Lilith : A novel

By Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth

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Title: Lilith
       A novel

Author: E. D. E. N. Southworth

Release Date: May 25, 2023 [eBook #70855]

Language: English

Produced by: Richard Tonsing and the Online Distributed Proofreading
             Team at (This file was produced from
             images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


                               _A Novel_

                     A SEQUEL TO “THE UNLOVED WIFE”

                     By MRS. E. D. E. N. SOUTHWORTH

   Author of “The Bride’s Fate,” “The Changed Brides,” “Cruel as the
       Grave,” “The Hidden Hand,” “Ishmael,” “Self-Raised,” Etc.

[Illustration: logo]

                           A. L. BURT COMPANY

                    PUBLISHERS      ⁂      NEW YORK

                             Popular Books

                     By MRS. E. D. E. N. SOUTHWORTH

                       In Handsome Cloth Binding

                     Price — — 60 Cents per Volume

                  *       *       *       *       *

                           CAPITOLA’S PERIL
                           CRUEL AS THE GRAVE
                           EM’S HUSBAND
                           FOR WHOSE SAKE
                           THE BRIDE’S FATE
                           THE CHANGED BRIDES
                           THE HIDDEN HAND
                           THE UNLOVED WIFE
                           TRIED FOR HER LIFE
                           WHY DID HE WED HER

                  *       *       *       *       *

 For Sale by all Booksellers or will be sent postpaid on receipt of price

                      A. L. BURT COMPANY PUBLISHERS
                    52 Duane Street — — — — — New York

                        Copyright, 1881 and 1890
                        By ROBERT BONNER’S SONS


                  Printed by special arrangement with
                             STREET & SMITH


                               CHAPTER I
                           OLD ADAH’S SECRET

            So at last shall come old age,
            Decrepit, as beseems that stage.
            How else should we retire apart
            With the hoarded memories of the heart?

          Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand,
          And the sound of a voice that is still!

It was a lovely morning in May, when Tudor Hereward sat, wrapped in his
gray silk dressing-gown, reclining in his resting-chair, on the front
piazza at Cloud Cliffs.

He had had a hard fight with death, and had barely come out of it with
his life.

Physicians and friends alike ascribed his illness to nervous shock upon
a system already run down under the long-continued pressure of work and

He was convalescent now, yet he seemed the mere shadow of his former
vigorous manhood.

By his side, on a stand covered with white damask, stood a basket of
luscious strawberries in a nest of their own leaves; also a vase of
fragrant spring flowers—hyacinths, tulips, jonquils, daffodils, violets
and heart’s-ease. Yet he neither touched nor tasted flowers or fruit.

Before him stretched the green lawn, shaded by acacia trees in full
bloom, which filled the air with their rich aroma.

Farther on, the woods swept around the grounds, a semi-circular wall of
living verdure.

Beyond them stood the cliffs, opal-tinted in the sunlight, misty where
their heads were vailed by the soft white clouds which gave them their

Birds trilled their song of rapture through the perfumed air.

It was a lovely morning in a lovely scene. A morning and a scene that
ministered to every sense, yet it was more than a mere material
paradise, for its many delights combined to fill the soul with peace,
joy and thankfulness, and so to raise it

                   “From Nature up to Nature’s God.”

Especially to a convalescent, coming for the first time out of his
sick-room, must such a scene of summer glory have brought a delicious
sense of new life in fresh and keen enjoyment, making him think that
even of this material world it might be said, to some less favored
people of some other planet: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath
it entered into the heart of man the things that God hath prepared for
them that love Him.”

But this was not the case with Tudor Hereward. To his sick soul, as to
the diseased mind of another, the beauty of the earth and the glory of
the heavens were but

             “A foul and pestilent congregation of vapors,”

for all the pleasure he could take in them.

His wife Lilith was gone—dead—murdered.

This was to him the death-knell of nature. His mental suffering was not
now sharp. He was much too weak to feel acutely. His sorrow had settled
into a dull despair—a cold and lifeless misery.

Lilith was gone.

If she had passed away peacefully in her bed, attended by friends,
sustained by religion, though he must have mourned for her, he could
have borne his loss; or if, as had been at first supposed, she had
accidentally fallen into the creek, and met a sudden, painless death,
still, though he must have suffered much more, yet he could have endured
the blow; but she had been butchered—cruelly butchered by some
night-prowling ruffian, whose identity was neither known nor suspected,
and whose motive for the monstrous crime could not even be imagined.

Lilith had been slain, and the blackness of darkness had settled upon
the soul of him who felt that he had driven her forth that bitter winter
night to meet her awful fate.

Yes, the blackness of darkness seemed to have fallen like the clods of
the grave upon his dead and buried soul. In other deaths the body only
dies; the soul lives on. In his case it seemed the soul that died, while
the poor weak body lived on.

He had not been deserted in his misery and despair. As soon as the news
of the discovered murder at Cliff Creek had flown over the country,
spreading horror everywhere, friends and neighbors had flocked to the
house, with profound sorrow for the murdered wife and sympathy for the
awfully bereaved husband, and earnest proffers of assistance in any
manner in which their services could be made available.

And when it became known that Mr. Hereward himself had been suddenly
stricken down by dangerous illness, the ladies of the neighborhood,
skilful nurses all, carefully trained to their duties as their mothers
before them had been—and as all the mistresses of large plantations
necessarily were—came in turn to stop at the Cliffs, and to take care of
the desolate master.

The Rev. Mr. Cave, his old pastor, had come every day to visit him, and
as soon as his condition warranted, to administer religious consolation.

Every one mourned for Lilith, every one sympathized with Hereward, and
served him in every possible way. They “pulled him through,” as the
doctor phrased it, though it was but the shadow of the man they raised.

And even now that he was convalescent he was not left to himself.

Mrs. Jab Jordon was now the volunteer housekeeper and nurse, as she had
been for the week past, and as she meant to be for the week to come, and
her fine health and good spirits and judicious management were as
beneficial to the stricken man as anything could be under these adverse

It was her hand that had arranged his reclining-chair on the piazza, and
placed the stand of fruit and flowers by its side. It was her will that
had kindly forced him out of the gloom of his sick-chamber into the
sunshine and fresh, fragrant air of that lovely May morning. It was her
precaution that still kept from him the loads of well-meaning letters of
condolence that he could not have borne to read as yet.

And even now the good woman was upstairs superintending Cely and Mandy
in the work of preparing a new room for the patient, who was not to be
taken back to the old sick-chamber, which was dismantled and, with all
its windows open, turned out, so to speak, to all the airs of spring.

It was a little surprising to all who knew old Nancy, the colored
housekeeper who had so long ruled supreme at Cloud Cliffs, that she was
not jealous of this invasion of the house by the ladies of the
neighborhood. But in fact, Nancy was grateful for their presence and
their help.

“’Sides w’ich,” as she confided to Cassy, the cook, “dis ain’t no time
fer no po’ mortil to stan’ on deir dignity. De ’sponsibility ob de case
is too mons’ous; let alone my heart bein’ broke long ob po’ dear Miss
Lilif goin’ to glory de drefful way she did! an’ me fit for nuffin’. It
would be flyin’—’deed it’s de trufe—flyin’.”

So Nancy put herself under the orders of Mrs. Jordon, as she had done
under her predecessors.

The pale convalescent, sitting in his resting-chair, gazed with languid
eyes over the lovely lawn, with its fragrant blossoming trees, and its
parterres of flowers in sunny spots, on to the encircling woods filled
with birds and bird songs, and beyond to the opal-tinted, mist-vailed
cliffs, and to the deep blue sky above them all; yet seemed to take in
nothing of the brightness and the beauty.

At length his listless, wandering eyes perceived a figure, at strange
variance with the bright summer scene.

Creeping around from the rear grounds, emerging from a side grove of
acacia trees, winding between parterres of hyacinths, tulips, daffodils,
and other spring flowers, came a very aged woman, small, black,
withered, poorly clad in an old brown linsey gown, with a red
handkerchief tied over her head and under her chin, and leaning on a
cane, she drew slowly near the piazza, climbed the two or three steps
and stood bobbing, but trembling with infirmity, before the invalid

“Well, Aunt Adah, I am pleased to see you abroad once more,” said
Hereward, kindly.

“Young marster, I t’ank yer, sah. An’ I is t’ankful! Oh, my Hebbenly
Lord, how t’ankful I is in my heart to fine yer sittin’ out yere!”
earnestly responded the woman, reverently raising her eyes and trembling
through all her frame.

“Sit down, Aunt Adah. You are not able to stand,” said Hereward, kindly,
stretching out his emaciated hand to reach and draw a chair up to the
weary old woman.

“I t’anks yer, young marster, I t’anks yer werry much, an’ I will sit
down in yer p’esence, since yer’s so ’siderate as to ’mit me so to do;
fer I is weak, young marster—I is weak. I has been yere a many times to
see yer, young marster, but dey wouldn’ leabe me do it, no dey wouldn’,
an’ I ’spects dey was right. Yer wa’n’t well ’nuff to be ’sturbed,” said
the old creature, as she lowered herself slowly and carefully into the
chair, for all her joints were stiff with extreme age.

“You were very kind to come to inquire after me so often,” said
Hereward, gently.

“An’ w’y wouldn’ I come? An’ how should ebber I hear ob yer ’dout comin’
myse’f to ’quire? It’d be long ’nuff fo’ any ob dese t’oughtless niggers
yere come ’cross de crik to fetch me any news! Me, as has been a savint
ob de Tudors for ’mos’ a hund’ed years an’ is by fur de ol’est savint on
de plantation! ’Deed it’s de trufe, young marster. I was ninety-nine
years old las’ Can’lemas Day,” continued the old woman, stooping to lay
her cane on the floor.

Hereward smiled faintly. He knew from old farm records that Aunt Adah
was even older than, with the strange pride of her race in extreme
longevity, she claimed to be; and that for the last few years she had
steadily called herself ninety-nine years old last Candlemas Day,
sticking at that imposing number and seeming to forget that every year
increased it; honestly to forget, for old Adah would have been perfectly
delighted if any one had opened her eyes and explained to her that she
might truly lay claim to a hundred and seven years.

“You have certainly been a most faithful follower of the family, Aunt
Adah,” said the young man.

“Yes, honey, fai’ful!” assented the old creature. “Dat’s me,
fai’ful!—fai’ful froo fick an’ fin, froo good ’port and ebil ’port,
fai’ful fer ninety-nine years las’ Can’lemas Day! I didn’t ’mancipate de
plantashun to go off to Cong’ess like so many ob dem riff-raff, lowlife
brack niggers did! No, sah! Aunt Adah Mungummerry had too much ’spect
fer herse’f, let alone ’spect fer de ole famberly ob de Tudors, to
’grace herse’f dat way! ’Sides w’ich, young marster, to tell de bressed
trufe, I wouldn’ ’a’ lef’ my log-house in de piney woods ’cross de crik,
wid my good pine-knot fire in de winter time, an’ my cool spring ob
water outside de do’, no, not fer all de Cong’ess in de whole worl’!
’Deed, ’fo’ de law, it’s de trufe!”

And, inasmuch as Aunt Adah had been long past labor and was living as a
pensioner on the family at the time of the emancipation, any stranger
hearing her boast might have thought that policy and not principle was
the secret of her fidelity to native soil and friends. But such was not
the case. At no age would she have left the home and the family to whom
she was so strongly attached.

Her bondage was that of love, from which no act of Congress could
emancipate her.

“Would you like a glass of wine, Aunt Adah?” inquired the young man,
reaching his thin hand to a silver call-bell that stood upon the stand
near him.

“No, honey; no, chile, not yit; not jis yit! I’d like a tumbler ob good
b’andy toddy, bimeby, but not yit, caze I’s got somefin on my min’,”
replied the old creature, so very solemnly that Hereward withdrew his
hand from the bell, lifted his head and looked at her.

“Something on your mind, Aunt Adah?” he inquired.

“Yes, young marster, somefin werry sarous on my min’,” repeated the aged

“What is it, Adah? Speak out, my good soul. Don’t be afraid!” said
Hereward, kindly.

“I ain’t afeard, young marster! ’Tain’t dat! But it is somefin berry
heabby on to my min’, as been wantin’ to get offen my min’ by tellin’ ob
you; an’ dat’s wot fetch me yere mos’ ebbery day since yer’s been sick;
on’y dey wouldn’ leabe me see yer, no way, and I ’spects dey was yight.
But I sees yer now, young marse, an’ I wants to tell yer.”

“Very well, Aunt Adah, tell me what it is now,” said Hereward, in an
encouraging tone.

“Young marse, it is a solemn secret, beknown on’y to me an’ one udder
gran’ wilyan! But I was boun’ not to tell anybody on dis worl’ ’fo’ I
could tell yo’ fuss. Dough, indeed, it ought fo’ to be tole long ago,
on’y it wasn’ in my power to tell it at de yight time, caze I was all
alone in my house, laid up long ob de rheumatiz, an’ didn’ know wot was
gwine on yere at dis place; an’ w’en I did come to fine out, it were too
late fer dem, an’ I come to tell yer, but yer was too ill to be
’sturbed, an’ dey wouldn’ let me see yer, an’ I ’spects dey was yight;
but I was ’termined to keep dat solemn secret in my own heart, an’ not
to tell nobody wot I knowed to make a stracshun in de place, till yo’
got well so I could tell yo’ fuss, an’ let yer do wot yer t’ought bes’.”

“Yes, yes; but what—what is it that you have to tell me?” demanded
Hereward, becoming more impressed by the words and manner of the woman.

His excitement alarmed the poor creature, who pulled herself up
suddenly, saying:

“Hole on now, Adah Mungummerry! Hole on, ole lady! Yer’s a rushin’ ob it
on too rapid on to a sick man. Hole up, now!” she said, talking to
herself, as is the habit of the extremely aged.

“Tell me at once what you have to tell,” said Hereward, with a sudden
terrible suspicion that her communication might concern the murder of
his young wife.

“Well, dear young marster, but yer mus’ have patience and ’pose yerse’f,
sah! ’Deed yer mus’, young marse, or yer’ll make yerse’f wuss, an’ wot
would Mrs. Jab an’ de udders say to me ef I made yer wuss? I’s gwine to
tell yer, young marse, w’ich I come yere fo’ dat puppose; but I mus’
tell yer werry graduately—so as not to make yer no wuss. Well, now, le’s
see—le’ me see, now. Le’ me be cautious. Sort o’ break de news little by
little. Young marse, yer know dat mornin’ wot yer come to my cabin to
’quire ’bout Miss Lilif?”

“Yes,” breathed the young man, beginning to tremble with anxiety in his
extreme weakness.

“Well, young marse, as I telled you dat mornin’ I ’peats now. She hadn’
been dere, nor likewise nigh de place dat bressed night, as w’y should
she come, w’en—listen now, young marse! w’y should she come w’en it
warn’t ne’sary; caze she had sent Nancy long ob dat po’ misfortunit
young gal, to fetch me money, an’ close, an’ wittels, an’ drink, an’
ebbery singerly fing as heart could wish.”

“So you told me before,” said Hereward, impatiently.

“So I did, my dear young marse, an’ I ax yer pardon fer tellin’ ob yo’
ag’in; but I does it to make yer ax yerse’f w’y should Miss Lilif do
such a unne’sary fing as to come to my cabin dat cole night for nuffin?
No, young marse! She didn’ come to no cabin dat night.”

“But she started to go!” exclaimed Hereward, with a cry of anguish.

“No, young marse! An’ dis is wot I war tryin’ to come at, soft an’
grad’al, not to s’prise yer too sudden. Now listen, dear marse, an’ year
wot I tell yer, ’caze it’s de bressed trufe—Miss Lilif nebber come to de
cabin dat night, nor likewise she nebber started to come, neider!”
solemnly declared the old woman.

Hereward sprang up, stared at the earnest speaker and then fell back
faint and trembling.

“’Pose yerse’f, dear young marse; dere ain’t nuffin to ’stress yer, but
quite deffrint,” soothingly murmured old Adah.

“What—what do you mean? She certainly did go to the creek,
because—because——” faltered the speaker, but his voice broke down in

“Caze dere was a body foun’ dere? Dat wot yer were gwine to say, young

“Yes,” breathed Hereward.

“Yes, so dere was, Marse Tudor, so dere was. But dat body wa’n’t dear
Miss Lilif’s!”

Hereward, trembling as if stricken with palsy, and with his hands
clutching the arms of his chair, bent forward and stared at the speaker.

“It’s de trufe, as I s’pect to stan’ ’fo’ my Hebbenly Judge at de las’
day, Marse Tudor! Dat body war not Miss Lilif’s, as I could hab edified
to de Cow’s Jury, ef I had a knowed wot was gwine on yere an’ could a
come up ’fo’ it. ’Stead of w’ich I war laid up long ob de rheumatiz at
home, an’ no one came nigh me to tell nuffin.”

“Not—not—Lilith’s——” muttered Hereward, falling back in his chair quite

Old Adah, in her well-meaning, blundering manner, had tried to “break
the news,” but had not succeeded. She was alarmed at the looks of the
young man.

“Le’ me yun in de house an’ fetch yer a glass of wine, Marse Tudor!
Please, sah!” she pleaded.

“No, no, no, do not move!—I want nothing—I want nobody to come. What did
you say?—It was not——”

“No, Marse Tudor, it war not hern, no mo’ an it war your’n or mine,”
impressively replied old Adah.

“But—it was identified as such by—by——”

“By de long, curly brack ha’r, so I years, an’ by de gown, an’ de
unnerclose wid her name on ’em, an’ de putty little F’ench boots wid her
name on de inside. Wa’n’t dat wot yer war gwine to say, Marse Tudor?”


“Well, dat were all jes’ so. De booful ha’r war like Miss Lilif’s, shuah
nuff, an’ de warm casher gown, an’ de unnerclose, an’ de pooty F’ench
boots war all Miss Lilif’s. But dat war jes’ all dere war ob Miss
Lilif’s. It wa’n’t hern.”

“Adah! what is this you are telling me, and what reason have you for
saying what you do?” demanded Hereward, with a great effort.

“’Caze I knows all about it, young marse, an’ I knows whose ’mains dey
war as war foun’ in de crik.”

“Whose, in the name of Heaven, were they?”

“Dey war doze ob dat po’, des’late young creeter wot war murdered by her
man, an’ t’rowed inter de crik dat same night, as I could a testimonied
at de Cow’s Quest, ef I had been sent for or eben ef I had known wot war
gwine on yere at de time. But no one t’ought ob sendin’ for me, a ole
’oman cripple up wid de rheumatiz an’ not able to creep no furder dan to
fill my bucket at de spring outside de do’! ’Deed, I nebber heerd nuffin
’tall ’bout wot happen till it war too late to edify de Cow’s Jury. Soon
as I did year it, I creeped up yere to tell yer wot I knowed; but yer
war too ill to be ’sturbed—so dey said, an’ I ’spect as dey war yight.
So I ’solved to keep de secret till yer war able for to year it; ’caze I
didn’t want to make no mo’ stracshun in de neighborhood wid no mo’ news
till I could ’vise long ob you ’bout it, sah. An’ so I come up yere two
or three times ebbery week, but dey wouldn’ leabe me come to yer—no dey
wouldn’! I’s moughty t’ankful as I has cotch yer to-day, Marse Tudor.”

                               CHAPTER II
                                NEW HOPE

Hereward was suffering from terrible excitement. We said a little while
since that his soul seemed dead within him. And as resuscitation is
always more distressing than asphyxia, so the infusion of a ray of hope
that gave new life to his spirit caused much anguish.

It required all his recovered power of mind to control his emotion.

“Adah!” he said, “what you tell me is so strange, so startling, so
incredible, that I have the greatest difficulty in receiving it! What
good reason have you for believing—believing that?”

Again Hereward broke down.

“Dat de ’mains foun’ in de crik wor not doze ob my dear young mist’ess,
but wor doze ob dat young gal wot wor made way wid by her man? Yer see I
kin ’lude to dem ’mains d’out lozin’ ob my head ’caze I knows dey wor
doze ob dat po’ murdered gal. Ef I eben s’picioned as dey wor doze ob my
dear young mist’ess I couldn’ speak ob dem, no, no mo’ dan yer can
yerse’f, Marse Tudor.”

“Yes; but what proof—what proof have you?” breathlessly inquired

“I’s gwine to tell yer, Marse Tudor, ef yer will on’y ’pose yerse’f an’
hab patience. ’Deed, I ’spects as Mrs. Jab’ll take de head offen my
shou’ders fo’ ’citin’ ob yer so.”

“Yes; but what proof? what proof?”

“I’s gwine to tell yer, Marse Tudor, ’deed I is. Yer ’member dat mornin’
w’en yer come ’quirin’ at my cabin ’bout Miss Lilif?”

“Yes, yes; you asked me that question some time back.”

“So I did, Marse Tudor; an’ I ax ob yer pardon fo’ axin’ it ag’in. It
wor on’y to ’mind yer of de day, marse. Yer ’member as I tole yer how de
young mist’ess had gib dat po’ gal lots ob wittles an’ drink, an’ close,
an’ money, fo’ herse’f an’ me, too? Yer ’member dat, young marse?”

“I do.”

“An’ likewise as I tole yer how her man come in unexpected dat same
night, an’ eat up all de good wittles, and drunk up all de good licker,
an’ tuk all de money, an’ ’pelled her to go ’way ’long o’ him dat same

“Yes, I remember. Go on.”

“Well, Marse Tudor, I tole yer all dat; but I didn’t fink ob tellin’ ob
yer all de little trifles w’ich ’peared no ’count—sich as he makin’ ob
her dress herse’f in her close to go ’long ob him—dose berry close wot
Miss Lilif gib her—dat warm cashy gown, an’ de nice unnerclose, an’ de
pooty French boots, an’ de little hat—all wot was tied up in de
bundle—did he make her take out an’ put on to go ’long ob him genteel.
No, I didn’t tell yer dat; nor likewise as how she ’beyed him in ’spect
ob de close, but ’posed him when he tuk ebberyfin’ out’n de house an’
lef me nuffin’. An’ dey bofe went ’way quarrelin’—quarrelin’ werry
bitter, an’ I yeard ’em at it till dey got out ob yearin’—an’ next minit
I heerd an awful screech, an’ den anoder, an’ anoder. An’ I say: ‘Dere,
now,’ I say, ‘he’s beatin’ ob her, de brute!’ An’ den dere was silence.
An’ I nebber t’ought no wuss ob it, dan it wor bad ’nuff, but not so
uncommon as to keep me ’wake.”

Old Adah paused for breath, while Hereward waited for her next words
with intense anxiety. At length she resumed:

“I nebber tole yer ’bout dese las’ mentioned fings, ’caze I t’ought den
dey was on’y trifles; but, Lor’, who kin tell wot is trifles, or wot
trifles is gwine to mount up to ’fo’ dey’s done wid yer? It wor dem
berry trifles, w’ich I t’ought ob no ’count, as would indentified dem
’mains wot was foun’ in de crik for doze ob dat po’ young gal, ef on’y I
hed been sent fer to edify de Cow’s Quest. Dere! My Lor’! now what is I
done?” cried the old woman, rising in alarm and peering into the face of
the young master, who had fallen back into his seat in what seemed to be
a dead swoon.

She took up the hand-bell, and was about to sound an alarm for help,
when her wrist was feebly grasped, and her name faintly called.

“Adah—no—don’t ring! Wait—I shall recover presently. Give me—time,”
whispered Hereward, making a great effort to rally.

After a little while he said:

“If what you tell me is true—and I have no reason to doubt your
word—then it was really the body of that poor girl which was found in
the creek, and your mistress is still living. But, Adah, I commend your
discretion in keeping silent so long; and I advise you to the same
course. Speak to no one of this matter. Let it remain for the present a
secret between you and me.”

Old Adah, highly flattered by the thought of having a secret in common
with her master, kept from all the rest of the world, warmly responded:

“I kep’ dat secret to myse’f all dis time, waitin’ fo’ yer to be well
’nuff to hear it, an’ I will keep on keepin’ it, marster, an’ red hot
pinchers shouldn’ pull it out’n me till yer say so.”

“I do not want any more neighborhood gossip or excitement over this
matter. I do not want the sacred name of my wife bandied about from
mouth to mouth in speculating as to what has become of her. I must
confer with my own tried and trusty friends and the local authorities,
and we must take counsel together. You understand, Adah?”

“Surely, surely, young marster, I unnerstan’s so puffect dat dat wor de
reason w’y I kep’ wot I kno’d to myse’f till I could tell it to yo’,
Marse Tudor.”

“Very well. Now I think I must be alone for a little while. Do you go
into the kitchen and tell Nancy or Cassy to give you—whatever you would
like in the way of refreshments.”

“Tank yer, Marse Tudor; I will go. Yer was allers so ’siderate to de
po’,” gratefully replied the woman, as she stooped and picked up her
stick, slowly arose and hobbled away towards the rear of the house.

Hereward, left alone, pressed his hands to his head.

“Am I dreaming?” he asked himself. “Is this one of those delirious
visions that tortured or delighted me during the progress of my fever?
Lilith—not dead? Lilith living? Oh, Heaven! can such a happiness be
really still possible to me, that I should see Lilith again in the
flesh? Oh, Heaven! that this could come to pass! All evils of life would
be nothing if only Lilith could, peradventure, be restored to me living.
I would no longer care for all the fame and glory that this world could
give me, if only my child-wife could be returned to me! But can this be
possible? What balance of proof is there in favor of her continued life,
in the face of the verdict of that coroner’s jury? I do not know; I
cannot weigh evidence to-day! I am weak! I am weak! Kerr will be here
soon. I will ask him what he thinks about the matter. I will tell him
all and I will take his opinion.”

As Hereward communed with himself in this manner the door opened, and
Mrs. Jab Jordon came out on the piazza, bringing in her hands a silver
waiter upon which was arranged a china plate of chicken jelly, another
plate of delicate biscuits, a small decanter of port wine, and a wine

She set the waiter with its contents upon the little stand beside
Hereward’s chair, and then, looking at the invalid critically, she

“What is the matter with you? You have been worrying and exciting
yourself about something. And you know that is not good for you. Come,
now, I want you to eat all this jelly and drink at least two glasses of
wine, and then, as the sun is coming around this way and it is getting
warm, I want you to come in and take your noon sleep.”

Hereward smiled faintly and tried obediently to do as the lady bade him;
but it is doubtful whether he would have accomplished the task before
him had not Mrs. Jab drawn up a chair and drilled him into compliance.

When he had finished his light meal she took his arm and led him into
the house and upstairs to the new room that had been prepared for him,
and made him lie down on his bed.

Meanwhile, old Adah had gone into the kitchen, where she found Nancy
superintending the preparations for dinner, while Cassy and the two
younger negro women were engaged in paring potatoes, shelling peas, and
capping strawberries.

“Mornin’, chillun! How does all do dis fine mornin’?” said the old
woman, as she slowly and stiffly lowered herself into the nearest chair
and laid her stick on the floor.

“Mornin’, Aunt Adah!” returned a chorus of voices, as the three women
stopped their work and came around her.

“Glad to see de young marster out ag’in!” said Adah.

“Yes, he is out ag’in—wot’s lef’ ob him! ’Deed it’s awful! Makes me fink
ob my latter en’,” said Nancy, with a deep sigh.

“Yes, it’s a warnin’! It’s a warnin’!” put in Cassy, without exactly
defining what “it” meant.

“’Deed I gwine look out an’ see ef I can’t j’in some more s’ieties. I
’longs to sebben or eight now, but I ain’t satisfied in my own mine
w’ich is de yight one, or eben ef any ob dem I ’long to is de yight one.
An’ dere can’t be but one yight one, no way.”

“Chile Nancy, I fink as yer ’longs to too many s’ieties. Now, one is
’nough for me, w’ich dat is de Rebbernt Marse Parson Cave’s s’iety,
w’ich is good ’nough for me, ’caze arter all it is de Lord I trus’ in
and not de s’iety,” humbly suggested old Adah.

“G’way f’om yere, ole ’oman! Yer dunno wot yer talkin’ ’bout! In dese
yere drefful times I want to be on de safe side; so I j’ines all de
s’ieties I kin fine so as to get de yight one! I done hear ob two more
s’ieties way out yonder some’ars, w’ich I mean to j’in soon’s ebber I
get de chance.”

“Two more s’ieties, A’n’ Nancy!” exclaimed Cely opening her eyes to
their widest extent.

“Yes, honey; yes, chillun! W’ich one is—le’ me see now—wot’s deir names
a’gn? One is called de Shakin’ Quakers. An’ dat s’iety would suit me
good, leastways in some fings; ’caze I doan beliebe in marr’in an’
gibbin’ in marridge no mo’ dan dey do; an’ as fer de res’ ob it, w’y,
ebbery time I gets de fever’n’ ager I ken shake an’ quake wid de bes’ ob
’em! An’ dere’s dat oder s’iety, ’way out yonder som’ers, as is called
de More-men. But I misdoubts as dat one kin be de yight one, ’caze dey’s
just opposide to de oder one, an’ beliebes in a doctrine called
Pulliginy, an’ libs up to it, to be sure, w’ich is mo’ dan some s’ieties
do deir doctrines.”

“Wot’s Pulliginy, Nancy, chile?” inquired old Adah.

“Pulliginy is de More-men perswashun. It means as a ’oman may marr’ as
many husband’s as she kin take care ob! An’ marster knows dat wouldn’t
suit me at all. I never could hab patience ’nuff wid de po’ he-creeturs
to marr’ one husban’, much less a whole pulliginy ob ’em. No—I can’t say
as I ’mire de More-men doctorine. Dough I is much exercise in my mine
fear it might be de on’y yight one. Sure ’nuff, it must hab crosses
’nuff in it ef dat would sabe a soul.”

“Nancy, chile, w’y can’t yer trus’ in de Lord, an’ not trouble so much
’bout de s’ieties?” inquired old Adah.

“’Caze I wants to be zactly yight an’ sabe my soul an’ go to Glory. But
as for you, Aunt Adah, wot do you expec’ as nebber goes inside ob any
church?” demanded Nancy.

“Honey, I hum’ly hopes de dear Lord will sabe my soul, ’caze I can’t go
to church in my ’streme ole age—ninety-nine years old las’ Can’lemas
Day. Can’t walk nigh so far, honey, an’ can’t sit so long; but I trus’
in de Lord.”

“An’ you, ’lectin’ de s’ieties as you do s’pects to go to Glory?”
demanded Nancy, full of righteous indignation.

“No, honey, no—not to Glory. I nebber ’sumed to fink ob sich a fing as
dat. But I do hope as de dear Lord will let me in to some little place
in His kingdom—some little house by some little crik running up out’n de
Ribber ob Life, whey I can lib in lub ’long ob my dear ole man an’ our
chillun wot all went home so many years ago. Dat’s wot I hum’ly trus’ in
de Lord to gib me.”

“A’n’ Adah, wouldn’ yer like a bowlful of beef soup?” inquired Cassy,
breaking in upon this discussion.

“Yes, chile, I would, w’ich de young marster said as I might hab a
tumbler ob b’andy toddy, too.”

“All yight. So you shall. An’ yer’d better stay all day wid us an’ get
bofe a good dinner an’ a good supper, an’ Cely an’ Mandy ’ill take you

“T’anky, kindly, Cassy, chile, so I will,” concluded the aged woman,
settling herself comfortably for a whole day’s enjoyment.

Early in the afternoon the Rev. Mr. Cave and Dr. Kerr drove over
together to see Tudor Hereward.

They were shown at once to his chamber, where they found him reclining
on a lounge near the open window.

“You have been sitting out on the piazza this morning, I hear,” said the
doctor, after the first greetings were over.

“Yes, for two hours,” replied Hereward.

“Too long for a first effort. You have overtasked yourself.”

“No, it is not that, doctor. Please lock the door, to prevent
interruption, and draw your chairs up to me, both of you. I have some
strange news to communicate, which I received this morning,” said
Hereward, in some nervous trepidation.

“Yes! and that is just what has excited and exhausted you,” said Dr.
Kerr, as he complied with Hereward’s request, sat down beside him and
felt his pulse.

“And yet it was good news, if I can judge by the expression of your
face, Tudor,” put in the rector, wondering, meanwhile, what good news
could possibly have come to this awfully bereaved man.

“Yes, it was good news, if true; and there lies the great anxiety,”
replied Hereward.

And then to these two oldest of old friends and neighbors, the pastor of
the parish and the physician of the family, Tudor Hereward told the
story that had been told him by old Adah.

The two gentlemen were not so much amazed as the narrator had expected
them to be, yet they were most profoundly interested.

“There must always be a doubt in these cases where the proof of
identification seems to be in the clothing only, and not in the person,”
said the doctor.

“That is certainly so. Clothing may have changed hands, as in this
instance,” added the rector.

“I want your decided opinion, if you can give it to me, on this subject.
It is no exaggeration to say that if it can be shown that the remains
identified before the coroner’s jury as those of my wife, were in
reality not hers, but of another person, I should be lifted from death
and despair to life and hope. For look you, my friends, in all the long
and dreary days and in all the long and sleepless nights, I say to
myself, that whoever struck the fatal blow, I, and I only, am the
original cause of Lilith’s death,” said Hereward.

“You are so morbid on that subject that I despair of ever bringing you
to reason,” sighed the rector.

“At least until I have brought him to health! The body and mind are so
nearly connected that when one is weakened or diseased, the other is apt
to be so too,” added the doctor.

“You are both mistaken. My remorse and despair have nothing to do with
health of body or mind. They are both normal and natural. Listen to me.
If I, in the madness of the moment, had not insulted, outraged, and
driven my young wife from my side, she would never have gone forth that
bitter winter night to meet the cruel death at the hands of some
midnight marauder—according to the verdict of the coroner’s jury.”

“But you did not send her to the creek,” said the doctor.

“No! but I might as well have done so! Oh! I knew how it was—or might
have been—for I will still hope that it was not so. She knowing that she
was about to leave the Cliffs for an indefinite time, thought of the
poor old woman who might suffer in her absence, and determined that she
would pay her a last visit and leave with her provision—in money, which
could be easily carried—to last her for a long time. In her feeling of
mortification at having been cast off by her husband, she chose to go
alone, so as not to expose her distress to any one—not even to a
faithful servant. So, before setting out on her long journey, she
started to visit old Adah, at the creek cabin, and met her fate—through

“If she did meet her fate! But, Hereward, I am inclined to believe the
old woman’s story,” said the doctor.

“And so do I,” added the rector.

“There is only one doubt,” replied Hereward, “and it is this: The
identification by the clothing only must still be unsatisfactory. Lilith
was in mourning for my father. Her dress was always black, and of one
pattern—that is, her ordinary dress, I mean, of course. It seems that
she gave a suit of her clothing to that poor girl. What of that? She had
other suits of the same sort of clothing, and wore one of those that
same night, for she wore no other sort on common occasions. And the fear
is that when she set out to visit old Adah at the creek cabin, she was
met, robbed and murdered by this tramp and his girl, and that it was her
screams that old Adah heard. For remember, that Lilith’s watch and purse
have never been found, nor any trace of Lilith herself, unless that
found——” Hereward’s voice broke down, and his head fell back upon his

Dr. Kerr went to a side table and poured out a glass of wine, which he
brought and compelled his patient to drink.

“At any rate, Tudor, there is a very reasonable hope that Lilith still
lives. Let this hope sustain and not exhaust you. Leave the matter in
the hands of Divine Providence, first of all, and in the hands of your
two friends as his servants and instruments. Say nothing of this to any
one else. It would not be well to open up such a subject of discussion
in this neighborhood. Wait until we have used every human means of
discovering the whereabouts of your Lilith,” said the rector, earnestly.

“Yes, that’s it! Leave the affair to us, under Providence! We have no
certainty; but the new hope is better than despair,” added the doctor.

And to support moral teaching by physical means, he made up a sedative
draught and left it with his patient.

The doctor and the rector went away together, much wondering at the new
aspect given to the Cliff Creek tragedy by the revelations of old Adah.

They kept this revelation to themselves, and went about secretly trying
to get some clew, either to the whereabouts of Lilith, or of the young
girl to whom she had given a suit of her own clothes.

They visited old Adah in her cabin, and using her young master’s, Tudor
Hereward’s, name, questioned her closely on the subject of the events
that had transpired in her cabin on the night of the murder. They
cross-questioned her with a skill and perseverance that Hereward, in his
weakened condition, could never have shown. And old Adah answered them
by revealing freely all she knew and all she suspected.

They came away from that interview thoroughly convinced that the body
found in the creek was that of the gypsy girl to whom Lilith had given a
suit of her clothes.

They were again together to Cloud Cliffs, and told the suffering master
of the house of their new and strong convictions on the subject.

“Lilith lives! Be sure of that! No stone shall be left unturned to
discover her, and her restoration to your arms is only a question of
time, and of a very little time also,” said the doctor.

“Bear up, Tudor! It rests with yourself, under the Lord, to recover your
former health and strength of body and mind. Rouse yourself! Be the
calm, strong, firm man that you have heretofore shown yourself,” added
the rector.

And Hereward grasped their hands and thanked them warmly for their
sympathy and services.

“But though we feel sure that Lilith lives, and that we shall find her
before many days, yet still, to avoid giving rise to a sensational
report, we have determined to continue our first policy of reticence
until we shall really have found Lilith and restored her to her home. Do
you not approve our plan, Hereward?” inquired the doctor.

“Yes, certainly, that is the best,” answered the young man.

The two friends took leave of the patient and departed.

“All the same,” said the doctor, as they walked out together and
re-entered their gig, “if Lilith is not soon recovered, Tudor must die.
The strain upon him is too great to be borne.”

“Let us trust in the Lord,” said the rector, “and hope for a happier

                              CHAPTER III
                       THE NIGHT-PASSENGER’S NEWS

             Rise! If the past detain you,
               Her sunshine and storms forget;
             No chains so unworthy to hold you
               As those of a vain regret.
             Sad or bright, it is lifeless ever,
               Cast its phantom arms away,
             Nor look back but to learn the lesson
               Of a nobler strife to-day.
             The future has deeds of glory,
               Of honor—God grant it may!
             But your arm will never be stronger
               Or the need so great as to-day.
                                                 _A. A. P._

The Rev. Mr. Cave and the good Dr. Kerr, both devoted friends of Tudor
Hereward, had promised him to leave nothing untried that might lead to a
clew to trace the fate of the missing women. For—to reach the truth more
promptly and effectually—it was deemed highly important to institute an
exhaustive investigation into the movements of both the lost ones, from
the day of their disappearance.

One of them lay in her grave, in the village church-yard; and the other
had vanished.

But which was the dead and which was the living, no human being at
Frosthill could prove.

The negroes and the neighbors had identified the body thrown up by the
spring flood from the bed of the creek and found in the ravine as that
of young Mrs. Tudor Hereward; but they had identified it only by the
clothing and by the long, black, curling hair—only by these; for
“decay’s effacing finger” had blotted out every feature beyond

And this held good for the truth until old Adah declared in the most
solemn manner her conviction that the remains were those of the poor
gypsy girl Lucille, giving strong reasons to support her statement.

Lucille was dressed in a suit of young Mrs. Hereward’s clothes, which
had been bestowed on her by that lady.

Lucille had left Adah’s hut that fatal night, in company with her
ruffian husband, with whom she had ventured to remonstrate on his
robbing the poor old woman of the goods sent her by Mrs. Hereward; and
they had gone away quarreling until they were out of hearing; soon after
which, and at about the time they might have reached the point where the
path through the woods passed over the bridge crossing the creek, a
piercing shriek rang through the air followed by another and another,
startling the bed-ridden old woman in the hut and filling her soul with

Then all was still as death.

Old Adah had not at that time suspected the man of killing his wife, but
only of beating her brutally, as he had been in the habit of doing.

Never until she heard of the body that had been found did she think of

Then, at the first opportunity, she had told her story and given her
opinion to the convalescent master of the Cliffs, who, in her judgment,
was entitled to the first information.

Tudor Hereward’s “wish” was certainly “father to the thought” when he
gave so ready a credence to old Adah’s story, and called his two oldest
and most faithful friends into counsel as to the best means of
ascertaining the truth.

And they, without committing themselves to any positive opinion—for, in
such a case, they could have no just grounds for entertaining one—had
pledged their words to leave “no stone unturned” for discovering the

To do so, they knew that they must search for clews for both the missing

And they searched long, thoroughly, but fruitlessly, until near the end
of May.

They ascertained from the accounts of the ticket agent at Frosthill that
two passengers only had bought tickets for the midnight express on that
fatal 21st of March. One was a ruffianly young man, he—the agent—was
sure, but the other he could not describe at all.

Now who were those two passengers?

The uttermost efforts of our amateur detectives failed to discover. They
could find no one in the village or in the surrounding country who had
taken the train that night.

The “ruffianly young man” mentioned by the ticket agent was probably the
husband of the poor gypsy girl; but who was the other passenger? Was she
his wife, traveling with him, as they had set out from the hut to do, or
was it Lilith, who was a mere accidental fellow-passenger?

No one could tell.

And so the time passed in fruitless search and heart-sickening suspense,
until late in May, when one morning, as Dr. Kerr was seated in his
office, the door opened and a stranger entered.

The doctor, believing the visitor to be a patient, arose and offered him
a chair.

“Thank you, sir. I dare say you are surprised to see me, sir,” said the
man, as he seated himself, took off his hat and wiped his face.

“Not at all. Strangers sometimes honor me with a call,” blandly replied
the doctor.

“Yes, I know, for medical advice, with a fee in their hands, and then
they have a right to come, and you are glad to see them. But I don’t
want any medical advice whatever, and I haven’t brought any fee; and
that’s the reason why I am afraid you will think I am intruding.”

“Not at all, if I can serve you in any way,” politely replied the

“Yes, but you can’t even do that! I don’t stand in need of services.”

“Then will you kindly enlighten me as to the circumstance to which I am
indebted for this honor?” inquired the doctor, with a smile of

“Do you mean to ask what brought me here?”

“Yes, if you please.”

“Well, I don’t mind telling you. I should have to do it anyway, because
that is what I came for. My name is Carter, and I came from Maryland.”

“Yes?” smiled the doctor.

“And have been traveling through the country here looking for land.”

“Quite so, and you have found a great deal.”

“I mean, and to buy. I hear that land is very good and cheap about here
and the climate very healthy.”

“All quite true; but I fear I cannot help you in the least in that
matter. You had better take counsel with Lawyer Jordon, who acts as land
agent occasionally,” said the doctor.

“Did I ask you to help me? I told you first off that I didn’t want any

“Then what in the name of——”

“Sense have I come for?”

“Yes, if you please.”

“Why, I am telling you, man! Being in search of a suitable farm, I have
been traveling about these parts considerable. Last night I came here
and put up at ‘The Stag.’ Good house that!”

“Pretty good. Yes.”

“Well, I did hear of a rum case. The body of that young woman being
found, and there being a distressing doubt whether it be that of young
Mrs. Tudor Hereward, who disappeared from the neighborhood on the 21st
of last March, or that of a little gypsy tramp, who bore a great
personal resemblance to that lady, and who was suspected of having been
made way with by her ruffian of a husband!”

“Yes, yes,” eagerly exclaimed the doctor, all his listless indifference
vanished. “Yes! You have heard of that affair. You have been traveling
about in this region. Is it possible that you may be able to throw some
light on that dark subject?”

“I think I may; that is what has brought me here this morning. Perhaps I
ought to have gone out to the place they call the Cliffs to see Mr.
Tudor Hereward himself; but they told me it was a matter of six miles
from the village, and that perhaps I had better see you, as you were
interested; and so here I am.”

“I am very glad you did. Now tell me quickly what you have to tell, for
I am extremely anxious to hear,” said the doctor, eagerly.

“Wait a bit! Let us see how the land lies first. You say young Mrs.
Hereward and the gypsy girl looked alike?”

“In size, figure, and the unusual length and beauty of their hair—yes!”

“And that both disappeared from the neighborhood the same night. At
least so I heard from the talk at the Stag.”

“It was true.”

“And a young woman’s body was found near the creek a month afterwards?”


“But so far gone that it could not be identified except by the


“And that clothing was recognized as having been young Mrs. Hereward’s?”


“And that proved to the coroner’s jury the body to be also young Mrs.


“Until a certain old woman comes with a tale that young Mrs. Hereward
gave those clothes to the gypsy girl?”

“You have a correct account.”

“And so the doubt remains, which of the two missing women was killed and
thrown into the creek, and which levanted from the neighborhood?”

“Yes, that is the situation at present. Can you help us to clear up the
doubt?” anxiously inquired the doctor.

“Well, I rather reckon I can clear it up pretty decidedly, if not

“What do you mean? Speak!”

“You were much interested in young Mrs. Hereward?”

“I was very much attached to her, having known her from her infancy.”

“Then I am afraid I am going to grieve you. I am indeed,” said the man,
gravely and hesitatingly.

“Oh, what do you mean?”

“It was that young gypsy girl who took the train at Frosthill at
midnight of March 21st,” said Carter, in a low tone.

The doctor stared gravely for a moment, and then inquired:

“How do you know this?”

“Because I was on that very same train, and sat in that very same car
along with her.”

“Man! Is this undoubtedly true?” demanded the doctor.

“Well, I will tell you all about it, and then you will see that it is
true. I took the train at Westbourne and traveled on until we got to
Frosthill, which it reached at midnight, and where it stopped for one
minute. Two passengers got on—a young man who looked like a young devil,
saving your presence, he had such a dark, scowling, lowering face. He
was clothed in a rough overcoat, and had his hands thrust into his
pockets, and never offered the least assistance to the young woman, who
came creeping and cowering behind him. I couldn’t help but notice them
both, and saw at a glance that they were man and wife, and that they had
had a row, in which the woman, of course, had come off second best. He
looked so wicked and sullen, and she so frightened and broken-hearted.
He just threw himself into a seat, and stretched out his legs over the
top of another one; and she slunk away into a corner, and turned her
face to the wall, and cried fit to break her heart. And he never took
any more notice of her than if she had been a dog. I wanted to kick him
all around the car. There was plenty of room to do it, too, because
there weren’t a half a dozen people in that car, all told. I got out at
Snowden, about twenty miles farther on, where I stopped over a day to
look at a farm, and I never thought any more about that ruffian husband
and gypsy wife until I came here to Frosthill last night, and heard the
whole story of the mystery at the Stag. And then I thought I would tell
you what I had seen at the Frosthill station, at midnight, on the
twenty-first of March,” concluded the visitor.

“I thank you very much. Still, still, there may be ground for a faint
hope. How was this girl whom you saw in the man’s company dressed, do
you remember?” inquired the doctor, with increased uneasiness.

“Oh, yes; I remember quite well. She was clothed in a red suit, with
something dark about her head and shoulders. And Mrs. Hereward was in
deep mourning, they say, for her father.”

“Yes, she was,” said the doctor, as the faint hope died away. “And this
red suit,” he added, mentally, “was, of course, the very suit that she
used to wear before she went in mourning, and which, of course, she must
have given to the girl in preference—upon every account of economy and
fitness—to giving her a black one.”

While the doctor was turning these hopeless thoughts over in his mind
the visitor arose and said:

“Well, sir, I have told you all I came to tell, and now I must go. But I
shall be in this neighborhood for a few days longer, if anybody wants to
ask me any questions about this matter.”

The doctor also arose and said:

“I thank you, Mr. Carter, for the trouble you are taking, and shall,
perhaps, have occasion to see you again. You will be at the Stag?”

“Yes, mostly, for the rest of this week; but I shall be riding round a
good deal in the daytime, looking at land, but always at home—leastways
at the hotel—at night, and shall be glad to see you or any one you send.
Good-morning, sir.”

“Good-morning, Mr. Carter.”

And the visitor left.

The doctor sat ruminating over what he had heard for some time after he
had been left alone.

At length, when his office hours were over, instead of taking his
noontide meal and rest as a preparation for his afternoon round of
professional visits, he rang for his servant, ordered his horse, and
started on a ride to the Cliffs.

He did not go to the mansion house, but taking a narrow bridle path
through the woods to the creek, he crossed the little rustic bridge, and
drew up at the log hut in the thicket on the other side.

Here he dismounted, tied his horse to a tree, and went up to the door,
where he found old Adah sitting in the sun, and busy with her knitting.

“Well, auntie, how is the rheumatism to-day?” he inquired cheerfully, as
the old woman stood up and courtesied.

“T’anky, Marse Doctor, sah. Dis warm sun hab melted it all out’n my
bones. ’Deed it’s de trufe. Will you come inter de house, Marse Doctor,
or take a chair out yere?” she inquired, politely.

“I will stay out here,” replied the doctor, as he settled himself on a
little bench outside the door.

“Have anyfing been yeard ’bout po’ dee Miss Lilif, Marse Doctor?”
anxiously questioned old Adah.

“No. Not since the verdict of the coroner’s jury,” significantly replied
Dr. Kerr.

“Oh, Lor’, Marse Doctor, dat want nuffin. Dat hadn’ nuffin to do long ob
Miss Lilif. Dat war de gypsy gal wot war foun’ in dem woods, and war sot
on by dat jury. I done tole Marse Tudor Her’ward all bout dat a mont’
ago,” said old Adah, speaking with the utmost confidence.

“Yes; I have heard so from Mr. Hereward himself. I know all the evidence
you have brought forward in rebuttal of the evidence given before the
coroner. I would to Heaven it had been as conclusive as you thought. But
we will not go into that. I only wish to ask you a few questions.”

“Go on Marse Doctor. I’ll answer de trufe. I ain’t got no secrets from

“Well, then, did you see the clothing worn by the gypsy girl on the
night she left the hut in company with her husband?”

“Yes, Marse Doctor, I did. I yeard her say how Missis Her’ward had gib
it to her, an’ I seed her put it on, an’ tie her ole close—nuffin but
duds dey was—in a bundle.”

“What was the color of those clothes?”

“Dem wot she took off an’ tied into a bundle?”

“No, no; those given her by Mrs. Hereward.”

“Oh! dose as she wo’ ’way?”


“Wot was it yer ax me ’bout ’em, Marse Doctor?”

“I asked you what color they were?”

“Oh! Dey was sort o’ dark.”

“Dark red?”

“Now, dey mought o’ been. Or dey mought o’ been dark blue or dark black.
You see, Marse Doctor, it was sort o’ dark in de house, an’ it made
eberyfing look dark.”

“Had you no light?”

“Nuffin’ but a tallow dip—dat didn’ show much.”

“And you can’t be certain about the color of the clothing?”

“No, Marse Doctor; on’y it were dark. I sort o’ t’ought it were dark
black, but I dessay it were dark red, jes’ as you say.”

The doctor asked a few more questions, and then arose to depart. He put
a half dollar into the hand of the old woman, who thanked him heartily.
And then he remounted his horse and rode away along the same bridle-path
that led back through the thicket to the little bridge crossing the
creek, and by a circuit through the next woods up to the mansion house.

He found Tudor Hereward walking up and down on the front piazza. He had
convalesced so very slowly that he had not yet been strong enough to
take a ride.

Hereward dropped heavily into a chair as the doctor dismounted, threw
his bridle to Steve, who came up to take it, and walked up the steps.

“Any news, doctor?” anxiously inquired Mr. Hereward.

“Not a trace of Lilith yet. No, I did not come to bring news, but to
make a few investigations here in the house that may lead to something.”

“Very well, doctor; you have carte blanche. But what is the nature of
the investigation in this instance?” wearily inquired Hereward.

“Into the wardrobe of your wife, to see what is missing, and what is

Hereward sighed, as if he were very weary of a hopeless subject and then
faintly replied:

“Why, you know that has been done, thoroughly, and there is nothing
missing but the one black waterproof cloth suit that was found on the
body of that poor murdered gypsy girl.”

“And that was Lilith’s usual walking-dress when in the country, was it

“Yes, it was; but she gave it to that poor girl upon whose dead body it
was found.”

“She gave a suit; but you do not know that it was the waterproof suit
she gave. She would not have been likely to have given the suit that she
was in the habit of wearing, and that she could not very well do
without,” suggested the doctor.

“Ah! but she did give it. It was found on the body of the girl.”

“You still feel so sure that it was the body of the gypsy girl which was

“Yes, I do. Oh, doctor, why do you doubt it?” demanded Hereward, with
the fretful querulousness of an invalid.

“Because we cannot be sure until the other missing one is found. Until
the living one turns up we cannot prove who is the dead,” gravely
replied the physician.

“How much proof do you want? The dress that Lilith gave to the gypsy
girl was found on the dead body.”

“But you do not know that the black waterproof cloth was the dress that
was given by Lilith to the girl. I repeat, that it was not likely that
Lilith should have given away a suit that was so necessary to her own
comfort, when she might have given others.”

“But that is the only one missing from her wardrobe.”

“The only one missing from her wardrobe?”

“Yes. I have told you so twice before.”

“Then, if Lilith is living, what dress did she wear when she left home?”
significantly inquired the doctor.

Hereward started, turned paler than before, and stared fixedly at the
questioner. He had never asked himself that question. He stared, but did
not speak.

“Tudor, my dear boy, we must look facts in the face. And now I ask you,
was the discarded wardrobe of your wife examined when the investigation
was made?”

“The discarded wardrobe?” questioned Hereward, with a perplexed look.

“Yes; I mean the colored clothing that she left off and packed away when
she went into mourning for your father?”

“Of course it was not touched. She would not have been likely to wear
colored clothing in her deep mourning.”

“No, of course she would not. But she would have been very likely to
give that left-off colored clothing to the gypsy instead of the mourning
suit, which would have been unsuitable to the girl.”

Again Hereward started, changed color and gazed at the speaker, but
without uttering a word.

“Come, Hereward, let us send for Nancy and have her search through her
mistress’ left-off clothing, to see if any portion of it is missing.
Shall I ring?” inquired the doctor.

“If you—please,” faltered the young man, sinking back into his chair.

Dr. Kerr rang the door bell which was soon answered by Alick, who had
reinstated himself in his place as butler at the Cliffs, but who was
still a poor, broken-hearted old man, grieving for his young mistress,
and accusing himself of being her murderer.

“Go and tell Nancy to come here,” said Dr. Kerr.

Alick ducked his head and disappeared.

Nancy soon stood in his place.

“Aunty,” said the doctor, speaking for his young friend and patient, “I
wish you to open all Mrs. Hereward’s boxes of colored clothing, and
examine every article and find out if any be missing.”

“Berry well, sah,” said the woman, turning and going to do her errand.

The doctor followed her into the house, went to the corner buffet in
Lilith’s parlor, and took out a certain liqueur case, opened it, and
proceeded to mix a strong, restorative cordial, which he brought out and
placed on the stand beside Hereward’s chair, saying:

“Drink half of that now, Hereward, and leave the rest.”

The young man obeyed, and then, as he put down the half emptied glass,
he inquired:

“What is it that you expect to prove by this new search, doctor?”

“Wait and see, dear boy! I do not yet know what myself.”

About half an hour passed, and Nancy came downstairs.

“Well, auntie, have you missed anything?” inquired Dr. Kerr.

“Yes, Marse Doctor. Miss Lilif’s red cashmere dress, w’ich was her mos’
favorite home dress, an’ w’ich she wo’ de werry day ’fo’ she was marr’d,
an’ ’fo’ ole marse died, an’ nebber wored since den.”

“And are you sure it is gone?”

“Yes, Marse Doctor, sure, ’cause I knowed whey I packed it away, an’
nobody ebber went to dat trunk ’cept it was me an’ Miss Lilif.”

“And what do you think has become of it, Nancy?”

“Well, Marse Doctor, I s’pose as po’ dee Miss Lilif give it to dat po’
gal wot come beggin’. I know she did give her a bundle of close, ’caze I
helped dat gal to carry dat bundle t’rough de woods an’ ’cross de crik
to ole Aunt Adah’s house.”

“Did you see what was in the bundle, Nancy?”

“No, Marse Doctor, not I. I warn’t upstairs in Miss Lilif’s room w’en
she give ’way dem close, I war downsta’rs in de store room packing ob a
basket wid tea an’ sugar, an’ bread, an’ meat, an’ fings, to tote to po’
ole Aunt Adah, ’cordin’ to Miss Lilif’s orders, an’ I nebber seen dat
bundle till dat gal fotch it downsta’rs, an’ I nebber seen wot war
inside ob it; but de gal tell me, as I went along wid her, how de young
madame had gib her a good dress, an’ dat it must a been dat red cashmere
dress wot de young mist’ess couldn’ wear herse’f, ’stead of bein’ de
black mournin’ dress wot she could wear; let alone de fac’ dat de young
gal wouldn’t a-liked to ’cepted a mournin’ dress, not bein’ in no
mournin’. It wouldn’t a been lucky.”

“You are right,” said the doctor. “It was the red cashmere dress that
Mrs. Hereward gave to the girl, and that the girl wore when she left the
neighborhood that night.”

“Oh, most merciful Heaven, doctor! Do you mean to knock from under me
the last prop of hope that sustains me?” groaned Hereward, sinking back
pale and faint as any woman might have looked at such a crisis.

“Hush, Tudor! Drink this,” said Dr. Kerr, placing the glass of
restorative cordial to his lips.

Hereward emptied the glass, and the doctor set it down, and continued:

“I deprive you of no real hope, Tudor, but of a false hope which,
instead of being a prop to support you, is a burden that is wearing you
out with anxiety. The sooner you give up all hope the sooner you will be
able to resign yourself to the inevitable and find peace and rest for
your spirit.”

“But I cannot! I cannot resign all hope! I cannot!” passionately
exclaimed the young man.

“Listen to me further. Hear all that I have to say and you must do so,”
gravely and tenderly replied the doctor.

“What have you to tell me now? You said you had no news to bring me of
Lilith. You said so when you first came in and I asked you the

“And I spoke the truth,” patiently replied the old man. “I had no news
of Lilith. But I had news of the gypsy girl, which—ah me!—leaves me no
doubt as to whose remains they were that were found in the woods.”

“Oh, Heaven! Oh, Heaven!” groaned Hereward. “But tell me all! I can bear
it! Yes, I can bear it!”

“There is a man by the name of Carter now stopping at the Stag, who was
in the train at midnight of March 21st, when the strolling player and
his gypsy wife got on board. He was a sullen ruffian in coarse clothing.
She a pretty, dark-eyed gypsy, with black hair, and she was dressed in a
red suit, with something dark about her head and shoulders. They were
the only people who got in that train at Frosthill. They had been
quarreling, and the man had a scowling, ferocious look, while the woman
seemed terrified and broken-hearted. Does not this coincide perfectly
with all that we have heard about the poor girl and her ruffianly
companion?” gently inquired the doctor.

Hereward replied only by a groan.

“Come, Tudor! I must take you upstairs. You must lie down, and I will
send Cave to you,” said the doctor, with gentle firmness.

But it was with considerable difficulty that the doctor finally
prevailed on his deeply stricken patient to seek the rest and retirement
of his own chamber.

Then Dr. Kerr, leaving Nancy in charge of the sick-room, went
downstairs, got into his saddle and rode off, dinnerless, to make a
round of professional visits on a circuit of at least thirty miles. It
was very late in the afternoon when he finally reached Frosthill.

Even then, before going home, he stopped at the rectory and had half an
hour’s interview with the Rev. Mr. Cave, in which he told the latter of
all the news he had received and all the discoveries he had made
concerning the fate of Lilith, during the day. He ended by asking the
rector to go with him to the Stag to see and question Carter.

Mr. Cave put on his hat and walked with Dr. Kerr the short distance that
lay between the rectory and the hotel.

They found Carter smoking in the little reading-room. He willingly
accompanied the gentlemen to the parlor, at their request, and closeted
there, he readily answered every question put to him, but, after all,
they elicited nothing more than had been told to the doctor that

At the end of the interview they thanked Carter and took leave of him.

“And, after all,” sighed Mr. Cave, “the verdict of the coroner’s jury
was right.”

“Yes,” assented the doctor, “it was right! And now I do not think we
have far to look for the dastardly murderer of Lilith Hereward.”

“Whom do you suspect?” inquired the rector, in a low, awe-stricken

“The ruffian husband of the gypsy girl who was on the creek the same
night of her death.”

                               CHAPTER IV
                           A STARTLING VISIT

Early next morning Mr. Cave, in accordance with the request of Dr. Kerr,
went to the Cliffs to spend the day with Tudor Hereward. He found the
young man too ill to leave his room, seated in a reclining-chair near
the open window.

The effects of alternate hope and fear ending at last in despair
deepened by remorse.

Mr. Cave sat down beside him and essayed to comfort him; but he did not
succeed. Loss, sorrow and disappointment may be consoled, but remorse
and despair are beyond comfort.

“The truest, gentlest, fondest child that ever blessed man I drove out
that bitter night to meet her cruel death! It is that which is killing
me,” he said, in reply to Mr. Cave’s well meant efforts to rouse and
cheer him.

“You are morbid, Hereward. You are too severe on yourself. You are not
rational and consistent. You should remember, my dear friend, you did
not mean to drive her away.”

“Ah, but the taunting, insulting, unpardonable words I hurled at her,
heaped upon her head, overwhelming her—no true woman could have borne
them! If she had been the creature I suspected and accused her of being,
she might have borne them and remained here for profit; but Lilith had
no alternative but to leave the house! And I drove her from it as surely
as if I had taken her by the shoulders and put her out and turned the
key against her!”

“I do not think you should consider it in that light. Besides, for the
words you used, you would do wisely to remember now the provocation you
received,” gravely suggested Mr. Cave.

“Not from her! Not from Lilith! She was ever true, meek, gentle and
wonderfully self-controlled for a being so young. No! I never received
provocation from that child,” said Hereward, with a deep sigh.

“Then from false appearances!—false appearances which would have driven
a much older and wiser man than you quite beside himself.”

“But against which I should have set Lilith’s life and character then—as
I do now. No, Mr. Cave, you need not talk to me of comfort. I will not
receive it!”

“Ah, Tudor, you hug, cherish, and cultivate your sorrow.”

“Not my sorrow! Sorrow is a matter of time, and it may be consoled. But
remorse is a thing of eternity, never to be comforted.”

“You seem to nourish this remorse as a matter of duty and conscience.”

“Yes, I do. I will not take comfort.”

“Tudor, my dear boy, there never was a case of insanity in either branch
of your family. Their brains were too strong and too well balanced, else
I should fear for you. But at any rate you really must go away from this
place,” said the minister, very earnestly.

“Well, and if I should, it would be only to wander over the earth as
aimlessly and drearily as the legendary Jew,” replied the young man.

Mr. Cave remained with him until nearly dark, and then went away,
promising to come and see the solitary mourner in a very few days.

The next morning the invalid, with the assistance of the two
men-servants, got downstairs and into the front piazza, where he sat in
his favorite reclining-chair, with a little stand beside him.

He was still sitting there alone, gazing vacantly out upon the lovely
summer scene of mountain, valley, woods and waters spread out before
him, when the sound of a strange footstep, a firm and ringing footstep,
fell upon his ear.

In another moment the figure of a young man, dressed as a gentleman,
emerged from the footpath through the alder bushes, and came into view.

In that moment, with a start of surprise, Hereward recognized the form
and face of Mr. Alfred Ancillon.

The young wanderer came up the steps, and standing in front of the pale
and fainting invalid, took off his hat, and in a stern voice demanded—as
if he had the most sacred right to demand:

“Tudor Hereward! Where is Lilith?”

“Lilith! How dare you utter that name!—the name of the lady whose
destruction you have compassed?” faintly yet indignantly demanded

“No! not I, sir! I never wounded her by a word! I never wronged her by a
thought! Your senseless jealousy has wrought all this ruin! Only ten
days ago, in the remote Southwestern town where I was fulfilling an
engagement, did I happen to pick up an old copy of the New York
_Pursuivant_, and read the account of her dead body having been found
three weeks after she had disappeared from her home! I threw up my
engagement and came here with all speed, for well I guessed that you,
and you only, had the secret of her disappearance and her death.
For—‘Jealousy is as cruel as the grave!’”

“Had I no just cause for jealousy?” demanded Hereward, thrown upon his
defence, trembling with weakness and scarcely conscious of having
instinctively put the question.

“No!—as the Lord is my judge and yours! A better, truer, purer woman
than Lilith never lived! A holier tie than that which bound us never
united man and woman!” retorted Ancillon. “Utterly blameless, though
reckless folly and egotism, if not even insanity, placed her in a false
position, created false appearances about her. But should all this have
led you to suspect Lilith? Lilith, who was brought up at your good, wise
father’s feet, and by your side? Lilith, who was so carefully trained in
all wisdom and goodness? Lilith, whose religious and self-sacrificing
spirit you knew so well? Should any false appearances have shadowed the
brightness of Lilith’s image in your eyes?”

“Man! Hold your peace! I am passing from earth, soon to meet Lilith in
the better world, if repentance and faith can take me there. I wish not
to quarrel with you now!”

“I will not hold my peace! I came here to ask you—Where is Lilith?”

“And you ask it in the tone in which the minister reads the question:
‘Cain, where is thy brother Abel?’ Lilith is in her grave,” moaned

“Yes, she is. And you have put her there. You have as surely murdered
your young wife as if you had plunged a sword through her bosom, like
that black brute, Othello, whom I never could consider a ‘noble’ Moor,
and never would personate to please anybody. Othello, when he found out
his mistake, had the decency to kill himself—the only decent thing he
ever did do! But you, Tudor Hereward—the law cannot hang you for driving
your young wife out to death. Why have you not had the manhood to hang

“Man, spare your reproaches! I am passing from earth, and if repentance
and faith avail me, going to that other world, where I shall receive my
dear one’s forgiveness. You may spare your reproaches, as indeed I do
not know how, or by what right, you, of all men, dare to make them,”
said Hereward, with more dignity than he had hitherto shown.

“I speak by the most sacred right that a man could have to speak,”
solemnly replied Ancillon.

“What are you to Lilith, or what was Lilith to you? A man may not know
all his wife’s relations. You may be of Lilith’s kindred—and, indeed, I
notice a likeness between your faces—but you cannot be of very near

“No?” queried Ancillon, with a wistful look.

“No!” repeated Hereward, with more emphasis than he had yet used in
speaking—“No! for you are not her brother. I knew her father and mother;
they were young people just married a year when Lilith was born. She was
not only their first, but their only child. The father—ah me!—lost his
life while rescuing me from drowning, a few days before Lilith was born.
Her mother, shocked to death by the sudden bereavement, gave birth to
her child and died. My father took the infant orphan from beside the
dead mother, and brought her home to be his own adopted daughter. So
that Lilith was an only child, and you could not be her brother.”

“No, I am not her brother,” assented Ancillon, with the same wistful

“And if you are merely her cousin, or even her uncle, the relationship
in either case would not give you the right to take such liberties with
her name and memory as you have taken, and are taking now.”

“But I am not either her uncle or her cousin,” said Ancillon, with the
same inscrutable look.

“Then, in the name of Heaven, man! what are you, that you have dared to
do as you have done?” demanded Hereward, with an excitement for which he
was to pay in a dangerous reaction and depression.

“Mr. Hereward,” said Ancillon, with more gravity than he had lately
exhibited, “I came here not only to ask that question which first I put
to your conscience, but also to place in your possession a secret that I
have hitherto guarded with the most jealous care, not only for my own
sake, but even for yours, and most of all, for Lilith’s, that no sorrow
should come to her gentle heart, no reproach to her spotless name; but
now that she is gone I care not at all what doom may fall upon me, or
what shame may confuse you.”

Ancillon paused and smiled grimly.

“Speak, man! Speak, man—speak! What is it you would tell me?” demanded
Hereward, trembling with agitation.

“I would tell you nothing!”


“Nothing; for you might not believe my words. But I will give the means
of discovering my secret for yourself—of learning my story, and proving
its truth beyond all doubt,” gravely replied Ancillon.

“Well? Well? Well?”

“Do you happen to know of an old trunk, the property of Lilith’s
parents, filled with family relics and correspondence, bundles of yellow
letters, photographs, trinkets, prayer-books, Bibles, old diaries,
newspapers, pamphlets, and other rubbish? Do you happen to know of such
a depository?”

“I think I do,” said Hereward, reflectingly. “Yes; I am sure I do,” he
added, confidently.

“It seems to have been packed and preserved by your father’s orders,
after the death of Lilith’s mother and for the possible pleasure or
benefit of Lilith’s after life. Ah, dear! It was anything but a pleasure
or a benefit to the poor child. It was never opened from the day it was
packed until the day after your father’s funeral, when you had gone to
Washington, leaving Lilith alone in this old house. Then, she having
received the key of the trunk for the first time, as a legacy from your
father, sent for the trunk and opened it. And then she learned the dire
secret of her family, even before she ever saw my face. It was an
accident that brought me to the Cliffs, that night, Mr. Hereward.”

“I heard that it was—the storm——”

“Not so. The storm kept me at the Cliffs, but did not bring me here. I
was a guest at Rushmore, and at the supper table chanced to hear, in the
gossip of the ladies, the story of Lilith Wyvil’s adoption and marriage.
To me it was a revelation. I determined to see her. I did so, and was
storm-bound for a week at the Cliffs.”


“That trunk, Mr. Hereward, is at your disposal. All necessary
information can be found within it. Seek and know and prove it, all for
yourself! When you have done so, you may deliver me over to the British
authorities as a fugitive from justice and send me back to England,
under your favorite extradition treaty—to penal servitude for life! I
care not one farthing now that Lilith is gone!”

“Man! Man! in Heaven’s name, who and what are you?” demanded Hereward,
pale and shaking with emotion.

“I am known to the British police authorities as John Weston, the mail
robber; to the keepers of Portland prison, Z. 789; to the play-going
public as Mr. Alfred Ancillon, tragedian, comedian, tenor and athlete;
in diplomatic circles in Washington as Señor Zuniga, nephew of the P——
Minister; but to Lilith I was known by another name, and in a sweeter
relation. There! I have said and done all for which I came here. I am
going now. Good-bye! I shall be at the Antler’s in Frosthill all this
week, waiting your pleasure;” and the visitor put on his hat and walked
off by the way through which he had come.

He had seen Mr. Hereward drop back in his chair; but neither knew nor,
if he had known, would have cared that the invalid had fallen into a
deep swoon.

In this condition Dr. Kerr found him a few minutes later.

After using prompt means for his recovery, and seeing him open his eyes
and breathe again, the doctor made him swallow a cordial, and then asked
him what had caused his swoon.

“Weakness, I suppose,” evasively answered the invalid.

The doctor took him into the cool, shady drawing-room and made him lie
down on the sofa.

And then, when his strength was somewhat restored by the cordial he had
swallowed, the doctor produced a large envelope with an official stamp,
and said:

“I brought this from the post-office for you. I hope it may contain good
news that will rouse you up.”

Hereward thanked the doctor, and, without lifting his head from the sofa
pillow, opened the long envelope and took out a letter partly in print
and partly in writing. His pale face flushed a little as he read the
paper, and he passed it over to Dr. Kerr, saying:

“You see it is a letter announcing my appointment as secretary of
legation to the new embassy to the court of ——, and requiring me, in the
event of my accepting the mission, to be ready to sail with the party by
the Kron Prinz, on the first of June.”

“And you will accept it, Hereward? The sea voyage and the change will be
so good for you.”

“Yes, I shall accept it.”

                               CHAPTER V
                            LILITH’S FLIGHT

            Do you think, because you fail me
              And draw back your hand to-day,
            That from out the heart I gave you
              My strong love can fade away?
            It will live. No eyes may see it;
              In my soul it will lie deep,
            Hidden from all; but I shall feel it
              Often stirring in its sleep.
            So remember that the true love,
              Which you now think poor and vain,
            Will endure in hope and patience
              Till you ask for it again.
                                            _A. A. Proctor._

When Lilith left the presence of her husband on that fatal night of
their parting, her mind and heart were in a whirl of confusion and

He had accused her of unspeakable, of incomprehensible evil! He had
repudiated her! He had told her that in a few hours he should leave that
house—his patrimonial home—never to return to it while she should
“desecrate it by her presence.”

Her love was wounded to the quick! Her pride was trampled in the dust.

What remained for her to do?

First of all to leave the house which he declared that she “desecrated
with her presence.”

Yes, that was the first and the most urgent duty that she owed to him
who had repudiated her and to herself, and her own honor and
self-respect as well.

It was good to know what first to do. It saved useless brooding and loss
of time.

As soon as she reached her room, therefore, she locked the door to
secure herself from interruption, and then she began to prepare for her

For she determined to go at once and to take with her nothing, no, not
the smallest trifle, that Hereward had ever given her.

So she took off the deep mourning dress that had been one of Hereward’s
first gifts, hung it up in the wardrobe, and replaced it with a crimson
cashmere, the gift of his father, which since Major Hereward’s death had
been packed away with other clothing, left off when she first went into

From the same depository she took a gray beaver cloth coat, a gray felt
hat, gray barege vail and a pair of gray gloves. These she laid out upon
the bed.

Next she took from her casket the few jewels given her by her
foster-father, and the few hundred dollars she had saved from the
liberal allowance Major Hereward had made her during his life. All
these, together with her comb and brushes, a few pocket-handkerchiefs,
and a single change of underclothing, she packed into a hand-bag.

When her small preparations were all complete, it seemed to require a
painful wrench to tear herself away.

Her husband had outraged and repudiated her indeed; yet she felt that
she could not leave the house without writing to him a few words of
farewell. She meant to write only a very few words, not half a dozen
lines in all, only enough to remind him that she went not of her own
will, but by his will.

Yet, when she sat down at the table and commenced her letter, a flood of
thought and feeling bore her impetuously onward to a fuller utterance,
and she poured forth her soul in that touching, pathetic, yet dignified
letter that he afterwards found upon her dressing-table, and which,
after perusal, and with reckless anger, he committed to the flames.

When she had finished her task, sealed her letter, and pinned it to the
pin-cushion where he could not fail to find it, she put on her gray
beaver coat, hat, vail and gloves, took up her hand-bag and left the

She paused for a moment in the upper hall, and looked over the balusters
to see if any one were in sight or hearing below.

But there was no one. The coast was clear. There was no danger of

So Lilith went softly down the stairs, opened the hall door and passed
out into the night.

The sky was clear and the stars were shining brightly down on the
snow-covered earth.

All the servants, horses and carriages attached to the place were at the
young mistress’ order; but she chose to avail herself of none of them.
She would walk to the railway station. The clear, starlit sky and the
snow-white earth rendered her road light enough for convenience. As for
danger, there was none of any sort. No act of violence had ever been
known to occur in that primitive, rural neighborhood, which might almost
have been called Arcadian in its simplicity and innocence. She knew that
she could easily walk the six miles in two hours and catch the ten
o’clock train. So she walked bravely on until she came to the outer
gate. Just as she was in the act of opening it she was startled by a
rushing sound behind her, and turning, saw Lion, the large Newfoundland
dog, at her side, evidently bent on following her.

“Yes, good dog. Good, good dog, you shall go! And then if there could be
any danger you would guard me with your life. Wouldn’t you, good dog?”

Lion assured his mistress, in much eloquent pantomime, that he was her
own devoted dog and would die for her if necessary.

Lilith went on, the dog trotting by her side, over the stubble fields,
into the dense forest, out again, through the narrow mountain pass, out
again into the fields, and finally in sight of the lights at the railway

Here Lilith stopped to draw the vail more closely around her face, for
she did not wish to be recognized by any acquaintance who might ask her
questions. Here, too, she must part with her dog. It would not be well
to take him with her to the railway station, either for her sake or for
his own. So she must send him home; but she wished to part pleasantly
with her fourfooted friend—not to drive him away from her, but to send
him on an errand for her; so she opened her hand-bag and took off a
paper which had been wrapped around her brushes, breathed into the
paper, rolled it up to a convenient size and gave it to the dog, putting
it between his jaws, patting him on the head, turning him with his nose
towards the Cliffs, and saying:

“Good dog! Good dog! Good fellow! Carry it home! Carry it home!”

And Lion, delighted at having an important commission to execute, set
off at a run.

Lilith dashed a tear from her eye and hurried on to the railway station.
There was not a soul there except the ticket agent and a rough-looking

Lilith knew exactly the price of a ticket to Baltimore, and had her
change ready. She went into the musty office, pushed the money on the
ledge of the ticket window, and said, from behind her vail:

“One, to Baltimore.”

The agent, behind the partition, drew in the money and pushed out the
ticket, without seeing or caring to see whether the passenger standing
aside in the shadow were man, woman or child, but taking a man for

Lilith got on the train while the railway porters were throwing off and
throwing on mail bags, and by the time she had dropped into her seat,
midway in a nearly empty car, the train started again.

The car was but dimly lighted, and there were but five other passengers
in it besides Lilith. They were all strangers to her—probably country
merchants on their way to the Eastern cities to buy their Spring
goods—mostly clothed in heavy gray overcoats, with their hats pulled low
over their foreheads, and their hands thrust into their pockets. They
seemed more inclined to doze than to talk, and seldom spoke, except to
remark how very cold the weather was, opine that the mercury was at
zero, and declared that such a thing had never occurred in that
neighborhood so late in March within the memory of man.

And then they hugged their overcoats more closely around them, pulled
their hats down lower, and relapsed into silence and dozing.

Lilith, now that the hurry and excitement of her sudden departure was
over, and she was seated in the car, with nothing to do, suffered a
natural reaction into depression and great discouragement.

What was before her? Whither should she go? What could she do? What was
to be her future life? Who were to be her future friends or companions?
She was leaving her old familiar home, leaving all the friends of her
youth, going among perfect strangers, without one single letter of
introduction to any one. What would be the end?

Had she done right to take the responsibility of her future into her own
young, inexperienced hands? Would it not have been better to have borne
the reproach and humiliation she suffered at Cloud Cliffs, and to have
remained there and patiently waited for events? She would at least have
been safe.

But in answer to these thoughts came the memory of her husband’s cruel
words hissed into her ears:

“In a few hours I shall leave here—leave my father’s house—never to
return to it while you desecrate it with your presence.”

And she felt that it was better to go out into the bitter world of
strangers than to lose the last remnant of her self-respect by remaining
in the home which her husband had scornfully declared that her presence

Then Lilith broke down for the first time since that crushing blow, and
wept bitterly though silently behind her vail.

Her fellow-passengers did not seem to notice the weeping, or even if
they did, they probably thought her tears were only caused by some
ordinary parting with friends, a mere matter of course, too trifling to
cause remark or sympathy.

The motion of the cars often has a soporific effect upon passengers, and
especially upon a woman traveling alone and at night. So it came to pass
that Lilith, poor, tired child that she was, cried herself to sleep, and
slept soundly, rocked by the swift, smooth motion of the train.

She dreamed a very vivid dream, that seemed a very graphic reality. In
her dream her husband was seated by her side, and they were traveling to
Washington together. Her promise of secrecy had been canceled, and her
tongue had been loosed in some strange way, possible only in dreams, and
she was telling him, with her head upon his bosom and her arms around
his neck, the wonderful story of her parents’ youthful life and love and
sorrow, and the true story of her own birth.

And he, holding her in his arms, pressed her to his heart, was listening
with such affection, sympathy and admiration. He was saying so

“And you, my brave little darling, you have borne all this
misconstruction, all this humiliation, rather than betray your trust.
But I love you more than ever for all that you have borne and suffered,
my Lilith.”

A shock startled Lilith out of her deep sleep and dispelled her
beautiful dream.

What was this? Where was she?

On the train, indeed—on the train, that had just stopped at a crowded
junction and taken on additional cars, which had joined with a shock
that waked her. But——

Where was Tudor?

Not seated by her side, certainly. Not even gone out to stretch his
limbs. Ah, no! he had vanished with the dream.

Again her eyes overflowed with tears, and she sat back in her seat and
wept bitterly in the loneliness and desolation of her heart. She missed
the Tudor of her lovely dream. She longed for him with an infinite,
agonized longing. She felt an almost irresistible impulse to leave the
cars at that junction, and take the next train to her home, where she
could arrive by morning—where she could throw herself upon her husband’s
mercy and remain in peace.

But then again the memory of his cruel words pierced her through the
heart, and left her helpless—wounded to the death, as it were. Those
words were ringing through her spirit:

“No; I thank Heaven that I never loved you! I married you only to please
my father! I never loved you! That dishonor has been spared me! In a few
hours I shall leave this house—my father’s house—never to return while
your presence desecrates it!”

Oh, no! With the sound of these degrading words still reverberating
through her soul, she could not go back any more than she could have
remained when she was there.

The car was now filled with passengers, and even the seat by her side
was taken by a fat woman with an immense bundle in her lap, who crowded
Lilith close against the side. She turned towards the window, drew her
thick vail closer over her face, and wept silently but bitterly until
once more overtasked nature yielded to weariness and to the smooth,
swift, soothing motion of the train, and she slept; this time a
dreamless sleep, that lasted until the train ran into the Baltimore

It was now six o’clock, and the eastern horizon was flushed with the
coming sun.

Lilith awoke to find the train at a standstill, and all the passengers
in motion. She roused her stupefied faculties and realized that she was
at Baltimore, and that she wished to continue her journey to New York.

She arose and took up her hand-bag and left the car, went to the ticket
office and inquired when the next train would leave for New York.

“At six-fifteen,” the busy agent replied.

Lilith glanced at the large station clock. It was now five minutes past
six. She bought her ticket, got a cup of coffee at the refreshment
counter, and then followed the throng who were crowding through the
gates to get on the New York train.

She got a corner chair on a Pullman car, wheeled it around towards the
window, so that her back would be turned to her fellow-passengers, and
gave herself up to thought.

She had been driven from her home in dishonor, and her flight and the
letter she had left behind had cut off all retreat, and made a voluntary
return impossible.

What were they doing at Cloud Cliffs this morning? Her husband had not
probably received her letter until this morning, because he had not, she
thought, entered her room during the night.

What would he think of her letter? How would it affect him?

She could not conjecture, especially as she could not remember what she
had written, in the white heat of her emotions, when about to leave him,
perhaps forever.

And old Nancy! What would she think of this sudden flight? Would Nancy
be very sorry for her? And the other domestics, who had known and loved
her from her babyhood—would they care?

Oh, yes, indeed, she felt and knew that all the servants, old and young,
would grieve for her, and all the animals would miss her.

Then Lilith fell to weeping again at the thought of all human and brute
that she had loved so well, and yet had left, perhaps forever.

Her paroxysm of tears exhausted itself, but her distressing thoughts

What would the neighbors think or say about her disappearance? They
would certainly ask a great many questions. Country people always do.
They would question and cross-question Mr. Hereward.

How would he answer them? Would he tell them the truth, or would he
evade inquiry? And oh, above all, would he, could he, be any happier now
that she was gone? Would he not sometimes remember how much she had
loved him? How hard she had tried to please him? How diligently she had
worked to help him, answering his letters, copying his speeches,
searching out his authorities, and through all this secretary work
keeping his one room in the attic of the crowded hotel neat, bright and
attractive, and always taking such pure delight in being useful to him?
Would Tudor remember these things, and think more kindly of her?

Ah, no! for he did not love her; he had told her so, and thanked the
Lord that he did not love her! So all that she had tried to do had
failed to please him.

Again the child Lilith wept as if her heart were breaking; and there was
no one to comfort her.

                               CHAPTER VI
                           LILITH’S FIDELITY

Lilith sat in one corner of the Pullman car, with her chair wheeled
around, her shoulders to all her fellow-passengers, and her face
fronting the large mirror on the wall. She sat quite still, and wept

Now there happened to be in the same car a lady who, in this year of
grace 1882, might be called a Benevolent Crank; but the term had not
been invented in her time. She was a large, rosy-cheeked, handsome
matron, of perhaps fifty years, of the class called “motherly;” with
such an exuberance of life, health, vitality and happiness as rendered
her kindly affectioned, sympathetic and confiding towards every

She had got on the train at Baltimore and had ever since been sitting in
the opposite corner to Lilith; not with her chair wheeled away from her
fellow-passengers, but fronting them all as fellow-beings in whom she
took a friendly interest, and looking with her kindly, smiling face,
half shaded by the black plush bonnet, and her portly form wrapped in
her fur-lined cloak, the very picture of comfort, contentment and

She did not find much, however, in the seven men who shared the car to
interest her—every one of them the incarnation of “business” or
“politics,” as far as she could judge from physiognomies half hidden by
the large, open newspapers they were reading.

Next she turned her social attention on the only woman beside herself in
the car, and who sat in the opposite corner.

What she saw there was the red back of the chair, and a pair of pretty,
sloping shoulders, in a gray coat and a little, graceful, bowed head in
a gray hat and vail, and—the reflection from the mirror.

It was this last that attracted and fixed the attention of the lady. She
could not withdraw her eyes from the picture reflected there—a pale,
lovely child face, with soft brown eyes, suffused with tears, and
budding red lips, quivering with grief.

The lady watched this picture with growing interest and sympathy. Then
she turned her head around to look at the passengers to see if by any
sign she could judge whether any one of them could perhaps be the
father, or grandfather, or uncle, or other male protector of this lonely
and grieving child.

But no; she felt sure that they were all strangers to the little one.
Besides, two chairs behind hers were vacant.

Still she watched the weeping girl, but hesitated to address her; it was
such an unusual, such an unwarrantable thing to do, and the little lady
might not like to have a stranger intrude on her distress when to hide
it she had turned her back on the world—of the Pullman car—reasoned the
good woman, as she watched the woful picture, and sighed, and sighed and
watched, until she could scarcely sit still in her seat.

“Suppose it were my own dear Edith or Clara left alone in the world,
with no one to care for her, traveling alone, with no one to speak to
her? Oh, dear!”

She looked and saw pretty shoulders rising and falling with
half-suppressed sobs, and she could stand it no longer.

“I must go to her! I must, indeed! I can’t be like the swimmer who would
not rescue the drowning boy because he had never been introduced to his
father. I must go to that child even if she should take me for no better
than I ought to be and repulse me!”

So saying to herself, the good woman arose and left her chair and went
and took the chair next behind Lilith.

Laying her hand gently on the girl’s arm and speaking very tenderly and
deprecatingly, she said:

“My dear, you seem to be traveling alone, and——”

Lilith lifted her head with a startled look, and raised her soft brown
eyes inquiringly to the face of the speaker, thereby embarrassing the
good woman, who began all over again:

“You seem to be traveling all alone, my poor darling, and—and—and—you
don’t seem very well. Can I do anything for you, my dear?”

“Nothing, I thank you, ma’am. I thank you very much. You are very kind
to notice me,” said poor, solitary Lilith, in an unmistakably grateful

“My poor darling, I should have been a brute—and worse than a brute, for
brutes do have feelings—I should have been a stock or a stone, not to
have noticed you and not to have felt for you, and me the mother of
children of my own, too,” said the kind creature, ungrammatically, but
very affectionately.

“You are very good, ma’am, and I thank you very much.”

“I wish you would let me do something for you.”

“There is nothing to do, thank you—nothing,” sighed Lilith.

“Oh, yes, there is, plenty, plenty! Now I see you so pale and weak that
you are scarcely able to sit up, and if you are going to New York—— Are
you going so far?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Well, New York is a long way off yet, and you are not able to sit up
all the way. Now in the next compartment—a little compartment right
behind us—there is a sofa and two chairs, all unoccupied. Let me take
you in there, and you can lie on the sofa and I will sit in one of the
chairs and keep you company. Will you come? I will carry your bag.”

Lilith hesitated.

“Well, I declare,” said her new friend, “you look like the girl in the

                      ‘Half willing!—half afraid.’

But you have no cause to be afraid of me, my dear. I only wish to be a
help to you. I would not hurt a hair of your head,” said the good woman,

“Oh, indeed I am sure you would not. You are very, very kind. And I am
very thankful to you. I am not afraid of you, but of the conductor,”
said Lilith.

“Of the conductor!” exclaimed the lady, with surprise and then with a
laugh. “Why, on the face of the earth, should you be afraid of the
conductor, my child?”

“He might accuse us of trespassing, if we should go into that vacant
apartment, for which we have no tickets, and I don’t know what the law
for trespassing may be on the cars,” said Lilith.

“Well,” laughed the lady, “it is nothing very dreadful—it is not
hanging, nor penal servitude for life, nor even fine or imprisonment. It
is simply to be politely requested to vacate a position to which you
have no right in favor of some one who has a right—supposing such a one
should turn up. Otherwise you may keep the place to the end of the
journey. But if it would make you feel any better, I will speak to the
conductor next time he passes through the cars. I have traveled this
road so many times—how many you may know when I tell you that for the
last seven years I have had one daughter married in Brooklyn, one in
Jersey City, one in New York and one in Boston, and I spend nearly all
my time in going backwards and forwards between my home in Baltimore and
their homes. Think of it, my dear! There are four of them, and every one
of them has a baby every year. And I have to go on every time a baby is
expected, and then have to be there a month before the baby comes, and
stay a month afterwards. But, as I was saying, I have traveled this road
so frequently that I know all the conductors, and I like the one on this
train better than any of them; for there is nothing in the line of his
duty that he would not do for me, or for any woman.”

“Are you going on now to meet an expected little grandchild?” inquired
Lilith, who, child-like, had ceased to weep when she became interested
in something else besides her sorrows.

“Oh, no, not exactly now; though there will be such a harvest of them
between this and Christmas that it will be hardly worth while for me to
go back home this year. Eh, me! Ponsonby might as well be a full
widower, for he has been a grass-widower most of the time since our
girls have been married. True, the two youngest girls—Edith and
Clara—are at home, and they keep house for their father while I am away.
But you were asking me about the cause of my journey. It isn’t a baby
this time; it is a wedding. My Boston son-in-law’s sister, who lives
with him, is going to be married on Thursday, and all the family
connections are to meet at his house. I and my three other married
daughters are to go on to-morrow morning. I shall stay at my son-in-law
Saxony’s house to-night. Here comes the conductor. Mr. P——,” she said,
turning to that officer, “this young lady is not well. Is there any
objection to my taking her into that vacant compartment where she can
lie on the sofa?”

“No objection at all, Mrs. Ponsonby; the compartment is not engaged,”
replied the polite conductor.

The lady arose and gave her arm to Lilith and took her to the sofa,
where the exhausted girl was glad to lie down. Then she returned for her
own and Lilith’s light luggage, which she transferred to the new seats.

As the conductor passed through the drawing-room car on his return, a
stout passenger with iron-gray hair, who had sat three seats off from
Lilith and her friend, on the opposite side of the car, and had watched
the interview between the woman and the girl, and had heard as much or
as little of their conversation as their low tones would permit, and had
formed his own opinions on the subject—beckoned the officer to approach,
and looking solemnly over the top of his spectacles said, impressively:

“Conductor, I want you to keep an eye on that pair who have just gone
into the next compartment. That young girl is traveling alone. That
stout woman first accosted her. She has some evil designs on that girl,
I am sure of it! Robbery or worse! She has every opportunity to
chloroform and rob the girl, or to drug her and take her away for
something worse!”

“All right, sir! I know the old party! She is Mrs. Ponsonby, of
Baltimore. And she will be met at the depot by her son-in-law, Mr.
Saxony, of Number —— Street,” replied the amused officer.

“Oh, very well, if that is so! But her extraordinary proceedings of
accosting a strange young lady in the cars very reasonably aroused my
suspicions. I am glad it is no worse,” said the Detective Crank, in a
tone of disappointment that illy accorded with his words.

In the meantime, Lilith reposed on the sofa and her new friend sat by
her side and chatted to cheer her up.

With a rare delicacy she refrained from asking Lilith any questions as
to the cause of that distress which had drawn the good woman to the
girl’s side, until they were drawing near to New York. Then she

“Is there any one to meet you at Jersey City, my dear?”

“No, no one,” answered Lilith.

“Nor any one the other side?”

“No, no one is to meet me anywhere,” said the desolate girl.

“My dear child! Some one ought to meet you! It is not right or safe for
a young girl traveling alone to enter a city at nightfall, with no one
to meet her! But I suppose you know exactly the number and street of the
people you are going to see,” said the good and sorely troubled woman.

“I am going to no house. I have no friends or even acquaintances in the
city,” said Lilith.

“Then why on the face of the earth have you come here, my poor child?”
inquired Mrs. Ponsonby, in surprise and distress.

Lilith, like the baby into whose state she sometimes relapsed, burst
into tears, covered her face with her hands and wept bitterly.

“Now what have I done? Now what is the matter? Oh! what is the matter?
Tell me, my dear. I am very sorry for you. I will help you all I can.
Indeed I will, for Edith and Clara’s sake,” said Mrs. Ponsonby, bending
over and caressing the girl, who, between her sobs and tears, tried to

“I came,” she gasped, “because I have lost everything in the world. I
have suffered cruel, cruel reverses, and could not bear to stay in the
place where I had seen such happy and prosperous days so suddenly turned
to misery and destitution.”

“Poor, poor, poor dear! Was it through the war, my dear?” inquired the
woman, in tender, compassionate tones, while the tears stood in her
kindly eyes.

“No, it was not through the war. It was since the war.”

“Oh, yes! My dear child, tell me all you wish, but no more than you
wish. I will help you in any case. Indeed I will. Are you an orphan, my

“Oh, ma’am, I am much worse than orphaned,” said Lilith.

“Dear me! Poor child! How worse than orphaned, my dear?”

“Oh, ma’am, I cannot tell you now. Indeed I cannot. Do not blame me, and
do not be angry. It is not my fault that I am so desolate and that I
must be so reserved about my past life,” pleaded Lilith.

The lady fell to musing.

“I wonder what has happened to the child? That she is good I can see for
myself. Nobody could make a mistake about her. I wonder what she means
by worse than orphaned, now. I wonder if her father was hanged or sent
to prison for life, or anything like that. There are so many men who
ought to be gentlemen, but who come to that sort of end now, that I
should not be surprised that it was so. Why, there is always something
of that sort going on in some city or other, some bank defaulter, or
some forger, or manslaughterer, or something. And so it seems more than
likely that her father may have disgraced his family in that way, and be
in prison, or in a felon’s grave, and that’s what she means by being
worse than orphaned. But her mother—— Is your mother living, my poor
child?” she inquired, suddenly breaking the long silence and addressing

“No, ma’am. My mother left this world a few hours after I came into it,”
said Lilith.

“Poor, dear darling!” said the good woman, who then relapsed into silent
thought, drawing her own conclusions.

“Yes, that is it!” she said to herself. “The mother gone, the father
worse than dead! That must be it, or she would not talk of being worse
than orphaned.”

Lilith, perhaps mistaking her continued silence for mistrust, said at

“You have been very kind to me, a perfect stranger to you, ma’am, and I
thank you from my heart; but do not trouble your kind soul about me,
ma’am. It is not worth your while, indeed.”

“Oh, it is easy to say that, my dear; but I can’t help troubling myself
about you! Suppose you were my own Edith or Clara? But don’t be afraid,
my dear; I won’t ask anything about your past; what I want to know is
your future. You said when you started for New York that you wished to
get away from painful associations; now what I wish to ask is, where do
you intend to go in New York, and what do you intend to do?”

“I shall go first to some hotel, the only place a stranger can go to, I
suppose, and then I mean to look out for some employment.”

“Then, my dear, you are all wrong. In the first place, you must not go
to a hotel,” said Mrs. Ponsonby.

“But why?” inquired Lilith.

“Because you would go as a lamb among wolves. That is why.”

“Then I suppose I must try to find a private boarding-house.”

“Worse and worse! A respectable boarding-house would want references,
and if you happened to apply to any but a respectable one——”

“That is the reason why I wished to go to one of the first-class hotels.
They are always very respectable. No one can make a mistake about them,
and they take strangers without references.”

“Yes, my dear, at ruinous prices. Unless you have got a great deal of
money, you would be quite penniless before you could get any employment.
And, by the way, what sort of employment do you expect to find?”

“I hardly know. I might be an amanuensis for some lady or gentleman——”

“For no gentleman. I put my foot right down on that. Let the men alone,
my dear—unless they happen to be your very nearest male relations. And
to enter a lady’s employment you would have to have good references. I
do hope you have references, my dear?”

“No,” said Lilith, “I have none; not one; and circumstances are all so
adverse that I cannot hope to get one.”

“Dear me!” said Mrs. Ponsonby, taking a long look into Lilith’s face.
“But you are all right. I am sure you are all right. You are not the
sort of child to run away from your father or mother to seek your
fortune. I tell you what I will do; I will be your referee. That is—do
you write a fair hand, spell words correctly, and compose sentences
grammatically, as an amanuensis should do? For, you know, you may have
to answer letters as well as to write from dictation.”

“Yes, ma’am, I can indeed. I have been accustomed to do all that for my
dear lost foster-father. The next time the train stops I will write a
specimen and prove it,” said Lilith.

“Very well, then,” said the Benevolent “Crank,” “I will be your referee.
And as to your lodging in New York, I will take you to a cheap but very
respectable house kept by the widow of a Methodist minister. She has no
fashionable boarders, my dear, for she lives on —— Street, near ——
Avenue, and fashion has left that part of the city these fifty years or
more. She boards some of the public school teachers. I will take you to
her house to-night before I go to my daughter’s, mind you. If Saxony
comes to meet me, and is in a hurry, he may go home in the street cars,
and I will take the carriage and carry you to Mrs. Downie’s,” said the
new friend, who had worked herself up into a benevolent fever on the
subject of the desolate young creature.

“Oh, how good you are to me! How wonderfully good! How do you know that
I am deserving of your goodness? How do you know that I am not an
impostor?” said Lilith, catching her friend’s hand and covering it with
grateful kisses. “Yes! how should you know but that I am a very foolish,
wicked girl?”

“Good Lord, child! how do I know anything, for that matter—how do I know
light from darkness, except through my eyes and my understanding? That
is the way I know you from an impostor. How I thank the Lord that I met
you before you fell into the Lion’s Den of this great city!”

“And do I not thank the Divine Providence—oh, do I not? And thank you,
oh, so much!” exclaimed Lilith, clasping her hands in the fervency of
her utterance.

“Now, here we are at Jersey City! Gather your traps, my dear, and be
ready to get off. Don’t be afraid. The dragon’s mouth is always wide
open, but you shall not fall into it!” said Mrs. Ponsonby, as the train
ran into the depot.

“And there’s Saxony’s carriage, but I don’t see him,” she said, when
they had crossed the ferry and passed out on Desbrosses Street.

“Where’s your master, Patrick?” she demanded, when she had dragged
Lilith through the crowd to the door of the carriage.

“If you plaze, ma’am, Misther Saxony is dining out this evening, and
Misthress Saxony requisted me to mate you in the carriage meself,
ma’am,” said the Irish coachman, who resented the term “master” as
applied to his employer.

“Very well. I am glad of it. Get in, my dear. And, Patrick, do you drive
first to Number 10 —— Street, near —— Avenue. It will not be much out of
your way,” said Mrs. Ponsonby, as she put Lilith into the carriage and
followed her.

The short winter twilight was fading into night, and the streets were
beginning to be lighted with gas.

“Suppose,” said Lilith, “suppose that your friend should not have a
vacant room for me?”

“Then you must put up with a bed for this one night.”

“But if she has not an unoccupied bed?”

“Then she must find one for this night, anyway,” persisted Mrs.

It seemed a long ride through the crowded city streets before the
carriage at last drew up before the door of a plain, dull-looking,
three-story brick house.

Mrs. Ponsonby—without waiting for the coachman to get off his box, for,
indeed, Patrick was so indolent that he always made an excuse that he
“darn’t” leave his horses to open the door—alighted, and assisted Lilith
to alight, and led her up to the house and rang the door bell.

A female servant answered it.

“Is Mrs. Downie at home?” inquired the elder lady.

“Yes, ma’am,” replied the waitress, opening a door on the right, and
showing the two ladies into the long but plainly furnished parlor, where
they sat down.

“Will you tell Mrs. Downie that I would like to see her on business for
a moment?”

“Yes, ma’am. What name?”

The lady handed the waitress a card.

“Mrs. Downie is at tea now, but I dare say she will not be long,” said
the girl, as she left the parlor and ran down the basement stairs.

In a very few minutes the mistress of the boarding-house came up, with a
warm, exuberant welcome for an old friend. She was a short, fat,
good-natured looking woman, of about Mrs. Ponsonby’s own age, and she
was dressed in a clean but rather dowdy black gown, all in keeping with
her general aspect of careless good humor; and her pretty, soft, silvery
gray hair was gathered into a knot behind, and as much disheveled all
over her head by nature as it could have been done by the most
fashionable hairdresser.

“Why, goodness me, Em’ly Ponsonby! This ain’t you? I never was so
surprised in all my life as when Mary gave me your card! And we have
just this minute sat down to tea; and you will come down and have some?”
said the landlady, in the softest and most caressing voice, that seemed
to be perfectly natural to her.

“No, thank you, Sophie Downie,” replied Mrs. Ponsonby, as she arose and
embraced her fat little friend. “I am in the greatest hurry that ever
was, and only called here on my way from the depot to Sam Saxony’s to
bring you a new boarder, a very dear young friend of mine, who came with
me from Baltimore to get something to do in New York here. Miss—— Good
Lord of mercy! I don’t know the child’s name!” said the good woman to
herself, as she arose and went to Lilith, and whispered:

“What name, dear—what name?”

“Wyvil,” answered Lilith, in the same low tone.

“My young friend, Miss Wildell, wants a quiet, respectable home just
such as you could furnish her,” resumed Mrs. Ponsonby, rejoining the

“Oh! Another Southern orphan, ruined by the war!” said kindly Mrs.

“Ah! poor thing!” replied the Baltimore lady, in a non-committal way. “I
hope you can take her. She has some little money left, I think.”

“And she wants to get in one of the public schools? Poor girl! there
ain’t the least chance.”

“No, I don’t think she wants to teach—but the question is, can you
accommodate her?”

“I must ’commodate her somehow or other. I haven’t got a room; but if
she could put up with a cot in my room——”

“Of course she could, until you can do better for her. And now I must
go, for I am keeping you from your tea, while they are waiting for me on
—— Street. Miss Wilde, my dear, I leave you in good hands, and if you
ever want a friend, call on me. Sophie Downie, you see I am due in
Boston, at my daughter’s, to-morrow. That’s why I am in such a hurry
now. Good-bye!”

And so saying, the dear woman kissed her old friend, and then kissed
Lilith and left a card with her address in the girl’s hand.

The next instant she was gone, and Lilith was alone with the landlady.

“Come, my dear, come upstairs to my room and take off your things and
wash your face and hands, if you wish; and then we will go down and get
some supper. My dear, I hope you will feel at home here. Most of my
boarders are young people. Two young ladies who are public school
teachers, and one who is a colorer of photographs, and then I have a
young Methodist minister who has a parish near this. He is going to be
married soon, though, as ministers must, you know, and then we shall
lose him. And then, my dear, if you are still with us, you shall have
his room and be comfortable.”

So talking, the landlady led Lilith upstairs and so installed her in the
home that was to be hers for many months to come.

                              CHAPTER VII
                           LILITH’S STRUGGLES

            Perhaps in some long twilight hour,
              Like those we have known of old,
            When past shadows round you gather,
              And your present friends grow cold,
            You may stretch your hands out towards me.
              Ah! you will—I know not when.
            I shall nurse my love, and keep it
              Faithfully for you till then.
                                           _A. A. Proctor._

Lilith found her new home a safe enough retreat. Let any young woman go
into a strange house, in a strange city, under the circumstances in
which Lilith entered the Widow Downie’s, and if she feel compelled to
observe a strict silence concerning her own past life, she need not tell
her story. Her neighbors will make up one to fit her, and, what is more,
will believe in it.

Try to get at the origin of such a story, and you may trace it to “They
say,” but no farther.

The advent of Lilith in the boarding-house of Mrs. Downie caused a great
deal of gossip, in which, strange to say, there was not a word of
ill-nature, of criticism, or of adverse reflection upon the young

She was so child-like, so pretty, and so desolate, that the hearts of
all her fellow-lodgers were drawn towards her.

By “putting this and that” together, by unconsciously exaggerating all
they heard, and by involuntarily drawing upon their imaginations, they
had formed a theory, which they took for fact, in regard to Lilith.

The talk ran something like this:

“Mrs. Ponsonby, a very dear friend of Mrs. Downie, brought her from the
South, to try to get something to do in New York.”

“They say her father was a rich planter, who was totally ruined in the
late war.”

“Not at all. He was a wealthy banker of Richmond, who failed in ’65.”

“A great mistake. She was the only child of a Baltimore broker, who——”

“Oh, no! A Washington merchant, who became a bankrupt last year, and——”

And so forth, and so forth.

At last, however, the chaotic story came into form and shape and
permanent existence, as follows:

Miss Wilding—for that was the way in which Mrs. Downie had heard and
repeated the word when Lilith, remembering that her husband had
forbidden her to use his name, had replied to the landlady’s inquiries
by giving the one to which she had the next best right, and saying, “My
name is Wyvil,” whereupon the landlady thought she said, “Wilding,” and
thought, from her child-like appearance, that she was, of course, a
single woman, and reported her as Miss Wilding—Miss Wilding, then,
according to the crystalized gossip of the house, was the only child of
a wealthy Virginia planter, who had been ruined by the war, and had
died, leaving his motherless daughter entirely destitute. Mrs. Ponsonby
had become so much interested in the young orphan that she had brought
her to New York to get something to do, and had very wisely brought her
straight to Mrs. Downie’s boarding-house, and had very properly become
surety for her board, for Mrs. Downie, with all her goodness of heart,
was too poor to lose the board money, which Mrs. Ponsonby was quite rich
enough to pay without feeling it.

Lilith was also spared troublesome questions, because the inmates of the
house, though poor enough in this world’s goods, were too refined openly
to intrude upon the reserve of the young stranger; and also because,
when once the good landlady, in the motherly kindness of her heart, had
questioned Lilith concerning her troubles, the poor girl had burst into
such a passion of tears that Mrs. Downie became very much distressed,
and after doing all she could to soothe the mourner’s sorrow, she not
only resolved never again to allude to the subject, but she warned all
her young inmates to observe the same caution.

“’Cause she can’t bear it, my dears. She can’t, indeed. It ’most kills
her to hear it mentioned. And no wonder. Them tender Southern girls as
has never been used to anything but love and softness and sweetness all
their lives, to be suddenly thrown upon a rough, hard, bitter world, you
know, my dears, it is very trying. We must never speak to her about the
past, and never breathe a word before her about the war. I dare say her
poor father was killed in battle, or died in one of them military
prisons, or something like that, which it breaks her heart to think
about. We must just try to make her forget it, my dears,” concluded Mrs.

And her sympathetic hearers promised all she required, and from that
time emulated each other in their kindness to the young stranger.

Mrs. Downie’s household were in some respects a peculiar people, of whom
the gentle landlady was the controlling spirit.

One word about Sophie Downie. She had been a wife, and was now a widow
only in name.

Her late husband, William Downie, had been a Methodist minister of
sincere piety and much eloquence.

They had been neighbors’ children in a country village, and had been
engaged to each other almost from their childhood.

He was “called” to the service of the Lord from his boyhood, and the two
widows, Sophie’s mother and his own mother, had joined their slender
means to send him to college, to be educated for the ministry.

“For,” said his own mother, “he is all that I have in the world, and why
shouldn’t I spend all that I can on him?”

“And,” said Sophie’s mother, “he is just the same as my own son, and
he’ll marry Sophie and take care of me when I get old, so why shouldn’t
I spend all that I can spare in helping him?”

So the boy was sent to college, and in due time went honorably through
his course, graduated and was ordained.

He was to marry Sophie as soon as he should obtain his first parish.

Within a few months after his ordination he was appointed by the
convention to the Methodist church in New York City near which his widow
now kept her boarding-house.

He had held his pulpit but a few weeks, during which Sophie was busily
engaged in preparing for their wedding and their housekeeping, when he
was suddenly stricken down with a disease known to be fatal from its

As soon as he knew that he was to leave this world he sent for his
promised bride, and she came to him, accompanied by their two mothers.

And in the sick-chamber the long-engaged, faithful lovers were united.

He lingered a few days after his marriage, constantly attended by Sophie
and the two mothers, and then passed peacefully away to the better

The three grieving women took his remains to their native village and
laid them in their last resting place in the old church-yard.

Soon afterwards his mother departed and left all the little remnant of
her savings to Sophie.

“For she is all the same as a daughter to me, and I have no other
child,” said the poor widow to the lawyer who drew up the will.

We live in a changeful country. Few of us have the good or the bad
fortune to

                     “Live where our fathers lived
                     And die where they died.”

It would be tedious and irrelevant to this story to tell of the various
circumstances that finally led Sophie and her mother to sell out all
their possessions in the little country village, and to open a
boarding-house in New York, in the immediate vicinity of that church
which had been the scene of William Downie’s short ministry.

For many years the house was nominally kept by the elder lady; but it
was entirely managed by the younger.

Many opportunities had the pretty little widow of marrying a second
time; but she remained faithful to the memory of her first love.

She had never even permitted a lover to become a suitor; for as soon as
her delicate perceptions discovered that this or that young “brother” in
the church, or boarder in the house, had cast an eye of “favor” on her,
the very shrinking of her nature threw such a sphere of coldness around
her that, however gentle and courteous her manner might be to the
aspirant, he dared not cross the invisible boundary of that circle.

One of her most ardent admirers said, when “chaffed” on the subject of
his infatuation:

“She is as sweet and gentle, as kind and courteous as it is possible for
woman to be; but it would take a fellow with more impudence than I
possess to make love to her, or to ask her to marry him. There is a sort
of ‘Thus far, no farther shalt thou go’ about her that I defy any man to

He was right.

And so, without any second love, without coquetry, and without vanity,
the pretty, gentle girl-widow grew from youth to middle age. Then she
lost her mother, and became the nominal, as she had long been the
actual, head of the boarding-house.

It would be difficult to explain or even to understand how Mrs. Downie
had managed to succeed in eliminating from the house and from her circle
of acquaintances all persons who were uncongenial to her own gentle and
generous spirit, and in filling them with those who were in perfect
accord with her, and with each other. It was the progressive work of
years, however.

But now, at the time that Lilith first entered her house, it was filled
with a little society to whom she seemed less a landlady than a loving
mother, and whom she absolutely ruled—not by force of intellect, or
position, or power, but by unselfish goodness. Always, since her
mother’s departure, she had one or more of adopted children—little
waifs, picked up in the streets of New York, and whom she lodged, fed
and clothed, and sent to the public schools until they were old enough
to be put out to learn trades.

When any hard-headed, practical brother or sister would expostulate with
her on the extravagance of her benevolence and the imprudence of her
neglect to provide comfortably for her old age, she would answer,

“Why, Lor’s, you know if my poor, dear husband had lived we should have
had a large family of children by this time, most like. But as I haven’t
got none of my own, I feel as if I ought to take care of other people’s
orphans. Seems to me that people without children should take care of
children without parents, so far as they can. And as for the rest of it,
I know that if I take care of the destitute the Lord will take care of

Acting on this simple faith, the gentle little widow had brought up and
provided for no less than seven girls and five boys.

And that is the reason why, at the age of sixty, she had not a dollar in
the savings bank.

But oh! the treasure she had laid up in heaven!

At the present time she had a boy and girl, nearly grown up, and when
these should be well provided for, by being put in the way of getting
their own living, she meant to take two more to bring up—if she should
live long enough to do so.

So much for the kindly mistress of the house.

Her circle of lodgers consisted of seven persons. First, there was the
young Methodist minister, John Moore, who occupied the same pulpit that
had once been filled for a few weeks by William Downie. And here let it
be explained, that whenever there came to that church a young unmarried
minister, he was always recommended to Mrs. Downie’s boarding-house as
to a haven where he would be perfectly safe not only from the harpies of
business, but from the harpies of matrimony, where he would really find
“the comforts of a home,” and possibly the society of some fair, good
girl, suitable to be the companion of his life and labor.

Next there was Mrs. Lane, the widow of an officer in the Union army, who
had fallen in the battle of the Wilderness, and who eked out her small
pension by decorating china for a large wholesale house, and supported a
son at Yale College.

Then there was a Mrs. Farquier—the widow of a colonel in the Confederate
army. She was an artist, and made drawings for the illustrated papers
and magazines.

These two women, whose husbands had fallen on opposite sides of the same
war, were great friends.

Next there were the two Misses Ward, orphan sisters, and teachers in the
public schools.

Lastly, there was Lilith, who shared the landlady’s room, and was
expected to share it until the young Methodist minister should marry and
take possession of the parsonage that was being fitted up for him.

Lilith, who had been madly driven from her home by the goad of her
husband’s stinging words:

“I never loved you! I married you only to please my dying father. In a
very few hours I shall leave this house, never to return while you
desecrate it with your presence!”

Lilith, who had fled away, without any definite purpose but to escape
from the humiliations that had been heaped upon her, and to support her
life, until she should die, by some honest toil—Lilith had now ample
leisure to come to her senses and to reflect upon her past and her

Ample leisure indeed! Her days and nights were spent in solitude and
meditation, for immediately after breakfast, every morning, her
fellow-lodgers, workers all of them, scattered to their various
occupations—the minister to study, to write, or to make duty calls; the
two widows to their rooms to work at their arts; the two young teachers
to their schoolrooms, and the good landlady to market, and then to her
household duties.

Lilith, left alone, would wander through the parlor, up the stairs and
into the room she shared with Mrs. Downie, and then back again, in an
aimless, dreary manner. She could settle herself to nothing, take
interest in nothing—

                  “Her past a waste, her future void.”

Her life seemed to have come to a standstill. There seemed nothing to
hope for in heaven or on earth.

There were days of such deep despondency that life seemed a burden too
heavy to be borne, and she longed for death—days when the unrest of her
soul craved the rest of oblivion in the grave.

There were moments, too, when athwart the utter darkness of her soul
flashed the lightning of consciousness that she might change all this
and bring renewed life, action and happiness to herself; that she might
write to her husband, or return to her home and implore him to believe
in her and to bear with her until she should be at liberty to clear up
the mystery that rested as a cold, dark storm-cloud between them.

And at such moments she might have acted on the impulse and hastened
back to Cloud Cliffs, but for the memory of his fierce, cruel, stinging

“I never loved you! I married you only to please my dying father. In a
very few hours I shall leave this house, never to return while you
desecrate it with your presence!”

Every time these words recurred to her mind they overwhelmed her with a
fresh sense of unspeakable humiliation.

“Oh, no!” she said to herself—“no! my heart seems dying in my bosom, but
I must not listen to its moan! I must not go back until he himself shall
repent and retract and entreat me to return! I can die, but I cannot go
back. I cannot.”

And indeed existence for Lilith was now a mere death in life.

All her efforts to obtain employment by advertising and by answering
advertisements had signally failed. There seemed to be no use for her in
the whole world. No one on earth seemed to want her in any capacity.

Mrs. Downie, watching her with motherly tenderness, ventured one day to

“Honey, you must be awful lonesome here days, when everybody has gone
about their business and left you by yourself.”

“It does not matter, Mrs. Downie. Don’t trouble yourself about me, dear
heart,” said Lilith.

“But I must! I can’t help it! Emmy Ponsonby has never been to see you
since that night she fetched you here, nyther, has she?”

“No, Mrs. Downie!”

“Well, I reckon she’s still with the weddingers in Boston, or else
there’s another baby coming around somewheres. ’Mong so many married
daughters there’s always a baby coming ’round in Emmy’s family,
sometimes two or three of ’em in a year, and I reckon that is what’s the
matter now. ’Cause Emmy Ponsonby never forgets her friends or her

“She was very, very good to me, and I had no claim on her,” sighed

“Oh, yes, but you had a claim on her, honey; as you have on me and on
every grown-up woman as is able to help a motherless child like you,”
said Mrs. Downie, so tenderly that Lilith’s eyes filled with tears.

“Mrs. Downie,” she said, “I want to ask you something.”

“Ask away, then, honey.”

“You have taken me here a stranger in your house. I have been here four
weeks and you have never given me your bill——”

“I was waiting till you got something to do, honey,” interrupted the

“And—this is what I wanted to ask you: Suppose I should be here for
eight weeks or for twelve weeks, without paying you?”

“Well, honey, it wouldn’t so much matter as you might think; because,
you see, dear, you don’t occupy a room. You only sleep on a little bed
in my room; so really your being here don’t make no odds. I have six
rooms as I let to boarders, and that is what supports the house. They
are all let, and you don’t take up none of them, so your being in the
house don’t make no odds at all, let alone it being a comfort to have

“Dear Mrs. Downie——” began Lilith, with the tears running over her eyes;
but her voice faltered and her words died in silence.

“Look here, honey, it is borne in on me as if you would just stop
calling me Mrs. Downie—not but what I am fond of the name, and proud of
it for poor, dear Will’s sake—but if you would just stop ceremonials and
call me Aunt Sophie, like the rest of the children do, and would come
closer up to me, in your heart, like you would feel more at home with
me, and would be more better satisfied, and wouldn’t have no doubts nor
troubles about board and such. Couldn’t you now, honey?”

Lilith left her chair and came and sat down in the good woman’s lap,
dropped her head upon her bosom, and put her arms around her neck.

“That’s right, dearie. Now remember, I am your Aunt Sophie,” said Mrs.
Downie, folding the young creature in a close embrace.

“I never knew a mother or a sister or an aunt. It comforts me to be
allowed to call you aunt.”

“That is right, dear. Now I’m going to propose another thing; that is,
for you to go to market with me every morning, when you feel like it. It
will amuse you, and take your thoughts offen troubles it is unprofitable
to dwell on. And then, dearie, sometimes you might go to meeting with me
in week evenings. We often have a real good, warm time at our meetings,”
said the good woman, with a cheerful glow in her gentle countenance.

“I thank you, dear, dear Aunt Sophie. I should like to go anywhere with
you,” said Lilith, as she kissed her friend, and arose to her feet.

No more was said about the board bill, the subject of which had been
introduced by Lilith herself.

But the next morning, as Mrs. Downie was putting on her bonnet to go to
market, she spied an envelope directed as follows:

                     “TO AUNT SOPHIE, FROM LILITH.”

She took it from the toilet cushion upon which it was pinned, and found
three ten-dollar greenbacks inclosed in a short letter, which she read:

“DEAR AUNT SOPHIE: If I were in need, there is no one in this whole
world to whom I should be so entirely willing to be indebted as to
yourself. And if I were in want, it would be to you, first of all, to
whom I should come for help, feeling sure of obtaining it. But, dear
friend, I am not so poor in funds as I am supposed to be. I have enough
to keep me for a year at least, even if I should get no work to do. So,
please take the inclosed without any qualms to your benevolent heart. I
shall still be infinitely indebted to you for love, sympathy and
protection. LILITH.”

Mrs. Downie read the note, looked at the money, and communed with

“Now what did the child go and do that sort of thing in that way for?
Trapping me into taking the money in that manner. She knew very well
that if she had handed it to me I wouldn’t have touched it. She a
gallant soldier’s orphan, too. And now I s’pose if I hand it to her she
won’t take it back, no way! Now I wonder if she has got a plenty of
money, sure enough? Sufficient to keep her for a whole year, as she
says? If she has, this would be a convenience, and a real godsend, just
at this time, too, when I am trying to make up the rent. Yet I don’t
like to take it offen that poor child, nyther, and she only occupying a
cot in my bed-room. Well, I’ll go and try to make her take it back, and
if she won’t, why, she won’t, and I’ll put it to the rent money, and get
that off my mind to-day.”

So saying, the landlady went in search of Lilith, whom she found in the
parlor, ready and waiting to go to market with her friend.

“Well, Aunt Sophie, we have a fine day for our walk,” began Lilith.

“Yes, honey; but before we go you must take this back again,” said the
good woman, trying to force the money into Lilith’s hand, “’cause I
don’t want to charge you any board until I can give you a room, my dear;
and that won’t be until Brother Moore gets married and goes. And then I
will take pay.”

Lilith opened her hand with the palm down, so that it could hold
nothing, saying, at the same time:

“And I will not impose myself on you, dear Aunt Sophie, until all my
funds are spent, and then—I shall continue to stay with
you—perhaps—until you turn me out.”

“That would be forever, then, honey; or, leastways, it would be as long
as I should live, for I should never do that cruel thing on no account,”
said the old lady.

And so the strife in generosity was ended, and the two friends left the
house together.

As they walked down the avenue, Mrs. Downie said:

“I think, dear, as you would be a great deal happier if you were to have
some regular employment. You came here to get something to do, didn’t
you, now?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie,” said Lilith, sadly.

“Well, have you tried?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie. I have advertised in the New York papers, and I have
answered advertisements, but have not yet succeeded in getting anything
to do.”

“What did you advertise for?”

“For the situation of private governess in a family, or assistant
teacher in a school, or translator, or copyist, or as companion for an
invalid lady or an elderly lady, or as amanuensis to a literary lady.
For all these situations I have advertised at various times, and have
received not one reply.”

“Ah, dearie me! Every road to business is so overcrowded! But you said
you answered some of the advertisements of such places as you would like
to take.”

“Yes, but no notice was taken of any of my letters.”

“Ah, you see, child, I suppose there were hundreds of applications for
every place, and they couldn’t answer all the applicants.”

“No, I suppose not,” said Lilith, patiently.

“And it costs so much to advertise,” sighed Mrs. Downie.

“Yes,” said Lilith. “And so I have given up advertising on my own
account, and I only answer the advertisements of others. That does not
cost so much; only the paper and postage stamp.”

“Well, dear, I hope you will succeed at last,” said the old lady.

“Yes. ‘It is a long lane that has no turning,’ as our homely proverb has
it,” said Lilith.

“Yes, dear, I know it. ‘It is a long lane that has no turning,’ and the
worst of it is that when the lane does turn it doesn’t always turn into

                   ‘Fresh fields and pastures green,’

but into some dusty highway a deal harder to travel than was the long
lane itself! But there! I ought not to have said that. I don’t want to
discourage you, dearie,” suddenly said Aunt Sophie, with a qualm of

“I saw an advertisement in this morning’s _Pursuivant_ that pleased me
and that I have answered. I have brought my answer to drop it into the
post. But I scarcely hope that anything will come of it.”

“What was it for, dearie?”

“A companion for a widow going abroad. The applicant must be a young
lady, healthy, agreeable, well educated, competent to speak French,
Italian and Spanish. Oh, I have all the list of requirements at my
fingers’ ends, you see.”

Aunt Sophie stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, to the great
annoyance of other foot-passengers, and stared in mild wonder at her

“Now, where in all this wide world do that widow expect to find a young
lady, accomplished as all that comes to, who is in need to go out and
get her living?” she inquired.

“Oh, dear Aunt Sophie, there are many, many among the impoverished
children of the South who, in the days of their prosperity, had received
such education.”

“And do you think you would suit, my dear?”

“I can but try. I must try, you know.”

“Well, I hope that widow will be willing to give a high salary for all
that she wants.”

“The advertisement says that a liberal salary will be given; but also
adds that the highest testimonials of character and competency will be

“Well, my dear, you can furnish them, anyhow.”

“I don’t know. I have my college testimonials, or could get them; but
for the rest—”

“Well, you have Mrs. Ponsonby.”

“But she knows so little of me,” sighed Lilith, as she reflected how
that good, credulous woman had come to her side in the spirit of
compassion and had taken her respectability quite for granted.

“Well, honey, don’t sigh, that’s a dearie; because if you don’t get the
place it makes no odds. I dare say that widow is some poor, infirm old
lady going to travel for her health, who would be no end of a trial to
you. And you know if you never get nothing to do, you can always live
long o’ me and be comfortable always. ’Deed I feel so drawn to you,
dearie, that I would like to adopt you if you would let me. It would
make no odds, leastways not much at the end of the year. And I meant to
adopt two more as soon as ever John and Mary are provided for. And I
reckon I had better adopt one like you than another child. I mightn’t
live to see the child grow up, for I am getting old. Will you think of
what I tell you, dearie?”

“Think of it? I shall never forget it so long as I live, dear Aunt
Sophie,” warmly responded Lilith.

“Here is the post,” said Mrs. Downie, pausing at the pillar box, into
which Lilith dropped her letter.

                              CHAPTER VIII
                          LILITH’S FIRST PLACE

          My life you ask for? You must know
            My little life can ne’er be told;
          It has been full of joy and woe,
            Though I am but a few years old.
                                              _A. A. Proctor._

A week went by without bringing any answer to Lilith’s application.

She scarcely expected to receive one, indeed. She was becoming inured to
disappointment, for, in fact, she had known nothing else in connection
with her efforts to obtain employment.

She was beginning to despair of success in this line of enterprise, and
even to contemplate the possibility of remaining with Mrs. Downie for an
indefinite time, and of becoming useful to her in some good way.

Lilith thanked Heaven that the rigor of her desolate doom was tempered
with mercy in the person of Aunt Sophie. She was beginning to love the
sweet old lady, with that satisfying affection which is born of esteem
and perfect trust. Lilith knew that whatever evil fortune should be in
store for her, it would not be the loss of Aunt Sophie’s motherly care
and protection.

She knew if she were to become quite penniless, and should be stricken
with a long and tedious illness, that Aunt Sophie would never permit her
to be sent to a public hospital, but would nurse her tenderly and
skillfully at home.

And this was the dear woman at whom some people—not many, to the credit
of human nature, be it said—had sneered, as too plain, homely and
ignorant in looks, speech and manner, ever to have been fit for a
minister’s wife, though she was a minister’s widow.

These people little know that all the spare money of the two
widows—William Downie’s mother and Sophie Wood’s mother—had gone by
mutual agreement to educate Willy, leaving Sophie to get what benefit
she could out of the village school, which could never cure her of the
quaint, old-fashioned, ungrammatical talk she had learned at her
mother’s knee and used all her life.

As for Lilith, she loved this homely speech, for it reminded her of her
own country neighborhood, and she loved every peculiarity of the dear
unselfish creature—even the carelessness of her dress, whose only
redeeming quality was its perfect cleanliness, and the disorder of her
fine, thin gray hair, which was as well disheveled as if it had been
attended to by a fashionable hairdresser—because all these revealed in
the active, industrious woman, not laziness or idleness, but utter
self-forgetfulness in the constant service of others.

But she was growing old, and Lilith wondered if in the failure of all
her efforts to obtain employment, and in the possible necessity of her
having to remain with Aunt Sophie, whether she might not help her in
some substantial manner; as to learn to keep the house, do the
marketing, cast up the accounts and pay the bills.

It was Lilith’s inspiration always to be useful.

It was late on Saturday evening that Lilith was sitting alone in the
front parlor, all her fellow-lodgers being absent from the house or at
work in their rooms, when the postman, on his last round for the
night—and the week—rang the door bell.

It happened that Aunt Sophie answered the summons. There was a little
parley at the door, and finally the old lady came in with a letter in
her hand, which she held out to Lilith, saying:

“Here, my dear, see if this is for you. The carrier is waiting to know.
You see it is directed to the house all right, and the number and street
all right, but the name is all wrong, if it is for you; though it is so
like your name that it must be for you.”

Lilith took the letter and looked at the superscription:

“Elizabeth Wyvil.”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie, this is for me, and I think it must be in answer to
my application,” she said.

“Very well, my dear; I will go and tell the man,” replied the old lady,
as she went again to the front door to explain the case and dismiss the

“Now then, dearie, is the answer favorable?” she inquired, as she
returned and took a seat beside Lilith, who sat at the centre table
reading her letter by the light of the gasalier.

“It is favorable; if it were not, you know, I should never have received
it. Advertisers, I suppose, do not take the trouble to write
rejections,” replied Lilith.

“No, I reckon not, especially as in every case I have heard there are
hundreds of applications for one place. Well, dearie, has the widow lady
decided to engage you?”

“No, not decided; she has only appointed an interview with me on Monday
at twelve noon, at the Constellation Hotel.”


“But that, you know, is very hopeful.”

“Yes, I reckon it is. Well, honey, I hope you will find her a good, kind
friend; but who is she, my dearie? Ah! here they come!”

Several of the boarders entered the parlor, and cut short the speech of
Aunt Sophie.

Lilith left the room and went up to Mrs. Downie’s chamber to read over
her letter again.

It was very short, merely acknowledging the receipt of the applicant’s
letter, and asking for a personal interview at the time and place
already specified.

Of course Lilith would keep the appointment and accept the position if
it should be offered to her.

But, she asked herself, would she be justified in leaving the country,
without first informing her husband and giving him the opportunity of
seeking a reconciliation with her, should he desire to do so?

“I never loved you. I married you only to please my dying father. In a
very few hours I shall leave this house, never to return while you
desecrate it with your presence!”

These words came back to her in all their fierce, bitter, scornful
cruelty. “Came back to her?” They had never left her. They smouldered in
her memory always, and only blazed up in a fiery heat at the very
thought of seeking any notice from the husband who had contemptuously
cast her out; but whom—oh, woe—she still so deeply, so painfully loved.

No! he had turned her off, and she must not call his attention to
herself in any manner. She must let him go his way, untroubled by her.
As for herself, she could live—even in pain and sorrow—until she should
be called away to the land of peace.

Lilith had ample time and opportunity for reflection between that
Saturday night and the Monday noon when she was to wait on her possible
future employer. So it was after mature deliberation that she decided to
enter the service of the lady advertiser, supposing that she should be
permitted to do so.

On Monday morning she set out to walk to the hotel. She arrived a few
minutes before the appointed hour and sent up her card by a porter.

While she waited in the reception-room, many questions arose in her

Who was this German baroness who had advertised for a lady traveling
companion, and had appointed this meeting with her, and with a view to
engaging her services?

Was she old, sickly, melancholy, ill-tempered and exacting, as Aunt
Sophie, in her tender anxiety for Lilith’s happiness, had feared that
she might be?

Or was she young, handsome and fashionable?

Would the companion be required to nurse an aged invalid, or to amuse a
young beauty?

While Lilith was anxiously considering these questions, the door opened
and a little old gentleman, dressed in clerical black, and having a
little, round, gray head like a silver ball and a fresh, rosy face like
a baby’s, came bowing into the room, walked up to Lilith, and bowing
politely, said:

“Mademoiselle, Madame la Baronne desires that you will ascend to her

Lilith arose, trembling, bowed, and followed her conductor to the
elevator, which in a few seconds brought them to the second floor.

Here the old gentleman took her out, along a handsomely furnished hall
to a pair of folding black walnut doors, beside which sat a servant out
of livery, who arose and opened them for the visitor to enter.

Lilith found herself in a spacious apartment, whose first impression was
of gloom and splendor. Rich, heavy curtains vailed three lofty front
windows; but between their openings long needles of light struck here
and there on glowing crimson velvet, or gilded cornices or framework,
tall mirrors, elegant vases, filled with rare and fragrant exotics,
glimpses of rare pictures, statues, stands of every graceful form, and
seats of every luxurious make, and under all a carpet that

                   “Stole all noises from the feet.”

Shadow flecked with gleams of splendor; silence softly moved by the
sighing of an invisible Eolian harp; cool air just slightly fragrant
with the delicate breath of fresh, living flowers.

A pleasing awe, as of entering a chapel of the olden time, of incense
and artistic decoration, crept over Lilith.

As her eyes became accustomed to the religious gloom, she saw the figure
of a lady rise slowly from one of the reclining chairs and stand waiting
to receive her—a lady of majestic beauty and grace, whose perfect form
was clothed from head to foot in a closely fitting, rich black velvet
trained dress, without trimming or ornament of any kind; and whose
beautiful head was crowned with an aureole of golden hair, which her
widow’s cap but half concealed.

Lilith approached and courtesied involuntarily as to a queen, so much
did the grand beauty of this lady impress her imagination.

“Madame, I have the honor to bring you mademoiselle,” said the old
gentleman, bowing.

Lilith courtesied again, and glanced up at the lady’s face—a beautiful
face—somehow suggestive of the surroundings, shadow and splendor—perfect
features, a brilliant blonde complexion, dark, glorious eyes, and
golden-hued hair, the radiant beauty of the whole enhanced by the dead
black of the mourning robe.

“Le Grange, you may retire,” said the lady.

And the old gentleman, with another bow, withdrew.

The lady resumed her seat, and by a courteous motion of her hand invited
Lilith to take another near her.

“You are much younger than I expected to find you, Miss Wyvil,” said the
lady, when both were seated.

“I am not Miss Wyvil, madame,” said Lilith, who, since her marriage, had
always written herself Elizabeth Wyvil Hereward, but who, having been
forbidden by her husband to retain his name, meant to obey him by
dropping it, yet who wished to avoid deception in representing herself
to be an unmarried girl.

The lady looked somewhat surprised, gazed wistfully at the speaker for a
few seconds, and then said:

“You are very young to be a widow.”

“I am nearly eighteen, madame,” said Lilith, without deeming it
necessary to enter into farther explanations—for was she not, indeed, “a
widow in fate, if not in fact?”

“And you look even younger than that. When did you lose——” the lady
began to question, but seeing Lilith trembling and turning pale, she
desisted, and after a little pause she turned the conversation.

“Mrs. Wyvil, I have had about two hundred answers to my advertisement
for a companion. These have taken myself and my private secretary,
Monsieur Le Grange, about a week to get through with examining, although
at about two-thirds of the letters we only glanced to see that they were
written by utterly incompetent persons, who could not, indeed, write a
fair, legible hand or compose a grammatical sentence. Of the other third
we selected about a dozen persons, whom we saw, in turn, by appointment
during the week. None of them—not one of them—suited me. Several were
evidently in bad health, fitter for an infirmary than for any other
place. Several others, though they were fair English scholars, had
little or no knowledge of other languages; and the others were so
unlovely in looks and manner that I could not think of one of them as a
companion. Your letter was one of the last I received, and you are the
very last with whom I have appointed an interview. Your letter made a
favorable impression on me, and your appearance has deepened it,”
concluded madame, who had evidently given these details only to afford
Lilith the opportunity of recovering her composure.

Lilith bowed in respectful acknowledgment.

“The objection, as yet, seems to be your youth,” continued the lady.

“As another in my case said: ‘It is a fault that must mend daily,’
madame,” replied Lilith.

The lady smiled. She had a rare, brilliant, beautiful smile.

“You are apt at repartee and quotation,” she said. “But now, about your
knowledge of modern languages. I can see that you have all the other

“I am familiar with the languages mentioned in your advertisement,
madame, and I have testimonials from professors to that effect.”

“I would rather judge for myself. You will find writing materials on
that table near your left hand. Translate and write out for me there, in
the languages required, this text, which is the anchor of hope for the

“‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting

Lilith went and sat down at the table, took a sheet of note paper and
wrote slowly, and with some pauses for recollection and selection, until
she had completed her task, and filled a page of note paper, which she
brought and gave to the lady.

She smiled, bowed, and read as follows:

“Car Dieu a tellement aime le monde, qu’il a donne son Fils unique, afin
que quiconque, croit en lui ne perisse point, mais, qu’il la vie

“Perciocche Iddio ha tanta amato il mando, c’egli ha dato il suo
unigenito Figliuola acciocche chiunque crede in lui non perisca, ma
abbia eita eterna.

“Porque de tal manera amo Deos al mundo que hayo dado, a su Hijo
unigenito; para que todo aquel que en el creyere, no ce pierda, mas
tenga vida eterna.”

“I think these will do, Mrs. Wyvil. I am not a very accomplished
linguist, but I will submit these specimens to Professor Le Grange for
his opinion,” said the lady, as she touched a golden timbre at her side.

The door opened, and the man whom Lilith had seen in the hall appeared.

“Request Monsieur Le Grange to come here,” said the lady.

The man disappeared, and was succeeded by the little, round-bodied

“Monsieur, will you have the goodness to glance over these translations,
and give me your opinion of them?” inquired the lady, handing the paper
to the professor, who bowed—he spent half his time in the presence of
his employer in bowing—looked over the page, then read it carefully, and
returned it, saying:

“The translations are correct, madame.”

“Thank you, monsieur. That will do.”

The professor bowed and retired.

“Now, Mrs. Wyvil, there remains but to ask for your references—a mere
matter of form, my dear, for believe me I am very favorably inclined
towards you.”

Lilith’s face flushed as she answered:

“I have such testimonials as I brought from college at the end of my
last and graduating term. I have no other referees, except a lady of
Baltimore, who gave me permission to use her name. She is a Mrs.
Ponsonby, of Calvert Street, in that city, and she is frequently in New
York here, where she has a married daughter, Mrs. Saxony, of —— Street.”

“Oh! I know them both—mother and daughter. I have met them in Washington
and at Newport. They will do quite well,” said the lady, cordially.

“But, madame,” said Lilith, as the painful flush deepened in her cheek,
“I don’t know Mrs. Saxony at all, and very little of Mrs. Ponsonby
except that—that—that—she took me up on faith—and——”

“That does not matter. I can trust Mrs. Ponsonby; and, my dear, I can
trust your candid, truthful face. Are you equally satisfied with me?”

“Oh, madame!” said Lilith, deprecatingly.

“Then we have only to speak of salary—twelve hundred dollars a year,
paid quarterly. Are the terms satisfactory?”

“Oh, madame, they are very munificent. The salary is very much larger
than I expected.”

“It is not too large for one of your accomplishments, who is, besides,
required to quit her country—to expatriate herself, perhaps, for years.”

Lilith made no reply. She was beginning to tremble at the prospect of an
indefinite exile.

“I expect to sail on the first of June. Can you be ready by that time?”

Lilith paused to consider. Should she take this plunge?

“I never loved you.... I shall leave this house, never to return while
you desecrate it with your presence.” As these stinging words arose in
her memory, she roused herself and answered, firmly:

“Yes, madame, I shall be quite ready.”

“Very well, my dear. Your duties will be very light—almost merely
nominal. I wanted a young, pretty, accomplished and agreeable companion.
I did not expect to find one. But I have found one in you. I will not
detain you longer at present. Come in at this time to-morrow, if you
please, and we will talk further,” said the lady, rising.

“One moment, if you will pardon me, madame, I have not yet the honor of
knowing the name of the lady to whom my services are pledged,” said

“Now is that possible? Well, my dear, if you were better acquainted with
the world you would know one thing about me—that I am a very
unbusinesslike individual,” said the lady, as she placed a card in the
hands of her companion.

Lilith bowed and read: BARONESS VON BRUYIN.

                               CHAPTER IX
                        LILITH AND THE BARONESS

        Life is only bright when it proceedeth
          Towards a truer, deeper life above;
        Human love is sweetest when it leadeth
          To a more divine and perfect love.

        Learn the mission of progression duly;
          Do not call each glorious change decay;
        But know we only hold our treasures truly
          When it seems as if they passed away.

        Nor dare to blame God’s gifts for incompleteness;
          In that want their beauty lies. They roll
        Towards some infinite depth of love and sweetness,
          Bearing onward man’s reluctant soul.
                                                _A. A. Proctor._

The Baroness Von Bruyin, the name and title on the card, bore no
especial significance for Lilith.

She bowed as she took the enameled bit of pasteboard and withdrew from
the room.

The little old Frenchman came from some other room opening upon the same
corridor, and politely escorted her downstairs and out of the hotel.

“Shall I have the honor to call a cab for you, madame?” he inquired,
when they had reached the vestibule.

“No, monsieur, thank you. I prefer to walk,” replied Lilith.

The professor stood aside to let Lilith go out.

Lilith “preferred to walk” that she might be alone, and have a longer
time for reflection and for self-collection before reaching her
boarding-house, and having to meet the kind inquiries of Aunt Sophie.

The die was cast, then. Her fate was sealed. She had taken the step from
which she felt there was no honorable retreat—unless, indeed, her
husband should relent; should retract all his bitter charges against
her; should seek her out, ask her to return to the home from which he
had madly driven her, and set up his own superior claims to her
allegiance in opposition to those of madame, the baroness.

But this, Lilith knew, was a possibility far too remote to be thought

And so she was—or she tried to persuade herself that she was—glad that
her fate was decided for her by circumstances beyond her control.

With all a very young girl’s enthusiasm for an imperial beauty, Lilith
admired the baroness, and felt that, since she must take service with
some lady, she could be better satisfied with the companionship of the
beautiful and gracious Madame Von Bruyin than with any one else.

Lilith walked so slowly that when she reached her boarding-house she
found that lunch had been over for some time, and all her fellow-lodgers
had dispersed to their business or to their rooms.

But Aunt Sophie was anxiously waiting for her in the parlor.

“Take off your things down here, dearie, and then come with me to the
dining-room, and you shall have a cup of fresh tea before you tell me
anything, though I am half dying to hear,” was the greeting of the old

Lilith kissed her affectionately, and then followed her to the basement
dining-room, where a fresh white cloth had been laid over one end of the
long table, and adorned with a fine china tea service—that had been
bought many years before for Aunt Sophie’s bridal housekeeping, but
which was never, never used, except on the most sacred occasions.

The kettle was boiling, and the tea was soon made and brought in, with
the accompaniments of light biscuits and lamb chops.

But not until Lilith had drunk her first cup of tea would Aunt Sophie,
who sat beside her, watching her affectionately, ask one question.

Then when she had refilled the cup for her young guest, she inquired:

“And have you got the situation, honey?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie.”

“Oh, dearie me! I ought to be glad, but I ain’t. I had a heap rather
kept you here long o’ me. And are you really going abroad, too?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie. I cannot help going. I must.”

“Oh, dearie me! dearie me! I hope you will do well, honey. When are you

“We sail in the Kron Prinz on the first of June.”

“So soon! Ah me! I shall never live to see you come back, dearie.”

“Oh, yes, you will, dear Aunt Sophie. Your good and useful life will be
prolonged for many years yet.”

“Oh, how selfish I am! I ought not to think about myself, but about you.
Dearie, I hope the lady you are going with will not be too hard on you.
You are such a child! Is she real old and ugly?” anxiously inquired Aunt

“Oh, no! She is young, and very, very handsome.”

“Oh, then, I hope she is not haughty and tyrannical—so many of those
rich, proud beauties are. But, oh, dear, how wrong of me to talk so, to
discourage you. Though I did not mean to do that. It is because I am so
anxious about you, honey. Just as anxious as if you were my own dear

“I know it, dear Aunt Sophie. But do not be uneasy on my account. I
think the lady with whom I have engaged will be very kind to me. I do,
indeed. Certainly during our interview she was very gracious and
considerate. She gives me a very large salary, and tells me that my
duties will be very light—merely nominal. That I shall have nothing to
do for her but to keep her company,” said Lilith, cheerfully.

“‘Nothing to do but to keep her company.’ But that’s the hardest sort of
work with some people, my dearie. There I go again, discouraging of you,
when I ought to be doing of the very opposite sort of thing. What an old
fool I am, to be sure. Don’t mind me, honey, but tell me what this
lady’s name is. Don’t you know, dear, I have never heard that yet?”

“I never heard it until about two hours ago. I had actually engaged
myself to her before I knew her name,” said Lilith, with a faint smile.

“Lor’! Now that shows how very little you know of the world, and how
unfit you are to be thrown, unprotected, upon it! But what is the lady’s
name, now you do know it?”

“She is the Baroness Yon Bruyin.”

“Von—Brewing? Brewing? ’Pears to me I’ve heerd that name
before—connected with—connected with—some grand wedding to-do at the
great cathedral, where the archbishop and ever so many bishops performed
the ceremony. Yes, yes, I disremember her name; but she was a great
beauty and a great heiress, being an only darter of some rich city
banker, rich as creases; and he was a Mr. Brewing, another rich banker,
a heap richer than creases; but older than her own father—so old, so
old, as never was seen before at a wedding. And they said how, when he
went back to Germany and took his beautiful wife, he paid the emperor
lots of money to make him a baron, and it was all to please his wife, so
she might be a baroness. Yes, yes! I remember now! And so she’s a widow.
And the old man is dead! Well, well, well, how things do turn about! Not
much use in his getting married to a beautiful young woman and getting
himself made a baron, when he was just ready to depart away from this
life! Ah me! ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity,’ saith the preacher,
and it is true!”

Lilith made no reply, and presently Aunt Sophie resumed:

“I see how it is! She don’t like to shut herself up away from society,
while she is in her first mourning, as she would have to do if she
stayed in this city, where she was a sort of queen; so she is going to
travel to amuse herself until the time of fashionable mourning is over,
and she wants a bright young thing like you to keep her company! But in
a year or two she will be back here, and then we shall see! But there I
go again, sinning as fast as I can! I wonder what makes me so
uncharitable? I reckon it is because I haven’t been to class-meeting
lately. I’ll go this very evening, when my class meets, and I’ll get the
brethren to pray for me. It’s a great help.”

And seeing that Lilith had finished her lunch, the old lady arose from
the table and began carefully to gather her precious china and to wash
it up to put it away.

Lilith went up to her own room, to look over her slender wardrobe, and
to think over what she would have to buy for her sea voyage and her
European tour.

While she was still engaged there, late in the afternoon, her
fellow-lodgers were discussing the details of a horrible and mysterious
murder that had been perpetrated in the city, the night previous, but
only discovered that morning. It was in all the evening papers, forming
the sensation of the hour.

In the same paper was a short paragraph, stating that:

“The body of an unknown woman, suspected to be that of Mrs. Tudor
Hereward, wife of the Congressman from that district, a young lady who
had disappeared from her home some weeks before, had been found in the
woods bordering Cave Creek, near Frosthill, in West Virginia. A wound on
the back of the head indicated that she had been the victim of tramps.”

That was all. If any one read it they paid but little attention to it;
their imaginations being engrossed by the details of the more shocking
tragedy in their midst.

At dinner in the evening the dreadful occurrence was discussed.

After dinner, Lilith took up the paper from the parlor table, not to
read the details of the murder—her whole soul shrank in loathing from
such a subject—but to look at the Congressional news, as she had looked
at it daily since her flight from her home, to see if any mention was
made of her husband.

But there was none. Not once since she parted with him on that bitter
night at the Cliffs had she seen his name. The once active, industrious,
irrepressible Hereward seemed to have dropped out of the Congressional

This continued silence sometimes caused Lilith serious anxiety. Was
Tudor ill? she asked herself, and then quickly repressed her rising
anxiety with the recollection of that bitter taunt, which, like a
poisoned arrow, had left an incurable, festering wound which daily ate
deeper and deeper into her spirit.

At length Lilith put away the paper, without having seen the paragraph
that concerned her so much that it might have changed the whole current
of her life.

The next day, at the appointed hour, she went again to the hotel to see
Madame Von Bruyin.

As we said, the name of the baroness had no especial significance for
Lilith, for when Tudor Hereward, in the first weeks of their married
life, had told Lilith the history of his first love adventure, he had in
delicate consideration abstained from mentioning the name of the lady or
of the gentleman who afterwards became her husband. And although the
gossips she had heard talking of the matter in the parlor of the hotel
had just once let fall the name of Mr. Bruyin, it had made no impression
on her memory, and there was nothing to connect the personality of the
baroness with that of the beauty who had been the object of Tudor
Hereward’s first passion.

When Lilith reached the hotel and made inquiries she found the polite
old Frenchman waiting in the parlor to conduct her to the apartment of
the baroness.

The lady received Lilith with a kiss, saying, as she placed her in a
comfortable chair and resumed her own seat:

“My dear, I have been thinking of you ever since I saw you last. I feel
that I shall grow very fond of you.”

“You are very good, madame,” replied the girl.

“Child, I hope that in going abroad with me you are not leaving any one
whom you will suffer in parting from?” said the baroness, in the
gentlest tone.

“I am not leaving any one in the world who loves me, except my landlady,
and she has only known me for a little while,” said Lilith, with a
slight tone of sorrow in her voice that she could not quite repress.

“‘Only known you for a little while!’ And I for a less. But it does not
take long to learn to love you, my dear. Will you tell me something
about yourself? I am very much interested in you. Indeed, I am filled
with wonder and speculation concerning you. When I advertised for a
companion, young, agreeable and accomplished, as I desired her to be,
Monsieur le Professeur plainly told me that rara avis was not to be
found in the ranks of women who were seeking situations; that such an
education as I required in my companion was the privilege only of wealth
and genius. And the answers to my call proved that he was right. In
about two hundred applications yours was the only one that suited me.
And you, my dear, have really excelled my most unreasonable
expectations. Your extreme youth, which at first view seemed an
objection, is really an additional charm. Your having been married, too,
seems to draw us nearer together. Two young and recently bereaved widows
may surely sympathize with each other. I hope, dear, that you will
consider me as a friend.”

“You are very kind to me, madame. I have no words to thank you, but I
will try to make my actions speak,” said Lilith.

“And some time, dear, not now, but some time when you feel that you can
do so, I hope that you will tell me something about yourself, something
about the circumstances that have forced you, a young, beautiful and
accomplished girl—you are little more than a child, although you have
been married—to take the situation of lady’s companion,” said the
baroness, gently.

Lilith had a struggle to control her emotions; but she soon conquered
them, and replied, with forced calmness:

“You are entitled to my fullest confidence, dear madame, for you have
taken me almost on trust, as everybody has so kindly done since I left

“Who could do otherwise, my dear? Who could look in that pretty, tender,
child face and doubt you? But go on, my dear, with what you were about
to say.”

“Only this, madame, that some time, when I can, I will tell you my
little story. But now I can only say this much—I am from West Virginia.
A reverse, a calamity, sudden and overwhelming as a thunderbolt or an
earthquake, laid waste my life and destroyed all my happiness in an
instant, ‘in the twinkling of an eye,’ and cast me alone upon the world.
I came to New York to get away from a scene so full of miserable
associations as my home had become, and seek a living here among
strangers, all of whom have so charitably taken me on trust, when they
might have put out the last spark of hope and life by unjust but
reasonable suspicions,” said Lilith, as if she deeply felt the truth of
every word she uttered.

“Who could suspect a baby?” said the lady, gently; but nevertheless she
inquired within herself:

“What can have happened to this girl? Has her husband killed her father
and been hanged for it? Or vice versa, or what? There are so many
homicides and hangings in this vast country that no one can keep trace
of them all. Her words are very enigmatical.”

Something in the lady’s looks might have betrayed the drift of her
thoughts, for Lilith, with a deepening color and in a low voice,
ventured to say:

“There is one circumstance that I ought to have added to my statement,
madame, and it is this: There has been no dishonor connected with my
misfortunes, no dishonor of any one’s. I have no way of proving this,
but oh! as I hope to be saved, I am speaking the sacred truth!” she
concluded, clasping her hands in the earnestness of her asseveration.

“My child, I feel sure that you do,” answered the baroness, kindly; and
then she changed the subject by asking Lilith if she had ever been
abroad, and if she was a good sailor.

“No,” Lilith answered. “My longest sea voyages have been from Baltimore
to New York and from New York to Newport. But I am a very good sailor,
for I have been in more than one storm on Chesapeake Bay and have never
been sea-sick.”

“That is very well. I hope you will be able to bear the unrest of Old
Ocean as bravely,” said the baroness.

And then she told Lilith what her experience had told her, the outfit
necessary for the comfort of the voyage, and the outfit that would be
nothing but an impediment.

And then, when an hour had passed, Lilith arose to take leave.

Madame Von Bruyin would not allow her to go, but insisted that she
should stay to luncheon, which was served in madame’s private

It was a tête-à-tête feast, and Lilith much enjoyed the delicate fare
set before her—the well-dressed game, the delicious salad, the dainty
confectionery, the luscious fruits, and the pure, light Chablis.

When the repast was finished and the service was removed, the baroness
went and took a guitar from its place on a stand in the recess, and sat
down to play. She touched a few chords and then floated into a mournful
solo from “Il Trovatore.” Her voice was a deep, rich, full contralto,
but so profoundly sad that Lilith felt her eyes fill with tears as she
said to herself:

“Ah, madame has also suffered. I know it.”

The baroness finished her song and laid aside her guitar without a word.

But presently she said:

“You love music, my dear? Bah! who does not?”

“I love music. That was a beautiful solo, madame, only so sad!”

“Ah, my dear! But never mind. You have promised to tell me your story
some day. I may tell you mine before that. For in this case I feel
towards you somewhat like the ancient mariner to the wedding guest.”

“I shall be glad to hear, madame, very glad and grateful for your
confidence,” said Lilith, as she once more arose to take leave.

“Why is it that I feel as if you belonged to me, dear?” said the
baroness, as she took the girl in her arms and kissed her.

“It is because you are so good to me, madame. In an humble way, in my
happy days at home, whenever I took any helpless creature under my care,
I always felt as if it belonged to me, whether it did or not,” said
Lilith, simply.

“Come again to-morrow, my dear, if you can. If not, come any day at this
hour. I am always at home between twelve and two,” said the baroness, as
she patted the cheek of her new favorite and let her go.

As before, the old Frenchman joined her in the corridor and escorted her
downstairs and out to the sidewalk.

There she thanked and took leave of him.

Lilith walked home, where she arrived an hour later than on the
preceding day.

“You have made a long visit this morning, honey,” said Aunt Sophie, who
met her in the parlor.

“Yes, the baroness detained me,” answered Lilith.

“I am getting jealous of that there baroness. I am so,” said Aunt
Sophie, half in jest, half in earnest. “But take off your things right
here and come down to lunch. I have got such a beautiful cup of broma
for you.”

“Thank you, dear Aunt Sophie. But I have had lunch. The baroness made me
stay for it, with her,” replied Lilith.

“Now I am jealous of that baroness—downright jealous, that I am,” said
Aunt Sophie, with such an aggrieved look that Lilith embraced her, and
privately resolved never to be persuaded to stay to lunch with Madame
Von Bruyin so long as they should remain in New York.

Lilith did not go to the baroness the next day, but she went down on
Broadway to purchase the necessaries for her sea voyage.

When she returned to her boarding-house a great surprise awaited her.

Aunt Sophie met her at the door with a radiant, beaming countenance, and
asked, with a very mysterious air:

“Well, honey! Who do you think has come? And is in the parlor waiting
for you? You can’t guess!”

Lilith’s heart gave a great bound. For a moment she could not move, and
her swiftly changing color and agitated features caused Aunt Sophie to
laugh softly, as she added:

“Why, it is Emily Ponsonby, of course. She has just arrived from Boston,
where she has been staying with her daughter ever since she left the
city the morning after she brought you here. She reached the city last
night, and is stopping with her other daughter, Mrs. Saxony. And this
morning she came right down here to inquire after you. She came in just
about ten minutes after you had gone out. Now come in and see her.”

Aunt Sophie’s long explanation had given Lilith time to recover from her
mingled feelings of surprise, wild hope and disappointment. She quietly
followed Aunt Sophie into the front parlor, where the ample form and
rosy face of the good-hearted Baltimore lady met her view.

“Well, my dear, glad to see you again, and to hear from your good
friend, Sophie Downie here, such splendid accounts of you,” said Mrs.
Ponsonby, rising and embracing Lilith.

“Thank you, madam; but all my good fortune began with yourself. If you
had not spoken to me on the train and brought me to this house, I really
do not know what would have become of me.”

“Neither do I,” replied Mrs. Ponsonby, quite frankly. “It was the
wildest freak I ever heard of in all my life—a young girl coming to a
strange city to seek her fortune! Ugh! It makes my very flesh creep to
think of it!”

“It was a forced measure, dear friend. I had no choice. I was obliged to
come,” said Lilith, as she took a seat on the sofa beside the matron.

“Well, I suppose you were obliged to come, and so the Providence that
takes care of the young ravens took care of you. But I tell you what, my
girl, if you had come away from home from other impulse than stern
necessity you would have gone to the deuce before this. It was an awful
risk, my dear.”

“I knew it was, but I could not help it,” said Lilith, meekly.

“And Sophie has been telling me that you have just got a splendid
situation with the Baroness Von Bruyin.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Why, I knew her! I met her in Washington when she was a Miss Von
Kirschberg. I have not seen her since she married the old banker, Mr.
Bruyin, who got himself made Baron Von Bruyin to please his wife, and
paid a good round sum to Emperor William for the honor, you may take my
word for it. Bosh! I like nobility when it is real, that is, hereditary;
but I should care no more for a purchased title than I should for a
paste ‘diamond’ or an imitation ‘India’ shawl. And the poor old man is
dead, and dead, too, without an heir to perpetuate his dearly bought

“What sort of a woman is the baroness, anyway, to live with, do you
think?” inquired Aunt Sophie, in anxiety for the happiness of her

“I think she is just about as good a woman as one could expect to find
in an only child, a beauty and heiress, who had been petted and pampered
and flattered and fairly idolized by everybody around her all the days
of her life,” emphatically answered Mrs. Ponsonby.

“I am glad to hear it,” answered Aunt Sophie.

“And I think you will just have a splendid time with her, my dear. Why,
you are really going to travel all over Europe. My! don’t I wish I was
going to Europe! But, there! what is the use of talking. When Ponsonby
and myself were young, with a family of little ones around us, we
promised ourselves just as soon as we had raised and settled them all,
we would travel and see the world; but Lor’! before the last of them
were married the grandchildren of the first wedded began to come on, and
they are just as strong fetters and as heavy iron balls to hinder our
travels as ever their mothers were. You are to be envied, my dear, I can
tell you that!”

“I am thankful,” replied Lilith. “But why should you have waited until
your children grew up before you could go to Europe? Why not have taken
them all with you?”

“Never saw the day when we could afford that, my dear. But I will live
in hopes to see the old world some time or other before I die. Well,
dear, I only called to inquire after you, and to see whether Sophie
Downie had done a good part by you——”

“She is the best friend I have in this world!” hastily and warmly
interrupted Lilith—“except yourself, Mrs. Ponsonby,” she added, on

“And I don’t doubt that Madame Von Bruyin will be a much more valuable
friend than either of us,” said Mrs. Ponsonby.

“No! no!” exclaimed Lilith.

“Well, at least I hope for your sake she may be. You cannot have too
many or too good friends. Well, I must go, or I shall be late for lunch.
I shall fetch Polly Saxony to call on you; and then we must have you to
come and spend a day with us before you sail,” said the Baltimore lady,
as she arose, kissed Lilith good-bye, and left the drawing-room,
followed by Aunt Sophie, with whom she chattered all the way out, and
lingered to chat in the hall, and still loitered to chat on the stoop

At length she was gone, and Aunt Sophie returned to the parlor.

“Wasn’t that a surprise?” inquired Aunt Sophie, gleefully, as she
re-entered the room.

“Yes; quite a surprise,” assented Lilith.

“And now I have got another for you: John Moore has gone off to be
married. The wedding is to be to-morrow, at the bride’s mother’s house,
in Springfield. And he is to bring his wife home on Saturday, and take
her straight to the parsonage, which is all ready. And I have fixed up
his room for you. You can have it at once. Ah! if you were only going to
stay I could make you so comfortable!” said Aunt Sophie, with a deep

“Dear friend, I would like to stay with you, but you know that I cannot;
I must take the employment that is offered me,” gently replied Lilith.

“Yes, I know. Some of these days you will come back, though, and I hope
I shall live to see you, and if so, you must come straight home to me,
dear, do you hear?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie; and I certainly will come to you first of all, if we
both live,” said Lilith.

And then the entrance of other persons ended their tête-à-tête.

The next day Lilith went to see the baroness, and was received with even
more kindness than on the former occasions. But she declined an
invitation to stay to lunch.

When she returned home Aunt Sophie met her with a smile, and put two
cards in her hands, saying:

“They called while you were out, my dear, but they didn’t stay long. And
they left an invitation for you and me to go and spend the day with them

Lilith looked at the cards, which bore the names of MRS. JOHN PONSONBY

“I think I’ll go with you, my dear; I have not had a day out so long. I
know Mary Farquier will look after the house for me one day.”

And so Aunt Sophie and her protégée accepted this invitation; and the
next morning, at a most unfashionably early hour, they presented
themselves at the Saxony mansion, where they were very kindly
re-received and hospitably entertained by the mother and daughter.

They met none of Mrs. Saxony’s fashionable friends. It was not that
lady’s receiving day; so she was “not at home” to all casual callers,
and she devoted herself to her mother’s simple friends.

Aunt Sophie and Lilith returned in the evening, well pleased with their

The next day the old lady invited Lilith to accompany her to the
parsonage, where she and all her “family” were going, with many of the
church people, to receive the young minister and his bride.

Lilith went, for she had resolved to give herself up to please Aunt
Sophie for the short remainder of her stay with the affectionate woman.

They found the parsonage a very attractive home for the newly married
pair. The house, which stood beside the church, had been newly papered
and painted, and refurnished from top to bottom, and prettily decorated
for the occasion. The church people had vied with each other in the
choice of their wedding presents, which were tastefully displayed on the
drawing-room tables.

The refreshments were laid out on the extension table in the dining-room
at the rear.

The house was full, but not crowded, because the people dispersed
themselves through all the apartments.

Aunt Sophie only waited long enough to welcome the young minister and
his bride, to wish them all happiness, and to show them into their
chamber, where they might change their traveling suits for festive
dresses before going down into the drawing-room to meet their friends,
and then she took leave.

She would have persuaded Lilith to stay with the company, but the latter
insisted on going with her friend.

“You know I ain’t young, honey, and gay and festive scenes don’t suit
me,” she said, apologetically.

“And as for me, I wish to go with you, and to be with you as much as I
can while I remain in the country,” Lilith answered, affectionately.

                               CHAPTER X
                           IN HER TRUE COLORS

Madame Von Bruyin grew very fond of Lilith and would have had her new
favorite with her every day, or even had her to come and live at the

But Lilith pleaded that she wished to stay with her kind landlady as
much as possible during the short interval that would intervene before
their sailing for Europe.

The baroness admitted the excuse and did not insist on Lilith’s entering
upon her duties of companionship before the stipulated time—June 1st.

But whenever Aunt Sophie was out on business, or very much occupied with
her household duties, Lilith would slip away to pay a flying visit to
the baroness, to whom she was now, at all hours, a most welcome guest.

One evening it happened that Aunt Sophie had gone to a protracted
meeting at her church, and Lilith availed herself of that opportunity to
go and see the baroness.

It was the first occasion on which she had ever ventured to call on that
lady in the evening.

She found Madame Von Bruyin alone in her apartments, more lonely and
depressed than usual, and more than ever pleased to see her unexpected
but most welcome visitor.

She received Lilith with a warm embrace, and made her lay aside her
bonnet and mantle, and sit down in the most comfortable chair in that
luxurious room.

The gas had been turned down low, so that the whole room was in a
subdued cathedral light very favorable for meditation or for
confidential conversation.

How it was that Madame Von Bruyin glided into speaking of her own life
neither she nor her companion ever knew.

It was in answer to some remark of Lilith’s, however, that the baroness

“Yes, I know. Of course there are many people who envy me, and I suppose
that I may be considered in a very enviable position; but that is only
the external view. Within myself I am not enviable. There are few women
in this world less happy than I am.”

“I am very sorry,” said Lilith, in true sympathy. But she was much too
modest to preach to this great lady, this spoiled beauty, and to tell
her of the vast power her wealth furnished of doing good and finding her
happiness in the happiness of others.

“Child!” continued the baroness, “the truth is that I do not know what
to do with my life. If I were not in deep mourning I should take a
plunge into society and in its maddest excitements forget myself. But as
I cannot do that, I go to Europe, to make a tour of the continent. But I
ask myself, to what purpose? I have seen it all before. It will have no
novelty for me.”

“Not the beaten track—the great cities, the great centres of art,
science and learning, the monuments of antiquity—you have seen all
those; not the highways of travel, but the by-ways, madame—the remote
villages, the country people of each country. It seems to me that these
also might be very interesting,” Lilith modestly suggested.

“Possibly,” wearily replied the lady; “but nothing interests me,
child—except yourself—nothing. With every appliance of material
good—with youth and health and wealth—I have no interest in life, no
enjoyment of anything.”

“Oh, madame! what has brought you into such a state as this?” exclaimed
Lilith, speaking from the irrepressible impulse of her great sympathy,
and then stopping short and blushing at the thought of having asked the
baroness an impertinent question.

But Madame Von Bruyin did not seem to perceive any impropriety in
Lilith’s words. She felt only their deep sympathy.

“I must tell you something about myself and my spoiled life, and then
you will understand. Come nearer to me, child.”

Lilith left her easy-chair, drew a hassock after her, and sat down on it
at the feet of the baroness.

The lady bent her stately head until the golden tresses touched the ebon
ringlets of the girl. And after this caress she laid her hand on
Lilith’s head and whispered:

“I have been so wilful all my life. I can never remember the time when
my will was crossed—until about six months ago. How full the last six
months have been of changes for me!”

The lady paused thoughtfully. Lilith might have added: “And for me!” but
she did not. The baroness continued:

“I am an American, my dear, as you might know by my speech; and I was
born and married in America, though my father and my husband were both
subjects of the Emperor William. I was the only child of my widowed
father, who had married very late in life and who lost his wife in the
same hour that gave him his child. He never married a second time, but
devoted himself to me. In time I became the idol of my father and of his
dearest friend and inseparable companion, Mr. Nicholas Bruyin—who became
Baron Von Bruyin later, you understand.”

“Yes, madame,” said Lilith.

“I was never sent to school, but had teachers at home, who taught me no
more than I chose to learn; masters and governesses who never mastered
or governed me, but who had to submit to my will or leave my service.
And in all my self-will I was upheld by the two fondly doting old
gentlemen who held my destiny in their hands. I learned music and
dancing because I liked to do so; but I do not think I should have
learned anything else if it had not been for the advent of Monsieur le
Professeur Le Grange, my present private secretary, whom you have seen.”

“Yes, madame.”

“He was engaged to teach me languages when I was about thirteen years
old, and more ignorant than any girl of my own age and rank. Well,
Professeur Le Grange certainly found out the road to my conscience and
affections, convinced me of my pitiable ignorance and became my teacher
not only of languages, but of science, history and general literature. I
became very appreciative of his character and abilities, and tried to
profit by them. I think I have shown my gratitude for his services by
attaching him to my household. He will never leave.”

“He seems sincerely devoted to you, madame,” said Lilith.

“I think he is. There are spiritual fathers in the church. Professeur Le
Grange may be called my intellectual father. When I was but fifteen
years of age I went to Europe with these three old men—my father, my
friend and my teacher, and with no female companion except my old nurse
and my maid. You have never seen those two faithful women, dear?”

“No, madame.”

“Yet they are still in my service. We made an unusually extensive tour
of Europe, and the professor, who, in addition to his other
acquirements, was a learned archæologist and antiquarian, was my most
valuable guide and mentor. Perhaps I derived more benefit than most
persons from my travels. If so, I owe that benefit to the professor. He
is to go with us when we sail, as I suppose you know.”

“Yes, madame.”

“We returned at the end of three years, and I was, soon after our
arrival, introduced into society. Two years of fashionable seasons, in
the winter spent in New York or Washington, in the summer at Newport or
at some other fashionable resort. I was nineteen years old when my
father was attacked by what he believed to be a temporary though very
sharp illness. But the physician who was called in warned him of its
real significance. Then my father grew anxious to settle up all his
worldly affairs, and very anxious to see me married. I know not how it
happened, or who first suggested the plan—whether it was my father or
Mr. Bruyin—but the issue was that I became the betrothed bride of
Nicholas Bruyin before I knew that I had a heart in my bosom. Mr.
Bruyin, though older than my father, was really a healthier and a
stronger man, with the promise of a longer life. This betrothal took
place just before I went to Washington last summer. Ah! if it had been
delayed but a few weeks longer what a difference it would have made in
my life; for there, in the beginning of that season in Washington, I was
destined to meet the only man whom I could ever love; a man of whom you
have probably heard, for his fame has gone abroad all over the country,
the brilliant orator and rising statesman, Tudor Hereward.”

Lilith uttered a low cry, so low that it escaped the notice of Madame
Von Bruyin, who continued:

“I became so much interested in this gentleman that, unconscious of the
danger into which I was running, I allowed myself to enjoy the heaven of
his society and conversation, for it was heaven to me. One night—it was
at the masquerade ball given by Senator and Mrs. S——, at their splendid
mansion, on New Year’s Eve—Mr. Hereward sought me out and proposed for
my hand. Oh! not until that hour did I realize how much I loved him. But
I had to explain that a betrothal scarcely less sacred than marriage
bound me to Mr. Bruyin. He, my lover, Tudor Hereward, bitterly, bitterly
reproached me for misleading him, and trifling with his affections. And
we parted in wrath.”

The baroness bowed her face on Lilith’s curly black head and wept. The
girl, unable to trust her voice to speak, took one of the lady’s hands
and fondled and kissed it in sympathy. The baroness recovered her self
possession, and continued:

“The next day I missed Hereward from all his usual places. And before
the night came, my betrothed arrived from New York. He was shocked to
see how changed I was. Child, it was my first sorrow, and I had no power
to conceal it. The good old man, who loved me with a totally unselfish
love, won my secret from me, at once released me from my engagement and
left me free to marry the lover of my choice. Then I watched for
Hereward’s return, and when he arrived—child, I went to him, I humbled
myself before him; I told him that I was free, and I offered him my
hand. He replied in icy tones that he was married. Yes, married, within
two days after having been rejected by me. He had married a young girl,
a child who knew no better than to take a man at a moment’s notice. The
news was a thunderbolt to me; yet even through that nervous shock how I
pitied that young wife.”

“Oh, Heaven, yes. How much she was to be pitied!” cried Lilith, in a
tone of sharp pain.

“As for my miserable self, the kind guardian of my peace and welfare saw
that there had been no happy meeting between me and my lover. Again he
won my secret from me. This time it was the secret of my disappointment
and humiliation. Then taking my hand, he said to me:

“‘My dear, the world knows nothing of this. The world still believes us
to be a betrothed pair. Let things go on as they were arranged. You know
me. We will be married at the time appointed. I will then take you
abroad to the court of Berlin. Your dear father will go with us for his
health. You are so young yet that you will outlive and forget this

“Well, I consented. I was so confused and depressed between grief and
mortification, that I was easily led. Only a few days later we were
married in the cathedral in this city, and sailed in the Kaiser Wilhelm
for Germany. We had planned out a very fine tour. But ah! while we were
still at the court of Berlin, and only a few days after Mr. Bruyin had
received his patent of nobility and become the Baron Von Bruyin, he had
a stroke of apoplexy that terminated his earthly existence. We laid him
in the cemetery of the city that he loved so well, and then set out to
return home. My father never reached these shores alive. His mortal
remains repose in Woodlawn. There, my child, I have unburdened my mind
to you.”

                               CHAPTER XI
                            THE FAIR RIVALS

       How am I changed? My hopes were once like fire;
         I loved and I believed that life was love.
       How am I lost? How high did I aspire!
         Above heaven’s winds, my spirit once did move
       All nature by my heart and mind, to make
         A paradise on earth, for one dear sake.
       I love—but I believe in love no more.
         I still aspire—but hope not. And from sleep,
       All vainly must my weary brain implore
         Its long lost flattery now. I wake to weep,
       And sit through the long day, gnawing the core
         Of my bitter heart, and like a miser keep—
       Since none in what I feel take thought or pleasure—
         To my own soul its self-consuming treasure.

And thus Leda, Baroness Von Bruyin, had told her heart’s history to
Tudor Hereward’s young wife.

No words can describe its effect on Lilith.

She sat in the “gloaming,” silent and motionless, her still, white face
invisible to the lady, who, after finishing her story, fell into
thought, seeming to brood over the past.

This, then—mused Lilith—this peerless, regal beauty was the Miss Von
Kirschberg, the woman whom Tudor Hereward had passionately loved, and by
whom he had been cast off, only on the evening before he had married
her—Lilith—to please his dying father, and to be revenged upon his false
love! Oh! the bitter wrong! the bitter, bitter dishonor of the wrong!

Lilith pressed her hands upon her white face, in an anguish too deep for

Madame Von Bruyin saw nothing of that in the gloaming. Presently she
spoke again:

“Strange—strange; but since Herr Von Bruyin passed away I seem to
understand his character better than I ever did before! More than ever
before I seem to feel the pure, tender, unselfish love he lavished upon
me, from my earliest infancy, even until the day of his death—‘until the
day of his death?’ What am I saying? Uttering hastily, and with
parrot-like repetition, false, unmeaning words—for there is no death and
no limit to love like his. From his home above, he loves me still. And,
perhaps, when I, too, shall reach that bright world in which there is no
winter and no age, I shall find no disparity between us; but shall see
and love him even as he sees and loves me! And that shall be my comfort
and his reward.”

The baroness spoke tenderly, meditatively, with her beautiful head bowed
upon her hand, and her fair hair, escaped from the widow’s cap, flowing
down over her black-robed shoulders.

Lilith uttered not a word, but she thought:

“This is the woman whom Tudor Hereward denounced as vain, self-seeking,
double-dealing; false to him, false to herself, false to her betrothed,
and all because, to keep her plighted faith, she had rejected him.”

And Lilith, through all her own deep pain, felt a tender sympathy with
the desolate heart of her rival.

At length the baroness spoke again:

“You are very silent, petite. Of what are you thinking?” she softly

“Of the story you have told me, madame,” gently replied Lilith.

“And what about it, dear?”

“It is very sorrowful. You are not happy, madame; and perhaps you never
can be, unless, unless—by——”

“By what, my child?”

“By making others happy. You have such great power of doing good, dear
lady!” earnestly replied Lilith.

“What good can I do? I seem of no use in the world!” sighed the

“By your great wealth, madame,” modestly suggested Lilith.

“Oh, of course, I subscribe to all worthy charities that are brought to
my notice. Le Grange attends to all that! That is, of course, my bounden
duty, and I try to do it,” said the baroness.

“Yes, I know you are very liberal and very conscientious, but——”

“But what, my dear?”

“There are so many, many cases of great poverty, sickness and suffering
outside of these organized charities! Aged, or ill, men and women, and
little children, suffering in extremity for want of the barest
necessaries of life, helpless and dying for lack of help, even in the
midst of all these organized charities! These do a vast deal of good,
but they cannot do everything! They cannot reach all the suffering!”

“How do you know?” inquired the lady.

“I know from what I see, and hear, and observe in the streets, and from
what I learn when I go into the poorest tenement houses with Aunt

“Aunt Sophie? Who is she, child?”

“Mrs. Downie. My good landlady. She is a Methodist minister’s widow. She
keeps a plain boarding-house, mostly for young ministers and teachers.
She is very poor, but very charitable, and when she sees a poor, pale,
ragged child on the streets trying to make a few pennies by selling
matches or pins, she often takes such a child to its own home to see for
herself into its circumstances and find out how she can permanently
benefit it. She has adopted and brought up several of these forlorn
children, and settled them respectably in life. She has always one or
two on hand. She has one even now. Oh! if I had only plenty of money I
would found a home for destitute children. I would set Aunt Sophie at
its head with the carte blanche to take in all the needy children that
the home could hold.”

“But there are so many of these asylums, my dear.”

“I know; but there are not enough, else why these poor, little, homeless
and friendless ones in the street?”

“Well, petite, I do not feel just yet quite inspired to found such an
institution, but, before we sail, I will place in your good Aunt
Sophie’s hands a sum of money to aid her charitable work among the
friendless children of the street,” said the baroness.

“Will you? Oh, will you, indeed? If you do, you will make a good heart
so glad!” exclaimed Lilith, with a beaming face.

“I will, indeed! I will send Le Grange to the house with the check
to-morrow,” said the lady.

“Oh! give it with your own hand, dear madame, and you will see what joy
you will bring into the dear woman’s face.”

“I hear what joy I bring into your voice, little one, and I am glad to
hear it,” replied the baroness.

In her deep interest in the subject under discussion, Lilith had for the
moment forgotten her own griefs.

Even Madame Von Bruyin seemed in better spirits as she said, cheerfully:

“We must have lights now, dear.”

She touched the silver timbre on the stand beside her.

An attendant came in and lighted the gas and retired.

Lilith arose from her low position on the hassock at the lady’s feet.

The baroness also stood up, and drawing her companion’s arm within her
own, walked up and down the splendid, illuminated room in silence.

It happened that at each end of this room there was a broad and tall
mirror that reached from floor to ceiling and reflected the two figures
from head to foot—the grand beauty of the Baroness Von Bruyin and the
petite grace of Lilith.

The young wife marked the contrast with a sinking and despairing heart.
In her admiration she greatly exaggerated the power of her rival’s
queenly charms, and in her humility as much underrated the effects of
her own sweet loveliness.

“Ah!” she sighed, from the depths of her desponding spirit. “No wonder
he worships this lady, for she is the crowned queen of beauty! No wonder
he could not love me, for who am I beside her? No more than a little
yellow duckling beside a royal white swan! No! I cannot blame him for
adoring her and not liking me. But oh! he might have let me alone. He
ought not to have married me so lightly and cast me off so easily
because I was a duckling and not a swan. Now I remember that he never
said he loved me. He never professed what he never felt for me. And I
was so blind I never missed that. Because he asked me to be his wife, I
truly thought he loved me, and I did so joyfully consent—letting him see
how happy and how glad I was of the honor he had done me, the delight he
had given me. Oh, the sin of it! Oh, the shame of it! Oh, my angel
mother in heaven, if you had been on earth you would never have let your
child fall into such a trap. You would have taught her; you would have
warned her. Oh, he ought to have been generous; he ought to have
remembered that I had no mother; he ought to have let me alone!”

“What is the matter with you, dear child?” inquired the baroness,
breaking in upon Lilith’s grievous reverie. “You are so absorbed and
distressed that you must be in some great trouble, either for yourself
or for some one else. Can I do anything for you?”

“No, dear madame; nothing. My passing mood was not worth your attention.
A vain regret given to lost treasures, or perhaps only to imaginary
treasures that I never really possessed. I will try to overcome my
tendency to fall into these moods,” answered Lilith, with an effort to
collect herself.

“Some day, my dear, you will tell me of your past life—a short story, it
must be—as frankly as I have told you of mine. I will wait patiently
until then. But, little one, we have talked and mused, and mused and
talked, until the hours have slipped by us unheeded, and now it is so
late that you must either stay all night, or allow me to send for a
carriage at once to take you home.”

“Oh, thank you, madame. I must go home. Late as it is, Aunt Sophie will
expect me,” said Lilith.

Madame Von Bruyin touched the timbre, and ordered the attendant who
answered the summons to procure a carriage.

While Lilith was putting on her hat and gloves the baroness said:

“You may tell this dear Aunt Sophie of the power I intend to place in
her hands to help the poor little children.”

“Oh, dear madame, how good you are! But I would rather not tell her. I
would rather you should do so first, for the sake of seeing the happy
surprise that will light up her face,” said Lilith.

“Very well, then. You may expect me to-morrow morning at the house,”
said the baroness.

The attendant entered the room and announced the carriage.

“Ask Monsieur Le Grange to be good enough to step here,” said the

The man bowed and withdrew.

“Monsieur,” said the baroness, when the old secretary made his
appearance and respectfully saluted the company, “will you do me the
favor to see Mrs. Wyvil home? The carriage waits.”

“With the greatest pleasure, madame,” answered the old gentleman, with
his habitual deep bow, as he gallantly offered his arm to the young lady
to lead her from the room.

The baroness drew Lilith up and kissed her cheek before giving her into
the care of the polite old secretary, who took her in charge, and bowed
himself out of his lady’s presence.

He led Lilith down the stairs, placed her in the carriage, took his seat
by her side, and directed the coachman to drive to Mrs. Downie’s, number
so and so, such a street.

It was so late when they reached their destination that all the lights
were out in the house, except those of the front parlor.

The old Frenchman left the carriage, helped Lilith to alight, and led
her up to the door. Nor did he leave her until his ring was answered and
an old lady appeared to receive the returning guest.

Then he bowed himself down the steps to the carriage and drove off.

“Oh, my dear, I was that uneasy about you; I was thinking of starting
out to the hotel to inquire after you,” said Aunt Sophie, as she went
into the front parlor to turn off the gas.

“Why should you have been uneasy? What harm could have happened to me
even if I had started to come home alone through the streets of a
crowded city?” inquired Lilith, as they went upstairs together.

“What harm? Oh, child, you read the papers, and see how busy the devil
is and how artful his children are. Every once in a while you see an
account of some child or young girl kidnapped and made away with, and I
suppose as there’s many and many a case that never even gets into the

“I am sorry to hear that, Aunt Sophie; but there was no danger in my
case, for madame sent me home in a carriage, under the care of her aged

“So I saw. So I saw. And she was in the right of it. Well, my dear, it
is after one o’clock, and I think we had better get to bed as soon as we
can,” said the old lady, as they entered the double-bedded chamber,
which they still occupied together.

The room vacated by the minister having been taken by the organist.

Early the next morning, as Aunt Sophie, having got through with the
breakfast, was preparing to go to market, Lilith said to her:

“I cannot walk out with you to-day, dear. I am expecting the Baroness
Von Bruyin, and as I do not know at what hour she may find it convenient
to call, I must stay in until she does.”

“I am awful jealous of that baroness,” said the little old lady, in a
pathetic tone, shaking her little rumpled gray head.

“You need not be. There is no woman in the world I love half so much as
I do you, dear Aunt Sophie,” said Lilith.

“Well, then, why won’t you live long of me always and be my child,
instead of going off to foreign parts with that baroness?”

“Because it would not be right, dear Aunt Sophie.”

“Eh, dear, it’s a tiresome world. What’s that baroness coming here for

“To call on me, and I think she wishes to see you, too, so I shall keep
her till you come back from market.”

“No, you needn’t! I don’t want to see that baroness! That I don’t,” said
Aunt Sophie, as she tied on her little mashed black silk bonnet, which,
like her rumpled fine gray hair, and little baby face, was a part of her
gentle personality.

“But I want you to see her, Aunt Sophie. I think you’d get over your
prejudice against her.”

“No, I shouldn’t! I’m jealous of her. That’s where it is. I’m awful
jealous of her, that I am! But I’ll hurry back from market to see her if
you want me to. And if I have to do that I must hurry away now.”

And the dear little woman folded her rusty Canton crape shawl across her
bosom and left the room.

Lilith set the bed-chamber in order and then went down to the front
parlor to await the coming of Madame Von Bruyin.

But it was twelve o’clock before the baroness arrived. Aunt Sophie had
come home from market and “fixed herself up” to receive the great lady,
by putting on her Sunday gown, a thin, rusty black silk, and tying a
bobbinet fichu crookedly around her neck, but she could not sit in state
to receive her visitor. She was too busy overseeing the cook get dinner
for the boarders.

“Besides, what does she want to see me for, I would like to know?” she
asked herself.

So she was shelling peas in the kitchen when word was brought to her
that there was a lady in the parlor waiting to see her.

She put the pan of peas on the table, took off her “check” apron, shook
down her dress and went upstairs to see the visitor.

She found a tall, beautiful woman, dressed in deep mourning, the black
crape vail thrown back, revealing a fair face, with delicately blooming
cheeks, large, soft, violet eyes, and rippling golden hair, just visible
under the borders of her widow’s cap.

Gentle Aunt Sophie was won, despite herself, by the sweet, pensive smile
with which the lady received her own rather cold greeting, when Lilith
had introduced the parties to each other.

After some little preliminary conversation about the early setting in of
summer; the unusual warmth of the weather for only the last week in May;
the prospective sea voyage in June, and the probability of fair winds
and good weather, the main object of Madame Von Bruyin’s visit was
artfully introduced.

It required some tact on the part of the baroness and her young
companion to deal with a woman as shy, jealous and peculiar as the
minister’s widow, under such circumstances as these.

But when Madame Von Bruyin briefly explained that the news of Mrs.
Downie’s mission among the street children had awakened her own interest
to a very great extent, and had inspired her with a wish to serve
them—which, owing to her swiftly approaching embarkation to Europe, she
could not personally carry out—and when she begged as a great personal
favor that Mrs. Downie would act as her almoner, with carte blanche to
use the donation according to discretion, and ended by placing a check
for a thousand dollars in Aunt Sophie’s hands—

Well, she, good soul, did not utter one word of thanks!

But her whole form vibrated and her face beamed with joy and
thankfulness. Tears of joy filled her eyes as she faltered, almost

“Oh! how much good you will do with all this, madame! How much good you
will do!”

“If so, it will be through your hands, dear friend,” replied the
baroness, rising to take leave.

Mrs. Downie, with the most old-fashioned, time-out-of-mind hospitality,
would have pressed her to stay to dinner, to stay to tea, to spend the
whole evening, but the baroness smiled, pleaded a pressure of
engagements, and departed.

“She’s good! she’s mighty good. But, oh! what a sinner I am. For I’m so
awful jealous of her, all the same. But I can’t help it, and it’s all
because of you, honey,” said Aunt Sophie, as soon as she was left alone
with Lilith. “I must get the brethren to pray for me,” she added.

From that memorable evening on which Madame Von Bruyin had told her own
heart history to Lilith Hereward, the two friends were drawn closer
together in sympathy and affection.

It was strange that Hereward’s young wife, though she admired her
husband’s first love so excessively, and underrated her own self so
humbly, yet felt no great jealousy of her rival.

Perhaps it was because Tudor himself had been the first to tell her of
that first love, that mad though “brief infatuation,” as he had called
it; and because, on referring to its object, he had spoken of her only
in terms of contempt and displeasure; so, at any rate, for this cause or
for that, Lilith, on cool reflection, saw no cause to be jealous of her
beautiful rival. She felt even some compassion for her, as for a
fellow-sufferer from Hereward’s great injustice—for had not Hereward
denounced her as a false woman, a self-seeker, a double-dealer, a
coquette, a traitress, a jilt? And all because Leda Von Kirschberg,
after having promised her hand, discovered that she had a heart, and
tried to do her duty between the two!

                              CHAPTER XII
                           NATIVE LAND ADIEU

As the day of sailing drew near, Lilith’s heart sank into utter

Up to this time she had been almost unconsciously sustained by the
recognized uncertainty of human affairs; by the deep-seated hope that
“something might happen” to delay the voyage, or perhaps to put it off

She watched the newspapers for news of Hereward; but she found none. She
knew that Congress was still in session in Washington, and she read all
the Congressional reports in the hope of finding his name; but it was
not there; not in any debate; not in any speech; not even in the mere
rank and file of the yeas and nays when a vote was taken. It seemed to
have dropped quite out of public affairs. What had become of that once
shining beacon of liberty and light?

Lilith could not even conjecture.

She diligently searched the personal column of the _Pursuivant_; but no
carefully worded appeal came to her.

Lilith could not understand this utter silence, even from Ancillon, who
had himself fixed in this column as the medium of their

Ah! but Lilith did not know that a coroner’s jury had pronounced her
dead—and come to her death “from a fatal blow on the back of her head,
inflicted by a blunt instrument held in the hands of some person
unknown,” and that she had been given up, if not forgotten, by all her

So Lilith looked through the papers day by day, “hoping against hope”
for some sign from her silent husband.

“He knows that I cannot make any,” she said, despairingly, to herself.
“He knows that he discarded me, and drove me from his home with insult
and contumely. He knows that in my farewell letter to him I wrote that
if ever he should review his course towards me, retract his charges
against me, and permit me to return, I would go to him, and be to him
all that I have been—wife, housekeeper, secretary, guardian of his home,
and helper in his office. Yes, I would, for although he does not love
me, oh! my Heavenly Father, I do love him, and I cannot help it! Oh! if
I could but return to him! But he does not want me. He will not have me.
If I had stayed at Cloud Cliffs he would have gone away never to return
while I ‘desecrated the house’ with my presence! He told me so! And oh!
oh! the scorn and hatred of his looks when he spoke those words! No! he
will never relent. He will never retract. He will never permit me to
return—never in this world. It is no use to hope. Nothing is going to
happen to bring us together. Nothing ever happens that one either hopes
or fears. A poor wretch condemned to death hopes something may happen to
save him; but it does not, and he dies. A happy girl looking forward to
her bridal, fears something may happen to stop it; but it does not, and
she marries. And oh! my Father, I still keep on hoping against hope;
looking against a possibility for something to happen to open my
husband’s eyes to show him how cruelly he has wronged me, to bring him
to my side. Hoping and expecting with idiotic persistency. Yet I know
that nothing will happen. I must ‘dree my weird,’ as the Scotch say.”

All this time Aunt Sophie watched her favorite with a troubled face, and
often with tearful eyes. At last one day she said:

“There’s something on your mind, dear, that you never let on to any one
about. What is it, dear?”

“It is nothing but vain regrets for all that I have lost, Aunt Sophie,
and foolish, mad longings to recover the irrecoverable,” replied Lilith.

The gentle old lady did not quite comprehend her; but she said:

“I don’t believe as you want to go on this voyage, child. I have noticed
as the nearer the time comes the worse you are. Now, if you don’t want
to go, dear, don’t you go—don’t you. Stay here long o’ me!”

“Oh! Aunt Sophie, I do grieve to leave you, but I must go—I must,”
sighed Lilith.

And she held to her resolution in spite of all the good woman could say.

For Lilith felt that since her husband would not relent, would not
retract, would not call her back, the farther she could get away from
the scene of her suffering the more contented she might be. In change of
scene and foreign travel she might forget her misery.

Aunt Sophie, since she could not persuade her favorite to stay with her,
busied herself in helping in the final preparations for her sea voyage.
She packed little jars of home-made pickles and acid preserves, and
little boxes of delicate biscuits and cakes, for Lilith’s private use.

“For,” she said, “though I know them ocean steamers have all the
luxuries that can be bought with money, yet I do think as these
home-made things is better. And though you mayn’t be downright sea-sick,
honey, you’re bound to be a little bit mawkish with the motion of the
vessel, and then these little things might suit your appetite when
nothing else would.”

“I am sure of it, dear Aunt Sophie. Even a cup of tea is all the sweeter
and more refreshing when it is poured out by a friend’s hand,” replied
Lilith. Whereupon Aunt Sophie shed a few tears—weakly, not unhappily.

The last day before the sailing came. All the luggage was to be sent
down on board the steamer that afternoon; and the next morning the
baroness was to call in her carriage to pick up her companion on her way
to the ship.

All that forenoon Aunt Sophie wept softly to herself, furtively wiping
her eyes whenever she could get a chance.

“I don’t want the child to see me cry. It will only make her feel bad,”
she said to herself as she dodged Lilith.

At noon Lilith’s trunk was taken down to the hall, to wait for the
expressman to call and carry it to the ship.

Lilith herself, with nothing at all to do, sat with Aunt Sophie at the
front parlor window, saying those last, tender words that are always
repeated over and over again for days and hours before parting, when
there came a ring at the door bell, followed soon by the entrance of
Monsieur Le Grange, private secretary to the Baroness Von Bruyin.

The little old gentleman came in, bowing as was his wont.

Mrs. Downie got up to leave the room—thinking that the secretary might
have brought some private message from the baroness to her young
companion; but he prevented her by a deprecatory bow and a polite

“Pardon, madame! I have come but to say a word, to make an explanation.
I have come from Madame la Baronne to her beautiful and accomplished
dame de compagnie here,” he said, turning with another bow to Lilith.
“Madame desires me to say, to explain, that she goes not to Europe by
the Kron Prinz to-morrow.”

“She does not sail by the Kron Prinz!” exclaimed Lilith, as if in her
surprise she could not comprehend the fact.

“No, madame. La Baronne has changed her plan. She sails not to-morrow.”

“Has she changed her mind about going to Europe?” inquired Lilith, with
new hope lighting her eyes at this reprieve.

“No, madame. She has not changed her mind, but only her ship. She will
go by the Kaiser Wilhelm on Saturday.”

“Dear me, what a pity! Why, she will lose all her passage money!”
exclaimed Mrs. Downie, whose economical soul was dismayed at such a
useless sacrifice of the “needful.”

“She will lose the half of it, madame, for herself and all her suite,
and that is considerable, as her suite is large. But she goes, after
all, by a ship of the same line.”

“Well, honey,” said Aunt Sophie, turning to Lilith, “at least this will
give me three days more of your dear company; and who knows?—before
Saturday something may happen to prevent your going at all.”

“Oh, no!” sighed Lilith “Nothing will happen. Nothing one hopes or fears
ever happens.”

“Now, what was the reason why the baroness put off her voyage for only
three days at such a cost as that?” inquired simple Aunt Sophie, asking
a question that Lilith had longed to ask but had shrunk from putting.

“I do not know, madame. Her resolution was taken very suddenly this
morning,” said the secretary, rising to take leave.

“Has the baroness any commands for me?” inquired Lilith, also rising.

“No, madame, none,” replied the secretary, bowing himself out.

“Well, of all the whims I ever heard of in my life!” exclaimed Aunt
Sophie. “But, anyways, ‘it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good.’
And this here ‘whim’ has blown me the blessing of your company for three
days more, honey, and something may happen.”

Lilith shook her head incredulously.

She gave all her time to Aunt Sophie that day and the next day, when the
old lady said to her:

“To think, now, if it hadn’t been for the whim of the baroness you would
now have been on the ocean, instead of sitting here beside me. And maybe
you won’t go on Saturday, neither, who knows? Something may happen.”

But again Lilith smiled and shook her head.

In the course of the forenoon a note came from the baroness to Lilith.

“Come to me this evening, my dear, and I will tell you why I changed my
ship. The news will astonish you, I think, and it may indeed change my
whole destiny. Tell your good landlady not to expect you back soon, as I
shall keep you until a late hour, and then return you safe, as before,
under the escort of Monsieur Le Grange. Answer by the messenger.

                                         “Affectionately,      L. V. B.”

Lilith wrote a note to the effect that she would wait on the baroness at
seven o’clock that evening, and sent it by the page who had brought the

Then she showed the baroness’ note to Aunt Sophie, who, after hearing it
read, was filled with curiosity.

“Now what on earth can she have to tell you that will astonish you so
much? Maybe she is going to marry the old secretary, and wants you to be
bridesmaid!” said Aunt Sophie.

Lilith looked at the simple woman and laughed. It was the first time she
had laughed since her heavy sorrow.

“Well, now, stranger things than that has happened, honey; let alone the
fact that nobody can ever account for the whims of these fine ladies.
And come to think of it, didn’t she marry an old man for her first
husband? Maybe she has a fancy for old men. Some women have, I know,”
said Aunt Sophie, nodding her head sagaciously.

“Perhaps,” said Lilith, remembering Mrs. Jab Jordon, and being unable to
gainsay Aunt Sophie’s declaration—“perhaps; but I do not think Madame
Von Bruyin is one of those women. She married the Herr Baron to please
her father.”

“She don’t look to me like one as would do anything as didn’t please
herself just as well. She is a good lady, a mighty good lady, and a
generous and a charitable one, and she give me a great deal of money for
the poor children. And I shall always be thankful to her and pray for
her, and get the brethren to pray for her; but all the same, she’s got a
will of her own, my dear. She will have her own way—you may depend she

                ‘Gin mammie and daddie and a’ gang mad,’

as the old song says.”

“Well, I shall know to-morrow why she has delayed her voyage,” said

“Yes, and if she is going to marry the old secretary—and a nice old
gentleman he is, too, I will say that for him—she won’t want you, my
dear. It’s only rich old maids and rich widows as wants
companions—married women don’t. And so she’ll let you off your bargain
and pay you compensation, which is no more than right and proper, she
being wealthy and generous and you being a young orphan. And that’s
what’s going to happen, maybe, to prevent your voyage, and I shall have
you all to myself. Who knows?”

“I do not think that will happen, Aunt Sophie.”

“Well, we’ll see.”

“Yes, very soon. This very evening.”

“And if it is that which I said, of course we shall all hear it. But if
it is anything else that has made her change her day of sailing, will
you tell me?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie, unless the communication of the baroness to me should
be of a confidential nature,” said Lilith.

“How I do hate secrets! I never had one of my own in my life,” said Aunt
Sophie, with funny simplicity.

When evening came Lilith set out to walk to the hotel to keep her
appointment with the baroness.

When she reached that lady’s apartments, however, she was met by the
secretary, who, after politely greeting her, explained the absence of
the baroness.

“Madame is ill! She is ill! Headache. Migraine, you know,” he said, in a
very pathetic tone. “She lies in a room pitch dark; her maid sits beside
her, silent as death. It is a vault—it is a grave, for she cannot bear
the faintest ray of light, or murmur of sound. She can see no one; but
before she retired to her bed she bade me receive you here, excuse her
to you, and say to you, in brief, that the reason why she changed her
steamer was that there was a party going by the Kron Prinz with whom she
did not wish to sail, and that she would explain further when you meet.
Meanwhile, chère madame, all arrangements are completed for our
embarkation on the Kaiser Wilhelm on Saturday morning. Our baggage will
be sent on board on Friday evening.”

Lilith thanked the old secretary for his information, left her
sympathetic regrets for Madame Von Bruyin, and arose to depart.

“I will have the honor to see you home, madame,” said the polite
secretary, as he attended Lilith downstairs and out to the sidewalk.

There, as before, he called a carriage, put her into it, took a seat by
her side and ordered the coachman to drive to Mrs. Downie’s

He only left Lilith when he had seen her enter the hall.

“And now, honey, what is it?” inquired Aunt Sophie, as soon as the two
friends were seated in the front parlor together. “You are back a heap
sooner than I expected. What did she tell you?”

“Nothing. I did not see her. She has gone to bed with a severe headache.
But she left a short message for me with Monsieur Le Grange to the
effect that the reason why she would not sail by the Kron Prinz was that
there was a party going by that steamer with whom she did not wish to
travel,” answered Lilith.

“Now, did ever any soul hear the like of that?” exclaimed Mrs. Downie.
“If that doesn’t cap all the whims I ever heard of in all the days of my
life! But I oughtn’t to say anything agin’ her, I oughtn’t indeed, for
she’s a mighty good lady and a charitable one, and she give me such a
heap of money for the poor street children.”

Lilith saw no more of Madame Von Bruyin until Saturday morning, when the
baroness called in her carriage to pick up her companion on her way to
the steamer.

Madame got out of her coach and went into the house for the purpose of
bidding good-bye to Mrs. Downie, whom she found crying over Lilith.

“You’ll be good to the child, madame! I know you will be good to her! I
believe, I hope, I trust you will,” said Aunt Sophie, a little
inconsistently, as, after reiterated leave-taking, she resigned Lilith
into the charge of the baroness.

“Have no fear. She shall be happy, if I can make her so,” said the lady.
And then, with a sudden impulse of kindness, she added the question:

“Would you not like to go down to the ship and see us off? Come with
us—do! And the same carriage can bring you back to your own door.”

“Oh, thank you, yes. Indeed, indeed, I would. And I won’t be a minute in
getting on my things,” said the grateful old lady, as she hurried from
the room.

In a very few moments she reappeared with her mashed black silk bonnet,
rusty black Canton crape shawl, and thread gloves.

The three went out to the carriage, in which the old Frenchman had
remained seated. When they appeared he got out, politely saluted the
party, handed them into their seats, and then followed them.

The four persons just comfortably filled the carriage. Madame’s maid and
footman followed in another carriage, having charge of their lady’s
lighter luggage.

And so they started to drive down the avenue to the ferry by which they
were to cross to Hoboken, from which point the steamer was to sail.

Arrived at the pier on the other side, they found their ship, and in and
about it a crowd, mostly composed of foreigners, commercial travelers,
returning German emigrants, and a few summer tourists.

Aunt Sophie accompanied her friends on board the steamer, and became an
interested and sympathetic spectator of the busy and affecting scene
around her. Some of the leave-takings touched her tender heart even to
tears, and made her think of the happy land where there would be “no
more sorrow nor crying,” and she kept on fortifying her mind by
repeating over and over to herself the lines of her hymn:

                       “Oh, that will be joyful!
                       Joyful, joyful, joyful!
                       Oh, that will be joyful
                       To meet, to part no more!
                       To meet to part no more,
                       On Canaan’s happy shore,
                       Where we shall meet
                       At Jesus’ feet,
                       And meet to part no more!”

Tears were in her tender eyes while the music of the simple hymn was
sounding through her spirit.

Farewells were falling from faltering lips and failing hearts all around
her. And in a saloon not far off a party of Germans were celebrating
their embarkation by drinking lager and singing songs, in which
Fatherland was the most frequent word and the chorus.

But Aunt Sophie heard none of this. She was in a dream.

She was aroused by the gentle voice of Lilith in her ear, saying:

“Aunt Sophie, the baroness says you have just time to bid us good-bye
and get comfortably back to the pier. Monsieur Le Grange is waiting here
to take you to the carriage, after which he will barely have time to
return to us before the plank is drawn. Dear Aunt Sophie, the moment has
come. Bid me good-bye and give me your blessing.”

Mrs. Downie caught Lilith to her breast, burst into tears and sobbed

Lilith kissed her repeatedly, reiterating all the promises she had ever
made, never to forget her, always to love her, often to write to her,
and soon as possible to return.

“Madame, I must have the honor, if you please,” said Monsieur Le Grange,
with kindly firmness, as he drew the arm of the little old lady within
his own and led her off to the gang plank, over which a sad procession
was passing to the pier.

She had not even remembered to take leave of the baroness.

In five minutes Monsieur Le Grange returned to the deck, rejoined Madame
Von Bruyin’s party and reported:

“Madame Downie has serened herself on the cushions of the carriage. She
repeats to herself some consoling office of her religion. She——”

But the good secretary’s voice was drowned in the loud report of the
farewell gun.

And the next minute the Kaiser Wilhelm stood out to sea.

It was two hours later. Most of the passengers had gone below, either to
arrange their berths, or to guard against the first approaches of

Madame Von Bruyin and her young companion sat well forward on the deck
and quite out of hearing of any fellow-voyager. They had been silently
gazing out to sea for a few minutes, when the baroness suddenly turned
to her companion and said:

“I presume Monsieur Le Grange gave you my message that evening when you
came to the hotel and found me too ill to keep my appointment?”

“Yes, madame.”

“And he told you my reason for changing steamers?”

“Yes, madame, very briefly, to the effect that there was a party on
board the Kron Prinz with whom you did not wish to travel.”

“Yes, that was my short message; but he also added, if he reported me
aright, that I would explain further when we should meet.”

“He told me that, madame.”

“Well, my dear, I suppose you could never be able to guess who it was
from whom I shrank on the Kron Prinz.”

“No, I am sure I could not. I have known so very few of your
acquaintances, madame.”

“Yet of this especial acquaintance I have spoken to you more than once.
Surely now you can guess who it is that has gone before us to Europe in
the Kron Prinz, can you not?”

“No, madame; unless—unless it was Prince Carl of Altenburg——”

“Prince Carl? Well, you know, of course, he was a bore, and worried me
not a little; but I should not have changed my steamer on his account,
even if he had been on board the Kron Prinz, which he was not. No, you
must try again.”

“I am sure I cannot guess, madame,” said Lilith, with a smile, but with
no interest in the question.

“Then I must tell you,” said the lady; and dropping her voice, she
added: “Who should it be but my old lover, Mr. Tudor Hereward, who has
just been appointed Secretary of Legation to the Court of ——.”

Lilith grew cold as death, but did not reply.

The baroness, too full of the subject, and of her own possible fortunes
in connection with it, failed to notice her companion’s silence, and
went on eagerly to say:

“Yes, I first saw the announcement of his appointment, and of his
intended voyage on the Kron Prinz, in the _Pursuivant_ of Tuesday
morning. And I saw something more in connection with his history that
surprised me very much—something that seemed to render it indelicate,
embarrassing, and even improper for me to make this sea voyage in his
company. But we shall be sure to meet on the other side. And that
meeting will probably decide our destinies. For now, my dear, we are
both free!”

                              CHAPTER XIII
                         LILITH REVEALS HERSELF

       There was a time when meadow, grove and spring
         The earth and every common sight,
           To her did seem
         Appareled in celestial light,
           The glory and the freshness of a dream.
       It is not now as it hath been before;
         Turn wheresoe’er she may,
           By night or day,
       The things that she hath seen she now can see no more.
         Waters on a starry night,
           Sunshine is a glorious birth,
           Yet she knows, where’er she goes,
       That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.

“‘That meeting may decide’ your ‘destinies!’ How?” inquired Lilith, in a
low, steady tone, which it required all her powers of self-control to

“Oh, my child, did you never hear the homely old adage concerning
lovers—that ‘old coals are soon kindled?’ We—Tudor Hereward and Leda Von
Bruyin—have only to meet to come to a good understanding. My dear, we
love one another. That is the reason why, under present circumstances, I
did not choose to cross the ocean in the same steamer with him. Nor do I
wish to meet him for some months yet. We could not, under any
circumstances, unite our destinies in less than twelve or eighteen
months, you know,” said the baroness, speaking with much

“‘Unite your destinies?’” repeated Lilith, in the same low tone.

“Why, yes! Don’t you understand? Why, marry, of course! Mr. Hereward and
myself understand each other at heart, I feel sure, although we parted
in mutual displeasure, and have never written or spoken to each other

“But—his—wife?” queried Lilith, in a low, hesitating voice.

“Oh, well, his wife! I am sorry for her, poor child! Really sorry for
her! And he, too, must be sorry that she met such an awful fate,” said
the baroness, pausing and falling into thought.

“What fate did she meet?” inquired Lilith, in the same constrained, low

“Why, don’t you know? Did not I tell you? Oh, no! I believe I did not. I
said that we were both free, however, and you must have understood what
that meant.”

“No, I did not.”

“It meant, of course, that his wife was dead, as well as my husband—the
two events setting us both free to marry again.”

“His wife—dead! Tudor Hereward’s wife—dead! Madame, what reason have you
for supposing so?” demanded Lilith, in a low but firm tone.

“I do not wonder that you are surprised and incredulous! It is so
strange that the young wife, with perhaps seventy years of life before
her, should have been cut off by accident so soon; but strange things do
happen in this uncertain old world of ours! And, my dear, it is
true—Tudor Hereward’s wife is dead.”

“Dead? Yes, in some sense of the word, she is dead, I suppose,” muttered
Lilith to herself. Then slightly raising her voice she inquired: “Are
you sure that she is dead, madame?”

“As sure as I can be of anything in this world. I knew nothing about it
until I read what seemed to be a résumé of the whole story in the
_Pursuivant_. Strange how we sometimes read and forget things without
having the slightest idea of their significance to us! Some weeks ago I
read in the papers that the body of an unknown young woman had been
found in the woods on Cave Creek, near Frosthill in West Virginia. I
read it without the faintest idea that I, or any one connected with me,
could have any interest in that fact. And I had forgotten all about it
until I read in the _Pursuivant_ of Tuesday the announcement of Tudor
Hereward’s appointment as Secretary of Legation to the Court of ——, and
the theory that he had only accepted the appointment in order to seek,
by serving his country in foreign lands, some benefit to his health,
broken down by grief for the tragic fate of his young wife.”

“Merciful Heaven!” breathed Lilith to herself.

“And then, my dear,” continued the baroness, unconscious of the
interruption, “the whole story was gathered up and rehearsed—how young
Mrs. Hereward was missing from her home on the night of the 21st of
March, and how no trace of her could be found until about the middle of
April, when a body, much decomposed, was discovered in the woods on the
banks of Cave Creek, which, after much investigation, contradictory
evidence and dispute, was proved beyond all possibility of doubt to be
that of Tudor Hereward’s young wife.”

“How very strange!” muttered Lilith.

“Yes—very strange. It must have given Mr. Hereward a great shock, even
though he never loved the poor, inane young creature.”

“No; of course, he never loved her!” sighed Lilith.

“How could he love her? He loved me—madly, passionately, idolatrously—at
the very time that he married her. Why, I had rejected him only a few
hours before he proposed to her! And oh! what a fool she must have been
to have accepted a man who had never wooed her—accepted him at his very
first word! I am sorry for the poor thing, but you must acknowledge that
she was a great idiot, and in no way a fit and proper wife for Tudor

“I do acknowledge it; but—but perhaps she loved him,” meekly suggested

“That does not excuse her for snatching at a man’s first offer.”

“But do you think it was quite right in him to ask a girl to be his wife
when he could not love her at all?”

“No, indeed; I do not. I think he did her a most grievous wrong. I told
him so in Washington when he announced his marriage to me. But, then, my
dear, he was half mad with rage, jealousy and disappointment. He married
her to be revenged upon me—nothing more.”

“It was a pity for the poor, unloved wife!” breathed Lilith.

“Indeed it was—poor child. And no doubt he repents the wrong he did her,
now that she has met so cruel a fate—robbed and murdered by tramps, it
is supposed, while she was on her way to relieve the wants of a sick and
destitute neighbor. Remorse is harder to bear than sorrow, and no doubt
it is remorse for the wrongs he had done her, and not sorrow for the
loss of the wife whom he never loved, that is breaking down his health.
However, he will get over it in time,” said the lady, complacently.

“And—you expect—some day—to bestow on him—your hand in marriage?” slowly
questioned Lilith.

“Yes, my dear; I mean to do him that justice—to give him that
consolation. We are both so young yet. He is not thirty, I am but a
little more than twenty years of age. We have a long life before us, in
which I shall do all that in me lies to make him forget his early
disappointments and sorrows; to make him as completely blessed and happy
as woman can make man,” said the baroness, with more depth of feeling in
her thrilling tones than Lilith had ever detected there before.

A dead silence followed these last words. Then at length Lilith spoke in
a low, firm, steady voice:

“Madame, you must not dream of your future life in connection with that
of Tudor Hereward.”

“What! Why must I not? Whatever do you mean? Why, I ask you?” demanded
the surprised baroness.

“Because it would be a great sin.”

“Sin! Why a sin?”

“Because Tudor Hereward’s wife still lives,” replied Lilith, in a voice
of such unnatural, mechanical calmness that it did not seem to come from
living lips.

“Tudor Hereward’s wife still lives?” demanded the baroness, in slow,
questioning, incredulous tones. “What can you know about it? Her dead
body was found—was identified; what, then, do you mean by saying that
she still lives? And what can you know about it, in any case?”

“Madame, I do not dispute that some woman’s dead body was found near her
dwelling. I know not whose it was; but I do know that it was not Tudor
Hereward’s wife’s.”

“How dare you say so! How can you know anything about the matter?”
demanded the baroness, almost indignantly.

“Because, madame—oh, forgive me—because—I—I am Mr. Hereward’s—most
unhappy wife!” answered Lilith, dropping her head in her hands with a
low, heart-breaking moan.

There was a dead silence between the two for a few minutes.

The baroness was the first to speak.

“You? You the wife of Tudor Hereward? Impossible!” she muttered, glaring
down on the little bowed head.

Lilith’s bosom heaved with a silent sob; but she did not reply.

“You the wife of Mr. Tudor Hereward? I say it is impossible!” repeated
Madame Von Bruyin.

“I would to Heaven that it were impossible,” moaned Lilith.

“It cannot be true!” reiterated the baroness.

“I call Heaven to witness that it is true, madame. I am very sorry—I beg
you to forgive me—I should never have told you, madame, but to save you
from vain and sinful hopes and dreams. Indeed, I am very sorry, and I
beg you to forgive me.”

“You are, then, the child-wife whom Tudor Hereward married in haste and
in rage to be revenged on me?” sternly demanded the baroness.

Lilith, with her face still buried in her hands, answered by a nod and a
silent sob.

“You seem, then, to have entered my service under false pretences?”
sneered the lady.

“No, madame,” gently replied Lilith, “under no false pretences. Under
reserve, if you please, under reticence in regard to my past life, but
under no false pretences.”

“You entered my service as a widow.”

“Pardon me, madame, I never told you that I was a widow. I signed my
name to my letters, Elizabeth Wyvil. When we met you called me Miss
Wyvil. I told you that I was not ‘Miss’ Wyvil. You then took it for
granted that I was Mrs. and a widow—as, indeed, I was in fate, if not in
law. Remember, dear madame, that I gave you my college testimonials as
references, and told you that the good women who allowed me to refer to
them—I mean Mrs. Ponsonby, of Baltimore, and Mrs. Downie, of New
York—really knew very little of me, but had taken me up in faith and

“But why did you call yourself Mrs. Wyvil, and allow yourself to be
considered as a widow, when your name was Hereward?” demanded the lady.

“Because my husband, on the day that he discarded me, forbade me to use
his family name; and in obedience to him I dropped it, retaining only my
own maiden name—Elizabeth Wyvil. I could not explain this fact to you
without accusing my husband. Nor should I explain now but to prevent a
great evil,” said Lilith.

Again silence fell between them, which Lilith was the first to break:

“You never once questioned me as to my state, madame. If you had asked
me plainly, ‘Are you a widow?’ I must have told you that I was not
except in fate. But you took it for granted that because I was not
‘Miss’ Wyvil I must be a widow.”

“Yes, you are right. It was my own assumption,” said the baroness.

“I am very sorry that I have been with you in a mistaken position. I am
ready to make any amends in my power; ready even to leave your service
at this moment, if it be your wish that I should do so.”

“This moment! Why, you are out at sea and will have no opportunity to
leave until we reach Havre.”

“I remember that, madame; but if you wish to part with me, I can leave
you without leaving the ship. I can refund my passage money, and end our
connection now and here.”

“And what would you do then?”

“As soon as we reach Havre take passage in the first ship back to New
York, and return to Mrs. Downie.”

“Does she know your true story?”

“No; she knows me only as Elizabeth Wyvil. And by that name only must I
be known, since my husband has forbidden me to use his.”

“My dear, I do not wish to part with you. But tell me, since you have
told me the fact, why did your husband part with you?”

“Madame, you yourself gave the reason. I was not ‘fit’ to be his wife,”
said Lilith, mournfully.

“My dear, I should never have said that if I had known you,” replied the
baroness, who, notwithstanding her own disappointed love for Tudor
Hereward, still felt her heart drawn in pity towards his young discarded
wife—the youthful stranger to whom she had been so strongly attracted at
first sight, and whom in after intercourse she had grown to love.

“But I am surprised that you, who are so different from the girl whom I
had imagined as Hereward’s hastily married wife—you who are gifted with
rare intelligence and sensibility—should have condescended to marry him
at such very short notice. How was it?” gently inquired the baroness.

The answer came low and soft:

“Because I loved him, and believed he loved me.”

“You believed he loved you. Had he ever told you so?” demanded the lady.

“No, never. Tudor Hereward never spoke an untruth.”

“Then what reason, in the name of Heaven, had you for thinking that he
loved you?”

“Because he asked me to become his wife. Of course I never once imagined
that he could have any other motive than affection for wishing to marry

“But did not the suddenness of the proposal—for an immediate marriage,
too—awaken your suspicions?”

“No; for it was his dying father’s wish to see us married by his bedside
before he should pass away.”

“Oh! That puts quite a new face upon the whole proceeding. Poor child!
To please that dying father you consented to marry that son at a
moment’s notice.”

“No, madame; no. It was, as I said, because I loved Tudor Hereward, and
believed he loved me, that I consented. Otherwise I should never have
done so, even to satisfy the beloved, dying father, though I would
willingly have died to redeem his life, had that been possible,”
earnestly answered Lilith.

“Ah, well! You loved him, and I suppose he knew it. That redeems the
affair from utter abomination. But perhaps you do not like to speak of
your short union with Mr. Hereward?”

“I do not shrink from speaking of it, nor do I break any faith in
speaking of him, for, madame, we are parted more effectually than even
death can part those who love each other.”

“But you love him?”

Lilith answered by a deep, silent sob as she dropped her face into her

“And you are so young! Only seventeen! How long have you loved this man,
my dear?” compassionately inquired the lady.

“How long? As long as I have lived, I think. I do not remember the time
when I did not love Tudor Hereward as I love my Lord. It was my religion
to love him. I was brought up to worship God, and to adore Tudor
Hereward. Under the Almighty, he was my lord, my law-giver. This love
was my life,” murmured Lilith, in a low, thrilling, pathetic voice.

“Who trained you to this idolatry?”

“His father—my foster-father.”

Again silence fell between the two.

At length the baroness inquired:

“My dear, will you tell me how you came to be the foster-daughter of the
late Major Hereward? But do not do so if you would rather not.”

“I have no objection,” answered Lilith.

And in a few brief words she told the story of her adoption as it is
known to the reader.

“I am half inclined to retract all that I have said of Tudor Hereward.
It may be that revenge did not enter into his scheme of marrying a child
whom he did not love. It may be that he was actuated solely by the wish
to please his father and to pay a sacred debt,” said the baroness.

“Yes, to pay a sacred debt. That is what they called it—a sacred debt.
Ah! would to Heaven I had died with my mother rather than lived to be
the creditor of that fatal debt! Heaven knows how soon I would have
absolved both father and son from its responsibility had I known it was
only for that cause I was to be married,” said Lilith, with a sigh so
heavy that it moved the pity of the lady, who took the girl’s hand and
held it kindly as she said:

“I do suppose that a marriage contracted under such circumstances must,
sooner or later, end just as yours has. And, my poor child, since it was
doomed to end so, it is better that it should sooner than later. Yet—I
cannot imagine that you could have given any provocation for an act so
extreme as his repudiation of you; and I feel deeply interested to know
just what precipitated the event.”

“Dear madame, I can only tell you that it was a misapprehension on his
part, which, could he have loved and trusted me, need not have ended in
the fatal quarrel that has separated us forever. You understand now. I
need not go into the painful details of that scene.”

“No, you need not. And so you left your home secretly?”

“Oh, no, not secretly. For when at last he told me that he had never
loved me; that he had only married me to please his father; that he
should go away from his home and never return while I—desecrated—the
house with my presence, then I answered that I must not be the means of
driving him from his ancestral home; that I must depart.”

“Heavens! What did he say to that?”

“With a look full of scorn and wrath, he bade me quit his sight. I left
the room, went to my chamber and prepared for my journey. I went away
that night, leaving a farewell letter on my dressing-bureau.”

“And no one saw you go?”

“No one. It was late on a winter night, and I went forth alone.”

“Poor child! And this accounts for the story of your mysterious
disappearance and supposed death.”

“Yes, I presume so. They must have believed that I came to my death
after leaving the house.”

“And he believes that you are dead! And he suffers from remorse, if not
from grief. Well, we shall find him on the other side. Shall we make
your existence known to him?”

“I do not know, madame. I must think and pray over that question. But
even if he be assured that I do still live, he must not be annoyed by
the sight of my face. Oh! madame, though I long with all my soul to see
him again, to hear his voice once more, yet, yet, I shrink from the
ordeal as from fire!” said Lilith.

“I can well believe that. I am glad I did not tell you my news before we
sailed. If I had done so, you would not perhaps have come with me.”

“No,” said Lilith.

Silence fell between the two women, and lasted until the bell rang for
luncheon, for which neither of them felt the least desire.

It was an excuse for moving, however—something to do—and Madame Von
Bruyin arose and offered her arm to her slighter companion and the two
went down to the saloon together. It was about two o’clock. They were
well out at sea now and the waves were rather high; the ship was rolling
uncomfortably for those who had not found their sea legs and their sea

Neither Madame Von Bruyin nor Lilith as yet suffered from the motion.

After lunch, however, each retired alone to her state-room.

The baroness threw herself into her berth and gave way to the tide of
shame, grief and indignation which it had required all her pride,
conscience and self-control to restrain while she was in the presence of
Tudor Hereward’s young wife.

She had been strangely attracted to Lilith from the first meeting with
her, and she had grown to love the girl with the fond, protecting love
of an elder sister. She had given Lilith her confidence, revealed her
inmost heart, told her love-story—even her love for Tudor Hereward to
Tudor Hereward’s unknown wife! What a mortification in the thought that
she had done so! Yet, there was a selfish comfort, which she blamed
herself for taking, in the reflection that it was to the unloved and
discarded wife that she had told this story.

She had within the past few days had her heart’s deepest affections
raised from despair to something near absolute certainty. “Her hopes
soared up like fire!” And in the exaltation of her spirits she had
called on Lilith to share her joy and to congratulate her—only to have
them all extinguished by the damper of the girl’s communication—“Tudor
Hereward’s wife still lives.... I am Tudor Hereward’s most unhappy

How all her soul had risen up in defiance and contradiction of that
statement until its truth was pressed in upon her consciousness. And
then, all her sense of justice, all her powers of self-command were
required to pass calmly through the ordeal of the interview that ensued.
She had passed through it successfully. She had so mastered her pain and
repressed her heart that she now felt sure Hereward’s young wife
regarded Leda Von Bruyin’s love for him as the mere passing fancy of a
wealthy woman of the world, soon to be forgotten in the change of travel
or the whirl of society. She felt no jealousy of this despised and
discarded wife, as she might have felt had Lilith been the beloved,
honored and cherished companion of her husband; on the contrary, she
felt pity, affection and sympathy for the poor, lonely and dependent

But her spirit blazed out in fierce anger of Tudor Hereward’s whole
course of conduct toward them both, so that she was very unjust to him.

“He has ruined two lives by his arrogant recklessness and precipitation.
He loved me; he never loved that poor girl. He loved me, and he ought to
have waited, in hope and faith, as long as I continued unmarried. He
ought not to have rushed into matrimony with that young creature whom he
never loved, and so made her miserable and put an insurmountable
obstacle between himself and me! Or—having married her, he should have
cherished her and not discarded her.

“No, Tudor Hereward,” she continued to herself, “you are no longer the
chevalier sans peur et sans reproche, that I once believed you! And—if I
suffer now, it is not that I love you still, but that my love is dying
hard—very, very hard!

“But I will take a queenly revenge upon you, my master! A most noble and
royal revenge. This child-wife whom you have discarded shall be to me as
the dearest little sister. She is already beautiful, elegant and
graceful by nature. She is cultivated, refined and accomplished by
education; all she needs is intercourse with the highest European
circles to give her the tone and manner of the most cultured society.
And that she shall have. I will introduce her, not as my salaried
companion—though she shall have her salary and much more than her
salary—but as my own adopted sister. And when you see her again, Tudor
Hereward, you will not be likely to despise her.

“And oh!” she passionately broke forth, “that I had the power to
annihilate the very fragments of that broken marriage tie and the very
memory of it, in her mind, and give her, all perfect as I shall make
her, into the hands of some nobler husband! But no! that would not be a
worthy revenge.

“To give her back, a pearl above price, to you, perhaps! Can I do that?
Can I conquer myself so entirely? That would be a magnanimous revenge.”

So ran the thoughts of the petted beauty, rioting through a mind
governed rather by feeling than by reason, yet with much more of good
than evil in it.

Meanwhile, Lilith, lying on the narrow sofa in her state-room, gave way
to one hearty fit of crying, and then wiped her eyes, and began to try
to understand her position and her duty.

She was not jealous of the handsome baroness, either. She remembered all
her husband had told her of his first fancy, of how harshly he had come
to judge her, and she fully believed that Madame Von Bruyin deceived
herself in imagining that Tudor Hereward still continued to love her, or
to entertain other feelings than disapprobation and dislike towards her.

Lilith now knew, from her intimate relations with the baroness, that Mr.
Hereward had greatly misjudged her; that she was not, and never had
been, the heartless coquette he had termed her; but that, in spite of
her training, she was a warm-hearted, generous and conscientious woman.

But the question now before Lilith was—whether she should continue with
the baroness, and run the risk of meeting Hereward in the court circle
of the city to which they were going, or whether she should, on reaching
Havre, take the first homeward bound steamer and return to New York and
to the safe protection of Aunt Sophie’s humble roof.

And though Lilith thought over this question and prayed over it, yet she
had come to no decision when there came a rap, followed by the entrance
of Lisette, the lady’s maid, who said:

“Madame has sent me to say that it is time for dinner, and to see if I
can assist you, madame.”

“Thank you, no. I will be ready in a few minutes,” replied Lilith,
rising from her sofa, and beginning to smooth down her dress and arrange
her hair.

She soon completed her very simple toilet and went out into the cabin,
where she found the baroness waiting for her.

The lady looked pale and grave, but otherwise as usual. No one could
have judged from her manner the dread ordeal through which she was

She looked searchingly into Lilith’s face, and saw there the traces of
emotion but recently overcome. She smiled softly, as she drew the girl’s
arm within her own and whispered:

“We do not either of us look quite well, dear; but n’importe—the fault
will be laid upon the sea! On land, all our feminine troubles, for which
we do not wish to account, we explain by a headache. At sea, all
grievances of soul or body may be put down to sea-sickness. Is a woman
pale from vexation or disappointment? She is only sea-sick. Is a man
unable to leave his berth in the morning, from having had too much
champagne over night? He is very sea-sick, poor wretch! Come! let us go
into the saloon.”

There were very few people at the tables, and so Madame Von Bruyin and
her companion had a large share of attention from the stewards. Yet they
could receive but little benefit from the sumptuous fare laid before
them, and they soon left the table for the upper deck, where they sat
late into the June night, watching the clear, starlit heavens above and
the boundless expanse of ocean below.

At eleven they retired to their berths.

And so ended the first day at sea.

                              CHAPTER XIV
                         LILITH’S METAMORPHOSIS

The run of the Kaiser Wilhelm was an almost ideal voyage. After the
first few hours, winds and waves subsided.

On Sunday morning the voyagers arose to find themselves borne steadily
onward over a summer sea, under a sunny sky, freshened by a gentle

As this day was, so were all the succeeding days of the voyage.

Only twice it rained, and then only in the night, so that all the
mornings were clear and fair.

Lilith was young, fresh and sensitive and so, notwithstanding all her
past griefs, disappointments and humiliations, she enjoyed the voyage.

The baroness was very kind to her young companion, and very delicate in
making the gradual change she had determined upon in her case. She never
said to the young creature in so many words: “From this time you are my
little sister;” but she treated her with the free and fond affection due
to such a relationship. She never asked Lilith to perform the slightest
service for her; but, on the contrary, very often offered attentions to
the girl—wrapping her shawl around her when they were going up on deck,
and showing her all the solicitous tenderness of an affectionate

Lilith was very grateful for all this kindness; nor did its excess
embarrass her in the least degree. She had been used to the greatest
care and the tenderest love all her young days until the brief episode
of her married life; and she had no experience to teach her that the
baroness’ treatment of her was not the treatment usually bestowed by a
lady upon her salaried companion. So she accepted all the favors and all
the attentions of the great lady with gratitude and enjoyment.

Their fellow-voyagers had not the least idea that these two young ladies
stood in the relations of employer and employed towards each other, but
believed them to be very young widowed sisters or dear friends.

There happened to be on board not one of Madame Von Bruyin’s own circle
who was acquainted with her family history and knew that she had no

The baroness happened to come on deck one morning with Lilith.

She sat down near a lady, who, after exchanging salutations with the
new-comer, said, politely:

“I hope, madame, that your dear sister is not indisposed this morning,
this fine, fine morning, that she is not on deck.”

“Thank you, she is quite well, only a trifle late in rising; but Mrs.
Wyvil is not my sister except in affection; though indeed there are few
sisters so strongly attached to each other as we are. Circumstances have
brought this friendly union about. We are both orphans, without sister
or brother; both widows without children; we have, in fact, no family
ties whatever. We are fast friends who have no one but each other,”
Madame Von Bruyin explained, speaking purposely so to one whom she knew
to be one of the busiest gossips among all the ladies of the first

After this there was much talk about the “romantic friendship” existing
between the two beautiful young widows. This talk found its way from the
ladies’ cabin to the gentlemen’s saloon, where the status of the two
lovely widows was often canvassed. Both were acknowledged to be
“beautiful exceedingly,” and yet so different in style that there could
be no comparison between them—one a tall and stately blonde, the other a
petite and graceful brunette; so that they were relatively called Juno
and Psyche. Both were supposed to be enormously rich—great chances for
“elegant but impecunious” fortune-hunters. And more than one adventurer
who could not manage to approach the hedged-in royalty on ship-board,
determined to keep track of the beauties in hopes of golden
opportunities after they should have landed on the other side.

Meanwhile Madame Von Bruyin and Lilith, unconscious of the buzz of
gossip, criticism and speculation going on around them in cabin and
saloon, kept on the even tenor of their way, until one fine morning near
the middle of June they awoke to find themselves at Havre. Their ship
had arrived in the night while they slept.

Lilith started up to look through the port-hole of her state-room, but
she could see nothing but the hulk of another great steamer that lay
close alongside.

She dressed herself with eager, childish haste to go upon deck and look
upon the shores of the old world, so new to her, and which she had so
longed to see.

Such first sights are often a surprise and a disappointment to the young
traveler. They expect to see something very new and very strange,
instead of which they see what seem to be very familiar objects—all
sea-port towns are at first view so very much alike in their general

When Lilith hurriedly dressed herself, and without waiting for Madame
Von Bruyin, hastened up on deck, and looked around her, she saw what, as
it seemed to her, she must have seen a hundred times before—a harbor
with a forest of shipping, docks crowded with men, women and children,
horses, mules, carts and vans, and laden with bales, boxes, barrels and
bundles of merchandise; dingy warehouses rising to the sky, with dusty
windows and many ropes and pulleys reaching from roof to basement;
beyond these the crowded streets of the city.

“Why, but for that old tower in the distance, and those old churches,
this might be New York or Baltimore,” said Lilith, unconscious of having
spoken out.

“Yes, my dear, at a very casual and superficial glance; but wait until
we get into the town. Then I will show you some antiquities of the time
of Louis XI., when Havre was but a little fishing-hamlet and never
dreamed of becoming the great sea-port that it now is,” said the
baroness, who had come quietly up to the side of her young friend.

“Ah! but it is not beautiful to look upon from this point,” said Lilith.

“What sea-port town is? But it is interesting away from the docks—though
I can well believe that the ships, docks and warehouses are decidedly
the most interesting portion of the town to those busy business men whom
we see in the crowd there. But, as I said, wait until we land and see
the old city. And remember that beyond the city spread

                ‘Thy corn-fields green and sunny vines,
                Oh, pleasant land of France.’

I always enjoy the railway ride from Havre to Paris. We will take that
ride to-morrow, little beauty. To-day we will do Havre.”

“But, madame, I was thinking, as I have before hinted to you, of
returning to New York by the first homeward bound steamer,” said Lilith,

The baroness turned suddenly around and stared at her little friend for
a moment, and then exclaimed: “You must never think of doing such a
thing! Why have you ever thought of it?”

“Because you are going in the course of your travels to the very city
and court where you will be sure to meet—Mr. Hereward,” said Lilith,
hesitating over the name. “And I should not like to seem to be following
him, after all that has passed,” she added.

“Nonsense, my dear! We may make the tour of the continent without going
to that city. Or even if we go there, we may see everything worth seeing
without meeting that man.”


“I will hear no ‘but,’ my dear. You must not leave me. You engaged to
stay with me for twelve months, unless our engagement should be annulled
by mutual consent. Now, I do not consent to any such thing, my dear; and
you, I know, are too honest and honorable to break a contract. There has
been quite enough of that sort of thing in our lives, at least in yours,
without a new example. But there! we will not discuss this matter
further until we get to our hotel. See! the plank has been laid and the
people are beginning to go on shore. Ah! Monsieur Le Grange, will you be
so good as to send Felix on shore to engage two carriages? I shall then
ask you to attend Mrs. Wyvil and myself to the Hotel de l’Europe, where
you will please engage rooms for us,” said the baroness, turning to her
private secretary, who had just stepped up.

The polite old gentleman bowed and bowed and went away to perform his

“We will go down and put on our wraps, my dear. You need not take the
trouble to pack or to remove anything. I will leave Lisette in charge of
our rooms to do all that. Felix can see our trunks through the Custom
House, and then come on with Lisette and all the other trumpery to the

Lilith followed her friend’s advice and soon joined her in the cabin,
dressed for landing.

They went up on deck, and while they stood waiting for the return of
Monsieur Le Grange they exchanged good-byes with several fellow-voyagers
who were leaving the ship for various points.

At length Monsieur Le Grange came up, bowing.

“I have procured a very comfortable carriage which awaits madame, and I
have sent Felix on to the Hotel de l’Europe to secure a suite of rooms
that they may be ready for madame, that she may not be kept waiting.”

“Thank you, monsieur; you have been very prompt,” said the baroness,

“Will madame now proceed to the carriage?” formally inquired the precise
old gentleman.

“If you please, monsieur. And will you do me the favor to give your arm
to Mrs. Wyvil?” inquired the baroness, according to her usual custom,
“in honor preferring” her protégée, to herself.

“I will with pleasure do myself that honor, madame,” said the courtly
old gentleman, first with a deep bow to his patroness and then with
another to her protégée, as he offered the latter his arm.

“I have left everything here in charge of Felix and Lisette, monsieur.
They will follow in the second carriage, as soon as our luggage can be
got through, to that you need take no trouble at all,” the baroness
explained, as they left the steamer.

The old secretary then put both ladies into the carriage, seated himself
beside them, and gave the order:

“To the Hotel de l’Europe.”

A few moments’ drive through the narrow streets brought them up to the
fine hotel.

Their rooms were ready, so that there was but little delay before they
found themselves in possession of them—handsome rooms they were, on the
second floor, fronting the street, very elegantly furnished—“chiefly
with gilded mirrors,” as the baroness laughingly observed. But there
were also luxurious lounges and reclining chairs, downy cushions and
hassocks, and soft rugs, graceful draperies before doors as well as
before windows, and, in fact, all the refinements of modern upholstery,
better understood by the French than by any other people.

Monsieur Le Grange had ordered the breakfast, which was soon served in
madame’s small salon.

The two ladies had just time to lay off their bonnets and wraps, before
it was placed on the table, served in silver and Sevres china by the
most obsequious of garçons. The dainty new dishes, the delicate rolls,
the exquisite coffee, and the rare light wines of the French breakfast,
were all novelties in the experience of Lilith, and greatly enjoyed by

When the breakfast was over, the two ladies put on their bonnets, and
took the carriage that had been engaged by Monsieur Le Grange, and, with
him for their cicerone, drove around the city to whatever they
considered worth looking at.

They visited the old churches of Notre Dame and St. Francis, and the
ancient tower of Franart. They drove out to the picturesque suburbs of
Ingouville and Graville l’Heure, lunched at the little café in the last
mentioned place, and finally returned to their hotel in time for late

That evening, after Monsieur Le Grange had bidden them good-night,
Madame Von Bruyin and Lilith had a final talk on the question of
her—Lilith—returning to New York or traveling over Europe with the

The prospect of varied travel in company with her charming friend had
great attractions for Lilith, certainly, so that when the baroness put
it to her heart and conscience not to break the compact she had made
with so fond a friend, Lilith not only yielded the point and consented
to remain with the baroness, but she did so with evident pleasure.

Madame Von Bruyin kissed her ardently to seal the bargain, and they
retired to bed in their adjoining alcoves.

Early the next morning the whole party commenced their continental tour
by taking the railway train to Paris.

                               CHAPTER XV

           The memory of things precious keepeth warm
           The heart that once did hold them. They are poor
           That have lost nothing; they are poorer far
           Who, losing, have forgotten; they most poor
           Of all who lose and wish they might forget.
           For life is one, and in its warp and woof
           There runs a thread of gold that glitters fair,
           And sometimes in the pattern shows most sweet
           Where there are sombre colors. This thread of gold
           We would not have it tarnish; let us turn
           Oft and look back upon the wondrous web,
           And when it shineth sometimes we shall know
           That memory is possession.      _Jean Ingelow._

The Baroness Von Bruyin and her suite reached Paris about the middle of

They went first to the Splendide Hotel, Place de l’Opéra, at which
Monsieur Le Grange had secured, by telegraph, a handsome suite of

But they remained there only for a few days, until a suitable house was
procured on the Champs Elysées to which they immediately removed.

Madame Von Bruyin was supposed, on account of her recent widowhood, not
to go into the gay world; yet, somehow or other, as soon as she was
settled in her magnificent “hotel,” she managed to see much of society,
or what was left of society in the French capital; for at this season
the gay birds of passage in the fashionable world were already pluming
their wings for flight to sea-side or mountain range for the summer. Yet
enough still remained to make life gay in the gayest city of

And though Madame Von Bruyin went to no balls or large public
receptions, yet she saw a great deal of company both at home and abroad.
And Lilith was always by her side, not as her salaried companion, but as
her friend and equal.

The court had not left Paris, and it was through Madame Von Bruyin that
Lilith obtained her first entrée into the “charmed” circle of Tuileries.
And no less from her freshness, her piquancy and simplicity than from
her rare beauty, la belle Virginienne became the fashion, just when the
season was wearing to its close and wanted a new sensation.

Somehow also the impression had got abroad that Madame Wyvil was a very
wealthy woman—the daughter of some New York merchant prince and the
widow of some California mine king.

Who was responsible for starting the story is not certainly known; but
it is undeniable that Madame Von Bruyin chuckled a great deal over the
hallucination, when she saw Lilith sought, followed, flattered and
fawned upon by impoverished nobles and impecunious princes.

Lilith knew nothing of the romances in circulation concerning her vast
riches. The adulation she received both pleased and pained her. No
beautiful girl of seventeen could be quite insensible or indifferent to
the homage of the world; homage that she innocently supposed was paid to
herself, rather than to her imaginary wealth; but when she remembered
her position, she felt that she would gladly give all, all this worship
for one kind word, or glance, from her alienated husband—

             “Coldly she turns from their praise and weeps,
                 For her heart ‘at his feet’ is lying.”

She was often glad to get away from those court circles—though they were
never gay scenes—to escape from everybody, even from her kindest friend,
Madame Von Bruyin—lock herself up in her room at night, and there in
solitude and darkness forget or ignore the cruel sentence that had
banished her from her beloved husband and her dear home; bridge over the
painful scenes that had marred the last weeks of their wedded life and
go back and live over again in memory and imagination the brief, bright
days of their harmony and happiness, and recall the few precious words
of affection or approbation Tudor Hereward had ever addressed to her.

How fondly, how vividly—lying with her eyes closed and her fingers laid
upon her eyelids as if the better to shut out the real world and the
present time—how fondly and how vividly she recalled that day when she
sat all day long over the writing-table in their room at the hotel, so
busy at work for him, so happy, ah! so happy to be of use to him,
answering piles of letters that he had marked for her, copying the
crabbed manuscript for his speech, looking out authorities for his

And when evening came and he returned from the Capitol, and sank wearily
into his easy-chair at the table and slowly examined her work, and
finally said:

“You have performed your task only too well.... Your day’s work has
saved me from a night’s work, my little lady love.” And he kissed her.

It was a precious memory.

How happy she was that day! How very, very happy!

Again and again, through the power of memory and imagination, in the
silence and solitude of night, she recalled and lived over that day—and
one or two other days embalmed in her mind.

All these few happy days belonged to the month of February—the most
sunshiny month of her year, midwinter though it might have been to
everybody else.

During all the remainder of the season in Paris it required all Lilith’s
tact to avoid receiving a direct proposal of marriage from one or
another of her fortune-hunting adorers.

At length she almost offended Madame Von Bruyin by declining to go into
company at all.

“They take me for ‘a widow indeed,’ madame, and it becomes very
embarrassing,” she pleaded.

“Well, but, petite, we cannot explain; so what is to be done?” inquired
the baroness, laughing at the absurdity of Lilith’s dilemma.

“I do not know, unless I avoid society. I might stay home when you go
out, and keep my room when you have company here,” replied the girl.

“But I cannot consent to any such isolation on your part. It would not
be good for your health of mind or body. Come, my dear, cheer up! Endure
the homage of the world for a few days longer—only for a few days,
petite, and then it will be over. Paris will be empty, and we ourselves
will be inhaling the mountain air of Switzerland,” laughed the lady.

And Lilith, having no alternative, endured the tortures of her false
position until the fashionable world had fled from town.

The baroness and her companion lingered a little behind the others, in
order that Madame Von Bruyin might show Lilith all those places of
interest which a new-comer must see, but which had hitherto been
neglected for other and more social pastimes.

It was, then, near the end of July when they left Paris for Switzerland.

They spent the months of August, September and October in traveling over
the north of Europe, halting at no point for more than three or four

In November they went to Rome, and sojourned in the “Eternal City” until
the first of January, when they returned to Paris, where the Baroness
Von Bruyin, having laid aside her first mourning, plunged into all the
gayeties of the capital, taking her young companion with her.

Everywhere they were very much admired. They could not possibly be
rivals, even when constantly seen together. They were both so beautiful,
yet their style was so dissimilar, so well contrasted, that they
actually enhanced each other’s attractions.

Lilith was no longer in danger of receiving embarrassing proposals of
marriage. The same mysterious agent which had started the report of her
fabulous wealth was most probably responsible for another report, to the
effect that the beautiful young widow was about to bestow her hand and
fortune upon an eminent American statesman, to whom she had been for
many months engaged. But she was none the less admired because she was

In February, however, the restless baroness, with all her party, crossed
the channel, and went to London, to be in time to see the pageant of the
queen’s opening of Parliament.

Madame Von Bruyin, through her friends, obtained admission for herself
and protégée to the peeress’ gallery in the House of Lords, and from
that vantage point witnessed the imposing ceremony.

But in all the solemn magnificence of the scene Lilith seemed to see
only the queen, and through the queen only the almost peerless woman,
wife and mother, and as Lilith gazed she sank into a dream of Victoria’s

Later on in the season our country girl from West Virginia saw the
majesty of England once again.

It was on the occasion of the first drawing-room of the season at
Buckingham Palace, when Madame Von Bruyin and her protégée were
presented by the wife of the German Ambassador.

After this presentation, the baroness, who had taken a handsome
furnished house on Westbourne Terrace, and whose year of mourning had
expired, issued invitations for a large party, which she wished to make
the most brilliant of the season.

The baroness had passed two seasons in London. The first as a débutante
with her father, and a German princess as a chaperone; the second as a
bride, with her newly married husband; and now in her third season she
entered society as a young, handsome and wealthy widow, with a very
extensive acquaintance.

She issued over five hundred invitations to her ball, and these included
many of the most distinguished persons of the age, celebrities of high
rank, of worldwide scientific, literary, diplomatic or military renown,
the beauties and geniuses of the hour, and so forth.

The ball was to be a great success.

Lilith strongly objected to being present—pleaded earnestly to be
relieved from attending it.

“Dear madame, I feel as if, in my circumstances, I ought to live in
strict retirement. I am not Mrs. Wyvil. I am not a widow. I am Tudor
Hereward’s repudiated wife. When I find myself in a ball-room or in a
drawing-room, surrounded by people who seem anxious to do me honor—I
feel—oh, I feel just as if I were only a fraud, a humbug, an impostor,
an adventuress. And, oh! I feel so deeply ashamed of myself and my false
position! So humiliated and degraded! I feel this even more deeply in
these English drawing-rooms than I did in the Parisian salons. Oh, dear
madame, pray do not insist on my presence at your ball!” she prayed.

“Lilith, you are the most morbid creature I ever met with in all the
days of my life. You would like to shut yourself up in a convent, I
suppose, just because that hateful man, after marrying you to be
revenged on me, has thrown you off to please himself!” exclaimed Leda
Von Bruyin.

“Pray do not speak of Mr. Hereward in that way,” said the loyal young

“I will speak of him as he deserves. I am beginning to hate that man.
Yes, and to hate myself for ever having imagined that I liked him.”

“Oh, Madame Von Bruyin!”

“It is true. The more I see of the world, the longer I live, the more
experience I gain, the more heartily I dislike that man, and dislike
myself for ever having fancied that I liked him,” exclaimed the

“I am very sorry you feel so,” said Lilith.

“Sorry! Sorry that I have ceased to be in love with your husband,
Lilith? Well, you are an oddity!”

“Oh, no, not sorry for that! Glad—thankful for that! But very sorry that
you cannot feel friendly towards him!”

“Bah! what a baby you are! He himself once quoted this line to me:

                  ‘Friendship sometimes turns to love,
                  But love to friendship, never!’

And it does not! It dies out in indifference, or it turns to hate and
scorn, and self-scorn as well!”

“Ah, madame——” commenced Lilith.

“‘Ah, madame,’” mocked the baroness. “Look here, my dear, I have known,
and I thank Heaven that I have known one unselfish man who loved without
self-love! And he was Nicholas Von Bruyin. And the more I see of other
men, the more I love and honor him. Mr. Hereward certainly suffers in
that comparison. But to return to the subject of the ball, Lilith, my
dear, I really cannot consent to your absenting yourself.”

“But, madame——”

“But, nonsense! If you are in a false position it is not one of your
choosing. Your husband has forced you into it. If you are called Mrs.
Wyvil, it is because your husband has forbidden you to bear his name,
and you are so meek as to obey him. And if you seem to be a widow, it is
because he has made you one in fate if not in law. But you shall not
‘wear the willow’ for his undeserving sake! You shall enjoy life as your
youth and beauty entitle you to do. And I will protect you in this. Do
not fear to be embarrassed by any more proposals of marriage. That
embarrassment is forestalled. You are understood to be engaged to an
American statesman of high rank. And that is also true, is it not? You
do consider yourself most solemnly engaged, yes, most solemnly and
eternally engaged, to that man, notwithstanding his repudiation of you,
do you not?”

“Yes, madame! But I wish you would not call Mr. Hereward ‘that man,’”
said Lilith.

“Very well! Since you object, I will call him this man! And while we are
objecting, let me tell you that I object to your calling me ‘madame,’ as
if I were somebody’s aunt or grandmother! I am only about three years
older than you are. And I call you ‘Lilith,’ do you observe? And my name
is Leda; though I am likely to forget it, for since my father and my
husband died there is no human being in the world left to call me Leda,
unless my chosen friend and sister will do so,” said Madame Von Bruyin,
with a touch of pathos in her tone.

“I will go to your ball, Leda,” said Lilith, conceding both points in
her gentle answer.

The ball was to be a great success, and it was a great success.

Lilith was exposed to another complication. She was in danger of being
“taken up” by a certain distinguished clique, patronized by a certain
august personage, and being turned into a “professional beauty.”

And the baroness made the conquest of an Italian prince, of about her
own age, of much grace, beauty and accomplishments; of—what is much
rarer in continental princes—great wealth also, and of a family who
claimed to read their title clear through all the centuries of recorded
history, back into the age of fable and chaos, where all things are void
or misty.

Prince Otto Gherardini as a matter of detail.

This fascinating young Florentine was in personal appearance and
temperament so diametrically antagonistic to the charming baroness that
they were inevitably destined to be attracted to each other, as positive
and negative in electricity.

Therefore it followed that at their very first meeting the dark,
graceful, fiery Italian youth became desperately enamored of the fair,
stately, serene German lady.

After the ball, the baroness and her protégée were inundated with
invitations to all sorts of entertainments, so that had they accepted
every one, between garden parties, morning concerts, five o’clock teas,
dinner parties and balls, they would have had scarcely an hour to call
their own.

Lilith, with her saddened heart, sank from all these social excitements
and dissipations, yet, being irresistibly borne on by the imperious will
of the baroness, she was drawn into the maelstrom.

Gherardini, with Italian subtlety, contrived to meet the baroness
everywhere, so that gossip soon connected their names, and the world
looked forward to the announcement of their betrothal.

The baroness laughed at him, as a boy, behind his back, but treated him
as a prince before his face.

Lilith secretly hoped that they might marry, and be happy, so that she
herself might be at liberty to return to New York and rest in Aunt
Sophie’s quiet though humble home.

So the London season drew to its close. The announcement of the marriage
of Prince Otto Gherardini with the Baroness Von Bruyin, arranged to come
off early in the ensuing year, appeared in the _Court Journal_, and in
the society columns of other London papers. It took no one by surprise,
not even Lilith.

Madame Von Bruyin and her suite left London for a short tour in Wales
and Cornwall, and spent a few pleasant and healthful weeks in leisurely
travel through that beautiful, picturesque and legendary land.

In September they halted, and took lodgings at a farm-house near the
mountain village of Llandorf.

There they settled down for a brief period to enjoy the simple country
life of the neighborhood.

Lilith, world-weary and heart-sick, felt the benign and soothing
influence of nature around her, and resigned herself to rest—if rest
might be granted her.

It was now eighteen months since she had been driven from her home. In
all this time she had never once heard from her husband, and only once
had she heard of him; and that was when she learned from Madame Von
Bruyin that Mr. Hereward had been appointed Secretary of Legation to the
Court of ——. Since that day, fifteen months ago, no sign of his
existence had appeared to her. In vain she searched all the insular and
continental papers. His name never by any chance appeared in any paper.

Did Lilith resign all hope of ever hearing of him, seeing him, being
reconciled to him again?

Ah, no! Though hope was only torture now, she could not help but
entertain it. A thousand times she had said to herself:

“There is not the slightest possibility of such happiness for me. I am
dead to my husband! Yes, I am dead to him, as I could never have been
had only a natural death divided us, and not a spiritual one. I shall
never meet him again, neither in this life nor the life to come.”

But though she continually said this to herself, and though she tried to
school her heart to believe it, yet, yet, she could not resign hope, for
“While there is life there is hope”—“Hope springs eternal in the human
breast.” And so, though hope was anguish, she could not give it up.

One lovely day, near the last of September, Lilith was sitting alone in
the little parlor of their lodgings. She had drawn her chair to the
window to sit and enjoy the fine view of mountain, lake and wood
stretched out before her.

The breakfast table was set, but Madame Von Bruyin, who was a late
riser, had not come down.

While Lilith sat there gazing from the window, and waiting for her
patroness, the old postman for that neighborhood came up the garden
walk, and seeing her at the window, nodded pleasantly, and stopped to
deliver his mail.

He laid a pile of letters and papers on the sill, nodded and smiled
again, and turned away.

Lilith looked over the superscriptions of the letters. They were all for
Madame Von Bruyin, Monsieur Le Grange, the lady’s maid or the footman.
There was not one for Lilith. Nor was she disappointed. There seldom was
a letter for her, so she did not expect one.

She placed the letters on the breakfast table, and turned to look at the

She took up the _Times_ first, of course, and she turned first to the
foreign and diplomatic news, hoping against hope—as she had done a
thousand times before—that she might see her husband’s name, if it were
only a line in the list of guests at some State dinner, or in any casual

But no! There was nothing! She was again disappointed, as she had been a
thousand times before.

Wearily, drearily her sad eyes wandered over the paper, indifferent now
to anything she might find there.

Yet—great Heaven! What was this? Not the name of Tudor Hereward! No; but
the answer to a daily, nightly agonized prayer to Almighty God!—or so it
seemed to Lilith’s amazed vision. Daily and nightly, in her morning and
evening worship, for the last two years, Lilith had prayed:

“Have mercy, oh, Father, upon all poor prisoners and captives; upon all
miserable criminals and convicts; bringing the guilty to a profound
contrition, to pardon and to peace; bringing the innocent to a full
vindication, deliverance and salvation.”

And these words, upon which her wandering eyes became fixed in
astonishment, seemed the answer to that prayer.

                              CHAPTER XVI
                          “A FULL VINDICATION”

Such was the heading of the article that riveted the attention of Lilith
and that read as follows:

“A deplorable instance of the conviction of an innocent man, under false
circumstantial evidence, of a crime that first consigned him to the
scaffold, and afterward, by the commutation of his sentence, sent him to
penal servitude for life, has lately come to light. Many of our readers
will remember the case of John Weston, the young man who was convicted,
eighteen years ago, of the robbery of the mail coach running between
Orton and Stockbridge, Yorkshire, and the murder of a passenger. The
young prisoner declared his innocence to the last, but through the
overwhelming circumstantial evidence he was convicted and condemned to
death. Great efforts were made in his behalf, and finally, upon account
of his youth and previous good character, his sentence was commuted to
transportation, with penal servitude for life. He was sent to Tasmania,
where it is believed he died soon after his arrival at Port Arthur.

“But that John Weston was entirely guiltless of the crime for which he
suffered is made quite clear by the ante-mortem confession of a convict
named Thomas Estel, who died yesterday in the infirmary of Portland

“This man, convicted of forgery one year ago, was almost immediately
after his commitment to Portland discovered to be in a consumption, and
assigned to the infirmary, where, after languishing for nearly twelve
months, he died yesterday.

“His ante-mortem confession, made in the presence of the prison
chaplain, the governor of the jail, and a justice of the peace, is as

“I, Thomas Estel, of the city of Carlisle, being sound of mind, though
very infirm of body, and believing myself to be about to appear before
the tribunal of my Eternal Judge to give an account of the deeds done in
the flesh, do now make this my last statement and confession, concerning
a crime committed on the Orton and Stockbridge road, on the night of
November the 13th, 18—, the robbery of the mail coach and the murder of
a passenger at that time and place.

“And these were the circumstances under which the deed was done:

“There was a young gentleman of the West Riding, a little wildish in his
ways—young Mr. James Hawkhurst, nephew and heir to Squire Hawkhurst, of

“This uncle had made a will, disinheriting him, leaving all his property
to hospitals, which he had no right to do, seeing that, although the
estates were not entailed, yet they were the Hawkhurst family estates,
and should have gone to the heir-at-law, young James Hawkhurst.

“This wicked will was understood to be in the hands of the family
solicitor, one John Keitch, of Carlisle.

“Old Squire Hawkhurst lay dying at Hawkhurst Hall, and the vicar wrote
to the solicitor to come down to the Hall, and to bring the will along
with him.

“The solicitor wrote back that he should come down by the late train to
Stockbridge and arrive by the mail coach at Orton on the night of that
13th day of November.

“Now, the disinherited heir, young Mr. James, was drinking with a lot of
us wild young blades at the Tawny Lion public house at Orton. And he
told us all about it. We talked about the injustice of the old squire in
having robbed young Mr. James of his inheritance in order to give it to
hospitals. And we argued this way: that as the squire had not made the
fortune himself, but had received the estate from a long line of
forefathers, so it was his bounden duty, in common honesty, to pass it
along to their descendants, and that if it were not for the existence of
that wicked will, the last of the line, the young squire, would enjoy
his own, because he was next of kin, and heir-at-law.

“We all loved the young squire, because he made himself one of us and
had no pride, and we knew that was the chief reason why the old squire
disinherited him. So he was in a measure suffering for us.

“After a little while Mr. James left us, but we all kept drinking and
arguing and getting ourselves up more and more into a mad excitement,
until one of us—I do not remember now which it really was—proposed that
we should all go in a body and stop the coach that ran between
Stockbridge railway station and Orton, and take that will away from the
lawyer and destroy it, so that our young squire might enjoy his own.

“We were all mad drunk, or we would have remembered that our proposed
adventure was really highway robbery—a felony punishable, it might be,
with transportation for life—instead of being the brave, heroic exploit
we in our madness believed it to be.

“We, five in number—no matter who the others were—I confess only my own
part—procured masks and fire-arms, and on the night in question we
started out on our adventure.

“On the road we met young Joseph Wyvil, who had just come from Scotland,
to which he had run away to marry his sweetheart. He did not belong to
our part of the world, though he was known to most of us. He was a wild
one, up to any sort of fun, ready for any sort of frolic, but not bad.

“He gave us good e’en, and asked us, ‘Where away?’ And we told him we
were going on a glorious lark, and asked him to come along with us, but
we would not tell him, no, nor give him a hint of what our adventure was
to be.

“First he said he could not, that ‘Lil’—that was his wife—was expecting
him; but at last he consented.

“I do think it was curiosity more than anything else that made him join
us! Poor fellow! I have had many a heartache for him. He kept on asking
us in his smiling way where we were going? What we were going to do?

“But we only laughed and told him to come and see. And his curiosity was
worked up to such a high pitch that he did come to see.

“We reached at last a favorable part of the road for our enterprise. Not
one of us thought it would end as badly as it did. We only wanted to
destroy the wicked old squire’s will.

“We got to the place where we meant to stop the coach.

“It was where the road went down into a deep-wooded hollow. There were
thick, heavy woods on each side. It was as dark as pitch.

“We halted and stretched a strong thick rope, three times doubled,
across the road, tying the opposite ends to the trunks of trees.

“And then we waited for the coach.

“That poor Joe Wyvil kept on asking us what we were up to.

“And we telling him to wait and see.

“And his curiosity was so intense that he did wait and see, though all
the time he kept blaming himself and saying that ‘Lil’ would be looking
for him and wondering why he did not come.

“Ah, poor boy! And poor girl! He never went back to ‘Lil.’ ‘Lil’ was
doomed to look and wonder, and wonder in vain. He waited to see what we
were up to. Waited to his own ruin.

“Ah, yes! the fate of that poor, rollicking, good-natured young Joe has
set heavier on my conscience than the death of that old scoundrel of a
lawyer; for his death was an accident, after all, though, as it occurred
while we were trying to get at the wicked will, it was construed murder.

“We waited there for the coach longer than we expected to have done. It
was behind time. I asked in a whisper if anybody had a watch.

“Joe said that he had one. He took it out, and I struck a match and
looked at the hour. It had gone eleven. Joe started up and said he must
go, or ‘Lil’ would think ‘he was never coming home.’ Seems to me we
sometimes utter prophecies unawares.

“Joe was really going that time, but almost at the same moment the sound
of wheels was heard and the light of the lantern was seen.

“Several of us spoke out at once, telling him to sit down quietly and
wait five minutes and then he might go. He dropped down again on his
seat beside the road.

“The coach came on very fast, as if to make up for lost time, the light
of the lantern shining like two fiery eyes through the darkness of the
night in the narrow, wooded road.

“On it came at full speed, the leaders stepping high, until suddenly
they struck the barrier of ropes we had stretched across the road,
reared, plunged, overturned the coach, extinguished the lanterns, and
all was instant confusion, men swearing, women shrieking, horses

“This was much worse than we had intended. We wished to stop the coach
and get the wicked will, not to upset it at the risk of the passengers’

“We immediately surrounded the wreck.

“I struck a match, and keeping the black crape well over my face,
leaving only one eye uncovered, I peered into face after face of the
fallen passengers, until I found my man, the lawyer from Carlisle, with
the old squire’s wicked will in his possession.

“‘Hand out that beastly will and you shall not be hurt; but if you

“He instantly drew a pistol, aimed it at my head and cocked it.

“I struck the weapon up with a swift stroke of my hand.

“Heaven knows I never meant to harm the man, but the pistol went off,
and he fell, shot through the brain, as I afterwards learned. I did not
know it then. I was mad with drink, I repeat, and what little mental
power I had left was occupied with the will. I got it! It was safe in my
hands. I hid it in my bosom.

“I hardly noted the increased confusion that was all around me, until
one of my companions took me by the arm and whispered, hurriedly:

“‘Are you dead? What’s the matter with you? There’s murder done! The
posse is upon us! Run!’

“It was true. The terrible noise had been heard even from that lonely
road, the alarm had been given, and the constabulary force of the
neighborhood, with all the stragglers that could be picked up at that
hour, were coming.

“We made off into the thick woods that bordered the road, and made good
our escape into the woods that bordered the road on either side—every
one of us, except that poor boy who had nothing to do with the crime.

“I got off to America; for being the most deeply in for it, I knew I
must put the broad ocean between me and my native land.

“I led a wandering life over there—that of honest work sometimes, that
of doubtful speculation often; was a billiard marker in Chicago, a
bar-tender in San Francisco, a digger in the silver mines of Colorado.

“It was years before I heard what had become of my comrades in that
fatal night’s adventure. I feared that some of them had been caught,
tried and sent to penal servitude; but I never once imagined that any
harm could have come to young Wyvil, who was not in it at all, and only
happened to be in our company by accident, and somewhat against his
will, and in total ignorance of our intention to stop the coach that

“But one day, about seven years after I had left England, and while I
was in Colorado, I fell in with an old neighbor from Orton. He, too, had
come to seek his fortunes in the new world and had drifted out to the
silver mines.

“It was the first home-face I had seen since I had left the country. It
was a great meeting, I can tell you. I scrutinized Stone’s face to see
if he suspected me of complicity in that highway robbery and murder, and
I was satisfied that he did not.

“I asked after old friends and acquaintances—parents or near relatives I
had none to inquire of.

“He told me of this, that, or the other person, married, dead,
emigrated, or remaining as before.

“Finally I asked, in turn, about the comrades who had been with me on
that fatal night, and learned to my astonishment that they were living
and prospering on their small farms on the great Hawkhurst estate. It
was therefore evident that they had never been suspected.

“His mention of the Hawkhurst estate led me on to inquire who ruled at
Hawkhurst now.

“He replied that the young squire did, of course; that no will had been
found and Mr. James had entered into possession as next of kin and
heir-at-law, and everybody was satisfied.

“So far our mad adventure had been successful, at least. The heir
enjoyed his own and no great harm had been done, except the accidental
death of that old scoundrel, so far as I knew then. And I might have
remained in that happy belief if it had not been for my next question.

“I asked him if anything had ever been found out concerning the parties
who had stopped the mail coach that dark November night.

“He said that the robbery was believed to have been committed by the pit
men, who were on a strike, and known to be a most lawless set, fit for
any sort of violence; but though several of them had been arrested on
suspicion, nothing could be proved, and they had to be released. And as
for young Joe, he was game to the last.

“Young Joe! The name went through my heart like a sword! I trembled when
I asked Stone if he meant Joe Wyvil, and what he had to do with the

“And then he told me all the terrible truth! that young Wyvil had been
the only one of all the gang who had stopped the mail coach to be
arrested. That the roughs had escaped into the woods, but that he had
been taken ‘red-handed’ on the spot where the lawyer fell.

“I inquired what explanation the unhappy boy had given of his presence

“The man told me that he had given no satisfactory account of himself
whatever—that he had most earnestly asserted his innocence, and his
appearance on the scene of the murder as a mere accident, owing to his
having met a party bent on a ‘spree,’ and joined them. He was game to
the very last.

“With a great sinking of the heart, I next inquired of Stone what had
been the fate of young Wyvil, and I dreaded to hear his answer as if it
had been a sentence of death. And, indeed, in one respect it was a
sentence of death.

“He told me that the youth had been tried for murder, but not under the
name of Wyvil. The name he had given was that of John Weston, and as
there was nobody to contradict him, he being but a stranger to most
people in the neighborhood, as John Weston he was convicted and
condemned to death. But on account of his being a mere boy, with nothing
against him before that, and on some other account, his sentence was
commuted to transportation and penal servitude for life, and that he had
been shot dead while trying to make his escape, or so it was reported.

“So of the crime in which five men had been implicated no one had been
suspected, and no one punished but the innocent boy who knew nothing
about it.

“Finally I asked Stone what had become of ‘Lil,’ the poor boy’s wife.

“He informed me that her brother, another Joseph Wyvil and a cousin of
the prisoner, had come and taken her away, and it was reported that he
had taken her to America.

“This was all my old neighbor had to tell me. And soon after, the
fortunes of war—in the mines—separated us, he going farther up the

“We never met again.

“About two years ago my health began to fail. I was attacked with this
disease of the lungs that had carried off both my parents before they
had reached their fortieth year (consumptives ought never to marry—each
other, anyway). I knew I did not need the doctor to tell me the truth,
and so I did not tempt him to tell me a pious, professional lie. I knew
by family experience that I was booked for the last journey, and just
about how long it might be.

“I was seized with a homesick longing to see once more the English
village in which I was born and brought up, and where my old friends
lived, if any remained.

“So, about eighteen months ago, I sailed for England in one of the
fast-sailing ocean steamers. And when we landed in Liverpool I took the
first express train for Carlisle, got out at the Stockbridge station and
took the same coach, or one exactly like the same coach, that I and my
reckless companions had helped to wreck, that fatal 13th of November,
seventeen years before. I went over the same road at the same hour, and
put up at the Tawny Lion, where the coach stopped, and where we,
reckless young roughs, had laid the plan to recover the wicked will
which had ended in such a tragedy.

“But, oh! the changes in seventeen years! The Tawny Lion had passed into
strangers’ hands. Very few of my old friends were left. I went to see
the young squire at Hawkhurst. Quite a middle-aged squire now, a sedate
magistrate and sub-lieutenant of the county; married and surrounded by a
large family of sons and daughters. He was very glad to see me, although
he could never have suspected that it was to my hand he owed the
destruction of that will which left him to inherit his own, as next of
kin and heir-at-law.

“I did not stay at Orton long. I went up to London; and there, as you
know, I was soon arrested for forgery, tried, convicted, and sentenced
to penal servitude.

“But, gentlemen, as I maintained during my trial, I maintain here, on my
death-bed, I never committed that forgery. What call had I to forge a
check for a miserable five-pound note, when I had a plenty of money made
in the mines?

“No; as I told the judge and jury—though they would not believe me—I now
tell you with my parting breath, I cashed that check to accommodate a
gentleman who was a guest in the same hotel with myself. I gave him five
sovereigns for his forged check, not suspecting it to be forged, and in
a day or two after presented it at the bank for payment, and was nabbed.

“Though I told my tale, I was not for a moment believed. No gentleman
answering to his description could be found. I was the scapegoat, and
here I am. Not so badly off. Not worse than I should be in a hospital. I
have not done a day’s penal servitude, but have had my long illness and
slow passage to the grave soothed and cared for by physician and

“I never meant to be wicked; but when I think of the fate to which I
brought young Joe Wyvil I feel as if I were much better off than I
deserve to be, even though dying in a prison infirmary.

“I thank the officers of this prison, and especially I thank the
chaplain and the doctor for their great goodness to me; and I pray the
Lord to forgive the sins of my youth.

                                                          THOMAS ESTEL.”

Thus ended the dying man’s confession, which was duly sworn to,
witnessed, signed and sealed.

A few lines at the end of the article testified, on the authority of the
prison officers, to the uniformly exemplary conduct of Estel while in
confinement, his patience under long and painful illness, his humility,
resignation and gratitude for the least favors.

                              CHAPTER XVII
                           COMING TO A CRISIS

        Look forward what’s to come, and back what’s past;
        Thy life will be with praise and prudence graced;
        What loss or gain may follow thou mayst guess;
        Then wilt thou be secure of the success.
        For on their life no grievous burden lies
        Who are well natured, temperate and wise;
        But an inhuman and ill-tempered mind
        Not any easy part in life can find.
        Lords of the world have but of life their lease,
        And this, too, if the lessor please, must cease.
        The youngest, in the morning, are not sure
        That till the night their life they can secure.
                                                _Sir I. Denham._

After reading that strange confession, Lilith sat in a trance of delight
so rapt that in it she forgot every source of trouble to herself.

Now the guiltless was vindicated. Now the secret that had weighed her
young life almost down to death might be told. Now the sorely persecuted
yet withal light-hearted and joyous exile and wanderer might return to
his own a free and justified man.

But where was he?

Lilith did not know. She could not even conjecture. He might not be
living. He was young, indeed, but life is uncertain at all ages, and his
was a very careless and adventurous life.

It was now more than eighteen months since Lilith had heard from him.

On that fatal March 21st, when her husband had driven her away, she had
received a letter from the wanderer, saying that he was en route for
Chicago, and appointing the Personal column of the _Pursuivant_ as the
medium of their correspondence.

But after having been banished by her husband on account of this very
wanderer, whose sacred claim on her he could not understand, Lilith had
conscientiously abstained from using the Personal column of the
_Pursuivant_ for opening any communication with the banned exile.

Indeed, as it will be remembered, Lilith had never sought intercourse by
letter or otherwise with the mysterious stranger who laid so much stress
upon his natural right to her duty. In every case it was he who had
sought her, often to her great peril, and always to her distressing

But, though Lilith had abstained from all attempts to open a
correspondence with him, yet she had regularly searched the papers for
any possible news of the poor stroller, but without success.

At first she had wondered much at his utter silence, but since hearing
the report of her own death she understood that silence; she knew that
he believed in the truth of that report. Yet still she had not sought to
communicate with him, even for the purpose of announcing her continued
existence, though she knew what joy such news must bring to his lonely
heart. Her fidelity to the husband who had repudiated her was so

Yet now that the fugitive from justice (or from injustice) was fully
vindicated—now that the secret might be told, the mystery cleared up—she
must seek to communicate with the wanderer, and immediately.

Two courses were very urgent—the first to get that published confession
into the hands of the wanderer; the second to get an interview with her
husband. Yet, no! She dared not seek the latter. If it had only been the
fatal secret which had parted them, then, indeed, she might have written
to him or sought his presence, and said:

“The mystery that raised a cloud between us has been cleared away, and I
shall be justified in your sight.”

But it was not only the secret which had divided them.

It was his antipathy to her—his incurable antipathy—expressed in his
words—bitter, burning words—that had branded themselves upon her soul:

“I never loved you. I married you only to please my dying father.... In
a few hours I shall leave this house, never to return while you
desecrate it with your presence.”

No! In the face of such a sentence she could not seek to see Tudor
Hereward. All womanly delicacy forbade the step.

But she must bring this published, vindicatory confession to the
attention of the exile, who had for more than eighteen years lived under
a false charge and false conviction, an outcast from society, a wanderer
over the face of the earth.

Lilith roused from her trance and acted promptly.

She cut the slip containing the confession from the paper, and then sat
down at the little side table on which her traveling portfolio lay, and
wrote this personal for the _Pursuivant_:

“MAZEPPA—J. W.—J. W.—A. A.—A. M. L. Z.—Send your address to E. W. H.,
Poste Restante, Paris, Search _Pursuivant_ for news.”

Having written this, she took another sheet of paper, and wrote a letter
to the editor of the _Pursuivant_, inclosing the slip of paper
containing the confession of Thomas Estel, and asking him, in the name
of justice and humanity, to give it a place in his columns; or if he
thought it a matter of not sufficient interest for the reading public,
at least to put its purport in a few lines that might meet the eyes of
an unhappy fugitive, suffering under the blight of a false conviction.
She enclosed the whole in one envelope, but did not seal it, for it was
necessary that she should get a letter of credit to send with it to pay
for the advertisement.

She had scarcely finished her work when the baroness entered the parlor.

“Writing so early in the morning, mignonne? The mail must have brought
you important news,” said the lady, as she sank languidly into an easy

“It has, madame! News that will oblige me to go to Chester to-day, if
you can spare me,” said Lilith.

“Why, of course. I must spare you, petite, if you have affairs. You can
take Monsieur Le Grange to escort you, if you please,” said the
baroness, kindly.

“If monsieur would be so good I should be very grateful,” began Lilith.

“Bonjour, mesdames! In what manner can I be so happy as to serve you?”
inquired the gallant old Frenchman, who entered at this point of the

“Mrs. Wyvil has business in Chester to-day, and would be glad of your
escort, if you could find it convenient to attend her,” said Madame Von

“I shall find myself most happy, most honored,” replied Monsieur Le
Grange, with a bow.

“Touch the bell, if you please, monsieur; it is within your reach,” said
the baroness.

The Frenchman rang, and breakfast was immediately served.

A messenger was dispatched to bring a carriage from the “Llewellyn
Arms,” the only hotel in the village.

And as soon as the morning meal was over Lilith prepared for her

Madame Von Bruyin was not without her share of feminine curiosity; but
she refrained from asking questions, and occupied herself with opening
and reading her letters—there were seven from her princely lover, and
one from an eminent Paris man-milliner or ladies’ tailor, whichever you
please, with whom she was in correspondence on the subject of her

Lilith and Monsieur Le Grange appeared in the parlor equipped for their
journey at the same moment that the fly from the hotel drew up at the

“I shall return as soon as possible, madame, and I hope our absence will
not inconvenience you,” said Lilith.

“Enjoy yourselves, mes enfans!” said the baroness, gayly. “I shall
occupy myself with answering letters.”

The two travelers took leave and departed on their journey.

Llandorf was distant five miles from the nearest railway station; and it
took the one-horse fly from the Llewellyn Arms a full hour to get there.
Fortunately, they were in time for the eleven o’clock express.

Monsieur Le Grange made a bargain with the fly to meet them again on the
arrival of the seven o’clock train, and then took tickets and put his
companion into a coupé, which he shared with her.

A two hours’ rapid ride through the most picturesque part of Wales
brought them into the ancient city of Chester.

At Lilith’s request, they went first to the Bank of Wales, where she
obtained her bill of exchange, which she enclosed with her letter,
advertisement, and so on, in the large envelope, directed to the editor
of the _Pursuivant_. This done, they went to the post-office, posted the
letter and then drove to the Grosvenor Hotel, where they took lunch.

At five o’clock they took the express train back to the station, where
on their arrival they found the fly from the Llewellyn Arms waiting for

In another hour they had reached the farm-house where it pleased the
Baroness Von Bruyin to rusticate for a season.

The lady, who affected rural hours, had dined early, and was waiting tea
for them.

She asked no questions, though still very curious to know what was the
nature of that business which had taken her young friend off so

Lilith, totally unconscious of madame’s silent curiosity, gave no sign.

After tea the professor read to the two ladies for some hours. Then the
party separated and retired to rest.

Lilith, having done all that lay in her power to do, under the
circumstances, impatiently waited for results.

Weeks passed away, and the baroness began to weary of the rural life
that at first had pleased her so much.

It was now late in October, and the weather was growing cool. Pony rides
among the mountains and rowings on the lake were not such delightful
recreations as she had found them earlier in the season.

In a word, Madame Von Bruyin was tired of Llandorf, and longing for
Paris—weary of the world of nature, and sighing for the world of

One morning she suddenly announced her intentions:

“We will go to Paris on the first of November. A proper trousseau cannot
be arranged entirely by correspondence. If we get settled by the first
week we shall have a clear month before the gay season begins. What do
you say, mignonne?”

“I am ready, madame,” answered Lilith, so cheerfully that the lady could
not doubt the sincerity of the girl’s assent. Lilith was also anxious to
be in the French capital in time for any answer that might come to her
advertisement for the wanderer, whom she had notified to address all
communications for her to the Poste Restante, Paris.

Monsieur Le Grange, who added to his duties of secretary those of
courier and general utility, was instructed to make immediate
preparations for their journey.

On the thirty-first of October, being All-Hallow Eve, the party left
Llandorf for Southampton, and on the evening of the first of November
they reached Paris.

Madame Von Bruyin’s house on the Champs Elysées had been put in order
for her reception, in obedience to a telegram from Monsieur Le Grange,
so that the travelers at once found themselves at home in comfortable
and luxurious quarters.

The day after their arrival Lilith went to the post-office to inquire if
any letters had arrived directed to E. W. H.

She received an answer that there were none.

Disappointed, she returned home, and spent the remainder of the day in
driving about with Madame Von Bruyin among the most fashionable shops.

The woman of vast wealth displayed, perhaps, more extravagance than
taste in the selection of her costumes. She carried in her hand a slip
cut from a newspaper, describing at great length, and very minutely, the
dresses and jewels of some “royal highness,” who had just married an
imperial prince, and she was resolved to have fac-similes of each dress,
with additional dresses of, if possible, still more beautiful styles and
more expensive materials.

Her interviews with Worth, Pingen and other “celebrated” man-milliners
or ladies’ tailors (as you please) occupied her the whole day, so that
late in the evening she returned with Lilith, almost exhausted with

As that day passed, so passed many others.

Lilith, on going early in the morning to the post-office to inquire for
letters directed to E. W. H., would meet nothing but heart-wearying
disappointment, and on returning home would be required to attend Madame
Von Bruyin on her round among jewelers, milliners and modistes.

Madame Von Bruyin, with the most amiable intentions, embarrassed Lilith
very much by forcing upon her costly presents in jewelry, Indian shawls,
dress patterns, and so forth; for how could the wealthy and good-natured
baroness make such magnificent purchases for herself, and before the
eyes of her pretty young companion, and not give her beautiful
adornings? And though Lilith shrank from these offerings, and declared
that such splendors were not suited to her condition, the baroness
persisted in pressing them upon her, declaring that they were all most
peculiarly fitted for her, having been designed and manufactured to
adorn youth and beauty just such as hers.

As day after day passed with the disappointment of the morning, and the
wearying round of the afternoon, Lilith grew heart-sick and brain-sick
over it all. The splendors of the preparations for the approaching
wedding were in such dissonance to her anxious and despairing mood that,
young and beautiful as she was, she began to take a strong distaste to
finery, and to wish herself among the plain Methodists of Aunt Sophie’s
humble boarding-house.

Lilith longed for sobriety and repose, while her life seemed to pass in
whirlwind and lightning.

She had formed her resolution, however, and it was this:

If she should hear from the wanderer she would send him to Mr. Hereward
to divulge his secret, now no longer needing to be kept, to justify her
conduct, and leave it to her husband to seek her if it should please him
to do so.

Or—if she should hear nothing from the wanderer up to the time of Madame
Von Bruyin’s marriage, she would, on that occasion, only wait until the
bride and bridegroom should have left Paris, and then she would run down
to Havre by rail and take the first homeward bound steamer to New York.

Sometimes she wondered why the baroness never seemed to take any
interest or to care to ask any questions in regard to her young
companion’s future plans. But she supposed that Madame Von Bruyin was
too much absorbed in her own interesting prospects to think of anybody

In this supposition, however, Lilith did her friend but scant justice.

The baroness—in her secret heart—had quite settled the question of her
companion’s future, and had no suspicion that Lilith would raise any
objection to her plan or that it was even necessary at present to allude
to it.

The day of explanation soon came, however.

It was Sunday. They could not go out shopping. They attended church in
the forenoon, and, after an early dinner, lounged about in Madame Von
Bruyin’s boudoir. Letters had been left for the baroness on the previous
day, but she had returned from her shopping too tired to examine any of
them except those addressed in the handwriting of the prince, her
betrothed, which she had read with avidity; the others she had pushed
aside until a more convenient season.

Now, on this Sabbath afternoon, her languid eyes fell upon the little
heap of letters still lying upon her writing-table.

“Nothing more interesting than circulars from tradespeople, I fancy,”
she said, as she lazily picked them up and passed them through her
fingers as if they had been a pack of playing cards.

“Ah! but here is one for you, petite, directed to my care! I am sorry I
did not find it yesterday, when I should have given it to you. It bears
the New York postmark, and is perhaps from the good Aunt Sophie, who is,
I believe, your only correspondent in the world. Is it not so?” said the
baroness, as she held the letter out to Lilith, who came eagerly forward
to claim it.

Yes, it was from Aunt Sophie.

And while Madame Von Bruyin opened and glanced over her own hitherto
neglected correspondence, Lilith opened and read Aunt Sophie’s simple

                                             “NEW YORK, October 21, 18—.

“MY DARLING CHILD:—I take this favorable opportunity to rite to you to
inform you that we are all in good helth, thanks be to the gracious
Lord, and hoping that this letter may find you and the barreness
enjoying the same rich blessing.

“My dear child, I have not received any letter from you sence I rote to
you last September, which I think my letter must of miscarryed or else
the ship must of been shiprecked. Oh, do rite to me and tell me how you
are and when you are coming home, for you know this is your home, my
darling child and honey. There is an interesting young man here, who
have taken Mr. More’s room which he left when he got married, you know,
and he is a very hopeful young man, indeed, which I hope he will make a
powerful minister some of these days, though he says he is not worthy to
black a Christian minister’s boots. He saw your photograf on the
mantlepiece one day and took such an interest into it and read the
dedercation on the back, where you know you rote To my dear Aunt Sophie,
from her loving child, and he asked me most a hundred questions about
you and I tolde him all I knowd. He is a Perfeck Gentleman and his name
is a Mister Ansolong. I dont know as I spell it rite because I never saw
it rote but thats the way it sounds. Well honey we are all going on very
much in the same way as when you left. Mrs. Farquier I think is agoing
to be married to Elder perkins of our church. I don’t holde with second
marriages myself, but everybody must walk accordin’ to their own lites.
Brother More has done a good work for the Lord and brought a menny
wandering sheepe into the fold. But you know his term with us will soon
be out and I hope and pray as the Conference will send him back to us
but after all we mussent lean too much on the Arm of flesh knowing who
is Our Helper. I do wish as that dear Mister Ansolong would enter the
ministry. What a preacher he would make! He reads the Bible like an
Angel! It is enough to make one Cry to hear him. But he says he has not
studied and I tell him that Peter and John and James and their brethren
never studied because there want any collidges in their days but he up
and put it to me that John and James and they had the best of all
teaching in the pursonal presence and example and instruction of Our
Saviour. And there he got the better of me which only makes me feel
surer what a powerful preacher he would be if he only had the Holy
Spirit. But there, my darling child, I am running on until this shete of
paper though it is foolscap is almost full—so I must finish, with
praying that the Lord will bless you. Give my Love to the dear barreness
and tell her the money she giv me to spend on the poor Street children
is doing a good work and Brother More is drawing up a Report to send
her, with the names and histories of the children Benifitted. So no more
at present from your Affectionate Friend

                                                         SOPHIE DOWNIE.”

Lilith read this letter with a joy scarcely less profound and grateful
than that with which she had read the vindicatory confession of the
convict, Thomas Estel.

Ancillon was still living; he had not fallen a victim to any deadly
fever of the South, or to the knife of any border ruffian of the West;
he had not perished in any railroad collision or steamboat explosion;
and these were the only perils which, in Lilith’s opinion, could end a
life so young and sound as his was. He still lived, and in his
adventurous or drifting life had drifted into the calm haven of Aunt
Sophie’s home.

It was very curious that he should have done so, Lilith thought; but,
then, experience shows us many curious coincidences in life.

She wondered whether he had seen her advertisement in the _Pursuivant_,
or whether, since he had given her up for dead, he had not ceased to
search the Personal column, which was to have been their medium of
communication when far distant from each other. But even if he had
neglected that particular column in which her one advertisement was a
standing item, still he must have read other portions of the paper, and
so must have seen the account of the convict’s ante-mortem confession,
which cleared John Weston from all complicity in the crime for which
he—John Weston—alone had suffered; and yet, perhaps, he might have
missed that one paper, or even in reading it, he might have overlooked
that one article, so full of importance to him.

At all events it appeared that he had not seen either the standing
advertisement in the Personal column or the copied account of Thomas
Estel’s ante-mortem confession.

He was still lingering at Mrs. Downie’s quiet house in New York City.
And Lilith’s joy and gratitude at having a sure clew to the wanderer was
so great as to exceed her surprise and wonder at the manner in which it
was recovered.

She determined to write by the first mail to Mrs. Downie and to Alfred

So absorbed was she in the subject of her thoughts that she did not
perceive that Madame Von Bruyin had been watching her attentively for
some moments, until at length that lady spoke.

“Lilith,” she said, “you must have received some very happy surprise in
your letter, to judge by the rapt delight of your face.”

“I have,” replied the young creature, in a joyous tone. “I have received
news of a long absent and very dear relative, from whom I had not heard
for nearly two years. I had feared he was dead; but he is living, in
good health, at Aunt Sophie’s house.”

“Ah! I congratulate you, my dear. So this letter is from Aunt Sophie, as
I supposed. How is the dear woman?” sympathetically inquired the

“Well as ever, thank Heaven, always well. She sends you messages of love
and gratitude. Would you like to see her letter?” said Lilith, holding
out the paper.

“No, dear; I have seen letters enough for one evening. That good Aunt
Sophie! There she is, always confined to one narrow round of duties. I
wonder if she would not like to see more of the world? Could not she
come out to us, if I were to send her an excursion ticket? Could not she
leave the quiet, well-ordered little household in the hands of one of
those matronly widows who, having lived so long with her, seem to be of
the same family? What a delight it would be to show her Paris! What do
you think, Lilith?”

“It would indeed be most delightful! And, indeed, although it does not
seem so at first view, I think it would be quite practicable. Aunt
Sophie is such a brave, enterprising little woman. I even think she need
not cross alone. I think Mr. Ancillon, my relative, may be coming over
on business and may bring her.”

“Enchanting! And they can both stay here and take care of you while
Gherardini and myself are on our wedding tour. Ridiculous etiquette, a
wedding tour.”

“But, madame,” said Lilith, in a tone of surprise, “do you really wish
to keep me on after your marriage?”

“I wish, and with your consent I intend, to hold you, as a dear sister,
under my immediate protection as long as we both shall live, or until
you shall be claimed by Tudor Hereward, in the case of his repentance,
or by some better man in case of Hereward’s death.”

“But, madame——”

“There, there, mignonne, do not let us dispute to-night. It is time to
go to bed. Write to-morrow to your friend Mrs. Downie, and invite her
here in my name. To be present here at my marriage. And to take care of
you during my absence. Put the last-mentioned reason strongly, as—to be
of use would be a great inducement to that dear, unselfish soul! There
are people, Lilith, who must be convinced that they are doing something
of utility for somebody else before they can be persuaded to enjoy
themselves. Convince this dear Aunt Sophie that you will need her, and
she will come over and enjoy sightseeing in Paris with all the zest of
youth. I will get Le Grange to see about the ticket to-morrow, so that
you can inclose it in your letter.”

“But suppose, after all, she should not come? The ticket will be lost,”
said Lilith.

“Well, the steamship company will gain. That is all,” replied the
baroness, rising and putting her fair hand over her lips to conceal a

At this unmistakable sign of weariness, Lilith took the hint and rang
the bell for the servants to close up the apartments.

In a few minutes the friends had retired.

                             CHAPTER XVIII
                          SURPRISE ON SURPRISE

That letter and that ticket were destined never to be sent!

The next morning, while Madame Von Bruyin, Lilith Hereward, and Monsieur
Le Grange were seated at breakfast together, a card was brought in on a
silver waiter and offered to Lilith.

She picked it up and read:


And underneath, in brackets, the lightly-penciled name of Alfred

Lilith could scarcely suppress a cry as she started to her feet.

“What is the matter?” inquired the baroness.

“My relative from New York has arrived!” joyfully exclaimed Lilith.

“Indeed! I congratulate you. Go to him at once, my dear,” said the
baroness, cordially. Then turning to the page, she inquired:

“Where have you shown the gentleman, Henri?”

“Into the small salon, madame,” replied the lad.

“Quite right. Attend Madame Wyvil thither. Go, my dear. Do not keep your
friend a moment waiting,” said the baroness, sympathetically.

Lilith left the room, attended by the page, and crossed the hall to
enter the small salon overlooking the Champs d’Elysées.

The young page opened the door for her to pass in, and then closed it
and retired.

Mr. Alfred Ancillon, or Señor Zuniga, stood in the middle of the bright
room, looking the image of glorious, immortal youth.

He came eagerly forward and opened his arms.

Lilith fell upon his bosom in a passion of joyous sobs and tears.

He embraced her warmly, straining her to his heart, pressing kisses on
her face, before either of them spoke a syllable.

Their first utterances were almost incoherent in their gladness.

“Oh, thank Heaven that you still live!”

“Thanks be to the Lord that I find you safe, my darling child!”

“At last! Oh, at last you are vindicated!”

“Restored to life, almost from the grave. Oh! my child!”

“By what happy chance did you drift into Aunt Sophie’s house?”

“I will tell you presently, my dear, for——”

“And how is dear Aunt Sophie?”

“You must judge for yourself, darling! Look up! There—there she is!”

Lilith lifted herself from the señor’s breast and turned her head to see
a round, black bundle of a little old woman, on the bottom of an
easy-chair, unroll itself and come towards her in the form of Mrs.

Yes, it was indeed Aunt Sophie! There was the same soft, round form, the
same careless though clean black gown and shawl, the same little mashed
black silk bonnet, the same smiling, babyish old face, with its fair
skin, blue eyes and rumpled gray hair. It was dear Aunt Sophie in
person, wonderful as the fact appeared.

With a half-suppressed cry of joy Lilith ran to her, caught her in her
arms and covered her face with kisses, while Aunt Sophie cried quietly
without speaking a word.

Presently Lilith led her to a seat on the sofa and sat down beside her,
holding her hand, gazing into her sweet old face, and uttering her
delight in fragmentary words.

“How comes it that I have the joy of seeing you? It was only yesterday
evening that I got your dear letter. This very day I was going to write
to you to come here to us. Was not that strange? But you always
anticipated my wishes, did you not? But what happy inspiration, what
angel sent you here?”

“Why, it was him,” replied Aunt Sophie, simply, pointing to the señor.
“He fetched me. I believe he could persuade anybody in this world to do
anything he wanted. And all in such a hurry, too! I never made up my
mind so quick in all my life before; and never shall in all my life
again. I declare I was on board of the ship before I well knowed what I
was doing.”

The Señor Zuniga broke into one of Alfred Ancillon’s joyous bursts of
laughter as he explained:

“If I had given her time to reflect she might have hesitated to come. If
I had not hurried her out of her senses I could not have brought her.
Hear! I saw your advertisement in the Personal column of the
_Pursuivant_, by chance, just thirteen days ago. I saw that it had been
in for some weeks, though I had not observed it. This was on Tuesday. I
reflected that I could go to you in person as quickly as I could
communicate with you by letter, so I made up my mind to sail the next
day by the City of Paris. The steamers from America to Europe are not
crowded at this season, whatever the steamers from Europe to America may
be. I went to the agent’s office, feeling sure of getting berths, and I
got them. I got two tickets, one for myself and one for Aunt Sophie, for
I felt sure of persuading her to accompany me——”

“He could persuade any mortal man or woman to do anything he wanted them
to do,” put in the old lady.

“Well, you may call it whim, eccentricity or inspiration, but I felt a
great desire to take Mrs. Downie with me, and I was resolved to gratify
that desire.”

“Yes, he did,” again put in Aunt Sophie. “He come right in the kitchen,
where I was sitting down with a blue check apron on, paring apples to
make pies for dinner; for, my dear, he went all over the house like a
tame kitten; and he says to me all of a sudden:

“‘I want you to let the house take care of itself and go to Europe with
me to-morrow morning to see your favorite’ (that was you, my dear).

“And I declare I was so startled I give a jump and let the pan fall, and
the apples rolled all over the kitchen floor. Asking me all in a minute
to go to Europe with him to-morrow as if it had been going to Harlem or

Again the irrepressible laughter of the señor burst forth as he said:

“Well, you are not sorry you came?”

“Oh, no! But, goodness, child, think of it! I, who had lived nigh
seventy years in this world without ever going more than fifty miles
from home, and that only once in my life, to be asked all of a sudden to
go to Europe next day!”

“It was startling!” said Lilith, smiling.

“Startling! And then to hear him talk. Why, to hear him you would think
to go from New York to Havre was no more than to row across a river.
Then he got my boarders on his side. I think they thought it was fun.
And they all got me in such a whirl that I hardly knowed whether I was
awake or asleep. And before I rightly knowed what I was about I was on
the steamer and out of sight of land!”

“I hope you left them all well at your house,” said Lilith.

“Oh, yes, honey, all mons’ous well. Mrs. Farquier is going to be married
to Elder Perkins, of our church. I believe I told you in my letter.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Well, child, he is rich—awful rich. And they are to be married next
spring. He is a building of a fine new house way up town, facing on the
Park, and soon as it’s finished and furnished they’re going to be
married and move right in. She’s giv’ up her employment, and hasn’t got
much to do; so she offered if I would only go along of this young
gentleman to Europe, how she would keep house for me until I come back.
She is a dear, good woman and deserves all the prosperity she will

“So you need have no anxious cares about the house,” said Lilith.

“No, honey. And I expect I shall feel right down well satisfied, once I
get settled. But I was that whirled around before I started that I
hardly knowed what I was doing of, or even who I was. Now what do you
think? When I opened my trunk to get out a change of clothes, what do
you think I found out!”

“I do not know,” said Lilith, smiling.

“Well, I found that I had left behind my Sunday gown—that black silk
gown as I have worn to church more years than I remember.”

“That was unlucky; but never mind; you must have a new one. Silk is
cheap in Paris.”

“Yes, honey, but that is not the worst of it. Instead of my own Sunday
gown, what do you think I had packed away in my trunk?”

“A common gown?”

“No, child! But poor, dear, young Brother Burney’s best black trousers,
as I had taken out’n his room that very morning to clean for him, with
benzine. And what he’ll do for a decent pair to wear to church, I don’t
know; for he’s only got one more pair, and they are patched awful, so as
when the wind blows—well, I have to pin the flaps of his coat together.
’Deed I am mons’ous sorry I took his trousers. I hope he will never
s’picion as I pawned ’em or anything.”

“Of course he won’t. But who is Brother Burney?” inquired Lilith.

“Oh, a hopeful young brother as is studying for the ministry. He has got
the little teenty room at the end of the passage in the third story. And
I reckon he’s very poor. Ah me! I am sorry about them there trousers.”

Here Lilith bent and whispered to Aunt Sophie: “We could send him,
anonymously, a letter of credit for fifty or a hundred dollars, to get
him a complete outfit.”

“Could we, now? Without letting him know where it comes from? Without
hurting his feelings? For it’s very hard to be beholden, you know. Hard
for a gentleman, let alone how poor he may be.”

“We can fix it, Aunt Sophie; a letter shall go out to him this very day.
And now I want you to come into my room and take off your bonnet. You
will, I am sure, excuse us,” said Lilith, turning with a smile to the

“I will go back to the hotel, where I have some business to attend to. I
will call later to pay my respects to Madame Von Bruyin,” said Zuniga,
as he arose and prepared to leave.

“But—hadn’t I better be going, too? The baroness might think I was
intruding,” said Aunt Sophie, uneasily.

“Indeed she will not! She will be rejoiced to see you. She commissioned
me to write to you, and urge you to come over to us.”

“She did?” cried Aunt Sophie, in amazement.

“Indeed she did! I was to have written to you this very day, as I told
you. Come, now, into my room and take off your bonnet and consider
yourself quite at home; for I know the baroness will not allow you to
return to the hotel,” said Lilith.

“I will bid you good-morning,” said the señor, bowing.

“Stay—one moment! Will you now release me from my promise? May I now
tell the secret?” demanded Lilith, in an eager whisper.

“Yes! You might have given it to the winds, had you chosen, on the day
that you read Estel’s confession. You might have known then that it
would be quite safe to do so.”

“Yes, but I had not then been released from my promise.”

“That, my child, shows a morbid conscientiousness in you. You were
morally released from the moment that I was vindicated. Good-morning, my
brave girl! I will see you later! By the way, though—where is your
husband?” he suddenly stopped to ask.

“Still at the Court of ——, I think, where he has been Secretary of
Legation for nearly two years.”

“Do you ever hear from him?”


“Does he know that you are living?”

“I think not.”

“Then I exonerate him. I have a great deal to say to you, my darling,
which I must defer for the present. Good-morning again.”

And the señor bowed himself out.

Lilith took Aunt Sophie’s hand and led her across the hall to a
beautiful chamber with an alcove.

She gave the good woman a soft easy-chair, and then with her own hands
took off her bonnet and her shawl, and made her comfortable.

“Now, have you been to breakfast, Aunt Sophie?”

“Yes, honey, at the hotel! And such a breakfast! Instead of good,
wholesome tea and coffee and beefsteak, and buckwheat cakes, there was
wine, if you believe me! And oranges, and grapes, and figs, and
kickshaws! And I tried to be polite and ‘do at Rome as the Romans do,’
but la! I tasted the wine, and it tasted for all the world like vinegar
and water, and sugar of lead! And I asked, please, mightn’t I have a cup
of coffee, and the waiter, as they called the gosling, or something like

“Wasn’t it the garçon?”

“Yes, gosoon, and he did go soon! He was spry! He asked me, ‘Caffynore
or caffylay,’ and I had a hard time to make him understand that I didn’t
want no caffy at all, nor any other of their foreign wines, but just
coffee, and I did get it at last, just about the splendidest cup of
coffee as ever I tasted in all my life. I would have asked the gosling
how they made it; but, law! he couldn’t understand more’n half I said to
him. The ignorance of these foreigners is amazing. A ’Merican child
three years old could have understood what I said better than he did.
But they know how to make good coffee.”

“But you could not breakfast entirely on coffee, Aunt Sophie.”

“No, no, honey; but they had good bread, too—excellent bread, and nice
fresh butter. And so, you see, I didn’t suffer. And they had a number of
different sorts of stews, or hashes, I should call them, but the gosling
called them awful hard names. They smelt mighty nice, all of ’em, but I
was afeard to ventur’ on any of ’em. I was afeard of frogs. And that
gosling was always a sticking one or other of them stews under my very
nose, too.”

“Well, Aunt Sophie, you need not be afraid of anything you may find on
our table, though we have a French chef.”

“A French shay? That may be good to ride in, but what has that got to do
with cooking, honey?”

“I should have said a French cook.”

“Oh, I see. It was a slip of the tongue.”

“Did you have a fine voyage, Aunt Sophie?”


“And you were not sea-sick?”

“Oh, yes, I was. For two days I was just as sick as if I had taken an
old-fashioned dose of calomel and jalap. And I think it did me a heap of
good, too, for after I got over it I was that hungry! Indeed, I was so
hungry I was ashamed to eat as much as I wanted. And all the rest of the
voyage I thought more of eating than of anything else in the world.”

“When did you reach Havre?”

“Yesterday; and it so happened as there was a train for Paris in an hour
afterwards; so we took that train and came right on, and got here last
night. We slept at that hotel, and, if you please to believe me, I had
one of the goslings for a chamber-maid. I don’t like foreign ways,

“Never mind, dear; you will be more comfortable with us. But now tell
me, Aunt Sophie, did you know that the señor was a near relation of

“What makes you call him the sinner, honey? He’s no more of a sinner
than the rest of us, I reckon. We are all sinners, for that matter.”

“I said señor, Aunt Sophie, which is all the same as if I had said Sir
or Mr.”

“Oh! Well, I shall never get used to foreign words. Yes, honey, he did
tell me; but not till he had pumped me of every single thing I knowed
about you. Then, to account for his curiosity, he told me as you was a
very near and dear relative of his’n as he had given up for dead.”

“How did he come to board at your house? He is not a minister or a
theological student.”

“No, honey; but he do look just like a preacher. Don’t he, now?”


“Well, my sign is always out, you know, and he saw it, and wanting
board, he stepped up and rang the bell, like any other applicant.
Anyways, that’s how he came into the house, and he looked so much like a
hopeful young minister of the Gospel that I took him, without once
remembering to ask for his references. Afterwards he happened to see
your photographs on the mantelpiece, and he took it down and gazed at
it, and read your writing, and seemed so upset I didn’t know what to
make of him. And he asked about one hundred questions about you, and I
told him all I knowed. Then he let on as you was a near relation of
his’n,” said the old lady, as she settled herself comfortably in her

“Thank you, dear Aunt Sophie. And now if you will excuse me for a few
moments, I will go and let the baroness know that you are here. She will
be delighted,” said Lilith, rising, and leaving the room to tell the
good news.

                              CHAPTER XIX
                         ANCILLON’S REVELATIONS

           Doubt is the effect of fear or jealousy,
           Two passions which to reason give the lie;
           For fear torments and never doth assist;
           And jealousy is love lost in a mist.
           Both hoodwink truth and play at blind man’s buff,
           Cry “Here” and “There,” seem quite direct enough;
           But all the while shift place, making the mind,
           As it gets out of breath, despair to find;
           Or if at last something it stumbles on,
           Perhaps it calls it false, and then ’tis gone.
           If true, what’s gained? Only just time to see
           A breathless play—a game of fantasy
           That has no other end than this: that men
           Run to be tired, just to sit down again.

Aunt Sophie, left to herself, got up with a childish curiosity to look
around on the elegant chamber to which she had been introduced—the
furniture all made of some wood that looked like ivory, and upholstered
in rose satin and white lace.

“Too fine to live in,” she said to herself, as she stood before the
beautifully draped dressing-table, with its broad and tall mirror
filling up all the space between the two front windows, and curtained,
like them, with rose silk and white lace, and with its toilet service of
Bohemian glass and gold.

She turned from this to the richly festooned alcove, in which stood the
luxurious bedstead, and from that view to the inviting chairs and
lounges, her wonder and admiration growing with all that she saw.

She was still moving around, when the door opened, and Lilith appeared,
ushering in the baroness—Lilith in her simple black silk dress, and
Madame Von Bruyin in an elegant negligée of pale mauve velvet, edged
with swan’s-down.

She advanced to Aunt Sophie with smiling eyes and outstretched hands,
exclaiming brightly:

“My dear Mrs. Downie! I am so rejoiced to see you! You have come to us
so opportunely! How opportunely you shall soon know. Why, only to-day we
were to write to you and ask you to come. You have only anticipated our
very great desire to see you.”

“Indeed you are very good to say so, ma’am, I’m sure. It was the sinner
who made me come, whether or no; and I was so awful ’fraid I was
intruding,” said the child-like old lady, in simple truth, as she placed
both her plump little hands in the warm, welcoming clasp of her hostess.

“You are looking so well; and Lilith tells me you had a fine voyage.”

“Yes, thank you, ma’am; I had an awful fine voyage, considering the
season of the year; and it done me a heap of good.”

“I can see that it has. Sit down now and let us be comfortable,” said
the baroness, drawing one of the luxurious chairs nearer to Aunt Sophie,
who smiled and bowed in a deprecating little way before she took it.

When they were all seated near what seemed to be a beautiful vase, but
what was in reality the porcelain stove that heated the room, Aunt
Sophie broke out in child-like admiration:

“I never seen a stove like this in all my life before. I didn’t think as
they could make stoves out’n anything but iron.”

“We don’t have them in our own country,” said Lilith. “At least I never
saw one.”

The baroness smiled, and then changed the subject by asking Aunt Sophie
about the health and welfare of her inmates, and the prosperity of her
house. And the old lady answered with simple truth, relating all about
the poor young theological student whose only pair of Sunday trousers
she had inadvertently brought away; and all about the coming marriage of
her favorite boarder, Mrs. Farquier, and Elder Perkins, of their church.

The baroness listened with sympathetic attention, and after a few more
cordial words of congratulation or of inquiry, the lady said:

“Now, Mrs. Downie, you will please tell me the name of the hotel you
stopped at, so that I may send and have your effects brought hither.”

“The hotel where I stopped, ma’am?” said Aunt Sophie, with a slightly
puzzled air.

“Yes, Mrs. Downie; I wish to know so that I may send for your trunk.”

“Why, it was the same place where the sinner is stopping!”

“But where is that, my dear friend? What is its name?” smilingly
inquired Madame Von Bruyin.

“The hotel—le’ me see, now—what was the name of that hotel ag’in? The
sinner did tell me; but there! my poor head has been in that whirl ever
since I was snatched away so suddenly and fetched over here that I
declare to man I haven’t got no memory left! I ought to remember that
name, too, ’cause it sounded for all the world like a name in a ballad
or a fairy story, and as if it might ’a’ been the palace of the fairy
queen or the enchanted princess. What was it, ag’in? Oh! I know. It was
the Hotel of Love, on the Rue River. That’s what it was. Now ain’t that
just like a place in a ballad or a fairy story?” inquired Aunt Sophie,
with a smile. “Just fancy it! The Hotel of Love on the Rue River!”

The baroness looked helplessly and hopelessly perplexed.

“The Hotel du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli,” suggested Lilith, in a low tone.

“Oh, certainly! I see! Touch the bell, if you please, my dear,” said
Madame Von Bruyin.

Lilith complied, and the baroness gave her instructions to the servant
that answered the summons.

“And now, my dear,” said the lady, rising to leave the room, “I have
some papers to sign, and Monsieur Le Grange is waiting for me. Make our
dear guest as comfortable as you can, and here, my dear, give her the
choice of the vacant chambers on the other side.”

And with a smile and a bow the beautiful hostess left the room.

“Come, Aunt Sophie, and select your bower!” said Lilith, playfully, as
she arose.

The simple-hearted widow gathered her belongings and prepared to follow
her guide.

Lilith led the old lady across the hall and opened the door of a chamber
opposite the one they had just left, and introduced her into the most
elegant apartment she had ever seen.

It was upholstered in satin-wood, pale blue velvet embroidered with
silver and white lace.

Aunt Sophie hesitated to sit down in her black alpaca gown on any of the
elegantly covered chairs, and feared to lay down her black shawl and
mashed bonnet anywhere, lest they should soil the delicate draperies.

At length Lilith relieved her funny embarrassment by taking those
articles from her hands and hanging them in a handsome armoire, the door
of which was one sheet of crystal mirror.

And then the simple old lady looked at the dressing-table with its
draperies of pale blue velvet and fine white lace, and its accessories
of pearl combs and pearl-handled brushes, and gold vases, and flaçons,
and thence to the bed with its costly hangings of the same velvet and
lace, in such distressing embarrassment that Lilith said to her at

“Madame Von Bruyin wished me to give you your choice of all the vacant
chambers. If you do not like this one, I can show you a plainer.”

“Oh, yes, please do, honey! This is so awful grand! I wouldn’t dare to
sit down on one of these chairs, and as to lying down in that grand
bed—I couldn’t dream of such a thing! And that sounds so ungrateful of
me, too, when the baroness is giving me the best of everything! But,
honey, I ain’t used to it, and I couldn’t get used to it, and that is
the solemn truth, so I hope you’ll excuse me,” said the old lady, in her
soft, slow, deprecating tones.

“There is nothing in this world too good for you, dear Aunt Sophie!
There is indeed scarcely anything good enough for you, we think,” said
Lilith, as she took the little black bonnet and shawl from the armoire
in which she had hung them, and led the way down the corridor to the
rear of the building and opened a door at its extremity, and ushering
the guest into a pretty, bright, fresh chamber, furnished in curled
maple and gay chintz.

“How do you like this room?” inquired Lilith.

“Oh! ever so much better than t’other one! I ain’t afraid of hurting
anything here!”

“And you can make yourself quite comfortable?”

“Oh, yes, awful comfortable, honey.”

“Your trunks will be here very soon,” said Lilith, as, still acting in
her rôle of lady’s maid to the visitor, she hung up Aunt Sophie’s
bonnet, shawl and hand-bag in the maple-wood wardrobe.

Then she sat down to “keep company” with the old lady until her boxes
should arrive to give her some employment.

“I hope you will tell the baroness that I ralely didn’t expect this! I
ralely didn’t mean to intrude. I only come this morning with the sinner
to call and pay my respects to the baroness and see you, honey, and then
go back to the Hotel of Love. I never would have presumed to come and
set down on you all without an invitation,” said Aunt Sophie, in a soft,
slow, deprecating tone.

Lilith went and kissed her gently before replying:

“You did not come without an invitation, and a very pressing one. You
cannot doubt how pleased Madame Von Bruyin is to see you, or how happy I
am to have you here.”

“I know you are all awful good to me. I know that,” said Aunt Sophie.

A little later on her trunk arrived and was brought up into her room,
and Aunt Sophie made the best of her limited wardrobe to dress for

Simple as any child, she accepted all the aid that Lilith could give
her, even obediently submitting to have her unruly hair “fixed,” and to
wear the pretty little lace cap, fichu and cuffs that Lilith’s deft
fingers constructed from her own materials.

Aunt Sophie liked herself in this new dress, and did not hesitate to say

The dinner that followed soon was served in what was known in the maison
as the petit salon. There was no one present but Madame Von Bruyin,
Lilith, Mrs. Downie and Monsieur Le Grange, whom Aunt Sophie mistook for
a preacher of the gospel, and ever after referred to as the old

Lilith saw no more of Mr. Alfred Ancillon, or Señor Zuniga, during that

The next morning, after breakfast, the baroness went out shopping as
usual, but excused Lilith from attending her, and took Aunt Sophie
instead, “to show her the shops,” as she said.

They had not left the house more than half an hour, when a card was
brought to Lilith bearing the name, SEÑOR ZUNIGA.

And Lilith went down into the small drawing-room to receive him alone.

“Madame Von Bruyin has gone out and has taken Mrs. Downie with her,”
said Lilith, when their mutual greetings had passed.

“Ah! I am glad! Well as I like the beautiful baroness and the good Aunt
Sophie, I can dispense with their society this morning, for I wish to
talk with you alone,” he said, seating himself by her side on the sofa.
“I told you yesterday that I had much to say to you.”

“Yes,” she replied.

“Hereward, you say, is still at the Court of ——?”


“And yet you have never heard from him?”


“He does not know that you are living?”


“Well, neither did I until an accident revealed your continued existence
to me. I will tell you all about that by and by. Now I tell you, Lilith,
that he must learn the truth.”

“Oh, no! no! Do not bring me in any way to his notice,” she pleaded,
clasping her hands and fixing her eyes upon him in the earnestness of
her entreaty.

“But why not, now that you are able to clear up the mystery that
separated you?” demanded Zuniga, in astonishment.

“Oh, because he does not love me. He never loved me! He told me so with
his own lips,” moaned Lilith, wringing her hands.

“No heroics, if you please, child. I get quite enough of them on the
stage. I hate them off it. But tell me, in a matter of fact way, did you
really believe him when he said that?”

“Oh, yes! Oh, yes! For he spoke in the most bitter, scornful, insulting
manner. He said that he should leave the house, never to return while I
desecrated it with my presence. Desecrated it, mind. That was what drove
me away, and what will keep me away from him,” she wailed, twisting her
hands together.

“Pray don’t be melodramatic, Lilith, my dear. I am so tired of that sort
of thing that I have left the stage forever, I hope. But tell me quietly
and sensibly when and under what circumstances Hereward talked such very
objectionable nonsense.”

“It was on that fatal twenty-first of March when——”

“There you go again. There was nothing fatal about it. However,

“It was on the twenty-first of March, then, that he came down suddenly
to Cloud Cliffs. That letter which you had written to me had fallen into
his hands, and he rushed down to Cloud Cliffs, just as I feared he
would, in a——”

“Deuce of a rage. Quite natural under the circumstances. Well?”

“He came in just after I had read your last letter, which was even more
compromising than your first, and as I was about to drop it into the
fire he seized it from me——”

“Very rude of him.”

“And he read it.”

“Quite so. It was what we should have expected of him. Proceed.”

“And then—— But, oh, indeed, I cannot describe the scene that followed.”

“You needn’t. I can see it all. The fat was in the fire. There was a
fiz, a blaze, a conflagration!”

“I cannot blame him for his anger then. The circumstances were so
criminating. He demanded an explanation, but I could give him none
without betraying your secret, which I was sworn to keep. It ended, as I
told you, in his declaring that he did not love me, congratulating
himself that he had never fallen into the deep degradation of loving me,
and saying that he would leave the house, never to return while I should
desecrate it with my presence.”

“Very melodramatic, and consequently very nonsensical, as all heroics
are off the stage. And you believed him?”

“Yes; for I left the house that night.”

“And you still believe him, eh?”

“Yes; for I will never make known my existence to him.”

“What a baby you must be, Lilith, to believe all the ravings of a man
maddened by jealousy. Why, child! you were no sooner gone than he
‘sought you sorrowing’ all over the country. A month later the body of a
poor, unfortunate young woman who once belonged to our troupe, and was
the wife of a man who sometimes acted under my name, was found in the
woods in such a state of decomposition that it could not be recognized;
but it was dressed in a suit of your clothes, which were readily enough
identified by all your servants, so that the sapient coroner’s jury who
sat upon the remains brought in a verdict that—‘Lilith Hereward came to
her death by a blow on the back of her head from some blunt instrument
held in the hand of some person unknown to the jury.’ When Hereward
learned this verdict he fell like a slaughtered ox; and he knew no more
of life for weeks——”

“Oh!” cried Lilith, involuntarily.

“In the meantime, I, out in California, knew nothing of what was going
on in West Virginia until a month after that coroner’s inquest—until one
day I met with an old copy of the _Pursuivant_, in which I read a full
account of your supposed fate. Then, my child, I understood, or thought
I understood, what had happened—that your death had been caused,
directly or indirectly, by the jealous rage of your husband; and I threw
up my engagement and traveled as fast as steam could take me to West
Virginia and to the presence of Tudor Hereward. I found him the mere
shadow of his former self.”

Lilith moaned.

“But I did not pity him in the least! I bitterly upbraided him for
having been the cause of your death, as I fully believed him to have
been. I am afraid I even became melodramatic over it all, which was very
unprofessional off the stage, you know. He never sought to excuse or
defend himself. Still I had no mercy on him. I rubbed it into him. To
deepen his remorse for his wrong to you, I gave him the secret! What
cared I then for any consequences to myself? I gave him the secret!”

“What! You told—you told him—who you were!” exclaimed Lilith.

“No, I did better than that. He might not have believed my word. I told
him nothing. But I directed him to the papers in the old trunk for all
information and all proof. And then I left him and went to the village
hotel and waited for events. But nothing happened, and at last I heard
that he had gone to Washington to accept some foreign mission that had
been offered him. Then I also left the neighborhood and went to the
Southwest. I took no further pains to conceal my identity; yet no evil
happened to me. No requisition under the extradition treaty was made for
me. But, Lilith, my child, you are cleared from suspicion in the eyes of
your husband. He has the secret!”

“Oh, no, he has not!” exclaimed Lilith. “He has not! For those papers to
which you referred him for information were not in the house! I brought
them away with me when I left Cloud Cliffs.”

“You brought them away with you!”

“Yes, for I would not leave them there to endanger you. So, you see, he
does not yet know that I am innocent.”

“I am sorry that he did not find the papers. But, Lilith, my darling, he
does know that you are innocent. He came to his senses from the very day
in which he lost you. All that I heard about him in his own neighborhood
proved his profound sorrow at your loss and his faith in your

“And yet he told me——”

“Never mind what he told you. He was mad with jealousy then, and his
words must not be remembered. He loves you, I am sure. He always loved
you. I tell you this—I who know something of human nature.”

“Oh, if I thought so! Oh, if I thought so!”

“Now, now, now, now, don’t be stagey! Hereward loves you devotedly. I
was sure of it when I talked with him of you. It was not only remorse
for his cruel suspicions, but sorrow for your loss, that was almost
driving him mad!”

“He had but little cause for remorse about his suspicions. The
circumstances were so criminating.”

“And your life and character so vindicating.”

“Was it accident that led you to Aunt Sophie’s house?” inquired Lilith
at last.

“Yes and no. I will explain. After I had made a short theatrical tour in
the Territories I came East and to New York. I was so reckless that I
did not care what might become of me. I was on Broadway one day, when I
saw your picture in a photographer’s show-case. I did not then connect
it with any idea that you were still in the land of the living, but
fancied that it was a photograph that might have been taken for your
foster-father, the summer before your marriage when you were on your
last trip with him.”

“No, it was taken just before I sailed from New York, for Aunt Sophie.
She wanted a picture of me, and she took me to a photographer who was a
member of her church and for whom one of her lady boarders colored the
photographs,” Lilith explained.

“So I learned later. Having no picture of you, my darling, and wishing
to possess one, I went in to the artist and asked to buy a copy. He told
me that he could not sell one without permission from the customer who
had had the photograph taken. I told him that the customer and the
original of the picture were both dead. At this he stared and said that
he guessed not, unless they had died very recently. And then the artist
told me that the pictures had been taken by the order of an old lady
friend of his own, and of a young girl boarding in her house then, but
now away to Europe. Still I had no suspicion that they represented my
living Lilith, but believed the likeness to be an accidental one, though
so good that I wished to possess a copy. So I requested the artist to
give me the address of the customer for whom they had been taken. He
very readily obliged me. I went to Mrs. Downie’s house the same day.
Seeing her sign out, I requested the girl who answered my ring to take
my card to her mistress. While I was waiting in the parlor I saw your
photograph on the mantelpiece. I took it down and examined it minutely,
a faint suspicion coming like hope into my heart that it might be yours
after all. I turned to the back and read the inscription, ‘To Aunt
Sophie, with the love of Lilith,’ or something to that effect. My child,
I am not given to wild emotion—off the stage—and yet I was so overcome
with joy and fear that I dropped upon a chair, and had some trouble to
compose myself before the landlady came in. But in that short space of
time I had resolved to take board in the house, if possible, in order to
find out all about you. So when Aunt Sophie came in I broached the
subject of board and lodging, and the good creature consented to receive

“Yes, she wrote to me about that,” said Lilith.

“But I governed my strong anxiety and refrained from asking her
questions about the original of that photograph for a few hours, and
then began cautiously to examine her. It is needless to say that I
learned all she knew of you.”

“Did you return the confidence, and supplement her small knowledge of my
antecedents by telling her all you knew of me?” inquired Lilith.

“Only by saying that you were a very near and dear relative of mine.”

“So much she herself wrote to me; but she wrote of you as Mr. Ancillon,
and yet she speaks of you as Señor Zuniga——”

“Yes. I took board with her as Alfred Ancillon. I did not wish, in the
case of my arrest under the extradition treaty, to bring an old and
proud name into that connection. And so it was not until after I had
seen your advertisement, and searched the files of the _Pursuivant_ and
discovered my full vindication from that imputed crime, that I
determined to resume my own name. When we were once on board the
steamer, I told Mrs. Downie that Ancillon was only my professional name,
by which I think she understood that I was a literary man writing under
that nomme de plume, but that my true name was Zuniga. You look very
much astonished, Lilith.”

“I am astonished. I have been wondering in a state of the deepest
perplexity over that whole matter!” exclaimed Lilith.

“Wondering why I called myself Zuniga?”


“Why, my dear, because of all my names, professional or otherwise, that
is the one to which I have the best right.”

“Were you—were you, then—were you——”

“The Señor Zuniga of Washington society?”


“Of course I was. You recognized me at first sight, and so also did
Hereward, as I saw by your amazed looks, although afterwards you were
both persuaded that you were only deceived by a very striking likeness.”

“Yes, we were. For we knew you as Mr. Ancillon, and believed the
professional announcement that you had gone to California——”

“When my stage name loaned to another member of the troupe alone had

“But believing as we did, how could we imagine you to be identical with
Señor Zuniga, the nephew of the P—— minister? Even now I cannot
understand it.”

“But you will when I tell you the whole of my story, Lilith.”

“And you acted your part so well! When you were introduced to us you
looked so sublimely indifferent and unconscious of ever having seen us
before. And, besides, though you looked so nearly identical with Alfred
Ancillon, there were really striking points of dissimilarity.”

Señor Zuniga broke into one of his wild laughs, and then said:

“Exactly! Precisely! There were striking points of dissimilarity. When I
dropped my stage name and character, and took up my real ones, I made no
coarse disguise of other colored hair or complexion. Not at all. I just
gave the ends of my very peculiar and characteristic eyebrows a quarter
of an inch’s twist upward instead of downward, with the aid of a camel’s
hair brush and a little Indian ink, and the ends of my mustache a
corresponding droop downward instead of upward, and the character of my
countenance and expression was changed. This, with my ‘sublime
unconsciousness’ of which you spoke, your prepossessed idea that I had
gone to California, en route for Australia, together with the utter
improbability that Alfred Ancillon, the strolling player, should have
anything in common with Señor Zuniga, the nephew of the P—— minister,
completed the illusion.”

“It did, indeed.”

“And so, my child, as Señor Zuniga, I enjoyed opportunities of
conversing with you such as I should never have been permitted to do as
Alfred Ancillon.”

“But now you are forever Zuniga?”

“Yes, forever Zuniga.”

“And as the baroness may return before you leave, I must present you to
her—by what name?”

“By my true name, of course. By the only name—now that my character is
cleared from the faintest shadow of reproach—by which I shall henceforth
be known—Zuniga.”

They talked on for an hour longer, asking and answering questions, but
Zuniga was reticent about one matter—his right to the name he claimed.

“I will tell you later, Lilith,” was all the explanation that he would
give of his reserve.

While they were still talking, the door of the drawing-room swung open
and the baroness, accompanied by Aunt Sophie, entered the room.

Lilith and her visitor arose to receive them.

“Madame Von Bruyin,” said Lilith, addressing her patroness with a slight
gesture of her hand towards her visitor, “please permit me to present to
you the Señor Zuniga, my father.”

The gentleman bowed profoundly; the lady graciously, saying:

“I am glad to see you, señor. Your daughter is a dear young friend of
mine. Pray resume your seat. I hope that you will favor us with your
company at luncheon.”

“I thank you, madame, I shall be very happy,” replied the señor, with
another bow.

But there was one figure in the group that stood transfixed, staring
with eyes and mouth wide open, then muttering:

“Why—why—why—I didn’t know—why—why—why——”

But she could get no further.

Lilith went and put her arms around the old lady’s neck, and murmured,

“Yes, Aunt Sophie, he is my dear father. I will tell you all about it by
and by.”

“But—how come he, the sinner, to be your father?” inquired the dazed old

Lilith laughed, and answered:

“I suppose because he married my mother.”

The luncheon bell rang, and the baroness requested Señor Zuniga to give
his arm to Mrs. Downie.

At this moment Monsieur Le Grange joined the group and was informally
introduced to the Señor Zuniga.

The whole party then moved to the small salon, where the luncheon table
was spread, and where Madame Von Bruyin’s liveried servants were in

The light meal passed off very pleasantly—the señor being more than
usually brilliant in sparkling wit and anecdote.

Soon after their return to the drawing-room Zuniga took leave, pleading
that he had to run down to Calais that night to catch the earliest boat
to Dover, but that he hoped to be in Paris again within a few days.

As soon as he was gone the baroness was eloquent in his praise. She
commended his dark beauty, grace, elegance of person, his brilliancy in
conversation and so forth.

                               CHAPTER XX

Within a week from the day of his departure the Señor Zuniga returned to

He found such favor in the eyes of the baroness, that he became an
habitué of the house.

They were, indeed, often closeted together in long interviews that set
Aunt Sophie and Lilith to speculating.

“I think it is something about you, honey. Indeed, I feel sure of it!”
said the old lady to her young favorite; and in fact she was right, as
the event proved.

Aunt Sophie herself had grown to be more and more of a favorite with
every member of the family.

The baroness, without consulting her companion, had put the old lady in
possession of much of Lilith’s history that had hitherto been kept from

Madame Von Bruyin had also explained to Mrs. Downie that she should
remain at the house as companion and protectress to Lilith while the
soon-to-be-wedded couple should be on their wedding tour.

And Aunt Sophie, with many deprecating sighs and self-disparaging
disclaimers, had finally consented to do so.

“And while we are gone, Monsieur Le Grange and Lilith can show you all
the wonders of Paris and its environs,” Madame Von Bruyin added, as an
inducement or a consolation.

“I am sure I have already seen more than I ever expected to see in all
the days of my life,” said the old lady, with simple candor.

Preparations for the marriage went steadily on.

Paris was beginning to fill with fashionables, returning from the sea
shore or mountain height. The wedding cards were out. Some of the most
unique jewels and costumes prepared for the occasion were on exhibition
in the show-cases of the most recherché bazaars.

The public journals were sparkling with descriptions of the costly
presents in course of preparation.

The Prince Gherardini had arrived in town and taken apartments at the
Grand Hotel du Louvre.

The princely wedding was to be the opening event of the season.

The two sisters of the prince, the Princesses Bianca and Julietta, were
to be the first and second bridesmaids, and six young ladies, selected
from the most noble families of the French capital, were to complete the
bridal retinue.

On Monday of the last week in November, a small party collected in the
little salon of the maison to witness the signing of the marriage

This party consisted of the Baroness Von Bruyin, Monsieur Le Grange,
Lilith Hereward, Señor Zuniga and Mrs. Downie, on the part of the bride
elect, and Prince Gherardini, the Princesses Bianca and Julietta, and
the Marquis Orsini, on the part of the bridegroom.

Besides these there were two notaries public with their clerks.

On this occasion the baroness was richly dressed in a Mazarin blue
velvet, trained, and trimmed with ermine, and ornaments of pearls and

The two young princesses wore white satin embroidered with rosebuds.

Lilith, ruby velvet, point lace and pearls.

Aunt Sophie, black satin, with white lace shawl and white lace cap—all
presents from the baroness.

The gentlemen wore the conventional black swallow-tail coat, black vest
and black trousers, with white neck-tie and white gloves.

When the contract was signed the whole party adjourned to the
dining-salon, where a rich and rare repast was spread for their

And after this they separated amid hearty congratulations.

The next day, Tuesday, the same party met at the Mairie, where the civil
ceremony, which the French law requires, was duly observed.

But the grand pageant of the ecclesiastical rites came off at the Church
of St. Genevieve about noon on Thursday.

At an early hour of the forenoon the church was crowded with the
nobility, fashion and beauty of Paris.

The Archbishop of ——, attended by two bishops, all in their sacred
vestments, were in readiness to officiate.

At half-past eleven the bridal train entered the church.

First came the bride, leaning on the arm of her old friend, the Duc de
L——. She was, of course, the observed of all observers. She wore a
trained dress of white Genoa velvet, richly embroidered with seed pearls
and trimmed with marabout feathers. Being a widow, she wore no orange
blossoms; but her golden tresses were crowned with a diadem of pearls
and diamonds in three bands, while down on the graceful neck floated a
tuft of marabout feathers and over all the sumptuous costume flowed a
rich old cardinal point lace vail. Pearl and diamond necklace in a dozen
graded festoons encircled her fair neck and lay upon her white bosom.
Pearl and diamond bracelets clasped the lovely arms. Kid gloves,
embroidered with small pearls, and trimmed with point lace, covered the
slender yet plump hands. White boots to match the gloves encased the
shapely feet. In her hand she carried a bouquet of rare white exotics.

Behind her followed eight bridesmaids, in thread lace dresses, looped
with rosebuds, over white silk skirts; white gloves, wreaths and
bouquets of white rosebuds.

Lilith wore a trained dress of ivory white brocade satin, trimmed with
duchess lace; pearl necklace and bracelets on her pretty neck and arms,
and a pearl bandeau in her dark hair.

Aunt Sophie was very grand in a black flowered satin, a black velvet
dolman, and a black plush bonnet—all the gifts forced upon her
acceptance by the baroness. The bridegroom, with his attendants, came
out of the vestry as the bride’s party filed up the aisle to the music
of Mendelssohn’s wedding march.

The two parties met at the altar and kneeled upon the hassocks prepared
for them.

The music ceased, and the ceremony began. It was rather more lengthy,
stately and solemn than such rites usually are. But at last it was over;
the benediction was pronounced; the register was signed and witnessed;
intimate friends crowded around the newly married pair with
congratulations more or less sincere.

It was one o’clock before the bridal cortège and the wedding
congregation entered their carriages and dispersed, to meet again at
four o’clock at the reception to be held at the home of the bride.

At the hour fixed the guests began to arrive, and soon all the
reception-rooms were filled with one of the most brilliant crowds that
had ever assembled in Paris salons.

The whole house, profusely decorated with the rarest flowers, was thrown
open to the guests.

One room of the suite was given up to the exhibition of the wedding
presents; tables arranged around the walls and set here and there
through the room, were laden with the richest, rarest and most beautiful
products of modern art and science in manufactures. Jewels that seemed
poems; watches that seemed vital; India shawls that were perfect studies
of finest workmanship; services of gold, pearl, porcelain of wonderful
grace and elegance in form; laces and embroideries of marvelous pattern
and design; dress fabrics of velvet, satin, silk, crêpe, gauze, and so
forth, that seemed woven for the wearing of goddesses and fairies rather
than for clothing any woman of mere flesh and blood.

This room possessed a great charm for lady guests, who crowded it during
the whole two hours of the reception.

Another room was elegantly fitted up for refreshments, that were laid
upon many small tables, with services of pure gold and fine porcelain,
and attended by servants out of livery who wore the evening dress of
gentlemen, varied only by white satin vests, kid gloves and fragrant

Here the greatest skill of the best caterer in Paris had been expended
in the many tempting delicacies of the table; and the rarest wines of
the southern vineyards added their serpent charm to the feast.

This room found greatest favor from the elder ladies and the gentlemen.

But, after all, the most charming apartment of the many that were thrown
open was that in which the bride and groom, the Prince and Princess
Gherardini, received their guests.

They stood together near the door. Behind the princess were grouped her
eight lovely bridesmaids, and near them sat Aunt Sophie, trying to keep
herself out of sight, but enjoying the scene with all the zest of the
youngest girl there. On the left of the princess stood Lilith, looking,
every one said, the loveliest woman present. She still wore the rich but
simple dress of ivory white brocade, and the ornaments of pearl on her
bosom, on her arms and in her black hair; and now her cheeks and lips
were flushed, and her eyes were brilliant with sympathetic excitement.
Lilith, however, had acquired all the ease and grace of the bon ton, so
that her animation only added glow and sparkle to her lovely face, and
left her form and manner in perfect repose.

The baroness—I beg her pardon—the newly-wedded princess took care to
present every one who approached the group to her friend, “Mrs. Wyvil.”
And every one went away to talk of the beautiful creature. Some to ask
others who this lovely Mrs. Wyvil could be; and to be told that she was
a very wealthy young American widow, who had made a great sensation
during the last season, but who was understood to be on the eve of
marriage with some distinguished American statesman, whose name had
escaped the memory of the latter, and so forth.

The princess perceived and enjoyed the triumph of her young protégée,
even in the midst of her own bridal ovation; and occasionally a humorous
smile curled her beautiful lips and lighted her blue eyes, as if she was
enjoying in anticipation some rare, good jest; and semi-occasionally, as
it were, she slightly craned her graceful neck and tried to look through
the nearer crowd and beyond towards the approaching one.

“For whom are you watching, madame?” inquired the prince, in a low
voice, as soon as he got an opportunity to speak to his bride.

“Oh, for an old friend of mine whom I particularly pressed to come to us
to-day,” replied the princess. “And there he is, slowly working his way
through this human thicket,” she added, as her eyes lighted up with

The prince looked, but there were so many gentlemen approaching from the
same direction that he could not distinguish the especial person of whom
the lady spoke.

Meanwhile the stranger in question came on, not pushing his way, but
rather tacking, like a craft sailing against wind and tide, and
suffering himself to be driven this way and that, but always slowly
nearing “port.”

As he came on, the topic of the hour, the praises of the new beauty—the
lovely Mrs. Wyvil—met his ears from all sides—her grace, her wit, her
genius, her elegance, her accomplishments were the theme of the salon.

“Wyvil!” he said to himself—“Wyvil! the name is certainly not a common
one! Who can she be, I wonder? An American, too! I must see this belle.”

The princess, still watching the approach of the stranger, turned to
Lilith for an instant and said:

“My love, I wish you would speak to dear Aunt Sophie. There she sits,
hiding behind you, quite neglected.”

Lilith at once turned around and opened a conversation with the good old
lady by asking:

“What do you think of all this?”

“Oh, honey, I’m half scared and half delighted, you know. ’Pears to me I
don’t know whether I’m in a dream of heaven!” replied the dazed and
delighted old lady.

Meanwhile the stranger came up to the bridal group, bowed low before the
princess, bowed to the prince, and then spoke the required words of
congratulation, and was about to pass on and give place to others who
were pressing forward to pay their respects when the princess, laying a
light, detaining hand upon his arm, said:

“Pardon. One moment, if you please. I wish to introduce you to a fair
compatriot of yours.”

“I thank your highness. I shall be most happy,” replied the new-comer.

“Lilith, my love,” said the princess, in a low voice, to the young lady
behind her.

Lilith turned at once.

“Mrs. Wyvil, my dear, permit me to present to you Mr. Tudor Hereward,
American Chargé d’Affaires to our Court.”

                              CHAPTER XXI

             Each in the other can descry
             The tone constrained, the altered eye;
             They know that each to each can seem
               No longer as of yore;
             And yet, while thus estranged, I deem
               Each loves the other more.
             Hers is, perhaps, the saddest heart;
             His the more forced and painful part;
             And troubled now becomes, perforce,
             The inevitable intercourse,
               So easy heretofore.

A slight start from Tudor Hereward, and a sudden paleness of Lilith’s
face, were the only signs of the shock that both had sustained in this
unexpected encounter; and even these had been seen by no one except the
watchful princess, who had planned the meeting and studied its effect.

Hereward bowed as to any other lady.

Lilith courtesied.

Both grew paler. Neither spoke. The strain was becoming unbearable.
Besides, Hereward was stopping the way.

The princess pitied them; and then she became frightened for the result
of her own coup-de-théâtre. Should Hereward “lose his head,” or Lilith
faint, or should they in any other manner bring “admired disorder” into
the serene repose of this patrician drawing-room? For nature, when hard
pressed, does sometimes break through all the elegant little barriers of
convenances and assert itself.

All this flashed through the mind of the princess in a very few seconds,
and then—always equal to the occasion—she turned with perfect ease to
her latest guest, and said:

“Mr. Hereward, the rooms are close, and Mrs. Wyvil is faint; will you
give her the support of your arm to my boudoir? She will show you the

Hereward bowed, drew his wife’s arm within his own, and led her from the
salon by the shortest way indicated only by a gesture from Lilith.

They entered the elegant boudoir, with its walls of fluted white satin,
and its furniture and draperies of white satin flowered with gold, and
its innumerable treasures of beauty and of art; but they saw none of
these things. They might have been in a West Virginia hut, for all
consciousness they had of these splendors.

As soon as they entered the room—which had no other occupant—Lilith,
sliding from her hold on Hereward’s arm, dropped into the nearest chair,
as if no longer able to stand.

Hereward bent over her.

No word had passed between them as yet.

“Lilith!” he said, at length.

“Tudor!” she murmured in reply.

“Lilith, is this real? Can this wonder be real, or is it only a phantasm
of fever, such as I have often had since I lost you! Oh, Lilith! if this
be real, come to me—come to me! Come to me, my own, and let me clasp you
to my heart!” he pleaded, holding out his arms.

“Tudor—do you care for me—now?” she inquired, in low and broken tones.

“Do I care for you? Oh, Lilith! so much, so much that your loss has
almost destroyed my life! Oh, my love! Oh, my darling. Why, why did you
ever leave me? Why, Lilith, why?” he pleaded, earnestly.

“Because,” she murmured very low—“because you told me that you had never
loved me; you said that you had married me only to please your dying
father; you bade me leave your presence, and you added that in a few
days you should leave the house, never to return to it while I should
desecrate it with my presence.”

“I! Did I ever utter such words as those to you—to my wife?” exclaimed
Hereward, as soon as he had recovered from the shock of hearing them
repeated to him.

“Indeed you did, Tudor. They were stamped—burned—too deeply into my
memory ever to be forgotten. I do not give them back to you now in
reproach, but only in reply to your question as to why I left you. You
see now that I had no alternative. I answered you at the time that I
must not be the means of banishing you from your patrimonial home; that
since one or the other must go, I myself should leave, and leave you in
peaceable possession of your home. Something like this I said to you
then, Tudor; but you bade me begone, and—I obeyed you. That was all,”
she concluded, in a low, gentle tone.

“I was mad—mad! Not one word that I uttered then was true or rational!
Oh, Lilith, I am no more responsible for the words and actions of that
hour than is the veriest maniac for his ravings!” he pleaded, sinking
over and leaning heavily on the back of the chair that supported her
slight frame.

“I know, Tudor,” she said, in a humble, deprecating tone—“I know, and I
do not criticise you. How could I? The circumstances that surrounded me
seemed criminating enough to destroy the faith of the most confiding
husband in the world, though he were married to the most faithful wife!”

“And yet they should not have touched my faith in you; the child brought
up in my father’s house, the child not only loved, but esteemed and
honored by my father, and not by him only, but by all his friends and
neighbors! No, Lilith, even those surrounding circumstances, though you
could not explain them, should never have touched my faith in you! would
never have done so, but that I was mad—mad with jealousy! Yes, I confess
it. Lilith, can you forgive me for that causeless, injurious jealousy?”
he pleaded, bending over her.

“Oh, Tudor! If there were anything to forgive, it was forgiven on that
very night in which we parted.”

“Ah! why did you go, my Lilith? Why did you let words of frenzy drive
you away? Could not you, my gentle child, have been patient with a
madman for a little while? Why act upon reproaches that you knew to be
undeserved and altogether unreasonable?”

“I knew they were undeserved, but I thought they were very reasonable,
under all the circumstances. Oh, Tudor, it was not your reproaches, not
your anger, that drove me away from you! I could have borne them and
waited for time to vindicate me, to justify me in your sight. No, Tudor,
it was not anger nor reproach that drove me away.”

“What was it, then?”

“I told you; but you have forgotten it, or misunderstood. Tudor, I had
to go. I had no choice. You told me that you did not love me; that you
had never loved me, and said that you would go away and never come back
while I stayed in the house. But you ‘never loved’ me. These were the
words that drove me from you.”

“The words of a maniac!”

“Did you find my farewell letter, left on your bureau, Tudor?”

“Yes—I did.”

“Do you remember its contents?”

“Yes. When I think of it I can recall every word. That letter is stamped
upon my memory, Lilith, as you say my sentence of banishment is upon

“Then, Tudor, will you now recall what I said on bidding you good-bye?
It was something like this—though I cannot recall the precise words—I
told you that though I should not trouble you by my presence, or my
letters, yet neither should I take any pains to hide myself from you. I
told you that if the time should ever come when, after revising your
judgment of me, you should see reason to retract your charges against
me, and should ask me to return to you, I would return and would be all
to you in the future that I had been in the past. Do you remember
reading that in my farewell letter, Tudor?”

“Yes, yes! I do, I do! And oh, my child, I do retract all the cruel
charges that Satan and false shows ever goaded me to make. I believe you
to be as pure in mind and heart and life as any angel that stands before
the Throne,” he said, bending over her chair.

“Thank Heaven!” she fervently breathed.

“And you forgive me, Lilith?”

“I have more cause to ask forgiveness than to extend it,” she answered,

“No, no!” he exclaimed, deprecatingly.

“Tudor,” she said, “you say that you esteem me—that you trust me; and I
thank Heaven for that! But—Tudor—do you love me?” she inquired, in a
low, thrilling, pathetic tone.

“I love you more than my own life, so help me Heaven!” replied Hereward,
in such tones of impassioned earnestness that no one who heard them
could have doubted their truth.

Lilith arose and turned, fronting him, and said:

“Then, Tudor, take me, for I am yours, yours entirely—spirit, soul and
frame! I say now, as I said once before, there is not, there never was—a
pulse in my heart that is not true to you.”

These last words were breathed out upon his bosom, to which he had
gathered her.

Presently they sat down, he holding her hand within his own, and gazing
with infinite content into her beautiful face.

                              CHAPTER XXII
                             LOVE’S OVATION

“You have the victory, my own!” he said at last, with a droll smile.
“You have triumphed!”

“How triumphed?” inquired Lilith.

“You have drawn me to your side, you have brought me to retract, and yet
you have not told me your secret!”

“No! I have not, indeed; but——”

“Nor has any one else told me, nor do I even surmise its nature; in a
word, Lilith, I know no more of that mystery now than I knew on that
dreadful day when it parted us! And yet I am here beside you,
repudiating all my own injurious doubts and suspicions, taking you in
perfect love and perfect trust.”

“Oh, thank Heaven that you can so take me!” exclaimed Lilith, fervently.

“And now I do not even ask you for your secret.”

“Oh, but I can tell you now! I am free to tell you now——”

“But I do not even care to hear it! I do not even ask you by

                ‘What conjuration and what mighty magic’

you, my little country girl, are here in Paris, arrayed and lodged in
royal magnificence, and gracing more than any other lady in it the salon
of Madame la Princesse Gherardini. I am so perfectly satisfied for the
present just to have you by my side.”

“I bless you for your faith and your forbearance, Tudor! But—I can tell
you the secret of Monsieur Ancillon’s correspondence with me in one
single word. He is my—father!”

“Your father, Lilith! Ancillon your father!”

“Yes, though I never knew it until after we were married.”

“Ancillon your father! Incredible! Are you sure of that?”

“Quite sure.”

“How did you discover the fact? Did he tell you?”

“I first discovered it by the packet of old letters and papers put away
in that trunk which was the sole legacy of my dear mother to me.”

“Ah! Ah! Ancillon himself, when he came to me once at Cloud Cliffs,
referred me to those documents; but when I had the trunk broken open and
searched, the papers were gone!”

“I had brought them away for safe keeping. They were too important to be

“I understand now! I understand. But, Lilith! We all thought your
parentage was so well known that there could be no mistake about it!
Your father and mother lived at Seawood. Your father was drowned in
saving my life. Your mother died of the shock the very day of your
birth. How, then, is it possible that this man can claim to be your

“Oh, Tudor, it is a long and sad story. There is no time to tell it to
you now; but this much I can tell: Joseph Wyvil and Elizabeth, who lived
such a secluded life at Seawood that their neighbors knew little or
nothing of them except that they belonged to the village church, and led
quiet, industrious and blameless lives—were not husband and wife as
people took them to be—but a devoted brother and a most unfortunate
young sister, who had lost her husband by a fate much worse than death.
More than this I cannot tell you now. Both died too suddenly to confide
the secret to any one. So I was registered as the child of Joseph and
Elizabeth Wyvil, when in fact I was the child of Alphonzo and Elizabeth



“Then Ancillon is a relative of that young Spaniard we met in Washington
who looked so much like him?”

“He was the same. Ancillon and Zuniga were one. Ancillon was his
professional name, Zuniga was his family name.”

“A very strange story, Lilith.”

“My father will give you every particular as soon as your convenience
permits him to do so. And I shall furnish the documents that shall prove
the truth of his story.”

“How is it, my child, that you could not at the very first have told me
that Ancillon was your father? That you are now at liberty to tell that
secret which cost you so much to keep a year ago?”

“Because I am now in possession of the sequel to the secret, without
which I could never have told the secret. But you shall know all from my
father. I think, also, I ought to tell you how I happen to be in Paris
with the Princess Gherardini. I can do so in a very few words. When I
left home I went to New York, found a home with a good Christian,
motherly woman, the widow of a clergyman. After waiting many weeks to
hear from you, without success, I answered a lady’s advertisement for a
traveling companion, and was so fortunate as to be accepted and to enter
the household of the Baroness Von Bruyin, now, since morning, the
Princess Gherardini. I did not know that she was your first love. In
telling me the story you had not told me any names. She grew to love me.
I know not why——”

“Why does every one love you, child?”

“Ah, I don’t know that every one does! I don’t even think that many do.
Madame Von Bruyin has always treated me with the distinction of an
honored guest and the affection of a beloved sister. You saw me in her
immediate circle to-day. That has always been my place.”

“She is a much nobler and more generous woman than I had ever supposed
her to be.”

“Oh, she is indeed! But, Tudor! Tell me how you came to be here at this
wedding reception, when I supposed you to be at the Court of ——?”

“My love, I received a pressing letter from the baroness, not only
inviting but commanding, exhorting and entreating me to come; going
through all the variations of the potential mood to compel me to come.
In short, darling, it was such a letter as could not be gainsayed. I
obeyed, thinking that the lady only wanted an opportunity to say—Hail!
and Farewell! to an old friend. I came and found my lost treasure! And
now I know her motive was to restore that treasure to my possession. And
I thank and bless her for it.”

“Amen and amen!” breathed Lilith.

“But, dearest dear! She introduced you as Mrs. Wyvil! How was that?”

“Oh, Tudor, I dreamed that some one in a high, delirious fever had told
me that I must never call myself by the name of Hereward again, and I
was so foolish as to take the sick man at his word.”

“I remember! I remember! Oh, Lilith! How much you have to forgive!”

“I have nothing to forgive! nothing! I am just as happy as a lark!”

“My darling, since you entered Madame Von Bruyin’s family under the name
of Wyvil, how could she have known or guessed that you were my wife?”

Lilith paused and reflected, and then she answered:

“I am not pledged to secrecy in this matter; yet, if you were not my
husband, and if I were not fully resolved never to have a secret, either
of my own or of any one else’s, from you, I should not tell you this;
for women should not betray women, especially to the common enemy; but I
know you are not vain, Tudor, and you are generous.”

“Now, if you object——”

“I do not object—I insist on telling you.”

“Go on, then.”

“You know she was your first love——”

“My first—and last—hallucination! You, Lilith, were my first and
enduring love,” amended Hereward.

“Oh! thank Heaven!” breathed the young wife, almost inaudibly; then she

“You were not quite just to her, Tudor. The old baron whom she married
was more of a father than a husband to her; he doted on her from her
infancy. She was the only creature in the world that he loved—except her

“She told me that.”

“He engaged himself to her that he might give her a title and leave her
his fortune.”

“She did not need his fortune. She was the heiress of great wealth.”

“I know, but still he wished to leave his darling all he possessed.”

“He might have done that without marrying her.”

“Yes, but he wished also to give her his title; the title which—they
said—he meant to ask of the emperor, in lieu of the payment of many
millions loaned by him during the war. He wished to ennoble his pet.”

“Well, love? What has all this got to do with your telling the baroness
your story?” inquired Hereward, with a smile.

“Everything! You shall hear. This old man, who loved without self-love,
discovered that his fair betrothed was very unhappy, and pressed her for
the reason. That she should have a sorrow that he could not comfort,
with all his wealth and power, seemed as wonderful as it was
insupportable! He pressed her for her confidence, and she gave it to
him—told him—well, she told him, in effect, that she would rather marry
Mr. Tudor Hereward than Herr Bruyin. And he released her from her
engagement to himself, and promised to win over her father to consent to
her marriage with you. When you returned to Washington, she sought you
out and offered the hand that she had once refused. But you, being then
married, could not accept it. Tudor! were you sorry?”

“I am not sorry now, dearest, at all events,” he answered, drawing the
little figure closer to his side.

“Of course, sorrow, disappointment and humiliation preyed upon the
spoiled beauty. Your marriage with me was announced, and Herr Bruyin,
who was still watching over his darling, knew then the threefold cause
of her anguish. He went to her and reminded her that their marriage had
been announced some weeks before, and that the announcement had not been
contradicted, and he proposed to her to let their betrothal stand; to
marry at the appointed time; to go with him to Europe; and, in the grand
tour and at the great capitals, where she would be welcomed and fêted,
to forget the disappointments she had experienced here. She followed his
counsel, and they were married and went abroad. I tell you this, Tudor,
that you may be just to her; for now you see that she was not a
double-dealer; she was not deceitful; she was perfectly frank with you
and with her old betrothed, from first to last.”

“Then I have wronged her in my judgment. And it begins to seem to me
that I am rather given to wronging people, eh, Lilith?”

“No, you are not. You have been misled by false appearances, which were
nobody’s fault.”

“You, at least, are very charitable, Lilith. But go on, dear.”

“You know, I suppose, that Herr Bruyin received his title soon after his
arrival in his native city, and that he survived the event but a few
months, and that Herr Von Kirschberg died about the same time?”

“Yes, I heard that.”

“Madame Von Bruyin, bereft of husband and father, returned to New York
early in April. In May she advertised for a companion. I applied for the
situation, pleased madame, and was accepted, as I told you. She knew me
only as Mrs. Wyvil and believed me to be a widow. She grew very fond of

“Very naturally.”

“We were to sail by the Kron Prinz on the first of June.”

“Why, I sailed on the Kron Prinz, on the first of June!” Hereward

“Exactly. And that was the very reason why we did not. And now comes the
crisis of my story—the reason why I was compelled to discover my real
name and position to Madame the Baroness. She had seen the account of
your appointment as Secretary of Legation, coupled with the theory that
you had accepted the post mainly for the sake of serving the country in
a place far removed from the spot associated with the tragic death of
your wife——”

“‘Young and lovely wife,’ I think they put it, Lilith,” said Hereward,
with a droll smile. “Well, it was true, so far as I know. My health had
broken down under the heavy blow of your loss and your supposed death,
Lilith. And when I was convalescent I eagerly snatched at the
opportunity of leaving a home that had become hateful to me, and of
seeking distraction, not consolation, not forgetfulness, in new scenes
and new duties. And madame saw my name in the published list of
passengers, I suppose?”

“Yes; curiosity, a very natural curiosity, led her to read the list of
cabin passengers by the Kron Prinz, to see who were to be our
fellow-passengers, and she saw your name there. In another part of the
paper she had seen the account of your voyage and its causes, of which I
have just told you. But, Tudor, she did not tell me all this until we
were out at sea. On that day when she sent for me she gave me, as I
said, only an outline of her reasons. She told me that there was a party
going out by the Kron Prinz with whom she did not choose to travel.”

“A very proper decision, under the very peculiar circumstances. But what
has that got to do——”

“I am rapidly coming to that, Tudor. After we had sailed, when the pilot
left us and we were far out of sight of land, Madame Von Bruyin gave me
her whole confidence. She told me the story of her early betrothal with
an old millionaire; and of her first love—or fancied love—into which her
inexperienced heart had betrayed her. She told me everything just as I
have told it to you.”

“And as I had told you, months before,” put in Hereward.

“Yes; but you gave me the facts from your point of view, and she gave
them to me from her own. And hers was the true view, Tudor.”

“Yes, I acknowledge that.”

“She said that in her position and in yours—both so recently
bereaved—she could not possibly think of crossing the ocean in the same
ship with you. And then, Tudor, she added an explanation that made my
hair stand on end—so to speak.”

“Ah! what was that which could have straightened these pretty, rippling
locks and made them stand erect ‘like quills upon the fretful
porcupine?’” gayly inquired Hereward, as he passed his hand fondly over
her little curly black head.

“She told me that in a few months you (she and yourself) would probably
meet in ——. And, in short, that—both being free to form new ties—the old
interest in each other would be revived; that after the year of mourning
had been past, you two would, of course, marry, and that she should do
everything in her power to atone to you for all the disappointment she
had caused you, and to make your life happy! Was not that enough to make
my hair bristle up on end—to hear another woman tell me to my face that
she was going to marry my husband and live happy all the rest of their

Hereward broke into a merry laugh.

“You know, I could not let her go on dreaming that dream. I told her she
must not think of such a thing. And when, being very much astonished at
my assurance, she asked me why she must not, I told her because it would
be a deadly sin, for that Mr. Hereward’s wife was still living. And when
she pressed to know why I thought so, I had to tell her, because I
myself was that wife, supposed to be dead. Well, then, of course, it was
necessary to tell her the cause of our parting—that it was a bitter
misunderstanding growing out of circumstances which placed me in a false
light. I spoke only in general terms; and because I could not go into
details I offered to cancel our contract and leave her as soon as we
should land at Havre.”

“And what would you have done, then, as ‘a stranger in a strange land,’
Lilith? Would you have come on to me?” inquired Hereward.

“Uncalled, and after all that had passed? Oh, no! I could not have done
that. I should have taken the first steamer back to New York and
returned to Aunt Sophie.”

“Aunt Sophie?”

“Mrs. Downie, the clergyman’s widow, with whom I had lived in New York.
But Madame Von Bruyin would not consent to cancel our contract. She
insisted that I should remain with her. She was very good about it all.
Indeed, she treated me with more than even her usual kindness, and from
that hour I became to her as a beloved and cherished sister. I think she
got over her sentimental fancy for you, for I think it was nothing more
than that.”

“Probably not,” said Hereward, with a smile.

“And when the ‘Fairy Prince’ appeared in the form of Gherardini, I think
the beauteous lady discovered that she had never really been in love in
all her life before,” added Lilith, archly.

“I am very glad to hear it. No heartier congratulations were ever
offered to any bride than were mine to the newly married princess
to-day,” said Hereward.

“And, by the way,” suggested Lilith, “the bridal pair are to leave for
Marseilles, en route for Rome, at five o’clock, and it must be near that
hour now. Will you return to the drawing-room or remain and await me

“I will go with you,” said Hereward, as he arose and offered Lilith his

                             CHAPTER XXIII
                              HAPPY HOURS

They went back to the salon, which was now nearly empty. Only a few
late-comers were present, and they were taking leave of the newly wedded

When these had withdrawn from the room, Hereward led Lilith up to the
receiving circle, and addressing the bride, said:

“Madame, I have to add to my congratulations the most heartfelt and
grateful acknowledgments. Words cannot thank you for the boon you have
given me in the restoration of this lost treasure.”

“Let us hope, Mr. Hereward, that you will in the future guard that
treasure too carefully ever to—mislay it again,” archly replied the

Hereward bowed deprecatingly.

“You remain in Paris some time, I hope?”

“I have a month’s respite from official duties, madame.”

“Then you will, perhaps, kindly permit me to place this house at your
disposal during your stay. Mrs. Hereward had already arranged to remain
here during my absence. To change that plan at this late hour would not
be easy. So, if it would not inconvenience you to take up your quarters
here for a season, you would oblige me very much by doing so,” said the

“Madame, it is certainly my wife and myself who are obliged in this
matter. We feel your kindness, and thank you very sincerely,” replied

“And now, Lilith, dear little sister, will you go with me to my room? It
is time to dress for the journey,” said the princess, drawing the arm of
her young friend within her own, bowing to the circle, and sailing out
of the salon.

When the two friends reached madame’s sumptuous dressing-room they found
the lady’s maid waiting with the traveling suit of mouse-colored velvet,
plush hat, and marabout plumes of the same shade, and silver fox fur
cloak and muff, all laid ready for her mistress.

“Madame,” said Lilith, “I have to thank you for the happiness of my
life, though thanks can ill express all I feel.”

“Ah, bah, ma chère! I had planned this meeting long ago. But, indeed, I
was able to bring it about even under better auspices than I had hoped.
The ‘sinner,’ as Aunt Sophie calls Zuniga, helped me. I shall find you
here when I return four weeks hence, I hope?”

“Yes, madame. You will reside in Paris, then, always?”

“Oh, no. Only during the season. We shall reside principally in the
Gherardini Castle, among the Apennines, an old ancestral stronghold,
which half charms, half frightens me; but I shall know more about it
when I see it. And some day, Lilith, you will come and spend a summer
with us there, and help to lighten the gloom.”

“I thank you very much. I think that I should like it extremely,”
answered the younger lady.

The princess’ rich but plain toilet was soon finished, and she went
below, accompanied by Lilith.

The prince was waiting for her in the lower hall, where all her
household had gathered to bid the newly married pair good-bye.

Aunt Sophie stood there, leaning on the arm of the gallant old
professor, and quietly smiling and weeping—the soft-hearted creature
smiled and wept a little at every wedding.

The domestics were gathered behind.

The prince and princess took a kindly leave of all, and a most
affectionate one of Aunt Sophie and Monsieur Le Grange.

So, followed by the good wishes of their friends, they left the maison.

Not until the assembled household had seen the traveling carriage roll
out of the court-yard gate did they separate and disperse to their
several quarters.

“I must go and see to those valuable wedding presents being locked
carefully away. Indeed, I think I shall finally send them to the vaults
of the bank. Will madame graciously excuse me?” inquired the polite
Monsieur Le Grange, as he led Mrs. Downie to the little salon.

“Oh, yes, sir. Please go look after all that gold and silver and jewels
at once. It is an awful temptation to leave in the way of
servants—awful. And so many strange waiters in the house, too!” said
Mrs. Downie, as she sank into a seat.

“Aunt Sophie,” said Lilith, approaching on the arm of Tudor, “this is
Mr. Hereward, my husband. And this lady, sir, is Mrs. Downie, who has
been so kind to me ever since I made her acquaintance.”

“I am very glad to know you, madame, and very grateful for all your
goodness to my wife, in the days of her adversity,” said Hereward,
taking the old lady’s little offered hand.

“Thanky, sir; I am happy, very, to see you; but as for my being good to
her, it’s all even, I reckon. I wasn’t one bit better to her than she
was to me, all the time,” said Mrs. Downie.

“You were like a mother to me, always,” warmly replied Lilith.

“Well, then, and wa’n’t you all the same as an own dear daughter to me?
That she was, Mr. Hereward. But, honey, I never knowed you had a
husband, or a father either, till this very afternoon. While you were
out of the room with Mr. Hereward the ‘sinner’ come in to pay his
respects to the bride and groom, and then stood with me, behind the
grandees, and told me all about it—how you was his daughter and Mr.
Hereward’s wife! Of course, naturally I knowed you must have been
somebody’s daughter, honey; but the idea of you being anybody’s wife!
Why, I didn’t know you was married!” exclaimed the old lady, in comic

“Aunt Sophie, will you forgive me for not telling you anything about my
father or my husband? And for all the secrets that I have kept from you,
who was like a mother to me?” inquired Lilith, tenderly taking her old
friend’s hand.

“Lor’, honey, what call have I got to forgive you? Forgive you for what?
For keeping of your father’s and your husband’s secrets? Why, child, you
hadn’t any right to tell other people’s secrets. I reckon you had none
of your own; though most people do have some secrets. Lor’! everybody
can’t tell everything in the world to everybody else, I reckon.
’Twouldn’t do, anyways. So don’t say no more about that, my dear.”

“You are very sweet, Aunt Sophie.”

“Oh, no, I ain’t, honey.”

“I used to think, sometimes, that you looked at me as if you suspected
that I was not all I seemed to be.”

“No, honey; that wasn’t it. I couldn’t help seeing that you had had
great troubles—very great troubles for one so young—and I used to look
at you and wonder what in this world they could be. But all the time I
know’d very well—I know’d ’way down deep in my heart—that you was good
and true, and didn’t deserve to be so afflicted. And now it is proved as
you didn’t. The ‘sinner’ told me all about it—every bit—and I reckon I
know more than you do, now, honey; because the ‘sinner’ said that
to-morrow he meant to come to the house and tell you and Mr. Hereward
all that he had told yesterday to the baroness, and to-day to me. So, of
course, you see, you have got to hear something you don’t yet know.”

“He told the baroness!” exclaimed Lilith, while Hereward listened

“Yes, yesterday; and me to-day.”

“Where is Zuniga now?” inquired Hereward.

“Gone back to the Hotel of Love, on the Rue River.”

“Where?” inquired Hereward, looking to Lilith for an explanation.

“Hotel du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli,” said Lilith, adding: “Aunt Sophie has
not yet become accustomed to foreign words.”

“No, honey; and I never shall, neither—never! Now, everybody here calls
the nicest man that I know the ‘sinner,’ as if he was the only sinner in
the world. Why, we are all sinners, for that matter. And then Mrs.
Hereward here——”

“Lilith! Lilith! dear Aunt Sophie.”

“May I, honey? Well, anyhow, she told me how ‘sinner’ meant Sir and Mr.
in the foreign language. Now, if all the Sirs and Mr.’s in foreign lands
are so wicked and so barefaced as to call themselves and each other
sinners, in that defiant manner, to their very faces, I say it don’t
speak well for foreign lands, and the sooner we get back to New York and
Brother More’s ministry the better.”

“I quite agree with you, Mrs. Downie,” said Hereward, laughing.

“And them waiters at the Hotel of—no; I mean the Hotel do Love—which I
thought they called them goslings, but she says they were ‘go-soons,’
and that name fitted them young mounseers right well, ’cause the spry
way they did fly around was enough to make one’s head giddy. But there!
I reckon as I am letting my tongue run before my wit.”

“Oh, now, Aunt Sophie, you shall not say such wicked things about
yourself. But tell me, did my father leave no message for us?”

“Yes, honey. He asked me to tell you that he would be here airly
to-morrow morning. And I reckon as that don’t mean seven or eight
o’clock, as it would with us, but more likely half-past eleven or a
quarter to twelve. He said he wouldn’t interrupt you this first evening
of your meeting. The ‘sinner’ is right-down considerate—for a sinner.
And I must not intrude longer, neither,” said Aunt Sophie, rising to
leave the small salon in which this interview had taken place.

Both Hereward and Lilith protested against her going, but she said:

“Children, I have to see the remnants of the wedding feast gathered into
hampers, and tied up and sent out to be distributed to the poor. And I
reckon there will be a great many more than ‘twelve baskets full.’ The
wine and fruit and potted things is to be sent to the Hope-it-all of
Sand Marree, or some such name. Antoine knows. But the baroness wanted
me to see to it, to keep temptation out of the way of the weak. You’ll
excuse me now?”

“Yes, Aunt Sophie, since you must go,” said Lilith.

“And I’ll send your tea up into this room, so you can have it all to
yourselves tater-tater, as these funny foreigners say of two together,
though what they mean by it I don’t know, unless it is potatoes, which
they do know how to cook—I will say that for them—though why potatoes in
this case nobody but a foreigner could tell. Well, oh river! that means
good-bye, or something of that sort. I know the mounseers often say it
when they go ’way.”

So speaking, half to her friends, half to herself, in her soft, slow
tones, Aunt Sophie passed out of the room.

Tea was soon served to the reunited and really happy pair, and as this
refreshment was prepared under the immediate supervision of Aunt Sophie
(who declared that though the mounseers and go-soons were great on
coffee, they could not begin to make a decent cup of tea), it was really
as good as they could have obtained in their own home.

The evening of that exciting day was spent very quietly.

The wearied household retired early and slept until late in the morning.

Tudor Hereward, Aunt Sophie and Monsieur Le Grange sat down to breakfast
at ten o’clock.

They were still at the table when Señor Zuniga’s card was brought and
laid before Mr. Hereward.

Lilith and Tudor arose at once and passed out to the little salon where
the visitor was waiting for them.

Zuniga stood in the middle of the room. He wore an elegant morning suit
of dark olive; his long, curling black hair was carefully dressed; his
gypsy face full of droll humor. He looked more like a rollicking boy
than ever.

He advanced towards Lilith, took her in his arms and kissed her fondly.

Then releasing her he held out his hand to Hereward, shouting, joyously:

“How are you, my dear son?

            ‘It gives me wonder, great as my delight,
            To see you here before me, oh! my soul’s joy!’”

“I am very glad to meet you, Señor Zuniga,” began Hereward, in his
stately manner.

“Father, my son! Call me father!

                  ‘Mislike me not for my complexion.’”

“Will you take this seat, dear?” inquired Lilith, drawing forth one of
the most comfortable chairs in the room.

When they had all sat down, Hereward once more said:

“I am really happy to see you, señor, and to have this unpleasant family
mystery, which has caused us so much trouble, finally cleared up.”

“So am I! So is Lilith! So are we all! Or, rather, so we shall be when
it is cleared up! But it is not cleared up yet by a long shot! And so
you shall soon find.

                          ‘Lend me your ears!’...
              ‘I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
              Would harrow up thy soul!’
                              ‘Then shall you hear
              Of moving accidents by flood and field,
              Of being taken by the insolent foe
              And sold to slavery!’

Are you ready to listen?” inquired the señor, as he threw himself back
in his chair.

“We are very anxious to hear,” said Lilith.

“Very well, then,” replied Señor Zuniga.

And he began his story.

                              CHAPTER XXIV
                        THE STORY OF A WILD LIFE

               Listen, how still waiting, dreaming
                 Of some wild, heroic life,
               How the young heart, all unconscious,
                 Had really entered on the strife.

               Now that I can reason calmly,
                 And look clearly back again,
               I can see the brightest meaning
                 Threading each dark, torturing pain.

               How the strong resolve was broken,
                 Why rash hope and foolish fear,
               And the prayers which God in pity
                 Still refused to grant or hear.

It was a picturesque group gathered around that table—Zuniga, Hereward
and Lilith.

Zuniga, with his slight, elegant and graceful form, his dark
complexion—darker still with his luxuriant black curls—fine black eyes,
shadowed with black eyelashes, and arched by black eyebrows, and his
perfect features, the beautiful mouth not hidden by the twirled
moustache divided on the upper lip. Zuniga, with his laughing, reckless,
boyish air, seemed the youngest of the group of whom he was the
father—or at least the younger of the two men.

Hereward, with his tall and stately figure, his noble head, blonde
complexion, severe classic profile, and steel-blue eyes, and with his
grave and dignified demeanor, seemed, certainly, the elder of the two.

Lilith, in her simple and elegant morning dress of white foulard silk,
which well became her lovely brunette beauty, sat between them, but
nearer to the Señor Zuniga.

Had any stranger been told that here sat a married pair and a father,
and had been required to tell “which was which,” he would certainly have
pointed out Hereward as the father, and the two others as the son and

Their relative ages were as follows: Zuniga was thirty-eight, Hereward
twenty-nine, and Lilith nineteen.

Zuniga began his story in his usual eccentric manner:

“Esteemed son-in-law and beloved daughter! That little personal pronoun,
in the first person singular, nominative case, is such a very obtrusive
person, that it should be suppressed on every possible occasion. This
autobiography, or fragment of autobiography, then, shall be delivered in
the third person, with your consent. What do you say?”

Zuniga paused for a reply.

“As you like, señor,” gravely responded Hereward.

“Yes, do, please,” assented Lilith.

Zuniga proceeded:

“About thirty-five years ago——Now don’t throw yourself back in your
chair with such a look of anticipated weariness, Hereward. Have more
respect for your venerable father-in-law, and set a better example to my
daughter, or I shall ‘set’ a mother-in-law over your head, or, rather, a
step-mother-in-law, which must be a combination of domestic autocracy.
Besides, the story is not so long as the time.

“Well, about thirty-five years ago, the good ship Polly Ann, of Glasgow,
Swift, master, bound for New York, when about half way across, sighted a
nondescript object, which, on nearer view and closer inspection, proved
to be a raft, on which languished a half-dead shipwrecked sailor, and a
three-quarters dead shipwrecked child.

“The victims were rescued, taken on board the Polly Ann, and restored by
such simple and efficacious treatment as was familiar to the skipper and
his crew as specifics ‘for such cases made and provided.’

“The sailor was a man of about fifty winters; the child, a boy of three
summers—though why the winters should always be enumerated for the old,
and the summers for the young, is more than I can understand, since both
young and old have an equal distribution of summers and winters in their
years. But this is a digression.

“As soon as the sailor was able to give an account of himself and his
fellow-sufferers, we learned that they were the survivors of the ship
Falcon, Captain Pentecost, homeward bound from Havana to Liverpool, and
foundered in the late equinoctial storm, when in latitude this and that,
and longitude so and so; never mind the figures, they are forgotten long
ago, even if they were ever exactly known, which is doubtful.

“The crew and passengers of the wrecked ship had left it in two boats
and on a raft. The captain had taken command of the first boat, the
first mate of the second boat, and the second mate of the raft.

“The sailor could give no account of the fate of either boat after they
had left the wreck.

“On the raft besides himself, Zebedee Wyvil, second mate of the Falcon,
who was in command, there were seven common seamen and three passengers;
these passengers being Señor Don Alphonzo Zuniga and his wife and child.

“A sad story could be told of the long sufferings and terrible deaths of
these shipwrecked victims, but it would not only be quite useless, but
altogether too heart-rending. Besides which, tragedy is both unpleasant
and unprofitable, except to the performers on the stage, with an
audience of two thousand persons, averaging a dollar a head.

“In brief, all the passengers on the raft perished from want and
exposure, except the sailor, whose strong vitality sustained him, and
the child, for whose sake all had denied themselves from the beginning.

“You may be sure that the captain and the crew of the Polly Ann were
very much interested in the story of the shipwrecked sailor and the
child. The captain gave Zebedee Wyvil a berth as soon as he was able to
handle a rope; and one and another talked of adopting the little Spanish
waif. But Zebedee Wyvil informed all and sundry that the child was his
own treasure trove, and that he should keep it until it should be
claimed by those, if any such lived, who should have a better right to
it than himself.

“Certainly no one on the Polly Ann ventured after that to dispute
Wyvil’s possession of the little Zuniga.

“In due time the Polly Ann reached New York, discharged her cargo of
linen, tartan, Paisley shawls, and so forth; loaded with another cargo
of tobacco and cotton, and cleared for Glasgow, Zebedee Wyvil going as
third mate, and taking with him his treasure trove, to which arrangement
no one, under the circumstances, objected.

“In due time also the Polly Ann reached Glasgow, and there Mate Wyvil,
who had only engaged for the homeward voyage, left the ship, taking his
little Spanish boy with him.

“Zebedee Wyvil was a bachelor; and he was the main support of his
sister-in-law, the widow of his younger brother, Andrew, and of her two
children, Joseph and Elizabeth, who lived at Stockton, a small village
in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

“Zebedee Wyvil, when on shore, always made his home with this

“Now, on leaving his ship, he resolved to take the Spanish child with
him to Stockton, and place him under the care of this sister-in-law.

“But first he bethought him of having the boy christened, lest that
necessary ceremony had not already been performed.

“So he took the lad to St. John’s Church in Glasgow and had him
christened Joseph Wyvil, in honor of his—Zebedee’s—own father.

“Then he carried the child to his own home and presented him to his

“The widow and her children received the sailor and the orphan boy with
great kindness; but when his name was given—

“‘Joseph Wyvil!’ exclaimed the widow. ‘Why, what in the name of sense
put you on giving the bairn that name?’

“‘It was the name of my old feyther, as good a man as ever lived,’
retorted Zebedee.

“‘But it is the name of my own lad!’

“‘So it be! I had forgot that same.’

“‘And now if the bairn bides wi’ us there’ll be two Joseph Wyvils in the
one house.’

“‘Well, then, and there cannot be too many Joseph Wyvils anywhere, if
they be one and all as good as the first of the name! And, moreover, to
distinguish the lads apart, we may even call the elder Joseph, and the
younger Joe,’ concluded Zebedee.

“And as he carried the purse, his will was law in that little household,
and so the point was settled. His nephew was known as Joseph Wyvil, and
his little treasure trove as Joe.

“Joseph was a fine, strong, red-haired and freckle-faced youth of ten,
Joe an ugly little black-a-vizzed monkey of four, and Elizabeth, or
‘Lil,’ a pretty baby of two years.

“Uncle Zeb left all his pay with his sister and shipped for another long

“The three children were brought up together and in due time sent to

“Joe, as the adopted son of Uncle Zeb, was taught to call the Widow
Wyvil ‘Aunt’ and her children each ‘Cousin.’

“Years went by with but little of incident to the humble household,
except in the periodical home-coming and sea-going of Uncle Zeb.

“When Joseph Wyvil, the widow’s son, was fifteen years of age, he was
taken from school and apprenticed to a house carpenter, and in time he
became a very skilful workman.

“When Joe was about twelve years old he was placed in a collegiate
school by his adopted father, whose ambition it was to get his son in
the naval academy.

“He remained in that school for three years, during which time two
members of the small family passed away—Zebedee Wyvil died of yellow
fever, while his ship was in port in Havana; and Susan Wyvil succumbed
to pulmonary consumption, in her cottage home at Stockton.

“At the end of the third year Joe left the collegiate school. Not that
his preparatory course was finished, and not that he wished to leave,
but because the quarterly payments for his board and tuition had ceased
with his adopted father’s life.

“And though the masters, knowing the case and the circumstances, would
have kept him longer, the pride of this son of the hidalgoes would not
suffer him to receive the favor.

“You may object that he had already received favors from humbler people,
in having been adopted and cared for by the mate of the Falcon. Ah, but
that was so different! Old Zebedee Wyvil had seemed like his own father.
He had known no other.

“Well, he left the college, and went home to Stockton, to those who
seemed like his own people, poor as they were, since they were all he
had left.

“He found his cousins, as he called them, still living together, and
occupying the old cottage.

“Joseph was now a fine young man of twenty-one, doing a thriving
business at his trade, and making a very comfortable home for his young
sister Lil, a lovely girl of thirteen, who kept house for him, and to
whom he was devotedly attached—yes, so devotedly attached that friends
and neighbors all said Joseph Wyvil would never take a wife while that
beloved sister remained unmarried and in his home.

“This sister and brother received poor Joe with the most affectionate
welcome, making him feel perfectly at home and at ease.

“In return for all this kindness the dark and swarthy descendant of the
Castilians fell desperately in love with the fair-skinned, blue-eyed and
flaxen-haired child of the Saxons. He made such ardent and persistent
love to the little maid that Lil grew frightened and fled his company,
yet never complained of him to her big brother—the little angel! I mean
she—Lil—was the little angel, you will all please to understand, and not
the big brother, though he was a good fellow enough.

“Ah, well, after Lil repulsed and fled from him, and shunned him
altogether as if he had been the horned and hoofed demon himself, he
grew desperate and went off to sea.

“Being fairly well educated, and having permission to refer to his
college masters, he got a good berth from the first, as captain’s clerk
in an East India merchantman.

“For some months all went well enough, and Joe ‘won golden opinions from
all sorts of’ officers and men. But being a wild, reckless, impulsive,
rollicking sort of a little devil, he soon began to get into all manner
of troubles, though he always contrived to get out of them again,
falling like a cat on his feet.

“During all this time he kept up an irregular correspondence with his
cousin Joseph, freely confessing all his peccadilloes, but stipulating
that no one was to tell Lil.

“After a three years’ voyage all around the world, Joe came home, and
went straight to the dear old cottage at Stockton.

“He found the house and garden enlarged and improved in proportion to
Joseph Wyvil’s increased prosperity.

“Joe was now a sun-burned sailor boy of eighteen, much darker and very
much more of a dare-devil than ever.

“Lil was sixteen, and more beautiful than before. She was still the idol
of her brother, for whom she kept house, and who—for his dear sister’s
sake, as it was said—remained unmarried and unengaged.

“The brother and sister received their sailor cousin with all their old
confiding affection. Lil had forgiven his presumption and forgotten her
fears of him.

“But, ah! poor Joe! His passion for this ‘fair one with golden locks’
was rekindled into such a fierce flame that nothing on earth seemed
strong enough to resist it.

“It was her love or somebody’s life!

“He demanded to marry Lil right off.

“But her brother opposed such precipitate measures; urged that both
parties were much too young to dream of marriage, Joe being eighteen,
and Lil but sixteen. Why, he said that he, himself, Joseph Wyvil, his
elder by six years, did not yet contemplate matrimony. Besides, he
could, in any case, give his sister a comfortable home yet for many
years, or even for her whole life, while Joe had no home to take her to,
and had still his own way to make in the world.

“In answer to all this, Joe, with the modest assurance—or shall we say
consummate impudence?—of his nature, proposed that he should immediately
marry Lil and that they should continue to live on at the cottage until
he should have to go to sea again, when he would leave his wife as
heretofore in her old home under the protection of her brother.

“Naturally enough, Mr. Wyvil did not see the excellence of this
arrangement in quite so strong and vivid a light as did Joe and even

“After laughing a little at the ingenuous proposal, he reverted to his
first argument, that both were too young, foolish and impecunious to be
married—adding that a boy of eighteen and a girl of sixteen, who talked
of such a proceeding, should be locked up for a calendar month on a
depleting diet of bread and water.

“Whereupon the Spanish lad eagerly declared that as for himself he would
most joyfully submit to the terms, bread, water, imprisonment and
everything else that might be required to purchase the indulgence, if
only Joseph would be so good as to lock him and his sweetheart up in the
same room.

“For all answer to that suggestion, Mr. Wyvil informed the ardent lover
that he was a lunatic and should be sent to a mad-house.

“Opposition only added fuel to the flame of Joe’s passion. Mr. Wyvil did
not understand the difference between the dark blood and the bright when
he contemptuously characterized that passion as puppy love.

“Mr. Wyvil went off to his work. He was finishing the interior of a
church at that time. Joe raved and Lil cried. And then they took their
fate into their own hands. They resolved to run away and get married! Or
rather to sneak away.

“Late that night, when honest Joseph Wyvil was in bed and asleep, Joe
and Lil, in traveling rig, and with a couple of small valises, in which
all their worldly goods were packed, and which were gallantly carried by
the gentleman, who balanced them one in each brown hand, Joe and Lil
sneaked out of the back door, and under cover of the darkness, trudged
on to the railway station, where they took the 12.30 train to Scotland.

“They left the train the next morning only to hasten to the nearest
minister’s house to get married. As soon as the ceremony was concluded
and they had got a bit of breakfast at the counter of the railway
station, standing up at it, uncomfortably, to drink weak and lukewarm
coffee and eat stale sandwiches, they took the next train back to

“But not daring to face Joseph Wyvil in the first hours of his ‘roused
wrath,’ they shunned the neighborhood of Stockton and stopped at a
little Yorkshire village of Orton, not far from the city of Carlisle.

“They took lodgings at a pretty, picturesque little farm-house called
Hayhurst, from which retreat they both wrote a mutual penitent letter to
Joseph Wyvil, expressing profound sorrow for having disobeyed and
offended so dear and good a brother, but declaring that they could not
do otherwise, as, though he had forbidden them to think of marriage,
they loved each other so much that they must either marry or die, and
they ended by imploring his forgiveness, and signing themselves his
devoted, obedient, loving brother and sister, Lil and Joe.

“Both Joe and Lil thought this letter so very touching, eloquent,
pathetic and convincing that it must bring Mr. Wyvil hurrying to them in
person with open arms and fervent blessings.

“And they waited for some such happy result.

“But no Mr. Wyvil came to greet their longing eyes. And no letter came
in answer to theirs.

“Every day Joe went to the village post-office, but found nothing for

“A fortnight passed in this suspense, and then Joe suggested that their
letter might have miscarried, and so they sat down together and indited
a second letter, more penitent, more pathetic, more eloquent and
convincing than the first. Joe posted it with his own hands, and they
both waited confidently for some happy result.

“None came. Another fortnight passed, and then Joe grew angry and Lil

“‘If a man is not satisfied with repentance and confession he is no
Christian,’ said Joe.

“‘But we don’t repent, and we only confess what is already known; and
perhaps Joseph is sick,’ suggested Lil.

“Then Joe wrote a confidential letter to a mutual friend in Stockton,
making inquiries concerning Mr. Joseph Wyvil. In due time he received an
answer, stating that Mr. Wyvil was well and prosperous, but so very
deeply offended by the runaway marriage that he would not permit his
sister’s or his cousin’s name to be mentioned in his presence. The
writer concluded his letter in some such words as these:

“‘Give him time and he will come around. He is too good-hearted a man
and too fond of his sister, and even of you, to hold out against you
both much longer.’

“Lil cried a good deal over this, but Joe encouraged her, and so did
their landlady, Mrs. Claxton, who had taken a great fancy to the young

“Fortunately, Joe had thirty pounds saved up from his three years’ pay
as captain’s clerk, and so there was no fear of immediate embarrassment.

“Lil, led on by the landlady, interested herself in farm life, in the
dairy and in the poultry yard. She was pleased to be permitted to help
to skim the milk, or to churn the butter, or to look after the newly
hatched, pretty little fluffy chickens and ducklings; and though she
often heaved a sigh at the thought of her brother, it soon passed away,
leaving no trace behind.

“Joe was more to be pitied. He was in more danger from his idle and
objectless life of the present moment. He went daily to the village, and
what was worse, he went nightly to the Tawny Lion, the village
ale-house, where he formed acquaintance with the young farmers and
mechanics of the neighborhood, all tenants of Squire Hawkhurst, of
Hawkhurst Hall.

                              CHAPTER XXV
                             A FATAL SNARE

“Just now the whole neighborhood was excited over the situation at the
Hall. Young Mr. James Hawkhurst, nephew and heir of Squire Hawkhurst,
was a sort of Prince Hal, in his way, and had by his wild life and free
manners at the same time won the love of all his young tenants, whose
boon companion at the ale-house he frequently became, and the
indignation of his uncle, who threatened to disinherit him.

“This, the gossips of the village said, the squire had the legal power
to do, since the estate was not entailed; but they also urged that the
squire had no moral right to rob his heir of that land which he should
justly inherit, not only from his immediate progenitor, but from the
long line of ancestors who had gone before him.

“This was the view taken by all the youthful tenants and boon companions
of the young squire.

“At every evening gathering in the tap-room of the Tawny Lion, Joe heard
this matter discussed, and naturally he took sides with the young squire
and his followers.

“At length, when Joe and Lil had been in the neighborhood for about five
weeks, a crisis came in the affairs of the Hall.

“It was understood that a very violent scene had ensued between the old
squire and the young one, which had ended in the banishment of the young
squire, who had left the Hall in disgrace and had taken lodgings at the
Tawny Lion.

“In a day or two it was ascertained that the old squire had had a
‘stroke,’ and was not expected to live through the week.

“A servant from the Hall had brought the news to the circle at the
ale-house, that a telegram had been sent to the solicitor of the old
squire, Mr. John Ketcham, of Carlisle, to come immediately down to the
Hall to remain with the squire until the end, and to take charge of
affairs; also to bring with him the squire’s last will, which
disinherited the heir and left the estate to a hospital, and which was
already signed and sealed.

“Lawyer Ketcham, the man added, was expected to arrive at Stockbridge,
the nearest railway station, by the 9:50 express, and would come on to
the Hall by the railway stage coach, which ran twice a day between
Stockbridge and Orton.

“The news brought by the servant from the Hall excited a great deal of
indignation among the men present.

“Much foolish talk was indulged in. Many worse than foolish threats were

“In the midst of it all, Joe, who was as usual present, got up and left
the place, and hurried home to Hayhurst Farm to take tea with Lil.

“He found the people at the farm all in a state of extreme excitement at
some news brought by a cowboy, to the effect that the old squire had
just breathed his last. Not that they were so much interested in the old
squire as the young one.

“Mrs. Claxton, the farmer’s wife, hoped that no will had been made, in
which case the young squire would of course inherit as heir-at-law.

“Then Joe contributed his mite of intelligence gleaned from the circle
in the tap-room of the Tawny Lion, to the effect that the obnoxious will
had been made, signed and sealed, and that it was then in the hands of
Lawyer Ketcham, who was on his way from London to Orton, to take charge
of affairs at the Hall.

“And now Mrs. Claxton prayed the Lord might forgive her for hoping that
some accident might happen to the train or to the stage coach, to
prevent that wicked will ever coming to light.

“After tea, some one suggested that the report of the old squire’s death
might possibly be a false one, and suggested that some one else should
go over to the Hall and ascertain the truth.

“Joe, the least tired of all the men present, because they had been hard
at work all day and he had not been at work at all, good-naturedly
volunteered for the service.

“Everybody thanked him, and he got up to go. Everybody laughed when he
kissed Lil, as if he had been going on a long journey instead of a short

“Ah me! how little we know what we do! Joe set out to be gone half an
hour; but he never saw the farm-house again.

“Joe went on to the Hall, gayly whistling and utterly unconscious of the
impending tragedy of his life.

“At the Hall he found the servants closing the window-shutters, although
it was not yet dark; from that circumstance he gained confirmation of
the report of the squire’s death, even before their words had given it.

“‘But Lawyer Ketcham is expected down to-night to look after affairs,
and nothing more can be done until his arrival,’ was the volunteered
communication of the old butler.

“Joe thanked the man and turned to go back to the farm. Ah! if he had
only gone back to the farm, what woe would have been spared him and all
connected with him. Strange on what seeming trifles human destiny hangs.
Venerable reflection that!

“If Joe had turned to the east instead of the west, on leaving the park
gates, his whole life would have been different. The east path would
have led him back to the farm and to safety. The west path led him to
the gates of perdition.

“The reason why, at the last moment, he turned to the west was simple
enough. He remembered that there was an evening mail due at the village,
and thought it just possible that Joseph Wyvil, relenting towards Lil
and Joe, might have written a letter, and that he should find it at the
post-office and have the delight of taking it home to rejoice the heart
of the young wife. So he turned to the west, instead of to the east, and
so decided his own fate.

“Joe trudged all the way to the village, whistling gayly as he went.

“He found no letter in the post-office, and feeling much disappointed,
he turned to go home to the farm-house, through the gathering darkness.

“The way was long, and the sky was black with night and clouds. Joe
thought to take a short cut through some thick woods, but in attempting
to do so lost his way and wandered about for some time before he came
out on a part of the high road unfamiliar to him.

“He turned into this; but was utterly at a loss what direction to take.

“Presently, however, he heard footsteps and voices approaching, and he
spoke aloud, asking to be directed the nearest way to Hayhurst Farm.

“By that time the approaching party had come up with him, and one of
them, who had recognized his voice, called out:

“‘Is that you, Joe?’

“‘Yes, Thomas Estel, it is I, and I have lost my way in the dark, and
want to be set on my right road for Hayhurst Farm,’ replied the youth.

“‘All right. But come with us first. We won’t keep you long. And you’ll
see some roaring fun.’

“‘But it is late, and I want to get home to Lil,’ objected Joe.

“‘And so you shall in good time; but come with us first.’

“‘Where are you going?’

“‘Not out of your way home. Quite on the same road. This road. Such a
lark! You’ll never forgive yourself if you miss it.’

“Poor Joe! He was always ready for a lark. He joined himself to the half
dozen boys, whom, as his eyes became accustomed to the darkness, he
began to recognize as his village acquaintances; but more from their
general appearance than from their faces, which were all half masked.

“‘Is it mumming?’ inquired Joe.

“‘Something like that,’ replied Estel.

“And they went on together down the road, which deepened into a dark
dell, or gully, between two high, wooded banks.

“Here they paused and waited.

“‘What are you stopping for?’ inquired Joe.

“‘Oh! you’ll soon see,’ replied a boy named Burton.

“‘I wish you would let me go on. I know Lil will be anxious,’ pleaded

“‘So you shall in a minute or two. Wait a bit.’

“Estel and Burton were stretching a rope across the road and tying its
extremities to trees on the opposite sides.

“Joe watched them uneasily.

“‘What are you doing that for?’ he anxiously inquired.

“‘Ax us no questions and we’ll tell you no lies, youngster,’ laughed

“‘I’m going home!’ retorted Joe; and he turned to leave the party and to
try to find his way to the farm alone.

“But at that moment the sound of wheels was heard rapidly approaching
from the direction to which Joe had set his face, and at the same time
the lanterns of the swiftly-rolling stage coach gleamed through the

“Another instant and the leaders had reached the unseen barrier, tripped
and reared. At the same moment the bits were seized, the coach was
surrounded, and oaths and curses, cries and screams, and dire confusion
filled the scene. In the struggle with the rearing and plunging horses
the coach was overturned, the lanterns extinguished, and utter darkness
was added to the horror of the situation.

“Joe Wyvil stood at a little distance, transfixed with amazement at the
suddenness of the catastrophe that he did not in the least understand.
He never for a moment suspected that the stopping of the stage coach was
the ‘lark’ alluded to by his companions, for why should they stop the
stage coach? They were not highway robbers, even if highway robbers were
not utterly out of date in England in this century. No; he supposed the
whole affair to have been an accident, unintentionally caused by the
boys stretching that rope across the road in pursuit of some other
‘lark;’ to trip up some foot passenger, perhaps, whom they meant to make
the victim of some practical joke.

“Only for an instant he stood panic-stricken, and then he darted into
the horrible mêlée to find out if he could be of any assistance.

“At the same moment he perceived through the murky darkness the figures
of two men in silent, deadly struggle, and then he heard, through the
groans and shrieks, the stern voice of some man saying:

“‘Hand over that wicked will, you villainous law shark, or I will save
the hangman a job by strangling you with my own hands!’ or compliments
to that effect.

“A fiercer, deadlier struggle ensued, and then the flash and report of a
pistol, and the heavy fall of one of the men.

“Almost at the same instant the scene was filled with a posse comitatus
of constables and laborers, drawn to the spot by the shrieks and cries
that had given the alarm.

“A murder had been committed, and Joe Wyvil was found bending over the
dead man, with the fallen pistol on the ground at his feet, when he was
rudely collared and well shaken by the strong hand of the constable who
arrested him.

“But so utterly dazed and confounded was the boy by all that had so
suddenly happened to him, like a hurricane or an earthquake in its swift
destruction, that he was totally unable to give any intelligible account
of himself.

“His companions had fled, and taken to the covert of the woods on either
side. Joe, the guiltless, was the only one arrested.

“With the help of many hands the overturned stage coach was righted, and
the passengers—all of whom, except the murdered man, were more
frightened than hurt—got upon their feet and were helped to their

“The stage driver, somewhat bruised and shaken, was assisted to mount
his box and take the reins once more in his hands, and so the coach
resumed its journey.

“Nothing but the dead man on the roadside and the wretched boy in
custody remained to tell the tale of the catastrophe.

“The dead body was placed on a hastily procured plank, and borne away to
the police station to await the action of the coroner. And the boy, with
handcuffs on his wrists, was marched off between two constables to the
lock-up house.

“Poor Joe was no hero. This violent separation from Lil; this stern
arrest and imprisonment; this sudden, overwhelming calamity was so
wondrous, so incredible that he could not realize or believe in it, but
rather imagined himself to be the victim of some horrible nightmare
dream from which he tried to awaken.

“Yet still he told a pitiable tale to the constable of how he had been
unconsciously drawn into that fatal adventure, and begged that some one
might be sent to Hayhurst to his little wife, to tell her that he was
only detained on business, and would return to her as soon as he
possibly could.

“The officer, half in pity for the boy, half in impatience at his
importunity, I suppose, promised to do all that he wished, and so locked
him up for the night.

“Poor Joe was but a child, after all, and he cried all night long.

“In the morning he was taken before a magistrate, and charged with
highway robbery and murder—the robbery of the stage coach and the murder
of Lawyer Ketcham.

“Joe, to save the name of his adopted family from reproach, gave his own
as John Weston, saying to himself that he had about as much right to the
one as to the other.

“He told his little story, but no one believed it, and he was duly
committed to jail, to take his trial at the forthcoming assizes.

“He had not seen or heard of his young wife since his arrest.

“Again he childishly implored constable and jailer not to let Lil know
the truth of his misery, but to send her word that he was detained on
business, and would come to her as soon as he could.

“And, as before, half in pity and half in impatience, they promised
everything he required.

“Joe was too deeply humiliated to write to any one. It is all very well
to talk about the support of conscious innocence, but it is reasonable
to conclude that a man who is by his nature utterly incapable of crime
suffers much more under its false imputation than does the darkest of
criminals. Conscious innocence did not help poor little Joe much. He
pined under the false charge, so ashamed of it that he could not prevail
upon himself to write to any friend.

“But one day his prison door was opened and Joseph Wyvil entered the
cell, his honest face full of sympathy, his kind eyes full of tears, his
voice full of affection, as he stretched out his hands and took Joe’s,

“‘My poor, poor boy!’

“‘You don’t believe I did it, Joseph?’ said Joe.

“‘I know you did not. I know you could not!’ answered Joseph, pressing
the hands he held.

“‘And, oh! Lil!’ cried Joe.

“‘Lil does not doubt you; but she is too ill to come to the prison. She
is with me in the town here.’

“‘Not—not—dangerously ill?’

“‘Oh, no. Only prostrated; but confident in your innocence, Joe.’

“‘God bless her! God bless you! You have forgiven us, Joseph?’

“‘I forgave you from the first; I only intended to teach you a lesson by
holding off for a bit. I wish I had not done it now. Perhaps if I had
not, this would not have happened; but, Joe, it will all come right. I
will take care of Lil until you are out again, and I will spend my last
shilling in securing the best counsel I can get to defend you and to
clear you, Joe, old fellow!’

“‘Oh, Joseph! I don’t deserve it from you! Not from you!’

“‘You are my cousin and my brother!’ said honest Joseph.

“It is nearly impossible to give the exact words of this conversation
from memory; but such, at least, was its purport.

“He stayed as long as the rules of the prison would permit, and then,
having cheered Joe with hopes of a happy issue out of his trouble, and
with promises to stand by him to the end, and to bring Lil to see him as
soon as she should be able to come, Joseph shook hands with the prisoner
and left him.

“The next day the faithful brother returned to the jail even before the
doors were opened, and waited until he could be admitted to see Joe.

“He brought cheering news that he had engaged the services of one of the
most distinguished lawyers in Carlisle, Mr. John Rocke, to defend the
accused boy, and that the counsel would visit the prisoner in the course
of the day.

“‘But how is Lil?’ eagerly demanded Joe, more concerned about the health
of his little bride than about his own vindication and deliverance.

“‘Lil is better since I saw you and reported well of you. Poor Lil
feared that you would be as heavily prostrated as she has been by this
sudden and overwhelming blow, but now since she knows that you bear it
so bravely, she is more hopeful and consequently stronger. I shall bring
her to see you to-morrow.’

“‘Thank Heaven for that! But as to my bearing this infernal wrong——’

“‘Don’t swear, my poor boy,’ Joseph mildly interposed here.

“‘I’m not swearing. Infernal isn’t an oath; but it is the truth. It is
an infernal wrong, and I have not borne it bravely at all! I have not
borne it in any way until you came to see me, dear Joseph!’ passionately
exclaimed the imprisoned boy.

“‘Stop that and listen to all the messages that Lil has sent you,’
pleaded Joseph.

“And then to attentive ears he repeated all the loving, confiding and
encouraging words of the little bride to her imprisoned husband.

“The arrival of the counsel, Mr. Rocke, interrupted this tête-à-tête.

“Joseph Wyvil introduced the visitor to Joe.

“And then when the three men were seated—the lawyer on the solitary
wooden chair and Joseph and Joe side by side on the narrow cot—the young
prisoner told his story, of how he was returning home from the Orton
post-office to Hayhurst Farm, when he accidentally fell in with a gang
of boys who told him they were going on a lark and pressed him to join
them; how, partly from curiosity to know what they were going to do and
partly from willingness to oblige them, he joined the gang without the
faintest suspicion that they intended to do any unlawful deed, and that
the stopping of the stage coach and the murder of the lawyer came upon
him with the sudden shock and horror of an earthquake.

“‘I said the murder of the lawyer, but I should rather have said the
death of the lawyer, for I am sure it was an accident.’

“‘An accident! Why, he was certainly shot by one of the assailants!’
said Mr. Rocke.

“‘No, he was shot by himself.’

“‘By himself!’ exclaimed Messrs. Rocke and Wyvil in a breath.

“‘Yes; listen,’ said Joe. ‘Now that I can look back coolly on all that
happened and put things together, I can understand much that at the time
of the action was incomprehensible to me. And I am sure that no violence
was intended beyond the seizure of a document in the green bag of the
family solicitor. When the coach was overturned I thought it was an
accident, and as soon as I recovered from the momentary shock I ran to
the rescue. In the mêlée, through the obscurity, I saw two men
struggling—one of the gang—Thomas Estel—the other a passenger of the
coach—the lawyer. The first was trying to get possession of the bag, the
second was holding it fast to his side with one hand, and with the other
drawing a pistol from his breast pocket, which he leveled at his
assailant. Estel struck the muzzle of the pistol up, and it went off,
shooting the lawyer under the chin. There! I saw all that,’ said Joe.
‘And the next minute the posse was upon us and I was in custody. All the
rest of the gang had fled.’

“‘And as usual,’ added Joseph Wyvil—‘as usual, the only guiltless one of
the party became the scapegoat for the guilty. Have any arrests been
made since?’

“‘Oh, yes! several noted roughs and poachers, on suspicion, but every
one proved an alibi and got off.’

“‘And Estel?’

“‘Estel and another chap, one Burton, both respectable young farmers,
and tenants of Squire Hawkhurst, have disappeared from the

“‘Do you know,’ inquired the young prisoner, ‘how it all goes on at the
Hall? I cannot help thinking that all this came about through the old
squire’s wicked will, and that it was only to get possession of that
will and destroy it that the stage coach was stopped.’

“‘Very likely,’ replied Mr. Rocke. ‘But as for affairs at the Hall, of
course, after the death of the lawyer, who was on his way down to take
them in charge, the bailiff, who was entirely in the interests of the
discharged nephew, notified Mr. James, who had gone to town, and the
young squire arrived in time to take charge of his uncle’s funeral.
After which, as heir-at-law, he entered into the undisputed possession
of the estate, inherited not only from his immediate progenitor who had
no just right to cut him off from it, but from a long line of

“‘Well,’ sighed Joe, ‘I am glad he enjoys his own again, though it costs
so much, and though I never would have joined them that helped him to
it, if I had known they were going to break the peace.’

“The lawyer questioned Joe farther as to his unconscious connection with
the stage robbers of that fatal night, and after noting down all his
replies, retired to prepare his brief, leaving the boy cheered with

                              CHAPTER XXVI
                     THE MEETING OF THE YOUNG PAIR

            Though losses and crosses
            Be lessons right severe,
            There’s wit there, ye’ll get there,
            Ye’ll find nae ither where.
                                            _Robert Burns._

“Early on the next morning Joseph Wyvil brought his young sister to the
prison cell to see her husband.

“But notwithstanding the promise that the big brother had extorted from
each of the unhappy little pair, that they would control their feelings
and behave themselves, no sooner had Lil passed the grated door, entered
the cell, and caught sight of her poor Joe, than she flew towards him,
and the two fell into each other’s arms and sobbed aloud.

“Joseph Wyvil withdrew from the cell and left them together, taking his
seat on a bench in the corridor beside the turnkey.

“After the first paroxysm of sobbing, crying, caressing and pitying each
other had exhausted itself and them, they sat down on the edge of the
bed and began to talk and compare notes.

“And their conversation was something like this:

“‘When did you first hear of my trouble, Lil?’ inquired Joe.

“‘Oh, not until next day. Do you think if I had known it that night I
wouldn’t have walked all the way to the lock-up house and made them let
me in to stay with you?’

“‘Yes; but they wouldn’t have done it, Lil.’

“‘But I would have made them let me. I would have screamed and cried so
they would have been obliged to do it.’

“‘Poor little Lil!’

“‘But, you see, a man came and told me a passel of lies.’

“‘How was that, Lil?’

“‘Why, you see, we all at the farm sat up ever so late, waiting for you
to come home, and never thinking any harm, and never feeling uneasy,
because Mrs. Claxton said she reckoned as the old squire had died so
sudden, and everybody had been taken so by surprise, and everything must
be so upside down at the Hall, that maybe you had been called on to give
some assistance, like going of a message, or something.’

“‘Yes. Well, Lil?’

“‘So we were not anxious about you. But just about an hour after
midnight a man come to the house with a message from you, as you had
been detained by business, but would come to me as soon as you could,
and that I mustn’t wait up, but must go to bed. And I thought you were
at the Hall, as they said; and though I felt disappointed, and very
lonesome, I went to bed.’

“‘Poor little Lil!’

“‘And it was all lies, Joe—all lies!’

“‘No, it wasn’t, dear Lil; it was the truth. I was detained on business
(detained in the lock-up house, on charge of felony), and I did mean to
come to you as soon as ever I could. And it was I who sent that message
to you. I did it so you could get some sleep that night, dear Lil!’

“‘Oh, Joe!’

“‘But how did you hear the truth at last, my poor Lil?’

“‘From Joseph.’

“‘From Joseph!’

“‘Yes. You see, Mr. Claxton heard the whole truth from the man who came
the night before, though he never let on to me that he had heard it. And
he sent a telegram to Joseph that same night. How lucky we had told him
all about our brother, and where he lived! Well, I think Joseph must
have taken the very first train after receiving the telegram, for he
arrived the next afternoon.’

“‘Ah! after I had been committed for trial, and had set out for this

“Yes; I suppose so. Well, he reached the farm about five o’clock; and he
had so much self-control that I did not see that anything was wrong, but
only thought that he had taken pity on us at last, and had forgiven us
and come to say so. So, after he had kissed me a good many kisses, I
told him I was sorry Joe wasn’t home, but that Joe was over at the Hall,
where the old squire lay dead. That was what I thought, you know.’


“‘Well, then he told me that you had gone to Carlisle on business
connected with the death of the old squire that would keep you there
some time; he thought it best to take me on there, too. Oh, how cunning
he was, Joe!’

“‘How wise and merciful, you mean, Lil.’

“‘Well, anyhow, I thanked him with all my heart. There wasn’t another
train that stopped at Orton that night, so we had to wait and take the
early one the next morning; and that we did. And oh, Joe! I heard the
people at the station, and on the train, too, talking about the highway
robbery and murder, and saying such a thing had not occurred in that
neighborhood within the memory of the oldest inhabitant; and talking
about a stranger by the name of John Weston, who was the ringleader of
it, and saying that he had been committed to prison the day before to
stand his trial at the next assizes. And oh, Joe! while I listened with
the greatest curiosity and interest to all that, I had not the least
idea that John Weston was you!’

“Here Lil lost her self-control again, threw herself into Joe’s arms,
and burst into a storm of sobs and tears, in which her boy-husband
joined her with all his might.

“When this tempest subsided, Lil, between gasps, resumed her discourse
by asking a question:

“‘What made you call yourself John Weston?’

“‘To save the family credit, and because I had as much right to that
name, or to any other, as to the one I wear.’

“‘Well, then, we got to this city yesterday noon, and went to a quiet
inn. And I wanted to be taken at once to see you, never dreaming of
where you were. But Joseph said you were engaged in business at the
time, and that we could have some luncheon first and then go to you. I
was half angry, but as I was hungry I agreed to take some coffee and
sandwiches. And after that, when I insisted on going to you, Joseph told
me you were in a little trouble. He didn’t mean to tell me how bad it
was, but just to prepare me to see you in prison; but somehow I seemed
to guess all at once that you were the John Weston they had been talking
about on the train, and though I never could believe anything bad of you
for one single minute, and didn’t then, Joe, yet somehow or other it
floored me quite and left me for dead like, for when I came to myself it
was dark, and there was a doctor and a nurse sitting by me. That was
night before last. I believe they gave me something to make me stupid
and sleepy, for I know I slept almost constantly day and night until
this morning, when they let me get up to come to you—oh, Joe!’

“‘Lil! Lil! Don’t cry any more! You will make yourself ill,’ pleaded

“And Lil gasped, recovered and warded off a third attack.

“‘They all knew all about it before I knew a word. Mr. and Mrs. Claxton,
and afterwards Joseph, as well as everybody else, I reckon, heard of
your arrest and of your explanation of your presence with the party that
stopped the coach that night, and they all believed you told the truth,
Joe! Every one of them did, and of course I knew you did when Joseph
told me about it.’

“‘Oh, it is so comforting to think my own friends and neighbors believe
me,’ sighed Joe.

“The two would have talked much longer, no doubt, but Joseph Wyvil spoke
through the grating and told Joe that Mr. Rocke, his counsel, was
waiting in the corridor to speak to him.

“Then Lil took leave of Joe, promising to come back as often and to stay
as long as prison rules would allow.

“Joseph Wyvil showed Mr. Rocke into the cell and led Lil out, and took
her home to the quiet lodgings he had provided for her.

“After this, Lil went every morning to see her boy-husband, and was
permitted by the kindness of the governor to spend most of the day with

“Mr. Rocke, the counsel, and Joseph Wyvil, the brother, did all they
could to keep up the spirits of the young pair, and succeeded better
than any outsider could have believed.

                             CHAPTER XXVII
                               THE TRIAL

“And so the time passed to the day on which the judges entered the town
to hold the assizes.

“The docket was an unusually full one for this term, and many cases had
to be tried before that of John Weston, charged with the murder of John
Ketcham, was called.

“The remarkable feature in this case was the fact that it involved the
first case of highway robbery that had occurred in that neighborhood for
more than half a century, and seemed the revival of a phase of crime
that had passed into history and should have been impossible in this

“The case drew a large concourse of people to the town, and on the first
day of the trial filled the court-room almost to suffocation.

“But great was the surprise of the throng of spectators, when the
atrocious criminal was brought in, to see a slight, dark-eyed and
curly-haired boy, only eighteen years of age, and looking three years
younger, placed in the dock.

“Many whispered comments passed through the crowd, as they gazed at the
youthful prisoner. Here he stood lifted up in full view above
everybody’s heads, a target for all glances, looking, not frightened,
but quiet, subdued, and deeply humiliated by his position; looking
anything rather than the brigand and desperado they had expected to see.

“When the preliminaries of the proceedings were over, and the young
prisoner was arraigned, he pleaded:

“‘Not guilty.’

“The opening charge of the prosecuting attorney was a tremendous assault
upon the accused boy, as if in his slight form was incarnated the spirit
of revolt, robbery, murder, treason, and all manner of evil, danger and
perdition; and as if the safety of her majesty’s people and dominions
required the immediate death by hanging of the prisoner at the bar.

“Poor Joe was not at this time and in this place a hero, it is sad to
say! He was a very sensitive and impressible boy, and hearing the
prosecuting attorney go on at him at this rate, Joe was—so to
speak—psychologized by him and led to look upon himself, the prisoner,
as an incarnate fiend, though he had never even suspected the fact
before. Now, under this scathing denunciation, the poor wretch bowed his
head and looked so guilty that men groaned and women sighed to see such
deep depravity in one so young.

“At the end of the prosecutor’s opening charge, that officer called the
first witness—Paul Cartright—who, being duly sworn, testified that he
was a county constable, and about midnight on the night of the 18th
ultimo he had been alarmed by cries for help coming from that section of
the high road that passes through Downdingle, and, with others, hurried
to the scene, where he found the stage coach that runs between Orton
Village and Orton Station overturned and surrounded by half a dozen, or
about that number, of masked men. As he and his companions approached,
he heard a pistol fired and saw a man fall. The masked men turned and
fled into the thickets on each side of the road, and were soon lost to
the pursuers, who gave their attention to seeing to the wounded and
righting the coach. He, Paul Cartright, had caught one man in the act of
flight—had caught him, red-handed, grasping the pistol with which he had
just murdered the victim——

“‘Judge! Your honor! oh, your honor! I never fired that pistol! I
stooped to see if I could do anything for the fallen man, and seeing he
was quite dead, I picked up the pistol from the ground, without knowing
what I was doing, and then the constable there took me!’ burst forth
poor Joe, before any one could stop him.

“He was sternly called to order by the court, and then instructed in a
whisper by his counsel that he was on no account to speak again until he
should be spoken to.

“Joe, crestfallen and despairing, subsided into silence.

“‘Do you see the man whom you took red-handed, as you say, standing
pistol in hand over his slain victim?’ inquired the prosecutor.

“‘Yes, sir; that is the man,’ replied the witness, pointing to the young
prisoner in the dock.

“Joe shook his head in desperation, but said never a word.

“The pistol was then produced, and identified by the witness as the one
he had taken from the prisoner at the bar.

“A ball was produced, and identified by the next witness, Dr. Yorke, who
performed the autopsy on the deceased lawyer, as the bullet extracted
from the dead body. It was found to fit the empty chamber of the
revolver, and to correspond perfectly with the other bullets with which
it had been loaded.

“Pistol and bullets were handed to the jury, and passed from man to
man—conclusive evidence of the guilt of the prisoner at the bar.

“Several other witnesses were examined, all of whom corroborated the
testimony of the first one.

“Joe thought his case was gone, and he felt thankful that Lil was not
there to hear evidence that might even have shaken her faith in him,
since it had destroyed his faith in himself.

“But at length the case for the prosecution was closed, and the court
took a recess.

“Then Mr. Rocke came around to the dock, and sat down and talked with
his client, and encouraged him until his fainting self-esteem was in
some degree restored.

“After recess the court reassembled, and the defence was opened in a
most eloquent speech, by Mr. Rocke.

“He told the whole story of ‘John Weston’s’ purely accidental connection
with the party of young roughs who had stopped the stage coach, not
either with any intention of mail robbery, murder or any other great
violence, but merely to get possession of a certain document held by the
deceased lawyer.

“He dwelt upon the young prisoner’s total ignorance of their plans and
incomplicity with their offence.

“He described the purely accidental shooting of the lawyer by the pistol
held in the deceased’s own hand, leveled at one of the assailants, and
knocked up by the assailant in self-defence, so that it went off,
sending a bullet under the chin, and upward and backward through the
brain. He bade them see how easy, natural and inevitable such an
accident must be.

“He described the humane impulse of the boy spectator, now the unhappy
young prisoner at the bar. He told how he had seen the catastrophe; how
he had run to the rescue, had bent over the fallen man, but finding him
dead, had picked up the pistol, and without an idea of escaping, as the
guilty ones had done, stood there gazing at the dead in a sort of panic,
no doubt, until he was taken into custody by the constable.

“Was this, he asked, the conduct of a guilty man? The guilty had
fled—had finally escaped—had never been recaptured. But had this young
man ever even attempted to fly?

“He would bring witnesses to prove the unblemished good character of his
client, and to prove that on the fatal night of the robbery and the
murder he, the accused, so far from having any share in the conspiracy
to stop the mail coach, had returned to his home to spend the evening
with his newly married wife, and had gone again only at the request of
his landlady, and on a neighborly errand. It was after having executed
this errand, and while he was on his way home, that he chanced most
unhappily to fall in with the party of young ruffians who stopped the
coach. He had no hand in their offence, and was taken while trying to
render assistance to the victim.

“Then Counsellor Rocke called Joseph Wyvil, of Stockton.

“Joseph Wyvil, who had just come into court, being sworn, testified that
he knew the prisoner at the bar, and had known him since he, the
prisoner, was four years of age—that is, for fourteen years—and that
most intimately at home and at school, and had never known him to be
untruthful, dishonest or cruel in all that time, and could not possibly
believe him to be capable of the crime for which he was there arraigned.

“Wyvil was cross-examined by the prosecutor as to whether he really
never knew the prisoner to vary in the least from the truth, or to take
liberties with the sweetmeats, or to tease cats, or to do any little
thing that might trench upon the borders of falsehood, theft or cruelty.

“But all this only brought out the most positive declaration of the
witness that he had not.

“Joseph Wyvil was then allowed to sit down, and Belinda Claxton was
called to the stand.

“Being sworn, this witness testified that she knew the prisoner at the
bar, who had been her lodger for two months up to the time of his
arrest; that on the night of the highway robbery and murder he had come
home to tea, and had arranged to spend the evening with his wife, and
herself and her husband, to play a game of whist, but that news had come
of the old squire’s sudden death, and that she had persuaded him, the
prisoner, to walk over to the Hall and see if the report was true. That
he went off, promising to be back in half an hour, or in an hour at
most. When he failed to come she only thought that he had been detained
at the Hall.

“Mrs. Claxton was also cross-examined as to when this whist party had
been arranged. She answered that it had been settled before the prisoner
had gone out to the post-office that afternoon, that he was to return to
an early tea, and play whist all the evening.

“Mrs. Claxton was allowed to retire.

“John Claxton, husband of the last witness, was called, and corroborated
her testimony in every item.

“Then the prosecutor got up to deliver the closing address to the jury.
He made very light of the testimony for the defence, showing, or
attempting to show, the jury that it really proved nothing, and had so
little to do with the charge against the prisoner that it might well
have been ruled out as irrelevant, impertinent and vexatious. He
exhorted the jurors to do their stern duty as British jurors to punish
red-handed crime; to—and so forth, and so forth.

“The judge arose to make the final charge. It was all against the
prisoner. His honor considered the evidence for the prosecution as quite
conclusive; the evidence advanced by the defence as weak and
inconsequential. And charged the jury to bring in a verdict in
accordance with the facts proven.

“Criminal trials of this sort are soon concluded in England. They do not
waste so much time or spend so much money as we do over them.

“The jury retired to their room for half an hour, during which poor Joe
waited in an agony of suspense as great as human nature can endure and
live—in an agony that seemed to stretch that half hour into an eternity
of suffering; and then the jury filed in and rendered their verdict:


“Joe sprang up and fell back on his seat as if he had been shot.

“‘It will be a murder, you know, Mr. Rocke. Poor Lil!’ he cried to his
counsel, who came to his side.

“He was quickly called to order and directed to stand up.

“With as strong an effort at self-control as his boyish soul was capable
of making, he obeyed and faced the court.

“He was then asked whether he had anything to say why sentence of death
should not be pronounced upon him.

“He answered that he had a great deal to say. And then in eager,
vehement, impassioned, yet most respectful language, he asseverated his
innocence, and told again the often repeated true story of his
connection with the young men who had stopped the stage coach.

“The court heard him patiently, and then, when he had ceased to speak,
the judge put on the black cap and proceeded to sentence the boy.

“He told him the enormity of the crime of which he had been guilty, the
fairness of the trial he had stood, the ability with which he had been
defended, the justice of the verdict, the justice also of his sentence,
the hopelessness of any thought of mercy in this world, the necessity of
seeking mercy from a higher tribunal, and finally he pronounced the
ghastly sentence of the law, and ended with the prayer that the Lord
might have mercy on his soul!

“‘Poor Lil!’ was all the boy said, as the bailiffs led him away.

“And the court was adjourned.

                             CHAPTER XXVIII
                          IN THE TOILS OF FATE

“Joe was conveyed back to his prison cell and locked up and left there
in a state of stupefaction.

“Joseph Wyvil, who had heard the verdict, was not able to get near the
unfortunate boy, who had been hurried from the dock to the prison van by
the officers in attendance. And though he followed the prisoner with all
speed to the jail, he was not admitted to see him because it was after
the hour of closing.

“He managed to see the jail chaplain and implore him, late as it was, to
visit the desolate boy in his cell that night.

“The reverend gentleman willingly promised to do so, and Joseph Wyvil
left the prison, with what a heavy heart! to go to his most unhappy
sister and answer as best he might the agonizing questions she would be
sure to put to him.

“Ah! the dreadful intelligence had preceded him to Lil’s lodgings, and
prostrated her frail frame to the very verge of death.

“He found the doctor in attendance, and the young wife, pale as a
corpse, sleeping heavily under the influence of a powerful narcotic.

“‘How did she hear it?’ was one of the first questions put by the
unhappy brother.

“‘By the yelling of the people in the street. We could hardly keep her
from going to the court-room; we couldn’t keep her away from the
windows, watching for you and her husband to come back arm in arm. She
was so confident he would be acquitted! For she said he was innocent,
and being innocent, could not be found guilty and must be acquitted,’
replied their landlady.

“‘Ah! she knew nothing of the power of circumstantial evidence to
convict an innocent man!’ groaned Joseph.

“‘Why, sir, she even packed her trunk to return to Stockton, for she
said that neither she nor her husband, nor her brother, would want to
stay another night in the town where they had suffered so much, but
would take the first train back to their cottage and be at peace.’

“‘Poor child! Poor child!’

“‘And then, while she was watching for you and him from the window, and
turning round every few minutes to ask me to be sure to keep the water
boiling so as to make tea the minute they should come in, or to please
have the bacon grilled to a turn, or something of that sort, all of a
sudden she heard the boys in the street shouting to one another that
Weston, the mail-robber, was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged o’
Monday week!’

“‘She heard that? Oh, poor Lil!’

“‘She heard that, sir, and afore any one could stop her she was out in
the street, in the freezing winter night, without shawl or bonnet, to
inquire into the truth. I just whipped a plaid shawl over my head and
ran out to fetch her in. I found her prostrate and insensible on the
ground, with a crowd of people gathered around her. We raised her and
brought her in and laid her on the bed and brought her to. But as soon
as she got back her senses to know what had happened, she fell into such
convulsions that we had to send for Dr. Yorke, and he gave her summat to
quiet her and put her to sleep. And that’s all, sir,’ concluded the

“The doctor gave directions for the treatment of his patient during the
night, and left, promising to return early the next morning.

“The tired landlady went to rest, asking to be called at any time if she
should be wanted.

“And Joseph Wyvil took his seat by the bedside of his unfortunate
sister, to watch her sleep and dread her waking.

“A low taper burned on a little table behind a screen. And all the room
was obscure and silent as a cave.

“Lil slept on quietly, and Joseph was almost tempted to hope that Lil
might wake only in that happier world where ‘there shall be no more
death, neither crying nor sorrow.’

“Joseph Wyvil was a faithful Christian man, and found his greatest
support during this long miserable night watch in praying for Lil and
for Joe.

“The late winter morning had dawned when Lil awoke.

“She awoke very quietly, and although she opened her eyes, looked about,
saw her brother seated by her bed, and evidently by the change that
passed over her face, remembered all that had happened since yesterday,
yet there was no outburst of grief. The effect of the narcotic yet
remained in the blunted sensibilities. But though her feelings were
dulled, her intellect was clear enough; and although there was no
outbreak of sorrow, yet the look of deep despair that settled on her
face showed how profoundly she realized the situation.

“‘Lil! Lil, my darling sister,’ muttered Joseph Wyvil, bending over her.

“‘Let me go to him, Joseph! Oh, please let me go to him. I will behave
myself. Indeed I will behave myself, Joseph,’ she pleaded.

“‘Yes, dear, you shall go just as soon as the doors are opened to admit

“She put out her hand and pressed his.

“‘But, darling Lil, you need not give up hope. All is not lost yet, Lil!
I mean to get up a strong petition in his behalf. He is so young. There
are so many circumstances in his favor. Lil, I am nearly certain we can
get his sentence commuted to transportation for life. And then we also
will go out to Australia, to be near him. And if he conducts himself
well, as he will be sure to do, having so much at stake, he will get a
ticket-of-leave. And after a few weeks, Lil, we’ll not be any worse off
than if we had emigrated, you know. Are you listening, Lil?’

“‘Yes, Joseph. Oh, take me to him. I want to go to him so much. I will
behave myself so well.’

“‘Yes, dear. Just as soon as ever I can do so. Keep up your heart.’

“‘If he dies I shall die too, and in a fortnight all will be over, and
we two shall meet on the other side, never to part any more.’

“‘Don’t speak so hopelessly, dear Lil. I feel sure in my own mind that
we shall win a commutation of his sentence, and then the worst that can
happen to us will be that we shall have to go to Australia; and that may
turn out to be the very best that could happen.’

“Their conversation was interrupted by a rap at the door, followed by
the entrance of the landlady with a small bowl of beef tea for the poor

“‘Oh, I thank you; but indeed I cannot take anything,’ said Lil, when
this refreshment was offered to her.

“‘Come, now, I want you to drink this because it will do you good. And
you promised to behave, you know,’ said her brother.

“‘I will drink it then,’ said Lil, with perfect docility. And so well
was the liquid seasoned that on tasting it she drank it without
reluctance and even with benefit.

“The landlady had scarcely left the room, with the empty bowl in her
hand, when the doctor entered it.

“Joseph Wyvil arose and bowed, and yielded his place by the bedside to
the physician, who seated himself and proceeded to examine his patient.

“‘She is going on well, yet I would recommend a continuance of the same
treatment for a while longer. She should be kept somewhat under the
influence of sedatives to tide her over this trial,’ was his whispered
advice to Joseph Wyvil, as he arose to leave the room.

“He wrote a prescription and minute directions for its administration,
and then took leave.

“Joseph Wyvil went down to his breakfast and sent up the landlady’s
servant to assist Lil in rising and dressing to go to the jail.

“Joseph called a carriage, but before he put her into it administered a
dose of that merciful medicine sent by the doctor to quiet her nerves
and blunt her feelings, if it could not obscure her intelligence.

“And so they drove to the jail and were admitted to the presence of poor

“The jail doctor and the chaplain had done their part, and the doomed
boy was much calmer than he had been on the preceding day.

“The stricken young pair met without any violent outbreak of emotion.
Each grew paler as they embraced, and neither could speak to the other
at first. They sat down on the side of the cot, with their hands clasped

“Joseph Wyvil, after taking and pressing his brother’s hand, drew the
chair and seated himself before them, and began to talk of the petition
for the commutation of Joe’s sentence he intended that day to set on
foot. Mr. Rocke, he said, would draw it up, and he thought that judge
and jury would sign it as well as many clergymen and other citizens. He
himself would take it up to the Home Secretary. He felt sure, he said,
that the petition would be granted, and that transportation for life
would be the very worst that Joe would have to suffer. Beyond every
reasonable cause for believing this, Joseph declared that he felt an
interior confidence that was prophetic, for which he could not account.

“‘And then, Joe, your fate will not be hard. It will depend upon
yourself to make it easy. If you behave yourself, you will find it light
enough, from all that I can hear. You will be taken as some gentleman’s
valet, or even secretary, and after a while get your ticket of leave,
and in due time your pardon——’

“‘Pardon for what I never did!’ said Joe.

“‘Be patient, dear boy! There be a deal of undeserved suffering in this
world for which there must be compensation somewhere. And after all,
Joe, there is many a free emigrant who has suffered and will suffer more
than you need to do. And listen to this, Joe. After a year or two, just
as soon as I have made money enough to carry us through, I will bring
Lil out to you and we will all live out there together, and it will
depend only on ourselves, under the Divine Providence, whether we

“‘We have not got the commutation yet,’ said Joe, despondently.

“‘But we will get it,’ replied Joseph, confidently.

“At this moment Mr. Rocke entered the cell with the petition in his

“Joseph ceded his chair and took a seat on the foot of the cot.

“After shaking hands with the prisoner, his wife and brother, Mr. Rocke
read the petition, and producing a pocket pen and ink-stand, asked for
their signatures.

“Joe signed his name first, Lil next, adding naively on the same line:
‘Oh, please, please.’

“Mr. Rocke frowned, smiled, but let it stand.

“Joseph Wyvil then signed his name.

“And then the two men left the cell to go and take the petition around
the town, leaving Lil with Joe.

“By this time all of the boy’s history was known to the townspeople.
Joseph Wyvil had given it to the lawyer, at first retaining him. The
lawyer had given it to the reporter of the _Guardian_ on the evening of
the trial, and the whole story was published in this morning’s issue,
together with the report of the trial.

“There was a reaction in public sentiment. Much doubt was entertained of
the prisoner’s complicity with the crime for which he had been
condemned. Much pity was felt for him and for his child-wife, in their
extreme youth and utter despair. The petition for the commutation of his
sentence was signed by judge, jury, magistrates, clergymen and citizens
of all rank.

“Joseph Wyvil and Mr. Rocke took it up to London together and laid it
before the Home Secretary.

“Three weary days passed before they could obtain a hearing. Then five
tedious days before any action was taken on the petition.

“During all this time Joseph Wyvil wrote daily letters full of
confidence and encouragement to his waiting, breathlessly anxious sister
and brother.

“At length, on the ninth day, Joseph Wyvil and Mr. Rocke received the
commutation and started with it for Carlisle.

“It was after the hours of closing the prison. But they could not easily
consent to leave the prisoner, who was now the object of the royal
clemency, one more sleepless night of agonizing suspense.

“So while Joseph Wyvil went home to gladden the heart of his sister with
the good news, Mr. Rocke went to the house of the chaplain and with him
to the governor of the jail, and so gained admittance to the cell.

“Joe, who had parted with Lil but an hour before, was sitting on the
side of his cot staring into vacancy and on the verge of falling into
idiocy, saw through his grated door the low light of the turnkey’s
lantern approaching, and roused himself.

“In another moment the door was unlocked, the two men entered, and Joe’s
eager, questioning eyes read the good news in their faces before the
chaplain took his hand and said:

“‘Return thanks to the Lord, my boy! You are saved!’

“‘Oh, Lil! Lil!’ cried Joe, and dropped his head in his hands and sobbed
like a child.

“When at length he recovered himself he thanked the chaplain and the
lawyer for all that they had done in his behalf.

“And then, as it was late, the two gentlemen shook hands with the
prisoner and withdrew.

“The next morning the meeting between the young pair was a happier one
than they had had since they had parted on that fatal night of the old
squire’s death and the lawyer’s murder.

“Joseph Wyvil also kept their spirits up by hopefully putting the
fairest view of the future before them. He reiterated that it depended
on Joe himself whether his lot in Australia would be the hard lot of a
convict or the ordinary lot of a hard-working emigrant. The chaplain of
this prison, he said, would write a letter to the chaplain of the
transport-ship and make interest with him for the young exile. And
lastly, that, within a year, or two years at most, he would bring Lil
out to Sydney.

“‘And by that time, Joe, you will have behaved yourself so well as to
have got your ticket-of-leave and maybe your free pardon, too, and we
will all, please the Lord, forget our troubles and live happily

“And Lil and Joe believed all that their hopeful brother told them, and
anticipated the brighter days that might be in store for them in the
future years.

“The interval between this day and the sailing of the transport-ship was
passed as calmly and hopefully as possible under the circumstances.

“Lil was allowed to be as much with Joe as the rules of the prison
justified, and even a little more, perhaps, for governor, chaplain and
physician all sympathized with them, despite the rigid discipline that
would bind souls as much as bodies in such cases of officers and

“The day came in which Joe and a fellow-prisoner named Jeremiah
Hatfield, convicted of robbery and sentenced to seven years’
transportation and penal servitude, were to be taken from the prison,
handcuffed together and put upon the train, in charge of two armed
keepers, to be taken to Liverpool, from whence the transport-ship
Vulture was to sail.

“Lil, supported by the strong arm and strong heart of her brother
Joseph, went early to the prison to take leave of Joe.

“Joe behaved pretty well under the circumstances, kept up his own
spirits and kept up Lil’s.

“‘Only look upon this as if I were going to sea, Lil! You know I am not
guilty. I will not consider myself a convict. I will think of myself
only as an emigrant. And I will behave so well, please the Lord, that
everybody shall esteem me, whether they will or no. And shall believe
that I have been wrongly accused. Cheer up, Lil.’

“The doctor had mercifully given Lil a sedative that morning to enable
her to go through the ordeal, else Heaven only knows what sort of a
scene of wild hysterics would have been enacted in that cell. As it was,
Lil’s heart only ached with a dull despair that found no outlet in sobs
or tears, or even complaint.

“The poor boy and girl were allowed to remain together until the last
possible minute, and then, when they were warned that the moment of
parting had actually come, there was one long, clinging embrace, and
then Joseph led his sister away—not crying, not fainting, yet half dead
in her dumb anguish.

“The chaplain remained with Joe. And before the wife and brother had
reached the end of the corridor, another prisoner was brought from
another cell, handcuffed to Joe, and both were led off to the prison van
that was to take them to the railway station en route for Liverpool and
the transport-ship.

“Joseph Wyvil took his sister back to their lodging-house and made her
go to bed, where, overcome by all that she had done and borne that day,
and stupefied by the sedative she had taken, she fell into a long sleep.

“Meanwhile the kind-hearted and helpful landlady packed up all her
lodgers’ effects to save Lil trouble, in anticipation of the journey
that was to be taken the next day.

“Lil awoke the next morning much calmer and stronger than might have
been expected.

“And the same day Joseph Wyvil, after thanking and remunerating their
landlady, took his sister back to their cottage home at Stockton.

                              CHAPTER XXIX

            So, trial after trial past,
            Shalt thou fall at the very last,
            Breathless, half in trance,
            With the thrill of a great deliverance,
            Into our arms forevermore.

“Joseph Wyvil took his sister home, but it was no longer the bright and
happy home that it had been before Lil’s stolen marriage and its almost
tragic end.

“Lil fell into such dull and deep despair that her brother feared it
would terminate in that most hopeless form of madness known as

“He consulted their old family physician, who, after several visits to
his patient, recommended an entire change of scene, occupations and
interests for the despairing girl.

“Ah, poor Joseph Wyvil! And poor Lil! The doctor might as reasonably
have recommended a yacht to the Mediterranean Sea and a palace on the
coast of Sicily for this impoverished and embarrassed brother and

“The expenses of the trial had absorbed all Joseph Wyvil’s savings, and
even compelled him to mortgage his house.

“For to the lawyer’s fees and other legal costs there had been added the
expenses of his own and his sister’s board and lodging at Carlisle, and
of his own and the lawyer’s journey to London and back, and their hotel
bills while in that city dancing attendance at Somerset House, and the
loss of time and work.

“Joseph Wyvil was hopelessly embarrassed in money matters. The lately
industrious, thriving and ‘fore-handed’ mechanic was financially ruined.

“Not by his own doings, but by the folly and calamity of his sister and

“He had lost his work also, and could not recover it. This was a
misfortune he had not in the least calculated upon. But another man had
got his place, and there was no room for him.

“Joseph first sold his silver watch, and next the precious half dozen
silver tea-spoons left him by his mother, to pay the interest on his
notes and to bear current expenses. After that, piece by piece of the
little parlor set went.

“But these could not last long. The crash came. The house was sold under
the mortgage, and the little home was broken up. So much calamity may
come of one little act of folly like Joe’s and Lil’s runaway marriage.

“Joseph took his sister and the remnant of his household furniture and
moved into two rooms of a poor tenement house, and tried to get work
even as a common laborer, but failed.

“He then sold more of his small stock of furniture, divided the money
with Lil, and went ‘on the tramp,’ seeking work of any honest sort
wherever he might get it.

“So he drifted to Liverpool. There he met with an old shipmate and
friend of his late uncle, Zebedee Wyvil. This was George Poole, now
captain of the fast-sailing Baltimore clipper Oriole, then in port.

“To Captain Poole poor Joseph Wyvil told his story.

“After hearing him to the end, the skipper said:

“‘There is always work for willing hands in America, and often fortune,
too. Come out with me to America, Wyvil. I shall sail for Baltimore in
ten days.’

“‘I have no money, and all my household goods would not bring ten
pounds,’ sadly replied Joseph.

“‘The more reason for your accepting my offer. Come, you can work your
passage over if you insist upon being independent, and when——’

“‘But my poor little sister. I cannot leave her in her misery.’

“‘Of course you cannot. Who asked you to do so? Bring her with you. She
shall have a free passage; or, if she has too much pride to accept a
favor, she may help the stewardess mend the ship’s linen, just as she
pleases. Come, old fellow, take an old friend’s honest offer and best
advice. Run up to Carlisle. Sell out your sticks, and bring your sister
down here. You have plenty of time to settle up all your affairs. And
when we get to

           “The land of the free and the home of the brave,”

I will look after you like a godfather until you get work. Come, what do
you say?’

“‘I accept your kindness. But, oh! how shall I ever be able to express
my thanks?’

“‘By holding your tongue, and getting ready to sail, my boy. You said
your doctor recommended change of scene for the girl, didn’t you?’

“‘Oh, yes! yes! But how was I to provide it for her, even though her
life or reason might depend on her having it?’

“‘Exactly. But now you see it is provided for her. Hurry back to her,
Wyvil. By the way, here. You must not dream of tramping back to
Carlisle. Take this five-pound note. Pshaw! Nonsense! I am not offering
to give it to you, man, but to lend it. There, hurry back to your
sister, and fetch her down. I’ll warrant her spirits will improve in a

“Joseph Wyvil would have thanked this warm-hearted and generous friend
and benefactor, but found no words, no voice to express himself.

“He took the first train back to Stockton, and returned to the poor
lodgings where he had left Lil.

“He found her much worse than he had left her—paler, thinner, weaker and
more melancholy.

“When he told her of the prospect opened for them by this free passage
to America, her first words were those of disappointment.

“‘I thought we were to go out to Australia to join poor Joe.’

“‘And so we are to do, dear, just as soon as I can make money enough to
take us out there. But I cannot make this money in England. And so we
must thank Heaven for this free passage to America, where work is plenty
and wages high. There it will require a much shorter time to make money
enough to take us out to join Joe.’

“‘But will this voyage carry us any farther away from poor Joe than we
are now?’ was Lil’s next anxious question.

“‘No; no farther. I do not think as far. Australia is at the antipodes,
as we stand here, you know; so every thousand miles we sail must take us
a thousand miles nearer in space, and the greater facilities offered in
America will take us years nearer in time to our heart’s desire.’

“‘Let us go, then! Oh! let us go! I begin to see light at last!’
exclaimed Lil, rallying as she had never rallied since her parting with
her husband.

“The need of activity, the prospect of a journey and a voyage, and
conditions that were to bring her nearer in time as well as in space to
Joe, infused new life into Lil.

“She rendered prompt and efficient aid to Joseph in preparing to leave

“The sale of their household goods brought exactly £7 5s. 3d., or about
$37.56 of our money. Joseph had of the money loaned him by Captain
Poole, £4 10s., so that when he had settled all his little debts he had
still £10, or $50 of our money, left.

“On the day after their sale they took the train for Liverpool, and by
the captain’s advice, went immediately on board the ship, to save
expense of board and lodging in the town.

“In a few days the Oriole sailed, and wind and weather proving very
favorable, in two weeks the clipper crossed the Atlantic Ocean and
anchored in Baltimore harbor.

“Within a week after landing Joseph Wyvil obtained work as a journeyman
carpenter on a house that some contractor was in a hurry to finish by a
certain date.

“Then he took his sister from off the ship, and conveyed her to a cheap,
respectable boarding-house.

“Within a month after this the Oriole sailed again for Liverpool, and
the brother and sister lost their kind friend.

“Joseph Wyvil and Lil had both written to their poor Joe before leaving
England, telling him of their new hopes and plans.

“They wrote again on reaching Baltimore, telling him of their better
fortunes, and of their one object in making and saving money as fast as
possible to go out and join him.

“But ah! Joseph Wyvil’s prosperity did not continue. When the house on
which he had been at work was completed, he and his fellow-journeymen
were thrown out of employment, and despite their utmost endeavors,
remained idle for the rest of the winter.

“But about the middle of March a change came. A certain capitalist of
Baltimore had found out a favorable part of the Jersey coast for the
opening of a new summer resort that should combine cheapness with
everything else that was desirable in life.

“He had leased the one large hotel on the place, and was about to build
a number of small, rough cottages and bathing-houses there to
accommodate visitors.

“All the carpenters who happened to be out of employment, and were
willing to leave Baltimore for several months, were engaged at good
wages on the work.

“Joseph Wyvil was among the rest, and he went to Seawood, taking his
sister with him.

“The other workmen got accommodations in the fishermen’s cottages
scattered here and there along the shore, but Joseph Wyvil took his
sister to a little inland village about two miles from the sea, lodged
her in a farm-house for a few days, and then rented a cheap cottage with
a little garden, furnished it with the bare necessities of life, and put
her there.

“Gradually, as the spring and summer went on, he added little comforts
to her store as his wages enabled him to do so.

“He went to work every morning, and returned every evening. He and his
sister lived a most secluded life. They joined the Episcopal church at
Seawood by letters from the rector of the parish church at Stockton, and
as they were described as Joseph Wyvil, of Stockton, and Elizabeth, wife
of Joseph Wyvil, a very natural mistake was made in their case—a mistake
that they never thought of, and that no one else was aware of.

“They were taken for husband and wife instead of brother and sister; and
as they went nowhere but to church, and received no visitors, this
natural mistake was not corrected.

“They lived contentedly enough together, writing by every Australian
mail to Joe, and looking forward to the time when they should have money
enough to go out to him.

“They had not had a line from poor little Joe since he sailed in the
transport ship, on the fifteenth of the last December, nor had they
expected to get one. They knew that months must elapse before the end of
his voyage, and more months before a return letter could come to them.
They even remembered how many months must pass before their first letter
could reach him, though after the first long gap of silence the letters
would come and go more frequently.

“To complicate matters more—to fill the situation with more of grief and
more of joy—it was certain that little Lil was destined to become a
mother. This fact was not written to Joe, for, said Lil:

“‘If I tell him it will only add to his anxiety and impatience to see
us. If my child should live, it will only be the greater surprise and
delight to him when he hears of it or sees it.’

“It was about the middle of August, ten months after Lil’s marriage, and
seven months after the heart-breaking separation from her husband, that
the second catastrophe of her life came.

“You already know all about it—how, while Joseph Wyvil was at work on
the shore, in the heat of an August afternoon, the little son of Major
Hereward, while bathing, got out of his depth, and being unable to swim,
was drowning and cried out for help.

“And Joseph Wyvil forgot all prudence in his manly impulse to rescue the
perishing boy, and all overheated as he was, plunged into the water,
swam to him and seized him; how he had just time to tow him in and fling
him into the outstretched arms of a fisherman, when he was seized with
cramp, sank and was swirled away by the under-current.

“You know all about that, and how the news of his sudden and violent
death shocked the delicate young mother into a premature confinement,
and how little Lil died within a few hours after giving birth to her
daughter—died without being able to articulate one word of explanation
to Major Hereward, who, brought thither by the minister, stood beside
her bed ready to adopt the infant orphaned for his sake and for the sake
of his son.

“Major Hereward was in no measure to blame for what occurred; yet he
mourned as if he had been culpably responsible for the tragedy, and he
did all that lay in his power—all that mortal man could do to atone for
it. And not the least part of his work was his adoption and education of
the orphan infant.

“That was his bounden duty. His most sacred duty. And in the object of
this duty he found the greatest comfort and happiness of his life,” said
Tudor Hereward, breaking in for the first time upon Zuniga’s narrative,
and taking and carrying the hand of Lilith to his lips.

“I can well believe that! Lilith was a true daughter to her adopted
father,” said Zuniga.

“She has been true as truth in every relation of her difficult life,”
added Hereward.

“Will you tell us now, dear, what we most long to know—your own life
after you left England under such a cruel and unjust condemnation? For
even to me, your child, you have never told that story, consecutively,”
said Lilith, to divert the conversation from herself, for she was always
embarrassed by such very direct praise.

“Yes, but still in the third person, if you please, and still partly
from the notes I have made from time to time,” said Zuniga.

And he resumed his personal history as if speaking of another.

                              CHAPTER XXX
                    OUT OF THE SNARE AND ON THE WING

          And all the time they hunted me,
          From hill to plain, from shore to sea,
          And justice hounding far and wide
          Her bloodhounds through the country side,
            Breathed hot and instant on my trace.

“You know it was reported that John Weston was killed, shot dead, while
trying to escape from Port Arthur. You will discover in the course of
this narrative how that false report got out and how it secured his

“John Weston was rather favored by the chaplain of the transport-ship on
account, I think, of his youth and good looks, as well as his good
behavior and the recommendation of the prison chaplain.

“When they were well out to sea he was taken from the convict gang into
the chaplain’s room to wait on his reverence, though the office was a
mere sinecure.

“He had a good time of it all through the voyage, with nothing at all to
cry for but the lost company of his Lil and his brother, and the cruel
imputation of crime under which he lived, or seemed to live, for really
you do not believe that anybody in that ship could look at the handsome
little fellow and take him for a criminal. You don’t, indeed!

“The Vulture was a very slow sailer, and we were five months at sea.

“It was the first of May when the ship reached Hobart Town.

“Here the convict gang were handcuffed, two and two, sent on shore under
strong guard, and transferred from the custody of the ship’s officers to
that of the authorities in the town.

“They were lodged in jail that night, and the next morning assigned to
their work.

“And now John Weston’s troubles began. As a felon convicted of a capital
crime, and condemned to death, who had had his sentence commuted to
transportation and penal servitude for life, he was at once classed
among the worst criminals and sent on to Port Arthur, the prison to
which the most heavily sentenced of the British convicts were at that
time doomed.

“True, the chaplain of the transport-ship had tried to interest the jail
chaplain and the colonial authorities in favor of the boy; but all in
vain. Chaplains have no authority and precious little influence in the
convict settlements.

“So John Weston, who had done very little evil in his brief life, poor
lad! was shipped off to that perdition of evil-doers—Port Arthur.

“It would be too cruel to harrow your heart with any description of his
sufferings there, where every thing that could revolt his nature
surrounded him.

“No more of that. One day he was sent for to the office of the
commandant, where he received the first letter that he had seen since
leaving England. It was a joint letter from Joseph and Lil, telling him
of their settlement at Seawood on the New Jersey coast in America. Also
of the good wages Joseph was getting, and of their hopes soon to come
out and join him.

“Join him! How little they knew or suspected of his dreadful condition!
They evidently thought that some chance of redemption had been given
him, that he had been assigned to some easy duty as clerk, messenger, or
bookkeeper in some of the officers’ quarters; that he would soon get his
ticket-of-leave, and only a little later his free pardon! And they would
come out and join him and settle down to sheep-farming as hopeful
colonists, as the too sanguine chaplain had led them to anticipate.

“When the real truth was—too horrible to dwell upon!

“By the allusions in this letter, John Weston learned that there must
have been several other letters that preceded this one, and had never
reached him.

“He did not reply to it; he had no heart to do so. He preferred to let
Joseph and Lil dream their dream of the imaginary future a little
longer, while he himself dreamed of escape or of—suicide.

“Early one morning after this he was at work under the timber cliffs,
where many convicts were employed cutting down trees, and lopping off
their branches, many others in rolling the huge boles down to the beach,
and others still—among whom was John Weston—were toiling at the hardest
work, up to their waists in water, harnessed like mules to these immense
logs, and hauling them to the distant ship-yard.

“So early was the hour at which they had been called to work that it was
as yet scarcely light on that cool autumn morning.

“John Weston, driven to desperation by the misery and hopelessness of
his condition, suddenly determined to make a dash for freedom or for
death. While preparing to harness himself to the great bole to be
hauled, he suddenly threw ropes and chains over his head, leaped for the
deeper water, and struck out for the open sea. He was a strong and
skilful swimmer, whose muscular strength had been greatly developed by
hard work in the open air; he was stimulated by desperate hope, and
everything was in his favor. The tide was going out and the sea was

“If he could only reach that rugged promontory nine miles distant up the
coast, a point totally inaccessible by land, and almost so by water
also, except by such a desperate wretch as himself.

“If he could reach that point, climb that cliff, lose himself in that
impenetrable wilderness, why, then, he might starve or freeze to death
in time, might be killed by the bushmen, or devoured by wild beasts; but
he could never be recaptured, and he might eventually escape.

“A forlorn hope! But he seized it for all and more than all it was

“Ah! but scarcely had he taken his leap for life before the alarm was
given, and shot after shot was fired. One struck him, grazing the tip of
his ear. He dived instantly, and that gave the rise to the report of his
death—‘shot while trying to make his escape!’ No more shots were fired
after that! When he rose again to the surface he was so far from the
shore that his small cropped head was lost to view among the billows.

“He never reached the promontory, however. His strength gave out, or was
giving out, when he swam for a floating log that had been washed away
from the timber cliffs. Around this he clasped himself, and kept himself
up, as well as he could, to put off death as long as possible.

“He was drifting farther and farther out to sea, and his senses were
becoming benumbed and his thoughts confused; yet still he instinctively
held on to the log until everything else seemed to have left him.

“When John Weston recovered his consciousness he found himself in a
comfortable berth in a ship that he afterwards discovered to be the
American merchantman Buzzard, homeward bound from Calcutta to New York.

“Later on he learned the facts of his rescue. He had been seen floating
on the log by the man at the look-out. A boat had been put off to his
relief, and he had been brought on board the ship, in apparent death.
All means known to science had been used for his restoration, and they
had proved successful.

“In a day or two John Weston was strong as ever, and went before the
mast a willing worker, in a short-handed ship, which had lost several of
its men by fever while in port at Calcutta.

“On reaching New York he discharged himself, and glad, glorious with
this realization of freedom, he started at once for Seawood to give
Joseph and Lil a joyful surprise.

“Ah, how soon were his high hopes dashed to the ground! He reached
Seawood the same day.

“He inquired for Mr. Joseph Wyvil. He was told the sad tragedy with
which you are already acquainted—that Joseph Wyvil had been drowned in
rescuing the son of a Major Hereward, that Mrs. Wyvil had died on the
same day on which her child was born, and that the orphan baby-girl had
been adopted and taken away to be brought up as his own daughter by
Major Hereward.

“Poor Joe—to give him back his familiar name since his escape—poor Joe
was nearly crushed to death by this blow. He inquired about Major
Hereward, but could not find out his address.

“The rector, who had been with Lil in her last moments, might have given
him the information, but he had gone to Europe for his health.

“At last poor Joe gave up the search for the time being, and contented
himself, on the child’s account, by reflecting that she was in good
hands and much better situated than she could be in his own possession,
even if he, the fugitive convict, could dare to claim her.

“Satisfied as to his child’s fortunes, but heartbroken for his wife’s
and his brother’s loss, the poor fellow started on an aimless tramp over
the country, getting a job of work here and there, just enough to keep
him from starvation; sleeping in barns and outhouses, and faring as hard
as he had fared in prison, except in loss of liberty.

“One day he fell in with a company of strolling players, and he joined
them, getting nothing for his services except his ‘victual and drink,’
and very little and of very poor quality of that.

“But, after all, it was the small beginning of great things in that
line. At first he was only trusted with small parts; but people were
pleased to say he was handsome, elegant and attractive; he soon
developed dramatic talent, and was charged with the leading parts in
whatever might be afoot of tragedy, comedy or opera.

“After awhile he joined a circus company, where he learned to ride and
to perform wondrous feats of equestrianism. He studied to improve
himself in all these arts, of singing, riding, acting.

“He belonged, in succession, to many traveling companies, and he went
all over the United States, the West Indies, Bermuda, and into several
of the countries of South America. It took years, but at last he reached
the climax of his fame as ‘Mr. Alfred Ancillon, the World-Renowned,’ and
so forth and so forth! But with all this, he never made his fortune, and
never, in all his life, had a hundred dollars over and above his
expenses; no, not even when he was the proprietor of the Grand
Plantagenet and Montmorenci Combination, etc., etc., which had the honor
of playing before the enlightened audience of Frosthill, while all the
crowned heads of Europe were pining for its presence.

“It was while at Frosthill that Mr. Alfred Ancillon chanced to hear of
poor Joe Wyvil’s little daughter, now grown to womanhood and married to
her adopted father’s only son, and that since the death of Major
Hereward, and the departure of Mr. Hereward for Washington, she had been
living alone at Cloud Cliffs.

“A very natural and most eager desire seized him to behold his daughter.
He went to Cloud Cliffs and introduced himself, fearing the while that
she would fail to recognize his claim and would deny him.

“But as fate would have it, she had, only that day, for the first time,
overhauled certain old letters and papers, which had not seen the light
since the day she was born; and in them she had read the story of poor
Joe’s life, and had even seen poor Joe’s photograph.

“So when he revealed himself she recognized him at once. And when he
explained that he was a fugitive from injustice, and that the
extradition treaty was in force, she readily took the oath of secrecy
her father prescribed for her—the oath that has been the cause of so
much misunderstanding, suspicion and misery.

“Among the papers that he found in the old trunk, which had escaped his
daughter’s notice, was a diary kept by the old seaman, Zebedee Wyvil, in
which was described, among other matters, the embarkation of Señor Don
Louis Zuniga, with his wife, Donna Isabella Mendoza, and their infant
son; and also the Marquis of ——, the brother of the lady, on the Falcon,
homeward bound from Havana to Liverpool.

“The diary, suddenly stopped and renewed ten days later, described the
wreck of the Falcon, and the distribution of the crew and passengers
into three boats; commanded respectively by the captain, the first mate
and the second mate. The Marquis of —— found a place in the captain’s
boat, the Señor Zuniga, with his wife and child, in the third boat.

“The diary went on to describe the sufferings of the party in the last
boat, and the subsequent death of the señor and señora, and the rescue
of the only survivors, Zebedee Wyvil and the Spanish infant.

“This record, begun in a small pocket volume, was continued in similar
books, and kept up to the end of the writer’s life. And it contained a
true record of the Spanish boy’s adoption and education.

“Mr. Alfred Ancillon, thinking that he had the best right to this, took
possession of it, without saying anything about it to his daughter. His
silence on the subject was not premeditated, however, but the mere
result of having so many more interesting things to talk of.

“When, however, Mr. Ancillon went to Washington to play at the Varieties
he happened to hear that the Marquis of —— was minister from the Court
of P—— to that capital. Subsequently he saw the minister in a public
place, and certainly recognized a family likeness to himself.

“Then he laid his little plan. When his engagement at the Varieties
ended, he did not go on to San Francisco as he was advertised to go, but
sent a young man of his troupe, made up to personate him, while he
stayed in the city and made himself up in his true, his only true,
character, that of the Señor Zuniga, and so presented himself to the
Marquis of —— as his nephew, the son of his deceased sister.

“The hidalgo was startled, amazed, incredulous.

“But the señor had his proofs, and these were corroborated by a strong
family likeness.

“There was much cross-questioning, and close investigation. The marquis
learned all the facts of the wreck of the Falcon, which, by the way, his
own memory confirmed.

“He heard all about the death of his sister and brother-in-law, and the
survival and rescue of Mate Zebedee Wyvil and the infant, Zuniga, by the
Polly Ann.

“He heard all the details of the adoption, rearing and education of the
young Zuniga by the mate, Zebedee Wyvil, and of the life of the youth at
home, at college, and at sea, up to the time of his return from his
voyage with Captain Pentecost.

“But he learned nothing of the runaway marriage, the trial for murder,
the transportation to the penal colonies, the escape thence, the
theatrical career and so on.

“In short, the marquis learned all of his young relative that it was
expedient that he should know, and nothing more.

“And when he was satisfied that his nephew wanted nothing whatever from
him, either of money, influence or preferment, or any other favor, and
when he was pleased to see that the young man was fairly presentable in
society, he graciously acknowledged him, entertained him, and presented
him to his friends.

“You know the rest.

“But this must be acknowledged—that never, in his whole successful
career as an actor, did the ‘world-renowned artist, Mr. Alfred
Ancillon,’ undertake so difficult a part, or achieve so splendid a
triumph, as when he caused himself to be introduced to his own daughter
as the Señor Zuniga, and thoroughly deceived her in regard to his
identity! For although, at first, she was startled out of her
self-possession by what she considered a most amazing likeness, yet
still in the end she was completely deluded.

“And now one word as to the fine art of successful disguise. It does not
consist in coarse contrivances, like staining the complexion of a
different hue or wearing a wig of different colored hair, or anything of
that sort, which does not alter the form of the features, or the
character of the countenance. It consists in very refined touches,
invisible to the naked eye, and yet capable of changing the whole
individuality of the face, so that, though it may leave a likeness, it
will seem only a likeness. These superfine, magical touches are delicate
strokes with a camel’s hair pencil at the corners of the eyebrows, the
corners of the eyelids, corners of the nostrils and of the mouth,
changing the angles up or down as may be required, and so changing the
very shape of the features so delicately that the art cannot be
detected. Then, with a slight modification in the glance of the eye, the
tone of the voice, and the gesture of the hand, the transformation is

“In this artistic manner Zuniga deluded everybody as to his identity, so
that if any one had ventured to raise the question whether or not he was
the man known to the play-going public as Mr. Alfred Ancillon, his
intimate friends must have scouted the idea, and while admitting the
likeness, denied the identity, because, and so forth, and so forth.

“You know the rest of the adventurer’s story quite as well as he does;
so little more need to be added, except that he has bitterly repented
all the sorrow his recklessness brought upon his daughter, and even upon
her husband. It is not certain that his recovery of his proper name,
Zuniga, will lead to any lasting benefit to himself or any one connected
with him. As the only son and heir of Don Luis Zuniga, he would be
entitled to large landed estates and much funded wealth, all held in
abeyance. But courts of law would require more proof of his identity
than it may be practical to produce, so it is very doubtful whether his
estates can ever be recovered. That is all, friends.”

As the Señor Zuniga concluded his story, he arose, kissed his daughter,
and took a turn up and down the room.

“You have been more sinned against than sinning! What a life you have
led!” exclaimed Tudor Hereward.

“And I am not yet forty years of age! An age at which many men, and
women, too, actually first marry and begin life!” said Zuniga, pausing
in the midst of his walk.

“You must begin a happier life from this time forth, dear,” said Lilith,

“I—I—I—think——Don’t you all think as we had better have luncheon now?
Everybody looks so tired,” said Mrs. Downie, wiping her eyes.

Zuniga broke into one of his hilarious laughs and seconded the motion,
which was carried unanimously.

                              CHAPTER XXXI

The Herewards, Señor Zuniga and Mrs. Downie, according to arrangement,
lived on in the house in the Champs Elysées during the month of the
Prince and Princess Gherardini’s bridal tour.

In that month they saw—they even became familiar with—all that was most
worth seeing in Paris.

They also made excursions to all places of interest in easy reach of the

To well-read persons like the Herewards and Zuniga, who from books were
prepared for all things, there could be no surprise; but to Aunt Sophie
every day was a new life, every scene a new world, so that she came into
a chronic state of amazement.

At the end of the month the Prince and Princess Gherardini returned to

As Mr. Hereward had still a few days of leisure left, his host and
hostess insisted on his spending those days as their guest in Paris.

Mrs. Downie was easily persuaded to stay as long as Lilith should stay.

The Prince and Princess gave a series of brilliant entertainments at the
commencement of the Paris season.

Mr. and Mrs. Tudor Hereward always assisted them in receiving. And the
Paris world whispered together:

“So that was the distinguished statesman to whom Madame Wyvil was
betrothed—Monsieur Hereward, of the American Legation at the Court of

Mrs. Downie, in the same black satin dress, trimmed with black Brussels
lace and black bugles, with a white point lace cap on her head—all of
which had been presented to her by the princess to be worn at her
wedding—was always present with the receiving party, dodging a little
behind whenever a great dignitary, covered with stars, crosses and
orders, or a grande dame blazing with diamonds, approached the circle;
yet so thoroughly enjoying the splendid pageant that at length she grew
really alarmed as to her spiritual condition, and privately spoke her
mind to Lilith, as follows:

“I never was drunk in my life, honey, and I never seed anybody else
drunk, but I have read and I hearn a heap about drunk; and I do think,
for the last week or so, since the princess have been giving these high
parties, and I mixed up into it all, I must feel just like people do
when they are crazy drunk. I ain’t myself, honey! I ain’t indeed! I
donno what Brother Perkins or Brother More would think if they knew the
state I’m in. I don’t indeed! Why, child when I go up into my room and
shut the door and begin my prayers with reciting my hymn:

           ‘Fading, still fading, the last ray is shining,
           Father in Heaven, the day is declining—
           Safety and innocence fly with the light,
           Temptation and danger walk forth with the night,’

instead of the music of that comforting hymn, there is sounding through
my brain—

             ‘Tooty-loo-loo! Tooty-loo-loo! Tooty-loo-loo!’

or some such sinful tune as them there misguided young men and women
waltz around to, with their heads on each other’s shoulders and their
arms around each other’s waists in a way I can’t approve of. And so,
honey, I think when you and Mr. Hereward leave here, I shall go home and
try to get back my sober senses.”

“But you have enjoyed it, Aunt Sophie,” urged Lilith.

“That’s the worst of it, honey! I have enjoyed it too much! It is a
temptation and a snare! A deluding snare.

             ‘Tooty-loo-loo! Tooty-loo-loo! Tooty-loo-loo!’

There I am again with the waltz whirling round in my old Methodist
brain! Yes, honey, I am going home!”

“But, Aunt Sophie, you must go first with Mr. Hereward and myself to our
home in ——. I know you would like to see for yourself where I am to
live, so that you may be able to picture me in my home.”

“Oh, yes! indeed I should, but——”

“But you will go! My father is to go home with us for a visit—and
afterwards he also is to go back to America. And now don’t you see that
he who brought you out here should also take you home?”

“Oh, yes! Well, if the ‘sinner’ is going back so soon as you say, it
would be worth my while to stay and go along with him. So I reckon I

At the end of the month of festivity, Tudor, Lilith and Aunt Sophie bade
good-bye to their hospitable host and hostess, and left Paris for ——.

On their arrival at that city Mr. Hereward took them at once to the
handsomely furnished house he had engaged, near the Royal Palace.

It was afternoon when they arrived.

And here a glad surprise awaited Lilith. As she entered the hall, led in
by her husband, a great black beast flew to meet her and rolled joyously
at her feet!

It was Lion, her faithful Newfoundland dog, who had followed her to the
railway station, and from whom she had parted on that dreadful night of
her banishment from her home, as she had supposed, forever.

Her joy at meeting her favorite was scarcely less than his own. She
welcomed, caressed and talked to him.

“Loyal old Lion! We will never part again! Never again, dear old Lion!
until death takes one or the other,” said Lilith, as at last she
disengaged herself from him and went upstairs to her room, conducted by

Here another surprise awaited her.

As she entered the room her old nurse, housekeeper and lady’s maid,
Nancy, came to meet her; but almost instantly became inarticulate in her
words of welcome, and then burst into happy, hysterical tears.

When these had subsided, and Lilith and Aunt Sophie, having laid off
their wraps, were seated around the blazing wood fire of the bed-room,
with Lion stretched on the rug before them, and Nancy standing leaning
her head against the mantelpiece, Hereward explained:

“On the day after I met you in Paris, Lilith, five weeks ago, I wrote to
Oxley, at Cloud Cliffs, to send Stephen, Alick, Nancy, and the
Newfoundland dog, Lion, out to me by one of the French line of steamers
that sail direct for Havre. I gave him minute instructions to see the
party all the way from Cloud Cliffs to New York, and on to the ship by
which they would sail. I directed him to carry out all these
instructions without loss of time. And I inclosed a bill of exchange to
cover all expenses. He acted so promptly and intelligently on my orders
that the whole party reached here four days ago.”

“But I can’t get it out’n my head, Miss Lilif, as you and me has died
and waked up in t’other world! I’m thankful it ain’t the bad place; but
it don’t look quite like heaven nuther! And that’s what puzzles ob me,”
said Nancy.

“Never mind, you will come around quite right in a few days,” replied
Lilith, consolingly.

Señor Zuniga stayed until after Christmas with the Herewards, and then,
about the middle of January, sailed for New York.

Señor Zuniga succeeded beyond his sanguine hopes in recovering his
patrimonial estates. He sold them for all they were worth and invested
the money in West Virginia land near Frosthill.

Then he married his devoted admirer, Harriet Miles, who was never tired
of telling her friends that she always knew that he was a young nobleman
in disguise who was only playing at play acting for his own amusement.

Madame Zuniga’s stepfather, old Jab Jordon, is a very much subdued old
man. First, he is “set upon” by Mrs. Jab, and secondly by Master Jab,
their only son and heir.

Mr. Rufus Hilary wonders that his brother-in-law should ever have left
the exciting and glorious life of a “world-renowned” dramatic artist, to
settle down into a merely respectable farmer and father of a family. Mr.
Rufus Hilary is still an ardent admirer and liberal patron of the stage;
he is still unmarried, and his pretty young sister, Miss Emily Miles,
keeps his house.

The Herewards are still abroad—Mr. Hereward filling a very important
diplomatic position at one of the highest courts in Europe, and Mrs.
Hereward, at last his deeply loved wife, his companion in domestic life,
his helper in official life, is one of the most brilliant and admired
among les grandes dames who add lustre to the drawing-rooms of the

                                THE END


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Silently corrected obvious typographical errors and variations in
 2. Retained archaic, non-standard, and uncertain spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.


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