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THE VOYAGE HOME.

BY ALAN GRAHAM.

CHAPTER XVIII.

WHEN Honiton, in the hotel Jocelyn, on her part, was in Cairo, made his appeal to an even more easy prey. She his captor for secrecy, he had was essentially a modern girl, no more in his mind than that accustomed to the study and he should be spared the igno- analysis of her own feelings miny of exposure before friends and emotions, and she, more whom his happy temperament quickly than Honiton, realised had made for him. He had the direction in which she was met Jocelyn Upton, had liked drifting. She did not struggle, her immensely, but had been for she had no reason to anticiquite resigned to her loss when pate anytbing but happiness he heard that she was returning from the love that was springing to England. Had he guessed up so rapidly in her heart. She how completely she would oc- had formed her own opinion of cupy his mind and heart after Honiton when first she met a week at sea spent almost him, and had no misgivings, entirely in her society, he would although his past remained have been even more anxious absolutely unknown to her. to avoid sailing by the Bedouin. She possessed that supreme

Her obvious liking for him, confidence in her own judgher openly expressed pleasurement which is one of the main at the discovery of his presence attributes — and pitfalls — of aboard, her artless acceptance youth. of her own judgment of his Honiton struggled feebly character as conclusive — all when at last he realised the coming at a time when he had girl's growing influence over much cause for despondence- him, but it was already too bore him inevitably towards late. He quickly gave up the the rapids over which he was unequal struggle, content to fated to pass. He never had let things drift, to turn his a chance. Nature stepped in back on the future and drink and took all control out of his in what happiness he could in hands. Thrown into her com- the little time that was his. pany as he was continually, In his blind selfishness he rehe would have been more fused to contemplate the effect than human had he not loved of his action on Jocelyn's future,

or, to do him more justice, so

her.

Copyrighted in the United States of America.

wrapt up was he in the pleasure stratus, whose edges were and beauty of the idyll in which golden-tinted with the dying they were involved that her rays; and silhouetted against inevitable disillusionment never this gorgeous background the reached the forefront of his Rock of Gibraltar rose massive mind.

and grim, the director of the Nothing could have been traffic of nations. more conducive to the growth The scene had a striking of intimacy than the long mild effect upon those of the pasevenings on deck when dinner sengers who had imaginations was over and the passengers to appreciate its significance, were dispersed. Deep com- It drove them apart to conpanionable silences in the dusk, template its grandeur in solibroken by low-spoken words tude, undisturbed by the jarwhose tone each night grew ring of other personalities. Upmore tender; long familiar on Jocelyn Upton and Frank talks over likes and dislikes Honiton, however, it had the shared; rambles round the contrary effect. Their feelings empty decks, ending usually by harmonised, their hearts were the rail at some unfrequented attune, and the glory of earth, spot where one could lean and sea, and sky played upon their gaze dreamily into the dark emotions a melody of such hurrying sea—these, insignifi- intensity that for the moment cant in themselves, were strong all thought of the past or the forcing - food for the passion future was blotted out for that had already germinated them. in the hearts of these two They leant together over the young people.

rail at the fo'c'sle-head, and Honiton meant it to go no in the exaltation of the mofurther. He pictured the re- ment the certainty of each mainder of the voyage passing other's love came home to in a delightful dream, the awak- them without spoken wording from which he was content a sudden mutually - inspired to ignore. No doubt it would realisation of what each had have been so had it been left known subconsciously before. to him, but circumstances, and To Honiton the knowledge Jocelyn Upton, were too much brought foreboding and fear, for him.

but to Jocelyn nothing but a The crisis came with the glow of simple happiness. There approach of the Bedouin to was no shyness in her eyes as Gibraltar-a curiously impres- she turned to her lover, and sive scene, not without its placing her hand over his on influence on events. The sun the rail, looked him frankly in was setting in a splendour of the face. orange and scarlet behind the “I know !" she said softly. Rock. The pale green-blue sky Honiton had lost control. in the west was streaked with Of himself he would never

have spoken, but would have been content to drift on, loving and being loved, until the end of the voyage brought the end of the idyll. At any cost to himself—at any cost even to the girl—he should have lied now and ended everything. But could he Loving her as he did, could he look her in the face and tell her she had made a mistake She had laid bare her heart before him, secure in the knowledge that his was hers already. He must not only deny her his love and refuse the love that she offered him, but he must make the revelation of her heart put her to shame in her own sight. His very love for her made it impossible. The light of the dying sun shone on her fair hair, lighting it with gold; her beautiful parted lips exhaled a long breath of perfect content, and her eyes looked into his with the candour of confessed love. Honiton placed his free hand over hers. “Yes, Jo,” he murmured, and with the words all control of the situation had left him. He had drifted too far, and was now at the mercy of the current. The rim of the sun dipped behind the Rock, the light faded from Jocelyn's hair, and a cold shadow crept over the ship as she drew closer to the land. Honiton shuddered imperceptibly. It was so plain a symbol of calamity ahead.

There was nothing for him but misery in this mutual avowal, and as they leant long over the rail in the deepening dusk, no two people could have been more widely sundered in thought. The love they had in common held them together —hand pressed in hand—while their minds were parted by the wide limit of their respective knowledge and ignorance. Jocelyn was blindly happy, rejoicing in her love and its return, proud in her girlish way that it was she who had spoken, that she had possessed the certain knowledge that permitted her to speak, and free from the slightest suspicion of the torment in her lover's mind. It was only when she began to murmur charmingly to him —broken phrases shyly spoken, little confidences made for fondness' sake—that he brought his will to bear upon his thoughts, and forced himself to enter into her mood. Then for a time remorse and despair faded into the background, and, living for the bare moment, he let his love have rein and fly to her willing ears. With every word spoken he dug deeper the pit into which he had fallen, for, with love once acknowledged, there could be no standing still. What could he say when Jocelyn talked prettily to him of the future with her simple assumption of their joint life? Now he must lie, and lie without end—when it was too late to tell that one lie that would have ended everything.

wrapt up was he in the pleasure and beauty of the idyll in which they were involved that her inevitable disillusionment never reached the forefront of his mind. Nothing could have been more conducive to the growth of intimacy than the long mild evenings on deck when dinner was over and the passengers were dispersed. Deep companionable silences in the dusk, broken by low-spoken words whose tone each night grew more tender; long familiar talks over likes and dislikes shared ; rambles round the empty decks, ending usually by the rail at some unfrequented spot where one could lean and gaze dreamily into the dark hurrying sea—these, insignificant in themselves, were strong forcing-food for the passion that had already germinated in the hearts of these two young people. Honiton meant it to go no further. He pictured the remainder of the voyage passing in a delightful dream, the awaking from which he was content to ignore. No doubt it would have been so had it been left to him, but circumstances, and Jocelyn Upton, were too much for him. The crisis came with the approach of the Bedouin to Gibraltar—a curiously impressive scene, not without its influence on events. The Sun was setting in a splendour of orange and scarlet behind the Rock. The pale green-blue sky in the west was streaked with

stratus, whose edges were golden-tinted with the dying rays; and silhouetted against this gorgeous background the Rock of Gibraltar rose massive and grim, the director of the traffic of nations. The scene had a striking effect upon those of the passengers who had imaginations to appreciate its significance. It drove them apart to contemplate its grandeur in solitude, undisturbed by the jarring of other personalities. Upon Jocelyn Upton and Frank Honiton, however, it had the contrary effect. Their feelings harmonised, their hearts were attune, and the glory of earth, Sea, and sky played upon their emotions a melody of such intensity that for the moment all thought of the past or the future was blotted out for them. They leant together over the rail at the fo'c'sle-head, and in the exaltation of the moment the certainty of each other's love came home to them without spoken word— a sudden mutually - inspired realisation of what each had known subconsciously before. To Honiton the knowledge brought foreboding and fear, but to Jocelyn nothing but a glow of simple happiness. There was no shyness in her eyes as she turned to her lover, and placing her hand over his on the rail, looked him frankly in the face. “I know !” she said softly. Honiton had lost control. Of himself he would never have spoken, but would have been content to drift on, loving and being loved, until the end of the voyage brought the end of the idyll. At any cost to himself—at any cost even to the girl—he should have lied now and ended everything. But could he Loving her as he did, could he look her in the face and tell her she had made a mistake 1 She had laid bare her heart before him, secure in the knowledge that his was hers already. He must not only deny her his love and refuse the love that she offered him, but he must make the revelation of her heart put her to shame in her own sight. His very love for her made it impossible. The light of the dying sun shone on her fair hair, lighting it with gold; her beautiful parted lips exhaled a long breath of perfect content, and her eyes looked into his with the candour of confessed love. Honiton placed his free hand over hers. “Yes, Jo,” he murmured, and with the words all control of the situation had left him. He had drifted too far, and was now at the mercy of the current. The rim of the sun dipped behind the Rock, the light faded from Jocelyn's hair, and a cold shadow crept over the ship as she drew closer to the land. Honiton shuddered imperceptibly. It was so plain a symbol of calamity ahead.

There was nothing for him but misery in this mutual avowal, and as they leant long over the rail in the deepening dusk, no two people could have been more widely sundered in thought. The love they had in common held them together —hand pressed in hand—while their minds were parted by the wide limit of their respective knowledge and ignorance. Jocelyn was blindly happy, rejoicing in her love and its return, proud in her girlish way that it was she who had spoken, that she had possessed the certain knowledge that permitted her to speak, and free from the slightest suspicion of the torment in her lover's mind. It was only when she began to murmur charmingly to him —broken phrases shyly spoken, little confidences made for fondness' sake—that he brought his will to bear upon his thoughts, and forced himself to enter into her mood. Then for a time remorse and despair faded into the background, and, living for the bare moment, he let his love have rein and fly to her willing ears. With every word spoken he dug deeper the pit into which he had fallen, for, with love once acknowledged, there could be no standing still. What could he say when Jocelyn talked prettily to him of the future with her simple assumption of their joint life? Now he must lie, and lie without end—when it was too late to tell that one lie that would have ended everything.

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