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i POET'S CORNER. ;

-t The Road to Love Ii

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A PHENOMENAL SUCCESS.

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FOR MATRON AND MAID.

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----------t FOR THE YOUNG…

DISTRESSING BRONCHITIS,

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-t The Road to Love Ii

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gone away. I-I don't know Lord Norchester, and I have no right, perhaps, to judge him, but-but it seems to me very cruel that her husband should have left her in the way sho has been left." Varley looked troubled. "Speaking broadly, of course, you are right, but in a case like this, it is difficult to legislate for others—and Harry is very young." "He was not too young to marry and to carry his will against the wisdom of others." "We all make mistakes, Miss Miinor." "Yes," said Ellen, "but we don't all run away when we find that out. I am afraid that I do not consider that Lord Norchester has any legitimate excuse for doing what he did. To me his conduct where his wife is concerned is not only cruel; it is just a little cowardly, too." When Varley had returned from his inter- view with Walter Barneith he had left the door half open, and jll'o-t as Ellen was making this speech it was pushed a little more widely open, and a young man stood in the entrance. Her words came to his ears most distinctly. He hesitated an instant, then with a curious expression he walked boldly into the room. "Hullo! Dick!" he said. It was Lord Norcheeter. CHAPTER XVI. Round and about Wynche Castle there waa. any amount of excitement, gossip, and commo- tion. By this time the neighbourhood had growu tired of discussing the amazing marriage which Lord Norchester had contracted, even the stories of Lady Norchester's follies and eccentricities had grown stale; but interest was furiously re-aroused when it became known that not only had Lord Norchester returned I firom his motor tour, a reported invalid, but that his mother and sister fyad left the hotel in Tornbury and were actually staying once again at Wynche Castle. How all this had been brought about Ellen hardly realised. With the unexpected and un- announced return of Lord Norchester the great house had changed entirely. There was a bustle of life along its oorridors, and a sense of important business seemed to actuate the servanti. Ellen's own maid, Eliza, was full of oxcitement. "Just fancy his lordship walking in like that! No one never going to the station to meet him —him coming up in a fly, and his arm vaJl strapped up and looking like a ghoat. Well, it takes one's breath away, that it do! Mr. Whit- taker that's his lordship'* valet. miss), lie makes out as his lordship was really hurt a lot more than he lets people know. It waa such a smash-tip-hi.3 splendid new raotor-«ar just a ruin, miM. And did-you see his-lordship, miss? Isn't he 'andsome? Oh, I do think his lord- ship's, the most beautiful young man I've ever seen." 'I "Yes, I saw him, said Ellen, and she spoke a little grimly. She had not recovered from the shock of being presented to Lord Norches- ter in the very moment in which she had open- ly dared to criticise his action". By what cur- ious ill-luck had he happened to arrive at that moment? "It is the first time," said Ellen vexedly to herself, "that I have over spoken about him in this way to Mr. Varley. It must have sounded horrible She had made her escape from the library as quickly M possible following on her introduo tion to Lord Norchester, and she had run up to her room hot with annoyance and confusion; and when she had gone, Norchester had stretched himseJf on the couch, and had smiled a little faintly at his kinsman. "Evely has been writing me pages of wild- est adulation about thi,3 Miss MilneT," he said. "Evidently she hasn't got a very good opinion of me. She seems rather a stroninded young female, not exactly the angel Evelyn made her out to be." "My dear Harry," Varley answered, "if you will walk into your house in this stealthy fashion, you must expect all you get! Mis- Milner was merely expressing her opinion to me; that opinion was not intended for your cam, and if ehe feels a little strongly about your absence, remember she has been living here now for some time, and she probably has a very good reason for speaking in the way that she does. Why didn't you let me know that you bad arrived? I suppose you were in London last night?" Norchester shook his head. "No. this morning. I came strai ht on. Of course, I struck the elowest train of the day, and upset everybody by driving up here in a fly. They wanted to telephone for the motor- car at the station, but I couldn't wait. Dick, I'm so tired. I feel as if I could go to sleep for months and months. It's my head, you know. I was knocked out of time for I don't know how many hours; such a silly accident, too! Darrell got off with only a few bruises. Poor Galvin, the chauffeur, was left in hospital. I smashed up my arm, as you see. It was a reat jolly business all round." Though he spoke with an attempt at hia char- actertistic buoyant manner, Richard Variby frowned as be heard Norchester's voice, and he looked at him -very keenly; then he said 1 "My deaf Harry, you must get to bed and stay there for a Uttle while." Lord Norchester made a 6lightly impatient movement with his shoulders, ahd lay with closed eyes without speaking for a. little while, and then he said: "Is mother atill at Tornbury 1" "Y Øi!. I believe so." "Weil t fiho's stot to come here." There was the faintest of faint smiles on the young man's face as he added, "I'm going to be very ill, Dick. It sounds a little bit mean, but I am going to be so ill that my mother must come to Wynohe and vou'vo pot to brin? her." "I shall do nothing," Richard Varley answer- ed very firmly, "till I have seen you upstairs and in bed. Was your man with you?" Norchester shook his head. "Whittaker is following with all the traps." "Very well, then, siad Varley, "I shall be your servant. Please to lean on me, Harry. I am going to take you to your room." ##•••• About three hours later, one of the carriages from Wynche Castle conveyed Lady Norchester and her daughter from Tornbury. It had been rather a lengthy business getting Lord Nor- chester up to his room, and when he was finally put to bed, Varley stood looking at him with contracted brows. The young man glanced up at him, and tried to smile. "Whilst I have been away," be said, slowly. and in a voice that was rathor faint, "I turned over every sort of idea in my mind as to how I could prevail upon the mater to come to Wynche; and when the smash up arrived, if you will believe me, Dick, I was almost glad, because I said to myself, "Here's a real "ood ohanoe.' He paused, closed his eyes, and then opened them again. "If you want to know what brought roe home, I came for this" ho said; then he added, "Give me a pencil and a piece of paper." It was the left arm which was strapped across his breast, but he uaed his right hand with difficulty. Darling mother (he scribbled), I am back here. There has been a little accident, and I got a bit hurt, but it isn't serious, only they say I must tttst, eo I suppose I shall be in bed for a little while). I want to see you and Evie. (hn't you come?—Your loving Harry. "That'll do the trick," he said, as he gave this letter to Varley, who morely nodded his head. And the trick was done! Wheif that little note was carried to the mother, she set aside instantly all the old bitter feelings. "We are not going to London," she said to her daughter; 'we are going to Wynche. Harry i8 ill; he wants me." And so, attended by Richard Varley and sur- rounded by all the old deference and attention, the Dowager Lady Norchester went back to her old home. She was taken at once to her son, and Lady Evelyn and Ellen were left alone. Lord Norchester'a wife wts still ordered by the doctor to be confined to her room. She had, however, been told of her husband's re- tarn, and Varley had sent her in a little noW itrfornting her that- the Dowager Lady Nor- chaster1 would be at Wynche almost immediate. 7It w&b delightful, and yet it gave Ellen a pang to note the jev with Which Evelyn Wynohe re- turned to her home. She ran about like a chiljJ exclaiming happily at renewing acquaintance with all those things she had loved so much. "I never knew how dear Wynche was till now," she said to Ellen, then sha added, "Oh! I do hope things are going to be quite smooth now," because it would b9 a thousand times worse to go away after having come back!" In her enthusiasm she kissed Ellen. "You know," she said, "I can't help feeling that I owe all this to you Oh! I know mother has come now because Harry has had an accident, but still ever sines she has met you I have noticed a difference. She likes you so much, Ellen, so very much." "I am glad," said Ellen Milner. simply; yet the tears came to her eyes, for in truth the loneliness the sense of void in her life were at time almost unendurable, and this little demon- stration of affection was very sweet: moreover the advent of Evelyn Wynche brought a sense of youth and life and light which unconsciously stirred Ellen's heart and roused her spirit. The other girl chattered on untiringly. She had al. ready seen the doctor, and her mind had been eet at rest about her brother; therefore, she was free to give expression to her sense of de- light. "Of course, I know we can't live here," she said; "but I should love to come backwards and forwards" then, in a low voice, she said to Ellen. "I mean to be very sweet to Miriam." And at this moment Miriam's maid came in search of Ellen "Her ladyship would like to speak to you, miss," she said. And Ellen at once rcse to obey. "I will come back if I can," ehe eaid to Lady Evelyn. She found Miriam in her sitting room dress- ed with care, and looking most attractive. There was a patch of colour on her cheeks, and her eyes had the sparkle of excitement in them. "I wanted to tell you," she said to Ellen as the girl drew near, "that I have had to take your rooms away from you. The housekeeper w411 give you two other nice rooms; but tho?c rooms I want for Evelyn; I hope you don't mind ?" "I am only too delighted." said Ellen. warm- Iy. "and I am sure Lady Evelyn will be very pleased, he is verv glad to be back here." Ladv Norchcwtors face coloured hotly, and she bit her lip a little sharply, and then she saidj (' J "I suppose you have been talking with her; -I she hasn't asked for me?" "On the contrary," Ellen said quickly, "she has asked for you several times; but we under- stood that you were not to be disturbed." "I should lik-3 to know who gave that order." said Miriam, reverting to her customary lent mood io: an instant; then fhe dun swiftly. It v/ inore than evident to Ellen t ru. >. Miriam wa? doinir her very best to match her manner to the important event of the momsnU It was the first time indeed that Ellen had reett her wearing this air of dignity. She bJ.<kJ) carefully. She seem-sd very excited, and wl).rl ■she spoke her topic of conversation wa.* I«n.'y Evelyn, and only Lady Evelyn. She did rwa, mention her husband's name; she did not Bftfin to realise that he had returned, or if she real- ised this she was very reticent about it. After a while she r' up. "I am going now," she said, "to see that everything is ail right in Evelyn's room; aim then I am going downstairs. I ought to been there to have received her ( "Will Dr. Marteil approve?" Elicn asked, hurriedly. "Remember you have been very poorly." Miriam only laughed, "Dr. Martel! is an old fool. I mean to do as I like; and I'm quite better now," she added, "I feel all right. Come with me," she com- manded. And so together they walked tho long cor- ridor and up the stairp till they reached the I rooms which Ellen had boen occupying. The housekeeper had turned on throe or four ) housemaids to make the move of Miss Mi] rwrs things and to change these apartments- for Lady Evelyn's use. and now everything was in ordpr. There were flowers on the table, and all the old things which Lady Evelyn had Isft were placed where she would find them again. "Do you think she will bti pleased?" MirM-m asked- in a low voice; which quivered a lle. And in all honestv Ellen rop!ie<i: "I know you will have made her very hppy." She spoke with confidence, "mi With. assur- ance, and in this moment then* was not even a shadow of doubt, or a preirafvtion of anxiety. She was so eager to see Miriam rise to her proper place, and she built largely on these now and unexpected circumstances to bring this about. It was destined for the future to ehow how grievously Ellen was to be disappointed. • Not a little to his own inconvenience, Varley consented to remain a couple of days at Wynche. His business apart, however, he really was anxious to be on the spot at thti most critical moment in the Norchester affairs. There had been a really pleasant meeting be- tween Lady Evelyn and her sister-in-law, and Varley had to confess that he was amazed with the manner in which Miriam had comported herself during a very trying experience. That Lady Evelyn would be kind and gentle, and show a dippo-ition in every way sympathetic Varley had already known would be certain; he had, liowsvor, been a little bit afraid of Miriam. Although he knew (and Ellen had im. pressed this on him) that Norchester's wife undoubtedly was prepared to be particularly attached to Evelyn, his own experiences of her curious temper had not let him hope for too much on her part. Her attitude, therefore, was a very agreeable surprise; more than this, he traced in her a, Ellen had done, that strong I evidence to rise to the occasion, and to bear herself as she felt her position demanded he should. That night thore was a little dinner party composed of Miriam and Lady Evelyn, Ellen, and Mr. Varley. The Dowager Lady Norchoster had conveyed her regrets to her son's wife that she was not well enough to leave her room. She begged, therefore, to be excused from coming down- stairs. Her absence was a source of great re- lief, although just at first Ellen had been afraid that perhaps Miriam might misconstrue the tact which had undoubtedly prompted the elder woman to portpon.e their meeting for a little while. The facWhowcver, that her mother-in- law and her si-Uer-in-law were established at Wynche, and that the knowledge of their re- turn would have been quickly circulated round and about, was in itself such a triumph for Miriam that she was content for the moment. Her appearance startled Lady Evelyn that night. Acting on Ellen's suggestion, Miriam put on the white gown which she had worn on that former occasion when she and Ellen had dined together, and with her hair charmingly arranged by her new maid, and wearing a few good jewels, outwardly at least there was no fault to be found with Lord Norchester's choice of a wife. Ellen could not but be gratified at this result of her work, for every little detail in manner and appearance had been suggested by her at one time or another. After dinner, as they I sat apart for a moment. Varley said to the girl: "You have- done marvellously. I hardly re- cognised her to-night." "I am 60 glad," Ellen whispered back to him. At the same time, something prompted her I to say: "But we must not expect too much." She felt instinctively that there was bound to ba & little reaction after all this restraint; moreover she was so sensitive that she already experienced the slightest shadow of difference in Miriam's treatment of herself; and though she smiled at this. attributing it perhaps natjrr- ally to the possibility that the coming of Lady Evelyn would displace her a little from Mir. iam's good opinion, yet there was another ■ suggestion,, aaaqcnatd! with it which Ellen did not wish to"enoounwe, but which onme all the same. This feeling had its rise in the 8Upposi. tion that now probably Miriam would have no further use for her. However, she would not let anything trouble her to-night. Though these people were practically strangers to hgr. yet so warm was li-er sympathy that Ellen felt almost as though this reunion touched her in a personal way. She could so well understand what the realisation of all this must mean to Miriam, and she rejoiced heartily that circum-. stances had put an end to that unhappy barrier which had been the cause of all Miriam's de- moralisation and unhappiness. As for herself, Ellen did not care to dwell too much on the unexpected return of Lord Nor- Chester. She was really very much upset that he should have overheard her outspoken critic- ism of his actions. She had not said anything to Richard Varley about this, but she felt con- vinced that Lord Norchester must have made some remark to the other man about that un- lucky speech. This apart, Ellen found herself at odd times pondering on the strange coin- cidences which should have made her a member of Lord Norchester's household, for though she had not remembered him very definitely, yet at odd times when she had been sitting with Mrs. Chadwick. the recollection of his delight- ful personality had flashed back to her, and she had wondered in that vague way in which we do wonder at time?, whether she would ever be likely to see that young man again. His cour- tesy to her at the station had been so charming, there had been something about him altogether which had attracted Ellen, arising chiefly from the fact that he had been a hunting man, and that he had brought back a little of the atmos. phere in which she had once lived. Those thoughts of him had gone completely after her arrival at Wynche, when she h*d al- most immediately realised that the gallant young man at the station and Lord Norchester were one and the eame person; then he had drifted into another place in her thoughts, she had pitied him and she bad criticised him; she had excused him and she had condemned him and at odd times she had tried to fathom the mystery of his marriage, because intimate ac- quaintance with Miriam had shown that, despite the isnusual beauty, there was so little to attract and hold a man such as she supposed Lord Norchester to be. As she had grown into a deeper sense of responsibility, and allied herself etill more closely with the intimate significance of this marriage, Ellen hAd ceased to remember Lord Norchester as a young irre- sponsible sunny-njitured man, and she had transferred the greater part of her sympathy from him to his wife. Not that she ever grew to really love Miriam, there was 60 much (as she had told Varley in the very beginning) which stood 7,3. tween her and this other woman. But she gave Norchester's wife her loyalty and mte, and anxious thought. She desired Miriarc's happiness. Nothing would have signified greater pleasure to her than to have moulded the young woman into that likeness which clie felt that Lady Norchester ought to take; but Miriam never appealed to her heart as Evelyn had done. The first time she and Evelyn Wynche hAo met, a bond of real sympathy and affection had been struck between them. It was perhaps because Ellen was conscious of this that "he resolutely allied herself more closely to Miriam's side. That vague fear that her influence might lose its value passed into a very definite conviction this very night. (To be continued.)