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Boston Weekly Globe (Newspaper) - January 27, 1891, Boston, Massachusetts
In Lii Iio amp Iory Ekl ulu be tuesday january 27, 1891. A Jas advising her i know b att bet to shamefully is to a tin estate la Abs hidden foe. A Story of love and mystery. Author of Quot the m. P., by c. A. Henty curse of carneys hold a Quot Gabriel Allen a a the plague ship Etc. Etc. All rights reserved synopsis of preceding chapters. In tin month of november 1h02, mrs. Cut Heroe Judy of fashion at Belli boars for tile first time from her brother or. Algernon Corbin of Ltd Obj Rte court of the latter secret Marrlan a. 18 years tie fore to the daughter of a postmaster. One child had been the Issue of the nil a Rigi hut the Mother had died 12 months after the nuptials. Tile daughter had Lieen \ brought tip am educated secretly a by. Mate the news cantos mrs. Cim Hent can Gila Ami annoy Nee chiefly on account of the consequent Dis inheritance of her own son who had been looking Forward to succeeding to the estates of Corbin. After or. Corbyn has informed his sister he decides to place the papers of his marriage and the birth of his daughter in the hands of the family solicitor or. Ferris and then pay a visit to his daughter at St. Mate. He drives with Brandon his servant to the station hut the horse stumbles Over some stones and both Are thrown out into the Road. Chapter . At this moment a gentleman pushed through Tho crowd saying a make Way please i am a a moments examination sufficed to enable him to form an opinion. Quot a terrible fracture of the Skull. Therein not the slightest Hope of his surviving Quot it is or. Corbyn sir a the policeman remarked in awed tones for that such tin Accident should Wall or. Corbyn of Corbyn court one o the magistrates of Tho county seemed terrible indeed to him. Quot yes i know him a Tho doctor replied. Quot i it me think. His sister mrs. Clitheroe. Lives in Royal Quot yes sir i know Tho Homo a the policeman said. Quot he had better be carried there. Send Down to the police station for four men and a Stretcher. Now How about the other a a and he went. To examine the Coachman. He wits still lying insensible. Quot i think he is Only stunned a the doctor said. After examining him. Quot of course t Here May to concussion of the brain but that i cannot Tell at present. He had better be carried Down to the Hospital at by this time two More policemen had came up these with some difficulty cleared the Road of the crowd Cut the traces Aud got Tho horse on to his logs removed the shattered Dogcart Cut of the Way of the traffic and placed the two portmanteau which had also flown out into the Road beside it. In a few minutes the men arrived with two stretches. Tim doctor had already proceeded to the Crescent to break the news to mrs. Clitheroe. Ten minutes later Philip arrived breathless. The news having reached him at the club. A this is an awful Shock a Mother to said As he entered the room in which she was sitting Quot it must be terrible for you. I could scarce believe it when or. Vasey came into the club and told me. I ant awfully sorry for Uncle it seems lie was on his Way to the station for he had his portmanteau with him they have brought them Here and put them in the Hall. I suppose he was a Little late and was driving fast to catch the train. It is a beastly Hill and on a Sharp Day like this As Slippery As i had not heard that he was on his Way up to town mrs. Clitheroe said rousing herself suddenly. Quot he must have been Mother and i suppose he was going for some Little time As he had two portmanteau with him. I know when to runs up for a Day or two he Only takes one for i have gone up with him half a dozen tunes. Quot Tim Shock has been too much for you Mother. You had Best lie Down for a Little Quot no doubt you Are right Philip. I will lie Down for a but mrs. Clitheroe did not lie Down. She opened the door of Tho next room and went in. The body Lay on the Stretcher on which it had been carried up. Mrs. Clitheroe thrust her hand into Tho breast pocket of the undercoat and Drew Forth several letters. One of the envelopes was larger than the rest and a slight exclamation broke from her As she glanced at it. She replaced the rest and with this in Lier hand returned to Lier room Locking her door behind Ber she lighted the Gas for Tho Short Day was Raning. And hut Little Light made its Way through the closely drawn blinds. Then she sat Down and opened the envelope. It contained three papers Only the copies of the certificate of marriage Between Alvernon Corbyn and Constance Purcell and copies of the French official documents certifying to tile birth and baptism of Constance Corbyn daughter of Algernon and burial of Constance Corbyn wife of Algernon Corbyn and daughter of William and Jane Purcell. Mrs. Clitheroe sat for some time with these papers before her. Should she destroy them ? was there anything to be gained by a doing so perhaps nothing in the end but it would retard matters. Did Philip know of the existence of these papers he would doubtless want to relinquish everything at once Aud give up the matter without a struggle. She did not wish that it should be otherwise he was a Clitheroe rather than a Corbyn and would not take it to heart that this grandchild of a Village schoolmaster should reign at Corbyn court. Her destroying these papers would probably make no difference no doubt Algernon had left a will and it would All come to the same thing. These documents were but copies of registers and could be easily replaced Stilt if they were found at once for there would no doubt be an examination into All papers and documents there would be an end to the matter while if they were not forthcoming there would at least be breathing time until the will was opened at any rate. She concluded a. Burned. She opened a desk which stood on the table took out a Small memorandum Book and noted Down in it the name of the Church where the marriage was performed and those of the minister and of the witnesses to the ceremony. She did this under a vague idea that the information might be possibly useful. She Rose twisted up the three papers and the envelope and held them one by one in the fire that was Durning in the grate. He could marry when lie liked now his Mother would of course live with him until he did so and then there would be Clitheroe for her. She had been More shaken by his uncles death than he should have expected and it seemed to him although there was no possible reason for such a thing that she was anxious and nervous. Tie thought so specially when on the Day after the funeral Young or. Ferris came Down to make a thorough search with at last that they might As Well be the Day after the funeral Young or. Ferris came Down to make a thorough search with him for his uncles papers to make certain that there was no will existing. A my Mother is worrying herself about that he said to himself As he drove Over to the court with Young Ferris. A i do not think that there is much Chance of Ort finding anything a James Ferris said As the entered the House. A emr. Corbyn was not at All the sort of a Man to have made a will secretly and stowed it away besides there could be no possible reason for his doing so. The door of the Safe was opened and the bundles of leases untied to make sure that there was no will among them. Quot is it w Orth while keeping All the receipt a Philip asked As he took up Tho next bundle. A certainly. After a death is the time when they Are most useful. People Are Apt to Send in their accounts again on the off chalice that the receipts have not been kept and of course the executors have no Means otherwise of knowing whether they have been paid or a Salt a letters from my Humph that is More important indeed a and the Young men looked each other in the face. A you do not think that Uncle was married Ferris a a most improbable thing in the world i should Quot you had better glance through the letters Ferris. I think i would rather not read them. I will Light my pipe while you Are looking through them a and he turned his chair round to the fire. For a Quarter of an hour no word was spoken. Philip Clitheroe sat puffing his sip and gazing into the fire. It would bleed he awkward As he had said if his Uncle had been married. His Mother would take it. To heart a Good Deal More than he should. He himself had never regarded his Heirship of Corbyn court As anything but a very Remote contingency. His Uncle had been hut la years older than himself and might have lived until to if to had not been for this Accident. He had seriously thought several times of going abroad for a few years and leaving Clitheroe Iru his mothers hands. As Long As he was at Homo she would never retrench she thought too much of keeping up his position in the county. That was All Well enough if he were heir to Corbyn lust As Only owner of Clitheroe it would be absurd Fie was thinking this Over when Tbs lawyer spoke. A i gather from these letters. Clitheroe. That this girl Baa been Bren by up by some people named Duport at St. Male. She Only writes twice a year and in the first letter which is dated to years Back she says she is 7, so Aho is 17 now. Quot she signs herself Constance Corbyn. But of copy to that goes for for the next two or three hours the Young men searched in every drawer Cabinet or other place where papers were Likely to be stowed Awny but no documents of any kind were found. Quot it is quite possible. Olit Heroo a the Young lawyer said when the search was concluded Quot that we May hear of a will yet. So Long As we make sure that a will would be made in your favor there was no reason whatever Why your Uncle should go to any one else but the Case is altogether altered now. He would not like us to have known about this business and would probably have gone elsewhere to get his will made. Mind. I think it very much More Likely that he has never Given it a moments consideration. But if by did so that is the course lie would be Likely to Quot Well i shall not bother any More about it Ferrisi. I consider that the matter is now in your hands As the solicitor to Tho family. That takes All the responsibility off my should to but please impress upon your father that my anxiety will be to do what is right of Tho girl is entitled to the estates Well and Good if not i wish the arrangements to he made on a Liberal scale. You said that you must go Back this afternoon. Can to i persuade you to Stop until the morning Quot no thank you i really want to get up to town for we Ore very Busy at present and have got a very heavy Case just coming on. It the next place i want to hear what my father thinks about this affair Ami lastly i done to think that we should spend Avoir enjoyable evening. We have both got this thing in our minds and con a talk about nothing else although no amount of talking can throw any further Light upon it. So i will carry out my original Philip looked at his watch. Quot we have ample time to have the horses put in and drive comfortably Down to Tho station. After what has happened Yon will not catch me driving Down that Lull again after seeing James Ferris off by the train. Philip blinded the reins to Lite Groom told hint to take the horses Back to the stables Ann then strolled slowly Hack to Royal Terrace thinking the matter Over Iii every Light. His Mother was in the drawing room when he went up it was getting dusk and she was sitting with her Back to the window and a Magazine in her hand which tis she sat served to screen her face from the fire. Quot you have been a Long time Philip. I think you might Nave come straight Hack from Tho station i heard that Tho Carriage came Back half an hour Quot i beg your Pardon Mother. I made so sure Atter my own search through the papers that no will would be found it did not strike me that you would he anxious about it. We have looked everywhere so far As we know told no will Lias come to hand and Ferris did not expect to find one any More than i both mrs. Clitheroe and her son talked More than usual that evening for both w Ere anxious to conceal the fact that they were preoccupied and it was a Relief to them when the hour for going to bed arrived. Quot it is no use bothering about it a Philip said at Rily to himself when lie was alone. A Tama foot to worry. Ferris seems Jep i i Light began to break. Then her mind As to roughly made up to have no doubt that it is All right and if it Isnit i should not fret myself about it. So wily should i lather now. I will not let myself think any More of it until i hear from him the result of his inquiries. I think i will run up to town for three or four Days i suppose it would not he the right thing for me to go into the dub for another week or so and i should mope to death if i had to stay Here doing nothing till Philip adhered to his Resolution not to allow his thoughts to dwell any More upon the discovery made that afternoon and accordingly he was sound asleep in half an hour. His Mother sat for hours before the fire in her bedroom and when she at last got into bed there was no sleep for her until Daylight was t a twill do it a she said firmly. Quot Philip shall not be defrauded of his rights and no peasants granddaughter shall reign in Tho old House of the Corban if i can prevent the next morning at breakfast Philip with some doubt As to How his Kotlier would receive the proposition said that he had been thinking of running up to London for r few Days. Quot i think it is a very Good idea Philip it will make a change for Yon. And on your return you can go straight Buck to the court and i will join you Quot then i May Aswell go up today by the express a Quot i think that is the Best thing you can do accordingly Philip went no to London by the 12 of clock train. Chapter Iii. Constance Corbyn. A it is awkward business. James a very awkward business a or. Ferris hr., said irritably. Quot i cannot think Why men will make fools of themselves Aud then As a matter of course leave it to us to do tile unpleasant part of Tho business. I done to agree with you that it is so extremely improbable that Corbyn should have married or that having married he should have gone on concealing it after his fathers death. From what i have seen of the Man i have always regarded him As an ass and there is no ass worse than the Man who is puffed up because people of the same name have lived in the same House some hundreds of years. Its no credit to him if they have it simply shows that they were respectable mediocrities who had not spirit to join rebellions or get engaged in plots or even to run into Quot in my opinion Corbyn was just the sort of a Man who would be fool enough to make a secret marriage and weak enough to be afraid to make an honest confession of it and face the talk of his neighbors afterwards. Bah i would rather Nave a rogue for a client than such w eak creatures As he threw Down the pen he had in his hand and rubbed his head irritably. A Well i suppose what you suggest is the St thing to be done. Either you or Meredith had better go Over to St. Malo and find Best thing to be done. Either you or Meredith had better go Over to St. Malo and find the girl out Tho people she lives with will be sure to be Quot i think i had better go myself a the younger Man said. Quot it will be a very unpleasant business but i think i could do it somewhat More sympathetically than Meredith. A yes i suppose you could a or. Ferris admitted. Turn backward 17 years in a pretty Little House standing detached commanding a View Over the town of St. Malo and the sea beyond dwelt m. And mine. Duport. To Yero had been demand form. Duporte a services As a teacher of English but he had in accordance with his wife a instructions decided to go Down regularly to meet the Diligence and steamers. A do not push yourself Forward Victor English people Are always suspicious of any one who thirsts himself upon them. Stand by and the in very first Day that m. Duport carried out his wife s instructions a gentleman and lady landed by the boat. From their appearance they were evidently English Anil were at once surrounded by touts from the hotels. The englishman hesitated and said to the lady in her own language. Quot i suppose Constance we must go to a hotel for a Day or two and we can then look round for lodgings to suit this was victors Opportunity. He stepped Forward and raised his hat and said in English Quot Pardon me sir but if you intend to go into lodgings my wife who has been lady a maid in an English family has apartments that might suit you and Madame. It is a detached House with a pretty Garden and a Fine View of the Quot that sounds just the thing Constance. What do you think a Quot of yes a she said eagerly Quot it would be so Nice being with people who speak Quot do you take other lodgers a the gentleman asked turning to Victor. Quot we have Only one set of apartments a he replied. A Well i suppose we May As Well go and see them but what shall we do with our Luggage a Tho House lies at the top of the Hill sir and is perhaps rather far for Madame to walk but i will with your permission Call a Fiacre which will take her and the Luggage up. If when you arrive there you find the rooms will not suit you the vehicle will be at my Quot that is a fair offer anyhow Constance and we had better accept it.�?�, the lady took her place in the vehicle that Victor brought up. The Luggage. Which was heavy w As piled up in it. I Duport and the englishman walked on in front up the Steep streets. A you speak English very Well Quot i have had the Honor of being a teacher of French Iii London for 20 years a m. Duport replied. Quot i have but lately returned and now teach English to such As nitty require it Here in my native a i Hope that i shall like your Pine for i am not Good at French and my wife talks very into it of the language. We Ere Likely to s a Here for some Little time and it will apartments with the Garden surrounded by Burh Enlis. Except on Hie Side looking Seaward and above All with Annette. For two months Algernon Corbyn and his wife lived in perfect Contentment at Belle vue. Then came the event that spoiled Algernon Corbyn s life. A child was born and a week later the Mother was Laid in the grave. As time went on. And no children were bom to mme. Duport she came to regard Tim Little girl As Lier own. She had been right in her conjecture that its fathers visits would not be frequent and indeed it was not until Constance was Throe years old that he again made his appearance at 8t. Mala he had particularly requested that she should be taught English As soon As she could speak and Hie child was already Able to prattle with equal facility in that language Anil in French. Her fatties was much pleased with her appearance and manner and spell several Days at Belle vue where it happened the rooms were at Tho Siuao vacant. After that he a i come once a year and As upon the occasion of these visits to always came provided with a store of presents purchased in Paris not Only toys but dresses Hilts and cloak Tho child came to look Forward eagerly to the visits. When she was to years old be fold mine. Duport Iii at he would henceforth double the allowance to paid if she would take no other lodgers a proposal to which she very willingly agreed. I in also requested that she should he sent to the Best school in the town Ami As she got on have the advantages of professors in music and drawing be undertaking All these expenses. In the seven years that had since passed Constance Corbeh had grown up straight and tall. Lier figure was scarcely formed yet far less so than those of her schoolmates of the same age. He had on the occasion of his last visit said. Quot the next time i come. Constance. I shall probably take Yon Awny with Rue and present you to your relations in England. You will he of an age then to take your place at the head of my establishment. We shall perhaps go for a few months tour to give you milliners and set Yon at your ease. I am Happy to say that Yon have turned out a Sho. Told her anything about her Mother. I will go Down now and take a copy of Tho Register of Lier birth. I shall if possible return to England tomorrow and will come up in the morning to learn whether you have obtained any from the Young lady upon the subject. The next ushered into the chapter in. Morning James room in Ferris was which mme. Be a great comport to her having a woman with Ner who Speaks Constance Corbyn was delighted with the just As i should wish Constance Corbyn was not what is usually called a Beauty but Hor face with its Broad smooth forehead soft Earnest eyes and tender Mouth strengthened by the firm Ami somewhat Square elfin was one that Mast men would look at twice. Her figure was still slender and Over rather than under Hie Middle height. There a s a certain air of Pride in the Carriage of the head and figure an unconscious protest against those who had tried to humiliate Lier. One Day at 12 of clock just As breakfast was Over the servant came Iii and said that an English gentleman wished to speak with m. Duport. Lie brought in a card. Quot who is it Victor a Quot i know not a he replied glancing at it. Quot it is a or. James Ferris of Lincoln a inn. That is a place for lawyers. I will go and Sec what he Quot i have come Over m. the Young Man began Quot upon a very painful Mission. I May say to begin with that our firm Are solicitors to or. Corby ids m. Duport went to tile door. Quot Annette a of cried and then tis his wife came out from the Salle Quot this gentleman has business with you somewhat surprised Madame Duport followed Lier husband into the sitting room. James Ferris Rose and b. De. A this gentleman. Annette belongs to the firm who manage the business affairs of Monsieur Slie looked suspiciously at James Ferris. Quot in the first place Madame a he said Quot i have a communication to make which will doubtless be painful to Jou and still move so to the Young lady residing with Quot our client or. Algernon Corbyn a he went on Quot was a few Days since thrown from his vehicle and killed upon the Quot i thought it Best a James Ferris Wellton Quot to acquaint you in the first place with this in order that you might break the sad intelligence to his daughter. It would come much better from you than it would from a Quot acres a Annette said still sitting immovable. Quot tile next part of my duty a James Ferris went on wishing from the Bottom of his heart that lie had not volunteered to undertake this unpleasant business a will Ive to ask Yon some questions if you will be Good enough to answer them. A Iii the course of some investigations into the papers of the late or. Corbyn by his Nephew and myself Ive came upon some letters from which to Learned the fact altogether unsuspected by us that or. Corban had left a daughter and that she had been brought up in your charge. Quot beyond Tho fact of iter existence and age. We Learnt nothing and As the solicitor of the family i therefore deemed it my duty to com Over to obtain such information concerning her As you could afford me. I May say that has died without so far As we know leaving a Quot what sort of information do you require a Slie asked slowly. Quot any information that you can give me Madame. You see we Are entirely in the dark we have simply Trio letters of the Young lady herself to Lier father. Quot what we require is of course information such As will enable us to place the s Young lady Iii Possession of her rights As soon As wre ascertain what those rights Are. I May say that when the proofs Are forthcoming there will to no opposition whatever on the part of or. Corbyn a Nephew or. Clitheroe who has neen brought up to regard himself As or. Corbyn i natural heir a i can assure you that my visit is a Friendly one and that you will be wrong to regard me As hostile. As the solicitor to the fam by my duty is simply to see that the person entitled to the property whoever to or who maybe shall obtain Legal Possession of it. My first question then is have you or she the Young lady any documents belonging to Iii your Possession a it seems to me Monsieur that it will not be Wise for us to entrust such documents As we May Lucre concerning a matter so Antal As the future of our she has been As our child from Hie Day she was born to a stranger. I ask you should ave not rather place them in the hands of a lawyer Here Ami instruct him to take the Legal Steps to place Constance in Tho Possession of her Quot undoubtedly Madame you can take that step and i can Only repeat that my instructions from or. Clitheroe Are to make no opposition Avha Tevor As soon As i Arn furnished Avith Legal proof that this Young lady is the daughter of or. Corbyn and his Asifo a and tames Ferris Laid an accent on the last word. A do you venture to say that or. Corbyn w As not married to that Angel Avo died Here a a not at All Madame i say nothing for i know nothing. I Only know that this Young lady a Rote for years to As his daughter. We do not know As much As the name of Hor Mother nor except from the fact that she is not mentioned in her Daugh terms letters do we know of her death. I May Tell you that the documents that will be required Are in the first place proof of the marriage of Algernon Corbyn with tins lady and. In the second proof that this Young lady in your care is the daughter of or. And mrs. Corbyn born after their Quot the latter you can find for yourself a mme. Duport said. Quot at the Maine there is the Register of the Quot birth of the child. It is stated there that she is the child of or. Corbyn Ami his Alife Constance and that statement is testified to by or. Corbyn himself. I eau Provo that i took the child from her dead mothers Side and tit at i have brought Lier up Ever since. What More proof do you require than that or. Corbyn it As the child of himself and his Quot that is excellent a far As it goes Madame but such a statement would not he received by the Law of our country As proof of the marriage. You see the poor lady bad passed Here As mrs. Corbyn Aud or. Corbyn after her death both for her Sake and that of Lier child whom lie arranged should stay Here would naturally Register the Chili As born in Wedlock. Still of course it goes for something and now All avg have to look for is the certificate of marriage. It is probable that a copy of such a certificate Avold be among any papers or. Corbyn May have left in your or his daughter s hands if not it could be obtained by searching the Register of the Church at which they were Quot i am sure they were married a Annette burst out passionately. A Uslie spoke to me once of her marriage and i am sure that she avas speaking the truth. I would As soon doubt the saints of heaven As doubt her Quot did she say adhere mme. Duport a James Ferris who was by tins time convinced that Annette Duport had no documents in her Possession asked. Mme. Duport was silent. A did she speak a he went on. A of it As taking place at the Seaside or in London or in some quiet country Church you see if we have any clue we can follow it up. An advertisement offering a Reward will often produce evidence of tins kind if one Lias but a clue to the mme. Duport still sat silent. A any information you can give May be of importance and you will a injuring instead of benefiting Tho Young lady by withholding anything you can Tell me. I can assure you i have her interest at heart As much As that of or. Clitheroe and i need hardly say that a have better Means of following a clue than any lawyer Here could a no a mme. Dupont said at last. Quot i can remember nothing of the sort you mention. Fille spoke of her marriage casually several times. She said once i remember that she left England Hie Day after she was Quot that is something at least Madame. It shows that the marriage took place in England. That is something and do you know what her name was before she was married a Quot you will find that on the Register of the child a birth. I did not take much notice j and Only signed As being present at the birth hut you Avill certainly find it Quot perhaps tile Young Didy herself May know More when you have broken to Lier the news of her fathers death. Will you ask her if in his talk with her be Ever mentioned where his marriage took place or Duport and Constance were sitting Quot this is miss Corbyn or. Ferris. She said that she should prefer seeing you Quot mine. Duport has been telling me that it is necessary that we should obtain the proofs of my Mother s a yes a James Ferris replied trying to treat Ibe thing from to strictly business Point of View a that is Tho usual course Iii these cases a Quot mme. Dunkort has also been telling me that you wish to know whether my father had in his conversations with me Ever said anything that would serve As a clue to the Church in a Titch he avos married to my Kotlier. No he never Apollo of Hor during any of the yearly visits lie paid me. I suppose he was ashamed to do Quot no that is of course a Little unfortunate. And avg must set about the matter in some other a in a 11 at other Way. Or. Ferris a Quot Well a James said airily Quot we must begin by advertising. You see clerks in churches keep it it the look out for advertisements of this sort and when they see them Thoy search the Quot but supposing that even this docs not succeed. Air. Ferris a a Well in that Case a lie said. Doubtfully Quot we must try am must try other measures a Quot for example a Quot Well we must Endeavor a James Ferris said after a pause a to Trade where or. Corbyn was say ing at the time a Hen this mar. Ridge took place. I have ascertained your mothers Maiden name and shall of course Endeavor to find out where Sho came from and gain information there. At any rate i can assure you. Miss Corbyn that my father and i will leave no Stone unturned to get at the Bottom of the Quot there is one tiling More which it is my duty to say and this now that i have seen you is the most delicate part of my Mission. Or. Tit Beroe desired me to assure you that in any Case he should wish to carry out a bet would of course have been or. Corbyn a intention had he not been accidentally Cut off without miking a will. To has therefore commissioned me to say that such arrangements shall he made for your future As would naturally have been made by or. Corbyn bad he math a Quot one moment a lie said holding up his hands As he saw by the girl s lace thai she was about to utter a indignant refusal Quot Pra Donot reply to this proposal at present All this has come upon you As a terrible Shock and i can Well understand that your impulse is to refuse to accept what you regard As rightfully yours at the hands of one who is As you consider a usurper of your inheritance. But in tune perhaps other thoughts May prevail. Quot or. It Titi Eroe is not. At any rate. A willing usurper. He is a High minded and Noble Young fellow and would not for an instant occupy a position tint was not legally lits a was matters stand he has no Choice but to enter upon Possession of the estates until proof is adduced that he is not Tho rightful owner a Quot thank Yon Constance said quietly when he bad finished. Quot i am sorry for this gentle Nan and Bel Ieve me that were it a matter of tile estates alone you would Hoar no More of me. Quot i am vory Happy and contented in Tho love and care of Bose who have Given me Tho Only love and care i Hare Ever received. I have not the slightest wish to leave them to go among strangers or to find myself to messed of estates lint i have Tim Honor and the memory of my dead Kotlier to Clear anti please Hod i w ill do so however Long it May take me. Time Anas Edge that i have lost All Hope of Success to speak about or. Clitheroe a offer. As to your own i accent it thankfully will you kindly give me Tho name and address of the gentleman you speak of and w ill you mention my Case to him in order that when i Call upon him he May be ready to take it up a a James Ferris took out ins card Case wrote a name and address under his own handed the card to her and then Rose. A Goodby miss Corbyn i Hope that you will believe that you have a Friend in me and that any assistance and advice lean give you apart from the interest of in client will lie always at your service. In and mine. Duport allow me to assure you of my feeling of esteem at your conduct and kindness towards miss Corbyn. A Well James what Success a or. Ferris asked ins son As became into the office next morning. A no Success sir. They have no documents of any description. Nothing beyond the Bare word of the Mother who died in child bed that she w As Ever married except of course tile official registration of tile child a with in a Liili Hie parents Are described tvs married but that naturally goes for among the letters James Ferris opened we Sonstrom Philip Clitheroe saying that lie should tie at the Golden Cross hotel for Tho next Lour Days and would to glad if lie would look in when lie returned and Tell him any nows he had to give him As to the mutter of fit. Malo. At lunch time Janies Ferris said to his father that he would take a cab and drive Ilo Wui to see Philip who Ifould be returning to Bath Tho next Chiv chapter v. In the Temple. Philip Clitheroe was in when James Ferris arrived. A that is right a he said As the Young lawyer entered Tho Coffee room where he was at lunch. Quot i was afraid you would not get Hack before i left. I called at your office yesterday and your lather told me that you had yourself gone Over to St. Malo. It was awfully Good of you. By Down and have some lunch and then you can Tell me about it. There is nobody near enough to overhear Quot there is not much to Tell a Ferris said. As he sat Down. Quot at i anticipated i found that they had no documents whatever nothing that Avold afford the slightest clue As to the a i Ain awfully Philip Clitheroe said Quot awfully sorry. Marriage or no marriage she is my uncles daughter and has a fair right to Lus Une tailed property it is a horribly Nasty tiling to feel that you Are wringing a Avo iian. What sort of a girl is she a St Slie is a lady English in appearance Tho people Avo brought Lier up have taken every pains Vith confound it a Philip said. Irritably a you make one feel a bigger rogue Titan one did before. If it had been a flighty Little Frenchi a Oman one would not Nave minded it so much but being a girl such As you describe it seems horrible. I Only want to do Rig it you know and upon my w Ord i will help Lier in any Way i can to prove her a there is one Point upon which you May possibly be Able to give me some information a a what is it a Quot tile name of the girls Mother was Constance Purcell do von know any such name in your part of the country a a no a Philip said a but it is possible there May lie such a name among the Farmers or people within a few Miles of Tho a a Eek later Constance Corbyn and mme. Duport arrived in London and took modest lodgings in Pamlico the first Tivo Days after their arrival were devoted to sightseeing. Mme. Duport taking great Pride in her knowledge of the capital. A what a curious place a Constance said As they climbed to the third door of a House in pump it. Quot what curious old stairs and these Black doors with the names Over them. Well Here w o Are there is his name and Anomer name too. Are they partners i wonder a mme. Duport Shook her head. Her knowledge of London did riot extend to the Temple and its Avans. Quot we shall soon see a she said and taking the Knocker she executed a Knock similar to that which she was accustomed to hear on her mistress door. A lad of about 16, with his hair Cut very Short and his eyes opened in astonishment it the nature of Hie summons appeared at the door Finch a Knock had never been heard before i the third Story of pump it. A emr. Harbut lives Here does he not a mme. Duport said. A Well these Are his Chambers a the boy said. A was to his living Here he May or to May not. I should say that you i Tad better ask him about that when you see him. I hardly know myself. You take a Fellows breath away knocking like that a briefs that i have plenty of spare time on j Down Robert Harbut saw several tears fall pair of horses drove away from Cue front of my hands. In the second place he know that i rut Lier Pride mgt self on seeing further into a Stone Wall his other people and that it would he a matter of Groat interest and pleasure to me to Aid you in ferreting out hits Case a Well. Madame what do you think it seems Tome that it would be foolish to refuse this extremely kind offer which or. Harbut is Good enough to make Quot it is for you to decide my dear a Annotto said cautiously. Quot you know i Only came Over Bere to take t Are of you it is your expedition Quot Well then. I accept Constance said. Quot and feel very very grateful to you for your Tim next morning they again called at pump it. Quot i have been thinking matters Over. Miss he began As soon As they were seated and i think i shall run Down with you for a few Days. I want a Holiday and this is a Good excuse to take chapter i. The search la Kihn s. The next morning at the appointed hour Constance Corbyn and mine. I i port. Wore on the platform at Paddington and were joined two minutes later by Robert Harbut. An hour after their arrival in Bath mme. Duport and Constance were installed in to i firings near tile station and Robert Harbut had taken a room at the York hotel. Hts first step was to go Down to Hie Coffee room Ami to look through the town directory. There was no such name As Purcell then to examined a county directory hut again without Success. He was scarcely disappointed unless the Purcell were Iii Trade or were people of some note or importance they would hardly lie Down in a county directory. Then he wont do Avn to the police station and inquired for Tho inspector. Quot rids is my card inspector a he said Quot i belong tis you see to the Middle Temple Ami am desirous of finding out some people whom i have reason to believe resided at one tune somewhere in Tho neighbourhood of Bath perhaps in Hie town itself to or 12 Miles Quot what is the name sir a Quot Purcell a Quot i do not know the name a tin inspector said Quot do Yon know what condition of life they were in a Quot i should say that Thoy did not belong to the upper class certainly not to any county family but on the other hand i do not think that they were of the Labouring class. They May have been Small Farmers or shopkeeper a a i will inquire among the Mon a the inspector said Quot they almost All belong to the county it is Likely enough one or other of them might know the name. Hoax Long is it since Lucy were living Here a a a a bout 18 years ago. The inspector wrote upon a piece of paper Quot information required respecting a family named Purcell living in Tho neighbourhood of Bath 18 years this he stuck upon tile notice Board. Quot Tho men always glance at this As they i onic to said. Quot if you come tomorrow at look clock i shall by Able to Tell you if any of the Force Boro know anything about it if not i can Send notices to All county Robert Harbut returned Tho next Day at noon he had been to take mme. Duport Ami Constance for a walk aim had left Theta lit the pump room while he went to Tho police station. Quot i have found some Purcell a the Rasper Tor said As he entered. Quot at least i have found where a family of that name lived some years ago. One of my men Avaio comes from a Little Village named Aln Wick about to Miles to the Northwest tells me that when he was a boy the Village schoolmaster avas mimed Purcell. He went to the school himself. Ile tells me t hat it was generally supposed the Purcell Hail seen better Days. They Are both dead now Thev left no children. The Man tells me that he rep members there was ii great sensation in the Village just As he left school which is 18 years ago now. There avas a daughter who was suddenly missing. Every one turned out to Seal Cli for her thinking some Accident must have happened to Lier but she was not found. Quot he does not remember More about it. But the search avos Given up Anil he believes though lie is not sure that it was said that Purcell had received a letter from Lier. Saying that she had Pone away to to mended. Purcell and ins wife both died some years ago. Within a few Days of each other. I to you think it is Likely that those Are the people for whom you Are in search a Quot i have no doubt whatever about Robert Harbut said Quot Aud t am extremely obliged to you for the trouble you have taken in the matter. I believe that the Young lady for whom i am acting is Tho daughter of Tho girl you speak of. It is very unfortunate that the grand father Ami grandmother Are both dead As they might have supplied some information i Ani do Quot it is Tho Knock a lady always gives a mme. Duport said sternly while Constance who had herself been startled at the portentous length and variety of her companions Kuock could not help smiling. A is or. Harbut in at present a she asked. Quot yes miss at least i will see if he is in a the lad said More respectfully As he looked at her for the first time his eyes having before Only been on mme. Duport. Whom he recognized As being a foreigner. Quot what name shall i Quot mine. Duport and miss Corban. In a moment tile lad returned. Quot or. Harbut will see you please to walk his manner avas much More respectful hum before but Constance detected a Grin of amusement on his face As lie led the Way up the passage and opened a door. It was a Small room a carpeted with Book shelves All around it a Large writing table and two chairs one of which was. Also piled with books besides that on Avrich a gentleman was seated at the table. Quot i am glad to see you ladies a he said in a Short and business like Vanlier a Spray sit Down. Of there is nowhere to sit i see please take this chair a and he pushed the one on which lie had been sitting towards Constance. Quot let me see. Yes the outline of the Case my Friend James Ferris Given me. A if erns knows that so far the solicitors of this Metropolis Are not impressed As they might he with my talents and therefore leave to so severely alone in the matter of sirens of obtaining. However it is satisfactory to have the Point As to where they resided cleared half an four later they had arranged with the ii River of a Carriage to take them to Alnwick. It was a Long journey for the roads were Hilly and Hie Bath Drivers do not hurry their horses. Robert Harbut chatted with mme. Duport for Constance was too excited and anxious to join in the conversation. A this is Alnwick a Tho Driver said turn ing round on ins Box As they entered a Vil Iago. Quot where shall i take you. Sir to the As they drove up to the door Robert Harbut said Quot i think i had better do Tho talk ing miss Constance nodded. Sho was too anxious to speak. Tho barrister handed his card to Tho servant anti said he wished for a few minutes conversation with the Rector. They were shown into the drawing room and a minute later the Rector entered Ana Robert Harbut saw with satisfaction that he avas a Man of some 65 years old. Quot we Liao called sir who began a to ask you if you can give us any information about a or. And mrs Purcell. He was i believe schoolmaster Quot he was a the Rector replied. Quot he and his Azife both dim some eight years As he spoke he glanced earnestly at the two ladies. Quot we have reason to believe a or. Harbut went Oil. Quot that this Young lady is their Quot is her Mother dead Quot Tho Clergyman asked quickly. Quot she died some 17 years ago after giving birth to Lier Quot i was afraid so. Her last letter to her Mother said that she was expecting to be confined shortly and that silo hoped that Ere very Long Sho should return with Lier husband and child. Quot they never beam from her again and their belief As Well As my own was that she must have died about that time. I was very much interested who went on turning to Constance Quot in your mothers Fate. Sho was my principal assistant in the sunday school and was a girl of excellent principles and disposition. I was so convinced of this that i wad Able to agree cordially with Hor parents in their belief in the statements Iii her letters that she was married. Of course she was sadly terribly to blame in leaving Home in the Way site did and in suffering herself to be persuaded by some Quot and then remembering that Tho Man of whom he was about to speak harshly was the father of the girl to whom to avas speaking he stopped. A do you know who my father was sir a Constance asked in a Low voice. Quot do you not know Quot the Clergyman an Sherod in Surprise. A no. Your Grandfather and grandmother had no idea what Ever. They were inclined to believe at first that it must be somebody that she met in London when she was staying there with an aunt some time before. But it came out afterwards that some of the Village boys had once or twice seen her in the evenings walking with a gentleman in a quiet Lane half a mile away. Still of course she May have made ids acquaintance Iii town. He May have followed her Here but More than that we never ascertained. Quot i May Tell you your Grandfather and grandmother always lived in Hopes that your father would some Day bring you Back to them. It was possible of course that the child might have died As Well As its Mother but they Felt sure that if it lived sooner or later they Avold hear of it. They never did hear but upon his death bed your Grandfather who survived his wife but a few Days gave me a packet which he begged me to deliver to his daughters Chilli should she Ever return. I suppose. Sir a he said turning to or. Harbut a you can assure me that this Young lady is really Tho child of Constance Purcell a Quot i can assure you of that sir a mme. Duport said. A Usho died in my House. I took the child from her arms and have brought her up Ever Quot then i will give you the the Clergyman said and leaving the room he returned in a minute or two with a Bulky envelope which to placed in constances hands. A i am pleased indeed a he spid that j am Able to carry out the last wishes of my Friend Purcell. Your Grandfather was a Man of Good education. He aves the son he told me of a City merchant and was educated at Oxford. His father died just As he left the University. Ile took to the business for which he was altogether unfitted and two or three years later failed. He had married Tho daughter of a Clergyman and after years of struggle lie at last accepted Hie mastership of this Village school. Quot tile stipend was a very Small one but there was a comfortable cottage and a Good far Den attached to it and he told me that e ii and been perfectly contented and Happy until the Hight of his daughter broke up their Constance was Pale and trembling. Quot i thank you very much for what you have told me a she said Quot and for keeping these papers for then she glanced at Robert Harbut who understood what she would say. Quot thank you very much sir. Now we will take our Leaai a the Young lady will of course be anxious to read these papers in private. Should she find the clue to the place of her Parent a marriage you will certainly hear of Lier for borne Little time after taking their seats in the Carriage again few words were spoken. Constance Corbyn was greatly moved and As she sat with her on the packet which she clasped in her hands. Half an hour later Tho Driver checked his there to said pointing with his whip Quot that is one of Tho oldest county places about Bath Fiamos family has lived there hundreds and hundreds of years they say. Corban a Curt that is what it is Calloo. Tho late or. Corbyn was Al lied he was. A Short time Back thrown out of a dog Eart going Down to Bath. Killed Stone dead they say. A Nephew of his Lias go it now Nice Young Chap he is. He is not a Corbyn. Though but i expect like enough lie a Iii Tako his uncles the Throo occupants of the Carriage had been gazing intently at the House As he spoke. Mme. Duport had stood up the better to examine it. Quot it. Is a grand place a she said As she sat Down Quot and to think that it ought to he yours to Constance shivered. Quot it is too Large and too she said. Quot i Don t want it i Only Avant to Clear her name when that is done i shall to quite Content with enough for us to live quietly mid happily at fit. Robert Harbut had turned round and was a shop just i in fore they reached it. Quot of Mil Ina a he Slot outed but the Coachman not dreaming that such exclamations could do addressed to himself drove on without looking round. To the Surprise of the ladies Robert Harbut dashed off at the top of ids Speed overtook i he it Arriage before it had gone 50 Yards and thrust the Point of his umbrella into the Coachman Back. Tin Man looked round with an expression of indignant astonish Iuit. And then seeing who it was called in the horses with a surly smile. Cost Rig one Aud be is All snout it. She treated and is he ire could Only prove a there Are a Good to Ain leaning Forward against the Driver s seat. A what sort of a Man was the late or. Corby a i have heard Bis name Quot he was very much respected sir i heard that he was a Good landlord and was thought a Deal of Down in Bath a Quot and his Nephew succeeds him you say. What a his name a a Clitheroe. It is a Lucky Windfall for him. His own place is Over the other Way. And they say was mortgaged pretty heavily in his fathers time. It it had not been for that Slippery bit of Hill lie might have had to wait a Long time before to came in for Tho court for or. Corby 11 was not More Titan 42 and might have ii de to or. Harbut continued to Chat to the Coachman on the subject of the Corbyn for some to me. But gained no information of any importance. On arriving at the lodgings he said to Constance Quot i will come to at 8 o clock to hear whether you have gathered tiny news from those when Robert Harbut called in the evening at the lodgings lie was received by mini. Duport Only. Quot Fille Bas gone to lie Down Quot she said. Quot poor child she has gone through the packet containing the letters of Lier Mother to her parents there arc to of them. She wrote once a month. Here they Are. Constance wished you to read them inf we fear that they Avill not help us. She tells at lout her travels and about tier Home and How she Longs to see them again but nothing that pc can see that will help us at All. She never mentions the name of the place she writes from and Only puts Italy or Switzerland or a perhaps i had better read Robert Harbut said a some Chance word May give us a the letters were All in the envelopes in which they had in in received and were numbered one to to the first he read carefully and Laid aside the others he merely glanced through. The writer always spoke of herself As Well and Happy always Sai l that her husband was very kind and that she was enjoying the bight of the foreign countries sin Hail read about. Tho greater part of each letter was devoted to Lur old horn1to her longings to see Lier father and Mother again to her re Gret at the pain Sho must have caused t hem Ami to her Hope that she should some Day to Able to atone for it and to have them near Lier in Coni fort. They were natural Loving letters and Asho put them Down Robert Harbut said to himself Quot there is no doubt Iii Tever that the poor Little girl thought herself married though of course the blackguard May Havedon Oiin of her by a false All these nine letters bore the London postmark. It was evident that in order to prevent any clue As to their place of residence being obtained Algernon Corbyn had sent them under cover to London to be posted there. Tho first letter was written in Pencil evidently in great haste and the barrister thought without Tim knowledge of her husband. It was As follows Tik Kest Fatur and Mother i have teen awfully wicked in running Awny from you without telling von where i was going but t Hope some Day Yon will forgive Lur when you know All. You will Nee that it a Sci Saary to ire secret. I love him so. We were married this Momtag. I Hope soon to be Abl to Tell you Alt. I should be the happiest woman in the world if my heart did not seem breaking Ai the thought of the trouble i have caused you. Pray forgive me and think As kindly As you can of your Loving daughter Constance. Tile letter itself gave no clue but Tho envelope did. For it bore the postmark Folkestone. A Well Monsieur a mme. Duport asked As Robert Harbut Laid the letters aside and turned his chair rom the table at which to had been Reading them. Quot it is Well mme. Duport. This first letter f ves tis the clue we want it is posted it Folkestone. There is the postmark on the envelope. There is no doubt mrs. Corbyn scribbled that letter and posted it without her husbands knowledge she knew Tho pain Lier parents wore suffering and could not delay writing to assure them that she was two Days later Robert Harbut with his two clients arrived at Folkestone and at once proceeded to the pariah Church. They had no difficulty in finding the residence of Tho clerk he was a Man of about 36 years old. Or. Harbut said Quot i want to search the Register for a record of Quot very Avell sir a the Man said taking Down a key a the registers Are in a Safe in the vestry what year was it in Quot Quot somewhere about the end of 1849, i believe. Was your present vicar hero at that time a a Quot of no sir he has Only been Here seven or eight years the old vicar died in 1859. He and my father who was clerk before me. Died within three Days of each other there sir these Are the registers lot me see 1849. Yes they end with this volume the next begins 1860.�?� the marriage should have taken place on nov. 21, for that avos the Date of the Post Mark of the Folkestone letter and Robert Harbut ran his Eye rapidly Down the entries Quot it is not there who said in a tone of great disappointment Quot there is no entry stave eur the 12th and 26th. There Are five marriages Between the 1st and 12th, and two at Hie end of Tho Mouth that is curious too. He took up the Book by both sides Anc Bent them Back. Quot there has been foul play Herejk he said a it looks As if a Page has been Cut out. There is the Edge of it. Quot so it is a the clerk said examining the Book Quot sure eur ugly a Leaf has been Cut out there that is very extraordinary i never noticed it before a a Quot you would not have noticed it unless your attention had been called to it by an entry on that Page being asked for. This is most unfortunate. Is there any one alive a to would have been Likely to be present at weddings about that time Quot i done to think so a the clerk said Quot beyond the vicar Aud my father and the Pew opened and of course Tho friends of the married couple no one would he Likely to be there unless tile parties were known about Here Tim Pew opener Tho avos Here then died 15 or 16 years a Well. I think at any rate a Robert liar but said Quot you had better come across with me at once with this Book to the Rector that he May see that this Leaf has been Cut out. It is a very serious business most serious. Will you stay in the churchyard miss Corbyn until i return. There will be no occasion for you to come in with not a Avord was spoken Between Constance and Annette Duport until Robert Harbut returned. Constance looked at him inquiringly lie shrugged his shoulders. A the vicar is greatly distressed and annoyed. It is of course entirely new to him. He says that no doubt it took place Long be fore his time but of course that May or May not be. You see there were in that Book two weddings on the Page and i cannot say with any certainty whether it was abstracted by somebody desirous of destroy ing the record of this or of the other marriage. A at any rate i am afraid for the present Weare completely stumped. I he went on in answer to Constance s look of interrogation Quot that we Are for the present brought to a full Stop by an impassable chapter Vii. After seeing the ladies Home to their lodging and promising that he would let them hear from him in me course of a Day or two when he had time to turn the matter quietly Over Iii his mind Robert Harbut strolled slowly Hack to his Chambers. A there is one Point we have missed who said. Quot we presumed that there were no other witnesses to the marriage beyond the clerk and Pew opener. There May have been other people who sauntered in. Seeing the Church door open. The question is How the Deuce to get at presently he went to his writing table and scribbled off the following to knit roil is Reward. Will be Given Tor the discovery of any one who was present at a marriage which took place St Folkestone Parish Church on the stat of november 1861. Both parties were Young the gentleman fair and somewhat Over Middle height the lady was about eighteen years of age had Brown hair and was very pretty. There Avert no bridesmaids or friends of either of the parties present. Any information As to any one now living who was present at the ceremony is to be sent to or. Harbut pump court Middle Temple by whom the above Reward will be paid. This notice was enclosed with a note to the clerk of the Folkestone Church requesting him to have a couple of Hundred conies printed and exposed in the shops and other places in the town. The account for expenses was to he sent to him. He then wrote a note to Constance telling her what he had done and went out and posted it at once. The next Day they walked Down the strand together stopping and looking into Many shops Harbut keeping his companions in a frequent laugh by his quaint criticisms and remarks and by Bis entreaties to t hem to Purchase the most unlikely articles. They crossed the top of Trafalgar so. And Many people who Are hair it i be to Fine estate if they Quot cold Only i Ive it a or. said drily. Quot Yon hear that Mother a respectable Young per ii it a. My dear Nape she is one of it charming girls i Bay Ever mat i a use in Iove we a Tat is All very Nice Hilda hut a you have two Brothers resident in the House i really do not think it desirable to establish Quot my dear Robert have Yon gone out of i so charming a person hero until at any your Sci discs i never did Sec Sueb a boy i rate the heiress sep is and in the Middle of Regent St. Too Quot i Quot my dear papa we have often had Nice the speaker was the sole occupant of the j girls staving in the House and the boys Carriage a pretty girl of some id years old not lost their heart to them i done to thin with a Bright piquant foe _ it that. After seven or eight years of London Quot of you could suggest Hilda a Robert said i society Young men Are Given to failing in in an injured voice a any other method by love hastily. Which i could Stop you i will adopt it next time. Your Coachman and Footman both appeared to be deaf Arni As there was no Telegraph wire available i done tse howl could Stop you wit Hon t the use of Ray a but Yon Are going to Dine with us this evening Robert Quot a Quot i have not forgotten the engagement Hilda hut i suppose it occurs to you As possible that i a ish to speak to you before a Well done to stand there in the Middle of the Road but got it does not suit me to get in but i will nut somebody else in if you done to mind. Look lure child you know i told you about my French client Quot Tito voting lady you Are always going about with Robert a Quot and Yon know i Ain very jealous of Hor she takes up More of your time than i do. A Well you know Quot he went on ignoring Tho attack. Quot i wanted you to Nill on and be kind Toller. There she is now and it is a Fine Opportunity so Tell your Man to drive to the Side of the pavement and get our and let my introduce you to her and her dragon. Site want a mend awfully done to pout Hilda inf just do As you Are told and then take them for a drive lathe Park or somewhere Anil get acquainted with the Young lady raised her Eye roads. Quot i suppose i must do As i am told. Robert but tit into i done to Promise Uke her. My predispositions at present Are Quito Tho other 8<> saying she gave tile necessary orders to the Coachman Aud a moment later Robert banded Lier out of the carnage and then walked Back with Lier to int Spiot whore lie had leu ins companions. That la miss Cor by la. Hilda the girl in the brow a ooh Robert you never told me she was pretty. My predispositions Are heightened a a you Are a Goose Hilda now behave nicely. I must apologize for leaving you without ceremony. Miss Corbyn hut you know a lost Opportunity never recurs. I just caught sight of the Back of this Young lady s Bonnet and knew by the untidy Way the hair was blowing about who it was. This is miss Leicester the Young lady of whom you have heard me speak. I thought i Avo re bring you together at once it is so much nicer than a formal Call. Hilda this is miss Corbyn and mme. the girls Shook hands. Quot i Ani so glad to meet you miss Leicester Quot Constance Corby ii said frankly. Quot or Harbut Ila been so extremely kind to us that i naturally wished to see Quot i have had my curiosity too miss Cor Sti a Hilda said As she Shook hands with me Duport. Quot of course i have been very interested in Roberts first Quot now it is no use standing talking Here a Robert Harbut broke in. Quot we Are Iii the Way of will you go for a drive with me miss Corbyn you and mme. Duport of course London is Quito strange to you. We can go round tilt Parks and i should be so glad of a talk with Quot i should like it very Constance said and in another minute they were seated in tile Carriage Constance by the Sidoo miss Leicester As mme. Duport insisted on taking the opposite seat. Quot i suppose Yon Are not coming. Robert a miss Leicester said Quot we done to want you in fact you would be a Good Deal in Tho a i am not thinking of coming a he said with dignity. Quot i know that if i do come you will be Able to think of no one else Aud i Avant you to make yourself agreeable. Drive on. John Lite Marble Arch and Theu through the neither of the girls were shy. And they wore soon in full talk. Constance enjoyed her drive immensely. Fille was thoroughly taken out of herself and Lier troubles for the object for which she came to England was not alluded to. The talk tearing almost entirely upon her life at fit. Malo and in comparisons Between her school and that at which miss Leicester hat been educated. The latter Avold have driven them Homo when the drive was Over but tills they would not hear of Aud so they Avera set Down close to Piccadilly circus where they would be Able to obtain an omnibus which would take them close to their door. Quot done to forget your engagement for Toner Dunkort i Corach. 250 Chester me. Dupo so there will be nobody at Home hut my a to Row m so til _ self and after lunch we will drive Dow Richmond and come Back to Tea at of clock. At dinner Robert Harbut severely to task. Quot i consider that you have deceived me grossly sir. You said that she was not looking. Nice looking is not at All the Evoril for her i Call her Beautiful. You said that Sho was a Nice sort of girl which Means nothing she is Channing. If you were any on but yourself i should be Vee jealous. As it is i pity your shortsighted Quot that is caused Hilda no doubt by look ing so much at if you talk nonsense Robert to will not continue Tho conversation a 3 a Well i mean dear that i regard you As approaching Perfecto myself whether any ally pretty or parti i simply have nothing to do Avith them. Quot nothing to do with them sir win Havo been haunting off to Bath Aud so nearly approaching perfection a h to do with them sir i when you that done task myself whether any other girls Are particularly pretty or particularly Nice Quot nothing _ i a a a i. A. A lung about with her there Aud then going Down to Folkestone and aiding altogether in. Manner that would have driven any woman hut myself to the verge of distraction and you Call that having nothing to do with Quot it a is a matter of business Hilda. I took it up solely with the idea of distil Guise aug myself and a i told you i put Tho matter on a proper footing at once by Tell higher that i was and a More impudent thing Todo i never heard of Roberc. You must have a Good opinion of a oui self to consider it necessary to rarer such a girl jut that that she must not fall in love with it Wax the other Avay Hilda i merely wished to assure her that i had not thought of falling in Levo Avith Lier which is quite a different Quot but seriously Robert Are you going to prove Hor to be an heiress a Quot i Ain afraid not a Robert Harbut said. Looking grave. Quot it seemed All Clear sailing at first Ami As i told you i thought i was going to carry her through with Hying colors but Avo had a ugly Hock yesterday. I will toll you about it when i get you alone i Ani glad you liked Lier i should not be surprised if you will be Able to do her some kindness before the matter is finished a twill do anything i can Robert she is charming a thoroughly Nice natural girl without the least nonsense about her. She has a Groat souse of humor and her description of her school life was most am the next Days drive cemented the Friendship Between Hilda Leicester and Constance Corbyn who liked each Othor All the better from the Radical differences in their character. No answers were received to Hie advertisements for witnesses to Tho marriage or for information respecting the servant who had travelled with Algernon Corbyn. A detective whom Robert had sent Down to Bath Arith instructions to discover some of the servants who lived at Corbyn court during Lite time of Algernon a father and to find out from them whether any one from that part accompanied Algernon on his travels returned with the news that so far As they knew he went alone. Robert had seen Constance two or three times in the interval. Ills own Hopes had fallen greatly but he did his Best to keep up an appearance of Confidence. That night Robert Harbut wrote a note to miss Leicester saying that he would Call next Day at 5 of clock and that he hoped she would manage to be in of she could As he particularly wanted to see her. Hilda had of course been informed of All particulars relating to Constance and her claims and was quite ready to fall in with any suggestion Robert Harbut might make about her. He began by telling her of the determination that consta co was taking expressing his own regret that she did not return with her Friend to St. Malo. Quot i differ from you altogether Robert and i think it is perfectly natural that she should not like to Settle Down to the Dull life there. No the Best thing would be for her to go As companion with some Nice person who Avold treat her As a Friend. I have half a mind to Tell papa that i want a companion myself and i Ain sure i often a How about your Brothers Hilda a miss Leicester tossed her head. She was an ardent Champion. Jarl a great Deal worse if she Ever succeeds Quot perhaps not Hilda but the unexpected told Quot of course my dear Quot a but i am sure he did not mean me to Tell air body and i am sure she would no ilk a Well. Hilda of course i done to know we you particularly wish to ask her Here out certainly think it bad better be avoided i possible. Of course if Robert approves there is no reason wily Yon Sib Ould not be a much with her As you like but i really do think it would lie Wiser not to bring her Here. I in not at All supposing that Onuf Brothers would be Likely to fall in love with her. Still it is just As Avell to avoid the to Nihi Lity of unpleasant complications if one can. Doi it you think so. Kotlier quo Quot yes i quite think mrs. Leicester said. Quot i have certainly nothing to say against the Young lady personally. I Hay Only seen her Divico when she Bas come in Arith Hilda Aud she a a truck me As a particularly Nice girl. Ladylike and quiet Aud a it to a very Bright pleasant face a sensible hire. Arni pretty too hut i do not think it would he quite prudent to bring her into the miss Leicester Wax silent. Quot i will think it Over a she said after a pause Quot and see if it can be managed some other Robert hat agreed to come round next morning at look clock to hear the result of Hilda a application. He saw at once by her face when lit came into tilt room that she had failed. Quot Fie you Haven to been Able to get your own a a for once Quot in said with smile. A it is on account of the boys she said ruefully.,a week later a instance Corbyn took up Lier abode in a Home for governesses within a Quarter of a mile of Chester my. And mme. Duport returned to St Malo. The Day after Lier arrival there a vehicle was heard to Stop at the door and a minute later the servant came in with the message that miss Leicester hoped that miss Gorzyn would go out for a drive with her. As Hilda had promised the Day before to Call and take Lier out t instance avas ready except putting on her i Quinet and wraps. While she was away doing this some of the others peeped through the window. A very handsome Carriage and pair Coachman and Footman Tiger skin rugs and s Corby a Amis. _ i wonder they All the rest of it a one said. Has evidently Rich friends. Let her go did not stay Long in Emily St. Ten Days after she had gone there miss Leicester said when she arrived at the House in Chester a. To spend the Day Quot done to take off your things Constance. Tire Arriage will be at the door in to Quot Are we going out a Constance asked in Surprise. You said yesterday that you intended to have a Long quiet Day at Quot Fin i did a Hilda said Quot but my plan shave been upset. Yesterday evening i saw Ray aunt miss Peyton she is or mothers sister you know. She i older than my Kotlier Aud is As different a two women can a often wonder How they came to be Sisters. She is a dear Little thing. But the most restless person possible. Bile is always out when she is in town. And that a not very often Only just in the season. The rest of her time is spent in going the rounds. Harrogate Aud fear Loiro Brighton , Cheltenham Bath in fact wherever people arc congregating aunt is sure to be there. Quot i went yesterday to see her and found that site had got a new lady a maid who was excellent As a lady maid but As aunt said a did not seem to have a Tongue in a like a her Beati and you know Hilda i person one can talk to on a wet Day.�?T. Avas a six a _ _ it my ended opening Constance and of of terse i made the most of the Ca Risigo stopped at a House in South Audley St and Constance feeling a Little nervous followed her Friend upstairs into the drawing room where an elderly lady Quot they might do worse a she said. In getting proofs of Lier mothers marriage but scarcely otherwise a Quot done to talk in that old fashioned Way Robert. She is charming and i know nobody i would rather have chapter Chi. As miss Leicester a Tavo Brothers happened to be out to dinner on the evening following the conversation Between Hilda and Robert Harbut Slie had a Good Opportunity for opening the subject. Quot papa i wanted to ask miss Corbyn to stay Here for a Quot who is miss Corbyn Hilda a or. Leicester asked. Quot Mamma has seen her several times papa she is a Friend of Roberts or i sup Jiose i ought to say she is a client of his. Of. Has Robert got a client that net eng u a Weil she in. sitting by Tho fire Quot Well aunt Here we Friend miss miss Peyton held Are. This is my out her hand to Constance Quot Well child a she began i a so Yon have taken it into your head that you would like to be a companion to an old woman Quot miss Peyton w As in fact not vet past 60, but she generally spoke of herself As an old woman although younger in in Auner than Many to years her Junior. Quot i should like to lie a companion. Miss any one with whom i could get on comfortably. Quot a i and Are you aware of the duties of a companion a Quot not at All miss Peyton Ray idea is thai the chief duty of a companion would be to to Quot and Bow about salary a Constance hushed. Quot business miss miss Peyton said sharply. Quot we must keep to Quot tin salary is altogether a secondary consideration w till me. Alisa Petou. I want to stay m England for a time and i cannot very Well live Here by myself and i should like of i could to avoid being an expense to my friends in France. I must of course dress Well if i am to go about with you but As i make my own dresses that would not Cost to a great Teal. I should think �30 a year would be Quot i should think not a miss Peyton said sharply. Quot however i see there will be be difficulty on that score. I see you Are in deep Quot yes i lost my father not Long miss Peyton looked sharply at Are. There Avert no signs of recent grief in the Clear eyes nor or depression in the curves of the face and month. Whoever he Wras she said to herself Sho did not care for him he must have been a very bad lot if be could not make her like him. Quot May i Noav a Little hit More about you. Miss Corbyn a she asked. Quot my nieces recommendation is of course ample in its Avay. But if we Are to he friends and i think Quot she said with her pleasant smile again a there will be no great difficulty in boing friends with you it is better to know As much As one can of Eholt other so As to avoid treading upon each others corns. Constance looked at miss Leicester Quot i do not see Why you should not know a she said. Quot indeed. I think that it would be better you should Quot you know All about it Hilda of course a miss Peyton asked. Quot yes. a then i think my dear. It will be More pleasant for miss Corbyn for you to Tell me the Story. Not now but if you can find time to borne round again Trio next morning Hilda drove to South Audley St., having written to Robert Harbut to meet her there. Quot and you think this Leaf was Cut out of the Register by the father Quot said the aunt when Robert bad finished the Story. Quot i a e very Little doubt about it in fact. I done to see Avo else could have done it As Ferris assured me that Young Clitheroe would throw no obstacle whatever in Tho Way of miss Corbyn if she were in a position to prove the Case. A i done to know him personally but Ferris Speaks of him As a Frank pleasant fellow who was ready to make very Liberal provision for Tho Young lady and i do not for a moment suspect that there would be any foul play from that Side. Besides he has a fair position already he is owner of a Small estate which has been Iii the family a great Many years and occupies a Good position in the county. He would be nothing Short of a fool to risk All this by committing a felony. A no i have no question that Algernon Corbyn Cut the Leaf out or got some one to Cut it out for him. He did it no doubt after his wife a death and had she lived he would have declared his marriage at the first Opportunity. After she was gone he determined to suppress the thing altogether. A probably had in his Possession an original copy of the Register and so had it in his Jagt a or to prove his daughter heiress of the court at any time if he should change his mind. There a Ould be his own statement backed if necessary by the copy of the Register and no one would be Likely to go to Folkestone to examine the Quot in that Case this copy ought to have been und among his papers a miss Peyton suit. A a slip of paper like that might have been hidden anywhere and certainly would nol have been placed with his Ordinary Quot Well he must have been a very bad fellow a worthless heartless Man Quot miss Poy ton said decisively. A however we need not discuss hts character the Point that interests me is this girl whom Ray Niece has pretty Well entrapped me into taking As my Quot it Al As for your own Good aunt As Well As hers and you know very Well that whatever i said a tout her you would not have taken her unless you liked Quot Well of course this Story will give me an extra interest in her Hilda. As you say. Freely and anyhow it we done to suit each other we can part. Yon can Tell her Hilda that i have decided to conclude the arrangement Arith her. Quot of course i shall write formally to her myself. Hun to her or rather Tell her Dandy for i hate hints that i would wish Ter to Lay aside that heavy mourning if course it she had any reason to love hotels not exactly a client papa lather and was grieving for him at heart it it in the Ordinary Way. She was Intro would be different but As Aho cannot do so need to him by a Legal Friend or rather toe j a a. Case was introduced As being a Mort Intel a _ con tin a of on the �c.v9is�hjfes�j
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