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PAID IN HIS OWN COIN., Issue 7934, 15 June 1889, Supplement
PAID IN HIS OWN COIN.
sßy Edwakd J. Goodman, Author of ' Too Curious.'
VOL. lI.—CHAPTER XIV THE l-'KENt'U LADY'S-MAID.
Yes, the arrangement gave satisfaction to all parties concerned. Dr Wynd heard of it with mixed feelings, and at first did not fjuite like the look of it. If Olivor Crayke were to reside with the Musgraves, and pay them well for the accommodation, the result naturally would be to improvo thtir fortunes a littlo and compensate them for the loss of Ralph's support. That, of course, did not at all meet his views, and, coupled with Helen's lucrative engagement at Mrs Fleming's, tended to render the Musgrave family much too independent of him. At the same time, Mr Copple seemed strangely forbearing, as far as he was aware, so that the much-deaired crisis, which was to bring about an urgent appeal from Heleu to his own generosity, seemed likely to be indefinitely deferred. _ . On the other hand, there was a distinct advantage in this proposal of Oliver Crayke's. Dr Wynd had of late found it increasingly difficult to extract from his wife as "nnich information respecting the state of affairs at Eden Villa as he desired. Jane rarely went thither, nor was her husband inclined to encourage her to visit her relatives ofton, for precisely tho same reason that caused him to avoid the house Any app.al to her on thoir part for further a3sistanco u-ould be more embarrassing than if addresf.-d to himself, as she would inevitably declare her desire to grant it, and must necessarily convey to her uncle the idea that it w;i3 only tho opposition of her husband which prevented her from carrying out their vvishts. Helen, too, had become°more reticent in her communications to her cousin, or else was ignorant of that which Dr Wynd most desired to ancertain, for he was quite unable to eliet from his wife how matters stood with regard to Mr Copple's claim. " Do you mean to tell me," asked her husband, "that Helen does not know whether that deluded publisher has been pressing her father for money or not ?" •Yes, indeed, Abel," replied his wife. I am sure she knows nothing about it. They seem vory reluctant to speak to her on tho subject, for they appear very sore at the failure of uncle's book, and do not talk about it before her more than they can help." Dr Wynd was compelled to accept this explanation, though ha declared to his wife that he believed she was keeping the facts from him, and urged her to question Helen more closely. As Jane could toll him so littlo he was agreeably surprised when having put a cautious question to Oliver Crayke, touching the subject of 'The Epie of Life,' ho was met by a direct and satisfactory answer. "Yes," replied Mr Crayke, "thepublisher has asked for payment." " And what is Mu9grave going to do?" inquired the doctor. II He has bogged Mr Copple to give him
time." "Will ho do bo?"
"He will—for the present." "But he is likely to press him more urgently before long, don't you think so ?" " It is very probable," said Mr Crayke. This was so far satisfactory, cspeciallyas it proved Oliver Crayke's willingness to give his friend information respecting the doings of tho Musgrave household. So Dr Wynd, on further consideration, thought Mr Crayke's plan of taking up his residence at Eden Villa not without its advantages. That quiet, attentive listener must hear much which his friend desired to learn, and if ho continued thus ready to repeat all he heard, ho might prove a valuable, though unconscious, ally. He might even be able to throw some on the relations betwoen Heleu and Dr Elliot, and especially with reference to that beautiful widow, a point on which Dr Wynd felt an ever-increasing curiosity. Ho had already carried out his intention to reconnoitre the neighborhood in which Mrs Fleming lived, and had several times taken a stroll which had brought him past her door. Adopting a simple but effectual expedient for the purpose of disguise, ho had watched Helen entering and leaving the houso, and had likevii 0 noted the time aud duration of Dr Elliot's visits. He bad also observed tho coining and going of the servants, and had not failed to perceive that more than once tho lady's-maid, as he easily recognised her to be, had left the house in a stute of anger and excitement. He had followed her to certain shops to which she appeared to have been sent ou errands, and observed that in one or two of them she had stopped for bomo time gossiping. One of these was a bookseller's and circulating library, over whioh a smart, chatty young woman presided, and from her he obtained some suggestive information. He had entered the Bhop, and, while pretending to be in quest of some book which ho Baid ho desired to purchase, managed to get into conversation with the young lady in charge. "That was a curious-looking young woman who just went out," ho remarked. " She seems to bo a foreigner." "Yes," replied the bookseller's assistant, " she is French, and speaks very funny English. It is difficult to understand her sometimes. She iB lady's-maid to a rich widow, Mrs Fleming, who is a good customer of ours," "Ah ! And has got a very comfortable situation, I Bhould think," suggested the doctor. " Well, 1 can't say that," answered tho young lady. " She is very well paid, and seems to have a lot of perquisites ; but her mistress's daughter leads her an awful life. I wouldn't like to have her place for any money." " Why not?" asked Dr Wynd. «' Wha'; has Bhe to complain of ?" "Oh!" replied tho assistant, Miss Fleming has a shocking temper, and she bullies the poor girl frightfully. She has even struck her once or twice in her rage, and all over the merest trifles." " Then, why doesn't ahe leave ?" asked Dr Wynd. " Her place is too good for that, was the reply. "She does not want to go, and it seems her mistress dares not send her away." "Indeed!" exclaimed the doctor ; "how is that!" " Well," said the young woman, with an air of mystery, "the fact is, the widow seems rather fonder of her doctor than she ought to be, and Louise appears to know something about them." '•Really ?" observed Dr Wynd carelessly. " What does she know ?"
"That I can't tell you," answered tho assistant. " She has only dropped hints ; but she did say the other day that if Miss Una made her mamma send ber away, as she had threatened, she could tell a story that would make things very unpleasant for Mrs Fleming, and her doctor too." At this moment the interesting conversation which Dr Wynd was carrying on with the loquacious assistant was interrupted by tho somewhat sour-visaged proprietress of the shop, who came forward to see what all this gossiping was about. "Are you being served with what you require, sir?" she asked Dr Wynd with stiff politonesa, ««<jh_a—yes," replied the doctor; 1 was looking for a-a book ; but I am afraid you have not got what I want, A-good-"Then he left, well aatiefied with the result of his visit. The shop-girl had supplied him with a clue which he resolved to follow up. He would keep his eye on that French lady's-maid. It was dear that she possessed knowledge whioh might be ot inestimable value to him. For several days he continued to prowl and spy about in the neighborhood of Mrs Fleming's residence, but nothing to his advantage turned up. At last he obtained the opportunity he so much desired. One day he found Louise gazing in at a shop window, and, placing himself by her side, ventured to address a casual remark to her with reference to the pretty trifles which she was inspecting. The lady's-maid, surprised and scandalized at being thus accosted by a stranger, drew herself up with dignity to rebuke him for the liberty ho had taken. "Why you speak me, monsieur?" she exclaimed. "I not know you." "But I know yon." replied Dr Wynd.
are not too well treated by her, or at least by her daughter, Miss Una." Louise was greatly astonished at the information possessed by tho strange gentleman, and, besides, was not a little alarmed by the manner of its disclosure. "How you know that, monsieur?" she asked. " Never mind how I know it," replied the doctor. "It is enongh that I do know it, And I know," he added in a lower tone, " all about Mrs Fleming and Dr Elliot." The lady's muid was now more alarmed than ever, and she showed her consternation so plainly that Dr Wynd began to fear that he had gone too far. Louiso was obviously at a los 3 for a suitable reply, and seemed afraid of being led into dangerous admissions. Though she had been gossiping freely at the shops she was accustomed to frequent, she had not expected to find her gossip repeated to, and repeated by, a Btranger. So she said once more: " I not know you, monsieur, and would not to speak you." And sho was about to move away, when Dr Wynd, seeing that it was useless to attempt to pursue his inquiries further for tie present, stopped her, and, producing a card from his pocket, said : "Of course, mademoiselle, I could not expect you to talk to mo ; but I know you havo much to put up with from the illtemper of your young lady. Now, I wish to be of service to you, and if you should at any time want another place, let me knowhere is my name and address —and I will see what I can do to assist you." Louise took his card mechanically, staring at him in wonder. She really did not know whit to say next; but Dr Wynd relieved her of all further embarrassment, for, politely lifting his hat, he bowed and passed on. The lady's-maid did not look at his card till he was well out of sight, but, of course, she examined it at last; and when she had done so she uttered an exclamation of great surprise. " Oh ! mon dieu !" sho cried ; " Dr Abel VVynd—Dr Abel Wynd ! That is the man who was tried for tho murder that I read in the journal, for tho murder of Monsieur Stephen Musgravo the uncle of mademoiselle, our governess the fiancee of monsieur the Doctour Elliot —the lover of madame. Hein ! hein ! that is droll, that ! And monsieur tho Doctour Elliot he procured to be prosecute monsieur the Doeteur Wynd. That is droll, too ! Aha ! I must take care of monsieur the Doctour Wynd'a address." So Baying, Louiso drew out her purse, and carefully deposited Dr Wynd's card in one of its compartments. Then she went on her way, reflecting. Helen was making very satisfactory progress with her new pupil, and Mrs Fleming was delighted at her success. "I never likoil lessons before," exclaimed Una, as sho sat with her mamma and her governess over a cup of tea after tho morning studies were finished ; "hut Miss Musgrave makes them quite delightful." Mrß Fleming cast upon Helen a grateful look, and said : " Why, Miss Musgrave, you must have a sort of magic power—like the fairies." " Oh no, Mrs Fleming," Helen laughed ; " there is no magic in it—only a little art. It is much easier than it looks." " I am sure I can't imagine how you manage it," said the widow. " It is no secret, is it, Una ?" observed Helen. "I pay most attention to those matters that sho likes best, and, fortunately for me, sho likes a good many things. That is always my way. I first begin by trying to find out where my pupil's tastes chiefly lie, and what they are best tit for, if they have any talent. Then I do my best to cultivate thoso tastes and talents, and make tho girls proud of excelling in them. Perhaps you may say that makes them vuin. Well, a little vanity may bo put to some use sometimes." I
" I don't think I am vain, mamma," said Una. " But I should like to bo accomplished. And lam getting on so well now with my drawing and composition, and music and languages. Am I not, Miss Musgravo ?" " Yes, dear," replied her governess; "and more useful things too, I am glad to say." "Her writing, for instance," said Mrs Fleming. " That is such a comfort! For yon are beginning to writo so nicely, Una dear. You make a capital secretary."
" Don't I, mamma ?" cried Una triumphantly. " And you haven't to get Louiso to write your letters for you now, with her awful spelling and grammar." Presently Una left tho room, and Mrs Flemin" again expressed her gratitude for the improvement which HeJen had effected in her pupil. "Yes," she sa : d; "Una is getting on very well in her studies, and I am sure she is always very nice with you. But do, dear Miss Musgrave, give her a little advice about hor conduct out of school-hours." " What!" exclaimed Helen ;" is she still troublesome ?"
"She is a darling girl!" cried her fond mother; "but Bho is so hasty. Every now and then she breaks out, chiefly with Louise, and there is such a scene. I dare not say a word to her."
" But I will—several words, in my own way," said Helen with a smile ; " and you will see we shall soon make a change."
"Oh, how grateful I should be to you if you could only do that 1" exclaimed the widow.
Helen took an early opportunity of beginning to carry out her promise, and she speedily brought about a wonderful alteration in her impulsive pupil's behaviour. It is needless to describe very fully how, by a dexterous and timely word thrown in here and there, she contrived gradually to impress upon the girl's mind a sense that gross exhibitions of violent temper wore not only wrong in themselves and cruel to the objects of hor wrath, but vulgar and unladylike, and marks of an uncultivated and ignorant nature. It is enough to say that her words —never uttered in the form of long lectures, but in a light and chatty fashion—sank deep in the mind of her pupil, and produced the best possible results.
Day*, at first, then weoks, passed without any quarrel provoked by Miss Una, and both her mother and Louise at laßt got to regard her as, in the matter of temper, quite a reformed charaotor.
Helen's difficulties with her pupil, however, wore not yet over, and a certain diffi culty aroso, which was fraught with strange consequences. One day Mrs Floming called Helen into her sitting room, after the morning studies were concluded. It was evident that she had sonic gravo trouble on her mind. '•Miss Muagrave," Bhe said, "I must speak to you about something. It distresses me so that I hardly know what to do ; but perhaps you can help me." " What is it ?" asked Helen. " Anything concerning Una?" "Yea," replied tho widow. "She has been reading those French novels again. You know what a terrible scene we had about it Bomo time ago, and really I wos afraid to speak to her ; but I did at last, and she is so nice now that she waß not at all angry. She only said she did not see any harm in these books. But there is, and she really must not be allowed to read such things." «' Certainly not, * replied Helen, '' Leave it to me, and I don't think will have any more trouble in this matter." " What a wonderful girl you are, Miss Musgrave !" exclaimed the grateful mother. " I don'tthink there is anyone like you in the world." Helen's mode of executing her new undertaking was simple, but decisive. "Una dear," she said, after the next moruing'B studies were over, "you must not read any more French novels without first asking me whether they are proper for "Why not, Miss Musgrave?" asked her pupil, with some vexation which she was careful not to show. J( "Becauso, my dear, you mußt not, replied Helen. "Is there any harm in it?" inquired Una. , ~ " Yea; otherwise I should not have told you to give up such reading," answered Helen quietly. " I will do as you wish, Miss Musgrave, said the obedient pupil, perceiving that it was quite useless to continue the controversy. But this wa« not enough for Helen. The mischief, such as it was, must have a roofc and it yea wcwary Up get »MWfc , I " TOrt ora 'yw £<»t HhWe' TrWJb bWvwb.
Una ?" she asked. " You did not buy them, did you '!'' . . "No, Miss Musgrave," replied the girl, blushing. " Did anyone lend them to you ?' " Yea."
" Well, who was it ?" Una hesitated before replying ; but she know she would have to answer the question, and, besides, why should she conceal tho fact ? It was no secret. " Louise lent them to me," she said. " Oh, indeed!" thought Helen. And after a little further conversation with her pupil she resolved upon a certain course of action. That samo afternoon she Bought a private interview with her employer. "Una will not read any moro trench novels, Mrs Fleming," she said. " Oh !" said Una's mother, " I am ao glad to hear you say that." " But," Helen added, "lam torry to say also that you must at once get rid of the servant who lent her these books." Mrs Fleming was very much startled at this intimation.
" Why?" she aßked. Helen told her why ; and within an hour from the time of that interview Louise was informed by her mistress that she must take her departure in the course of a day or two, and was promised six months' wages as a solatium for her abrupt dismissal. We draw a veil over the scene of tears, expostulations, recriminations, dark threats and angry defiances which followed upon the announcement that Mrs Fleming made to her attendant. During the two days that Louise remained in tho house, Bhe, for the most part, was left to herself, and Bhe spent a good deal of her time out of doors. She was quick to learn that her dismissal had been due to the governess's intervention. But for Miss Musgrave's meddling, she would never have lost her place, and that, too, just when Miss Una was getting to be so nice and civil, " Ah 1 Mademoiselle Musgrave,' sho said to herself in one of her many momenta of bitterness, "you have made for me my congi. Good very good ! You do not know what you have mado for yourself. But we shall aee—we shall see." Then she took out Dr Abel Wynd's card, and regarded it attentively. It was not without a feeling of regret that Mrs Fleming adopted the extreme course of dismissing her lady'B-maid, whom she had brought over from France, and who had lived with her for bo many years 5 but Helen had given nor such weighty reasons for taking this step that she saw it to be inevitable, and she was grateful to the governess for her advice, How much, indeed, had she to be grateful for to Miss Musgrave, who had rendered her dear Una dearer to her than ever ! No thanks, no money could repay guch a service. " How am I getting on with Mra Fleming and Una, Mark?" Helen replied to a question put to her by her lover, as they sat side by side in the back parlor of Eden Villa on the evening of the day of Louise's discharge. "Oh, very well—better than ever. I did a good piece of work to-day." And then she told him of the incident of the lady's-maid's dismissal. As he heard the news, it somehow caused Dr Elliot on uneasy feeling for which .he oould hardly account. For an instant there flashed through his mind the recolleotion of that scene when Mrs Fleming lay fainting-or pretending to faint—in his arms, and when tho door was suddenly opened and that French lady's-maid witnessed the tableau, and the widow's sudden recovery. But what of that' Tho incident could not have made any impression on the girl's mind, and what if it had ? So ho said : "Quite right, my dear. It was much better that she should go. And you have done Mrs Fleming a good torn in advising her to get rid of the woman." " Yes, Mark," said Helen, "I am sorry for the poor creature ; but no doubt she will Boon get another place, as Mrs Fleming has raid her well, and promises to give her a good gonoral oharacter. At the same time, I am glad to have served Mrs Fleming in" this way, for she has been very kind to me. I never had an engagement that gave me so much pleaßure. And then think, dear, how it may bo a means of drawing yon and me nearer to each other." " Indeod!" exclaimed Mark, a little starteled. " How is that; ?" " I must explain," replied Helen. Jhe fact is, I have lately been thinking over our position, our prospects, our future, very seriously, very oarefully, and I have formed "some plans." " Plans ?" echoed Mark. " Yeß," she continued. " How often have I told you, Mark, that I was confident that a brighter time was in store for us, and that matters must sooner or later take a turn for the better 1" " Well, have they ?" cried Mark. "Havethey not?" said Helen. "Havenot two pieces of good fortune lately befallen üb? —first, my engagement with Mrs Fleming, and then Mr Crayke's proposal to lodge and board with us. These arrangements alone bring in enough in themselvos for the support of our entire household." "But what of that?" objected Mark; "there ib still your father's debt to his "I am coming to that," said Helen. "But, putting aside that debt for the moment, it has occurred to me that, supposing Mr Crayke remained permanently with father and mother, paying them the very handsome weekly sum that he gives, and supposing I continued my lessons to Una, and used part of my very liberal salary for the household expenses here, what, dearest, would prevent that marriage for whioh you and I have so long waited V" Tho question suggested such delightful possibilities that it made Mark's heart leap with joy. Yet it was with sadness that he felt compelled to answer : "That debt!" " Ah ! but I have thought of that, too, said Helen. "We have now two good and generous friendß in Mr Crayke and Mrß Fleming. Mr Crayke has long displayed the greatest interest in father and his undertaking, and Mrs Fleming has been most kind tome. Now, I have thought that, sup-posing-I don't say very soon, but after some little time—when we have got to know them better, I were to ask oither Mr Crayke or Mrs Fleming, or perhaps partly one and partly the other, as a simple matter of business, to advance the money that father owes Mr Copple, I undertaking to pay it gradually bv what I get through my teaohing —don't you think one or other of them wonld consent to auch a proposal ? I Bhould have to go on working, of course, for a while; but perhaps you would help me, dear, a little, and wouldn't mind having a gover-ness-wife at first rather than none at all ?" "Help you, my darling!" exclaimed Mark; " yes, with half my income, if necessary, if only these plans of yours can ! be carried out 1" " Why shonld they not, Mark ? asked Helen; "Mr Crayke Beems very comfortable with us, and is likely to remain." "Yes, yes; that is all very well, as regards him," said Dr Elliot: •• he is an oddity certainly, perhaps something more. I don't see why yonr father should not owe tho money to him instead of the publisher, if he can get it out of him. Of course, as you say, it would merely bo a matter of business." " Then, even if that fails," said Helen, " there is Mrß Fleming." Mark winced a little at this. " I am sure," she continued, " Mrs Fleming is very generous. She is only too ready to oblidge her friends, as you know well yourself. And she is continually saying that she wished she know what she could do with her money, bo aa to be of service to people in need of assistance. She has given me a hint to that effect many a time, but, of course, I gave her to understand that I wanted nothing." "Yes, she is a good creature," said Mark; » but " "But what?" cried Helen; "don't you think I shall get on with her? Why, we are becoming better friends every day, and I hope in time that we shall thoroughly understand one another." "I hope so too, aaid Mark earnestly, " with all my heart." " Well, then," Helen continued, "are not our prospects brighter than they were ? And —who knows ?—we may have better luok evon yet. lam not given to indulge in extravagant dreams, but I really think we can look forward to the future with something ' like hope now." j Jhfly ww» very happy w they eat ejdp by*JsS, MWi atta 3&m MS bstoWß
waist, and her hand in his. The practical tenor of their conversation little by little softened into a tone of affection and sentiment, and Mark at last grew eloquent. "Oh, my Helen, my darling !" he cried, " how I havo been longing for this—this one gleam of the bright light in the harbor that tells us that our voyage is nearly over!"
" Why, Mark dear," exclaimed Helen, " you are getting to be quite a poet, like father, and we shall bo having you write an ' Epic,' or something, soon." " Don't laugh at me, Helen," said her lover ; " I feel too full of joy to pick my words,"
"Laugh at you, dearest?" she cried " laugh at you ? Oh, Mark ! if I dared to give way, 1 should burst into tears at the thought of the happiness which must soon —very soon—be ours now. Oh ! how I long for that time which is coming nearer and nearer, when I shall be yours and you will be mine, and we shall be heart to heart for ever while we live. To think that the shadow of our love is passing away,_ and that the roality is coming—the daily life of love and all tho sweet friendship, and companionship, and affection that is in it ! Yes, darling, the long, dreary days of waiting are nearly over now, and the bright days are coming, when you and I will be joined, never to part, never to part again till death."
[end of vol. ii. ]
PAID IN HIS OWN COIN., Issue 7934, 15 June 1889, Supplement
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