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) i1- [ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]. r xx 1 Jm wX For Love and Honour I .it >>wi ————?———————————  By HAROLD BINDLOSS, I m 2^ Author of A Wide Dominion," His Adversary's Daughter," The ? Kingdom of Courage," "The Mistress of Bonaventure," &c.  jf x. ? ??.??a.s????a?? ???X???????????????m????????????????????? CHAPTER XIV. I XIV. I It was late in the evening, a day or two after Harry's visit to the mine, when Maud Elliot sat in a big room at Ruleholme. It was handsomely furnished, and a small fire burnt on the hearth, but it felt chilly and desolate. The beeches about the house were wailing dolefully, the windows streamed with r.ii' qlnd outside there was a blurred prospect A Gripping trees and misty fells that grew dim- mer in the fading light. Maud felt very lonely, though this was not au unusual thing with her. Her mother had <died some years ago; her infirmity cut her off from companionship with the few young men and women she might have made friends with in the dale; and except for Alison she was often left to her own company for days together. Her father spent a good deal of his time at Ruleholme, but Maud was conscious that. there was a barrier between thenr. It was not of her raising, and had been a grief to her, but she endeavoured to make excuses for him. He had succeeded in business, and -would, she could imagine, have liked a son to assist him and carry on the name, instead of a helpless crippled girl. Elliot never hinted xt this, and, indeed, seldom spoke to her harshly, but he treated her with a polished coldness that was worse to bear. Sitting in the growing darkness beside the fire, she recalled the weariness she had some- times noticed in her mother's face, and had then wondered at. Mrs. Elliot had been a gentle, low-voiced woman, and Maud knew now that her lot had not been an easy one. Her father was always courteous, but he con- sulted nobody else's opinions, and every arrangement at Ruleholme was made with a view to his convenience alone. In such mat- ters as the friends they made and their re* tions with their neighbours, his wife had been -expected to defer to him, and Mrs. Elliot had invariably done so. At last she had slipped out of life as though it had no great charm for her, after a brief illness which nobody had imagined would terminate fatally, and Elliot j had mourned for her with grave decorum. Whether he had ever regretted her deeply Maud could not be sure. He had been constrained in manner during the last few days, and Maud fancied that he was waiting word about .something from Lon- don. A telegram had arrived shortly after he left the house to visit the mine—which she understood was threatened by an inrush of wate-r-some hours earlier. Dinner was wait- ing. but he had not come back. At last, she heard wheels on the gravel drive; a bell clanged below, and a light was suddenly turned up on the landing outside the door of the room, which stood partly open. Then there were foot.steps on the stairs, and a moment or two later she started as Elliot passed the door. She could not see his face, but he walked wearily and dejectedly, and "tht water trickled from his soaked clothing, which was freely stained with soil. Maud could scarcely believe her eyes. It was the first time she had seen her father, who was 4ioually precise in manner and fastidious in dress, otherwise than immaculately neat, and ehe fancied only serious trouble at the mine could have s;e it him home in this downcast and bedraggled condition. She heard the door of las room flung to, and there was afterwards a heavy silence, which the doleful wailing of the wind outside seemed to intensify. By-and-bye a maid came in. Mr. Elliot will not come down for dinner," she an- nounced. A tray is to be sent up to the library. WiH you be carried down? "No," said Maud, who had seldom much appetite. As Mr. Elliot is not coming, it's scarcely worth while. Porter can send me up anything he thinks I'd like presently." The maid went out, and Maud* sat thought- fully still. Though he had seldom shown her more than cold courtesy, the sight of her father's drenched figure and his dejected movements had stirred her to anxious pity. By-and-bye she heard the door of the library shut noisily; after that somebody came up the stairs carrying a tray, and waiting a little, she propelled her chair out of the room. The corridor she entered was softly carpeted, the light wheels made no sound, and she managed to open the library door. It swung inwards silently, and the chair rolled forward across the threshold. Elliot, who had not heard her, sat with knitted brows at a table strewn with papers. A tray with wine and food, which he did not seem to have touched, stood among the litter, and the man's whole pose and expression was suggestive of strain. Then he glanced up and taw her with a frown, and the effort he made to pull himself together roused her com pas- sion. She had never seen her father looking ad he did then, all(] the dry clothes he had changed to had been carelessly put on, which was in his case a very unusual thing. "I left word that I was not to be dis- turbed," he said. This was not encouraging, but Maud was not easily daunted. I could hardly have supposed that applied to me," she answered. "I was afraid you were in some difficulty." "I am," said Elliot, shortly. "What then?" His abruptness warned her that the man was overstrung, and likely for once to speak and act naturally, and without restraint, which was what she preferred. This might give her an opportunity of dissipating the coldness between them, and replacing it by an understanding based on mutual sympathy. As it happened, her eyes rested on the por- trait of a graceful, gentle-faced woman in a heavy silver frame on the mantel. She won- dered if her mother had ever ventured on and failed in such an attempt as she meant to make. I don't wish to intrude, and I will go away when you wish," she replied. Still, I have sometimes been sorry that you have taken me so little into your confidence." The man glanced at the frail figure in the chair, and his face hardened. She knew that her helplessness jarred upon him. Wowld that have been of any benefit to either of us? he asked. I almost think so. It would have been oome consolation to me-because though my limbs are crippled my mind is. perhaps, the clearer. I have sometimes thought that you were wrong in not telling my mother more than you did. You might have found relief in it, and I think she would have been happier." There was anger in Elliot's eyes. It almost looked as if this sickly, helpless girl were accusing him. "Your mother never meddled with matters outside her province," he re- plied. She: had all she could wish for— position, comfort, some degree of wealth— and there were times when it cost me a bitter effort to provide them. What can women know of business fluctuations and perils, and the strain that one must bear to win success? Why should I have inflicted my anxieties upon your mother? All! said Maud, softly. it is because we know so little that we sometimes fret and feel so much. Even I could guess at your anxiety. It would have been so much easier to have spoken of it and tried to console you. I know, as my mother knew, that it was only by an effort you built this house and forced everybody of importance to recognise you. But houses and station do not always mean happiness. Would it surprise you to hear that this house was a profitable part of my business, and that I got a full return from the men I entertained here? "No," said Maud, smiling wistfully; "I guessed that too. I know how hard you fought. I only felt that you might have told me a little about the struggle—enough to make it easier for me to tell you I was sorry -when you were hurt in it. You must get hurt 'now and then." She saw she had failed to awaken the re- eponse she longed for; her father's face was very grim. His polished manner had vanished, and he wore the fierce look of a man driven hard back to the wall. Well," he said, if you mean to force my xionfidence, you shall have it. I have, as you Bay, fought hard, winning a little slowly here and there, and smiling before my neighbours; Cut the fight has now suddenly grown despe- Tate. It is better to tell you this, because I *lo not know whether I can still provide you .it.h the von bave enioved. A;) sma Aiaucl, you nav-3 Deer, generous, bur after all, the comforts you have surrounded me with arc not the things we value most. If it will help you. I will gladly give them up." Elliot was snll unsvmpathetic. Ho could -not see that she dcsirad to share his troubles, and only asked for confidence and gentleness; but those were things he could not give. It would not Iiolp," he answered. I must go on holding my position, though at the moment I do not see hew it can be done. The opening of The mine, which proved an un- fortunate venture, cost me a. good deal of money, and now. when there was some pro- spect- of seltinc it, the workings will probably be drowned. The faet could not be kept from the would-be purchasers, even if v.e suc- ceeded in clearing the mine of water at a very. btrious expense." It struck Maud as significant that he ap- peared to regret the impossibility of conceal- ing it. but sfie did rut allude to this. .tl l tirl e o Is the present a favourable time for sell- ing a lead mine? she asked. Not very but there are signs of a better demand for lend, and the fact that I have been able to keep the workings going through ,N-oLi l d have its  ffect. a period of low prices would have its effect." ■"But hasn't it involved you in a loss?" "It has," said Elliot, shortly. Maud made no comment. She had already recognised that the standard cf morality her father was content with was not the one she used. "And can't you keep the flood out? sho asked. I'm afraid not. It looked as if we would be beaten when I left the workings. Harrv Elliot was busy among the men then." But he has no interest in the mine." Elliot made a grimace. "Not the leaat; and I can't flatter myself that he was actuated by friendliness for me." "What was he doing?" Standing up to his knees in water, throw- ing sods on to an embankment with a shovel, when I last saw him. He seemed to be enjoy- ing it. A very curious man Maud fancied that her father, for some un- known reason, cherished a suspicious hostility against Harry, but she asked no further ques- tions on that subject. i am <?oi-very sorry-that you are threatened with this disaster," she said, simply. The quiet words seemed to rouse the man to fresh anger. We'll take it for granted. I ha\on't been in the habit of asking for pity." Then h;s self-control deserted him, and he fixed his eyes upon her with stinging scorn. What's the value of your sympathy? How can you help? "I can beg you to sell off this great house. Even after what you have said, I think it would be wiser to let it go. Then I could manage 'so that you could still live in every comfort at a quarter the cost." Elliot laughed harshly. "And advertise the fact that I was ready to fall? If we must go down, it will be with the flag flying." He frowned, and his tone grew ominously cold. "Let us have the truth to-night. You have been a dutiful daughter outwardly-you have had every reason for being so-but in your heart you have criticised and condemned me, without even hearing what I had to say." Maud could not deny it. and she sat silent a moment or two. Yes," she said at length, I'm afraid I have done something of the kind, and I have no doubt that I was wrong. I could not tell what you had tq con- tend with, and what I or another would have done in your place. Now I am sorry for it; I want to make amends." She looked at him wistfully, but he showed no sign of melting, and reaching out across the table he handed her a telegram. Underwriters immovable," she read. It means that I shall have to pay for the wrecked steamer, which has scarcely earned me anything," he explained. "I have no idea at the moment how I am to raise the money, and it is possible that it cannot be done." He raised his hand as she was about to speak. "I would have spared you this. but you insisted on sharing my sccret.s. You have had your wisfi. There is nothing that you can do." Maud kept the tna.rs back with an effort, for she recognised the truth of what he said. There was much she might have done. but it was useless to attempt it now. He was filled with bitterness against her, and resented her apparent helplessness. "Try to eat a little," she said, quietly. Perhaps things will look a little brighter to-morrow. Then she slowly propelled her chair away. and lav quiet, with weary eyes, when she readied the room she had left. She had failed in her purpose disastrously. "After all," she said at length, half-aloud, Harry was right when he said it was my lot lo sit still and smile. One can do that, though"—and she sighed—"it is difficult 3oiuetiines. ■! —- I CHAPTER XV. was raining hard when Harry walked up the cart-track towards the mine. hut when he saw the toiling figures on the hillside, tii(I tije lower cluster near the sheds, he quickened his pace. Whether the workings were flooded or not was no concern of his; but it evi- dent from the number of men engaged that the situation had become more critical since his visit on the previous evening, and some- thing in his nature drove him on. He had grappled with rock and roaring river in a wilder land, and the thrill of conflict once more awoke in him. He found Mat sturdily plying the shovel, but the man stopped a minute and spoke in jerky gasps. It appeared that all the drainage from the bog was coming down upon the mine, and the efforts to divert it had proved unsuccessful. It was far from certain that the embankment the men were raising would prove of much service, and the engineer had been compelled to stop his pump a while. Some of the new fittings would not go into place, and Mat did not know when the engine could be started. He was chiefly con- cerned in strengthening the bank lie was working at. "Where can I find a shovel?" Harry inter- rupted him. Mat. who informed him, added that if he were going to work again he had better help the men up the hill, and Harry set off across the spongy grass. When he stopped a few hun- dred feet above the mine he found a flood of brown water pouring down the hill, and a dozen men vainly endeavouring to pen it up by a barrier of soil and sods. It undermined and rent the latter here and there; bursting out through a new breach as soon as one was stopped. Harry stood still for some minutes watch- ing the men. They were rural labourers, hastily hired to meet the emergency; stal- wart, muscular fellows; but he saw they had no regular leader, and that their work had not been judiciously laid out for them. Some got in each other's way, and some were ob- viously wasting tilurdy effort, which was a thing that jarred on him, for he had first toiled among and afterwards handled well- organised gangs of men. Then he considered the plan of operations, which had not pleased him on the' previous evening. The partly-cut channel lower down the hill, which would lead the stream clear of the mine, looked serviceable; but he was doubtful if the bank thrown across the col- lecting ground to gather up the water could be made effective. The flood flowed by many channels round a projecting knoll above him, and he thought it might all be concentrated into one stream by cutting through the neck behind the hummock. This would cost a good many hours of severe labour, which would be whoily wasted if the expedient failed, but he was ready to face the responsibility. It was not in his nature to look on while the flood spread destruction, and lie strode towards the toiling men. You're getting at this thing the wrong way, boys. and we'll try a different plan," he said. Shift over and cut down through yonder knowe." They were willing to obey him so far. He l was known to be a connection of their em- ployer's, and they supposed he had the 1 af- ter's authority; but it was different when he b-euaji to mark out the new trench and an. portioned eacn man nis particular tasK. rile dalesfolk do not take kindly to being in- structed in matters they claim to know some- thing about, and they resented being ordered by this stranger in shooting clothes. As he had been busy with another gang on the pre- vious evening, they did not suppose he could use the shovel he carried, and fancied he had brought it to give him a professional air. Weil," he said, why don't you begin? One of them looked up with a grin, and then calmly proceeded to alter Harry's instruc- tions, changing the position of a man here and there. No," said Harry. "Stop just where you are. You'll try my way for an hour, and then, if it dc-osn t answer, 1 ii tvv yours. That's reasonable." A big, F.-tir enough; I'd have put theni here von did." he remarked. "V.ho's coming to shovel out behind me while I break?" "I wiil go ahead," said Harry. "If we can run off the water, it w ill be worth your while." The dalesman swung his pick, and the rest grinned at one another as th,y fell to. Their comrade was a drainer, accustomed to work by the yard and exceptionally powerful, and they wondered how long Harry would keep pace with him. To their astonishment, the latter did not seem to have anv difficlIlty in doing so, and, what was more, he filled' his shovel at every swing and flung the spoil out clean. His partner, seeing this, worked harder, but no soil accumulated in that part of the trench, and when he glanced round agalIl by-and-bye Ho\ony smiled at him. Can't you get on a little faster?" he in- quired. The drainer's face was a picture of indig- nant amazement. It was a good many years since anyone had tried to hurry him, and he determined to break this presumptuous stranger's heart before he was done. An hour passed, and he was evidently as far as ever from accomplishing his purpose; but the pair crowded up on those ahead and drope them on, and drew away from those behind them, until the increased poce became general. This was a thing that Harry under- stood, because the process, from which ke had suffered in times past, is called speedinjf-up in the West. By-and-bye the drainer was forced to stop for breath, and Harry knew h41 would have no trouble when he glanced at the faces of the rest. Now he had proved that he was capable of leading, they were ready to follow. Don't you think you had better gp on as I told you, boys? he asked. There were murmurs of agreement, and he raised his hand. Then there'll be a bonus above your wages if we beat the beck." They toiled strenuously until noon, and then, desisting, produced damp packages of food. There was no shelter, and they sat upon the wet soil. while the rain beat down on them. "The water won't stop," said Harry. "How long do you mean to let up for? Only for a bite and smoke," replied the drainer. Then an idea seemed to strike him. "Brought no dinner with thee?" Harry explained that he had never thought about provisions, and his working partner mentioned diffidently that his wife was famous for her pasties, and he had brought a large one. He added with some dryness that if he was to go on working as he had been doing, he I had better not eat too much, »and ended by I offering Harry a share of his dinner. Then another declared that his daughter had given him some cold pudding, which was as good as j anything Mrs. Bell could make, and invited Harry to see if he was right. The latter | shared their meal, and after he had distri- buted all the tobacco in his possession, they fell to work again. The afternoon was half-way through when Bell's pick jarred on stone, and Harry, calling another man, laid bare a strip of rock out- crop. They, however,, sank down to the level of the cut a yard or two further on, and stopped to examine the obstruction. We mun keep straight. A bend wadn't do." said Bell. Harry, who agreed with this, turned to one of the men. Bring me a couple of drills— short ones-and a hammer. Ask Mat to give you some powder and fuse." He looked round at Bell. We can't waste you striking or holding. Tell that little fellow to come along." The man indicated said he had sometimes used the drill in cutting out stone for roads, and when the tools were brought Harry set him to strike. The head of the drill, how- ever. grew slippery with mire, and after the glancing hammer had come perilously near to smashing his hands, Harry took it from his companion. You hold." he said. I'll see what I can do." The heavy head came down with dead pre- cision, and the road-mender noticed the fine swing of the man who grasped the haft. It looked as if this stranger could use the ham- mer as well as lie could the ehovel. Steadilj the grinding drill bit into the stone, anc Harry was still whirling the massy tool wher a party he did not notice walked up the hill. Alison and Vane came foremost, the girl wearing a long mackintosh and serviceable shoes. Her father and Arnold Elliot followed, and the latter's face was set. He was a clevex business man; but that availed him little now, and he knew his limitations. The man of com- merce is not, as a rule, endowed with much mechanical or constructive ability. A curious look crept into his eyes when he saw Harry swinging the hammer, and just then Alison re- cognised the latter. It's Harry!" she cried. Vane nodded. I understand from Mat, -who decided he had better not interfere, that he's changing the whole plan of operations,' he said. He's using that hammer like a prO" fessional." » Alison wa,s at first conscious of a faint dis- Eleasure as she watched the man. After all, he was a friend of hers-she had gone so, far in her thoughts of him-and it struck her that it would have been more seemly had he con- tented himself with commanding. This feel- ing. however, vanished, for Harry, swinging the hammer, dripping and .stained with soil, was in one sense admirable. There was a free grace in his movements; he had a finely-pro- portioned figure, and he looked very much at home among the wet crags, spongy hill-slopes, and driving rain. Here he was in his element —one who had risen to face an emergency. As she watched, Bell came plodding up to confer with him. and Harry shouted sharp directions, which were promptly obeyed, to the others. She had no doubt that he waa their acknowledged leader, and, knowing the dalesfolk, ,he wondered how he had gained his hold on them. Then she saw that Vane was looking at her with a smile. "Yes," she said; "he's rather-fine. But how does he do it? They're not easily led." I'm inclined to think he has earned the right to lead, though it probably cost him something," Vane replied. The man has his gifts." Alison agreed with this, though she did not admit it. I should hardly have thought the ability to hit a drill would have greatly ap- pealed to you." Vane smiled at her. It's possible that the capacity for doing any useful thing exactly as it should be done, when it's most needed, is worth its much as. we'll say. a good deal of philosophy. For example, from what I've heard of another incident at this mine, he knew where and how to put his thumb upon an artery-and it saved a man's life." It did," said Alison. His coolness and quickness struck me as remarkable." "Why remarli:ahle!" Alison hesitated, and her companion smiled mischievously. I suppose it's unfortunate he hasn't spent some of his time in acquiring the cultivated manner; but I'm far from sure that the virile virtues are the result of any particular training. Personally, I shouldn't be astonished at anything Harry did. Having shown on two occasions that he can face a crisis, I infer that he'll be equal to the third —when it arises." "You speak as if you expected one," said Alison, who noticed that his eyes rested on Arnold. Oh," said Vane, lightly, it was only a hazy fancy at the back of my mind." I'll confess that while I was a little astonished the first time I saw Harry in action, I was not conscious of any feeling of that kind to-day," Alison replied. Then Arnold called to Harry, who lowered (To be continued).



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