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nice young fellow, besides I want Ryder to meet him again, he was greatly struck with him. Write and give them a special invitation, Maggie."

“Very well, I will. But I fancy his sister told me he was going off to South Africa."

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"Eh? how's that?" said Sir George, laying down the "Times," which he had been reading. What a pity! I must see him again." He added a special postscript to Margaret's invitation; and Kenneth when he read the note, felt that there was no alternative. Perhaps it had been cowardly to stay away. He did not wish to be ungracious, so they went; and no one could tell from his quiet, almost cold demeanour, how his heart was bounding with mingled joy and pain at seeing Elizabeth once more. There was a grave ceremonious self-restraint in his greeting to her which hung about him all the evening. She was very silent, and pale; feeling all the time like one in a dream. He talked a good deal with Sir George and one or two other men, about subjects specially interesting to them. Elizabeth, though forced to share in the duty of entertaining, did not lose a single word he said, and people thought her dull and preoccupied. She hardly looked at Kenneth, nor did he seem to notice her presence after the first greeting. Christina was far more nervous and excited than either her friend or her brother. She talked at random; and when she sat down to the piano she felt unable to do her best.

"Miss Grahame's playing has fallen off," Lady Margaret said afterwards. "But you were not listening much, George. What were you saying to Mr. Grahame when I came up, about Glendarroch ?"

"Why, that if he made a fortune out there, I would let him buy back the old place! He is the rightful heir, you know! However, there isn't much chance of that, poor fellow; he has too much on his hands already, and as he is going off to rough it in that climate, I'm afraid we shall not see him again. I wish there were more men like him in these days. I tried to persuade him to stay at home-promotion would come in time, and I might perhaps give him a lift; but he tells me all is settled."

"Well, let us hope it is all for the best," said Lady Margaret, placidly.

Kenneth and Elizabeth had no conversation together. At the end of the evening he came up to say farewell. Their hands and eyes met for a moment. In that look, that clasp, soul spoke to soul, with a

meaning both clear and intense, though no words were uttered, save the farewell most pathetic, yet most simple-" Good-bye."

"Could love part thus? was it not well to speak?

To have spoken once?"

No-it was better so. The golden silence of heroic hearts made them stronger to endure whatever destiny lay before them.

He saw her again though she knew it not. Late one evening he passed through Curzon Street; a carriage stood at the door. He drew himself into the shade and watched a white fairy figure flit over the threshold in the moonlight. He saw her pause for a moment and stand with her soft clear eyes gazing upwards with a wistful far-away look. It was but for a moment; and then very quickly the door was shut.

Kenneth knew she had not seen him then, nor did he desire it. But he did not know that she had had her last sight of him the Sunday before. She once more came to S. Stephen's for the morning service, and he was in the choir. That white-robed figure with the calm melancholy earnest face, seemed very far away. All earthly thoughts were out of place. He had taken the Cross, like one of the Temple knights of old; and she recognised the vow as binding. If it be true that

"Amore a null' amato amar perdona,"

it was none the less true that this bright-souled impulsive maiden adored her hero all the more for choosing the cross of honour rather than the flowers of love. But she knew he cared! that made all the difference.


"Some spirit full of glee, yet taught

To bear the sight of dull decay,

And nurse it with all-pitying thought."

THE years that followed were passed by Elizabeth in a way very different from what she or her friends might have expected. Most people would have prophesied for the bright young fairy a butterfly existence of one long summer day, enriched with all the delights the world can give. There came to her instead first weeks, then months of terrible anxiety, caused by the serious illness of her mother, to whom she was deeply attached, and for whom she cast away every other thought and care. Neither her sister's entreaties, nor the charms of the London season, could tear her from her mother's sick-room.

All at once she seemed to pass from a child to a woman,-loving, tender, thoughtful, and devoted. The months became years, and Lady Lynwood's decline was after all so slow and gradual, that when the end came at last, the shock was all the greater. Elizabeth had to comfort and sustain her bereaved father, and she became from this time more than ever necessary to him. Her path in life was marked out so clearly, that her relations could not well interfere to prevent her selfdevotion, though Margaret often sighed over her sister's lost opportunities.

Lord Lynwood leant upon his daughter entirely, and she was happy in the conviction that she could make him happy. For seven years she watched over her father with loving solicitude. She could help and cheer him in his life of continued infirmity and seclusion; not only did she keep him amused and occupied, but she managed his affairs and wrote his letters, astonishing his agents and stewards with her business-like capacities, while at the same time her accomplishments were not allowed to rust. The friends who came from time to time to see their old political chief were delighted with his daughter's quickness of understanding and store of information concerning the subjects that interested them; and her musical attainments served to brighten many long evenings.

She was the sunshine of her father's life, and when, after a short illness, he too was laid to rest by the side of her mother, she felt as if the sunshine had faded away with him out of her own life also. For over her path there had shone a mild and peaceful radiance, steadily brightening as time went on, though sometimes clouded by anxiety, or thinly veiled by the passing mists of regret. The way of filial duty had been made sweet and bright by filial affection; and hers too had been the joy of inward content in fulfilling the will of her Heavenly as well as of her earthly Father. That peace indeed never failed her, even in the dark days of sorrow and loneliness. Yet her grief was hard to bear. She had no longer any one to live for. Though her brother and her married sisters all besought her to make her home with them, she felt that nowhere was she really needed, and that, whichever home she might choose, she would have to make out a life of her own. Of course, what all her relations really wished was her marriage, provided she could marry well and happily, and with most of them the former implied the latter.

On this point Elizabeth was shy and reticent. Margaret was certain

that she must have refused others besides Lord Prestmore, and tried one day to find out from her sister whether she had remained unsought in her seclusion at Lynwood, or whether any suitable offers had ever come in her way.

"I couldn't have left dear papa for any one," said she, blushing; "not for Lord Prestmore at any rate," she added, with a smile.

Margaret had lamented that her sister's youth and good looks were passing away, but on this occasion she could not help noticing how pretty Bessy was after all when a little colour came into her face.

"No one would think you were nearly thirty if it were not for that heavy crape, which makes you look so thin and pale. I dare say you will do well enough yet, when you begin to go out again. A good spell of fresh air in Scotland will soon set you up, my Bessy. We mean to carry you off with us to Glendarroch, and we shall be going earlier this year, as soon as George can get away."

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"Thank you, Maggie," answered Elizabeth, her soft eyes brightening. “Very kind of you and George! However we shall see; there are several things to be thought of, and I've one or two little ideas of my own about what I shall do ; but I will let you know in good time." Mysterious child!" said Margaret, laughing, and she would fain have known more, but there was a certain gentle dignity in Elizabeth's manner which effectually checked her sister's inquiries. Margaret still often treated her as a child, partly from habit, though she could not deny that the character of Elizabeth, without losing sweetness, had gained in depth and force from the experience of the last ten years. But, like many other elder sisters, Margaret could not quite give up the idea that she was bound somehow to maintain authority and supervision over all Bessy's proceedings; and at any rate she was determined to make her as far as possible follow her advice in all worldly matters.

"Will you drive with me this afternoon, Bessy ?" said her sister, the same day after luncheon. "The girls are going to their dancing class, and Madame takes them; but the carriage is to be back here for me soon after three o'clock, and I will go anywhere you like."

"Not to-day, thank you, I have a letter to write, and I said I should be at home in case any one comes to see me, though I hardly expect—” her sentence remained unfinished, for the children and their governess came in and claimed Margaret's attention. While their mother was occupied with them, Elizabeth slowly mounted the stairs to her room.

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She opened the writing-case which lay on the table, and sat down; but instead of beginning, she leant forward pen in hand, gazing at the address on an envelope, which she had already written: "To the Reverend Mother, S. Mary's Home, C-, L-shire."

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How can I tell whe

Sister Alice seemed

"I may as well write at once," she mused. ther I have a vocation, unless they let me try? very doubtful, and I can hardly believe that I am in any way worthy of such a life. All I can say for myself is that I am a pretty good nurse, but I know nothing of hospital work. I fear I am not fitted to teach, and then, can I really resolve to give up the world entirely, heartily, without ever wishing for all the pleasures of my past life? Yes! if I were only sure of my vocation, I think I might. I long to be like those dear Sisters, and do some real good in the world. But how to part with all my friends! The dear people will be certain to object, yet I could not let that stand in the way, if I were once sure of myself. I think the time has come for me to make choice of my future life. This afternoon shall decide! I wonder if the Priest-Warden will appear? If he is only in town for the day, he is sure to be too busy-yet Sister Alice seemed to think he might find time to call and see me. Well, I will write anyhow, and I'll show the letter to him before I send it."

She set to work, but several sheets were torn up before she could finish one to her satisfaction.

"I don't feel the devotion to the higher life that I ought to have," she mused again, mournfully, "but perhaps it will come when I am once set to work, and I shall be doing good, I hope; helping to make people happy. There can be no better way for one left alone in the world like me, and yet-and yet-Sister Alice, I am sure, thinks I have no true vocation! but I will leave it to Mr. Clayton. I have a presentiment that my fate will be settled to-day, one way or another."


"He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,

Who dares not put it to the touch,
To win or lose it all."

"SOMEBODY coming up! I ought to have said, Not at home," thought Lady Margaret, who was just ready to go out when she suddenly heard steps on the staircase.

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The carriage isn't here yet, though, and it

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