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-----------A TANGLED SKEIN,…


A TANGLED SKEIN, OB WIFE AND WOMAN. By L. HAIDHEIM. CHAPTER XIII. -( Continued. ) When Helene appeared in the red room, no one was there except the professor. He had just come in from the park, and looked better and more ani- mated than usual. Country life and rest are doing you good, dear Professor," she cried gaily. "If you were a lady, I should say you looked as blooming as a rose." Then I may use the comparison, Madame," he answered laughing, and shaking hands with her as he did every morning. He gazed at her almost i" surprise she was really blooming and rosy. Helene blushed crimson under the inquiring glance, then replied as frankly and confidingly as a child I owe it to you, my dear friend, if I look like a happy woman. I am one. Professor, your recipe of the unselfish love that does not first demand its own rights, hasproved effectual, almost before I really tried it. Her voice trembled, her eyes filled with tears, ;an expression of such joyous gratitude rested (V, her sweet face that she seemed to the professor I k- a saint whose head is surrounded by the halo o: i.ion's blessing. Your words make me very happy, Madame lis said gently, flushing deeply in his turn. It really did make him happy to hear this woman, who was the embodiment of his ideal, gratefully acknowledge a service from him, a ser- vice that concerned her happiness. Ah she had always been eo. She had treasured his words, and now-years had elapsed-now she had thanked him for her knowledge, her whole intellectual life, as his work. The teacher who hears such words, especially from a woman who seems to him in every respect the best and noblest of her sex, ought to be proud and happy. Whether it was only the teacher who felt the emotion thrilling the quiet thinker, he preferred not to examine, nay, anxiously shook off any opportunity of reflecting upon the matter. The baroness did not care to pursue the subject, neither did she notice the professor's momentary agitation. Ha quickly controlled himself, and as they went up to the breakfast-table, asked in a calm, totally different tone, if the other gentlemen had not yet appeared. "They have been gone a long time," replied Helene. My husband explained the business to W3 last evening. Of course he will first ascertain its safety; but he is greatly pre- possessed in its favour, and I fear it cost him a sleepless night. I have never under- stood these things, but I think a man like Wittichhuien ought to profit by such oppor- tunities, and really wondered that he remains so cautious and prudent in the presence of pro epects so brilliant." The prcfessor was silent a moment, and then Si id hesitatingly: "lam gL.d to hear that the baron wishes to investigate the matter carefully and prudently. It is something few men can do." Oh I my husband is so cautious, so timid, I might almost say. It seems to me that success can scarcely be doubtful, for Lindenlov himself risks so much. But it is always Albrecht's way to move slowly, though surely. He is not a, all willing to have me take my property—" "For Heaven's sake, cried the professor, dropping his knife and fork. ITylene looked at him in great astonishment. "Would you not approve my wish that my li nsband should double his capital by the use of my property ? she asked. "I should at least think it perfectly natural for t'.e barcn to decline your offer," answer.3d the pro- fessor more quietly. Why, yes, perhaps it is a point of honour with 1' im to work solely with his own means," she replied carelessly. No doubt; but if you would permit me to givo y: j a piece of advice Well ?" Do not allow yourself to be persuaded to grant y-tir consent to this speculation." Bat I don't understand." "Endeavour, so far as you are able, by all n-ans of persuasion and entreaty, to withhold ycur husband from any share in this enterprise," he said impressively. "And why, Professor ? Is there anything dn t —that is wrong—or—or—does the banker Linden- lov want to chea- Yet no, that is impossible," continued the young wife, interrupting herself Lindenlov has the confidence of the whole Stock Exchange, my husband says, and is considered a reliable, trustworthy person, a genius—you heard people say so yourself-in mercantile pursuits." I am very sorry if I cause you anxiety, but I must speak, must warn you, and would try to dissuade the baron, if I did not know that my opinion would be valueless beside that of the niijor, who understands all these things theore- tically far better than I, and also asserts that he has practical experience. But you, Madame, must warn, must oppose this plan in every way." But give me a reason," urged the baroness. You are right Reasons As if they were not as plentiful at blackberries I can only appeal to your confidence in me, Madame. I can- not see through Herr Lindenlovs's plans, cannot instantly give opposing proofs his calculations are as plain as the sunlight, but the factors with which he reckons are deceptive. Ke asserts that he has found coal, whose quantity and excel- lence almost reaches the highest standard. He has estimated working the mine in the cheapest way yet the whole calculation, apparently as smooth and clear as possible, is false-falae- false. He says he will invest a large sum in the enterprise, but he will be no loser himself." And you think-the others ? asked the baroness. Yes, I do think so nay, I am firmly con- vinced of it he answered earnestly. "Then you must speak to my husband tell him all this show him the errors." I cannot, Madame; I am not capable of it. Pray do not look at me with such a questioning, beseeching gaze I entreat you to believe me, eve-n though I can offer nOtPPposing proofs." Of course, Professor, you mean well, and are doubtless convinced of what you tell me," cried ttie young wife; but really, I might say with Herr Lindenlov, figures cannot lie." You see, Baroness, you, too, are already ensnared, blinded replied her companion sadly. "I could only produce counter proofs, if Herr Lindenlov would let me see his plans, test his calculations, and scientifically investigate his coal deposits, either personally or through trust- worthy experts." Then tell my husband to have this done," cried Heiene eagerly. "I will, but it is useless; every word on this subject is wasted. Besides, such investigations are very difficult, very lengthy, often impos- sible. Confidence in the accuracy of the project is the basis of these enterprises, yet this con- fidence can rarely be verified by figures. That is why the risk is so great, and why it will be difficult for me to communicate my well-grounded distrust to the baron." The professor's earnestness impressed the baroness. But the major is so skilful in business matters," she objected. A darker shadow flitted over the professor's face. The major is-" He suddenly paused, rose, and began to pace rapidly up and down the room. "What do you mean, Professor?" asked tho baroness; she trusted the friend who was always so wise and prudent, yet he really seemed un- necessarily anxious to-day. "I can feel no real confidence in Major Wiviis burg he always appears to me as if ho were playing a part, a well-studied character; and the longer I know him, the more disagreeable ho becomes to me," said the professor at last, after a long silence. I "Inever knew that yon were inclined to sus- picion, my dear friend cried the baroness, (To be Continued), I





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