xt7ttd9n3n76 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7ttd9n3n76/data/mets.xml Holmes, Mary Jane, 1825-1907. 18  books b92-211-30910171 English M.A. Donohue & Co., : Chicago : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Rector of St. Marks  / by Mary J. Holmes. text Rector of St. Marks  / by Mary J. Holmes. 18 2002 true xt7ttd9n3n76 section xt7ttd9n3n76 

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                CHAPTER L

             FRIDAY AFTERNOON.

  TnE Sunday sermon was finished, and the young
rector of St. Mark's turned gladly from his study-
table to the pleasant south window where the June
roses were peeping in, and abandoned himself for a
few moments to the feeling of relief he always ex-
perienced when his week's work was done. To say
that no secular thoughts had intruded themselves
upon the rector's mind, as he planned and wrote
that sermon, would not be true; for, though mor-
bidly conscientious on many points and earnestly
striving to be a faithful shepherd of the souls com-
mitted to his care, Arthur Leighton possessed the
natural desire that those who listened to him should
not only think well of what he taught but also of
the form in which the teaching was presented.
When he became a clergyman he did not cease to be
a man, with all a man's capacity to love and to be



loved, and so, though he fought and prayed against
it, he had seldom brought a sermon to the people of
St. Mark's in which there was not a thought of
Anna Rutlhven's soft, brown eyes, and the way they
would look at him across the heads of the congrega-
tion. Anna led the village choir, and the rector
was painfully conscious that far too much of earth
was mingled with his devotional feelings during the
moments when, the singing over, he walked from
his armchair to the pulpit and heard the rustle of
the crimson curtain in the organ loft as it was
drawn back, disclosing to view the five heads of
which Anna's was the center. It was very wrong,
he knew, and to-day he had prayed earnestly for
pardon, when, after choosing his text, " Simon,
Simon, lovest thou me" instead of plunging at
once into his subject, he had, without a thought of
what he was doing, idly written upon a scrap of
paper lying near, " Anna, Anna, lovest thou me,
more than these " the these, referring to the
wealthy Thornton Hastings, his old classmate in
college, who was going to Saratoga this very sum-
mer, for the purpose of meeting Anna Ruthven
and deciding if she would do to become Mrs.
Thornton Hastings, and mistress of the house on
Madison Square. With a bitter groan at the enor-
mity of his sin, and a fervent prayer for forgive-
ness, the rector had torn the slips of paper in
shreds and given himself so completely to his work
that his sermon was done a full hour earlier than





usual, and he was free to indulge in reveries of
Anna for as long a time as he pleased.
  " I wonder if Mrs. Meredith has come," he
thought, as, with his feet upon the window-sill, he
sat looking across the meadow-land to where the
chimneys and gable roof of Captain Humphreys'
house was visible, for Captain Humphreys was
Anna Ruthven's grandfather, and it was there she
had lived since she was three years old.
  As if thoughts of Mrs. Meredith reminded him
of something else, the rector took from the drawer
of his writing table a letter received the previous
day, and, opening to the second page, read again
as follows:

  "Are you going anywhere this summer Of
course not, for so long as there is an unbaptized
child, or a bed-ridden old woman in the parish, you
must stay at home, even if you do grow as rusty as
did Professor Cobden's coat before we boys made
him a present of a new one. I say, Arthur, there
was a capital fellow spoiled when you took to the
ministry, with your splendid talents, and rare gift
for making people like and believe in you.
  " Now, I suppose you will reply that for this
denial of self you look for your reward in heaven,
and I suppose you are right; but as I have no rea-
son to think I have any stock in that region, I go
in for a good time here, and this summer I take it
at Saratoga, where I expect to meet one of your



lambs. I hear you have in your flock forty in all,
their ages varying from fifteen to fifty. But this
particular lamb, Miss Anna Ruthven, is, I fancy,
the fairest of them all, and as I used to make you
my father confessor in the days when I was rusti-
cated out in Winsted, and fell so desperately in love
with the six Miss Larkins, each old enough to be
my mother, so now I confide to you the pro-
grarnme as marked out by Mrs. Julia Meredith, the
general who brings the lovely Anna into the field.
  " We, that is, Mrs. Meredith and myself, are
on the best of terms. I lunch with her, dine with
her, lounge in her parlors, drive her to the park,
take her to the operas, concerts and plays, and com-
pliment her good looks, which are wonderfully well
preserved for a woman of fcrty-five. I am twenty-
six, you know, and so no one ever associates us to-
gether in any kind of gossip.  She is the very
quintessence of fashion, and I am one of the dan-
glers whose own light is made brighter by the re-
flection of her rays. Do you see the point  Well,
then, in return for my attentions, she takes a very
sisterly interest in my future wife, and has adroitly
managed to let me know of her niece, a certain
Anna Ruthven, who, inasmuch as I am tired of city
belles, will undoubtedly suit my fancy, said Anna
being very fresh, very artless, and very beautiful
withal. She is also niece to Mrs. Meredith, whose
only brother married very far beneath him, when
he took to wife the daughter of a certain old-fash-




ioned Captain Humphreys, a pillar, no doubt, in
your church. This young Ruthven was drowned,
or hung, or something, and the sister considers
it as another proof of his wife's lack of refinement
and discretion that at her death, which happened
when Anna was three years old, she left her child
to the charge of her own parents, Captain Hum-
phreys and spouse, rather than to Mrs. Meredith's
care, and that, too, in the very face of the lady's
having stood as sponsor for the infant, an act
which you will acknowledge was very unnatural
and ungrateful in Mrs. Ruthven, to say the least
of it.
  " You see I am telling y Au all this, just as if
you did not know Miss Anna's antecedents even
better than myself, but possibly you do not know
that, having arrived at a suitable age, she is this
summer to be introduced into society at Sara-
toga, while I am expected to fall in love with her
at once and make her Mrs. Hastings before another
winter. Now, in your straightforward way of
putting things, don't imagine that Mrs. Meredith
has deliberately told me all this, for she has not,
but I understand her perfectly, and know exactly
what she expects me to do. Whether I do or not
depends partly upon how I like Miss Anna, partly
upon bow she likes me, and partly upon yourself.
  " Now, Arthur, you know, I was always famous
for presentiments or fancies, as you termed them,
and the latest of these is that you like Anna Ruth-




ven. Do you  Tell me, honor bright, and by
the memory of the many scrapes you got me out
of, and the many more you kept me from getting
into, I will treat Miss Anna as gingerly and broth-
erly as if she was already your wife. I like her
picture, which I have seen, and believe I shall like
the girl, but if you say that by looking at her with
longing eyes I shall be guilty of breaking some one
of the ten commandments-I don't know which-
why, then, hands off at once. That's fair, and
will prove to you that, although not a parson like
yourself, there is still a spark of honor, if not
of goodness, in the breast of
  " Yours truly,
                      " THORNTON HASTINGS.
  " If you were here this afternoon, I'd take you
to drive after a pair of bays which are to sweep
the stakes at Saratoga this summer, and I'd treat
you to a finer cigar than often finds its way to
Hanover. Shall I send you out a box, or would
your people pull down the church about the ears
of a minister wicked enough to smoke Again
adieu.                             " T. H."

  There was a half-amused smile on the face of the
rector as he finished the letter, so like its thought-
less, lighthearted writer, and wondered what the
Widow Rider, across the way, would say of a
clergyman who smoked cigars and rode after a race-
horse with such a gay scapegrace as Thornton Has-




tings. Then the amused look passed away, and
was succeeded by a shadow of pain as the rector
remembered the real import of Thornton's letter,
and felt that he had no right to say, " I have a
claim on Anna Ruthven; you must not interfere."
For he had no claim on her, though half his par-
ishioners, and many outside his parish, had long
ago given her to him, and said that she was worthy;
while he had loved her, as only natures like his can
love, since that week before Christmas, when their
hands had met with a strange, tremulous flutter,
as together they fastened the wreaths of evergreen
upon the wall, he holding them up and she driving
the refractory tacks, which would keep falling in
spite of her, so that his hand went often from the
carpet or basin to hers, and once accidentally closed
almost entirely over the little, soft, white thing,
which felt so warm to his touch.
  How prettily Anna had looked to him during
those memorable days, so much prettier than the
other young girls of his flock, whose hair was tum-
bled ere the day's work was done, and whose dresses
were soiled and disordered; while here was always
so tidy and neat and the braids of her chestnut
hair were always so smooth and bright. How well,
too, he remembered that brief ten minutes, when,
in the dusky twilight which had crept so early into
the church, he stood alone with her, and talked, he
did not know of what, only that he heard her voice
replying to him, and saw the changeful color on




her cheek as she looked modestly in his face. That
was a week of delicious happiness, and the rector
had lived it over many times, wondering if, when
the next Christmas came, it would find him any
nearer to Anna Ruthven than the last had left
  " It must," he suddenly exclaimed. " The mat-
ter shall be settled before she leaves Hanover with
this Mrs. Meredith. My claim is superior to
Thornton's, and he shall not take her from me.
I'll write what I lack the courage to tell her, and
to-morrow I will call and deliver it myself."
  An hour later, and there was lying in the rector's
desk a letter in which he bad told Anna Ruthven
how much he loved her, and had asked her to be
his wife. Something whispered that she would
not refuse him, and with this hope to buoy him up,
his two miles walk that warm afternoon was neither
long nor tiresome, and the old lady, by whose bed-
side he had read and prayed, was surprised to hear
him as he left her door whistling an old love-tune
which she, too, had kIown and sung fifty years




               CHAPTER IL,


  MM. JULIA MEREDITH had arrived, and the
brown farmhouse was in a state of unusual excite-
ment; not that Captain Humphreys or his good
wife, Aunt Ruth, respected very highly the great
lady who had so seldom honored them with her
presence, and who always tried so hard to impress
them  with a sense of her superiority and the
mighty favor she conferred upon them by occa-
sionally condescending to bring her aristocratic
presence into their quiet, plain household, and
turn it topsy-turvy. Still, she was Anna's aunt,
and then, too, it was a distinction which Aunt
Ruth rather enjoyed, that of having a fashionable
city woman for her guest, and so she submitted
with a good grace to the breaking in upon all her
customs, and uttered no word of complaint when
the breakfast table waited till eight, and some-
times nine o'clock, and the freshest eggs were
taken from the nest, and the cream all skimmed
from the pans to gratify the lady who came down
very charming and pretty in her handsome cam-
bric wrapper, with rosebuds in her hair. She had
arrived the previous night, and while the rector
was penning his letter she was holding Anna's hand
in hers, and, running her eye rapidly over her




face and form, was making an inventory of her
charms and calculating their value.
  A very graceful figure, neither too short nor
too tall. This she gets from the Rutfhvens. Splen-
did eyes and magnificent hair, when Valencia has
once taken it in hand. Complexion a little too
brilliant, but a few weeks of dissipation will cure
that. Fine teeth, and features tolerably regular,
except that the mouth is too wide, and the forehead
'too low, which defects she takes from the Hum-
phreys   Small feet and rather pretty hands, ex-
cept that they seem to have grown wide since I saw
her before. Can it be these horrid people have
set her to milking the cows 
  This was what Mrs. Meredith thought that
first evening after her arrival at the farmhouse,
and she had not materially changed her mind when
the next afternoon she went with Anna down to the
Glen, for which she affected a great fondness, be-
cause she thought it was romantic and girlish to do
so, and she was far being past the period when
women cease caring for youth and its appurte-
nances. She had criticised Anna's taste in dress
-had said that the belt she selected did not har-
monize with the color of the muslin she wore, and
suggested that a frill of lace about the neck would
be softer and more becoming than the stiff white
linen collar.
  " But in the country it does not matter," she
said. " Wait till I get you to New York, under




Madam Blank's supervision, and then we shall
see a transformation such as will astonish the hum-
ble Hanoverians."
  This was up in Anna's room, and when the Glen
was reached Mrs. Meredith continued the conver-
sation, telling Anna of her plans for taking her
first to New York, where she was to pass through
a reformatory process with regard to dress. Then
they were going to Saratoga, where she expected
her niece to reign supreme, both as a beauty and a
  " Whatever I have left at my death I-shall leave
to you," she said; " consequently you will pass as
an heiress expectant, and with all these aids I
confidently expect you to make a brilliant match
before the winter season closes, if, indeed, you do
not before you leave Saratoga."
  "Oh, aunt," Anna exclaimed, her brown eyes
flashing with unwonted brilliancy, and the rich
color mantling her cheek. " You surely are not
taking me to Saratoga on such a shameful errand
as that  "
  " Shameful errand as what " Mrs. Meredith
asked, looking quickly up, while Anna replied:
  " Trying to find a husband.   I cannot go if
you are, much as I have anticipated it. I should
despise and hate myself forever. No, aunt, I can-
not go."
  " Nonsense, child. You don't know what you
are saying," Mrs. Meredith retorted, feeling intui-



16       THE RECTOR uF ST. MARK'S.
tively that she must change her tactics and keep
her real intentions concealed if she would lead
her niece into the snare laid for her.
  Cunningly and carefully for the next half hour
she talked, telling Anna that she was not to be
thrust upon the notice of any one-that she herself
had no patience with those intriguing mammas
who push their bold daughters forward, but that as
a good marriage was the ultima thule of a woman's
hopes, it was but natural that she, as Anna's aunt,
should wish to see her well settled in life, and set-
tled, too, near herself, where they could see each
other every day.
  " Of course, there is no one in Hanover whom
you, as a Ruthven, would stoop to marry," she
said, fixing her eyes inquiringly upon Anna, who
was pulling to pieces the wild flowers she had gath-
ered, and thinking of that twilight hour when she
had talked with their young clergyman as she never
talked before. Of the many times, too, when they
had met in the cottages of the poor, and he had
walked slowly home with her, lingering by the
gate, as if loth to say good-by, she thought, and
the life she had lived since he first came to Han-
over, and she learned to blush when she met the
glance of his eye, looked fairer far than the life
her aunt had marked out as the proper one for a
  " You have not told me yet. Is there any one
in Hanover whom you think worthy of you  "



Mrs. Meredith asked, just as a footstep was heard,
and the rector of St. Mark's came round the rock
where they were sitting.
  He had called at the farmhouse, bringing the
letter, and with it a book of poetry, of which Anna
had asked the loan.
  Taking advantage of her guest's absence, Grand-
ma Humphreys had gone to a neighbor's after a
recipe for making a certain kind of cake of which
Mrs. Meredith was very fond, and only Esther,
the servant, and Valencia, the smart waiting maid,
without whom Mrs. Meredith never traveled, were
left in charge.
  " Down in the Glen with Mrs. Meredith. Will
you be pleased to wait while I call them  " Esther
said, in reply to the rector's inquiries for Miss
  " No, I will find them myself," Mr. Leighton
rejoined. Then, as he thought how impossible it
would be to give the letter to Anna in the presence
of her aunt, he slipped it into the book which he
bade Esther take to Miss Ruthven's room.
  Knowing how honest and faithful Esther was,
the rector felt that he could trust her without fear
for the safety of his letter, sought the Glen, where
the tell-tale blushes which burned on Anna's cheek
at sight of him more than compensated for the cool-
ness with which Mrs. Meredith greeted him. She,
too, had detected Anna's embarrassment, and when




the stranger was presented to her as " Mr. Leigh-
ton, our clergyman," the secret was out.
  " Why is it that since the beginning of time g -is
have run wild after young ministers" was her
mental comment, as she bowed to Mr. Leighton,
and then quietly inspected his personnel.
  There was nothing about Arthur Leighton's ap-
pearance with which she could find fault.  He
was even finer looking than Thornton Hastings, her
beau ideal of a man, and as he stood a moment by
Anna's side, looking down upon her, the woman of
the world acknowledged to herself that they were
a well-assorted pair, and as across the chasm of
twenty years there came back to her an episode in
her life, when, on just such a day as this, she had
answered " no " to one as young and worthy as
Arthur Leighton, while all the time the heart was
clinging to him, she softened for a moment, and
by the memory of the weary years passed with the
rich old man whose name she bore, she was tempted
to leave alone the couple standing there before her,
and looking into each other's eyes with a look which
she could not mistake. But when she remembered
that Arthur was only a poor clergyman, and
thought of that house on Madison Square which
Thornton Hastings owned, the softened mood was
changed, and Arthur Leighton's chance with her
was gone.
  Awhile they talked together in the Glen, and
then walked back to the farmhouse, where the re-



tor bade them good evening, after casually saying
to Anna:
. I have brought the book you spoke of when I
was here last. You will find it in your room,
where I asked Esther to take it."
  That Mr. Leighton should bring her niece a book
did not seem strange at all, but that he should be
so very thoughtful as to tell Esther to take it to
her room struck her as rather odd, and as the
practiced war-horse scents the battle from afar,
so Mrs. Meredith at once suspected something
wrong, and felt a curiosity to know what the book
could be.
  It was lying on Anna's table as she reached the
door on her way to her own room, and, pausing
for a moment, she entered the chamber, took it in
her hands, read the title page, and then opened it to
where the letter lay.
  " Miss Anna Ruthven," she said. " He writes
a fair hand; " and then, as the thought, which at
first was scarce a thought, kept growing in her
mind, she turned it over, and found that, owing to
some defect, it had become unsealed and the lid
of the envelope lay temptingly open before her.
"I would never break a seal," she said, "but
surely, as her protector and almost mother, I may
read what this minister has written to my niece."
  She read what he had written, while a scowl of
disapprobation marred the smoothness of her brow.
  " It is as I feared' Once let her see this, and




Thornton Hastings may woo in vain. But it shall
not be. It is my duty as the sister of her dead
father, to interfere and not let her throw herself
  Perhaps Mrs. Meredith really felt that she was
doing her duty. At all events, she did not give
herself much time to reason upon the matter, for,
startled by a slight movement in the room directly
opposite, the door of which was ajar, she thrust
the letter into her pocket and turned to see Va-
lencia, standing with her back to her, and arrang-
ing her hair in a mirror which hung upon the wall.
  " She could not have seen me; and, even if she
did, she would not suspect the truth," was the
guilty woman's thought, as, with the stolen missive
in her pocket, she went down to the parlor and
tried, by petting Anna mor- than her wont, to still
the voice of conscience which clamored loudly of
the wrong, and urged a restoration of the letter to
the place whence it was taken.
  But the golden moment fled, End when, later in
the evening, Anna went up to her chamber and
opened the book which the rector had brought, she
never suspected how near she had been to the great
happiness she had sometimes dared to hope for, or
dreamed how fervently Arthur Leighton prayed
that night that, if it were possible, God would --rant
the boon he craved above all others-the pi Helesa
gift of Anna Ruthven's love.



               CHAPTER IIL


  THERE was an unnatural flush on the rectors
face, and his lips were very white when he came
before his people that Sunday morning, for he felt
that he was approaching the crisis of his fate; that
he had only to look across the row of heads up to
where Anna sat, and he should know the truth.
Such thoughts savored far too much of the world
which he had renounced, he knew, and he had
striven to banish them from lys mind; but they
were there still, and would be there until he had
glanced once at Anna, occupying her accustomed
seat, and quietly turning to the chant she was so
soon to sing: " Oh, come, let us sing unto the Lord;
let us heartily rejoice in the strength of His sal-
vation."  The words echoed through the house,
filling it with rare melody, for Anna was in per-
fect tone that morning, and the rector, listening to
her with hands folded upon his prayer-book, felt
that she could not thus "heartily rejoice," mean-
ing all the while to darken his whole life, as she
surely would if she told him " no." He was look-
ing at her now, and she met his eyes at last, but
quickly dropped her own, while he was sure that
the roses burned a little brighter on her cheek, and




that her voice trembled just enough to give him
hope, and help him in his fierce struggle to cast
her from his mind and think only of the solemn
services in which he was engaging. He could not
guess that the proud woman who had sailed so ma-
jestically into church, and followed so reverently
every prescribed form, bowing in the creed far
lower than ever bow was made before in Hanover,
had played him false and was the dark shadow in
his path.
  That day was a trying one for Arthur, for, just
as the chant was ended and the psalter was begin-
ning, a handsome carriage dashed up to the door,
and, had he been wholly blind, he would have
known, by the sudden sound of turning heads and
the suppressed hush which ensued, that a perfect
hailstorm of dignity was entering St. Mark's.
  It was the Hethertons, from Prospect Hill,
whose arrival in town had been so long expected.
Mrs. Hetherton, who, more years ago than she
cared to remember, was born in Hanover, but who
had lived most of her life either in Paris, New
York or New Orleans and who this year had de-
cided to fit up her father's old place, and honor it
with her presence for a few weeks at least; also,
Fanny Hetherton, a brilliant brunette, into whose
intensely black eyes no one could long look, they
were so bright, so piercing, and seemed so thor-
oughly to read one's inmost thoughts; also, Col-
onel Hetherton, who had served in the Mexican



war, and, retiring on the glory of having once led
a forlorn hope, now obtained his living by acting
as attendant on his fashionable wife and daughter;
also, young Dr. Simon Bellamy who, while obe-
dient to the flashing of Miss Fanny's black eyes,
still found stolen opportunities for glancing at the
fifth and last remaining member of the party, filing
up the aisle to the large, square pew, where old
Judge Howard used to sit, and which was still
owned by his daughter.   Mrs. Hetherton liked
being late at church, and so, notwithstanding
that the Colonel had worked himself into a tempest
of excitement, had tied and untied her bonnet-
strings half a dozen times, changed her rich bas-
quine for a thread lace mantilla, and then, just as
the bell from St. Mark's gave forth its last note,
and her husband's impatience was oozing out in
sundry little oaths, sworn under his breath, she
produced and fitted on her fat, white hands a new
pair of Alexander's, keeping herself as cool, and
quiet, and ladylike as if outside upon the graveled
walk there was no wrathful husband threatening
to drive off and leave her, if she did not " quit
her cussed vanity, and come along."
  Such was the Hetherton party, and they created
quite as great a sensation as Mrs. Hetherton could
desire, first upon the commoners, the people near-
est the door, who rented the cheaper pews; then
upon those farther up the aisle, and then upon Mrs.
Meredith, who, attracted by the rustling of heavy



silk and aristocratic perfume emanating from Mrs.
Hetherton's handkerchief, slightly turned her head
at first, and, as the party swept by, stopped her
reading entirely and involuntarily started forward,
while a smile of pleasure flitted across her face as
Fanny's black, saucy eyes took her, with others,
within their range of vision, and Fanny's black
head nodded a quick nod of recognition.  The
Hethertons and Mrs. Meredith were evidently
friends, and in her wonder at seeing them there,
in stupid Hanover, the great lady forgot for a
while to read, but kept her eyes upon them all,
especially upon the fifth and last mentioned mem-
ber of the party, the graceful little blonde, whose
eyes might have caught their lue from the deep
blue of the summer sky, and whose long, silken
curls fell in a golden shower beneath the fanciful
French hat. She was a beautiful young creature,
and even Anna Ruthven leaned forward to look
at her as she shook out her airy muslin and dropped
into her seat. For a moment the little coquettish
head bowed reverently, but at the first sound of
the rector's voice it lifted itself up quickly, and
Anna saw the bright color which rushed into her
cheeks and the eager joy which danced in the blue
eyes, fixed so earnestly upon the rector, who, at
sight of her, started suddenly and paused an instant
in his reading. Who was she, and what was she to
Arthur Leighton Anna asked herself, while, by
the fierce pang which shot through her heart, as



she watched the stranger and the clergyman, she
knew that she loved the rector of St. Mark's, even
if she doubted it before.
  Anna was not an ill-tempered girl, but the sight
of those gay city people annoyed her, and when,
as she sang the Jubilate Deo, she saw the soft blue
orbs of the blonde and the coal-black eyes of the
brunette, turning wonderingly toward her, she
was conscious of returning their glance with as
much of scorn as it was possible for her to show.
Anna tried to ask forgiveness for that feeling in
the prayers which followed; but, when the ser-
vices were over, and she saw a little figure in blue
and white flitting up the aisle to where Arthur, still
in his robes, stood waiting for her, an expression
upon his face which she could not define, she felt
that she had prayed in vain; and, with a bitterness
she had never before experienced, she watched the
meeting between theiu, growing more and more
bitter as she saw the upturned face, the wreathing
of the rosebud lips into the sweetest of smiles, and
the tiny white hand, which Arthur took and held
while he spoke words she would have given much to
  " Why do I care It's nothing to me," she
thought., and, with a proud step, she was leaving
the church, when her aunt, who was shaking hands
with the Hethertons, signed for her to join her.
  The blonde was now coming down the aisle with
Mr. Leighton, and joined the group just as Anna



was introduced as " My niece, Miss Anna Ruth
  " Oh, you are the Anna of whom I have heard so
much from Ada Fuller. You were at school to-
gether in Troy," Miss Fanny said, her searching
eyes taking in every point as if she were deciding
how far her new acquaintance was entitled to the
praise she had beard bestowed upon her.
  " I know Miss Fuller-yes; " and Anna bowed
haughtily, turning next to the blonde, Miss Lucy
Harcourt, who was telling Colonel Hetherton how
she had met Mr. Leighton first among the Alps,
and afterwards traveled with him until the party
returned to Paris, where he left them for America.
  " I was never so surprised in my life as I was
to find him here. Why, it actually took my breath
for a moment," she went on, " and I greatly fear
that, instead of listening to his sermon, I have been
roaming amid that Alpine scenery and basking
again in the soft moonlight of Venice. I heard
you singing, though," she said, when Anna was
presented to her, " and it helped to keep up the
illusion-it was so like the music heard from a
gondola that night when Ml r. Leighton and myself
made a voyage through the streets of Venice. Oh,
it was so beautiful," and the blue eyes turned to
Mr. Leighton for confirmation of what the lips
had uttered.
  " Which was beautiful -Miss Ruthven's sing-
ing or that moonlight night in Venice " young



Bellamy asked, smiling down upon the little lady
who still held Anna's hand, and who laughingly re-
  " Both, of course, though the singing is just
now freshest in my memory. I like it so much.
You must have had splendid teachers," and she
turned again to Anna, whose face was suffused with
blushes as she met the rector's eyes, for to his sug-
gestions and criticisms and teachings she owed
much of that cultivation which had so pleased and
surprised the stranger.
  " Oh, yes, I see it was Arthur. He tried to
train me once, and told me I had a squeak in my
voice. Don't you remember -those frightfully
rainy days in Rome " Miss Harcourt said, the
Arthur dropping from her lips as readily as if they
had always been accustomed to speak it.
  She was a talkative, coquettish little lady