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he last kiss, he was in a quieter Such a concentrated look of und better mood than he was when watchfulness did she flash into his hey quitted the theatre.
face that it would have startled "Will Lily be asleep when you him to see. But as he did not see, get home, Alf?' asked Lizzie. ' he could only answer her spoken 'I should think so, Liz.
words. "And I should think not so, Alf,' 'No, my dear, I don't mind; said Lizzie, half gaily, half sadly. but it will be as well not to quar
See. When you are at home, rel with him if you can help it.' knock at her door, and if she is ‘I'll try not to, for all our sakes. awake, give her this kiss from me. He would be a dangerous enemy,
She watched Alfred till he was wouldn't he, daddy? out of sight, then went indoors, “Yes, my dear; very dangerous.' where Mr. Musgrave was patiently “So if we know he is our enemy waiting for her.
we should have to behave cunning'Did you enjoy yourself, Lizzie?' ly towards him ; we should have to
'Yes-no,' replied Lizzie, taking be on our guard. To be civil to off her hat and mantle. “It isn't him to his face, and ready to tear a very lively piece, and Lily was him to pieces directly we got a ill. Why, how pale you've turned, chance.' daddy! She was better before we There was so much excitement left her. It was the piece made in her words and manner that Mr. her ill, I think.'
Musgrave looked at her in uneasy 'Tell me more about it, Lizzie; amazement. She walked about the she was well when she went to the room restlessly, with a bright flame theatre ?
in her cheeks. Presently she grew O, yes, and we thought we were calmer, and sat down by the table, going to enjoy ourselves very much. on which supper was laid. There And so we should have done if the was trouble in her face, and it play had been a lively one. But it brought trouble into his. was horrible. I wouldn't go to see “Take some supper, Lizzie,' he it again for ever so much. Well, said ; 'we will talk afterwards.' and the theatre was very hot, and 'No, we will talk now. I can't the last scene was so dreadful that eat any supper. Mr. Sheldrake Lily fainted. She soon recovered, wanted us to go with him to some and we all went to Soho in one supper-rooms, but I wouldn't hear cab.'
of it. Was I right?' "That was right, Lizzie.'
'Quite right.' “Yes,' said Lizzie, with assumed 'So that I've been twice right tocarelessness, but watching the old night, and this enemy of ours with man keenly, “it was my doing, that the curled moustaches has been was. Mr. Sheldrake wanted to twice wrong. walk home with Lily, and wanted “You seem to be very much set me and Alfred to start off at once against Mr. Sheldrake, my dear.' in a cab from the theatre--but I Seem to be! I am. There isn't wouldn't have it so. I insisted much seeming about it. I mean that we should all go together, and every word I say, and a good deal that we should drop Lily at her more. Tell me-do you like him? door. Mr. Sheldrake wasn't very 'He's my employer, Lizzie, and pleased. To tell you the truth, could turn us out of this house any daddy, I think I rather set him day he chose.' against me to - night. Do you And could do many other hard mind ?
things—and would, and will, if he's thwarted; so we must be cunning, the history of my past life. The and must enterinto a league against time may come-and soon—when him. Shake hands upon it.' And you will learn it. I have become she held out her hand earnestly to a better man, I hope, since we him. “Shake hands upon it !' she came to live here. Sit by me, repeated, almost vehemently. child, and tell me your trouble.'
Child, child !' he said sorrow She seated herself on a stool at fully. 'I take your hand, and kiss his feet, and took his hand and it because I love you, and because caressed it. I feel that your words convey a And you have a secret, too,' deeper meaning than they express. she murmured, and a new one. But I am an old man, and I have We all of us have secrets, I think, seen trouble, and have felt its bit that we are keeping from one ter experiences. I would not will- another.' ingly encourage you in what may 'All of us! Have you a secret bring bad consequences to both that you keep from me?' of us.'
“Yes, daddy; and one that I 'Not if we are wary, daddy_ must not tell anybody, not even not if we are cunning. You don't you. I have promised. You must know how I am wrought up! You not ask me any questions about it, don't know what prompts me to for I cannot answer them.'_ speak so! Ah, daddy! Do you Very well, my dear. But tell remember my telling you, when me the reason ofyour feeling against you first opened out the prospect Mr. Sheldrake." of this pretty little cottage to me, “Suppose you knew that he could that I was wilful, and might tease destroy the happiness of the one you a good deal, and that for that you loved best in the worldreason you had better consider suppose you knew that he was very seriously whether it would do ready to use that power if you for you and me to live together as crossed him in any of his bad you proposed ? I don't know whe- ways.' ther to be thankful or sorry that I That is all supposing, Lizzie.' consented. I was very happy then It is reality to me,' she said. - very, very happy.'
Mr. Sheldrake has Alfred in his "You did it for my sake, Lizzie,' power, and can ruin him any mihe said humbly.
nute he pleases. Alfred told me 'Not altogether; I did it a good so to-night. O, daddy, daddy! I deal for my own. I thought how 'am unhappy and miserable, and I nice it would be for Alfred. don't know which way to turn if
She covered her face with her you will not help me.' hands to hide the tears that she ‘I will help you, child, in any could not keep back.
way that I can.' 'You took pity on my lonely But you must help me with life, Lizzie, and I bless you for it, your cunning.' my child ! You have brought much Tell me how. Does Alfred owe happiness to me, and things have Mr. Sheldrake money?' occurred to me since then-such Yes—more than he can pay.' wonderful things.'
'How has that come about? She looked up with the tears in You must not tell anybody. her eyes.
Alfred would be angry. Alfred “What wonderful things, daddy? has lost the money in betting on
. That is my secret, my dear,' horses.' he said sadly. You do not know Mr. Musgrave started. The busi
ness that was conducted in Ivy Lizzie was frightened of the white Cottage was conducted in so secret face which met her gaze as she a manner that Lizzie did not know looked up at the old man. A terits nature. She had been curious `rible fear smote him dumb for a about it, and once or twice had time. The missing link was found ! asked the old man; but he had This Mr. Sheldrake-this man withlaughingly evaded her, and it was out principle, without honour, withshe who had dubbed the room in out heart—had designs upon the which he and Mr. Sheldrake were tender girl who had brought light often closeted together for so long into the old man's life. Lizzie had a time the Bluebeard's room. indeed found a friend in her de
'Does he bet with Mr. Sheldrake, sign-how eagerand willing a friend Lizzie?'
she little knew-but one whose moNo—with a man named Con tive for aiding her was so strong as Staveley.'
to overleap every other consideraThe guilty look that stole into tion in life. Mr. Musgrave's face bore no mean “You are ill, daddy!' she cried. ing to Lizzie's sense. Some part "No, no, my child,' he replied; of the scheme was now revealed to keep silent for a little while. Let him. Mr. Sheldrake lent Alfred me think. money, which he received back He rose and paced the room, through Con Staveley; and he him and Lizzie's anxious eyes watched self perhaps had been an uncon him. What were his thoughts durscious instrument in Mr. Shel- ing the silence that followed he did drake's hands, and had assisted in not reveal. But a new strength Alfred's entanglement. But what seemed to have entered into him, could be Mr. Sheldrake's motive? and he paused before his adopted There was nothing to be gained child with a determination in his from Alfred, who had no money face which robbed him of many and no expectations. Knowing years. Mr. Sheldrake thoroughly, Mr. 'Answer my questions, Lizzie,' he Musgrave knew well that there said, without asking for reasons. must be some deep motive at the First let me tell you that when bottom of all this. The old man you brought Lily here as your had parts of the chain in his hand, friend, I was glad. I have grown but the important link was want to love her, as well as I love you, ing. Could Lizzie supply it? child.
* Have Alfred and Mr. Sheldrake "You make me happy to hear been friends for a very long time, you say so, daddy.' Lizzie?'
'Has she an affection for Mr. 'No, daddy; not twelve months, Sheldrake ?? I think.'
"No! Very decided and em'How did they become ac- phatic was Lizzie's reply. quainted?
"Thank God for it! He is un'I don't quite know, but I sus. worthy of her. You speak as if pect it was through Lily.'
you knew. 'Through Lily !' echoed the old “How do girls learn each other's man, almost in a whisper. . secrets, daddy ? Lily has never
'I think that Mr. Sheldrake lends told me, although I have tried to Alfred money because of her. I coax her a hundred times. She think—no, I don't think; I am sure loves another man. I know this -that Mr. Sheldrake wants Lily to as well as I know that I love Albe fond of him.'
fred with all my heart and soul.'
"A good man, Lizzie ?
"O daddy,' she answered, with ‘One of the best of men, daddy' a bright look, you have made my
'Do not answer carelessly, child. heart light! I have a stake in this, perhaps, as deep and as strong as yours.'
I do not answer carelessly, daddy. Your manner gives me such hope! I am so glad I have
CHAPTER XXXIV. spoken to-night. The man she
GOOD COUNSEL. loves and who loves her, I am sure, is one to be honoured -a man The cab was turning the corner worthy of any girl, worthy even of of the little street in Soho in which Lily'
Lily lived, and Lily was about to * Have I ever seen him ?'
ring the door-bell, when Mr. Shel'I don't think so; but you shall, drake laid his hand on her wrist, if you wish.
and said: 'Let me see him soon. What is "Let me have a few minutes'conhis name?'
versation with you to-night, Miss Felix.'
Lily. I beg it as a favour.' 'Has he ever spoken to her? Not daring for Alfred's sake to
I think not; for that Lily would refuse, Lily tremblingly suggested have been sure to tell me. He is a 'that they should go indoors and great friend of Lily's grandfather.' talk; but Mr. Sheldrake said, in a
"You asked me to give you my tone that was half decided and hand a little while ago, my dear. I half imploring: give it to you now in the way that 'I cannot speak to you in the you wished.
house, Miss Lily.' There was something solemn in She raised her eyes to his face the manner in which he held out for an explanation, and he answered his hand to her; and something the look. altogether so new and earnest in ‘Your grandfather is not my him, that it stirred her to deeper friend.' feeling, as his hand closed over 'But that is not grandfather's hers.
fault,' she said loyally. Now for Alfred,' he said; 'do 'I do not say it is; it is my misyou know if he bets in his own fortune, perhaps. He is not so name?'
much a friend of Alfred's as he "He has never told me.'
should be.' : “You have some letters of his ? 'How can you say that?' asked “Yes, daddy.'
Lily, with a beating heart. You It is time for you to go to bed, are wrong — very wrong; grandmy, dear. I want to see Alfred's father loves Alfred.' writing. I will come up with you, 'I only judge from what Alfred and you will give me one or two of has told me, Miss Lily. So far as his letters. Trust me, child, I have regards myself, of course I can see a good reason for what I am doing that your grandfather is not over So now, kiss me, and let us go up cordial to me. And he has no right stairs.'
to be otherwise ; I have been a He kissed her at her bedroom good friend to his grandson, and I door again, when she gave him the deserve some better return.' letters.
'I know, I know, Mr. Sheldrake,' "We'll try and be a match for said Lily earnestly. ‘Alfred has told this enemy of ours, Lizzie,' he said. me of your kindness to him. I am
very grateful to you for it, believe “She was anxious about me, Mr.
Sheldrake.' "Well, then,' rejoined Mr. Shel “And naturally so. For that readrake briskly, you can scarcely son I can find an excuse for her; refuse me the small favour of a few if it were not for that, I should have minutes' quiet conversation with been inclined to be angry with her. you-although I accept it as a great I think she must be ungrateful.' favour, Miss Lily? It is a fine 'No, indeed,' said Lily warmly. night, and after the heat of the “She is the very reverse of that. theatre, the air will do you no You must not speak ill of Lizzie, harm.'
Mr. Sheldrake.' She had no power to refuse, and 'Your wish is law,' he replied they turned slowly from the door. gallantly; but if she is not unNear to the house was an arched grateful, I am the most unfortunate avenue which led to one of the of men, for I have by some unaclarger thoroughfares. Not many countable means incurred the dispersons were stirring in this quiet pleasure of two persons whom you courtway, and thither Mr. Shel- love-your grandfather and Lizzie.' drake led Lily.
He paused here, anticipating, 'If we walk up and down slow- and wishing, that Lily would have ly, Miss Lily,' he said, 'our talking replied to this, but she was silent. together at this time of night will 'And the mystery is, that both not attract attention. Pray take have good reason to behave differmy arm.'
ently towards me, to think better She laid her hand lightly on his of me, for they must know that I sleeve, and waited anxiously for his have stood a good friend to Alfred. next words.
You know that.' 'I hope,' he said, looking into “Yes.' her face with an expression of ten “We entered into a compact, if der solicitude, 'that the effects of you remember-you and I—to work your faintness have quite passed together for Alfred's good. You do away.' .
remember it, do you not?' “Yes, thank you. It was very “Yes.' stupid of me to give way so.'
"That was at Bushey Park. It You must not say that. You is one of the pleasantest days in. could not help it. And you are my remembrance. Well, now, I've the last person, I am sure, to give tried to perform my part in the pain to your friends.
compact. I've stood Alfred's friend She raised her eyes to his. through thick and thin—it might
'It pained me exceedingly to see sound boastful, if I said that very you overcome, and I could not help few men would have stuck to him reproaching myself for being the as I have done. However, I can innocent cause of your suffer- take no credit to myself for doing
so; he has you to thank for itYou were not to know that I only you. Why, here am I repeatwas so weak; you did not know ing the very words I said to you what kind of a play it was we were on the day we entered into partgoing to see.'
nership! "Thank you, Miss Lily,' he said His treacherous hand closed upeagerly, 'thank you. You do me on hers with a tender pressure greater justice than your friend which made her shiver. Not so Lizzie did. She seemed to be un- much in the words he had spoken, accountably set against me.' but in the manner of their utter