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The Daily Bnlletin.
BERTHA DALTON'S TRIUMPH,
THE HISTORY OF AN OPAL RING.
John bowed, and withdrew to execute
Lis new master's orrlortt.
As time passed, John proved himself
invaluable. Fancourt found every ar
ticle he wanted ready to his hand. Had
he a letter to post or a message to send,
John was quick of foot and always
ready. John never neglected an order,
never forgot a direction, and seemed to
know his enpujemeuts better than him
self. If he came atmnblin home at a
late hour as was not uufrequentlv the
case John was always in attendance
to help him to bed, and appeared the
following morning with his accustomed
smile on his lips, as if nothing notice
akle had occurred.
John associated but little with the
otlier servants, and was accounted
ck 'se. lie had a pleasant way with him,
however, which won goodwill; and per
il. i s ,!.e character lie acquired for ret
kviitv liiv.ud con.idenee, for he gener
ally seemed acquainted with what was
A. peerless servant was John, and
Fancourt congratulated himself on his
good fortune in this as in other mat
ters. He need not be afraid of making
use of this intelligent, active fellow, he
decided. lie might do him good service
in more ways than oiv and he could
easily make it worth his while to be
trustworthy. He gave orders therefore
that John was to be permanently re
tained, and James summarily dis
missed, should the 'after return with
the expectation of resuming bis post.
Weeks passed, and August followed
sultry July and sunny June. Heat and
dust made' the atmosphere oppressive,
and a blinding sun baked the pave
ments and glared upon the houses. The
London season was over, anil all who
had the means began to hurry away to
the seaside, to the Rhine, to Switzer
landwhithersoever their fancy led
them,' or their convenience allowed
them to go.
The death of Douglas's old aunt the
relative from whom he had expecta
tionshappened toward the end of
July; and Douglas, contrary to the gen
eral run of human affairs, found his
hopes more than realized. The old lady
had been a misanthrope and a miser
no one had known anything as to the
state of her finances. Dim rumors
were afloat that she was rich, but these
again seemed contradicted by the penu
ry in which she lived. She died unla
mented, and as she left no will, Charles
Douglas, her only near relative, found
himself in possession of a fortune ex
ceeding ten thousand pounds. He at
tended the funeral, as in duty bound,
but was absent only two days, and then
he came back radiant. It would have
been sheer hypocrisy on his part to
pretend to any feelings of regret for a
kinswoman he scarcely knew, and one
who had never made herself respected.
A pleasant intimacy had sprung up
between the Dalton family aud the two
young artists. Finding that both the
Misses Dalton bad practiced sketching
from nature before they came to reside
in London, the young men tempted
Mrs. Dalton to accompany them with
her daughters in various country excur
sions, under pretense of giving Lena
and Bertha instructions in sketching,
these excursions being always planned
for such afternoons as liertha chanced
to be at liberty. Rowing on the river
above Richmond, wandering amongst
the glades of Windsor Forest, or the
pleasant country scenes about Eltham,
Chigwell. and other places at an easy
railway distance from London, free in
terchange of thought and feeling natu
rally followed; and thus it came about
that Douglas's fancy for Bertha ripen
ed into a warm attachment, and that
her sweet, unspoiled, truthful character
revealed itself more and more fully to
both her self -constituted instructors.
St. Lawrence still considered Lena
Dalton the most beautiful woman he
had ever seen, but her faults were just
ttiose that were to him most unlovable.
Terhaps the rural background in which
he bo often saw her was not suited to
her, perhaps the struggle going on in
her own mind made her increasingly
petulant and disobliging; whatever it
was, St. Lawrence did not find himself
drawn toward her. Her smiles failed
to cause any acceleration of pulse, nor
did her coldness, when that seized her,
throw him into despondency. For
Bertha, on tbe contrary, he felt the
most sincere regard. "Brotherly affec
tion" was the name he gave his feel
ings for her for what else could he
allow himsi'lf to entertain without turn
ing traitor to his friend?
Fancourt was also a frequent visitor
at Ivy Cottage; nor could the r'nect of
his visits be now mistaken indeed he
made no secret of his intentions,
though he had not as yet declared him
self, it so happened that he had never
met bt. Lawrence and Douglas. His
visits were always made in the day
time, his evenings being otherwise arid
too frequently less reputably employed,
while St. Lawrence, at any rate, worked
hard at his easel during" the morning
hours and consequently had only the
late afternoons and evenings at his
command. Douglas openly confessed
that it waa Bertha who attracted him
to Ivy Cottage, and Bertha was nevei
at home excepting in the evening.
Lord Alphington and St. Lawrence
received occasional communications
from Mr. Uiggs. the former through his
solicitor, Mr. Thompson, but nothing
had yet been heard of the opal ring. St.
Lawrence's was a different quest, and,
as regarded it, the detective still kept
urging him to remain quiet and be si
lent. "I believe we shall be able to unravel
your affair, but the greatest caution
must be used, or we may fail," wrote
this functionary in the last missive St.
Lawrence received from him. St. Law
rence felt he could do nothing but wait
and trust, though there were certain
circumstances that made this waiting
very terrible to him. and at times
caused him to fear that he would be
obliged for conscience' sake to break
through the trammels Mr. Riggs im
posed upon him, even at the risk of
ruining bis own prospects.
Douglas's accession to wealth greatly
changed Mrs. Dalton 's views. She had
always made up her mind that Lena
was to "make her fortune" by mar
riage; and then, with some help from
her, Mrs. Dalton told herself, she would
be able to get on comfortably with her
little income. But, in that case, what
was to be done with Bertha? Of course,
if Lena married a man of rank, as
Beemed now almost certain, her Bister
should not continue to teach music
CAIRO BULLETIN: SUNDAY MORN1NQ, NOVEMBER 85, U8S.
Buch an occupation for an Earl's sister-in-law
would he quite out of character.
Now the problem was solved. Doug
las's falling in love with Bertha was
something quite providential, Mrs.
Dalton observed to Lena. Such a match
for her elder daughter would not have
been entertained for a moment: but, for
Bertha, a moderate income with a man
of unexceptionable appearance and
manners, a man who would be quite
presentable amongst his future aristo
cratic connections, was all that could
be reasonably looked for.
Thus Mrs. Dalton settled the pros
pects of her two daughters quite to her
satisfaction, and plumed herself upon
the happy turn of events, as if it had
been all her own doing. The only one
quite ignorant of Douglas's intention
was Bertha herself. She had always
liked him, and, now that they had be
come intimate, was thoroughly friendly
with him and at her ease too much so.
Douglas sometimes feared. He would
fain nave detected some change of color
when they met, some shade of embar
rassment or shyness in her manner.
He was far from despairing, however;
Bertha at any rate took pleasure in his
society, and Mrs. Dalton gave him en
couragement by many little signs that
he understood, though not actually by
words. He persuaded himself she
would not have done this had there
been no hoe for him, so he determined
to take heart of grace and press his
Since Douglas had been in a position
to come forward, St. Lawrence's visits
to Ivy Cottage had become much more
rare. lie still made jne in the sketch
ing parties, but on such occasions he
now attached himself to Mrs. Dalton
and Lena, leaving Douglas free to de
vote himself to Bertha. This change
was not unnoticed by Lena, who did
not doubt but that at last her charms
had touched his unimpressionable
heart; and her own throbbed onlv too
wildly as she whispered to herself that
the only love she could have returned
While St. Lawrence appeared indif
ferent to Lena, and while her love for
him seemed, even to her, to be in vain,
a fierce conflict had been going on; she
sometimes thought she was capable of
casting aside ambition, if only she
could hear him say he loved her. But,
now that he was again at her side, now
that, blinded by vanity, she believed
that she had to give only the slightest
token of favor to bring him to her
feet, she recoiled from surrendering
the aim of her life. The prospect of
wealth and rank again allured her, and
she longed to be able to hold both Fan
court and St. Lawrence captive, so
that, while she mounted to the height
of her desires bv the aid of one, she
could keep the other in lier train, and
at least prevent the bestowal of his af
It never entered St. Lawrence's head
that Lena Dalton cared for him; he
gave her no real reason to suppose that
Ke regarded her with any warmer feel
ing than that of friendship; he would
have been shocked and distressed could
he have looked into her heart. As it
was, quite ignorant that he was lead
ing her into any misunderstanding, he
corrected her sketches and strolled by
her side, and waited upon her wishes,
though his thoughts were otherwise
occupied; and his frequent fits of ab
sence of mind would have revealed to
any one less self-occupied than Lena
that his heart was elsewhere.
Douglas had noticed that for many
weeks past St. Lawrence had appeared
depressed aud unlike himself, and occa
sionally irritable. He supposed that
suspense, the prolonged waiting for the
bringing to light of the fraud of which
he had been the victim, was undermin
ing his friend's health and spirits. He
therefore uevoteu himseir to etieer mm,
and more than ever endeavored to in
duce him to seek change and recrea
tion. "I don't seem to feel it as much as I
did," St. Lnwrence said one day, when
Douglas was exhorting him to be pa
tient. "If it were not for the sake o
iustice, I could be well content to give
It all up, and go abroad again, to Italy
or Palestine, or anywhere out of the
way. If all were set right to-morrow,
I don't know what good it would do
"Then for what in the world are you
moping like a sick cat?" Douglas ex
claimed. " Yon seem to be in Hamlet's
vein 'Man delights not me, nor woman
neither.' Why don't you fall in love?
By Jove, you'd have no time for the
sulks, if you were to set to work to try
to win the heart of some sweet little
woman like my Bertha. Heigh-ho, I
wish she were mine! I say, St. Law
rence, do you think that 1 have any
"For Heaven's sake, Douglas, don't
be hammering on that theme for ever,
or you'll drive me distracted!" St. Law
rence answered, almost angrily, shad
ing his face with his hand, as he sat by
the table. "How should I know? Why
don't vou ask her?"
"And get a noint-blank '.No' for mv
pains," Douglas replied, ruffling up his
hair. "It is evident you don't under
stand the art of war, old fellow. Did
you ever near of a fortress Deing taken
bv the enemy's going up and saving.
'Please let me have it?' Besides, where
would be the fun? Think what excite
ment, what a world of new sensations
one would lose. Where would be the
marchings and counter-marchings, the
erecting of batteries, and directing of
field-guns, and all the interest of watch
ing for the first signs of a breach? I
verily believe that one of the reasons
why wives occupy a higher place in tbe
scale or society than they used to ao is
because they are more difficult to win.
j orrneriy a man could buy the woman
he wanted, or else run off with her; she
was only just like any other possession.
Now the deuce take it! one has to go
beating about the bush for months, and
then perhaps, alter all, one may get the
sack and there's no help for it."
"1 don't believe, Douglas, you're half
in earnest, or you wouldn't talk so
much." said St. Lawrence, starting up
and going to his painting-table, where
he began to sort Ins brushes and colors.
"Oh. am I not, though!" cried Doug
las, taking his hands trorn his rumpled
hair. " asn't it one of the first things
I did, after that dear old lady departed
to the Klysian fields, to write the name
of Bertha Douglas on the blotting
book where 1 hail been drawing my
first cheque, just to see how it looked?''
"Pshaw!" muttered St. Lawrence,
" Vou see I don't take things an grand
terieux,aa you do, old man' Douglas
went on. "I haven't it in me. 1 have
not the remotest idi-a why Borneo killed
himself, even if Juliet was dead; nor
how Othello felt alter smothering his
wife. But I'll make a good husband
for all that see if I don't."
"If you don't if you ever cause her
a sigh, or a tear," St. Lawrence began,
hotly, the color rushing to his face, but
with a great sigh, as if out of the depths
of his heart, he checked himself.
"Don't mind ine," he said "I'm out of
sorts just now; I shall bo all right noon.
If it w ere not for Riggs, as 1 said be
fore. I'd go awav for a tone-the fur
ther off tie better. But let us talk of
something else. What will you have?
Claret's the coolest."
"Claret, by all means," Douglas re
plied. "I intend to forego whisky and
pipes, and all that sort of thing, and to
go in for tea and buttered munins. The
fellows at the 'Shakspeare Head' will
lose one of the chief ornaments of their
society, and will have the more to re
gret when it remains ungraced by the
presence of Eustace St. Lawrence,
Esq." ,1 . i ;
"I have no taste that way; I suppose
I was not to the manor born, ilore
over. I'm afraid I'm but a morose sort
of fellow, better left to myself. I shall
miss you nevertheless. Douglas, when
you settle down," said St. Lawrence.
"Miss mt'i. Why, you know there
will always be a knife and fork for you,
old man!" Douglas exclaimed. "I don't
know why Bertha should have been a
little shy with you lately, but she did
like you, I am sure."
St. Lawrence went to the window and
with a jerk threw it up as high as it
would go. ,
"It's awfully hot," he said-"I think
there's going to be a storm."
"I'm glad of it," Douglas returned,
looking up at the gathering clouds "it
will clear the air.,Y
The same sort of depression under
which St. Lawrence was suffering af
fected Bertha Dalton; she lost her ap
petite, and the faint wild-rose bloom
faded from her cheeks, excepting when
some transient emotion sent the warm
blood riving to her face. Her employ
ments became distasteful to her, and
she felt most truly thankful when her
mot her expressed a wish that she should
decline taking any more pupils after
the holidays. She felt her strength
giving way; her old pursuits and amuse
ments lost their charm; she wandered
about the garden instead of working in
it. and listlessly turned over the pages
of the books she attempted to read,
finding no interest except in her favor
ite poets. When she sung, she chose
pathetic songs, but often, before they
were ended, her voice faltered, and she
broke off abruptly.
Her mother and sister did not notice
her mood-r-they were too much wrapped
up in their own concerns. Lena per
haps in some degree influenced by the
pictures of splendor. and gayetv her
motluerwus always holding up before
her eyes had succeeded, as Bhe be
lieved", in crushuig all the more tender
feelings out of her heart, and had defi
nitely made up heT mind to accept Fan
court. This being the case, she began
to think it was time he came to the
point. She wished to have her fate set
tled beyond recall. She, too, was rest
less and unhappy, and longed to have
within her grasp the prize that was
costing her so much. She was no fool,
and, even if she had been fancy free,
could not have closed her eves to the
defects of the man she had determined
to marry. Bertha openly expressed her
dislike of the Honorable Mr. Fancourt.
much to Mrs. Dalton's displeasure, ana
Lena could but acknowledge to herself
that, if he had presented himself to her
under any other aspect than as heir to
a peerage, he would have been intoler
able. But the coronet dazzled her eyes,
and she persuaded herself that in the
rank to which such a marriage would
raise her she need not see much of her
husband. The world, in the gay scenes
of which she intended to take her full
share, would come between them, and
while he went his way she would go
hers, letting him know that he was to
consider it enough if she did tbe honors
of his house gracefully and well.
She was also desirous that a positive
engagement should take place, oerore
Bertha, her mother, and herself went
on their autumn visit to the Larches.
It would be a good opportunity for her
to be introduced to Lord Alphington as
his grandson's promised bride. Of his
consent to the marriage she felt as
sured. She believed him to be simple
in his habits, too. unambitious, not to
be satisfied as long as his grandson
made choice of a lady: and, as Lena
surveyed her beautlful iace and grace
ful form in the mirror, she knew there
could be no question on that score.
The morning was bright and beauti
ful after the heavy storm of the night
before; the sun had not yet had power
to dry up the rain-drops that still
sparkled in the chalices of the flowers;
the air was full of sweet scents, and
the birds rejoiced as if in a second
"He will come to-day," said Lena, as
attired in an elegant morning costume,
she sat down in Tier favorite place near
the window, and took up a book under
pretense of employment.
"Then, my love, I shall make some
excuse to go out." announced the prud
ent mother; "and pray do not be so
cool in your mauner to him as you are
sometimes. . I believe he would have
proposed before this, if you had not
seemed to hold him so at arm'alength."
"Thanks, . mamma," Lena languidly
returned. "I know what I'm about,
never fear. Mr. Fancourt is not bash
ful, I assure you. . It is quite necessary
he should be made to feel that he is in
the presence of a different sort of a
woman from , those I imagine he has
been accustomed to."
"I dare sav you are right, my precious
one," Mrs. Dalton admitted. "But you
cannot blame me if I am anxious to
see you so admirably settled beyond
even my hopes for you."
Lena's lovely face assumed an expres
sion of disdain. She had sufficient con
sciousness of what was good and noble
to feel contempt for her mother's sor
did axioms, when she heard them enun
ciated, even while she acted upon them.
This consciousness had grown upon her
unawares during her intimacy with St.
Lawrence; and even now, as she sat
looking out into the Bunny garden, a
keen pang shot through her as she
thought how he would despise her could
he read her heart. Little she knew
that he had read her through and
through that early in their acquaint
ance he haifctried her in the balance and
found her wanting, and that not all her
beauty, all her wiles, had power to
make him alter his judgment one jot
or one tittle.
Soon after luncheon Bertha, who was
In the garden, heard the Bound of
horses' hoofs; it ceased at the gate, and
Sarah was summoned to admit the
Honorable Mr. Fancourt. ' The groom
led away his horse and, seeing Bertha,
Fancourt advanced toward her. She
received him with a distant bow, keep
ing her garden-basket in her hand. She
always avoided shaking hands with him
"Mrs. and Miss Dalton are within, I
understand?" he said, thinking to him
self that when he had married Lena he
would make her sister pay for her cold
and haughty manner.
"Yes, they are at home. You will
find them in the drawing-room, I
think," liertha answered; and then she
turned and continued her occupation of
tjiug up some carnations, plainly inti
mating that she wished for no conver
sation with him.
Fancourt bit his Up, and went up the
walk toward the house, switching at the
flowers with his riding-whip as he went
along, to Bertha's great annoyance.
Nor was he yet to reach the presence of
his lady-love without encountering an
Piuch seemed impressed with the
idea that he was fulfilling the whole
duty of a good dog by lying upon the
steps leading up to the front door,
blinking in the sun, with one ear cocked
up to listen for intruders. Pinch had
taken a great aversion to the Honorable
Mr. Fancourt; aud now, as Boon as he
saw him, he sprang up snarling and
showing his teeth. Sarah stood with
the open door iu her hand, ready to ad
mit the visitor.
"Be 1 quiet, Finch," she said-"lie
But Pinch found it necessary to give
vent to his feelings by making an imag
inary onslaught on the Honorable Mr.
Fancourt's boots as he went up tbe
"1 wonder your mistress can keep
such a brute,'f said that gentleman to
Sarah, as he entered the passage.
"We don't consider him a Biiappish
dog in the general way, sir," returned
Sarah, who rather sympathized with
Pinch's feelings, not liking gentlefolk
who treated servants "as if they were
dirt," as she confided to Martha.
"The Honorable Mr. Fancourt," she
announced, throwing open the drawing-room
door before he had time to
Mrs. Dalton's reception was eordial.
She met him with outstretched hand.
"I am so glad to see you," she said.
"It is quite an unexpected pleasure. I
thought you had gone off to the moors
probably, and forgotten all about your
"There are some not easy to forget,"
Fancourt responded, with a glance at
Leua was languid, and rather cool.
As she had told lier mother, she knew
perfectly well what she w as about, and
now to regulate the thermometer of her
i Fancourt took a seat near Mrs. Dal
ton, and opposite to Ina. The conver
sation turned on ordinary topics the
close of the exhibitions and the opera,
the different pi; tes of autumn resort:
and Mrs. Dalton's plans for the eiisuii g
months were inquired into.
"We shall be Lord Alphlngton's
neighlors for a time." said Mrs. Dalton.
"In the course of September we are
going to spend a month at the Larches,
with our old friends Sir Stephen and
"Oh-aU exactly," Fancourt stam
mered, as his countenance fell. "Bath
er slow down there, isn't it? Can't you
manage to go to Scarborough, or Tr'ou
ville, or somewhere where there's
something going on? There's deuced
good fun at some of those French watering-places,
I've heard. I thought of
taking a run over; but 1 shan't care for
going unless you are going too 'pon my
honor, I shan't."
"You are complimentary." said Mrs.
Dalton, smiling benignly. But an old
woman musn't take such fine speeches
to herself where there is a young one in
"Ah. well-no. it Isn't like! v," allowed
Fancourt, his lold eyps fixed upon
Lena, who could scarcely conceal her
. "And you men of the world are such
deceivers," Mrs. Dalton resumed, play
fully. "There's no knowing when you
mean what you say."
"It isn't so in this quarter, by Jove!"
Fancourt exclaimed. "You don't think
so now do you, Miss Dalton?"
"How should I know?'' Ina parried.
"I dare Bav you're all much alike."
"You shouldn't say that pon my
honor you shouldn't." said Fancourt,
beginning to feel, as he always did un
der the immediate influence of Lena's
beauty, that he could not wait longer
without securing her for his ow n.
Conversation flagged, as it usually did
when Fancourt was present he himself
would have declared that he never had
anything to say to women. Mrs. Dalton
thought that he had sat staring at Lena
quite long enough.
"Bv the way, she said, as if a sud
den thought had struck her. "if Mr.
Fancourt will excuse me I will take ad
vantage of this fine afternoon to look
in on Mrs. Barton. Talking of old age
reminded me of lier."
"Shall I go with you, mamma?" Lf na
asked, feeling as if she dreaded what
she had just before been plotting to ob
tain. "Oh, no, my love, thanks. Mrs. Bar
ton is so very deaf that it's really of no
use for more than one to go at a time,"
said Mrs. Dalton. "By-by," she added,
playfully, kissing the tips of her fingers
to Fancourt. "Stay and take care of
Lena till I come back."
Mrs. Dalton left the room as she
spoke, and Fancourt found himself for
the first time alone with the object of
his passion. He had scarcely arranged
for making any definite proposal imme
diately, though be had at that moment
a gift in bis pocket which he intended
to present by way of assuring himself
how the land lay.
At first he had hoped to persuade
Lena to agree to a secret engagement,
if not to a secret marriage; but he soon
found that he must give up any such
idea. There was a certain dignity about
her that kept him in check, just as Lena
intended it should. Nor could he Hat
ter himself that he had excited any such
feeling in her breast as would induce
her to make a sacrifice for his sake. He
perceived, as plainly as if Lena had put
it into words, that, if he desired to w in
her, it must be openly that she would
condescend to nothing less than an ac
knowledged position. This conviction
forced upon him, had cost him many
anxious days and sleepless nights; but
now, as he found himself alone with
her, as he sat opposite to her gazing at
her beauty, lie was carried r.way by his
passion. Of self-restraint he kuew
nothing; he told himself that he would
not, could not bear to leave his fate
longer undecided that he would dare
all rather than run the risk of losing
her; and. if anybody came between
them, let them beware!
Ib It Continued.
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