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.wVvr..: CHAPTER V I JZjbdmT house in a gloomy street. 'I unfitted for the habitation of two Sutifal and brilliant girK Everyone !?„ know* Manchester knows Great San: Street.. It is thoroughly res- j Sble quiet, and dull. "The Voice I V tie People " made his abode here, %AU because the house Miited his tL"= and partly because it was near L-ciief places where his business lay. The residence he had chosen was ceriUut the dullest in the street. The w ere small and dark; there was r o ?everi a glimpse of green at the back: and in front was a row of houses on frhieh the sun seldom shone. Martin n a r did not suffer much, as he was generally from home: but to his daught ers it was untold misery. They knew aD d understood little of their father's oolitic*: they thought he was a great ihinker of very unequal fortune. -"They lad enjored many of the luxuries of life _now they had to bear privations: but that time would pass, and brighter days dawn- There was little furniture in the house. Martin Ray's study and bedroom were the two most luxurious apartment?. There was a piano in the little parlour—Martin never allowed his daughters to be without that—and here, at the close of a bright May day, the tire girls sat quite alone. There was not much sunlight in the room but what little thorp was showed the faded carpet, the shauby furniture and the beautiful faces of the girls Leah, whom her father in his selfishneshad designed for so grand a mission whose life was to be sacrificed to him was just sixteen; Hettie, one yeai younger. Yet there was the greatesi difference between them. Leah \yn> beautiful, graceful in the very springtidt , of life, with the promise of a magnificent womanhood. Hettie. though only one tear younger, seemed stil\ a child She was tall, slight, and unformed. Her face was beautiful, too. and gave promise of even gTeatev loveliness; but, although like in feature, it differed greatly in expression from that of Leah. Hettie had hair of pale bright gold, that W2S like an aureole round her head: she had eyes blue a,s heaven, large, bright, and lustrous, with hidden depths seen by no one yet. The chief expression of iiah's face was of pride; it did not lack beauty, but it certainly lacked tenderness;while the chief loveliness-, of Hetties face lay in its softness. The one year made a wonderfuh difference between these two girls. one would have treated Leah as a child or Hettie as a woman. The two sisters had the deepest love for each other. They had preserved two traditions in their lives untouched: one was loving, sorrowful memory of their mother —the ether, belief in their father. Of late this latter trait was just a little less observable. On one or two occasions their faith had been somewhat tried ; but they had been loyal—they had said Bo word to each other. On this May evening they had been trying to amuse themselves. The house was dufl. but they could not leave it; the torch- sunshine lay all around. Vmt tier could not go out to sec it ' They had been singing, but their fresh young voices had died away, and over them crept the weariness of restless discontent. "0, Leah, how dull this is !"' cried Hettie, at last.' "My father said yes.ferday that we ought to be proud to be the daughters of a patriot. If all patriots' daughters are dull as we are. I am sorry for them." Leah went to her, and threw her arms round her sister's neck : she laid her dark head against the golden one. and the two young faces close together formed a pretty picture. "It is dull, Hettie." she said, "but I am not dull. I am trembling with excitement. I could not decide whether I should tell you or not. .They say you are only a child, Hettie, but in your tweet, gentle fashion, you are more of a woman than I." Hettie laughed. "Why do you say that. Leah?" "It is quite true. You are not so impulsive as I am, Hettie; you are not so proud. I am proud, and I lack that gentle consideration for others which you never lose. You are wiser and more thoughtful than I." "I am not so beautiful, or so noble, Leah," she cried. . "What is it you have teen thinking about telling mc?" "All that my father said to mc. I am so miserable about it. Hettie, when I look into ray own heart. I am not quite sure if I believe all that he teaches;" and the two sisters exchanged a fearful, timid glance. It was high treason, indeed, not to believe in him." Hettie made no answer; she did not know or understand exactly what her father did teach. Leah went on— "God made the world, and He must lave framed the laws for it. It seems hard to believe that it has gone wrong all the time, until our father began to tet it right." "It does seem strange," agreed Hettie. "And now. - ' continued Leah, "he says that I must learn to take his place. I am such a young girl, and I know so little. He has frightened mc. He wants mc to be a modern Judith, he say*: he v.ants mc to stand apart from the world or women. He wants mc to lecture — think of it. Hettie, to lecture. It seems to mc that I know less tnan -the birds of the air. I wish," she added, with a deep sigh, '-that 1 had the freedom of a bird. I should fly away, Hettic." '"Papa wants you to lecture, Leah," Kid Hettie — "what a strange thing! £ut there are women doctors, preachers, and lecturers these days." "But I am only a girl of sixteen." exclaimed Leah. "He will not want you to begin yet; lie means far on in the future, when you grow old ar>d wise, Leah." he means now. at once, in a year's time, while I am young, and. Hettie, he say? I must give my life to '* — my whole life," and the beautiful face dropped wearily on the loving one wneath. The blue cres opened widely. appalled »t this idea." "What would you like best to do Jitli your life. Leah?" asked Hettie. mc; 1 should like to know." "I should like," =aid the girl, with a gleam of passion in her dark eyes, "first oi all, to love some one with all my heart — some one, of course, who WOuld love mc I wish for many things, but lnve is first, greatest, and ™st. Then I s-hould like to be rich — tc have a beautiful country-house, witl; roses growing all around it! I love loses so much. I should like beautifu' << £Ses ' J en ' e ' s i horses, and servants —' "Just in fact, what other girls de *»«" interrupted Hettie. "You are likt


ill the rest; you do not want a mis- | ?ion." "Xo. Ido not. indeed. I think I should dislike what my father calls a mission. I do not undertsand him; why io he and all his friends hate rich and noble people so much." "Perhaps,"' replied Hettie, wisely, because they have neither rank nor money .themselves -." and then she looked somewhat shocked at her own words and hastened lo cover them. "Even, if we cannot understand what my father teaches, we know it must lie right. Leah. There must be rea.-ons. and good ones, too, for his hatred." "But why should he want a republic instead of our present constitution ?" asked Leah." '"Why should he want to take all the large estates from the men who awn them, and divide them among others? Poor as our own furniture is. would he like to divide that among men poorer than himself? I know he would not." "He is a - patriot. Leah," urged the younger sister, to whom Leah's remarks sounded like treason. "•Yes. I know the dictionary says that a patriot i< a man who loves and serve? his country. But one who loves his country would surely never care to see it j destroyed by civil war: and what but 'civil war would ensue if they tried to put aside our present form of government and set up a republic? My instincts arc all against it, Hettie." "My father must know best." said the younger girl. "Perhaps kings and queens and rich people do great wrong: of which we know nothing; and. if that be the case, ray father is right to preacl against them. He must be right." sht added, after musing for some short time "'he Is so wise am', good." Tears stood in Leah's dark eyes. "I know what lie wants. Hettie." sh< said; "he wants a daughter like one oi those girls of whom you read in novel: —'an inspired sibyl.' Xow Ido not fee at all like a sybil. I cannot understand talking of people in the mass," she con tinned; "to mc l-he people are all indivi duale, and each one can 'best teach am train himself. My father says that h has given his life to the people. "Who ar they? What have they done for him He" says 1 must give my life to them What are they to me—the people! Wh should not I have my life to do as like with, Hettie? What arc the peopl to me?"' -You would like to love some one very much,"' said Hettie, "and to marry —to bt rich and fa=hionable—would you not Leah?" The beautiful face brightened. "Yes, that 1 should. That is a mission far more to my taste thin the one my iather gives mc. I wonder," she continued thoughtfully, "if it is possible to be born with what ray father calk conservative instincts. If so, 1 have them All my ideas and instincts and feelings are opposed to my father's. I have [never said that much, before. Hettie. and I am half frightened at saying it now. If I am to have a mission at all, or to learn to lecture, it will not be as he says, 'but quite in another fashion. Supposing that I were old enough and wise enough to teach others, 1 would teach them, while they resented tyranny, to love peace, order, content; to learn obedience to proper authority, not rebellion and discontent. What would my father sa\ to that, Hettie?" The blue eyes sought the dark ones. "Why, Leah." cried the girl, "how is it that life has suddenly changed into a wonderful puzzle? 1 never thought of these things before." "Xor did I," said Leah. "But it seems to mc that for the future 1 shall think of nothing else." The sun set and the moon rose over two bewildered heads that turned restlessly even in sleep. CHAPTER VL Even when Leah Kay was not tinder the spell o: her father's teaching .-lie lrad the same shrinking, the same feeling of horror that a sensitive child has of the darkness. Her father and his friends spoke of history; they talked of rights of the people; they approved of secret societies; they saw nothing wrong in Fenianism, in Nihilism, or any other "ism" which displaced authority and gave power into the hands of the mob Martin Kay had spoken of his plans to his confederates. . They all agreed with him. It was a novelty to havt a beautiful young girl to lecture foi them, one on whose lips the very honey of eloquence lingered. She was brought into her father's study where several of his most intimate friends were assembled. It was a trying ordeal for so young a girl: one less sensible would have been flattered into compliance with their wishes.. Leah shuddered with dread. They were grim-looking men, with determined faces; in many instances with them "history" meant murder, and "the rights of the people" assassination- . She could not understand half that passed. lW father's friends nattered her, and told her >he would have greater and wider influence than a queen, and that she would live in the hearts and memories of the people forever. But she was frightened. She had heard strange doctrines and strange words. More than one man cried ••Hush!" when he saw the girl's pale face; but Martin Ray said that no one need fear his daughter — she was one of them, and would be staunch until death. So they spoke freely before her, and she, pale, proud. and reserved, wondered that they did not see the difference between what bhe was and what they wanted. There was no nobility in their aims, no loftiness of purpose. The girl's heart grew sick and faint as siie listened but her pale proud face gave no indication of her thoughts. "I may soon die,' , said Martin Hay, as he laid his head upon his daughter's beautiful bead, "and 1 have spent my ' life for the people. but my spirit will ! live in this girl, who has received my [ doctrines from my own lips, and who will add the splendour of her own genius t< my experience. 1 may live however, to see my daughter the people's idol —the people's queen." They asked Leah to give them a specimen of her powers. She turned to her father, with an appealing look which he understood. i> would have been easier for her to die than to speak before those stern, cold yien. i "Xot vet," said Margin Ray, looking 'proudly at his daughter. "Considering I the magnitude of the interests that will :be committed to her charge, it is only J right that you should hear her before 'she makes her first appoarance in pub- ! lie. But she has much lo learn before { then. She is not ready yet." I (To be continued daily.)

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A BROKEN WEDDING RING, Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 71, 24 March 1909

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A BROKEN WEDDING RING Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 71, 24 March 1909

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