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By this time the proud blood has mounted content, there only remains that you should to her face.

appeal to Lord Willowby." “I came to you for advice, not for a dis- “Why do you laugh ? course on the conscience," she says, with a “Lord Willowby thought he would get splendid look of injured dignity. "I know some money through Balfour marrying his I am right; and I know that she is right, daughter. Now you are asking him to children or no children. You say that Lord throw away his last chance of ever getting a Willowby will probably refuse--'

penny. And

you

think he will consent.” “ Balfour says so, according to your ac- "His daughter shall make him," said she, count."

confident in the sublime and invincible “Very well ; and you explain that he powers of virtue. Her confidence, in this might be called on to make good the money. instance, at least, was not misplaced-s0 Could not he be induced to consent by some much must be admitted. guarantee-some indemnity-"

“Certainly, if you can get a big enough fool to become responsible for £50,000 to the end of time. Such people are not com

CHAPTER L. mon. But there, sit down, and put aside all these fantastic speculations. The immedi

A NEW COMPANION. ate thing you want is Lord Willowby's consent to this act of legal vandalism. If he re- HE arrival of the new sovereign to fuses, his refusal will be based on the per- take possession of the ceded dominsonal interests of his daughter He will not ions had been made known to the people consider children or grandchildren. Long at Eagle Creek Ranch ; and soon our poor before her eldest born can be twenty-one, Bell was being made the victim of continLord Willowby will be gathered to his fathers; ual interviews, during which agents, overand as for the risk he runs, he has not a seers, and lawyers vainly endeavoured to brass farthing that any one can seize. Very get some definite information into her bewell : you must explain to Lady Sylvia, in wildered head. For what was the use of as delicate a way as you can, that there reporting about the last branding of calves, might be youthful Balfours in the days to or about the last month's yield of the Belle come, and that she must consider whether of St. Joe, or about the probable cost of the she is acting rightly in throwing away this new crushing machines, when the perpetual provision—"

refrain of her thinking was, "Oh, good peo" But, gracious goodness! her husband ple, wouldn't you take the half of it, and let wants her to do so, and she wants to do me have my children?”

Fortunately her husband was in no wise “Then let that be settled. Of course, all bewildered, and it was with not a little curhusbands' wishes are law. Then you must iosity that he went off to inspect the horses explain to her what it is she is asking her and two carriages that had been sent on to father to do, and point out that it will take Denver for us from the ranch. My lord was a good deal of appealing before he consents. pleased to express his approval of these ; He has a strictly legal right to refuse ; albeit that one of the vehicles was rather a further, he can plead his natural concern for rude-looking affair. The other, howeverhis daughter's interests"

doubtless Colonel Sloane's state carriage“He ought to have more regard for his was exceedingly smart, and had obviously daughter's honour !” says she, warmly. been polished up for the occasion ; while, as

“Nonsense ! You are talking as if Balfour regards the horses, these were able to elicit had gone into a conspiracy to get up a even something more than approval from fraudulent settlement. It is no business of this accomplished critic. He went back to hers that the firm failed—"

the hotel highly pleased. He believed he “ I say it is a matter of strict honour and had got some inkling that life at the ranch integrity that she should give up this money ; was not wholly savage. The beautiful poland she shall give it up!" says Queen T-- ished shafts and the carefully brushed dark with an indignant look.

blue cushions had had an effect on his im" Very well, then ; if you are all quite agination.

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And then, right in the midst of all this Ah, yes, you may well ask," said the turmoil, Lady Sylvia got a telegram from young man, moderating his fervour, " for I New York. We had just sat down to din- was too soon with my gladness. I will ner in the big saloon, at a separate table; have to persuade you before we can cry any and we were a sufficiently staid and decor- hurrahs. What I was thinking of was this ous party, for Mr. and Mrs. Von Rosen —that you and Mr. Balfour would be a whole were dressed in black, and the rest of us year with us, and we should have great had donned whatever dark attire we had amusement; and the shooting that I have with us, out of respect to the memory of heard of since yesterday-oh! I cannot tell the lamented Jack Sloane. (One of the you of it. But he says it is all subject to executors was to call in on us after dinner ; your wishes; now I must begin to persuade but no matter.) This telegram produced you to stay away from England for a whole quite a flutter of excitement, and for the year, and to give us the pleasure of your moment we forgot all about Texan herds society. It is a great favour that my wife and placer mines. Lady Sylvia became a and myself we both ask of you ; for we shall trifle pale as the telegram was handed to her, be lonely out here until we get used to the and she seemed to read it at one glance; place and know our neighbours ; but if you then, despite herself, a smile of pleasure were our neighbours, that would be very came to her lips, and the colour returned to pleasant. And I have been very busy to her face.

find out about Eagle Creek-oh no, it is “But what is this, Mr. Von Rosen ? " she not so bad as you would think ; you can said, and she endeavoured to talk in a mat- have everything from Denver-I do not ter-of-fact way, as if nothing at all had hap- know about ladies' saddles, but I will askpened. “My husband speaks of some and it is the most beautiful and healthy air proposal you have made to him."

in the world, Lady Sylvia"Yes," said the lieutenant, blushing like “My dear Mr. Von Rosen," said Lady a guilty school-boy.

Sylvia, interrupting him with a charming He looked at his wise, and both were a smile, “ don't seek to persuade me; I was trifle embarrassed ; but at this moment Lady persuaded when I got the message from my Sylvia handed the telegram across the table. husband; for of course I will do whatever

“ You may read it,” she said, indifferently, he wishes. But if you will let me say so, I as if it had conveyed but little news to her. don't think this proposal of yours is very wise. And yet it was a long telegram—to be sent It was scarcely fair of you to write to New by a man who was not worth sixpence. York and inveigle my husband into it with

out letting me know. It is very charming, Hugh Balfour, New York, toʻLady Sylvia no doubt, and you are very kind ; and I have Balfour, Central Hotel, Denver; Have got not the least doubt we shall enjoy ourselves your letter : all is right. Shall reach Saturday. Please tell Von Rosen that, subject very much; but you must remember that my to your wishes, I accept proposal with grati- husband and myself have something else to tude."

think of now. We can not afford to think

only of shooting and riding, and pleasant “Lady Sylvia," said the lieutenant, with society. Indeed, I took it for granted that his bronzed face as full of triumph as if he my husband had come out to America to himself had brought about the whole busi- find some profession or occupation ; and I ness, “will you let me cry · Hurrah?' Bell, am rather surprised that he has accepted shall I cry · Hurrah?''Madame, do you your proposal. It was too tempting, I supobject?

pose, and I know we shall enjoy ourselves And he held up the bit of paper for a

very much-" signal, as if he were about to shock the Husband and wife had been glancing at calm proprieties of Denver.

each other, as if to inquire which should “May I see the telegram, Lady Sylvia ? " speak first. It was the lieutenant who took said Mrs. Von Rosen, taking no notice of the burden on his shoulders, and certainly her mad husband.

he was extremely embarrassed when he beCertainly. But please tell me, Mr. Von gan. Fortunately in these Western hotels, Rosen, what the proposal is. Why do you you are expected to order your dinner all at wish to cry · Hurrah?'

once, and it is put on the table at once ; and

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then the waiter retires, unless he happens to "Oh yes, certainly," Lady Sylvia replied. be interested in your conversation, when he She half guessed what was coming. remains, and looks down on your shoulders. “ And then,” said our Bell cheerfully, as In this case, our coloured brother had moved if it were all a joke, “my husband thought off a bit.

he would write to Mr. Balfour, telling him “ Lady Sylvia,” said he, “I wish Mr. Bal. that if he wished to try this for a time—just four had explained to you what the proposal until he could look round and get something is in a letter ; but how could that be? He better—it would be a great obligation to us ; will be here as soon as any letter. And I and it would be so pleasant for us to have am afraid you will think me very impertinent you out here. That was the proposal, Lady when I tell you."

Sylvia. It was only a suggestion. Perhaps He looked at her for a second ; and then you would not care to remain out here, so the courage of this man, who had been far away from your home ; but in any case I through the whole of the 1866 and 1870-71 thought you would not be offended.” campaigns, and done good service in both, She was, on the contrary, most deeply and fell away altogether.

grievously offended, as was natural. Her “Ah," said he, lightly—but the Germans indignant wrath knew no bounds. Only are not good actors, “ it is a little matter. I the sole token of it was two big tears that will leave it to your husband to tell you. quietly rolled down her face- despite her Only this I will tell you, that you must not endeavours to conceal the fact; and for a think that your husband will spend the whole second or two she did not speak at all, but year in idleness”

kept her head cast down. “It is a mystery, then ?" she said, with a * I don't know,” said she, at length, in a smile. “I am not to be allowed to peep very low and rather uncertain voice, “what into the secret chamber? Or is it a conspi- we have done to deserve so much kindness racy of which I am to be the victim ? Mrs. --from all of you." Von Rosen, you will not allow them to mur- “Oh no, Lady Sylvia," our Bell said, with der me at the ranch ?”

the utmost eagerness, “ you must not look Mrs. Von Rosen was a trifle embarrassed on it as kindness at all—it is only a business also, but she showed greater courage than proposal ; for, of course, we are very anxious her husband.

to have every thing well looked after in our “I will tell you what the secret is, Lady absence—it is of great importance for the Sylvia,” she said, “if my husband won't. sake of the children. And then, you see, He is afraid of offending you: but you won't Mr. Balfour and yourself would be able to be offended with me. We were thinking, give it a year's trial before deciding whether my husband and myself, that Mr. Balfour you cared to remain here; and you would be was coming out to America to engage in able to find out whether the climate suited some business ; and you know that is not you, and whether there was enough amusealways easy to find ; and then we were think- ment—" ing about our own affairs at the same time. "Dear Mrs. Von Rosen," said Lady Sylvia, You know, dear Lady Sylvia”—and here gently,"you need not try to explain away your she put her hand gently on her friend's hand, kindness. You would never have thought as if to stay that awful person's wrath and of this but for our sakes,” resentment--"we run a great risk in leaving "No," she cried, boldly; but why? Beall these things, both up at Idaho and out cause we should have sold off every thing at on the plains, to be managed by persons the end of the year, rather than have so much who are strangers to us -I mean when we anxiety in England. But if we can get this go back to England. And it occurred to great business properly managed, why should my husband and myself that if we could get we throw it away?" some one whom we could thoroughly trust “ You forget that my husband knows to stay here and look into the accounts and nothing about it,” reports on the spot-well, the truth is, we “He will have a year to learn; and his thought it would be worth while to give such mere presence here will make all the difa person an interest in the yearly result rather ference.” than any fixed salary. Don't you think so ?" “ Then it is understood Lady Sylvia ?" the she said, rather timidly.

lieutenant said, with all the embarrassment

6

If my

gone away from his face.

" You will remain of stone before us with a certain reverent air. with us one year, anyway?”

Our imagination was not fired. husband wishes it, I am very will He had known Colonel Sloane very well, ling," she said, " and very grateful to and he spoke most discreetly of him ; for you.'

was not his niece here in mourning? Never“Ha!” said the lieutenant, “I can see theless, there was a slight touch of humour wonderful things now—waggons, camp fires, in his tone when he told us of one of Bell's supper parties; and a glass of wine to drink mines—the Virgin Agnes—which led one or to the health of our friends away in Eng. two of us to suspect that Five-Ace Jack had land. Lady Sylvia, your husband and I will not quite abandoned his tricks, even when write a book about it--A Year's Hunting in his increasing riches rendered them unnecesColorado and the Rocky Mountains." sary. The Virgin Agnes was a gulch mine,

“I hope my husband will have something somewhere in the bed of the stream that else to do," Lady Sylvia said, " unless you comes rolling down the Clear Creek canon mean to shame us altogether.”

and it was originally owned by a company. “ But no one can be working always. Ah, It used to pay very well

. But by-and-by the my good friends,” he said, addressing the yield gradually diminished, until it scarcely remaining two of the party, “you will be paid the wages of the men ; and, in fact, the sorry when you start to go home to England. mine was not considered worth working furYou will make a great mistake then. You ther. At this point it was bought by Colonel wish to see the Alleghany Mountains in the Sloane ; and the strange thing was that alIndian summer ? Oh yes, very good ; but most immediately it began to yield in a suryou could see that next year; and in the prising manner, and had continued to do so mean time think what splendid fun we shall ever since. Mr. G- congratulated our have,”

Bell on being the owner of this mine, and “Ask Bell,” said Queen T-, with a said he would have much pleasure in showquiet smile, "whether she would rather re- ing it to her when she went up to Idaho; but turn with us now, or wait out here to hear of he gravely ended his story without dropping your shooting black-tailed deer and moun- any hint as to the reason why the Virgin tain sheep?”

Agnes had slowly drooped and suddenly reAt this point a message was brought into vived. Nor did he tell us whether the men us, and it was unanimously resolved to employed in that mine were generously alask Bell's business friend to come in and sit lowed by Colonel Sloane to share in his good down and have a glass of wine with us. fortune. Surely there were no secrets about the doings He asked Bell whether she proposed to of Five-Ace Jack unfit for us all to hear ? start for Idaho next day. She looked at her We found Mr. T. W. G-a most worthy husband. and excellent person, whose temper had not “Oh no," said the lieutenant, promptly. at all been soured by his failure to find the “We have a friend arriving here on Saturphilosopher's stone. It is true, there was a day. We mean to wait for him.” certain sadness over the brown and wrinkled “ Pray don't delay on his account,” face when he described to us how the many Lady Sylvia said, anxiously. “I can very processes for separating the gold from the well remain here for him, and come up to crushed quartz could just about reach paying you afterward.” expenses, and without doing much more ; “Oh we shall have plenty to do in these and how'some little improvement in one of three or four days--plenty,” the lieutenant these processes, that might be stumbled on said ; “I must see about the ladies' saddles by accident, would suddenly make the dis- to

morrow, and I want to buy an extra rifle coverer a millionaire, the gold bearing quartz or two; and a revolver, and a hunting-knife. being simply inexhaustible. It was quite And then this list of things for the house at clear that Mr. G-had lost some money in Idaho -." this direction. He was anxious we should No doubt there was a good deal to be go up to Georgetown, when we were at done ; only one would have thought that Idaho, to see some mines he had ; in fact, three or four days were pretty fair time in he produced sundry little parcels from his which to prepare for a short trip up the pocket, unrolled them, and placed the bits / Clear Creek canon. It was not, however.

would be shut; and on Monday morning O

On the Saturday morning every one was

CHAPTER LI. most extraordinarily busy, especially as the time approached for the arrival of the train

OUR LAST NIGHT TOGETHER. from Cheyenne. Next day all the shops

N that Monday morning when we left early we started.

Denver to seek Bell's distant home “Lady Sylvia,” said the lieutenant, with in these pale-blue mountains, there was no ingenuous earnestness, “I must really go great rejoicing among us. It was the last after those saddles again. Tell Mr. Bal- day of our long journeying together, and we four I shall be back to lunch, will you, if you had been pleasantly associated ; moreover, please?"

one of us was going to leave her dearest Indeed, one went away on one mission, friend in these remote wilds, and she was and the other on another, until there was no rather downhearted about it. Happily the seone of the party left in the hotel with Lady cret exultation of Lady Sylvia, which could Sylvia but Queen - The latter was in not altogether be concealed, kept up our her own room. She rang, and sent a servant spirits somewhat : we wondered whether she to ask her friend to come and see her. She was not going to carry her husband's porttook Lady Sylvia's hand when she entered. manteau for him, so anxious was she about

“I am going to ask you to excuse me,” his comfort. said she, with great innocence. “I feel a The branch line of rail that pierces for little tired; I think I will lie down for an some distance the Clear Creek canon takes a hour, until luncheon-time. But you know, circuitous course on leaving Denver through dear Lady Sylva, if there are none of them some grassy plains which are intersected by down stairs, all you have to do is to get into narrow and muddy rivulets, and are sufficthe omnibus when it calls at the door, and iently uninteresting ; so that there was they will drive you to the station ; and you plenty of opportunity for these sojourners to will not have long to wait.”

sketch out something of their plans of livThe white hand she held was trembling, ing for the information of the new comer. violently. Lady Sylvia said nothing at all; But Balfour--who, by the way, had got but her eyes were moist, and she silently thoroughly bronzed by his travelling-would kissed her friend, and went away.

not hear of all the, fine pleasure excursions About an hour thereafter, four of us were that the lieutenant was for planning out. seated at a certain small table, all as mute “We are under enough obligations to as mice. The women pretended to be very you,” said he, “even if I find I can do this busy with the things before em. No one thing ; but if I discover that I am of no use looked toward the door. Nay, no one would at all, then your charity would be too great. look up as two figures came into the big sa- Let us get to work first ; then, if the way is loon, and came walking down toward us. clear, we can have our play afterward. In

“Mrs. Von Rosen,' said the voice of deed, you will be able to command my atLady Sylvia, in the gayest of tones, "let me tendance, once I have qualified myself to be present to you your new agent—"

your servant." But her gayety suddenly broke down. She “Yes, that is reasonable," said the lieuleft him to shake hands with us, and sat tenant. down on a chair in the dusky corner, and “I am quite sure,” said Lady Sylvia, hid away her face from us, sobbing to her that my husband would be a poor companself.

ion for you, so long as our affairs are unset“Ha !” cried the lieutenant, in his storm- tled—” iest way, for he would have none of this sen- “And, besides,” said Balfour, with a laugh, timent, “do you know what we have got for “ You don't know what splendid alternative you after your long journey? My good schemes I have to fall back on. On the friend, there is a beefsteak coming for you ; voyage over I used to lie awake at night, and and that-do you know what that is ?.--that try to imagine all the ways in which a man is a bottle of English ale !"

may earn a living who is suddenly made penniless. And I got up some good schemes, I think ; good for a man who could get some backing, I mean."

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