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tedium of her present life. She wanted employment, she said; and occupation of almost any kind would be a godsend to her. She would be nurse, housekeeper, teacher--anything to drive away the demon of ennui that had taken possession of her.'
Pon my word,' said the ci-devant army chaplain, after hearing her complaints, “I believe I know of the very thing for you: that is, if you don't mind being bored.'
Bored? nonsense,' said Helen, with something of her old impetuosity. “No one is bored who has anything to do
• Are they not? Well, you can but try; however, it is only a very small affair, and you mightn't like to be a village schoolmistress.'
She did not make him an immediate answer, but instead, rapidly passed in review the motives of the man, and the absolute certainty that for his own sake her secret would be kept inviolate. She would not shame her woman's pride by asking for that .
secresy, nor would she imply that her antecedents unfitted her for the vocation that he had proposed to her. She knew, no one better, how far she had been guilty; but she, of all the world, could likewise best judge how sincere were her regrets for the past, and how firm was now her resolve to do her duty in every walk in life in which it should please God to place her.
Seeing her hesitate, the visitor again addressed her. “I was sure you would not like it; the confinement and the trouble of the children would, I am convinced, never suit
Indeed they would. I am certain that I should even enjoy it of all things; and then,' she added, laughingly, 'wages, you know, not so much an object as a comfortable home.'
· Yes; but there are wages though -a salary I mean-thirty pounds a year, coal, candles—
Ah! I know all the Bumble catalogue,' said Helen, still laughing, for she was a very
girl in some things still, and it was so long since she had even smiled!
There are some men who seem to consider a woman's merry laugh as in some sort a challenge; and who are even wont to fancy that having so laughed, her arms are thrown away, and that she has ceased to be her own protectress. Of such men of obtuse perception was Mr. Fanshawe, the parson of Indian habits and of crowded Soldier Stations; for taking up his hat, as though preparing to depart, he looked at her in a fashion that called the blood up to her peerless brow. From her white teeth and rosy parted lips, and back to the dark lustrous eyes he glanced; and then so much of the offending Adam as Mrs. Fanshawe had not as yet whipped out of him went near to angering that handsome Helen beyond all hope of future pardon. He stopped, however, in time, for either by the pricking of the thumbs,' which tells when something wicked this way comes; or by some other mode of divination which cunning
women know of, Helen foresaw what words were coming, and in a moment was armed with a panoply of dignity that might have befitted the most respectable among the ladies of the land.
'I shall be charmed to make the trial you propose,' she said, with a tone and manner as though she had been accepting an invitation to dinner, penned by the fingers of the virtuous Mrs. Fanshaw herself. 'I am persuaded that I shall like the life immensely. Tell me when I can begin, for it is terribly tiresome here, and I am longing for change of any kind.'
The affair was soon arranged, the only difficulty lying with the parson, who could not work up his courage to the fact of suggesting to Helen that it would be advisable to change the name by which she had been formerly known, for one that would be less likely to betray her antecedents. This, and the desire he was anxious to manifest that their own previous acquaintance should re
main a profound secret, kept him (from the difficulty he experienced in making known his wishes) in a state of most embarrassed silence. · Again Helen came to his relief. . There is a Mrs. Fanshawe, of course ?' she asked.
Now, why does she say “of course ? ” ? was Fanshawe's inward question. But he contented himself with answering in the affirmative.
! I was sure of it; where is she to-day?'
‘Gone to Scarborough, and will remain there till to-morrow.'
I was certain of that, too. But tell me; does she allow you to make appointments ? ' and she smiled at her own involuntary double entendre.
The joke was lost upon Fanshawe.
Well, yes, he replied; but the fact is, it will lie between me and the Archdeacon.'
'I am afraid it must lie somewhere else, too,' said Helen, still laughing, for the man's