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"Your face tells your news," she said, faintly.
"Mr. Clare has been as heartless as usualMr.
Clare has said, No?"

Her father turned on her with a sudden
severity, so entirely unparalleled in her experience
of him, that she started back in downright

"Magdalen!" he said, "whenever you speak
of my old friend and neighbour again, bear this
in mind. Mr. Clare has just laid me under
an obligation which I shall remember gratefully to
the end of my life."

He stopped suddenly, after saying those
remarkable words. Seeing that he had startled
her, his natural kindness prompted him instantly
to soften the reproof, and to end the suspense
from which she was plainly suffering. "Give me
a kiss, my love" he resumed; "and I'll tell you
in return that Mr. Clare has saidYES."

She attempted to thank him; but the sudden
luxury of relief was too much for her. She could
only cling round his neck in silence. He felt her
trembling from head to foot, and said a few words
to calm her. At the altered tones of his master's
voice, Snap's meek tail reappeared fiercely from
between his legs; and Snap's lungs modestly
tested his position with a brief experimental
bark. The dog's quaintly appropriate assertion
of himself on his old footing, was the interruption
of all others which was best fitted to restore
Magdalen to herself. She caught the shaggy
little terrier up in her arms, and kissed him next.
"You darling," she exclaimed, "you're almost as
glad as I am!" She turned again to her father,
with a look of tender reproach. "You frightened
me, papa," she said. "You were so unlike

"I shall be right again, to-morrow, my dear.
I am a little upset to-day."

"Not by me?"

"No, no."

"By something you have heard at Mr.

"Yesnothing you need alarm yourself about;
nothing that won't wear off by to-morrow. Let
me go now, my dear, I have a letter to write;
and I want to speak to your mother."

He left her, and went on to the house.
Magdalen lingered a little on the lawn, to feel all the
happiness of her new sensationsthen turned
away towards the shrubbery, to enjoy the higher
luxury of communicating them. The dog
followed her. She whistled, and clapped her hands.
"Find him!" she said, with beaming eyes.
"Find Frank!" Snap scampered into the shrubbery,
with a bloodthirsty snarl at starting. Perhaps
he had mistaken his young mistress, and
considered himself her emissary in search of a

Meanwhile, Mr. Vanstone entered the house.
He met his wife, slowly descending the stairs,
and advanced to give her his arm. "How has
it ended?" she asked anxiously, as he led her to
the sofa.

"Happilyas we hoped it would," answered
her husband. "My old friend has justified my
opinion of him."

"Thank God!" said Mrs. Vanstone, fervently.
"Did you feel it, love?" she asked, as her
husband arranged the sofa pillows—"did you feel
it as painfully as I feared you would?"

"I had a duty to do, my dearand I did it."

After replying in those terms, he hesitated.
Apparently, he had something more to saysomething, perhaps, on the subject of that passing
uneasiness of mind, which had been produced
by his interview with Mr. Clare, and which
Magdalen's questions had obliged him to acknowledge.
A look at his wife decided his doubts in
the negative. He only asked if she felt
comfortable; and then turned away to leave the

"Must you go?" she asked.

"I have a letter to write, my dear."

"Anything about Frank?"

"No: to-morrow will do for that. A letter
to Mr. Pendril; I want him here immediately."

"Business, I suppose?"

"Yes, my dearbusiness."

He went out, and shut himself into the little
front room, close to the hall-door, which was
called his study. By nature and habit the most
procrastinating of letter-writers, he now
inconsistently opened his desk and took up the pen
without a moment's delay. His letter was long
enough to occupy three pages of note-paper; it
was written with a readiness of expression and a
rapidity of hand which seldom characterised his
proceedings when engaged over his ordinary
correspondence. He wrote the address as follows,
"Immediate:—William Pendril Esq., Searle-
street, Lincoln's Inn, London"—then pushed the
letter away from him, and sat at the table, drawing
lines on the blotting-paper with his pen, lost
in thought. "No," he said to himself; "I can
do nothing more till Pendril comes." He rose;
his face brightened as he put the stamp on the
envelope. The writing of the letter had sensibly
relieved him, and his whole bearing showed it as
he left the room.

On the door-step, he found Norah and Miss
Garth, setting forth together for a walk.

"Which way are you going?" he asked.
"Anywhere near the post-office? I wish you
would post this letter for me, Norah. It is very
importantso important, that I hardly like to
trust it to Thomas as usual."

Norah at once took charge of the letter;

"If you look, my dear," continued her father,
"you will see that I am writing to Mr. Pendril.
I expect him here to-morrow afternoon. Will
you give the necessary directions, Miss Garth?
Mr. Pendril will sleep here to-morrow night,
and stay over Sunday.—Wait a minute! To-
day is Friday. Surely I had an engagement
for Saturday afternoon?" He consulted his
pocket-book, and read over one of the entries,
with a look of annoyance. "Grailsea Mill, three
o'clock, Saturday. Just the time when Pendril
will be here; and I must be at home to see him.