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CHAPTER XXXII. LOVE'S ROSY DREAM ENTHRALLS THE HANDSOME ARTIST. GILBERT WETHERELL made the journey to Up- lands with a heart filled with conflicting emotions. He would have but one excuse to offer her for following her here, and that was, to plead for the last time for her love. He would accept her answer as final. It was a great disappointment to him, when he reached the villa, to learn from the housekeeper that Nadine was not there, nor had she been there. He waited in the village for ten days, but Nadine did not come to Uplands, and hope turned to despair in his breast. Then his pride rose up in fierce rebellion at what he clearly con- sidered her avoidance of him, and he left Uplands in hot haste, vowing that he should never look upon her face again. He concluded that he might as well go abroad again-there was nothing like incessant travel to make one forget. Coming to New York, he took passage on the Corinthia for Liverpool. It was fully a fortnight before the steamer sailed, and it was no easy matter, for a man as restless as he was, to fill in the time. He was thankful enough to run across one of his old college chums, Frank Renwick, who had since made his name quite famous as a rising young artist, and to learn that he, too, contemplated making a trip abroad, sailing on the Corinthia. "1 thought you made a vow that you would never set foot on a steamer again, after your last escapade on the other side," smiled Wetherell. What makes the best of men break their vows ?" laughed the handsome young artist. Lots of things, I suppose," returned Wetherell, indifferently. "But one thing in particular—a beautiful young woman," said Mr. Renwick, twirling the ends of his dark moustache with his white, shapely fingers. "Is it a wedding trip that is on the tapis ? asked Wetherell, glancing up quickly, his interest suddenly awakened. "I wish to Heaven it were," cried the artist; but come, I will be frank with you and admit the divinity to whom my soul does homage goes to Europe by the Corinthia, on this trip, and, though at a deuce of an inconvenience, I have hustled my affairs into shape, to go by that steamer, too. It's droll, the amount of trouble I'm having to make her acquaintance but, by George, it's worth it she's simply divine. Have a cigar let's take a drive through Central Park, and I'll tell you about her." Wetherell was too much absorbed in his own love affair to pay much attention to his friend's: but he could not well refuse, and behind a pair of hand- some bays they were soon dashing down the a venue. "I used to laugh at the idea some clever writer got up that the course of true love never runs smooth, said Renwick, anxious to take up the thread of their previous conversation again, "but now I believe it with a vengeance." "lean certainly agree with you in that," re- turned Wetherell, laconically. It was only a week since I met this charming girl, and life has not been the same to me ever since. When a fellow remains heart-whole, has had no love affairs up to the time he is six-and- twenty, if he does fall in love, the fever is apt to be pretty hard with him. Don't you know that ? Yes," returned Wetherell, that's pretty much the way of it." "I went up the country to make a few sketches of rural life, little magining on that trip I was destined to meet my fate, as the novelists phrase it, but that is exactly what happened. "I Was out, one morning, sketching a bit of still life that had struck my fancy, when suddenly a shadow fell between the canvas and the sunshine. Raising my eyes, I beheld a young girl walking I hurriedly down the path, scarcely ten feet distant. She gave me one rapid, thoughtless glance from a pair of dark eyes, and the mischief was done. "Talk of sketching for the rest of the day! Why, my dear fellow, there wasn't the least bit of use in it. The inspiration was gone. I could think of nothing but that lovely, girlish face, and those dark, starry eyes, and the fair face that I fancied looked unhappy. "In an instant I had resolved upon my course of action. I must follow her, and find out who she was. She was already some distance down the path. Hastily packing my things together- standing not upon the order of the packing—I hastened after her. She entered an old farm- house; and though I hung about the place for hours, she did not come out again, so I con- cluded then that "his must be her home, which surmise proved to be quite correct, as I learned afterward. One could as easily have imagined a beautiful bird shut up in a wooden box, as this young and lovely girl in a home like this. The house was a dark dull red, with a board walk of two planks leading from the gate to the door. There was not a vestige of flower or blossom to be seen it was all hard, uncompromisingly, plain. There was no wave of white lace curtAins stiff, dull drab, filled every window. True, there was an extensive farm at the oack of it. but there was not one line of beauty about it. I went back to the country tavern where I was putting up, and re-engaged my room, which I had given notice that I should vacate that night, for another fortnight, meanwhile making casual inquiries as to the occupants of the farm-house ¡ over the way. I learned that the young girl was a niece of the farmer's wife, there on a visit. "For three days I haunted the path in the vicinity of the farm-house, but I could gain no nearer view of her than a fleeting glimpse as she passed the window or the door; 11 and at the end of those three days I was more in love I than ever. I was now satisfied as to the thoroughness of my love; certain that this .h sudden" attachment would endure as long as my life that it was no transient Hush to fade away wL'n time or absence. Whether my suit be sue- cessful or not, this beautiful girl will be my first and my last love, 1 told myself. But it was tantalising to find no opportunituy of even commencing the siege; and at length it occurred to me that shrewd men invented their opportunities, and I set to work to think up some plan which would afford me the sweet privilege of exchanging a few words with her. At length I -happened to think of a happy expedient. It was a warm August day; I saw hei at the well I would ask her for a glass of water j I she would not have the faintest suspicion of my real errand, I felt well assured. "I opened the gate and entered, but, asI advanced, the dragon of an aunt, who had been watching from one of the windows, emerged quickly from the house, and hurried down the path to meet me. "I saw before me a tall, spare, angular woman, I sharp of eyes and sharp of features. She looked at me with uncompromising suspicion. "I removed my hat with a low bow, and stated my errand, casually mentioning who I was, and how I happened to be in that locality, begging per- mission, as I took the cool glass from her hand, to rest on the shady side porch for a moment; for, while we were speaking, my divinity had taken her seat there. I should—I should prefer to bring you a chair here,' she said, frostily. 4 It is as shady, and much cooler. I was beginning to hate this woman on general principles already. I saw that I should have a valiant foe in her. She meant to guard her niece like a thoroughbred Spanish duenna. "Assuming a fictitious interest in farming, I attempted to open out a conversation on that sub- ject, that I might sit there and study the face of that lovely niece but she would not converse on the contrary, she acted as though it would be a decided relief to her when I should go, and reluctantly I took my leave shortly after, vexed enough that I had not had the opportunity to exchange a word or a glance with the lovely girl. I was in despair—I could not call at the farm every day for a glass of water-nor could I be seen hanging about that vicinity, to use an expression more common than elegant. "At the end of a week I was just as far from making the acquaintance of this fair girl, whom I adored, as I had been on the day on which I was working away at my picture, and she passed in the path. I must certainly manage the affair by strategy, I concluded. 'All is fair in love and war.' I laid my plans for the campaign as carefully as a general lays his plans for a great battle which he intends to win, and just as 1 was on the point of putting the plan into execution I was met by the startling intelligence that the stern aunt and her lovely niece are on the eve of an extended trip abroad, sailing on the Corinthia. It's an ill wind that blows nobody good, Wetherell, my dear boy. You know what life on a steamer deck is. There, above all places, for- mality in making acquaintances is to a certain extent waived. I swear to you I shall make it my business to make the acquaintance of this fair creature whose name even I do not know, and trust to luck, or fate, or whatever shapes the destinies of us mortals, to win her." I hope from the bottom of my heart that your wooing will be successful, my dear fellow," declared Wetherell, heartily and if I can aid you in any way, I am with you heart and soul." He would not have made that remark had he known who this charming creature with whom his friend had fallen so deeply in love really was. As the reader has no doubt long since surmised, the lovely girl was Nadine. For days Hester had waited patiently for a reply to her letter, until patience had long since ceased to be a virtue. "It is as Nadine says," she told herself at length, though who would have believed it. He does not wish to become reconciled with her, poor dear. Well, from this time out I shall not encourage her in crying her heart out about him. If he doesn' o love her, what, does she want of him ? When a fortnight passed, and there was no word, no hope, Aunt Hester decided it was all over be- tween Gilbert Wetherell and Nadine for ever. And what a pity it was too—Nadine loved him so well. It was hard to see her pine and fade like a flower in a chilling blast, day by day, and at length she hit upon the plan of inducing Nadine to take a short trip abroad, little dreaming what would come of it. (To be continued.)