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corner at the west. So intent was she, that she
did not notice a young woman who was coming
from a little dairy-farm that she had passed a
few hundred yards behind, until she had twice
asked her to make way for her to cross the stile.
She had a jug of milk in her hand, and, with
mechanical civility, Mary held it for her until
she had got over, and then she recognised an
old school companion who had gone into service
at the rectory.

"I can't stop, Mary, but I'm glad to see you
looking so well. And is that your little boy?"
said she. "There's trouble at homeyou've
heard, perhaps. They stopped the bells

"I have heard nothing."

"Poor Master Frank's deadyes, he's dead
and missis is nearly distracted. I've just
been for t' milk for our teas. I knew you'd be
sorryhe was a very fine young man. Ay,
true it is, t' best allus goes t' first!"

Mary never spoke, but just turned round, and,
taking up her child, now tired enough to be
quiet, tottered back to Ash-pool. Afterwards
she told Alice, that when her old companion
said, "Master Frank's deadyes, he's dead,"
something struck her heart like a death-blow.
Her sister found her sitting there by the water,
still as a statue, dumb and tearless, and white
as a corpse.

"You have heard, Mary?" she said, kneeling
beside her. " They got the news this noon.
It's very sad. They say he was riding into the
battle, and cheering his men to come on, with
his sword waving over his head, when a shot
struck him in the breast, and he died. Oh,
love, love! I wish you had a right to be sorry
for him; but it is like a judgment on him for
his wickedness to you."

"Then it's a judgment on both of us, for I
was as much to blame as he," replied Mary,
still clear enough to defend her lover.

"I never said so before, but I have hated
him, Maryoh! I have hated him! I believe I
was glad when I heard he was killed."

"Don't, Alice, don't!" And poor Mary
shuddered with a blind, blank look of misery in her
pretty eyes.

They were in no haste to go home either of
them, and they stayed by the pool as the sun
went down. The child fell fast asleep in Mary's
arms, but her anguish only seemed to deepen in
watching the innocent, unconscious little face.
Alice wished she would give way and cry, but of
any such outlet for her feelings she was at
present incapable. Her heart swelled, and her
throat ached, but the tears would not come.
And while these two women sat silently grieving,
the bereaved father was coming slowly
towards them, his head bent down, his spirit
within him weak as water. He had lost his
only sonhis only child. There was little sign
in his subdued presence of the magisterial priest
who had condemned Mary and rebuked her
motherthe flood of sorrow had come over him.
and swept him down to the level of suffering
humanity. He had come to the fields by Ash-
pool to be alone with God in his anguish, for
Frank had been the joy and pride of his heart,
and that he had died as became a brave soldier
but little mitigated it. And so it happened
that he saw Mary for the first time since she was
an innocent merry girl, resting so still, broken-
hearted, with his child upon her lap. Self-
absorbed as he was, he could not but read aright
the utter sense of prostration that her attitude
and countenance betrayed, and with the frightened
glance she cast at him as she moved to
let him pass, a sudden suspicion came into his

"Mary, you know what trouble has come to
us. You are in great sorrow again. Are our
griefs akin?" said he, sharply.

"Oh! sir, sir!" That piteous exclamation
confessed all, and with a quick gesture she
uncovered the child's face, and held it towards him.
The rector could not speakthan all anger,
than all disgust, than all righteous reprobation,
love is stronger. Mary's love for the son he had
lost overcame his indignation. By-and-by he
recovered his voice, and said, with a gesture
towards the home where the bereaved mother
was weeping, " I think, Mary, it would comfort
her to see him, and to know——"

My sketch is done. While there is death in
the world, and sorrow and parting,and sin, let love,
and Christian charity, and forgiveness triumph as
they triumphed here. Mary Ward's life was
shortshe died within two months of the night
by Ash-pool, where she heard the tidings of her
lover's death. The child was taken to the
rectory, and is being brought up by the rector
and his wifeall the world knows now that
Mary Ward's son was also the son of Frank
Lascelles. There is a grey slab in an out-of-the-
way corner of Heckerdyke church with this
inscription: " Francis Lascelles, aged 23. Mary
"Ward, aged 19. Who art them that condemneth?
Let him that is without sin among you cast the
first stone." Which monument has been spoken
of as in bad taste. I think it is in as good taste
as the lying glorifications which are so much
commoner on church walls.

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