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Trapped By An Heiress

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jL-.coSier placo tliari the big sittinsrroom nt HlHcrost woiil.l have been hni-a to fin l, if ona hal tiwwlled frora Laud's End to John O'Groats; and tliis cvenitul cvcuinir, wlicn tbe-deatiníés of two wurtliy (óplè wfe abwifctakrti!í (lefinite forra- two peonle who hnd never soen eacli otlier, mi who had heard of each othor so olían that tlicy wcre both cunoualy ca,,ei. to nieot - on this Important evenin tlie sitthig-i-oom at Hillcrest had nevor looked ilétsalUcf or coicl-. A he tire of loirs "hiwoil üke ten carbunclos in the open nrc-pmuu, n the tabie in tlxe cchut. of the tío r wUcse cover iuatched tlie giowmgcriinson oí the tsiiJKit, TJRlfti ?JW siand that held a dozen supwy vax Wperëj whiw beaiuin : fight coiitrasied cx(iiisitely with the ruddy glow of t lic lire. Besiile the (ablc, in a big cuslnoncd eliair, witlihia feet tliruat toward the genial waimth of the hearth, liis gray Srcssias-gown eitting oomlartóbly on hts nortly forin, lus goklen-i-iinined gitanea on hU nose, sat the owner and inuster of Uillci-ast, Mu. Abiali Cressiii"ton, ricli, íood-iiii tu red, iintl ionil of Ui waj war. Qposite Mm was the mistress of the place,! i Ule, shrewd faced, sliarp-nosed, merry Aunt Cur.a, lus sister, who, Bince lier widowhood, had eome to Ilillcrest to makc her bachelor brother's home as pleasant as shc cuuld. Tliat she had sticccedcd was very evident by the way now in whieh Le looked up IVoin a letter he had been reaciitig- tlie eonfiJwuia!, kiudly way in which lio ilid it. "Walter writes a curious letter in response to my invilation lo come and spend a few weeks at llillerest as soini M ho gels over his ia'l,iiui iroin his ocean voyage home, after his ii'fe vears' tour abroad. FI1 mtd it to yon." lic lennctl íiear llic softly glowing li"üt. and bean the short, conciso reply tliat W alter Austiii had writton "You are very kind, imleed, Únele Abiuli, to íisk me down to lliüerest lor as loiig as 1 vvish to stay, and 1 can assiire you thttt 1 lia ve beca so long a waiKlei'cr lliat the idoa of a home is pkasant to me, But when I iakfl into consiaeriuion the peculiar Uupoxiance you propose altacüiiy to my vlsit, I ain unwulingto accept this invitation. To me, tlie inca oí haviug my faneies iiud iiiclinations put into harness, and lo í'eel that i uní oii coutiuual duty to wiumyway into the göod gracesof my sccuiid cousiD, Mabel, wJiom you aie jood cnoiiyh to vish me to niarry- " Mru. Cora intwupted sharply, - "Abiah, you nevur surely went and toUl uur gran.mother tliat yon liad iu view his íiiarriage with Mabel?" 11er tone wus cuergetic, almust apprelieusiYe. Whv iil I cortainly ditl. I told hini in my HM ter that ït was a enanco for him he'd liever set rain, an.l tliat ]10 heétfn't fco under Btich terrible oblijrationa to take a fancy to Pliil s littlc Mabcl, but tocóme down and be coushily, an.l if anytliing should happen, it'd 1)0 riüht all aroiuid." Mr= Cora linittod viroronsly, her lavendcr cap-ribbona quivering in the inellow taper glow. "Allí hiive to gay is, you'r - a looi, Abiali! Walter is rigbt. A young man doein't Ükc to have his foncics linder rein and whip, and the very fact that we want liim to marry vm rnake liim indisposed to do it. You ve made a great mistara in uie iwgiuMr. Cressiiifiton lookerl aghast at his sistor's determinad face. "Why, I really dUn't sunpoRC- "Of coursc you diiln't. U's om y natural stupidity, you denrold íellow ! Men are all alikc. Dun't 1 know tliem like a book? And you'vc ruined your liopes tor Maiiel and Wal ter at the véry outset." . Mr. Ct-essiugton startcd cuscointitcdly. "I am suro I nieant ït all riprlit enbègli, Cora. I certainly wantod Vriilior to know what a little darling ourMiibcl is and wliut a nico little wile she would niake tor any man." connnen.hililc, indeed ; oidy, if yon liad consulled me upon the leP ter you sent, I should have advisen you "to gay nottiing about Mabel, or her chuma or lier erpectatioiis. I sliuuld have simply asked hini to come and see üs, and have left the rest to Maljel's bluu eyes, You see, Abiuli?" v J1U lipscomprcssed slowiy. "] ihink 1 seo. Aii'l niy hopos in thnt dinction are all ruiïlcfll" Tlio sil ver nccdlcs clicked rapidly, and the white yaru oamo recliug nicrrily off the b-.ül uuiler hor arm. 'Nut :iL all. Loave Uiat to me, and I'll sec AVhat can bo dono. Trust a woman's wit to gut even a blunderiug old fcllów liko yourscli out of v ifrape." Slie sftiiled and nodded, aml lookcd alloellior so mischievous tliat Mr. Ocssington becaine quito excited over Ucr lHtlc inystcry. "Do cxplain, Cora." And when .slie cxplained lic lcanccl back in lus chair. with au cxprcssioii of positivo awu and adniiration on liis "W'hata woman yon aro, Coral I declare, it beats áiiylmngl lieard in Lhe whole course oí my lite 1" Alter, a glorious winter day, willi liprc and tlu:re a star tvrlnkliug lu the yulo gva'y sky, iml tho nguia and lires iu the Hillcrcat sitting-rooin luaking an eloquent welcoine to Waltoi- Absttu, as no stood in tlie midst of the home cirele, Uill, gcntlemauly, lnuidsonie and seh-yossessed. Oíd Mr. Oesshiííton was in the richeét linmor as lio lod íorward two vuiui"' "iris. ,.. , , Coiné, don't b shy, now. Wftlter this is yoiir coiisin. Mabel Cressmgton, nuil tliis ia her good tïiond and inseparable companion, Irono Vanee, como tohelp entertain yon. My nephew, Mr. Walter Austin, girls. And tlns i -Aiuit Cora- you reineiuber her well enouli, oht"' And so the prcscntntion was merrily gatten over, uid Walter íbund hnnselfin tlw most plcasaut faiuily lie had ever known. They vvere remarkably pretor girls, with bine eyes- Mlw Vaiieo's wei-c deeidedly the deeper bluc and more bewitching- and lovely, yellow gold hair. Walter lonnd Uiiusidf adiairing the style of Miss Viuicc's coiffure befure he liad known her un hour; and vhen be wcut up to his room tliat íiight he lelt as it between the two, roguish Mabel and sweet little Irene, ho liever WOllW con woutheart-w hole. 'For Miibei is a good httle, ti, o -hi 1,,., "."i i í "sl taUe Crreatíuucle Abiah'8 advice and íall iu-lovo Wfth hor, Rlnd theitty secure a gertW,„„ ,,„„■,-: ,C tho Ci-oi.ton oslatcs. E-íid! thal's a híippy thoughtl 'But tho handsbnie yonng gentleman went to sleep and dreamea, hulead of Mabel's laughing eyes, of Irenes gentic tender ones.J and awoko soinewhere in the middle of the jiiglit, unible to get to sleep íor thinliing of And tlie after days were not much better. Despite tho golden valué ot Mfabel there was sonietlnng about Irene Vanee that made this headstrong leliow vory toolislily imUffereot to the a,lvicc he liad swni to ibllow. "üecause, by JoveU ftfllöW would tavé to lie iuade out of gram te to resist the swect, shy ways of sueh a UtlleUiM-Uiíí.aaírciI And 1 11 mari-v lier il she'll have me, and tlie raoiisy and the prpperty muy go to- the itolífi ! Pvw n Uecid and a pair ot taadA, iind bluc-eycd Irene shall uot sutterl lt was ïiot au liour later that lie níet her in tlie hall, earrying gveai líuugtis of holly, with which to leáloon,clowii Lhe vvaliiüL wiicase. _ i "Give me burden, Irene,' said he vhy uui'you not toll me yoa were ïig to gatUeï it, and let me -o w ítli yon ? lt is altogeüier toojieavy a uunleji tbr your asuis to beur. He luamiged to get the lovely sprays froinlier fii'ins, but it reiuired au íuimeuse ainoimt of tardy eüort 011 lns y&vt, and shy, sicet blushing 011 hers. Answer me, Irene. Wny didu t you iet me go witH you t ouldu t yuu have liked itï" . lie dem;inded her answer ni tlie most cautivatin-, lordly way, and site di-qupeu ner eyes iii great contusión. y'-L-s." 'Then why "vvero you so cruel to "1 am not cruel to anybody. Iiidcod i must go Dow." . Walter placed himself squarely ín the wny, md was toofcMOg down at lier rosy-tinted face. ''M o, vou cuu't go yet. Irene, you are crue!, or you vould liever lieprivo mept' the ouyortunity to enjoy the bie-su.inoss ol your society.'' II is ïoice lowered tuiuiurb', and he di-opnuil liis liaml nearer her curls. "You know 1 think it oruel in yon to bc so tlistant and reserved- dou't you, Irene?'' bae shrank away, lier lovcly form dvoopiuglike x lily, fier clieeks hang-iu out the signuls OÍ distress and confusión. 'Ou please don't talk soto me. Indeed i must go. Mubel is waiting lor the holly, and she- thuy wont llffO it if- " . , . J v . Sul sho was a prisoner m lus tight clasp. 'If thcy find you and me talkiug so conli .iciitly logeLherï" "Nol i mean if I don't take the holly at once to Mabel." Wulter put his arins arouud her waist bet'orc she kuew what he was Irene, look up. You shall not go luitil you let me seo m your eju n you lov me as well as I love you I Irene, my dcar little girl, I do lovo you very dearly I" tíüe was sileat for one seconcl, and he saw the qwier on hor red lips. Tlieii sliu niisud lier liead slowly, sliylv "Youloveme? Oh, Walter, vrhat will they all suy? Doii't you knovr tUat it is Mabel that you sliould say thatto? 1 urn nobody, Walter, and Mabol is au lieiress." Vvalter had boLii anus around lier by th.s time, aud was lookiu arden t!y iülier giowiug face. 1 KUONY iMíLUUl Ib Uil 11U11LO.3, íwl u, uiou liulc girl ; aud 1 alo know you are a darlnig- my durling- and tlie only girl 1 ever asked to bu niy wiliv or evur giiall ask. tí:iy yes, put." llis tpué was low uud tender, but ti-iuniplianc. "Aud you can tlehbcratoly give up so mucli tor only just meï" Her wondrous eyee mot lus bravely now, and Un-illed' uim wiLh the love liglit in thum. "Only iist you, my own dtrlingj "WUy vou are all the wosld to mei Come," we will ío teil ünole Abiah at once. Just ono kiss lirst - you must. Aml lu: had muro tliati onc two, belove be led lier, bluslujw, with tours treiAbling on hér, tikeiliaihonas on a golden thread, to Unclo Abmh, Who nat in bis librury witli JIi-s. Cora, in Instriously lookina over a receipt book. Tbeylookedup in .surprise as W'altor marched in, Irene on lus arm, a picture ot' confusión. "If vou Dlease, Unde Al'iali, I want your blessing and cordial consent to rcccivo this Hitlo girl foï your uiece. 1 Uivo her and slio loves lúe. Unclc Al)i;üi lookod over hisglusscs at Mrs. Cora. "Well, si-ter, wliat shall we sny to this youtli's clumamli"' AbroiuL sfiiilc of pci-fcct ddjgfil was on her meny face. "Say? Wliy Loll them vos, and welcouie ; and let them know thoir Ama Cora isn'L a fooi if tlicil' Uucle Ai.ii li is." Wal tur lookeil astonislicd, and telt Irene's hand ti-ènblo on liis arm. "VIat ia it, ilear?"' Sluï smilcd thi-ough her tears as sho lookeil ii) hito liis iiKiuirin, eyos. 'Oh', Walter, I amtifraid you will beaii"ry. 1 aui Ma bel uHcr all, and -and-'" 'And you have made love to your cousln, the heiress, in spiLe of yoarsulfmyboy! So Hillcrest is a foregonc late, afcer all, eh?" 'Don't scolo, Walter "Mnbel pleadcd, in a low voice, with her eeslookIng into lila, "As if I could scold yon my love ! Since I have you what need I care?" And Mrs. Cora turned over the lcaves of the recuipt book until sho ciliiio lo Uic -wcdlin caki:,"aiii! ;in-s tlint slio mudo the match herseli'. -


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