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The Fairfield news and herald. (Winnsboro, S.C.) 1881-1900, January 25, 1882, Image 1

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WEEKLY EDITION. " WIXNSBOEO, S. C., WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 1882. ESTABLISHED IN 1848.
THE BLACK ROBE.
BY AVILKIE COLLIXS.
?ACTHOB OF?
9 THE WOHA2* Ef WHrrZ," " THE M003
STOJTE," " AFTEE DAEK," "XO XAME,"
f MAX AND WIFE," " THE LAW AKP
H TEE LADY," " THE NEW MAG^
DALES," ETC., ETC.
CHAPTER IV.
There was not a sound in the room.
Ko^avne stood looking at the priest.
"Did you hear what I said?" Father
Benwell asked.
"Yes."
"Bo you understand that I really
mean what I said ?"
He made no reply?he waited, like a
man expecting to bear more. Father
Ben well was alive to the vast
importance at such a moment of not
shrinking from the responsibility which
he had assumed.
"I see how I distress you," he said;
k. "but for your sake I
QJlw
you have married is the wife of another
man t Don't ask me how I know it?I
do know it. You shall have positive
proof as soon as you have recovered.
Come! rest a little in the easy-chair."
He took Bomayne's arm and led him
to the chair, and made him drink some
wine. They waited a while. Romayne
lifted his head with a heavy sigh.
' , . " The woman whom I have married
is the wife of another man." He slowly
repeated the words to himself and then
looked at father BenwelL "Who is
the man ?' he asked.
" I introduced yon to him when I was
as ignorant of the circumstances as yon
are," the priest answered. " The man is j
Mr. Bernard "WinterHeld."
Romayne half-raised himself from the
chair. A momentary anger glittered in
his eves and faded ont again, extinguished
by the nobler emotions of grief
and shame. He remembered Winterfield's
introduction to Stella.
"Her husband!" he said, speaking
again to himself. "And she let me introduce
him to her. And she received
bim like a stranger." He paused and
thought of it. "The proofs, if you
please, sir," he resumed, with sudden
humility. " I don't want to hear any
particulars. It will be enough for me
if I know beyond all doubt that I have
_ been deceived and disgraced."
Father Benwell unlocked his desk and
placed two papers before Bomayne.^ He
did his duty with a grave indifference to
all minor considerations. The time had
not yet come for expressions of sympathy
and regret.
" The first paper," he said, " is a certified
copy of the register of the marriage
of Miss Eyxecourt to Mr. JVinterL
field, celebrated (as you will see) by the
English chaplain at Brussels, and wit~"~~
nessed by three persons. Look at the
IF names."
Tie bride's mother"was the first wity
ness. The two names that followed
were the names of Lord and Lady Loring.
"They, too, in the conspiracy to
f deceive me?" Komayne said, as he laid
the paper back on the table.
"I obtained that piece of written evidence,"
Father Ben well proceeded, '' by
the help of a reverend colleague of mine
residing at Brussels. I will {rive vou
his name and address if you wish to
' ' make further inquiries."
" Quite needless. What is this other
paper?"
" This other paper is an extract from
the shorthand miter's notes (suppressed ;
in the reports of the public journals) of
proceedings in an English court of law
obtained at my request by my lawyer in
London."
" What have I to do with it ? "
He put the question in a tone of
passive exiuursmue?jresigueu iu mw
severest mortal martvrdom that could
5 be inflicted on him.
"I \rill answer you in two words,"
K said Father Benwell. "In justice to
W Miss Eyrecourfc, I am bound to produce
HPf Ler excuse for marrving you."
Romayne looted at him in stern
amazement.
: " Excuse I" he repeated.
L "Yes?excuse. The proceedings to
which I have alluded declare Miss EyreK
court's marriage to Mr. Winterfield to
be null and void?by the English Jawis
consequence of Lis having been married
at the time to another woman. Trv
to follow me. I will put it as briefly as
l>ossible. In justice to yourself and to
your future career you must understand
this revolting case thoroughly from beginning
to end."
k With those prefatory words he told
the story of "Wioterfields first marriage,
altering nothing, concealing nothing,
doing the fullest justice to Winterfield's
innocence of all evil mo-ive from first
to last.
"You were mortified and I was sur|
prised," he went on, "when Mr. Winpk
terfield dropped his acquaintance with
yon. We now know that he acted like
an honorable man."
TT.-x ir-Airnrl f A f?ao Trl^rtf offiavf a I
J_i.Cs IV CCV IT I4U VMVVV UV j
\ produced. Romavne -was id no state of
mind to do justice to "Winterfield or to
i anyone. His pride was mortally wound- j
It ed; his high sense of honor and delicacy
writhed nnder the outrage inflicted on it.
"And mind this," Father Benwell
persisted, "poor human nature has its
right to all that can be justly conceded
V in the way of excuse and allowance.
Miss Eyreconrt would naturally be ady
vised by her friends, would naturally be
K eager on her own part, to keep hidden
f/Mi rrliftf llo-tvnortCul of T^msspls \
UUUi ;uu nuav WW .
sensitive woman, placed in a position so
horribly false and degrading, must not
be too severely judged, even when she
does wrong. I am bound to say this?
and more. Speaking from my own
knowledge of all the parties I have no
Idonbt that Miss Eyrecourt and Mr.
Winterfield did really part at the church
door."
..
Romayne answered by a look so disdainfully
expressive of the most immovable
unbelief that it absolutely justified
the fatal advice by which Stella's
worldly-wise friends had enconraged
her to conceal the truth. Father BenPf
well pradesitly dosed his lips. He had
put the case with perfect fairness; his
bitterest enemy could not have denied
that.
Eomayne took up the second paper,
looked at it and threw it back again on
the table with an expression ot disgust.
"You told me just now," said he,
" th&t I was married to the wife of another
man, and there is the judge's decision
releasing Miss "^yrecourt from
her marriage to Mr. Winterfield. May
I ask you to explain yourself ?"
"Certainlv. Let me first remind vou
that you owe religious allegiance to the
principles which the church has ?r
serted for centuries past, with all th&
authority of its divine institution, You
admit that ?'
" I admit it.'
"Now, listen. In our churoh, Romayne,
marriage is even more than a
religious institution?it is a sacrament.
We acknowledge no human laws which
profane that sacrament. Take two examples
of what I say. "When the great
Vapoleon was at the height of his power
Pius the Sqrentli refused to acknowledge
the validity of the emperor'5
second manage to Maria Louisa while
living, divorced by the
tioned the marriage of Mrs. Fitzherbert
to George the Fourth, and still declares,
in justice to her memory, that she was
the king's lawful wife. In one word,
marriage, to be mamage at all, must bo
the object of a purely religions celebration?and,
chis condition complied |
with, marriage is only to be dissolved j
by death. Yon remember what I told
yon of Mr. Winterfield'?"
" Yes. His first marriage took place
before the registrar."
"In plain English, Iiomayne, Mi-.
Winterfield ar.d the woman rider in the
circns pronounced a formula of words
before a layman in an office. This is
not only no marriage; it is a blasphemous
profanation of a holy rite. Acts of
parliament which sanction such pro- ,
ceedings are acts of infidelity. The
j church declares it in defense of le
ligion."
"I understand yon," saidRomayne.
"Mr. "Winterfield's marriage at Brussels?"
" Which the English law," Father
Ben well interposed, "declares to be
annulled by the marriage before the
registrar stands good, nevertheless, by
the higher law of the church. Mr. Winterfield
is Miss Eyrecourt's husband as
long as they both live. An ordained
priest performed the ceremony in a consecrated
building, and Protestant marriages,
so celebrated, are marriages acknowledged
by the Catholic church.
Under those circumstances the ceremony
which afterward united you to
Miss Eyrecourt?though neither you
nor the clergyman were to blame?was
a mere mockery. Need I say more?
Shall I leave you for a while bv vonr
self?"
"No! j. dont know what I may
tliink, I don't know wliat I may d v, if
yon leave me by myself."
Father Benwell took a chair by Ilomayne's
side. " It has been my hard
dnty to grieve and humiliate yon," he
said. " Do yon bear me no ill will ? "
He held ont his hand.
Eomayne took it an act of justice
if not as an act of gratitude.
"Can I be of any nse in advising
you V Father Ben we]1 asked.
"Who can ad-1"* ^an in my position?"
Romayi r? * rejoined.
"lean at le-st ? it that you
should take tim {?. .mnk over yonr
position."
"Time-take time? You talk as if
my situation was endurable."
"Everythingis endurable, Romayne/
" It may be so to yon, Father Benwell.
Did you part with your humanity
when you put on the black robe of the
priest
"I parted, my sod, with those weaknesses
of our humanity on which women
practice. You talk of your position. I
will put it before you at its worst."
" For what purpose ?'
" To show yon exactly what your position
is. Judged by the law of England
Mrs. Eomayne is your wife. Judged
by the principles held sacred among the
religious community to which you belong
she is not Mrs. Komayne?she is
Mrs. Winterlic-ld?living with you in
? T? VAiWaf T?A^ /><"VT? TTAH .
<ACi 111 ItZLJ JL.L J VIA ICJjiCl1 JVUX V/V/U T Ci si
on?" t
" I don't regret it, Father Benweli/
" If yon renounce the holy aspirates
which yon have yourself acknowjfl^d
to me, return to yonr domW^Kife
BuTdorPTasi^vwhil? vajABHving
with that lady, to ackU^j^^M^Fa as i
member of cur commnn^^HJV
Eomayne was silent. ^^HKre violent
emotions aroused inHHsad, wit'a
time, subsided into ealm.^BBndernesi:,
mercy, past affection fou^Mfteii' opportunity,
and pleaded w^^him. The
nnest's bold language h^^missed tlie
object at which it aim^ST" It had revived
in Komavne's memory the image
of Stella in the days ^hen he had first
seen her. How gently her influence had
wrought on him for good; Low tenderly,
how truly she had loyed him.
"Give me some";more wine!" ho
cried. "I feel faintj'and giddy. Don't
despise me, FatherBenwell; I was once
so fond of her!" /
The priest poured out the wine.
" I feel for you," he. said. " Indeed,
iD-.leed I feel for you.",
"Let me mention oiie circumstance,"
Father 3 en well proceeded, " "which may
kelp to relieve you for t?ie moment. In
jour present state of mifrtd yon cannot
return to the Retreat."
'Impossible!" l\
" I havo_had a room preparjed for you
in this house. Here, free frojm any disturbing
influence, you can > shape tie
future course of your life, if you wish
j to communicate with your residence at
j Hig'ugate?" )
"Don't speak of it 1' \
Father Benwell sighed. s*
" Ah, I understand!" he sajid, sadly.
" The house associated with iMr. Winic.
? \
LtJIiiUiU 3 rioit ^
Fiomayne again interrupted Jhim, this
lime by gesture only. The h^nd that
had made the sign clinched itself when
it rested afterward on the tab?e. His
c-yes looked downward under frowning
! brows. At the name of Winterfi^ld re'
iiiemb:ances that poisoned every fetter
influence infljm rose venomously in his |
mind. Once Sore he loathed the deceit !
that^had beelpracticed on him. Once
more the detectable thought of that asserted
partinl at the church-door renewed
its steaJKiy torment and reasoned
with him as iiain words?She has deceived
you in ole thing, why not in an[
other ? 1
"Can I see ky lawyer here?" he
asked, suddenly!
"My dear K^najne, you can see
any one whom yA like to invite."
"I shall not treble you by staying
very long, Fatlif>r"*en well."
"Do nothing it..#* hurry, my son.
"Pray do nothing iiw hurry!"
Romayne paid no intention to this entreaty.
Shrinking fAm themomentuous
decision that awai?d him, his mind
instinctively took refug? in the prospect
of change of scetf^. vtt shall leave
England," he said, impatiently.
"Not alone," Father Eeuvxell remonstrated.
" Who -will be my companion ?'
"I will," the priest ansfferea\
Komayne's weary eyes brightened
faintly. In Ids desolate pogit^i^her
he
Lonn^s : .
ceived: Maior Hvnde hao^r^^W'pitied 1
and despised Mm.
" Can you go with me at any time ?"
lie asked. '-Have you no duties that
keej-you in England?"
"My duties, Romayndj are already
confided to other hands."
" Then you have foreseen this ? "
"I have foreseen it. Your journey
may be long or your journey may be
short; you shall not go away alone "
"I can think of nothing yet; my mind
is a blank," Romayne confessed, sadly;
" I don't know where I shall go."
"I know where you ought to go and
where you will go," said Father Benwell,
emphatically.
"Where?"
"To Rome."
* Romayne understood the true.*ffiefcn
ing of that brief reply. A vague sense
of dismay began to rise in his mind.
While he w*is still tortured by doubt it
seemed as if Father Benwell had, by
some inscrutable process of prevision,
planned out his future beforehand. Had
?* 0 \TA* /\ Kft/l-N.
me pxiesii lUicatrcu ctcms: j.w, ut uau
only foreseen possibilities on the day
when it first occurred to him that Romayne's
marriage was assailable before
the court of Romayne's conscience, from
the Roman Catholic point of view.
Thus far he had modestly described
himself to Ms reverend colleagues as
regarding his position toward Romayne
in a new light. His next letter might
boldly explain to them what he had
really meant. The victory was won.
Not a word more passed between liis
guest and himself that morning.
******
Before post-time, on the same day,
Father Benwell wrote his last report to^
the secretary of the Society-of Jesus ir j
these lines: s J
"Romayneis free from the domesticties
that bound him. He bequeathe
Vange Abbey as a legacy to the church,
and he acknowledges a vocation for tlie
priesthood. Expect us at Rome in a
fortnight's time."
THE END OF THE FIFTH BOOK.
AFTER THE STORY.
Extracts from Bernard, WinlerfielcCs
Diary.
I.?UTXTERFIETiD DEFENDS HTiKELF.
" Beaupark House, June 17,18?.
" You and I, Cousin Beemj'nster, seldom
meet. But I occasionally hear of
you from friends acquainted with both
of us. }
" I have heard of you last at Sir
Philip's rent-day dinner,^, week since.
My name happened to be mentioned by
one of the gentlemen .present, a guest
like yourself. You to^k r<i) the subject
of your own free will; and spoke of mo
in these terms: J
"' I am sorry t<5 say it of the existiug
head of the family, but Bernard is realty
unfit for the &?>sition which he holds.
He has, to saw the least of it, compro
mised himself and his relatives oil more
than one occasion. He began as a young
man by marrying a circus rider. He
got into some other scrape after that
whicli bfe"has contrived to keep a secret
from^affs. We only know how disgracefpffifc
must have been by the results; he
Vfeva voluntary exile from England for
moroXhan a year. Acd now, to complete
the list, he has mixed himself up
in that miserable and revolting business
of Lewis Komayne and his wife.'
" If any other person had spoken of
me in this manner I should have set
him down as a mischievous idiot, to be
kicked, perhaps, but not to be noticed
in anv other way.
" With von the case is different. If i
I die wiihout male or female offspring
the Beaupark estate gees to you as
next heir.
" I don't choose to let a man in this
position slander me and those dear to
me without promptly contradicting him.
The name I bear is precious to me in
memory of my father. Your unanswered
report of me, coming f~om a
member of the family, will be received
as truth. Bather than let this be I re-1
veal to you, without reserve, some of
the saddest passages of my life. I have
nothing to be ashamed of, and if I have
hitherto kept certain eveut3 in the
dark it has been for the sake of others,
not for my own sake. I know better
now. A woman's reputation?if she is
a good woman?is not easily compromised
by telling the truth. The person
of whom I am thinking when I write
this knows what I am going to do and
approves of it.
"You will receive with these lines
the most perfectly candid statement
that I can furnish, being extracts cut
out of my own private diary. They are
acjum^auica ^wuuic J/jluh. LL ututooiuj
seems to call for it) by the written evidence
of other persons.
" There has never much sympathy
between us. But ycu Lave been brought
up like a gentleman, and when you have
read my nirrative I expect that you will
do justice to me and to others, even
though you think we acted indiscreetly
nnder trying and critical circumstances.
"B. W."
IL?WINTERFIELD MATTES EXTBACT3.
llthApril, 1859.?Mrs. Eyrecourt and I
her dang!a'.3rhave left Beanpark to-day '
ft ~i
for London. Have I really made any
impression on the heart of the beautiful
Stella? In my miserable positionignorant
-whether I am free or not?I
have shrunk from formally acknowledging
that I love her.
12th.?I am becoming superstitions!
In the obituary of to-day's Times the
death is recorded of that unhappy
woman whom I was mad enongh to
marry. After hearing nothiDg of her
for seven years I am frte! Surely this
is a good omen ? Shall I follow the
Eyreconrts to London and declare myself?
I have not confidence enongh in
my own power of attraction to run the
risk. Better 'to write first, in strictest
confidence, to Mrs. Eyrecourt.
\4dh.?An enchanting answer from my
angel's mother, written in great haste.
They are on the point of leaving for
Paris. Stella is restless and dissatisfied:
she wan"s change of scene; and Mrs.
Eyrecourt adds, in so many words: " It
is you who have upset her; why did you
not speak while we were at Beaupark ?'
I am to hear again from Paris. Good
old Father Newbliss said all along that
she was fond of me, and wondered, like
Mrs. Eyrecourt, why I failed to declare
myself. How could I tell them of the
hideous fetters which bou' i me in
those days ?
18^, Paris.?She has accepted mel
Words are useless to express my happiness.
19tk.?A letter from my lawyer full of
professional subtleties and delays. I
have no patience to enumerate them.
We move to Belgium, to-morrow. Not
on our way back to England; Stella is
so little desirous of leaving tlie continent
tliafc we are likely to be married
abroad. But she is weary of the perpetual
gayety and glitter of Paris, and
wants to seo the old Belgium cities.
Her mother leaves Paris with regret.
The liveliest woman of her age that I
ever met with.
7th May, Brussels.?My blessing on
the old Belgian cities. Mrs. Eyrecourt
is so eager to get away from them that
she b?,cks me in hurrying the mar
riage, and even consents, sorely against
the grain, to let the wedding be celebra'ed
at Brussels in a private and unpretending
way. She has only stipulated
that Lord and Lady Loring (old
iriends) are to be present. They are to arrive
to morrow, and two days afterward
wo are to be married.
*****
(An iaclosure is inserted in this place.
It consists o:? the death bed confessions
of W-ir.terS eld's first wife and of the explanatory
letter writ ten by the rector of
Bdhaven. The circumstances related
in thej.e documents, alieady known to
the reader, are left ;o speak for themselves,
and the Extracts from the Diary
are then continued.)
;* * * * *
jm May, Uingen-on-t/ie-K/une.?ijQt'/Jfca
from Devonshire at last, which resmi
jit"
degree. Tie frightful misfortune at
Brussels will at least be kept secret, so
fax as L am concerned. Beaupark house
is shut up and the servants are dismissed,
"in consequence of my residence
abroad." To Father Ncwbliss I have
privately written, telling him that the
marrif;ge is broken off; he writes back
(good old man!) a kind and comforting
letter. It all seems safe so far. Tine
will, I suppose, help me to bear my sad
lot. And perhaps a day may come when
Stella and her friends will know iiow
cruelly they have wronged me.
London, 18th November, 1860.?The
old wound has been opened again. I
met Lev accidentally in a picture gallery.
She turned deadly pale, and left
the place. Oh, Stella! Stella I
London, 12th August, 1861.?Another
meeting with her. And another and a
worse shock to endure. I went to vi sit
an agreeable new acquaintance, Mr. Horn
ay ne. His wife drove up to the house
while I was looking out of window. I
recognized Stella! After two years she
has made use of the freedom which the
law has given t? lier. I must not complain
of that, or of her treating me like
a stranger, wlien her husband innocently
introduced us. But, when we were
afterward left together for a few minutes?no!
I cannot write down the
merciless words she said to me. Why
am I fool enough to be as fond of her
as ever ?
Beaupcwk, 16th November.?Stella's
married life is not likely to be a happy
one. To-day's newspaper announces the
conversion of her husband to the Roman
Catholic faith. I can honestly say I am
sorry for her, knowing how she has
suffered, among her own relatives, by
these conversions. But I so hate him,
that this proof of his weakness is a
downright consolation to me.
BeauparJc, 27th January, 1862.?A let
?* ^ i *
ter from btoiia, so startling ana deplorable
that I cannot remain away from her
after reading it. Her hnsband has deliberately
deserted her. He has gone
to Some to serve his term of proba tion
for the priesthood. I travel to London
by to-day's train.
WTSTEEETELD'S DIARY?(COSTTNTKD).
London, 11th January.?Short as it
is, I looked at Stella's letter again and
again on the jonrney. The tone of the
closing sentences is still studiously cold.
After informing me that she is staying
with her mother in London, she concludes
her letter in these terms:
" Be under no fear that the burden of
my troubles will be laid on your
shoulders. Since the fatal day when
?" ?+ Tan Anrao T7AT1 VlRVP fihoTTO
** C uicu nu j-cu j w% ?w .
forbearance and compassion toward me.
I don't stop to inquire if yon are sincere?it
rests with yon to prove that.
Bnt I have some questions to ask which
no person bnt yon can answer. For the
rest, my friendless position will perhaps
plead with yon not to misunderstand
me."
Inveterate distrust in every sentence!
If any other woman had treated me in
this way I should have pnt her letter
into the fire, end should not have
stirred from my comfortable house.
29th January.?A day missed ont oJ
my diary. The events of yesterday unnerved
me for a time.
Arriving at Derwent's hotel, on the
evening of the 27th, I sent a line
to Stella by messenger to ask wheD
she could receive me*
It is strange how the merest trifles j
seem to touch women I Her note in reply
contains the first expression oi
friendly feeling toward me which has
escaped her since we parted at Brussels.
And this expression proceeds from hei
ungovernable surprise aid gratitude at
my taking the. trouble to travel from
Devonshire to London on her account.
For the rest, she proposed to call on me
at the hotel the nest morning. She and
her mother, it appeared, differed in opinion
on the subject of Mr. Komayne's behavior
to her, and sho wished to see me,
in the first instance, unrestrained by
Mrs. Eyrecourt's. interference.
There was little sleep for me thai
night. I passed most of the time in
smoking and walking up and down the
room. My on?.'relief was afforded by
Traveler; he b6gged so hard to go with
me I could not resist him. The dog
always sleeps in my room. His surprise
at my extraordinary restlessness (ending
in downright anxiety and alarm)
was expressC'l in his eyes, and in his
little whinings and cries, quite as intelligibly
as if he had put his meaning into
words. "Who first called a dog a dumb
creature ? It must have been a mm 3
think, and a thoroughly unlovable man.
too, from a dog's point of view.
Soon after ten on the morning of the
2btn sne entered my sitting-room.
In her personal appearance I saw a
change for the worse, produced I suppose
by the troubles that have tried hei
sorely, poor thing. There was a sad
loss of delicacy in her features and oi
purity in her complexion. Even hex
dress?I should certainly not have noticed
it in any other woman?seemed to
be loose and slovenly. In the agitation
of the moment I forgot the long
estrangement between us; I half-lifted
mv hand to take'hers. and checked mv
self. Was I mistaken in supposing that
she yielded to the same impulse and resisted
it as I did? She concealed hei
embarrassment, if she felt any,by patting
the dog.
" I am ashamed that yon should have
taken the journey to London in this
wintry weather to?" she began.
It was impossible, in her situation, to
let her assume this commonplace tone
with me. " I sincerely feel for you," I
said, "and sincerely wish to help youil
J I can." K
She looked at me for the first time.
Did she believe me, or did she still
doubt? Before I could decide she
I tnok a letter from her pocket, opened it
and handed it to me.
" Women often exaggerate their troubles,"
she said. "It is perhaps au
unfair trial of your patience, bnt I
should like you to satisfy yourself that
I have not made the worst of my situa!
tion. That letter will place it before
you in Mr. Eomayne's own words. Bead
it, except where the page is turned
down."
It was her husband's letter of farehte
& " The
langnage was scrupulously deli
cate and considerate. i5uc to my mina i
it entirely failed to disguise the fanatical
cruelty of the man's resolution addressed
to his wife. In substance it
came to this:
" He had discovered the marriage at
Brussels, which she had deliberately
concealed from Mm when he took her
for his wife. She had afterward persisted
in that concealment, under circumstances
which made it impossible
hat he could ever trust her again."
(This no doubt referred to her ill-adadvised
reception of me as a total stranger
at Ten Acres Lodge). "In the miserable
break-up of his domestic life the
church to which he now belonged offered
him not only her divine consolation,
but the honor, above all earthly
distinctions, of serving the cause of rein
aor>roil -ranks nf fhfi rvripf.t
hood. Before his departure for Bome
lie bade her a last farewell in this
world, and forgave her the injuries that
she had inflicted on him. For her sake
he asked leave to say some few word9
more. In the first place ho desired to
do her every jnstice, in a worldly sense.
Ten Acres Lodge was offered to her as
? - '-L * T 1-C-i*?? ? ?,,e
a iree gilt xur Iier iiicujxLic, witu a dial- |
ficient income for all her wants. In the
second place he was' anxious that she
should not misinterpret his motives.
Whatever his opinion of her conduct
might be, he did not rely on it as affording
hi3 only justification for leaving
her. Setting personal feelings aside,
he felt religious scruples (connected
with his marriage) ffhich left him no
other alternative than the separation on
which he had resolved. He would
briefly explain those scruples and mention
his authority for entertaining them
before he closed his letter."
There the page was turned down and'
the explanation was concealed from me.
A faint color stole over her face as I
handed the letter back to her.
"It is needless for you to read the
rest," she said. " Yon know nnder his
own hand that he has left me, and
(if snch a thing pleads with yon in his
favor) yon also know that he is liberal
in providing for his deserted wife."
I attempted to speak. She saw in my
face how I despised him and stopped
me.
1f Whatever yon may think of his conduct,"
she continued, " I beg that yon
will not speak of it to me. May I ask
your opinion (now you have read his
letter) on another matter in which my
own conduct is concerned ? In former
days?"
She paused, poor soul, in evident con
fusion and distress.
""Why speak of those days?" I ventured
to say.
" I must speak of them. In former
days I think you were told that my
father's will provided for my mother and
for me. You know that we have enough
to live on?"
I had heard of it at the time of our
betrothal, when the marriage settlement
was in preparation. The mother and
daughter had each a little income of a
few hundreds a year. The exact amount
had escaped my memory.
After answering her to this effect, I
waited to hear more.
I She suddenly became silent, the most
I ? _ t-1 ?t i. ?i?
ptLLLUUl eiUUMifXWIHmfflU) OUUWOU atccju. jju
her face and manner. " Never mind the
rest," she said, mastering her confusion
after an interval. " I have had some
hard trials to bear; I forget things"?
i
she made an effort to finish the sentence
and gave it up, and called to the dog to
come to her. The tears were in hex
eyes, and that was the way she took to
hide them from me.
In general I am not qnick at reading
the minds of others, but I thought I
understood Stella. Now that we art
face to face the impulse to trust me had
for the moment got the better of kei
^on+.inn an/1 Vi<vr titi/Ia ?lio woq sdlf
ashamed of it, half-inclined to follow it.
I hesitated no longer. The time foi
which I had waited, the time to prove
without any indelicacy on my side that
I had never been unworthy of her, had
surely come at last.
" Do you remember my reply to yorn
letter about Father Benwell ?" I asked.
"Yes, every word of it."
" I promised, if you ever had need oi
me, to prove that I had never been unworthy
of your confidence. In youi
present situation I can honorably keep
mv riromiaA. SVis.ll T waif, till TYVn ftTfi
calmer, or shall I go on at once?"
" At once I"
" When your mother and your friends
took yon from me," I resumed, " if you
had shown any hesitation?"
She shuddered. The image of my
unhappy "wife, vindictively confronting
us on the church steps, seemed to be
recalled to her memory.
" Don't go back to it!" she ciied.
" Spare me, I entreat you!"
I opened the writing-case in which 1
liad kept the papers sent to me by the
rector of Belhaven, and placed them
on the table by which she was sitting.
The more plainly and briefly I spoke
now the better I thought it might be
tor Dotn 01 us.
" Since we parted at Brussels," I said,
" icy wife has died. Here is a copy of
the medical certificate of her death."
Stella refused to look at it.
"I don't understand such things,"
she answered, faintly. " What is this?"
She took up my wife's death-bed
confession.
" Eead it," I said.
She looked frightened.
""What will it tell me?" she asked.
"It will tell you, Stella, that false
appearances once led you into wronging
an innocent man.,J
Having said this, I walked away to a
window behind her, at the further end
of the room, so that she might not see
me while she read.
affor a timfi?how much loncrer it
seemed to be than it really was!?I
heard her move. As I tnrned from the
window she ran to me, and fell on her
knees at my feet. I tried to raise
her; I entreated her to believe that she
was forgiven. She seized my hands,
and held them over her face?they were
wet with her tears.
"I am ashamed to look at yon," she
said. " Oh, Bernard, what a wretch I
liave been!"
I never was so distressed in my life.
I don't know wMfr'I should have said,
what I should have done, if my dear
old dog had not helped me out of it.
He, too, ran up to me with the loving
jealousy of his race, and tried to lick
my hands still fast in Stella's hold. His
* i ?it
paws were on ner snouiaer; no astempted
to push himself between us. I
think I successfully assumed a tranquillity
which I was far from really
feeling.
" Come, come!" I said, " you mustn't
make Traveler jealous."
She let me raise her. Ah, if she
could have kissed me?but that was not
to be done; she kissed the dog's head,
and then she spoke to me. I shall not
set down what she said in these pages.
While I live there is.no fear of my forgetting
those words.
I\ed her back to her chair. The letter
addressed to me by the rector oi
Belhaven still lay on the table unread.
It was of some importance to Stella's
complete enlightenment as containing
evidence that the confession was genuine.
But I hesitated for her sake tc
^peak of it just yet.
"Now you know that you have s
friend to helo and advise vou," I be
gan.
" No," she interposed; " more than t
friend, say a brother."
I said it. " Ton had something tc
ask of me," I resnmed, " and yon nevei
pnt the question."
She understood me.
" I meant to tell yon," she said, " thai
I had written a letter of refnsal to Mr.
Romayne's lawyers. I have left Ten
Acres never to retnrn, and I refnse to
accept a farthing of Mr. Komayne's
money. My mother?thongh she knows
we have enough to live on?tells me I
have acted with inexcusable pride and
folly. I wanted to ask if you blame
me, Bernard, as she does ?"
I dare say I was inexcusably proud
and foolish, too, It was the first time
she had called me by my Christian
name sine* the happy bygone time,
never to come again. Under -whatever
influence I acted I respected and admired
her for that refusal, and I owned
it in dj many words. This little encouragement
seemed to relieve her.
She was so much calmer that I ventured
to speak of the rector's letter.
She wouldn't hear of it. "Oh, Bernard,
have I not learnt to trust you yet?
Put away these papers. There is only
one thing I want to know. Who gave
them to you ? The rector T
"No."
"Howdid they reach you V
( ( V/-VT! "PofTinr "RonTTfill "
She started to her feet like a woman J
electrified.
"I knew it!" she cried. "It is the
priest who has wrecked my married life,
and he got his information from those
letters befoie he put them into your
hands." She dropped into her chair
again. "That was the first and foremost
of the questions I wanted to put
to you," she said. " I am answered. I
ask no more."
She -was surely wrong about Father
Benwell ? I tried to show her why.
I told her that my reverend friend
had put the letters into my hand with
the seal which protected them unbro?
- * i _ T\* 3 T
ken. biie laugnect aisaainrany. urn x
know Mm so little as to doubt for a moment
that lie could break a seal and replace
it again ? This view was entirely
new to me; I was startled, but not convinced.
I never desert my friendseven
when they are friends of no very
| long standing?and I still tried to de- j
j fend Father Ben-well. The only resnli j
was to make her alter her intention ol j
asking me no more questions. I innocently
roused in her a new curiosity.
She was eager to know how I had first
become acquainted with the priest, and
how he had contrived to possess himselj
of information which was intended foi
my reading only.
There was but one way of answering
her.
It was far from easy to a man like
myself, unaccustomed to state circumstances
in their proper order, but I liad
no other choice than to reply by telling
the long story of the theft and discovery
i of the rector's papers. So far as Fathei
Benwell was concerned the narrative
only confirmed her suspicions. Foi
the rest, the circumstances which most
interested her were the circumstances
associated'with the French boy.
"Anything connected with that pooi
creature," she said, "has a dreadful
interest for me now."
"Did you know him?" I asked, with
some surprise.
"I knew him and his mother?yon
shall hear how at another time. I suppose
I felt a presentiment that the boy
would have some evil influence ovei
me. At anv rate, when I accidentally
touched hi'm I trembled as if I had
touched a serpent. You will think me
superstitious; but, after what you have
said, it is certainly true that he has been
the indirect cause of the misfortune
that has fallen on me. How came he to
steal the papers? Did you ask the
rector when you went to Belhaven ?
" I asked the rector nothing. But
he thought it his duty to tell me all
that he knew of the theft."
She drew her chair nearer to me.
"Let me hear every word of it?'she
pleaded, eagerly.
I felt some reluctance to comply with
the request.
" Is it not fit for me to hear ?' she
asked.
This forced me to be plain with her.
"111 repeat wnat tne rector torn me,
I said, " I must speak of my -wife."
She took my hand. "You have
pitied and forgiven her," she answered.
" Speak of her, Bernard, and don't, foi
God's sake, think that my heart is harder
than yours."
I kissed the hand that she had giveD
to me?even her "brother" might do
that I
" It began," I said, "in the gratefu]
attachment which the boy felt for my
wife. He refused to leave her bedside
on the day when she dictated her con* |
fession to the rector. As he was entirely
ignorant of the English language,
there seemed to be no objection to let*
ting him have his own way. He became ,
inquisitive as the writing went on. His
questions annoyed the rector, and, as
the easiest way of satisfying his curirrn^a
T"? 1 tv% chr\
UOJLl/J J i-LLJ YYi-i.^7 UV1U mill UXtaw OXLt? V/OQ
making her wilL He knew just enough,
from -what he had heard at various .
times, to associate making a will with
gifts of money, and the pretended explanation
silenced and satisfied him." "Did
the rector understand it,''
Stella asked.
" Yes. Like many other Englishmen
in his position, although he was not
ready at speaking French, he could read
the language, and could fairly well understand
it when it was spoken. Aftei
my wife's death he kindly placed the
boy for a few days under the care of liis
housekeeper. Her early life had been
passed in the island of Martinique; and ,
she was able to communicate with the .
friendless foreigner in his own language.
When he disappeared she was the onlj |
person who could throw any light on ,
his motive for stealing the papers. On ,
the day when he entered the hous.7? she ,
caught him peeping through the key- ;
hole of the study-door. He must have
seen where the confession was placed,
and the color of the old-fashioned blue
paper on which it was written would
help him to identify it. The next morning,
during the rector's absence, he
brought the manuscript to the housekeeper
and asked her to translate it intc
French, so that he might know ho^i
much money was left t-o him in 1 the
will.' She severely reproved him, made
him replace the paper in the desk from
which he had taken it, and threatened
to tell the rector if his misconduct was
repeated. He promised amendment,
and the good-natured woman believed
him. Two days afterward the locked
door of the cabinet in which the papers
ha-d been secured was found open, and
they and the boy were both missing
together."
"Do you think he showed the con+?
onrr rtfhor nr-rs/m 9" ,
ICOOAVJ-L w vvmv* > I
asked. " I happened to know that he ]
concealed it from his mother.** i
"After the housekeeper's reproof," J '
replied, " he would be canning enough, 1
in mj opinion, not to rtm the risk of
showing it to strangei-3. It is far more 1
likely that he thonght he might learn
English enough to read it himself."
There the subject dropped. We were <
silent for a while. She was thinking :
and I was looking at her. On a sudden
she raised her head. Her eyes rested on
me gravely.
" It is very strange," she said.
"What is strange?"
" I have been thinking of the Lorings. <
They encouraged me to doubt yon. \
They advised me to be silent abont what j
happened at Brussels. And they, too, ,
are concerned in my husband's desertion I
of me. He first met Father Benwell at ^
their house. From that time I see the
circumstances in my mind, all following ]
one on another, until the priest and the <
French boy were brought together, and 1
the miserable end came -which has left
me a deserted wife." Her head drooped
again ; her next words were murmured
to herself. " I am still a young woman,'
she said, "Oh, God! what is my future
to be?"
This morbid way of thinldng distressed
me. I reminded her that she ,
had devoted friends.
"Not one," she answered, "but 5
you."
" Have yon not seen Lady Loring V I ,
asked. 1
" She and her hnsband have written 1
most kindly, inviting me to make their 1
house my home. I have no right to ]
blame them, they meant welL But, ]
after whst has happened, I can't go i
back to them." '
4
' I am sorry to hear it," I said.
"Areyou thinking of the LoringsT
she asked.
" I don't; even know the Lorings. I
can think of nobody bnt you."
I was still looking at her, and I am
afraid my eyes said more than my words,
[f she had donbted it before she must
bave now known that I was as fond of
aer as ever. She looked distressed
rather than confused- I made an
awkward attempt to set myself right.
f: Surely your brother may speak
plainly," I said.
She agreed to this. But, nevertheless,
she rose to go with a friendly word
intended (as I hoped) to show me that
I had got my pardon for that time.
" Will you come and see us to-morrow
?" she said. " Can you forgive my
mother as generously as you have forgiven
me ? I will. take care, Bernard,
that she does you justice at last."
She held out her hand to take leave.
SfriTT cArild T renlr? Tf T *.
resolute man I might have remembered.
that it would be best for me not too see
too much of her. Bui I am a poor
weak creature. I accepted her invita.
tion for the next day.
ZOtk January.?I have just returned
from my visit.
My thoughts are in a state of indescribable
conflict and confusion, and
her mother is the cause of it. I wish I
had not gone to the house. Am I a bad
man, I wonder, and have I only found
it out now?
Mrs. Eyrecourt was alone in the
drawing-room when I went in. Judging
by the easy manner in which she got
up to receive me the misfortune which
U/tM VIA* OAAfVlA/1 +A
LLao MClaliCU xxox IV
have produced no sobering change in.
this frivolous woman.
"Mydear Winterfield," she began.
?I have behaved infamously. I won't
say that appearances were against you;
I will only say I ought not to have
trusted appearances. You are the injured
person; please forgive me. Shall
we go on with the subject or shall
we shake hands and say no more about
it?"
I shook hands, of course. Mrs. Eyrecourt
perceived that I was looking foi
Stella.
"Sit down," she said, "and be good
enough to put up with no more attract-"
ive society than mine. Unless I set
things straight, my good friend, you and
my daughter?oh, with the beat intentions]!?will
drift into a false position.
You won't see Stella to-day. Quite impossible?and
I will tell you why. 1
am the worldly old mother; I don't
mind what I say. My innocent daughter
would die before she would' confess
what 1 am going to tell you, Oazxl
offer you anything? Have you had
lunch?"
I begged her to continue. She perplexed,
I am not sure that she did noi
even alarm, me.
" Very well," she proceeded. "Yon
may be surprised to hear it, but I don't
mean to allow things to go on in this
way. My contemptible son-in-law shall 1
return to his wife."
This startled me, and I suppose I
showed it"
Wait a little," said Mrs. Eyrecourt;
"there is nothing to be alarmed about.
Eomayne is a weak fool, and Father
Benwell's hands are (of course) in both
his pockets. But he has, unless I am
entirely mistaken, some small sense of
shame and some little human feeling
still left. After the manner in which
lie nas behaved these are the merest
possibilities, you will say. Very likely.
[ have boldly appealed to those possibilities,
nevertheless. He has already
apne away to Rome, and I need scarcely
idd?Father Benwell would take good .
jare of that?he has left us no address. \
[t doesn't in the least matter. One of
;he advantages of being so much in
society as I am is that I have nice acquaintances
everywhere, always ready
x> oblige me, provided I don't borrow
money of them. I have written to Bomayne
under cover to one of my friends
living in Bome. Wherever he may be
there will my letter find him."
So far I listened quietly enough, naturally
supposing that Mrs. Eyrecourt trusted
to her own arguments and per- :
suasions. It was a relief to me to feel
that the chances were a hundred to one ;
against her.
This unworthy way of thinking was
instantly checked by Mrs. Eyrecourt'? i
next words. '
<< T*nn'f cnnnncA T orn frtnlish
enough to attempt to reason with him ?" ,
?he went on. " My letter begins and
snds on the first page. His wife has a 1
:laim on him which no newly-married
nan can resist. Let me do him justice. ,
Ee knew nothing of it before he went
iway. My letter?my daughter has no
suspicion that I have written it?tells
him plainly what the claim is."
She paused. Her eyes softened, her ;
roice sank low?she became quite un- '
Like the Mrs. Eyrecourt whom I knew. (
"In a few months more, Winterfield,"
she said, "my poor Stella will be a ]
mother. My letter calls Romayne back 1
to his wife - and his child."
Ttvi T3T rnvrrviTD 1 !
A Hundred Years Ago.
One hundred years ago not a pound
Df coal nor a cubic foot of illumina- j
;ing gas had been burnt in the country. :
So iron stoves were used, and no con- :
:rivancfs for economizing heat were s
employed until Dr. Franklin invented ,
;he iron framed fireplace which still <
Dears his name. All the cooking and \
warming in town, as well as in the j
lountry, was done by the aid of a fire )
kindled on the brick hearth or in brick ?
jvens. Pine knots or tallow candles j
'urnished the light for the long winter <
aiglits, and sanded floor supplied the ]
place Of rugs and carpets. The water ,
ice/' frtr 1-nnr?1r? -nnmnses ^r&s drawn
From deep wells with creaking sweeps, j
So form of pump was used in this conn- i
trv, so far as we can learn, until alter |
:he commencement of the present cen- j
.ury. There were do friction matches j
in those days by the aid of which a fire ]
:ould be easi'y kindled, and if the fire ,
vent out upon the hearth over night
md the tinder was damp, so that the
spark would not catch the alternative
remained of wading through the snow a
nile or so to bon-ow a brand of a neighbor.
Only one room in any house was
srarm, unless some member of the famiJy 1
w&s ill; in all the rest the temperature "
yas at zero during many nights in the
winter. The men and women of one
nnndred years ago went to their beds
in a temperature colder than that of
:rac barns and wood sheds.
A BOT SX'AKE CHARMER. ||9HH|
The Unpleasant Pets of a Ltd of Seren- . v3|a
AIIowIdr Esuletaake* ud T?rtlo>He?4<
toTwlne Aroand HisXeckutd W?i*C?
Stories told by . travelers in places ^
where venomous reptiles abound, of
snake conjurers, are usually received i
\ cum grano salts, but there is a little boy ; :M
residing in tliLs city who ean out-do any
of the alleged tricks of Indian serpent
charmers, so great is tho isfloenca he
appears to possess over rafcc'esnakes,
black snakes, moccasins, vipers, boas,
turtleheads, copperheads and others of |||
the crawling family, always regarded as .
mortal enemies to man. A Press reporter
in search of a cigar, entered B.
R. Cill's store on Second street, aad
having procured a supply of the
fragrant weed, was about leaving, when ;
a little girl came in carrying a box
containing a mouse. She put it down
on the counter, and was handed a penny
in exchange by Mr. Cills.
' I buy a good many mice and rats
during the day," said he, in reply to the
inquiring gaze of the reporter, -'sometimes
as many as fifty to a hundred .;
but then I have a good many g&akes ..
to feed/l .
"Shakes!" Was the ejaculation.
"Tes, come and look at them."
Ths reporter accepted the invitation,
and walked into a small room at the
back of the store, round the walls of
which were a number of cases fronted ;3*1
with glass, containing any number of
".Them's rattles. Here you hare ||j
romencaas, pretty; ainc tnej t sua;: ^
their enthusiastic "proprietor. "That's
a kingshead or cannibal snake, the only ' ;
one left of a family of seven, father, %pj
mother and five brothers and sisters."
"What became of the rest V - ; ;
"All represented there. They fed on ^fal
each other. The father fell a victim to . ^
the appetite of his wife, and she was :- ^
eaten by one of her sons. The latter
was swallowed by his Bister, and she by :%8B
her brother, and so on till that fellow Jg&gM\
only was left. He breakfasted off a /
water-snake this morning almost as long
as himself, so h?'s a bit sleepy, bat my* '
boy will wake him np." "Here,
Willie!"
A delicate-looking youth about sevenyears
cf age came running into the ""
rnnm. Sn/?.h n. -nrftfctv hov. iritfc I ATtrP. 'S-zJS
dreamy eyes and a mass of' stmny brown
hair combed over his forehead. -IIS
Obedient to k sign, from his father, he
pushed aside the glass covering of th& . i|
case," and, inserting his tiny hand, --M
prilled out the wriggling monster and
began to caress it by stroking its head.
"i can't do xl zch with him," said the
boy. "I lik8 the rattles and turtle- d?
heads best."
Patting the cannibal back into its
lair, he went over to a large case, in
which some twenty turtlehead snakes,
varying in length from threeto eight . ,5^8
feet, were busily engaged in twisting
themselves and each, other into knots.
The boy opened one side of the case,
and, seizing a snake with each hand, ~j|g
pat. the n round bis neck." 1 . "
Pixi3 one's Barnum and that's Baby, i*|
see how they kiss me," said the little
fellow as the reptiles rubbed their
mouths against his lips and cheeks. 8
Barnum was a beautifully marked -JSBB
creature, pure white belly and back >' <v -*M
with bbck and. white spots. He
measured about eight feet and the center
ol his body was as f;hick as a man's
wrist. Baby was Sve feet long. Without
removing the two others, the boy again
put his hands in the case and brought
out three more full-sized fellows, which
he placed about his waist. '*This is >~J
Jack, and that's Nellie, and here's Bill.
They all know me and they would never
hurt me." It made the newsman &
shudder as he washed the snakes
crawling and twisting over the boy while
a dozen more heads protruded from the 1
case pointing their forked tongues at fl
the lad as if trying to join in the fun. a
('Those snakes could crush my son to
death if they liked," said Mr. Gills, as
he also took three or four of the reptiles I
ord nllnm^ ftiflm TTricralp ?lwi? llis
body,^'but they would never think of -9
doing him harm- With the exception. : V
of Baby, all those turtleheads were -a
brought t.' me by a sea captain from Mm
the West Indies. JBaby was hatched.
from an egg that lav in the barrel which ./JH
formed their traveling carnage. He
was four inches long when he was bom |
and now he's over lour feet and a-iuUf,
all grown in five months. He's 'my
son's favorite. They were pretty fierce 1
when I first got 'em, bat I buret all
their mouths and that tamed them." flH
"How do you mean?"
"Why I took them in turns Turtleheads
have teeth, not fangs, and are supposed
for that reason not to be poison- .1
ous by naturalists. I consider all
snakes^ more or less venomous, sc to
usually cure them of that habit before fl
[ play with, 'em, I heat a poker red
hot, then I put the snake on the ground
and irritate it, and when it makes for . I
one of my fingers I watch my op-Jg|fl
portanity and shore the hot iroal^wn
its throat. Snakes treated in thafway
very seldom try to bite a human beag^SB
again. Every one of those fellows in
there has been treated thus. I kept ^?3
them separate until their mouths were
(veil and then I or my boy stroked them H
a little each day until at last we could
do what we liked with them. They ap- 1
pear to take kindly to this climate. I S H
had several more, but showmen pur- JO
chafed them from me. 7 got from S2d ;fl
( o $25 a pair for them. They eat rats,
sparrows, mice, young squirrels and
rabbits, which they crash and swallow fl
-- ... * _ -
on tbe Doa-constrictor principle.?nw m
ielpliia Pre*s.
A Lucky Escape.
During the trip of a Portuguese vessel .
from Bio Janeiro to New York she ea-1
30uniered a fierce storm. The,tiw of 1
the yards almost, touched the wave6s*M?|B I
the phrase used u> describe the situation.^?
While the vessel labored along in thi^-J
:t-'? ? .,^,1 Syria cm ahmrV VtPTi^l
amidships from the windward sides, j
It swept across the deck with
force, carrying away every looee objcot 1
and, tearingthree men from the rigging?
to which they were clinging, it swept
them clean over the lee side, some ?f-fl
teen or twenty feet from the vessel. Tba fl
waves were washing over the decfcfcfl
from all sides, and luck K*4Jt that thefl
mass of water into which they fell waaH
moving toward the vessel. Just how ifl
ill happened, or how long they wercfl
overboard no one could tell. Thi*
:aptain. Francisco Di as dos Santos Bor3aJ H
thinks it was about a minute. He saw
them carried away and a terrible feelin*
took possession of hi for a moment! I
rhen he saw them swept on boerfl
again. He rushed forward ancLseupfl
3ampos by the hair, holding o^Srdeifl I
Life while the waters retrdjflfci. JH
jonple of others caught
rercira grasped and *^1 B
part of the rigging.^j^' cM
<sr?w atia rvni+iAv, ^ ^Q| |
^iUlv <~v v/ -2- c W
transpired, and the^^*, ^ sc> ^
proved to be a triflrHfc^^ 4
mate's left leg and \ V
moderated later the M^Bay, ana
passage concluded unercStfulIy. 3 H
??
A llcr^e Epitaph.
Horse epitaphs are not nuzneroH
but here is one taken from a rojH
3tone set up near a farmhouse in9
England: B
Here lies poor Zip ~""N fl
ludeatu's cola grip,
Just lour weeK-> since x do: ters s
No .v twelve p-'t!nd8 turco
Arc gone, ana s: e
Died wtwr? u..c hadn't oa bt<afta3J

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