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only done your duty. Good-night, and may
you meet with no less loyal and peaceable men
than you have surprised here."

"Here are two more watchers to be
forgiven," said a voice familiar to the bishop, as
two figures, male and female, suddenly
descended into the road, and Mrs. Horsfall,
bathed in tears, threw herself into the arms of
her astonished husband, while Mr. Lileham, in
a few words, explained the anxiety which had
prompted their pursuit. Anger was out of the
question; a general laugh announced that all
was forgiven. Only the bishop attempted to
frown, and that was a failure.



THE second day after Mrs. Creswell's
visit to Helmingham, Walter Joyce was
sitting in his chambers, hard at work. The
approaching change in his condition had
affected him very little indeed. He had
laughed to himself to think how little. He
would have laughed more had he not at
the same time reflected that it is not a
particularly good sign for a man to be so
much overwhelmed by business or so
generally careless as to what becomes of him,
as to look upon his marriage with very
little elation, to prepare for it in a very
matter-of-fact and unromantic way. That
no man can serve two masters, we know;
and there are two who certainly will not
brook being served at the same time by
the one worshipperlove and ambition.
Joyce had been courting the latter deity for
many months with unexampled assiduity,
and with very excellent success, and, in
reality, had never swerved in his allegiance.
The love which he felt for Maud
Creswell differed as much from the passion
with which, in the bygone years, Marian
Ashurst had inspired him, as the thick,
brown, turgid Rhine-stream which flows
past Emmerich differs from the bright,
limpid, diamond-sprayed water which
flashes down at Schaffhausen; nevertheless
there was "body" in it, as there is in the
Rhine-stream at Emmerich, sufficient to
keep him straight from any of the insidious
attacks of ambition, as he soon had occasion
to prove.

Not that the news which Gertrude
Benthall had confided to him in regard to
Lady Caroline Mansergh had touched him
one whit. In the first place, he thought
Gertrude had deceived herself, or, at all
events, had misconstrued the feelings by
which Lady Caroline was actuated; and
in the second, supposing the girl was
right, and all was as she believed, it
would not have had the smallest influence
in altering anything he had done.
He was not a brilliant man, Walter Joyce,
clever in his way, rather lacking in savoir-
faire; but he had a rough, odd kind of
common sense which stood him in better
stead than mere worldly experience, and
that showed him that in his true position
the very worst thing he could have done
for himself would have been to go in for
a great alliance. Such a proceeding would
have alienated the affections and the
confidence of all those people who had made
him what he was, or rather who had seen
him struggle up to the position he enjoyed,
and given him a helping-hand at the last.
But it was because he had struggled up
himself by his own exertions that they
liked him, whereas any effort in his favour
by the aid of money or patronage would
have sent them at once into the opposition
ranks. No, Lady Caroline was still the
kindest, the dearest, the best of his friends!
He found a letter from her on his return
to chambers, full of warm congratulations,
telling him that she was compelled to
follow the medical advice of which she
had spoken to him, and to leave London
for a few weeks; but she hoped on her
return to welcome him and his bride to
Chesterfield-street, and retain them ever on
the very narrow list of her chiefest
intimates. He was engaged on a letter to
Jack Byrne when there came a sharp, clear
knock at the door; such a different knock
from that usually given by the printer's
boy, his most constant visitor, that he
laid down his pen, and called, "Come in!"

The handle was turned quietly, the door
was opened quickly, and Marian Creswell
came into the room.

Walter did not recognise her at first;
her veil was half over her face, and she
stood with her back to the light. A minute
after, he exclaimed, "Mrs. Creswell!"

"Yes, Mr. Joyce; Mrs. Creswell! You
did not expect me."

"I did not, indeed. You are, I confess,
one of the last persons I should have
expected to see in these rooms."

"No doubt; that is perfectly natural;
but I come on a matter of business."

"As does every one who favours me with
a visit. I cannot imagine any one coming
here for pleasure. Pray be seated; take
the 'client's chair.'"

"You are very bright and genial, Mr.
Joyce; as every successful man is."

"As every man ought to be, Mrs.