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floor, deal table, ornamented with a big Testament and square dingy water bottle, and its company of solemn females, laden with newspaper parcels, was a depressing sight indeed. The sharp sound of the bell, announcing that the expected train had come in sight, created a diversion among the silent unsociables. A porter who had been lounging at the station entrance, interchanging laconic observations with the omnibus conductor, popped in

his head to admonish the passengers that it was time to be on the move; and the ladies, each shouldering an umbrella, marched forth to the platform. In came the iron monster, puffing, shrieking; leaving volumes of damp smoke in its wake, and giving vent to a variety of unearthly groans.

There was a rush of porters-a ruinous dashing of wet luggage on the platform. Armed, like their sisters of the waiting-room, with waterproofs and cotton umbrellas, a reinforcement of doleful females issued from second and third-class carriages, and on all sides re-echoed despondent enquiries for the bus.

One first-class carriage alone appeared to be occupied, and the group

it disgorged was of a more cheerful character. There, large as life, was our friend the Archdeacon, with the same gaiters and guide-book, and arriving by the selfsame train which had brought him to St. Dunstan’s when we first began to follow his fortunes. There also was Mrs. Egerton,

her carriage bag bursting with presents ; Miss Nutting, with her cheap cross; and Geraldine, with cheeks that seemed to glow the more warmly in contrast with the dull drab to which the weather had reduced all less brilliant complexions. She had held her head so long out of the window, eager to catch the first glimpse of the Castle towers, that the long black feather in her hat was drenched and straight, and the rain-drops glistened on her lashes.

Between the start of the great ponderous landau, which was waiting at the station entrance, and the arrival at the Castle, lay near an hour's drive; and Geraldine, untroubled by any sensations of nervousness, chattered and laughed with an almost wild merriment, and looked to this side and to that for the familiar sights of the streets. Her father, who began to realise more vividly than he had yet done the momentous change coming over his child's life, and who was oppressed with an undefined anxiety, was a little distressed that her position did not sit more gravely on her. Why this anxiety should suddenly steal into his heart he knew not. Except for certain rumours that undue harshness had caused young Berkeley's flight from home, the Archdeacon had seen and heard nothing to excite uneasiness as to the character of his future son-in-law. In a worldly point of view, Geraldine's circumstances would be brilliant. She was devoted

heart and soul to her betrothed husband, and it was self-evident that no motive but personal attachment could have induced him to ask in marriage a girl half his own age, and with neither fortune nor splendour of position to recommend her. Yes, the more her father reflected, the more unreasonable did these new-born misgivings appear-misgivings so out of harmony with that smiling face opposite, every line of which seemed instinct with hope, confidence, and joy.

“O, papa !” she exclaimed, as they drove past the Abbey, “what a sad contrast this is to our last arrival here! How you will miss your dear friend, Dr. Bogle's welcome, and liberal housekeeping; above all, the chance of hearing from him the exact truth on all controverted questions.

“ Now, my Diney," exclaimed Mrs. Egerton, “ you just remind me of a little word of warning I meant to give you. Remember that now you do not come to Rotherhame as a passing stranger, who will go away and leave no trace behind; your home in the future lies in this place, and it behoves you, my child, to let by-gones be by-gones, and to do all that in you lies to promote peace and goodwill. Every allowance should be made for any little infirmities of temper in the poor Doctor, considering the terrible trial he was called on to pass through in the loss of his exemplary wife. Those poor girls too, left motherless at such an age. Put yourself

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in their place, and try to do all you can to add to their happiness.

“ The greatest kindness I could do them would be to take them away from their father's society as

often as possible," answered Geraldine stubbornly. "I wonder if he has modified the conscientious objections he informed papa he had against our being together, since he has heard that I am actually to have the honour of living up at the Castle with the Earl' and the Family.'

is another of speeches, Geraldine," said her father. “Why cannot your jokes be good-natured, my dear child ?"

“Dr. Bogle's weaknesses are not of the kind to which one is disposed to be goodnatured," she answered. darling ones, I will try to do all you wish. I think I am really too happy at present to find it bard to forgive any one, though I fear I could not yet make up my mind to endure civilly the presence of that odious Robert !

“ Look at home, dear Geraldine, and then you won't be so ready to find fault with others," said Nina, in accents of playful reproof. “Don't let's say any more on the subject, since it draws you on to use strong language ; let's talk instead about the interesting objects we are passing through. I remember so well, dear Mrs. Egerton, how last time we came the Archdeacon pointed

6. However, my out all the archæological titbits, and how he opened my eyes to appreciate the architectural beauties of this fine old street. Let me see,' she continued, with laboured enthusiasm, “ he said that that old building was Gothic, did he not? and that other"

“The term Gothic is quite given up now by archæologists," interposed the Archdeacon, instructively. 66 Lord Scroll de Parchement, President of the Barfordshire Society, made some valuable remarks on that subject at our last meeting, and on the superficial knowledge of architecture which the use of the term betrays.”

“Lord Scroll ? The old gentleman with a coat green from antiquity, who looked as if he came out of Noah's ark, and had been preserved in the British Museum ever since, said Geraldine. " What would he term himself? Gothic, Early English, or Antediluvian, I wonder ? Here we are in the forest; and her voice involuntarily took a graver tone as they passed from the open road into the shadow of the autumnal trees.

" How dreary and discoloured it all looks. I should think even the

the blood-stained waters in Culpepper's Bowl would turn grey this evening."

“Ah! that story has always left a deep impression on my mind," said the Archdeacon, with a gleam of enjoyment. "I shall hope to hear it from Rotherhame's own

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