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"...... FIELD AND FARM. "----


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THE MYSTERY OF ADELAIDE VYNNE. Lady Judd, the amiable and widowed mistress of Maple Lodge—a mansion in a northern suburb of London—and Rupert Barringtori looked at eaph other with blank faces. He was the I rector of a neighbouring parish, and yesterday was the happiest of men, for Adelaide Vynne, the governess at Maple Lodge, a young woman of great attraction bot h of mind and body, stood pledged to be his wife. Now. this morning he sat there, after threo days' unalloyed bliss, with a blotted little epistle in his trembling hands, in which Miss Vynne absolutely recalled her promise, and vowed that marriage between them was an impossibility." 1. This letter the lover had received the night pre- vious, and had now come post-haste to tell his friend, Lady Judd, of his trouble, and beg to be tllowed to see her go-verness The young lady had refused to meet him, however, and there the two sat, Poking at each Qtber. You went out driving yesterday afternoon, pou say. Was she quite herself then?" asked the rector. Yes. I left her reading m the schoolroom," Lady Judd explained. "The children, according to a promise given, went with me. On our return they came running to me to say that Miss Yynne looked just like a ghost.4 And fin# did, too. I was quite shocked when I saw her." And she hkd a visitor, you say?" V'" Yes; some lady called/ the schoolroom-maid told me. It is a most mysterious affair. I can get nothing in the way of an explanation beyond that it is quite a family matter,' and that she is compelled to act as she is doing. .But I must see her," declared the rector vehe- iiently. Of course you must, my dear Rupert. Still, it ion't be this morning. Come to dinner this evening, ind I'll see what I can do. There will be no need to write to Lady Katherine now," his hostess observed, after a little silence. è "I wrote her the day before yesterday," answered Rupert with a grim smile. Lady Katherine was the rector's mother, and the very incarnation of family pride and prejudice. Years ago, dashing Captain Vynne-Adelaide's ne'er-do-well father-had been desperately in love with her, but though she forgot her noble birth so far as to eventually marry rugged Rupert Barring- ton, the City merchant, the haughty Katherine had turned a deaf ear to the poor soldier's passionate suit. Then some years ago she was known to have received a dying communication from her former tover, the result of which was that Lady Katherine has caused his twelve-year-old daughter to be brought from America and educated in an English school at her own expense, and had finally used her influence ro get her placed as governess at Maple Lodge. L Katherine had seen the girl only twice during the past ten years, and it was not without trepidation that Rupert had written to advise his haughty mother omis intention to make Adelaide Vynne his wife. When, at the time, stipulated, the rector arrived at the Lodge he found hjs hostess standing at the library table with an open letter, in her hands, and her servants gathered, pale and crestfallen, about her. Adelaide Vynne had vanished. A. of farewell, which Lady Judd handed to the rector, with a. few hurried words of explanation, was aU that re- mained of the mysterious governess. Gone!" said he hoarsely. Yes, and my ivory casket, with money and jewels in it, is gone, top, unfortunately. I was just making inquiries about, it among the servants." I see Miss Vynne in your ladyship's dressing- room," said one of the maids, "as I went across. the lawn this afternoon." • "No doubt!" sharply answered the mistress. "i Did she not go there to leave this very letter ?" » Well, what do you make of it?" asked Lady Judd presently. You look as if you have some bright idea." I've been thinking of a cousin of mine," answered the rector. He has a private inquiry concern, and I was wondering whether you would like me to con- sult him." "It would be just the thing," said she. "Send hini a wiite wit!h ariswer prepaid." The reply was that M>. Lonsdale would come by the next train. Almost before he was expected, George- Lonsdale, a grave and gentlemanly man, was ushered into the drawhig-rodm:' He listened in silence to the particulars as Lady Judd gaVe them, and then inquired about tfie visitor Miss Vynne had the day before she left. Who admitted her?" Eln, the schoolroom maid." Let me see -Ellerf, pleaad." > Ellen dwelt affectionately on the account of the lady. who- had snow-white hair and walked like a Queen, and had on the loveliest 'brown cloak and mauve satin bonnet." Did anybody else see this lady ?" Yes, sir, cook did only we can't agree about what she had on." I should like to have a word with cooi," observed Mr. Lonsdale., 1 Cook speedily appeared. Yes, sir, I noticed Miss Vynne's visitor," said ahe, "but as for her walking like a queen-and all that, why, she looked a very or'nary sort o' person, and she had on a rusty black jacket and a hat with a red feather." Ellen indignantly opened her mouth, but her mis- tress held up a warning hand. "When did you see the lady who walked like a queen ?" asked Mr. Lonsdale. At four o'clock, sir." "And you, cook, when did you see the person you described?" It was a quarter to three, sir, asr I was taking in the milk. The footman says when he comes into the kitchen,' That's a seedy-looking party Miss Vynnes got upstairs. "Is the footman to be seen?" inquired the agent. It N ó he has' started this afternoon for his holi- day," said Lady Judd. So sorry, M-r. Lonsdale. Well, what do you think of it ?" continued she, when the maids had been dismissed. "Miss Vynne had two visitors," said Mr. Lons- dale, equably," but I think there will be little difficulty ingetting on the track of the casket." Lady Judd was expecting the rector the next day, when she received a letter instead.: He was just starting for Brighton to see his mother. Would call at Maple Lodge on hig return thence. He came in the afternoon, just as her ladyship had gat down tQ a solitary cup of tea. "What is the matter? 'asked Lady Judd, seeing that something had upset him. "I have had a bit of a shock," he answered. "The mystery of Adelaide's second visitor id cleared up. If was my mother." Your mother: tl ,v Yes. When I heard Ellen's account of the lady who 'bad snow-white haik and walked like a queen. I experienced a certain uneasiness, and I made up ray mind to run down a^d see my mother unexpectedly. On entering her dressing-room I noticed a browil. cloak and mauve bonnet on one of the chairs, and had these not been there, mother's looks would have condemned her. What it was passed between her and Adelaide I do not quite know, but I am sure that'sdme liarih measure was used beside the threat to disinherit me. Mother, as you doubtless are aware, has a large for- tune at her disposal; and- And looks upon her only son 1..811 very desirable match in consequence Ill cried Lady Judd. Still, it is somewhat of a shock to finct a woman like your mother carrying her class prejudice to the point of persecution. Though she married the ^ty mer- chant in the end, everybody said dare-devil 0-uy Vynne had her first and only love. 14 1 believe he did. As for Adelaide's father, ho went to the dogs, and was inveigled into some dreadful marriage out in America." Well, that clears up the mystery of one of Miss Vynne's visitors," said Lady Judd after a pause. Lnsdale, I hope,. will make short work of the Dther." Per ladyship had hardly said the words when a maid entered with a telegram. From the man himself," said the mistress, passing it to her visitor. tr Loasdale had- wired from an address in Hoxton; "sking if the rector could come to him there with- out delay. 'Rupert's answer to this was to take tip hat and telegram, a hasty leave of his hostess, and depart. In due time he found himself ,at the door of a anml1 home poor hut respectable street off a ». f- r '1 ;l" main road in tioxton. Lonsdaie, getting on hat And ooat, himself opened the door. Come alongj" said Ee, "hurrying the rector down the street. "I happen to have a chum living tyere, so I wired from this place and waited there for fou." You've found her "Found 'em both. fiurry ii 0 1. Hfcre we are, old man." Surely, said Rupert, halting involuntarily at the I': top of the alley which his cousin had entered, surely Miss* Vynne is not in this vile place ?" She surely is. Come along. Number-Witie. That's it" u Mrs. Wynne ?" said the woman who opened tho door in answer to Lonsdale's knock. No, you can't «ee her nohow. She was took with delirrum tremuns l-ill the night and went and cut her throat." Miss Vynne-is she here ?" asked the rector, after a moment's involuntary silence. ''Yuas, ehe's here, but I couldn't arsk her to come down, seeing aa 'ow the poor soul's at her last galp," answered the woman. "Not thà.t ahej, been much of a mother to the gal, neither." I", I I Mother Igasped Rupert Barrington. "Great Heavens!" At this moment Adelaide Vynne. appeared sud- denly and looked down the staircase, "Rupert! Oh, Rupert I" she cried, stretching out appealing arms,. Come to me. It js jpy ,mother who lies dying hpre. Oh, cqiji £ and comfort her." Thus it was that wicked lEleIVn Vynne, the pro- digal, but contrite wife and mother, went out of this world with Rupert Barrington's fervent prayers I easiog her passage to the next. Late in the evening of that day, Adelaide Vynne sat beside her grave lover, with her ladyship on the other side of the library table at Maple Lodge. "You poor child," said Lady Judd. "And this dreadful woman was your mother. Wo all thought you were an orphan." So did I until a week ago, when I found that my mother hot only lived, but had been working out a sentence of twenty years' penal servitude. That sen- tence expired three months before she discovered me here at Maple Lod^e. I certainly cannot remember that my fatner tola me'in so many words that she was dead, but I never had any doubt on the subject." Why was she sent to prison ?" asked the rector, gently. She beat a woman, of whom she was jealous, nearly to death. I was only a year old, it appears, when it happened." Did my mother come to tell you this ?" said Rupert, with a flash of his dark eye. She did. My father had told her the truth on his death bed." "But how," inquired Lady J add, came this dreadful woman to get my casket ?" It happened in this wise. I thought I would go but with her to make sure that she left the place alto- gether, and in leaving my bedroom, I discovered that I had only slippers on. I ran back to put on my boots, and my mother went into the corridor. She noticed the casket on your dressing-table and in- stantly seized it." One of the maids said she saw you in my dress- ing-room," observed Lady Judd. "No, it was -wlY mother who was there; I gave her a hat and- mantle from my wardrobe, and she was wearing these when she left me." And Lady Katherine came after your mother had ,peen, of course ? Did you tell her about it?" "No, I merely acquiesced in her demand that I should break off the engagement. The fact of the theft I only- discovered when my mother lay dying. She gave me the casket with the emeralds and asked me to return them to you with the money that was left." "Well, now," said Lady Judd cheerfully, "the sooner we order the wedding-cake the better." Oh, no, nocried Adelaide, covering her pale face "I could not! indeed I could never——" "Ah, my dear," said her patroness, with a knowing sidelook at the rector e.s he drew his sobbing love into his arms, "when you've had a few doses of chicken broth, and a drive or two you'll pipe a dif- ferent tune. Sunshine and chicken broth work wonders, my dear Adelaide t"

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-'i -— . )-,DIVORCE AND MA…


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