Hide Articles List

11 articles on this Page

[No title]


In recognition of his public services during the past forty-four years, Alderman Henry Hart, who has thrice been Mayor of Canterbury, was presented witli-the honorary freedom of that city. A similar honour was conferred at Porte-mouth on Alderman Sir Wm. Pink, who wae mayor of the borough five times. OUR SHORT STORY. MY LOST LOVE. Aunt Helen remarked just now that I had "looked kirider peaked ever since I came from Barton's Corner, but to-day I looked downright sick and as white as a sheet." She had not seen the letter I took from the post-office-a. broad, glossy envelope, directed in a firm, manly hand. She did not see me go to my room and open it with shading fingers. I knew what would fall out—snowy wedding-cards tied with narrow white ribbon! To-day-even while I write-they are in the ohurch, the man I have loved with a life's devotion, and his bride. I must love him no more. I may pray for him and his wife; I may be their friend— true, earnest, sincere; but my love must die now —to-day. Connie thought it was very hard I should come to Aunt Helen's just when she was so busy with her trousseau but there were others to help her, and I—I could not bear it. Barton's Corner was but a tiny cluster of cottages when my, father and Hilman Crostey started the woollen mills there and made a l'orttiite. Each of them married the other's sister, and Constance Crosley and I were not only cousins, but companions from our cradles. When Fil man Crosley died, ten years ago, father wound ip the affairs of the firm, and sold the mills, retiring from business a rich man, but fretting for employ- ment. He built a magnificent home in what was then a flourishing town around the mills; but he did not live long, and when he died mamma. and Aunt I izzie Crosley, with mamma's brother—my Uncle Charlie Wilton—all lived together in the big house that was my father's last piece of worldly work. The mills were bought by a company whose foreman, Stephen Dempster, was brought into contact with our family during his business inter- course with father. Finding him a gentleman by birth, education, and manner, father made him welcome in our home circle. From the hour when Stephen Dempster's frank, noble face, and tall, manly figure first came before me I loved him. I did not define the pleasure it gave me to see him in those days; but I know now why I felt utterly happy in his presence, restless when he was absent. When father died Stephen Dempster became our close, intimate friend. Uncle Charlie was then in Scotland, and Stephen was as a son to my mother, as a dear brother to Connie and me. A dear brother! Even in my own heart I called him so then. And soon, in return for all he gave to us in time, sympathy, and attention, he began to demand from me the same, half-uneonsciously. He was alone in Barton's Corner, boarding with the clergyman, Mr. Paitersen, and I think, when once he found a friend to sympathise with him, it was an unutter- able relief to him to take that friend into full confidence. Connie used to yawn and walk off when we got stupid," as she called us when business affairs occupied our attentions but it interested me deeply to hear all the vexations and trials of Stephen Dempster's position. The mills were owned by a company, who, throwing all the work and all the responsibility upon the foreman, hindered and hampered him on every side. They are badly managed," Stephen said, with biting emphasis. Managed by a man who is expected to run them without expense. Our profits are falling off every month, because no part of them will be allowed for improvements. Oh he cried suddenly, if I only owned the mills! And then he added, in a low, confidential tone: But I shall probably be discharged. Thecori- pany are tired of their speculation, and are talking of selling out the whole concern." But they did not. and the whole concern, in spite of Stephen's efforts, became a failure. It was early in the fall when he came to tell me the tidings. To think they will fall to ruin, probably," he said, while I must go into the world again and look for work, leaving all I love here! I have hoped against hope, but it is all in vain." My heart-beats nearly choked me, but my voice did not falter as I said Yon may obtain the same position in a new company." No; for I bear the whole blame of the failure here. And if I did, what is my paltry salary to offer to a woman who has wealth ? I will never stand in the position of a fortune-hunter, even for my love's sake." But if she love you?" I said. "I have never asked—I will never ask that question till I can offer her at least a home of my own." Could I throw myself in his arms ? His love was in his voice and in his eyes. He loved deeply, earnestly, as he did all things else. I talked again of the mills. With two thousand pounds above the cost of purchase, Stephen was sure he could start the work again in good order, relying upon profits for further improvements and repairs, and the mills would be cold for a mere song. They are so thoroughly disgusted," Stephen said, speaking of the company, that they would catch at any offer. Nobody will buy. Money is not very plentiful, and any experienced person can see that there must be a heavy outlay at the outset." "Do you think six or seven thousand pounds would buy the mills?" I asked, almost afraid of derision, knowing how much they had cost to erect, and what handsome fortunes had been made in them. I am positive it would; but it might as well be ten millions, as far as I am concerned." Have you no property ? I asked. "A tumble-down house and barren farm in Aberdeenshirc,"he said, laughing—" a legacy from my grandmother." There was no more said of the mills, but I made ( it my business to go to Warminster, saw the lawyer who managed our property, and out of my abundant means opened the way to independence for the man I loved. I do not claim to have been disinterested or unselfish. I loved Stephen Demp- ster, and I believed he loved me. I thought to be repaid a thousandfold when he came to me, a prosperous man, and asked me to be his wife. My first happiness came when he brought to me the good news I knew was coming, but which was so totally unexpected to him, and claimed my usual sympathy and counsel. It seems incredible," he said. An offer of twelve thousand pounds for a farm I would have gladly taken five hundred for! Mr. Mason, a lawyer in Warminster, writes to me and says the money will be paid as soon as I sign the papers." "But," I said, hypocritically, "there may be minerals there. You may lose upon the sale." c, I'll take the risk. To own these mills, to run them on my own pian. to stay in Barton's Corner, I would sell all the coal in Scotland if I owned it." So the bargain was made, and all winter I lived in a fool's paradise. Every new plan was sub- mitted to me. I coaxed workmen to stay. I made suggestions founded upon memories of father's plans. And Connie, would flit about like a butter- fly in her pretty dresses, a,nd laugh at our gravity, or break in upon our serious consultations with her songs. It was the first proof of Stephen's brightening hopes that he began, for the first time, to follow Connie to the piano, to chat with her upon light, gay subjects, to compliment her in courtly language. And she would smile and blush, and tell me, in confidence, that really Stephen was wonderfully improved since he bought the mills. 0 Spring found me blind still. A lovely day in May tempted me to loiter in the garden, and I was dreaming of the future I had built with golden fingers and rosy hopes, when I heard Connie's voice in the summer-house. Connie almost lived in the garden, so I was not surprised; but a moment later Stephen spoke: "Why, my darling, it will be no news to your cousin. Months ago I told her of my love for you, my despair at my poverty; and because she has so often spoken hopefully of my success in wooing I have kept up a brave heart. But tell me again, Connie—my Cciinie-tliat you love me." I went to the house stunned. I gained the room Connie and I shared, and tried to realise it all. Stephen loves Connie! I kept repeating it over and over, but the words conveyed no meaning to my mind. Yet when Connie came to tell me her sweet secret and claim < my congratulations I could listen and talk, and even meet Stephen without betraying myself. Nobody thought it strange I should visit my Aunt Heien a hundred miles from home. I have often been here, vwd Connie's pouting at my resolution to stay tux October had no effect. I think inother g. essed my secret, but said nothing-only smoothed my way and talked away any appearance of oddity at my absence on the wedding day. If I were only sure Connie would make Stephen happy I could be more reconciled; but she is so silly, so shallow. What did he see in her? Her beautiful faee, her childlike manners, have won him; but will they ktop his love? Will lie not miss sympathy, and intelligent companionship ? I may not question. By this time these two I love-the.se two, I repeat—are married, and no one shall ever know whose unknown gift smoothed the way to their bridal. And I will go home to mother, knowing I shall meet no voice or face to remind me of my lost love and hope, and praying only that I may be ever tt true friend to Connie and Connie's husband.





[No title]


[No title]