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v*î> u 7Si n m ut'v m -t fi ® K <K € M. ne» SCI Volume xx. Helena, Montana, Thursday, March n, 1886. No. 17 <f l|.c ll)ccl;In lijcralil. R. E FISK D. W FISK. fl. J. FISK, Publishers and Proprietors. Largest Circulation of any Paper in Montana -—O- Rates of Subscription. WEEKLY HERALD: One Year, (in ml \ mice).............................00 Six Months, (in advance)............................... * Three Months, (in advance)..........................; * When not paid for in advance the rate will he Four Dollars per yeaii Postage, in all cases. Prepaid. DAILY HERALD: City Subscribers,delivered by carrier,SI 50 a mon th One Year, by mail, (in advance).................. »12 00 Six Months, by mail, (in advance)............... 6 00 Three Months, by mail, (in advance)........... d 00 »«-All communications should be addressed to FISK BROS., Publishers, Helena, Montana. MV LADY'S MONEY By WILKIE COLLINS. *N EPISODE IN THE LIKE OF A YOUNG GIRL PAKT THE FIKST. THE DISAPPEARANCE [continued.] CHAPTER VI. For a quarter of an hour the drawing room remained empty. At the end of that time the council iu the boudoir broke up. Lady Lydiard led the way back to the drawing room, followed by Hardyman, Isabel being left to look after the dog. Before the door closed behind him Hardymau turned round to reiterate his last medical directions, or, iu plainer words, to take a last look at Isabel. "Plenty of water. Miss Isal*el, for the dog to lap, and a little bread or biscuit if he I wants something to eat Nothing more, if | you please, till I see him to-morrow." "Thank you, sir. 1 will take the greatest j care-" At that point Lady Lydiard cut short the interchange of instructions and civilities. | "Shut the door, if you please, Mr. Hardy- j man, I feel the draught. Many thanks! 1 am really at a loss to tell you how grate- i fully I feel your kindness. But for you my j poor little dog might have been dead by this , time." Hardyman answered, in the quiet, melan- 1 choly monotone which was habitual 1 with him. "Your ladyship need feel no further anxiety about the dog. Only lie j careful not to overfeed him. He will do ! very well under Miss Isabel's care. By the by. her family name is Miller, is it not ? Is | she related to the Warwickshire Millers, of i Duxborough House?" 1 Lady Lydiard looked at him with an ex pression of satirical surprise. "Mr. Hardy man," she said, "this makes the fourth time you have questioned me about Isal>el. You sta in to take a great interest in my little companion. Don't make any aplogies, pray. You pay Isabel a compliment; and as I am very fond of her, I am naturally grati fied when I find her admired. At the same time,"she added, withoneof heralnmpttran sitions of language, "I had my eye on you and 1 had my eye on her when you were talking in the next room, and I don't mean to let you make a fool of the girl. She is not in your lint* of life, and the sooner you know it the letter. You make me laugh when y _ ou ask if she is related to gentlefolks. She is the orphan daughter of a chemist in the country. Her relations haven't a penny to bless them selves with, except an old aunt, who lives in a village on two or three hundred a year. I heard of the girl by r accident. When she lost her father and mother, her aunt offered to take her. Isabel said: 'No, thank you; 1 will not be a burden ou a relation who has only enough for herself. A girl can earn au honest living if she tries, and I mean to try'—that's what she said. I admired her in dependence," her ladyship proceeded, ascend ing again to the higher regions of thought and expression. "My niece's marriage, just at that time, had left me alone iu this great house. I propsed to Isabel to come to me as companion and reader for a few weeks, and to decide for ht*rself whether she liked the life or not. We have never been separat ed since that time. I could hardly be fonder of her if she were my' own daughter, and she returns my affection with all her heart. She has excellent qualities—prudent, cheerful, sweet-tempered ; with good sense enough to understand what her place is in the world, as distinguished from her place in my regard. I have taken care, for her own sake, never to leave that part of the question in any doubt. It would be cruel kindness to deceive lier as to her future position when she marries. I shall take good care that the man who pay* his addresses to her is a man in her rank of life. 1 know but too well, in the case of one of my own relatives, wlmt miseries unequal marriages bring with them. Excuse me for troubling you at this length on domestic matters. 1 am very fond of Isaliel, and a girl's head is so easily turned. Now you know what her position really is, you will also know w hat limits there must be to the ex pression of your iuterest in her. 1 am sure we understand each other; and I say no more." Hardyman listened to this long harangue with the immovable gravity which w as part of his character—except wheu Isabel hail taken him by surprise. When her ladyship gave him the opprtunity of sjteaking on his side he had very little to say, ami that little did not suggest that he had greatly profited by w hat he had heard. His mind had l>een lull of Isabel when Lady Lydiard began, and it remained just as full of her, iu just the same way, when Lady Lydiard had none. "Yes," Le remarked, quietly, ' Miss Isabel i* an uncommonly nice girl, a you say. 1 Very pretty, and such frank, unaffected i manners. 1 don't deny that 1 feel an in- ; to rest, in her. The young ladies one meets in i society are not much to my taste ML'» Isabel is my taste." Ivnly Lydiard'* face assumed a look of | blank dismay. "1 am afraid 1 have failed to convey my exact meaning to you," she said. Hardyman gravely declared that he under stood her perfectly. "Perfectly,'' he repated, N'ith his impenetrable obstinacy. "Your ladyship exactly expresses mv opinion of Miss Isabel. Prudent and cheerful and sweet tempered. a> you sky —all the qualities in a* woman that I admire. With good looks, too —of course with good looks. She will lie a perfect treasure ias you remarked just now) to the man who marries her. I may claim to know something about it I have twice narrowly escaped being married myself: and though i can't exactly explain it, I'm all the harder to pleases me. I think I have said that liefore. Pardon me for saying it again. I'll call to morrow morning and look at the dog, as early as eleven o'clock, if you will allow me. Later in the day I must lie off to France to attend a sale of horses. Glad to have been of any use to your ludyship, I am sure. Good morning." Lady Lydiard let him go. wisely resigning any further attempt to establish an un er standing between her visitor and herself. "He is either a person of very limited in telligence when he is away fro n his stables." she thought, "or he deliberately declines to take a plain hint when it is given to him. I can't drop his acquaintance, on Tommie's ac count. The only other alternative is to keep Isabel out of his way. My good little girl shall not drift into a false josition while I am living to look after her. When Mr. Hardyman calls to-morrow she shall l>e out on an errand. When he calls on his return she shall lie up stairs with a headache. And if he tries it again she shall be away at my house in the country. If he makes any re marks on her ubseuce—well, he will find that I can be just as dull of understanding as he is when the occasion calls for it" Having arrived at this satisfactory solution of the difficulty, Lady Lydiard became con scious of an irresistible impulse to summon Isabel to her presence and caress her. In the nature of a warm-hearted woman this was only the inevitable reaction which followed the subsidence of anxiety about the girl, after her own resolution had set that anxiety at rest. She threw open the door and made one of her sudden appearances in the boudoir. Even in the fervent outpouring of her affec tion there was still the inherent abruptness of manner which so strongly marked Lady Lydiard's character in all the relations of life. "Did I give you a kiss this morning?" •-he asked, when Isabel rose to receive her. "Yes, my lady," said the girl, with her charming smile. "Come, then, and give me a kiss iu return. Do you love me? Very well, then, treat me like your mother. Never mind 'my lady' this time. Give me a good hug." Something in those homely words, or some thing primps in the look that accompanied them, touched sympathies in Isabel which seldom showed themselves on the surface. Her smiling lips trembled, the bright tears rose in her eyes. "You are too good to me," she murmured, with her head on Lady Lydiard's bosom. "How can I ever love you enough in return?" Lady Lydiard patted the pretty head that rested on her with such filial tenderness. "There! there!" she said. "Go back and play with Tommie, my dear. We may be as fond of each other as we like, but we mustn't cry. God blew yual Go awav!—go away!" She turned aside quickly; her own eyes were moistening, and it was part of her character to be reluctant to let Isabel see it. "Why have I made a fool of myself?" she wondered, as she approached the drawing room door. "It doesn't matter, I am all the better for it. Odd, that Mr. Hardyman should have made me feel fonder of Isabel than ever!" With these reflections she re-entered the drawing room, and suddenly checked herself with a start. "Good heavens!" she ex claimed. irritably, "how you frightened me! Why was I not told you were here?" Having left the drawing room in a state of solitude, Lady Lydiard, on her return, fourni herself suddenly confronted with a gentle man mysteriously planted ou the hearthrug in her absence. The new visitor may be rightly described as a gray man. He had gray hair, eyebrows and whiskers; he wore a gray coat, waistcoat and trousers, and gray gloves. For the rest his appearance was eminently suggestive of wealth and re spectability, and in this case appearances were really to be trusted. Tit# gray man was no other than Ladv Lydiard's legal ad viser, Mr. Troy. "I regret, my lady, that I should have been so unfortunate as to startle you." he said, with a certain underlying embarrassment iu his manner. "I had the honor of sending word by Mr. Moody that I would call at this hour on some matters of business connected with j'our ladyship's house property. I presumed that you expected to find me here waiting your pleasure." Thus far Lady Lydiard had listened to her legal adviser, fixing her eyes on his face in her usually frank, straightforward way. (She now stopped him iu the middle of a sen tence, with a change of expression on her own face which was uudisguisedly a change to alarm. "Don't apologize, Mr. Troy," she said "I am to blame for forgetting your apoint ment, and for not keeping my nerves under proper control. " She paused for a moment, and took a seat before she said her next words. ''May I ask." she resumed, "if there is something unpleasant iu the business that brings you here?" "Nothing whatever, my lad}'; mere for malities, which can wait till to-morrow or next day, if you wish it." ^ Lady Lydiard's fingers drummed impa tiently on the tabla "You have known me long enough, Mr. Troy, to know that I cannot endure suspense. You have something uu pleasaut to tell me." The lawyer respectfully remonstrated. "Really, Lady Lydiard—"he began. "It won't do, Mr. Troy. I know how you look at me on ordinary occasions, and I see how you look at me now. You are a very clever lawyer; but, happily for the interests that I commit to your charge, you are also a thoroughly honest man. After twenty years' experience of you, you can't deceive me. You bring me bad news. Speak at once, sir, anil speak plainly." Mr. Troy yielded, inch by inch, as it were. "I bring news which, I fear, may annoy your ladyship." He paused, and advanced another inch. "It is news which I only be came acquainted with myself on entering this house. He waited again, and made another advance. "1 happened to meet your ladyship's steward, Mr. Moody, iu the hail-" "Where is her" Lady Lydiard iuterposed, angrily. "I can make him speak out, aud I will. Send him here iustautly." The lawyer made a last effort to hold off toe coming disclosure a little longer. "Mr. M<»oily w ill be here directly," he said. "Mr. Moody requested me to prepare your lady " Will you ring the bell, Mr. Troy, or must If' Moody had evidently lieen waiting outside « hile the lawyer spoke for him. He saved Mr Troy the trouble of ringing the bell b* presenting himself in th' drawl - •• > . Lady Lydiard's eyes searehe I hi • fa * * '>• approached. Her bright comnl *x; >u la 1 ■ i suddenly. Nota word more jiasse l h-*r lips She looked and waited. In silence on his side. Moody laid an opn sheet of paper on thi table. The |>aper quivered in his trembling hand. Lady Lydiard recovered herself first. "Is that for me?" she asked. "Yes, my lady." She took up the paper without an instant's hesitation. Both the men watched her anx iously as she rea l it. The handwriting was strange to her. The words were these: "I hereby certify that the bearer of these lines. Robert Moo iy by name, has presented to me the letter with which he vas charged, addressed to myself, with the seal intact. I regret to add that there is, to say the least of it, some mistake. The inclosure referred to by the anonymous WTiter of the letter, who signs 'A Friend in Ne d,' has not reached ma No £500 bank note was in the letter when I opened it. My wife was pres ent when 1 broke the seal, and can certify to this statement if necessarv. Not knowing who my charitable correspondent is (Mr. Moody 1 >cing forbidden to give me any in formation). I can only take this means of. stating the case exactly as it stands, and hold myself at the disposal of the writer of the letter. My private address is at the head of the page. Samuel Bradstock. ' Rector St. Anne's, Deansbury, London." Lady Lydiard dropped the paper on the table. For the moment, plainly as the rector's statement was expressed, she appeared to lie incapable of understanding it. "What, ia God's name, does this mean?" «he aske 1. The lawyer and the steward looked at each other. Which of the two Wai entitled to speak first? Ladv Lydiard gave them no time to decide. "Moody," she said, sternly, "you took cliarge of the letter; I look to you for an explanation." Moody's dark eyes flashed. He answered Ladv Lydiard. without caring to conceal that he resented the tone in which she had spoken to him. "I undertook to deliver the letter at its address." he said. "I found if, sealed, on the fable. Your ladyship has the clergy man's written testimony that I handed it to him with the seal unbroken. I have done my duty, and I have no explanation to offer." Before Lady Lydiard could spak again, Mr. Troy discreetly interfered. He saw plainly that his experience was required to lead the investigation in the right direction. "Pardon me. mv lady," he said, with that happy mixture of the positive and tli9 polite in his maimer of which lawyers alone possess the secret. "There is onlv one wav of arriv ing at the truth in jiaiuful matters of this sort. We must begin at the beginning. May I venture to ask your ladyship a question f' Lady Lydiard felt the composing influence of Mr. Troy. "I am at your disposal, sir," she said, quietly. "Are you absolutely certain that you in closed the bank note in the letter?" the law yer asked. "I certainly believe I inclosed it," Ladv Lydiard answered. "But*I was so alarmed at the time by the sudden illness of my dog that I do not feel justified in speaking posi tively." "Was anybody in the room with your lady ship when you put the inclosure in the let ter. as you lielieve?" "7 was in the room," said Moodv. "I can swear that I saw her ladyship put the bank note iu the letter, aud the letter in the en velope." "And seal the envelope?" asked Mr. Troy. "No, sir. Her ladyship was called away into the next room to the dog before she could seal the envelope." Mr. Troy addressed himself once more to Lady Lydiard. "Did your ladyship take the letter into the next room with you?"' "I was too much alarmed to think of it, . Mr. Troy. I left it here on the table." "With the envelope open?" "Yes." "How long were you absent in the other room?" "Half an hour or more." "Ha!" said Mr. Troy to himself, "this com plicates it a little." He reflected for awhile and then turned again to Moody. "Did any of the servants know of this bauk uote being in her ladyship's possession?" "Not one of them," Moody answered. "Do you suspect any of the servants?" "Certainly not, sir." "Are there any workmen employed in the house?" "No, sir." "Do you know of any persons who had access to the room while Lady Lydiard was absent from it?" "Two visitors called, sir." "Who were they?" "Her ladyship's nephew, Mr. Felix Sweet sir, and the Honorable Alfred Hardyman." Mr. Troy shook his head irritably. "I am not speaking of gentlemen of high position aud repute," he said. "It's absurd even to mention Mr. Sweetsir and Mr. Hardyman. My question related to strangers who might have obtained access to the drawing room— people calling, with her ladyship's sanction, for subscriptions, for instance; or people calling with articles of dress or ornament to be submitted to her ladyship's inspection." "No such persons came to the house, to my knowledge," Moody answered. Mr. Troy suspended the investigation, and took a turn thoughtfully in the room. The theory on which his inquiries had proceeded thus far had failed to produce any results. His experience warned him to waste no more time on it, and to return to the starting point of the investigation—in other words,' to the letter. Shifting his point of view, he turned again to Lady Lydiard, and tried his questions in a new direction. "Mr. Moody mentioned just now," he said, "that your ladyship was called into the next room before you could seal your letter. On your return to this room, did you see the letter?" ' 1 was busy with the dog," Lady Lydiard answered, "Isabel Miller was of no use in the boudoir, and I told her to seal it for me." Mr. Troy started. The new direction in which he was pushing hfc inquiries began to look like the right direction already. "Miss Isabel Miller," he proceeded, "has been a resident under your ladyship's roof for some little time, I believe?" "For nearly two years, Mr. Troy." "As your ladyship's companion and reader." "As my adopted daughter," her ladyship answered, with marked emphasis. Wise Mr. Troy rightly interpreted the em phasis as a warning to him to suspend the examination of her ladyship, and to address to Mr. Moody the far more serious questions which were now to come. "Did any one give you the letter before you left the house with it," he said to the steward, "or did you take it yourself?" "I took it myself, from the table here" "Was it sealed?" "Yes." "Was anybody present when you took tie letter from the table?" "Miss Isabel was present" "Did you find her alone in the room?" "Yes, sir." Lady Lydiard opened her lips to speak, and checked herself. Mr. Troy, having cleared the ground before him, put the fatal taestion. ' 'Ir. Mool>- !je - "whs i ?! s >' • iu 'r I ted to *> 1 tif> . C . ■' c::o'.v t!i :t a a tk ro > • .>••• . i.i r;' It.steal I» re'Kymt Bo»*r dr?' from the lawver wit i a ,ook of i.o ;• i 1-ady Lydiard s ar e i to h r feet I checked herself again oa tue pin* of sp.a . ing. "Answer him, Moody," she sail, putting a strong constraint on herself. Roliert answered very unwillingly. "I took the liberty of reminding her ladyshio that she had left her letter unsealed," he said. "And I mentioned as my excuse for speaking"—he stopped and corrected him self—"I believe I mentioned that a valuable inclosure was in the letter." "You lielieve?" Mr. Troy repeated. "Can't you speak more positively than that?" "7 can speak positively," said Lady Lydiard, with her eyes on the lawyer. "Moody did mention the inclosure in the letter, in Isaliel Miller's hearing as well as in mine." She paused, steadily controlling her self. "And what of that, Mr. Troy?" she added, very quietly aud firmly. Mr. Troy answered quietly and firmly on his side. "I am surprised that your lady ship should a<k the question," he said. "I persist iu repeating the question," Lady Lydiard rejoined. "I say that Isabel Miller knew of the inclosure iu my letter, and I ask, What of that ?" "And I answer," retorted the impenetrable lawyer, "that the suspicion of theft rests on your ladyship's adopted daughter, aud ou nobody else." - , /W i: i !i •' , V,| I Xlj .> iw. rf\r ' W 1 jP* ! M 'll C9£\ "77ii? suspicion of theft rests on your ladyship s adopted daughter." "It's false!" cried Robert, with a burst of honest indignation. "I wish to God I had never said a word to you abovit the loss of the bank note! Oh, my lady! rny lady! don't let him distress you! What does he know about it?" "Hush!" said Ladv' Lydiard. "Control yourself, and hear what he has to say." She reded her hand on Moody's shoulder, partly to encourage him, partly to support herself, and fixing her dyes again on Mr. Troy, re peated his last words, " 'Suspicion rests on my adopted (laughter, and' on nobody else!' Why on nobody else?" "Is your ladyship prepared to suspect the rector of St. Anne's of embezzlement, or your own relatives and equals of theft?" Mr. Troy asked. "Does a shadow of doubt rest ou the servants? îfcvt if Mr. Moody's evi dence Is to be believed. ho, to our own certain knowledge, had access to the letter while it was unsealed? Who was alone in the room with it? And who knew of the in closure in it? I leave the answer to your ladyship." "Isabel Miller is as incapable of an act of theft as I am. There is my answer, Mr. Troy." The lawyer bowed resignedly and ad vanced to the door. "Am I to take your ladyship's generous assertion as finally disposing of the question of the lost bank note?" he inquired. Lady Lydiard met the challenge without shrinking from it. "No!" she said. "The lo«s of the bank note is known out of my house. Other persons may suspect this innocent girl as you suspect her. It is due to Isabel's reputation—her un stained reputation, Mr. Troy—that she should know what has happened, and should have an opportunity of defending herself. She is in the next room, Moody. Bring her here." Robert's courage failed liim; he trembled at the bare idea of exposing Isabel to the terrible ordeal that awaited her. "Oh, my lady!" he pleaded, 'think again before you tell the poor girl that she is suspected of theft. Keep it a secret from her; the shame of it will break her heart." "Keep it a secret," said Lady Lydiard. "when the rector and the rector's wife both know of it! Do you think they will let the matter rest where it is, even if I could consent to hush it up? I mast write to them, and I can't write anonymously after what has hap pened. Put yourself in Isabel's place, aud tell me if j'ou would thauk the person who knew you to be innocently exposed to a dis graceful suspicion, and who concealed it from you? Go, Moody! The longer you de lav, the harder it will ba" With his head sunk on his breast, with anguish written in every line of his face, Moody obeyed. Passing slowly down the short passage which connected the two rooms, and still shrinking from the duty that had been imposed on him, he paused, lookiug through the curtains which hung over the entrance to the boudoir. CHAPTER VII. The sight that met Moody's view wrung him to the heart. Isabel and the dog were at play together. Among the varied accomplishments pos sessed by Tommie, the capacity to take his part at a game of hide-and-seek was one. His playfellow for the time being put a shawl or a handkerchief over his head, so as to pre vent him from seeing, and then hid among the furniture a pocketbook, or a cigar case, or a purse, or anything else that happened to be at hand, leaving the dog to find it, with his keen sense of smell to guide him. Doubly relieved by the fit and the bleeding, Tom mie's spirits had revived; and he and Isabel had just begun their game when Moody looked into the room, charged with his ter rible errand. "You're burning, Tommie, you're burn ing!" cried the girl, laughing and clapping her hands. The next moment she happened to look round, and saw Moody throxgh the jjarted curtains. His face warned her in stantly that something serioas had happened. She advanced a few steps, her eyes resting on him in silent alarm. He was himself too painfully agitated to speak. Not a word was exchanged between Lady Lydiard and Mr. Troy in the next room. In the complete stillness that prevailed the dog was heard sniffing aud fidgeting »bout the furniture. Robert took Isabel by the hand and led her into the drawing room. "For God's sake, spare her, my lady!" he whispered. The lawyer heard him. "No," said Mr. Troy. "Be merciful, aud n.;i h**r ♦*>*» tmth " He spoke to a woman who stood in no need 1 of his a Ivice. The inherent nobility in Lady Lydiard's nature was roused; her great heart offered ltsed patiently to auy sorrow, to any j sacrifice. Butting her arm round Isaliel—half carets ; ing her, half supporting her—Lady Lydiard acceptedthe whole responsibility and told th? whole truth. Reeling under the first shock, the poor girl recovered herself with admirable courage. She raised her head and eyed the lawyer without uttering a word. In its artless con sciousness of innocence the look was nothing less than sublime. Addressing h rself to Mr. Troy, Lady Lydiard pointed to Isabel. "Dc you see guilt there?" she a-ked. Mr. Troy made no answer. In the melan choly experience of humanity to which his profession condemned him, he had seen conscious guilt assume the face of innocence, and helpless innocence admit the disguise of guilt, the keenest observation in either case lading completely to detect the truth. Lady Lydiard misinterpreted his silence as express ing the sullen self-assertion of a heartless man. She turned from him iu contempt, and held out her hand to Isabel. "Mr. Troy is not satisfied yet," she said, bitterly. "My love, take my hand, and look me in the face as your equal; I know no dif ference of rank at such a time as this. Be fore God, who hears you, are you innocent of the theft of the bank note?" "Before God, who hears me," Isal>el an swered, "I am innocent." Lady Lydiard looked once more at the lawyer, anil waited to hear if he iielieved that. Mr. Troy took refuge in dumb diplomacy —he made a low bow. It might have meant that he believed Isabel, or it might have meant that he modestly withdrew, his own opinion into the background. Lady Lydiard did not condescend to inquire what it rneajit. "The sooner we bring this painful scene to an end the better," she said. "I shall he glad to avail myself of your professional as sistance, Mr. Troy, within certain limits. Outside of my house I lieg that you will spare no trouble in tracing the lost money to the person who has really stolen it. Inside of my house I must positively request that the disappearance of the note may never be alluded to, in any way ' whatever, until your inquiries have Iteen successful in discovering the thief. In the meanwhile Min. Tollmidge and her family must not be sufferers by my loss; 1 shall pay the money again." She paused and pressed Isaliel's hand with affec tionate fervor. "My child," she said, "one last word to you, and I have done. You re main here, with my trust in you and my love for you absolutely unshaken. You are dearer to me than ever. Never forget that." Isabel lient her head and kissed the kin 1 hand that still held hers. The high spirit that was in her, inspired by Ladv Lydiard's ex ample, rose equal to the dreadful situation in which she was placed. "No, my lady," she said, calmly and sadly, "it cannot be. What this gentleman has said of me is not to be denied—the appar ences are against me. The letter was open, and I w as alone in the room with it. and Mr. Moody told me that a valuable inclosure was inside it. Dear and kind mistress, I am not fit to be a member of your household, I am not worthy to live with the honest pople w ho serve you, while my innocence is in doubt. It is enough for me now that you don't doubt it. I can wait patiently, after that, fur the clay that gives me back my good name. Oh, my good lady, don't cry about it! Pray, pray, don't cry P Lady Lydiard's self c ontrol failed her for the first time. Isabel's courage had made Isabel clearer to her than ever. She sank into a chair and covered her face with her handkerchief. Mr. Troy turned aside ab rubtly, and examined a Japanese vese, with out any idea in his mind of w hat he was look ing at. Lady Lydiard had gravely mis judged him in believing him to be a Leart l»ss man. Isabel followed the lawyer, aud touched him gently on the arm to rouse his attention. "I have one relation living, sir—an aunt— who will receive me if I go to her," she said, simply. "Is there any harm in my going? Lady Lydiard will give you the address when you want me. Spare her ladyship, sir, all the pain aud trouble that you can." At last the heart that was in Mr. Troy as serted itself. "You are a fine creature!" he said, with a burst of enthusiasm. "I agree with Lady Lydiard ; I believe you are inno cent, too ; and I will leave no effort untried to find the proof of it*7 He turned aside again, and had another look at the Japnese vase. As the lawyer withdrew himself from ob servation, Moody approached Isabel. Thus far he had stood apart, watching her and listening to her in silenea Not a look that had crossed her face, not a word that had fallen from her, had escapd him. Un consciously on her side, uncönsciously on his »de, she now wrought on his nature with a purifying and ennobling influence which animated it with a new life. All that had been selfish and violent in his passion for her left him to return no more. The immeasur able devotion which he laid at her feet in the days that were yet to come—the unyielding courage which cheerfully accepted the sacri fice of himself when events demanded it at a later priod of his life—struck root in him now. Without attempting to conceal the tears that were falling fast over his cheeks, striving vainly to express those new thoughts in him that were beyond the reach of words, he stood before her the truest friend and ser vant that ever woman had. "Oh. my dear! my heart is heavy for you. Take me to serve you and help you. Her ladyships kindness will prmit it, 1 am sure." He could say no more. In those simple words the cry of his heart reached her. "For give me. Robert," she answered, gratefully, "if I said anything to pin you wheu we m Am A II k\ <r -- • > "Forgive me, Robert,'' she answered, grate fully. spoke together a little while since. I didn't mean it." She gave him her hand, and looked timidly over her shoulder at Lady Lydiard. "Let me go !" she said, iu low, broken toues ; "let me go!" Mr. Troy heard her. and steiipd torw— to interfere lief ore Lady Lydiard could spak. The man had recovered his self-control; the lawyer took his place ugaiu on the scene. "You must not leave us, my dear," he said to Isabel, "until I have put a question to Mr. Moody in which you are interested. Do you happn to have the number of the lost bank note?" he asked, turning to the steward. Moody produced his slip of papr with the number ou it. Mr. Troy mails two copies of it before he returned the papr. One copy he put iu his jiocket, the other he handed til Isabel. "K.eep it carefully," he said. "Neither yo i nor I know how soon it may be of use ta you." Receiving the copy from him. slif fe't m«* chanically in her apron for her pocket book. She had used it iu playing with the dog, as an object to hide from him; but she bad suf fered, an 1 was still suffering, too keenly to be capable of tbe effort of remembrance. Moody, eager to bell» her even in the most trifling thing, guessed what had happned. "You were playing with Tommie," he said; "is it in the next room?" The dog heard his name pronounced through the opu door. The next moment he trotted into the drawing room with Isabel's pocketbook in his mouth. He was a stroug, well-grown Scotch terrier of the largest size, with bright, intelligent eyes, and a coat of thick, curling white hair, diversified by two light brown patches on his back. As be reached the middle of the room, and looked from one to another of the prsons present, the fine sympathy of his race told him that there was trouble among his human friends. His tail dropped: lie whined softly as be ap proached Isabel and **' 4 her pocketbook at her feet. She knelt as she •tmi> p the pocketbook. and raised her pla•;v of happier days to take her leave of him As the dog put his paws on her shoulder, returning her caress, her first tears fell. "Foolish of me," she said faintly, "to cry over a dog. I can't help it. Good-by, Tommie!" Putting him away from her gently, she walked toward the door. The dog instantly followed. She put him away from her for the second time, and left him. He was not to be denied; he followed her again and took the skirt of her dress in his teeth, as if to hold her back. Roliert forced the dog, growling and resisting with all his might, tc let go ot' the dress. "Don't lie rough with him." said Isabel. "Put him on her lady ship's lap: he will la* quieter there." Robert obeyed. Ho whispred to Lady Lydiard as she received the dog; shei seemed to lie still incapable of spaking— she bowed her l;e.a<l in silent assent. Robert hurried back tc Isabel liefore she had passed the door. "Not alone!" he said entreatingly. "Her ladyship permits it, Isabel. I Ad me see you sai'o tc your aunt's house." Isabel looked at him, felt for him, aud yielded. "Yes," she answered, softly; "to make amends for what I said to you when I was thoughtless and happy." She waited a little to compose herself before she spke her few farewell words to Lady Lydiard. "Good by, my lady. Y our kindness has not been thrown away on an ungrateful girl. I love you, and thank you, with all my heart." Lady Lydiard rose, placing the dog on the chair as she left it. She seemed to have grown older by yeaiN, instead of by minutes, in the short interval that had passed since she had bidden her face from view. "I can't bear it!" she cried, in husky, broken tones. "Isabel! Isaliel! I forbid you to leave me !" But one prson present could venture to re sist her. That prson was Mr. Troy—and Mr. Troy knew it. • "Control yourself," he said to her, in a whispr. "The girl is doing what is best and most becoming in her position, and is doing it with a patience and courage wonder ful to see. She places herself under the protection of her nearest relative until her character is vindicated aud her po sition in your house is once more be yond a doubt. Is this a time to throw ob stacles in her way? Be worthy of yourself, Lady Lydiard, and think of the day when she will return to you without the breath of a suspicion to rest on her." There was no disputing with him—he was too plainly iu the right. Lady Lydiard sub mitted; she concealed the torture that her own resolution inflicted on her with an endurance which was indeed worthy of her self. Taking Isabel in her arms, she kissed her, in a passion of sorrow and love. "My poor dear! My own sweet girl! don't sup pose that this is a parting kiss! I shall see you again—often and often I shall see you again at your aunt's." At a sign from Mr. Troy, Robert took Isabel's arm in his anc led her away. Tommie, watching her from his chair, lifted his little white muzzle as his playfellow looked back on passing the door way. The long, melancholy farewell howl of the dog was the last sound Isabel Millei heard as she left the house. TAKT THE SECOND. THE DISCOVERT CHAPTER VIII. On the day after Isabel left Lady Lydiard's house, Mr Troy set forth for the head office in Whitehall to consult the police on the question of the missing money. He had previously sent information of the robbery to the Bank of England, and had also adver tised the loss in the daily newspaprs. The air was so pleasant and the sun was so bright that he determined on proceeding to his destination on foot. He was hardly out of sight of his own offices when he was over taken by a friend who was also walking in the direction of Whitehall. This gentleman was a prson of considerable worldly wisdom aud exprience; he had lieen officially associ ated with cases of striking and notorious crime, iu which government had lent its as sistance to discover and punish the criminals. The opinion of a prson in this position might be of the greatest value to Mr. Troy, whose practice as a solicitor had thus far never brought him into collision with thieves and mysteries. He accordingly decided, in Isabel's interests, on confiding to his friend the nature of his errand to the pliee. Con cealing the names, but concealing nothing else, he described what had happned on the previous day at Lady Lydiard's house, and then put the question plainly to his compan ion; "What would you do in my place?" "In your place," his friend answered, quietly, "I should not waste time and money in consulting the police." "Not consult the pliee!" exclaimed Mr. Troy, in amazement. "Surely I have not made myself understood? I am going to the head office, and I have got a letter of intro duction to the chief inspector in the detective dejiartmeut. I am afraid I omitted to men tion that." "It doesn't make any difference," proceeded the other, as coolly as ever. "You have asked for my advice, and I give you my ad vice. Tear up your letter of introduction, and don't stir a step farther m the direction of Whitehall." Mr. Troy liegan to understand. "You don't lielieve in the detective pliee?" he said. "Who can believe in them who reads the newspaprs and remembers what he reads?" his friend rejoined. "Fortunately for the detective department, the public in general forgets what it reads. Go to your club and look at the criminal history of our own time recorded in the newspaprs. Every crime is more or less a mystery. You will see that the mysteries which the pliee dis cover are, almost without exception, mys teries made pnetrable by the commonest capcity, through the extraordinary stupidity exhibited in the means taken to hide the ciime. Ou the other hand, let the guilty man or woman 1>C a resolute and intelligent prson. capable of setting his (or her) wits fairly against the wits of the pliee—in other words, let the mystery really be a mvsterv—ami cite me a case if you ran (a really difficult and prplexing case) in which the criminal has not escaped. Mind, I don't charge the pliee with neglecting their work. No doubt they do their best, and take the greatest pins in following the routine to which they have been trained. It is their misfortune, not their fault, that there is no man of suprior intelligence among them—I mean uo man who is capable, in gna' emergencies, of placing himself above conventional methods and following a new way of his own. There have been such men in tbe pliee—men naturally endowed with that faculty of mental analysis which can decompose a mystery, re solve it into its eompnent parts, aud find the clew at the liottom. no matter how remote from ordinary observation it may be. But those men have died or have retired. One of them would have beeu invaluable to you in the case you have just mentioned to me. As things are, unless you are wrong in believing in the young lady's innocence, the person who has stolen that bank note will be no easy prson to find. In my opinion there is only one man now in London who is likely to be of the slightest assistance to you, and he is not in the j silice." "Who is he?" asked Mr. Troy. "An old rogue, .who was once in your branch of t lie legal profession," the friend an Bwered. "You may. perhaps, rememlier the man; they call him 'Old Sharon.'" "What! the scoundrel who was struck off the roll of attorneys years since? Is he still alive?" "Alive and prospring. He lives in a court or a lane running out of Longaere, and he offers advice to prsons interested in recover ing missing objects of any sort. Whether you have lost your wife or lost your cigar case, Old Sharon is equally useful to you. He has an inbred capacity for reading the riddle the right way in cases of mystery, great, or small. In short, he pssesses exactly that analytical faculty to which I alluded just now. I have his address at my office, if you think it worth while to try him." "Who can trust such a man?" Mr. Troy objected. "He would lie sure to deceive me. " "You are entirely mistaken. Since he was struck off the rolls Old Sharon hasdiscovered that the straight way is, on the whole, the best way, even in a man's own interests. His consulta' ion fee is a guinea; and he gives a signed estimate beforehand for any supple mentary expnses that may follow. I can tell you (this is, of course, strictly between ourselves) that the authorities at my office took his advice in a government ease that puzzled the police. We approached him, of course, through prsons who were to be trusted to represent us without betraying the nource from which their instructions were derived, and we found the old rascal's advice well worth paying for. It is quite likely that he may not succeed so well in your case. Try the pliee, by all means; and if they fail, wbv there is Sharon as a last resource." This arrangement commended itself to Mr. Troy's professional caution. He went on to Whitehall, and he tried the detective pliee. They at once adopted the obvious conclusion to prsons of ordinary capacity—the con clusion that Isaliel was the thief. Acting on this conviction, the authorities sent an exprieneed woman from the office to Lady Lydiard's house to examine the poor girl's clothes and ornameuts before they were packed up and seut. after her to her aunt s. The search led to nothing. The only objects of any value that were discovered had lieen presents from I Aid y Lydiard. No jewelers' or millihers' liills were among the paprs found in her desk. Not a sign of secret ex travagance iu dress was to be seen anywhere. Defeated so far, the pliee propsed next to have Isaliel privately watched. There might be a prodigal lover somewhere in the back ground, with i*uin staring him in the face unless he could raise five hundred pounds. iAuly Lydiard (who had only consented to the search under stress of prsuasive argu ment from Mr. Troyl resented this ingenious idea as an insult. She declared that if Isabel was watched the girl should know of it in stantly from her own lips. The pliee lis tened with prfect resignation and decorum, and plitelv shifted their ground. A certain suspicion (they remarked) always rested in cases of this sort on the servants. Would her ladyship object to private inquiries into the characters an 1 proceedings of the ser vants? Her ladyship instantly objected, in the most psitive terms. Thereupu the "in sjieetor" asked for a minute's private conver sation with Mr. Troy. "The thief is cer tainly a member of Lady Lydiard's house hold," this functionary remarked, in his plitoly positive way. "If her ladyship pr sists in refusing to let us make the necessary inquiries our hands are tied, and the case comes to an end through no fault of ours. If her ladyship changes her mind primps you will drop ma a line, sir, to that effect. Good morning." So the expriment of consulting the pliee came to an untimely end The one result obtained was the expression of purblind opinion by the authorities of the detective department, which pointed at Isaliel or at one of the servants as the undiscovered thief. Thinking the matter over in the re tirement of bis own office, and not forgetting his promise to Isabal to leave no means un tried of establishing her innocence, Mr. Troy could see but one alternative left to him. He took up his pn an I wrote to his friend at the government o*fi -a There was nothing for it now but to run the risk and try Old Sharou. [to be continued.] A soap peddler came near being mobbed in Chicago the other day. Chicagoans will stand almost anything but a prsonal insult.