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5^—^ ^^Y~[AXLRIGHTS RESXRVED.1 ((/J r[v ALL RIGHTS A-OIL I or W- m 10% if I ][.,f FLY or, TH:TTJ'ITèflILi M HH By MADGE BARLOW, IW /?\ Author of "Crag Cormac," "The Cairn of the Badger," &c. ?\ CHAPTER XI. (Continued. ) I DRAWN BATTLE. I Unaware of what tarried for her coming down among the heather, she sullenly ac quiesced, and wrote away for a supply of novels and several costumes suited to her change of abode. Darkington's luggage went- in charge of Tatthcrs, and his parting from Flvi was affectionate and brotherly. Neither men- tioned Andy, but in the girl's transparently tell-tale face he read the answer to one of his unasked queries. She loved Cheveral. Did Cheveral love her? What was Dorn s position as regards this coveted Flyn? Were the men acknowledged livals? These were for Svlvia's answering: She did not aecompanv him, postponing the evil hour, lingering in her cosy quarters till the sun sank westward and tipped the heath with flame. Then she donned hat and coat and quitted Paradise Hill. The gloaming gained upon her. In the half light the moor was an eerie place. A magpie hopped in front of her, and she re- called the saving "one for sorrow," and was vao-uelv troubled. The melancholy cry of plover 'in flight cmickencd her pulse, and she threw nervous giances across her shoulder. Soft rustlings pursued her like ghostly foot- steps. They followed to the threshold of the dilapidated Lodge; seemed to wait while she kliocked. Horace himself opened to her, exclaiming peevishlv at her breathlessness and pallor. "Why do vou do that?" he demanded. Her wide" eyes had looked back into the grey gloaming, travelled sidewise, and on past him into the unlit hall, as though they watched something invisible to him. "Did you feel anything?" She clutched his arm."Anything that brushed against vou and went in?" He glowered at her wrathfullv. "It crept after me all the way, she whim- pered. "I saw it glide close by the wall. and it looked like you—your fetch. What does it portend, Horace, when a living per- son's fetch is seen?" "Drop your cursed tomfoolery," he shrilled, springing back from the wall and veiling for candles. "Shut the door," and then, catching the contagion of her nervous- .ness, "no, better leave it open. Are you crazy? You are shivering. It's the chill of the moor." "It's goose-flesh," she retorted, the sight of his ebbing courage restoring hers. II)Cou're enough to "Ugh!" he grunted. "You're enough to Ive a man the blues." The yellow flare of candles braced him. He banged the door and strode into a room where the supper was laid. He broke the turf on the hearth with his heel and sent the red sparks flying up the cavernous chimney. He grinned at her frowning discontent. "We shall live the simple life here, my lady. You will note that the food is plain, wholesome, and nutritious. Sylvia was usually a sound sleeper," but she awoke in the middle of the night, dis- turbed by a gentle scrapin g on the floor of a tinv apartment off that in which she lay, and utilised by her as a dressing-room Stooping, she peered through the keyhole of the communicating door and beheld Horace shifting her trunks, skilfully picking the locks, tossing the contents pell-mell in his I search for she knew not what. When each trunk was examined he flung her garments in again and turned to another. He cam6 to a writing-desk, a neat and compact toy suited to her ladyship's requirements, and Svlvia's agitation overpowered her. Had thev been at Paradise Hill ehe would have rushed in and torn it from him, exposed him to the household as she would a common mid- night burglar; but in the lonely Lodge she was at his mercy. She could only crouch liehind the wooden barrier dividing them, and with distended eyes see him take out of the desk and read Dorn's letter urging her to cancel her < £ 500 bridge debt by coming to Ireland and assisting him in his strenuous wooing. Next he lifted a limp manuscript book. Her diary! the mad, foolish record of every day's doings, her inmost thoughts, hot outpourings of an undisciplined, wayward woman. In its pages Horace was pilloried. She had waxed merry over his belief in her willingness to help him steal the iron-mine she had already agreed to deliver into Dorn's hands for a princely sum, to be paid when lie married Flyn. I Her plan of campaign was jotted down. This had she said on Dorn's behalf, this done to drive Flyn nearer him and farther from Cheveral. "Andv is out of the running," ran her final entry. "And Cheveral shall not marry her if human ingenuity can prevent him." Darkington's face was fiendish. "Nor shall tr? other," he hissed.  I ?%? CHAPTER XII. ':4 THE RIFT WIDENS. I Reluctant to ring down the curtain upon his farcical stewardship until circumstances compelled him, Eric resumed his morning calls upon his mistress to receive her in Etructions. On the morning we write of, Flyn sat in I the summer parlour, making faces at the ad. vertisement columns of a popular London daily. As he entered she schooled her fea- tures to severity and pushed the paper under a dictionary. 'Flyn always had recourse to a. dictionary when conducting her correspon- dence. He saw an envelope on the table addressed to initials at the office of the news- paper. The ink was wet, Since the gipsy tea they had been merely employer and employed, both cold and dis- tant, hard of eye. "I can't be worried this morning," she said, a snap in her voice, her glance straying involuntarily to the envelope and the newspaper. "I've had a—a bit of a mental shaking." "I might wait in the hall till you re- cover. "Then I'll have to join a party of friends in a cycling excursion to the seashore," frostily. "Wiio goes, may I inquire?" "The Mallards issued invitations. It's their concern, not my paid steward's." "You haven't offered me payment yet, and I've accepted none, therefore the snub's pre- mature. I presume Dorn will be of the iiui-tv? "Possibly." Her tone provocative. "Will he?" His tone authoritative. "Yes." She settled back in her chair for an interval of enjoyment. "And you'll ride with him?" Am I not at liberty to do that if I choose, Mr. Bamfvlde?" "You are at liberty to ride to-Hades with him." Quite like as though we were married," mused Flyn, veiling her eyes and pursing her pretty lips. Now am I sure you love iiie well and truly, or you would not so far forget the conventions as almost to swear at me," she crooned to herself. Audibly she expressed an opinion that if Mr. Bamfylde must use navvy's language she ought to ex- cuse him while he relieved his feelings out- bide on the mat. It was applying a match to gunpowder. "Wicked, deceitful, unprincipled girl, to flaunt him in my face after what has passed between you and me. You've played fast and loose with me, tricked me. I wish I had never met you. Go to him. He's taken plenty of kicks and deserves some kindness. Marry him. It won't matter to me. Old loves are best." "You seemed to think so when you cried Good Luck.' Your behaviour convinced me of it." You are easily convinced. I daresay you wanted to be." If any* excuse could justify your-" 11 sboi-ld not frame one," she said warmly. I'm not responsible to you for my actions. Had you asked me at the time it would have been different, but you were con- tent to misjudge me. You were insulting. By letting me plainly understand, that your rash love-making was an error repented of, you forfeited your claim to my confidence." n You had no right to stroll about the £ elds with that fellow," he said huskily. Pverv richt if it pleased me." she re- torted. You know nothing detrimental to his character, do you? Or, perhaps, it is mine, the Culsheen version of it, which leads you to suppose I'm not to be trusted out of sight." Her eyes sparkled dangerously. It's the mysterious connection between you and him I object to," Eric thundered. I" There shall be no mystery about the girl I marry. "I don't happen to be that girl. And as for mysteries, they have a habit of sometimes crumbling away 1t;0 nothing on close inspec- tion. Then what is your reason for cieating one?" If reasons were as plentiful as black- berries I would give no man a reason on com- pulsion," she quoted softly. And he swung upon his heel and walked to the window, scarcely able to contain himself. Mrs. Jaffe is going into the village, Miss Flyn, and will post vour letter." Jaffe scowled at the broad back Eric pre- sented to him, read temper in every line of it, and wondered why his lady should be cross with him for interrupting an interview which seemed to have been turbulent. She gave him the letter, and still he waited. "Well?" she said testily, mentally voting him a nuisance and a busybody. Before going she wishes you to select the new kitchen-maid. There's three of her in the servants' hall, and they're tearin' the feathers out of each other's hats try in' to settle which of 'em will keep the situation. Mrs. Jaffe can't get in a word." Flyn laughed tremulously. She sat round on the edge of her chair and looked at the rigid back, her eyes wistful. If he would only return the look. So small, a thing—a smile, a lessening of the frown—would pave the road to peace and mutual understanding. But he continued to gaze at the sweetbrier tangles, and Jaffe to wait. I suppose I must go," she said, nibbling the pen-handle and sighing ( ver the contra- riness of men whose temperament was mas- terful. Mr. Bamfylde can leave with me ary message lie has not yet "delivered," Jaffe told her, his tone patronising. My business with Miss Macara is finished," said Eric. I've no more to add, but if Miss Macara wishes the subject re- opened I-I shall be glad to discuss it again whenever she thinks fit." Mr. Bamfylde talks and acts as if the place and all in it belonged to him," growled her soldier guardian. I wish they did," thought Flyn, being at heart a truckling female. Eric was not curious about the letter ad- dressed to initials, but a peep at its contents Blight have given him something to think of in addition to lovers' quarrels. Flyn had written ^In reply to advertisement in 'Times' of ttk inst. Miss Macara of Paradise Hill, by Culsheen, County begs to inform G. C. that the book referred to is her property, also that she would be most grateful if G. C. tvould kindly restore it to her without delay." As quickly as boat and train could whirl him thither Simpkins travelled to Paradise Hill, by Culsheen. and saw Miss Macara, the li,irl in v quest of whom he had haunted offices and typewriting bureaux innumerable. She took the little shabby book of poems into her hands, and Simpkins observed that they trembled, and her face WPS deadly pale. My master would have come himself but for a severe attack of gout," he said, respect- fully declining to be seated. "I am his valet, a confidential servant entrusted with the management of his private affairs. I lam bidden to ask you for information con- cerning the young woman whose name is on the fly-leaf." rI Confidential servant exclaimed Flyn, her mouth twitching. Why, I fancied you were the Archbishop of Canterbury at the very least." She appeared agitated, anxious to gain time to think. My master believes you can tell him all he desires to know about Mies Clodagh Far- rell," Simpkins, resumed gravely. It is of the utmost importance to him." And who may your master be ? "He is Viscount Cheveral, of Cheveral House, Mayfair, and The Chase, in Sussex." What does such an exalted personage want with Clpdagh FarreUF" That, madam, he bade me not disclose. I can say, however, that if you plave him and the youno- lady in communication it will be to Miss tarrell's advantage." It's very puzzling, really," said Flyn, fluttering the leaves .of the little volume. I never met a-a live Viscount in my life, nor did she. Perhaps you are looking for quite another Clodagh Farrell." "I am certain we arc on the right track," replied Simpkins. She was a daughter of the late Captain Harry Farrell of the Poona Horse, and connected by the mother's side with the Macaras, your v family. The inscrip- tion on the book points to intimacy and affection between you and the writer. Intimacy and affection," echoed Flyn. Oh, yes, more than that—infinitely mere." "You will oblige Viscount Cheveral? notebook and pencil in evidence, the pencil poised. "I can do nothing for him. The person he seeks is dead." A sharp click of the pencil against Simp- kins' teeth might have been only his way of expressing astonishment—or disbelief. "Would you mind giving particulars?" he interrogated. "I do not see why I should. Viscount Cheveral gives me none. He Bends you to ask questyans, and so far I've answered cour- teously, but private family matters cannot be gons into with a complete stranger, one who isn't perfectly frank though he expects frankness. My master is self-opinionated. He has conceived a dislike .to the Macaras, and re- fuses to enter into details which concern himself alone. The little book had belonged, he heard, to a Miss Macara, and through it he hoped to trace Miss Farrell, trusting to your generosity to supply the required in- formation. "How did he get possession of my book?" Your Bloomsbury landlady chanced to be a relation of mine," fibbed Simpkins. It is extraordinary," ruffling her fore- head. "I cannot imagine why he should take all the trouble, for personally he is un- known to me, though name and title are familiar. Carry him the message that Clo- dagh Farrell is dead, and nobody regrets it more bitterly than I." The tense tragedy of her face half con- vinced Simpkins. The moment after lie gasped like a fish out of water, his eyes on the window, past which a tali, twced-clad figure was striding, followed by La'd. "Who was that?" he asked, doubting the reliability of his organs of vision. "My steward, Mr. Bamivlde." Flyn'e lamentable trick of blushing at the wrong time drew the keen eye of Gid's "treasure" upon her. "How long has he been your steward?'" Two or three months." And he recently returned from a visit to London?" "What business is it of the Viscount's confidential servant? she demanded, re- venging the blush. He smiled austerely into the crown of hie hat. My master's business is mine. You needn't pretend that you call the gentleman who has gone by a Bamfylde. Lord Dark- ington's at the. Lodge. He would know his own cousin. He hates the Viscount's nephew." "If the Viscount has a nephew, and that nephew is here, show him to me," she said in exasperation. He passed your window, and you said he was your steward." Simpkins looked scandaliscd, and murmured something about the bluest blood in England "You are speaking of Mr. Bamfylde. Are you sa ying- That he is as much Bamfylde as I am. Did anybody ever see a fair-haired, blue- eyed Darkiiigton'? But he's just a second cousin, and the strain of Norwegian blood would ac- count She broke off indignantly. I "Why do you laugh?" she cried, stamping her. foot. Simpkins apologised, and said the offence was unintentional. He had the grand manner to perfection. It simply amounts to this, madam," he said, preparing to depart. I find my master s nephew and heir, the Honourable Eric Cheveral. in the camp of the enemy. acting as a common steward, deceiving his uncle, and perhaps you, though I doubt that, since Lord Darkington could, and would, enlighten you. You were pardon me embarrassed when he passed. You would rather he had not done so. I draw my conclusions. Your motive in answering my queries as you did answer them is now apparent. I wish you good-day, and regret that I cannot thank you." "Is he crazy? Am I?" she muttered wildly when Simpkins skipped down the avenue in high glee. Eric Cheveral There was no big, boyish Andy, only Eric Cheveral, the man whose name had been to her anathema. She let the amazing thought sink in, but no amount of contemplation could make it other than unfamiliar, grotesque. Scraps of old con- unfamiliar, Td ta l es of Sylvia' .s recurred to versations, old tales of Sylvia's recurred to her. Her sudden fondness for cousin Andy, her face in the whin field, Horace's face, Andy's as he detained my lord in private con- verse hushing it up. Hushing what up? She turned upon herself fiercely with the question, and bit her lip and trod the floor in torment. She crushed her head between her hands to crush and kill the evil whis- perings. No, No, NO," she cried to them. You shall not say such things. I won't listen. They'd drive me mad." But her ears rang with the monotonous reiteration, There is no Andy, only Eric Cheveral, only Eric Cheveral." And he's wicked and debased," said one of the spirit voices. She threw out her arms with a superb gesture of disdain. You lie, Sylvia! she said, in deep ring- ing tones. That confession of faith, disowning by- gone judgment and condemnation, quieted her a little. A few days later Jaffe brought her a letter in Gid's handwriting, written as Gid alone could write when the arch-fiend stood at his elbow egging him on. It was vindictive and cruel. In his fury at what he deemeu her false report of Clodagh Farrell's death, given to further her private schemes and purposes, he ac- cused her of entrapping his nephew in order to gain title and position by marrying him. All his bottled-up resentment against the proud Macaras vented itself on a defence- less girl, who shrank while she read, shame burning her till she was one fiery scorch from head to foot. Nor did he scruple to imitate Culsheen and call her adventuress. "To feign ignorance of his real name and dignity is a sort of clumsy rustic cunning for which I despise you," Gid scrawled, his quill digging holes in the paper. "Lord Darkington's very presence at your door confounds you. Were you the ingenue you pretend to be, he would soon dispel your child-like ignorance. And now mark me, for I am a man of my word, if you lure my nephew into a. mesalliance, I will, as far as I am able, disinherit him. He shall be a beggar, though a titled one, trying to exiet on an income insufficient for the upkeep of a suburban villa. -The rent-roll is a miser- able dribble. It is the sum total of what he will have—if you marry him. Of my largo private fortune he shall not touch a single shilling. I will never look upon his face. My curse shall rest on him and vou, and your children's children. Let this plain statement prove me in ef.rnest when I add to the foregoing that I would rather see him, the sole hope of my old age, shrouded in his coffin than married to you." A moan issued from her white lips. She was like a creature that had received its death-thruet nnd was in mortal pain. Not until then did she fully comprehend the I height and depth of her love for the man v.'ho had assumed Andy Ba?afyld?'s name, and won her hcart in spite of her inward struggle and resistance, whom she had ,alre;íây forgiven whatever of deception he h?d practised on her, as only women can I fagivc the well-beloved. And this terrible old man would curse them and the souls unborn if she gave herself to him who alone had the right to claim her. Could she drag him down to ruin? A few words would dispel the cloud between them and restore her, blameless, to his arms. Dare clic utter those words? She knew that cu;vx.'G would not terrify him, nor threats of poverty; but the remembrance that she had brought him these as her marriage dower would always haunt her. Better to give him up and let him go far from her and forget. Time w^ijld console him, another face blot I out her imr.o-e. While the sobbing, frightened girl fought her lonely battle to its inevitable end, Gid ai.d Simpkins discussed her. "The Macara vixen will be reading her letter," sneered Gid, his harsh jaw iron- hard. "Perhaps she's thick-skinned, and I didn't cut her severely enough, eh?" "Quite enough, sir," purred Simpkins. thinking of two appealing grey eyes. a little sensitive mouth, a cheek that flushed and paled. "Yes, you needn't reproach yourself on the score of softness, sir." (To be Contiuued.)






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