Lord Airlie did not attend the wedding, but he had urged Lionel to spend his honeymoon at Lynnton Hall, and Lillian had willingly consented.
So they drove away when the wedding breakfast was over. A hundred wishes for their happiness following them, loving words ringing after them. Relatives, friends, and servants had crowded round them; and Lillian's courage gave way at last. She turned to Lionel, as though praying him to shorten their time of parting.
"Heaven bless you, my darling!" whispered Dora to her child. "And mind, never--come what may--never be jealous of your husband."
"Goodbye, Lionel," said Lord Earle, clasping the true, honest hand in his; "and, if ever my little darling here tries you, be patient with her."
The story of a life time was told in these two behests.
Ten years had passed since the wedding bells chimed for the marriage of Lillian Earle. New life had come to Earlescourt. Children's happy voices made music there; the pattering of little feet sounded in the large, stately rooms, pretty, rosy faces made light and sunshine.
The years had passed as swiftly and peacefully as a happy dream. One event had happened which had saddened Lord Earle for a few days--the death of the pretty, coquettish Countess Rosali. She had nor forgotten him; there came to him from her sorrowing husband a ring which she had asked might be given to him.
Gaspar Laurence was still abroad, and there was apparently no likelihood of his return. The Princess Borgezi with her husband and children, had paid several visits to the Hall. Valentine had one pretty little daughter, upon whom Lionel's son was supposed to look with most affection. She had other daughters--the eldest, a tall, graceful girl, inherited her father's Italian face and dark, dreamy eyes. Strange to say, she was not unlike Beatrice. It may have been that circumstance which first directed Lord Airlie's attention to her. He met her at Earlescourt, and paid her more attention than he had paid to any one since he had loved so unhappily years before.