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me, like Joan, about my festooned very keenly, at the time, what ingown and my coloured skirt—which tense blessings our disappointments is not vermilion, David, but very really are or ought to be to us. We sober violet. I will put on one of quiver and writhe just as if the hormy old frocks and Joan's garden- rible operation were not for our hat the next time I come out with ultimate good. We cry' any pain you, and then you will feel as if I but this,' at the very moment when belonged to you again.'
this pain is the one thing needful to Shall I ? Shall I ever feel that,
Had David Engleheart Esther ? he interrupted her, hastily. known that Oliver Carew was to
* Why, whom else should I belong meet Esther again to-day, was to to, David ? What have I in the renew his acquaintance with her, world to care for but Countisbury, to admire her more than ever, to and the people who live there ?' walk part of the way home with
Her caressing voice thrilled her, to speak words that might lay through every fibre of his frame. the foundation of a serious and last* Look at me quite straight while ing attachment-had David known you say that, Esther.'
all this, do you think he would have She looked at him with perfect mourned that his poor foolish love unabashed truth, without the faintest had gotten its death-blow, at least uprising of colour into her face. from Esther's own tender hand,
Quite sincerely, child, you have and not from the coarse, unfeeling no wish or desire beyond Countis- blow of a rival? Of course he would bury, and the people who live there.' not; and · Philosophy, doubtless,
Quite sincerely. I am attached would have consoled him enorto you all from my very heart-to mously, as she always does, under you most, David, and I never wish to his trouble. But he knew nothing go away from you again.'
save that he had been a fool, and "You are a good child, Esther,' that Esther would never, never love after looking very hard into her him (though Joan might) while he steady, loving eyes. • You lived: and when, a short while afterquite true. I perfectly understand wards, the girl walked away from you now.'
him while he fished he felt that And he kissed her. He felt, at all the yellow sunshine had turned that moment, that he could never be black and cold, and that for any querulous, or jealous, or exacting good his life did to himself, or anywith her again: that the hope to body else in the world, he might which alone jealousy, or mistrust, just as well throw himself into the could belong was utterly extin- river and have done with it at once. guished: slain by her own loving Esther, on the contrary, never felt eyes: clean gone from him for ever- in happier spirits in her whole life more!
than she did at this moment of poor ' But you look so pale, cousin David's black despair. It is not David.'
often that a woman, however young • The sun is shining in your eyes, and ignorant, shatters a man's hopes Esther. Let us get on our way. without being aware of it. Some It must be nearly eleven o'clock al- slight jar, some quivering nerve or ready.
broken word, gives token of the
ruin wrought, even in those exCHAPTER VI.
tremely rare instances in which the
blow has been unpremeditated. But RESCUED
Esther was guiltless alike of intenSo died the solitary dream of David tion and of knowledge. That David, Engleheart's life; died by a gentle at his immense age-past forty at loving stroke, far easier for him to least—and with his striking pecubear than would have been that liarities and old-world ways of living, cruel sudden violence which, had should be in love, was, I must acthe dream lasted longer, must in- knowledge, just the very last conevitably have awaited it.
tingency likely to occur to the mind Unfortunately, we none of us feel of any girl of eighteen. Esther was
accustomed to his exactions and · We have had no rain, you see, questionings of her affections; had in spite of all our heavy friend's set them at rest as her really warm
prognostics: Meteorological, of affection for the poor fellow prompted course; Mr. Carew was true to his her to do. What more was there race and to his age; but still there to be thought upon the subject? was a friendly tone, there was someDavid was happy with his beloved thing in that one word 'our,' which, rod, she with her own thoughts and in itself, constituted, while it redelicious exhilaration of newly-re- newed, an acquaintance. covered freedom. How exquisitely * And you don't find Devonshire tender was this warm light, glancing quite such a dreadful place as you down upon her dress through the thought you would ?' If Miss Flemdense foliage of the woods! how like ing had felt horribly shy as he apa friend's voice was the soft brawl proached her, all that she showed of the stream as its clear brown of the feeling was a very brilliant waters fell with thousands of gleam- colour now. She possessed, to a ing silver threads across the weir! high degree, those two unspeakable How distinctly the small trans- charms in a young woman-selfparent pools, away from the line of possession and great steadiness of seething foam, gave back the many, manner. You begin to think coloured forms of fan-like ash and there are other things here besides delicate-leaved water-plants upon
cold and rain ?' the bank! Would it mirror back I see there are,' said Mr. Carew, her face as clearly, Miss Fleming meeting her eyes with a look which wondered ? She leant athwart a low, would have been a compliment had moss-covered root to see; and be- she chosen to receive it. holding the reflex of her own figure, • Trout, perhaps? Have you had with the rose which vanity had led good sport?' her to place in her hat surmounting • That depends on what folks call it, instantly began to wonder-led sport,' he answered, in Mr. Vellicot's by what train of ideas I know not voice. 'No: fishing is a delusion. -whether Mr. Carew were fishing I have been here since nine this this morning, and whether, if by morning and have not had three any accident they met, it would be definite rises yet.' right for her to recognize him, or not? 'And my cousin, who is fishing
She had, by nature, not any ono about half a mile off, landed two of the qualities that go towards the splendid trout in the half-hour that making of a coquette.
I was watching him. Really, I frank, modest, true: all that a co- think there must be something inquette is not. But yet, when a insudden turn of the path brought to Knowing how to fish? Well, her view the figure of Mr. Carew it is possible; but still, under the advancing just at this very moment best circumstances, the enjoyment is when she was thinking of him, she questionable. With first-rate sport became conscious of extraordinary it may be all very well, for a short interest in the growth of some ferns time, but it requires immense paamong the rocks; then of the great tience, a sort of natural genius beauty of the river itself; finally- rather, to bring you through the as by instinct, not sight, she knew initiatory processes. I shall never the stranger was drawing nearer- be a good fisherman.' of the reflection of her own flushing 'La génie c'est la patience,' reface in the water; also of a general marked Esther. 'Any one can do desire not, perhaps, exactly to be anything he likes, in time.' dead, but far away in one of the Ah! so we are told at school,' coolest, darkest nooks of her own answered Carew, but it is only a quiet garden at Countisbury. And delusion. “Anyone can do anyvery charming did her conscious- thing he likes!" What a world it ness and her desire to appear un- would be'-looking into her eyes conscious make her fresh face look again, if wishes could bear fruit, in the young man's sight.
after that fashion! How horribly