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STORIES OF WALES.
STORIES OF WALES. BY W. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS, Author of "Gwilym a Benni Bach" Gwr y Dolan," &c. VIII.-FELLOW OF JESUS. [Copyright 1905 by W. Llewelyn Williams in the United States of America.] Happy he With such a mother Faith in woman-kind Beats with his blood, and trust in all things high Comes easy to him, and though he trip and fall He shall not blind his soul with clay. -Tennyson. "LEAN on me, mam fach," said Herbert Lloyd to his mother, as they trudged arm in arm to chapel one fine Sunday in July. He was a handsome lad of twenty-one, tall, well set-up, and better dressed than the homely villagers who were bound in the same direction. His mother was a wan, worn woman, still under fifty, but showing signs of frail health. She looked up at her tall son with pride in her blue eye, now somewhat dimmed with unshed tears. Lean on me, mam fach," repeated Herbert, pressing her arm protectingly, I like to feel you leaning on me." Oh, Bertie bach," she replied, it is worth getting old for this Getting old, indeed exclaimed Herbert. "Why, you are not forty-five yet! It will be time enough to talk of old age in another twenty years. Ah, my boy," answered Mrs. Lloyd, I am older than my years —— I know you have had a hard time, poor old mother," said Herbert, struggling and striving to keep me in school and college, but I want you to get young again. This week I shall finish at Oxford, and then you shall come and keep house for me, and you shall have servants to wait on you hand and foot, and a carriage to take you to chapel, and you shall live like a lady." A fragile smile played on the mother's pale lips. You will spoil your old mother," she replied, "with your nonsense and grand talk. I shall never leave Llanelwid, and you will be free to marry a good wife to make you happy." Marry ? exclaimed Herbert, in all the heart- whole freedom of twenty-one, "No, no You won't catch me marrying somebody who will come between me and my mother." I know," said Mrs. Lloyd, that you won't marry some fine English lady who won't be able to talk to me, and who would look down on our little home. But you will find some nice girl whom I shall be proud to see in our cottage, and be a help and comfort to you when I am dead and gone." "There you are again, mam fach," replied Herbert, talking of death, as if you had not got years and years 'of life before you. I want you to realise that all your troubles are ended once I am through my viva voce this week, and that from this time on I am going to look after you as you have looked after me all these years. I have not spent the £5° my uncle John left me, but we are going to spend it this summer by the seaside, where you will have all the roses back in your cheek once more." No, no exclaimed Mrs. Lloyd, who had all the Welsh peasant's dread of spending money on a mere holiday, you must not touch that money, you must keep it for a rainy day, and to help you to start housekeeping. When you are earning and saving money, I shall be proud to go with you anywhere, but this summer you must spend with me at home. I shall be happier there than anywhere else, and who knows but that this will be the last summer we shall spend together in Llanelwid ? Now, now, mam fach," exclaimed Herbert playfully, "you are croaking again, a thing I shall not permit You have always had your way, mam, but this time I am going to be the master, and I command you to come with me to dwry mor." Mrs. Lloyd silently shook her head, but there was a pleased smile on her face as her boy spoke to her so masterfully. "Very well, then, Bertie," she replied at last, I shall come with you for a fortnight, if you promise me not to spend too much money." That's my concern said Herbert exul- tantly. Now, remember, I shall keep you to your promise, and expect you to be ready to start next Saturday." Mrs. Lloyd was the widow of John Lloyd, Plas Gwyn. Her husband had been drowned twenty years ago, when trying to rescue some of his cattle from one of the sudden floods of the Towy, and she had been left with a baby boy to bring up. Nobly had she discharged her duty. She had sacrificed everything for Herbert. When he showed aptitude for learning, she had sold off her stock, and had gone to live in a little cottage near the village in order that Herbert might be sent to a public school in the county. She remained a widow partly out of loyalty to the splendid memory of her young husband, but mainly perhaps out of a jealous desire that nothing should ever come between her and her son. She could do little to help him in his career. She was too ignorant of the new world which he had entered to guide or direct his course. He had to decide everything for himself, to carve out his own way in life. But in spite of the divergence of experiences, mother and son remained one in heart. Love and sympathy bridged the chasm that divided their lives, and Herbert poured out all his disappointments and all his aspirations into his mother's patient ear. If to be his counsellor was denied her, she could still be his sym- pathiser and friend. Mrs. Lloyd felt that she had been amply recompensed for all her sacrifices when Herbert took a Meyrick Classical Scholarship at Jesus College, Oxford. He had followed up his initial success by taking a first class in Moderations, and now he was at home waiting the final test of viva voce examination in Literae Humaniores. The following day Herbert left for Oxford. He parted with his mother in the highest spirits, full of hope and confidence. I shall send you a telegram, mam fach, on Thursday when I know the result," he said, and on Thursday night I shall be back again to carry you off to the seaside." His mother bade him good-bye, with a smile on her lips and a tear in her eye. Good-bye, Bertie bach," she said, I shall be counting the hours till you come back, and praying for you night and day." At the station, Herbert met Dr. Thomas, his mother's medical attendant. I am glad to have met you, doctor," he said, for I am a bit anxious about my mother's health. She seems depressed and low spirited, and it is only with the greatest difficulty I have been able to persuade her to let me take her to the seaside after I return at the end of the week. Tell me, is there anything serious the matter with her ? No, no, my boy," replied the cheery old doctor, don't you worry about your mother. Of course she is not strong, and her heart has for some time been a little queer. But there's nothing radically wrong besides. With care there is no reason why she should not live to be eighty. I need not tell you that she ought to be careful not to over-exert herself, or to become over-excited. That is the only thing she has to fear." "I'll take care of that, doctor," exclaimed Herbert, greatly reassured. "I'm finishing at Oxford this week, and I hope she and I will begin an easier life after this. I shall engage a servant for her at once, so that she need not work any more." Good boy replied the doctor, and see that she takes plenty of nourishing food. Women are the very deuce about food except when they have to feed their brutes. Men take' too much to drink and women too little to eat when left to themselves-and I don't know which is the worse thing for the constitution." The following Thursday was a red-ietter day in Herbert's life. On the Tuesday he had faced the examiners in the viva voce examination, and they had plainly intimated to him that not only was he sure of his "first," but that it was one of the most brilliant of the year. On Thursday the lists were put up, and the name of Herbert Lloyd, of Jesus College, was among the select few in the first class. In furious excitement Herbert sped to tell the great news to his tutor. The old don smiled indulgently as Herbert blurted out his news, all tense and breathless. "I have known it, my boy, for the last two days," said he, and if I could have seen you, I would have told you before. The college authorities met yesterday, and decided to elect you Fellow and Tutor of Jesus." It was almost too much for Herbert. He had indulged in a fond dream that some day or other —months or even years distant-he might be elected a Fellow, but to get his Fellowship so soon, so spontaneously, so unexpectedly, filled his cup to the brim. He could hardly contain his delight. He parted hurriedly though cordially from his tutor. He rushed to the telegraph office, and sent word to his mother that he had taken his first," that he had been elected Fellow of Jesus, and that he would be home about eight o'clock that night. He was at the station an hour before the train was due out. He paced the platform in a fever of impatience. He wanted to be at home with his mother, sharing his joy with her. He wanted to thank her once more for the sacrifices she had made for him, and to paint the future for her in his own rosy colours. He chafed in the long confinement of the train. Mother has had the telegram by now," he soliloquised. I do hope she will not come to the station to meet me. If she does, I shall hire the inn trap and drive her home. Two miles is more than she can do in her present state of health." And as he thought of her love and tender care for him, how she had given up everything for him, and almost lost her identity in his own— his heart was suffused with a glow of passionate affection for the fragile woman with her invincible spirit of self-sacrifice. Not once or twice did he vow to himself to devote his life to making the rest of her pilgrimage happy and secure. Poor mother thought he, with a rush of soft pity, What has life given to her ? She lost