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      They kissed again, this time with tears on both sides; for Allegra was now quite overcome, and sobbed out her emotion upon her sister's neck; they two standing clasped in each other's arms beside the river.The next day was Sunday. It came to the earth, as it comes always, with kindly, hallowed hands full of blessings, but found not everywhere hearts and minds open to receive them. Carice Bergan, to be sure, knelt in her accustomed place, in the little church of her fathers, with a face which might almost have rivalled that of an angel in its bright peacefulness, and with all the windows of her soul plainly open to the heavenly sunshine. Bergan Arling, too, conscious that each one of these holy days had its own special gift or grace for him, its own kind and measure of spiritual food, which he could ill afford to lose, knelt in his proper place, and reverently lent his full, rich voice to swell the solemn flow of common prayer, or the harmonious burst of choral praise. And Mrs. Lyte, in her widow's weeds, looking upward in spirit, to the long peace of Paradise, and the shining faces of the redeemed, was glad to believe in "the communion of saints," and rejoiced in the day that was both a foretaste and a promise of the "life everlasting." Even Astra Lyte, though suffering from a vague and nameless depression,a burden of which, as yet, she felt only the weight and chill, without comprehending, or daring to try to comprehend, whence it came or what it meant,was sensible of a dim delight, and possibly a latent helpfulness, in the sweet and solemn influences of the day and the place. Here and there, moreover, a soul bowed under the weight of recent affliction, or shaken with the terrors of a newly-awakened conscience, was both awed and glad to be able to give itself audible expression in words so fit and forcible as those of the Confession and the Litany, and thankful if it might pick up so much as a crumb of pardon and peace from the Master's bountiful table.

      Varley only smiled.

      Hereupon, Major Bergan's wrath broke out afresh. It was not in human naturecertainly not in that particular species of human nature represented by the Majorto hear with equanimity that the very measure which he had taken to prevent what he considered to be an unsuitable marriage, had possibly availed to hasten it forward. The walls of the doctor's office trembled with the oral thunderbolts launched at the offenders. In due time, however, these also subsided into the low growl of the exhausted tempest; dying away, at last, in muttered imprecations upon that curious turn of eventsthe grim humor of which the Major was now quite capable of appreciatingwhich had made him the trustee of Mrs. Lyte's affairs, and the guardian of her interests.In the keen, fresh October afternoons, there was no walk Allegra loved better than the walk to Neptune Point, and higher up by winding footpaths to the Rashleigh Mausoleum, fitting sepulchre for a race born and bred in the breath of the sea; a stately tomb perched on a rocky pinnacle at the end of a promontory, like a sea-bird's nest overhanging the wave.

      [Pg 36]"Why should you go back? You will be home sooner with my horse than with the screw that brought you."

      "Is your book very interesting?" he asked, at last, exasperated by her calmness.

      Astra walked to the door, and flung it wide open. "I have that to say," she replied, turning upon him with a look of ineffable scorn, and a queenly gesture of dismissal. "Go!"


      "Nor I either," rejoined Dick Causton, coolly, "unless your dead ancestors should imagine it to be theirs. Os demos os suyos quieren,The devils are fond of their own,and so, doubtless, are the saints, if any such are to be found in your pedigree. It is reasonable to suppose that they would all prefer to see their earthly possessions go down in the channel marked out by nature. Anyway, I'm right glad to know that Mr. Arling is to have his rights, some day, fine fellow that he is! I've always had a kindness for him, ever since I first gave him a lift, on his way to you."


      Ohahyes, he said, rather crestfallen.


      She had lifted herself into a sitting position, she who had not been able to sit up for many days past."Here!" Carice started, and turned round with eager, expectant eyes.