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Time brought Lois the letters of Mr. Maurice. That second little letter she wore in her pocket for many days. She wrote to him in reply, sending him a copy of verses and a letter of a few lines.

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concern.

"Fan. 13th.— I have not failed to appreciate both of your letters, my friend, and the care for me you have manifested. I shall try to write you a long letter when we reach New York: we are going very

I want my mother to go for medical advice; she has had a short, severe illness which has tried her cruelly. For me, do not be anxious; I am always well. But I think there is a goodly sediment of selfishness in some hearts that likes to be stirred by a friend's

It does me so much good that you are caring to know whether I am sick and sorrowful. I think there is something in mother's copy of Thomas à Kempis ‘of the lack of all human consolation.' I wonder if any one actually sanctified would not lean at all on any human friendship? There are some things in the 'Invitation' which I do yield as 'monkish’; and there are other things I have heard called monkish that it seems to me, understood, would be accepted as really the pure spirit of exalted and saintly devotion. Over many things I hesitate too hard, too high, not understood.

However, I did not mean to pause and fall into a consideration of even Thomas à Kempis. I have not much time to write. This is not the first letter I have written for you, however. The one I promised was actually indited in Christmas week, but when I was troubled I could not mail you the foolish chatty letter. This copy of that song I made for you then; I cannot own that I wrote the words. Here they are :

'Not with tears on the cheek or sighs on the lip
Have I seen Grief ; but she walks and goes,
A slender shape, with a face like a rose,
Into which the world looks and calls her Youth;
And calls her — because of the starlike flowers,
The flowering branch of a wild fruit-tree,
Which she wears on her bosom — Spring : ah ! truth,
That neither thro' sunny.nor rainy hours
Those blossoms may ever be fruit, nor will dip
The wings of the sweet, brown wandering bee
Into the heart of their petals fair.
Yet men call her Hope, and Youth and Spring,
As she comes and goes in the wide world there;
For the secret of Grief is a sacred thing,
And the world may not guess thro' look or token,

That here is a little soft heart, broken.' “ I will write again and send you my address. Your letters are very pleasant: the first was something nice to talk about, and the second, to think about. Your friend,

Lois HOLME.”

This letter Mr. Maurice kept as carefully and faithfully as Lois kept the note he wrote her on the sixth of January. He repeated the verses to Percy once, as an anonymous poem, one of the most delicate and graceful he had ever seen.” Percy, lying flat on bis back, with his hands clasped under his head, his happy boyish face upturned, looking up through moss-swung trees to the blue sky above,

made was,

seemed too peacefully indolent to reply. The first remark that he

“What pretty blue eyes that girl I danced with last night had! The skies look just like them." Too intent on poetry-making of his own to care for what was written elsewhere than in blue eyes and sunny heavens.

rose

Up in the colder clime, in chill, wintry weather, the thought of Lois is agitating another man's heart. “Thank God, she is not my wife!” said Mr. Penrose, wiping from his forehead the moisture that had started out there. The young man was in his own room, sitting before the hot little stove, an open book lying on the floor beside him, and his eyebrows bent in meditation. Edward Holme's name was whispered from mouth to mouth now; people shook their heads over the final disgrace fallen on the once proud name; and Mr. Pen

was very proud in one way a man of sensitive honor and strict integrity; and nothing would have so afflicted him as the shadow of a disgrace such as this. Therefore he gave thanks, aloud and fervently, that his wooing had not sped, that he was not one of the family whose name was tarnished. It staggered himself, however, to hear his own voice uttering this thanksgiving. He sat quite silent after it, and shut his eyes presently, as if to shut out the vision of a sweet, tempting face that seemed to hover before him.

He rose then and began to pace the room. “I am a coward, then,” he said, presently. "I loved her, and now am glad she bears her pain alone. I loved her, and would not shield her from coldness as far as I could

would not cover her name with mine which is honorable ; instead of saying, “Behold, here is one heart more faithful and warm, more yearning than ever,' would forsake her. No, good Heaven! forsake Thou me if I forsake her now ! ”

Up the road towards Holme Park Mr. Penrose was trudging in the sunset light, his teeth set, his fine face grim and stern. He paused at the gate, threw back his shoulders, and passed in, erect and strong. Half-way up the avenue he stopped, for he saw somebody walking towards him a slight, tall figure that moved with a peculiar, graceful gait. Her eyes were downcast, and she had a bright shawl of some soft material over her head and about her shoulders ; she was equipped therefore for a walk, but not for one beyond her own gates. The dying sunlight slanted across the gay, gypsy-colored shawl and the shining bit of hair uncovered in front. How unconscious, how pretty she was! He smiled, and she looked up and met him with that happy smile on his face.

" Mr. Penrose !"

He held out his hand, and she gave him hers, looking up into his face half-inquiringly, but saying nothing after the first surprised ejaculation. He held her hand, and turning, placed it in his arm. Lois did not shrink from letting it rest there. He had come to show her that he was their friend yet; he was a kind fellow, and she liked him better than ever before in her whole life.

“ Miss Holme —” he said,—“Lois —” he said “Leis, I have come to you again. My dearest, marry me, and I will make you happy with my whole life!”

She made no immediate answer. Her hand tightened on his arm a moment with a sort of grateful clasp, and she bowed her head an instant as if thinking or struggling with herself. He bent over her; bent so low and so moved the arm which was free that she felt that in another moment he would be holding her fast and claiming her from the vantage-ground of possession a man who knows how to woo, knowing that there is generally no such way to win as to take.

“Mr. Penrose,” she said, moving away, looking up with her eyes full of tears, and speaking in that eloquent voice which gave her words new meanings –

“that cannot be. You are so kind I cannot help thanking you. I do not like to cry, but you you touch me so

you have always been good to me.” Neither pride nor coldness in ihis rejection. She turned and walked away.

“You do not know how little I ask!” he cries, overtaking her. “ I ask all the world in asking for your simple presence in my daily life, but that is all. I will not ask your love yet, I will be patient; I will not fret or weary you. I have thought of you so long I cannot get over it. Take a day take two days — to think of it.”

She looked up at him, the grave young giant with this old simple story of devoted love in his mouth. It is not to be denied that many things pleaded for him : the change from the solitariness of an unwedded life to that of a wife dearly beloved ; the escape from temptation ; (if she were married she would be able more entirely to put away the thought of Harvey, she thought); the honorable name; the love that put its foot on her family disgrace and held her up to its little world as worshipful; the idea of belonging to somebody; the knowledge that her mother liked Mr. Penrose; the final act of burning her ships behind her and settling down to the calm daily life for which she had a new longing, as she had a new dread of the endeavor and movement of the life on which she had embarked in the last fall. All these pleaded for this constant and proven lover who offered her “ his whole life” to-day.

But it was all the same. Because she was in trouble, that was no reason for marrying to a generous soul it was reason not to marry. Perhaps life was not to be made very easy for her; certainly it must not be made easy for her by another's laying of his life beneath her feet. She must bear and endure and live alone such a life as was altogether honest and was given ; and then there was another life to hope for.

It will not be necessary to think it over at all. Oh, Mr. Penrose, I hope you will one day have a loving and a dear wife! I would not for your sake marry you if I could, as I cannot for my own.

You deserve somebody so much better than I, and some one who would be more single-hearted, more devoted, more comforting.

You will have a wife whom you will love better than you now love me, before you are old. I wish that it may be soon !”

“ You have never believed that I loved you as I do!” cries the young man hotly, coming close, and then starting away.

“Good heavens!” he cries,“ how impossible you are! And yet when I think some other man will have the qualities and know the way to win you ; that some other man will know all the tenderness you say you

her arm.

are capable of feeling ; will know you glorified by love, and full of 'spirit, fire and dew'

“Mr. Penrose,” interrupted Lois, "you know me in as kind a mood as any man is like to know me in.' She stooped as she spoke to pick up a little white cat which had come down the avenue to meet her, and was rubbing against her

ress “ I shall never marry, and that is very sure, and more sure than you will believe me. Promise to give over thinking of me as a person who may marry at all."

“I wish I could !"

You will not promise? Well, you'll do it without promising. See, I have here the badge of my future life,” nodding at the cat in

“Perhaps I had better tell you good-bye, Mr. Penrose. It will be long, perhaps, before we meet again. It is very likely that I shall go to New York soon with my mother."

“How is your mother?” he inquires, smitten with sudden compunction that he has not asked before.

“We are going for sake of consulting a great doctor there,” Lois replies, simply. “My mother is not well. Nelly will stay here for the present, Mr. Penrose, and I think she is to be placed at your brother's school. I am sure you will be kind to her if you have opportunity; she will miss us so.

"I will, certainly. Will she be a boarder there?"

“Yes, except that she will usually stay with her sister, Mrs. Alexander, from Friday to Monday. I shall be so sorry to part with our little girl ; she is a bit spoiled, perhaps, and one must be gentle with her in order to lead her.”

I will speak a good word for her,” he says.
“ To Miss Avory, and Miss Amy Avory too.”
“Yes.”
“Good-bye, and thank you."

“Good-bye, if it must be so.' He stooped and kissed the hand she gave, and turned quickly, walking off rapidly as if ashamed of having done it. Once only he looked back. And the last glimpse he had of Lois was as she stood with her fine self-reliant face slowly smiling its farewell benediction on him ; the cat, the badge of old maidenhood, asleep upon one arm.

Did whisper of wind tell him ? Was there written on any passing cloud the honest truth, that he went with a less burdened, a freer heart than if he had been accepted ; that he wore less anxious and stern a look than when he started on his wooing, and that this refusal had not pained him as the last? He might have denied the feeling of strange subdued elation and new sweet freedom. He passed his hand across his brow, across his eyes, as if to clear away a film. Words often cling together in sentences and troop through the brain sometimes as if familiar, as if they had been read somewhere, and one was repeating out of the book. “The glamour of a lovely face," was the sentence that ran persistently through Mr. Penrose's brain; and just as he was about to fall asleep that night, unevoked, unbidden, a little sentence started up, unconnected of course with any train of musing, and was his last waking thought, wherever it came from: I have done my duty.

several pews.

In the doorway of a little chapel in New York, at an early morning hour, while the prayers of a Lenten service were being offered, stood a tall pale gentleman, with his hat in his hand, his keen eyes searching the pews within and scanning the scattered kneeling figures as if in search of some one. His search is presently successful, and he moves noiselessly forward towards a pew in which one person is kneeling, her face buried from sight, her slight figure alone among

The gentleman enters the pew she occupies, and bends his head forward to the railing, seated near her side. He dimly hears the words of prayer, “ That in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in Thy mercy, and evermore serve Thee in holiness and pureness of living,” as he is looking at the slight figure beside him. He can see nothing of her face. Her hand is gloved; he can only hear her voice whispering the “Amen," with all the urgency of profound supplication in the great sigh in which it is murmured. He addresses himself to his prayers. He hears the benediction pronounced, and then noiselessly lifts himself. She does not move. There is a great stillness for a little while. One by one the people slowly rise. She does not move for many minutes; then she rises, turns, and he sees her fair white face, her wonderful deep gray eyes lit as if from within, her very soul seeming to shine through them, clear and bright from long and deep comimunion with the Maker of all men. And then the clear shining changes a little, and a faint color dyes the pure white cheeks.

“When did you come?” she softly cries, amazed. “ How came

you here?

“I came yesterday,” he says. " And I came here to look for you. I saw Miss Silverthorn a moment in the street yesterday afternoon, though I told her not to tell you I had come. She told me you came here every morning -- do you ?”

“ Yes, I do - now.

She sits down again in the pew. This chapel is all day open. Nobody is near; the last of the morning worshippers are at the door. He sits down also.

“How came you here? It is not the nearest church to where you

stay?

ܙܙ

“I came here one day when I was in great distress, and I found some comfort. And now I come every day.'

“You have had great distress ? For yourself? Are you in distress ?”

“I do not know, now. Sometimes it seems that I have no peace day nor night, except here."

“You came here first, when ?"

A month ago. I had gone up to the doctor's house we came here to consult him

- and he came down himself and brought me the medicine he had promised to select and have ready. Then he took me by the hand and led me over to the window, and looking down at me - he is a kind, fatherly old gentleman - My child,' said he, “I give you these medicines, and i hope they may relieve your mother somewhat. But we must not deceive ourselves. Your mother will go to God.'”

- you know

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