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are papers enclosed, but he does not turn to them; he reads and re-reads the envelope several times slowly, lingeringly; and yet it contains words not difficult of comprehension, as Mrs. Philipson thinks when at last he puts it into her hand, with the comment, half serious, half jesting

'Bad news from a new correspondent. You can judge of character from writing, motherdo you like hers?

But though she read it carefully, very carefully, and the sunshine fell strongly on those trembling lines, she gave no answer to the question.

DEAR SIR,—My cousin begged me to forward the enclosed to you. I grieve to tell you that he is extremely ill. We found him so this morning, and the medical man we have called in seems to think him even worse than

All mental exertion, he says, must be forbidden for the present. Indeed he appears scarcely conscious now. We fear this will be a great inconvenience to you, and I lose no time in acquainting you of his state. 'I am, dear Sir, yours truly,

EvE CUTHBERT.'

we fancied.

Poor Mr. Daresford is ill, then,' Mrs. Philipson said, sorrowfully; and thoughts of Jane Desborough mingled with those with which she gazed upon that signature—'Eve, Eve Cuthbert.' Sir Mark, busy as he is with his letters, takes that scrawl from her, and lays it carefully aside.

'It is a great disappointment, mother, but I must leave

you this afternoon.' She expostulates vainly. His presence must be imperatively needed if Daresford is ill ; besides, he may do something to alleviate the distress of his family.

And when the evening shadows fall upon Coed Herddin, his mother sits alone beside the fire, and ponders much upon the one subject of her son.

CHAPTER V.

Dark clouds bring waters, when the bright bring none.

BUNYAN.

WAS
TAS there much real feeling then in Mrs.

Cuthbert's bosom for him, whose life had been so nearly spent in her behalf? No, there was great selfish anxiety; dread lest her mainstay would be cut from under her, or, worse still, become a helpless drag upon her own exertions. In her distress she even thought of that. She mourned over the trouble and expense of illness; she repined at the perpetual trials with which Providence was pleased to afflict them ;-whenever Mrs. Cuthbert referred to a higher Power, it was generally in that strain, with a very bitter, unruly emphasis on the 'pleased, as if Providence only exerted its omnipotence in deeds of wrath and vengeance. It was fortunate that, in spite of all medical assurances that the fever under which Mor- ' daunt lay prostrated was by no means of an infectious nature, she persisted in being afraid

She ex

room.

of contagion, and so was glad to be especially busy in the kitchen, with elaborate preparations of the barley-water and cooling beverages to which the invalid was restricted. postulated with Eve upon the folly of exposing herself to danger, but the latter only looked at her with all the haughty surprise and reproach which could flash from eyes in whose source anguish had frozen every tear.

· Eve was always obstinate, and as she has already run the risk, why, it is useless to interfere now,' the philosophic mother murmured, and carefully sprinkled chloride of lime about her own

In all the grief and terror of that eager watching, there was yet a wild delight in paying thus some scanty portion of that heavy debt of gratitude—Eve felt even a secret pride and exultation that no one could rob her of that privilege—no one, however dear. It was very early on the morning of the third day that she was called downstairs to speak to Sir Mark Philipson. Her mother was, of course, invisible; and so would Eve herself have been, could that excellent woman have arrested her progress, as she would fain have done when she saw how wildly her hair was pushed back from her face, and how haggard with night-watching

her delicate features were already. But Sir Mark was touched by these signs of sorrow, and noted not the disordered dress. It was a brief interview, in which he required and she gave an account of the invalid. Sir Mark said he relied on her sending to him if he could be of service, and on one point must beg to have his own way—he wished a certain physician to see Mordaunt; undertook to arrange it all for her, and so took leave. Eve forgot till after his departure to be surprised that he had taken her hand in his, and shaken it kindly.

When the next day broke Eve's face was whiter still—reason had not always regulated the broken sentences which fell from Mordaunt's lips during that weary night. Sometimes she closed her ears and turned away, resolved not to listen; sometimes could not resist the temptation of bending over him to hear for whom it was he asked in such anxious accents. A name—what name ?-at last she heard it distinctly. She was glad when the dawn seemed to recall him a little to himself.

That forenoon brought another visitor, who did not send for her, but came at once into the sick room, and stood with grave countenance beside the sufferer. It was Mr. Sackville.

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