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The Hand Of Fate

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Wnen I was Btill gomg to school, m the graduating class, to be surc, and past sixtecn, and very largo for my age, four of us made up our mirnls, one Saturdáy rrfteruoon, tohaveour fortunes told. Thore was agipsy camp out on the cotumon beyond the town, with ?ans, tcnts, cauldrons, and tho whole paraphernalia of gipsy life, and everybody walked v rodo out to visit it. We deckled in walk, as il wna a brighi coo] !;iv, enjoyad ourselvesmuolibetter than ir' ivo had been cooped up In the stage; or even in a cartiage. Rrwró October. Some of the foliage had changad color a little, and there rere red and golden tinta amongst the gree.ns. Now and then the wind shook the trees and scatteped showera of leavea upon the mail. Purple &8tera and golden rod wre stil! in bloom. Here and there grew crimson squaw berriés, and bitter-wee1 burnt like gold along the stone fences. Each oí us gathered a grèai bunch, and we held tiicni ín ur lianda as we entered the p:th that led into the hollow where the camp lay. Youi)L' and romantic . wc were ready to be delighted with everything- with the swarihy gy_psy solling a cplt toa stout farmer; with (lie ola gi-andmothev dandling a dusky baby on her knees; and the dirty, black eyed children squatting abont everywheiv. There wvw visitera in plenty, and mosl of the women werebusy telling fortunes. As we approaehed, a woman, who liad been sitting on s f allen log, aróse, and a man who had been talkin;r to Ikt, pulled hia hat over his eyes and turned away, like the villain in :i nielo-drama. The woman wore a widebrimmed straw hat with a wreath of artificial flowers around it. . lier hair was dresscd stillly in well-oiled "bands." She had onaflowered delain gown, and a litüe red wooien Shawl ooVered lier èhoulders. She eertaiiily rts üciihcr nor beautiiu], as ihe "gipsy maid" of Bong and drama mnst ine italily bc; but she smilcd amiably trpon us, and calHng o.s -'pretly young ladies," asked if we would have our fortunes told. ('hu-e, our spokesWoman, declared ha! to bave been our inlention in coming, and we sóon proved the truth oí Ilie ad age: "A fooi and hia inoney are iooB pavted," by dropping each a delhu- into the gypsy's palm. "Who sliall I begin with, pretty lalies?" askad the woman. -'And will i'ou have your fortunes 'told priratcly r together?" Clare answered ihat we had nu scirets lrom each other, and that "tliis Coung lady." indicating Belle with the joint of her pretty parasol, "would be he first to havo a glimpse into futu¦itv." Bello, Ulushmg rosy red, pul oi her haml, and vo ni] listenei whili' lúe Kypsy oíd her that spme oin th :i tille. a lord of a diike. wouli QVoss i'c sea lofallinlovo wiih her that she would live in a pal ace bevoiw thc oceah, and be waited on like : quoen. Tjiore was more, bul I haví íorgoücn it. Belle -.wis delighted, sm Rose was the iexi victím. The gypsv told her that sho wouki marry a grs'at músioiao, and vo all laughed. for we knew that Mr. Martelli, who taught the piano lo the gradu&ting cla.-s. was v.'iv mueli in love tvith her. Tlieti Ciare scated herself on tho oíd log, and openod lior hand, palm iipward. 11. ras largo and handsome. Clare was sömething like "Lady Jane, not prettv bul massive." Th gypsy tola herthai Bhe frould be a soldier's íe. Oddly enough it really happened not a year :;lterwards. We were all at the wim Idilio-. Thc next f'.ay Colonel V rods out pf the tovvn at the head of his regiment. He never carne back. Clare Wears her widow's rail tor him yet, and hi.s minia tu re lies over herhea.rtday and night foreTer. lint where have I strayed lo? Let me go back io the bright autnmn day, and the gypsy cama and the foiir school-girls, half niocking half believing, vei-y merry and a liule fríghtened; It was my turn, and I sal, berere the dark, hard-eyod miman. v,-ith a face lite á sniiling ogress carved in black walnufe, and listened as she pi-end at the unes in my palm. Yon are a tal] young lady, Miss," she said, al last: "bul you go io school yet. Yon are fond of ínusie, and yon have an elderly gentleman relatiou who takes you out a good bit to places of amusement and the like. [ don'l se: whetlier it's yourpápa oryourgrandpa, bul it's a relation." This was so truc that I carne near crying out, '-It s Únele ileni-v." bul I bethought myself in time. "Yon wear blue a good deal,1" she nrenl on, "and you hare a blue fan. Al aconcert ono eveniug you dropped it. Thc geni lemaü who pi'eked it up s " bo yctir husband. Thestarssayso." "How whiie you turn, Essie,""cried 'hli-e. "I feel faint," I said. "It'struo] Iropped a blue fan at, the opera when Patti sang Travjala, and a gentleman )ickeil !t ii]), but I shouldnotknow him 'rum Adam." "You'll meet him again, however, 3ssie,"said the gypsy. "Some Sunday it ehureh he vvill hand you a prayerook with the place markèd with : tfow¦r; when you sce that you wiil know oiir i'ate has come, llis' first name is tobin. He has black eyes. black hair, iml a (limpie in liis chin deep enough to mt your önger in. aiid he wears a musache." I had Öertainly had enougïi for mv dollar. Wc all walked home together ruther seriously, bat in a dayor two tlic mpreasion passed away, and we ftlmost foróol how strongit had been. The rest of October was very iinpleasant. We had prayers ín the schoolroom Lnstead of going to ehurch. But m the Brst Snnday in November the sk was blue and í lic air olear, and we all sel forth for chureh tog'ether. It so happened that there were foujr néw acholara and the seats belongingto the school were full, four of ua werelefl i over (o claim the oourtesy of onr neigh bors. I was ÏDvited to enter a pew 7ccupied milv by One old liuly, and as niv prayer-book was In the sohöol-rack 'Í liad none, and did nol like to help nivI self without invitation. As I hesitatcd a book was passcd to me h-om the pew bebind me. '¦Tliis is Uu' place. " said a charmiiiovoicc, andas 1 bowed-my thanks, I saw ihai tin; page was marked with :i presscd daisy. Instan tly the visit to the gipsy camp and the fortune tcller's prophecy ruslied iuto my memory. 1 conld not have helped looking at the pew behind, f mv life had depended on it. I actually lunied my head and looked full al the gentleman who had pven me the book. lic had black hair and eves, a lang muatache, and a dimple mi big chin thai yov conld putyour ünger in. The congregatïon were rising; I arose loo. I held tho book in mv hand, and softly turned to the fty-leaï before the titlopage. A name was written thcre - Robin Armytage. Who can blame me if I said to myself: "Öertainly I have mei nw fato at last." it is vulgar to "flirt"- wrong tomake icqnaintance without lotroduotion, luit t was all Koliin's faull. Wlien he held bis umbrella over me one rainv 1:iy when be met nic as I wont sfeeppwe fe) Berlín wool for niy aíghan, and walkei with me, and tálked; when okl Billberry, who made the fires for the school., carne úpon me in (lio garden üiic morning, and polnting to agentleiaan, when he liad no business to be, looking oyei the (ence, said: "Look here, Miss. 'l'his here is Mr. Ilobin AnnytagÈ. Proiul to make yon knowed toeach other" - who could go against íateP And so I had the ímpudence to introduce him to miele in the holidays, and in (airee montha we were engaged. 1 graduated, Ieft school, and soon ftfter maTricd Robín, and was ás happy as a bird, or a butterfly, or a squirrol. I had told Kobin abonl, Éhe gypsy, "i course, and he had agreed with me that it was all ven' vvonderful so often; and at last, one bright spring evening, ña we waltasd togettier! spoke again oí the strange prophecy, and parlicnlarly of the fact that the gipsy fiad known liis name. and I was a lililí excited over it all, when Robín pul, liis arm about niy waist. and drew tnfi close lo him. "3Jy darling," he said, "1 can't doceiveyouany longeri There was no prophecy about it whatever, 1 liad been in love with yon for weeks- liad watchcdyou everywhere, and followcd yon to tho camp. I paid the gíp'sy live dollars to say ,ust what í told her, and gave tho sexton two to get me nto the pew behiod yon. Of conrse, 1 alSo bribed Billberry. All is fair in love as in war. Yon f'orgive me, don't yon?" For a litüo whíle I wouhln't, bnt at lasí I gave in. One must, yon kaow. "1 thought it was the hand of i'ale that guidea me," I said. "or I'd ntiver have spoken to yon or lel, Billberry introduce you, ordeceiyed nncje." "ft was all vcry wrong. I Unow," Robin auswered. ' "1 wonld have been Very shocking if it had been some otlier fellow, bnt you see it was 1." Yes, it was him. That seemed to make all the dillerenee. "O, Koliin, tho hand of fato was in il, I bcliove, after all.