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boys, about a boy. She put in many things that hap- “If I don't love you quite, I will try. I do love you, pened to my little brother ; she said she did.”
if you love mamma. I only hated you because I A heavy shadow passed over Cyril King's face. thought you didn't love her. If you are sure you do,
“ Books! How did she ever happen to write books? | then I love you, and you are my very own papa," and And when they were written, what could she do with the girl's arms were about her father's neck now. The them up there in the woods?”.
faded gold and the gold undimmed touched in their “She could send them to her publisher, and get mingling locks, and the breast of manhood shook with money for them,” said the princess Vida superbly. deeper throes than could possibly wring the girlish “So your mother has a publisher !”
heart. “ She has three or four. She has had them this long The storm of emotion had sobbed itself out, when, time. Why shouldn't she have publishers, if she can uplifting his head suddenly, Cyril said: “ You won't write books?”
care so very much for that — that-curate, will you?" “It's not every one who writes books who can get a “Oh, I must, papa. I shall care for bin always." publisher. It strikes me as the oddest thing I ever “ Dreadful !” groaned Cyril; “I know be is a prig." heard of, that your mother has written a book, to say “If you will call Mr. Dane names I can't love you nothing of publishers.”
if I do try, and I want to love you, papa. Mr. Dane .“ Book ! She has written more than one or two. is —- is - beautiful!”
The second one she wrote is The Annals of a Quiet “Oh, dear! But you are sure that your mother City.' Mr. Dane thinks everything of it, though he don't think so ? Sure she don't think him a god ?” don't kuow that mamma wrote it, or that she ever wrote “I don't know. She don't act as if she did." any book. But he never speaks as you do, as if she “ You are sure you only care for him a little? You couldn't write one," said Vida, in tones of deep re-ent- | don't love him?” ment.
“I don't know how much care' it takes to make " It's not that I think she couldn't, but that I think love. 1-I feel as if I worshipped him. I didn't of her in such a different way. I knew she could know it when I was at the Pinnacle. I never said so paint. I wonder how she came to write ?”
| before." “ Because it was in hier to do it, I think,” and the “No, you don't worship him, either. You only young haughty head went proudly up. “She sent away think so because he's a long way off. I believe he has what she wrote, because she must have money to pay | been trying to get an undue influence over your mind. for her food and mine, and for our clothes, and for I detest the fellow.” Evelyn's rooms, and for books, and for everything we “Then I can't love you, papa.” bad. Who would do it if my mamma didn't work ? ” “ Then I don't detest him. But never mention his
“I would gladly have sent your mother money, Vida, | name to me again.” all you and she would have needed, but I did not know | “You called liim a “fellow' over again. 1- I think where she was. And if I had, I should have known it's too bad,” with a bitter sob. also that she would not wish to take it from me."
“ There, there! Don't cry, and I'll never call him “ No. How could she when ” — and Vida again so any more. You're a tyrant, Vida. You are ruling looked anxiously about the room.
your sick parent with a rod of gold. And your mother “ You will see no one here to trouble you, Vida," writes books! What a pair you must be! The Ansaid Cyril gloomily. "The person you naturally dread nals of a Quiet City. To think my Aggie wrote it! and dislike will not come back perhaps for a year. I read it long ago, Vida. The name attracted me, Till she does, will you be my liitle comforter ? ” sadly. Ulm Neil.' I knew some Ulmite wrote it, 'twas so “ You say your dear mother brought you here for that, full of Ulm; and to think it was your mother! Did and I think she would not have brought you if she | she, Vida ?” had not by some means known that I was alone.”
“ Yes. In Evelyn Dare's little back bedroom.” “ Perhaps Mary Ben told her when she wrote.” “ Does Mary Ben write your mother?”
How was it with the wife and mother, out alone in “ Yes. Every month. She has ever since I can the darkness ? As she rushed down that lawn path remember. She has gone to stay at Mary Ben's to her feet faltered when she reached the grave of her night. Oh, mamma! my own mamma !” and Vida child, and she sank down upon it. She had known no again gazed toward the darkened window.
grief so bitter as this which now wrung her heart, since So it was in the sailor's house, the little house down at she sat there on the night of her first flight. Even the Front, that Agnes — once his Agnes — would sleep, then her child went with her to cheer her desolation. if she could sleep, that night. And her own pretty | Now, after having lived so long, loved and renounced room overhead empty, and he here, and their child! so much, she was going forth to unknown lands alone. A sudden cry came up from his heart for her. He She made the sacrifice of her own free-will, the final could be nothing more to her. He knew that, but if seal of her life-long love. And having made it, her he could see her sitting there where Vida sat, if he own being arose in bitter revolt against the loneliness of could only see her long enough to ask her forgiveness her lot. Why must she live on to the end, bereft of all before they parted forever, that would be much, how that women hold most dear? Surely she had wrought much to him now.
no wrong to any living creature, had committed no Vida withdrew her long gaze from the window to known sin, which should doom her to desolation all her see two large tears in her father's eyes. She had days. Home, husband, children, love, friendship even never seen tears in a man's eyes before. “Oh, don't, — why was she robbed of them all? She shrank back please don't cry!” and the same instant her soft hand from it, she could not bear it, the life of thought and was wiping the tears away. Did mighty nature assert of unceasing toil unlightened by the love that should herself in the touch, and through it thrill the myste- be its inspiration, which she saw lengthening out before rious bond of blood, the same in each heart?
her, and that only, down to the very gate of the grave.
“My child, my child !” and it was for the child on have stripped it of all its mystery of terror. But in earth, not the child in heaven, that she cried. Above darkness and helplessness human hearts and voices her was the night sky of June, and its questioning were crying out to Heaven. Groans and prayers and stars. Before her the great Sound rolled in, lapping shrieks of terror came up from the lower deck. The with hungry, human cry the stolid sands on its shore. great saloon was full of sobs and murmured prayers, Was there not a tone insatiate in every voice of nat. While the crying of little children and the moaning of urc? The very universe seemed to voice her cry of the sick added the final note of human appeal to the immortal want. Behind her was her home, her only miserere of the tempest. Agnes clung to her couch in home. In it sat her husband, yes, her husband, her that silent daze of faith and prayer which in some child, while she sat here, nothing hers but a grave. | organizations is the result of extreme danger descend. Nothing, nothing! Her face lay prone upon it.
ing upon extreme sorrow. It was awful. It was like “I am tired,” she said, " I feel as if I could not go the night of judgment. If she could stand long another step, as if I could not think another thought, enough to help auy body, how gladly she would try. as if I could not endure another pang. If all might It was impossible. She could do nothing but lie there, end here and now, I would thank God.” But she be thumped about, and await the end. Of course the drew herself up at last. She knew that she must go end was very nigh. The great ship must divide and on. She turned to go down the narrow path to Mary go down. It was dreadful that those little children, Ben's, and the lighied windows drew her gaze back- | those tender women, must be engulfed in the rarening ward.
sea; but she could not save them. She was going down Ah, if she could but see them once again before the with them, and of her human sorrow that would be the ocean was set between them and her, - just once, just | end. their faces together, to carry away with her. That “It is well,” she said with a weary sigh. “I am picture would be so much better than nothing to her
tired. What could music, or art, or high thought be heart. She believed she could look upon it now. She to me now? would not go near, not very near; she would stand on
“We are so tired, my heart and I!” the ground, outside the piazza, where it would not be “ It is cold," she murmured with a shudder, as a possible for them to see her; and as she said this she | mounting sea rushed in a whirlpool over the deck, was already retracing her steps over the lawn. Her “very cold; but I shall not be in it. That of me which feet clung to the turf that they might send forth no | feels warmth or cold, that thinks, loves, and suffers, will bound, and paused at last when she stood in direct not be in the sea but at rest, — at rest in peace, through line with the iumates of the library.
the merciful love of God, at rest in Him, somewhere Cyril's face was distinctly visible and Vida, — yes, in his universe. Father, forgive my sins, and keep my Vida was just rising from a low chair. The mother, darlings as in the hollow of thy loving hand forever and with wildly beating heart, saw all that came after, the forever.” advancing, the retreating, the angry gestures, the dewy On this prayer the morning dawned. The storm glances of her child. In spite of her own injunctions went down. The universe looked one waste of waves. she knew that child too well to believe she would open The ocean was a heaving plain of gray. A firmament her heart to her father, or reach his, without a struggle. of sullen gray came down to meet it. Out of both came But her affections would trinmph at last; she knew a mighty moan. Now and then two waves would rise that. Holding fast her own heart, she waited for that up from their uneasy bed with foaming mane, collide, triumph out in the darkness alone. Then she could fly on, topple, and fall with a roar of pain. Great go her way saying, “ It is well with him.” She did shreds of ragged mist, torn from the long, low, level not falter even when the cry came through the window, I cloud that barred the watery waste, went scurrying by. « Mamma! my own mamma!”
The muffled thud of a gun throbbed through flying She saw the one outstretched arm, she saw the storm-mist that still clung to the sea. Presently young head bent down, she heard the sobs of man and through its opaque gray glimmered a signal light. girl; then she would not sink to earth, she fled.
Then another cannon boom shuddered out into space.
“A ship in distress !” was the low cry that flew CHAPTER XXXIII. RETRIBUTION: REWARD. from grateful lip to lip on board the strong Cunarder,
that, outriding the storm unvanquished, bore every soul Is there any sense of human helplessness so utter as of her precious human freight into the gray morning that one feels in the black night of a storm at sea ? dawn unharmed. “A ship in distress !” The abyss above, the abyss beneath, the vast hollow Every officer and man of the crew, from the captain between, torn by the fury of elemental conflict, and re to the stoker, beaten and worn as they were with the sounding with the rush and roar of its revolt. Agnes long night watch and work, stood none the le-s alert to held fast to lier berth while one instant the great ship | answer to the cry for human help. Every moment the seemed plunging downward into a gulf of waters, and shock of the gun became nearer, the gleam of the sig. the next vaulted up, shuddering, upon the pitch of a nal light clearer; at last came the hoarse shout: “Ship spasmodic wave; then it slook, it rolled to and fro, as ahoy!” The cry of the human voice struck through if its mighty bars were about to part and go down for- every listening heart, thrilling and chilling it as no ever ; yet it went on. The wind shrieked through the boom of cannon could. cordage and tore everything in its path. Lights went This is what the straining eyes on the deck of the out, voices called, bells rang, the great heart of the en: Cunarder saw in that gray dawn, in that sulleu waste gine struggled with convulsive thiob against the throes of wave and storm: A dismembered steamer, all odds of ocean, as if it were a death-struggle to see which against it, fighting with the sea, on the last edge of should stop and which beat on. The ocean and the doom. Out of the beating mist, out of the mighty sky seemed to collapse together.
swell, she bore upon them, her cordage flying, her masts If light could bave fallen upon this sight it would | splintered, her bulwarks broken, she rolling and careening at the maniac will of the waves. Through the that seemed to drag the stanch Cunarder after her in rush of wind and water struck the steady pulses of the ber wake, she went down. pumps and the clear, assuring human cry of “ Brave Agnes saw the wom in opposite throw her white my boys!”
arıms upward, her head heavenward, saw her fair, fair At the first glimpse of the Cunarder a great shout of upturned face sink down, down into the gray waste, the joy broke into the cry of despair which a moment besobbing waves close over it and shut it out of sight; and fore rose from the decks of L'Imperiatrice. It was the as she saw it she fell forward, lost to all mortal con. signal that maile the awful struggle for life begin. / sciousness. With the shout: “ Boats out!” and the counter cry Perhaps ten days after the last event occurred, Vida, from numberless distracted voices: “ We are sinking!” reading the morning journal to her father in the breaka panic began whose extremity of human terror, fast room at Lotusmere, gave with girlish voice and seltishness, and despair, no words of any human lan with no kuowledge of its personal significance this anguage are in the least degree adequate to portray. Ju nouncement:vain the boats of both ships were lowered. In vain
New York, June 26. the worn-out voice of the brave captain of L'Impéra: The agent of the Transatlantic Steamship Company trice essaved to restrain the mortal tunult. Every | las received the following despatch from the manager of man forsook wheel and pumps, and each one struck out the line in Paris : L'Impératrice was disabled by hurrifor his own life. Men clung to belaying pins: men cane and sunk June 15, one thousand miles from Havre. lashed themselves under the shelter of shivering bul. | First officer and twenty passengers lost. Eighty paswarks; men seized life-preservers and leaped into the sengers saved by an English ship. All speak in praise sea; men bore down into the already overcrowded of the lamented Captain Rousseau, who was cool and boats, trampling women and children beneath their feet. / brave, notwithstanding the fearful sea.” The shrieks and prayers of women, the wailing of infants, mingled wiih the shouts of command, the groans | Agnes rested at Lucerne. Already the shores of the and oaths of men. In vain the commander of the Cue idyllic Vierwald-tädter See had taken on for her the narder in trumpet shout declared that with men at the tender aspect of familiar reminiscence. She sought it pumps and wheel, without sellishme:s or self-ilesti uc-, as a chosen refuge. The sliocks through which she had tion, every one might be saved. It is as easy to quench passed left her in no condition to meet the demands of flame with oil as to restrain with speech the frenzy of ordinary travel. She was haunted by a face : a face human panic confronting death.
that had so stamped itself upon her soul that it could Agnes gazed from the very edge of the deck, her never fade out. Till her latest breath she was to see it in heart panting, her senses strained to anguish of sight all the startling distinctness with which it now gazed in and of hearing, her faculties tortured with the neces: upon the very eyes of her soul in the agony of utter, sity of comprehending all, her soul agonizing to save, tinal appeal. Agnes was destined never to be left to while her feeble hands hung hielpless.
hate even those who had wronged her most. She was " When they reach us, when they are safe on board, I created for love, suffering, help, and forgiveness. To I can do something, something, for them, those poor | her Linda's death wiped out Linda's life. She shrank women and children. If I could but reach them there! | from Circe Sutherland. Her soul abliorred her, her If I could stay this holocaust!” And with these words I heart hated her in moments while she lived. That a low, piercing cry seemed to be crushed out of her own dying waze annulled the capability of resentment in the heart. A woman that instant was thrust back upon emotions of Agnes. “ Where is her soul ?" she said, deck by a crowd of trampling men, and the last boat, and her own seemed to follow out after it, and to brood with its frenzied crew pu led off. Agnes' eyes had over it with sorrowful prayer and ineffable pity. re:ted for moments upon the slender tigure of this I She had just passed a crisis in her life. She knew it. woman, as she had seen it driven on by the crushing She was sure of it. She seemed to have no strength crowd. Was there one hope left for her now? Would nor knowledge nor desire to begin life anew. If there the toppling L’Impératrice stary above water long enough l was more work for her to do, the strength to do it, for the boats to unload and push back! She lind on the wisilom to know it, the desire for it, would be no life preserver. There must be one near at hand. granted her. She must wait. She must hold all her Agnes, leaning far over the deck's railing, between her being receptive to the undreamed of good, if so be, unlifted hands tried to call to the woman to put one on, | known and unaware, it awaited her. In this spirit she but her soft voice was caught up and borne back by the wandered through the Forest (antons which boriler ile wind.
|fvirest of all Swiss lakes. She met pleasant people. Nevertheless, standing apart from the crowd who | She made dear friends. But wlien she turned from now rushed to the other end of the ship to watch the their smiles and kindly accent, she knew that with them advance of the struggling boats, something in her all she was no less alone. Her heart cried duinbly for attitude and gestures caught the attention of the de- / her child, yearned over the hipless image of the man spairing woman left behind. She stretched forth hier who was once her husband, went back in tender grati. hand; in mute entreaty, she urned her face in last ap. 1 tuile to her friend. The three lived, yet was she alone. peal, – the face of Circe Sutherland. Der hands If they were but dead to her, then slie could bury them were ontstretched for help. The hands of the woman and so on. She could put the garments that clothed opposite were outreached to save. In that instant, in them in her thought aside, hide them out of sight, and bethat long list look of commingled pity and despair, each gin to live anew. Because they were not dead, but liv. knew the other. In anoilier a cry of terror broke from iny, she could not put them from her. Every fibre of her both. The deck of L'Impératrice leaved upwaru. being seemed to cling to them, and as she tried to turn She rolleil, she threw her bows, she shudiereil, then and yo on without them, she found that it could not be, with one siow, awful plunye, sucking the last boat with she carried them with her still and ever. They were all its living freight into lier swirl, making a whirlpool with hier, yet they were not hers. They filled all her thoughts, and yet she was alone. She could not go / heart, and her silenced faculties through the doll senso back. She could not go on. She could but wait and / of pain awake to somewhat of their primal power. look and listen.
Thus without conscious volition she began and finEven these she was unwilling to do at first. In her | ished tasks that never seemed to be tasks. Imperutter desolation when she turned from her child, it . ceptibly she sought the ministry of labor. And one seemed to her that even nature could be nothing to her superlative evening she heard herself exclaim : " Thank more. What would be all its elemental beauty, void of God for work! It gives me to others, and makes me the human affection and companionship which is its | forget the weakness that is myself.” Even these soul ? Then she was lashed by ocean. Its terrific words she said with a hand upon her heart. She had energy, its glut of human sacrifice before her very eyes, received no letter from Vida written since the wreck still maile memory shudder. That face, that fair, fair of L'Impératrice was known in America. She, in her face! should she not forever see it sinking, sinking into letters to her daughter, had made no reference to it. the engulfing waves ? Slowly through all this pain, vet | They did not know at Lotusmere the name of the day by day, she seemed to feel on her wounds a touch ship in which she sailed. She had written to Vida of healing.
just as she would have done had her eyes never beThe mother Nature distils the needed elixir for each held that awful catastrophe. She sent words only of hurt child. Through her quiet wareru peace stole love and cheer and help to her child. She sent no to Agnies. Through the uplifting of her mountains personal message to that child's father; but every line Agnes grew silently once more toward strength. Not that she wrote tended to make her child more thought. even the conscious heart could shut out from the ex- ful, helpful, and loving toward him. Two letters from quisitely attuned sense the myriad rivulets of delicately Vida, full of passionate love and longing for her melodious sound that rippled inward from ear to soul. | mother, full of tender, pitiful regrets for her father, Not even this selfishily asserting p:in could close her had reached Lucerne. But they were written before eyes upon the marvels and mysteries of unimagined | she could have received Agnes' letter announcing her bues creeping tenderly up to her across the shifting own arrival there. Since then no word had cheered grass, throbbing before her sight in blending clouds of the dreadful silence. As it lengthened by days and emblazoned mist, or tingeing inaccessible snow-peaks weeks it seemed to Agnes that nothing but the new with the dawning blush of unfolding rose.
power to work, and the necessity of doing it, kept her The mighty mother! Everywhere was she not one ? alive. It was not Cyril! A life, an awful death, sepThe massed cloud moving worthward from the Bernese arated him from her forever. She expected no word Alps, it was the very same that she had seen before from him. But their child, — Vida, her bright, bright panoply the lowlier mountains beside the blue lake of Vida, her ever-loving Vida, — why did not she speak another heini-phere. The vagrant vapors roving in and to her cxiled mother? out amid the bewildering rocks, how often far away she! With this cry in her heart she sat at her window had seen them cleft and carried upward before the in the Pension Wallis. Her eyes followed the winding wind to the highest country of cloud. The opalescent waters of the Reuss, past the Capellbrücke, past tlie veil of film trembling above the Righi Kulm, did it not Reussbrücke, past the Mühlenbrücke, past the blue shimmer before the green Pinnacle across the seas? | Lucerne, till they rested on the truncated peaks of The stony rampart of that Western mountain, was it the Righi sheathed in glowing red; while above, thin not the same stuff as this which had defied ages of clouds, rose-flushed, streamed upward like the smoke storm in the scarred head of domed Pilatus? Here of incense from a mighty altar of worship set alone and there might be change in heights and outline, in the universe. It was natural as her breath, this in more awful effects, in a new atmosphere, yet far, high outlook. It seemed to translate and uplift through all there was no hint of strangeness. The one her far above the human sorrow tugging at her heart. mo: her ministered to her child here as there.
At such height, where no discord of earth could reach, It was as if the same lichens purpled the rocks, the there must be peace. The sense of far-off ness, of same insects hum red in the air, the same crickets | uplifting, of divine repose, which it gave, was evaneschirped in the moss, the same grasshoppers Vaulted cent; but brief, visionary as it might be, how it broke through the pewmoned grass, the same flaming butter- for the moment the tense strain of suffering and enfies fickered past. The racing streams scampering to | durance! There was a coming back, always a comthe vales below were but the far-off trout brooks that ing back, but somewhat of the pure strength of she loved. The hills held in their lwlows tiny, tremu. heaven's own lights seemed to come back also, to lous lakes of liquid blue, tender a: the lakelets of her / make easier to the tired heart the taking up of the far-off North. The translucent waters of Lucerne | burden that for a moment's renewing it dared to cast and Zug were not more profoundly azure, more in- | down. tensely emerald, than the gleaming reservoir of the Cana- 1 A faint, quick tap on the door of her room brought dian Tarn. Even the tinkling bells on the necks of | Agnes back from the ampler ether above the Righi. the Alpine kine and goats maile her shut her eyes till - Come in," she said gently, thinking it Fifine, the she saw again the grazing ciltle, the grassy pasture, the , maid. glinting spring before Evelyn's lo-house. In nature The door opened tremulously, and thinking a new all was kinship, companionship. Even the associations pensionnaire had mistaken the room, she rose to rectify of this historic spot were all of personal heroism, of the the mistake. grand democracy of a valorous riice. Benumbed as she | A head gleaming with golden hair, a young face was, it was not possible for even her to sail up and down | radiant, vet almost painfully excited, appeared. this lake hallowed by the legends of liberty, to vi-it the | “Vida! Oh, my child !” and mother and daughMecca of Switzerland, to stand it the sluine of its hero, / ter, each with a cry, rushed together. . and not leel the old pa-sion for lumin freedom, for ! One stood behind — a man smitten with prematuro human growth, quicken again above the ashes of her lage, leaning on crutch and cane. His curling yel. low hair was streaked with gray, his face was lined i pressed within their compass than in all the years that with suffering, not with years. When this man and he lived before them. Measured by what really woman last stood face to face, neither had outpassed | makes life, – emotion, experience, growth, — they the glory of youth. Then the man was dazzling as a made, indeed, the longest and fairest sum of his being, god in the untouched splendor of his manhood. , and held for him, so far as he had found it at all, the Then the woman was worn and weary with her very treasure-trove of human life. He shrank even womanhood. Now it was the woman who was beauti now from the memory of those first desolate days when ful. Time bad ripened, not withered her, and the | he went back to life, — to its exacting duties, to its serene light of her soul irradiated her soft eyes and negative employments, its scrutinizing eyes, and unsuffused her delicate features, kindling them to a su- charitable tongues, — to live, to bear life, to make the pernal loveliness.
best and the most of it, under a sense of bereavement Was this Agnes ? It seemed to Cyril King as if that filled not only his affections and enjotions, but bis breath was going.
pervaded no less his faculties. “ Mamma!” The intonation made Agnes look up. He did not analyze the quality of this sense of loss. Was this Cyril ?
Whether his soul was widowed or orphaned he did The mother and child could cry with joy at the not know. But this he knew, that the kindred mind sight of each other. The husband and wife, trans- which had touched all his life with inspiration seemed fixed, gazed in silence. There was no speech, r.o now to be suddenly wrenched from it. A pure, pero language, no cry, at once possible to either soul. vasive light, that brightened all his way, had been Each felt that it would be easy to sink down and die utterly withdrawn, and he groped in the dark. at the other's feet. This meeting, this look, this long, He thought that he did. Only by time was he able long look of reunion, of love, was it not joy? Was it to discern that the lights withdrawn still shone for not enough, at last, at last ?
him. By many slow, silent, lonely steps he came to “ Mamma!” Vida took her mother's hand;“mam- learn at last that it is by seeming loss only that we ma, papa loves you. After all he loves you, my own gain fruition here or hereafter. Imperceptibly his mamma, and I have told him over and over, though senses loosened their hold on the beloved presence; it he cannot believe it, that you love him, that you have faded more and more into the mist of the past, but the always loved him, and him only, through everything. soul held fast to its possession. His friend was always Tell him it is true; that you do, mamma," and Vida his friend, not to have or to hold, but to pray for and laid her mother's hand upon her father's - that hand to remember. If her gentle eyes did not light bis days, that shook so on his beavy staff.
they shone still upon the earth. If he could not see “Forgive!” said his quivering lips.
her face, she yet lived in the world, and wherever she “ Forgive nie,” she answered.
was, she remembered him and cared for him. Her “I love you, I believe I never ceased to love you,” presence had faded from before his sight, and still not said the voice that once, so long ago, transfigured all less but more she was a force in his life, a quickening the earth for her with these same words.
inspiration to him in thought and in deed. "I love you. I have always loved you!”
Year by year he grew in scholarship, in eloquence, “I know it, and I know that I do not deserve it.” in puissant, helpful, consecrated humanity. He was
“I know only that I cannot choose but love you. the rector of Dufferin still, because he chose to be ; Oh, come in ! Come in and rest! Vida, ring the but in his yearly vacations he had not shunned the bell, my darling. You must have food. You must larger and louder world lying beyond its plains and lie down. How did you come - across that dreadful mountains. He had studied human life in the lowest ocean?” with a shudder. “But you have come! Both purlieus of the cities, and in their most cultivated coof you, my — oh, have you come? or is it a dream, | teries. He had mingled with men of all classes. He another dream? I have dreamed it so: often, when | had associated with women of many gifts and graces, to wake was awful because you had not come. Vida! with women gentle, wise, and good. He had many is it, is it you?"
delightful acquaintances and not a few friends. Yet “I will pinch you, mamma. Then you will be some way they all seemed to abide on the outskirt of sure."
what was intrinsically himself. When he returned to And Vida pinched her mother, then laughed over solitude and sat down in silence with his soul, he found her, then cried over her, then called out, " Oh, I feel | after all that the most sufficing companionship that he a ball in my throat bigger than one of Evelyn's ha- kniew was still with one far distant, whose face he zel-inuts, yet I'm not angry, not in the least. I'm just might never see again. His intercourse with many beside myself, I'm so happy."
types of mortals had convinced him of nothing more
certainly than this, that perfect communion of mind One autumn evening, in a salon of the Pension and entire sympathy of spirit with spirit, even between Wallis, there was a marriage ceremony performed, two very dear to each other, is as rare in human ex. which beside the clergyman had but one witness. perience as the flower of the aloe is in nature. He The witness was Vida King. The two who were had come to believe that no life could call itself poor, wedded were Cyril King and Agnes Darcy.
in which had bloomed one perfect friendship. This
consummate flower of human relationship blossomed CHAPTER Xxxiv. CONSUMMATION.
once for him, and he held it still in his heart of hearts
unfaded. ATIEL Dane rode slowly through the Tarnstone | If nature gave hint of any growth deeper, closer, woods to greet again the friend whom he had not and sweeter, he knew that it was not his, he had seen for six long years. As he looked back upon never found it. He believed that he had held his them, very long these years seemed to him, so long in- ! whole being receptive to the fullest good that might deed that he felt as if more of his life were com. I come to him. He had even gone forth into the world