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softly on her shining hair, and enquired what it was that troubled her ?
“I was wondering how I should feel in case this Herr Graf hate me ;" she replied frankly. Wilhelm laughed.
66 If he hate thee he must indeed be a savage,” he said, stroking the glossy waves of his cousin's hair. “No one could hate such a little mouse, could they ?”
“ I do not know : no one has ever yet done so; but if, as the Aunt Caroline says, this strange Herr Graf hates all women, he must hate me too; I too am a woman.'
child-woman then," said cousin Franz, striking in ; "why, if I had not been told that you and Wilhelm here were the same age, I should have thought you had yet to arrive at a grown-up state. And when I looked into the carriage to-night, I could hardly imagine the pale little being lying in the mother's arms to be a real full-grown young
y." “So you proved,” said Leuchen, smiling ; but cousin Franz did not heed the comment.
“If the Graf should tease thee,” he continued, "only tell us, and we will help thce against him. No one shall be allowed to look awry at our fairy cousin."
“ And with four strong knights to guard our little rose-bud, who will dare to harm her ?” added Fritz.
“Yes, we are her sworn knights while she remains with us,” said Hans.
Lenchen laughingly expressed her gratitude for their proffered services. After all, these country cousins were anything but savages. The pretty Lenchen was accustoming herself to their goodnatured freedom of
middle height, and he was more largely made than any of the tall cousins. Not exactly stout, perhaps, but large and muscular, with such a breadth of chest and shoulders, as almost to amount to a deformity. Dark and sallow-looking he was, bronzed and hardened. Coarse, rumpled black-hair falling every way but the right way. Sharp grey eyes that seemed to pierce you like needles—no, not needles—brad-awls would be a better similitude. A nose peculiarly German in shape. No perceptible mouth, the whole of the upper lip, and a good portion of the cheeks as well as chin, covered with a rough, bushy black beard. A great thick throat which any one else would have covered up as closely as possible, instead of wearing a loose, turn-down collar, calculated to display it to the utmost. Big, clumsylooking brown hands, ungloved and coarse.
Oh dear, oh dear!-of little consequence to any woman, old or young, was the hatred of the Herr Graf!
Then the dress. Fancy, on such a figure, a blouse of rough blue cloth, confined by a leathern belt, and trousers of the same material. He might, perhaps, have worn an over-coat or cloak when coming; but at present, this was the whole costume of the Herr Graf, quite in keeping with the man himself. Very odd, to say the least of it, and very uncouth, there could be no doubt of this.
The tramp of a horse without announced the arrival of the expected visitant. So at least the brothers said, and so it proved, for the door, opening a few moments after, gave admission to a stranger—that is to say—a stranger to Lenchen.
While the brothers and the Uncle Hubert rose to welcome him, Lenchen, from her corner near the fire, took her survey of the new-comer. He stood talking to her aunt for a few minutes, rigbt under the lamp, and Lenchen had a full view of his face and figure. She was not one to neglect such an opportunity, so she looked at him quietly, from head to foot.
Well, if the Herr Graf professed himself a womanbater, doubtless he had good reason for doing so. He was very proud, that could be seen at a glance; and he was exceedingly odd, that might have been seen at half a glance. No girl or woman would ever be likely to fall in love with that man-no indeed. So his selflove might have been piqued, and bis pride aroused, until he was forced in retaliation to declare a positive hatred of the female race. So thought little Lenchen in her quiet corner.
Little Lenchen, like many other young maidens, had formed a beau ideal of what a man should be to be liked, from which liking love, perchance, might germinate. No necessity just now for entering into particulars on the subject; suffice it to say that the Herr Graf was in every respect the opposite to this beau ideal. The Herr Graf was certainly not above the
went to fetch all the way from Cologne! Lenchen, dear child, here is our best friend, the Herr Graf von Grüntbals. May you also become good friends.”
The Herr Graf, expecting to find a tall, dashing, consequential, imposing-looking city lady, was surprised to find, instead, a tiny, pale-faced, child-like little maiden, who seemed quiet as a mouse, and who glanced up into bis face in such a timid way when she l'eturned his bow. Since there must be a woman in the way, why the less of her there was the better, and one could hardly have found a smaller specimen of the hated sex than the one at present before him. So thinking, the Graf's keen eyes forgot to look as threatening as usual when saluting the small womankind before him, and she catching the softened glance, thought them not quite so formidable as at first. And the Graf, seeing only the quiet bow and timid glance, thought that perhaps he might be able to endure for a time the presence of such a little damsel. And so the misanthropical Graf von Grünthals, the determined enemy of all feminines, and the spoiled pet, little Lady Lenchen, became acquainted.
At supper, Lenchen sat at her aunt's right hand, and cousin Franz sat beside her. As the Graf's place was quite at the other end of the table, and as he never, by any chance, looked towards the little maiden, she ventured boldly to give her opinion of the Graf's appearance, (not a very flattering one, as we know), to cousin Franz, thereby causing him to laugh louder than was quite seemly. But not even then did the Graf's grey (yes turn to find out the cause of the merriment. Such was his dislike to women, that he could not bear, even once, to look towards the Lenchen.
It was certainly the first time she had been treated had done. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that she so rudely. Truly did the Aunt Caroline do well to listened somewhat curiously for the reply. warn her niece of what she had to expect from the It came slowly enough. The Graf started, and strange man now present. Leuchen wondered what it looked not over pleased at being addressed, and hesi. was the Graf so disliked in her. It was very odd, to be tated, as if uncertain what to say. The answer came sure ; and she would like to find it out.
at length, coldly and gruflly.
The Fraulein may sing well, but I am po judge
of such things. Besides, one does not expect perfecCHAPTER IV.
tion from beginners. As our Goethe saysAN DIE STERNE"-AX ACCIDENT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.
""Zu vollenden ist nicht die Sache des Schülers.'" In the saal there was an old piano which had belonged to the Aunt Caroline in the days of her girlhood. Now, And fully satisfied with this polite expression of opiit was Lenchen's custom every evening after supper, to nion, the Graf again turned to his game, without even play and sing until bed-time, and right well she could glancing at the flattered little lady. do so too. The Aunt Caroline, of course, knew of this ; “ There ! was I not right ?” whispered the Aunt so when the meal was over, and the Herr Graf and the Caroline significantly. Lenchen was for a moment uncle Hubert sat down, as usual, to play at chess quite taken aback, but the next instant she laughed together, she told Franz to open the piano and lead his gaily, and began to play as if nothing had happened at cousin thither. Lenchen would first have refused, not all unusual. wishing to expose herself to the active enmity of the Days passed on, and the Lenchen, in
in company with Graf; but being assured that ten to one he should not the four sworn knights, rode, walked, drove, and enhear her at all, she took her seat at the instrument. joyed herself; really and truly, yes, she began to feel Having convinced herself by a glance that the Graf there were enjoyments different from the pleasures of was too deeply absorbed in his game to heed her, she her gay city life. And she was fast gaining on her ran her little fingers over the keys, and rattled through white cheeks a delicate blush of health that improved a merry polka, to the great delight of the four cousins, her wonderfully. It made her soft hazel eyes look who had all gathered round to witness the performance. darker, and her skin seem fairer. And the Aunt Caro“Yes, that is something like;" said the Aunt Caro- line
gave such a glowing account of her iinprovement, Jine, from her work-table, “but you must hear the that the Herr Papa and the good, dear mama at home Mänschen sing. Come, then, dear one, give us that in Cologne, everwhelmed with their grateful thanks the sweet air, ‘ An die Sterne.'
old Herr doctor who had originated the decree of “Yes, yes;” said the four cousins, “sing for us, banishment. "An die Sterne.''
And in exile the culprit felt very happy. There, as “But the Herr Graf,” whispered Lenchen.
in town, she was the pet of all-all loved and cherished “ And what of him ? Our little warbler does not fear her, and all sought to please her in everything. All, him."
save the stranger, odd Herr Graf. He, indeed, was So Lenchen, to prove that she was not in the least the cause of great trouble to the pretty Lenchen. Every afraid, sang as they desired.
evening, regularly at supper hour, did the Herr Graf A right beautiful voice had Lenchen; fine and clear, make his appearance. There, of course, he could not and sweet, and there was a tone of plaintiveness in it well help greeting the quiet little maiden, so timid and that accorded well with the melody, and aroused pleasant reserved with him, so gay and frank with the four sympathies. The four cousins were breathless while cousins, so winning and caressing with the Aunt Caroshe sang. Hardly could they restrain their expressions line, or the uncle Hubert. Only with the Herr Graf was of admiration to the end; and then they burst out all she ever timid and quiet. And no wonder, when one sees together. Half unconsciously, the little singer glanced plainly that a person dislikes them, it is only natural to towards the two players. It might have been solely on shrink from any unnecessary contact with that person. account of the uncle Hubert; perhaps, was there some And Lenchen plainly saw that the Herr Graf liated her little curiosity as to the effect produced on the Graf. from the bottom of his heart. Therefore did she strive But he had his eyes fixed on the board, absorbed in his to keep as much as possible out of his way. game, and thinking so fixedly, that his black brows were The Herr Graf lived quite near, and two or three bent and knitted together. The uncle Hubert nodded times, when Lenchen, accompanied by the four cousins, and smiled at his niece; but it was so new to her to find went out to ride, did he join them. But that was only herself so despised and overlooked by any one, that she when he met them quite by accident, and even then did felt somewhat piqued at being so now by the Herr Graf. he take care to keep as much as possible from the ob
Come, Herr Graf !” cried out cousin Franz, in his ject of his aversion. cheery voice, “what sayest thou to that? Is not that a Now, it happened one day, when the Herr Graf song of songs, and sung as a nightingale is said to sing ?” meeting the party on the road, had joined them,
that Lenchen had in vain tried to check this speech, for an unfortunate accident occurred. They were riding she was too proud to force herself on the notice of any on quietly and carelessly; Lenchen and cousin Wilhelm one who could display so much indifference as the Graf in advance, Hanş and Fritz second in order, Franz and
form he bore so gently and tenderly, notwithstanding his roughness and gruffuess, we must leave to time to discover.
THE HOUSE OF THIE FRAUENFEIXD-A DISCOVERY.
the Herr Graf last. Suddenly at a turn of the road, a man sprang over the fence right in front of Lenchen's horse. The horse, starting violently aside, plunged, and beore any one could interfere, the little Lenchen was lying senseless on the ground, the blood streaming from a wound in her head. Poor child! how still and pale she lay.
Whatever faults the Herr Graf might possess, it appeared he was not without feeling; for, notwithstanding his aversion to the Fraulein Lenchen, he was beside her before any of her cousins, and bent over her with a face expressive of the utmost concern and solicitude. Yes, even with a face pale as that of the motionless object of his concern.
Of course the four cousins were crowding round next moment uttering exclamations of terror and bewilderment, utterly dismayed and confused by the sudden nature of the accident. Not so the Herr Graf; whether it was that his aversion to Lenchen prevented his taking the affair at heart, or that he was really more energetic and prompt of thought than the others, certain it was that he lost not a moment in vain lamentations. First he removed the little sufferer's hat; next he bandaged her head with his handkerchief ; thirdly, he raised her in his arms from the ground, and ad.. dressed the cousins
“You, Franz,” he said, " being the best horseman, must at once remount, and bring hither the Herr Dr. Melchers. The child's head is badly cut, and his presence will be necessary. Bring him at once to my house whither
“ To Grünthals, Graf !” Franz exclaimed. why to your house instead of ours ?” Because, while
house is close at hand, yours is distant. Waste no more words, but go at once. You, Wilhelm, are somewhat gentler of manner than any of the others. Return then home as fast as possible, without unnecessarily alarming the good mother, who is doubtless as nervous as the rest of her weak sex, and tell her of the accident that has just occurred.”
6. And then, Herr Graf ?”
" And then tell her to come over to Grünthals without delay. There she will find the Fraulein, and, if it be possible, can bring her back with her. both of you, if you wish to be of service to your cousin.”
Franz and Wilhelm had no further objections to make, and even if they had, they might just as well have spared themselves the trouble of uttering them. The Grand Turk himself could hardly have been more arbi. trary and despotic than the Herr Graf. So they mounted their horses and rode off, without more ado, each on his errand. As for the Herr Graf, he strode away towards his house, nowise encumbered by his light burden. Fritz and Hans followed with the horses. If the truth must be told, they were highly amused, spite of their anxiety, at seeing this avowed “Frauenfeind” 80 full of thought for their pretty cousin ; so tenderly carrying her still insensible form. What were the Herr Graf's thoughts as he looked down at the pale face resting on his shoulder, and at the delicato
LENCHEN's eyelids remained closed for a long time; a heavy weight seemed to press upon them, keeping them fast sealed down. The little maiden hardly made an effort to vanquish this feeling. She fancied she had been sometime asleep, without as yet having the slightest recollection of the events preceding her slumber. She felt very languid and drowsy, as one so frequently feels on first awakening. Therefore she was content to lie still, and let the sealed eyelids remain as they were.
After a time, hearing a whispering in the room, she tbrew off her lethargy sufficiently to look around her, and gaze in the direction whence the sound proceeded. She had not very far to gaze. Standing at a little distance, engaged in conversation with an elderly female, whom Lenchen had never before seen, was the Herr Graf. No one else was visible, strange to say. Lenchen scanned him wonderingly, and then her eyes travelled round the room, seeking for some clue to her whereabouts, or some explanation of why the Herr Graf and the stranger were there. The only consequence of this survey was a complete state of bewilderment consequent on the discovery made by Lenchen, that she was in a strange room, surrounded by strange objects, and stretched, in her riding-habit, on a great, old-fashioned sofa. When, how, or wherefore this had come about, she knew not at all.
At first the bewildered Lenchen fancied she must be dreaming. She reclosed her heavy eyelids and tried to reflect a little. In vain ; she was still striving to think when some one, gently drawing near, bent over her, and softly smoothed and arranged the cushions that were piled about her. Peeping through the half-closed lids, the maiden was filled with wonder at finding that this kind some one was no other than the terrible Herr Graf! Quite sure now that she must be dreaming, Lenchen watched him more about noiselessly, as if fearful of disturbing her, and finally leave the room. Whereupon the strange woman who had a kind old face, and venerable white hair, came and seated herself beside the sofa.
Lenchen lay dreamily watching the woman, and wondering what was next to occur, while the old lady knitted away, totally unconscious of the scrutiny. At length, Lenchen opened her eyes altogether, and addressed her.
“Who mayest thou be, friend ?” she enquired.
The old lady started and let fall her knitting when she heard the question. However, she replied respectfully
“I, Fraulein, am housekeeper to the Herr Graf von Griinthals.”
“ And where then am I at present ?” “In the house of the Herr Graf, my gracious Fraulein.”
Lenchen was not a little astonished at this piece of
THE WHISPER FINDS AN ECHO-THE EXILE IS RECALLED.
information. Some moments elapsed ere she continued the Herr Doctor decided that when she had rested à her cross-examination.
little lovger she might safely return home. Just now 6 How and wherefore am I in the house of the Herr the good aunt arrived, anxious and curious; soon, howGraf?” she enquired at last.
ever, to be reassured by the sight of her niece, and the “ The Herr Graf himself it was who carried the certainty that she had sustained no serious injury. How noble Fraulein hither, while she was yet senseless gratefully she thanked the Herr Graf may well be imaowing to the effects of her accident.”
gined, for it must be admitted that throughout the "Ah!” cried Lenchen, suddenly, "I remember all whole affair he had behaved most kindly, and in a now! Yes, I fell from horse."
manner no one could have expected. But with the fear “Precisely, Fraulein. And now let me beg of the of danger disappeared his temporary gentleness of mien, dear lady not to speak any more at present. The Herr and voice, and look, and he was once more the rough Graf strictly ordered me to watch over her myself, until Herr Graf we have hitherto known him. Lenchen was the guardian Frau aunt arrived. The Herr Graf sent for quite puzzled by these sudden variations; she was her at once, and she will, doubtless, be here presently.” utterly unable to account for them.
Lenchen had now so much to think of and to wonder Strangest of all-let us whisper this very softlyat, that she willingly resigned herself to silence and when Lenchen was placed in the carriage to be removed quietude. Indeed, so many and various were the home, the Herr Graf bent towards her, with the softthoughts that filled her mind, that they produced a most ened look and mellowness of voice come back again, bewildering sense of embarrassment. They crowded and whispered very low, and oh, so kindlyupon one another, and there was a mass of confusion ; " Good bye, my dear little child !" they separated, and each became indistinct : they flitted And ere Lenchen could gratefully reply, the strange, away and came back again, vague and intangible: so that puzzling man had turned his back and left her there ! by all this coming and going, and mingling, nothing like steady reflection could be produced. One thought, how
CHAPTER VI. ever, for the most part stood apart. "The little Lenchen was now, really and truly, an intruder on the hospitality No evil results followed this adventure, and in time it of the Herr Graf, the “ Frauenfeind,” to whom her pre- ceased to be spoken of at all. At first the cousins used sence must be a source of so much disgust. But this was to laugh and jest at the sudden and short-lived change yet hardly reconcilable with the recollection of the gentle of nature in the Herr Graf; and they uproariously gave care with which, a few moments since, he had busied Lenchen credit for witchcraft in the subjugation of the himself about her. And then she thought wonderingly “ Frauenfeind;" styling her the “Fair Una," and many of what the old woman had said about the Herr Graf silly things of the kind; as young people and old ones having carried her into the house. She could not un- too often will. But when they saw that the Herr Graf's derstand the matter—not a bit of it.
manner 'was as rough and uncouth as ever, that Soon there was a sound of footsteps, and the door he continued to play chess while the Fraulein waropening, admitted Cousin Franz and the Herr Graf, ac- bled her sweetest songs, and never, when he could companied by a kind-looking old man, in whom the avoid it, even sought to address her, they gave up puzzled Lenchen recognised the Herr Doctor Melchers. their boisterous waggery, and so things went on just When Cousin Franz saw that his little cousin was now as before. awake, he sprang towards her, and pressed his affec- Not quite though, for the little cousin no longer betionate inquiries on her. But she, having thanked and lieved that the Herr Graf quite hated her. She underanswered him, turned to the Herr Graf, who stood stood how kind and gentle he could be, and she guessed silently beside her, and, with blushing checks, acknow- that under all his roughness of manner there was hidden ledged bis kindness, while she timidly apologised for more real tenderness than one often finds in his sex, the trouble and inconvenience she had occasioned him. And when he seemed particularly hard or stern, or that The Herr Graf hardly seemed the same man she had he pained her by some sarcastic remark, she recalled hitherto known. His hard, grey eyes were kind and the expression of his eyes, the relaxation of his brow, gentle as he listened to the stammering little speech, and the quiver of his lip, on the day when she had got and the whole expression of his face was softened and à peep into his real nature. And if she felt really changed, as in a voice lowly modulated, he assured her grieved or wounded, she whispered softly to herself, he had done nothing even to merit her thanks. This “Good bye, my dear little child!" disclaimer on the part of the Herr Graf, althongh But outwardly there was no change whatever; the spoken tenderly, was, of course, rude to a certain young speculatist was still as reserved and timid in her extent; but the manner, and even the words, were so intercourse with the Herr Graf as formerly. And he wholly unexpected by those who knew him best, that
never sought to render her otherwise. Indeed, as has Cousin Franz, after staring at him for full five minutes, been said, he seldom addressed her at all. burst out laughing in the most ridiculous and unaccount- In her moments of serious thought Lenchen acknowable manner possible.
ledged to herself that exile had not proved so heavy a It was satisfactorily ascertained that the little patient misfortune in reality as in anticipation. The time tlew had sustained no injury save the cut on her head, and by with extraordinary rapidity; and she had acquired
This little by-scene passed totally unobserved by all the others ; indeed, in all it had only occupied a couple of minutes. And was this the last of the Herr Graf von Grünthals, the determined woman-hater?
CHAPTER VII. CHESS ENDS IN CHECKMATE. THE GRAFIY VON GRÜNTHALS.
a relish for her country life which health and vigour imparted, when one day a letter arrived to say that on the morrow she might expect to see her father arrive to bring his little pet home. Home! was it possible that she could be so ungrateful as to feel grieved at the prospect of returning thither? For shame, wicked little Lenchen! She forced back the tears that were welling up, but spite of all, two large, heavy drops fell upon the letter. And yet, how could she help feeling sorry to leave relatives who had been so fond, so kind, so indulgent? No, she did not regret going home, but it was painful to part with them. No, no; she was not grieved to return to her home, to her dear parents, but only sorry to leave her friends.
All very right and natural. So the tears got leave to flow on-on.
That night the Herr Graf could not help seeing that something was amiss with his neighbours. It was not long before he learned what it was that cast such a gloom over all. Little Lenchen, from out her long eyelashes, stole a look at his face, just to see how the news affected him. But he only looked surprised-more surprised than need be; for did he not well know that the visitor was not to spend her whole life in the country? His surprise, nevertheless, did not prevent his enjoying his game of chess after supper, though it somehow occurred that he lost every game that night; a most unusual thing, indeed, with the Herr Graf, who was a right good player. But even the best players must lose sometimes.
The good papa arrived next day, and it was arranged that on the next morning but one the Fraulein Lenchen was to return to Cologne ; everyone openly bewailed her departure save the Herr Graf, and he said not a word. To the last he continued to play chess after supper, though his ill-luck continued, and his usual skill seemed to have deserted him. But he played on to the last.
He played on to the very last night of Lenchen's stay. When leaving the house he seemed to have quite forgotten that the Fraulein was to depart on the mor
But she had not forgotten, and when he rose, she came over and held out her hand. He could not avoid taking it, but he let it drop as quickly as possible. The little lady was pained, but she had resolved to tell the Herr Graf once more how grateful she felt for his kindness to her. Doubtless the difficulty she experienced in doing so with self-possession, had some effect on her hearer, for he, of his own accord, took the little hand again in his, uttered a few words of commonplace politeness, and then said
“Good bye, Fraulein."
“Good bye, Herr Graf;" and somehow the maiden found it necessary to whisper softly to herself the old, well-remembered words—
“ Good bye, my dear little child !"
Truly must there have been some charm in them, for at the same moment Lenchen encountered the same gentle look that had so long dwelt in her remenibrance, and the Herr Graf's own softened voice repeated
“ Good bye, my dear little child !" And then he was gone!
No, not quite the last; for one day, about a month later, when the Aunt Caroline was seated at her work, the Herr Graf came in to pay a visit. After a short stay, he rose to take leave. As he was going out, a sudden thought seemed to strike him, for he said
I had almost forgotten to tell you that I shall be obliged to go to Cologne this evening on important business. It just occurs to me that I heard some of you say, your little Fraulein niece, who was here this summer, lives there. So if you have any message to her, I shall doubtless be able to deliver it before I return.”
The Aunt Caroline had a commission for him. She entrusted it to him, and he noted down Leuchen's address. And then the Herr Graf took his leave.
The Herr Graf's business, whatever it was, frequently called him to Cologne this winter. And between commissions from the aunt Caroline to her niece, aud from the nice to the Aunt Caroline, or the Uncle Hubert, or the cousins, the Herr Graf was often of great use, and to say the truth, he was much moro courteous than he had ever been before. The cousins used to jest about this courtesy amongst themselves, too.
Suddenly, of a day in spring, the Herr Graf threw the whole family into a wonderful state of excitement by announcing, coolly, and as if there could really be nothing surprising in the matter, that he was on the eve of being married! This was after his return from an unusually long visit to Cologne. When questioned as to the name and so forth of the lady who had conquered the terrible Herr Graf, the Herr Graf became very much abashed and embarrassed. This could not fail to draw observation. Cousin Franz laughed-hah, hah, hah-with all his might, and shook the other three cousins by the arm, one after the other; while they, understanding him, it is to be supposed, laughed as stentoriously as their brother; and they nodded to each other, but wordy comment they made
And every time the Herr Graf had business to transact at Cologne, these signs and laughter were renewed. Uncle Hubert was frequently puzzled as to how he should dispose of himself after supper, for the Herr Graf's business took him away so often that the chessmen were forgetting their mancuvres. And when he repined over this state of affairs, it was an additional source of laughter to his sons; and his intellect not being so quick as that of his offspring, it puzzled him to understand why his four big sons seemed to enjoy his perplexity. Not being angry, however, he held his tongue. The Aunt Caroline, being very quick of apprehension, appeared to comprehend fully the meaning of these signs and tokens, and chuckled over her knitting.
The Herr Graf departed that time without naming