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CAUGHT AT LAST; ,.., OR, THE…

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CAUGHT AT LAST; OR, THE FELON'S BRAND. Tui KiflHTe xaanTB.] CHAPTER XXVIII. V A VISIT. Tsscs months had now passed since the mysterious disappearance of Raymond White. Not the remotest elue had been obtained to his fate. The indefatigable Inquiries of Kleckser had been entirely without suc- cess. From the moment when Raymond parted from Gertrude van Flewker at the gate of his employer's Cottage, not a single person of those who loved him bad set eyes upon his face. Was he alive or dead ? oone could tell; and the doubt was almost more grievous than certainty of the worst. This August afternoon Natalie Lagrange and Ger- trude were sitting at work beneath the shelter of the trees bordering the lawn of the cottage. A melan- choly change had come over the countenance of the girJ. Formerly frank and open, her clear eyes looked into yours with a pleasant, bright, and cheerful gaze How they were dim and heavy, like the eyes of a person slowly recovering from severe illness. The fhadow of recent sorrow rested upon her. The high Complexion she had worn was faded her cheeks were thinner; the bones of the face were more prominent. A general air of dullness and depression hung about her figure, and showed itself in unac- customed languor. When she spoke her voice was fuller and deeper. It had not lost its musical ring, but had gained a tone of greater feeling. Heart Sounded in it. The girl had become a woman. At times her hands dropped involuntarily into her lap, and she looked thoughtfully out upon the river, gliding at her feet towards the sea. Then, roused by remark from her companion, she seemed to recover with a start, but, after plying her needle briskly for a time, relapsed into listlessness. Cheerful and active Natalie felt this would not do. Her pupil must be roused. She started a topic which She knew would instantly attract Gertrude's eager attention. "Your father left early this morning, my little one," jhe remarked. He is not usually so hasty to run ..way. Affairs must be important that take him up to town before the business hour." Have you not noticed how ill he looks lately, cousin ?" asked the girl. "Our living here does not seem to have done him the slightest good. When be comes home he shuts himself up after dinner in the study, writes and calculates all the evening, often late into the night. Sometimes I do not hear his step coming wearily up the stairs until after daylight, and I cannot sleep until I know he is at rest. In the jnorning it is almost worse. His haste and anxiety to get to business are pitiable. Oh! I wish, I wish I could prevail upon him to give up the pursuit of this wretched money, and pass his life in peace." Dear child, your wish is loving, but futile. Two things I know. First, M. van Flewker will never re- linquish business while he lives second, if he did, the result would be even worse than now." How can that be ?" asked Gertrude. Surely, if he were freed from this incessant work, he would be tranquil and at ease." Not he," returned the governess, nodding saga- ciously. Men like your father are not of those con- tent with little. He must be paramount. Such men fre bom to rule, to guide their fellows. He must be 0, or nothing." j But haven't you seen how his absorption has latterly increased ?" asked Gertrude, again. What Can be the cause ?" 41 If there is any trouble upon his mind connected with the affairs of his business, depend upon it, the trouble is one created by a man we both distrust." "Ah! that M. Parlandet!" exclaimed Gertrude, a repugnant expression flitting over her face as she spoke the name. chap 28, Precisely, my little one, the very man. That oily smooth, and plausible M. Parlandet, whom I believe, upon good grounds now, to be as false and wicked as » fiend. Nothing will remove from my mind the strong impression that some new rascality of his weighs upon your father's spirits. Nothing will in- duce me to think that a recent misfortune, which we both deplore, does not owe the misery it contains to bim. Stay, little one, see-who comes here ?" An elderly person, dressed in black, wearing a widow's cap, had just appeared at the gate opening upon the path which led to the cottage. She un- latched the gate as Natalie spoke, and was going on towards the house when her eye caught the two figures geated beneath the trees. She stopped, hesitated an instant, looked at the two again, then turned off ftcross the lawn, and walked straight up to Natalie ftnd Gertrude. Miss van Flewker, I presume," said the stranger, addressing Gertrude. Gertrude bowed. It You do not know me, young lady, but I have beard much about you from my son. My name is White." 114 Mrs. White!" exclaimed Gertrude, springing up In happy surprise. Oh how glad I am to see you! pray, sit down. This lady is Mademoiselle Lagrange, py governess and dear friend." cc I imagined as much," returned the widow. I ftm happy to make mademoiselle's acquaintauce; my 'OD has spoken to me of hqr, also." w One moment, Madam White!" exclaimed Natalie, eagerly. Your son-it is of his return you come to tell us ?" The widow sadly shook her head. No ? Then, Gerty, dear, the belief I just expressed becomes a certainty. Tltat wretcll ParTandetfs the ma.n!" asserted Natalie, solemnly, though with some absence of logic, "It is upon this subject that I have taken'the noerty of calling," recommenced Mrs. White. I out i Bfegin to see my way, and we shall tia-P the arch-dissembler yet. Only a little patience. Continue, dear Madam White, continue, if you please." chap 28 And Mrs. White went on until she had completed her account. The only part that she suppressed was the impression made upon Parlandet by the sight of Chrissy. Thi; was evidently not important, and would bave been unintelligible without her acquainting her bearers with the nature of Parlandet's secret. What this was, a feeling of true womanly delicacy rendered 1 her unwilling to reveal. „.§hs_ jjad^ kept it from her

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CAUGHT AT LAST; ,.., OR, THE…

CAUGHT AT LAST; ,.., OR, THE…