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own or her family's ends. You will taking my Lord himself-is it you, you, not harm yourself; are you afraid of who dare blame Jasper for that?” harming the innocent boy, Dick Mar- Antonio laughed. "Jasper is a fool, lowe?"
with his blundering Fellowship. He Again Alice paused a moment before will make the country too hot to hold she answered: "He has a sweet counte- him. My Lady Marlowe is not a nance, and for worlds I would not hurt woman to be played with, and so we him. Make me understand you, Tonio; shall one and all find. Take my counwhat ends of yours shall I further by sel, make a friend of Dick the Popindoing this?”
jay. And now, time's flying,-kiss me, Antonio was angry, for the question pretty sweet, and tell me how the days was not easy to answer, and it was dragged with you while I was away. the first time that Alice, his willing Tell me of poor Meg, too. By St. Anslave, had not accepted his commands tony and his devils, do you know that without question. But his clever she has spoilt her beauty with pining brain did not fail him. “'Tis not for for Mad Marlowe?” my sake," he said, "but for Jasper's. While her Ladyship's new favorite Maybe you do not know of his last was thus amusing himself and enterexploit?"
taining Alice Tilney, she and Sir Wil"Few things that Jasper does are liam Roden were talking by the firehidden from me,” Alice said and sighed, side, with perfect openness on one side “How can I serve him by any com- and the appearance of it on the other. merce with a Marlowe? He would be Isabel had a talent for suiting her talk ready to kill both you and me if he and manners to her company. It knew all that we know. And if this seemed to Sir William that she was young man offered me his love, without the very woman he had pictured te any talk of marriage, which would be himself his old friend's wife must be, impossible”
and he thought more scorn than ever "I do not know why," Antonio mut of the warnings the Ruddiford busy. tered, so low that she hardly caught bodies had given him, and plumed the words. “Sweetheart," he said himself on his wisdom and penetration aloud, "you take all this too seriously. in trusting to my Lady. At least, you can see that any passing They talked politics a little, not going fancy which draws away a hopeful far, but far enough to settle Sir Wilsuitor of Mistress Meg's must advan- liam's mind on that score. He was tage Jasper. But truly 'twas not that sure,-more from what she did not say I meant, for Jasper has offended Sir than from what she said that to call William, and Meg herself likes him not my Lady a Yorkist was to insult her. I meant that a friend among the Mar- It appeared to him that she respected lowes would be useful to him, when the traditions of her fantily, and this he comes to give an account of their was enough for him. He told his story chief he has imprisoned, their men he of Agincourt, and she smiled and asked has hunted and slain, their money and questions about King Harry the Fifth goods he has taken. What of Lord and her husband in his young days. Marlowe's troop, Alice? Two of them, She knew Sir William's family history: starving and wounded, joined us on our she admired Ruddiford Castle, she journey here.”
praised the fine order of his house, the "It was not Jasper's doing," the girl richness of his appointments. To hercried. “It was that wicked Leonard, self she had wondered how it would who is his evil angel. And as to the be possible to pass even a few days in
this savage hole far from modern civil- “In my view," said Lady Marlowe ization, where the Middle Ages still a little dryly, "young men and maidens reigned in all their barbarism; but she should have no say of their own in saw that the place was strong and matters of marriage. These things could well be held for Edward, and she must be arranged by the family, for the was sincere in thinking that her young advantage of all." Richard would find here no mean heri- “Surely, surely,-your Ladyship is tage.
right-my Meg is a spoilt wench, poor Thus passed the first quarter of an little maid. 'Twas altogether a mishour of that interview. Sir William fortunate thing, that affair of Lord was at his best, happy and mild; his Marlowe. She set her obstinate heart thin old hand stroked his white beard upon him. I would, my Lady, you had peacefully; his blue eyes, calm, confi- seen it all. There sat my Lord-here dent, friendly, reposed on the still beau- stood Meg by my chair". tiful woman who sat upright in the Isabel waved her hand, smiling, but chair opposite to him, her clear-cut a little impatiently. "Sir William," face young and distinguished in the she said, “the excellent Antonio, your flattering light of the fire. Sir William secretary, did his best to set the thing himself 'had half forgotten, as he before me.” rambled on of old times and of his "Ah, did he indeed? And he told you various possessions, the serious busi- how at last it was his own doing ness that had brought my Lady to --how my Lord, as Tony guessed, was Ruddiford. She found it necessary, at torn between a sudden love for Meg last, to begin herself the subject of and loyalty to his mission, and how Lord Marlowe's strange conduct and Tony put the words into his mouth, as disappearance.
he was asking her hand for his brother, "The old man is in his dotage," she Yourself, my Lord ?" said to herself. “Like his kind, he can A curious look came into the Barononly remember far-away things-Agin- ess's face; it was half a smile, curling court and such-battles fought before the lips away from the teeth, but the the world began. Antonio told me less eyes narrowed unpleasantly. “He did than the truth of the old fool and his not tell me," she murmured. “Master folly.” Aloud, she made formal apol- Antonio did that, and why?” ogy to Sir William for what Lord Mar- "Out of pure mischief,” the Knight lowe had done, and explained to him said, nodding wisely. “A small frolic her real wishes, and her amazement at with a great result, which vexed Tony finding in how strange a manner the as much as any of us. But after all, to embassy had failed.
my thinking, the thing was done with"Ah, your Ladyship's ambassador lost out any word from Tony. 'Twas love, his head," the old man said, smiling. my Lady, sudden and desperate. I "Your son Richard,-a handsome lad was wroth with my poor Meg, and he is. truly-should have come himself spoke sharply to her, but when I found to woo my Margaret. She is young, that her fine lover had changed his but Lord Marlowe was not the first mind as quickly as he made it, and man to be conquered by her lovely gone north without a word, I was face. There's Jasper Tilney, a wild sorry for the maid and scolded her no fellow whose estate borders mine, but more. For it seemed to me that, sayI sent him packing, and the faster that ing your presence, certain gossips were Meg did not like him; she hath her right who had whispered to me-but fancies, this grandchild of mine." your Ladyship is distracted?"
For Isabel was staring at the fire, "So indeed I think,” Sir William said. and instead of listening to his talk, “But Margaret, my Lady—" was muttering to herself with the same "Leave her to me.” Isabel smiled her unpleasant smile.
brightest. “So,-'twas part of the truth after "You will not carry her away now? all,-and the question might have vay, nay, I cannot-" served, -not too late to punish by and “A moment's patience,” she said. “I by,--a dangerous path to cross is mine, had a second thing to say. I am pretty boy!"
plagued with a doubt whether Lord Sir William's last words recalled her Marlowe ever reached the Queen. Not instantly, and with frank face and a word have I had from him since he clear eyes she turned to him. “All left Swanlea. I find that his men, this is past," she said. “Two things I having left Ruddiford by his orders to have to say to you. First-it was your follow him north, never found him, wish, I understood that you had writ. but wandered on the moors, were ten it in your will-that I should have attacked by outlaws,-as I supposecharge of Margaret, educate her suita- robbed, killed, scattered. Two of them, bly in my own house, protect her from by happy chance, met me on my way unfitting suitors, marry her well. Your Now, Sir William, by your leave, I will own life being uncertain,-though I stay a while at Ruddiford. We will trust you may see a venerable age- marry Richard and Margaret, and we you wished to have a mind at ease as will search every hole and corner in to your granddaughter. I am right, Sir this wild country of yours to find my William?"
Lord Marlowe. For, though I may be *. "All that was indeed my wish," the displeased with him, I cannot allow old man said.
my husband's son, the head of our “Then I pray you to understand that house, to disappear like an unknown this' foolish business shall be to us, man." to you and me-as if it had never been. "Surely not,” Sir William cried, his I will accept the charge of Margaret, pale old cheeks turning red. “This and I will marry her, as soon as may that you tell me is strange, and very be, to the husband I chose for her on terrible. Why, Meg feared as much. receiving your first letter, my son Who can have done this? There are Richard Marlowe. As to my stepson, wild fellows abroad. But no-he is bad no woman has yet come between him enough, but he would not dare—where and his Queen. He is a strange man, are these two men ?" He started from full of quips and turns of fancy, no his chair and shouted—"Tony, Tony, mate for a fair young girl, such as rascal, where art thou?" while her your Margaret."
Ladyship sat still and smiled. Macmillan's Magazine.
(To be continued.)
LIFE'S LITTLE DIFFICULTIES.
Le Bon, who speaks English perfectly.
although with a fascinating accent, and Mrs. Adrian Armyne to her sister,
is altogether most friendly and useful. (Extract.)
He is continually doing little things for We have found a most delightful me, and it is nice too to have some one chauffeur, a Frenchman named Achille to talk French with. Adrian's conver
sational French has always been very time, and once or twice he has been rusty. You remember how in that little nowhere to be found at important shop at Avignon in 1880 he said "Quel junctures. For instance, we completely dommage?" for "What is the price?" missed Lord Tancaster's wedding the
other day. Not that that mattered very II.
much, especially as we had sent a silMr. Adrian Armyne to the Conserva- ver inkstand, but Adrian is rather antive Agent at Wilchester.
noyed. Achille plays the mandoline Mr. Adrian Armyne presents his com- charmingly (we hear him at night in pliments to Mr. Bashford, and greatly the servants' hall), and he has been regrets what must look very like a teaching me repoussé work. slight in his absence from the chair at
v. last night's meeting, but circumstances over which he had no control caused
Mrs. Armyne to Mrs. Jack Lyon. him to miss the way in his motor-car Dear Mrs. Lyon,-My husband and and afterwards to break down at a spot myself are deeply distressed to have where it was impossible to get any put out your table last evening, but other vehicle, Mr, Armyne cannot too it was one of those accidents that occur emphatically express his regret at the now and then, and which there is no occurrence, and his hope that trust in foreseeing or remedying. The fact is his good faith as a worker in the cause that we were all ready to go and had of Fiscal Reform may not be perma- ordered the car, when it transpired that nently shattered.
Achille, our chauffeur, had been called to London by telegram, and had left in
so great a hurry that he had no time Sir Vernon Boyce to Mr. Armyne. to warn us. By the time we could have Dear Armyne -I think you ought to
sent to the village and got a carriage know that I came across your French
your dinner would have been over, and man with a gun in the Lower Spinney
so we decided not to go at all. Achille this morning, evidently intending to
has not yet returned, which makes us get what he could. He explained to me
fear that the poor fellow, who has that he distinctly understood you to say
relatives in Soho, may have found real that he was at liberty to shoot there.
trouble. Yours sincerely, How such a misunderstanding can
Emily Armyne. have arisen I cannot guess, but he is
VI. now clearly informed as to divisions
Mr. Armyne to Achille Le Bon. of land and other matters which ap
Dear Achille -I am very sorry to parently are different in France. It is
have to tell you that it has been made all right, but I think you ought to keep
necessary for us to ask you to go. an eye on him.
This is not on account of any dissatisYours sincerely,
faction that we have with you, but Vernon Boyce.
merely that Mrs. Armyne has heard of IV.
the son of an old housekeeper of her
father's who wishes for a post as Mrs. Armyne to her sister.
chauffeur, and she feels it only right (Extract.)
that he should be given a trial. You Achille is certainly very useful, al- will, I am sure, see how the case though his mercurial French nature stands. Perhaps we had better say makes him a little too careless about that a month's notice begins from to
day, but you may leave as much earlier rid of your Napoleon, and then have it as you like. I shall, of course, be only back. Why not say I have bought it? too pleased to do all I can to find you I will come over one day soon and drive another situation. I should have told it home. Say Thursday morning. you this in person, but had to go to Your affectionate nephew, Sidney. town, and now write because I think it would be wrong not to let you have as early an intimation of Mrs. Armyne's
Mr. Armyne to Mr. Sidney Burnet. decision as possible. I am,
My dear Sidney,-Your plan seems to Yours faithfully,
me to be ingenious, but your aunt is Adrian Armyne. opposed to it. She says that Achille
might find it out. Suppose, for examVII.
ple, he came back for something he Mr. Armyne to Achille Le Bon.
had forgotten and saw the car in the (By hand.)
coach-house again! What should we Dear Achille,-I am afraid that a do? Another objection is that poor Job letter which was posted to you from is ill, and Achille remarked to me the London when I was last there, a month other day that before he took to en. ago, cannot have reached you. Letters gineering he was a gardener. From are sometimes lost, and this must be what I know of him this means that one of them. In it I had to inform unless Job gets better, Achille-if your you that Mrs. Armyne, having made plan is carried through-will ask to be arrangements for an English chauffeur retained in Job's place, and this will who has claims on her consideration mean that we shall never see asparagus (being the son of an old housekeeper of or strawberries again. Don't you her father's, who was in his service for think that we might go to town, and many years, and quite one of the fam- you could ride over to “Highcroft" and ily), it was made necessary for us, give Achille notice yourself for me? much against our will, for we esteem We will go to town to-morrow, and you very highly, to ask you to go. As you might see Achille on Monday. that letter miscarried I must now re
Your affectionate uncle. peat the month's notice that I then
XI. was forced to give, and the permission for you to leave at any time within the
Sidney Burnet to Mr. Armyne. month if you like. I am, yours faith
Dear Uncle, I went over and sacked fully, Adrian Armyne.
Achille to-day as arranged, but he re.
plied that he could take notice only VIII.
from you; and that from what Aunt Mr. Armyne to his nephew Sidney Emily had said to him just before you Burnet. (Extract.)
went away he is sure there has been There seems to be nothing for it but some mistake. As to notice from you to sell our car. This is a great blow to I'm afraid the beggar's right. He us, but we cannot go on as we are, seems to have taken advantage of your apparently owning a car but in reality absence to build a really rather clever being owned by a chauffeur.
pergola leading from Aunt Emily's sitting-room to the rose walk, as a sur
prise for Mrs. Armyne, he said. He Sidney Burnet to Mr. Armyne.
has also re-painted all your bookshelves Dear Uncle,-Don't sell the car. The and mended that pair of library steps. thing to do is to pretend to sell it, get with the dispatch of this bulletin I