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age, Count Henry, his son, about fourteen, and his tutor, together with a gouvernante for mademoiselle, and a numerous train of domestics. They were a most united and happy family, and nothing had occurred, or seemed likely to occur, to disturb their repose.
One morning, however, when the family assembled to breakfast, Mademoiselle St. Julien was missing. Her young brother ran to her chamber to call her. She was nowhere to be found. The gardens, the chapel, the beach, the village, the convent, were all searched in vain. Her favourite maid, Marie, was also missing. Their respective rooms were examined, and it was found that their beds had not been slept in the previous night. None of their clothes were missing, except those they wore when they retired to their chambers for the night.
The dismay which seized the whole house, and the despair of the count at this discovery, was terrible. Some imagined one thing, some another. Some people fancied that Mademoiselle had eloped with a lover, but as no one ever knew that she had shown the slightest partiality for any one, and as, besides, she doated so much on her kind father, it could not be believed she would take such a step. Again, she could not have been carried off against her will, together with her maid, after the chateau had been shut up for the night, without some of the domestics being alarmed. to repeat it to my lady, lest it might have a bad effect upon her in her present condition. I never could banish the unhappy and mysterious story from my thoughts, and as I contemplated again and again the lovely features of Mademoiselle St. Julien, I distressed myself with wondering what could be her unhappy fate. Other occupations, however, for a time drove her history from my mind.
The country was scoured for miles round, but without obtaining the slightest clue to the fugitives.
Days, weeks, months, and, at last, years rolled on, and from that hour to this, nothing had ever been heard of Mademoiselle St. Julien and her faithful Marie.
“Nothing heard of them for five-and-twenty years !” said I; “ impossible !” while a thrill of horror crept over me.
“ It is perfectly true, Mam’selle,” said the housekeeper; “I was in the chateau at the time, and have never left it since. It broke the poor count's heart,” she added, “ for he died within two years after his daughter's disappearance."
My dear lady, to whom I became every hour more and more attached, now approached the anxious time of her confinement, and as she had twice before miscarried, every precaution was used to keep her in health and spirits. She was very fond of having me to sit and chat with her, whenever her lord was absent, and made me tell her of my early life and adventures, which, with the exception of the sad one which had destroyed my peace, I had no hesitation in relating
She in return said to me one day, “ If I get over this trial, I will tell you, my dear
Theresa, my early history, and I think you will allow it is not wholly without interest.”
Sometimes I read, or played the guitar, to amuse her, and at other times she would devote herself to perfecting herself in English. This, with walks on the beach, and in the charming gardens, filled up our time pleasantly enough, and when not with Lady Henry, the affectionate little Carlos was my companion.
It was now, I think, about the latter end of June, and the weather uncommonly sultry, so much so, that had it not been for the delicious sea-breezes, we English could hardly have borne it. To Lady Henry and Carlos only it was delightful.
One night, after I had retired to my room, having sat up late, finishing a little cap I had been working for the expected stranger, I was startled by a low rap at my door. I hurried to open it, fearing that my mistress was taken .ill, but paused before doing so, as the mysterious disappearance of the two for