in But you

her. Let her spy on' me as she will, I am the best for her that lies in my power. not going to spy on her.”

Should I be unable to do what she would “Of course not. But if you have no like, she must yet believe me true to her proof, how can you state the thing as a as to my God, less than whom only I love

her; less, because God is so much bigger “ I have what is proof enough for say that so much more love will hang upon ing it to my own soul.”

bim. I love you, dear, more than any have spoken of it to me.”. other creature except one, and that one is You are my better soul. If you are not in this world. Be sure that, whatever not, then I have done wrong."

it may cost me, I will be to you what your I hastened to tell him I had only made own perfected soul will approve. Not to him say what I hoped he meant. He do my best for you would be to be false, wanted me then to promise that I would not to God only, but to your father as marry him in spite of any and every thing. well, whom I lovedand love dearly. Come I promised that I would never marry any to me, my child, and tell me all. I know one but him. I could not say more, not you have done nothing wrong, nothing to koowing what my uncle might think, but be ashamed of. Some things are so diffiso much was but fair and right. I had cult to tell that it needs help to make way gone as far as to convey distinctly that I for them ; I will help you. I am better. loved him; and what sort would that love Come to me at once, and we will break the be that could regard it as possible, at any creature's shell together, and see what it distance of time, to marry another ! or is like, the shy thing. what sort of woman could she be that

“ Your Uncle.” would shrink from such a pledge ! The mischief lies in promises made without I was so eager to go to him that it was knowledge, without forecasting thought. with difficulty I finished the letter before I knew what I was about. I saw forward starting. Death had been sent home, and and backward and all around me. A sol- was in the stable, sorely missing his masitary education opens eyes that, in the ter., I called Dick, and told him to get midst of companions and engagements, ready to ride with me to Wittenage; he are apt to remain shut. Knowledge of the must take Death, and be at the door with world is no safeguard to man or woman. Twilight in twenty minutes. In the knowledge and love of truth and We started. As we left the gate, I rightness, lies our only safety

caught sight of John, coming from the With that promise he had to be, and other direction, with his eyes on the was, content.

ground, lost in meditation. I stopped. He saw me, and was at my side in a moment.

" I have heard from my uncle," I said. SUMMONS.

“ He wants me.

I am going to him.” Next morning the post brought me the "If only I had my horse,” he said. following letter from my uncle. Whoever “Why shouldn't you take Death,” I reof my readers may care to enter into my joined. feelings as I read, must imagine them for “No,” he answered, after a moment's herself; I will not attempt to describe hesitation. “It would be an impertinence. them. The letter was not easy to read, I will walk, and see you there. It's only as it was written in bed, and with his left sixteen miles, I think. What a splendid hand.

creature he is!

“ He's getting into years now,”. I re. “ MY LITTLE ONE, I think I know plied, “but he has been in the stable sevmore than you imagine. I think the se. eral days, and I am doubtful whether Dick cret flew into your heart of itself ; you did will quite manage him.” not take it up and put it there: I think “ Then I know your uncle would rather you tried to drive it out, and it would not I rode him. He knows I am no tailor! go; the same fate that clips the thread of said Joho. life had clipped its wings that it could fly “ How?" I asked. no more. Did my little one 'think I had “ I don't mean he knows who I am, but not a heart big enough to hold her secret? he saw me about a fortnight ago, in one I wish it had not been so ; danger may lurk of our own fields, giving Leander, who is in that fancy. Of one thing I pray my, but three, a lesson or two. He stopped little one to be sure — that I am all on her and looked on for a good many minutes, side; that my will is to do and contrive and said a kind word about my handling



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of the horse. He will remember, I am by the smile which my perfect satisfaction sure.'

and understanding inspired. I knelt by “How glad I am he knows something the bedside, afraid to touch him lest í of what you are like. If you don't mind should hurt his arm. being seen with me then, there's no rea. Slowly he laid his left hand on my head, son why you should not give me your and I knew he blessed me silently. For a escort.

minute or two he lay still. Dick was not sorry to dismount, and we “ Now tell me all about it,” he said at rode away together.

length, turning his patient blue eyes on I was glad of this for one definite rea. mine. son, as well as many indefinite ; I wanted I began at once, and if I did not tell John to see my letter, and know what rea- him everything, I let it be plain there was son I had to love my uncle. I forgot for more of the sort behind, concerning which the moment my resolution not to meet he might question me. When I had him again before telling my uncle every- ended, thing. Somehow he seemed to be going “Is that everything ?” he asked, with a with me to receive my uncle's approval. smile so like all he had ever been to me,

He read the letter, old Death carrying that my whole heart seemed to go out to him all the time as gently as he carried meet it. myself — I often rode him now - and re- Yes, uncle,” I answered, “I think I turned it with the tears in his eyes. For may say so — except that I have not dwelt a moment or two he did not speak. Then upon my feelings, or their natural exprese said in a very solemn way,

sion. Love, they say, is shy, and I fancy I oughtn't to have a chance you will pardon me that portion.” if he be against me.

I understand now Willingly, my child. More would why I could not get you to promise. All have been useless." right. The Lord have mercy upon me!” “ Then you know how I have been feel

“ That he will. He is always having ing, uncle?” I ventured.: " I was afraid mercy upon us !” I answered, loving you might not understand me. Could any John and my uncle and God more than one, do you think, that had not had the

I loved John for this especially, at same strange kind of consciousness ?the moment — that his nature remained He made me no answer. uninjured towards others by his distrust He was ghastly white; his head had fallen of her who should have had the first claim back against the bed. I started up, bardly on his confidence. I said to myself that, smothering a shriek. if a man had a bad mother and yet was a “What is it, uncle?” I gasped. good man, there could be no limit to the I fetch Martha ?goodness he must come to. That he was “No, my child,” he answered. “I a man after my uncle's own heart, I had shall be better in a moment. I am subno longer the least doubt. Nor was it a ject to little attacks of the heart, but they small thing to find that he rode beautifully do not mean much. Give me some of that

never seeming to heed his horse, and medicine on the table.” yet in constant touch with him.

In a few minutes his color began to We reached the town, and the inn where return a little, and the smile which was my uncle was lying. On the road we had forced at first, gradually brightened until arranged where he would be waiting me it was genuine. to hear what came next. He went to see “I will tell you the whole story one the horses put up, and I ran to find Mar- day, “whether in this world I am doubt. tha, who had seen us arrive, wondering at ful. But when is nothing, or where, with my escort. She met me on the stair, then eternity before us. went straight to my uncle to tell him I “ Yes, uncle," I answered vaguely, and

She returned almost immedi- was silent. ately, and led me to his room.

“A person,” he said, after a while, I was not a little shocked to see how slowly, and with hesitatiog effort, may pale and ill he looked. I feared, and was look at one time a much better person right in fearing, that anxiety about myself than at another. Sometimes he is so had not a little to do with his condition. happy, or perhaps so well pleased with His face brightened when he saw me, but himself, that the good in him comes all to his eyes gazed into mine with a searching the surface." inquiry as to the effect his letter had had 6. Would he be the better or the worse upon me.

His face brightened yet more man if it did not, uncle?" I asked. when he found his eager look answered “ You must not get me into a metaphys.


I looked up.

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ical discussion now, little one,” he an. was a little anxious lest Death, who had swered. Something more important not been exercised for some days, should than casuistry is on our hands. I want be too much for Dick. John said he had, you to note that, when a person is happy, not long ago, seen you on his back, and he will look lovable; but he may, things you had spoken very kindly to him of the going as he does not like, show another way he handled the young horse he was and very unfinished phase of character." himself riding.”

Surely everybody must know that, "Oh, that's the young fellow is it?” uncle."

cried my uncle, in a tone that could not “ Then you can hardly expect me to be be mistaken for other than one of pleasure. confident that your new friend would look " That's the fellow, is it?” he repeated. to you as lovable if he were unhappy.”. “ H'm!”

“ I have seen you, uncle, look as if noth- “I hope you liked the look of him, ing would ever make you smile again ; but uocle,” I ventured to say, my heart giving I knew you loved me all the time.” an ungracious wallow of fear.

“Did you, my darling! Then you were “The boy is a gentleman, anyhow," he right. I dare not require of any man that answered. You may think whether I was he should be as good-tempered in trouble pleased. “I never saw man carry himself as out of it - thougl: he must come to that better horseward,” he added, with a smile. at last — but a man must be just, whatever “ Then you won't object to his riding mood he is in."

Death home again ?” I ventured.
“ That is what I know you to be always, “Not in the least,” he replied.
uncle. I never waited for a change in man can ride."
your looks, to tell you anything I wanted


with him ? — that is, if to tell you. I know you, uncle?” I added, you do not want me — I wish I could stay with a glow of still triumph.

with you !” “ Thank you, little one,” he returned " Rather than ride home with him?" half playfully, yet gravely.

“ All I want “ Yes, indeed, if it were to be of use to to say comes to this, that when a man is you." in love, you see only the best of him, or “ The only way you can be of use to me, something better than he really is. Much is to ride home with Mr. Day, and not see good may be a man, for God made him, him again until I have had a little talk and the man yet not be good, for he has with him. Tyranny may be a sense of done nothing since his making, to make duty, you know, little one." himself. Before you can say you know a Tyranny, uncle !” I cried, as I laid man, you must have seen him in a few at his hand to my cheek, "you could not least of his opposite moods. Therefore make me think you a tyrant." you cannot wonder that I should desire a “ I should not like you to think me one, fuller knowledge of this young man, than darling! Still less would I like to deserve your testimony, founded on an acquaint- it, whether you thought me one or not." ance of three or four days, can give me." Then, after a little pause, “I have no

“Let me tell you, then, something that power over you,” he added. “ You do not happened to-day,” I said. “When first I require even to come of age to defy me.” asked him to come with me this morning, # That would be to poison my own soul," it was a temptation to him of course, not I answered. knowing when we might see each other “Do not think,” he continued, “that I again ; but he hadn't his own horse, and have any legal authority over you. If you said you would not like a man you did not were going to marry Mr. Day to-morrow, know to be riding yours.'

I should have no right to interfere. I “ I hope you did not come alone !" have been but a poor make-shift father to

“Oh, no. I had set out with Dick, but you, not a legal guardian." John came, after all.”.

“Don't cast me off, uncle !” I cried. “ Then his refusal to ride my horse “ You know I belong to you as much as if without my leave does not come to much. you were my very own father. I am sure It is a small thing to have good impulses my father will say so when we see him. that are weak; temptation soon turns them He will never come between you and me.” out of the way.

He gave a great sigh, and his face grew “But I haven't done telling you, uncle." so intense that I felt as if I had no right

“I am too hasty, little one. I beg your to see it. pardon.”

“It is perhaps the deepest hope of my “I want to tell you what made him give existence,” he said, " to give you back to in to riding your horse. I confessed I | him the best of daughters. Even a fear

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of failure in that, would, I feel, kill me. For my part, notwithstanding the position Be good, my darling, be good, even if you ! had presumed to take with John when die of sorrow because of it.'

first he spoke of his mother, I was now The intensity of his look had faded to a more distrustful of ber than he; which deep sadness, and there came a silence. came, I suppose, from being more appre.

“Would you like me to go now, uncle ?” hensive for him than he was for himself. I asked.

It was a moonlight night, and much the “ I wish I could see Mr. Day at once, " nearest way between our house and his he said, “ but I am so far from strong, lay across the desolate heath. Joho that I fear both weakness and injustice. walked along, eating the supper I had Tell him I want very much to see him, given him, and sending now and then a and will let him know as soon as I am sweep of the eyes round the horizon of the able.”

heath. All at once he thought he saw, “Thank you, uncle. He will be so glad. dim in the ghostly light of the moon, Of course he can't feel just as I do, but straight before him, a speck that might be he does feel that to do anything you did something alive, coming toward him along not like, would be just horrid.”

the track. He said to himself he had not “And you will not see him again, little expected to meet any one on the moor at one, after he has taken you home, till I such time of night, and went on with his have had some talk with him?".

supper, looking up occasionally to note “Of course I will not, uncle."

the vague degrees of the object's approach. I bade him good-bye, had a moment's Looking up once more, after, he supposed, talk with Martha, and found John Day at a longer interval, he saw that the tbiog the place appointed.

was near, but surrounded with a light fog which had in the mean time risen. The next moment a strange thrill of recogni. tion went through him, for which what he

saw at first could ill account; there, just JOHN SEES SOMETHING.

before him, and drawing nearer, came what As we rode, I told John everything. It could be peither the horse that had car. was strange that it did not seem strange ried him that day, nor his double, but was to find myself so close to one whom a few so like him in color, size, and bone, and so days before I had never heard of; it unlike him in muscle and bearing, that he seemed as if all my life I had been waiting might have been his skeleton, nearly worn for him, and now he was come, and every- out, but alive. The spectral horse and thing was just and only as it should be. his rider came through the fog straight We were very quiet in our gladness. A down upon John, regardless that the track little anxiety about my uncle's decision, was but a foot.path, as if both were asleep, and the certain foreboding of trouble on and saw nothing in their way. He stepped the part of his mother, stilled us both, and aside to let them pass, and tben first John sent the delight of having found each looked in the face of the horseman ; with other down deeper, a little out of the way, a shock of fear that struck him in the leaving the practical and reasoning freer middle of the body, making him gasp and to act.

choke, he saw plain before him — so that, We did not urge our horses to their but for the impossibility, he could have speed, but I felt that, for my uncle's sake, sworn to him in any court of justice — the I must not prolong the journey, and force man whom he knew to be at that moment the last farthing of bliss from his generos- confined to his bed, twenty miles away, ity while yet he was uncertain of his duty, with a broken arm. They were the sole The moon had, nevertheless, long risen human beings within sight or sound in before we reached my home. John would that still moonlight, on that desolate moor, have to walk miles to reach his, and just but the horseman never lifted his head, or as we stopped at the gate I suddenly be even raised his eyes to look at him. John thought myself that neither of us had stood stunned. At the moment he could eaten anything since we left in the moro- not doubt he had seen an apparition. ing. I got what I could find for him to When at length he roused himself and eat on his way, and he confessed that now looked in the direction in which it went, it I had made him think of it, he was hungry had dwindled away in the mist, and presenough to eat anything less than an ox. ently was out of sight. So we parted merrily. But when next we He ate no more, but found his way met, each confessed it had not been with home and to his own room almost me. out a presentiment of impending danger. Ichanically. There he went straight to

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bed, but for a long time, weary as he was, if scanning its windows in the dying glitcould not sleep.

ter of the moon. John thought he heard For what might not the apparition por- a cry somewhere, and went and opened tend? Mr. Whichcote lay hurt by a fall bis door, but listening hard for a few mofrom his horse called Death, and he had ments, heard nothing. When he looked met his likeness on the back of just such again from the window, a slight fog had a horse, but a skeleton. Was he bearing arisen, and the apparition seemed fainter, him away to the tomb ?

and much farther away, although horse and rider were in the same posture, and opposite the same part of the house. He

rubbed his eyes to see more plainly, but JOHN IS TAKEN ILL.

could no longer distinguish it, and went In the middle of the night he woke back to bed. In the morning he was in a with a start, ill enough to feel that he was high fever - unconscious save of restless going to be worse. His head throbbed ; discomfort, and undefined trouble. the room seemed turning round with him, He learned afterwards from the old and when it settled, he saw strange shapes house-keeper, that his mother came her. in it. A few rays of the sinking moon got self to his room to nurse him, but through. in between the curtains of one of the win-out his illness he refused nourishment or dows, and seemed to prevent things from medicine from her hand, behaving exactly going to sleep; they were all awake. Every: as if he thought she meant to poison him. thing looked odd- - so unpleasantly odd No doctor was sent for; and I cannot but that he concluded something unnatural, or think that the water in his bottle had to at least unearthly, must be near him. The do with the illness that came upon him room was an old-fashioned one, in thor- that night. The intention may have been ough keeping with the age of the house to prevent him from coming to me. She the

very haunt for a ghost, but John tried doubtless regarded as unjust whatever to comfort himself that he had heard of no came between her and any power she posghost in that room. He got up to drive sessed, or had a desire to possess. away his oppression, and drink some It seems pretty clear that for the time at water. That he drew the curtains aside, least the conviction had got possession of to let in a little more light, proves to me him that his mother was attempting his that he was in no subjection to an appre. life. From what he knew of her, he may hensive imagination ; for what man, with have argued in semi-conscious moments, a brooding terror couched in him, would, that she was quite capable of imagining in the middle of the night, let in the she had the right to take again what she moon? To a man in such a condition, the was equally capable of imagining she had moonlight is worse than the deepest dark- given. At the same time it is possible

The moon was going down in the that she became alarmed at seeing him west, with that weary look she gets by the worse than she had intended to make him, time her work is about over for the night and was only endeavoring to counteract

as if she were forsaken even by the what she had done. poor mortals for whose comfort she had

For several days he was prostrate with to be up and shining all night long. He extreme exhaustion. Necessarily, I knew poured himself out some water, drank it, nothing of this; neither was I, doubting and thought it did not taste nice. Then his mother as I did, in any immediate be turned to the window, and looked out. dread of her possible proceeding. I may

The house was in the middle of a large just remind my reader that the cessation park. The few trees that stood here and of his visits could cause me no anxiety, there served mainly to show how wide seeing that was thoroughly understood be. were the unbroken spaces of grass. Some tween us. owner had disliked the proximity of trees, and had made a wide lake of green about

CHAPTER XX. the house; and in this lake, a hundred yards or so from the house, motionless as a statue, John saw standing a great grey On the third night after that on which horse with hanging neck, his shadow he left me to walk home, I was roused stretched in a mighty grotesque behind between twelve and one, by a sharp sound him, and on his back the very effigy of my as of sudden hail against my window, uncle, motionless too as marble. The which ceased as soon as it began. Wonhorse stood sidewise to the house, but the dering what it was, for hail it could hardly face of his rider was turned toward it, as be, I sprang from the bed, pulled aside



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