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BREAD. Cure for
Biscuits SUPPLIED TO THE QUEEN AND ROYAL FAMILY.
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satisfactory, please write, sending sample (the cost of which will be defrayed), to S, FITTON & SON, MILLERS, MACCLESFIELD, Bakers recommending another bread in place of “HOVIS" do so for their own profit. Beware!
A BRIDE ELECT.
The short afternoon of that dreadful day had begun to darken. I was standing in the hall with Gregory, who, I think, had given up all hope by that time. He had found a little scarf which was Barbara's, and he was folding it together on the table with a lingering touch for the insensate thing still warm as it were from her use; it made my heart ache with sympathy to watch him. At that moment the outer door opened quickly, and I turned to see, -not Dick whom we expected, but a stranger coming in without knocking or announcement, like one who was familiar. He came up to Gregory and put a hand on his shoulder. “My dear fellow,” he said, "I am grieved beyond measure to hear of this."
He was a tall, slight man wearing a riding-coat and high boots, and with some of the falling snow still unmelted on his shoulders. He had removed his hat on entering, and as he stood bareheaded I thought his face one of the most attractive I had ever seen. His hair was gray, it is true, but no grayer than that of many men not past their prime, while his eyebrows were still black and delicately pencilled. I noticed the hair was worn rather longer than is the modern fashion, and swept away in a thick
wave from the high forehead. His features generally would have been called fine, but the charm of the face lay in the eyes,-brown and soft, what the French call yeux veloutés, and now that they were fixed on Gregory dark and moist with what in a woman would have been tears. Was this Redworth of Coldhope, the man against whom Eleanor was prejudiced ? I seldom shared Eleanor's prejudices, and did not feel moved to do so here.
“I wish I had been on the spot to help you,” he went on. “I hear you sent to my house this morning. I am but just returned, and have had hard work to get through the drifts. I am at your service -I and all that I have ; you have only to command me. Tell me what you are doing, what explanation is thought probable ?”
Gregory took the hand and wrung it,-a slender olive hand which his large grasp seemed wholly to enclose, but he could not for the moment answer in words. “Come in and sit down,” he said after the first choked pause ; and then, turning to me, “My cousin Miss Varney,—Mr. Redworth."
I was standing in the shadow, and I do not think Mr. Redworth had noticed me; but as I came forward on the introduction he positively started. “Great Heavens,” he exclaimed, “what a likeness !”
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I suppose the twilight disguised all away from the occupied rooms. Were the vast difference that must exist all the other members of the housebetween an old woman and a young hold accounted for during that time? one, and thus showed to advantage Did the officer hint at suspicion of the similarity in height and general any one under your roof?”. outline. “Yes,—yes," said Gregory, Gregory spoke of our occupations “I always saw it. Barbara was another in the drawing-room ; that Janie had Susan. This is a terrible business, been up-stairs and the servants in the Redworth, a terrible business. It kitchen, saying rather indignantly has half killed my poor Eleanor, and that no suspicion could attach to I feel the blow has gone home to me any of them, as there was complete also."
absence of motive. Mr. Redworth I led the way into the morning- heard him out without rejoinder, but room, where the maid had set out a stood thoughtfully stroking his shaven neglected tea-tray and lighted the upper lip with his forefinger, an action lamp. The two men stood on the which seemed habitual. I wonder if hearth, Mr. Redworth's soft dark eyes he had the power of silently impressdwelling on Gregory with an affec. ing others with his own thought, for tionate concern which warmed my it came to me as clearly as outward heart to him. The rays of the hang- speech-Janie was absent! Janie had ing lamp fell full upon him, and I a motive for wishing Barbara out of could see he was an older man than I the way! I was horror-stricken at had at first imagined. Clear as his myself for admitting the voice, and skin was in tint and showing colour strove to shut the ears of my soul to on the cheek, it was lined with innu- it; but despite my horror the idea merable fine wrinkles round the corners had taken shape. of the eyes and mouth; and there In the inward agitation of this were deep upright furrows between passage I lost the thread of what they the eyebrows, hinting that the expres were saying, and looked up to find sion of the handsome face was occasion Mr. Redworth's eyes considering me ally marred by a frown.
attentively, just as if he were cogni“I must apologise to Miss Varney sant of what had passed in my mind. for my costume,” he said, glancing He put his hand on Gregory's shoulder. down at it; “but I hurried here at “Once for all, Alleyne, I don't believe once without waiting to change.” in the expert's theory. Barbara could Then he turned to Gregory, and was have had no lover unknown to you. absorbed in his account of our cala- The one thing of which I could be mity, and of the hitherto unsuccessful certain in this dark perplexity,”-and search. I will not repeat this, for it here his voice broke, with a sudden embraced only what I have written tremor—"is her complete innocence here. Mr. Redworth put a shrewd of intention and act. God bless her,question or two, one of which had the God we both believe in though the effect of opening my mind to a we worship Him variously-God bless new and unwelcome idea. “You sayher wherever she is !” it was about an hour from the time This was spoken with strong feeling, you sent your daughter on the errand, and the father turned away covering till she was found to be missing?” his face. If this man had not won my
“An hour, as nearly as we can cal- heart before, it would have gone out culate.”
wholly to him now. Nothing touches “A great deal can happen in an us in our times of sorrow like a word hour, and of course the study is far of tender appreciation of those we mourn. The silver - crowned head day, though still suffering, she deshone before me in the blur of quick- scended at her usual hour to the rising tears, as if with the halo of a morning-room, whither any tidings saint. But I wiped them away in would at once be brought. She felt time to see clearly a change of ex- too restless and wretched, she said, to pression, another wordless interlude, remain up stairs through the bitter in which the idea was once more passage of this day which had been so quick, stirring blindly within me. differently anticipated. This was the
The door opened, and Dick Sude- wedding-day; the day of which our leigh and Janie entered together; I Barbara had said to me, as we stood saw Mr. Redworth's brown eyes, which together in the dressing-closet and she had been the instant before so mourn- put back the cover over her bridal fully tender, flash out now with a gown, “You will see me then in all sudden gleam of vindictive dislike, my splendour.” though the expression changed in: Poor Dick was with us for a while stantly, and he greeted them with after breakfast ; but he could hardly calm courtesy. It was not only this bear to speak to any one, and went off which struck me, but Janie's face again to join in the search which was when she saw him. She looked fright- still on foot far and wide through the ened and disturbed, barely touching snow-covered country. We others were the hand he offered her, and taking all together with Eleanor,-Gregory, an early opportunity to escape from Janie and I,—and the hour was about the room.
noon, when the door burst open and He did not stay long after this, re- Mary the parlour-maid rushed in, exmaining only briefly to detail the plan cited beyond all regard for her usually he had formed for searching the woods decorous manners. “Oh, sir — oh, and park so soon as the snow had ma’am," she gasped, “Miss Barbara cleared away. He seemed friendly has come back! She is in the drawwith Dick, and Dick with him ; if a ing-room, all ready in her weddingthought of rivalry had ever existed dress, and Mr. Sudeleigh away !” between them it might well be extin Gregory was on his feet in an inguished now in a common sorrow. It stant, and I was rushing after him when was easy of belief that to a man of his a second thought made me look back power of mind and fertility of resource, for Eleanor. She had attempted to the desire for our dear girl's young rise with the help of Janie's arm, but companionship had been only a passing sank back again, waving me away. weakness, dead and vanished as the “Go,” she said, “and bring my child leaves of that autumn which had seen to me." it arise.
The drawing-room was on the oppoI come now to so strange a part of site side of the hall and was entered my narrative,-to a circumstance so by two doors, having originally been inexplicable, except by theories and divided. I followed Gregory in at the assumptions for which I have enter- nearest, and was behind him only by tained a lifelong aversion, that I those arrested seconds. What was it pause, pen in hand, hesitating to write that we saw ? To all appearance it it here. But the history of the time was Barbara, in her trailing white would be incomplete without it, and I gown and with the lace veil covering must be faithful in giving the entire her head, but moving away from us at detail to judgment other than my own. the lower end of the room without
Eleanor was well enough by the notice, and passing out at the further evening to sit up; and on the Satur- door. Her father stood arrested. “ Barbara !” he cried to her hoarsely, and begged to be sent home to her “ Barbara !” but the figure did not mother; she dared not stay in the pause.
house, she said, another hour. Her As it disappeared through the door- story was that she had gone into the way I darted back into the hall, and drawing-room as usual to mend the there it was already half-way up the fires, and noticed nothing till she stairs, though moving with no appear- turned away from the second grate,ance of haste. I have been asked since “When there was Miss Barbara in whether it floated or walked; I can her wedding-dress, standing looking only say I saw nothing different from out of the front window"; she "fairly natural movement, except the rapidity screeched out” on seeing this, being with which that space had been tra- so astonished, though she did not feel versed while out of view. I would alarm, when the young lady turned have called to her also, but my voice and looked at her, making “a sort of seemed frozen in my throat. I gained beckon with her hand at the door," as the foot of the stairs in time to see the if signing to her to go and fetch the figure make a slight deliberate pause others. She understood and acted on on the first landing, and then pass into it at once, “not thinking till afterthe dressing-closet which opened from wards it wasn't natural for a lady to it on the left and had no other exit sign in that way with her hand and Gregory was with me by that time, not to speak.” She had seen Barbara's and we both followed close on the dis- face plainly through the veil, and appearance of the last folds of the “would have known her anywhere”; white train. The door when we came she looked quite natural, only rather to it was shut, though I remembered grave and sad. after that I had neither heard it close Neither Gregory nor I had seen the nor open. We opened it on the in- face, except as the figure turned sidestant, and, as will have been foreseen, ways in passing into the dressingthe room was empty.
closet, and then the folds of lace hung It held no furniture which could too closely over it for any real recoghave served the purpose of conceal- nition. When he entered the room, ment had she been hiding from us. -before me, be it remembered—the The room looked as I had seen it last, figure was turned away from him just with one notable difference; the wed- as I saw it, moving slowly in the ding-dress and veil had been dragged direction of the further door and takfrom the bed where it was spread out, ing no notice of his appeal. I was and lay dropped in a heap at our feet surprised by the impression the appearjust within the door.
ance made on him ; he would not admit No words of mine can adequately that we could have been hallucinated describe the shock of this strange by expectation arising from the girl's scene, nor the revulsion of feeling from outcry. Clergyman though he was, that moment of joyful certainty. man of sense and education as I had Gregory, the servant, and I were the always thought him, to him that vision three who witnessed what I must call of ours was Barbara herself; a sign the apparition ; Janie had stumbled as sure as the writing on the wall that and fallen forward on the floor in a she was no longer to be numbered in dead faint in attempting to follow us, this living world. Even in after times and was brought round after a long he never spoke of it without reverence time and with much difficulty. Mary, and awe. That it should fire the young the maid, was terribly frightened when lover's imagination was more natural ; she heard the sequel ; she cried bitterly Dick broke down altogether when he