mentioned that he had not known,
until then, that Mr. Godolphin was in
" He went up on Thursday," ob-
served George. " I expect he will be
back early in the week.
" I intend to. be in London myself
next week," said Lord Averil. " Will
it be convenient for me to have those
bonds of mine to-day ?" he continued.
A sudden coursing on of all George's
pulses, — a whirling rush in his brain.
" Bonds ?" he mechanically answered.
" The bonds of that stock which your
father bought for me years ago," ex-
plained Lord Averil. " They were
deposited here for security. Don't
you know it ?" — looking at George's
countenance, which seemed to speak
only of perplexity. " Mr. Godolphin
" Oh yes, yes," replied George,
catching up his breath and his courage.
" It is all right : I did not remember
for the moment. Of course — the de-
THE SHADOW OF ASHLYDYAT.
"I am thinking: of selling out," said
Lord Averil. "Indeed, I have been
for some time thinking of it, but have
idly put it off. If it would be quite
convenient to give me the bonds, I
would take them to town with me. I
shall go on Monday or Tuesday."
Now, George Godolphin, rally j^our
wits! What are you to answer?
George did rally them, after a lame
fashion. Confused words, which neither
he nor Lord Averil precisely under-
stood — to the effect that in Thomas
Godolphin's absence, he, George, did
not know exactly where to put his
hand upon the securities — came forth.
So Lord Averil courteously begged
him not to take any trouble about it.
He would let them remain until an-
He shook hands cordially with
George, and went out, with a mental
comment, " Not half the man of busi-
ness that his brother is, and his father
was : but wondrously like Cecil !"
George watched the door close. He
wiped the great dewclrops which had
gathered on his face ; he looked round
with the beseeching air of one seeking
relief from some intense pain. Had
Lord Averil persisted in his demand,
what would have remained for him?
Those are the moments in which man
has been tempted to resort to the one
irredeemable sin, — self-destruction.
The door opened again, and George
gave a gasp like one in an agony. It
was only Isaac Hastings. " Mr. Hurde
wishes to know, sir, whether those
bills are to go up to Glyn's to-day or
" They had better go to-day," re-
plied George. " Has Mr. Barnaby
been in to-day ?" he added, as Isaac
" If he does not come soon, some
one must go down to the corn-market
to him. He is sure to be there. That
is, if he is in town to-da} r ."
"I know he is in town," replied
Isaac. " I saw him as I was coming
back from dinner. He was talking to
" To Mr. Yerrall !" almost should
George, looking up as if he was elec-
trified into life. " Is he back ?"
" He is back, sir. I think he had
but arrived then. He was coming
from the way of the railway-station.''
"You are sure it was Mr Yerrall?"
Isaac Hastings smiled. What could
make Mr. George Godolphin so eager?
"I am sure it was Mr. Yerrall."
George felt as if a whole ton weight
of care had been lifted oft* him. He
had been so long in the habit of flying
to Mr.Yerrall to stave off his difficul-
ties, that it seemed to him that it
would only cost the going to him to
stave off the one that was hanging
over him now. Mr.Yerrall had gen-
erally accomplished the task as men
of his profession do accomplish such
tasks, — by the laying up an awful day
of reckoning for the future. That day
was not now far off for George Godol-
The bank closed later on Saturdays,
and George remained at his post to
the end. Then he dined. Then, at
the dusk hour — nay, at the dark hour
— he went out to Lady Godolphin's
Folly. Why was it that he rarely
went to the Folly now, save under the
covert shades of night ? Did he fear
people might comment on his inti-
macy with Mr.Yerrall, and seek a clue
to its cause ? or did he fear the world's
gossip on another score ?
George ai'rived at Lady Godol-
phin's Folly, and was admitted to an
empty room. "Mr. Yerrall was re-
turned, and had dined with Mrs.
Pain, but had gone out after dinner,"
the servant said. He had believed
Mrs. Fain to be in the drawing-room.
Mrs. Pain was evidently not there, in
spite of the man's searching eyes. He
looked into the next room, with equal
" Perhaps, sir, she has stepped out
on the terrace with her dogs ?" ob-
served the man.
George — ungallant as it was ! —
cared not where Mrs Pain might
have stepped at the present time : his
THE SHADOW OF ASIILYDYAT.
anxiety was for Mr. Verrall. " Have
you any idea when your master will
be in ?" lie inquired of the servant.
" I don't think he'll be long, sir. I
heard him say he was tired, and
should get to bed early. He may
have gone to Ashlydyat. He told
Mrs. Fain that he had met Mr. Go-
dolphin in town yesterday, and he
should call and tell Miss Godolphin
that he was better in London than he
had felt here. I don't know, sir,
though, that he meant he should call
The man left the room, and George
remained alone. He drummed on the
table ; he tried several seats in suc-
cession ; he got up and looked at his
face in the glass. A haggard face
then. Where was Verrall ? Where
was Charlotte ? She might be able
to tell him where Verrall had gone and
when he would be in. Altogether,
George was in a state of restlessness
little more tolerable to endure than
He impatiently opened the glass
doors, which were only closed, not
fastened, and stood a few moments
looking out on the night. He gazed
in all directions, but could see nothing
of Charlotte : and Mr. Verrall did
not appear to come. " I'll see," sud-
denly exclaimed George, starting oft',
" whether he is at Ashlyckrat."
He did well. Action is better than
inertness at these moments. Stand-
ing outside the porch at Ashlydyat,
talking to a friend, was Andrew, one
of their servants. When he saw
George, he drew back to hold open
the door for him.
" Are my sisters alone. Andrew ?"
" Yes, sir."
George scarcely expected the
answer, and it disappointed him.
" Quite alone ?" he reiterated. <; Has
no one called on them to-night ?"
The man shook his head, wonder-
ing probably who Mr. George might
be expecting to call. " They are all
alone, sir. Miss Janet has got one
of her bad headaches. "
George did not want to go in, Mr.
Verrall not being there, and this last
item of news afforded him an excuse
for retreating without doing so. " Then
I'll ndt disturb her to-night," said he.
" You need not say that I came up,
" Very well, sir."
He quitted Andrew and turned off
to the left, deep in thought, striking
into a covert path. It was by no
means the direct road back to the
Folly : or to Prior's Ash, either. In
point of fact, it led to nothing but the
Dark Plain and its superstition. Not
a woman-servant of Ashlydyat, per-
haps not one of its men, would have
gone down that path at night : for its
egress at the other end was close to
the archway, before which the Shadow
was wont to show itself.
Why did George take it ? He could
not have told. Had he been asked
why, he might have said that one way,
to a man bending under a sharp
weight of trouble, is the same as
another. True. But the path led
him to no pai't where he could wish
to go : and he would have to pick his
way to Lady Godolphin's Folly amid
the gorse bushes of the Dark Plain,
right over the very Shadow itself.
These apparently chance steps, which
seem to take their own way without
any premeditation or guidance of ours,
do sometimes lead to strange results.
George went along moodily, his
hands in his pockets, his footfalls slow
and light. But for the latter fact, he
might not have had the pleasure of
disturbing a certain scene that was
taking place under cover of the dark
part of the archway.
Was it a ghost, enacting it ?
Scarcely, — unless ghosts meet in
couples. Two forms, ghostly or hu-
man, were there. One of them looked
like a woman's. It was in dark
clothes, and a dark shawl was folded
over the head, not, however, hiding
the features, — and they were those of
Charlotte Pain. She, at any rate,
was not ghostly. The other, George
took to "be Mr. Verrall. He was
leaning against the brick- work, in ap-
parently as hopeless a mood as George
himself was in.
THE SHADOW OF ASHLYDYAT
They were holding a quarrel.
Strange that they should leave the
house and come to this lonely spot in
the grounds of Ashlydyat, to hold it !
Charlotte was evidently in one of her
angry tempers. She paced to and
fro underneath the archway, some-
thing like a restrained tiger, pouring
forth a torrent of sharp words and re-
proaches, all in a suppressed tone.
"I'll tell you what it is," she said,
were the first distinct words of anger
George catfght. But her companion
interrupted her, his tone one of mourn-
ing and humility,
" I'll tell you what it is, Char-
The start made by George Godol-
phin at the tones of the voice, the in-
voluntary sound of utter astonishment
that escaped him, disturbed them.
Charlotte, with a cry of terror, darted
one way : her companion another.
But the latter was not quick enough
to elude George Godolphin. Spring-
ing forward, George caught him in
his powerful grasp, really to assure
himself that it was no ghost, but
genuine flesh and blood. Then George
turned the face to the starlight, and
recognized the features of the dead-
and-gone, Mr. Rodolf Pain.
A WELCOME HOME.
The return of a husband, popularly
supposed to be dead and out of the
way for good, may be regarded by
the wife as a charming blessing of
some special providence, or as a source
of annoying embarrassment, according
to the lady's private feelings on the
subject. There's no doubt that Char-
lotte Pain looked upon it, and most
unmistakably so, in the latter light.
Charlotte knew, better than the pub-
lic, that Mr. Rodolf Pain was not
dead ; but she had fully believed him
to be as surely out of her way as
thoucfh death and some safe metro-
politan cemetery had irrevocably claim-
ed him. Whatever trifling accident
may have happened to put Mr. Rodolf
Pain and the British criminal law at
issue, Charlotte, at any rate, had as-
sumed it one not to be conveniently
got over, except by the perpetual exile
of the gentleman from the British
shores. When the little affair had
occurred, and Mr. Rodolf bad saved
himself and his liberty by only a hair-
breadth, choosing a foreign exile and
a false name in preference to some
notoriety at a certain court (a court
which does not bear a pleasant sound,
and rises ominous and dark and gloomy
in the heart of the city; which holds
an hour's festival now and then on a
Monday morning, when the sober part
of London are breakfasting, and the
curious part are flocking to the scene
in shoals, in the gratification of their
eyes and their minds), it had pleased
Charlotte and those connected with
her to give out that Mr. Rodolf Pain
had died. In Mr. Rodolf Pain's going
out of the world by death, there was
certainly no disgrace, provided that
he went out naturally ; that is, with-
out what may be called malice pre-
pense on his own part. But, for Mr.
Rodolf Pain to be compelled to make
his exit from London society after
another fashion, was quite a different
affair, — an affair which could never
have been tolerated by Charlotte : not
on his score, but on her own. Any
superfluous consideration for him,
Charlotte had never been troubled
with. Before her marriage, she had
regarded him in the light of a non-
entity ; since that ceremony, as an
incumbrance. Therefore, on the whole,
Charlotte was tolerably pleased to get
rid of him, and she played her role
of widow to perfection. No incon-
venient disclosure, as to the facts of
his hasty exit, had come out to the
public, it having fortunatelyliappened
that the transaction, or transactions,
which led to it, had not been done in
his own name. To describe Char-
lotte's dismay when he returned, and
she found her fond assumption of his
perpetual exile to have been a false
T II K SHADOW OF ASIILYDYAT
security, would take a cleverer pen
■ than mine. No other misfortune,
known to earth, could have been look-
ed upon by Charlotte as so dire a
calamity. The blowing-up of Prior's
Ash, herself included, by some sprung
mine, or the swallowing it down by
an earthquake, would have been little,
It certainly was not pleasant to be
startled by a faint tap at the un-
screened window, while she sat under
the chandelier, busy at what she so
rarely attempted, some useless fancy-
work. Yet that was the unceremo-
nious manner in which her husband
made his return known to her. Char-
lotte was expecting no visitors that
night. It was the night of George
Godolphin's dinner-party, at which
Mr. Verrall had not appeared, having
started for London instead. When
the tapping came, Charlotte turned
her head full towards the window in
surprise. Nobody was in the habit of
entering that way, save free-and-easy
George Godolphin ; he would, now
and then : sometimes Mr. Verrall.
But Charlotte knew of George's din-
ner, and Mr. Terrall was away. . She
could see nothing of the intruder : the
room was ablaze with light ; outside,
it was, comparatively speaking, dark ;
and the window was also partially
shaded by its lace curtains.
The tapping came again. " Very
odd !" thought Charlotte. " Come in,"
she called out.
Nobody came in. There was no
response at all to it for a minute or
two. Then there came another timid
Charlotte's dress was half covered
with cotton. She had been ravelling
out a crochet mat, and the long line of
cotton rested upon her. She rose, let
the cotton and the mat (what remained
of it whole) fall to the ground, walked
to the window, and opened it.
At the first moment she could see
nothing. It was bright moonlight,
and she had come from the blazing,
yellow, garish light inside, beside
which that outer light was so cold and
pure. Not for that reason could she
see nothing, but because there ap-
peared to be nothing to see. Shf
ranged her eyes in vain over the ter-
race, over the still landscape beyond.
" Charlotte !»
It was the faintest possible voice,
and close to her. Faint as it was,
though, there was that in its tone
which struck on every fibre of Char-
lotte's frame with dismay. Gathered
fiat against the walls of the Folly,
making a pretence to shelter himself
beyond a brilliant cape-jessamine
which was trained there, — as if hoping
that any straggling eyes might take
him for another jessamine, — was the
slight figure of a man. A mere shred
of a man, with a shrinking, attenuated
frame : the frame of one who has lived
in some long and great agony, bodily
or mental ; and a white face that
shivered as he stood.
Not more white, not more shivering
than Charlotte's. Her complexion, —
well, you have heard of it, as one too
much studied to allow any vulgar
changes to come upon it, in a general
way. But there are moments in a
lifetime when Nature asserts her su-
premacy, and Art slinks down before
her. Charlotte's face turned the hue
of the dead, and Charlotte's dismay
broke forth in a low, passionate wail.
It was Rodolf Pain.
A moment of terrified bewilder-
ment ; a torrent of rapid words ; not
of sympathy, of greeting, but of anger ;
and Charlotte was pushing him off
with her hands, she neither knew nor
cared whither. It was dangerous for
him to be there, she said. He must
" I'll go into the thicket, Charlotte,"
he answered, pointing to the close
trees on the left. " Come to me
He glided off towards it as he spoke,
keeping under cover of the walls.
Charlotte, feeling that she should like
to decline the invitation had she dared,
enveloped her head and shoulders in
a black shawl, and followed him.
Nothing satisfactory came of the inter-
view, — except recrimination. Char-
lotte was in a towering passion that
THE SHADOW OF A S H L Y D Y A T .
he should have ventured back at all ;
Rodolf complained that between them
all he had been made the scapegoat.
In returning home, she caught sight
of George Godolphin approaching the
house, just as she was about to steal
across the lawn. Keeping under
cover of the trees, she got in-doors
by a back entrance, and sat down to
her work in the drawing-room, pro-
testing to George, when he was ad-
mitted, that she had not been out.
No wonder her face looked white 1
Her interviews with Rodolf Pain
appeared to be ill-chosen. On the
following night she met him in the
same place : he had insisted upon it,
and she did not dare refuse. More
recrimination, more anger; in the
midst of which, George Godolphin
again broke upon them. Charlotte
uttered a scream in her terror, and
Rodolf Pain ran away. But for Char-
lotte's laying her detaining hands on
George, the returned man might have
been discovered then.
A few days more, and that climax
was to arrive. The plantation appear-
ing unsafe, Rodolf Pain proposed the
archway. There they should surely
be unmolested : the ghostly fears of
the neighborhood and of Ashlydyat
keeping that spot at bay. And there,
two or three times, had Charlotte met
him, when they were again intruded
upon, and again by George. This
time to some purpose.
George Godolphin's astonishment
was excessive. In his wildest flights
of fancy he had never given a thought
to the suspicion that Rodolf Pain could
be alive. Charlotte had been no more
confidential with George than with the
rest of the world. Making a merit of
what could not well be avoided, she
told him a few particulars now.
For, when she looked back in her
flight, and saw that Rodolf Pain was
fairly caught, that there was no further
possibility of the farce of his death be-
ing kept up to George, she deemed it
well to turn back. Better bring her
managing brains to the explanation,
than leave it to that simple calf, whom
she had the honor of cabins; husband.
The fact was, Rodolf Pain had never
been half cunning enough, half rogue .
enough, for the work assigned him by
Mr. Verrall. He — Mr. Verrall — had
always said that Rodolf had brought
the trouble upon himself, in conse-
quence of trying to exercise a little
honesty. Charlotte coincided in the
opinion : and every contemptuous epi-
thet cast by Mr. Verrall to the un-
fortunate exile, Charlotte fully echoed.
George was some little time before
he could understand the explanation,
so much of it as was vouchsafed him.
They stood under the shade of the
archway, in a group, Charlotte keep-
ing her black shawl well over her head
and round her face ; Rodolf, his arms
folded, leaning against the inner circle
of the stonework.
" What do you say sent you
abroad ?" questioned George, some-
" It was that wretched business of
Appleby's," replied Rodolf Pain.
" You must have heard of it. The
world heard enough of it."
"Appleby — Appleby ? Yes, I re-
member," remarked George. "A nice
swindle it was. But what had you to
do with it ?"
" In point of fact, I only had to do
with it at second-hand," said Rodolf
Pain, his tone one of bitter meaning.
" It was Yen-all's affair, — as every
thing else is. I only executed his
"But surely neither you nor Ver-
rall had any thing to do with that
swindling business of Appleby's?"
cried George, his voice as full of amaze-
ment as the other's was of bitterness.
Charlotte interposed, her manner so
eager, so flurried, as to impart the sus-
picion that she must have some per-
sonal interest in it. "Rodolf, hold
your tongue ! Where's the use of
reaping up this old speculative non-
sense to Mr. George Godolphin ? He
does not care to hear about it."
" I'd reap it up to all the world if I
could," was Rodoif's answer, ringing
with its own sense of injury. " Ver-
rall told me in the most solemn man-
ner that if things ever cleared, through
THE SHADOW OF ASHLYDYA T.
Appleby's death, or in any other way,
so as to make it safe for me to come
back, that that hour he'd send for me.
Well: Appleby's dead ; has been dead
these six months, and yet he leaves
me on, on, on, there in the New World,
without so much as a notice of it.
Now, it's of no use your growing
fierce, Charlotte ! I'll tell Mr. George
Godolphin, if I please. I am not the
patient slave you helped to drive
abroad : the trodden worm turns at
last. Do you happen to know, sir,
that Appleby's dead ?"
" I don't know any thing about Ap-
pleby," replied George. " I remem-
ber the name as being the one owned
by a gentleman who was subjected to
some bad treatment in the shape of
swindling, by one Rustin. But what
had vou or Verrall to do with it ?"
" Pshaw !" said Rodolf Pain. " Ver-
rall was Rustin."
George Godolphin opened his eyes
to their utmost width. " N — o !" he
uttered very slowly, certain curious
ideas beginning to crowd into his mind.
Certain remembrances also.
"He was, — Charlotte, I tell you it
is of no use : I will speak. What
does it matter, Mr. George Godolphin's
knowing it ? Verrall was the real
principal, — Rustin, in fact ; I the os-
tensible one. And I had to suffer."
" Did Appleby think you were
Rustin 1" inquired George, quite be-
"Appleby, at one time, thought I
was Verrall. Oh, I assure you there
were wheels within wheels at work
there. Of course there had to be, to
carry such a concern as that on. There
have still. Verrall, you know, could
not be made the scapegoat; he takes
care of that; besides, it "would blow
the whole thing to pieces, any evil
falling upon him. It fell upon me,
and I had to suffer for it, and abroad
I went. I did not grumble ; it would
have been of no use ; had I stayed at
home and braved it out, I should have
been sent abroad, I suppose, at her
Majesty's cost •"
Charlotte interrupted in an awful
passion. " Have you no sense of hu-
miliation, then, Rodolf Pain, that you
tell these strange stories ? Mr. George
Godolphin, I pray you do not listen to
" I am safe," replied George. " Pain
can say what he pleases. It is safe
"As to humiliation, that does not
fall so much to my share as it does to
another's, in the light I look at it. I
was not the principal ; I was only the
scapegoat: principals rarely are made
the scapegoats in that sort of business.
Let it go, I say. I took the punish-
ment without a word : but, now that
the man's dead, and I can come home
with safety, I want to know why I
was not sent for."
" I don't believe the man is dead,"
" I am as sure as sure can be, that
he is," said Rodolf Pain. " I was
told it from a sure and certain source,
somebody who came out there, and
who used to know Appleby. He
said the death was in the Times, and
he knew it for a fact besides. "
" Appleby ? Appleby ?" mused
George, his thoughts going back to a
long-past morning, when he had been
an unseen witness to Charlotte's in-
terview with a gentleman giving that
name, — which same gentleman had
accosted him previously in the porch
of Ashlydyat, mistaking it for the
residence of Mr. Verrall. "I re-
member his coming down here once."
" I remember it too," said Rodolf
Pain, significantly, "and the passion
it put Verrall in. Verrall thought
his address, down here, had oozed out
through my carelessness. The trou-
ble that we had with that Appleby,
first and last ! It went on for years.
The bother was patched up at times,
but only to break, out again ; and to
send me into exile at last."
" Does Verrall know of his death ?"
" There's not a doubt that he must
know of it," was the reply of Rodolf
Pain. " And here's Charlotte says
she won't ask Verrall, and won't tell
him I am here ! He came home to-
THE SHADOW OF ASHLYDYAT
Charlotte had resumed her walk
underneath the archway : pacing there,
• — as was remarked before, — like a
restrained tiger. She took no notice
of Rodolf 's last speech.
" Why not tell Yerrall yourself that
you are here ?" was the sensible ques-
tion of George.
" Well — you see, Mr. George Go-
dolphin, I'd rather not, so long as
there's the least doubt as to Apple-
by's death. / feel none myself: but
if it should turn out to be a mistake,
my appearance here would do good
neither for me nor for Yerrall. And