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A FAMILY AFFAIR.
BY HUGH CONWAY. AUTHOR OF "CALLED BACK," DAVS," ETC. DARK (Continued From Sunday, May 31st.) ty o lost allttia boy," sba faltered out, dear littio boy of that age. My nan is certain this is ours." . "But you you are not certain. A man may make a mistake as to bis own child, but not a woman. Too mother doea not forget har child, or believe the child of a stranger to be her own." "My p-tm is so certain," repeated Mrs. Rawlings, "he must be right Poor fallow, ever since our boy was lost he boa bean seek ing him, high and low. It has driven him all but mad at times. Now ha has found the child, and means to have him." She spoke t'ae last sentence somewhat defiantly. "Ho will never have him," said Beatrice, Blowly. "Listen to me. There is no chance of your obtaining that boy. His mother knows in whose hands he is. If your claim is pressed, proof as to whose the child really is will be forthcomfcj. The production will cause pain and grief, but that will be borne, if naedful. See here" she drew from her pocfct the label -vrhich had been cut off the chill's cape "the parson who, has a right to that child must produce the half of the card which fits thi When wanted it can be produced." 'I know nothing about cards and proofs," said the woman, whose understanding could not, parhaps, grasp the ingenuity of the daviae. "Ail I know is thii, uiss: my hus band swoars it is our boy, and I beliavo him, poor man. Scro enough he has grieved for two years navor been the same man irei." "You eio not believe him," said Beatrice, In tha soir.0 deliberate way, "but for tha safca of setting his mind at rest you humor hi3 delusion, and are willing to rob another woman. You seem to be a kind woman, yet you are ready to work irretrievable harm to another." "I mcaa no harm to any one, miss. If It shouldn't bo my child, the mother can't be of much account who could desert a pretty little dear liko that But there, I've listened too long, and perhaps said more than I ought. If you like to see my husband, IH send for bin:." Mrs. Bawling rose as if to terminate the auclionca. Eeatrica also roso and laced her. She threw up her veil, and for the first time during the interview showed her face to bar companion. "No," she said, with strange vehemence; "I hava more, much more to say to you. Look me ia the face, and feel sure that I am spaafcing the truth. 'What if I tell you that I know the mother of this child know why it was sent to Hazlewood House know that if forced to do so the mother will claim It publicly will face whatever the shame, rather than yield it to another? Will theso things have weight with you, and make you porsuada your husband to let tha matter rest!" Her impassioned manner had its effect upon her listener. Mrs. Rawllngs fidgeted about, nr.d her round eyes, which hitherto had rested wonderingly on Beatrice's face, were cast down. "It's" no use," she muttered, shaking her bead. "Not a bit of use. He has set his heart on tha boy. He'll Bay it's only a trlrk." . "Then I have yet more to say. Look at ma rfgam, and listen, j- Put yourself in my place, and i eallze what you compel me to do. I tell you the child is mine it is mine. Do you understand?" " ' Mrs. Bawlings shook her head feebly. "It is mine," repeated Beatrice. "I am its mother. Do I speak clearly enough? That aim, seeing the thought made bim so happv. Anyway I would have loved tha boy lite :ny own. Now I promise yoa there shall be ao more trouble. But my poor man, he will be disappointed." "WU1 any sum of money " began Bea trice rather timidly. "Ob, no, miss. Although Bawlings has neglect1! business dreadiully for the lost rwo yeara, and his brother is grumbling, we re fairly well-to-do people with a tidy bit avcd. ' Oh, no, my can is eingle-eyed, H jnly wanted lis boy." "How was your child lost?" asked Bea trice. Mrs. Rawlines looked rather contused. "I can't help believing, miss, that the poor little fellow was drowned ana nevor rouna. But Rawlings he won't have it so. Ho fays he was stolen and we shall, find him som lay." After this Miss Clauson thanked her hostess with grave dignity. Then she dropped har veil and attended by Mrs, Bawlings went back to the cab and Sylvanus. She bad jained her end, but at a price only known to herself. What it had cost her to reveal tho gecrot of her life to that strange woztan con icarccly be over estimated. Bach was har feeling of degradation that she almost wished that bor uncles hod been in the room when vosterdav she went with tho child in ber hand to tell them what she had to-day told Mrs. Bawlings. "And after all," she mur mured with a bitter smile on her face, "it Is but staving off the crash which must come looner or kter." Hare she sighed involun tarily. Mordle's quick ear caught the sound. Nothing unpleasant nappecea, i coper' no isked. "My business was not cf the pleasantest aature, but I accomplished it successfully,' replied Beatrice. He said no mere. By her desire she was iot down at ona of the principal shops' In Blacktown, an emporium of articles of femi alno used into which Mcrdla could not ven ;uro to accompany her. Shu thaaked him for his (ial viit-a,. uud Lu klijw that those ihanks were a dismissal. Ee strode back to Daktury looking very thoughtful; Indeed It was not until be wa3 well into his cwn parish that ho remembered the necessity of rosum-. jig his usual cheerful air. "It must have been charitable" he muttered. "But why She secrecy? Why the 'Cat and Com passes f " Saturday came. All that morning, the busiest of tha week, Horace and Herbert ware fidgety and uncomfortable. Long be fore tho hour fired by Messrs. Blackett 4c Wfcrgens for tha appearanco cf their client's ;arriage tho brothers wore glancing down ;he drive. Miss Clauson, however, appeared mlm and at her case. Her woman's instinct told her that ell danger from tho claimants tvns at an end. About 2 o'clock Horace turned to her. "My dear," he said, "has Mrs. Miller made any preparation for the -hild's departure f "Zfono whatever. He will not be sent for. It was but an idlo threat." Horace and Herbert exchanged glances. They knew it was no idle threat, but they little knew how the fulfillment had been averted. Throe o'clock came four five o'clock, but no carriage, no Rawlings, no Blackett, no Wiggens. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday passed without any sign or manifestation ol hostility. The falberts were then bound tc confess that their nieco bad judged aright. "Beatrice appears to be remarkably clear sighted," said Horace. "Komarkably so," answered Herbert But had Sylvanus Mordle, who spent the evading with them, committed a breach oi faith and mentioned his excursion with Mist Clauson, the brothers might have suspected they bad credited their niece with a quality to which she had no title. I ' am ''It is mine," repeated Beatrice, its mother." boy to my son. I bore him in marriage, but in trouble and In secrecy. Now will yoa or your husband dare to lay claim to him dare to swear it belongs to you? Answer me!" "Oh, dearl Oh, dear, dearl" ejaculated Mrs. Bawlings. Beatrice's face was pile as cl?ath. She breathed quickly, as ona in pain. N mv, that her hand was forced, now that the guarioi secret of her life was wrested from her, she saemod to speak like oca who, having told tha worst, cares littio what follows. "Save myself and one other no ona knows of its birth. I loved it and longed to havo it ever with me. But for years I scarcely dared to sea it. Then came a chance. I renamed so that it might coma to mo and be always with me, and yet no one need know it was my very own. I injured no one by bo doing. I had my child and could love it ad -are for it. I was all but happy. And now, . tor what can be of no benjflt to you, you ivill force ir.e to tell my tale to tho world or part vita my child. Yet you aro a woman, an J must have a woman's heart !" , Sua lookad at Mrs. Eawlings 8r5d saw that tears were in her eyes. "I believe you ara kind," coatimied Bea trice in a softer voice. "You havo forced me to tell you all. But I balievo you will lie.- p my secret and help ma to keep it." She did net mean to sue, nevertheless there was an fciplcring tona in her voice. Mrs. Itaw linjs clasped her plump band3 together; tha lean streamed down her cheelu. In suite of yeai'J cf practica in plaiting up those myste rious white iategumento whose fanciful ?hap3 adorn shops where pork is sold, the worthy woman was still humana at heart, "Oh, my poor young lady ! My poor young laiy '." sho cried. "You so young, so proud loosing, go beautiful! To be led astray! Oh, aoe.rlcU dear! What Villains men are, both . high and low!" , , ' Miss Clauson flushed to the roots of her hair. She seemed about to speak, but checked herself. "You are satisfied now?" she asked . after a pause. "Oh, yes, nms. Oh, I am so sorry for you. ' Yon were right to trust me. Not a word , shall pass my lips." . "But your husband?" ' "Oh, dear! oh, dear! I must do the best I can. I must tell him it is not ours. He will ,.'. b j so unhappy. He's a gocd man and a kind husband, but rather excitable. I assure you, mis , he was futtj' convinced ttat sweet utile boy was bis. Iown I wasn't but I humored CHAPTER XVXH THE SWEETS CF UBEBTY. "0 Liberty! - thou goddess heavenly bright! Profuse of bliss and pregnant with delight." Every bard has sung the joys oi Liberty; every writer has said hi3 say upon her glories. Patriots have died for ber, and tuesmen modern ones especially have made her a convenient stalking horse. The subject being such a stock one, and apt quotations eo plentiful, there is no need tc tulato upon ine trame or txunei in wtlcn Mrs. Miller's acquaintance, Mr. Maurice liervey late No. 1080, found himself, when Portland prison at length discontinued Its ungrudging and. machine-liko hospitality and restored bim to the outer world, a free man save f oi tha formality of once a month reporting him- jelf to the police, and that general guspiciout surveillanco ' which is so irksome to the isually modsst and retiring nature of tlcket-of-leava man. The "goddess heavenly bright" showed hoi face, the first time lor some years, to Mau rice Uervey on the very day when Mia Clausen and Sylvanus Mordle went to Black- town. Mrs. Miller, who had manifested so keen an interest in the felon's enlodzemant, r malned in complete ignoranco of the happy event. Thuwasdue to no omission on hoi part She had written twice to tho governor of Portland, begging that the date of tht convict's release might be made known tc her. The letters were dated not from Oak- bury, but from some place ia London. The first letter was duly acknowledged, end the Information vouchsafed that the date coulc not be exactly fixed. To tho cecond letter she received no reply. The reason for such apparent discourtesy was this: The day oi tna man s emancipation was drawing very near, so be was told that his friend had written, and he was asked if he wished to be sent to Lcdonto meet her, He cast down his eyes and in a respectful way stated that he was scrry to say that he attributed tls present shameful position tc 2ertain evil counsel which tho writer had rfven him, and which ho had follovod. He did wish to bo sent to London, but would rather avoid this woman than seek her. After this avowal Mrs. Miller's letter re mained unanswered. He was an educated villain, who bad been lentenced to five years' penal servituda for uttering Icrged bills. Like most such men. who are s?nt into Bcclusion f or tho eoodof the community, Maurice Hervey was able tc realize, wittout suen severe treatment wa3 needed to convince tho Apostle Paul, that kicking against pricks is foolishness. Ho had bean ordered to pay a certain debt Misbehavior meant that tha debt would bt exacted to tho uttermost farthing ; -whereas good conduct would in time lighten the Obli- zation and induce ms creditor to accept handsome composition. So he did to tb best of bi3 ability such work as was al lotted to him. He was too clever to attempt the elbow-wem trick of interesting the chaolain by tt pretended conversion. He sagely reflected that chaplains must by this urco tavo grown wiao awate. But bo wore a contented, Inoffensive look, spoko civilly to nis jmiers, complained oi notning, and gave no troublo. It was only in the seclusion of his circumscribed cell of corrugated iron that No. 1080 scowled, grated his teeth and clenched his hands. It was only thero that while his heart craved for personal freedom his lips noiselessly framed bitter curses and vows of vengeance. ,-' So It is that if upon his return to freedom Mr. Hervey had given his experiences ol penal servitude to tha daily papers, his de scription of the punishment of bread niid water diet dark ceils, and that humiliating exercisei with the crank known as "grind. 'ng the air" would have had no first-hand value. Before leaving Portland he was told that the "Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society" would doubtlas3 do something for him. Be expressed bi3 gratitude for the information, but added that uhl&is from disuse his right hand had lost its cunning, he could earn an honftut he emphasized tho wordlivelihood without difficulty, t He had been an artist, and could again pursue that craft usder a now name. During his detentioa be had ' given 13 janitors proof ol his grapaia abili ties by the graving of 'sundry slates with complicated and not incxtistic designs. Theso works of art are still shown td visitors to the prison as curiositios. ' . So, practictily a free man, Maurice Her vey stood in the streets of London at 4 o'clock cn the sacond day of the now year. There was little aDout nun to attract attention. By a merciful and sensible dispensation,' dur Ing the thrao months prior to his emancipa tion a convict's nair is left to nature, so that in these days of military crops Mr. Horvey's haad, which no longer resembled a Fitiroy stormdrum, was not a signal of danger. The suit of clothes which replaced tha durable prison drtus was rough and lll-fltttng, but not such as to create remark. In London that night there must have been hundreds of thousands of respectable men who locked neither better nor worse than Maurice Her vey. . Free at lost! Free to turn where he likad, and, within the limits of the law, do as bo liked; in splendid health; in the prima of manhood. Free to redeem or cancel tho past by honc3t work, or by dishonesty gink lower and lower in the future. In his pockat tha sum of five pounds seventeen shillings and iixponce, the result ol years or Belf -enforced good conduct and unavoidable hard labor. The fingering of this money gave bim a new, or at least awoke a dormant sensation. It was more than four years since his hands had touched a coin of the realm. Think of that- and reslizo what penal servitude moao ! The first use he made of his liberty and money wo3 characteristic, and I fear may awaken indulgent sympathy In tho minds of the majority ol man- (not woman-) fclnu. Be went into a tobacconist's and bought a airepenny cigar. He lit It, sat down upon chair in the shop and for soma minutes nnoked in blissful, contented silence. Tha shopkeeper eyad his customcfuarrowly. H!3 general appearance, espsclally tha look of his hands, did not seem compatible with what tho tradesman called a "ninepenny smoko jent" Harvey caught the man's eyes filed on hl3 hands. He himself glanced at them with a look of disgust and a muttered curse. Years of turf -carrying and digging and delv ing for Portland stone play havoo withn gentleman's hands. Horvey's nail3 wero broken, blunted and stunted; his fingers were thickened and hardened. Altogether his hands were such C3 a parson solicitous as to the refinement of his personal appaarance would prefer to keep in his pockats. There wero other actions whlcn snowed the tickot-of-lcave man to be possessed of a fastidious nature. The first enthralling solemnity of the refound enjoyment of good tobacco having passed ott, lie leit tne suop and wont in search of a ready-made clothing establishment Hero he bought a shirt and collar, a pair of shining boots, a bat, gloves, and a cheap suit which for a few days would hantc toeethor and present an appearanco almost fashionable. He asked permission to chauga bis apparel on the premises. Then having had a brown paper parcel made of tho suit presented to hira by a generous government ho went his way, no doubt much relieved by the amelioration of his ex ternal condition. After a few mere purchases needed by a gentleman for his toilet, he found his money had dwindled, down to very little. Me naa, however, onough left to buy a shiny black bag. Into this he tummea nis parcels, anu hailing a hansom paid his last shilling to bo conveyed to the door ct a weii-Known notei. A luxurious dog this convict I He encaged a bedroom, lie oracroa a dinner of which even Horace and Herbert might have approved. He rang for hot water, and spent half an hour soaking bis hardoned and disfigured hancu tie scowled as he realized the painful fact that hundreds of gallons cf hot water and months of time must be expended before these badly-uaed nembers In any way resumed their original appoaranca. Then, witnout a smiling in nis pocket, be went to his dinner, with which he JSL$ tfien, without a shilling in hi$ pocket he went to his dinner. Irank a bottle of champagne. It fa clear iat Mr. Hervoy, bate 1080, had liberal views is to the treatment duo to himself. He had, noreover, a lot of leeway to make up. He spent the evening smoking tiro hotel dgars and drinking the hotel whisky and irater. 1'lcasant as inose occupations v. ere, 16 rctived to rest oarly. While ho had been leaking his hands ho had cast longing eyes anon the beauties Ol ine wmro-covereu u-ju, ind had mentaily contrasted its soft chhrma s-ith the asperities of the strip of sacking irtiich hr.d for so long been hh resting-place. 3woet, truly sweet, are the uses of adversity when thev teacn a man to enjoy vua buuijio somf orts of life as Maurice Hervoy that night injoyed his bed. He reveled in the clean iphite sheets, he nestled on tho soft mattress md yet softer pillows. Tho profusion of rtanketa filled bis soul with a rapturous irarmt.h. And as ho fully realized the con- a-ast between the innocent luxury he wa3 mjoylng and tho discomforts of an Iron cell light feet by four, he vowed a very proper , nn Ill-advised conduct of histown hould force him to renew bis acquaintance irith prison faro and discipline. Tbelovo of uxury has saved many a man from going vrong. ' , "Besides," he murmured, as he sank off sloeo. "there is no need tor iooiery oi hat kind. 1 am master oi me siwuuuu. an oat, drink and be merry for the rest of n-ir lifn" There are manv reed who would leep the sounder had they such a thought to ocktboci. Tn tho mornine. after breakfast, It occurred o Hervey that a moneyless man staying at i hotel Is In a rather precarious position. 1 -uiAnnt as was his newlv-found liberty, here was work to be done before he could rilh a clear conscience enjoy It So he allied forth, trudged through a number of treete, and at last reached a quiet back road ull of unpretending little houses. At one if these houses he Inquired for a Miss liar tin, who bad lodged there some four or Br- years a.-o. Miss ITartin, he was In formed, had left over so lon left without riving an address. Horvey's heart grei7 sick. In his haste to once more te tie luxuries of lifo ho had been too precipitate. He knew that unless he could find the psrsea ha wanted it would havo been bettor for tira to havo kept his good conduct money intact. l no woman of the hou3?, who noticed t dismay, added that the shop at the corner might know what had become of Miss Kar tin ; so to tho shop he went He was in luck, He learnod that his friend lived about a m away; montovsr, that she was now XIrt. Humphreys. As be heard this supplement ary piece of news the man laughed so curi ously that the shopwoman eyed him askance. He walked to the naw address, that of an- otlwr little hoxw in another quiet straet Ha knocked. A good-locking, respectable ycung woman, carrying a DaDy, and followed by a toddling child, opened the door. She cava a low cry, and daggered back against tha wall, nervoy raised his hat with mock politeness, and without Invitation entered tnenawo. ine woman called to gome one, who came and relieved her of her children. She then opened the door of a sitting-room, into wmca ine louowea Her visitor. Hervey threw himself on a chair, and looked at the wemau with a satirical smile. As yet not a word had passed batween them. The man was the first to break silence. "Well, Fanny," he said mockinzly. "so you are married, and havo forgotteii me?" no; I am trying to foreet you." Bht spoka bitterly. . Ana you can't. That's a comnliment. considering ino years ol soparatioa" Tha woman lookel at him In the face. "Maurice," she said, "I am married. 1 marriad a kind, true man, who loves me cad works for me and for our children. He know a groat deal, not all about my past, yel ho toon me ana trusts ma. Yoa will sneei when I tell you I am trying to be a cood woman end a good wif o. You always sneered at anything good. But, Maurice, for the saka of what wo wero enca to each other, sparo mo now. Let me live in peace, and see you no more." " she spoke In solemn earnest such earnest ness that tha man's light laugh seemed dis cordant "My dear girl," he said, "I have no wish to tempt your foot from ttopathi of domestic virtue no wish to harm you. 1 have finer fish to try. But you may remem ber that when certain circumstances ren dered it imperative curse it! I can speali plainly to you wnen 1 learned that the -warrant was cut, whan I know that tha game was up, I placed a littio packet in your fonc bands to keep until better times. Where It itr , Tho woman flushed, and for a moment did not answer. Her prayor for mercy had beer, genuine; her wish to see him no nioro ar honest utterance; but years ago sho hac given this man all a woman has to give given it without consideration, without price. And now, so far as ho was concerned, tho only memory of the past which linked them together was but of a certain thing left in her charge. He saw the flush, he saw the hesitation, and, of course, attributed both to tho wron( motive. Jii3 Dro-j grow black, "ayu dl' he cried; "if It Is not forthcoming " She burst Into tears. "Wait," she said, quitting tho room abruptly, and leaving hei visitor in dire suspense. In a few minutet she returned and handed bim a small sealec packet "There it Is just as you gave it to me that night," she said, "Many a t'mowher I've been hard pressed, and did not know where to turn to for a shilling, I tried tc per3uado myself that you meant me to use i: In case of need. But I knew you too well Maurice 1 knew you too well I" Horvoy paid no heed to her last words, the scorn convoyed by which should have brought the blood to tha cheek of any mar of decent feelings. He toro the parcel open. It contained a cold watch and chain, twe valuable diamond rings and about a hun dred sovereigns. He placed tho watch in hi: fob, then tried to draw the ring3 cn bis An gara. Neither would pas3 over his enlarged knucklos, so with a curso ho shoveled them along with the cold, into bis pocket The woman watched him sadly. "Thank you, my dear," he said airily I know I could trust you. By the by, per haps you're hard up. Have some I can get plenty more," Ho held out soma gold to her, "Jiot a rartning. l our gold would dutx me." "Will you glva me a klsj for the saka of old times? Fancy ! it is more than four years since my lips have touched a woman's.'' She made an emphatio gesture ol dissent "It would bo well for some women," sho said. "if your Hp3 had never touched theirs." Ha lauehsd an unpleasant laugh. "Well good-bye then, if we are not to rake up olo fires. Itemomborraoto your reripectaDio Hus band, Keep yourself unspotted from the world, and train up your children in the way they should go. Farewell. " He swung out of the bouse wbistling c merry tuno In vogua when his incareeratior. began. "Now," ho said, "that I havo money enough to last a long timo, I can make my own terms. Orim want .won't push me tote a cornor. How, you jaao, i u mage you bend your proud knee3l" He grated his strong teeth and stamped hie foot the latter so violently and viciously that a timid old gantleman who was closo by him started off at an accelerated pace in the direction of a distant policeman. Horvev nuns about London for a few days, He made considerable additions to his ward- robo. was an excellent customer of tho hotel, he patronized several theatres, ana generally enjoyed himsalf. 11a was not aucgetner iaie, cart of his timo betes? taken up in making Borios of inquiries which it took sorno trouble to get answered. At last ho learned what he wanted to know, "soneari" ne nrattoreu. "I feared I should ha-e to look out of Eng land. " Forthwith he paid his hotel bill, and. carrying withliun the respect of tho pro prietor, left tha housa. Evening found him in comfortable quarters In tha smoky old city known as Blacktovn, kettle of hot water, rnipir, and ciMrs the new lodger spent a comfortable, if not an inbelifutuul or improving evening. In the morning he sallied forth. Like every visitor to the old city who has time to spare he seemed bent upon seeing the natural bean ties of tha suburbs of Blaiitown. His land lady, who thought him a nice, pleasant, free spoken gentleman, gave him an oral list of the stock sights in the vicinity; but as soon as he was out of doors Mr. Hervey inquired tha way to Oakbury, and learned that as easy walk of about two miles would take him to that highly favored spot The weather, although fine, was cold, so he decided to walk f.-, M Ho.tinoMAn lfa mnn left the rows of houses and shops behind him, struck along a j broad white road which cut i way inrougn a level greensward, and in about three quartert of an hour found himself In front ol the Bed Lion Inn, Oakbury. He entered the inn men of his stamp, wben in the country, make entering inns a point of honor. He called for hot brandy and water, and was supplied with a jorum of that deep brown liquor, dear to rustic palates on account of its presumed strength. Hervey sipped it, lit a cigar and entered into a cheer ful conversation with the Bed Lion and . CHAPTER XIX "rr has com." At Blacktown Maurice Hervey did not favor a hotel with his custom. Perhaps he mistrusted the capabilities possessed by the Blacktown hotels for furnishing hira with luxurica such as, after so protracted and en forced an abstention, ho felt to bo rightly hit due. Perhaps be sighed for tho quietuda and repose with which ono usually associates a private house. After a short sar.rch ho found a bedroom and a sitting-room, well furnished and commanding extensive views. , They were in ono of a row of substantial houses which by soma freak of fortune had fallen from tho high estate of fashionablo residences to the lower level of respectable lodging houses. Tha landlady's quotation, which after the manner of Buch quotations, had at tached to It a string of extras like tho tail to a kite, having been accepted, Mr. Hervoy re quested that somo dinner might bo prepareei for him. This of course moant chops an extemporized lodging house dinner invariably means chops. Having particularly reejuested that his chops should be broiled, not fried, Mr. Hervey, whilst the cooking was going on, wont out, found a wine merchant's and ordered half-a-dozen of whisky sent In. The light of tho bottles, the number of which augured well for a long stay, gladdened the landlady's heart. By the aid ol tuewhiskyi Hervey cntcrt into conversation with the Bed Lton. Lioness, who were pursuing their calling In what, after the fashion of country inns, was combination of bar and parlor. Ihe Keel Lion, an affable, condescending animal, and, like all noble animals, willing to relinquish toil for more congenial pursuits, seeing that his visitor was ready to talk, sat down in a round-backed chair near the fire and left the Lioness to atteud to the bottle and jug de partment, which, as the hour was just past uoon, was in lull swing oi activity. Hervey asked a variety of questions about the neighborhood. He might really have teen a gentleman of fortune anxious to buy place and so properly particular as to what society might be round about He ob tained much valuable and interesting infor mation about the "families of position" as they appeared to the eyes of the Red Lion. He learned who lived in the big white house at the edge of the common, who in the bouse at the top of the hill, who in the house at the bottom. He was gradually leading up to the questions he wanted to ask, when the sound of carriage wheels was heard, and the Lion after glancing over the wire window- blind laid down his pipa and went to the door. Hervey also glanced out of window and saw two tall gentlemen, who occupied the box-seats of a large wagonette. They were talkiug gravely and sadly to the Lion, who, whilst he listened with due respect, looked somewhat crestfallen and ill at ease. What's the matter now, Joe I" asked the Lioness, rather anxiously, as her spouse returned. "Say the lost cask rf beer ran- out two days before its time, so couldn't have been full. They look after trifles, they do." "Oh, nonsense!" said the Lioness, tossing her head. "Some one must have got at it. Their servants are no better than others." "Who are they?" asked Hervey. "The Mr. Talberts of Hazlewood House," replied the landlady, with that smile on her face which seemed to come involuntarily on the faces of many people when they men tioned or heard the name of our gentle Hor ace and Herbert Hervey went hastily to the window and looked after the wagonette, which, however, was by now out of sight. Rich men, 1 suppose r he said, reseatlr himself. . - "They're rich enough; but oh, that partic ular!" said the Lioness, with another toss of ber head. The accusation of short measure rankled in her breast ''Cle-se-flstedr' asked Hervey. "Well, yes, they're close," said the Lion. "That is, they like to get a shilling's worth tor a shilling." " W e all like that. Lot me have it now. Two brandies one for you and one for me. " The Lion laughed and filled the glasses. Hervey adroitly plied him with questions ibout tha Talberts, and soon learnt almost as much as. we know. Ha laughed with the tandlord at their amiable peculiarities. , It was well our friends did not hear the Red Lion, or Haaelwood House might have gone elsewhere for its beer. They are funny gents," said the Lion, "You'd never believe; but a day 'or two ago I was walking along the road. It was drizzling with rain. The Mr. Talberts they passed me, driving. All of a sudden they pull up at the hedge round their paddock Mr. Herbert he lumps down; ne takes the whip and with the handle begins poking furiously in the hedge. I ran up thinking wmething was the matter, tiaw no! not it, He was a poking at a bit of white paper which had blown in there. Pckand poke he did till" he got it out and Mr. Horace the while holding the horses and sitting and looking on as if it meant life or death getting aut that paper. Kuni thing to be so particu lar, ain't it?". Hervey professed himself much amused and. continued his questions. He heard all about Miss Clauson, the niece who had been rtaying at Oakbury for so long. He even learned the name ot every member of the Hazlewood House establishment, from that of the oldest retainer, Whittaker, to that of the latest arrival, Mrs. Miller the nurse. He heard, of course, the whole history, with ad ditions, of the mysteriously- sent boy. And when he was told this, in spite of his self control, a look of utter amazement spread jver his face. He rose, and bade the Red Lion good day. .The story he had heard must have engrossed his mind to an unpre cedented extent, for he actually forgot to tlnish his brandy and water, a flattering tribute to the landlord's power of interesting a listener. - After leaving the Inn Hervey took the first turning out of the main road. It was a little by-way leading to nowhere In particu lar. Here, as no onlookers were about, he gave vent to delight by sundry actions com mon to most men as soon as they fltd, them selves alone after having received the loest possible news. He smacked his thigh; he rubbed his hands together; he 6eemd to hug himself in his Jey. He laughed aloud, but there was a cruel ring In his laugh, aud there was a cruel look oh his laughing mouth. His ye8 h-ightened with the blended lights of malice and anticipated triumph. , ' "What hick!" he ejaculatl. ' I sfle it ail from ttie vory t i found it! it was a clever s'r 1 Pvegothernowl Ive gut 1 rumf He calmed himself, returned to I i road and inquired the way to I House. He stood for some time in f '-f the entrance gates, but finding that c i 1 , chimneys of the house could be seen I ' this point he walked round until he ooul 1 - 1 a better idea of the building. "It all mtuw money! Pots of money!" he said, with glen. After this he re-turned to the gates, and it seemed as if he meant to favor our frien U with a call. However, if so, he changed hw mind. '" "No." he said, turning away. "There's a new element In tha case which must be con sidered. No need to bo in a hurry. I'll go back home and think it all out over a pipe." So he faced about, and, in a thoughtful way, sauntered down the lane, or road, whose mission in this world is to give access to Ha slewood House and two or three other equally desirable residences. It was a gloribus winter's day. The. " -was shining brightly; so brightly that o bare twigs of the hedges the hoar frosty the night had resolved itself Into crystal drops which shone like jewels, and then, as If alarmed at their Protean nature, trembled and fell. Although a silvery haze hung round the horizon there was no fog. - The air was sharp and crisp, but not damp. The wind if cold was quiet. It was a day of a thousand a day, ia fact, on which, if she -knows ner business, a woman who has charge of a child takes it out for a good long walk. ' -Mrs. Miller knew her business, so it was quite in order that as Maurice Hervey was walking down the lane the nurse and tne Doy , ji on their way home to early dinner, should be walking up. Hervey, whilst deep in his meditations, heard, a voice, and looking up j saw the dark clad woman and the golden- haired child within a few paces of him. "T " topped short and looked at them. f Hervey to-day presented an appearance so different from that of the caged creature seer, by Mrs. Miller at Portland that she would ., probably have passed him without recogni- -tion. He was now fashionably dressed and, had it suited his purpose, might have brushed fj elbows with the woman and yet leu nerv ignorant of his release. This not being, V J purpose he stopped short and waited. NS -(, ally she raised her eyes and at once kneflt truth. - - . - Had Sarah Miller followed the Impulse which seized her when she saw that face,Ali full of mocking triumph, she would have ; uttered a cry of anguish. - Only the fear of alarming the child prevented her from so doing. As it was she gave a quick gasp, and : , for a moment gazed at the man as if she sawi a ghost. Then she stooped and said to the J boy: "Run on, my pretty, run as fast as t you can." The boy obeyed.' Hervey made- 1 no effort to stop him, but he turned and fol lowed him with his eyes. Then once more ho , faced Mrs. Miller. il She had by now recovered from the first f ', shock, and looked at him not so much with ( fear as with hatred and defiance. She took 1 a few steps, passed him, and placed herself as if to bar the way to Hazlewood House. J "What are you doing here?" she asked fiercely. "Mv dear Sarah," said the man in mock ing tones, "what a strange question to a3k! Considering your anxiety to appoint the earliest day possible for our meeting, is it any wonder that I come at once to find youf Kow you ve louna ne, wnas uo yuu want?" . .. 'Mv poor Sarah, can't you guess. v nen you paid me that friendly visit last summer I told you what I pined for. 1 have come to you in order to find some one else." She is hundreds ot mues irom nere. r--'" never see her again." Even as she told the lie ber heart X. The gleam in Hervey's eyes showed her had lied in vain, He laughed like one enjoy- ing the situation. "Never see her again!"; j he echoed. "1 am inconsolable, uutcnance meetines do sometimes occur. You dsn't I mean to give or sell me any information, I t suppose r "I'd cut my tongue out first" ' "Oh, true and faithful servantl Then it no good asking. But about yourself. S rah have you got a good place in the neigh . borhoodi" "That's none of your business," said Mrs; Miller, sharply. Hervey laughed again. "I should like to hear you had a nicf comfortable place. Something easy an suited to your declining years. You hav not worn well, my door Sarah, You loo'-' at least twenty years older than when I iirs knew you." s She took no notice of the taunt. Aaii' the man laughad his mocking laugh. "What kind of a place is yours, Sarah! As you know, I am much Interested in you. Yot are a nurse, I suppose?" He nodded in thj direction of the boy who stood some little i distance off wondering in his childish what his guardian was about with this tleman. f "Yes, I am a nurse," said Mrs. MF1 lenly. t '(And that Is one of your charg youngest perhaps? A fine little fellot you know I have often dreamed of I such a boy as that. At heart I belfeveV the germs of respectability and doni6w-- nJni. iL' hot tin T7ftt frhinlf florah i'l "Your heart Is as black as a coal," burst out the woman excitedly. "Would to God you had died in prism. For years It has i been my daily prayer." . "Yet It availed nothing the prayer of tbo righteous I Something gone .wrong above Sarah, Never mind, I give you good wisht in return for evil ones. I know something oi this neighborhood and the paople, and if I could choose a place for you it would ba or. with two middle-aged gentlemen named Tai . bert, who live at Hazlewood House with a beautiful unmarried niece named Beatrice Clauson. That would be such a comfortably place for you, Sarah!" Until now he had been playing with b as a cat plays with a mouse. There wa nothing to show her tha extent of his know;, edge. For all she knew he might simply have come down here to find her. . So she, had guarded every word, every look, fearin-; lest she might give him information. he bared his claws and showed her t escape was impossible. She groanf ' struggled no mora "You will take money?' she asked. -- "Oh, ye3, Sarah, I'll take money." j "And go away and trouble no more. Tell I me where to find you to-morrow. I will come ! and arrango everything." t - j "Oh, no, you won't I never deal with! agents. Your intervention is not needed,; Sarah." . She stamped her foot angrily. "Tell me what you want" she exclaimed, "or leave me and go and do your worst,. You may have men to deal with now, not women." . i Ho tlirw oil in a second every trace i mockery. He seized ber wrist and held he His eyes shone fiercely into hers. "Listr you hag, you cat I" he said. "All your part , this business is to take a message. Gostraig; to her. Tell her I am here, free, and with pockotf ul of money. Tell ber to come to u to-morrow at my rooms. Tell her I will wa until twelve o'clock. If she is not thi when the clock strikes I swear I will cor and see her in her own home. Do you umi stand! Answer me," . f "Yes, I understand," f "Here's the address." Hescrlbbleu a bit of paper. - "Now you can go back. ,