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tALL RIGHTS RESERTI1>.] A HEART'S BITTERNESSJ BY V BERTHA M. CLAY; Young auU torTorn as H.Je was, and looked, M'.cre was a new dignity and resolve about, lier tliat made her first in the scene, and jsaffci'cd no remon- strances, as with set face and folded arms she stood upon the marble steps of the entrance, where the Leigh lions, asleep in stone, crouched on either hand. The rector had heard of the search and had come over early, and he and the doctor stood near, behind the young countess, as she waited for her dead.. And thus, slowly carried, drenched and rigid, with open, unseeing eyes and clenched hands, Norman Leigh came for the last time to his an- cestral home. Slowly up the broad stgps came the men, carry- ing the first bier, wher^iise face of the dead had been covered with Adai#s kerchief. Then the bearers of the second bier stood still. What shall be done with the woman's body f' Bring her in," said the young countess, in 9. linn, low tOIle;, "one cannot refuse hospi- tality to the dead." Mr. Storms passed first—and arm in arm, Adani and Kemp followed each the ruin of his hope-the idol of his life. They laid the bodies down in the billiard- room, and then the rector, taking Violet's hand and drawing her to liim as if she were hiscliild, said, while tears rained over his white beard and wrinkled cheeks "Dear child, your work for him is ended. You have still your boy come to liini." And bowed above the cradle of her babe, the overwrought heart of Violet Leigh found the relief of tears. "She cannot be alone so, poor friendless little hei ress that she has always been," said Mr. Storms, pityingly. "We must send for someone. For her aunts?" "If I might be so bold," said Kate Parker: I suppose the relations must be sent for, but Lady Burton and Miss Ilaviland arc the ones that can comfort her, and no others." Shut alone in her room, Violet passed that horrible day. The coroner's inquest was held, the preparations for the burial went on. Henry Ainslie and his wife, and the Eail of Montressor, and Colonel Hartington were summoned, but Violet saw no one until another day dawned, and a swift step passed "p the stairs, and Kate gave a cry of joy, as she opened the door of her lady's room, and Edna Haviland folded the forlorn little widow to her bosom. Held in those strong, fond arms, soothed by that sweet, loving voice, she who had learned to console, having had many sorrows of her own in her young, innocent life, brought the balm of comfort to the wounded heart of Violet. Only a little over two years had the tragedy of her wretched married life lasted. With its pains and its pathos, it had ended now in darkness. Violet was as one exhausted, nearly lost, worn from hard battle with a stormys<>a, cast at last into shelter, but conscious only as yet of the loss and the storm. But finally, in the arms of Edna, she sank into restful Blumber. In those dark days Edna was the light and stay of the household at the Towers. Mrs. Ainslie, kind-hearted and helpless, could only weep and lament; Lady Burton, at Violet's entreaty, took her place in the house- hold, and Violet remained in her suite of rooms, with Edna and Rupert, seeing the members of the family only for a few minutes each day, as they came to inquire for her health. The astuteness of Mr. Storms had suggested a plausible reason for the appearance of Lord Leigh at "The Folly"; and his view that the earl lost his life in the eflort to keep Helen Hope from throwing herself into the pool gained general credence. Leigh had been an earl lie was dead good reasons both for checking evil speech about liini. Words cannot tell t he relief of Violet, hi finding that no ill-reports weie to be rife of him whose name she bore, and who was the fat Iter of her child. On the second day Helen Hope was quietly Uuried in the churchyard near Leigh Towers Kemp insisted that she should be buried in her hrul&i-dress, and he placed in lier cold hand a hoaquct of tuberoses. "She asked for them, and she shall have them," he said; and he followed poor Helen, her sole hut sincere mourner. CHA PTEll LV. RUPEHTS GUARDIANS. Violet wrote to the Lord Chancellor, who was laid up with gout at his London house, "<vith respect to Kupert's guardians. And so it happened, one late September morning, that Violet and Edna were seated together in a charming little room overlooking > he gardens, when a servant entered with two lei tors, one from the Lord Chancellor, and one from Kenneth Keith. The letter from the Lord Chancellor Jay uppermost; and, as Violet took it from the salver, she did not notice the superscription of the other letter, which she dropped into her lap. She cried, eagerly "Now, Edna, we shall hear what, he says. Oh, I hope he has appointed wise and .good guardians for my bov I am sure he has," said Edna, dropping her work. "He would not do otherwise, as he is a wise and good num." Violet began to read aloud. After some general condolences, and compliments, and explanations, that lie would have come to her at the Towers, had he not been a prisoner to the gout, the Lord Chancellor went on to say "Yon have committed to mc a very impor- tant (rust, that of selecting suitable guardians for the heir of one of the oldest titles and linest estates in England. Your child will have a long minority, over twenty years. It is necessary thin I should not appoint old men for his guardians, but these who may hope to see him attain his majority. I would desire men of large, liberal, kindly natures, who men of large, liberal, kindly natures, who would have sympathy with their ward, and obtain his love and confidence.. I nhould seek men of lofty ideas, pure lives, unsullied integrity, examples to liim of all the virtues they should inculcate. I have thought deeply upon the choice of these, my ideal guardians; but, high as is the standard I have rx-t, I think I have chosen men who attain to it. I have ppokan to them, and they have agreed to accept the trust. They are the Marquis of A'.wood and Lord Kenneth Keith." Violet dropped the letter, and the two young winiicn looked at each other across ths father- less babe, who, unconscious of the questions at slake, lay on the iloor between them, playing with a gold coral and bells. A flood of (.rim- sou rose over Edna's fair face, at ViM unex- pected encomium and mention of the man she deeply loved. Violet grew paler still, in con- trast-with her crape, and under thft widow's cap, which hid a I the shining rings of her pretty hair. She turned her eyes to Rupert, and said, softly I kuow Lord Keith loves the child. lie said lie would always be his friend; and lie saved him his estate." "No doubt it is a good choice," said Edna, taking up her work again, and makimt various sudden resolutions, as she sewed little stitches. Certainly I cannot dispute the selection, and I never thought of his making such," said Violet. Then she laid down the Lord Chan- cellor's letter and noticed the other. "Here is one from Lord Keith," she said, breaking the seal.. She r a<\ aloud To THE HONOURABLE COUNTESS OF LEIGH. -DEAR MADAM The Lord Chancellor hat appointed me olle of the guardians of your son, the infant Earl of Leigh, and I have found 1 myself unable t> resist the urgency with which he pressed the office upon me. I trus5 I shall fulfil my duties for the child's good, and to your contentment. Lord AKvood, my co- guardian, has been called to Scotland and, as it is necessary to confer with you on the proper plans for the future, I propose to wait on yon I at the Towers next week. I sha<?l trespass j but two days on your solitude. My mother sends her tenderest regards, and begs that you I will receive her, with me, as she is longing to 1 see both you and Miss Haviland. ( "Your humble servant, 1 "KENNETH KEITH." 4 Violet had not seen Keith when fie came to the Towers for the funeral. She had parted from him at the railroad station in London, after he had won her case for her. But the solemn days which had passed since then, and the terrible tragedy which had fallen upon her life, seemed to divide her, by years, from the girl whom Kenneth Keith had loved and mourned. Her future and her present were all for her child. Ifc was in this mood that, when Kenneth Keith ca.me with his mother, she moved to meet him, & pathetic little figure, in her widow's cap and weeds. The rector and Mr. Storms were also there, and Violet asked the rector to give her his arm to dinner, whilt Kenneth escorter) h\s prpiJisr.. When they returned from the brief and silent meal, Kenneth said Lady Leigh, I wish to confer with you and Mr. Storms, as I am about to leave England for some time. My little ward will scarcely need much of my care at present, and my co. guardian, the marquis, can perform all the duties that might fall to either of us. I think the little earl will suffer no detriment from my absence. I am going to India and China, and probably shall be away two years." Violet did not know that she had been shrinking from the future, and from meeting Lord Keith, until the sudden leap of relief which her heart gave at hearing he was going from England. She looked up at him almost gratefully, as she said, "She did not wish his guardianship to be a burden," and that sho was sure Lord A livood could give all the advice needed." "Our little earl will want no more important tutors than a nursery maid during the next two years," laughed Mr. Storms. Violet slid her hand into that of Lady Bur- ton, and whispered "Since you will be alone now yon wil] spend a deal of your time with me, will you not, and teach me how to manage my child and my estates? If yon stay much with me I can have Edna here more." Lord Keith and Lady Burton went away in two days, and then; for October, life flowed on very quietly at the Towers. CHAPTER LVI. I U THE SAFE, SWEET MORNING BREAKS." Life at the Towers sped happily, if quietly. Pleasant friends went and came. The hale earl was quite a wonder of beauty and bright- ness. And now fully two years had passed since the day when nearly all the county followed the funeral train of Lord Leigh. Violet, my dear," said Lady Burton, on a bright late September morning, "I wish you would do me a favour." „ "With all my heart. What is it. said the countess. "Lay by this mourning garb, and resume other dress. You have worn this long enough. Let little Rupert remember his mother as bright and young, and not always in this sombre guise." It was a vearsince Violet had used her crape and bombazine, but still her wardrobe boasted only black, or at brightest, lavender, and she wore her cap. She did not make any remonstrances in favour of wearing black always." She knew that that might do where the heart mourns as the black suggests. She only said: Why Lady Burton, if I lay aside thesw things, what have I to wear ?" Kate and I have been in a little plot," said Lady Burton, as Kate opened a wardrobe door. "See, we have prepared several toilets for you." Violet could not help looking with some longing at the costumes, as Kate laid them on the bed and chairs. She had always liked bright pretty things, and she was still young, and her cheerful, arch spirits had been rising again in the free, safe, happy life of past months. "Let me make you pretty for breakfast," said Kate, for it was yet early, and Violet was sitting by her dressing-table, and Kate was arranging the lovely brown hair. So Kate put away the cap, and did the brown hair in its old-time pretty rings and general fiuffiness, and dressed Violet in a white pique, trimmed with quaint Irish point and beautified with knots of cream-coloured ribbon. Then she put at her neck a great cluster of purple and golden pansies. "I declare!" cried Lady Burton, you look your old self, without a day's change. One might fancy that the last six years had turned backward, and you were little Miss Ainslie not yet introduced- But then a child's voice rang shrill and clear from the terrace, where Rupert was playing horses with his faithful Jenny. No, never that," said Violet, looking at her friend, in her witching way, between smiles and tears. For it is better as it is. What should I do, what would the world be to me, without Rupert ?" Then they went down to breakfast, and Rupert, who had feasted on porridge and milk two hours before, put his sunny head into the room, and shouted with admiration of his "pretty mamma." After breakfast Lady Burton said "Violet, I wish I had some wild-cardinai flowers to paint for this velvet screen I am making for Edna's birthday. Do you remem- ber where they grow, just in the hollow nellr the spring, that they can the 'Maid's Bowei- "Oh, yes, and they are abundant there now." "Would vou not go and get me some? I think the walk will be good for you. You have been sitting over your accounts, like a clerk, these two days." So Violet took a little basket, and a pair of scissors, and put on a quaint, childish scoop bonnet, made of Irish point over cream silk, from under which her lovely, round, dimpled, rosy face looked OHt in the most bewitching way imaginable, and away she went to the Maid's Bower." But when she had filled her basket, she stood suddenly still, and went into a dream— for the slumbrous beautjr of the warm golden day brought back the idyl of her life-tlie woods in Lincolnshire, where Kenneth and she had wandered hand in hand. She had been having letters, for a year, from Kenneth, nice, friendly letters, about his travels and his ward, but with no word of coming home. She sighed. There were times when her loving, clinging heart longed after Kenneth, as the one great comfort in all the world. Violet!" The voice made her start and drop the bas. ket, and tremble like a frightened fawn. And there was Kenneth Bronzed with foreign suns, and with his whiskers rather fuller, but still her own Saxon Kenneth, with the smiling blue eyes, and the winning smile, the strong and loyal heart. And she held out her hands to him, with a cry of: Kenneth Oh, Kenneth He clasped her in his arms. His Violet, his only, his for ever They sat down under a beech tree and now at last he could tell her how lie had passion- ately loved her all these long, long years and now she could listen to that outpouring of his love. The long and terrible bitterness of her heart bad fled away like a dark and hideous dream of night when safe, sweet morning breaks over land and sea. Her heart had found its true shelter, and she rested in sweet content within the circle of his arm. Suddenly she smiled iu í;.íà i»— Kenneth, I know you have planned thife- ivith your mother." And so Violet returned to London the next season, and was again presented at court, oaC lOW as Lady Keith. And all that season f Violet shone as a bright, particular star ill London life, and for another season thereafter. But not merely was she noted for her fair face md charming manners, her immense wealth md exquisite taste, as for her lovely sympathy, ier wide generosity, her noble rectitude, for all ,hat makes a woman admirable, as mother, wife and friend. One evening in the House of Peers, a door opened, not far behind the famous Woolsack, whereon the Lord Chancellor sat in the biggest )f wigs, with an enormous hat laid at his right side. Through the door came a very beautiful boy of six, dressed in a suit of purple velvet, with full lace ruffles. The lit,tle fellow stole softly along to the side of the woolsack, and awetl by the imposing presence of all his brother peers, and the bench of bishops in full lawn sleeves, he gave what, he considered a very private and confidential grasp of his friend, the Lord Chancellor's arm. This was Rupert, Earl of Leigh, at his Iirst appearance in the Upper House. Hisclutcti of the Chan- cellor was seen with a quiet, smile by his two guardians, Lord Keith and the Marquis oi Alwood, in the body of the House, and by two very beautiful peeressess in their gallery, Edna.. of Alwood, and Violet Keith. (THE END.]

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