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had ended the first line, Charlot jumped down into the road from the grassy bank. You are welcome, mesdemoiselles,' he said as he raised his hat; 'but where is my mother?'
She is a little tired,' Gabrielle said. But, oh, how beautiful it is!'
She had come in sight of the lovely orchard, which was this year even fuller of blossom ; some of the buds not yet opened were a deep rose colour, and these seemed to nestle shyly against the golden-centred pink and white saucer-like flowers, and the fresh green leaves.
Léonie walked away to the hedge below the tall elms, and began to peer into the cemetery.
Charlot took Gabrielle's hand, and led her under the shade of the biggest apple-tree, so that its trunk came between them and their discreet companion.
* Dearest'-he held her hand between both his—'you remember I. said I had a confession to make ?' She smiled at him, feeling a little shy, for this was the first time they had been alone together since their engagement.
• Do you remember that, a year ago, you fell asleep under an apple-tree?' he said.
Gabrielle Aushed to her temples, and as she looked up, she saw a guilty expression on Charlot's face.
Who told you that ? How could you or any one know? I never even told Léonie.'
Charlot put his arm round her, and kissed her soft cheek.
* You did not know, dearest, that you looked so charming as you lay on the grass, that a fellow who ought to have known ...better forgot his manners, and stole a kiss—it was only one, my darling, you will pardon the theft, sweetest ?'
He drew her closer, and this time he kissed her lips.
Mademoiselle Léonie began to think that she had to be watchful as well as discreet, when she turned, and found that her charge was out of sight.
'Gabrielle, where are you?' she cried out.
Gabrielle pressed his hand for answer, and as once more his lips met hers, she returned his kiss. Then quickly disengaging herself, she ran off to join her cousin. ! We must be going home,' Léonie said. “I was to ask you, Charlot, whether you will sup with us?'
'I shall be delighted,' the happy young fellow answered, but I
go home first, to tell my mother not to wait supper for me. Our way lies together till we reach Loiseleur's.'
He helped first Léonie and then Gabrielle over the bank ; and then placed himself between them, his smiling face full of happiness.
As they walked along he told them about the practice at Bayeux which his father had bought for him, and of the pretty house and garden his mother wished him to take.
* You will have to go over with me one morning and see it,' he said to Gabrielle.
They had reached the stable-yard, and Loiseleur came out of the great gates, followed by little Lili.
The flat-faced, bushy-bearded man took off his hat and made a sweeping bow to Gabrielle ; then he shook hands with Charlot, laughing heartily while he congratulated him in his
ated him in his greasy voice on the news he had heard about him.
*Aha!'-his words came out with a gurgle, as though he were swallowing an oyster-'this is fine, this is as it should be-eh, Mademoiselle Léonie? Must we not all feel proud of our learned Doctor, whom we have, so to speak, grown among us, like one of our cabbages ? Aha! yes, we are all proud of Monsieur Charlot.' Then seizing the young fellow's arm, he said eagerly, “You will soon be wanting a horse, Monsieur-a good one—and I ask you to trust me with the commission. If you are going home, I will walk with you ; yes, yes, and we will look in at my other stables, and I will show you a bargain- I have not had such a bargain to offer for years. It will not take a minute,' he said imploringly, as Charlot tried to free himself from his grasp.
Gabrielle had been talking to Lili, and now, as the men left the stable-yard, Mademoiselle Léonie called to her to make haste home. We must see about supper for Charlot,' she said.
You go on'-Gabrielle felt that, as a promised wife, she might now take the lead over her quiet cousin—'I will stay a few minutes longer with Lili, and I will follow you.'
Lili was cross; she wanted a walk with Gabrielle, and her mother said it was too late. At this the little girl flung herself on the ground; she shrieked and cried till the maid came running out of the house and carried her off to her supper. Gabrielle had tried to pacify her, but the self-willed child kicked at her as she lay struggling in the maid's arms, and refused to be kissed.
Gabrielle went down-hill rather shocked at her little friend's behaviour. Before she reached the end of the stable-yard wall,
she found herself face to face with Pierre Sarrazin. In her great happiness she had forgotten his father's rudeness. She had never given much thought to Pierre's wish to marry her; it had seemed to her that, if he really cared for such a thing, he would have told her so when they were together on the cliffs. That which suddenly came to her mind when she saw his louring face, was the remembrance that she had wronged him a year ago.
* How do you do, Pierre ?' She held out her hand with a frank smile, but he only nodded.
Why do you speak to me?' he said sullenly. You had better have gone your way, and left me to go mine.'
But I am really glad to see you; and I have something important to say. Why need you look cross at me?'
She spoke in her sweetest way, and looked pleasantly at him. He took the hand he had just now refused, and held it while he spoke.
“What is it you have to tell me?' He looked down into her eyes in his old way, and Gabrielle felt that she was forgiven. Just now, when she was so happy, it had seemed sad to her not to be friends with every one.
She drew her hand gently away as she answered
• Do you remember, last year, when we quarrelled, and when you said I was cross about nothing?'
•I should think I did! Ah, Gabrielle, you owe some amends for all the heart-aches you have given me!'
He looked very attractive as his dark eyes gazed into hers.
"Well, I have only learned to-day that you had not done what I thought. It was something I had a right to be very angry about. I beg your pardon for my suspicions.'
He looked bewildered ; then he said quickly
You have found out to-day that Charlot Marie was the offender, have you? Then why are you not just—why are you not as angry with him as you were with me? Ah, Gabrielle, believe me, he does not love you as I do! Now that you have this excuse for casting him off, do it, I implore you! He cannot love you as I do. He is good, if you will—he has the goodness of a man who does not possess strong feelings; while I- I would lay down my life for your love !'
! * Hush! You must not !' she said, in a grieved tone ; for he had snatched her hand and passionately kissed it as he ended. 'I may not listen to you; I am promised to Charlot.'
'I know it ; but I have shown you that you can free yourself.
I do not want your money, dearest ; say that you will give up Charlot, and everything shall be made easy for you. I will take care that they shall not lock you up.'
Gabrielle was deeply touched. She shrank from Pierre's love, but it was sad to think that she had made him unhappy; she wanted to escape from him, but she could not add by any abruptness to his pain. She heard footsteps; Pierre, however, seemed unconscious of them as he spoke again.
*You will do as I ask, my Gabrielle ?'
. Good evening, Monsieur Pierre.'
Léocadie nodded as she passed by them, and went on up the hill.
'Adieu !' Gabrielle said, and she ran off as swiftly as she could.
Pierre stood looking after her till she was out of sight : then he muttered one of his father's Breton oaths, and turned away.
(To be continued.)
A QUIET HAVEN.
WITHIN a land-locked harbour
The little village lies,
Above the tranquil skies ;
With solemn mien look down,
About the tiny town.
Here in content and quiet
From busier life withdrawn,
And the farmer reaps his corn.
To anchor in that bay-
With news from far away.
Here neighbour weds with neighbour,
And early lovers meet
In the long village street :
The young man brings his wife,
Of Love and Death and Life.
In every changing decade
Some girl in youthful pride, Some lad in hot ambitious haste,
Seeks the great world outside :