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[PUBLISHED BY SPECIAL AHBAIRORABST. ] THE GIRLS OF THE HOUSE, By F. FRANKFORT MOORE. Author of "A Whirlwind Harvest," "I Forbid the Boons," &c. &c. [COPYBIGHT.] I CHAPTER XXVIII. I Before the departure of the 11.42 train for Husbandman's Selwood on Saturday Christopher Wakefield Foxcroft, the author of "Owls and Cherubs"—he was always fond of Shakesperian titles, they were so obscure—found out that his nev,- novel had caught the public fancy, though of course a few days must still pass, his publisher told him, before he could say if the demand for the book would continue. It was plain, however, that if the demand were suddenly to come to an end the blame for such a contretemps would not have to be attributed to its treatment by the critics; for they were for the most part extremely prompt in their reviews, and there was not a re- •VKW that did not stimulate the curiosity of practical book buyers. Some abused the author for not having made all his characters sympathetic; and the public knew by this that there was no lame child in the book, and rejoiced accordingly. Others said that the book was full of epigrams, but that epigrams never yet made a book & per- manent success and the public knew by this that the book was full of epigrams, and bought it. But no class of reviewer was so hard on it as to call it an epoch-making book; and the author was giad, for he haa had a sufficient experience of the dulness of epoch-making books to hope that he would never be accused of producing one of them. The epoch-making books which were in his mind had, after making the epoch, quietly died; 110 the grub after weaving its cocoon about itaelf has no further part in the life of the world around it. The epoch-making grubs of Grub-street after one such achievement usually disappear from view. Chris found his reviews encouraging; but it was only when his friend Professor Seyder, who met him at 11.41 at Victoria Station, gave him his hand, saying: "I have read 'Owls and Cherubs.' It is an admirable book," that he realised that he had scored a success. It so happened that Professor Seyder, in ad- dition to knowing more than any living man on all scientific subjects known to men, knew a good deal more of novels—French and English-than any living woman; and upon several occasions he had won a reputation for literary acumen for the "Morning's Wing" by prophesying a success for certain books which Chris had sent to him for re- view, and which had certainly become notable suc- cesses. The reviewer who can "spot a winner" in fiction is, of course, never regarded with the same interest as is the sporting editor who does the same in. regard to a race, but still he commands a certain amount of respect within a limited circle and Chris had ample confidence in his friend's judgment, even though he did praise "Owls and Cherubs." And it turned out that what Chris had said about spring being in the country was perfectly true. The train ran through bright green hedge- rows, and there was some warmth in the air at last. He called his friend's attention to these facts before telling him exactly why he had desired his company in the region of Husbandman's Selwood. He was anxious to convince him that even if he might be asked to contribute to the solution of the question of the geology of Drellincourt Farm, he would still benefit by a couple of days spent among hedgerows and within sight of lambs that were really white as to their fleece. He narrated all his experiences and his sus- picions to his friend Seyder, and Seyder said, "The chances are that there is nothing worth talking about in this particular farm>-that this fellow Mellor only wants to be thought a little more of a country gentleman: a gentleman farmer —that title has a good old English ring about it. He may want to be alluded to as a typical English yeoman—the yeoman has come to the front lately." "He has gone to the front at any rate, and that's something," said Chris. "Then you think that Mellor's vanity is at the bottom of the whole busi- ness—that he gave his surveyor instructions to avoid so much as glancing at the farm buildings, that he brought J evons down to the place and sent him back with a bagful of the soil, solely to gratify his vanity?" "There is nothing so useful to a really practical man as imagination," said Professor Seyder. "That is why I do my best to encourage my students to read all the novels they can lay their bauds on. The most practical men that the world lias ever known have been dreamers. "You think that Mellor is dreaming of being thought the ideal English country gentleman?" "I mean that your imaginative mind will cause you to be more than a match for Mellor, with all his business cleverness, if he has really hit upon a good thing in this farm. You wisely disregard the whisper of science that the chances of his having hit upon a good thing in this farm are about ten thousand to one." "Situated as I am I cannot afford to neglect even that one chance out of the ten thousand," said Chris. "Man, just think what I should suffer if it turned out that-that-well, coal, I suppose, is out of the question. Is iron equally out of the question?"" "Only a trifle more so, said Seyder. "Never mind, you have acted in accordance with the dic- tates of your imagination, and no one who does that can be far wrong." In the aftfernoon Chris and his friend trudged through the bright green lanes made musical by the blackbird and the thrush, across bright green meadows under blue skies made musical with the lark, to Drellincourt Farm. "Neither coal nor iron," said the man of science when they had walked across a few of the fields. "Nothing but the usual poor soil of an exhausted farm. But I'll go over the whole thousand acres to satisfy you—and myself. I am on the side of the angels, for angels are the product of the im- agination." Chris was dumb. There was something of a droop about his head. He was wondering if he should walk on to Drellincourt Station, to send the telegram to Mr. Vickers asking him to call upon the Miss Selwoods and state that he, Chris, was strongly in favour of accepting Mellor's terms, when his companion stopped with the dead suddenness of a dog that runs its nose up against a dead wall of scent, so to speak. He had reached the grey seam which had ar- rested the attention of Mr. Mellor's surveyor. "'What's the matter?" asked Chris. "What are you looking at there?" There was a long interval before the man of science spoke. He stooped down and lifted a hand- ful of the soil and allowed it to run through his fingers. Then he laughed loud and long. "How much did Mellor offer for the farm?" he asked at last. "Twenty-five thousand pounds,M replied Chris. "Do you mean to say that my surmise- "And this seam crosses three fields and then spreads out like a fan-I can trace it across that rising ground-half a mile of it! Foxcroft, the man of imagination is worth a millionaire without it. We are standing beside the richest vein of pyrotid in England." "Pyrotid—I have heard the name, but at this moment I forget in what connection," faltered Chris. "Surely even a newspaper man has heard of pyrotid. Pyrotid is one oi the most recent dis- coveries of one of our youngest geologists. It is the sand which has solved the problem of the wood pavement. Applied to the blocks it not only pre- serves the wood from decay, it gives the surface a roughness which increases in damp—just when it is most needed-and it sells for something like four pounds a ton. It was thought that there was onlV one seam of it in England." "And how many tons of it are about us?" "Probably a hundred and fifty thousand—pos- sibly a million. We are standing on the richest soil in England at the present moment, and the man of imagination has brought the price of pvrotid down with a rush from four pounds a ton to three pounds ten shillings." "1 should like to kick Mellor over every acre of the farm," said Chris simply. And that was the aspiration which remained uppermost with him for several hours. It remained with him all the time he continued walking with his friend bver the barren place of untold riches, and his friend made him acquainted with the incident of the discovery of the remark- able properties of the soil which had prevented the satisfactory cultivation of any form of cereal upon it But before he had returned to the Rectory, the impulse to commit an assault upon the person of M" Mellor had given place to a great longing to get bv the side of those two girls who had faced the ruin of their house so bravely and had shewn no intention of resigning themselves to- the dis- aster which had come upon them. They had boldly thrown down the gauntlet to Fate, and they had conquered in the first encounter in the campaign. The detestable virtue of resignation was not their inheritance, and it now seemed as. if Fate had ap- plied to him for quarter. He felt that he would like to take the first train to London to have the joy of telling them that their house was safe— that thev had saved it by their forethought. He believed in his own capacity to prove to Muriel at any rate, that it was her forethought, in perceiving that the man whom she had promised to marry was the man to trust in spite of the fact that no daughter of her house had ever promised to marry a. man in so humble a position in life as that which he occupied, which had averted the disaster and brought prosperity to Selwood. Of course it was plain that if she had agreed to marry one of the men who had asked her-two of them were the heads of important families, and the third was even a more distinguished person; he had re- cently turned his brewery into a company, and had out of the generosity of his heart far over- capitalised it-Drellincourt Farm would have been sold to Mellor for twenty-five thousand pounds. But whether or not Muriel could be brought to took upon herself as the one who had been far- seeing enough to save the house of Sejwood, he would have the satisfaction of seeing her face the impending prosperity, and though he was not sure if she would face it with the same resolution aa she bad shewn in regard to the impending dis- aster, he was certain that it would be the greatest asteor, f his life to be the bearer of the tidings to her. jov Before his father's excellent sermon had come to a legitimate conclusion the next day people said it was so nice to see that the wickedness of London had left no impression upon the rector's son, for this was the second Sunday in succession on which he had come down to hear his father preach- Chris had come to perceive that it would not do for him to be precipitate in this matter. He would onlv be acting wisely were he to obtain further advice respecting the value of pyrotid on his re- turn to town, before going with the good news to llig daughters of Selwood. t He returned to town wi<th his friend on Sunday evening, and drove at once to th. office of the "Morning's Wing," where he learned that a gentle- man had called to see him a quarter of an hour before. He had left his card with a message written on it. He opened the envelope in which the card was enclosed, and then he lay back in his chair and laughed as he had never laughed before; for he read on the card the name of Mr. Mellor, and on the reverse the words, "Will return to see Mr. Foxcroft at 11 p.m." Chris laughed, and gave instructions for the re- ception of the man. He arrived at eleven-fire. He had begun to speak before he had quite entered the room, ignoring Chris's well-simulated obsequiousness in finding him a chair-he was ac- customed to such obsequiousness. It was his privilege to ignore it. "Vickers tells me that my friend Selwood has appointed you a sort of trustee for his, estate, and that you and his daughters have the power to de- cide all matters connected with it," said Mr. Mellor-and he had said so much before he had removed his hat. "Well, I want to have an answer akout that farm to-night," he continued without a pause. "I'm not accustomed, let me tell you, to this shilly-shally, sir. If you don't want to sell the farm just tell me so. There is no particular scarcity of farms to be sold in England just now." Then he stopped. Chris began to fear that the discussion might collapse at the outset. And he did not wa n tm that to happen: he was anxious to study Mr. Mellor for literary purposes. "I hope you have not been inconvenienced, Mr. 2?ellor," he said. "But I am sure that, as a business man, you will mak e some allowance for men like myself." "I have made allowances enough, my good fel- low," said Mr. Mellor through pursed-out lips. "Why should I make any concessions to you, I should like to know?" "Well, you see, I have nev?r been in a position of so much responsibility before," said Chris, and I feel that I should do the beat for Colonel Sel- wood. If I were to sanction the sale of the farm at a lower price than its full value I should never forgive myself." "Didn t Vickers tell you that I had offered twenty-five thousand for it, eh?" said Mellor. "Didn't he tell you that that was nearly double what anyone else would offer for it?" "Well, I admit that Mr. Vickers thought your offer a handsome one," said Chris. "Still 11 "Still—still what? Do you fancy that you can squeeze another thousand out of me, my good fellow? Do you fancy that you are cleverer than the lawyer to the family, who knows that after that blessed land had ruined two generations of farmers, Selwood himself took it in hand and dropped twelve thousand over it ? You think that because I'm Mellor you can squeeze me. You—you—squeeze me Do you, a rational man, think that I'm a good mark. for the blackmailer, Mr. Foxcroft?" Here Mr. Mellor put his hat very firmly on his head, and turned toward the door. "No, no, Mr. Mellor, I assure you; I should never think that you would submit to any form of blackmail," said Chris. "Well, it looks very like as if blackmail was on your mind," said Mellor, without taking off his hat. "I don't want Drellincourt Fajpn particu- larly only it's handy, and-well, I admit that I like having a tussle with something that has beaten other chaps. You've heard of my thoroughbred Roysterer-he killed two grooms and a stable boy. That's why I bought him. He hasn't killed me yet. He eats lumps of sugar out of my hand." "Beet or cane sugar, Mr. Mellor?" asked Chris in the tone of one intensely interested. Mr. Mellor did not understand what he meant. "Beet or cane-beet or- he muttered. "You may not be aware, Mr. Mellor," said Chris, "that beet sugar is conducive to gout—or some symptoms of gout, such as eczema. But cane "I didn't come here to talk about sugar, my good fellow," said Mellor. "Well, I suppose I may con- sider the matter as settled at last. But, mind you, if you don't want to take twenty-five thousand for the farm, just say so at once, and I'll wire my man to secure a big thing next my own place." "Will you tell me frankly, Mr. Mellor, that you believe that you are offering the full value for Drellincourt Farm?" asked Chris, playing with a pen. "Good Lord, sir," cried Mellor without a moment's hesitation, "I give you my sacred word that I'm offering some thousands of pounds— maybe ten thousand-more than the full value of the farm." "I want to do the best for the family, Mr. Mellor-you see that I do. Can I not persuade you to do something in advance of your offer?" asked Chris. "Look here, sir," said Melior, leaning towards him. "If you don't wish to cell the farm for the money I have offered just say so at once. It would please me—it would-I give you my word it would please me to hear you refuse." 1 can hardly resist your appeal, Mr. Mellor. I should be very glad to do something to please you," said Chris. *'But you will shew some self- denial, I am sure; you would see your way to make some advance upon twenty-five thousand." "Not a—Hang it all! Selwood is a decent chap, and he is fighting for the Empire," cried Mellor. Hang it all! I'm not the sort of man to haggle over a pound or two in a matter that concerns a soldier of the Queen. I'll make it guineas, my man." Chris did not want to see anything more of Mellor. His assumption of the air of a patron in regard to the man whom he was doing his best to rob-whom he had already robbed-though after all it was only business—was enough for Chris, avaricious though he was on all questions of copy for future use. He shook his head sadly, after he had worked out a sum on a piece of paper, saying: I'm afraid that I could not sanction the sale of the farm for twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty pounds, Mr. Mellor." "Then you may keep it and be hanged to you!" cried Mellor, going to the door. But before he had turaed the handle, he looked round. I want to do something for Selwood," he said, "what is the figure that's in your mind, my good fellow?" If you say two hundred and fifty thousand pounds I'll consider your offer, but without pre- judice," said Chris. Mr. Mellor stared at him for a moment from the door. Then he walked across the room and stood in front of Chris's desk. Two hundred and—Are you mad!—Are you- oh, Jevons is a scoundrel!—-J evons has given me away!" said Mellor in the toce of a man who muses. "No," said Chris. You gave yourself away, my good Mr. Mellor; and now please take your- self away as quickly as possible. You are a poor sort of person, after all, Mr. Mellor. You are possibly the leading exponent of the cult of swagger and bounce and hustle, but you are a poor sort of person all the same. Now, be off with you." Then Mr. Mellor shewed himself to be a greater foof even than Chris took him to be; and he glanced at the door, and then leant over the desk, saying: "Mr. Foxcrsffc, you are the cleverest man I have met in my life. I am sure you are clever enough to look at this business from a strictly business stand point. You don't want to spend the rest of your life writing for a measley news- paper. Sixty thousand pounds in your hand to- day would give you, at four per cent. His voice had sunk to a whisper. In a whisper Chris interrupted him. H'sh, for heaven's sake!" he said. "Do you suggest that I should stand in with you in this transaction ?" Sixty thousand pound?—I'll give you my cheque on the spot-before I get the title deeds. If we float Drellincourt Farm-that is the only condition. Sixty thousand! You need never see an ink-bottle again. You'll stand in with us?" Then Chris got up from his chair and walked stealthily to the door, which he opened very gently. He looked up and down the passage on to the stone stairs at the further end. Then he returned to the room. All his old impulse to kick Mr. Mellor came back to him. But he resisted that impulse manfully. All that he did was to leave the door open and point to it, as if he feared that Mr. Mellor might not know his way from the desk to the door. "Look here," said Mr. Mellor, "you're no fool. I'll say seventy thousand." Still Chris managed to crush down his kicking impulse. He merely made a rush at Mr. Mellor, and knocked his hat off into the passage, and then gave it a kick that sent it down the stone staircase. Mr. Mellor was not the man to take so gross an insult without an attempt at retaliation- Meekness was not one of his attributes. He had followed his hat in a hurry for a few steps along the corridor, but as soon as his hat had cleared the edge of the staircase he saw the futility of trying to prevent a disaster to it. Then he turned with clenched hands and livid face to Chris. You-you-you young-Sir. you're no gentle- man!" creid Mr. Mellor, while he retreated. Chris heard him descend the stairs, and when he got to the first lobby, explain to the member of the staff who had picked up the hat that he had unfortunately hit it against the wire netting I 1 at the gas bracket. CHAPTER XXIX. In spite of the opinion given by Professor Seyder as to the properties to be found in the soil of a great portion of Drellincourt Farm-in spite also of the fact that Mr. Mellor had ad- mitted in his own way that his views of the value of the farm agreed (approximately) with those held by Professor Seyder, Chris Foxcroft felt that he could not be over-cautious in this par- ticular matter. He had proved to his own satis- faction that he was strong enough to control his impulses in regard to Mr. Mellor, and he had confidence that he would be able to control his longing to go to Muriel and Joan in order to tell them that the House of Selwood had been saved from disaster. What a. terrible thing it would be if he were to go to them with his story and afterwards find out that Drellincourt Farm was, after all, no more valuable than the head bailiff believed it to be! To be sure, Mellor had founded his opinion on the judgment of his two surveyors and Mr. Jevons —the last-named being one of the greatest authorities in England—while he himself had got the opinion of an eminent man of science. Still he was not entirely satisfied. He had brought up to town with him a bottleful of the grey vein, and he went boldly with it to the laboratory of the man who had discovered the properties of pyrotid, fortified by a letter from Professor Seyder. He was unfortunate enough not to find the man at his laboratory at the School of Science; but leaving his letter of introduction and a card, hoping that he might be fortunate enough to see him in an hour, he took the train to the Temple and sought Mr. Vickers in Lineoln's Inn Fields. He was fortunate enough to find him in his room, to which he was admitted after a word or two with the clerk who never had told a lie. Mr. Vickers was frigid. "I have just received a letter from Mr. Mellor in which he formally withdraws his offer, Mr. Foxcroft," said he. Chris smiled, saying: "Oh, really! Does he give any reason for this shilly-shally ?" Mr. Vickers Stared at the speaker pretty much as old Mr. Hardcastle must have stared at young Marlow when the latter said he would like to glance at the menu of supper. Brazen-faced impudence!" was the translation of the stare, and Chris knew it. He was weak enough to long for a victory over Mr. Vickers of the type of that which he had won over Mr. Mellor. Mr. Foxcroft, I must say that it is by your shilly-shallying-your unaccountable shilly-shally- I ing—the sale of this farm at a price far over its market value has been lost-lost to the family whose interests you profess to have at heart," said Mr. Vickers. Perhaps another purchaser may be found for it, Mr. Vickers," said he with the air of a penitent. The fact is that I felt sure that Mellor's threat to withdraw his offer was only bluff." Only bluff-only-Mr. Foxcroft, I feared from the outset that you did not understand business. I hope that in these circumstances you will not think it necessary to interfere should another opportunity occur of disposing of the farm." I am sorry that I can give no such promise to you, Mr. Vickers. Have you had any other offers for the farm?" To my amazement-but it is only a remark- able coincidence, nothing is likely to come of it- I have received three inquiries regarding it this morning," said Mr. Vickers. But I really must beg of you, Mr. Foxcroft, to allow me to "Three inquiries—three?" said Chris, musingly. Here was a development which he had not fore- seen. Suddenly a thought seemed to strike him. Good heavens!" he cried, "they have all given him away-all Mellor's satellites have given him away. Two of the applications came from Mellor's surveyors and the third from Jevons—is not that so, Mr. Vickers?" so, Undoubtedly two of the letters come from firms of land surveyors who have clients ready to treat for the farm," replied Mr. Vickers. And the third: Yes, I believe the name is Jevons. But do not go away with the idea than any one of them will offer the price Mr. Mellor suggested, Mr. Foxcroft." My dear Mr. Vickers, there is not one of them who would not be glad to multiply Mr. Mellor's offer by ten. I could have sold the farm to Mellor when he called on me last night for a hundred and fifty thousand pounds." Mr. Vickers stared again and then glanced toward the fender. He plainly wished to see that the poker was within easy reaoh. "Mr. Vickers, have you heard of pyrotid?" in- quired Chris, confidentially. Sir," said Mr. Vickers with dignity, I am not a betting man." It is not the name of a horse, but of a singular mineral," said Chris. It is worth four pounds a ton, and there are two hundred thousand tons of it on Drellincourt Farm. I found that out by the aid of a little shilly-shallying; but I admit that I got my cue regarding its existence from Mellor, for, Mr. Vickers, in the profession to which I belong, it is absolutely necessary for one to understand men." I must ask you to be explicit, Mr. Foxcroft," said the solioitor, with only a shade of nervous- ness in his tone. "I owe you an apology," said Chris. Yes, I will be explicit." And he was explicit. So was the discoverer of the properties of pyrotid when Chris waited upon him at the hour he had suggested. The contents of the bottle which Chris had left with him contained, as he proved by a simple experiment that completely baffled Chris to follow, a large percentage of pure pyrotid, and if anyone had five thousand tons of it, Colonel Waters, the head of the Wood Paving Syndicate, would buy it at the rate of four pounds one shilling and ninepence a ton, at the pit's mouth. His last doubt vanished into the odour of pot pourri—perhaps, after all, it was not really pot pourri-that pervaded the laboratory. He called a hansom-he felt that he might indulge in the luxurious peril of a hansom upon this occasion—and drove to Lady Humber's house; it was close upon five o'clock, so that he knew he had a very good chance of finding Muriel and her sister at tea. He ran upstairs to the miniature drawing-room, and found Muriel alone there. She was darning a rent in her painting blouse. Chris stood opposite the garment that bore the honourable stains of her work, and then he looked at the beautiful girl-the daughter of the historic house who had promised to love him—and then he did a queer thing; for he fell into the nearest chair, and putting his hands before his face, he wept as he had not wept for over twenty years. He had made a vainglorious boast in the presence of Mr. Vickers of his knowledge of men; but he knew nothing of his own heart and its workings. She was kneeling at his side in a moment, putting an arm about him. "What is the matter, dearest Chris?" she whispered, "Tell me the worst. It cannot be bad, dear; are we not together?" i I It is not the worst-it is the best," he cried. It is the best news that I bring-and yet-oh, it was too pathetic to see you-you-working at that-tha--like a sempstress, and all the time Selwood is empty—waiting for you." She was puzzled. You have overworked yourself; you are nervous. You must come with us to the theatre to-night. Mr. Meadows willinsist on it when he sees in what condition you ate. Here comes Joan. She will persuade you." Am I to come in?" said Joan. "Don't have me if you have something to talk about." Come in, Joan; old Chris has brought us some good news and-" Oh, Chris; he has been made a general; papa has been appointed to a brigade," cried Joan. Chris mopped away his tears. He sprang from his chair and walked to the window and looked out. The girls stood silent in the middle of the room. A maid entered with tray and teacups. She saw Miss Selwood's young man-that was naturally how he was referred to in the ancillary department-with his back to the young ladies. "A tiff!" thought the maid as she left the silent room. In a minute or two he had pulled himself to- gether. He went to the girls with a hand out- stretched to each. He kissed each of them. I am a bit of a fool," he said, as though he were generalising on the act: as though he were saying, "Any man who kisses two girls at once is a bit of a fool." You are overstrung, dear old Chris; we know that your novel is a great success-everyone says so," cried Joan soothingly, as one who is wise soothes one who is a fool. You will be betier when you have had a cup of tea," said Muriel. "It is not the novel-it is Selwood!" said he. Selwood is safe. Selwood is waiting for you. Your money troubles are at an end. Every penny of the mortgages can be paid off, and there will still be thousands left." Do take a cup of tea," said Muriel. And one of the cream cakes; they are hot this evening, for a wonder," said Joan. "Yes; it sounds like nonsense, doesn't it? Selwood free; out of pawn; but it is a fact," said Chris. Of course I'll have a cup of tea and one of the cream cakes. Whether that will con- vince you of my sanity or insanity I do not venture to say. No, on second thoughts, I'll not touch meat or drink—that's the correct wording of the old vow-until I tell you all there is to be told. It did not take him long to tell the story of the discovery of the pyrotid; only he tried to make them believe that it was by the merest chance that he had brought his friend Professor Seyder for a walk over Drellincourt Farm. He did not succeed in convincing them on this point. They knew perfectly well that they owed the discovery to him. But they were not the less glad on this account. They took the news of their good fortune as calmly as they had taken the news of their disaster. disa1s!11 have to finish the panels in Mr. Meadows's drawing-room," said Muriel seriously, "but I don't think that I shall accept any more orders." "I should think not," said Joan. "I frankly admit that I hate working for a living. Disci- pline? I detest discipline." But you were not afraid to face it when there was a need-that will be remembered against you as long as you live," said Chris. Oh, it is only a variation of Polonius's advice to his son," cried Joan. "Beware the entrance to a a workshop, but being in't—' well, work all you know. Oh, dear Chris, you have saved us- you have saved Selwood." Nonsense!" said he. "Do you mean to suggest that it was I who mixed the pyrotid with the soil of Drellincourt Farm? Good heavens' I never heard of pyrotid before Saturday. What is it that you are thinking of now, my Muriel?" I am thinking of South Africa," she said. And then the two sisters rushed into each other's arms. Chris stole away to the musio of their joyful sobbing. (To be concluded.)

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