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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, May 03, 1896, Image 17

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(Copyright, 1896, by Stone and Kimball.)
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.
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-
: 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
"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
"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—" "

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
"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.
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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.
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
"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
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
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«
Poor Archie stood dumbfounded. She
had moved somo steps away from him be
fore he recovered the gift of artlculata
"Kirstie!" he cried. "0, Kirstie, worn*
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«
"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
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
The End.
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.
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
Charley Jagon —'Tryln' —stop car."
Conductor —"But yet - ringln' both
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.

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