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THE eve of Major Carter's marriage had now
arrived. A few stray questions had come, like
"dropping shots," from a few inquisitive persons.
That awkward and ugly challenge, "Who is
he?" was of course varied; some putting it
in this form: "Who the deuce is he?" "Who
the dl is this Carter?" But the replies were
satisfactory always; and, better than all, Carter
was seen quartered with Sir John Westende,
that baronet leaning on his arm. A respectable
and even brilliant company had been asked, and
really secured by the major's exertions, to do
honour to his nuptials.

The universal feeling about Mrs. Wrigley was,
that she was making "a wretched old fool of
herself;" but that about the major was as though
he had performed a clever feat, like one who had
made a successful venture in cotton or indigos,
or had happily run a blockade. "Of course he'll
choke off the poor old soul after a time,"
said Colonel Foley, in a spirit of rude jest, and
leaning both hands on his stick, as if it were a
spade. "Carter is a little impatient, deu-side-ly
impatient, I can tell you, and will not wait long
for any manor woman either."

The major was coming home that afternoon,
looking down on the flags with a complacent
smile of pleasurefor he had happily made sure
of a young lord out of a cavalry regiment, who
would be as good as a pine-apple for the feast
when he happened to pass near the top of the
street, where the Irrefragable had its office. He
thought that as he was now going away on this
delightful weddingbeginning a new life, as it
werehe might as well give them a last injunction.
He walked in and put his usual question,
gaily adding, that he supposed he would be
paid some daysay about the time of the final
redemption of the National Debtcome now?
Mr. Speedy had not yet returned, but would
most likely be home the day after to-morrow.
"And then" added Mr. Speedy's locum tenens,
"you shall hear from us."

"You must direct, then," said the major, still
gaily," to the Great Hotel in Paris, or to the
Isles Britanniques at Rome; and I declare I
had rather you would not, for I don't want to be
worried with business now. You don't know,
perhaps, that I am going to be married
tomorrow morning? We go across to Calais
to-morrow night."

"You do?" said the locum tenens, astonished.
And there was a general up-turning of faces in the

When Major Carter left it, his reflection
was the old reflectionhow ready the world
is to do homage to what is flourishing in the
world. The manner of these fellows "is quite
changed to me," he said, "now that they see I
am bettering myself."

In the office, the locum tenens said hastily to his
deputy, "We must have Speedy back at once!"
And in a few seconds the messenger was hurrying
to the telegraphic-office with a written scrap
of paper.

Still smiling, and still moralising on this
"cringing" character of the world, the major
walked on towards the fashionable quarter. He
was painting in for himself this breakfast on the
next morning, with the fashionable faces he had
secured to grace it. He was reading, in anticipation,
the fashionable journal of the day after
The Morning Plushwith the select list. He
grew soft and tender over himself, as he thought
of the battle of life he had fought, and fought
so successfully. "I had only myself to help me,"
he said, looking back. "I had to fight my own
way, and I think I have done very fairly. Always
been with the best, and have done them no
discredit. This is not so bad a finish." He was
still smiling to the flags as he walked,
when a carriage, which had passed him,
stopped suddenly, and a lady called to him.
The major's fingers went to his hat by a sort of

Miss Manuel had been driving here and there,
in fact she knew not whither, still pursued by the
eager wish to do something towards stopping the
great evil. She suddenly saw Major Carter
smiling to the flags (and sometimes tapping
them playfully with his stick), when the thought
flashed upon her, "This poor wretch! I have
been labouring to do him mischief. At this
moment judgment may be gathering over his
head. He is unworthy of serious punishment for
what he has done to usat least others may hunt