Part 5 out of 5
could not bear to open it.
"And it is hardly twelve months since he
was married," she sobbed. "Oh, Ruth,
Ruth, it is too cruel!"
"Dear," answered Ruth, "there is no
death to such a man as Basil Stanhope."
"He was so young, Ruth."
"I know. `His high-born brothers called
him hence' at the age of twenty-nine, but
"`It is not growing like a tree,
In bulk, doth make men better be;
Or standing like an oak three hundred year,
To fall at last, dry, bald and sear:
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May;
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.'"
At these words the Judge put down his
Review to listen to Ethel's story, and when
she ceased speaking he had gone far further
back than any antique classic for compensation
"He being made perfect in a short time
fulfilled a long time. For his soul pleased
the Lord, therefore hasted He to take him
away from among the wicked." And that
evening there was little conversation. Every
heart was busy with its own thoughts.
 Wisdom of Solomon, IV., 13, 14.
TRADE and commerce have their heroes as
well as arms, and the struggle in which Tyrrel
Rawdon at last plucked victory from apparent
failure was as arduous a campaign
as any military operations could have afforded.
It had entailed on him a ceaseless,
undaunted watch over antagonists rich and
powerful; and a fight for rights which contained
not only his own fortune, but the honor
of his father, so that to give up a fraction of
them was to turn traitor to the memory of a
parent whom he believed to be beyond all
doubt or reproach. Money, political power,
civic influence, treachery, bribery, the law's
delay and many other hindrances met him on
every side, but his heart was encouraged daily
to perseverance by love's tenderest sympathy.
For he told Ethel everything, and received
both from her fine intuitions and her father's
legal skill priceless comfort and advice. But
at last the long trial was over, the marriage
day was set, and Tyrrel, with all his rights
conceded, was honorably free to seek the happiness
he had safeguarded on every side.
It was a lovely day in the beginning of May,
nearly two years after their first meeting,
when Tyrrel reached New York. Ethel knew
at what hour his train would arrive, she was
watching and listening for his step. They
met in each other's arms, and the blessed
hours of that happy evening were an over-
payment of delight for the long months of
In the morning Ethel was to introduce her
lover to Madam Rawdon, and side by side,
almost hand in hand, they walked down the
avenue together. Walked? They were so
happy they hardly knew whether their feet
touched earth or not. They had a constant
inclination to clasp hands, to run as little
children run; They wished to smile at everyone,
to bid all the world good morning.
Madam had resolved to be cool and careful
in her advances, but she quickly found herself
unable to resist the sight of so much love
and hope and happiness. The young people
together took her heart by storm, and she felt
herself compelled to express an interest in
their future, and to question Tyrrel about it.
"What are you going to do with yourself
or make of yourself?" she asked Tyrrel one
evening when they were sitting together. "I
do hope you'll find some kind of work. Anything
is better than loafing about clubs and
such like places."
"I am going to study law with Judge Rawdon.
My late experience has taught me its
value. I do not think I shall loaf in his
"Not if he is anywhere around. He works
and makes others work. Lawyering is a
queer business, but men can be honest in it
if they want to."
"And, grandmother," said Ethel, "my father
says Tyrrel has a wonderful gift for
public speaking. He made a fine speech at
father's club last night. Tyrrel will go into
"Will he, indeed? Tyrrel is a wonder. If
he manages to walk his shoes straight in the
zigzaggery ways of the law, he will be one of
that grand breed called `exceptions.' As for
politics, I don't like them, far from it. Your
grandfather used to say they either found a
man a rascal or made him one. However,
I'm ready to compromise on law and politics.
I was afraid with his grand voice he would
set up for a tenor."
Tyrrel laughed. "I did once think of that
role," he said.
"I fancied that. Whoever taught you to
use your voice knew a thing or two about
singing. I'll say that much."
"My mother taught me."
"Never! I wonder now!"
"She was a famous singer. She was a
great and a good woman. I owe her for every
excellent quality there is in me."
"No, you don't. You have got your black
eyes and hair her way, I'll warrant that, but
your solid make-up, your pluck and grit and
perseverance is the Rawdon in you. Without
Rawdon you would very likely now be strutting
about some opera stage, playing at kings
"As it is----"
"As it is, you will be lord consort of Rawdon
Manor, with a silver mine to back you."
"I am sorry about the Manor," said Tyrrel.
"I wish the dear old Squire were alive
to meet Ethel and myself."
"To be sure you do. But I dare say that
he is glad now to have passed out of it.
Death is a mystery to those left, but I have
no doubt it is satisfying to those who have
gone away. He died as he lived, very prop-
erly; walked in the garden that morning as
far as the strawberry beds, and the gardener
gave him the first ripe half-dozen in a young
cabbage leaf, and he ate them like a boy, and
said they tasted as if grown in Paradise,
then strolled home and asked Joel to shake
the pillows on the sofa in the hall, laid himself
down, shuffled his head easy among them,
and fell on sleep. So Death the Deliverer
found him. A good going home! Nothing to
fear in it."
"Ethel tells me that Mr. Mostyn is now
living at Mostyn Hall."
"Yes, he married that girl he would have
sold his soul for and took her there, four
months only after her husband's death.
When I was young he durst not have done it,
the Yorkshire gentry would have cut them
"I think," said Tyrrel, "American gentlemen
of to-day felt much the same. Will
Madison told me that the club cut him as
soon as Mrs. Stanhope left her husband. He
went there one day after it was known, and
no one saw him; finally he walked up to
McLean, and would have sat down, but
McLean said, `Your company is not desired,
Mr. Mostyn.' Mostyn said something in re-
ply, and McLean answered sternly, `True,
we are none of us saints, but there are lines
the worst of us will not pass; and if there is
any member of this club willing to interfere
between a bridegroom and his bride, I would
like to kick him out of it.' Mostyn struck
the table with some exclamation, and McLean
continued, `Especially when the wronged
husband is a gentleman of such stainless
character and unsuspecting nature as Basil
Stanhope--a clergyman also! Oh, the thing
is beyond palliation entirely!' And he
walked away and left Mostyn."
"Well," said Madam, "if it came to kicking,
two could play that game. Fred is no
coward. I don't want to hear another word
about them. They will punish each other
without our help. Let them alone. I hope
you are not going to have a crowd at your
wedding. The quietest weddings are the
"About twenty of our most intimate friends
are invited to the church," said Ethel.
"There will be no reception until we return
to New York in the fall."
"No need of fuss here, there will be enough
when you reach Monk-Rawdon. The village
will be garlanded and flagged, the bells ring-
ing, and all your tenants and retainers out to
"We intend to get into our own home without
anyone being aware of it. Come, Tyrrel,
my dressmaker is waiting, I know. It is my
wedding gown, dear Granny, and oh, so
"You will not be any smarter than I intend
to be, miss. You are shut off from color.
I can outdo you."
"I am sure you can--and will. Here comes
father. What can he want?" They met him
at the door, and with a few laughing words
left him with Madam. She looked curiously
into his face and asked, "What is it, Edward?"
"I suppose they have told you all the
arrangements. They are very simple. Did they
say anything about Ruth?"
"They never named her. They said they
were going to Washington for a week, and
then to Rawdon Court. Ruth seems out of it
all. Are you going to turn her adrift, or present
her with a few thousand dollars? She
has been a mother to Ethel. Something ought
to be done for Ruth Bayard."
"I intend to marry her."
"I thought so."
"She will go to her sister's in Philadelphia
for a month 's preparation. I shall marry her
there, and bring her home as my wife. She
is a sweet, gentle, docile woman. She will
make me happy."
"Sweet, gentle, docile! Yes, that is the
style of wife Rawdon men prefer. What does
"She is delighted. It was her idea. I was
much pleased with her thoughtfulness. Any
serious break in my life would now be a great
discomfort. You need not look so satirical,
mother; I thought of Ruth's life also."
"Also an afterthought; but Ruth is gentle
and docile, and she is satisfied, and I am satisfied,
so then everything is proper and everyone
content. Come for me at ten on Wednesday
morning. I shall be ready. No refreshments,
I suppose. I must look after my own
breakfast. Won't you feel a bit shabby, Edward?
"And then the look and handclasp
between them turned every word into sweetness
And as Ethel regarded her marriage rather
as a religious rite than a social function, she
objected to its details becoming in any sense
public, and her desires were to be regarded.
Yet everyone may imagine the white loveli-
ness of the bride, the joy of the bridegroom,
the calm happiness of the family breakfast,
and the leisurely, quiet leave-taking. The
whole ceremony was the right note struck at
the beginning of a new life, and they might
justly expect it would move onward in melodious
Within three weeks after their marriage
they arrived at Rawdon Court. It was on a
day and at an hour when no one was looking
for them, and they stepped into the lovely
home waiting for them without outside observation.
Hiring a carriage at the railway
station, they dismissed it at the little bridge
near the Manor House, and sauntered happily
through the intervening space. The
door of the great hall stood open, and the
fire, which had been burning on its big hearth
unquenched for more than three hundred
years, was blazing merrily, as if some hand
had just replenished it. On the long table
the broad, white beaver hat of the dead
Squire was lying, and his oak walking stick
was beside it. No one had liked to remove
them. They remained just as he had put
them down, that last, peaceful morning of his
In a few minutes the whole household was
aware of their home-coming, and before the
day was over the whole neighborhood. Then
there was no way of avoiding the calls, the
congratulations, and the entertainments that
followed, and the old Court was once more
the center of a splendid hospitality. Of
course the Tyrrel-Rawdons were first on the
scene, and Ethel was genuinely glad to meet
again the good-natured Mrs. Nicholas. No
one could give her better local advice, and
Ethel quickly discovered that the best general
social laws require a local interpretation.
Her hands were full, her heart full, she
had so many interests to share, so many people
to receive and to visit, and yet when two
weeks passed and Dora neither came nor
wrote she was worried and dissatisfied.
"Are the Mostyns at the Hall?" she asked
Mrs. Nicholas at last. "I have been expecting
Mrs. Mostyn every day, but she neither
comes nor writes to me."
"I dare say not. Poor little woman! I'll
warrant she has been forbid to do either. If
Mostyn thought she wanted to see you, he
would watch day and night to prevent her
coming. He's turning out as cruel a man as
his father was, and you need not say a word
worse than that."
"Cruel! Oh, dear, how dreadful! Men
will drink and cheat and swear, but a cruel
man seems so unnatural, so wicked."
"To be sure, cruelty is the joy of devils.
As I said to John Thomas when we heard
about Mostyn's goings-on, we have got rid of
the Wicked One, but the wicked still remain
This conversation having been opened, was
naturally prolonged by the relation of incidents
which had come through various sources
to Mrs. Rawdon's ears, all of them indicating
an almost incredible system of petty tyranny
and cruel contradiction. Ethel was amazed,
and finally angry at what she heard. Dora
was her countrywoman and her friend; she
instantly began to express her sympathy and
her intention of interfering.
"You had better neither meddle nor make
in the matter," answered Mrs. Rawdon.
"Our Lucy went to see her, and gave her
some advice about managing Yorkshiremen.
And as she was talking Mostyn came in, and
was as rude as he dared to be. Then Lucy
asked him `if he was sick.' She said, `All
the men in the neighborhood, gentle and sim-
ple, were talking about him, and that it wasn't
a pleasant thing to be talked about in the way
they were doing it. You must begin to look
more like yourself, Mr. Mostyn; it is good
advice I am giving you,' she added; and Mostyn
told her he would look as he felt, whether
it was liked or not liked. And Lucy laughed,
and said, `In that case he would have to go
to his looking-glass for company.' Well,
Ethel, there was a time to joy a devil after
Lucy left, and some one of the servants went
on their own responsibility for a doctor; and
Mostyn ordered him out of the house, and he
would not go until he saw Mrs. Mostyn; and
the little woman was forced to come and say
`she was quite well,' though she was sobbing
all the time she spoke. Then the doctor told
Mostyn what he thought, and there is a quarrel
between them every time they meet."
But Ethel was not deterred by these statements;
on the contrary, they stimulated her
interest in her friend. Dora needed her, and
the old feeling of protection stirred her to
interference. At any rate, she could call and
see the unhappy woman; and though Tyrrel
was opposed to the visit, and thought it every
way unwise, Ethel was resolved to make it.
"You can drive me there," she said, "then
go and see Justice Manningham and call for
me in half an hour." And this resolution
was strengthened by a pitiful little note
received from Dora just after her decision.
"Mostyn has gone to Thirsk," it said; "for
pity's sake come and see me about two o'clock
The request was promptly answered. As
the clock struck two Ethel crossed the threshold
of the home that might have been hers.
She shuddered at the thought. The atmosphere
of the house was full of fear and
gloom, the furniture dark and shabby, and
she fancied the wraiths of old forgotten
crimes and sorrows were gliding about the
sad, dim rooms and stairways. Dora rose in
a passion of tears to welcome her, and because
time was short instantly began her pitiful
"You know how he adored me once," she
said; "would you believe it, Ethel, we were
not two weeks married when he began to
hate me. He dragged me through Europe in
blazing heat and blinding snows when I was
sick and unfit to move. He brought me here
in the depth of winter, and when no one
called on us he blamed me; and from morning
till night, and sometimes all night long,
he taunts and torments me. After he heard
that you had bought the Manor he lost all
control of himself. He will not let me sleep.
He walks the floor hour after hour, declaring
he could have had you and the finest manor in
England but for a cat-faced woman like me.
And he blames me for poor Basil's death--
says we murdered him together, and that he
sees blood on my hands." And she looked
with terror at her small, thin hands, and held
them up as if to protest against the charge.
When she next spoke it was to sob out, "Poor
Basil! He would pity me! He would help
me! He would forgive me! He knows now
that Mostyn was, and is, my evil genius."
"Do not cry so bitterly, Dora, it hurts me.
Let us think. Is there nothing you can do?"
"I want to go to mother." Then she drew
Ethel's head close to her and whispered a
few words, and Ethel answered, "You poor
little one, you shall go to your mother. Where
"She will be in London next week, and I
must see her. He will not let me go, but go
I must if I die for it. Mrs. John Thomas
Rawdon told me what to do, and I have been
following her advice."
Ethel did not ask what it was, but added,
"If Tyrrel and I can help you, send for us.
We will come. And, Dora, do stop weeping,
and be brave. Remember you are an American
woman. Your father has often told me
how you could ride with Indians or cowboys
and shoot with any miner in Colorado. A
bully like Mostyn is always a coward. Lift
up your heart and stand for every one of your
rights. You will find plenty of friends to
stand with you." And with the words she
took her by the hands and raised her to her
feet, and looked at her with such a beaming,
courageous smile that Dora caught its spirit,
and promised to insist on her claims for rest
"When shall I come again, Dora?"
"Not till I send for you. Mother will be
in London next Wednesday at the Savoy. I
intend to leave here Wednesday some time,
and may need you; will you come?"
"Surely, both Tyrrel and I."
Then the time being on a dangerous line
they parted. But Ethel could think of nothing
and talk of nothing but the frightful
change in her friend, and the unceasing misery
which had produced it. Tyrrel shared all
her indignation. The slow torture of any
creature was an intolerable crime in his eyes,
but when the brutality was exercised on a
woman, and on a countrywoman, he was
roused to the highest pitch of indignation.
When Wednesday arrived he did not leave
the house, but waited with Ethel for the
message they confidently expected. It came
about five o'clock--urgent, imperative,
entreating, "Come, for God's sake! He will
The carriage was ready, and in half an
hour they were at Mostyn Hall. No one answered
their summons, but as they stood
listening and waiting, a shrill cry of pain
and anger pierced the silence. It was followed
by loud voices and a confused noise--
noise of many talking and exclaiming. Then
Tyrrel no longer hesitated. He opened the
door easily, and taking Ethel on his arm,
suddenly entered the parlor from which the
clamor came. Dora stood in the center of
the room like an enraged pythoness, her eyes
blazing with passion.
"See!" she cried as Tyrrel entered the
room--"see!" And she held out her arm,
and pointed to her shoulder from which the
lace hung in shreds, showing the white flesh,
red and bruised, where Mostyn had gripped
her. Then Tyrrel turned to Mostyn, who
was held tightly in the grasp of his gardener
and coachman, and foaming with a rage that
rendered his explanation almost inarticulate,
especially as the three women servants gathered
around their mistress added their railing
and invectives to the general confusion.
"The witch! The cat-faced woman!" he
screamed. "She wants to go to her mother!
Wants to play the trick she killed Basil Stanhope
with! She shall not! She shall not! I
will kill her first! She is mad! I will send
her to an asylum! She is a little devil! I
will send her to hell! Nothing is bad enough
"Mr. Mostyn," said Tyrrel.
"Out of my house! What are you doing
here? Away! This is my house! Out of it
"This man is insane," said Tyrrel to Dora.
"Put on your hat and cloak, and come home
"I am waiting for Justice Manningham,"
she answered with a calm subsidence of passion
that angered Mostyn more than her reproaches.
"I have sent for him. He will be
here in five minutes now. That brute"--
pointing to Mostyn--"must be kept under
guard till I reach my mother. The magistrate
will bring a couple of constables with him."
"This is a plot, then! You hear it! You!
You, Tyrrel Rawdon, and you, Saint Ethel,
are in it, all here on time. A plot, I say! Let
me loose that I may strangle the cat-faced
creature. Look at her hands, they are already
At these words Dora began to sob passionately,
the servants, one and all, to comfort
her, or to abuse Mostyn, and in the
height of the hubbub Justice Manningham
entered with two constables behind him.
"Take charge of Mr. Mostyn," he said to
them, and as they laid their big hands on his
shoulders the Justice added, "You will consider
yourself under arrest, Mr. Mostyn."
And when nothing else could cow Mostyn,
he was cowed by the law. He sank almost
fainting into his chair, and the Justice listened
to Dora's story, and looked indignantly
at the brutal man, when she showed him her
torn dress and bruised shoulder. "I entreat
your Honor," she said, "to permit me to go
to my mother who is now in London." And
he answered kindly, "You shall go. You
are in a condition only a mother can help and
comfort. As soon as I have taken your deposition
you shall go."
No one paid any attention to Mostyn's disclaimers
and denials. The Justice saw the
state of affairs. Squire Rawdon and Mrs.
Rawdon testified to Dora's ill-usage; the butler,
the coachman, the stablemen, the cook,
the housemaids were all eager to bear witness
to the same; and Mrs. Mostyn's appearance
was too eloquent a plea for any humane
man to deny her the mother-help she asked
Though neighbors and members of the
same hunt and clubs, the Justice took no
more friendly notice of Mostyn than he
would have taken of any wife-beating cotton-
weaver; and when all lawful preliminaries
had been arranged, he told Mrs. Mostyn that
he should not take up Mr. Mostyn's case till
Friday; and in the interval she would have
time to put herself under her mother's care.
She thanked him, weeping, and in her old,
pretty way kissed his hands, and "vowed he
had saved her life, and she would forever
remember his goodness." Mostyn mocked at
her "play-acting," and was sternly reproved
by the Justice; and then Tyrrel and Ethel
took charge of Mrs. Mostyn until she was
ready to leave for London.
She was more nearly ready than they ex-
pected. All her trunks were packed, and the
butler promised to take them immediately to
the railway station. In a quarter of an hour
she appeared in traveling costume, with her
jewels in a bag, which she carried in her hand.
There was a train for London passing Monk-
Rawdon at eight o'clock; and after Justice
Manningham had left, the cook brought in
some dinner, which Dora asked the Rawdons
to share with her. It was, perhaps, a necessary
but a painful meal. No one noticed
Mostyn. He was enforced to sit still and
watch its progress, which he accompanied
with curses it would be a kind of sacrilege to
write down. But no one answered him, and
no one noticed the orders he gave for his own
dinner, until Dora rose to leave forever the
house of bondage. Then she said to the cook:
"See that those gentlemanly constables
have something good to eat and to drink, and
when they have been served you may give
that man"--pointing to Mostyn--"the dinner
of bread and water he has so often prescribed
for me. After my train leaves you
are all free to go to your own homes. Farewell,
Then Mostyn raved again, and finally tried
his old loving terms. "Come back to me,
Dora," he called frantically. "Come back,
dearest, sweetest Dora, I will be your lover
forever. I will never say another cross word
But Dora heard not and saw not. She left
the room without a glance at the man sitting
cowering between the officers, and blubbering
with shame and passion and the sense of
total loss. In a few minutes he heard the
Rawdon carriage drive to the door. Tyrrel
and Ethel assisted Dora into it, and the party
drove at once to the railway station. They
were just able to catch the London train.
The butler came up to report all the trunks
safely forwarded, and Dora dropped gold
into his hand, and bade him clear the house of
servants as soon as the morning broke. Fortunately
there was no time for last words and
promises; the train began to move, and Tyrrel
and Ethel, after watching Dora's white
face glide into the darkness, turned silently
away. That depression which so often follows
the lifting of burdens not intended for
our shoulders weighed on their hearts and
made speech difficult. Tyrrel was especially
affected by it. A quick feeling of something
like sympathy for Mostyn would not be reasoned
away, and he drew Ethel close within
his arm, and gave the coachman an order to
drive home as quickly as possible, for twilight
was already becoming night, and under
the trees the darkness felt oppressive.
The little fire on the hearth and their belated
dinner somewhat relieved the tension;
but it was not until they had retired to a
small parlor, and Tyrrel had smoked a cigar,
that the tragedy of the evening became a
possible topic of conversation. Tyrrel opened
the subject by a question as to whether "he
ought to have gone with Dora to London."
"Dora opposed the idea strongly when I
named it to her," answered Ethel. "She said
it would give opportunities for Mostyn to
slander both herself and you, and I think she
was correct. Every way she was best alone."
"Perhaps, but I feel as if I ought to have
gone, as if I had been something less than a
gentleman; in fact, as if I had been very un-
"There is no need," answered Ethel a little
"It is a terrible position for Mostyn."
"He deserves it."
"He is so sensitive about public opinion."
"In that case he should behave decently in
Then Tyrrel lit another cigar, and there
was another silence, which Ethel occupied in
irritating thoughts of Dora's unfortunate
fatality in trouble-making. She sat at a
little table standing between herself and Tyrrel.
It held his smoking utensils, and after
awhile she pushed them aside, and let the
splendid rings which adorned her hand fall
into the cleared space. Tyrrel watched her
a few moments, and then asked, "What are
you doing, Ethel, my dear?"
She looked up with a smile, and then down
at the hand she had laid open upon the table.
"I am looking at the Ring of all Rings.
See, Tyrrel, it is but a little band of gold, and
yet it gave me more than all the gems of earth
could buy. Rubies and opals and sapphires
are only its guard. The simple wedding ring
is the ring of great price. It is the loveliest
ornament a happy woman can wear."
Tyrrel took her hand and kissed it, and
kissed the golden band, and then answered,
"Truly an ornament if a happy wife wears
it; but oh, Ethel, what is it when it binds a
woman to such misery as Dora has just fled
"Then it is a fetter, and a woman who has
a particle of self-respect will break it. The
Ring of all Rings!" she ejaculated again, as
she lifted the rubies and opals, and slowly
but smilingly encircled the little gold band.
"Let us try now to forget that sorrowful
woman," said Tyrrel. "She will be with
her mother in a few hours. Mother-love can
cure all griefs. It never fails. It never
blames. It never grows weary. It is always
young and warm and true. Dora will be
comforted. Let us forget; we can do no
For a couple of days this was possible, but
then came Mrs. Nicholas Rawdon, and the
subject was perforce opened. "It was a bad
case," she said, "but it is being settled as
quickly and as quietly as possible. I believe
the man has entered into some sort of recognizance
to keep the peace, and has disappeared.
No one will look for him. The gentry
are against pulling one another down in
any way, and this affair they don't want
talked about. Being all of them married
men, it isn't to be expected, is it? Justice
Manningham was very sorry for the little
lady, but he said also `it was a bad precedent,
and ought not to be discussed.' And
Squire Bentley said, `If English gentlemen
would marry American women, they must
put up with American women's ways,' and
so on. None of them think it prudent to approve
Mrs. Mostyn's course. But they won't
get off as easy as they think. The women are
standing up for her. Did you ever hear anything
like that? And I'll warrant some husbands
are none so easy in their minds, as
my Nicholas said, `Mrs. Mostyn had sown
seed that would be seen and heard tell of for
many a long day.' Our Lucy, I suspect, had
more to do with the move than she will confess.
She got a lot of new, queer notions at
college, and I do believe in my heart she set
the poor woman up to the business. John
Thomas, of course, says not a word, but he
looks at Lucy in a very proud kind of way;
and I'll be bound he has got an object lesson
he'll remember as long as he lives. So has
Nicholas, though he bluffs more than a little
as to what he'd do with a wife that got a running-
away notion into her head. Bless you,
dear, they are all formulating their laws on
the subject, and their wives are smiling
queerly at them, and holding their heads a
bit higher than usual. I've been doing it
myself, so I know how they feel."
Thus, though very little was said in the
newspapers about the affair, the notoriety
Mostyn dreaded was complete and thorough.
It was the private topic of conversation in
every household. Men talked it over in all
the places where men met, and women hired
the old Mostyn servants in order to get the
very surest and latest story of the poor wife's
wrongs, and then compared reports and even
discussed the circumstances in their own particular
At the Court, Tyrrel and Ethel tried to forget,
and their own interests were so many
and so important that they usually succeeded;
especially after a few lines from
Mrs. Denning assured them of Dora's safety
and comfort. And for many weeks the busy
life of the Manor sufficed; there was the hay
to cut in the meadow lands, and after it the
wheat fields to harvest. The stables, the kennels,
the farms and timber, the park and the
garden kept Tyrrel constantly busy. And
to these duties were added the social ones,
the dining and dancing and entertaining, the
horse racing, the regattas, and the enthusiasm
which automobiling in its first fever
And yet there were times when Tyrrel
looked bored, and when nothing but Squire
Percival's organ or Ethel's piano seemed to
exorcise the unrest and ennui that could not
be hid. Ethel watched these moods with a
wise and kind curiosity, and in the beginning
of September, when they perceptibly increased,
she asked one day, "Are you happy,
Tyrrel? Quite happy?"
"I am having a splendid holiday," he answered,
"But what, dear?"
"One could not turn life into a long holiday--
that would be harder than the hardest
She answered "Yes," and as soon as she
was alone fell to thinking, and in the midst
of her meditation Mrs. Nicholas Rawdon entered
in a whirl of tempestuous delight.
"What do you think?" she asked between
laughing and crying. "Whatever do you
think? Our Lucy had twins yesterday, two
fine boys as ever was. And I wish you could
see their grandfather and their father. They
are out of themselves with joy. They stand
hour after hour beside the two cradles, looking
at the little fellows, and they nearly came
to words this morning about their names."
"I am so delighted!" cried Ethel. "And
what are you going to call them?"
"One is an hour older than the other, and
John Thomas wanted them called Percival
and Nicholas. But my Nicholas wanted the
eldest called after himself, and he said so
plain enough. And John Thomas said `he
could surely name his own sons; and then
Nicholas told him to remember he wouldn't
have been here to have any sons at all but
for his father.' And just then I came into
the room to have a look at the little lads, and
when I heard what they were fratching about,
I told them it was none of their business, that
Lucy had the right to name the children, and
they would just have to put up with the
names she gave them."
"And has Lucy named them?"
"To be sure. I went right away to her
and explained the dilemma, and I said, `Now,
Lucy, it is your place to settle this question.'
And she answered in her positive little way,
`You tell father the eldest is to be called
Nicholas, and tell John Thomas the youngest
is to be called John Thomas. I can manage
two of that name very well. And say that I
won't have any more disputing about names,
the boys are as good as christened already.'
And of course when Lucy said that we all
knew it was settled. And I'm glad the eldest
is Nicholas. He is a fine, sturdy little York-
shireman, bawling out already for what he
wants, and flying into a temper if he doesn't
get it as soon as he wants it. Dearie me,
Ethel, I am a proud woman this morning.
And Nicholas is going to give all the hands
a holiday, and a trip up to Ambleside on
Saturday, though John Thomas is very much
"Why is he against it?"
"He says they will be holding a meeting
on Monday night to try and find out what
Old Nicholas is up to, and that if he doesn't
give them the same treat on the same date
next year, they'll hold an indignation meeting
about being swindled out of their rights.
And I'll pledge you my word John Thomas
knows the men he's talking about. However,
Nicholas is close with his money, and it will
do him good happen to lose a bit. Blood-letting
is healthy for the body, and perhaps
gold-letting may help the soul more than we
This news stimulated Ethel's thinking, and
when she also stood beside the two cradles,
and the little Nicholas opened his big blue
eyes and began to "bawl for what he wanted,"
a certain idea took fast hold of her, and she
nursed it silently for the next month, watch-
ing Tyrrel at the same time. It was near
October, however, before she found the
proper opportunity for speaking. There
had been a long letter from the Judge. It
said Ruth and he were home again after a
wonderful trip over the Northern Pacific
road. He wrote with enthusiasm of the
country and its opportunities, and of the big
cities they had visited on their return from
the Pacific coast. Every word was alive, the
magnitude and stir of traffic and wrestling
humanity seemed to rustle the paper. He
described New York as overflowing with business.
His own plans, the plans of others, the
jar of politics, the thrill of music and the
drama--all the multitudinous vitality that
crowded the streets and filled the air, even
to the roofs of the twenty-story buildings,
contributed to the potent exhilaration of the
"Great George!" exclaimed Tyrrel.
"That is life! That is living! I wish we
were back in America!"
"So do I, Tyrrel."
"I am so glad. When shall we go? It is
now the twenty-eighth of September."
"Are you very weary of Rawdon Court"'
"Yes. If a man could live for the sake
of eating and sleeping and having a pleasant
time, why Rawdon Court would be a heaven
to him; but if he wants to DO something with
his life, he would be most unhappy here."
"And you want to do something?"
"You would not have loved a man who did
not want TO DO. We have been here four
months. Think of it! If I take four months
out of every year for twenty years, I shall
lose, with travel, about seven years of my life,
and the other things to be dropped with them
may be of incalculable value."
"I see, Tyrrel. I am not bound in any
way to keep Rawdon Court. I can sell it to-
"But you would be grieved to do so?"
"Not at all. Being a lady of the Manor
does not flatter me. The other squires would
rather have a good man in my place."
"Why did you buy it?"
"As I have told you, to keep Mostyn out,
and to keep a Rawdon here. But Nicholas
Rawdon craves the place, and will pay well
for his desire. It cost me eighty thousand
pounds. He told father he would gladly give
me one hundred thousand pounds whenever
I was tired of my bargain. I will take the
hundred thousand pounds to-morrow. There
would then be four good heirs to Rawdon on
Here the conversation was interrupted by
Mrs. Nicholas, who came to invite them to
the christening feast of the twins. Tyrrel
soon left the ladies together, and Ethel at
once opened the desired conversation.
"I am afraid we may have left the Court
before the christening," she said. "Mr. Rawdon
is very unhappy here. He is really homesick."
"But this is his home, isn't it? And a very
"He cannot feel it so. He has large interests
in America. I doubt if I ever induce
him to come here again. You see, this visit
has been our marriage trip."
"And you won't live here! I never heard
the line. What will you do with the Court?
It will be badly used if it is left to servants
seven or eight months every year."
"I suppose I must sell it. I see no----"
"If you only would let Nicholas buy it.
You might be sure then it would be well
cared for, and the little lads growing up in it,
who would finally heir it. Oh, Ethel, if you
would think of Nicholas first. He would
honor the place and be an honor to it."
Out of this conversation the outcome was
as satisfactory as it was certain, and within
two weeks Nicholas Rawdon was Squire of
Rawdon Manor, and possessor of the famous
old Manor House. Then there followed a
busy two weeks for Tyrrel, who had the
superintendence of the packing, which was
no light business. For though Ethel would
not denude the Court of its ancient furniture
and ornaments, there were many things belonging
to the personal estate of the late
Squire which had been given to her by his
will, and could not be left behind. But by
the end of October cases and trunks were all
sent off to the steamship in which their passage
was taken; and the Rawdon estate,
which had played such a momentous part in
Ethel's life having finished its mission, had
no further influence, and without regret
passed out of her physical life forever.
Indeed, their willingness to resign all
claims to the old home was a marvel to both
Tyrrel and Ethel. On their last afternoon
there they walked through the garden, and
stood under the plane tree where their vows
of love had been pledged, and smiled and
wondered at their indifference. The beauteous
glamor of first love was gone as com-
pletely as the flowers and scents and songs
that had then filled the charming place. But
amid the sweet decay of these things they
once more clasped hands, looking with supreme
confidence into each other's eyes. All
that had then been promised was now certain;
and with an affection infinitely sweeter
and surer, Tyrrel drew Ethel to his heart, and
on her lips kissed the tenderest, proudest
words a woman hears, "My dear wife!"
This visit was their last adieu, all the rest
had been said, and early the next morning
they left Monk-Rawdon station as quietly
as they had arrived. During their short
reign at Rawdon Court they had been very
popular, and perhaps their resignation was
equally so. After all, they were foreigners,
and Nicholas Rawdon was Yorkshire, root
"Nice young people," said Justice Manningham
at a hunt dinner, "but our ways
are not their ways, nor like to be. The young
man was born a fighter, and there are neither
bears nor Indians here for him to fight; and
our politics are Greek to him; and the lady,
very sweet and beautiful, but full of new
ideas--ideas not suitable for women, and we
do not wish our women changed."
"Good enough as they are," mumbled
"Nicest Americans I ever met," added
Earl Danvers, "but Nicholas Rawdon will
be better at Rawdon Court." To which
statement there was a general assent, and
then the subject was considered settled.
In the meantime Tyrrel and Ethel had
reached London and gone to the Metropole
Hotel; because, as Ethel said, no one knew
where Dora was; but if in England, she was
likely to be at the Savoy. They were to be
two days in London. Tyrrel had banking
and other business to fully occupy the time,
and Ethel remembered she had some shopping
to do, a thing any woman would discover
if she found herself in the neighborhood
of Regent Street and Piccadilly. On
the afternoon of the second day this duty was
finished, and she returned to her hotel satisfied
but a little weary. As she was going up
the steps she noticed a woman coming slowly
down them. It was Dora Mostyn. They met
with great enthusiasm on Dora's part, and
she turned back and went with Ethel to her
Ethel looked at her with astonishment. She
was not like any Dora she had previously
seen. Her beauty had developed wondrously,
she had grown much taller, and her childish
manner had been superseded by a carriage
and air of superb grace and dignity. She
had now a fine color, and her eyes were
darker, softer, and more dreamy than ever.
"Take off your hat, Dora," said Ethel, "and
tell me what has happened. You are positively
splendid. Where is Mr. Mostyn?"
"I neither know nor care. He is tramping
round the world after me, and I intend to
keep him at it. But I forget. I must tell
you how THAT has come about."
"We heard from Mrs. Denning. She said
she had received you safely."
"My dear mother! She met me like an
angel; comforted and cared for me, never
said one word of blame, only kissed and
pitied me. We talked things over, and she
advised me to go to New York. So we took
three passages under the names of Mrs. John
Gifford, Miss Gifford, and Miss Diana Gifford.
Miss Diana was my maid, but mother
thought a party of three would throw Mostyn
off our track."
"A very good idea."
"We sailed at once. On the second day
out I had a son. The poor little fellow died
in a few hours, and was buried at sea. But
his birth has given me the power to repay
to Fred Mostyn some of the misery he caused
"How so? I do not see."
"Oh, you must see, if you will only remember
how crazy Englishmen are about
their sons. Daughters don't count, you know,
but a son carries the property in the family
name. He is its representative for the next
generation. As I lay suffering and weeping,
a fine scheme of revenge came clearly to me.
Listen! Soon after we got home mother
cabled Mostyn's lawyer that `Mrs. Mostyn
had had a son.' Nothing was said of the
boy's death. Almost immediately I was notified
that Mr. Mostyn would insist on the
surrender of the child to his care. I took
no notice of the letters. Then he sent his lawyer
to claim the child and a woman to take
care of it. I laughed them to scorn, and defied
them to find the child. After them came
Mostyn himself. He interviewed doctors,
overlooked baptismal registers, advertised
far and wide, bribed our servants, bearded
father in his office, abused Bryce on the avenue,
waylaid me in all my usual resorts, and
bombarded me with letters, but he knows no
more yet than the cable told him. And the
man is becoming a monomaniac about HIS
"Are you doing right, Dora?"
"If you only knew how he had tortured
me! Father and mother think he deserves all
I can do to him. Anyway, he will have it to
bear. If he goes to the asylum he threatened
me with, I shall be barely satisfied. The
`cat-faced woman' is getting her innings
"Have you never spoken to him or written
to him? Surely"
"He caught me one day as I came out of
our house, and said, `Madam, where is my
son?' And I answered, `You have no son.
The child WAS MINE. You shall never see his
face in this world. I have taken good care of
"`I will find him some day,' he said, and I
laughed at him, and answered, `He is too
cunningly hid. Do you think I would let the
boy know he had such a father as you? No,
indeed. Not unless there was property for
the disgrace.' I touched him on the raw in
that remark, and then I got into my carriage
and told the coachman to drive quickly.
Mostyn attempted to follow me, but the whip
lashing the horses was in the way." And
Dora laughed, and the laugh was cruel and
mocking and full of meaning.
"Dora, how can you? How can you find
pleasure in such revenges,"
"I am having the greatest satisfaction of
my life. And I am only beginning the just
retribution, for my beauty is enthralling the
man again, and he is on the road to a mad
jealousy of me."
"Why don't you get a divorce? This is a
case for that remedy. He might then marry
again, and you also."
"Even so, I should still torment him. If
he had sons he would be miserable in the
thought that his unknown son might, on his
death, take from them the precious Mostyn
estate, and that wretched, old, haunted house
of his. I am binding him to misery on every
"Is Mrs. Denning here with you?"
"Both my father and mother are with me.
Father is going to take a year's rest, and we
shall visit Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Paris or
wherever our fancy leads us."
"And Mr. Mostyn?"
"He can follow me round, and see nobles
and princes and kings pay court to the beauty
of the `cat-faced woman.' I shall never notice
him, never speak to him; but you need
not look so suspicious, Ethel. Neither by
word nor deed will I break a single convention
of the strictest respectability."
"Mr. Mostyn ought to give you your freedom."
"I have given freedom to myself. I have
already divorced him. When they brought
my dead baby for me to kiss, I slipped into
its little hand the ring that made me his
mother. They went to the bottom of the sea
together. As for ever marrying again, not
in this life. I have had enough of it. My
first husband was the sweetest saint out of
heaven, and my second was some mean little
demon that had sneaked his way out of hell;
and I found both insupportable." She lifted
her hat as she spoke, and began to pin it on
her beautifully dressed hair. "Have no fear
for me," she continued. "I am sure Basil
watches over me. Some day I shall be good,
and he will be happy." Then, hand in hand,
they walked to the door together, and there
were tears in both voices as they softly said
A WEEK after this interview Tyrrel and
Ethel were in New York. They landed early
in the morning, but the Judge and Ruth were
on the pier to meet them; and they breakfasted
together at the fashionable hotel,
where an elegant suite had been reserved for
the residence of the Tyrrel-Rawdons until
they had perfected their plans for the future.
Tyrrel was boyishly excited, but Ethel's interest
could not leave her father and his new
wife. These two had lived in the same home
for fifteen years, and then they had married
each other, and both of them looked fifteen
years younger. The Judge was actually
merry, and Ruth, in spite of her supposed
"docility," had quite reversed the situation.
It was the Judge who was now docile, and
even admiringly obedient to all Ruth's wifely
advices and admonitions.
The breakfast was a talkative, tardy one,
but at length the Judge went to his office and
Tyrrel had to go to the Custom House. Ethel
was eager to see her grandmother, and she
was sure the dear old lady was anxiously
waiting her arrival. And Ruth was just as
anxious for Ethel to visit her renovated home.
She had the young wife's delight in its beauty,
and she wanted Ethel to admire it with her.
"We will dine with you to-morrow, Ruth,"
said Ethel, "and I will come very early and
see all the improvements. I feel sure the
house is lovely, and I am glad father made
you such a pretty nest. Nothing is too pretty
for you, Ruth." And there was no insincerity
in this compliment. These two women
knew and loved and trusted each other without
a shadow of doubt or variableness.
So Ruth went to her home, and Ethel
hastened to Gramercy Park. Madam was
eagerly watching for her arrival.
"I have been impatient for a whole hour,
all in a quiver, dearie," she cried. "It is
"I have been impatient also, Granny, but
father and Ruth met us at the pier and stayed
to breakfast with us, and you know how men
talk and talk."
"Ruth and father down at the pier! How
"They were really there. And they do
seem so happy, grandmother. They are so
much in love with each other."
"I dare say. There are no fools like old
fools. So you have sold the Court to Nicholas
Rawdon, and a cotton-spinner is Lord of
the Manor. Well, well, how are the mighty
"I made twenty thousand pounds by the
sale. Nicholas Rawdon is a gentleman, and
John Thomas is the most popular man in all
the neighborhood. And, Granny, he has two
sons--twins--the handsomest little chaps
you ever saw. No fear of a Rawdon to heir
the Manor now."
"Fortune is a baggage. When she is ill
to a man she knows no reason. She sent John
Thomas to Parliament, and kept Fred out at
a loss, too. She took the Court from Fred
and gave it to John Thomas, and she gives
him two sons about the same time she gives
Fred one, and that one she kidnaps out of
his sight and knowledge. Poor Fred!"
"Well, grandmother, it is `poor Fred's'
own doing, and, I assure you, Fred would
have been most unwelcome at the Court. And
the squires and gentry round did not like a
woman in the place; they were at a loss what
to do with me. I was no good for dinners and
politics and hunting. I embarrassed them."
"Of course you would. They would have
to talk decently and behave politely, and they
would not be able to tell their choicest stories.
Your presence would be a bore; but could not
Tyrrel take your place?"
"Granny, Tyrrel was really unhappy in
that kind of life. And he was a foreigner,
so was I. You know what Yorkshire people
think of foreigners. They were very courteous,
but they were glad to have the Yorkshire
Rawdons in our place. And Tyrrel did
not like working with the earth; he loves
machinery and electricity."
"To be sure. When a man has got used
to delving for gold or silver, cutting grass
and wheat does seem a slow kind of business."
"And he disliked the shut-up feeling the
park gave him. He said we were in the midst
of solitude three miles thick. It made him
depressed and lonely."
"That is nonsense. I am sure on the
Western plains he had solitude sixty miles
"Very likely, but then he had an horizon,
even if it were sixty miles away. And no
matter how far he rode, there was always
that line where earth seemed to rise to heaven.
But the park was surrounded by a brick
wall fourteen feet high. It had no horizon.
You felt as if you were in a large, green box
--at least Tyrrel did. The wall was covered
with roses and ivy, but still it was a boundary
you could not pass, and could not see over.
Don't you understand, Granny, how Tyrrel
would feel this?"
"I can't say I do. Why didn't he come
"He had to go to the Customs about our
trunks, and there were other things. He will
see you to-morrow. Then we are going to
dine with father, and if you will join us, we
will call at six for you. Do, Granny."
"Very well, I shall be ready." But after
a moment's thought she continued, "No, I
will not go. I am only a mortal woman, and
the company of angels bores me yet."
"Now, Granny, dear."
"I mean what I say. Your father has
married such a piece of perfection that I feel
my shortcomings in her presence more than
I can bear. But I'll tell you what, dearie,
Tyrrel may come for me Saturday night at
six, and I will have my dinner with you. I
want to see the dining-room of a swell hotel
in full dress; and I will wear my violet satin
and white Spanish lace, and look as smart as
can be, dear. And Tyrrel may buy me a
bunch of white violets. I am none too old
to wear them. Who knows but I may go to
the theater also?"
"Oh, Granny, you are just the dearest
young lady I know! Tyrrel will be as proud
as a peacock."
"Well, I am not as young as I might be,
but I am a deal younger than I look. Listen,
dearie, I have never FELT old yet! Isn't that
a thing to be grateful for? I don't read
much poetry, except it be in the Church
Hymnal, but I cut a verse out of a magazine
a year ago which just suits my idea of life,
and, what is still more wonderful, I took the
trouble to learn it. Oliver Wendell Holmes
wrote it, and I'll warrant him for a good,
cheerful, trust-in-God man, or he'd never
have thought of such sensible words."
"I am listening, Granny, for the verse."
"Yes, and learn it yourself. It will come
in handy some day, when Tyrrel and you are
getting white-haired and handsome, as everyone
ought to get when they have passed their
half-century and are facing the light of the
"At sixty-two life has begun;
At seventy-three begins once more;
Fly swifter as thou near'st the sun,
And brighter shine at eighty-four.
Should thou arrive,
Still wait on God, and work and thrive."
Such words as those, Ethel, keep a woman
young, and make her right glad that she was
born and thankful that she lives."
"Thank you for them, dear Granny. Now
I must run away as fast as I can. Tyrrel will
be wondering what has happened to me."
In this conjecture she was right. Tyrrel
was in evening dress, and walking restlessly
about their private parlor. "Ethel," he said,
plaintively, "I have been so uneasy about
"I am all right, dearest. I was with grandmother.
I shall be ready in half an hour."
Even if she had been longer, she would
have earned the delay, for she returned to him
in pink silk and old Venice point de rose,
with a pretty ermine tippet across her shoulders.
It was a joy to see her, a delight to
hear her speak, and she walked as if she
heard music. The dining-room was crowded
when they entered, but they made a sensation.
Many rose and came to welcome them home.
Others smiled across the busy space and lifted
their wineglass in recognition. The room was
electric, sensitive and excited. It was flooded
with a soft light; it was full of the perfume
of flowers. The brilliant coloring of silks and
satins, and the soft miracle of white lace
blended with the artistically painted walls
and roof. The aroma of delicate food, the
tinkle of crystal, the low murmur of happy
voices, the thrill of sudden laughter, and the
delicious accompaniment of soft, sensuous
music completed the charm of the room. To
eat in such surroundings was as far beyond
the famous flower-crowned feasts of Rome
and Greece as the east is from the west. It
was impossible to resist its influence. From
the point of the senses, the soul was drinking
life out of a cup of overflowing delight. And
it was only natural that in their hearts both
Tyrrel and Ethel should make a swift, though
silent, comparison between this feast of sensation
and flow of human attraction and the
still, sweet order of the Rawdon dining-room,
with its noiseless service, and its latticed win-
dows open to all the wandering scents and
songs of the garden.
Perhaps the latter would have the sweetest
and dearest and most abiding place in their
hearts; but just in the present they were
enthralled and excited by the beauty and good
comradeship of the social New York dinner
function. Their eyes were shining, their
hearts thrilling, they went to their own apartments
hand in hand, buoyant, vivacious, feeling
that life was good and love unchangeable.
And the windows being open, they walked to
one and stood looking out upon the avenue.
All signs of commerce had gone from the
beautiful street, but it was busy and noisy
with the traffic of pleasure, and the hum of
multitudes, the rattle of carriages, the rush
of autos, the light, hurrying footsteps of
pleasure-seekers insistently demanded their
"We cannot go out to-night," said Ethel.
"We are both more weary than we know."
"No, we cannot go to-night; but, oh, Ethel,
we are in New York again! Is not that joy
enough? I am so happy! I am so happy.
We are in New York again! There is no city
like it in all the world. Men live here, they
work here, they enjoy here. How happy, how
busy we are going to be, Ethel!"
During these joyful, hopeful expectations
he was walking up and down the room, his
eyes dilating with rapture, and Ethel closed
the window and joined him. They magnified
their joy, they wondered at it, they were sure
no one before them had ever loved as they
loved. "And we are going to live here,
Ethel; going to have our home here! Upon
my honor, I cannot speak the joy I feel, but"
--and he went impetuously to the piano and
opened it--"but I can perhaps sing it--
"`There is not a spot in this wide-peopled earth
So dear to the heart as the Land of our Birth;
'Tis the home of our childhood, the beautiful spot
Which Memory retains when all else is forgot.
May the blessing of God ever hallow the sod,
And its valleys and hills by our children be trod!
"`May Columbia long lift her white crest o'er the wave,
The birthplace of science and the home of the brave.
In her cities may peace and prosperity dwell,
And her daughters in virtue and beauty excel.
May the blessing of God ever hallow the sod,
And its valleys and hills by our children be trod.'"
With the patriotic music warbling in his
throat he turned to Ethel, and looked at her
as a lover can, and she answered the look; and
thus leaning toward each other in visible
beauty and affection their new life began.
Between smiles and kisses they sat speaking,
not of the past with all its love and loveliness,
but of the high things calling to them from
the future, the work and duties of life set to
great ends both for public and private good.
And as they thus communed Tyrrel took his
wife's hand and slowly turned on her finger
the plain gold wedding ring behind its barrier
of guarding gems.
"Ethel," he said tenderly, "what enchantments
are in this ring of gold! What romances
I used to weave around it, and, dearest,
it has turned every Romance into Reality."
"And, Tyrrel, it will also turn all our
Realities into Romances. Nothing in our life
will ever become common. Love will glorify
"And we shall always love as we love
"We shall love far better, far stronger,
far more tenderly."
"Even to the end of our lives, Ethel?"
"Yes, to the very end."
A PAUSE of blissful silence followed this
assurance. It was broken by a little exclamation
from Ethel. "Oh, dear," she said, "how
selfishly thoughtless my happiness makes me!
I have forgotten to tell you, until this moment,
that I have a letter from Dora. It was
sent to grandmother's care, and I got it this
afternoon; also one from Lucy Rawdon. The
two together bring Dora's affairs, I should
say, to a pleasanter termination than we could
have hoped for."
"Where is the Enchantress?"
"In Paris at present."
"I expected that answer."
"But listen, she is living the quietest of
lives; the most devoted daughter cannot excel
"Is she her own authority for that astonishing
statement? Do you believe it?"
"Yes, under the circumstances. Mr. Denning
went to Paris for a critical and painful
operation, and Dora is giving all her love and
time toward making his convalescence as
pleasant as it can be. In fact, her description
of their life in the pretty chateau they
have rented outside of Paris is quite idyllic.
When her father is able to travel they are
going to Algiers for the winter, and will return
to New York about next May. Dora
says she never intends to leave America
"Where is her husband? Keeping watch
on the French chateau?"
"That is over. Mr. Denning persuaded
Dora to write a statement of all the facts concerning
the birth of the child. She told her
husband the name under which they traveled,
the names of the ship, the captain, and the
ship's doctor, and Mrs. Denning authenticated
the statement; but, oh, what a mean,
suspicious creature Mostyn is!"
"What makes you reiterate that description
"He was quite unable to see any good or
kind intent in this paper. He proved its correctness,
and then wrote Mr. Denning a very
"Which was characteristic enough. What
did he say?"
"That the amende honorable was too late;
that he supposed Dora wished to have the
divorce proceedings stopped and be reinstated
as his wife, but he desired the whole Denning
family to understand that was now impossible;
he was `fervently, feverishly awaiting
his freedom, which he expected at any hour.'
He said it was `sickening to remember the
weariness of body and soul Dora had given
him about a non-existing child, and though
this could never be atoned for, he did think
he ought to be refunded the money Dora's
contemptible revenge had cost him."'
"How could he? How could he?"
"Of course Mr. Denning sent him a check,
a pretty large one, I dare say. And I suppose
he has his freedom by this time, unless
he has married again."
"He will never marry again."
"Indeed, that is the strange part of the
story. It was because he wanted to marry
again that he was `fervently, feverishly awaiting
"I can hardly believe it, Ethel. What
does Dora say?"
"I have the news from Lucy. She says
when Mostyn was ignored by everyone in the
neighborhood, one woman stood up for him
almost passionately. Do you remember Miss
"That remarkable governess of the Surreys?
Why, Ethel, she is the very ugliest
woman I ever saw."
"She is so ugly that she is fascinating. If
you see her one minute you can never forget
her, and she is brains to her finger tips. She
ruled everyone at Surrey House. She was
Lord Surrey's secretary and Lady Surrey's
adviser. She educated the children, and they
adored her; she ruled the servants, and they
obeyed her with fear and trembling. Nothing
was done in Surrey House without her approval.
And if her face was not handsome,
she had a noble presence and a manner that
"And she took Mostyn's part?"
"With enthusiasm. She abused Dora individually,
and American women generally.
She pitied Mr. Mostyn, and made others do
so; and when she perceived there would be
but a shabby and tardy restoration for him
socially, she advised him to shake off the dust
of his feet from Monk-Rawdon, and begin life
in some more civilized place. And in order
that he might do so, she induced Lord Surrey
to get him a very excellent civil appointment
"Then he is going to India?"
"He is probably now on the way there.
He sold the Mostyn estate----"
"I can hardly believe it."
"He sold it to John Thomas Rawdon.
John Thomas told me it belonged to Rawdon
until the middle of the seventeenth century,
and he meant to have it back. He has
"Miss Sadler must be a witch."
"She is a sensible, practical woman, who
knows how to manage men. She has soothed
Mostyn's wounded pride with appreciative
flattery and stimulated his ambition. She
has promised him great things in India, and
she will see that he gets them."
"He must be completely under her control."
"She will never let him call his soul his
own, but she will manage his affairs to
perfection. And Dora is forever rid of that
wretched influence. The man can never again
come between her and her love; never again
come between her and happiness. There will
be the circumference of the world as a barrier."
"There will be Jane Sadler as a barrier.
She will be sufficient. The Woman Between
will annihilate The Man Between. Dora is
now safe. What will she do with herself?"
"She will come back to New York and be
a social power. She is young, beautiful, rich,
and her father has tremendous financial influence.
Social affairs are ruled by finance.
I should not wonder to see her in St. Jude's,
a devotee and eminent for good works."
"And if Basil Stanhope should return?"
"Poor Basil--he is dead."
"How do you know that?"
"What DO you mean, Tyrrel?"
"Are you sure Basil is dead? What proof
"You must be dreaming! Of course he is
dead! His friend came and told me so--told
"Is that all?"
"There were notices in the papers."
"Is that all?"
"Mr. Denning must have known it when he
stopped divorce proceedings."
"Doubtless he believed it; he wished to do
"Tyrrel, tell me what you mean."
"I always wondered about his death rather
than believed in it. Basil had a consuming
sense of honor and affection for the Church
and its sacred offices. He would have died
willingly rather than drag them into the mire
of a divorce court. When the fear became
certainty he disappeared--really died to all
his previous life."
"But I cannot conceive of Basil lying for
"He disappeared. His family and friends
took on themselves the means they thought
most likely to make that disappearance a
"Have you heard anything, seen anything?"
"One night just before I left the West a
traveler asked me for a night's lodging. He
had been prospecting in British America in
the region of the Klondike, and was full of
incidental conversation. Among many other
things he told me of a wonderful sermon he
had heard from a young man in a large mining
camp. I did not give the story any attention
at the time, but after he had gone
away it came to me like a flash of light that
the preacher was Basil Stanhope."
"Oh, Tyrrel, if it was--if it was! What a
beautiful dream! But it is only a dream.
If it could be true, would he forgive Dora?
Would he come back to her?"
"No!" Tyrrel's voice was positive and
even stern. "No, he could never come back
to her. She might go to him. She left him
without any reason. I do not think he would
care to see her again."
"I would say no more, Tyrrel. I do not
think as you do. It is a dream, a fancy, just
an imagination. But if it were true, Basil
would wish no pilgrimage of abasement. He
would say to her, `Dear one, HUSH! Love is
here, travel-stained, sore and weary, but so
happy to welcome you!' And he would open
all his great, sweet heart to her. May I tell
Dora some day what you have thought and
said? It will be something good for her to
"Do you think she cares? Did she ever
"He was her first love. She loved him
once with all her heart. If it would be right
--safe, I mean, to tell Dora----"
"On this subject there is so much NOT to
say. I would never speak of it."
"It may be a truth"
"Then it is among those truths that should
be held back, and it is likely only a trick of
my imagination, a supposition, a fancy."
A miracle! And of two miracles I prefer
the least, and that is that Basil is dead. Your
young preacher is a dream; and, oh, Tyrrel,
I am so tired! It has been such a long, long,
happy day! I want to sleep. My eyes are
shutting as I talk to you. Such a long, long,
"And so many long, happy days to come,
"So many," she answered, as she took
Tyrrel's hand, and lifted her fur and fan
and gloves. "What were those lines we read
together the night before we were married?
I forget, I am so tired. I know that life
should have many a hope and aim, duties
enough, and little cares, and now be quiet,
and now astir, till God's hand beckoned us
The rest was inaudible. But between that
long, happy day and the present time there
has been an arc of life large enough to place
the union of Tyrrel and Ethel Rawdon among
those blessed bridals that are
"The best of life's romances."