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My Lady of the Snows

My Lady of the Snows

Margaret A. Brown
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1973
Pages: 518
  • Book Info
    My Lady of the Snows
    Book Description:

    This work cannot be fully understood unless the reader is aware of the writer's motives. The book has a twofold meaning - that of a political novel, and that of the portrayal of a great love and a religious drama.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3262-2
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-viii)
    M. A. B.
    (pp. 1-14)

    Government House was one blaze of brilliance.

    The newly-appointed Governor-General and his wife had but recently arrived at their new home, and their Excellencies were to entertain for the first time the political and social world under their new regime.

    The merry ting-a-ling of winter bells making gay music over a gay white world, the hollow beat of speeding horses’ hoofs and the sleigh’s low bass song were heard far and near in the Rideau suburbs of the Queen’s City. Equipage after equipage swept in through the Lodge gateway, and up the wooded driveway—the occupants of the sleighs, through...

    (pp. 14-24)

    The Wellingtons, one of the oldest families in the country, were of United Empire Loj-alist descent. Mr. Wellington’s ancestor, Sir Claude Wellington, had come over from England, during the reign of one of the first of the Guelphs, as Governor of one of the New England States, and when the Pilgrim States had severed their relations with the motherland, Sir Claude, being a staunch Loyalist and firm supporter of the Crown's authority, had refused the pardon offered and rejected the inducements held out to him by the successful Revolutionists, and, leaving all he possessed, had sought a home, or rather...

    (pp. 24-34)

    “How are you, Mr. Lester? Do you want a wall: before dinner? I am going clown to see Mrs. Byers; I heard to-day her husband was without work,” said the mistress of Apsley House the next afternoon, as she met Mr. Lester coming home from the House.

    She was dressed in a street costume of dark blue trimmed with sable, with hat and ruff to match, and was accompanied by her favorite St. Bernard, ISTell Gwynne, and her King Arthur greyhound, Cavall.

    It was a wild winter’s day; heavy wracks of clouds were sweeping up from the west; great gusts...

    (pp. 34-47)

    But it seemed that the Fates had willed that the mistress of Apsley House was to be brought into the presence of the needy that day.

    “Oh, father, see that woman and little child! She is completely exhausted and nearly frozen ! Tell Jackson to slop a moment,” said Modena a few hours afterwards, as she leaned forward from the depths of the robes, as they sped on their way to a state dinner at the residence of the Secretary of State.

    “But, my daughter, we are late now, and no doubt the woman has been drinking.”

    “Drinking!” exclaimed his...

    (pp. 47-53)

    Keith Keinton, the youngest member in the Cabinet, and one of the rising lights of the day, was heir-apparent to one of the’ wealthiest estates in the country and possessor of another almost as great.

    His father had been a man of high rank in colonial life—a man of great courage, stern integrity and brilliant intellect.

    When he was but a young man finishing his education in Paris, he had there met Clare Arundel, the youngest daughter of an old English family. On the completion of his college courses he had gone to England and brought her a bride...

    (pp. 54-63)

    It was opening day at Parliament Hill.

    The vice-regal party, gaily attired and with horses handsomely caparisoned, and carriages gorgeously bedecked, accompanied by a mounted escort from Rideau Hall, wended its way up Wellington Street and down the canal gorge, acknowledging at intervals the salute of the military bands, for the city at the present was in a state of martial furore, the Wimbletons clad in their red, grey and green having suspended operations for the day in honor of the opening.

    The cortege slowly wended its way to the brow of the Hill, where they were received by a...

    (pp. 64-67)

    “WILL you meet Mrs. Lennox and her daughter now?” asked Keith Kenyon of her a few hours afterwards, as they were gathered together at the Senate Chamber drawing-room.

    “Yes,, she would meet them. She had definitely said so in her own mind. They were friends of Keith Kenyon’s, and he was anxious that their surroundings should be made pleasant for them. Her duty was clear. She should do what she could. And she never believed in doing things by halves. If she did it in the letter, she would do it in the spirit, too.”

    “Will you come,, too, Carlton?”...

    (pp. 67-90)

    It was an ideal spring day.

    Fernwylde robed in its fairest garments of green and with flags flying from the keep, and from every corner, presented an appearance of enchanted fairyland.

    It was now some six weeks since opening day. The mistress of Apsley House had overcome her reluctance, and had done what shei had promised to do, called on the neophytes at Lennox Court; and it had been as Keith Kenyon had predicted, others had followed like sheep, and they had become the fashion.

    Their advent into society and the approaching contest had stirred the city to its depths....

    (pp. 90-101)

    “Helen said the prettiest word in the English language was Love. Perhaps it is to those who know it, but it is so exclusive, that to the most of us it is actually ugly. What little we know or see has become vulgarized. Music is much prettier. This would tempt even an Odyssey,” said Marion Clydene the next afternoon in that dreamy, contemplative manner that bespoke the artist’s soul.

    They had gone out on the western terrace, facing the lake, to court the soft spring winds and warming sun rays, and liad grouped themselves in little groups here and there....

  12. CHAPTER X.
    (pp. 102-110)

    “How tired I feel,” said the mistress of Apsley House, as she ascended her own steps a few days after her party at Fernwylde had broken up, and they had returned to the city. “Will you come in and have some tea? It refreshes one. Jack is here, and no doubt others will come before the close of the evening.”

    “One would prefer an evening alone with you,” answered her companion, Keith Kenyon, coming up the steps. “It is so seldom one ever sees you without a dozen people hanging round you. You might say ‘not at home’ for one...

    (pp. 110-117)

    “We’re in it, and one might as well face the facts; things look blue. One doesn’t mind being whipped so long as one feels one has done everything. that can be done, but we haven’t; we’ve been blundering. We must get them. She’s no mean foe. She’s a shrewd one and a fighter. She has the spirit of the bull-dog and the greyhound within her. She knows if Kenyon doesn’t commit himself before then, she’s gone, and she’ll make him do it. If He doesn’t, they'll throw their whole influence to the others, and that means much. Why doesn’t he...

    (pp. 117-133)

    A few days after this they attended a mass meeting held by the People’s Rights Society, and addressed by a man named Stubs.

    Their party hitherto had not been in sympathy with such meetings or such movements, but Parliament being on the eve of dissolution, it was absolutely necessary under the present circumstances that such meetings as these should be recognized, and their people represented at them.

    The mistress of Apsley House had frequently noticed S. tubs at social and civic receptions, but had not singled him out from the throng she continually met day after day, and night after...

    (pp. 134-140)

    The next forenoon the mistress of Apsley House was alone in her octagon room in the chateau suite of rooms arranging in Watteau shells and Sevres bowls some flowers which had been sent in that morning from Fernwylde, when Keith Kenyon ran lightly up the steps and entered her presence.

    “Is your father in?”’ he asked, hurriedly, and with irritation visible in his tone and expression.

    “No, he hasn’t yet returned. Will you wait for luncheon if you wish to see him?” replied Modena, as she placed a vase of jasmines on the opposite table.

    “I want to see him,...

    (pp. 141-155)

    “WHY is Modena so wrapped up in Fernwylde?” said Garitón Monteith, a few days after this, a little irritably, to Jack Mainton, as Jack was leaving the city to join the party which had preceded him to Fernwylde.

    Parliament was dissolved, and the two parties were now touring the country. While speaking in that part of the conntry they had made their meeting-place at Fernwylde, and were never loth, when the opportunity presented itself, to mix a little private pleasure with the strifes and turmoils of public life.

    The mistress of the place had gone down. It was impossible for...

    (pp. 155-163)

    The Lennoxes were coming down to Idlewylde for a few days. They must be secured and Stubs must be quieted. His invitation didn’t mean any more than any other invitation; his attention to the heiress could not be misconstrued. So he told himself. He hadn’t spoken of it to the mistress of Fernwylde. Somehow he couldn’t. To discuss the propriety of it would be to admit there was something in it, so he remained silent; but he had asked her to join them, and this She had promised to do later on in the day.

    She had been busy during...

    (pp. 164-174)

    “You have asked her to stay a week with you,” said Jack Mainton to his cousin, the next evening as they stood together for a few moments in one of the open French windows leading from a suite of rooms to the gardens. “Was it wise to do so?” he continued, as his eyes followed the form of Verona Lennox, as she passed down the room by Keith Kenyon’s side.

    “We ask anybody and everybody at the present time,” replied his cousin, evasively.

    “But you don’t ask everybody. You’ve always boasted that no rag-tag or bob-tail would ever pass your...

    (pp. 174-183)

    “You are going to the city this evening. Take me with you,” said Verona Lennox to Keith Kenyon late the next afternoon as they came from off the waters and seated themselves on a rustic bench under a spreading maple tree near the lake shore monastery.

    “You are Miss Wellington’s guest for the week. She would not forgive me if I did so.”

    “She will not care. She doesn’t care for me. She will be indebted to you if you relieve her of such a burden.”

    “Surely you wrong her. She would not ask you here if she did not...

    (pp. 183-200)

    “Why that frown upon your brow, Grace?” asked the mistress of Fernwylde as she entered the library from the rotunda late the same afternoon.

    “I have been trying to write, to compose, to create, but I cannot without inspiration; it will not come. This should have been sent away a week ago, but here it lies waiting for the spirit to move me,” replied the young authoress, rising from the ormolu table at which she had been writing. She was not in the mftod for writing, but the publisher was depending upon it, and it must be sent at once....

    (pp. 200-221)

    It was now some ten days later, and Fernwylde had been deserted, save for its mistress and Helen Lester and Mr. Linden, who had remained on at the Rectory. The gentlemen of their party had been touring the country, perching and cawing, here one afternoon, there the same evening, and some place else the next night. Their perching and cawing was the best they could do. Existing circumstances were preventing both parties from accomplishing anything tangible. The country was approaching a state of transition. Evils had crept in, and the party in power felt the impossibility of being consistent in...

    (pp. 221-233)

    In the beginning of the week the party was suddenly broken up by an urgent call to Keith Kenyon from the city.

    The chief was much worried.

    The country was being agitated by questions and rights which had not yet risen to the surface, and which nothing but the chief's personal popularity and urbane tact could cover over with roses and sweetmeats until the crisis was past, and these he had been exercising to his utmost capacity and even beyond his physical strength, but even then the rose leaves and gloved hands did not conceal all the therns and turmoil...

    (pp. 234-244)

    Two mornings afterwards Mr. Wellington sat in his own private library at Apsley House.

    It was a beautiful room, leading out from his daughter’s favorite sitting-room. Its walls were panelled high in carved mahogany and lined with rich, dark book-cases which were filled with the thoughts of all the great men of all past known ages. The ceilings were deeply embossed and the windows deeply embeyed. The great leaded panes were clear to admit the western light, and opened out into Modena’s favorite rose-garden. Transom panes of crimson surmounting these, and two oriel windows from the south flooded the room...

    (pp. 244-253)

    MODENA sat long by the fireside that day. Outwardly she liad regained her calm, but inwardly her mind and heart had yet to become mistress of themselves.

    She felt a reluctance towards going out, fearing that she might meet him, and yet was she ever troubled at the force of the desire which she ever felt to see him and to be near him. To a person who has been born with a spiritual nature and who has lived a life removed from the senses or any sensual indulgences, the first impulse of passion to such must be in a...

    (pp. 253-261)

    The following morning the men returned to their respective duties, while the mistress of Fernwjdde, who had promised to return to Idlewylde in the morning,, sen, t a servant over with a note asking its mistress to excuse her for the day.

    She sent Helen back and spent the day alone. There were some things which must be hid from the common light of day; things which must be felt, not seen. Love was one of these. She wanted to be alone with it. All was confusion,, but the intense intoxication of happiness which pervaded her being dominated the confusion....

    (pp. 261-266)

    When Modena reached Apsley House her father was in the library, and she went direct to him and told him all. When she saw by the early morning light how grey and aged he had grown her heart ached in pity for him.

    When he heard what she had to tell him he was silent. Of late it had come home to him that things were not well; he had done what he could to keep her true to Garitón Honteith, and now it grieved him greatly when he learned what his daughter had to tell.

    Local circumstances and situations...

    (pp. 267-277)

    When Keith Kenyon left Apsley House that morning he did so as in a dream. He was like a traveller who had been walking all his life, as it were, on one of Turner’s shining plains beside a sunlit sea, but now a great cloud had darkened the sky, and he had fallen from the high cliff into a yawning gulf below. He could see the rocks and shoals as they passed by, he could feel the treacherous sand sliding with him at his touch and hear the rushing, angry waters below, but yet he was powerless to resist.


    (pp. 278-285)

    “I know he is ours! At least, last evening he gave Mr. Sangster to understand he was coming to us,” and Mrs. Sangster smiled knowingly at Helen Lester as she told her this, as they were returning from the same tea late that same evening.

    “Do not grow too sanguine, Lilian. He hasn’t committed himself yet,” replied Helen, who had learned from experience the truth of the old adage, “There’s many a slip ’twixt the cup and the lip,” and who never allowed herself to become sanguine over uncertainties.

    “No, not publicly, but he has privately. No, not confidentially. He...

    (pp. 285-299)

    “You are not going to ask her here?” said Jack Mainton a few weeks after this to his cousin, as he entered the library of Apsley House one cold October morning.

    Autumn had deepened into winter; the waters of the rivers were now frozen from shore to shore; a white mantle of snow covered the earth and hung heavy on the naked boughs of the many trees of the city. The merry ting-a-Kng of winter bells floated joyfully on the frosty air, and the passing people, under the tonic and stimulus of the clear, cold northern air, were hurrying to...

    (pp. 300-306)

    The following week he received a message, which was almost an urgent command, to call at Lennox Court.

    When he obeyed the summons and made his appearance at the Court, Verona awaited him in the library.

    Since the day of their betrothal she had treated him as if their alliance were one of ordinary love. She never admitted that there was anything peculiar in their relations, or referred to them to anyone, least of all to himself. It was not her way to do so. She must first bag her bird before betraying any of her motives or desires. She...

    (pp. 307-320)

    The physicians had said that Mrs. Monteith would live, at least for a while. They had ordered her removal to the South for the winter. They had cabled for her son wlio had been called to the continent. On his return the mistress of Apsley House would be free to return home. She had now been some two weeks at the seashore. Her health, which had been impaired by the severe mental strain under which she had been laboring, had been, restored, and as her strength had returned her old courage had come back with it, and she had been...

    (pp. 320-329)

    As the days passed by she met the Kenyons everywhere. But many events, neither gay nor agreeable, were occurring in the world about them which kept her mind from dwelling altogether on her separation from Keith Kenyon.

    She had sedulously taken up her old routine of duties and entered into the old life once more, but she could not force her heart into the matter in the same spirit as it had been, for it seemed to her that her heart had grown cold in many matters.

    During the days which followed she caught glimpses of much which had hitherto...

    (pp. 329-338)

    It was Christmas time.

    The ¿raieties of the social world had been suspended for the home festivities of the Christmas season, and for the many acts of remembrances and of charity which come perforce at this time of glad tidings and great joy.

    “Jackson, have the sleigh ready at four this afternoon,” said the mistress of Apsley House to her footman some few days previous to Christmas. “The Avernons and the Owenses are leaving town to-morrow morning,” she continued, turning to her father. “I must call and see them. I am sorry, as I have to go out to Mrs....

    (pp. 339-350)

    “How is the little Mirah? Was your operation successful?” queried the Lady Greta, as child-like she placed herself on the low, broad arm of a great easy chair, and caressingly put her little arms on those of the mistress of Apsley House.

    They were all seated in the spacious, hearth-lighted parlors of Apsley House. It was the afternoon of their weekly literary club. During the afternoon they had been discussing Tennyson, but had put him aside as the men came in on their way home, and were now enjoying cups of fragrant tea and talking of current matters.

    They were...

    (pp. 350-358)

    Modela slept ill and awoke little refreshed.

    The Lady Greta had the previous day compared her to Psyche. Keith Kenyon, with a word, a suggestion, had brought home to her the sweet, sad story in all its pathos and depth of meaning.

    The allusion had been unfortunate. All night long she had dwelt in the Dream Valley as Psyche had done with her Unseen, and awakening, as she did now in the dim lights of morning, with her night lamp still burning in her apartments, where Cupids, painted by the famous pupil of Lebrun, wantoned in a scroll-work round the...

    (pp. 359-375)

    Jack Maintost again suggested to his cousin the advisability of a trip to the Continent, to Paris, or to Japan. His cousin did not act upon the suggestion. She could not leave her homes at the present time. Much work awaited her at Fernwylde. “One has duties due to one’s order as well as to one’s position,” she was wont to say. Like in the ladies of old, the “noblesse oblige” instinct was predominant within her. Her responsibilities she held as a trust and never allowed idleness or pleasure, self-indulgence or self-depression to interfere with the duties which she considered...

    (pp. 375-389)

    It was Modena’s custom to arise at six. Her maids came to her at that hour, but she bade them draw the blinds and go away. Her head ached and fever burned on her brow. But on their departure she could neither rest nor sleep. If she knew that he were now uninjured and well, she could rest, but she would have to wait until some stray tidings would tell her how he was. If he lived and were well she would never again murmur or regret. “We do not realize or appreciate our blessings until their loss is threatened....

    (pp. 389-400)

    Modena returned home to Fernwylde, and a few hours later was forced to receive the mistress of Idlewylde and her house guests. Her Fernwylde parties had always represented to her all that was simple, homelike and intimate. But the advent of Lady Kenyon into the circle seemed to bring with it a disquieting element, as one false note brings discord into the harmony of a perfect piece of music. The week following was the most trying of her life.

    That “ill weeds grow apace,” is a wise old saw, never truer than of jealous, vindictive and suspicious passions and desires....

    (pp. 400-409)

    It was seven of the clock the following evening, and the mistress of Fernwylde was in her own room. The last twenty-four hours had taxed her strength to its utmost, and she had sought a few minutes’ rest and quietness before going down for the evening.

    She stood by her window looking out over her lands. The day was closing in. Some rooks were hoarsely cawing in an old elm tree at the edge of the ravine; the night was bleak and dreary; the golden and russet leaves were being whirled in eddying gusts, while the hoarse whistling of the...

    (pp. 409-414)

    Modena’s party broke up the next morning. Her English guests were loth to leave. As they were not remaining for any time in the city she bade them good-bye on the threshold of her country home, promising that she would spend some time with them on her visit to their land in a few weeks’ time.

    To her cousin and to her friends she had intimated her intention of speeding the winter abroad.

    “Sir Colin is being sent to represent his country at some military manoeuvres during the Christmas festivities at home. She wishes to be near him,” said Verona...

    (pp. 414-422)

    A few days after Sir Keith’s return to the city from Idlewylde his ministerial duties called him out West for several weeks’ time. He was glad of the change and the rest which would give him time and strength to once more take up life and live it as it should be lived.

    The instinct of patriotism was strong within him, and while west he was awakened to an immense consciousness of the vast resources and possibilities of his own country.

    His country was now in its embryo state, and had within it the possibilities of one day becoming the...

    (pp. 422-435)

    For several weeks after the open rupture Verona was sullen and miserable. The thoughts awakened never slept, and as far as it lay in her power to do so she kept a strict surveillance on his every movement. Sir Keith realized this and chafed under the espionage, but did not approach her.

    But Verona’s nature was one that could not endure long any denial. She was longing intensely for his presence again. She knew she would have to retract or rather condone the words she had uttered before he would accord her any degree of friendliness. It was difficult for...

    (pp. 436-445)

    But cautious and careful as had been the participants in the accident, the knowledge of such things as these will creep out.

    Sir Keith’s servant, whose duty it was to bag the game, had been an eye-witness of the accident, and like fog rising from a malarial marsh to the heights above, from the servants’ hall the incidents of the afternoon gradually ascended and reached the fine ear of society, foremost among those to hear it being Lady Kenyon herself, her maid having learnt it from some of the upper servants, and possessing to a certain extent the confidence of...

    (pp. 446-464)

    “My dear Modena, we are delighted to see you home again,” said her many friends, as they gathered at Apsley House to welcome its mistress home after a three months’ sojourn abroad.

    For some months after the Idlewylde incident, Modena had gone her way with a calm demeanor and a seeming indifference to the many conjectures and vague unexpressed doubts which she fçlt Verona Kenyon had caused to be aroused in the breast of her friends and in the community at large, but at heart she was bitterly angered and deeply oft'ended and humiliated.

    She had heard nothing. No one...

    (pp. 464-475)

    From the moment the mistress of Apsley House placed her hands in those of her lover and succumbed to his pleadings in the play, she knew no peace. So completely had she entered into her part that the feelings of the Princess had become her own. “When she had consented to the part she had not doubted her strength nor feared herself, but she had doubted the wisdom of her actions. The accident on the Idlewylde was yet fresh in the world’s mind. It had been unfortunate, and had taught her the value of discretion, and when they had approached...

    (pp. 475-487)

    With the open letter still in his hand he went into his private room and locked the door behind him, leaying his wife standing in his dressing-room. Dazed and sick at heart, he sat at his desk and bowed his head in the open letter m his hands. His wife’s words hung over him like a pall; nothing seemed clear but the significant words his wife had uttered, “although she now loves another.” Were the words true? Was she learning to love Sir Colin Campbell? Then he suddenly checked himself. For some time he had harbored the thought. Now the...

    (pp. 487-488)

    Sir Keith was indeed very ill. When he turned from the woman he loved and went out from the conservatory into the stillness and serenity of the night, his blood was on. fire, his brain reeled almost to delirium, his lips were grey, and his frame trembled with the exhaustion of emotion. He had emerged from a battle which had torn his life to shreds. He had conquered, but a great weakness was upon him.

    He knew he would have given years of his life to have lawfully tasted of her lips once more, tyut he had left while there...

    (pp. 489-491)

    When Mr. Wellington arrived at Apsley House the same day, he went direct to his own room, and a few minutes afterwards sent for his daughter. “Modena,” he said, wearily, “I, too, have been overworking myself of late. I must have rest, but one cannot rest within sight and sound of work. Will you come with me to Fernwylde for the week?”

    When Modena had entered the house with her father she had gone direct to her own apartments, locked the door behind her, and paced the floor in deep agitation. Ungoverned natures would have wept or cried aloud in...

    (pp. 492-494)

    When Sir Keith went to his bedroom after dictating his letter, so great was the disorder of his mental faculties that he felt the prayer of the unhappy OEnone rise to his lips, “0 death, pass by the happy souls who wish to live, and let me die,” but before many days had come and gone, so fiercely did the fever burn within his blood and brain that he became unconscious of all things round.

    His mother, fearing that in us delirium he might say something of the trouble that was on his mind, had taken the precaution to exclude...

    (pp. 494-495)

    “WHY did you come to Fernwylde? I thought you were too busy to leave the city at the present time?” asked Helen Lester of Jack Mainton, one afternoon, as they stood together near the Fernery.

    “I came down on purpose to see you.”

    “What do you want to see me for?”

    “When are you going to marry Linden?” She looked at him in great surprise. “How do you know he has asked me to marry him? Has he ever given anyone reason to think so? And even if he has, what right have you to ask that question? I am...

    (pp. 495-500)

    Grace Austin sat alone in the Seaton library. Lord and Lady Seaton were attending a Drawing Eoom at the Senate Chambers, but she had preferred remaining at home. She had completed her latest book and was in no mood to meet the world. This was now her second great work. On her first she had labored long and earnestly to make it a work of art. But this one had been the outpouring of her best thoughts and feelings in their mellowness and maturity. She had loved her work; the best of her life was in it; and when she...

  52. CHAPTER L.
    (pp. 500-505)

    The mistress of Fernwylde remained at her country home for some time after her father’s death. The management of his estates demanded her presence at Apsley House, but she had purposely refrained from returning there until after Sir Keith Kenyon’s departure for the Continent. On learning of his departure she immediately repaired to the city to meet and confer with her lawyers. His affairs had ever been kept in the strictest order, yet there was much to be done, and it was some weeks before she again felt herself free to seek the solitude of her country home.

    She had...

    (pp. 505-510)

    Sri Colin Campbell had been called to England in haste. He was impatient of the delay, and had written from London urging hi? suit. He had said he would not wait a reply, but would return in the next steamer and plead his cause at Fernwylde.

    She could not meet him at Fernwylde and say to him what she had said she would say. She would go up to Apsley House and toll it to him there. She would tell Sir Colin all, arid he would understand. What was love but one infinite patience and comprehension ? She was sure...

    (pp. 510-518)

    The mistress of Apsley House did not improve as the physicians wished to see her improve, so they ordered her abroad to escape the severity of the northern winter. She went to Eome, and from there to the South of France, and some time later on sailed for the East, where she soon regained her old health and strength.

    On her return the following spring she had gone to Fernwylde. She had gone there because she couldn’t remain away. She was glad to be home again. The place seemed dearer to her than it ever had been before. She had...