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pelled. My girl was keeping some Felix, you would pity me. But I part of her life from me, I thought, wouldn't say it to any one else but and I should know better how to act you; and I know that I am misif I found out what it was. I had taken, and that my girl is good and never seen this gentleman before, true. But I haven't finished my had never heard of him from Lizzie. story. They talked together for a He looked like a gentleman, but little while, and I saw her ask him still like that kind of gentleman for some money to give to the perthat it would not be wise for a girl formers. It was like her, dear child! in Lizzie's position to know too she has the tenderest heart! Soon well. I thought of the tempta- afterwards they walked away, and tions which surrounded a young I was about to follow them when girl like Lizzie—she is very, very you came up. That is all.' pretty, dear girl !—in a great city While she was speaking, Felix like London. Imagine my agony. called to mind that on the day he After all, girls are girls; they like first saw Lily in his father's house pleasure and excitement; and Liz- in Stapleton, Martha admitted her zie was living by herself. But I and her grandfather and brother to dared not think long upon this; it his father's study. 'Did she reweighed upon me too much, and member Alfred's face?' he asked of was making me unfit for my task. himself mentally. We alighted at Hampton Court, “You saw the young man who and I followed my dear girl and the came to Lizzie?' he asked aloud. gentleman cautiously. They stop 'Yes, Felix.' ped at an inn—the inn before which Can you see his face now?' the street-conjurers were playing. No, I am shortsighted. If it The gentleman said a few words to were not for my love, I should not Lizzie, and left her. Just then the be able to distinguish Lizzie. conjurers came and began to make “Tell me,' said Felix, ‘do you preparations for performing. Lizzie ever remember seeing his face became out to see them—she is very fore?' fond of street sights, dear child! 'Never, Felix; and yet, she and I stood apart from her in the paused, and passed her hand over crowd watching her. I don't know her eyes—now you mention it, how long a time passed before the there seemed to be something famiyoung man came up to her; but it liar in his face as I looked at him. was like a knife in my heart to see But no, I must be mistaken ; I have the joy in Lizzie's face when he no recollection of ever having seen spoke to her. I never thought it him. Why do you ask?' possible I could have felt pain to 'I wondered if you had, that is see my girl look bright and happy. all, Martha. And now' (dismissing And you may wonder, Felix, why I the subject), 'what is it you intend suffered so; you may wonder why to do? I should not rejoice in my girl's 'Idon't know-I am bewildered. pleasures. But think for a mo- At one time I think of going away, ment-think of the misery it caused and bearing my misery until she me to learn that Lizzie had been writes to me again, which she is hiding things from me. If she kept sure to do soon; then I can speak this from my knowledge, as she has to her. At another time I think of done, may she not have kept other going up to her, and showing mythings ? If you knew how wretched self. She would be glad to see me, it makes me to hear myself speak- I think; she would not turn her ing like this of her--if you knew, back upon me.'
“You say, you think ; I say, I will make me very unhappy to be am sure she would be glad to see sent away. For one reason, Felix. you—
You must not think that in what I 'Bless you, Felix,' cried Martha, am going to say I am prejudiced in a grateful tone, ‘for that assur- or prompted by my fears. I don't ance !
like that man's face.' “I hadn't quite finished, Martha. “Which of the two do you refer I say I am sure she would be glad to, Martha ?' to see you—at first. But have you "The one who brought Lizzie thought how you could account for from London. your presence here, Martha? Would 'Neither do I.' not the gentleman who brought her “You know him then you have from London be likely to remember seen him ? that he saw you at the ticket-office? “Let me think a little, Martha.' If he did see you, and you pre- He moved away from her, and sented yourself to Lizzie in this walked slowly up and down in deep manner, he would be sure to recog- thought. Should he tell Martha nise you by your dress and bonnet, his secret, or so much of it as he if by nothing else. He might tell deemed necessary? Her instinctive Lizzie - might say that you had aversion to David Sheldrake's face been watching and following them. found sympathy with him. Felix Would not Lizzie be hurt at that?' was a shrewd observer, and during
Yes, yes,' exclaimed Martha, his brief sojourn in London had looking up to him for support. formed a pretty fair estimate of the 'You are right in everything you life of the great city. His judgsay; you can see things in a clearer ment was not biassed by prejudices light than I can. I am confused of any kind, and it did not detract and tired out. It would hurt Lizzie's from the correctness of his conclufeelings; and rather than that—' sions that he judged by a high
'Rather than that, if I judge you standard. He knew the class of rightly, you would suffer much with- men of which Mr. Sheldrake was a out murmuring.
member; knew that they lived only * You judge me rightly, Felix. I for the pleasures of the day, and would suffer much to save her from that such moral obligations as conthe smallest pain.'
scientiousness and right-doing were He gave her a bright look in ap not to be found in their vocabulary proval, and pressed her hand. of ethics. These things did not
"You are sure of one thing, Mar- enter into their lives—they were tha—sure that Lizzie will write to dead to them. That Mr. Sheldrake you soon ?
entertained an affection or a pasO, yes.'
sion for Lily he did not doubt; but Well, she has come out to en- he knew, from the very character joy the day—I don't suppose she of the man, that his feeling was not has too many holidays. Look at an honest one. That Lily enterher--you can see that she is happy. tained an affection for Mr. Shel. It would be a pity to spoil her en drake, he could not believe ; no, joyment. You agree with me-I not even the bright look she gave see it in your eyes. So presently, to Mr. Sheldrake, and of which he if it is necessary, you will go home had been an involuntary witness and leave them to themselves.' —not even the confidential rela
'If you advise me to do so, I tions which seemed to subsist bewill,' she said humbly, and then tween them—could make him bewith more animation, although it lieve that. He had too high an
opinion of Lily, too just an appre- Felix was convinced that the old ciation of her admiration for the man knew nothing of the present nobler qualities of human nature, meeting of Lily and Mr. Sheldrake, to believe that she could have seen and was convinced that Lily herin Mr. Sheldrake that which would self did not know of it beforehand; cause her to love him. “Although for she had asked her grandfather love comes— how?' thought Fe- to accompany them, and he had lix. · Who can analyse the subtle refused. Why did he refuse? Lily influences which compose it? who wished him to come, and that wish can set down rules for it?' But the was sufficiently strong for complistrongest argument he found to ance. Immediately Felix arrived strengthen his belief that Lily did at this point of his reflections, he not love Mr. Sheldrake was this: decided that Alfred must be the her grandfather knew nothing of cause of the old man's absence, it-did not even suspect it. And, and also that Alfred knew that Mr. on the other hand, from what had Sheldrake would be at Hampton passed between himself and old Court, and had kept the knowWheels, the hope had been born ledge from Lily. The meeting within him that the old man sus- was planned, then, beforehandpected and approved of his feelings planned by Alfred and Mr. Shelfor Lily. 'He would not encour- drake. age me by the shadow of a word, Thus logically following out his thought Felix, “if he thought that train of thought, things became Lily loved another. She may not clearer to him ; but the chain was love me, although I have some not complete. What was the link times thought that I might win her that connected Alfred and Mr. love; but I may have been misled Sheldrake ? Felix knew nothing of by my hopes. He would know Alfred's racing speculations; neisome day, perhaps ; in the mean ther did he suspect Alfred of delitime a clear duty was before him, berate treachery against his sister. prompted no less by his love for her All that was ill in the matter he than by his sense of right, and by set down to the credit of Mr. Shelhis promise to the old man. Again drake. And this was the more the old man's words recurred to strange because he would admit of him: ‘I pray that she may give her no compromise, and because, as a heart to a man who will be worthy general rule, he was singularly leof her--to one who holds not light- nient and tender in his estimate of ly, as is unhappily too much the acts and persons, finding and makfashion now, the sacred duties of ing excuses often which could only life.' To such a class of men as the be created by one possessing a old man feared David Sheldrake kindly nature. belonged-Felix was certain of it. Lily was in danger; of that he Following the remembrance of these was satisfied. Her love for Alfred words came from the old man the magnified the danger; and the acexpression of vague fears that some count the old man had given him hidden danger was approaching of the state of her nervous system, Lily; and then, when Felix had as exemplified by the strange slumsuggested that the old man should bers into which she had lately fallen, confide in Alfred, came the words, rendered the danger more imLeast of all in him, Felix-least minent. When he arrived at these of all in him! This was a proof conclusions he drew a deep breath, that there was a want of confidence and looked steadily at the persons between Alfred and his grandfather. of whom he had been thinking; they were together now, and were “Stay here, Martha; they are making preparations for quitting moving off. I intend to see where the spot. Martha Day, whose eyes they are going to.' had never left them, rose, and drew Martha resumed her seat, withhis attention to them.
out a word of protest, having con'I see,' he said. “They are going fidence in him; and he, waiting away.'
until the party were ahead of him, She looked at him appealingly, followed them slowly. He was not asking with her eyes what it was gone more than ten minutes. best to do.
'It is as I thought,' he said to "You said just now, Martha,' he Martha when he returned; "they said, answering her look, 'that you are at the inn now, and dinner is could trust me with your life. being prepared for them.' 'I meant it,' she replied.
He sat down beside her, and she • Trust me, then,' he exclaimed, took his hand, and looked at him in an incisive tone; his words affectionately. seemed to cut the air, they were 'I have been thinking, Felix, of so clear and sharp. “Do exactly what you said just now concerning as I tell you. Your cause is mine that young lady.' Lizzie is as dear to you as your And thinking of me, I suppose, life is; I know that. Let me re- he said, “in connection with her.' lieve your mind upon one point. 'Yes, Felix.' I am acquainted with the young "Well, Martha, you have the key man who looks like Lizzie's sweet- to my secret. Let it be sacred beheart—it is strange how things are tween us, and do not let any referlinked together, is it not ? The ence to it pass your lips unless with young lady you see with them is my consent. his sister—as pure and good a girl I will not, Felix.' as breathes in this villanous world. "Suspecting then, as you do, No, no; why should I say villan that I have almost as great a stake ous? There are spots even upon as yourself in the meeting that has the sun. But the girl whose arm just taken place, it should be an is round Lizzie's waist, the girl additional assurance to you that whose cheek is so close to Lizzie's you may trust to me implicitly in now, has a soul as clear as an un- this matter.' defiled mountain stream.
'I did not need such an assur* Felix ! cried Martha in won- ance. der; for a tremulous tenderness I know. The young lady is all had stolen into his voice as he that I have said, Martha.' spoke these last words.
'I am glad that Lizzie has made • You and I are something alike such a friend.' in one thing, Martha; we don't This is not the first time you waste words when there is a pur- have seen her, Martha.' pose before us. What we say has "Not the first time? I don't remeaning in it. What I say to you member.' now, I know; for I have come in He smiled, and asked her to contact with that pure soul and recall the time when he and she simple nature, and it has done me last met. good. It should do you good, too, 'I do,' she answered. It was to know that your girl is in such in the porch of your father's house, companionship.
on the day you left.' 'It does, Felix ; my mind is in- 'But I have seen you since then, expressibly relieved.'
'Not there ! she exclaimed, in from Lizzie, with her new address, surprise. 'Not at Stapleton ! come to me and let me know it.'
No; in London. I will explain 'Have you decided, then, what presently. You remember the in- to do, Felix ?' cident that occurred on that last 'I can't see my way quite clearday?'
ly, but things will shape themselves Surely. Your father refused to for me. Have you seen the play say prayers over the body of a of Richelieu ? woman who was brought there to 'I haven't been to a theatre since be buried. Ah, I remember now. I was a girl,' she replied. These were the two who came with "Well, in one part of that play the old man to your father's study the principal mover finds it necesFelix nodded in assent.
sary for his plans to put on a fox's "And you drove them home af- skin. It may be that I shall take terwards in a wagonette. The news a leaf out of his book. Come, we was all over the village, and your must be moving.' father knew of it the same evening.' “And was not pleased.
He said nothing.' "Well, well, let it pass. I am about to give you a surprise, Mar
CHAPTER XXVIII. tha; the day seems full of surprises,
LIZZIE IN HER NEW HOME. indeed. I am going to tell you where I live.'
THERE is no telling nowadays He told her the street, and the where London ends and the counnumber of the house. In amaze- try commences. It is difficult to ment, she cried,
realise that quite recently in our Why, that's where Lizzie lived ! history, within the last three hunI was at the house this morning. dred years indeed, the Strand was
'I never saw Lizzie's face; all bush and garden, and that WestI knew was that a young girl and minster and Islington were made an old man lived at the top of the pleasant by green woods and fields. house. I keep myself very quiet, Then, houses were few and far beMartha, and have not been de tween; now, they are so thickly sirous of making acquaintances. clustered that (animated perhaps The first night I moved into the by the spirit of their inhabitants) house I saw you coming out of it. they seem to be poking their elbows I was so astonished, that you were into each other's ribs, and to be jealout of sight before I could come ous of one another. So, for rest and up to you. So now you know a quiet, we must away from these good many things that you didn't busy thoroughfares. know before. You know also where The course of our story, howto come and see me in London, ever, does not carry us very far should you wish; for of course I from London's centre; and alcannot come to Stapleton. Things though the house at which we stop go on as usual there, I suppose. is in a pretty and quiet neighbour
"Yes; there is no change. hood, and is old-fashioned and de
He made no farther reference lightfully irregular in its outlines, to his former home, and came back the shriek of the iron horse, which to his theme.
represents the chief feature of civil'I shall stay here, Martha. You isation, is heard within its walls a had best go home; I will write to dozen times an hour. It is a small you to-morrow. When you hear house in one of the suburbs, with