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HARRY SEYMOUR; OR Incidents…

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HARRY SEYMOUR; OR Incidents in the Life of a Cardiff Clerk. CHAPTER II. Harry had lain on tho footpath for some minutes, when two soldiers came up. "Halka, Jim, what's up here ?" Hum, 4 bloke' tight, I suppose." I No, by Jingo, he's bleeding, look They were stooping over the prostrate man, and one of them was turning Harry's pockets over, when a policeman came suddenly upon them, and collared them. Ha, ah Caught, are you ? A nice piece of business. Highway robbery with violence, I'm blow'd." We didn't touch him, we're only just come up." "Well, you'll have to persuade the magistrates that, and it'll be a rather hard job, I fancy." The policeman blew his whistle, but in so doing, had to 1of. go one of the soldiers, who ran off at full sy, <1 towards the barracks. He stuck to the other, and upon another policeman coming up gave the soldier into his charge, and bade him send for assistance. Ere it arrived, however, Harry recovered consciousness, and was soon able to walk into Queen-street, where a cab was called, and he was taken to the police-station to identify the soldier. In the meantime the first officer pro- ceeded to the barracks, and brought back the run away soldier, who stoutly protested his innocence. Why did you run away if you are innocent?" asked his custodian. It Jooks very ugly, that does." On arrival at the police-station, however, Harry at once declared that neither of the soldiers had been concerned in the outrage upon him, and they were liberated. Louie heard nothing of the affair until, when at breakfast next morning, her aunt gave vent to a sudden exclamation of surprise. Louie looked up, and asked her aunt what was the matter. "Nothing, my dear, at least—" But her aunt shut up the paper she had been reading, and looked very grave. I am sure that something is the matter, auntie, what have you seen in the paper to make you look so grave ?" Don't trouble yourself, Louie, I will go out presently and learn if it is true." "If what is true? Tell me, does it concern Harry ?" "Yes, my dear, he has been robbed and-" "And what? Not murdered, aunt? Ob do tell me." "No, only assaulted, and he was soon better." Oh auntie, I cannot go to school this morn- ing till I know he is safe." "Nonsence, Louie read the report yourself; you will see that he was all right when he was taken home." Louie would not be satisfied, however; so they both proceeded to Harry's lodgings, and were grieved by the sad tidings that the shock and fright had made Harry very ill, and that brain fever was feared. It came, and for weeks Harry lay between life and death, but gradually grew better. Meanwhile, Will Aylwin had married Blanche. and so infatuated had he become by the arts she used to ensnare him, that he so far forgot his good principles as to take Blanche without her father's consent. So a special licence was procured, and one fine Saturday morning they met at St. Mary's Church in their ordinary costume, and were quietly married, only the wife of the sexton being present. Blanche's friends knew nothing of it until next morning, when a letter arrived from Blanche, dated London, announcingher marriage, that they were going to Brighton, and would be back in a fortnight, Mr Aylwin having got leave of absence for that time. But a great aud startling event was to take place, wnich somewhat changed Blanche's prospects, Her father had for some years been a widower, and would have married again had he not a great dislike to depose his daughter Blanche from her position as mistress of his establishment. Now she was gone, and partly to revenge her jilting Mr Palmer, Mr Aubrey made up his mind to marry again. So he proposed to a young lady of a certain age," the forewoman of a tobacconist shop close by, and explained h s reasons for pressing a speedy marriage. So, as in the case of his daughter, a special license was procured, and, strangest of all strange coincidences, the marriage was celebrated at St Mary's Church; but not clandestinely. Oh, no; she wouldn't have that and Mr Aubrey began to think, before he was married, that he had caught a Tartar, and was half minded to break it off. But visions of an appearance at the assize court, in a breach of promise case, and the never-forgot undutifulness of Blanche, determined him to go on with it, and so they were married. Mrs Aubrey strengthened her husband's resolve respecting Blanche—that she was not to come near the house thai, she was, in fact to be disinherited, yes, even disowned. They had not long to wait. A letter came one morning when the runaways had been three weeks away for Mr Aylwin's employers had lengthened his lioliday-wherein Blanche in- formed her father of her arrival in Cardiff. I have heard of your marriage, dear Papa," she wrote, but you will surely not refuse to see me. I could never have married that odious Mr Palmer, even if I had not loved Mr Aylwin, I will call to-morrow, unless I have notice I am not to come. The notice not to come was sent in answer and Blanche began to see that all the fine castles in the air she had built on the strength of being still able to put her hand in her father's pur^e, doomed to vanish like a soap bubble. How could she manage, out of her husband's miserable salary of L150 a year, to dress as she had been accus- tomed to do ? It could not be done. She began to wonder whether her husband had any money saved, though if he had, he had not mentioned it. The thought did once occur to her to go and see her father, but pride came to her aid, and she resolved not to humble herself in the sight of her stepmother. They bad gone to Mr Aylwin's old lodgings for a few days, which were occupied to the infinite delight of Blanche, in purchasingfurni- ture, &c., for their new home. Mr Aylwin had taken a small, but neat little villa in Roath, and was evidently resolved to furnish it handsomely for his beautiful wife. The half-scornful, half- petulant expression had apparently left her face, for Blanche was quite happy in those early days of married life, and they entered their new home under the happiest auspices. The next morning, ere going to the Docks to his office, Mr Aylwin playfully tossed his wife a piece of paper, saying, "There, Blanche, you must make that suffice till next pay-day, nearly a month." -Po Blanche opened it, and saw a ten-pound note. She was ominously quiet, as her husband thought. I cannot afford more than that per month. I will pay the rent, as the house belongs to one of our partners. Will not that do, my dear." Ye-es," said Blanche, hesitatingly. But no sooner was he gone than Blanche threw the note on the floor, and burst into a passion of tears. "Ten pound a month! Why, it will not find me in clothes." Harry at length got well, and easily persuaded Louie to consent to their immediate union. But they were, comparatively speaking, poor, and were married by banns. Happy in each others love, with nothing to disturb the serenity of their newly-wedded life,,the weeks slipped quickly by with them. One e vening, Harry Seymour came home from work with a cloud on his brow, and Louie anxiously inquired if he were ill. "No, dear; it is not my. own troubles, but those of poor Aylwin that grieves me. Blanche and he have parted, and as her father's door is closed against her he is in much distress as to her whereabouts. What Blanche parted from her husband, and gone no one knows whither here ao you think she will be, Harry ?" I cannot tell, Louie: I wish I did know, for we would have her here for a time. Your example might induce her to lay aside those notions con- cerning dress and pride which have so far been her ruin." Harry, if you don't mind we will go after tea and see if we can find her. I know all her female friends and probably she has gone to reside with one of them." So when their simple, yet tasty meal was over, Harry and Louie set out on their errand of .mercy. They were unsuccessful in finding her iii any of the places Louie thought she would have gone to. At length Harry, to Louie's surprise, went into the police-station, leaving her outside. He reasoned rightly, that Blanche was known to most of the police force, and some of them might know where she was now living. He was successful, and learnt that Blanche had, when she left her husband, gone to live with an old woman who had nursed her in infancy, and was occasionally em- ployed as a charwoman by her father. To the old woman's humble habitation Harry and Louie repaired, and found Blanche at home. She is in, for she goes out nowhere," said old Mrs Davies, in answer to Harry's inquiries, and has told me to let no one in to see her." Tell her it is her old friend Louie Randell who wishes to see her." The old woman (took Louie's message, and re- turned, bidding Louie to come in. Harry very considerately remained outside. Louie started at the appearance of Blanche. Her cheeks were pale, her hair in disorder, her eyes swollen with weeping, and ebe looked yery ill and woe begone, Oh! Louie, what will people think of me only four months married I wish 1 was dead." "Nay, Blanche, dear, don't talk so; but come home with us. Harry is outside, and we want you to come and stay with us until a, reconciliation can be brought about." "No, Louie, I had rather stay here." "But, Blanche, your husband knows not where you are, and it is right that he should know. You would not wish him to learn that you were living here." "We have parted, and that for ever." Nonsense, Blanche; don't you love your husband ?" Yes, I have only found out how much since I left him but lie said if I ran away he would not fetch me back." "Then you must go back of your own free will, Blanche, dear; for it will never do for two young lives like yours and Aylwin's to be separated." I'll never go back on such terms father will have me home again when he knows I have left my husband. Father will be glad to get me in the bar again, for his profits. I am told, have fallen off tremendously since I left him." Her eyes flashed with pride as she spoke, and Louie sorrowfully felt that while that pride was permanent, there was small chance of Blanche being brought to return to her husband. Have you written to you father, Blanche?" Yes, I wrote this afternoon." "Then come and stay with me till you get an answer,' said Louie, hoping to win her over to her plans. Why should I ? I am all right here; Mrs Davies cares for me as if I were her own child." But this is not a suitable place for you. You would not like it to be said by-and-bye, that you lived in Dispensary-court." Well, no and if it will not inconvenience you and Mr Seymour, I will come." He is waiting outside, and shall speak for himself." Louie called Harry in, and he repeated Louie's invitation, and in a few minutes a cab conveyed the three to the Seymours' neat abode. Blanche was charmed with the arrangement of the interior of the house. She examined the furniture with a critical eye, her gaze being most of all rivetted upon a grand piano, by Collard and Collard. That is a splendid instrument, Louie; how ever could you-but there, I am going to be rude." You meant to say how could we afford it. Well, I will tell you. Harry, there, flatters me with the notion that I am a good player, and knowing how fond I am of music, he was de- termined I should not be without the means of im- proving myself. We could not afford to pay cash down for such an instrument as that, so we had it from Thompson and Shackell's, on their three years' system." How much do you have to pay ?" It comes to about eight shillings per week fi ve guineas per quarter for three years is the amount we have agreed to pay." And you had no trouble in getting it?" None; but we pay a little more by the system under which we purchased it, than if we had paid cash down." Harry had retired into his sanctum, a little room upstairs, which had been fitted up specially as his study or library, and Blanche took advan- tage of his absence to enquire the amount of Harry's salary. He has but JE120 a year, and we live on £ 100, and save the odd ;C20. What! and pay five guineas per quarter out of that for this instrument?" Yes, my dear, it is easy enough." "Well, my husband paid the rent, and gave me £ 10 a month for housekeeping and my clothes, and I could not make it do." Just then Mr Davies brought a note for Blanche, and on reading it, Blanche, with a white face, exclaimed, Father will uot receive me. What shall I do?" (To be continued.)

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