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before which, however, we enjoyed a pleasant swim in the local baths, lateentre nous a Baptist Church, from the beams of which now hangs gymnastic apparatus; the day's distance, with détours, totting up sixty-three miles.

A pleasant evening ended by bidding "good-bye" to Mr. Gault, who took train from here to Melbourne to catch an Adelaide steamer, everyone regretting the loss of so genial a companion. At break of day we cleared away from Ararat and ran down to Maroona (thirteen miles), where we struck off on to the Wickliffe-road, and after some few miles turned to the right, and by a seemingly circuitous route reached Glen Thompson (thirty-nine miles), whence, after a hasty snack, we ran on for another eleven miles, reaching Dunkeld for lunch, having made fifty miles since morning in five hours ten minutes. Nearing Dunkeld we obtained a magnificent view of the Sierras, of which Mounts Sturgeon and Abrupt stand out in the manner so aptly described by the "Vagabond" in the Argus of the 11th April. After a brief halt, we again pursued our way, and found. twenty miles of good road, made and unmade, which we managed comfortably at nine miles an hour until nearing Hamilton, when, descending a long hill, there was a sudden dismount made by each and all, for ensconced in the furze bush by the wayside was observed a party of the Hamilton B.C., under command of "King" Farrol, armed with bottles of lager beer and tumblers, while one youth bristled with corkscrews and wire breakers.

In view of the pretty town of Hamilton, we lagered, we toasted, we sang and made merry generally, until again mounting, we ran into our destination, and landed at Coe's Victoria Hotel (seventy miles for the day). Dusty and tired we seek the "meretricious " shower bath, from which we emerge fresh and rosy. Shortly after we hear the rattle of hoofs and the rumble of wheels at the hotel door, and are soon informed that the Hamiltonians await us with drag and four, as we are to dine with them at the Wannon Falls, eleven and a half miles out. Stowing ourselves as close as herrings, the whip cracks, and away we fly. On our arrival

a visit was paid to the place where the Falls ought to be, but though the "show" is not open until later on in the season, "the boys" are satisfied with a climb down to the bed of the river amongst gigantic boulders and dead timber. Passing under the ledge of the precipice over which the rushing torrent thunders in the winter season, we found inscribed "Manchester," "Princes Albert and Victor," denoting the visits of the estimable duke and the boy princes. Remounting was even more difficult than anticipated, as the "shades of night were falling fast," and wax matches were our only torches. Gladly did we regain our comfortable quarters at the Wannon Hotel, where an excellent dinner was shortly after discussed.

Captain Burston, during the evening, proposed "Our Host, Captain Farrol," and spoke of the ever-ready hospitality that Captain Farrol extended to any cyclists visiting or touring in the vicinity of Hamilton. The hearty reception and lusty musical honours that ensued showed the thorough endorsement of the sentiments expressed. Captain Farrol suitably responded, mentioning that, as he had always thought that touring was the backbone of cycling, he was ready at all times to support his argument by extending any little hospitality that lay in his power in order to make cyclists enjoy their stay when visiting Hamilton. He only hoped that his long-wished-for combined tour of the various metropolitan clubs would take place before long. Other toasts and songs followed before the company again settled in the drag, and returned to Hamilton shortly before midnight. During the night the rain descended in torrents, and the morning broke with a very watery look. At eight o'clock a start was made. Messrs. Cox (who intended to continue on from there to Adelaide) and Farrol rode out with us as far as Hoch Kirch (Anglice, High Church) where we took a regretful leave of these two jolly good fellows, and continued on to Penshurst, nineteen miles. The road drying and improving, our next run was made to Caramut where we dined at Host Farmer's, whose liberality is a by-word amongst wheelmen. Crossing next to Hexham, we encountered good

road where we anticipated bad, and were agreeably surprised to find the road being made with the same care and skill that characterise those of the Mortlake shire. Passing through Hexham, nine and a half miles farther, we reached Mortlake, and then turned off to Terang.

I

To simply describe the road is to say that we rode the fourteen miles to Terang in 1 hr. 12 min., including two stoppages-one to converse with a parson, and the other to allow a pair of young horses to pass. Both took time. After dark we continued on to Camperdown, riding without lamps over a road that necessitated not a single dismount throughout the fourteen miles. In the starlight we caught a glimpse of Lake Gnotug, whose mirrorlike surface reflected a myriad of stars. Soon after the lights of Camperdown were sighted, and the roof of Wiggins' comfortable hotel covered us for the night, after a day's ride of eighty-two miles.

Leaving Camperdown early next day we ran past Mount Leura, from whose summit we had surveyed the beauties of the surrounding country on a former occasion; next Stoneyford, from whence we obtain a wayside view of the extensive works of the Pomborneit Pastoral and Preserving Company; shortly after which we enter the "Stoney Rises," in which the undulations are such as to cause an impetus to be given going down the little short hills that is sufficient to send the bicycles flying up

the corresponding rises without the slightest exertion, while the scenery on either hand is of a lovely description. Pirron Yalloak was the first place we reached for refreshment, and then pressed on to Colac for breakfast, a late one, after a ride of twenty-nine miles. Part of the entertainment at Colac consisted of an aboriginal woman giving a portion of a "corroboree" dance in the backyard of the hotel. It was entertaining but brief, and though the dark one was named Alice, no concern will exist as to "Alice, where art thou?" in the future, as she was overpaid a hundredfold for her performance, and was no "delicious perfume on the morn-air," but rather the reverse.

After

Rounding Lake Colac we obtained a lovely view across the broad sheet of water that lends an additional beauty to an already picturesque town. a hard plug we reached Winchelsea, twenty-three miles from Colac, and enjoyed a pleasant little lunch. Starting shortly after we passed through Lake Town and the Mount Moriac district, from whence some splendid views of the Otway Ranges were obtained.

Continuing on, Pettavel was passed, and soon after a bad stretch of road was traversed for a few miles, until the lights of Geelong were seen, the Barwonbridge crossed, and the Victoria Hotel reached after seventy-five miles had been ridden, and the tour finished, which, including détours, reached a total of 300 miles in four days.

HOPE.

Hope, of all passions, most befriends us here;
Passions of prouder name befriend us less.
Joy has her tears, and transport has her death:
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, tho' strong,
Man's heart at once inspirits and serenes;
Nor makes him pay his wisdom for his joys;
'Tis all our present state can safely bear,
Health to the frame! and vigour to the mind!
A joy attemper'd! a chastis'd delight!
Like the fair summer ev'ning, mild and sweet!
'Tis man's full cup, his paradise below!

-Young.

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It was a still frosty night, with a full moon. When she reached her chamber, Letty walked mechanically to the window, and there stood, with the candle in her hand, looking carelessly out, nor taking any pleasure in the great night. The window looked on an open grassy yard, where were a few large ricks of wheat shining yellow in the cold far-off moon. Between the moon and the earth hung a faint mist, which the thin clouds of her breath seemed to mingle with and augment. There lay her life-out of doors-dank and dull, all the summer faded from it-all its atmosphere a growing fog! She would never see Tom again! It was six weeks since she saw him last! He must have ceased to think of her by this time! And if he did think of her again, she would be far off, nobody knew where.

Something struck the window with a slight, sharp clang. It was winter, and there were no moths or other insects flying. What could it be? She put her face close to the pane, and looked out. There was a man in the shadow of one of the ricks! He had his hat off, and was beckoning to her. It could be nobody but Tom!

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did it matter anyhow what she did? But she dared not speak to him! Mrs. Wardour's ears were as sharp as her eyes! The very sound of her own voice in the moonlight would terrify her. She opened the lattice softly, and gently shaking her head-she dared not shake it vigorously-was on the point of closing it again, when, making frantic signs of entreaty, the man stepped into the moonlight, and it was plainly Tom. It was too dreadful! He might be seen any moment! She shook her head again, in a way she meant, and he understood to mean, she dared not. He fell on his knees and laid his hands together like one praying. praying. Her heart interpreted the gesture as indicating that he was in trouble, and that therefore he begged her to go to him; with sudden resolve she nodded acquiescence, and left the window.

Her room was in a little wing projecting from the back of the house, over the kitchen. The servants' rooms were in another part, but Letty forgot a tiny window in one of them, which looked also upon the ricks. There was a back stair to the kitchen, and in the kitchen a door to the farm-yard. She stole down the stair, and opened the door with absolute noiselessness. In a moment more she had stolen on tiptoe round the corner, and was creeping like a ghost among the ricks. Not even a rustle betrayed her as she came up to Tom from behind. He still knelt where she had left him, looking up to her window, which gleamed like a dead eye in the moonlight. She stood for a moment, afraid to move, lest she should startle him,

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and he should call out, for the slightest | did! he did! She was going to have

noise about the place would bring Godfrey down. The next moment however, Tom, aware of her presence, sprang to his feet, and turning, bounded to her, and took her in his arms. Still possessed by the one terror of making a noise, she did not object even by a contrary motion, and when he took her hand to lead her away out of sight of the house, she yielded at once. When they were safe in the field behind the hedge,

"Why did you make me come down, Tom?" she whispered, half choked with fear, looking up in his face, which was radiant in the moonshine.

"Because I could not bear it one day longer," he answered. "All this time I have been breaking my heart to get a word with you, and never seeing you except at church, and there you would never even look at me. It is cruel of you, Letty. I know you could manage it if you liked, well enough. Why should you try me so?"

"Do speak a little lower, Tom: sound goes so far at night!--I didn't know you would want to see me like that," she answered, looking up in his face with a pleased smile.

"Didn't know!" repeated Tom. "I want nothing else, think of nothing else, dream of nothing else. Oh, the delight of having you here all alone to myself at last! You darling Letty?"

"But I must go directly, Tom. I have no business to be out of the house at this time of the night. If you hadn't made me think you were in some trouble, I daredn't have come."

"And ain't I in trouble enough trouble that nothing but your coming could get me out of? To love your very shadow, and not be able to get a peep even of that, except in church, where all the time of the service I'm raging inside like a wild beast in a cage-ain't that trouble enough to make you come to me ?" Letty's heart leaped up. He loved her then! Love, real love, was what it meant ! It was paradise! Anything might come that would! She would be afraid of nothing any more. They might say or do to her what they pleased-she did not care a straw if he loved her-really loved her! And he

him all to her own self, and nobody was to have any right to meddle with her more!

"I didn't know you loved me, Tom "she said simply, with a little gasp. "And I don't know yet whether you love me," returned Tom.

"Of course, if you love me," answered Letty, as if everybody must give back love for love.

Tom took her again in his arms, and Letty was in greater bliss than she had ever dreamed possible. From being a nobody in the world, she might now queen it to the top of her modest bent; from being looked down on by everybody, she had the whole earth under her feet; from being utterly friendless, she had the heart of Tom Helmer for her own! Yet even then, eluding the barriers of Tom's arms, shot to her heart, sharp as an arrow, the thought that she was forsaking Cousin Godfrey. She did not attempt to explain it to herself; she was in too great confusion, even if she had been capable of the necessary analysis. It came, probably, of what her aunt had told her concerning her cousin's opinion of Tom. Often and often since, she had said to herself that of course Cousin Godfrey was mistaken, and quite wrong in not liking Tom; she was sure he would like him if he knew him as she did!and yet to act against his opinion, and that never uttered to herself, cost her this sharp pang, and not a few that followed! To soften it for the moment, however, came the vaguely, sadly reproachful feeling, that, seeing they were about to send her out into the world to earn her bread, they had no more any right to make such demands upon her loyalty to them, as should exclude the closest and only satisfying friend she had-one who would not turn her away, but wanted to have her for ever. That Godfrey knew nothing of his mother's design, she did not once suspect.

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That would be a mockery, Letty. That is the way my dreams serve me always. But surely you are no dream! Perhaps I am dreaming, and shall wake to find myself alone! I never was so happy in my life, and you want to leave me all alone in the midnight, with the moon to comfort me! Do as you like, Letty! I won't leave the place till the morning. I will go back to the rickyard, and lie under your window all night."

The idea of Tom out on the cold ground, while she was warm in bed, was too much for Letty's childish heart. Had she known Tom better, she would not have been afraid she would have known that he would indeed do as he had said so far; that he would lie down under her window, and there remain, even to the very moment when he began to feel miserable, and a moment longer, but not more than two; that then he would get up, and, with a last look, start home for bed.

"I will stop a little while, Tom," she offered, "if you will promise to go home as soon as I leave you."

Tom promised.

They went wandering along the farm lanes, and Tom made love to her, as the phrase is in his case, alas! a phrase only too correct. I do not say, or wish understood, that he did not love her with such love as lay in the immediate power of his development; but being a sort of a poet, such as a man may be who loves the form of beauty, but not the indwelling power of it, that is, the truth, he made love to her-fashioned forms of love, and offered them to her; and she accepted them, and found the words of them very dear and very lovely. For neither had she got far enough, with all Godfrey's endeavours for her development, to love aright the ring of the true gold, and therefore was not able to distinguish the dull sound of the gilt brass Tom offered her. Poor fellow! it was all he had. But compassion itself can hardly urge that as a reason for accepting it for genuine. What rubbish most girls will take for poetry, and with it heap up impassably their door to the garden of delights! what French polish they will take for refinement! what merest French gallantry for love! what

French sentiment for passion! what commonest passion they will take for devotion! passion that has little to do with their beauty even, still less with the individuality of it, and nothing at all with their loveliness!

In justice to Tom I must add, however, that he also took not a little rubbish for pcetry, much sentiment for pathos, and all passion for love. He was no intentional deceiver; he was so self-deceived, that, being himself a deception, he could be nothing but a deceiver at once the most complete and the most pardonable, and perhaps the most dangerous of deceivers.

With all his fine talk of love, to which he now gave full flow, it was characteristic of him that, although he saw Letty without hat or cloak, just because he was himself warmly clad he never thought of her being cold, until the arm he had thrown round her waist felt her shiver. Thereupon he was kind, and would have insisted that she should go in and get a shawl, had she not positively refused to go in and come out again. Then he would have had her put on his coat, that she might be able to stay a little longer; but she prevailed on him to let her go. He brought

her to the nearest point not within sight of any of the windows, and there leaving her, set out at a rapid pace for the inn where he had put up his mare.

When Tom was gone, and the bare night, a diffused conscience, all about her, Letty, with a strange fear at her heart, like one in a churchyard with the ghost-hour at hand, and feeling like "a guilty thing surprised," although she had done nothing wrong in its mere self, stole back to the door of the kitchen, longing for the shelter of her own room, as never exile for his fatherland.

She had left the door an inch ajar, that she might run the less risk of making a noise in opening it; but ere she reached it, the moon shining full upon it, she saw plainly, and her heart turned sick when she saw, that it was closed. Between cold and terror she shuddered from head to foot, and stood staring.

Recovering a little, she said to herself, some draught must have blown it to. If so, there was much danger that

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