Not a word said Frank Raynor of the project in hand. Serious, nay solemn, though the step he contemplated was, he was entering upon it in the lightest and most careless manner—relatively speaking—and with no more thought than he might have given to the contemplation of a journey.

He had remarked to Margaret—who, in point of prudence, was not, in this case, one whit better than himself—that fortune itself seemed to be aiding them. In so far as that circumstances were just now, through the absence of the Rector of Trennach, more favourable to the accomplishment of the ceremony than they could have been at another time, that was true. The Reverend Mr. Pine had at length found himself obliged to follow the advice of Dr. Raynor, and had gone away with his wife for three months' rest. A young clergyman named Backup was taking the duty for the time; he had only

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