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The Luck of the Lindsays,

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CHAPTER XXV I.-THE LUCK OF…

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CHAPTER XXV I.-THE LUCK OF THE HOUSE. It was Julia's only regret that her widow- hood forbade her wearing the orange blossom and veil of which she had also been deprived at her first marriage; but, nevertheless, she decided that for very joy in the crowning of her heart's love her wedding should be just as brilliant as the former ceremony had been severe. From Paris, therefore, came a gown of wonderful shell-pink satin trimmed with little cascades of pearls and lace, that set the girl dancing with pleasure as she feasted her eyes upon them. From her hat depended a veil of beautiful filmy lace that had been in the possession of the Lindsay family for generations, for Julia had determined to be as H bride-like JJ as possible. Phyllis Montague was to be her lady-in-waiting, for the girl felt that she could never forget as long as she lived the kindness that had come to her from utter strangers in the hour of her bitterest need, and Jack Montague and his wife were consequently among the most honoured guests at her wedding, while it really seemed as if the bridegroom en- deavoured to outdistance even Julia in his attentions to them. Lady Violet Gilderoy was scarcely less wel- come, for she and Adela had now become fast friends, both realizing that the years had brought out qualities all undreamed of in the days that were gone. Rumour had coupled Lady Violet's name with a certain Sir Maurice Harding during the past season, but perhaps only Adela fully realized that, in spite of the fact that Stanley Gordon had proved himself so utterly unworthy of her love, there could never be anyone else in her life, and although the years that came after might deaden her sorrow, they would never diminish the fidelity of a woman who had once been thought to be a mere soulless butterfly, whose whole thoughts were centred upon the gaiety of the world in which she moved and had her being. Edward Conyngham had prevailed upon his cousin to promise that she would go abroad with his mother during the winter, since he believed that Lady Conyngham would miss him a great deal at first, and Lady Violet, who, it would seem, had secretly dedicated her life to the service of others, gladly arranged to do so. But if Edward had believed that she might forget in travel the thoughts that pursued her while at home, he was destined to disappointment, a fact of which he gradually became aware, and reading it by the light of his own experience, he came to understand the depths of an affection that kept its subject bound with (strong chains even to the grave. The weduing-day broke fine and warm, for the autumn had brought with it an Indian summer which cast a spell over the earth, causing it to blossom afresh in the glory of the radiant sunlight. Julia was up with the lark, and insisted upon putting in an untimely appearance among the guests as- eembled at the Priory for the day's ceremony. "You should be up in your room," laughed Adela, as the girl insisted upon tak- ing her usual place at lunch. You are not supposed to be seen until you stalk down the aisle. y-ou know." iina aia you really think 1 was going to stay up there all by myself, while you people are down here having a merry time? N, o, thank you all the same! I played shuttle- cock with the silly little piece of chicken that Andrews imagined was the only thing I was entitled to. and flew down here as fast as I could tumble to escape from her utterly shocked expression. Poor Edward! It's a shame lie ca n't be here, too; but 1 expect < he's enjoying himself anywty. Hello, Norah! It will be your turn next, I'm thinking. My word, I never thought Donald could blush eo! You will have to hurry if you are going to fulfil your duties properly, won't you. Oh, dear, I do believe I am beginning to get nervous She looked down suddenly at her hands, now empty of the emblem which had brought so much sorrow into her life. But to-day she only remembered that the man she loved was to place upon her finger the pledge of their mutual love and faith until death did them part. Phyllis!" she exclaimed, which is my right hand and which is my left? I have got stage-fright, I think-I can't really tell which is which. If you see me looking help- less, please give me a pinch on the left arm, then I'll know which one I am to hold out foi the ring. I feel just as if I am going to 1 have a tooth out. Don't you think I could have chloroform, and just wake up in time to cut the cake? Oh, I do hope Edward's sword will be sharp—though really I think a hammer would do better to break through that terrible erection. It doesn't look possible that there's all sorts of nice things underneath that marble surface. It would have been much better if I'd kept to my room after all; I'm much too excited to be allowed out so early in the day." Donald at this moment made a hasty departure, for his duties as best man necessi- tated that he should seek out Edward Conyngham as soon as possible; but he had felt compelled to put in an appearance at the i Priory because lie knew that Norah Beech- field was to be there, and matters had al- ready been settled most satisfactorily for Donald in that quarter, so that he contrived to see the girl he was to marry the following spring as often as opportunity would allow. I An hour later a truly radiant bride passed down the aisle on her husband's arm beneath the crossed ewoxds of tie officers sf hIs regi- ment wno naa rorroea tnwiraerrrs m twu lines, constituting a glittering archway for the happy pair. The ceremony had been a perfect success, in "pite of Julia's fears to the contrary, and she neither forgot which was her left hand nor the proper response to make at the correct moment. Then the carriage door was closed, and they drove back through the verdant lanes to the Priory. On entering, Edward had taken Julia's hand, and he still held it in a silence too deep for words, for he knew that the sacredness of those few moments would never return so poignantly—the first moments after they had been made one in the sight of God %&dtaan. Then. as the old Priory came into view, he raised his wife's hand to his lips. "God bless you, Julia," he said, fervently. "And God keep us both one in heart and mind for ever." And the girl who had been, but a little while since, all chatter and laughter, said never a word, for her husband's prayer was echoed with truest earnestness in the depths of her soul. Adela was one of the first to return from the church, and she greeted them with a fund of secret thankfulness that the frail barque of her step-daughter's happiness had at last sailed safely into port. Had she been able to choose, she could not have wished for a better husband for Julia than Sir Edward Gonyng"-am, and she knew that this feeling was shared by him who indeed shared every thought. Then the wonderful cake was cut and healths were drunk, and Julia's eyes grew very tender as she listened to the speeches of her husband's friends, and realized in what affectionate esteem they one and all held the man who had chosen her—all unworthy as she deemed herself-to be the dear com- panion of his life. And when the healths had all been drunk, Edward Conyngham proposed a toast which came as a surprise to all present-the Luck of the Lindsays. Alec himself replied, eager to show his ap; preciation of the man who was now his son in-law. He told them all how the stone had been lost, and how its disappearance had caused estrangement and sorrow in the family, which, however, had at last been ended by the timely intervention of a man who was then little more than a stranger, but who had shown himself worthy of a nearer and dearer title. "Therefore," said Alec Lindsay, "if it is your pleasure to honour myself and my family by drinking this toast to the luck of our house, I would ask you to couple with it the name of one of the chief actors in to-day's ceremony—the name of Sir Edward Conyngham." And for some reason Julia's eyes sought those of her step-mother, while as the two women realized how utterly different their lives would both have been without the timely intervention of which Alec Lindsay had spoken, they silently raised their glasses and drank to the luck of their house and to the man who had brought it back to them again (The End.)

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.-__---------BYLCIIAU, NR.…

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The Luck of the Lindsays,

The Luck of the Lindsays,