The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on June 5, 1895 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

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Algona, Iowa
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Wednesday, June 5, 1895
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New Hardy to Belle Siohrecht. I by authorities as the best c.voi-iiurodiirt'il tlEADV VO'R SALE. Reliabl' 1 Agents may apply with References to SIEBRBOET & WADLEY, New York Oity, THE STORY OF FRAE1SJLUDE BY STANLEY d. WEYMAN. ICopyrijrlH Iftil.by dissell Vnl>U slll "ir Co All i-iu-ht- reserved.1 CHAPTER VIII. As tho day went on, therefore, I looked eagerly for Mistress Anne's return, but she appeared no more, though I maintained a close watch on tho cabin door. All the afternoon, too, the duchess kept away from mo, and I feared that I had seriously offended her, so that it was with no very pleasant anticipations that, going into that part of tho deckhouse which served us lor a common room, to see if tho evening ineal was set, I found only tho duchess and Master Bertie- prepared to sit down to It. I suppose that something of my feeling was expressed in my face, for while I was yet half way between door and table my lady gave way to a peal of merriment. "Come, sit down and do not be afraid!" she cried pleasantly, her gray eyes still full of laughter. "I vow the lad thinks I rfiall eat him. Kay, when all is said and douo, I liko you tho bettor, Sir Knight Errant, for your scruples. I see that you are determined to act up to your namo. But that reminds me," she added in a znoro serious vein. "We have been frank with you. You must bo equally frank with us. What are wo to call you, pray?" I looked down at my plate and felt my face grow scarlet. Tho wound which tho discovery of my father's treachery had dealt mo had begun to heal. In tho action, tho movement, tho adventure of tho last fortnight, I had well nigh lost sight of tho blot on my escutcheon, of tho shame •which had driven mo from home. But tho .question, "What aro wo to call you?" revived tho smart, and revived It with an •added pang. It had been very well, In theory, to proudly discard my old name. 3t was painful in practice to bo unable to answer tho duchess: "I am a Cluddo of Coton, nephew to Sir_Anthony, formerly csqu'irb of tho body to King Henry. I am no unworthy follower and associate oven for you," and to have instead to reply: "I jihavc no name. I am nobody. I hove all :to srnako and win." Yet this was my ill -.fortune. Her woman's eye saw my trouble as I hesitated, confused and doubting, what I sshouid reply. "Come," she said good na- iturcdly, trying to reassure me. "You aro ••of gentle birth. Of that wo feel sure." I shook my head. "Nay, I am of no tfrth, madam," I answered hurriedly. ' I havo no name, or, at any rate, no name that I can ba proud of. Call me—call me, if it please you, Francis Carey." "It is a good name," quoth Master Bertie, pausing with his knife suspended in tho air. "A right good Protestant name! "Buii I have no claim to it," I rejoined, more and ruoro hurt. "I -have all to make. I am a new man. Yet do not fear! I added quickly as I saw what I took to bo a cloud of doubt cross my lady's face. I •will follow you no less faithfully for thatl "Well," said the duchess, a smile again transforming her open features, "I will answer for that, Master Carey. Deeds aro "bettor than names, and as for being a now man, what with Fagots and Cavendishes and Spencers, wo havo naught but now men nowadays. So cheer up!" sho continued kindly. "And wo will poke no questions at you, though I doubt whether you do not possess more birth and breeding than you would havo us think. And if, e when wo return to England, as I trust we may before wo aro old men and women, we can advr.nco your cause, then let us luivti your secret. No one can say that Knthcrinu Willoughby ever forgot her friend." "Or forgavu her enemy overqulckly," quoth her husband naively. Shu rapped his knuckles with tho back of her knifi) 1'ot that, and under cover of this small diversion I had time to regain my composure. But tho matter left mo scro at heart and more than a little homo- sick. And I sought leave to retire early. "You ;iio rijjht!" rfaid the duchess, rising graciously. ''Tonight, after being out in tho air. you will sleep soundly, and tomorrow you will l.io a new man," with a iaini smile. •'BoJievo me, lam not ungrateful, .Mu-sUT l/'rancis, tind I will diligent lv seek <j<.-('a.-;iu'j to repay both your gallant, defense of the other duy and your Fatum nervico." rihe gave mo her hand to I;i.-;s, anil I borit over it. "Now," sho continued, ''do homan<; to my buby, and then 'I sh;Ul considi-r that you aro really one of u:-; and pkdged to our cause." 1 kir.stnl tho tiny fist hold out to mo, a .soft pink thing looking liko some dainty aunshi-Il. ilustu: -BiTtiu cordially grasped my hand. And .-u under tho oil lamp in tho neat cabin ot that old Dutch boat, sumowhiini on tin; Waul betwox-n Gorcum and Nimut'gen, v.'u plighted our troth to one another, and in a .-:cnso I became onu of them. I went to my berth ehtured and encouraged by their "kindness. But the interview, satisfactory as it was, had set up no little excitement in my brain, and it was long before I slept. When 1 did, I had a strange dream. I dreamed that I was sitting in tho hull lit Coton, and that Petronilla was standing on the dais looking fix- cdly at me with gentle, sorrowful eyes. I wanted to goto her, but I could not move. Every dreamer knows the sensation. I tried to call to her, to ask her what was the matter, and why she so looked at mo. But I could utter no sound. And still she continued to fix me with tho same, sad, jeproaehful eyes, in which I rend a warning, yet could not ask its meaning. I struggled so hard that at last the spoil was in a degree broken. Following tho direction of her eyes, I loola-d down at myself and saw fastened to tho breast of my doublet tho knot of blue velvet which Kho had made for my sword hilt, and which 1 had over since carried In my bosom. More, I saw, with a singular feeling of augur and sorrow, that/ a bund which tamo over my shoulder was tugging hard at-the ribbon in the attempt to remove it. This gave mo horrible concern, yet at Hie moment J oould not move nor do anything to prevent it. At last, waking a stupendous effort, I awoke, my lapt experience, dreaming, being of tho strange jiand working at niy breast. My tlrst waking idea was tho sa.me, so that J threw (rat my arms and cried aloud anil sat up. M Vjjh.l" I exclaimed, trembling in the IB- tensity of my relief ns 1 looked about and welcomed the nO'tv familiar surroundings. "It was only & dream. It was"— 1 stopped abruptly, my eyes falling on a form lurking in tho doorway. I could see ife only dimly by the light of a hanging lamp, which smoked and burned redly overhead. Yet 1 covild see it. It was teal, Substantial—a waking figure. Nevertheless a faint touch of superstitious •terror still clung to inc. "Speak, please!" I asked. "Who is it?" "It is only 1," answered a soft voice, welt known to me—Mistress Anne's. ll l came in to see how you were," she continued, advancing a little, "and whether you were sleeping. I am afraid I awoke you. But you seemed," she added, "to be having such painful dreams that perhaps it was as well 1 did." 1 was fumbling in my breast while she fipoke, and certainly, whether in my sleep Ihacl undone the fastenings or had loosened them intentionally before 1 lay down- though I could not remember doing so— my doublet and shirt were open at the breast. The velvet knot was safe, however, in that tiny inner pocket beside tho letter, and 1 breathed again. "I am very glad you did awake me!" 1 replied, look* ing gratefully at her. "1 was having n horrible dream. But how good it was of you to think of me, and when you aro not well yourself too." "Oh, lam better," she murmured, her eyes, which glistened in the light, fixed steadily on mo. "Much better. Now go to sleep again, and happier dreams to you. After tonight," she added pleasantly, "I shall no longer consider you as an invalid nor intrude upon you." And sho was gone before I could reiterate my thanks. The door fell to, and I was alone, full of kindly feelings toward her and of thankfulness that my horrible vision had no foundation. "Thank heaven!" I murmured more than onco as I lay down. "It was only a dream." Next day wo reached Nimuegcn, whore wo staid a short time. Leaving that place in tho afternoon, 24 hours' journeying, partly by river, partly, if I remember rightly, by canal, brought us to tho neighborhood of Arnhcim on tho Rhino. It was tho 1st of March, but tho opening month belied its reputation. There was a brightness, a softness in tho air and a consequent feeling as of spring which would better havo befitted the middle of April. All day we remained on deck enjoying the kindliness of nature, which was especially grateful to mo, in whom the sap of health was beginning to spring again, and we were still there when one of those gorgeous sunsets which aro peculiar to that country began to fling its hues across our path. Wo turned a jutting promontory, tho boat began to fall off, and the captain came up, his errand to tell us that our journey was done. Wo went eagerly forward at tho news and saw in n kind of bay, formed by a lakeliko expansion of the river, a little island green and low, its banks trimly set with a single row of poplars. It was perhaps a quarter of a mile every way, and n channel one-fourth as wide separated it from tho nearer shore of tho river, to which, however, a long narrow bridge of planks laid on trestles gave access. On tho outer side of the island, facing tho riv- I-Ic ijrcctcd iis icarmly. er's course, stood a low white house, before which a sloping green terrace, also bordered with poplars, led clown to a tiny pier. Behind and around tho house were meadows as trim and neat as a child's toys, over which tho eye roved with pleasure until it reached tho landward side of the island, and there detected, nestling among gardens, a tiny village of half a dozen cottages. It was a scene of enchant ing peace and quietude. As wo slowly plowed our way up to the landing place I saw tho rabbits stand to gam at us, and then, with a (lick of their heels, dart off to their holes. I marked tho cattle moving homeward in a string and heard the wild fowl rise in crnek and pool with a whir of wings. I turned with a full heart to my neighbor. "Is it not lovely?" I cried, with enthusiasm. "Is it not a peaceful place— a very garden of Eden?" I looked to see her fall into raptures such as women aro commonly more prone to than men. But all women are not the same. Mistress Anno was looking, in deed, when I turned and surprised her, at the scene which had so moved rue, but tho expression of her face was sad and bitter and utterly melancholy. The weariness and fatigue I hud often seen lurking in her eyes had invaded all her features. Sho looked flve years older—no longer a girl, but a gray faced, hopeless woman, whom the sight of this peaceful haven rather smote to the heart than filled with anticipations of safety and repose. It was but for a moment I saw her so, Then sho dashed her hand across her eyes —though I saw no tears in them—and with a pettish exclamation turned away "Poor girl!" I thought, "She, too, is homesick. No doubt this reminds her of sonic place at homo or of some person." I thought this the more likely, as Master Bertie came from Lincolnshire, which, he said, had many of the features of this strange land, and it was conceivable enough that sho should know Lincolnshire, too, being related to his wife. I soon forgot tho matter in the excitement of landing. A few minutes of bustle and it was over. Tho boat put out again, nnd we four were left face to face with two strangers, an elderly man and a girl, who hud come down to tho pier to meet us, Tho former, stout, bluff and rod faced, with a thick gray beard and a gold chain about his rieok, had the air of a man of position, Ho greeted us warmly. JHig companion, who hung behind him, somewhat shyly, was as pretty a girl as one could find in a month. A second look assured me of something more—that she formed tui excellent foil to the piquant brightness and keen vivacity, the dark hair and nervous features of Mistress Anno. For tho Dutch girl was fair and plump urnl of perfect complexion. Her hair was very light, almost flaxen indeed, and her eyes were softly and llmpidlyblue —grave, innocent, wondering eyes they wore, I remember. I guessed rightly she was the elderly man'g daughter, 1 learned that she wai his only child, that hot name was tfymphaa. Ho was a Master Lindstrom, a merchant of standing if, Atnheim. He had till ted England and spoke English fairly, and being under eome obligations, it appeared, to tho Duchess Kathefine was to bo onr host. We all walked tip the little avenue together, Aiaster Lihdstrom talking as he went to husband or wife, While his daughter and Mistress Anno came next, gazing each at each in silence, as tvomeii whtsn they first meet will gaze, taking stock, I suppose, of a tival's weapofts. I walked last, wondering why they had toothing to say to one another. As we entered the house the mystery was explained. "Sho speaks no English," said Mistress Anne, with a touch of scorn. "And We no Dutch," 1 answered, stalling. "Hero in Holland 1 am afraid that she will have somewhat tho best of us. Try her with Spanish." "Spanish! 1 know none." "Well, Ido^a little." "What, you know Spanish?" Mistress Anne's tone of surpriao amounted almost to incredulity, and it flattered me, boy that 1 was. 1 date say it would have flattered many an older head thafi mine. "Youknow Spanish? Whorodid you learn it?" sho continued sharply. "At homo." "At home! Where Is that?" -And she eyed mo still moro closely. "Where is your homo, Master Carey? You have never told me." But I had said already more than I Intended, and I shook my head. "I mean," I explained awkwardly,"that I learned it in a homo I onco had. Now my homo is hero. At any rate, I have no other." Tho Dutch girl, standing patiently beside us, had looked first at one face and then at tho other as wo talked. Wo were all by this time in a long, low parlor, warmed by a pretty closed fireplace covered with glazed tiles. On tho shelves of a great armoiro, or dresser, at one end of tho room, appeared a flue show of silver plate. At tho other end stood a tall linen press of walnut wood, handsomely carved, and oven tho gratings of tho windows and tho handles of tho doors were of hammered ironwork. There wore no rushes on the floor, which was mode of small pieces of wood delicately joined and set together and brightly polished. But everything in sight was clean and trim to a degree which would havo shaniod our great house at Coton, where tho rushes sometimes lay for a week unchanged. With each glance round I felt a livelier satisfaction. I turned to Mistress Dymphna. "Senorita!" I said, mustering my no•blest accent. "Bcso los pies do ustcdl Habla-usted Castillano?" Mistress Anne stared, while tho effect on the girl whom I addressed was greater than I had looked for, but certainly of a different kind. She started and drew back, an expression of offended dignity and of something liko anger ruffling her placid face. Did sho not understand? Yes, for after a moment's hesitation, and with A heightened color, sho answered, "Si, senor." Her constrained manner was not promising, but I was going on to open a conversation if I could, for it looked little grateful of us to stand there speechless and staring, when Mistress Anno interposed. "What did you say to her? What was it?" she asked eagerly. "I asked her if she spoke Spanish. That was all," I replied, my eyosonDymphna's face, which still betrayed trouble of some kind, "except that I paid her tho uSual formal compliment. But whab Is she saying to her father?" It was like tho Christmas game of cross questions. Tho girl and I had spoken in Spanish. I translated what wo had said into English for Mistress Anno, and Mistress Dymphna turned it into Dutch for her father, an anxious look on her face which needed no translation. "What is it?" asked Master Bertie, observing that something was wrong. "It is nothing—nothing!" replied the merchant apologetically, though as ho spoke his eyes dwelt on mo curiously. "It is only that I did not know that you had a Spaniard In your company." "A Spaniard?" Master Bertie answered. Wo havo none. This," pointing to me, "is our very good friend and faithful follower, Master Carey, an Englishman." "To whom," added tho duchess, smiling gravely, "I am greatly indebted." I hurriedly explained tho mistake and brought at once ft smile of relief to the mynheer's face. "Ah, pardon mo, I beseech yon," ho said. "My daughter was in error." And ho added something in Dutch which caused Mistress Dymphna to blush. "You know," ho continued, "I may speak freely to yon, since our enemies are in tho main tho same—you know that our Spanish rulers are not very popular with us and grow less popular every day, especially with those who aro of tho re- unj-»vv«j*-« * j ' * * "" •-.-.. — — .._,_formed faith. We havo learned, some or love us, to speak their language, but wo them none tho bettor for that." lean sympathi/.o with you indeed," cried tho duchoss impulsively. "God grant that our country may never bo in the same plight, though it looks as if this Spanish marriage were like to put us in it. It, is Spain! Spain! Spain! and nothing elsu nowadays!" "Nevertheless tho omporur is a groat and puissant monarch," rejoined the Arnhoimor thoughtfully, ''and could ho rule us himself wo might do well, B,ut his dominions are so largo ho knows little of us. And, worse, ho is dying, or as good as dying. Ho can scarcely sit his horse, and rumor says that before tho year js out ho will resign tho throne. Then wo hear little good of his successor, your queen's husband, and look to hear less. I fear that there Is a dark time before us, und God only knows tho issue." "And alone will rule it," Muster Bertie rejoined piously. This saying was in a way the keynote to tho life wo found our host living on hi« island estate. Peape, but peaco with constant fear for an assailant and religion for a supporter. Several times a week Master Lindstrom would go to Arnheim to superintend his business, and always after his return ho would shako his head and speak gravely, and Dymphuu.-would Jose her color for an hour or two. Things were going badly. The reformers were being more and more hardly dealt with. The Spaniards were growing moro despotic. That was his constant report, and then I would see hijn, « 3 ho walked with u.s in orchard or garden or sat beside the stove, cast wistful glances at the comfort and pjgnty round him. I knew that he asking himself how long they would if theyescaped the clutches of at; nioal government, would they be safe }n the times t,bat were coining from the vlor lencc of un ill paid soldiery? The answer was doubtful, or rather it was too cprtajn. . I spmeTlmes wondered how ho couJ4 P a " tiontly foresee gu.cn possibilities and fafce np steps, whatpver tho risk, to prevent! them. At first J thought hia patience from the Putch character. LjstiT T „ its deeper roots to a simplicity and, g d,eep religious feeling, ~" titfett did not flt that tlfft'6 e*lst In feftg- land of existed only 'among jftetple with Whom 1 had fieve* come into contact Here they seemed eotnmon enotigh and real enough. These folks' faith sustaln-ed them. It was a part of their llvcs-a bul- wflfk against tho fear that otherwise would have overwhelmed them. Aftd to an extent, too, which then surprised me, 1 found, as time went oft, that the duchess and Master Bertie shared this enthusiasm, although with them it took a less obtrusive form. 1 was led at the time to thiiik a good deal about this, and just a word I may say of myself ahd of those days Spent oh the fthihe island*—that whereas before I had taken but a lukewarm interest In religious questiofls, and tthile clinging instinctively to the teaching of my childhood had conformed with a light heart rather than annoy my uncle, 1 came to think Somewhat differently now, differently and more seriously. And so 1 have contintied to think since, though 1 havo hover become a bigot, a fact 1 owe perhaps to Mistress Dymphiia, in whoso tender heart there was room for charity as well as faith, for she was my teacher. Of necessity, since no other of our party could communicate With her, 1 became more of less the Dutch girl's companion. 1 would often of an evening join her on a Wooden bench which stood under an elm on a little spit of grass looking toward tho city and at some distance from tho house. Hero, when tho weather was warm, sho would watch for her father's return, and hero oho day, while talking with her, I had tho opportunity of witnessing a sight unknown in England, but which year by year was to become moro common in tho Netherlands, more heavily fraught with menace in Netherland eyes. Wo happened to be so deeply engaged in watching tho upper end of tho reach at tho time in question, where wo expected each moment to, see Muster Lindstrom's boat round tho point, that wo saw nothing of a boat coming tho other way until the flapping of its sails as it tacked drew our eyes toward it. Even then in the boat itself I saw nothing strange, but in its passengers I did. They were swarthy, mustachioed men, who in tho hundred poses they assumed, as tney lounged on deck or leaned over tho side, never lost a peculiar air of bravado. As they drew nearer to us tho sound of their loud voices, their oaths and laughter reached us plainly and seemed to jar on tho evening stillness. Their bold, fierce eyes, raking the banks unceasingly, reached us at last. - Tho girl by my side uttered n cry of alarm and rose as if to retreat. But sho sat down again, lor behind us was an open stretch of turf, and to escape unseen was impossible. Already a score of eyes had marked her beauty, and as tho boat drew abreast of us I had to listen to tho ribald jests and laughter of those on board. My ears tingled and my cheeks burned. But I could do nothing. I could only glare at them and grind my teeth. "Who aro they?" I muttered. "The cowardly knaves!" "Oh, hush! hush!" tho girl pleaded. Sho had retreated behind mo. And indeed I need not havo put my question, for though I had never seen the Spanish soldiery I had heard enough about them to recognize them now. In tho year 1555 their reputation was at its height. Their fathers had overcome the Moors after a contest of centuries, and they themselves had overrun Italy and lowered the pride of Franco. As a result, they had many military virtues and all'the military vices. Proud, bloodthirsty and licentious everywhere, it may be imagined that in tho subject Netherlands, with their pay always in arrear, they were indeed people to be feared. It was seldom that even thoir commanders dared to check their excesses. Yob when tho first flush of my anger had subsided I looked after them, odd as it may seem, with mingled feelings. With all their faults they were few against many, a conquering race in a foreign land. They could boast of blood and descent. They were proud to call themselves the soldiftrs und gentlemen of Europe. I was against them, yet I admired them with a boy's admiration for tho strong and reckless. Of course I said nothing of this to my companion. Indeed, when she spoke to me, I did not hear her. My thoughts had flown i'nr from t'he burgher's daughter sitting by mo and wore with my grandmother's people. I saw, in imagination, tho uplands of Old Castile, as I had often heard-them described, hot in summer and bleak in winter. I pictured tho dark, frowning walls of Toledo, with its hundred Moorish trophies, the' castles that crowned tho hills around, the gray olive groves und the box clad, slopes. I saw Palencia, whore my grandmother, Petronilla do Vargas, was born; Palencia, dry and brown and sun baked, lying squat and low on its plain, the oaves of its cathedral n man's height from tho ground. All thin I saw. I suppose tho Spanish blood in ine awoke and asserted itsolf at sight of those other Spaniards. And then—then I forgot it till as I heard behind me an alien voice, und I turned and found Dymphna had stolen from mo and was talking to a stranger. "The fo«6lgfie*s—ih the boat?" t laid dryly. CHAPTER J.X. lie was » young man, and a Dutchman, but not a Dutchman of the stout, burly type which I bad most commonly seen In tho country. Ho had, it is true, tho usual fair hair and blue eyes, and he was rather short than tall, but his figure was thin and meager, and ho had a pointed nose and chin and a scanty fair beard. I took him to bo nearsighted. At a second glance I saw that he was angry. Ho was talking fast to Dymphna—of course in Dutch—und my first impulse, in face of his excited gestures and queer appearance, was to laugh. But I had a notion what his relationship to the girl was, and I smothered' this, and instead asked, as soon as I could get ft word to,.whether I should leave .them. ... '•, '."-:• V . . "Oh, no!" Dymphiuv'answered, blushing slightly and turning to mo svith a troubled'glance. I believe she had clean forgotten my presence. "This is Master Jan Van Tree, a good friend, of ours, and this," she continued, still in Spanish, but speaking to him, "is Master Carey, onoof my father's guests," Wo bowed, he formally, for he had not recovered his temper, and I—I date say I still had my Spanish ancestors in my head —with condescension. Wo disliked one another at sight, J think. I dubbed him a mean little fellow, a trader, a potjdlsr, and, however lie classed me, it was not favorably, So it was no particular defcjro to please him which led me to say with outward solicitude, M J fear you aro annoyed at something, Master Von Tree." "I am!" he said bluntly, meeting mo half way. "And u,jn J to know the causpf' I auked, "or is'it. a score*?" "It is noaeoroj;!" he retorted,- "Mistress Liudstrom should, have be?n wore eyeful. She should wot bftye exposed, Jierse}! to the chjftnce of being &een. by $b,o,$e mis.era.b4e. foreigners." , Yes, of course—ifl thob'oat," he an- scored. He ttas obliged to say that, but ho glared at me ncfoss her .as ho spoke. We had turned and were talking back to tho house, the poplars casting long shadows across our path. . "They ttero rude," I observed carelessly, tny chin very high. "But there is no particular harm done that I can see, Master Van tree." „ t "Perhapsnot, as far as you can see," ho retorted in great excitement. "But perhaps also you are not very farslghted. You may not see it now, yet harm will follow." "Possibly*" 1 said, and I was going to follow lip this seemingly candid admission by something very boorish when Mistress Dymphna struck in nervously. "My father is anxious," she explained, speaking to me, "that 1 should have as little to do with out Spanish governors as possible, Master Carey. It always vexes him to hear that 1 have fallen In their way, and that is why my friend feels annoyed. It was not, of course, your fault, since you did not knoW of this. It was I," she continued hurriedly,' "Who should not have ventured to the elm tree without seeing that tho coast was clear." I know that she was timidly trying, hef color coming and going, to catch my eye, to appease mo as tho greater stranger anci to keep tho peace between her ill matched companions, who indeed stalked al°»6 eying one another much as a wolf hound and a badger dog might regard each other across a choice bone. But the young Dutchman's sudden appearance had put me out. I was not in love with her, yet I liked to talk to her, and I grudged her to him—ho seemed so mean a follow. And so—churl that I Was—in answer to her speech, I lot drop some sneer about tho great fear of tho Spaniards which seemed to prevail in these parts. "You are not afraid of them, then? Van Tree said, with a smile. "No; I am not," I answered, my lip curling also. '"Ah," with much meaning, perhaps you do not know them very well!" "Perhaps not," I replied. "Still, my grandmother was a Spaniard." "So I should have thought," he retorted swiftly, so swiftly that I felt tho words as I should havo felt a blow. "What do you moan?" I blurted out, halting before him, with my check crimson. In vain wore all Dymphna's appealing glances, all her signs of distress. ' I will have you explain, Master Van Tree, what you mean by thatl" I repeated fiercely. "I mean what I said," ho answered, confronting mo stubbornly and shaking off Dymphna's hand. His blue eyes twinkled with rage; his thin board bristled; ho was tho color of a turkey cock's comb. At homo we should havo thought him a comical little figure, but ho did not seem so absurd, hero. For one thing, ho looked spiteful enough for anything, and for another, though I topped him by a head and shoulders, I could not flatter myself that ho was afraid of mo. On tho contrary, I felt that in tho presence of his mistress, small and shortsighted as ho was, ho would havo faced a lion without wink- His courage was not to be put to tho proof. I was still glaring at him, seeking some retort which should provoke him beyond endurance,, when a hand was laid on my shoulder, and I turned to find that Master Bertie and the duchess'had joined us. "So bora are the truants," the former said pleasantly, speaking in English and showing no consciousness whatever of the crisis in tho middle of which ho had come up though he must have discerned in our defiant attitudes and in Dymplma's troubled face that something was wrong. "You know who this is, Master Francis," he continued heartily, "or have you not boon introduced to Master Van Tree, tho betrothed of our host's daughter?" "Mistress Dymphna has done mo that honor," I said stiffly, recovering myself in appearance, while at heart sore and angry with everybody. "But I fear the Dutch gentleman has not thanked her for tho in troduotion since he learned that my grandmother was Spanish." "Your grandmother, do you moanc cried tho duchoss, much astonished. "Yes, madam." "Well, to bo sure," she exclaimed, lilting up her hands and appealing whimsi cally to tho others, "this boy is full o starts and surprises. You never know what ho will produce next. Tho other daj it was a warrant! Today it is a grand mother and a temper!" I could not bo angry with her, and perhaps I was not sorry now that my quarrel with the young Dutchman had stopped where it had. 1 affootod as well aa I could to join in the laugh'at my expense and took advantage of the arrival of our host, who at this moment came up the slope from tho landing plaoe, his hands outstretched and a smile of greeting on his kindly 1'aco, to slip .away unnoticed and make amends to my humor by switching off the heads of tho withes by tho UV Bufc naturally the scene loft a dugreo of ill fooling behind it,' and for tho first time durin" tho two months wo had spent under Master Liudstrom's roof tho party who sat down to supper were under some constraint. I felt that the youns Dutchman had had the best of the bout in tho garden, and I talked loudly and foolishly in tho boyish attempt to assert myself and to sot myself right at least in my own estimation. Master Van Tree meanwhile sat silent, eying me from time to time in no friendly fashion, Dymphna seemed nervous and fr'ightono.d, uud the duchess and her husband exchanged troubled glances. Only our host and Mistress Anne, who wos in particularly good spirits, weie unaffected by the prevailing chill. Mistress A.WJO indeed in her ignorance made mnttoys worse. She had begun to pick up i3omo Dutch and was fond o£ air- }ng her knowledge and practicing fresh sentences at mealtimes. By gome ill luck she contrived this evening—particularly n'ftor, finding »o one to contradict me, I had fallen Into comparative silenced—to frame her sentences so as to cause as iquoh embarrassment as possible to all of us. "Where did you walk with Dymphna this morning?" was tho question put to me" you are fond of tho water—Englishmen W e fond of the water,'' she isu na "Dymphna is tall; Master Francis is tall J Pit by you tonight; the Dutch lady sat by you last night," and so p«, and so on, with prattle which seemed, to a,niuf?e our host exoeodingJy-ho was neve? tired of correcting her jnjstafces—bu> which put the rest of us out of oouutwwncej bringing the te,ars tppoorpyrophnft'? eyes^-she 414 pot feppw wiW *o Joofc-wd juaWag hw love? glower at TOO w tkowb Iw wauW oat mo. iifyya.8 «iw nothing. She Wen* ofl fi&fti VftfiTro* could stand it no tongat, find with n half smothered thteat, whieh v*»9 perfectly intelligible to ^V^lIT^* t« from the table nnd wont to the door ad if to look out at the night. "What is the matter?" Mistress AfanO said wonderingly in English. Her eyes seemed at length to bo opened to the fnct that something was amiss with us. . Before t could answer the duchess, jfrho had risen, caino behind hot. ' You little fool!" she whispered fiercely, "if fool you nfe, you deserve to bo vfrhipp'od!" "Why, what have 1 done?" murmured the girl, fcfllly frightened now aiid appealing to inc. t "Done!" whispered the duchess, and I think she pinched her, for my neighbor tvinced. "More harm than you guess, you minx! And for you, Master Francis, a word with you. Come with me to my room, please." 1 went with her, half minded to be angry and half inclined to feel ashamed of myself. She did not give me time, how- over, to consider which attitude I should take up, for tho moment tho door of her room was closed behind us she turned Upon me, the color high ih her cheeks. "NoW, young man," she said in a tone of ringing contempt, "do you really think that that girl is in love with you?" '•What girl?" 1 asked sheepishly. The unexpected question nnd her touo put ine out of countenance. "What girl? What girl?" sho replied impatiently. "Don't play With me, boy! You know Whom I moan —Dymphna Lindstrom!" t . "Oh, I thought you meant Mistress Anno," I said somewhat Impertinently. Her face fell in an extraordinary fashion, as if tho suggestion were not pleasant to her, but sho answered on tho instant: "Well, tho vanity of tho lad! Do you think all tho girls are in love with you^ Because you havo been sitting with a pretty face on each side of you do you think you havo only to throw tho handkerchief this way or that? If you do, open your eyes, mid you will find it is not so. My kinswoman can take care of herself, so we Will leave her out of tho discussion, please, and for this pink and white Dutch girl," my lady continued viciously, "let mo tell you that sho thinks moro of Van Tree's little finger than of your whole body. I shrugged my shoulders, but still I waa mortified. A young man may not bo in lovo with a girl, yet it displeases him to hoar that sho is indifferent to him. Tho duchess noticed tho movement. "Don't do that," sho cried in Impatient scorn. "You do not see much in Master Van Tree perhaps? I thought not. Therefore you think a girl must bo of tho same mind as yourself. Well," with u fierce little nod, "you will learn some clay that it is not so; that womon are not quite what men think them, and particularly. Master Francis, that six feet of manhood and n pretty faco-on top of it do not always havo thoir way. But, there, I did not aring you here }*j toll you that. I want to enow whether J^W are awaro what you are .oing." I muttered something to tho effect that I did not know I was doing any harm. You do not call it harm, then," tho luchcss retorted, with energy, "to en- langor tho safety of every ono of us? Can- lot you see that if you insult and offend this young man—which you aro doing out of pure wanton mischief, for you aro not in love with the girl—ho may ruin us? ' "Ruin us?" I repeated incredulously. "'Yes, ruin-us!" sho cried. "Here we are, living more or less in hiding through tho kindness of Master Lindstrom—living in peace and quietness. But do you suppose that inquiries are not being mado for us? Why, I would bet a dozen gold angels that Master Clarence is in tho Netherlands at this moment tracking us." I was startled by this idea, and she saw I was. '' Wo can trust Master Lindstrom, were it only for his own sake," sho -continued moro quietly, satisfied perhaps with tho efi'oct she harLfiiroduced. "And this young man, who i?the son of ono of tho principal men of Arnheim, is also disposed to look kindly on us, as I fancy it is his nature to look. But if you make mischief between Dymphna and him"— "I have not," I said. "Tnen do not," she replied sharply. I1 Look to it for tho future. And, more, do not let him fancy it possible. Jealousy is as easily awakened as it is hardly pub to sleep. A word from this young man to the Spanish authorities, and wo should bo hauled back to England in a trice, if worse did not befall us here. Now, you will be careful?" • "I will," Isiaid, conscience stricken and a little cowod. .' "That is bettor," she replied, smiling. "I think you will. Now go." I wont down again with some food for thought—with some good intentions too, But I was to find—tho discovery is' made by many—that good resolutions commonly come too late. Whoa I went down stairs, I found my host and Master Bertie alone in tho parlor. The girls had disappeared, so had Van Tree, and I saw at once that something had happened,' Master Bertie was standing gazing at the stovo very thoughtfully, and tho Dutchman was walking up and down the roPm with an almost comical expression of annoyance and trouble on his pleasant face. "Where are the young ladies'?" I asked. "Up stairs," said Mastor Bertie, not looking at ui'-\ "And—an.; Van Tree?" I abkod mechanically. Somehow I anticipated the answer, "Gone!" said tho Englishman curtly. "Aye, gone, the foolish lad!" the Dutchman struck in, tugging at his board, " What has come to 'him? He is not wont, to show temper. I have never known him and Dymphna haves crossword before,,. What has comp'^o tlio lad, I eoyi to go pJv in a passion at tbJj time of flight? &m no: one knows y/jStther too lias gone v$\ when he will pomp b"a.ok, again!" - - ,~«^ ,Ho seemed as lio.spoHo hardly pon?Pi«H|^. of my presence, livjt Master Pertie-tqropft $ and looked at me, and I huug my h"" rl and very shortly afterward I slunk The thought of what I might have brou, upon us all by my petulance a.n.4 vaj] made me fee} slok, J crept up to bpd JM ous and fearful of th,e morrow, li|t?fl tp every noise without and p.rayjrjg wardly that my alarm might not Ua j« fled, WbPM the morrow PWJiP, J wenf <\c, stairs as a,PX}Qiis .to spe VflB Tree flesh «8 J hftd been yesterday by his appearance,- JJuJ HP ¥<?) therp to bo sejn, JJo$hing had, ., _„, ^__,^ of toliB, P-yjwph.ni* uwwd r<$Wes«ty atowfe? her cbeekS palp, lipr pyes aownwept gnj J had. ever flattered myself that Jw&B 91 thiwg |&- the girt I was vrndepeiyej MS The .duchess ebPfr angry g}a.n.c!$ %% K, from tiiee JJP. $me. Muster, {fcrtjej^ looking aaxigusjy at the do^r. ' out* vd -Sifik- ''**> ' % , / -i ,. " '; V , rj ' '" •- ^ '"'*• r E -V .''""' * "1-f !**> & -X"> U'^-"^

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