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Miss Hay was not at liberty to leave her friend this morning."
Seymour bowed coldly, as if not well pleased with the office; but they presently found themselves at the gate.
Mr. Avenard was, as we have said, handsome and prepossessing; and though his manner lacked that quietness and retenu which bespeak a mind at ease, he pleased Mr. Hay exceedingly, and the old gentleman's scrutiny was by no means an indifferent one, since rumours of Caroline's "New York beau" had already reached his ears.
Seymour was ill at ease, and vexed with himself for being so, and he took the earliest opportunity to call Mr. Hay aside, to give him Mr. Thurston's letter and the accompanying message, and to make his parting bow.
In the deep shade of the forest he endeavoured to recover his wonted coolness, but in vain; and it was with a feeling of absolute despair, that he for the first time owned to himself the interest with which Caroline,
in her new character, as the angel of the house of mourning, had inspired him.
His hands abandoned the rein, he ceased to guide his horse, and he did not even notice that the animal had wandered, browsing, far from the beaten track, when he was recalled from a vortex of busy thoughts by a violent blow, and Avenard, his eyes flashing fire, his horse in a foam, and his whole appearance betokening complete distraction, stood beside him.
"Villain!" he shouted, "mean, pitiful scoundrel! this is your indifference! you
were too much of a coward to dare to avow your intentions, so you resorted to the expedient of undermining! You do not escape me!" And the madman drew a pistol before Seymour had collected his senses.
Seymour was unarmed, of course, for honest men do not carry weapons in a peaceful land; but with the instinct of selfdefence he turned upon Avenard, and urged his horse forward with the spur. The animal was heavy and powerful, and easily rode down the other, which was of lighter
make; and Avenard, unhorsed by the unexpected shock, fell prostrate with the whole weight of his horse upon him. The pistol went off, however, and the ball broke Seymour's bridle-arm. He lost all consciousness, and sank forward with his face on his horse's neck; upon which that wise beast. took the well-known way to a good stable, and carried his master safely to Mr. Hay's gate.
We cannot report the extent to which our gay New Yorker may have been injured by this rough handling, for he quitted the country without any further effort to see Miss Hay. Mr. Thurston's letters had brought intelligence of one of those developments which too often close the career of city youths who, unfortunately "born with the tastes of a duke without his income," find it convenient to borrow of those who have more money than they have the spirit to spend. Avenard had written somebody else's name by mistake, and received various sums of money thereupon, and he
was now on his way to more congenial climes.
All that could be guessed of his intention in coming to this country was the cruel and base design of persuading the innocent. Caroline to share his exile, but we will hope he was not so utterly vile; though it may be doubted whether a person of his selfish and unprincipled habits be capable of any form of disinterested affection.
"When the flame of love is kindled first,
SEYMOUR'S broken arm might have been no very terrible accident for a young backwoodsman, but the excitement and agitation of his mind were unfavourable to a speedy cure, and for several days the physician went backwards and forwards between Mr. Hay's and Mr. Ellingham's, leaving almost equally anxious faces in both. But happily all went well, and Mrs. Thurston and Seymour were nearly at the same time pronounced convalescent. The latter was most carefully nursed at Mr. Hay's, and occasionally visited for a few moments by Caroline herself. She was looking pale, sad, and spirit-worn from her long anxiety and confinement, added to the dis