"My Half Sister'

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"My Half Sister' - HAUF XXX By ELTON CHAPTER 1. "It is not like...
HAUF XXX By ELTON CHAPTER 1. "It is not like going home at all," f aid Mollie L'Eslrungo disconsolately, oiiklns round at the open trunks, the vowing apparel spread upon every i vallable chair or bed in the school-dormitory. "And I had no Idea that 1 possessed so many things." 'Yon hef been these four years here,"' nald the German governess kindly, "and you spend much moDey, had I'liild! But they will he pleased to ecti you home o h, yes!" "I don't know who will bo pleased, I am sure," returned Mollle, with a sigh, "for there Is only my half-Bister Kate." "Ach himmel! Well, she Is no doubt JjoSlns forward to your return. She U older than you wiser?" "She 13 ten years old," interrupted the girl, sitting down on the edge of tno bed, and regarding the well meaning Fraulein gloomily. "When I last saw her she was about six, and my stepfather spoilt her shamefully." "What? With whom will you lif then, mluo Mollle? With the' stepfather?" "Oh, no; he died twelve months ago. 1 shall live at Chalfont House, the property of my half-sister, Kate, with her, and her aunt. Madame Debols." , "Ach, a French lady!" "No, but she married a Frenchman. Sho is now a widow with one son, and after my mother's death she went to keep house for her brother, Mr. Barlowe.'' "Thy stepfather?" ' "I never called him that." And a strange look-of scorn and bitterness swept over the girl's pretty, glowing face. "It is wrong to hate any one-hut I hated him living, and I find It hard not to hate him dead." "So, so, the Bible te.la us to hate no man," reproved the governess, with a placid ehako of her head, as she began to fold up some of her favorite pupil's clothes. "And I try not to do so; I pray every night to forgive him," burst forth Mollle In a shaking voice, "but he heparated mo from my mother; he did not make her happy" She paused abruptly, conscious-how Impossible it was to "make, tho SDlid Fraulein understand that the wrongs that wcro rankling iu her mind had grown with her growth, and boconis part of her life; and, as a rosy-cheeked German maid entered at the same moment and announced that she had been sent to assist Fraulein L'Es-t range to pack, nothing more was said. For four years Mollie IEstrange had been left nt Fran Seckendorf's school in Hanover, without once returning to England, without any one coming to see her. But she had been very happy, for she had naturally a merry, buoyant disposition, and was the pet and favorite of the school establishment, from the gravp, kindly Fran herself downwards. Then she was liberully supplied with 7ocket money by her "father's trustees, generously paid for In every way, whilo Frau Seclcendorf had carte blanche to do everything for her amusement in tho holidays, and the time had gone so fast that Mollle could hardly believe she was nearly nineteen, and that a few days would see her once more in her native land. Ah. that dear native land! How often in her dreams had she seen it as it : would be looking now, with the first Ifaint breath of spring rustling through Ithe bare, brown branches, the leaves sprouting in tho hedgerows, the vlo-dets peeping forth from some sheltered nook! Yes, though there was no one now in the house where she was born to welcome her home with affection, it would be something to he in England in the sweet spring time, to gather violets and primroses in the well remembered woods and fields around Reverton. The packing was accomplished at last, more by tho Frauiein's and Liza's exertions than her own, for the girl was restless and excited, torn by conflicting feelings, sorry to bid farewell to quaint old Hanover, and all those who had been so kind to her since he came there, a pale, motherless ichlld of fourteen- yet-anxious to rush into the future, to see what It held in store for her. So when the trunks were shut and Liza had departed with her arms full of the gifts Bhe had bestowed upon her, Mollie made her way with unusual sedateness to Frau Seckendorf's nrivate aDartments. Since the girls of her own age had left one by one. 01 ner uwo age uau njit unc uj uu, and she had outgrown the class rooms. she had been promoted to the use of these salons, and taken out to concerts, theaters, and coffee parties by the good Frau, who was secretly immensely proud of tne pretty, well-drersed English heiress confided to her care, and watched over her with a vigilant eye; and Molile looked round tbcm with a friendly glance, ,Rd a sigh at the thought that after tomorrow she should see them no i more. '' Tho dusk was falling fast; It was difficult to see the houses across the wide street, and as she stcol by the porcelain stove, warming her cold HARRIS XXX little fingers, her thoughts went back to her childhood days as they had not done for a Ions time, and ecane altar scene seemed to rise before her. Mollie could not remember her father at all, for he had died when she was but a few months old, but her pretty young mother had been her playfellow, and until her sixth year, her constant companion. Then came the days when a tall, dark man was always with her mother, and that dearly, loved parent was somehow not tho same to her, while the dark man used to bring her sweets, and-smile grimly when sho put her hands behind her back, and refused to accept them. Yes, from the very first Mollle had disliked and distrusted Leonard Bar-lowe, and he had cordially returned the feeling. With her mother's second marriage all her troubles began, and the child would often sob hersslf to sleep at night, feeling neglected and forlorn, missing tho tender voice, tcV lullaby ever since she could remember. Afterwards Mollie grew to know that her mother had not forgotten her, but that, her stepfather, jealous and morose, resented, even the affection she bestowed to her own child, and timid and clinging by nature, sho had not the strength of character to oppose him In auy way. Mollie was sent to school soon after the birth of her half-sister, Kate, and though she spent the holidays at home, Chalfont House was never tho same place again. Looking at the past through the softening vista of time, Mollie knew that her woes had not been Imaginary. She would have been fond enough of the little usurper, who seemed to have pushed her out of her place, had she been allowed, for she was neither jealous nor revengeful; but Mr. Bar-lowe, whilo spoiling Kate until she was unbearable, resented the leost attention shown to Mollie, and the holidays had been misery, school a refuge. She gradually grew to know that her mother, was miserable, that she only dare caress her in private and that she feared her handsome dark husband more than she loved him. How well she remembered the last time she had any talk with her mother! It was the night before her return to school, and her mother came into hfr room as she was preparing for bed, and, closing the door, took her into her arms as if she were a baby again, kissed aud cried over her In a passionate, heart-broken way, saying that whatever happened to the future, she must never doubt her poor mother's love, that save, her dead father, no one was so precious to her, no one; and that her last thought and prayer would be for her own Mo'.lle. It was not until her death a few months later that Mollio understood what she meant, Chalfont and a good income had been Mrs. Barlowe's private property, anil she left them to her husband for his lifetime, and then to her daughter Kate, no mention being made of her cider child, save that, failing them, Bhe would be her heiress. This had not been her mother's wish Mollle knew as well as If she had boon told and the fierce anger burned in her heart, not for the loss of fhe property, but for what Mr. Barlowe had made her mother suffer. Oh, how she natal him as she saw his flno eyes roving with an air of proprietorship round her mother's room! In her childish heart sho felt that he had got what he had schemed for, and it mattered little to Him that he had ruined her mother's and her life to obtain it. They lived at open wnrfare during the months before she was sent to Hanover; and it was an additional blow to find that he had constituted himself her guardian In her mother's place. His motive was not far to seek. Mollie was her father's heiress, and though he could not touch the principal, a handsome allowance was made for the care of Colonel L'Estrange's daughter. And now he, too, was dead, and she was going back to live -at Chalfont House with her little half-sister and Madam Dubois! Were brighter times coming, she wondered, as, In company with the English governess, she once more set foot on her native land, or was Madame Dubois but a repetition of Leonard Barlowe? at was a bleak March day when the governess put her charge into a first class carriage at one of the great Lon- lon stations, and reluctantly bane ner i " - L farewell, after carefully scertalnlng that two elderly ladies in the further corner were going tho same Journey, and Reverton would be reached In little over an hour, where Madame Dubois was sure to bo at the station. So she kissed the pet and pride of Frau SeckendoiT scnool with tearful eyes, and hurried away to catch her own train, while Mollle sank back In the corner ot her carriage, sorry to part with her last friend, yet excited at the prospect before her. For little while she occupied herself In watching one familiar object after another appear, as the express left the chimneys behind and rushed through the irreen country. It even amused her to see the groat open fires In the waiting rooms once more as : they Hashed through tho etat'on. j Then sho suddenly bcranio aware that ; tho two ladles wero talking very hard, , and so heard her own name. "You will find Kcvciton looking much tho Eame, Louise," tho elder was saying. "The peoplo alter, 'but not tho place. Why, you have not to n hero since tho year poor Mrs. L'Es-trango married Mr. Barlowe, luve you?" "No; how pretty sho was! I know no ono liked him; you thought him an adventurer. What has ho done slr.ca I her death?" "nh. ho feathered his ne3t well ant the whole of her property for him- celf and his wretched little girl, to tho exclusion of tho elder child! Every one knew that hla poor wife w:.s h r-rlbly afraid of him, and he had it all his own way. Well, I must not say more, for no wau nurneu m count with all his sins upon his head, and no time to repent him of hla wickedness." "What do you mean?" "Did you not see it In the papers? It was the talk of Reverton! He was found murdered in his study nearly twelve months ago. Yes, I remember, it was on Easter Sunday." "Murdered?" ecaocd the o.her blankly. "That handsome man? Who did it?" V "It has never been found out' CHAPTER II. Murdered! Could this awful word, so full of terrible meaning, apply to her stepfather, who she had last se n standing at the door of Chalfont House, full of life and health, hoi i ns the fretful Kate by the hand? Mollie sat up and turned hastily to the two ladies, the color fading from her face. "My name is L'EEtrange," she st m-mered nervously, lock:ng from ona to the other. 'I am Mrs. Barlowe's eldest daughter. I thought I ought to tell you. I 1 did not know that ho died like that; no ono told me. Are you sure?" Mollie could see the ladies were gaz-marks; but she was too eager to learn the truth to mind that, or anything else. Why had she been allowed to como homo in ignorance of the tragedy that hung undiscovered over Chalfont House? In the pause before any one spoke she was not conscious or feeling any sorrow for her dead stepfather, nor had these ladies expressed any; but she did feel a thrill of horror at the thought of the crime that had been committed In the house where she was born her mother's house and could not repress a shudder. Then, tho first lady got up, and, coming over, sat down heavily In the seat opposite to her. "I am heartily sorry you have heard me, my dear,' she said kindly, "it la a lesson to mo not to talk of my neighbors in the train. But are you really Amy Barlowe's child? Yen, looking at you, I can see your dear father. Your parents were my dearest friends. You do not remember me, but surely you have not forgotten Reggie and Joyce?" Mollie started, and, leaning forward, turned her beautiful, miserable grey eyes '.on the speaker with dawning rcc-osnition. "Yes yes,' I do now," sho cried. "You are Mrs. Anstruther; you live In that pretty white house near tho church. Oh. Mrs. Anstruther, about tnis dreadful thing nhont Mr. Barlowe. Madame Dubois wrote that he died suddenly, and sho was now my guardian; but how did It happen? Why was I not told?" And sho glanced imploringly (it the pleasant mother-ly face now regarding her with a troubled frown. (To bo continued.) CRUELTY IN TONE. Cro Word Kill HI"! In Its Cage. A bird which receives a scolding is made as miserable and unhappy thereby as a child would be. To Illustrate Our Dumb Animals tells the following story: A Massachusetts woman had, a few years ago, a beautiful canary bird which she dearly loved, and to which she had never spoken an unkind word in her life. One Sunday the church organist wa3 away, and she stopped after churrh to play the organ for tho Sunday school. In consequence of this tho dinner had to be put off an hour, and when she got home lwr good husband was very hungry, and he spoke to her unkindly. The things were put on and they sat down In silence at the table, and presently the bird began to chirp at her us It always had to attract her attention. To shame her husband for having spoken so, she turned to the bird, and for tho first time In her life spoke to it In a most violent and angry tone. In less than five minutes there was a fluttering in the cage. Sho snrane to the can'. the bird was dead. M rs. Hendricks, tho wife of the late Ice-ure3idcnt of the United States, says that she once killed a mocking bird In tho same way. It annoyed her by loud singing. To stop it ehe spoke In a violent tone, and pretended to throw something at It, and within five minutes It was dead. A Itux'i HTn. The present German emperor, luen a small boy, attended the wedding of the prince and pi Incess of Wales. He wi unfer tho charge of his two uncles, the duke of Edinburgh and the duke of Connanght, As may be ixpected.young William fidgeted sdly, and consequently received an occasional warning Up the shoulder. But how he did revengo himtclf! H!s uncles were In Highland dress, and the future emperor slyly knelt dewn and bit Into their bare legs with great earnestness. Boston Journal . By no to at an of on

Clipped from
  1. The Chanute Times,
  2. 12 Oct 1900, Fri,
  3. First Edition,
  4. Page 7

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