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was be indeed very full awake Dear me, dear me! it seems like while Tony blondered out his ex- yesterday; " add be closed his eyes, cuses for disturbing bim.
and seemed lost in reverie; but if "My dear Tony, not a word of he really felt it like yesterday, he this. It is a real pleasure to see would have remembered how insoyou. I was taking a nap, just be- lently the superb aide-de-camp cause I bad nothing better to do. treated the meek civilian of the We are all alone here now, and the period, and how immeasurably place feels strange enough in the above Mr. Lyle of those days stood solitude. Mark gone — the girls the haughty Captain Butler of the away--and no one left bat Lady Governor-General's staff. Lyle and myself. There's your old “The soldiers used to fancy they friend ; that's some of the '32 cla- had the best of it, Tony; but, I take ret; fill your glass, and tell me that it, we civilians won the race at last;" you are come to pass some days and his eyes ranged over the vast with us."
room, with the walls covered by "I wish I was, sir; but I lave pictures, and the sideboard loaded come to say good-bye. I'm off to- with massive plate, while the array morrow for London."
of decanters on the small spiderFor London! What! another table beside hiin suggested largely freak, Tony ?"
of good living. * Scarcely a freak, sir," said he “A very old friend of mine, Jos. srniling. "They've telegraphed to Hughes -- he was salt assessor at me to come up and report myself Bussorabad-once remarked to me, for service at the Foreign Office." Lyle,' said be, "a man must make * As a Minister, eb"
his choice in life, whether he pre* No, sir; a Messenger."
fers a brilliant start or a good finish, " An excellent thing, too; a capi- for he cannot have both.' Take tal thing. A man must begin some- your pleasure when young, and you where, you know. Every one is must consent to work when old ; not as lucky as I was, to start with but if you set ont vigorously, deterclo-e on twelve hondred & year. I mined to labour bard in early life, wasn't twenty when I landed at when you come to my age, Tony, Calcutta, Tony-a mere boy!" you inay be able to enjoy your rest" Here the baronet filled his glass, and and here be waved his hand round, drank it off with a solemnity that as though to show the room in seemed as if it were & silent toast which they sat-" to enjoy your rest, to his own health, for in his own not without dignity." estimation he merited that honour, Tony was an attentive listener, very few men having done more and Sir Arthur was flattered, and for themselves than he bad; not went on. “I am sincerely glad to that he bad not been over-grateful, have the opportunity of these few however, to the fortune of his early moments with you. I am an old days in this boastful acknowledg- pilot, so to say, on the sea you are ment, since it was in the humble about to venture upon; and really, enpacity of an admiral's secretary- the great difficulty young fellows they called them clerks in those bave in life is, that the men who daye-he had first found himself in know the whole thing from end to the Indian Ocean, a mere accident end will not be honest in giving leading to his appointment on shore their experiences. There is a cerand all his subsequent good fortune, tain 'snobbery'-I have no other · Yes, Tony," continued he, “I word for it-tbat prevents their started at wbat one calls a high confessing to small beginnings. rung of the ladder. It was then They don't like telling how bumble I first saw your father; he was they were at the start; and wbat is about the same age you are now. the consequence? The value of the He was on Lord Dollington's staff. whole lesson is lost! Now, I have
no such scruples, Tony. Good family connections and relatives of influence I had; I cannot deny it. I suppose there are scores of men would have coolly sat down and said to their right honourable cousin or their noble uncle, ‘Help me to this—get me that;' but such was not my mode of procedure. No, sir; I resolved to be my own patron, and I went to India.” When Sir Arthur said this, he looked as though his words were: “I volunteered to lead the assault. It was I that was first up the breach. But, after all, Tony, I can't get the boys to believe this.” Now these boys were his three sons, two of them middle-aged, white-headed, liverless men in Upper India, and the third that gay dragoon with whom we have had some slight acquaintance. “I have always said to the boys, “Don’t lie down on your high relations.’” Had he added that they would have found them a most uncomfortable bed, he would not have been beyond the truth., “Do as I did, and see how gladly, ay, and how proudly, they will recognise you. I say the same to you, Tony. You have, I am told, some family connections that might be turned to account?” “None, sir; not one,” broke in Tony, boldly. “Well, there is that Sir Omerod Butler. I don't suspect he is a man of much actual influence. He is, I take it, a bygone.” “I know nothing of him; nor do I want to know anything of him,” said Tony, pushing his glass from him, and looking as though the conversation were one he would gladly change for any other topic; but it was not so easy to tear Sir Arthur from such a theme, and he Went on. “It would not do for yon, perhaps, to make any advances towards him.” “I should like to see myself!” said Tony, half choking with angry impatience. J. “I repeat, it would not do for
you to take this step; but if you had a friend—a man of rank and station—one whose position your uncle could not but acknowledge as at least the equal of his own—”
“He could be no friend of mine who should open any negotiations on my part with a relation who has treated my mother so uncourteously, sir."
“I think you are under a mistake, Tony. Mrs Butler told me that it was rather her own fault than Sir Omerod's that some sort of reconciliation was not effected. Indeed, she once showed me a letter from your uncle when she was in trouble about those Canadian bonds.”
“Yes, yes, I know it all,” said Tony, rising, as if all his patience was at last exhausted. “I have read the letter you speak of; he offered to o her five or six hundred pounds,
r to give it, I forget which ; and
he was to take me”—here he burst into a fit of laughter that was almost hysterical in its harsh mockery—“to take me. I don't know what he was to do with me, for I believe he has turned Papist, Jesuit, or what not; perhaps I was to have been made a priest, or a friar; at all events I was to have been brought up dependent on his bounty—a bad scheme for each of us. e would not have been very proud of his protegé; and, if I know myself, I don't think I'd have been very grateful to my protector. My dear mother, however, had too much of the mother in her to listen to it, and she told him so, perhaps too plainly for his refined notions in matters of phraseology; for he frumped and wrote no more to us
“Which is exactly the reason why a friend, speaking from the eminence which a certain station confers, might be able to place matters on a better and more profitable footing.”
“Not with my consent, sir, depend upon it,” said Tony, fiercely.
“My dear Tony, there is a vulgar adage about the impolicy of quarrelling with one's bread and butter;
but how far more reprehensible something towards his mother's would it be to quarrel with the face comfort." of the man who cuts it?".
“I think you never take sugar," It is just possible that Sir Arthur said she, smiling faintly; "and was as much mystified by his own for a while you made a convert of illustration as was Tony, for each Alice." continued for some minutes to look Was there ever a more commonat the other in a state of hopeless place remark? and yet it sent the bewilderment. The thought of one blood to poor Tony's face and temmystery, however, recalled another, ples, and overwhelmed bim with and Tony remembered his mother's confusion. “You know that the note.
girls are both away?” "By the way, sir, I have a letter “It's a capital thing they've given here for you from my mother," said him," said Sir Arthur trying to he, producing it.
extract from his wife even the sem. Sir Arthur put on his spectacles blance of an interest in the young leisurely, and began to peruse it. fellow's career, It seemed very brief, for in an in- “What is it?" asked she. stant he had returned it to bis poc “How do they call you ? are you ket. “I conclude you know nothing a Queen's messenger, or a Queen's of the contents of this?” said hc, courier, or a Foreign Office mes. quietly.
senger?” “Nothing whatever."
"I'm not quite sure. I believe, " It is of no consequence. You we are messengers, but whose I may simply tell Mrs. Butler from me don't remember.” that I will call on her by an early “They have the charge of all the day; and now, won't you come despatches to the various embassies and have a cup of tea? Lady Lyle and legations in every part of the will expect to see you in the draw. world," said Sir Arthur, pompously. ing-room."
"How addling it must be -- how Tony would have refused, if he confusing," knew how ; even in his old days he “Why so? You don't imagine had been less on terms of intimacy that they have to retain them, and with Lady Lule than any others of report them orally, do you?". the family, and she had at times a "Well, I'm afraid I did," said sort of dignified stateliness in her she, with a little simper that seemed manner that checked him greatly. to say, What did it signify either
"Here's Tony Butler come to way? take a cup of tea with you, and say "They'd have made a most ungood-bye," said Sir Arthur, as he lucky selection in my case," said led him into the drawing room. Tony, laughing, "if such had been
"Oh, indeed! I am too happy to the duty." see him," said she, laying down her “Do you think you shall like book; while, with a very chilly it?" emile, she added, “And where is Mr. “I suppose I shall. There is so Butler bound for this time?" And very little I'm really fit for, that simple as the words were, she con. I look on this appointment as a trived to impart to them a meaning piece of rare luck. I fancy I'd as though she had said, “What new rather have gone into the armyscheme or project has he now? a cavalry regiment, for instance." What wild-goose chase is he at pre- " The most wasteful and extrasent engaged in ?'
vagant career a young fellow could Sir Arthur came quickly to the select," said Sir Arthur, smarting rescue, as he said, "He's going to under some recent and not over take up an appointment under the pleasant experiences. Crown; and, like a good and pru- "The uniform is so becoming, dent iad, to earn his bread, and do too,” said she, languidly.
“It is far and away beyohd any pretension of my humble fortune, madam,” said Tony, proudly, for there was an impertinent carelessness in her manner that stung him to the quick. “Ah, yes,” sighed she “and the army, too, is not the profession for one who wants to marry.” Tony again felt his cheek on fire, but he did not utter a word as she went on, “And reports say something like this of you, Mr. Butler.” “What, Tony! how is this? I never heard of it before,” cried Sir Arthur. “Nor I, sir.” “Come, come. It is very indiscreet of me, I know,” said Lady Lyle; “but as we are in such a secret committee here at this moment, I fancied I might venture to offer my congratulations.” “Congratulations ! on what would be the lad's ruin! Why, it would be downright insanity. I trust there is not a word of truth in it.” “I repeat, sir, that I hear it all for the first time.” “I conclude, then, I must have been misinformed.” “Might I be bold enough to ask from what quarter the rumour reached you, or, with whom they mated me?” “Oh, as to your choice, I hear she is a very nice girl indeed, admirably brought up and well educated—everything but rich; but of course that fact is well known to you. Men in her father's position are seldom affluent.” “And who could possibly have taken the trouble to weave all this romance about me?” said Tony, flushing not the less deeply that he suspected it was Dolly Stewart who was indicated by the description. “One of the girls, I forget which, told me. Where she learned it, I forget, if I ever knew; but I remember that the story had a sort of completeness about it that looked like truth.” Was it accident or intention that made Lady Lyle fix her eyes steadily on Tony as she spoke *
As she did so, his colour, at first crimson, gave way to an ashy paleness, and he seemed like one about to faint. “After all,” said she, “perhaps it was a mere flirtation that people magnified into marriage.” “It was not even that,” gasped he out, hoarsely. “I am overstaying my time, and my mother will be waiting tea for me,” muttered he ; and with some scarcely intelligible attempts at begging to be remembered to Alice and Bella, he took his leave, and hurried away. While Tony, with a heart almost bursting with agony, wended his way towards home, Lady Lyle resumed her novel, and Sir Arthur took up the ‘Times.” After about half an hour's reading he laid down the paper, and said, “I hope there is no truth in that story about young Butler.” “Not a word of it,” said she, dryly. “Not a word of it! but I thought you believed it.” “Nothing of the kind. It was a lesson the young gentleman has long needed, and I was only waiting for a good opportunity to give it.” “I don't understand you. do you mean by a lesson o’” “I have very long suspected that it was a great piece of imprudence on our part to encourage the intimacy of this young man here, and to give him that position of familiarity which he obtained amongst us; but I trusted implicitly to the immeasurable distance that separated him from our girls, to secure us against danger. That clever man of the world, Mr. Maitland, however, showed me I was wrong. He was not a week here till he saw enough to induce him to give me a warning; and though at first he thought it was Bella's favour he aspired to, he afterwards perceived it was to Alice he directed his attentions.” “I can't believe this possible. Tony would never dare such a piece of presumption.” “You forget
two things, Sil
Arthur. This young fellow fancies repining and complaining just as if that his good birth makes him the it wasn't my own supplication that equal of any one; and, secondly, was listened to." Alice, in her sense of independence, Perhaps Tony was not in a huis exactly the girl to do a folly, and mour to discuss a nice question of imagine it to be heroic; so Mait- ethical meaning, for he abruptly land himself said to me, and it was said, “Sir Arthur Lyle read your perfectly miraculcus how well he note over, and said he'd call one of read her whole nature. And in- these days and see you. I suppose deed it was he who suggested to he meant with the answer." me to charge Tony Butler with “There was no answer, Tony; being engaged to the minister's the matter was just this, I wanted daughter, and told me — and, as I a trifle of an advance from the bank, saw, with truth-how thoroughly it just to give you a little money when would test his suspicions about him, you'd have to go away; and Tom I thought he was going to faint- M'Elwain, the new manager, not he really swayed back and forwards knowing me perhaps, referred the when I said that it was one of the matter to Sir Arthur, which was girls from whom I had the story." not what I wished or intended, and
"If I could only believe this, he so I wrote and said so. Perbaps I should never cross the threshold said so a little too curtly, as if I ngain. Such insolence is, however, was too proud, or the like, to accept incredible,"
a favour at Sir Arthur's hands; for "That's a man's way of regard- he wrote me a very beautiful letter ing it; and however you neer at it went home to my heart-about our credulity, it enables us to see his knowing your father long ago, scores of things that your obstinacy when they were both lads, and had is blind to. I am sincerely glad be the wide world before them; and is going away."
alluding very touchingly to the Lord's *So am 1-now; and I trust, in bounties to himself blessing him my heart, we have seen the last of with a full garner."
"I hope you accepted nothing "llow tired you look, my poor from him," broke in Tony, roughly, Tony!" said his mother, as he en- “ No, Tony; for it happened that tered the cottage and threw himself James Hewson, the apothecary, bad heavily and wearily into a chair. a hundred pounds that he wanted
"I am tired, mother-very tired to lay out on a safe mortgage, and and jaded,"
so I took it, at six per cent, and "I wondered what kept you so gave him over the deeds of the little long, Tony; for I had time to pack place here." your trunk, and to put away all "For a hundred pounds! Why, your things, and when it was done it's worth twelve hundred at least, and finished, to sit down and sorrow mother!” over your going away. Oh, Tony “What a boy it is!” said she, dear, aren't we ungrateful crea- laughing. “I merely gave him his tures, when we rise up in rebellion right to claim the one hundred that against the very mercies that are be advanced, Tony dear; and my vouchsafed us, and say, Why was note to Sir Arthur was to ask him my prayer granted me! I am sure to have the bond, or whatever it is it was many and many a night, as called, rightly drawn up and witI knelt down, I begged the Lord nessed, and at the same time to thank would send you some calling or him heartily for his own kind readiother, that you might find means ness to serve me." of an honest living, and a line of "I hate a mortgage, mother. I life that wouldn't disgrace the stock don't feel as if the place was our you came from; and now that He own any longer." has graciously heard me, here I am “Your father's own words, eight