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The Crystal Goblet

Nature's Sugar is the Best,


Nature's Sugar is the Best, and is found in currants in greater quantity than in any other fruit. By using currants yo!i require less of the ordinary sugar and eat nature's product instead. A wise course indeed, and one winch should commend it- self to every housewife who studies health and economy. Whenever you want a de- licious sweet use currants the presence of the little Grecian grape ensures a charm- ing flavour and a liberal amount of pure nutriment. Don't think it is difficult to cook with currants. Nothing could be simpler. A most useful little Currant cook- ery book is being given away quite free by all the leading grocers. Ask for a copy to- day. Here is a recipe which will please you and make you want to proceed with currant cookery. Courtin Cake. i lb. flour, i lb. butter, i lb. currants, 1 teaspoonful baking powder, 5 eggs, pinch salt. METHOD.—Rub the butter in the flour, then add the other ingredients, lastly the eggs-well beaten up; mix all together and divide into five flat cakes, put on floured tin, and bake in a moderate even till light brown. If not eaten as soon as baked, put m Oven to get hot, slice, and butter them. Antonio rejoiaed, "Well, of all wonders," as he sat down but his roiei to himsel] joanded like the hollow echo of another's. Notwithstanding, self-possession and a cer- .a-,n relief began to come over him gradu- ally, and he made a fair show of breakfasting. When the meal was over Clare said, "Now for the tale but you won't want to hear it again, uncle. Moreover, I've something else to say to Carl: he and I will go into the library, with your permission." "Certainly, my dear; though the relation would not really distress me, I assure you." Yes, it would, dear. Come along, Carl." The young fellow opened the door for her, and followed to the other room, with new courage and a new hope, for he thought he saw his way to a declaration of love, or at least the intimation of it, when the confi- dential talk was over. But a glance at her face, and the first sen- tence she uttered, in cold, hard tones, froze the blood in his veins-and nerve failed him utterly. "We must understand each other, Mr. An- tonio," she said as she seated herself. "You'd better sit down for a few minutes, too." Un—der—stand each other," he stam- mered, sinking into a chair. "Yes, with reference to the crystal goblet, and—other things." He fixed dilated eyes on her, and his face went ghastly. For the next minutes he list- ened to her unfaltering statement like one in a mesmerised trance. "You bought that goblet with a sinister motive," said she, plainly; "because the liquid in the stem suggested possibilities. You drilled the foot, let the origintl liquid out, put some other in its place, doubtless, and sealed the tiny hole again, cunningly but not so cunningly that I—who have long suspected that you had evil intentions—was deceived. You know, as well as I do, that Uncle is anaemic, and has slight atrophy of the thyroid gland, which causes him to walk in his sleep occasionally. Of this you took advantage, craftily. First of all you acted on his mind by suggestions of robbery, knowing well that his sleep would be troubled, and that he would most likely get up and hide the glass. You imitated an attempt at housebreaking to aid the design, and hid the case of the goblet one night. Uncle did walk in his sleep and secrete the glass, and then your horrid plan was one step nearer success, for you were con- scious that the cause of its disappearance would occur to him, and that he would re- place it when false sleep again revealed the hiding place to his distressed mind. "And now your unnatural-yes, fiendish plot, has almost come to a head. You put a sharp-edged bronze on the bracket, so that when he reached up to replace the goblet, the glass would shatt-er against it, and cast the contents into his face. But I watched you throughout-two can lie awake and creep about a house in turn, you know-and saved you from crime. "Learn that I stole the original goblet my- self, putting a harmless one of similar shape in its place. Early this morning only, after the worthless, harmless glass was broken, did I put the crystal back on the bracket-for the play was played out. You have only to tell me where the case is, and find an excuse to leave the house for ever. There's the tale. It has been a long one, and Uncle is unaware of your part; but can you deny its truth?" I cannot," replied Antonio, rising quickly. "There was hydrocyanic acid in the stem and a spot, or the fumes of it, would have killed Mr. Markham. You say you have long suspected me. But you never guessed my real motive. You think me a vulgar, sordid criminal desirous to get a portion of the estate before due time. Well, that would have been a means, not an end. I was pre- pared to sell my very eternal soul to gain an earthly heaven—life with you. I love you as no one in your day ever will. That is my one and sole excuse before we part for ever." The young woman looked at him with an indescribable expression. Surprise was blended with dismay, and behind both was a growing terror at the man's passion. She clenched the nails into her tender palms, and bit her lower lip, whilst her bosom rose and fell rapidly. It was a full moment before she could collect herself to reply. Lifting herself by the arms of the chair, she said quietly, You have your excuse for going without suspicion. Say you proposed to me, and I rejected you unconditionally, which makes life together in the house in- supportable. Travel, rule yourself, find a good woman to make you a good man, and look back on this terrible tempt&tion as an ugly dream. And oh in the name of all things sacred, ask for that fateful goblet as a parting gift, and shatter it for ever, when you go." A swift, utter revulsion of feeling swept over the wretched man. Tears sprang to his eyes, and a deep sob came from his; chest. "I can't ask you to take my hasid, Clare," he said brokenly, "but say Good-bye, Carl' for the last time." "Good-bye, Carl, and God guide you," re- plied the girl fervently. "Good-bye, and God bless you ever, Clare," he retorted, and walked out with- out looking at her again. He went straightway to Mr. Markham, and said what Clara had bidden him, as one re- peating a lesson. Mr. Markham took the communication gravely but kindly, finally concurring in the idea of travel for a while. "There is one thing I should like to ask you, sir, before I go my journey," said Antonio. It coHcerns my parentage. Do not spare me any unpleasant truth. You have said that the same blood flows in our veins. What is my relationship to you?" A pained look came over Mr. Markham's face. "You are no real relation," he said. "Do you actually wish me to tell you the truth? Better let the past rest in the grave, lad." "Tell me, sir, I implore you," was the reply and the elder man wondered at the look of relief which had come to the younger one's face. "Here it is, then, lad. When I was study- ing art in Italy, I rescued a woman and child from drowning—your mother and yourself, in short. Some time afterwards I was knocked on the head by brigands in the mountains, after showing tight foolishly. The chief's wife proved to be your mother, and in grati- tude she fetched a leech, and forced him to transfer her own healthy blood into my de- pleted veins and I recovered, partially, as you see. The band was broken up later, and your father suffered the last penalty of the law. This-and her sacrifice, I always think —sent your poor mother into a decline, and she died begging mo to do my best for you, her baby. I have respected her request as far as man could. I\ciw, don't worry about this, lad. Nobody knows the facts but you and I. Have a trip on the Continent, and come back again to us, cured of your unfortnate attach- ment. Have you money enough, and is there anything you would like to take with you as a Kiemento?" "More than I shall ever spend, thank you, sir," replied the young man, with face averted, and looking towards the crystal goblet. "May I take my last purchase, sir?" Yel, and welcome," said Mr. Markham, heartily, "if your mind is set on the trouble- some object; though it will prove an awk- ward travelling companion, I fear. Is there nothing you would like better?" "Nothing, sir, thank you," said Antonio, as he reached it down. "All blessings 00 yours for what you have done for me and mine. I can only repay you and requite my- tell-so." With a quick movement he snapped the cup off, put the stem to his lips, and drank. Then he fell headlong in instant death amongst the ruined fragments of the crystal goblet.

Flint Boroughs Poll.


Yuletide Tryst at Rhos-on-Sea.

...--.. Christmas Tree"and…