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never been in one since. Now it rose Strangely enough, she fell asleep, and up before her — the long ranges of a delicious dream came over her. In the clashing looms; the belts overhead, late afternoon she awoke, soothed and flying with lightning speed, a mass of refreshed, hearing Rose's sweet childish inextricable confusion, which it made voice singing in the garden below. Someher dizzy to look at; the coarse faces of thing of the atmosphere of her dream the women foreigners most of them, surrounded her at first, and she felt she thought; the girls, combing their strangely comforted. She went to the long hair at the little mirrors they had glass and braided carefully the long, hung behind their looms; the floor wavy, chestnut hair of which her mothtrembling beneath her feet; the child- er had been so proud. Another, too, ren, with their dull, hopeless faces, had praised it long ago — her dream restooping under the looms, scrubbing the called that. She turned away from the oil from the floor with their meagre, glass and went slowly down-stairs. Her grimy little hands that had ceased to father had wanted to have his supper be childish, like their owners. And the early. “He must go into town,' he said. little girl had threaded her way through She suspected the object of his journey, the confusion, out under the quiet sky, but said nothing. She had one comfortwith an aching head and a sorrowful ing thought - he knew nothing of the heart for the poor people and the child- trial she had that day endured. ren who looked so unhappy. It was When the meal was over, she had better now, she hoped; the children walked awhile among the overgrown could tumble about in the sunshine shrubs in the tangled garden. Two gimany hours these long days, when the gántic lilacs —one on either side of the seasons of work were so curtailed. little gate - nodded their purple plumes
Here a thought occurred to her: she in unison, filling the air with a frawas a good penman and a rapid account- grance that was almost oppressive. The ant; possibly she might keep books at factory-bells pealed out from below; she some of the mills. She acted upon it could see some of the operatives wend.
This very day she had applied to ing their way homewards to houses outall the different manufacturers in vain. side of the town. Was she inferior to Some were averse to employing 'a wo- these women? They could work ; their man’as book-keeper; others were man- nerves did not shrink from the din of aging without a special book-keeper, the factory. Was there no work in the throwing the extra burden upon
world of God for her - this beautiful perintendent. These last were in hopes, world on which she was looking forth if manufacturi - grew profitable, of under the sky of June? Suddenly the which there was some prospect, to be memory of her dream came over her; able to employ a book-keeper. They events of past years crowded upon her would be glad to oblige Miss Wilmer- as if she had never thought of them bedings — would remember her applica- fore. She seemed to behold herself — tion.
the Mary Wilmerdings of six years beAnd so, with cheeks burning painful- fore- a young, smooth-browed girl, ly, she started on the long hot walk eager and earnest, walking back and homewards. With all the color bleach- forth under the pines ; the sunset splened out of her face, and panting, she dor falling around her. She has dropped reached the house, went straight up the a hint of her future as a teacher ; she stairs to her chamber, and lay down hopes for that some day, she murmurs upon her bed. She would sleep, she half to herself. The strong, firm hand said, in a quiet kind of desperation; of a man, her companion, drops down that at least was left to her — she would upon hers, clasping it with a convulsive sleep and forget.'
movement; she hears his muttered
well as me.
*Never.' She knows which hand it wards the west, clearly defined against was he touched; she lifts it up and the bright sky, lingered two figures on looks at it -- a slender, delicately mould- horseback. Mary noted them carelessed hand, a trifle too thin, perhaps, but a ly. Glancing eastward towards the town, lady's hand. It drops down despairing- she saw her father toiling slowly up the ly. Who, who, on the wide earth cares ascent. He was more depressed than for it now?' she says sharply, as in pain. usual, one could see that in his very She thinks of words that have been form; he stopped, out of breath, at the spoken in that room inside - the parlor gate, paused a moment or two, then where, more than a year ago, her moth- spoke: 'Mary, child, it's no use. I're er lay dead. Perfumes have a strange got to give up the old place where I was influence over us ; with some organiza- born; where, thirty years ago, I brought tions they seem to recall and bind to- your mother! She was a little thing gether broken associations. The lilac- then, only sixteen; she grew taller after clusters were scattering their sweetness she was married. These laylocs was over her; a bunch of lilacs stood in a little bushes, when she come in between pitcher on the hearth that night six 'um that day.' And he took one of the years ago. Growing faint as she inhaled purple blooms tenderly in his rough the perfume, she seemed to hear the hand. The old man's eyes grew dreamy, voice, low, manly, yet strangely shaken: he looked around on the circling hills, ‘Mary, you are wronging yourself as and went on: 'I planted 'em, thinkin'
I love you. You love me. 't would please her, and had 'em growin' Oh! I cannot be mistaken. You know when she come. The pines was n't so I am no egotist; pity yourself, if you big then either ; my old father wanted will not pity me. You need me, dar- 'em cut down; the wind sung an' roar. ling. You never will be the woman ed in 'em so he could n't sleep, he said; God intended you to be except as my but she loved 'em at the fust, and I see wife, Mary. You will feel it one day, if the tears come in her blue eyes when you do not now. And shivering in his she heerd father, and I so begged 'em grasp, longing for what seemed the off with the old man, When I heerd heaven of his love in every fibre of her the wind singin' in 'em nights last winyoung heart, she had yet put it away ter, I could n't sleep, thinkin' she was from her, gathering all her strength for lyin' cold out there. I believe I could the effort, beliving all the while, poor bear to leave the old house if 't was n't child! what a few months after she for leavin' her there alone.' knew to be false - too late !
He buried his face in his trembling She had sacrificed all for what she hands, while his daughter tried to comthen believed to be right. When she fort him; lifting his head at length, he discovered her error, Richard Hermance noticed the figures we have mentioned was gone, she knew not where, and Mary riding down a slight descent. 'I heerd Wilmerdings was proud. She wondered, news to-night, Mary,' he said ; Dick now that the woman was uppermost in Hermance is in town. He 'listed as a her nature, how she found the strength, private, but he's a colonel now; he's even with the evidence she had, to doubt, been wounded, and been to Boston to to refuse him. She could not do it now, have his wound seen to. He's stayin' she thought; but then she was longing now to 'Squire Archer's, where be used for action, now all she seemed to hope to study, you know; folks say he 'll for was rest. She felt sufficient to her. have 'Squire Archer's daughter. He self then, now she craved the support of paused, glancing up furtively into his a stronger nature. The sun had set to daughter's face; 'I thought you'd have the dwellers in the town, here he was him once, Mary; we'd ha' been better still above the horizon. On a hill to- off now, p’r'aps,' he added, with a sigh.
"That's them ridin' down the hill-Her- feeling how white and miserable it look. mance and Squire Archer's girl.' ed. Some one of the neighbors; why
The earth seemed to move under her. must she be intruded upon ? With face Her father went on into the house; she still averted, she strove to speak. had no strength, if she had the will, to Mary! Mary Wilmerdings, my darfollow him. They were pretty near now; ling! is this the way you meet me after they could not see her among the lilacs; all these years? But you are shivering, that was a comfort. Eagerly she scan- sick! you cannot be cold this breathless ned their faces, first Belle Archer's, the summer night; there was a seat herelawyer's high-bred daughter, resplendent abouts once.' And with the one arm he in the circle of her seventeen years. A drew her to it, and sat down. magnificent figure, the perfection of O Richard ! Richard !' was all she grace, as she sat upon her slow-step- said, and he drew the weary head where ing horse, dark, brilliant beauty she it felt the strong beatings of his heart. had; her white plume floating over her “Shall I again plead in vain, Mary?'. black curls. “Six years ago I was as as he bent down his face to the one that young; but I was never like her, never! flushed to crimson beneath his gaze; she, He loved me though,' thought the trem- , for the first time in their two lives, turnbling, sorely-tried woman, shrinking ed her lips to his, as naturally as the among the leaves. For the man- she flower turns to the sun. saw him — scarce a line changed in his 'I have suffered so much while you face; the same resolute bearing. His have been gone, Richard.' arm was in a sling; a practised horse- The man's heart gave a sudden bound; man, he could do all with his left. Miss even by the moonlight he read her alArcher suddenly stooped towards her tered face — altered from what he recompanion, hiding his face from Mary's membered, though a sudden brightness gaze, the horses sprang forward, a cloud was shed over it now. The soldier, whose of dust remained, that was all.
masterful eye had never shrunk from The clatter of hoofs died away in the looking danger - death—firmly in the distance; it was well, she thought; they face; whose calm, deep voice on the battrod on her heart. In one breath she tle-field was the inspiration of his men, gasped a feeble wish to die; she was so giving them strength to rush forward weak to combat with this terrible pain; where he led, even though his orders then prayed God to forgive her. Her seemed to point to certain death—this head had sunk upon her hands; lifting man struggled to regain his self-control, it at last, she grasped the rough trunk shaken at the sight of this self-reliant of the lilac for support; she heard Rose woman, the dearest thing in life to him, calling her, but had no strength to an- whom others deemed so strong, weak as swer. The child did not come out; it a child, while the tide of love for him was growing dark, and she was afraid ; flowed over her soul; this love for which she went back, shutting the door behind he had so striven, which he felt now was her; the latch fell with a sharp clang. his, would be his for evermore. She Shut out! she shuddered, breathing an put out her hand, touching tenderly his inarticulate prayer.
The moon came wounded arm. Soft as the touch was, up, round and red, over the distant lake. he winced in spite of himself. Higher and higher, its beams poured into "Wounded, Richard ! to think you her covert at last.
have been in such danger. There was a quick step outside, the You saved me, Mary! though ungate was opening, she made a sudden wittingly; did you never miss this ?' movement to escape, it only revealed He drew from his bosom a large oldher hiding-place. A hand touched her fashioned locket, oval in shape, containshoulder, she turned away her face, ing a picture of Mary at sixteen. She
knew it instantly; it had been Rose's in the back of the locket; she shudderplaything years ago. It had disappear- ed, thinking that, but for that slight ed; Rose had had a baby-trick of be- shield, the brave heart beating under stowing her treasures in convenient her cheek might now be still. He was crevices, so after an ineffectual search watching her closely; he felt he had it was given up. “When the house done wrong to tell her then, she was tumbles down we shall find it,' her suffering; he should have won her to mother had said, laughingly.
lighter thoughts. Colonel Hermance continued: 'It was I must institute comparisons,' he little Rose's gift. I dare to acknowledge said, gayly, his dark eyes smiling down its acceptance now, Mary, being certain upon hers, as he turned the locket. “This of your pardon.
is what I left. Miss Wilmerdings had ‘But how did it save your life?' she bright hair then; it is darker now, at answered.
least in the moonlight,' and his hand My regiment had been ordered to wandered tenderly over the thick, soft storm a certain position. I was riding braids. 'And she had gray eyes, whose along the front, bullets whistled around lashes have not yet forgotten to rest me; but I had always seemed to bear a upon her cheeks, whenever I essay to charmed life, and I was anxious to ascer- look into their deeps; and her mouth, tain, by personal observation, whether that has grown very grave, it must the mapeuvre I had planned was likely smile more in the future; and when to be successful. My men's eyes looked the lips shape themselves into that terpleadingly into mine, I saw that; rapid- rible expression of firmness, which I ly as I passed the line, they dreaded to saw just now, I shall have to kiss them, have me thus exposed. I can see them as thus. We will be married in a week, now — those resolute faces, some pale, Mary; why should we wait, we who others flushed to the very brows, all have been apart so long? Since I was with that fearful look which men wear wounded, I have thought constantly of when on the eve of a dangerous move- you; I accepted the interference of your ment. I cannot describe to you the picture as a good omen, and came here sense of power that came to me as I to find you. The Archers believed you gave the order to advance. I seemed to to be away, they knew not where. I glide through the air; a feeling of perfect was coming here this evening to inquire, mastery over myself, over my surround- but I caught a glimpse of you as I rode ings, possessed me. The word had scarce- past; I made my excuses, and hurried ly passed my lips, when a sudden flash, back.' for an instant, blinded me, a sharp, quick 'Caught a glimpse of her!' It seemed pain, and my arm fell powerless; my to Mary that she, growing already horse, with a few rapid bounds, leaped strong in her happiness,could not be the into the air and fell dead, throwing me suffering woman who crouched an hour beyond him. He had carried me almost or two before under the lilacs. Colonel to the enemy's line. A shout from my Hermance again spoke. men seemed to rend the very heavens. 'I must join my regiment as soon as One moment I lay helpless upon the my wound is healed!' His voice grew ground, the sword of a rebel captain stern as he added : 'I fear the sharpness flashing over me; the next, my men of the struggle has not come upon our were around, beyond me; there were country yet; disappointment and trial five minutes of desperate fighting; the are before us still. Knowing me, you position was taken, and I was carried to know that I must bear my part in the the rear. The rebel sword-point stopped events of these days, unimportant as here,'
that part may be.' Her eyes dwelt upon the indentation It was a bitter thought, but she put down her feeling as unworthy. How keep the old place in the Wilmerdings' many times, when the news of a defeat name,' he had said. Something had had come, had she longed to cast her life swelled up in his throat, and a hot flush into the balance, if only it might turn. had burned on his cheek, when Mary, a Should she by word or thought hold him day or two before, had told him that the back ? And the old Wilmerdings blood mortgage was paid, principal and interin her veins answered, “No,' though she est, to the last cent. It was a greater thought of Charley. She told him of favor than the independent old farmer the boy's fate-how the curly head was had wanted to accept from any man. laid low; this very moon, perhaps, was ‘But I've been unfort'nate,' he said, shining upon his unknown grave. 'Oh! 'I've struggled hard; an' I'm an old I think sometimes,' she added, that man; I'd rather be beholden to Richard may be he lies unburied in those terrible Hermance for't than any other man, if woodlands, in some secret hollow, where it must be. Mary,' he said suddenly, he crept away to die. Father is quite from his low seat in the doorway, 'you broken down ; you will come in now never see the old mansion-house did and see my father.'
you?' 'I know,' he said, 'come to think, He rose and followed her in silence. 'twas burnt down afore you was bornShe realized the power of this man, her twas on that knoll there where you see chosen husband, when she saw her the poplar trees. The first Wilmerdings father arouse himself, in the magic of built it; that came from the old country, his presence, from the lethargy of sorrow an' he owned all the land from here to into which he had fallen. There was the lake. My grandfather said old something of the old ring in his voice, Ralph Wilmerdings come of as good as he bade Colonel Hermance good- blood as there was in England. My night, but then while she had stolen up father named me for him; he said we'd to her chamber, to sit in the moonlight, hold to the old name, for this farm was alone with her happiness, she knew her all there was left of the land.' father had given Colonel Hermance his Mr. Wilmerdings relapsed into sidaughter. A part, then, of the burden lence. A bobolink strayed out of the was lifted from his heart, he no longer meadow, singing as he soared. Perchdreaded leaving his home. A week ing himself upon a branch that swung after, it was the morning of her wed- with his weight, close by the doorway, ding-day, the twentieth of June, whose and turning his head daintily to one advent father and daughter had so side, he poured a gush of music directly dreaded in connection with the mort- into the room. Rose came creeping gage, the old man sat in the doorway of round the corner, listening, her finger the low porch ; Mary, busying herself on her lip; kneeling down upon the with some domestic work, stole a glance step before her father, she laid her at him now and then, noting with the bright head upon his knee. 'He's singrare perception of the artist, how the in' for Mary's weddin', Rose; it's a early sunbeams, stealing through the good sign. He lifted the childish face vines, flickered about him, touching with between his hands—a rough frame for brightness the faded curls that still so delicate a picture—his eyes searched clustered about his bald crown. His her features hungrily for the likeness he eye wandered over cultivated field and so longed for, it was not there ; removgrassy knoll. He had tilled those fields ing his hands, he laid three or four of the and his father before him ; every little soft, light ringlets across his palm-he inequality of ground was dear to him as found a gleam of comfort. “It's like the face of an old friend; he had hoped Charley's hair, when he was a little felonce to have given them to Charley, 'to low ; you remember it, Mary!' She