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A "WOMAN'S WILL; on, N E II…

CHAPTER XIL

CHAPTER XIIL

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CHAPTER XIIL HARRY KING.. ANASTASIA, helpless, and unable to cope with any disaster, lay on the floor, at Winifred's feet, her lovely curls dishevelled, and her cheeks wet with tears. All she could say was, clasping her slender finders together—" Ho not betray me, Miss Godfrey! for the love of heaven, do not betray me Winifred raised her from the floor without speak- ing. Her manner was stern for the folly of the whole transaction made her angry. The chances of life, seldom happening, were not to be lightly thrown away. Presently Anastasia grew more composed. Still her blue eyes—blue, indeed, as heaven, and bright enough to bewitch a score of Harrys-were fixed on Winifred. Pray do not betray me, Miss Godfrey I will not," replied Winifred, if you are reasonable." What do you mean by that P" said Anastasia, looking down. I mean if you will act like a sensible girl. If I see you trying to destroy yourself, I am bound to prevent it." Do you call- And Anastasia's face was tinged with a lovely carmine as she stopped without finishing the sentence. Pardon me," replied Winifred, severely. If I understood matters aright, you were engaged to Sir i- hi lip r" Anastasia trembled in every limb. Oh, no, no!" she cried. Do not name him. I cannot, cannot Cannot what, Miss Horace P Cannot be rich and prosperous and happy? Is that what you mean Richr" and Anastasia looked up with an expres- sion of innocent surprise. Do you think I would marry a man simply because he was rich f" "Why not? I would," said Winifred, shortly and bitterly. But then you-you are so different," faltered Anastasia, thinking of her pet reference, Bertha and Hildebrand." Pertha she knew, according to the poem, had not where to lay her head. She was wandering forth forlorn when H ildebrand met her. Yet Bertha and Hilcledrand lived happily all their days, and were wholly independent of circumstances. Why could not she and Harry do the same ? Anastasia was barely sixteen. She had fed prin- cipally on romances, and they had not proved the most wholesome nutriment for one who had so little friction with the world. I am different," replied Winifred, bluntly and my experience might stand you in some stead. I advise you to marry Sir Philip." Never! never!" cried Anastasia, vehemently. I cannot marry a man I do not love." Better than marrying a man who does not love you," said Winifred, shortly. "Miss Godfrey, how dare you say that Harry does not love me r" exclaimed Anastasia, bursting into tears. "If he really loved you he would not tempt you to deceive your friends," replied Winifred, sensibly. Oh, Miss Godfrey, pray do not tell mamma!" And the child, for she was no more, flung her arms round Winifred's neck, and hid her face on her 1 shoulder. Winifred smiled erimlv. There is the bell for dinner, Miss Horace," said she pray compose yourself." I will-I will—if you will only promise I do promise for the present. Come, dress your- self." Anastasia still clung to Winifred. I will wait for you, and we will go into the drawing-room together," said she. "I am so frightened." Very well," replied Winifred. And she retired to her chamber to prepare for dinner. Anastasia's helplessness and folly roused Wini- fred's better nature. I will see about this Harry," thought she; "what kind of stuff ho is made of." She shrewdly suspected that under a smooth, shin- ing surface lay a vacuum. "At any rate I will prevent the child from making a fool of herself," added she, resolutely. Winifred was quick at her toilette. Very soon she was again in Anastasia's chamber. Anastasia, thanks to her maid, had stepped forth from her dishevelled state, neat, trim, and present- able. She made Winifred go first. She knew she would have to encounter Sir Philip. The party in the drawing-room was broken up into two groups—Lady Whittlesea and Harry, Sir Philip and Mrs. Horace. Harry was standing before Lady Whittlesea's chair, talking very fast and very loud. For my part," he was saying, "I hate the French like poison I" Indeed! And on what ground ?" asked Sir Philip from the other end of the room. Oh, I don't know! I always did hate the French," replied Harry logically, and with a loud laugh. Now, Harry, do hold your tongue. You know you are a fool!" said Mrs. Horace, angrily. Anastasia and Winifred heard the words, You are a fool," and Anastasia blushed to the very ears. Just at this moment dinner was announced, and Sir Philip stepped forward, and offered her his arm. The getting Lady Whittlesea down-stairs devolved, as usual, on Winifred. Harry was therefore obliged to escort Mrs. Horace. During the transit to the dining-room she con- trived to give Harry a few sharp stings. As you are here, do behave yourself," she said. I can't think why in the world you need have come." Sir Philip said nothing, but he gently pressed Anastasia's hand. He had been led clearly to under- stand that she would marry him. He loved her with a tender, chivalrous affection for under a plain exterior were hidden all the virtues that could adorn a gentleman. During dinner Anastasia was trembling and ex. cited. Just opposite to her sat Harry. If she raised her eyes, they met Harry's eyes. If she spoke she felt that Harry was listening, and, so to Bpo:tk, devouring every word. To her enthusiastic mind, her exi-tenco was bound up with Harry' existence. When dinner was over Harry held open the door for the ladies to pass. Then he and Anastasia exchanged a little, briof glance it was all they could ;10. At a later period the lovers contrived to snatch a few delicious moments in the recess of the window. Winifred, who was in the secret, took note of them. She saw Anastasia's cheek grow crimson as tie whispered in her ear. They could not clasp hands or indulge in the slightest demonstration. Eyes and ears were open to catch the slightest trace of treason. The girl has not common sense," thought Wini- fred, indignantly. "No, she shall not have Harry. Have Harry ? Yes, and in a month she would be ready to destroy herself. I should." (To be continued.)

A YANKEE STAGE DRIVER'S STORY.

MISCELLANEOUS^EXTRACTS. --

LADIES' COLUMN

USEFUL HINTS.