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of Princes Street appeared before them. It was well on in the
Along this bright, gay, busy, fashionable scene the travellers
The agitated girl once thought of asking Mr Everly to drive slower; but deeming this a needless and foolish request, she forebore.
They dashed at length between two massive iron gates, which stood
open; and going a little bit along the avenue within, drew up
Is your master at home, George ?” asked Richard at the man.
Ay, we did not drive to the front, to save you the trouble of
But this was more the ostensible than the real reason for Richard's proceeding. He wished to get Diamond into the house without its master or mistress perceiving her; for he saw that it would be much better to disclose his astounding intelligence by degrees.
When they left the carriage, he offered her his arm for support; and Diamond thankfully took it, for she was almost ready to faint.
“Come, cheer up,” said Richard, kindly, feeling her tremble, and noticing the paleness of her face. “It will soon be over now."
“Oh! could we not delay the interview for a few miuutes? I feel so nervous," pleaded Diamond, drawing her breath very quick, and manifesting tokens of extreme distress.
“ Hush ! It was for this I thought of alighting here. We must get in by the kitchen.”
They advanced, and tapped at a little low door which stood half open; and in less than a minute, a tidy, middle-aged female servant appeared.
Well, Betsey, how are you this morning ?" said Richard, holding out his hand, frankly.
Why, bless my heart, Mr Everly !” exclaimed Betsey, with a smile of surprised animation. “Who would have thought of seeing you at the kitchen door ? "
“ Ah! it is the nearest way, Betsey; and you know I am very straightforward. But will you be kind enough to show my companion, Miss Hunter, to an empty room, while I make a visit to the parlour?"
This brought Betsey's eyes full upon Diamond, whom as yet she had scarcely looked at. At the first glance she started, and then stared fixedly at the girl, till the latter blushed, and cast down her eyes.
“1-1 beg your pardon, miss,” stammered the woman, recollecting herself. “ But you are so like one whom I know, that-thatCertainly, sir,” she continued, turning to Mr Everly. “I can show the lady into the parlour, for master and mistress are at present the dining-roon."
And she led the way up stairs, after again looking at the girl very hard. Everly was puzzled by her conduct, but immediately recollected that must be the evident likeness which Diamond bore to her mother that struck her so much.
Seeing his charge safely secluded in the parlour, Richard went straight to the other room mentioned, leaving his hat in the lobby as he passed. Very warm and cordial was his welcome, and all the more so that his appearance was wholly un
unexpected. “Mr Everly !” exclaimed Mr Gray, and the name was echoed by his gentle partner. Why, where have you come from? or rather, how have you
We did not see you pass the window." - I came in by the kitchen entrance,” said Richard, with a quiet smile.
I thought to give you a surprise.” « And so you have-a most agreeable one, indeed," observed Mr Gray, while his kindly, beaming countenance fully attested the truth of the statement.
6 You know, we like to see no one better than you," said the lady, shaking him warmly by the hand,
“Our visitors are few at any
time; and though we do very well alone, yet the company of one
"Thank you," answered Richard, pressing her hand in return,
"Upon my word, I shall get jealous if this sort of thing goes on
"Do not go just yet, my dear madam," cried Richard, hastily,
Thus requested, the good lady returned, and all three seated
The covering was half removed, when he suddenly checked himself, and, looking up, said with a grave kindness,
" I fear I was about to do a very injudicious thing. If my suspicion as to the contents of this parcel is right, it would be cruel to unfold them without a word of explanation. And forgive me if, in the first instance, I pain you by a reference to your early loss--the loss of your child."
“Ah! is it possible that you have discovered anything?" cried the mother, with breathless eagerness.
"For God's sake, tell us if you have,” said her husband, in a tone of deep emotion.
"I hope, I trust I am not mistaken.” And, as he spoke, he unfolded the shawl in which the little infant had been wrapped.
“My shawl!--it is—it is my shawl!” exclaimed Mrs Gray, grasping it vehemently. “O where did you get it ?—where is my child? Is she alive? say if she be alive."
“I have every reason to believe she is. But be calm, be calm, I
sra/// sied to
education, and learned the business of a straw-hat maker. I was grieved for Henry's sake, for I loved the youth like a brother, and found that in all respects they were worthy each other; yet in my heart I commended the beautiful adherence to principle which she manifested. Thus matters rested tillrather more than a week ago, when the girl suddenly disappeared. Henry was with me at Netherton at the time; and the moment we were apprized of the circumstance, we came to town, and instituted a thorough search, but in vain. No trace could be had of her. I returned home last night; and this morning, while sitting in the library, was horrified by the appearance of what I considered the spirit of the missing girl. It was no spirit, however, but herself, in real flesh and blood; and, to my amazement, she informed me that she had just made her escape from the hands of my bitter foe, Sir Edward Rockhart. The woman who entrapped her, for the purpose of getting her married to Sir Edward, finding that she indignantly spurned the baronet's proposition, confessed that she was your child, that to her care she had been consigned by your servant, but that the temptation of marriage with Sir Edward's valet induced her to expose the infant on the street, in order to retain the money that had been sent with it. Sir Edward coming to know this, thought, as I can fancy, that your daughter would be an eligible wife; but fearing, I conclude, your opposition, took the daring method of forcing her to a marriage before her birth was revealed. The woman's heart, however, being mercifully softened, she assisted her to escape, and gave
her these clothes as a proof of the correctness of her statement."
“ And where is my child now?" screamed Mrs Gray, wildly. 56 ) tell me where she is take me to her--let me embrace my long-lost daughter!"
“Is she at Netherton, asked her husband, with streaming eyes, “We will
Stay, my dear madam, stay,” cried Richard, detaining her, This is not necessary; she is not so far distant as Netherton."
Where, then ? O where? Is sbe in town ?" 6. She is. I brought her with me. Nay, why should I keep you longer from her? She is in the next room, waiting in anxious expectation."
Both parents were about to rush to their child; but, by a great effort, Mr Everly prevailed on them to sit down till he brought her to them, somewhat prepared for the joyful union.
He ran to the parlour, and found Diamond in a state of intense excitement.
• Come now," he cried, hurriedly. “They expect you—they are waiting for you."
He led her to the diningThe door was open. Her parents had both risen, and were bending forward with clasped hands. One yearning, piercing look they gave her. It was enough. Nature spoke-nature revealed they knew she was their own. The mother instinctively knew her child; the father saw the youthful image of his wife. Doubt Aed from all hearts, and, with a cry of joy, Diamond flew into her mother's outstretched arms. Rapturously did Mrs Gray press the girl to her heart; and the old man passed his arms round both, and strained them in a wide embrace.
It was an affecting sight. These moments, pregnant with the first gush of indescribable joy, were characterized by silence. The feelings were far too deep for words: sighs, and sobs, and the heaving of hearts, and passionate caresses, and looks of unutterable love, could alone tell what was passing through their souls. Richard gazed till his eyes grew dim, and a choking sensation came into his throat; yet was the scene joyful even to him. To see these his benefactors made glad, and their burden of sorrow for ever removed, was productive of exquisite satisfaction to his heart, revengeful aspirations slept for the time, and its more generous impulses governed. He longed to embrace them all, to tell them how he shared in their felicity; but he would not intrude into the sanctuary of their first flushing heart-communion, and he turned aside and stood by the window.
My child ! my dear, dear child !” whispered the mother, in accents of unspeakable tenderness.
Father! mother!” said Diamond, lifting her head for a moment from her mother's breast, and glancing at the two countenances bent so lovingly over her.
We drop the curtain over the scene. It is too sacred to be described more fully. Words can but mar it. Imagination alone can gaze without sacrilege. To imagination, then, we leave it.
We may, however, with propriety describe another meeting connected with this restoration. Parents and child had experienced the first long, passionate embrace, when their intense emotion could only be expressed by silence. That silence was at length broken. Words, few and fitful, were interchanged. Richard had come in for his share of thanks and blessing, and the new, strong current was just beginning to flow somewhat smoothly in its channel, when Mr Gray, in a tone rather self-reproachful, exclaimed,
" But we are forgetting one who should share in this day's joy~ one whose grief has been almost equal to our own, nay, in one sense, has been greater; for, however unjustly, she has not been able to exclude remorse. “Ah!
yes: I understand. It is Betsey, our servant,” cried his wife, warmly.
“Dear, faithful creature! she who will rejoice as