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Title: Daireen - Volume 2 of 2
Author: Moore, Frank Frankfort
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Daireen - Volume 2 of 2" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Volume 2 of 2

By Frank Frankfort Moore

(Transcriber's Note: Chapters XX to XXIV were taken from a print
copy of a different edition as these chapters were missing from the 1889
taken. In the inserted four chapters it will be noted that the normal
double quotation marks were printed as single quote marks.)


```I have heard of your paintings too.=

``_Hamlet_. His form and cause conjoined, preaching to stones,

```Would make them capable. Do not look upon me,

```Lest... what I have to do

```Will want true colour....

````Do you see nothing there?=

``_Queen_. No, nothing but ourselves.=

``_Hamlet_. Why, look you there...

```Look, where he goes, even now, out at the portal.


|I AM so glad to be beside some one who can tell me all I want to know'
said Lottie, looking up to Colonel Gerald's bronzed face when Mrs.
Crawford and Markham had walked on.

'My dear Lottie, you know very well that you know as much as I do,' he
answered, smiling down at her.

'Oh, Colonel Gerald, how can you say such a thing?' she cried
innocently. 'You know I am always getting into scrapes through my

'You have managed to get out of a good many in your time, my dear. Is it
by the same means you got out of them, Lottie-your simplicity?'

'Oh, you are as amusing as ever,' laughed the young thing. 'But you must
not be hard upon poor little me, now that I want to ask you so much.
Will you tell me, like a dear good colonel--I know you can if you
choose--what is the mystery about this Mr. Markham?'

'Mystery? I don't hear of any mystery about him.'

'Why, all your friends came out in the some steamer as he did. They must
have told you. Everybody here is talking about him. That's why I want
him for our theatricals: everyone will come to see him.'

'Well, if the mystery, whatever it may be, remains unrevealed up to the
night of the performance, you will have a house all the more crowded.'

'But I want to know all about it for myself. Is it really true that he
had fallen overboard from another ship, and was picked up after being
several weeks at sea?'

'You would be justified in calling that a mystery, at any rate,' said
Colonel Gerald.

'That is what some people here are saying, I can assure you,' she cried
quickly. 'Others say that he was merely taken aboard the steamer at St.
Helena, after having been wrecked; but that is far too unromantic.'

'Oh, yes, far too unromantic.'

'Then you do know the truth? Oh, please tell it to me. I have always
said I was sure it was true that a girl on the steamer saw him floating
on the horizon with an unusually powerful pilot-glass.'

'Rather mysterious for a fellow to be floating about on the horizon with
a pilot-glass, Lottie.'

'What a shame to make fun of me, especially as our performance is in
the cause of charity, and I want Mr. Markham's name to be the particular
attraction! Do tell me if he was picked up at sea.'

'I believe he was.'

'How really lovely! Floating about on a wreck and only restored after
great difficulty! Our room should be filled to the doors. But what I
can't understand, Colonel Gerald, is where he gets the money he lives
on here. He could not have had much with him when he was picked up. But
people say he is very rich.'

'Then no doubt people have been well informed, my dear. But all I know
is that this Mr. Markham was on his way from New Zealand, or perhaps
Australia, and his vessel having foundered, he was picked up by the
"Cardwell Castle" and brought to the Cape. He had a note for a few
hundred pounds in his pocket which he told me he got cashed here without
any difficulty, and he is going to England in a short time. Here we are
at the room where these pictures are said to be hanging. Be sure you
keep up the mystery, Lottie.'

'Ah, you have had your little chat, I hope,' said Mrs. Crawford, waiting
at the door of Government House until Colonel Gerald and Lottie had come

'A delightful little chat, as all mine with Colonel Gerald are,' said
Lottie, passing over to Mr. Markham. 'Are you going inside to see the
pictures, Mrs. Crawford?'

'Not just yet, my dear; we must find Miss Gerald,' said Mrs. Crawford,
who had no particular wish to remain in close attachment to Miss Vincent
for the rest of the evening.

'Mr. Markham and I are going in,' said Lottie. 'I do so dote upon
pictures, and Mr. Markham can explain them I know; so _au revoir_.'

She kissed the dainty tips of her gloves and passed up to the small
piazza at the House, near where Major Crawford and some of the old
Indians were sitting drinking their brandy and soda and revolving many

'Let us not go in for a while, Mr. Markham,' she said. 'Let us stay here
and watch them all. Isn't it delightfully cool here? How tell me all
that that dreadful old Mrs. Crawford was saying to you about me.'

'Upon my word,' said Markham smiling, 'it _is_ delightfully cool up

'I know she said ever so much; she does so about everyone who has at any
time run against her and her designs. She's always designing.'

'And you ran against her, you think?'

'Of course I did,' cried Lottie, turning round and giving an almost
indignant look at the man beside her. 'And she has been saying nasty
things about me ever since; only of course they have never injured me,
as people get to understand her in a very short time. But what did she
say just now?'

'Nothing, I can assure you, that was not very much in favour of the
theatrical idea I have just promised to work out with you, Miss Vincent:
she told me you were a--a capital actress.'

'She said that, did she? Spiteful old creature! Just see how she is all
smiles and friendliness to Mr. Harwood because she thinks he will say
something about her husband's appointment and the satisfaction it is
giving in the colony in his next letter to the "Trumpeter." That is
Colonel Gerald's daughter with them now, is it not?'

'Yes, that is Miss Gerald,' answered Markham, looking across the lawn
to where Daireen was standing with Mr. Harwood and some of the
tennis-players as Mrs. Crawford and her companion came up with Mr.
Glaston, whom they had discovered and of whom the lady had taken
possession. The girl was standing beneath the broad leaf of a plantain
with the red sunlight falling behind her and lighting up the deep ravine
of the mountain beyond. Oswin thought he had never before seen her look
so girlishly lovely.

'How people here do run after every novelty!' remarked Miss Vincent, who
was certainly aware that she herself was by no means a novelty. 'Just
because they never happen to have seen that girl before, they mob her
to death. Isn't it too bad? What extremes they go to in their delight at
having found something new! I actually heard a gentleman say to-day that
he thought Miss Geralds face perfect. Could anything be more absurd,
when one has only to see her complexion to know that it is extremely
defective, while her nose is--are you going in to the pictures so soon?'

'Well, I think so,' said Markham. 'If we don't see them now it will be
too dark presently.'

'Why, I had no idea you were such a devotee of Art,' she cried. 'Just
let me speak to papa for a moment and I will submit myself to your
guidance.' And she tripped away to where the surgeon-general was smoking
among the old Indians.

Oswin Markham waited at the side of the balcony, and then Mrs. Crawford
with her entire party came up, Mr. Glaston following with Daireen, who
said, just as she was beside Mr. Markham, 'We are all going to view the
pictures, Mr. Markham; won't you join us?'

'I am only waiting for Miss Vincent,' he answered. Then Daireen and her
companion passed into the room containing the four works meant to be
illustrative of that perfect conception of a subject, and of the only
true method of its treatment, which were the characteristics assigned
to themselves by a certain section of painters with whom Mr. Glaston
enjoyed communion.

The pictures had, by Mr. Glaston's direction, been hung in what would
strike an uncultured mind as being an eccentric fashion. But, of course,
there was a method in it. Each painting was placed obliquely at a
window; the natural view which was to be obtained at a glance outside
being supposed to have a powerful influence upon the mind of a spectator
in preparing him to receive the delicate symbolism of each work.

'One of our theories is, that a painting is not merely an imitation of
a part of nature, but that it becomes, if perfectly worked out in its
symbolism, a pure creation of Nature herself,' said Mr. Glaston airily,
as he condescended to explain his method of arrangement to his immediate
circle. There were only a few people in the room when Mrs. Crawford's
party entered. Mr. Glaston knew, of course, that Harwood was there,
but he felt that he could, with these pictures about him, defy all the
criticism of the opposing school.

'It is a beautiful idea,' said Mrs. Crawford; 'is it not, Colonel

'Capital idea,' said the colonel.

'Rubbish!' whispered Harwood to Markham, who entered at this moment with
Lottie Vincent.

'The absurdity--the wickedness--of hanging pictures in the popular
fashion is apparent to every thoughtful mind,' said the prophet of Art.
'Putting pictures of different subjects in a row and asking the public
to admire them is something too terrible to think about. It is the act
of a nation of barbarians. To hold a concert and perform at the same
instant selections from Verdi, Wagner, Liszt, and the Oxford music-hall
would be as consistent with the principles of Art as these Gallery
exhibitions of pictures.'

'How delightful!' cried Lottie, lifting up her four-buttoned gloves in
true enthusiasm. 'I have often thought exactly what he says, only I have
never had courage to express myself.'

'It needs a good deal of courage,' remarked Harwood.

'What a pity it is that people will continue to be stupid!' said Mrs.
Crawford. 'For my own part, I will never enter an Academy exhibition
again. I am ashamed to confess that I have never missed a season when I
had the chance, but now I see the folly of it all. What a lovely scene
that is in the small black frame! Is it not, Daireen?'

'Ah, you perceive the Idea?' said Mr. Glaston as the girl and Mrs.
Crawford stood before a small picture of a man and a woman in a
pomegranate grove in a grey light, the man being in the act of plucking
the fruit. 'You understand, of course, the symbolism of the pomegranate
and the early dawn-light among the boughs?'

'It is a darling picture,'said Lottie effusively.

'I never saw such carelessness in drawing before,' said Harwood so soon
as Mr. Glaston and his friends had passed on to another work.

'The colour is pretty fair, but the drawing is ruffianly.'

'Ah, you terrible critic!' cried Lottie.

'You spoil one's enjoyment of the pictures. But I quite agree with you;
they are fearful daubs,' she added in a whisper. 'Let us stay here and
listen to the gushing of that absurd old woman; we need not be in the
back row in looking at that wonderful work they are crowding about.'

'I am not particularly anxious to stand either in the front or the
second row,' said Harwood. 'The pavement in the picture is simply an
atrocity. I saw the thing before.'

So Harwood, Lottie, and Markham stood together at one of the open
windows, through which were borne the brazen strains of the distant
band, and the faint sounds of the laughter of the lawn-tennis players,
and the growls of the old Indians on the balcony. Daireen and the rest
of the party had gone to the furthest window from which at an oblique
angle one of the pictures was placed. Miss Vincent and Harwood soon
found themselves chatting briskly; but Markham stood leaning against the
wall behind them, with his eyes fixed upon Daireen, who was looking in
a puzzled way at the picture. Markham wondered what was the element that
called for this puzzled--almost troubled expression upon her face, but
he could not see anything of the work.

'How very fine, is it not, George?' said Mrs. Crawford to Colonel Gerald
as they stood back to gaze upon the painting.

'I think I'll go out and have a smoke,' replied the colonel smiling.

Mrs. Crawford cast a reproachful glance towards him as he turned away,
but Mr. Glaston seemed oblivious to every remark.

'Is it not wonderful, Daireen?' whispered Mrs. Crawford to the girl.

'Yes,' said Daireen, 'I think it is--wonderful,' and the expression upon
her face became more troubled still.

The picture was composed of a single figure--a half-naked, dark-skinned
female with large limbs and wild black hair. She was standing in a
high-roofed oriental kiosk upon a faintly coloured pavement, gazing
with fierce eyes upon a decoration of the wall, representing a battle
in which elephants and dromedaries were taking part. Through one of
the arched windows of the building a purple hill with a touch of sunset
crimson upon its ridge was seen, while the Evening Star blazed through
the dark blue of the higher heaven.

Daireen looked into the picture, and when she saw the wild face of the
woman she gave a shudder, though she scarcely knew why.

'All but the face,' she said. 'It is too terrible--there is nothing of a
woman about it.'

'My dear child, that is the chief wonder of the picture,' said Mr.
Glaston. 'You recognise the subject, of course?'

'It might be Cleopatra,' said Daireen dubiously.

'Oh, hush, hush! never think of such a thing again,' said Mr. Glaston
with an expression that would have meant horror if it had not been
tempered with pity. 'Cleopatra is vulgar--vulgar--popular. That is

'You remember, of course, my dear,' said Mrs. Crawford; 'she is a young
woman in the Bible--one of the old parts--Daniel or Job or Hezekiah, you
know. She was a Jewess or an Egyptian or something of that sort, like
Judith, the young person who drove a nail into somebody's brain--they
were always doing disagreeable things in those days. I can't recollect
exactly what this dreadful creature did, but I think it was somehow
connected with the head of John the Baptist.'

'Oh, no, no,' said Daireen, still keeping her eyes fixed upon the face
of the figure as though it had fascinated her.

'Aholibah the painter has called it,' said

Mr. Glaston. 'But it is the symbolism of the picture that is most
valuable. Wonderful thought that is of the star--Astarte, you know
--shedding the light by which the woman views the picture of one of her

'Oh!' exclaimed Mrs. Crawford in a shocked way, forgetting for the
moment that they were talking on Art. Then she recollected herself and
added apologetically, 'They were dreadful young women, you know, dear.'

'Marvellous passion there is in that face,' continued the young man.
'It contains a lifetime of thought--of suffering. It is a poem--it is a
precious composition of intricate harmonies.'

'Intricate! I should think it is,' said Harwood to Lottie, in the
distant window.

'Hush!' cried the girl, 'the high-priest is beginning to speak.'

'The picture is perhaps the only one in existence that may be said to be
the direct result of the three arts as they are termed, though we prefer
to think that there is not the least distinction between the methods of
painting, poetry, and music,' said Mr. Glaston. 'I chanced to drop in to
the studio of my friend who painted this, and I found him in a sad state
of despondency. He had nearly all of the details of the picture filled
in; the figure was as perfect as it is at present--all except the
expression of the face. "I have been thinking about it for days,"
said the poor fellow, and I could see that his face was haggard with
suffering; "but only now and again has the expression I want passed
across my mind, and I have been unable to catch it." I looked at the
unfinished picture,' continued Mr. Glaston, 'and I saw what he wanted.
I stood before the picture in silence for some time, and then I composed
and repeated a sonnet which I fancied contained the missing expression
of passion. He sprang up and seized my hand, and his face brightened
with happiness: I had given him the absent idea, and I left him painting
enthusiastically. A few days after, however, I got a line from him
entreating me to come to him. I was by his side in an hour, and I found
him in his former state of despondency. "It has passed away again,"
he said, "and I want you to repeat your sonnet." Unfortunately I had
forgotten every line of the sonnet, and when I told him so he was in
agony. But I begged of him not to despair. I brought the picture and
placed it before me on a piano. I looked at it and composed an impromptu
that I thought suggested the exact passion he wanted for the face. The
painter stood listening with his head bowed down to his hands. When I
ended he caught up the picture. "I see it all clearly," he cried; "you
have saved me--you have saved the picture." Two days afterwards he sent
it to me finished as it is now.'

'Wonderful! is it not, Daireen?' said Mrs. Crawford, as the girl turned
away after a little pause.

'The face,' said Daireen gently; 'I don't want ever to see it again. Let
us look at something else.'

They turned away to the next picture; but Markham, who had been
observing the girl's face, and had noticed that little shudder come over
her, felt strangely interested in the painting, whatever it might be,
that had produced such an impression upon her. He determined to go
unobserved over to the window where the work was hanging so soon as
everyone would have left it.

'It requires real cleverness to compose such a story as that of Mr.
Glaston's,' said Lottie Vincent to Mr. Harwood.

'It sounded to me all along like a clever bit of satire, and I daresay
it was told to him as such,' said Harwood. 'It only needed him to
complete the nonsense by introducing another of the fine arts in the
working out of that wonderfully volatile expression.'

'Which is that?' said Lottie; 'do tell me, like a good fellow,' and she
laid the persuasive finger of a four-buttoned glove upon his arm.

'Certainly. I will finish the story for you,' said Harwood, giving the
least little imitation of the lordly manner of Mr. Glaston. 'Yes,
my friend the painter sent a telegram to me a few years after I had
performed that impromptu, and I was by his side in an hour. I found him
at least twenty years older in appearance, and he was searching with
a lighted candle in every corner of the studio for that expression of
passion which had once more disappeared.

What could I do? I had exhausted the auxiliaries of poetry and music,
but fortunately another art remained to me; you have heard of the poetry
of motion? In an instant I had mounted the table and had gone through a
breakdown of the most æsthetic design, when I saw his face lighten--his
grey hairs turned once more to black--long artistic oily black. "I have
found it," he cried, seizing the hearthbrush and dipping it into the
paint just as I completed the final attitude: it was found--but--what
is the matter, Miss Vincent?'

'Look!' she whispered. 'Look at Mr. Markham.'

'Good heavens!' cried Harwood, starting up, 'is he going to fall? No, he
has steadied himself by the window. I thought he was beside us.'

'He went over to the picture a second ago, and I saw that pallor come
over him,' said Lottie.

Harwood hastened to where Oswin Markham was standing, his white face
turned away from the picture, and his hand clutching the rail of a

'What is the matter, Markham?' said Harwood quietly. 'Are you faint?'

Markham turned his eyes upon him with a startled expression, and a smile
that was not a smile came upon his face.

'Faint? yes,' he said. 'This room after the air. I'll be all right.
Don't make a scene, for God's sake.'

'There is no need,' said Harwood. 'Sit down here, and I'll get you a
glass of brandy.'

'Not here,' said Markham, giving the least little side glance towards
the picture. 'Not here, but at the open window.'

Harwood helped him over to the open window, and he fell into a seat
beside it and gazed out at the lawn-tennis players, quite regardless of
Lottie Vincent standing beside him and enquiring how he felt.

In a few minutes Harwood returned with some brandy in a glass.

'Thanks, my dear fellow,' said the other, drinking it off eagerly. 'I
feel better now--all right, in fact.'

'This, of course, you perceive,' came the voice of Mr. Glaston from the
group who were engrossed over the wonders of the final picture,--'This
is an exquisite example of a powerful mind endeavouring to subdue the
agony of memory. Observe the symbolism of the grapes and vine leaves.'

In the warm sunset light outside the band played on, and Miss Vincent
flitted from group to group with the news that this Mr. Markham had
added to the romance which was already associated with his name, by
fainting in the room with the pictures. She was considerably surprised
and mortified to see him walking with Miss Gerald to the colonel's
carriage in half an hour afterwards.

'I assure you,' she said to some one who was laughing at her,--'I
assure you I saw him fall against the window at the side of one of the
pictures. If he was not in earnest, he will make our theatricals a great
success, for he must be a splendid actor.'


````Rightly to be great

```Is not to stir without great argument.=

````So much was our love

```We would not understand what was most fit.=

```She is so conjunctive to my life and soul

```That, as the star moves not but in his sphere,

```I could not but by her.=

```How should I your true love know

````From another one?--_Hamlet_.=

|ALL was not well with Mr. Standish MacDermot in these days. He was
still a guest at that pleasant little Dutch cottage of Colonel Gerald's
at Mowbray, and he received invitations daily to wherever Daireen
and her father were going. This was certainly all that he could have
expected to make him feel at ease in the strange land; but somehow he
did not feel at ease. He made himself extremely pleasant everywhere he
went, and he was soon a general favourite, though perhaps the few words
Mrs. Crawford now and again let fall on the subject of his parentage had
as large an influence as his own natural charm of manner in making the
young Irishman popular. Ireland was a curious place most of the people
at the Cape thought. They had heard of its rebellions and of its
secret societies, and they had thus formed an idea that the island was
something like a British colony of which the aborigines had hardly been
subdued. The impression that Standish was the son of one of the kings of
the land, who, like the Indian maharajahs, they believed, were allowed
a certain revenue and had their titles acknowledged by the British
Government, was very general; and Standish had certainly nothing
to complain of as to his treatment. But still all was not well with

He had received a letter from his father a week after his arrival
imploring him to return to the land of his sires, for The MacDermot
had learned from the ancient bard O'Brian, in whom the young man had
confided, that Standish's destination was the Cape, and so he had been
able to write to some address. The MacDermot promised to extend his
forgiveness to his son, and to withdraw his threat of disinheritance, if
he would return; and he concluded his letter by drawing a picture of
the desolation of the neighbourhood owing to the English projectors of
a railway and a tourists' hotel having sent a number of surveyors to
the very woods of Innishdermot to measure and plan and form all sorts of
evil intentions about the region. Under these trying circumstances, The
Mac-Dermot implored his son to grant him the consolation of his society
once more. What was still more surprising to Standish was the enclosure
in the letter of an order for a considerable sum of money, for he
fancied that his father had previously exhausted every available system
of leverage for the raising of money.

But though it was very sad for Standish to hear of the old man sitting
desolate beside the lonely hearth of Innishdermot castle, he made up his
mind not to return to his home. He had set out to work in the world, and
he would work, he said. He would break loose from this pleasant life
he was at present leading, and he would work. Every night he made this
resolution, though as yet the concrete form of the thought as to what
sort of work he meant to set about had not suggested itself. He would
work nobly and manfully for her, he swore, and he would never tell her
of his love until he could lay his work at her feet and tell her that it
had been done all for her. Meantime he had gone to that garden party at
Government House and to several other entertainments, while nearly every
day he had been riding by the side of Daireen over The Flats or along
the beautiful road to Wynberg.

And all the time that Standish was resolving not to open his lips in an
endeavour to express to Daireen all that was in his heart, another man
was beginning to feel that it would be necessary to take some step to
reveal himself to the girl. Arthur Harwood had been analyzing his own
heart every day since he had gazed out to the far still ocean from the
mountain above Funchal with Daireen beside him, and now he fancied he
knew every thought that was in his heart.

He knew that he had been obliged to deny himself in his youth the luxury
of love. He had been working himself up to his present position by his
own industry and the use of the brains that he felt must be his capital
in life, and he knew he dared not even think of falling in love. But,
when he had passed the age of thirty and had made a name and a place for
himself in the world, he was aware that he might let his affections
go fetterless; but, alas, it seemed that they had been for too long in
slavery: they refused to taste the sweets of freedom, and it appeared
that his nature had become hard and unsympathetic. But it was neither,
he knew in his own soul, only he had been standing out of the world of
softness and of sympathy, and had built up for himself unconsciously an
ideal whose elements were various and indefinable, his imagination only
making it a necessity that not one of these elements of his ideal should
be possible to be found in the nature of any of the women with whom he
was acquainted and whom he had studied.

When he had come to know Daireen Gerald--and he fancied he had come to
know her--he felt that he was no longer shut out from the world of love
with his cold ideal. He had thought of her day by day aboard the steamer
as he had thought of no girl hitherto in his life, and he had waited
for her to think of him and to become conscious that he loved her.
Considering that one of the most important elements of his vague ideal
was a complete and absolute unconsciousness of any passion, it was
scarcely consistent for him now to expect that Daireen should ever
perceive the feeling of his secret heart.

He had, however, made up his mind to remain at the Cape instead of going
on to the Castaway Islands; and he had written long and interesting
letters to the newspaper which he represented, on the subject of the
attitude of the Kafir chief who, he heard, had been taking an attitude.
Then he had had several opportunities of riding the horse that Colonel
Gerald had placed at his disposal; but though he had walked and
conversed frequently with the daughter of Colonel Gerald, he felt that
it would be necessary for him to speak more directly what he at least
fancied was in his heart; so that while poor Standish was swearing every
night to keep his secret, Mr. Harwood was thinking by what means he
could contrive to reveal himself and find out what were the girl's
feelings with regard to himself.

In the firmness of his resolution Standish was one afternoon, a few days
after the garden party, by the side of Daireen on the furthest extremity
of The Flats, where there was a small wood of pines growing in a sandy
soil of a glittering whiteness. They pulled up their horses here amongst
the trees, and Daireen looked out at the white plain beyond; but poor
Standish could only gaze upon her wistful face.

'I like it,' she said musingly. 'I like that snow. Don't you think it is
snow, Standish?'

'It is exactly the same,' he answered. 'I can feel a chill pass over me
as I look upon it. I hate it.'

'Oh!' cried the girl, 'don't say that when I have said I like it.'

'Why should that matter?' he said sternly, for he was feeling his
resolution very strong within him.

She laughed. 'Why, indeed? Well, hate it as much as you wish, Standish,
it won't interfere with my loving it, and thinking of how I used to
enjoy the white winters at home. Then, you know, I used to be thinking
of places like this--places with plants like those aloes that the sun is
glittering over.'

'And why I hate it,' said Standish, 'is because it puts me in mind of
the many wretched winters I spent in the miserable idleness of my
home. While others were allowed some chance of making their way in the
world--making names for themselves--there was I shut up in that gaol.
I have lost every chance I might have had--everyone is before me in the

'In what race, Standish? In the race for fame?'

'Yes, for fame,' cried Standish; 'not that I value fame for its own
sake,' he added. 'No, I don't covet it, except that--Daireen, I think
there is nothing left for me in the world--I am shut out from every
chance of reaching anything. I was wretched at home, but I feel even
more wretched here.'

'Why should you do that, Standish?' she asked, turning her eyes upon
him. 'I am sure everyone here is very kind.'

'I don't want their kindness, Daireen; it is their kindness that makes
me feel an impostor. What right have I to receive their kindness? Yes, I
had better take my father's advice and return by next mail. I am useless
in the world--it doesn't want me.'

'Don't talk so stupidly--so wickedly,' said the girl gravely. 'You are
not a coward to set out in the world and turn back discouraged even
before you have got anything to discourage you.'

'I am no coward,' he said; 'but everything has been too hard for me. I
am a fool--a wretched fool to have set my heart--my soul, upon an object
I can never reach.'

'What do you mean, Standish? You haven't set your heart upon anything
that you may not gain in time. You will, I know, if you have courage,
gain a good and noble name for yourself.'

'Of what use would it be to me, Daireen? It would only be a mockery to
me--a bitter mockery unless--Oh, Daireen, it must come, you have forced
it from me--I will tell you and then leave you for ever--Daireen, I
don't care for anything in the world but to have you love me--a little,
Daireen. What would a great name be to me unless----'

'Hush, Standish,' said the girl with her face flushed and almost angry.
'Do not ever speak to me like this again. Why should all our good
friendship come to an end?' She had softened towards the close of her
sentence, and she was now looking at him in tenderness.

'You have forced me to speak,' he said. 'God knows how I have struggled
to hold my secret deep down in my heart--how I have sworn to hold it,
but it forced itself out--we are not masters of ourselves, Daireen. Now
tell me to leave you--I am prepared for it, for my dream, I knew, was
bound to vanish at a touch.'

'Considering that I am four miles from home and in a wood, I cannot
tell you to do that,' she said with a laugh, for all her anger had been
driven away. 'Besides that, I like you far too well to turn you away;
but, Standish, you must never talk so to me again. Now, let us return.'

'I know I must not, because I am a beggar,' he said almost madly. 'You
will love some one who has had a chance of making a name for himself in
the world. I have had no chance.'

'Standish, I am waiting for you to return.'

'Yes, I have seen them sitting beside you aboard the steamer,' continued
Standish bitterly, 'and I knew well how it would be.' He looked at her
almost fiercely. 'Yes, I knew it--you have loved one of them.'

Daireen's face flushed fearfully and then became deathly pale as she
looked at him. She did not utter a word, but looked into his face
steadily with an expression he had never before seen upon hers. He
became frightened.

'Daireen--dearest Daireen, forgive me,' he cried. I am a fool--no,
worse--I don't know what I say. Daireen, pity me and forgive me. Don't
look at me that way, for God's sake. Speak to me.'

'Come away,' she said gently. 'Come away, Standish.'

'But tell me you forgive me, Daireen,' he pleaded.

'Come away,' she said.

She turned her horse's head towards the track which was made through
that fine white sand and went on from amongst the pines. He followed her
with a troubled mind, and they rode side by side over the long flats
of heath until they had almost reached the lane of cactus leading to
Mowbray. In a few minutes they would be at the Dutch cottage, and yet
they had not interchanged a word. Standish could not endure the silence
any longer. He pulled up his horse suddenly.

'Daireen,' he said. 'I have been a fool--a wicked fool, to talk to you
as I did. I cannot go on until you say you forgive me.'

Then she turned round and smiled on him, holding out her hand.

'We are very foolish, Standish,' she said. 'We are both very foolish.
Why should I think anything of what you said? We are still good friends,

'God bless you!' he cried, seizing her hand fervently. 'I will not make
myself a fool again.' 'And I,' said the girl, 'I will not be a fool

So they rode back together. But though Standish had received forgiveness
he was by no means satisfied with the girl's manner. There was an
expression that he could not easily read in that smile she had given
him. He had meant to be very bitter towards her, but had not expected
her to place him in a position requiring forgiveness. She had forgiven
him, it was true, but then that smile of hers--what was that sad wistful
expression upon her face? He could not tell, but he felt that on the
whole he had not gained much by the resolutions he had made night
after night. He was inclined to be dissatisfied with the result of his
morning's ride, nor was this feeling perceptibly decreased by seeing
beneath one of the broad-leaved trees that surrounded the cottage the
figure of Mr. Arthur Harwood by the side of Colonel Gerald.

Harwood came forward as Daireen reined up on the avenue.

'I have come to say good-bye to you,' he said, looking up to her face.

'Good-bye?' she answered. 'Why, you haven't said good-morning yet.'

Mr. Harwood was a clever man and he knew it; but his faculty for reading
what was passing in another person's mind did not bring him happiness
always. He had made use of what he meant to be a test sentence to
Daireen, and the result of his observation of its effect was not wholly
pleasant to him. He had hoped for a little flush--a little trembling of
the hand, but neither had come; a smile was on her face, and the pulses
of the hand she held out to him were unruffled. He knew then that the
time had not yet come for him to reveal himself.

But why should you say good-bye?' she asked after she had greeted him.

'Well, perhaps I should only say _au revoir_, though, upon my word, the
state of the colony is becoming so critical that one going up country
should always say good-bye. Yes, my duties call me to leave all this
pleasant society, Miss Gerald. I am going among the Zulus for a while.'

'I have every confidence in you, Mr. Harwood,' she said. 'You will
return in safety. We will miss you greatly, but I know how much the
people at home will be benefited by hearing the result of your visit; so
we resign ourselves to your absence. But indeed we shall miss you.'

'And if a treacherous assegai should transfix me, I trust my fate will
draw a single tear,' he said.

There was a laugh as Daireen rode round to dismount and Harwood went
in to lunch. It was very pleasant chat he felt, but he was as much
dissatisfied with her laugh as Standish had been with her smile.


```Sure, He that made us with such large discourse,

```Looking before and after, gave us not

```That capability and godlike reason

```To fust in us unused.=

`````Yet do I believe

```The origin and commencement of his grief

```Sprung from neglected love.=

````... he repulsed--a short tale to make--

```Fell into a sadness, then into a fast,

```Thence to a watch, thence into a weakness,

```Thence to a lightness; and by this declension

```Into the madness.--_Hamlet._=

|THE very pleasantness of the lunch Harwood had at the Dutch cottage
made his visit seem more unsatisfactory to him. He had come up to the
girl with that sentence which should surely have sounded pathetic even
though spoken with indifference. He was beside her to say good-bye. He
had given her to understand that he was going amongst the dangers of a
disturbed part of the country, but the name of the barbarous nation had
not made her cheek pale. It was well enough for himself to make light
of his adventurous undertaking, but he did not think that her smiles in
telling him that she would miss him were altogether becoming.

Yes, as he rode towards Cape Town he felt that the time had not yet
come for him to reveal himself to Daireen Gerald. He would have to be
patient, as he had been for years.

Thus far he had found out negatively how Daireen felt towards himself:
she liked him, he knew, but only as most women liked him, because
he could tell them in an agreeable way things that they wanted to
know--because he had travelled everywhere and had become distinguished.
He was not a conceited man, but he knew exactly how he stood in the
estimation of people, and it was bitter for him to reflect that he
did not stand differently with regard to Miss Gerald. But he had not
attempted to discover what were Daireen's feelings respecting any one
else. He was well aware that Mrs. Crawford was anxious to throw Mr.
Glaston in the way of the girl as much as possible; but he felt that it
would take a long time for Mr. Glaston to make up his mind to sacrifice
himself at Daireen's feet, and Daireen was far too sensible to be
imposed upon by his artistic flourishes. As for this young Mr. Standish
Macnamara, Harwood saw at once that Daireen regarded him with a
friendliness that precluded the possibility of love, so he did not fear
the occupation of the girl's heart by Standish. But when Harwood began
to think of Oswin Markham--he heard the sound of a horse's hoofs behind
him, and Oswin Markham himself trotted up, looking dusty and fatigued.

"I thought I should know your animal," said Markham, "and I made an
effort to overtake you, though I meant to go easily into the town."

Harwood looked at him and then at his horse.

"You seem as if you owed yourself a little ease," he said. "You
must have done a good deal in the way of riding, judging from your

"A great deal too much," replied Markham. "I have been on the saddle
since breakfast."

"You have been out every morning for the past three days before I have
left my room. I was quite surprised when I heard it, after the evidence
you gave at the garden party of your weakness."

"Of my weakness, yes," said Markham, with a little laugh. "It was
wretchedly weak to allow myself to be affected by the change from the
open air to that room, but it felt stifling to me."

"I didn't feel the difference to be anything considerable," said
Harwood; "so the fact of your being overcome by it proves that you are
not in a fit state to be playing with your constitution. Where did you
ride to-day?"

"Where? Upon my word I have not the remotest idea," said Markham. "I
took the road out to Simon's Bay, but I pulled up at a beach on the
nearer side of it, and remained there for a good while."

"Nothing could be worse than riding about in this aimless sort of way.
Here you are completely knocked up now, as you have been for the past
three evenings. Upon my word, you seem indifferent as to whether or not
you ever leave the colony alive. You are simply trifling with yourself."

"You are right, I suppose," said Markham wearily. "But what is a fellow
to do in Cape Town? One can't remain inactive beyond a certain time."

"It is only within the past three days you have taken up this roving
notion," said Harwood. "It is in fact only since that Government House
affair." Markham turned and looked at him eagerly for a moment. "Yes,
since your weakness became apparent to yourself, you have seemed bound
to prove your strength to the furthest. But you are pushing it too far,
my boy. You'll find out your mistake."

"Perhaps so," laughed the other. "Perhaps so. By the way, is it true
that you are going up country, Harwood?"

"Quite true. The fact is that affairs are becoming critical with regard
to our relations with the Zulus, and unless I am greatly mistaken, this
colony will be the centre of interest before many months have passed."

"There is nothing I should like better than to go up with you, Harwood."

Harwood shook his head. "You are not strong enough, my boy," he said.

There was a pause before Markham said slowly:

"No, I am not strong enough."

Then they rode into Cape Town together, and dismounted at their hotel;
and, certainly, as he walked up the stairs to his room, Oswin Markham
looked anything but strong enough to undertake a journey into the Veldt.
Doctor Campion would probably have spoken unkindly to him had he seen
him now, haggard and weary, with his day spent on an exposed road
beneath a hot sun.

"He is anything but strong enough," said Harwood to himself as he
watched the other man; and then he recollected the tone in which Markham
had repeated those words, "I am not strong enough." Was it possible, he
asked himself, that Markham meant that his strength of purpose was not
sufficiently great? He thought over this question for some time, and the
result of his reflection was to make him wish that he had not thought
the conduct of that defiant chief of such importance as demanded the
personal observation of the representative of the _Dominant Trumpeter_.
He felt that he would like to search out the origin of the weakness of
Mr. Oswin Markham.

But all the time these people were thinking their thoughts and making
their resolutions upon various subjects, Mr. Algernon Glaston was
remaining in the settled calm of artistic rectitude. He was awaiting
with patience the arrival of his father from the Salamander Archipelago,
though he had given the prelate of that interesting group to understand
that circumstances would render it impossible for his son to remain
longer than a certain period at the Cape, so that if he desired the
communion of his society it would be necessary to allow the mission work
among the Salamanders to take care of itself. For Mr. Glaston was by no
means unaware of the sacrifice he was in the habit of making annually
for the sake of passing a few weeks with his father in a country far
removed from all artistic centres. The Bishop of the Calapash Islands
and Metropolitan of the Salamander Archipelago had it several times
urged upon him that his son was a marvel of filial duty for undertaking
this annual journey, so that he, no doubt, felt convinced of the fact;
and though this visit added materially to the expenses of his son's mode
of life, which, of course, were defrayed by the bishop, yet the bishop
felt that this addition was, after all, trifling compared with the value
of the sentiment of filial affection embodied in the annual visit to the

Mr. Glaston had allowed his father a margin of three weeks for any
impediments that might arise to prevent his leaving the Salamanders, but
a longer space he could not, he assured his father, remain awaiting his
arrival from the sunny islands of his see. Meantime he was dining out
night after night with his friends at the Cape, and taking daily drives
and horse-exercise for the benefit of his health. Upon the evening when
Harwood and Markham entered the hotel together, Mr. Glaston was just
departing to join a dinner-party which was to assemble at the house of
a certain judge, and as Harwood was also to be a guest, he was compelled
to dress hastily.

Oswin Markham was not, however, aware of the existence of the hospitable
judge, so he remained in the hotel. He was tired almost to a point of
prostration after his long aimless ride, but a bath and a dinner revived
him, and after drinking his coffee he threw himself upon a sofa and
slept for some hours. When he awoke it was dark, and then lighting a
cigar he went out to the balcony that ran along the upper windows, and
seated himself in the cool air that came landwards from the sea.

He watched the soldiers in white uniform crossing the square; he saw
the Malay population who had been making a holiday, returning to their
quarter of the town, the men with their broad conical straw hats, the
women with marvellously coloured shawls; he saw the coolies carrying
their burdens, and the Hottentots and the Kafirs and all the races
blended in the motley population of Cape Town. He glanced listlessly at
all, thinking his own thoughts undisturbed by any incongruity of tongues
or of races beneath him, and he was only awakened from the reverie into
which he had fallen by the opening of one of the windows near him and
the appearance on the balcony of Algernon Glaston in his dinner dress
and smoking a choice cigar.

The generous wine of the generous judge had made Mr. Glaston
particularly courteous, for he drew his chair almost by the side of
Markham's and inquired after his health.

"Harwood was at that place to-night," he said, "and he mentioned
that you were killing yourself. Just like these newspaper fellows to
exaggerate fearfully for the sake of making a sensation. You are all
right now, I think."

"Quite right," said Markham. "I don't feel exactly like an elephant
for vigour, but you know what it is to feel strong without having any
particular strength. I am that way."

"Dreadfully brutal people I met to-night," continued Mr. Glaston
reflectively. "Sort of people Harwood could get on with. Talking
actually about some wretched savage--some Zulu chief or other from whom
they expect great things; as if the action of a ruffianly barbarian
could affect any one. It was quite disgusting talk. I certainly would
have come away at once only I was lucky enough to get by the side of a
girl who seems to know something of Art--a Miss Vincent--she is quite
fresh and enthusiastic on the subject--quite a child indeed."

Markham thought it prudent to light a fresh cigar from the end of the
one he had smoked, at the interval left by Mr. Glaston for his comment,
so that a vague "indeed" was all that came through his closed lips.

"Yes, she seems rather a tractable sort of little thing. By the way, she
mentioned something about your having become faint at Government House
the other day, before you had seen all my pictures."

"Ah, yes," said Markham. "The change from the open air to that room."

"Ah, of course. Miss Vincent seems to understand something of the
meaning of the pictures. She was particularly interested in one of them,
which, curiously enough, is the most wonderful of the collection. Did
you study them all?"

"No, not all; the fact was, that unfortunate weakness of mine interfered
with my scrutiny," said Markham. "But the single glance I had at one
of the pictures convinced me that it was a most unusual work. I felt
greatly interested in it."

"That was the Aholibah, no doubt."

"Yes, I heard your description of how if came to be painted."

"Ah, but that referred only to the marvellous expression of the face--so
saturate--so devoured--with passion. You saw how Miss Gerald turned away
from it with a shudder?"

"Why did she do that?" said Markham.

"Heaven knows," said Glaston, with a little sneer.

"Heaven knows," said Markham, after a pause and without any sneer.

"She could not understand it," continued Glaston. "All that that face
means cannot be apprehended in a glance. It has a significance of its
own--it is a symbol of a passion that withers like a fire--a passion
that can destroy utterly all the beauty of a life that might have been
intense with beauty. You are not going away, are you?"

Markham had risen from his seat and turned away his head, grasping the
rail of the balcony. It was some moments before he started and looked
round at the other man. "I beg your pardon," he said; "I'm not going
away, I am greatly interested. Yes, I caught a glimpse of the expression
of the face."

"It is a miracle of power," continued Glaston. "Miss Gerald felt, but
she could not understand why she should feel, its power."

There was a long pause, during which Markham stared blankly across the
square, and the other leant back in his chair and watched the curling of
his cigar clouds through the still air. From the garrison at the castle
there came to them the sound of a bugle-call.

"I am greatly interested in that picture," said Markham at length. "I
should like to know all the details of its working out."

"The expression of the face----"

"Ah, I know all of that. I mean the scene--that hill seen through the
arch--the pavement of the oriental apartment--the--the figure--how did
the painter bring them together?"

"That is of little consequence in the study of the elements of the
symbolism," said Mr. Glaston.

"Yes, of course it is; but still I should like to know."

"I really never thought of putting any question to the painter about
these matters," replied Glaston. "He had travelled in the East, and the
kiosk was amongst his sketches; as for the model of the figure, if I do
not mistake, I saw the study for the face in an old portfolio of his he
brought from Sicily."

"Ah, indeed."

"But these are mere accidents in the production of the picture. The
symbolism is the picture."

Again there was a pause, and the chatter of a couple of Malays in the
street became louder, and then fainter, as the speakers drew near and
passed away.

"Glaston," said Markham at length, "did you remove the pictures from
Government House?"

"They are in one of my rooms," said Glaston. "Would you think it a piece
of idle curiosity if I were to step upstairs and take a look at that
particular work?"

"You could not see it by lamplight. You can study them all in the

"But I feel in the mood just now, and you know how much depends upon the

"My room is open," said Glaston. "But the idea that has possessed you is

"I dare say, I dare say, but I have become interested in all that you
have told me; I must try and--and understand the symbolism."

He left the balcony before Mr. Glaston had made up his mind as to
whether there was a touch of sarcasm in his voice uttering the final

"Not worse than the rest of the uneducated world," murmured the Art
prophet condescendingly.

But in Mr. Glaston's private room upstairs Oswin Markham was standing
holding a lighted lamp up to that interesting picture and before that
wonderful symbolic expression upon the face of the figure; the rest of
the room was in darkness. He looked up to the face that the lamplight
gloated over. The remainder of the picture was full of reflections of
the light.

"A power that can destroy utterly all the beauty of a life," he said,
repeating the analysis of Mr. Glaston. He continued looking at it before
he repeated another of that gentleman's sentences--"She felt, but could
not understand, its power." He laid the lamp on the table and walked
over to the darkened window and gazed out. But once more he returned
to the picture. "A passion that can destroy utterly all the beauty of
life," he said again. "Utterly! that is a lie!" He remained with his
eyes upon the picture for some moments, then he lifted the lamp and went
to the door. At the door he stopped, glanced at the picture and laughed.

In the Volsunga Saga there is an account of how a jealous woman listens
outside the chamber where a man whom she once loved is being murdered in
his wife's arms; hearing the cry of the wife in the chamber the woman at
the door laughs. A man beside her says, "Thou dost not laugh because thy
heart is made glad, or why moves that pallor upon thy face?"

Oswin Markham left the room and thanked Mr. Glaston for having gratified
his whim.


``... What he spake, though it lacked form a little,

``Was not like madness. There's something in his soul

``O'er which his melancholy sits on brood.=

``Purpose is but the slave to memory.

``Most necessary 'tis that we forget.--_Hamlet._=

|THE long level rays of the sun that was setting in crimson splendour
were touching the bright leaves of the silver-fir grove on one side of
the ravine traversing the slope of the great peaked hill which makes
the highest point of Table Mountain, but the other side was shadowy. The
flat face of the precipice beneath the long ridge of the mountain was
full of fantastic gleams of red in its many crevices, and far away a
thin waterfall seemed a shimmering band of satin floating downwards
through a dark bed of rocks. Table Bay was lying silent and with hardly'
a sparkle upon its ripples from where the outline of Robbin Island was
seen at one arm of its crescent to the white sand of the opposite shore.
The vineyards of the lower slope, beneath which the red road crawled,
were dim and colourless, for the sunset bands had passed away from them
and flared only upon the higher slopes.

Upon the summit of the ridge of the silver-fir ravine Daireen Gerald sat
looking out to where the sun was losing itself among the ridges of the
distant kloof, and at her feet was Oswin Markham. Behind them rose the
rocks of the Peak with their dark green herbage. Beneath them the soft
rustle of a songless bird was heard through the foliage.

But it remains to be told how those two persons came to be watching
together the phenomenon of sunset from the slope.

It was Mrs. Crawford who had upon the very day after the departure of
Arthur Harwood organised one of those little luncheon parties which are
so easily organised and give promise of pleasures so abundant. She had
expressed to Mr. Harwood the grief she felt at his being compelled by
duty to depart from the midst of their circle, just as she had said to
Mr. Markham how bowed down she had been at the reflection of his leaving
the steamer at St. Helena; and Harwood had thanked her for her kind
expressions, and made a mental resolve that he would say something
sarcastic regarding the Army Boot Commission in his next communication
to the _Dominant Trumpeter_. But the hearing of the gun of the mail
steamer that was to convey the special correspondent to Natal was the
pleasantest sensation Mrs. Crawford had experienced for long. She had
been very anxious on Harwood's account for some time. She did not by
any means think highly of the arrangement which had been made by Colonel
Gerald to secure for one of his horses an amount of exercise by allowing
Mr. Harwood to ride it; for she was well aware that Mr. Harwood would
think it quite within the line of his duty to exercise the animal at
times when Miss Gerald would be riding out. She knew that most girls
liked Mr. Harwood, and whatever might be Mr. Harwood's feelings towards
the race that so complimented him, she could not doubt that he admired
to a perilous point the daughter of Colonel Gerald. If, then, the girl
would return his feeling, what would become of Mrs. Crawford's hopes for
Mr. Glaston?

It was the constant reflection upon this question that caused the sound
of the mail gun to fall gratefully upon the ears of the major's wife.
Harwood was to be away for more than a month at any rate, and in a month
much might be accomplished, not merely by a special correspondent, but
by a lady with a resolute mind and a strategical training. So she had
set her mind to work, and without delay had organised what gave promise
of being a delightful little lunch, issuing half a dozen invitations
only three days in advance.

Mr. Algernon Glaston had, after some persuasion, promised to join the
party. Colonel Gerald and his daughter expressed the happiness they
would have at being present, and Mr. Standish Macnamara felt certain
that nothing could interfere with his delight. Then there were the two
daughters of a member of the Legislative Council who were reported to
look with fond eyes upon the son of one of the justices of the Supreme
Court, a young gentleman who was also invited. Lastly, by what Mrs.
Crawford considered a stroke of real constructive ability, Mr. Oswin
Markham and Miss Lottie Vincent were also begged to allow themselves to
be added to the number of the party. Mrs. Crawford disliked Lottie,
but that was no reason why Lottie should not exercise the tactics Mrs.
Crawford knew she possessed, to take care of Mr. Oswin Markham for the

They would have much to talk about regarding the projected dramatic
entertainment of the young lady, so that Mr. Glaston should be left
solitary in that delightful listless after-space of lunch, unless
indeed--and the contingency was, it must be confessed, suggested to the
lady--Miss Gerald might chance to remain behind the rest of the party;
in that case it would not seem beyond the bounds of possibility that the
weight of Mr. Glaston's loneliness would be endurable.

Everything had been carried out with that perfect skill which can be
gained only by experience. The party had driven from Mowbray for a
considerable way up the hill. The hampers had been unpacked and the
lunch partaken of in a shady nook which was supposed to be free from the
venomous reptiles that make picnics somewhat risky enjoyments in sunny
lands; and then the young people had trooped away to gather Venus-hair
ferns at the waterfall, or silver leaves from the grove, or bronze-green
lizards, or some others of the offspring of nature which have come into
existence solely to meet the requirements of collectors. Mr. Glaston and
Daireen followed more leisurely, and Mrs. Crawford's heart was happy.
The sun would be setting in an hour, she reflected, and she had great
confidence in the effect of fine sunsets upon the hearts of lovers--.
nay, upon the raw material that might after a time develop into the
hearts of lovers. She was quite satisfied seeing the young people
depart, for she was not aware how much more pleasant than Oswin Markham
Lottie Vincent had found Mr. Glaston at that judge's dinner-party a
few evenings previous, nor how much more plastic than Miss Gerald Mr.
Glaston had found Lottie Vincent upon the same occasion.

Mrs. Crawford did not think it possible that Lottie could be so clever,
even if she had had the inclination, as to effect the separation of
the party as it had been arranged. But Lottie had by a little manouvre
waited at the head of the ravine until Mr. Glaston and Daireen had
come up, and then she had got into conversation with Mr. Glaston upon a
subject that was a blank to the others, so that they had walked quietly
on together until that pleasant space at the head of the ravine was
reached. There Daireen had seated herself to watch the west become
crimson with sunset, and at her feet Oswin had cast himself to watch her

Had Mrs. Crawford been aware of this, she would scarcely perhaps have
been so pleasant to her friend Colonel Gerald, or to her husband far
down on the slope.

It was very silent at the head of that ravine. The delicate splash of
the water that trickled through the rocks far away was distinctly heard.
The rosy bands that had been about the edges of the silver leaves had
passed off. Daireen's face was at last left in shadow, and she turned to
watch the rays move upwards, until soon only the dark Peak was enwound
in the red light that made its forehead like the brows of an ancient
Bacchanal encircled with a rose-wreath. Then quickly the red dwindled
away, until only a single rose-leaf was upon the highest point; an
instant more and it had passed, leaving the hill dark and grim in
outline against the pale blue.

Then succeeded that time of silent conflict between light and
darkness--a time of silence and of wonder.

Upon the slope of the Peak it was silent enough. The girl's eyes went
out across the shadowy plain below to where the water was shining in its
own gray light, but she uttered not a word. The man leant his head upon
his hand as he looked up to her face.

"What is the 'Ave' you are breathing to the sunset, Miss Gerald?" he
said at length, and she gave a little start and looked at him. "What is
the vesper hymn your heart has been singing all this time?"

She laughed. "No hymn, no song."

"I saw it upon your face," he said. "I saw its melody in your eyes; and
yet--yet I cannot understand it--I am too gross to be able to translate
it. I suppose if a man had sensitive hearing the wind upon the blades
of grass would make good music to him, but most people are dull to
everything but the rolling of barrels and such-like music."

"I had not even a musical thought," said the girl. "I am afraid that if
all I thought were translated into words, the result would be a jumble:
you know what that means."

"Yes. Heaven is a jumble, isn't it? A bit of wonderful blue here, and
a shapeless cloud there--a few faint breaths of music floating about a
place of green, and an odour of a field of flowers. Yes, all dreams are

"And I was dreaming?" she said. "Yes, I dare say my confusion of thought
without a single idea may be called by courtesy a dream."

"And now have you awakened?"

"Dreams must break and dissolve some time, I suppose, Mr. Markham."

"They must, they must," he said. "I wonder when will my awaking come."

"Have you a dream?" she asked, with a laugh.

"I am living one," he answered.

"Living one?"

"Living one. My life has become a dream to me. How am I beside you? How
is it possible that I could be beside you? Either of two things must
be a dream--either my past life is a dream, or I am living one in this

"Is there so vast a difference between them?" she asked, looking at him.
His eyes were turned away from her.

"Vast? Vast?" he repeated musingly. Then he rose to his feet and looked
out oceanwards. "I don't know what is vast," he said. Then he looked
down to her. "Miss Gerald, I don't believe that my recollection of my
past is in the least correct. My memory is a falsehood utterly. For it
is quite impossible that this body of mine--this soul of mine--could
have passed through such a change as I must have passed through if
my memory has got anything of truth in it. My God! my God! The
recollections that come to me are, I know, impossible."

"I don't understand you, Mr. Markham," said Daireen.

Once more he threw himself on the short tawny herbage beside her.

"Have you not heard of men being dragged back when they have taken a
step beyond the barrier that hangs between life and death--men who have
had one foot within the territory of death?"

"I have heard of that."

"And you know it is not the same old life that a man leads when he
is brought from that dominion of death. He begins life anew. He knows
nothing of the past. He laughs at the faces that were once familiar to
him; they mean nothing to him. His past is dead. Think of me, child.
Day by day I suffered all the agonies of death and hell, and shall I not
have granted to me that most righteous gift of God? Shall not my past
be utterly blotted out? Yes, these vague memories that I have are the
memories of a dream. God has not been so just to me as to others, for
there are some realities of the past still with me I know, and thus I am
at times led to think it might be possible that all my recollections are
true--but no, it is impossible--utterly impossible." Again he leapt to
his feet and clasped his hands over his head. "Child--child, if you knew
all, you would pity me," he said, in a tone no louder than a whisper.

She had never heard anything so pitiful before. Seeing the agony of the
man, and hearing him trying to convince himself of that at which his
reason rebelled, was terribly pitiful to her. She never before that
moment knew how she felt towards this man to whom she had given life.

"What can I say of comfort to you?" she said. "You have all the sympathy
of my heart. Why will you not ask me to help you? What is my pity?"

He knelt beside her. "Be near me," he said. "Let me look at you now. Is
there not a bond between us?--such a bond as binds man to his God? You
gave me my life as a gift, and it will be a true life now. God had no
pity for me, but you have more than given me your pity. The life you
have given me is better than the life given me by God."

"Do not say that," she said. "Do not think that I have given you
anything. It is your God who has changed you through those days of
terrible suffering."

"Yes, the suffering is God's gift," he cried bitterly. "Torture of days
and nights, and then not utter forgetfulness. After passing through
the barrier of death, I am denied the blessings that should come with

"Why should you wish to forget anything of the past?" she asked. "Has
everything been so very terrible to you?"

"Terrible?" he said, clasping his hands over one of his knees and gazing
out to the conflict of purple and shell-pink in the west. "No, nothing
was terrible. I am no Corsair with a hundred romantic crimes to give
me so much remorseful agony as would enable me to act the part of Count
Lara with consistency. I am no Lucifer encircled with a halo of splendid
wickedness. It is only the change that has passed over me since I felt
myself looking at you that gives me this agony of thought. Wasted time
is my only sin--hours cast aside--years trampled upon. I lived for
myself as I had a chance--as thousands of others do, and it did not seem
to me anything terrible that I should make my father's days miserable to
him. I did not feel myself to be the curse to him that I now know myself
to have been. I was a curse to him. He had only myself in the world--no
other son, and yet I could leave him to die alone--yes, and to die
offering me his forgiveness--offering it when it was not in my power
to refuse to accept it. This is the memory that God will not take away.
Nay, I tell you it seems that instead of being blotted out by my days of
suffering it is but intensified."

He had bowed down his face upon his hands as he sat there. Her eyes were
full of tears of sympathy and compassion--she felt with him, and his
sufferings were hers.

"I pity you--with all my soul I pity you," she said, laying her hand
upon his shoulder.

He turned and took her hand, holding it not with a fervent grasp; but in
his face that looked up to her tearful eyes there was a passion of love
and adoration.

"As a man looks to his God I look to you," he said. "Be near me that the
life you have given me may be good. Let me think of you, and the dead
Past shall bury its dead."

What answer could she make to him? The tears continued to come to her
eyes as she sat while he looked into her face.

"You know," she said--"you know I feel for you. You know that I
understand you."

"Not all," he said slowly. "I am only beginning to understand myself; I
have never done so in all my life hitherto."

Then they watched the delicate shadowy dimness--not gray, but full of
the softest azure--begin to swathe the world beneath them. The waters
of the bay were reflecting the darkening sky, and out over the ocean
horizon a single star was beginning to breathe through the blue.

"Daireen," he said at length, "is the bond between us one of love?"

There was no passion in his voice, nor was his hand that held hers
trembling as he spoke. She gave no start at his words, nor did she
withdraw her hand. Through the silence the splash of the waterfall above
them was heard clearly. She looked at him through the long pause.

"I do not know," she said. "I cannot answer you yet----No, not yet--not

"I will not ask," he said quietly. "Not yet--not yet." And he dropped
her hand.

Then he rose and looked out to that star, which was no longer smothered
in the splendid blue of the heavens, but was glowing in passion until
the waters beneath caught some of its rays.

There was a long pause before a voice sounded behind them on the
slope--the musical voice of Miss Lottie Vincent.

"Did you ever see such a sentimental couple?" she cried, raising her
hands with a very pretty expression of mock astonishment. "Watching the
twilight as if you were sitting for your portraits, while here we have
been searching for you over hill and dale. Have we not, Mr. Glaston?"

Mr. Glaston thought it unnecessary to corroborate a statement made with
such evident ingenuousness.

"Well, your search met with its reward, I hope, Miss Vincent," said

"What, in finding you?"

"I am not so vain as to fancy it possible that you should accept that as
a reward, Miss Vincent," he replied.

The young lady gave him a glance that was meant to read his inmost soul.
Then she laughed.

"We must really hasten back to good Mamma Crawford," she said, with a
seriousness that seemed more frivolous than her frivolity. "Every one
will be wondering where we have been."

"Lucky that you will be able to tell them," remarked Oswin.

"How?" she said quickly, almost apprehensively.

"Why, you know you can say 'Over hill, over dale,' and so satisfy even
the most sceptical in a moment."

Miss Lottie made a little pause, then laughed again; she did not think
it necessary to make any reply.

And so they all went down by the little track along the edge of the
ravine, and the great Peak became darker above them as the twilight
dwindled into evening.


````I have remembrances of yours--

```... words of so sweet breath composed

```As made the things more rich.=

``Hamlet.... You do remember all the circumstance?

``Horatio. Remember it, my lord?

``Hamlet. Sir, in my heart there was a kind of fighting

```That would not let me sleep.=

`````... poor Ophelia,

``Divided from herself and her fair judgment.=

````Sleep rock thy brain,

``And never come mischance.--_Hamlet._=

|MRS. Crawford was not in the least apprehensive of the safety of the
young people who had been placed under her care upon this day. She had
been accustomed in the good old days at Arradambad, when the scorching
inhabitants had lifted their eyes unto the hills, and had fled to their
cooling slopes, to organise little open-air tiffins for the benefit of
such young persons as had come out to visit the British Empire in the
East under the guidance of the major's wife, and the result of her
experience went to prove that it was quite unnecessary to be in the
least degree nervous regarding the ultimate welfare of the young persons
who were making collections of the various products of Nature. It was
much better for the young persons to learn self-dependence, she thought,
and though many of the maidens under her care had previously, through
long seasons at Continental watering-places, become acquainted with
a few of the general points to be observed in maintaining a course of
self-dependence, yet the additional help that came to them from the
hills was invaluable.

As Mrs. Crawford now gave a casual glance round the descending party,
she felt that her skill as a tactician was not on the wane. They were
walking together, and though Lottie was of course chatting away as
flippantly as ever, yet both Markham and Mr. Glaston was very silent,
she saw, and her conclusions were as rapid as those of an accustomed
campaigner should be. Mr. Glaston had been talking to Daireen in the
twilight, so that Lottie's floss-chat was a trouble to him; while Oswin
Markham was wearied with having listened for nearly an hour to her
inanities, and was seeking for the respite of silence.

"You naughty children, to stray away in that fashion!" she cried. "Do
you fancy you had permission to lose yourselves like that?"

"Did we lose ourselves, Miss Vincent?" said Markham.

"We certainly did not," said Lottie, and then Mrs. Crawford's first
suggestions were confirmed: Lottie and Markham spoke of themselves,
while Daireen and Mr. Glaston were mute.

"It was very naughty of you," continued the matron. "Why, in India, if
you once dared do such a thing----"

"We should do it for ever," cried Lottie. "Now, you know, my dear good
Mrs. Crawford, I have been in India, and I have had experience of
your picnics when we were at the hills--oh, the most delightful little
affairs--every one used to look forward to them."

Mrs. Crawford laughed gently as she patted Lottie on the cheek. "Ah,
they were now and again successes, were they not? How I wish Daireen had
been with us."

"Egad, she would not be with us now, my dear," said the major. "Eh,
George, what do you say, my boy?"

"For shame, major," cried Mrs. Crawford, glancing towards Lottie.

"Eh, what?" said the bewildered Boot Commissioner, who meant to be very
gallant indeed. It was some moments before he perceived how Miss Vincent
could construe his words, and then he attempted an explanation, which
made matters worse. "My dear, I assure you I never meant that your
attractions were not--not--ah--most attractive, they were, I assure
you--you were then most attractive."

"And so far from having waned," said Colonel Gerald, "it would seem that
every year has but----"

"Why, what on earth is the meaning of this raid of compliments on poor
little me?" cried the young lady in the most artless manner, glancing
from the major to the colonel with uplifted hands.

"Let us hasten to the carriages, and leave these old men to talk their
nonsense to each other," said Mrs. Crawford, putting her arm about one
of the daughters of the member of the Legislative Council--a young lady
who had found the companionship of Standish Macnamara quite as pleasant
as her sister had the guidance of the judge's son up the ravine--and so
they descended to where the carriages were waiting to take them towards
Cape Town. Daireen and her father were to walk to the Dutch cottage,
which was but a short distance away, and with them, of course, Standish.

"Good-bye, my dear child," said Mrs. Crawford, embracing Daireen, while
the others talked in a group. "You are looking pale, dear, but never
mind; I will drive out and have a long chat with you in a couple of
days," she whispered, in a way she meant to be particularly impressive.

Then the carriage went off, and Daireen put her hand through her
father's arm, and walked silently in the silent evening to the house
among the aloes and Australian oaks, through whose leaves the fireflies
were flitting in myriads.

"She is a good woman," said Colonel Gerald. "An exceedingly good woman,
only her long experience of the sort of girls who used to be sent out to
her at India has made her rather misjudge the race, I think."

"She is so good," said Daireen. "Think of all the trouble she was at
to-day for our sake."

"Yes, for our sake," laughed her father. "My dear Dolly, if you could
only know the traditions our old station retains of Mrs. Crawford, you
would think her doubly good. The trouble she has gone to for the sake of
her friends--her importations by every mail--is simply astonishing. But
what did you think of that charming Miss Van der Veldt you took such
care of, Standish, my boy? Did you make much progress in Cape Dutch?"

But Standish could not answer in the same strain of pleasantry. He was
thinking too earnestly upon the visions his fancy had been conjuring up
during the entire evening--visions of Mr. Glaston sitting by the side
of Daireen gazing out to that seductive, though by no means uncommon,
phenomenon of sunset. He had often wished, when at the waterfall
gathering Venus-hair for Miss Van der Veldt, that he could come into
possession of the power of Joshua at the valley of Gibeon to arrest
the descent of the orb. The possibly disastrous consequences to
the planetary system seemed to him but trifling weighed against the
advantages that would accrue from the fact of Mr. Glaston's being
deprived of a source of conversation that was both fruitful and
poetical. Standish knew well, without having read Wordsworth, that the
twilight was sovereign of one peaceful hour; he had in his mind quite a
store of unuttered poetical observations upon sunset, and he felt that
Mr. Glaston might possibly be possessed of similar resources which he
could draw upon when occasion demanded such a display. The thought of
Mr. Glaston sitting at the feet of Daireen, and with her drinking in of
the glory of the west, was agonising to Standish, and so he could not
enter into Colonel Gerald's pleasantry regarding the attractive daughter
of the member of the Legislative Council.

When Daireen had shut the door of her room that night and stood alone in
the darkness, she found the relief that she had been seeking since she
had come down from the slope of that great Peak--relief that could not
be found even in the presence of her father, who had been everything to
her a few days before. She found relief in being alone with her thoughts
in the silence of the night. She drew aside the curtains of her window,
and looked out up to that Peak which was towering amongst the brilliant
stars. She could know exactly the spot upon the edge of the ravine where
she had been sitting--where they had been sitting. What did it all mean?
she asked herself. She could not at first recollect any of the words
she had heard upon that slope, she could not even think what they should
mean, but she had a childlike consciousness of happiness mixed with
fear. What was the mystery that had been unfolded to her up there? What
was the revelation that had been made to her? She could not tell. It
seemed wonderful to her how she could so often have looked up to that
hill without feeling anything of what she now felt gazing up to its

It was all too wonderful for her to understand. She had a consciousness
of nothing but that all was wonderful. She could not remember any of his
words except those he had last uttered. The bond between them--was it
of love? How could she tell? What did she know of love? She could not
answer him when he had spoken to her, nor was she able even now, as she
stood looking out to those brilliant stars that crowned the Peak and
studded the dark edges of the slope which had been lately overspread
with the poppy-petals of sunset. It was long before she went into her
bed, but she had arrived at no conclusion to her thoughts--all that
had happened seemed mysterious; and she knew not whether she felt happy
beyond all the happiness she had ever known, or sad beyond the sadness
of any hour of her life. Her sleep swallowed up all her perplexity.

But the instant she awoke in the bright morning she went softly over to
the window and looked out from a corner of her blind to that slope and
to the place where they had sat. No, it was not a dream. There shone
the silver leaves and there sparkled the waterfall. It was the loveliest
hill in the world, she felt--lovelier even than the purple heather-clad
Slieve Docas. This was a terrible thought to suggest itself to her mind,
she felt all the time she was dressing, but still it remained with her
and refused to be shaken off.


```Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice

`````... her election

```Hath sealed thee for herself.=

```Adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.=

```Yea, from the table of my memory

```I'll wipe away all trivial fond records...

```That youth and observation copied there,

```And thy commandment all alone shall live

```Unmixed with baser matter; yes, by heaven!--_Hamlet_.=

|COLONEL Gerald was well aware of Mrs. Crawford's strategical skill, and
he had watched its development and exercise during the afternoon of that
pleasant little luncheon party on the hill. He remembered what she had
said to him so gravely at the garden-party at Government House regarding
the responsibility inseparable from the guardianship of Daireen at the
Cape, and he knew that Mrs. Crawford had in her mind, when she organised
the party to the hill, such precepts as she had previously enunciated.
He had watched and admired her cleverness in arranging the collecting
expeditions, and he felt that her detaining of Mr. Glaston as she had
under some pretext until all the others but Daireen had gone up
the ravine was a master stroke. But at this point Colonel Gerald's
observation ended. His imagination had been much less vivid than either
Mrs. Crawford's or Standish's. He did not attribute any subtle influence
to the setting sun, nor did he conjure up any vision of Mr. Glaston
sitting at the feet of Daireen and uttering words that the magic of the
sunset glories alone could inspire.

The fact was that he knew much better than either Mrs. Crawford or
Standish how his daughter felt towards Mr. Glaston, and he was not in
the least concerned in the result of her observation of the glowing west
by the side of the Art prophet. When Mrs. Crawford looked narrowly into
the girl's face on her descent Colonel Gerald had only laughed; he did
not feel any distressing weight of responsibility on the subject of the
guardianship of his daughter, for he had not given a single thought
to the accident of his daughter's straying up the ravine with Algernon
Glaston, nor was he impressed by his daughter's behaviour on the day
following. They had driven out together to pay some visits, and she had
been even more affectionate to him than usual, and he justified
Mrs. Crawford's accusation of his ignorance and the ignorance of men
generally, by feeling, from this fact, more assured that Daireen had
passed unscathed through the ordeal of sunset and the drawing on of
twilight on the mount.

On the next day to that on which they had paid their visits, however,
Daireen seemed somewhat abstracted in her manner, and when her father
asked her if she would ride with him and Standish to The Flats she, for
the first time, brought forward a plea--the plea of weariness--to be
allowed to remain at home.

Her father looked at her, not narrowly nor with the least glance of
suspicion, only tenderly, as he said:

"Certainly, stay at home if you wish, Dolly. You must not overtax
yourself, or we shall have to get a nurse for you."

He sat by her side on the chair on the stoep of the Dutch cottage and
put his arm about her. In an instant she had clasped him round the neck
and had hidden her face upon his shoulder in something like hysterical
passion. He laughed and patted her on the back in mock protest at her
treatment. It was some time before she unwound her arms and he got upon
his feet, declaring that he would not submit to such rough handling.
But all the same he saw that her eyes were full of tears; and as he rode
with Standish over the sandy plain made bright with heath, he thought
more than once that there was something strange in her action and still
stranger in her tears.

Standish, however, felt equal to explaining everything that seemed
unaccountable. He felt there could be no doubt that Daireen was wearying
of these rides with him: he was nothing more than a brother--a dull,
wearisome, commonplace brother to her, while such fellows as Glaston,
who had made fame for themselves, having been granted the opportunity
denied to others, were naturally attractive to her. Feeling this,
Standish once more resolved to enter upon that enterprise of work which
he felt to be ennobling. He would no longer linger here in silken-folded
idleness, he would work--work--work--steadfastly, nobly, to win her who
was worth all the labour of a man's life. Yes, he would no longer
remain inactive as he had been, he would--well, he lit another cigar and
trotted up to the side of Colonel Gerald.

But Daireen, after the departure of her father and Standish, continued
sitting upon the chair under the lovely creeping plants that twined
themselves around the lattice of the projecting roof. It was very cool
in the gracious shade while all the world outside was red with heat. The
broad leaves of the plants in the garden were hanging languidly, and the
great black bees plunged about the mighty roses that were bursting into
bloom with the first breath of the southern summer. From the brink of
the little river at the bottom of the avenue of Australian oaks the
chatter of the Hottentot washerwomen came, and across the intervening
space of short tawny grass a Malay fruitman passed, carrying his baskets
slung on each end of a bamboo pole across his shoulders.

She looked out at the scene--so strange to her even after the weeks she
had been at this place; all was strange to her--as the thoughts that
were in her mind. It seemed to her that she had been but one day at this
place, and yet since she had heard the voice of Oswin Markham how great
a space had passed! All the days she had been here were swallowed up in
the interval that had elapsed since she had seen this man--since she had
seen him? Why, there he was before her very eyes, standing by the side
of his horse with the bridle over his arm. There he was watching her
while she had been thinking her thoughts.

She stood amongst the blossoms of the trellis, white and lovely as a
lily in a land of red sun. He felt her beauty to be unutterably gracious
to look upon. He threw his bridle over a branch and walked up to her.

"I have come to say good-bye," he said as he took her hand.

These were the same words that she had heard from Harwood a few days
before and that had caused her to smile. But now the hand Markham was
not holding was pressed against her heart. Now she knew all. There
was no mystery between them. She knew why her heart became still after
beating tumultuously for a few seconds; and he, though he had not
designed the words with the same object that Harwood had, and though
he spoke them without the same careful observance of their effect, in
another instant had seen what was in the girl's heart.

"To say good-bye?" she repeated mechanically.

"For a time, yes; for a long time it will seem to me--for a month."

He saw the faint smile that came to her face, and how her lips parted as
a little sigh of relief passed through them.

"For a month?" she said, and now she was speaking in her own voice,
and sitting down. "A month is not a long time to say good-bye for, Mr.
Markham. But I am so sorry that papa is gone out for his ride on The

"I am fortunate in finding even you here, then," he said.

"Fortunate! Yes," she said. "But where do you mean to spend this month?"
she continued, feeling that he was now nothing more than a visitor.

"It is very ridiculous--very foolish," he replied. "I promised, you
know, to act in some entertainment Miss Vincent has been getting up, and
only yesterday her father received orders to proceed to Natal; but as
all the fellows who had promised her to act are in the company of the
Bayonetteers that has also been ordered off, no difference will be
made in her arrangements, only that the performance will take place at
Pietermaritzburg instead of at Cape Town. But she is so unreasonable
as to refuse to release me from my promise, and I am bound to go with

"It is a compliment to value your services so highly, is it not?"

"I would be glad to sacrifice all the gratification I find from thinking
so for the sake of being released. She is both absurd and unreasonable."

"So it would certainly strike any one hearing only of this," said
Daireen. "But it will only be for a month, and you will see the place."

"I would rather remain seeing this place," he said. "Seeing that hill
above us." She flushed as though he had told her in those words that he
was aware of how often she had been looking up to that slope since they
had been there together----

There was a long pause, through which the voices and laughter of the
women at the river-bank were heard.

"Daireen," said the man, who stood up bareheaded before her. "Daireen,
that hour we sat up there upon that slope has changed all my thoughts
of life. I tell you the life which you restored to me a month ago I
had ceased to regard as a gift. I had come to hope that it would end
speedily. You cannot know how wretched I was."

"And now?" she said, looking up to him. "And now?"

"Now," he answered. "Now--what can I tell you? If I were to be cut off
from life and happiness now, I should stand before God and say that I
have had all the happiness that can be joined to one life on earth. I
have had that one hour with you, and no God or man can take it from me:
I have lived that hour, and none can make me unlive it. I told you I
would say no word of love to you then, but I have come to say the word
now. Child, I dared not love you as I was--I had no thought worthy to
be devoted to loving you. God knows how I struggled with all my soul to
keep myself from doing you the injustice of thinking of you; but that
hour at your feet has given me something of your divine nature, and with
that which I have caught from you, I can love you. Daireen, will you
take the love I offer you? It it yours--all yours."

He was not speaking passionately, but when she looked up and saw his
face haggard with earnestness she was almost frightened--she would
have been frightened if she had not loved him as she now knew she did.
"Speak," he said, "speak to me--one word."

"One word?" she repeated. "What one word can I say?"

"Tell me all that is in your heart, Daireen."

She looked up to him again. "All?" she said with a little smile. "All?
No, I could never tell you all. You know a little of it. That is the
bond between us."

He turned away and actually took a few steps from her. On his face was
an expression that could not easily have been read. But in an instant he
seemed to recover himself. He took her hand in his.

"My darling," he said, "the Past has buried its dead. I shall make
myself worthy to think of you--I swear it to you. You shall have a true
man to love." He was almost fierce in his earnestness, and her hand that
he held was crushed for an instant. Then he looked into her face with
tenderness. "How have you come to answer my love with yours?" he said
almost wonderingly. "What was there in me to make you think of my
existence for a single instant?"

She looked at him. "You were--_you_," she said, offering him the only
explanation in her power. It had seemed to her easy enough to explain as
she looked at him. Who else was worth loving with this love in all the
world, she thought. He alone was worthy of all her heart.

"My darling, my darling," he said, "I am unworthy to have a single
thought of you."

"You are indeed if you continue talking so," she said with a laugh, for
she felt unutterably happy.

"Then I will not talk so. I will make myself worthy to think of you
by--by--thinking of you. For a month, Daireen,--for a month we can only
think of each other. It is better that I should not see you until the
last tatter of my old self is shred away."

"It cannot be better that you should go away," she said. "Why should you
go away just as we are so happy?"

"I must go, Daireen," he said. "I must go--and now. I would to God I
could stay! but believe me, I cannot, darling; I feel that I must go."

"Because you made that stupid promise?" she said.

"That promise is nothing. What is such a promise to me now? If I had
never made it I should still go."

He was looking down at her as he spoke. "Do not ask me to say anything
more. There is nothing more to be said. Will you forget me in a month,
do you think?"

Was it possible that there was a touch of anxiety in the tone of his
question? she thought for an instant. Then she looked into his face and

"God bless you, Daireen!" he said tenderly, and there was sadness rather
than passion in his voice.

"God keep you, Daireen! May nothing but happiness ever come to you!"

He held out his hand to her, and she laid her own trustfully in his.

"Do not say good-bye," she pleaded. "Think that it is only for a
month--less than a month, it must be. You can surely be back in less
than a month."

"I can," he replied; "I can, and I will be back within a month, and
then---- God keep you, Daireen, for ever!"

He was holding her hand in his own with all gentleness. His face was
bent down close to hers, but he did not kiss her face, only her hand.
He crushed it to his lips, and then dropped it. She was blinded with
her tears, so that she did not see him hasten away through the avenue of
oaks. She did not even hear his horse's tread, nor could she know that
he had not once turned round to give her a farewell look.

It was some minutes before she seemed to realise that she was alone. She
sprang to her feet and stood looking out over those deathly silent
broad leaves, and those immense aloes, that seemed to be the plants in
a picture of a strange region. She heard the laughter of the Hottentot
women at the river, and the unmusical shriek of a bird in the distance.
She clasped her hands over her head, looking wistfully through the
foliage of the oaks, but she did not utter a word. He was gone, she knew
now, for she felt a loneliness that overwhelmed every other feeling.
She seemed to be in the middle of a bare and joyless land. The splendid
shrubs that branched before her eyes seemed dead, and the silence of the
warm scented air was a terror to her.

He was gone, she knew, and there was nothing left for her but this
loneliness. She went into her room in the cottage and seated herself
upon her little sofa, hiding her face in her hands, and she felt it good
to pray for him--for this man whom she had come to love, she knew not
how. But she knew she loved him so that he was a part of her own life,
and she felt that it would always be so. She could scarcely think what
her life had been before she had seen him. How could she ever have
fancied that she loved her father before this man had taught her what it
was to love? Now she felt how dear beyond all thought her father was to
her. It was not merely love for himself that she had learnt from Oswin
Markham, it was the power of loving truly and perfectly that he had
taught her.

Thus she dreamed until she heard the pleasant voice of her friend Mrs.
Crawford in the hall. Then she rose and wondered if every one would not
notice the change that had passed over her. Was it not written upon her
face? Would not every touch of her hand--every word of her voice, betray

Then she lifted up her head and felt equal to facing even Mrs. Crawford,
and to acknowledging all that she believed the acute observation of that
lady would read from her face as plainly as from the page of a book.

But it seemed that Mrs. Crawford's eyes were heavy this afternoon,
for though she looked into Daireen's face and kissed her cheek
affectionately, she made no accusation.

"I am lucky in finding you all alone, my dear," she said. "It is so
different ashore from aboard ship. I have not really had one good chat
with you since we landed. George is always in the way, or the major, you
know--ah, you think I should rather say the colonel and Jack, but indeed
I think of your father only as Lieutenant George. And you enjoyed our
little lunch on the hill, I hope? I thought you looked pale when you
came down. Was it not a most charming sunset?"

"It was indeed," said Daireen, straining her eyes to catch a glimpse
through the window of the slope where the red light had rested.

"I knew you would enjoy it, my dear. Mr. Glaston is such good
company--ah, that is, of course, to a sympathetic mind. And I don't
think I am going too far, Daireen, when I say that I am sure he was in
company with a sympathetic mind the evening before last."

Mrs. Crawford was smiling as one smiles passing a graceful compliment.

"I think he was," said Daireen. "Miss Vincent and he always seemed
pleased with each other's society."

"Miss Vincent?--Lottie Vincent?" cried the lady in a puzzled but
apprehensive way. "What do you mean, Daireen? Lottie Vincent?"

"Why, you know Mr. Glaston and Miss Vincent went away from us, among the
silver leaves, and only returned as we were coming down the hill."

Mrs. Crawford was speechless for some moments. Then she looked at the
girl, saying, "_We_,--who were _we?_"

"Mr. Markham and myself," replied Daireen without faltering.

"Ah, indeed," said the other pleasantly. Then there was a pause before
she added, "That ends my association with Lottie Vincent. The artful,
designing little creature! Daireen, you have no idea what good nature it
required on my part to take any notice of that girl, knowing so much as
I do of her; and this is how she treats me! Never mind; I have done with
her." Seeing the girl's puzzled glance, Mrs. Crawford began to recollect
that it could not be expected that Daireen should understand the nature
of Lottie's offence; so she added, "I mean, you know, dear, that that
girl is full of spiteful, designing tricks upon every occasion. And
yet she had the effrontery to come to me yesterday to beg of me to take
charge of her while her father would be at Natal. But I was not quite so
weak. Never mind; she leaves tomorrow, thank goodness, and that is the
last I mean to see of her. But about Mr. Markham: I hope you do not
think I had anything to say in the matter of letting you be with him,
Daireen. I did not mean it, indeed."

"I am sure of it," said Daireen quietly--so quietly that Mrs. Crawford
began to wonder could it be possible that the girl wished to show that
she had been aware of the plans which had been designed on her behalf.
Before she had made up her mind, however, the horses of Colonel Gerald
and Standish were heard outside, and in a moment afterwards the colonel
entered the room.

"Papa," said Daireen almost at once, "Mr. Markham rode out to see you
this afternoon."

"Ah, indeed? I am sorry I missed him," he said quietly. But Mrs.
Crawford stared at the girl, wondering what was coming.

"He came to say good-bye, papa."

Mrs. Crawford's heart began to beat again.

"What, is he returning to England?" asked the colonel.

"Oh, no; he is only about to follow Mr. Harwood's example and go up to

"Then he need not have said good-bye, anymore than Harwood," remarked
the colonel; and his daughter felt it hard to restrain herself from
throwing her arms about his neck.

"Ah," said Mrs. Crawford, "Miss Lottie has triumphed! This Mr. Markham
will go up in the steamer with her, and will probably act with her in
this theatrical nonsense she is always getting up."

"He is to act with her certainly," said Daireen. "Ah! Lottie has made
a success at last," cried the elder lady. "Mr. Markham will suit her
admirably. They will be engaged before they reach Algoa Bay."

"My dear Kate, why will you always jump at conclusions?" said the
colonel. "Markham is a fellow of far too much sense to be in the least
degree led by such a girl as Lottie."

Daireen had hold of her father's arm, and when he had spoken she turned
round and kissed him. But it was not at all unusual for her to kiss him
in this fashion on his return from a ride.


```Haply the seas and countries different

```With variable objects shall expel

```This something-settled matter in his heart,

```Whereon his brain still beating puts him thus

```From fashion of himself.--_Hamlet_

|HE had got a good deal to think about, this Mr. Oswin Markham, as he
stood on the bridge of the steamer that was taking him round the coast
to Natal, and looked back at that mountain whose strange shape had never
seemed stranger than it did from the distance of the Bay.

Table Mountain was of a blue dimness, and the white walls of the houses
at its base were quite hidden; Robbin Island lighthouse had almost
dwindled out of sight; and in the water, through the bright red gold
shed from a mist in the west that the falling sun saturated with light,
were seen the black heads of innumerable seals swimming out from the
coastway of rocks. Yes, Mr. Oswin Markham had certainly a good deal
to think about as he looked back to the flat-ridged mountain, and,
mentally, upon all that had taken place since he had first seen its
ridges a few weeks before.

He had thought it well to talk of love to that girl who had given him
the gift of the life he was at present breathing--to talk to her of love
and to ask her to love him. Well, he had succeeded; she had put her hand
trustfully in his and had trusted him with all her heart, he knew; and
yet the thought of it did not make him happy. His heart was not the
heart of one who has triumphed. It was only full of pity for the girl
who had listened to him and replied to him.

And for himself he felt what was more akin to shame than any other
feeling--shame, that, knowing all he did of himself, he had still spoken
those words to the girl to whom he owed the life that was now his.

"God! was it not forced upon me when I struggled against it with all my
soul?" he said, in an endeavour to strangle his bitter feeling. "Did not
I make up my mind to leave the ship when I saw what was coming upon me,
and was I to be blamed if I could not do so? Did not I rush away from
her without a word of farewell? Did not we meet by chance that night in
the moonlight? Were those words that I spoke to her thought over?
Were not they forced from me against my own will, and in spite of my
resolution?" There could be no doubt that if any one acquainted with
all the matters to which he referred had been ready to answer him,
a satisfactory reply would have been received by him to each of his
questions. But though, of course, he was aware of this, yet he seemed to
find it necessary to alter the ground of the argument he was advancing
for his own satisfaction. "I have a right to forget the wretched past,"
he said, standing upright and looking steadfastly across the glowing
waters. "Have not I died for the past? Is not this life a new one? It
is God's justice that I am carrying out by forgetting all. The past is
past, and the future in all truth and devotion is hers."

There were, indeed, some moments of his life--and the present was one of
them--when he felt satisfied in his conscience by assuring himself, as
he did now, that as God had taken away all remembrance of the past
from many men who had suffered the agonies of death, he was therefore
entitled to let his past life and its recollections drift away on that
broken mast from which he had been cut in the middle of the ocean; but
the justice of the matter had not occurred to him when he got that bank
order turned into money at the Cape, nor at the time when he had written
to the agents of his father's property in England, informing them of
his escape. He now stood up and spoke those words of his, and felt their
force, until the sun, whose outline had all the afternoon been undefined
in the mist, sank beneath the horizon, and the gorgeous colours drifted
round from his sinking place and dwindled into the dark green of the
waters. He watched the sunset, and though Lottie Vincent came to his
side in her most playful mood, her fresh and artless young nature found
no response to its impulses in him. She turned away chilled, but no more
discouraged than a little child, who, desirous of being instructed
on the secret of the creative art embodied in the transformation of a
handkerchief into a rabbit, finds its mature friend reflecting upon a
perplexing point in the theory of Unconscious Cerebration. Lottie knew
that her friend Mr. Oswin Markham sometimes had to think about matters
of such a nature as caused her little pleasantries to seem incongruous.
She thought that now she had better turn to a certain Lieutenant
Clifford, who, she knew, had no intricate mental problems to work out;
and she did turn to him, with great advantage to herself, and, no doubt,
to the officer as well. However forgetful Oswin Markham may have been
of his past life, he could still recollect a few generalities that had
struck him in former years regarding young persons of a nature similar
to this pretty little Miss Vincent's. She had insisted on his fulfilling
his promise to act with her, and he would fulfil it with a good grace;
but at this point his contract terminated; he would not be tempted into
making another promise to her which he might find much more embarrassing
to carry out with consistency.

It had been a great grief to Lottie to be compelled, through the
ridiculous treatment of her father by the authorities in ordering him
to Natal, to transfer her dramatic entertainment from Cape Town to
Pietermaritzburg. However, as she had sold a considerable number of
tickets to her friends, she felt that "the most deserving charity," the
augmentation of whose funds was the avowed object of the entertainment,
would be benefited in no inconsiderable degree by the change of venue.
If the people of Pietermaritzburg would steadfastly decline to supply
her with so good an audience as the Cape Town people, there still would
be a margin of profit, since her friends who had bought tickets on the
understanding that the performance would take place where it was at
first intended, did not receive their money back. How could they expect
such a concession, Lottie asked, with innocent indignation; and begged
to be informed if it was her fault that her father was ordered to Natal.
Besides this one unanswerable query, she reminded those who ventured to
make a timid suggestion regarding the returns, that it was in aid of a
most deserving charity the tickets had been sold, so that it would be an
act of injustice to give back a single shilling that had been paid for
the tickets. Pursuing this very excellent system, Miss Lottie had to the
credit of the coming performance a considerable sum which would provide
against the contingencies of a lack of dramatic enthusiasm amongst the
inhabitants of Pietermaritzburg.

It was at the garden-party at Government House that Markham had by
accident mentioned to Lottie that he had frequently taken part in
dramatic performances for such-like objects as Lottie's was designed to
succour, and though he at first refused to be a member, of her company,
yet at Mrs. Crawford's advocacy of the claims of the deserving object,
he had agreed to place his services and experience at the disposal of
the originator of the benevolent scheme.

At Cape Town he had not certainly thrown himself very heartily into the
business of creating a part in the drama which had been selected. He was
well aware that if a good performance of the nature designed by Lottie
is successful, a bad performance is infinitely more so; and that any
attempt on the side of an amateur to strike out a new character from an
old part is looked upon with suspicion, and is generally attended with
disaster; so he had not given himself any trouble in the matter.

"My dear Miss Vincent," he had said in reply to a pretty little
remonstrance from the young lady, "the department of study requiring
most attention in a dramatic entertainment of this sort is the
financial. Sell all the tickets you can, and you will be a greater
benefactress to the charity than if you acted like a Kemble."

Lottie had taken his advice; but still she made up her mind that Mr.
Markham's name should be closely associated with the entertainment, and
consequently, with her own name. Had she not been at pains to put into
circulation certain stories of the romance surrounding him, and
thus disposed of an unusual number of stalls? For even if one is not
possessed of any dramatic inclinations, one is always ready to pay a
price for looking at a man who has been saved from a shipwreck, or who
has been the co-respondent in some notorious law case.

When the fellows of the Bayonetteers, who had been indulging in a number
of surmises regarding Lottie's intentions with respect to Markham,
heard that the young lady's father had been ordered to proceed to
Natal without delay, the information seemed to give them a good deal
of merriment. The man who offered four to one that Lottie should not be
able to get any lady friend to take charge of her in Cape Town until her
father's return, could get no one to accept his odds; but his proposal
of three to one that she would get Markham to accompany her to Natal was
eagerly taken up; so that there were several remarks made at the mess
reflecting upon the acuteness of Mr. Markham's perception when it was
learned that he was going with the young lady and her father.

"You see," remarked the man who had laid the odds, "I knew something of
Lottie in India, and I knew what she was equal to."

"Lottie is a devilish smart child, by Jove," said one of the losers

"Yes, she has probably cut her eye-teeth some years ago," hazarded
another subaltern.

There was a considerable pause before a third of this full bench
delivered final judgment as the result of the consideration of the case.

"Poor beggar!" he remarked; "poor beggar! he's a finished coon."

And that Mr. Oswin Markham was, indeed, a man whose career had been
defined for him by another in the plainest possible manner, no member of
the mess seemed to doubt.

During the first couple of days of the voyage round the coast, when Miss
Lottie would go to the side of Mr. Markham for the purpose of consulting
him on some important point of detail in the intended performance,
the shrewd young fellows of the regiment of Bayonetteers pulled their
phantom shreds of moustaches, and brought the muscles of their faces
about the eyes into play to a remarkable extent, with a view of assuring
one another of the possession of an unusual amount of sagacity by
the company to which they belonged. But when, after the third day
of rehearsals. Lottie's manner of gentle persuasiveness towards them
altered to nasty bitter upbraidings of the young man who had committed
the trifling error of overlooking an entire scene here and there in
working out the character he was to bring before the audience, and to a
most hurtful glance of scorn at the other aspirant who had marked off in
the margin of his copy of the play all the dialogue he was to speak,
but who, unfortunately, had picked up a second copy belonging to a young
lady in which another part had been similarly marked, so that he had,
naturally enough, perfected himself in the dialogue of the lady's rôle
without knowing a letter of his own--when, for such trifling slips as
these, Lottie was found to be so harsh, the deep young fellows made
their facial muscles suggest a doubt as to whether it might not be
possible that Markham was of a sterner and less malleable nature then
they had at first believed him.

The fact was that since Lottie had met with Oswin Markham she had been
in considerable perplexity of mind. She had found out that he was in by
no means indigent circumstances; but even with her guileless, careless
perceptions, she was not long in becoming aware that he was not likely
to be moulded according to her desires; so, while still behaving in a
fascinating manner towards him, she had had many agreeable half-hours
with Mr. Glaston, who was infinitely more plastic, she could see; but
so soon as the order had come for her father to go up to Natal she had
returned in thought to Oswin Markham, and had smiled to see the grins
upon the expressive faces of the officers of the Bayonetteers when
she found herself by the side of Oswin Markham. She rather liked these
grins, for she had an idea--in her own simple way, of course--that there
is a general tendency on the part of young people to associate when
their names have been previously associated. She knew that the fact of
her having persuaded this Mr. Markham to accompany her to Natal would
cause his name to be joined with hers pretty frequently, and in her
innocence she had no objection to make to this.

As for Markham himself, he knew perfectly well what remarks people would
make on the subject of his departure in the steamer with Lottie Vincent;
he knew before he had been a day on the voyage that the Bayonetteers
regarded him as somewhat deficient in firmness; but he felt that there
was no occasion for him to be utterly broken down in spirit on account
of this opinion being held by the Bayonetteers. He was not so blind but
that he caught a glimpse now and again of a facial distortion on the
part of a member of the company. He felt that it was probable these
far-seeing fellows would be disappointed at the result of their

And indeed the fellows of the regiment were beginning, before the voyage
was quite over, to feel that this Mr. Oswin Markham was not altogether
of the yielding nature which they had ascribed to him on the grounds of
his having promised Lottie Vincent to accompany her and her father
to Natal at this time. About Lottie herself there was but one opinion
expressed, and that was of such a character as any one disposed to
ingratiate himself with the girl by means of flattery would hardly have
hastened to communicate to her; for the poor little thing had been so
much worried of late over the rehearsals which she was daily conducting
aboard the steamer, that, failing to meet with any expression of
sympathy from Oswin Markham, she had spoken very freely to some of the
company in comment upon their dramatic capacity, and not even an amateur
actor likes to receive unreserved comment of an unfavourable character
upon his powers.

"She is a confounded little humbug," said one of the subalterns to Oswin
in confidence on the last day of the voyage. "Hang me if I would have
had anything to say to this deuced mummery if I had known what sort of a
girl she was. By George, you should hear the stories Kirkham has on his
fingers' ends about her in India."

Oswin laughed quietly. "It would be rash, if not cruel, to believe all
the stories that are told about girls in India," he said. "As for Miss
Vincent, I believe her to be a charming girl--as an actress."

"Yes," said the lieutenant, who had not left his grinder on English
literature long enough to forget all that he had learned of the
literature of the past century--"yes; she is an actress among girls, and
a girl among actresses."

"Good," said Oswin; "very good. What is it that somebody or other
remarked about Lord Chesterfield as a wit?"

"Never mind," said the other, ceasing the laugh he had commenced. "What
I say about Lottie is true."


```This world is not for aye, nor'tis not strange

```That even our loves should with our fortunes change;

```For'tis a question left us yet to prove,

```Whether love lead fortune, or else fortune love.=

````Diseases desperate grown

```By desperate appliance are relieved,

```Or not at all.

````... so you must take your husbands.=

```It is our trick. Nature her custom holds

```Let shame say what it will: when these are gone

```The woman will be out.--_Hamlet._=

|OF course," said Lottie, as she stood by the side of Oswin Markham
when the small steamer which had been specially engaged to take the
field-officers of the Bayonetteers over the dreaded bar of Durban
harbour was approaching the quay--"of course we shall all go together up
to Pietermaritzburg. I have been there before, you know. We shall have a
coach all to ourselves from Durban." She looked up to his face with only
the least questioning expression upon her own. But Mr. Markham thought
that he had made quite enough promises previously: it would be unwise
to commit himself even in so small a detail as the manner of the journey
from the port of Durban to the garrison town of Pietermaritzburg, which
he knew was at a distance of upwards of fifty miles.

"I have not the least idea what I shall do when we land," he said. "It
is probable that I shall remain at the port for some days. I may as well
see all that there is on view in this part of the colony."

This was very distressing to the young lady.

"Do you mean to desert me?" she asked somewhat reproachfully.

"Desert you?" he said in a puzzled way. "Ah, those are the words in a
scene in your part, are they not?"

Lottie became irritated almost beyond the endurance of a naturally
patient soul.

"Do you mean to leave me to stand alone against all my difficulties, Mr.

"I should be sorry to do that, Miss Vincent. If you have difficulties,
tell me what they are; and if they are of such a nature that they can be
curtailed by me, you may depend upon my exerting myself."

"You know very well what idiots these Bayonetteers are," cried Lottie.

"I know that most of them have promised to act in your theatricals,"
replied Markham quietly; and Lottie tried to read his soul in another of
her glances to discover the exact shade of the meaning of his words, but
she gave up the quest.

"Of course you can please yourself, Mr. Markham," she said, with a
coldness that was meant to appal him.

"And I trust that I may never be led to do so at the expense of
another," he remarked.

"Then you will come in our coach?" she cried, brightening up.

"Pray do not descend to particulars when we are talking in this vague
way on broad matters of sentiment, Miss Vincent."

"But I must know what you intend to do at once."

"At once? I intend to go ashore, and try if it is possible to get a
dinner worth eating. After that--well, this is Tuesday, and on Thursday
week your entertainment will take place; before that day you say
you want three rehearsals, then I will agree to be by your side at
Pietermaritzburg on Saturday next."

This business-like arrangement was not what Lottie on leaving Cape Town
had meant to be the result of the voyage to Natal. There was a slight
pause before she asked:

"What do you mean by treating me in this way? I always thought you were
my friend. What will papa say if you leave me to go up there alone?"

This was a very daring bit of dialogue on the part of Miss Lottie, but
they were nearing the quay where she knew Oswin would be free; aboard
the mail steamer of course he was--well, scarcely free. But Mr. Markham
was one of those men who are least discomfited by a daring stroke. He
looked steadfastly at the girl so soon as she uttered her words.

"The problem is too interesting to be allowed to pass, Miss Vincent," he
said. "We shall do our best to have it answered. By Jove, doesn't that
man on the quay look like Harwood? It is Harwood indeed, and I thought
him among the Zulus."

The first man caught sight of on the quay was indeed the special
correspondent of the _Dominant Trumpeter_. Lottie's manner changed
instantly on seeing him, and she gave one of her girlish laughs on
noticing the puzzled expression upon his face as he replied to her
salutations while yet afar. She was very careful to keep by the side
of Oswin until the steamer was at the quay; and when at last Harwood
recognised the features of the two persons who had been saluting him,
she saw him look with a little smile first to herself, then to Oswin,
and she thought it prudent to give a small guilty glance downwards and
to repeat her girlish laugh.

Oswin saw Harwood's glance and heard Lottie's laugh. He also heard the
young lady making an explanation of certain matters, to which Harwood
answered with a second little smile.

"Kind? Oh, exceedingly kind of him to come so long a distance for the
sake of assisting you. Nothing could be kinder."

"I feel it to be so indeed," said Miss Vincent. "I feel that I can never
repay Mr. Markham."

Again that smile came to Mr. Harwood as he said: "Do not take such a
gloomy view of the matter, my dear Miss Vincent; perhaps on reflection
some means may be suggested to you."

"What can you mean?" cried the puzzled little thing, tripping away.

"Well, Harwood, in spite of your advice to me, you see I am here not
more than a week behind yourself."

"And you are looking better than I could have believed possible for any
one in the condition you were in when I left," said Harwood. "Upon my
word, I did not expect much from you as I watched you go up the stairs
at the hotel after that wild ride of yours to and from no place in
particular. But, of course, there are circumstances under which fellows
look knocked up, and there are others that combine to make them seem
quite the contrary; now it seems to me you are subject to the influence
of the latter just at present." He glanced as if by accident over to
where Lottie was making a pleasant little fuss about some articles of
her luggage.

"You are right," said Markham--"quite right. I have reason to be
particularly elated just now, having got free from that steamer and my

"Why, the fellows of the Bayonetteers struck me as being particularly
good company," said Harwood.

"And so they were. Now I must look after this precious portmanteau of

"And assist that helpless little creature to look after hers," muttered
Harwood when the other had left him. "Poor little Lottie! is it possible
that you have landed a prize at last? Well, no one will say that you
don't deserve something for your years of angling."

Mr. Harwood felt very charitably inclined just at this instant, for his
reflections on the behaviour of Markham during the last few days they
had been at the same hotel at Cape Town had not by any means been
quieted since they had parted. He was sorry to be compelled to leave
Cape Town without making any discovery as to the mental condition of
Markham. Now, however, he knew that Markham had been strong enough to
come on to Natal, so that the searching out of the problem of his former
weakness would be as uninteresting as it would be unprofitable. If
there should chance to be any truth in that vague thought which had been
suggested to him as to the possibility of Markham having become attached
to Daireen Gerald, what did it matter now? Here was Markham, having
overcome his weakness, whatever it may have been, by the side of Lottie
Vincent; not indeed appearing to be in great anxiety regarding the
welfare of the young lady's luggage which was being evil-treated, but
still by her side, and this made any further thought on his behalf

Mr. Markham had given his portmanteau into the charge of one of the
Natal Zulus, and then he turned to Harwood.

"You don't mind my asking you what you are doing at Durban instead of
being at the other side of the Tugela?" he said.

"The Zulus of this province require to be treated of most carefully
in the first instance, before the great question of Zulus in their own
territory can be fully understood by the British public," replied the
correspondent. "I am at present making the Zulu of Durban my special
study. I suppose you will be off at once to Pietermaritzburg?"

"No," said Markham. "I intend remaining at Durban to study the--the Zulu
characteristics for a few days."

"But Lottie--I beg your pardon--Miss Vincent is going on at once."

There was a little pause, during which Markham stared blankly at his

"What on earth has that got to say to my remaining here?" he said.

Harwood looked at him and felt that Miss Lottie was right, even on
purely artistic grounds, in choosing Oswin Markham as one of her actors.

"Nothing--nothing of course," he replied to Markham's question.

But Miss Lottie had heard more than a word of this conversation. She
tripped up to Mr. Harwood.

"Why don't you make some inquiry about your old friends, you most
ungrateful of men?" she cried. "Oh, I have such a lot to tell you.
Dear old Mrs. Crawford was in great grief about your going away, you
know--oh, such great grief that she was forced to give a picnic the
second day after you left, for fear we should all have broken down

"That was very kind of Mrs. Crawford," said Harwood; "and it only
remains for me to hope fervently that the required effect was produced."

"So far as I was concerned, it was," said Lottie. "But it would never do
for me to speak for other people."

"Other people?"

"Yes, other people--the charming Miss Gerald, for instance; I cannot
speak for her, but Mr. Markham certainly can, for he lay at her feet
during the entire of the afternoon when every one else had wandered
away up the ravine. Yes, Mr. Markham will tell you to a shade what her
feelings were upon that occasion. Now, bye-bye. You will come to our
little entertainment next week, will you not? And you will turn up on
Saturday for rehearsal?" she added, smiling at Oswin, who was looking
more stern than amused. "Don't forget--Saturday. You should be very
grateful for my giving you liberty for so long."

Both men went ashore together without a word; nor did they fall at once
into a fluent chat when they set out for the town, which was more than
two miles distant; for Mr. Harwood was thinking out another of the
problems which seemed to suggest themselves to him daily from the fact
of his having an acute ear for discerning the shades of tone in which
his friends uttered certain phrases. He was just now engaged linking
fancy unto fancy, thinking if it was a little impulse of girlish
jealousy, meant only to give a mosquito-sting to Oswin Markham, that had
caused Miss Lottie Vincent to make that reference to Miss Gerald, or if
it was a piece of real bitterness designed to wound deeply. It was
an interesting problem, and Mr. Harwood worked at its solution very
patiently, weighing all his recollections of past words and phrases that
might tend to a satisfactory result.

But the greatest amount of satisfaction was not afforded to Mr. Harwood
by the pursuit of the intricacies of the question he had set himself
to work out, but by the reflection that at any rate Markham's being at
Natal and not within easy riding distance of a picturesque Dutch cottage
at Mowbray, was a certain good. What did it signify now if Markham had
previously been too irresolute to tear himself away from the association
of that cottage? Had he not afterwards proved himself sufficiently
strong? And if this strength had come to him through any conversation
he might have had with Miss Gerald on the hillside to which Lottie
had alluded, or elsewhere, what business was it to anybody? Here was
Markham--there was Durban, and this was satisfactory. Only--what did
Lottie mean exactly by that little bit of spitefulness or bitterness?


``_Polonius_. The actors are come hither, my lord.=

``_Hamlet_. Buz, buz.=

``_Polonius_. Upon my honour.=

``_Hamlet. Then came each actor on his ass._=

``_Polonious_. The best actors in the world, either for tragedy, comedy,
history, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, scene individable or
poem unlimited... these are the only men.=

```Being thus benetted round with villanies,--

```Or I could make a prologue to my brains,

```They had begun the play,--I sat me down.

````... Wilt thou know

```The effect...?--_Hamlet_.=

|UPON the evening of the Thursday week after the arrival of that
steamer with two companies of the Bayonetteers at Durban, the town of
Pietermaritzburg was convulsed with the prospect of the entertainment
that was to take place in its midst, for Miss Lottie Vincent had not
passed the preceding week in a condition of dramatic abstraction.
She was by no means so wrapped up in the part she had undertaken
to represent as to be unable to give the necessary attention to the
securing of an audience.

It would seem to a casual _entrepreneur_ visiting Pietermaritzburg that
a large audience might be assured for an entertainment possessing even
the minimum of attractiveness, for the town appears to be of an immense
size--that is, for a South African town. The colonial Romulus and
Remus have shown at all times very lordly notions on the subject of
boundaries, and, being subject to none of those restrictions as to
the cost of every square foot of territory which have such a cramping
influence upon the founders of municipalities at home, they exercise
their grand ideas in the most extensive way. The streets of an early
colonial town are broad roads, and the spaces between the houses are so
great as almost to justify the criticism of those narrow-minded visitors
who call the town straggling. At one time Pietermaritzburg may have been
straggling, but it certainly did not strike Oswin Markham as being so
when he saw it now for the first time on his arrival. He felt that it
had got less of a Dutch look about it than Cape Town, and though that
towering and overshadowing impression which Table Mountain gives to Cape
Town was absent, yet the circle of hills about Pietermaritzburg seemed
to him--and his fancy was not particularly original--to give the town
almost that nestling appearance which by tradition is the natural
characteristic of an English village.

But if an _entrepreneur_ should calculate the probable numerical value
of an audience in Pietermaritzburg from a casual walk through the
streets, he would find that his assumption had been founded upon
an erroneous basis. The streets are long and in fact noble, but the
inhabitants available for fulfilling the duties of an audience at a
dramatic entertainment are out of all proportion few. Two difficulties
are to be contended with in making up audiences in South Africa: the
first is getting the people in, and the second is keeping people out. As
a rule the races of different colour do not amalgamate with sufficient
ease to allow of a mixed audience being pervaded with a common sympathy.
A white man seated between a Hottentot and a Kafir will scarcely be
brought to admit that he has had a pleasant evening, even though the
performance on the stage is of a choice character. A single Zulu will
make his presence easily perceptible in a room full of white people,
even though he should remain silent and in a secluded corner; while a
Hottentot, a Kafir, and a Zulu constitute a _bouquet d'Afrique_, the
savour of which is apt to divert the attention of any one in their
neighbourhood from the realistic effect of a garden scene upon the

Miss Lottie, being well aware that the audience-forming material in the
town was small in proportion to the extent of the streets, set herself
with her usual animation about the task of disposing of the remaining
tickets. She fancied that she understood something of the system to be
pursued with success amongst the burghers. She felt it to be her duty to
pay a round of visits to the houses where she had been intimate in the
days of her previous residence at the garrison; and she contrived to
impress upon her friends that the ties of old acquaintance should be
consolidated by the purchase of a number of her tickets. She visited
several families who, she knew, had been endeavouring for a long time
to work themselves into the military section of the town's society, and
after hinting to them that the officers of the Bayonetteers would
remain in the lowest spirits until they had made the acquaintance of the
individual members of each of those families, she invariably disposed of
a ticket to the individual member whose friendship was so longed for at
the garrison. As for the tradesmen of the town, she managed without any
difficulty, or even without forgetting her own standing, to make them
aware of the possible benefits that would accrue to the business of the
town under the patronage of the officers of the Bayonetteers; and so,
instead of having to beg of the tradesmen to support the deserving
charity on account of which she was taking such a large amount of
trouble, she found herself thanked for the permission she generously
accorded to these worthy men to purchase places for the evening.

She certainly deserved well of the deserving charity, and the old
field-officers, who rolled their eyes and pulled their moustaches,
recollecting the former labours of Miss Lottie, had got as imperfect
a knowledge of the proportions of her toil and reward as the less
good-natured of their wives who alluded to the trouble she was taking as
if it was not wholly disinterested. Lottie certainly took a vast amount
of trouble, and if Oswin Markham only appeared at the beginning of each
rehearsal and left at the conclusion, the success of the performance was
not at all jeopardised by his action.

For the entire week preceding the evening of the performance little
else was talked about in all sections of Maritzburgian society but the
prospects of its success. The ladies in the garrison were beginning
to be wearied of the topic of theatricals, and the colonel of the
Bayonetteers was heard to declare that he would not submit any longer to
have the regimental parades only half-officered day by day, and that
the plea of dramatic study would be insufficient in future to excuse
an absentee. But this vigorous action was probably accelerated by the
report that reached him of a certain lieutenant, who had only four lines
to speak in the play, having escaped duty for the entire week on the
grounds of the necessity for dramatic study.

At last the final nail was put in the fastenings of the scenery on the
stage, which a number of the Royal Engineers, under the guidance of
two officers and a clerk of the works, had erected; the footlights were
after considerable difficulty coaxed into flame. The officers of the
garrison and their wives made an exceedingly good front row in the
stalls, and a number of the sergeants and privates filled up the back
seats, ready to applaud, without reference to their merits at the
performance, their favourite officers when they should appear on the
stage; the intervening seats were supposed to be booked by the general
audience, and their punctuality of attendance proved that Lottie's
labours had not been in vain.

Mr. Harwood having tired of Durban, had been some days in the town, and
he walked from the hotel with Markham; for Mr. Markham, though the part
he was to play was one of most importance in the drama, did not think
it necessary to hang about the stage for the three hours preceding the
lifting of the curtain, as most of the Bayonetteers who were to act
believed to be prudent. Harwood took a seat in the second row of stalls,
for he had promised Lottie and one of the other young ladies who was
in the cast, to give each of them a candid opinion upon their
representations. For his own part he would have preferred giving his
opinion before seeing the representations, for he knew what a strain
would be put upon his candour after they were over.

When the orchestra--which was a great feature of the performance--struck
up an overture, the stage behind the curtain was crowded with figures
in top-boots and with noble hats encircled with ostrich feathers--the
element of brigandage entering largely into the construction of the
drama of the evening. Each of the figures carried a small pamphlet which
he studied every now and again, for in spite of the many missed parades,
a good deal of uncertainty as to the text of their parts pervaded the
minds of the histrionic Bayonetteers. Before the last notes of the
overture had crashed, Lottie Vincent, radiant in pearl powder and
pencilled eyebrows, wearing a plain muslin dress and white satin shoes,
her fair hair with a lovely white rose shining amongst its folds,
tripped out. Her character in the first act being that of a simple
village maiden, she was dressed with becoming consistency, every detail
down to those white satin shoes being, of course, in keeping with the
ordinary attire of simple village maidens wherever civilisation has

"For goodness' sake leave aside your books," she said to the young men
as she came forward. "Do you mean to bring them out with you and read
from them? Surely after ten rehearsals you might be perfect."

"Hang me, if I haven't a great mind not to appear at all in this rot,"
said one of the gentlemen in the top-boots to his companions. He had
caught a glimpse of himself in a mirror a minute previously and he did
not like the picture. "If it was not for the sake of the people who have
come I'd cut the whole affair."

"She has done nothing but bully," remarked a second of these desperadoes
in top-boots.

"All because that fellow Markham has shown himself to be no idiot," said
a third.

"Count Rodolph loves her, but I'll spare him not: he dies to-night,"
remarked another, but he was only refreshing his memory on the dialogue
he was to speak.

When the gentleman who was acting as prompter saw that the stage was
cleared, he gave the signal for the orchestra to play the curtain up. At
the correct moment, and with a perfection of stage management that would
have been creditable to any dramatic establishment in the world, as
one of the Natal newspapers a few days afterwards remarked with great
justice, the curtain was raised, and an excellent village scene was
disclosed to the enthusiastic audience. Two of the personages came on
at once, and so soon as their identity was clearly established, the
soldiers began to applaud, which was doubtless very gratifying to
the two officers, from a regimental standpoint, though it somewhat
interfered with the progress of the scene. The prompter, however,
hastened to the aid of the young men who had lost themselves in that
whirlwind of applause, and the dialogue began to run easily.

Lottie had made for herself a little loophole in the back drop-scene
through which she observed the audience. She saw that the place was
crowded to the doors--English-speaking and Dutch-speaking burghers
were in the central seats; she smiled as she noticed the aspirants to
garrison intimacies crowding up as close as possible to the officers'
wives in the front row, and she wondered if it would be necessary to
acknowledge any of them for longer than a week. Then she saw Harwood
with the faintest smile imaginable upon his face, as the young men on
the stage repeated the words of their parts without being guilty either
of the smallest mistake or the least dramatic spirit; and this time she
wondered if, when she would be going through her part and she would look
towards Harwood, she should find the same sort of smile upon his face.
She rather thought not. Then, as the time for her call approached, she
hastened round to her entrance, waiting until the poor stuff the two
young men were speaking came to an end; then, not a second past her
time, she entered, demure and ingenuous as all village maidens in satin
slippers must surely be.

She was not disappointed in her reception by the audience. The ladies
in the front stalls who had spoken, it might be, unkindly of her in
private, now showed their good nature in public, and the field officers
forgot all the irregularities she had caused in the regiment and
welcomed her heartily; while the tradesmen in the middle rows made their
applause a matter of business. The village maiden with the satin shoes
smiled in the timid, fluttered, dovelike way that is common amongst the
class, and then went on with her dialogue. She felt altogether happy,
for she knew that the young lady who was to appear in the second scene
could not possibly meet with such an expression of good feeling as she
had obtained from the audience.

And now the play might be said to have commenced in earnest. It was by
no means a piece of French frivolity, this drama, but a genuine work of
English art as it existed thirty years ago, and it was thus certain to
commend itself to the Pietermaritzburghers who liked solidity even when
it verged upon stolidity.

_Throne or Spouse_ was the title of the play, and if its incidents were
somewhat improbable and its details utterly impossible, it was not the
less agreeable to the audience. The two young men who had appeared in
top-boots on the village green had informed each other, the audience
happily overhearing, that they had been out hunting with a certain
Prince, and that they had got separated from their companions.

They embraced the moment as opportune for the discussion of a few court
affairs, such as the illness ot the monarch, and the Prince's prospects
of becoming his successor, and then they thought it would be as well to
try and find their way back to the court; so off they went. Then Miss
Vincent came on the village green and reminded herself that her name was
Marie and that she was a simple village maiden; she also recalled the
fact that she lived alone with her mother in Yonder Cottage. It seemed
to give her considerable satisfaction to reflect that, though poor, she
was, and she took it upon her to say that her mother was also, strictly
virtuous, and she wished to state in the most emphatic terms that though
she was wooed by a certain Count Rodolph, yet, as she did not love him,
she would never be his. Lottie was indeed very emphatic at this part,
and her audience applauded her determination as Marie. Curiously enough,
she had no sooner expressed herself in this fashion than one of the
Bayonetteers entered, and at the sight of him Lottie called out, "Ah,
he is here! Count Rodolph!" This the audience felt was a piece of subtle
constructive art on the part of the author. Then the new actor replied,
"Yes, Count Rodolph is here, sweet Marie, where he would ever be, by the
side of the fairest village maiden," etc.

The new actor was attired in one of the broad hats of the
period--whatever it may have been--with a long ostrich feather. He had
an immense black moustache, and his eyebrows were exceedingly heavy. He
also wore top-boots, a long sword, and a black cloak, one fold of which
he now and again threw over his left shoulder when it worked its way
down his arm. It was not surprising that further on in the drama
the Count was found to be a dissembler; his costume fostered any
proclivities in this way that might otherwise have remained dormant.

The village maiden begged to know why the Count persecuted her with his
attentions, and he replied that he did so on account of his love for
her. She then assured him that she could never bring herself to look
on him with favour; and this naturally drew from him the energetic
declaration of his own passion for her. He concluded by asking her to be
his: she cried with emphasis, "Never!" He repeated his application, and
again she cried "Never!" and told him to begone. "You shall be mine," he
cried, catching her by the arm. "Wretch, leave me," she said, in all her
village-maiden dignity; he repeated his assertion, and clasped her round
the waist with ardour. Then she shrieked for help, and a few simple
villagers rushed hurriedly on the stage, but the Count drew his sword
and threatened with destruction any one who might advance. The simple
villagers thought it prudent to retire. "Ha! now, proud Marie, you are
in my power," said the Count. "Is there no one to save me?" shrieked
Marie. "Yes, here is some one who will save you or perish in the
attempt," came a voice from the wings, and with an agitation pervading
the sympathetic orchestra, a respectable young man in a green
hunting-suit with a horn by his side and a drawn sword in his hand,
rushed on, and was received with an outburst of applause from the
audience who, in Pietermaritzburg, as in every place else, are ever on
the side of virtue. This new actor was Oswin Markham, and it seemed that
Lottie's stories regarding the romance associated with his appearance
were successful, for not only was there much applause, but a quiet hum
of remark was heard amongst the front stalls, and it was some moments
before the business of the stage could be proceeded with.

So soon as he was able to speak, the Count wished to know who was the
intruder that dared to face one of the nobles of the land, and the
intruder replied in general terms, dwelling particularly upon the
fact that only those were noble who behaved nobly. He expressed an
inclination to fight with the Count, but the latter declined to
gratify him on account of the difference there was between their social
standing, and he left the stage saying, "Farewell, proud beauty, we
shall meet again." Then he turned to the stranger, and, laying his hand
on his sword-hilt after he had thrown his cloak over his shoulder, he
cried, "We too shall meet again."

The stranger then made some remarks to himself regarding the manner in
which he was stirred by Marie's beauty. He asked her who she was, and
she replied, truthfully enough, that she was a simple village maiden,
and that she lived in Yonder Cottage. He then told her that he was a
member of the Prince's retinue, and that he had lost his way at the
hunt; and he begged the girl to conduct him to Yonder Cottage. The girl
expressed her pleasure at being able to show him some little attention,
but she remarked that the stranger would find Yonder Cottage very
humble. She assured him, however, of the virtue of herself, and again
went so far as to speak for her mother. The stranger then made a nice
little speech about the constituents of true nobility, and went out with
Marie as the curtain fell.

The next scene was laid in Yonder Cottage; the virtuous mother being
discovered knitting, and whiling away the time by talking to herself
of the days when she was nurse to the late Queen. Then Marie and the
stranger entered, and there was a pleasant family party in Yonder
Cottage. The stranger was evidently struck with Marie, and the scene
ended by his swearing to make her his wife. The next act showed the
stranger in his true character as the Prince; his royal father has heard
of his attachment to Marie, and not being an enthusiast on the subject
of simple village maidens becoming allied to the royal house, he
threatens to cut off the entail of the kingdom--which it appeared he
had power to do--if the Prince does not relinquish Marie, and he dies
leaving a clause in his will to this effect.

The Prince rushes to Yonder Cottage--hears that Marie is carried off
by the Count--rescues her--marries her--and then the virtuous mother
confesses that the Prince is her own child, and Marie is the heiress to
the throne. No one appeared to dispute the story--Marie is consequently
Queen and her husband King, having through his proper treatment of the
girl gained the kingdom; and the curtain falls on general happiness,
Count Rodolph having committed suicide.

"Nothing could have been more successful," said Lottie, all tremulous
with excitement, to Oswin, as they went off together amid a tumult of
applause, which was very sweet to her ears.

"I think it went off very well indeed," said Oswin. "Your acting was
perfection, Miss Vincent."

"Call me Marie," she said playfully. "But we must really go before the
curtain; hear how they are applauding."

"I think we have had enough of it," said Oswin.

"Come along," she cried; "I dislike it above all things, but there is
nothing for it."

The call for Lottie and Oswin was determined, so after the soldiers had
called out their favourite officers, Oswin brought the girl forward, and
the enthusiasm was very great. Lottie then went off, and for a few
moments Markham remained alone upon the stage. He was most heartily
applauded, and, after acknowledging the compliment, he was just stepping
back, when from the centre of the seats a man's voice came, loud and

"Bravo, old boy! you're a trump wherever you turn up."

There was a general moving of heads, and some laughter in the front

But Oswin Markham looked from where he was standing on the stage down
to the place whence that voice seemed to come. He neither laughed nor
smiled, only stepped back behind the curtain.

The stage was now crowded with the actors and their friends; everybody
was congratulating everybody else. Lottie was in the highest spirits.

"Could anything have been more successful?" she cried again to Oswin
Markham. He looked at her without answering for some moments. "I don't
know," he said at last. "Successful? perhaps so."

"What on earth do you mean?" she asked; "are you afraid of the Natal

"No, I can't say I am."

"Of what then?"

"There is a person at the door who wishes to speak to you, Mr. Markham,"
said one of the servants coming up to Oswin. "He says he doesn't carry
cards, but you will see his name here," and he handed Oswin an envelope.

Oswin Markham read the name on the envelope and crushed it into his
pocket, saying to the servant:

"Show the--gentleman up to the room where I dressed."

So Miss Lottie did not become aware of the origin of Mr. Markham's doubt
as to the success of the great drama _Throne or Spouse_.


``Good my lord, what is your cause of distemper? You do surely bar the
door upon your own liberty if you deny your griefs to your friend.=

````... tempt him with speed aboard;

```Delay it not; I'll have him hence to-night.=

````Indeed this counsellor

```Is now most still, most secret, and most grave,

```Who was in life a foolish prating knave.=

```This sudden sending him away must seem


|IN the room where he had assumed the dress of the part he had just
played, Oswin Markham was now standing idle, and without making any
attempt to remove the colour from his face or the streaks from his
eyebrows. He was still in the dress of the Prince when the door was
opened and a man entered the room eagerly.

"By Jingo! yes, I thought you'd see me," he cried before he had closed
the door. All the people outside--and there were a good many--who
chanced to hear the tone of the voice knew that the speaker was the man
who had shouted those friendly words when Oswin was leaving the stage.
"Yes, old fellow," he continued, slapping Markham on the back and
grasping him by the hand, "I thought I might venture to intrude upon
you. Right glad I was to see you, though, by heavens! I thought I should
have shouted out when I saw you--you, of all people, here. Tell us how
it comes, Oswin. How the deuce do you appear at this place? Why, what's
the matter with you? Have you talked so much in that tall way on the
boards that you haven't a word left to say here? You weren't used to be
dumb in the good old days---good old nights, my boy."

"You won't give me a chance," said Oswin; and he did not even smile in
response to the other's laughter.

"There then, I've dried up," said the stranger. "But, by my soul, I tell
you I'm glad to see you. It seems to me, do you know, that I'm drunk
now, and that when I sleep off the fit you'll be gone. I've fancied
queer things when I've been drunk, as you well know. But it's you
yourself, isn't it?"

"One need have no doubt about your identity," said Oswin. "You talk in
the same infernally muddled way that ever Harry Despard used to talk."

"That's like yourself, my boy," cried the man, with a loud laugh. "I'm
beginning to feel that it's you indeed, though you are dressed up like
a Prince--by heavens! you played the part well. I couldn't help shouting
out what I did for a lark. I wondered what you'd think when you heard
my voice. But how did you manage to turn up at Natal? tell me that. You
left us to go up country, didn't you?"

"It's a long story," replied Oswin. "Very long, and I am bound to change
this dress. I can't go about in this fashion for ever."

"No more you can," said the other. "And the sooner you get rid of those
togs the better, for by God, it strikes me that they give you a wrong
impression about yourself. You're not so hearty by a long way as you
used to be. I'll tell you what I'll do; I'll go on to the hotel and
wait there until you are in decent rig. I'll only be in this town until
to-morrow evening, and we must have a night together."

For the first time since the man had entered the room Oswin brightened

"Only till to-morrow night, Hal?" he cried. "Then we must have a few
jolly hours together before we part. I won't let you even go to the
hotel now. Stay here while I change, like a decent fellow."

"Now that sounds like your old form, my boy; hang me if I don't stay
with you. Is that a flask in the portmanteau? It is, by Jingo, and
if it's not old Irish may I be--and cigars too. Yes, I will stay, old
fellow, for auld langsyne. This is like auld langsyne, isn't it? Why,
where are you off to?"

"I have to give a message to some one in another room," said Oswin,
leaving the man alone. He was a tall man, apparently about the same age
as Markham. So much of his face as remained unconcealed by a shaggy,
tawny beard and whiskers was bronzed to a copper colour. His hair
was short and tawny, and his mouth was very coarse. His dress was not
shabby, but the largeness of the check on the pattern scarcely argued
the possession of a subdued taste on the part of the wearer.

He had seated himself upon a table in the room though there were plenty
of chairs, and when Oswin went out he filled the flask cup and emptied
it with a single jerk of his head; then he snatched up the hat which had
been worn by Oswin on the stage; he threw it into the air and caught it
on one of his feet, then with a laugh he kicked it across the floor.

But Oswin had gone to the room where Captain Howard, who had acted as
stage manager, was smoking after the labours of the evening. "Howard,"
Said Markham, "I must be excused from your supper to-night."

"Nonsense," said Howard. "It would be too ridiculous for us to have
a supper if you who have done the most work to-night should be away.
What's the matter? Have you a doctor's certificate?"

"The fact is a--a--sort of friend of mine--a man I knew pretty
intimately some time ago, has turned up here most unexpectedly."

"Then bring your sort of friend with you."

"Quite impossible," said Markham quickly. "He is not the kind of man who
would make the supper agreeable either to himself or to any one else.
You will explain to the other fellows how I am compelled to be away."

"But you'll turn up some time in the course of the night, won't you?"

"I am afraid to say I shall. The fact is, my friend requires a good deal
of attention to be given to him in the course of a friendly night. If I
can manage to clear myself of him in decent time I'll be with you."

"You must manage it," said Howard as Oswin went back to the room, where
he found his friend struggling to pull on the green doublet in which the
Prince had appeared in the opening scene of the play.

"Hang me if I couldn't do the part like one o'clock," he cried; "the
half of it is in the togs. You weren't loud enough, Oswin, when you came
on; you wouldn't have brought down the gods even at Ballarat. This is
how you should have done it: 'I'll save you or----'"

"For Heaven's sake don't make a fool of yourself, Hal."

"I was only going to show you how it should be done to rouse the people;
and as for making a fool of myself----"

"You have done that so often you think it not worth the caution. Come
now, stuff those things into the portmanteau, and I'll have on my mufti
in five minutes."

"And then off to the hotel, and you bet your pile, as we used to say at
Chokeneck Gulch, we'll have more than a pint bottle of Bass. By the way,
how about your bronze; does the good old governor still stump up?"

"My allowance goes regularly to Australia," said Os win, with a stern
look coming to his face.

"And where else should it go, my boy? By the way, that's a tidy female
that showed what neat ankles she had as Marie. By my soul, I envied you
squeezing her. 'What right has he to squeeze her?' I said to myself, and
then I thought if----"

"But you haven't told me how you came here," said Oswin, interrupting

"No more I did. It's easily told, my lad. It was getting too warm for me
in Melbourne, and as I had still got some cash I thought I'd take a run
to New York city--at least that's what I made up my mind to do when I
awoke one fine morning in the cabin of the _Virginia_ brig a couple
of hundred miles from Cape Howe. I remembered going into a saloon one
evening and finding a lot of men giving general shouts, but beyond that
I had no idea of anything."

"That's your usual form," said Oswin. "So you are bound for New York?"

"Yes, the skipper of the _Virginia_ had made Natal one of his ports,
and there we put in yesterday, so I ran up to this town, under what you
would call an inspiration, or I wouldn't be here now ready to slip the
tinsel from as many bottles of genuine Moët as you choose to order. But
you--what about yourself?"

"I am here, my Hal, to order as many bottles as you can slip the tinsel
off," cried Oswin, his face flushed more deeply than when it had been
rouged before the footlights.

"Spoken in your old form, by heavens!" cried the other, leaping from the
table. "You always were a gentleman amongst us, and you never failed
us in the matter of drink. Hang me if I don't let the _Virginia_
brig--go--to--to New York without me; I'll stay here in company of my
best friend."

"Come along," said Oswin, leaving the room. "Whether you go or stay
we'll have a night of it at the hotel."

They passed out together and walked up to the hotel, hearing all the
white population discussing the dramatic performance of the evening, for
it had created a considerable stir in the town. There was no moon, but
the stars were sparkling over the dark blue of the hills that almost
encircle the town. Tall Zulus stood, as they usually do after dark,
talking at the corners in their emphatic language, while here and there
smaller white men speaking Cape Dutch passed through the streets smoking
their native cigars.

"Just what you would find in Melbourne or in the direction of Geelong,
isn't it, Oswin?" said the stranger, who had his arm inside Markham's.

"Yes, with a few modifications," said Oswin.

"Why, hang it all, man," cried the other. "You aren't getting
sentimental, are you? A fellow would think from the way you've been
talking in that low, hollow, parson's tone that you weren't glad I
turned up. If you're not, just say so. You won't need to give Harry
Despard a nod after you've given him a wink."

"What an infernal fool you do make of yourself," said Oswin. "You know
that I'm glad to have you beside me again, old fellow,--yes, devilish
glad. Confound it, man, do you fancy I've no feeling--no recollection?
Haven't we stood by each other in the past, and won't we do it in the

"We will, by heavens, my lad! and hang me if I don't smash anything
that comes on the table tonight except the sparkling. And look here, the
_Virginia_ brig may slip her cable and be off to New York. I'll stand by
you while you stay here, my boy. Yes, say no more, my mind is made up."

"Spoken like a man!" cried Oswin, with a sudden start. "Spoken like a
man! and here we are at the hotel. We'll have one of our old suppers
together, Hal----"

"Or perish in the attempt," shouted the other.

The stranger went upstairs, while Oswin remained below to talk to the
landlord about some matters that occupied a little time.

Markham and Harwood had a sitting-room for their exclusive use in the
hotel, but it was not into this room that Oswin brought his guest, it
was into another apartment at a different quarter of the house. The
stranger threw his hat into a corner and himself down upon a sofa with
his legs upon a chair that he had tilted back.

"Now we'll have a general shout," he said. "Ask all the people in the
house what they'll drink. If you acted the Prince on the stage to-night,
I'll act the part here now. I've got the change of a hundred samples of
the Sydney mint, and I want to ease myself of them. Yes, we'll have a
general shout."

"A general shout in a Dutchman's house? My boy, this isn't a Ballarat
saloon," said Oswin. "If we hinted such a thing we'd be turned into
the street. Here is a bottle of the sparkling by way of opening the

"I'll open the champagne and you open the campaign, good! The sight of
you, Oswin, old fellow--well, it makes me feel that life is a joke.
Fill up your glass and we'll drink to the old times. And now tell me all
about yourself. How did you light here, and what do you mean to do? Have
you had another row in the old quarter?"

Oswin had drained his glass of champagne and had stretched himself upon
the second sofa. His face seemed pale almost to ghastliness, as persons'
faces do after the use of rouge. He gave a short laugh when the other
had spoken.

"Wait till after supper," he cried. "I haven't a word to throw to a dog
until after supper."

"Curse that Prince and his bluster on the stage; you're as hoarse as a
rook now, Oswin," remarked the stranger.

In a brief space the curried crayfish and penguins' eggs, which form
the opening dishes of a Cape supper, appeared; and though Oswin's friend
seemed to have an excellent appetite, Markham himself scarcely ate
anything. It did not, however, appear that the stranger's comfort was
wholly dependent upon companionship. He ate and drank and talked loudly
whether Oswin fasted or remained mute; but when the supper was removed
and he lighted a cigar, he poured out half a bottle of champagne into a
tumbler, and cried:

"Now, my gallant Prince, give us all your eventful history since you
left Melbourne five months ago, saying you were going up country. Tell
us how you came to this place, whatever its infernal Dutch name is."

And Oswin Markham, sitting at the table, told him.

But while this _tète-à-tète_ supper was taking place at the hotel, the
messroom of the Bayonetteers was alight, and the regimental cook had
excelled himself in providing dishes that were wholly English, without
the least colonial flavour, for the officers and their guests, among
whom was Harwood.

Captain Howard's apology for Markham was not freely accepted, more
especially as Markham did not put in an appearance during the entire of
the supper. Harwood was greatly surprised at his absence, and the story
of a friend having suddenly turned up he rejected as a thing devised as
an excuse. He did not return to the hotel until late--more than an
hour past midnight. He paused outside the hotel door for some moments,
hearing the sound of loud laughter and a hoarse voice singing snatches
of different songs.

"What is the noisy party upstairs?" he asked of the man who opened the

"That is Mr. Markham and his friend, sir. They have taken supper
together," said the servant.

Harwood did not express the surprise he felt. He took his candle, and
went to his own room, and, as he smoked a cigar before going to bed, he
heard the intermittent sounds of the laughter and the singing.

"I shall have a talk with this old friend of Mr. Markham's in the
morning," he said, after he had stated another of his problems to sleep

Markham and he had been accustomed to breakfast together in their
sitting-room since they had come up from Durban; but when Harwood awoke
the next morning, and came in to breakfast, he found only one cup upon
the table.

"Why is there not a cup for Mr. Markham?" he asked of the servant.

"Mr. Markham, sir, left with his friend for Durban at four o'clock this
morning," said the man.

"What, for Durban?"

"Yes, sir. Mr. Markham had ordered a Cape cart and team to be here at
that time. I thought you might have awakened as they were leaving."

"No, I did not," said Mr. Harwood quietly; and the servant left the

Here was something additional for the special correspondent of the
_Dominant Trumpeter_ to ponder over and reduce to the terms of a
problem. He reflected upon his early suspicions of Oswin Markham. Had
he not even suggested that Markham's name was probably something very
different from what he had called himself? Mr. Harwood knew well that
men have a curious tendency to call themselves by the names of the
persons to whom bank orders are made payable, and he believed that such
a subtle sympathy might exist between the man who had been picked up at
sea and the document that was found in his possession. Yes, Mr. Harwood
felt that his instincts were not perhaps wholly in error regarding Mr.
Oswin Markham, cleverly though he had acted the part of the Prince in
that stirring drama on the previous evening.

On the afternoon of the following day, however, Oswin Markham entered
the hotel at Pietermaritzburg and walked into the room where Harwood
was working up a letter for his newspaper, descriptive of life among the

"Good heavens!" cried the "special," starting up; "I did not expect you
back so soon. Why, you could only have stayed a few hours at the port."

"It was enough for me," said Oswin, a smile lighting up his pale face;
"quite enough for me. I only waited to see the vessel with my friend
aboard safely over the bar. Then I returned."

"You went away from here in something of a hurry, did you not, Markham?"

Oswin laughed as he threw himself into a chair.

"Yes, something of a hurry. My friend is--let us say, eccentric. We left
without going to bed the night before last. Never mind, Harwood,
old fellow; he is gone, and here I am now, ready for anything
you propose--an excursion across the Tugela or up to the
Transvaal--anywhere--anywhere--I'm free now and myself again."

"Free?" said Harwood curiously. "What do you mean by free?"

Oswin looked at him mutely for a moment, then he laughed, saying:

"Free--yes, free from that wretched dramatic affair. Thank Heaven, it's
off my mind!"


``_Horatio_. My lord, the King your father.

``_Hamlet_. The King--my father?

``_Horatio_. Season your admiration for a while.=

```In what particular thought to work I know not;

```But in the gross and scope of mine opinion

```This bodes some strange eruption to our state.=

````Our last King,

```Whose image even but now appear'd to us,

````... by a sealed compact

```Did forfeit... all those his lands

```Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror.=


|MY son," said The Macnamara, "you ought to be ashamed of your
threatment of your father. The like of your threatment was never known
in the family of the Macnamaras, or, for that matter, of the O'Dermots.
A stain has been thrown upon the family that centuries can't wash out."

"It is no stain either upon myself or our family for me to have set
out to do some work in the world," said Standish proudly, for he felt
capable of maintaining the dignity of labour. "I told you that I would
not pass my life in the idleness of Innishdermot. I-----------"

"It's too much for me, Standish O'Dermot Macnamara--to hear you talk
lightly of Innishdermot is too much for the blood of the representative
of the ancient race. Don't, my boy, don't."

"I don't talk lightly of it; when you told me it was gone from us I felt
it as deeply as any one could feel it."

"It's one more wrong added to the grievances of our thrampled counthry,"
cried the hereditary monarch of the islands with fervour. "And yet you
have never sworn an oath to be revenged. You even tell me that you
mean to be in the pay of the nation that has done your family this
wrong--that has thrampled The Macnamara into the dust. This is the
bitterest stroke of all."

"I have told you all," said Standish. "Colonel Gerald was kinder to me
than words could express. He is going to England in two months, but only
to remain a week, and then he will leave for the Castaway Islands.
He has already written to have my appointment as private secretary
confirmed, and I shall go at once to have everything ready for his
arrival. It's not much I can do, God knows, but what I can do I will for
him. I'll work my best."

"Oh, this is bitter--bitter--to hear a Macnamara talk of work; and just
now, too, when the money has come to us."

"I don't want the money," said Standish indignantly.

"Ye're right, my son, so far. What signifies fifteen thousand pounds
when the feelings of an ancient family are outraged?"

"But I can't understand how those men had power to take the land, if you
did not wish to give it to them, for their railway and their hotel."

"It's more of the oppression, my son--more of the thrampling of our
counthry into the dust. I rejected their offers with scorn at first;
but I found out that they could get power from the oppressors of our
counthry to buy every foot of the ground at the price put on it by a man
they call an arbithrator--so between thraitors and arbithrators I knew
I couldn't hold out. With tears in my eyes I signed the papers, and now
all the land from the mouth of Suangorm to Innishdermot is in the hands
of the English company--all but the castle--thank God they couldn't
wrest that from me. If you'd only been by me, Standish, I would
have held out against them all; but think of the desolate old man
sitting amongst the ruins of his home and the tyrants with the gold--I
could do nothing."

"And then you came out here. Well, father, I'm glad to see you, and
Colonel Gerald will be so too, and--Daireen."

"Aye," said The Macnamara. "Daireen is here too. And have you been
talking to the lovely daughter of the Geralds, my boy? Have you been
confessing all you confessed to me, on that bright day at Innishdermot?
Have you----"

"Look here, father," said Standish sternly; "you must never allude to
anything that you forced me to say then. It was a dream of mine, and now
it is past."

"You can hold your head higher than that now, my boy," said The
Macnamara proudly. "You're not a beggar now, Standish; money's in the

"As if money could make any difference," said Standish.

"It makes all the difference in the world, my boy," said The Macnamara;
but suddenly recollecting his principles, he added, "That is, to some
people; but a Macnamara without a penny might aspire to the hand of
the noblest in the land. Oh, here she comes--the bright snowdhrop of
Glenmara--the arbutus-berry of Craig-Innish; and her father too--oh, why
did he turn to the Saxons?"

The Macnamara, Prince of Innishdermot, Chief of the Islands and Lakes,
and King of all Munster, was standing with his son in the coffee-room of
the hotel, having just come ashore from the steamer that had brought him
out to the Cape. The patriot had actually left his land for the first
time in his life, and had proceeded to the colony in search of his son,
and he found his son waiting for him at the dock gates.

That first letter which Standish received from his father had indeed
been very piteous, and if the young man had not been so resolute in his
determination to work, he would have returned to Innishdermot once more,
to comfort his father in his trials. But the next mail brought a second
communication from The Macnamara to say that he could endure no longer
the desolation of the lonely hearth of his ancestral castle, but would
set out in search of his lost offspring through all the secret places
of the earth. Considering that he had posted this letter to the definite
address of his offspring, the effect of the vagueness of his expressed
resolution was somewhat lessened.

Standish received the letter with dismay, and Colonel Gerald himself
felt a little uneasiness at the prospect of having The Macnamara
quartered upon him for an uncertain period. He was well aware of the
largeness of the ideas of The Macnamara on many matters, and in regard
to the question of colonial hospitality he felt that the views of the
hereditary prince would be liberal to an inconvenient degree. It was
thus with something akin to consternation that he listened to the
eloquent letter which Standish read with flushed face and trembling

"We shall be very pleased to see The Macnamara here," said Colonel
Gerald; and Daireen laughed, saying she could not believe that
Standish's father would ever bring himself to depart from his kingdom.
It was on the next day that Colonel Gerald had an interview of
considerable duration with Standish on a matter of business, he said;
and when it was over and the young man's qualifications had been judged
of, Standish found himself in a position either to accept or decline the
office of private secretary to the new governor of the lovely Castaway
group. With tears he left the presence of the governor, and went to
his room to weep the fulness from his mind and to make a number of firm
resolutions as to his future of hard work; and that very evening Colonel
Gerald had written to the Colonial Office nominating Standish to the
appointment; so that the matter was considered settled, and Standish
felt that he did not fear to face his father.

But when Standish had met The Macnamara on the arrival of the mail
steamer a week after he had received that letter stating his intentions,
the young man learned, what apparently could not be included in a letter
without proving harassing to its eloquence, that the extensive lands
along the coastway of the lough had been sold to an English company of
speculators who had come to the conclusion that a railway made through
the picturesque district would bring a fortune to every one who might be
so fortunate as to have money invested in the undertaking. So a railway
was to be made, and a gigantic hotel built to overlook the lough. The
shooting and fishing rights--in fact every right and every foot of
ground, had been sold for a large sum to the company by The Macnamara.
And though Standish had at first felt the news as a great blow to him,
he subsequently became reconciled to it, for his father's appearance at
the Cape with several thousand pounds was infinitely more pleasing to
him than if the representative of The Macnamaras had come in his former
condition, which was simply one of borrowing powers.

"It's the snowdhrop of Glenmara," said The Macnamara, kissing the hand
of Daireen as he met her at the door of the room. "And you, George, my
boy," he continued, turning to her father; "I may shake hands with you
as a friend, without the action being turned to mean that I forgive the
threatment my counthry has received from the nation whose pay you are
still in. Yes, only as a friend I shake hands with you, George."

"That is a sufficient ground for me, Macnamara," said the colonel. "We
won't go into the other matters just now."

"I cannot believe that this is Cape Town," said Daireen. "Just think of
our meeting here to-day. Oh, if we could only have a glimpse of the dear
old Slieve Docas!"

"Why shouldn't you see it, white dove?" said The Macnamara in Irish to
the girl, whose face brightened at the sound of the tongue that brought
back so many pleasant recollections to her. "Why shouldn't you?" he
continued, taking from one of the boxes of his luggage an immense bunch
of purple heather in gorgeous bloom. "I gathered it for you from the
slope of the mountain. It brings you the scent of the finest hill in the

The girl caught the magnificent bloom in both her hands and put her face
down to it. As the first breath of the hill she loved came to her in
this strange land they saw her face lighten. Then she turned away and
buried her head in the scents of the hills--in the memories of the
mountains and the lakes, while The Macnamara spoke on in the musical
tongue that lived in her mind associated with all the things of the land
she loved.

"And Innishdermot," said Colonel Gerald at length, "how is the seat of
our kings?"

"Alas, my counthry! thrampled on--bethrayed--crushed to the ground!"
said The Macnamara. "You won't believe it, George--no, you won't. They
have spoiled me of all I possessed--they have driven me out of the
counthry that my sires ruled when the oppressors were walking about in
the skins of wild beasts. Yes, George, Innishdermot is taken from me and
I've no place to shelter me."

Colonel Gerald began to look grave and to feel much graver even than he
looked. The Macnamara shelterless was certainly a subject for serious

"Yes," said Standish, observing the expression on his face, "you would
wonder how any company could find it profitable to pay fifteen thousand
pounds for the piece of land. That is what the new railway people paid
my father."

Once more the colonel's face brightened, but The Macnamara stood up
proudly, saying:

"Pounds! What are pounds to the feelings of a true patriot? What can
money do to heal the wrongs of a race?"

"Nothing," said the colonel; "nothing whatever. But we must hasten out
to our cottage. I'll get a coolie to take your luggage to the railway
station. We shall drive out. My dear Dolly, come down from yonder
mountain height where you have gone on wings of heather. I'll take out
the bouquet for you."

"No," said Daireen. "I'll not let any one carry it for me."

And they all went out of the hotel to the carriage.

The _maître d'hôtel_, who had been listening to the speech of The
Macnamara in wonder, and had been finally mystified by the Celtic
language, hastened to the visitors' book in which The Macnamara had
written his name; but this last step certainly did not tend to make
everything clear, for in the book was written:

"Macnamara, Prince of the Isles, Chief of Innish-dermot and the Lakes,
and King of Munster."

"And with such a nose!" said the _maître d'hôtel_.


```Tis sweet and commendable in your nature,

```To give these... duties to your father.=

```In that and all things we show our duty.=

``_King_. What wouldst thou beg, Laertes?

```What wouldst thou have?=

``_Laertes_. Your leave and favour to ret urn--_Hamlet_.=

|TO these four exiles from Erin sitting out on the stoep of the Dutch
cottage after dinner very sweet it was to dream of fatherland. The soft
light through which the broad-leaved, motionless plants glimmered was,
of course, not to be compared with the long dwindling twilights that
were wont to overhang the slopes of Lough Suangorm; and that mighty peak
which towered above them, flanked by the long ridge of Table Mountain,
was a poor thing in the eyes of those who had witnessed the glories of
the heather-swathed Slieve Docas.

The cries ot the bullock wagoners, which were faintly heard from the
road, did not interfere with the musings of any of the party, nor with
the harangue of The Macnamara.

Very pleasant it was to hear The Macnamara talk about his homeless
condition as attributable to the long course of oppression persisted
in by the Saxon Monarchy--at least so Colonel Gerald thought, for in a
distant colony a harangue on the subject of British tyranny in Ireland
does not sound very vigorous, any more than does a burning revolutionary
ode when read a century or so after the revolution has taken place.

But poor Standish, who had spent a good many years of his life breathing
in of the atmosphere of harangue, began to feel impatient at his sire's
eloquence. Standish knew very well that his father had made a hard
bargain with the railway and hotel company that had bought the land;
nay, he even went so far as to conjecture that the affectionate yearning
which had caused The Macnamara to come out to the colony in search
of his son might be more plainly defined as an impulse of prudence
to escape from certain of his creditors before they could hear of his
having received a large sum of money. Standish wondered how Colonel
Gerald could listen to all that his father was saying when he could not
help being conscious of the nonsense of it all, for the young man was
not aware of the pleasant memories of his youth that were coming back to
the colonel under the influence of The Macnamara's speech.

The next day, however, Standish had a conversation of considerable
length with his father, and The Macnamara found that he had made rapid
progress in his knowledge of the world since he had left his secluded
home. In the face of his father he insisted on his father's promising to
remove from the Dutch cottage at the end of a few days. The Macnamara's
notions of hospitality were very large, and he could not see why Colonel
Gerald should have the least feeling except of happiness in entertaining
a shelterless monarch; but Standish was firm, and Colonel Gerald did not
resist so stoutly as The Macnamara felt he should have done; so that at
the end of the week Daireen and her father were left alone for the first
time since they had come together at the Cape.

They found it very agreeable to be able to sit together and ride
together and talk without reserve. Standish Macnamara was, beyond doubt,
very good company, and his father was even more inclined to be sociable,
but no one disputed the wisdom of the young man's conduct in curtailing
his visit and his father's to the Dutch cottage. The Macnamara had his
pockets filled with money, and as Standish knew that this was a strange
experience for him, he resolved that the weight of responsibility
which the preservation of so large a sum was bound to entail, should be
reduced; so he took a cottage at Rondebosch for his father and himself,
and even went the length of buying a horse. The lordliness of the ideas
of the young man who had only had a few months' experience of the world
greatly impressed his father, and he paid for everything without a

Standish had, at the intervals of his father's impassioned discourses,
many a long and solitary ride and many a lengthened reverie amongst the
pines that grow beside The Flats. The resolutions he made as to his life
at the Castaway group were very numerous, and the visions that floated
before his eyes were altogether very agreeable. He was beginning to feel
that he had accomplished a good deal of that ennobling hard work in
the world which he had resolved to set about fulfilling. His previous
resolutions had not been made carelessly: he had grappled with adverse
Fate, he felt, and was he not getting the better of this contrary power?

But not many days after the arrival of The Macnamara another personage
of importance made his appearance in Cape Town. The Bishop of the
Calapash Islands and Metropolitan of the Salamander Archipelago had at
last found a vessel to convey him to where his dutiful son was waiting
for him.

The prelate felt that he had every reason to congratulate himself upon
the opportuneness of his arrival, for Mr. Glaston assured his father,
after the exuberance of their meeting had passed away, that if the
vessel had not appeared within the course of another week, he would
have been compelled to defer the gratification of his filial desires for
another year.

"A colony is endurable for a week," said Mr. Glaston; "it is wearisome
at the end of a fortnight; but a month spent with colonists has got a
demoralising effect that years perhaps may fail to obliterate."

The bishop felt that indeed he had every reason to be thankful that
unfavourable winds had not prolonged the voyage of his vessel.

Mrs. Crawford was, naturally enough, one of the first persons at the
Cape to visit the bishop, for she had known him years before--she had
indeed known most Colonial celebrities in her time--and she took the
opportunity to explain to him that Colonel Gerald had been counting the
moments until the arrival of the vessel from the Salamanders, so great
was his anxiety to meet with the Metropolitan of that interesting
archipelago, with whom he had been acquainted a good many years before.
This was very gratifying to the bishop, who liked to be remembered by
his friends; he had an idea that even the bishop of a distant colony
runs a chance of being forgotten in the world unless he has written an
heretical book, so he was glad when, a few days after his arrival at
Cape Town, he received a visit from Colonel Gerald and an invitation to

This was very pleasing to Mrs. Crawford, for, of course, Algernon
Glaston was included in the invitation, and she contrived without any
difficulty that he should be seated by the side of Miss Gerald. Her
skill was amply rewarded, she felt, when she observed Mr. Glaston
and Daireen engaged in what sounded like a discussion on the musical
landscapes of Liszt; to be engaged--even on a discussion of so subtle a
nature--was something, Mrs. Crawford thought.

In the course of this evening, she herself, while the bishop was smiling
upon Daireen in a way that had gained the hearts, if not the souls,
of the Salamanderians, got by the side of Mr. Glaston, intent upon
following up the advantage the occasion offered.

"I am so glad that the bishop has taken a fancy to Daireen," she said.
"Daireen is a dear good girl--is she not?"

Mr. Glaston raised his eyebrows and touched the extreme point of
his moustache before he answered a question so pronounced. "Ah, she
is--improving," he said slowly. "If she leaves this place at once she
may improve still."

"She wants some one to be near her capable of moulding her tastes--don't
you think?"

"She _needs_ such a one. I should not like to say _wants,_" remarked Mr.

"I am sure Daireen would be very willing to learn, Mr. Glaston; she
believes in you, I know," said Mrs. Crawford, who was proceeding on
an assumption of the broad principles she had laid down to Daireen
regarding the effect of flattery upon the race. But her words did not
touch Mr. Glaston deeply: he was accustomed to be believed in by girls.

"She has taste--some taste," he replied, though the concession was not
forced from him by Mrs. Crawford's revelation to him. "Yes; but of what
value is taste unless it is educated upon the true principles of Art?"

"Ah, what indeed?"

"Miss Gerald's taste is as yet only approaching the right tracks of
culture. One shudders, anticipating the effect another month of life
in such a place as this may have upon her. For my own part, I do not
suppose that I shall be myself again for at least a year after I return.
I feel my taste utterly demoralised through the two months of my stay
here; and I explained to my father that it will be necessary for him
to resign his see if he wishes to have me near him at all. It is quite
impossible for me to come out here again. The three months' absence from
England that my visit entails is ruinous to me."

"I have always thought of your self-sacrifice as an example of true
filial duty, Mr. Glaston. I know that Daireen thinks so as well."

But Mr. Glaston did not seem particularly anxious to talk of Daireen.

"Yes; my father must resign his see," he continued.

"The month I have just passed has left too terrible recollections behind
it to allow of my running a chance of its being repeated. The only
person I met in the colony who was not hopelessly astray was that Miss

"Oh!" cried Mrs. Crawford, almost shocked. "Oh, Mr. Glaston! you surely
do not mean that! Good gracious!--Lottie Vincent!"

"Miss Vincent was the only one who, I found, had any correct idea of
Art; and yet, you see, how she turned out."

"Turned out? I should think so indeed. Lottie Vincent was always turning
out since the first time I met her."

"Yes; the idea of her acting in company of such a man as this Markham--a
man who had no hesitation in going to view a picture by candlelight--it
is too distressing."

"My dear Mr. Glaston, I think they will get on very well together. You
do not know Lottie Vincent as I know her. She has behaved with the most
shocking ingratitude towards me. But we are parted now, and I shall take
good care she does not impose upon me again."

"It scarcely matters how one's social life is conducted if one's
artistic life is correct," said Mr. Glaston.

At this assertion, which she should have known to be one of the articles
of Mr. Glaston's creed, Mrs. Crawford gave a little start. She thought
it better, however, not to question its soundness. As a matter of fact,
the bishop himself, if he had heard his son enunciate such a precept,
would not have questioned its soundness; for Mr. Glaston spake as one
having authority, and most people whose robustness was not altogether
mental, believed his Gospel of Art.

"No doubt what you say is--ah--very true," said Mrs. Crawford. "But I
do wish, Mr. Glaston, that you could find time to talk frequently to
Daireen on these subjects. I should be so sorry if the dear child's
ideas were allowed to run wild. Your influence might work wonders with
her. There is no one here now who can interfere with you."

"Interfere with me, Mrs. Crawford?"

"I mean, you know, that Mr. Harwood, with his meretricious cleverness,
might possibly--ah--well, you know how easily girls are led."

"If there would be a possibility of Miss Gerald's being influenced in a
single point by such a man as that Mr. Harwood, I fear not much can be
hoped for her," said Mr. Glaston.

"We should never be without hope," said Mrs. Crawford. "For my own
part, I hope a great deal--a very great deal--from your influence over
Daireen; and I am exceedingly happy that the bishop seems so pleased
with her."

The good bishop was indeed distributing his benedictory smiles freely,
and Daireen came in for a share of his favours. Her father wondered at
the prodigality of the churchman's smiles; for as a chaplain he was not
wont to be anything but grave. The colonel did not reflect that while
smiling may be a grievous fault in a chaplain, it can never be anything
but ornamental to a bishop.

A few days afterwards Mrs. Crawford called upon the bishop, and had an
interesting conversation with him on the subject of his son's future--a
question to which of late the bishop himself had given a good deal
of thought; for in the course of his official investigations on the
question of human existence he had been led to believe that the
duration of life has at all times been uncertain; he had more than
once communicated this fact to dusky congregations, and by reducing the
application of the painful truth, he had come to feel that the life of
even a throned bishop is not exempt from the fatalities of mankind.

As the bishop's son was accustomed to spend half of the revenues of
his father's see, his father was beginning to have an anxiety about the
future of the young man; for he did not think that his successor to
the prelacy of the Calapash Islands would allow Mr. Glaston to draw,
as usual, upon the income accruing to the office. The bishop was not
so utterly unworldly in his notions but that he knew there exist other
means of amassing wealth than by writing verses in a pamphlet-magazine,
or even composing delicate impromptus in minor keys for one's own
hearing, His son had not felt it necessary to occupy his mind with any
profession, so that his future was somewhat difficult to foresee with
any degree of clearness.

Mrs. Crawford, however, spoke many comforting words to the bishop
regarding a provision for his son's future. Daireen Gerald, she assured
him, besides being one of the most charming girls in the world, was
the only child of her father, and her father's estates in the South of
Ireland were extensive and profitable.

When Mrs. Crawford left him, the bishop felt glad that he had smiled
so frequently upon Miss Gerald. He had heard that no kindly smile was
bestowed in vain, but the truth of the sentiment had never before so
forced itself upon his mind. He smiled again in recollection of his
previous smiles. He felt that indeed Miss Gerald was a charming girl,
and Mrs. Crawford was most certainly a wonderful woman; and it can
scarcely be doubted that the result of the bishop's reflections proved
the possession on his part of powerful mental resources, enabling him to
arrive at subtle conclusions on questions of perplexity.


```Too much of water had'st thou, poor Ophelia.=

```How can that be unless she drowned herself?=

``If the man go to this water... it is, will he, nill he, he goes; mark
you that.--_Hamlet_.=

|STANDISH Macnamara had ridden to the Dutch cottage, but he found it
deserted. Colonel Gerald, one of the servants informed him, had early in
the day driven to Simon's Town, and had taken Miss Gerald with him, but
they would both return in the evening. Sadly the young man turned away,
and it is to be feared that his horse had a hard time of it upon The
Flats. The waste of sand was congenial with his mood, and so was the
rapid motion.

But while he was riding about in an aimless way, Daireen and her father
were driving along the lovely road that runs at the base of the low
hills which form a mighty causeway across the isthmus between Table
Bay and Simon's Bay. Colonel Gerald had received a message that the
man-of-war which had been stationed at the chief of the Castaway group
had called at Simon's Bay; he was anxious to know how the provisional
government was progressing under the commodore of those waters whose
green monotony is broken by the gentle cliff's of the Castaways, and
Daireen had been allowed to accompany her father to the naval station.

The summer had not yet advanced sufficiently far to make tawny the dark
green coarse herbage of the hillside, and the mass of rich colouring
lent by the heaths and the prickly-pear hedges made Daireen almost
jealous for the glories of the slopes of Glenmara. For some distance
over the road the boughs of Australian oaks in heavy foilage were
leaning; but when Constantia and its evenly set vineyards were passed
some distance, Daireen heard the sound of breaking waves, and in an
instant afterwards the road bore them down to the water's edge at Kalk
Bay, a little rocky crescent enclosing green sparkling waves. Upon a
pebbly beach a few fishing-boats were drawn up, and the outlying spaces
were covered with drying nets, the flavour of which was much preferable
to that of the drying fish that were near.

On still the road went until it lost itself upon the mighty beaches of
False Bay. Down to the very brink of the great green waves that burst
in white foam and clouds of mist upon the sand the team of the wagonette
was driven, and on along the snowy curve for miles until Simon's Bay
with its cliffs were reached, and the horses were pulled up at the hotel
in the single street of Simon's Town at the base of the low ridge of the
purple hill.

"You will not be lonely, Dolly," said Colonel Gerald as he left the
hotel after lunch to meet the commander of the man-of-war of which the
yellow-painted hull and long streaming pennon could be seen from the
window, opposite the fort at the farthest arm of the bay.

"Lonely?" said the girl. "I hope I may, for I feel I would like a little
loneliness for a change. I have not been lonely since I was at Glenmara
listening to Murrough O'Brian playing a dirge. Run away now, papa, and
you can tell me when we are driving home what the Castaways are really

"I'll make particular inquiries as to the possibilities of lawn-tennis,"
said her father, as he went down the steps to the red street.

Daireen saw a sergeant's party of soldiers carry arms to the colonel,
though he wore no uniform and had not been at this place for years; but
even less accustomed observers than the men would have known that he was
a soldier. Tall, straight, and with bright gray eyes somewhat hollower
than they had been twenty years before, he looked a soldier in every
point--one who had served well and who had yet many years of service
before him.

How noble he looked, Daireen thought, as he kissed his hand up to her.
And then she thought how truly great his life had been. Instead of
coming home after his time of service had expired, he had continued at
his post in India, unflinching beneath the glare of the sun overhead
or from the scorching of the plain underfoot; and here he was now, not
going home to rest for the remainder of his life, but ready to face
an arduous duty on behalf of his country. She knew that he had
been striving through all these years to forget in the work he was
accomplishing the one grief of his life. She had often seen him gazing
at her face, and she knew why he had sighed as he turned away.

She had not meant to feel lonely in her father's absence, but her
thoughts somehow were not of that companionable kind which, coming to
one when alone, prevent one's feeling lonely.

She picked up the visitors' book and read all the remarks that had been
written in English for the past years; but even the literature of an
hotel visitor's book fails at some moments to relieve a reader's mind.
She turned over the other volumes, one of which was the Commercial
Code of Signals, and the other a Dutch dictionary. She read one of Mr.
Harwood's letters in a back number of the _Dominant Trumpeter_, and she
found that she could easily recall the circumstances under which, in
various conversations, he had spoken to her every word of that column
and a quarter. She wondered if special correspondents write out every
night all the remarks that they have heard during the day. But even the
attempt to solve this problem did not make her feel brisk.

What was the thought which was hovering about her, and which she was
trying to avoid by all the means in her power? She could not have
defined it. The boundaries of that thought were too vague to be outlined
by words.

She glanced out of the window for a while, and then walked to the door
and looked over the iron balcony at the head of the steps. Only a few
people were about the street. Gazing out seawards, she saw a signal
flying from the peak of the man-of-war, and in a few minutes she saw a
boat put off and row steadily for the shore near the far-off fort at the
headland. She knew the boat was to convey her father aboard the vessel.
She stood there watching it until it had landed and was on its way back
with her father in the stern.

Then she went along the road until she had left the limits of the town,
and was standing between the hill and the sea. Very lovely the sea
looked from where it was breaking about the rocks beneath her, out to
the horizon which was undefined in the delicate mist that rose from the

She stood for a long time tasting of the freshness of the breeze. She
could see the man-of-war's boat making its way through the waves until
it at last reached the ship, and then she seemed to have lost the object
of her thoughts. She turned off the road and got upon the sloping beach
along which she walked some distance.

She had met no one since she had left the hotel, and the coast of the
Bay round to the farthest headland seemed deserted; but somehow her
mood of loneliness had gone from her as she stood at the brink of those
waters whose music was as the sound of a song of home heard in a strange
land. What was there to hinder her from thinking that she was standing
at the uttermost headland of Lough Suangorm, looking out once more upon
the Atlantic?

She crossed a sandy hollow and got upon a ledge of rocks, up to which
the sea was beating. Here she seated herself, and sent her eyes out
seawards to where the war-ship was lying, and then that thought which
had been near her all the day came upon her. It was not of the Irish
shore that the glad waters were laving. It was only of some words that
had been spoken to her. "For a month we will think of each other," were
the words, and she reflected that now this month had passed. The month
that she had promised to think of him had gone, but it had not taken
with it her thoughts of the man who had uttered those words.

She looked out dreamily across the green waves, wondering if he had
returned. Surely he would not let a day pass without coming to her side
to ask her if she had thought of him during the month. And what answer
would she give him? She smiled.

"Love, my love," she said, "when have I ceased to think of you? When
shall I cease to think of you?"

The tears forced themselves into her eyes with the pure intensity of
her passion. She sat there dreaming her dreams and thinking her thoughts
until she seemed only to hear the sound of the waters of the distance;
the sound of the breaking waves seemed to have passed away. It was this
sudden consciousness that caused her to awake from her reverie. She
turned and saw that the waves were breaking on the beach _behind
her_--the rock where she was sitting was surrounded with water, and
every plunge of the advancing tide sent a swirl of water through the
gulf that separated the rocks from the beach.

In an instant she had started to her feet. She saw the death that was
about her. She looked to the rock where she was standing. The highest,
ledge contained a barnacle. She knew it was below the line of high
water, and now not more than a couple of feet of the ledge were
uncovered. A little cry of horror burst from her, and at the same
instant the boom of a gun came across the water from the man-of-war;
she looked and saw that the boat was on its way to the shore again. In
another half-minute a second report sounded, and she knew that they were
firing a salute to her father. They were doing this while his daughter
was gazing at death in the face.

Could they see her from the boat? It seemed miles away, but she took off
her white jacket and standing up waved it. Not the least sign was made
from the boat. The report of the guns echoed along the shore mingling
with her cries. But a sign was given from the water: a wave flung its
spray clear over the rock. She knew what it meant.

She saw in a moment what chance she had of escape. The water between the
rock and the shore was not yet very deep. If she could bear the brunt of
the wild rush of the waves that swept into the hollow she could make her
way ashore.

In an instant she had stepped down to the water, still holding on by the
rocks. A moment of stillness came and she rushed through the waves, but
that sand--it sank beneath her first step, and she fell backwards, then
came another swirl of eddying waves that plunged through the gulf and
swept her away with their force, out past the rock she had been on. One
cry she gave as she felt herself lost.

The boom of the saluting gun doing honour to her father was the sound
she heard as the cruel foam flashed into her face.

But at her cry there started up from behind a rock far ashore the figure
of a man. He looked about him in a bewildered way. Then he made a rush
for the beach, seeing the toy the waves were heaving about. He plunged
in up to his waist.

"Damn the sand!" he cried, as he felt it yield. He bent himself against
the current and took advantage of every relapse of the tide to rush
a few steps onward. He caught the rock and swung himself round to the
seaward side. Then he waited until the next wave brought that helpless
form near him. He did not leave his hold of the rock, but before the
backward sweep came he clutched the girl's dress. Then came a struggle
between man and wave. The man conquered. He had the girl on one of his
arms, and had placed her upon the rock for an instant. Then he swung
himself to the shoreward side, caught her up again, and stumbling,
and sinking, and battling with the current, he at last gained a sound

Daireen was exhausted but not insensible. She sat upon the dry sand
where the man had placed her, and she drew back the wet hair from her
face. Then she saw the man stand by the edge of the water and shake his
fist at it.

"It's not the first time I've licked you singlehanded," he said, "and
it'll not be the last. Your bullying roar won't wash here." Then he
seemed to catch sight of something on the top of a wave. "Hang me if
you'll get even her hat," he said, and once more he plunged in. The
hat was farther out than the girl had been, and he had more trouble in
securing it. Daireen saw that his head was covered more than once, and
she was in great distress. At last, however, he struggled to the beach
with the hat in his hand. It was very terrible to the girl to see him
turn, squeezing the water from his hair, and curse the sea and all that
pertained to it.

Suddenly, however, he looked round and walked up to where she was now
standing. He handed her the hat as though he had just picked it up from
the sand. Then he looked at her.

"Miss," he said, "I believe I'm the politest man in this infernal
colony; if I was rude to you just now I ask your pardon. I'm afraid I
pulled you about."

"You saved me from drowning," said Daireen. "If you had not come to me I
should be dead now."

"I didn't do it for your sake," said the man. "I did it because that's
my enemy"--he pointed to the sea--"and I wouldn't lose a chance of
having a shy at him. It's my impression he's only second best this time
again. Never mind. How do you feel, miss?"

"Only a little tired," said Daireen. "I don't think I could walk back to
the hotel."

"You won't need," said the man. "Here comes a Cape cart and two ancient
swells in it. If they don't give you a seat, I'll smash the whole

"Oh!" cried Daireen joyfully; "it is papa--papa himself."

"Not the party with the brass buttons?" said the man. "All right, I'll
hail them."

Colonel Gerald sprang from the Cape cart in which he was driving with
the commodore of the naval station.

"Good God, Daireen, what does this mean?" he cried, looking from the
girl to the man beside her.

But Daireen, regardless of her dripping condition, threw herself into
his arms, and the stranger turned away whistling. He reached the road
and shook his head confidentially at the commodore, who was standing
beside the Cape cart.

"Touching thing to be a father, eh, Admiral?" he said.

"Stop, sir," said the commodore. "You must wait till this is explained."

"Must I?" said the man. "Who is there here that will keep me?"

"What can I say to you, sir?" cried Colonel Gerald, coming up and
holding out his hand to the stranger. "I have no words to thank you."

"Well, as to that, General," said the man, "it seems to me the less
that's said the better. Take my advice and get the lady something to
drink--anything that teetotallers won't allow is safe to be wholesome."

"Come to my house," said the commodore. "Miss Gerald will find
everything there."

"You bet you'll find something in the spirituous way at the admiral's
quarters, miss," remarked the stranger, as Daireen was helped into the
vehicle. "No, thank you, General, I'll walk to the hotel where I put

"Pray let me call upon you before I leave," said Colonel Gerald.

"Delighted to see you, General; if you come within the next two hours,
I'll slip the tinsel off a bottle of Moët with you. Now, don't wait
here. If you had got a pearly stream of salt water running down your
spine you wouldn't wait; would they, miss? Aw revaw."


``I shall, first asking your pardon thereunto, recount the occasion of
my sudden and more strange return.=

```O limèd soul, that, struggling to be free,

```Art more engaged.=

``Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.--_Hamlet._=

|QUITE three hours had passed before Colonel Gerald was able to return
to the hotel. The stranger was sitting in the coffee-room with a tumbler
and a square bottle of cognac in front of him as the colonel entered.

"Ah, General," cried the stranger, "you are come. I was sorry I said
two hours, you know, because, firstly, I might have known that at the
admiral's quarters the young lady would get as many doses as would make
her fancy something was the matter with her; and, secondly, because I
didn't think that they would take three hours to dry a suit of tweed
like this. You see it, General; this blooming suit is a proof of the low
state of morality that exists in this colony. The man I bought it from
took an oath that it wouldn't shrink, and yet, just look at it. It's a
wicked world this we live in, General. I went to bed while the suit
was being dried, and I believe they kept the fire low so that they may
charge me with the bed. And how is the young lady?"

"I am happy to say that she has quite recovered from the effects of
her exhaustion and her wetting," said Colonel Gerald. "Had you not been
near, and had you not had that brave heart you showed, my daughter
would have been lost. But I need not say anything to you--you know how I

"We may take it for granted," said the man.

"Nothing that either of us could say would make it plainer, at any rate.
You don't live in this city, General?"

"No, I live near Cape Town, where I am now returning with my daughter,"
said Colonel Gerald.

"That's queer," said the man. "Here am I too not living here and just
waiting to get the post-cart to bring me to Cape Town."

"I need scarcely say that I should be delighted if you would accept a
seat with me," remarked the colonel.

"Don't say that if there's not a seat to spare, General."

"But, my dear sir, we have two seats to spare. Can I tell my man to put
your portmanteau in?"

"Yes, if he can find it," laughed the stranger. "Fact is, General, I
haven't any property here except this tweed suit two sizes too small for
me now. But these trousers have got pockets, and the pockets hold a good
many sovereigns without bursting. I mean to set up a portmanteau in Cape
Town. Yes, I'll take a seat with you so far."

The stranger was scarcely the sort of man Colonel Gerald would have
chosen to accompany him under ordinary circumstances, but now he felt
towards the rough man who had saved the life of his daughter as he would
towards a brother.

The wagonette drove round to the commodore's house for Daireen, and the
stranger expressed very frankly the happiness he felt at finding her
nothing the worse for her accident.

And indeed she did not seem to have suffered greatly; she was a
little paler, and the commodore's people insisted on wrapping her up

"It was so very foolish of me," she said to the stranger, when they
had passed out of Simon's Town and were going rapidly along the road to
Wynberg. "It was so very foolish indeed to sit down upon that rock and
forget all about the tide. I must have been there an hour."

"Ah, miss," said the man, "I'll take my oath it wasn't of your pa you
were thinking all that time. Ah, these young fellows have a lot to
answer for."

This was not very subtle humour, Colonel Gerald felt; he found himself
wishing that his daughter had owed her life to a more refined man; but
on the whole he was just as glad that a man of sensitiveness had not
been in the place of this coarse stranger upon that beach a few hours

"I don't think I am wrong in believing that you have travelled a good
deal," said Colonel Gerald, in some anxiety lest the stranger might
pursue his course of humorous banter.

"Travelled?" said the stranger. "Perhaps I have. Yes, sir, I have
travelled, not excursionised. I've knocked about God's footstool since
I was a boy, and yet it seems to me that I'm only beginning my travels.
I've been----"

And the stranger continued telling of where he had been until the oak
avenue at Mowbray was reached. He talked very freshly and frankly of
every place both in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The account
of his travels was very interesting, though perhaps to the colonel's
servant it was the most entertaining.

"I have taken it for granted that you have no engagement in Cape Town,"
said Colonel Gerald as he turned the horses down the avenue. "We shall
be dining in a short time, and I hope you will join us."

"I don't want to intrude, General," said the man. "But I allow that
I could dine heartily without going much farther. As for having an
appointment in Cape Town--I don't know a single soul in the colony--not
a soul, sir--unless--why, hang it all, who's that standing on the walk
in front of us?--I'm a liar, General; I do know one man in the colony;
there he stands, for if that isn't Oswin Markham I'll eat him with

"It is indeed Markham," said Colonel Gerald. "And you know him?"

"Know him?" the stranger laughed. "Know him?" Then as the wagonette
pulled up beside where Markham was standing in front of the house, the
stranger leapt down, saying, as he clapped Oswin on the shoulder, "The
General asks me if I know you, old boy; answer for me, will you?"

But Oswin Markham was staring blankly from the man to Daireen and her

"You told me you were going to New York," he said at last.

"And so I was when you packed me aboard the _Virginia_ brig so neatly
at Natal, but the _Virginia_ brig put into Simon's Bay and cut her cable
one night, leaving me ashore. It's Providence, Oswin--Providence."

Oswin had allowed his hand to be taken by the man, who was the same that
had spent the night with him in the hotel at Pietermaritzburg. Then he
turned as if from a fit of abstraction, to Daireen and the colonel.

"I beg your pardon a thousand times," he said. "But this meeting with
Mr. Despard has quite startled me."

"Mr. Despard," said the colonel, "I must ever look on as one of my best
friends, though we met to-day for the first time. I owe him a debt that
I can never repay--my daughter's life."

Oswin turned and grasped the hand of the man whom he had called Mr.
Despard, before they entered the house together.

Daireen went in just before Markham; they had not yet exchanged a
sentence, but when her father and Despard had entered one of the rooms,
she turned, saying:

"A month--a month yesterday."

"More," he answered; "it must be more."

The girl laughed low as she went on to her room. But when she found
herself apart from every one, she did not laugh. She had her own
preservation from death to reflect upon, but it occupied her mind less
than the thought that came to her shaping itself into the words, "He has

The man of whom she was thinking was standing pale and silent in a room
where much conversation was floating, for Mr. Harwood had driven out
with Markham from Cape Town, and he had a good deal to say on the Zulu
question, which was beginning to be no question. The Macnamara had also
come to pass the evening with Colonel Gerald, and he was not silent.
Oswin watched Despard and the hereditary monarch speaking together, and
he saw them shake hands. Harwood was in close conversation with Colonel
Gerald, but he was not so utterly absorbed in his subject but that he
could notice how Markham's eyes were fixed upon the stranger. The terms
of a new problem were suggesting themselves to Mr. Harwood.

Then Daireen entered the room, and greeted Mr. Harwood courteously--much
too courteously for his heart's desire. He did not feel so happy as he
should have done, when she laughed pleasantly and reminded him of her
prophecy as to his safe return. He felt as he had done on that morning
when he had said good-bye to her: his time had not yet come. But what
was delaying that hour he yearned for? She was now standing beside
Markham, looking up to his face as she spoke to him. She was not smiling
at him. What could these things mean? Harwood asked himself--Lottie
Vincent's spiteful remark with reference to Daireen at the lunch that
had taken place on the hillside in his absence--Oswin's remark about not
being strong enough to leave the associations of Cape Town--this quiet
meeting without smiles or any of the conventionalities of ordinary
acquaintance--what did all these mean? Mr. Harwood felt that he had at
last got before him the terms of a question the working out of which was
more interesting to him than any other that could be propounded. And
he knew also that this man Despard was an important auxiliary to its
satisfactory solution.

"Dove of Glenmara, let me look upon your sweet face again, and say that
you are not hurt," cried The Macnamara, taking the girl by both her
hands and looking into her face. "Thank God you are left to be the pride
of the old country. We are not here to weep over this new sorrow. What
would life be worth to us if anything had happened to the pulse of our
hearts? Glenmara would be desolate and Slieve Docas would sit in ashes."

The Macnamara pressed his lips to the girl's forehead as a condescending
monarch embraces a favoured subject.

"Bravo, King! you'd make a fortune with that sort of sentiment on the
boards; you would, by heavens!" said Mr. Despard with an unmodulated

The Macnamara seemed to take this testimony as a compliment, for he
smiled, though the remark did not appear to strike any one else as being
imbued with humour. Harwood looked at the man curiously; but Markham was
gazing in another direction without any expression upon his face.

In the course of the evening the Bishop of the Calapash Islands dropped
in. His lordship had taken a house in the neighbourhood for so long as
he would be remaining in the colony; and since he had had that interview
with Mrs. Crawford, his visits to his old friend Colonel Gerald were
numerous and unconventional. He, too, smiled upon Dairecn in his very
pleasantest manner, and after hearing from the colonel--who felt
perhaps that some little explanation of the stranger's presence might
be necessary--of Daireen's accident, the bishop spoke a few words to Mr.
Despard and shook hands with him--an honour which Mr. Despard sustained
without emotion.

In spite of these civilities, however, this evening was unlike any that
the colonel's friends had spent at the cottage. The bishop only remained
for about an hour, and Harwood and Markham soon afterwards took their

"I'll take a seat with you, Oswin, my boy," said Despard. "We'll be at
the same hotel in Cape Town, and we may as well all go together."

And they did all go together.

"Fine fellow, the colonel, isn't he?" remarked Despard, before they had
got well out of the avenue. "I called him general on chance when I
saw him for the first time to-day--you're never astray in beginning at
general and working your way down, with these military nobs. And the
bishop is a fine old boy too--rather too much palm-oil and glycerine
about him, though--too smooth and shiny for my taste. I expect he does
a handsome trade amongst the Salamanders. A smart bishop could make a
fortune there, I know. And then the king--the Irish king as he calls
himself--well, maybe he's the best of the lot."

There did not seem to be anything in Mr. Despard's opening speech
that required an answer. There was a considerable pause before Harwood
remarked quietly: "By the way, Mr. Despard, I think I saw you some time
ago. I have a good recollection for faces."

"Did you?" said Despard. "Where was it? At 'Frisco or Fiji? South
Carolina or South Australia?"

"I am not recalling the possibilities of such faraway memories," said
Harwood. "But if I don't mistake, you were the person in the audience at
Pietermaritzburg who made some remark complimentary to Markham."

The man laughed. "You are right, mister. I only wonder I didn't shout
out something before, for I never was so taken aback as when I saw him
come out as that Prince. A shabby trick it was you played on me the next
morning, Oswin--I say it was infernally shabby. You know what he did,
mister: when I had got to the outside of more than one bottle of Moët,
and so wasn't very clear-headed, he packed me into one of the carts,
drove me to Durban before daylight, and sent me aboard the _Virginia_
brig that I had meant to leave. That wasn't like friendship, was it?"

But upon this delicate question Mr. Harwood did not think it prudent to
deliver an opinion. Markham himself was mute, yet this did not seem to
have a depressing effect upon Mr. Despard. He gave a _résumé_ of
the most important events in the voyage of the _Virginia_ brig, and
described very graphically how he had unfortunately become insensible
to the fact that the vessel was leaving Simon's Bay on the previous
morning; so that when he awoke, the _Virginia_ brig was on her way to
New York city, while he was on a sofa in the hotel surrounded by empty

When Markham was alone with this man in a room at the hotel at Cape
Town, Despard became even more talkative.

"By heavens, Oswin," he said, "you have changed your company a bit since
you were amongst us; generals, bishops, and kings--kings, by Jingo--seem
to be your chums here. Well, don't you think that I don't believe you to
be right. You were never of our sort in Australia--we all felt you to be
above us, and treated you so--making a pigeon of you now and again, but
never looking on ourselves as your equal. By heavens, I think now that I
have got in with these people and seem to get on so well with them, I'll
turn over a new leaf."

"Do you mean to stay here longer than this week?" asked Oswin.

"This week? I'll not leave for another month--another six months, maybe.
I've money, my boy, and--suppose we have something to drink--something
that will sparkle?"

"I don't mean to drink anything," Oswin replied.

"You must have something," Despard insisted. "You must admit that though
the colonel is a glorious old boy, he didn't do the hospitable in the
liquid way. But I'll keep in with the lot of them. I'll go out to see
the colonel and his pretty daughter now and again. Ah, by George, that
pretty daughter seems to have played the mischief with some of the young
fellows about here. 'Sir,' says the king of Ireland to me, 'I fale more
than I can till ye: the swate girl ye saved is to be me sonn's broide.'
This looked well enough for the king, and we got very great friends, as
you saw. But then the bishop comes up to me and, says he, 'Sir, allow me
to shake you by the hand. You do not know how I feel towards that young
lady who owes her life to your bravery.' I looked at him seriously:
'Bishop,' said I, 'I can't encourage this sort of thing. You might be
her father.' Well, my boy, you never saw anything so flustered as that
bishop became; it was more than a minute before he could tell me that it
was his son who had the tender heart about the girl. That bishop didn't
ask me to dine with him; though the king did, and I'm going out to him
to-morrow evening."

"You are going to him?" said Markham.

"To be sure I am. He agreed with me about the colonel's hospitality in
the drink way. 'You'll find it different in my house,' said the king;
and I think you know, Oswin, that the king and me have one point in

"Good-night," said Markham, going to the door. "No, I told you I did not
mean to drink anything."

He left Mr. Despard on the sofa smoking the first of a box of cigars he
had just ordered.

"He's changed--that boy is," said Despard. "He wouldn't have gone out in
that fashion six months ago. But what the deuce has changed him?
that's what I'd like to know. He wants to get me away from here--that's
plain--plain? by George, it's ugly. But here I am settled for a few
months at least if--hang that waiter, is he never going to bring me that
bottle of old Irish?"


Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play
upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart
of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my
compass....'S blood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a
pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you
cannot play upon me.--_Hamlet_.

|OSWIN Markham sat in his own room in the hotel. The window was open,
and through it from the street below came the usual sounds of Cape
Town--terrible Dutch mingling with Malay and dashed with Kafir. It was
not the intensity of a desire to listen to this polyglot mixture that
caused Markham to go upon the balcony and stand looking out to the

He reflected upon what had passed since he had been in this place a
month before. He had gone up to Natal, and in company of Harwood he had
had a brief hunting expedition. He had followed the spoor of the gemsbok
over veldt and through kloof, sleeping in the house of the hospitable
boers when chance offered; but all the time he had been possessed of
one supreme thought--one supreme hope that made his life seem a joyous
thing--he had looked forward to this day--the day when he would have
returned, when he would again be able to look into the face that moved
like a phantom before him wherever he went. And he had returned--for
this--this looking, not into her face, but into the street below him,
while he thought if it would not be better for him to step out beyond
the balcony--out into the blank that would follow his casting of himself

He came to the conclusion that it would not be better to step beyond
the balcony. A thought seemed to strike him as he stood out there. He
returned to his chamber and threw himself on his bed, but he did not
remain passive for long; once more he stepped into the air, and now he
had need to wipe his forehead with his handkerchief.

It was an hour afterwards that he undressed himself; but the bugle at
the barracks had sounded a good many times before he fell asleep.

Mr. Harwood, too, had an hour of reflection when he went to his room;
but his thoughts were hardly of the excitable type of Markham's; they
had, however, a definite result, which caused him to seek out Mr.
Despard in the morning.

Mr. Despard had just finished a light and salutary breakfast consisting
of a glass of French brandy in a bottle of soda-water, and he was
smoking another sample of that box of cigars on the balcony.

"Good-morning to you, mister," he said, nodding as Harwood came, as if
by chance, beside him.

"Ah, how do you do?" said Harwood. "Enjoying your morning smoke, I see.
Well, I hope you are nothing the worse for your plunge yesterday."

"No, sir, nothing; I only hope that Missy out there will be as sound. I
don't think they insisted on her drinking enough afterwards."

"Ah, perhaps not. Your friend Markham has not come down yet, they tell

"He was never given to running ties with the sun," said Mr. Despard.

"He told me you were a particular friend of his in Australia?" continued
Mr. Harwood.

"Yes, men very soon get to be friends out there; but Oswin and myself
were closer than brothers in every row and every lark."

"Of which you had, no doubt, a good many?

"A good few, yes; a few that wouldn't do to be printed specially as
prizes for young ladies' boarding-schools--not but what the young ladies
would read them if they got the chance."

"Few fellows would care to write their autobiographies and go into the
details of their life," said Harwood. "I suppose you got into trouble
now and again?"

"Trouble? Well, yes, when the money ran short, and there was no balance
at the bank; that's real trouble, let me tell you."

"It certainly is; but I mean, did you not sometimes need the friendly
offices of a lawyer after a wild few days?"

"Sir," said Despard, throwing away the end of his cigar, "if your idea
of a wild few days is housebreaking or manslaughter, it wasn't ours, I
can tell you. No, my boy, we never took to bushranging; and though
I've had my turn with Derringer's small cannons when I was at Chokeneck
Gulch, it was only because it was the custom of the country. No, sir;
Oswin, though he seems to have turned against me here, will still have
my good word, for I swear to you he never did anything that made the
place too hot for him, though I don't suppose that if he was in a
competitive examination for a bishopric the true account of his life in
Melbourne would help him greatly."

"There are none of us here who mean to be bishops," laughed Harwood.
"But I understood from a few words Markham let fall that--well, never
mind, he is a right good fellow, as I found when we went up country
together a couple of weeks ago. By the way, do you mean to remain here
long, Mr. Despard?"

"Life is short, mister, and I've learned never to make arrangements very
far in advance. I've about eighty sovereigns with me, and I'll stay here
till they're spent."

"Then your stay will be proportionate to your spending powers."

"In an inverse ratio, as they used to say at school," said Despard.

When Mr. Harwood went into the room he reflected that on the whole
he had not gained much information from Mr. Despard; and Mr. Despard
reflected that on the whole Mr. Harwood had not got much information by
his system of leading questions.

About half an hour afterwards Markham came out upon the balcony, and
gave a little unaccountable start on seeing its sole occupant.

"Hallo, my boy! have you turned up at last?" cried Despard. "Our good
old Calapash friend will tell you that unless you get up with the lark
you'll never do anything in the world. You should have been here a short
time ago to witness the hydraulic experiments."

"The what?" said Markham.

"Hydraulic experiments. The patent pump of the _Dominant Trumpeter_ was
being tested upon me. Experiments failed, not through any incapacity
of the pump, but through the contents of the reservoir worked upon not
running free enough in the right direction."

"Was Mr. Harwood here?"

"He was, my boy. And he wanted to know all about how we lived in

"And you told him----"

"To get up a little earlier in the morning when he wants to try his
pumping apparatus. But what made you give that start? Don't you know
that all I could tell would be some of our old larks, and he wouldn't
have thought anything the worse of you on account of them? Hang it
all, you don't mean to say you're going into holy orders, that you mind
having any of the old times brought back? If you do, I'm afraid that
it will be awkward for you if I talk in my ordinary way. I won't bind
myself not to tell as many of our larks as chime in with the general
conversation. I only object on principle to be pumped."

"Talk away," said Oswin spasmodically. "Tell of all our larks. How could
I be affected by anything you may tell of them?"

"Bravo! That's what I say. Larks are larks. There was no manslaughter
nor murder. No, there was no murder."

"No, there was no murder," said Markham.

The other burst into a laugh that startled a Malay in the street below.

"By heavens, from the way you said that one would fancy there had been a
murder," he cried.

Then there was a long pause, which was broken by Markham.

"You still intend to go out to dine with that man you met yesterday?" he

"Don't call him a man, Oswin; you wouldn't call a bishop a man, and why
call a king one. Yes, I have ordered a horse that is said to know the
way across those Flats without a pocket compass."

"Where did you say the house was?"

"It's near a place called Rondebosch. I remember the locality well,
though it's ten years since I was there. The shortest way back is
through a pine-wood at the far end of The Flats--you know that place, of

"I know The Flats. And you mean to come through the pine-wood?"

"I do mean it. It's a nasty place to ride through, but the horse always
goes right in a case like that, and I'll give him his head."

"Take care that you have your own at that time," said Markham. "The
house of the Irishman is not like Colonel Gerald's."

"I hope not, for a more thirsty evening I never spent than at your
friend's cottage. The good society hardly made up for the want of drink.
It put me in mind of the story of the man that found the pearls when he
was starving in the desert. What are bishops and kings to a fellow if he
is thirsty?"

"You will leave the house to return here between eleven and twelve, I
suppose?" said Oswin.

"Well, I should say that about eleven will see me on my way."

"And you will go through the pine-wood?"

"I will, my boy, and across The Flats until I pass the little
river--it's there still, I suppose. And now suppose I buy you a drink?"

But Oswin Markham declined to be the object of such a purchase. He went
back to his own room, and threw himself on his bed, where he remained
for more than an hour. Then he rose and wiped his forehead.

He pulled down some books that he had bought, and tried to read bits of
one or two. He sat diligently down as if he meant to go through a day's
reading, but he did not appear to be in the mood for applying himself to
anything. He threw the books aside and turned over some newspapers; but
these did not seem to engross him any more than the books had done. He
lay back in his chair, and after a while his restlessness subsided: he
had fallen asleep.

It was the afternoon before he awoke with a sudden start. He heard the
sound of voices in the street below his window. He went forward, and,
looking out, was just in time to see Harry Despard mounting his horse at
the hotel door.

"I will be back about midnight," he said to the porter of the hotel, and
then he trotted off.

Markham heard the sound of the horse's hoofs die away on the street, and
he repeated the man's words: "About midnight."


```To desperation turn my trust and hope.=

````What if this cursed hand

```Were thicker than itself with brother's blood,

```Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens

```To wash it white as snow?=

````I'll have prepared him

```A chalice for the nonce whereon but sipping

`````... he...

````Chaunted snatches of old tunes,

```As one incapable.=

```The drink--the drink--... the foul practice

```Hath turned itself on me; lo, here I lie...

```I can no more: the King--the King's to blame.--_Hamlet_.=

|OSWIN Markham dined at the hotel late in the evening, and when he was
in the act Harwood came into the room dressed for a dinner-party at
Greenpoint to which he had been invited.

"Your friend Mr. Despard is not here?" said Harwood, looking around
the room. "I wanted to see him for a moment to give him a few words of
advice that may be useful to him. I wish to goodness you would speak to
him, Markham; he has been swaggering about in a senseless way, talking
of having his pockets full of sovereigns, and in the hearing of every
stranger that comes into the hotel. In the bar a few hours ago he
repeated his boast to the Malay who brought him his horse. Now, for
Heaven's sake, tell him that unless he wishes particularly to have a
bullet in his head or a khris in his body some of these nights, he had
better hold his tongue about his wealth--that is what I meant to say to

"And you are right," cried Oswin, starting up suddenly. "He has been
talking in the hearing of men who would do anything for the sake of a
few sovereigns. What more likely than that some of them should follow
him and knock him down? That will be his end, Harwood."

"It need not be," replied Harwood. "If you caution him, he will most
likely regard what you say to him."

"I will caution him--if I see him again," said Markham; then Harwood
left the room, and Markham sat down again, but he did not continue
his dinner. He sat there staring at his plate. "What more likely?" he
muttered. "What more likely than that he should be followed and murdered
by some of these men? If his body should be found with his pockets
empty, no one could doubt it."

He sat there for a considerable time--until the streets had become
dark; then he rose and went up to his own room for a while, and finally
he put on his hat and left the hotel.

He looked at his watch as he walked to the railway station, and saw that
he would be just in time to catch a train leaving for Wynberg. He took
a ticket for the station on the Cape Town side of Mowbray, where he got

He walked from the station to the road and again looked at his watch:
it was not yet nine o'clock; and then he strolled aside upon a little
foot-track that led up the lower slopes of the Peak above Mowbray. The
night was silent and moonless. Upon the road only at intervals came the
rumbling of bullock wagons and the shouts of the Kafir drivers. The hill
above him was sombre and untouched by any glance of light, and no breeze
stirred up the scents of the heath. He walked on in the silence until he
had come to the ravine of silver firs. He passed along the track at the
edge and was soon at the spot where he had sat at the feet of Daireen a
month before. He threw himself down on the short coarse grass just as
he had done then, and every moment of the hour they had passed together
came back to him. Every word that had been spoken, every thought that
had expressed itself upon that lovely face which the delicate sunset
light had touched--all returned to him.

What had he said to her? That the past life he had lived was blotted out
from his mind? Yes, he had tried to make himself believe that; but now
how Fate had mocked him! He had been bitterly forced to acknowledge
that the past was a part of the present. His week so full of bitterest
suffering had not formed a dividing line between the two lives he
fancied might be his.

"Is this the justice of God?" he cried out now to the stars, clasping
his hands in agony above his head. "It is unjust. My life would have
been pure and good now, if I had been granted my right of forgetfulness.
But I have been made the plaything of God." He stood with his hands
clasped on his head for long. Then he gave a laugh. "Bah!" he said; "man
is master of his fate. I shall do myself the justice that God has denied

He came down from that solemn mount, and crossed he road at a nearer
point than the Mowbray avenue.

He soon found himself by the brink of that little river which flowed
past Rondebosch and Mowbray. He got beneath the trees that bordered its
banks, and stood for a long time in the dead silence of the night. The
mighty dog-lilies were like pictures beneath him; and only now and again
came some of those mysterious sounds of night--the rustling of certain
leaves when all the remainder were motionless, the winnowing of the
wings of some night creature whose form remained invisible, the sudden
stirring of ripples upon the river without a cause being apparent--the
man standing there heard all, and all appeared mysterious to him. He
wondered how he could have so often been by night in places like this,
without noticing how mysterious the silence was--how mysterious the
strange sounds.

He walked along by the bank of the slow river, until he was just
opposite Mowbray. A little bridge with rustic rails was, he knew, at
hand, by which he would cross the stream--for he must cross it. But
before he had reached it, he heard a sound. He paused. Could it be
possible that it was the sound of a horse's hoofs? There he waited until
something white passed from under the trees and reached the bridge,
standing between him and the other side of the river--something that
barred his way. He leant against the tree nearest to him, for he seemed
to be falling to the ground, and then through the stillness of the night
the voice of Daireen came singing a snatch of song--his song. She was on
the little bridge and leaning upon the rail. In a few moments she stood
upright, and listlessly walked under the trees where he was standing,
though she could not see him.

"Daireen," he said gently, so that she might not be startled; and she
was not startled, she only walked backwards a few steps until she was
again at the bridge.

"Did any one speak?" she said almost in a whisper. And then he stood
before her while she laughed with happiness.

"Why do you stand there?" he said in a tone of wonder. "What was it sent
you to stand there between me and the other side of that river?"

"I said to papa that I would wait for him here. He went to see Major
Crawford part of the way to the house where the Crawfords are staying;
but what can be keeping him from returning I don't know. I promised not
to go farther than the avenue, and I have just been here a minute."

He looked at her standing there before him. "Oh God! oh God!" he said,
as he reflected upon what his own thoughts had been a moment before.
"Daireen, you are an angel of God--that angel which stood between the
living and the dead. Stay near me. Oh, child! what do I not owe to you?
my life--the peace of my soul for ever and ever. And yet--must we speak
no word of love together, Daireen?"

"Not one--here," she said. "Not one--only--ah, my love, my love, why
should we speak of it? It is all my life--I breathe it--I think it--it
is myself."

He looked at her and laughed. "This moment is ours," he said with
tremulous passion. "God cannot pluck it from us. It is an immortal
moment, if our souls are immortal. Child, can God take you away from
me before I have kissed you on the mouth?" He held her face between his
hands and kissed her. "Darling, I have taken your white soul into mine,"
he said.

Then they stood apart on that bridge.

"And now," she said, "you must never frighten me with your strange words
again. I do not know what you mean sometimes, but then that is because
I don't know very much. I feel that you are good and true, and I have
trusted you."

"I will be true to you," he said gently. "I will die loving you better
than any hope man has of heaven. Daireen, never dream, whatever may
happen, that I shall not love you while my soul lives."

"I will believe you," she said; and then voices were heard coming down
the lane of aloes at the other side of the river--voices and the sound
of a horse's hoofs. Colonel Gerald and Major Crawford were coming along
leading a horse, across whose saddle lay a black mass. Oswin Markham
gave a start. Then Daireen's father hastened forward to where she was

"Child," he said quickly, "go back--go back to the house. I will come to
you in a few minutes."

"What is the matter, papa?" she asked. "No one is hurt?--Major Crawford
is not hurt?"

"No, no, he is here; but go, Daireen--go at once."

She turned and went up the avenue without a word. But she saw that Oswin
was not looking at her--that he was grasping the rail of the bridge
while he gazed to where the horse with its burden stood a few yards away
among the aloes.

"I am glad you chance to be here, Markham," said Colonel Gerald
hurriedly. "Something has happened--that man Despard----"

"Not dead--not murdered!" gasped Oswin, clutching the rail with both

"Murdered? no; how could he be murdered? he must have fallen from his
horse among the trees."

"And he is dead--he is dead?"

"Calm yourself, Markham," said the colonel; "he is not dead."

"Not in that sense, my boy," laughed Major Crawford. "By gad, if we
could leave the brute up to the neck in the river here for a few hours I
fancy he would be treated properly. Hold him steady, Markham."

Oswin put his hand mechanically to the feet of the man who was lying
helplessly across the saddle.

"Not dead, not dead," he whispered.

"Only dead drunk, unless his skull is fractured, my boy," laughed the
major. "We'll take him to the stables, of course, George?"

"No, no, to the house," said Colonel Gerald.

"Run on and get the key of the stables, George," said the major
authoritatively. "Don't you suppose in any way that your house is to be
turned into an hospital for dipsomaniacs. Think of the child."

Colonel Gerald made a little pause, and then hastened forward to awaken
the groom to get the key of the stables, which were some distance from
the cottage.

"By gad, Markham, I'd like to spill the brute into that pond," whispered
the major to Oswin, as they waited for the colonel's return.

"How did you find him? Did you see any accident?" asked Oswin.

"We met the horse trotting quietly along the avenue without a rider,
and when we went on among the trees we found the fellow lying helpless.
George said he was killed, but I knew better. Irish whisky, my boy, was
what brought him down, and you will find that I am right."

They let the man slide from the saddle upon a heap of straw when the
stable door was opened by the half-dressed groom.

"Not dead, Jack?" said Colonel Gerald as a lantern was held to the man's
face. Only the major was looking at the man; Markham could not trust
himself even to glance towards him.

"Dead?" said the major. "Why, since we have laid him down I have heard
him frame three distinct oaths. Have you a bucket of water handy, my
good man? No, it needn't be particularly clean. Ah, that will do. Now,
if you don't hear a choice selection of colonial blasphemy, he's dead
and, by gad, sir, so am I."

The major's extensive experience of the treatment of colonial complaints
had, as the result proved, led him to form a correct if somewhat hasty
diagnosis of the present case. Not more than a gallon of the water had
been thrown upon the man before he recovered sufficient consciousness
to allow of his expressing himself with freedom on the subject of his

"I told you so," chuckled the major. "Fill the bucket again, my man."

Colonel Gerald could only laugh now that his fears had been dispelled.
He hastened to the house to tell Daireen that there was no cause for

By the time the second bucketful had been applied, in pursuance of the
major's artless system of resuscitation, Despard was sitting up talking
of the oppressions under which a certain nation was groaning. He was
sympathetic and humorous in turn; weeping after particular broken
sentences, and chuckling with laughter after other parts of his speech.

"The Irish eloquence and the Irish whisky have run neck and neck for the
fellow's soul," said the major. "If we hadn't picked him up he would
be in a different state now. Are you going back to Cape Town to-night,

"I am," said Oswin.

"That's lucky. You mustn't let George have his way in this matter. This
brute would stay in the cottage up there for a month."

"He must not do that," cried Markham eagerly.

"No, my boy; so you will drive with him in the Cape cart to the hotel.
He will give you no trouble if you lay him across the floor and keep
your feet well down upon his chest. Put one of the horses in, my man,"
continued the major, turning to the groom. "You will drive in with Mr.
Markham, and bring the cart back."

Before Colonel Gerald had returned from the house a horse was harnessed
to the Cape cart, Despard had been lifted up and placed in an easy
attitude against one of the seats. And only a feeble protest was offered
by the colonel.

"My dear Markham," he said, "it was very lucky you were passing where my
daughter saw you. You know this man Despard--how could I have him in my

"In your house!" cried Markham. "Thank God I was here to prevent that."

The Cape cart was already upon the avenue and the lamps were lighted.
But a little qualm seemed to come to the colonel.

"Are you sure he is not injured--that he has quite recovered from any
possible effects?" he said.

Then came the husky voice of the man.

"Go'night, king, go'night. I'm alright--horse know's way. We're
tram'led on, king--'pressed people--but wormil turn--wormil turn--never
mind--Go save Ireland--green flag litters o'er us--tread th' land that
bore us--go'night."

The cart was in motion before the man's words had ceased.


````Look you lay home to him:

```Tell him his pranks have been too broad to bear with.=

```What to ourselves in passion we propose,

```The passion ending, doth the purpose lose.=

````I must leave thee, love...

```And thou shalt live in this fair world behind,

```Honour'd, belov'd, and haply one as kind

```For husband shalt thou--=

```Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife.--_Hamlet_.=

|OSWIN Markham lay awake nearly all that night after he had reached the
hotel. His thoughts were not of that even nature whose proper sequence
is sleep. He thought of all that had passed since he had left the
room he was lying in now. What had been on his mind on leaving this
room--what had his determination been?

"For her," he said; "for her. It would have been for her. God keep
me--God pity me!"

The morning came with the sound of marching soldiers in the street
below; with the cry of bullock-wagon-drivers and the rattle of the rude
carts; with the morning and the sounds of life--the breaking of the
deadly silence of the night--sleep came to the man.

It was almost midday before he awoke, and for some time after opening
his eyes he was powerless to recollect anything that had happened during
the night; his awakening now was as his return to consciousness on board
the _Cardwell Castle_,--a great blank seemed to have taken place in his
life--the time of unconsciousness was a gulf that all his efforts of
memory could not at first bridge.

He looked around the room, and his first consciousness was the
recollection of what his thoughts of the previous evening had been when
he had slept in the chair before the window and had awakened to see
Despard ride away. He failed at once to remember anything of the
interval of night; only with that one recollection burning on his brain
he looked at his right hand.

In a short time he remembered everything. He knew that Despard was in
the hotel. He dressed himself and went downstairs, and found Harwood in
the coffee-room, reading sundry documents with as anxious an expression
of countenance as a special correspondent ever allows himself to assume.

"What is the news?" Markham asked, feeling certain that something
unusual had either taken place or was seen by the prophetical vision of
Harwood to be looming in the future.

"War," said Harwood, looking up. "War, Markham. I should never have left
Natal. They have been working up to the point for the last few months,
as I saw; but now there is no hope for a peaceful settlement."

"The Zulu chief is not likely to come to terms now?" said Markham.

"Impossible," replied the other. "Quite impossible. In a few days there
will, no doubt, be a call for volunteers."

"For volunteers?" Markham repeated. "You will go up country at once, I
suppose?" he added.

"Not quite as a volunteer, but as soon as I receive my letters by the
mail that arrives in a few days, I shall be off to Durban, at any rate."

"And you will be glad of it, no doubt. You told me you liked doing

"Did I?" said Harwood; and after a little pause he added slowly: "It's
a tiring life this I have been leading for the past fifteen years,
Markham. I seem to have cut myself off from the sympathies of life. I
seem to have been only a looker-on in the great struggles--the great
pleasures--of life. I am supposed to have no more sympathies than
Babbage's calculator that records certain facts without emotion, and
I fancied I had schooled myself into this cold apathy in looking at
things; but I don't think I have succeeded in cutting myself off from
all sympathies. No, I shall not be glad of this war. Never mind. By the
way, are you going out to Dr. Glaston's to-night?"

"I have got a card for his dinner, but I cannot tell what I may do. I am
not feeling myself, just now."

"You certainly don't look yourself, Markham. You are haggard, and
as pale as if you had not got any sleep for nights. You want the
constitution of your friend Mr. Despard, who is breakfasting in the

"What, is it possible he is out of his room?" cried Markham, in

"Why, he was waiting here an hour ago when I came down, and in the
meantime he had been buying a suit of garments, he said, that gallant
check of his having come to grief through the night."

Harwood spoke the words at the door and then he left the room.

Oswin was not for long left in solitary occupation, however, for in
a few moments the door was flung open, and Despard entered with a
half-empty tumbler in his hand. He came forward with a little chuckling
laugh and stood in front of Oswin without speaking. He looked with his
blood-shot eyes into Oswin's cold pale face, and then burst into a laugh
so hearty that he was compelled to leave the tumbler upon the table,
not having sufficient confidence in his ability to grasp it under the
influence of his excitement. Then he tapped Markham on the shoulder,

"Well, old boy, have you got over that lark of last night? Like the old
times, wasn't it? You did the fatherly by me, I believe, though hang
me if I remember what happened after I had drunk the last glass of old
Irish with our friend the king. How the deuce did I get in with the
teetotal colonel who, the boots has been telling me, lent me his cart?
That's what I should like to know. And where were you, my boy, all the

"Despard," said Markham, "I have borne with your brutal insults long
enough. I will not bear them any longer. When you have so disgraced both
yourself and me as you did last night, it is time to bring matters to a
climax. I cannot submit to have you thrust yourself upon my friends as
you have done. You behaved like a brute."

Despard seated himself and wiped his eyes. "I did behave like a brute,"
he said. "I always do, I know--and you know too, Oswin. Never mind. Tell
me what you want--what am I to do?"

"You must leave the colony," said Oswin quickly, almost eagerly. "I
will give you money, and a ticket to England to-day. You must leave this
place at once."

"And so I will--so I will," said the man from behind his handkerchief.
"Yes, yes, Oswin, I'll leave the colony--I will--when I become a
teetotaller." He took down his handkerchief, and put it into his pocket
with a hoarse laugh. "Come, my boy," he said in his usual voice, "come;
we've had quite enough of that sort of bullying. Don't think you're
talking to a boy, Master Oswin. Who looks on a man as anything the worse
for getting drunk now and again? You don't; you can't afford to. How
often have I not helped you as you helped me? Tell me that."

"In the past--the accursed past," said Oswin, "I may have made myself a
fool--yes, I did, but God knows that I have suffered for it. Now all is
changed. I was willing to tolerate you near me since we met this time,
hoping that you would think fit, when you were in a new place and
amongst new people, to change your way of life. But last night showed
me that I was mistaken. You can never be received at Colonel Gerald's

"Indeed?" said the man. "You should break the news gently to a fellow.
You might have thrown me into a fit by coming down like that. Hark you
here, Mr. Markham. I know jolly well that I will be received there and
welcomed too. I'll be received everywhere as well as you, and hang me,
if I don't go everywhere. These people are my friends as well as yours.
I've done more for them than ever you did, and they know that."

"Fool, fool!" said Oswin bitterly.

"We'll see who's the fool, my boy. I know my advantage, don't you be
afraid. The Irish king has a son, hasn't he? well, I was welcome with
him last night. The Lord Bishop of Calapash has another blooming male
offspring, and though he hasn't given me an invite to his dinner this
evening, yet, hang me, if he wouldn't hug me if I went with the rest of
you swells. Hang me, if I don't try it at any rate--it will be a lark at
least. Dine with a bishop--by heaven, sir, it would be a joke--I'll go,
oh, Lord, Lord!" Oswin stood motionless looking at him. "Yes," continued
Despard, "I'll have a jolly hour with his lordship the bishop. I'll
fill up my glass as I did last night, and we'll drink the same toast
together--we'll drink to the health of the Snowdrop of Glenmara, as the
king called her when he was very drunk; we'll drink to the fair Daireen.
Hallo, keep your hands off!--Curse you, you're choking me! There!"
Oswin, before the girl's name had more than passed the man's lips, had
sprung forward and clutched him by the throat; only by a violent effort
was he cast off, and now both men stood trembling with passion face to

"What the deuce do you mean by this sort of treatment?" cried Despard.

"Despard," said Oswin slowly, "you know me a little, I think. I tell you
if you ever speak that name again in my presence you will repent it. You
know me from past experience, and I have not utterly changed."

The man looked at him with an expression that amounted to wonderment
upon his face. Then he threw himself back in his chair, and an
uncontrollable fit of laughter seized him. He lay back and almost yelled
with his insane laughter. When he had recovered himself and had wiped
the tears from his eyes, he saw Oswin was gone. And this fact threw him
into another convulsive fit. It was a long time before he was able to
straighten his collar and go to the bar for a glass of French brandy.

The last half-hour had made Oswin Markham very pale. He had eaten no
breakfast, and he was reminded of this by the servant to whom he had
given directions to have his horse brought to the door.

"No," he said, "I have not eaten anything. Get the horse brought round
quickly, like a good fellow."

He stood erect in the doorway until he heard the sound of hoofs. Then
he went down the steps and mounted, turning his horse's head towards
Wynberg. He galloped along the red road at the base of the hill, and
only once he looked up, saying, "For the last time--the last."

He reached the avenue at Mowbray and dismounted, throwing the bridle
over his arm as he walked slowly between the rows of giant aloes. In
another moment he came in sight of the Dutch cottage. He paused under
one of the Australian oaks, and looked towards the house. "Oh, God, God,
pity me!" he cried in agony so intense that it could not relieve itself
by any movement or the least motion.

He threw the bridle over a low branch and walked up to the house. His
step was heard. She stood before him in the hall--white and flushed in
turn as he went towards her. He was not flushed; he was still deadly
white. He had startled her, he knew, for the hand she gave him was
trembling like a dove's bosom.

"Papa is gone part of the way back to Simon's Town with the commodore
who was with us this morning," she said. "But you will come in and wait,
will you not?"

"I cannot," he said. "I cannot trust myself to go in--even to look at
you, Daireen."

"Oh, God!" she said, "you are ill--your face--your voice----"

"I am not ill, Daireen. I have an hour of strength--such strength as is
given to men when they look at Death in the face and are not moved at
all. I kissed you last night----"

"And you will now," she said, clasping his arm tenderly. "Dearest, do
not speak so terribly--do not look so terrible--so like--ah, that night
when you looked up to me from the water."

"Daireen, why did I do that? Why did you pluck me from that death to
give me this agony of life--to give yourself all the bitterness that can
come to any soul? Daireen, I kissed you only once, and I can never kiss
you again. I cannot be false to you any longer after having touched
your pure spirit. I have been false to you--false, not by my will--but
because to me God denied what He gave to others--others to whom His gift
was an agony--that divine power to begin life anew. My past still clings
to me, Daireen--it is not past--it is about and around me still--it is
the gulf that separates us, Daireen."

"Separates us?" she said blankly, looking at him.

"Separates us," he repeated, "as heaven and hell are separated. We have
been the toys--the playthings, of Fate. If you had not looked out of
your cabin that night, we should both be happy now. And then how was
it we came to love each other and to know it to be love? I struggled
against it, but I was as a feather upon the wind. Ah, God has given us
this agony of love, for I am here to look on you for the last time--to
beseech of you to hate me, and to go away knowing that you love me."

"No, no, not to go away--anything but that. Tell me all--I can forgive

"I cannot bring my lips to frame my curse," he said after a little
pause. "But you shall hear it, and, Daireen, pity me as you pitied me
when I looked to God for hope and found none. Child--give me your eyes
for the last time."

She held him clasped with her white hands, and he saw that her passion
made her incapable of understanding his words. She looked up to him
whispering, "The last time--no, no--not the last time--not the last."

She was in his arms. He looked down upon her face, but he did not kiss
it. He clenched his teeth as he unwound her arms from him.

"One word may undo the curse that I have bound about your life,"
he said. "Take the word, Daireen--the blessed word for you and
me--_Forget_. Take it--it is my last blessing."

She was standing before him. She saw his face there, and she gave a
cry, covering her own face with her hands, for the face she saw was that
which had looked up to her from the black waters.

Was he gone?

From the river bank came the sounds of the native women, from the
garden the hum of insects, and from the road the echo of a horse's hoofs
passing gradually away.

Was it a dream--not only this scene of broad motionless leaves, and
these sounds she heard, but all the past months of her life?

Hours went by leaving her motionless in that seat, and then came the
sound of a horse--she sprang up. He was returning--it was a dream that
had given her this agony of parting.

"Daireen, child, what is the matter?" asked her father, whose horse it
was she had heard.

She looked up to his face.

"Papa," she said very gently, "it is over--all--all over--for ever--I
have only you now."

"My dear little Dolly, tell me all that troubles you."

"Nothing troubles me now, papa. I have you near me, and I do not mind
anything else."

"Tell me all, Daireen."

"I thought I loved some one else, papa--Oswin--Oswin Markham. But he is
gone now, and I know you are with me. You will always be with me."

"My poor little Dolly," said Colonel Gerald, "did he tell you that he
loved you?"

"He did, papa; but you must ask me no more. I shall never see him

"Perfectly charming!" said Mrs. Crawford, standing at the door. "The
prettiest picture I have seen for a long time--father and daughter in
each other's arms. But, my dear George, are you not yet dressed for the
bishop's dinner? Daireen, my child, did you not say you would be ready
when I would call for you? I am quite disappointed, and I would be angry
only you look perfectly lovely this evening--like a beautiful lily. The
dear bishop will be so charmed, for you are one of his favourites. Now
do make haste, and I entreat of you to be particular with your shades of


````... A list of... resolutes

```For food and diet, to some enterprise

```That hath a stomach in't.=

```My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.=

```Why, let the stricken deer go weep,

````The hart ungalléd play;

```For some must watch, while some must sleep;

````Thus runs the world away.--_Hamlet_.=

|THE Bishop of the Calapash Islands and Metropolitan of the Salamander
Archipelago was smiling very tranquilly upon his guests as they arrived
at his house, which was about two miles from Mowbray. But the son of the
bishop was not smiling--he, in fact, seldom smiled; there was a certain
breadth of expression associated with such a manifestation of feeling
that was inconsistent with his ideas of subtlety of suggestion. He was
now endeavouring to place his father's guests at ease by looking only
slightly bored by their presence, giving them to understand that he
would endure them around him for his father's sake, so that there should
be no need for them to be at all anxious on his account. A dinnerparty
in a colony was hardly that sort of social demonstration which Mr.
Glaston would be inclined to look forward to with any intensity of
feeling; but the bishop, having a number of friends at the Cape,
including a lady who was capable of imparting some very excellent advice
on many social matters, had felt it to be a necessity to give this
little dinnerparty, and his son had only offered such a protest against
it as satisfied his own conscience and prevented the possibility of his
being consumed for days after with a gnawing remorse.

The bishop had his own ideas of entertaining his guests--a matter which
his son brought under his consideration after the invitations had been

"There is not such a thing as a rising tenor in the colony, I am sure,"
said Mr. Glaston, whose experience of perfect social entertainment was
limited to that afforded by London drawing-rooms. "If we had a rising
tenor, there would be no difficulty about these people."

"Ah, no, I suppose not," said the bishop. "But I was thinking, Algernon,
that if you would allow your pictures to be hung for the evening, and
explain them, you know, it would be interesting."

"What, by lamplight? They are not drop-scenes of a theatre, let me
remind you."

"No, no; but you see your theories of explanation would be understood
by our good friends as well by lamplight as by daylight, and I am sure
every one would be greatly interested." Mr. Glaston promised his father
to think over the matter, and his father expressed his gratitude for
this concession. "And as for myself," continued the bishop, giving his
hands the least little rub together, "I would suggest reading a
few notes on a most important subject, to which I have devoted some
attention lately. My notes I would propose heading 'Observations on
Phenomena of Automatic Cerebration amongst some of the Cannibal Tribes
of the Salamander Archipelago.' I have some excellent specimens of
skulls illustrative of the subject."

Mr. Glaston looked at his father for a considerable time without
speaking; at last he said quietly, "I think I had better show my

"And my paper--my notes?"

"Impossible," said the young man, rising. "Utterly Impossible;" and he
left the room.

The bishop felt slightly hurt by his son's manner. He had treasured up
his notes on the important observations he had made in an interesting
part of his diocese, and he had looked forward with anxiety to a moment
when he could reveal the result of his labours to the world, and yet his
son had, when the opportunity presented itself, declared the revelation
impossible. The bishop felt slightly hurt.

Now, however, he had got over his grievance, and he was able to smile as
usual upon each of his guests.

The dinner-party was small and select. There were two judges present,
one of whom brought his wife and a daughter. Then there were two members
of the Legislative Council, one with a son, the other with a daughter;
a clergyman who had attained to the dizzy ecclesiastical eminence of
a colonial deanery, and his partner in the dignity of his office. The
Macnamara and Standish were there, and Mr. Harwood, together with the
Army Boot Commissioner and Mrs. Crawford, the last of whom arrived with
Colonel Gerald and Daireen.

Mrs. Crawford had been right. The bishop was charmed with Daireen, and
so expressed himself while he took her hand in his and gave her the
benediction of a smile. Poor Standish, seeing her so lovely as she was
standing there, felt his soul full of love and devotion. What was all
the rest of the world compared with her, he thought; the aggregate
beauty of the universe, including the loveliness of the Miss Van der
Veldt who was in the drawing-room, was insignificant by the side of a
single curl of Daireen's wonderful hair. Mr. Harwood looked towards
her also, but his thoughts were somewhat more complicated than those of

"Is not Daireen perfection?" whispered Mrs. Crawford to Algernon

The bishop's son glanced at the girl critically.

"I cannot understand that band of black velvet with a pearl in front of
it," he said. "I feel it to be a mistake--yes, it is an error for which
I am sorry; I begin to fear it was designed only as a bold contrast. It
is sad--very sad."

Mrs. Crawford was chilled. She had never seen Daireen look so lovely.
She felt for more than a moment that she was all unmeet for a wife, so
child-like she seemed. And now the terrible thought suggested itself to
Mrs. Crawford: what if Mr. Glaston's opinion was, after all, fallible?
might it be possible that his judgment could be in error? The very
suggestion of such a thought sent a cold thrill of fear through her. No,
no: she would not admit such a possibility.

The dinner was proceeded with, after the fashion of most dinners, in a
highly satisfactory manner. The guests were arranged with discrimination
in accordance with a programme of Mrs. Crawford's, and the conversation
was unlimited.

Much to the dissatisfaction of The Macnamara the men went to the
drawing-room before they had remained more than ten minutes over their
claret. One of the young ladies of the colony had been induced to sing
with the judge's son a certain duet called "La ci darem la mano;" and
this was felt to be extremely agreeable by every one except the bishop's
son. The bishop thanked the young lady very much, and then resumed his
explanation to a group of his guests of the uses of some implements
of war and agriculture brought from the tribes of the Salamander

Three of the pictures of Mr. Glaston's collection were hung in the room,
the most important being that marvellous Aholibah: it was placed upon a
small easel at the farthest end of the room, a lamp being at each side.
A group had gathered round the picture, and Mr. Glaston with the utmost
goodnature repeated the story of its creation. Daireen had glanced
towards the picture, and again that little shudder came over her.

She was sitting in the centre of the room upon an ottoman beside Mrs.
Crawford and Mr. Harwood. Standish was in a group at the lower end,
while his father was demonstrating how infinitely superior were the
weapons found in the bogs of Ireland to the Salamander specimens. The
bishop moved gently over to Daireen and explained to her the pleasure
it would be giving every one in the room if she would consent to sing

At once Daireen rose and went to the piano. A song came to her lips as
she laid her hand upon the keys of the instrument, and her pure earnest
voice sang the words that came back to her:--=

```From my life the light has waned:

````Every golden gleam that shone

````Through the dimness now has gone:

```Of all joys has one remained?

````Stays one gladness I have known?

```Day is past; I stand, alone,

```Here beneath these darkened skies,

```Asking--"Doth a star arise?"=

She ended with a passion that touched every one who heard her, and then
there was a silence for some moments, before the door of the room was
pushed open to the wall, and a voice said, "Bravo, my dear, bravo!" in
no weak tones.

All eyes turned towards the door. Mr. Despard entered, wearing an
ill-made dress-suit, with an enormous display of shirt-front, big studs,
and a large rose in his button-hole.

"I stayed outside till the song was over," he said. "Bless your souls,
I've got a feeling for music, and hang me if I've heard anything that
could lick that tune." Then he nodded confidentially to the bishop.
"What do you say, Bishop? What do you say, King? am I right or wrong?
Why, we're all here--all of our set--the colonel too--how are you,
Colonel?--and the editor--how we all do manage to meet somehow! Birds of
a feather--you know. Make yourselves at home, don't mind me."

He walked slowly up the room smiling rather more broadly than the bishop
was in the habit of doing, on all sides. He did not stop until he was
opposite the picture of Aholibah on the easel. Here he did stop. He
seemed to be even more appreciative of pictorial art than of musical. He
bent forward, gazing into that picture, regardless of the embarrassing
silence there was in the room while every one looked towards him. He
could not see how all eyes were turned upon him, so absorbed had he
become before that picture.

The bishop was now certainly not smiling. He walked slowly to the man's

"Sir," said the bishop, "you have chosen an inopportune time for a
visit. I must beg of you to retire."

Then the man seemed to be recalled to consciousness. He glanced up from
the picture and looked into the bishop's face. He pointed with one hand
to the picture, and then threw himself back in a chair with a roar of

"By heavens, this is a bigger surprise than seeing Oswin himself," he
cried. "Where is Oswin?--not here?--he should be here--he must see it."

It was Harwood's voice that said, "What do you mean?"

"Mean, Mr. Editor?" said Despard. "Mean? Haven't I told you what I mean?
By heavens, I forgot that I was at the Cape--I thought I was still
in Melbourne! Good, by Jingo, and all through looking at that bit of

"Explain yourself, sir?" said Harwood.

"Explain?" said the man. "That there explains itself. Look at that
picture. The woman in that picture is Oswin Markham's wife, the Italian
he brought to Australia, where he left her. That's plain enough. A
deucedly fine woman she is, though they never did get on together.
Hallo! What's the matter with Missy there? My God! she's going to

But Daireen Gerald did not faint. Her father had his arm about her.

"Papa," she whispered faintly,--"Papa, take me home."

"My darling," said Colonel Gerald. "Do not look like that. For God's
sake, Daireen, don't look like that." They were standing outside waiting
for the carriage to come up; for Daireen had walked from the room
without faltering.

"Do not mind me," she said. "I am strong--yes--very--very strong."

He lifted her into the carriage, and was at the point of entering
himself, when the figure of Mrs. Crawford appeared among the palm

"Good heavens, George! what is the meaning of this?" she said in a

"Go back!" cried Colonel Gerald sternly. "Go back! This is some more of
your work. You shall never see my child again!"

He stepped into the carriage. The major's wife was left standing in the
porch thunderstruck at such a reproach coming from the colonel. Was this
the reward of her labour--to stand among the palms, listening to the
passing away of the carriage wheels?

It was not until the Dutch cottage had been reached that Daireen, in the
darkness of the room, laid her head upon her father's shoulder.

"Papa," she whispered again, "take me home--let us go home together."

"My darling, you are at home now."

"No, papa, I don't mean that; I mean home--I home--Glenmara."

"I will, Daireen: we shall go away from here. We shall be happy together
in the old house."

"Yes," she said. "Happy--happy."

"What do you mean, sir?" said the _maître d'hôtel_, referring to a
question put to him by Despard, who had been brought away from the
bishop's house by Harwood in a diplomatically friendly manner. "What do
you mean? Didn't Mr. Markham tell you he was going?"

"Going--where?" said Harwood.

"To Natal, sir? I felt sure that he had told you, though he didn't speak
to us. Yes, he left in the steamer for Natal two hours ago."

"Squaring everything?" asked Despard.

"Sir!" said the _maître_; "Mr. Markham was a gentleman."

"It was half a sovereign he gave you then," remarked Despard. Then
turning to Harwood, he said: "Well, Mr. Editor, this is the end of all,
I fancy. We can't expect much after this. He's gone now, and I'm
infernally sorry for him, for Oswin was a good sort. By heavens, didn't
I burst in on the bishop's party like a greased shrapnel? I had taken
a little better than a glass of brandy before I went there, so I was in
good form. Yes, Paulina is the name of his wife. He had picked her up
in Italy or thereabouts. That's what made his friends send him off to
Australia. He was punished for his sins, for that woman made his life a
hell to him. Now we'll take the tinsel off a bottle of Moët together."

"No," said Harwood; "not to-night."

He left the room and went upstairs, for now indeed this psychological
analyst had an intricate problem to work out. It was a long time before
he was able to sleep.



```What is it you would see?

```If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.=


```And let me speak to the yet unknowing world

```How these things came about: so shall you hear

```Of accidental judgments...

`````purposes mistook.=

```... let this same be presently performed

````... lest more mischance

```On plots and errors happen.--_Hamlet._=

|LITTLE more remains to be told to complete the story of the few months
of the lives of the people whose names have appeared in these pages in
illustration of how hardly things go right.

Upon that night, after the bishop's little dinnerparty, every one,
except Mr. Despard, seemed to have a bitter consciousness of how
terribly astray things had gone. It seemed hopeless to think that
anything could possibly be made right again. If Mrs. Crawford had not
been a pious woman and a Christian, she would have been inclined to say
that the Fates, which had busied themselves with the disarrangement of
her own carefully constructed plans, had become inebriated with their
success and were wantoning in the confusion of the mortals who had been
their playthings. Should any one have ventured to interpret her thoughts
after this fashion, however, Mrs. Crawford would have been indignant
and would have assured her accuser that her only thought was how hardly
things go right. And perhaps, indeed, the sum of her thoughts could not
have been expressed by words of fuller meaning.

She had been careful beyond all her previous carefulness that her plans
for the future of Daireen Gerald should be arranged so as to insure
their success; and yet, what was the result of days of thoughtfulness
and unwearying toil, she asked herself as she was driving homeward under
the heavy oak branches amongst which a million fire-flies were flitting.
This feeling of defeat--nay, even of shame, for the words Colonel
Gerald had spoken to her in his bitterness of spirit were still in her
mind--was this the result of her care, her watchfulness, her skill of
organisation? Truly Mrs. Crawford felt that she had reason for thinking
herself ill-treated.

"Major," she said solemnly to the Army Boot Commissioner as he partook
of some simple refreshment in the way of brandy and water before
retiring for the night--"Major, listen to me while I tell you that I
wash my hands clear of these people. Daireen Gerald has disappointed me;
she has made a fool both of herself and of me; and George Gerald grossly
insulted me."

"Did he really now?" said the major compassionately, as he added another
thimbleful of the contents of the bottle to his tumbler. "Upon my soul
it was too bad of George--a devilish deal too bad of him." Here the
major emptied his tumbler. He was feeling bitterly the wrong done to his
wife as he yawned and searched in the dimness for a cheroot.

"I wash my hands clear of them all," continued the lady. "The bishop is
a poor thing to allow himself to be led by that son of his, and the son
is a----"

"For God's sake take care, Kate; a bishop, you know, is not like the
rest of the people."

"He is a weak thing, I say," continued Mrs. Crawford firmly. "And his
son is--a--puppy. But I have done with them."

"And _for_ them," said the major, striking a light.

Thus it was that Mrs. Crawford relieved her pent-up feelings as she went
to her bed; but in spite of the disappointment Daireen had caused her,
and the gross insult she had received from Daireen's father, before she
went to sleep she had asked herself if it might not be well to forgive
George Gerald and to beg of him to show some additional attention to Mr.
Harwood, who was, all things considered, a most deserving man, besides
being a distinguished person and a clever. Yes, she thought that this
would be a prudent step for Colonel Gerald to take at once. If Daireen
had made a mistake, it was sad, to be sure, but there was no reason
why it might not be retrieved, Mrs. Crawford felt; and she fell asleep
without any wrath in her heart against her old friend George Gerald.

And Arthur Harwood, as he stood in his room at the hotel and looked out
to the water of Table Bay, had the truth very strongly forced upon him
that things had gone far wrong indeed, and with a facility of error
that was terrifying. He felt that he alone could fully appreciate how
terribly astray everything had gone. He saw in a single glance all of
the past; and his scrupulously just conscience did not fail to give him
credit for having at least surmised something of the truth that had
just been brought to light. From the first--even before he had seen
the man--he had suspected Oswin Markham; and, subsequently, had he not
perceived--or at any rate fancied that he perceived--something of the
feeling that existed between Markham and Daireen?

His conscience gave him ample credit for his perception; but after all,
this was an unsatisfactory set-off against the weight of his reflections
on the subject of the general error of affairs that concerned him
closely, not the least of which was the unreasonable conduct of the
Zulu monarch who had rejected the British ultimatum, and who thus
necessitated the presence of a special correspondent in his dominions.
Harwood, seeing the position of everything at a glance, had come to the
conclusion that it would be impossible for him, until some months had
passed, to tell Daireen all that he believed was in his heart. He knew
that she had loved that man whom she had saved from death, and who had
rewarded her by behaving as a ruffian towards her; still Mr. Harwood,
like Mrs. Crawford, felt that her mistake was not irretrievable. But if
he himself were now compelled by the conduct of this wretched savage
to leave Cape Town for an indefinite period, how should he have an
opportunity of pointing out to Daireen the direction in which her
happiness lay? Mr. Harwood was not generously disposed towards the Zulu

Upon descending to the coffee-room in the morning, he found Mr. Despard
sitting somewhat moodily at the table. Harwood was beginning to think,
now that Mr. Despard's mission in life had been performed, there could
be no reason why his companionship should be sought. But Mr. Despard
was not at all disposed to allow his rapidly conceived friendship for
Harwood to be cut short.

"Hallo, Mr. Editor, you're down at last, are you?" he cried. "The
colonel didn't go up to, your room, you bet, though he did to me--fine
old boy is he, by my soul--plenty of good work in him yet."

"The colonel? Was Colonel Gerald here?" asked Harwood.

"He was, Mr. Editor; he was here just to see me, and have a friendly
morning chat. We've taken to each other, has the colonel and me."

"He heard that Markham had gone? You told him, no doubt?"

"Mr. Editor, sir," said Despard, rising to his feet and keeping himself
comparatively steady by grasping the edge of the table,--"Mr. Editor,
there are things too sacred to be divulged even to the Press. There are
feelings--emotions--chords of the human heart--you know all that sort
of thing--the bond of friendship between the colonel and me is something
like that. What I told him will never be divulged while I'm sober. Oswin
had his faults, no doubt, but for that matter I have mine. Which of us
is perfect, Mr. Editor? Why, here's this innocent-looking lad that's
coming to me with another bottle of old Irish, hang me if he isn't a
walking receptacle of bribery and corruption! What, are you off?"

Mr. Harwood was off, nor did he think if necessary to go through the
formality of shaking hands with the moraliser at the table.

It was on the day following that Mrs. Crawford called at Colonel
Gerald's cottage at Mowbray. She gave a start when she saw that the
little hall was blocked up with packing-cases. One of them was an old
military camp-box, and upon the end of it was painted in dimly white
letters the name "Lieutenant George Gerald." Seeing it now as she had
often seen it in the days at the Indian station, the poor old campaigner
sat down on a tin uniform-case and burst into tears.

"Kate, dear good Kate," said Colonel Gerald, laying his hand on her
shoulder. "What is the matter, my dear girl?"

"Oh, George, George!" sobbed the lady, "look at that case there--look at
it, and think of the words you spoke to me two nights ago. Oh, George,

"God forgive me, Kate, I was unjust--ungenerous. Oh, Kate, you do not
know how I had lost myself as the bitter truth was forced upon me. You
have forgiven me long ago, have you not?"

"I have, George," she said, putting her hand in his. "God knows I have
forgiven you. But what is the meaning of this? You are not going away,

"We leave by the mail to-morrow, Kate," said the colonel.

"Good gracious, is it so bad as that?" asked the lady, alarmed.

"Bad? there is nothing bad now, my dear. We only feel--Dolly and
myself--that we must have a few months together amongst our native Irish
mountains before we set out for the distant Castaways."

Mrs. Crawford looked into his face earnestly for some moments. "Poor
darling little Dolly," she said in a voice full of compassion; "she has
met with a great grief, but I pray that all may yet be well. I will
not see her now, but I will say farewell to her aboard the steamer
to-morrow. Give her my love, George. God knows how dear she is to me."

Colonel Gerald put his arms about his old friend and kissed her

Upon the afternoon of the next day the crowd about the stern of the mail
steamer which was at the point of leaving for England was very large.
But it is only necessary to refer to a few of the groups on the deck.
Colonel Gerald and his old friend Major Crawford were side by side,
while Daireen and the major's wife were standing apart looking together
up to the curved slopes of the tawny Lion's Head that half hid the dark,
flat face of Table Mountain. Daireen was pale almost to whiteness, and
as her considerate friend said some agreeable words to her she smiled
faintly, but the observant Standish felt that her smile was not real,
it was only a phantom of the smiles of the past which had lived upon her
face. Standish was beside his father, who had been so fortunate as to
obtain the attention of Mr. Harwood for the story of the wrongs he had
suffered through the sale of his property in Ireland.

"What is there left for me in the counthry of my sires that bled?"
he inquired with an emphasis that almost amounted to passion. "The
sthrangers that have torn the land away from us thrample us into the
dust. No, sir, I'll never return to be thrampled upon; I'll go with my
son to the land of our exile--the distant Castaway isles, where the
flag of freedom may yet burn as a beacon above the thunderclouds of our
enemies. Return to the land that has been torn from us? Never."

Standish, who could have given a very good guess as to the number of
The Macnamara's creditors awaiting his return with anxiety, if not
impatience, moved away quickly, and Daireen noticed his action. She
whispered a word to Mrs. Crawford, and in another instant she and
Standish were together. She gave him her hand, and each looked into the
other's face speechlessly for a few moments. On her face there was a
faint tender smile, but his was full of passionate entreaty, the force
of which made his eyes tremulous.

"Standish, dear old Standish," she said; "you alone seem good and noble
and true. You will not forget all the happy days we have had together."

"Forget them?" said Standish. "Oh, Daireen, if you could but know
all--if you could but know how I think of every day we have passed
together. What else is there in the world worth thinking about? Oh,
Daireen, you know that I have always thought of you only--that I will
always think of you."

"Not yet, Standish," she whispered. "Do not say anything to me--no,
nothing--yet. But you will write every week, and tell me how the
Castaway people are getting on, until we come out to you at the

"Daireen, do all the days we have passed together at home--on the
lough--on the mountain, go for nothing?" he cried almost sadly. "Oh, my
darling, surely we cannot part in this way. Your life is not wrecked."

"No, no, not wrecked," she said with a start, and he knew she was
struggling to be strong.

"You will be happy, Daireen, you will indeed, after a while. And you
will give me a word of hope now--one little word to make me happy."

She looked at him--tearfully--lovingly. "Dear Standish, I can only give
you one word. Will it comfort you at all if I say _Hope_, Standish?"

"My darling, my love! I knew it would come right in the end. The world I
knew could not be so utterly forsaken by God but that everything should
come right."

"It is only one word I have given you," she said.

"But what a word, Daireen! oh, the dearest and best word I ever heard
breathed. God bless you, darling! God bless you!"

He did not make any attempt to kiss her: he only held her white hand
tightly for an instant and looked into her pure, loving eyes.

"Now, my boy, good-bye," said Colonel Gerald, laying his hand upon
Standish's shoulder. "You will leave next week for the Castaways, and
you will, I know, be careful to obey to the letter the directions of
those in command until I come out to you. You must write a complete
diary, as I told you--ah, there goes the gun! Daireen, here is Mr.
Harwood waiting to shake hands with you."

Mr. Harwood's hand was soon in the girl's.

"Good-bye, Miss Gerald. I trust you will sometimes give me a thought,"
he said quietly.

"I shall never forget you, Mr. Harwood," she said as she returned his

In another instant, as it seemed to the group on the shore, the good
steamer passing out of the bay had dwindled down to that white piece of
linen which a little hand waved over the stern.

"Mr. Harwood," said Mrs. Crawford, as the special correspondent brought
the major's wife to a wagonette,--"Mr. Harwood, I fear we have been
terribly wrong. But indeed all the wrong was not mine. You, I know, will
not blame me."

"I blame you, Mrs. Crawford? Do not think of such a thing," said
Harwood. "No; no one is to blame. Fate was too much for both of us, Mrs.
Crawford. But all is over now. All the past days with her near us are
now no more than pleasant memories. I go round to Natal in two days, and
then to my work in the camp."

"Oh, Mr. Harwood, what ruffians there are in this world!" said the lady
just before they parted. Mr. Harwood smiled his acquiescence. His own
experience in the world had led him to arrive unassisted at a similar

Arthur Harwood kept his work and left by the steamer for Natal two
days afterwards; and in the same steamer Mr. Despard took passage
also, declaring his intention to enlist on the side of the Zulus.
Upon reaching Algoa Bay, however, he went ashore and did not put in an
appearance at the departure of the steamer from the port; so that Mr.
Harwood was deprived of his companionship, which had hitherto been
pretty close, but which promised to become even more so. As there was in
the harbour a small vessel about to proceed to Australia, the anxiety of
the special correspondent regarding the future of the man never reached
a point of embarrassment.

The next week Standish Macnamara, accompanied by his father, left for
the Castaway Islands, where he was to take up his position as secretary
to the new governor of the sunny group. Standish was full of eagerness
to begin his career of hard and noble work in the world. He felt that
there would be a large field for the exercise of his abilities in the
Castaways, and with the word that Daireen had given him living in his
heart to inspire all his actions, he felt that there was nothing too
hard for him to accomplish, even to compelling his father to return to
Ireland before six months should have passed.

It was on a cool afternoon towards the end of this week, that Mrs.
Crawford was walking under the trees in the gardens opposite Government
House, when she heard a pleasant little musical laugh behind her,
accompanied by the pat of dainty little high-heeled shoes.

"Dear, good Mrs. Crawford, why will you walk so terribly fast? It quite
took away the breath of poor little me to follow you," came the voice of
Lottie Vincent Mrs. Crawford turned, and as she was with a friend, she
could not avoid allowing her stout hand to be touched by one of Lottie's
ten-buttoned gloves. "Ah, you are surprised to see me," continued the
young lady. "I am surprised myself to find myself here, but papa would
not hear of my remaining at Natal when he went on to the frontier with
the regiment, so I am staying with a friend in Cape Town. Algernon is
here, but the dear boy is distressed by the number of people. Poor Algy
is so sensitive."

"Poor who?" cried Mrs. Crawford.

"Oh, good gracious, what have I said?" exclaimed the artless little
thing, blushing very prettily, and appearing as tremulous as a fluttered
dove. "Ah, my dear Mrs. Crawford, I never thought of concealing it
from you for a moment. I meant to tell you the first of any one in the
world--I did indeed."

"To tell me what?" asked the major's wife sternly.

"Surely you know that the dear good bishop has given his consent
to--to--do help me out of my difficulty of explaining, Mrs. Crawford."

"To your becoming the wife of his son?"

"I knew you would not ask me to say it all so terribly plainly," said
Lottie. "Ah yes, dear Algy was too importunate for poor little me to
resist; I pitied him and promised to become his for ever. We are
devoted to each other, for there is no bond so fast as that of artistic
sympathy, Mrs. Crawford. I meant to write and thank you for your dear
good-natured influence, which, I know, brought about his proposal. It
was all due, I frankly acknowledge, to your kindness in bringing us
together upon the day of that delightful lunch we had at the grove
of silver leaves. How can I ever thank you? But there is darling Algy
looking quite bored. I must rush to him," she continued, as she saw Mrs.
Crawford about to speak. Lottie did not think it prudent to run the
risk of hearing Mrs. Crawford refer to certain little Indian affairs
connected with Lottie's residence at that agreeable station on the
Himalayas; so she kissed the tips of her gloves, and tripped away to
where Mr. Algernon Glaston was sitting on one of the garden seats.

"She is a wicked girl," said Mrs. Crawford to her companion. "She has
at last succeeded in finding some one foolish enough to be entrapped by
her. Never mind, she has conquered--I admit that. Oh, this world, this

And there can hardly be a doubt that Miss Lottie Vincent, all things
considered, might be said to have conquered. She was engaged to marry
Algernon Glaston, the son of the Bishop of the Calapash Islands and
Metropolitan of the Salamander Group, and this to Lottie meant conquest.

Of Oswin Markham only a few words need be spoken to close this story,
such as it is. Oswin Markham was once more seen by Harwood. Two months
after the outbreak of the war the special correspondent, in the
exercise of his duty, was one night riding by the Tugela, where a fierce
engagement had taken place between the Zulus and the British troops.
The dead, black and white, were lying together--assagai and rifle
intermixed. Harwood looked at the white upturned faces of the dead men
that the moonlight made more ghastly, and amongst those faces he saw the
stern clear-cut features of Oswin Markham. He was in the uniform of a
Natal volunteer. Harwood gave a start, but only one; he stood above the
dead man for a long time, lost in his own thoughts. Then the pioneers,
who were burying the dead, came up.

"Poor wretch, poor wretch!" he said slowly, standing there in the
moonlight. "Poor wretch!... If she had never seen him... if... Poor

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