« ForrigeFortsett »
clear to himself that he had no occasion and go and seek my daughter's; you have to explain his position to anyone ; for my consent and I make almost sure that inasmuch as his conscience was void of her mother will not object. May heaven offence, he had nothing to confess; therefore bless you with all that is best.” his resolve was greatly simplified, reducing He found May coming into the house itself to one of two alternatives,—whether having a right royal cluster of purple he was justified in giving his name to. grapes in each hand, and she asked him, another or not. Prayerful and anxious "Will you share with me my burden of pondering led him to the resolution to seek fruit? I have a bunch of flowers to pick up." consultation with Mr. Riley, and to ask his “Yes, with pleasure, and may I,” he said, permission to plead his cause with May. “become a sharer in all your burdens ?”.
When he arrived at the Manse, the “Serious as usual, Mr. John ? I have no mother and the daughter were entertaining burdens worthy of being placed on your a worthy, but poor church member who, stalwart shoulders,” she replied, hiding her after Mrs. Riley, had her name on the top emotion, for she felt his question had a of the list of the sisterhood, and was held point which it was not easy to meet playin much esteem by all the members. fully, or to parry off with a dexterous Gabriel found the pastor in his study, rejoinder. The tone of mirthful coyness where he would be safe from the intrusion which customarily suited her so well had of the other members of the family.
forsaken her, and she could hardly analyse “I came here this evening, Mr. Riley," her feelings whilst leading him to place said Gabriel, “ to speak to you on a most the fruit in the basket she had set near the important matter. You knew nothing piano in the drawing-room. He was not of me until about two years ago, but you disposed to let go his advantage,have shown me all possible consideration “Do you remember, when we stood at and kindness.”
this piano before, you spoke of forming a " Whether I have succeeded in doing so quartet ?” or not, I am sure it has been my aim, and The expression had struck him then with I do not wish to flatter you when I say a meaning she had not intended to convey. that you are worthy, for your own sake, of “Let me drop all figures, and fire point my warmest attachment, both in my official blank. Dear May, will you allow yourself, capacity as minister of the gospel and as a in accordance with your name, to turn my friend. I have taken you on your own life into one continuous summer and pure merit, without thinking of your past, which sunshine ?”. is not long, wherever you spent it, and The answer was given as all such answers cannot contain anything that belies your always are. May had loved no other than present position of usefulnsss and growing Gabriel ; in fact, she had not seen any to be prosperity. You told me a year ago that compared with him since she had left you have no nearer relation alive than an school. He had spoken to her father, she aged grandfather; and if I may tell you so, would impart the news to her mother, and your lonesomeness had something to do at receive the blessing of both. first in evoking our sympathy towards you.”
“I have not the gift of beating much It fell to the lot of Mr. Riley to visit about the bush ; pardon me, therefore, if I Van Dieman's or Tasmania as deputy apmay seem to be somewhat abrupt. Your pointed from Australia, with the view of friendship to me has been more precious undertaking new missionary enterprise than you can imagine, but I come here to among the aborigines. He had also obtained implore your consent to win a higher permission to visit the penal settlement of favour. The question relates to another, the island. Intelligence was easily obtainyet for obvious reasons I come to you first. able in compliance with the request made Your daughter has become dearer to me by his nephew in the letter already quoted than any other human being.”
from Africa. His colleague being engaged “My dear lad, you come to ask for a in drawing up a report, he went alone to great deal,--my only child. Take my hand, interview Jason Penrith, the companion of
Gabriel in exile; and he obtained clear message from me, stating that his grandproof that Gabriel Yoreth and Gabriel John father's health is gradually giving way, were one and the same individual.
and that the property which will be Penrith had in his possession a letter Gabriel's has more than doubled its value from Yoreth giving an account of the kind through the granting of leases upon the way in which Mr. Wilfred, the Melbourne little estate; and the out-put of minerals solicitor and philanthropist, had assisted from below the surface, greater than was him. For a day or two Mr. Riley felt the case a few years ago, produces an innearly overwhelmed by the discovery; but creased amount of royalty, that is, a perafter pondering over the full and satisfactory centage on every ton of mineral dug out information received from Penrith, and of the earth, paid to the owner of the land. taking into account the excellent character If I were in your stead I would inform him given by all who spoke of Gabriel, he took the first opportunity how the facts came to a brighter view of the event in spite of its your knowledge, letting no one else know being exceedingly perplexing; and he re anything at all of the affair.” solved to call upon Mr. Wilfred on his “I conclude, from what
om what you say, that you return home through Melbourne. He also consider the young man to be the victim of called to mind how pointedly Gabriel had a cruel mistake.” proposed a hypothetical instance of a re Your inference is correct as to my Teased convict being received into partner- opinion of the matter,” replied Mr. Wilfred. ship when
when they conversed these I have sincerely admired his disposition questions at the Manse; and how fully his for more than a year with growing esteem; own replies fitted in with the circumstances and now I am able to account for the look of Gabriel's case so as to exonerate the of sadness, painful to behold, which someyoung man from any blame in seeking the times crept over him when he was brought hand of May. In addition to this, the way face to face with suffering.” in which his consent to the engagement had Have you noticed the calm and unbeen asked, revealed the same care on the flinching earnestness with which he takes part of Gabriel lest, in case his antecedents his stand when he has made up his mind ? became known, any blame should be at It is the disposition of an Athanasius tached to him for seeking what would against the world; and can be cultivated seem his own ends at the expense of lower- only by a mind habituated to the feeling of ing the social status of one whom, there being in the right on some vital question, could be no doubt, he loved with all the when others clearly are in the wrong." force of a powerful mind.
“I have observed that trait, and though As soon as Mr. Riley had completed his I could not understand it before, I accept mission in Tasmania, he hastened to your explanation as being also my own.” Melbourne and sought an interview with At the time of Mr. Riley's arrival at Mr. Wilfred, when he detailed to him the Bailey-hill, Gabriel was from home. On facts that came under his notice in carrying the following day both took a long walk out the request of his nephew.
together, and Mr. Riley, in the kindest Gabriel Yoreth has, without knowing possible manner, told Gabriel,—“Gabriel, it,” said Mr. Wilfred, “placed me in a my dear boy, I sympathize from my heart position to proffer you all the information with your hard lot, during the last five you may ask, and to which you are entitled
years. I have interviewed Penrith ; and as the father of his intended wife. He has Mr. Wilfred has unhesitatingly tendered written to me to inform me of his intention me all the information he had, as much in to marry Miss Riley in the course of a few your defence as for my satisfaction. Do months."
not put your hand over your eyes; you What course would you advise me to have no possible occasion to fear harm from pursue, seeing I can no longer act as if I did
me, or from any word of mine.” not know anything of these incidents ?" Do not, I pray," begged Gabriel, whilst
'I shall thank you much, Mr. Riley, if gasping for breath,“ do not disturb our you will be so good as to convey him a present arrangements, or I fear it will be too
much for me.” And painful to witness thus before, and both men bore upon them was the agony of his face and voice, as he tokens of mutual tension and excitement. whispered to himself,—“Jesus, friend of When they drew near the Manse, Gabriel men, help me; thou knowest I am innocent indicated an inclination for going straight of the crime.”
to his lodgings, for he feared the keen The intensity of this touching prayer, perception of loving eyes would discover wrung from his soul, did not escape his signs of a spent storm of emotion. And companion's hearing or fail to fill his eyes Mr. Riley had an impression that it would with tears.
be easier to resume their ordinary rôle by “Let us sit down on the grass, my son, taking up the thread of their past confor a few moments," said Mr. Riley. nection as soon as possible, after it was Your son!”
broken during the confidences of their “Yes, my son; and more really so now memorable walk. than ever you would be without my knowing A shade of anxiety crossed the countenof the heavy cross you have silently borne, ances of the two women when they caught and the suffering you have bravely endured.” sight of husband and lover approaching
“I have often wished I could acquaint the entrance to the house ; and May you with the facts you have just dis- obtained an opportunity to enquire of covered; but I resolved not to anticipate Gabriel whether anything untoward had the leadings and ways of Providence ; and occurred during their stay out of doors. by their intervention the task has been "No, dear May, nothing that could accomplished in a manner far better than I disturb the good understanding which could devise. I received from your own always subsists between us. There is no words and arguments a balm for my con such another as your father under the science to heal the soreness I felt in asking Southern Cross. There it is out already; May to take as her own a name tarnished I never saw it more beautiful than toin the sight of the law of the land, though night; whenever we behold it, may it unblemished in that respect before the remind us to direct our gaze to another throne of God. It would be only right and more glorious Cross.” now that I should supplement what you In the presence of May he soon regained have heard from others with my own composure, and buoyant reaction was version of the trying event.”
setting in after the excited depression of "You may relate your experience of the the preceding hour or two from perceiving last five years some other time if you desire, that the very best solution of his perplexity when it will pain you less to do so than had been granted him in a measure far now and here."
beyond his most sanguine expectations. “No, here, if I may, under the open sky, Your trustfulness has a tone of triumph in the eye of Heaven; and let me beg of in it this evening. What is it that has you, do not let this cloud come over May's caused it ?” wedding. Can we not keep all to ourselves, “Have no fear, my darling, in watching until the explanation of the mystery will the changing hues of the sky and the be given us in this, or in the next world ?” clouds; the sunshine, I cannot help believ
Very well, it will be quite as well for ing, for May and me will last for many a us both to bring this episode to a close pleasant day!" to-day if possible. In my capacity as The little company, after all, was never pastor many a sorrowful incident that in a more happy mood at its evening comes to my hearing is buried at once and repast; but the women observed an unfor
ever; and do you not think that I can usual tenderness in the voice of the men do that much for my wife and daughter?” when they spoke to each other, especially After an hour's recital by Gabriel,
by Gabriel, when the elder of the two addressed the concise, and thrilling, now in a poetic strain, younger. now walking, and now standing, Mr. Riley
( To be continued.) thought he had never heard all the strings
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