Part 7 out of 8
"I think I have."
"Well, the Governor has taken an old man's fancy to your sister.
They appeared to understand each other perfectly when I was at
"Excuse me, Mrs. Tenbruggen, that is what I know already. Why did
Philip go to the Governor?"
She smiled. "If anybody is acquainted with the true state of your
sister's feelings, the Governor is the man. I sent Mr. Dunboyne
to consult him--and there is the reason for it."
This open avowal of her motives perplexed and offended me. After
declaring herself to be interested in my marriage-engagement had
she changed her mind, and resolved on favoring Philip's return
to Eunice? What right had he to consult anybody about the state
of that girl's feelings? _My_ feelings form the only subject
of inquiry that was properly open to him. I should have said
something which I might have afterward regretted, if Mrs.
Tenbruggen had allowed me the opportunity. Fortunately for both
of us, she went on with her narrative of her own proceedings.
"Philip Dunboyne is an excellent fellow," she continued; "I
really like him--but he has his faults. He sadly wants strength
of purpose; and, like weak men in general, he only knows his own
mind when a resolute friend takes him in hand and guides him.
I am his resolute friend. I saw him veering about between you
and Eunice; and I decided for his sake--may I say for your sake
also?--on putting an end to that mischievous state of indecision.
You have the claim on him; you are the right wife for him,
and the Governor was (as I thought likely from what I had myself
observed) the man to make him see it. I am not in anybody's
secrets; it was pure guesswork on my part, and it has succeeded.
There is no more doubt now about Miss Eunice's sentiments.
The question is settled."
"In my favor?"
"Certainly in your favor--or I should not have said a word
"Was Philip's visit kindly received? Or did the old wretch laugh
"My dear Miss Gracedieu, the old wretch is a man of the world,
and never makes mistakes of that sort. Before he could open
his lips, he had to satisfy himself that your lover deserved to
be taken into his confidence, on the delicate subject of Eunice's
sentiments. He arrived at a favorable conclusion. I can repeat
Philip's questions and the Governor's answers after putting
the young man through a stiff examination just as they passed:
'May I inquire, sir, if she has spoken to you about me?' 'She has
often spoken about you.' 'Did she seem to be angry with me?' 'She
is too good and too sweet to be angry with you.' 'Do you think
she will forgive me?' 'She has forgiven you.' 'Did she say so
herself?' 'Yes, of her own free will.' 'Why did she refuse to see
me when I called at the farm?' 'She had her own reasons--good
reasons.' 'Has she regretted it since?' 'Certainly not.' 'Is it
likely that she would consent, if I proposed a reconciliation?'
'I put that question to her myself.' 'How did she take it,
sir?' 'She declined to take it.' 'You mean that she declined
a reconciliation?' 'Yes.' 'Are you sure she was in earnest?'
'I am positively sure.' That last answer seems, by young
Dunboyne's own confession, to have been enough, and more than
enough for him. He got up to go--and then an odd thing happened.
After giving him the most unfavorable answers, the Governor
patted him paternally on the shoulder, and encouraged him to
hope. 'Before we say good-by, Mr. Philip, one word more. If
I was as young as you are, I should not despair.' There is
a sudden change of front! Who can explain it?"
The Governor's mischievous resolution to reconcile Philip
and Eunice explained it, of course. With the best intentions
(perhaps) Mrs. Tenbruggen had helped that design by bringing
the two men together. "Go on," I said; "I am prepared to hear
next that Philip has paid another visit to my sister, and has
been received this time."
I must say this for Mrs. Tenbruggen: she kept her temper
"He has not been to the farm," she said, "but he has done
something nearly as foolish. He has written to your sister."
"And he has received a favorable reply, of course?"
She put her hand into the pocket of her dress.
"There is your sister's reply," she said.
Any persons who have had a crushing burden lifted, unexpectedly
and instantly, from off their minds, will know what I felt when
I read the reply. In the most positive language, Eunice refused
to correspond with Philip, or to speak with him. The concluding
words proved that she was in earnest. "You are engaged to Helena.
Consider me as a stranger until you are married. After that time
you will be my brother-in-law, and then I may pardon you for
writing to me."
Nobody who knows Eunice would have supposed that she possessed
those two valuable qualities--common-sense and proper pride.
It is pleasant to feel that I can now send cards to my sister,
when I am Mrs. Philip Dunboyne.
I returned the letter to Mrs. Tenbruggen, with the sincerest
expressions of regret for having doubted her. "I have been
unworthy of your generous interest in me," I said; "I am almost
ashamed to offer you my hand."
She took my hand, and gave it a good, heady shake.
"Are we friends?" she asked, in the simplest and prettiest
manner. "Then let us be easy and pleasant again," she went on.
"Will you call me Elizabeth; and shall I call you Helena? Very
well. Now I have got something else to say; another secret which
must be kept from Philip (I call _him_ by his name now, you see)
for a few days more. Your happiness, my dear, must not depend on
his miserly old father. He must have a little income of his own
to marry on. Among the hundreds of unfortunate wretches whom I
have relieved from torture of mind and body, there is a grateful
minority. Small! small! but there they are. I have influence
among powerful people; and I am trying to make Philip private
secretary to a member of Parliament. When I have succeeded,
you shall tell him the good news."
What a vile humor I must have been in, at the time, not to have
appreciated the delightful gayety of this good creature; I went
to the other extreme now, and behaved like a gushing young miss
fresh from school. I kissed her.
She burst out laughing. "What a sacrifice!" she cried. "A kiss
for me, which ought to have been kept for Philip! By-the-by, do
you know what I should do, Helena, in your place? I should take
our handsome young man away from that hotel!"
"I will do anything that you advise," I said.
"And you will do well, my child. In the first place, the hotel
is too expensive for Philip's small means. In the second place,
two of the chambermaids have audaciously presumed to be charming
girls; and the men, my dear--well! well! I will leave you to
find that out for yourself. In the third place, you want to have
Philip under your own wing; domestic familiarity will make him
fonder of you than ever. Keep him out of the sort of company that
he meets with in the billiard-room and the smoking-room. You have
got a spare bed here, I know, and your poor father is in no
condition to use his authority. Make Philip one of the family."
This last piece of advice staggered me. I mentioned the
Proprieties. Mrs. Tenbruggen laughed at the Proprieties.
"Make Selina of some use," she suggested. "While you have got
_her_ in the house, Propriety is rampant. Why condemn poor
helpless Philip to cheap lodgings? Time enough to cast him out to
the feather-bed and the fleas on the night before your marriage.
Besides, I shall be in and out constantly--for I mean to cure
your father. The tongue of scandal is silent in my awful
presence; an atmosphere of virtue surrounds Mamma Tenbruggen.
Think of it."
HELENA'S DIARY RESUMED.
I did think of it. Philip came to us, and lived in our house.
Let me hasten to add that the protest of Propriety was duly
entered, on the day before my promised husband arrived. Standing
in the doorway--nothing would induce her to take a chair, or
even to enter the room--Miss Jillgall delivered her opinion
on Philip's approaching visit. Mrs. Tenbruggen reported it
in her pocket-book, as if she was representing a newspaper at
a public meeting. Here it is, copied from her notes:
"Miss Helena Gracedieu, my first impulse under the present
disgusting circumstances was to leave the house, and earn a bare
crust in the cheapest garret I could find in the town. But my
grateful heart remembers Mr. Gracedieu. My poor afflicted cousin
was good to me when I was helpless. I cannot forsake him when
_he_ is helpless. At whatever sacrifice of my own self-respect,
I remain under this roof, so dear to me for the Minister's sake.
I notice, miss, that you smile. I see my once dear Elizabeth, the
friend who has so bitterly disappointed me--" she stopped, and
put her handkerchief to her eyes, and went on again--"the friend
who has so bitterly disappointed me, taking satirical notes of
what I say. I am not ashamed of what I say. The virtue which will
not stretch a little, where the motive is good, is feeble virtue
indeed. I shall stay in the house, and witness horrors, and rise
superior to them. Good-morning, Miss Gracedieu. Good-morning,
Elizabeth." She performed a magnificent curtsey, and (as Mrs.
Tenbruggen's experience of the stage informed me) made a very
A week has passed, and I have not opened my Diary.
My days have glided away in one delicious flow of happiness.
Philip has been delightfully devoted to me. His fervent
courtship, far exceeding any similar attentions which he may
once have paid to Eunice, has shown such variety and such
steadfastness of worship, that I despair of describing it.
My enjoyment of my new life is to be felt--not to be coldly
considered, and reduced to an imperfect statement in words.
For the first time I feel capable, if the circumstances
encouraged me, of acts of exalted virtue. For instance, I could
save my country if my country was worth it. I could die a martyr
to religion if I had a religion. In one word, I am exceedingly
well satisfied with myself. The little disappointments of life
pass over me harmless. I do not even regret the failure of good
Mrs. Tenbruggen's efforts to find an employment for Philip,
worthy of his abilities and accomplishments. The member of
Parliament to whom she had applied has chosen a secretary
possessed of political influence. That is the excuse put forward
in his letter to Mrs. Tenbruggen. Wretched corrupt creature!
If he was worth a thought I should pity him. He has lost Philip's
Three days more have slipped by. The aspect of my heaven on earth
is beginning to alter.
Perhaps the author of that wonderful French novel, "L'Ame
Damne'e," is right when he tells us that human happiness
is misery in masquerade. It would be wrong to say that I am
miserable. But I may be on the way to it; I am anxious.
To-day, when he did not know that I was observing him, I
discovered a preoccupied look in Philip's eyes. He laughed when
I asked if anything had happened to vex him. Was it a natural
laugh? He put his arm round me and kissed me. Was it done
mechanically? I daresay I am out of humor myself. I think
I had a little headache. Morbid, probably. I won't think of it
It has occurred to me this morning that he may dislike being
left by himself, while I am engaged in my household affairs.
If this is the case, intensely as I hate her, utterly as I loathe
the idea of putting her in command over my domestic dominions,
I shall ask Miss Jillgall to take my place as housekeeper.
I was away to-day in the kitchen regions rather longer than
usual. When I had done with my worries, Philip was not to be
found. Maria, looking out of one of the bedroom windows instead
of doing her work, had seen Mr. Dunboyne leave the house. It was
possible that he had charged Miss Jillgall with a message for me.
I asked if she was in her room. No; she, too, had gone out.
It was a fine day, and Philip had no doubt taken a stroll--but he
might have waited till I could join him. There were some orders
to be given to the butcher and the green-grocer. I, too, left
the house, hoping to get rid of some little discontent, caused
by thinking of what had happened. Returning by the way of High
Street--I declare I can hardly believe it even now--I did
positively see Miss Jillgall coming out of a pawnbroker's shop!
The direction in which she turned prevented her from seeing me.
She was quite unaware that I had discovered her; and I have said
nothing about it since. But I noticed something unusual in the
manner in which her watch-chain was hanging, and I asked her what
o'clock it was. She said, "You have got your own watch." I told
her my watch had stopped. "So has mine," she said. There is no
doubt about it now; she has pawned her watch. What for? She lives
here for nothing, and she has not had a new dress since I have
known her. Why does she want money?
Philip had not returned when I got home. Another mysterious
journey to London? No. After an absence of more than two hours,
he came back.
Naturally enough, I asked what he had been about. He had been
taking a long walk. For his health's sake? No: to think. To think
of what? Well, I might be surprised to hear it, but his idle life
was beginning to weigh on his spirits; he wanted employment. Had
he thought of an employment? Not yet. Which way had he walked?
Anyway: he had not noticed where he went. These replies were all
made in a tone that offended me. Besides, I observed there was
no dust on his boots (after a week of dry weather), and his walk
of two hours did not appear to have heated or tired him. I took
an opportunity of consulting Mrs. Tenbruggen.
She had anticipated that I should appeal to her opinion, as
a woman of the world.
I shall not set down in detail what she said. Some of it
humiliated me; and from some of it I recoiled. The expression
of her opinion came to this. In the absence of experience,
a certain fervor of temperament was essential to success in
the art of fascinating men. Either my temperament was deficient,
or my intellect overpowered it. It was natural that I should
suppose myself to be as susceptible to the tender passion as
the most excitable woman living. Delusion, my Helena, amiable
delusion! Had I ever observed or had any friend told me that
my pretty hands were cold hands? I had beautiful eyes, expressive
of vivacity, of intelligence, of every feminine charm, except
the one inviting charm that finds favor in the eyes of a man.
She then entered into particulars, which I don't deny showed
a true interest in helping me. I was ungrateful, sulky,
self-opinionated. Dating from that day's talk with Mrs.
Tenbruggen, my new friendship began to show signs of having
caught a chill.
But I did my best to follow her instructions--and failed.
It is perhaps true that my temperament is overpowered by
my intellect. Or it is possibly truer still that the fire
in my heart, when it warms to love, is a fire that burns low.
My belief is that I surprised Philip instead of charming him.
He responded to my advances, but I felt that it was not done
in earnest, not spontaneously. Had I any right to complain?
Was I in earnest? Was I spontaneous? We were making love to
each other under false pretenses. Oh, what a fool I was to ask
for Mrs. Tenbruggen's advice!
A humiliating doubt has come to me suddenly. Has his heart been
inclining to Eunice again? After such a letter as she has written
to him? Impossible!
Three events since yesterday, which I consider, trifling as
they may be, intimations of something wrong.
First, Miss Jillgall, who at one time was eager to take my place,
has refused to relieve me of my housekeeping duties. Secondly,
Philip has been absent again, on another long walk. Thirdly,
when Philip returned, depressed and sulky, I caught Miss Jillgall
looking at him with interest and pity visible in her skinny face.
What do these things mean?
I am beginning to doubt everybody. Not one of them, Philip
included, cares for me--but I can frighten them, at any rate.
Yesterday evening, I dropped on the floor as suddenly as if I had
been shot: a fit of some sort. The doctor honestly declared that
he was at a loss to account for it. He would have laid me under
an eternal obligation if he had failed to bring me back to life
As it is, I am more clever than the doctor. What brought the fit
on is well known to me. Rage--furious, overpowering, deadly
rage--was the cause. I am now in the cold-blooded state, which
can look back at the event as composedly as if it had happened
to some other girl. Suppose that girl had let her sweetheart know
how she loved him as she had never let him know it before.
Suppose she opened the door again the instant after she had left
the room, eager, poor wretch, to say once more, for the fiftieth
time, "My angel, I love you!" Suppose she found her angel
standing with his back toward her, so that his face was reflected
in the glass. And suppose she discovered in that face, so smiling
and so sweet when his head had rested on her bosom only
the moment before, the most hideous expression of disgust that
features can betray. There could be no doubt of it; I had made my
poor offering of love to a man who secretly loathed me. I wonder
that I survived my sense of my own degradation. Well! I am alive;
and I know him in his true character at last. Am I a woman who
submits when an outrage is offered to her? What will happen next?
Who knows? I am in a fine humor. What I have just written has set
me laughing at myself. Helena Gracedieu has one merit at
least--she is a very amusing person.
I slept last night.
This morning, I am strong again, calm, wickedly capable
of deceiving Mr. Philip Dunboyne, as he has deceived me. He has
not the faintest suspicion that I have discovered him. I wish
he had courage enough to kill somebody. How I should enjoy hiring
the nearest window to the scaffold, and seeing him hanged!
Miss Jillgall is in better spirits than ever. She is going to
take a little holiday; and the cunning creature makes a mystery
of it. "Good-by, Miss Helena. I am going to stay for a day
or two with a friend." What friend? Who cares?
Last night, I was wakeful. In the darkness a daring idea came to
me. To-day, I have carried out the idea. Something has followed
which is well worth entering in my Diary.
I left the room at the usual hour for attending to my domestic
affairs. The obstinate cook did me a service; she was insolent;
she wanted to have her own way. I gave her her own way. In less
than five minutes I was on the watch in the pantry, which has
a view of the house door. My hat and my parasol were waiting
for me on the table, in case of my going out, too.
In a few minutes more, I heard the door opened. Mr. Philip
Dunboyne stepped out. He was going to take another of his long
I followed him to the street in which the cabs stand. He hired
the first one on the rank, an open chaise; while I kept myself
hidden in a shop door.
The moment he started on his drive, I hired a closed cab.
"Double your fare," I said to the driver, "whatever it may be,
if you follow that chaise cleverly, and do what I tell you."
He nodded and winked at me. A wicked-looking old fellow; just
the man I wanted.
We followed the chaise.
HELENA'S DIARY RESUMED.
When we had left the town behind us, the coachman began to drive
more slowly. In my ignorance, I asked what this change in
the pace meant. He pointed with his whip to the open road and
to the chaise in the distance.
"If we keep too near the gentleman, miss, he has only got to look
back, and he'll see we are following him. The safe thing to do
is to let the chaise get on a bit. We can't lose sight of it,
I had felt inclined to trust in the driver's experience, and he
had already justified my confidence in him. This encouraged me to
consult his opinion on a matter of some importance to my present
interests. I could see the necessity of avoiding discovery when
we had followed the chaise to its destination; but I was totally
at a loss to know how it could be done. My wily old man was ready
with his advice the moment I asked for it.
"Wherever the chaise stops, miss, we must drive past it as if we
were going somewhere else. I shall notice the place while we go
by; and you will please sit back in the corner of the cab so that
the gentleman can't see you."
"Well," I said, "and what next?"
"Next, miss, I shall pull up, wherever it may be, out of sight
of the driver of the chaise. He bears an excellent character,
I don't deny it; but I've known him for years--and we had better
not trust him. I shall tell you where the gentleman stopped;
and you will go back to the place (on foot, of course), and see
for yourself what's to be done, specially if there happens to be
a lady in the case. No offense, miss; it's in my experience that
there's generally a lady in the case. Anyhow, you can judge for
yourself, and you'll know where to find me waiting when you want
"Suppose something happens," I suggested, "that we don't expect?"
"I shan't lose my head, miss, whatever happens."
"All very well, coachman; but I have only your word for it."
In the irritable state of my mind, the man's confident way of
thinking annoyed me.
"Begging your pardon, my young lady, you've got (if I may say so)
what they call a guarantee. When I was a young man, I drove a cab
in London for ten years. Will that do?"
"I suppose you mean," I answered, "that you have learned deceit
in the wicked ways of the great city."
He took this as a compliment. "Thank you, miss. That's it
After a long drive, or so it seemed to my impatience, we passed
the chaise drawn up at a lonely house, separated by a front
garden from the road. In two or three minutes more, we stopped
where the road took a turn, and descended to lower ground.
The farmhouse which we had left behind us was known to
the driver. He led the way to a gate at the side of the road,
and opened it for me.
"In your place, miss," he said slyly, "the private way back
is the way I should wish to take. Try it by the fields. Turn to
the right when you have passed the barn, and you'll find yourself
at the back of the house." He stopped, and looked at his big
silver watch. "Half-past twelve," he said, "the Chawbacons--I
mean the farmhouse servants, miss--will be at their dinner.
All in your favor, so far. If the dog happens to be loose, don't
forget that his name's Grinder; call him by his name, and pat him
before he has time enough to think, and he'll let you be. When
you want me, here you'll find me waiting for orders."
I looked back as I crossed the field. The driver was sitting on
the gate, smoking his pipe, and the horse was nibbling the grass
at the roadside. Two happy animals, without a burden on their
After passing the barn, I saw nothing of the dog. Far or near,
no living creature appeared; the servants must have been at
dinner, as the coachman had foreseen. Arriving at a wooden fence,
I opened a gate in it, and found myself on a bit of waste ground.
On my left, there was a large duck-pond. On my right, I saw the
fowl-house and the pigstyes. Before me was a high impenetrable
hedge; and at some distance behind it--an orchard or a garden,
as I supposed, filling the intermediate space--rose the back
of the house. I made for the shelter of the hedge, in the fear
that some one might approach a window and see me. Once sheltered
from observation, I might consider what I should do next. It was
impossible to doubt that this was the house in which Eunice was
living. Neither could I fail to conclude that Philip had tried
to persuade her to see him, on those former occasions when he
told me he had taken a long walk.
As I crouched behind the hedge, I heard voices approaching
on the other side of it. At last fortune had befriended me.
The person speaking at the moment was Miss Jillgall; and
the person who answered her was Philip.
"I am afraid, dear Mr. Philip, you don't quite understand my
sweet Euneece. Honorable, high minded, delicate in her feelings,
and, oh, so unselfish! I don't want to alarm you, but when she
hears you have been deceiving Helena--"
"Upon my word, Miss Jillgall, you are so provoking! I have not
been deceiving Helena. Haven't I told you what discouraging
answers I got, when I went to see the Governor? Haven't I shown
you Eunice's reply to my letter? You can't have forgotten it
"Oh, yes, I have. Why should I remember it? Don't I know poor
Euneece was in your mind, all the time?"
"You're wrong again! Eunice was not in my mind all the time.
I was hurt--I was offended by the cruel manner in which she had
treated me. And what was the consequence? So far was I from
deceiving Helena--she rose in my estimation by comparison with
"Oh, come, come, Mr. Philip! that won't do. Helena rising in
anybody's estimation? Ha! ha! ha!"
"Laugh as much as you like, Miss Jillgall, you won't laugh away
the facts. Helena loved me; Helena was true to me. Don't be hard
on a poor fellow who is half distracted. What a man finds he can
do on one day, he finds he can't do on another. Try to understand
that a change does sometimes come over one's feelings."
"Bless my soul, Mr. Philip, that's just what I have been
understanding all the time! I know your mind as well as you
know it yourself. You can't forget my sweet Euneece."
"I tell you I tried to forget her! On my word of honor as
a gentleman, I tried to forget her, in justice to Helena. Is it
my fault that I failed? Eunice was in my mind, as you said just
now. Oh, my friend--for you are my friend, I am sure--persuade
her to see me, if it's only for a minute!"
(Was there ever a man's mind in such a state of confusion as
this! First, I rise in his precious estimation, and Eunice drops.
Then Eunice rises, and I drop. Idiot! Mischievous idiot! Even
Selina seemed to be disgusted with him, when she spoke next.)
"Mr. Philip, you are hard and unreasonable. I have tried to
persuade her, and I have made my darling cry. Nothing you
can say will induce me to distress her again. Go back, you
very undetermined man--go back to your Helena."
"I say too late. If I could have married Helena when I first went
to stay in the house, I might have faced the sacrifice. As it is,
I can't endure her; and (I tell you this in confidence) she has
herself to thank for what has happened."
"Is that really true?"
"Tell me what she did.
"Oh, don't talk of her! Persuade Eunice to see me. I shall come
back again, and again, and again till you bring her to me."
"Please don't talk nonsense. If she changes her mind, I will
bring her with pleasure. If she still shrinks from it, I regard
Euneece's feelings as sacred. Take my advice; don't press her.
Leave her time to think of you, and to pity you--and that true
heart may be yours again, if you are worthy of it."
"Worthy of it? What do you mean?"
"Are you quite sure, my young friend, that you won't go back
"Go back to _her_? I would cut my throat if I thought myself
capable of doing it!"
"How did she set you against her? Did the wretch quarrel
"It might have been better for both of us if she had done that.
Oh, her fulsome endearments! What a contrast to the charming
modesty of Eunice! If I was rich, I would make it worth the while
of the first poor fellow I could find to rid me of Helena
by marrying her. I don't like saying such a thing of a woman,
but if you will have the truth--"
"Well, Mr. Philip--and what is the truth?"
"Helena disgusts me."
HELENA'S DIARY RESUMED.
So it was all settled between them. Philip is to throw me away,
like one of his bad cigars, for this unanswerable reason: "Helena
disgusts me." And he is to persuade Eunice to take my place,
and be his wife. Yes! if I let him do it.
I heard no more of their talk. With that last, worst outrage
burning in my memory, I left the place.
On my way back to the carriage, the dog met me. Truly, a grand
creature. I called him by his name, and patted him. He licked my
hand. Something made me speak to him. I said: "If I was to tell
you to tear Mr. Philip Dunboyne to pieces, would you do it?"
The great good-natured brute held out his paw to shake hands.
Well! well! I was not an object of disgust to the dog.
But the coachman was startled, when he saw me again. He said
something, I did not know what it was; and he produced
a pocket-flask, containing some spirits, I suppose. Perhaps
he thought I was going to faint. He little knew me. I told him
to drive back to the place at which I had hired the cab, and
earn his money. He earned it.
On getting home, I found Mrs. Tenbruggen walking up and down
the dining-room, deep in thought. She was startled when we first
confronted each other. "You look dreadfully ill," she said.
I answered that I had been out for a little exercise, and
had over-fatigued myself; and then changed the subject. "Does
my father seem to improve under your treatment?" I asked.
"Very far from it, my dear. I promised that I would try what
Massage would do for him, and I find myself compelled to give
"It excites him dreadfully."
"In what way?"
"He has been talking wildly of events in his past life. His brain
is in some condition which is beyond my powers of investigation.
He pointed to a cabinet in his room, and said his past life
was locked up there. I asked if I should unlock it. He shook
with fear; he said I should let out the ghost of his dead
brother-in-law. Have you any idea of what he meant?"
The cabinet was full of old letters. I could tell her that--and
could tell her no more. I had never heard of his brother-in-law.
Another of his delusions, no doubt. "Did you ever hear him
speak," Mrs. Tenbruggen went on, "of a place called Low Lanes?"
She waited for my reply to this last inquiry with an appearance
of anxiety that surprised me. I had never heard him speak of
"Have you any particular interest in the place?" I asked.
She went away to attend on a patient. I retired to my bedroom,
and opened my Diary. Again and again, I read that remarkable
story of the intended poisoning, and of the manner in which it
had ended. I sat thinking over this romance in real life till
I was interrupted by the announcement of dinner.
Mr. Philip Dunboyne had returned. In Miss Jillgall's absence we
were alone at the table. My appetite was gone. I made a pretense
of eating, and another pretense of being glad to see my devoted
lover. I talked to him in the prettiest manner. As a hypocrite,
he thoroughly matched me; he was gallant, he was amusing.
If baseness like ours had been punishable by the law, a prison
was the right place for both of us.
Mrs. Tenbruggen came in again after dinner, still not quite easy
about my health. "How flushed you are!" she said. "Let me feel
your pulse." I laughed, and left her with Mr. Philip Dunboyne.
Passing my father's door, I looked in, anxious to see
if he was in the excitable state which Mrs. Tenbruggen had
described. Yes; the effect which she had produced on him--how,
she knows best--had not passed away yet: he was still talking.
The attendant told me it had gone on for hours together.
On my approaching his chair, he called out: "Which are you?
Eunice or Helena?" When I had answered him, he beckoned me to
come nearer. "I am getting stronger every minute," he said.
"We will go traveling to-morrow, and see the place where you
Where had I been born? He had never told me where. Had he
mentioned the place in Mrs. Tenbruggen's hearing? I asked
the attendant if he had been present while she was in the room.
Yes; he had remained at his post; he had also heard the allusion
to the place with the odd name. Had Mr. Gracedieu said anything
more about that place? Nothing more; the poor Minister's
mind had wandered off to other things. He was wandering now.
Sometimes, he was addressing his congregation; sometimes,
he wondered what they would give him for supper; sometimes,
he talked of the flowers in the garden. And then he looked
at me, and frowned, and said I prevented him from thinking.
I went back to my bedroom, and opened my Diary, and read
the story again.
Was the poison of which that resolute young wife proposed to make
use something that acted slowly, and told the doctors nothing
if they looked for it after death?
Would it be running too great a risk to show the story to the
doctor, and try to get a little valuable information in that way?
It would be useless. He would make some feeble joke; he would
say, girls and poisons are not fit company for each other.
But I might discover what I want to know in another way. I might
call on the doctor, after he has gone out on his afternoon
round of visits, and might tell the servant I would wait for
his master's return. Nobody would be in my way; I might get
at the medical literature in the consulting-room, and find
the information for myself.
A knock at my door interrupted me in the midst of my plans.
Mrs. Tenbruggen again!--still in a fidgety state of feeling
on the subject of my health. "Which is it?" she said. "Pain
of body, my dear, or pain of mind? I am anxious about you."
"My dear Elizabeth, your sympathy is thrown away on me. As
I have told you already, I am over-tired--nothing more."
She was relieved to hear that I had no mental troubles to
complain of. "Fatigue," she remarked, "sets itself right
with rest. Did you take a very long walk?"
"Beyond the limits of the town, of course? Philip has been taking
a walk in the country, too. He doesn't say that he met you."
These clever people sometimes overreach themselves. How she
suggested it to me, I cannot pretend to have discovered. But
I did certainly suspect that she had led Philip, while they
were together downstairs, into saying to her what he had already
said to Miss Jillgall. I was so angry that I tried to pump
my excellent friend, as she had been trying to pump me--a vulgar
expression, but vulgar writing is such a convenient way of
writing sometimes. My first attempt to entrap the Masseuse
failed completely. She coolly changed the subject.
"Have I interrupted you in writing?" she asked, pointing to
"No; I was idling over what I have written already--an
extraordinary story which I copied from a book."
"May I look at it?"
I pushed the open Diary across the table. If I was the object of
any suspicions which she wanted to confirm, it would be curious
to see if the poisoning story helped her. "It's a piece of family
history," I said; "I think you will agree with me that it is
She began to read. As she went on, not all her power of
controlling herself could prevent her from turning pale. This
change of color (in such a woman) a little alarmed me. When
a girl is devoured by deadly hatred of a man, does the feeling
show itself to other persons in her face? I must practice before
the glass and train my face into a trustworthy state of
"Coarse melodrama!" Mrs. Tenbruggen declared. "Mere sensation.
No analysis of character. A made-up story!"
"Well made up, surely?" I answered.
"I don't agree with you." Her voice was not quite so steady
as usual. She asked suddenly if my clock was right--and declared
that she should be late for an appointment. On taking leave
she pressed my hand strongly--eyed me with distrustful attention
and said, very emphatically: "Take care of yourself, Helena;
pray take care of yourself."
I am afraid I did a very foolish thing when I showed her
the poisoning story. Has it helped the wily old creature
to look into my inmost thoughts?
To-day, Miss Jillgall returned, looking hideously healthy and
spitefully cheerful. Although she tried to conceal it, while
I was present, I could see that Philip had recovered his place
in her favor. After what he had said to her behind the hedge
at the farm, she would be relieved from all fear of my becoming
his wife, and would joyfully anticipate his marriage to Eunice.
There are thoughts in me which I don't set down in my book.
I only say: We shall see.
This afternoon, I decided on visiting the doctor. The servant
was quite sorry for me when he answered the door. His master had
just left the house for a round of visits. I said I would wait.
The servant was afraid I should find waiting very tedious.
I reminded him that I could go away if I found it tedious.
At last, the polite old man left me.
I went into the consulting-room, and read the backs of
the medical books ranged round the walls, and found a volume
that interested me. There was such curious information in it
that I amused myself by making extracts, using the first
sheets of paper that I could find. They had printed directions
at the top, which showed that the doctor was accustomed
to write his prescriptions on them. We had many, too many,
of his prescriptions in our house.
The servant's doubts of my patience proved to have been well
founded. I got tired of waiting, and went home before the doctor
From morning to night, nothing has been seen of Mrs. Tenbruggen
to-day. Nor has any apology for her neglect of us been received,
fond as she is of writing little notes. Has that story in my
Diary driven her away? Let me see what to-morrow may bring forth.
To-day has brought forth--nothing. Mrs. Tenbruggen still keeps
away from us. It looks as if my Diary had something to do with
the mystery of her absence.
I am not in good spirits to-day. My nerves--if I have such
things, which is more than I know by my own experience--have been
a little shaken by a horrid dream. The medical information, which
my thirst for knowledge absorbed in the doctor's consulting-room,
turned traitor--armed itself with the grotesque horrors of
nightmare--and so thoroughly frightened me that I was on
the point of being foolish enough to destroy my notes. I thought
better of it, and my notes are safe under lock and key.
Mr. Philip Dunboyne is trying to pave the way for his flight
from this house. He speaks of friends in London, whose interest
will help him to find the employment which is the object
of his ambition. "In a few days more," he said, "I shall ask
for leave of absence."
Instead of looking at me, his eyes wandered to the window; his
fingers played restlessly with his watch-chain while he spoke.
I thought I would give him a chance, a last chance, of making
the atonement that he owes to me. This shows shameful weakness,
on my part. Does my own resolution startle me? Or does the wretch
appeal--to what? To my pity? It cannot be my love; I am
positively sure that I hate him. Well, I am not the first girl
who had been an unanswerable riddle to herself.
"Is there any other motive for your departure?" I asked.
"What other motive can there be?" he replied. I put what I had
to say to him in plainer words still. "Tell me, Philip, are you
beginning to wish that you were a free man again?"
He still prevaricated. Was this because he is afraid of me,
or because he is not quite brute enough to insult me to my face?
I tried again for the third and last time. I almost put the words
into his mouth.
"I fancy you have been out of temper lately," I said. "You have
not been your own kinder and better self. Is this the right
interpretation of the change that I think I see in you?"
He answered: "I have not been very well lately."
"And that is all?"
"Yes--that is all."
There was no more to be said; I turned away to leave the room.
He followed me to the door. After a momentary hesitation, he
made the attempt to kiss me. I only looked at him--he drew back
from me in silence. I left the new Judas, standing alone, while
the shades of evening began to gather over the room.
Third Period _(continued)_.
_EVENTS IN THE FAMILY, RELATED BY MISS JILLGALL._
"If anything of importance happens, I trust to you to write
an account of it, and to send the writing to me. I will come
to you at once, if I see reason to believe that my presence
is required." Those lines, in your last kind reply to me, rouse
my courage, dear Mr. Governor, and sharpen the vigilance which
has always been one of the strong points in my character. Every
suspicious circumstance which occurs in this house will be (so
to speak) seized on by my pen, and will find itself (so to speak
again) placed on its trial, before your unerring judgment! Let
the wicked tremble! I mention no names.
Taking up my narrative where it came to an end when I last wrote,
I have to say a word first on the subject of my discoveries,
in regard to Philip's movements.
The advertisement of a private inquiry office, which I read in
a newspaper, put the thing into my head. I provided myself with
money to pay the expenses by--I blush while I write it--pawning
my watch. This humiliation of my poor self has been rewarded by
success. Skilled investigation has proved that our young man has
come to his senses again, exactly as I supposed. On each occasion
when he was suspiciously absent from the house, he has been
followed to the farm. I have been staying there myself for a day
or two, in the hope of persuading Eunice to relent. The hope
has not yet been realized. But Philip's devotion, assisted by
my influence, will yet prevail. Let me not despair.
Whether Helena knows positively that she has lost her wicked hold
on Philip I cannot say. It seems hardly possible that she could
have made the discovery just yet. The one thing of which I am
certain is, that she looks like a fiend.
Philip has wisely taken my advice, and employed pious fraud.
He will get away from the wretch, who has tempted him once and
may tempt him again, under pretense of using the interest of
his friends in London to find a place under Government. He has
not been very well for the last day or two, and the execution
of our project is in consequence delayed.
I have news of Mrs. Tenbruggen which will, I think, surprise you.
She has kept away from us in a most unaccountable manner.
I called on her at the hotel, and heard she was engaged with
her lawyer. On the next day, she suddenly returned to her old
habits, and paid the customary visit. I observed a similar
alteration in her state of feeling. She is now coldly civil
to Helena; and she asks after Eunice with a maternal interest
touching to see--I said to her: "Elizabeth, you appear to have
changed your opinion of the two girls, since I saw you." She
answered, with a delightful candor which reminded me of old
times: "Completely!" I said: "A woman of your intellectual
caliber, dear, doesn't change her mind without a good reason
for it." Elizabeth cordially agreed with me. I ventured to be
a little more explicit: "You have no doubt made some interesting
discovery." Elizabeth agreed again; and I ventured again:
"I suppose I may not ask what the discovery is?" "No, Selina,
you may not ask."
This is curious; but it is nothing to what I have got to tell
you next. Just as I was longing to take her to my bosom again
as my friend and confidante, Elizabeth has disappeared. And,
alas! alas! there is a reason for it which no sympathetic person
I have just received some overwhelming news, in the form of
a neat parcel, addressed to myself.
There has been a scandal at the hotel. That monster in human
form, Elizabeth's husband, is aware of his wife's professional
fame, has heard of the large sums of money which she earns as
the greatest living professor of massage, has been long on the
lookout for her, and has discovered her at last. He has not only
forced his way into her sitting-room at the hotel; he insists on
her living with him again; her money being the attraction, it is
needless to say. If she refuses, he threatens her with the law,
the barbarous law, which, to use his own coarse expression, will
"restore his conjugal rights."
All this I gather from the narrative of my unhappy friend, which
forms one of the two inclosures in her parcel. She has already
made her escape. Ha! the man doesn't live who can circumvent
Elizabeth. The English Court of Law isn't built which can catch
her when she roams the free and glorious Continent.
The vastness of this amazing woman's mind is what I must pause
to admire. In the frightful catastrophe that has befallen her,
she can still think of Philip and Euneece. She is eager to hear
of their marriage, and renounces Helena with her whole heart.
"I too was deceived by that cunning young Woman," she writes.
"Beware of her, Selina. Unless I am much mistaken, she is going
to end badly. Take care of Philip, take care of Euneece. If
you want help, apply at once to my favorite hero in real life,
The Governor." I don't presume to correct Elizabeth's language.
I should have called you The idol of the Women.
The second inclosure contains, as I suppose, a wedding present.
It is carefully sealed--it feels no bigger than an ordinary
letter--and it contains an inscription which your highly-
cultivated intelligence may be able to explain. I copy it
"To be inclosed in another envelope, addressed to Mr. Dunboyne
the elder, at Percy's Private Hotel, London, and delivered by
a trustworthy messenger, on the day when Mr. Philip Dunboyne
is married to Miss Eunice Gracedieu. Placed meanwhile under
the care of Miss Selina Jillgall."
Why is this mysterious letter to be sent to Philip's father?
I wonder whether that circumstance will puzzle you as it has
I have kept my report back, so as to send you the last news
relating to Philip's state of health. To my great regret,
his illness seems to have made a serious advance since yesterday.
When I ask if he is in pain, he says: "It isn't exactly pain;
I feel as if I was sinking. Sometimes I am giddy; and sometimes
I find myself feeling thirsty and sick." I have no opportunity of
looking after him as I could wish; for Helena insists on nursing
him, assisted by the housemaid. Maria is a very good girl in
her way, but too stupid to be of much use. If he is not better
to-morrow, I shall insist on sending for the doctor.
He is no better; and he wishes to have medical help. Helena
doesn't seem to understand his illness. It was not until Philip
had insisted on seeing him that she consented to send for
You had some talk with this experienced physician when you were
here, and you know what a clever man he is. When I tell you that
he hesitates to say what is the matter with Philip, you will feel
as much alarmed as I do. I will wait to send this to the post
until I can write in a more definite way.
Two days more have passed. The doctor has put two very strange
questions to me.
He asked, first, if there was anybody staying with us besides
the regular members of the household. I said we had no visitor.
He wanted to know, next, if Mr. Philip Dunboyne had made any
enemies since he has been living in our town. I said none
that I knew of--and I took the liberty of asking what he meant.
He answered to this, that he has a few more inquiries to make,
and that he will tell me what he means to-morrow.
For God's sake come here as soon as you possibly can. The whole
burden is thrown on me--and I am quite unequal to it.
I received the doctor to-day in the drawing-room. To my
amazement, he begged leave to speak with me in the garden.
When I asked why, he answered: "I don't want to have a listener
at the door. Come out on the lawn, where we can be sure that
we are alone."
When we were in the garden, he noticed that I was trembling.
"Rouse your courage, Miss Jillgall," he said. "In the Minister's
helpless state there is nobody whom I can speak to but yourself."
I ventured to remind him that he might speak to Helena as well
as to myself.
He looked as black as thunder when I mentioned her name. All he
said was, "No!" But, oh, if you had heard his voice--and he so
gentle and sweet-tempered at other times--you would have felt,
as I did, that he had Helena in his mind!
"Now, listen to this," he went on. "Everything that my art can
do for Mr. Philip Dunboyne, while I am at his bedside, is undone
while I am away by some other person. He is worse to-day than
I have seen him yet."
"Oh, sir, do you think he will die?"
"He will certainly die unless the right means are taken to save
him, and taken at once. It is my duty not to flinch from telling
you the truth. I have made a discovery since yesterday which
satisfies me that I am right. Somebody is trying to poison Mr.
Dunboyne; and somebody will succeed unless he is removed from
I am a poor feeble creature. The doctor caught me, or I should
have dropped on the grass. It was not a fainting-fit. I only
shook and shivered so that I was too weak to stand up. Encouraged
by the doctor, I recovered sufficiently to be able to ask him
where Philip was to be taken to. He said: "To the hospital. No
poisoner can follow my patient there. Persuade him to let me
take him away, when I call again in an hour's time."
As soon as I could hold a pen, I sent a telegram to you. Pray,
pray come by the earliest train. I also telegraphed to old Mr.
Dunboyne, at the hotel in London.
It was impossible for me to face Helena; I own I was afraid.
The cook kindly went upstairs to see who was in Philip's room.
It was the housemaid's turn to look after him for a while.
I went instantly to his bedside.
There was no persuading him to allow himself to be taken
to the hospital. "I am dying," he said. "If you have any pity
for me, send for Euneece. Let me see her once more, let me hear
her say that she forgives me, before I die."
I hesitated. It was too terrible to think of Euneece in the same
house with her sister. Her life might be in danger! Philip gave
me a look, a dreadful ghastly look. "If you refuse," he said
wildly, "the grave won't hold me. I'll haunt you for the rest
of your life."
"She shall hear that you are ill," I answered--and ran out
of the room before he could speak again.
What I had promised to write, I did write. But, placed between
Euneece's danger and Philip's danger, my heart was all for
Euneece. Would Helena spare her, if she came to Philip's bedside?
In such terror as I never felt before in my life, I added a word
more, entreating her not to leave the farm. I promised to keep
her regularly informed on the subject of Philip's illness;
and I mentioned that I expected the Governor to return to us
immediately. "Do nothing," I wrote, "without his advice."
My letter having been completed, I sent the cook away with it,
in a chaise. She belonged to the neighborhood, and she knew
the farmhouse well.
Nearly two hours afterward, I heard the chaise stop at the door,
and ran out, impatient to hear how my sweet girl had received
my letter. God help us all! When I opened the door, the first
person whom I saw was Euneece herself.
One surprise followed another, after I had encountered Euneece
at the door.
When my fondness had excused her for setting the well-meant
advice in my letter at defiance, I was conscious of expecting to
see her in tears; eager, distressingly eager, to hear what hope
there might be of Philip's recovery. I saw no tears, I heard no
inquiries. She was pale, and quiet, and silent. Not a word fell
from her when we met, not a word when she kissed me, not a word
when she led the way into the nearest room--the dining-room.
It was only when we were shut in together that she spoke.
"Which is Philip's room?" she asked.
Instead of wanting to know how he was, she desired to know
where he was! I pointed toward the back dining-room, which had
been made into a bedroom for Philip. He had chosen it himself,
when he first came to stay with us, because the window opened
into the garden. and he could slip out and smoke at any hour
of the day or night, when he pleased.
"Who is with him now?" was the next strange thing this
sadly-changed girl said to me.
"Maria is taking her turn," I answered; "she assists in nursing
"Where is--?" Euneece got no further than that. Her breath
quickened, her color faded away. I had seen people look as she
was looking now, when they suffered under some sudden pain.
Before I could offer to help her, she rallied, and went on:
"Where," she began again, "is the other nurse?"
"You mean Helena?" I said.
"I mean the Poisoner."
When I remind you, dear Mr. Governor, that my letter had
carefully concealed from her the horrible discovery made by
the doctor, your imagination will picture my state of mind. She
saw that I was overpowered. Her sweet nature, so strangely frozen
up thus far, melted at last. "You don't know what I have heard,"
she said, "you don't know what thoughts have been roused in me."
She left her chair, and sat on my knee with the familiarity of
the dear old times, and took the letter that I had written to her
from her pocket.
"Look at it yourself," she said, "and tell me if anybody could
read it, and not see that you were concealing something. My dear,
I have driven round by the doctor's house--I have seen him--I
have persuaded him, or perhaps I ought to say surprised him,
into telling me the truth. But the kind old man is obstinate. He
wouldn't believe me when I told him I was on my way here to save
Philip's life. He said: 'My child, you will only put your own
life in jeopardy. If I had not seen that danger, I should never
have told you of the dreadful state of things at home. Go back
to the good people at the farm, and leave the saving of Philip
"He was right, Euneece, entirely right."
"No, dear, he was wrong. I begged him to come here, and judge
for himself; and I ask you to do the same."
I was obstinate. "Go back!" I persisted. "Go back to the farm!"
"Can I see Philip?" she asked.
I have heard some insolent men say that women are like cats.
If they mean that we do, figuratively speaking, scratch at times,
I am afraid they are not altogether wrong. An irresistible
impulse made me say to poor Euneece: "This is a change indeed,
since you refused to receive Philip."
"Is there no change in the circumstances?" she asked sadly.
"Isn't he ill and in danger?"
I begged her to forgive me; I said I meant no harm.
"I gave him up to my sister," she continued, "when I believed
that his happiness depended, not on me, but on her. I take him
back to myself, when he is at the mercy of a demon who threatens
his life. Come, Selina, let us go to Philip."
She put her arm round me, and made me get up from my chair.
I was so easily persuaded by her, that the fear of what Helena's
jealousy and Helena's anger might do was scarcely present in
my thoughts. The door of communication was locked on the side
of the bedchamber. I went into the hall, to enter Philip's room
by the other door. She followed, waiting behind me. I heard what
passed between them when Maria went out to her.
"Where is Miss Gracedieu?"
"Resting upstairs, miss, in her room."
"Look at the clock, and tell me when you expect her to come down
"I am to call her, miss, in ten minutes more."
"Wait in the dining-room, Maria, till I come back to you."
She joined me. I held the door open for her to go into Philip's
room. It was not out of curiosity; the feeling that urged me
was sympathy, when I waited a moment to see their first meeting.
She bent over the poor, pallid, trembling, suffering man,
and raised him in her arms, and laid his head on her bosom.
"My Philip!" She murmured those words in a kiss. I closed
the door, I had a good cry; and, oh, how it comforted me!
There was only a minute to spare when she came out of the room.
Maria was waiting for her. Euneece said, as quietly as ever:
"Go and call Miss Gracedieu."
The girl looked at her, and saw--I don't know what. Maria became
alarmed. But she went up the stairs, and returned in haste
to tell us that her young mistress was coming down.
The faint rustling of Helena's dress as she left her room
reached us in the silence. I remained at the open door of
the dining-room, and Maria approached and stood near me. We were
both frightened. Euneece stepped forward, and stood on the mat
at the foot of the stairs, waiting. Her back was toward me;
I could only see that she was as still as a statue. The rustling
of the dress came nearer. Oh, heavens! what was going to happen?
My teeth chattered in my head; I held by Maria's shoulder. Drops
of perspiration showed themselves on the girl's forehead; she
stared in vacant terror at the slim little figure, posted firm
and still on the mat.
Helena turned the corner of the stairs, and waited a moment
on the last landing, and saw her sister.
"You here?" she said. "What do you want?"
There was no reply. Helena descended, until she reached the last
stair but one. There, she stopped. Her staring eyes grew large
and wild; her hand shook as she stretched it out, feeling for
the banister; she staggered as she caught at it, and held herself
up. The silence was still unbroken. Something in me, stronger
than myself, drew my steps along the hall nearer and nearer
to the stair, till I could see the face which had struck that
murderous wretch with terror.
No! it was not my sweet girl; it was a horrid transformation
of her. I saw a fearful creature, with glittering eyes that
threatened some unimaginable vengeance. Her lips were drawn back;
they showed her clinched teeth. A burning red flush dyed
her face. The hair of her head rose, little by little, slowly.
And, most dreadful sight of all, she seemed, in the stillness of
the house, to be _listening to something_. If I could have moved,
I should have fled to the first place of refuge I could find.
If I could have raised my voice, I should have cried for help.
I could do neither the one nor the other. I could only look,
look, look; held by the horror of it with a hand of iron.
Helena must have roused her courage, and resisted her terror.
I heard her speak:
"Let me by!"
Slowly, steadily, in a whisper, Euneece made that reply.
Helena tried once more--still fighting against her own terror:
I knew it by the trembling of her voice.
"Let me by," she repeated; "I am on my way to Philip's room."
"You will never enter Philip's room again."
"Who will stop me?"
She had spoken in the same steady whisper throughout--but now
she moved. I saw her set her foot on the first stair. I saw
the horrid glitter in her eyes flash close into Helena's face.
I heard her say:
"Poisoner, go back to your room."
Silent and shuddering, Helena shrank away from her--daunted
by her glittering eyes; mastered by her lifted hand pointing up
Helena slowly ascended till she reached the landing. She turned
and looked down; she tried to speak. The pointing hand struck her
dumb, and drove her up the next flight of stairs. She was lost to
view. Only the small rustling sound of the dress was to be heard,
growing fainter and fainter; then an interval of stillness; then
the noise of a door opened and closed again; then no sound more
--but a change to be seen: the transformed creature was crouching
on her knees, still and silent, her face covered by her hands.
I was afraid to approach her; I was afraid to speak to her. After
a time, she rose. Suddenly, swiftly, with her head turned away
from me, she opened the door of Philip's room--and was gone.
I looked round. There was only Maria in the lonely hall.
Shall I try to tell you what my sensations were? It may sound
strangely, but it is true--I felt like a sleeper, who has
half-awakened from a dream.
A little later, on that eventful day, when I was most in need
of all that your wisdom and kindness could do to guide me,
came the telegram which announced that you were helpless under
an attack of gout. As soon as I had in some degree got over
my disappointment, I remembered having told Euneece in my letter
that I expected her kind old friend to come to us. With
the telegram in my hand I knocked softly at Philip's door.
The voice that bade me come in was the gentle voice that I knew
so well. Philip was sleeping. There, by his bedside, with
his hand resting in her hand, was Euneece, so completely restored
to her own sweet self that I could hardly believe what I had
seen, not an hour since. She talked of you, when I showed her
your message, with affectionate interest and regret. Look back,
my admirable friend, at what I have written on the two or three
pages which precede this, and explain the astounding contrast
if you can.
I was left alone to watch by Philip, while Euneece went away
to see her father. Soon afterward, Maria took my place; I had
been sent for to the next room to receive the doctor.
He looked care-worn and grieved. I said I was afraid he had
brought bad news with him.
"The worst possible news," he answered. "A terrible exposure
threatens this family, and I am powerless to prevent it,"
He then asked me to remember the day when I had been surprised
by the singular questions which he had put to me, and when he had
engaged to explain himself after he had made some inquiries. Why,
and how, he had set those inquiries on foot was what he had now
to tell. I will repeat what he said, in his own words, as nearly
as I can remember them. While he was in attendance on Philip,
he had observed symptoms which made him suspect that Digitalis
had been given to the young man, in doses often repeated. Cases
of attempted poisoning by this medicine were so rare, that he
felt bound to put his suspicions to the test by going round
among the chemists's shops--excepting of course the shop at which
his own prescriptions were made up--and asking if they had lately
dispensed any preparation of Digitalis, ordered perhaps in
a larger quantity than usual. At the second shop he visited,
the chemist laughed. "Why, doctor," he said, "have you forgotten
your own prescription?" After this, the prescription was asked
for, and produced. It was on the paper used by the doctor--paper
which had his address printed at the top, and a notice added,
telling patients who came to consult him for the second time
to bring their prescriptions with them. Then, there followed in
writing: "Tincture of Digitalis, one ounce"--with his signature
at the end, not badly imitated, but a forgery nevertheless.
The chemist noticed the effect which this discovery had produced
on the doctor, and asked if that was his signature. He could
hardly, as an honest man, have asserted that a forgery was
a signature of his own writing. So he made the true reply, and
asked who had presented the prescription. The chemist called to
his assistant to come forward. "Did you tell me that you knew,
by sight, the young lady who brought this prescription?"
The assistant admitted it. "Did you tell me she was Miss Helena
Gracedieu?" "I did." "Are you sure of not having made any
mistake?" "Quite sure." The chemist then said: "I myself supplied
the Tincture of Digitalis, and the young lady paid for it, and
took it away with her. You have had all the information that
I can give you, sir; and I may now ask, if you can throw any
light on the matter." Our good friend thought of the poor
Minister, so sorely afflicted, and of the famous name so
sincerely respected in the town and in the country round,
and said he could not undertake to give an immediate answer.
The chemist was excessively angry. "You know as well as I do,"
he said, "that Digitalis, given in certain doses, is a poison,
and you cannot deny that I honestly believed myself to be
dispensing your prescription. While you are hesitating to give me
an answer, my character may suffer; I may be suspected myself."
He ended in declaring he should consult his lawyer. The doctor
went home, and questioned his servant. The man remembered the day
of Miss Helena's visit in the afternoon, and the intention that
she expressed of waiting for his master's return. He had shown
her into the parlor which opened into the consulting-room. No
other visitor was in the house at that time, or had arrived
during the rest of the day. The doctor's own experience, when
he got home, led him to conclude that Helena had gone into
the consulting-room. He had entered that room, for the purpose
of writing some prescriptions, and had found the leaves of paper
that he used diminished in number. After what he had heard, and
what he had discovered (to say nothing of what he suspected), it
occurred to him to look along the shelves of his medical library.
He found a volume (treating of Poisons) with a slip of paper
left between the leaves; the poison described at the place
so marked being Digitalis, and the paper used being one of his
own prescription-papers. "If, as I fear, a legal investigation
into Helena's conduct is a possible event," the doctor concluded,
"there is the evidence that I shall be obliged to give, when I am
called as a witness."
It is my belief that I could have felt no greater dismay, if
the long arm of the Law had laid its hold on me while he was
speaking. I asked what was to be done.
"If she leaves the house at once," the doctor replied, "she may
escape the infamy of being charged with an attempt at murder
by poison; and, in her absence, I can answer for Philip's life.
I don't urge you to warn her, because that might be a dangerous
thing to do. It is for you to decide, as a member of the family,
whether you will run the risk."
I tried to speak to him of Euneece, and to tell him what I had
already related to yourself. He was in no humor to listen to me.
"Keep it for a fitter time," he answered; "and think of what
I have just said to you." With that, he left me, on his way
to Philip's room.
Mental exertion was completely beyond me. Can you understand a
poor middle-aged spinster being frightened into doing a dangerous
thing? That may seem to be nonsense. But if you ask why I took
a morsel of paper, and wrote the warning which I was afraid to
communicate by word of mouth--why I went upstairs with my knees
knocking together, and opened the door of Helena's room just wide
enough to let my hand pass through--why I threw the paper in,
and banged the door to again, and ran downstairs as I have never
run since I was a little girl--I can only say, in the way of
explanation, what I have said already: I was frightened into
What I have written, thus far, I shall send to you by to-night's
The doctor came back to me, after he had seen Philip, and spoken
with Euneece. He was very angry; and, I must own, not without
reason. Philip had flatly refused to let himself be removed to
the hospital; and Euneece--"a mere girl"--had declared that she
would be answerable for consequences! The doctor warned me that
he meant to withdraw from the case, and to make his declaration
before the magistrates. At my entreaties he consented to
return in the evening, and to judge by results before taking
the terrible step that he had threatened.
While I remained at home on the watch, keeping the doors of
both rooms locked, Eunice went out to get Philip's medicine.
She came back, followed by a boy carrying a portable apparatus
for cooking. "All that Philip wants, and all that we want,"
she explained, "we can provide for ourselves. Give me a morsel
of paper to write on."
Unhooking the little pencil attached to her watch-chain, she
paused and looked toward the door. "Somebody listening," she
whispered. "Let them listen." She wrote a list of necessaries,
in the way of things to eat and things to drink, and asked me
to go out and get them myself. "I don't doubt the servants," she
said, speaking distinctly enough to be heard outside; "but I am
afraid of what a Poisoner's cunning and a Poisoner's desperation
may do, in a kitchen which is open to her." I went away on
my errand--discovering no listener outside, I need hardly say. On
my return, I found the door of communication with Philip's room
closed, but no longer locked. "We can now attend on him in turn,"
she said, "without opening either of the doors which lead into
the hall. At night we can relieve each other, and each of us can
get sleep as we want it in the large armchair in the dining-room.
Philip must be safe under our charge, or the doctor will insist
on taking him to the hospital. When we want Maria's help, from
time to time, we can employ her under our own superintendence.
Have you anything else, Selina, to suggest?"
There was nothing left to suggest. Young and inexperienced as
she was, how (I asked) had she contrived to think of all this?
She answered, simply "I'm sure I don't know; my thoughts came
to me while I was looking at Philip."
Soon afterward I found an opportunity of inquiring if Helena
had left the house. She had just rung her bell; and Maria had
found her, quietly reading, in her room. Hours afterward, when
I was on the watch at night, I heard Philip's door softly tried
from the outside. Her dreadful purpose had not been given up,
The doctor came in the evening, as he had promised, and found
an improvement in Philip's health. I mentioned what precautions
we had taken, and that they had been devised by Euneece. "Are you
going to withdraw from the case?" I asked. "I am coming back
to the case," he answered, "to-morrow morning."
It had been a disappointment to me to receive no answer
to the telegram which I had sent to Mr. Dunboyne the elder.
The next day's post brought the explanation in a letter to Philip
from his father, directed to him at the hotel here. This showed
that my telegram, giving my address at this house, had not
been received. Mr. Dunboyne announced that he had returned
to Ireland, finding the air of London unendurable, after the sea-
breezes at home. If Philip had already married, his father would
leave him to a life of genteel poverty with Helena Gracedieu. If
he had thought better of it, his welcome was waiting for him.
Little did Mr. Dunboyne know what changes had taken place since
he and his son had last met, and what hope might yet present
itself of brighter days for poor Euneece! I thought of writing
to him. But how would that crabbed old man receive a confidential
letter from a lady who was a stranger?
My doubts were set at rest by Philip himself. He asked me
to write a few lines of reply to his father; declaring that
his marriage with Helena was broken off--that he had not given up
all hope of being permitted to offer the sincere expression of
his penitence to Euneece--and that he would gladly claim his
welcome, as soon as he was well enough to undertake the journey
to Ireland. When he had signed the letter, I was so pleased that
I made a smart remark. I said: "This is a treaty of peace between
father and son."
When the doctor arrived in the morning, and found the change
for the better in his patient confirmed, he did justice to us at
last. He spoke kindly, and even gratefully, to Euneece. No more
allusions to the hospital as a place of safety escaped him.
He asked me cautiously for news of Helena. I could only tell him
that she had gone out at her customary time, and had returned at
her customary time. He did not attempt to conceal that my reply
had made him uneasy.
"Are you still afraid that she may succeed in poisoning Philip?"
"I am afraid of her cunning," he said. "If she is charged
with attempting to poison young Dunboyne, she has some system
of defense, you may rely on it, for which we are not prepared.
There, in my opinion, is the true reason for her extraordinary
insensibility to her own danger."
Two more days passed, and we were still safe under the protection
of lock and key.
On the evening of the second day (which was a Monday) Maria came
to me in great tribulation. On inquiring what was the matter,
I received a disquieting reply: "Miss Helena is tempting me. She
is so miserable at being prevented from seeing Mr. Philip, and
helping to nurse him, that it is quite distressing to see her.
At the same time, miss, it's hard on a poor servant. She asks me
to take the key secretly out of the door, and lend it to her
at night for a few minutes only. I'm really afraid I shall be
led into doing it, if she goes on persuading me much longer."
I commended Maria for feeling scruples which proved her to be
the best of good girls, and promised to relieve her from all
fear of future temptation. This was easily done. Euneece kept
the key of Philip's door in her pocket; and I kept the key of
the dining-room door in mine.
On the next day, a Tuesday in the week, an event took place
which Euneece and I viewed with distrust. Early in the afternoon,
a young man called with a note for Helena. It was to be given
to her immediately, and no answer was required.
Maria had just closed the house door, and was on her way upstairs
with the letter, when she was called back by another ring at the
bell. Our visitor was the doctor. He spoke to Maria in the hall:
"I think I see a note in your hand. Was it given to you by
the young man who has just left the house?"
"If he's your sweetheart, my dear, I have nothing more to say."
"Good gracious, doctor, how you do talk! I never saw the young
man before in my life."
"In that case, Maria, I will ask you to let me look at
the address. Aha! Mischief!"
The moment I heard that I threw open the dining-room door.
Curiosity is not easily satisfied. When it hears, it wants
to see; when it sees, it wants to know. Every lady will agree
with me in this observation.
"Pray come in," I said.
"One minute, Miss Jillgall. My girl, when you give Miss Helena
that note, try to get a sly look at her when she opens it,
and come and tell me what you have seen." He joined me in
the dining-room, and closed the door. "The other day," he went
on, "when I told you what I had discovered in the chemist's
shop, I think I mentioned a young man who was called to speak
to a question of identity--an assistant who knew Miss Helena
Gracedieu by sight."
"That young man left the note which Maria has just taken
"Who wrote it, doctor, and what does it say?"
"Questions naturally asked, Miss Jillgall--and not easily
answered. Where is Eunice? Her quick wit might help us."
She had gone out to buy some fruit and flowers for Philip.
The doctor accepted his disappointment resignedly. "Let us try
what we can do without her," he said. "That young man's master
has been in consultation (you may remember why) with his lawyer,
and Helena may be threatened by an investigation before
the magistrates. If this wild guess of mine turns out to have
hit the mark, the poisoner upstairs has got a warning."
I asked if the chemist had written the note. Foolish enough
of me when I came to think of it. The chemist would scarcely
act a friendly part toward Helena, when she was answerable for
the awkward position in which he had placed himself. Perhaps
the young man who had left the warning was also the writer
of the warning. The doctor reminded me that he was all but
a stranger to Helena. "We are not usually interested,"
he remarked, "in a person whom we only know by sight."
"Remember that he is a young man," I ventured to say. This was
a strong hint, but the doctor failed to see it. He had evidently
forgotten his own youth. I made another attempt.
"And vile as Helena is," I continued, "we cannot deny that
this disgrace to her sex is a handsome young lady."
He saw it at last. "Woman's wit!" he cried. "You have hit it,
Miss Jillgall. The young fool is smitten with her, and has given
her a chance of making her escape."
"Do you think she will take the chance?"
"For all our sakes, I pray God she may! But I don't feel sure
"Recollect what you and Eunice have done. You have shown your
suspicion of her without an attempt to conceal it. If you had put
her in prison you could not have more completely defeated her
infernal design. Do you think she is a likely person to submit
to that, without an effort to be even with you?"
Just as he said those terrifying words, Maria came back to us.
He asked at once what had kept her so long upstairs.
The girl had evidently something to say, which had inflated
her (if I may use such an expression) with a sense of her own
"Please to let me tell it, sir," she answered, "in my own way.
Miss Helena turned as pale as ashes when she opened the letter,
and then she took a turn in the room, and then she looked at me
with a smile--well, miss, I can only say that I felt that smile
in the small of my back. I tried to get to the door. She stopped
me. She says: 'Where's Miss Eunice?' I says: 'Gone out.' She
says: 'Is there anybody in the drawing-room?' I says: 'No, miss.'
She says: 'Tell Miss Jillgall I want to speak to her, and say
I am waiting in the drawing-room.' It's every word of it true!
And, if a poor servant may give an opinion, I don't like the look
The doctor dismissed Maria. "Whatever it is," he said to me,
"you must go and hear it."
I am not a courageous woman; I expressed myself as being willing
to go to her, if the doctor went with me. He said that was
impossible; she would probably refuse to speak before any
witness; and certainly before him. But he promised to look after
Philip in my absence, and to wait below if it really so happened
that I wanted him. I need only ring the bell, and he would come
to me the moment he heard it. Such kindness as this roused my
courage, I suppose. At any rate, I went upstairs.
She was standing by the fire-place, with her elbow on the
chimney-piece, and her head, resting on her hand. I stopped just
inside the door, waiting to hear what she had to say. In this
position her side-face only was presented to me. It was a ghastly
face. The eye that I could see turned wickedly on me when I came
in--then turned away again. Otherwise, she never moved. I confess
I trembled, but I did my best to disguise it.
She broke out suddenly with what she had to say: "I won't allow
this state of things to go on any longer. My horror of an
exposure which will disgrace the family has kept me silent,
wrongly silent, so far. Philip's life is in danger. I am
forgetting my duty to my affianced husband, if I allow myself
to be kept away from him any longer. Open those locked doors,
and relieve me from the sight of you. Open the doors, I say,
or you will both of you--you the accomplice, she the wretch
who directs you--repent it to the end of your lives."
In my own mind, I asked myself if she had gone mad. But I only
answered: "I don't understand you."
She said again: "You are Eunice's accomplice."
"Accomplice in what?" I asked.
She turned her head slowly and faced me. I shrank from looking
"All the circumstances prove it," she went on. "I have supplanted
Eunice in Philip's affection. She was once engaged to marry him;
I am engaged to marry him now. She is resolved that he shall
never make me his wife. He will die if I delay any longer. He
will die if I don't crush her, like the reptile she is. She comes
here--and what does she do? Keeps him prisoner under her own
superintendence. Who gets his medicine? She gets it. Who cooks
his food? She cooks it. The doors are locked. I might be a
witness of what goes on; and I am kept out. The servants who
ought to wait on him are kept out. She can do what she likes
with his medicine; she can do what she likes with his food: she
is infuriated with him for deserting her, and promising to marry
me. Give him back to my care; or, dreadful as it is to denounce
my own sister, I shall claim protection from the magistrates."
I lost all fear of her: I stepped close up to the place at which
she was standing; I cried out: "Of what, in God's name, do you
accuse your sister?"
She answered: "I accuse her of poisoning Philip Dunboyne."
I ran out of the room; I rushed headlong down the stairs.
The doctor heard me, and came running into the hall. I caught
hold of him like a madwoman. "Euneece!" My breath was gone;
I could only say: "Euneece!"
He dragged me into the dining-room. There was wine on the
side-board, which he had ordered medically for Philip. He forced
me to drink some of it. It ran through me like fire; it helped me
to speak. "Now tell me," he said, "what has she done to Eunice?"
"She brings a horrible accusation against her," I answered.
"What is the accusation?" I told him.
He looked me through and through. "Take care!" he said. "No
hysterics, no exaggeration. You may lead to dreadful consequences
if you are not sure of yourself. If it's really true, say it
again." I said it again--quietly this time.
His face startled me; it was white with rage. He snatched his hat
off the hall table.
"What are you going to do?" I asked.
"My duty." He was out of the house before I could speak to him
Third Period _(concluded)._
_TROUBLES AND TRIUMPHS OF THE FAMILY, RELATED BY THE GOVERNOR._
THE SENTENCE PRONOUNCED.
MARTYRS to gout know, by sad experience, that they suffer under
one of the most capricious of maladies. An attack of this disease
will shift, in the most unaccountable manner, from one part of
the body to another; or, it will release the victim when there is
every reason to fear that it is about to strengthen its hold on
him; or, having shown the fairest promise of submitting to
medical treatment, it will cruelly lay the patient prostrate
again in a state of relapse. Adverse fortune, in my case,
subjected me to this last and worst trial of endurance. Two
months passed--months of pain aggravated by anxiety--before I was
able to help Eunice and Miss Jillgall personally with my sympathy
During this interval, I heard regularly from the friendly and
Terror and suspense, courageously endured day after day, seem
to have broken down her resistance, poor soul, when Eunice's
good name and Eunice's tranquillity were threatened by the most
infamous of false accusations. From that time, Miss Jillgall's
method of expressing herself betrayed a gradual deterioration.
I shall avoid presenting at a disadvantage a correspondent who
has claims on my gratitude, if I give the substance only of what
she wrote--assisted by the newspaper which she sent to me, while
the legal proceedings were in progress.
Honest indignation does sometimes counsel us wisely. When
the doctor left Miss Jillgall, in anger and in haste, he had
determined on taking the course from which, as a humane man
and a faithful friend, he had hitherto recoiled. It was no time,
now, to shrink from the prospect of an exposure. The one hope of
successfully encountering the vindictive wickedness of Helena
lay in the resolution to be beforehand with her, in the appeal
to the magistrates with which she had threatened Eunice and
Miss Jillgall. The doctor's sworn information stated the whole
terrible case of the poisoning, ranging from his first suspicions
and their confirmation, to Helena's atrocious attempt to
accuse her innocent sister of her own guilt. So firmly were
the magistrates convinced of the serious nature of the case
thus stated, that they did not hesitate to issue their warrant.
Among the witnesses whose attendance was immediately secured,
by the legal adviser to whom the doctor applied, were the farmer
and his wife.
Helena was arrested while she was dressing to go out.
Her composure was not for a moment disturbed. "I was on my way,"
she said coolly, "to make a statement before the justices.
The sooner they hear what I have to say the better."
The attempt of this shameless wretch to "turn the tables" on
poor Eunice--suggested, as I afterward discovered, by the record
of family history which she had quoted in her journal--was
defeated with ease. The farmer and his wife proved the date
at which Eunice had left her place of residence under their roof.
The doctor's evidence followed. He proved, by the production of
his professional diary, that the discovery of the attempt to
poison his patient had taken place before the day of Eunice's
departure from the farm, and that the first improvement
in Mr. Philip Dunboyne's state of health had shown itself after
that young lady's arrival to perform the duties of a nurse.
To the wise precautions which she had taken--perverted by Helena
to the purpose of a false accusation--the doctor attributed
the preservation of the young man's life.
Having produced the worst possible impression on the minds of
the magistrates, Helena was remanded. Her legal adviser had
predicted this result; but the vindictive obstinacy of his client
had set both experience and remonstrance at defiance.
At the renewed examination, the line of defense adopted by
the prisoner's lawyer proved to be--mistaken identity.
It was asserted that she had never entered the chemist's shop;
also, that the assistant had wrongly identified some other lady
as Miss Helena Gracedieu; also, that there was not an atom
of evidence to connect her with the stealing of the doctor's
prescription-paper and the forgery of his writing. Other
assertions to the same purpose followed, on which it is needless
The case for the prosecution was, happily, in competent hands.
With the exception of one witness, cross-examination afforded
no material help to the evidence for the defense.
The chemist swore positively to the personal appearance
of Helena, as being the personal appearance of the lady who
had presented the prescription. His assistant, pressed on
the question of identity, broke down under cross-examination
--purposely, as it was whispered, serving the interests of
the prisoner. But the victory, so far gained by the defense,
was successfully contested by the statement of the next witness,
a respectable tradesman in the town. He had seen the newspaper
report of the first examination, and had volunteered to present
himself as a witness. A member of Mr. Gracedieu's congregation,
his pew in the chapel was so situated as to give him a view of
the minister's daughters occupying their pew. He had seen
the prisoner on every Sunday, for years past; and he swore that
he was passing the door of the chemist's shop, at the moment when
she stepped out into the street, having a bottle covered with
the customary white paper in her hand. The doctor and his servant
were the next witnesses called. They were severely cross-
examined. Some of their statements--questioned technically
with success--received unexpected and powerful support, due
to the discovery and production of the prisoner's diary.
The entries, guardedly as some of them were written, revealed
her motive for attempting to poison Philip Dunboyne; proved
that she had purposely called on the doctor when she knew that
he would be out, that she had entered the consulting-room,
and examined the medical books, had found (to use her own
written words) "a volume that interested her," and had used
the prescription-papers for the purpose of making notes.
The notes themselves were not to be found; they had doubtless
been destroyed. Enough, and more than enough, remained to make
the case for the prosecution complete. The magistrates committed
Helena Gracedieu for trial at the next assizes.
I arrived in the town, as well as I can remember, about a week
after the trial had taken place.
Found guilty, the prisoner had been recommended to mercy by
the jury--partly in consideration of her youth; partly as
an expression of sympathy and respect for her unhappy father.
The judge (a father himself) passed a lenient sentence. She was
condemned to imprisonment for two years. The careful matron
of the jail had provided herself with a bottle of smelling-salts,
in the fear that there might be need for it when Helena heard
her sentence pronounced. Not the slightest sign of agitation
appeared in her face or her manner. She lied to the last;
asserting her innocence in a firm voice, and returning from
the dock to the prison without requiring assistance from anybody.
Relating these particulars to me, in a state of ungovernable
excitement, good Miss Jillgall ended with a little confession
of her own, which operated as a relief to my overburdened mind
after what I had just heard.
"I wouldn't own it," she said, "to anybody but a dear friend. One
thing, in the dreadful disgrace that has fallen on us, I am quite
at a loss to account for. Think of Mr. Gracedieu's daughter being
one of those criminal creatures on whom it was once your terrible
duty to turn the key! Why didn't she commit suicide?"
"My dear lady, no thoroughly wicked creature ever yet committed
suicide. Self-destruction, when it is not an act of madness,
implies some acuteness of feeling--sensibility to remorse or to
shame, or perhaps a distorted idea of making atonement. There is
no such thing as remorse or shame, or hope of making atonement,
in Helena's nature."
"But when she comes out of prison, what will she do?"
"Don't alarm yourself, my good friend. She will do very well."
"Oh, hush! hush! Poetical justice, Mr. Governor!"
"Poetical fiddlesticks, Miss Jillgall."
THE OBSTACLE REMOVED.
When the subject of the trial was happily dismissed, my first
inquiry related to Eunice. The reply was made with an ominous
accompaniment of sighs and sad looks. Eunice had gone back to
her duties as governess at the farm. Hearing this, I asked
naturally what had become of Philip.
Melancholy news, again, was the news that I now heard.
Mr. Dunboyne the elder had died suddenly, at his house in
Ireland, while Philip was on his way home. When the funeral
ceremony had come to an end, the will was read. It had been made
only a few days before the testator's death; and the clause which
left all his property to his son was preceded by expressions of
paternal affection, at a time when Philip was in sore need of
consolation. After alluding to a letter, received from his son,
the old man added: "I always loved him, without caring to confess
it; I detest scenes of sentiment, kissings, embracings, tears,
and that sort of thing. But Philip has yielded to my wishes,
and has broken off a marriage which would have made him, as well
as me, wretched for life. After this, I may speak my mind from
my grave, and may tell my boy that I loved him. If the wish is
likely to be of any use, I will add (on the chance)--God bless
"Does Philip submit to separation from Eunice?" I asked. "Does
he stay in Ireland?"
"Not he, poor fellow! He will be here to-morrow or next day.
When I last wrote," Miss Jillgall continued, "I told him I hoped
to see you again soon. If you can't help us (I mean with Eunice)
that unlucky young man will do some desperate thing. He will join
those madmen at large who disturb poor savages in Africa, or go
nowhere to find nothing in the Arctic regions.
"Whatever I can do, Miss Jillgall, shall be gladly done. Is it
really possible that Eunice refuses to marry him, after having