I. T. Hopkins.

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thing for Cyp from when they first came over to
the gate; Wynt had remembered that, and hur-
ried home impatiently every night. But had the
youngster been sitting there, all these evenings,
with "haunting, mocking memories" for the
only company he had? Pretty shivery company
Wynt thought that was for him.

" ( Awfully empty,' is it?" he said lightly.
"Well, hold on two or three weeks and we're
past the shortest day, and there'll be more light
and less darkness every time. There's always a
little holding on to do, you know, somewhere.
Where 's Barbie ? Why not go to Mab's and wait
for me, now and then? I 'd call for you at the
window when I come by."

"Oh, I do n't know. I say, Wynt, Jem do n't
seem to come there any more. And when Mab 's
not really talking to you, when she 's only still, I
believe she 's thinking of it."

" Thinking of what? Jem may be there sev-
eral hundred times without mentioning it to you.
And see here, now ! No more good drawings
spoiled in this style; 'scrunched,' do you call it?
I want these brilliant designs of yours preserved.
Come along and get some supper, then."

The thought of Lee had a new worry laid


pretty heavily on top of it now in Wynt's mind.
If he shouldn't be able to do the right thing for
Cyp ! He was not doing it now, that seemed
plain. But what better could he do? Cyp might
come down and meet him, as far as that went
But no; he might as well be out alone at nine
o'clock as at five at this time of year.

However and he brightened up a little at
this thought Cyp must have his share of that
"gymnasium exercise" Wynt had talked about
to Lee. He must learn to stand rubs; and per-
haps the sooner he began the better, after all.
But they must not come too hard.

In Lee's case, though, it was different "The
sooner he stops the better !" Wynt thought; and
every time he came across Lee the next day the
dark figures crowding against the wall haunted




WYNT had no opportunity for words, however,
till the day was nearly past Then Warnock sent
him down stairs for a miserable dusty piece of
work at the furnace Jem's business and no one's
else; but there was some excuse, as usual, about

Lee was in a small packing-room adjoining,
getting a delicate piece of furniture ready for

Wynt finished his work and then went, sprin-
kled with ashes, straight to Lee. "So it seems,
Lee," he said steadily, "you did not find it very
bad being watched, and you try hiding as the
next step in ' enjoying yourself.' "

Lee started and flushed crimson. "So you
did see me. I was n' t sure. ' '

"And you hoped I did n't ! You did not want
me to!"

Lee did not answer.

"Will you tell me who those fellows were?
I wont say those friends of yours."

Lee stiffened up a little. "One of them at
least was a friend of yours. You know Hal Eric-


son as well as I do, and he is as much a gentle-
man's son as either of us."

Wynt felt as if foundations were slipping away
from him. Hal Ericson ! Had he come to hiding
in street corners too? "He's not behaving like
a gentleman then, whatever he is. Will you tell
me who the rest were?"

"No. You would n't know them if I did. I
told you the other day they were out of your

"And I told you they were out of yours. Will
you tell me what you were doing with them,

L,ee hesitated. The truth was he had felt a
vague sort of terror about himself stealing in of
late. He had half a mind to tell Wynt just where
he stood. u It 's a quicksand sort of feeling," he
had repeated once or twice to himself. ' ' I never
meant to go very deep, but it is a little deeper all
the time. I may get where I 'd like to feel bot-
tom by-and-by."

Still, to get out of it was to settle down to
plodding for ever on the " old mill " floor.

Suddenly he took his resolution. "Yes, I
wz//tell you," he said. "They were telling Hal
and me about a place where there 's money to be
made by cards."

"And what then?"

"Well, if I could have luck, I might make
enough to get away from here and strike out for

Ju<U HTUhu' Will. I A


myself somewhere, enough to have some amuse-
ment as I go along, at least."

u Now, Lee," and Wynt was looking him
steadily in the eyes, "you've just got one choice
to make, mighty soon too. You 've got to choose
between all this miserable lot of stuff and me !"

Lee's eyes dilated with a frightened look.
"You don't mean to say you wont be my

"No; I '11 always be your friend. But there 's
no comfort in the friendship any more. We can't
do it. You can't enjoy me and a set of fellows
like that at the same time; and I can't take any
satisfaction in you. So it's good-by to one or
the other."

4 ' Wynt, ' ' cried Lee, greatly distressed, * ' you ' re
the only person or thing I do take 'satisfaction' in
in the world. Can't you see there are two of me?
The best of me sticks to you like ten thousand
burrs; it's the other fellow that's m all this

"No, there are not two of you. You are
Lee Brainerd, and making what you can of him
as you go. If you choose to say there are two
sides to him, the mud you drag one side of him
in will stick to the other; that's all. Come, Lee!
What do you say?"

At that instant the door at the head of the
stairs opened, and Warnock came rattling over
them with his usual rapid step. He glanced


towards the furnace, and then stepped to the
packing-room door.

"Ah !" he said, with the sneering smile both
Wynt and L/ee so hated to see, "when you can
attend to the furnace, Havisham, there is work
up stairs."

"I have done so already," answered Wynt,
with a glance at his besprinkled clothes, and turn-
ing towards the stairs.

" You have, indeed ! Then is there any call
for your services just here?"

" None that I know of."

"Ah!" and the smile curled still more disa-
greeably . ' ' Then there is a customer waiting in
the carpet room. Go and show carpets till I come
up, if you please."

Wynt sprang up the stairs. The clothes-brush
that should hang at the head of them was nowhere
to be seen. " I believe in my heart he has hidden
it !" Wynt exclaimed mentally. It certainly was
not there, and Warnock had stood firmly with his
back against the little closet where Wynt could
have found water for his hands.

He went on, besmirched and dusty. " I won-
der who it will prove to be," was all he had time
for, the carpet section lying close against the

Mrs. Archer, of all people in the world ! She
was one of Vivian's most fashionable acquaint-
ances, and had smiled on Wynt at the Havisham


dinner-table hardly six months before. She did
not patronize Edinburgh warehouses much, but
she was here to-day, her dress elegant enough
for even Vivian's taste, and her carriage at the

Wynt saw the whole thing in an instant
Warnock had sent him up to show himself, but
he would be following on in an instant; he would
not make Mrs. Archer over to any one else.

Wynt took the flash of a second to collect
himself, and then stepped up to her exactly as he
would have done at home. u I beg your pardon,
Mrs. Archer. I was given no time, or I would
not have brought dust and ashes into your service.
Can I serve you in any way ?"

In an instant Mrs. Archer had given him one
of her most brilliant smiles, and held out a hand
delicately gloved. "Invisible dust, I am sure,
Wynt, ' ' she said. ' ( But if there were any amount
of it, it would be lost in the pleasure of meeting
you. Don't spoil me, though. Are you sure this
is your work? I don't get a young gentleman
to show me carpets every day."

" Do n't you ?" laughed Wynt. " I '11 show
them to you every day with pleasure, if you will
come in. I'm not as well ' up ' as some of the
rest, but still " and he began to pull out some

It was just as he expected. He had scarcely
sent two rolls flying when Warnock' s step was


heard running up the stairs, and he opened the

"Excuse me, Mrs. Archer,", he began, with
his most obsequious smile, stepping directly in
front of Wynt and forcing him to one side; " I was
detained for one instant. You will excuse an
incompetent salesman for the moment, I am sure,
I have something very handsome, just in this
morning, that I can show you now."

"Thank you, Mr. Warnock, you are very
kind," said Mrs. Archer gracefully, but with
none of the cordiality she had given Wynt; "but
if you will excuse me, Mr. Havisham is doing
exceedingly well. It will really be a favor if you
will allow him. We are old friends, you know;"
and she gave Warnock a smile that ought to have
let the arrow go in softly, but it did not

He reddened, made some inaudible reply, and
turned away.

u Now, Wynt, we have the floor! See if you
can suit a fastidious customer for Brainerd and

Warnock occupied himself as he best could
for the next half-hour, he hardly knew how.
Then he saw Mrs. Archer pass out of the store,
Wynt holding the door for her, and her carriage
drive away. Then he saw Wynt go up and pass
in a check for a larger sum than Warnock had
got from a day's sales in the last six months.

Wynt went back to his stool with a very queer


feeling, after this. " Carpets for ever !" he whis-
pered to himself with a half-laugh. ' ' It does
seem as if fate were making them a stumbling-
block between Warnock and me. I shall hear
from this. But it was not my fault; and I had a
good time, at least."

If he had, Warnock certainly had not, and he
never forgave. His attempt to humiliate Wynt
had humiliated himself instead, and the wound
rankled. He had very little to do with Wynt the
next day, but his brow lowered if he even saw
him coming near.

Wynt was not in the least surprised at this,
but it suddenly seemed to him that there was a
coolness on Mr. Brainerd's part, instead of a
marked kindness, almost cordiality, which had
grown steadily since Wynt entered the store.
To-day it seemed to Wynt that some inexplicable
change had come over his manner, though not a
word was said.

" Well, it 's a good thing to have a clear con-
science," he thought. " He certainly can't be
put out about that check yesterday, as Warnock
was. It must be a fancy of mine. He may have
a thousand worries that I don't know of. But it
really seemed to me as if he gave me almost a
suspicious look once to-day."

Mr. Brainerd, so far from being "put out"
about the check, had spoken of it with much
satisfaction to his managing clerk. ' ' Havisham


is doing very well; I don't know but we had
better take him out of the office and make a sales-
man of him altogether," he said. " In fact, I 'm
not sure but we may owe Mrs. Archer's visit to
his being here. ' '

Warnock's own peculiar smile spread over his
face. ' ' In that case, ' ' he answered insinuatingly,
"it might be a good plan to put Lee into the
office, and balance things again."

"What do you mean?" asked Mr. Brainerd,
looking quickly into his face.

"Oh, not very much. Only two boys are not
always sure to help each other along, if they 're
thrown together too much."

"Not help each other? Perhaps not, but I
have felt Havisham would be a help to Lee.
L,ee 's not likely to be very much help to anyone,
I'm sorry to say. But Havisham I've seen
only what gives me confidence in him."

" Yes; a dark, still face is a good cover," said
Warnock, with an almost imperceptible sneer, as
he turned to move away.

But Mr. Brainerd stopped him. "Now, War-
nock, please to explain yourself. If you say as
much as that, be kind enough to say more. I am
not fond of hints, you know."

"I beg your pardon; I was scarcely aware of
giving one. I don't like to speak of personal
matters, but in fact, I don't think he has im-
proved since Havisham came into the store."


" He certainly has n't, I 'm sorry to say. But
what has Havisham to do with that?"

Warnock gave a slight shrug.

" Have you seen anything that looks like it?"
persisted Mr. Brainerd.

"Well, since you insist on it, I think there is
something between them. They certainly have
very earnest side conversations now and then, and
things don't go any better afterwards. Evening
before last I really don't like to speak of it, but
there was something rather marked Lee got in
with a very poor set of fellows, as I happened to
see, hanging about in a shadow somewhere, and
Havisham very soon came along. He only made
a little movement towards them, and stopped long
enough for a few words to have passed. He was
very cautious, but there seemed some understand-
ing; and I was still more sure of it yesterday when
I caught them together in the packing-room, evi-
dently in a very private talk, and very much con-
fused when I appeared. Havisham " and War-
nock disappeared to meet a customer.

Mr. Brainerd was thoroughly roused now.
Lee had been a heavy anxiety to him of late, but
he was really angry at last. This was the first
distinct story that had come to him from outside,
and not much of a story, either, but it meant more
than it told. And Havisham in it too ! Was it
possible Warnock was right ?

In another five minutes Lee found himself


summoned to his father's private office and the
door closed behind him. Now for it ! he thought.
It never rained but it poured. He had been sim-
ply miserable since his talk with Wynt, and now
here was his father, evidently with something
disagreeable to say.

"Lee, what were you and Havisham doing
together in the packing-room yesterday after-

"I was busy there, and Wynt stopped at the
door to speak to me."

1 ' And what was he speaking to you about, if
you have no objection to letting me know ?"

Lee's face paled suddenly. The recollection
of the whole thing had half sickened him
whenever he had thought of it since. To lose
Wynt's respect, Wynt's friendship ! No; Wynt
had promised he should not lose that, but how
could he tell ? And now what was coming now?

"Then you do object?" asked Mr. Brainerd,
as Lee did not reply.

"Yes, sir, I do."

" Then suppose you put your objections aside,
or tell me in spite of them."

Lee was silent again.

"Well?" persisted Mr. Brainerd.

"I'd rather not People don't always care
to tell what they are talking about I don't, at

"Then suppose I ask Havisham?"


A sudden terror seized Lee. He did not want
Wynt dragged into any trouble. u Oh, do n't do
that !" he exclaimed, and then added suddenly,
u But he would never tell."

The next moment he saw that he had made a
mistake, and added hastily, U I mean to say, it
was more my affair than his."

u And is he specially concerned in your af-

" In some of them. That is to say, he do n't
ask me, if you please. He certainly does his duty
in the store."

" Possibly; but I want men who do their duty
out of it as well as in. And one thing further I
have to say. I have more idea what that conver-
sation was about than you think, and I want no
more such reports coming in. I can do without
either you or Havisham in the store very well;
and as for you, perhaps you would like the Perch
better, if you can't find good company, and keep
it, nearer home."

I^ee went away if possible a little more miser-
able than before and with a confused feeling that
he could not tell what anything meant. He was
getting somewhat used to "little breezes," as he
called them, of this kind with his father, but he
had never seen him really angry before; and how
he could have any idea of Wynt's talk with him
was beyond his guess.

" But why should he be angry with Wynt for


preaching to me? That's more than I can see
through. He might better be thankful to him,
for it 's the only tether that 's holding me in very
much. And the Perch ! I'm not much afraid of
that. He has trouble enough trying to make a
farm out of that old granite hill with five miles
of cobblestone fence, without trying to make a
fanner of me. It would be working harder soil
than he has now. But I can't stand it with
Wynt thinking as he does of me. I think I '11 let
Ericson and the rest alone for a while, and see
how it seems. But it will not be for fear of the




MATTERS seemed to quiet down a little at the
store for the next two or three weeks, and then
came Christmas holidays, and Wynt was more
than thankful when Mrs. Lewyn Havisham invi-
ted Cyp and himself to spend the week with her.

He could get but two days at the utmost, but
he cared very little about that; it was Cyp's
Christmas that had been distressing him. How
he was ever going to get him over it he had not

Not that there would be the least word of
complaint from Cyp; that was not his way. But
it would be a tough tussle for him with those
ghosts of memories; and it would seem ''horridly
still," Wynt feared, in spite of his own best

There was no stillness in Mrs. Lewyn' s wide-
awake, sunshiny, cordial little establishment,
which seemed to Cyp vast and spacious after Bar-
bie's, and which was full and running over with
entertainment that had been planned for him.
Wynt watched the sparkle coming back into his
eyes with a peculiar feeling a great relief and
pleasure, that had a quick pang under it, after


all. Cyp's eyes used to sparkle all the time.
They never used to need brightening up until he
tried to take care of him.

Mrs. Lewyn had some similar reflections also,
for she was too keen-sighted a little woman to
mistake surface shining for a steady light under-
neath. She had needed but one look into Cyp's
face when he arrived to tell her some secrets she
had had her misgivings about before. She saw
the sharpening down from the merry outline it
used to have, and she saw the dark lines under
the eyes and the expression that comes of not
saying much about what one feels the most

"Wynt," she said lightly, as Wynt's two
days drew to a close, "I wish you would leave
me that boy until spring. Couldn't you live
without him ? Do you know what I have to do?
I have to live without Mr. Havisham for the next
two years. That business of his in Manilla wants
looking after. It always does when he leaves it
and I think I have him really at home. He
goes back once more, and talks about two years.
Think of me ! And neither chick nor child of
my own. Lend me Cyp a little while. Can't
you think of it?"

Wynt hesitated. Her few words had said a
good many things at once, and one of them was
she thought Cyp needed something that Wynt
could not himself do for him.

" You think he needs it," he said quietly.


u Why, I want him, Wyut ! But still, to tell
the whole truth, I would not ask him away from
you out of pure selfishness. Are you quite sure
he is not a little solitary there at the gate? He
has lost a great deal, you know. He is not the
child to forget that, and I >m afraid he broods a
little while you are away. There must be odd
hours out of school when he misses you a good
deal. Saturdays, perhaps, too?"

Wynt felt as if some miserable weight were
laid suddenly at his throat. These things that he
had been trying not to make much of himself
even a stranger could see !

" I am afraid you are quite right," he replied,
looking back into her eyes steadily; "as right as
you are kind. I would do without him, of course,

1 * If you were sure he would be happy ? Well,
sound him about it a little. He can be thinking
of it for the rest of the week."

Wynt went directly to find him. "Cyp," he
said, "by the end of the week you'll be more at
home here than you condescend to feel at the gate,
I'm afraid."

Cyp laughed. " It 's awfully jolly, of course.
It would be better than anything but the house,
if you could stay. But I can stand it till New
Year's without you, of course."

u Can you ! That 's flattering to Mrs. Lewyn.
And she flatters you in return, by wishing you


would stay until spring. How would you like

To his amazement Cyp threw himself upon
him and broke into an agony of trouble, such as
he had seen no sign of since the first terrible
weeks when their grief was new.

"Don't, Wynt! I wish you wouldn't say
things to me! I wish you wouldn't talk about
things, nor make me talk. I can stand it all if
I can keep still. But I '11 never stay away from
you. I should die if I did. I most die, as it is,
without uncle and the house; but I 'm just living
on you, don't you know?"

Wynt soothed him and assured him it was
only for his own choice, and that he should not
know how to live at the gate without him, and
he should never let him stay away long unless 'he
wished it very much; but it was some time, even
then, before Cyp was himself again. Things had
been pent up too long to quiet down in a moment
when a gap was once opened to let them free.

As for Wynt, it was ten times worse for him.
"Oh, Cyp !" he found himself saying silently, as
he held him with a quick, intense pressure for
one instant close, u I 've said I 'd hold on to you
tighter the harder things pulled, and now I don't
know but I ought to let you go. I 'm doing you
more harm than good."

But still if Cyp would not be let go, what could
he do then ?


It was all out of sight again, however, before
Mrs. Lewyn was encountered, and she had not a
suspicion of the little whirlwind her invitation
had aroused. She sent Cyp gayly back to Wynt
at the end of the week, with many messages of
regret at letting him go and the assurance that
he was fifty per cent, more of a boy than he had
been a week ago.

And so life began again in the old way, rub-
bing along in the every-day rut, with no change
except Wynt's increasing impression that Mr.
Brainerd looked upon him with a very doubtful
sort of feeling, not to say dislike.

He tormented himself to find a reason, but in
vain, and so one more trouble was added to his
regret and pain about I/ee, his anxiety about
Cyp, and the annoyances that Warnock found
more and more constant opportunities to invent.

' ' I can walk right over all Warnock can do to
me, though," he used to say to himself ; "but I
must say Mr. Brainerd worries me. If he would
only once say a word, I could have it out with
him and find out what's the matter. But I can't
very well walk up to him and ask whether he likes
me or not."

Lee, however, was a little comfort. He seemed
quieter in every way, and had a fashion of getting
near Wynt whenever he could and standing
about without a word, but with something inde-
finable in his manner that seemed to ask if he


might; and he spent now and then an evening at
Wynt's room, to Cyp's great satisfaction, and
none the less to Wynt's.

Whatever feeling Mr. Brainerd had, mean-
time, was carefully fostered by Mr. Warnock and
increased by delicate nursing as rapidly as pru-
dence would allow. There was no need of haste.
What he was so sure of accomplishing he could
wait for the right opportunity to allow. Lee was
dropping his sail for a little while just now, but
that was not likely to last; and with the next
breeze that tempted him off Havisham might
Very possibly find himself out at sea.




J-..'rTTTfrtiiin'i Win. I 5




MEANTIME Mr. Wilkie's perplexities seemed
to thicken rather than disperse, so far as his per-
sonal affairs were concerned. Threatened losses
became actual ones; one struggle after another to
better things proved in vain, and one claim after
another that he found himself unable to meet
pressed nearer and nearer to the day of its de-

In the midst of it all letters from the lead-
mine began to arrive urging a plan for increase
of working capital, and doubling and redoubling
assurances that with this new ability to develop
the treasures of the mine large revenues were
certain to come in.

Every fresh suggestion of this kind only in-
creased Mr. Wilkie's mental disturbance.

"A year ago," he thought, "I could have
met this demand without a second thought
Now, when the mine is my only hope, my only
way out of all this danger, I cannot command
the trifling amount necessary to dig at what is

" And it is there," he added. " There is no

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Online LibraryI. T. HopkinsJudge Havisham's will → online text (page 11 of 16)