“Yes, sir, for the present.”
“And, now that you have nothing to expect from me, of course you will feel quite independent of me and my wishes. If I should be ill, I suppose you’d take off and leave me to my fate,” he said, bitterly.
“No, sir,” she said, calmly; “but words and professions are mere sentences written in sand—the first wave washes them out. I don’t want a fortune. I would not have gold, as I live, sir, except as the minister of my good purposes, the slave on which I could set my heel, unless it served me to lay up treasure in heaven. And should you be ill, dear uncle, I trust you will find no disposition in me to shrink from my duty.”
“There it is again,” he murmured, as he got up, and walked to and fro. “Profit—loss—gain. Give me my candle; I must go to bed—I feel very weary and tired.”
“Shall I get anything for you, sir?”
“No,” he replied.
“I shall wait for Helen, sir, and if you want anything, just rap on the floor, or call, and I will come up instantly.”
“Go to bed—go to bed, child,” he said, in his old, rough way, as he went out into the hall to go up to his room.
 Greenmount Cemetery.
THE MIDNIGHT MESSENGER.
May listened, and heard Mr. Stillinghast moving to and fro in his room with slow and regular footsteps for a while, then all was silent, and she supposed he had gone to bed. Still waiting for Helen, she recited the rosary for his conversion. She knew that all things are possible with Almighty God, and that dear to him, and precious in his sight, is the conversion of sinners. She also knew that Jesus Christ ever turns a propitious ear to the intercession of his Immaculate Mother, and it was with tender confidence, and earnest faith, that she implored her to obtain from her Divine Son the conversion of her uncle. At last a carriage stopped, and May heard Helen’s voice at the door conversing gayly with Walter Jerrold. She wrapped her shawl about her, and went out to admit her. She sprang into the hall, singing wild thrills from Lucia de Lammermoor, and without stopping, flew to her harp, and ran her fingers over the strings, preluding brilliantly,
“Oh, May, you should have been there—the most divine opera! Sontag sung like an angel.”
“Dear Helen,” said May, interrupting her, and laying her hand on her arm, “don’t! you will disturb Uncle Stillinghast; he is not well.”
“You don’t say so!” exclaimed Helen, turning her face towards her, while a gleam of almost ferocious pleasure shone in her eyes. “Oh, you don’t say so! Is he very sick?”
“A slight cold, I believe; at any rate, do not let us disturb him,” said May, surprised and shocked at her evident pleasure.
“What nonsense!” cried Helen, laughing hysterically; “he’ll live until you and I are both dead, May. He’s as tough as gutta percha. But, would it not be a nice thing if he’d pop off suddenly, and leave us his money?”