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abroad. The doctors had declared that there was not a chance fc in England.

At this time Percival kept a sort of rough diary. Here is from it :

“I am much troubled by a certain little devil, who comes as se I am safely in bed, and sits on my pillow. He flattens it abomi or else I do it myself, tossing about in my impatience. He is quit for a minute or two, and I try my best to think he isn't there Then he stoops down and whispers in my ear Convulsions ! starts up again like india-rubber. I won't listen. I recall some ti other-it won't come, and there is a hitch, a horrible blank, in the of which he is down again-I knew he would be suggesting 'crou repeat some bit of a poem, but it won't do; what is the next linthink of old days with my father, when I knew nothing of Bracke I try to remember my mother's face—I am getting on very well. all at once I become conscious that he has been for some time murm as to himself, 'Whooping cough and scarlet fever--scarlet fever.' I fierce, and say, 'I pray God he may escape them all!' To whi softly replies, His grandfather died-his father is dying—of declin

I roll over to the other side, and encounter him, or his brother, there. A perfectly silent little devil this time, with a f: for calling up pictures. He shows me the office-I see it, I sm with its flaring gaslights, and sickly atmosphere. Then he shows m long drawing-room at Brackenhill, the quaint old furniture, the pic on the walls, the terrace, with its balustrade and balls of mossy and through the windows come odours of jasmine, and roses, and f fields, while inside there is the sweetness of dried blossoms and spic the great china jars. A moment more, and it is Bellevue Street, its rows of hideous, whited houses. And then again it is a river, cu: swiftly and grandly between its castled rocks--or a bridge of arches, in the twilight, and the lights coming out one by one in the walled town, and road and river, travelling one knows not where, regions just falling asleep in the quiet dusk. Or there is a ho crowd, a moonlit ferry, steep wooded hills, and songs and laughter y echo in the streets, and float across the tide. Or the Alps, keenl against the infinite depth of blue, with a whiteness, and a far-off no tongue can utter. Or a solemn cathedral, or a busy town pile with church and castle high aloft, and a still, transparent lake bi But through it all, and underlying it all, is Bellevue Street, with dirty men and women, who scream and shout at each other, and wra in its filthy courts and alleys. Still, God kuows that I don't repent, that I wish my little cousin well.”

CHAPTER XXXVI.

WANTED, AN ORGANIST.

In later days Percival looked back to that Christmas, as his worst and darkest time. His pride had grown morbid, and he swore to himself that he would never give in, that Horace should never know him otherwise than self-sufficient, should never think that but for Mrs. Middleton's or Godfrey Hammond's charity he might have had his cousin as a pensioner. Brooding on thoughts such as these, he sauntered moodily beneath the lamps, when the new year was but two days old.

His progress was stopped by a little crowd collected on the pavement. There was a concert, and a string of carriages stretched halfway down the street. Just as Percival came up, a girl, in white and amber, with flowers in her hair, flitted hurriedly across the path, and up the steps, and stood glancing back, while a fair-haired, faultlessly dressed young man helped her mother to alight. The father came last, sleek, stout, and important. The old people went on in front, and the girl followed with her cavalier, looking up at him, and making some bright little speech, as they vanished into the building. Percival stood and gazed for a moment, then turned round and hurried out of the crowd. The grace and freshness, and happy beauty of the girl, had roused a fierce longing in his heart. He wanted to touch a lady's hand again, to hear the delicate accents of a lady's voice. He remembered how he used to dress himself, as that fair-haired young man was dressed, and escort Aunt Harriet and Sissy to Fordborough entertainments, where the best places were always kept for the Brackenhill party. It was dull enough sometimes, yet how he longed for one such evening now. To hand the cups once again at afternoon tea, to talk just a little with some girl on the old terms of equality~the longing was not the less real, and even passionate, that it seemed to Thorne himself to be utterly absurd. He mocked at himself as he walked the streets for a couple of hours, and then went back when the concert was just over, and the people coming away. He watched till the girl appeared. She looked a little tired, he fancied. As she came out into the chill night air, she drew a soft white cloak round her, and went by, quite unconscious of the dark young man, who stood near the door, and followed her with his eyes. The sombre apparition might have startled her, had she noticed it, though Percival was only gazing at the ghost of his dead life, and, having seen it, disappeared into the shadows once more.

“ The night is darkest before the morn.” In Percival's case this was true, for the next day brought a new interest and hope. A letter came from Godfrey Hammond, through which he glanced wearily, till he came to a paragraph about the Lisles. Hammond had seen a good deal of them lately. “Their father treated you shamefully,” he wrote; “but after all it is harder still on his children.” (“Good heavens ! D suppose I have a grudge against them?” said Percival to himsel laughed with mingled irritation and amazement.) “Young Lisle w situation as organist somewhere, where he might give lessons and an income so, but we can't hear of anything suitable. People s boy is a musical genius, and will do wonders; but, for my part, I it. He may, however, and in that case there will be a line biography to the effect that I was one of the first to discern,' which may be gratifying to me in my second childhood.”

Percival laid the letter on the table and looked up with ki eyes.

Only a few minutes' walk from Bellevue Street was St. Sylvest large district church. The building was a distinguished exam cheap ecclesiastical work, with stripes and other pretty patter different coloured bricks, and varnished deal fittings, and patent gated roofing. All that could be done to stimulate devotion, by of texts painted in red and blue, had been done, and St. Sylv within and without, was one of those nineteenth-century ch which will doubtless be studied with interest and wonder by the ar of a future age, if they can only contrive to stand up till he comes. incumbent was High Church, as a matter of course, and musical than as a matter of course. Percival looked up from his letter sudden remembrance that Mr. Clifton was advertising for an or and on his way to the office he stopped to make inquiries at the Church bookseller's, and to post a line to Hammond. How should suit Bertie Lisle ? He tried hard not to think too much it, but the mere possibility that the bright young fellow, with h dreams, his unfinished opera, his pleasant voice, and happily thou talk, might come into his life, gave Percival a new interest in it. had been a favourite of his, years before, when he used to go som to Mr. Lisle's. He still thought of him as little more than a b boy who used to play to him in the twilight, and he had some tro realise that Bertie must be nearly two-and-twenty. If he shoulé —but most likely he would not come.

It seemed a shame event to shut

up

the young musician, with his love for all that was be and bright, in that grimy town. Thorne resolved that he wou wish it, but he opened Hammond's next letter with unusual eag Godfrey said they thought it sounded well, especially as when he Brenthill it appeared that the Lisles had some sort of acquai living there, an old friend of their mother's, he believed, which na gave them an interest in the place. Bertie had written to Mr. ( who would very shortly be in town, and had made an appointm meet him.

The next news came in a note from Lisle himself. On the fir there was a pen-and-ink portrait of the incumbent of St. Sylvester a nimbus, and it was elaborately dated, “ Festival of St. Hilary."

"It is all as good as settled," was his triumphant announcement, " and we are in luck's way, for Judith thinks she has heard of something for herself too. You will see from my sketch that I have had my interview with Mr. Clifton. He is quite delighted with me—a great judge of character, that man! He is to write to one or two references I gave him, but they are sure to be all right, for my friends have been 80 bored with me and my prospects for the last few weeks, that they would swear to my fitness for heaven, if it would only send me there. I rather think, however, that St. Sylvester's will suit me better for a little while. His Reverence is going to look me up some pupils, and I have bought a Churchman's Almanac, and am thinking about starting an oratorio instead of my opera. Wasn't it strange that when your letter came from Brenthill, we should remember that an old friend of my mother's lived there? Judith and she have been writing to each other ever since. Clifton is evidently undergoing tortures with the man he has got now, so I should not wonder if we are at Brenthill in a few days it will be better for my chance of pupils, too. I shall look you up without fail, and expect you to know everything about lodgings. How about Bellevue Street? Are you far from St. Sylvester's ?”

Thorne read the letter carefully, and drew from it two conclusions and a perplexity. He concluded that Bertie Lisle's elastic spirits had quickly recovered the shock of his father's failure and flight, and that he had not the faintest idea that any property of his-Percival's—bad gone down in the wreck. So much the better.

His perplexity was—what was Miss Lisle going to do? Could the “we," who were to arrive, imply that she meant to accompany her brother? And what was the something she had heard of for herself ? The words haunted him. Was the ruin so complete that she, too, must face the world, and earn her own living? A sense of cruel wrong

stirred in his inmost soul.

He made up his mind at last that she was coming to establish Bertie in his lodgings, before she went on her own way. He offered any help in his power, when he answered the letter ; but he added a postscript, " Don't think of Bellevue Street“.you wouldn't like it.” He heard no more, till one day he came back to his early dinner, and found a sealed envelope on his table. It contained a half-sheet of paper, on which Bertie had scrawled in pencil, “Why did you abuse Bellevue Street ? We think it will do. And why didn't you say there were rooms in this very house? We have taken them, so there is an end of your peaceful solitude. I'm going to practise for ever and ever. If you don't like it, there's no reason why you shouldn't leave it's a free country, they say."

Percival looked round his room. She had been there, then; perhaps had stood where he was standing. His glance fell on the turquoise blue vase, and the artificial flowers, and he coloured as if he were Lydia's accomplice. Had she seen those, and the Language of Flowers ?

It is all as good as settled,” was his triumphant announcement, we are in luck's way, for Judith thinks she has heard of something rself too. You will see from my sketch that I have had my Cew with Mr. Clifton. He is quite delighted with me—a great of character, that man! He is to write to one or two references him, but they are sure to be all right, for my friends have been d with me and my prospects for the last few weeks, that they swear to my fitness for heaven, if it would only send me there. I think, however, that St. Sylvester's will suit me better for a little

His Reverence is going to look me up some pupils, and I have a Churchman's Almanac, and am thinking about starting an ) instead of my opera. Wasn't it strange that when rom Brenthill, we should remember that an old friend of my s lived there? Judith and she have been writing to each other ce. Clifton is evidently undergoing tortures with the man be now, so I should not wonder if we are at Brenthill in a few days I be better for my chance of pupils, too. I shall look you up fail, and expect you to know everything about lodgings. Hor ellevue Street ? Are you far from St. Sylvester's ?”

your

letter

As if his thought had summoned her, Lydia herself appeared, t the cloth for his dinner. She looked quickly round. “Did you your note, Mr. Thorne ?

"Thank you,yes," said Percival.

" I supposed it was right to show them in here to write it, w it?" she asked, after a pause.

“He said he knew you very well.” “Quite right, certainly.”

“A very pleasant spoken young gentleman, ain't he?" said Bryant, setting down a saltcellar.

“Very," said Percival,

Coming to play the High Church organ, he tells me," L continued, as if the instrument in question were somehow satur with Ritualism.

“Yes. At St. Sylvester’s."

Lydia looked at him, but he was gazing into the fire. She went came back with a dish, shook her curl out of the way, and tried agai

“I suppose we're to thank you for recommending the lodgings, a we, Mr. Thorne? I'm sure Ma's much obliged to you. And I'm gl. this with a bashful glance, " that you felt you could. It seems as if given satisfaction.”

Certainly,” said Percival. “But you mustn't thank me in this Miss Bryant. I really didn't know what sort of lodgings my fri wanted. But of course I'm glad Mr. Lisle is coming here.”

“And ain't you glad Miss Lisle is coming too, Mr. Thorne ?”
Lydia, very archly. But she watched him, lynx-eyed.

He uttered no word of surprise, but he could not quite control
muscles of his face, and a momentary light leapt into his eyes.
wasn't aware Miss Lisle was coming,” he said.
Lydia believed him.

“ That's true," she thought, “but you precious glad.” And she added aloud, " Then the pleasure comes all more unexpected, don't it?” She looked sideways at Percival, a lowered her voice, • P'r’aps Miss Lisle meant a little surprise.”

Percival returned her glance with a grave scorn which she har understood. “My dinner is ready?” he said.

6. Thank you, M Bryant.” And Lydia flounced out of the room, half indignant, E sorrowful. He didn't know-that's true. But she knows what sh after very well—don't tell me!” To Lydia, at that moment, it seemed if every girl must be seeking what she sought.

“ And I call it very bof her to come poking herself where she isn't wanted-running afte young man! I'd be ashamed !”

A longing to scratch Miss Lisle's fa was mixed with a longing to have a good cry, for she was hones

It is true that it was not suffering the pangs of unrequited love. the first time. The curl, the earrings, the songs, the Language of Flowe had done duty more than once before. But wounds may be pain without being deep, although the fact of these former healings mig prevent all fear of any fatal ending to this later love. Lydia was ve

1-5

C

stirred

ne read the letter carefully, and drew from it two conclusions
rplexity. He concluded that Bertie Lisle's elastic spirits bad
recovered the shock of his father's failure and flight, and that
ot the faintest idea that any property of his—Percival's—be
in in the wreck. So much the better.
perplexity was-what was Miss Lisle going to do? Could the
ho were to arrive, imply that she meant to accompany ber

And what was the something she had heard of for herself
Is haunted him. Was the ruin so complete that she, too, must
vorld, and earn her own living? A sense of cruel wrong
nost soul.
ade up his mind at last that she was coming to establish Bertie
zings, before she went on her own way. He offered any help in his
hen he answered the letter ; but he added a postscript

, “Dont Be'levue Street-you wouldn't like it.” He heard no more, till e came back to his early dinner, and found a sealed envelope au

It contained a half-sheet of paper, on which Bertie bal n pencil, “Why did you abuse Bellevue Street? We think it And why didn't you say there were rooms in this taken them, so there is an end of your peaceful solitude. In ractise for ever and ever. If you don't like it, there's no reason houldn't leave-it's a free country, they say." al looked round his room.

66

very

house

Lydis

She had been there, then ; perhaps where he was standing. His glance fell on the turquoise blue the artificial flowers, and he coloured as if he were · Had she seen those, and the Language of Flowers ?

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