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ctOA ,rah tloving faoceu
Sherter, atd mairth t lve her-my neen--' ny mind? as White as the new I W O' hTOCKKiNG. e Feet Were Bigger Than Her Jother's--A Sad Heart. sr was mist and fog without and mist n tog within, but that which filled the warm parlor back of the bar of the Crown harsvn in Clapham arose from a steamiltu Opnuh bowl, which filled the air with fra mranee, mgd from four ehurch warden pines i the hands of as many men grouped about ite old deal table in front of the grate. The liquor in the bowl was at low tide, you could even see the blue onion pattern at the bottom, and in proportion as the beverage disappeared down the throats of ibh quartet so their volubility increased, anBd old Stories of the past were brought efowap as fast as the punch washed away the cobwebs of memory. As it was Christmas eve every man thoght it his duty to give some reminis epnoe of bygone Christmastides except one who sat a litle apart from the group and glbwred whenever the name of the holiday rs imentioned. "It is your turn now," said the sexton of i9 Chrysostom, a meager little body in rasty black, with a sharp red nose, as he hilped himself to the last drop of puneh in the bowl. '0Tis easy to see, Master Wil lntghby, that Christmas is a day of pen. anes to you, rather tian pleasure. Had you bat followed our advice and married and gathered a brood of brats about you, you would feel like making merry with the rest." "'Ah" said the man who had been ad diressed as Willoughby with a melancholy shake of his head, "and it I were to tell oti that it was one of your blessed Christ Pa~l.atustoms that lost me a wife you will not marvel why I feel bitter on Christmas' rVe," And bhe looked down in the punch bowl and sighed, either from some painful ieu: niscencs or because he found it empty. 110 was a fine-looking young man with Ijust atouoh of gray in ise hair, and the general appearance of a well-to-do store keeper, "If you care to hear." he continued, lay agR down his pipe and running his fingers through his curly hair, "I will tell you the "Nothing we should like better, if the telling does not pain you," put in the sex ton, sympathetically. Willoughby coughed, turned his eyes to *ard the firs and began: I had been in London severalyears work ing with a haberdasher in Cheapside, when oae'day it occurred to me that I should like to get married. I don't mean to say, gen tlemen, that I had never thought of the matter before, but on the day in question t very foggy one-a sudden disgust for my lonely life in a lodging house came over me. It was the day before Christmas, and every minute the area bell was jingling as the butohers and bakers delivered their or desd, and the children were singing carols on the stairs, and even the slavy had washed her face and wore a holiday look, and all th.e young marlied men in the house seemed particularly gay, while I in the fobrth story, back, was growling at my long face in the mirror. f Having made up my mind to marry the, a the next question was to nna tne lany; onat was indispensable. So far I had the pleas tre of knowing only a few shop girls I met at a dancing school in Tottenham Court Road; very honest young persons, whose idea of pleasure was a Sunday after noon at'Appy'Ampstead, butnot just the sort that I should choose for a wife. Well, the holidays passed. I had been raised to the position of head clerk at New Year's, and in proportion my ideas 'rose regarding the kind of a girl I wanted to marry. She did not put in an appearance, how ever, and I did not know exactly how to go abont looking for her, and all the time I kept getting more discontented and lonely. Well, one evening the old man for whom I worked sent for me, about 9 o'clock, and said: "James, here's a package I want you to deliver to Miss Goldfinch, of Great Porter square, No. 9. It's very valuable-some presents she ordered for her brother, and 'she was particular about getting it to-night. T'he errand boys have gone home. I will trust it to you." I accepted the trust and started out. Now that particular night I was going to a ball at the Thespian temple, and as Great Porter square was on my way, I thought it would be a good idea to go home, dine, put on my dress suit, and deliver the package as I passed Miss Goldfinch's house. No. 9 was the swellest residence in the square, and I was ushered into a ball all hung with tapestries and brass lanterns and a floor covered with rugs it was a delight to walk over. Even the the servant maid who opened the door wps dressed better than the lady of the house ib our quarter. Well she took the parcel, ushered me into a little back parlor all hung with amber'satin, and said she would take the bill up to Miss Gold finch and see if it was all right. I don't know whether it was the heat of the room or the hard work of the day that brought on a sudden drowsiness, but any way 1 fell asleep. How long I slept I have no means of knowing, but it must have been at least two hours. When I awoke I heard a confused sound of voices beyond the drawing room, and peering through the curtain, I saw that a beal was in progress. It was my first im pression of high life, and you can imagine bow interested I was in every movement of the guests. Well, to make a long story short, while I was peeking through the curtain, who should enter but Miss Goldfinch herself. She took me, of course, to be one of the 'nests; and sat down and talked to me for half an hour before I had a chance to ex plain. Her father happened to come in while we were talking, and as she wanted to intro duce me, asked me my name, as it had es caped her. Then, with many blushes and stammers, I out with the truth, that I was not an invited guest, but only a simplehab er dasher's clerk of bheapside. Ithought the father would cut up rough and order me out of the house and abuse me roundly, but he didn't do anything of the kind-not a bit of it. He was a jolly old party, who had worked his own way ap from the ranks and was not ashamed of it. They both were highly amased over the affair, and, would you be live it? when I was toing away father and saughter asked me to call again. ihe acquaintance begun in such a pecu liar way 'eepened into friendship. You see I was rather diffident at first about call ing too often, but they made me feel so asa.d at home and made me so welcome |thi l soon found myself there about every o~ur night. There were only three in the fwe5s -he old gentleman, stout, rubicund sad jyel; his wife, a rosy-cheeked British gsatron, who acknowledged to forty and was . fty, and lastly, Lucille, the daughter. Ab! gentlemen, if I were a poet I might give you somng idea of her beauty, but I won't attempt it: you ca*just imagine the Ieoat beautiful creature you have ever seen, neOltiply her charms a hundred-fold, and bau wll have a shadow of an idea how she To hurry with my story, I fell deeply in iotv witht this divine creature, and I could bse that ihe was not wholly indifferent to Rte :t what r'.t had I, a simple clark, b i for the bBd of the daughter of a re o fi 3 oity? Qertainy her 4 -"'. STATIONERS, PRINTERS AND DEALERS IN *-F TANCY GOODS-* Are now ready in their new store to show the handsomest line of Miscellaneous Books in Cloth and Paper, Engravings, Water Colors, Picture Mouldings and Frames. TOY AND NOTION DEPARTMENT MOST COMPLETE IN THE CITY C. K. WELLS COMPANY. her gave me every encouragement to I II " " " ,# i # f 1 A I a1 s I1 ,i n ui I speak. lie said he had been a olerk himself and would not mind marrying his daughter off to an honest fellow, whether he had money or not, so long as he was a hard worker and steady. That ought to have been enough to give me courage, but I was a timid young man, and for the time I held my peace. It was on Christmas eve, just five years ago, that I attended midnight mass with the family, and on the way back I gave my arm to Lucille. The sky was clear of clouds, and through the light veil of falling snow sparkled a rvr brilliant stars. The waifs in the street seemed to be singing of love, and the bells in the steeples chimed the joyous pean of a marriage. What passed at the banquet that awaited as at the house I have no clear idea. I do not remember what Iate or drank or said. It only semed to me that her eyes were full )f promise for my hopes as they turned apon me, and her lips were smiling as if to say-courage! After dinner the ladies bade us good aight and retired, leaving me alone with tir. Goldfinch. After finishing the cigars I :ose to leave. I had to pase through a second parlor to reach the hall, where my ayes were attracted to a marble chimney place. There I saw two silk stockings hanging, violet and black-one that might have been worn by fairy feet, the other large and roomy. "Ah!" said Mr. Goldfinch, with a sigh, 'that's my wife's idea. She still clings to the custom of her childhood, and so does Lucille. I am the good Santa Claus, as they know very well when they embrace me on the morrow. Just wait and see." The good man went of to get his presents so that I might see them. And it was at this moment that an unfortunate idea pos sessed me. which if I had resisted would have spared me a life-long misery. The occasion was good, I thought, to de clare my love to Lucille, and, feverishly. I tore a page out of my notebook and dashed ff these lines: "I can no longer be silent. I love you and I ask you for a word of hope. JAMES." Then I dropped the note into the smallest stocking just as Mr. Goldfinch entered, his arms laden with elegant trifles. I helped him fill the stockings with a beating heart, rearing that the note might fall out as we stood there. I even took the precaution to give the toe containing the paper a squeeze to see that it was still there when we had :ompleted our task, and it seemed to me that it responded with a reassuring pres- v sure. As I was leaving Mr. Goldfincl1 said w as he took omy hand: p "Well, my boy, we shall count on you for dinner to-day. Don't keep us waiting. We line at one." I went out walking on air. The night passed without sleep. I sat lown to wait. Eleven! twelve! Then there tas a knock at say door. I felt as if I had eceived an electric shook. 1 had hardly he breath to call out, "Come in!" It was the slavy, who handed me a letter a roum Mr. Goldfinch. I turned palo, opened o t and read: "Sin: You have abused my friendship Lnd hospitality. Your conduct is that of in imbecile and a loafer. I believe you are nore of the first than the second, consider na your attempt to make love to the nother of a family. In any case, never attempt to show yourself again in my house. "S' 'EPT US GOLDnaINH." I fell sn inert mass on the sofa. 1 make ove to the mother of a family-? What did it mean? Then the truth flashed upon me. I rushed mt of the house without hat or coat in the lirection of Goldfinch's. He would not re eive me! I wrote! My letters were re urned unopened. All was finished, Lucille sas lost to me forever. 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