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East Lynne by Mrs. Henry Wood

Part 3 out of 13

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A post-chaise was discerned thundering up the avenue that Sunday
afternoon. It contained the new peer, Lord Mount Severn. The more
direct line of rail from Castle Marling, brought him only to within
five miles of West Lynne, and thence he had travelled in a hired
chaise. Mr. Carlyle soon joined him, and almost at the same time Mr.
Warburton arrived from London. Absence from town at the period of the
earl's death had prevented Mr. Warburton's earlier attendance.
Business was entered upon immediately.

The present earl knew that his predecessor had been an embarrassed
man, but he had no conception of the extent of the evil; they had not
been intimate, and rarely came in contact. As the various items of
news were now detailed to him--the wasteful expenditure, the
disastrous ruin, the total absence of provision for Isabel--he stood
petrified and aghast. He was a tall stout man, of three-and-forty
years, his nature honorable, his manner cold, and his countenance

"It is the most iniquitous piece of business I ever heard of!" he
exclaimed to the two lawyers. "Of all the reckless fools, Mount Severn
must have been the worst!"

"Unpardonably improvident as regards his daughter," was the assenting

"Improvident! It must have been rank madness!" retorted the earl. "No
man in his senses could leave a child to the mercy of the world, as he
has left her. She has not a shilling--literally, not a shilling in her
possession. I put the question to her, what money there was in the
house when the earl died. Twenty or twenty-five pounds, she answered,
which she had given to Mason, who required it for housekeeping
purposes. If the girl wants a yard of ribbon for herself, she has not
the pence to pay for it! Can you realize such a case to the mind?"
continued the excited peer. "I will stake my veracity that such a one
never occurred yet."

"No money for her own personal wants!" exclaimed Mr. Carlyle.

"Not a halfpenny in the world. And there are no funds, and will be
none, that I can see, for her to draw upon."

"Quite correct, my lord," nodded Mr. Warburton. "The entailed estates
go to you, and what trifling matter of personal property may be left
the creditors will take care of."

"I understand East Lynne is yours," cried the earl, turning sharply
upon Mr. Carlyle; "Isabel has just said so."

"It is," was the reply. "It became mine last June. I believe his
lordship kept the fact a close secret."

"He was obliged to keep it a secret," interposed Mr. Warburton,
addressing Lord Mount Severn, "for not a stiver of the purchase money
could he have fingered had it got wind. Except ourselves and Mr.
Carlyle's agents, the fact was made known to none."

"It is strange, sir, that you could not urge the claims of his child
upon the earl," rejoined the new peer to Mr. Warburton, his tone one
of harsh reproof. "You were in his confidence; you knew the state of
his affairs; it was in your line of duty to do it."

"Knowing the state of his affairs, my lord, we knew how useless the
urging it would be," returned Mr. Warburton. "Your lordship has but a
faint idea of the burdens Lord Mount Severn had upon him. The interest
alone upon his debts was frightful--and the deuce's own work it was to
get it. Not to speak of the kites he let loose; he would fly them, and
nothing could stop him; and they had to be provided for."

"Oh, I know," replied the earl, with a gesture of contempt. "Drawing
one bill to cover another; that was his system."

"Draw!" echoed Mr. Warburton. "He would have drawn a bill on Aldgate
pump. It was a downright mania with him."

"Urged to it by his necessities, I conclude," put in Mr. Carlyle.

"He had no business to have such necessities, sir," cried the earl,
wrathfully. "But let us proceed to business. What money is there lying
at his banker's, Mr. Warburton? Do you know?"

"None," was the blank reply. "We overdrew the account ourselves, a
fortnight ago, to meet one of his pressing liabilities. We hold a
little; and, had he lived a week or two longer, the autumn rents would
have been paid in--though they must have been as quickly paid out

"I'm glad there's something. What is the amount?"

"My lord," answered Mr. Warburton, shaking his head in a self-
condoling manner, "I am sorry to tell you that what we hold will not
half satisfy our own claims; money actually paid out of our pockets."

"Then where on earth is the money to come from, sir? For the funeral--
for the servants' wages--for everything, in fact?"

"There is none to come from anywhere," was the reply of Mr. Warburton.

Lord Mount Severn strode the carpet more fiercely. "Wicked
improvidence! Shameful profligacy; callous-hearted man! To live a
rogue and die a beggar--leaving his daughter to the charity of

"Her case presents the worst feature of the whole," remarked Mr.
Carlyle. "What will she do for a home?"

"She must, of course, find it with me," replied his lordship; "and, I
should hope, a better one than this. With all these debts and duns at
his elbow, Mount Severn's house could not have been a bower of roses."

"I fancy she knew nothing of the state of affairs; had seen little, if
anything, of the embarrassments," returned Mr. Carlyle.

"Nonsense!" said the peer.

"Mr. Carlyle is right, my lord," observed Mr. Warburton, looking over
his spectacles. "Lady Isabel was in safety at Mount Severn till the
spring, and the purchase money from East Lynne--what the earl could
touch of it--was a stop-gap for many things, and made matters easy for
the moment. However, his imprudences are at an end now."

"No, they are not at an end," returned Lord Mount Severn; "they leave
their effects behind them. I hear there was a fine scene yesterday
morning; some of the unfortunate wretches he has taken in made their
appearance here, all the way from town."

"Oh, they are Jews half of them," slightingly spoke Mr. Warburton. "If
they do lose a little, it will be an agreeable novelty to them."

"Jews have as much right to their own as we have, Mr. Warburton," was
the peer's angry reprimand. "And if they were Turks and infidels, it
would not excuse Mount Severn's practices. Isabel says it was you, Mr.
Carlyle, who contrived to get rid of them."

"By convincing them that East Lynne and its furniture belonged to me.
But there are those two men upstairs, in possession of--of him; I
could not get rid of them."

The earl looked at him. "I do not understand you."

"Did you not know that they have seized the corpse?" asked Mr.
Carlyle, dropping his voice. "Two men have been posted over it, like
sentinels, since yesterday morning. And there's a third in the house,
I hear, who relieves each other by turn, that they may go down in the
hall and take their meals."

The earl had halted in his walk and drawn near to Mr. Carlyle, his
mouth open, his face a marvel of consternation. "By George!" was all
Mr. Warburton uttered, and snatched off his glasses.

"Mr. Carlyle, do I understand you aright--that the body of the late
earl has been seized for a debt?" demanded the peer, solemnly. "Seize
a dead body! Am I awake or dreaming?"

"It is what they have done. They got into the room by stratagem."

"Is it possible that transactions so infamous are permitted by our
law?" ejaculated the earl. "Arrest a dead man! I never heard of such a
thing. I am shocked beyond expression. Isabel said something about two
men, I remember; but she was so full of grief and agitation
altogether, that I but half comprehended what she did say upon the
subject. Why, what will be done? Can't we bury him?"

"I fancy not. The housekeeper told me, this morning, she feared they
would not even suffer the coffin to be closed down. And that ought to
be done with all convenient speed."

"It is perfectly horrible!" uttered the earl.

"Who has done it--do you know?" inquired Mr. Warburton.

"Somebody of the name of Anstey," replied Mr. Carlyle. "In the absence
of any member of the family, I took upon myself to pay the chamber a
visit and examine into the men's authority. The claim is about three
thousand pounds."

"If it's Anstey who has done it it is a personal debt of the earl's,
really owing, every pound of it," observed Mr. Warburton. "A sharp
man, though, that Anstey, to hit upon such a scheme."

"And a shameless and a scandalous man," added Lord Mount Severn.
"Well, this is a pretty thing. What's to be done?"

While they consult, let us look for a moment at Lady Isabel. She sat
alone, in great perplexity, indulging the deepest grief. Lord Mount
Severn had intimated to her, kindly and affectionately, that
henceforth she must find her home with him and his wife. Isabel
returned a faint "Thank you" and as soon as he left her, burst into a
paroxysm of rebellious tears. "Have her home with Mrs. Vane!" she
uttered to her own heart; "No, never; rather would she die--rather
would she eat a crust and drink water!" and so on, and so on. Young
demoiselles are somewhat prone to indulge in these flights of fancy;
but they are in most cases impracticable and foolish--exceedingly so
in that of Lady Isabel Vane. Work for their living? It may appear very
feasible in theory; but theory and practice are as opposite as light
and dark. The plain fact was, that Isabel had no alternative whatever,
save that of accepting a home with Lady Mount Severn; and the
conviction that it must be so stole over her spirit, even while her
hasty lips were protesting that she would not.

Two mourners only attended the funeral--the earl and Mr. Carlyle. The
latter was no relative of the deceased, and but a very recent friend;
but the earl had invited him, probably not liking the parading, solus,
his trappings of woe. Some of the county aristocracy were pallbearers,
and many private carriages followed.

All was bustle on the following morning. The earl was to depart, and
Isabel was to depart, but not together. In the course of the day the
domestics would disperse. The earl was speeding to London, and the
chaise to convey him to the railway station at West Lynne was already
at the door when Mr. Carlyle arrived.

"I was getting fidgety fearing you would not be here, for I have
barely five minutes to spare," observed the earl, as he shook hands.
"You are sure you fully understood about the tombstone?"

"Perfectly," replied Mr. Carlyle. "How is Lady Isabel?"

"Very down-hearted, I fear, poor child, for she did not breakfast with
me," replied the earl. "Mason privately told me that she was in a
convulsion of grief. A bad man, a /bad/ man, was Mount Severn," he
emphatically added, as he rose and rang the bell.

"Let Lady Isabel be informed that I am ready to depart, and that I
wait to see her," he said the servant who answered it. "And while she
is coming, Mr. Carlyle," he added, "allow me to express my obligations
to you. How I should have got along in this worrying business without
you, I cannot divine. You have promised, mind, to pay me a visit, and
I shall expect it speedily."

"Promised conditionally--that I find myself in your neighborhood,"
smiled Mr. Carlyle. "Should--"

Isabel entered, dressed also, and ready, for she was to depart
immediately after the earl. Her crape veil was over her face, but she
threw it back.

"My time is up, Isabel, and I must go. Is there anything you wish to
say to me?"

She opened her lips to speak, but glanced at Mr. Carlyle and
hesitated. He was standing at the window, his back towards them.

"I suppose not," said the earl, answering himself, for he was in a
fever of hurry to be off, like many others are when starting on a
journey. "You will have no trouble whatever, my dear; only mind you
get some refreshments in the middle of the day, for you won't be at
Castle Marling before dinner-time. Tell Mrs. Va--tell Lady Mount
Severn that I had no time to write, but will do so from town."

But Isabel stood before him in an attitude of uncertainty--of
expectancy, it may be said, her color varying.

"What is it, you wish to say something?"

She certainly did wish to say something, but she did not know how. It
was a moment of embarrassment to her, intensely painful, and the
presence of Mr. Carlyle did not tend to lessen it. The latter had no
idea his absence was wished for.

"Bless me, Isabel! I declare I forgot all about it," cried the earl,
in a tone of vexation. "Not being accustomed to--this aspect of
affairs is so new--" He broke off his disjointed sentences, unbuttoned
his coat, drew out his purse, and paused over its contents.

"Isabel, I have run myself very short, and have but little beyond what
will take me to town. You must make three pounds do for now, my dear.
Once at Castle Marling--Pound has the funds for the journey--Lady
Mount Severn will supply you; but you must tell her, or she will not

He shot some gold out of his purse as he spoke, and left two
sovereigns and two half sovereigns on the table. "Farewell, my dear;
make yourself happy at Castle Marling. I shall be home soon."

Passing from the room with Mr. Carlyle, he stood talking with that
gentleman a minute, his foot on the step of the chaise, and the next
was being whisked away. Mr. Carlyle returned to the breakfast-room,
where Isabel, an ashy whiteness having replaced the crimson on her
cheeks, was picking up the gold.

"Will you do me a favor, Mr. Carlyle?"

"I will do anything I can for you."

She pushed a sovereign and a half toward him. "It is for Mr. Kane. I
told Marvel to send in and pay him, but it seems she forgot it, or put
it off, and he is not paid. The tickets were a sovereign; the rest is
for tuning the piano. Will you kindly give it him? If I trust one of
the servants it may be forgotten again in the hurry of their

"Kane's charge for tuning a piano is five shillings," remarked Mr.

"But he was a long time occupied with it, and did something with the
leathers. It is not too much; besides I never ordered him anything to
eat. He wants money even worse than I do," she added, with a poor
attempt at a smile. "But for thinking of him I should not have
mustered the courage to beg of Lord Mount Severn, as you have just
heard me do. In that case do you know what I should have done?"

"What should you have done?" he smiled.

"I should have asked you to pay him for me, and I would have repaid
you as soon as I had any money. I had a great mind to ask you, do you
know; it would have been less painful than being obliged to beg of
Lord Mount Severn."

"I hope it would," he answered, in a low, earnest tone. "What else can
I do for you?"

She was about to answer "Nothing--that he had done enough," but at
that moment their attention was attracted by a bustle outside, and
they moved to the window.

It was the carriage coming round for Lady Isabel--the late earl's
chariot, which was to convey her to the railway station six or seven
miles off. It had four post-horses to it, the number having been
designated by Lord Mount Severn, who appeared to wish Isabel to leave
the neighborhood in as much state as she had entered it. The carriage
was packed, and Marvel was perched outside.

"All is ready," she said, "and the time is come for me to go. Mr.
Carlyle I am going to leave you a legacy--those pretty gold and silver
fish that I bought a few weeks back."

"But why do you not take them?"

"Take them to Lady Mount Severn! No, I would rather leave them with
you. Throw a few crumbs into the globe now and then."

Her face was wet with tears, and he knew that she was talking
hurriedly to cover her emotion.

"Sit down a few minutes," he said.

"No--no. I had better go at once."

He took her hand to conduct her to the carriage. The servants were
gathered in the hall, waiting for her. Some had grown gray in her
father's service. She put out her hand, she strove to say a word of
thanks and of farewell, and she thought she would choke at the effort
of keeping down the sobs. At length it was over; a kind look around, a
yearning wave of the hand, and she passed on with Mr. Carlyle.

Pound had ascended to his place by Marvel, and the postboys were
awaiting the signal to start, but Mr. Carlyle had the carriage door
open again, and was bending in holding her hand.

"I have not said a word of thanks to you for all your kindness, Mr.
Carlyle," she cried, her breath very labored. "I am sure you have seen
that I could not."

"I wish I could have done more; I wish I could have shielded you from
the annoyances you have been obliged to endure!" he answered. "Should
we never meet again--"

"Oh, but we shall meet again," she interrupted. "You promised Lord
Mount Severn."

"True; we may so meet casually--once in a way; but our ordinary paths
in life lie far and wide apart. God forever bless you, dear Lady

The postboys touched their horses, and the carriage sped on. She drew
down the blinds and leaned back in an agony of tears--tears for the
house she was leaving, for the father she had lost. Her last thoughts
had been of gratitude to Mr. Carlyle: but she had more cause to be
grateful to him than she yet knew of. Emotion soon spent itself, and,
as her eyes cleared, she saw a bit of crumpled paper lying on her lap,
which appeared to have fallen from her hand. Mechanically she took it
up and opened it; it was a bank-note for one hundred pounds.

Ah, reader! You will say that this is a romance of fiction, and a far-
fetched one, but it is verily and indeed true. Mr. Carlyle had taken
it with him to East Lynne, that morning, with its destined purpose.

Lady Isabel strained her eyes, and gazed at the note--gazed and gazed
again. Where could it have come from? What had brought it there?
Suddenly the undoubted truth flashed upon her; Mr. Carlyle had left it
in her hand.

Her cheeks burned, her fingers trembled, her angry spirit rose up in
arms. In that first moment of discovery, she was ready to resent it as
an insult; but when she came to remember the sober facts of the last
few days, her anger subsided into admiration of his wondrous kindness.
Did he not know that she was without a home to call her own, without
money--absolutely without money, save what would be given her in

When Lord Mount Severn reached London, and the hotel which the Vanes
were in the habit of using, the first object his eyes lighted on was
his own wife, whom he had believed to be safe at Castle Marling. He
inquired the cause.

Lady Mount Severn gave herself little trouble to explain. She had been
up a day or two--could order her mourning so much better in person--
and William did not seem well, so she bought him up for a change.

"I am sorry you came to town, Emma," remarked the earl, after
listening. "Isabel is gone to-day to Castle Marling."

Lady Mount Severn quickly lifted her head, "What's she gone there

"It is the most disgraceful piece of business altogether," returned
the earl, without replying to the immediate question. "Mount Severn
has died, worse than a beggar, and there's not a shilling for Isabel."

"It never was expected there would be much."

"But there's nothing--not a penny; nothing for her own personal
expenses. I gave her a pound or two to-day, for she was completely

The countess opened her eyes. "Where will she live? What will become
of her?"

"She must live with us. She--"

"With us!" interrupted Lady Mount Severn, her voice almost reaching a
scream. "That she never shall."

"She must, Emma. There is nowhere else for her to live. I have been
obliged to decide it so; and she is gone, as I tell you, to Castle
Marling to-day."

Lady Mount Severn grew pale with anger. She rose from her seat and
confronted her husband, the table being between them. "Listen,
Raymond; I /will not/ have Isabel Vane under my roof. I hate her. How
could you be cajoled into sanctioning such a thing?"

"I was not cajoled, and my sanction was not asked," he mildly replied.
"I proposed it. Where else is she to be?"

"I don't care where," was the obstinate retort. "Never with us."

"She is at Castle Marling now--gone to it as her home," resumed the
earl; "and even you, when you return, will scarcely venture to turn
her out again into the road, or to the workhouse. She will not trouble
you long," carelessly continued the earl. "One so lovely as Isabel
will be sure to marry early; and she appears as gentle and sweet-
tempered a girl as I ever saw; so whence can arise your dislike to
her, I don't pretend to guess. Many a man will be ready to forget her
want of fortune for the sake of her face."

"She shall marry the first who asks her," snapped the angry lady;
"I'll take care of that."



Isabel had been in her new home about ten days, when Lord and Lady
Mount Severn arrived at Castle Marling, which was not a castle, you
may as well be told, but only the name of a town, nearly contiguous to
which was their residence, a small estate. Lord Mount Severn welcomed
Isabel; Lady Mount Severn also, after a fashion; but her manner was so
repellant, so insolently patronizing, that it brought the indignant
crimson to the cheeks of Lady Isabel. And if this was the case at the
first meeting, what do you suppose it must have been as time went on?
Galling slights, petty vexations, chilling annoyances were put upon
her, trying her powers of endurance to the very length of their
tether; she would wring her hands when alone, and passionately wish
that she could find another refuge.

The earl and countess had two children, both boys, and in February the
younger one, always a delicate child, died. This somewhat altered
their plans. Instead of proceeding to London after Easter, as had been
decided upon, they would not go till May. The earl had passed part of
the winter at Mount Severn, looking after the repairs and renovations
that were being made there. In March he went to Paris, full of grief
for the loss of his boy--far greater grief than was experienced by
Lady Mount Severn.

April approached and with it Easter. To the unconcealed dismay of Lady
Mount Severn, her grandmother, Mrs. Levison, wrote her word that she
required change, and should pass Easter with her at Castle Marling.
Lady Mount Severn would have given her diamonds to have got out of it,
but there was no escape--diamonds that were once Isabel's--at least,
that Isabel had worn. On the Monday in Passion Week the old lady
arrived, and with her Francis Levison. They had no other guests.
Things went on pretty smoothly till Good Friday.

On Good Friday afternoon, Isabel strolled out with little William
Vane; Captain Levison joined them, and they never came in till nearly
dinner-time, when the three entered together, Lady Mount Severn doing
penance all the time, and nursing her rage against Isabel, for Mrs.
Levison kept her indoors. There was barely time to dress for dinner,
and Isabel went straight to her room. Her dress was off, her dressing-
gown on. Marvel was busy with her hair, and William chattering at her
knee, when the door was flung open, and my lady entered.

"Where have you been?" demanded she, shaking with passion. Isabel knew
the signs.

"Strolling about in the shrubberies and grounds," answered Isabel.

"How dare you so disgrace yourself!"

"I do not understand you," said Isabel, her heart beginning to beat
unpleasantly. "Marvel, you are pulling my hair."

When women liable to intemperate fits of passion give the reins to
them, they neither know nor care what they say. Lady Mount Severn
broke into a torrent of reproach and abuses, most degrading and

"Is it not sufficient that you are allowed an asylum in my house, but
you must also disgrace it! Three hours have you been hiding yourself
with Francis Levison! You have done nothing but flirt with him from
the moment he came; you did nothing else at Christmas."

The attack was longer and broader, but that was the substance of it,
and Isabel was goaded to resistance, to anger little less great than
that of the countess. This!--and before her attendant! She, an earl's
daughter, so much better born than Emma Mount Severn, to be thus
insultingly accused in the other's mad jealousy. Isabel tossed her
hair from the hands of Marvel, rose up and confronted the countess,
constraining her voice to calmness.

"I do not flirt!" she said; "I have never flirted. I leave that"--and
she could not wholly suppress in tone the scorn she felt--"to married
women; though it seems to me that it is a fault less venial in them
than in single ones. There is but one inmate of this house who flirts,
so far as I have seen since I have lived in it; is it you or I, Lady
Mount Severn?"

The home truth told on her ladyship. She turned white with rage,
forgot her manners, and, raising her right hand, struck Isabel a
stinging blow upon the left cheek. Confused and terrified, Isabel
stood in pain, and before she could speak or act, my lady's left hand
was raised to the other cheek, and a blow left on that. Lady Isabel
shivered as with a sudden chill, and cried out--a sharp, quick cry--
covered her outraged face, and sank down upon the dressing chair.
Marvel threw up her hands in dismay, and William Vane could not have
burst into a louder roar had he been beaten himself. The boy--he was
of a sensitive nature--was frightened.

My good reader, are you one of the inexperienced ones who borrow
notions of "fashionable life" from the novels got in a library, taking
their high-flown contents for gospel, and religiously believing that
lords and ladies live upon stilts, speak, eat, move, breathe, by the
rules of good-breeding only? Are you under the delusion--too many are
--that the days of dukes and duchesses are spent discussing "pictures,
tastes, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses?"--that they are strung
on polite wires of silver, and can't get off the hinges, never giving
vent to angry tempers, to words unorthodox, as commonplace mortals do?
That will come to pass when the Great Creator shall see fit to send
men into the world free from baneful tempers, evil passions, from the
sins bequeathed from the fall of Adam.

Lady Mount Severn finished up the scene by boxing William for his
noise, jerked him out of the room, and told him he was a monkey.

Isabel Vane lived through the livelong night, weeping tears of anguish
and indignation. She would not remain at Castle Marling--who would,
after so great an outrage? Yet where was she to go? Fifty times in the
course of the night did she wish that she was laid beside her father,
for her feelings obtained the mastery of her reason; in her calm
moments she would have shrunk from the idea of death as the young and
healthy must do.

She rose on the Saturday morning weak and languid, the effects of the
night of grief, and Marvel brought her breakfast up. William Vane
stole into her room afterward; he was attached to her in a remarkable

"Mamma's going out," he exclaimed, in the course of the morning.
"Look, Isabel."

Isabel went to the window. Lady Mount Severn was in the pony carriage,
Francis Levison driving.

"We can go down now, Isabel, nobody will be there."

She assented, and went down with William; but scarcely were they in
the drawing-room when a servant entered with a card on a salver.

"A gentleman, my lady, wishes to see you."

"To see me!" returned Isabel, in surprise, "or Lady Mount Severn?"

"He asked for you, my lady."

She took up the card. "Mr. Carlyle." "Oh!" she uttered, in a tone of
joyful surprise, "show him in."

It is curious, nay, appalling, to trace the thread in a human life;
how the most trivial occurrences lead to the great events of
existence, bringing forth happiness or misery, weal or woe. A client
of Mr. Carlyle's, travelling from one part of England to the other,
was arrested by illness at Castle Marling--grave illness, it appeared
to be, inducing fears of death. He had not, as the phrase goes,
settled his affairs, and Mr. Carlyle was telegraphed for in haste, to
make his will, and for other private matters. A very simple occurrence
it appeared to Mr. Carlyle, this journey, and yet it was destined to
lead to events that would end only with his own life.

Mr. Carlyle entered, unaffected and gentlemanly as ever, with his
noble form, his attractive face, and his drooping eyelids. She
advanced to meet him, holding out her hand, her countenance betraying
her pleasure.

"This is indeed unexpected," she exclaimed. "How very pleased I am to
see you."

"Business brought me yesterday to Castle Marling. I could not leave it
again without calling on you. I hear that Lord Mount Severn is

"He is in France," she rejoined. "I said we should be sure to meet
again; do you remember, Mr. Carlyle? You----"

Isabel suddenly stopped; for with the word "remember," she also
remembered something--the hundred pound note--and what she was saying
faltered on her tongue. Confused, indeed, grew she: for, alas! she had
changed and partly spent it. /How/ was it possible to ask Lady Mount
Severn for money? And the earl was nearly always away. Mr. Carlyle saw
her embarrassment, though he may not have detected its cause.

"What a fine boy!" exclaimed he, looking at the child.

"It is Lord Vane," said Isabel.

"A truthful, earnest spire, I am sure," he continued, gazing at his
open countenance. "How old are you, my little man?"

"I am six, sir; and my brother was four."

Isabel bent over the child--an excuse to cover her perplexity. "You do
not know this gentleman, William. It is Mr. Carlyle, and he has been
very kind to me."

The little lord had turned his thoughtful eyes on Mr. Carlyle,
apparently studying his countenance. "I shall like you, sir, if you
are kind to Isabel. Are you kind to her?"

"Very, very kind," murmured Lady Isabel, leaving William, and turning
to Mr. Carlyle, but not looking at him. "I don't know what to say; I
ought to thank you. I did not intend to use the--to use it; but I--

"Hush!" he interrupted, laughing at her confusion. "I do not know what
you are talking of. I have a great misfortune to break to you, Lady

She lifted her eyes and her glowing cheeks, somewhat aroused from her
own thoughts.

"Two of your fish are dead. The gold ones."

"Are they?"

"I believe it was the frost killed them; I don't know what else it
could have been. You may remember those bitter days we had in January;
they died then."

"You are very good to take care of them all this while. How is East
Lynne looking? Dear East Lynne! Is it occupied?"

"Not yet. I have spent some money upon it, and it repays the outlay."

The excitement of his arrival had worn off, and she was looking
herself again, pale and sad; he could not help observing that she was

"I cannot expect to look so well at Castle Marling as I did at East
Lynne," she answered.

"I trust it is a happy home to you?" said Mr. Carlyle, speaking upon

She glanced up at him a look that he would never forget; it certainly
told of despair. "No," she said, shaking her head, "it is a miserable
home, and I cannot remain in it. I have been awake all night, thinking
where I can go, but I cannot tell; I have not a friend in the wide

Never let people talk secrets before children, for be assured that
they comprehend a vast deal more than is expedient; the saying "that
little pitchers have great ears" is wonderfully true. Lord Vane held
up his hand to Mr. Carlyle,--

"Isabel told me this morning that she should go away from us. Shall I
tell you why? Mamma beat her yesterday when she was angry."

"Be quiet, William!" interrupted Lady Isabel, her face in a flame.

"Two great slaps upon her cheeks," continued the young viscount; "and
Isabel cried so, and I screamed, and then mamma hit me. But boys are
made to be hit; nurse says so. Marvel came into the nursery when we
were at tea, and told nurse about it. She says Isabel's too good-
looking, and that's why mamma--"

Isabel stopped the child's tongue, rang a peal on the bell, and
marched him to the door, dispatching him to the nursery by the servant
who answered it.

Mr. Carlyle's eyes were full of indignant sympathy. "Can this be
true?" he asked, in a low tone when she returned to him. "You do,
indeed, want a friend."

"I must bear my lot," she replied, obeying the impulse which prompted
her to confide in Mr. Carlyle; "at least till Lord Mount Severn

"And then?"

"I really do not know," she said, the rebellious tears rising faster
than she could choke them down. "He has no other home to offer me; but
with Lady Mount Severn I cannot and will not remain. She would break
my heart, as she has already well-nigh broken my spirit. I have not
deserved it of her, Mr. Carlyle."

"No, I am sure you have not," he warmly answered. "I wish I could help
you! What can I do?"

"You can do nothing," she said. "What can any one do?"

"I wish, I wish I could help you!" he repeated. "East Lynne was not,
take it for all in all, a pleasant home to you, but it seems you
changed for the worse when you left."

"Not a pleasant home?" she echoed, its reminiscences appearing
delightful in that moment, for it must be remembered that all things
are estimated by comparison. "Indeed it was; I may never have so
pleasant a one again. Mr. Carlyle, do not disparage East Lynne to me!
Would I could awake and find the last few months but a hideous dream!
--that I could find my dear father alive again!--that we were still
living peacefully at East Lynne. It would be a very Eden to me now."

What was Mr. Carlyle about to say? What emotion was it that agitated
his countenance, impeded his breath, and dyed his face blood-red? His
better genius was surely not watching over him, or those words had
never been spoken.

"There is but one way," he began, taking her hand and nervously
playing with it, probably unconscious that he did so; "only one way in
which you could return to East Lynne. And that way--I may not presume,
perhaps, to point it out."

She looked at him and waited for an explanation.

"If my words offend you, Lady Isabel, check them, as their presumption
deserves, and pardon me. May I--dare I--offer you to return to East
Lynne as its mistress?"

She did not comprehend him in the slightest degree: the drift of his
meaning never dawned upon her. "Return to East Lynne as its mistress?"
she repeated, in bewilderment.

"And as my wife?"

No possibility of misunderstanding him now, and the shock and surprise
were great. She had stood there by Mr. Carlyle's side conversing
confidentially with him, esteeming him greatly, feeling as if he were
her truest friend on earth, clinging to him in her heart as to a
powerful haven of refuge, loving him almost as she would a brother,
suffering her hand to remain in his. /But to be his wife!/ the idea
had never presented itself to her in any shape until this moment, and
her mind's first emotion was one of entire opposition, her first
movement to express it, as she essayed to withdraw herself and her
hand away from him.

But not so; Mr. Carlyle did not suffer it. He not only retained that
hand, but took the other also, and spoke, now the ice was broken,
eloquent words of love. Not unmeaning phrases of rhapsody, about
hearts and darts and dying for her, such as somebody else might have
given utterance to, but earnest-hearted words of deep tenderness,
calculated to win upon the mind's good sense, as well as upon the ear
and heart; and it may be that, had her imagination not been filled up
with that "somebody else," she would have said "Yes," there and then.

They were suddenly interrupted. Lady Mount Severn entered, and took in
the scene at a glance; Mr. Carlyle's bent attitude of devotion, his
imprisonment of the hands, and Isabel's perplexed and blushing
countenance. She threw up her head and her little inquisitive nose,
and stopped short on the carpet; her freezing looks demanded an
explanation, as plainly as looks can do it. Mr. Carlyle turned to her,
and by way of sparing Isabel, proceeded to introduce himself. Isabel
had just presence of mind left to name her: "Lady Mount Severn."

"I am sorry that Lord Mount Severn should be absent, to whom I have
the honor of being known," he said. "I am Mr. Carlyle."

"I have heard of you," replied her ladyship, scanning his good looks,
and feeling cross that his homage should be given where she saw it was
given, "but I had /not/ heard that you and Lady Isabel Vane were on
the extraordinary terms of intimacy that--that----"

"Madam," he interrupted as he handed a chair to her ladyship and took
another himself, "we have never yet been on terms of extraordinary
intimacy. I was begging the Lady Isabel to grant that we may be; I was
asking her to become my wife."

The avowal was as a shower of incense to the countess, and her ill
humor melted into sunshine. It was a solution to her great difficulty,
a loophole by which she might get rid of her /bete noire/, the hated
Isabel. A flush of gratification lighted her face, and she became full
of graciousness to Mr. Carlyle.

"How very grateful Isabel must feel to you," quoth she. "I speak
openly, Mr. Carlyle, because I know that you were cognizant of the
unprotected state in which she was left by the earl's improvidence,
putting marriage for her, at any rate, a high marriage, nearly out of
the question. East Lynne is a beautiful place, I have heard."

"For its size; it is not large," replied Mr. Carlyle, as he rose for
Isabel had also risen and was coming forward.

"And pray what is Lady Isabel's answer?" quickly asked the countess,
turning to her.

Not to her did Isabel condescend to give an answer, but she approached
Mr. Carlyle, and spoke in a low tone.

"Will you give me a few hours for consideration?"

"I am only too happy that you should accord it consideration, for it
speaks to me of hope," was his reply, as he opened the door for her to
pass out. "I will be here again this afternoon."

It was a perplexing debate that Lady Isabel held with herself in the
solitude of her chamber, whilst Mr. Carlyle touched upon ways and
means to Lady Mount Severn. Isabel was little more than a child, and
as a child she reasoned, looking neither far nor deep: the shallow
palpable aspect of affairs alone presenting itself to her view. That
Mr. Carlyle was not of rank equal to her own, she scarcely remembered;
East Lynne seemed a very fair settlement in life, and in point of
size, beauty and importance, it was far superior to the house she was
now in. She forgot that her position in East Lynne as Mr. Carlyle's
wife would not be what it had been as Lord Mount Severn's daughter;
she forgot that she would be tied to a quiet house, shut out from the
great world, the pomps and vanities to which she was born. She liked
Mr. Carlyle much; she experienced pleasure in conversing with him; she
liked to be with him; in short, but for that other ill-omened fancy
which had crept over her, there would have been danger of her falling
in love with Mr. Carlyle. And oh! to be removed forever from the
bitter dependence on Lady Mount Severn--East Lynne would in truth,
after that, seem what she had called it: Eden.

"So far it looks favorable," mentally exclaimed poor Isabel, "but
there is the other side of the question. It is not only that I do not
love Mr. Carlyle, but I fear I do love, or very nearly love, Francis
Levison. I wish /he/ would ask me to be his wife!--or that I had never
seen him."

Isabel's soliloquy was interrupted by the entrance of Mrs. Levison and
the countess. What the latter had said to the old lady to win her to
the cause, was best known to herself, but she was eloquent in it. They
both used every possible argument to induce her to accept Mr. Carlyle:
the old lady declaring that she had never been introduced to any one
she was so much taken with, and Mrs. Levison was incapable of
asserting what was not true; that he was worth a dozen empty-headed
men of the great world.

Isabel listened, now swayed one way, now the other, and when afternoon
came, her head was aching with perplexity. The stumbling block that
she could not get over was Francis Levison. She saw Mr. Carlyle
approach from her window, and went down to the drawing-room, not in
the least knowing what her answer was to be; a shadowy idea was
presenting itself, that she would ask him for longer time, and write
her answer.

In the drawing-room was Francis Levison, and her heart beat wildly;
which said beating might have convinced her that she ought not to
marry another.

"Where have you been hiding yourself?" cried he. "Did you hear of our
mishap with the pony carriage?"

"No," was her answer.

"I was driving Emma into town. The pony took fright, kicked, plunged
and went down upon his knees; she took fright in turn, got out, and
walked back. So I gave the brute some chastisement and a race, and
brought him to the stables, getting home in time to be introduced to
Mr. Carlyle. He seems an out-and-out good fellow, Isabel, and I
congratulate you."

"What!" she uttered.

"Don't start. We are all in the family, and my lady told; I won't
betray it abroad. She says East Lynne is a place to be coveted; I wish
you happiness, Isabel."

"Thank you," she returned in a sarcastic tone, though her throat beat
and her lips quivered. "You are premature in your congratulations,
Captain Levison."

"Am I? Keep my good wishes, then, till the right man comes. I am
beyond the pale myself, and dare not think of entering the happy
state," he added, in a pointed tone. "I have indulged dreams of it,
like others, but I cannot afford to indulge them seriously; a poor
man, with uncertain prospects can only play the butterfly, perhaps to
his life's end."

He quitted the room as he spoke. It was impossible for Isabel to
misunderstand him, but a feeling shot across her mind, for the first
time, that he was false and heartless. One of the servants appeared,
showing in Mr. Carlyle; nothing false or heartless about /him/. He
closed the door, and approached her, but she did not speak, and her
lips were white and trembling. Mr. Carlyle waited.

"Well," he said at length, in a gentle tone, "have you decided to
grant my prayer?"

"Yes. But--" She could not go on. What with one agitation and another,
she had difficulty in conquering her emotion. "But--I was going to
tell you----"

"Presently," he whispered, leading her to a sofa, "we can both afford
to wait now. Oh, Isabel, you have made me very happy!"

"I ought to tell you, I must tell you," she began again, in the midst
of hysterical tears. "Though I have said 'yes' to your proposal, I do
not--yet---- It has come upon me by surprise," she stammered. "I like
you very much; I esteem and respect you; but I do not love you."

"I should wonder if you did. But you will let me earn your love,

"Oh, yes," she earnestly answered. "I hope so."

He drew her closer to him, bent his face, and took from her lips his
first kiss. Isabel was passive; she supposed he had gained the right
to do so. "My dearest! It is all I ask."



The sensations of Mr. Carlyle, when he returned to West Lynne, were
much like those of an Eton boy, who knows he has been in mischief, and
dreads detection. Always open as to his own affairs--for he had
nothing to conceal--he yet deemed it expedient to dissemble now. He
felt that his sister would be bitter at the prospect of his marrying;
instinct had taught him that, years past; and he believed that, of all
women, the most objectionable to her would be Lady Isabel, for Miss
Carlyle looked to the useful, and had neither sympathy nor admiration
for the beautiful. He was not sure but she might be capable of
endeavoring to frustrate the marriage should news of it reach her
ears, and her indomitable will had caused many strange things in her
life; therefore, you will not blame Mr. Carlyle for observing entire
reticence as to his future plans.

A family of the name of Carew had been about taking East Lynne; they
wished to rent it, furnished, for three years. Upon some of the minor
arrangements they and Mr. Carlyle were opposed, but the latter
declined to give way. During his absence at Castle Marling, news had
arrived from them--they had acceded to all his terms, and would enter
upon East Lynne as soon as it was convenient. Miss Carlyle was full of
congratulations; it was off their hands, she said; but the fist letter
Mr. Carlyle wrote was--to decline them. He did not tell this to Miss
Carlyle. The final touches to the house were given, preparatory to the
reception of its inhabitants, and three maids and two men servants
hired and sent there, upon board wages, until the family should

One evening three weeks subsequent to Mr. Carlyle's visit to Castle
Marling, Barbara Hare called at Miss Carlyle's, and found them going
to tea much earlier than usual.

"We dined earlier," said Miss Corny, "and I ordered tea as soon as the
dinner went away. Otherwise, Archibald would have taken none."

"I am as well without tea. And I have a mass of business to get
through yet."

"You are not as well without it," cried Miss Corny, "and I don't
choose you should go without it. Take off your bonnet, Barbara. He
does things like nobody else; he is off to Castle Marling to-morrow,
and never could open his lips till just now that he was going."

"Is that invalid--Brewster, or whatever his name is--laid up at Castle
Marling, still?" exclaimed Barbara.

"He is still there," said Mr. Carlyle.

Barbara sprang up the moment tea was over.

"Dill is waiting for me in the office, and I have some hours' work
before me. However, I suppose you won't care to put up with Peter's
attendance, so make haste with your bonnet, Barbara."

She took his arm, and they walked on, Mr. Carlyle striking the hedge
and the grass with her parasol. Another minute, and the handle was in

"I thought you would do it," said Barbara, while he was regarding the
parasol with ludicrous dismay. "Never mind, it is an old one."

"I will bring you another to replace it. What is the color? Brown. I
won't forget. Hold the relics a minute, Barbara."

He put the pieces in her hand, and taking out a note case, made a note
in pencil.

"What's that for?" she inquired.

He held it close to her eyes, that she might discern what he had
written: "Brown parasol. B. H."

"A reminder for me, Barbara, in case I forget."

Barbara's eyes detected another item or two already entered in the
note case: "piano," "plate."

"I jot down the things as they occur to me, that I must get in
London," he explained. "Otherwise I should forget half."

"In London? I thought you were going in an opposite direction--to
Castle Marling?"

It was a slip of the tongue, but Mr. Carlyle repaired it.

"I may probably have to visit London as well as Castle Marling. How
bright the moon looks rising there, Barbara!"

"So bright--that or the sky--that I saw your secret," answered she.
"Piano! Plate! What can you want with either, Archibald?"

"They are for East Lynne," he quietly replied.

"Oh, for the Carews." And Barbara's interest in the item was gone.

They turned into the road just below the grove, and reached it. Mr.
Carlyle held the gate open for Barbara.

"You will come in and say good-night to mamma. She was saying to-day
what a stranger you have made of yourself lately."

"I have been busy; and I really have not the time to-night. You must
remember me to her instead." And cordially shaking her by the hand, he
closed the gate.

It was two or three mornings after the departure of Mr. Carlyle that
Mr. Dill appeared before Miss Carlyle, bearing a letter. She was busy
regarding the effect of some new muslin curtains, just put up, and did
not pay attention to him.

"Will you please take the letter, Miss Cornelia? The postman left it
in the office with ours. It is from Mr. Archibald."

"Why, what has he got to write to me about?" retorted Miss Corny.
"Does he say when he is coming home?"

"You had better see, Miss Cornelia. Mine does not."


"MY DEAR CORNELIA--I was married this morning to Lady Isabel Vane,
and hasten briefly to acquaint you with the fact. I will write you
more fully to-morrow or the next day, and explain all things.

"Your ever affectionate brother,

"It is a hoax," was the first gutteral sound that escaped from Miss
Carlyle's throat when speech came to her.

Mr. Dill only stood like a stone image.

"It is a hoax, I say," raved Miss Carlyle. "What are you standing
there for, like a gander on one leg?" she reiterated, venting her
anger upon the unoffending man. "/Is/ it a hoax or not?"

"I am overdone with amazement, Miss Corny. It is not a hoax; I have
had a letter, too."

"It can't be true--it /can't/ be true. He had no more thought of being
married when he left here, three days ago, than I have."

"How can we tell that, Miss Corny? How are we to know he did not go to
be married? I fancy he did."

"Go to be married!" shrieked Miss Corny, in a passion. "He would not
be such a fool. And to that fine lady-child! No--no."

"He has sent this to be put in the county journals," said Mr. Dill,
holding forth a scrap of paper. "They are married, safe enough."

Miss Carlyle took it and held it before her: her hand was cold as ice,
and shook as if with palsy.

"MARRIED.--On the 1st inst., at Castle Marling, by the chaplain to
the Earl of Mount Severn, Archibald Carlyle, Esquire, of East
Lynne, to the Lady Isabel Mary Vane, only child of William, late
Earl of Mount Severn."

Miss Carlyle tore the paper to atoms and scattered it. Mr. Dill
afterward made copies from memory, and sent them to the journal
offices. But let that pass.

"I will never forgive him," she deliberately uttered, "and I will
never forgive or tolerate her."



The announcement of the marriage in the newspapers was the first
intimation of it Lord Mount Severn received. He was little less
thunderstruck than Miss Corny, and came steaming to England the same
day, thereby missing his wife's letter, which gave /her/ version of
the affair. He met Mr. Carlyle and Lady Isabel in London, where they
were staying at one of the west-end hotels--only for a day or two,
however, for they were going further. Isabel was alone when the earl
was announced.

"What is the meaning of this, Isabel?" began he, without the
circumlocution of greeting. "You are married?"

"Yes," she answered, with her pretty, innocent blush. "Some time ago."

"And to Carlyle, the lawyer! How did it come about?"

Isabel began to think how it did come about, sufficiently to give a
clear answer. "He asked me," she said, "and I accepted him. He came to
Castle Marling at Easter, and asked me then. I was very much

The earl looked at her attentively. "Why was I kept in ignorance of
this, Isabel?"

"I did not know you were kept in ignorance of it. Mr. Carlyle wrote to
you, as did Lady Mount Severn."

Lord Mount Severn was a man in the dark, and looked like it. "I
suppose this comes," soliloquized he, aloud, "of your father's having
allowed the gentleman to dance daily attendance at East Lynne. And so
you fell in love with him."

"Indeed, no!" answered she, in an amused tone. "I never thought of
such a thing as falling in love with Mr. Carlyle."

"Then don't you love him?" abruptly asked the earl.

'No!" she whispered, timidly; "but I like him much--oh, very much! And
he is so good to me!"

The earl stroked his chin and mused. Isabel had destroyed the only
reasonable conclusion he had been able to come to as to the motives
for the hasty marriage. "If you do not love Mr. Carlyle, how comes it
that you are so wise in the distinction between 'liking' and 'love?'
It cannot be that you love anybody else?"

The question turned home, and Isabel turned crimson. "I shall love my
husband in time," was all she answered, as she bent her head, and
played nervously with her watch chain.

"My poor child!" involuntarily exclaimed the earl. But he was one who
liked to fathom the depth of everything. "Who has been staying at
Castle Marling since I left?" he asked sharply.

"Mrs. Levison came down."

"I alluded to gentlemen--young men."

"Only Francis Levison," she replied.

"Francis Levison! You have never been so foolish as to fall in love
with /him/?"

The question was so pointed, so abrupt, and Isabel's self-
consciousness, moreover, so great, that she betrayed lamentable
confusion, and the earl had no further need to ask. Pity stole into
his hard eyes as they fixed themselves on her downcast, glowing face.

"Isabel," he gravely began, "Captain Levison is not a good man; if
ever you were inclined to think him one, dispossess your mind of the
idea, and hold him at arm's distance. Drop his acquaintance--encourage
no intimacy with him."

"I have already dropped it," said Isabel, "and I shall not take it up
again. But Lady Mount Severn must think well of him, or she would not
have him there."

"She thinks none too well of him; none can of Francis Levison,"
returned the earl significantly.

Before Isabel could reply, Mr. Carlyle entered. He held out his hand
to the earl; the earl did not appear to see it.

"Isabel," said he, "I am sorry to turn you out, but I suppose you have
but this one sitting-room. I wish to say a few words to Mr. Carlyle."

She quitted them, and the earl wheeled round and faced Mr. Carlyle,
speaking in a stern, haughty tone.

"How came this marriage about, sir? Do you possess so little honor,
that, taking advantage of my absence, you must intrude yourself into
my family, and clandestinely espouse Lady Isabel Vane?"

Mr. Carlyle stood confounded, and confused. He drew himself up to his
full height, looking every whit as fearless and far more noble than
the peer. "My lord, I do not understand you."

"Yet I speak plainly. What is it but a clandestine procedure to take
advantage of a guardian's absence and beguile a young girl into a
marriage beneath her?"

"There has been nothing clandestine in my conduct toward Lady Isabel
Vane; there shall be nothing but honor in my conduct toward Lady
Isabel Carlyle. Your lordship has been misinformed."

"I have not been informed at all," retorted the earl. "I was allowed
to learn this from the public papers--I, the only relative of Lady

"When I proposed for Lady Isabel--"

"But a month ago," sarcastically interrupted the earl.

"But a month ago," calmly repeated Mr. Carlyle, "my first action,
after Isabel accepted me, was to write to you. But that I imagine you
may not have received the letter, by stating you first heard of our
marriage through the papers, I should say, the want of courtesy lay on
your lordship's side for having vouchsafed me no reply to it."

"What were the contents of the letter?"

"I stated what had occurred, mentioning what I was able to do in the
way of settlements, and also that both Isabel and myself wished the
ceremony to take place as soon as might be."

"And pray where did you address the letter?"

"Lady Mount Severn could not give me the address. She said if I would
intrust the letter to her, she would forward it with the rest she
wrote, for she expected daily to hear from you. I did give her the
letter, and I heard no more of the matter, except that her ladyship
sent me a message when Isabel was writing to me, that as you had
returned no reply, you of course approved."

"Is this the fact?" cried the earl.

"My lord," coldly replied Mr. Carlyle, "whatever may be my defects in
your eyes, I am at least a man of truth. Until this moment, the
suspicion that you were in ignorance of the contemplated marriage
never occurred to me."

"So far, then, I beg your pardon, Mr. Carlyle. But how came the
marriage about at all--how came it to be hurried over in this unseemly
fashion? You made the offer at Easter, Isabel tells me, and you
married her three weeks after it."

"And I would have married her and brought her away with me the day I
did make it, had it been practicable," returned Mr. Carlyle. "I have
acted throughout for her comfort and happiness."

"Oh, indeed!" exclaimed the earl, returning to his disagreeable tone.
"Perhaps you will put me in possession of the facts, and of your

"I warn you that the facts to you will not bear a pleasant sound, Lord
Mount Severn."

"Allow me to be the judge of that," said the earl.

"Business took me to Castle Marling on Good Friday. On the following
day I called at your house; after your own and Isabel's invitation, it
was natural I should; in fact, it would have been a breach of good
feeling not to do so, I found Isabel ill-treated and miserable; far
from enjoying a happy home in your house--"

"What, sir?" interrupted the earl. "Ill-treated and miserable?"

"Ill-treated even to blows, my lord."

The earl stood as one petrified, staring at Mr. Carlyle.

"I learnt it, I must premise, through the chattering revelations of
your little son; Isabel, of course, would not have mentioned it to me;
but when the child had spoken, she did not deny it. In short she was
too broken-hearted, too completely bowed in spirit to deny it. It
aroused all my feelings of indignation--it excited in me an
irresistible desire to emancipate her from this cruel life, and take
her where she would find affection, and I hope happiness. There was
only one way which I could do this, and I risked it. I asked her to
become my wife, and to return to her home at East Lynne."

The earl was slowly recovering from his petrifaction. "Then, am I to
understand, that when you called that day at my house, you carried no
intention with you of proposing to Isabel?"

"Not any. It was an impromptu step, the circumstances under which I
found her calling it forth."

The earl paced the room, perplexed still, and evidently disturbed.
"May I inquire if you love her?" he abruptly said.

Mr. Carlyle paused ere he spoke, and a red flush dyed his face. "Those
sort of feelings man rarely acknowledges to man, Lord Mount Severn,
but I will answer you. I do love her, passionately and sincerely; I
learnt to love her at East Lynne; but I could have carried my love
silently within me to the end of my life and never betrayed it; and
probably should have done so, but for the unexpected visit to Castle
Marling. If the idea of making her my wife had never previously
occurred to me as practicable, it was that I deemed her rank
incompatible with my own."

"As it was," said the earl.

"Country solicitors have married peers' daughters before now,"
remarked Mr. Carlyle. "I only add another to the list."

"But you cannot keep her as a peer's daughter, I presume?"

"East Lynne will be her home. Our establishment will be small and
quiet, as compared with her father's. I explained to Isabel how quiet
at the first, and she might have retracted had she wished. I explained
also in full to Lady Mount Severn. East Lynne will descend to our
eldest son, should we have children. My profession is most lucrative,
my income good; were I to die to-morrow, Isabel would enjoy East Lynne
and about three thousand pounds per annum. I gave these details in the
letter, which appears to have miscarried."

The earl made no immediate reply; he was absorbed in thought.

"Your lordship perceives, I hope, that there has been nothing
'clandestine' in my conduct to Lady Isabel."

Lord Mount Severn held out his hand. "I refused my hand when you came
in, Mr. Carlyle, as you may have observed, perhaps you will refuse
yours now, though I should be proud to shake it. When I find myself in
the wrong, I am not above acknowledging the fact; and I must state my
opinion that you have behaved most kindly and honorably."

Mr. Carlyle smiled and put his hand into the earl's. The latter
retained it, while he spoke in a whisper.

"Of course I cannot be ignorant that, in speaking of Isabel's ill-
treatment, you alluded to my wife. Has it transpired beyond

"You may be sure that neither Isabel nor myself would mention it; we
shall dismiss it from among our reminiscences. Let it be as though you
had never heard it; it is past and done with."

"Isabel," said the earl, as he was departing that evening, for he
remained to spend the day with them, "I came here this morning almost
prepared to strike your husband, and I go away honoring him. Be a good
and faithful wife to him, for he deserves it."

"Of course I shall," she answered, in surprise.

Lord Mount Severn steamed on to Castle Marling, and there he had a
stormy interview with his wife--so stormy that the sounds penetrated
to the ears of the domestics. He left again the same day, in anger,
and proceeded to Mount Severn.

"He will have time to cool down, before we meet in London," was the
comment of my lady.



Miss Carlyle, having resolved upon her course, quitted her own house,
and removed to East Lynne with Peter and her handmaidens. In spite of
Mr. Dill's grieved remonstrances, she discharged the servants whom Mr.
Carlyle had engaged, all save one man.

On a Friday night, about a month after the wedding, Mr. Carlyle and
his wife came home. They were expected, and Miss Carlyle went through
the hall to receive them, and stood on the upper steps, between the
pillars of the portico. An elegant chariot with four post-horses was
drawing up. Miss Carlyle compressed her lips as she scanned it. She
was attired in a handsome dark silk dress and a new cap; her anger had
had time to cool down in the last month, and her strong common sense
told her that the wiser plan would be to make the best of it. Mr.
Carlyle came up the steps with Isabel.

"You here, Cornelia! That was kind. How are you? Isabel, this is my

Lady Isabel put forth her hand, and Miss Carlyle condescended to touch
the tips of her fingers. "I hope you are well, ma'am," she jerked out.

Mr. Carlyle left them together, and went back to search for some
trifles which had been left in the carriage. Miss Carlyle led the way
to a sitting-room, where the supper-tray was laid. "You would like to
go upstairs and take your things off before upper, ma'am?" she said,
in the same jerking tone to Lady Isabel.

"Thank you. I will go to my rooms, but I do not require supper. We
have dined."

"Then what would you like to take?" asked Miss Corny.

"Some tea, if you please, I am very thirsty."

"Tea!" ejaculated Miss Corny. "So late as this! I don't know that they
have boiling water. You'd never sleep a wink all night, ma'am, if you
took tea at eleven o'clock."

"Oh, then, never mind," replied Lady Isabel. "It is of no consequence.
Do not let me give trouble."

Miss Carlyle whisked out of the room; upon what errand was best known
to herself; and in the hall she and Marvel came to an encounter. No
words passed, but each eyed the other grimly. Marvel was very stylish,
with five flounces to her dress, a veil, and a parasol. Meanwhile,
Lady Isabel sat down and burst into bitter tears and sobs. A chill had
come over her; it did not seem like coming to East Lynne. Mr. Carlyle
entered and witnessed the grief.

"Isabel!" he uttered in amazement, as he hastened up to her. "My
darling, what ails you?"

"I am tired, I think," she gently answered; "and coming into the house
again made me think of papa. I should like to go to my rooms,
Archibald, but I don't know which they are."

Neither did Mr. Carlyle know, but Miss Carlyle came whisking in again,
and said: "The best rooms; those next the library. Should she go up
with my lady?"

Mr. Carlyle preferred to go himself, and he held out his arm to
Isabel. She drew her veil over her face as she passed Miss Carlyle.

The branches were not lighted, and the room looked cold and
comfortless. "Things seem all sixes and sevens in the house," remarked
Mr. Carlyle. "I fancy the servants must have misunderstood my letter,
and not have expected us until to-morrow night."

On returning to the sitting-room Mr. Carlyle inquired the cause of the
servants' negligence.

"I sent them away because they were superfluous encumbrances," hastily
replied Miss Carlyle. "We have four in the house, and my lady has
brought a fine maid, I see, making five. I have come up here to live."

Mr. Carlyle felt checkmated. He had always bowed to the will of Miss
Corny, but he had an idea that he and his wife should be better
without her. "And your house?" he exclaimed.

"I have let it furnished; the people enter to-day. So you cannot turn
me out of East Lynne into the road, or to furnished lodgings,
Archibald. There'll be enough expense without our keeping on two
houses; and most people in your place would jump at the prospect of my
living here. Your wife will be mistress. I do not intend to take her
honors from her; but I will save her a world of trouble in
management--be as useful to her as a housekeeper. She will be glad of
that, inexperienced as she is. I dare say she never gave a domestic
order in her life."

This was a view of the case, to Mr. Carlyle, so plausibly put, that he
began to think it might be all for the best. He had great reverence
for his sister's judgment; force of habit is strong upon all of us.
Still he did not know.

"Did you buy that fine piano which has arrived?" angrily asked Miss

"It was my present to Isabel."

Miss Corny groaned. "What did it cost?"

"The cost is of no consequence. The old piano here was a bad one, and
I bought a better."

"What did it cost?" repeated Miss Carlyle.

"A hundred and twenty guineas," he answered. Obedience to her will was
yet powerful within him.

Miss Corny threw up her hands and eyes. But at that moment Peter
entered with some hot water which his master had rung for. Mr. Carlyle
rose and looked on the side-board.

"Where is the wine, Peter?"

The servant put it out, port and sherry. Mr. Carlyle drank a glass,
and then proceeded to mix some wine and water. "Shall I mix some for
you, Cornelia?" he asked.

"I'll mix for myself if I want any. Who's that for?"


He quitted the room, carrying the wine and water, and entered his
wife's. She was sitting half buried, it seemed, in the arm-chair, her
face muffled up. As she raised it, he saw that it was flushed and
agitated; that her eyes were bright, and her frame was trembling.

"What is the matter?" he hastily asked.

"I got nervous after Marvel went," she whispered, laying hold of him,
as if for protection from terror. "I came back to the chair and
covered my head over, hoping some one would come up."

"I have been talking to Cornelia. But what made you nervous?"

"Oh! I was very foolish. I kept thinking of frightful things. They
would come into my mind. Do not blame me, Archibald. This is the room
papa died in."

"Blame you, my darling," he uttered with deep feeling.

"I thought of a dreadful story about the bats, that the servants told
--I dare say you never heard it; and I kept thinking. 'Suppose they
were at the windows now, behind the blinds.' And then I was afraid to
look at the bed; I fancied I might see--you are laughing!"

Yes, he was smiling; for he knew that these moments of nervous fear
are best met jestingly. He made her drink the wine and water, and then
he showed her where the bell was, ringing it as he did so. Its
position had been changed in some late alterations to the house.

"Your rooms shall be changed to-morrow, Isabel."

"No, let us remain in these. I shall like to feel that papa was once
their occupant. I won't get nervous again."

But, even as she spoke, her actions belied her words. Mr. Carlyle had
gone to the door and opened it, and she flew close up to him, cowering
behind him.

"Shall you be gone very long, Archibald?" she whispered.

"Not more than an hour," he answered. But he hastily put back one of
his hands, and held her tightly in his protecting grasp. Marvel was
coming along the corridor in answer to the ring.

"Have the goodness to let Miss Carlyle know that I am not coming down
again to-night," he said.

"Yes, sir."

Mr. Carlyle shut the door, and then looked at his wife and laughed.
"He is very kind to me," thought Isabel.

With the morning began the perplexities of Lady Isabel Carlyle. But,
first of all, just fancy the group at breakfast. Miss Carlyle
descended in the startling costume the reader has seen, took her seat
at the breakfast-table, and there sat bolt upright. Mr. Carlyle came
down next; and then Lady Isabel entered, in an elegant half-mourning
dress, with flowing black ribbons.

"Good morning, ma'am. I hope you slept well," was Miss Carlyle's

"Quite well, thank you," she answered, as she took her seat opposite
Miss Carlyle. Miss Carlyle pointed to the top of the table.

"That is your place, ma'am; but I will pour out the coffee, and save
you the trouble, if you wish it."

"I should be glad if you would," answered Lady Isabel.

So Miss Carlyle proceeded to her duties, very stern and grim. The meal
was nearly over, when Peter came in, and said the butcher had come up
for orders. Miss Carlyle looked at Lady Isabel, waiting, of course,
for her to give them. Isabel was silent with perplexity; she had never
given such an order in her life. Totally ignorant was she of the
requirements of a household; and did not know whether to suggest a few
pounds of meat or a whole cow. It was the presence of that grim Miss
Corny which put her out. Alone with her husband she would have said,
"What ought I to order, Archibald? Tell me." Peter waited.

"A---- Something to roast and boil, if you please," stammered Lady

She spoke in a low tone. Embarrassment makes cowards of us; and Mr.
Carlyle repeated it after her. He knew no more about housekeeping than
she did.

"Something to roast and boil, tell the man, Peter."

Up started Miss Corny; she could not stand that. "Are you aware, Lady
Isabel, that an order such as that would only puzzle the butcher?
Shall I give the necessary orders for to-day? The fishmonger will be
here presently!"

"Oh, I wish you would!" cried the relieved Lady Isabel. "I have not
been accustomed to it, but I must learn. I don't think I know anything
about housekeeping."

Miss Corny's answer was to stalk from the room. Isabel rose from her
chair, like a bird released from its cage, and stood by his side.
"Have you finished, Archibald?"

"I think I have, dear. Oh! Here's my coffee. There; I have finished

"Let us go around the grounds."

He rose, laid his hands playfully on her slender waist, and looked at
her. "You may as well ask me to take a journey to the moon. It is past
nine, and I have not been to the office for a month."

The tears rose in her eyes. "I wish you would be always with me! East
Lynne will not be East Lynne without you."

"I will be with you as much as ever I can, my dearest," he whispered.
"Come and walk with me through the park."

She ran for her bonnet, gloves and parasol. Mr. Carlyle waited for her
in the hall, and they went out together.

He thought it a good opportunity to speak about his sister. "She
wishes to remain with us," he said. "I do not know what to decide. On
the one hand I think she might save you the worry of household
management; on the other, I fancy we shall be happier by ourselves."

Isabel's heart sank within her at the idea of that stern Miss Corny,
mounted over her as resident guard; but, refined and sensitive, almost
painfully considerate of the feelings of others, she raised no word of
objection. "As you and Miss Carlyle please," she answered.

"Isabel," he said, "I wish it to be as you please; I wish matters to
be arranged as may best please you: and I will have them so arranged.
My chief object in life now is your happiness."

He spoke in all the sincerity of truth, and Isabel knew it: and the
thought came across her that with him by her side, her loving
protector, Miss Carlyle could not mar her life's peace. "Let her stay,
Archibald; she will not incommode us."

"At any rate it can be tried for a month or two, and we shall see how
it works," he musingly observed.

They reached the park gates. "I wish I could go with you and be your
clerk," she cried, unwilling to release his hand. "I should not have
all that long way to go back by myself."

He laughed and shook his head, telling her that she wanted to bribe
him into taking her back, but it could not be. And away he went, after
saying farewell.



Isabel wandered back, and then wandered through the rooms; they looked
lovely; not as they had seemed to look in her father's time. In her
dressing-room knelt Marvel, unpacking. She rose when Lady Isabel

"Can I speak to you a moment, if you please my lady?"

"What is it?"

Then Marvel poured forth her tale. That she feared so small an
establishment would not suit her, and if my lady pleased, she would
like to leave at once--that day. Anticipating it, she had not unpacked
her things.

"There has been some mistake about the servants, Marvel, but it will
be remedied as soon as possible. And I told you before I married that
Mr. Carlyle's establishment would be a limited one."

"My lady perhaps I could put up with that; but I never could stop in
the house with--" "that female Guy" had been on the tip of Marvel's
tongue, but she remembered in time of whom she was speaking--"with
Miss Carlyle. I fear, my lady, we have both got tempers that would
slash, and might be flying at each other. I could not stop, my lady,
for untold gold. And if you please to make me forfeit my running
month's salary, why I must do it. So when I have set your ladyship's
things to rights, I hope you'll allow me to go."

Lady Isabel would not condescend to ask her to remain, but she
wondered how she should manage the inconvenience. She drew her desk
toward her. "What is the amount due to you?" she inquired, as she
unlocked it.

"Up to the end of the quarter, my lady?" cried Marvel, in a brisk

"No," coldly answered Lady Isabel. "Up to to-day."

"I have not had time to reckon, my lady."

Lady Isabel took a pencil and paper, made out the account, and laid it
down in gold and silver on the table. "It is more than you deserve,
Marvel," she remarked, "and more than you would get in most places.
You ought to have given me proper notice."

Marvel melted into tears, and began a string of excuses. "She should
never have wished to leave so kind a lady, but for attendant ill-
conveniences, and she hoped my lady would not object to testify to her

Lady Isabel quitted the room in the midst of it; and in the course of
the day Marvel took her departure, Joyce telling her that she ought to
be ashamed of herself.

"I couldn't help myself," retorted Marvel, "and I am sorry to leave
her, for she's a pleasant young lady to serve."

"Well, I know I'd have helped myself," was Joyce's remark. "I would
not go off in this unhandsome way from a good mistress."

"Perhaps you wouldn't," loftily returned Marvel, "but my inside
feelings are delicate and can't bear to be trampled upon. The same
house is not going to hold me and that tall female image, who's more
fit to be carried about at a foreign carnival than some that they do

So Marvel left. And when Lady Isabel went to her room to dress for
dinner, Joyce entered it.

"I am not much accustomed to a lady's maid's duties," began she, "but
Miss Carlyle has sent me, my lady, to do what I can for you, if you
will allow me."

Isabel thought it was kind of Miss Carlyle.

"And if you please to trust me with the keys of your things, I will
take charge of them for you, my lady, until you are suited with a
maid," Joyce resumed.

"I don't know anything about the keys," answered Isabel; "I never keep

Joyce did her best, and Lady Isabel went down. It was nearly six
o'clock, the dinner hour, and she strolled to the park gates, hoping
to meet Mr. Carlyle. Taking a few steps out, she looked down the road,
but could not see him coming; so she turned in again, and sat down
under a shady tree out of view of the road. It was remarkably warm
weather for the closing days of May.

Half an hour, and then Mr. Carlyle came pelting up, passed the gates,
and turned on to the grass. There he saw his wife. She had fallen
asleep, her head leaning against the trunk of a tree. Her bonnet and
parasol lay at her feet, her scarf had dropped, and she looked like a
lovely child, her lips partly open, her cheeks flushed, and her
beautiful hair falling around. It was an exquisite picture, and his
heart beat quicker within him as he felt that it was all his own. A
smile stole to his lips as he stood looking at her. She opened her
eyes, and for a minute could not remember where she was. Then she
started up.

"Oh, Archibald! Have I been asleep?"

"Ay; and might have been stolen and carried off. I could not afford
that, Isabel."

"I don't know how it came about. I was listening for you."

"What have you been doing all day?" he asked, as he drew her arm
within his, and they walked on.

"Oh, I hardly know," she sighed. "Trying the new piano, and looking at
my watch, wishing the time would go quicker, that you might come home.
The ponies and carriage have arrived, Archibald."

"I know they have, my dear. Have you been out of doors much?"

"No, I waited for you." And then she told him about Marvel. He felt
vexed, saying she must replace her with all speed. Isabel said she
knew of one, a young woman who had left Lady Mount Severn while she,
Isabel, was at Castle Marling; her health was delicate, and Lady Mount
Severn's place too hard for her. She might suit.

"Write to her," said Mr. Carlyle.

The carriage came round--a beautiful little equipage--and Isabel was
ready. As Mr. Carlyle drove slowly down the dusty road, they came upon
Miss Corny, striding along in the sun with a great umbrella over her
head. She would not turn to look at them.

Once more, as in the year gone by, St. Jude's Church was in a flutter
of expectation. It expected to see a whole paraphernalia of bridal
finery, and again it was doomed to disappointment, for Isabel had not
put off the mourning for her father. She was in black--a thin gauze
dress--and her white bonnet had small black flowers inside and out.
For the first time in his life, Mr. Carlyle took possession of the pew
belonging to East Lynne, filling the place where the poor earl used to
sit. Not so Miss Corny--she sat in her own.

Barbara was there with the Justice and Mrs. Hare. Her face wore a
gray, dusky hue, of which she was only too conscious, but could not
subdue. Her covetous eyes would wander to that other face, with its
singular loveliness and its sweetly earnest eyes, sheltered under the
protection of him for whose sheltering protection she had so long
yearned. Poor Barbara did not benefit much by the services that day.

Afterward they went across the churchyard to the west corner, where
stood the tomb of Lord Mount Severn. Isabel looked at the inscription,
her veil shading her face.

"Not here, and now, my darling," he whispered, pressing her arm to his
side, for he felt her silent sobs. "Strive for calmness."

"It seems but the other day he was at church with me, and now--here!"

Mr. Carlyle suddenly changed their places, so that they stood with
their backs to the hedge, and to any staring stragglers who might be
lingering on the road.

"There ought to be railings round the tomb," she presently said, after
a successful battle with her emotion.

"I thought so, and I suggested it to Lord Mount Severn but he appeared
to think differently. I will have it done."

"I put you to great expense," she said, "taking one thing with

Mr. Carlyle glanced quickly at her, a dim fear penetrating his mind
that his sister might have been /talking/ in her hearing. "An expense
I would not be without for the whole world. You know it, Isabel."

"And I have nothing to repay you with," she sighed.

He looked expressively amused, and, gazing into her face, the
expression of his eyes made her smile. "Here is John with the
carriage," she exclaimed. "Let us go, Archibald."

Standing outside the gates, talking to the rector's family, were
several ladies, one of them Barbara Hare. She watched Mr. Carlyle
place his wife in the carriage; she watched him drive away. Barbara's
lips were white, as she bowed in return to his greeting.

"The heat is so great!" murmured Barbara, when those around noticed
her paleness.

"Ah! You ought to have gone in the phaeton, with Mr. and Mrs. Hare as
they desired you."

"I wished to walk," returned the unhappy Barbara.

"What a pretty girl that is!" uttered Lady Isabel to her husband.
"What is her name?"

"Barbara Hare."



The county carriages began to pour to East Lynne, to pay the wedding
visit, as it is called, to Mr. and Lady Isabel Carlyle. Of course they
displayed themselves in their most courtly state. Mr. Carlyle, always
a popular man, had gained double his former importance by his marriage
with the daughter of the late Earl of Mount Severn. Among the earliest
visitors went Justice and Mrs. Hare, with Barbara.

Isabel was in her dressing-gown, attended by Joyce, whom she was just
asking to take the place of her late maid, if Miss Carlyle would
consent to the transfer.

Joyce's face lighted up with pleasure at the proposal. "Oh, my lady,
you are very kind! I should so like it! I would serve you faithfully
to the best of my ability."

Isabel laughed. "But Miss Carlyle may not be inclined to transfer

"I think she would be, my lady. She said a day or two ago, that I
appeared to suit you, and you might have me altogether if you wished,
provided I could still make her gowns. I make them to please her, you
see, my lady."

"Do you make her caps also?" demurely asked Lady Isabel.

Joyce smiled. "Yes, my lady; but I am allowed to make them only
according to her own pattern."

"Joyce, if you become my maid, you must wear smarter caps yourself. I
do not wish you to be fine like Marvel."

"Oh, my lady! I shall never be fine," shuddered Joyce. And Joyce
believed she had cause to shudder at finery.

She was about to speak further, when a knock came to the dressing-room
door. Joyce went to open it, and saw one of the housemaids, a girl who
had recently been engaged, a native of West Lynne. Isabel heard the

"Is my lady there?"


"Some visitors. Pete ordered me to come and tell you. I say, Joyce,
it's the Hares. And /she's/ with them. I watched her get out of the

"Who?" sharply returned Joyce.

"Why, Miss Barbara. Only fancy her coming to pay the wedding visit
/here/. My lady had better take care that she don't get a bowl of
poison mixed for her. Master's out or else I'd have given a shilling
to see the interview between the three."

Joyce sent the girl away, shut the door, and turned to her mistress,
quite unconscious that the half-whispered conversation had been

"Some visitors are in the drawing-room, my lady, Susan says. Mr.
Justice Hare and Mrs. Hare and Miss Barbara."

Isabel descended, her mind full of the mysterious words spoken by
Susan. The justice was in a new flaxen wig, obstinate-looking and
pompous; Mrs. Hare, pale, delicate, and lady-like; Barbara beautiful;
such was the impression they made upon Isabel.

They paid rather a long visit, Isabel quite falling in love with the
gentle and suffering Mrs. Hare, and had risen to leave when Miss
Carlyle entered. She wished them to remain longer--had something, she
said, to show Barbara. The justice declined; he had a brother justice
coming to dine with him at five, and it was then half-past four.
Barbara might stop if she liked.

Barbara's faced turned crimson; but nevertheless she accepted the
invitation, immediately proffered her by Miss Carlyle to remain at
East Lynne for the rest of the day.

Dinner time approached, and Isabel went to dress for it. Joyce was
waiting, and entered upon the subject of the service.

"My lady, I have spoken to Miss Carlyle, and she is willing that I
should be transferred to you, but she says I ought first to acquaint
you with certain unpleasant facts in my history, and the same thought
had occurred to me. Miss Carlyle is not over pleasant in manner, my
lady, but she is very upright and just."

"What facts?" asked Lady Isabel, sitting down to have her hair

"My lady, I'll tell you as shortly as it can. My father was a clerk in
Mr. Carlyle's office--of course I mean the late Mr. Carlyle. My mother
died when I was eight years old, and my father afterwards married
again, a sister of Mr. Kane's wife--"

"Mr. Kane, the music master?"

"Yes, my lady. She and Mrs. Kane were quite ladies; had been
governesses. People said she lowered herself greatly in marrying my
father. However, they did marry, and at the end of the year my little
sister Afy was born. We lived in a pretty cottage in the wood and were
happy. But in twelve months more my step-mother died, and an aunt of
hers adopted Afy. I lived with my father, going to school, then to
learn dressmaking, and finally going out to work to ladies' houses.
After many years. Afy came home. Her aunt had died and her income with
her, but not the vanity and love of finery that Afy had acquired. She
did nothing but dress herself and read novels. My father was angry; he
said no good could come of it. She had several admirers, Mr. Richard
Hare, Miss Barbara's own brother," continued Joyce, lowering her
voice, "and she flirted with them all. My father used to go out to
shoot on fine evenings after office, or to his duties as secretary to
the library, and so Afy was generally all alone until I came home at
nine o'clock; and was free to flirt with her beaux."

"Had she any she favored particularly, was it thought?" asked Lady

"The chief one, my lady, was Richard Hare. She got acquainted with
somebody else, a stranger, who used to ride over from a distance to
see her; but I fancy there was nothing in it--Richard was the one. And
it went on till--till--he killed her father."

"Who?" uttered the startled Isabel.

"Richard Hare, my lady. Father had told Afy that Mr. Richard should
not come there any longer, for when gentlemen go in secret after poor
girls, it's well known they have not got marriage in their thoughts;
father would have interfered more than he did, but that he judged well
of Mr. Richard, and did not think he was one to do Afy real harm,--but
he did not know how flighty she was. However, one day he heard people
talk about it in West Lynne, coupling her name and Mr. Richard's
offensively together, and at night he told Afy, before me, that it
should not go on any longer, and she must not encourage him. My lady,
the next night Richard Hare shot my father."

"How very dreadful!"

"Whether it was done on purpose, or that they had a scuffle, and the
gun went off accidentally and killed my father, no one can tell. Afy
said she had been in the woods at the back of the house, and when she
came in, father lay dead, and Mr. Locksley was standing over him. He
said he had heard the shot, and come up just in time to see Richard
fly from the house, his shoes covered with blood. He has never been
heard of since; but there is a judgment of murder out against him; and
the fear and shame is killing his mother by inches."

"And Afy?"

"The worst is to come my lady. Afy followed him directly after the

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