ten years of his life to undo the wrong
and make ample amends. And still,
the voice that none of us can stifle for
ever kept whispering, "Too late-too
late ."
  He was musing thus in miserable an-
ticipation of the next news, when the
door opened slowly, and Wyverne en-
tered, fully equipped for his depart-
  What passed between these two will
never be known. Beauclere, who stood
outside within ear-shot, ready to inter-
fere in case Alan's self-control should
fail, heard absolutely nothing. At first,
the Earl's harsh, rough voice, though
subdued below its wont, sounded at in-
tervals; but Wyverne's deep, sombre
monotone seemed to bear it down, and
even this eventually sank so low that
not an accent was distinguishable.
  At last, the lock turned softly, and
Wyverne came out. He just pressed
Algy's hand in passing, and went straight
to the hall-door, where his horses were
waiting. Immediately afterwards the
hoofs moved slowly away.
  It was five minutes or more before
the carriage was ready. Beauclerc had
put his wife in, and was standing in the
hall, making his last preparations, when
Clydesdale came up behind him, and
took his arm unawares.
  The Earl's face was convulsed with
grief; his eyes were heavy, and his
cheeks seemed seamed with tears; and
his voice was broken and low.
   " I hardly dare to ask you to stay to-
night," he said; " but if you would
Only consider the fearful weather, and
your wife's health. If you knew how1
bitterly I repent! I only heard the
truth ten minutes ago."
   Algy Beauclere could preach patience
better than he could practise it. He
shook off the detainino hand with a
force that made Clydesdale reel, turning
upon him the wrathful blaze of his
honest eyes.
   "I hope you do repent," he said,
hoarsely. " My wife is not strong, but
she should lie out on the open moor
sooner than sleep under that accursed
roof of yours."
   If he had looked back as he went out

he might have seen the Earl recoil help-
lessly, covering a stricken face with
shaking hands.
  Wyverne remained at the village inn,
not a mile from the park gates, just long
enough to rest his horses and men, and
then rode back to the Abbey as fast as
blood and bone of the best would carry
him. His strained nerves and energies
were not relaxed till he got fairly home.
There was a sharp reaction, and he lay
for some time in a state of half stupor;
but he was never seriously ill. It was
no wonder that mind and body should
be utterly worn out: the dark ride
through such wild weather was trying
enough, and he had scarcely tasted food
or drink for twenty hours.    Twice
within the week there came a special
messenger from Clydesholme; it was
to be presumed that the errand was one
of peace; for, eight days after Helen's
death, Alan Wyverrie stood in his place
among the few friends and relations who
travelled so far to see her laid in her
grave. But it was noticed that neither
at meeting nor parting did any word or
salutation pass between him and the
Earl. Alan arrived only just in time
for the funeral, and left immediately
afterwards, without setting his foot over
the threshold of Clydesholme.
  No one saw anything of Wyverne for
some weeks. When he reappeared in
society he looked certainly older, but
otherwise his manner and bearing and
temper remained much the same as they
had been for the last four years.
  That night left its mark on others be-
sides him. It was long before Beauclerc
recovered his genial careless elasticity of
spirit; and for months his wife scarcely
slept a night without starting and moan-
ing in her dreams. Judging from out-
ward appearance, Clydesdale was the
person most strongly and permanently
affected by the events just recorded.
He was never the same man again: his
temper was still often harsh and violent,
but the arrogant superciliousness, and
intense appreciation of himself and his
position, had quite left him. The lesson,
whatever it was, lasted him his life.
Very few of the many who were pleased
or profited by the alteration in the Earl's