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crossed her mind; but her whole being was too full of light to let its shadow rest, and it went flitting instantly like the shade of a filmy cloud over a field of buttercups. Hirell had no half-guilty, trembling happiness, nor did she feel in the least abashed or shame-faced at the thought of the news she had to tell Elias. She longed to meet him ; not to hang down her head before him, and make tearful and blushing confession of her love, but to look into his grave eyes and make them glad with the story of the grace that had been shown her. She found him sitting with Kezia in the kitchen, and saw the moment she entered that his face was more than usually careworn, and that Kezia's eyes as she looked up were a little red. Still Hirell felt no self-reproach. She advanced towards them, her face beaming with happiness, till the voice of Elias startled her--
So the man who calls himself John Rymer has been with you to-day.'
She turned pale, and recoiled like one who had been stung. Elias sat looking at her, evidently holding great control over himself. * Did you think to deceive me, my daughter ? ' he asked.
Indeed, Hirell, this is not like you,' murmured Kezia, not with any wish to reproach, but from an instinct that if another besides himself blamed Hirell, Elias might be moved to make his own blame less stern.
Oh Kezia! Oh father !' cried Hirell, 'why are you angry with me? what have I done ?'.
* Hush, dear Hirell,' said Kezia, 'you must know it was not right.
'I know that all which has happened me to-day has been right and holy and blessed in the sight of God,' Hirell said with streaming eyes, “and, father, the man of whom you speak so sternly is now rejoiced over by the angels of heaven. He is saved—he comes to us—he will be your son by marriage, and in the Lord he will learn of you and our ministers. Ah, put no trouble in my heart this night, for it is so glad! Like Hannah and like Mary, my soul exults to think how its lowliness has been regarded
There was something so sweet and thrilling in her voice that Elias and Kezia simultaneously raised their eyes to look at her; and beheld on her face an expression so tender, so seraphic,
that they withdrew their gaze quickly lest their looks of reproach should be changed to adoration.
Elias, putting his hand before his eyes, so as not to be moved by the sight of her, said in as calm and hard a voice as he could command
Give me sirnple and true explanations, Hirell. Does this man wish you to marry him ? '
'I know, father,' she answered, “it is hard for you to believe that this gentleman has so honoured me; yet it is true, and is the least of the miracles that have been shown me this day.'
Then,' said Elias, John Rymer so-called,” he added sternly, has agreed to become a member of the Calvinistic Methodist Church.'
"And through me your unworthy-your-' Her sweet voice became choked, she bent her head meekly, and let her emotion find vent in an unrestrained rush of tears.
Why does he not come back with you, to ask for you at my hands ? Why keep away like a backslider and deceiver ? asked Elias, rising.
‘Oh Kezia,' cried Hirell, falling upon her neck, tell him he is coming—tell him he is true and honourable as any man living.'
Is he coming to-night ?' demanded her father, sternly.
No; he was compelled to leave to-day, but in a few weeks he will be here.'
Why did he steal from my house like a thief, letting none know the time of his going?!
'He had letters, he told me; his business was sudden.'
*And of more importance than the consecration of the soul he has, you say, newly given to God; or, than his marriage with you?'
'Indeed, Kezia, my father should understand he is not as other men—he has great matters on his mind.'
So has Satan,' groaned Elias internally; but aloud he said —'Why did he sojourn with us under a feigned name ?
Hirell raised her head from Kezia's shoulder, and looked at her father with parted lip and dilated eyes.
Feigned ! his name ! Oh father!' 'I have said it,' answered Elias coldly, returning her look,
May I ask how ?-what makes you believe this ? ' • Kezia knows—let her say.
'I found in his room, Hirell, cards with the names he bears, and another added—John R. Cunliff,' answered Kezia, kissing the pale cheek turned attentively towards her.
Is that all ?—that may be the name of a relative.'
Could he so cruelly deceive me ? No. I tell you, father, no. Be careful, dear father, and Kezia, what is true must be known and-and-borne-but-oh! oh!'
She broke from Kezia and stood alone, her arms crossed tightly on her breast, her form swaying like a slender moun. tain tree in a cruel tempest, and then, laying one hand on her father's wrist and the other on Kezia's, she said
• But oh, it would be more charitable in both of you to desire to see my death—my death--than the breaking of my trust in this man.'
Alarmed at her passionate manner,•so unusual, so strange to her, Kezia gently stroked the hand that burned and trembled on her wrist. Elias looked down helplessly at that which lay on his, and dropping it, said : ‘Has it then gone so deep with you, Hirell ? '
Deep as life.' 'Aud you desire to walk with your eyes blindfolded ?'
"No, only to walk in faith. I love him. What is love without faith? I will trust him. When the words of his own lips defile him, then only will I doubt. Let me believe till then-then, which means always.'
She said the last words with a smile breaking round her lips, and in a tone at once strong and tremulous with happy trust.
Go then,' said Elias, not unkindly, “I will not reason with you more to-night. Go to your room, Hirell, subdue passion, pray for wisdom," commune with your own heart and be
"Good-night, my father.' Good-night.'
Good-night, Kezia,' she said, and the embrace she dared not give to her stern-eyed father she pressed with unwonted tenderness on the gentle housekeeper-holding her in her arms, and clinging to her as a child to a mother.
'DearGod bless you,' whispered Kezia, and gave her a candle, and Hirell took it and went out.
Turning towards Elias, Kezia saw he was watching his daughter from the room with eyes in which was a mixture of great tenderness and anger.
* Bright spirit!' he said, still looking at the door by which
she had gone out, his hard voice broken, “if this man prove false, may her purity and faith be made the fire by which his God shall scathe him. As to my wrath-God deal with it, God deal with it!'.
KEZIA TURNS PERVERSE. Though Elias had been suffering all that day a most tormenting anxiety concerning Hirell, after hearing that his lodger had been seen to take the road to Ewyn y Rhaiadr about half an hour before she started, it was to cares of another kind that the clouded looks on his face, and the red eyes of Kezia noticed by Hirell when she came in, were due.
It was now about six months since Hugh Morgan had entrusted to Elias the secret of his love for Kezia. The confi. dence reposed in him, as well as the absence and poverty of the young inan, made Elias regard it as his sacred duty to influence Kezia in his favour as much as he possibly could. During this six months Hugh had not fulfilled his promise about writing home regularly and acquainting his family with all that happened him.
His letters were few and arrived irregularly-were sometimes utterly despairing, sometimes wildly sanguine. At first they generally contained half tender, half bantering messages to Kezia, and Elias invariably read them to her, she listening with the simple affectionate pleasure of one unexpectedly remembered.
In the last three or four, however, Elias had come upon cer. tain passages which he had felt obliged to evade reading aloud. Hugh complained of never hearing anything about Kezia ; she must speak of him sometimes ; surely Elias might give him more comfort than he did concerning her; or if she had no regard for him at all, would it not be kinder in his brother to tell him the truth at once? Then perhaps the next letter would contain a passionate avowal of his incapability of living without hope of her acceptance; and so the elder brother was loaded by more and more perplexities and care.
He thought the time had now come for him to acquaint Kezia with the truth, and learn the state of her mind towards Hugh. He had been kept from doing this before, partly by
the wish his brother had expressed on leaving home that she should not be told till he had done something to give her faith in him; and partly because Elias was haunted by the fear that Kezia would not receive the announcement as Hugh expected she would.
Hirell's absence seemed to offer a good opportunity for Elias to speak to her; and as soon as the most pressing business of the morning was seen to, he came home with the intention of requesting her presence in the little parlour, where all interviews or consultations of any importance in the family were invariably held. .
It revealed a strange perversity in the mind of Elias Morgan, that though he saw Kezia alone in the kitchen, and everything most favourable to his purpose, he turned away from the door, and came back to it no less than three times, before he spoke the words he intended to say.
The first time he paused on the threshold, as if in reluctance to sully the floor with his muddy boots, for the kitchen was in a state of cold, polished cleanliness. The beam hooks, once so plentifully stored, were now almost empty; the fire had been set out till the time for cooking the men's dinner; the gaunt chairs were drawn up to their places, and on one of them near the open window, looking small in the great brown chamber, and solitary, and primitive, was Kezia. She wore a print gown which had once been a bright puce colour, but which age and frequent washing had faded to the pretty faint hne of the dog-violets on the mountains. On the fresh scoured table before her was the scant stock of linen she had just been gathering from the hedges where it had been spread to dry, and which she was now mending. The place smelt sweetly of it, and of the little spray of cherry blossom she had brought in with it and placed on the open leaves of her hymn-book that lay before her. The side of her face was towards the door, and the line of her hair as it went from the centre of her low forehead, and over her small fair ear, to the thick plaits behind, undulated in pretty waves, which gave her profile a richness that almost turned its simplicity into beauty. Her eyes bent over her work and her lips apart, as she sang in the low somewhat monotonous tone of a person having no faith in her own vocal powers, but who sings from an overflow of peace and contentment.
She looked up as the footsteps of Elias crossed the hall and