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A WOMAN'S WILL; CR, E N E II G Y' HE W A R D E D. CITAlTEIi VII. T ii 11 it a; r it i ]■; a* e IIAUY WHITTI.ES?.A looked at Winifred again. A vision of poor cowed Yonng trembling and .,ahrililcit,g rose before her rniJJd, Winifred, buld and iiandsome, gained by the contrast. Why do you coiuo hero teasing- me ?" said she, in a peevish tone. "If youliko to by, shy. I don't care. Tiie weather may change to-morrow." "Thank YOII," replied Wi».ii'n.«l, curti. and with- -out further p.ulev t-iic went back to the broukiait- xoom and raIlg- the bolt. "1 am going to stay," said she, to the housemaid Who answered it. Nothing could exceed the ,foy she felt at the re- prieve. ■Snug, warm, and com tort able, she could look out at her two gaunt enemies and laugh. For the next hour she sat by the la-o ruminating-. Her ruminations were of a pleas,-ait nature, to juugo from the They toolc in all ample space of that dubious land, the- future. They ■were daring and speculative. Hut thai we repeat ii, Winifred was an adventuress. When Lady V» h nth-sea. was helped into the draw- ing-room I,N- .sitting there at her work, looking as composed as if no desperate anxieties were gnawing at iter heart. She rose and assisted her ladyship to the great easy chair by the tire. Then she sat down and began to work again. Lady Whittlesea scowled at hrr, but Winifred took no notice. At length she said querulously "I am very poorly this morning. 1 took cold yesterday. I was sure to do so when Pcrkius left the carriage window open. Perkins never had any sense." Shall I read to you?" said Winifred, taking up the daily paper which lay upon the table. Yes, you may. But stop! I have some letters to answer. Perkins always wriles for me, and a pretty hash she makes of it,. I suppose you can use •a pen r hope so," replied AViirfm!, shortly. "Very well; there is paper in that uesk. Now, are you ready r The correspondence was one of business, and with- out special .uteres!. When Winifred had finished, she showed her wiring to Lady Whittlesea. "Humph: no', a bad. hand!" was all tho com- mendation vouchsafed. "Now I will read to you," said Winifred. And she read tho paper from beginning to end. She had one of there untiring nalurta, the possession Of which is an invaluable boon. Lady Whittleaea sat, her elbows resting on the arms of her chair, and the tips of ba r lingers joining -each other. She seemed balancing possibilities and probabilities. A day shut up with Lady Whittlesea would have been intolerable to many people. Not so to Wini- fred. Compared with the miseries she had suffered, it Was a day of She did not mind her ladyship's t- mpers iu the least. A home, a p'ace in 1 lie .soi'.al scale was what she was bent on wresting from destiny. In her heart Lady Whittlesea co-aid not help ad- miring Winifred. She had no compassion for the friendless orphan, much as Winifred di sr-ribed herself to be; but she felt her comfort increased in a sensible degree by Winifred's atl.e ntion. Miss Young- she could not tolerate a moment; but Miss Young was ill-looking, and a dowdy. The next morning W nifred was roused from her sleep by a scraping nuise. It was made by some half-dozen men scraping the snow from the front of he house. Such a fall of snow had not been known for years. Winifred's heart aaneed for ioy. To travel in weather like this was out of the ques- tion. My lucky star is in the ascendant," thought she, as she sipped her coffee by the blazing lire. HI shall stay in her ladyship's very teeth." Two, three, four days slipped by—days when every one was weather bound when ice, and snow, and frost, and biting winds had it their own way but days which saved Winifred from destruction When they were over, the old lady had found out that no one could settle her cushions, or make her chocolate, or help her wile away the dreary hours, like Winifred. IVi-kins had hitherto been her sole companion; but Perkins was by no means amusing, and was, besides, ge'ting as deaf as a post. Then, precisely at this epoch, Perkins succumbed to the prevailing compiaint—influenza—and was lost Bight of. Her place had, in the natural course of things, to be filled by Winifred. In fact, the old lady would have been sorely put about if Winifred had taken it into her head to decamp. Winifred knew this, and she chose that golden opportunity of forcing her ladyship to terms. The immediate fear of dismissal over, she had grown confident and at her ease. With a firm voice and unflinching manner she opened her case just I when the old lady had begun to feel her entire de- pendence on Winifred's skill and tact as a companion when, this dreary weather and Perkins gone, she Vo been utterly lost without her. lhon Winifred began to ask what were her lady- lhon Winifred began to ask what were her lady- ■top a intentions. She thought the weather did not mean to change. would evidently be an old-fashioned winter. „^ne Was valuable, and she wished to make some ■w a?panents here or elsewhere. Lady Whittlesea 0^.ieet to give her a recommendation. in if Whittlesea had just been comfortably settled and eaS^ c^a'r' an<* was preparing to be amused cared for as usual. She had not made up her ^ant in ^eas'; what to do; and, besides, she ^hich1t0 k' ar *Lhe news contained in the daily paper, ay upon the table. So she said, jerking out « T ° s crossly to hear the paper read now, not to be « -p ahout business." Xc'Use me," said Winifred firmly, "but I feel taJUCunibeiit on myself to form some more advan- Un°e0US P';m than the present. I entered your house and, as it seemed, un-wishod for. You J- gavo me shelter until the extreme inclemency weather should abate. I, on my part, have paid the hospitality by every attention in my »» y°v/ Ko far wc are quits. But I am a poor girl, and have my livelihood to procure. I wish for a bono, fide situation—one where I could earn money, and make myself independent." ^here is no such great hurry," replied n Y*> hittlcEca, uneasily. Why can't you wait till Perkins is better ? J "Perkins will not be better for a long time vet." How do you know that, pray ? » asked the old lady, angrily, "Because the doctor told me so yesterday. He said he doubted if she would eer recover sufficiently to keep her place. 1) "He did not tell me so." No; he thought it would vex you. But he asked me to break the news to you." Humph very provoking. That's just how people do in this world," cried Lady Whittlesea. If they can do nothing else, they fall ill, on purpose to torment you." "I am sorry for it," observed Winifred, quietly but it is not my fault." It is your fault to want to go," retorted the old lady, peevishly. You know I can't spare you." I have no wish to leave you, Lady Whittlesea, if you will act fairly by me." The old lady fidgeted in her chair. What' tdo you want P" said she, crossly. I want a definite position and a fixed salary,' replied Winifred, boldly. "Humph! And how am I to be sure you are what you represent yourself to be? Where did you say you came from ? From Dorsetshire. The Godfreys of Dorsetshire are as old a family as any in England," replied Winifred, with the utmost readiness. And so they were. But beyond the most remote ) relationship on the- part of her husband, Winifred I had no link whatever to connect her with them. "And who dill you say your father was i" "J believe he was He died be tore I was born," added Winifred, quickly. "I told you I was an 011 hall, and had been cast on the world from my cr.eiie. If you think that a drawback I cannot bell.) I "Humph! I should like you to read the pater to me now," said Lady W hitilosea, wishing to chango tho sub ect. "lJari()n mo, I wish to have this matter settled. I have beard of an* aher situation, and if you decline to engage 1110-- How teasing you nre cried Tady Whittlesea, peevishly. c. J will think the matter over, I toil you. W e need not der-us-* :t any more at present." "I am sorry to appear pertinacious, but this delav will not. Eluit me," replied Winifred, with decision. "I have b-fn here buig enough to con- vin o you of my fitness or otherwise for the oflice of companion. I will trouble you to decide the ques- tio:t at once." 1 'ear me how can I decide ? Mrs. Horace will be h no next ii)onth.I "Has nothing whatever to do with your choice. You are the party inteiested in the matter," said Winifred "Yet is. Horace sent you," jerked out the old lady. Winifred was silent. S ) there need be no hurry at all," added Lady Whitth sea, reassuring herself, and handing the paper to Winifred. I want paiticularly to know how the ioint-stock I I But Winilred laid aside the paper with an air of determination. She was retolved to push the matter to extremi- ties. I must beg you will excuse me. Am I to con- sider myself at liberty f At liberty I s, ould think not, and Perkins ill in bed, and not a creature to attend to me. At lil)el.l V, iD(lee(I Ttn-ro has been no engagement between us what- ever," said Winifred, fixing her keon black eyes all the old lady's face. "No, because there has not been time. I have not made up my niit.d. Mrs. ITor:tco- I repeat it, Mrs. Horace has nothing whatever to do with it. The matter lies between ourselves. If you do not engage me I must seek some other situa- tion. I received a letter," said Winifred, feoling in her pocket, by this morning's post She slopped. The old lady eyed her with alarm. Not for any given sum would she have parted with Winifred at that juncture. But according to an old-established (ustom of hers, she wanted to plav fast and loose. A ou are very ungrateful," she whimpered, and I am sure I don't know what you want. Consider- ing how you behaved, coming into the liou.-e by storm and so on, I wonder at you—I do indeed W inif/ed made no answer. She was gradually drawing the letter from her pocket. "I don't see why I should be driven into any- thing against my wiil," continued Lady Whittlesea, still grumbling. "Oh, dear no," replied Winifred "and now I come to reflect, this other situation may, after all, suit mo tho best. Tho salary I- What salary do you want? asked the old lady Budd. nly. Fori f pounds." Lady Whitllesea pave a gasp. I will talk it over with Mrs. Horace," said she. faintly. There will no be time. I am going to reply tc this letter immediately." And Winifred ros" as if to leave the room. The old lady's face exhibited all the agonies of indeci. sion. Her selfishness and her cupidity were at strife Her selfishness laid claim to Winifred and all hot agreeable attentions. Her eupiditv wished to evade the question of remuneration altogether. Still, wlier it came to that, she could not let Winifred go. "Stop a minute, Mi-s Godfrey, there is no hurry The rot does not go out till night." "1 am not sure that I hall write at all," replied Winifred, carelessly. The ladv wishes a personal interview; I have 'a great mind to start off at once." What and iiever came back P" almost shriekee Ladv Whittlesea Winifred smiled to herself as she said Oh, no The probability is that I should never come back." The 01fllady groaned in the anguish of her spirit "What am I to do r she cried, helplessly. "Do this replied Winifred, firmly, and return- ing to the seat from which she had risen engage me at once as companion, and give me a fixed salary then I will stl)r." Well! well! Thirty pounds No,,fo; Forty is too mur-h; I cannot afford it." Winifred rose again from her chair. Well!_ N,cll Ithen," cried the old lady, who, in spite (-f her harshness and tvrnnnv, was fasl becoming a tool in the hands of Winifred "forty but I will not undertake laundry expentes, or any- thing extra. You must pay for your own wash- ing." A rustling sound proceeded from Winifr ed'a pocket. Laundry expenses are included as a matter of course," she said also, tho cost of travelling." "I can't do it, then. No, indeed I can't.. You are very hard upon me," gro ined Ladv Whittlesea. I am sorrv for it. I would rather have remained here," said Winifred, moving towards the door with an ominous expression of face. "Stop! stop You are so hasty. Comeback, and let me consider what to do." Winifred came back. I must be at the station in an hour," she said, quietly. Dear mo! was ever anything so vexatious ? You m-gbt he contented to stay till Perkins is well. Won't you stay?" asked the old lady, im- ploringly. On my terms, I will." I told you I would give you forty pounds." But the laundry expenses and the travelling," asked Winifred, how about these ? b' Well, I suppose I must let you have vour own way," said the old lady, peevishly. You will engage me for the year P said Wini. fred, quickly. The old lady hesitated. 1 don't quite know," she said, dubiously. I sliall not be willing to engage for a less period," resumed Winifred, "I suppose I must, then I don't care I hate to be teased out of my life," exclaimed Lady Whit- tlesea. Winifred ros" and fetched pen and ink. "Perhaps you would put it down in black and white," she I should prefer it." Am I obliged r" said the old lady, drawing back. "It is a custcm I do not like to omit,' replied Winifred. The old lady. wearied with contention, faint for her port wine jelly, and dreading the idea of being 1 abandoned, took the pen and wrote as follows: "1, Martha Whittlesea, engage Winifred Godfrey to be my useful companion for the space of t elve months, and engage to pay her the sum of forty pounds sterling, and also to defray hor laundry and travelling expenses.Witness my hand, Feb. 10ilt. MAKTII V WHITTLESEA. And now I hope I may have a little peace," said the old lady, sinking back in her chair. I am quite worn out." Winifred caught up tlx) paper, and hurried to h«r room. When there, she threw herself on the bed and burst into a ht of hysterical laughter. I am saved," she cried, from perishing!" (To be continued.)

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