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police on him, had any other but his son been
the informant."

"Did he say that? Oh Alfred, this is a
miserable world."

"I can't see it: it is the jolliest world in the
world: everything is bright and lovely, and
everybody is happy except a few sick people,
and a few peevish ones that run to meet trouble;
to-morrow I marry my sweet Julia; Richard
Hardie will find we two don't molest him, nor
trouble our heads about him; he will get used
to us; and one fine day we shall say to him,
'Now, we know all about the £14,000: just
leave it by will to dear Jenny, and let my friend
Dodd marry her, and you can enjoy it
unmolested for your lifetime.' He will consent:
and you will marry Ned, and then you'll find
the world has been wickedly slandered, by
dishonest men, and dismal dogs."

In this strain he continued till he made her
blush a good deal and smile a little; a sad
smile.

But at last she said, " If I was sure all this
is true, I think I should gowith a heavy heart
to your wedding. If I don't, the best part
of me will be there, my prayers, and my warm,
warm wishes for you both. Kiss her for me,
and tell her so; and that I hope we shall meet
round His throne soon, if we cannot meet at
His altar to-morrow."

Brother and sister then kissed one another
affectionately; and Alfred ran back like the
wind to Albion Cottage. Julia was not in the
drawing-room, and some coolish tea was. After
waiting half an hour he got impatient, and sent
Sarah to say he had a message for her. Sarah
went up-stairs to Mrs. Dodd's room, and was
instantly absorbed. After waiting again a long
time, Alfred persuaded Edward to try his luck.
Edward went up to Mrs. Dodd's room, and was
absorbed.

The wedding dress was being solemnly tried
on. A clean linen sheet was on the floor, and
the bride stood on it, receiving the last touches
of the milliner's art. With this and her white
poplin and lace veil she seemed framed in white,
and her cheeks bloomed so, and her eyes beamed,
with excitement and innocent vanity, that
altogether she was supernaturally lovely.

Once enter the room enchanted by this snow
clad rose, andVestigia nulla retrorsum.

However Edward escaped at last, and told
Alfred what was on foot, and drew a picture of
the Bride, with white above and white below.

"Oh, let me see her," implored the lover.

Edward must ask mamma about that. He
did, and mamma said " Certainly not; the last
person in the world that shall see her in her
wedding dress." But she should come down to
him in half an hour. It seemed a very long
half-hour. However, by way of compensation,
he was alone when she did come. " Good
news?" she asked, eagerly.

"Capital: we are the best of friends. Why
she is half inclined to come."

"Thenoh how good you are: oh, how I
love you."

And she flung a tender arm round his neck,
like a young goddess making love; and her
sweet face came so near his he had only to stoop
a little, and their lips met in a long blissful kiss.

That kiss was an era in her life. Innocence
itself, she had put up her delicious lips to her
lover in pure, though earnest, affection; but the
male fire with which his met them, made her
blush as well as thrill, and she drew back a
little, abashed and half scared, and nestled on
his shoulder, hiding a face that grew redder and
redder.

He bent his graceful head, and murmured
down to her, "Are you afraid of me, sweetest?'"

"Oh no, no! Yes, a little: I don't know. I
was afraid I had made too free with my
Treasure; you don't quite belong to me yet,
you know."

"Oh yes, I do: and, what is more, you
belong to me. Don't you, sweet rebel?"

"Ah, that I do, heart and soul, my own, own,
own."

A few more soft delicious murmurs, and then
Julia was summoned to more rites of vanity,
and the lovers parted with tender reluctance for
those few hours.

Alfred went home to his lodgings.

He had not been there above ten minutes,
when he came out hastily, and walked quickly
to the "White Lion," the principal inn in
Barkington. He went into the stable-yard, and
said a few words to the ostler: then returned to
his lodgings.

The man followed him at a distance, from
Albion-terrace; watched him home; dogged
him to the "White Lion;" and, by-an-by,
entered the yard and offered the ostler a glass of
ale at the tap.

At Albion Villa they were working on Julia's
dresses till past midnight: and then Mrs. Dodd
insisted on her going to bed. She obeyed; but
when the house was all quiet, came stealing out
to her mother, and begged to sleep with her:
the sad mother strained her in a tearful embrace:
and so they passed the night; clinging to one
another more as the parting drew near.

Edward arranged the wedding breakfast for
after the ceremony; and sent the ladies up a
cup of coffee, and a bit of toast, apiece; they
could hardly find appetite even for this; or
indeed time; there was so much still to do.

At ten o'clock Julia was still in the height of
dressing, delayed by contretemps upon
contretemps. Sarah and her sister did her hair up too
loose, and, being a glorious mass, it threatened
all to come down; and, meantime, a hair-pin
quietly but persistently bored her cream-white
poll.

"Oh, run for mamrna!"

Mamma came half dressed, had the hair all
down again, and did it up with adroit and loving
hand, and put on the orange wreath, kissed her
admiringly, and retired to her own toilet; and
the girls began to lace the bride's body.

Bump came Edward's foot against the door,
making them all shriek.

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