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thing, or a small thing com-
paratively, especially as the
going-out came first.
So too,
for Marie, who could think of
nothing save the parting with
her father, the fact that de
Bruin was going out veiled the
irrevocableness of the formal
betrothal upon which the Gen-
eral had set his mind. Thus
both she and Frans acquiesced,
indifferently, in the step to
which the General, who was


convinced the General that General's daughter was a small Tante Lotje's wing, valiant though he knew it to be, was not sufficient protection for Marie, and accordingly he gave her that of a fiancé's name. Had there been any parti at home, very eligible, and willing, the General with the iron hand would have married Marie to him straightway. It is certain that he would have attempted to marry her to any eligible stay-at-home, willy-nilly. But although there were many suitors at home very willing, for Marie was handsome enough, and a hero's daughter, there was none eligible, for the reason that the man whom the General had selected as a husband for his girl was going out on his own staff. Had Frans de Bruin been a less capable officer, he would have made a more desirable sonin-law, for then he could have been left at home. Here again, however, the General (as himself expressed it) sacrificed his personal convenience to his country's needs. It did not occur to him no one who knew him had thought that it would, for one minute that Marie and Frans might have wishes in the matter, or that, having them, they might expect them to be considered. And, as a matter of fact, there seemed to be on their part an absence of wishes, one way or another. Had General van de Burg refused Captain de Bruin as a volunteer for Atjeh, it is certain that de Bruin would have refused the General as a father-in-law. But the Captain felt that as he was going on the General's staff, marrying the

diplomatist as well as а soldier when he chose, was skilfully compelling them. When they did take it, it was with few of the accustomed ceremonials. There was no reception, no family dinner-party. As a matter of fact, the General and Frans went on board at Ymuiden on the day that cards were sent out, and Marie received alone the congratulations and the sympathy of their acquaintance. Except Uncle Maarten and his wife, to whom she was to pay a long visit soon, the van de Burgs had few relations, or at any rate few that counted; so there were only a van Heesteren or two and the de Bruin family in its main branches to be informally visited by the affianced couple, and this was done in flying afternoon calls. It was on the eve of sailing that they exchanged plain bands of gold, and they slipped them on each other's finger with few protestations. But first they scratched each other's initials on the inner sides of the circlets, and their laughing awkwardness in this operation blunted the cutting edge of the part

ing interview, which had been made keen by the consciousness of indifference rather than by the poignancy of farewell.

The General's conduct of the war in the next two years is known to all the world: I am the minor historian of Tante Lotje's campaign in The Hague. Tante Lotje was a little body compact of spirited virtues; as the Scots say, "Guid gear goes in little bulk.” On her head was a circlet of greyblack curls that shook all day long in the breeze of her agitations; for Tante Lotje attacked the affairs of life, each one, as her brother smote the enemy, with a sudden and fierce assault. Her particular mode of warfare and here again the illustrious Michiel may have served as model-was a succession of skirmishes rounded off by a general attack upon the harassed and worn-out adversary. And, like her brother, she seldom failed in respect for a clever general opposed to her: that is why she suffered so few defeats. For this intrepid little warrior, The Hague was a fine field of operations. That lightsome capital, as everybody knows, has a chic of its own. The inhabitants polish its life, bidding you observe how it sparkles in the plain setting of the surrounding country. To Tante Lotje, of good old Zeeland stock, here was a challenge, and she accepted it briskly.

"Tailleur! Poof!" she would exclaim, stopping Marie in their perambulation of the Spui Straat of an afternoon. 66 Why can't the man call himself a maker of clothes! That's

Dutch. And look here: Confiseur. Hé! It's only a banketbaker, and the little baggage in it who serves you in French never was nearer Paris than the Kurhaus, for certain."

"But, Tante," Marie would answer, coaxing the curls to calm themselves and move on, "you find tailleurs and confiseurs and modistes all over Holland."

"As if I didn't know. An evil sore's not slow to spread."

At least, Marie claimedMarie was now a HagenaarThe Hague had taste, and set the mode.

"Mode!" Tante Lotje would cry "Mode! Certes, that mode!" and she stopped to indicate a gown of Parisian style which was taking the air across the street, attended by two or three uniforms. "That mode!" and the curls rustled. "And taste! I wish you could have seen Grandmother van de Burg, a picture in the Dutch style.'

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"A pleated mutch and a Walcheren bodice, I suppose, replied Marie, a little nettled.

"Pleated mutch! a Walcheren bodice!" Tante Lotje snorted. "Do you think, girl, she was a peasant because she wasn't a van Heesteren?"

Tante Lotje, it will be seen, never argued in generalities It was this which made her so

discomposing an enemy, so agreeable a gossip. Her sallies, carried right into the enemy's citadel thus, plucking at the heart of his conceits, gave Tante Lotje quite a notoriety in The Hague. The Hagenaars looked upon her

"Am I not betrothed? And am not I to have the privileges of a betrothed person?" she would say.

through their quizzing-glasses the General had put her there as a curiosity that matched to authorise. She would have well with her brother, the Gen- put an end to it there and then eral- -a prickly hero, bred on accordingly; but it was charthe pure, gross national stock; acteristic of Marie that on this and tolerated her accordingly. one point she chose to hold Within the wide circle of the ground with her aunt. She General's acquaintance, the re- had acquiesced in some primary, ceiving of whom Marie found old-fashioned restrictions that easy after the Arnhem train- Tante Lotje imposed upon her ing, there was another, smaller, freedom outside-restrictions, a circle of Marie's own age even, which it was the special and for the most part not privilege, or the special boast, of her own sex, which not of the military class to ignore ; only tolerated Tante Lotje, but but here she was firm. even swung some adulatory incense before her. They liked nothing better than to draw the bitterer edge of her tongue, even if sometimes they suffered from it themselves. Tante Lotje was a child in her outspokenness,-better than a child, for she had a whole world of philosophy at her back. Only, her philosophy did not guide her tongue, or her humours: Tante Lotje spoke and acted first, and reflected afterwards. No: it might be said that she employed her philosophy, not to back her fancy, but to hedge. Tante Lotje "putting her foot in it" (as the vulgar figure has it) and then trying to withdraw it, was a perennial entertainment. It came about thus, through the duenna herself, that some young folks, chiefly officers, fell into the habit of dropping in when dinner was over, for tea-drinking, or immediately after that, and became on an easy footing with the household. The footing was so easy that Tante Lotje, happening to reflect upon it as a duenna, was shot with a doubt if this was exactly what

Tante Lotje's eyes opened at this, but it was typical of Marie's mind. Betrothal, to her, was a privet hedge within which it was not only the privilege, but the duty, of my lady to take the sun all through the hours it shone. Privet hedges, Tante Lotje might have reminded her, are not insuperable barriers; but Tante Lotje no more reflected than she argued in a figure. She had, however, a very sensitive eye for the reality. There was, in this inner circle, a laughing, openfaced boy, Christiaan Remmers, a cousin - german of the betrothed de Bruin, and in the Engineers. With General van de Burg he had been rather a favourite, not because of his military capacity - his liking ran rather to scientific research

but because of a good-nature in making a losing second with Marie at ombre. In the ombre days, Marie and Christiaan played heart-whole. She had her father; he, his laboratory.

Besides they had each otherpartners at ombre. Possibly Tante Lotje was the only person shrewd enough to have the suspicion flash through her mind that Marie and Remmers were in love. Certainly she was the only person who, suspecting it, would have immediately put her suspicions into words.

Her manner of doing so was characteristic. Remmers had drunk tea and left, and the household had retired for the night, when Tante Lotje broke in upon Marie's disrobing unbidden. In that there was nothing unusual : to Tante Lotje, in the silence of her own room, there came scores of thoughts which she deemed it necessary to communicate there and then to Marie across the passage. To-night she paid her niece one visit only, in dishabille, with a tumbler of water in one hand, her tooth-brush in the other. Marie saw the curls appear round the door, heard shot at her the words,-" Marie! Hey! I believe you're in love with Remmers, Marie," - and was left to reflect upon them undisturbed.

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frank verification, as from the only one on earth whom she would have taken into her confidence. Her temperament was such, such her instinct in battle, that in the campaign which followed she volunteered in various services. Now she was on the side of the General, a father with wishes. Again she was fighting for de Bruin, a betrothed with rights. Most annoying, and shocking indeed, to Marie, who calmly denied that any delicate situation existed, was a sentimental attitude which Tante Lotje chose at times to take up in defence of the claims of true love. Meanwhile, once, she found herself a duenna with a conscience, and conscience happening to tell her that the General ought to know, she forthwith discussed the situation as she conceived it, with enormous emphasis and great vagueness, in a postscriptum to a letter to her brother. This letter, with the sting in its tail, was beyond recall when Tante Lotje began to reflect on what she had done. It was then that it came home to her how inconvenient for a mercurial person with correspondents is a monthly mail. Knowing the General, she had uneasy fears of the consequences of her act for his daughter; and, characteristically, in the weeks that followed the calm stream of her affection for Marie had its surface rippled by exuberant acts of kindness. It is with regret that we say it of so intrepid a fighter-Tante Lotje was in a funk.

The bolt from the East-the General's ultimatum on the

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affair of the post-scriptum fell one night in the end of June. His letter, addressed to Marie, breathed a prickly affection, though it rapped out its sentiments like words of command. "There was order once more on the coast," the General wrote; "the rascals have been brought to book," and he added gleefully a few grim details of ways and means. 'But they were not going to fall into the mistake that had been made before of lifting the iron hand the moment it had been clapped hard down. He was remaining out there for some months, it might be for a year and more, de Bruin with him, and Marie was to come out and join them." There was no reproach, or appeal, or allusion to any private information received, just his orders, precisely detailed. The curls shook with agitation at sight of the letter. Marie read it, without visible flush or cloud of countenance. Contrary to her usual practice, she did not pass it on to her aunt, but laid it folded beside her cup, and took up her book again, content to mention that the General was well.

habille, she had to retire to bed with the thirst unslaked. During the next two days she mounted the scale of curiosity and irritation, until, reaching a pitch insufferably acute,

"Did he say nothing about Remmers?" she asked her niece, in a whisper of excitement.

Marie was very far from being a humourist, but she laughed to herself to see the cat she suspected come leaping from the bag.

"Never mentioned his name!" She playfully gave her aunt the answer back in her own tone of suppressed agitation.

"Didn't he? . . . Of course not. . . . Only, you see, . . . I thought. And, Marie, you would rather marry Remmers, wouldn't you?"

To this Marie replied, stiffly, with the news that she was going out to de Bruin.

What! She was going to India. Over that sea. She. Her dear Marie. And they would never see each other more. It was a good thing, at least, that they hadn't preserved the peas as they had intended. And Tante Lotje must leave The Hague her beloved Hague. "And de Bruin?" Tante Well, well. Michiel was a clever Lotje asked.

"Very well," Marie replied. Tante Lotje fancied that Marie was a little distraite, even a little cold; but that may have been the conscience of Tante Lotje-the woman, not the duenna. She was thirsting for information which Marie carefully withheld, and though she was in and out of Marie's room that night inviting confidence in every stage of dis


man, and he knew best. And she would go back to her own comfortable house. But Remmers! Remmers! Come here, child, and let me kiss you. Hey! And they would have all the trouble of a marriage. A marriage with the glove. It would kill her. She knew: she would make some raspberry wine for Marie on the voyage. Poor child! Now, calm yourself, Marie dear. As for her


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