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their eyes; a rushing as of many waters my master. Do you mean to play highfilled her cars, but through it came her wayman and rob me outright ?? lover's laughing voice :
No, but here is some strange coil, “Ask her where she got it, Meg, and and it is you only who can explain it. see if she dare tell you.”
Miss Pulsifer has lost a jewel so like to With a mighty effort Miss Pulsifer that upon your neck that—" opened her swimming eyes and fixed “It is of no consequence, none at all," them upon the face of the girl, still set interposed Miss Pulsifer very coldly. “I in that look of merry defiance, still certainly have lost a ruby heart, but my turned toward John Morgan. Com- cousin has already declared that this manding a voice which seemed to her- upon her neck was a love-gift from some self to sound from some far-off icy one unknown to us, and I would not depth, she spoke:
insult her by asking proof or explana“ It was a true love token, I suppose, tions of her word. Let the matter rest, and young maids are not so fond of it is of no consequence." confessing such.”
“Surely not, if not to you, madam," " Why, yes, cousin, I have already told replied John Morgan, now seriously Master Morgan that this was a token offended, but still glancing impatiently from a dear friend unknown to him, at Ruby, who suddenly grew grave and and I take it ill that he should insist much confused, glanced from one to upon talking on it, especially before the other, while her trembling fingers another."
fumbled at the clasp of the little chain. “I only insisted because, as I said Undoing it at last, she slipped off the this morving, it is so like another that heart, and holding it toward Miss PulI wot of. You know the one I mean, sifer, softly said, Margaret."
“Take it, cousin, if it is yours, I never "It is very like one that I have knew that.” sometimes worn,” replied Miss Pulsifer, “Mine, girl! How should it be, if coldly.
your tale is true ?" asked Miss Pulsifer “That was my meaning. You do not coldly, and never extending her hand wear it to-night,” and John Morgan for the jewel, although her hungry eyes looked almost reproachfully at the state- devoured it greedily. ly white neck of his betrothed.
“I did not know-I was wrong-I “No, I have lost it, I believe," replied thought that Master Morgan was jesting she carelessly.
when he asked where I got it; he knows, “Lost it! Oh, Margaret, lost my ruby if he would but speak," stammered Ruby heart!"
helplessly. " Lost it or had it stolen, which I “ I know! What in Heaven's name think more likely; and had I known I does this mean? What snare is laid was so shrewdly to be called to account here to catch me tripping ?” for your gift, Master Morgan, I had And John Morgan, springing to his never taken it."
feet, glared from one to the other of the "Margaret !” whispered the lover; young women in angry bewilderment. but Margaret met his pleading eyes Miss Pulsifer met his look with one of with a look so full of proud contempt, superb disdain. that his own fell in angry confusion. “ Big words and loud tones are but a Turning to Ruby, who during the half- coward's refuge,” said she, icily. “Ruby whispered conversation between the Pynsent, if you choose to explain this lovers had been frolicking with the matter, do it now, and briefly. If you cat upon the rug, he asked almost do not choose, or if you do not dare, it sternly,
shall rest forever, and we shall wish “Will you let me take that ruby Master Morgan good-night-and goodheart, Miss Pynsent ? "
by.” "Marry, no, when you ask in that tone, “He-lic gave it me this morning,"
sobbed Ruby, crouched in a heap upon where I got it, I thought again that it the rug, her golden hair tossed across was jest, and I told you a story, thinkthe blue brocade of her dress as she hiding to make you laugh; and when you her face upon her knees, while the mock- asked me before my cousin I did not ing firelight played over her lissome fig- want to say out that you gave it me, ure, and the ivory of her arms and the and I did not know what you meant—" golden curls, and centred at last in one “I see it now, I see it all !” exclaimed blinding spark deepset in the heart of John Morgan, dropping the hands he the ruby lying upon the floor beside her, held, and gloomily staring into the fire.
Miss Pulsifer rose to her stately height, " When I came here this morning I emand pointing down at the lovely picture, braced Margaret, as I had a right to do, turned her eyes upon John Morgan's and the ruby heart fell off and lodged bewildered face.
in my clothes, and when I went back to “ HE you never a word or a kiss to the ship and embraced you, as I had no comfort her?" asked she, “ or are you right to do, it fell out into your bosom, already false to her too?"
and I, stung by remorse to think that Then, while he stood reeling beneath even by one kiss I had been faithless to the contempt she had hurled at him my love, rushed away before I could see from lip and eye, and every line of her what had befallen, and you understood majestic figure, she drew her dress aside it all wrong, and-all is over between and swept past him and out of the room Margaret and me.” with never another word or look. As “No-why do you say that? I will she neared the door, John Morgan sprang go and tell her how it was !" after her, stopped abruptly, and striding “ What! tell her that I took you in my back seized up the weeping child, and arms and kissed you within the hour standing her before him, both her hands after rejoining her!” exclaimed John in his, looked with stern imploring into Morgan bitterly. “Good sooth, I fancy her face.
that tale would not mend matters much “Ruby! What is this all? Have you with a woman like Margaret Pulsifer. gone mad, or have I ? How could you Nay, Ruby, the kiss was a sweet one, and say that I gave you this accursed bau- I say not that it was so much amiss to ble? Why, it was my betrothal gift to have given it, but it is like to cost me Margaret, and she thinks I stole it to dear enough, dear enough.” give again to you."
And with the jewel in his pocket John “And so you did! At least, I knew Morgan left the house right sadly, yet not whence you had it; but this I do trusting more than he would own to know, that when you came again to the Margaret's love, his own honest purpose, ship, and found me crying because that and the cooler judgment of the morrow. you
and left me, forgetting me But on the morrow Miss Pulsifer was so soon, when we had been such friends, too ill to see any one, and poor little and seeing me crying, you felt sorry, and Ruby went creeping about the house perhaps-perhaps, my tears they told with a weight of vague remorse at her
heart, and a fluttering of guilty terror " But the heart, Ruby, the heart !" whenever upon the stairs or in the pass
Why, when you saw me crying you ages she encountered Judith with her came to me and put your arms about me stern eyes and cold white face. Judith, and-and-kissed me twice,-nay, why who knowing a little and guessing more will you make me tell it over and then of the ill-fortune that had befallen her you slipped the ruby heart into my mistress' love-affair, visited all that illbosom and ran away out of the cabin, fortune in her own mind upon the golden and I, thinking you gave it in loving head of Ruby, whom, with woman's jusjest, and would not that I should speak tice to woman, she chose to consider as of it, I hung it about my neck, and the temptress who had seduced John when after we were here you asked me Morgan into unfaithfulness to his liege
lady, and perhaps induced him to steal old servant marked well the color which the ruby heart whose loss was the be- came and went, and the fluttering pulginning of all this sorrow and disturb- sation which almost choked the sick
She saw, and scowled Early in the morning and several bitterly even while she said with forced times through the day Morgan mounted serenity, the sandstone steps, at first confidently “And so you shall, Miss Margaret ; demanding admittance, afterward sadly but Doctor Eustis says that we must be asking news of his betrothed, who was, more than careful about excitement of as Judith curtly informed him, when at
any sort." last he insisted upon her being sum- “When Master Morgan calls, show moned to answer his inquiries, “ too him into the dressing-room, and I will sick to see strangers.”
see him there," replied Miss Pulsifer; “But I am no stranger, good Judith,” and Judith had been too long a servant pleaded the lover, trying to slip a gold of that house to remonstrate further. piece into her hand.
She revenged herself, however, by mut“Better perhaps if you had been, tering in John Morgan's ear, as she led Master Morgan. Thank you, sir, I have him up the stairs an hour later, no occasion for your money,” replied the “ The Doctor says it is over-exciteold nurse, and as he still stood upon the ment that made her sick, and more of threshold she quietly shut the door in it will kill her. So have a care, young his face, and went back to the darkened man." chamber where Margaret Pulsifer lay "I will be careful, Judith," replied between life and death, the terrible the lover meekly; and indeed his white physical pain at her heart deadening face and weary eyes showed that sorrow, the still sharper mental pain that had and it may be a fiercer tormentor, had preceded it.
been busy with him since last the old "Will she get over it, think you,
sir?" nurse saw him. asked Judith, eagerly following the
“ What coil this love-making grave physician to the stairhead, and brings,” thought she, ejeing him keenlooking up in his face with the dumb ly, yet not so angrily; and opening the beseeching of an animal who believes door into the little dressing-room, she in the limitless power of his master, motioned him to enter, and softly closed
it behind him. Mindful of her caution, “She may-indeed, nurse, I think it the lover advanced with a smile upon pretty certain that she will get over his face, and as little emotion in his this attack, but the next!"
inanner as he could contrive, toward And sadly shaking his head, the old the wan figure in the great easy-chair man who had seen Margaret's mother beside the fire, and obeyed without redie, and who had closed her father's monstrance the feeble gesture which eyes, dashed something from his arm, bade him seat himself at a little disand went slowly down the stairs. tance, without even touching the hand
A week later, as Judith watched the that made the gesture. thin sad face and listless figure of her “I am very sad at seeing you so ill, mistress, who had now for two days sat Margaret,” said he, choking down the up for awhile, and always chose to sit torrent of passionate sorrow and love in a chair drawn close to the front win- and terror that rose to his lips. dow of her room, she said,
" Thank you, John, and I do not • Master Morgan has been here twice doubt it,” replied Miss Pulsifer gently, to-day asking for your health, Miss and then after a little pause went on : Margaret."
“I sent for you as soon as I could be “ Has he? When he comes again I allowed to see you, John, to say how will see him, Judith,” replied Miss Pul- sorry I am for speaking so that night. sifer gently, and the jealous eyes of the It was a bitter insult to your honor,
John, my fancy that you had played me well-nigh to loving her, and the ruby false; I should have trusted you more, heart that pledged you to me dropped and honored you better. If ever you away from me and gave itself to her, came to loving another woman, you and you carried it
her, although you would tell it to me before ever you did knew it not ?" to her, I am sure of it. And now,
“Oh, Margaret, noble Margaret, pricelike to tell me how all this matter came less Margaret, you do not mean, you do about, and why that poor child fancied not believe, that I loved her, or could you had given my ruby heart to her love any woman but you !” And John why, tell me; and if you do not wish to, Morgan, half-crazed with grief and terwhy, say that, and either way I am con- ror and remorseful love, threw himself tent, and believe without another word again upon his knees, and seizing her that you have done naught, said naught, hands, bathed them with tears and kissthought naught unbecoming a man of es. Margaret looked down upon him, honor, and mine own promised hus- serene and still, as angels look at men band."
still struggling with the sin and sorrow But in hearing those noble and gentle they have left behind. At last she said: words John Morgan lost all control of “Dear John, let us say no more, now his own emotion, and threw himself-perhaps ever. If I had been as I was upon his knees, and hiding his face once, I think it might be that I could upon her lap, sobbed out:
not forgive that you, having had my “Oh, Margaret, Margaret, slay me with promise and my kisses, should have foryour scorn, despise me, hate me if you gotten them even for a moment; but, will, but do not speak to me like that, dearest, I stand to-day where I can see for I am not worthy of such trust.” that pride is but mortal, and love is im
“Not worthy of my trust!" echoed mortal. While I live, John, you are Margaret, pressing her hand upon her mine own betrothed, and none shall tumultuous heart, and sighing wearily, come between us; no, not until I am “Oh, Johın, it I had died before I heard laid in my grave shall any other have
right to say, 'I took him from you'“Ilear me, Margaret, then judge me, after that, -John, John, help!” and I swear to abide by your judgment, And di her anguish she rose stiffly be it what it may.” And rising from upon her feet, her whole frame rigid and his knees and standing with an arm shaken, one hand clenched upon her upon her chair, but out of sight of those heart, and one pressed to her lips, steady trutlı-compelling eyes, John Mor- through which gushed a stream of gan told the story through, not hiding bright blood. that during the long voyage he had been Morgan, horror-stricken, clasped her tempted by Ruby's innocent fondness in his arms and carried her into the and childish unreserve to treat her in a next room, at whose door stood Judith familiar, almost caressing manner, which white with terror and rage. might perhaps lave led her to believe “Go, go, you have killed her! Leave that he meant more than he ever did, her now to me!” cried she, pushing and to allow her thoughts to rest upon him from the room, and bolting the bim in a way he had never intended. door upon him.
“I did but think of her as a child But Margaret was not dead, nor did until that morning when I found her she die for weeks, although she and all crying, and reproaching me that I had about her knew that each moment might forgotten her in seeing you,” stammered be her last. White and still and smiling, the lover, feeling all the humiliation of she lay upon her death-bed, cautious lest his confession, yet glad that it was made, by a breath, a word too much, she should and only anxious now to hear Marga- snap the attenuated thread still linking ret's reply.
her with life and love. Hour by hour, “And so she loves you, and you went day and night and day and night again,
you say that!”
John Morgan watched beside her, hardly The dead body of Margaret Pulsifer leaving her for an instant, grudging ev- lay in state for a week, as was the regal ery act of ministration offered by anoth- fashion of ber race, and the third day, er, absorbing every look, every word, as she had ordained, her last will was every sigh that escaped her.
opened and read in the presence of her “He will die too,” whispered Ruby to enshrouded form. This will, carefully Judith, with whom she had made her drawn by the family solicitor, was somepeace, and gained permission to spend what lengthy, and was expressed in all much of her time in the sick-room. the formal phraseology of such docu
Very like he may, and why should ments, excepting a few clauses inserted he, not? When she is gone, what has at the end, and in the faint and uncerhe to live for?” asked the old nurse; and tain characters of a woman's dying hand. Ruby, whose bright eyes were always in These we will transcribe: these days heavy with tears, stole a look
“ And it is my request that my beat the bed, saw John Morgan's white
trothed husband, John Morgan, be at face set so steadily, so yearningly, so fall
my funeral, all over mourning, and folof passionate and despairing love toward low next after me. that other face scarce whiter, but more “ And to my cousin, Ruby Pynsent, I transparent, and so showing yet more leave, besides the estates which are in plainly the eternal love lighting it from
some sort hers of right, my kind lore
and best wishes; and if this same John within; and then whispering to her own
Morgan and Ruby Pynsent do find it in heart,
their hearts to marry when I shall have “ They do not need you, they do not been a full year in my grave, they have even know that you are here," she stole my consent and my approval and my away to cry herself sick in the dark prayers both now and then. vastness of her own chamber.
And all my jewels and clothes I At last there came a day when the
leave to Ruby Pynsent, excepting the
necklace of rubies and the heart belongpale lips of the dying girl silently shaped ing to it, which will be about my neck “Good-by!” and with their last con
when I die, and these I desire shall be sciouness pressed a cold, faint kiss upon buried with me. the trembling lips that feared to press “And if there is any creature in this them too closely in return lest that last
world who fancies himself or herself in faint breath, cold as the air from the
need of my forgiveness, I do now, in the door of a newly-opened tomb, should presence of the God to whom I haste,
most fully, freely, and solemnly forgive be rudely shaken and cease an instant
them. sooner. It ceased, the dark eyes closed “And so, good-by, world.” with the lovelight not yet faded out of them, a faint sigh fluttered past the lov
The body of the instrument bequeather's cheek, and all was over; over for
ed nearly the whole of the great Pulsiboth of them, as old Judith thought at
fer property to Ruby Pynsent, with carefirst, for John Morgan, utterly exhausted
ful provision for all the old servants and and overcome, fell forward from his knees dependents of the house, and in especial to his face as that last sigh stole past his
a handsome annuity to Judith, who encheek, and lay with his head upon her
joyed it for barely two years. hand, to all appearance as lifeless as
To John Morgan was bequeathed the herself.
portrait already described, and the fur But Judith knew no love save for her
niture of Margaret's bed-chamber, with nursling, and so soon as she found that
the request that he would himself use the young man had only swooned, she
it “so long as he shall live a bachelor.” ordered him carried away, and sternly turning to Ruby, said,
So Margaret, last of the Proud Pulsi“And go you after, and nurse him. fers, was borne to the grave, and “ John There are two of you, and here are two Morgan, all over mourning, followed of us."
next after” her who thus clung to her