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told Maud that the man was suffering
keenly. She could not see, indeed, all
that was passing in his mind; but something
of it she guessed, and she felt sure
that no suspicion of her resolve was there.
Sir Andrew's sarcasm crossed her mind.
Alas! how much better for her, perhaps,
would it have been had she returned this
faithful, upright man's love, and found a
refuge by his cottage fire, instead of seeking
it on the wide world! It had fallen to
her lot to meet with so little love in life,
that she could not but feel gratitude and
compassion, and a certain tender regretfulness,
as she looked up at that honest
red-nosed face, and thought that this
might be the last time she should ever
see it.

Perhaps the feminine desire that he
should not think too ill of her when she
had disappeared, no one could say whither,
prompted her to say, at last:

"Mr. Miles. I think I am going to leave
Mortlands before long. The world will
abuse me very much, but you are not of the
world, and know something of what I have
suffered heresomething of what has led
to determine me on taking this step. You
will not be too harsh in your judgment, will
you? You have always been very kind, and
have given me good advice, which, unfortunately,
it was not in my nature to follow.
Well, you will have one stubborn sheep
the less in your fold! But do not think I
have been ungrateful. I wanted to tell you
so before I go, and I may not have another
opportunity: I shall never forget your kindness
to me as long as I live, Mr. Miles."

Poor John! It was with great difficulty
that he managed to say calmly:

"Pardon me. Perhaps I have no right
to ask it, but have you well weighed the
solemn, irrevocable nature of the step you
are about to take?"

Quick as lightning the truth of what he
believed flashed upon her; but she dared
not undeceive him. She could only reply,
"I have."

"Oh! Miss Pomeroy, before it is too
late, pause, pause, I beseech you, and

"It is too late. My decision is made."

"Then I can only say, God prosper you!
and may He so order your life that you
never have cause to regret it!"

"If a good man's prayers avail anything,
I know I have them," said Maud, tremulously,
for John Miles's emotion, which he
could not quite control, had infected her.
"Good-bye, Mr. Miles."

They had reached the park-gate. He
wrung her hand in silence, and passed into
his cottage. And I believe, in the solitude
of his own closet, where he sat with his face
buried in his hands, motionless, for an
hour or more, that those prayers, the fervent
outpourings of the young man's heart,
rose, as Maud predicted that they would.
And who shall say that they availed nothing
in the end?

The next morning, when Maud appeared
neither at prayers, nor at the breakfast-table,
Lady Herriesson desired that her own
maid should go up to Miss Pomeroy's room,
and see if she was unwell. Presently Lady
Herriesson was called out of the breakfast-room,
and found her maid looking rather
pale. Miss Pomeroy's door was locked.
The housemaid had left some hot water
there at eight o'clock, according to Miss
Pomeroy's general orders (for since Mary
Hind's departure she would allow no one
into her room until she was dressed), and
there the jug still stood. They had knocked,
and knocked, but there was no reply.
Lady Herriesson, in much trepidation, now
went up herselfbut with no better
results; Sir Andrew followed, to see what
was the matter, and found his wife in
hysterics, and the farm-carpenter taking
off the lock of the door. In a couple of
minutes it swung back, and Sir Andrew
walked into the room. It was empty. He
glanced at the bed; it had not been slept
in. Upon the table lay a letter directed
to Lady Herriesson: he thrust it into his
wife's hand, and stood over her while the
poor lady, in her bewilderment and terror,
read as follows:

DEAR MAMMA,—I am afraid you will be
angry when you find that I have left
Mortlands without telling you where I was
going; but, at all events, do not be alarmed
about me, as I am quite safe. I am going
to try and earn my bread: I can no longer
be a burden upon Sir Andrew, and having
disappointed him and you as to this marriage,
I feel doubly that it is my duty to
try and provide for myself in some other
way. Do not be the least uneasy about
me: I am strong, and have plenty of courage,
and having, I think, no false pride,
prefer work to a life of inaction and dependence.
Pray do not attempt to trace
me; it would do no good, even if you succeeded.
You shall hear from me soon, when
I hope to be able to tell you that I am
happywhich I have not been for a long,
long time. Accept my sincere thanks for