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sternly that she might be brought no more into
his presence.

Her father dead, the father to whom she was
now about to go, to fall down at his feet and
entreat his forgiveness, to pray him to grant a
home, if not to herself, at least to her child.
Led away by childish vanity, Beatrice had
trusted the promises of the young squire of                                                           V- that he would make her a lady, elevate                                                           her to his own rank. She had firmly believed
until some few years since that he had married
her, that the paper he had given her to sign
was a true document, and that she had been
basely deserted by her husband. When he left
her, she had settled down quietly and soberly
in busy little Andreasberg, where neither her
name nor her story was known. There she had
lived, respected and beloved, working her way
steadily, keeping herself and educating her
child, and even her own keen shame was
beginning to deaden somewhat in feeling from its
having no nourishment from without. Till one
day, as she was walking through the market-
place to take some work home, she met the man
who had played her false. He was arm in arm
with another gentleman, smoking and laughing.
She flew towards him, stammering she knew
not what. He turned upon her fiercely, and
muttered: " You shall suffer for this, woman!"
Then with some light laughing remark to his
companion, of which she could only distinguish
"Some mistaken resemblancemust be mad!"
they passed along.

From that day, Andreasberg was no refuge
for her. Her story, mutilated and aggravated,
was in every one's mouth, and one day, goaded
to despair and frenzy, she determined to run
from the town and seek her father's house
once more. At least he could not be harder
than the world. An angry visit from the
squire, whom she had crossed effectually in a
plan of marriage, caused her to pack her few
valuables about herself, take up her child,
and fly from him into the dark cold night
with the snow lying thickly on the ground.
She had gone on and on in a condition of half
dream, with only sense enough to cover her
boy from the cold; she felt how the chill air
was benumbing her, how the snow clogged her
footsteps, and at last knew nothing more till
she found herself at the forester's house. From
the wrath of the deceiver to the wrath of the

Beatrice threw herself on the floor in an agony
of grief. As she lay thus, the servant Anna
came in.

"Madam," she said, "your child is not well.
Will you come to him?"

In an instant all her senses returned, and she
followed to the adjoining room. The boy lay
in his little bed, his face red with fever, moaning
as though in pain, and when he saw his
mother, it was but a very weak smile that played
round his face.

"My child, my child!" cried Beatrice, falling
on her knees beside the cot; " you must not be
ill now, not just now, we cannot stay here, we
must go. Do you think it is serious, Anna?"

"I'm afraid he's sickening for some child's
illness, ma'am," was the reply; "at any rate
you cannot move him as he is, you must wait
and see what it turns to."

"But I can stay in this house no longer,"
she cried, " I must, I must, go."

"The Herr Forster would never turn you out
while he could offer you a roof. You do not know
him, madam; you do not know how good he is.
I will go to him and tell him the child is ill, and
he will, I am sure, press you to remain," and
before Beatrice could prevent her the girl was

While Beatrice was fighting with herself,
holding her child in her arms meanwhile, the
door opened and a firm step passed along the
floor. She did not need to raise her head.
She knew who stood there.

"Beatrice," he said, and his voice was softer
than it had been that morning, " Beatrice, you
must stay here; you must not imperil your
child's life. I shall not come into your way
more than before; had you not sought me, you
would never have known under whose roof you
had been all this while; nor should I have
known," he went on, his voice failing him
somewhat, " whom I had sheltered."

For some seconds there was silence in the
room, then: "Have you any belongings?" he
suddenly asked, " who will be anxious at your
long absence? I will send a messenger if you
will tell me where and to whom."

It had cost him much to ask this question.


He felt strangely relieved by the answer;
why, he did not know. "Are you a widow?"

"I was never a wife."

He said no more, but stood for some time
silently before her. His usually firm-set mouth
worked ominously, and some tempest was brewing
in his inner man; but he beat it down, and
said, after some time of silence: " See that the
child wants no comforts, the doctor will, I hope,
be here to-morrow; it is difficult to get one to
come, we are so out of the world. I wish the
boy a good recovery. Farewell!" He turned
to leave the room.

"Paul!" she cried, "Paul!" and she stretched
out her hands imploringly after him. She understood
that he meant this to be a farewell for
ever; he did not wish to see her again; and yet
she felt through it all that he loved her still.
She could not bear to see him depart thus.

"Hush!" he said, turning round, with his
hand upon the lock of the door, "you will
excite your child;" with that he opened it and

A fearful time followed this! The child lay
for weeks ill of scarlet fever, combatting
between life and death. Beatrice never left his
bedside; neither she nor the doctor dared
venture a hope for his recovery.

As for Paul, he went about his daily work
steadily and sternly as usual, but there was a
greater thoughtfulness about his mouth, and a
deeper sadness about his eye, and his people
dared approach him less than ever. For
inwardly a fierce battle was raging. He loved