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gentlemen and ladies-she was more ignorant than many | anger with fate. She felt herself like an inmate of purgaa child of ten. Oi female society she knew nothing what tory, who had obtained a glimpse of the joys of that over. It came out naturally that her father had disliked heaven which might have been won but was willfully forto have her intimate with other girls ; had forbidden her | feited. to be known to her country women ; bad instilled into her Full half an hour's silence fell upon them. Violet a distrust of them, which had almost become an instinct Younge was gazing ont with eyes which saw not the now. He had educated her himself, even in music. He swiftly.passing views of lonely waysides, or lighted towns, had given all bis time to her, and to this dreary waiting or towering cathedral spires, or deep, dark sweeps of mafor permission to return to England_to a home the love jestic woods. for wuich made his only passion left in life.
Philip's thoughts still refused to look forward to his own Her graphic yet artless words revealed more of the real aff.irs, but clung to the conjectures concerning this lonely truth than a whole treatise on the subject could have girl's life in the unknown England for which she yearned
so fondly, She had loved the strange, reticent recluse, because he Suddenly the long silence was broken by Miss Van Benwas her father, and the only object present with her, to thuysen's thin, high voice. whom her warm heart could offer op its tribute. But she “Mr. Markbam," she asked, “where are you going? had been shy with him. She had even feared that he did Where is your home in England ?” not love her. He would never caress her voluntarily, and “1 have no home at present. I have an uncle in Derty, whenever he had met her eyes he would start away and but I am going directly to Trente Towers, in _shire. I shrink aside ; something in them pained and hurt him. have promised to make a visit there." She had asked him once, and he had stammered out that “Are we the playthings of fate? Or is a master hand he could not bear them, because they were so like her moving us upon the chessboard of life as fits His mighty mother's. . “And he loved my mother. Oh! I shall never plan ?” exclaimed Miss Van Benthuysen, with little gasps forget, when I asked him once, how he Aung ap his hands, of astonishment between the words. and looking up into the sky, answered, 'Loved her, child ! Such profound surprise was in the tone that even Violet Child ! I loved her better than my own life, or than my Younge turned her head, and Philip leaned eagerly toown soul. But I lost her l'”she concluded, while now the ward her. first slow tears ran down her cheeks.
“You know Colonel Trente ?" he declared, in a voice of There was a sound from l'iss Van Benthuysen's corner. keen satisfaction. "How pleased I shall be to have you Turning hastily toward it, Philip started nervously to see tell me something about him !" her face pallid as that of a corpse, and her eyes flashing “Do you mean that you are going there without knowwith a baleful light that made him shudder.
ing him at all?" she questioned back. “My head is snapping. Will you find my salts-bottle He told her the little in his power to tell. in the basket there?” she said, hastily, as she discovered “I shall not help you much,” she said, after a moment's bis observation.
thoughtful consideration. “At least, not now. Bat I “I am afraid we were talking too much,” he said, am well pleased to know that I shall not lose sight of you. apologetically, when he found and presented the bottle. Trente Towers is in the neighborhood of my own home.
“No, I like it. Go on, and perhaps I shall fall Perhaps I guess something of Malcolm Trente's intentions asleep."
in regard to you. Perhaps I am mistaken.
Perhaps I am mistaken. I shall not And this time she pulled down the vail over her face. commit myself until I have had further observation. But
“Don't look so frightened,” he said, in a very low voice, this is all very strange. I wish we were in England now. as Miss Younge shrank back into her corner.
I grow feverishly impatient, as if "-she paused, and drew “How came I to talk so much ? You should have stopped a long breath—"as if a bolt of fate were somewhere me," she answered back, in a whisper. “Papa was right. launched to fall upon us then and there." He said I should talk too much if I associated with English “I verily believe something of the same premonition is people. He said I must deserve my name—that violets in my own mind,” spoke up Philip, cheerily. “But I were timid and shy.”
think I can meet it without fear," “Is that your pame-Violet ? I did not know it before. “Ah, how many miles are between us yet !" sighed Violet! it is a sweet name," said Philip. “Well, you have Violet Younge. obeyed bim. You are like your name. I shall never see “But every hour is diminishing them. We shall soon one again without thinking of you."
be in England, believe me,” he returned. “My aunt used to call me her precious pansy sometimes “And I shall find my aunt," she responded, with a in the letters, Oh! snch dear letters as she wrote to me!" pathetic longing in her look and voice.
“Your aunt is your saint, and your hope, and your love. He carried the look and the words with him when at One can see that so easy," said Philip, softly.
length they reached London, and having left Miss Van “And I am going to her," said Violet Younge, clasping Benthuysen and his young charge at the hotel adjoining those small hands over her heart, and looking out into the the Victoria Station, he set forth in a hansom to find the twilight.
one business address attached to a letter of Horace The railroad employé was just clambering over the roof Yonngo's. of the carriage to place the lamp in its socket, and as its He was almost amazed at the eager anticipation of his soft rays fell upon the uplifted face, framed in that fair thoughts-at the delight he promised himself when he ripple of hair, the young man thought of every beautitul should put this desolate girl into the arms of the unknown Madonna face he had seen in the famous galleries, and aunt who was yet so fondly loved. mentally declared that there was not one with so sweet, He presented the opened letter envelope at the office of and fair, and holy a look.
the firm, which was easily found. Could they tell him From under the folds of the vail, which she still kept where to find the lady who had written the letter-who hanging over her face, Miss Van Benthuysen saw it all, bad sent it through their office ? and read Philip's thoughts quite accurately; but she gave The clerk promptly brought forward an elderly man, no sign. Her own heart was full of bitterness and impotent, who examined the young man with evident interest
Tue letter ? Oh, yes, he recognized it. Such letters had been sent to them for inclosure with drafts occasionally sent. The party who forwarded them lived in Wales. The telegro, had been brought to them with instructions, simply saying that the aunt asked for was dead. That he knew nothing about the Miss Younge in Heidelberg, nor if there were any other relatives living. But the aunt was certainly dead, and now a fortnight buried, and that this was every possible information they were able to give in the matter, if inquiries should be made at their office. No question he asked received any more satisfactory answer. The firm knew nothing themselves of either party; had never seen the Welsh person nor the aunt. The matter had elicited much comment for years, but their curiosity had never been gratified in the least degree. Philip went back with a heavy heart. What should he say to this poor, bereaved girl 2 All the way that look and tone of her haunted him, “And I shall find my aunt l” He hoped to find Miss Van Benthuysen alone, but the moment he opened the door Violet sprang forward. “Have you found Aunt Anne? Ah, you don't mean that she is here ?” Oh, the beauty of the young face, under that glad light shining in the blue eyes, quivering in tremulous smiles about the sweet young lips. How could he quench it all ? Philip's eyes filled with tears. “My dear Miss Younge, I am afraid you are not to be so promptly satisfied,” he began. “I have not seen your aunt, but—” “I know,” said Miss Van Benthuysen, dropping a newspaper she held in her hand, and sweeping forward, “but you have heard from her, and the news is not.— good news. Miss Younge, will you go down with me to my residence in shire ? Mr. Markham must go that way also, if he proceeds to Trente Towers. We will all go down at once.” “Go down with you !' repeated the girl, with trembling lips. I don't understa-d. My Aunt Ann jo “Your aunt is dead, my dear, dear child,” said Philip, hastily, because he feared Miss Van Benthuysen would be before him, and break the sad intelligence more harshly. “She has met your father, dear; the father you say she loved so dearly. Try and think only of that.” The great blue eyes dilated wildly as she came forward end seized his hands. “No, no,” she said, “you cannot be so cruel as to tell me that. Why, it leaves me alone—alone in the world !” Miss Van Benthuysen swept forward again, a strangely tender smile on her thin lips, in her cold eyes, those long thin hands stretched out in eager supplication. She looked as if she might have clasped the forlorn child in her arms. But Violet gave no heed ; she turned away from her and clung to Philip's hands, repeating : “Do not be so cruel as to tell me that.” And slowly the strange woman's face hardened, the dim eyes flashed out again their steely glitter. She drew back and waited coldly for Philip to soothe this wild appeal. “My dear Miss Younge, would to heaven I might spare all this to you,” faltered Philip. “But I fear it is the inexorable truth. However, there is a strange mystery somewhere; I will do my best to clear it.” “Yes, there was always mystery,” sighed poor Violet. “My father promised that when I came to England all should be explained. Oh, why did he not know that even men cannot be sure of keeping such a promise ?” “But meantime, Miss Younge, you have no home open to you in all England, and no friend to come forward to
your assistance,” spoke up Miss Wan Benthuysen, coldly and incisively. “I offer you the shelter of my roof and protection, for the present, at least. Do you accept or reject it 2" “Of course she accepts it, and by-and-by she will be able to tell you how much she appreciates your kindness,” said Philip, hastily. “She has one friend beside ready to do everything in his power to protect her from sorrow and want, Miss Wan Benthuysen, and he thanks you warmly for your offer. We will all go down at once to —shire. I shall be near enough to come and see you often, Miss Younge. I assure you I will do all I can to find your relatives, if there are any left in England.” Violet made no reply. She sank down into a chair and covered her face with her hands. It seemed to her that her last hope in life was swept away from her. Let them do with her what they pleased, why should she care 2
“Now, MAMMA, you must really waken. And, pray, look out I See what an elegant horse, and what a handsome rider Why, it might be a young Viking. We are not often treated to a sight like this.” “What are you talking about, Maude 7" responded Mrs. Thornton, in an injured tone. “You are always tiring one with your sudden exclamations.” Maude Thornton's laugh in response was a curious one, albeit very musical. It held a little self-reproach, and something that was thinly vailed scorn. Why did she ever forget herself in this way before her languid lady-mother. “Never mind, mamma. I suppose I forgot that my father was not here. But this is our station; and yonder must be the Trente carriage waiting for us.” Miss Thornton was leaning out the carriage-window as she spoke. The next instant another horseman, an elderly man, mounted upon a powerful chestnut charger, wheeled about from behind the barouche, and waved his hand toward the train and their carriage. Before the guard could open the door the young Viking, as Maude Thornton had so swiftly christened him, swung himself out of the saddle, and bounded lightly to it and opened the door for them. “Mrs. and Miss Thornton, I presume. The Trente carriage is waiting for you, ladies,” he said, in a bright, cheery voice. Mrs. Thornton rose with a face all wreathed in smiles. “And so we are really here. I see Colonel Trente is waiting, also. We are very much honored. Thank you. Jane will collect the packages and wraps. I presume she can come on with the luggage.” By this time Colonel Trente was also at the platform, and one of his tall footmen behind him. “Welcome, my dear Mrs. Thornton — my fair Miss Maude. This man will look after your maid and luggage. This is Mr. Geoffrey Carlingford, ladies. We turned our afternoon gallop in this direction, that we might have the honor of escorting you to Trente Towers.” He gave his arm to the mother, and Geoffrey Carlingford most willingly proffered the same support to the lovely daughter. Maude Thornton could not refrain from stealing a sidelong glance at the tall, manly figure at her side ; and in doing this, black eyes and blue met in one quick flash of mutual admiration. A pink flush stained the ivory fairness of her cheek as
she took her seat in the barouche, aud there was a little roguish quiver of the red lips under his tawny mustache as he vaulted gracefully into his saddle again ; but they exchanged no words. Colonel Trente gave his horse into the groom's keeping and took his seat in the carriage. He noticed Maude's eyes following the horseman, who galloped within view. “Well, Mrs. Thornton, you have a glimpse of one of my guests during your stay at The Towers,” he said. “A fine, handsome young fellow is this Oxford graduate of mine. I am quite proud of him.” “Carlingford,” spoke Mrs. Thornton, in a puzzled tone. “I don't quite remember what family it is.” “I dare say. It is almost extinct. Geoffrey Carlingford has neither father nor mother. He would scarcely be a protégé of mine if it were otherwise. But Miss Maude has not given me her opinion yet. Is he not a handsome fellow 2° “I told mamma that all I could think of was a young Viking when I first got a glimpse of him,” said Maude, frankly. “You do not often see such a rose-and-lily complexion on a gentleman. Yet he is not in the least effeminate-looking, with that tall, broad figure of his, for all his bright-blue eyes and golden hair.” “I should think not. He is a young Hercules when he chooses to exert himself. And he is a genial and right cheery companion. I count myself very fortunate to have him here to help me entertain a gay young lady and—a London belle,” said Colonel Trente, smiling. “What is the fellow after now 2 Oh, I see—taking the kinks out of Spitfire's spirits, and his own, too. What a seat he has 2" And he pointed toward the hedge which Geoffrey Carlingford had just cleared with a flying leap that brought ont every graceful curve of his own superb physique to full advantage, as well as displayed the noble points of the fine old hunter. They saw him take off his hat and wave it to them gleefully and then come flying over the hedge again. “The conceited boy!” laughed Colonel Trente, “does he challenge our admiration ? If I were on Brown Royal I would lead him a race to a hedge that is not quite so smooth as that. But he does it well. I must admit that—remarkably well for a fellow immured at college so long.” “Does he come off there also with flying colors ?” asked Maude, eagerly. The colonel laughed. “Nothing beyond the average rank, I suspect. I think the honors were mostly won in the gymnasuim and on the river. There, he is off again! He is as full of pranks as a boy.” For the chestnut was off like a streak of whirlwind, and only a flying cloud of dust revealed the track he took upon the highway. Mrs. Thornton was well pleased to see the horseman no more. She had her own little plans and schemes to talk about. She began eagerly now to unfold to Colonel Trente her strong desire for a country seat at Thornton Woods in place of the insignificant little shooting-box. Colonel Trente listened politely, but without any interest. Maude was aware of this last, but was likewise quite as well convinced of the uselessness of trying to stem the stream of voluble petty complaint and appeal when once her mother was fairly launched upon it. She leaned back in her seat in silence, smilingly reviewing the equestrian feat they had just witnessed, and vaguely hoping, for Colonel Trente's sake, that they would soon arrive at The Towers. Which hope was speedily fulfilled. The spanking grays
the massive flight of stone steps before the main entrance A chestnut horse with smoking flanks was being sed away by a groom, and on the steps stood the young athlete, with a spray of lovely wild roses in his hand. How handsome he was 1 How those bright blue eye sparkled! What vivid color shone rosily upon his cheek Even his fair hair, blowing lightly about his forehead, seemed to catch a glitter and brightness such as suited the girl's first fancy of him. A Viking, indeed, or an Apollo. She could not help a sudden throb of the heart as he came forward, eagerly, twirling the rose spray in his fingers. “See, Miss Thornton, I remembered admiring these roses when we rode by them this morning, and though they were a mile out of the way I determined they should be here to give you their welcome when you arrived Will you honor them and me by their acceptance 2" She took them with a smile of frank delight. “Thank you very much. They are lovely, and have a grace all unknown to our garden-beds. It is a very sweet welcome they speak, I am sure.” “They would cruelly belie my wishes were it otherwise," he answered, with another smile. And they passed on into the grand old hall, and there were met by a butler and housekeeper in best attire. The latter took possession of the ladies and led the way up-stairs to the suite allotted them, where a maid started up to attend to their needs until their own Jane should arrive upon the scene. Mrs. Thornton sank down into an easychair, giving ample employment to the maid, even after her wraps and bonnet had been removed. But Maude walked up to the great mullioned window of her apartment and stood there, looking off dreamily upon the prospect below. And yet she did not take in any of its beauties. She did not see the lovely stretch of emerald meadow along the winding river; nor the wooded sweep of stately trees below the hill; nor take in the picturesque situation of the pretty village, with its ivy-hung churchtower, rising from amidst the flock of clustering roofs and quaint chimney-pots; nor the long line of purple hills that guarded the horizon like a band of mighty sentinels. She certainly saw none of these to recognize their claims for admiration ; nor was she thinking of them when she murmured, softly: “Beauty and strength combined—I never saw it before. I never thought to see it at all out of poetry and romance.” When Jane arrived, the first charge she received from Miss Thornton was an earnest command that a spray of wild roses should be put in water and set where they would be kept cool. And the young lady went down to the drawing-room, just before the dinner-bell rang, clad in a dress of rich black lace, with a necklace of pale-pink coral about her white throat, and in her corsage a spray of wild roses; no other ornament, whatever. “An effective but studied dress,” whispered Miss Mary Chilson to her sister Bella after the introductions were over. For all the company was newly arrived, and but just made acquainted with each other. “How beautiful it makes her look!” The sister murmured back, discontentedly: “I wish we hadn't selected these fussy French things, Molly. She quite extinguishes us.” “She is a famous London beauty, child, and up to all the highest tricks of art. What could you expect?" re
bowled them along at a fine pace, and they were presently
turned the other, still sotto roce. “She will receive all
sweeping up the oak-lined avenue, and then drawn np of
the incinse she expected. See all the gentlemen ctare in tion. He knew just what sabtle flattery it was that haradmiration. And look at that elegant Mr. Carlingford ; he monized with elegant dress and flowers and music. No is going to meet her. He will have eyes for no one else." one understood more accurately than he the power of a
The Chilsons were average girls - pretty enough in their look, an inflection of voice, oven in the utterance of way, aud really kınd-bearied and good-natured upou ordi- commonplace words. He made himself very agreeable nary occasious. But they must be purdoned now if they to Miss Thornton. And the dinner, with its slow and looked upon this graceful and elegant intruder with angry stately courses and ceremonies, was none too long for eyes, and indulged a few spiteful thoughts. It was really either of them. hard for them to be thus summarily and thorougbly ex Maude passed throngh the door, which he opened for tinguished ; they who had come down from their chambers her himself with a whispered assurance that he should believing themselves qnite charming both in dress and escape from the gentlemen as soon as possible, wondering personal appearauce. Very few giis could have subsided vaguely what it could be which had suddenly made a new into nothingness in the presence of this young Adonis delight for her in the long formalities she had hitherto with much better grace.
declared were so tedious and fatiguing. Geoffrey Carlingford did go forward to meet Miss Thorn The ladies scattered about the handsome room, someton, and to get her chair for her beside a table heaped thing after the fashion of a flock of birds, and not unlike with flowers from the fine gardens in the rear of the great its effect, either, with their fleecy or glossy drapery falling mansion.
like so much gay plumage about them. The matrons "Ah, Miss Thornton," he said, in a voice wonderfully gathered in a group, and were presently engaged in an musical in itself, but thrilled now by a tender chord which animated conversation, which they would never bare he knew so well how to infuse into its mellow tones, allowed to be gossip, but which, after all, was pretty “how that spray of roses must bless me! They will surely thoroughly flavored with the same. blush out their tender hearts in jog at this honor vouch Maude Thornton glanced carelessly toward the few Bafed them. Lovely as I thought then this morning, young ladies of the party. There were enough of them they dawn upop me now with a new surprise.”
to prevent their feeling shy and deserted, she said to her“They are very sweet," she answered, giving him one self. Why should she trouble herself to be social with brilliant glance from those fins eyes of bers.
them ? But she did not take the proffered chair. She advanced So she sanntered to a cozy seat by the engraving-easel, to meet Colonel Trente's outstretched hand, and then and sank gracefully into it. turced eagerly to greet her father, who appeared at that She was not particularly interested in engravings now, moment at a rear door,
but she might be by-and-by, and she gave herself up to a Two lovers could scarcely have met with more manifest pleasant reverie. dilight, not noisily expressed, but plainly evident in the It was certainly a novelty to the brilliant London belle glistening eyes and happy smiles.
to find herself so thoroughly enjoying any sensation. She She come forward again, leaning upon his arm, her concluded that it must be owing to the fresh atmosphere white fingers clasped fondly over it.
of Trente Towers, and she said to herself that sbe must “What an elegant couple !" whispered Miss Molly to thank Colonel Trente more warmly for his kind invitation. her sister. “I do believe the father is as handsome as Mary and Belle Chilson, and two or three other shy th , daughter, so distingué in every look and motion.” young women, walked up to the grand piano, and over the
Malcolm Trente was looking at them also. What sheets of music, which they passed one to another, not too thɔnght was it which sent that steely glitter to bis mild amicably discussed the haughty young London belle. eyes ? that set the gentle lips into snch stern lines ? "It is quite evident she cares nothing for our acquaint
Major Chilson was extremely anxious to court the great ance," said one. mup's favor, to confer with him concerning certain polit “Of course not. Her interest will not be aroused again ical movements that were projected by the party. He until the gentlemen appear,” retorted another. came forward with a great deal of eager, though deferen “How coolly she sits there all alone! I should feel tial interest.
myself painfully deserted." But the honorable Mr. Thornton would not yield a “You might as well expect Her Majesty to feel alone place to him while his danghter's bright eyes were turned and deserted when sitting on the throne,” laughed Belle upon him, and the gentle pressure of those white fingers Chilson. rested on his arm.
“Or the moon, sailing majestically on her lonely course; The entrance of new arrivals, families from the neigh- to be supremely consc.ous of the lesser twinkling sparks," borhood, ani then the summons to dinner, made a diver- added her sister, sion, bowever. O logel Trente took ont Mrs. Thornton, At which they all langhed. Maade heard the langhter and Mrs. Obilson was fluttered into sometbiog very like a and saw the looks. She was by no means obtose. Sbe panio by the honor of the great man's escort. And the read as accurately as if every one of their thoughts had others followed in due order. The fair Mandle could not been printed on the little velvet-covered book she held denv to herself that she was quite content to find herselt what th-y hud said and thongbt. all tted to Geoffrey Carlingford.
But she only -miled languidly. Why shonld she break That young gentler au did not fiil to improve his op awiy from the new delicious spell wbich was upon her to portunity. He was not such a novice in Jadies' society as secore their approbation? There would be time enough Colonel Trente believe l. What handsome young student hereafter, if occasion reqa'red. could be, ev-n in sedate old Oxfor.1? The grim profes. No, she would not yet be aroused. If this was a lotus sors had pretry danghters, the other fellows bad fuir sis. dream, she would enjoy it. She sat with one dainty ters. Was it likely this young Adonis should entirely finger toying with a spray of wild roses, and eyes really as escape notice? Besides, there was sometbing in this dreamy as t e lotns-e ters'. She bad wondered so many sunny-dispositionel young man that, without the bennte, times what her realizel ideal would be like. Did she wonla bave been irresistible to the godtle sex, Geoffrer know now? A Viking wit eves as bine as the sea of the Oerliuglord was by no means without practice at flirta- North, with hair shining with the golden glint of the early