Lady Rosamond had given her friend some of the glimpses of her experience in Rome, yet she had much more to relate on her arrival. Some months would elapse before her husband would consider his health sufficiently restored to return to his native land. At intervals he seemed almost restored when a sudden relapse would cause a renewed return of the symptoms attending his flattering disease. Still they were hopeful that with the returning spring health would be restored the patient invalid. Throughout the severe dispensation Gerald Bereford manifested no irritation, no fretfulness, no complaining. He seemed to be happy in appreciating the labors of his beautiful wife. On one occasion, when she asked if he did not weary of his sickness, he quietly replied:
“Darling Rosamond, it has shown that you are willing to sacrifice every pleasure in devotion to one who can never fully repay such a debt of gratitude. Do you think that I can try, my Rosamond?” exclaimed he, pressing a fond kiss upon the lips of the pale but lovely woman, as she sat beside him.
Ah! Gerald Bereford knew not that in these words there lay a hidden meaning. Surely, and in a way unknown to both, will the debt be paid.
LIGHT, SHADOW, AND DARKNESS.
The guests at Trevelyan Hall had departed, Maude Bereford alone remaining. Captain Trevelyan applied himself to the duties devolving upon him with a will. His hospitality was the comment of many. He had begun life aright. His honest heart and upright principles were a sure passport to prosperity and popularity. “The Hall” was a scene of much gaiety and resort. Large gatherings were of frequent occurrence, to which the families of the surrounding neighbourhood were cordially invited. Fanny Trevelyan was idolized among her youthful companions and associates. Her sweet face was welcomed as a delightful acquisition on every occasion. Many sought to show their fond appreciation of her retiring manners and graceful elegance. Flattery had no power over her. She possessed a character of too much depth and penetration to harbor the least feeling akin to vanity. Lady Trevelyan had guarded her daughter’s education and trained her with a view to set a proper estimate upon those qualities which ennoble and elevate the soul. Maude Bereford was a proper companion for Fanny Trevelyan. Their minds were in harmony, while the latter acted as a propelling power to force the aspirations of the other above their common flight. Lady Trevelyan was pleased with this companionship. Though she could not discern the brilliant genius and powers which characterized the beautiful Mary Douglas, there was much to admire in Maude Bereford. Captain Trevelyan was kind, amiable and attentive. He paid every mark of respect towards his gentle and loveable guest. Frequently they walked, chatted and rode together. Maude was pleased with the gentlemanly attentions of the engaging officer, and showed her appreciation in many ways. He enjoyed the society of those two girls much as those of playful children. Fanny was truly happy in her brother’s company.