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OF HERMISTON (Copyright, 1896, by Stone and Kimball.) SYNOPSIS. Adam Weir, Lord Hermlston. first tho Lord-Advocate, and then the Lord Justice Clerk of the Senators of the College of Jus tice at Edinburgh, has msrrled Jean Ruth erford, last heir of her line, upon whose es tate at the Scottish village of Crosßmlchael he resides when court la not ln session. He Is noted for bis severity, and has become famous for the "hanging face" with which lie confronts criminals—while his wife Is of a mildly religious type. Their son Arch- Ibsld combines the qualities of the two, but has been brought up by his mother almost exclusively. She Inspires him with her re ligious views, so that unconsciously he grows to resent his father's severity and roughness. His mother having died, Archie continues bis studies, having little ln com mon with Lord Hermlston, with one of Whose fellow justices and friends, however, • scholarly gentleman of the old school, he forms a close friendship. At the trial of one Jopp, for murder, Archie is especially offended by bis father's coarse remarksand, brooding over the exhlbltlot. of what seems to him Bavsge cruelty, he attends tho execu tion. As the man's body falls, he cries out: "I denounce this God-defying murder." The sam* evening, at his college debating s.o- Cletf, ha propounds the question "whether eapltal punishment be consistent with God's will or man's policy." A great scandal Is •roused in the city by these actions ot tho son of Lord Hermiston. Archie msstl the fsmily doctor, who shows him by an anec dote that, under his father's granite exter ior, the latter has a great love for htm. This creates a revulsion ln Archie's feel ings. His father soon hears of his m i's performances, und reproaches him severe ly. Archlo accepts the rebuke antl sub mits himself. Nevertheless, Lord Hermis ton orders him to abandon tho law, and as signs him to the caro of the estate at Cross jnlchael. Archie goes the same evening to **UI on the old Justice, already mentioned, who comfortß him and points out his fa ther's great abilities, and together they drink the health of Lord Hermlston. Archie establishes himself on the estate, and finds still st the homo.-.tead his mother's former housekeeper, Kirßtle tor Christina) Elliott, a distant relative of lilb molh-r's, who Is devoted to the family fortunes. Ho does not get on well with his scattered neigh bors, and becomes much of a recluse. Kirs tie Indulges him with many long talks, re counting the history ot tho region. She tells him a great deal about her four nep hews, formerly a wild set, but now leading quiet lives. Robert, or "Hob," is the laird of Cauldstaneslap, a small property near by. Gilbert Is a weaver and Independent preacher. Clement has removed to Glas gow, and become a well-to-do merchant. Andrew or "Dandle." a shepherd by trade, 1b a great wanderer about the country, and a local poet of repute. Archie ssks Kirstie if there la not a sl3ter also. She admits that there Is, a young girl. Kirstie, named after herself, and now at Glasgow with Cle ment. Arohle discovers that there is a marked coolness between the elder Kirstie and some of her nephews, the result of some old quarrel, so that they never come to Bee her. He goes to tho Cauldstaneslap church one Sunday, and there meets the younger Kirstie. Ho talks with her on the way home. Both are much impressed with each other. The same afternoon, young Kirstie goes for a walk over the moors to the Praying Weaver's Stone, a local monu ment of Interest. As she Bits on It, she .ees a figure coming along the path from Hermlston House. It proves to be Archie, who has been Impelled to walk toward Klrstle's home. They sit on the stone. Kirstie sings one of her uncle's billads for him, and goes home, both parting with much suppressed feeling. Meanwhile, Frank Innes, one of Archie's college chums, gets into trouble in Edinburgh and comes down to visit Archie. He does not make a favorably Impression on tho Scotch peas antry, but makes friends with the gentry. He marvels at Archie's long absences from home, snd once, when Archie goes off, pro poses to go with him. Archie tells him that he prefers to be alone, and that each must be Independent as to his movements. Innes walks off ln great auger. PART VI. Archie watched hint go without moving. He was sorry, but quite unashamed. He hat ed to be Inhospitable, but in one thing he was his father's son. He had a strong sense that his house was his own and no man else's; and to lie at a guest's nierey was what he refused. He haled to seem harsh. But that was Frank's look-out. If Frank had been commonly discreet, he would have been decently courteous. And there was auother consideration. The se cret ho was protecting was not his own merely; It was hers; It belonged to that In expressible she who was fast taking posses sion of his soul, and whom he would toon have defended at the cost of burning cities. By the time he had watched Frank as fat as the Swinglcburnfoot, appearing and dis appearing ln the tarnished heather, still Stalking at a fierce gait but already dwind led in the distance into less than the small ness of Lllliput, he could afford to smile at the occurrence. Either Frank would go, and that would be a relicf —or he would con tinue to stay, and his host must continue to endure him. And Archie was now free —by devious paths, behind hillocks and In the hollow of burns—to make for the tryst ing place whore Kirstie, cried about by tho curlew and the plover, waited and burned lor his coming by tho Covenanter's stone. Innes went off down-hill in a passion of resentment, easy to be understood, but which yielded progressively to the needs of his situation. He cursed Archie for a cold-hearted, unfriendly, rude, rude dog; and himself still more passionately for a fool In having come to Hermlston wheu he might have sought refuge in almost any other house ln Scotland. But tho Btep once taken, was practically irretrievable. He had no more ready money to go any where else; he would have to borrow from Archie the next club-night; and 111 as he thought of his host's manner, he was sure or his practical generosity. Frank's resem blance to Talleyrand strikes me as imag inary; but at least not Talleyrand himself could have more obedlontly tak?n his lesson from the facts. He met Archlo at dinner without resentment, almost with cordial ity. You must tako your friends as you find them, he would have said. Archie couldn't help being his father's son, or his grandfather's, the hypothetical weaver's, gnuidsoii. The son of a hunks, he was still a hunks at heart, incapable of true generosity and consideration; hut he had other qualities with which Frenk could divert himself in the meanwhile, and to enjoy which It was necessary that Frank should keep his temper. So excellently was it controlled that he awoke next morning with his head full of a different, though a cognate subject. What was Archie's little game? Why did he shun Frank's company? What was he keeping secret? Was he keeping tryst with some body, and was it a woman? It would be a • ood joke and a fair revenge to discover. Vo that task he Bet himself with a great 'fal of patience, which might have surprls 'ils friends, far be had been always creaV cy; and little by little, from one point to another, he at last succeeded in piecing out the situation. First he remarked that, al though Archie sot out in all the directions of the compass, he always come home again from some point between the south ami west. Prom the study of a map, and In consideration of the great expanse of un tenanted moorland running in that direc tion towards tho sources of the Clyde, he laid his finger on Cauldstaneslap and two I other neighboring farms, Kingsraulrs and | I'ollntarf. But It was difficult to advance i farther. With his rod for a pretext, he vainly visited each of them ln turn; noth ' ing was to be seen suspicious about this trinity of moorland settlements. He would have tried to follow Archie, had It been i the least possible, but the nature of the . land precluded the Idea. He did the next ; best, ensconced himself In ti quiet corner, and pursued his movements with a tele scope. It was equally In vain, and ho soon wearied of his futile vlgi ! lance, left the telescope at home, I and had almost given the matter up j In despair, when, on the twenty-ninth day of his visit, he was suddenly confronted ! with the person whom he sought. The first Sunday Klrs'.ie had managed to stty away from kirk on some pretext of Indisposition which was more truly modesty; the pleas ure nf beholding Archie seeming too sacred, too vivid for that public place. It was not until the second, accordingly, that Prank had occasion to set eyes on the enchant ress, With the first look, all hesitation w_ts over! She came with the Cauldstaneslap party; then she lived at Cauldstaneslap. Here was Archie's secret, here was tho wo man, nnd more than that—though I have need of every manageable attenuation of language—with the first look, ho had al- "DON'T BE AN ASS," HE CRIED. : ready entered himself as rival. It was a ! good deal In pique, it was a little In revenge, it was much in genuine admiration; tho de vil may decide the proportions! I cannot, and It Is very likely that Frank could not. "Mighty attractive milkmaid," he ob served, on the way home. "Who?" said Archie. "Oh, the girl you're looking at—aren't you? Forward there on the road. She came attended by the rustic bard; pre sumably, therefore, belongs to his exalt ed family. The single objection! for tbe four black brothers are awkward custo mers. If anything were to go wrong, Gib would gibber, and Clem would prove in clement; and Dand fly in danders, and Hob blow up In gobbets. It would be a Helliott of a business!" "Very humorous, I am sure," said Ar chie. "Well, I am trying to be so," said Frank. "It's none too easy In this place, and with your solemn society, my dear I fellow. But confess that the milkmaid has found favor In your eyes, or resign all ! claim to be a man of taste.'' I "It is no matter," returned Archie. But the other continued to look at him, steadily and quizzically, and his color slowly rose and deepened under the glance until not impudence itself could have de nied that he was blushing. And at this Archie lost some ot his control. He changed his stick from one hand to the other, nnd —"Oh, for God's sake, don't be !an ass!" he cried. "Ass? That's the retort delicate with' ' out doubt." says Frank. "Beware of the I homespun brothers, dear. If they como ■ into the dance, you'll see who's an ass. ; Think now, If they only applied (say), a '■ quarter as much talent as I have applied jto tbe question of what Mr. Archie does j with his evening hours, and why he is so unaffectedly nasty when the subject's touched on " "You arc touching on It now," Inter rupted Archie, with a wince. "Thank you. That was all I wanted, au articulate confession," said Frank. "I beg to remind you " began Archie. But he was Interrupted in turn. "My dear fellow, don't. It's quite needless. The subject's dead and buried." | And Frank began to talk hastily on oth jcr matters, an art in which he was an adept, for it was his gift to be fluent on anything or nothing. But although Ar ; chic had the grace or the timidity to suf ; for him to rattle on, he was by no means i done with the subject. When he came I home to dinner, he was greeted with a Bly 1 demand, how things wero looking "Cauld staneslap ways." Frank took his first glass of port out after dinner to the toast of Kirstie, and later in the evening he re turned to the charge again. "I say, Weir, you'll excuse me for re turning again to this affair. I've been thinking It over, and I wish to beg you very seriously to be more careful. It's not a cafe business. Not safe, my boy," said he. "What?" said Archie. "Well, It's your own fault If I must put a name on the thing; but, really, as a friend, I cannot stand by and see you lushing head down Into these dangers. My dear boy," said he, holding up a warn ing cigar, "consider! What is to be tho end of it?" "The end of what?"— Archie, helpless with irritation, persisted in this danger ous and ungracious guard. "Well, the end ot the milkmaid; or, to speak more by the card, the end of Miss Christina. Elliott, of the Cauldestane slap?" "I assure you," Archie broke out, "this is all a figment ot your imagination. There is nothing to be said against that young lady; you have no right to Introduce her name into tbe conversation." "I'll make a note of It," said Frank. "She shall henceforth be nameless, name less, nameless, Grigalach! I make a note besides of your valuable testimony to her character. I only want to look at this "-<<-« ss a ninn nf the wnrld. A—" " • LOS ANGELES HERALD: SUNDAY MORNING. APRIL 19 she's an angel—but, my good fellow, Is she a lady?" This was torture to Archie. "I beg your pardon," he said, struggling to be com posed, "but because you have wormed yourself Into my confidence . . . ." "Oh, come!" cried Frank. "Your con fidence? It was rosy but unconsentlng Your confidence, Indeed? Now, look! This is what I must say, Weir, for It concerns your safety and good character, and there fore my honor as your friend. You say I wormed myself Into your confidence. Wormed Is good. But what have I done? I have put two and two together, just as the parish will be doing to-morrow, and the whole of Tweeddale ln two weeks, and tho black brothers—well, I won't put a date on that: It will be a dark and stormy morning! Your secret, In other words, is poor Poll's. And I want to ask of you as a friend whether you like the prospect? There are two horns to your dilemma, and I must, sny for myself I should look mighty ruefully on either. Do you see yourself explaining to the four black brothers? or do you see yourself presenting the milkmaid to papa as the future lady of Hermlston? Do you? I tell you plainly, I don't!" Archie rose. "I will hear no more of this," he said, In a trembling voice. Dut Frank again held up hl3 cigar. "Tell me ono thing first. Tell me If this Is not a friend's part that I am playing?" "I believe you think It so," replied Ar chie. "I can go as far as that. I can do so much justice to your motives. But I will hear no more of it. I am going to bed." "That's right. Weir," said Frank, hearti ly, "(lo to bed and think over It; and I say, mnn, don't forget your prayers! I don't often do the moral —don't go in I r that sort of thing—but when I do there's one thing sure, that I mean it."' So Archie marched off to bed, and Frank sat alone by the table for another hour or so, smiling to himself richly. There was nothing vindictive In his nature; but, If revenge came in his way, it might as well be good, and the thought of Archie's pillow rafleotloni that ttlght was indes cribably sweet to him. He felt a pleasant sense of power. Ho looked dewn on Ar chie as on a very Utile boy whose strings he pulled—as m a horse whom he had hacked and bridled by sheer power of in telligence, and whom he misht ride to glory er the grave at pleasure. Which was It to be? He lingered leng, relish ing the details of schemes that he was too idle to pursue. Poor cork upen a torrent he tasted that night the sweets of omnip otence, and brOcded like a deity over the strands of that intrigue which was to shatter him before the summer waned. CHAPTER VIII, A NOCTURNAL VISIT. Kirstie had many causes of distress More and more as we grow old—and yet more and more as we grow old and are women, frozen by tho fear of age—we come to n-ly en the voice as the single outlet cf the soul. Only thus, in the cur tailment of cur means, can wo relieve the straitened cry of the passion within us; only thus, in the bitter and senstive shy ness of advancing years, can we maintain relations with those vivacious figures of the young that still Bhow before us and tend dally to become no more than the moving wall-paper of life. Talk Is the last link, the last relation. But with the end of the conversation, when the voice stops and the bright face of the listener Is turned away, solitude falls again on the bruised heart. Kirstie had lost her "tan nic hour at c'en"; she could no mere wander with Archie, a ghost If you will but a happy ghost, in fields Elyslan. And to her It was as if the whole world had fallen silent; to him. but an unremarkable change of amusements. And she raged to know It. The effervescency of her passion ate and Irritable nature rose within her at times to bursting point. This is the price paid by age for un reasonable ardors of feeling. It must have been so for Kirstie at any time when the occasion chanced; but It so fell out that she was deprived of this delight ia the hour when sho had most nted of It, when "ERCHIE, THE LORD PEETY YOU DEAR." she had most to say, most to ask, and when she trembled to recognise her sov ereignity not merely in abeyance but an nulled. For, with the clairvoyance ot a genuine love, she had pierced the mys tery that had so long embarrassed Frank. She was conscious, even before it was car ried out, even on that Sunday night when It began, of an invasion of her rights; and a voire told her the Invader's name. Since then, by arts, by accident, by small things observed, and by the general drift of Ar chie's humor, she had passed beyond all possibility of doubt. With a sense of jus tice that Lord Hermiston might have en vied, she had that day in church consid ered and admitted the attractions of the younger Kirstie; and with the profound humanity and sentimentality of her nature, she had recognised the coming of fate. Not thus would she have chcsen. She had seen, in Imagination, Archie wedded to some tall, powerful, and rosy heroine of the golden locks, made ln her own Image, for whom she would have strewed the bride-bed with delight; and now she could have wept to see the ambition fal sified. But the gods had pronounced, and her doom was otherwise. She lay tossing in bed that night, be srlged with feverish thoughts. There were dangerous matters pending, a battle was towa.'d, over the fate of which she hung in jealousy, sympathy, fear, and al ternate loyalty and disloyalty to either side. Now she was re-Incarnated in her I niece, and now In Archie. Now she saw, through the girl's eyes, the youth on his knees to her, heard his persuasive in stances with a deadly weakness, and re ceived his over-mastering caresses. Anon, with a revulsion, her temper raged to see such utmost favors of fortune and love squandered on a brat of a girl, one of her own house, using her own name—a deadly Ingredient—and that "dldnae ken her aln mind an' was as black's your hat." Now she trembled lest her deity should plead in vain, loving the Idea of success for htm like a triumph of nature; anon, with re turning loyalty to her own family and credit of the Elliotts. And sgaln she had a vision of herself, the day over for her old-world tales and local gossip, bidding farewell to her last link with life and brightness and love; and behind and be- • yond, she saw but the blank butt-end where she must crawl to die. Had she then come to the lees? she, so great, so beautiful, with a heart as fresh as a girl's and strong as womanhood? It could not be, and yet It was so; and for a moment her bed was horrible to her as the sides of the grave. And she looked forward over a waste of hours, and saw herself go on to rage, and tremble, and be softened, and rage again, until the day came and the labrn's of the day must bo renowed. Suddenly she heard feet on the stairs— 1 his feet, and soon after the sound of a wln dow-sash flung open. Sho sat up with her heart beating. He had gone to hi 3 room alone, and he had not gone to bpd. She might ngaln have one of her night cracks; and at the entrancing prospect, a change came over her mind; with the ap proach of this hope ot pleasure, all the baser rnctil bceauie immediately obliterated from her thoughts. She rose, all woman, and all the best of woman, tender, pitiful, j hating the wrong, loyal to her own sex— ; and all the weakest of that dear miscella ny, nourishing, cherishing next her soft heart, volceleSsly flattering, hopes that she would have filed sooner than have ac knowledged. She tore off h:r nightcap, and her hair fell ahotit her shoulders in profu sion. Undying coquetry awoke. Hy the I faint light of her nocturnal rush, site stood I before the looking-glass, carried her shape- | arms above her head, and gathered up the treasures of her tresses. She was never backward to admire herself; that kind o' modesty was a strargr to her nature; and the paused, struck with a pleased wonder at the sight. "Ye daf: auld wife!" she said, answering a thought that was not; and she blushed with the innocent consci ousness of a child. Hastily she did up tho massive and shining colls, hastily denned a wrapper, and with the rush-light In her nana, stole into the hall. Be'.ow s ait' 3 she heard the clock ticking the deliberate sec onds, and Frank Jingling with the decant ers ln tho dining-room. Aversion rose iv her, bitter and momentary. "Nesty, tip pling puggy!" she thought; nnd ihe next mi nirr.t she had knocked guardedly at Archie's door and was bidden fntcr. Archie had been looking out into Ihe ancient blackneFs, pierced hero and there with a rayless star; taking the sweet air of the moors and the night into his bosom deeply; seeking, perhaps finding, peacs af ter the manner of the unhappy. He- turn ed round as she came in, and showed her a pale face agiln3t the window-frame. "Is that you Kirstie?" he asked. "Come In!" "It's unco' late, my dear," said Kirstie, affecting unwillingness. "No, no," he answered, "not at all. Come in. if you want a crack. I am not sleepy, God knows!" She advanced, took a chair by the toilet table and the candle, and set the rush light at her foot. Something—it might be in the comparative disorder of her dress, It might be the emotion that now welled in her bosom—had touched her with a wand of transformation, and she seemed young with the youth of goddesses. "Mr. Erchle," she began, "what's this that's come to ye?" "I am not aware of anything that has come," said Archie, and blushed, and re pented bitterly that he had let her in. "Oh, my dear, that'll no dae!" said Kirs tie. "It's 111 to blend the eyes ot love. Oh, Mr. Erchle, tak a thoct ere It's ower late. Ye shouldnae be impatient o' the braws o' life, they'll a' come ln their saieon, like the sun and the rain. Ye're young yet; ye've mony cantle years afore ye. See aud dinnae wreck yersel at the outset like sac mony ithers! Hae patience—they telled me aye tha' was the overcome o' life—hae patience, there's a braw day coming yet. Gude kens it never cam to me; and here I am wi' nayther man nor bairn to ca' my am, wearying a' folks wi' my 111 tongue, and ycu Just the first, Mr. Erchle!" "I have a difficulty In knowing what you mean," said Archie. "Weel, and I'll tell ye," she said. "It's just this, that I'm feared. I'm feared for ye, my dear. Remember, your faither is a hard man, reaping where he hasnae sowed and gaithcrlng where he hasnae strawed. It's easy speakln', but mind! Yell have to look in the gurly face o'm, where it's 111 to look, and vain to look for mercy. Ye mind me o' a bonny ship pitten oot into the black and gowsty seas—ye're a' safe still, sittin' quait and crackin' wi' Kirstie ln your lown chalmer; but whaur will ye be the morn, and in whatten horror o' tho fearsome tempest, cryin' on the hills to cover ye?" "Why. Kirstie, you're very enigmatical the night—and very eloquent," Archie put in. "And, my dear Mr. Erchle," she continu ed, with a change of voice, 'ye maunae think that I cannae sympathize wi' ye. Ye maun ae think that I havenae been young my sel'. Langsyne, when I was a bit lassie, no twenty yet ." She paused and sigh ed. "Clean and caller, wi' a fit like the hinney bee," she continued. "I was aye big and buirdly. ye maun understand; a bonny figure o' a woman, though I say it that suldnae—built to rear balms—braw bairns they suld hae been, and grand I would hae libit it! Dut I was young, dear, wi' the bonny glint o' youth In my c'en, and little I dreamed I'd ever be tellln' ye this, an auld, lanely, rudas wife! Weel, Mr. Erchle, there was a lad cam' courtin' me, as was but naetural. Mony had come before, and I would nane o' them. But this yin had a tongue to wile the birds frae the lift and the bees frae the foxglove bells. Deary me, but it's lang syne. Folk have deed sinsyne and been buried, and are for gotten, and bairns been born and got mer rlt and got bairns o' their am. Sinsyne woods have been plantit, and have grawn up and are bonny trees, and the joes sit In their shadow, and sinsyne auld estates have changed hands, and there havo been wars and rumors of wars on the face of the earth. And here I'm still—like an auld droopit craw—lookln' on and craikin! But Mr. Erehie, do ye no think that I have mind o' it a' still? I was dwalling then in my faither's house; and It's a curious thing that we were whiles trysted in the Dell's Hags. And do ye no think that I have mind of the bonny simmer days, the lang miles c' the bluid-red heather, the cryln' o' the whaups, and the lad and the lassie that was trysted? Do yo no think that I mind how the hilly sweetness ran about my hert? Ay, Mr. Erchle, I ken they wey o' it—fine do I ken the wey— how the grace o' God takes them, like Paul of Tarsus, when they think at least, and drives the pair o' them into a land which Is like a dream, and the world and the folks in 't are nae mair than clouds to the puir lassie, and Heeven nae mair than win dle-straes, if she can but pleesure him! Until Tarn deed—that was my story," she broke off to say, "he deed, and I wasnae at the burying. But while he was here, I could take care o' mysel'. And can yon puir las sie?" Kirstie, her eyes shining with unshed tears, stretched out her band towards him appeallngly; the bright and tho dull gold of her hair flashed and smouldered ln the colls behind her comely head, like the rays of an enternal youth; the pure color had -<=en In her face; and fete was abashed alike by her beauty and her story. He came towards her slowly from the window, I took up her hand ln bis and kissed it. "Kirstie," He said, hoarsely, "you have misjudged mt- sorely. I have always thought ol bar, I wouldnae harm her for tbe universe, mi woman!" "Eb, lad, and that's easy sayin'," cried Kirstie, "but It's nane sac easy dola'! Man, do ye no comprehend that it's God's wull we should be blendlt and glamoured, and have nae command over our aln mem- j bcrs at a time like that? My bairn," she cried, still holding his hand, "think o' the pulr lass! have pity upon her, Erchle! and oh, bo wlße for twa! Think o' the risk she rins! I have seen ye, and what's to prevent lthers? I saw ye once ln the Hags, ln my aln howl, and I was waa to see ye there—ln palrt for the omen, for I think there's a weird on the place—and ln pairt for pure nakit envy and bitterness o' hairt. It's strange ye should forgather there tae! God! nut yon pulr, thrawn, auld Covenanter's seen a heap o' human natur since he lookit his last on the mus ket barrels, If he never saw nane afore," j she added, with a kind of wonder in here eyes. "I swear by my honor I have done her no wrong," said Archie. "I swear by my honor and the redemption of my soul that there shall none be dene her. I have heard of this before. I have been foolish, Kirstie, not unkind and, above all, not base." "There's my bairn!" sold Kirstie, rising. I "I'll can trust ye noo, I'll can gang to my bed wi' an ensy hairt." And then she saw ln a flash how barren had been her trl- : umph. Archie had promised to spare the; girl, and he would keep it; but who had promised to spare Archie? What was to be the end of It? Over a matte cf difficul ties she glanced and saw, at tho end of every passage, tho fliuty con*►"nance of "KIRSTIE, INDEED," CRIED THE GIRL; "MY NAME IS MISS CHRISTINA EL LIOTT." Hermlston. And a kind of horror fell upon 1 her at what she had done. She wore a 1 tragic mask. "Erchle, the Lord peety i you, dear, and peety me! I have build it ■ on this foundation" —laying her hand heavily on his shoulder —"and buildlt hie, j and pit my hairt in the bulldin' of it. If tho hale hypothec, were to fa', I think, lad die, I would dee! Excuse a daft Wife that loves ye, and that kenned your mither. And for His name's sake keep yersel' frae Inordinate desires; haud your heart In baith your hands, carry It canny and laigh; dinnae send it up like a bairn's kite into the collieshangie o' the wunds! Mind, Maister Erchle dear, that this life's a' disappointment, and a mouthfu' o' mools is the appointed end." "Ay, but Kirstie, my woman, you're asking me ower much at last," said Ar chie, profoundly moved, and lapsing Into the broad Scots. "Ye're asking what nae man can grant ye, what only the Lord of heaven can grant ye if He see fit. Ay! And can even He? I can promise ye what I shall do, and you can depend on that. But how I shall feel —my woman, that is long past thinking of!" They were both standing by now oppo site each other. The face of Archie wore the WTetched semblance cf a smile; hers was convulsed for a moment. "Promise me ac thing," she cried, ln a sharp voice. "Promise mo yeil never do naething without telling me." "No, Kirstie, I cannae promise ye that," he replied. "I have promised enough, God kens!" \ "May the blessing of God lift and rest upon ye, dear!" she said. "God bless ye, my old friend," salu he. CHAPTER IX. BY THE WEAVER'S STONE. It was late ln the afternoon when Arch ie drew near by the hill path to the "Pray ing Weaver's" stone. The Hags were in shadow. But still, through the gate of the Slap, the sun shot a last arrow, which sped far and straight across the surface ot the moss, here and there touching and shining on a tussock, and lighted at length on the gravestone, and the small figure awaiting him there. The emptiness and solitude of the great moors seemed to concentred there, and Kirstie pointed out by that figure of sunshine for the only Inhabitant. His first sight of her was thus excruciatingly sad, like a glimpse of a world from which all light, comfort, and society were on the point of vanishing. And the next moment, when she had turned her face to him, and the quick smile had enlightened It, the whole face of nature smiled upon him in her smile of welcome. Archie's slow pace was quickened, his legs hasted to her, though his heart was hanging back. The girl, upon her side, drew herself together slowly and stood up, expectant; she was | all languor, her face waa gone white, arms ached for him, her soul was on tip-toes. But he deceived her, pausing a few steps away, not les3 white than herself, and hold ing up his hand with a gesture of denial. "No, Christina, not to-day," he said. "To-day I have to talk to you Eerlously. Sit ye down, please, there where you were. Please!" ho repeated. Tho revulsion of feeling in Christina's heart was violent. To have longed and waited these weary hours for him, rehears ing her endearments —to have seen him at last come—to have been ready there.breath less, wholly passive, his to do what he would with—and suddenly to have found herself confronted with a grey-faced, harsh schoolmaster—it was too rude a shock. | She could have wept, but pride withheld her. She sat down on the stone, from which she had arisen, part with the in stinct of obedience, part as though she had been thrust there. What was this? Why was she rejected? Had she ceased to please? She stood here offering her wares, and he would none of them! And yet they were all his! His to take and keep; not his to refuse, though! In her quick, petulant na ture, a moment ago on Are with hope, thwarted love and wounded vanity wrought. The se i tcc!rc2.rt»r thtt the-a is ia all men, to the despair of all girls snd most women, was now completely In possession of Arch ie, tie had passed a night of sermons, a day tt reflection; he had come wound up to do his duty; and the set mouth, which In him only betrayed the effort of his will, to her seemed tho expression of an averted heart. It was tho same with his constrain ed voice and embarrassed utterance; and if so—if it was all over—the pang of the thought took away from her the power of thinking. He stood before her some way off. "Kirstie, there's been too much of this. We've seen too much of each other." She looked up quickly and her eyes con tracted. "There's no good ever comes of these secret meetings. They're not frank, not honest truly, and I ought to have seen it. People havo begun to talk; and it's not right of me. Do you see?" "I see somebody will have been talking to ye," she said, sullenly. "They have, more than one of them," replied Archie. "And whae were they?" she cried. "And what kind of love do ye ea' that, that's ready to gang round like a whirligig at folk talking? Do ye think they have nae talk ed to me?" "Have they, indeed?" said Archie, with a quick breath. "That Is what I feared. Who wore they? Who has dared ?" Archie was on the point of losing his temper. As a matter of fact not anyone had talked to Christina on the matter; and she strenuously repeated her own first ques tion In a panic of self-defence. "Ah, well! what does It matter?" he said. "They were good folk that wished well to us, and the great affair Is that there are people talking. My dear girl, we have to be wise. We must not wreck our lives at the outset. They may be long and happy yet, and we must see to it, Kirstie, like God's rational creatures, and not like fool children. There is one thing we must see to before all. You're worth waiting for, Kirstie! worth waiting for a generation; it would be enough reward." j And here he remembered tbe schoolmaster again, and very unwisely took to follow ing wisdom. "The first thing that we must see to It that there shall be no j scandal about, for my father's sake. That would ruin all. Do ye no see that?" Kirstie was a little pleased, there had been some show of warmth of sentiment in what Archie had said last. But the dull irri tation still persisted in her bosom; with the aboriginal instinct, having suffered herself, she wished to make Archie suffer. And besides, there had como out the word she had always feared to hear from his lips, the name of his father. It is not to be supposed that, during so many days with a love avowed between them, some reference had not been made to their con joint future. It had, in fact, often been touched upon, and from the first had been the sore point. Kirstie had wilfully closed the eye of thought; she would not argue even with herself; gallant, desperate little heart, she had accepted the command of that supreme attraction like the call of fate, and marched blindfolded on her doom. But Archie, with his masculine sense of responsibility, must reason: he must j dwell on some future good, when the pres ; ent good was all In all to Kirstie; he must talk—and talk lamely, as necessity drove , him—of what was to be. Again and again he had touched on marriage; again and again been driven back into indistinctness by a memory of Lord Hermlston. And Kirstie had been swift to understand, and quick to choke down and smother the un derstanding; swift to leap up in flame at a mention of that hope, which spoke vol umes to her vanity and her love, that she might one day be Mistress Weir, of Her mlston; swift, also, to recognise in his | stumbling or throttled utterance, the death-knell of these expectations; and con stant, poor girl! in her large-minded mad- I ness, to go on and to reck nothing of the future. But these unfinished references these blinks ln which his heart spoke, and his memory ond reason rose up to silence it before the words were well uttered, gave her unqualifiable agony. She was raised up and dashed down again bleeding. The recurrence of the subject forced her, for however short a time, to open her eyes on what she did not wish to see; and It had invariably ended in another disappointment. So now again, at the mere wind of its com ing, at the mere mention of his father's name—who might seem indeed to have ac companied them in their whole moorland courtship, an awful figure In a wig with an ironical and bitter smile, present to guilty j consciousness—she fled from It head down. "Ye havenae told me yet," she said, "who was it spoke?" "Your aunt for one," said Archie. "Auntie Kirstie?" she cried. "And what do I care for my Auntie Kirstie?" "She cares a great deal for her niece," replied Archie, in kind reproof. "Troth, and it's the first I've heard of It," retorted the girl. "The question here is not who it is, but what they say, what they have noticed," pursued the lucid schoolmaster. "That is what wa havo to think of in self-defence." "Auntie Kirstie indeed! A bitter, thrown auld maid that's fomented trouble in the country before I was born, and will be do ing't still, I daur say, when I'm dead! It's I ln her nature; It's as natural for her as It's for a sheep to eat." "Pardon me, Kirstie, she was not the only one," Interposed Archie. "I had two warn ings, two sermons, last night, both mast kind and considerate. Had you been there, I promise you, you would have grat, my dear! And they opened my eyes. I saw we were going a wrong way." "Who was the other one?" Kirstie de manded. By this time Archie was in the condition of a hunted beast He had come, braced and rese'.ut?; he was to tretts oti: a l'.:is of conduct for the pair of them in a few cold, convincing sentences; he had now been there some time, and ho was still stag gering round the outworks, and undergoing what he felt to he a savage eross-examlna "Mr. Frank!"' she cried. "What next, I would like to ken." "He spoke most kindly and truly." "What like did he say?" "I am not going lo tell you, you hava nothing to do with that," cried Archie, startled to lind he had admitted so much. "Oh, I have naething to do with tt!" she repeated, springing to her feet. "A'body at Hermiston's free to pass their opinions upon me, but I havo naething to do wi' it! Was this at prayers like? Did ye ca* the grieve Into the consultation? Little wonder if a'body's talking, when yo make a'body ye're confidants! But as you say, Mr. Weir—most kindly, most considerate ly, most true, I'm sure—l have naething to do with It. Aud I think I'll better be going. I'll be wishing you good-evening, Mr. Weir." And she made him a stately; curtsey, shaking as sho did so, from headj to foot, with the barren ecstasy of tern« per. Poor Archie stood dumbfounded. She had moved somo steps away from him be fore he recovered the gift of artlculata speech. "Kirstie!" he cried. "0, Kirstie, worn* an!" There was ln his voice a ring of appeal, a clang of mere astonishment that show« ed the schoolmaster was vanquished. She turned round on him. "What do y« Kirstie me for?" she retorted. "What have ye to do wl' me? Gang to your aln freends and deave them!" . He could only repeat tho appealing "Klr« stie!" "Kirstie, indeed," cried the girl, her eyes blazing In her white face. "My name is Miss Christina Elliott, I would hava yo to ken, and I daur ye to ca' me out ot It. If I cannae get love, I'll have respect, Mr. Weir. I'm come of decent people, and I'll have respect. What havo I done that ye shauld lightly me? What have I done? What have I done? O, what have I done?*' and her voice rose upon tho third repetl* tion. "I thocht—l thocht—l thocht I wa* sac happy!" and the first sob broke from) her like the paroxysm of some mortal sickness. Archie ran to her. He took the poo? child In his arms, and sho nestled to hi* breast as to a mother's, and clasped him In hands that were strong like vices. Ho felt her shaken by the throes of distress, and had pity upon her beyond speech. Pity, and at the same time a bewildered fear ot this explosive engine ln his arms, whose works he* did not understand, and yet had been tampering with. There rose from be fore him the curtains of boyhood, and he saw for the first time tho ambiguous face of woman as she is. In vain ho looked; back over the interview; he saw not where he had offended. It seemed unprovoked, ■ wilful convulstion of brute nature. . , , (The recollections of the author's step daughter and amanuenlsls, Mrs. Strong, en able tho following summary argument to be given of the intended course of the story; from the point where it was interrupted by tha author's death:—Archie persists ln his good resolution of no farther compromising young Kirstie. Frank Innes takes advan tage of the situation thus created to pursue the purpose of seduction which he has con ceived; and Kirstie, though still really lov ing Archie, allows herself to become Frank' 9 victim. Old Kirstie Is the first to perceive something amiss with the girl, and believes that Archie is the man to blame. He, de siting to shield her as far as may be, does not deny Kirsile's charge; but goes to find young Kirstie, who confesses the truth to him. Archie, loving her in spite of all, promises to protect her through her trou ble. He then ha 3an interview with Frank on the moor, which ends by Archie shoot ing Frank at the Weaver's Stone. Mean i while the Four Black Brothers, enraged with Archie as the supposed seducer of their sister, seek him out with the purpose of vengeance, and are just closing ln on him when he is arrested by the officers of the law for the murder of Frank. He is brought to trial, and the presiding Judge is his own father, the Lord Justice-Clerk, who like an old Roman, condemns his son to death, but presently afterwards dies himself of the ordeal. Meanwhile old Kirstie has dis covered the truth from the girl, and com municates it to the Four Black Brothers, who, in a great revulsion of feeling In Archie's favor, determine on an action af ter the old manner of their house. They gather a following to force the prison ln which Archie lies condemned, and, after a great fight, rescue him. The story ends with the escape of Archie and young Kirs tie to America. "I do not know," adds the amanuensis, "what was to become of old Kirstie; but that character grew and strengthened so in the writing that I am sure he had some dramatic destiny for her.") The End. MEN AND MATTEB3. , Count Oknma. the Japanese Minister of Finance, has held the position twen ty-live years. Mux Nordau's "The Paradoxes," ,11 volume of 414 pages, was written on G5 pages of paper, Miss Braddon, the English novelist, was nt one time nn actress, playing small parts in the provinces. The most Influential people in Europe are old. Queen Victoria, Is nearly 77; Lord Salisbury is 05; Prince llohenohe is 71: Count Galuchowsky, the Austrian Chancellor, is 07; Prince Lobanoff, tha Russian Chancellor, is (>7; Signor Oris pl, the Italian Premier, Is 77; the Pope .iml Mr. Gladstone are SU, aud Princj Bismarck is si. Tho famous Sioux chieftain Red Cloud, goes to Washington ns chairmen of Ihe delegation to present the griev ances t>r the Sioux Nation to the "Great Father." Bed Cloud is approaching li s 80th birthday, nnd is growing very fee ble. This will be his last visit ta Wash ington, and he never expects to leave his reservation again. THEY'LL CHANCE THEIR MIND. Nineteen citizens of Macon, Ga., seme of them said to be prominent in one way or another, were subpoenaed a few days ago to appear at ihe city hfSl, provided with picks and shovels, lo go to work mt the streets of the town for live days under the direction of the board id' pub lic works. A new law provides that a citizen who fails to pay his street tax shall work out the am.unit of the tax on the streets, anil this was the first time it wtis jmt in operation. The citizens nre expected to settle up before the date in the subpoena. Conductor—"Hi, there What are you doin'?" Charley Jagon —'Tryln' —stop car." Conductor —"But yet - ringln' both ends." Charley Jago—"Thanh till right. Wan a stop both ends."—Truth, Wiggles—"That was rather a shrewd thing that the people in the Fifth setreet church did with their pastor?" Waggles—"What was that?" Wiggles—"Oh. they gave him twenty vol umes of the collected sermons of success ' ful pree -'-c:-:." -L't'tnervillc Journal.