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that Sunday morning. But if I were to tell
all I saw on that pleasant Sunday morning, I
should grow tediousand so I stop here.





AFTER Mr. Tillotson's City dinner, the scene
of their life moves on with a sort of monotony.
But that morning seemed to have
been the last of the bright unclouded days
which had set in for him, and about which he
had such a distrust. Those who knew him
began to remark the backward motion, and saw,
with pain, the clouds beginning to gather again.
Mrs. Tillotson had passed a troubled night.
Before morning the conviction had grown upon
her that some evil was advancing on them, and
that this old mystery, so often pointed to and
hinted at, might now be brought to light with
danger and perhaps disgrace. Else what did it
all mean? We hear men accuse themselves
passionately, and tell us they are guilty sinners;
but over such declaration always seems an air
of exaggeration from penitence. But it is
different when other men make the charges. It
sounds more practical and serious. Something,
too, that Grainger had said to her came back on
her very often. "And did he not tell you at the
time of the marriage? No, of course not.
That you could scarcely ask him." From that
night a weight began to oppress her, as if this
might turn out to be some dreadful and
destructive mystery.

When she was sitting in her drawing-room
thinking a little sadly over these things, Mr.
Tillotson entered a little abruptly. He was
going off to his office. His old gentleness
had come back. "That was a miserable night
last night, and I was fretful and hasty. But I
could not endure such another. Do be indulgent
and pity me. We cannot have him coming
here again, or any of his friends. I have done
all I could, and can do no more."

Sweet comfort and pity came into his face; for
she answered at once: "He behaved cruelly,
unkindly, wickedly. No, you shall never see
him any more. Indeed, I could not ask you.
You have been too kind."

"I?" he answered, hastily. "I have never
wished to see him but for your sake. What I
mean is, he must not come to this house, or be
seen here. I cannot endure his insolence. I must
ask you to agree to this. Indeed, it is not
much, and only due to our own dignity."

"To be sure," she said. "And he shall never
enter it; though——" She stopped suddenly
and looked down; for at that moment rushed on
her all the dangers of such an exclusion, and
the fury which such a step would work him up
to. "I think," she said, hesitatingly, "just as
yet, while he is in this state, and we are the
only people who have influence over him——
After all, he is not naturally wicked, and Mr.
Grainger has some power."

Mr. Tillotson looked at her a moment with a
strange expression, then suddenly turned away.
"It was not much to ask," he said, with a bitter
and wounded tone. "I only can say what I wish.
You can, of course, do what you please."

"What does this mean?" she said, with soft
reproach; "what change is this coming on?
Dearest husband, this is for you."

"Change!" he said, "there is no change. I
only go back to my old state, the state it was
folly for me to have given up. I say again, I
do not wish that man or his friend to be seen
here again. You are free to do as you wish."

"Anything you please," she said.

Another day went slowly by in a dreamy
resolution, until towards the afternoon Martha
stood before her. "That gentleman's below
again," she said. "The gentlemen visitors are
coming plentifully now-a-days."

This woman had a sort of privilege, and these
grim speeches were but a part of herself. But
Mrs. Tillotson had an instinct who this was.
"I cannot see himsee any one," she said.
"Send him away."

She shook her head. "He will not go for
me," she said.

"I beg your pardon, Mrs. Tillotson," said a
voice at the door. "You will excuse me, I
know; but recollect that, this was part of our
arrangement last night. I was at your party,
and they treated me like a servant. If I went
away then, it was only to put the matter off
till this morning. Now you can go down," he
said, turning to Martha. "What are you waiting

He took a chair, then closed the door, and
sat down by her. "Now," he said, "let us see
our way, and let us understand each other.
Dear me, how charming old England is, after
all; and old London, too, above all. Only think
how it must seem to a town man after fifteen
years among their wretched mangy foreign
places. How sick I have been of them, pining
to get back here. But what could I do?"

She looked at him, wondering.

"Ask your husband the reason. He is
accountable for it all, and for much more. If I
had come home all that time, I should have
come home a beggar; for a little allowance that
was made me by a cruel mother would have
been withdrawn if I had. Only fancy, an elder
son, John Eastwood, of Eastwood, 'cut off,' as
they call it, with two hundred a year, and his
whole fine estate handed over to a younger
brother, all of which madness I owe to your

"What does all this mean?" she said, half
rising. "Why do you speak to me in this way?
I do not want to listen to you. You wish to
assume some power over us——"

"Well, if you like," he said, rising, "I shall
go straight to his bank; it will be more profitable
to me, and less pleasant to you. And if
you have ever heard of such a thing as a skeleton
in a cupboard, I vow to Heaven your

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