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She must scream, but has not the “All that young woman's doings," power.
There is a buzzing in her Mrs. Carmichael has informed Sandy, ears, the lights are dancing up and who shakes his wise old head, and down-up and down. She gives a says, “ He ken’t what going to that sort of frantic “lurch” towards M. foreign land wad dae, he ken't fine Duchesney, who is gazing through his hoo't wad be. Wae's me, an' sich a opera-glass at the singer. She is fine young man as Maister Anderson. dimly conscious of a wild desire for My, I thocht the lassie had mair sense, air-air, and then, singer, audience, ava! Weel, weel, we can but wait everything fades away, and for the awa' see hoo things turn out. Its an' first time in her life Meg has fainted. awfu' peety she's set her heart on the There is a buzz of excitement, and vanities o' this wicked world ; that's smelling salts, and scent bottles; but the trouble, I'm thinking." Duchesney, quick in an emergency, But Sandy had an idea of his own, raises her in his arms, and carries her and this idea finally crystallized itself to the coolness outside of the heated into a letter. And this poor little hall, where cold water and fanning scrawl, written with infinite pains (for restore her, after some minutes, to Sandy had been a brave “sodger,” but consciousness; at least partly so. She no scholar), sped on its way, and this opens her eyes, then closes them was all it said (the spelling was difagain, saying, in a trembling voice, ferent, of course): “John, dear John--I want you-stay with me—why have you left me ? - DEAR Miss MEG: John-ah !" with a little cry, as her Maister John has been verra' bad senses return to her. “Where am I ?” and at death's door with fever of the Raising her head from M. Duchesney's brain. He's no muckle to look at now, arm, her eyes fall on the diamonds being that thin ye can see through glittering on his hands; then looking him. I fear me, sair, he is wearing up to his face, for he is still bending awa'. Will ye no come back again? over her, another cry breaks from her
Respectfully yours, lips. She shudders violently, and
SANDY. draws away from him, saying wildly, “Oh, now I remember—how could I And never a doubt has Sandy but forget! Take me home! Take me that it will be “richt noo"—that these home! for I know John loves me few touching words will bring his still !"
young “ leddy” safe and sound across CHAPTER VI.
the sea to her ain Jo.
And a few days after, in the sweet “Dear Miss Graham, you must little garden, with its old-fashioned really turn me out; you make me so flowers, John Anderson is slowly paccomfortable, you will find me a fix- ing up and down, his hands clasped ture if you don't look out,” laughs behind his back. His coat hangs looseJohn Anderson. “Ah !" sniffing the ly on his tall, gaunt figure; in the perfume which comes in at the open hand of his wide a-wake soft felt hat window,“ how sweet that wallflower a few blue-bells, with their hair-like is !"
stems, are languishing. His face is It is a lovely summer afternoon, and browned with the sun, though, and he is lying on the old-fashioned his keen blue eyes, with the kindly chintz-covered sofa in the pretty, glance in them “ for man and beast,' homelike drawing-roon at the Cottage. as the country folk say, are losing A mere shadow of his former self is that hollow look. John, for he has had a sharp attack of “Oh, aye, he's pickin' up," mutters brain fever.
the old gardener, "but when she comes
he'll—weel-he'll jist feel as I wad if “Help me to pack! I must go at I saw my ain Kirsty comin' back tae once—at once," she utters breathlessly me frae Heaven, a-crossing the burn —pitching skirts, blouses, hats, boots, doon there, an' the sun glintin' on her slippers, stockings, in a perfect avahair, for it seemed to love her bonnie lanche to poor, bewildered Marie, who hair,” and the old man sighs, for requires to exercise no little skill in through the mist of years the image order to dodge the high-heeled boots of his gude wife shines clearly still. and slippers.
Miss Graham had felt Meg's fickle “This ravishing costume, Mademoiconduct very keenly, but the sore sub- selle?” she enquires, commencing to ject had only been mentioned between fold up the lovely shimmering white them once, for John is of a reserved ball dress, and very much astonished nature, like moet Scotchmen. Un- is she to find the ravishing costume selfish all through, no feeling of anger twitched from her fingers and flung to against his love fills his breast. She the other side of the room, where it had told him she loved him. She had lay in a frothy heap. sworn to be true to him, but she had not really known what love was. Some one else had taught her, and hethe light of his life had gone out, but if she is happy, he thinks, then all is right. Self is entirely put aside ; pride and sentiment play no part in this tragedy; he must smile and take his place in the world again soon now, and the patched-up heart must do its work in place of a whole one. Would there were more such noble natures as belonged to poor, obscure, out-atelbows, humble John Anderson.
“A letter for you, miss, and M. Duchesney waits in the drawing
The tall, gaunt figure." room!”
Meg takes the badly-addressed en “ Heavens !" mutters the maid, marvelope, turns it over and over, wonder- velling what had gone wrong with ing, like the postman, who it can be “Mees Carnegie,” for Meg was usufrom—then, seeing the postmark, tears ally pleasant and affable to the servit open-reads, and with every scrap ants, and they all loved her. of colour faded from her cheeks and Take that hateful dress !” says lips, calls :
Meg; adding, under her breath, “the Marie ! find out for me when the dress I wore when I was base enough next steamer leaves for Glasgow, to promise to marry one man while I Quick !—don't stand staring there ; go, loved another, and that other I know I say."
has never in thought, word or deed The French maid, scarcely under- swerved from me, how could I for a standing, is hesitating, but at the word moment think so?” and she goes on “go!” turns and runs downstairs. throwing to the girl all she can quickShe has scarcely done so ere she is ly get out of the wardrobe, avoiding frantically recalled by her young mis- with a shudder anything belonging to tress.
“ M. Duchesney waits, Mademoi- concert ?” Duchesney stiffly inclines selle,” repeats Marie a second time. his head. "Well, after that there was She has a sincere admiration for the little need to speak. You must have handsome Frenchinan.
known how it was with me.” "Let him—but, no-here, give me "But, I-I—was told you wished my tea gown”—for Meg had been to hold me to my bargain. Not soresting in her dressing gown this not so; I see there has been a leetle miswarm afternoon; and slipping on the understanding all round,” he rejoins. soft, silky, amber-coloured negligé all “ You were indisposed after the conruffled with creamy lace, she runs cert. Mrs. Mackenzie did then tell swiftly downstairs and into the me you had had a leetle affuire in your drawing-room. Not one glance in own country which had been off for the glass had she taken-her hair some time Indeed, I think she imis ruffled, her eyes shining with plied that the young man had—had excitement and looking dark in con- 'cried off '-yes, these were her words. trast to the small, colourless face. It seems she was wrong. My heart has The loose, flowing yellow gown, drawn been at your feet since we met first, in round the waist with Auttering and it is thus you repay me." golden cord and tassels clings softly, “Ah! forgive, forgive me!" says almost pathetically, to the slender Meg, and loyalty to her cousin seals figure-one of those indescribable her lips, though there is anger in his works of art from a fashionable heart against her.
a fashionable heart against her. “ Everything has modiste which are easy and graceful, been wrong, but let there be no more and yet fit perfectly.
deception between us. Let a final deM. Duchesney, in irreproachable cision be come to without interferdress and carefully.pointed beard, turns ence,” drawing up her slight figure, as she enters, twirls his waxed mous-“for what happiness could ever be ours tache, flicks a speck of dust from his if I still deceived myself and you ? coat sleeve with his perfumed hand Meg draws further back as Ducheskerchief, and advances with out- ney again approaches her.
"Take stretched hands, thinking how really this,” she adds, again holding out the charming his Scotch fiancée is looking, glittering ring. “You do not mind
-almost a beauty,and quite a present- very much. Keep it for someone more able Madame Duchesney.
worthy of it than I. I am not worth As he advances Meg retreats, and crying over; besides, my heart has pulling off the diamond hoop, her be- always, always belonged to another, trothal ring, she lays it on the table and I have murdered him.” she has stopped beside.
M. Duchesney, with one or two "Why! what!”-he begins; but staccato bounds, at once widens the Meg makes a gesture for him to cease. distance between them and keeps it.
“This is your ring!” she says, “Those small hands do not look murspeaking quickly, but distinctly, derous,” he is thinking, " but still one though her poor heart is beating never knows” wildly. “I give it back to you. I Meg, divining his thoughts, almost never really loved you, though I was laughs as she reassures him by saying: wicked enough to take your gifts and “Oh! there is no blood on my hands. promise to marry you."
I just broke his heart, that was all. " You speak strangely, Mademoi- He ceased to write to me, I know not selle. Do my feelings count not in why. Something tells me there was this new arrangement ?",
a reason, and that made me angry, you They do—they do. It is for your see. You were always kind and gensake, as well as mine,” cries Meg. erous to me. I liked you.” Duch“ You remember that night at the esney bows stiffly. "I was piqued at
John's silence, and I accepted you; her in her embrace. “Not all your and he trusted me so—he trusted me fault,” repeats Sally; “I plead guilty so! And now he is dying, or dead, and to valuing money, position, fine clothes, that cruel ocean between us, so dark jewels, far more than a true and noble and cold. Oh! forgive me, please, and heart's devotion. I partly, pour pasbelieve me by helping me to go to ser le temps, turned inat aker him. Ah! why did I come here-why tried to tempt Meg to jilt her Scotch did I? Only to work mischief. It is lover because he could give her none all my fault,” and the tears are run- of these advantages; and when I saw ning down her cheeks, and passionate she was determined to remain true to sobs are breaking from her as she him, for her good, as I thought, I holds her hands out beseechingly to wrote to him." Duchesney
Meg starts violently, and, drawing Real feeling begets real feeling, and away from her cousin, raises her head, Meg's some time lover clasps her fixing her soft eyes, with an eager, hands in his, saying in an earnest, sin- breathless look upon her face. "Ah!" cere voice, which is a little shaky, to she cries, her breath coming quick and tell the truth : "Compose yourself, fast—and then she waits. "I wrote dear Miss Carnegie; if you had never to him,” repeats Sally, “and the result come, I would not have been taught was, he ceased writing-details are by you what a most beautiful thing always tiresoine. I did it for the true love is. I used to fancy what best.” you promised me never ‘rang true' - "Oh! Sally, Sally, how could you ? but I could not tell, not knowing what I will never, never forgive you ; it I now know.” A sob from Meg, who was wicked-dishonourable! And poor is crying quietly now. “ If all Scot- John, to mislead him so—and nowtish hearts are as faithful as yours, dead, perhaps ! Ah! Sally, it was then happy is the man who wins one cruel kindness." for his own. We love, but with a dif Cruel fiddlesticks! You ought to ference.”
very much indebted to me for all "Faithful! No, no! I have been vain the trouble I've taken about you, you and silly, and the good things money silly girl.” But there is a rather suscan give tempted ine; I was always picious tremor in Mrs. Mackenzie's mercenary. It is all my fault!” cries voice which belies the off-hand speech, poor Meg. “Ingratitude for kindness and the mauve and gold are close tohas been my return-it is all my gether again, and Sally is softly strokfault !”
ing poor Meg's down-bent brown “No, not all,” says a voice; and it head, upon which, all unknown to her, is Sally's. And then a graceful figure some glittering drops are falling in a cool-looking and chic “get-up And now the dark-eyed cavalier of of pale mauve (for becoming cos- the picture moves into active life and tumes, she confesses, are her strong joins the clinging figures. point) moves across the polished floor, "Compose yourself, dear Miss Carand puts her arm gently round her negie, and we will assist you now. cousin, giving M. Duchesney a bright You wish to go to your friend—your "good afternoon” in passing, and he lover? Well, I shall waste no time in thinks what a pretty picture they seeing about the arrangements. Let make, as the mauve and gold colours us all forget what has passed. It was blend artistically together. Sally was pour passer le temps, as Mrs. Mackenreally sorry for Meg's distress; but zie says. It is over. Let us be good had her cousin worn a blue dressing comrades still, in the days to come. gown, nothing, not even oceans of Au revoir," and with a wave of the tears, would have induced her to fold hand and a smile Duchesney was gone
—and Meg had never felt so near lov- derson is it? Weel, he's comin' round ing him as now.
He'd best look sharp; he's
to be married soon." CHAPTER VIII.
“ Married soon !-Mr. Anderson ?”
and something clutches at Meg's heart, In the twilight of a soft summer and she turns away her face to hide its evening, somewhere about a fortnight paleness, pulling a spray of honeylater, a cab is driving quickly along suckle from the hedge with her tremPrinces-St., Edinburgh, towards the bling hand, and holding it to her lips west end--and the girl seated inside, unsteadily. dressed in grey homespun, and little "I am glad he is coming round, felt hat with jaunty white wings at Sandy," she says. “I must go and the side, feels her heart throb with a congratulate him. Who—who is the great gladness. Now they are passing lady ?”
Sir Walter Scott's monument," and “The leddy, Miss, the leddy, weel, then the grim old Castle, which “stands I'm thinkin' it should be piper's news upon a rock," frowns down upon her; tae ye Miss, for its naebody but yerbut her heart is light, and she sends sel Mr. John 'll be going to marryback a smile for the frown. An or- beggin' yer pardon for takin' the libgan in Castle Street is playing “Home, erty tae say so." And Sandy chuckles Sweet Home,” and Meg leans back to himself as he watches Miss Meg's with a restful feeling she has not felt hasty departure. “ It's a' richt noo, for months.
an’’twas my sendin' that billy-dux Meg, arrived at the said gate, de- that did it. And the pipe comes out scended from her " kerridge," paid her with a gratified flourish, and a "prood" fare, and tripped down the familiar man proceeded to fill and smoke it. lane still perfumed with wild roses and And the young“ leddy” sped nimbly honeysuckle as it had been the day on-on. Opening the back gate she she left nearly a year ago.
steals softly through the well-stocked ‘A year ago !” says she to herself, kitchen garden. Betsy, happily, is it seems like ten. Anyway, I feel nowhere to be seen, so she continues ten years older. Ah, Sandy, is that her way uninterrupted. Through the
1 Gallant as ever!” For the pantry and then along the passage to old man's pipe is instantly shoved the pretty, home-like drawing-room into his coat pocket, and, hat in hand, with all its knick-knacks-the globe he stands with beaming face.
of gold fish, the old-fashioned book“I kent it; I kent it,” he says," for case, with the Waverley novels on the I dreamt I seed ye comin' doon the lowest shelf; and there is the black lane last nicht. An' it's a prood man cat purring away on the big, shabby I am the day, being the first to speer arm-chair which had been her grand'hoo's a' wi ye?'
father's. Meg shakes him vigorously by both It is the “gloaming," and a soft, hands. “Yes, I'm back. East or half light fills the room. The perfume West, Home is best,' Sandy!"
of roses floats in at the open window, “Aye, aye," says the gardener, and one taller than the others is lookYe're richt, only yince I thocht it ing in at a long-legged specimen of wasna' when I broke the gudewife's humanity in flannels, who is lounging best Cheeny teapot, an' she gaed me a back on a low couch, a bit o' her mind-puir Kirsty.” looking bottle and carafe of water on
Sandy, quick, tell me, how is he ?” a small table at his side. A vase of The cunning old servant has his pale green glass filled with Margueturn now. "An' hoo may ye be rites keeps them company. He seems speerin' after? Oh, it's Maister An- dozing. The evening paper has fallen