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IN THIS WORLD:
Bv MABEL COLLINS, Author of "An Innocent Sinner," &c.
Continued from page 153.
eat anything, and I was doing a ANGELS' VISITS.
little picture on commission, and it ERNESTINE's unceremonious de isn't finished.” parture from the quaint confes- To this pathetic outcry Ernestine sional scene in which Coventry made an irrelevant answer. played the part of father confessor, “Come to the window; you meant that she was afraid of letting must bear the light for a moment, her feelings run away with her, and as I want to see your tongue. that she intended to distract her Miss Armine submitted in mind by work as quickly as possible. silence. Ernestine only held the
It was a curious feature in her blind back a little. character, and known to scarcely “ Coated with creamy fur-no anyone but herself, that this wonder you can't eat. You must apparently cold woman was fre- go to bed right off and leave quently driven to take such means pictures and commissions alone for to conquer the intensity of feeling the present." which burned behind the calm In a quarter of an hour Miss exterior, and threatened to break it Armine was in bed, to her own down.
intense relief, in the character of a She went straight from the Sil- really sick person. She had held burn's house to Miss Armine's lodg- up her aching head and worried ings. She found that lady sitting about her pictures just as long as dolefully enough in the new rooms was possible; and now, when the which Dorothy had found for her. effort was becoming unbearable, The blinds were down, and the the doctor had come and told her little parlour looked dim and to lie down and give up the
sibilities of life. The release was “Will you excuse this dark as nearly pleasant as any sensation room?” said Miss Armine, rising could be to her in her present state; languidly from the corner of the and she laid her head upon the sofa in which she had been curled pillow in her darkened bedroom up; "my head aches so, I cannot with a sigh of thankfulness. bear the light."
“Don't spend too much of your Ernestine found her way in the time here, dear Dr. Ernestine,” she semi-darkness to the side of the said. “ It is not sofa.
while." " And I am all over chills, and I “You must be well nursed," said ache from head to foot; and I can't Ernestine gently, as she gave
some finishing touches to her far as was possible, to lose thought arrangements.
of her own life and troubles in Miss Miss Armine raised her head in Armine's. Her struggles were horror, and started upon to her harder, her future was more doubtelbows in spite of her weariness. ful, than she let even Dorothy
“Nursed—oh no, indeed, I shall know. She was heavily handicapped want no nursing, I can't pay a at the beginning of her solitary nurse ; and indeed, dear Dr.
career. She was a woman, to begin Ernestine, I will be so good and with-a fact which, in England, take so much care of myself, I places a worker at a great disadshall not want a nurse.”
vantage. She was compelled by “Very well,” said Ernestine, sheer lack of money to take obscure quietly," you shall not have one if lodgings, instead of a house, in you don't wish it.”
Wimpole-street; and her paying The promise pacified the girl, connection was so small that she for she had little idea of how ill began to feel her daily bread and she really was, or what skilled butter a matter of great concern. nursing she would require.
Indeed knew that, unless some Ernestine had little time to think fresh opening came for her before of her own affairs after this.
long, she would be in actual want. She had Miss Armine's life in One day she heard that a househer hands, as she well knew, and surgeon was wanted at the hospital she was determined to save it. where she had so long worked.
Ernestine,” said Dorothy, one She debated much whether to apply day when she found her by Miss Ar- for the post, which would avert her mine's bedside; “it is not right for immediate distress, as she would you to spend half your time here. have rooms in the hospital and a You are not attending to your own small salary. It required some interests.”
her old “Typhoid," was Ernestine's some- colleagues and brave all the gossip what oracular reply, “depends more which her applying for such a post than any known disease on good would cause.
She put the idea nursing. I think I am attending aside for a day or two, and gave to my own interests in properly unremitting attention to her few looking after a case like this. I patients. But they were so few, dare not trust any but a very good and her connection showed so little nurse with her now ; but I find sign of increasing, that she could it will be necessary for some one to not let the opportunity slip altostay with her while I am obliged gether. So one
day she left to be away, as I sometimes am. Dorothy to take charge of Miss
“I will do that,” said Dorothy; Armine, whose course of fever had “I shall just enjoy it. I was born not yet run out, and walked to the to be a nurse; I only want a little hospital. training, and this will just be an She was welcomed with great opportunity for me.”
courtesy by her old friends. Dr. And so these two women (neither Vavasour Doldy was something of whom, by the way, could rightly more than Dr. Vavasour had been. afford to do it) gave their time and She had entered the aristocracy of their brains and their hearts to medicine, and was respected accordMiss Armine; watching her night ingly; and her proposal was eviand day, and nursing her through dently looked on with favour, though the fever and delirium.
with some surprise, until she made Ernestine was indeed glad, so it known that she would expect to
receive the same salary as the former the incarnation of bright friendlihouse-surgeon had received.
ness, welcoming the poet who had " Ah !” said the secretary, coldly, strayed into his office, much as he " that makes a difference. We might have greeted a wandering have one or two excellent candidates butterfly. who are ready to fill the post un
“I have come,” said Coventry, paid, for the sake of the experience. on a very impertinent errand. I Of course your name and position don't want to be really impertinent; would have influenced us to give I have only one question to ask the preference to you; but we really you, and
you will betray no secrets cannot afford a salary.”
in answering it." Ernestine went back to Miss “Sit down if you please,” said Armine's sick-room, and told her Mr. Lingen, "I am not busy just story to the sympathetic Dorothy, now; and I have often desired to who carried it home to Coventry at meet you, though I never anticidinner time, now almost the only pated seeing you here. You are hour in the day when she saw him. about the last man in London Indeed, that gentleman was left so whom I should expect to find in my much to his own devices now that office.” Dorothy had turned nurse, that it “You are right; I should not was pretty nearly certain he must be likely to come here on my own get into mischief before long. And affairs. I am putting my fingers the very next morning after Ernes- into other people's pies, and I shall tine's call at the hospital, he set probably make a mess of it.” about it. Soon after Dorothy had Well! and how am I to help gone out, he sallied forth himself, you in this cookery ? ” and walked straight into the city to “I have come to you,” said Mr. Lingen's office.
Coventry, “because you know Lewis Lingen was sitting alone everybody's secrets, and can tell me in his dust-coloured room when a what is possible and what is not. clerk brought in a card and handed There are two splendid people whom it to him.
both you and I know, whose lives " The gentleman does not wish are being made miserable. They to come in unless you are quite have separated on a flimsy pretext, disengaged; otherwise he will call and are living apart and breaking again.”
their hearts over it. Now I for "Coventry Silburn!-ah, I know," one don't believe in their pretext; said Lingen, smiling to himself; I think there is a secret between "a verse-maker.” Yes, show him them, which you probably know. in at once,” he added aloud to the So I want you to tell me whether clerk.
there is anything to be done to When Coventry entered, Lingen bring these people together looked up, eyeglass on eye, from again.” his papers. He had never had to “And these people are-?" do with this verse-maker personally. "Dr. Doldy and Mrs. Dr. Doldy." After a second's scrutiny, while “Oh!” said Mr. Lingen abCoventry advanced, he rose to wel stractedly, wearing the look which come him-dropping the eyeglass came upon him when he turned his as he did so, and putting it inside vision inwards to review all the his waistcoat. The man before him points of a case, “I heard there was pellucid-his soul shone out some professional quarrel of his eyes instead of being con- between them ; you don't believe cealed behind them. Lingen looked that?
“Yes, I do," answered Coventry- “Not knowingly, I fancy: it “Indeed I know it is true. And it appears to me as if Dr. Ernestine is just what might have been ex- had, by some accident, come to pected with two people of strong know more of Miss Doldy's affairs character, of differing views, and than she liked, and whatever has separated by half a generation in come between her and Dr. Doldy, technical education. But they are has come, I feel sure, by silence not the people to actually break up and the keeping of secrets." a life which they had just formed “Yes; that is possible. But I together because of such a quarrel. can do nothing until Miss Doldy Something besides that has come is married. When she is Lady between them."
Flaxen, and Mr. Yriarte is a con. “And how can I know anything vict, I think I may help you." about it?'
“Does he really deserve such a “ Because I think it relates to punishment ?" asked Coventry, Miss Doldy's affairs."
thinking of Ernestine's distress “ And, if I may ask another when she spoke of it. question, what should make you “Certainly," exclaimed Mr. expect me to help you if I do know Lingen with unusual heat of man. anything?
ner ; “ for the matter of that, he “Only the shape of your head," ought to be hung.
ought to be hung. But at preanswered Coventry. “I am sure sent,” he added more coolly, “my you will do what you can to avert lips are sealed. When those two misfortune from two such people as events have taken place of which I these are.”
spoke, I believe I can help you to “I don't know Mrs. Doldy,” bring the doctors together again. said Mr. Lingen, “I have heard But you musn't forget your prothat she is a handsome woman." mise to introduce to the
“ She is a glorious woman," exclaimed Coventry, "a
They talked for a while about whose greatest personal charm is other things – literature princithat, though of course she knows pally. And then Coventry went she is handsome, she does not home, and told Mrs. Silburn in think about it, for she has other enigmatical fashion that “ he had things in her mind.”
been to make a call, and had seen “Ỉ should like to see her,” said a man of imagination who had Mr. Lingen ; “like most intensely wasted himself upon facts.” practical men, I delight in fast “ And who is this wonderful horses and fine women.
man ?" asked Dorothy. “But you are not naturally “Lewis Lingen." intensely practical: you
have “Now,” exclaimed Dorothy, turned the powers of a mind "you have done something useful created to deal with abstractions, for once in your life. You have
But as to Dr. Ernes- reminded me, by mentioning that tine, you will not meet her in man's name, of how it is that poor society_now; you will have to little Ruth Armine hasn't got any enter Bohemia and come to my money. She gets her dividends house if you are to see her. But from him: and, like the clever, even that I can't promise you at practical people we are, we never present : she is very busy."
left her new address at the old “ And you think it is Miss lodgings. And, of course, being Doldy who has come between these ill, she has not been at the Art two?"
School or any of her haunts. I
expect he has lost her: I will write to give up her independence and him a note at once.”
add herself to the wife and Which she did; and, in the nine daughters, who made a comdelight of her discovery, forgot to paratively colourless party round question Coventry any further his dinner table, and now she had about his interview with the great put the cap to her absurdities by lawyer.
losing herself in some extraAs it happened, Dorothy's note ordinary fashion; and when Mr. was very welcome to Mr. Lingen; Lingen, who was very busy, looked for it arrived just as Ruth's up from his papers and met the brother-in-law, fresh out of the quick eyes of his visitor, he felt train from the north, had entered very glad that Dorothy's note had his office to demand of him what just come, and that he could he meant by such nonsense as tele- perhaps divert the fury of the graphing to him that his sister whirlwind by supplying some news had disappeared ?
of the lost relation.
Mr. Nugent had a peculiarity CHAPTER XXXIII.
which was quite a part of himself. A PRACTICAL MAN. He always understood-or supRUTH ARMINE's brother-in-law posed he understood—what people was a man who generally met with bad to say before they had half respect. He was eminently respec. said it. He never heard a sentence table in appearance, always cool, to the end. well dressed, well brushed, quiet in “Ruth ill?”—just what might manner; yet in disposition he was be expected — delirious ? — brain a species of incarnate whirlwind. fever, of course. The foolish girl The moment Mr. Lingen met his will work. Women can't stand it quick restless eyes, he was aware of -all nonsense to suppose they can. the fact that he had encountered They weren't created for it, and its one of those men who seem created no good trying to make them over to fill something of the office of a again. Just give me her address human tornado. Such men cannot -thanks," --jotting it down in live unless they both move them. his notebook while he spoke. · selves and stir the world around “I must be off directly, as I've them. If they are not born into a only got about an hour to look her position where they are utilised as up in.-Oh, by the way, I expect I conquerors, soldiers, or politicians, shall have to send for a physician they enter the easier arena of for the child. She is sure to have finance, and become gigantic called in some little local nobody. speculators, and make of them. Whom should you recommend ? selves a sort of centre to a per. My friend Dr. Bull is out of town petual stir and change of money. to-day, I know.”
Mr. Nugent was supposed to be “Dr. Doldy, certainly,” said Mr. a cotton-spinner. His real affairs Lingen. “I will give you his in life were only understood by a address in case you need it, but I few men like himself well known quite hope you will find Miss in the great money exchanges of Armine better, as Mrs. Silburn Europe.
speaks of the crisis being over He had come to London now, now." not on business, but to see what “Good !” said his visitor. had become of his little sister-in- “Good bye, Lingen,” and was gone law. She had worried him for without waiting any answer. some years by persistently refusing In less than half-an-hour he was