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Aegon upon the Iron Throne. The boy has stones, give him

meat 2023-12-07 04:43:238137651

Memories there were of a gentle, pale-faced woman, who, when her blue eyes were dim with coming death, had shudderingly turned away from him, as if his presence brought her more of pain than joy. Memories, too, there were of another--a peerlessly beautiful creature who, ere he had sought the white-faced woman for his wife, had trampled on his affections and spurned as a useless gift his offered love. He hated her now, he thought; and the little black- haired child, sleeping so sweetly in its mother's arms, was hateful in his sight, because it bore that woman's name. One, two, three-- sounded the clock, and then he fell asleep, dreaming that underneath the willows which grew in the churchyard, far off on Laurel Hill, there were two graves instead of one; that in the house across the common there was a sound of rioting and mirth, unusual in that silent mansion. For she was there, the woman whom he had so madly loved, and wherever she went crowds gathered about her as in the olden time.

Aegon upon the Iron Throne. The boy has stones, give him

"Maude Glendower, why are you here?" he attempted to say, when a clear, silvery voice aroused him from his sleep, and starting up, he listened half in anger, half in disappointment, to the song which little Maude Remington sang as she sat in the open door awaiting the return of her mother, who had gone for the last time to see the sunshine fall on Harry's grave.

Aegon upon the Iron Throne. The boy has stones, give him

Mrs. Kennedy looked charming in her traveling dress of brown, and the happy husband likened her to a Quakeress, as he kissed her blushing. cheek and called her his "little wife." He had passed through the ceremony remarkably well, standing very erect, making the responses very, loud, and squeezing very becomingly the soft white hand on whose third finger he placed the wedding ring--a very small one, by the way. It was over now, and many of the bridal guests were gone; the minister, too, had gone, and jogging leisurely along upon his sorrel horse had ascertained the size of his fee, feeling a little disappointed that it was not larger--five dollars seemed so small, when he fully expected twenty from one of Dr. Kennedy's reputed wealth.

Aegon upon the Iron Throne. The boy has stones, give him

Janet had seen that everything was done for the comfort of the travelers, and then out behind the smokehouse had scolded herself soundly for crying, when she ought to appear brave, and encourage her young mistress. Not the slightest hint had she received that she was not to follow them in a few, weeks, and when at parting little Maude clung to her skirts, beseeching her to go, she comforted the child by telling her what she would bring her in the autumn, when she came. Half a dozen dolls, as many pounds of candy, a dancing jack, and a mewing kitten were promised, and then the faithful creature turned to the weeping bride, who clasped her hard old hand convulsively, for she knew it was a long good-by. Until the carriage disappeared from view did Mrs. Kennedy look back through blinding tears to the spot where Janet stood, wiping her eyes with a corner of her stiffly starched white apron, and holding up one foot to keep her from soiling her clean blue cotton stockings, for, in accordance with a superstition peculiar to her race, she had thrown after the travelers a shoe, by way of insuring them good luck.

For once in his life Dr. Kennedy tried to be very kind and attentive to his bride, who, naturally hopeful and inclined to look upon the brighter side, dried her tears soon after entering the cars, and began to fancy she was very happy in her new position as the wife of Dr. Kennedy. The seat in front of them was turned back and occupied by Maude, who busied herself a while in watching the fence and the trees, which she said were "running so fast toward Janet and home!" Then her dark eyes would scan curiously the faces of Dr. Kennedy and her mother, resting upon the latter with a puzzled expression, as if she could not exactly understand it. The doctor persisted in calling her Matilda, and as she resolutely persisted in refusing to answer to that name, it seemed quite improbable that they would ever talk much together. Occasionally, it is true, he made her some advances, by playfully offering her his hand, but she would not touch it, and after a time, standing upon the seat and turning round, she found more agreeable society in the company of two boys who sat directly behind her.

They were evidently twelve or thirteen years of age, and in personal appearance somewhat alike, save that the face of the brown-haired boy was more open, ingenuous, and pleasing than that of his companion, whose hair and eyes were black as night. A jolt of the cars caused Maude to lay her chubby hand upon the shoulder of the elder boy, who, being very fond of children, caught it within his own, and in this way made her acquaintance. To him she was very communicative, and in a short time he learned that "her name was Maude Remington, that the pretty lady in brown was her mother, and that the naughty man was not her father, and never would be, for Janet said so."

This at once awakened an interest in the boys, and for more than an hour they petted and played with the little girl, who, though very gracious to both, still manifested so much preference for the brown- haired, that the other laughingly asked her which she liked the best.

"I like you and you," was Maude's childlike answer, as she pointed a finger at each.

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