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"Your uncle is gone to see if I can get a passage-ticket,” he said. He passed her and went out.

Goldie sat there alone for several hours. It was Dr. Erle's turn, coming hastily in for one of his books, to find her there alone.

Are you going?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said, passing her, and then turning, he caught her hand. “Good-bye, then, my darling!”

Oh, the honest tenderness of that last, despairing word! She heard it long, long afterward, and remembering, “half believed him true.”

The year is almost gone; it is twilight of the last day. All of them are at Glengoldy — all, save Caryl. Goldie, in the deepening twilight, with folded hands dreams the old year over again.

Lily has not awaked yet. She has been out with Uncle Henry, and has gone up-stairs and fallen asleep. Lily goes a great deal with Uncle Henry; he seems to care for her wonderfully; he seems to watch her with wistfulness and coming tears, like Goldie's own : for Goldie thinks all is not well with Lily. She goes about so wearily, and is so fitfully beautiful and strong. Lily seems to love her uncle, as he loves her, very dearly. She never misses one of his earnest, tender sermons at church. Sometimes Goldie thinks she goes to him for teaching, and that the shadow of death is not so dark to Lily, and Ahat she does not cling to life as of old. She has dismissed all her lingering lovers ; there is but one man who loves her. He is as near being a brother to her as it is possible to be; he writes to her constantly, and comes often to see her. Yet there is not a word of lovemaking in all he says; they both would feel it disloyalty; and yet, from something strong and true in his nature, she clings to him ; and yet from the depths of a manly heart he tenderly loves and pities her. This one friend is Charlie Burke.

Laurie visits Glengoldy too. Goldie's heart is near breaking over him sometimes. She does not love him much, yet a little she loves him, in a sisterly way; and she does not like his swaggering, restless ways, and the “ fast man ” he affects, and the altogether disagreeable fashion he takes of showing that he is not going to die for love of her. Laurie is here, now, somewhere: Goldie does not care where.

Marian is at her mother's home. Poor little May! Goldie saw her yesterday; she was sounding the same anathema upon the world Goldie is so weary of hearing. "It is a cheat - life, all life; and married life most of all,'' Marian said drearily.

“Yet love is true," said Goldie.

“ But he never loved me ! He has cheated me; he has defrauded me! He does not love or honor me! You do not know what misery means, such as mine. It means despair. It means all bitterness and disgust. It means one coming to your room in the early morning with all manhood drunk with wine; it means serving and loving him as he is so; praying till heaven is weary, and wrestling with the angels for him. It means dying by inches for his sake, when nothing can avail. Oh, this is bitter! Oh, this is death! I know people blame us women for telling it. I know that suffering does not make the world merciful to a woman, that she must have more endurance and strength with each load: but I - I can not bear it! I am too weak — too weak! All my beautiful, free, girlish life is over. All my life is bitter! I am cheated, defrauded, undone!”

Julian is not there. “He is in Woodlee, where Gay lives." So Marian told Goldie. “I think Gay loves Julian, and I think Julian will marry her. I know he did not want to see you.

He said one who loved you once was apt to love you always, so he went off to Gay."

“I am glad he is not here," Marian said afterward; "he could not bear this. And my mother — Oh, Goldie, my mother comforts me! And if my baby lives, and if I do -—"

A well of comfort undefiled is in the thought. As joy and pain go hand-in-hand, so a woman, who suffers tenfold beyond a man's capacity, has compensation, purer peace, than men ever know.

The moon is risen while Goldie sits there at her dreams; above the clouds it is making its way — how deathful and how fair! A wide,

. solid bank of sable clouds, black and intense, shadowing the hills and valley below; and rising like an ascending spirit, the fair wan moon, from the cloud into a glory of drifting light. Goldie's hands are clasped, and her arms extended along the wide window-sill. The moonlight falls softly and tenderly upon her face.

It is one of those hours when one rejoices in loneliness; when the soul is seeking vaguely for something beyond itself -- something not human, not frail — the undefined longing for the Divine, and the search of uncertain hands for the hem of His garment. This unreal, vague yearning is yet the farthest reach of the small soul for an Infinity which it cannot take in ; this loneliness the most blessed forgetfulness of human and worldly things; and seldom, but sometimes, and oftenest, in the largeness, softness, and mistiness of moonlight, with silence, it is with us: the soul is on its travels, and the rare feeling is that we would not wish for the dearest soul on earth to be beside us; that to be called to the most purely beloved of earth would be a recall to earth and sense –

- a lowering, to what our passionale souls at times have felt the height of heavenly hills. Yet after a while a sound smote on Goldie's ear, a faint sound far away; and it brought her thoughts slowly and sadly back to her beloved on earth. It was only Lily, coughing; and she was coughing very little, yet it made Goldie's lip quiver.

"Oh, if Caryl would come !" she thought. Not for herself; the old love was subdued and chained now by a resolute will. The pain and shame of thinking that he knew of her old unreasoning love was all that quickened her pulses now; yet from Laurie she knew something of the fact that he had asked for her — had asked for her carefully of his patron, and taken his refusal gracefully, she said to herself with scornful lip, when all his duty to her bade him be outspoken and honest even if they must really part. He was but a man, after all, who could not find the comfort in knowing that though apart, each other's name might go tenderly through one's thoughts and prayers, and a spoken love might justify lonesomeness and grief. No, he had been cruel and hard, and she would forget him. Yet, oh! that he would come to Lily!


Then the moonlight on her face showed soft large tears gathering slowly and rolling down her face ; for a child infinitely dear to Goldie had gone away, and she had sobbed then as now, “If thou hadst been here," perchance, perchance, my darling “had not died." Horace was dead, and died not there ; for when he drooped and sickened, his father came in haste and bore him off to the sea-side, and there he passed away. Then Goldie could only imagine the sand and the sound of water and the gray waves, the old white-headed waves, weary with the incessant swaying and dashing; and in the hearing of the water was the silence of death fallen - a child with a shell in his hand lay dead. Ah, little life! As the shell, when one listened, sang a song of its home interpreted by few, so the child's large soul had sung to her vague melodies of its heaven, and the sound was. of yearning and wondering, even as that sad, remembering music of the shell. So Horace was gone back to the half forgotten angelhood that had made his childhood holy and beautiful ; and Goldie was glad that the pure, seeking, comprehensive spirit should go unsoiled and fair into the wonderful land beyond this. Yet, oh, her comfort, her gentle little lover! he is gone.

The moonlight still falls softly and brightly, but Goldie's eyes are blinded with tears, the purest tears ever shed — tears to the memory of a child.

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Lily comes in by-and-bye. Laurie comes up from the village with letters — two or three for his uncle, one for Aunt Eleanor from Caryl, which she reads hastily and folds away without comment, but with a bright face, and Lily's regular letter from Charlie Burke, “dear old Charlie," as she calls him with longing, sorrowful affection. The two sheets, written in the fine, manly hand, are read and put aside, and Lily asks Goldie to sing. Both sing well, but Lily cannot sing of late and calls on her sister often. To-night Goldie has walked so long with the ghosts and shadows of the past that her voice is aquiver with passion and regret. Laurie does not hear her sing often ; he does not have her osten bear his presence so graciously as to-night, as he leans on the end of the piano and she lets him turn the leaves of her music.

When she has done and rises to go back to her window and the moonlight, he follows her. Laurie has always been a pet of Lily's, but Goldie is seldom so gracious as to allow him his cousinly privileges. To-night, however, she is half sad, half tender in mood, and she does not mind letting him hold one of her hands as she stands there with him ; in fact she forgets it and his very presence together, as her thoughts wander off in the moonlight. Her dreamy, abstracted manner irritates him.

“What are you thinking of?” he asks presently. "I believe you never think of me any more than if I were a tame cat purring aiter you. Goldie, do you ever give me a kind thought?”

“A great many anxious ones, Laurie,” she answered, leaning back and looking sadly up into the boy's eyes. “I feel troubled about you. Not that I'm afraid that you won't get over caring for me”with a sudden blush. “I haven't a doubt of that, I am not anxious

about that; but I am anxious about your way of getting over it. I am afraid, Laurie,"— looking up very earnestly -—"that you are not the good boy you used to be. When you told me you cared for me, you could tell me that you had tried to be a good boy always, that you had never drunk to excess or gone the bad way


fashionable style; and now if I were to care for you, could you think yourself equally fit to love me? No, I am not meaning to Airt; no, I have no

Ι idea of changing my mind. I only mean that you are not making yourself fit for any true woman's love any time, and that it pains me to see you so wilfully go wrong."

“I am not so bad as you think, Goldie,” he says, in a husky voice. Goldie does not answer at first; she is watching the white smoke from the locomotive as it rises from the valley in the moonlight. The nine o'clock train has come in, the train Caryl would come on if his sister had really written for him when Goldie suspected. She speaks in a moment.

“Laurie, I think you are not so bad as you might be, but I see you in danger of going to the worst. I do not think your mother sees it. I do not think any one does who will tell you but me — I who may have made you a little unhappy, and therefore long to rescue you from worse misery. Tell me truly, how many times last month in the city did you drink to excess?

His face is hot and flushed. She loves him for his mortification.

“Goldie, I am ashamed,” he says, and pauses; then goes on, impetuously, "Oh, good and true little woman, be my friend, and I will do anything for you!”

"I am your cousin, Laurie,” she answered, “and always your friend; but I want you to reverence your own manhood, not me. I want you to love and honor God's law, not mine."

“Cousin Goldie,” he says, drawing both her hands in his, “I used to be a good sort of boy. I do not think it is natural to me to be wild, and yet I have gone so far wrong, there is so little hope for me in doing right that I scarcely know how to begin over."

“Laurie," she asks, brusquely," do you ever say your prayers?" “No," he says, after a pause.

“And I know why,” she says. “You men think it is soft and milksoppy to do it. Why can't you go honestly and humbly down on your knees and ask your Father to be merciful to you? Do, Laurie. Two or three devout moments, two or three honest thoughts of God may do so much of good. It is manly and noble, and above all, right to pray. I know you need it.”

"Do you say your prayers always twice a day?” he asked, rather suspiciously.

“And did you in the city, at the season ?”
“Yes, even then; I could not give it up.”

“Goldie, did you ever remember me in your prayers ? he asks, with sudden feeling.

“Yes, often," she tells him ; "and oftener now.”

“Then I will begin myself," he says, “and so far as the prayers of a man like me can avail, God will bless you for all you have ever done for me."

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He has his arm about her waist, one of her hands fast locked in his. There is enough light even in the curtained recess to throw their shadows out against the snow and outline them at the window. There is a carriage coming past the window, it stops, there is a sound of feet in the hall, and Goldie's heart gives one convulsive throb. Laurie feels it leap against his arm; he feels the sharp, sudden thrill. He bows his head.

“Little cousin, I know I must give you up to one dearer than I. Only promise to be my friend, and give me one kiss yet, while they are your kisses, for auld lang syne.'

“I am always your friend,” she answers, “and no one will ever have a better right to my kisses than you, when I give them to you.”

"I don't want you to deny it - I know it. Only one kiss, sweet!”

He snatches it as Mrs. Goldsboro' hurriedly draws aside the curtain. Goldie disengages herself, but Laurie feels the agonised throb again as she sees Caryl for the first time. But she extends her hand quietly.

Caryl shakes hands with her coolly; with Laurie, cordially; says that everything looks so natural and homelike, and that Goldie looks remarkably well, much better than if she had spent the winter in New York, and so turns away again.

Time goes on. Nothing new happens in the life at Glengoldy till one January night. Goldie remembers after how it all began. How she was standing at sunset looking out on the hills — those changeful, beautiful mountains that absorbed so much of her attention. It had snowed the night before, and at this sunset the eastern hills were exquisite, and the dim rare blue of that sky over them. The far faint hills seemed almost losing themselves, dissolving like a dream into that ethereal, faint sky, except for the line of sun-reflecting snow crowning their beautiful, faint sunny places and tender, dim glooms. The snow was in the gorges between the shadowy dimples of the fair slopes, and sometimes in a long dip of mountain stretched its faint white beauty far and wide. A little above the hill-tops lay a long line of curling clouds, white and foam-like, here and there piling up into exquisite masses, a nearer edge delicately outlined on the farther heap, and the rosy glow of the western sun upon the whole. Higher up, the blue clear sky — how better could it be painted ?

“A tender glow, exceeding fair,

A dream of day without its glare." Lily was directing a letter, and Caryl stood waiting, hat in hand, ready to go to the post-office. Laurie was reading at the window, and Goldie, looking out on the hills, stood with one hand on his shoulder. She would never bate one breath of her familiar and cousinly ways because Caryl might misinterpret them. Laurie was the only person who really knew what it all meant; he knew not only that, and the exact extent of her liking for him, but also, better than she did herself, that she was showing her liking merely because Caryl was there. Laurie was in the secret which she had not disclosed to

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