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turning, rather leisurely walked that way, as if it said Harrington, drawing nearer to the door, through had been the most natural thing in the world to see him which he saw glimpses of orange-colored drapery disapthere.
pearing into an inner room. “Oh, Mr. Harrington,” she said, coming close to his " You must not say that, for I had expected some horse, picking the burs from her dress as she moved surprise at the view from this particular point,” along, can it be possible that you have only reached she answered, evidently wishing to detain him on the this point now? I left home half an hour after you door step. rode away-on foot, too, and am almost here before “ Yes, it is very fine; but you will find the wind
rather keen. Allow me." Harrington did not answer, except with a grave bow, Harrington pushed the door wide open, and Agnes but looked at her searchingly from head to foot.
was obliged to pass into the apartinent beyond. She “Yes,” she continued, dragging her veil forward, seemed relieved to find it empty, and when her guest "I found a rough walk after the storm, everything looked toward the opposite door, observed; “I am in is so wet and gloomy. The only dry spot upon the disgrace, you see, mammy has shut herself up." shore was around the old cedar, where we had that * And
yet I have some desire to see her, if it were rather interesting scene last night.”
only to excuse the fright we gave her last night, A quiet smile stole over Harrington's lip. “Indeed,” by allowing you to enter without knocking." he said, “I must have ridden at a snail's pace, to let “Oh, she did not mind it in the least. It was you reach this spot before memespecially if the nothing, I assure you." entire walk was beguiled by the book I just saw you "Still I would like to speak with her.” surrender!”
Agnes grew pale about the lips, a sign of emotion A faint flush stole over Agnes Barker's forehead, and that did not escape her guest; but it passed off in for an instant her eyes fell; then she looked up an instant, and she was slowly approaching the inner again with the pretty deprecating glance of one who had door, when it opened, and the object of their conversabeen caught in a meritorious act, which her modesty tion presented herself. disclaimed.
Harrington was, indeed, surprised. She was evi“Oh, you must not think me quite insane, Mr. Har- dently ten years older than she had appeared at a rington, if I did bring out my sketch-book, in hopes of distance, and, though that seemed an impossibility, stealing some of the beautiful autumn tints from these darker too. The Madras kerchief certainly had been masses of foliage. My good nurse has just been scold- refolded since her return to the house, for it came low ing me for sitting upon the damp ground, forgetting my upon the forehead, and the hair visible beneath it was shawl behind, and all that. As a punishment, she has thickly scattered with white. She stooped somewhat, carried off my poor book, and threatens to burn and her gait was slow, almost shuffling. Not a vestige it. I have been very imprudent, and very indecorous, of the imperivus air that had rendered her so picyou will say,” she added, glancing at her dress, with a turesque a few minutes before, remained. She appeared faint laugh, “but, no doubt my caprice is sufficiently before him simply as a commonplace mulatto woman punished by this time; for, if that access of smoke of rather more than middle age, who might have been means anything, my poor sketch-book is ashes now." an upper house servant in her day, but nothing more.
She spoke a little rapidly, as one does in a fever, On closer inspection, even the orange-tinted shawl was but otherwise her manner was the perfection of modest soiled and held around her person in a slovenish innocence. Indeed, there was no appearance of confu- manner, as rich cast-off garments usually are by the sion, which the derangement of her dress was not quite servants who inherit them. sufficient to account for.
At first, Harrington would not believe that this was ** Well, you come in and rest awhile ?" she said the same woman whose appearance had made so deep at last, casting a soft glance upward from her dress. an impression on him, for a heavy sort of sluggishness, “ My good mammy may not be prepared for such com- both of thought and feeling, lay on her features, pany, but she will make you welcome."
while those that had aroused his attention so keenly, “ Yes," said Harrington, struck by a sudden wish to were active and full of intelligence. The woman did see more of the woman who had interested him so not sit down, but stood by the open door, looking stumuch, “ I will go in, thank you !"
pidly at Agnes Barker, as if waiting for some command. She turned, as if to precede him, but throwing his “Well, Miss Agnes, I'se here, what does the master bridle over a sapling, he walked rapidly forward, and please to want ?" overtook her just before she entered the house. The It was rather difficult for James Harrington, self-posdoor was partly open. Agnes turned upon the thresh-sessed as he was, to answer that question. The old.
woman had taken him by surprise.
Her appearance “I know that my poor book is burned, without ask- was so completely that of a common-place servant, that ing,” she said, in a voice much louder than usual. he was silenced by the very surprise she had given "You have no idea, Mr. Harrington, how careful nurse him. But for her dress, he would not have believed in is of my health. Do not be surprised if she is very her identity with the person he had seen in the open angry with me!".
air, and that was worn with a slovenliness altogether " It is very difficult to surprise me with anything," unlike the careless ease remarkable in the person whom
she represented, without conveying an impression of Well, know it, then I believe that woman loves absolute identity.
him-I know that she loved him once." Harrington had spent his early life in the South, and “I know that she loves him yet," said Agnes, with a was at no loss to comprehend the peculiar class to sinister sınile. “For I witnessed a scene last night, when which this woman belonged. He answered her quietly, she came too after they bad dragged her from the but still with suspicion : “Nothing, aunty, except that water, which settled that in my mind perfectly; but you will oblige me with a glass of water."
what do you care for that? How will it help us?" The woman shuffled across the room, and brought " What do I care for that-1-1-what does the hunhim some water, which she placed scrupulously on gry man care for food, or the thirsty one for water? a plate, by way of waiter, before presenting it. Her What do I care, child? Listen: I hate that womanair—the loose, indolent gait, like that of a leopard from my soul I hate her!" moving sleepily around its lair-convinced him that “Then it was latred of her, not love for me, she was nothing more than a common household slave, that brought us here!" out of place in her cold, and almost poverty-stricken “It was both, Agnes—do not doubt it. When I northern home. He drank the water she gave him, avenge the wrongs of my life on her, you must and handing back the glass, inquired if she did not be a gainer." feel lonely and chilled by the cold climate ?
“Mother, I do not understand you." “I'se allus warm and comfortable where dat ere chile “ It is not necessary ; obey me, that is enough.” is," said the woman, looking at Agnes, “any place
“But, how has Mrs. Harrington wronged you ?" 'pears like home when she's by, and I ’xpect she feels “ How has she wronged me, Agnes! Be quiet, I am like dat where old aunty is, if she is poor."
not to be questioned in this way.” “She is happy in having one faithful friend," answered “But mother, I am no longer a child to be used Harrington, more and more satisfied that the woman blindly. You have objects which I do not comprehend was simply what she seemed.
-motives which are so rigidly concealed that I, who A strange sinile quivered for a moment around Agnes am to help work them out, grope constantly in the Barker's lip, but as Harrington turned his glance that dark. I am told to listen, watch, work, even steal, and way, it subsided into a look of gentle humility.
am left ignorant of the end to be accomplished." “ You will inform the ladies that I shall return “ Have I not told you that it is your marriage with to-night. It proved a chilly day for sketching, and Mr. James Harrington, the real owner of all the profinding myself nearer my own home than the man-perty which his father is supposed to possess ? Am I sion-house, I stole a few moments for poor, old, lone- not working to make you the richest lady of the North, some mammy here."
the wife of a man whom all other men hold in reverHarrington had arisen as she commenced speaking, ence; and in this am I not securing the dearest and and with a grave bend of the head, promised to convey sweetest vengeance that mortal ever tasted ?" her message.
“But I do not think Mr. Harrington cares for me, or The two women watched him as he crossed the rude ever will." garden, and mounted his horse ; then drawing hurriedly “What have you been doing, then?” cried the woman back into the house, they closed the door.
fiercely. “You have beauty, or, if not that, something “What could have brought him here? Did she far more powerful—that subtle magnetism which all send him ?” inquired the slave-woman anxiously, and men feel a thousand times more forcibly, deep knowall at once assuming the haughty air natural to her, ledge; for have I not taught you what human hearts are while a keen intelligence came to her features.
worth, and how to dissect them, leaf by leaf? You “No,” answered Agnes, “she is ill in bed ; I am sure have coolness, self-control, and passion when it is she has not seen him this morning. It must have been wanted. Have I not trained you from the cradle for accident that brought him in this direction.”
this one object, and dare you talk of its failure ?" The slave-woman looked searchingly in the girl's “Mamma, let us understand each other. Cannot we face. “Did he know that you came this way?" accomplish the same thing, and both be gratified ? I do " That is impossible.”
not love Mr. James Harrington, but there is one " It should not be impossible. You have been of the name that I do love, heart and soul." months in his house, Agnes—I did not expect so little “ And who is that?” demanded the woman sharply, progress.”
and her black eyes caught fire from the anger within Agnes was annoyed, and put aside the subject with her. an impatient gesture.
“It is the other son, Ralph Harrington." “What have you been doing, girl ?” persisted the How hard and defiant was the voice in which Agnes
remember your own destiny is in this more Barker said this—a young girl expressing her first love than mine."
without a blush, and with that air of cold blooded “But why select this man so difficult of access, defiance. It was terrible! so unattainable ?"
“Ralph Harrington, he is her son and a beggar !" “Because he has wealth and power."
cried the woman bitterly. - There is some other reason, mother.
“I do not understand what force may lie in the first know it!"
objection, and I do not believe in the second. Ralph
cannot be a beggar while his brother holds so much, the old woman in a low voice, "I did not mean to hurt wealth ; at any rate, I love him.”
you, child, but General Harrington is not a man for “Love, girl! What have you to do with this sweet girls like you to joke about.” poison? The thing Love is not in your destiny."
" This is consistent, upon my word," answered the “It is, though, and shall control it,” replied Agnes, girl with a short scornful laugh. " You teach me to with the same half-insolent tone; for it seemed to be a delude the old gentleman into a half-flirtativn. He relief for this young girl to act out spontaneously the meets me in the grounds—begins to ask about the perevil of her nature, and she appeared to enjoy the kind- sons from whom we obtained those precious recomling anger of her mother, if that slave woman was her mendations, and when I attempt to escape the subject, mother, with vicious relish.
persists in walking by me till I led him a merry dance The woman walked close to the insolent girl, with her up the steepest hill that could be found, and left him hand clenched, and her her lips pressed firmly together. there out of breath, and in the midst of a protestation
“Agnes, Agnes—you cannot know how much rests that I was the loveliest person he had ever seen. Loveon you — how great a revenge your obstinacy may liest—10, that was not it—the most bewitching creature ! baffle."
these were the last words I remember, for that moment “I know that I love Ralph Harrington, and if it will Benson's boat hove in sight, and there sat madam lookcomfort you to hear it, he does not love me," an- ing fairly at us. If they had been a moment later, I'm swered the girl with a burning glow in either cheek. quite sure the old fellow would have been down upon
"Oh, you have come back again—it is my blood on his knees in the dead leaves. fire in your cheeks. I have no fear of you, Agnes. The slave-woman listened to this flippant speech in That blood grows strong with age like old wine, and cold silence. She was endowed with a powerful will, soon learns to give hatred for unanswered love. I can matched with pride that was almost satanic. She saw trust the blood."
the malicious pleasure with which Agnes said all this, “But he shall love me, mother, or, at any rate, no and would not gratify it by a single glance. With all one else shall have what he withholds from me." her wicked craft, the young girl was no match for the
"Be still, Agnes, do not make me angry again. You woman. and I must work together. Tell me, did you succeed “You have acted unwisely,” she said with wonderful in quieting General Harrington's inquiries regarding the self-command; “never trifle with side issues when they letters of recommendation ?"
can possibly interfere with the main object. I wished “Did I succeed ?" answered Agnes, with a smile that to evade General Harrington's close scrutiny into our crept over her young lips like a viper. “The old | antecedents; to soothe the lion, not goad him. Be General is more pliable than the sons. Oh, yes, when careful of this a second time !" he began questioning me of the whereabouts of our How smooth and calmly she spoke! You would not kind friends wbo think so much of us, you know, I put have believed her the same woman who had sprung forth all the accoinplishments you have taught me, and upon her daughter so like a tiger only a few moments wiled him from the subject in no time. You have just before. Even Agnes looked upon her with amazement. questioned my beauty, mother. I doubt if he did then, Mother,” she said, “ tell me what you are at—trust for his eyes were not off my face a moment. What me, and I will help you heart and soul.” fine eyes the old gentleman has, though! I think it " What! even to the giving up of this new-born would be easier to obey you in that quarter than the love?" other."
“Even to that, if I can be convinced of its neAs she uttered the last words with a reckless lift of cessity.' the head, the slave-woman made a spring at her, and
“I will trust you." grasping the scornfully uplifted shoulder, bent her face Wholly—entirely ?" -which was that of a fiend—close to the young girl's “Entirely !" ear: “Beware, girl, beware !" she whispered, “ you are The girl threw her arms around that singular woman, treading among adders."
their lips met, and the subtle force of one heart kindled “I think you are crazy, mother," was the contemp- and burned in the bosom of the other. tuous reply, as Agnes released her shoulder from the “ Tell me everything, mother!” gripe of that fierce hand. “My shoulder will be black “I will. But first, let us read Mabel Harrington's and blue after this, and all for a joke about a conceited journal, it will prepare you for the rest." old gentleman whom we are both taking in. Did you They opened the stolen book, and sat down together not tell me to delude him off the subject if he mention- so close that their arms were interlaced, and their ed those letters of recommendation again ?”
cheeks touched as they read. The woman did not answer, but stood bending for- It was a terrible picture, that meagre, dimly-lighted ward as if ashamed of her violence, but yet with a room, the tree-boughs waving against the window, their gleam of rage lingering in her black eyes.
leaves vocal with the last sob of the storm, and those "Have you done?” said Agnes, arranging her velvet two women with their keen evil faces, their lips partsacque, which had been torn from its buttons in frout, ed with eagerness, and their eyes gleaming darkly, as by the rude handling she had received.
they drank up the secrets of poor Mabel Harrington's “You must not speak in that way again,” answered | life.
OLD HEADS AND YOUNG HEARTS.
“Oh, you will get over that, Ralph. It isn't worth being angry about. Of course, you will get over it. I
think this is a first love, hey!" GENERAL HARRINGTON spent the entire day at home. “The first and last with me, fath-General.” After the rather uncomfortable breakfast we have “Yes, yes, of course— I think I remember feeling : already described, he went to his library, dissatis- little in the same way at your age. It won't be serious fied and moody. All day he was disposed to be restless —these things never are !" and dissatisfied with his books, as he had been with “But I am very serious. I have told her all about it. the appointments of his morning meal. Indignant with My honor is pledged." his whole household, for not being on the alert to amuse The young man—who, by the way, really seemed 3 him, he declined going down to dinner; but ordering mere boy yet to his father-was going on with some some choicely cooked birds and a bottle of champagne vehemence, but he was coldly cut short by the General, in his own room, had amused his rather fastidious appe- who sat regarding his enthusiasm with a most provok. tite with these delicacies, while he still luxuriated in his ing smile. dressing-gown, and read snatches from a new book of “Of course, I supposed so—eternal constancy and poems that had interested him for the moment.
devotion on both sides! Very well, what can I do This rather pleasant occupation wiled away an hour, about it?" when he was interrupted by a knock at the door. Lift- “Oh, father, I beg your pardon—but you can do ing his eyes from the book, the General said, “Come everything. Your free, hearty consent is all I ask-and in," rather hastily, for the knock had broken into one of if you would be so kind as to exert a little influence the finest passages of the poem, and General Harrington with mother." detested interruptions of any kind, either in a mental or “Then you have told this to her, before coming to sensual enjoyment.
me," said the General, and his brow darkened. " Come in !"
“No, sir, I have spoken to no one but Lina. It was The General was a good deal astonished when his son my duty to come to you first, and I am here." Ralph opened the door, and stood before him with an “That is better; but how do you know that Mrs. Harair of awkward constraint, that would certainly have rington will disapprove of your caprice for her protégée, secured him a reprimand had he not been the first if no one has spoken to her on the subject ?” to speak.
“I believe, sir, that Lina said something about it; Father !"
but before she could be very definite, my mother General Harrington gave an impatient wave of the fainted. This frightened my-I mean, it terrified poor hand.
Lina, and she had no courage to go on; so we were in “Young gentleman,” he said, “how often am I to hopes, sir, that you would be so good.” remind you that the use of the paternal title after child- The General sat gazing upon the handsome face hood is offensive. Can't you call me General Harring- of his son, with the air of a person revolving some ton, sir, as other people do? A handsome young fellow thought rapidly in his mind. At last, his cold eyes six feet high should learn to forget the nursery. Sit brightened, and a smile crept over his mouth. down, sir, sit down and converse like a gentleman, if " It was very right to come here first, Ralph, and you have anything to say."
remember your duty goes no farther. I will only conThe blood rose warmly in Ralph's face, not that sent to your marrying this girl at all, on condition that he was angry or surprised, but it seemed impossible to you, neither of you, ever speak on the subject to any open his warm heart to the man before him.
You are both very young, and a year or two hence “Well then, General,” he said, with a troubled smile, will be time enough for a decision; but I will have no "I-I've been getting into-into
gossip about the matter. Above all, my son James most “Not into debt, I trust,” said the General, folding the be left entirely uncommitted. I only consent to let this skirts of the Turkish dressing-gown over his knees, and fancy have a proper trial. If it proves serious, of coutse smoothing the silken folds with his hand, but speaking the whole family will be informed; but till then I mast with a degree of genuine bitterness, “because, if that's have your promise not to speak of it to any one not it, you had better go to James at once-he is the mil- already informed ?" lionaire. I am not much better than his pensioner The young man drew close to his father, and taking myself—thanks to the caprices of a woman !"
his hand, kissed it. “ It is not that," answered Ralph, with an effort which “I promise, father!" sent the blood crimsoning to his temples, “though The General was pleased with the homage and grace money may have something to do with it in time. of this action, and rising, placed a hand on Ralph's The truth is, General, I have been in love with shoulder, more cordially than he had done in years. Lina all my life, and never found it out till yesterday." "Are you sure she cares for you, Ralph ? I have seen
General Harrington gave the youth a look from under nothing to suggest the idea." his bent brows, that me the young man shrink bac “I think, indeed I am quite certain that she does not in his chair, but in a moment the unpleasant expression like any one else near so much," answered the young went off, and a quiet smile stole over the old man's man, reluctant to compromise Lina's delicacy by s lip.
“ Young men are always confident," said the General | his book with a gentle wave of the hand. Ralph lent with a bland smile. “I think that faith in woman was his head partly in submission, partly to conceal the flush the first delusion that I gave up. Still it is pleasant that suppressed tears left about his eyes and went out, while it lasts. Heaven forbid that I should brush the leaving the first pure jewel of his heart in that old bloom from your grapes, my boy. So you really think man's hands. that mamma's little protégée knows her own mind, and The twilight had crept on during this conversation. that my son knows his?”
General Harrington rang the bell for a servant to remove A pang came to the ardent heart of the youth as he the silver tray on which his dinner had been served, listened. Another golden thread snapped under the and consumed considerable time in directing how the cold-blooded worldliness of that crafty old man.
lamp should be placed, in order to protect his eyes General Harrington looked in his face, and analyzed as he read. When once more alone, he cast a thought the play of those handsome features, exactly as he had back to his son. tasted the game-birds and champagne a half hour before. " It will do him good. I wonder now if I, General The same relish was in both enjoyments, only one was Harrington, ever was so confiding, so rash, so generous. the epicureanism of a mind that found pleasure in dis--for the boy is generous. My son, on whom so much secting a young heart, and the other, quito as important depends, married to that girl! I was almost tempted into to him, was a delicious sensuality.
a scene with the first mention of it." And Ralph stood under this scrutiny with a cloud on With these thoughts floating through his brain, the his fine brow and a faint quiver of the lip. It was General leaned back in his chair more discomposed than agony to think of Lina without perfect confidence in usual by his late interview, for though his reflections her affection for himself. Yet he was so young, and his were all worldly and common place, they had a deeper father had seen so much. If he found no evidence and unexpressed importance hardly recognized by himof Lina's attachment to himself, it must be that all was self. a delusion.
Again there was a low knock at the door, and again The old man read these thoughts, and took upon him- the General bade the intruder come in, rather hastily, for velf a gentle air of composure.
he was in no humor for company! “Miss Barker; Miss “These things often happen when young people are Agnes Barker,” he said, as that girl presented herself and thrown together in the same house, Ralph. It is softly closed the door, “ you are too kind-I only regret a pleasant dream. Both parties wake up, and there is that this pleasant surprise detects me en déshabillé.” no harm done. Don't take the thing to heart, it isn't General Harrington is always General Harrington in worth while.”
any dress—besides, I have a preference for this sort of Then you think, sir, she really does not care orientalism." for me?"
“You are kind to forgive me, and kinder to allow With all his worldliness, the old man could hardly me the happiness of your presence. Sit down !" withstand the appeal of those magnificent eyes, for “No," answered the governess, with a look from her Ralph possessed the beautiful charm of deep feeling, black almond-shaped eyes that brought a glow into the without a particle of self-conceit. He began to wonder old man's cheek deeper than the wine had left. “I found how Lina ever could have fancied him, and to grieve this book open upon Mrs. Harrington's desk. She must over the delusion.
have forgotten it there after her fainting fit this morn“ It is strange," said the General, as if musing with ing. I am sure she has no secrets from her husband, himself, “it is strange, but these very young creatures and so bring it to you, as it may excite her to be disseldom do give their first preferences to persons of cor- turbed, and I have no key to her desk.” responding age. Girls love to look up to men with The General reached forth his hand, struck by the It is really wonderful !"
vellum binding and jewelled clasp, for he was a connoisThe young man started, fire flashed into his eyes, and seur in such matters, and the effect pleased him. for an instant he was breathless.
“What is it?" he said, opening the book and leaning “ You—you cannot mean that, Lina—my Lina loves towards the light, some illuminated missal, I fancy, or some one else!” he said, speaking rapidly—“Who has rare manuscript. Oh-ha, my lady's journal—let us she known but me, and--and- ?" He stopped short, see.” looking wistfully at his father.
He had opened the book at random, and with a gratified “You and my son James ? No one, certainly, no one." smile, but directly the expression of his face hardened, “ Brother James! oh, father.”
and his lips parted with surprise. He turned the open “ But you are satisfied that he loves you, and that is volume toward Agnes, who stood leaning upon the enough," answered the General, waving his hand as if table opposite; placed his finger sternly upon a passage tired of the discussion. It is decided that this whole sub- of the writing, and demanded whether she had read it. iect rests between ourselves. Come to me a year, nay, six "You insult me with the question,” said the young months from now, and if you desire it, then, I will not lady, drawing herself ap, “I did not expect this,” and be hard with you."
before he could speak Agnes glided from the room. The General seated himself as he spoke, and resumed
(To be continued.)