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mother's arms. Mrs. Myrtle was the first to speak, which she did in terms of strong remonstrancethe words 'unfair advantage' and 'trifling with feelings' being conspicuous in her discourse. Captain Gallivant denied the accusation of trifling, upon which Mr. Mango stepped forward, and said:
You will excuse me, Mrs. Myrtle, for interfering; but I heard this evening-and from one of his own friends-that this gentleman is already engaged to be married, and that the lady is expected in Calcutta by next mail.'
Mr. Mango owed the officers a grudge, and was delighted at the opportunity to expose one of their number. And the worst of the accusation was that it happened to be true. Honeydew, who had watched Gallivant's pursuit of Adelaide with a jealousy which was afterwards explained, had mentioned the fact to his partner in the last dance, and Mr. Mango, it seems, had overheard the communication.
You may imagine the torrent of indignation which now poured down upon the head of the unhappy lady-killer, who, having no explanation to offer, was fain to make some contemptuous remark about the imprudence of making associations beneath his station, and to take rather a hasty departure. Poor Gallivant! He meant no harm; but he took a sporting view of lady-killing, and had fallen into a habit of considering the sex generally as fair game.
Having taken possession of Adelaide, Mrs. Myrtle went in pursuit of her younger daughter, whom she found by the fountain in company with Mr. Mildmay. She was not quite displeased at this rencontre, but would have preferred that Mr. Mango should not have been a witness to the state of the case. She was gracious to her new friend, and merely said:
'Well, Mr. May, you seem to have been taking care of Flora, but I must take her myself now: it is time that we returned home.'
The little speech was the cause of a long journey-it brought the
pair back from a far-off world of golden dreams to the stern reality of the end of the ball, and the necessity for separation. But they were both quite self-possessed, and Mildmay's disillusionation took a practical turn, for he immediately replied:
So it seems I must wish you good-night-may I have the honour of calling upon you in the morning?' He determined to tell all without delay.
Mrs. Myrtle was about to acquiesce in the arrangement when a native chupprassy, bearing a large, official-looking letter, appeared on the scene, and advancing towards Mildmay with a humble salaam, placed the missive in his hands, with the words: ' Mildmay Sahib, ap ka waste.'
He pronounced the proper name with remarkable distinctness- so much so, indeed, as to attract the attention of the little group gathered around. They looked at each other with some surprise, which was not diminished when the gentleman whom they knew as Mr. May took the letter with such embarrassment as to let it fall upon the ground. This was an opportunity for Mr. Mango, who picked it up and handed it to its apparent owner, taking care to notice as he did so, that it was addressed to Frederick Mildmay, Esq., C.S., and was marked 'On Her Majesty's Service,' and 'Immediate.'
'You will excuse me for asking the question, sir,' said Mr. Mango, with an air half-sneering and halfcringing, for he was a very minor official himself; but are you Mr. Mildmay, of the Civil Service, who is in the "Government Gazette," which arrived this evening, as Joint Magistrate of Junglepore?'
Mildmay, with his official habit of dignity, was not to be taken to task in that way; so he answered coldly that he was not aware of any claim which his querist had to be informed upon the point.
Mrs. Myrtle and the daughters, however, were not so easily put down; and the mystery was soon thrown over. The letter was of no great importance, but being marked
immediate, and given into the chupprassy's hands to be delivered at once, the man had spent the evening in finding out where to discharge his trust hence its
arrival at so late an hour. Native messengers, when they consider that they have a missive of importance-which may be nothing more than an invitation to dinner - make no scruple of knocking up people in the middle of the night; and after all in the present case the principal trouble was entailed upon the camel, which had been discreetly left at the gate.
Mildmay of course pleaded guilty to his identity. But he was not prepared for the effect which the name had upon Mrs. Myrtle, who, in a state of some agitation, asked him if he had ever any relative of the same appellation in India. His answer was frank. He had an uncle of that name, who was an officer in the army, but got into debt, sold his commission, and was never heard of again by any member of the family. Mrs. Myrtle, upon receipt of this information, showed signs of fainting, but recovering herself with an effort, assisted by a judicious sprinkle from the fountain administered by the faithful Mr. Mango, told Mildmay that she would have some information upon the subject to impart to him in the morning if he would call as arranged. She then wished him good-night with some abruptness, as if fearing to be betrayed into further explanations, and made the best of her way with her daughters to the gharree which awaited them in the road. The guests had by this time all departed, and Mildmay could do nothing else but follow their example. He was nearly reduced to going home on foot, but fortunately found Siding looking out for him, buoyant upon the grasshopper springs, and with the high-stepper in an animated state of impatience.
I have not much more to tell. Mildmay called like a bird' at the Myrtles next morning-that is to say, he called at an ornithologically
early hour. And then he heard news for which he was not quite prepared. There could be no doubt, from the collocation of all circumstances, that Mildmay's missing uncle and Mrs. Myrtle's late husband were one and the same person. Most officers when they break down in the army come to grief in every way; but Captain Mildmay was an exception to the rule. He was able to obtain an appointment in a lower grade of public employ, and it occurred to him that it would not be a bad idea to still court a respectable career. But he had no liking for his old name in his new position, so he took that of his mother (the name had caused some passing curiosity on the part of Mildmay when he first heard it), and married a very comely person of the class in life which he had adopted. All this he did without caring to communicate with his relatives on the subject, and as he had no connections in India at the time, there was very little chance of his secret being discovered. His marriage proved happy, and he got on so much better after ceasing to be an officer and a gentleman' than he had ever got on before, that his widow was induced to take practical views as to social distinctions with regard to her daughters, and always intended that they should marry out of what she boldly declared to be 'that ruinous atmosphere known as Society."
But one power proposes and another disposes. Mildmay would marry nobody but Flora, and Flora would marry nobody but Mildmay; and a mother must be very Roman indeed if she will quarrel with her son-in-law because he holds a good social position. Mrs. Myrtle was not Roman enough for that, and her daughter was too dutiful to object to what her mamma approved. So the pair were at once affianced, and it was settled that the marriage should take place in a month from that time. Mrs. Myrtle, however, always insisted that but for the discovery of the relationship she would never have given her consent, so her consistency remained unimpeached to the last.
You would never guess what happened during the interval. Honeydew-whose jealousy of the too promiscuous Gallivant I have already mentioned as having taken a practical form-found that he could not live without Adelaide, and as Adelaide, by a pleasantly collateral coincidence, found that she could not live without Honeydew, there seemed to be no reason, other things being equal, why they should be kept apart. And other things being equal for once, and Mildmay and Flora being in favour of the conjunction, Mrs. Myrtle was induced to waive her objection to 'officers and gentlemen' for the second time. It is true that Honeydew was no relative, but she considered this transaction a part of the other, so that her consistency, notwithstanding two severe trials, still remained unimpeached. So the two couples were married on the same day, and a more happy partie carré has not been seen in India. One pair spent the honeymoon at Simla, the other at Mussoorie, and great was the rejoicing when they all met once more in the plains. Fortunately Mrs. Myrtle had made enough money to give up the 'infernal shop,' so there was no great scandal upon that head. But Honeydew, to do him justice, did not make this a condition of his alliance, but came beforehand to the
conclusion that a man cannot do a more 'gentlemanly' thing than to marry as he pleases, irrespective of other people's opinions. If he has not found out by this time that he is in the right I am very much mistaken, for it would be difficult to find a more charming wife than ho has found in Adelaide-with the sole exception of Flora, for whom, in the capacity of raconteur, I may be excused for having a platonic preference.
As for Gallivant, he married the lady to whom he was engaged, as in duty bound, and is, I hear, so contented with his fate as to forswear miscellaneous attentions. There is no sign of Larkall being married as yet, but when sufficiently comic conditions arise to tempt him to the step, I have no doubt of his being found to the front. Siding, too, is in a state of sweet, reluctant, and more or less amorous delay. I believe he had a secret partiality for the cornflower eyes with the sapphire light, and has never forgiven himself for what he considers the modesty which prevented him from avowing it. But he bears his disappointment like a hero, and when last heard of had a new contract, was coining money, and looked more clean and more commercial than
SIDNEY L. BLANCHARD.
Over the living waters see,
In dusky silver here and there
Like the stir of one in dream.
Through all the hushed waters creep
A little while-God's breath will go
The dawn will break-the wind will blow,
Each day with sounds of strife and death
The waters rise, and call
Each midnight, conquered by God's breath,
Out of his heart the fountains flow,
He marks them strangely come and go,
And darker, deeper, one by one,
After a weary quest
They from the light and moon and sun
Flow back into his breast.
Love hold my hand! Be of good cheer!
For His would be the guilt,
If out of all the waters here
Think while the city sleeps so dumb
Out of His veins each drop hath come,