I. T. Hopkins.

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as you? Come along," and he caught Jem by
the buttonhole and pulled him round the corner
of the store a little out of the way; "come along
and tell me what you did to Mab first."

Jem hesitated a moment and then met Wynt's
eyes fair and square, as if he were glad to free his
mind at last. "I asked her to say if she would
do as other girls do when they've promised if


she'd inarry ine and leave putting me off, for I
was tired of it"

"And what did she say?"

" She said she 'd not do it with things as they
were, and she saw no prospect of change."

"And what then? You don't call that
throwing you over,' I suppose?"

"She said she 'd have no one about that was
tired of it, and I was to go."

"And you went?"

Jem looked wonderingly at him. "What
could I do but go?"

"What could you do? Why, stick to her,
man. Get down and beg her pardon first, and
then stick. What's there such a hurry about?
There 's a whole life ahead of you yet. Mab will
get well some day; or if she ever finds out she '11
not, why should n't you be friends at least? I 'm
ashamed of you, Jem. There isn't a girl in the
country like her, nor one that's got a harder lot
What do you want to go piling more on top of it

Jem looked down half sullenly, but something
evidently pleased him at the same time. "I
don't see that I 'm piling anything on," he said.

" You do n't? You think it 's nothing to Mab
to lose what she cares most for out of a life like

Jem stood up squarely again. " If I 'd thought
she cared for it ! That 's what I could n't see."

trUbMn't Will. JQ


"Then you don't deserve to see it. Why, I
could see it myself. When was this? About
two no, more than three months ago. I remem-
ber it Mab was as white as a swan for a while,
with a still look in her face that she always used
to have when the pain was the worst; but she
stuck to it that she was no worse. And you've
made yourself miserable. I saw that too a month
ago. Come, brace up, Jem. Knock yourself into
shape again and behave like a man."




WHEN Wyiit left Barbie she sat a few mo-
ments motionless, her hands in her lap and her
eyes looking far out into the distance again. The
red trumpet-vine blossoms, the lacing branches of
the trees beyond, the blue sky they might as
well not have been there.

"Just what I was saying to little Mab not two
months gone by," she said, bowing the white
head-handkerchief as she nodded to herself. "I
said some of the hardest troubles that ever the
old house saw came of some one not 'holding
on,' somewhere, to the right and the true.
They're all by themselves, the Havishams, all
by themselves; an' strange / call it strange to
see them, the noblest and the best, an' their souls
standing highest of all the families the Lord can
look on for many a mile around, an' then suddenly,
somewhere in a generation, some one will just
let go ! But I never believed it could come of
Mr. Thorpe. An' I can't believe it now; not if
he was found in his right mind. But if it 's true
he let Miss Vivian persuade him against the
rights of Mr. Wynt and Mr. Cyp, he just has let
go, that 's all, right mind or wrong !"


Barbie gave a little moan, and the head-hand-
kerchief swayed again.

" It 's bitterer than to see him die," she said.
"We can love him if he stays or goes, but we
can't pride him if he didn't hold to the right.
That leaves a stain on high or low, whoever it
may be. An' I loved him too well to see that.
A high, pure life like his, an' a stain coming at
the very last ! An' if his old Barbie could wash
it with tears an' wipe it with the hairs of her
head, it could do no good." And she swayed
herself mournfully to and fro.

Suddenly she raised her head, and held it
proudly again. u Mr. Thorpe was not clear in
his mind, let who will say contrary !" she ex-
claimed with vehemence. "Don't let any one
bring up that he was, to me ! Not at that last
poor little minute, at least. And if wrong is
done, the Lord can turn it away like a river,
before a wave can even kiss the feet of those
boys, and build up something better for them
than it takes away. Barbie Havisham needn't
trouble herself about business that belongs to
Him. Time enough to look on at what he's
pleased to do and to pride in it when he has it

She took up her knitting again, and her
thoughts came back to what was close at hand.
She would go to Mab and take her some trurn*
pet-blossoms. The day was too fine for sitting


inside. She liked to feel the air round her and
the ground under her feet

As she moved slowly along, making the most
of it, she glanced towards the Havisham House.
It was half hidden by the trees, but the corner
where Vivian's room lay was open and free.
Barbie always watched that corner; its shaded
windows gave it a deserted look while Vivian
was away, but were flung gayly open, luxuriating
in sunlight, as soon as she returned.

They were not so this morning, however.
Barbie could just see that the room must be oc-
cupied, and that was all.

" Poor Miss Vivian !" she thought. "It's a
sad day for her when she doesn't want the sun-
light pouring everywhere."

Barbie was right, but there were other feelings
mingled with sadness, this morning, that made
quiet rooms more in harmony with Vivian's
frame. She had withdrawn into the one Barbie
had noticed as soon as Mr. Wilkie left, and even
Mr. Adriance hesitated as to whether it were best
to follow her there.

He delayed a little while, and then tapped at
the door. Vivian was pacing the floor, her eyes
brilliant and her right hand playing nervously
with a jewel upon her left.

"Tom !" she said hastily, "I ought never to
have gone away until I had seen papa's promise
carried out"


"Promise?" asked Mr. Adriance, settling into
an arm-chair and speaking in his easy, good-na-
tured way. " I did not know he made you one.
What did you want him to do?"

Vivian hesitated. There were some surfaces
beneath which she did not care to let even her
husband penetrate, and this one would have held
its secret with the others if to-day's strain had
come less suddenly. She was excited and she
was perplexed. She would tell him what she
chose. Otherwise he need not have known that
she did not care to have the boys in the family.
It wouldn't have been of consequence, of course.

" I wanted him to do what he tried to do with
his last strength, cancel that foolish will and
leave everything in my hands. Papa must have
been bereft when he made it ! carried along with
that sentimental way of his."

" Why, what's the matter with the will?"
asked Tom, crossing a foot over his knee. "I
don't see why it isn't well enough."

Vivian stopped in her walk and leaned back
in an easy-chair of her own. Her black dress
and flushed face contrasted against the blue vel-
vet of the chair and one white wrist drooped
gracefully over its arm. Was it of any use to talk
to Tom, after all, about such things?

"The will is folly, Tom. There is no reason,
because papa loved a sister once, that her boys
should overrun and occupy our house. They


should be taken care of somewhere, of course, if
that is necessary; but I think they have provi-
sion of their own sufficient for reasonable wants.
By this will the establishment is to be main-
tained I am to maintain it, I suppose as their

"No more than yours," interposed Torn.

"More than mine, as it would take mine
away from me. I do not wish it with an incum-
brance of that kind. Have you not had percep-
tion enough to understand that, you dear stupid
Tom ? What do you suppose kept me away from
it, from dear papa, so much the last two precious
years of his life?"

Tom uttered a prolonged murmur, which grew
more emphatic as it progressed. " Never once
dreamed of it, Vivian ! Why, now, it seems to
me the best plum in the whole inheritance, hav-
ing two youngsters like those to brighten up a
place. You don't get a chance to watch a fellow
like that Wynt grow up every day, you may be

41 And why should I wish to see him grow up ?
It certainly is not among pleasures that I should
seek. If papa poor dear papa fancied he
wished it, it was a delicate matter for me to
approach, of course; and I could not wish him to
give up his pleasure to make room for mine. But
he came to see it differently. He saw how un-
suitable a place it was for them, especially when I


wished to bring my own guests. A well-chosen
school is far better. I convinced him of that."

Tom was silent a few moments. There were
times when his felt that his own sentiments were
as well kept to himself. " Well, I do n't see but
you have got them, at any rate, as things stand.
And they'll have to stand the will, I mean.
There 's no getting round that"

A slightly scornful look curved Vivian's lips.
"We will not try to ' get round ' it, Tom, but we
can contest it. It is not right. It is a wrong to
dear papa. A hastily made, inconsiderate will, a
piece of folly destroying so much happiness, and
regretted and withdrawn by himself. And the
amount left in trust! You can see, Tom, he must
have felt that a great mistake. Why should the
Havisham estate be shredded and scattered about?
I have heard papa say often that there was too
much of that done. If there is any way to right
things and follow what was his true last will, I
am determined on it. If there is not, I have no
home here any longer. We will go abroad

Tom rose and took his turn at walking about.

" Now, Vivian," he said at last, u let me give
you one piece of advice. Every one in this town
knows what the judge's ways were, and every
one knows those boys. They 're favorites, as
they deserve to be, and they have sympathy
everywhere. And every one will know what


that will is and that it provides handsomely for
them. I suppose you would do the same, if you
could change it, but people are not going to look
at it in that light. So turn your back on the
house and go elsewhere if you don't fancy stay-
ing in it as it is, but don't undertake to meddle
with the will. You 'd make a mighty poor piece
of work with it; there's nothing to go on, and
every one would have their opinion about it, what
is worse."

"And do you think I have no friends? And
people's opinion! what is that?" and Vivian
lifted her head proudly as she spoke.

"I think you would have enemies; and I
think people's opinion is a great deal."

She leaned her head upon her hand again an
instant. It was a great deal to Vivian.

Then she looked up once more with her eyes
full upon Tom's face. "If I can force them to
carry out papa's last wishes, I will do it, Tom,"
she said. " If I cannot ' '

She did not finish the sentence; she was not
accustomed to saying what she would do if
thwarted in her own will, but Mr. Adriance
understood. Bent would have to run the house
as best he might for the boys. Vivian would not
be there.

Tom did not reply, and with some excuse
about exercising the horses got out of the room.

" I '11 have a few words with Wilkie about all


this nuisance," he said inwardly, as he walked
away. "The knot is tied as tight as anything
can be, and the only decent thing is to let it
alone. As keen a woman as Vivian would see it
in an instant if she were not upset. If any one
must show her the folly I 'd rather it were Wilkie
than a man outside. I wonder where that Cyp
is. I must have him off with me for a drive. I
wish somebody would bequeath those two boys
to me!"

- r





MR. ADRIANCE lost little time in carrying
out his intention of finding Mr. Wilkie, and noth-
ing could have been more to Mr. Wilkie' s satis-

" I 'm very glad you carne in, Mr. Adriance,"
he said, as he bowed him out at the end of the
interview. "Remember my message to Mrs.
Adriance, if you please. Simply that I have a
plan to propose that I think will relieve her of
einbarassment about my wards."

"I will, thank you! It's a nuisance, any
way. I can't see why those youngsters shouldn't
have their share and welcome. They're the
best part of the old place, by far, to me. So I
hope your plan will make them stick, somehow."

"Now," exclaimed Mr. Wilkie as he heard
Tom go over the stairs, u I 've got at just exactly
the whole thing I want Adriance tried to be
very cautious, but a free-hearted fellow like him
can't cover up with phrases very much. That
makes up my mind. I wouldn't have the boys
with a vixen like that, velvety as she is, if she
begged for them. And they can't stay in that
house alone if she clears out, as she says she will.


I '11 let Wynt fight it out his own way. He '11 be
twice the man for it He thinks it's his duty,
queer fellow that he is, and that'll keep him up
till he 's twenty-one. If he gets sick earning his
living, or I think he 'd better come in here and
make a lawyer, I can manage it well enough.
The first thing is to get clear of that fascinating
cousin of his. I'll take back that hard name I
called her; she 's not quite that. She loves grace
and elegance for their own sake, but she has no
heart; born without one, that's all. I'm glad
she 's no longer a Havisham, and that the judge
got the name tacked on to Wynt and Cyp three
months after they came. And does any one think
he was going to do that and then leave them beg-
gars for Vivian to feed? I'll get hold of Wynt
before the day is out and send him to make her a
graceful good-by."

Wynt was more than ready, and he tapped at
her door the next morning with his head erect

Vivian was in the same blue chair, her
hands playing languidly with the tassels upon
its arms.

"Oh, it's you, Wynt dear," she said, reach-
ing out gracefully to take his hand. "How
charming to have you come in. We are very sad
and dull here, Tom and I. The house is a sad
place. Tom, hand Wynt a chair. ' '

Wynt took it, let the hand holding his cap
hang over the back of it, and looked quietly into


Vivian's face. "Vivian," he said, "do you
think it is right to put aside uncle's last words as
having no weight at all?"

Vivian started slightly. Was Wynt broach-
ing the subject ? Why should not he be perfectly
satisfied ?

But she concealed her surprise instantly.
"Why do you ask me such a thing, Wynt?'*
she said, as if gently remonstrating. "These
painful questions are all settled for us, don't you
know?" And she laid a touch of her soft hand
upon his. Only a very light touch ; boys do not
like too much petting, of course.

"I ask you because I want you to answer.
Do you think it is right, whatever other people
may say?"

"Then, Wynt dear, since you ask me, I do

"/think it is a cruel thing, as well as wrong.
Do you think it is?"

"Yes, Wynt; I do."

" And you would not feel satisfied to have the
will he wished to set aside followed by you or

" No; how could I ? Since you ask the ques-
tion, Wynt"

"I thought so, and I'm glad, for that makes
us agreed. Then you'll be sure not to take it
unkindly when I say Mr. Wilkie gives me leave
to go away, taking Cyp too, of course. That


arrangement about the home was one uncle
wished to change, no doubt."

Vivian had time to collect herself before she
answered, for the surprise had put Tom on his
feet in front of them both.

"Now what a ridiculous lot of nonsense,
Wynt ! How do you know that was what he
meant? And the thing's got to be carried out.
You can't help yourself. The house is to be con-
sidered as your home."

"Very well; it maybe. But people do not
always choose to live at home, do they?"

Tom was staggered. He knew very well
what Vivian had chosen, and might still choose
to do.

"But, Wynt" and the pressure on his hand
was this time made close and quick "I don't
understand. This is too sudden. Go away, did
you say? Are you quite sure that is right?"

" Yes, I am quite sure."

"But you would leave us? That would be
a great change ! And where would you go ?
We should want to understand all about that. It
must be just the place."

"Mr. Wilkie is satisfied about that. He is
my guardian, you know. It would be with a
friend who will take good care of us; and it is
not far away. That will satisfy you, I am sure."

Vivian hesitated. If the truth were told, she
would rather it were somewhat far away.



"Now see here, Wynt," broke in Mr. Adri-
ance, "what do you propose to do, if you cut
clear of this?"

"To go into Brainerd and Gray's and work
for Cyp and myself. We have something to fall
back upon, but nothing for going ahead, so I
strike in there. Uncle often talked of a business
life for me. I was to choose, you know."

Mr. Adriance turned away with one of his
long whistles; but Vivian put out a hand gently
towards him.

' ' Tom ! Why do you disturb Wynt when he
has his mind comfortably made up? It is a great
matter for a young man to do that, and it has to
come, first or last. Mr. Wilkie is a good counsel-
lor and papa's choice for Wynt. If he is sure
Wynt is right and will be in a safe, happy home
if he is satisfied "

"Then you are, do you mean to say?" Wynt

"Why, yes, Wynt, I am satisfied. I do n't see
that I have a right to interfere. The old house
will seem very strange without you, though."

" Oh, you '11 soon get past that Perhaps to-
morrow, then, if I can get everything picked up.
I '11 go now, for I want a last ride on Black wing.
I suppose I shall have to let him go. I can't
keep up such luxuries any more."

He had a glorious canter and came back feel-
ing quite made over and fresh.


" It ' s a good thing, too, ' ' he thought. ' * Viv-
ian talks about 'getting my mind comfortably
made up,' but she doesn't see just how the pro-
cess goes on. Some of the 'pulling,' as Cyp
would call it, goes pretty hard. Doesn't it,
Blackwing?" and he smoothed the mane Waite
took such pride in for its gloss. u You don't
think it's easy to give up the dear old home, do
you?" he went on. "I love every inch of it so.
And I don't feel quite cut off from the master
that's gone out of it while I'm here. But it
don't do to mind hard tugs, old fellow. You'll
think so, if I have to sell you for an old carriage
horse, I'm afraid."

Waite stood ready for him as he came up.
Wynt threw him the rein with the * ' Thank
you" Waite had learned to expect, but he lin-
gered a little. He did not seem quite ready
to see Blackwing led away. He was giving
a touch to the headstall here, a caress on
the shoulder there, or smoothing the horse's
nose, while Blackwing snorted and whinnied in

Then he turned and began to leave them, in
his usual silent way, and Waite looked after him

"I never see him seem to turn to the animal
for comfort so," he thought. " But it 's no won-
der. He needs all he can pick up. He's had a
dead hard pull these last two weeks for a boy,


Mr. Wynt has." And lie began to lead the horse

But Wynt was facing about to come back.
" Waite," he said, and Waite turned.

Wynt was holding out his hand. " I sha' n't
see much more of you, Waite," he said. "I'm
going to leave the old home very soon; I suppose
Black wing will have to follow. So good-by."

Waite' s face turned really white. He had lost
his old master : was he to lose his young one

"Oh, don't worry, Waite; I'm not going
very far. Only down to my old room at the gate;
but I sha' n't be about the grounds any more.
Black wing will have to go farther, poor beast."

Waite's face did not brighten, and mouth and
eyes opened as he looked at Wynt. " Shipped !"
he said at last with a little moan. " And that's
what will be coming to the rest of us, then, in our
turn. Not that I care for that part of it, though,
with two masters gone."

"Oh, no, Waite, I don't think so. I don't
feel I've any right to stay, as things happen to be
left; and we have to do right, you know. But
the rest of you are all useful. You'll stick, and
I '11 see you once in a while."

He left him this time, as quietly as if nothing
were changed, and with his eyes dropped in their
old thoughtful way.

" It's a wicked scandal !" muttered Waite in-

Jodc* HTlih*m'i Will. 1 1


dignantly, standing and looking after him as If
rooted to the ground. "There are those in the
house that could help it if they would; he
needn't tell me. Nor the judge never meant it,
neither; I'd risk every horse in the stable on
that. 'Doing right,' he calls it It's a queer
kind of right for some folks; but if his share's
done on that score, it 's mighty well done. If I
ever find it hard holding up to where I ought
to be, it'll help me to remember how that boy
walks out of what should have been his own.
And I say again it's a wicked scandal; and
there's those that could help it if they would,"
he repeated, as he led Blackwing away at last





' IT did not take Wynt long to make his prepa-
rations. He went about them instantly and with
expedition. The first thing was to tell Cyp, and
the second to keep as much as possible out of Mr-
Adriance's way.

"He's worse than Mr. Wilkie to fight," he
said; "good, kind old Tom !"

The news spread like wildfire from Waite to
the other servants; Waite couldn't keep it to
himself and breathe.

Bent came to Wynt actually bowed over and
without a word.

"It's a shame, Bent ! I never meant you tcr
hear it from any one but myself. I looked for
you when I came in, but you weren't about
It 's only decided this morning; but I ought to
have told you first"

Bent looked carefully in every direction.
There was no one near. "I'm afraid, Mr.
Wynt," he said slowly, finding words at last,
"I'm afraid it was decided long before that one
night when I heard Mr. Thorpe promising Miss
Vivian he would do something that she wished."

Wynt started as if he had been stung. " Are


you sure, Bent ? Then 7 am sure, ten thousand
times, that I am doing right."

He stood still a moment, and then wrung the
old butler's hand. " Never mind, Bent ! I shall
be close to you all the same, and you '11 like to see
me my own man; since things are as they are, I
mean." And he went steadily up stairs.

There was a little room near the front door at
Barbie's called a parlor, but it had up to the
present time stood empty and unoccupied. She
had no use for such finery as parlors, she declared.
Wynt looked about his own room and Cyp's, at
treasures they had there, and remembered how
this was. Why could he not put these things
into Barbie's empty room? He and Cyp would
have a little home, then. They knew how to
use a parlor, if Barbie did n't. That would make
everything all right. Sundays and evenings had
been rather a puzzle before; and where were they
to ask any friend to come ?

There was no very great amount of things, it
was true, only the few mementos of East Indian
life that they had brought across a few Indian
rugs, two or three bamboo chairs, a curious
carved table from their mother's room, a few
Eastern curiosities, and so on but Wynt was
sure he would make out

" There are those pictures, too, that uncle
put here because he said they belonged to us
mamma's, that she left when she went away.


I 'm sure Vivian will not object to our taking all
this. She would rather it was gone. Of course
I must go and ask her if Waite may lend a hand
to get them off."

He started to find her, but met Cyp on the
stairs. Now for it, then ! But how much was
it best to tell the boy? That was the only ques-
tion that seemed hard,

"Cyp," he said, "what are you about just

"Oh, I don't know," answered Cyp lan-
guidly. "I guess I was looking for you. I'm
tired and my head aches. Things are so different
from what they were. Oh, I wish Uncle Thorpe
could be down stairs just to-day!" And to
Wynt's amazement Cyp burst into a little agony
of grief.

Wynt drew him up to him quickly and got
him off into his room. Cyp had been so quiet
since those first two or three terrible days that
Wynt had thought he was settling into the new

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Online LibraryI. T. HopkinsJudge Havisham's will → online text (page 8 of 16)