selected by herself with good judgment, because she intended to win from the sea a subsistence for herself and Datya. She would have to do it with her own hands, with no one to help her, but she never shrank from the toil of this new occupation. She felt within herself a longing for the sea, an inner harmony with the rise and fall of the ever surging waves. And this will explain how Walmot came to live on the island, in the little lone house on the outermost edge of the western shore.

She possessed great bodily strength and indomitable resolution to carry out whatever external necessity, or inward feeling, prescribed. She no longer sat stitching for hours in a close room, but against wind and storm rowed out in her little bark to fish. A tight sailor's cap confined her thick blond tresses ; her petticoat of durable material was stuffed in at the sides of stout jack-boots that reached above the knee. Seen from a distance, and even close by, she might have been taken for a man, and manly she certainly was in her endurance and in her quickly acquired skill in her new calling. The improved tackle, which she had first seen in America, enabled her to obtain an unusually abundant supply of fish, far beyond her own needs. She dried, salted, and smoked the greater part of it, packed it up in barrels, and came to an agreement with a seaman from the mainland to fetch the store of provisions at certain times, and convey them to the market of Emden for sale. No one on the island earned so much by fishing as she did; she advised the men to adopt the improved nets that she herself used, but all with a shake of the head clung to the ways of their forefathers, with the persistent doggedness of the Frisian. They could not help seeing the greater haul of fish, but they ascribed it, not to more judicious handling, but to some secret art, by means of which Frau Utsee enticed the fish into her net.

With Walmot, however, the occupation, the strenuous toil, was not the end and aim of life, but only its necessity. When she had satisfied its requirements she would sit with Datya on the downs gazing at the sea. They would sit there of an evening in the last golden rays of the setting sun or beneath the drifting clouds of the gray sky. This was Walmot's recompense for her day's toil. She had no notion how to give a lesson, and no intention to give any, and yet from her words the little maiden gathered her first impressions and knowledge of the beauty and pleasantness of sunshine, of the grandeur of the storm, and the wonders of the deep. On starry nights the little one would also ask what those lights were in the sky, but Walmot answered she did not know, and did not think anybody else knew, whatever they might say or write about them. Perhaps they would know when they were dead, but as long as a man lived on earth, he could know nothing about the heavens, which took no heed of his happiness or grief. Each individual was set in life, like the little islands in the great sea, round which the waves rose and fell, as the days and nights do, for a certain time. But Death stands waiting for each at last, and once clasped in his arms, all that has gone before is of little import. Therefore, everyone should enjoy the present moment as far as possible, and help those who are in sorrow or need to do so too. Otherwise the life of man will be found so wretched as to be scarcely endurable; but even misfortune may be rendered lovely if one thinks not of one's self, but of others, sharing their joys, and striving to lighten their grief. The little Datya was some ten years old, and she listened to it all with a mind prematurely ripe ; she asked questions when she did not fully understand, and sought for illustrations in the life around. Thus without regular teaching she formed a conception of the world and of human life; she called Walmot mother, and knew no reason why she should not. She shot up rapidly, but remained thin as a lath; neither wind nor seabreeze bronzed her pallid cheeks.

The islanders were acquainted with Frau Utsee's history. She never spoke of it herself, but in the course of time reports had spread over from the mainland. She was descended from the same old Frisian race, and considered herself neither higher nor better than the rest, although she far surpassed the majority in knowledge and judgment. Thus she won general respect in the village, and the women more especially sought her help whenever they felt at a loss. They might, too, always depend upon having it just as certainly as they could depend upon the return of the tide: whether in winter fog or summer sunshine, whether able to cross with dry foot the low strip of land that joined the east and western parts of the island, or when storms submerged it with foaming waves, Walmot, wading knee-deep, would be sure to come with help or comfort, leaving lighter hearts behind her.

The more, therefore, did the men and women of the island shake their heads in ominous surprise when one day it appeared

quite plain that Frau Utsee was not right in her mind, and that she was her own worst and most foolish counsellor.

It was a windy November evening when a fisherman, who had been to the mainland, brought back to the island with him a man whom he had found wandering on the beach, and who urgently desired to reach the island. He looked haggard and neglected, poorly clad, and half frozen, pinched with hunger, repulsive in appearance, like a hopeless drunkard, and with a piteous imbecile leer on his livid features, which were ravaged by disease. He inquired for Walmot's house, staggered towards it, and like wildfire the news quickly spread that the stranger was no other than Roeluf Hemmen. He had sold his brig, and spent the proceeds—the dowry of his wife—in drinking and dissipation, and had now come as a beggar to throw himself upon her for support.

The news created general excitement. The villagers hurried in a body to the help of one who was menaced with such a disaster; even the old pastor rose from his easy-chair for such an emergency. For once rumour was right. It was Roeluf Hemmen, though he was scarcely to be recognised; not yet forty years of age, he had become a decrepit old man before he had spent more than half of the allotted span of human life. He sat, like one dazed, on a clump of wood before the door, and a few steps further off stood Walmot. For the first time since she had come to live on the island she was pale as death, and her hands were clinging to the door - posts for support. She started in alarm when she first caught sight of the approaching troop hurrying over the sand-bank, and for a few moments she stared at them in silence; then, struggling for breath, she asked in a stern voice :

What do you want here? My husband is come home; I knew it, and have been expecting him. Leave us alone to-day; he is ill, and must keep quiet.'

The well-meaning old pastor went up to her, and said :

Whatever do you mean? You can't think of keeping here and maintaining by your own toil this miserable creature who betrayed and deserted you ? He has no claim upon you, and deserves nothing but contempt and abhorrence ; if you stand in fear of him, I will see to it that he quits the island at once, and never troubles you again.'

Walmot only fixed her eyes calmly on the speaker as she answered :

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'It is written in your book that the wife shall cleave to her husband. Is she then to do this only in his prosperity, and not also when he is miserable ?'

Her question received no answer, but the old pastor added :

"He who won't hear must suffer. I have warned you, Walmot, not to do what neither law nor justice nor Christian duty can require.'

But Walmot obeyed the dictates of her own heart. It was not a wife's love to her husband that influenced her, for had old memories preserved a spark of love alive, the sight of Roeluf Hemmen must have extinguished it at once. equally degraded both in body and in mind, a fragment of animal life in human form, that retained nothing beyond the desire to satisfy the calls of hunger and then to sleep. It had indeed caused Walmot some minutes' struggle between the memories of the past and the disgust inspired by the present; but human pity gained the victory in her heart. She formed the resolution to keep Roeluf Hemmen by her side, and strive, if possible, to raise him from his mental and physical degradation, and invest him once more with the attributes of humanity. She never gave a thought to the injury he had inflicted upon herself, or to the fact that he was now bearing the just punishment of his misdeeds; she thought only of the span of life that still remained to him, and allowed herself to be regarded by the islanders as a silly obstinate woman.

Then followed some weary years for Walmot—the bitterest she had ever yet known. Roeluf was, like most imbeciles, very stubborn ; he never acknowledged her kindness to him, but very soon demanded of her even beyond his actual need. She always gave way to him, except in cases where his own welfare required a firm refusal. No physician of a lunatic asylum could, from his practical knowledge, have devised better means for the cure of mental disease than those which her own feelings led Walmot Tyamen to employ.

But added to all this, there was another terrible heartrending fear. It was but too plain that Datya had inherited from her mother the seeds of consumption. The air of the island did not avail to counteract the disease. Her young life was gradually but hopelessly fading away, and Walmot loved her as if she were her own and only child. The girl herself knew nothing about her critical condition, and her foster-mother was fully resolved that she never should receive a hint of it from

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her lips, but should enjoy without a care her little span of life, until the imperceptible arrival of the closing hour. It was often an almost overwhelming task for Walmot to pursue her daily toil while thinking of the young life that was so slowly ebbing away; and it was hard at night to stifle her own sobs, lest they should disturb her darling's sleep, and by day to maintain an air of cheerfulness in presence of the hopeless aspect of the child. But her will, her love, accomplished it all, for she was determined that as long as her own strength held out, Datya should be happy. Sometimes she pondered whether she must tell Roeluf Hemmen that Datya was his daughter. It might, however, have whirled about in his weak brain as an ever-stinging reproach, and have made him feel keenly the child's death, about which he was now indifferent. There was no need for anyone ever to know who were the parents of the child ; and so Walmot hid that secret with her fears and tears.

The end came at last. Datya lay with eyelids closed, her hand fast clasped in Walmot's hand. The loving woman bade the child sleep peacefully and sound, so that she might wake quite strong and well, able to get up and sit upon the downs to enjoy again with her the sunshine and the sea. The closed lids once more opened, a happy smile beamed forth, and, with a faint voice, she breathed the words :

Oh, that will be nice! Yes, I will go fast to sleep. Darling mother, thank you !

She fell asleep and woke no more. While she lived, she never realized to whose care alone the prolongation of her life had been due, or that it had been continually threatened by the dread hand of Death.

But now Walmot might weep, she might pour forth the sorrow of her wounded heart. The blessing of her life—the only one she had ever really possessed-was taken away ; a cheerless, empty desert lay around her.

But Roeluf Hemmen also now often sat silently weeping. It was not the child's death that grieved him ; he had not cared enough about her to be distressed by her loss; but through his mental darkness a ray of light was piercing by degrees. It struck him sometimes how infamously he had behaved to Walmot, and how strangely she had repaid his deceit, and the ruin of her peace. He struggled with this first dim terrible wakening of his burdened conscience; he never spoke about it,


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