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was some one who knew the way, lingering girl, if she felt it irksome a little, saw nothat every familiar turn, casting wistful looks ing startling in the contrast. She went outat every well-known bush and tree. Did side to the cows; she caressed the calf she that gait and step, which Bell, who could was training; she talked about the common not breathe, watched in such an agony of matters of the house to Marget, who came to recognition, belong to any living man ? help in some of the operations of the dairy, the noiseless footsteps falling without sound Even to Marget she did not venture to or echo into the palpitating stillness! She speak of the wonderful vision of last night. stretched out her arms wildly, in an agony In her own heart the remembrance throbbed of joy and terror. If it was he what did it with a force which kept her pulse beating as matter to Bell whether it was spirit or man? if in a fever. So wonderfully did she feel But her parched lips could not form the ago- the flood of the life-torrent in her veins, that, nized inquiry that rose to them. At that in the height of her health and unconscious overpowering moment, when, had she but vigor, Bell paused to lay her finger on her been strong enough, another breath would pulse and listen to the loud palpitation of have brought her to speech of Willie, living her heart, with a wistful passing wonder or dead, Bell fell down upon the bare floor whether she was going to be ill and die. of her solitary room. She fell there with a That would be an unthought-of solution of sob that caught no ear in the silent house, the mystery; and why, indeed, was that and lay all insensible and out of reach, Appearance sent, if not with some such end ? whatever happened, unwitting whether pre- She paused at the door as she came to and cious support of love had come to her in fro, and gazed at that spot where, last night her extremity, or whether a wandering ap- last night !-crown of life over which life parition had mocked her with a glimpse of paused, as if it could go no further. What the unseen. Dread helplessness of Aesh was it that stood there in the silence ? And and blood! She could not bear that un- Bell, who dared not ask, much less answer speakable strain of emotion. Just upon that the question, turned away to her dairy-work, moment at which the sight might have be- with a sigh that came echoing deep out of come ineffable, the mortal creature's vision the depths of her heart. failed her. She fell, and lay blank, in utter Matters were going on thus—the work unconsciousness, then wrestling with the progressing, the heart throbbing, the solemn dreadful fancies which herald returning life ; day swelling into noon—when Bell, looking when she came to herself, deep darkness out from the house door, saw another sight and stillness was over the external world— upon the path. Not the Appearance, whatnothing moved, nothing appeared in the ever it was only two figures, entirely famildewy, gloomy landscape-the very wind had iar and unmysterious—Jamie Lowther, in sighed itself to sleep in the hush of the pas- his Sabbath dress, as if coming on weighty toral Sabbath. Bell gazed out of her window occasion, and her father, walking slowly, with strained eye, unable to rouse herself from with his head bent, and a certain air of the trance of watching, for half the night. dogged firmness in his aspect, by the young But she saw nothing heard nothing ;-only man's side. The sight of them advancing at length, when the vigil was over, the quiver together at this unusual hour—the farmer of rising light in the east, the distant cock- from his fields, the lover at a time when no crowing over the far country:—the night, Annandale man dreams of making love wrapping all mysteries in its bosom of dark- brought back all the early visions of the ness, was over. The loud day, all busy and previous night to Bell ; she stood still ; and unthoughtful, had begun.
recollected herself with a painful necessary CHAPTER IV.
effort. She put away from her mind all the That day was to be an era in the life of mystic thrills with which that midnight apIsabel Carr. Sleepless and excited, yet parition had filled her. Now the crisis she constrained to conceal her excitement in the had foreseen was coming. She went sol. calm ordinary garb of life, she went down emnly into the house, promising to her heart, to the common labor which seems 80 which could not detach itself from thoes abstrangely unconcordant with the high cli- sorbing thoughts, that by and by they two maxes of suffering and passion. The country should return together to that precious region of dreams; but in the mean time counts with me, Andrew Carr, or ye maun something had to be done. She stood at look to be rouped out of Whinnyrig. I the door of the great kitchen, holding maun either have money or money's worth; it open-though it was always open, and dilly-dallying like this is no for me.” the motion was one of excitement and not The old man raised up his head, which one of necessity—to let her father and his had been bent in despondent quietness, and companion pass in. Then she took up her gazed with wonder and half-comprehension post at the window, standing there, with her on the excited speaker. At the first hearface paled by thought and restrained feel- ing he did not understand. No voice like ing, and her wistful eyes seeking that land- this had addressed Andrew Carr in his own scape out of doors which had formed the house for years. background to the wonderful picture last “Bell!” said the father, with a strange night. In her abstracted eye and pre-occu- wonder. It was an appeal to her—not to pied look, the least close observer might interpose to save him, but to interpret have read that something had happened to whether this insolent address was real. He Bell—something that delivered her out of had quite well known and agreed in the the extreme personal interest she had in this tacit compact that his daughter's hand was business about to be transacted. Her black to purchase his own deliverance from the dress was laid away along with her Sabbath- power of his creditor : but such a statement day leisure. She stood in her striped petti- of the original case startled and stung his coat and pink short gown, with her apron proud spirit. It was nothing about Bell tied around her firm, round waist, in all her -it was a demand for the bond, the pound rural beauty, vigor, and health, but with of flesh-an attempt to humiliate and force a mystic visionary shadow on her which the reluctant daughter into payment of neither of the spectators could comprehend. her father's debt. A certain heat came They looked at her, both in the momen- slowly upon his aged face. Lowther, totary pause. There she stood who could tally unaware of the spirit he was rousing avert ruin and misery—who could, at no — bent solely upon his own plan — detergreater cost than that of heart and life, sat- mined to bring Bell to her knees and humble isfy the young man's fierce love and console her before he accepted her-proceeded to the old man's wounded pride. Young, and carry out his design in his own way. a woman, could she resist doing it? Life “ You're weel aware what I mean," he and Heart are so little against wild Love said. “If Bell disna ken, it's no my blame. and Pride; and but for the two other invis- Ye became caution for Thomas Brown at the ible champions of Truth and Honesty on bank, and I paid the siller when he ran away. either side of her—not to speak of that Ye were behindhand with the rent, and I spiritual visitant last night-Bell's heart made it up. Ye sell’t your beasts badly bemight indeed have faltered and given way. cause you would take nae advice, and I
Noo, Jamie Lowther, say out your say,” helpit to stock the byer again. If it's no a' said the old farmer of Whinnyrig; "you've true, ye can contradict me. But I'm to get brought me here in the mid-hour of day to naething back in return—no a ceevil word settle your affairs with Bell. I might have no a kind look out of a lass' e'e. If I'm no been better pleased, and so might the lass, to have what I wanted, I'll take what I can; if ye hadna askit my help. But we're a' and, Andrew Carr, I'm saying yell settle here, and time runs on; say out what you your affairs with me." have to say.”
Bell's abstraction had yielded to the pain“It is awfu' easy speaking," said Low-ful interest of this colloquy. With the color ther, with a little sullenness; “ you say to warming on her cheek, and the wildest tusettle my affairs with Bell.' I never yet mult in her heart, she turned from the askit an auld man's help to court a bonnie speaker to the listener. She saw the gleams lass. It's my affairs with you I want to of passion in James Lowther's eyespassion settle. You ken ye're in my power ; I've - love which was almost hatred—and tremwaited lang, and got little ceevility frae bled with a momentary womanish terror at
man's patience doesna last the power he wielded. Then she turned her forever. You maun either settle auld ac- gaze upon her father. The old man had
risen up from his chair: his face was red had sapped the ancient strength, and Passion with a flush of unusual rage and energy; his bad completed the cuin. He fell, putting gray eyes burned under their shaggy eye- forth the feeble dim once so mighty, to lashes. If he did not speak, it was rather thrust his cruel creditor out of his sight. because he had too much than too little to His daughter could not tell what was hapsay. There was a momentary silence, Low- pening in that moment of terror. While ther having discharged his arrow. Then, she raised his head and unloosed his handwith a quick, faltering step, Andrew Carr kerchief from his neok, Bell was only aware strode forward to his antagonist. He was of an ineffable consolation that stole through trembling with rage and excitement-words her heart, and strengthened, even in their would not come from his lips.
tremor, her hands and her soul. She heard “Go-go forth of my door!” stammered a voice she had not heard for years. She the furious old man. Gang forth, sir, out felt a presence in the apartment, somehow of my house! Bell !-Whinnyrig is yours pervading it, though she did not see him. and mine at this moment. Turn him out of What did it matter-spirit or man? She my door. Siller!-he shall have his siller, was rapt into regions above common reason. if I beg from house to house. Affairs ! Life and Death-Love and Sorrow, standing Gang forth, I say to you, out of my door!” close about her, transported the young
He had clutched at Lowther's sleeve, and woman out of ordinary fear and wonder. with the vehemence of age, dragged him out She could have believed those were spiritual of his chair. It was no contemptible hand, hands that helped her with her burden: she though it was old. The younger man, star- was content to believe it. She asked no tled and furious, vainly tried to shake off that questions—felt no surprise. In the moment passionate grasp. They struggled together of her extremity he was there who had vowed for a moment-Bell, struck dumb by the en- to stand by her in all the chances of her life. counter, not attempting to interfere. But He was standing by her and her heart was the fiery energy of the insulted patriarch strong. was no match for the steady resistance of his antagonist. Lowther planted his feet THE doctor had come and gone. The old firm on the ground, extricated himself and man was speechless, but calm, half-slumberstood defiant. The two who had come in to- ing, half-unconscious in his bed. Whether gether amicable and allied, confronted each he would die or live no one could tell: most other with mutual passion. Bell said nothing likely he was to die; for age is weak to con- scarcely breathed; the matter was taken tend with sudden disease and rapid passion. out of her hands.
He lay in unlooked-for ruin, like an ancient “It's a' true I've said," said the creditor, tower, and the aspect of the homely farmsullenly, “ and I'll no be turned out of the house was suddenly changed from that of house where everything belongs to mysel'. every-day labor to that absorbed pre-occupaThere's anither way to settle, if ye like; but tion which subordinates everything to the I warn ye, Andrew Carr_”
present sickness and coming death. Gang out of my house!" shouted the Bell had come into the kitchen, to prepare indignant old man. “ Will I sell him my some necessary comfort, from the inner ain flesh and blood, does the devil think ? room where her father lay. She started with Ye shall have your siller. Gang out of my a violent tremor to see James Lowther still house, ye sneering Satan! Bell, call the standing in the scene of that encounter and lads : am I to be insulted on my ain hearth- downfall. It was strange to see him there stane ? Bell, I'm saying! Ay, Willie, Wil- with that same atmosphere of fury, love, lie, ye’ve come in time! Turn him out o'my and passion about him, after all that had doors!”
happened. Bell did not feel she was treadSome one else was in the darkened apart- ing on common ground the dead had come ment. Bell could not see who, or how he alive, and the living had been stricken that
She only perceived the large old day. It was a solemn day, far separated frame totter, the darkening fall like a great from yesterday and all the past. And what tower, of the heavy figure. That paroxysm did her disappointed lover here, looking had been too much for the old man. Age just as he had looked in the common life ?
“So!” he said, with a long breath, as she were aware, with so much injury on one involuntarily paused before him, "you've side, and so much guilt and jealousy on the gotten back your joe!”
other. But, as they stood eying each other, “ What did you say ? ” asked Bell; her the inner door opened again, and a sight apmind too much lifted out of ordinary talk or peared that made them drop asunder, gazing thoughts to understand what he meant. with speechless wonder and fear. It was
“You've gotten back your joe,” said Low- Andrew Carr leaning on his daughter's arm ther, fiercely, “he's come hame like ither -tottering, yet upright, with bloodless face, dyvours; and you think you can scorn me and large bright eyes flickering in their safely noo. But I tell you it's a' Willie can sockets. With one arm he held Bell—the do to look after himsel—and as for you and other hung useless, with its large hand palthe auld man, if ye gang on your knees to lid as death through all the browning of toil. me I'll no alter noo. I'll take the bed from Those eyes, which gazed but saw nothing under him afore I'll let ye triumph over me. those shuffling, helpless feet—that large, old, The auld man's bankrupt, as I warned ye tottering, broken figure impressed the young yestreen. Ye can leave him on the parish man like the very presence of Death. He and gang off with your joe, for ye'll get nei- went forward blindly, half supported by ther charity nor help frae me.”
Bell-half dragging her on. “ Lads, it's “ Jamie !" cried a voice of warning from the Sabbath night, and time to gang a' to the door.
your beds. Fare ye weel-fare ye weel! And Bell lifted her eyes. There he stood Gang on before for it's mirk-night I'll but --the Appearance of last night-no appari- gie ae look to the stars, and then to my rest,” tion or spirit-glowing with indignation, said the voice of the dying man. Nobody love, and succor. She gave a cry such as could disobey those words.
The young never had escaped her in all her anguish, men stole out before him, not venturing to and covered her face with her hands. She look at each other. He went blindly to the did not even say his name. She did not door, feebler and feebler, and sank on the care to ask a question. The cloud floated stone bench outside, dragging his terrified away from her heart with all its mystic con- daughter with him. Then he lifted his solations. Willie was there ! That was sightless eyes to the sky, which shone in the consolation enough. She did not pause full glory of day. “ Dark-dark-but the longer, but went away to her sick-room and moon's near her rising; and your mither's her filial service. No dallying—no indul- lang o' coming, Bell,” said Andrew Carr. gence, however lawful, was becoming at that His great gray head drooped down upon his moment. She went with a light foot, re- breast; and while the young hearts palpistored to reality, serene and hopeful. Wil- tated and the young breath went and came, lie was there! explanations might come and those three figures round him had afterwards ; light had come back to her eyes scarcely counted out other three seconds of and confidence to her heart.
their full existence, the life was ended and the “She gangs to her duty without a ques- spirit gone! tion,” said the stranger, with loving admira- Quiet fell after that upon the house of tion. “ Jamie, there's nae place for you in whinnyrig. The death-dwelling was saved. this house of trouble. I'm here! Ye've But when it came to be known how the old slandered me, but that I'll forgive ye. Ye've man met his death, James Lowther, of deceived me about her, and that I canna Broomlees, found few smiles and fewer forgie myself that should have kenned bet- friends in the indignant countryside. The ter; but if there's a heart of flesh in ye, picturesque figure of the old farmer, severe gang out of this house !
and morose while he lived, detached itself “No till the house is roupit, and the haill in a kind of tragic splendor from the surstock o’ye ruined !” cried Lowther with a rounding landscape when he was gone and furious oath.
in the mournful regard which reverted to The sailor said no more. He seized his him at last, people bethought themselves cousin by the arm, compressing it unawares remorsefully of the young sailor condemned in his passionate grasp. The two might unheard. When Willie Lowther's story was have struggled into bloodshed before they told, his cousin's place in popular estimation
sank still further. It was Broomlees and Appearance out of heaven ? " said Bell. “I
gleams in the eyes of the recovered sailor's
The Romance of n Dull Life. By the Author of The prices occasionally paid for advertise
“ Morning Clouds." London : Longman. ments may suggest some curious reflections
This story has a good deal of cleverness in Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition
of 1862 received last week offers for the wrappers