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to devise some scheme. You see, by my father's will the principalthe actual half-million which he left behind him—is tied upon me and my heirs for ever. If I had not married, you would have been my heiress, Nora; for, save a few distant cousins, relatives of my mother, you were the only person in the world with whom I could count kin, till I became a wife and a mother. But I can leave my money how I please, I believe, and I will make my will at once; and you shall not be without proper provision, I promise you."

“I thank you much, ma tante; but is it certain that you can make a will ? I have been told that the English law permits not to a married woman that she should make a will.”

"Generally speaking, it is so; and in that respect the law wants mending. But my money is entirely ny own; it is so left that I can will it away to whom I please. I might leave it to hospitals and lunatic asylums, if I chose, or build a cathedral. I might leave it all to Mr. Pettifer, or to baby, or to yourself. If I die intestate, I am not sure but that my husband takes all; and I wish to prevent that. You and I will go and see Mr. Salisbury to-morrow."

"Would it not be better, ma tante, that your conversation with Mr. Salisbury should be strictly private ?”

“We will think about that when we are there. I wish you to hear some things. I wish to say a few words to you in Mr. Salisbury's presence. At any rate, you shall accompany me to the office; then, if it seems advisable that we should confer together without an auditor, you can go and do a little shopping at Townley's. You may have that grey silk you fancied the other day.”

" You are very good, ma tante ; and if baby is to have her short frocks, it might be as well to go to Hudson's."

“We will leave baby's things to another opportunity. I did buy her a pelisse last week. Yes, she must be shortened, as we say, very soon now, because the weather may turn chilly suddenly. We are in September, you know. It will soon be four

years came to me, Norah. I am afraid I was not as kind to you then as I might have been. The truth is, I was brought up-oh, I cannot tell you how! stupidly, cruelly, wickedly! I lived in the house of bondage. Nora, I had been in slavery all my life, and I am afraid I wanted you to be in slavery too; and I had no notion of justice, nor, indeed, of any kind of real goodness. I am beginning to see things differently, and I hope I may do very differently for the remainder of my life. But you must have patience with me, Nora, for I am not naturally amiable ; indeed, I am afraid I have a wretched temper, and I am easily offended ; and I require from people more than I should ask or expect. And my religion, too, has been of the wrong sort: that is just dawning on my mind; so

since you

that I seem to have no refuge, and no resting-place. And my husband, in whom I trusted, he is— Oh, Nora, I am so bitterly disappointed in him; and I did love, Nora; indeed, I love him now! You know I love him, though he tells me so coarsely that I only married him to escape being an old maid!”

And the poor woman burst into tears, and cried hysterically, and it was long before Nora could comfort her. An hour or two afterwards, awaking from a troubled sleep, Mrs. Pettifer said, “Nora, I should like to have your promise that you will never leave me. I am sure you are too sensible to mind the foolishness that people talk about old maids. I wish you would make up your mind never to marry. I will take care while I live that you shall have all you want, and, after my death, you will inherit at least a quarter of my riches, which do accumulate, and shall accumulate, for live at the rate Mr. Pettifer proposes, I will not !"

Nora was much afraid that her aunt would be compelled to live at any rate that Mr. Pettifer chose. And he was just the man to cajole or frighten her into signatures which might make over to him the principal even of his wife's fortune. Nora had heard and read of such things, and she resolved to keep a close watch upon mon oncle, if he said anything about signing papers that were mere formalities, and of no great consequence, though that her aunt would be mad enough to sign anything which she had not carefully read and did not entirely comprehend, she could not believe. Mrs. Pettifer was not only a very wide-awake, but a very suspicious person when there was any money in the question ; and so matters stood ; it was quite as well that it should be so. Still Mr. Pettifer had great influence, and a certain power over his wife; in all the conflicts which had raged between them, from the night of their coming home from the wedding journey, ere the honeymoon was over, until now, when they had some kind of quarrel or difference nearly every day, he had always been the conqueror ; somehow, by scolding, or taunting, or flattering, or arguing, he always gained his point. It made Nora very uneasy, as she reflected how much her aunt had already conceded, and how much more she might be forced to yield. But of this she said nothing ; she simply replied—“At present, ma tante, there is no question of my leaving you. And I promise you that I will not, while you live, fulfil the threat which once in my wrath I uttered. I will not, for any disagreeableness or unkindness even of mon oncle, go away and earn a living for myself.”

“ And you will never marry? Promise me that, Nora !”

Ma tante, I could not make such a promise ; it would not be right." And Nora's face and neck were scarlet as she bent over her needlework.

“See what I have gained by marriage! How happy you and I might have been here, by ourselves, had I not committed the folly of sacrificing my liberty. You know the old song, child ?— Men were deceivers ever,'—and it is true, quite true!”

Mais non, ma tante, I think not so. There are men who deceive, I know well, and there are women also who deceive. But there are men who are quite true: men quite unlike Mr. Pettifer ; men whom any woman might trust and not be disappointed. All marriages do not turn out unhappily! Look at Dr. and Mrs. Bethell; they have passed their silver-wedding day, and they are lovers still! And Annie tells me that her father and mother, who are getting quite old people, are as fond of each other as if they were lately married. Then my own dear papa; ah! how he worshipped my chère maman! Louison used to say that he worshipped ma maman instead of the Virgin Mary! That was nonsense, of course; but his love for his wife was very great, and the last thing he ever said was something about her. Ah, ma tante, believe it not that all marriage is unhappy. The good God made people to marry, and to love each other.”

"Nora!” and Mrs. Pettifer spoke gravely, and looked keenly at her niece, “there is more in this than comes to the surface. There is some one whom you are thinking of. You have seen some one whom you would like to marry. Though who it can be I cannot imagine! Surely not that empty-headed young Stampaway, who persists in coming here evening after evening, in spite of the cold shoulder?”

Nora laughed. “No, indeed, ma tante : I like not boys! Ned Stampaway is not much older than myself, and he has not half as much sense as I have ; indeed, I think he is rather what you call brainless. When I marry, it will be to some one in every sense my superior. I must sit at my husband's feet, or else remain unmarried.”

" Which would be by far the wiser alternative. Nora, you have some one in your head! Don't tell me you have not! I see it in your face, and in those guilty blushes ! You have some attachment!"

"Ma tante, I have no engagement; let that suffice you. No one has spoken to me of love. No one has asked me to be his wife, after the English custom, which I once thought so strange, but which I now approve. Be sure I will keep no secret from you.”

“ But you are keeping a secret from me, Nora! You know you are—you have an attachment.”

“And if I have, ma tante—which I do not, however, admit-I have a right to my own secret. If you were my mother I would say the same words to you. If I have an attachment, as you say,

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will tell no living creature. It would be most indelicate and improper, it seems to me, to speak on such a subject.”

“No good ever comes of a clandestine love affair, Nora. And I am surprised and pained at the opinions you express.”

Ma tante, I have no affaire-de-cæur-I mean no love affair ; for I have no lover. I proinise you, the moment I have one, I will let you know. I shall hide nothing from you, be assured. I am not quite sure, though, that Ned Stampaway does not make some kind of appearance of being my pretendu ; but he is just a foolish, tiresome boy, and if you will prevent his coming so often, I shall be glad. He spoils my evenings, and makes me feel cross and unladylike, and so I snub him. That is a funny little word, 'snub, but it says a great deal.”

“Well, Nora, I suppose I must be content. As you assure me that

you bave no lover I must believe you. Indeed, I do not see how you can have a lover without my knowing it. Dr. Bethell's eldest son is engaged, you tell me, or else

“Arthur Bethell and I are very good friends ; but I have known of his engagement from the beginning, and I have been introduced to his fiancée, Mildred Hamilton. They will be married as soon as he can secure what the elders hold to be a proper income. He is a medical man, you know, and bis father will buy him a London practice as soon as he can hear of one that seems quite satisfactory.”

“How strange that Dr. Bethell's eldest son should not be in the Church !” “Do you think so, ma tante?

Such things are not hereditaryor ought not to be.”

“ And yet, I am told, there is a very good living in the Bethell family, and the present incumbent over seventy.”

“ That was one reason, I fancy, why Dr. Bethell never encouraged his son to think of entering the Church. He does not approve of the way livings are managed. Walter is studying for the Indian Civil Service; so, unless little Herbert should embrace his father's profession, there will not be a clergyman in the next generation of the Bethells." "Well, I think it is very strange.

Still, I do think very differently of Dr. Bethell from what I once did. My views have altered so much during the last few months, that I hesitate to pronounce judgment continually. I am not sure that I could listen to niy old pastor, Mr. Bunn, if he came back again—which, luckily, he cannot-he would be so appalied at the changes which have taken place during the last five-and-twenty years. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the Evangelicals must be right in the main. I wish they were not quite so positive. Oh, dear! there is Mr. Pet

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tifer at the gate. I will go to the nursery before he comes in. I dare say we shall not speak to each other to-night.”

will tell no living creature. It would be most indelicate and
improper, it seems to me, to speak on such a subject.”

“No good ever comes of a clandestine love affair, Nora. And I am surprised and pained at the opinions you express."

" Ma tante, I have no affuire-de-ccur—I mean no love affair ; for I have no lover. I promise you, the moment I have one, I will let you know. I shall hide nothing from you, be assured. I am not quite sure, though, that Ned Stampaway does not make some kind of appearance of being my pretendu ; but he is just a foolish, tiresome boy, and if you will prevent his coming so often, I shall be glad. He spoils my evenings, and makes me feel cross and unladylike, and so I snub him. That is a funny little word, 'snub,' but it says a great deal.”

“Well, Nora, I suppose I must be content. As you assure me that you have no lover I must believe you. Indeed, I do not see how you can have a lover without my knowing it. Dr. Bethell's eldest son is engaged, you tell me, or else —"

“Arthur Bethell and I are very good friends ; but I have knowo of his engagement from the beginning, and I have been introduced to his fiancée, Mildred Hamilton. They will be married as soon as he can secure what the elders hold to be a proper income. He is a medical man, you know, and his father will buy him a London practice as soon as he can hear of one that seems quite satis. factory'

"How strange that Dr. Bethell's eldest son should not be in the Church !”

Do you think so, ma tante? Such things are not hereditary

CHAPTER XLIII.-WHAT HAPPENED ON THE GREAT Moor ROAD.

Whether the married pair at the Woodlands held any private communication that night, I am not able to record; but in Nora's presence they certainly did not exchange the smallest greeting, or take the slightest notice of each other. Charles looked provokingly self-complacent at breakfast-time, and he engaged in a lively conversation with Nora—if that can be called a conversation which consisted of a series of sprightly remarks on the one side, and mere assent and sometimes silence on the other. Sarah was grim and glum, and never looked towards her husband. She, too, interchanged a few sentences with her niece; Nora was really a very useful person that morning-but for her, the amiable couple would probably have taken their morning meal without the utterance of

word, and everybody knows how awkward that kind of thing is especially when servants are present.

Breakfast was nearly over, and Nora was sugaring her uncle's last cup of coffee - he liked sugar, as he liked all other sweets when he looked up suddenly at Eastlake, the inan-servant, and addressed him thus:-“ Eastlake!”

"Yes, sir."

" Eastlake, I am going from home to-day, and I shall most probably remain out all night. Put up the two or three things that I sball require in the new bag, and carry it down to St. Mildred's, to my private rooms."

“Yes, sir, Shall I include any change of dress, sir ?

"No. Only just what is wanted for a single night. I shall be home before the evening service."

“Yes, sir,”

or ought not to be.

“And yet, I am told, there is a very good living in the Bethell family, and the present incumbent over seventy."

“ That was one reason, I fancy, why Dr. Bethell never encouraged his son to think of entering the Church. He does not approve of the way livings are managed. Walter is studying for the Indian Civil Service; so, unless little Herbert should embrace his father's profession, there will not be a clergyman in the next generation of the Bethells."

“Well, I think it is very strange. Still, I do think very differently of Dr. Bethell from what I once did. My views have altered so much during the last few months, that I hesitate to pronounce judgment continually. I am not sure that I could listen to mig old pastor, Mr. Bunn, if he came back again—which, luckily, he cannot-he would be so appalled at the changes which have taken place during the last five-and-twenty years. Nevertheless, it seems to me that the Evangelicals must be right in the main. I wish they were not quite so positive. Oh, dear! there is Mr. Pet.

"And Eastlake, tell the cook that she may send in cold grouse, or grouse-pie, every morning, till she has further orders. And she is not on any account to omit the mushrooms.”

“Very well, sir. At what time shall I carry down your bag?” "Immediately!-that is, as soon as you have carried out the breakfast. At any rate, the bag must be there no later than eleven o'clock."

Mrs. Pettifer drank her coffee in quiet gulps, and maintained an impenetrable and ominous silence. She felt berself outraged, and she was not unreasonable, all things considered. Decidedly, a husband ought not to remain out all night, the wife of his bosom being in utter ignorance of his whereabouts : and to have the fact announced, as Mr. Pettifer announced it, through orders given to a

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