Charlotte M. Brame.

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LOVE WORKS WONDERS.

A Novel.

by

BERTHA M. CLAY,

Author of

"Thrown on the World," Etc.


"O you, that have the charge of Love,
Keep him in rosy bondage bound,
As in the Fields of Bliss above
He sits with flowerets fetter'd round;
Loose not a tie that round him clings,
Nor ever let him use his wings;
For even an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light."
MOORE.







New York:
G. W. Carleton & Co., Publishers,
Street & Smith, New York Weekly.
MDCCCLXXVIII.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877,
By Street & Smith,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

Francis S. Street,} _Proprietors and Publishers_
Francis S. Smith, }
Of the
New York Weekly,
The Leading Story and Sketch Paper of the Age.




TO

THE READERS OF THE

NEW YORK WEEKLY,

WHO FOR NEARLY TWENTY YEARS, HAVE
STOOD FAITHFULLY BY US, CHEERING
US IN OUR LABORS,
AND BIDDING US
GOD-SPEED;
TO WHOM OUR
PET JOURNAL HAS BECOME
A HOUSEHOLD WORD, AND WITHOUT
WHOSE AID WE COULD HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
NOTHING, THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY

DEDICATED

BY THE PUBLISHERS,

STREET & SMITH.




CONTENTS:


CHAPTER. PAGE.
I. - A GIRL WITH A CHARACTER 9
II. - "DARRELL COURT IS A PRISON TO ME!" 16
III. - "YOUR GOOD SOCIETY IS ALL DECEIT" 28
IV. - "YOU ARE GOING TO SPOIL MY LIFE" 35
V. - PAULINE'S GOOD POINTS 42
VI. - THE PROGRESS MADE BY THE PUPIL 47
VII. - CAPTAIN LANGTON 54
VIII. - THE INTRODUCTION 61
IX. - THE BROKEN LILY 67
X. - PAULINE STILL INCORRIGIBLE 74
XI. - HOW WILL IT END? 81
XII. - ELINOR ROCHEFORD 87
XIII. - SIR OSWALD THINKS OF MARRIAGE 94
XIV. - PAULINE'S LOVE FOR DARRELL COURT 103
XV. - BREACH BETWEEN UNCLE AND NIECE 108
XVI. - THE QUEEN OF THE BALL 115
XVII. - PAULINE'S BRIGHT FANCIES 122
XVIII. - REJECTED 128
XIX. - PAULINE THREATENS VENGEANCE 142
XX. - CAPTAIN LANGTON DESPERATE 148
XXI. - MYSTERIOUS ROBBERY 156
XXII. - FULFILLING THE CONTRACT 163
XXIII. - NO COMPROMISE WITH PAULINE 169
XXIV. - A RICH GIFT DECLINED 176
XXV. - A TRUE DARRELL 183
XXVI. - A PUZZLING QUESTION 189
XXVII. - SIR OSWALD'S DOUBTS 196
XXVIII. - READING OF THE WILL 203
XXIX. - WAITING FOR REVENGE 209
XXX. - WILL FATE AID PAULINE? 217
XXXI. - FATE FAVORS PAULINE 225
XXXII. - CAPTAIN LANGTON ACCEPTED 231
XXXIII. - "I HAVE HAD MY REVENGE!" 239
XXXIV. - THE STRANGER ON THE SANDS 247
XXXV. - THE STORY OF ELAINE 253
XXXVI. - REDEEMED BY LOVE 260
XXXVII. - PRIDE BROUGHT LOW 267
XXXVIII. - PAULINE AND LADY DARRELL 287
XXXIX. - FACE TO FACE 294
XL. - DYING IN SIN 303
XLI. - THE WORK OF ATONEMENT 308
XLII. - LOVE AND SORROW 314
XLIII. - LADY DARRELL'S WILL 321
XLIV. - SHADOW OF ABSENT LOVE 328




LOVE WORKS WONDERS.




CHAPTER I.

A GIRL WITH A CHARACTER.


It was a strange place for an intelligence office, yet Madame Selini
evidently knew what she was doing when she established her office in an
aristocratic neighborhood, and actually next door to the family mansion
of the Countess Dowager of Barewood. The worthy countess was shocked,
and, taking counsel of her hopes, predicted that Madame Selini's
institution would soon prove a failure. Notwithstanding this prediction,
the agency prospered, and among its patrons were many of the nobility.

One fine morning in May a carriage stopped before Madame Selini's door,
and from it descended a handsome, aristocratic gentleman, evidently of
the old school. There was some little commotion in the interior of the
building, and then a foot-page appeared to whom Sir Oswald Darrell - for
that was the gentleman's name - gave his card.

"I am here by appointment," he said, "to see Madame Selini."

He was ushered into a handsomely furnished room, where, in a few
minutes, he was joined by Madame Selini herself - a quick, bright
Frenchwoman, whose dark eyes seemed to embrace everything in their
comprehensive glance. Sir Oswald bowed with stately courtesy and quaint,
old-fashioned grace.

"Have you been so fortunate, madame, as to find that which I am in
search of?" he inquired.

"I think you will be pleased, Sir Oswald - nay, I am sure you will,"
answered the lady. "I have a lady waiting to see you now, who will
prove, I should say, a treasure."

Sir Oswald bowed, and madame continued:

"Miss Hastings - Miss Agnes Hastings - has been for the last six years
finishing governess at Lady Castledine's, and her two pupils make their
debut this year; so that there is no longer any occasion for her
services."

"And you think she would be fitted, madame, to occupy the position for
which I require a lady of talent and refinement?"

"I am quite sure of it," replied madame. "Miss Hastings is thirty years
of age. She is highly accomplished, and her manners are exceedingly
lady-like. She is a person of great refinement; moreover, she has had
great experience with young girls. I do not think, Sir Oswald, that you
could do better."

"Is the lady here? Can I see her?"

Madame Selini rang, and desired the little page to ask Miss Hastings to
come to her. In a few minutes an elegant, well-dressed lady entered the
room. She advanced with a quiet grace and dignity that seemed natural to
her; there was not the slightest trace of awkwardness or _mauvaise
honte_ in her manner.

Madame Selini introduced her to Sir Oswald Darrell.

"I will leave you," she said, "to discuss your private arrangements."

Madame quitted the room with gliding, subtle grace, and then Sir Oswald,
in his courtly fashion, placed a chair for Miss Hastings. He looked at
the pale, clear-cut face for a few minutes in silence, as though he were
at a loss what to say, and then he commenced suddenly:

"I suppose Madame Selini has told you what I want, Miss Hastings?"

"Yes," was the quiet reply; "your niece has been neglected - you want
some one to take the entire superintendence of her."

"Neglected!" exclaimed Sir Oswald. "My dear madame, that is a mild word,
which does not express the dreadful reality. I wish to disguise nothing
from you, I assure you - she literally horrifies me."

Miss Hastings smiled.

"Neglected!" he repeated - "the girl is a savage - a splendid
savage - nothing more nor less."

"Has she not received any kind of training, then, Sir Oswald?"

"Training! My dear madame, can you imagine what a wild vine is - a vine
that has never been cultivated or pruned, but allowed to grow wild in
all its natural beauty and strength, to cling where it would, to trail
on the ground and to twine round forest trees? Such a vine is a fit type
of my niece."

Miss Hastings looked slightly bewildered. Here was a very different
pupil from the elegant, graceful daughters of Lady Castledine.

"I should, perhaps," continued Sir Oswald, "explain to you the peculiar
position that my niece, Miss Pauline Darrell, has occupied."

His grand old face flushed, and his stately head was bowed, as though
some of the memories that swept over him were not free from shame; and
then, with a little gesture of his white hand, on which shone a large
diamond ring, he said:

"There is no need for me to tell you, Miss Hastings, that the Darrells
are one of the oldest families in England - ancient, honorable, and, I
must confess, proud - very proud. My father, the late Sir Hildebert
Darrell, was, I should say, one of the proudest and most reserved of
men. He had but two children, myself and a daughter twelve years
younger - my sister Felicia. I was educated abroad. It was one of my
father's fancies that I should see many lands, that I should study men
and women before settling down to my right position in the world; so
that I knew but little of my sister Felicia. She was a child when I left
home - the tragedy of her life had happened before I returned."

Again a great rush of color came over the pale, aristocratic face.

"I must apologize, Miss Hastings, for troubling you with these details,
but unless you understand them you will not understand my niece. I
cannot tell you how it happened, but it did so happen that while I was
away my sister disgraced herself; she left home with a French artist,
whom Sir Hildebert had engaged to renovate some choice and costly
pictures at Darrell Court. How it came about I cannot say - perhaps there
were excuses for her. She may have found home very dull - my father was
harsh and cold, and her mother was dead. It may be that when the young
artist told her of warm love in sunny lands she was tempted, poor child,
to leave the paternal roof.

"My father's wrath was terrible; he pursued Julian L'Estrange with
unrelenting fury. I believe the man would have been a successful artist
but for my father, who had vowed to ruin him, and who never rested until
he had done so - until he had reduced him to direst poverty - and then my
sister appealed for help, and my father refused to grant it. He would
not allow her name to be mentioned among us; her portrait was destroyed;
everything belonging to her was sent away from Darrell Court.

"When I returned - in an interview that I shall never forget - my father
threatened me not only with disinheritance, but with his curse, if I
made any attempt to hold the least communication with my sister. I do
not know that I should have obeyed him if I could have found her, but I
did not even know what part of the world she was in. She died, poor
girl, and I have no doubt that her death was greatly hastened by
privation. My father told me of her death, also that she had left one
daughter; he did more - he wrote to Julian L'Estrange, and offered to
adopt his daughter on the one condition that he would consent never to
see her or hold the least communication with her.

"The reply was, as you may imagine, a firm refusal and a fierce
denunciation. In the same letter came a note, written in a large,
childish hand:

"'I love my papa, and I do not love you. I will not come to live with
you. You are a cruel man, and you helped to kill my dear mamma.'

"It was a characteristic little note, and was signed 'Pauline
L'Estrange.' My father's anger on receiving it was very great. I confess
that I was more amused than angry.

"My father, Miss Hastings, lived to a good old age. I was not a young
man when I succeeded him. He left me all his property. You must
understand the Darrell and Audleigh Royal estates are not entailed. He
made no mention in his will of the only grandchild he had; but, after I
had arranged all my affairs, I resolved to find her. For ten years I
have been doing all I could - sending to France, Italy, Spain, and every
country where I thought it possible the artist might have sought refuge.

"Three months since I received a letter from him, written on his
death-bed, asking me to do something for Pauline, who had grown up into
a beautiful girl of seventeen. I found then that he had been living for
some years in the Rue d'Orme, Paris. I buried him, brought his daughter
to England, and made arrangements whereby she should assume the name of
Darrell. But I little knew what a task I had undertaken. Pauline ought
to be my heiress, Miss Hastings. She ought to succeed me at Darrell
Court. I have no other relatives. But - well, I will not despair; you
will see what can be done with her."

"What are her deficiencies?" asked Miss Hastings.

Sir Oswald raised his white hands with a gesture of despair.

"I will tell you briefly. She has lived among artists. She does not seem
to have ever known any of her own sex. She is - I am sorry to use the
word - a perfect Bohemian. Whether she can be transformed into anything
faintly resembling a lady, I cannot tell. Will you undertake the task,
Miss Hastings?"

She looked very thoughtful for some minutes, and then answered:

"I will do my best, Sir Oswald."

"I thank you very much. You must permit me to name liberal terms, for
your task will be no light one."

And the interview ended, to their mutual satisfaction.




CHAPTER II.

"DARRELL COURT IS A PRISON TO ME!"


It was a beautiful May day, bright with fresh spring loveliness. The
leaves were springing fresh and green from the trees; the hedges were
all abloom with pink hawthorn; the chestnut trees were all in flower;
the gold of the laburnum, the purple of the lilac, the white of the fair
acacia trees, and the delicate green of the stately elms and limes gave
a beautiful variety of color. The grass was dotted with a hundred
wild-flowers; great clusters of yellow buttercups looked in the distance
like the upspreading of a sea of gold; the violets perfumed the air, the
bluebells stirred in the sweet spring breeze, and the birds sang out
loudly and jubilantly.

If one spot looked more lovely than another on this bright May day, it
was Darrell Court, for it stood where the sun shone brightest, in one of
the most romantic and picturesque nooks of England - the part of
Woodshire bordering on the sea.

The mansion and estates stood on gently rising ground; a chain of purple
hills stretched away into the far distance; then came the pretty town of
Audleigh Royal, the Audleigh Woods, and the broad, deep river Darte.
The bank of the river formed the boundary of the Darrell estates, a rich
and magnificent heritage, wherein every beauty of meadow and wood seemed
to meet. The park was rich in its stately trees and herds of deer; and
not far from the house was a fir-wood - an aromatic, odorous fir-wood,
which led to the very shores of the smiling southern sea.

By night and by day the grand music of nature was heard in perfection at
Darrell Court. Sometimes it was the roll of the wind across the hills,
or the beat of angry waves on the shore, or the wild melody of the storm
among the pine trees, or the full chorus of a thousand feathered
songsters. The court itself was one of the most picturesque of mansions.
It did not belong to any one order or style of architecture - there was
nothing stiff or formal about it - but it looked in that bright May
sunshine a noble edifice, with its square towers covered with clinging
ivy, gray turrets, and large arched windows.

Did the sun ever shine upon such a combination of colors? The spray of
the fountains glittered in the air, the numerous balconies were filled
with flowers; wherever it was possible for a flower to take root, one
had been placed to grow - purple wistarias, sad, solemn passion-flowers,
roses of every hue. The star-like jessamine and scarlet creepers gave to
the walls of the old mansion a vivid glow of color; gold and purple
enriched the gardens, heavy white lilies breathed faintest perfume. The
spot looked a very Eden.

The grand front entrance consisted of a large gothic porch, which was
reached by a broad flight of steps, adorned with white marble vases
filled with flowers; the first terrace was immediately below, and
terrace led from terrace down to the grand old gardens, where sweetest
blossoms grew.

There was an old-world air about the place - something patrician, quiet,
reserved. It was no vulgar haunt for vulgar crowds; it was not a show
place; and the master of it, Sir Oswald Darrell, as he stood upon the
terrace, looked in keeping with the surroundings.

There was a _distingue_ air about Sir Oswald, an old-fashioned courtly
dignity, which never for one moment left him. He was thoroughly well
bred; he had not two sets of manners - one for the world, and one for
private life; he was always the same, measured in speech, noble in his
grave condescension. No man ever more thoroughly deserved the name of
aristocrat; he was delicate and fastidious, with profound and
deeply-rooted dislike for all that was ill-bred, vulgar, or mean.

Even in his dress Sir Oswald was remarkable; the superfine white linen,
the diamond studs and sleeve links, the rare jewels that gleamed on his
fingers - all struck the attention; and, as he took from his pocket a
richly engraved golden snuff-box and tapped it with the ends of his
delicate white fingers, there stood revealed a thorough aristocrat - the
ideal of an English patrician gentleman.

Sir Oswald walked round the stately terraces and gardens.

"I do not see her," he said to himself; "yet most certainly Frampton
told me she was here."

Then, with his gold-headed cane in hand, Sir Oswald descended to the
gardens. He was evidently in search of some one. Meeting one of the
gardeners, who stood, hat in hand, as he passed by, Sir Oswald asked:

"Have you seen Miss Darrell in the gardens?"

"I saw Miss Darrell in the fernery some five minutes since, Sir Oswald,"
was the reply.

Sir Oswald drew from his pocket a very fine white handkerchief and
diffused an agreeable odor of millefleurs around him; the gardener had
been near the stables, and Sir Oswald was fastidious.

A short walk brought him to the fernery, an exquisite combination of
rock and rustic work, arched by a dainty green roof, and made musical by
the ripple of a little waterfall. Sir Oswald looked in cautiously,
evidently rather in dread of what he might find there; then his eyes
fell upon something, and he said:

"Pauline, are you there?"

A rich, clear, musical voice answered:

"Yes, I am here, uncle."

"My dear," continued Sir Oswald, half timidly, not advancing a step
farther into the grotto, "may I ask what you are doing?"

"Certainly, uncle," was the cheerful reply; "you may ask by all means.
The difficulty is to answer; for I am really doing nothing, and I do not
know how to describe 'nothing.'"

"Why did you come hither?" he asked.

"To dream," replied the musical voice. "I think the sound of falling
water is the sweetest music in the world. I came here to enjoy it, and
to dream over it."

Sir Oswald looked very uncomfortable.

"Considering, Pauline, how much you have been neglected, do you not
think you might spend your time more profitably - in educating yourself,
for example?"

"This is educating myself. I am teaching myself beautiful thoughts, and
nature just now is my singing mistress." And then the speaker's voice
suddenly changed, and a ring of passion came into it. "Who says that I
have been neglected? When you say that, you speak ill of my dear dead
father, and no one shall do that in my presence. You speak slander, and
slander ill becomes an English gentleman. If I was neglected when my
father was alive, I wish to goodness such neglect were my portion now!"

Sir Oswald shrugged his shoulders.

"Each one to his or her taste, Pauline. With very little more of such
neglect you would have been a - - "

He paused; perhaps some instinct of prudence warned him.

"A what?" she demanded, scornfully. "Pray finish the sentence, Sir
Oswald."

"My dear, you are too impulsive, too hasty. You want more quietness of
manner, more dignity."

Her voice deepened in its tones as she asked:

"I should have been a what, Sir Oswald? I never begin a sentence and
leave it half finished. You surely are not afraid to finish it?"

"No, my dear," was the calm reply; "there never yet was a Darrell afraid
of anything on earth. If you particularly wish me to do so, I will
finish what I was about to say. You would have been a confirmed
Bohemian, and nothing could have made you a lady."

"I love what you call Bohemians, and I detest what you call ladies, Sir
Oswald," was the angry retort.

"Most probably; but then, you see, Pauline, the ladies of the house of
Darrell have always been ladies - high-bred, elegant women. I doubt if
any of them ever knew what the word 'Bohemian' meant."

She laughed a little scornful laugh, which yet was sweet and clear as
the sound of silver bells.

"I had almost forgotten," said Sir Oswald. "I came to speak to you about
something, Pauline; will you come into the house with me?"

They walked on together in silence for some minutes, and then Sir Oswald
began:

"I went to London, as you know, last week, Pauline, and my errand was on
your behalf."

She raised her eyebrows, but did not deign to ask any questions.

"I have engaged a lady to live with us here at Darrell Court, whose
duties will be to finish your education, or, rather, I may truthfully
say, to begin it, to train you in the habits of refined society,
to - to - make you presentable, in fact, Pauline, which I am sorry, really
sorry to say, you are not at present."

She made him a low bow - a bow full of defiance and rebellion.

"I am indeed indebted to you, Sir Oswald."

"No trifling," said the stately baronet, "no sarcasm, Pauline, but
listen to me! You are not without sense or reason - pray attend. Look
around you," he continued; "remember that the broad fair lands of
Darrell Court form one of the grandest domains in England. It is an
inheritance almost royal in its extent and magnificence. Whoso reigns
here is king or queen of half a county, is looked up to, respected,
honored, admired, and imitated. The owner of Darrell Court is a power
even in this powerful land of ours; men and women look up to such a one
for guidance and example. Judge then what the owner of the inheritance
should be."

The baronet's grand old face was flushed with emotion.

"He must be pure, or he would make immorality the fashion; honorable,
because men will take their notions of honor from him; just, that
justice may abound; upright, stainless. You see all that, Pauline?"

"Yes," she assented, quickly.

"No men have so much to answer for," continued Sir Oswald, "as the great
ones of the land - men in whose hands power is vested - men to whom others
look for example, on whose lives other lives are modeled - men who, as it
were, carry the minds, if not the souls, of their fellow men in the
hollows of their hands."

Pauline looked more impressed, and insensibly drew nearer to him.

"Such men, I thank Heaven," he said, standing bareheaded as he uttered
the words, "have the Darrells been - loyal, upright, honest, honorable,
of stainless repute, of stainless life, fitted to rule their fellow
men - grand men, sprung from a grand old race. And at times women have
reigned here - women whose names have lived in the annals of the
land - who have been as shining lights from the purity, the refinement,
the grandeur of their lives."

He spoke with a passion of eloquence not lost on the girl by his side.

"I," he continued, humbly, "am one of the least worthy of my race. I
have done nothing for its advancement; but at the same time I have done
nothing to disgrace it. I have carried on the honors passively. The time
is coming when Darrell Court must pass into other hands. Now, Pauline,
you have heard, you know what the ruler of Darrell Court should be. Tell
me, are you fitted to take your place here?"

"I am very young," she murmured.

"It is not a question of youth. Dame Sibella Darrell reigned here when
she was only eighteen; and the sons she trained to succeed her were
among the greatest statesmen England has ever known. She improved and
enlarged the property; she died, after living here sixty years, beloved,


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