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A doctor came forward and beck- recovery was hopeless, and I teleoned him to go into the study. graphed to you without delay.
It seemed as if bis whole nature "We also consulted whether she had been smitten with insensibility, ought to be told, and Sir Reginald for he knew everything without said, 'Certainly; that woman has no words.
fear, for she never thinks of herself, What work those doctors have to and she will want to leave messages.' do! . .
• If we can only keep her alive An hour ago
we were till to-morrow afternoon,' he said ; amazed that she lived so long; and you will like to remember that with any other woman it would everything known to the best man have been this morning; but she in London was done. Sir Reginald was determined to live till you came came back himself unasked to-day, home.
because he remembered a restora"It was not exactly will-power, tive that might sustain the failing for she was the gentlest patient I strength. She thanked him so ever had ; it was "—the doctor hesi- sweetly that he was quite shaken; tated
peremptory Scotchman the fact is, that both of us would hiding a heart of fire beneath a soon have played the fool. But I coating of ice—“it was simply love." ought not to trouble you with these
Then the doctor sat down opposite trifies at this time, only as you that fixed, haggard face, which had wanted to know all not yet been softened by a tear.
“Yes, she understood what we “Yes, I'll tell you everything; thought before I spoke, and only perhaps it will relieve your mind; asked when you would arrive. “I and Mrs. Trevor said you would want to say "Good-bye,” and then I wish to know, and I must be here will be ready ;' but perhaps to receive you. Her patience and "Tell you everything?' That is thoughtfulness were marvellous. what I am trying to do, and I was
“I attend many very clever and here nearly all day, for I had hoped charming women, but I tell you, to fulfil her wish. Mr. Trevor, not one as so impressed “ No, she did not speak much, for me as your wife. Her self-forget- we enjoined silence and rest as the fulness passed words; she thought only chance; but she had your of everyone except herself. Why, photograph on her pillow, and some one of the last things she did was flowers you had sent. to give directions about your room ; They were withered, and the she was afraid you might feel the nurse removed them when she was change from the Riviera. But that sleeping; but she missed them, and is by the way, and these things are we had to put them in her hands. not my business.
My husband was so thoughtful.' “From the beginning I was alarmed, This is too much for you, I see; and urged that you be sent for; it is simply torture. Wait till tobut she pledged me not to write ; morrow. you needed your holiday, she said, “Well, if you insist. Expecting and it must not be darkened with a letter
No, I am not "She spoke every day about your hiding anything, but you must not devotion and unselfishness; how let this get upon your mind. you wished her to go with you, but “ We would have deceived her, she had to stay with the boy.
but she knew the hour of the Con“ The turn for the worse? It was tinental mails, and could detect the yesterday morning, and I had Sir postman's ring. Once a letter came Reginald at once. We agreed that and she insisted upon seeing it, in
time she did not colour with joy at his coming, that her hand was cold to his touch. He kissed her, but his heart was numbed, and he could not weep.
Then he took her letter and read it beside that silence.
case of any mistake.
But it was only an invitation for you, I think, to some country house.
"It can't be helped now, and you ought not to vex yourself; but I believe a letter would have done more for her than
What am I saying now?
“As she grew weaker she counted the hours, and I left her at four full of hope. Two hours more and he'll be here,' and by that time she had your telegram in her hand,
“ When I came back the change had come, and she said, “It's not God's will; bring Bertie.'
“So she kissed him, and said something to him, but we did not listen. After the nurse had carried him out—for he was weeping bitterly, poor little chap—she whispered to me to get a sheet of paper and sit down by her bedside.
I think it would be better very well, I will tell you all.
“I wrote what she dictated with her last breath, and I promised you would receive it from her own hand, and so you will. She turned her face to the door and lay quite still till about six, when I heard her say your name very softly, and minute afterwards she was gone, without pain or struggle."
She lay as she had died, waiting for his coming, and the smile with which she had said his name was still on her face. It was the first
: They tell me now that I shall not live to see you come in and to cast my arms once more round your neck before we part. Be kind to Bertie, and remember that he is delicate and shy. He will miss me, and you will be patient with him for my sake. Give him my watch, and do not let him forget me. My locket with your likeness I would like left on my heart. You will never know how much I have loved you, for I could never speak. You have been very good to me, and I want you to know that I am grateful : but it is better perhaps that I should die, for I might hinder you in your future life. Forgive me because I came short of what your wife should have been. None can ever love you better. You will take these poor words from a dead hand, but I shall see you, and I shall never cease to love you, to follow your life, to pray for you—my first, my only love."
The fountains within him were broken, and he flung himself down by the bedside in an agony of repentance.
“Oh, if I had known before! but now it is too late, too late!”
For we sin against our dearest not because we do not love, but because we do not imagine.
For sin brought discord when it came,
And death is everywhere.
If we could recognize the sounds
That out of silence grow, The mighty music of the stars
Above our earth-belowThe chiming of a lily bell,
The foot-fall of the snow,
We should hear other tones than these
In earth, and sea, and air ;
Were more than we could bear;
The awful depths of sin's abyss
If we could see and know,
whereto Lore, grace, and goodness grow ; Our souls would faint beneath the
weight Of rapture and of woe.
BY ANNIE S. SWAN,
Author of " Aldersyde,” “Maitland of Laurieston,” etc., etc.
through the crimson curtains, and
playing on the golden head of a “ I REALLY wish those boys would young lady at the window, busy come down to breakfast when it is already with a dainty piece of emon the table. I am sick of their broidery. Janet Keith was like a irregular hours. If your father had picture, in that bright setting; her been alive, they would not dare to fair, pale, refined face, crowned by be so careless. They are getting the shining plaits of her golden hair, quite beyond me altogether."
she looked as if nothing could ever It was a fretful, peevish, complain- ruffle or disturb her composure. Her ing voice, which quite prepared one dress was dainty and becoming, to see a discontented, worried expres- too, a warm crimson morning gown, sion of face. And yet it was a sweet, fitting to perfection; the linen at kind face, if rather undecided, the throat and wrists was as spotless as face of a woman without much the snow lying on the lawn; everystrength of character, totally un- thing about her was tasteful and fitted to face the battle of life alone. harmonious: it was something of a Perhaps feeble health had much to rest to look at her after seeing the do with Mrs. Keith's fretful disposi- worn, fretful, unsettled look on her tion. She had long been partially mother's faded face. Mrs. Keith invalided and there were lines of was sitting very near to the fire, pain and weariness on her brow, and stooping over it with her thin hands about her drooping mouth, which outspread to the cheerful heat, her told their own tale. Sordid care ample white wrap gathered close had never touched her, it is true, about her bent shoulders, as if she but there were other troubles which suffered from the chilliness of the had aged her before her time. She morning air. had been deprived of the love and “Why don't you speak, Janet ?” care of a devoted and noble husband, she asked, querulously, when no rejust when her children most needed sponse came to her. the firmness of his guiding hand. "What shall I say, mamma?” inTo one of her nature the desolation quired Janet, in her calm, cool, sweet of widowhood was a peculiarly bitter voice. “ You know my opinions reexperience, for she was totally un- garding Errol and Jack. They have fitted to breast alone the tide of been too long left to the freedom of life.
their own sweet wills, and are inIt was a pleasant, cheerful, luxu- corrigible now.” rious place, the morning room at "That is cold enough comfort. Errol Lodge. A cheerful fire burned Really, I wonder why my sons in the pretty grate, and a bright, should be so undutiful. Just look ruddy glow danced on the well- at George Maitland; what a comfort appointed breakfast table, and vied he is to his mother. He considers with the wintry sunbeams slanting her in everything.”
* By kind permission of the copyright holders, Messrs. Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, Edinburgh and London, we are permitted to reprint this latest story by Annie Swan, with all the original illustrations by Lilian Russell. The Methodist Publishing House, Toronto, is the sole agent for Annie Swan's books in this country.
“George Maitland is an insuffer- earnest, tender gleam, which beable prig, I think, mamma. Our tokened a warm and loving heart. boys are gentlemen at any rate; “Child, your nose is as red as a carand it is natural they should wish rot! Where have you been?” purto enjoy life. I think Marion re- sued Mrs. Keith, looking not with quires a word as well as the boys. approval on the offending feature. It is twenty minutes to nine, and a "I was out, mamma,” said Marion, quarter past eight is supposed to be vaguely. “I met the postman in our breakfast hour. I have been the Grange Road, and there is a letdownstairs since half-past seven, ter for you." and must confess I should like a cup Where is it? Who is it from ?” of coffee now.”
" It is from Talai; a black-edged “ Well, why don't you have it? letter addressed in a strange handThere is nothing to hinder you." writing. What can be wrong?”
“ No, but it is best to sit down as said Marion, drawing it slowly from a family,” said Janet, in her prim her pocket. fashion. Why, there is Marion ** Reach me my eyeglass,” said coming up the avenue. She is re- Mrs. Keith, starting up. “I am forming, surely, when she takes a afraid it will be bad news of your constitutional before breakfast. She Uncle James. He was poorly last looks very sober, as if she had not time Airlie wrote.” greatly enjoyed it."
Marion looked on eagerly while In a few seconds the breakfast- her mother adjusted her eyeglass room door opened, and Mrs. Keith's and broke the seal of the ominoussecond daughter entered the room, looking letter; even Janet suspendand going up to her mother's side, ed her work, and waited with some put ber arm round her, and kissed interest to hear the news. her affectionately.
It is just as I thought, girls; "Oh, what a cold face, child; you your poor Uncle James has sucmake me shiver!” exclaimed Mrs. cumbed to that frightful climate at Keith, drawing back. “Where have last,” said Mrs. Keith, running her you been ? What a colour you have! eye over the brief communication, Quite like a milk.maid's, isn't it, “The letter is from the Rev. Mr. BalJanet?"
four, who fortunately happened to Rather. It is not for complexion's be at the station when he died. This sake you require a morning's walk, is what he says: Marion,” said Janet Keith, lifting her cold, keen, blue eyes to her
"6Mission Station, young sister's round, ruddy face.
*** Tahal, LIVINGSTONIA, "I was saying to mamma you were
"« October 14th, 18—. surely turning over a new leaf.”
Madam,— It is with deep regret I Marion Keith pulled off her gloves have to inform you of the lamented death and turned her head quickly away. of Mr. Keith, which took place this mornA hasty retort was on her lips, but ing at daybreak. Some weeks ago he was she repressed it, and again approach
seized with fever, and as this is his third ing her mother's chair, knelt down
attack, there was no hope entertained of
him from the first. He became conscious on the hearth. She was the youngest towards the end, and added a word of of the family, and the least spoiled. happy confirmation to the already glorious She was only seventeen, but looked and abiding testimony of his noble and young for her years, being still, as unselfish life. He is an irreparable loss Janet often told her, an awkward
to the cause and to the poor creatures school-girl. But there was some
among whom he has so heroically laboured
and for whom he has given up so much. thing sweet and winning about her, He will be laid to rest beside Mrs. Keith. and the deep brown eye had an Miss Keith is wonderfully sustained by a
loving Lord, but is physically much pros- accompaniment of a shrill whistle, trated. As soon as arrangements can be indicated the approach of "the boys," made, she will sail for Europe. It is her
as Mrs. Keith still termed her tall only chance of restoration to health. Devotion to her father and to the cause
Both were students of mediboth had so much at heart may cost her
cine at Edinburgh University, prelife also. With every expression of sym- paring to follow their father's propathy and regard, — Believe me, yours fession, only as yet they had not excordially,
hibited any of his noble, earnest, 66 • WILLIAM D. BALFOUR.
self-denying spirit. Life was still “Miss Keith will write as soon as she play.time to them, study occupying is able. Fuller particulars will follow. a very minor place; and yet, as they This is in haste to catch the mail.'”
entered the room together, big, broad
shouldered, muscular fellows, they “ Poor Cousin Airlie!” said Marion looked as if it were quite time they through dropping tears. · How were doing some worthy work in dreadful to be left alone in such a the world country!”
They were a handsome pair-it “I don't think Airlie minds it at was not easy to know which to ad. all,” said Janet, quietly resuming mire the more: Errol, with his dark, her work; “I am quite sure that it finely-featured face, piercing, dark it were not for her health she would eye, and heavy masses of dark-brown insist on remaining among those hair, or merry, fair-haired, laughingfrightful heathen. She is that kind eyed Jack, who turned everything of girl. I suppose she will be coming and everybody into good-natured straight here, mamma?”
fun. Both were favourites wher“Of course, though one invalid in ever they went, and were much a house is enough; but, poor girl, sought after by the gay, sport-loving we must try and be kind to her. I circle of students to whom the duties must not forget that her father was of their profession were things of my John's only brother, and that he very minor consideration. No jovial loved him very much."
gathering, no night's fun or frolic, “Oh, yes, he did. How often I was complete without the Keiths, have heard him say he would like and perhaps all their enjoyments to go out to Tabai on a visit,” said were not quite so innocent as those Marion, softly, with a far-away, re- who loved them could have degretful look in her eyes, which told sired. that her thoughts were with the “ Really, boys,” began Mrs. Keith, happy past, which had been bright- but in a moment she was interrupted ened by the love of the father whom by the incorrigible Jackshe had idolized.
“Not a word, mother. We sprang “It will be rather troublesome when we heard the first bell. Didn't having her here just in the middle
we, Errol?” of the season,” said Janet, in the " Which must have been the breaksame cool fashion. “Will it be in- fast bell, rung half an hour ago," said cumbent upon us to refuse all invi- Janet severely, as she folded up her tations on her account?”
work and proceeded to take her • Really, Janet, you are rather place at the table. heartless," said Mrs. Keith, in feeble “ We are not responsible for the remonstrance. “Of course we must omission of the rising bell, miss," go into deeper mourning, and live said Jack. " Hulloa, Min, been cryquietly for some months. Ah! here ing, eh!" he said, turning to Marion. are the boys at last."
“ You in the black books too? Never A scrap of the tuneful Pinafore, mind, we're all chums." sung in a deep, musical voice, with the “ Who's the letter from, mother?”