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",CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, - THE…

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iiinwiii—ami——————a—■aiinri—i»w— duties in silent abstraction, which at last brought down upon his head the ponderous witticisms of Kleckser. Having spoken to Raymond several times without obtaining an answer, Kleckser tried the expe- dient of speaking at him as a last resort. 11 Gvillim, my poy," he said to the Welshman, seated opposite at the oblong sloping desk where the four clerks usually worked, "vere you ever in love ? chap 17 In I-love, Mr. Kleckser ?" repeated Gwillim, with suddan enthusiasm. Sc-sc-sc-scores of times Veil den, of course you can speak from expe- rience. I can't. Vhat are de symptoms of de malady ? Is de batient hot, flushed, feverish, light- headed sometimes, very apstracted, toesn't know j vhen he's spoken to ? I ask pecause I'm afraid a friend for whom I entertain a high regard seems sud- denly to have taken de tisease very padly." Ah! Mr. Kleckser," responded Gwillim, with a sigh, "don't te-te-talk of the' sweet me-me-madness,' as the po-po-po-et calls it in that tr-tr-trivial way. A real p-p-passion of the heart is a se-se-serious matter." "Vhat? Even vhen a man's had it scores of times ? Vliy, I should have tought he got quite used to it, and caught it regularly, like a cold after vet feet," observed Kleckser. "That's ju-ju-just it," replied Gwillim. "You fo-fo-foreigners never can understand it. You're so used to marriages of ke-ke-convenience, and all that sort of thing, that you don't know what genuine affection really is. The happy homes of England, sir, are fa-fa-a-mous throughout the world." Veil, my tear GwilUm, I'm not goinsr to argue the kvestion just now," said Kleckser. "You haven't told me yet vhat are de symptoms of de tesease. As you have had it so many times, you must be veil acquainted mit them. Just feel Vhite's pulse, and see if dat displays any correspontence." The buzz of conversation between the two, con- ducted upon Kleckser's side, at least, in a tone ¡ designedly loud enough to attract his attention, had i at last roused Raymond from his abstraction, and he was able at this point to join in. "Thanks, Kleckser," he observed; "but I won't trouble Mr. Gwillim's skill." "De statue speaks!" exclaimed Kleckser. "My poy, I was tinking your letter had turned you into a modern etition of de Commendatore in Don Gio- vanni.' You looked as stony, and now you're as sententious. Gentlemen, join mit me in congratu- lating Mr. Vhite upon de recovery of his faculty of speech." CHAPTER XVIII. A FAMILY PICTURE. The day passed, as days have always passed, and will yet pass until time is at an end. The mysterious letter, with its more mysterious enclosure, occupied Raymond's mind to the exclusion of almost every other thought, until the evening; they danced before his eyes across the pages he wrote; their phrases mingled in strange .confusion with the commercial jargon by which he was surrounded. He was glad when night came to be able to stroll away from the bustle and hurry of the City to the quiet suburb where his mother and sister had set up their London dwelling. Unwilling to alarm their anxious affection, he de- cided to withhold all mention of the warning he had received. It might, he thought, all terminate in nothing; and why bring needless care into thiir peaceful home ? Meditating thus, Raymond floated quietly with the, human stream ebbing in all directions from the City, to gather fresh strength and vigour for its backward flow, nqon the morrow. He sauntered on until he react-d the northern suburb; then striking to the le-ft, l.e passed across a rai!ed enclosure-merry with the voices of children at play on summer evenings, silent and deserted now -and entered a quiet street of little cottages, arranged in pairs. Dimly, through the dusk of the winter evening, the light from a distant lamp fell upon the scarlet berries, glistening under snow of a small-leaved cotoneaster, trained against, a trellis, a.nd enclosing the parlour window in green. He unlatched the garden gate, and walked up the path. A leelmg of quiet peace stole into his breast as he pictured the welcome he would receive within—his mother's proud and satisfied air as she surveyed her manly son, his sister's ready smile and hearty kiss, his little Christine's happy chirp and chiidish 5 Ice. For Ileiu er Mrs. White nor Raymond had for- gotten their promise to the dying girl in Liverpool gaol, nor had they compromised with conscience by half tuliiimen^. It would have Oeen easy enough to have fed and clothed the child, to have given it a IittM education, p*rh.tp>, and then turned it out to service, to earn lrl; living in some humble way. But this was not what Raymond and his mother had meant. Christine Marris had been adopted as a member of their family by the Wh t>s, ii.s fullv (IS if she had be "ned to them by bj.xi i. And t hey had their reward. The child of the outcast DOt only repaid her heiiet'actois' charity with affection, but with the sunshine a healthy chd.iiah presence brings into a house. Her cheerTul little m hie carolled music through the cottage, which gladene.i all their hearts. Her pretty infant wHy. her lisping words, her warm and innocent caresses endeared her to Raymond especially, and between the two grew up a strong and hearty love. The little one had already learnt to know and watch for the com'ng of Cnky Yay," which was the near- est approach to his name the vocabulary of babydom coulct afford, while Raymond found a simple delight in the artless kisses of his little Chrissy. But ail this time we have left him in the garden path. -1 Run, f hvissy," said Ruth to the child, ns Ray- mond's latch-key rattled in the door. There's liwcle Forth sallied the little bhieeyed figure with its fair curls and shoulder ri' bona fluttering as it ran, and sprang with a cry of joy into Raymond out- stretched arms. '• Well, Chrinsy, dear," said Raymond, lifting up the child, and kissing her teiidei-ly'. I- Waiting for uncle as usual, eh ? Have wo been very good to- day ?" The child nodded, and nestled closer to his breast. That's famous. Jump down, dear, until uncle takes oiT his coat, and then we'll see if we can't find some pretty pictures to look at after tea." "Pictures, picture!" cried Chrissy, clapping her hands, and running off with the importa.nt news to Kuth. Oh Aunt Ooth! Unky Yay dot pitty pictures Has he, really, Chrissy ?" said Ruth, lifting up her hands in affected amazement. "Well, that is wonderful! There's a kind uncle to baing little Chrissy pictures. Come in, dear Raymond, tea is ready."

",CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, - THE…