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"Yes, I do.

There!"

"And have you duly considered this, sir?"

"Yes, I have!"

"And you know and are prepared to meet the consequences p

There!" said the old man,

"Yes! Do your worst! setting down his foot.

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Major Cabell rose and walked up and down the floor in deep, perplexed thought. To say that he was surprised at this sudden, unexpected rebellion and daring on the part of Mr. Clifton would not be sufficient. He was just astounded, and could not surmise where the strength of the old man to oppose him, with his claims and his power, could come from. He thought some external aid had been given; he never guessed that it was the internal victory of conscience over cowardice.

Old Mr. Clifton also rose and stretched himself, expanding his chest, and taking a long, deep breath of intense relief and satisfaction, saying, "Thank Heaven, I feel better; feel more like a man than I have felt for ten years. Now, let the worst come, I can meet it."

Major Cabell glanced sideways at him, and continued his thoughtful pacing up and down the floor. He was possessed with a sort of ferocious passion for Zuleime-a passion fanned to fury by opposition. He was not one to bend his pride to sue; and yet he must have her-soon, too!

Old Mr. Clifton, now feeling and looking so much better and franker, and remembering that Major Cabell was his guest as well as his relative, went up to him and held out his hand, saying heartily, "Charley, give me your hand. I do not know what you are going to do, but I know that I am ready to meet what comes. In olden times, mortal foes shook hands before they entered upon a deadly combat; in our times, the executioner and his victim exchange courtesies; and the humanity of it is a touching comment upon the cruel necessities of our legal and social code. Let us not be more ungracious adversaries than they. Give me your hand. You are welcome to Clifton as long as you please to give us your company. Sport is good now on the mountains, and you can amuse yourself as you please."

Major Cabell paused in his walk, and placed his hand in the open palm of Mr. Clifton, saying, "I will take you at

your word, sir. I will remain your guest for a few days. I will hope that what you have said in regard to the marriage of myself and your daughter has been spoken in haste, and under the influence of anger. I trust that you will review your words. To-day you speak from excitement; to-morrow I hope that judgment will dictate your reply. You will remember that I, too, had something to complain of in the fact that my affianced bride, or one that I considered such, should have been so ill-guided, or should have so ill-guided herself, as to suffer her affections to fall into this entanglement. But we will say no more about it now, for I see Mrs. Clifton about to enter."

Georgia entered, indeed, smiling.

Old Mr. Clifton seized the opportunity, and, while Major Cabell was paying his devoirs to the beauty, excused himself, and left the room to go and see how Zuleime was getting on, and to re-assure her if necessary.

As soon as he had left the room, Georgia drew Major Cabell off to a distant sofa, and they sat down and entered upon a long, confidential conversation; and when it was ended, they arose and separated with looks of great satisfaction.

CHAPTER XVII.

THE WIDOWED BRIDE.

A FEW days after the incidents recorded in the last chapter, Mrs. Georgia Clifton entered Zuleime's room. The poor girl was sitting in an arm-chair near the window, idle. as was never her habit before, with her hands lying languidly one over the other, and her eyes fixed upon vacancy.

The beauty went to her with her soft, winning way, and took her hand, and stole her arm over her shoulder, and said tenderly, "Zuleime, my love, do not sit here by this open window. Let me close it, and lead you to the sofa."

There is nothing so quiet as despair, except death; there is nothing so docile as despair often is. The beauty knew this by a satanic inspiration, and calculated on it. Žuleime suffered herself to be led to the sofa, which was wheeled up near the fire, as she would have permitted herself to be led

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anywhere else. Georgia sat down by her side, and passed her arm around her waist, and said, My dear, I think you love your old father-do

you not ?"

The poor girl raised her eyes mournfully to the lady's face, as if she did not understand.

"You love your father. You would not be willing to see him ruined in fortune and degraded in honour, would you?" Still Zuleime kept her eyes fixed upon the speaker, with an expression of hopeless imbecility.

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My dear child, let me be explicit; and try to understand me, Zuleime. It is of vital necessity to your father that you should. Will you listen to me, Zuleime?"

"Yes," said the mourner mechanically, without removing her gaze.

"Well, then, you know your grandmother left you thirty thousand dollars. Well, your father owes debts amounting to twenty-five thousand dollars, and is in danger of an execution or a prison every day. You would willingly give him your fortune to pay his debts with, we know; but, unfortunately, you cannot do it, because you are not of age. Neither can your father appropriate it, of course. But if you were to marry, then your husband would be in legal possession of that property, and could dispose of it. Now, Major Cabell has bought up your father's notes to the amount of eighteen thousand dollars, using all his available funds for the purpose of saving him from great distress, and in the expectation of marrying you, his daughter, and obtaining your little fortune, which would replenish his coffers again. Now, Zuleime, Major Cabell is himself pressed for money. He would not, of course, come down upon your father with an execution, but he will be compelled to sell those notes again for whatever he can get for them; and then, of course, the purchaser-some Jew or broker-would have no such scruples, but would levy on all the personal property of his debtor, and most likely throw him into prison, where he might languish for years-where he might die. Zuleime, you will not suffer this, if you can prevent it, will you? Speak to me, my love. I do not believe you understand me now. Why don't you answer me, Zuleime ?" It was about a-about Was it the murderer? neither do I wish it—

"I-I don't know. Yes, I do. a-about somebody's going to prison. Alas! that will not bring him back;

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not even I, who loved him so! suffer, for the world. Oh, no!"

The beauty looked at the pale girl in deep perplexity a moment, and then said, "Zuleime, your father is suffering! Let's see if that will rouse you."

"My father? Oh, no, he mustn't. Tell him not to mind it. I do not much, now. I know he is at rest, and we shall be soon. Tell him not to mind it."

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'Zuleime, awake! arouse yourself!

Your father is in

danger, I tell you!"

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In danger? in danger? Tell me about it." "Listen to me, then. Rouse your mind, and fix it upon what I am going to tell you about your father's peril!"

And the lady took her hands and looked into her eyes, watching their expression, and bringing back her wandering ideas every time they showed the least sign of flying, and rousing up her flagging intellect every time it betrayed a disposition to sink, and so repeated the whole history of the difficulty over again. But the distracted mind of the poor girl was scarcely able to follow the painstaking narrator through the facts of the case. Passing her hand once or twice across her brow, she said, "What! what is it you say about father, and prisons, and Major Cabell? I—I am afraid my memory isn't as good as it used to be; please tell me over again."

I would not make anybody

The beauty, with a shrug of her shoulders, reiterated the story, placing it in the fewest, simplest, and most direct words she could find. But the stricken girl only looked sorely distressed and perplexed, and said plaintively, "Please forgive me, and tell me what it is that threatens father."

"An execution that will sweep off all the furniture from the house, and all the negroes from the plantation; parting husbands and wives, and parents and children, and brothers and sisters, among those poor, faithful creatures who love you so well; and, for your father's person, a jail, where he may be for years, or until he dies."

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Oh, pray don't talk to me any more; my head is so wild, so wandering, it wants to go back to something," said the poor thing, pressing her temples, and strongly attracted to her one great woe.

"But

your father ?"

"Yes! Oh, only tell me what you want me to do!"

"To marry Major Cabell, who will then have the disposal of your fortune, and can cover those notes and save your father."

"But-oh, yes! Now I remember. Father said there was no necessity; I needn't do it," said the girl, pressing her finger hard upon the centre of her forehead, and looking keen and old with the mental effort to bring memory, attention, and understanding, to bear upon the subject. "Yes, yes, yes; he said I should weep in peace.'

""

"Yes; your poor old father loves you better than himself; and he said that, sooner than you should marry a man you did not love, he would die in jail."

"Did he? My dear good father! Oh, yes! now I think of it, it was something like that, sure enough. Only my head is so queer. He must not go to jail-oh, never:!"

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He must, unless you marry Major Cabell and save him." Well, I can marry Major Cabell-it don't matter much; do you think it does? Spirits up in heaven know nothing of what is going on on earth, or they know all about it, and either is better than our deceptive half-knowledge. If spirits know anything, they will know our spirit. Dear Frank will know--will know my spirit; nay, he does. I feel sure of it at this moment. I will marry Major Cabell."

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But, Zuleime, if your father thinks you dislike Major Cabell, he will not permit you to marry him."

"But I don't dislike Major Cabell; I don't dislike anyone; I could not now. It seems to me that I feel sorry for everyone; I pity everyone. Everyone has so much trouble, mamma. Mamma, I feel sorry for you. I do not know how it is, but I do feel very sorry for you. Have you any trouble? You must have. Well, let God do as He pleases with you, because He knows best. Besides, it is only for a little while, and it will all come right. Kiss me, mamma. I don't think I loved you well enough when you first came here a stranger. Never mind, I will try to love you more in the future.'

""

Georgia let the poor girl kiss her, and then arose and made an excuse to go. Zuleime was weakening all her purposes, and she was obliged to escape as people fly sometimes from

a sermon.

"Please send Kate to me, mamma," said Zuleime. And very soon Catherine entered.

"Dear Kate, please come and comb and curl my hair, and

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