THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF BATTLE

On a Sunday afternoon these two, Ralph and Rhoda, had strayed out into the old orchard at the back of the house. The summer world was just then in all its glory. The meadows looked as if a flowery robe had been shaken out over them; the orchard grass was full of tall, shiny buttercups and large field-daisies, resplendent in their snowy frills. A turquoise sky smiled down through the…

THE FARM PURCHASED BY ONE RALPH CHANNELL

Eight years passed away. In Huntsdean churchyard the grass had grown over Helen’s grave, covering up the bare, brown earth, as new interests cover an old sorrow. Little Nelly had never realized her loss. It contented her to know that her mother had been laid to rest in a sweet place, and would rise again some day when the Lord called her. She always hoped that Helen might rise in…

DISPOSING OF HELEN’S JEWELS

A month went by. The household fell back into its old ways. The little child laughed and played, and grew dearer and dearer to them all. Mrs. Farren had taken upon herself the task of looking over Helen’s things. She performed this duty without any aid from Rhoda; and not one word did she say about the jewels. The farmer had written to Australia, breaking the sad news to Robert…

THE MASTER IS COME, AND CALLETH FOR THEE.

Rhoda seized upon her cousin as she was passing out of the tent. She was resolved that Helen should not go back to the dancing-room. What was done could not be undone. But she would take her away before the crowd had begun to disperse. “Come, Helen,” she said, “I have your cloak and hat; you needn’t go into the house again. Mr. Gill will get the chaise ready at…

HELEN UNDER A NEW ASPECT

On Friday afternoon, Helen’s chamber-door chanced to be left open, and Rhoda caught a glimpse of a delicate silk dress lying on the bed. She went straight into the room and examined it. Bodice and sleeves were trimmed profusely with costly lace; the rich lilac folds might have stood alone, so thick was the texture. It was not the sort of dress that should have belonged to the wife of…

AN INVITATION FROM SQUIRE DERRICK

As the summer advanced, Helen’s spirits rose. She was not the pale, plaintive woman that Rhoda had found on her return from London. Her beauty brightened visibly, and more than one neighbour remarked that it was a sin and a shame for such a pretty creature to be tied up to a man who was nothing but a cross to her. Perhaps Helen herself was of the same opinion. The…

A SPARED LIFE

A great sorrow is like a mountain in our way: we must either climb to its top, or lie grovelling at its base. If we grovel, the path of life is blocked up for ever, and the shadow of our misery is upon us night and day. If we climb, we shall find purer air and fairer regions. Heaven will be nearer to us, the world will lie beneath our…

BROTHER AND SISTER

The father and mother retired first, then Helen. John seated himself in the farmer’s large arm-chair, and looked at Rhoda as she sat on the other side of the fire. These after-supper talks had been a custom with them in the old days. The sister knew by her brother’s glance that he understood her mood, and was prepared for a long chat. It is a trying thing for a woman…

THE HOME AT HUNTSDEAN AND ITS NEW INMATES

It was the dreariest of November days. The only bright spot was a crimson sumach, spreading its gorgeous foliage against the watery grey of the sky, and misty back-ground of fog-hidden fields. It was a day that made the burdens of life seem heavier than they really were, and set the heart aching for the sunshine of the vanished summer. The scene was as still as death. There was not…

A Piece in the Paper

The Chronic Loafer arose from the bench and stepped to the edge of the porch. He rested his left hand on the pillar, thrust his right hand into his pocket and gazed searchingly at the mountains. “What’s keepin’ you so quiet to-day?” asked the Teacher, lifting his eyes from the county paper. “One might suppose from the way you was watchin’ those mountains, you was expectin’ them to come over…