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as much as he deserved. After which, half ashamed of herself for the sentimental declaration, she would alternately ridicule, lecture, and tyrannise over him for the rest of the day.

Lucy beheld this state of things with silent bewilderment. Could the woman who had once been loved by Talbot Bulstrode sink to this? The happy wife of a fair-haired Yorkshireman; with her fondest wishes concentered in her namesake the bay filly, which was to run in a weight-forage race at the York Spring, and was entered for the ensuing Derby; interested in a tan gallop, a new stable; talking of mysterious but evidently all-important creatures, called by such names as Scott and Fobert and Challoner; and to all appearance utterly forgetful of the fact that there existed upon the earth a divinity with fathomless gray eyes, known to mortals as the heir of Bulstrode. Poor Lucy was like to have been driven well-nigh demented by the talk about this bay filly, Aurora, as the Spring Meeting drew near. She was taken to see it every morning by Aurora and John, who, in their anxiety for the improvement of their favourite, looked at the animal upon each visit as if they expected some wonderful physical transformation to have occurred in the stillness of the night. The loose box in which the filly was lodged was watched night and day by an amateur detective force of stable-boys and hangers-on; and John Mellish once went so far as to dip a tumbler into the pail of water provided for the bay filly, Aurora, to ascertain, of his own experience, that the crystal fluid was innocuous; for he grew nervous as the eventful day drew nigh, and was afraid of lurking danger to the filly from dark-minded touts who might have heard of her in London. I fear the touts troubled their heads very little about this graceful two-year old, though she had the blood of Old Melbourne and West Australian in her veins, to say nothing of other aristocracy upon the maternal side. The suspicious gentlemen hanging about York and Doncaster in those early April days were a great deal too much occupied with Lord Glasgow's lot, and John Scott's lot, and Lord Zetland's and Mr. Merry's lot, and other lots of equal distinction, to have much time to prowl about Mellish Park, or peer into that meadow which the young man had caused to be surrounded by an eight-foot fence for the privacy of the Derby winner in futuro. Lucy declared the filly to be the loveliest of creatures, and safe to win any number of cups and plates that might be offered for equine competition; but she was always glad, when the daily visit was over, to find herself safely out of reach of those high-bred hind-legs, which seemed to possess a faculty for being in all four corners of the loose box at one and the same moment.

The first day of the Meeting came, and found half the Mellish household established at York: John and his family at an hotel near the betting-rooms; and the trainer, bis satellites, and the filly, at a little inn close to the Knavesmire. Archibald Floyd did his best to be interested in the event which was so interesting to his children; but he freely confessed to his grandniece, Lucy, that he heartily wished the Meeting over, and

the merits of the bay filly decided. She had stood her trial nobly, John said ; not winning with a rush, it is true; in point of fact, being in a manner beaten ; but evincing a power to stay, which promised better for the future than any two-year-old velocity. When the saddling-bell rang, Aurora, her father, and Lucy were stationed in the balcony, a crowd of friends about them ; Mrs. Mellish, with a pencil in her hand, putting down all manner of impossible bets in her excitement, and making such a book as might have been preserved as a curiosity in sporting annals. John was pushing in and out of the ring below, tumbling over small bookmen in his agitation, dashing from the ring to the weighing-house, and hanging about the small pale-faced boy who was to ride the filly as anxiously as if the jockey had been a prime minister, and John a familyman with half a dozen sons in need of Government appointments. I tremble to think how many bonuses, in the way of five-pound notes, John promised this pale-faced lad, on condition that the stakes (some small matter amounting to about sixty pounds) were pulled off-pulled off where, I wonder?-by the bay filly Aurora. If the youth had not been of that preternatural order of beings who seem born of an emotionless character to wear silk for the good of their fellow-men, his brain must certainly have been dazed by the variety of conflicting directions which John Mellish gave bim within the critical last quarter of an hour; but haring received his orders early that morning from the trainer, accompanied with a warning not to suffer himself to be tened (Yorkshire patois for worried) by any thing Mr. Mellish might say, the sallow-complexioned lad walked about in the calm serenity of innocence,—there are honest jockeys in the world, thank Heaven!-and took his seat in the saddle with as even a pulse as if he had been about to ride in an omnibus.

There were some people upon the Stand that morning who thought the face of Aurora Mellish as pleasant a sight as the smooth greensward of the Knavesmire, or the best horse-flesh in the county of York. All forgetful of herself in her excitement, with her natural vivacity multiplied by the animation of the scene before her, she was more than usually lovely; and Archibald Floyd looked at her with a fond emotion, so intermingled with gratitude to Heaven for the happiness of his daughter's destiny as to be almost akin to pain. She was happy; she was thoroughly happy at last,--this child of his dead Eliza, this sacred charge left to him by the woman he had loved; she was happy, and she was safe; he could go to his grave resignedly to-morrow, if it pleased God, knowing this. Strange thoughts, perhaps, for a crowded race-course ;

but our most solemn fancies do not come always in solemn places. Nay, it is often in the midst of crowds and confusion that our souls wing their loftiest flights, and the saddest memories return to us. You see a man sitting at some theatrical entertainment with a grave, abstracted face, over which no change of those around him has any influence. He may be thinking of bis dead wife, dead ten years ago; he may be acting over well-remembered scenes of joy and sorrow; he may be recalling cruel


words, never to be atoned for upon earth, angry looks gone to be regis. tered against him in the skies, while his children are laughing at the clown on the stage below him. He may be moodily meditating inevitable bankruptcy or coming ruin, holding imaginary meetings with his creditors, and contemplating prussic acid upon the refusal of his certificate, while his eldest daughter is crying with Pauline Deschapelles. So Archibald Floyd, while the numbers were going up, and the jockeys being weighed, and the book-men clamouring below him, leaned over the broad ledge of the stone balcony, and, looking far away across the grassy amphitheatre, thought of the dead wife who had bequeathed to him this precious daughter.

The bay filly, Aurora, was beaten ignominiously. Mrs. Mellish turned white with despair as she saw the amber jacket, black belt, and blue cap crawling in at the heels of the ruck, the jockey looking pale defiance at the bystanders : as who should say that the filly had never been meant to win, and that the defeat of to-day was but an artfully-concocted ruse whereby fortunes were to be made in the future? John Mellish, something used to such disappointments, crept away to hide his discomfiture outside the ring ; but Aurora dropped her card and pencil, and, stamping her foot upon the stone flooring of the balcony, told Lucy and the banker that it was a shame, and that the boy must have sold the race, as it was impossible the filly could have been fairly beaten. As she turned to say this, her cheeks flushed with passion, and her eyes flashing bright indignation on any one who might stand in the way to receive the angry, electric light, she became aware of a pale face and a pair of gray eyes earnestly regarding her from the threshold of an open window two or three paces off; and in another moment both she and her father had recognised Talbot Bulstrode.

The young man saw that he was recognised, and approached them, hat in hand,- very, very pale, as Lucy always remembered,-and, with a voice that trembled as he spoke, wished the banker and the two ladies “Good day.”

And it was thus that they met, these two who had “parted in silence and tears," more than “half broken-hearted," to sever, as they thought, for eternity; it was thus—upon this commonplace, prosaic, half-guinea Grand Stand—that Destiny brought them once more face to face.

A year ago, and how often in the spring twilight Aurora Floyd had pictured her possible meeting with Talbot Bulstrode! He would come upon her suddenly, perhaps, in the still moonlight, and she would swoon away and die at his feet of the unendurable emotion. Or they would meet in some crowded assembly; she dancing, laughing with hollow, simulated mirth; and the shock of one glance of those eyes would slay her in her painted glory of jewels and grandeur. How often, ah, how often she had acted the scene and felt the anguish !-only a year ago, less than a year ago, ay, even so lately as on that balmy September day when she had lain on the rustic couch at the Château d'Arques, looking down at the fair Normandy landscape, with faithful John at watch by her side, the tame goats browsing upon the grassy platform behind her, and preternaturally ancient French children teasing the mild, long-suffering animals; and to-day she met him with her thoughts so full of the horse that had just been beaten, that she scarcely knew what she said to her sometime lover. Aurora Floyd was dead and buried, and Aurora Mellish, looking critically at Talbot Bulstrode, wondered how any one could have ever gone near to the gates of death for the love of him.

It was Talbot who grew pale at this unlooked-for encounter; it was Talbot whose voice was shaken in the utterance of those few every-day syllables which common courtesy demanded of him. The Captain had not so easily learned to forget. He was older than Aurora, and he had reached the age of two-and-thirty without having ever loved woman, only to be the more desperately attacked by the fatal disease when his time came. He suffered acutely at that sudden meeting. Wounded in his pride by her serene indifference, dazzled afresh by her beauty, mad with jealous fury at the thought that he had lost her, Captain Bulstrode's feelings were of no very enviable nature; and if Aurora had ever wished to avenge that cruel scene at Felden Woods, her hour of vengeance had most certainly come. But she was too generous a creature to have harboured such a thought. She had submitted in all humility to Talbot's decree; she had accepted his decision, and had believed in its justice; and seeing his agitation to-day, she was sorry for him. She pitied him with a tender, matronly compassion, such as she, in the safe harbour of a happy home, might be privileged to feel for this poor wanderer still at sea on life's troubled ocean. Love, and the memory of love, must indeed have died before we can feel like this. The terrible passion must have died that slow and certain death, from the grave of which no haunting ghost ever returns to torment the survivors. It was, and it is not. Aurora might have been shipwrecked and cast on a desert island with Talbot Bulstrode, and might have lived ten years in his company, without ever feeling for ten seconds as she had felt for him once. With these impetuous and impressionable people, who live quickly, a year is sometimes as twenty years; so Aurora looked back at Talbot Bulstrode across a gulf which stretched for weary miles between them, and wondered if they had really ever stood side by side, allied by hope and love, in the days that were gone.

While Aurora was thinking of these things, as well as a little of the bay filly, and while Talbot, half-choked by a thousand confused emotions, tried to appear preternaturally at his ease, John Mellish, having refreshed his spirits with bottled beer, came suddenly upon the party, and slapped the Captain on the back.

He was not jealous, this happy John. Secure in his wife's love and truth, he was ready to face a regiment of her old admirers ; indeed, he rather delighted in the idea of avenging Aurora upon this cowardly lover. Talbot glanced involuntarily at the members of the York con

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stabulary on the course below; wondering how they would act if he were to Aling John Mellish over the stone balcony, and do a murder then and there. He was thinking this while John was nearly ringing off his hand in cordial salutation, and asking what the deuce had brought him to the York Spring.

Talbot explained rather lamely that, being knocked up by his Parliamentary work, he had come down to spend a few days with an old brother-officer, Captain Hunter, who had a place between York and Leeds.

Mr. Mellish declared that nothing could be more lucky than this. He knew Hunter well; the two men must join them at dinner that day; and Talbot must give them a week at the Park after he left the Captain's place.

Talbot murmured some vague protestation of the impossibility of this, to which John paid no attention whatever, hustling his sometime rival away from the ladies in his eagerness to get back to the ring, where he had to complete his book for the next race.

So Captain Bulstrode was gone once more, and throughout the brief interview no one had cared to notice Lucy Floyd, who had been pale and red by turns half a dozen times within the last ten minutes.

John and Talbot returned after the start, with Captain Hunter, who was brought on to the stand to be presented to Aurora, and who immediately entered into a very animated discussion upon the day's racing. How Captain Bulstrode abhorred this idle babble of horse-flesh; this perpetual jargon, alike in every mouth—from Aurora's rosy Cupid's bow to the tobacco-tainted lips of the book-men in the ring! Thank Heaven, this was not his wife who knew all the slang of the course, and, with lorgnette in hand, was craning her swan-like throat to catch sight of a wind in the Knavesmire and the horse that had a lead of half a mile.

Why bad he ever consented to come into this accursed horse-racing county? Why bad he deserted the Cornish miners, even for a week? Better to be wearing out his brains over Dryasdust pamphlets and Parliamentary minutes than to be here; desolate amongst this shallowminded, clamorous multitude, who have nothing to do but to throw up caps and cry huzza for any winner of any race. Talbot, as a bystander, could not but remark this, and draw from this something of a philosophical lesson on life. He saw that there was always the same clamour and the same rejoicing in the crowd, whether the winning jockey wore blue and black belt, yellow and black cap, white with scarlet spots, or any other variety of colour, even to dismal sable; and he could but wonder how this

Did the unlucky speculators run away and hide themselves while the uplifted voices were rejoicing? When the welkin was rent with the name of Kettledrum, where were the men who had backed Dundee unflinchingly up to the dropping of the flag and the ringing of the bell? When Thormanby came in with a rush, where were the wretched creatures whose fortunes hung on Umpire or Wizard? They were voiceless,


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