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a i Hii ii i -T- i Slie inquired what fhc woman was ïke. and how she came Thither. F,n lly ?he dee'ded to walk in the direction of the signalman'- cottage, and, if she should meet the young woman, Edward could make himself known. "I am going to pay some paii-h vi its," said Lady Deane, and if we ar. in the neighbourhood of your friends' cottage we will look in and thank him and her." "How kind of YOll,' exclaimed the lad; "but I won't trouble you, Lady Deane. I will go and bl ing- her h ere, if you like." No; there is no necessity for that. If we are near the cottage we will see this wonderful child and h's n-ic)ther-i r the babe is a boy by the by." r It's a girl I think I Ivard them say. But when you go I will be ready. Thank you so much and you will manage it all for me, please, dear Lady Deane; and ten Collier, the signalman I mean, that my father will not forget him, and-" Not so fast. Let me see; I must give him something for you, I suppose ?" "I have money enough, thank you," replied the toy. 11 But you can do something for the young lady and her pretty child. I like them very much." Very well," replied th j Lady Bountiful, we will make our call upon your fiiends at once. If you will amuse yourself for a quarter of an hour I will ac ompany you to the cottage. I want to go through the town." "Will you come and have a look at the shops. Lady Deane ? Do come father would be so pleased if you would come and see his new engine," entreated the spoiled boy. There is to be a party here soon, and the Duke is coming to name the last engine the Caithness." Indeed," replied his friend, I shall soon know all your acquaintances. Is Mr. Sandy Sam at the works P" Yes; he will he there. You will like him, I'm sure." I rather doubt the fact," replied the good-tem- pered Lady Deane, as she left the room. u At any rate, as my way lies ia that direction, we may as weU see the new engine, as you wish it.1 11 think I may get some information for your father," she added. I shall not be long.* » I'm all right," was the boy's reply, as he sat down and took up a book. I can watt. I am much obliged to you, Lady Deane." UtlAP Bis friend was not long dressing for her walk, and soon returned to young Edward, in whom she had taken a great interest for many years now. He was a fine, bold, handsome boy, and he was deservedly a favourite with everyone. Quite unaffected, and yet somewhat reserved with strangers, young Watson was on 4he most familiar terms directly with those he fancied. Thus it came to pass that he was hand and glove with engine-drivers and firemen, guards, and foremen at the works, equally with the vicar's sons and daughters, and with many others. He cherished a warm affection for Lady Deane, and his boyish love for her had revived on horreturn from I ndiaafter an absence of a few years. Her influence over him was very great, and he would obey her readily in anything as quickly as he did his stern parent. So Lady Deane and the boy set forth on their errand, he chatting pleasantly as he walked by her side, and 'she, listening to, but scarcely under- standing, his animated descriptions of engines and the works. In a short time they had reached the path leading across the line, and at the gate of the level crossing, through which only one foot passen- fer could get through at a time, Lady Deane sud- enly enconn ered Lucy Layton, the woman who was playing sueh a desperate game, single handed, against her and her absent husband CHAPTER XVI. A MEETING. LADY Deanf, was the first to speak. We have net before, I think," she said very courteously. "I already owe you much for myse f. I now understand that my young friend here is deeply indebted to ) au." Mrs. Layton has b en rather taken by surprise at this sudden encounter, but she quickly recovered her self-possession. It was quite part of her plan to get upon intimate terms at the Hall. 1-or what other reason had she done what she had done ? Please don't mention it, madam," she said. I am not worth thanking. I only did what anyone else could have done. We are all weak creatures." Yes," replied Lady Deane, who had a horror of c int." \Ve ure all weak, no doubt; but we have been given brains and hands to make the best use of, and you have be,nvei-y useful. Can I be of any assistance to you ?" Thank you, Ladv Deane, not just at present, unless you have a cottage to let, and will accept mo for a tenant." To spoil the Egvpthms in this fashion, and in- sinuate herself wit..in the pale of the Hall, was a step in the right dire tion, as Lucy just then belie ve:d. believed. I will see about it," replied Lady Deane. I can only assure you that anything I can do I will do. I daresay there is a cottage that will suit you, or we can manage to make some arrangement till Sir William returns, and he will at onee-" "Thank you very much, madam, but I do not wish to trouble Sir Wlliam." Her tone had so changed, and the scarce-sup* pressed animosity was so ident, that Lady Deane could not fail to remark it. She drew herself up rather stiffly, and replied, cc I cannot do anything without the consent of Sir William; but I have no doubt he will quite ap- prove of my reasons when he knows the circum- stances." Lucy Layton was silent, and Lady Deane could not help perceiving that the mention of her husband had in some maimer or another changed the aspect of affairs. Suddenly, like a blight upon her heart, it occurred to her that young Edward Watson had said something about the likeness of this woman's child to Sir William. Why the devil ever put such an idea into her head as then entered it his Satanic Majesty only can tell. Of all people in the world Lady Deane was perhaps the purest-minded and most uususpicious. She was in every respect a lady respecting and loving her husband, and respecting herself. Of a proud and long-descended county family, she was quite separated from all the scandal of large towns, and the chatter of village gossips was as far re- moved from her as the insinuations of weekly journals and the proceedings in the divorce cou-t. But just then the busy Evil One shot an arrow of suspicion into her mind, and she aked herself, even as she pulled the shaft from her heart, why did this woman Seek to evade the colonel, and iloefidentJ"

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