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vanish within the doors of her own house. the constant poem of her beauty. But, though Her hand had rested gently, willingly, in his. she knew it, she glanced at him anxiously as
«I am so grateful!» she had said; « so will he approached her. It had been to her a kind Maxwell be. We shall meet soon, and laugh of luxury of feeling, in the few moments that over our troubles.»
she had been waiting for him, to cherish a And then she was gone, and he was left little fear of him-of his displeasure. standing a moment, bewildered.
« Now describe exactly what you have been Eleven? What had he to do?
doing,” he said, sitting down by her with a Then he remembered his pair, and that he troubled face and taking her hand, as soon as had promised to call for Letty at a certain he had assured himself that the cut was slight house, and take her on to a late ball. The and would leave no scar. evening, in fact, instead of ending, was just She told her tale, and was thrilled to see beginning. He could have laughed as he got that he frowned. She laid her hand on his back into his cab.
« It is the first public thing I have done MEANWHILE Marcella had sped through the without consulting you. I meant to have outer hall into the inner, where one solitary asked you yesterday, but we were both so light, still burning, made a rather desolate busy. The meeting was got up rather hurdark-in-light through the broad, pillared riedly, and they pressed me to speak after all space. A door opened at the farther side. the arrangements were made. « Aldous!»
«« We are both of us too busy,” he said « You! »
rather sadly; « we glance, and nod, and bustle He came out, and she flew to him. He felt by—» » her trembling as she touched him. In ten He did not finish the quotation, but she words she told him something of what had could. Her eyes scanned his face. « Do you happened. Then he saw the bandage round think I ought to have avoided such a thing at her temple. His countenance fell. She knew such a time? Will it do harm ? » that he turned white, and loved him for it. His brow cleared. He considered the How few things had power to move him so! matter.
He wanted to lead her back into his library, « I think you may expect some of the newswhere he was at work; but she resisted. papers to make a good deal of it,» he said,
« Let me go up to Annette,» she said. «The smiling. little wound -oh! it is not much, I know it is not And, in fact, his own inherited tastes and much-ought to be properly seen to. We will instincts were all chafed by her story. His do it between us in a moment. Then come; I wife-the wife of a cabinet minister-pleadwill send her down for you. I want to tell you.» ing for her husband's bill, or, as the enemy
But in her heart of hearts she was just a might say, for his political existence, with an little afraid of telling him. What if an ex- East End meeting, and incidentally with the aggerated version should get into the papers whole public; exposing herself, in a time of -if it should really do him harm-at this agitation, to the rowdyism and the stonecritical moment! She was always tormented throwing that wait on such things! The noby this dread-a dread born of long-past in- tion set the fastidious Old World temper of discretions and mistakes.
the man all on edge; but he would never have He acquiesced, but first he insisted on half dreamed of arguing the matter so with her. leading, half carrying her up-stairs, and she A sort of high chivalry forbade it. In marrypermitted it, delighting in his strong arm. ing her he had not made a single condition
Half an hour later she sent for him. The would have suffered tortures rather than lay maid found him pacing up and down the hall, the smallest fetter upon her. In consequence, waiting.
he had often been thought a weak, uxorious When he entered her room she was lying person; Maxwell knew that he was merely on her sofa in a white wrapper of some silky consistent. No sane man lays his heart at the stuff. The black lace had been drawn again feet of a Marcella without counting the cost. round her head, and he saw nothing but a She did not answer his last remark. But very pale face and her eager, timid eyes, he saw that she was wistful and uneasy, and timid for no one in the world but him. As he presently she laid her fingers lightly on his. caught sight of her, she produced in him that « Tell me if I am too much away from you exquisite mingled impression of grace, pas- -- too much occupied with other people.» sion, self-yielding, which in all its infinite He sighed - the slightest sigh-but she variations and repetitions made up for him winced.
«I had just an hour before dinner, he camp in the East End at such a marked and said; «you were not here, and the house critical moment was strange, to say the least seemed very empty. I would have come down of it. It must point, one would think, to some to fetch you, but there were some important sudden and remarkable strength of personal papers to read before to-morrow.» A cabinet influence. meeting was fixed, as she knew, for the fol- Had she any real consciousness of the lowing day. « Then, I have been making power she wielded? Once or twice, in the Saunders draw up a statement for the news- years since they had been married, Maxwell papers in answer to Watton's last attack, and had watched this spell of his wife's at work, it would have been a help to talk to you be- and had known a moment of trouble. « If I fore we sent it off. Above all, if I had known were the fellow she had talked and walked of the meeting I should have begged you not with so,» he had once said to himself, « I must to go. I ought to have warned you yesterday, have fallen in love with her had she been for I knew that there was some ugly agitation twenty times another man's wife!» Yet no developing down there. But I never thought of harm had happened; he had only reproached you as likely to face a mob. Will you please himself for a gross mind, without daring to reflect » – he pressed her hand almost roughly breathe a word to her. against his lips - «that if that stone had been And he dared not now. Besides, how aba little heavier, and flung a little straighter-» surd! The young man was just married, and,
He paused. A dew came to her eyes, a happy to Maxwell's absent, incurious eyes, the bride glow to her cheek. As for her, she was grate- had seemed a lively, pretty little person ful to the stone that had raised such heart- enough. No doubt it was the nervous strain beats.
of his political life that made such fancies Perhaps some instinct told him not to possible to him. Let him not cumber her ears please her in this way too much, for he rose with them. and walked away a moment.
Then gradually, as he stood at her feet, the « There! Don't let's think of it, or I shall sight of her, breathing weakness, submission, turn tyrant after all, and plunge into «shalls) loveliness, her eyes raised to his, banished and sha’n’ts ) ! You know you carry two lives, every other thought from his happy heart, and all the plans that either of us cares about, and drew him like a magnet. in your hand. You say that Tressady brought Meanwhile she began to smile. He knelt you home?»
down beside her, and she put both hands on He turned, and looked at her.
his shoulders. « Yes. Edward Watton brought him to the « Dear!” she said, half laughing and half meeting.
crying, « I did speak so badly; you would have « But he has been down to see you there sev- been ashamed of me. I could n't hold the eral times before, as well as coming here?» meeting. I did n't persuade a soul. Lord
« Oh, yes; almost every week since we met Fontenoy's ladies had it all their own way. at Castle Luton.»
And first I was dreadfully sorry I could n't «It is curious," said Maxwell, thoughtfully; do such a thing decently-sorry because of « for he will certainly vote steadily with one's vanity, and sorry because I could n't Fontenoy all through. His election speeches help you. And now I think I'm rather glad.» pledged him head over ears.»
« Are you?» said Maxwell, dryly. «As for «Oh, of course he will vote," said Marcella, me, I'm enchanted! There!--so much penalty moving a little uneasily; « but one cannot help you shall have. trying to modify his way of looking at things. She pressed his lips with her hand. And his tone is changed.”
« Don't spoil my pretty speech. I am only Maxwell stood at the foot of her sofa, con- glad because, because public life and public sidering, a host of perplexed and unwelcome success make one stand separate-alone. I notions flitting across his mind. In spite of have gone far enough to know how it might his idealist absorption in his work, his politi- be. A new passion would come in and creep cal aims, and the one love of his life, he had through one like a poison. I should win you the training of a man of the world, and could votes, and our hearts would burn dry. There! summon the shrewdness of one when he take me-scold me-despise me. I am a poor pleased. He had liked this young Tressady, thing-but yours! » for the first time, at Castle Luton, and had With such a humbleness might Diana have seen him fall under Marcella's charm with wooed her shepherd, stooping her goddess head some amusement. But this haunting of their to him on the Latmian steep.
(To he continued.)
Mary A. Ward.
IMPRESSIONS OF SOUTH AFRICA.
BY JAMES BRYCE, M. P.,
LACED in the center of than the plateau itself. It has no general name,
the southern hemisphere, but the central part is called the Drakenberge
portion to its vast area, or the outer slopes of the mountains, and the South Africa has only just begun to excite the westerly part of it, being farther from the curiosity and interest of mankind. Twenty rain-sending ocean, is drier than the easterly. years ago even England seldom thought of her Moreover, over all this country, except a remote colony, except when some Kafir war small district around and north of Cape Town, compelled the despatch of imperial troops; the rains are summer rains, which fall in the and the rest of the world scarcely noted its months from November to February. Under existence. Now the discovery of extraordi- the intense heat of the sun the country soon nary mineral wealth, a passionate struggle of dries up, and for seven or eight months in the races, and the possibility that the clashing in- year it is parched and arid-much of it, as we terests of great nations may come to mingle in shall see presently, little better than a desert. that struggle, have drawn alleyes to the south- This great and dominant physical fact-a ern extremity of the African continent-a low and comparatively well-watered coastcontinent the greater part of which was un- belt with a high and arid interior-has deterexplored fifty years ago, and which even mined the character of South Africa in many twenty-five years ago was an object of in- ways. It explains the very remarkable fact difference to those European powers which that South Africa has, broadly speaking, no have of late been so eagerly striving for a rivers. Those that run south and east from share in it.
the mountains to the coast are short and The best way to understand the economic rapid torrents after a storm, but at other conditions and material resources of South times almost dry. In the interior there are, Africa, as well as the political problems which indeed, streams which, like the Orange River now excite our interest, is first to understand or the Limpopo, seem on the map to have long the physical features of the country. They courses; but they have so little water during are very remarkable. Africa south of the three fourths of the year as to be of no serZambesi River consists, broadly speaking, of vice for the purposes of navigation, while two regions. There is a strip of low land lying most of their tributaries shrink in the dry along the coast of the Indian Ocean-a strip season to mere lines of pools, scarcely supplyonly a few miles wide in the south, between ing drink to the cattle on their banks. This Cape Town and East London, but gradually is one of the reasons why South Africa rewidening as it runs northward, till in the mained so long unexplored. People could not Portuguese territory north of Delagoa Bay it penetrate it by following waterways, as hapmeasures from fifty to one hundred and fifty pened both in North and in South America; miles across. Behind this strip, to the north they were obliged to travel by ox-wagon, and east of it, lies a great mass of high making only some twelve miles a day; and for ground, rising from the Indian Ocean in hills the same reason the country is now forced to and mountains from 4000 to 11,000 feet in depend entirely upon railways for internal height, but farther inland, at a distance of communication. There is not a stream fit to from forty to two hundred miles from the float anything drawing three feet of water. ocean, stretching out in a huge plateau ele- Here is one result of the peculiar physical vated from 3000 to 5000 feet above sea-level, conditions I have described. Another, of no the more easterly part being the higher. The less moment, is the fact that the interior outer-that is, the southern and eastern- plateau gains from its height and its dryness edge of this mass of high land is formed by a a generally salubrious climate. The parts of long chain of mountains, in most places higher the coast strip lying north of Durban, the ris
ing port of Natal, are unhealthy because in- native tribes, but drawn on by finding everyfested by those malarial fevers which are the where a country in which Europeans could blight of Africa, and which, though worst live and thrive; while the Portuguese, having after the wet season, are more or less per- long since lost the impulse of discovery and nicious all through the year. These fevers fol- conquest, did no more than maintain their low the streams up into the interior wherever hold upon the coast, and allowed even the few the ground is low, and sometimes occur at a forts they had established along the course of height of 3000 or even 3500 feet. But they are the Zambesi to crumble away. much less deadly the farther one gets from the coast, and above 4000 feet they seldom occur. The air of the plateau is so fresh, light, and invigorating that the heat even of midsummer is not severely felt, and sunstroke, so common and fatal in India, is not feared. This fact explains how the course of South African discovery has proceeded, and how it is the Dutch and the English, rather than the Portuguese, that have become the possessors of the rich interior.
In the early years of the sixteenth century, long before the first Dutch fort was erected at Cape Town, Portugal had planted her settlers at various points along the east coast, from Delagoa Bay to the Zambesi and Mo
For the location of railways we are indebted to a map kindly lent zambique. They did some
by « The Engineering News.» trading in gold and ivory with the interior, and they ascended the That the inhabitants of Cape Colony should Zambesi for several hundred miles. But the have been so long in awakening to the value pestilential strip of flat ground which lay be- of the interior is itself to be traced to the tween the coast and the plateau damped their physical character of the land they had ocdesires, and threw obstacles in the way of their cupied. Immediately behind the mountains advance. They did little to explore and noth- which border the coast to the north and east ing to civilize the interior. Three centuries of the original settlement about Cape Town passed, during which our knowledge of South the country is extremely arid and unattracCentral Africa was scarcely extended; and it tive. Southwest of Graaf Reinet (see map) was not till some sixty years ago that the there is a tract called the Karroo (the name is Dutch Boers in their slow wagons passed Hottentot, meaning « dry »), which extends northeastward from Cape Colony to the spots some three hundred miles east and west, and where Bloemfontein and Pretoria now stand; about one hundred and fifty north and south. not till 1854–56 that David Livingstone made This tract is from 2500 to 3500 feet above seahis way through Bechuanaland to the Victoria level. It has a rainfall seldom exceeding five Falls of the Zambesi and to the Atlantic coast inches in the year, and is therefore totally at Loanda; not till 1889 that the vast terri- without running water. Parts of it are mountories which lie between the Transvaal Re- tainous, parts level, but it is everywhere despublic and Lake Tanganyika began to be titute of herbage and of trees, though pretty occupied by the Mashonaland pioneers. All thickly covered with small thorny shrubs and these farmers, explorers, and mining pro- bushes. The exquisite brilliancy of the air, spectors came up over the high plateau from the warmth of the days and the coldness the extreme southernmost end of Africa, of the nights, remind one who crosses it of checked from time to time by the warlike the deserts of western America between the
Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, plateau already described is nearly all avail-
a few men, the population continues to grow