A Mentcd Sti-uggle. 216
It draws him with a wicked, laughing glee to the end.
Just before the welcome departure of Lady Edgerton,
when all their minds were centred upon her going, he came
up one day to The Clievies, and meeting Imogen in the
shrubbery, asked her to be his wife then and there. He
was refused—then; but as hope springs eternal In the
human bre;rst, ami as Englishmen do rrot know when they
are defeated, this blow, that might have for ever silenced
another man, only helped Clanbrassil to a determination
to woo her persistently until either she surrendered, or
some more fortuirate suitor was accepted by her.
Jirst about that time too. Sir Hugh's affairs were dis¬
covered to be in .a knot that there was no urrtying. For
the past two months he had been greatly harassed, endea¬
vouring to find the ways and means to ward off' prrblic rtrin.
The inevitable days of reckoning were crowding rudely
down rrpon him, and all the plans and theories he had
woi'ked out of his fertile bi'aiir had been pooh-poohed arrd
looked down upon by his man of business as being utterly
Nothing less than the instant possession of a large sum
of money—and that to be written in five figures—could
possibly save him from open discredit and bankrirptcy.
How to proctrre this money was the diificulty—a diificulty
past all surmounting unless somebody could be induced to
come forward, who, for the sake of pure friendship, wotilel
consent to lend it for arr indefinite period, trusting to a
seci>iid generatioir for repayment. Such a fr-iend is harel
The Febrrrary afterrroon has closed in very suddenly,
and already night \\ith Its myriad terrors is creeping
towards the earth.
** A mighty wind.
Not like the fitful blast, with fury blind.
But deep majestic-----"
has risen to desolate the woods : .and faint mutterings of
distant thunder tremble throrrgh the halls arrd corridors.
Imogen, crossing the picture gallery on her way to her