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[ALL BIGHTS RESERVED.! 'TWIXT CUP AND LIP. BY NANNIE LAMBERT, Authoress of "Spring Leaves" « Thoughts on the ife. CHAPTER XIII. (continued.) He uttors a digressed exelaaufion, as I ttirn fr-r, his carcase?, holds my hand imp'oringly in hi; shaking gra.). The light 11M began; the confl: has commence. with unexpected fury but it cannot be more severe than that of the morning, in which I have fought with my own heart, and have come off blooding victor. I cannot look at Derrick; I feel that to do so will unnerve me; and so, I droop, my head, and say- We must part Sly eyes are turned from him, but I can hear his heavy breathing, and feel the sudden chilling of the hand which has been holding mine in a burning pressure. Then," he says, are the sins of youth, long since repented of, and forgiven by my earthly father, as I believe thev are by my Father in heaven —arc they to find no pardon in your eyes I am struggling for words to answer him he mis Wres my silence, a.nd goes on: "When I told you, with honest candour, the faults of my early life, I did so in the belief, that, although they might never have come to your knowledge, it would nevertheless be mean and unworthy of me to hide anything from the eyes of the woman, who was to be my honoured wife: but I never thought—oh, never, never—that there I was one spot of hardness in the heart, which I so adoringly sought to win." lie rises to his feet, and walks to the table where he sits down, and leans his face upon his hands. The battle is going on, in terrible earnest. We ire each so rounded by the other, that neither of us is capable oi uttering a word. At length I recover sufficiently to say-" You havc entirely mistaken me. Surely no former act of yours calls for forgiveness from me: yet, if you desire it, you have the fullest pardon, the deepest affection, and the tenderost sym- pathy, which it is in a woman's nature to bestow. Nevertheless, I say again—we must part. "And why?" he asks, rousing himself, and once more falling upon his knees beside mp. "if what pou say is true, that the past does not weigh with rou, and that your love is mine, we shall never part igain You are now free my father is waiting to receive you you shall come to him, for his health. is :oo broksn to- enable him to come to yon he will welcome you as his own child and there, in that beautiful land where the sunshine never soems to fade, we will begin the world anew, and spend our unite l iives in joyous contentment, and in the blessedness )f doing good. We shall have the riches of this world, and the still greater riches of the heart; you jhall be shielded by loving arms from every sorrow: we shall never be apart—never be separated for one little hour; my steps shall be yours also, and your thoughts and wishes shall be mine. Look up, Maude, and tell me that it shall be so." His tone is one of rapture; his poor worn face is radiant; in spite of my resistance, he c'a3p3 me to him, and covers my cheeks and lips with frenzied Kisses. But the battle is not so soon to end! between me and the dazzling picture which his glowing words bave conjured up, there stands a hideous phantom- the shadow of the miserable being, who has exercised 10 deadly an influence over this man's chequorod life -and withdrawing myself from his arms, I lay my hand upon his wealth of golden hair, and say sadly Derrick, if you lovo me a.* you sav yoa do. and II. I believe, you will not pain me by prolonging a scene which I cannot, in my weakness, endure much longer. I am less strong than I thought, both ir body and in mind. I cannot be your wife. Derrick. Oh, my dear dear love, do not agonize me with thai look you have an honest and a chivalrous heart: it will tell you, when I have spoken, that [ am acting rightly, and that between you and me there is a barrier, which cannot be removed. Now listen to me. There is a woman, who has loved you with a love well-nigh as deep as mine, and which has been tested by years of trial. You have only given her the affection of a son, but her whole being has hung upon your lightest look. In short, she and I have been rivals for your love and I, suspecting this, although certainly not actuated by it, have steadily and determinedly tracked her footsteps in the path of crime, and have delivered her up to the justice which must, in a very few days, overtake and over- whelm her. If knowing this, I could, in sight of her agonies, enjoy with you the sweets of a world which her separation from you has made bitter fo: her, would I be worthy of your love ? Would there not come moments in which contempt might jostle with affection \Vould there not come years, in which you might say I have no pleasure in them?' I pause, with dry eyes, and stony utterance, but with a heart whoso tears arc wruno- out in blood. ° Derrick does not speak for a moment; then he saYiI: "You are as ever the noblest and best of wotnen la you [ have learned to respect a sex, which I have hitherto known but to despise. You are right, Maude, but I cannot give you up. 1 will see-will see-lier. You and she shall pardon one another You have done your duty: she will see that it was for-" "No, no," I interrupt-" never shall I look upon her again she is as dead to me, but her deeds remain." "And suppose," he cries hastily, "that it could be proved to you that you were not altogether in- strumental in bringing her to justice that other agencies than yours have been secretly at work tc ensnare her: what then ? what then, my darling Maude ?" When this is proved to me," I say with a cleadl3 pang—" when I know it, and believe it-then com< to me for an answer." Do you not think it at least possible ?" I think, and believe, that whatever she may have hp"n guilty of—with whatever motive others may be actuated in following on her track—I, and I only, have been instrumental in separating her from you, and in giving her over to her husband. When you can convince me that this is not the case, I shall listen to you again; until theu, and that is for ever- farewell I stand up to go, but he holds me powerless. Yot cannot leave me," he cries in an agony—" I cannot part from you. Let 11 be friends, if nothing more I will try to be contented-God knows I will-even though it break my heart "Do you think it is possible," I say, "for two persons, who have met and associated as lovers, v> meet and associate as friends? 0, no the tie whicb bound them, loosened, but not broken, would cause a rankling wound in the breast of each, always kept open—never healed bi,t the final, breaking of that tie, however agonizing, would be at least complete, I and the wounds might in time be healed; at all events, they would not hiurly bleed afresh, in sight of former happiness. No, Derrick! the mariner cannot look daily upon the rock on which his shij has been wrecked gazing upon it would only mad- den him, or would in time k:rl hi:n; when he loses light of it, the remembrance is less bitter,—and he may, perhaps, begin to bui.d itgain I do not ask you to forget me, Derrick, but I aøl: you to leave me I and in the time to come, you may find a wife who has never been mixed up in this painful drama, and who will be worthy of being brought as a daughter to the father who is ready to receive my unhappy self as such. If she Is worthy of you, she will be indeed an honoured and an honourable woman. And now, good-bye I trust to your love, and pity, to leave me in my loneliness." I hold out my hand. lie takes it for a moment in his-gazes at me with an expression which I do not dare to meet and then, completely breaking down, throws himself upon the couch, where he lies in an agony of bitter weeping. There is something so terrible in a strong man's grief, seldom indulged in, that even the coldest cannot look upon it unmoved what, then, must it be to me to witness his ? I, to whom his every tear is as a drop of gall upon my burning wounds Oh, the battle is raging now; the fight is so fierce within me, that my strength all but gives way yes, all but, -yet not entirely. I go to him—I stoop down-I kiss the fingers which arc clasped over his face-I ask God to bless him, and to guide and comfort him—and then, I take my bonnet from the table, and wait softly towards the door. He springs up, and arrests ny steps. You are not going to leave me, Maude?" "Yes, Derrick. I cannot indueo you, even by headings, to leave me and so I have no choice: I nust go!" Where are you going?" "I do not know." W hat are you going to do ?" I do not know." Have you no plan3 for tho futuro ?" "I have none." May I not come to see you once again "No; no remember what I said to you about ;he shipwrecked mariner—try to build again." Would you insult me, Maude ?" No; I mean what I say, and I mean it in kind. aess." In other words, ycu think I can love again." "I hope you may, dear Derrick." My God he cries, with a laugh which is more painful than tho bitterest weeping—"how parson» inock us, when they say that human nature is alike in us all' You hope that I may love again and I iolcmnly declare, that if I thought another would share your affection, I would rather a thousand-fold see you dead at my feet." Nobody ever shall!" I say with deep solemnity. "Liten to me," he cries, seizing my wrist in a grasp of iron, and dragging me to the window, the light from which falls full upon his passionate face- you and I may never meet again therefore, what [ now say, must be final. If you marry me, Maude, you can save me-you can mould me as you will, and lead me here to a happy hereafter if you reject me, you send me, as you know, body and soul-to perdi- tion Now, make your choice." He holds out his strong arms, inviting me to enter them, and the fierceness of the battle is so great that it threatenes to overwhelm me but the armour in which I have that morning encased myself, stands to me like tried steel, and I turn away, repeating my resolve, and praying him, for my sake, for the sake of his glorious manhood, and of the God in whose image he has been created, to lead a new life, and to endeavour to meet me in that future sphere, in which weeping and parting are alike unknown. i cannot tell if he heeds my words, for he has turned to the mantelpiece, and, leaning his arms upon it, has buried his face in his hands. The battle is raging so furiously now, that I know if I speak again—if I wait another moment-I shall be con- quered and so, whilst Derrick does not see me, I lift my hands for an instant in prayer for him, and glide noiselessly out. My landlady parses me in the hall, and falls back, horrified, crying out that I am ill. I do not answer her-I do not look at her. Throwing on my bon- net, I open the hall-door, tifl rush into the street. For hours and hours I wander about, not knowing whither I am going, feeling no fatigue, nor any desire for food or rest. People stare at me, as I hurry by, and coachmen shout to me, as I escape miracu- lously from under the feet of prancing horses. At length I grow dizzy, and sink down upon the earth, and then I am conscious of such utter prostration, that I am unable to rise. It is a lonely place. Only a solitary lady and gentleman are passing; they assist me, and the gen- tleman, after some delay, procures a cab. He asks whither he shall direct the driver, and on hearing, says—"That is a very long distance from this," and I see him put money into the man's hand. Then, he and the lady speak kindly and sympathizingly to me, and the gentleman lifts his hat, and they go off, looking pityingly at me, whilst I drive away in an opposite direction. I gaze dreamily from the window of the cab, as we roll along. We are passing green fields, and hedge- rows, and scattered cottages. Then we come to pic- turesque villas, dotted here and there, and more green fields; and then to a few brick houses, stretching gradually into terraces. Then shops appear, and life is seen stirring every where, and people are putting up their shutters, and lighting the gas in their business places and houses. Right through the great city we drive, and out; into another suburb, which I at length recognise and then we draw up before the door, from which I fled hours before. My landlady meets me, with scared looks, and anxious enquiries. She evidently thinks my brain is turned. I ask for a light, and go into the room in which I have last seen Derrick. It is empty, and dark, and cold. The fire has long since died out, and only the discoloured ashes hang in the grate. Then I pass into my bedroom, which is less gloomy, and in which I bid my hostess good-night, declining all her offers of food and assistance, by saying that I am quite well, and that I have had all I wished for, or required. That night-on the verge of morning—whilst I am sleeping the dull leaden sleep of exhaustion—there is, or I fancy there is, a cold hand laid upon my forehead, and Derrick, with a death-like face, stands by my side. NVith a cry of terror, I spring up, and gaze wildly about me—only to find that the room is desolate and empty, and that the rain is splashing, in miniature waterspouts, against the dripping window.





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