Billeder på siden

times think a person of your tender feel., Why, if I had seen only your picture F ings, and large heart, cannot go through should have loved you; how could I resist life, shutting yourself out from all the all the charms of life?" he asked, with a sweetest emotions it is given us to know; softly reprachful glance. Evelyn shunned at such times," he continued turning from his look, and he added with an impatient the water to her face, “I look around for jesture, “I could never make love by rule the fortunate person upon whom you could and compass. If I loved you at once why have bestowed so rich a treasure as your need I wait years to tell you so ?" I heart."

thought Miss Lochavel would be superior “And whom do you see?" she asked jest to such .conventionalism. I thought you ingly.

would understand me." “No one who is worthy, and I am sure Evelyn was still leaning upon the rail your ambition will prevent you ever be with her face averted from him. At last stowing your love upon an unworthy ob- she turned to him and said in a tone of ject," he answered dejectedly. “I wish," deep, heartfelt sorrow, he continued, "you would gratify my cu. Doctor, why have you roused me from riosity and give me your beau ideal of the my dream? I was so happy in your friendman whom you would have become your ship.” Lord, your Governor, your King ?"

A sudden pallor overspread the Doctor's “I have him in my mind's eye, floating face, as he looked fondly into hers, then out-but I cannot explain. He must be, bowing his head upon his hand, he said, in first of all, good and noble, and he must a tone of unutterable sadness, "Ah, yes. be that much cleverer than me that he can It is always thus---friendship-regard, any lead me, but not so much cleverer that I thing but that love which I crave more cannot follow him.”

than life itself. O Miss Lochavel! your "Ah, me, what an awfully difficult task | woman's heart would be touched with you will have to find such a man." compassion, if you knew what a life of

"I don't think so," replied Evelyn, art. misery and privation mine has been. With lessly. "I see them noble and clever me, no bud of hope has ever reached the enough, I don't despair of finding goodness flower. All are blighted. AH. Other

people can win love full and deep, while "Listen to me, Miss Lochavel," he said mine must ever be unreturned or if a softly, laying his hand upon bers. "Give heart learns to throb for me, the cold finger mne a place in your heart, and you can of death stills its beatings. Evelyn, Eve. make me what you will. Your love would lyn, what have I done to merit sucă a fate make me good.''

from that heaven which is called just?" “No, oh no," cried Evelyn,. in a tone of “Husb," said Evelyn, in a tone of gentle distress, and struggling to free her hand. "I reproach, while of compassion cannot make you good. I cannot make my. sprung to her eyes. self good.”

“Forgive me," said he, “I did not mean “Don't turn from me," said the Doctor, to wound you, but when a man loves with pleadingly. “Let me tell you how much I his whole soul, as I have loved you, and love you. How I worship you.. Do you, finds it is all in vain, sorrow will make can you love me?'' he asked, bending for him selfish. I was learning contentment, ward with an enger glance into her face. or at least, I was starving out of my heart He saw only a look of troubled surprise all desire for love when I met you. You there, and drawing back, he added gloom- came across my path like a great temptaily, "if you will not let me love you, I tion, and I had no power to resist. What bave nothing left to live for."

a fool I was ever to think you could care "You have known me too short a time for me.' for such love as this,” said Evelyn incred- "I do care for you-care more for you ulously.

now than you will believe. But"Do not think so," he cried, passionate- “Then why not let me love you," he ly. The first hour I saw you I loved you asked, while his soft, trembling fingers -my heart acknowledged you its queen.) again closed pleadingly upon her hand,



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and a flush of hope relighted his face. Silent and sad, they walked in the young “Why not let me love you? As a proof of moonlight. my great love for you, I am willing to wait You have doubtless observed, and perhaps months, or years, if you will only give me been annoyed by the fact that the smallest the slightest ray of hope, that you can ever l'amount of love making cannot be carried return my love."

on in a village, without exciting remarks, "I canrot,” she answered honestly, “I so, of course, anything so pointed as Dr. cannot. I am only your friend. I can Gilmer's attentions 10 Evelyn did not espromise to be no more.”

cape observation. The correctness of the “Then life is one long blank to zne," said information which the good people had he, compressing his lips, while that ghastly on the subject was really wonderful too. pallor again overspread his face. “Would They even knew the very day-naytho very. your refusal could strike me dead, or that hour when the Doctor had proprosed to this gurgling brook had power to destroy her. The remarkable accuracy, with lise, I might soon end it, with all its woes." which they judged so far, suddenly forsook

An expression almost of contempt Ait them at this point, though, for they believe ted over Evelyn's face as she replied to ed and reported an engagement existing him.

between the above named parties. I sup. "I did notexpect to hear this from you, Dr pose, if the records of Cupid's court could Gilmer. To see a man strong and talenteds be examined, it would be found that the with the world before him, and his destiny decision "No" was as often recorded as in his own hands, siaking thus beneath the “Yes," yet I never knew a case of courtblow of disappointment, I cannot tell ship that was not aggravated into an en. you what emotions it excites in me." gagement, by Madame Rumor, until there

The Doctor's face worked convulsedly as was something positive knowr. to the con he replied:

trary. "You are all in the world that I care for The Doctor was a little startled to find What have I to live for?"

himself receiving congratulations, just “Men of your stamp, Dr. Gilmer are not when he felt most dejected, or even crabgenerally deaf to the voice of ambition; bed, perhaps-for a discardal will some. how easily you might win distinction.times have that effect on an otherwise Your Creator has given you the capacity to amiable man. It seemed very much like entertain and instruct all around you. This mockery to him at first, and I think he had is not all,” she continued, in a low tone, dim, unsettled ideas of knocking two or while a faint blush overspread her face, three men down, or thought with grim sa"You have yet to make yeur peace with a tisfaction of severing the jugular of some justly offended God, a work for which of his especial friends. By and by, though, our life-time is given usmand yet you talk these diabolical thoughts gave place to betof nothing to live for."

ter feelings, and it came to be a pleasure "Enough, enough,” cried the Doctor, to the Doctor to listen to these sympathetic raising his head from his hand. "Grant expressions. me your forgiveness, and I will live to It seems one

of the peculiarities of prove l am worthy. Forget all that I have human nature to love to hear those said this evening, and be to me the sweet things which we wish very much were invaluable friend yoki were before." true, even when we ourselves are painful

"Gladly," cried Evelyn, holding out her ly aware of their 'non-existence. So the band to him, which he took and pressed to Doctor learned to love these congratula. his lips. "Gladly will I forget this even- tion, and when he became familiarized ing and live as we were before. Your with them, ho began to think, after all, they friendship has become very dear and ne- might some day be deserved, for she had

expressed a great regard for his fricndship, Dr. Gilmer only smiled sorrowfully as He knew of no other attachment, so long as he placed her arm in his and turned to that was the case-he might hope. I have wards the village.

described the Doctor as being of a san.


[ocr errors]

cessary to me."

grine temperament, you remember. After, tender strain, again, after a short time givsuch reflections, he resumed his visits to en to aggravation. Proving that it is imthe Colonel's and saw Evelyn very often possible to be angry long with one we love. She was very kind to him. She was ten. He went back to the village. He thought der-hearted, and could not bear the idea of it would be wiser to see her this last time, giving another pain, and she strove by then give her up. It was falsc philosophy, every means in her power to convince the but he honestly believed it. Cupid 'is a . Doctor that, although she could not lore cruel, cruel god. Any other deity would him, and marry him she had the best feel- have had compassion on a poor miserable ings in the world for him. It was pure subject, and not have maddened him by a charity, on her part, but the Doctor saw it, decision confirmatory of his great fears. and mistook it for encouragement And Charles thought he could be more resigned, the world saw it and inistook it for love. he found Evelyn kind and gentle Madame Rumor, with more foundation or even slightly render towards him, this than usual, continued to spread her reports, last evening. But instead he found Dr. until they reached out to the Willows and Gilmer. The Doctor was looking exagge. startled Charles from his dreams. Evelyn ratedly happy, Charles thought, and was engaged, and to Dr. Gilmer? I know of one incessant stream of talk. Evelyn no combustible material the explosion of seemed to listen with exceeding interest. which, at his very feet, would have caused Persevering in her conscientious determinhim more astonishment, so I am lest en. ation to lessen the pain she had given, she tirely without a comparison by which to paid him numberless little attentions, express his surprise. I find it difficult to which the Doctor received with excessive express his after feeling, they were so satisfaction. complicated. His first and strongest were It is needless for me to tell you Charles anger and vexation against himself-he bad did not tarry long. He loft with a bosom allowed a prize offered to his acquisition, filled with demoniacal passions, I am afraid to be usurped by another without making resolved never, never to return. one proper effort to win it. His next was indignation against Dr. Gilmer. He, by some guileful influence had won her heart.

CHAPTER VII. He thought he could have borne it better, had it been anybody in the world but Ds. Gilmer. Surely a man of his nature conld My story was in serious danger of comnever make Evelyn happy. He felt self-ing to an awkward conclusion with my condemned that he had not himself given last chapter. Charles, you saw, was hon. her some idea of the Doctor's character, estly determined never to come back, and but pshaw! she must know, she did know, I might never have been able to have and here his thoughts ran out into a little brought my hero and heroine together petulant strain against Evelyn. Poor, in. again, but for a litile timely assistance nocent Evelyn! By George! she must from Col. Rixey. The Colonel was subject have been easily won, to have given her to , I know no word that expresses the heart to such a man as Gilmer, because he disease, burit was in reality an incurable fecould talk well, quote poetry and flatter, ver for party giving. This disease would and look tenderly at her. Such things gave sometimes make its appearance at the oddbut a pitiful promise of happiness. The est and most inconvenient seasons. An day would surely come, when she would unconquerable desire to give a party would repent being entrapped by, such snares. seize him when there appeared really no This was a most unlooked for awakening provocation for it. In this case, though, from his dream. Forthwith ho must put there was some slight reason in his whim. her from his thoughts—and yet he thought Henry's school days in the village were he would like to see her once more before over, he was going off to College, and she was banished. Have one more look-Mautie wanted to give the party. Evelyn, perbaps word, of love-before he gave her too, the Colonel said, in bis conversation up forever to another. So he fell into this with Mrs. Rixey, would enjoy it. Mrs.


[ocr errors]


Rixey was in the habit of raising a great not thinking of the impression he was mamany objections to the parties, and the king, he was only nursing a delicious deColonel was in the habit of resisting and lusion. He was unwilling that any other making light of them. She, with her prac. person should approach her, only because tical good sense, generally gave in after a it would break that spell. He didn't care little resistance, and went cheerfully to that she should talk to him. It suited his work to prepare them. I think the Colo- humor well that she should be silent, he nel's remark that Evelyn would enjoy it, only craved to have her near him. was a convincing argument with her, for A perplexing, troubled idea had come she had been troubled of late with the into Evelyn's head as she stood in silence idea that Evelyn was looking sad, by the Doctor. It was an idea Davy Chil. * When the scheme was explainad to Eve- dress had suggested to her months before, lyn, she entered heartily into it, and by but she had taken no serious notice of it at her taste and ingenuity added many an

the time. Appearances this evening exquisite touch to Mrs. Rixey's arrange- brought it forcibly to her mind. It was the

idea that Charles and Sis Childress were All the fashion, wealth and beauty of fond of each other. She could not tell our town and county turned out to that why it bothered and perplexed her, except party. Even Charles Ruscal was induced that she thought they would not suit each to lay aside the recluse life he had been other very well. Yet she could not exliving since his last visit to the village. plain the origin of this thought, for Charles He explained to himself very often that he was looking very much pleased, and Sis was not going, to see Evelyn, but because seemed radianıly sanguine. Sis was unuhe felt it his duty not to slight one of the sually affected, Evelyn thought, and she Colonel's parties. To strengthen himself could not help feeling provoked with her * in this conviction, he kept aloof from Eve. for shaking her curls about in such a senselyn that evening, devoting himself exclu. less inanner, but she chided herself the next sively to Sis Chrildress. He talked a great moment for the feeling, for Sis looked so deal, and seemed very gay. Evelyn thought innocent and happy, and once, when they she had never seen him look happier. He were standing very near each other, and was very near her all the evening, although Charles had turned away, Sis whispered in he was not talking to her, or seeming such a delightfully confiding tone, "I think aware of her presence. It was a weak. he is the model of manly excellence." ness with Charles, that he was consciously Evelyn turned away from her flushed, guilty of-he wanted to hear all she said. joyful face, with a smiling assent, smotherShe was not saying much, though. I think ing in her heart, an uncharitable thought it was not a pleasant evening for Evelyn. that Sis was rather silly. She seemed in a dreamy abstracted mood. As the hour for supper approached, Davy She did not acknowledge it to herself, but | Childress began to wave bis perfumed Dr. Gilmer's attentions were annoying to handkerchief' like an enchanter's wand her. They were calculated to embarrass, about Evelyn, in spite of the Doctor's sorat least, if not annoy her. He was by her midable air of possessorship. To be can. side all the evening-not the gay talking did, though, I believe the Doctor was Gilmer he was wont to be, but quiet and more amiable to Davy than lie would have silent, regarding her with an expression of been toalınost any other man in the room. subdued tenderness. Theie was a certain When supper was announced, Davy offerair of right-posession in his manner, ed his arm and Evelyn accepted it. When which would have impressed the idea of they came out from the table, Davy asked an engagement upon any ignorant observer. her to promenade with him on the porch. If Evelyn had not been so pre-occupied, It was mild and pleasant, and Evelyn conshe would have observed this conduct of sented, secretly glad to escape for a while the Doctor's, and perhaps been seriously from the Doctor's attentions. angered by it, though I don't think the “Why Miss,” said Davy, as soon as they Doctor meant anything rascally. He was had gotten out on the porch, “Why Miss, I


never saw anything so 'special as Dr. Gil. face, as if he was taken with a violent fit mer's attentions. Hardly gives a fellow a of tooth-ache. chance to speak to you, Miss."

Evelyn said something again, in a com“The Doctor and I are good friends," passionate tone, about being sorry, and unsaid Evelyn, quietly.

able to love him. David exclaimed in a "Friends, Miss,” said Davy, bobbing his tone of wild incredulity: head sagaciously. Yes, I'll be hushed if “Good Heavens, Miss! I had no more you ain't more than friends."

idea of ii than nothing. I was just as sure Evelyn did not reply, and Davy contin- you'd say yes, as I could be.” ued, adjusting his cravat nervously with "Really. I am afraid you have misur. one hand :

derstood me," replied Evelyn, rather proud"I tell you what Miss, I think you would ly. "I am not conscious of ever having bebe an uncommon good hand to lead a fel- trayed any partiality for you." low on. Uncommon good hand.”

“No. Oh no. Stop, Miss. Pray don't,” "Lead on to what? I don't understand cried David imploringly, raising his hand.

kerchief to his face. “Not a bit of it, Miss. “To love you, and to tell you so," replied Not you. I'll do you justice. It was me Eavy, emphatically.

made a fool of myself. But, oh I loved "Oh!" replied Evelyn, carelessly, “I don't you so," he added again applying his handknow why you should think so."

kerchief to his eyes. "I, of all people in the world, Miss," said Evelyn looked at him with a troubled Davy, laying his hand on his heart with a face, and he said, with an explanatory tragical air, and looking fixedly into her manner: face,

“Think I must have the grip, Miss. Sul “You, why,” asked Evelyn, in a per-ject to it. A great flowing at the nose and plexed tone, as she returned his glance. eyes." He paused as if a sudden thought

"O Miss. Me, because _" here had struck him, and said, “Miss, may be, Davy broke down with a nervous giggle. if I was to kneel to you it would be better. Turning his head aside he coughed in his Without further consideration he came hand, then said resolutely, but tremulously, lumberingly upon his knees, and seizing "I'll face it out. O Miss, I love you most her hand cried in the most impassioned deeply.” ,

tone, "O Miss, I hope — I hope Evelyn was silent, and David continued thing." excitedly, waving his handkerchief. "O Evelyn turned away from him, and Miss, I do love you devotedly, and you are clasping his hand together, he cried fran. not to think its on account of the money at tically: all. It would have been all the same,

"O Miss, if you'll wait a minute I could Miss, if you had not been worth a cent. I think of something pretty to say. 'Twon't value you abovề pearls and diamonds, take me long." Miss."

But Evelyn declined waiting for the re. “I am very sorry to hear it,” replied sult, concluding that it would take David Evelyn.

about as long to think of something pretty “Why?" cried David, in a tone of min. as Athens was in spreading herself from gled astonishment and alarm.

the Acropolis to the sea. “Because I don't love you," she replied David sprang up, and rushing after her, frankly.

whispered despairingly, “ One minute, “Good gracious, Miss !" cried David, in Miss ! Is there a previous attachment ? an unnaturally high key, while he made Evelyn did not reply, and he asked spasmodic movements with his arms and eagerly : iegs. "Why, Miss ! you are not in earnest.

"Is it Dr. Gilmer ?" Then added in a Stop and think. I am as rich as I can be. tone of sad admonition. “It won't do, I'll do every thing you want me to. And Miss. He couldn't bread you." oh Miss, I do love you so," he added with Evelyn was surprised when she returned a lugubrious wail, laying his hands to his to the parlor, to have Charles meet her in


[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »