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NEARLY AN ELOPEMENT. "IT is as well, though, not to trust too much to I, young people," said Mr. Daleto his wife. And, therefore, he kept Matilda at home, employing private teachers for her, to her great vexation and annoyance, and entirely discountenanced any intimacy or intercourse with Anna Fleming. But Matilda's fancy had become too deeply interested for these moderate measures to prove effectual. Mr. Fleming still continued to write to her. The washerwoman was Cupid's messenger in this case; and another attempt at elopement was agreed upon. Mr. Fleming had arranged a plan that he thought would succeed without fail; when Matilda's absurd desires and obstinacy in carry- ing them out made him almost repent having wasted so much time on such a simpleton. If she could net have a rope-ladder, she would have ft bridal wardrobe; and Mr. Fleming was forced to wait several weeks, while she was collecting the various articles she thought necessary. Her supply of pocket- money wa3 ample to meet all her extravagant wishes- Her dressmaker wondered what Miss Murray could want with the magnificent dresses she was having made, and at last surmised somewhat of the truth. But no one else seemed to suspact anything. Once or twice Matilda fancied that George looked a little mys- terious when he saw her take a package from a ser- vant but, in her many occupations, she soon forgot 14 her suspicions. At last, the wardrobe was prepared, and packed in three large trunks. The plan was finally arranged- j Mr. Fleming was by no means satisfied with it; but it was the best he could do with the materials he had to work with. Matilda and Anna were to meet him at a certain hotel at Harrogate, and accompany him to some clergyman's there, where the ceremony could be performed. If Matilda had oheyed implicitly Mr. Fleming's in- struction, all would have succeeded but, after seat- ing herself by the side of Anna, in the carriage that!, hii(i been ordered to m^et them at Taylor's, she in- sisted on returning for her trunks. Anna remou- > strated in vain. Matilda was sure there was no danger. Her guardian waa at his counting-house, which he would not leave for several hours. His wife was in her bed, with one of her nervous attacks. George was at school; and the servants were busy in another part of the house; and, as for returning for them afterwards, as Mr. Flensing wished, that she would never dare to do. So Anna was obliged to yield. Now, it happened that that day, of all the days of the year, George was seized with so severe a headache that he fotfnd himself obliged. to leave the sihool- room. Hurrying home, he was surprised to see three trunks, evidently prepared for some traveller, standing in the hall. He forgot at once his headache, and proceeded to investigate the cause of this phenomenon, j He had his own suspicions, and they guided him on the right track. Finding Matilda's room empty, he sought the servant. Are those Mia Matilda's trunks in the hall ?" asked he. Miss Matilda's trunks ? Ye want to know if they was Miss Mbtilda's trunks, do ye ?" returned the Irish- man, with a look of stupid wonder. Yes are they ?" Sure, and how should I know whose trunks they are ?" Where did they come from ?" "And it's where they come from ye want to know?" "Yes." Sure, and how should I know where they come from ? Did you bring them down from Miss Matilda's room ? Tell me; yes or no.' And was it I that brought them, do ye want to know?" The man was evidently pledged to secrecy; but, can- vince* by his evasive answers, George ran down to his uncle's place of business wi".h the intelligence, in a state of as great excitement as a young sportsman when he shoots his first woodcock. Mr. Dale came hurrying up the street under the warm rays of the morning sun, and reached his own door just as the driver was strapping on the last trunk. You may take that luggage off again," said an authoritative voicb; and Matilda glanced out of the carriage-window in dism&y, as she heard it, and saw her guardian standing at the door, somewhat heated and flushed wich his long walk, but otherwise as calm and composed as ever. He threw open the carriage door, and assisted, with his usual courtesy the frightened girls to alight. Without a word, Anna walked away in the direction of her own home. Mr. Dale had a short conversation with Matilda and easily drew from her the particulars of her projected elopement. Then, taking her place in the carriage, he ordered the driver to proceed. It was not long before the panting horses stopped at the appointed place of meeting; and Mr Fleming sprang down from the steps of the hotel, where he had been standing on the alert, saying, as he drew near—"Ob, dearest, how long you have kept me waiting! I have been wishing for wings, that I might fly to hasten you. And he threw open the carriage door. I am sorry thee has been wasting thy time te so little purpose," said the stout old gentleman, as he alighted slowly and carafully. "It seemed to me we came with great speed. The driver told me, when I cautioned him about it, that he was to have double fare if he were here before twelve. Will thee see that he gets his pay, as he surely deserves it ?" When Mr. Dale had seen the man's demand satis- fied, he requested Mr. Fleming to allow him a short conversation with him; and together they sought the drawing-room of the hotel. "Before thee goes further with thy purpose, I thought I would let thee know one clause of James Murray's will—the most sensible thing he did," said the old gentleman, as if to himself. By it I have full power to withb«ld*all the income of her estate from his daughter, if she marries without my consent, until she is 21. She is now 16 and I assure thee, friend Fleming, if thee marries her, thee shall not have one penny of hers as long as I can help it. Thee is falsa to thy promise; and I do not longer feel bound to act towards thee as a gentleman." Mr. Fleming attempted to excuse his conduct by saying that his felings were too much interested for him to consider calmly what he did. Mr Dale listened to him patiently and politely, but seemed in no way softened by Mr. Fleming's appeal. A few days after, Matilda was sent to a school in the country, under the control of a lady, one of Mr. Dale's personal friends. Mr. Fleming made several attempts to renew his intercourse with her there but at last gave up in despair. For three years Matilda remained in this seclusion and although she at first spent the greater portion of her time in lamenting over the cheerless home to which her severe guardian had consigned her, the Mote allied herself to be consoled and, removed from all disturb- ing influences, she began at last to find some pleasure in study ana useful occupation. Mr. Dale, when he placed her there, bad een quite hopeless about her, and bad adopted that course as the bnsfc one to keep the foolish g'rl from falling a victim to the arts of same fortune- hunter, while she was still under his care. But now," said he to his wife, Matilda has become really a tolerably sensible and right-minded young woman. I think I might venture to bring her home again, especially since Mr. Fleming is out of the city." Where is he ?" asked Mrs. Dale. "In California. When he was last heard of, he was employed in a boat, on one of the rivers there. He had been trying to work at the mines, but had not succeeded. There is no prospect of his returning." Matilda came home soon after tbis conversation; md Mr. Dale, with some formality, gave htr the latest intelligence with regard to Mr. Fleming. All poets-and they surely t.re the oracles on such points—agree in saying that Love is love for ever- more;" so that, as Matilda felt her earlv preference for Mr. Fleming fading from her mind, from the mo- ment she began to thick of him as a boatman, sha con- cludtd that she never had loved him. It was only the fancy of a foolish girl," said she to Robert Dale, Gesrge's fider brother, with whom, as her affianced lover, she W8.3 talking over the one great episode in her early life. If I bad succeeded, how unhappy I should naw have been! But I never can help smiling when I think of Mr. Fleming's rushing for- ward to greet me, and seeing uncle's portly figure seated inside the carriage. I laughed, that day, whenever I thought of it. It seemed such a ridiculous I ending-not at all like a novel. So, you see, I was not very much in love." THE END.

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