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[PUBLISHED BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT.] PAYING THE PENALTY By FLORENCE HOPE, Author of "The Trials of Madge Moberley," "Against The Wind," "A Merciless Woman." "The Lords-hip of Love," &c., &a [COPYRIGHT.] I CHAPTER IV. I ONLY GLYN'S BROTHER. I ?. I "Its Mr. Claude come hisself, and 1*110,15 uaoie, got my lady's victoria for you to drive off in, think of that!" cried Lydia, rush- ing back to the little loom wliere Joan was wait- iug. But Fajmjr Bramieigh's niece shewed no surprise; she did not even appear elated by the attention, and calmly allowed Mr. Claude to assist it-r to the carriage. sinking back in the cushions with the air of a lady quite accus- tomed to such luxuries. "la that quite comfortable?" asked the young man. carefully arrartging the opposite seat for her foot to rest upon. "Quite, thank you it is very kind indeed of you, Mr. PE'hiin said Joan. Thcu, as he stepped in beside her: "Oh do not trouble to come too. I shall be all right now." she added I "Plea-s-o let me; dord deprive me of the pleasure. Miss Koppcl," said Claude. "To Hollow Farm, drive caiefully. not too fast, and avoid Stony-laji-f; go round by the road," ho ordered the c04chm.a.n, and they swung off through the wid2- gatos and down the wet road, where little poo's shone in the sun- light and the leafy branches of the tries dropped crystal tears. Joan was naturally ait hor eas?. for Claude Pelhmu was of the set she had been accustomed to. She had been among soldieis all her life, and though her mother was not born and bred a lady. Annie Bramleigh and Captain Keppel's wife were two vastly different women, for the farmer's daughter had been anxious not to nsak a her husband ashamed of her, and had been quick and eager to pick up the tone and manners of those about her, who for Beauty Keppel's sake had been kind in over-looking little faulte and blemishes in his country-bred wife. Joan, however, was like her faiher, had been much with him, and inheriting his good looks, had also inherited many of his qualities and characteristics. She was proud, inclined to be impulsive, and generous, but brooking no familiarity fiom her inferiors and sensitive to the core. "Tell mo about your acquaintance with my brother; fancy you knowing Glyn," said Claude, looking admiringiy down into the charming countenance of his companion. In-stantly the fair face flushed, the eyes wero kfweied, the long lashes touching the damask- tinted cheeks, and there was a alight tremor in Joaxxs voice an she made reply: "We met at one or two danoes, at a picnic, at teas—oh, you know the sort of thing that goes on in Malta. My father's regiment was (Rationed there, and it haa always been my home, until-until now, and last year the tenth Hussars came, and your brother, you know." "He's coming homo m)on-did you know that?" questioned Claude, wondering a little that Glyn had never mentioned this lovely girl in his letters. "Homo Here?" cried Joan, her heart thumping, hammering within her with a wild, mad gladness that for a moment made eve'ry- thing seem to be in a whirl before her eyes. Glyn-GIYrl coming back into her life, and •Don—soon—ah it was too good to be true, too wonderful a thing to happen. "Yc,,s, ho expects to get a short leav^ next month. We are all rather keen to see him again, dear old chap "Rather keen!" What wae ohe? Was she rather keen to look into Giyn's eo clasp his hand—to hear his voice-ah God why should she let her heart beat for him if she had been just a passing fancy, one girl out of many. She had not said good-bye to him; she did not know if he cared or nor "So you think I am like Glyn. Yes, I sup- pose we do resemble each other," she heard Claud saying, "ite'vei the Jess we are very differ- ent. I am a steady, hum drum country squire, while he is an officer in one of the erwok regi- menL,a gay young dog. so old Sir John Graves called him. And you—what do you ihruk of Glyn?" asked Claude carelessly. "He is oertainly like you—yes." replied Joan, turning half-round in the cushions to look up at her companion, "you are about the aame height, but he does not stoop in the slightest; his hair is fairer than yours, his eyes ane bluer, and-and you are different. I see now, though at first "Never mind all that. Which wiU you like best, I wonder? Miss Keppd, I don't want to be envious of Glyn's good fortune." Claude's voice dropped to a whisper of almost tenderness, bringing the ready colour to Joan's cheeks. "Your brother and I aie mere acquaintances —not even friends," she stammered. "I—I erhould hardly know him again," she added with a little stab of bitterness in her memory. "Is that all--then I am glad." was Uan&!o reply, as he leaned a little closer to the girl in her nest of cushions. The whole Mtm'tiQQ was gtely ?wcet to Joan. This man was so like Glyn. yet not Glyn-so kind, with the same caressingly pro- tective maimer that had fascinated her in his brother, the same delightfully aristocratic tone of voice and easy way of speaking, the some- no, not quite the same look in the eyes. No! DO 1 no! for he was not Glyn—only Glyn's brother. The dogs barked loudly as the carriage turned into the yard where the big brown barn with its thatched roof and huge doors stood on the right, and the faimhouse and white wooden gate on the left facing it. There was no drive up to the house door, so the carriage had to stop at the garden gate, and the dogs leaped from their bennela. straining at their chains and barking furiously at the intruders, It was six o'clock, tea time at Hollow Farm when Mr. Bramleigh and his son were- accus- tomed to sit down to a meal of tbick bread and bi» iter. harvest loaves, and toasted Norfolk dumplings swinuning in butter, strong tea that the nervous would have shuddered a4, but that old Judith considered the best of beverages to wet before her master and his son. They had not become alarmed at Joan's ab- sence—indeed, had almost for the moment for- gotten her, and without reflection had seated themselves at the tea. table ready for their meal with the keen appetites of men. who have worked in the open air. But as the farmer lifted the teapot there came the light roll of carriage wheels, and Jim started up to look out of the window that the red glow of suUM6 was ilknninating. "It a one of the Hall carriages, father. What do they want calling here to-day?" he, drawing in his head. '"Pethaps it's my lady doing littie miss a kindness in making her welcome, and that re- minds me, where is the Jaes?" said the farmer. "Isn't obe in? I saw her last going down the apple tree walk hours ago. Aren't you going out to see who it is from the Hall, father?" "Yes, my lad, I'm goin' replied the old man, rising with a little stiffness from the arm- chair with its cushioned seat tied on with black tape. But as he spoke voices came through the open window, a girfs, sweet, clear and low, aad a man's answering her in a rich, careening tone. "It's the young squire, and—the girl," said Jim, with a scowl on his face," "she's lost no he s lost no time," he muttered angrily. "W- Joan-,our Jamie?" oried the fanner, hurrying out to the door. "Aye, aye, aye; but what's the rneanini o' this? he demanded, drawing his bushy grey eyebrowB together, as he beheld his niece coming along the path with stow, painful step, leaning heavily on the young squire's arm. "It means that Miss Keppol tripped over a rabbit hole in the wood. I happened to be at the tower gossiping with Gypsy Jane, and so was abl-o to get a carriage to bring your niece home, Mr. Bramleigit," said Claude. "What, is she hurt, poor laasfe?" replied the farmer, With solicitude. "Only a slight sprain, unole, in a day or two it will be all right, I am sum; but it aches now, and I suppose 1 shall have to keep my foot up for a little time, said Joan, as she Unpad painfully into the wide. stone box, the walk of which were hung with guns of all descriptions, and other implements. "Let me help you into the sitting-room, where there is a sofa," said Claude, putting an arm round her slander figure. In the shadow of the doorway stood Jim Bramleigh. looking at them both, the fair aris- tooratic young squire and Joan, his cousin, whose touch had thrilled him so oddly, and something like joalousy stirred in his heart. Joan's eyes were lifted to the dark figure on the threshhokl, and at that moment the words of Gyps-y Jane flashed to her mind. "Beware of the dark man, the main with the evil eyes: he'll bring you nothing but gri-ef-riotbing but haini-- beware t" CHAPTER V. A TRUCE. Joaji was a fearless girl, save for her weak terror of thunderstorms, amd for the first time in her life she felt the same nervousness, that amounted to fear, of Jim Bramleigh. Those fierce, dark eyes under their thick, hairy brows that glowered at her and her companion as they paused on the threshold made her s hiver and think of those prophetic words of the old gypsy's that became a sort of haunting horror to her sensitive fancy. "Halloa, Brainleigh, I've broulght Mu« Kep pel back. She has sprained her ankle, you see. There's a sofa in there, isn't there, for her to rest on?" said Claude Pelhaan, in his easy way. "A •■xjfa? Yes, for a wonder we have that luxury, though I doubt if there is a cushion on it," replied Jim, standing ad do for them to pass into the room. "Oh, we've plenty of cushions; just fetch them from the carriage, there's a good fellow," said Pel ham, without a glance up into the dark face of the surly young fanner. "Fctoo and e-arry for him. Not if 1 know it," said Jim to himself, and going out into the hall called to old Judith. "Mbos Joan has hurt her foot and has to lie on the sofa. Just fetch amne- culhiotic, from the hall carriage that's at the gate," he said. "Fetch oumi-Licawt And why must I be called from my work to wait on a strong young lass Why don't you fetch 'em yourself, Master Jim ?, said the old woman, pulling down her sleeve9 ove-r her rough red arms. "Because I don't choose. Do as I tell you!" ordered the young master angrily. The sofa, was narrow and hard and of harae-hair material, slippery and uneasy. There were splits where the fibrous stuff peeped through, and a stiff bolster for the head to rest upon. "Not very wnfortablc, I am afraid," re- marked Claude, with a rueful gliwioo at Joan's face. "The cushions will make it better. Thank you so much for offering them. Dh, dear, what shall 1 do lying up here all day?" said the girl, feeling an intense pity for her- aelf. "My sister inust come and see you, and I'll oome too, if I may. Will you let me?" answered Claude, that eager look in his eyes that reminded Joan more than anything else about him of Glyn, h.i6 brother. "Of course, 1 shall be very glad to see any- one in my loneliness," she replied. "That does not sound very CK)-Mplimentary- anyone. Ah, here are the cushions at last. Thank you, Jemima," as the old woman banged them down at the foot of the sofa, almost upon Joan's bad ankle. "Take care. What are you dong?" said Clauds, sharply. "My name ain't Jemima, as you ought to know by now, Mr. Claude," saAd the servant as she turned to go. "Isn't it? I'm sorry. I declare if it hasn't slipped my memory; but Jemima's a very good name. What is the matter with it?" answered Pel ham, But the door had dosed behind the peppery old dame, who bustled back to her kitchen more than ever aggrieved at the coming of Joan. Then Mr. Bramleigh returned after having refreshed the coachman with a draught of h's homebrewed beer, and coming to Joan's side was full of amxious enquiries. "I'll tell you whaX, Mr. Bramleigh. I'll go round by the village and send up Winston. He'd better have a look at Miss Koppel's ankle and give his advice. Gypsy Jane is all very ewe]), but she is not a certificated doctor," said Claude as he rose to leave. "Thank you, Mr. Claude, thank you, air. I'd be much obliged, and I'm sure my niece and myself arc most grateful for all the trouble you've taken, and sorry to have to put you out, sir," said the fairmer, apologetically. "Not at all, Bramleigh, and remember, please, that anything we can do for MOSB Keppel we shall be only too pleased to do. I'll be off then to see Winston. Good day," said Claude, heartily g-rasping the farmer's hand. Then he turned to Joan and took the liittie white hand in his clasp, linger ing over the procure he gave it. "Gocd-bye—no, not bood-bye, only au re- voir. I shai.1 oall to-morrow, and hope to find you in lees pain. Shte smiled her thanks arid watched him from the room wishing that he had not to leave her to the companionship of her cousin, who entered at another door leading into the back premises aa Pelham left by the other. "So you've oooti struck up with the young eqire?" Jim with his haixte thrust deep into his trousers pockets. "Yes, through an accident, he has been very kind, I don't know what I should have done without his assistaroe," replied Joan, trying to alter the position of a cushion at her back tbat had slipped down too low; in moving it she let it tumble on to the floor. Of course Jim had to pick it up and handed it to her awkwardly. "Put it behind my shoulders, wall you?" sard Joan, who was accustomed to b-el n g w-mited on. The young man's face reddened, his clumsy hands fumbled all: the cushion and trembled as they inadvertently touched the nape of his cousin's neck, but once again came that odd thrill that, was so new and so strangely delicious, making the blood rush to his head amd giving him a wild, ewtft longing, a rap- turous desire. "Thank you, that will do," said Joan, aha-inking from the accidental touch of bboee coarse, brown hands. Jim stood staring down on her, noticing the delicate curves of her body, her fine, Vernier Iimi*, her little white hands, her arched throat and soft pink and white akin, and the veil of dark laahes that swept her cheeks She was some- thiing so different, so vastly different, from any other girls with whom he had come in contact, and tbexugh he did not want her there under his roof, she fascinated his senses, stirred them 8B they had never been stirred before, and made has pulses throb tumultously. And Joan was fchnbking thoughts that came rapidly to her brain. "I must mafae friends with this boor: he i is my cousin, I cannot live at enmity with him while I dwell under Wis roof. I muflfc conquer this aversion; we must at least be friendly for the sake of peace." The fringe of her lashes lifted and her lovely eyes ra/sed pleadingly to Jim's that were fixed upon her beauty. Jim," she said in a low gentle voice, "do you hate me very much for coming and ng a bother in your home?" He looked astonished at her words. "Who told you I hated you coming, who's been making mischief?" he demanded roughly. No one, but I can guess, and I'm sorry, Jim, I want you to make the best of a bad job. I am the bad job, please make the best of me," said Joan. "It's not the plam for you here, it's that tirat- bothers me, you are not like us, although you aje a relation, you'll never put up with things you are not used to. Why as soon as I see the young squire dangting aboat you, I knew that he was your sort, not such as mo; that's the bother, do you understand?" said Jim thrusting hi6 hands still deeper down in his pockets and turning his faoe away from Joan to staje mcodily out of the window. "Yes, I understand—quite," said Joan1 softly, "but, Jim, if you are nice to me 1 shall get a to aid that is strange to me hero; won't you try to Uke me and help me a bit?" The girl was in earnest, aha wontad to get over her abeinkmg and fear of thig I fellow with the handsome but repellant face, and the only way to do this, she thought, &nd conquer herself and him, was to use her womanly tact and persuasion, and to charm even boorish Jim Bramletgh. "Try to like you, did you say? Well, 1 don't suppose there'll be much trying needed if you want me to like you. He tinmed round abruptly a.nd dragging out a chair sat down facing her. "How am I to be nice to you? teach me, Joan, and I'll try to learn," he aaid. She laughed pleasantly. "Will you let me? You won't be angry with me if I tell you little things youshoudn't do before a lady; just trifles, do'nt you know, that gentlemen den't do." "But I'm not a gentleman," said Jim. "Oh, but. you can soon learn to be one, at, lezist in manners," replied Joan. "What have I done wrong "Oh, nothing particular, I'll tell you next time you (ail in manners, only promise me not to glare a.nd be disagreeable." "I'll try not to. Look here, Joan, I promise to do my ocost. It's true I didn't want you but now yorve come, well, I don't think I exactly want you to go, do you see ?" "No? That's funny isn't it? Jim, I'm dying for some tea, will you polir me out a cup It was time Joan thought to change the subject; the bear was subdued, she might, after all, be al.,Ip to lead him. Jim lifted the brown earthenware tea-pot and poured some of the dark fluid into a cup. "I don't think I can drink that, it's been standing too long; can't I have fresh made?" a-sked Joan. Fresh te.a.! What on earth would Judith say, thought Jim, looking doubtfully at the poureii-citt tea in the cup. "Oh, then., never mind, give it me; it may not be so bad," cried Joan, but Jim was half- way across the room with the. teapot in his hand. He had resolved to make freeh tea. himself for hits cousin, and not incur the wratii of old Judith. So Joan had conquered. (TJ be continued.)