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The Doctor's Dilemma
by Hesba Stretton
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But still, unless Martin had taken back what he gave to me so long ago, his conduct was very mysterious to me. He did not come to Fulham half as often as Dr. John did; and when he came he spent most of the time in long, professional discussions with Dr. Senior. They told me he was devoted to his profession, and it really seemed as if he had not time to think of any thing else.

Neither had I very much time for brooding over any subject, for guests began to frequent the house, which became much gayer, Dr. Senior said, now there was a young hostess in it. The quiet evenings of autumn and winter were gone, and instead of them our engagements accumulated on our hands, until I very rarely met Martin except at some entertainment, where we were surrounded by strangers. Martin was certainly at a disadvantage among a crowd of mere acquaintances, where Dr. John was quite at home. He was not as handsome, and he did not possess the same ease and animation. So he was a little apt to get into corners with Dr. Senior's scientific friends, and to be somewhat awkward and dull if he were forced into gayer society. Dr. John called him glum.

But he was not glum; I resented that, till Dr. John begged my pardon. Martin did not smile as quickly as Dr. John, he was not forever ready with a simper, but when he did smile it had ten times more expression. I liked to watch for it, for the light that came into his eyes now and then, breaking through his gravity as the sun breaks through the clouds on a dull day.

Perhaps he thought I liked to be free. Yes, free from tyranny, but not free from love. It is a poor thing to have no one's love encircling you, a poor freedom that. A little clew came to my hand one day, the other end of which might lead me to the secret of Martin's reserve and gloom. He and Dr. Senior were talking together, as they paced to and fro about the lawn, coming up the walk from the river-side to the house, and then back again. I was seated just within the drawing-room window, which was open. They knew I was there, but they did not guess how keen my hearing was for any thing that Martin said. It was only a word or two here and there that I caught.

"If you were not in the way," said Dr. Senior, "John would have a good chance, and there is no one in the world I would sooner welcome as a daughter."

"They are like one another," answered Martin; "have you never seen it?"

What more they said I did not hear, but it seemed a little clearer to me after that why Martin kept aloof from me, and left me to ride, and talk, and laugh with his friend Jack. Why, they did not know that I was happier silent beside Martin, than laughing most merrily with Dr. John. So little did they understand me!

Just before Lent, which was a busy season with him, Monsieur Laurentie paid us his promised visit, and brought us news from Ville-en-bois. The money that had been lying in the bank, which I could not touch, whatever my necessities were, had accumulated to more than three thousand pounds, and out of this sum were to come the funds for making Ville-en-bois the best-drained parish in Normandy. Nothing could exceed Monsieur Laurentie's happiness in choosing a design for a village fountain, and in examining plans for a village hospital. For, in case any serious illness should break out again among them, a simple little hospital was to be built upon the brow of the hill, where the wind sweeps across leagues of meadow-land and heather.

"I am too happy, madame," said the cure; "my people will die no more of fever, and we will teach them many English ways. When will you come again, and see what you have done for us?"

"I will come in the autumn," I answered.

"And you will come alone?" he continued.

"Yes, quite alone," I answered, "or with Minima only."



CHAPTER THE TWENTY-SEVENTH.

BREAKING THE ICE.

Yet while I told Monsieur Laurentie seriously that I should go alone to Ville-en-bois in the autumn, I did not altogether believe it. We often speak in half-falsehoods, even to ourselves.

Dr. Senior's lawn, in which he takes great pride, slopes gently down to the river, and ends with a stone parapet, over which it is exceedingly pleasant to lean, and watch idly the flowing of the water, which seems to loiter almost reluctantly before passing on to Westminster, and the wharves and docks of the city. On the opposite bank grows a cluster of cedars, with rich, dark-green branches, showing nearly black against the pale blue of the sky. In our own lawn there stand three fine elms, a colony for song-birds, under which the turf is carefully kept as smooth and soft as velvet; and seats are set beneath their shadow, where one can linger for hours, seeing the steamers and pleasure-boats passing to and fro, and catching now and then a burst of music or laughter, softened a little by the distance. My childhood had trained me to be fond of living out-of-doors; and, when the spring came, I spent most of my days under these elm-trees, in the fitful sunshine and showers of an English April and May, such as I had never known before.

From one of these trees I could see very well any one who went in or out through the gate. But it was not often that I cared to sit there, for Martin came only in an evening, when his day's work was done, and even then his coming was an uncertainty. Dr. John seldom missed visiting us, but Martin was often absent for days. That made me watch all the more eagerly for his coming, and feel how cruelly fast the time fled when he was with us.

But one Sunday afternoon in April I chose my seat there, behind the tree where I could see the gate, without being too plainly seen myself. Martin had promised Dr. Senior he would come down to Fulham with Dr. John that afternoon, if possible. The river was quieter than on other days, and all the world seemed calmer. It was such a day as the one in Sark, two years ago, when I slipped from the cliffs, and Tardif was obliged to go across to Guernsey to fetch a doctor for me. I wondered if Martin ever thought of it on such a day as this. But men do not remember little things like these as women do.

I heard the click of the gate at last, and, looking round the great trunk of the tree, I saw them come in together, Dr. John and Martin. He had kept his promise then! Minima was gone out somewhere with Dr. Senior, or she would have run to meet them, and so brought them to the place where I was half-hidden.

However, they might see my dress if they chose. They ought to see it. I was not going to stand up and show myself. If they were anxious to find me, and come to me, it was quite simple enough.

But my heart sank when Martin marched straight on, and entered the house alone, while Dr. John came as direct as an arrow toward me. They knew I was there, then! Yet Martin avoided me, and left his friend to chatter and laugh the time away. I was in no mood for laughing; I could rather have wept bitter tears of vexation and disappointment. But Dr. John was near enough now for me to discern a singular gravity upon his usually gay face.

"Is there any thing the matter?" I exclaimed, starting to my feet and hastening to meet him. He led me back again silently to my seat, and sat down beside me, still in silence. Strange conduct in Dr. John!

"Tell me what is the matter," I said, not doubting now that there was some trouble at hand. Dr. John's face flushed, and he threw his hat down on the grass, and pushed his hair back from his forehead. Then he laid his hand upon mine, for a moment only.

"Olivia," he said, very seriously, "do you love me?"

The question came upon me like a shock from a galvanic battery. He and I had been very frank and friendly together; a pleasant friendship, which had seemed to me as safe as that of a brother. Besides, he knew all that Martin had done and borne for my sake. With my disappointment there was mingled a feeling of indignation against his treachery toward his friend. I sat watching the glistening of the water through the pillars of the parapet till my eyes were dazzled.

"I scarcely understand what you say," I answered, after a long pause; "you know I care for you all. If you mean, do I love you as I love your father and Monsieur Laurentie, why, yes, I do."

"Very good, Olivia," he said.

That was so odd of him, that I turned and looked steadily into his face. It was not half as grave as before, and there was a twinkle in his eyes as if another half minute would make him as gay and light-hearted as ever.

"Whatever did you come and ask me such a question for?" I inquired, rather pettishly.

"Was there any harm in it?" he rejoined.

"Yes, there was harm in it," I answered; "it has made me very uncomfortable. I thought you were going out of your mind. If you meant nothing but to make me say I liked you, you should have expressed yourself differently. Of course, I love you all, and all alike."

"Very good," he said again.

I felt so angry that I was about to get up, and go away to my own room; but he caught my dress, and implored me to stay a little longer.

"I'll make a clean breast of it," he said; "I promised that dear old dolt Martin to come straight to you, and ask you if you loved me, in so many words. Well, I've kept my promise; and now I'll go and tell him you say you love us all, and all alike."

"No," I answered, "you shall not go and tell him that. What could put it into Dr. Martin's head that I was in love with you?"

"Why shouldn't you be in love with me?" retorted Dr. John; "Martin assures me that I am much handsomer than he is—a more eligible parti in every respect. I suppose I shall have an income, apart from our practice, at least ten times larger than his. I am much more sought after generally; one cannot help seeing that. Why should you not be in love with me?"

I did not deign to reply to him, and Jack leaned forward a little to look into my face.

"Olivia," he continued, "that is part of what Martin says. We have just been speaking of you as we came down to Fulham—never before. He maintains he is bound in honor to leave you as free as possible to make your choice, not merely between us, but from the number of fellows who have found their way down here, since you came. You made one fatal mistake, he says, through your complete ignorance of the world; and it is his duty to take care that you do not make a second mistake, through any gratitude you might feel toward him. He would not be satisfied with gratitude. Besides, he has discovered that he is not so great a prize as he fancied, as long as he lived in Guernsey; and you are a richer prize than you seemed to be then. With your fortune you ought to make a much better match than with a young physician, who has to push his way among a host of competitors. Lastly, Martin said, for I'm merely repeating his own arguments to you: 'Do you think I can put her happiness and mine into a balance, and coolly calculate which has the greater weight? If I had to choose for her, I should not hesitate between you and me.' Now I have told you the sum of our conversation, Olivia."

Every word Dr. John had spoken had thrown clearer light upon Martin's conduct. He had been afraid I should feel myself bound to him; and the very fact that he had once told me he loved me, had made it more difficult to him to say so a second time. He would not have any love from me as a duty. If I did not love him fully, with my whole heart, choosing him after knowing others with whom I could compare him, he would not receive any lesser gift from me.

"What will you do, my dear Olivia?" asked Dr. John.

"What can I do?" I said.

"Go to him," he urged; "he is alone. I saw him a moment ago, looking out at us from the drawing-room window. The old fellow is making up his mind to see you and me happy together, and to conceal his own sorrow. God bless him! Olivia, my dear girl, go to him."

"O Jack!" I cried, "I cannot."

"I don't see why you cannot," he answered, gayly. "You are trembling, and your face goes from white to red, and then white again; but you have not lost the use of your limbs, or your tongue. If you take my arm, it will not be very difficult to cross the lawn. Come; he is the best fellow living, and worth walking a dozen yards for."

Jack drew my hand through his arm, and led me across the smooth lawn. We caught a glimpse of Martin looking out at us; but he turned away in an instant, and I could not see the expression of his face. Would he think we were coming to tell him that he had wasted all his love upon a girl not worthy of a tenth part of it?

The glass doors, which opened upon the lawn, had been thrown back all day, and we could see distinctly into the room. Martin was standing at the other end of it, apparently absorbed in examining a painting, which he must have seen a thousand times. The doors creaked a little as I passed through them, but he did not turn round. Jack gave my hand a parting squeeze, and left me there in the open doorway, scarcely knowing whether to go on, and speak to Martin, or run away to my room, and leave him to take his own time.

I believe I should have run away, but I heard Minima's voice behind me, calling shrilly to Dr. John, and I could not bear to face him again. Taking my courage in both hands, I stepped quickly across the floor, for if I had hesitated longer my heart would have failed me. Scarcely a moment had passed since Jack left me, and Martin had not turned his head, yet it seemed an age.

"Martin," I whispered, as I stood close behind him, "how could you be so foolish as to send Dr. John to me?"



CHAPTER THE TWENTY-EIGHTH.

PALMY DAYS.

We were married as soon as the season was over, when Martin's fashionable patients were all going away from town. Ours was a very quiet wedding, for I had no friends on my side, and Martin's cousin Julia could not come, for she had a baby not a month old, and Captain Carey could not leave them. Johanna Carey and Minima were my bridesmaids, and Jack was Martin's groomsman.

On our way home from Switzerland, in the early autumn, we went down from Paris to Falaise, and through Noireau to Ville-en-bois. From Falaise every part of the road was full of associations to me. This was the long, weary journey which Minima and I had taken, alone, in a dark November night; and here were the narrow and dirty streets of Noireau, which we had so often trodden, cold, and hungry, and friendless. Martin said little about it, but I knew by his face, and by the tender care he lavished upon me, that his mind was as full of it as mine was.

There was no reason for us to stay even a day in Noireau, and we hurried through it on our way to Ville-en-bois. This road was still more memorable to me, for we had traversed it on foot.

"See, Martin!" I cried, "there is the trunk of the tree still, where Minima and I sat down to rest. I am glad the tree is there yet. If we were not in a hurry, you and I would sit there now; it is so lonely and still, and scarcely a creature passes this way. It is delicious to be lonely sometimes. How foot-sore and famished we were, walking along this rough part of the road! Martin, I almost wish our little Minima were with us. There is the common! If you will look steadily, you can just see the top of the cross, against the black line of fir-trees, on the far side."

I was getting so excited that I could speak no longer; but Martin held my hand in his, and I clasped it more and more tightly as we drew nearer to the cross, where Minima and I had sat down at the foot, forlorn and lost, in the dark shadows of the coming night. Was it possible that I was the same Olivia?

But as we came in sight of the little grove of cypresses and yews, we could discern a crowd of women, in their snow-white caps, and of men and boys, in blue blouses. The hollow beat of a drum reached our ears afar off, and after it the shrill notes of a violin and fife playing a merry tune. Monsieur Laurentie appeared in the foreground of the multitude, bareheaded, long before we reached the spot.

"O Martin!" I said, "let us get out, and send the carriage back, and walk up with them to the village."

"And my wife's luggage?" he answered, "and all the toys and presents she has brought from Paris?"

It was true that the carriage was inconveniently full of parcels, for I do not think that I had forgotten one of Monsieur Laurentie's people. But it would not be possible to ride among them, while they were walking.

"Every man will carry something," I said. "Martin, I must get out."

It was Monsieur Laurentie who opened the carriage-door for me; but the people did not give him time for a ceremonious salutation. They thronged about us with vivats as hearty as an English hurrah.

"All the world is here to meet us, monsieur," I said.

"Madame, I have also the honor of presenting to you two strangers from England," answered Monsieur Laurentie, while the people fell back to make way for them. Jack and Minima! both wild with delight. We learned afterward, as we marched up the valley to Ville-en-bois, that Dr. Senior had taken Jack's place in Brook Street, and insisted upon him and Minima giving us this surprise. Our procession, headed by the drum, the fife, and the violin, passed through the village street, from every window of which a little flag fluttered gayly, and stopped before the presbytery, where Monsieur Laurentie dismissed it, after a last vivat.

The next stage of our homeward journey was made in Monsieur Laurentie's char a bancs, from Ville-en-bois to Granville—Jack and Minima had returned direct to England, but we were to visit Guernsey on the way. Captain Carey and Julia made it a point that we should go to see them, and their baby, before settling down in our London home. Martin was welcomed with almost as much enthusiasm in St. Peter-Port as I had been in little Ville-en-bois.

From our room in Captain Carey's house I could look at Sark lying along the sea, with a belt of foam encircling it. At times, early in the morning, or when the sunset light fell upon it, I could distinguish the old windmill, and the church breaking the level line of the summit; and I could even see the brow of the knoll behind Tardifs cottage. But day after day the sea between us was rough, and the westerly breeze blew across the Atlantic, driving the waves before it. There was no steamer going across, and Captain Carey's yacht could not brave the winds. I began to be afraid that Martin and I would not visit the place, which of all others in this half of the world was dearest to me.

"To-morrow," said Martin one night, after scanning the sunset, the sky, and the storm-glass, "if you can be up at five o'clock, we will cross to Sark."

I was up at four, in the first gray dawn of a September morning. We had the yacht to ourselves, for Captain Carey declined running the risk of being weather-bound on the island—a risk which we were willing to chance. The Havre Gosselin was still in morning shadow when we ran into it; but the water between us and Guernsey was sparkling and dancing in the early light, as we slowly climbed the rough path of the cliff. My eyes were dazzled with the sunshine, and dim with tears, when I first caught sight of the little cottage of Tardif, who was stretching out his nets, on the stone causeway under the windows. Martin called to him, and he flung down his nets and ran to meet us.

"We are come to spend the day with you, Tardif," I cried, when he was within hearing of my voice.

"It will be a day from heaven," he said, taking off his fisherman's cap, and looking round at the blue sky with its scattered clouds, and the sea with its scattered islets.

It was like a day from heaven. We wandered about the cliffs, visiting every spot which was most memorable to either of us, and Tardif rowed us in his boat past the entrance of the Gouliot Caves. He was very quiet, but he listened to our free talk together, for I could not think of good old Tardif as any stranger; and he seemed to watch us both, with a far-off, faithful, quiet look upon his face. Sometimes I fancied he did not bear what we were saying, and again his eyes would brighten with a sudden gleam, as if his whole soul and heart shone through them upon us. It was the last day of our holiday, for in the morning we were about to return to London, and to work; but it was such a perfect day as I had never known before.

"You are quite happy, Mrs. Martin Dobree?" said Tardif to me, when we were parting from him.

"I did not know I could ever be so happy," I answered.

"We saw him to the last moment standing on the cliff, and waving his hat to us high above his head. Now and then there came a shout across the water. Before we were quite beyond ear-shot, we heard Tardif's voice calling amid the splashing of the waves:

"God be with you, my friends. Adieu, mam'zelle!"



CHAPTER THE TWENTY-NINTH.

A POSTSCRIPT BY MARTIN DOBREE.

You may describe to a second person, with the most minute and exact fidelity in your power, the leading and critical events in your life, and you will find that some trifle of his own experience is ten times more vivid to his mind. You narrate to your friend, whom you have not met for many years, the incident that has turned the whole current of your existence; and after a minute or two of musing, he asks you, "Do you remember the day we two went bird-nesting on Gull's Cliff?" That day of boyish daring and of narrow escapes is more real to him than your deepest troubles or keenest joys. The brain receives but slightly second-hand impressions.

I had told Olivia faithfully all my dilemmas with regard to Julia and the Careys; and she had seemed to listen with intense interest. Certainly it was during those four bewildering and enchanted months immediately preceding our marriage, and no doubt the narrative was interwoven with many a topic of quite a different character. However that might be, I was surprised to find that Olivia was not half as nervous and anxious as I felt, when we were nearing Guernsey on our visit to Julia and Captain Carey. Julia had seen her but once, and that for a few minutes only in Sark. On her account she had suffered the severest mortification a woman can undergo. How would she receive my wife?

Olivia did not know, though I did, that Julia was somewhat frigid and distant in her manner, even while thoroughly hospitable in her welcome. Olivia felt the hospitality; I felt the frigidity. Julia called her "Mrs. Dobree." It was the first time she had been addressed by that name; and her blush and smile were exquisite to me, but they did not thaw Julia in the least. I began to fear that there would be between them that strange, uncomfortable, east-wind coolness, which so often exists between the two women a man most loves.

It was the baby that did it. Nothing on earth could be more charming, or more winning, than Olivia's delight over that child. It was the first baby she had ever had in her arms, she told us; and to see her sitting in the low rocking-chair, with her head bent over it, and to watch her dainty way of handling it, was quite a picture. Captain Carey had an artist's eye, and was in raptures; Julia had a mother's eye, and was so won by Olivia's admiration of her baby, that the thin crust of ice melted from her like the arctic snows before a Greenland summer.

I was not in the least surprised when, two days or so before we left Guernsey, Julia spoke to us with some solemnity of tone and expression.

"My dear, Olivia," she said, "and you, Martin, Arnold and I would consider it a token of your friendship for us both, if you two would stand as sponsors for our child."

"With the greatest pleasure, Julia," I replied; and Olivia crossed the hearth to kiss her, and sat down on the sofa at her side.

"We have decided upon calling her Olivia," continued Julia, stroking my wife's hand with a caressing touch—"Olivia Carey! That sounds extremely well, and is quite new in the island. I think it sounds even better than Olivia Dobree."

As we all agreed that no name could sound better, or be newer in Guernsey, that question was immediately settled. There was no time for delay, and the next morning we carried the child to church to be christened. As we were returning homeward, Julia, whose face had worn its softest expression, pressed my arm with a clasp which made me look down upon her questioningly. Her eyes were filled with tears, and her mouth quivered. Olivia and Captain Carey were walking on in front, at a more rapid pace than ours, so that we were in fact alone.

"What is the matter?" I asked, hastily.

"O Martin!" she exclaimed, "we are both so happy, after all! I wish my poor, darling aunt could only have foreseen this! but, don't you think, as we are both so happy, we might just go and see my poor uncle? Kate Daltrey is away in Jersey, I know that for certain, and he is alone. It would give him so much pleasure. Surely you can forgive him now."

"By all means let us go," I answered. I had not heard even his name mentioned before, by any one of my old friends in Guernsey. But, as Julia said, I was so happy, that I was ready to forgive and forget all ancient grievances. Olivia and Captain Carey were already out of sight; and we turned into a street leading to Vauvert Road.

"They live in lodgings now," remarked Julia, as we went slowly up the steep street, "and nobody visits them; not one of my uncle's old friends. They have plenty to live upon, but it is all her money. I do not mean to let them got upon visiting terms with me—at least, not Kate Daltrey. You know the house, Martin?"

I knew nearly every house in St. Peter-Port, but this I remembered particularly as being the one where Mrs. Foster had lodged when she was in Guernsey. Upon inquiring for Dr. Dobree, we were ushered at once, without warning, into his presence.

Even I should scarcely have recognized him. His figure was sunken and bent, and his clothes, which were shabby, sat in wrinkles upon him. His crisp white hair had grown thin and limp, and hung untidily about his face. He had not shaved for a week. His waistcoat was sprinkled over with snuff, in which he had indulged but sparingly in former years. There was not a trace of his old jauntiness and display. This was a rusty, dejected old man, with the crow's-feet very plainly marked upon his features.

"Father!" I said.

"Uncle!" cried Julia, running to him, and giving him a kiss, which she had not meant to do, I am sure, when we entered the house.

He shed a few tears at the sight of us, in a maudlin manner; and he continued languid and sluggish all through the interview. It struck me more forcibly than any other change could have done, that he never once appeared to pluck up any spirit, or attempted to recall a spark of his ancient sprightliness. He spoke more to Julia than to me.

"My love," he said, "I believed I knew a good deal about women, but I've lived to find out my mistake. You and your beloved aunt were angels. This one never lets me have a penny of my own: and she locks up my best suit when she goes from home. That is to prevent me going among my own friends. She is in Jersey now; but she would not hear a word of me going with her, not one word. The Bible says: 'Jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.' Kate is jealous of me. I get nothing but black looks and cold shoulders. There never lived a cat and dog that did not lead a more comfortable life than Kate leads me."

"You shall come and see Arnold and me sometimes, uncle," said Julia.

"She won't let me," he replied, with fresh tears; "she won't let me mention your name, or go past your house. I should very much like to see Martin's wife—a very pretty creature they say she is—but I dare not. O Julia! how little a man knows what is before him!"

We did not prolong our visit, for it was no pleasure to any one of us. Dr. Dobree himself seemed relieved when we spoke of going away. He and I shook hands with one another gravely; it was the first time we had done so since he had announced his intention of marrying Kate Daltrey.

"My son," he said, "if ever you should find yourself a widower, be very careful how you select your second wife."

These were his parting words—words which chafed me sorely as a young husband in his honeymoon. I looked round when we were out of the house, and caught a glimpse of his withered face, and ragged white hair, as he peeped from behind the curtain at us. Julia and I walked on in silence till we reached her threshold.

"Yet I am not sorry we went, Martin," she observed, in a tone as if she thus summed up a discussion with herself. Nor was I sorry.

A few days after our return to London, as I was going home to dinner, I met, about half-war along Brook Street, Mrs. Foster. For the first time since my marriage I was glad to be alone; I would not have had Olivia with me on any account. But the woman was coming away from our house, and a sudden fear flashed across me. Could she have been annoying my Olivia?

"Have you been to see me?" I asked her, abruptly.

"Why should I come to see you?" she retorted.

"Nor my wife?" I said.

"Why shouldn't I go to see Mrs. Dobree?" she asked again.

I felt that it was necessary to secure Olivia, and to gain this end I must be firm. But the poor creature looked miserable and unhappy, and I could not be harsh toward her.

"Come, Mrs. Foster," I said, "let us talk reasonably together. You know as as well as I do you have no claim upon my wife; and I cannot have her disturbed and distressed by seeing you; I wish her to forget all the past. Did I not fulfil my promise to Foster? Did I not do all I could for him?"

"Yes," she answered, sobbing, "I know you did all you could to save my husband's life."

"Without fee?" I said.

"Certainly. We were too poor to pay you."

"Give me my fee now, then," I replied. "Promise me to leave Olivia alone. Keep away from this street, and do not thrust yourself upon her at any time. If you meet by accident, that will be no fault of yours. I can trust you to keep your promise."

She stood silent and irresolute for a minute. Then she clasped my hand, with a strong grip for a woman's fingers.

"I promise," she said, "for you were very good to him."

She had taken a step or two into the dusk of the evening, when I ran after her for one more word.

"Mrs. Foster," I said, "are you in want?"

"I can always keep myself," she answered, proudly; "I earned his living and my own, for months together. Good-by, Martin Dobree."

"Good-by," I said. She turned quickly from me round a corner near to us; and have not seen her again from that day to this.

Dr. Senior would not consent to part with Minima, even to Olivia. She promises fair to take the reins of the household at a very early age, and to hold them with a tight hand. Already Jack is under her authority, and yields to it with a very droll submission. She is so old for her years, and he is so young for his, that—who can tell? Olivia predicts that Jack Senior will always be a bachelor.

THE END.

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