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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 21, 1902, Image 2

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she could reach -home it would be.6axk,
too. Still, there was the letter^ and if
Nella went by the road into the village
of Waycross she could not get back be
fore her future mistress should arrive
from London,' which' she was expected to
do before 6 o'clock; so that alternative,
of course, was out of the question. She
could save herself at least half an hour
by the short cut; and this half, hour
would make all the difference -in* the
world. - She could just manage it; and
she was practically : free to do as she
chose until . Miss Grant— whom : she had
never seen— should be in the house. - . . '¦¦
Nella started out bravely, almost run
ning after she had passed the lodge and
got into the road. Presently she came to
the spot where the ways divided, and in
stead of turning to the left and making
the long detour she took, to . the ' "cliff
path." It was really much shorter than
the road to Waycross, but it went so by
ups and downs, save for the short ; walk
along the.beach, that comparatively, little
time was saved. And it was this easy ¦ bit
of going on the beach which Nella dread-
too, with her last mistress, turned up her
rather pretty little nose at No Man's
Cave— a mere picturesque hole in the dark
rock, shut up now with a dilapidated door
of wood, and went briskly on toward
Waycross. The. Innkeeper's wife there
was a relative of hers— in fact, she owed
her present . situation to Mrs. Mellish's
tecommendation; but Nella had not
meant to go near the Grant Arms, lest
she should be delayed. However, as luck
would have it, she met her. cousin near
the postofnee ' and had to stop and talk
fora few minutes. Mrs. Mellish thought
that Miss Cecily Grant was, without ex
ception, the most beautiful and : talented
young lady on earth, and it did not occur
to. her that Nella could possibly hear too
much in praise of the ; young . mistress
whom she was to see for the first time
on. this fateful Monday afternoon. So that
It was only .by painting to her relative the
horror of being late for the arrival that
Nella finally, managed to get away at all.
She posted the important letter, which
was to make all the difference between a
bright future and a gray one; and, having
stopped at a stationer's to buy herself a
curious sound came to ner ears,. mingling
with the moaning of the wind among the
rocks. It was like the noise of digging
in the pebbly sand with a big shovel. .
spite of her courage, Nella's . heart
geve a great Jump. She had been walking
rapidly, but she stopped short and lis
tened through the ringing in her ears.
The sound went on monotonously; she
had not imagined it. And there; was
something else besides the digging, and
the mattering of the wind. "Men's voices
were puttering also. T
, She -was close to the cave now, and had
ccme :o a standstill Just behind a broken
pillar of' rock, fallen long ago from above,
which formed ; a sort of one-sided porch
for the cave. itself. ;
. /'Why 'not have put It in the sea?" a voice
spoke out of the darkness, and : the" curl-:
ous ec'io.whlch folNwjd the harshly whis
pered words '¦ told even Nella's 'unaccus
tomed 'ears ;that they .had been uttered
under the roof, 1 of rock. >
' "Because: it would have'eome back with
the tide/' .was Ithe murmured -' answer,
which sent -a * sensation like
"goose-flesh" over Nella's. body. "All the
should not be seen in the aarknees If the
men came suddenly out.
How," long she stood there, shivering,
.cold. and hot . by turns, with -her heart
pounding so loudly It seemed as if other
ears than hers must hear it, she could not
tell. All fear of not. getting home in time
to be ready when she should be wanted
toy Miss' Grant was gone. She thought
of ..nothing but the awful present,' pray
ing ; that it might soon become . the past,
and whether ten minutes or an hour went
by in this .way she , could make | no .. guess
until : long ; afterward. But, just as she
¦had begun to feel that her suspense would
never end , there .' was a creaking as of an
'old door on rusty hinges,- then footsteps
padding and scraping in the sand.
Nella: did not consciously peer out; In
deed, she did not dare even .turn"; her
head. Only her wide, staring eyes moved;
but she caught one 'fleeting glimpse of
two | figures hastening away— one with
something over his shoulder— seen only
' for ah instant, and. then swallowed .up
¦ in darkness. • For, a moment or , two . she
continued to hear their footsteps,- but the
sweep of the next incoming wave over
whelmed all lesser sounds. The girl knew
' that she was alone , again, . save for i the
. near presence of that which lay in . the
cave— to be hidden", for, all time. ;. v^ \\j'
j She was safe. now, for those two would
not' come back again— never again would
they be near this spot if they could help
it, she thought. But the horror ;was upon
, her j still, t as slckeningly as "before. She
desired above all things to go, yet some
thing seemed to hold her back. In her
ears ..rang a still,- small voice, calling
calling her to see for herself what was
the work that had been done in No Man's
Cave. > For /a moment, she resisted; then,
she knew that there would <be ; no ' peace
for her any more '.unless she yielded. .
. Down she went on her <i^S±e. wi .h.
seemed to bend without her will,' and
tremulously pulling off her woolen gloves
she began to clear away the sand with;
her fingers.
As fast as she dug the sand fell down
about her hand. Still her fingers went
. further and further into ¦ the mound—
"; which "might have appeared to ignorant
eyea as If heaped up by the wind, or the
.sea. at high spring- tides. At first her
wrist was covered, then her arm up to
:. the ; elbow, and sne was diving deeper
into the mass. "After all, I believe
there's nothing; though how can that
be— " she had begun to say to herself,
when suddenly she gave an exclamation,
and would have drawn back with a start
had she not exerted all ¦ the self-control
she had. ;
She had touched something, and she
would not draw away' after all she had
gene through. With/a supreme effort she
forced herself to grasp what she had
.found; 'but, : having " touched and felt it
\ fully, nothing on earth could have kept
her from letting go and springing to her
feet with a cry.; For .'one Instant of horror
her hand' had clasped another hand, as
smooth as marble and as cold. .
"Great nuisance this cough of mine!"
grumbled Sir Redways Grant. "Why
..couldn't this brute.of an Influenza have
come a fortnight or waited a fort
night, Instead of laying me up just when
my little sirl's due? She'll think 'me a
regular old fraud for not meeting, her."
"But. Miss Grant's to- be with Lady
Stanton, isn't she?" asked Dr. Lester, in
an absent-minded way, as if his thoughts
ed, as she thought of her return after
'dark, - - - ; *'¦¦"•¦ ¦'¦' ' ' • -. .' ¦¦••' ¦- ¦'
Now, however, it was only "half -past
three, and still broad daylight, though a
purple gloom hung over the "sea, and
there was a' flurry of snow In the air.- As
she passed, Nella looked quite scornfully
at the cave .which waa supposed' to be ,
haunted. After all, it was only a j Billy
story, she said to herself and only silly
women would believe it. Of course, the
smugglers who had made i use of the
place In old days, when there had been no
"short cut" along • the cliffs and beach,
had invented the tale to keep people
away, especially after dark, when, their
business was carried on. " Perhaps there
really had been an - old man mur
dered and his body hidden In the
cave, a hundred years : ago, but as for ;
his ghost haunting the spot and moan
ing piteously, that Was .all I nonsense. It
would be a very stupid old ghost to hang
about where the associations were so un-,'
pleasant, when presumably .< it could stop
in a pleasanter abode if it liked. • 'i'.J.
So Nella Kynaston, who was an Exeter
girl and had been to London, j and Paris,
Now, Mrs. D'Esterre's school was some
what dlSTerent from most boarding
schools. Ehe only took eight or ten pu
pils, and they were not restricted by the
ordinary rules of such establishments.
They were all supposed to be honorabls
and sensible girls, and they were treated
es far as possible as if they had been
members of a big family. Therefore,
Cissy Grant was not breaking any hard
end fast regulation by talking to a young
man in a more or less public place with
cut his having been personally approved
by some one in authority. Nevertheless,
Miss Morley was perfectly certain that
this was not a chance meeting. Sbe did
not believe in such coincidences, and
though nobody had ever been In love with
her she thought she knew enough about
the all-absorbing passion to understand
what a man's eyes could say to a girl.
She read in" these dark-lashed blue ones
inat their owner was trying to tell Cissy
Vow he would have come to her through
fire and water if he could not have
reached her in any other way, and she
determined to prevent their saying more. .
"Come. Miss Grant, I- really think we
must go," she.xeiterated, with a rigidly ¦
reproachful look.
"Oh, if we must!" exclaimed Cissy. "In
just one moment, then. But may I in
troduce Lord Carrismoyle?"
Every girt was listening with all her
might, though seemingly quite careless of
what was occurring, and a thrill went
round the little circle at the^ newcomer's
name. Even Miss Morley was faintly im
pressed, for Ehe had never in her life met
a man or woman of title, except a Lord
Mayor's wife whose daughter had once
been 'an inmate of Ashburton House. -
She murmured something brusquely
courtecus, and really would have liked,
poor v.oman, to stop for a word or two
wiih her first peer, partly because he. was
"a lord" and partly because he was young
and eood-looking. But it would have
been beneath her dignity to reconsider,
and she repeated that it was time to de
part .'.-"
"Then— good-by," said Cissy, giving
Lord Carrismoyle her hand again; and
with a great shock which seemed to
strike at her vitals, Miss Morley perceived
—or thought she perceived — something
Email and white pass from the man's
palm to the girl's.
No such dreadful thing had ever taken
place under her chaperonage, and she did
not know what to do. She could not
make a scene, she could not demand then
' end there that Cissy should "hold out hei
hand" as if the heiress had been a
naughty child. Possibly, too, she had
been mistaken, and in that case, if she
took this very spirited girl to task, she
\vould be placed in an unpleasant posi
tion. Contenting herself; therefore, with
giving Cissy a searching look which must
have gone straight to her conscience if
elie were guilty, Miss Morley bowed to
Lord Carrismoyle and marshaled her
party away. There was a boy in buttons
v.hose sole duty consisted In opening and'
shutting the door, but the young Irish
. peer ignored the youth's existence, and
held the door himself, looking straight
into Cissy Grant's eyes as she passed out.
After all, however, Miss Morley remind
ed herself, it was not so bad as if Cissy
¦were going to remain in school. The girl
Lad now practically ceased to be one of
the lambs over whom she among others
had charge, and if Cissy chose to be in
discreet, why. It was her own and her
father's affair. Still, the chaperon waa
rather thoughtful all the way back to
Ashfcurton House, and an hour after
waid. In her own room, she was still
dwelling upon what had taken place in
Bond street, when fingers tapped smartly
upon her door.
"Come in," she exclaimed, wondering
a little at the hurrie'd sound, and there
stood Cecily Grant, still in the pretty
pay hat and cloth dress with the smart
little jacket to match, trimmed with chin
It was now almost 6 o'clock. In less
than an hour it would be dinner time, for
dinner was early in this feminine house
hold, therefore Miss Morley opened her
eyes in astonishment to see Cissy dressed
to sro out. ¦ . -
"I've. come to say pood-by," the girl ex
plained before the other could ask a ques- J
"Good-by? Why, you re not going till
"I thought I wasn't. But a telegram
from my father arrived only a few min
utes after we came back, saying I. was
to catch the first train I could and go
home immediately."
"What, alone?" exclaimed Miss Morley
"Yes," eaid Cissy. "It's really nothing
of a journey, you know. Only four hours
in the quickest train. Mrs. d'Esterre is
going with me herself to the station, and,
of course, I shall be met at the other
end, where we've rather a long drive. I
shall be in the house by 11:38 o'clock, I
hope, and I'm so glad, for a telegram
makes one anxious."
"I trust Sir Redways is not ill," re
marked Miss Morley.
"Oh, I hope not. But he said In the
telegram that it was important I should
come at once, and that he's wired Lady
Stanton, so she would understand and I
needn't bother tolet her know. By this
time I should think the cab must be at
the door, so good-by. Miss Morley. I
ehall always remember you and every
body at Ashburton House. Thank you for
many things."
"But your packing?" exclaimed the
spinster. "You can't have got all your
things ready at euch short notice? You
have such quantities of dresses."
Cissy laughed, though her lovely face
was clouded— with anxiety about her
father, no doubt.
"Oh, my boxes ar# to be sent after me,"
she exclaimed. "Ilm only taking a hand
bag. Of course, rve plenty of things at
home. Good-by again."
With this and a warm hand pressure,
though no kiss— for Cissy had never pre
tended to be particularly fond of the drab
faced, drab-haired Miss Morley— the girl
was gone.
The elder woman heard voices, fare
wells, shutting of doors, as she. stood at
the head of the stairs looking down.
"Well, it's a very queer thing," she said
because sbe wanted the man who was
just opening the door to see her before he
could pass by.
This was not the young man who had
been looking In at the window, but a very
<lifferent person indeed, and bis appear-
Rnce put the other entirely out of Miss
Morlcy's head for the moment. It was not
till afterward that she remembered
the former apparition and the various cir
cumstances connected with him — Cecily's.
apparent pleasure in Dorothy's whispered
Information, then the Queer look of alarm
on her face, that sudden "weakness of ,
the wrist," and her extreme pallor.
At present she had enough to occupy
her mind In the extraordinary conduct of
Mlsa Grant and the man who had Just
come into the room.
There could scarcely have been a
greater contrast between two men than
between this and the other.
The one who had looked and vanished,
was a creature of the night, out of place
*n honest sunshine. He who was now
actually daring to shake hands with a
young lady of Ashburtnn House under
the very nose of her chaperon suggested
fresh air, cold baths, hunting and per
haps battlefields— for he looked like a sol
He, too, was dark and tall (which pos
t-ibly explained Cissy's odd way of taking
Dorothy Lane's first announcement), but
he was young, not more than 27 or 28. and
while his closely cropped "TMrtr" was almost
black and his thick laahes an inky line
his eyes were bright, laughing blue.
"How do you doT' he said to Cissy,
and though the words were as common
place as words could be, be gave her a
look that turned them at once Into a
cipher. His eyes said a thousand things,
all at once, every one of which Miss Mor
ley resented.
"How do you do?" answered Cissy,
smiling, and letting him keep her hand in
his for a long moment.
under her breath. "A very queer thing,
indeed!" ;-v , " . < ;.V''
Nella Kynaston, who was to be' maid to
Miss Cecily Grant when she came home,
was in a quandary. She was In love with
a young sailor on the • Terrible, and if -
she did not get off the letter which she
had written to him that afternoon it
would miss the outgoing mall, and be a
long time delayed on the way. They had
had a quarrel and she had not meant to
write at all: but suddenly she had felt
. that sbe could not bear to run the risk
of losing Tom Just for the sake of a
foolish pride, and of course. now that she
had written the letter , she could hardly
wait' to have It go.
But the difficulty, was .that Stonecross
Abbey, Sir Redways Grant's place, was
four miles distant from the nearest vil
lage; that is, it was ' four miles distant"
if she went by road. There was a short
cut, but Nella. had never been that way.
alone. It lay along the cliffs of the sea,
and one had to pass the "haunted cave,"
called "No Man's," about which there
were such horrid stories. Long before
penny magazine, containing a serial with
an alluring and alliterative • title, l she set -.
her face .toward home. ' She would • now
only just ' have L time to reach j the i abbey -
before Miss Grant was expected, without;
the "smarting" process in which she had "
meant to Indulge. And already It ; was .
growing, dark— so dark that, once or
twice, 5 being almost a ; stranger, she lost
the way, and wasted some moments find
ing It again. She had only been at Stone
cross Abbey : for three or four days, and
her one experience of the cliff path had
been the walk she had taken * on : Sunday
with the upper housemaid. -
The snow was coming down faster now;
the sky was blurred with It, and big white
feathers 'fluttered before her eyes or
alighted on. her face,. Ilk© ; pale .'night-,
moths. But ,by the time' she got ,to the '
beach, along , which she must go for half -
a ' mile -or. more, '' deep night ; seemed • to
have fallen, though It was not much af
ter 5 o'elock. • Only the snow flakes closest,
to her face looked white now, and the
long" line of breakers were coming in with ;
such .a' rush that she could not help
shrinking back as if the big surf- wave
would spring at her.
In a few moments more "she would have :
to pass the cave. Nella reflected that she
must have been very brave to deliberately
choose this way, when Emma, the house-,
maid, said that not one of the "natives"
would go by No -Man's after dark. .Yet
she was not afraid. No, certainly sh*
was hot afraid.
Just as she was telling herself this, a
weights in the world wouldn't have kept
it down. That's why." . ,
"Well, if ,. it did come back/* retorted
¦the first speaker, "what then? -What's to ;
prove ,it hadn't been "a * suicide^-drownedi
and beaten against the rocks, . till— it was
like this?" ., ¦¦ - •';¦ ¦, '7
; "You must ; be "a fool," was the gruff
response. "Why should we make trouble
for ourselves to save a bit of work?"
. "It's not the work I'm afraid of , though
It ain't pleasant. It's the danger of being
caught at it, I think of." : r
"Pshaw! , Haven't I, told you nobody
. ever comes ] this* way after dark? It's as
safe as a church, though it's scarce night
yet. Better if it could ' have been '. later, ;
;but you know why we couldn't pick the
.time. A few minutes more. and we'll have
done. Then/ it will be over, and what
we've put here will never get us into
trouble tillthe end of. the world." v A
Nella Kynaston felt as she had felt
sometimes . In nightmare. It seemed too
horrible to ; be true that this thing could
be happening. Even if she had not all the
sensations of I slowly turning into - stone,
she had presence of mind enough left to
know that; if she made the slightest
sound and it were heard she would prob
ably be silenced forever and laid with the
mysterious "it" that was never to make
hidden speakers any trouble till- the.
end of the world. ; .
Her knees shook under her and she was
so weak that she had to lean against the
cold rock, Instinctively nestling behind it
more and more, inch by inch, so that she
Th» old wooden floor which closed the
aperture in the rock was not fastened.
" Doubtless s those . who were gone would
gladly have secured it If they could, but
'•¦ for many a year there had been no key H
and to have had a new lock made would
only have been to court discovery of a
mystery, even had they had time to spare
for. such details. Not once in ten years
did any one venture inside the cave.
. Young people of the scattered neighbor
hood were too Indifferent, perhaps; chil
dren, if they strayed so far from home,
: remembered the ghastly legend and were
, afraid. ' Besides, as. the sound of the
'shovel had told Nella Kynaston, precau
tions had been taken to hide the secret
even should curious ones come close to it.
Nella pushed the door, which moved
' heavily, as if obstructed by pebbles or
sand, and fearfully peeped Into the cave.
. All -, was . blackness there, except for a
glimpse of gray, like a mound of .irregu
lar shape, showing pale against a dark
wall of rock. '
"There's the sand they heaped with the
shovel," she whispered, dry-lipped.
•"Whatever it is, must. be under that."
"I don't think there can be any mls
•take, sir," said the footman who had
come before, as the box was carefully set
down. "It's addressed to you., sir, and
the cart from the station brought it."
""Well, I suppose it must be all right,"
replied Sir Redwavs, dubiously, "I did.
order- a lot of things, and one .never
knows how much room these professional
packers make everything take up. Still. I
should never have thought — but, no mat
• ter. Have you brought a screw driver or:
chisel,- or something of the sort,- to pry
the top open?"
This the footman had prudently done,
feeling sure hl3 master would be lnapa- "
tlent to see. the contents of the box, once
it had been brought upstairs,, and be
vexed at any. delay. He cut the cord
which was securely tied round the big
box, pried up the nails arid then he and
"By Jove, it's time she was here I" ex
claimed Sir Redways. And then he would
have his -watch and Lester's watch com- 1
pared" "with the clock to see If it were fast.
But all three timepieces were very close
together.- '
Sir Redways began to- abuse the railway
company which served Waycross. Of
course. It wasn't' much of a place, and
you couldn't expect many trains a . day,
but that was no excuse for those that did
stop always being late. As the minutes
passed he grew more and more restless,
and Lester ceased his efforts to make
a certain revelation. Sir Redways was
after all not In the mood to listen, and he
must hear the thing at some other time
in some other fashion.
The doctor lived only a mile away and
he had ridden to Stonecross Abbey on his
bicycle, meaning to stop at least an hour
(he had Intended then to combine private
with professional matters> and wishing to
save his horse exposure to. the cold while
waiting. He and his sister and a guest
who had arrived that day would not dine
till 8, and he could flash home in no time,
so that there was no great hurry for him;
and as the Invalid grew nervous and more
feverish under the strain of waiting, he
tried to soothe his patient by introduc
ing topics of ' outside interest. But Sir
Redways, usually an Irritably keen poli
tician, did not seem to care to-night what
happened In the great world.
Half past 6 came, and the old man was
Just wondering aloud' if It were possible
there could have been a big snowstorm
to block the line when a foptman appear
ed at the door.
"If you please, sir," he announced, "the
box you were exacting has arrived. You
said you wished to know Immediately it
came "
"Yes, of course," Sir Redways cut in,
impatiently. "Bring it up at once." For
the first time he showed an interest la
something besides the non-arrival of his
daughter and Lady Stanton. "I'm glad
that box has come," he went on, turning
to his -friend, as the footman departed,
"though I hardly expected it till to-mor-.
row. It's full of Christmas things; Lady
Stanton was good enough. to get what I
wanted for me in town; as T couldn't go
myself. And, by the way," there's a book,
in it— or should be— which I promised to
your sister. I'll have the box opened,
while you're here, and you can* take It
to her when you go home if you don't
mind." - . *
Of course, the doctor did not mind, and
•while he wa3 assuring Sir Redways of the
pleasure he would have In the commis
sion there came the sound of steps out
tiide the door— heavy footsteps, as of sev
eral persons weighted down by some bur
den they were carrying.
The two gentlemen looked up expectant
ly, and also in some suprise, for appar
ently it was a very large object which
was on its way. There was a pause out
side; then the door opened and two foot
men entered, one backing In in advance
of a large wooden box, which he support
ed at one end, while the other end was
held by his fellow . servant, walking . be
hind. .; . -
."Good gracious!" ejaculated Sir Red
ways. "This can't be,the right box. Why,
it's as big as a cofftn!" >
Afterward all those, who heard these
words and he who had spoken them re
called them with a shudder.
"No-o," Lester confessed, "the state of
health In this county is so good at pres
ent that It's quite discouraging to us poor .
chaps. Really, I took it as a personal fa
vor that you should come down with the
•flu.' But the fact is "
On this occasion a clock on the mantel
interrupted him by striking 6.
"Do sit down again." said the older
man, "unless you've got another patient
waiting for you?"
Dr. Robert Lester was 40, and because
of his light curly hair, small mustache.
turned-up nose and cleft chin, still looked
almost boyish, but there was an unusual
cloud on his good-natured countenance to
night He had been trying so hard for
the chance he wanted— or ought to want,
but If Sir Redways would not give It to
him, what -was he to do?
were somewhere else. And so they were,
though not far off. There was a thins
which he was exceedingly anxious to Bay
to Sir Redways. but he did not for his
life know how to begin.
"Yes, she's traveling down from Lou
don with Lady Stanton. of course." the
old man admitted. "And the arrange
ment Is that Lady Stanton's carriage
meets them, as our place is on the way to
Martinscombe Hall. She's to drop Cissy,
and I hoDe to persuade her to stop^for
a cup of tea. • A kind soul! I believe
she went ud to town last week on my
girl's account, more than anything else,
though she talked about Christmas shop
ping. Still, Lady Stanton or no Lady
Stanton, I wanted to be at the station;
and I'm so much better that I think you
really might have let me out. Lester."
VYou'd have been sorry to-morrow 1/ I
had." said the doctor. "Look here. Sir
Redways,. there's something I want "
"Listen! • Was that the sound * of
wheels?" broke In the Invalid, so- eager
that he had not even heard the Interrupt
ed sentence.
"I don't hear it," Lester answered, get- >
ting up from his chair, and then standing
with his hand grasping the back, of it.
"I must be getting oft; but before I go—"
"No, no." ejaculated Sir Redways. ;
"Stay and meet Cissy.'* He made this
suggestion as if no greater pleasure could
be offered to any mortal. "It's a year
since you've seen her. She — er— she wasn't,
very bright at that time. You know there ,
was a little— «r— misunderstanding— our .
first. But she's got all over that, and
she'll be a different girl. I can tall you
I punished her. more than myself la pack
ing the poor child off to school. And I j
¦hall be glad enough to have her back
again. Last Christmas was one of the
most miserable days of my lift} but X -
hope this one will make up for It— t*
both of us."
He was talking mora to himself than t*
Robert Lester now; but the doctor,
though younger than he by twenty-fir*
years, was a valued friend, and happen* d
to know all about the circumstances to
which Sir Redways referred.
They were In a room usually spoken of
as Sir Redways' "study," ever sine* the
time— years ago— when he had actually :
written a book there, describing his
travels In the East Being an Invalid for <
the moment. Sir Redways sat near th«
hearth, in a blsr "grandfather" chair,
which kept away draughts, and th» fire
light flickered fitfully over his white hair
and clear-cut, clean-shaven features, soft
ening away the petulant frown between
the heavy white brows. Ha was a very
handsome old man, and though he looked
every one of his sixty-five years. It was
still easy to understand how Cecily's
mother— a famous beauty, and his second
wife— had fallen deeply In love with him
when he was 45 and she 19— just Cissy's
age now. Perhaps if she had lived she
might have regretted her resolve to con
sole the handsome, middle-aged soldier
for all that his first wife had made him
suffer— for Sir Redways had a passionate
temper as well as a warm heart. But she
had died when Cissy was a year or two
old and that brief time, at least, had beea
all happlritesa.

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