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He next pulled the window down at the top, behind the blind; but the chamber, at its best, did not find favour with him. "It is not airy; it is not cool," he said. "Is there not a better ventilated room in the house? If so, she shall be moved to it."

"My room is a cool one," interposed Ethel, eagerly. "The sun never shines upon it, Mr. Snow."

It would appear that Ethel's thus speaking must have reminded Mr. Snow that she was present. In the unceremonious fashion that he had laid his hands upon the chimney bag, he now laid them upon her shoulders, and marshalled her outside the door.

"You go down stairs, Miss Ethel. And do not come within a mile of this chamber again, until I give you leave."

But, meanwhile, Sarah Anne was talking also, imperiously and fretfully. "I will not be moved into Ethel's room! It is not furnished with half the comforts of mine. It has only a bit of bedside carpet! I will not go there, Mr. Snow."

"Now look you here, Miss Sarah Anne!" said the surgeon, firmly. "I am responsible for getting you well out of this illness; and I shall take my own way to do it. If not, if I am to be contradicted at every suggestion, Lady Sarah can summon somebody else to attend

not undertake it."

you: I will

"My darling, you shall not be moved to Ethel's room," cried my lady, coaxingly: "you shall be moved to mine. It is larger than this, you know, Mr. Snow, with a thorough draught through it, if you choose to put the windows and door open."

"Very well," said Mr. Snow. "Let me find her in it when I come up again this evening. And if there's a carpet on the floor, take it up. Carpets never were intended for bedrooms."

He went into one of the sitting-rooms with Lady Sarah when he descended. "What do you think of the case?" she eagerly asked.

"There will be some difficulty with it," was his candid reply. "Lady Sarah, her hair must come off."

"Her hair come off!" uttered Lady Sarah, aghast.

"That it never

shall! She has the most lovely hair! What is Ethel's hair, compared to hers ?"

"You heard the determination I expressed, Lady Sarah," he quietly said.

"But Sarah Anne will never allow it to be done," she returned, shifting the ground of remonstrance from her own shoulders. "And, to do it in opposition, would be enough to kill her." "It will not be done in opposition," he answered. "She will be unconscious before it is attempted."

Lady Sarah's heart sank. "You anticipate that she will be dangerously ill!"

"In these cases there is always danger, Lady Sarah. But worse cases than-as I believe-hers will be, have got well over it."


"If I lose her, I shall die myself!" she passionately uttered. if she is to have it badly, she will die! Remember, Mr. Snow, how weak she has always been!"

"We sometimes find that the weak of constitution battle best with an epidemic," he replied. "Many a hearty one has it struck down and taken

off; many a sickly one has struggled through it, and been the better afterwards."

"Everything shall be done as you wish," said Lady Sarah, speaking meekly, in her great fear.

"Very well. There is one caution I would earnestly impress upon. you that of keeping Ethel from the sick-room."


"But there is nobody to whom Sarah Anne is so accustomed, as a nurse," objected Lady Sarah.

"Madam!" burst forth the doctor in his heat, "would you subject Ethel to the risk of taking the infection, in deference to Sarah Anne's selfishness, or to yours? Better lose all the treasures your house contains, than lose Ethel! She is its greatest treasure."

"I know how remarkably prejudiced you have always been in Ethel's favour!" resentfully spoke Lady Sarah.

"If I disliked her as much as I like her, I should be equally solicitous to guard her from the danger of infection," said Mr. Snow. "If you choose to put Ethel out of consideration, you cannot put Thomas Godolphin in justice to him, she must be taken care of."

Lady Sarah opened her mouth to reply; but closed it again. Strange words had been hovering upon her lips: "If Thomas Godolphin were not blind, his choice would have fallen upon Sarah Anne; not upon Ethel." In her heart, that was a sore topic of resentment: for she was fully alive to the advantages of a union with a Godolphin. Those words were swallowed down; to give utterance to others.

"Ethel is in the house; and therefore must be liable to take the infection, whether she visits the chamber or not. I cannot fence her round with an air-tight wall, so that not a breath of tainted atmosphere shall touch her. I would if I could: but I cannot."


"I would send her from the house, Lady Sarah. At any rate, I forbid her to go near her sister. I don't want two patients on my hands, instead of one," he added, in his quaint fashion, as he took his departure.

He was about to get into his gig, when he saw Mr. Godolphin advancing with a quick step. "Which of them is it who is seized?" in

quired the latter, as he came up.

"Not Ethel, thank goodness!" responded the surgeon. "It is Sarah Anne. I have been recommending my lady to send Ethel from home. I should send her, were she a daughter of mine."

"Is Sarah Anne likely to have it dangerously?"

"I think she will. Is there any necessity for your going to the house just now, Mr. Godolphin ?"

Thomas Godolphin smiled. "There is no necessity for my keeping away. I do not fear the fever you do."

any more than

He passed into the garden as he spoke, and Mr. Snow drove away. Ethel saw him, and came running out.

"Oh, Thomas, do not come in! do not come!"

His only answer was to take her upon his arm and enter.

He threw

open the drawing-room window, that as much air might circulate through the house as was possible, and stood at it with her, holding her before him.

you? ?"

"Ethel! what am I to do with
"To do with me! What should do with


Thomas ?"

"Do you know, my darling, that I cannot afford to let this danger touch you?"

"I am not afraid," she gently whispered.

He knew that: she had a brave, unselfish heart. But he was afraid for her, for he loved her with a jealous love; jealous of any evil that might come too near her.

"I should like to take you out of the house with me now, Ethel. I should like to take you far from this fever-tainted town. Will you come?"

She looked up at him with a smile, the colour rising in her face. "How could I, Thomas?"

Anxious thoughts were passing through the mind of Thomas Godolphin. We cannot put aside the convenances of life; though there are times when they press upon us with an iron weight. He would have given almost his own life to take Ethel from that house: but how was he to do it? No friend would be likely to receive her: not even his own sisters: they would have too much dread of the infection she might bring. He would fain have carried her off to some sea-breezed town, and watch over her and guard her there, until the danger should be over. None would have protected her more honourably than Thomas Godolphin. But -those convenances that the world has to bow down to! how would the step have accorded with them? Another thought, little less available for common use, passed through his mind.

"Listen, Ethel!" he whispered. "It would be but the getting a license, and half an hour spent at All Souls' with Mr. Hastings. It could be all done, and you away with me before nightfall."

She scarcely understood his meaning. Then, as it dawned upon her, she bent her head and her blushing face, laughing at the wild improbability.

"Oh, Thomas! Thomas! you are only joking. What would people

say "


"Would it make any difference to us, what they said ?" "It could not be, Thomas," she whispered, seriously; "it is as a vision impossible. Were all other things meet, how could I run away from sister, on her bed of dangerous illness, to marry you?" Ethel was right: and Thomas Godolphin felt that convenances must be observed, no matter at what cost. fondly against his heart.

she was. The He held her

"If aught of ill should arise to you from your remaining here, I shall blame myself as long as life shall last. My love! my love!"

Mr. Godolphin could not linger. He must be back at the bank, for Saturday was their most busy day of all the week, it being market-day at Prior's Ash: though he had snatched a moment to quit it when the imperfect news reached him. George was in the private room alone when he entered. "Shall you be going to Lady Godolphin's Folly this evening, George?" he inquired.

"The Fates permitting," replied Mr. George, who was buried five fathom deep in business: though he would have preferred to be five fathom deep in pleasure. "Why?"

"You can tell my father that I am sorry not to be able to spend an hour with him, as I promised. Lady Godolphin will not thank me to be running from Lady Sarah's house to hers just now."

"Thomas," warmly spoke George, in an impulse of kindly feeling, "I do hope it will not extend itself to Ethel !"

"I hope not," fervently breathed Thomas Godolphin.



A FINE old door of oak, a heavy door, standing deep within a portico, inside which you might almost have driven a coach-and-six, introduced you to Ashlydyat. The hall was dark and small, the only light admitted to it being from mullioned windows of stained glass. Innumerable passages branched off from the hall; one peculiarity of Ashlydyat being, that you could scarcely enter a single room in it, but you must first go down a passage, short or long, to get to it. Had the house been designed by any architect with a head upon his shoulders and a little common sense within it, he might have made a handsome mansion of spacious and noble rooms: as it was, the rooms were cramped and narrow, cornered and confined; and the good space was taken up by these worthless passages.

In the least sombre room of the house, one with a large modern window (put into it by Sir George Godolphin to please my lady, just before that whim came into her head to build the Folly), opening upon a side gravel walk, were two ladies, on the evening of this same Saturday. Were they sisters? They did not look like it. Charlotte Pain you have seen. She stood underneath the wax-lights of the chandelier, tall, commanding, dark, handsome; scarlet flowers in her hair, a scarlet bouquet in her corsage; her dress a rich silk of cream colour with scarlet sprigs upon it. She had in her hand a small black dog of the King Charles species, holding him up to the lights, and laughing at his anger: he was snarling fractiously, whether at the lights or the position, might be best known to his mistress; while at her feet barked and yelped an ugly Scotch terrier, probably because he was not also held up: for dogs are like men, and covet what they cannot get.

In a dress of pink gauze, with pretty pink cheeks, smooth features, and hazel eyes, her hair auburn, interlaced with pearls, and her height scarcely reaching to Miss Pain's shoulder, was Mrs. Verrall. She was younger than her sister: for sisters they were: a lady who passed through life with easy indifference, or appeared to do so, and called her husband "Verrall." She stood before the fire, one of those delicate white Indian screens in her hand, to shade her face from the blaze. The room was hot, and the large window had been thrown open. So calm was the night, that not a breath of air came in to stir the wax-lights: the wind, which you heard moaning round the rectory of All Souls' in the morning, worrying the leaves and displeasing Mrs. Hastings, had dropped

with sundown to a dead calm.

"Charlotte, I think I shall make Verrall take me to town with him! The thought has just come into my mind."

Charlotte made no answer. Possibly she did not catch the words; for, the dogs were barking and she laughing louder than ever. Mrs. Verrall stamped her foot petulantly, and her voice rang through the room.

"Charlotte, then! do you hear me? Put that horrible little brute

down or I will ring for them to be taken away! One might as well keep a screaming cockatoo! I say I have a great mind to go up to town with Verrall."

"Verrall would not take you," responded Charlotte, putting her King Charles on the back of the terrier.

"Why do you think that ?"

"He goes up for business only."

"It will be so dull for me, all alone!" complained Mrs. Verrall. "You in Scotland, he in London, and I moping myself to death in this gloomy Ashlydyat! I wish we had never taken it!"

Charlotte Pain bent her dark eyes in surprise upon her sister. "Since when have you found out that you do not like Ashlydyat?"

"Oh, I don't know. It is a gloomy place inside, especially if you contrast it with Lady Godolphin's Folly. And they are beginning to whisper of ghostly things being abroad on the Dark Plain!"

"For shame, Kate!" exclaimed Charlotte Pain. "Ghostly things! Oh, I see!-you were laughing."

"Is it not enough to make us all laugh-these tales of the Godolphins? But I shall convert it into a pretext for not being left by myself here, when you and Verrall are away. Why do you go, Charlotte?" Mrs. Verrall added, in a tone which had changed to marked significance. "It is waste of time."

The colour heightened in Charlotte Pain's cheeks. take the innuendo. "I never was in Scotland, and visit," she said, picking up the King Charles again. scenery: you do not care for it."

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She would not shall like the "I enjoy fine

Oh," said Mrs. Verrall, "it is the scenery that draws you, is it? Take you care, Charlotte."

"Care of what?"

"Shall I tell you? You must not fly into one of your tempers and pull my hair. You are growing too fond of George Godolphin."

Charlotte Pain gave no trace of "flying into a temper;" she remained perfectly cool and calm. "Well?" was all she said, her lip curling.

"If it would bring you any good; if it would end in your becoming Mrs. George, I should say, well; go into it with your whole heart and energy. But it will not end so: and your time and plans are wasted." "Has he told you so much?" ironically asked Charlotte.

"Nonsense! There was one in possession of the field before you, Charlotte-if my observation goes for anything. She will win the race; you will not even be in at the distance chair. I speak of Maria Hastings."

"You speak of what you know nothing," carelessly answered Charlotte Pain, a self-satisfied smile upon her lips.

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Very well. When it is all over, and you find the time has been wasted, do not say I never warned you. George Godolphin may be a prize worth entering the lists for; I do not say he is not: but there is no chance of your winning him."

Charlotte Pain tossed the dog upwards and caught him as he descended, a strange look of triumph on her brow.

"And-Charlotte," went on Mrs. Verrall, in a lower tone, "there is a proverb, you know, about two stools. We may fall to the ground if

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