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Her Sister

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OCR Text withln :i worldjs I'iuis. I( life is complex, Btrangely blended, varled in is light and shade, and ful! of myrlnds of events tliat come and go, lenving their stamp on human beartt, casting their shaduw for all eternity. Men die, bul how often do their deeds live af tei' thein. coiling around the Uring llke aerpents "t re, liardening the heart wliile killing the soul. Like liowers found amonf weeds, so do the good dweil 'iniil Ule evll ; umi as lite varied, so is human nature distiDCtive and full "i eontrwta. It was in the moiith oí December, in the year 18-' that ISerthe Sorliier. a wqraan voung n ycars but old n eadness, reached I'aris. She had come froni Dijon, and was in Bearcli t :i si-ter who had been tenipted from her fioine. Weeks liad glided by since her arrival in the íay capital, and yel no tldlnga had been gleaned. One mornlng Mademoisellé Sorbier left the qalet lodgings where she had taken up her abode. Slie had heardthat in theKue Notre Dame de Lorette there was a studio In whioli ¦ portrait of singular beauty was exhlblted, and, awakened to interest by tlie liescription nccorded it, she cbnclnded to visit the al'tist. Op reaching the house to which ghe had been direeted, she was at once shown ' into the studio of the painter, jjnd tiie tirst object that attracteil her attention was ibe picture in question: It seemed alm tliougli the breath of life parted the full lips, and love S])oke from the dark, beau tiful eyes, so exquisitely was all portraj'ed upon the canvas. Tears lilled tbc eyes of Berthe Sorbier, for in the portrait, a master-pieceuf art, sbe recognized thi of the sister sbe had lost. "Teil your master.1' she s:ild, addressin the servant wht) regarded w Ui curiosltj hCT evident interest in the picture, "tbat alady de-ires to speak to hini.'' Tlie man bowed, and Mademoisellé Sorbier was left alone wlth her thobfrhte ; but only a few minutes elapsed before the door was again oponed and the arttet entered. "I am a stranjrer in I'aris, monsieur," she said, eiKleavoiinjc tu control her emotion. ' Your beautlful picture bas impressed me greatly. I aiu here on a sad mlsslou. Thai portrait resembles dear tome, who lias heen uiifortuuate. VV111 you teil me Ibe name of the lady v" ''lean not," responded the artist. "I know nothing bevond the tact that I palnted the picture. It was ordered. but never paid for. By-the-by," he added, " 1 nave also the portrait of the gentleman who brouffht the young girl i y stndio." S 11 you show it to me y" quesl hi listener, eajrei lv. "Certainly," respondetl the artist, and m the room he produced the miivas. "You do not know tlie name of the gentleman Í she said. turning to het eonipanion. " Oh, yes, niadauioiselle ; this is tlie portrait of the Marquis de Varville," responded the artist ; " and, i t' the ui rent repott bc truc, the lady whose picture 1 painted uas none other tiian bis mlatri tío further Information could be glèaiied, but Mailemolselle Sorbier bad beard sutlieient to gaiu a clue. Jíaurice de Varville b ld been .suspecte. I by lier of having deceived her si-ter, and, although ftnd a stranjrer in Tari-, ved to flild him. For sevwal boura Berthe lingered In the l.'ue Xi.tie Dame de Lorette. Bhe seenied Impelled by sonie unseen power to remaiu; but at Iength, wcary and listles. lie i til a restaurant, but had acarcely - benelf when a setrant In livery ap] and approached the desk. Having gtven several orden, he luquirad of the waiter it he knew of anj ; hambre who desired a situation. "For madam V' inquired the man. "Oh, mi, not formy mistress," responded bis listener. "for Madame de Öernages, who i.s ill. The Duurqulü toid me to Inqulre." A radden Impulse uidured Mademo Sorbier to pply for the potitton, and although a look ot surprise greeted the request, the address wai giren and B bidden tO cali without clelay. On reaehing her destin ation Mademoisellé Sorbier foond hereelf iu a sumptuous resIdenoP, and was led tbrougti aipite of ricblv -furnislied apartments to the boudoir of lúdame de Sernages. Oñ a oooch lay Madame de Sernages, and as she raised her eyes Berthe recognized the object of her seareb. ¦'H:ive Ni applied lor the positiou ot' femmi de hambre f questioned Madam dfe Sernagea, llstleasly. Oceupled by sad thoiights, Berthe folled to accord ari aih'HT 'i'hr .ir, is rere ie]¦:! t i I . ¦Hun straugely you look al me," uiided lier hos 'You are surrounded, madame, by so niiiih is beautiful." responded ber litQiier evasively. Dore eh.mned ilian anliOj eO ij Llie ntflve panner of the ítranger, Loiaa de Bernagw Buiiled. "You have newly arrived in París I presume," contlnued, graclonsly. "Yes, madame," responded Bertbe. "Youknow verylittle of the city." 'I am quite a itranger.1 "Indeed, tlien. 1 am sorry to iay that you will not suit," wa the languid responae. ¦¦I quité depend iipou my ehairn-he continued. "1 requlre to have everythlng done tur me, even to the most minute detail of my toilet1 At tliis instant the sound of a bell was beard, mul Madame de Serñagea beul forward lo listen, a lonk of joy lighting her lace-, tt tbough the coming oï some one as anticlpated. Sileuce followed. Gradually the light leemed to lade from the eyes of the listener. A diep tlgh eacapedher lips, and shu would have lallen had not lieithe cauglil her in her arma. In a moment more wnie one was heard moving in the adjoinng room. and a vence familiar to Madeinoiselle Sim was heard aak ing icir Madame de Serna-res. Kisiirj, she wóuld have effe ted her escape, hut the ilctaiiiing hand of her ii isiesa whs laid upon beran "I m eoiivinopd that my secret isknown 16 you," whiapered .Madame dr Ben I most aee you later. Do nol refusetoreniaiu." Hcrthc, mpill.1 l.y ¦ r--"ig alm eollld nut resist, did not hesitate, and quickly concealed beraell behind ¦ cnrtaln, v here, uiisi m. thecould liear all. The voieeot the Marquisde Varville liad heen recognized by both. Pale aud wenk, Tiisn weleoined him with a sinile. "1 on are II," be said, anxiously. "Wietchvd," responded his listener, weanlv. "I long tor the country,'1 ihecontinned. "lf I could only leave I'aris, I think I would rain life. It' I reraaia here, 1 feel ihal i Bhalldie. I know ora villa only a few miles from l'aiis. It is surrounded by trees, and floweru ibound. If I eoukl only go there." Wouid vuil really like to poueaa the villa " " "Yes," responded the ïlstener. "''litis very monting 1 waa negotlating with a dealer to buy my jewels and funiiture. I requlre sity Uiousand francs, and I will deprive myself of everything to obtain it." "'loilshall not pari with your jewels," whispered l)r arville, "aithough your beauty requlre nu ornament. The cotiae shall be mine, or ratber yours." "Do you suffer?" he questioned. " re you til, Loisa v" ¦Ves," murmurad bU liateuer, ¦¦.My dasliug," resumedde arville, "teil me wlien and under whai cltcnmetsncea you saw the cottage yon so mucn deaire.1 ¦¦I was tlieri' live ïüonths ago," she saiil, calinly. "It was there you went wlien you left Paris without injbrnilBK any one ol your whereabonta, and leaving me to suffej keeiily." "You suilereil then, Mauxice, I .-ulier nou," murmured .Madame de Sernages. ¦'II ;iil you not so mysteriously abandon ed me." eontinued de Varville, bitterly, "I should he free to-day, but in a moment of pique and despair I inarried." ¦¦ Ea your wil'e beautiful ¦-" questioned his lis tener. 'Vis; but let us rather speak of mie I have deeply wronged. It i your wisn to leave l'an. Be t so, Loisa; but let me hope, my beloved. that you will peiinitme to visit you oeeasionnlly. Dearone, alone togethei wu will forgetthe world," "Ye8," responded Madame de Sern wearily withilrawuif; herself from bis uu will come to me, butwhat bappiness eau ei-t for us y" ,-be continued, bitterly. "Tfou are the husband of anotlier. 'l'o her you whisper words of love, while lor me there are only .stolen interviews, stolen careas Máurice de Varville endeavorad to ealm the exeited woinan. but subs ronvillsed lief trame and She trembled with emotion. "Take me to her, " eontiueil Madame de SiTiia. s " gaza apon her and satfseif thal one more1 wortby has won your love." At tliis nioinenl the euitaiu was draws a 1de. Uertbe Sorbler stootl betoreMaii1 iee de uiville. "Who are you ?" he evclaiined. "A .-tranu'er," responded his listen er, "but one wilO eome to speak the truth. Vou uic deceiving) uur wiie, wastlng your fortune, and desertioff your home. I have said," continued Berthe, "that 1 am aatraneer to you, and vet we have met before, lor my lalher atnl bit tWO tbildien were boni beneath (be rooi' of the chateau de Tallery - " '. "De Tallery:" exclaimed Madame da Sernagea. "It is beoause of one the ehüdren of my father," cootinued lierthe, not beeding the cry. of her sister, "haa retnained pure and thal I iiine here. His becauae 1 h.e the ríght tosaytO my sister, "You bae stoned, but return to the home you lonz Biuca deserled." rthel Bister f exclaimed her listener. "Yes, Loiaa, .your 8ia ter," rasum.ed Mad emoiselle Sorbier, "who has come to teil you it is time to end a life tilled with disgraee- one that bas failed to brinr happiHad 1 toiiml that you truly loved the man you thus separate from hls Wlfe 1 tnigbt have been -ilent, but I know that as helias deeeiveil that wife so have you de him. You 'desire to leuve Paris. Shall I teil you wli "Berther' responded Itfadam'e de Sema¦it la becauac you love anotber. JTou are 111. U'hy are you ill' It is because your life brlllgl you ini-ery." "Hpw dare you uUir sticli words to " queatioaed LoUa de Seruages, in a tone of aunoyance. ¦¦A propilsemadeta a dying mother must f.iliilk-i!, ' re.-ponde.l Berthe. "Onèyear ajro vou left your home. Xo trace of yoti was' loiind. At length 1 heard ihat you were in l'ais, and, urged by my sacred vow, I carne. lam to ask you to return home. It the I have spoken are trae, . fratikly that you no longer tqaaajfanrice de Varville." A moment "f silence lollowed. during W bieb the expression ol' Madame de Serna ndieated a struggle. ¦Is this true?" inquired He Varville. " Do yon no longer love " 'It is true," responded l.oi-a, sadly. "You love anotber?" ¦ Ye-," murmured his listener; "hut one from niimn 1 am separateil lorever." 14 You ueep." continued Berthe, "and vet your teart are not thoséof repentance i.r eontiition. but ealled torth by lln of tlie man who bas awakened in your beai I the sentiment of true lo W th a ci-y of despair Lolsa de Sernages sank faintiiiir into the otrtstretched of hel -i "Lolsa," whUpered Berthe, "I will care for you, 1 will console you" II is too late," murmured her listener. ".My happiness. my health are wrecked. I no hope ia lile. Armand, Aruiapd," 9he -. - thongh addressinj: some I you not return my love. Why yon abandon me? Uer!n a sol lv articúlate . "si-ter, firivi' me, for Jtreat as bas heen my sin, my suffering, uiy punUhment is rreator." . de Sernaigbed deeply, while her face gn-w almost gr?y in extreme pallor her lipi mo,-. tuit no -ound eseaped llii'lll. ' '" èxclafmed Berthe, in a volee tliat trembled witli fear. "Loisa, speak to me !" Ajriiin dark eycs were raised in mute appeal; then slowlv the Hls closed, and in a sigli fuint and low the spirit of Loiaa le Sernage passed ut bevond into tliat great auknown of wliioli nothing Is clear. ".Muurice de Varville, you will leave me with niy dead," said Hertlie, sternly. -l)i;volc youreelf henceforth to the wonian who Is ..ur wKo, mi-I r,iy til Hi'aVCIl t'nr íofnivciicss for tlie wrone for uliioli tliere Is DO atoMcment."


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