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Novelist., Hawkes Bay Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 7944, 7 January 1888, Supplement
[NOW FIRST PUBLISHED] THE TRICK OF THE STORM. A NOVEL. ■ BY DOHA RUSSELL. Author of "Footprints in the Snow," "The Broken. Seal," &c., &0., &c. [The Right op Translation is Reserved.] SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS CHAPTERS. Chapters I. and ll.— Lucy King, the pretty daughter of the Rector of Ijong-ford-by-the-Sea, and John Munsters of Leo Grange, were madly in love with each other though the attachment was not favoured by Lucy's mother. The owner of a yacht which he had called " The Lucy" he goes out on a cruise, and Luoy, the lady, not the vessel, is awaiting hia return. As she walks by the side of the restless sea a bottle is washed to her feet, bearing the following op.* closed message : " Seven o'clock, a., m. Tuesday, October 9,— Taoht Luoy Binking. No hope. Anyone finding this message, please forward to J. Blunster*, Lee Grange, Northumberland ; or to Eev. James King, Lopgford Rectory, Northumberland. John Munstera. t Good Bje, Lucy." *he girl is shocked " ■ by the intelligent- The news is broken s - "to Munsters' brother, one of the ne'er- , ' do-weel bo-c. but shortly after he bad ";- donned niourning he is alarmed by a 'messjfe 6 from a Rotterdam merchant ;s&rming him that one of the vessels ,^ . belonging to the firm had picked up at sea a shipwrecked sailor who was believed to have been one of the crew of the "Lucy;" his arm being tattooed with the name.
Chapters 111. to V.— Joe visits Rotterdam for the purpose of seeing the sailor saved from the wreck of the " Lucy," tut finds that it is not his brother Jack. The sailor tells him that the captain of the " Lucy" was alive when he left him, but jnst at this moment the sailor died, leaving the remainder of the story untold. Joe keeps to himself what the man has told him, merely telegraphing back the words ''It was not Jack; the man ia dead." Lucy is removed to the house of an aunt, Mrs. Granley.Forbes, where an attempt is made to induce her to cant off her grief at the loss of her lover, but she still laments for him. Sir William Harley, a rich M. P., casts favourable glances at her, and hopes are entertained by her aunt that the girl will make a match with the wealthy widower.
Chapters VI. to VIII. — Poor Lucy receives a startling letter from home, her mother stating that her father, the Rector, is in pecuniary difficulties. Thereupon her aunt urges Lucy to accept the wealthy Baronet as a husband, and, goaded by circumstances, she gives a faltering "Yes" to Sir William, when he offers her his hand and heart. The news is received with delight by her mother, though the Rector knows that her heart is with her dead love, Jack. The wedding arrangements aro hurried on, and it is two days from the ceremony when the Rector is alarmed by the hurried appearance cf Joe, who enters hia studio white with excitement. "Oh ! Mr. King," he said, •' I— l - have heard fr.>m Jack— lie is nut dead !"
Chaptehs IX and X.— The good Aector, urged by his wife, decided to say nothing to Lucy as to the supposed discovery of Jack, and the marriage ceremony proceeds A* the bride and bridegroom commence their honeymoon tour the latter tells his wife a story of a young fellow named Jack Munstera escaping death from sb.ipwr.suk, and is greatly surprised at seeing the effect of iiis narrative as she swoons in his arms.
Tiro months later, L»dy Harley was sitting one chill February afternoon in her well, though eomewhat heavily, furnished dxawing-rooin in Berkoleyeqaare, talking to a young slim girl, who did not look rery well satisfied- with the drift of the conversation.
■ This was Prisßy King, Lady Harley's only sister, who bad been a schoolgirl at Brussels at the time of Lucy's marriage. On their wedding tour, Lucy (with difficulty) had induced her husband to allow Prissy to join them in Paris shortly before their return to England, and thus Prissy had come home with them.
She was not pretty, this Prissy King, but it was a libel on her looks to call her plain. She was tall, as tall as Luoy — but she had not a fintly developed form like Lady Harley'd, though she was erect, straight and graceful as a reed. Her complexion also, though clear and fresh, was not beautiful like her elder sister's. She had, however, fine, intelligent grey eye->, and plenty of bright browa sunny hair. "And you meaa to tell me," she was Baying, in a highly-aggrieved tone, to Lucy, " that Sir William won't let me •' Well, you see, my dear, ho thinkß though certainly I do not see it— that I shotrld not have a girl to take about with xne during _m.y first season in town." answered Luoy.
"Did you ask him straight out if I might. Biny on with you 1" "Did I ask him!" repeated .Luoy. •'.Why, my dear, I brggeu ac.d prnyed of him to allow you to rarasin, if only for another week or so ; but he turned a deaf ear to ul> I said/
" 'J hen he's a tli*a<ttees.b\e, horrid old man, that's aii I can say, an 4 J am sorry you have married him, Lucy." ""PrisHV, prny consider my feelings." " Oh, I am not afraid of injuring
your feelings -I think it's just disgusting of him to refuse any request of your"s. Fansy you, a pretty young woman, married to him !" " I assure you he thinks the oblig»tion is all on my side. He is forever reminding me how much I owe him ; and so is Aunt Louisa." " Aunt Louisa is horrid too." •' Oh, no ; she is not : she is very good-natured after her kind— you see, my dear Prissy, you are not up to the ways of the world !" " They are very crooked waya it seems to me, if Sir William and Aunt Louisa are good specimens of worldlings. 1 call it mean, disgustingly mean, of Sir William sending me away— l wish you had married your old sweetheart after all, Lucy, and then we should not have been separated !" Lucy did not speak for a moment or two after this outburst, then ahe said slowly : " When you go home, Prissy, you will see Jack Munsters ? " " Of course I shall see him." " You knovr I had no idea— no one had any idea," hesitated Lucy, a flush stealing to her lovely face, " that — that Jack lived, until after 1 was married." " And may I tell him this ?" "I wish you to tell 'him ; tell him they told me there was no hope, and mother said we were poor, and nothing Beemed to matter to me then."
And Lucy's head fell low, and her eyes grew dim with tears. " Oh, Lucy !" said the young girl, impetuously, going up to her sister and kissing her, " what a pity it was ! Did you really care for Jack 1 I beliove you did."
" Tea, I carad ; but do not let u« speak of it — only make him understand, Prissy, I should never have married if I had known."
" I am sure with all my heart I wish you hadn't married." " Mother wrote, you know, and laid father was in fearful trouble about money, and Bhe borrowed money of Aunt Louisa, and Aunt Louisa said the only thing I could do was to marry, and just then Sir William asked me. I did not want to do it— l cared of course for the things he bad, but not for him— but I thought if we all came to starve T would be blamed. You remember the Orme's ; you know, Prissy, they did nearly starve, and Aunt Louisa said I could do nothing to make money, that girls as a rule were far more highly educated than I was. Then I asked if I might live with her as her companion, _ and she declined the honor. You awe how it all was, Prissy— how 1 was forced into it ?" " When did you first Hear Jack was alive then, Luoy 1" Lucy grew suddenly pale, and clasped her hands nervously together. "Oh ! Prissy./it was so dreadful !" she said. "I hoard on my wedding day — Sir Wilttam told me on my wedding day." " Sir W-Hiam ? How on earth did he hear ? " " T .i the (strangest way. Jack was at Pambridgo with Fred Hurley, it seems, and they were friends ; and poor Jack wrote from the hospital in Lisbon to tell Fred Hurley that he was still alive." " And father and mother— they would hear from Joe Munsters surely, about Jack, if Joa knew ? I can't understand it. Do you think they kept it back from you, Lucy, on purpose \" "If I thought so," said Lacy, starting to her feet in great excitement, " if I thought father would deceive me— but no, no, he would not be so cruel, so base !" " I suppose not— don't get into auoh a state, Lucy; fancy, if Sir \Villiam came in." "If I thought," continued Lucy. But she suddenly stopped, for the door opened and a footman announced : " Mrs Cranley- Forbes." " "Well, my dear, are you acting a charade ?" asked that lady, regarding Lucy with enrious eyes. "Yes," answered Luoy, recovering herself, and resuming her ordinary manner, or something like it. " I was instructing Prissy here in a little light comedy." " It looked rather more like tragedy, child," said the elder lady, still a little curiously. " And so, Miss Priscilla, you are going back to your mother, I hear." And she now looked at her younger niece. " Yes, isn't it a shame ?" " Why ? Did you expect Sir William to be bothered with a chit like you 1" " Oh ! lam sure I don't wish to bother him," auswered the young girl indignantly, throwing back her bead. "If you had been as handsome as Lucy here," continued the old lady, " I might have asked you to stay with md over the season ; but as it is—" " You only patronise bpaulies, then, Aunt Louisa P" said Prissy, flushing Biwlet. " Yes, child," said Mrs CranleyForbes, nodding her head once or twice, j and Czing her twinkling eyes on Prisay's angry face ; " ordinary girls aro too much trouble ; men only run after two things — money and beauty — and I am too old to give myself any worry about thorn." "About men, Aunt Louisa?" asked Prissy, pertly. " Ye s, child — or ugly girls," answered Mrs Cranley-Forbe9, ruthlossly. " But Prisßy is not ugly, Aunt Louisa," said Luoy, with some warmth. " Fred Harley thinks her very goodlooking, and so do I." " Fred Harley thinkß everyone with a petticoat good-looking," remarked Mrs Cranley-Forbes. " Then I still have a chance of his admiration, 1 ' retorted Prissy, angrily; and she started up and walked indignantly out of the room. " The child isn't bad looking when she gets into a passion," said Mrs Carnley-Forbes, smiling. "Well, my dear, now we are rid of her, let os hare a little chat. And how do yon get on with your husband, Lucy ? " " Is it fair to toll V " Perhaps not ; as a rule, certainly not ; but I have your true interests at heart, Luoy, and I came to-day to give yon a little advice. I daresay by this time you have found out Sir William is a vain man ?" " Well, aunt, I am not quite blind." " For that matter w£ are all vain, but poor people, and insignificant people, are not encouraged in this foible by their fellow-beings. But a rich man always has his flatterers, no matter how ugly or unattractive be may be, and I have come, Lucy, to advise you to be one of the flatterers." "It ig not at all it; my line ; I shall certainly not be one of them." " Then you will play lato the hands of your enemies ; you have two— Mrs Treherne and Mrs Lawley." " What harm can they do me V " Child, when you come to my age, you will have loaroed what harm a spiteful woman ceil do to the purest creature upon earth. But if you koep good friends with your husband j if you, in faot, obtain an influence over him by judiciously administering food to his chief weakness — his inordinate opinion of himself — your supposed appreciation of his character will iv his eyes replace the power which your beauty orginally gave you."
" But suppose I aui too indifferent to care what be thinks ( f me ?"
" To suppose so, would be to suppose you a fo-il ! No womap can affor,<J to be indifferent to her husband's- opinjon of her ; in your onse especially go, for you must not forget you have no marriage settlement."
].u,cy mvp rather a harsh laugh at this.
" That was a great omission, certainly," she said; "I Wonder, Aunt Louisa, with all your worldly knowledge you did not manage better."
" I tried, my dear ; of course in those days it was no use talking to you on any practical subjeot, as you were always up in the olouds ; but I did not neglect my duty— -for such I conceived it to be — to mention, nay, to urge this subject on Sir William's consideration. But he informed me his mind was made np ; that you would be amply provided for at his death, and during his lifetime you would find be gave with no niggard hand. Now, my dear, it depoDds upon yourself whether his hand is niggardly or generous during his life-time ; and whether at his death you find yourself rich or poor. It is pleasanter to be rich, Lucy !"
Lucy did not speak ; there was no doubt a good deal of plain sense in her aunt's remarks.
any practical subjeot, as you were always up in the olouds ; but I did not neglect my duty—for such I conceived it to be — to mention, nay, to urge this subject on Sir William's consideration. But he informed me his mind was made np ; that you would be amply provided for at his death, and during his lifetime you would find be gave with no niggard hand. Now, my dear, it depoDds upon yourself whether his hand is niggardly or generous during his life-time ; and whether at his death you find yourself rich or poor. It is pleasanter to be rich, Lucy !" Lucy did not speak ; there was no doubt a good deal of plain sense in her aunt's remarks. " His daughter, Mrs Lawley," oontinued Mrs Cranley-Forbes, "is an extravagant little woman, and I understand they are dearjiy in debt, and there, fore it will be her aim and object of course that you should be left poor, and that the chief of her father's wealth should go to herself and her brother. Now, my dear, you understand what I mean? If you do not keep Sir William's affection, you are playing into this young woman's hand." "But the poor man is nothing like dying. I must own I do not care to speculate about death." At this moment, the gentleman whose life was in question, entered, the room with his usual pompous footsteeps. " Ah, — Mrs CranleyForbes, how are you i Looking well as ever, eh ?" * " Well, you are looking better than ever, Sir William," replied Mrs CranleyForbes, gaily, shaking the hand graciously extended to her. " I declare I never saw you look so w&U<" ~ Sir Willkjn Bmilco. " I had a) long holiday, you see ; nntiijnn f/\ H*\ hilt in ABpnrt. TillftW fthlMlfc.
Sir Willkjn Bmilcd. " I had a) "long holiday, you see ; nothing to d/O but to escort Lucy about, aud bo induced to Bpond money on nonsense, mfter the manner of newlymarried m/en." " Lacy /has been juot telling me how awfully kind and generous you have been." '
" Alw^baa Bhe ? Well, eha is looking very wull, don't you think, Mrs OranleyForbes/?" sai J Sir William, eyeing Luoy approvingly. •yWonderfully well. She's not a bad looiking young woman, is she f and does aorno credit to your taste, Sir William."
"Well, I must admit," said Sir William, pulling up his shirt-collar, and now eyeing his own features in the mirror near, also approvingly ; " that if my Lord Byron hated a dumpy woman I hate an ugly one. Ugly women should be shot.' 1 "Oh ! poor things !" cried Luoy. " Of course, women can be attractive, moat attractive," continued the autocrat, still gazing at his own reflection, " without absolute perfeclion of features. The expression, the grace, the charm, all serve to make a pretty woman. But a woman entirely devoid of personal beauty is to my mind a blot on creation."
"Well, Lucy is not a blot, at all events," said her aunt.
" No," and again Sir William looked at his fair young wife. " Luoy, my dear, Harriet and her husband dine with us to-day — will you coma also, Mrs. Cranley-Forbes."
"Not to-day , Sir William; but what day will you and Luoy dine with msF I wish to give a little affair in honor of our bride and bridegroom, and oar bridegroom, I know, is such a busy and such an important man that it is not easy to got him." And Mrs Crauley- Forbes laughed and showed her white and even teetb.
"Ah— well, unless there is an important division expected iv the House — shall ivo say Thursday ? " answered Sir William, well pleased.
They settled it thus, and Sir William having escorted Mrs Oranley-Forbeß to bor carriage, returned to Lucy in tho drawing-room, aud sat down beside her on the coush.
" Lucy, what day is your sister leaving ? " he asked.
"We have not quite decided yet," answered Luoy)'- And then suddenly taking courage, she laid her hand timidly on her husband's arm.
" Would you mind letting her stay another week?" she said.
"My dear Luoy," replied Sir William, " do you uot remember my telling you before our marriage that my nature was firm. I never decido hastily ; but having come to a decision I keep to it. I think I expressed a wish that your sister should leave here immediately ; pruy see that she does so— to-morrow is a. very good day for her to travel — let hor go to-morrow." " She is very much distressed about going," faltered Lucy. "Why? She did not, I presume, | expect to live in my house 1" " Oh, no ; but " Sir William drew out his pocketbook. " .Here is ten pounds," he said, handing Lucy two notea; "onowill pay her expenses dowu to Iforthumberland, the othuv will oonsolo her for leaving us." And Sir William smiled (he thought) loftily, Tbore was an intense feeling of anger and disgust in Luoy's heart, but for Pussy's sake she snrpresseii it. " She is naturally sorry to part with me," she said. " My dear child, do not let us discuss the Bubiect. Harriet and her husband will be here at eight ; wear the marone velvet we bought in Paris, Lucy, and your rabies. I wish you to look well." i " Yes," she thonght bitterly, as sho left the room ; •' that is all you think of —my feelings are nothing— l was sold and bought like an Eastern slave." She went to Prissy's bedroom and found the poor child sitting thero without a fire, looking very pale and cold. "Is that horrid woman, Aunt Louisa, gone V asked Prissy. _ " Yes, she is gone, di> rr. Prissy, how cold your hands are ! ' j " X have been thinking. Jjyou know, Luoy, you might aak Sjr to allow nio to stay until ne*t Tuesday— that will be over Sunday '(" "Oh ! I can't, I can't. Prissy !" cried Lucy, suddenly breaking down, and beginning to sob in her bitter, and hitherto suppressed, emotion. " I have asked hit»— he says you are to go tomorrow—he cares nothing for any wieh of mine !"
Prissy grew pale to Iho very lips. Then she put her arms round her sister's heaving form, and drew her close to her.
"Don't ory, Lucy — he isn't worth shedding a tear for — ho ia contojnptible!" "Yes, I know. I knew that before I married bjra. I am only getting what I deserve," sobbed Jjijoy.
"Never mind, dear, he is bo old, he will die. You may marry Jack, after all,'' consoled the younger sinter. ''Pon't tell Jack," said Lucy, a moment later, " ffoat— how unhappy I am — it would only groove him, poor fellow. Why should he grieve tpo ?"
—Invited to Dinner.
The foolish things which people do and say in anger, arc, as we all know, incalculable. And Lucy did a very foolish thiiig in her great irritation against her husband for his conduct to Prissy. She lapped at Sir William's dressing-room door just before he was going down to receive his daughter and her ftusb,an<J, who were to dine by Sir William's inyjtation in IJerkeley-square, and having been graciously bidden to enter, went into tbo room, holding
out the two five pound notes in her hand which Sir William had given • her for Prissy.
" I have brought these baok to you,' 1 she said abruptly, "as Prissy does not require them."
Sir William looked at her, first in extreme surprise, and then in suppressed anger. " Ah !" he said, "so the young lady does not require them, does she not ? I am pleased to hear I have married into so wealthy a family." Lucy did not speak ; she laid the notes down on the tabloand left the room, but she left Sir William feeling very indignant. And presently he came down in an unmistakable bad temper. By this time his daughter, Mrs Lawley, and her husband had arrived, and Mrs Lawley's brown eyes soon perceived that there had been a disagreement between her father and his young wife. Not that Sir William intended to allow his daughter to notice this, but Mrs Lawley knew Sir William's ways, and was a quick-witted, though small • minded woman, and sho was amused and rejoioed to see that her father was begiuing to find out " his folly," as she mentally designated his marriage. Mrs Lawley was young, Blender, and rather pretty, but she was very determined, baring inherited this masterful disposition from Sir William himself. She managed her husband (or thought she did), and she influenced her goodnatured brother Fred, aud she had tried all her life to obtain power ovor Sir William, but, in truth, naver had done bo. If she liked her own way, Sir William also liked .his, and had never even mentioned his proposed marriage to his daughter^' until the day was actually fixed. £' And Mrs, -nSwley had been very nngrj.. But she had tried not to show this to her father's new wife, though Lucy unconsciously knew that her stepdaughter did not feel very kindly towards her.
But they met with civility, each bestrowing the kiss of Judas on each other's cheek. Mrs Lawley had not seen Lucy since her return to town, and they were chatting very agreoably, when Sir William entered the drawing-room with a frown on his brow, and the two rejected five pound notes in his pooket.
He kissed his daughter, or rather permitted her to kiss the tip of his large nose.
" Well, Harriot, my dear — and where is Lawley V " He has gone up to Fred's room to look at a new gun," answered Mrs Lawley. " I have been hearing all about your tour from Lady Harley — it must hare been charming !" " Cost a doosed deal of mauey, that's all I can say," said Sir William, resentfully ; and his daughter saw with sattisfacon that her father wai no longer " a complete fool about his wife." A few moments later Fred Harley and Captain Lawley came in, and Sir William held our two fingers to his son-in-law, whose income he did not approve of. "How d'ye do, Lawley? There is the gong at last— Lucy, where is your sister ? Wvy ia she not down in time for dlnuer?" said Sir William, nowlooking irefully at his wife. " She is not coming down ; she has a headache," answered Lucy, without glancing at her lord. " A headache ! A malade imaginaire I suppose, which young ladies indulge in when they take the sulks because they cannot get all they want !" remarked Sir William, disagreeably. Lucy made no answer to this. She accepted Captain Lawley's arm, and they all went down to a perfectly-cooked and well- served dinner, for Sir William never grumbled about the expense of his table. He kept a firat-rata cook, and insisted upon everything being of the beat.
He thawed a little, therefore, during tho meal, which passed off pleasantly enough for the small fa-nily party. And after dinner Fred Harley sat dnwn by Lucy, and asked about Prissy very kindly.
" There is nothing serious the matter with her, I hope ? " he said.
" It is a malade imaginaire, as your father kindly suggested, " answered Lucy, with rather a scornful smile. " The truth is, Prissy is busy paoking ; she leaves early to-morrow morning, you know." " Leaves to-morrow morning ? Oh ! I am so eorry," answered Fred Harley in genuine regret. " I lika Prissy, you know — may 1 call her Prissy, by-the-bye, as she is a sort of eiater / " " A sort of aunt, you mean !" laughed Lucy. " Prissy is ray sister, and lam I your mamma — therefore, she is your 1 atep.aunt ; I hope you will leara to treat her with proper respeot ! " " What nonsense ; I always feel inclined to call you Luoy, too. May I." " I sco no harm in it." " Well then, Lucy, I met an old friend of yours to.day, who was asking after you ; yet when I invited him to call here, ho declined. I have to meet him at my club to-night, and I should like to ask him to dine to-morrow if you will (jive me leavo 'i " " You havo not told me who he is yet ? " said Lucy, looking quickly in her Btep-son's face, -while a- sudden flush dyed her fair skin. "A man who has an extraordinary story attached to his name. But of course you know it 1 Jack Mi}ns.ter§ — who was belioved to be dead, bat came alive again I" " I have heard the story," said Lucy, in a low tone i " they —the Munitera— are our near neighbors at home." She had known that some day or other she would hear JacVs name from Fred Harley, ever since her miserable wedding day when ahe had learned her bitter mistake from her bridegroom's lips ; and she had schooled herself to hear it. But the sharp quick pain that now crept into her heart told her she hud not yet taught herself to hear it calmly. ".nay I i'lvite him to dinner tomorrow or ilie next day!" wont on Fred Hurley. "Ua ii such a nice fellow ;an "Id college oliuin of miup, aud lio'h been so awfully ill, poorfello.v — just a touch-and-go for life — fancy lying two months unconscious !" " It was dreadful." " Ho looks bo changed ; I came upon him suddenly in New Bond- street today, and I should have hardly known l)im, but he stoppnd. He is up iv (own about his health, to see some specialist, for he has such frightful pains in hlj head still." "Poor, poor follow!" murmured Lucy, with quivering lips. "Then I may bring him to-morrow ?" Lucy hesitated a moment. " I — should like to see him — but you had better ask your father." " Oh, the old boy's always glad to see anyone I like to aak to dinner ; but now, of course, I must ask your permission." "It is easily granted," said Lucy, with a smile. At this rnqmont Mrs Lawley came up to them. " J£ay J. join in a cpnveraatipn that seems to interest you and Fred so, much 'f' 1 she asked, looking at Luoy. " My father, as you pepoelve, is asleep, and my epouae has gono out to have a smoke in the square, and I am rather disconsolate." "Of course, sit by ma," answered Luoy. *• We were talking of Jack Munsters' extraordinary escape, Harriet," said Fred addressing his sister ; "and ho' a an old friend of Luoy's, it seema, they live near each other in the country."
"Ah, ii that so? How droll thioga are in the world to be sure ! Fred was
making me' laugh to-day about Mr Munsters' brother having ordered Mb brother's tomb-stone, and it came home after the news arrived that Mr Munatera was still alive, and the unhappy brother did not know what to do with it, so he buried it in the' garden for some future happy occasion ; and one day Mr Jack, Fred's friend, doing a little amateur gardening, came on the stone, where he found himself, of course, recorded as deeply lamented."
" Did this actually occur ?" asked Luoy, looking at Fred".
"It actually did. Jack, you know, has a sense of humour, and he could not resist telling the story ; the younger brother is a bit of a lout, and was in an awful way about it, Jaok aaid ; it certainly was rather awkward."
"Yes, Joe Munsters is very different to his brother," said Lucy, and there was something in her tone that attracted Mrs Lawley's acute ears.
"You knew these yonng men well, then I" she a9ked. "Yob," answered Lucy, briefly. "It will be nioa to meet your old friend again. How long as.o is it since Mr ■ Muniters was supposed to have been drowned ?" "It wus last October— the 'Jth of October," said Lucy, with a far-away look in her blue eyes that was not lost on Mrs Lawley. "It was a terrible storm." And Lucy grow a little pale. •'All's well that ends well. And when are wn to see this hero, Frod '!" now itxpirnl Mrs lawley. " I have beeu asking Lucy's luive to bring him here to dine to ; mor'ow." '• Tuen please ask me ulso, Lady Hurley. I &ni foud of heroes, and a man who has read his own virtjes described on a tombstone is something now ! " And Mrs Lawley laughed aloul. 1 he noise awoke the dozing master of the house, who roused himtelf and came towards them. " What is the joke about ?" inquired Sir William. " The re-appearance on earth of a friend of L"»dy Harley's and Fred's, replied his daughter. " You have heard the story, father — about Jack Munsters, you know," said Fred Harley. "I have been asking leave to invite him to dinnerto- morrow ?" " My doar boy, you know you are perfectly welcome to invite your friends to dine here," answered Sir William with dignity. "I shall be pleaded to see Mr Munsters." Lucy heard this permission given and made no sign. She sat there almost overwhelmed by the though that tomorrow— to-morrow she might again see Jack Munsters 1 It seemed impossible to her aa she presently left the room to Bee after Prissy, and yet she know it was absolutely true. It physically affected her, and her kuee.i trembled under her, and her hands shook, ax she ascended the staircase to go to her sister's bedroom. Sho found Prissy asleep, in the sound and healthful sleep of early girlhood. She saw also that the little trunks were all packed and ready, for Prissy, in her indignation at Sir 'William, had determined to loavo his bouse by the earliest train possible the next morning. She thought she would mark her scorn of his conduct by doing this, not gueiisiug that Sir William was quite indifferent aa to what her opinions were, so long aa he got rid of her. And Lucy now stood looking at her young lister with strange envy in her eyes. Oh, if she could but have changed placos with Prissy now ! Going back to Northumberland ; back to the green lanes and to the sound of the long rolling waves of tho Northern Bea ; back to her girlhood, her happiness— and to Jack ! Sho seemed to see the old familiar spots all again as she stood gazing at tho sleeping girl. There was a farm house amid some wide-stretching grass lands, where Jack and she had taken' refuge in a thunderstorm. Somehow 'ie grey atone roof now rose bafore her, and the neglected garden with the tall stool™ ri'ariug their purple heads amid tho abounding weeds. With a long-drawn sobbing sigh she dismissed the picturo that her brain had. conjured. Sho wrote a few lines in' pencil for Prissy, to tell her she had been there but found her Bleeping, and that she would see her iv the morning, and having left these on her sister's toilet, sho went down-stairs again, and found Mrs Lawley and her husband gone. " I must request yon in future to show a little more atteation to your' duties as hostess, Lucy," said Sir William, authoritatively. "I conclude you have made all arrangements for Miss Priseilla leaving in the morning ?" " Yes, I am going with her to King's Cross to catch the 10 o'clock train." " I shall allow no such folly, I assure you. I shall order Johnson to be ready to attend Miss Prisoilla to the station, and take her ticket, and do whatever ia necessary for her." " And you mean to say you refuse to allow me to see Priasy off ?" asked Lucy very indignantly. " Certainly I mean to say so ; and while wo are upon the subject of your sister, I may as well mention, Lucy, that I consider your manner in returning those notes to me this evening was, to say the least, unseemly — yes, I repeat, unseemly." " I simply said she did not require them." " All right : I shall take care howpver, not to offend again in the same direction ; nnr shall Mjas Priseilla be troubled again with an invitation to my house." " You— you are very unkind," said Lucy, and her eyes filled with tears, But Sir William took no notioe of this little ebullition. He rang the bell and ordered the butler to be rsady to t»ke Miss King to King's Cross to catch the ten express in the morning ; and before Lucy he gave the man the money to pay the railway fare and all expenses. " Do not speak of it any more," he said, waving his hand to Lucy as tho butler disappeared. "The subject is ended ; I beg you not to re-opon it." Tbus the sisters had very little time in the morning for farewell words. But Sir William had made a bitter enemy of Prissy, and the young girl did not take much trouble to conceal her indignation, "If we were only going home together," she said, as she kißsed and ro. kissed Lucy's face. " Well, things may pome right some day, Lucy — I'll not forgot your message to Jack. " Lucy did not tell her that perhaps she ( wou)deeo Jack first, for she could aoarce- i fy realize (,hat it might be so, and she , thought, too, that the idea would make 1 Prissy moro angry still to be obliged to leave the very day her old friend Jack Munsters was invited to dinner.
But after Prissy had gone she could think of nothing but Jack. Would he come 1 Should she really look again ou the bright face sho had thought of a thousand times as lying beneath the deep sea, with the waves lifting his dark hair ? It was like a dream, and as the hours wore on, Lucy could scarcely control he restless anxiety that had 'foktui possession of her. Py tho afternoon, however, she kueiy that she should see her old love'i for Jjer step-son, Fred Ifarloy, whose troop was at Windsor, sent her a telegram tq tell her that lie and Jack Munsters would dine that evening at Berkeleysquaro; A strange excitement seized upon Lucy after she read these wordi. She was alone when she got the telegram, and she kissed the flimsy pink paper, and her eyes grew bright and her cheeks flushed. To see Jack again ! No matter how, no matter how — to see him, to take his hand— when iie had been as
oner dead' to herj and ahe had wept and waited'for him without hope !
She ran upstairs to her bedroom and took out. her prettiest gowns one by one. No/ she would wear none of these. She had' bought in Paris a soft creamtinted gown, trimmed with lace and :blue ribbon— a girl's dress — such a3 Lucy used to wear in the days when Jack and aha had wandered together hand in hand by the dreamy shore.
She would wear this and no ornaments; She would not remind him of the hateful wealth for which they had had sold her. And she indeed looked a fair young girl again as she sat and waited for him, long before the dinnerhour. She mot Sir William on his way to hia dressing-room when she was descending the staircase in her cream gown, and he stopped to admire it.
"That color suits you," he said; " though a little youthful for a married woman— however, it may pass." "It is pretty, I think," answered Lucy, and then she passed Sir William, and went into the drawing-room, waiting for Jack Munsters with a beating heart.
Presently she heard a cab drive up to the door 'and steps ascending the staircase. She half rose, pale and breathless, but the steps passed the drawing room door, and a moment later she heard by his voice the arrival had been Fred Harley. Then another cab stopped. Lucy grew almost faint — this time the steps paused at the drawing-room door ; it opened, and Johnson, tho butler, announced : j\£r Afunsters. Lucy never forgot that moment. The excitement, the sudden joy, half-blinded her, rtnd her emotion was tuo deep for words. She stood there Bpeeohlesa, overwhelmed, her breath going and coming, her lips apart, And Jaok — her own dear Jack — went slowly forward and took her band. " Lucy ! — we meet again then ? " Hiß eyos were fixed on her face as he said this, and Lucy saw in them reproach and pain. "I did not know, Jaok," she tried to murmur, meekly ; " you believe I did not know ; " but her lips were dumb. (To be continued.)
Novelist., Hawkes Bay Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 7944, 7 January 1888, Supplement
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