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The Story Of A Visit

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What old roundabout ways Cupid chooses! What queer little messengers he dispatcnes on his errands. What innocent conspirators they are! Little Jenny Jones did not know what she was about as she tripped along the fleld way to Dorley Grange that üne June morning, between the many-colored long meadow grasses weiffhted with dew-drops, yet the three-cornered note in her hand was the match that was to set a-going a long train of events and be the begiflning of the end he delights in. Jenny made her way up to the back door, and into the low, old kitchen, and presently old Susan put her headin at the door of the breakfast-room, which in the morning was schoolroom, too, and said: "Miss Ellice, here's a letter for you f rom Miss Furnival." When Ellice had read it she got up from her chair of office at the end of the table. "Now, children, get on with your work, there'a dears. Jack, get that sum finished bef ore I come back; and Sybil, sit up, and hold your pen right; I shan'tbe long awayl" And then she flitted out into the hall and throusrh the wide open door into the garden, where the rose trees were holding up their bonny red heads, and the -warm air was full of the hummlng of bees and the soent of woodbine. Down the long walk to the left she went, where, among the red currant bushes, a largè straw bat was to be seen bobbing up and down. "Mother, dear," cried Ellioe, "here's anote f rom Cousin Mary, and she want3 us girls to go and help her this af ternoon with a lot of library books. ril say 'ye3,' I suppose ? There's no reason why we shouldn't guY" Mrs. Holt thought a moment, and then said: "No, certainly, go by all means." "Why don't ttracie and Belle come and help you gather those currants?" "They are coming very soon, my dear." "I'd like to help," said Ellice; " but I must not, I suppose," and then she went back through the sunshine. The mother, bending down to the ripe, red clusters, had still the picture in her eye of the lithe, straight, robed ügure, with the dark-haired head so daintily poised, standing against the background of the old red wall on which the apricots were ripening. "How pretty thechild getsl" she said to herself, aud her mouth and her eyes smiled, and softened into the expression that only mobhers' faees wear. A few houra afterward, amid the cheerful clatter of dioner, the afternoon arrangements were diseussed, as all other family details were, in full conclave. Mrs. Holt sat with her back to the open window, against which fche hlind fiamied eently in the warm breeze, her busband opposite; EUice on one side, with Jack and Sybil on either hand, and Gracie and Belle on the other. Belle was next in order to Ellice.and just back from school " for good," a bonny, healthy, 17-year old lassie. Gracie was the orphan niece of Mr. Holt- tall, fair-haired, gracef ui, still in deep niourning garments for the loss her mother. "Fifteen loads, my dear!" said Mr. TTnlt. in aiiawer to his wife. "We couldn't begin carrying until 10 o'clock the dew was su heavy. I don't think ■we shall get into the long meadow today. Ho wever, the glass is very high, and I think we are in for a long spell of üne weather. I dcn't remember a flner hay-time, and Inever had a better lot of men than tbi3 year." "Father," aaid Jack, "may Torn and Harold Price eome to-morrow and work in the hay-field?" "Ye8, niy lad, though I guess it's more mischief than work that you'll do." 'May Bessie come to?" Sybil pleaded. "You might cali at the Vicarage, girls," said the motlier, "ana asa tor the children to come and spend a long af ternoon, and perhap3 you could manage to carry a basket of currants. There are a good many things for you to do on your way. You must carry a bundie of rags to old Betty Freer, and cali and see how poor Harry Caswell is." "And there ia the Fortnightly to leave at Mre. Barrows," said Gracie. "You have done with it, uncle, haven't you?" "No use keepng it for me," said Mr. Holt. And so the programme vras made out, and when dinner was over the girls wnnfc Tin stairs to chanae their dresoes and ge.t ready for their walk. It was always a pleasure to them to go to "Cousin Mary's." Belle had long be married.but what shemeant never to be married but to be "just likefiomin Mary." "As if you could be," sneered big brother Torn. Mi33 Furnival was a tall, graeeful woman, with a tender face framed in hair which had early lost its color and turned gray. She lired in the "Church House," where she had been bom. Father and mother, brothers and sisters had departed and she was alone; and vet were its rambling passages, lts quaint pailors, its old-fashioned garden, bright and pleaaant places, shone upouby the mistress' serene eyes, and made merry by the voices of the children and young iolks she dehgbted to have about her. Mr. Holt, of Dorley Granee was her cousin, and to hi8 children ''Cousin Mary" was the fountam of all good things. She was to them the designer of Christmas games and harades. the ver of Charming ents.the organizer oí picnics in tne pleasant Bummer time, the best of all nnrses, the kindest of all eomfortew. She it was who drove Ellice into Middleham every week forsinging lessons, sheit was who was keeping Torn at school for another year. There was no end to Cousin Hary's kindnesses. S the girls were as meny as larks and as happy as queens (if ttaat ol3 .expression yet means anything,) thac sunny June afternoon as they covered the villaeelibrary books, and told Miss Furnival all the home news. drace and Belle were doubling and fitting the covers, and Ellice, wlth a big apron over her pretty pink dress, was "pastThey had been hard at work for two hours, and the piles oL clean, tidy books were almost complete, when handmaid Jennie opened the door. "A gentleman, please, ma'am, wants to see you. In the library he is, please, 'm," and she handed Miss Furnival a card. The mistress looked at it wonderingly, and then left the room and trossed the hall, holding it in her hand. whr. pnniri ".Tohn Colin Cameron, M. D.," be? A tall young man standing by the window, turned as she entered and bowed, and said with a smile, as he gave her a letter - _ .M "This will explain my intrusión, madam." Miss F umi val read - My Dbar Old Frisnd Mabï Fobnival: I hear by a sida wind that you are stil living atDorley. Long year have paBaed fiaqe we met; but it is to me an impossibie thing to think that my school sweetheart Mary, can have rast out old afleotion. In this laith I . .. ji__; !_,.. nnn,i nnn tn nol I ti non vnTi. T nave uemieu wx guvu b u vmh f" .. - - want tohearaboutjoa, and I want rou to know him. Yon wM like him, for his own wortb, I well know; but at firet be kind to him for the sake ot Your oíd frienrt, Mabgabkt Blakb Cambrón. Miss Furnivalputouther hand witli cordial earnestness. "This is a pleasure to me, Dr. Cameron! Pra3' come into the ottaer room, and have tea with me, and teil me the hiatory oL all these silent years. It is so long since I heard of your mother that I really did not recognize your name, I am sorry to say." So the young man stooped his tall head through the two low doorways and followed his hostess into a long quaint room, smelling of roses. Well It might for there were roses on the tnantfil-niece. roses looking in at the open Windows, roses in the middle of the tea-table, which stood there ready, covered with dainty white datnask and oíd china and sbining sil ver.and heapedup ripe, red strawberries. When the ceremony of introduction had been duly performed, and the doctor was talking to Miss Furniva!, he glanced now and then at the three pretty girls whose acquaintance he had so auddenly made. One was in white, another in black, and another all pink, like the roses! Poor Ellice! It was embarrassing to be in thi8 trim, covered up with one of Susan's grëat kitchen aprons. Hostess and gue3ts were all sorry when the next hour was passed. Colin Oameron had been so entirely thrown into the society ot men oniy, since nis settlement at Middleham, that thig daiatly-appointed board and this group of fair women seemed to him liko getting a glimpse into the "House Beautiful" in Bunyan's allegory, while to his fellow-guests the impromptu addition to their party of this intelligent, worldexperienced man gave a peculiar interest and piquancy to Cousiu Mary's always pleasant entertainment. When tea was over Dr. Cameron rose, and with a courteous expresaion of regret at leaving such good company, said he muat go on to see Dr. Main, the village doctor, who hadasked him to come over nr,A ïrtrianlh wif-.h llim ntl ft ílifílfilllt case. So he was initiated in the easy geography of Dorley and went his way. Soon afterward Grace and Belle set hotneward, having a cali to make on the way, while Ellice stayed to help Miss Furnival mumber the book8, in correspondence withthe catalogue. She would go home by the fields, she said, later. Colin Cameron was walking home to Middlehatn in the dusk by the field way from Dorley to Silito, which is on the high road, Tke moon nearly at the full, was rising clear and golden; the air was full of frágrance fróm a blossoming bean üeld ; nlghtingale was singing in the larch spinney. Colin leaned on a gate, listening, enjoying the loveliness of the time. As he stood, drtnkiDg in the sweet enees about him, his mind turnea to the case he had been talking over with Dr. Main, and to an cperation that was flxed to take place to-morrow, and with these thoughts mingled a visión of a dark-haired girl with kind eyes and little brown hands. Ellice they called her - a pretty name. She was about the age Mary wóuld have been if she had lived ; and then the young man sent a tender thoughttoward his daughterless widowed mother in her frugal home in the North Country. The bird music ceased, and Colin strode on. But he suddenly stopped, started, as, on the other side of a high stile, he aaw a figure seated on the grass. "Is anything the matter? Can I helpyouï" and then as he recognized the white face in the twilight, in quite another tone he said, "What is the matter, Miss Holt ?" Poor littleEHice had been very brave till then, but the auddea friendly voice and helpful presence overéame her, and she burst into tears, and said brokenly: "How stupid 1 arn! But I thought nobody would come, and uiy foot hurts so badly." Before the words were said the doctor was on his knees beside her feeling what was amiss. "Will you please go and teil them at home, Dr. Cameron, that some one may come and help me. Our home is "only a few ÖeWs down there to the right." "I had better help you myself, I think," said Colin. "Can you mauage to walk?" He helped her to rise, and they went a few steps, but he feit the quiver o E pain that went through her as the hurt foot touched the ground, and stopped. "You must let me carry you, please. You won't mind it? I can, quite easiiy-" fj ïhere Was as much of command as request in his words, and in another moment Ellice was lif ted in his strong arms. Through two fields they went. Then through the dim silence the gate ahead swung to with a bang, and Ellice said quickly: "Oh, pleaso set me down, Dr. Cameron. ïhat is niy íather, I expect, come to look for me and he will be so frightened." So Colin placed her down, and in a minute up carne Mr. Holt's stalwart gure. Ellice had been afraid of her father eing alarmed, but I can't say his alarm was removed when he saw Ellice tanding in the field ahead with a young fellowbeside herhe did not know f rom Adam. She cried out a3 her father approacned: "Don't be frightened papa. I nave only hurt my foot, and Dr. Cameron has been so good as to bring me home." And who is Dr. Cameron ?' was Mr. Holt's flrst thought. And it was with some stiffness that he made hia acknowledgments and remarked that he would now relieve him oí nis charge, "I fear Miss Holt's foot is badly damaged, sir, and ought to have immediate attention," said Colin's honest, kindly voice, "I am a doctor and shall be glad to gire my assistance, if you will allow me." So there was nothing but to say yes, and between her two helpers Ellice at last got home. The foot was badly spratned ; the doctor bandaged it caref ully, and then strode off to Middleham. He had thought about Ellice Holt at the beginning of his evening walk, and now, af ter this small adventure, what wonder that he thought more? His profession made him keen in reading character, and this little glimpse of the ffirl had shown him much. Courageous she must be, and thoughtful f or others, and what a good sort of home she had. What a sweet, motherly face Mrs. Holt had, and how fond of eachother all the girl3 seemed. When the young man got back to his lodgings and found everybody gone to bed, and his pnm, ugly room in aess, the place looked very dreary ín contrast with that ílower-scented parlor at Dorley Grange and its gentle home presences. He would certainly respond to the bidding Mrs. Holt had giveu him and go again. How gratef ully Ellice had said "Thank you," as she bade him good night, and how pretty she looked as she said it. PART II. After this, though Dr. Main looked af ter the sprained foot, Colin walked over to the Grange not unfrequently. He played lawn-tennis with Grace and and Belle, and cricket with the schoolboy brothers, while Jack and Sybü were especially devoted to him. One day, while Ellioe was still obliged to lie on the sofa, the children were hanging about him, Sybil on nis knee and Jack examining a wonaeriin Knue with all sorts of tools cotnbitjed with it, when Sybil said : "Ellie can't walk a bit. How did she get home, the night that she was hurt?" Colin laughed caielessly as ho looked across at Ellice, and said, "I carried her." "Was she very heavy?" inquired Sybil. "Did you like carrying her?" said Jack. There was a moinent's pause, and then the doctor answered in a low tone: "Yes, Jack." When he glanced toward the sofa next there was a rosy glow on tne iace lying there, more rosy than could be accounted for by the sunset light that was streaiüing in through the low window. There carne a sick time that autumn in Middleham, and Dr. Cameron was very busy for weeks flghting disease among the children down in the squalid streets and back yards ; and when at last the worst was over and he could cali a few hours bis own for a walk to Dorley, he f ound the place empty ef the presence that made it dear to Mm. Quite casually, as though the news were of no importance, he was told that, "My daughter and niece are gone to Paris with Miss Furnival. They will probably remain there until the spring." That was the beginning of an illtime for Colin. He was overworked, and that helped to make him anxious and disturbed at the thought of bis English rosebud among the f ascinations of Paris. From time to time he heard of her- how they had been to Versaille3 and te balls and theaters, and what a delight ful place Paris was. But a worse tim( wa tocóme. - One dreary December afternoon 1m was walking up to his rooms, when h was joined by a friend, Llewellyr Cobbe, by name, a loquacioud rattle pate. "Oh, I eay, Cameron. You remembe; Archibald Braileï" "Yes," said Dr. Cauaeron. "He carne to "Guy's" before I lef t. I never knew him well." "Well, Fortune is raining f a vors on him in the mo3t partial fashion. He has an appointment in India, has been larking about the continent a month or two, and now in Paris he has picked up a wife- andaMiddlehamlady! Think of that! You may read his letter if you like. It is f un to hear the superlativos these engaged fellows indulge in! We are not come to that pass, eh. Cameron?" But as the young mah rattled on, nis companion's heart stood stili. This was the letter: DearCODBK- Thanka for your congratularon on my luck But you mnst sand me anothr batch for I do not go to India alono. 1 ha dearost, sweetest and prettiost of wtves will aceompany me. aa Bhe halla from the neighborhood of Mlddlsham, you may know her name- Mis Holt. My graceful, and we sall ty P. and Q. on the 12U oL next month. On some swif tly devised pretext Colin parted f rom his evil newsbringer, and strode along, not knowing, not caring, whither he went, with a bitter pain clingiHg about his heart, and silent, bitter outcries against the cruelties of fate. And Ellice - ohl Ellice - did she not know, had she not been shown by him that she was his queen among women ? Had she not seemed to care f or him ? Oh, heaven! how different,, af ter all, their feelings nmst have been! He, lef t mourn'ng; and she, willing straightway to listen to the love vows of another man. It was with a gray, haggard, face that the young man at laat returned in the late evening to his lodgings, to hia over-cooked, tasteless dinner, and to disturbed, restless sleep Being a brave soul, he tried to throw himself more than ever into his work, and so to overeóme his troubles; but it was very hard work, and as Christmas approached he got a friend to look af ter his patients, and then started for Scotland. The weather was very severe, and a he neared his Perthshire home a tremendous snowstorm carne on and blocked his way, and when at last he reached Eigowan, the lllness he had been struggling against íor weeks seized him and utterly prostrated him. Helple33 as a baby, racked with pain, gasping for breath, he lay, while his little sad-eyed, steadfast gray haired mother flitted about his room, and waited on him, hand and foot, and prayed to heaven to help her boy to live. When the crisis had come and I ed, and a3 he was beginmng to inend, he asked her what wa3 the day of the month? The 19 th of January, she aaid it was, and Colín turned his face to the wall with a sigh. They would be in the Eed Sea by this time, alas! he was not so well af ter this f or a day or two, and the new-born light in his mother's face faded; but again strength returned and convalescence, and in the late days of February he was back in Middleham, and at work again. The town was placarded in all di'■ rections with announcements, in f oot! inner inttara. of the comincr of a leadina Cabinet Minister to speak on the burning question of the dajr; and, on I the evening of this event Dr. Cameron was one in the great crowd of excited people who waited for the opening of the great tawn hall. His head was well above most people's, and, as he was looking round, he saw, a few feet from him, a tall, elderly gentleman of his acquaintance, who noded, and said: "Hallo, Cameron! Glad to see you back. Better, eh? Can you get to me ?" And as the people between gare the young doctor passage room, he continued - i ha e foolishly yielded to the nntrpatiea of two politically minded young ladies who wanted to hear the j great man, and, upon my word, I don't ! like my job! I wish you would take care of one of them. You know Miss Holt, Ithink?" Colin'a haart gave a great throb, for there, indeed, was EUice Holt standing by a pillar. As she saw him a glad, shy light came into her face. He made his way to standing ground beside her, and bent down and eaid to her in a low voice - "It will deliglit me to take care of Miss Holt if she will let me." "VVaiting in an ever-thickening crowd for a quarter of an hour is not, under ordinary circumstances, a pleasant experience, but little did Colin Cameron mind his foot being trodden on or his back being dug into; these things even added to nis happiness, for was he not screening his "rosebud" from annoyauce, and, indeed, giving her, if truth must be told, a quite unfair share of air and standing-room ? At last the doora oponed, and the rush inward I took place, and af ter a time the great orator was speaking, and the vast audience responding with enthusiastic plaudits. But little did Colin hear. The revulsión from a sense of hopeless loss to hope unbounded almost dazed him. The hall was hot, and Ellice took off her gloves, and he saw her little dear lelt ñand Daré or au ringsno fatal plain circlet there! When the proceedings were over, aud they were waiting for a chance to get away, he said to her: "It is a curious question, but will you pleáse to tell me your cousin's full name? - the cousin that Iknew at your house ?" "She is Mis Braile now," Ellice said. "Yes, I know," said poor Colin, with a great rush of thankf ulness, "what is her Christian name ?" "Gratia Ellice," she answered,. "Bvery one calis her 'Ellice' except us. It was my name, too, you see, and we had to make a difference, so re called her Grace." "Thank you," said Colin. PART III. .No ijrass süouia gruw uuuoi wou now, he said, as he walked home under the stars. By 3 o'clock íiext day he was standing in the parlor of Dorley Grange, waiting with agitation for the entrance of Mrs. Holt. When she came, the young man spoke earnestly, with the eloquence of love, and the mother gave, with tears and smiles, the permisaion he craved. Ellice would be in f rom the village, aoon, she said. Then he would meet her. Ellice's hearthad been fluttering with a happy unrest all the day, and she had gone into the village to quiet it by Beeing some of the poor old people who looked for her coming as their best sunshine. Sut all the quiet ried, as turning a bend in the road, she met Dr. Cameron face to face. She tried to recover her maidenly composure, and made some remark about the weather. He made ' no reply, but took her hand, and said ' gently, earnestly looking into her sweet face: 3 "You know what I have como for. May I have it?" í 8he stood a moment quite silent and 3 still. Then she lifted her eyes to bis, 1 and in them he read the happj answer. You may be sure Mrs. Holt was at the door waiting for them, and with r her was her husband, whd{ catching Ellice into tne emDrace 01 one aim, shook hands with the doctor, and told him he had stolen a march upon him and that his permission was yet to be got. Then they had tea together, and afterward played at some childish game for Jack and Sybil's benefit, and then Dr. Cameron rose and said he musí be going. . "Mother" looked across the glowmg flre-lit hearth at "father" with a tender comical half-smile of remembrance, and the two kept their places, while, af ter a moment's pause, Ellice slowly rose, "celestial rosy red," and went out into the hall with her lover. Hg caught up a shawl from the wall and wrapped it aoout ner, ana meu, uyauing the door, led her out into the stül darkne3S. There, with his strong, tender arms about her, under the shining stars, pure heart to pure heart, pure lips to pure lips, they gave their betrothal kiss.


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