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down in contempt and servitude, and
setting under the tyranny of your
stepmother! Who wanted you here?" added
the Doctor, going back to his old
argument. "I vow I am ashamed that the
noble rites of matrimony should be
degraded by such a lath-and-plaster lover.
You'd better leave this. Don't attempt to
go into her presence until you've learned
the rudhiments of generosity and loyalty.
Go after your family if you likeit's
nothing to us. But if you're absent when
you're due, look out. The fellow that
was pulled into quarters by wild horses
had nothing like what you'll catch! If I
was to be hung by the neck till I was
dead and buried, I'd have the blood of the
fellow that slurred my child. Then, sir, a
roasting demon with a flaming trident
from the lower regions would be nothing to
me. No go! Leave my house, sir, and don't
attempt to set foot in it until you've
repaired the insult you've done to her. Not
a word. I won't listen to you, sir."

And the Doctor pointing sternly to the
door, the young man, awed and panic-
stricken, slunk away home. The Doctor
was right: that "surgery" had the best


AT last here was the morning, and the
solemnity to which everything had been
made to lead with such labour and agitation.
There had been little sleep the night
before in the Doctor's mansion, every one
being in a sort of troubled nightmare.
This fevered morning was long remembered
in the Findlater family, and, indeed, in the
little town. The symbolism of the event
was embodied in the nuptial greys, now
secured for their proper office, with blue
forehead-bands and white satin rosettes fluttering;
and the Doctor was seen from an early
hour, in a blue coat with gilt buttons and
a white tie, "charging" about the town,
backwards and forwards between the little
inn and his house. Now dashing up to
M'Intyre's, and rushing in to fetch a flower;
or now carrying off Miss Perkes, the head
milliner of the establishment, sitting beside
him; now up at the church, and followed
by little boys: no wonder that he with the
b'rouche and greys seemed to be the
embodiment of the whole solemnity. Take
all this display away, and the villagers
would not have had a good idea of the
importance and magnificence of what a
Findlater wedding really was. Groups
stood at the corners, and Lord Shipton's
peculiar vehicle, slightly burnished up,
was seen in the inn-yard. His lordship
had shown a disinclination to assist at the
ceremony, fearful of committing himself
with the powers at Leadersfort; but the
Doctor was so sarcastic, not to say jeering,
on this tergiversation, plainly hinting at
the imaginary character of the business or
appointment that interfered, that he found
it difficult to refuse. Now that the family
had gone away he felt it an easier task.
The Doctor had exerted much the same
pressure on other doubtful friends; but
in truth worldly interest was on his side,
and made for him, for every one
considered that young Leader would in due
course of time come to reign over the
estate. And thus at the club were seen
other visitors and guests in full gala
uniform. As for the regiment, the good-
natured Bouchier seemed to have placed
all its resources at the disposal of the
Doctororderlies, the officers, all were at
his disposal. As a matter of course,
Simmons, the regimental chef, had undertaken
the entire management of the banquet, and
"proud to do it," says the Doctor. Oh,
exciting morning! delicious flurry! More
than anywhere else inside the Doctor's
mansion, where women were flying about,
and up and down, rustling, and fluttering,
and clustering round the idol of the hour
the agitated victim, for such she was
though, indeed, the excitement had happily
banished all sense of sacrifice; she had not
time, like many others in similar situations,
who are offered on the altar of wealth, or
old age, or gout, to realise the future, and
who can only think of the immediate ordeal
before them.

Polly, head bridesmaid, it must be said,
was no very valuable aide-de-camp, thinking
chiefly of her own charms and her own
dress, and the effect on Captain Morgan,
the new and daring admirer, who had told
her in plain English yesterday, "at the
band," that she was "too handsome to be
thrown away on a country town." Though
she was quite angry with him, she said,
and wouldn't speak to him again, she was
still dressing for him. Poor volatile Polly,
she was gradually being educated in
perhaps the worst of existing schools, a
regiment, where she was rapidly learning
familiarity, and faster losing delicacy.

The time was drawing on, and it only
wanted an hour to the commencement of
the solemnity; the Doctor was in his study
giving his whiskers a curl, when Mr.
Leader's confidential man, a shrewd and