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Louis and Milla! Mrs. Cameron ex- upon me. I am resolved never to marry; pected both-talked of both. Each and never to leave them. This is my mention of their names in conjunction final determination; and I shall be anwas like a wound to Lissa's conscious- noyed if you refer to the subject again.” ness. She could not endure it. Besides, It's hard on a fellow," began her mother must soon know that such a Sam. thing was not to be, as their returning “ May I give you a piece of advice ?" together; and it would be best to pre- interrupted Lissa. pare her for the fact. So one day Lissa “Why, yes. Advice is said to be said to her, very gently,

cheap." “Mother, if Milla comes home, Mr. “It is to offer what you have offered Dassel will not be with her. He has me-your heart, hand, and fortune,--to done things which make him an out another young lady that I know of, and cast. Father will have no-communica- who is sweet, beautiful, and talented, tion with him."

who would prize your heart, be proud “ Then I am afraid Milla will refuse of your hand, and find your fortune a to come."

blessing." " I think she will come. At least, we “For the land-sake, who can she be ? ” will prepare for her.”

“ You can easily discover it, if you The days were brief and bitter cold, set about it.” the evenings long and lonely. Mrs. “ Camille Bulbous?" Grizzle would persist, in her good

“No; she doesn't need your money. natured way, in being a comfort” to Not but that you might have her, for her neighbors. Unwelcome as her in- all I know to the contrary. But if I trusions sometimes were, they were were to choose a wife for you, I should wholesome, and the dreary little house- prefer the other. She is amiable, and hold would have fared ill without she loves you." them.

“ Who is it?" cried Sam, eager, and Sam, too, happened upon one more well-pleased. opportunity to urge bis suit, and again “ She has dark hair and eyes, and is opened his mouth and spake.

not rich." “Why couldn't you a' said No, out “Do you mean Miss—" and out, the first time ?" he asked, re- “Bayles.” proachfully, when Elizabeth put a stop “Sho! she ain't in love with me! I to his eloquence. “I had no idea you'd asked her to have me, long before I saw trifle with a fellow, Miss Cameron,-! you, Miss Cameron, and she wouldn't.” hadn't, indeed. I built high on your " But she has changed her mind. takin' several days for an answer.” The fact is, you have improved, vastly,

“ There's where I did wrong, Mr. Mr. Grizzle, and she is sensible of it. Grizzle,” she said ; "and I am glad to You remember, I was over at your house, have an opportunity to acknowledge it. the other day, when she came in. I The truth is, that I came very near ac- saw, in a few moments, that she loved cepting you. I did place a camelia in you. But, of course, she's not going to my hair, the evening of Miss Bulbous' say so, until you ask her. I like her party, but it dropped out. I am glad it very much. Your mother is greatly atdid. That chance has saved us both tached to her, I can see. It

true, she much unhappine-s. For I did not wear has not inoney, like Camille Bulbous; It because I had made up my mind I but think, Mr. Grizzle, what a pleasure could love you, but because I was not it will be to confer every thing upon contented at home, and wished to go her,—to be conscious that you have suraway. Then, my parents did not seem rounded her with comfort and luxury." to need me, as I expected that Milla and “ That's so !” said Sam, delighted. Mr. Dassel would always live with them; “Will you promise me to think it now, you see how dependent they are over ?"

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your heart.”

"Well, y-yes!"

moans which might be heard by ean “Ask your mother, too. I believe bent close to listen. The gray Highher advice will agree with mine. Your lands were capped with white. Christmother is rather fond of style; but Miss mas had come and gone; and the whole Bayles will be as stylish as any of them neighborhood had been gay with bells as soon as she becomes Mrs. Grizzle. and wreaths and candles. Mrs. Grizzle Don't you see how pretty she is grow- had put some of her money to good use, ing? All she wants is handsome clothes by decking a Christmas-tree for poor to make her a belle."

children, upon which she had hung ser"Sho!” murmured Sam again, but eral hundred dollars' worth of substanin an asserting voice.

tial presents, as well as soine dainties “ Try it, and see.”

which were of no greater worth than to “ If I thought she was really in love make the children's eyes dance and their with me, I should hate to disappoint mouths water, and their little hearts her."

beat high for one bright hour. “ Well, you ask her the next time During all these festivities a shadow you see her. That will be the shortest had brooded over one house. For the way to find out. She's a sweet girl, tirst time since its walls came together and a lady, Mr. Grizzle; and if you there was no Christmas merry-making marry her, you must love her with all in the home of the Camerons. What

could those two desolate women ilo, “It's a cunning way of getting rid of who sat there, watching the wintry me,” soliloquized the young gentleman, clouds and listening to the wintry wind, as he wended his way home. “But it awaiting, they knew not what fresh isn't a bad idea, after all. Miss Bayles blow of misfortune? The joyous brothwas my first love, and she might as well er far away, the father still absent on be my last. If ma's suited, I am." his melancholy errand, the “flower of

So Miss Cameron saved herself by the family" blooming or perishing in providing her adorer with another lady- some unknown atmosphere: they could love.

do nothing but that dreariest of all things-sit and wait.

Mrs. Grizzle had tried hard to persuade Lissa into attending her Christ

mas party. It made her heart ache to The snows of winter lay over our see the young girl so pale and quiet. country neighborhood. Miss Bulbous, But Lissa could not think of meeting despairing of Sam, was said to have strangers, of entering into any pleasure, engaged herself to a Southerner, whose while that cloud of disgrace and sorrow acquaintance she had made at the Fifth drifted up from her horizon, as yet un. Avenue Hotel, where she and her father perceived by others, but of whose comwere now stopping. The fine carriages, ing she had received sure warning. the gilt buttons, prancing horses, and It was the Wednesday before the coats-of-arms, had many of them disap- New Year, which would come in on peared from the railway-station. The Saturday. The two ladies sat, sadly fashionable country was in the city. musing, before the open fire in the Even Mrs. Grizzle was talking of shut- library. After a long silence, the ting up Rose Villa, for a couple of mother spoke. months, immediately after New Year's. “Do you remember, Elizabeth, how

The beautiful white-winged ships, we made the fire here, the first time this too, no longer hovered over the blue

season, for fear she would be chilly river, which had drawn its coverlid of when she came in from that ride ?" ice above it, and was sleeping a sleep “I was just thinking of it, mother. disturbed by dreams of summer, if one Sometimes, very seldom, I used to get were to judge by the sighs and soft tired of waiting upon her and humor




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ing her little caprices. But oh, mother, “ Is with him!how weary I am of not having her to “Oh, thank God!"

What a privilege it would be “But she is ill, - very ill,' the mes to deny myself something for her sake! sage reads, “and we must have every to run for her shawl, to rub her little thing in readiness for her comfort. cold feet in my hands ! "

They will be here to-night, at seven “How lovely she was that night!' o'clock; the carriage must be at the continued Mrs. Cameron, almost in a station.' Here, mother, dear, dearest whisper. “How little we dreamed that mother, do not cry! Was I not just she was a bride! Her eyes were like saying what a blessing it would be to stars ! Evidently, she was very happy; have our darling again to wait on ? she did not realize that she was doing She is ill; but we will make her betwrong by such concealment. Louis ter. It will be such delight to have her influenced her as he would a child." making her little demands upon us

“I think we kept her too much of a again! What shall we do first, mother? child, mother; she was never held It is four o'clock now." closely to the responsibility of her ac- “Let me shed my tears first, Lissa, tions, as another would have been. We that I may not weep so much to-night. were too indulgent — loved her too I will be quiet presently. Go, do what much."

is necessary.” The mother sighed, wearily.

“Let us prepare a bed on the sofa, “Elizabeth, if I could know where here, and draw it up before the fire. my child was, and that she was safe This was always her favorite room." and content, -that she had no reason to “Yes, she will like to be here, I repent the step she has taken,-I would know." gladly die this day.”

“And beg the loan of Mrs. Grizzle's “Oh, mother, do not talk so! Has carriage. It is more comfortable than not our father claims upon you, and ours; we can shut out the sharp wind your other children?"

from it. I wish the wind would not “Yes, Lissa ; but she was to me'what blow so fiercely; it will be so cold for Benjamin was to Jacob, -not really my her!” youngest, yet always my baby, whom I “ Tell Dinah, Lissa, to have a nice could not let go from my bosom. Hark! supper prepared. She remembers well who is that?"

what were Milla's favorite dishes." “Do not disturb yourself, mother. Yes, Martin will be so glad, too. Susie Grizzle, perhaps, upon one of her All our servants have missed Milla.” good mother's errands. I will step into They could not help but love her." the hall."

“She was so gentle and dependent." “ It gives me a shock, every time Thus with strophe and antistrophe the door-bell rings ! ” murmured Mrs. did mother and sister sing the praises Cameron, sinking back into her chair of the absent darling, a mournful unand pressing her hand to her heart, dertone in all their gladness, for they whose violent palpitation was painfully feared as much as they hoped, while visible under the folds of her shawl. they hastened to prepare for her return.

In a moment or two Elizabeth return- The night swooped down suddenly, ed with a long strip of paper which she bleak and windy. Every branch of the had taken out of a yellow envelope. noble trees on the lawn moaned and

“It is a telegraphic message from tossed; wild, wailing voices of the wind father."

whispered or shrieked at the shutters; “Read it first, and tell me what it but within the home, all was as bright says."

as expectant love could make it. The “ He is on his way home--" hesita- coal lay in the burnished grate, like a ting.

mass of molten gold, from which, occa" And Milla ?"

sionally, would leap a little jet of flame,


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sending a warm glimmer over gilt bind- The old family-physician was there is ings of books and picture-francs. The less than a balf-bour. He felt the pulse, improvised couch was steeping itself in he looked into the eyes, of his wellpleasant heats; a tiny pair of slippers beloved little patieut. were warming on the rug, a decanter “I never thought she would live to be of choice wine stood on a table; Mrs. twenty," he said, aside to Mr. Cameron, Cameron, wearing a new dress in honor who awaited his decision in another of the occasion, smiling, but very pale, room; “but this folly of our pet has fidgeted with a book, and tried to read, wasted her small store of life with lavish while her strained ear only listened for baste. There is but a drop or two rethe expected whistle of the locomotive. maining. I doubt if she holds out one Lissa was in the carriage, her arms full week." of wraps, sitting down by the dreary So the truth was spoken.' Mother little station, listening to the moaning and sister were compelled to hear it. wind, with a heart heavy with fore- Short time, indeed, for those loving boding.

ministrations they had longed to beHow long it was until seven o'clock ! stow! That night Milla was forbidden But the bour struck at last, the train to speak. She could only look her joy rushed in, and paused; she saw by the at seeing her friends. The next day she glimmering lamplight her father and was still very feeble, replying with her Sabrina descend from the cars, bearing old fond smile to all the tender attenin their arms the long-familiar burden. tions which beset her. On Friday she Martin opened the carriage-door, and was permitted to converse a little; she the next moment Milla lay in her arms, could even sit up in the green-satin speechless, but clinging to her with a chair, wherein she used so much to loll, fecble clasp, while her father placed the looking like a water-lily in its leaves. wraps about her.

How had the lily withered in one "Go very gently, Martin,” he said, as brief season! The wedding-ring, so he and the nurse entered. “She is small at first, would now scarcely stay nearly exhausted by the long journey." on the thin hand. Yet, because her

Very gently the carriage rolled over cheeks were fushed and her eyes brilthe snowy road to the old liome. Milla liant, the mother clung to lope, and tried to raise her head when the wheels began to say, in her heart, that the docstopped; but it sank again. She could tor was inistaken. see little of the old trees, the leafless The third day of her arrival home rose-vine, the familiar porch, as strong was the first day of the New Year. It arms lifted her out, bearing her through was a beautiful, winter day, calm and the lighted hall, into the dear old full of sunshine. The house was made library,–into the presence of home and pleasant; every one endeavored to be mother.

cheerful for the invalid's sake, who was “Milla, my darling !”

now in bed, in her own pretty chamber, She saw her mother's face, felt her where she had asked to be taken, kiss, and then, for a little while, all was “Good-bye, doctor," she said, in a deaf and dark-she seemed to sink peculiar tope, when the old man was down-down into death. They placed about to leave her, after his daily visit, the light form-90 light now that the on the morning of the New Year. burden of it was scarcely felt, on the “Good-bye, child," he said; "a warm couch, and poured the ready cor- pleasant voyage to you," and he kissed dial between her lips; and presently her, with a tear in his eye. the breath fluttered stronger. Now,

“ Milla !” exclaimed her mother, indeed, the mother wanted to weep, and when the door closed on the physician. had no tears. Those great, bright, “He knows, mother, that he will bunken eyes and wasted outlines touched never see me again. My feet and hands the mother's heart too deeply for tears. are cold with coming death. I know it."

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A silence fell on the group, which punished for that mad speech. I never pressed closer about her.

have been Mr. Dassel's true wife. I “I am dying, and I want to say a would not tell you this, if I were not few words about Louis before I


It dying. I never knew it until the day is true that he left me; but not until before he fled, father, and you came he was compelled to. The officers were He was looking over some papers in a upon his track; they were at the doors small trunk. A letter dropped out. I or our house. I, myself, urged him to snatched it playfully, opened, and read: fly. I know all about his sin. He was tempted to do wrong, because of his DEAR KARL: Will you be in poverty. I knew that he deceived me, Baden-Baden to-morrow?

I hope so, and others,--that he misled me, caused for the days are long without you. me to deceive and forsake my family; “Your own wife, MARGARET.' but I did not cease to love him. I am afraid I loved him the more. Lissa, do " And then I thought of the story of you remember what I once said to you? Count Konigsberg, and stared at him, that if I knew I should not live three wildly, I suppose, for he caught it from months, I should not hesitate to become me with a laugh,-oh, such a laugh !-. his wife? I shall not live three months, and said I was punished for my inquisi. He has killed me; he would have killed tiveness. That stabbed me to the beart, you, Lissa, if you had married him.

mother. I felt, then, that I could live And think, how much better it is that but a little time, and I prayed that the it should be I, who was foredoomed to time might be very short. After all my a short life from the first."

love ! ” mournfully. The sobs of her sister interrupted her “ Milla,” said Lissa, quickly, leaning for a moment.

over her dying sister, “would it not be “ Don't think Louis did not love me," joy for you to know that you were the she went on. “He did. He was al- Count's true wife ?" ways good to me. I think it was the “ What do you mean ?” knowledge of his crimes that killed me. “I had a letter last night from RobI seemed to wither away, after I began bie. I would have told you sooner, had to suspect them. I teased him to tell I dreamed that you were aware of his me why he had not gone to Germany; previous marriage. Robbie writes to why he travelled in disguise; why he inform me that he has heard of the went to the Southern city, and kept me death of the Countess Konigsberg, who and Sabrina shut up in constant soli- died of a decline, after being months tude. I asked him, passionately, if he confined to her apartments, on Novemwas ashamed of me. That made him ber 10th. You were married on the angry. He said, “No! but he had com- 13th." mitted robberies, and the officers were " Thank God for that!” murmured after him like dogs after a fox. He the young wife, with an effort bringing was not ashamed of his little girl ; he her hand to her lips, and kissing her was only sorry she had married so bad wedding-ring.

“I have been wilful," she continued Here Milla paused, and a strange ex- presently, “and impatient and stubborn pression passed over her face.

about many things, I know. But, oh, “Do you remember I said, Lissa, that I have suffered so much pain! Not I would give my life to be his wife even even you, mother, know how much I for one week ?"

have suffered all my life. I ask you all “ Do not talk; it is too much for to forgive me all my faults." vou,” pleaded her father.

“My child, you break our hearts !" “ It will make no difference an hour " And you, Lissa, do you forgive or two hence, father, and I shall die me? After all, your love was not like more contented, having spoken. I was mine; and it is well, as it has turned

VOL. II.--35

a man.'"

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