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-. THE BARRIER BETWEEN;

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THE BARRIER BETWEEN; OB, REPENTED UNTO DEATH. CHAPTER II.—(continued.) 'HE looked eagerly around. From my son--my long absent son ? Harold is coming home nay, he is here now, and you seek to prepare me to receive him Oh, no, sir. Pray do not jump to a conclusion so far beyond the reality. Harold has not come-is not coming, but something that must add greatly to his happiness has occurred." He regarded her doubtfully, and slowly said "You give me a riddle I cannot solve, Amy. There is but one thing that can increase the felicity of Harold, and that he must cross the Channel to claim." That is the error, sir, into which you have all fallen, for I will not affect to misunderstand you. I have long since told you that your son and myself are only good friends, and the event I come to announce will at last convince you that I am right." Mr. Danvers grew perceptibly paler, and his blue eyes emitted a sudden flash of anger—so sharp, so keen, that it resembled the bright glare of forked light- ning. He kept his searching glance fixed upon the 7 shrinking girl before him, as he slowly said, after she had told him all the news- And it is you who have taken it on yourself to an- nounce to me the marriage of the man who should have been your own husband who you know loved you above all created beings ? Amy Cunningham, did you cast my boy off at last, or, if—if it is not so, may the malediction of the father, whose name he has dis- honoured-" Amy started up, and deprecatingly clasped her hands. Oh, sir-oh, Mr. Danvers, pause before that terrible denunciation is completed. Harold, for three years past, has been as free as air, to woo or win whom he pleased. I gave him back his troth before we parted see, I am calm—I voluntarily took upon myself the task of revealing his marriage to you. Could I have done this, if my own hopes had been dis- appointed ?" The old man was still trembling with excitement, fauc after a pause of some length, he said I am bound to believe you, Amy, for you have always seemed to me the very incarnation of truth but you have wronged both myself and my son. I wished to have you for my daughter; you alone should have been the wife of Harold. Ah! my dear, who can ever fill your place to either of us ?" His new bride will doubtless be able to do so. See -here is his letter to you-read it, and see how glowingly he describes her. When she comes to your home, she will soon rival your poor Amy, even in your heart." "Never, child. Don't talk nonsense; no one else tan ever come so near my own children, as you have contrived to do. Break the seal of my letter, and get me my glasses; or, better still, Amy, do you read what he says, for this unexpected announcement has unsettled my nerves." She gently suggested— This letter was designed for your eye alone had you not better read it yourself, sir ? I scarcely think Harold would wish me to be the first to look on its contents." Who cares what he wishes ?" replied the old gentleman, testily. There can be nothing in it that you cannot see, and the vagabond may be glad that I will permit it to be read at all, in my presence. What do I care who he may have picked up in his travels, and given our name to, since he would not give me the only daughter I ever desired him to bring to me ? Read it, child, I bid you, for I am getting out of patience." CHAPTER III. THAT UGLY LITTLE PERSON. POOR AMY, thus commanded, unclosed the envelope, and, with a great effort, steadied her voice sufficiently to obey. She scarcely knew how to read the lines that seemed to flicker and fade before her but she did so without faltering. The letter was almost a counterpart of the one to Mrs. Anderson, but at its close was a message to herself, which ran thus I am aware, dear father, that you have long ex- pected that Amy and I would finally cast our lot together; but I despaired of winning her. Tell her that in my heart of hearts her image will ever be worn; though, alas nothing but this shadow can ever be mine. Had she been within my reach, no other woman should ever have been claimed as my wife. Amy will understand this, and you will both think of your wanderer and his bride with kind wishes for their happiness. Inclosed in the same envelope was another epistle, written in a delicate female hand, and that, too, Mr. Danvers silently motioned her to read. With even greater reluctance, Amy unclosed it, and glanced down a page, closely written in French and, with a sort of self-mockery, she read aloud the eloquent and graceful address of Mrs. Harold Danvers to her un- known father-in-law. It was composed with singular elegance, and was so charming a letter, that it was impossible to avoid being prepossessed in favour of its writer. Amy's heart contracted painfully, and she mentally said: This woman is worthy to be loved, and Harold has evidently been fascinated by her. Well, I am glad that it is so she may make him far happier than I could have done." The listener was evidently pleased. His features relaxed in a smile as he took the letter and scanned its pages. A highly-educated woman could only have written this, Amy and Harold says she is accomplished and rich. Well, well, since you would not have him, perhaps he has done a wise thing. But he does not say a word about coming home. I hope the foreign bride will not expect to keep him always away from England. Eh, my dear, do you think she would be so exacting ?" I cannot tell, I am sure, sir but if Mrs. Danvers has been educated in Paris, as she probably has been, like many other Italian ladies of position are, she probably shares the opinion of Madame de Stael as to the impossibility of living contentedly in any other place. At any rate, Harold must bring his wife home to visit his family, though in these letters he has not hinted at such an intention." "I will write to him to return immediately, if possible. I must see his wife before I die, and I have not a great while to live. Three years is a long time, and my son has been away till my heart pines for his presence. But where are the pictures of which Harold speaks ? Did they not come with the letters ?" Colonel Fredericks brought the letters from Paris with Government despatches, yesterday. The box will be sent by mail, I suppose. Ah, here is Madge; she may have heard something of it." As Mrs. Anderson entered, she glanced apprehen- sively towards her father, but the calm expression of his face reassured her. She came forward, kissed him tenderly, and said You have heard of this sudden marriage, father, and you seem reconciled to it. I am so happy that the news did not excite you, or give you one of your old attacks." Pooh, child! there is nothing in this affair to make me ill. Harold has but done what he should have done years ago only he has not taken the right wife. But if Amy, here, would not say yes, the boy was right to find one that would. Has the box come ? I am impatient to see the evidence of my new daughter's artistic skill." Yes, sir; it has just arrived, and I gave orders to have it opened. Have it brought in here, that I may see it done." The command was issued, and the box was brought in. With the childish eagerness of old age, Mr. Danvers watched the opening, and aided in placing the pictures in the best light. Four landscapes, brilliantly coloured in the style of the modern French school of painting, were taken out. They represented Alpine scenery; and as they were ranged side by side for inspection, Amy, who was also a tasteful amateur artist, felt a certainty in her own mind that they were from different hands. The drawing, colouring, and general treatment were entirely unlike, and a cold weight fell upon her heart at this evidence of deception on the part of Harold Danvers and his newly-wedded wife. Why was this done ? What was the secret of this hasty union ? She trembled for the answer time might give to these queries, and looked with deep compassion upon the father and sister, who seemed equally pleased with these evidences of Mrs. Danver's accomplish- ments. They had no fondness for pictures, and Mrs. Anderson had inherited from her father an eye defective in the judgment of colours; they saw not the dis- crepancy which was so glaring to the cultivated tasto of Miss Cunningham; and Mr. Danvers ordered them to De liung in the clrawmg-rooms, and eiinbited to theii friends as the production of his new (laughter. While the three were engaged in examining them, the servant drew from the box a smaller frame, and freed it from numerous wrappings which had been carefullv placed aroupd ;t. He placed it. on the low marble nvcmtel, and, as Amy turned from her survey of the other paintings, she was startled to meet the dark, smiling eyes of a most life-like portrait. It re- presented a vroman of five-and-twentv, dark as a gipsy, with a full, well-rounded form, and features which, if not beautiful, were full of an indefinite attraction that she could not analyse. It was not the face of one to love or trust, yet the eye was fascinated, and returned again and again to scan its lineaments, and discover, if possible, wherein lay the spell that attracted it. There was in it finesse, strong will, and an expression of power, which seemed to give Amy a clue to the event which had so suddenly wrecked her own future. This woman had loved Harold Danvers, and she had triumphed over his vacillating character through the strength of an unscrupulous nature. Such was her solution of his mysterious marriage and she became heart-sick as she thought of all the misery that must grow out of this ill-assorted union. She had no longer even the poor consolation of believing that Harold might be happy with the wife he had chosen. A small card was stuck in the corner of the frame, on which was written, From Adelina Danvers, with her best love to her new father." Amy had thoroughly examined it before the others turned, and saw it smiling upon them. Mr. Danvers exclaimed Ah here is the best gift of all. This shall remain here, that I may look upon the wife of my dear son every hour in the day, and become well acquainted with the shadow before the original comes to rival it in my regard. A very fine-looking woman, really, but not of so delicate a type as his own countrywoman. p Handsome enough, though; don't you think so, Madge ?" Mrs. Anderson replied, with some reluctance- Mrs. Danvers is a different style of person from the one I imagined would please my brother. That woman will rule Harold. Her face does not please me and why Harold has been fascinated by her sufficiently to marry her I cannot fathom." Pooh! nonsense. Let her rule him if she can. Harold has idled along through life till he is nearly thirty, following only his own desultory whims. I am glad he has found someone to rouse him out of this dream of self-indulgence, and I hope this spirited woman will make him do sometJung worthy of his talents." If she will do that," said the sister, gravely, it would indeed be a blessing. My brother has disap- pointed me in many ways, but I own that this last step is the severest blow of all." 11 Why, what would you have, Madge ? Amy re- fused him, and he has sensibly chosen a woman of talent, family, and fortune. What does he say of her family ? She is the descendant of the younger branch of a noble house. Her father was the younger son of a younger son, but lie has built up a large fortune in commerce the best kind of nobility, ac- cording to my ideas, is that true blood which will not remain dependent or obscure, but re-ascends by in- dustry to the height from which misfortune had cast its possessor." M"s. Anderson gently said Dear father, you are happy and pleased in this sudden marriage, and therefore I am contented. Let us take the wife of Harold to our hearts, and ignore such faults as she may possess in common with the rest of the human race." Now you speak like a true woman, Madge. I will reply to Adelina's letter with my own hand, and you doubtless will say all that is suitable on your part." Amy glided away, and left the two together, in- sensibly wounded by the cordial recognition of this new tie on the part of her guardian, for she loved and reverenced him like an attached child. She found an excuse for him, however, in the slight taint of worldliness, which is sometimes found even in the finest natures, and is a fault generally found in those whose existence has been passed amid the pomps and vanities of fashionable life. That Mr. Danvers was charmed with the high birth, position and accomplishments of his son's wife, she clearly saw, and his first emotion of disappointment at the choice made by Harold was dispelled by his pride in the brilliant match he had made: Well, it was far better thus, but she still felt it acutely—un- reasonably she thought. Amy entered her own room; she locked the door, lowered the curtains, and then sat down in the darkened room, to realise the events of the day. At first all within her was a tumult of passionate des- pair-broken aspirations, and bewildering anguish; but gradually the waves surged back, the lofty nature regained its lost balance, and she bowed her head and prayed earnestly for strength to lift this great burden 1!1 from her life, and go upon the path appointed her, with faith and courage for that future which now looked so dreary. (To be continued.)

DENSE FOG AND SHIPPING

IA TALE OF THE SEA.

ASSIZE ARRANGEMENTS.

I ,MR. JUSTIN MCCARTHY ON

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