At this point, we beg leave to take the narrative into our own hands again.
Mr. Hazel actually left the deck to avoid the sight of Helen Rolleston's flushed cheek and beaming eyes, reading Arthur Wardlaw's letter.
And here we may as well observe that he retired not merely because the torture was hard to bear. He had some disclosures to make, on reaching England; but his good sense told him this was not the time or the place to make them, nor Helen Rolleston the person to whom, in the first instance, they ought to be made.
While he tries to relieve his swelling heart by putting its throbs on paper (and, in truth, this is some faint relief, for want of which many a less unhappy man than Hazel has gone mad), let us stay by the lady's side, and read her letter with her.
"RUSSELL SQUARE, Dec. 15, 1865.
"MY DEAR LOVE-- Hearing that the _Antelope_ steam-packet was going to Sydney, by way of Cape Horn, I have begged the captain, who is under some obligations to me, to keep a good lookout for the _Shannon,_ homeward bound, and board her with these lines, weather permitting.
"Of course the chances are you will not receive them at sea; but still you possibly may; and my heart is so full of you, I seize any excuse for overflowing; and then I picture to myself that bright face reading an unexpected letter in mid-ocean, and so I taste beforehand the greatest pleasure my mind can conceive--the delight of giving you pleasure, my own sweet Helen.
"News, I have little. You know how deeply and devotedly you are beloved--know it so well that I feel words are almost wasted in repeating it Indeed, the time, I hope, is at hand when the word 'love' will hardly be mentioned between us. For my part, I think it will be too visible in every act, and look, and word of mine, to need repetition. We do not speak much about the air we live in. We breathe it, and speak with it, not of it.