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THE

SECOND MRS. TILLOTSON.

BY THE  AUTHOR OF "NEVER FORGOTTEN"

BOOK I.

CHAPTER X. IN THE DRAWING-ROOM.

"AND now, how did they treat you at the
White Hart, Tillotson?" Mr. Tilney called out,
in a loud voice. "Well, hey? Tell me."

"Oh, excellently," Mr. Tillotson answered,
hastily. "They are very civil indeed."

"So they ought to be," said Mr. Tilney. "Do
you know, they gave Tillotson the Brown Room.
I knew it at once, a finely proportioned thing.
It was really a compliment to Tillotson. He
gave it to the princess, when she was on her way
to the Dook's, near here, to stay for the cattle
show. Tell us about it, Tillotson."

A little confused, Mr. Tillotson cleared his
voice, and said, "The fact is, I did not use it,
after all."

"Not use it!" said Mr. Tilney, laying down
his knife and fork. "The princess's! You don't
tell me that." Mr. Tilney said this with such
genuine wonder and sorrow mixed, that the rest
of the company turned to look at Mr. Tillotson.

Confused under this observation, he said, with
a half smile, "The room was too large and vaulty,
a cavern, in fact, and so cold—"

"My God!" said Mr. Tilney, aghast, "but, you
know, Lord Monboddo——And where did they
put you?"

"In a smaller and more compact place."

"I think I should have changed too, like Mr.
Tillotson," said Mr. Grainger, in a low voice.

"So should I," said Ada Millwood.

"So should I," repeated Ross, scornfully, "if
I were afraid of ghosts, or had anything on my
conscience."

"Goodness! goodness!" said Mr. Tilney,
getting abstracted, "it seems only yesterday when
the whole hotel rushed in to see the poor old
general. Some of us, not dressed exactlyahem!
as we are now. About two in the morningI
was only a lad, you know. A terrible scene, sir,
for one so young. An old man that had served
his country, and his grey hairs dabbled in blood."

Miss Millwood turned to Mr. Tillotson, as
she saw his hand travel to his forehead in a sort
of agony, and also half draw back his chair. Mr.
Grainger, from the opposite side, noticed the
same thing with a little surprise.

"Very odd indeed," said one of the officers;
"was all this a duel?"

"A duel," said Mr. Tilney, plaintively. "The
old general was testy latterly, had the idea that
people said he was past his work. Then there
was the young wife, you know. Very unpleasant."
(And Mr. Tilney's face fell into all sorts of
spasms and violent contortions, that meant to
convey, that when the ladies were gone, he would
enter into satisfactory details.) "Must say I
always heard he forced it on Tom Major, made
him stand up there and thenvis├ęd him, as the
French sayas it might be you, and thenMost
unpleasant thing for the hotel, nearly ruined the
business——God bless me, Tillotson, anything
wrong?"

Miss Millwood and Mr. Grainger had seen
the galling suffering on his face; the first, with
alarm and deep sympathy; the other, with
curiosity, and even amusement. Suddenly, Mr.
Tillotson pushed back his chair.

"I have not been well, lately," he said. "A
little air will set me right." And he abruptly
quitted the room.

"Bless my soul! how very odd," said Mr.
Tilney. "A seizure, I dare say. Well, well, we
never know! In the midst of life, we are upset
like a tree. Brandy?"

"I knew he was afraid of a ghost," said Ross.

"He is one of Mr. Tilney's new friends," said
Mrs. Tilney, apologising. "They are always
doing something of that sort. A rather eccentric
person Mr. Tillotson seems. What would you
think, Mr. Grainger?"

"My explanation would be," said Mr. Grainger,
looking round warily at every one's face in
succession, "that this gentleman has had some
unpleasant passage in his life which this
indirectly revives. Something of a very painful sort,
and——"

The burning indignant look Ada Millwood
was darting at him, interrupted him, and he cast
his eyes down again.

"That seems a little gratuitous," she said, with
a sort of indignation, "or if it be indeed so, he is
to be pitied."

"Certainly," said the other, humbly; "no one
more so."

"What's that about the fellow having a skull