“How do you know he was a soldier?” quickly rejoined Mr. Carlyle.
“Afy told me so. ‘The Captain’ she used to call him; but she said he was not a captain yet awhile—the next grade to it, a—a——”
“Lieutenant?” suggested Mr. Carlyle.
“Yes, sir, that was it—Lieutenant Thorn.”
“Joyce,” said Mr. Carlyle, “has it never struck you that Afy is more likely to have followed Lieutenant Thorn than Richard Hare?”
“No, sir,” answered Joyce; “I have felt certain always that she is with Richard Hare, and nothing can turn me from the belief. All West Lynne is convinced of it.”
Mr. Carlyle did not attempt to “turn her from her belief.” He dismissed her, and sat on still, revolving the case in all its bearings.
Richard Hare’s short interview with his mother had soon terminated. It lasted but a quarter of an hour, both dreading interruptions from the servants; and with a hundred pounds in his pocket, and desolation in his heart, the ill-fated young man once more quitted his childhood’s home. Mrs. Hare and Barbara watched him steal down the path in the telltale moonlight, and gain the road, both feeling that those farewell kisses they had pressed upon his lips would not be renewed for years, and might not be forever.
MISS CARLYLE AT HOME.
The church clocks at West Lynne struck eight one lovely morning in July, and then the bells chimed out, giving token that it was Sunday.
East Lynne had changed owners, and now it was the property of Mr. Carlyle. He had bought it as it stood, furniture and all; but the transfer had been conducted with secrecy, and was suspected by none, save those engaged in the negotiations. Whether Lord Mount Severn thought it might prevent any one getting on the scent, or whether he wished to take farewell of a place he had formerly been fond of, certain it is that he craved a week or two’s visit to it. Mr. Carlyle most readily and graciously acquiesced; and the earl, his daughter, and retinue had arrived the previous day.
West Lynne was in ecstacies. It called itself an aristocratic place, and it indulged hopes that the earl might be intending to confer permanently the light of his presence, by taking up his residence again at East Lynne. The toilettes prepared to meet his admiring eyes were prodigious and pretty Barbara Hare was not the only young lady who had thereby to encounter the paternal storm.
Miss Carlyle was ready for church at the usual time, plainly, but well dressed. As she and Archibald were leaving their house, they saw something looming up the street, flashing and gleaming in the sun. A pink parasol came first, a pink bonnet and feather came behind it, a gray brocaded dress and white gloves.
“The vain little idiot!” ejaculated Miss Carlyle. But Barbara smiled up the street toward them, unconscious of the apostrophe.