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Almost Parted

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"If Coliu Delonne would only faïl in love with and uiarry Miss Campbell, how niee it wofcld be!"said stont, good natured Mrs. Gay to her companion in a loud aside. "For her - yes," was the curt reply. "He is wealthy enotigh in any case, bnt what would half of old Campbell's property be for one brought np as she has beeiir I hearthe place is mortgaged heavily, aud the old man lost by speculation before he died, so his niece is not the heiress we fancied. Yes;itwould be a very lucky thing for her if Colin Delorme should ask her to marry hiru, and I have no doubt she wonld jump at the chance. ' ' "Madam," said a clear voice at the woman's chair, which made her start and glance hastily at the fair young face above her. "Madam, you honor myself and my affairs too greatly. " Voice aud face belouged to the girl of whom they had been speaking, Honor Campbell, and as the gossip stumrnered forth some gort of apology she turiicd and glided frorn the room, every pulse in her body quiveriug with anger, wounded pride and perhaps a f a,r keener pain. Why had she allowed herself to be coaxed into appearing among the gnests of her cousin, towhom the old man laid so recently in his grave was nothing, while to her fce had been dear as a father? Why had she bronght her mourning robes and her monrniug heart forth froni retirement, even when friends pleaded wirh her to do so? And they thocght her poor enpngh "to jump at the chance" of marry iiig Golin Delorrne because he was to share her tuiole's possessions with her and had wealth of his own - Coliu Delorme, with his frank, handsorue face aud hia cheery voice and his heart of gold, which any living wornan might prize more thau the crown of a king ! How heartless and material people were, sbe told herself, as she went hurïiedly out to the little garden, which sloped down to a sheltered spot - a dell often visited by her. In the patb, with its checkered light, he carne face to face with the object of her thoughts - Colin Delorme. "How palé you are, Honor!" he said to her, looking with eyes of tenderness which she did not see into her yonug face. "Are you ill?" "Thankyou. No. " "Then let me teil you what I have been thinking of, Honor. Our uncle divided all he had between us. Let us ruake no división, dear - and let us joiu our lives and leave theold place as it is. Do you think I could make you happy as ruy wife, Honor, mydarling? Iwould try hard. I think I could succeed. Will you risk your life in ruy hands: Honor, you are as white as death. Have I startled you? I thought you knew my heart this long time. I know uncle did. " Had he said snch words to her but the previous day, but an hour before, how gladly she would have put out her hands to him and said: "Yes, Colin. I know your heart, and I will trust my life in your hands. It bas known no love save that which you have taught it, and I am cnly happy when you are near me!" But the words of the gossip were iresh in her mernory, the humiliation which they aroueed still raged hotly in her breast. With a low little laugh she turned from him to gather up the long train of her black dress, and her gray eyes grew bitter. 'Ton are f ar 'too generous," she said coldly. "I learned today that yon are i quite expected to ask me to ruarry you, Colin, by our kindly acquaintances. You have not disappomted them - you have asked me, but I am not yet so poor in soul if I am in purse. I will not marry you for the sake of keeping the old home, dear as it is. Thanks, Colin, for your generosity. I am uot ternpteck I take no advantage of it. " His face was quite white as she spoke those cold, hard words - she who had ever seemed so sweetly gentle, so softly womanly to him. " You put it in a very singular way, but I suppose you mean that, since you have no love for me, you will not marry me for any more material reason," he said at last. "lam glad of that. I would not buy a wife. But when you do accept the hand of some man, Honor, my beautiful darling, pray heaven he may love you as truly as I do. The old place is yours. I would not touch a leaf on a tree there. Goodby, dear! Forget that I have spoken toyouin this way - forget that I, loving yon, have been fooi enough to fancy you cared for e." He tarned froin her and was gone before sha could control her voice. And whon slie stretcbed out her ao-ms and cried: "Oolin, my love, my darling, come back ! Do uot go from me ! I love yon - I love youl" he was too far away to hear or heed, and oaly a bird, perched on a branoh far above her head, eaw thé" girl fling lierself down among the grasses of the May time and sob aa if her heart would breuk. It did not comfort her so very much, after all, to know that now no gossip could say filie liad "jumped at the chance" of beeoming Colín Delorme's wife. How very poor a thing the prido which she had vindicated by rejecting him seemed to lier, as she wept passionately for the chance of happiness flung away for words from the lips of a pair of vulgar worcen, who were no more to her than any otber disagreeable strangers ! "I will teil him the trath tonight," she whispered when she was calmer. "He loves me. He will forgive me for my folly. " But when she reached the house she was told that Colin Delorme had gone to the city on urgent business and would return the following evening by the 7 o'clock train. Such a long night, such a long day as those werê to popr Honor in her misery of remorse ! But at last they were over, and in a few moments the whistle which announced the arrival of the train at the small station below would sbriek out on the evening air. From a window of her room ehe knew she con ld see the sinoke from the sngine a mile away, and at one point, where the track ran like a thread across tn open space, sornewhat elevated, she could catch sight of the line of carriages Bre the shriek of the whistle told that they were about to stop. The pufïs of snioke showed here and there among the tree tops as she looked fortb ; then, like a long black serpent, the train darted around the curve and sped on the bridge. ■There was a swaying of the train, a sudden crash, which reached her dully from the distauce, and down through the shattered brickworkhuddled the gine and three of the carriages attached to it - down but a few feet, it is true, but at the bottom was death to many - perhaps to Colin Delornie. Honor did not cry out, did notïaint, bnt a sndden fierce strength seemed to be infused into hor sligbt young figure as she sprang toward the door and darted througb. Down the corridor, down the stairs, out at the hall door sbo ran like a creature fiying for her very life. Iu the drive a borse and buggy were standing. His host was to drive to the station for Colin. Hatless, eloakless, with bare arms and sboulders gleaining from the bJackness of her dinncr dress, she sprang into the vehicle and caught up the reins. The servant at tbe horse's head made way for her, with a frightenèd glance at her white face and dilated eyes. ' She turned anima] and dashed down the drive, out at the gates and on at a gallop along the highway. It seemed an eternity to her before she reached the wrecked train, and others were there before her. Still white as death, still silent, she drew rein, and, leapü'g out, darted into the crowd, which was endeavoring to extricate the crushed and maugled passengers from the debris about thern. One was drawn forth as she reachod the gioup, and at last her lips nnclosed to give fortb a cry of anguish. Was that ehapeless, bleeding, moaning mass, of which she saw nothing to recognize as human save a blood stained hand and a few tresses of nut brown hair - was that the man she loved? She pushed the men aside frantically, and was trying to win her way to the dying man, when a hand was laid on her shoulder and a voice that made her heart thrill said : "Honor, this is no place for you. Go home, my dearest. Even a man's heart faints before such horrors as this. " She clung to him with both hands, trembling, sobbing, laughing - in short, goiug nearly mad with joy. "Colin, my love, my love! You are safe - uninjured?" sheciïed incoherently. "I feared - I f oared - You are safe, Colin, dear Colin V" "Safe, and blessed beyond measure to know you care." And he drew one of the hands that clung to him to his lips. "I was in the smoking car. I am unhurt, Honor, but mauy a poor fellow is perhaps dying while I talk to you. Go back, my love, and ' let me give all the aid I can. For every man who lies dying here be snre eorne woman's heart wil! break today. " "As minewould havebroken had you died," she whispered, releasing him. And he joined the mauy who were workinm for thelives of the unfortunate passou gors, while she returned to hei cousin's, coufident of the existence of a God of rnercy. Six months later, when a uotice of the marriage of Coliu Delorme and Honör Campbell appeared, Mrs. Gay's acquaintuuce of the venomed tongue met and accosted her. "Itold you that if Colin Delorme proposed to Miss Campbell she would not be such an imbecilo as to refuse him and let the property be divided, and you see I was right," she said exultantly. And Mrs. Gay could not teil her- for she did not know - that owing to her own idle and i 11 natured words, not property, but two hearts that loved had


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