soon the sorrowful are holden
In a gentle, healthful rest.

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the world of the little birds. I used to
speculate what sort of consciousness they
had; and every year the same sweet mys-
tery of life perplexed me. From that nest
in the bushes my fancy stepped far; but
the place was a symbol to me, and the
ground-stuff of many histories. Then
there was the gate that led from the gar
den into the field. Some years the field
was used for pasture, and some for mead-
To open that gate in the meadow
years and walk through the grass about
a week before the hay-harvest began,
looking into the faces of all the flowers
whilst the seeded grass rippled through
my fingers, and Venus's looking-glass
strewed itself like pearls deep down, just
above the ground-well, the first few
minutes of such a walk gave me the great-
est feeling of exhilaration I have ever
known. I leaned on the gate that summer
morning and repeated a favorite nursery
rhyme to myself:.

When all the pleasant meadow-lands
Are bare, and still, and green,
They never look so bright to me
As in the spring they've been.
I like to see the meadow-sweet
In the wind move to and fro;
Purples growing high in the grass,

Red pimpernels below.

Two years passed years of feeble impression on my memory and then a day stands out like a hill from the plain. Gladys was fifteen that day. I have called Gladys our June rose. "Rose of the world," I said to myself that first of June; and surely no rose could have been found in the world to match her. Had she suddenly grown like our mother, I wondered, as I saw her move about the breakfastroom, stooping here and there to arrange a flower or an ornament? The tenderest possible pink bud was lying in one of the fair coils about her head. What was it that awakened such a thought in me? Mother's hair was a golden glory, and Gladys's crown was only soft and fair. I could not tell. The breath of some reminiscence was astir in me, I think, and it opened my eyes to see that Gladys was already a woman. Gladys was grown up; she was a rose, and not a rosebud any longer, though the dew was still upon the petals. I am a year older than Gladys, but I felt like a child beside her that day. She was very sedate, I remember, as if something was restraining her usual sudden impulses. A change was awaiting us, and Gladys was prepared for it. I never prepared, because I wrap myself up in phantasm; and at that distance of time after our bitter grief I had wandered far into the realm of fancy. There is, how ever, one thing I am glad to remember about my dreams at that time. They were not so often personal as they had been in my childhood. I was becoming more and more capable of falling in love with what lay outside myself; the places that sur-have told us that such a thing would haprounded me were dear to me in themselves. pen sooner or later. Poor Wynne! It There was a cluster of lilac and laurestina would be the happiest thing for Wynne, bushes at one corner of the grass plot his father assured us, and the best. I where a blackbird built every spring. I thought of the coldness of the relations used to stand outside the bushes in the between him and us that existed ever sunshine and peer into the labyrinth of since I could remember. It hadn't been leaves, and trace the flickering light as it good for us particularly to have a stepthreaded the intricate ways. At morning father. No; I could not help feeling sorry and evening love-notes sounded from for Wynne. And for ourselves within; at midday silence reigned through | stepfather politely explained to us that

Just then a servant from the house came to summon me to the study, where she said my stepfather wanted to speak to Gladys and me. Gladys was there before me. I came through the open French window into the study; Gladys sat facing me as I came in; my stepfather was standing in front of the fireplace, sideways to her. He had been telling her something, I could see, and he looked confused and nervous; but Gladys, quietly listening, had a slight smile upon her lips. When I came in, the story had to be told over again; my stepfather had to tell it, for he got no help from Gladys. It need not have surprised me so very much. It was two years since our mother died, and her husband was going to be married again that was all. Anybody could


we must go away. He had made an arrangement with our grandfather, he said, that we were to be taken into the old home in Montgomeryshire. We had a week before us in which to take leave of our home, collect our treasures and be longings, say good-bye to all our friends, separate ourselves from our little brother, and go.

Gladys took everything more simply than I did; she cried at the right times, when we were saying our good-byes to friends, or taking leave of favorite spots. I couldn't cry, although I felt as if I were leaving a part of myself everywhere. Some people say it takes a great many selves to make up one person, and I think this must be true, and that we leave a self behind us in the places we love best astral bodies. I don't know, but the idea expresses a little the feeling I had of a dissipation of my proper person taking place every day during that dreadful week, so that I could not imagine what there would be left of me at the end of it to go

and overgrown with weeds, all very neglected and unhappy-looking. It was like an ogre to surround himself with dreariness. It was a dreary reception, too, that we had from our grandfather's housekeeper, a melancholy-looking woman, who told us Mr. Colwyn was engaged with a friend and could not see us. "I'll tell you what, Madeleine," said Gladys, as we were supping together, "this is exactly like one of our old plays; going a journey, don't you remember, stopping by mistake at the thieves' house in a wood, seeing nobody, having supper by ourselves, stumbling over a bloody dagger on the stairs, being all of us murdered in the night, at least all but, saved just in the nick of time." If things had been a little better, I think they would have been a little worse somehow. I was glad to be left alone with Gladys, and not to have to seem pleased to see anybody. So we went to bed in two slips of rooms, with wooden walls, that led into one another by a step, and had no door between. All the passages went up and down in steps, and there By the time we were to set off Gladys were no carpets anywhere up-stairs, exhad cheered up a little. "You know, cepting one torn scrap upon a landing. Madeleine," she said, "it will be a great "I never thought our grandfather was change" it was just that I hated. poor," Gladys said, and it was a new idea Gladys was chiefly occupied in specula- to me. Everything was new, we had tions about our grandfather-the old stepped straightway into a new life. ogre of our childish imagination. Would he be a real tyrant? However real, Gladys was prepared to resist and determined to conquer. In short, the calculation as to how much of her own way she should contrive to get, and how little of his own will our grandfather might be allowed to keep, formed the staple of her thoughts and talk during our travel. I let her run on what did it matter? I was crying all the time.


"I can't make him out, Madeleine." Gladys had been standing by the window in the hall looking absorbed for five minutes or more. This was whilst we were waiting for breakfast one morning about a week after our arrival. "Him" was our grandfather. I waited to hear what else Gladys would say. "Do you think he's nice?" I didn't, but I said nothing. I knew what Gladys meant. She hadn't A shabby car met us at the junction had a single tussle with him yet, and station, where we were left by the train, for Gladys measured people, as a rule, by the Colwyn (that was the name of our grand- amount of freedom they accorded herself. father's place) was seven miles off. Driv- Just then we heard him come into the ing up and down hill, along muddy lanes, dining-room, and we went in, too, by the crossing streams here and there, passing door from the hall. Our grandfather was through Welsh-looking hamlets, seeing a large man with broad shoulders, and he for the first time un-English faces, roused stooped a good deal. His head was well me to wonder if we should really get in-shaped, and he had a quantity of white side the magic of those old tales of moth-hair. His face was florid; his mouth was er's, if we were going to live in the large, and had a scornful expression, I atmosphere of them ourselves. We thought. The eyes were the feature that looked out curiously for the first view puzzled me. He scarcely took any notice of the house. It looked commonplace enough as we drove up to it -a long, stone building, with one-half the roof higher than the other, a stone wall outside the garden, thickly growing trees behind, the drive up to the door uneven, rutted,

of us; but when he did so, his manner was brusque. In short, he was much more rough than any man we had seen before. Gladys was not very sensitive about roughness, and I don't know that I minded it much. It was only another part of the

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