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were kissed away, and soothing lullabies sung that sent her to her baby-bed to smile in dreams.

And then she remembered, and a sob came with the memory, the prayers she used to say for six sunny years at that mother's knee, and then for fourteen more in motherless loneliness. Those prayers were sweet to her, and the peace and joy they won filled her young heart with an unceasing fount of hope and faith. She never dreamed that her trust could falter. She measured herself, her wants and aims, by what her mother was, unconscious until too late, that the growing flood within her soul, once swollen to violence, could never be checked or staid, except by a sterner discipline. She trusted in GoD without thinking that He trusted in her, and she must not fail HIM. Thirty years ago, when the great flood came, oh! how easily it tore and swept every thing away, and would have overwhelmed her too, had she not fortified herself in pride and hate, found them to be the strongest sinews of her soul, and from the desolate height laughed out scorn to God and man.

But the draw-bridge is down to-night, and the angels are going in.

And then she remembered; and the long pent-up rivers gushed forth; the summer's morn, the sweet June morn, when they called her from her play at the brook-side to come in, for her mother was dying. She found her in her father's arms. Then, for the first time and the last, Rachel beheld him weep. And when she crept like a frightened dove to her mother's breast, she heard her whisper, as she softly laid her hand upon her flaxen curls: GOD keep and bring my darling to me.'

And now Rachel is on her knees-GOD help her!-will she pray? Can she? Thirty years ago she had advanced thus far, but now, as then, her lips freeze tight together ere she can say: 'Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive?

But a moment had she knelt, when suddenly her sobbing ceased, and she arose with a face calm and cold as marble. She was paler than before, and her eye had a fiercer brightness. She stood before the portrait of her father.

A timid rap at the door announced Lissette, the house-maid, with lights. Scarcely looking at her mistress, she nervously crossed the room to the solar lamp, but Rachel beckoned her to light the little one upon the mantel. As its dim, ghastly light flickered through the apartment, Lissette hurried from the room, and gave a sigh of relief as she closed the door behind her.

Rachel, with folded arms, still stood before the portrait. It was that of a man in the autumn of life, whose gigantic frame was plainly animated by a mind thoughtful, concentrative, and determined. The face was thin, and the cold, gray eyes caverned under heavy, over-hanging eyebrows. There was a smile upon the compressed lips, strikingly like the one Rachel wore whenever she studied it, cold, proud, and triumphant.

'I know what you would say,' she murmured, returning gaze

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for gaze. 'You call me weak, and unworthy of your name. Were you living, and had you beheld me then upon my knees, you would have cursed me ere I should have said, as we forgive.' If I were like my mother' she paused, her eyes moistened, 'with a breast full of tenderness, I might perhaps follow in her foot-steps. But your hot, restless heart, is athrob in my bosom; your passions, pride, hatred, and revenge. You did

not forgive. Ten years you nursed the demon in your heart, and when baffled in your murderous intent, ten years longer you watched and waited, and never relinquished your prey until he fell by your hand; and what cared you for the penalty?'

What unnerved Rachel then? Was it the screeching of the winds as they rushed across the heath, shaking the cottage, and swinging the maples and willows to lashing the roof? Or did the storm within affright her? Turning suddenly from the picture, she sank into the chair, murmuring: 'But to die as he did, how terrible!'

And then she wandered into the past again, back to one Easter morn, ten years after her great battle. She was alone, in a stranger land, and upon a bed of pain, where she had lain weary months. Her soul was sick of its bitterness, and yearned for comfort and refreshment. She believed herself at the brink of the grave. She looked back to the pleasant pastures and sweet waters from which she had so long wandered, and wished to return to them once more. But she must first forgive. Thirty years ago Rachel had a lover. It is an old story, and I will make it short. She loved him with all her strength. But Mary Leedson loved Guy Hermon too, and jealousy wrought her into a serpent of intrigue and deceit; and once when Rachel was long separated from him, she crept into his confidence, and whispered the tale so plausible and masked with truth, that it led him to send the missive to Rachel, written tenderly and carefully, he thought; but its breath of distrust snapped forever the tender ties between them. Her aroused and wounded pride would give him no answer. Mary interpreted her silence into a confirmation of her story, and brought forward other circumstances to corroborate her falsehood. Guy was reckless; Mary sympathizing and affectionate; he had none other to soothe and comfort him. She was archly winning, and played her part well. Scarce two months from the day he first listened to her lying whispers, she stood by his side at the altar, and was made his wife. But her harvest came in; she reaped what she had sown. Not a half-year after their bridal, he left her abruptly, and sailed for India.

Well, that outward ship went down, where, or how, no one ever knew, for not a soul was saved. And Rachel was dwelling alone in her solitary life when the tidings came: 'Guy is dead! drowned in the sea - your old lover, Guy Hermon.” 'Dead?' she murmured, without feeling or trembling; that is little now. He has been so to me for more than a year.' And

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she kept on her journey through the desert without looking back. And then Rachel remembered - deep lost in the past was she one bright Sunday morning in the earliest spring, when her troubled sleep was broken by the wrangling of the church bells. It was Easter, glorious, blessed Easter, and hallowed were the memories that thronged upon her, memories she could not stifle if she would. The joyous chimes ceased, and she heard the sweet voice of a little child as it burst out triumphantly from the garden beneath her open window:

'CHRIST the LORD is risen to-day,
Sons of men and angels say:
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.'

Poor Rachel's heart went back to its childhood then, and throbbed as it did when she helped to swell that joyous hymn with her infant voice, under the dark arches of old St. Paul's. Why might she not keep the feast that day? Was she not a child of the KING, a prodigal that would be welcomed, although seen coming from afar? She would go to her FATHER'S house that morning; she would confess herself a miserable sinner, and then, perhaps, she would be fitter to die. It was near the hour of service. She dressed as quickly as she could, forbidding any consideration of the step she was about to take.

When she found herself beneath the consecrated roof, surrounded by symbols a mother had taught her to love and understand, her heart was more oppressively weighed down with penitence and sorrow. She took the back-seat under the gallery, causing the poor old negro, who always occupied it alone, to stare with marvelling curiosity. She did not raise her heavy veil until the service was ended, and those who would partake of the Communion were invited to remain.

It was all like a dream to her. She was very calm; she wondered that she was so. She had not suffered herself to think of Mary Leedson. If she came to her remembrance, she drove her quickly out, and so vainly believed herself relieved of her bitterness. She was yet weak to contend with too much. She would soon be strong enough to master her feelings. She must cast herself upon her LORD the CHRIST.

Shrinking, yet ardently desiring, she approached the chancel. The long night of her soul seemed breaking, as she walked timidly down the aisle, too humble to look like Rachel Moore. 'Come unto me all ye that travel and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you,' were the blessed words she repeated to herself, when looking up. Ah! Rachel, how white you grow in your dreaming! — she saw Mary Leedson gazing full upon her. Rachel stopped short, proudly uplifted her head, gave Mary a bold look of terrible significance, then turning quickly about, left the altar and the church.

"There, heart, when you prate so of softening, take that morsel to feed upon,' said Rachel aloud. Then after a moment's pause,

in which her face revealed the struggle within, she rose up suddenly, muttering, that such thoughts should torment her no longer. Thereupon she rang for Lissette, and ordered her to replenish the fire, and make tea as soon as possible.

II.

AND Rachel Moore went on her journey as before, and every year she passed was a long weary mile farther into the desert, where she found no water to quench her thirst, or covert to hide her from the wind. She saw the growing cloud that pursued her, the mighty sirocco of death that must soon overtake and overwhelm her.

Rachel Moore and tempestuous November days cannot be separated in my mind. It were hard to imagine her in the midst of a June sun-shine, unless I thought of her as a child, and it is almost difficult to believe that she ever was one.

It had rained all day, and at an early hour the sky was so overcast, Rachel's keen eyes could not see her stitching. There was a lullaby in the wailing of the storm, and the pouring of the water into the tanks in the cellar. Her work dropped, and her eye-lids too, and out she pushed into dream-land. And what did she see? Slumber seldom brought her beautiful visions, since the fairest dream of her life broke up in horror. She had never dreamed of Guy since then, until that day.

She was a light-hearted lassie again, and sat sewing and singing at her little bed-room window, in the old house at home. Guy rode up on his horse and asked her to go with him for a ride. He laughed his old merry laugh, pinched her cheeks and pulled her curls. Bare-headed she sprang into his saddle; he leaped on after her, and laughing and chatting they rode away. But where are we going?' she asked when he directed her to guide the horse into the dense wood. He laughed gayly, and drew her fondly to his breast dear Guy, when awake how well she remembered that caress! and on they went through the brambles and under brush, until they reached a thicket of dead trees. They pushed through the brittle crackling branches, and found there a desolate grave. On the broken and fallen head-stone she read:

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Mary Hermon.

She turned to Guy, and was searching his sad, earnest eyes, when her dream was broken. Lissette had brought her a letter just left at the door.

Reluctant to let her dream escape, and thinking she could charm it back, she gave little heed to the letter, but closed her eyes again as soon as Lissette withdrew. All she cared to recall was the face and voice of Guy. Faintly the broken dream came back,

but only to bewitch and torment her, then fade away like the mist. Feeling vexed and cheated, she bade it begone altogether, and went to the window to read her letter.

The chirography was strange to her. She looked at the signature. It was the name she saw on the grave-stone! Her whole frame shook violently as she threw the missive across the room, and began to walk slowly and heavily through the apartment, grinding the discarded letter beneath her feet whenever it lay in her way. She rang for Lissette, and ere she answered her summons, seated herself, and took up her knitting. Her countenance was tranquil, and she spoke with mildness and composure.

'Pick up that letter, child. Who brought it here?'

Lissette had told her when she delivered it, but Rachel was then too absorbed to listen; so she repeated:

"The hotel-boy brought it, ma'am. He says you must send your answer there, and immediately, if at all.'

'Can you write, Lissette ?'

'A little, but not so pretty as this,' and she gazed admiringly at the address upon the letter she held.

"Take that pen, Lissette, and draw a heavy line across the name on that envelope, and write the one there that I tell you to.'

Lissette reluctantly yielded to such a display of her poor penmanship. She drew the line across Rachel's name, and waited for the other to be given.

'Mrs. Mary Hermon,' dictated Rachel boldly and distinctly. A day or two after she discovered the stitches she dropped when she underwent the painful humiliation of speaking that name. She had never spoken it before; hardly thought it.

She bade Lissette hasten to the village hotel with the letter, and ask for the lady to whom it was addressed, and deliver it with the information, that her mistress, upon opening it and reading only the signature, had returned it, ignorant of its contents. She most expressly charged the wondering girl not to hold any farther conversation with the woman, or with any one else to whom her errand might introduce her. Tormented by the mystery she could not solve, Lissette set off briskly through the storm.

'There! that partially satisfied me! muttered Rachel, with a cold, triumphant smile, when she heard the gate close to, after Lissette's departure. If I had but known before I broke the

seal.'

Then she fell into deep, burdensome thought-conjectures as to what the letter was about; where Mary was, and her condition, with not a little vexation because of the broken seal.

She grew restless and excited; she could think of nothing but what she would not: something that wounded and distressed her. The dear face of her dream came vividly back; Guy's caress and whispers thrilled her. Why did not Lissette return? Anxiously she went toward the window. She stepped upon something that arrested her attention, something neatly folded in white silk paper. She hesitated before opening it, for she did not doubt

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