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abandon it and plunge again into the old baneful excitements, if he would not go mad. He came to this couclusion sitting by a bright fire, one gray, windless October twilight—a twilight without memory of sun or hope of star. He sighed heavily, for the thought of the old life sickened him. It was a long, easy-going, Old World kind of room in which he was sitting, with deep window-recesses where one could stow oneself away comfortably. The firelight glinted pleasantly on the old oak panels and on the solid old furniture. Dunmore was thinking, with his face bowed in his hands, of what his life had been, of what it might have been, and of what it henceforth must be. Suddenly he heard a door open and shut very gently. Then he heard, coming nearer and nearer, till it ceased beside him, a sound which resembled, more than anything else, the sound of a soft wind going through the trees in Summer, when their leaves are most abundant. A sense not of fear, but of awe, grew upon him, and there seemed a spell on him that he could not raise his eves. Then a voice, which seemed to him to come at once from near at hand and from very far away, spoke to him : “Are you frightened, that you will not look at me? I am here to save, not to harm you. Oh, I have waited for you so long !” Then strength was given him to raise his eyes, and he beheld, kneeling at his right hand, what seemed a beautiful woman, clothed all in white. She had a clear, pale face. The expression of the mouth was sweet and grave. The eyes were gray, compassionate and tender. Her long golden hair hung all about her. In the bosom of her dress she had a rose. He looked at her, kneeling there in her pale, stainless beauty, and a sense came to him of something mysterious, unutterable, not of our world. He put forth his hand, and touched the strange white petals of the rose of death upon her bosom. “That rose,” he said, “never grew in mortal garden.” “No,” she answered, simply. “It came from a garden in my own land.” “And why have you left your land 2" “I was permitted to come,” she said—“to try and comfort you.” Then she was silent, and silently laid her hand on his, and it seemed to him that something went on within him like the resurrection of his soul. He thought that thus might the earth feel when it knows that the Spring has corne. Yielding to some mystic spell, he rose, and she drew him to one of the deep window-recesses, where she seated herself. He knelt at her feet and buried his head in her lap. Then, for a supreme moment, he felt her hand stir his hair and touch his forehead. Then he felt in his own eyes the rush of tears—not tears like molten fire, such as he had wept in his days of anguish, but the tender tears that heal and save. He wept, but there was no pain in his weeping, and his fair, strange guest leaned over him, and all her golden hair fell about his face. When they had thus sat in silence till he was eased of his weeping, she touched his eyes with her cool, sweet lips, and said in that voice soft as a sigh : “I must go now, dear; but I will come again to-morrow, and every time that I come I shall be able to stay longer.” And then, as if to herself, “I have waited for you so long—so very long I’’ o

Kissing her dress and her hands, he cried : “You will surely come 2" “Yes, I will come ; have no fear.” And then he felt her pass from him, and knew that he was alone, and a wind rose outside and a rain fell. Thankful and humbled, yet weak withal, Dunmore laid down to sleep that night, feeling that to his soul some blessed, undeserved healing and purification had come. When he awoke in the morning it seemed to him that he was re-created. November came with long, lonesome rains—December with short, unquiet days—the still cold of January, and the lengthening February days that brought the year on toward the Spring. And night after night came the fair, strange guest who had brought him healing. He worshiped her as the devotee worships his saint. It was no love of the earth that he gave her. Sometimes it seemed to him that she was his own soul, disembodied and made holy, she was so at one with him. One wild March night he was kneeling at her feet, and suddenly a thought shook him with a sudden and awful dread. What would life be to him if she forsook him—she who had restored him to himself, and reconciled him again with nature ? Kissing her hands, he cried : “Promise me that you will never forsake me. I see you daily, I am saved. Promise.” “Never, while you are constant to me,” said the low, sad voice. “But shall I not be constant to you? Whom have I in all this empty world but you—you who have saved me? Will anything, can anything, ever part us?” “It is not given me to see,” she answered him, and it seemed to him that the shadow of an immortal sorrow darkened her gentle eyes. “I may not know. I know only that should you go back into your old life, should you forsake me for any of the old temptations, I shall be judged to have failed in my mission ; and we shall be parted for ever.” “But while I am faithful you will not forsake me 2" “Never.” And there was something in her face which made him know that she loved him as only the immortals love. April went by and May came, with soft, brooding skies, and nightingales singing themselves mad in the throbbing nights. In May a summons called Dunmore to town on important business. He was to be gone for two days. In London he met an old friend, who insisted on taking him home that night to a large reception. For nearly a year had Dunmore been absent, alike from the fashiodable gatherings, to which he had been well known of old, and from the wilder spirits whose boon companion and leader he had been. Naturally, his reappearance in the old circles was an event, and his reception was almost an ovation. He was going through the customary small-talk to the customary young lady with roses in her hair when suddenly every sense thrilled. He started and turned white ; and some one heard from him a sort of stifled cry— “My God, is she here 2" He had not heard her voice or seen her face; but he had become aware of the perfume that was always associated in his mind with Edith Henson. He would have turned and fled, but it was too late. In an instant the perfume was beside him, and his host was saying: “Dunmore, you remember Lady Rockburn ?” He turned, and faced the Edith Henson of old, more beautiful in her regal womanhood than she had ever been as a girl.


have made me mad again, and I shall behave like any other madman.”

. Then Lady Rockburn shiv. ered. She found the night air chill, after all, and she would go back into the house. Soon after she went home.

As for Dunmore, he went hither and thither like one distracted. Instead of returning to his hotel, he walked desperately about the streets. He


that night. Every “After many days !” she said, holding out her hand detail of it was branded terribly upon his recollection.

As he took it in his he felt recur within him the old de. There was something strange and ghastly in his return licious excitement which her touch had always awakened to a kind of life which he imagined he had done with for in him.

ever. It was as if an actor, turned monk, should quit his “I never thought we should meet again !” he managed cell, should leave the holy raptures of renunciation, and to say.

find himself again on the old stage, before the footlights, I knew we should," she answered, quietly. “I have and in his blood, keener than ever, the old tormenting been dreading it. You are, somehow, changed ; yet you craving for triumph. Yes, this was the very London he look well. Some one told me you had been ill." knew so well of old. “Yes, I was very near to death."

The past months at The Pines were vague to him as a “But now ?”

dream. The Presence that had brought him healing, and "Now I am, as you say, well.".

grown to seem intimate to him as his own soul, had almost The night was intensely hot. The French windows of faded from his memory, as the visions of sleep fade when the room led into the garden. They were wide open. one awakes to the full light of day. Yet all the time

“I am feeling faint,” she said. “Would you mind there was an inner sense in him, subtler than thought or taking me into the garden ?”

memory, that there was something he ought not to forget In another minute they were in the open air. They sat -something to which he was unfaithful. down together in a remote corner of the garden, under But he resolutely turned his back on the peace which the sheltering branches of a great tree. From the house he but last week had held so dear. This London of came the sound of dance-music.

old—this was the place for him. Here was life. He I knew we must meet some time," she began, as if noticed the familiar sights—a woman crouching in a doorspeaking to herself. “I used to wonder how it would way, as if forsaken of God and man; a doctor's carriage be. Somehow, I never thought it would come like this. waiting the night through before a bouse in a street Won't you speak to me ?"

Icovered thickly with tan. “I am not good at small-talk,” he answered.. “ What would you have me say ?"

“Say,” she whispered, coming so near him that her flower - scented hair almost touched his face —“ suy the only words that can comfort me. Tell me that you forgive me !"

“If you had written to ask my forgiveness yesterday,” he answered, rising and standing before her, “you should have had it freely, for yesterday I was at rest. Now I have seen you, and the old fire of longing burns in me as fiercely as ever. No, I cannot forgive you."

He did not see it, for the moon was low, but her mouth quivered with soft, cruel, triumphant laughter.

“Ah,” she answered, very gently, "you will forgive me in time, because I am so unhappy. Will you not come and see me to-morrow? I shall be quite alone.” “Yes. Never fear but I sball come. You



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Was it to see life in, or to watch it out, that the doctor waited 2 No matter | Soon the man's own turn will come, and it will be “Physician healthyself.” And Dunmore laughed grimly, as if Death were a phantom pursuing all men, and he alone were out of the chase.

When morning dawned he returned to his hotel ex-.

hausted, and fell into an uneasy sleep, one of those unrestful, shallow slumbers, in which one cannotodrown deeply enough to escape the sense of consciousness. When he finally awoke it was noon. Lady Rockburn had mentioned three as the best hour for him to call ; and upon the last stroke of that hour he found himself before her house in Park Lane. “I am glad to see you,” she said, as the door of her boudoir closed behind him. “How full this room is of you,” he answered. “But, then, you always did make the rooms you lived in seem part of yourself.” She was sitting in a low chair, leaning back, her hands clasped in her lap. He looked at the flowers scattered round the room. “You keep your old love for flowers, I see.” “You have not forgotten how well I loved them, then 2" “I don't think I have forgotten many things about you—Edith.” He had paused a moment before calling her by the old name ; but she took no notice of it. “Why, after so long,” she laughed, “I should think you would have forgotten most things about me.” “I forget nothing,” he answered. “I know all your ways by heart. Oh, my poem —only more lovely than ever printed poem was l Oh, my picture l—only so much more beautiful than ever painted picture was 1” “Now you are foolish "she said. “The old, half-disdainful voice " he went on. “And your hair is just as pure gold as ever. Once, my dear, I thought you a saint. God knows I think you no 'saint now ; but He knows, too, that I love you more than ever.” “You mustn't say that now,” reproving him for the first time. “You know now that I have no right to hear it. And yet I am half mad myself when Iremember that there was a time when I had a right to hear it. Oh, my friend, if I have made you suffer, do not think I have not myself been well punished.” “Does he love you ?” asked Dunmore. “Yes, as a father might love the daughter of whom he chances to be proud.” Then, for some time they sat quite in silence, a silence which, at last, he broke abruptly: “Do you remember that day we went picnicking—we, your aunt, and a whole lot besides, and how we managed to get away for a little while by ourselves, and, hidden amid the trees, I put my arms round you and kissed you, and took the rose from your bosom 2 I have that rose yet. I don't believe any woman ever had such sweet lips to kiss as yours; and they could kiss back well, too. I wonder you could kiss so well—you, who had no heart.” “I seem heartless, then, in your eyes 2" “How could you seem anything else? Why did you ask me here to-day ?” “I suppose because I wanted to see you.” “And why did you want to see me? Was it because you had pity for my wrecked life? You thought I had escaped you; but last night you saw that your power over me was just the same as of old. You asked me here because you wished to try that power. You are bored. You want me to amuse you.”

“And if that were true,” she answered, carelessly playing with her rings, “need you be unwilling I should have my little pastime? Surely a man who loves me need not grudge me my harmless amusement.” “I wish I could get my blood up to kill you,” he said. “You are too dangerous, too cold-hearted, too quietly wicked a woman to be allowed to live on in the world.” “I don't know that I should greatly mind if you did kill me, life bores me so. You are something of a sensation ; but I suppose you would not remain so, and, as it is, you resent my taking an interest in you. For yourself, if you were to kill me, unfortunately you would be hung.” “I shouldn't mind that ; I should think I had done so good a thing in ridding the world of such a woman.” “Really, what devotion to your race 1 “Write me as one who loves his fellow-men’l” “I knew you could sneer well, even in the days when I used to think you were a saint. But I thought then your sneers were all deserved. What a fool you made of me, didn't you?” “Don’t call yourself names. Do you remember that night coming home from the picnic how it rained, and how you got hold of my hand in the dark, and kept it all the time * “Just as well as if it were yesterday,” he answered. “I can never smell wet earth without thinking of that night. Do you expect other callers this afternoon ?” “No ; I have taken the precaution not to be at home. I am giving up the afternoon to a chat with an old friend, who would like to end my worthless life for me, because I do not happen to feel deeply enough to please him. Well, without confessing that I am quite heartless, I am willing to own there are women who have more heart, perhaps.” “Why should you have any ?” he cried; “have you not everything else? Why should one woman have all the good gifts of the gods 2" and he knelt beside her, and took both her hands in his. “You mustn't l” she said ; but she did not withdraw her hands, though he covered them with kisses. “When shall I see you again?” he asked, when going away. “Oh, when you like ; we shall be in town till the end of June.” Dunmore postponed his return to the country indefinitely. He took up society where he had left it when his trouble came. He was both popular and well-connected, therefore he was asked everywhere, and thus constantly met Lady Rockburn in public. In private, too, their meetings were not infrequent ; and really the world began to gossip about them in a way which Lady Rockburn said to herself was quite abominable. One night, near the close of June, she was seated alone in her luxuriously appointed boudoir. She was dressed for a ball, with diamonds on her lovely neck and arms. Sitting there, in the soft light, she looked as little like a woman who would count the world well lost for love, as any woman you could find in all Vanity Fair. A sudden, impetuous ring at the doorbell made her start. Then she shrugged her shoulders and said: “Well, I suppose it must come now.” Dunmore came in, and closed the door behind him. “Is Sir Charles not going to-night 2' he began. “No ; an important debate keeps him in the House.” “How glorious you look to-night, Edith !” and bending down he kissed her firm, white throat. “Edith, let us be strong. I wronged you once, when I said you could not love. ... I know you better, now. Let the world.

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go; you have tried it enough, I think, and it did not , The fire burned brightly, and he grew absorbed in watchcontent you. Come to me, at last, my own, and let me | ing it. make you happy !"

Suddenly, as on that other day, he heard the door open “No," she replied, firmly. “You were right about me and shut gently—and then the sound as of a soft wind at first. I am a woman whose heart was left out in the through the full-leaved trees of Summer, which came making. I can really love no one. I tell you I am so nearer and nearer. He turned and followed her to the sick of this torpid life, in which I feel nothing, that if I window-seat, where she used to sit. She was as fair as could love you, or any one else, I would go, and let the ever. The white rose, from some mystic garden not of world do its worst. For my own sake, I have tried to this world, was on her bosom ; her long golden hair fell love you, but it was in vain. I am tired of trying. I about the pale beauty of her face. will not give all for nothing ; and you are nothing in my But the eyes, that had been once his stars of hope, life. Whatever has been between us must end here. I were full now of an immortal despair, an immortal longam weary of it."

Dunmore turned very pale. He stood in front of her, He fell at her feet, and covered them with repentant unable to speak; but his eyes were full of an intolerable tears. scorn and horror.

"Is it too late ?" he cried. “Don't look like that !" she cried, just a little fright- “Yes,” sighed the soft, sweet, unearthly, unforgotten ened. “If you won't look so, I won't mind what you voice. “You cannot know at what price I have pursay. How can you feel so much ? I wish I could. I chased these few moments. You will never see me again, would rather feel sorrow than not anything at all.” unless some day you come to my land."

For the life of her, she could not help quailing under "Is that possible ?” he asked. those awful eyes of his ; at length speech came to him. “Yes, it is possible, but the path is narrow and difficult

“ Having gone so far," he gasped, "you throw me over the struggle will be hard. Yet I bring you hope. If like this? I wish I had killed you the first day I came you will, you may come !" to this house !"

He sat upon the floor, resting his head upon her knees. “It's not at all too late now," she sneered, taking cour- He felt her fingers, cool and soft as snowflakes, in his age, now that his awful silence was broken. “I'm still hair ; and then, to a tune like the wind's tune, when it is here. Why should you let the opportunity slip ?" sad before the rain, she began to sing, and this was her

"Stop !” he cried, springing toward her, catching both song : her hands in one of his and lifting the other as if he “ To the land I came from, would have strangled her. Then the temptation passed,

Very far away,

I must journey through the wind to-day. and he let go of her and looked at his hands, as if he half-feared some stain were upon them.

“ Help me, oh, my sisters, “Thank you,” she said, quietly. “That would not

As I come to you, have been a pleasant or a romantic way to die. A dagger

Back to the field that once I wandered through! would have sounded far better in the police reports."

“ Pity would have saved himAt that moment her carriage was announced.

Passion was too strong-. “ Will you excuse me ?" she asked, with a gracious

They may not stand whom Love seeks to wrong. pend of her fair and stately head.

“ Alas! alas! my sisters, "I shall never see you again," he answered, looking at

Pure Pity is a dove, her as if he would fix the likeness of her in his heart for

But a cruel, cruel panther-king is Love." ever. “Edith, my love, my love, I ought to curso you, but I cannot; I forgive you, rather. Better have my

Sleep stole over him as she sang-sleep, deep and long. life wasted by you than saved by any one else. Pity me

When he awoke his head was lying on the window-seata little, my wicked, beautiful love, and let me kiss you | the Presence had departed. one last time. Between me and hell there is just one

He rushed from the house. A heavy rain was falling. kiss, for my life will be hell when I see you no more- Vainly he sought for the gleam of her white robe. never more in all this world."

The emptiness of the wet world mocked him. He sank Five minutes afterward and Lady Rockburn's carriage upon the ground. Was it in a trance, or in a prayer ? rolled away from her door ; and in another direction a

in another direction The rain fell steadily, the wind surged round him. man hurried, with wild eyes and face haggard in the

With the morning he arose. Then a great shivering fit flaring gas-lights. The play, such as it was, had been

took hold on the lonely man, such as is the precursor played out.

of a fever, and he walked back toward the house which :: For some months after that Dunmore led a life wilder | he was never more to leave. And as he went he heard, or than ever, trying by such means as he had tried before to seemed to hear, the wet wind sing. forget the sorceress who had bewitched him, and trying

“ Alas, alas! my sisters, just as vainly.

Pure Pity is a dove; At last there came an October day-a gray day of soft

But a cruel, cruel panther-king is Love!" winds and imminent rain. A sudden memory thrilled through him, and he hurried to The Pines. It was a year ago that day since the Presence came to him, which once

THE PIGEON'S INSTINCT. he had thought was strong enough to save him, very body and soul. He had yielded to the old temptations—he A WRITER in the Scottish Naturalist tells a story of a had been faithless to her—there was no more hope ; but pigeon which illustrates the truth of the saying that God he went to sit through the twilight of that day in the very tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, and the high power spot where she had found him first.

of instinct prompted by paternal love. Two pigeons had He looked like a hunted man " more dead than alive," built their nests in the top story of the dove-cote, and his housekeeper thought. He rejected her proffers of had hatched their young, which came out of the egg about service. He wished nothing but to sit in the old seat. / the middle of March, 1876. On the 16th day of March a

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