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strength to stay her uncertain footsteps. Her proclaimed her the former, her speech was scraps of talk grew wilder and more inco- of the latter. How was Lydia to take her herent. Now that her fit of despairing fury up the grand fight of steps and through the
was over, her whole nature rapidly suc- great glass doors of the hall, where probably cumbed to the degrading potions she had a footman would meet them ? Lydia's first taken. By the time they reached the road impulse was to lead her there, put her in
she was little more than a dumb dead weight side, and wait without, unseen, till she could on the girl's arm.
be sure that she was succoured and guarded But when Lydia saw the great house within from another wild dash into the darkness; its carriage drive, her heart sank within her though, indeed, she now seemed too sluggish with a new dismay. Could this be its mis- and besotted for any such attempt. Lydia tress, or was she only one of the upper left her leaning against the portico, and servants—a class of whose luxury and ex- darted up the steps alone ; but she found travagance she knew a little ? Her dress the doors fast, as she might have expected in the near neighbourhood of a place like pered the housemaid to her young lady, Perford, where the poor can hope so little “ and it must have been too much for her, from the rich that the rich have good cause for she dropped down like a stone." to fear the poor! And the splendour of “Where is my mother ?” gasped Kate, the place! The rich carpet spread over looking round; but the sight of a tall figure the dainty tiles, the tall mirrors, the gor- uncertainly retreating down the kitchen pasgeous exotics standing on marble tables, to sage, in the guidance of an elderly maidsay nothing of the great Russian leather servant, was all the answer Kate got or rescreened chair, wherefrom a pair of legs quired just then. They were carrying Lydia gave notice of the presence of a dozing livery in, and as the lamplight fell full on her face servant,—all withheld Lydia's hand from Miss Pride started eagerly forward. touching the bell she saw in the door-post. “ It is the young woman that works at Lydia stole down the steps again, and thought Miss Pendlebury's," volunteered the page her footfall had never been so loud.
when they had placed her on the low kitchen Be this mistress or maid, she must creep settle. through the low back door which Lydia pre- Her face was scarcely whiter than Kate's sently found in the ivy-covered side wall. own, and in its pitiful unconsciousness it That only admitted them to a little paved was not half so wildly sad. court beside the house. There was another “ Take her to my room,” said Kate; " it door in the wall of the building, and might frighten her to see so many people Lydia cautiously ascertained that it was also when she recovers." And as she followed fastened. Here she must ring the bell, and the group of bearers she hated herself for when she heard responsive footsteps she her words. They would have been natural could hurry away and watch in the carriage and true under any other circumstances, but ring to make sure there was no mistake. now the utter truth would have been, “Take
But the door flew open almost before the her to my room, for I choose that nobody bell had sounded, and a woman, a smart but myself shall hear what she may say when servant with an untied bonnet perched on she recovers." her head, came out with a rush and jostled And when they were all dismissed but against them.
Kate's own maid, Parkes, and while Parkes " Lawk-a-mercy !" she cried, “ it's well herself was busy with aromatic vinegar and you're back within five minutes of your burnt feathers, Kate turned to her little being missed, ma'am !
as secretaire and touched the spring of a secret you've given us all ! And, ugh! what a place. A lid flew up, and from a little hear state you are in !” she added, seizing the of letters and manuscripts Kate's trembling reeling woman in a strong, rough grasp, fingers selected one. It was only memoand looking down at her muddy dress and randa of expenses—a young man's careless rumpled shawl. “You'll find yourself in memoranda—where every second item was the lock-up one of these days, with your called “sundries,” but on its back was a beastly habits and your mad goings-on ; and sketch of a young girl with dark waving hair what will the master do then, I wonder, and passionate eyes. About the soft round Mrs. Pride ?"
throat closed the daintily-ruffled dress. This A piercing shriek rang through the house-girl, mute on the sofa, was white and worn, a shriek high, clear, and terrible. It rang with mendings in her coarse alpaca skirt within, without, through the spacious corri- and cheap thread gloves on her hands; but dors, and among the shivering autumn trees. that girl and this girl were the same, and The hurrying servants paused in rooted Kate Pride was sure of it now, though perhorror, while Kate Pride, at that moment haps the resemblance would never have stepping from Miss Pendlebury's carriage, struck her had she met this girl anywhere turned from the great flight of steps and else, or under any other circumstances. flew to the side door-the terror always “I think she's coming to, miss," said sleeping in her heart starting up within her, Parkes, and Kate shut the spring with a though she knew that was not her mother's snap. voice.
"Then leave her to me, Parkes," she said There, on the damp ground, with her huskily. “You can wait within call in case hands on the kitchen threshold and her you are wanted.” white face half upturned, lay Lydia Calder- “She's all right now; you needn't be wood.
frightened, miss," said Parkes ; " look at the "She brought home the mistress," whis-colour coming to her cheeks." Parkes was
not offended at her dismissal, because she walked into Perford with Lydia Calderwood, wanted to gossip over everything with her and parted from her only at Mrs. Moffat's fellow-servants. “Hadn't I better go and threshold. get some cordials ready, miss ?" she asked ; “ she's sure to feel faintish.”
CHAPTER XIV.-TWO LOVE LETTERS. Yes, yes-anything-only go," said Kate
ONLY two or three weeks later, there came impatiently.
this letter to Lois Enticknapp. Half an hour later one of the Pride's footmen carried a note to Mrs. Moffat's to “My own LOIS-I am Herr Professor apprise her that her lodger was quite safe, now. I would not tell you that the chance but would not return home till morning. was open till I knew it was decided in my
Kate's night was spent between the two favour. And when are we to be married? chambers-her own and her mother's. There We have never let ourselves think of that was little to be done in the latter, for Mrs. happy event as nearer than one year from Pride had soon fallen into a heavy sleep. this date. But why? I shall not be able to There was not much to be done in the afford to furnish a dainty house for you at former-only a little whispering, only a few once-but do not the birds build together? tears, and then the silence of exhaustion, I should like to ask you to a palace, Lois; and the wax candles died out, and the dark- still I think you would like also to give me a ness seemed so merciful that Kate did not palace, and that you can do, transforming light others.
this place into one, by the magic of sitting In the dim dawn Kate stole down-stairs down on the red cushion of the wooden chair to the greenhouse to gather a few flowers that stands empty opposite me! You shall to greet her mother's waking—that terrible choose your own china, my Lois, and we waking of remorse and shame, whose utter will go together to buy it, but meanwhile, abandonment of self-blame and detestation there are more than a pair of everything even had always saved Kate's love, albeit that in my bachelor cupboard, so we need not be love lay in her heart as unlike what it should in a hurry. This house may be small for a have been as a jewel stained with blood, bride, my Lois, but it is large and lonesome and wrenched from worthy setting, is unlike for a solitary lover. the diamond reflecting the sunshine and "I am a German, Lois, and I want to be lending its light to the brow of loveliness. known as a betrothed man before I appear
She paused at the drawing-room window as a husband—and I want to be known as a and drew aside the curtain. The mists of betrothed man now—while it is your good the night before were rolling away, and in pleasure, after your shy English fashion, that the valley below she could see the tall chim- our betrothal shall not be made public till neys of Perford. It was dawn there toom within a very few months of our marriage. dawn even in the worst room of those filthy Lois, let me have my own way, and I will let slums which in some public meeting she had you have yours. once heard her father characterize as
“Do not sorrow about parting from your of iniquity” and “ sinks of abomination;" mother. Will she not come here with us ? and she thought to herself that the most Why should not Paul Stach carry on the squalid roof there could scarcely cover business for her, and Else Beck take care of sadder skeletons than were crouching among the house, that all may be ready for her the downy pillows of the two bedchambers return, so that she may threaten she will go she had left. Those might stalk abroad in away and leave us the moment she is not loud street fights and coarse police-court happy! Read her this, Lois, and I know revenge, while these might be but barely she will say, “ Hans enters into my feelings, exposed by the half-credited gossip of dis- and what thou dost provide against, thou missed servants; but Kate Pride's eyes dost often prevent, thee knows.' were not of the short-sighted kind which “And now for a little gossip; and I am so see no farther than the surface of things, afraid lest any word of what I have to tell and she felt that a curse does indeed spread should hurt you, that I cannot bear to think on all sides when the humanity that God there are hundreds of miles between us. has joined in one brotherhood is put asunder “I have met a young Englishman lately, by gold and vanity.
named Pendlebury. He is among a party The morning was still fresh, and the of English youths, one or two of whom are earliest of the factory people were only start- my pupils, and from their talk with one ing to their day's labour, when Kate Pride another I found he came from Culstead.
He learned that I had been in that part of him, not even a greeting the next time we England, and he answered me many ques. met. tions about sundry places and people, and “Only two or three days after, as I was this made his conversation interesting to me. returning home late from the Public Library, And now forgive me, Lois, for I know I did I saw a crowd at the bottom of one of the what I ought not. While you have sealed streets. There were two or three policemen my lips as to our relationship one to the in the middle of it, and I went to inquire other, I should not have named you to a what the trouble was about. The hangersstranger. But I have not seen you for twelve on told me a young Englishman was accused months, Lois, and I had no reason then to of theft.' Then, thinking of my pupils, I think ill of the stranger, and I thought a pushed into the heart of the throng. Two good heart would show me a fresh reflection evil-looking men and a smart Frenchwoman of you to cheer my hungry vision.
had accused Gilbert Pendlebury of taking a "Do you know a family named Entick- diamond ring from their rooms at the Grand napp-a widow and daughter-living at Hotel, where he also resided. He had not Perford ?'
returned to his apartments afterwards and so " Ah, a pretty girl,' he said, and my heart was arrested in the street. Without saying a bounded—for one does not much heed tones word to him, I followed to the police house; in a foreign tongue-one's charity sets down there I stated what I knew of him, that he aught unpleasant as due to some cause one was the son of a wealthy and respectable does not understand. 'A pretty girl,' he English merchant, and I also stated what repeated, and a knowing one, looks like a was more to the point, that when I was saint and manages to get thought such, travelling with Count Salzburg's son, I had but is dearest friend with a girl who also seen his accusers at the gaming tables at looks like a saint now, and is taking in a Monaco, where they had been pointed out to dear good soul of an aunt of mine, but whom me as adventurers of the very worst type. I happen to know to be thoroughly bad. If The consequence was that next day no she ever saw me, she would get a fright. I accusers appeared, and Mr. Pendlebury was don't think she ever heard my name. I expect set at liberty. He was ready to overwhelm those crafty Quakers are backing her up in me with gratitude. Of course he had had some conspiracy, because the family of the little to fear from the mere charge from the gentleman, whose 'wife' she was called when first. 'I knew they only wanted to extort I first saw her, live in Culstead, and she money,' he said; but they tried it at the must have come into the neighbourhood wrong time, for I am short of cash, or I would immediately after he broke off his connection have given anything to prevent the scandal with her.'
I feared, and to keep my father from knowing “Lois, I was stunned, because I did not I had been in such people's company.' know whether I ought to break the silence I "If I ever see the Herr father I shall tell had promised you, and how otherwise could him,' I said gravely, therefore I would advise I have right to check the man's malign reck- you to tell him yourself. It is not well to lessness ? But I felt my promise to you was keep secrets whose opening would not be to given, and must not be broken without your one's credit. And perhaps you will explain consent. And the poor youth will get that to everybody what a mere chance made me part of his punishment when our betrothal is your helper and adviser, for you know how announced. Yet it would be wrong to let hardly you yourself might judge of me as the him go on thus lightly lying away the reputa- presumed friend of a young man who keeps tion of any woman, and so, though I was not such bad company that he falls into the vain enough to suppose a word of mine would policeman's hands. Good morning, Herr teach him, what none of God's words had Pendlebury,' I said, and he looked at me taught him, yet still there must always be a hard, and he went away. It is very painful beginning, and I made my little protest to strike blows, Lois. They hurt the hands thus
which must give them almost as much as the “Herr Pendlebury, I do not like to hear backs which must bear them. a man speak ill of women, because a good “But now, Lois, you have a story to tell man knows how hard the world is to women What good deed have you been doing who are not good, and an evil man is apt to in secret? I am not going to blame you speak ill of good women because he inter- for delaying your confidence. Perhaps one prets them by his own bad experience.' plants seeds better than two. But when the
“And I never spoke one more word to harvest is ripe, we may call others to rejoice with us over it. If the harvest is not yet knew from the first whose wickedness had ripe, Lois, say so, and I will ask no more. cursed her, but she did not know that she Keep your secrets while you feel you should had come to live near his family, and I never keep them, and I shall but love you better told her. I did not feel sure what I should for your silence. Our mutual love shall but do, and I thought if she ought to know she further our wills, and give us more to God would know in time. and to our fellow-creatures.
“ She knows now. One night, when she “ Yes, Lois, come to be with me as soon was taking a solitary walk, and was feeling as ever you can. I feel as if I was insulting vexed and angry because I had not accomyou when I urge you not to wait till
I can panied her, and she made a wrong guess why exchange this ingrain drugget for a Turkey I had not done so, she met his mother. O carpet, and yonder willow pattern plate for a Hans! I don't like to write about these things, Dresden one. What have you and I to do they are so terrible that it seems heartless to with such things, Lois ? We are both of the write about them coolly, and to hurry over people, which means simply that those from their story, that we may commune about our whom we are proud to be descended found own happy love. You must burn this letter the best of life among bare boards and pewter directly you read it. And lest you should platters. I shame you to name such things. not like to burn all that has just come from You, in your grand simplicity, are doubtless me—as I never can burn even your enveunaware that there is a section of society lopes—I have written this on a sheet apart where meat is more than life, and raiment from our own affairs. more than the body! But even that section “Do you remember hearing the name of will not wonder at us, Lois, for they will say, Pride when you were in Perford ? The great ' After all, the Herr Professor is the son of a house on Culstead Common belongs to the country innkeeper, and therefore this is Prides, and we used to meet the son and natural in him.' And why should I resent daughter on horseback. Do you reme er this sort of approval, while I thank God that the son ? That is he of whom young Mr. it is true ?
Pendlebury speaks. “Give my love to your mother, my Lois, “ The Prides are very, very rich. But and my salutations to Paul and to Else, and they come from poor people like ourselves, to anybody else who kindly remembers nie. and the vast fortune is all of the senior Mr. And please to write to me at once, and tell Pride's making. And they have not been me how soon I am to change my style of fortunate in any other way. Your devoted lover,
mother cannot keep from drinking, and is “ Hans ENDBERG." very miserable and often tries to kill herself.
And that was how Lydia met her on the In less than two days afterwards this common that night. And when she took answer passed through the foreign branch of her home, she heard her name. Lydia fainted, the Perford post-office.
and Miss Pride found her so, and the whole
story came out. When Miss Pride brought “MY OWN DEAR HANS,-Your letter gave Lydia back to her lodging and left her there, me only one pang, and that was to think that she came to our shop and left a message with anybody can be so cruel and unreasonable as Paul Stach, asking me to go to Lydia at once. young Mr. Pendlebury. But then how dread. And when I heard the message and who had ful it is to be so! And how terribly ashamed left it, I guessed what had happened, and I one must be when one finds one's self out at was terribly frightened. last! But then, truly, the worst is over, and “I needed not to be frightened. I found poor Mr. Pendlebury will not need so much Lydia quite calm, and very pleased to see pity then as he does now.
She showed more pleasure in seeing me “I have kept no secret, I think. Only I than she had ever shown before. Lydia and got to know Lydia Calderwood when she I are sure friends now. was very sad and very lonely. And I grew “She is no longer bitter. I knew she had a to love her. And because I loved her, I did longing for beautiful clothes and grand rooms, not want to speak about her, even to you, till and I feared lest the sight of those to which I could assuredly say of her, 'Tis is my she stands so terribly near, would hurt her. friend.' For Lydia did not like me at once, But then she saw the skeleton lurking amid as I liked her. She could not be quite sure the grandeur. And I think that she feels whether she would really like me.
that Jolin Pride, with his home and his up“We are friends now, we two girls. I bringing, was as pitifully unprepared for life