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unhappy as she went downstairs, though, if another hero could be found, she was perhaps half-conscious that the melancholy part of her present love-story might be somewhat abridged.

The streets seemed changed to Percival as he went back to his work. Their ugliness was as bare and as repulsive as ever, but he understood now that the houses might hold human beings, his brothers and his sisters, since some one roof among them sheltered Judith Lisle. Thus he emerged from the alien swarm amid which he had walked in solitude so many days. Above the dull and miry ways was the beauty of her grey-blue eyes, and the glory of her golden hair. He felt as if a white dove had lighted on the town, yet he laughed at his own feelings, for what did he know of her? He had seen her twice, and her father had swindled him out of his money.

Never had his work seemed so tedious, and never had he hurried so quickly to Bellevue Street, as he did when it was over. The door of No. 13 stood open, and young Lisle stood on the threshold. There was no mistaking him. His face had changed from the beautiful chorister type of two or three years earlier, but Percival thought him handsomer than ever. He ceased his soft whistling, and held out his hand. “Thorne ! At last! I was looking out for you the other way.”

Thorne could hardly find time to greet him, before he questioned eagerly, “ You have really taken the rooms here?”

“ Really and truly. What's wrong? Anything against the land

lady ?"

“No," said Percival. “She's honest enough, and fairly obliging, and all the rest of it. But then your sister is not coming here to live with you as they told me? That was a mistake ?”

“Not a bit of it. She's coming—in fact, she's here."

“In Bellevue Street ?” Percival looked up and down the dreary thoroughfare. “But, Lisle, what a place to bring her to !"

“ Beggars mustn't be choosers,” said Bertie. “We are not exactly what you would call rolling in riches just now. And Bellevue Street happens to be about midway between St. Sylvester's and Standon Square, so it will suit us both.”

“Standon Square ?" Percival repeated.

“ Yes. Oh, didn't I tell you? My mother came to school at Brentbill. It was her old schoolmistress we remembered lived here, when we had your letter. So we wrote to her, and the old dear not only promised me some pupils, but it is settled that Judith is to go and teach there

Judith thinks we ought to stick to one another—we two."

“You're a lucky fellow," said Percival. “You don't know, and won't know, what loneliness is here."

“ But how do you come to know anything about it? That's what I can't understand. I thought your grandfather died last summer?”

“ So he did."

every day.

“But I thought you were to come in for no end of money?"
“I didn't, you see.”

“But surely he always allowed you a lot," said Lisle, still unsa “You never used to talk of doing anything."

“No, but I found I must. The fact is, I'm not on the best with my cousin at Brackenhill, and I made up my mind to be in dent. Consequently I'm a clerk--a copying clerk, you understar a lawyer's office here-Ferguson's in Fisher Street--and I lodge a

ingly."

- as she went downstairs, though, if another hero could be found
perhaps half-conscious that the melancholy part of her present
y might be somewhat abridged.
streets seemed changed to Percival as he went back to his work

. liness was as bare and as repulsive as ever, but he understood now houses might hold human beings, his brothers and his sisters, le one roof among them sheltered Judith Lisle. Thus he emerged alien swarm amid which he had walked in solitude so many bove the dull and miry ways was the beauty of her grey-blue

the glory of her golden hair. He felt as if a white dove had n the town, yet he laughed at his own feelings, for what did he her ? He had seen her twice, and her father had swindled him 3 money. r had his work seemed so tedious, and never had he hurried so to Bellevue Street, as he did when it was over. The door de tood open, and young Lisle stood on the threshold. There was zing him. His face had changed from the beautiful chorister wo or three years earlier, but Percival thought him handsome? :. He ceased his soft whistling, and held out his hand. “ Thorne !

I was looking out for you the other way." le could hardly find time to greet him, before he questioned You have really taken the rooms here?” ly and truly. What's wrong? Anything against the land? said Percival. “She's honest enough, and fairly obliging, ani t of it. But then your sister is not coming here to live sib y told me? That was a mistake ?a bit of it. She's coming-in fact, she's here.” Bellevue Street ?Percival looked up and down the dreary ire. “But, Lisle, what a place to bring her to!" ars mustn't be choosers,” said Bertie. would call rolling in riches just now. And Bellevue Street be about midway between St. Sylvester's and Standon Square

" I'm very sorry,” said Bertie.

“ Hammond knows all about it," the other went on, “but n else does."

“I was afraid there was something wrong," said Bertie ; "wron you,

I

mean. From our point of view, it is very lucky that ci stances have sent you here. But I hope your prospects may brigh not directly, I can't manage to hope that, but soon.”

Percival smiled. Meanwhile,” he said, with a quiet earnestn tone, “if there is anything I can do to help you or Miss Lisle, you let me do it?" “Certainly,” said Bertie.

“We are going out to look for a go Suppose you come and show us one."

I'm very much at your service. What are you looking at ?"

“Why--you'll pardon my mentioning it--you have got the bi smut on your left cheek that I've seen since I came here. They atta a remarkable size in Brenthill, have you noticed ?" Bertie spoke eager interest, as if he had become quite a connoisseur in smuts. that's it. I'll look Judith up, and tell her you are going with us.”

Percival fled upstairs, more discomposed by that unlucky black he would have thought possible. When he had made sure that he tolerably presentable, he waited by his open door till his fellow-loappeared, and then stepped out on the landing to meet them. Lisle, dressed very simply in black, stood drawing on her glove smile dawned on her face when her eyes met Percival's, and, gre him in her low distinct tones, she held out her white right hand, ungloved. He took it with grave reverence, for Judith Lisle had touched his faint dream of a woman, who should be brave with s heroism, tender, and true. They had scarcely exchanged a dozen wor their lives, but he had said to himself, “ If I were an artist, I w paint my ideal with a face like that," and the memory, with its ur lying poetry, sprang to life again, as his glance encountered hers. cival felt the vague poem, though Bertie was at his elbow, chatte

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“ We are not exact)

uit us both."
lon Square ?Percival repeated.

Oh, didn't I tell you? My mother came to school at Brentas her old schoolmistress we remembered lived here, when we etter. So we wrote to her, and the old dear not only promised

ipils, but it is settled that Judith is to go and teach therr

Judith thinks we ought to stick to one another–?

about shops, and though he himself bad hardly got over the intole remembrance of that smut.

When they were in the street, Miss Lisle looked eagerly about and asked as they turned a corner,

" Will this be our way to Sylvester's ?”

e a lucky fellow," said Percival. “You don't know, and 1, what loneliness is here.

ow do you come to know anything about it? That's what I

stand. I thought your grandfather died last summer ?"

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“Yes. I suppose Bertie will make his début next Sunday? I must come and hear him."

Of course you must,” said Lisle. “Where do you generally go ?”

Well, for a walk, generally. Sometimes it ends in some outlying church, sometimes not."

“Oh, but it's your duty to attend your parish church when I play there. I suppose St. Sylvester's is your parish church ? "

“ Not a bit of it. St. Andrew's occupies that proud position. I've been there three times, I think.”

And what sort of a place is that?" said Miss Lisle.

“ The dreariest, dustiest, emptiest place imaginable,” Percival answered, turning quickly towards her. There's an old clergyman, without a tooth in his head, who mumbles something which the congregation seem to take for granted is the service. Perhaps he means it for that. I don't know. He's the curate, I think, come to help the rector, who is getting just a little past his work. I don't remember that I ever saw the rector."

“ But does anyone go ?”

“Well, there's the clerk," said Percival, thoughtfully; "and there's a weekly dole of bread left to fourteen poor men, and fourteen poor women, of the parish. They must be of good character, and above the age of sixty-five. It is given away after the afternoon service. When I have been there, there has always been a congregation of thirty, with. out reckoning the clergyman." He paused in his walk. “Didn't you want a grocer, Miss Lisle? I don't do much of my shopping, but I believe this place is as good as any."

Judith went in, and the two young men waited outside. In something less than half a minute Lisle showed signs of impatience. He inspected the grocer's stock of goods through the window, and extended his examination to a toy-shop beyond, where he seemed particularly interested in a small and curly lamb, which stood in a pasture of green paint, and possessed an underground squeak or haa. Finally he returned to Thorne. “ You like waiting, don't you ?” he said.

“ I don't mind it."

“And I do. That's just the difference. Is there a stationer's handy?”

“At the end of the street, the first turning to the left."

"I want some music paper; I can get it before Judith has done ordering in her supplies, if I go at once.”

Go then; you can't miss it. I'll wait here for Miss Lisle, and we'll come and meet you if you are not back." When Judith came out, she looked round in some surprise.

“ What has become of Bertie, Mr. Thorne ?”

“Gone to the bookseller's," said Percival; "shall we walk on and meet him ? "

They went together down the grey, slushy street. The wayfarers

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seemed unusually coarse and jostling that evening, Percival thoug! pavement peculiarly miry, the flaring gaslights very cruel to the u liness of the scene.

"Mr. Thorne," Judith began, “I am glad of this opportunity. haven't met many times before to-day.”

Twice,” said Percival.

She looked at him, a faint light of surprise in her eyes. twice,” she repeated, “But you know Bertie well. You used of come at one time, when I was away ?”

Oh, yes ; I saw a good deal of Bertie,” he replied, rememberir he had taken a fancy to the boy.

"And he used to talk to me about you. I don't feel as if we quite strangers, Mr. Thorne."

“Indeed, I hope not,” said Percival, eluding a baker's boy, a appearing at her side.

“I've another reason for the feeling, too, besides Bertie's talk went on. Once, six or seven years ago, I saw your father. He in one evening about some business, I think, and I still rememb very tone in which he talked of you. I was only a school-girl the I could not help understanding something of what you were to hin

“He was too good to me,” said Percival, and his heart was ve Those bygone days with his father, which had drifted so far into th seemed suddenly brought near by Judith's words, and he felt the w of the old tenderness once more. “ So I was very glad to find you here," she said.

“For I sake, not for yours. I am so grieved that you should have been fortunate.” She looked up at him, with eyes which questione wondered, and doubted all at once. But a small girl, staring at the windows, drove a perambulator straight at Percival: legs. V laugh he stepped into the roadway to escape the peril, and came ba

" Don't grieve about me, Miss Lisle. It couldn't be helped, have no right to complain.” These were his spoken words; his uns thought was that it served him right, for being such a fool as to tri father. " It's worse for

you, I think, and harder," he went on; if you are so brave

" It's for Bertie if I am," she said quickly; "it is very hard o. We have spoilt him I'm afraid, and now he will feel it so terribly. people cannot be the same to us—how should they, Mr. Thorne ? of our friends have been very good ; no one could be kinder than Crawford—but it is a dreadful change for Bertie. And I have afraid of what he would do if he went where he had no companior sister is so helpless. So I was very thankful when your letter But I am sorry for you, Mr. Thorne. He told me just now

“But, as that can't be helped,” said Percival,“ be glad for m too. I have been very lonely.”

She looked up at him, and smiled. “He insisted on going to Be

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Street the first thing this morning," she said. “I don't think any other lodgings would have suited him."

"But they are not good enough for you."

“Oh yes, they are, and near Standon Square, too ; I shall only have seven or eight minutes' walk to my work. I should not bave likedOh, here he is! Bertie, this is cool of you, deserting me in this fashion !"

“Why, of course you were all right with Thorne, and he asked me to let him help me in any way he could. I like to take a man at his word."

“By all means take me at mine,” said Percival.
· Help you !” said Judith to her brother.

"Am I such a terrible burden, then?"

No," Thorne exclaimed ; " Bertie is a clever fellow ; he lets me share his privileges first, that I mayn't back out of sharing any troubles later."

“Are you going to save him trouble by making his pretty speeches for him, too?” Judith inquired, with a smile. “ You are indeed a friend in need!”

They had turned back, and were walking towards Bellevue Street. As they went into No. 13 they encountered Miss Bryant in the passage. She glanced loftily at Miss Lisle as she swept by, but she turned and fixed a look of reproachful tenderness on Percival Thorne. He knew that he was guiltless in the matter, and yet in Judith's presence he felt guilty and humiliated beneath Lydia's ostentatiously mournful gaze. The idea that she would probably be jealous of Miss Lisle, flashed into his mind, to his utter disgust and dismay. He turned into his own room, and flung himself into a chair, only to find, a few minutes later, that he was staring blankly at Lydia’s blue vase. But for the Lisles, he might almost have been driven from Bellevue Street, by its mere presence on the table. It was beginning to haunt him, it mingled in his dreams, and he had drawn its hideous shape, absently, on the edge of his blottingpaper. Let him be where he might, it lay, a light-blue burden, on his mind. It was not the vase only, but he felt that it implied Lydia herself, smile, curl, turquoise earrings and all, and, on the evening of his meeting with Judith Lisle, the thought was doubly hateful.

CHAPTER XXXVII.

LYDIA REARRANGES HER CAP.

Thus, as the days lengthened, and the winter, bitter though it was, began to give faint promise of sunlight to come, Percival entered on his new life, and felt the gladness of returning spring. At the beginning of winter our glances are backward; we are like spendthrifts who have

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