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SALL RIGHTS RESERVED] THE BILLIARD MARKER. A STORY OF CHESHIRE VILLAGE I LIFE. By \V V. BURGESS. Author of "Hand in Hand with Dame Nature," "Organism and Mentality, "One Hundred Sonnets, "Stray Ie-avc!s," Birds and Flowere," "Cheshire nla.De Stories," etc. CHAPTER XVIII. (continued.) Than the old farmer caught sign* 0, l" wift's face, with an enquiring look upon his own. stopped. "Eh ?" ho said, "oh, <IF', aw d for.gdten ophia, w0Cl, aw wH,h her good HiCk, ami if too turns cut a-, l aid workm' a chop Iter faither, ltoo'll make yon place pay, wiout boards too. Leets aw sing "tor hoos a j^o.ly good feller." And bursting into a lusty shout, of tune he had not. the- remotest notion, P:UH.k- monium rows nod for a few minutes, t.hL'll the noise tailed1 off into "Til not go home till morn- i'Jlg" a.nd gradually died down. Tho greatest < xtitcmciH pre-vaiVd. however. wWu the health of Hide Paul was proposed'. Such ringing checs, such a jingling of crimes, mingled with tti- overtiming of a table, so ter- rified tho young hoto that he. liad to he carried out. Thus was the return of Sophia to her native heath celebrated, and thus was little? Paul presented, as it were, with too freedom of tho village of Meio-ham. Three- years had- gone by since Sophm was welcomed back to her village home, jittle laul had leached his sixth birthday, and fchere were tiny foot, too, toddling about the rooms of St. Waff's Vicarage. Three yoare had gone by (sometimes the main joys and soriows of a life- time aie crowded in a much shorter term), nad glided away eventhss r*x>ugh, so far as the lives of ihc4. of out- story are concerned. To be sure there had been little eddies now and amain or an occasional bock was t», but no flood- timrc, no cataracts—it happen* so in the live* of rnoet people, theic is a EC<iSon of calm, then tho arrears of human trouble boar dowik and tihroe years roeord of grief is wiitten on the brow in 1 cc-s than as many weeks. Fort,unatdy this was in 110 instance the ease with any of the ubaracicis in whom we ILI-e interested. Perhaps in liul- Pan!, the alteration wrought by ra--iiig tune wa? mo.-t apparent. As he giicw in years and u lio beea»»& more thoughtful and If-.LiI]i's gi cates, de- lihhiwa to <.r<?p in o t? church whenever the organist was t hCR at piatti?. On? rcm.-mb?rs son?'thin.? cf tl? emotion th? pi?yng of that. instrument aroused within the breast of Luko llepworth, t iic while he sheltered from the stOHÜ with his friend Biity Jupp, but one can- not guo's the feeling olioids stirred in the being of little Paul—ii;s son- I Tho organist, a somewuat lonely but Ki. nd-|j- heart,.xl m.m. attracted by his littl. v isrtor s silent attention and inpt look, made friends •with him, and not. unfrtepie-ntly plaoed the boy on the organ gout beside him. Then, with no other purpose than that of amusing himself and pleasing hi? child-friend, he began to teach those I tiny fingeas to prees tho keys and evoke some 6imp'e air. The musician was surprised, nav, astonished, when after a few such essays, too child b'-gan to modulate and harmonise- in slIdl a man nor as to cause ilto hearer to disciedit his own caIto. The old organic had read of Mozait who composed tunes while yet lie roda a.-oock- horse on his father's kne.?-~of Handel, who., at Paul's age, had mastered the spinet alone, and in (lie stolen hoi ire of night. Was the boy to be one of the world's wonderful ones also, a musical genius in emb'.yo'' And the man trembled aT tlx- though: "Rankin' s- plot," for so the market garden was Bill;,[ called, had floni ishod famously. Rye-barn had been converted into stabler and cart sheds, tiie intervtiling field had l«x.n purchased and added to the modest estate, Rob Bates had several men. woiking under his dncctions, and Mary had as many women to he'p her in bunch- ing, weeding and r-ueh like labour. Much of tho euttoct-e of tho concern was undoubtedly owing to the practical interest- taken in the matter by George Graham. Amcu); the members of St. Olaif s Men's Club wee a number of hawkers of fruit, lfowers and vegetables, some having bucket*, oilier?. hand-bairows, while a few of the- moio prosperous were- the pro-id owners of a George i«ad a.'u-.uged tluU this fraternity donkey. i?t( i gr?v- mg giound, thus <insuring produce at oince' froJi, and fire from inucrmccliarj- procis. TiM eoltfiii.e was not without its difficulties, but on the whole it worke<} aatis-factorily, and estab- lished for the hawkers a i-cp-,itutoti for reliable v..a.r<? that r<nd<?)? their Jive1ihood p'easanter a?d lose htiiardoue to conduct. Ic!?e haitlly knew what to make of 'rtio iiai?lly wiat it, ni,,Iko )f doing business. Tumnius Broadside declared II t?TAt b It?d bccH !il t.h !anw1t InK' for fifty yc«r, and, he continued, "aw'm not Juin{d vet tho' aw stuck to th' old ways o' doing thing?. My advice is, k* wer.l a!on»', dunna put town bonnc1.óY on cou ntry yeads, for they dunna euit urn. "I'lee liad, do you «aj ? Wocl aw a:xv wi free trade so long as they dunna leet ony furrin srtuff coom into th' eoujitry." "Av-e, aye, that's re-et enoo," responded Jerry Fryer, "but some furrin things we mun hay' yo know—w hat ulioiit Spanish juice and Spanish onier:" "Or Jarn-nn silver, or Fieiich poli-hl'' added T< et hy. ",ivv account tfioec things luxuries which con be don. wi'out at a pmeih, no, I h' on-v two articles aw would admit nd 0. nutmeg aii lemon, a mon mun his drink palatable, as how 'tis.' Sophia was pu/zk'd. and not a iitile concc-med aJi the quiet, subdued iiB her son Paul seemed 10 bo falling into. He did not Mnng!? with to L-?o fali 'r, ?nto. ]F"c- d in fact nothing see-med to in)?r<<st him ou?Ido hioA organ experiences, till one day the organist lent him an od fiddle to scrape upon. With this object to occupy himself, the child would have bcrti contented, but tire anxious mother con- mdted Doctor S littckleton, who knowing nothing of ]ad' < bent, for the organi.-r kept his own counsel, advised her to owid the bey to the vil- lage school, whe-iv. amid children's compinion- fihip and inferos, ho would prohab'y be weaned of his unnatuiisl giavity. But, the effect expected was net produced. Pa-ul was not as other boyf-, and the mother who had passionately affirmed t-hat nothing should again separate her from her child, be- gan to realise that In spIte of all her determin- ation, little Paul was, or set she imagined, drift- ing out of tho province of her heart—the thought was terrible, was the boy growing out of hite child-love for her? It seemed iso, she could not understand, wh", can undeifetand the deep things of life, indeed, most of us are lost even in life's shallows, «ho only felt the agony of iT. Truly enough, in a way, tbeiiiother had just cai'fcse for her fears, for, as surcCy as the Child Divine in the temple, many dim centuries ago, aeked of His parents: "Wist ye not that I mast bo about my Father's business?' So the born genius within litiJe Paul as plainly said, "I must follow the spirit of sound, lead me from wheTer it may. A mother's peculiar anguish begins when the first die covers that her heart is no longer big- enough for her ch-il,i-that her child's heart is set upon another object When, however, it was made elear to Sophia that her child was born to be great, she was reconciled, and murmured to herself: "Blessed be the Lord, for He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden—- He that is mighty hath done to me great Ihir gs. 1, h little Yes, mire liking with little Paul. It was, as it i with a21 genius, a dom- inating foroe, and Sophia knew that one day there must oome a parting of the ways—that one dayahe would be left to tread here alone. While Paul, well, true artists are ever exiles upon this common earth. But. It was not all destined to be shadow, far from it, as tho mother came to understand, her gifted child, her heart lost its feare, and he in turn, gave her love for love. Th) school experiment having failed in its purpena, Paul was permitted or rather guided, into the groove of his natural endowment. His fcftornoans ware mostly spent with the organiet either in the church, or at the home of the vir- tuoso, and this torir is void of cynicism, for, tliough of scant. executive ability tho man po'weesed the true soul of a musician. At other times, the boy, accompanied by his old violin, would steal intRye Barn, and there, forget- ful of time and food, would improviee with such weird sweetness ?.hat the wondering toilers would often cease their work to listen as tho wondering children ceased their play to listen to the Piper of Hamlin. One day the strange child had gone to hi* usual haunt, an unaiitered cornci of the old barn, and was about to clamber into his favour- ite jesting place, a clumsy wooden manger, when the structure fell away from its holding, carrying with it a portion of the inner wall. The boy, though unhurt, shrieked out in ter- ror, and the. sound quickly brought the alarmed mother m tho reene. She saw at once that Patid had not been harmed, she aL-o saw some- thing The fallen-away wall had disclosed a cavity wherein were stowed several small chests. In- stantly Sophia divined their contents. They contained the results of her father's iiifelong thrift! At. tilmoment, Sophia war: in no way elated at the find, but. reflecting that Paul need not, now suffer f rom want of the w herewithal to further his gift, she was thankful that the long looked for hiding-place had been revealed to her only- Hastily covering up the breach as best she cc-tild. fortunately it was neon, th p:s.ant were away at, thir mid-day .neal. her !let course w £ « lo poet- to NorthwK'h and from thence 'eiegraph for George Graham. Sophi-t's ever willing friend drove into :he village in the early evening, and having leer, apprised of what had happened, the twain dis- interred 'he treasure ches+G, and placed them in safety within the cottage, from whence next after carefully counting their contents, notes and coin, they were lodged in t.he nearer bank. Thereafter, agreeably with George's --d i- c-e, the. whole amount was judiciously in- vented, and the return therefrom, acid'.d to he.- profits from the market-garden, placed Sophia in contpaiatively affluent circumstances This windfall, :he possession of which had caused such a disaster to overtake its aroumu- lators. turned oat to be the very lever where- by Paul's high»t interests snd his mother's ultimate happiness wrote secured. When, on t.he advice of her most trusted friends, Sophia consented that. Paul should prodrome his studies in London and continue them in Germany, thither from time to tipit, the mother was en- abled ro proceed and thus keep in affectionate touch with her Eon. Thus, tco, i N ery money wbich was tre cause oi hi- father's becoming 0: WM mad e the means of the «o*"s apotheosis among the gods of music. 'Iplot l lC I And thus, too, do the characters of this modest history fade from the screen of my poor iniaginatilon, all--cxcept that Payne Finohley still iingers awhile. He has learned to love Mereham, with its quaint folk and beau- tiful setting— -some say he has also learned to love the quie' inmate of Rankin's cottage, be that as it may, he is often, very often, in the vallage which now is connected by so many associations with the Parish of St. Olaff's. Meantime, everybody prophesies for P.¡\! a great future, whereat, the mother colours with pride, tries to smilj hci thanko for their con- gratulations; her tongue somehow refuses words, except these, which are sighingly whis- pered to herself, "Great ah yes, but would that lie might rez-nt-n. what, he once was-rny cwn little Paul." Out yonder, away west., beyond those long Atlantic reikis, somewhere within the confines of the Great New World Babylon, lie the iiiortal reinii-tif, of Luke Hepworth. one-time Billiard Marker. His last resting-place, void of mound or stone, is already forgotten by the paid hirelings w ho laid the body there, hur- riedly, and under fal name. Whoever, therefore, in the gocd mother country, would discover the grave of him "no sie-epe unwept and unknown in Il1at far-off land, must- perforce seek long and withal seek fruitlessly. Albeit, at that last day, when the call to "Arise!" shalll summon the quick and the. dead, no man daring disomy, Luke llepworth, 'no, L-hall r-spoiid--aiit! lie, Whose judgment-seat is Mercy, rhali perchance, in .so no wise and in pome -jthe:- world, grant even unto this utter- ly misguided soul yet another chance. Aye. yet another chance, to climb bock towards that sublime in.age, from which in this earthly liifc, he. had fallen so far, so very far, away. (The Knd.)