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HETTIE'S ROMANCE. SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR THE I NORTH WALES CHRONICLE aT NELLIE SIDNEY ELLERY, AUTHOB OP liTHE SEA GIVES UP HER DEAD;" "ONLY MOLLIB;" "THE OLD DOCTOR S STORY," ETO. Poor Hettie I She was seated in her cosy boudoir surrounded by every luxury, and yet she was dowu in the very lowest depths of misery I Her very attitude betokened despair, let alone the baavy sobs wbioh convulsed her slight form from time to time. Many a girl of the 19th century might be inclined to smile, nay, even to sneer. cn hearing the oause of my heroine's griet, for ricbee often- times weigh heavier than love in the marriage. market, these matter-of-fact days of ours 1 An open foreign letter lay beside the bowed headâwritten in a bold and manly hand-whicb bad only that morning apprised Hetiie of the fact tbat Gordon Gray, ber flatwf, was homeward bound from South Africa, where he had been for the last eighteen months inspecting a large ostrioh farm left him by an old unole who had amassed an enormous fortune by the means of it. Every- thing was going on to Gordon Gray's complete BttiftfMtton, therefore there was no earthly reason for a prolonged stay. This said epistle breathed j fervent love and undying affection from beginning to end, and it gave the fair recipient of it to under- stand that she must be prepared for the marriage to take place soon after Christmas, if she would only name the day. And yet, strange as it seems, here was bonnie, sweet little Hettie bathed in tears and oonvnlsed with sob3 at news which ought to have made her all smiles and blushes, and set her heart ploging for very joy I She knew fall well tbat there w&3 not a girl in the neighbourhood who would not willingly have ohanged places with her â for Gordon Gray was hand- some as well as rlah what could any reatonabU girl expeot more 1 But the knowledge of it gave her no pleasure, nor did it make her heart swell with psrdonable pride. She knew that never a girl had a more ardent or devoted lover, that Gordon Gray had never ftllted with. or proposed to any other girl, but had given all the love of his heart to her-and her alone. Yet, even this koow- ledge gave her more ?n .b ot mind than any other feeling I  Why was it thus ? The real nav&rhiahed truth was this-that Hettie Stanley did not love tbis man. The more be expressed his yearnings to be at ber side once again, the more she shrank from the idea being realised. The few months of Gordon Gray'# sojourn in a foreign land bad been a time of happy, careless freedom for her; she bad. dwelt in I the" living, thinking, Wing present," and had banished all thoughts of the future from her mind. But this state of things could not last for ever, muoh as Hettie might have desired it. The time had arrived when she was bound to faoe the situation, whether she liked it or not, for in a few short days her fianct would be in England, and thenâand then I Ab me I there would be no esoape from it. Hettie felt'very much like a martyr being dragged to her doom. As she thought of the meeting, so soon to take place, of the preparations for the wedding, followed by the solemn and binding marries ser- vice whioh should so unite them that nothing save deBth could sever the bondâshe turned siok and dizzy.. Before processing wtcn my IU" a WUBl Kiva my reader, as briefly as possible, an idea as toltbe cause of Hettie's being placed in so unenviable a position as to be on the verge of marriage with a man whom she found impossible to love. Two years previous to the opening of my story, Gordon Gray (who was a rising young medical mn and had retidod in the town for the last six years) had fcegna to pay his addresses to Hettie Stanley. She never likod him, why she oould not tell, for everyone spoke well of him, at home and abroad. His father had beeu an old sohool-fellow of Colonel Stanley's, but had died soon alter Gordon's birth his mother presided over his household until such time as he should bring home a bride. Hettie avoided Gordon Grav's sooiety as muoh as possible, but whatever she did she conll not prevent his selecting her out from among all the fair girls of t be neighbourhood and offering ber his hand and his heart. Hettie refused him point-blank; he saked if there was any hope in the future; she gave him a decided negative. Gordon Gray left her presence certainly 'with damped' ardour, nevertheless he determined to win her through thick and thin; in the end his patience and perseverance were rewarded; be bided his time hoping against hope that he should gain the desire of his heart. Colonel Stanley had not participated in his daugh- ter's dislike to the young man-he had liked him first for his father's sake (for they bad been great ohucna at school) and then for his own sell. Colonel Stanley bad bean' left a widower siuoe Hettie's birth, and now that his obild had attained to woman- hood it bad been the one desire of his life to see her oomfortably and happily settled inhfewith a strong and loving arm to protect her when he should be laid to rest in the qaiet churchyard bard by. Now Colonel Stanley thought that Gordon Gray possessed all the qualities to make an excellent husband for his "little maid in seeiDg his marked attentions to Hettie, and feeling sure of their isane, be encour- aged the young man in every possible way. But when Hettie crept to his side one night, looking pale and agitated, telling him in faltaring aocents ot Gordon Gray's proposal and her refusal of his overtures, Colonel Stanley was as near angry with her as be bad ever been in his life. He upbraided her sbarply for ber ohildishnese in refusing a man when she had no tangible reason for doing bo he told ber tbat she had ruthlessly oast aside a good man's love, and would probably marry a worthless scamp; he said that it was the one desire of his heart to see her united to suoh a man as Gordon Gray before he shonld be taken from ber, and wound np this tirade with a hint that if she had a spark of filial affection or right feeling, she would re-consider the matter and try to bring him to her tide once more. Hetiie loft her father's presence tbat night with a pain at her heart, and feeling for the first time in her life that she bad seriously di&o pleased bim. and she vowe d to herself, as sbe I sought tbe solitude of her own room, that -he would rather suffer any mental anguiab than allow anything to sever the affections that existed between her father and herself. As she lay awake that night, for sleep would not come to bar aching weary eyes, she argued herself into believing that it would be nndutilulto go against her father's wishes; that surely he knew best in Buoh matters, and that Gordon must be a suitable match for her, or he would not advocate it so strongly. When she remembered all her parent's unselfish acts, his lov. ing looks, his tender words- she stretohed out her arms in the darkness, sobbing oat in her loneliness and misery, "Oh father, father I never will I go against your will in anything, so that yon oontinue to love me as you have always done 1" Time wore' on. Gordon Gray was as attentive and Oourteoos as ever to the girl he loved, and it was not long before he observed that she no longer shrank from him as of yore, and tbat at times 6he even hazarded a wavering smile when their eyes met. Not long after this episode Colonel Stanley and his daughter spent the summer months at that quaint little sequestered spot, Downderry, on the Cornish coast. Of course, as was only natural, Gordon Gray found his way there also for a time, and whilst there, be bad the Rood fortune to save Colonel Stanley from a watery grave, being seized with oramp whilst Mth'uf. For thid geUant rescue at the risk of his own )ife be won Hettie's w?rm gratitude and the coveted promise to become his wife. fol Ii. time she mistook these feelings for love, but sbe only too soon discovered her mistake, poor Ilirll Gordon Gray in his unbounded joy blessed her, saying that the very intensity of his devotion would awaken a similar feeling within her. No one, as yet, bad even the faintest suspicion but that she was one of the luokiest girls in existence. Ab I "Not e'en our dearest friend knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh." After this necessary digression, we will now return to where we left oar heroine alone with her sorrow, in her sanotnm. Bat Hettie bed work to do, ebe felt she matt rouse herself to action, and give way no ionsrar to such wretchedness. Rising from her chair, she dashed away the blind. ing tears; threw open the window, and leaniog her ashing bead against the casement drask In deep drangbts of the fresh October air. The many-hued chrysanthemums were nodding their beads in the breeze, and the violets drooped their sweet modest heads in the artistically laid out flower beds beneath her; bat Hettie heeded them not. The crimson mountad to oheekaed brow as the manly furro of one who was not Gordon Gray rose up in her mind's eye! ey" e! God foieve me murmured the nnbappy girl as for very shame she ett^ad ber barnieg cbeske with ber delicate handil "UTO me from falling into tbis temptation I I must do my duty: I mast keep to my vow J Whatever may be my lot, I must bear it for my father's sake. Bat oh, ùancaD, Duncan I would tbut we had never met, then I might Dot have b, cc broksa-hearted I" She hastily left the window and stepped up to a mirror in order to see whether her emotion bad left any psroeptible traces-but it had only enhanced let charms. Her colour was deepened to a richer hue; har sweet grey a y ea were more intensely briiiunt: the bort thick bonnie brown curls were somewhat raffled, but tbis did not detraot from her hsauty. Catching lip the last new book from Mnaials Hettie left the room, thrusting the obnoxious letter into her pocket as she burried downstairs to the study, for it bad always been ber OUotom. since she had left the 8ohoolroom, to read aloud to her tathe every Homing for an hour. He bad evi- dently been expecting ber ere this, for she foind bim pscing restlessly ap and down the room. His fine face was all aglow with pleasure as his eyes beamed on his one Utile ewe lamb as she entered the room. The news had been communi- oated to him at the breakfast table; ever since then be bad been too reBtless and excited to sit still. Even now, though the book was one of the most interesting kind, Colonel Stanley oonld not possibly oolleot his thoughts enongh to listen to lb. be the voice ever so melodious, as indeed, Hettie's was 1 So the book WM thruat aside, and the time fiRW cn lightning wings as they talked over future plana. It was all very repugnant to poor Hettie's already overwrought feelings, but she renounced berself for ber father's sake. D-Addie," faltered the girl as she flung her arin3 round his neok before qnittingthe room, and laying her soft cheek against his shoulder she oontinued "You will come and make your home with UI, won't you ? You have been both father and mother to me and it would be perfeot misery to think of you all alone! I shall miss yon every hour of the day. Say you will -ome dear, do. ob, do I She waited with tremb'ing breatblepsness for the answerâhoping against hopeâbnt when it came it fell on her listening ear like a death-knell though it V7»'s what she balf expected. No, dear child," be answered kindly, yet firmly, as he passed his band caressingly over the bonnie cutis of which he was so proud. it is better that you should enter on your married life free from any of your relatives. I do not approve of parents taking up their abode with their married children it never answers, I will come and see you often, and as soon after your wedding trip as you like for a short time "âhere Hettie started and shuddered- but to take up my quarters with you altogether is quite out of the question, darling. Gray would not like anch an arrangement either. I am su'e Iw would rather have his little maid all to himself. You are feeling the anticipated parting from your home. It will be a wrenoh, of course, but you will think differently on this subjeoc byalld-bye, and own that Daddin was Tight 1 You will ba a hsppy girl, my Hettie, for Gray is a sterling good fellow, and I entrust yon to his keeping with every confidence. All the girls in the neighbourhood are envious of you," he added playfully as be stroked her paling oheek and imprinted a kiss on the now quivering lips. I will strive to make him happy, Daddie," she murmnred hardly above a whisper, hot her heart was full of In untold pain as she turned and left the room. Rather a silent lunobeon followed each seemed busy with their own thoughts it was followed by a good gallop across the downs, wbicb restored Hettie somewhat to her usual spirits, and by the time Colonel Stanley left her at The Oedars" for afternoon tea and the latest news, she felt more like herself again. As she was ushered into the drawing room she saw that there was already a goodly gathering of fair girls, with here and there a cack- ling hen," also a fair sprinkling of the" lords of creation (in their own estimation at all events 1) for pretty, fascinating Ida Somers bad many admirers. Hettie's eyes swept quickly over the faces turned so eagerly in her direction as she was announced, but they were caught for a moment, as it by a magic spell, as tbey met those of a tall, striking-lo >king man who stood lIeareöt to bar. The oolour deepened on br delioate oheeks and ber heart gave a bound for joy on seeing Aim among the guests. Hettie looked remarkably well in her perfectly-fitting ridtng-habit which showed to advantage her dainty figure, and the small jaunty bat eat off to distraction the exquisite face with its ring of bright bewitching ourls peeping from under its rim. Many an admiring glance followed her lithe flgnre as she stood talking for awbile to her friend and hostess, Ida Somers; she was soon throat playfnlly into the moat rest inviting of chairs and plied with tea and cake. Tbe buzz of conver- sation and raerry laughter was a boon to Hettie just at first, for she had to take herself in band and still tbe trembling of her hands and tbe fluttering of her heart. So our friend Gray is homeward bound, I bear," said General Somers as be oame and ensconced him- self on a vacant chair at her aide "Iaoky fellow to have that Soatb African property left bim 1 The first thing he will think of doing on bis arrival, I suppose, will be to oarry off our dear little friend Hettie Stanley," and he glanced down on the arace. ful form beside him with a regretful expression in his kind old eyes, for be was extremely fond of tblll motherless girl whom he had known from babyhood. Now the General's voice was loud and hearty, and Hettie, with oolonr coming and goine,observed with horror and dismay that there was a lull in the conver- sation and all eyes were tnrned in tbeir direction she studiously avoided meeting those dark brown I orbs, for she felt that they were fixed upon ber with a burning intensity whioh almost oompellsd her to return their Raze. Yes, he will be with us in a comparatively short time," she answered as oalmly as she oould under this trying ordeal. We shall most likely spend Christmas with his mother at Scarborough. My father is delighted at this home coming, for Mr Gray is a prime favoarite with him for that readon alone even I should he happy." But what about yourself, young lady ?" rejoined the General, as he eyed her keenly, for he had a euspioion that this girl who not very deeply'in love with her affianoed husband. 11 Is it only father who ia happy 1 Have you no say in the m'ter. yoo t-ly little pass 1 To try and make me believe that it is only father who hails Gray a return with pleasure I Fie, for ehame I" and he shook his head at her in bantering fashion. Whatever pleases father, pleases me," answered Hettie, as she turned away with a paling obeeb to answer a question pat to her by Mrs Montgomery, the carate's brisk little wife. She could tiot-would not utter a lie to satisfy anyone's ouriogity, but this response was taken for fhyriess, reserve, maiden- modesty, in fact, for anything bat the right feeling, by all save two in that gathering.und those two were General Snmers and Duncan Craig, the young physi- ian who had bonght Gordon Gray's praotice when he (Gray) had coma into this oatriob farm and had consequently given up the medicsl profession Hettie was beginning to feel sick ani dizzy again with all that she had undergone, and Ion Red for the quiet, and rest of her own little sanctum. So exouaiug herself to Ida, and promising to look in the following day to talk over an amateur ooncert whioh was on the tapis for some local oharitv, she left, saying tbat ebe should take the short cut, home across the fields and through the copse. Donoan Craig overheard this romilrk it was not, long, therefore, era be, too, took his leave, and overtook Hettie just as she was entering the copse. They traversed a good part of the road with very little conversation, and that of the most trivial character, yet b tb their hearts were beating almost to suffoca- tion I As this route to "TheCourt" very muob ourt&iled the distance, and the ehimney-staoks were even now in view, Duncan Craig made a desperate effort. Thinking that it must be now or never, be burst forth with all tbe impetuosity of his pent-up feelings: Miss Stanley. I most speak,though I lose favour in your eyea by doing so but I cannot stand by and see you saorificirig yourself thus for mistaken filial duty without speaking. Hetsie," he oontinued, witb passionate yearning in look and tone as be cangbt her two little trembling hands within his, I know that you do not love the man to whom Son ?ave plighted your troth. Tbe thought of Gordon Gray's return is causing you infinitely more pain than pleasure. Knowing tbis, dare yon tempt Providence thun ?-to units yourself to a man from whom you may turn with aversion and scorn in tbe daye to comet I know Gray worships the very ground on which you tread; but have a oare I Love does not always beget love I A loveless marriage is of all things the most to be deplored, and will assuredly lead to nnhappiaesa in the futare-aye-and it is an unutterable sin in God's sight, too I" At this point the hitherto bowed head was raised, and the dewy sweet grey eyes sought his-half imploring-wholly despair. ing. Oh, Hettie 1" be added, his manly voice quivering with the emotion be oonld not quite restrain, "I love you deeply, and would guard your happiness with my life. The first time we met I felt that we were created for eaob other. and ever since then I have felt that you were not callous towards me, even thongh yoa have shrunk from atd tried to avoid me I Tbe magnet of love is drawing onr hearts together I know. you know it also, dear one. If I felt that you were happy at the thouifht of Gordon Gray's return, I would have held my peaoe for ever, and gone down to my M*va wfm my <eeret onMd to mortal ear, b?t you tcow that it is an oaM?WMtbte trnth that yoa perfectly dread tbli homa-oooiing. Ob, my drnr I one I draw back ere it be to.) late, and listen t) the dictates of yonr own heart; I do not think I am presumptuous in saying there is a corner there for me 1 Tell me that I am right, and we will go at once to your fatherâif be knows the whole truth he must and will give his consent to onr union." Hettie had been gazing up into hie face with blanched cheeks and frigbttined eyes. utterly and entirely incapable of speeoh for the time, but the words that fell so passionately from his lips had thrilled her through and through, and seemed liteaally to bnrn into her heart, now throbbing witb mingled feelings of pain and pleasure. But now she straggled to loosen her hands from his strong loving grasp, without success I "Hat.;bo buptb I" she gasped at length, "I am Gordon Gray's affianced wife, and as such must not, will not listen to words of love from the lips of aDGtber I For heaven's sake let go my bands, or I shall die of shame I You have no right, you have no pity to take me nnawares like this. How can you take advantaga of me thus ? Surely I have enough to bear without this great sorrow!" Her bands were released immediately these agitated words escaped her lips, and she wept. piteously as she covered ber face with her trembling fingers. The poor girl in her sore anguish little knew that she had betrayed the secret which she bad striven to guard so oarefuily I She did not see the wave of crimson that swept over her companion's band- some countenance, nor the glad light that sprang up and chased away the shadows from his deep brown eyes. By some mysterious means be felt that whatever trial or suffering they might have to pass throngh, yet in the end their lives would not be lived asunder ( Yoa need feel no ab,,me. no remorse, my dear one, in confessing that my love is not unrequited," he said tenderly after a pause when her sobs beoame more iiabdad. "Tbank God that it is not too late. The marriage vows have cot yet been taken then indeed it would have been so. Let os go together now to your father," and he held out his hands enticingly to her with the love-light in his eyes. No, no I" wailed Hettie from the depths of a bleeding h^art. If you eay anotber word to me on the subject, I will never speak to you allain I I mean it, Dunoan Craig," she added in d-speration as she retreated from him a step or two. Ie You know that my father desires this union bAyonil all thinps, it is the dearest wish of his heart. And shall Iâhis only obild-to whom he haB been both father and mother eince the days of his widowhood return all his love and tenderness with base ingrati- luis ? N.), no if my lire were to be one long scene of suffering and misery, by reason of this marriage, I would bear it all.willingly for his dear sake," but as if in contradiction to this statement her voice broke down and she was once more oonvulsed with sobs which she found impossible to repress. There was silenoe for a wbile between these two who loved each other ',not wi,ely-but too well." The twilight crept on apaoe; the sere and yellow leaves were flattering gently at their feet as they were disturbed by the rising breeze. At last Hettie raised her tear-stained face to his- soob a sorrowful sad little face-bow it rnide Duncan Craig's heart throb with an untold pain as he gazid down on her lithe and graceful form I Good-bye. We must part now," she said in wavering acoents. "Never let ushayesocb an inter. view again, I couH not bear it. Gordon Gray loves me I have promised to b3 hia wife-this now mnst be my protection for the time to come. I think I fee dear father in the distaooe on the look-out for me, but I mnst try to avoid him just now, I oould not face bim thus distressed! We part as friends, bnt never utter works like these again I entreat yoo- nayâI command you I" Although her words were intended to convey reproof and to repel any farther snoh advance-g-her movements were mire con. ciliatory, for she held out her little cold hand. which was taken tenderly, nay, reverently, by her oompanion, fcnd with B whispered "God bless VOH and gutrd yon, my obild," he gravely lifted his hat; and with a long earnest jlaR, which sink into her inmost soul, he turned and left her. The days fl iw swiftly on-far, far tooqlliokly for poor Hettie's peaoe of mind. She strove to aocustow herself to the idea of Gordon Gray's return, but her cheeks paled and her eyes grew wild with a dread despair at the thought of their meeting 1 She clnng to her father more than ever, and would go nowhe'e withont him if she could possibly help it-by this means eluding any farther tete-a-tete with Duncan Craig. It was al) a dread- ful punishment to her; a terrible blank in bar life, for she had felt 80 unutterably happy in bis society -she knew new that she loved him with all tbe intensity of a woman's heart-bat she thought of it all now with feelings of shame and remorse, yet she could not honestly day that she regretted the day they had ever met. Congratulations came pouring in on every side, for Hettie Stanley was looked npon as one of the luokiest girls in creation, to be marrying suoh wealth and Rood looks combined I The envious ones would indeed have elevated theit pretty eye. brows with inoreduloos surprise could they have known that Hettie wonld have changed plaoea with the veriest obimney-sweep.so as to esoape this marri- age which was distasteful to her in every way. Poor motherless girl, how sorely sbe stood in need of ber mother's gentle guiding hind and sweet counsel in euch a crisis of her life as this. On a cold, blustering day at tbe beginning of December-Gordon Gray was expeoted at The Court." It was seven o'clock, Hettie was already dressed for dinner and was standing before a cheery fire in the drawing-room with hands clasped tightly together as she nervously listened to every sound. She looked very beautiful, though sadly pale, in her simple white dress with a knot of sweet violets at her breast. At lengtb the sound of carriage-wheels was heard crunching the gravel on the drive-it oame nearer and nearer until the prancing horses stoppei-tben a tremendous ring at the bell and a thundering rat-a-tat at the door I Hettie started. The orimsou flashed to her face and as suddenly died away ag*in. She folded ber hands over her throb- bing heart, as if to still its wild bsating. She looked like a bonted animal as she stood glued to the spot panting for breath. She heard, as one in a dream, the front door opened and olosed; voioes at first 11 the distance oame nearer and nearer she heard her father's hearty welcoming tonee; once again she heard the tones of her lover's voice, tJo full of hope and gladness which seRt a cold shudder through her whole frame. The steps and voices drew nearer and nearer I was she going to faiut? She did not know, but she felt so strangely giddy the room seemed swimming round and round her she oould not move she could Boaroely see there she stood pale and motionless, rooted to the spot. The door new open admitting a tall athlatio yonng man, whose handsome face was all aglow witb love and expeotanoy. He came quickly towards Hettie with outstretched arms, exolaiming in passionate, eager tones" Hettie, mv darling, my precious one, the moment bas arrived for wbioh I have been yearning ever since I left your nide. Never will we he parted any more. Hed I known the terrible wrench it would have been, I wonld have left the ostrich farm to look after itself!" So saying, he gathered the old unm- aiating form to his heart, showering kiea after kiss on her eye*, aud cheeks, and lips. Bat Hettie answered never a word, the strain on her nerves had proved too much for her her bead fell heavily on hia shoulder, and be saw that she had fainted away Good heavens she has fainted 1" exolaimed ?nrdon Gray in an anxious voice M be turned to the Colonel,who had just entered the room looking the picture of contentment. ,-It is the shock and j 'y of seeing you, my dear fellow," said tbe father as together they laid her srently on the sofa and rang for restoratives. She will he all right again soon he added re-BBsuringly, .1 girls are strange creatures,* wonderful meobanism, they faint oftener for joy than any otber feeling, I believe 1" But Gordon Gray's faoe became olotidsd and a peculiarly sinister expression rose up in his eyea as he gazed down on the unconscious form of the beautifal girl be loved with all -the fervour, with all the passionate intensity of a hillblv jealous nature. Hettie soon recovered, and the large grey eyes were at length able to meet the anxious gaza of her lover. She smiled faintly, and held out her hand to him, a movement which stirred the young man's heart to gladness, aa it was the first sign of recognition or of welcome tbat sbe had given him, Hettie never understood how she ever got tbroagh that tedious dinner, made longer by the eager questioning* and hearty repondinllB of her father and ifance, nor did she know how she mansged to submit calmly, and without showing the repnR- nance she felt, to that long chat over the drawing- room fire with ber hand looked fast in Gordon Gray's, as if he wonld never let it go again. Opposite to them Bat Colonel Stanley, looking ten years younger, so proud and happy did be feel at the rsturn of his future son-in-law. As nettio's eyea wandered from one glowing face to the other she prayed most fervently from the depths of her aching heart that she might be given strength to do ber duty. and to make the future happy for these two who loved her so deeply. She would strive- oh, ever so hard-to tear the image ot the man she idolised from her heart, and force herself to love the man who was 10 soon to be her husband. The days slipped by with lightning rapidity, but instead of the little blue flower of love growing np and entwining its tendrils round her heart and expending under the sunshine of Gordon Gray's passionate cravinre-abe seemed to recoil from bis carectM more and more, although she strove with all her might and main to oheck these feelicge. At times he chided her for her coldness of maoner towards him and at suoh times she longed to givebim what be sought, but-in vain-10 vain I bhe would then be most scrupulous in anticipating his every wish, and then the olouda would disperse from his faoe for the nonce. At other times there was a something about him which Hettie could not fatbom-whioh entirely baffled ber-or he would often Biok into gloomy silenoe when alone with her, as if b-ir coldnes irritated him. But angry wordB rarely passed his lips whenever they did, repent- ance and atonement followed quickly at their heels. When Hettie thought of how this man's life was bound up in her aud of her own inability to satisfy such love in tbe fntDre-a great and nameless dread rose up within her-the wild and passionate pro. testations of undying love to which sbe had to listen nolerii volens frightened her when she felt how utterly impossible it was for her to give him any in return I Of oourse, tbe new arrival was well feted by tbe elite of the neighbourhood. Dinners-pirtles, musioal evenings, and dances followed each other in rapid succession. No one knew how thankful Rettie was for these Interruptions, as it left them so little time for a tete-a tete and as 'tima wore on she became a little more I ke her old sweet self. Gordon Gray and Dancan Craig often met, but they did not seem to assimilate at all nor care for each other. sooiety. Hettie noted this, and as it kept the latter rather at a distanoe, it wa, all for the best. They met in the ballroom and at pablio entertainments, but even though tbe length of the room divided them, she often discovered that his eyes were fixed earnestly on her and it made the rich colour surge to her oheeks. Ouce or twice she oaught her lover lookiug first at her and then at Duncan Craig with an agly scowl on bis f»oe and an angry gleam in bieeyes when be detected the muttul glance and the sweet confusion of bis loved one's manner such manifestations of suppressed wrath made Heitie fear that Gordon Gray had dis- covered their seoret, hut they put her on her guard and she was more disoreet on future ocoasions. Hettie was no coqutte-far from it-sbe felt more than ever since Gordon Gray's return that she belonged to him, and that nothing short of death could separate them from each other. It had been arranged that Hettie and Colonel Stanley should aouompany Gordon Gray to Soar- borough a week before Christmas so as to spend that festive season with Mrs Gray,who was all impatience to welcome her only son and prospective daughter- in-hw whom she already loved as her own child. It bad also been decided that soon after the New Year they should return to The Court," and that the marriage should be solemnised a fortnight after- wards. A few days previous to that arranged for their journey to tbe North, Gordon Gray had occasioa to be away on business which he said was very nece.- sary to be settled before they started for their visit to his mother. He told Hettie. he strained ber to his heart that he felt he could not tear himself away from her loved presence, still, business was business, and must be attended to, yet he thought probably tbat he might ba baok in a couple of days. I shall think of you every moment of the day, my darling," be said teodurly as he held her at arm's length and gazed on tbe beautiful ahrinking form of the only woman he had ever loved. 1 hope vou will think of me too, now and then. my Hettie I it must notâshall not b, one-nided I You mnst. learn to be more demon strativa-your shyness, or coldoess, whichever it is-irritates me, darling it jarB upon my nerves; I am afraid they are more sensitive than they were. Ah, I will teaoh you to love me more by the very depth of my own 1 11 Httitl tried to smile, but it was a very feeble attempt indeed, and lifted ber sweet fair faoe for a kiss, a proceeding which so enchanted her fianci that she received more than compound interest in the transaction, whioh made her regret her rash aoeion I He was gone I At first Hettie felt like a bird freed from its oage; but then the re-actiou set in As the hours rolled on sbe tnlt tbat the tiiOf) was speeding on too swiftly to tbat day, tbat drevled wedding day I She felt also that Gordon Gray would ooon be at ber sido again I This thought haunted ber with strange mysterious persistency. Where could she go-wliere oould she the to rid htrself of tbe painful reality of it all I Tbe next day Hettie bsd a long and enjoyable ride witb ber falher-far away over bill and dale, over stream and fenceâfinishing up tha evening at II The Cedars." Ida Somers was full of eager questions about the wedding,as she was to be Hettie's chief bridesmaid. Duncan Craig dropped in during thn evening how H ttie's hea.t throbbed and bounded for joy as his well known forai entered the room I Why was he here so often? she thought. Had he torn her image from his heart, aud was he paying his addresses to ber pretty sparkling friend, Ida? loseemadnotat all unlikely, for Hettie noticed that the colour had deepened on Ida's cheeks, her large dark eyes seemed brighter than usual, and her manner became more animated. As Hettie saw these numistaki- able eigne of a deeper feeling than mere friendliness on Ida'x part, a dull despair settled down in her heart with leaden weight, and yet she felt that she oogbt to be glad should it be so. 1, 1 should think you felt like I the maiden all forlorn, laughed Ida, as she eat with her bead thrown back on tbe cushions of the easy cbair, so as to oatoh the light of the gas more conveniently for examining wonderful patterns of silks, satins, and laoes. Dunoan Craig stood by with a troubled expression on his face ItS he looked down on this sparkling, vivacious girl, who seemed not to have a trouble in the world then again hiseyeinstinotivly turned on the beaatifal girl who sat beside her, with an abstracted air twisting and taming roond. the exquisite diamond betrothal ring on her slender finger as If she would wrenoh it off and oast it away for ever. She was intensely pile, and her sweat eyes were moist with noshed tears. She did not answer Ida's playful remark, but rising she moved to tbe piano and sang to them with patbetio tendorneas Kabin Adair," II Auld Robin Gray," and ''OhI wert. thou in the conld blast," till Ids. entreated her to desist from such mournful ditties, begging ber to play tbe Weddisg March instead as more appropriate to the ocoaaion; but this request was not complied with. Jast then General Somers and Colonel Stanley entered the room, and after a little desul. tory conversation the little company dispersed. Those sad songs,'sung witb each touching melan- oholyand sweelness, Ijannted Dunoan Craig tbat night, as well as tbe fair faoe of the songstress, and never a wink of sleep did be get hrough the long dark boars. Early in the mornin ? be was called away to a serious case,, He then ha 1 a long round, and did not return until towards Oaak. He got out of his brougham about a mile froii bis bouse, and telling the ooaohman to drive or, he took a short cut borne. He turned his steps to-vards the copse where he and Hettie had bad so mojtentons aD interview only a tew short days before. Ha bad not gone far ere he beard auiok light footsteps ooming towards him. Looking up he saw Hettie Stanley advancing, the one whose memory was so dear to him. A wild joy lighted up their eyes, every pulse was throbbing with the intensity of tbat exquisite moment. Duncan Craig held oat his hands to her outreatingljr, and his voice was hoarse with emotion as he said, "Come to me, Hettie, my own, my little love I" Hardly knowing wbat she did, bnt that she loved this man, she flong berself into bit arms with a suppressed cry of jay-and tben there was a happy silence for a while. But what was that stirring behind that badge hard by ?âwas it a stray dog or a bird fluttering to its eat ? Yet theae two living, loving aoula heard nothing save "tbe beating of their own hearts," neither did they see anything save each other 1 My sweet ODe-no" I know that you love me I Let us loss no time- we will go to your father at once-he will give his consent, I fael sure-when he learns how we love each other! There may be a storm, detr one.- but after the torm-I oalml" he -aid with J infinitive tenderness as be stroked the b igbt carls that rested on his shoulders. un, uunuan, nve pity on me I" moaned Hettie, all she crept away from those proteotig IIrms. O. Yoo came upon me answares-I was thinking of you when we met and when voil held oat your arms to me-I came -in the very esub;r- anoe ot my joy I But oh, forget it all I We must never, ne"er meet again. When I am married, my home will ba far from here. and we must strive to forget eaoh other. Barely I am doing right to obey my father's wi ",bellI Oh, say yoa tbink so aod I shall feel happier 1 My head i& in a wbirl--roy heart isbreakinitl" She wrung her hinds together in her utter wee, and dry, tearless sobs barat from her heaving bosom. "No, I oinnot say that I think you are right, Hettie, in thus wrecking your own í-aappiallll aod mine too, nor do yon think eo yourself in yoar heart of hearts," be aoswered very gently, but with great daoision. At these words Hettie gave him ? swift searching glance. She had not thought of his feel- ings 10 the matter at all! She bad imagined that she could suffer any painâiny miaqry-bqt Dancan I lie wonld softer, too. What should abe do in saob a crisis of her life I Oh, for a mother's inflaenoe now to guide bar info the right path 1 Will yoa COlleen" to pet yourself entirely into my hands, my darling?'' he added. Conld you not make a friend of Ida Homers in this matter, and she wiN aesk her -father's advioa? He is a sterling good fellow and very food of JOB. It ,u only yesterday he remarked to me that he ooold not understand you in this tiffail-, alo he feit sore it was not a love match on your Bide! We will meet at1 The Cedars' to-morrow m .<ruiog at eleveo o'clock, and lay the wbole matter before the General and bit daughter. We shall be Bute of ooming to some solution of our difficnity. Ida will feet for you; she has been engaged secretly to a cousin of oiine for the last few montba. The engagement will be given out at Christmas, as be will then be in a posi- tion to marry. She is always glad to see QU" for I am generally the bearer of some message from him or tome news of him I" How tbaokful Hettie was to bear this of Ida Somers. No wonder she bright- ened op and became more animated ia Duncan Craig's presence when she knew that he was the bearer of news from bar loved oae I No-w she ooald have no compunotion in unburdening her betrt ta Ida 1 Will you promise to be there. d -ar ?" and he waited with breathless agitation for her answr. it was slow of coming. but t 1-nyth she broke the silenoe-turning to him, she said in trembling aooents Gordon Gray lovlI paseion- ately, but he could also hate bit tiarly. I can well imagine, if thwarted in his hopes and desires." Here there wes a strange movement behind the bedie anain, but it fell unheeded on their ears. â¢â¢ Oh Dnnoan, Danoan-in my inmost aoul I few bim-I shrink from ttitn-thoos feeling* ernv on me more and more every day and eYllryhou I Ob, save me from myself, or I shall dia of ^-i f!" Hn» was gathered once more in his arms and he bent to kiss the snowy brow. At this stage of tb" drama a dark sinister-looking face peered over the hedje, a ftoi so distorted with evil passion. hatred, and mad jealousy that, had a pistol, or any other dangerous weapon been in his hand fit that moment, the lives of those two unsaspeoting beings woaid not have been worth a minute's purchase I But that crouching figare lingered on and listeoed on to tbe bitter end. A few more baity words were exchanged between the lovers (for such we must call tbem now). They arranged cc -meet at Tbe Cedars the following afternoon, 19 it would be mere Mnvenient than Una morning for both parties-for Gordon Gray was Mot expeoted until the day after. At length they parted. Hettie literally flew over the ground like a hunted hare and stayed not her footsteps until she bad gained ber room, when tfa» sank on her knees beside ber bed, trembling aud exhausted, and prayed from the depth. of ber inking hettt to her Heavenly Father, bumbing Him to euide her footeteps aright through tbe storak which sbe felt would be soon bursting uino ber. [To Ds CoNCLUDBD IN OUB IQZXT.)