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- A Fascinating Traitor - 66/66 -


And so, "his feet were beautiful on the mountains," as he went out on his queer life pathway.

After the week of quiet at Rosebank, Captain Eric Murray was hugely delighted to receive his orders to take charge of all Anstruther's confidential work, in England, until the Viceroy should be pleased to otherwise direct. "I think that a garrison life here, with Miss Mildred as commander, will just suit you and Madame Flossie?" laughed the kindly conspiring aide-de-camp, anxious to be away on his road to Jitomir, "personally conducted" by the brilliant Alixe.

The Horse Guards were "pleased to intimate" that Major Harry Hardwicke, Royal Engineers, should be allowed "such length of leave" as he chose to apply for, and a secret compliment upon his "gift to the Crown" of the recovered property was supplemented by a request to name any future station "agreeable at present" to the young Benedict. And the solicitors had now deftly arranged the complete machinery of the care of the great estate, until the orphan claimed her own.

While Jules Victor and Marie prepared Madame Anstruther for her state visit of triumph to Volhynia, Hardwicke and Anstruther soon closed up all their reports to Calcutta. With due cordiality, the unsuspicious Douglas Fraser had wired his congratulations to his gentle cousin; and General Willoughby, and His Excellency, the Viceroy, were also heard from, in the same way. It was the gallant General Abercromby who spread the news of Anstruther's marriage in the club. "Ah!" he enthusiastically cried, "A monstrous fine woman--came near marrying her myself!" which was a gigantic "whopper!"

Justine Delande accompanied the happy quartet to Paris, and there, being joined by her sister, the faithful Swiss sisters remained as guests of Madame Berthe Louison, awaiting the return of the wanderers from Jitomir. The Murrays gayly escorted the quartet of lovers to Paris, and, the laughing face of the gallant "Moonshee" was the very last the four lovers saw, as the Berlin train left the "Gare St. Lazare."

Mr. Frank Halton, in his capacity of "journalist in general," had neatly stifled all comment upon the strange events in Jersey, with the aid of the stern General Wragge and the startled civil authorities. "I think that I had better present you with all the property costumes of Prince Djiddin and the 'Moonshee,'" laughed Halton. "We accept on the sole condition that you will make us a visit at Jitomir, and experience a Russian welcome," cried the Anstruthers in chorus. "The Russian bear has a gentle hug, when his fur is stroked the right way!"

Justine and Euphrosyne Delande drove back happy-hearted to No. 9 Rue Berlioz, for the beautiful brides had claimed them both as future colonists of Volhynia, when the mill of Minerva ceased to grind to their turning.

"We have agreed to own Jitomir in common, as we have both 'joined the army,'" laughed the kinswomen. "There is a permanent home for you both, already awaiting you, and a welcome which time will not wear out. For Jitomir shall be, now and in the future, a temple of Life and Love, the headquarters of a happy clan."

And, so, linked in love, the kinswomen voyaged to the far domain where a mother had sobbed away her life, hungering for a sight of her child's face. The men, grave with the secrets of the troubled past, wondered over the strange meeting at Geneva which had undone all of Hugh Fraser's secretly plotted wiles. "We must never cast a shadow upon Douglas Fraser," they mused. "Let the dead past bury its dead, and all sin, shame, and sorrow be forgotten. For this once, the innocent do not suffer for the guilty."

There was only left behind them a broken old man, wandering disconsolately around the halls of the Banker's Folly and vainly turning the leaves of his unfinished "History of Thibet."

Janet Fairbarn, tenderly nursing the now childish old pedant, vainly soothed him, and fanned his flickering lamp of life in the silent wastes of the Banker's Folly. But the half-crazed scholar refused to be comforted and called in his mental despair ever for "the Moonshee."

THE END


A Fascinating Traitor - 66/66

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