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A Lady, After All

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Lennox Ray sprang frora the train and hastened up the green laue to the wido, oldfashioned farm house, carrying hisvalise in his hand. " I wonder f Nannie got my note and is looking for me ? Hallo ! " The last exclamation was drawn from Ray's Iip8 by a cherry, which, coming from above, somewhero, came into sudden contact with his nose. He looked up, and there, perched like a great bird upon the limb of a huge old cherry tree, and looking down at hiin with dancing eyes and brilliant cheeke, was a youiik' girl. " How do you do, Lennox? Come up and have soinecherries?" was her mischievous greeting. "Nannie! Is it possible ?" exclaiuied Lennox, seyerely. And, while Ray looked on in stern disapproval, the young witch swung herself lightly dowD. " Now doii't you look so glum, Lennox, dear," she said slippiug her little hands into his with a coaxing motion. " I know it's tomboyish to climb the cherry trees; but then its such fun !" " Naunie, you should have been a boy," said Lennox. " I wish I had ! No, I don't either ; for then you wouldn't have fallen in love with me. What made you dear?" with a fond glance and a carresting movement. " Because you are so sweet, dading," answered Ray, melted in spito of himself, " But I do wish, Nannie, you would leave off those hoydenish waya and be more dignified. "Like Mies Isham?" asked Nannie. " Miss Isham is a very superior wonian, and it would not hurt you to copy her in some respects." The tears sprang into Nannie's eyes at his tone. They went into the parlor, and Ray took a seat in a great arm-cliair. Nannie, giving her curls a toas backward, went aud sst down. " 1 wish you would put up those fly-away curls, and dress your liair as other young ladies do, said Ray. "And sec hcre, Nannie, I want to have a talk with you. You know I love you ; but in truth, my dear, my wife must have something of the ele gance of refined society. Yuur wanners need polish, my dear. I camo down to teil you that my sister Laura is making up a party to visit the noted watering places, and sho wishes you to be one of the nuin ber. " "Are you going?" asked Nannie. " No, my business will not allow it ; but 1 sliall seu you sevcral times. Will you ,1 ? ' " I don't want to go. I'd rather stay hie in thu country and cliuib eherry trees efery day." " Nanuie, I must insist upon more selfcontrol," eaid he, coldly. " But don't send mo away," she ploaded. "Itis furyourgood, Nannie, and you must be content to go. Willyou?' The supper-beil rang at that instant, and Nannie hastily answered, " Yes, let me go, Lennox," and ran out of the room and up stairs to her own chamber. " Yes, l'll go. And I'U teach you one lesson, Mr. Lennox Kay, see if I don't," ahu murmured. It was nearly tho middlo of Septuiuber bcfore Mr. Kay, heated, dusty and weary, entered the hotel whcre his sistor's party was stopping. "Lennox! you here?" said she. "Yes. Whero'sNanniu?" "She was on the piazza, talking with a French Count, a niouient ago. Ah ! thcro she is, by the door." "Ah!" said Lenuox, dropping Lauras hand, and uiaking bis way towards the door. But it was diffieult, even when he drew near, to seo in tho stylish, stately lady, whose hair was put up over :i monstrous chignon. and whose lustrous robes swept the floor for a yard, his own little Nannie of three months ago. Leunox ttrodo up, with scarce a glancc at the bewildered dandy to whom she was chattinf?, and held out his hand with an eager exclaiuatiou : "Nannie!" She made him a sweeping curtesey, and languidly extended the tips of her Bogen, but not a muscle moved beyond what accorded with well bred iudifference. "Ah.ifood-cvening, Mr. Hay." f " O, Nannie ! aro you glad to ee me? said Lennox, feeliug that his hcart wan chilled within him. "O, to be sure, Mr. Hay, iuet glad. Allow me to present mv friend, tho C'ouut de Beaurepaire. Mr. Hay, Monsieur." Iennox hardly deigned a bow U the Krenchman, and offcred bil arm to Nunnii!. "( You will walk with mea little whilo ?" " Thanks - but the niusio is beginning, and I promised to dance with Mr, Blair. "But aficrward?" said Lennox, the chili growing colder. ¦" Bat l hui encnged to Mr. Thornton." " hen, then?" deinanded Lennox with u jealous pang. ''Realiy, my card is so full, I hardly know. I will, however, iry and spare you a niltz fiiuiewhere." "ood heavens ! Nannip, what affecta (ion is tbis? " She favored hita with a well-bred stare. " Pardon, I do not understand you." And taking the arm of' her escort she walked away with the air of an Empress. Lennox sought his sister. "Laura, how have you changed Nannie so?" he demanded. " Yes, she is changed. Isn't she perfeotr "Perfect? Rather too perfect to suit me," growled Lennox. "To-morrow I shall see more of Nannie," he thonght. But to-morrow, and to morrow, and tomorrow, it was always the same, and "that elegant Miss Irving," as they styled her, was always in demand, and poor Lennox, f'roni the distance at which she kept him, looked on alinost heart broken, varying between wrath, jealousy, pride and despair. "Nannie," said he, one morning, when he fuund her for a moment alone, " how long is t his to last?" " I believe you wished me to oome herc to iniprove oiy manners, Mr. Kay ; to acquire the elegaoce of society." she said, coldly. " Bat Nannie - " " Well, if you are not pleased with the result of your own advico, I am not to blaiue. You must excuso me now, Mr. Ruy ; I am going to ride with the Count de Beaurepaire. " And, with a graceful gesture of adieu, she left him sii'k at heart. That afternobn Lennox walked unannounced into Laura's room. " I thought I'd drop in and say ' Goodby' belore you went down stairs," said he. " I leave to-night." " Indeed ? where are you going?" asked Laura. " ü, l don't know," was the savage reply. " You can take a note to Oeorge for me?" " Yes, if you get it ready," said he. "Very well. I will write it now." Laura left the room, and Lcmiox stood moodily at a window. Presently Nanuie cume in aod stood near him. "Are jou realiy going away?" she asked. " Yes, I am," was the short answer. "And won't you teil us where?" " Idon't know myself- neither know nor care !" he growled. She slipped her arm in his arm, with the old caresbing nuvenient he remembored so well, and spoke gently, usiug his name for the first time since he carne. "But, Lennox, dear, if you go away off somewhere, what shall I do?" He turned suddeoly and caught her to his heart. "Oh, Nannie, Nannie!" he cried passionately, " if you would only come back to me and love me - if I eould recover my lost treasure, I would not go anywhere. Oh, my lost love, is it too late ?" She laid her i'ace down against his shoulder. and asked : "Lennox, dear, teil me which you love best, the Nannie you usod to know, or the fashionablo young lady you found here ?" "Oh, Nannie, darling!" he cried, clasping her closer. " I wouldn't give one toss of your old brown curls for all the fashionable young ladies in the world." " Then you will have to take your old Nannie back again, Lennox, dear." And Lennox, passionately clasping her to him, begged to be forgiven, and vowed he would not exchango nis precious little wild rose for all the hot-house flowers in Christendom.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News