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"Ought that to surprise you, my
daughter? Have you forgotten your own
thoughtless, inconsistent conduct, as far as
they are concerned?"

"But, my good father, I have several
times entreated them to grant me their

"Yes, I know. Under your superior's
dictation, you have written some of those
commonplace letters which are more offensive
than absolute silence. Do you think
that sufficient to heal the wound you have
inflicted on the hearts of affectionate
parents, to whom, as an only child, you
ought to have been a consolation and a
support in their declining years? Who
could advise you to act in that way? Who
encouraged and guided you in such an
ill-judged enterprise?"

"The first idea was my ownat least,
so I fancy; but the curé of St. Marceau,
the Abbé Desherbiers, my confessor during
two years, fostered the notion, which
in truth was at first only the whim of a
spoiled child who did not know when she
was well off. Now he also abandons me;
both he and the person who helped me
to correspond with him after my father
had compelled me to take another

"And this Abbé Desherbiersdid he
reply to your letters? Did he continue
the correspondence without your father's
and mother's knowledge?"

"Mon Dieu, yes."

"Imprudencefolly! What was his
age? Was he an old man?"

"No, mon père; he was youngnot
more than two or three-and-thirty."

"And he has not written to you since
you have been here?"

"Not once, mon père. When I left
home, he sent me word that, as soon as I
was at Orleans, he would come and see me.
Madame Blandine allowed me to write to
him. I sent him three letters, one after
the other. I have written to Mademoiselle
Dufougeray: neither have answered, and
this silence and abandonment are killing

"I should like it better if your sorrow
sprang from family affection."

"It does so, too; but since I ought to
open completely my heart and conscience,
I will avow that I feel a slight degree of
resentment. I think my parents might
have taken some steps to induce me to
return. Their disdainful treatment crushes
my spirit. And then, I cannot help
harbouring strange suspicions. I am
distrustful. I am afraid either that my
letters have been detained by our reverend
mother, or that the answers have been

Father Gabriel made no reply at first.
His face was pale and sad in its expression.
He passed his hand in an absent way
through the profusion of grey locks which
overshadowed his forehead. After a long
silence, he said, "Come to me to-morrow
after mass; this is a serious matter, and I
must reflect upon it. Meanwhile, don't be
too anxious; put your trust in God; and,
above all, don't breathe a word to anybody
mind, not to anybody. Remember, such
is your confessor's advice."

In a few weeks will be commenced a short Serial Story,
                THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS.
                   A YACHTING STORY.

                          Now Ready,
              ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
         Handsomely bound in One Volume,
                   Price Five Shillings.
  Single Numbers may be had, price Fourpence.
  London: 26, Wellington-street, Strand, W.C., and
CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, Piccadilly, W.

   Now Ready, price 5s. 6d., bound in green cloth,
               THE SECOND VOLUME
             OF THE NEW SERIES OF
              ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
          To be had of all Booksellers.

   MESSRS. CHAPPELL AND CO. have great pleasure
in announcing that MR. CHARLES DICKENS will resume
and conclude his interrupted series of FAREWELL
READINGS at St. James's Hall, London, early in
the New Year.
The Readings will be TWELVE in NUMBER, and none
will take place out of London.
All communications to be addressed to Messrs.
CHAPPELL and Co., 60, New Bond-street, W.