CINDERELLA

Q^ S .R.CROCKETT

THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

Digitized by the Internet Archive
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2008 with funding from
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Cinderella

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Cinderella
By
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Author of

R. Crockett
Raiders,"
the

"The

"The

Lilac

Sunbonnet/'

"Joan of

Sword Hand,"

etc.

New York
Dodd, Mead and Company
1901

S. R. Crockett Copyright. AND SON • • . Mead and Company JOHN WILSON UNIVERSITY PRESS CAMBRIDGE.Copyright. A. U. igoo By S. igoi By Dodd.

. The Comfortable Estate of Matrimony XXIII. The Four Worlds of Empress Gate XXII.. The Way Not to Fall in Love XXV. Hester in the Stranger's 122 130 138 . . Sylvanus of the Torphichans a Dances Breakdown . The Beast of Dead Man's Pool IV. 19 25 36 45 51 VII. . My Lord Darroch Talks Business .. The Innocent Lambs III. The Front Door Bell Rings I. XIII. . A Left Desolate The Mourning -Dr. . A Glance under the Sunbonnet XVI. XI. . Her Grace of Niddisdale XXI. 174 180 186 195 203 r\inr\K^ . .... XII. 169 . VIII. The Red Cross Knight V. Megsy's Romance Mother House in A 59 68 78 X. The Master of Darroch VI. XVIII.. Hester has an Audience V .1 CONTENTS Chapter Page i The House of Arioland II. 84 92 10 Mcgsy Tipperlin Beards the Lion in XIV. Den . The Way to Fall in Love XXVI. his . . Hester's Fortune Ramah IX.. . . A Somewhat Warmer Welcome 144 155 163 XIX. XX.. lo . An Answer to Prayer XVII. Land . The Minister's Fortieth Housekeeper 113 XV. Red-Letter Day at the Manse XXIV.

. The Scratching of the Cats XXX. .. Her Mother's Wedding Dress .. XXXVIII. At Bay L.. XXXIX. A Fairy Godmother's Catechism . Dian's Kiss Love's Golden Weather . Ways and Means . A Foolish Chapter. 379 384 392 399 . On XXXVI.CONTENTS Chapter Page XXVII. . 4^4 414 421 LII. . .. . The Man who Had Been in Hell XLIX. The First Hester XLII. XXVIII.. The Magic Wand XXXI. A Masterful Young Man XLVII. The Worm Turns XXXIII. Bail 279 288 The Case for the Prosecution The Case for the Defence The Tongue Can No Man Tame Grumphy Guddlestane . XL. 213 . The Grumphy One Takes a Bath XLIII. 294 300 309 315 323 Naomi Turns the Tables on Ruth XLI. The Bolt Falls LI. Vic gets Even .. 329 . . . . . XXXV.. 347 355 365 XLIV. XLV. and the Wisdom XLVIII.. The Telegram on Carus' s Table 229 240 249 260 268 . XXXVII.. .. Under the Canopy End Paper 4^^ VI .' 375 of It XLVI. The Two Cast-Iron Men XXXIV. 221 XXIX. Carus in Love XXXII.

252 "At church she found herself curiously isolated" so 314 360 . she . this your father' " of herself. . 198 this Hester had no lack of partners" . .LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page "The " " birds of the garden sang their is wedding march " . Frontispiece 'Hester. . " She was " Sylvanus happy that it must be wicked " . 60 128 But now. Miss Martin. . did not shake off his wife this time" 410 .' he said " . . ' 'Thank "After you. in spite blushed " .

.

knowe took up the chime. hopefully of 1 all dawned the day of the slept 2 1st of 8 — .CINDERELLA CHAPTER I THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND DAY dale. I . eager heart of Hester Usually she on till from the grieve's . and go to the window draw aside the heavy curtain. out She had opened a her bath window and looked of cool grey mist." Then she watched Megsy lay a pile of neatly-folded to clothes on a chair. beating. in the little. and was only fully awake when Megsy Tipperlin herself entered with her staid "Good morning. Miss Hester. the sound diminishing as it till that which issued clarion-clear and defiant from the farm-yard of Arioland had become delicate as the tinkling of fairy bells ere it reached the dim blue receded. stable To The cock from his high perch on the dyke sent a gay challenge across hill and him in another moment responded his brother Nether Aird on its broomy down at the Lincolns. Most August. Stirling. Hut rise tall this morning Hester had seen the earliest rooks clamorous from beneath the black umbrellas of the trees beyond the shrubbery. borders of the strath. broke hopefully over the old house of Ario- land. I when the sky was only and no man was yet abroad. house she heard the horn blow for breakfast struggled into consciousness as the horses or she clatter- came ing homeward from their morning spell of work.

now flashing silver. boy in trousers could remember. for the of humour played in about the corners of Megsy's mouth her steadfast grey eye. dimpling river ran over gravel that talked and sand that only soughed and whispered. get lost a broad blue. shaped of a lion's head. A that just stopped short of being a mountain.of whom. all four of them. and lurked . not to be touched save by Her Grace. For at Arioland no age of gold ever succeeded the iron reign of Megsy and Tipperlin. at last. long expected. and rubbed it bright again with the remote air of a priestess of the mysteries. brown bent grasses . Then at the front door of Arioland the after the fashion wonderful brass knocker hung. when she came to call on Hester's grandmother. sweep of strath spread below. noblest. But before we proceed I must tell something more of Arioland and of Hester Stirling. she was to see him in the flesh. house of Arioland was a pleasant place to dwell heathery hill. the time when Megsy Tipperlin still carried her over the burns and up the steep places star in " Cousin Tom had shone steady as a of the the girl. (quantity girls older than herself. But its grimness was light of the outward apparent only. rose behind among the tall ling and where you could it. through which. when for the best part of an hour on Saturday forenoons she stood on a chair and breathed upon it. her cousins were coming from the city. Hester had thought as ever since she the bravest. imaginative. tremulous. eager heart little to-day. Ethel and Vic and Claudia. And The in. a now now grey. and them Torphichan. or Megsy Tipperlin. and altogether most exalted being Alistair in — Thomas From " deliciously unknown!) a boy — with a real the world. painted it grey with paste.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND For. vehemently desired.

" as she was called in the easy Dcbrett of the country folks' speech. and turnip-singlers. the second was the the tenant of the Dairy. even as Megsy's did. wide the white wall and as it unat doubtedly was. rcd-beardcd. to whom for a consideration farmer of Arioland sub-let his wide byres and sleek herd of sixty Ayrshire kine. Not his park that surrounded the avenue of the Big Hoose indeed o' Arioland in with a fringe sides of green. haymakers. Between all and Megsy Tipperlin there was war open. and man out of the North a light militia of tres- country about strapping sons passes grieve. the " auld Leddy o' Arioland. For Sandy MacWhutterick's empire. who came there but seldom (and that and acres. was usually in order to institute a little day of judgment). But since Gowanlock was not. There of all Megsy. a rich man with many farms. The farm of Arioland. stopped short. daily whom was vexed the growing up righteous and vvcll-limbcd daughters. He was hemmed was first on three by rival potentates — this red- headed. low stile. of whom plowmen. considered let to as a thing of fields one John Gowanlock. The shrubberies were the not little his. arrogant Sandy the grieve. there whom he was at strife as to privileges. in reapers. in his neighbour to the south. from the hens that laid in the " baulks " to Mistress Stirling herself. Then. Sandy the grieve reigned in his stead. Colin iVIacKinstrey was the he was a name of the dairyman. whose soul of Sandy the . nor yet the policies beneath.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND Megsy tyrannised over every created thing within the walls of Arioland. over with the formalities declared. with the water-rights and garden place. and a full-blown empire. at the But iVJegsy's kingdom stopped white wall about the grieve's house.

while the forefinger of the other went up maligned mouth. a bolt erring herds and grieves from a gig — out of the blue. ? Oh. be. I said so my husband. that trembling mite stood clutching a corner of her clean pinafore with rustically to the one hand. truly. suddenly grown shy and awkward. he has been detained by an important He will follow immediately Then " Girl. — indeed you this do. turning again to Hester Stirling. Then tall as Hester stood a moment. no answer your name ? Do you not hear me speak ? And why do you not come and kiss your cousins prettily have you never been taught so much as that ? Ah. " The child is She is like her father. in the third place. you to Sylvanus. as if to accentuate its width. John Gowanlock. ! is What. her eyes gypsy-dark and gleaming.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND Then. the one and only. spoil the girl " Mother. not a pretty child. even a — little more. He had a faculty also for descending upon as it were. she continued. " ! Where is Sylvanus case. the majestic lady took up the burden of her prophecy. yet even upon the farm he had eyes that spied and feet that ran unseen to do his bidding and bring him word again. there was his master. But Saunders MacWhutterick (as he called himself) was an exceedingly just man and fear dwelled not in or it may For his work was to him as his God him. In my 4 . He abode at a distance. and has her mother's wide mouth brown-skinned " ! This was the dictum spoken authoritatively by Hester's aunt as. since Saunders made no brag of religion. this comes of indulging a what — child for the sake of a good-for-nothing father. her heart beating wildly within her. only morning.

THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND opinion. made her little legs feel And her cousins were so tall and stood up so stiffly that she thought with hopeless awe how good they must be. and how well taught and obedient to their mothe/. she liked Vic better because she did not even pretend that she wanted to kiss her. But now the cool parlour of Arioland seemed It suddenly so wide about her. though that always like dry sand between the finger and thumb. Then she passed on to Vic. or even the corner of gown felt Megsy Tipperlin's stuff apron would have been grateful. is it? Hester Sybilla Stirling — well. with the contempt of city fifteen for rustic seven. 5 . went careless staidly over to Ethel the who in a and almost contemptuous manner held down her cheek to her cousin. who tried to trip Hester up by thrusting a foot out suddenly in front of her. quite tottery. Nevertheless. the But Claudia. "I must have been would never mistaken. silk own black She wanted her grandmother's rustling to cling to." Nevertheless. that parable of the Prodigal Son has done more harm than are all all the romances and improper literature that too ! common I Christian ing ! even in homes which call themselves was saying so to Sylvanus only this mornis Oh. behaved quite differently. but it was with a sinking her heart and a sense of being thrown emptily on her resources. u|kjii her mother to see that she noticed." thought Hester. she eldest. your name Hester. keeping at same time an eye She did notice. took Hester about the neck and kissed her on the brow. "she do that on purpose — she is too well brought up. " ! let me see you bow prettily and kiss your cousins Hester did as she was at bid. She youngest the of all.

It was the voice of Hester her little Stirling. The mer. He had been sort at school two years. girl that is my own swee-eet child. They gave subscriptions her a medal. dear " ? Ethel appeared to be immersed in a brown study. Sylvanus Torphichan. figure a great had given push against her brother Tom. it was only that little Hester grandmamma. little more than eleven years of age. Claudia simply would not go away without the neighbourhood. Her cousin Vic. " I hope you " did not hurt yourselves " ? "Oh. and already a member of ten societies. you hurt " ! stairs. dear in lamb collected from all all the farmers the neighbourhood where we went in sum- A is {c-w were rude. " Mother. ! THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND "Ah. Ethel. did you see That is a wonder. The Association for Feeding Sparrows in Hard Winters was quite grateful to Claudie last year. ? What is the matter " cried Hester's grandmother. who stood on his part instantly boxed her his ears. Suddenly there came a sharp little cry of pain which rang through the parlour of Arioland." explained " Ethel who was Torphichan "she stumbled over the hearthrug. who was busy with the teacups." cried ? Mrs. and did not hear her mother. as she was silver. and was quite clever at that of thing. the wistfully watching hesitant opportunity. but eventually all contributed something.. and then for the with arms innocently at side ready turning round of his mother and grandmother. stupid. no. Is She quite an example to she not. and was heard even of Megsy Tipperlin on the coming up with a tray of cleaned " Oh. and then pretended Vic had pushed her down .

Mrs. mere man can tell of these. did not see anything of this. "You " No. course not. you know.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND " I never did. Yet neither broke. the sharp tooth of pain eating into which beat under the white pinafore. indeed. You know three girls Who in that is. so mamma — no. children. " well-bred children are quite incapable of such conduct. but only ga/. gypsy eyes. making the darkness in them and a great. turning rapidly about. Are they not. the aching disappointment." Mrs. Torphichan chimed in from the other side of the room. dry. mamma. They said nothing. little Victoria never silly country " ! The tears rose to Hester's eager glitter." said lifting Torphichan. who stood like a culprit. For none can remember No all the surprised agony when a child's first dream is torn into shreds. four Torphichans were instantly united. her finger impressively. who answered exactly mechanical doll whenever her mother put a question to her. " Now. much as touched the girl — mamma. when I "Who All spoke just now?" said the lady. when a cherished idol is thrown down from that small heart its pedestal and lies shattered before its veYy eyes. her knees to trembling under her. Claudia " ? indeed. But oh. She longed 7 . Tom giggled audibly. chorus." said Vic stoutly. " Yes. sandy lump rose and hurt in her throat." like a clever said Claudia. as if she worked on a pivot. Sylvanus " and always remember don't you ? Who " sees you.cd solemnly and rerun to her grand- proachfully at Hester. "Of my dears — of course not. mamma ! " the said decorous her Vic nudged laughed mother was not Tom with her elbow when looking. run and play. Claudia ? Does not Miss Martinett often sav so " ? "Yes.

it is bad And don't stand with one shoulder touching S . " Oh. all virtues. graces and compendia of self. which somehow obtruded itself upon her domestic bliss in an unpleasant manner. Stirling their — only children of the nobility and gentry are allowed ! The to religious instruction is so thoroughly well attended and the general tone is so good. vainly trying to get a chance to pinch Vic as she passed. ' Let them grow up to be models of all the does not. and also she was much fluttered and excited by the coming of her only daughter. but that was perhaps too much honour to be — hoped for in this world. ? What did I tell you. while Tom sulked in the offing." she said. as you are your- my ! love.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND just mother. Very sedately and with their six eyes on the carpet. "That is solely due to my instruction. anyway. Sylvanus and fully I I. their six hands primly clasped before them a little above the waist. Hester Sybilla manners Don't poke your chin. whose husband had become so great an some said he would be a professor Abercairn physician one day.' he often says. where school Their mother gazed admiringly out to Mrs. never forget one word he ever says and he does express himself so beauti" ! She reverted to the subject of Hester. please send them away " you and Megsy Tipperlin ! ! I want But her grandmother was a little deaf. mother. you must do something with girl that little — she ! is running altogether wild. We are so like-minded. " But. "and perhaps a little to being sent early to Miss Martinett's in Rutland Square. that one does not At least. the three girls departed. and their thirty toes carefully turned out. my dear Sylvanus grudge the very high fees. you know. after them and pointed manner of leaving a room. and say.

"Go!" she gasped. Her head fell back. wicked girl! we will conWhen dear Sylvanus comes wicked girl Go. Speech was denied her. " Ah. the sky But she was becoming hardened to her aunt's pour of questioning. " her aunt went on. \n addition to which I will not so much which I shall whip you very " ! severely with my own hands 9 . wicked will change know Who sees us when we do wrong Do you trust her to all that. and it through her unshed tears she added the explanation. for a while at least. "go. regardless " Mother. and she could only clutch her reticule and extract therefrom her smelling salts in a red bottle of the size and appearance of a small decanter. Wicked. and made a little clucking sound with her tongue against the roof of her mouth. supposing that would ver\' promptly have fallen if she had not. ! ! where you as will go to — a Place mention. nor wring your hands as if you were at a wash- ! Now^ I declare. Sylvanus Torphichan lifted up her hands in the most pious . Not say your prayers. if Miss Martinett only had you for an hour! to say your prayers this Did you remember Hester had morning " ? she always did say them. you are picking at your pinatub. you are growing up a careless. and she had just strength to extract the stopper feebly and wave the open bottle between herself and the small culprit as a kind of fumigatory against infection and blasphemy. girl." blurted out the frightened little girl. sult with your grandmother as to your future remember and if you dare to pollute my innocent lambs. I can see that . wicked. " " is Sandy the grieve ! Mrs. and punishes us? " " Yes. — you must We girl ! Miss Martinett. Oh.kind of horror. and so refrained from all answer.THE HOUSE OF ARIOLAND your ing fore ear.

Hester find " Where are " she rephed. Torphichan's innocent lambs. " her and a' her ill-set weans. and. ! in particular hated her mistress's daughter. Stirlin' you going. them " grumbled Megsy. Yet this little girl did not away or two tears might have got themselves wiped at the dark places of the stairs. ruthlessly shattered. Hester Stirling went out to But Mrs. counting the spoons. she stared her in the face. the pridefu' as madam " ! and whorls of pattern old as the flood (or older) on the blue whinstone of the kitchen flags. to Arioland for the sole purposes of sneaking into the store-cupboards. the yearning gladness of the morning was gone. she made crosses They gang tearin' and gilravagin' through hoose o' ilka I thing aboot the decent Arioland. wad wheep them a' wi' briar their skin was in tatters — tethers so I on the bare back. she believed. promptly. Aye. but I put it to you. muttered Megsy. and seeing whether Megsy bought more flour and bacon than she could account for. Never had idol been gold had all greyed over. who came.CHAPTER II THE INNOCENT LAMBS THUS find The more cry. " May her e'en blear in her held.to the question. " To my cousins fa' " ! " Foul and as turned away. Certes. One if that can be called crying she ? When straight passed Megsy ? Tipperlin. encouraged. fervently. an' lay it on lO . as she For Megsy used no respect of persons. till wad.

being. " Oh. name. after all. they would be nicer when she was She thought once more of the treasures she had been saving up to show them. despite his . the half-Persian kitten. Best of all there Perhaps. Torphichan and been a favourite pupil of Miss Augusta Martinett at the corner of Rutland Square in the city of Abercairn. preferring the society of the sixty dairy cows herded by the wild MacKinstrcys. Hester walked forth sedately as. a gentleman sheep and handsome withal. was Fluffy. like sheafs on the threshing-floor of Abel-meholah " The prayers of Megsy the daughter of Tipperlin were ended. she ended thus look away embarrassed. am my that are ! steer or fricht a Christian bairn I. refused to consort with any of his kind. with the languid eyes and the fascinating way of standing on your shoulder and rubbing ears with you. Then in the High Park there was Peggie the Pet a lamb of mature so full of light — years (or rather months) and much elevation of mind. if to find her cousins almost as her aunt for years she had dwelled with Mrs. But in will " at this point Megsy became needlessly particular her threatenings. For Peggie.THE INNOCENT LAMBS they Gin they mysel' — besoms — Margaret Tipperlin. so that the faithful chronicler has to However. that woman. and daud them wi' the His wrath — ! yea. alone with them. that Maister Davvid had never gane awa my bonny lad to leave his wee bit lass to a deaf auld woman (Guid forgie me for speakin' that gate o' a kind — — — mistress !) and the tender mercies ! o' a pack o' Jezebels an' bletherin' slowbellies o' the May tak' o' flails the Almichty Preserver weedow and orphan them in His ain hand.

" to I — cruel.THE INNOCENT LAMBS As she went Hester heard the sound of her cousins' loud voices proceed from the gardens. climbed upon her shoulder. was going to love you . sneeringly. and she had been on in honour of her cousins' she had hurled her small body be- tween who were snapping their fingers and inciting Dick the terrier to yet greater exertions. " Don't then. with a wild fear suddenly taking possession of her soul. every hair on end with pain and anger. A drop or two of blood had distilled down and flecked Fluffy's delicate pearl-coloured fur. of the fact that it allowed by visit. in spite She dashed through the gooseberry bushes. Dick ! ! You 've got Hist —good dog Sick her then " The cries grew louder. " who asked you . Tom "Cruel them. Megsy to In a moment put it was her best. turning furiously upon dog on my own I little kitten. from which safe altitude she hissed and "fuffed" at Dick. and there on the narrow ledge of a fence to which she had sprung from the window-sill of the potting-house stood Fluffy her own Fluffy. and Hester. and Fluffy. She was mewing piteously and flicking an ear that had been bitten through by the yapping fox-terrier which still leaped and snapped below. Hester did not hesitate a moment. tearing her dress in several places. Tom. with one glad mew of recognition. Hester held out her arms. you cruel boy 12 never " now — no. " Catch her her! — this way ! — at her. ran at full speed round the greenhouse. " said Tom. past the sun-dial. who still leaped upward to snap her. and her tail well-nigh as thick as her body." set a great she cried. leaped into her mistress's bosom and and Claudia. and with a heart once more eager to realise some part of her dream she hastened after them. so long as I live. and shall ! never.

Hester was moving off towards the house with Fluffy in her arms.THE INNOCENT LAMBS to? You are only a common little wouldn't be loved by you — not had country girl. at you " was Vic's more "what's the use of standing I ! nagging to her? Let's get off to the woods." — says " ! " Let the generous little rat alone. Tom " ? — I'm going all to hunt rabbits!" cried Tom." sneered superior Ethel. the all nasty little beast. He in a still struggled vehemently to get FlufFy. Dickie. who down any. four last time '^Rz-ther — and if They are ever so tame we killed we were down. and has no was Claudia's contri"This estate is to belong to my mother when bution. you should I worry her to bits if my way in " said Claudia. like we had before. and poor child. at Eh. ! boy ! Look him. You remember. old "mamma would not believe her. was looking for belated gooseberries. pa old granny dies granny is tqo deaf to hear " Papa says she is only a charity business to be living here at all. my " Dick understands about that. and she can't last very long now. Vic '3 ! him go. that scratched my ! darling Dick's viper! Yes. who had taken the fox-terrier up her arms and was at petting him. to tell " Now she 's going on us foot — sneak ! " cried Tom. contribution. and growled at his mistress restrain him. dear. " ! anyway. when she tried to manner which showed much more of indignation than affection. Claudia . 1 if it were ever so!" "A nose — ugh. and breaking the bushes with his when he failed to find "She needn't trouble. He's nuts on 'em as they were cats. Dick I^ct — as dead rabliits. mean have some fun with the young pheasants and things.

It is not like you to be selfish " ! 14 . was to sin the ultimate deadly So she only told Megsy Tipperlin all dog had been trying to worry Fluffy. took the kitten and locked her in the cool cheese-room." she added. after all. who had not caught the last part of her daughter's remarks. " have you not ? been able to find your cousins I saw them going out of the green gate on the road to the wood. came happy to spend a day with me." said her " Now." " Perhaps she does not wish to be kind to her cousins on the one day they have to spend with her. when I was a little girl and any one aunt. " you will find your cousins in the woods. As Hester went out with her heart still sea-working after storm." said her grandmother. But. and begged her to keep her close in the kitchen that day. " Why. " what can you expect of the child of so bad-hearted a father and so common a mother?" " Run away. Hester Sybilla. garden seat. Whereat Megsy. at whatever cost to myself. She had learned that a nasty that " to be a tale-pyet " sin. Hester. she came suddenly upon her aunt and her They were talking together upon a stone grandmother." said the latter kindly. was certain to be locked up along with her. a place which Fluffy loved of all others both because there were fine fat mice there and because a plentiful saucer of milk whenever she found herself shut up. She was no tell-tale. with only a characteristic grumble. Show them all your favourite spots. I I used to make them as as could. in a tone of regretful meditation.THE INNOCENT LAMBS Come along before we have " ! that crazy little Brown Patch fairly tagging after us again Hester walked into the kitchen with her heart riven in two.

" " We dcjn't want to sec any bower nasty. with a steady purposefulness. in own children. turning up her nose. You arc a spy. Hester. ready to hate them." Hester said. and also by the man- way in which she had brought up her Hester followed along the green path resolving that she would not be a tainly selfish girl.THE INNOCENT LAMBS For good grandmother Stirling fault was one of the people their who can never see any And though there was no her daughter had pleased nerly and proper family. — in spite of She would keep nothing selfishly to herself. but perhaps she had been over Her heart. the half-ripe rasps plucked and in the dust. quick and keen on the chase of love. with a unanimous yell. timidly. As she proceeded Hester could trace the track of the the army of advance by the torn sprays of columbine. uprooted wayside flowers. at Tom Go urging Dick to bark his loudest. Her cousins had cer- seemed unkind. do you hear? " " What I do you want following us ? " said Claudia. " the people here think it is pretty. show you my bower. yearned to forgive. and to snap her heels in a way that sent Hester's heart into her mcjuth. "we " don't want you. they leaped upon her out of the thicket of yews which grew on either side. her greatly by the wise and prudent marriage she had made. thrown all. Suddenly." cried Ethel. ^' home. dirty place only wanted to — '5 . She would be kind to them little this love-hungry She would yet win their liking She would show them of her choicest. eager and passionate. a spy. It had never yet been crossed and thrown back on itself by disappointment. But she kept on. ardent affection between them.

and Lord Darme. lady's slipper or the tall blue flax. pleadingly. sulking in the green gloom of deepest copses. she led the way. " ! "It's quite near. country folk The indeed a pretty place. he is so particular ! " roch on. She had trained creepers to grow up the trunks of the trees till the whole place glowed with colour. striding on. please. "We ! are going to hunt rabbits in the woods over yonder " Oh. Stuff ? " cried Tom. The " others need n't come if they don't want to ! " ! " You can go I shan't you like. some common like the starry trefoil and Ragged Robin others more difficult to find. She had planted flowers. just where it came tinkling and sparkUng down through dainty linns." said Hester. She was proud of it." said Tom." cried Vic. To this place Hester during several summers had transported damp crevice in the woods. " what do I care for I would Uke let to see him the interfere with Come little Vic!" " girl Do me show you making bower instead. and without waiting any further reply. scornfully. like the rare ferns from every . " you must not go beyond that fence. were right." the pleaded. " All right. who alone of the four seniors showed the " come on." said Hester. Those woods belong " ! to Lord Darroch. pale like a wintry sky. Hester's bower was It had been formed on the top of a little green mound above the Airy burn. Vic " said Tom. proud of the rustic seats which she had ari6 . It can't take long." THE INNOCENT LAMBS I warrant. and then breaking away with a " brattle " of pebbles over the shallows on its way to join the Darroch water. least consideration for seven-year-old Hester. a last effort to keep her cousins from the dread sacrilege of entering Lord Darroch's covers. let me if see your bower.

" But she was not prepared for the burst of laughter in the with which her pride bower was received. for the special duster Megsy Tipperlin all But he might have thrown them all that Hester would have cared till into that at moment." Tom cried all away. of her neat shelves for crockery. she threw herself down and buried her face among the torn creepers and desecrated furniture of her most sacred place. Then. floated . 2 17 . shaking her thin These. and then she waited voices die along she heard the sound of the beech avenue and out through the pastures towards Lord Darroch's woods. as the tears gushed forth in a relieving flood and the hot drops scalded the backs of her brown and sunburnt hands. before father kid's rubbish alone " ! Tom tuted was trying to "skip " on the surface of the pool bits with the poor of coloured pottery which had constidinner-service. Even said Vic laughed. It with a plunge into the pool and " What a lark. Hester's best She always wiped them every day with had given her. let 's " chuck 'em in!" " Come on. their loud She stood rooted to the spot till they were gone. on which loved to sit she fell and read by herself in the evening. gradually ceased. "What a sillv old tumble-down pot-shop!" Tom. however. kicking away her favourite log. and of her numerous utensils for "playing at house. " don't be a fool ! We've comes got to get to the or there will woods and back Leave the be proper shines.THE INNOCENT LAMBS ranged with scrupulous care in suitable corners. the water. Tom." said Vic. little Sharp dry sobs came first. with a mighty aching woe in her heart. body and heaving her shoulders.

wish they were dead! — could I I kill yes. " I and catches through the vehement hate them all and I wanted to make them — so happy i8 . I could kill them every one " ! The fierce little voice came ! in gusts sobbing." THE INNOCENT LAMBS them — "Oh.

Hester Sybilla that day with a party of shooters. They would be sent to gaol. sleep moving. She would never so much as go and see them. left Suddenly. would be blamed for not warning them. Stirling. She sat up and began picking cress. her cousins might spend their lives in prison. away to the shots that off she heard in the noise of the Darroch one after another woods.CHAPTER III THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL HESTER The started up. Siic would not give them a single pet rabbit or the newest of her ^9 . without afternoon she sobbed herself to sleep . and she. They would get "taken up" for poachers. She remembered how she had heard from the wild MacKinstrey herders my Lord Darroch was coming down from London They would find her cousins. She was determined that. the torn spray of the lesser scarlet Indian common went creeper of Galloway cottage walls. After what they had done. that Hester started to her feet. this last should not happen if possible. droned away overhead as the sun swung silently round the sky. for it was with a strange sense of being a hundred years old at least that Hester Out of the cool blue is of childhood deep blue. fur her own sake. world. in it dusk of sleep (the grows grey and reality colourless afterwards) she popped up suddenly into a wrecked appeared like and all at desolate The of things once to close at a the whirring of a upon Hester with a noise million wings. I think hot lav a long time thus.

though she might be granny. the sun growing golden yellow and what Hester called " glimmery " in a kind of rich wine-coloured mist. so that she might not them by the way. She peeled her thin leg of its stocking. must get to the Darroch woods before her cousins should be caught and haled to prison. she ran across the pastures. it was for her size and so much paler than her brown hands and face. from which the cows had already disappeared. in the Darroch Water. or so at least Hester Yet she imagined. which in this frosts of a year have mellowed his voice — — way on. by which sign she knew that it must be getting late. and quickly unloosed the lacing of the shoe. to look after her cousins. The shadows were slanting fast. she stood like a goose going to sleep. Hester Stirling loved her stooping down and picking up one foot in her hand. the young birds Thrushes sat on the tops of trees practising hard at their triplicate notes and not succeedFor a thrush only sings truly after the ing very well. But in this matter her grandmother would certainly expect her warn them of their danger. is like a winter-ripened apple. Then stuffing the stockings so long well into the toes of the shoes. Else her grandmother would never trust her again. Then At the first touch of the . fast Hester could not run enough with her best shoes They had been specially selected that morning by Megsy with a view to discomfort. without listening for the repetition of the sounds. to So. she tied the long laces together and slung the whole round her neck. selfish. So.THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL dolls to play with. after the manner of lose the wild MacKinstrey boys when they went bathing she started to run. and. It looked like a white sprout of willow.

elastic All was delicious to her— the wet coolness. the tree monkey. an elm. Then her hair blew out around her and the coolness of the wind clasped itself behind her She forgave them all. to matter so It seemed not track of much now about the bower. as Hester caught a branch. the wind that pushed against her. to keep from falling. She felt herself treading on air. forgave them even on Fluffy's account. and Hester the very step in the somewhat heavily to the ground. And first woods told her that she was not now on the cool velvet of the home pastures. her dangling shoes retarding her no to^ little. She It was glorious. as she put her foot to the ground hurt a second time. cushion of the tender blades beneath the bare feet. She was upborne bv the red sunset beams into which she ran. swift as a deer. and as is the way of its kind. llicn a thin lithe figure might have been seen for a moment white against the dusk of the firs. and swung herself towards the ground with a gesture as true and certain as that of a other arboreal expert. she rushed downhill. or any was proved faithless. She had lost They seemed to run of their own her legs. most children it have been a formidable undertaking to climb it. and not so to Hester. But the wild rush ended at a dyke which separated the small property of Arioland It from the great one of Darroch. would But who had been climbing such fences get astride ever since she could remember. built of the rough blue to whinstone of the country. accord. then a keener yet.THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL cool dewy grass Hester's troubles seemed to vanish. It took only a brief clamber upwards the top. She had her knee 21 . But alas for experts. the as. fell it The branch snapped. was a tall dyke. A sharp pain caught her in the instep of her foot. neck.

now Hester stood up on one foot. and the yapping of Dick hard on the trail of one of my Lord Darroch's rabbits. another matter. but yet dignified spectators of the sport. but in see to pull it woods she could not When alas! at last she screwed up her courage to try. Tom followed the chase more leisurely." ! cried spying on us again Serve her right Tom. Vic. " Please help me. Victoria with a flushed face careering wildly behind. too grown up and ladylike to rush along with the others. I can't walk home " they ! — all dashed headlong into the copses again. in her hand. and through the undergrowth she heard the rushing trample of feet. copse. " Please don't go I have a thorn in my foot . but the thorn was out. and Hester sank . So. did not trouble her for the bruise on the knee moment." she hurt out to them.THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL against a stone. with the instinct of country- bred youth she sank instantly to the ground. interested. holding the other. Presently a gun went off much further away. ! Dick 's got something good this time " ! And though Hester cried again. she pulled part of the long black hawthorn spike out. had pierced her bare sole. Hester's ears sang with the pain and disap- pointment. and a thorn — Hester knew The feel it it well. and took her wounded foot in her lap. "she's been Come on. but a piece snapped off and remained nearly level with the skin. while Claudia and Ethel. which pained her very much. the dusk of the She could well enough. " I have my foot " ! "It's the Brown Patch. Ethel and Claudia passed by without even looking at her. The sounds died away down 22 the glade. while she called steadied herself against a tree. They came across the and Dick leading.

It for she the hedge " scotchings. But the task was too great for her. she might who seemed now the only friend she had left in all the world. tell and older point of view where they had girl last seen their cousin. unkind and selfish though they might be. For the Torphichan children. lying thick on every if side of her. and also some growing in fear that if she might did have to spend the night not speedily the woods somebody from come to find her. shut and hands mains. that she could surmount the high wall of the deer-park and get back into the manage to crawl to JVIegsy. who of ghostly blind- man's bufi^with any one found after nightfall on her do"Fo this the imagination of the MacKinstrey children had added a fearsome beast. the that common gossip of the country-side.THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL upon a mossv stump and the foot. little But then such of a small wise considerations did to quiet the fears of seven. tears welled up again freely. Besides. With the wounded knee and torn foot she could not hoist herself upon the top of the barrier. with the night last moment about itself her and the growing darker every red of the sunset burning out between the boles of the pine trees. the Darroch woods were haunted white lady with played a sort — so averred Hester knew eyes. when questioned. after trying to limp slowly along a little way towards the Lodge Gate of the Darroch avenue. So. Hester sank to the ground again. She took her shoes from her neck and drew the stocking on her unwounded could feel She dared not move. Of course a cooler this was well-nigh impossible. pain as a sense of passionate disappointment with things in general. home pastures. " great thorny branches. would certainly. however. and It was not so much the tears ran more freely than ever. 23 with gleaming . appeared to her. a one ghost was outspread.

There was certainly something creeping along the wall towards her. The Thing was crouching Hester's trembling in the deepest lips. and with a slight cry. Kip MacKinstrey swore he had seen the Water Kelpie. and only escaped by climbing a plight. expecting to see the horned head of the water demon. In her present tree. " come and help me ! 24 . out in the deepest dusk of the leaves a moving terrible beast It is Could ? it be the of the Dead Man's Pool easy enough not to be afraid in the daytime. Hester looked up. with the spectral bony fingers groping about to catch her. but at seven years of is age and Darroch woods when the night quite close to her falling. A shriek now. and when that is there are in the grown-ups about. which came up out of the water Dead Man's Pool and haled the unwary down to its lair among the roots of the white water-lilies. and the child's fearful eyes could make figure. Hester certainly could not climb a this hand. At stood this Hester's sorely-tried little heart still.THE BEAST OF DEAD MAN'S POOL teeth and fiery eyes. quite another matter." she The Beast will get me " ! cried. shadow. of the tree. apparently escaped from " Oh. Megsy. Megsy. or the outstretched At moment a stick cracked near at arms of the White Lady of Darroch. now absolutely Another stick cracked quite close by.

" he said. He wore much open was the neck. doing here little girl ! girt with a blue belt. a about which flannel shirt. " to be taken for the don't eat little Water don't girls No.? eats little boys and girls!" said Hester. " who are you ? And what on " ? earth are you at this time of night "You with all are not the Beast ?" stammered Hester. while his waist homespun stockings and brown " Hello. gaining courage with every word. gazing her eyes at this apparition so much less terrible than she had anticipated. The lad " What Kelpie. all . shoes. and . The boy laughed." he explained. ! girls. In fact. which reassured Hester more than an affidavit from the minister of the parish. a rough tweed jacket and knickerbockers. like threw back larks I ! his head in a fresh laugh. in at her cry. For at that period a colossal ignorance and 25 . I little 'em I can't abide girls at are not nearly so bad as the other kind The handsome boy spoke with the healthy intolerance ! though " of fourteen. a cheery careless laugh.CHAPTER THE RED CROSS IV KNIGHT its INSTANTLY. very curls crisped tightly. in a tone of great as- tonishment. " " but which beast do you mean " The beast that lives in the Dead Man's Pool. " he cried. the beast rose to feet the shape of a fair handsome at lad with bared head. "I have often been called so at school.

What — — are you doing here ? " I don't belong " to ' Old. anyway !" said . cheerfully. " Golly." said the boy. as she had been in- structed to do on such occasions by "What biznis so is that of considered particularly at it Kip MacKinstrey. But me feel your muscle is not half bad." You don't look it you are so thin and brown." THE RED CROSS KNIGHT self-conceit prevents the animal from knowing that better than so in a few years he girls will become the abject slave of those little same whom he now regards as much superfluous live-stock.' " retorted Hester indignantly. yours?" which remark Kip witty and effective that he I always laughed himself. daresay he will when she dies. though too. not taking the least notice of her indignation. you are about right there. kindling. and answered meekly enough. But she refrained. I like her." "You " are a nasty. is "my grandmother the lady of Arioland " ! "That 's the same thing. " Hester Sybilla Stirling. I suppose you belong to Old-Woman Stirling over at the farm.Woman Stirhng at the farm. is My grandmother not going to die. horrid boy. sharply. " 26 . "I wish my I governor would buy the old lady out." said Hester." the boy "my than old man ! is a sight better at spending the 'gelt' his buying ? posterity more land with it for But you have n't told me worshipful what brought you here Hester felt a strong desire to say." as if answered the little girl. "What's your name?" he demanded. Hester had been the last new boy come to school. "I am " let seven years old. Then all at once he seemed to remember. And I don't believe your father could buy Arioland.

"Jove." He art.'' " got four last year " Oh. but what are you " Are you waiting for them ? doing here ? " I 've hurt my knee. I can't walk a bit ! " said Hester. ! " Nonsense there. The knee does though out first. " I wish they would come back . too I — heard him. foot . "why into didn't you us that n't Let look it the open " 's as black as mv hat in here " " I can't walk. please it hurts much — come ." " cried the boy. with a slight change in his tone. " they were after the young pheasants." said " perhaps they will come back." sooner. loyally she said." This Hester. " ! I bet I would have shifted the lot of them " Don't go. 's have a look at them. try with my had arm.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT came " to warn my cousins that some one was shooting in my Lord Darroch's woods. told you so — I can't walk a step 27 . "there was a beastly dog with them. they were here a minute ago. Oh ! " then was your beastly cousins who were carving it " merry Hades out of our covers ? " I suppose so. knowing that that night the Darroch woods should see her cousins no more. did they " cried the youth. with in- dignation. they did. ! . summing up tell her troubles in a sentence. I wish I had got on to them. — ! •." said Hester. trying to make out what They he meant. offered that that member had as with an awkwardness which showed he yet no practice in the Hester did try. " It 's no use " ! ! " she cried. and I 've got a thorn in my . but sank down on " I the ground again with a groan of pain. cried the boy.

or I shall night. three panion. I should say so — why. to as far as that. eh? it 's no harder than carrying a fellow's dinner. ! There. two. you home to Old-Woman Stirling as jolly as ride ! eggs-a-breaking " stay You here are not to call all my grandmother said that. I bet I can carry you Then we '11 have a look at the foot. he said." cried her com" Now give a hop as good as you can GO Ugh-ugh-ugh There you One. are five Here. get on my or I '11 get two-and-two back Give me hold of your wrists and I '11 hitch you up in a minute. and ride home on. We '11 "not hurting much. — is — ! ! ! are ! Stride-legs to ! jolly. because there the trees were fewest and the cover less tangled. is n't it ? Why I could carry you Jericho ! You ? 're no heavier than a blessed ferret What makes you you well her for lady feed so lean ? Does n't the old Got hold of my hair behind ? Then arms ! grip all she 's is worth." Hester. "That's die. are quite near at Dick- now. leaning it carefully against a tree. balancing herself. All set ? at the back of my neck. I 've got my pony down at ! "I mustn't leave ! the lodge. "Easy does Carry you son's lodge ? it. on her one whole foot and reaching her hands over the boy's shoulders." the governor's best double-barrelled Pur- it out all night." he said. notwithstanding. Then we have a look your prop 28 . keeping as close to the wall possible. that ! the shot Order boy as Eyes front leaving his off steadily Quick march " ! And moved gun leaning against the tree the down the hill towards the lodge with Hester on his back. " Never mind your grandmother." THE RED CROSS KNIGHT The lad with the curls laid down his gun.

" she can't walk a thorn in her foot I think ! Bring a light " ! declare it 's wee Hester Arioland. Hitch up. For her husband was a standing terror to all poachers within ten miles.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT and send Dickson back for the Purdie. cottage Hester's steed marched straight up to the shut door of a creeper-grown and kicked vigorously. cried. " I 've found a little girl up by the wall of the deerpark. presently. were ye doin' in the deer- park at this time o 'nicht Hester answered not." cried kindly what's gotten ye? But What " ? Stirlin' frae the Big Hoose Mrs. The ments of the day had prc^vcd too much for 29 varied excite- and now . anyway." said the boy.? dinna break your body. "wi' lassie. It will do Dickson good." he in front of a light shone them. cjuictly away during the last hundred yards. Maister Carus The entire figure of Keeper Dickson his filled up the doorway. Dickson. Dickson. as " Here we are. He 's as lazy as a hedgehog. There was the screeching noise of vehemently back. Hester of "• little girl " ! hitched up " obediently. 's that you ^ Guid burly us ! What that ye hae gotten. a child's wail. in quite a difl:'erent tone from that which he had used to Hester. and over shoulder peered the face of — got " o' I his wife. every bane the in " If I drucken — what — what — save " . ye is young Maister. a little white and frightened by the hubbub. and clasped both her hands tightly in the thick his short rearward curls. chairs being pushed tootsteps and the door then one or two quick was flung wide open. and had often been threatened by the rough quarrymen from the Bennan quarries. higher on the boy's shoulder. She had fainted her.

I may see those young poach" chance to give 'em 'what for' happened that the square byre yard of the domains — better. Maister Carus. all Arioland was divided into three parts. in and thumb. and his wife friend ! stood over her with a lamp. perhaps." "No. Mrs. first " This way. a little limp dead-weight. Like another more famous battle-ground. into the motherly arms of the keeper's wife. came " which made her wince. When say. and get a of Arioland was witness of a strange sight. so! Then lips with a curious tickling thrill little Hester warm There pressed to the sole of her a sharp twinge of pain all at cold foot. " an' my his man wi' the powny. and then It 's once. They a' will be wild aboot ye. it 's like a cleaning-rod " she heard the boy cry. Dickson. the " Auld Leddy's" And so it Farm Town Besides. with guid admiring affection her voice. with a certain hard quality in his tone which did not escape the little girl's quick ear. the territories of Sandy the grieve 30 . indeed. she awoke. yourself. " Ye are Dickson. Dickson will convoy the bairn hame. here 's a clever laddie. Gang ye your ways hame. hurrah — all clear ! ! What a whopper ! Golly." said Mrs. as he exhibited something triumphantly between finger Maister Carus. a blessed sense of release.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT she was transferred. out. Mrs. designated by the name of Megsy Tipperlin's." the boy answered. Dickson was gone. " There 's not a soul about the place cares whether I ever turn up at I all — except ! old Dickson and ers. Dickson it. He '11 hae the gun ower shoulder. now it for the old thorn I see if I believe I could draw out with you were to hold the lamp a little lower — my " felt teeth. 'm going over to Arioland with the girl myself. She heard her .

So. having ant which had run to them from under remained tame and confiding since feeding time." which they had knocked over with a stick. the plunder with them.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT (which consisted of the slippery mill. and a grouse with a broken wing that Dick had routed out of a wrack of bramble bushes. and swam. two young rabbits. which. three or four unfortunate " cheepers. with byres. it in fighting be. as a man so powerful as my Lord Darroch. (when they went " a-guddling under the earth. his accomthem with their spoil. man who one day might be the proprietor though smaller estate. their over again — ncjt always. he would certainly set not have permitted his son and daughters to such a bad example to the underlings of the farm-yard to exhibit to as them their c\'il-doing. of a neighbouring. and share their and Vic. with a ring of admiring MacKinstrcys chorus. in ") some way into the waters To plice. Their bag in for the afternoon. like the sturdy reivers of old. and did after their kind with every thing that flew or ran or the earth beneath. Torphichan was far too much of a courtier to quarrel with a Besides. the ragged Gallants horde of long-legged lasses and herded and raided. Now it chanced that Tom had too much sense to convey his plunder into the house where his father was now employed in taking supper after his journey. For Dr. and the great farm-yard. this place Tom had betaken Torphichan and Vic. the barn. in the heavens above. quadrangle of that sheltered the wild MacKinstreys. taken broad daylight. the office-houses) its . by the light of a stable lantern Tom btter still brief-skirted from her chasings through the for woods battles after the rabbits. were engaged. consisted of a respectable mother pheasa bush. 3« may observing .

me new pitawties ! I 'm that wee can crawl through a hole in the grieve's garden-hedge. Didn't in his sister. oh " " let 's '11 said the eldest MacKinstrey. " cried Tom. watching the old keeper " " Boys. " because his tongue was been Kinstrey of locally supposed to be of such surpassing sharpness that it could " cut rags. held up the stable lantern Its light arm's length. keeled her over Vic ? " Yes. Tom Torat little undismayed. of a than his own age. like the gypsies does. because of his rapid flight and predatory habits. phichan. an' clean them. whose given name of Archibald had replaced by " Clip-cloots. an' boil them in a pot Me an' Kip has wi' veegetables. eager to take a hand lots an' lots o' in so promising a ploy. as the first I'm a living sinner! And whack with a stone. all suddenness." This was the contribution of the youngest Macall. often done them that way " I ken whaur there 's some carrots I could steal " ! ! chimed " An' I in Babbety MacKinstrey. pook them. leading a piebald pony. His head ." THE RED CROSS KNIGHT due proportion narration of all in the exaggeration inseparable from the exploits of the chase. I killed I I. less showed 32 a handsome boy." chimed of her own." " Give me up young thieves ! those birds and rabbits this instant^ you " The interruption was dramatic in its apt And the picture itself was a thrilling one. " and a stick. nicknamed the Gled. We gang to the Auld Waa's an' hae' a rare feed. the " Thirty yards off she was. holding up hen pheasant triumphantly by the tail "thirty — " yards. eager on an achievement the three The ! rest wouldn't help a bit young grouse with and Tom was — ! ofF by himself.

and if you dcj not give them up " have you arrested head. though at the present time he was passing through the era of cruelty which physiologists tell us is almost inseparable from boys of his age and temperament. aristocratic pride and a strict attention to personal cleanliness. and his whole mien betokened the two things which Eom hated most in the world. Tom By this time he stood alone. perhaps mcjre loudl)' than in he his he had been thoroughly comfortable 33 . black. — their solidity of stout bull's hide. and though they hated him no less than Tom Torphichan. 3 laughed if loudly. save for the faithful Vic. inch-thick. they under- stood that they had not only him to reckon with in any encounter. sight of their all The knew iMacKinstreys had unobtrusively withdrawn themfirst selves at the unwonted visitor. and what business have you with our birds ? " quoth Tom the undaunted buccaneer. They Hester's cavalier too well. policemen what was of more immediate weight with them father's waist-belt — and. foresters. sur- elevated on the MacKinstrey manure heap. as represented by gamekeepers. *'Who are you. Tom. and polished. the shiny suppleness of which was wont to curl round their bare legs with a most convincing of argument. and these are at my father's birds and rabbits." said the lad the pony's Tom's with one hand to the spoil between " you killed them on my father's grounds will this afternoon. 1 ! Tom would mind. pointing feet.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT was thrown back. but the whole established order of things. " I am the Master of Darroch. mighty longing to kick the representative most abhorred. and ilk. rounded by the wild herders of that longed with a of" all that he was by no means a cowardly boy.

indeed. I ! Holding thus by the elder law. "You dirty little coward. He only led the pony down the edge of the wall which was furthest from the heaped litter of the We ! farm-yard. pugilism as a branch of education was taught daily behind the playing-sheds." he sneered. Tom tried again to exasperate his enemy. none of my master " why don't you come and take them ? at "The any rate. So put that in your " pipe and smoke it Hester's cavalier did not take any notice of these insults.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT Master of Darroch. " I defy you to prove we were ever on your old estate. The Master of Darroch turned about instantly. is shamming lame to-morrow morning " he cried. I swear I '11 come over and lick you " till you can't stand " Cock-a-doodle-doo ! " crowed Tom in the darkness. Seeing him (as it appeared) in retreat. got all these on my grandmother's property. shall ! have the police after you sharp to-morrow " morning " You can't prove it. "well. " or I should precious soon give you a dashed licking for cheek. '11 precious soon show you that you are If these are your father's property. his school. But you I 'd better have or I all that stuff ready for me when come back. There 's nothing worth taking on it anyway. was no play-ground." cried Tom. the as there Tom put himself into the position of defence approven by the most learned at Rankeillor Christian Institute — where." he cried. " If that little '11 Brown Patch who told you." said the boy with the pony. " I have to take this young lady home to her people. " if you dare lay a finger on the girl. all his aristocratic propriety of language instantly gone. I do for her ! ! 34 .

like a wild " Come back and get " ! Mister Master of Darroch 35 . thrusting out his tongue. standing on the highest midden heap. finally. He brayed like an ass. did. He crowed like a cock. and gabbled like a goose. he yelled Indian. or express- But what he could do he He contempt by any of these time-honoured means.THE RED CROSS KNIGHT " come back and do it. jolly well licked. ! my lord-knows-who Boo-oo-oo ! ! Mister his Master of mudheaps It was so dark that " Tom felt it was no use putting thumb ing to his nose.

who would have boxed your ears Megsy. politely. thocht ye were wi' that ill-set * hyule. But believe I have got everything out lord's son "My lo'es — at this time o' ! the nicht. and the am the son Darroch. " I I found the little girl is behind the wall of our deer park. 36 ." with beads that glistened and tinkled like the — you had called her a I burns which flash on the hills after thunder-rain. " Preserve us a'. what 's this ? Hester.' Tam Tor- phichan us — what's come got to my denty ? And wha 's this tell that has brocht ye whaur ye " I hame ? Speak " the wee leddy ? of Lord oot. ye maun ! be gaun doited Come in ben Come ben A door opened the hall and a sonorous and com- manding voice was heard.CHAPTER V THE MASTER OF DARROCH BUT Tipperlin at the front door of the white-washed sion of Arioland the eldest son of met with quite another reception. " ! think her foot I sprained. callant. not — but Megsy if manLord Darroch It was Megsy attired in in state. as well as hurt with a thorn. an' to bring her dearie back to auld Megsy laddie ! The Lord o' that the bairn bless ye and the blessin's dune I women follow ye. yet all unconsciously speaking as to an inferior." said boy. what 's this. bonny ? twa auld But what for am " ! standin' bletherin' here ! Megsy Tepperlin. in one of her mistress's cast-ofF maidservant black-lace " keps. who opened the door the white cap of the maidservant — Megsy.

And it was amusing and " pitiful to see the instantaneous change that passed across the face of the fashionable physician. I whom she will persist in retainbe my excuses Permit me to conThe ladies arc in the parlour. is that the bairn for as vour ain for — Megsy. with his wife's subscription-collecting ! intonation. ing — these maidservant. once the suavity of his irrcpproachable bedside manner. must duct you within. I remember. yes.' you say Who is Miss Hester? Oh. or maybe ! better " " Hold your tongue. he my mother-in-law about dispensing with And bid the youth go away at once. shortly." said upon him. will "you are inclined to be insolent. turning " I wad hae ye ken. Lord Lieutenant o' the County ! the countrv-side to baud a candle to — Megsy rang out the boy's titles like a herald. Doctor Torphichan. If is waiting to be paid for bringing the girl home. TorCome here immediately ? ! And waste that be good enough to shut the outer door. I speak to your services." . the reputed child of — my wife's brother -" " Reputed full child. ! will take no denial.THE MASTER OF DARROCH " Tippcrlin. tell him there is nothing for him! " " This young gentleman that there's no ane in a' — is the Master o' Darroch." phichan ring the it said. forgetting woman " said Doctor Sylvanus. and not ! your mistress's time gossiping there Who is )ou have with you? 'Miss Hester. indeed. the sole and only son o' my Lord Darroch " o' Darroch. bell twice "did you not hear Mrs. as lawfully begotten an' as weel vouched aye. Nay. " thousand pardons to deal with a Stirling's The uncertain light natural of the neighbourhood — the — my ignorance of having I beg ten irritation woman so stupid and impossible as Mrs. Let me 37 secure your pony. My dee-ar young gentleman." he said.

Stirling had often been kind to him when as a child he used to come across for a feed of the ripe Arioland gooseberries. Mrs.on-ring " But the which stands close to laird class. at the sound of her voice as at her words." *' Ye I shall have a pot home ! " broke in the old lady of Arioland." -." Dr." The two young the end of the ladies who were from the door. or to compel him to be home by any stated hour. " brought home your granddaughter. But their mother rose in a schoolboy called " Master. had discovered the old loupin'.8 . tossed their It seemed so funny to them to hear heads and giggled. many old Scottish houses of the bonnet- At there first the lad had intended to go home at once." THE MASTER OF DARROCH So saying the Doctor came to the door and. Carus. eagerly. Torphichan with even more than his usual purring suavity. " Ladies. with his own boy large soft hands. " 1 have the honour of presitting together at senting to you the Master of Darroch. while the old lady simply held up her hands in surprise and what 's brocht ye to Arioland so cried. the like of which were not to be found said among all the gay parterres and glass-roofed hot-houses of Darroch." stately fashion and bowed profoundly at the title. he would have " fastened the spirited little piebald to the pillar of the porch. " Wi' Carus Are ye hungrisome ? Do ye want a late at e'en ? furthest room — piece ? The boy laughed a laugh of remembrance as much said. lad apple jelly yet. Stirling. Besides which he remembered that old Mrs." he a piece to-night. " No. but was nothing at Darroch either to attract him. " 1 don't want though I can taste the flavour of your wi' ye.

dear. who had more of the nature of her mother. "she had hurt her foot climbing the wall of the deer-park. gazing earnestly into his face. it couldn't She was up at the have been Vic he brought home. "Oh. while Claudia. who took after her father. " was is indeed most thoughtful of you. Ethel. Ethel was a — and her. as called in he had been professionally his best bedside manner by Providence to assist. so I But then extensive. " Yc are a kind huldie to hiing hame the bairn on 39 ." The old lady had approached silently and taken him by the hand. My poor Victoria spirits." Mrs. like my own My Lord. jerked out spitefully. let me present to you my dear girls now. an operation to which the Master of Darroch submitted philosophically enough. It was Hester Stirling perfectly whom I found. full of life and energy.THE " iM ASTER OF DARROCH said My Lord. looking about it her to see which of her children was absent. Torphichan smiled and rubbed if his hands slowly over each other. so headstrong and tht)ughtlcss. how in hood over again seem to live my happy childthese young ones whom a kind I Pro\idence hath given me " ! At this Dr." " boy. my dear sly puss. almost a young lady. At the boy's words she drew him to her and kissed him on the cheek. going over those horrid killed little the woods. understand that your father's woods are I remember being taken over them when young girl. Torphichan. as you see." said the in standing unembarrassed the lighted parlour. as I call Dear. and had assumed in honour of the occasion. and I brought her home on my pony. dairy-steading things thev with in Tom. but said nothing. eldest daughter. my youngest Claudia. gravely bowed. 1 She has such lost in have often warned her not to get I and the woods.

her that is noo Her Grace hear. Megsy. father o' Dalveen ? you " his whisper. " Aye." cried Mrs. dinna favour your faither like — the na. Ye were fell fond o' that. ? Did ony on the gardevin in the Rin an' fetch them. ye see my keys ? They " ? think ye. Torphichan. " do not send young lordship on such a message. there's Guid Samaritan." "What. lifting up her black silk skirt and fumbling in a swinging pocket gold-rimmed spectacles. "faith. duchess " Do Ethel is " said Claudia. o' Where left I my keys. murmuring half aloud and half to herself. I weel mind " " Oh. my dauties. ! in the dark Rin you then. Sarah are dining-room. Cams. it will be a blessed day a blessed day " face ! — God send when he comes its speed — and into bless his Darroch bonny — Then suddenly she hurried away to a door on the opposite side from that by which the lad had been in- troduced by Dr. no muckle o' Ye his present Lordship aboot ye. ye I was ane. Torphichan. Sarah lass That comes 40 . that may " ! see your face) declare ye are the very moral o' your grandmither.THE MASTER OF DARROCH your ain beast. his in a loud a lord and grandmother a " ? And as the good old lady of Arioland moralised she gazed with her short-sighted eyes very near the boy's face. I And (turn abool mair to the Ucht. said ye What. mother. " But what am for her I thinkin' aboot ? " she said." cried the old lady. ye daurna gang hempies stands. Carus Often I hae opened it — ye mind to gie ? Sic' silly feared it fine where o' ! ye a drink cur- rant wine. are a Niddisdale if ever there a' vi^ee But your mither — aye. ! ye hae o' forgotten wi' a vengeance. his Let me ring for Tipperlin.

and with it opened the door. moment he was back. as she saw the boy eagerly speed away to bring her mother what she In a a desired. 1 wad admire to see Alegsy Tipperlin's face gin ye rang to for her fetch my iccys aff the garuevin! Rin you. taking the stairs three at I thank ye. Carus involuntarily took a step nearer.THE MASTER OF DARROCH bein' sae lang amang the grand folk o' Abercairn. " noo ye shall see " And she walked lightly and daintily to the cupboard." said the old lady. Within the fruits in great parlour cupboard there were shelves on shelves of preserves." sighed Forphichan. with a kind silent appeal to the higher powers for resignation." A scent came from the stifF-waistcd bunches of lavender and balm beneath which the old lady's black bugles glittered.. as her head shook with the little nervous quiver she had when excited. round. lifting her eyes to the ceiling. " I thank ye — flicked the keys about with a characteristic till little flutter the right one showed itself. to his He little forgot the Torphichans. beaming upon Carus through large. kilted boy. as the well-remembered scent came hot and dusty. In hcMicy .blond in com'o and clear amber in glass. ! bound. Carus " ! " of My mother spoils all her servants. He seemed to grow younger nostrils. 41 . Once more he come in for a was a still drink of currant wine liberally laced with water. Mrs. Some of last year's candied wide-mouthed glass jars had still power to make the Meneath was mouth of the Master of Darroch water. benevolent glasses. or better one of Mistress cool Stirling's " pieces " of bread and swinging "jell.

Ye shall hae them filled to the brim this night. Carus. been pitten to ony use since he rade awa to that haena the General Assembly in Edinburgh to gie his vote in the support o' Kirk and State as becam' an elder o' oor National Zion. that I may see the better. indeed. na. ye aye. her — that it had formerly been used by a vast in the bad old persecuting its days as a hiding-place for the laird. the latter was being slowly and it luxuriously strained through a cloth to clear of every Mistress Stirling stood a a little moment regardant. her head to the side. over Arioland would in these degenerate times parlour of They said. have made an ample sleeping-room. " Bring the lamp.THE MASTER OF DARROCH the corner particle of some of wax. through which a former Stirling of Arioland had crawled upon the slightest alarm." "There's my guidman's saddle-bags she commanded. for the peety ye took on a bit lamb that has nane Na. too ? frae the kame maun tak' tent to your beastie's feet this Laddie. ancient which she had rescued from a arm for the store-pantry of the recess. ye were aye fell — — an' some o' the black ! And ! fond o' grosarts. that melt in the mooth like honey An' sugar Will ye hae some o' them. ! nicht. or a bonny-like guidman's saddle-bags — stramash ye will mak' in and there " there my — ! 42 . entrance being a sliding concealed sideboard with back. bit lamb she was — thrown ^ And to the wolves the ravening wolves —-the puir lassie — the puir lassie!" — thrown a bonny to As the old lady thus meditated she stood with the saddle-bags. " Reid currant jelly Carus grosarts plooms. ye to richt her but twa doited auld women-folk ! shallna refuse Isobel Stirlin' that held the mither o' ye in her airms ten minutes after she was born.

Dr. somehow. with his grandmother's old friend the ajicient and pretty custom came back naturally. but Unyk lunger and easier down the avenue. He would have blushed crimson if any of his school-fellows had seen him." and vanished again. " the very sight of them makes me hungry. and dropping his bare head with its tight crop of curls. She had indeed silently opened the door upon her return. But I go back to school " ! in a week. as silently had " made a face. By this time he had Tom's poached game. Carus was in grateful as any other hungry schoolboy. and have fought any number of pitched battles over an allusion to the affair.1^ H E parcel that MASTER afternoon C) F D A R R C) oft' C H with a The little hospitable old lady of Ariolaiid topped of "dropped scones" which Megsy had as spite made airs on the girdle. and did not Carus rode out forgotten all into about even road turn his pony's head in the tht- direction of the MacKinstrey stronghold. Ethel and Claudia. and. Yes." he said . I am all alone at the Darroch. accompanied the boy to the door and with a word of farewell the night. Torphichan and the young ladies. as his grandmother the Duchess had taught him how when he was little more than a baby. he kissed the old lady's fine fingers. He comes and goes without telling us. Mrs. Then he bowed ceremoniously to Mrs. Torphichan with ceremonious pcjliteness. Victoria was still absent. Only the housekeeper and some servants are with mc. " You are very good. Stirling. I don't often know where my father is. of his where Master Tom Torphichan was concerned. 43 . and then it is n't so bad He took the old lady's hand delicately. seeing that she was observed by no one save her sisters. But.

beastly I '11 "You little cried. rat a cat in a still more gamey to condition than the might have been added the varied contents of Mistress Stirling's saddle-bags. and much came of it. and from an unsavoury grave. take it. and Mrs. angrily. rudely.THE MASTER OF DARROCH Tom at Torphichan. 44 ." he towards the unseen Tom. took Carus lately resurrected He turned on the shoulder and dropped to the ground. here's some more if you like well game — — " it ! And away at if Felix Carus's piebald pony that had not started moment. some time deceased. "wait till I catch you. bang you " ! till you can't stand. angle of the drive wrhere a well-directed p'or an the yew trees grow thickest rat. you dirty drug-shop sweep " Yah. " you said You want your that before. had not forgotten. however." the answer came back. Stirling would not have recognised as his gentle mother's the face he directed doctor's cub.

CHAPTER VI THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS "T I lest TTAVE I they truly gone?" was Hester's first question. for their impidence. then. crippled or deformed persons) " o' Deil tak' them Torphecchans. making only a little and fell to upon the 45 . Never ye fret. as they caa' themsels. " the ask keep watch on their graves " " Megsy.. will Tak' the porridge and guid jicw milk. Megsy kens brawly.-- iMegsy bending over her. but that is nae faut of — — ! ! yours ! Ye couldna an' help that. " Aye. And ye this. iny Megsy will keep they will never vex ye mair. as she awoke to find *. porridge they are I " ! don't like porridge. stung with great desire not to he like sat any of her cousins. holding her breath. they are gane. two days later. grow up sae bonny that they will and jeelousy " ! cat afF their fingers wi' fair spite At Hester. they are my cousins " Aye. the world dcnty. say it. dearie o' ! Sit and " tak' bite sup this fine porridge — graund a up. " mouth " as the sore foot twinged. she should rouse her too soon. " Dinna at Megsy " lamb There never was ! ! true Stirlin' yet that didna sup his porridge like a man. Look thae crowls " (/. dearie. o' No yin o' tham wad ! let a spuncfu' guid porridge doon their throats ill-set Wad my gorbs o' braw lamb grow up that thev arc ? to be like them. up in bed. lamb the taid and Foul fa' them that meddled ye ye safe. ^.

statuesque beauty which belonged to Claudia. that drew the hearts of good women to her. would for no reason particular. and gin it should 46 . dawtie There it — never mar ye on your " there ! So saying. at once wistful and confiding. commenting freely the hated Torphichans. The Megsy's anticipation of her future surpassing beauty did not at this time seem likely to be realised. For Hester Stirling was somewhat pale and " shilpit " as Megsy expressed it. and began all to dress Hester for the day. so that most men. "surely never yin o' thae ill-set blasties come back again? As sure as daith. " hoot-toot flea-bite. mixed with comfortable reflections upon how much more beautiful. and desirable should be the lot of her pet. She had not the large regular features and But there was a witching something about her. I'll look oot o' the wast chaumer window. startled so that she dropped the comb. Nae mair than a It will marriage morn." ! said Megsy. with the liquid depths of a well seen under trees in them. Her eyes were dark and brilliant. she bound up again. " Whatever 's that? " cried Megsy. fortunate. even when passing hurriedly by. or her figure the vigorous robustness of Victoria's. darlin'.THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS great basin of porridge faithful Megsy had brought her. *' Noo let me see the bit scart on your foot. At the very moment when bell the finishing touches were being put to Hester Stirling's hair. ! It 's juist doin' bonny. the sound of a cracked tinkling forlornly far down in the bowels of the old mansion house was heard. turn in and look back at the flitting pensive figure of this little girl. Her skin had not the whiteness of her cousin Ethel's. with the while upon many hopeful anticipations of their evil fortune in this world and the certainty of worse in the next.

aye put intil a an' never a preen (pin) wad I band. "what mean they by the that din at nine o'clock rin mornin' ? I'll hac to to the wast window. but ! wad like hae them to dress and fondle." " Plague on the in her diatribes against all the clan ot richt hand a' that poo'ed it ! " cried Megsy. let stupit there. " chan-^ But if a Torphee- Silence fell upon the little girl's room as the vengeful Megsy's footsteps died down the carpetless passage on her way to the "wast " window. a declare thocht to ye were For the moment I Torpheechan Oh. dawtie I ! auld Meg kiss it better It 's better noo. " some ac- may have happened " " Nae siccan guid luck. for Hester could tread hear Megsy's decided the quicken as she hastily closed door of the "wast chaumer " and hurried downstairs." retorted the implacable Megsv. Apparently the interrupter of the morning peace of Arioland had not proved to be one of the hated house of Torphichan.THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS be are onything a bit. but they should find the point o't first!" The tinkle-tank of the cracked bell sounded again ere Megsy had ended " Torpheechan. you must cident n't ! " argued Hester. o' the name o' I'orplucchan. she'll never hear a IV hush ! " Alegsy. — I "Oh. it 's or they will wauken the mistress. my dearie. We shall 47 . steer Praise to a guid I '11 never Providence baith doors lockit and the mistress that deaf. you hurt! " " Dearie. tying a bow of ribbon under Hester's neck with ! a jerk. no rug the verra hair oot o' their heids coorse as horse-hair it is whirl them aboot by their lugs like — — Wad I bummin' teetotums. Megsv.

She flung up her all upon Megsy arms and her hands upon his shoulders. in the half- . and an assurance of manner in turning to face whoever should open to him. sight it did not seem to be The man who faced round to meet the old servant of the Stirlings was about forty years of age. humorous reoccasion for visitor to miniscence gave him mirth).THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS follow her and see who it was she found waiting and lip in the crisp sunlight of that It autumn morning. had on a suit of rough tweed well polished by use. But the effect of his appearance Tipperlin was remarkable. the while continuing " Davvid — Maister Davvid ! " she gasped. But all the same there was a set of the head upon the firm shoulders. re- markable claims to honour stood without. an air about the way he had of tugging thoughtfully at his long grey moustache. ordinary people she only opened And her in shooting back all the bolts and opening both doors wide to the wall might well have warned those procedure who knew Megsy At first Tipperlin that some one with so. and a hasty hand double-leafed for was with a tremulous heart that Megsy Tipperlin opened the great front door of Arioland. a There was also a certain lurking irony about the (as if an occasional downward twitch mouth. He The was tanned to the dry parchmenty hue which betokens long exposure to a tropiskin of his cheeks and hands cal sun. His hair showed early grey under a coarse straw hat such as harvesters wear. At ordinary times and one half. a speedily checked which proved that this early morning the house of Arioland was a man who could be the best of company to himself. to gaze into his face. that betokened the man of courage and breeding.

" he 1 said. journey. Ye will ken never a differ The chaumers and the parlour and the wee bit room wi' the cages that ye used to keep your birds in a' are the same. A' thing ! — as ye left it. aye said wad come back ben ! — I I aye said it. cannot. the other. but ye will find the cages. Davvid. Come Come your ways ben " ! The man " I shook his head slowly and the humorous a fine look went utterly out of his face. his eyes were very like his daughter's when ! he answered " Neither one. ' Nane to became so weel a pillar o' the Kirk. I hae is ! keepit them ye a' snod and clean against your return. speakin' grand and slow in the way he had. on the stone seat by the sun-dial "XVae's me. my laddie.THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS whisper which one *' uses What 's this restin' a in grave — or " — what's are chamber of the dead. Arc ye risen frae your ye come back in the flesh to your in a this? wee lass ? The grave man on the doorstep smiled strangely and and : wistfully. ' Have my son he said. will wait for my mother " ! the garden. surely ye hae forgi'en in a' thae weary years! Surely ye will forgie the dead gin ye — ? wadna (jod is forgie the kevin' ! Your for ' faither is gane. wee bit lass that he gied me hame keep when his wife was ta'en frae him said the that but this puir ' ! mistress. nor. Megsy. as yet. wi' the bridle tlirown owcr his airm. Then he meditated a while. slowly. It was bonny to hear them sing in the simmer morns. " I am come to say a word to my mother " Come in come your ways in. and 4 me 49 waitin' wi' the stiirupcup . A'Icgsy " he " said. "it is morning in as you say. The birdies are dead. Maister Davvid. and as my his judge he spcered last ye kindly afore he gaed ye heard anything of awa' on David.

was streaked with white. And here in your father. hearing and before high heaven and my father's face.' THE FRONT DOOR BELL RINGS was his custom." said the man in the straw hat. still looking at the dense green of the beech hedge curling leaves a little edgewise the northerly breeze. and sae mounted and rade " I am glad. stair yonder. Here. with his eyes on the ground. I and neither on swore never to cross this threshold as ! ! — hell to change word or greeting with him or acknowledge that man as " any kin of mine " I mind mind the awesome words " cried I Megsy. mother to come to me let First be in good enough to ask my while. earth nor as it might chance in heaven or ! — ! sitting in her bit chair up the anger. For For the sake o' the wee lamb your puir mither's sake." in he quietly. forgie the dead. me see my little girl the garden. Megsy. " but I must keep my word. * If it should happen that my son comes back when I am absent. still and abundant. Adaister Davvid. it is the matter of the swearing of an oath. on this doorstep. do not turn him away " quoth he. and then. "but it is not a matter of forgiveness. dinna haud to a hasty word spoken in Come o' ben and bless this hoose yince mair wi' the presence its only son " ! Again David Stirling shook his head. " but oh. "You mean its well. I stood with my young wife sick I was refused admittance by my and ill on my arm. after a " ! 5° . I was cast out like a dog. He had taken crisp off his harvester's hat. and his though said. hair. Megsy.

but her years of self-repression saved her. as it were fighting for the utterance of words that would mornin' ? IJrawly better. " What is 't. She found iMistress Stirling tying the strings of her black " kep " with her usual care and circumspection. Megsy went up land.CHAPTER VII HESTER'S FORTUNE MEGSY TIPPERLIN to did to not answer him. turned visitor go within strode The also away without speaking towards the arch cut in the thickset beech-and-privet hedge which shut off the garden from the gravelled drive by a twenty-foot wall of densest collecting foliage. " an' how is your bairn this I 'm in hopes. Mcgsv. She looked Megsy up and down. did not As Megsy not come at all. 51 . are ye no wcel ? " " Maistcr Davvid is below. It stripe of red and white across to the was of shiny leather and had a it upon either side of the bed-chamber of the lady of Ario- strong handle. but her mistress. Mistress. surprised at her silence. "Weel." she began as she caught sight of her old servant in the glass. " and wad speak wi' ye in the It gairden by the sun-dial " ! seemed as fifty if the old habitual lady would have fallen." the astonishing words came with a rush at last. Megsy." answer at once her mistress turned She found her standing about. He lifted a small black bag of the shape accepted of bank clerks for moneys.

" cried her mistress. been his portion and dulefu' his heritage Megsy her hands palm down upon her sturdy hips." murmured Isobel Stirling. speak that gate of yin that has gane to a better place " ! to find her kenna aboot a better place.HESTER' S " Ye " I FORTUNE to are no wise. it " And if Maister Davvid be. on. 52 . " but I saw him wi' thae auld e'en gang into the garden among the grosarts no twa " since ! spirit minutes " Then. he says. " can it be His wull that thae auld e'en should again look upon their desire ? Shall I indeed see yince mair the laddie that I for to prayed be the well-beloved and the ! first born. save of courtesy she gave For Megsy Tipperlin was never polite hurt." Megsy was on title her dignity. fingers forward." as she would have said. Marget Tipperlin. as was evident from the her mistress. " Give Thy handmaiden strength. no to ask Is he what were ye thinkin' him ben to the parlour ? though heavy has " ? no the set eldest bairn o' the house. " ye hae seen a " ! " Speerit here — speerit there — ! speerits dinna carry it bags wi' railway tickets on them Maister Davvid fail. sitting down quietly on the edge of a chair " to com- pose herself. she turned upon Megsy. O Lord At such a time she spoke easily in the manner if not in the language of Scripture. was in the flesh o' and withooten ony He wants the favour speech wi' you. as indeed the worthy Scottish folk of her class and age still do. thumbs behind. when her pride was " My son — my only son. Megsy." said Megsy rallying word doubted. dropping raising her instantly into the vernacular and voice. The next moment. mem. Megsy.

no didna ye ask him ben ? " "IVIegsy. ironically (for she was far past the stage of to mere I politeness).HESTER' S '* FORTUNE " ask Maistcr Davvid ! Hear till her. Ask him yince ask him twenty times it is mair like it. shortly. penitently gave her mistress the support of her strong P'or her sixty years had not a whit abated her in natural force. for ye never had a bairn. only son " ! am as an old woman. "give me your arm. She had no intention ! of encouraging reflections. iMistress Stirlin'. I It is as if I had done a sore day's across the floor. Alegsy. I Flytc after. me that skelpit him till my bare loof dirled mony an' mony intil come ben ! his ain hoose — him twice Gin askit — — a ' time. and yet ye like. cheek and a ringing I see his back. nor yet quelled the fiery temper which her youth had sent a flushed many wi' a suitor to the right about with ear. mistress. I fleeched I humbled mysel' to him me that nursed him and brocht him up. " then ye will gang ahint the hedge and pray for your mistress. " Marget " I 'II never be withoot a bairn as lang as I hae you. work. come with me if garden gate. I for his saul's guid I for ' am strangely taken. be kindly wi' me I " Ye shall come me till am an auld dune woman — and — ye kenna what it is to hac a bairn break your heart. is have scarce to the stirred Megsy. her mistress is in any such melancholy " Davvid strong and hearty. That is the best kind o' prayin' I can do " ! 53 . me now." she said." said Megsy." said her mistress. and see you and fleech wi' him to stop stravagin' ower the earth and bide decently at hamc. What An' then ye say to me. but help son." said the mother. and well as easily this my my And arm. easily pacified irate. Megsy. Oh. I '11 gang and sort the bairn.

and there were pedestals at the statues. " My wee " ! " David — David " Davie ! And she *' What life ? bent her head on his breast. The sun-dial of Arioland stood in the middle of a as she tottered rather than green plot. It was and came When — nearly seven years since he had looked her in the face indeed. woman. David your mither ken ye were " in Very mother if it quietly a and tenderly David Stirling led his seat. She had been leaning heavily upon her stick. after a pause and very tenderly. Round it and sheltered by tall trees ran a row of stone benches. for end of each for the reception of busts and But probably none had ever occupied them. for did ye it no let ? Was to kind. 54 . defying her huslife. David heard his mother's foot he rose quickly to her. That was all she could say. the only marks upon the grey stone were those of the green mould from the winter tree-droppings. FORTUNE Mistress Stirling looked nervously through her goldspectacles towards the stone seat by the sun- walked up the gravel between the thinning leaves of the gooseberry bushes. never since that day for the only time in when. She sat down with difficulty. His mother was an old took her son by the throat. partly owing to a faintness about her heart The action and partly from the loss of Megsy's arm. and the scratches and chippings inflicted by the knives of many genera- tions of boyish Stirlings of Arioland. and then again. band her she had arrived in time to take Hester to her breast out of the arms of her dead mother.HESTER' S rimmed dial. He had not thought of that before. and pressed her neatly-folded handkerchief to her forehead as ached.

" HESTER' S " Mother. as David Stirling dipped his hand within. but presently. he shifted it The top opened. have had ye make my for reckoning bairn — ? with that. "but terrible thing to pass a word in hot bluid and keep years cauld and through mony. ! to spare I And to put because there it a great danger before me. a faint the contents gave out highest notes on tinkling sound like the some fairy piano. Waldron) had the said. I then. 55 his mother saw a glitter- . " That was just what kept me away.went to make a fortune. mother lifted He the striped black bag from the ground and touched a spring somewhere. At get first the wide gold-rimmed glasses did not quite the focus of the contents." he " I . Ye and to as your faithcr and vou baith. Not for myself. But I mother See. mother. you know. . for during your the provision which ought to have gone down to you have me and is my seed after me. for (though originally but a of righteousness. But left had no the bairn ye me to succour — the to me and Megsy she She added the also Stirling sense last clause that she might be just. till know that my father Then I came home I ! my word to am a Stirling ken. yet so that she I could hear every word. and as nearer to his mother. — enough and " ! have made Hester's fortune. that she might look. mother. " six months keep " ! ago. speaking very low. ye say ye were Stirlings credit." said his mother. it's a it I "I ken. God knows kernel — — nor yet for my life is but a husk without the life for you." he was dead had also till EORTUNE did not said. that is little your I Yet since to pity I married one of your name. come in your hands. but were two headstrong men.

These are all pigeon-blood Besides. with rubies. what I have sold on behalf of my partners. my the other a still myself. the King had men upon my track. For me I had none but you and this little girl. I want you to keep them. David. and those the largest. hand and last. They are they wished it for those whom they left at home.HESTER' S FORTUNE them cut. a few set. most of some. yet in the rough. " What are these. partners there I still I must. and arranged I me now like steel. shares upon the market. but life ing array of red stones. here and in Holland. and will grow in value every year. They will one day be my is inventoried and described. little girl's sufficient dowry. that ye hae gi'en your " for ? " Mother. ye are never thinkin' to tak' " o' gangin' away back your life in your hands he stood by . " I have two who have facing the danger have put their must stand by them. and of hold. a — keep for me and my little girl " David. and for six mine among the mountains in It is a thing forbidden a GovernNorth Burmah. in the Bible Hitherto we have worked in the as the old fellows used to build their temple. To-morrow I must start all as out again. they years are rubies. I had two partners. a pick in one other. I discovered. ment monopoly. But that which a man risks his life I brought these through. and they are 56 . I do not want to sell at present. and if are holding the fort. and this is my share. like Meantime. there are more than enough already upon the Each one of them market. though for I count his own. at there a chance of a regular concession. which I have brought to you to have worked. the — one Dutchman — partners Indian Government taking a Scot. a repeating rifle is But now." answered. " ? " Mother.

mother — you The papers here" — them as he spoke he turned the bag up a little. place. was proof enough that she understood this. an oblong lid dropped on concealed hinges and several papers were seen in a recess. " And what am I to do wi' siclike. I have promised " "Oh. How can I be easy in 57 what a day may mind with jewels of . " they to " ? "Put them your banker if in a safe like. David." he continued. title. when once the word That she and her son were sitting within the high circular wall two solitar)' figures of the trees. " you can show these to your lawyer or your banker. and then. moving aside one of the plain brass knobs upon which it rested. They are quite enough to prove Mv agreement with cut my will partners and the Amwill. "if ye hae \our auld mither dinna ganiz. and know bring forth. A criminal might do the same as he watched the judge lifting the black cap. " I am an auld woman. sterdam cutter's certificate pedigree giving for the be enough to establish o stones." said tor ! The Lady of Arioland gave the little helpless gesture of the hands which with her meant finality. " Here. lips." said — mine !" a — this if is my ever that be to my little girl his mother." " Mother. David ? " she said. in Then the them and my share worth anything " David. David. abandoning her appeal without another are surely vailable word give . She had lived too long with Stirlings to attempt to change her son's will had passed his there.H E living S T ! E R' S I F O R 1^ U N E spent when I some cartridges get back " expect they will have ony love his mother. with quaver not in her voice. so that the bottom showed. awi' again into thae heathen ootland pairts.

house. and keep the key the your work-basket among silk. Set the bag none comes seeking. I know.' as on a top shelf of your bobbins of coloured store cupboard in the parlour. " I would rather trust you. and take the risks. and patted his mother's arm. the lawyer. The stones are better here in the old of. David " ! David Stirling smiled. What none kens we in used to say." 58 .HESTER' S price in the house ? FORTUNE into a banker's Give them hand yourself. between man and man." he " I know^ no one here vi'hom I could depend on said . and a corporation has no Donald Simpson. but he sided as denied called me ' even the favour of his good word when last I upon him. with my father. and he bowels. mother. and is a righteous man.

but keephi-r. dark lustrous. eyes. . Megsy.CHAPTER A MOTHER IN VIII RAMAH moving heavily on under THERE was "Where sharply like is the sound of feet the gravelled walk. " . lowering the carefully to the ground. making say. set I me down now I will not be carried like a if I baby. bite his lips to keep down a cry. coming towards him up the walk. who thus in the strong arms of her old nurse seemed much younger pricked than seven the years. young voice him granny?" David Stirling heard a clear a voice whose tones thrilled him the first prick of a surgeon's knife. own way sair of addressing his Burmah "Then ing her if baud up the little girl still fit. ye contrairy niaisterfu' wcc besom " ! . and there. yc will hirple. He rose at the sound. arm about "There noo 59 — hap tentily. for if the voice and eyes were another's the words and accent were undoubtedly those of his own race. with innocent drawing attraction well. do you hear " ? The listener smiled a little this time." said Megsy. or can't walk I can hirple. can walk quite well. was Megsy carrying a little girl. as by a curious back-spang or echo of memory. his recognised labourers. and the green gate the arch in the beech hedge clicked sharply. and David Waldron Stirling.VIcgsy. my denty. And and in if the voice had the him. pierced them that he knew so him to the heart.

however." said her grandmother. RAMAH Hester crooked hopped as a robin redbreast to her grandmother's side. Her mistress could tell. with a bright look on my face. For Megsy. glad look There is a portrait of him in the parlour. asked the her foot. confiding tone of minded him of one who had given And it seemed that he looked along the for love. As for herself. is a beautiful young man." The tall grave man seemed to quiver anew at the it sound of Hester's voice. with in his eyes ! golden and oh. laid hold of him. 60 .A Holding daintily as MOTHER one foot IN up. " Because my father hair. " ken ye wha " this " is ? is He to not my father. with ' A Present from Ceylon' on it in pink shells. and now is nearly better. up all same perilous way which this little one must tread. " Hester. It The fresh. to unexpected answer. what was the matter with "I hurt it climbing the wall of the deer-park. at any rate ! " was the quick. she shut her thin as lips." back " And how do you know said it is not your father David Stirling. who the visitor was that had so quickly risen at their coming and now stood gazing so raptly at little Hester Stirling. the stranger girl sharply. my bonny. and clicked the gate determinedly behind her went back to her kitchen. she Then. such a bright. Hester ? " queried David. without.? me every night. though sore tempted by the way. if she liked. quite suddenly little lifting his head." " And am I not a beautiful young man. had loyally kept the secret. quietly. You can see it when you lift the big box. " I have prayed for him that come " . once taking her eyes off the unknown man. but it Carus got the thorn out.

'JIUS IS VuLK lAiUKKl .UksTKK.

.

! speak ony ill o' them that spak weel o' you " I won't. holding her — " — nor " Did the Torphichans do these things Stirling. brightly grandmother by the black silk of her apron. and you would n't run away and leave me if I took you to see the bower and had hurt nor set a horrid dog at my dear HufFy mv foot — ever. I IN You you." said Hester's grandmother. and I will wave my hand and say." said Hester. "you look kind.A "No. gravely. He is to sit on the box and mc beside him. are quite old RAM AH — your hair I is grey do you mind. 'The grieve's cart will be rcnuid for Sorry you can't come with us! you in half an hour! (jood-bye " Well. It agreement aniang themsel's. for " it ? like know? Hut Your name is liopc you don't is not Torphichan. the corners ? " said David of his mouth losing their humorous look. But all the same it is true." ! " ' said David. " dinna speakin' nonsense. "No. " I am sorry that 1 did not 6i ." said David. " Because my real father six all is come in coach and my cousins are here. no. was but some bairns' disI 'm sure baith Ethel and So dinna " Claudia said what a guid kind bairn ye were. hoots. granny. to Hester." " Hester. how"I thought not. "certainly my name is not Torphichan. and the likeness to the portrait of his father in the hall coming out more strongly on "Hoots be — his face. smiling. he is not my father " ! ! "Why when will you not have me to for a father?" a said David. and take granny and me and Megsy away right before them. this is your father " " No. quite MOTHER indeed! grey." still.

" she answered. will you come and give foot." said it ? David. now that ! so without snapping " I me up. You must come and after get "It was well worth coming the operation Hester " said David. me " a kiss " ? I can't come it. it How heavy up. "This! " David. drying her tears. isn't so much farther " ! "And what did said you bring me all that way?" was Hester's next question." he not like said. ! was complete. and a little am into Tears rose in Hester's eyes. — " 'cause have a sore for." " A come with your father her throat. "and indeed I have come " a great deal farther than that for it." " Then you expected me to come ? " " Oh. — would come back " Well. MOTHER a coach and six." far How " ? "Roughly. " "That " Ever is farther than to Edinburgh. "are you disappointed? Do you me " ? yes. But I always knew you am I here. for it is ! Can I have to play with ? "You can when you grow it In the meanwhile your grandmother will keep " Let me see what is in it you. yes. sob came "What." said Hester. ! IN RAMAH I But just the same. But it 's not the least like what I thought it would be. much. " It is n't very pretty. and smiling " Megsy would never let me say up at him confidently. very " I like you not that. lifting the bag with the red and white stripes across it." " ! 62 . about seven thousand miles. it 's " Oh.

ver>' curious in workmanship. " Well. " David. " They are lovely. others. marvels unspeakable. Hester let the stones trickle back intf) the bag and withdrew her hand. I am afraid. was set in a kind of clasp or necklace of !" cried his gold. bright ruby and gave it to Hester. trying valiantly to lift it. " Are those in the bag red beads ? would like to string them. " You must grow up. "there are all the " queried Hester." said Hester. Hester." said her father.. and letting a handful trickle through between her " ! How " cool they are. Hester was a polite little girl and would not say so to red glass. and hurt anyone's feelings." for "They are not stringing. John on Sunday mornings it would be far prettier." said her father. and she was definitely disappointed when she saw only what seemed rather smallish bits of some not nearly so bright as glass." *' such little Can I have just one ? " Her father took a large It.A MOTHER IN R A M A H She had a vision of Hester's eyes began to glow. and how they tickle as they drop *^ Yes. ! " she said. before you understand what they are good for. She was sure that if she could get a piece of the window through which the sun shone into the Kirk of St. " It is very heavy. ^3 . just " Many bright people have an itching palm for things as these. indeed fingers." her !" said her father. ye mauna." Very reluctantly. " I selecting two or three and looking for the holes. the bairn will let lose it mother. David shut the catch with a snap. smiling. Still. putting her hand within.

do you keep them together "These her father. and drew back a little. She deposited them beside David Stirling respectfully. for her success with the movements of the bag had raised her spirits " like you belong to ! me and I belong to grandmother the — . not the pretty " It is made of steel it Would you like to see how and covered with " opens ? So. butter. Next she set a decanter down with a flourish." said her leather. and Hester stooped to pick them up. and (what took much longer) how with a peculiar circular movement to cause the false fell The papers bottom to turn back upon its hinges. with strange look on her face. It scones. brightly. They hae never been dignity ." said Hester." said her father. and Megsy So they sat there hour after hour till sun had a mounted to the zenith. sandwiches. " They are my ain." said the old maid with a certain " they were bocht for the plenishin' o' Margaret Tipperlin's hoose. sitting there on the stone seat with the old lady's cap keeping up a constant stir of tremulousness and the unfasten the secret precious stones tinkling pleasantly between them. " Yes. and Megsy Tipperlin. I know. " Stirling ? Will you deign 64 Davvid ." A " That father. — used since. And they were set aside when that happened which happened. but with the silversmith's polish yet upon it. are not so pretty as the stones. He began to shake his head. hae touched them but mine. cheese. David Stirling showed his heiress how to catch which allowed the key to work. the bag." she said to " Why " ? " Because they belong to each other. and was covered with bread. brought out a tray of silver. Nae hands to taste. old-fashioned in pattern. neither silver nor glass. out. MOTHER is IN RAMAH stones.

. hand a little furtively on the back of his as it rested on his knee.A MOTHER me " I IN R A M A H Megsy. " I think you are my ! father now. In after years she never forgot how the sunlight lay on the tall grass. as he bent his body to receive it. You are going ? " she cried. " she cried . Hester's father. wlin 65 also risen. " ! "but some day h:i(I will He 5 turned to his mother." In this fashion David Stirling ate and drank outside father's house. " I can fetch sure it ! Hester's quick eye caught his desire." said I " Since you dare health." she said . come back smiling gravely upcMi her. lay some distance away. " see me hop " And hat in enough she was back in a moment with the her hand." " It may not be tjuitc to-morrow. " you have a nice-shaped head " "Good-bye " for the present. filling a glass." said David ling. Grow up quickly and get ready to play with your pretty red stones. over the threshold of which he had His mother laid a shaking sworn never to set his foot. mother — and drink your yours. At last David Stirling stood readv It to depart. kiss- ing her tenderly. He to looked about for his straw hat. Megsy — and yours. She put it on his head. little one! " he said. " But you will come StirI back again to-morrow. little one. and how towards noon the image of the it sun-dial shortened till black splash on the grass. as there and forgotten to wipe seemed no more than a blueif somebody had spilled ink it up. whecc it had fallen when he went forward ! greet his mother. have no choice. and Hester looked at them both with curious his eyes. like that.

Little Hester. of Arioland lifted up her one of those mothers in Ramah. Only dinna greet ? greet. she gave him the benediction Aaronic. will If like greet too How ye But the old woman did not hear her. because their children And this was her firstborn son. " The Lord bless thee and keep 66 thee. whence sons and daughters go forth alone into unknown things. The Lord . She only lifted up her head. stood up and ? her grandmother's gown. but now at least I cannot remain where she died for the lack of that which was denied her. tugged at not be comforted. if ye '11 winna greet. I canna bear ye ! to greet. " Grandma distress. '' Dinna gang and leave a . I gie Fluffy." A " MOTHER son IN ! RAMAH down My — my only son ! " she said. mother. my I best dolly. sanctified the world of by generations of use in Scottish homes." — bide wee " mother my word — the word of a " Bide for the bairn's sake — ! for the sake o' wha " ! — ye mind know. forgetting her lame foot. and with her hands upon her son's shoulders. I must go Give me your blessing. this auld hoose desolate. granny. mother " I " in the land ! Then the " auld like leddy " voice and wept. and looking into his face. breaking into dialect at the sound of her friend's " I '11 my ye dolly. " Mother " said David. " I cannot. sit never play at mud ye that pies on Sabbaths. Stirling. as she put her head on his shoulder. who would were not. Bide David. gie ye '11 what for do ye greet " she cried. but Hester will in a chair an' read a book. — grandma.

with a mother's blessing on his head. 67 ." Thus the son departed.A thee. MOTHER IN R A M A H make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto The Lord litt up His countenance upon thee. and give thee peace. who had last gone forth from Arioland bearing the weight of a father's curse.

without moving or looking up. Anders If ye hae brocht ony mair o' your nesty fish wi' ye." said a voice at the " and my feet are clean. . uncompromisingly. Megsy. Then a ruddy-faced grey-headed 68 . I daresay ye can o' come ben aff. ye can e'en clean For Megsy Tipperlin has as muckle them yoursel' as she can do without thumbing a' the afternoon at IT was lady ! ! slaistery fish " ! door. " Come in. the mistress of the lower parts of the house of Arioland.CHAPTER MEGSY'S IX ' ROMANCE in Megsy's clean-scoured kitchen. when a knock came to the back door. " Ow aye. gin I had my will o't ye should be " sittin' caigily at mine There was an interval filled with external sounds of ! struggle and stress. Megsy had heard the step upon the brae which heralded the summons. but tak' your great wheelbarrows boots and there by at the door cheek. Megsy. o' sittin' Ye '11 them oot no be nair the waur leave a decent a while in your stockin' soles. She breathed upon a doubtful spot before she replied. "They're guid loch trout. She had just begun to give a wholly superfluous rub to the salver on which she had taken out refreshments to the Stirling who would not so much as enter the house of his fathers. Can I no come ben ? " " Let me see ! " quoth. and that was washing her dishes and polishing her private store of silver. at ! woman's fireside " " Ah.

when I gacd oot?" flower-beds.' as lifting an eye of the " I was Megsy. They were to well-bred hens. Beyond this scientific frontier Megsy's happy flock had scope and freedom limitless. and got down the bakc-board in order to begin the yet more important operation of " baking the cake. and step never attempted cross clean-scoured of Arioland back door. general gossip and " everybody's body " throughout all the Strath of Ken. This was Anders IVIacQuaker. her fowls. no that my heart was juist set on ye it to siccan a degree that " ye " Then if it's frettin' till — ye can and keep set for five meenites mair I feed the hens! " said unfeelingly. Anders depths the cheese-room. and even unto Luce Bay. authority on sport. bowl of for " daich " beloved or freshly-stirred meal the water. and ? the uttermost parts of Minnigaff. fisherman." 69 . as she passed out with a great Megsy. much sayin.M E G S Y' S ROMANCE — man entered. walking softly on his stocking feet like one who takes heed to his going. Anders. and never lay away. like common uncovcnantcd chuckies. but Megsy from the by no means went on with her work had in the direction " cried without so door. And the fear of Megsy's dishclout side even kept them on the other from the corner of the of a certain unmarked but faithfully observed boundary-line. She waited to receive her guest. "And ye were rcmarkin'. which front was drawn about the door gravel window. busker of flies. and they were duly fed twice a day to teach them to bide at hame. too. concluding at the kitchen Upon her return Megsy to proceed so soon as she had dusted the thus encouraged her visitor " daich " from her hands. " What 's of that ye say.

now take the oaten cakes and turn them at the side of the fire. " Rap Rap ! ! Rap ! Rap " ! comes to the ear in varied keys of sound. light in the mouth. crisp to the tooth. iron girdle which hangs over the clear fire. Immediately after this the cakes need attending They have already been removed from the round to. mild. Many promising courtships begin this way.MEGSY'S Now there is ROMANCE when the sun deepens the no prettier sight than this to be seen in Galloway. dull and sharp. a fire and insinuating. much to be desired as fare the gods! After such knitting of brows — such fit for poisings of head to decide whether the fortunate cake be ready or not ! Then — almost 70 as if it were a theft. no roisterous flame. and indeed worthy of being noted by all. The same pretty hands. At intervals a hand showers a delicate top-dressing of the wrist flour with a twist of much admired by connoisseurs. colour on rosy cheeks. according to the thickness of the dough beneath. the flour being touched away with the corner of snowy apron. mellow and mellowing all about it. while the to-and-fro move- ment of most the roller on the bake-board brings out the fascinating graces of movement It and play of dimpled elbow. hardly even a blanket washing when coats are kilted for the tramping. and well-shaped ankles shine white as the flashing heels of Mercury himself. setting each gentle. And a pretty girl certainly looks her prettiest with arms bared all well-nigh to the shoulder. so that forth a may come worthy cake. at the it proper angle to get the best of the heat. and this. so he be a worthy one and deserving of having trouble taken with him. but a "griesoch" rather. sweet and pardonable as that other which (in intent) has . This is generally accompanied by a smile at the attendant youth.

but quite otherwise if of Megsy. as barbs under the snowy baking-apron. the favoured swain endured not unwillingly his comrades' envious laughter. speckled and freckled with orange and sides yet shining saffron. and firm from the wet bracken 7« which they had been wrapped. that should be so !) already whose locks were once like growing There be hearts which once bounded fiery the raven. hath ever forgotten the baking of the cake. nothing of the remem- brance showed on her large and steadfast face. beautifully large basin. spotted and splashed with green. whose shelves were of the purple Parton slate. and that resourceful lady called to was the baking mind other bakings across the years. or the adventurous spirit in him any manwhich makes its way with maids even in the table. and — but staid Galloway. Anders the fisherman set him purposefully down by a which he brought softly from a little pantry. . to Into this he proceeded "clean" the fish he had brought. let all slides off the corner of assisted at those who have such bakings of the happens then. if he have hood. Large and their sleek in fine loch trout they were. the least young man's head for the last quarter of an crumb is broken off the corner follows is a flash of white teeth as to the tested. even as he had said. and the rest offered worthy observer. this At point the youth. and cake recall to themselves what There be heads grey and heads white ever it heads (alas. issuing all forth." or thin or shiny a-top oftener still by the widow's plain black- — yet neither head nor heart a shoulder. that are now covered by the staid dove's grey of the " old maid. nor yet that tell-tale print of a small floury hand upon on account of which.M been in the E G S Y' S ROMANCE — it hour. however. Not thus.

! We ! ! 72 . Anders!" said the baker of cakes. warningly. I was " Hae ye thocht ower what I said to ye the last time here. or. and get it by for the nicht. ignoring her warning. landlord. Megsy ? " said Anders. Anders MacQuaker cleaned awhile the bake-board alone broke the silence. presently. with equal sobriety. nae man. " maybes ye think because I am a bit o' a sportin' character. tifically running his sharp and crooked knife along the trout's white under-edge. lifting her roller so that in stood up on end. her elbows working over the bake-board like the cylinders of twin-engines. sticking to his task. rather. the cleaner of fish." said the fisherman. and no juist what ye wad caa' a tradesman brocht up to ony particular trade. " Weel than " ! said Megsy. "ye hae come to do it. that ye can lichtly me I 'm no reminding ye that ye didna think sae " '11 let that flea stick to the wa' yince. order with short taps to shake off the superfluous meal. swiftly and scien. " your health is no that guid. " And what was that " ? Megsy's question came out sharp as a warning whip cracked close to the ear of a misbehaving horse. " Ye had better " put in Megsy. dodging about it like a boy playing at " tig " with his fellows. Megsy." said Anders. " Margaret Tipperlin. like it one definitely ex- pectant. it wad maybe be as weel " ! ! responded. that I ken o'!" " But. solemnly. " ye maun mind that though I hae been a kind o' sportin' character a' my life. I can see " " Ye are richt. while the purposeful dunt-dunt of Megsy's roller of wood on " Ye had better oot wi' it. Megsy.MEGSY'S ROMANCE in silence.

Mcgsy — but wi' they hae keepit me this weel on and weel provided stieve bellv-timber for mair years than I like to mention plate to when pit I am on next errant. an orra ain I mender a' auld pots and pans. Alegsy. she erected the roller and with a . 73 withtjut the least sign that a. should yet hae a slated hoose officer o' the kirk ? o' his and be made hae dune for lonesome. that o' they hae sic a made me an officer the kirk. But the hoose juist terrible Megsy." MEGSY'S the tin ROMANCE Mac- nor magistrate. has ever had a word to say against me. were the maitter o' a boast. that mine hae biggit me a hoose. like Was man there thing kenned as that a man o' me. I can put And my hand ? to mair trades than onv man pit in the country "' Maister o' nane. Megsy. mair nor her ! She has gotten 's dochter to gang 's and they say she ! failin'. Maybe.ain. I ? what the waur am mistak' the breadth if I but I may tak' a dram Did ony man ever see Anders — o' o' the road for the length o't be no tradesman ony ae trade. Then. a fishin'.j. will ye no ? gie the auld leddy in your warnin' a I need ye to. half-trades o' if Megsy Thank ye ) Thae and ever I might say. And that. a bee-skep maker. your sake.' says you. is Megsy. heard. And that 's a deal to claim for a man that is as tond o' Ouakcr and the fur and the feather as Anders o' the Clachan o' Sant John ! " iMair nor that. And even buskin' salmon huiks is no to be caa'ed ony real compensation to a thin kin' man *' ! Sac for the last time I ask ye. (Hae ye a muckle ? this ! half dizzen troots on. wantin' you. a watcher at a' by waters ta stop the black jobs. that she no lang for this warl' ony way There was she had silence again as Megsv put the finishing touches to her hatch.

I whether ye heard kirk officer's seat rest or no. Megsy. went on slitting up his trout and disembowelling them with the same indescribably technical motion of the using. but without any hope of success. listen " ! For the first time Megsy Tipperlin turned fairly round towards Anders. I think I could sermon mysel'). who. relieve his as if he had spoken indeed real mind. as were. makin' your peace wi' your ! Maker being sae conceited aboot yoursel' Did you no hear the minister say. Megsy. is higher in Aweel. " Hae ye dune ? " she asked." Anders answered without " it micht hae been. that it thumb he had been to " First and foremost. let me bring to your remembrance that yince near on to forty year since. that sinful pride was the unpardonable it sin. ken noo what for the the back than a' the " ! " I heat. but as a maitter o' fact it " ! wasna "Weel. This being done suitor. preach no that 74 . he said sae. " Aye " said Anders. it is gi'en o' me to say wad it far better become a man your years and latter an officer o' the kirk to be thinkin' on your end.MEGSY'S flexible knife ROMANCE upon her kept for the purpose she striped the firmly to her satisfaction she turned adherent dough from the smooth rotundity of her pin. But Tipperlin then and she is Marget Tipperlin noo. for and. in the ill second a place (fegs. She was Marget ye speered Marget Tipperlin afore. last Sabbath nae farther gane." " Then. wasna sleepin'. " Is a' said that ye cam' to say " ? « A' is said. however. selecting ! a fresh trout with a to mournful countenance.

and there was a copybook lang burnt to ash wi' a page in it a' scrawled ower wi' the words. name. " Yet to see me — a' the time ye were trysted to me. but she had a lovin' caa' though the was never what ye wad time ye telled bonny." groaned Anders. her book For the foolish to see hoo the name wad look. — bonny to look upon ! God rest her soul " ! "Amen! "said Anders. though that did as critically as ever a-long the belly of the next fish. neither yin nor And the silly hizzy promised to he your wife. I do her that Anders MacQuaker Aye. woman. For though mony Anders. trusted ye. I speak nae that was " Be the savin' o' the bit lass. though. and ye cam' first every second nicht. cried wi' purpose o' marriage to anither that Margct. and the tear was not prevent him squinting in his eye. far bonnier nor me. But nae that gaed. woman. And that maybe as it may. ! Anders. ' Margaret lass wanted MacQiiakcr. " is forty year no lang enouch "Oh. ." wrote on the copy book. in to be cried bide I the on I ill and they telled me I awa'. then every third. heart. it mill- till last o' a' the countryside o' heard where Then kirk I was ye spent the rest heard that names were Sabbath. in thae auld lass days. she never a her that she was. fairly believed ye. and heard kenned that I had dune yc Then the name should I hae been lass. there cam' a bonnier in your aye.M E G S Y' S ROMANCE She is she was young and foolish then. for I your to forenichts. slower and slower wheel stoppin'. She was ' ! young. like a I and then yince a week. the name my ain.? ye no let that suffice " ? 75 . yet the ither noo. I name no her She was justice! She was a woman ill o' the dead. road. now Will cut to the quick.

And if you had looked closer. let me hear the like out mouth again " ! The upon fisherman rose without a word. standing her ground. laid out his retreating grew faint and fainter. table. " the I hae settled Anders this time. sternly. and then vanished. you might have seen something like a tear in her figure down the avenue. slate. From the window. till it eye. Anders. letting the latter fall on the floor with a ringing clatter " it is ower lang for a man forty months. her. That was obvious to all. aye. the chance to serve the auld Ye shall never woman as ye served hae the is young ' ! The copy-book lass is gane to the winds and sae the silly young that yince in it ! ! on a day wrote doon Marget MacQuaker' Ye come on oot o' your a fule's errand Never Gang your ways. and went to left where he had The trout were neatly arranged on the upon a couple of clean platters. appointed if Megsy would have been greatly dishe had not been back within a month with 76 . Megsy ! ? The slated hoose is to stand lonely yet " ? " Neither now nor ever.MEGSY'S ROMANCE — " For a man — aye. or — forty weeks serve a man to forget in. I 'm thinkin' " she was saying to herself as she clinked platters of speckled beauties down upon the clean purple coolness of the Parton All the same. Megsy watched his stocking feet his boots. But never a as woman that has been slighted and lichtlied Marget parish o' Sant Tipperlin was slighted and made " licht o' before a' the John " Then ye winna come. for guid an' ! a'." said Megsy. There was a smile upon her lips. Anders. and looking steadily at the suitor before At last Anders dropped fish and knife together.

nor the things that might have been. neither bearing any grudge for the things that had been. but were not. for over thirty years.M E G S Y' S ROMANCE so it the self-same tale. 77 . And had been between them in For Megsy Tipperlin and Anders MacQiiaker were their hearts very good friends.

— the marmalade. ridged and shaped to the convolutions of the " skep. and the honeycomb began to arrive. After a while it got back upon the ample shelves. There were no " sections " in those farther shoved a days no hives scientifically contrived. as combs of rich honey. and the more plastic parts deep and rich little like cairngorms.CHAPTER X A HOUSE LEFT DESOLATE THE shiny black it. but alas. or only blew up the strath with a kind of sucking breath. This would have pleased them well enough. with sat the red and white bands about for many days among the accumulating products of the Arioland orchard and garden the neat white pots of red currant jelly. accurately cut into lengths. as the autumnal days crept in shorter. the larger dishes of gooseberry preserve. there sulphur. The poor bees had perforce to be content with their straw-built tenement." were laid upon each other like huge piled toadstools. the next day. — one autumn night when the winds were still. lo the black bag with the bands was came Anders MacQuaker with reek of burning And ! pushed yet farther back. labouring late and early to fill it to the utmost peak. The whole house was scented with the "straining" of amber honey as the nets of gauze. swung between the backs of chairs dripped their slow-running silent-falling freight into the appointed jars of clear glass. bag. beloved by Carus. with long amber straws lying across it. 78 .

revealing the scented essence which the bees carried while the falling shots were cracking and the grouse over the leagues of moorland. required to drive down the 79 . For it lay upon her like a weight that she should be long valley to the station." the cately green. and that she might put the thought of it from her for a season. that There was most of this. which clothed the sides of the the world. mounting These were of fuller flavour alternately amber and tawny. till none remembered it save the mistress of the house of Arioland. till the heather browned and grew dry and rustling as silver-shakers in the keen winds of the moorland. far-away pots seemed to be fragrant with wild-wood breath of crocus and wind flower. and the blowing heads of Lent lilies. for was the best vintage which the Master last. keen-scented as wood smoke. arrived the first — heather honey.A The HOUSE LEFT DESOLATE farthest back. were Hester's favourite dark-brown combs. vet with a tang to it like nothing else in purple ling. as if the bees had combs of the springtime. Last of all. The next sap. over which the soft winds of June had blown through the short and merciful nights. and there little colony — — up to the a busy to their own resources. vvine-rcd and glorious. most precious conserve of leagues of the true heather. and she only occasionally. of the Bees had kept to the The hives for the heather-honey had been carried in jolting carts left purple sides of the Black Craig. golden-brown as the pools where the salmon sulk waiting for the floods that they may leap upward. deliextracted some of the a faint. And ever the striped bag was pushed farther and farther back. trom the clover of pasture-fields. product of the Bennan and gleamed afar upon Ben Gairn. through which the knife cuts clean and luscious. Then. and the nearest to the striped bag were the " iirstings.

" Megsy would as she snipped out a cover for the next jar with swift-running scissors. mistress. with a hush and creaking of brakes." A wait HOUSE LEFT DESOLATE till the bustling train came snorting over the Stroan viaduct. and might one day bring a judgment upon the country. slid alongside the little flower-girt Good resented desirable Mistress Stirling did at not like the railway. and the lad's sturdy waist that ye best." cried her mistress. and awa' as graund Rood Fair " Some folk had nae graund young ! canty as " if a' the warl' was but yae to man's waist rejoin. last till at the engine shoved a black inquisitive forehead under the high arched bridge and. is " Na." she would object. leisurely gossiped What right had its snorting upon the cud-chewing kine and send them flying with tails in the air ? It was bound to be bad for the milk. the train platform. She with which the train passes spots be looked upon. soughing out of the Big Cutting and silently approaching over the padded levels of Mossdale. farms that ought to be about. nor young And man langsyne some had to lippen to for a neither grey horse did they lift. startin' ye wi' a tug like pooin' your teeth. clip their airm aboot. What do ? "Do. covering the under surface 80 . " It wasna sae in my young days. there was but ye set a pillion set across a guid grey likit horse. and stoppin' ye wi' a fussiness to intrude dunt-dunt that is like to shake the verra inside oot o' ye ! Na. in my opeenion the railway no only a great convenience but an offset to the country. "there were nane o' thae nasty scraichin' (screeching) machines raging through God's bonny land. or indeed anything that went the haste to one particular time.

say ye did. your Sunday coaties kilted to the knee. to ride on. on when ye cam' to the That 's what ye did." Megsy would take up the running. ay&. to say ye are ony mair happy wi' your railways and eengines and trucks. the roads that shone sae green across the muir. " what did they do that what they a Faith. days o' The it For the what we hae and mourn not. if Marget. wi' a gleg ! Deity with a large and reverent gesture) yince on a time turned back the shadow ten degrees on the sun-dial of Ahaz for the sake o' guid king Hezekiah.A HOUSE LEF7' DESOLATE of the white circle with whiskey and white of egg. " that as may be. " yin's youth wha can recall ? last phrase was an ovcrword to Megsy. nane thinking ill o't ! And a lad carrying your singlepit ! soled shune that ye were to burn aneath the kirk-yaird wa' leave to yersel'. and the days o' yin's youth wha can recall? Him-up-yonder (she indicated the your taes in the stockin's. For all that the Mistress of Arioland cordially hated going even to the neighbouring town of Drumfcrn. then ye were when ye legged it lichtfit ower the heather and dabbled fowk Darroch water before ye drew on your young lad standin' ready to buckle " your shoon when ye had dune *' Aye. tak' He ever made a practice o't Na. go. to keep the conserve from moulding. where are penned up like sheep in a ree. " then . she She She would had said at first. and with she pointed many morals. I mind mysel' mony day seeing ye tripping it ower the heather and alang had nae horse. put the evil day as far from her as possible." then " C when she h:ni the :ipple berry-time was jelly. "when made 8i the past. bare-fit and bare-leggit. mistress. na. brawly do ye ken ? Marget Tippcrlin. when ye had never a horse it And I Megsy. ! But we dinna read that mistress.

spools of coloured thread Megsy's Bible (diamond type. happy and content in the high summer days. none other of any authority) and the thousand odds and ends that the faithful and cross-grained in the little certain." Meanwhile. as flesh will. and from the gladness on her 82 . Megsy.A "when HOUSE LEFT DESOLATE a' the honey was strained and a' the libels on the jars. Megsy " side ! And very swiftly and with a fluttering heart Megsy and her. The foot did not long trouble her. So after was Megsy's open locker at the top. heap of pebbles and scatter them with her hand till But one day Megsy it discovered built into in the wall of a square enclosure of rough stones which that it Hester had been kept in playing " house. grandmother will not speak to me this morning! Come quick. a the strange eye looked through. along with musty old letters. perhaps most by the first intention to Carus for extracting the thorn and sucking the clean. healing. of Arioland had picked up during her long Then there arrived a black day to that house. bound in red leather. She seemed about to speak. Megsy. — all sweet child's wound She played sometimes with the red stone buckle her She liked to cover it up among father had given her." kist. Hester came flying downstairs one morning to find Megsy in the kitchen emptying out the tea-leaves by the of the old well. curiously servitor life. went and found her mistress turned on her the red light of the winter sun shining full side. of all thanks. upon Her eyes were open and her colour bright. Hester alternately helped and played. " Oh.

what come o' us S3 .A face well.'' ! But. " all is weel wi' 's the mistress. it HOUSE LEFT DESOLATE seemed to be of something that pleased her " Come awa'. oh. bairn. to She has seen the Vision " ." said Marget.

who Megsy below stairs.CHAPTER XI THE MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS AFTERmany. with eyes devoutly upturned. were that silk rustled. But occasionally she would turn the handle of the room where Dr. the whole world Mrs. and they filled For the Torphichans the house. anxious deeper grief should not be disturbed. came hastily It little chanced that Hester. being fairly next of kin to the dead and chief like mourner. Her whole that a still attitude suggested a resigned sorrow. her hand on the brass knob before opening cautiously. What yet she really said was. peevish face. into every room in the house. and mouth pursed to indicate emotion. Sylvanus Torphichan especial. Sylvanus was supposed to be overcome Here she would pause a little. . and her whole figure radiating grief as she went. She intruded her discontented. " Have you found anything " ? And as soon as she had received the doctor's lowspoken negative she would softly close the door again. scraped a file. fell the days of darkness. a refuge with in those days found and during the nights slept in Megsy's room. and seemed swathed in in crape. and resume her mournful peregrinations. a handkerchief set alternately to either eye. while Tom Torphichan occupied her little white chamber under the eaves. with by his emotions. Black hammers tick-tacked.

Mrs. stream glittered the They were like the one her buckle — she remembered that long after. and pushed along the passage by her aunt. Torphichan was about to But she lifted up her hands will at the desecration of Hester's words. a drag and a disgrace. having seen the red bottle with the great cut-glass stopper lying on one (jf the settles in the hall. "You — "You " ! shall not speak against my father — he was your own brother. my salts Quick. Her light tread did not bring the crape- cumbered sentinel striped to the spot in time." hissed." she " what do \ou mean by spying and prying about this house ? Get downstairs with you till we decide what is to be done with you. she ran and brought it to her aunt. and was of red pouring stones through that in his a tinkling firelight. have such a I not ! wicked " ! girl in the house. Ethel And the chief mourner staggered to a chair. violently away.MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS along on a message tVom iMegsy to the store-cupboard in the parlour. Thinking that her aunt was really ill. and better than any one kinder too. and. Yes. And this house ought to be says so of you his. 85 . Hester's eager little heart was touched with remorse. — Megsy With let a farewell cuff little the slim figure go. The next moment terrier she was pulled shaken as a shakes a rat. "She must be taken away immediately. b\- So Hester had a glimpse of her uncle standing the table. You are nothing but a drag on respectable people as your father was before you. with the red- bag open before him. wretched little good-for-nothing minx. He had his back toward fingers in her. Ethel.

the warmed in my bosom Quick. afflicted still lady could only point venomously at stood mutely by with the scent-bottle it in her hand. This very moment snake be ill. and administering girl's such corrective slaps as pleased her to the cheeks and '' ears. in a high falsetto going to be taken. Here is the me The lady kicked out her I ! " " please " ! heels rigidly. He had cry 2. if some one does not away. Then she caught Hester's arm. send that dreadful she flew at I I I shriek. making mamma I '11 ill and upsetting everybody " ! — what do. I am going to " Ethel know it Ethel ! ! ! — am. " like ! " Do stop it this The Hester. " What instant ! is it. mamma can if ? You who you " she cried.6 . there that's If you you get away Stay in the coal-hole or come up here where you are not ! wanted. Sylvanus Torphichan was " taken " the house also knew it. anywhere. only far worse And gave a the spiteful Ethel pinched Hester's sharp little pitiful Torphichan out of his arm till she which brought Tom room upon the scene. scolding her all which came up from little the time." said Hester smelling bottle lay with eyes shut. ! when Mrs. Look here." she cried. " Oh. " am know I little child me in a fury the ungrateful asp. Ethel snatched from her and gave it to her mother. So when at last the eldest daughter came at her call she began to run as soon as Now she heard the heels of her mother's shoes tap-tapping on the wax-cloth. forgive am sorry I was rude. . and pushed stairs her towards the head of the the kitchen.MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS That and now afflicted lady had sunk back into an easy-chair. aunt. knocking them I on the floor with a smart rataplan.

I say. something that holding vv'hat struggled actively to escape. though. and I 'm not going to let you alone Now. or make it ! jolly hot for you. I penny she gets will come off you! " I shall like ! heard papa say will you like that ? " Never you mind how to it. Dick. But I say. I shan't come vou for pity. that in 's just Let 's She pinches with her nails." said fellow. " You are only stick a charity child. you know — oh. if you are older than me. there. and then you can't go ratting. for Ethel had Meanwhile. Eth. Hester was hurt her arm ver)' much. and Kip are MacKinstrcy has four lov-v-v-ly S7 rats in a cage. will (Be ! (juiet. oh. I Tom. Eth pinched you. jump and teeth . Don't you mind her.MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS something alive in a bag under his arm. mv ! ratship Then when she opens it — honjf ! Out his And then won't old Eth holler? will hop! at all ! Oh. no! Not Oh. bet. He was was apparently the nose of the animal inside with one hand. " you let that small kid I 'm not a beast. I '11 Quiet. a beast for that. you dog. we '11 put like Eth. that everv Aha. I that 's all. behind the door of her all a rat her I bedroom wardrobe. Dick Don't you touch her. to-night. you mind me " be. beastly hot " quietly crying. Be quiet. can. ! ! With girl a final shove of disdain Ethel pushed the turned to little along the passage and go back to her mother. old chap. — is n't your name Hester Vic ? Rummy name is Come down to the barn. " Look here." he said. there's a good inater I say.) beast Hester that. "Look that 's here. " don't whimp It — a good soon be better. 've got a lovely one. or the hear you. anyway. Master Tom. will She's see ! Yes. VVc . if Tom How does up for you.

— * Play-the-Kip if : i. had earned him fame and great glory among the boys of two 88 . I 'm sorry about being such a beast last summer. I 've been keeping just him hungry in It 's whoppin' mad. to record what befell Miss Ethel Torphichan that very night. to see how her hair would look done this way and that. stealing out on tip-toe by the kitchen stairs. brushing dresses. " That 's all right. in that line. while You the old man hunts up what every one is to get. then making a dart for it. I such trumps about ratting as Vic. a blessed swot having to be down here anyway. Then with brush in hand Ethel Torphichan tried a few poses. while at last Hester forgot her troubles with her head on the faithful breast of Megsy Tipperlin. in order to show that sometimes Nemesis works by humble if very immediate agencies. Claudia. truant. Kip's achievements parishes. who was her elder sister's slave. till he 's Come on and see him scat' 'em But you '11 do.e.. eh ? ! my room on purpose. now low on her the effect of the neck. say. then on the top of her head latter being slightly marred by the holding two hairNext she really must try that pale pins in her mouth. Well. they had lost him a Christian name." * or as he was generally designated more simply " Kip " Kinstrey. Hester ! was gone. Well. had departed after looking out all her " things " for the great day of the funeral. and being scolded for her clumsiness all the time. not many girls are don't want to come. It may be as well (though it is to some extent anticipating).MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS just going to set Dick on to them. and scuttling through the thickest of the shrubbery for the shelter of the barn where Vic awaited And Tom him with the faithful " Play- the-Kip. so long.

MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS
blue ncckerchiet

she had bought before leaving town.

Such
long!

a pity that

now
was

she could not wear
it?

it

tor ever so

Where

Oh,

in

the wardrobe,

she

remembered Shriek on shriek pealed through the silent house, for Hester had grown late with all this rehearsing. it heard far away up under the eaves, and being frightened at the thought of her grandmother lying so still, she stretched up a hand from the little truckle bed where Tom in the chamber that she lay to feel for Megsy.
had been Hester's under the easterly slates, also heard, He sat up on and fairly hugged himself with delight.
his

''

elbow to listen. He was a nice was something It
"
is

lively

one

!

" he said to himself.
but

like

unselfishness,

Thomas
thing like

Torphichan
that.
I

n't

going to be mean

in a little

saved the pick of the bunch for Ethel!"
so
it

And
and
that

proved.

The

rat

rushed about the room,

tried to climb the curtains

of the bed.

It

went

under the bed and out again at the other side so quickly

seemed to Ethel as she stood on a chair, that there must be a complete living chain of wild rats with gleaming teeth flying round the room at a speed of at
it

least fifty miles

an hour.
being dis-

Then

presently at the door holding a candle in his
at

hand, and exceedingly short in the temper
turbed, stood Dr. Sylvanus Torphichan.

" Ethel, what

is

the matter that you disturb the house
.''

of mourning with such unseemly noises " tongue, girl " The rat It flew at me the horrid rat "
!

Hold your


I

!


!

oh,

I

shall

die

!

I

know
!

shall
!

!

"

I

see

you have

know You have been dreaming I no rat " said the Doctor. " Oh, I have some medi-

MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS
cine in

my

trunk.

What

supper

?

Have you been
I

have you been having for eating anything in your
I

room ? "
" But
is

saw

it,

papa

!

No,

shan't

come down
!

till

it

killed.

Do

look under the bed, papa

I

shall not

sleep a
little

wink
I

if

you

don't.

Oh,

it

was

all

that horrid

wretch, Hester Stirling, and

Tom, who

took her

side.

know

it

was Tom.

He

said

he would serve
once, or
I

me

out

"
!

" Nonsense

— nonsense
Do

!

Come down
I tell

at

I will

make you
rat
!

you hear ? everywhere, and there is no "
!

you

have looked
a

rat.

There never was

Dr. Sylvanus was very angry.
self,

He

had placed himpostures
high-class
ruffled

attired

in

the garb of night, in several
in a

unbecoming
practice.

to a physician

large

and

His temper

as well as his hair

was

by

poking under the bed, and discovering only paper-covered
boxes of linen and " keps."
true.

What

he affirmed was also

There was no rat, for that astute animal had bolted past him at the first opening of the door, while the Doctor stood petrified by the sight of his eldest
daughter with her skirts clutched about her screaming on the highest chair in the room.
his wife's apprehensions

ankles,

But as the Doctor returned to his chamber to quiet a sudden thought struck him But if ever there was to take a look into Tom's room. it was soundly and innocently asleep a boy asleep Thomas Alistair Torphichan. The girl had certainly

been dreaming.
medicine
stuffing

Of

that

there

yes, he

had forgotten.
privately.

was no doubt. The She must have been
Girls always did.

some rubbish

"

I

And

— ahem — add

will

administer

a

little

bromide of potassium.

a few drops of another drug, innocu-

90

MOURNING OF THE TORPHICHANS
to

ous but unpleasant to the palate. " do it again
!

It will

teach her not

The

veil

may

safely be

drawn

in

this

place.

Ethel

hated nasty medicine worse than poor relations, and she

emerged from the
truth of the verse

trial more than ever convinced of the which says that a man's foes are those

of his

own

house.

CHAPTER
DR.

XII

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN

DR.

SYLVANUS
belief

had

prospered in

his

search

beyond

or expectation.

He

had found

his

mother-in-law's keys in

her black reticule

basket, just

where

his

wife told him to look for them.
his task,

Armed with

these he

went systematically about
and
searching

quartering the ground

every likely and
little

unlikely place for papers and for the innocent

hoards

which Mistress
So that when
to the

Stirling

had been
all

in the habit

of making,

and then forthwith forgetting

about.

for the fourth

time his wife came quietly

reply in the
a

guarded door with her question he was able to same low tone. " All is left to us except
of ^2,000
birthday,
to
little

legacy

Hester

Stirling

on

her

twenty-first

and

an annuity

of twenty-five

pounds a year to Margaret Tipperlin
her long service

in recognition

of

not unreasonable

I

must say

"
!

But the chief mourner stamped her
anger.

foot in a fury of

Two thousand pounds to a beggar's brat, whom my mother kept out of a foolish charity all these years I declare I will not submit to it. I will take it before the
"
!

courts

"
!

"Gently, gently, Sarah,"
is

said

her

husband; "there

over twenty thousand

in

stocks and securities, every

penny of which your mother might have left past us and our dear children. Things are very well as they " are. It is not for us to stir up any questions
!

92

DR.

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN
indeed he had good reason to be content.

And
little

For
in

he had found something which made

account

— even
in

all

other items of

the

twenty thousand pounds

stocks.

For

after glancing casually into the store cup-

board in the parlour, thrusting his linger into the pots
of preserves
search

of concealed
in

bank-notes, and

weighing the dripped-honey jars
sovereigns, he had
spied

his

palm

for hoarded

the bag with the red stripes

pushed well to the back.
proved unexpectedly heavy.
slide
it
it

He
So

tried

casually to

lift

it

over the white jampots by the leathern handle, but
he cleared
it

it

a

way

to

to the front,

and as he

lifted

down

to the table

rattled with a curious tinkle

which

his trained ear told

him was not metallic. A key found in his mother-inSylvanus gasped, and saw law's purse opened the bag.
the day of his retirement to a country estate immediately

before him.
it

It

had been the dream of his

life,

and here

was.

But
tion.

a slip
It

was

in

of paper lying on the top caught his attenwas blue and oblong, and the writing upon it Mrs. Stirling's well-known small Italian hand.

18

" These precious stones were given me this 2nd of August^ bs my dear son^ David IValdron Stirling^ in trust for

his little
to

daughter Hester Sybilla Stirling^ before his return

Burmah"

— IsoBEL

Stirling.

Sylvanus Torphichan had hitherto been a man neither conspicuouslv honourable nor yet consciously dishonest.

No

great temptation

had ever

come

his

way, and

in all

money
to his

matters he had, on the whole, acquitted himself

own

satisfaction.

But

this great testing

of what
the
oi

manner of man underlay the smooth bedside manner sprang upon him like
bush
in

exterior and
a lion
in

out

a

that

little

familiar parlour

where

other days

93

DR.

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN
He was
in

he had courted his wife.
the possibilities
his

already considering

when he heard
Hester

the slam of the door as

wife caught

the act of watching him.

Sylvanus started with a quick strong shudder and shut

up the bag
wife

again.

He must

not

tell

his wife.

If these

jewels had to be given up to the

little girl,
it

the less his
for the

knew of

the matter the better

would be

peace of all within the household of Dr. Torphichan. " In the other event " ( Sylvanus put it thus to
himself) " well, he must have a free hand to
dispositions

make

his

without criticism or

cavil.

No;

very de-

it would never do to tell Mrs. Torphichan." So he pulled out the sideboard and pushed the bag into a recess at the back, between the panel and the skirting-board, where it would remain safely enough,

cidedly

till

night

and sleep

would leave him
it.

at

liberty

still

better to dispose of

Next, drawing a chair before the

fire, for

the sudden
his

excitement had sent the blood to his head and

feet

were cold, he began to consider his difficulties. What was there to prove that the rubies belonged to his little niece? For the present, only this scrap of paper in his hand. It was most unlikely that the girl herself knew anything, or that Mrs. Stirling had mentioned the fact of the trust to her servant. The date was very recent, and if she had done so, Megsy would certainly have insisted upon a more secure place of bestowal for so

much

treasure.

No,

the secret so far as

this

country
in

was concerned had died with the dead woman great bedroom upstairs.

the

And

the blue

paper?
his

He

flipped

it

a

moment
Then,
as

thoughtfully between

finger and

thumb.

calmly as
its

if

burning a prescription which had served

turn,

Sylvanus

Torphichan
94

leaned

forward,

and

DR.
threw
die

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN
it

upon the
fire

fire,

watching

it

flame up and then

down

into a black

and curdled

scroll in

which

a

tew

sparks of

wandered like so many But, he must not forget, there was David
rich

live things.

the outcast, the disinherited

honest gain, a

— now man — probably

Stirling,

clearly,

by fraud or

a

very rich man,

and unscrupulous one. Yet it was not likely that even he had taken any receipt from his mother for the bag of jewels left in her possession, or if for the bag, certainly not for these hundreds of incertainly a very able

dividual stones

!

Moreover, the man had gone back
a

to

Burmah.
unrest

— foreigners
if

That was

country

in

a

state

of constant

massacred, the king
monster.
ever
It

a

debauchee,

the queen

a bloodthirsty

was more than
back.

doubtful
did,
gift

the

man would

come

Or

if

he

would he be able to prove his right ? Why not a And if so, clearly Dr. Sylvanus's to his mother ?
at least his wife's, as residuary legatee.

own, or

Thus
floor,

arguing. Dr.

Torphichan rose and
at

paced the

looking again

and again
yet

the

sideboard behind

which he had hidden the
of precious
calculated,

striped bag.

He knew
particular

little

stones,

there

was enough
of
that
It

there,

he

whatever

the

value

rubies
in the

might be, to purchase
country," as
it

a very considerable

" stake
the

was

called.

For
resist.

was

one

bait

which Svlvanus could not
fibre

appealed to every

of

his

large, coarse, naturally

fawning, outwardly

pompous

self.

"The
He would
At
secret
this

girl?

She

take care that she did not suffer
point his

would be better without "
1

them!

wife

came
as
if

in.

Sylvanus cast one

glance at the massive sideboard, to

make

sure that his

was

safe.

behind that solid

murdered body were mahogany, instead of a harmless bag
felt

He

a

95

!

DR.
niture

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN

The huge piece of furseemed to him slightly awry. He wished that he get up on the spot and set it straight. could "Sylvanus," began his wife, "there are two things That two thousand I wanted to speak to you about. It seems so useless a waste pounds troubles me.
covered with patent leather.

Can
that

the

bequest
express

not be

proved

to

be

against

my
and

father's

wish
"

?

He

disinherited
?

David,
is

surely includes his
?

daughter

There

manifest

justice in that

Sylvanus shook his head smilingly, as
impossible request from a rich patient.

he did

at

an

" Sarah," he
houses to you

— only

said,

" your father left the land and life-renting them to your mother.

often as I have

But he devised all his stocks and securities, with such moneys as he died possessed of, to his wife without any You know it, for you have seen the will as condition. "
!

" But
pressing

the
the

rights

of
with

it,

Sylvanus,"
fretful

said

his

wife,

point

the

pertinacity

of a

weak woman, "
refuse to do

surely the judges of the land
is

would not

what
it

right."
said

" Be content, Sarah,"

her husband, soothingly,

" no doubt
there

is

distressing.

But

it

only shows
trials

how
life!

Providence ordains His people many

But " compensations
are
!

compensations
at

— oh,

in

this

yes,

there

are

He
awry were
"
I

looked casually

the sideboard.

It

seemed more

than ever.
to profit by

Then he
it

recollected himself.

That
if

particular

consolation

he must keep to himself,

he

fully.

don't see any consolation in having
left

two thousand

pounds
lambs.

away from one of
96

the
it

poor dear innocent
all,

You know

they will need

for

Tom

is

so

DR.

SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN
and dear Ethel so extravagant
is

careless

in

dress.

Of

course she

pretty, but Claudia has a temper,
is

and Vic

well, Vic

hopeless

"
! :

Dr. Sylvanus
Sarah, there
is

went on

" Speaking of consolation,
in

consolation

the fact that you and not need to

I

are the trustees, and that

we do

pay over

the
age.

money

till

Much may
post-bag

the

is twenty-one years of happen before then Ah, here is mostly for me, of course! But one

Hester Stirling

!

letter for

you,

my

dear

like

a love-letter.

No, it That young
!

is

for

Ethel

;

it

looks

lady

must surely have
;

You will have to look after her, Sarah begun early. we cannot be too careful in the choice of companions for Would you like to see The Thistle^ three such girls
!

yesterday's paper, of course. " can you expect up here in these wilds ?
dearest
?

It is

But what

Dr.

Sylvanus
a stray

began
letters,

to

read

his

correspondence,

mumbling

word here and

there, as
his

many

doctors

do when they read

mingling

speech with the

low professional

*'

Ah

!

" of the consulting room, some:

thing after this fashion

" From Rogers

— ah

!

Old Mr. Riach very
for sending
(I

obstinate

says he will not pay

you

an apothecary's

apprentice to see him.

night or early next morning.
rubies are
all

must see Riach to-morrow No, hang Riach, if these
it

right,

what does

matter whether

I

see

Riach or not?)"

"
this
?

My

dear," cried his wife, suddenly, " have you read " It is about David, about my brother
!

"What
letting
fall

— what — what
the
letter
his

is

it?"
he

cried

her husband,
starting so

he was
that

reading, and

violently

to
its

feet

upset

a

writing

table

with
floor.
7

all

ink

bottles

nnd accoutrements upon

the

97

and then more carefully. reported that Mr. states that IN an English- man named David Waldron executed at or Sterling. but as to yet their fate nothing known. had been of which to that details are just to hand. Then his wife gave Dr. She . " You are a kind-hearted man. and that he was murdered in order take possession of this rich find. respectably connected. his suddenly whitened " I did not know that you cared one way or the other with strong feeling. Stirling. let the feeling cause you to be unjust to your own flesh and blood. and was a ability. Sylvanus. Mandalay visit in the last holocaust of vicdms. Stirling had discovered territory to the a new and very rich ruby mine in unexplored north-west.DR. He read this paragraph first with a single eye-shot. man of great enterprise and When head on he had his finished reading his Sylvanus rested his eyes. ! I care very much." she said. Torphichan the paper for which he had been reaching out his hand as he spoke. There is no fear of that ! " he replied. SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN at His wife looked curiously face. it is said. He had but recently returned It is country after a home. was Stirling is believed to have had two white companions. that the Queen might is Mr. Mr. " I do " said Sylvanus. MURDER OF ANOTHER ENGLISHMAN BURMAH A despatch of yesterday from Rangoon Stirling. hand and covered 98 He did not wish to let his wife see the greatness of his relief. with perfect truth." " I will not. "• about David." But do not His wife put out her hand admiringly.

" 's whispered Tom. "My gov'nor wig. that is a good name. " If I do not grieve for my own ! why you all should. And I think mother's death has I made us a little hysterical. 1 at last I have it. "Now me. ^ my I way.DR. anxiously. Svlvanus danced a breakdown on the springy turf From behind a great tree trunk two sharp pairs of eyes watched him. how well I remember it on Sundays. what has the old 99 . Sylvanus? I get Don't you " feel well? You stairs Can you anything? But Sylvanus hurried down the without answer- ing. "no one can touch I was born poor and I worked Now thought it would never come. he would burst. more in the manner of the ! — may get — ! ! ' ! ! youngest apothecary's apprentice when he finishes putting up the shutters than of the pine wood. Sylvanus brother I do not see But you were always so soft-hearted. you going out. too pennyworth o' brandy-balls!' 'A ha'penny worth o' Bah. a peerage. and as soon as he reached a quiet spot he flung himself down on the pine needles and laughed aloud. in that of a peer-prospective of the realm. the county. "the fellow gone cracky! Say. suppose ? now we are shall have to put that chit into mourning What. and laid her hand on his shoulder. Vic. it is within my grasp at last lemon kali And " the lemon kali gives a flavour to it He rose to his feet. So he went through the plantations towards the Darroch woods." he said. are pale. but I shall buy half I shall stand for Parliament. and. came SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN o\ er to him. He felt that if he did not laugh or weep. however. and to Lord Arioland think that I once stood behind an apothecary's counter * A Lord.

been SYLVANUS DANCES A BREAKDOWN havin' ? I always thought he kept something his ! besides jalap in that whopping medicine trunk of Trust Silvy for being a said Vic." Fifth with sudden piety. " remember the the Fifth " But stick I Commandment. while their father sat down to arrange what manner he was to carve out his way to a seat the hereditary chamber of Her Majesty's Legislature.DR. Tom Torphichan ! going to worry about any Fifth Commandment " And into the with that the dutiful children betook them deeper in in wood. when you see your a father behaving like a — monkey climbing on ain't yellow well." don't know which it is if tells you not to laugh Commandment. downy one " ! " Tom. .

" for a thing objected Hester. bairnie.". Then. Dutch fashion. " away a thing that I had already and wanted to keep " An' that 's only anither way o't. said Megsy. in which the rooks were already cawing and making their morning Megsv Tipperlin was explaining the mysteries toilet. "You see. Megsy. "it's this way." said Megsy. in Her-that 's-awa' for And to quiet ye she gied ye cuttit them. ! lOI . vour granny's auld workbasket.CHAPTER XIII IN HIS MEGSY TIPPERLIN BEARDS THE LION DEN OX window the mourners early. best she could. still holding the child's hand in hers over the edge of the " Did ye bedstead from which she had not yet risen. the garret where stuck a peaked forehead through the roof. " but that's asking (grandmother's dying was taking you want. as the Megsy's larger one. on tree tops. morning of the funeral the only two real in the Great House of Arioland waked Hester lay in in her little trundle bed beside dormer This looked out. her Ye shears mind and a when ve asked needle-case. an* o' if we get nine our pains we are juist " till we roar ! cuttit an' jaggit an' cuffit "Aye. stickit five minutes ye had intil your finger and needle slittin' your leg and gotten a cufF on the lug for o' the linin' Providence! times oot for We ten a chair! That's want something as juist exactly sair like as ye wanted it. of Providence to a small and very puzzled inquirer.

" Aye. and what like were the young beds of strawberries next And what For she chose the runners hersel' sort o' brew the elderfloo'er wine turned oot to be. Hester Sybilla. and nae he disna stop for The lammies maun learn to gang their lane. and the sweet young the grass is in the lirks o' the heather when dew for ? upon it. " that is what I thocht mysel'. His heart hireling. in my haste and in my blindness. louder ? the lammie's maa-in cares. They maun put awa' childish things. and For if the chuckie hens laid weel through the winter And she wanted her heart was aye set on thae things. she is happier where she is " ! "I " But she was happy here. in cautious affirmative. after a long pause. as many more learned have been.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION never hear a lammie that had been speaned mither maa-in herd juist frae its as if its very heart vv^ad break ? But the is drives an' drives an' aye the . Does is wae But — the herd no care that is. They maun drink nae mair their mither's milk. Court of Final Appeal. Aye. ! ! 1 02 ." is " And said that what he took awa' my granny " Hester. na. putting her finger on the weak place of Megsy's argument with the ruthless fidelity ! of childhood. grosart bushes throve in the hollow o' the orchard. by the dealings and judgments of the But she quickly rallied. Said I to mysel'. too " returned the voice from the truckle-bed beneath." confessed Megsy." said Megsy. he if he be a true herd that. and learn to seek for themsel's the wat clover that grows still o' the meadow. she wad hae wushed to hae seen how the new year. during which she had watched the grey wispy cloudlets high up through the garret window doot it tinged with the faintest rose of dawn. " forbye. For a moment Megsy was nonplussed.

and fear. and so seen the matter " daresay no. is — even as the best poetry religion. a' your lane. to married. to look at Megsy's grim face with the mouth and the clear life eyes of the woman doesna who had made a through. have to go with thf:m ? There was a whole world of pain.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION sair to see ye a big braw lass \vi' a hame be o' your ain and douce guidman " I did not said " ! want ever girl. and then determined to was most importterrible She had not dared to put the " •thought into words hitherto. every hillside there is heard the bleatin' fireside o' the speaned the lambs.) for I herself apart. my wee lammie. Whatever keeps rich a man's nature that soft is religion. " the voice from the higher bed was breathing out graciously the the in power of God. up the hill and doon the brae. I " Will 103 . bairnie ! " . ewe nor yet for lamb. scaur. wisdom and (You would never have thought it irascible the daytime. by burnside and clint and It wad be guid for neither But that canna be. set. and by every the sab o' mourner mournin' for them that never It shall return!" will ! or her religion. The lamb It wad like to rin by her side want to leave its minnie. and Yet aversion in the accentuation of the final pronoun. Megsy. of all others. for a little. ask the (juestion which. and these were the thoughts had kept the kernel of Megsy's heart and loving and soft within the tough husk and horny shell of her outer life. which you was Megsv's poetry tor the deepest kind of religion is just poetry. And sae ye maun learn to gang For on oot in the vvarl'." you and the little ''but only to be with grandmother " I daresay no the noo. Hester thought ant to her now.

She what it meant to the child. Megsy's realised voice trembled as she answered. even in even into their theit' hearts the — hearts "(Dr. a prayer. This day will declare it." " Oh. 104 . and Megsy's sermon in the courage which was enabling Hester to dare even that terrible there was also the beating of the application of possibility. And yet that same to Meg pieces the Heathen would before have in let herself be torn she would •• have owned to those the who taunted her that she often hid she peathouse. you and me. a chair. and she crushed down what it would mean to herself.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION a brave little heart. would have been surprised at the " even" )." or shortly " Heathenie. but I will not rise " ! For in her heart Megsy was shy and it with her Maker. " And we maun juist submit. Hester." " Suppose that we say " It wad do no hairm. lassie Megsy " ? " ! Hester was out of bed in a minute and kneeling by " Will you not rise and pray too. bairnie. " Dootless they hae the richt to tak' ye wi' them. I wad never deny that she said. But will well ! they ? thing The Lord can put He will yes. And even seemed a thing too presumpreticent tuous that she should call the Almighty's attention by such a signal. Megsy ? " " I will pray. eminent lights in a dark and sinful world. in order that might say them where none but One could see or hear." because she alone did kist-lid before she to bed. Sylvanus and his wife. In a servant's bedroom (during the religious when she was a young girl excitement which " preceded the Disruption) she had been not say her prayers at her known as Meg went the Heathen.

parish of Reverend John's. Dr. Sylvanus had instructed the grave-digger. of all. Sylvanus one single glance. He till had even patronised the minister. the Folk of the they can Long Rest may dry rustle as hear for ever and ever soft the sough of the Darroch water running the over its pebbles and the yew-twigs talk together overhead. that eminent Christian. Anthony Borrowman of the that shrewd cleric had given him. a thing which none had ever done before and lived to tell the tale. With his hat in his hand and in the full consciousness of the impressive figure he made. the dead woman laid in her quiet resting-grave in the little sheltered if kirk-yard listen. where. had been more than usually eminent that day. beneath the Clachan Kirk. maid prayed funeral The was over at last. he might 105 very well drop . — As he stood family there he in was thinking of what his wife had proposed. view of the acquisition of the the name At first should be had changed been mind. Even in grave-head. averse from this. a regard dry and east-windy enough to shrivel witii up the his reasonable soul within Failing minister he at had the next patronised the local undertaker. and with the lowering cord his hand.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION So there and little then the erstwhile Heathenie and the their prayers. head the Sylvanus Torphichan. that property. of the grave he had stood bareheaded. but something say it what — had induced him — he it greatly is not necessary to his him to change with Now his struck forcibly tliat. to Torphichan-Stirling. the new financial possibilities before him. he patronised God a feat which is more common than many suppose. observed the St. At the majestic.

However. that come and to the funeral whom Sylvanus. and to him was assigned the cord at the bottom of the coffin.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION and even the title of Doctor. and the folk (save minister) stood afar off and said to each other what an honour yet it was for religion that a man show himself so surpassingly devout. to for his own future position. slow progress from the even as house of Arioland to the rabbit-holes little graveyard. once been wheels." For Carus was the son of a He also hoped lord. Indeed. guinea fees. noting likely on sandy brae-faces and watching the hedges for hare runs. " When you are ready." chance to kick the young Master of Darroch. he had compelled Carus. so that he could come over under He wished he had a cloud of night and set " grins. a. which he had proud of. so great should But not let Tom Torphichan. excellent and approven seats Pharisee. as much as to say. much walk beside him all the way. it was about him during the long. But his all the while Sylvanus was thinking these things head was reverently bowed.6 . and it was well to inculcate respect against his will. associated as it was with red lamps. When all was even as Sylvanus held that at the top. and a hired carriage with yellow practice. walked sulkily behind because they would Dick accompany him to the funeral. so It now began to appear common and undignified. who had of his old friend and benefactor. ready Sylvanus nodded to Carus. Sylvanus drew iq. had at once called up to the highest of the synagogue. He looked he did not waste his time. silent His all lips moved autothe matically in prayer. and that was Sylvanus's religion. to be a lord someday. In the great house of Arioland Mrs. a brand as yet entirely unplucked.

not been Megsy Tipperlin precipitated events by requesting the honour of an interview with Dr. Torphichan. " it was not fitting that those who had been to be 'called' to high position should write on paper stamped plainlv 24. Sylvanus himself. but instead of sitting down hoped to all mourn in the hopelessness of grief. but for the landed of Torphichan-Stirling of Arioland an engraved crest was It a necessity. my his dear!")." put upon the black-edged note-paper. It room ! And so. where she was little girl the sobs of the all Hester. which were like a benediction is many of his ladv patients f" There something almost hallowed about Dr. " Take these clothes thing before they down and clear awav everycome back. in He did not turn in chair silk when Megsy in a clean white " mutch " and black apron stood the doorway. Abercairn. He did afterwards. was she true she did go to her own room. Eglinton Square. 1 am going to my own moving pyramid of crape." was evening before Hester knew And she would not have known it then. you know. -for That was family well enough Torphichans. as would understand that she was doing. down up stilling to her She rang the bell and called Megsy from the whitewashed kitchen. had that her it fate. That great and good man was sitting room with his fingers netted evenly in those soft padded to so fingers in the dining- front of him. like He was twirling his thumbs round each other a Tibetan pravcr-whccl." MEGSY BEARDS THE LION Ions. like a Mrs. Torphichan rustled and rasped herself awav. breath as soon as she saw her mother's coffin well the avenue. and began to design a new crest and motto " For. and paper. 107 . she said. she did She took pencil something infinitely more practical.

made any plans. with interrogation in her voice. down on either side of her long horselike face. left Her tone caused Sylvanus to turn I head slightly. mem. 1 08 . understood by his wife. with " " I hae come to ken your intentions. She had a pencil in her hand." his if said Megsy. " Aye. at " What. the Sylvanus made a sign. we had thought of putting Hester Stirling into some respectable family.) " As have consulted my wife. the weepers of her mourning cap trailing sat at the table. then. " but so far as Mrs." repeated Sylvanus. " So terribly sudden. long before she betook herself out." " Aye ? " said Megsy." pacify said Sylvanus. mother has supported for Torphichan from the table. briefly. " this great sorrow has come so unexpectedly and been so crushing upon us all.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION His wife though. with a curious look on "Na. Sylvanus. shaking her head as if engaged in composing a ! " new meditation far as I among the tombs. for the new coat of arms. Tipperlin." said have not yet to Megsy. well she was to leave him juist to deal with the matter alone. Tipperlin a rising inflection. who was professionally adept at such expressions. Torphichan is concerned (" Torphichan-Stirling " put in his wife in an undertone. suppose you want to in the will ? know you have been anything his face. do you want To ? ken what " put in is to come o' the bairn such a time " ? " r You mean the child my so long Mrs. " " I dinna ! " said Megsy. pertinently. willing the woman . and with a melancholy air was trying to think of a suitable motto ? " Well. " he said. " said Dr. " I Hester only child o' your ain elder brother. that Stirling.

" She may improve young " She may. This had He must walk circumnot previously occurred to him. view to her education according to her Of it course. V. — ah as it niicht happen ! Clearly Sylvanus must proceed 109 c autiously. said Stirling frequently consult this Mr." — whiles aye and whiles no " ? Did Mrs. she might also have confided to him the trust her son had committed to her." Megsy. *' on her road up frae the minister's. deep in thought. " but as there is twa thoosand pounds due her on the day she is twenty-wan.vvu this . bending his brows upon her as he did at meetings of the medical when an enterprising junior ventured to dispute his dictum. They must she is But she is young first consideration. with a position. *' — Borrowman " " Oh. plain would be quite in a seem to be of such be our way. sir " said Megsy. The child does not to a nature that one could venture bring her up with one's own ! children. Stirling had told the minister of her own bequests. quite unintimidated. "How council do you know that?" he cried. to talc' some sma' trouble wi' her it might be as weel ! ! — ever eddication " ! Svlvanus turned right round in his chair. If Mrs." " And is the minister also acquainted with the terms of my mother-in-law's bequests " " He is that " affirmed Megsy. diplomatically. adding as if by afterthought. " Because my mistress let me see the will. " Ah " said Sylvanus." said Megsy. for there were serious matters involved here.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION or under the care of some responsible person. as wc should have to pay for this ourselves. ? ! ! spectly.

And as I bairn-time. " what objec- commit her to me " till sic time as her comes hame to claim her? Dr. very quietly she the paper down on the drew off her spectacles. meantime as good a solution of the But let us clearly understand each no . When next she spoke it was in a firm voice. " Weel. Sylvanus looked at his wife to signal still further " Tipperlin. and calmly wiped both glasses on her apron. Edward. what objection hae ye that I should tak' the bairn mysel' ? I hae near forty years' character. and slowly read the paragraph. that it But is it does you credit. " Sirce faither or — sirce mither — — — thrown oh." he said. Sylvanus lifted a newspaper." she went on. rustled the pages. slowly weighing his words as he went. " If this be so. sirce to laid the puir bairn the ! — of/^^«i?^. gave them a sidelong hitch to get the focus of her best eye. where there are good schools and kindly folk. silence. a pair adjusted little of steel-bowed spectacles from them upon the bridge of her nose. Megsy took her pocket. It would not do to quarrel with her. as she read. so will hae tried to be a mither to her in her helpless What say ye ? " I be in her youth. The minister or ony yin in the parish will speak I will gang to Cairn for Margaret Tipperlin. and pointed with his thumb to the place he had so frequently referred to during these last twenty-four hours.MEGSY BEARDS THE LION woman might know more than he thought. aboot tions hae ye to faither the bairn. the sheets shaking audibly in her Then table. and I am not sure not in the as difficulty any. " this proposal is certainly unexpected." Without she mur- mured hand.

"you seem proper to have done I very well. sudden toothache. no longer able to keep said silence. Sylvanus like ! twinge Torphichan was taken 'vith a little It was not so much the payment of the money. sole trustee under the will." he say it said." said — ? Megsy see Tipperlin. by III force . And spirit must you of shows an exceedingly that should be willing to adopt this child who. approvingly. his head. with a bit a queer shrewd look siller lyin' in at the questioner. "claim here or claim brocht up as " ! if I ye will lippen will me wi' the bairn. Forbye there's the twunty-five pound that ye are obligated to pay " me ilka Whitsunday term Dr. l^nderstand that to no " ! legal upon me do anything whatsoever there "Sir. " there's a pickle the bank that at my name. must come my own is pocket as a charity. out of there Whatever claim is done. Sylvanus. and a decent bonnet and a bettermost frock every year or twa hae been the maist o' my ootlays. and hoose and garden the minister bocht for me real reasonable doon Cairn Edward — I hae been a plain woman a' my days. Tipperlin. I 1' H E as I I LION am prevented other before we go am. "So. though that was bad enough. then. but his uncertainty as to the extent of Mcgsy's knowlBut he only gravely nodded edge that affected him. out of this family. understand you over are aware." in Megsy. by the grace Stirlin' is of God " But that Hester her faither's daughter ocht to be brocht up how can you afford to undertake such a thing " cried Mrs.M E G S Y BEARDS further. but bv the terms Stirlincr's of the deed from till paying Hester bequest she shall have reached the a^e of twcntv-one years. "Weel.

sir. ye kindly. or at least a parcel of suitable clothing. my dear wife and myself I anything.great MEGSY BEARDS THE LION repeat" — name. wish does you every condescension — "that bears its I this the credit. with some hauteur." said will Megsy. to for the child. " may say that you as in this to the best of our ability — we in so we can will send do so with justice to our own family. We you down once a year a box. "And without committing to will second far." make down as " Thank she retired ." Sylvanus went on. curtseying "they come in handy for dishclouts !" 112 . with circumstances." " Dinna ye fash yoursel' aboot that " ! said Megsy. that is.

Mr. up in them all She had put Hester to bed. along with Sylvanus a Tom. many dustier pamphlets. till the floor became nearest to his hand — generally 113 and then with the material rough planks brought saw-mill upon 8 his shoulder from the — he if had nailed and coopered up s(jnKtiiing which. the rear works of which were piled as high as the back would allow with dusty books and Relatives of Mr. The walls were lined with shelves which it was the rankest flattery to There was not a plain inch in call " plain deal. being once seen. found themselves seated on the edge of a chair. as she had a trick of doing. Borrowman. departed for Eglinton Square. study of The impressed even non-literary and Batavian visitors. Anthony Borrovvman was a sight It which. iiohodv leaned . peered with the lifted hands of wonderment into the mvsterious depths of the room that had once been a best parlour of a mistress of the manse in reasonable and pre-Borrowmanian times. Mr. and charging her not to throw off in her sleep. and various. who was returning most unwillingly school. wrapping her well the bed-clothes. the study of the minister of the Parish John's that Megsy took her troubles and very to her beloved's future the night after Dr. was not easily forgotten." them. Borrowman had simplv waited utterly impassable. who.CHAPTER XIV THE MINISTER'S FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER to ITof had sullen was St. with intent of marriage or satisfaction of scandal upon their minds.

or the little — elbowed some disreputable yellow-papered Frenchman or stone-coloured of wise old Burton — editio princeps of Tacitus his red-bound cropped Oxford octavo most cheerful of melancholy men German. 114 He does not find . and a thousand other these things huddled together. at least heard of the science geology. or historical value. if only patho- even criminal. Well. of sir. erection upon. He maintained this even of local poetry. above. and around it. The novel of literary reader The yesterday lay next the Annals. beneath. that there utterly exists no book so it so crassly so superfluous that could not bring to the seeing eye something of personal or logical. of clearness in your own shows only once more the lack thinking. Borrowman stupid. Borrowman took all his exercise wandering from room to passage and from garret to cellar looking for the volumes he wanted. dull. To the intimate who objected that the only explana- tion of the confusion worse confounded of the house (for every room was equally full of books ) must be that Mr. For was a fixed idea with Mr. the minister had this unanswerable retort "What you say. much acclaimed among us. sir. when opens out a new stratum he finds fossils of leaves shells. v as it But the confusion existed only in the minds of such possessed not the key to this admired disorder. presume. would support as many books as could be coaxed and wedged. gazed with amazement at what he considered the disorder of the whole. which I have had so I often reason to animadvert upon.: THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER or kicked away the shores with which the was buttressed on similar ones below. that you have recently so a geologist fish. sir. against it. all of plants.

" urged to temcritv." was the instant the favour to follow " if you would do I my argument. even when " ! " Sir. again. of the Genevan English Bible of 1560 upon the mind and style of Shakespeare.*I should discover the whole history of the formation of my mind upon a certain subject. ye are welcome Mr. iiorrowman. under I my hand. all Here. that somewhat visitor less unkempt. divine opened a the door his miiuitc after she had rung the cracked manse " Come ' your indeed " said wa\s in. Borrowman. f(jr instance. himself. is a pile which refers wholly to the influence it making In the specially simple in order to suit if I same manner. vou will find reply ' the books. to the mind of the geologist that that Yet is No. cave-bear were drowned the limpet from in his coffin in The mammoth same flood and the the which swept his rock and buried the sturgeon alive of plate armour. For all these unrelated particles lived and had their being together. what you are pleased to call confusion ? dear sir. unwise even "surely books are not geologic write them retort. assure you I me am your capacity. for if wait- which is worse manners than those shown by Mr. Hcadly Granger's vituperative pamphlet. . which used in writing my to Mr. There. Mr.THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER arranged their according to their sizes.'' Is Scotch a dialect or a language " ' But meantime ing. strata. we are keeping Megsy Tipperlin worthy. who had two styles of I '5 . anatomical or otherwise. fossils brother. or even according to characteristics. for Borrowman than bell. which seem to you so absurd and fortuitous. Margaret. were to open up one of these collocations of volumes. my apparent disorder is fuller of instruction than any cut-and-dried so-called order." a clerical " But.

I " Come your ways ben. one for the simple and the other for those whom self) (often on insufficient data^ as he agreed with him- he was content to consider the learned. at events. after my I foreign book-box comes in from Berlin. I That makes Nineteen my thirty-ninth." your housekeepers " ? Megsy. no aboot my said guid-will. the bedroom in strangers sleep. or. Moreover. so that after putting them on. my fingers made upon various folios and octavos marks and stains such as no " And what came o' the rest said fuller could o' whiten. frivolous pretext as that But what can Margaret ? " Mr. and the which simple are so chamber where cannot keep I take meals. too Eight of the remainder greased or polished or oiled or blacked my shoes. have been dismissed because they were discovered dusting elsewhere than in the kitchen. " hae this nicht taken hae sair have come to you for I your advice aboot the lassie-bairn. the other twelve were most of them minded hizzies. It is a most they terrible thing that my women constituted dusters ! that their fingers from Some of ! these females were outwardly respect- able. " Oh. have just parted with Mary." minister shrewdest ii6 ." " said Megsy. and will see if I can find you a chair.THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER conversation. Borrowman. always a difficult matter at this time of the year. with a certain was perfectly assured that contempt in her smile. and I doots aboot my the capacity — though. of a chair and leaning forward. She no minister that lived would light- have served Marget Tipperlin thus." " Margaret. the with his Lord kens. evaded ! upon some suchlike do for you. all who I left to get married. Margaret. with well-fa'red faces. keep a register of them. I sitting on the edge Stirling. Hester it upon me to bring her up.

Margaret!" cried the minister. na. she thocht her sic a wonder that the showers o' heaven shouldna " And licht on her. Maister Borrowman. the old servant of the told her talc — how she had house of Arioland pickle" and saved "a wee 117 . "this is And I do not know mi-Christian most un-Christian. I diima regard her ava. frae oot that cruel heathen land o' Burmah." said am I to the minister." " she is to me as the adder or the asp " said Megsv . " that you regard so eminently pious a vessel as Mrs. ! "Margaret. I couldna sleep in my naked bed if I thought that the young lamb " was to be left to the wolves "In sheep's clothing!" murmured the minister. as if to himself. Margaret Tipperlin. with apparent severity.THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER look. rubbing the black off the wick with the sleeve of his coat (Megsy's hands twitching to (io it the time with desire herself). that is wife to Doctor Torphichan o' Abercairn. Borrowman trimmed all his evening lamp. ye are pleased little to speak the word that ye mean. should "Often hae I hinted it to Her-that's-gane that she make some ither arrangement. "but gin ye gie me your advice therewith. wi' lassie-bairns " what hae auld dried stocks like you and me to do you wi' your hens and me wi' my — " books ? " Minister.! shall be the more content. But what mither can see ony faut in her ain ? She aye howpit that David wad come back and settle. as Mr. what your difficulty " . softly." understand. Sylvanus Torphichan with aversion ?" " Na.? Then. — but that forrit I shall have to take notice of at for your token is the next it when ye come communion But in ! the meantime. And as to her dochter Sarah." answered Megsy.

After awhile ing its Megsy had ended. Megsy. with swift vehemence." said the minister.! THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER now by the death of her mistress come into another bit " wee pickle. and so on at much greater length. what say ye to bringing your kist for a space till I down here. as he knew. but. " my engagement ended when my ! mistress lifted her lines frae the kirk veesible to hand them moving the child ? " Deed no object in to the Kirk Inveesible. give Hester such a father's place was her fixed purpose to schooling as would fit her for her it How in and rank life. Anthony flicker Borrowman fire sat silent. she had a " own in Cairn Edward. At last he asked a question." cottage" of her How. till ye are ready to into your own " ! house." " I up am a lonely man. Aye-ow-ayel place. and trying to keep mine look about me Megsy Tipperlin shook her head. They wad be blythe to see the And that braw madam o' a frae servant lass they brocht Abercairn will be the better o' puttin' her hand to the scrubbin' o' a pot or twa and the readyin' o' a supper. had finished settling the globe in He did not once and listened. *' How long does your " engagement at Arioland last ? " Nae engagement hae I " said the old woman. interrupt the but only kept slowly muttering to himself. The its minister." " And you are sure they would not object " to your re- — ! last o' baith her and me. " Oh^ aye Uncha ! " without ever ceasing for a moment. looking "Then. and counted flit a cross-grained — at her. smiling as she had ii8 . watching the of the peat seeklittle way up through the oval opening in the register grate. sat when he down tale.

impervious so slight " And I 'm answerin'. what did ye " ? The broke pile slipped sideways on its unstable foundations.turbit may be (as it were) accidentalh " ! And so it was arranged. I tell " There. suppose we agree to meet each other halfif its will not observe that you will refrain you have been dusting. " I 'm makin' ye an quite oftcr. nor you your tongue aft' mistress's face in the her rin ! We are guid frien's as we are. " Guid-day to yc. as is 'm willin' to bear wi' your temper as your buiks far in in mortal woman. Boran event as rowman. minister. and their appointed places — also to leave savin' always those that cli. from moving one single book out of appointed place. " Na. disengaging clouds of dust on way.THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER not done since she had seen that other smile on her morning light.-. I I 's your wull ?" say. " said Megsy. with the crisp . Dinna let us headlong into temptation " ! "Suppose we compromise. itself in the middle. Megsy?" "What " way. " I am no gaun to be the fortieth on your list." she said." "D'ye minister ? caa this the appointed place o' that bulk. The very next Megsy appeared at the door of the parlour. and distributed over the floor with a slithering its clatter. nior/iing mem. na." I said Megsy. that." she said. Margaret to ! " said Mr. pointing to the top volume of a pile on which the master of the house was leaning. Megsy Tipperlin could never keep her hands art thae bulks. " if ye will gie a bit quiet hour to the bairn's learnin' when ye hae nocht better to do.

" " What do you mean. taking Hester by the hand and walking sedately out down avenue. will to claim her just dues. your guidman. and making her regulation curtsey as if she were lodging a protest along with it. never was. turning with the brow-beating frown which was never known to fail of its effect in Abercairn. will caa' for my box. Tipperlin ? " said Mrs. Torphichan. little as it deserves the name. mem. side his wha kens brawly no refuse what her. My ! service to a' your innocent lambs. bread is is buttered But Marget nae clod to gang withoot a ceevil word. mem. She " to gang to a minister's hoose. through the . the kirk offisher. " oor What new " ! I say. I that bid you remember " ! " Be ye weel assured.THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER brevity which characterised all her dealings with the Torphichans." answered that dauntless dame. as she said. " Well. mem." said Megsy. Guid-day to ye. that Megsy Tipperlin " She kens her richts. Tipperlin ? " " I cam' to bid you guid-day. JVIe and the bairn are gaun to o' situation. Anders bit MacQuaker. Mistress Torphichan to May several you deserts and them " ! a' thrive accordin' your And in this manner Megsy Tipperlin the left the house of her forty years' service. nor never will be a servant in the hoose o' Mistress Sarah Torphichan. An' when she comes on. mem. at the manse the pairish o' Saint John " But — you surely will receive not a you would not leave us till we are suited penny of wages if you do. was dressed Sunday best. calmly drawing in on her her black thread gloves.

THE FORTIETH HOUSEKEEPER clachan. What said she. sir. minister met her there." she answered. naething. "but juist " vvi' her jaw like a body doited ! e. 121 . and so to the white gate of the manse. Marget ? " he asked. eagerly "She said played chock * * /'. Made a clicking sound like a senile person trying to speak. . The for " him.

affirmed to record at length to be." as.CHAPTER XV A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET THE o' story of the many years that followed I do not mean to tell at large. Hester indeed regarded top of the Back his snug whitewashed house Clachan as at the Raw in the more completely her own property than even St. the Clachan good-wives with some reason. her rule sat lightly upon con- was well fed and well clad. certainly was patent to all. the manse. To the her was committed the power of the duster. who never before had had a child to divide among the three of them. and being (inter alia) minister's man he had good reason for being often about the manse. indeed. Anders MacOuaker was even worse than Megsy and the minister. His on Sabbaths was no more " a sicht to be seen. Neither do I mean " how the minister spoiled that bairn. and with emblem of of the little authority much real influence in affairs green-bosomed hill-girt commonwealth all of the parish of the Evangelist." a process which. Hester was years." and a in power that the land infinitely greater than before. which sat like a square-built 122 Peter's at . Yet I cannot forbear the pleasure of mentioning how swiftly " Megsy Arioland " became the " Minister's Megsy. Yet cerned. by the made " old-fashioned " beyond her constant society of three old people. linen for all that. minister had. it The previous to her advent. For in the matter of spoiling Hester.

Borrowman. Megsy in caresses and pretty exigencies.f life to the manse housekeeper. fathir and 123 . The sadness of lur position. To another who was " a bit of a poet. at learned They were once the glory and the scandal of the neighbourhood. — face even the name of a suit for breach of promise of marriage." with a question about Nero and the burning of rub Rome it ? floundered and tried upon the spur of the up his classical history." she recom- mended the study of Milton. but after- replied. and wards three presbyteries chuckled. flybook. though She had given it to Anders for a that was pretty.A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET at the Rome And apex of its neat double colonnade of trees little ! with the Darroch water murmuring a the things that bairn way beyond. grace was given her to reply as follows " I wonder you are not feared. " and after the last thne^ too ! Mr. " upsetting. and Anders liked it fine. yes. and him to his grand new manse down in the : market-town. with Megsy as witness. Girvie The young man was currently reported to have paid somewhat sharply to escape the consequences of a For in Galloway no minister can f(jrmer love affair. people used has put an end to first to think so. Did she not pose a who was thought to be neighbouring young minister. too. I Mommsen that " ! At which Mr. " Oh. for to please her bairn had become as tlic breath (. To yet. another asking her come with who thought to court Hester by to leave Megsy and Mr. Yet with girl all the pepperiness of her tongue the little She lavished it on had a wealth of love to bestow. was all And when he moment to not Hester who know. Anthony Borrowman. "Paradise Lost" was nicer to read than the little book he had sent her.

and the minister sighed. there was the minister all with whom she trotted on his pastoral visitations. She was growing up straight and tall as a young fir that springs out of a cleft above the Darroch Linn. most culpable of himself. Then. and learn their ways. She must mix with other more ordinary girls. her heritage taken by another. and though her figure kept its spareness and her features were still over- large for her face. the " grey only *' twa auld dune bodies wolf " her legal guardian — (and Anders that is it half doited) " to look after her if in — what wonder was hard chance of being spoilt. after the winter she shall ! Then Winter was " 124 . there was a something in the luminous intensity of her dark eyes. so that when the time came Hester might speak with her peers unashamed But a tendency on the part of the teacher in the gate. that made it the minister quake when he thought of ! her future. tragic. to refer everything to First Principles. like the something stormy and almost sun rising out of a purple cloudbank. At other times he bent his intellect to the task of imparting vulgar fractions and the rivers of Europe. This year should certainly be the last. these were happy years. and the dry lipped ironic smile played seldomer about the close- mouth when she was with him. and told himself it all the time fair to was not the maid. Nevertheless.A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET mother dead. He also did his best to spoil the girl. But again was ever " only is this summer. and a belief in Latin prose as the one real necessity of a good education. and then " go " For summer it beautiful in the strath of the Darroch. that kindly place Hester ran a all. She must go among her equals. made Hester's lesson-hours very peculiar ones for a girl.

like eclipses and the nutation of the earth. By side the time they got to the road which winds up the of the streamlet as the glen. raised a hundred neat objections. and some don't go " ! . The minister attended to these things himself.A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET between Moniaive and the Kells range. "but most of your oft' at all matches arc very slow. and found holes in the minister's chronology at every bend of the path. mischievously. as he argued. of course you can't expect these things to — — go off as if timed with slow matches " ! "No. down homeward While the sheep on distant pastures looked over their shoulders for the herd's dogs. bites snell And so the years The crisis came one day late in June. Mr. Hester. had not much to do with the But enunciation of the theory. down comes slipping and the minister was in full blast. hearing a stormy voice crying mysteriously below. talking all the time. Hester had gone out with the minister in the afternoon. Borrowman was contending for a period of three hundred years as that which best fitted the facts " Roughlv. nor with the development of it. and have their periods. went by till Hester neared eighteen. the cattle his considering on the meadows began to bunch and straggle thinking thev were being called to from afar. she criticised every detail." They were the only things and at the sound of in the world worth considering. In after years Air. it brattling He had forgotten everything but "cyclical revolutions." said Hester. and the girl and he took the Waterside stepping-stones in their stride like a couple of ploughmen. He had a parishioner to visit up the Glcncairn water. of course. Borrowman often remembered how they were discussing the theory that great revolutions are cyclical.

there was the general acceptcivilised ance of Christianity by the people of the one empire. and only raise clearly demonstrated. The fifty minister's stick instantly did four hundred of the latter to the minute. the beginculmination nings of the feudal system in the tenth. and the works were racing. the French Revolution. the curve where this staff begins to descend — The top of the apex of change. to me. He had just thought of the theory a quarter of an hour it ago. and sion. has as called a revolution as much right to be like an upheaval from beneath. as if it his driving-wheel. " wonder you. will recapitulate — " Listen with. as will speedily prove to you. girl." murmured and Hester. in the we have its the breaking up of the old order seventh century. In presence of a great and glorious truth like this — a newly discovered. "Hold your give minx!" he cried. seemed good for several months of discus- He was now to thoroughly enjoying himself. in a He took up his parable again. Hester." A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET "That is an objection futile — I perfectly futile. Borrowman was declaiming. you as can such paltry objections that the French Revolution did not come exactly three hundred years to a day after the Reformation ! Hester Stirling. " in the thirteenth " A culmination is not a revolution. tongue. Moreover the 126 thirteenth cen- . ! "you will not is me time to speak a word I A culmination a revolution. ye are besom were ! The minister twirled his stick by the handle. lated voice excellently calcu- impress his statements upon the quiet dead a mile back in the kirk-yard." at Mr. as one might say. I to begin some three centuries after the birth of Christ. Then after like periods.

and did my holiday versions for me several times. and as he was throwing a careless across. sir. lad You have college and brought home a decent degree. voung man. and endeavour to practise the Christian charity I preach. cordially. he very nearly a heavy-tacketed boot upon the head of a young man who was quietly seated on deep in a lower step at the other side. " How do you do. flavour of lear will little This ? Oh. Mr. as she ought to be.^ hope Ah. her this is little know — my — I do you no harm. Borrowman ?" cried the young man. the study of a book. — ." he eyes telling out .? be very kind to me. you can never be the said. well. that a 's right ! Though you girl are the Master of Darroch. who full you had The minister was stopped dead in to a stile career. I think you used to Hester Stirling of Arioland. if that — ah. left was watching He was hand . must refrain myself. Yet" in a lower tone as if meditating "the Lord — — Himself cursed the serpent from the beginning belly shall he ! On his go " ! While he was speaking the minister at Carus Darroch glancing curiously for a Hester. holding the ruin of his straw hat in his while moment he kept the young girl's right in his. He set come over a leg hill dyke." cried the minister.A s\ GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET both of the feudal are turv did represent the culmination stem and of the r Bless me. "what been at ? has kept Carus Darroch. instantly rising to his feet and holding out his hand " what have you forgotten me You used to . little girl " out Why. In his attempt to save minister did himself from this catastrophe the tread somewhat vigorously upon the youth's straw hat. his 12-J I carried home their of the wood. I ." "Why. you so long away.

" only to-day I went to look at the place where I found you. his eyes growing wider and wider. But now. that were horrid too " ! " Oh. and his next unanswerable argument being silenced upon his tongue. Her face had not ordinarily much colour." And now it. " Why. UNDER THE SUNBONNET not grown. in spite of herself. but the minister deep in his heart thought otherwise. "I am saying. Arioland. hastily. Borrowman gasped and stopped. and I never he " he said over and over to himself." said Carus Darroch . for a self: But now ? The minister little was puzzled moment. Then he smiled a "Anthony Borrowman. except poor grandmother. she blushed when the tall young man looked down upon her. sure "I was you are glad to horrid to you — and forget that." The girl promised readily.A GLANCE astonishment. noticed ! my little girl 's a woman. it " as they were not going through the and was It best for the midges. I have never forgotten it. no. to retire her face beneath and look was strange. Then grunted two or three times uncomfortably as he stood gazing. she at seemed inclined the heather." Hester all was those people at is. and gazed straight and fearless at gentle and simple alike. " ! "you have over again You have simply at been made all The blood coursed richly in Hester's cheeks the remembrance. Hester wore a white linen sunbonnet which she had thrown on village. The tree you were leaning against was blown down some years ago. Usually she threw back her head. but everything else is much the same as it was. Mr. You must come with me and look at it some day. you 128 and said to him- are getting old indeed .

i^ " Fit T sow. IS brilK 0|- IIKRSKI.!'.!). SUM IH.LSIIi." .

.

sir! Umph umph what did I tell you. You You are a selfish old man. ha\'e put ofFtoo long.! A GLANCE UNDER THE SUNBONNET how the young of the sexes look at This At once. ! — — — is broken-hearted or sons and heirs disinherited. long ago. to have forgotten each other! All the same. Anthony must be seen to at once. times? You should have sent that girl away thousand We must have no more village maids yes. how the witch down ! blushing. to what an old looked fool you Lake used to look remember how Jennie Lake ! — down I the ground forty years ago Now ! then. her father's daughter. a Anthony. this will never do. sir. Anthony " march 1 Attention. but she is Hester her mother's too though she may not be pretty — you is — and tell can never And — bless me. and looking Like — why at just as Jennie are. Anthony I Shoulder arms Quick 129 .

yet society polish (" even if superficial. particularly upon Decidedly Hester must go relatives — but where ? to whom he could entrust her — Megsy He had no of course was in ? in a similar condition. lulled by the pleasant summer with the oaks and beeches about the old manse it Mr. This and it is rarely a pleasant process for any one concerned. the companionship of her said proudly. A " school to " finish Mr. amang young lassies. Borrowman hated the name and the thing. to-day again and again. This he held firmly to." said the minister). illuminating was neither pleasant nor this occasion. The me But I did not tell her so." he the " on ! Reformation. " but the lassie is growing her ain feathers noo. and should be " selfish fowk like us askin' your pardon. " That 's a' verra weel. age and sex. Hester was educated as no girl in Scotland had been. these were absolutely necessary. sir ! — — ! 130 . " If you had only heard her. jade had and the French Revolution. and soon she will cast a' your auld borrowed plumes and pookin's that ye wad She maun stick on to her. Borrowman " had out " Megsy. to the moles and to the bats She is a live as a young lass." she said.CHAPTER XVI AN ANSWER TO PRAYER WHILE garden. Hester slept soundly in her small white rustle of bed. amang her kind no wi' auld leddy." Megsy shook her head.

scarce a score of grains yet fallen into the . with a pathetic o' to her never the young bird ! the ain nest. arc wearing down to the swirl of in the sand the hour-glass. auld body. " Aye. bear wi' me. " ye it. have said ' sellish. That was what came home to me on the muir to-day.' iVlegsy. " never to hear her step come stair. doon the a bird ! sirce ! The desolation o' hoose " ! lamented Alegsv. the bairn that foolish — me when sir. Na. fall said." said the minister with am selftsh. she has lo'ed me weel. Hut your and mine. flichterin' liltin' like and her voice ! in Empty " I "Hoot hoot. never again Never ony mair oor wee lassie — the bairn that cuddled in to mither." birds life fly said the minister. " is when the young the auld nest bound to look bare. Hester's lies before her full to the l)rim. the disease. " but know it Megsy shook ! the railway. and I had nane ither " ! And Megsy picked at her black apron and alternately sobbed and wiped the tears with the beaded hem of her best apron. oh. woman. it will be 's lonesome. sadly. Megsy. gin ye like. Hester must leave us — must the — it all came leave us!"' " But. tning to keek under to When I saw the young Master sunbonnet that lassie's me in a flash. she had nae ither I oh. after will all Margaret there 's True. but she has been to mair than ony dochter and ill — me And am a me that was auld and thrawn to look upon. " She be her head. but you must not catch ! — — the chambers a' empty " ! indignation." she voice." groaned the minister.AN ANSWER ro PRAYER " Aye. minding no more than if the rough jet had been the finest and softest silk. maybe. but the post and there back to us before wc Yet more sadly " Aye.

Borrowman had of going morning by morning to the waterside. here in the auld manse. we can. minister's walk. was to be seen every morning for thirty years pacing it up and down on wet mornings wrapped to the heels in a long waterproof coat and with hands clasped behind his back. It remains to us. to do our day's work and " Aye. and was known only to is a matter which lo does not come into this history. which in time came to be a sacred and mysterious thing to the after is whom called figure. the blithe " ye hae your books braw consolations for the word. offer up a prayer. bent a little villagers. desired by any. we if are in ill key. On this particular morning official as he returned." It is called " the it And the minister — was Mr. the lovin' young heart are — ! Guid be thankit. — It arose but — strange are the ways of Providence in a way little a habit Mr. But whether Anthony Borrowman was reading. or meditating at such times the Two immediately concerned. ! bitterly. or praying. the and impartial distributor 132 ." AN ANSWER TO PRAYER abyss. there better 's consolation still — oot yonder aneath the wa' there " us up ! grass growin' green to hap " Megsy the — Megsy. ! the clachan postman. me my duster They 's licht o' the e'e. is where. to keep an open door for her. and . Borrowman. light will arise ! may be that with the morning. close by the kirk. whose tall at the shoulders. there flecks of sunshine still a walk under trees pleasant of shade. dappled every bright day with yellow and blue splashes of shadow." said Megsy. Let us read It Word. But on fine mornings he carried a little Greek Testament between his finger and thumb." an' to pray. therefore.

could hardly be considered as worthy of placed minister of the Kirk of Scotland as established. the The minister opened roughly with his thumb. in order that she may have the very " necessary influence and stimulus of a Christian home Here the minister of Saint John's parish again made a remark. bore the London mark. statement the items therefore. Anthony Borrowman stamped his breath. that we should have her more immediately under our own eye. his foot and the remark he made under a though not by law without excuse.AN ANSWER TO PRAYER of Fate in these times (and sometimes Sisters) It as terrible as the entire conclave of the letter Grim it met him. " But view it is borne in upon my dear wife and ynyself. receive a girl^ " Dear read ). spectable sincerely have provided for her education and mainI feel it to be a duty which I owe to the re- of Hester Stirling's progenitors {in which class I wish that I could include her parents^ that I should defray any reasonable charges you good enough. grimly biting his lip. If I am satisfied with I shall immediately send you a cheque for the " your claim At this point. has been under your roof for some years also past. and read the answer to his prayer — an answer in to bitter in mouth. I understand. He stood still. and unlooked for as snow Sir ( it August. to may have been at. One post- only was for the minister. 133 . — It will surprise you communication from me^ as guardian of the to little Hester Stirling. while he perused the remainder of the communication. that you tenance. who^ as I am given understand. in of the fact that Hester Stirling comes into the possession of a very considerable sum of money at the age of twenty-one. Be draw up a properly-attested amount of and forward it to me.

to answer like this " he said. and striding on to the house. when they were should go into upon to decide whether their little maid what the latter called the " den of 134 wolves. Sarah Stirling. for the letter was of some considerable " Um length. rustling the pages impatiently. ) " The girl will is. ! " Margaret It ! " was indeed the day of Marah waters called bitter — — of the drinking of to the minister and Megsy. making Water gravel grind under his angry " get It 's an enough to make a man never pray again. the good Darroch heels." " Bah. my servant. be met reverend Pancras any day obedient I mention." . ejaculated I must skip — I stand it!" Anthony Borrowman. unorthodoxly. and he sir. Bart. Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. crushing the paper in his hand with a violence quite unseemly in a placed minister. he means) desires that no purchases of clothing be made in the country^ as it is her intention that — is^ — Hester Stirling shall be brought up with her own younger children^ and accotnpany them it on their walks. and horsewhip " ! two yards behind him at St." said Mr.AN ANSWER TO PRAYER " Where by example and precept this " really can't "Oh. In order that she should do this^ should be decently and appropriately clothed of course^ necessary that she " ! ("I suppose the about the man I thinks a Glenkells in we have had suit of woad ! her running I wish to with a heaven he was. umm desires that the girl he prepared — — for the important change possible^ but in her circumstances as quickly as Lady Torphichan-Stirling T bless the woman. fiercely. Borrowman.

AN ANSWER TO PRAYER But it was certain that Dr. At experience would give Hester opportunities of seeing the world such as was impossible she could of Saint the have in the Clachan John. into her flashing into a sudden fiery passion Hester flung herself out of the study and Itjcked herself room. not to me? I will not go to my cousins. You ! it — I see it are tired of is am I And so is Megsy me to go away from you ! sure that why you of tears. It sunbonnet. That is. " ! I want just to stay with The " minister's voice said something here. it might possibly be that the letter betokened a change of heart and any ever a desire to rate. Bart. Then Anthony Borrowman thought of resolved that she should go. The waters of iVIarah do had better be done not improve by keeping. I do What is two thousand pounds not want her money. but it at once. and was the afternoon of this day when the minister Hester to him in the study. She was ensconced in an arbour of purple creepers out on the lawn with a favourite book " Lockhart's Life of Sir Walter Scott. " I will not go." It went to his heart to disturb her. Moreover. Whv my guardian my guardian My unless now me. called — — I do not want you always — always he ? experience. is Did my father leave him ? grandmother had no right. the minister h." she cried. " ! And. after all.id gone slowly 135 . in a sudden panic of grief. the make amends it for years of neglect.) had the power to enforce his request. " I am qui<e happy here I don't care to see the world. Svlvanus (now Sir Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. wish ! That is you wish to be rid of me You want to get rid of me. after But that night.

girl And will hardly be believed that daring had thus contracted the ancient and sonorous title of " Reverend. for a time — at — the stranger be too steep." which is the right of all Scottish ministers of the Gospel. " you are more to me than any child of my flesh could ever have been. But remember. if that to which you go prove too hard if the stairs of let we must — Yet. and it shows what she was capable of. masses of tumbled dark hair. the door of the old manse stands open.AN ANSWER TO PRAYER to his chamber. very soft and low I can't go to was very wicked. The old minister took Hester's face between his hands and kissed her on the brow." he said. the joy of my age. Please forgive me " sleep till you do The minister of Saint John opened the door. you go from us and Megsy and I be content to watch you afar off. " My daughter. But so it was. He saw now smile. the companion who least. a tear-stained face. and the Lord who gave will help us " wait to bide here in the hollow of His hand ! " Megsy." the same pleading voice from the same piteous red lips were to be heard at the old servant's 136 . has brought happiness and new life to a man who stood on the verge of the grave. bowed down with the burden which had so suddenly come upon him. You are the child of my spirit. that But is right who you should go. and a sensitive mouth that quivered and tried to " Revvie. the sough of the Water of Darroch in his ears and the : ! ! ! black branches of the beech trees tossing gloomily against a stormy sky. the fremit bread too bitter. and there it is ever the old place at the table for you. He had been standing looking out of the unshut window. he heard a voice with- " I am so sorry I said it It out. it I am sorry ! " the trembling this lips said.

altered somewhat. silently as she had come. and the wind lashed the leaves of the beeches upon each other with as suddenly large a noise like the Northern Sea on a rocky shore.AN ANSWER lO PRAYER door asleep a tew " minutes later. are you and Hester was almost ? stealing There was away tears." she But now I and Revvie's I ! I will!" 137 . Megsy. and hoarse. will — trv to 1 will — for your sake — me. darkness seemed to pass from off the terror of great Hester's spirit. silence for a while. and the light and warm out of the east. while the rain splashed on the window in driving sheets. bide I am comin' to you " Let me come in to you." Hester said. dear. " Megsy. and the girl woman who had never had a who had never known a child of mother's love save that of Alegsy Tipperlin's faithful and devoted service. lay all night awake. my bairn. when she heard as if with Megsy's voice. " You sobbed. " I want to " sleep beside you this one last night And so the two who had been almost as mother and ! ! — daughter — the her flesh. will have done so much " I have done nothing be good for for you. and she rose and kissed the wrinkled old face. many " " Yes. the But when with dawn the storm came up broad and ceased.

and took a prominent part in all discussions as to it public health. for the next London season. it was said. both on the platform and in the House. was along the high road towards politics nearly ten years before. He had entered He became one of the heaviest contribpolitical utors to the campaigning funds of a certain organisation which requires a great deal of such sinews of war. He had now house was whispered that. his So not only in wealth. Besides. It was whispered share in certain diamond mines at the Cape amounted It was beyond question to several millions sterling. as he was really a scientific man in his way. He went and came a good deal to Amsterdam. and it Park Lane. And.CHAPTER HESTER IN XVII THE STRANGER'S LAND far SYLVANUS his goal. which is at once a rallying and a distributing point for all who buy magnate. that little time her for the duty of attending to her younger was left 138 . that he was largely interested in precious stones. He had. was felt that such a a handle to his man was at least name as an average as deserving of or distiller beer- was so rich. but his repute had waxed his higher and higher every year. His wife interested herself so largely of the latest in good works and most fashionable kind. he was in treaty for a palace in Empress Gate. speculated in diamonds and other precious stones that his with enormous success. he and sell carbon and alumina in their crystallised forms.

as yet. it was with a heart compact of fears tumultuary. Hester had seen and heard many new things that The soft rounded hills of England. the whisking by of tele- humming lamp-lit wilder- graph poles. and tending city. way. All day she had been in a constant state of wonder The rush and clang of a great railand bewilderment. as of yore. the lazy flap of a windmill by the seaward side of the line." as Megsy had warned her would be the case herself if she did not approve "a brave lass. her »39 . or her face would most likely not have been " fit to be seen. of IN THE STRANGER'S LAND whom there were three. And with a so. am to leaving behind me hate all I and I am going those who will and despise me." day. " love. As may well be believed. pleasant dusk of an English twilight into the ness of London. But. the echoing spaciousness of Carlisle station. Pancras the long musical (which was settling back of the carriage bodies into repose)."* Perhaps it was fortunate that Hester was not alone during any part of the way. all now the racing lights of the far-ex- these her heart I noted with the sick and sinking thought. the gentle speech. Of the seniors.HESTER children. Tom was now leaving college. and. the eager shoutings of the porters. the contrast lilting of the red brick of the houses and the intense green of the foliage. when drew up of regret at St. he was of no particular account in the house. whose acquaintance we have aheady made. his sister Vic was his sole crony and contidant. that Hester found herself being whirled southward through the soft. all brought it home to Hester that she was very the train sigh far indeed from her own country.

for her aunt. 'ave saw you in the third class." he confided to the coachman her place This 140 . with a rug folded neatly the over his arm. she knew. Looking from the window of her third. however. she looked out whom she had seen once or twice during brief summer visits to Arioland.HESTER IN THE STRANGER'S LAND heart if beat thickly in her ears. all man-servant who. I did n't well. and ran after the man. for the tall She was not prepared. first Why. ! going wot we has to put up with. but you any luggage. peering into first-class carriages. " we It certingly take ever. " If you please. paraded up and down." he put murmured. William. it on the '11 kerrige. Or at least one of her cousins would come. it it 's 'ud dis- grace I on like is a a four-wheeler 'ousemaid's and take his to number. She was to be met. and she gasped as not comprehending when the man And asked for her ticket. a large one of very commodious" it ironmonger '' had called — his nose pointed Edward more angularly than ever up at the roof of the terminus. This us must go on can't for a keb. " I am at Hester Stirling! her. as if she The man feloniously stared hard to down were as trying pass herself off on him a member " I of a respectable family." she said. Miss ? " in imagine — Then when Hester's trunk the ruck of the luggage the Cairn delivery japanned tin — was pointed out *' to him. He ! looked so tall and stately that she hardly dared speak to " him. she heard him distinctly ask the guard for " Miss Stirling " She took the little Could that be meant for herself? bag which "Revvie" had bought for her in Cairn Edward in her hand.

in the hope of chancing upon her aunt's house somewhere or other. the trees rustled their leaves. Hester had an ordeal it to undergo. But at last they stopped in a place which seemed There was. great wall of houses facing her. and there were so many turnings all looking alike. every appointment ever beheld. In the hall there was another tall man in pale blue coat and knee breeches. and determined to face bravely for the sake of " she was Revvie" and Megsy. who looked even more imposing asking her of broad inclined than the first. and was as instantly checked. She was certain be that every second person must infallibly over before reaching home. and ushered Hester It withcnit was a great room. far grander than anything Hester had announcement. He he hear. He must just be experimenting. at flights stairs he a large door. Withtjut even name. with lighted windows and shining lamps stretching away on either hand.HESTER IN THE STRANGER'S LAND afterwards. his car and Apparently what heard satisfied him — or perhaps what he did not in For he opened the in door. it is true. But immediately opposite. that she could not believe that the driver really knew his way. he till showed Hester up two paused listened. The gas lamps strung them- selves out till there seemed no end to them. and she could hear the wind sough among them just that moment by the Darroch at as it was doing Water — but here a sob rose involuntarily. nivoo reesh ! " through " talcin' service with these 'ere Then came looked terribly a lonw drive through to streets which run all crowded Hester. a a little less terrible to her. There were 141 .

receive her " Yes. of pink and frilled in the middle. she heard her cousin say." stammered Timson " I understood as how — — right to understand. Miss. covered with a debris of dishes and dainty and palms stood about in corners. which at that time. At the upper end of the room a pair of figures stood It seemed to Hester as if the young man had been holding the hand of his companion. " What do you mean. without showing the 142 in answer to young gentleman embarrassment. This pale green vision turned and caught sight of them on the threshold. or to think. globe about the room little of it as Every a little was equipped with top and kind of silk double extinguisher at bottom. have as many lights as possible. so that as possible should be in any way useful. I You and knew was to very well that the young ah lady (How do you do. stood . she did not recognise as a Liberty tea-gown. as if she had been responsible for As the girl was going out of the door his disgrace.HESTER IN THE STRANGER'S LAND tea-tables silver. Hester ?) be shown to the schoolroom till my lady could " ! — — ! have this room for my guests." he whispered to Hester in quite another tone. Yet the place was dimly lighted in comparison with the The idea seemed to be to brightness of the stairways. education. Timson. apparently elegant least some remark of the very who. submissively. Miss. Miss Ethel " said Timson. " breaking into the drawing-room like this " ? " I "but I thought " You had no beg your pardon. and then to swathe Flowers and jacket and overcoat them. so little advanced was her social very close together. a young lady. " Come this way. dressed in a most beautiful costume." she said.

HESTER IN THE STRANGER'S LAND posing with his elbow on the mantelpiece. do not of Captain Carisbrook. No. is It is only a sort poor relation father at takinir care of " But that moment the door closed upon Hester's cousin and her visitor. " go. 143 .

Timson did not knock his gently. he confined brusquely himself to " This her. In the corner of the room furthest from the door a pale-faced young girl which three chest. stood a while watching slight with a grin. Lot. confused and peculiar.CHAPTER XVIII A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME HESTER and He her. Then he stopped at a door from behind which a great noise. which had somehow been tethered to the legs of the chair. and even the tall Timson. all on had abandoned and having accurately apprehended ! ceremony with from Miss so strode Ethel's tone the newcomer's exact position in the house. 144 "Come on. ! a red-headed boy of about thirteen. He merely thumped with his closed It fist and opened. was proceeding. was a curious scene upon which Hester was ushered so unceremoniously. . and to reach her feet. in haste to return to his statutory occupation of admiring his own calves and flirting broadly with such of the servant-maids as might chance to pass through the it hall. probably in knowing that he would damage knuckles vain. followed the tall servitor in the silver pale blue coat his part vi^ith a feeling akin to awe. " My eye and Betty Martin " the eldest was crying. way " and before along certain passages which seemed to run about two sides of a large square. She riotous children was penned in by a table were pushing against her violent was making but unsuccessful attempts to resist them.

I '11 are huiting let me " go ! " cried the pale girl. " stand to introduce in line.' then. lo But now something 145 in the girl's tone touched all at She seemed to comprcluiid once. out that strawberry on the arm we shan't own you None genuine " ! without ! Come and hear Miss Martin sing Then Master Stanhope round to the younger two. you did n't know we have ! seen you that. You shan't go unless. you to little beasts." " " Sing Clementine. and to be kind of as kind to you as possible " in a Hester had been taking off her gloves daze. Country. known as Betty let till Martin go "Oh. knew how you is behave ? " She '11 say nothing. lives in ! She an almshouse. sack you right away if She 'd she did. please don't. Torphichan-Stirling turned " Now. her. go in Ha. if '' here What would your mamma say she some one. your birthmark or — Say. let ' we know. ha. Master Stanhope. this Elizabeth Martin of Miss Alms House " ! College. Then you for 'd never get any more shawls and things for your old mother.— show her how ' prep is done at our school " Oh. you ' ! SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME lazy beast — give push. She went . is Long-lost-cousin-with-the-strawberry mark. I " It shameful when am trying to do my best. 'm going your teacher." I he cried. Betty Lot and me watched " Do me go you. Get ready bow. Miss Elizabeth Martin. only ma's Pipe out like this " Hello. you " A little it to her. it's long-lost brother or niece or something. Grubby. here let's see is somebody shell ! — oh. struggling is me — do ! let me go!" said the crimson flooded her pale cheek. though. 'cause she won't know. commonly the girl.

say — you let ! just come 146 . accustomed to the quick movements of animals and perfectly at home in the art of watching your opponent's eye. Country " he said. thing and had reckoned altogether Hester's slender young body much idea of strength. went from the armchair this forward to loosen the unfortunate to girl which she had been rallied. you '11 have plenty though " — ! He without attempted a his to hold Hester's wrists. If you stay. whose age was seven. and Grubby. Lot. and all unbreathed had kept pace with his heatherstep. But by time Master flung himself Stanhope had and now once more between Hester and his victim. was as nothing in the grip of one who for years had accompanied the minister of Saint John over hill and dale. Master Stanhope alone ** cried Timson from the door. will you. with her hat tied. blast even when he had forgotten himself in the of an argument. and encountered Master Stanhope on her way.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME ! forward to pull the table back. anticipated Stanhope. He gave the former a violent push on the chest. But the table and Hester. I say. a girl of nine. " Oh. but the flabby boy. set full So Master Stanhope found himself as calmly one side as if to he had been a doll. but the girl. "you 've got nothing to do with us yet. still came back nevertheon her head. sleek and soft with sweetmeats and surreptitious pasties. pulled as vainly at Hester's skirts. rolled on the floor in vain attempts to bite Hester's legs. less. you let that alone. But he did imagined not give vain host. "you've no right to hinterfere. and with a step aside and a wrestler's swinging grasp upon the boy's collar landed the red-headed youth with his back to the schoolroom wall. " 'aving I " Oh.

In a moment he had the cords cut. and there was something on her face which she had grown quicker. was busy unfastening the cords from the unhappy governess's ankles when a loud "Hem hem " some way along the passage announced the As soon as Master Stanhope approach of a newcomer. ! — The weighty tread approached slowly along the M7 . while Stanhope. " I I tell you seen the very devil look out of that wench's eye. fairly hurled himself into the chair at the bottom of the table and became desperately absorbed in his studies. his eyes fixed. and the fingers of one hand making riot in his hair. " Bullv for Country served you right for sticking — your oar say. gathered up and flung into a corner. seizing a book at random from a shelf. pointing to ! ! the door. that " ! But he was not even thanked for his pains. which passed more quickly than it can be told. he seized a knife which lay on the mantelpiece and threw himself impetuously at Miss Martin's feet. his brows knit. " he said afterwards to the other footman. It was one of the times she wished But she had height enough for her purpose. that un. intimidated Timson as much as if he had found a desperate burglar astride the plate-chest. for Master Stanhope put his red head out at the door and cried after him. you mark my " words " Go to your work " Hester bade him. heard this. And Timson like went. In the same space of time.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME Hester turned. old Straw-calves " ! What would have happened after that it is difficult to Hester. Lot and Grubbv had seated themselves at the long ink-stained table. ! " She '11 come to no good. muttering something which sounded I will " shall hinform her ladyship. in.

I Stirling. be it said.. in her position. already the acquaintance of our youthful hopes. The and book he had snatched up was Bible.) " Ah. They are I trust you will be all very happy together. S. do you not." They seemed hastily rolling drums. it the red-headed boy held trying to get a upside down. my son. when the door opened. which go well with the tune of " See the conquering hero comes. Bart. a brown leather-bound much affected as a missile in the schoolroom. and to bring with seat herself scholastically Sir at the table-head. &c. and But would not do to be caught in the act. R.. at is it not ? I thought hope you were duly met the station. and have never given either their mother or myself one moment's uneasiness. good children." said the great man. and Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. is showed so much good sense in one " Ah. LL. them the accompaniment of Miss Martin had only time somewhat to run her fingers over her roughened hair. let the gentleman take that smile off" his face before I answer him. it he felt that his father's eye was upon him. 14S . Stanhope. see. You have. ? gent.. (" For heaven's sake. F... " diligence is always pleasing in the young ! in the do you do I — Hester made How so. D." a rude adversary had said on one famous occasion. had the unfortunate peculiarity of irritating some people. &c.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME They were the kind of footsteps passage. what " ? that you are studying Stanhope made a curious noise in his throat. beaming upon all room. it He had been chance to turn all the while. which smile. Miss Martin " You find them diliThe pale governess in bowed sence It — silently as if overcome with shyness the Pre- a peculiarity greatly approved by Sir Sylvanus. entered with his bland smile.

and dropped to Sir book. if you Grundy." So would Stanhope have been. if the vf)lume as to hand 149 it Sylvanus. picking like one well accustomed to the operation. and Gospel so had to make to a hit-or- miss dash for it. tell me what Ah the Bible studying. sir. — who would enough not be expected to know *'Sir Gully Grundy. lifted gulped. was good enough to say that I myself owed no small part of my success in the House I speak of the What ! did you say ? Speak please Remember that Sir Gully — House of Commons. taking pity. I am glad to see ! ! Stanhope. I own accord studying shall inform your mother of that to- night and she will rejoice with me. So speak clearly. coming upon you thus without warning. my I am ested to find out. dear " — this condescendingly to such things self. who was somethe what suspicious.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME " clearly. . And now. " The Holy according Ezra. my voice carried men would have failed. read tvpe upside But he never could down. your father should find his children of their the Scriptures. and with a quick mcjvenient. my boy. a " at ? " gasped his father. a great orator himto say that the clearness of was flattering my me intonation and the fine quality of through where other learn to you are that. sir!" said Stanhope. But what son ? part of inter- Holy Writ excites your curiosity. Stanhope Hester. fumbled. who was standing close behind the boy's chair." he gulped. the eminent Q^ C. sir!" said his father. in It argues well for your future that. "Saint Luke. John. my the country cousin. " Luke " whispered Hester. ! Wh — — his words *' Let me sec. learned in the Kirk of St.

. Lot threw herself father's visit. A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME it it at the Gospel of Luke. the next moment open to the baronet. carrying with it an inkbottle and plentifully bespattering Miss Charlotte on the way." he said . my dear. loose. which she had been concealing on her lap under the table during her Angry at this affront. So in a few moments she was reduced to She would sulky sobs and moody shakes of the head. and honoured of God and man also you will receive my send some one to my dears. A hush of silence fell on the schoolroom which lasted exactly till the dull and resonant sound of his footsteps on the inlaid wooden floor of the passage had been exchanged for the sharper fall of boot-leather upon the Sylvanus ently to the tiles in the outer hall. in the circumupon her brother and pulled his hair stances an unfortunate method of assault." your young charges " If you please." said Sylvanus. Hester. " I can see that you have already won the affection and confidence of I mean companions. thank you. — Ha ! ha ! Just wait ISO . "I am a little Might I go up to my own room? " tired. apparsame unheard roll of martial music.! . with a smile " we will doubtless see you again after dinner. She would be revenged. " Ah. Au Continue your studies in the same you will be spirit in which you have begun. for her own single Gretchen plait was much better adapted for rude seizure. Then pandemonium broke Master Stanhope flung the leather covered Bible to the end of the room. " Certainly. approbation Sir " ! passed away up the corridor. quietly. I will she opened presenting — revoir^ show you the way upstairs. tell anybody and everybody." said Hester. as also that young lady's doll.

slates. who was very tired. was very decent of you not to split to the Bart. d 'ye you fetched she has got know you made me see stars when me round that whopper against the wall ? none at all. but has got no savvy. Stanhope watched her contemptuously. " Let see your muscle. but who had no idea of allowing the fact to ! out of that hole about Ezra as smart as " appear. though." the voice came- to the car of Hester as from a . . blotters. "but then you see you ain't old Betty Martin. exactly as right. "I think^you are a horrid little boy. a kind of respect. is Hester extended the part of her body " But it must be jolly whip-cordy what there of it ! Say. I was to mean tarriers!'* show you to your I room. " and if I had anything to do with you I 's all " She if would teach you to behave differently " ! "I it daresay you would. I say." he commented. He is a wonder." said Stanhope. " Tony Gibbons tell is my school-pal." he said strong 'un critically. That 's why we can rot her so easy " ! tin." he remarked. pencils. Nothing much " you must be a to feel. calmly. miss." Hester began. Miss Martin had been deaf. — " If you great height. indignantly. The young gentleman pointed casually at Miss Marwho was resignedly gathering up the books. which were scattered round everywhere and restoring them to some kind of order on the shelves that filled one entire side of the room. pens. and has the loveliest terriers please. I you. as required. And if you got me you had been Tony Gibbons " And who is Tony Gibbons ? " said Hester.A He SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME Then Stanhope turned looked at her now with 's ! his attention to his cousin.

as a stoutish. Biddy." cried Stanhope. rushing at a middle-aged 's woman who Barker. — — whirl ceased " your lady mother shall know of this indignity before I am an hour older. breathlessly. my " he sang to no tune in particular. the birch does not grow that would " make you speak the truth " No. filled up the doorway. Why. I live I will it and give to the ' coachman. like keepin' ' company with your bloomin' grandmother " day ! he said to me one " Figgis never able said resettling her hair and dress. And test the before the stout and dignified woman could pro- red-headed imp of mischief had seized her by the waist. bestowed by Master Stanhope in pure affection and levity of spirits. silk-hatted young man. no sich imperence. it 's ! He only wants your money anyway." ! You may You may You may me me dance the polka whirling round coat-tails flying ." cried a new voice from the doorway. " He is a most respect- man and careful of his words. And as for you. next instant it as his arm could two were spinning round the room." said the lady." write for the certificate of your " If you " as sure as birth tell.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME " Hey. colliding shelves. besides sending Grubby howling into a corner by a resounding whack on the ear. but the cane does. " here ? old Biddy How <' do. ." retorted the red-headed boy. when the . and solidly with book- and chairs. much of the freely The desks. Master Stanhope. or rather by as encircle. "Muster conduck ! Stan'ope sir I will not endoore sich " cried the old dame. Barker see see see Come and dance.

As he went 153 he communed with himself. What 's Why. how grown ! Shake " ! was Tom Stirling. and Hester was the subject of his meditation. up from college. Hester extended her hand and looked him straight the eyes. hang it. taking the steps a time. entered briskly. " By Jove. cheerfully. " See and get her down in time. and grown into a fine in young man about town. *' Going to get your things off and tittivate a bit. hole. I will. Barker " " Master I mean Mr. his latest He had just come from airing stick and lavender gloves on in the most suitable and fashionable pavements. washed manse by the water of Darroch appeared very far off to-night. who you 've 's this ? Hester." from Tom). eh ? So long. see you at dinner ? " cried Tom. and ! ! the mater does just vvh:it that girl says. rather over-dressed round-faced and and over- buttoned as to surtout. " Come for good ? " he asked. . Tom )" It 's as well you do. but with a good-humoured expression on his countenance. It did not seem as if she could ever get back there again. this young lady (the personnel of the house in Empress Gate had great difficulty in ! — uttering the substantive to take when they spoke of Hester) is supper in the schoolroom. The dear old whiteShe sighed as she nodded. I like Eth's impudence. ! There " is some of Miss Ethel's friends dining to-night " What a dashed shame And what rotten cheek of If my cousin dines in this old Eth I won't have it. too. Barker.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME ruddy. jovially. I '11 see about it!" Whereupon three at Tom dashed upstairs. little " hands It up ? " he cried.

is too angular jolly.A SOMEWHAT WARMER WELCOME " Not pretty. 1 '11 than having Vic away. " no. Thomas Alistair Torphichan-Stirling. Even on her first night in the great city she had achieved one ally in the — house in Empress Gate. Well. and And it 's yet I don't know." he pretty least — is said to himself. 154 . not in the flat. eyes when she and there something about her a sight better she looks at you. have a headache and dine in the schoolroom to-night " ! So Hester was not wholly alone. and nothing but these beasts of Ethel's about the place. and that no unimportant one at least in the opinion of Mr.

after giving »55 Carus. Lord Darroch considered universe this rule it as made specially for his gratification. this being accomplished to the accompani- ment of oaths swiftly and — — the or. To birth there could his wife so be no exceptions. of and as to get himself as rapidly away as possible. Carus spent much of his time with a book about the woods. He had impressed to on completely that. the He been came specially but at seldom into presence of Lord Darroch. the present Lord Darroch. or out on the moors of heather with a seldomdischarged gun under his arm. being to get farmers and agents. she had . so proudly on its eminence at the head of the So the burns and scaurs of Glencairn. as on the present occasion. save meal-times. and. His father. and a favourite author in his pocket. the first much money as he could obtain from cajolings and coaxings curses. sat He had been born at the tall old castle which loch. and for the most part they were content to meet without gladness and part without regret. the pebbly of his beaches and lily-studded shores of Loch Darroch were as part own life. or when he had sent for. as it might be. Father and son had absolutely nothing in common save name and race.CHAPTER XIX MY LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS CARUS DARROCH business-room in steadily confronted his father at the Darroch Castle. had but two aims as when he visited the Strath.

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
first

of

all

betaken

herself back

to

her mother, the

Duchess of Niddisdale, and claim or hold upon life, yet
all

presently, discovering
farther

no

to the

place of

unfulfilled hopes
this

and wasted

fives.

The Duchess

it was. She would probably have first horse-whipped Lord Darroch, and then brought a suit against him in the proper court. But she could not inspire the same deter-

considered

very weak, as

doubtless

herself

minate course of action in the Lady Sophia. " I always told Niddisdale it would turn out so," she " What can you do with a person who has no said. " pride, and who is named Sophia ?

Lord Darroch had come

all

the

way from

Paris in

might have sent for Carus to come to him there, indeed, but with the squeamishness of such parents he did not want
Carus
in Paris.

order to have this interview with his son.

He

And

besides, there

"

birds " connected with the cutting of

were various other wood and the

that he hoped to

mortgaging of some remaining morsels of free property, kill with the selfsame stone.
So, on the

morning

after his arrival,
at

he installed himfather

self in the

high-backed chair

the upper end of the

business-room, from which
risen to flog

his

own

had often

him, and sent the butler to

summon Carus

to

the momentous interview. Of the two. Lord Darroch was by a great deal the more nervous. Yet Carus had known that there was something in the wind,

as

soon as his father came

in the night before.

He

had

given his son a greeting more than usually effusive, and
helped him to wine with a vast deal of pleasantness and

good comradeship. But Carus Darroch knew

his father well

enough

to

be aware that this bonhomie was merely assumed for a
purpose, and what that was he guessed

more or

less

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
accurately.

Lord Darroch was

a

man who

at

one time
at

of
less

his

lite,

when
made

the " smart set " of the period was

invaded by millionaire proteges of royalty than
a certain
figure
in
life

young fellow of expensive tastes and a dashing manner of gratifying them. And now, when he was threescore, he still endeavoured, with straitened means and the
present, had
as a

most perfect of
that he

valets, to hide from himself and others was anything else. His wig was a marvel of clustering (and yet not too

clustering) raven locks, with the least artistic touch of

decorous gray

at the

temples, which only a master could

have allowed himself.
Silas

But then
that,

it

Clark and Sons

when allowed
putting so

was the pride of to do their

best without regard to cost, they sent a
their subject for a

month before

man to study much as the

foundation
the

name

for

served

upon the block. Well-preserved was not Lord Darroch. He was perfectly preif

fresh as

he had been packed

in

ice

every

night and unpacked by his valet in the morning.

" Good morning, Carus,"

said

his lordship

from the

chair of state, bending graciously towards his son, " do

you take anything so early in the day ? I suppose not. Boys like you never ought to need a fillip in the morning. Peach brandy is a good thing, though, if you have no fear of gout. I recommend peach brandy.

No

?

Well

then,

let

us talk business.

I

have come a
I

long way to do

it,

Carus,

my

boy.

But

could not

bear to bring you away from the country at this season

of the year, and perhaps
old place

I

had a desire to look

at

the

once more."

Carus
always

bowed
be a

silently,

and

sat

father with the
felt to

quiet, grave attention
little

down, regarding his which the elder

disconcerting.

157

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
" Well, my boy," said Lord Darroch, " you are twentyone you have been through college with the best. You have taken your degree, which there was not the You have had your sendleast necessity for you to do. ofF a first-class coming-of-age dinner, good speeches

as

ever I heard

— and
!

capital

verses that
I

poet fellow

recited in your

want to know what you are going to do. It 's too late to think of the army, I suppose, but you could easily get a commission in the

honour

Now

Militia.

You

could do a

little

toy soldiering
I

a pretty
I

uniform goes a deuced long way,

can
it,

tell

you, and

was

in

the Guards.

The

girls

like

and you may

marry a pretty one

as well as a rich one.

Which
that
's

last

you must do
always say

— when
is

in

any case.
a fellow

But, hang
is

it,

what

I

any catch, he can get a
I

pretty rich girl just as easy as an ugly one."

" There

no need

to

think about that yet,

sir,

think," said Carus, smiling.

" Never too soon to think about
to

it,

when
to

it 's

got

be done,"
is,'

rejoined

his

lordship,
said.

"or

'go where

money
future
?

as

somebody or other
sir,

Well, about your

" had thought,
a
little,

"

I

of reading law, and by-and-by

writing

if

I

have the

ability,"

said

Carus,

modestly.

" Tut tut, what does a man want with scribbling for a few pence, when he will have a title, and one of the oldest in Scotland ? Reading law is all right. The more you get up about that, the better you will know

how

wind when your time comes. By the it was a matter of that kind which brought me here. I have waited till you were
to raise the

way, speaking of law,
twenty-one
in

order to speak freely with you.
lie

It is this.

The Glen

Sorn estate does not
158

well to the rest of

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
the

contains
It
is

Darroch property. It is chiefly arable land, and no considerable moors worth shooting over.
badly burdened.
it

Now,

there has

come along an
I

orterer for

who

is

willing to give a fancy price, and
sell.

have determined to such offer." " But, sir,

We

shall

never get another
a

is

the

Glen Sorn

thirds of all the property
it

estate not

in

rental

at

least

good twoand is

not strictly entailed

"
?

Lord Darroch
son's

bit

his lip

and was

silent a full

minute,

while he controlled his temper.

Then he

rose, took his

arm and stepped to the window. " Look," he said, and the young man's eyes swept from verge to verge of bounding horizon. Dark, heathy
mountains extended
in great
far to the west.

Rolling moorland,

purple and yellow and brown, undulated along the east

waves

that never broke,
hills

and to the north rose
Standard.

the deep-bosomed green

of

Windy

"Two-thirds, you say, and yet all that would be left ? Hampering debts would be cleared, and, if that is any matter to you, your father made a free and happy man."

Then he led the }oung man to the other window, which looked down the Loch of Darroch. Blue and
calm, scarcely fluttered by a passing breath,
beneath,
it

stretched

beyond gleaming mile. White farmhouses nestled upon either side. The fields about were golden and green, and the pastures nearer at hand were
mile
dotted white with sheep, that looked no bigger than gowans, so high towered Darroch Castle on its hill, "All these would be left. Surely a few turnip fields

over

in

Glen Sorn

w(nild not be a great price to pay for
the

a father's

blessing, and

knowledge

that

you

have

given him

new

life."

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
Lord Darroch went slowly back and
chair, while his son stood a
sat

down

in

his

moment

longer at the win-

dow, before turning and saying quietly, "What would " you have me do, father ? The elder looked up hopefully. He had not heard
his

son speak so affectionately for
himself

a

long time.

He

congratulated

on

the

success

of his
his

appeal,

which he had
journey.

carefully thought out

upon

northward

"

I

tious entail
steadily
at

would ask you to join me in breaking the vexaon the Glen Sorn property," he said, looking
Carus, "

safeguarding

your

Mark do not mean without I own interests. Indeed the courts

would most

certainly see to that.
part,

A
"
!

part of the price,

and probably a large

would be
is

set aside for

you

invested in good securities, that

" I presume that in making this proposal," said the young master of Darroch, " you have considered the
terms of

my

mother's marriage settlement

"
?

haughty

Lord Darroch's eyebrows rose a full half-inch with that lift which is only seen on the faces of irascible
they find themselves unexpectedly cornered.
I

men when
"
something

have," he answered, with a quick, ugly look, and
like a snarl in his tone,

" or

I

should not be

here asking your consent.

But
?

concerning marriage settlements
read

how are you so glib Have you begun to
to

law already

?

Who

has been talking

you, I

should like to

know ? "

time

grandmother showed me a copy of it the last was at Dalveen," said Carus, quietly. My lord muttered a malediction upon her Grace of Niddisdale between his clenched teeth. " I thought it was the old harridan who had put you up to all this. You refuse your consent, then ? "
I

"

My

i6o

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
"
or
I

have not

said so," said

Carus,

still

more

quietly.
it

" But you mean
no "
!

to say

it

!

(^uick, out with
philosophical

— aye
"
!

cholies
I

None with me
certainly

of your
!

dashed
to

melanfor
ir-

I

want
seen

know my
no

friends

have

adequate

reason

giving

my

consent to what, once done, would be

revocable, and might gravely prejudice not only myself, " but those who may come after me
!

His lordship rose up

in furious

anger.
in

"Then
may
like

I

will

do

it

without you, and

a

way you
consent

even

less.

If you do not give

me your

to this arrangement,

and

in addition Sir

consent to marry a

daughter of
ling, I will

my
see to

friend,
it,

Sylvanus Torphichan-Stir-

estate.

Not

a

you succeed to a worthless penny of money, not a farmhouse that
sir,

that

will
it,

not need to be rebuilt before a tenant will live in

not a stick of

wood

thicker

than

my
! !

little

finger

from one end of the property to the other have heard,- sir, and what I say, I will do "

Now

you

"Is
Sorn,

Sir
sir
?

Sylvanus the customer you proposed for Glen " said Carus, with the least touch of weary
he

scorn in his voice.

" And

if

is, sir,

what

is

that to
?

you

?

Is his

money
white

not as good

as

any one

else's

" cried

my

lord,

with the very intensity of
*'

his passion.

So you propose to

sell

your estate to the father and

your heir to the daughter," said Carus. "
will be a party to neither transaction
!

"Well,

sir, I

"

You

infernal

young puppy
in

!

" cried Lord Darroch,
the action
toe.

stamping with anger, and then, suddenly stopping, he
picked

up the

foot

one hand

as

sent a

twinge of agony through

his great

He
it,

limped to his chair, furiously threw himself into
i6i

and leaned back.
II

"

LORD DARROCH TALKS BUSINESS
" Now,
listen

to

me,

sir,"

he

said,

"

I

give you a

year in which to

come

to your senses.

Few

fathers

would be so generous.
self.

You
like
I

shall

have four quarterly
reasonable,

allowances, and then, by heaven, you can fend for yourIf,

however, you

to be

come
to

to
Sir

town next week, and
devil

will

introduce

you

Sylvanus and his daughters.

If not

— why, go

to the

your

own way.

I

will

have no more

to say to

you

!

162

CHAPTER XX
HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE

CARUS Dalveen.
still

did

go

to

London, but

it

was by way of
She was a
tall,

He
in

found her Grace the Duchess of
her rose garden.

Niddisdale

powerful frame of

a

woman who,

though over seventy,

carried herself like a grenadier, and

showed her age

far less

than her perfectly preserved son-in-law.

As was her custom when in the country, her Grace was equipped with a hat shaped like a Chinese umbrella, the brim of which came down nearly to her
shoulders.
strong,
It

was, however,

tilted

well back from her

capable,

masculine

face.

Her

dress

was of

stout dust-ct)loured

calico, such

as

no one of the houseslight

maids of Dalveen Castle would have done their morning's

dusting

in.

The

Duchess's
a

but

quite

perceptible
earth,

grey
in

moustache had
there

top-dressing of red
trident

and

her hands

were the
for

and

"spud"
in

used
of
in

by

gardeners

applying

fertilising

materials to the

roots

of

rosebushes and other plants

need

nourishment.
a

This
a

nutriment
gardener,

was

also

present

barrow.

And

well

accus-

tomed
at

to his mistress's

ways, and too well bred to smile
as

them, was receiving a practical demonstration

to

his business

from the Duchess's own gracious
to

lips.

Hut scarcely had he begun
tions

carry out her instrucat

— the
as

— indeed,

before he had

been a minute

work

he

"spud" and "graip" were snatched from him, had expected. An aristocratic heel, concealed
163

"

HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE
in
leg,

a

huge " tacketty " boot, laced half-way up the was driving in the prongs of the " graip," and a

was receiving food in the only proper way from Grace the Duchess of Niddisdale. " Hello, Carus, what wind blew you here ? I wish to heaven it did not blow from that wheelbarrow to my nose but it is good stuff for all that I saw it mixed Did you ever study the theory and application myself. of court manures, Carus ? Just move the barrow a yard to leeward, will you? No? Whatever did you You can go, Thomson. spend your time on in college ? The Master of Darroch will assist me Now tell me What mischief has the Old Adam been all your news.
plant

the hands of her

!

!

hatching

now

?

For

it

was by

this

name
in

that this

most unconven-

tional of

Duchesses was

the habit of referring to her

son-in-law.

" Let

me
!

help you, grandmother

!

" said Carus, offer-

ing to take the spud and graip out of her hands. " You " cried her Grace, highly astonished

at
all

his

daring

;

"

faith

you might be acquainted with

the

Georgics of Virgil and yet not be able to shovel dung
to
I

Do ye really think, Carus, that what John Tamson to do, I would lippen to a " callant like you ? So with Carus at the " trams " of the wheelbarrow, and the Duchess feeding the roots of her roses as
satisfaction.
trust

my

cannot

daintily as if they had

been sick canary
ye

birds, the tale

of

Glen Sorn was " What did

told.
I
tell
?

" cried her Grace, setting a
while
she " redds " up
a

hand on her hip
her creels against
friend's
*

in

the attitude of a fishwife resting
railing

a

character over the way.

your interests'

— 'safeguards' — 'burdens'
164

"

I

think I hear him
!

Truly

interest. Carus instantly plucked one from and gravely presented it to his grandmother. keeping his eye on the work before him. Carus — and that barrow ?) Niddisdale has no need thereof. " Get another fill from John Tamson. I '11 get peace and ease to cast my mind over " the latest writhings of the serpent. moreover. grandmother ? *' said Carus. And to do her justice. " and when I have done this last row. Carus.— HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE the devil in the form of a serpent hath entered into the Old Adam. Carus. she called out " Have ye a his napkin. ? Carus " pocket She with it. 'your But I should beguile me.) " And that for his threats." said the Duchess of Niddisdale. has been she took up the burden of her prophecy. have been most grateful for the opportunity. " It in my mind. but the lady owned no very face bridle for her tongue. the Old Adam This was not exactly teaching the young man to ! observe the old first commandment with promise. this is just that like may (here get ten thousand to squander on besoms " — as her Grace entered into unnecessary aye as detail.' am no gumptionless Eve. she would have spoken to the in full as frankly the of my Lord Darroch himself and. After she had cleansed her hands and given a perfunctory dabble to her face at the stop-cock of a garden watering-pipe.) (Here the Duchess 's snapped her loamy "There much will feather a nest in the auld wife's sock. " (Where are ye with " But what would you advise me to do first. that The burdens he put on himself when all he he forsooth. rubbed her large-featured good-humoured face and as she finished off by polishing her hands. that ye were and '65 in danger of becoming somewhat ovcrcarcful per- ." ringers.

If she be like Isobel Stirling of Arioland. married poor Niddisdale.! HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE nicketty. Am " ! to go back to my father with a finger in *' my mouth ? Flared up. and told my with your will or against your father that I would have nothing I to do with either entail-breaking or wife. I tell you. and she a decent bonnet laird. as the Faas wedded what should a lass the less or their wives. as when we skelpit it over the braes barefoot and bareleg. laddie ? *' But. lad. " have been it would up oftener and higher as your grandmother! telling you. is And when ye are think- ing of marrying. hill. that the only one to be considered. be beholden to the Old lass * What to for need ye to Adam introduce ye to the as yourself She comes of as good blood on the woman' side of the shilling. indignantly. But I have hopes of you yet. good friends we were the day of her death." urged Carus. she will be worth kissing by daylight. go — look — cannot for see! That is neither here nor there. this is what stieve linen napkin. that painted their eyelids and decked them with ornaments and other apparel " As for the apothecary's daughter. They tie ye to a bed-post and marry ye will. year '30 — I mean '50 — and my till She was a beauty in the I very good friend. but neither of us was the better or the worse for that. for this is a none of your flimsy lace and good that make the young men of the day like Aholah cambric and Aholibah. did ye " cried her Grace. And " more fright a brave young man like you. if ye had flared — ? — as high as Etna and as often to Nor do ye need gang back with any finger in your mouth. Carus. " I flared up." wild as colts turned out to the So after selled this fashion her Grace of Niddisdale coun- her grandson with the wisdom of an expert in 1 66 . Aye.

observation of is Ye have an objection to taking this apothecary's daughter? Now. laddie. too " shall also give you advice upon " " Why are you so kind to me. " and that is a long story." " Did my grandfather ride much when he was a " young man ? " Him " (The Duchess gazed a moment at Carus ! with a kind of lofty surprise. grandmother ? " the boy would Then the old lady would sigh a little and answer. and the days that were the days that were But it shall not be an auld wife's fault if ye be not — ! clothed in scarlet and other devices — which. Carus " lad. there one objection in a young man's mind which can excuse him from desiring to visit a pretty only 167 . It has been my blessing or my bane (I ken not wh'ich) all rpy life to have a soft side for desirable young " gentlemen of Assyria. do you call me that. Carus had always been a favourite with her. riding upon horses " Is that why you gave mc that chestnut mare. means that ye shall have the wherewithal to have your fling like ! every other proper I May ! I be there to see And the best kinds of fling — very judicious advice. and whenever he rode over from Darroch on his chestnut. grandmother ? " Ah.HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE affairs and a woman of the world. lad. may be. But that minds me. long the the pleasant their young men clad in blue had done with an riding before he came on scene." she would reply. " Ye should be clothed in blue silk. his grandmother used to look at him and say. ! grandmother ? " May be. Carus. " Aye me. my young " Assyrian captain " ! Why ask. Nay.) I "Ye didna surely think was meaning nay — my poor dear Niddisdale. being interpreted.

is. though that some phets. of course. And with it. self men count all the law and the procall — — yet I never was what you would well. I Are you is love. Carus. that he shall in first ? be in love another. it. no altogether beauty. Go it's and how Carus! Mind. choose ye the woman ye would like to keep ye company through a month's rainy " weather in the Isle o' Mull ! i68 . I a beauty my- have not come to the threescore year (and a pickle) to begin to complain now ! But if ye are looking for a wife. honour. no.HER GRACE OF NIDDISDALE girl. Carus Out with lad. that. shall certainly think you for Who none the less of Georgiana Niddisdale that she " ! should " ? "On my daughters takes ye. grandmother the better "So much are — as far as the see apothecary's the lass concerned.

Indeed. corners. Claudia sat in — on was pleasant enough to sit in corners when you could not get Ethel. or h(jw draw on i6y reluctant . was as yet no more than the But for all snapper-up of Ethel's unconsidered trifles. background without appearing to do By almost girl universal acclamation Ethel trio. along with the decay of lawn-tennis and Claudia the apotheosis of golf. and also it — well. she secretly aspired to quite another She believed from an early age that knowledge She knew how to sting over his vanity. the youngest Miss Torphichan-Stirling was the cleverest of the three by a very great deal. her own merits. Claudia. role. Devoted to her elder sister as Claudia apparently was. enough sense to be tolerable to the other — what rendering — the the house tact to was doubtless a chief factor in Gate an agreeable in Empress keep their father and mother in the so.CHAPTER XXI THE FOUR WORLDS OF EMPRESS GATE AT quarter. man by a how to to astonish at clever whip cracked one by an unexpected quip. that. be the beauty of the Victoria was a fine. and she had a studied under several able instructresses. resort the age of twenty-four years and under. was allowed to handsome fullv But that type had not yet of the more dashing sort. a dull is power. the girls Torphichan-Stirling had enough beauty to and and money to be attractive three-fourths of mankind. come in. generally the a expense of another cavalier by a woman.

naturally. as a paying annex. but advertises details in This. four separate and independent worlds great gulfs fixed. that particular province of philanthropy which one — may be the professional which not only lets its right hand know what its left hand is doing. and father getting richer the time " ! Decidedly a young woman of no illusions — a force to be reckoned with was Miss Claudia Torphichan-Stirling. over three hundred ladies (mostly of without apparent danger to weight) had been packed thirty-six. according to the lift of Ethel's eyelids. or telegraph to her heliomerest flutter graph-fashion. She knew when her sister desired to move she in the direction of the conservatory. of course. She would come by the or go out. — and between them it four several So. the while was playing her own game. took Hester a con- siderable time before she began to understand the intri- cate politics of the establishment. the world of fifth-rate politics. The seat of its empire was Baronet and his lady. with this was conjoined. first of which talks of party they were partners all. as if a foursome called . and playing well. that the black walnut dining-room the with a table seating drawing-room into which at the memorable meeting of the Sparrow Protection League. There was. and Claudia it when was But to all interpose with a problem in macrame-work. Then she had taught in Ethel a code of signals. all a rank outsider. there will is only be me. excluding the coteries of the servants' hall. " Vic When is Ethel goes — well. leaders in by their surnames. together with great — 170 .FOUR WORLDS OF EMPRESS GATE bold sally. In the large house in Empress Gate there were. was the world of the the newspapers. of a fan.

for women. with a table for Vic to swing her legs on and while the men talked horse and race- course. wine. and the music-hall This comfortable lumber-room no particular reason " Tom's study. the theory of strains is sometimes considerably The second world was bounded by the walls of the Blue Drawing-room. not only to the majority of " Eth's wild beasts " and " tame cats. guns. was called. song of the moment. " light up and girls smoke chimneys. with the most marvellous floor anticipated that London. lady herself." But To the apartment was strictly tabooed. Light up. clubs. "See crimpy spoil tip for you fellows. Claudia. Claudia quite a number of Waterloos would take place. rods. rod and gun. As to the third world. which proves that out. full of manner of golfsit long-seated cane pipe-racks. dressing-gowns. or these from the Blue-room " will the fun. but with the strongest feeling of their its necessity). and Holy of Holies chairs. and when in new ball-room. should be finished. of Aliss Ethel's boudoir and of — the conservatory." but to the young here. its perfume was tobacco. a certain all nondescript barracks at the top of the house." 7\)m would like say upon occasion. old gal — here's be coming up to a gold- you ! 171 . its temple enclosure and court of the Gentiles being the smoking and billiard rooms (added by Sylvanus against his principles. and her aider and abetter. This was the the social and fighting world.FOUR WORLDS OF EMPRESS GATE the walls." it a few approved men were sometimes invited to ascend " after you have got through with Eth. Vic. having the general result of crowning her own and her sister's foreheads with bay or even with — strawberry leaves.

" ! You thick horrid as wretches. Smoke as if you meant it " Then Ethel would tap gently." as Tom declared. " " Look here. worse than the bar of a public-house By this time all the men are on their feet.tmosphere as black fog. on the apparent treachery of some the Blue Drawing-room intimate. with their visitors having in themselves ''got through" the two young ladies of the house (Vic being avowedly one of the "fellows") were heard gingerly ascending the wooden stairs.! FOUR WORLDS OF EMPRESS GATE And in five minutes there would arise a white cloud. you have an ! r. Claudia. and open the door in ! the midst of a great silence. Did n't know you were coming up y'-know " But by this time the " young ladies " were half-way back to the Blue Drawing-room. to " Look here. " Why. Tom would wave his arms wildly " to mix things. — ! ! ! 172 . I believe you want 'em come in. " Come in. the smell a Come. But " bless you. in a hushed whisper. Eth." as he said. it 's we shall be like costers minute " ! Why." Then. suffocating like the haze pervading and which gathers when men are smokfragrant as incense ing slowly and with their souls in the evening oblation. Eth hold on "Don't go Miss Stirling! We'll shut off steam! Awfully sorry. occasionally animadverting. when. girl. you Armytage. old " Ugh ugh ! is that you ? " the wary Tom And in would cry. " Eth and Clau pressure engines — not the dim blue smoky steam from a score of high- — will never know that we have not been at it for hours. This faked-up pother would not have deceived a man for even Vic would have detected the imposa moment ture.

which was as emerging into the " children's parlour. poor Miss Martin during the evenmg. was the world ticular little set aside for our par- Ugly Duckling from the lily pools of the But it was to the second that the water of Darroch. Lot. sadly " and some of them quite nice. a hard-fisted." seen.Darroch was welcomed with open arms — one may use the phrase of damsels so correct queens of the Blue Drawing-room. as the twin 173 . was the haunt of Stanhope. and It became the Inquisition and Holy Office of the Grub. and the lectureroom of several tutors and masters during the day — the chief of whom being a certain Mr. This. of course. than whom no better as tutor could have been obtained for such Crim Tartars the younger hopes of the house of Torphichan-Stirling." thus Claudia would meditate.. the world of the schoolroom and the day-nursery." This. hard-driving we have Scot. if Master of . FOUR WORLDS OF EMPRESS GATE " It is a shame. Clarence Shillinglaw. too I wish we could ! have stayed " ! The in fourth and last circle of this doubtful Paradise Empress Gate was just that of the " younger children.

— CHAPTER XXII THE COMFORTABLE ESTATE OF MATRIMONY ITJohn. was the stillest of mornings at the The minister had gone side to the walk that is called The moon was yet shining first Manse of St. He bairn. that they might be enabled to attend the services of the sanctuary. It was too dark for the minister to see his Greek Testament. his grass. quick with the in her gravid and promise of the new which was to come after the days of darkness. He prayed for Megsy. prayed for the bairn herself his bairn — their And cry — at that moment the prayer ceased in a little out- a kind of invincible eruption in Anthony Borrow- man's breast. half involuntary upheaval of his whole nature 174 . down by the waterby his name to all quite brightly when through the already light last quarter. half protest of contempt at his own weakness. and for strength if and grace strenuously to rebuke them they did not. and the minister had old-fashioned notions. that she might have resignation given her to see in the separation from her bairn the onlaying of a higher hand. the day of solemn It was the Fast-Day preparation for the yearly communion in God's-House- — of-Saint-John. thick water-proof boots swished She was an old moon. time. that is. So he prayed for his people. but the moan of his unspoken prayers sighed from him as the night winds do through the willow copses on the Darroch edge.

wi' the black ^75 . iiut there stood the minister. " W^hat for are ye greetin'. or any man. rises. There came vard — a \oice from over the wall of the kirk- a voice from among the tombs. that he might discharge upon him the of his heart." Anders. startling enough at that hour. as it may be. put his hand on the rough stones of the dyke. wind may hae brocht the water in his e'en ? " And I 'ni tcllin' yc it was that still ye could hear Kip MacKinstrey cryin' in the kyc on the back hill o' ' — Arioland. bv reason of such things. minister " ? Anthony Borrowman upheaved himself on his tiptoe. sinks. " his Anders MacQuaker. when I saw himscl' face angry bull o' the tale afterwards. to sav that a minister of the Gospel is greetin' when. and the minister risen to the height of his office. an Bashan — to face. the green as a seawatcr which has long been gathering and swaying. weed-grown. And office. and breaks in one great pulse of whitening So within him the soul of the minister heaved." said Anders. I bitter sixth vial " You " ! that dares to say that am greetin' — stand forth In a moment the man had forgotten his weakness. swayed. " It was like being at a session meetin' when the minister girds his loins for said the reproof of the stiff- necked and rebellious. and looked for interlocutor. and in that quiet place.THE ESTATE OF MATRIMONY — when over hidden rock. was a connoisseur in telling " Man. fit was glad tliat stane dyke atween I For the minister is is no canny man to face when the on him ! "'What the richt hac you. suriie. and broke. me like but there was at the least a guid five-foot us. glowerin' at faith.

maist o' I your o' life is come to you but if am to ye this thing as happened. by the grave o' phet. for John only helped the thief to drive them awa'." For the o' lads beggit in body frae Calcraft. though I am auld eneuch to be Peden the Proony o' your granddoor and gie him ! faithers. I seek no man's hurt. " Died his veesitation Providence. or. by the and saft Ye see his inscription. neither resurrectioner. carrier to Carsphairn. or scornin'. " ' Minister. a headstone here that I hae an interest But there is It marks the spot where lie the forbears of an honest woman. nor yet I am no wad I move the ancient landmarks and say that any in.' THE ESTATE OF MATRIMONY lee in his mooth and the o' licht o' anither warl' on his coontenance. and his brither John. says I to the minister. that is housekeeper to yoursel'. the genius '' Faith. as hae often heard ye ken that of my faither tell. Here lies her faither. man's plot o' kirk-yaird grund was mine. as the stane cut aff in itsel' records. I will tak' the scoffer to the strength-o'-airm. for I could speak no word. o' the workin' o' his dog. boys. decent man. in the resting-place of the saints before the breaking of the day lads. her faither's mither that was faither.' " ' Noo. experience tell says he. sir. Margaret Tipperlin. ' heedin'. ' 176 . that was portioner in Mayfield o' Balmaghie. that was hangit for sheep-stealin' o' — but maist unjustly. being prood by natur'. ' what seek ye lads.' says the property of ony. lads did in the kirk-yaird. her Tammas Tipperlin. there maun be nae lauchin'. ? ' Anders MacQuaker. her prime. and he was brocht here ower the wa' I and buried under cloud nicht. be him what I I. but I couldna but admire at the man ! Then says he. " So I telled Noo. ye are decent yet to it but .' " Noo.

gieing him bit slee had served doon craitur that 12 Borgue. as ye ken. For we will no be able to hear yin anither speak for Gawbriel and his trumpet " Then the minister upraise to rebuke. !' snug doon-sittin'. for I I hae never wanted yin. Yet noo mind sae honour here. hae desired to put up the But aye. tor a taut in the past that I need not condescend upon. brisklike. an cam' to bide the Lennox Plunton 177 . look. and had heard a wee sough Englishy ah(Jot there o' a bit lass they caacd Jennie Lake. and she will me. to the full juist as " The minister gied a bit lauch ' brisk. to gie will lie banns wi' Alargaret Tipperlin. I am to a' an ignorant is man and maybe unlearned. sit so that in the judgment-day her and nod back to me up oor shrouds nod to Marget. I. Anders MacQuaker.' THE ESTATE OF MATRIMONY a lang season. a bit is owerlook dead. for Marget me — I micht ask ye to say a word to influence her that after I hae a bit she micht tak' a thocht to marry me. and says he. ' were kind. ' minister. that your bit though tho anger was on but. So it is aye some comfort to a man's hean when he no permitted to care for Marget leevin'. ' that is no a proper mainner to Last Things ' ! speak concernin' the mysteries o' the " Maybe no. weel pleased-like to see a kenned face at sic a time. '"What does ony man want wi' a wife?' says I back to him. at any rate a "'Never?' says in I. grund next to the Tipperlin plot. for his e'en his tongue.' says I. at I the place where she bit o' at when she And will hae bocht the sir. and I will juist ' ! when it was coming! " ' Anders.' says he. Marget says me nay. I wondered thegither. at ' ! that. minister ' What does a man o' your age want wi' a wife ? '^' says he.

and I hae a good do ye want me to do ? I dinna want to lose her. and gang back to thae pleesure again. minister. housekeeper. till heir light my bit property when am I It 's wi' nae and foolish thochts that speak ye. lads. — ! ' — ' camsteery hizzies that ravin' wi' dishclouts and dusters athwart the land ! " Oh. wi' me wad sit whatna gladsome heart in the kirk on Sabbath days. I saw that I had him. Na. juist But if Marget wad mairry me. lads. leeve stop on I And wad my lane in the wee hoose at the tap o' ! the brae — but an' oh. a notion I hae that I '11 warl'. may be he didna says he What juist say ' Davert. ' my thocht.' THE ESTATE OF MATRIMONY when Maister Borrowman was Borgue bonny. na 's — ony sit man hear ever I no and a' ony if man say that the minister swears. and At ony she twined young Anton aboot her fingers like woodbine on a hawthorn bush. And we could 178 . " ' Davert weel. the while the deceitfu' ried And a' wee fairy was trystit to be marwi' to anither man. a consaity handfu'. folk said a student. and gane. the same was in I he did! " So says It 's juist I. and gied him the pawky look. and wad like Marget I to no be lang for this bear my name. is the minister is when he substitute gets for and that '11 his language religious still the best sweerin' invented. a But the same.' but that was the sense o't. no man or For then her daring to hinder make us afraid. he 's an almichty queer speaker started. And they said doon there that Maister Borrowman never could look at ony ! woman And sma' wonder " Sae when I said to him 'Never?' like that. And the fell she was rate. she micht and keep the Manse as she has been doin'. whiles there savour aboot his conversation as Minister.

in the sure and so howp o' a glorious it resurrection.' says he. departed certain this life to the above forth. But instead he only looks a at me curiously. mentioh the maitter to Margaret at a suitable time.' says I. spouse Margaret Tipperlin. sic a I an honour to hae my name amang a weel-kenned It stock fine : — and on sic weel-tilled stane. Anders. minister. "' That 's michty cauldrife view to tak' o' o' the maist comfortable estate ex pec' a sensible daft-like thing.THE ESTATE OF MATRI A sleep soond thegither under yae it 1 ONY wad feel moniment. 'that is as mucklc as ' ! I hae ony right to expec' " 179 ." and that thocht in bit And that I 'II admit that was wi' my mind I hae gi'en this stane a touch up every year in a strait I wi' *'• black soap and a flannel rag. and had hope that he wad say the word wanted kind o' him to say. I '11 matrimony.' '" Thank ye. like ' and I canna sic woman But Megsy to agree to ony I '11 do my best for ye.' I could see that the minister was 1 betwixt two. wad read " ' " Also of Andrew iVIacQuakcr.

tree-shaded road which leads Bridge. He polished them with for a particular in handkerchief he the purpose an i8o . towards Darroch Borrowman quickened his step considerably without explaining very definitely to himself why he did so. He in found Megsy standing in the doorway turning over a letter in her hand. minister. producing his spectacles. Mr.CHAPTER XXIII RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE THIS of St. a letter small and square. which had been formed upon his own manner of writing Greek. smiling quietly to himself at the peculiar views of Anders upon marriage. entered upon a performance which tried to the utmost the reasonable soul of Megsy carried Tipperlin. ! I declare to peace I wad hae opened it mysel' " Mr. Borrowman seated himself deliberately in the great chair in his study. At sight of him. " backed" Hester's quaint characteristic caligraphy. and. When door. if ye had been a meenite langer. and and privileges of husbands." said Megsy handing him the For letter. he reached the gate which leads to the Manse of the he met the postman just turning out avenue into the dusky. He breathed upon the silk glasses. " Deed. morning of the summer Fast-Day in the parish The minister walked away back to his concerning the duties breakfast. was Anders MacQuaker's account of the interview over the kirk-yard wall early on the John. " it 's as weel that ye cam' in when ye did.

" said I 'm standin' aboot a' I can frae you. her i8i twitching. the sea-washed pearl of Galloway Finally. parishes. and holding the missive at the proper angle. place it If another handkerchief appeared in its had to be returned. and his waistcoat pocket the minister produced the worn days silver blade of an old fruit-knife. "Dearest 1 old darlings. Anthony Borrowman slid the point along the upper edge of the envelope. looked well at the signature as he suspected forgerv.RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE inner pocket. at the precise erupt with destructive force. So. To allow her master to read Hester's letter over to himself first was a point beyond Megsy's endurance. He had tried it once. examined the envelope again. last Then from at the glasses were carefully adjusted. minister fingers " ! Megsy. After that he drew the line at private readings. For Megsy had snatched the letter out of his fingers. ." girl it began ("How often have told the are that such conjunctions trivial!" of endearing the terms superfluous and commented minister. moment when Mount Tipperlin was Then he turned about to the conif tents leisurely over. counted the pages. with the words. comparing the postmarks with the date on the his letter — and ( just as Megsy began to move slowly nearer to snatch the letter from his hand) throat -and he cleared began. the minister was fain to follow her. with the proper weapon. and once only. to which. after a conflict with his pride." and so retreated into the kitchen. and the proper one found. a relic of the when he shores pared apples for Jennie Lake on the fair green of Borgue. want to read it. " For a minister o' the Word ye are the maist provokin' craitur gin ye dinna — gie me the letter. warningly. looking at Megsy).

that if I do well and the Frenchman is pleased. as he who comes for English and man and a good scholar. we can find an empty room. and afterwards. it is all owing to him. There I are the tutors given orders that them. while the if children play. — beggin' your pardon." (" That will please Anders " interjected the minister.) it rapt and joyous of a worshipper " I am are very well here. ! looking up. I wish I were there to see he takes it." said impatiently. Cousin Tom is nice to me. and liking all better every day. And am to have what lessons The man who teaches dancing is a uncle like with very funny Frenchman." (As she like that listened.' can do himself. too. he said yesterday. languages He is is can very as manage strict the children best of and he But he says ' my Latin version good it. Megsy's face grew at a shrine. who taught me my for me. Melvin could not better So my dear old bear on the I three-cornered chair will be pleased that am doing to him credit.RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE very hastily. That is the pleasantest part of the day But you can tell Anders. tutor "The is an Aberdeenshire with me.) "Drive on Megsy. and the something is Revvie's before that tell rheumatism better Mind warm you send him to bed. and I think when some has used to being away from home. shall enjoy of the best many advantages and masters I I have here. steps in the old barn at Arioland. them all. the reader resumed : " ? How are you both. But Megsy will attend to that if I her. He often teaches me the whole hour. minister. and means 182 . little in London. I They I get wonderfully kind to me. in fear of that which might happen. and takes a great deal of pains with me.

RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE be ver)' kind indeed. indeed. Those have are quite good you see — much I take great care of them. But oh I hope not. His name is Rupert Challoncr. have nearly all you sent me at Christmas. where we were working. well he may. empty. if He just stands in a corner and mutters as he was ashamed of what he was saying. and the children. better care than Some-one-who-shall- be-nameless takes of his Sunday coat. spiteful. silly. Carus and who do you think was there one evening Darroch. though I They don't believe he would have remembered me. There under will ! I am sorry to speak so horribly of any one a roof which shelters forgive I me." ("What a peppery little quill we drive!" said the minister. so they sav — and He is very young and clever has just come from Oxford. smiling. " and one day he came I into all the school-room. of the time I take my meals with the times Aunt. but I am sure you not want any more money. And I I have not needed to get any yet. and 183 was bent not over the desk (as the dear Bear has often told me . I have supper with the rest ' Preparation ' governess. which makes it all the greater shame that nobody there should have told him not to mumble. dear Bear. — As. " Uncle Sylvanus often comes in to see us. where he was a great scholar. say he is going to marry Ethel. dressed-up doll.) "He comes to see Claudia on her 'at-home' day. new clothes. I do me." the letter proceeded. but I see little of any in the house except the three younger children and the masters. but the minister does not preach. — ! for she is a vain. But I got out before he saw me. and someOccasionally I go to the drawing-room. " I go to church with the children.

and me if I had been confirmed. So.' So after he had thought a while. dear Ursa Major. Rutherford's Lex Rex and oh. and everything. just like a dog that had snapped ? ' at " " ' You Oh. had just tied my . I think he pat me on the head when he went away. ready to be instructed.' and Doctor Whyte's book on the Shorter Catechism. Challoner patted me on the head. and if I knew my For he has very early strict catechism. you would be you did n't go there. Mr. ' I belong to the Church of Scotland. 'but I don't call that a " Then he gasped a fly and missed it. ' " The Church of England catechism. he said that he had not time then. send me ' Pearson on the Creed. Had anything to do with a dovecote 184 . too. but that he would come back after his holidays. — thought me a lapsed ' mass ' .' RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE to). Which catechism I if answered I as innocently as I could. looking down I as think he knew was so let old.' I if he said. Principal Rainy's Reply to Stanley. please. I will read them all. and oh. and call communion and ? ' They " ' these religion here. and instruct me about churches and catechisms. ' answered. it. I I forgot. asked And Mr. I day and. and and anything you can think of. so that I may be quite There is not much fun here. not expecting anyone. are surely not a Dissenter no. hair with a ribbon and ' the ends hang down my back. and the Dissenter if you came to my country. fessing notions about conthings like that. he asked me if I was a devotee it ? said I did not know what i that was. And I don't were see it was a warm For you shy. he very much ! surprised. Challoner did not but I think that will be funny.' "'I have catechism read I told him. of course said.

Then know whether I was laughing or And perhaps it was and went away in a rage." will be a Megsv. 9. and the potatoes no scraped. with nothing but day long." ("The little vixen!" said the minister. while that which was near rang hollow as when one speaks aloud in an empty both church. Revvie. please send one has to do something me the books. dear Bear.RED-LETTER DAY AT THE MANSE " not. socks. Megsy and her master. and preparation in the evening. there is Was there ever a woman's I letter yet with- out one ? ") " I wish there were twenty. a postscript. " That is all. no. that which was far away was the more real. remember ' * application — internal at bedtime — hot " Oh. smiling. could stand all day listening. Megsy. I will take such care of them. to W. on my honour. Be good and change your about Revvie's " ! And Megsy. Hyde Park. he did not wicked of me. " it So in tjie Manse above two the sough of the Darroch Water No. these lived a double life its — that of the pleasant white-washed Clachan on sunny brae. and that of Empress Gate." " Good-bye. lessons that all But it is so dull here. with a long and wistful " hale week before the next comes said ! sigh. So. Oh. And «85 .

and Master of Darroch took his grandmother's went to town. which she described as a little silver lining for his cloud of misfortune. a charming freshness through and Claudia. Now the Grenadier had tipped Carus ever since his going to school. determined at least to see the lady whom fate and his father had con- stituted his alternative to practical disinheritance. walking reluctantly out of Kensington Gardens. deliciously in the little built-on conservatory. quite unabashed by his presence. diffused falling over concealed blocks of all ice. Carus called somewhat late. especially in glaringly white and hot outside. In London and sprayed and. and. and he took the little sheaf of banknotes as readily as he had taken his first grandmaternal sovereign. continued to perform the duties of their profession with a frankness and zest quite oriental.CHAPTER XXIV THE WAY NOT TO FALL IN LOVE THE advice. i36 . where he had been trying to keep cool among the leaf shadows. all was cool and dusky was The fountain and subdued in the Blue Drawing-room. and to retain his self-respect in the vicinity of a host of nursemaids. the the domains of four Ethel second of the Empress Gate worlds. The Duchess presented him with a neatly-rolled parcel upon his departure. Empress Gate it was Within the latter it Ethel's day. who. as usual.

for Carus asked Lady Stirling. this small tive. all. " How kind of you.THE WAY NOT TO FALL The young man walked across IN LOVE preat Hyde Park and sented himself before the blue and silver menial the door of Sir Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. and on such a Master of Darroch And you have come to day Claudia. somewhat paler of face. with features strikingly regular. Carus observed number of respectable ladies taking tea and at the same time talking vigorously in a vast drawing-room looking to the front. number of young men. but only two and pretty room. " See what " a bore it is." said Timson." she cried . which suited very style her fair and delicate and capacity for 187 . my dear. as if expecting to be shown " This the in there. and led a passage to the right. He half paused. hut I have no alternative ! Claudia was dressed well in pure white. man appeared to take no notice As he mounted. At first Carus could not make out which of these was his *' alternaThere were in a ladies. a tall girl. Her man- ner said as clearly as mere expression could. sir. disengaged herself with lingering glances from the society of a gentleman who had been entertaining her in a little A second sprightliness alcove near the fountain and the ice-blocks. and the confident carriage of an undoubted beauty. ! see us after here is " ! girl. sprang forward with the charming little trip of impulsive unconsciousness which was then the fashion. his but the whatever of a large words. if way way along you please. with less and animation than her sister. A moment later he was announcing " The Master of Darroch " at the door of the Blue Drawing-room. " I made certain you the had forgotten me." but at the sound of his name.

and talk con- fidentially hills of books and men." Tom called her. over a foundation of pale blue. but there no doubt that this one. It is strange. full cuffs of the same were turned back from her white wrists. full she looked wondrously vivid and of She wore be a what. leaning towards of home. It is pleasant to find a sheltered nook. to the eye merely masculine. "If there's a mantelpiece within a mile. and there ' you are Gallery of statuary ! — Walk up. For herself she did not mean to be clothed like every role^ The ingenue was not her life. and she knew it. with his usual fraternal frankness. of distant travel and the not. is moved to show a marked preference for your society. tilt her ! chin. Carus was the last man in the world to is make a habit of frequenting afternoon he thoroughly enjoyed prettiest girl in the teas. near neighbours and yet see so " that we should be such little of each other ? I my I father talk a great deal of yours. " Claudia will hook herself on to it somehow by the elbow-joint. sisters to dress white. appeared to dress composed of creamy lawn or gauze." that gentleman declared. IN LOVE young " Classic Claudia." said Ethel. Then she will ! cross her legs. and the permanent chill which abode in her yellowish eyes was unnoticed in a place into which the outer glare was only permitted to filter. Yet you we have hardly ever seen since you were a boy. is little it " Carus a hear mysteriously. Certainly. ladies and gents ! classical department No in extra charge ' Ethel encouraged her two other girl in the world." THE WAY NOT TO FALL statuesque poses." " suppose I have been at college and abroad ever i88 . dusky room. and your hostess to boot. It is pleasant when the room. in that cool.

"not since was a boy looking for jackdaws' nests. care. a after all. ." was Blue just at that moment to that a Hester came into book. and so put the young only little man out a She was nursery governess — what better? — whom her uncle had at all country girl. " cried will Ethel. "if he only knew is how cruel and hard-hearted she " it — but. piquantly. with her mending and seemed to wax shabbier and more threadbare day by day. but. youth. I believe you can see Darroch Castle. I fancy. what does matter to me r She ended with a of her head. which. I ask him to send us up a complete code.89 . IN more LOVE in And you. brought to town to look after the younger children and keep them within bounds. Hector Maxwell shall It a signal lieutenant in the Navy. of hands. I at course — you will fly a ! suppose?" clapping her " fun . But now ! I shall have a reason for climbing up there again " " And what is that reason ? " said Ethel." than '' at Arioland." she thought. have lately been town for. a pity." " I declare 1 don't know when from the towers last I was on the top I of Darroch. "we have been building a new one on that the old site. she away without "It is having seen her. gallantly." answered Carus. What to find out whether you are flag.THE WAY NOT TO FALL since. impulsively " we is organise a system of signals. sigh." The new house there has that to answer smiled Ethel. *' Why. letting her eyes dwell pleasurably upon the handsome home. stole the Drawing-room his get seeing quietly Carus talking confidentially to Ethel. you know. She glanced down her dingy brown frock.

Certainly the dancing lessons are very pleasant. "you have Mademoiselle dances with the soul in your feet." she meditated. upon the ball-room floor where the children received their dancing lessons. ? " Do you think Sir Sylvanus would approve " Mr. is Monsieur Gargilesse pupil. Shillinglaw inquired. Hester had danced well. It But Mr. going to be snubbed by Mr« Clarence she was not and the brilliance of her eyes. and she knew gilesse Shillinglaw. in which she was not to participate. Clarence one day at gave a point to the dull monotony Shillinglaw. the came close up to her. the dancing lessons were certainly very interesting and M. " I have no business to be thinking of such things. and it is very kind of Sir me the opportunity of studying under these good and expensive masters.THE WAY NOT TO FALL Sylvanus to give all IN LOVE " Well. " skirt dance And though at first she had shrunk from the thought. M. Garwas loud in her praise. gazed at coming in the graceful performance with severe disapproval. and also I will begin to teach you ze To-morrow behold you." " You are my most favourite gentle- man was accustomed to say to Hester. and at Empress Gate she So at that particular moment got little enough of that. of the day. ! ! yet when her cousins went away for a long holiday. panting." that more than kind. something to do. and when Hester tutor paused. the close of the lesson. GarIt was gilesse took a great deal of pains with her. looking at the red of Hester's lips it. and left her alone with Miss Martin and the three children. It is good to with her eyes her heart. of Aberdeen. " Do you mean to ask Sir Sylvanus whether he 190 .

and yet he no can was so funny. who was rapidly growing wiser. when the glad day of her return should at last arrive. I " Meester Sheelinglong — aha. P^thcl's first Blue Drawing-room closed words when the door of the u[)()ii the young Master of 191 . Monsieur " " Oh. Monsieur Gargilesse. On the contrary." said Hester." he chuckled. Mr. and perhaps (under seal ! ! — of the utmost secrecy) the minister himself. he remained to the end of the lesson. and his shoulders shook. the little At which the eyes of Frenchman twinkled. for fear one " day you dance yourself away from him " But. " that I do not " " Then.THE WAY NOT TO FALL approves of IN LOVE my learning dancing or not lip. with the slightest saucy curl of the " No. Shillinglaw did not go away. " we will try again. as he brushed his hat carefully on his coat-sleeve and waited his for his pupil. go away There are not many amusant things in London " ! ! "Well. ! You are pleased to talk nonsense. Mees Hestere. Clau ? Will he These were Darroch. always helped is him on with in lof overcoat." said the little man. ? " she inquired. " Oh. yes — see it! you how to dance. who like. Shillingno to teach ! He me law at all. recklessly. And now." said Hester. " but it He no like ze dance. readily. what do you do " r think of him. though he maintained his attitude of severe and even censorious disapproval. he is quite raight. " I do not know A4r. M. Pardon an old man if he finds it amusant. " if you please." said the Scot. Gargilesse Yet this was done in all innocency with the sole thought of astonishing Megsy.

192 . He is nothing to me " she said. THE WAY NOT TO FALL " Have you got a little IN LOVE handsome to as far as that already ? " said Claudia. But what all will Sidney Charlton say ? He looked as black as thunder. he 's well enough. — day " ! I deny it. " Besides. her curiosity beginning to get the better of her annoyance. Claudia is n't he awfully handsome ? Don't you think he has quite an aristocratic profile ? " " Oh. ! ! " you joy." Ethel shrugged her shoulders at the name. Ethel young man's eyes had completely monopo- all right. and only hemmed at me instead of answering.. who was in high spirits " and if there are. and Claudia had only second choice of the knew that as yet she him. a little spitefully." said Claudia. carelessly. Eth." cried Ethel. ? I " Are you sure he initial in love with you " asked Claudia. Yet never once had been raised to lised hers. which of them is the only son of my Lord Darroch " " So you have made up your mind to pick up the " I wish glove " said her sister. the time you were talking to young Darroch on the ottoman. and she had much desired to pose for the newcomer. She had indeed stood the misguided talking Sidney Charlton for nearly half-an-hour for that very purpose. " Sidney Charlton can exactly please himself what he does. still moments when she felt herself distinctly put upon. I know my value too well for that is do not throw myself " ! at any man. " but there are handsomer men to be found every " Come. and thought that was there were visitors . with a curl of ! the lip. acidly. She had not obtained an innings her- self. and the hard look rising to the surface of her eyes.

" said Ethel. can make him But he admires me. as if he had been squared off with a chisel like a block of stone for the new house. I will . anyway. and the benefits of a good education " Mr. Carus Darroch " You arc young to think of friend but. with a toss of her head." . Clarence Shillinglaw. emphatically " but did you see that little cat." cried Claudia. " she had no right to come into my drawingroom when we were receiving. miss. " has Hester had any since she came. distinctly handsome and '93 certainly very kind. " even I could not say so much as that. she my to his hotel. And I will tell mother . and in sure I love with me if I like " ! " And will you like ? " '' That is as may be. as much " ! On his way eastward to meditated himself. let her hear about that on the deafest side of her head." said IN LOVE am Ethel.. Eth. she is — not so bad as your fancy painted. marrying. at any rate. Hester Stirling. THE WAY NOT TO FALL " No." " Well. "oh. He looked more than ever bare and bleak. too none of the maids would be seen in it. come sneaking in to see what she could spy out. do you know I met him in the hall to-day. is On the other hand. com- ." said Ethel. reverting to her cousin." said Claudia. after a bare hour in a I drawing-room. do pointedly you know ? "What should she have wages for? She gets her " food. A man might do '3 W(jrse than marry a bright. Carus. business has she to enter ? What my drawing-room brown with- out being invited And in that old frock. Eth. straight from the quarries at Aberdeen. pretty." *' The maids have wages. with a loud laugh.

tried by the " excarefully- A little is one thing." tended picnic fire. and something he had seen beneath the shade of a white linen sunbonnet. handsome girl " he said. yawning as ! Stirling till " A decidedly he spoke. then started at the sound of his own For before him rose all suddenly the vision of a hot moorland day. which a very amusing thing so long as it is not pulsive power of a new affection. leaping fences and eating up pine forests." manner Carus began. to is argue himself into a species of love. and the horizon ablaze with burning heather from verge to verge. Carus came away from Empress Gate very well satisfied with the impression produced by his visit. But he ate an excellent dinner at the United Universities Club. a little indolently. is fed with casual sticks. a crushed straw hat. he has brought and I will oblige In this him if I can. And. like that. and voice. quite another.THE WAY NOT TO FALL panionable girl I IN all. and never thought again of Ethel Torphichanhe was winding his watch. of which he had recently been elected a member. On the whole. played a careful rubber at whist. after though the governor and don't get on. a stile. — 194 . however. LOVE me up.

But he also was anxious to keep the peace. like street." said Carus.CHAPTER XXV THE WAY TO FALL "TT I IN LOVE his father. I am under very special and personal obligations to Torphichan. they stopped with forced smiles and gin- gerly politeness. so the words remained unspoken. with a sham not even himself." said . on him and deceived no one "the "Sorry I can't. than a father and his only son." son's was the phrase that leaped to the tip of his tongue. " said ill Come along and dine with me to-night. greeting Carus. where. as you know. smiling — heartiness which — fact " is He roses in a allowed Lord Darroch to see a pretty bouquet of which he was carrying paper twist all — as unobtrusively as possible a sign that Carus had not to carry far to go. For. Their only common meeting-ground was the pavement. WAS told glad to hear it. sir. my boy. They same clubs. he hated I9S anything on the ." sat Lord Darroch. heartily for him " Sir Sylvanus -- me you were frequently at the house and. more like dogs smelling each other like in the armed neutrality of mutual distrust. my boy. when they encountered. men." " Which as usual you would like somebody else to discharge. Father and son did not live together did not belong to the in town. nothing could please me better.

asked him if he had seen the new Fig Marigold in the conservatory. who. being a little cross at what cleared of the tea-tables at an early hour. to go up to his rooms after he had got through with Eth and Claudia in the Blue Drawing-room. At once Ethel developed an astonishing frigidity. A wmter of discontent fairly Arctic in its severity descended 196 . even to the extent of bidding Timson say " Not at home" same kind of thing. alas. naturally enough interpreting it to mean that he had stayed too long. so that Ethel. turning at the same time a fierce frown upon Claudia when she thought But the young man caught the that Carus did not see. she raised her eyelids meaningly Claudia. Instead. did not immediately respond. and she strove by every means in her power to detain him. with a simplicity of method which made her a power. Carus showed signs of moving also. was ready. but ! to the other young men who called later. Carus replied that he had not. you young rascal." But. used you have a more considerate For my father would have made me parent than I had. and getting the room to when Then. all she considered her sister's selfishness. the visit turned out quite otherwise Carus was not asked to dine at Empress Gate.THE WAY TO FALL " Ah. and took his departure with disconcerting suddenness. dine with him whether I liked it or not. for the first time in pinching him confidentially on the arm. " get I along with you. This Ethel tacitly resented when he declared it. whom he often met on the stairs. he promptly discovered an engagement. But I never believe in being too hard on the young. significant gesture. however. he accepted an informal invitation from Tom. you dog his life ! IN LOVE to do the " said his father. whereupon she rose and led the way. and.

After his declaration to Ethel about the pressing engageYet ment. but what could the maze. slim shape it and Carus saw a figure pass across the hall in the direction of the great staircase. and now he found himself searching for them in the dusk of the curtained hall. No servant seemed to be about. So he tore a leaf notebook and scribbled a line or two upon it.THE WAY TO FALL IN LOVE upon her countenance. concerned if he had. and instead of shaking hands warmly. he certainly could not go up to his rooms. He could see no more than the curve of a check and that graceful poise of neck. she bowed the astonished Carus out of the room as if he had been a chance He had begun to be sufficiently familiar at intruder. He knew '97 that this girl could not . Empress Gate to leave his hat and umbrella without. though probably not want to that young gentleman would not have been greatly opportunity. and that ambiguous hour on the confines of dinner when the service of hotels and great houses becomes. as was her custom. clad in black. which comes naturally to women who dance well. of course. Suddenly and silently girl's a door behind him opened. stairs and break his word to Tom. It was dusk. if not disorganised. girl mean ? Then all at once he remembered his promise to Tom. resting the scrap of paper on the edge of the iron calorifer by the wall. Tom from might be waiting his in for him. The girl's head was turned away from him. Carus looked for some one to carry the note upstairs. A tallish was. Something seemed to tell Carus that this was his He was afraid of Ethel coming downHe did finding him still lingering there. in a kind of wondering It did not matter. at least temporarily invisible.

revealed to the staircase while he hat in his hand. She held out her hand for the note without bowed slightly. even unto boredom. a kind of halo like that which enshrines a saint. " Thank you. It was the impression upon his mind that he had seen the She had reached the turn of girl somewhere before. Torphichan-Stirling times spoken to him. him by Mrs. Miss Martin " he said. one hand on the balusters looking back and downwards at him." said Carus.THE WAY TO FALL be one visitor. He had it — Miss As certainly Martin. Was 198 . hesitating a moment over the name. I cannot might ask ? Thank you " The girl had stopped on the lowest step. And in the dusk of the empty hall the sound of his own voice came back to Carus Darroch with a certain mocking a whirr at flavour. And the sound Carus fled. The head and features were profiled against the dim richness of the painted staircase window which I ! any of the servants. Torphichan-Stirling. But after all. that was not the strangest thing. though him the curiously out of keeping nursery with the as of immaculate governess. you are going up if — Would you be good enough — — encircled them with speaking. All this went rapidly through his mind as the girl passed across the hall and set foot on the staircase. of whom Mrs. the invaluable in- Miss Martin. Tom should get this note at once. "I beg your pardon Miss Martin. moment staircase the antique eight-day clock half tingle At the same way up the like struck with and sudden impish laughter. and moved away which it upstairs with a certain free wilfulness of carriage seemed appeared character to to Carus particularly attractive. ! still stood at the foot with his Then he spoke again. " but I am anxious visible had many — that find if Mr. IN she LOVE was not a of the family.

Miss Maktin!' hk .."Thank yoi.saiij.* .

.

or his and her father ? wished marriage as a business arrangement hers. it He were had not been able to see the lost girl's eyes. ? But again. looking back at him. a How it. — gaze. They in the darkness of her face. It was like a barbed arrow in his breast. and then bounded away up -So this girl had vanished out of But his was the look she left behind that rankled in mind. as And the the note passed delight. like those of the startled fawn. he could not remember where. stood Then her carriage when a startled one moment wildly at once. the young man was sure that he had seen somebody like that before. one did nowadays. like it existence of unknown he had seen something fawn cleared a low the slope.THE WAY TO FALL ! IN LOVE he thinking of the anger of Ethel Torphichan as he walked away from the door ? He was recalling the graceful figure Curiously. recalled momentary touch of the girl's hand between them thrilled him with a like a cast-back into some previous happiness. too professed admirer of beauty. and often almost frankly oratory about this should never have mentioned all. He owed 199 it Every Every . which she had in obstinately feeling that in kept shadow. after what did it matter All the same. to reproach him free — They seemed felt yet for what? Carus himself — why should father singularly from all reproach. He had only a general they were large and dark and luminous — fact. no and wild-wood carriage of the unknown maid as she passed up the staircase. Ethel Torphichan he not marry her? Did this it really make if any difference whether she had money or not. wall. paragon to him. his sight. to his family. strange it was that Tom. anything romantic it was absurd. That was neither his fault nor Besides.

— I mean I want We generally What do you say to run in double harness. He " Hallo. Darroch. you know. after enough to read about had no place in practical to a fine point. as by his own showing he ought to have been. She and Vic wants you have a ploy on hand. to be there. when you brought things down Nevertheless. The Powers-that-be are laying the foundation-stone of something or other.THE WAY TO FALL other fellow similarly situated IN it. And he was not thinking at all about Ethel Torphichan. . Vic's are going out later. — in what the if he did not love her? Love was laughed at a figment of it poets. Ethel was a very pretty girl. which had no business But it was also It was all too absurd. it but. little treat. It 's at Beritsky's and going somewhere after ? dining The other two. up that rot about an engagement. and will be having a snack in their own rooms away as they tittivate. Ethel and Claudia. to-night? No — then I you. life. books — He He had often with other it liked well all. LOVE and why and had to do not he ? Besides. he was carrying away a little aching place nearly opposite the third stud in his shirt-front. are a nice fellow. sneaking off like this " You — when sending I was waiting for you more than an hour. and the reckless scion of the stopped house of Torphichan-Stirling dashed up to him with the clatter of a fire-engine. are you doing anything out of. in wonderment. Carus looked back several times at the gloomy house in Empress Gate as he walked away. As he looked back momentarily he saw someone ! in huge and hatless haste dash across the road after him. Darroch " the voice was Tom's. young men. Instead. undeniable. as if And it had been a dinner of the old fogey philanthropists you were getting Look here.

And — he him as to how find she should out would about Miss Martin. whistling softly and smiling occasionally in spite It was Conscience of the little pain under his third stud. Carus Darroch walked slowly home. I must hook it. in Greek it Street. at the — — ! inventing a certain in little clip. been keeping dark be of the party ? — and that a Miss Martin would also ! What simpleton he had been 20I Ot . — meet you vou know — I of silver trowels already. excellent form. or I '11 get a beastly " Sec you at eight cold in my head. and a good sort. sound of the Master's voice. caused to ring till the waiter came. being placed over a it bedroom electric button. But howc\cr. long " ! A " thought occurred to Carus. Who was Tom gave you the note addressed to you " ? was alreadv down the street. Why had Tom The been so anxious to forward Vic's plans ? adage about " two being company " and its annex were Could it be that he had certainly firmly held by Tom. But he would It out more from would be pleasant Vic was certainly a very handsome girl enough. what's that. Why should dashing. a circle with a watch-spring the middle which. after all. pressing a button which rang a little irritant t-rrrrrrrrrr in his heait like an electric bell outside one's bedroomCarus remembered door at an Embankment hotel. Then a sudden thought crossed him. at eight S' — Berit- sharp. The find thing in his breast was like that. that night. that might prove even more interesting. And Tom was gone. Tom — he not go? Flthel might be angry — but. Miss Torphi- chan-Stirling did not consult spend her evenings.'' Certainly not don't dress never do at all.THE WAY TO FALL The You governor has got '11 IN LOVE a hodful come. eh ? Good sky's. He paused. "Eh.

part.THE WAY TO FALL ! IN LOVE They could not go without Vic. was emphatically none of 202 . he would go — (savagely) Cams and if it should turn out to be as he thought He did not it fill in the hiatus. course that was it They must have somebody to amuse the gooseberry. being supposed to be all the property of Ethel in the Empress Gate house. He was young Hence this and innocent. sudden burst of friendliness on Tom's Well. and Vic easy minded. his business. And this never struck that.

Yet she did not flirt with Carus. They were the best of good friends. whom the young men were taking about town for the first time. than a girl of excellent unusual thing. They were watching emphatically dance grace. off duly. which he did not state so say whether Carus frequently of late as he had been in the habit of doing. however. but Carus had guessed Tom and themselves. from which Vic smile. It difficult to was more dis- appointed or relieved. had at looked over Tom with a teasing " We ! know someone who said. and Tom used to say that he would do more for Vic than for any girl entirely THE — an is party came wrong. The bond that alive opinion. least which gave Carus the activity opening to banished slightly ask the a question next his heart.CHAPTER XXVI HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE Vic turned up by was between them was of the strongest possible to brother and sister. Vic appeared to him more like a handsome younger brother. and a blush slowly mounted to his cheek. much said pride in parentage and upbringing doing an She was gay and bright. 203 . But Vic had certainly nothing to complain of in the attention of either of her cavaliers. and Tom had Only once was a word her appearance. could walk all round these people " she Tom looked conscious.

HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE would it — " " Shut up. Vic. choked instantly." said it Tom. The garden a standstill. as usual without address I am coming up and I to town. He 's been sneaking round chance to mash Miss Martin in the school- — command room " But fate was kinder. — yes. and if ! you know what I about. no wonder Darroch has been so our house lately. " is it " Miss Martin ? Tom took one look at him. you have taken my advice daresay you walk every day in the — 204 . paper of pins or rather a battalion of trees over by a storm. Who "Yes himself. defy even a scientific Scotch gardener to make any mistakes for the next two months. " Grandmother always writes the pens and paper ! as if she had a spite at " said Carus. size of the missive like a The laid and the huge angular handwriting. or (as the case might be) more cruel. of I say. to Carus than his friends Tom and Vic. So I will run up and see whether or not you are behaving yourself. "You know she die of shame if she thought any one knew about it is n't fair. quickly. smiling as he took the massive British square of envelope in his hand. ah. In one place the pen had cut in right through the sheet. " Carus. and another there was a perfect inky bombshell where the hard-driven nib had exploded with great slaughter. yes. " is at ladyship began. On his return to his hotel that night there lay a large square letter upon the table of the sitting-room." her or ceremony." — do you mean ? " asked Cams. eagerly . Vic!" he said. and even Vic laughed merrily into her handkerchief. betrayed her Grace of Niddisdale. when is he could " of course course ! much to ! at get a Miss Martin Ha-ha.

have 205 you been out getting a . but that the old lady would be pleased all the same. I can see how he looks about him as if every woman were an aboriginal Eve. and to appraise the Tor- me!" The — phichan hoysehold for herself. / could help your being his son. Darroch. Ugh. prettiest not a whit ashamed inferior as he had been of Ethel's at much bunch.! HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE park with the Old Adam. Carus smiled again. "Grandmother is uncomfortable she wants to find out what my father is up to. but opcnlv smiling it every accjuaintance he met and. and me to-morrow morning at Scotstarvit if I am not down. courting their comments. and strolled westward with it in his hand. " Hello. and found it ? Have ? you done your dutv hear she see her. You shall squire 7ne to the park and see your grandmother cut your father dead. and instead of sending flowers of penitence to Ethel. Carus knew well that she would scold him for the extravaa gance. will That be a new sensation for a son and should be valuable to an amateur in impressions like yourself " How about the divinity of Empress Gate there. with whom he had parted coolly the night before. is a pleasure girl. I I both a pretty and a presentable Call must on House about eleven. as were." However. he must needs call round at Scotstarvit House. he was up betimes the following morning. wait for note ended suddenly without signature as it had begun without formula. But I will teach you something better when I arrive. n't the wretch ! Asking your pardon. and send bouquet up to his grandmother with a card. So he spent part of one of her own banknotes on the bouquet money could buy at Solomon's in Piccadilly. Carus.

" " If I don't box that silly boy's ears wasting his his grandmother's door. " my grandmother " ! I am taking these up And At loving he went on his way. mixed with Dean Hole " On Roses " and copies of The Gardener's Chronicle. " With oldest and only sweetheart " ! "Will you wait for an answer. as the stage directions say. who was beloved of all to attend her servants everywhere. sweetly. sir? " said the man. which he was in the habit of decorating for the best part of the day. Presently he heard the voice of her Grace of Niddisdale. looking over some of the full-flavoured French novels which lay about on tables and couches. " Oh. The old lady — money. Scotstarvit House he scribbled to his greetings from Carus on a card. you rascal " she stopped at the threshold and — threatened Carus with her bony forefinger — " you 206 . from the steps of the Orchid Club. Punctually at at ! " said James the formal. James." said Carus. and most old for likely my money. on flowers for an is woman till as blind as a bat. " " I am coming back at eleven Grace sir ! " Thank you. Here he waited." said Carus. with a nose that good nothing except poking into other people's " Wait I affairs. to " No. no. Ah.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE special licence as well?" cried his friend Archie MacCulloch. so Carus was shown up to her boudoir. catch him ! The ing all door opened and his grandmother entered. scold- " the time at the top of her voice. enjoying his friend's loud unbelief hugely. " without. eleven Carus stepped out of the hansom was not yet down.

highly pleased . Well. have you pleased your father and fallen in love with the right " girl. I and the girls are all prttty way. grandm(jther. it 's not that Then Been making a fool of you can tell me what it is. Carus to answer. " It is true. don't want anything in the world. ! front." Carus. give and it me pull your ears. *' indeed. then all I you can tell me a me what is. that I have been often Empress Gate." said her " remember the Recording Angel Now tell me. let Come. granny. Have you spent gave you already ! And now you want more ? What. but ing. how is not taking a holiday. you vagabond. and " less than half-a-dozen practicable teeth in her head ! Had sooner it the invitation at been given twenty-four hours might have once pleased and embarrassed at But now he was perfectly cool.'' 207 . if you are Tell me all about her. but what I want to know is. good long You all to than any chit of them — you are better worth talking I know always have thought so. like Tom and " ! " Y(ju put up with the baronet and the mother-in-law Well." " Don't perjure yourself overmuch. and no goes the love affair ? more compliments to a wizened old woman with a false Grace. laughing . something. The only thing I bar is having to be civil to ? _ I the old " said " No. smil- a pleasant house. did you ? I know good thev very well what to think red when young men spend bread guineas on flowers for their grandmothers they are — ? think casting upon the waters. I '11 do yourself and want me to help you out my best. except to have a talk with you." he said.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE thought to catch an old bird with chafF. no. boy. You want kiss. "it in their is that is honestly all.

to live on. pedigree single guaranteed. disdale's ! Why. do worse. that and you are a very proper young man of your inches " you have a goodly number of these ? "Glad you think so. most agreeable to me. I don't care what any one else thinks. But see that you don't enter into any contract with the diamond merchant's daughter till you see the settlements. or perhaps please him. better than half-a-dozen mushroom earldoms and political ! marquisates. " you might grandmamma " Well. any in sound wind and limb " ? ' may drive him. is the lady herself." " No more flattery. Remember that your father has only his debts to sure of settle on you." said the old lady. shaking " and then you have an excelher finger at him again . I don't know. So want to have anything it if the pair of you you had better make before marriage a " ! "What of the fondly at her." said Carus. no lady ! vices. grandmother. eh. " neither to please my father nor yet to dis- and she I like Miss Torphichan-Stirling very much. I mean ? Something like this. Has it ever struck you. sir. Carus. — lent title." cried the old lady. old creation. it is older than Nidmany mammas would jump at you. the only son of a Scottish peer. — ' For sale. smiling " It is a pity that it says on the flyleaf that a Prayer-book man may not marry his . A good " Carus " Do you think they would come to Tattersall's if I put myself up in flocks. I have certainly seen more of her than of any of the others. grandmother.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE " I have not fallen in love in the least." " I suppose the baronet arranges that. or double. broken to harness. warranted That would draw 'em. mercenary old lady!" said Carus.

grandmother. 209 Being a man . confidante of his She had been the only friend and youth. five Carus was again sat at Scotstarvit House. and any contracts. "that am going to my old bones to one of those gimcrack. Carus. nothing half so good really to Carus. who hated four wheels. But to be serious. so that he could boat and belong to those clubs and associations which make all the difference between being of a good college and at So promptly at it. married looked at If it had n't been for that I 'd have never you. the benevolent fairy his who supplemented meagre allowance at college. He loved the outspoken and eccentric old lady. Come back for mc you have do. but cried. I I declare.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE grandmother." said nothing better to do. standing-on-end things. one-shaving-thick. the sooner will go with you this afternoon and at five if call on the " I girls. that the bottom may drop out of any minute and strew you spilt all along the street like straw out of a waggon seen ? Besides. " I told you what would happen the next time. two-story. and when Carus pretended to wince." she I ensconced herself trust comfortably. the better. she said. your new diamond-and-pills baronet won't object to the Niddisdale colours being opposite his door ! I know these creatures " ! Timson i4 it was who opened the door. his loyal and silent helper out of many a schoolboy scrape. at would have preferred tion a hansom." could have gladly. certain sure. as she the sugges- my lady of Niddisdale flared up.*' favourite's ear. I must Her Grace tweaked her see this Torphichan household. carriage His grandmother ready for him and the first was in waiting. Carus. "Do you think.

somewhat flustered by her ladyship's quick.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE of many services he knew the Niddisdale liveries. with all the physique and admirable delight of perfect It and youth. A little by the lamps. the shrunk shanks of an aged skipped as if their man twitched and owner longed to join so fair a partner. Daintily yet abapdon and verve she danced. Under a tall couple of lamps. 210 . and screened band platform. childish happiness in a glad and Even so Nausicaa's maidens danced on the beach unseen of any man. imperious address. however. there went the sense of pure thing. while the waves of the Midland sea broke about them in foam less white than the feet they bathed. in the house should receive such a guest. and seeing a light in the great drawing-room. a young was dancing alone on the behind. the same time motioning him to be silent. he would even more quickly have closed it again. and was well acquainted with the person of her Grace. " Now." cried the lady. which shed a lustre girl down upon little her head. When you are as old as I am. The with music-master's chin sunk on his breast nuzzled the to full violin innocent training. He started hastily to show Carus and his grandmother upstairs. life whose music the girl danced. at But her imperious Grace of Niddisdale put him aside. " not so fast. threw open the door. and then quickly catching sight of what was going on at the other end. seemed a kind of unconscious rejoicing in Yet there was "something conspicuously all virginal and pure about the performance. anxious that the best apartment So it slowly. you '11 begin to think on " your latter end when you go upstairs quickly ! came about that the party mounted very and Timson. and in the lightning pauses and poses. my good man. through all the mysteries of waving lines and woven paces. He was.

Mademoiselle. sirrah ? Is your for She turned upon Carus. at mother. he dropped a little stiffly but still cavalierly on one knee. "it is Miss rascal " ! You dog girl. days long past taught Duke his steps with exceedingly incomplete " I craif your Ciracc's pardon. the old obeisance after obeisance." ! But all the same she is a charming Meanwhile. " I make you my most sincere compleements. the lesson was little over. her hand. Presently. and a twinkle of dainty shoon. " Miss Ethel. I Permit me to kiss your hand. " but but this so talented young not 21 I Mees Martin. Frenchman. I believe " The governess " cried her Grace." he lady is said. Mecs . and his heart beat violentlv. l^his was the girl he had seen on the stairs in the dusk. you ! ! — " No. with a quick flourish of flying bow. holding out "I did who had not think there was an amateur in so much spirit and grace — why. my' dear. Frenchman had been making He also knew the Duchess in of Niddisdale by sight. grandlast.HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE He breathed Carus looked over her Grace's shoulder. quick and short as he watched. who stood dumb a moment without finding any answer. having the present success. " ah." he managed to stammer Martin the governess. ! " Brava " cried the taking his fiddle and bow both It is pairfect — magnifique Brava " ! ! " Brava concealed. gallantU'. The Fates had been kind indeed. can teach you no more. ! indeed " chimed in her ladyship from the dark of the door where the visitors had stood She came forward as she spoke. and in one hand. London a you are this beautv. or will be very soon.

John's Parish. what are you doing here ? " she continued. How you And where have you hidden yourself have grown whenever I came ? Did you not want to recognise an Carus . shyly. bless quickly on the floor. " are you Isobel Stirling's daughter ? " I am her granddaughter." I have the best masters." is said Hester. besides that 's all —" ! She was till my I very good friend. is my . was brought up But I have been now — my uncle sent for It is me to come. aunt. last sentence was said so low that only Carus 212 . well. looking at her flushed cheek and the little foot which continued to show agitation by tapping But bless me. and advantage. • " but I have seen you several times — at " a distance " ! My me dear. ! old friend " . " you must at see once — come and I will look after you for your grand- mother's sake. wait have The heard it." '' " said Hester." interposed " you cannot be the little Hester Stirling I used to see with the minister of St. my dear.? " I am mostly in the schoolroom with the children." HESTER HAS AN AUDIENCE Hestaire Stirling. zee cozin of zee young ladies of this house ! " What. me. hoping soon to get away " her husband I my Until not very long ago in by some kind people here nearly three years Scotland. madam. " Lady Torphichan-Stirling guardian. quietly. the dressing And of you." said Hester." said the Duchess. a great " But I have never seen you before." cried the impulsive old lady.

" said the Duchess." said the Duchess." put in Timson. Then something It rustled in the hand of the Master of Darroch. so swift and noiseless were her to fade out motions. please don't say that you have seen " dancing ! Hester w." said Hester me " and oh. one." Hester went off so quickly that she seemed simply of the room. at finding his opportunity. as something crisp crackled palm. mother's banknotes. "I want to you ! " think they would not like . " Very " I am no for well. it if I came up. this either he "No. to neck. and get them to send you. my dear. sir!" said Timson. the wellin his trained. amiably tell-tale go off and make yourself look then I will like a school-miss again. " but the young are ! -^ " ladies waiting your pleasure in the Blue Drawing-room " Come more I along with me.. putting talk her hand on the " to girl's shoulder. " Her sir — thank you.as now crimson from brow little . CHAPTER XXVII VIC GETS EVEN " TT I BEG last your Grace's pardon. Grace the Duchess of Niddisdale Master of Darroch " ! and the 213 . was another of his grand" ! " And don't you say anything of whispered to Timson.

news that a carriage with the ducal liveries had paused before the door. " Ah. ! . you know. want to come down. " me me. a dish of my dears.VIC GETS EVEN Ethel was sitting by the tea-table. and she rose involuntarily best had assumed her Vic was sitting. 214 . Duchess. my dear. I was with Tom up in his den. gratefully. young lady. so She smiled. eh " guessed the " you thought that I would turn out " to be a meddlesome old frump " Something like it. but going upstairs you are all three pretty girls. well-formed mouth and " I fine white teeth. Let me look at you — — yes temper and all " ! Instantly Vic forgot her sulks at being haled into the presence of the great. forme. her chin sunk on her hands. You mantelpiece are Torphichans. — — smell sadly of smoke. but did n't I don't keep it up long. and this tall young lady by the to be." " You have been with some Tom or Toms you " You ! old lady. Claudia pose by the mantelpiece. are not like any Stirlings that ever I saw. on the ottoman. like Your are somewhat is long for an old woman can walk with any not yes. " are a true Stirling. the image of sullen despair. and in doing showed her wide. my dear. nor like your But you." said the Duchess. as pretty as girls have any right You." quoth downright Vic " besides. and did n't want to have to come. and give me stairs I good strong tea. have a temper. after she had sit down." nodding to Vic. She had been haled down at the first at the names. grandmother's people on the Stirling side. I must suppose." said all the let shaken hands round." said Vic. gleefully . one of my age on the level.

"tell me which blush. certain she was not acquitting herself well. my dear ! " continued the Duchess. and began telling her about the ball she intended to give in honour of the coming of age of Niddisdale's eldest son. but with talk ab(jut. don't v"u say him nav if he's a good man." It that young lady. it was not so simple. struck her that he was disgusted with them all on account of Vic's forwardness. know. but not knowing what to She was never at a loss with men. touching Ethel's pretty chin. A young man always best married early to a good girl. so we all want Kipford not be too long in throwing the glove.VIC GETS EVEN Claudia signalled furiously to Ethel. and he never married again. " My father and mother will be sorry not at to have been that home when you called." of you is continued her Grace. . " you she would disgrace us ? " Did I not tell "And. Lord Kipford. but he It was somewhat moodily pulling his moustache. Ethel. with a slight was evident about now who Carus Darroch had been to a his little talking distinguished relative. if The Duchess looked have wished it disappointed. now. not I "You for one shall is be sorry to see him settled." said Ethel. such a very unconventional aristocrat as the old Duchess of Niddisdale. young had been Vic. elated. as she could But she turned to the girl with the greatest good humour." said " / am. It was pretty enough (and Carus would have thought so if his heart had not been elsewhere) to watch the interest kindle on the girls' faces at the mere mention Ethel looked at Darroch to see if he were of a ball. poor dear Niddisdale's wife died young. And when your turn comes. when he can afford it.

" come again soon. tion for fleece don't I will trouble about that. I "I am to see for her this minute. my dears. " and I am sure she would feel most uncomfortable. ? That 's Has your way we father been buying another estate of his all I hear he the countryside. and 216 most put her . one another. " Don't ring I will run and fetch her myself! " Whereat Ethel glared at her younger sister with . not I am afraid not prepared." said the Duchess. except looked in cemeteries " ! Then she round the room as if missing something. know of your coming. want a subscripthe my Children's Hospital. as well as her father's " (the Duchess had an imagination). she caught Claudia's rudely of disgust." At which statement Vic pouted her mouth as if she were going to whistle. Gorgon is — send pretty. He is possessing himself had better have stuck to diamonds. Clods don't pay nowadays. Will you let Carus ring and send faces of for her There came an instantaneous cloud on the Ethel and Claudia. ! " I want ? to see her." VIC GETS EVEN "Oh." I said the easy Duchess." said Claudia. Indeed Hester is the elder began. not a if nonsense. " Your She did Grace. She " ! is very young. want ball the child She must come to my " " I do not think that she can dance. But out as Vic passed behind the two expression visitors. daggers flashing steely from under her eyelids. In fact. I believe I am her godmother. " But where is my little Hester ? I hear that you have her stowed away somewhere She is an old friend of mine. and remains mostly with the children "Oh. you know. but instead of doing so she jumped up and said heartily.

I I suppose. frankly. Carus caught Vic's gesture in a mirror. so. she comes. with a warning her voice. Carus could not do less than ask Ethel But she would keep the first round dance for him. you are as like your grandmother as cooed Claudia." she said. turning round to the Torphichan girls. no.VIC GETS EVEN tongue. don't do that what is there to laugh — at ? Some for." " have tried to make our dear cousin happy." " Come and give me a kiss. byplay. laddie. " She has plenty of exercise and seems to keep very well in London. quietly. " why. surely. " ! Now " I will serve you back making me come down aloud. credit am not nearly so blind as you give me Carus. and pea Grubby." said Vic. It is very rude of you — and remember. said only. For which answer the Duchess carry. won't pull it to pieces quite so quickly. Stanny. here You have been good to her. my dear." said the Duchess . nodding brusquely. Lot. "Make them get tired so soon. 217 . you had better begin to make sure of your dances now when you have the chance. are you in mourning ? " " Oh. being a little more straightforward by nature." We Ethel." So stimulated. but why this black dress. Ethel answered a little tartly that she would wait till if she saw the card. "Why. as for much as to say. applauded her." "You teach the younger children chill in then?" asked the Duchess." she added. fetch and my dear. "they I are tried happier and don't have both ways. " and at least those little ruffians. is like pea. "you have not let all the country bloom go out of her face. and laughed His grandmother gave a little jump. Ah. " Mamma says black lasts longest." said Hester.

At which Hester could only blush and glance appealingly at her. my held Hester's hand have nothing to wear ball. without giving Hester time to answer " my cousin has lessons along with the younger children. leaning on the elbow of a chair and trying vainly to dangle her " Mr. that they do theirs — . at all. her face crimsoning Carus under its healthy brown. smiling meaningly. eyes off Hester to her all the time — I ! daresay he makes love when none of us are by ! " " Indeed he does not to scold me ! He never speaks to me except " said poor Hester. I should rather say so. " Oh. "Some eh ? of your studies are pleasanter than others. "she sees that's it is more like it " ! love children no trouble . especially those privileged to spend hours a day in the society of Hester Stirling. you must not say you " is " Your Grace." began 2l8 . Ethel. smiling broadly. quite willing to throw oil on the waters " and I am happy and deeply grateful " study ! for all my opportunities of Carus thought of the engaged in. " said the Duchess. my cousin not out yet. But Vic laughed scornfully." said Hester. yes. who " no." cried Vic." "Rats!" " I declared Vic. and began to conceive a hatred for all Scotch tutors." said her Grace. Clarence Shillinglaw never takes his long legs . Ethel.VIC GETS EVEN "Not exactly." interposed . and wondered in the black stuff dress last study he had slip seen her girl if this demure of a could indeed be the swift-limbed Grace of the ballroom platform. " You still are to come to .

too. And 219 as for that charity-girl over there. what Ethel says easily fix nonsense. Then day ! cried my But eyes out going I home the carriage every night. I am built like a pillar letter-box. " Minx " cried ! Ethel. . " I want you for A little your grandmother's sake and your father's. come. She and I are about the same height. rascal he vyas.VIC GETS EVEN " Now. Don't And be sure you get " ! your beauty sleep. said the Duchess. ball. approv- see in me some day — indeed. — you personal chastisement upon Vic advancing as " I shall ." " you must come and ingly . don't be tiresome ! " interrupted dame " it is one of the few privileges of Hester does not promise to " ball at all. But not time." cried Vic. And the old Good-bye Good-bye lady went out leaning upon the strong arm of Carus Darroch. my the imperious a dears. up something for Hester. I And won't give the this the girls' faces promptly is Of can course. Come " I you are all really get to know you one at a She patted Hester's cheek as she rose. will not live another day in the same house . But as soon as she was fairly gone from the door the if tempest broke. but she will need to take in a reef or two at the waist." she said. first of all. and your grandmother often me in nurse him. It was the year my own I little boy let died that he was born. little matters. and then I shall to an army corps. that fell. " But you. always went back again the next Good-bye." " You are a good girl. 's all ! Duchess of Niddisdale that she does as she likes in if these come At " " I — why. ! think too much about the my dears. to inflict tell mamma have disgraced I us.

' if and 'every one to be very kind' to her. but I could give you she were ten yards' start in the hundred and beat you romping And what eyes ! is more. you please as if she was a queen and we so much dirt beneath her comes home " No more will I. and ' her Grace's god-daughter. and prettify yourselves here. — feet." agreed Claudia as bitterly are in league. " It is you who are a pair of jealous old cats." At such times the veneer of Empress Gate wore decidedly thin. "you want all the men and all the and you think the way to get both is to sit upon cushions." she cried. so could Hester — that is. like tabbies so good-looking as either of you." ! VIC GETS EVEN with her ! And " ! so I shall tell my father as soon as he . Why. But Vic only laughed the more. and the aborginal Torphichan emerged. if only decently dressed and So there ! knew how to make Um-m-m ! That's what use of her I think of you ! Cats ! . " you you two. attention. defying them. I am not nearly with ribbons round your necks. With that little cat's blushing and looking down.

W. S. You must dine as soon as my son Niddisto lunch ? dale returns to town. to Lady Torphichan-Stirling. I must carry out my promise to your mother and be a real. though ^ — the ivorld " Very truly yours. godmother to our poor little Hester. I am an old woman. to impress on the occasion of a girl's first the young heart entrance into the world. Will you let her come to me early on the evening of the ball ? It is such a good opportunity. of Empress Gate. It was such to me to see the dear children yesterday Niddisdale^ ye are an old humbug!)^ especially all — (^Georgina them possessing so teristic Stirling much of your beauty {Sarah was aye for own a* charac- a pin-cushion out for a walk her mother was a beauty When can your husband and yourself come /)." — — The Duchess sat back in her scat with a smiling groan as she wrote the last words. W. dear Lady Stirling. .: pleasure Dear Lady Torphichan-Stirling.. if rather belated. S.CHAPTER XXVIII A FAIRY GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM L " a to see like ETTER dale at from her Grace the Duchess of NiddisScotstarvit House. " Georgina Niddisdale. And the dear girls must look in and see me some day during the week {Neale can always say I am not at home^. i. as it were. but I like to be surrounded by bright young people." " P. I had almost forgotten.

" Hester was this note. to give you some good advice and perhaps something a trifle nicer. I never was fond of not even of administering it. in the schoolroom when Vic brought her . though. good advice all my life I want you to help Come early by seven at latest me about the flowers and things. — would not touch is so exactly her dear so so I for Carus's sake I " would not care But it is not at all necessary to state the infinitesimal amount of strictly non-legal currency the vigorous old lady did not care for the friendship of the TorphichanStirlings. " she 's worth the ruck of them.A FAIRY " Js " If I it GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM pleased with herself. I have promised. well. I have never heard you your catechism. that 's not fair. also. He likes pretty blondes. that does not fetch the apothecary's wife. Your loving (and let "Sweet — — — — repentant) " Godmother. Here goes " The Duchess dashed ofF another note. well. " all Now for my little Hester. can drive him on the curb. Sometimes I think no. Carus is in love already. thing of my poor dear Sophia about him. I've asked your aunt to you come to me on Tuesday. so see you come prepared. the Dear Sylvanus dreadful her with a ten-foot pole — except woman ! — he good. little Hester." she said It is . but Well. any rate. a blessed thing. then don't know what ! will. that at — — he won't I fall in love with Hester — and if ! he does. were" she murmured. he does seem to have someCarus is no milksop. It is husband's style * wise ' — Ugh.

followed fleet-winged. And pearled tears came the dark cool eye-depths and swallow's full-flight upon the long wing the drops in when upon the after he has dipped the mere. For she is on to the game. this. She could not go. Hester. and Ethel and Clau are just scratch- mad because Duchess has written direct to you." in cried that impetuous a proper fix. What would Revvy what could dancing lesson ? — — and the Duchess want — if She knew she plain-looking. "you were nearly Mamma came as near as a toucher the to reading your ing letter. glisten as And oh.A FAIRY *' GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM you owe Oh. I say. That about catechism ? is just to green the mater^ don't you see that Tom and I often get round her It's a blessed thing Eth didn't get hold of She would have blown the gaff. to scold her about the let Her aunt would never She had seen Ethel's into lashes. me a pair of gloves. way. I So before they could make up their minds and came. But. how ugly the evening frock was her aunt had ! had made foe her.' That's all rats. come? (Here Vic snatched the U-m-m-um. too. this tell me what she says reading " ! time Hester was staggering the widespaced over the sprawly characters. I say. ? not exactly ugly think Megsy Oh. and her go. She wants go and have a good time all by yourself. You should have seen their snatched it faces. starchy as she looks. 223 .' you to which Hester had held tremblingly. " reel-rail " A as quick fear took her by the heart. young lady. And now you must By pages. early. by joy going. " Hester. Hester. you letter I can't — little silly. at least She was was — She dare not face everybody.) read it 'catechism/ 'come 'good advice. well. say what are is Does she you not to wrong ? Let me see.

Surely not purpose of appointing an hour. as in if corner. This is no doubt for the About Hester Stirling." the Nobody took any notice of the demure little figure in the worn brown dress that followed so quietly in the turbulent wake of Vic's passage. sat simpering and bowing fitted inside with clockwork for that very purpose. dear. the mater will say from the dear Duchess Vic will never get advancement because of any ' loud " — 'What. can she want with you say *' Hester ? ? ! What 224 . politician. My reverie lady had indeed been living in a kind of devout upon the Duchess's its day. and Sir Sylvanus. that eminent scientist and in moved about among his guests with smiling deference. " What. know letter another literal respect for the first commandment with letter all promise." she cried aloud. or two out of her path toward her mother. she did not hear the comments with which It composition was interlarded. Happily for significant her peace of mind. the farthest specially who. chanced that the " tabbies " were in great force that day. thinking what a diplomat was wasted half-readied himself. and buckling and unbuckling his large pasty- white hands. " like soda scones. dear Duchess ? How pressing she I have already written to say that she may expect to see you did all to-morrow afternoon.A FAIRY we '11 GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM ma this read this to afternoon all when Eth and Clau I are out at the matinee and the frowsy tabbies and things are swilling away out ! at their cups of tea. as she scattered Timson and a stray guest country-bred Hester thought. " not another that letter from is. My lady toed the line of her daughter's expectation to a hair's-breadth.

" Is Hester to go or not. if the Duchess makes a point around of it. " mention Vic broke. as yet. She'll think we can't afford to keep a nurse. it But. mamma That 's what wc wanted ! to know. child. dear. of course. She was goino." She could not quite an- smiles. in remorselessly on the pleasing meditation." " That 's all right. to say." said her mother." write to Lady Niddisdale and say till that she can't be spared out of the nursery Lottie and . is more but she caught herself up. of course you know there is Nothing at least.A FAIRY " Shall I GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM read it aloud. is of course." " Hush. " it is not necessary. dear. no. " because of Carus Darroch. are bathed and combed and put to bed is that it. I I think she had better home. before the 15 come home Hester. dropexclamatory method. " No. nounce that yet. do not see how to can well spare her." " Well. Hester must go. and " ! get the letter off 225 . however exalted. except by hints and becks and meaning " Well. Ethel instead. mamma ? She has to write know he ! And obyious eyery and say so. to young people. But I shall write to the "Then Grubby Hester is Duchess myself. absolutely nothing in it — settled. besides." ping her said her mother. mamma? •. as she seems to do. stay at as I I was saying. it There must But what can her Grace want with her ? I will write and say that I shall send She has so much taste suitable altogether in flowers '' — and. be some mistake. that is. you one how much But Ethel is a dear girl. looking hastily " no. and would ornament Of course you must not any sphere. in a low tone. mamma ? " came the clear voice of Vic. dear. ' Come cats ' on.

a kind of poor whom the the family's this girl And — sake — Duchess has taken an so condescending of her Grace. " but dear Vic already likings gives us great anxiety. that with Victoria just head turned — now — was she she is in in brown." she sighed in a delicately fatigued manner to her nearest neighbour." she agreement Lady Stirling's thought. She takes strong disliklngs. who came danger of having her so bad for one in her position. against the with a resounding bang." cooed the other. I mean into " Abraham's bosom It is such a comfort The old lady sometimes got pardonably mixed among the horns and vials and trumpets. in yes. and that. the judgments. dear Lady Torphichan-Stirling. and takes such strange fancies Lost " so Sir Sylvanus and did I would be quite anxious about her future that we not know ! the children of the elect are specially cared for " " Ah. said hastily. in the tone of general tea-table common and in to the serious enthusiast. a image of astonishment. the Sixth Vial will have sounded.A FAIRY GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM Lady Torphichan-Stirling sighed as Vic disappeared tray-laden through the doorway. " do not forget that all things are ordained. you know. " Dear Victoria is always so impetuous. in the absence of her favourite prophetical little expositor with his gaily-coloured this charts and historical handbook. the wrath. don't you 226 . interest in for we have relation a Scotch cousin the house. the woes. For instance. and as the Scriptures say. long before the dear girl can be any cause of anxiety to you. a stout and positive old lady interested in the Ten . lintel as she did so. ! Tribes and the Literal Interpretation of Prophecy rough. elbowing Timson. to our ! we shall own place — ! all have gone. But was not in the line of ''Yes religious — yes.

dear. a little heart- she noticed eager expression on her father But her face. Victoria absolutely rejoices girl in crossing me. dare not Sylvanus. was n't it. It nearly killed me. a continuous purr of virtuous tongue-clicking. tell But I powerless. vou know. the clash" Dear. or he would turn the out ungrateful minx instantly of the I house. friend's as said her hostess. of scandal. and especially in annoying and vexing her dear.A FAIRY agree with GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM ? me Well. and she all pending the destruction of the waiting faithful so gossip. " Oh." The prophetic old her eyebrows emphasis. in exalting this whom wc am took out of pure charity into the house. dreadful. no5" stricken. " Here she lowered her voice and for a minutes the apocalyptic old lady had her fill happy five " Yes. She thought to scandal. much when the time comes to close the sederunt with a few words of prayer. for his family? went abroad immediately afterwards and Of course he his child " Another pause — many possible ! fluttcrings of uplifted hands. and even the Ten Lost Tribes are not nearly so of all lost as the characters their (absent) friends. things) nothing delights a little much as spicy mundane Let but a dozen seasoned veterans get together. have believed occur in all it But you know such things good families. the hastily. indeed. sister's husband's brother who 227 there " was my poor The subject of the sister's husband's brother proved . Gunther-Lestock. I sisters. vou see. feel it And on at I should not like that. dear Mrs. " Hester is quite a good girl. who would ing of black head-bugles. Why. should my the conscience if anytl?ing happened afterwards to the lady raised girl. and (next was on the edge of a the fulfilment of prophecy.

The beaded nodding heads came closer as they had been in two of the ten horns about conflict.A FAIRY GODMOTHER'S CATECHISM so interesting (from a prophetic and philanthropic point of view) that the other tabbies had begun the premonitory rustle of departure before it was if finished. to engage a personal " Good-bye. dear Mrs.) 228 . that I consider it my duty to protect the daughter of herself. now you do not wonder hostess of Empress Gate . Gunther-Lestock." said the " so. such a father and such a mother from " such a pity that the Duchess ! And (Closed with prayer.

Only Vic.CHAPTER XXIX THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS MEANWHILE "clutter" of in the room above jars. among Oxford tobacco framed photographs of ladies of robust charms." a Consequently escapade. should not He had run of his down from Oxford larly to see Carus. indeed. Even Hester was hardly so entirely innocent. 229 . Vic to pen her letter. had much as looked at the closely-cropped young man who stroked his delicate and indeed invisible fair moustache so often. and said " H-m-mm " before every sentence. Carus Darroch. which was Tom's sanctum. and he was particu- father know " Waffles." and did not count. on the back of shoulder. and young Kipford (who had been Carus's fag and answered indifferently to the name^ of " Waffles" and " Dukey ") were seated for. and looking over Hester's Tom. who of course was a friend of Tom's. and. and in the heart of a prevailing blue haze. broken tops of fishingrods waiting (and waiting in vain) to be spliced. was assisting Hester She was balancing herself precariously a chair. It was a dead secret in the lower parts of the house that Kipford ever came anxious that his to Empress Gate. was "in the know. by one of the extraabout a small fire of wood changes incident to the climate of London. "fellow. (very high a above). coloured hunting scraps pinned askew to the wall." he was Mr. it ordinary — had grown suddenly chilly as October.

it 's ' can't miss the ball. tell his father on him spanked and sent back to Mr. My father says I 'm just up must do It 's decently in the schools so as not to disgrace him. what would you do cried he did call you Vic ' " ? Tom. all your fault. to be with — ' ! ! — — "Oh. call her 'Vic' like the rest of us and be done is She neither a Camel nor hit a Hun. Such ongoings are not " good for little boys like Waffles " H-m-mm toria ! " said the oh. sharply. and solid fist Vic spun round on the chair-back. Oh. Tom. and swotting for a beastly exam. you know. you needn't have put that but I it 's all right." — ' he said. "why. him bull's-eye serving herself from falling. and Besides. it He put up an eye-glass and regarded if stolidly. don't call her 'your Grace. for goodness sake don't laugh like a hyena. you would n't really not really. and precious hard it is to come 230 . rings lolling upon " ! his shoulder-blades and blowing the towards the ceiling. suppose as you are a ' bud No. said "Do!" school him of course " ! — have Vic." caressing his moustache. " Waffles " was immensely delighted. make him behave There's a cricket stump in the corner. I say. miraculously preshook a very fairly under the young man's nose nearest to her.' she won't mind. Carus. with it. "I'm going back on Wednesday. that time " Ha. ' " Why. Long anyway. She gets plenty of that sort of thing downstairs I wish you boys would make less noise. Miss Vic " boy.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS " — — Thank you very much be sure ' shall you early hope you will not be disappointed in me. I really I But I had to have some clothes. " No." in said Tom. Carus. you know.

left-hand side. Never mind what she Vic' It ' sounds too much call like ' ' sixty years of glorious reign when you her Victoria. and then I can't ! forget it. and generally enough fellows about to make up a scratch crew " ! Tom my patted Kipford ! " Bravo Dukey . " Waffles will take the letter direct. on the back. Carus ? true." said Carus. Stand 231 . you know It is to the Will you post that. and very important. never has " ! — Got raids a stamp. done! Let me ? lick the I luck. says. " It 's there now pocket. "I know something better and safer than a cartload of you fellows' promises. smiling . So don't That 's the reason you forget. Tom. and then the Master's eye will be out. know. dear boy shut up.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS immediately after a clever beast like you. I think of nothing else till it in the hands ot cried " "Rats!" up " ! Vic. I bet boots. envelope locked for Hester.' Tom posted it in his second-best overcoat indeed. " he is stopping at Scotstarvit House. "Well. it 's Duchess about the ball. looking down it ? the young man. I like that " Thank vou. mine when my door isn't " began Tom. Waffles ! Swear will On your " 'Pon is my honour. Still. as Tom always does. never got n>y apology for calling you ' Waffles. to deliver it ! "Will you be responsible for " knees. Carus Tom. — It is.' " all "There now." a rope "With case his ladder out at the bedroom window the night ! in in father should arrive at in " put Victoria. there 's always the river. you '11 come out a double Call her ^ first.

and she felt awkward and tongue-tied. Waffles. " quoted Vic. The young man stood up. to Vic's slangy She had another in her however. " Now. mind. But just now was all beaten back by the dulness of her surroundings. if you the girls come " ! up. Nothing like jogging a young man's memory nowadays " " With a brass pin " murmured Waffles. when the pin was about half through. " Was that your waistcoat ? " inquired the operator. Vic spoke the last w^ords in a trifle indis- She had a large safety-pin that envelope in her mouth." retorted Vic calmly." said " ' Liar and Slave. And when young man had obeyed with a kind of a pleased and yet shamefaced sheepishness. They '11 be here in a jifFy Hester had not said a word. she deftly caught his coat and pinned the safety-pin through cloth and letter. banter. She caught hold of the lapels of his coat. demurely. " Yes. put your breast pocket. tinctly. letter. She could not stand up style." she the commanded. feeling herself very young and simple. sternly. then. a letter you gave me to post. let 's vanish. " Now." in vain. who had not been Carus Darroch's fag that " Ah. with much philosophy. melodramatically. my under-waistcoat ! " said " Waffles.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS " / never forgot Carus. smoothing his invisible ' " last — ! moustache. involuntarily. Monday at dusk as ever was but no matter Did you hear me speak ? " Stand up. sitting down ! ! on his chair with a certain careful solicitude. Hester. learned from the fancies. " that will ensure you do not forget. life Revvy and her own swift-flowing 232 . " Ouch ! " said the youth. you know nothing about any fellows.

I know. then cried a little over " Oh. That was She pictured herself standing on them." she ' said ' to her- self as she went out the . in order to protect that unfortunate lady attacks of Stanhope and the sticky fingers of letter.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS " What it a stupid he will think me. at once ! hear.'' " Claudia called out. Hester a hasty glance . " I will be dreadful. she sat down again. the floor before the three of single word. I wish I had never wonder if I could get the letter back ? " feet. still the door — we want Do you 233 all about that. but with her next visitors she forgot "Open " Yes. and as a favour given Hester her room) she drew out the Duchess's sofa. of course all could not say " Bo to a — not Vic But the door of her same she heaved a sigh as she own room and ran upstairs left at to before the hour of afternoon schoolroom tea. It to come in!" was Ethel's voice outside. it first laughed a little. "tidy" at which she presided with Miss Martin between her and the from the Grubby." she said to herself. unable to utter a " said Hester. and it. " I that matters. I word to anybody. and shan't be able to say a promised. She started -to her But when she thought of Tom's under the quietly obser- room. which in her present mood v/as perhaps as well. She was inclined to be afraid of the Duchess and the ball. Arrived in her garret (her aunt had taken her maid down to sleep in her dressing-room. to explain vant eves of the men. I shall be afraid of my own shadow. cast more cmphaticallv. " " I I wonder why I am such a fool " ! ? little did n't use to be like this But Hester was not destined to be left long alone. Oh. and of trying not to be thought of.

" Now let us see that letter. you know little said Hester. " Give me than before. marching over to Hester as if to overawe the girl with ! her superior stature. ma'am " mimicked Claudia. had you there too ? — "and you've been I smell the smoke.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS about the room to see that she had table that she cared about and left nothing on the opened the door." cried Ethel. the letter ! " said Ethel again." said Claudia. faintly. that Vic into letting you answer for yourself. " ! " It has nothing "Then Claudia. sniffing. "you can't letter Miss Innocence with you had from the Duchess. what business ^' is that of yours ? " said Hester. charity-girl " Claudia's warlike methods were at once simpler and into ! ! Went cruder than Ethel's. firmly. " Yes. " What letter ? " "Oh." said Ethel. " that 's the way you ought to speak. us. They had come up to Hester's room without waiting to take off their things. very well. with spirit. too " said Claudia." play pretty The bullied mamma into "Yes. Tom's room. and we mean to have it. her eyes at flashing fire and her small hands clenched straight her sides. What " business I shall speak to papa ! " I shall not give you the Duchess's letter. and if I went with Victoria into Tom's room to answer it. Master Tom's room with Miss Victoria. sister Ethel and her younger entered and con- fronted her. more fiercely " to I will not ! do with you " said Hester. I'll get a it for myself at — here it is!" cried lying making dart one or two circular papers underneath the little rickety table which had 234 . ducking a curtsey . please.

" Meantime Claudia had gone over to the little roof window and was reading another letter which she had With one glance Hester been holding behind her back. " Give it me. had taken command of the situation. " 1 was instructed by my aunt how " ajid the letter has already gone ! to That no it is a lie." Ethel.) that (Her word ' worse later than anything seven to " not ' than like flowers — ! — Come the to help with I should * see you dare. do nothing of the kind. " that is 235 .THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS been given to induced to give Before Hester Hester because it nobody it else could be house-room. "neither cried Claudia. "'Sweet little Hester!' is. that letter has been posted from the box and is n't there now — I looked "What's more. repeating her statement that the rcpiv had already been despatched. ? — she would early. " Well. and was holding it scornfully. We '11 teach her " Now sit down and answer it as we tell you. as usual." she cried. in- "I answer *' shall dignantlv. you nor Vic have been down and write as we tell you " ! So sit Hester again refused. saw that it was from Mcgsy. and she tried to snatch it away. it." said Ethel." said Hester. "we know " ! from Timson in the hall. spiteful A charity-girl ! " amiable cousin hurt conjectured rightly that else. and us — not invited silly old ! Your . could reading each a letter — Ethel toad prevent her cousins were had that of the Duchess. who has taken it ? — tell us that. does n't she little ! She looks what she a nasty." paper. looking up from the out. almost in tears . looks it. loving and repentant Godmother' woman " she must be in her dotage.

the bonny lamb not that she sees through thae Torpheechans. ? when will you come ' ! hame I The you hoose is lonesome withoot ye " Why don't you go.' ! at arm's-length. at that moment. And I doubt o' your grandmither. no. " Oho just listen to this. if I ask him. do you hear for a certainty. all 's If you tell father a word. you won't. Oh. but oh. holding the letter while Ethel interposed between them. whirling round the room triumphantly. ours would not be lonesome without you. how mean "'Sweet eat of you little " ! Hesters should have no private letters in other people's houses." she cried. lassie. " cried Claudia. it swear till blue that you made up — and so will Tom." said Claudia.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS a private letter with which you have nothing ' to do. now I know — he will never have the insolent creature after this. "you pair of sneaks I '11 and thieves. " She shall pack and in We will show see this to papa. *you not to send him any more. " Hear what the woman says next ' I am gled that She was fell fond the Duchiss has been kind to you. his house Then we will whether she " ! will go to dine at Scotstarvit House or not " Oh. tell " I Miss Charity daresay she was kitchenmaid and scrubbed the that. ! floors in her last place. : reading on." 236 . as he has plenty and it (Who is the dirty old man ?) is not good for him. ! : ' ' We can are both weel. from behind " ' Revvie thanks you for the stockings Ethel's back He beggs (she spells it with two gs) and the snufF. suddenly appearing from behind. which the people whose bread they must not see " mocked Claudia. snatching the letter out of Claudia's hand and standing on the defensive." cried Vic. the cruel ! wulfs that hae robbit my dentie o' her inheritance that ? " ! " Ethel.

why." cried Ethel. I '11 tell when you want me comes to the and every single man that house about your spitefulness and the bad tempers you have." It 's " Ugh. you know very well you never can keep a pair decent for more than a night. "Her shoes! " said Claudia. but Vic lifting thrust deep into her pocket. you horrid tell cats " ! " and if you dare my father one word I will spoil I '11 your precious Blue Drawing-room never go out games to. The letter is is answered and the Duchess has to be in her shoes it by now. a little doubtfully. not the frock material Read cheap " is making a for Mother bought the and it at removal has been lying by 237 . indeed. but was received with the point of the bayonet and promptly reduced to tears. her. vinegar and sawdust you are made cried free-spoken Vic. it a hatpin off the table. recovering a street ! hasn't got any. " nobody will ever ask her to dance " in "No. and. " and both father and mother shall know of it — how you take ! your own flesh and blood. Hester going where you were not invited. for you. and you would give your eyes " would ! — you know you little." ! " said Ethel. " You are an sides against unnatural sister. and your last "Yours! — ones did you all last winter " And even if she did go. I don't believe you are flesh and blood of." said Vic.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS Ethel and Claudia rushed to give at their sister to force her them back it the incriminating document. Ethel laughed scornfully. stood at bay with in her hand. sale. Claudia made a dash forward. except her look pretty at a ball in dumpers — "she she will those " I shall lend her a pair of mine.

mamma had something else to do than look after her. but this had tried her just a peg too high. ' She was aweary. And oh. Cats can't help scratching if only to keep their claws sharp. does n't dance. "she was her ! about going and got mother to chaperon her — impudence And. standing on guard over Hester. of 238 . *' you '11 be all right at the ball." said Vic. Hester threw herself on the little bed and gave way to a good cry. aweary. whose face had grown tearful too.) " And like that woman in Tennyson or somebody. dear old girl. She did not often indulge the weakness. and wished And at two o'clock in the mornthat she were dead. Bachelors' Ball " Of " ? course not. a soul spoke to her. it mother had to get her was so funny That 's just ! how it will be with the charity-miss " ! " Never mind them. she burst into tears before till everybody. and looks just as happy when — he does it. I '11 make him promise.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS Claudia put in her contribution. when somebody did finally take pity on her and ask — her to dance. she the sting of each taunt. for she fully expected Mabel Lyons's fate to be hers . And nobody even took her down it was to supper. He only hitches round like a poodle on its hind legs. and watched dance after dance. And if you don't get many dances. " she will be like "Rather!" answered Claudia. too " ! After her cousins had gone.' ing." (Claudia stopped to laugh here her idea of humour. of course. Besides. you know. And so she And not sat and sat. in a great ." coincided Ethel at the Mabel Lyons Clau state like — do you remember. Tom will take you down to He supper and talk to you. and cried like a great baby. though she had kept a brave felt face before them. away somehow.

it. Hester was conscious that sent a little stab of deeper pain through her breast. Lady Torphichan-Stirling's maid. Vic. it the contrary. and not Ethel. which Vic looked in for a moment on perhaps was as well. no more time to think over her griefs that night. her way up to the drawing-room after dinner. whom The thought <jii must have been looking at Perhaps it was Vic after all. The cats would think nothing of over" hauling the whole place when you go out And when at last. What if he should marry Vic ? he admired. but.THE SCRATCHING OF THE CATS ever)' carefully calculated uukindness." she said " they have not told. course. . very tired and heartsore. It was not long before Read. Hester I bluffed them about their ! laid to her of at her head on her pillow. She could not sleep for three hours for thinking of 239 . and it was not to be denied that Ethel and Claudia had on this occasion surpassed themselves. Still there was not much time a for sorrow. Blue Drawing-room games. They are no end frightened that I will go and stop But if I were you there with them all the afternoon. " Here 's your letter. the consciousness returned how steadily Carus Darroch's eyes had gazed her as she sat writing with Vic looking over her shoulder. he Of ought to have given her pleasure. rapped at the door with Stirling wished IVIartin Miss to come down and message that her ladyship help Miss She had with the children's evening lessons. would always burn your home letters when you I answer them.

of gay uniforms. and listening to the grateful hush of sound. walking with his Greek Testament in his hand. to and fro along the minister's walk ? would not do. She tried to imagine herself Hester lay listening.0 herself had never been . The London sparrows were busy outside. water singing in it She was paddling her linn. up there.CHAPTER XXX THE MAGIC WAND THE feet great day came at last. of the ball ! Hester had a vision of costumes. At first down in the something pleasant someshe thought it was the Darroch But instead the sun was streaming in between the blind and the little red curtain which Hester had put up to give a homelike flavour to her dingy little garret chamber. of beautiful She had seen from of linked arms and mazy dances. the entrance door of the ballroom many such in the house at Empress Gate. which was so unreal. but she 24. beneath the kirk-yard the Waterside kine were drowsing Was that Revvie or standing kneedeep in the shallows. Across the deep brown pool back by the Darroch. The real. the New World. Hester woke in the morning to a sense of where. The morning bright lights. it day-dreams. soon ousted even the sweetest of But no. elbowing and quarrelling with each other incessantly as they transacted their affairs domestic. which was as old as Eve's Tree of Knowledge.

h." She sighed as the tears fell fast on the irregularly bunched seams about the waist. interThe day passed slowly — minably. and learned to sew like her. wheezy armchair which Read had finished was for e. The nursery was her portion." And with that Hester got up and began to wonder if there would be a letter from Revvie that morning. to rush upstairs to put on her frock.THE bidden enter into iM A G I C WAND children's fain'land. always liked going about with Revvie so much better. day-nursery. how wi»hcd I wish now I had done what Megsy But I me to do. as it seemed. you are tight just where you ought to be I and loose just where you ought to be tight. looking at the cheap remnanted job-lot silk of the skirt. but. " But. " Us. can't get you right " said Hester.ive her the night before. so that she might be able to all her attention to ladies'" dresses "young when making any changes in the they came home from the Court dressmaker. the skirt i6 if I I am sure it shall trip over try to dance. Not 241 . the It was half-past six before she could leave where she had been superintending the children's lessons and helping with stray fragments She of sewing. And Vic's slippers — she nearly cried that they were not better. " Oh. ! ought not to say that. indeed. and of all she would have to tell him when she came back out of the wonder-world into which she was adventuring. had tried several times to improve Read's fit. it is so long in fri)nt. But to-night the New World Yet there on the lay the frock old chintz of the of cheap material to be her own. for poor Read certainly did her best. she feared. with very indifferent success. after all. I loose. "And know I I does not sit right somehow.

A smell light knock. without heels. in spite dolefully trundled to which the corner. Upon the very doorstep. and I want to be all right for to-night. without turning her head. I am humouring my great grandfather's gout. of the prevailing bustle of preparation. "come round and let me look at you. and Scotstarvit House. "Yes. You won't mind me not coming out to receive you. all in a flutter of fear and excited expeclet she ran downstairs and herself out without all being interrupted. usual smiled on the shy had given particular James the Statelier-thanyoung girl. and only the voice of the balusters. — 242 . The girls were a busy in their rooms. a warm herself delicious of and Hester great found lady standing She would be already gorgeous in her noblest silks and most magnificent the unconventional Duchess was jewels." she cried. I wonder if he will be At tation. at on stand was somewhat where." And it with a quickly-beating heart the girl passed through the decorated halls and up a staircase as broad (so appeared to her) as the steps of a church. her Grace orders that Miss Stirling was to be taken directly up to her as soon as she arrived. and she had a dilapidated French trembling a before her Grace of Niddisdale. Give me a kiss. last. attired in a dressing-jacket and yellow flannel pettiHer feet were thrust into red Morocco slippers coat. Tom about could be heard over lost declaiming shirt stud. There why. she found herself at once in another atmosphere. a smiling roses. the had expected that novel in her hand. " ! Oh. little maid.THE MAGIC WAND that any one will ask there to dinner to-night me. Instead. " My dear. Hester lurked summoned habitually an ancient a four-wheeler.

" she stammered " I knew you aunt got " would say But it was it all I had. down by me. and a great lump slowly up her throat. was afraid so. a hand and drawing her down upon set " See. you simply can't go to the ball in a " ! The " I tears sprang to Hester's eyes. will go back taking home and Hester's "Yes. kindly. AI A G I C let WAND them dress what possessed you going out to you like ? a table-maid I just with her Sunday sweetheart guessed what the old apothecary's wife would be to. receive. come. and you are my own dear goddaughter. you know. equal thing like that Child. built itself Her in . her maid. and per- we will find a way out of the trouble. mind very much. childie. Sit down on it." said the Duchess. to make up for me And haps Hester broke down. This house is my house. I want you to trust yourself to me to-night as if I were your own grandmother." I said the Duchess. mother's oldest friend bids ye alive. lassie. Poor Niddisdalc's wife is dead.THE child." " said the Duchess. patting Hester's curls and bringing her head against her comfortable maternal knee. — you before Do as your grandshe is the only one left for wae's me ! "Now. But Hester had found her tongue. This ball is my ball. you footstool. There is not a woman of my family that I have not (juarrelled I with. there is a stool you came. She was already to cry " How thought — silly I of mc ! I did not mean " — but I I won't mind about the not mind a bit will ball this time. So I god-daughter must support mc when my am 243 . Sit " Come. My Read. Kiptord has not yet taken one. not. lip quivered. drying her tears.

" First of all." THE MAGIC WAND going ofF to belong to me. " Now I am going to be the jumped up and rang the bell fairy godmother I indeed. still with more tears. too. their who carried parcels. little For to-night you one ? " said. a Neale. and of all the desolate Empress Gate. vigorously." And her Grace pinched Hester's soft young cheek and pointed to a pink dressing-gown which was hanging limply on a hook. she At last. A tear or For I two does bowed head. grate- " I will do anything you wish. First wave. put that on. ask Madame Celine's people to The maid in departed. of Megsy and of Revvie. not less and not more. used to think when cared But you have cried more than enough already about these " ! So. " No one has been so kind to it. and after come this way moment or two ! returned with a couple of smiling assistants. and then I shall begin to wave catechism did I ever teach him. quite suddenly." she said. Hester told of her after her in the North grandmother's death. though Heaven forgive me. to do better by you — that if you will let my fairy wand in earnest." said me since I left Revvie and Megsy. of her listened coming life to at loneliness of London." Hester fully. I things. is. " and you are to be good and do just what of his I tell you. Homburg to-morrow." " Tell me all about her hand on the girl's the Duchess. not matter — I rather helps than otherwise. enter Neale. " But mind. What do you say. was your But father's godmother. without saying a word against even the bitterest life of her persecutors. And the Duchess and thought. and presently to her 244 . arms certain mysteriously swathed Hester stood up with a long sigh. not a word I 'm going me. no want your eyes to look their best.

does She measured usually you with her mistakes. like a bird taken the about her was music to her ears. fine as sea-foam on the return wave. for the time. tea with me. with a friendly pleasure in girl's The her eves. 'Madame had proved worthy of her reputation and of the Duchess's confidence. and a kind of enchanted perfume exhaled from the silken rustle The very lace and ribbons. with a garment that enhanced its beauty. and no ugly duckling. 1 think it will do. She will be swan yet. That was Madame Celine afternoon herself who was not here the last you took eyes.THE MAGIC WAND all a-glister with sheen of shimmering white with a soft " puff" here and there of lace. the great pier-glass she shoulders." murmured I was not wrong. looking very pleased and happy. as it were reflected from those of her charge. hand." said the Duchess. ladies will and if Madame is make But do it there any alteration these young in lots of time. " one holds her head. The dress fitted to a marvel. the dearest and most lovesome knots of real white heather. " Now." girl But the dream." hands were trembling so that she could hardly help the maid who. and." she thought. Happily. helped Hester to endue her slight first young figure. Hester. As felt she followed the Duchess to the air cold on her neck and Involuntarily she put up her hands. " with it can never go into a ballroom open like this " ! 245 . enchanted eyes a marvel appeared — nestling shyly beneath these. I " Oh. did not hear her. dear. " on with it. " a How well the little her Grace to herself. in a Something began buzz and she in seemed suddenly out of breath. half revealed and half concealed. to She was walking in her head.

for the a perfectly fitting time in her life. ! positively gasped. lips. my dear. but I thought it most fitting for a young girl " Then Hester looked in the glass and It fs cut " Duchess." she said. had carefully wiped off her old brown house-dress the tea Grubby had spilt upon it. there Strangely enough. an hour ago. She yes felt that someone girl else must be behind her. She slipped them back at once. " Madame objected." she . mundane recalled her to her- She saw Vic's old slippers peep from under the fall straight of the skirt.THE MAGIC WAND very high. and the confirst sciousness of having on. " And your flowers 246 — all in good time. She saw reflected the image of a girl with same Hester Stirling a flush of colour in her cheeks. at and large eyes It was all a realm of enchantment to Hester. slightly parted as coral." ! said the old lady triumphantly. "Open the under door of that wardrobe. and even uniquely strange. smiling. This tall and — — beautiful could not be the who. Neale." said the voice of the who in looking round had noticed the action. and repressed a tendency to turn round. enjoying Hester's sur- prise with all the zest of a generous schoolgirl whose day it is to treat as for her companions. fairy prince to was no of this fairyland — only the frock. but not before the sharp eye of her Grace had caught sight of their condition. But something self. red once sparkling with excitement and dark with potentialities of passion and tears. entirely be the crowning happiness joy of living. and for once she seemed the changeling princess of her own dreams. And lo ranged in a glancing beaded row were a dozen pairs of shoes. " I had them sent up from Methven's on approval.

" All too soon you know. but meantime. pinched Her Grace laughed. " Do that to-night. will much astonished. ? " Do what " asked Hester. yet womanlike took just ing one last half-shy glance back over her shoulder. to the nape of the neck." she " but behind. Neale. and on your head with up to it. constantly broke bounds in a ripple of rebellious it 247 . and at the thought she turned away her head quickly from the pier-glass. my hearts ! lassie. in spite of braw goons and new along shoon. has had every will gamekeeper and herd on Darrochside quartering the moors It for white in heather. There sudden be a dearth of ! good luck Galloway for the next ten years came to Hester with a warm flush." all a screw-nail. and. " ! we must feed the inner woman. spread- upward about her heart. Perhaps she did not Carus would see her like this. you must plied So with her task. Providence did not stick dear. having never been so treated before. " that daft laddie. all Cams.into that dressing-gown again! finerv We play later. to the girl. and " No one can do hair keep it make show live her simple — higher my like Neale. where. smil- " and now off with your ino." . Very likely it was all in her own really look pretty." THE MAGIC WAND continued . Duchess stood by said. that Carus would be there. Come Then into afterwards Hester had again to resign herself the hands of Neale while the criticised. goodwill the swift-fingered hair Neale Hester's abundant was piled high on her head. eves. and you will break " she said. and shaking her head may and. said her Grace. gomg up and kissed her on the cheek.

that all. better. she may not be her little men third out of three count beauty. though here and there in after years heart. And after such an eager yearning to be loved as heart ! is in the child's Well." fix Left to herself. sit down and read a book — There. No. 's I must look a beauty as will her. Was ? there ever such a fairy godmother out of story- books Why. a phrase or a name stood out keenly remembered. The words did not seem to mean anything. our little Hester are is transformed. The letters on the page grew curiously fluid." made floor.' you know the old Scots proverb. not that one." 248 . The Duchess '' clapped her hands as she watched. little one." fully. bride is not take half as long as you — dowager's ' a bonny soon buskit. You may not be quite a beauty yet.THE MAGIC WAND ringlets. said the " I hope I 'm doing right. but you are something You the very image of what your grandmother was on her marriage day.) a dash and picked up the yellow cover off the "Now I will I must rush and get on my brocade. Duchess thought" What won- derful eyes ! The iris seems to have expanded so as to covel everything right to the edge of the white. (She no. which shadowed the brow softly and doubled the effect of the long dark lashes of her eyes. she has no mother. Hester tried to the novel her her attention on her. but — she two wind the man round finger. but Grace of Niddisdale had given she seemed to hear nothing but the thick beating of her and she breathed so deeply that the silk and lace on her bosom seemed to breathe too. as she submitted herself to Neale.

had written himself down on ^' his mother. and the floor of polit wood glistened emptily and." said Kipford. as seemed. Duchess said afterwards. Hester's card for half-a-dozen dances. and he had heard his grandmother rave about what she had seen when she surprised Hes- 249 . taking time by the forelock. and from beneath the wide arch of the conservatory came the tinkling waterfalls. as with the aplomb of an old ballrooms were anathema. It seemed to Hester that she must be temporarily she stood near the entrance with All her girlish fear had left somebody and the else as my her. lady of Niddisdale. to whom had kept away on purpose. But then no one ever expected anything else. was at hand and. The great ancient which dated from the time of Charles the Sec- ond. first forgot the appearance of the ball- at Scotstarvit House as she entered it for time with her Grace. illimitably ferns beneath them. He smiled to to himself as he took appropriate all advantage of her inexperience the best round dances to himself. however. as the guests began to arrive she did her share. Kip- ford danced very well.CHAPTER XXXI CARUS IN LOVE HESTER never room the chandeliers. campaigner. There was the green of there and palms of tiny and foliage evervwhere. were brilliant with ished wax candles. Niddisdale himself.

Vic in old gold. eagerly soliciting the first dance. The women wanted to get nearer in order to see the wonderful Oriental necklace of filmy gold chains. from which looked out the red eye of the ruby which her father had given her the day he sat on the stone It seat by the sun-dial in the old garden her. But the great event of the evening for Hester was at The Torphichan-Stirlings were arriving. Nevertheless. my stifFest. that he did not dance attendance She would see on her god-daughter. and day be your fortune " she said. was the only spot of colour about it. He had other fish to fry if he was to do his duty. She turned half round upon her cousin 250 . evening she did not feel Many looked life. at Arioland. lady gorgeous in black brocade of the Ethel in pink and black. with the old Frenchman own father to dance in the days of his long Carus also came up. and Claudia the statuesque in close-fitting white Hester's aunt satin. at her as she stood behind the Duchess and with a kind of inner purity and freshness shining from her that was more than beauty. and the Duchess had insisted on her vt^earing your father's blessing. Carus sufficiently had managed to outwit authority long to whisper. vivid with These were mostly men. the red and white striving and alternating on her cheek. But Ethel recognised her at a glance.CARUS ter's lesson IN first LOVE who had taught his exile. It is ! " may some hand. but his grandmother bade him be ofF. but because in the first wonderful glamour of that the need of any. bowed low to the least young lady at the Duchess's elbow without the notion who she was. my dear. and stood like one stricken. ''Will you keep third waltz ? " and Hester had nodded happily bit — not me the a because the prince had come.

but Sir Sylvanus did not even glance he him. hovered about like a dragon-fly round a gnat-haunted pool. and yet unable to leave such a wonder little little Cousin Hester. Where the prettiest girl "The you like ! Duchess gave I'll sit to me. past as if she had not seen any one but her sprang forward with a Grace. LOVE Then. out a square dance or so with me. " Hester. looking very indignant. telling And oh. I just can't you ? that you are a stunner. with her arms round Hester. whenever As the father's eye. I say. Claudia moved majes- as if about to say something. Vic. "Of course " out with you. " I But dance." demurely. to sit Tom I I slid in. young man turned away he quailed under his The eminent physician stood by a palm Hester with a kind slunk past meekly at surveying the changing group round of tigerish look on his face. " so you have been keeping all this up your sleeve. and seemed .CARUS she passed on. the prettiest in " it that dress It is ! you get the room. afraid approach too near for fear of catching the eye of the as this Duchess. Carus had come again and had departed. " Oh. recovering herself. to his hand upon moustache. in a low tone. you dear. How sold the for a enemy will be ! I would not have missed this thousand pounds his " ! And Tom. I 'm no good at that. biting her tically IN lips." he said. Tom dear. glad cry. can't ask you want you to 've got somehelp did thing to say to you. last whom he had hitherto taken so At he got his chance. Tom enough. His eyes were on Hester's necklace. and you are said Hester." she cried. who came last. of notice. however.

They seemed upborne on volition. " Her has kept father gave it it to her. stifled and menacing. in a low voice. still re- tained smell of Megsy's tea-caddy." he said to himself. watched his chance and approached Hester as she moved towards the orchestra with a message from the Duchess. Indeed." mistress " to grow up and play with "That is a lie ! " said her uncle. ! " she all the time What this. and turned away with a countenance ashen white and hands that trembled. "My For box till to me. She was perfectly happy when she glided into the first Their It was scarcely a dance. as to a murderer the shadow of a wayside cross may shape out a gallows on the dust." said Hester. " Where did you get that ? " he asked in a tone He. waiting for it. and when 252 the music stopped they . feet moved without white summer clouds. father gave And it as he spoke he laid a pulpy finger on the pigeon's blood ruby.CARUSIN LOVE fascinated by the red eye of the ruby in its network of golden chains. it to-night she had never taken out of the it little in which Megsy had kept a faint reminiscent it it. and Sylvanus shivered memory of his crime. too. dance with Kipford. blushing. if that abominable old woman has put her up to She may suspect every one me think — knows let that I made my money me think — in rubies — — let " ! Thus the " father's blessing " in that girl's came home as a curse to one guilty conscience room. The dead hand the gripped from afar. unutterably The very innocence seemed at dangerous. But even her uncle's half-heard words cast only a momentary cloud on the sweetness of Hester's dream. its where had lain so long.

"AlTKK IIIIS HkSIKK had So I.ACK UK lAK l.NKKS." .

.

that ruby must be worth some tin never my dear fellow. besides. like that girl Ethel Torphichan about " Oh. " There 's my cousin Vic over there. penitently. till at last she was reduced to shaking her head and saying. " at thought " She hesitated. " but you ! think you might have kept one or two for me. "not a Jack one — your oldest friend in the room by a great deal " I am so sorry. of course. " see I was so afraid that nobody would ask me tells to dance " at all. too. Kipford emerged about his partner. "And. Waffles ? " his comrades her by the catechism ! god-child — knew a fancy to — " Old — this girl his familv too. I full. and had counted on this experience for a long time. For he. And partners. There grand- never had been such a born dancer as mother had taken such long-lost mark And. so after this." he said. 253 . by Jove. taking I no notice of exclamation. and heard hum of voices about them sound strange to their raving resentful ears. She dances quite as well nicer as I do and is ever so much " ! For Hester did not forget her friends. very rudely for him. remembered the lesson with Monsieur. saw such a thing.CARUS the IN LOVE found themselves suddenly brought to earth. Carus Darroch came it's all for his third waltz he was "Why." continued Hester. — ! retorted. well. nonsense. and presently Vic also was entirely happy. Hester had no lack of She could have filled her card half-a-dozen times over." said Hester. When furious." said Carus. his you know. and looked her fan. But her dancing " it takes you clean off your feet " How about your head.

" you would not care to dance — with anybody " Not care " Carus was gnawing the end of his moustache now.CARUS « '* IN " LOVE much engaged with You I thought what ? thought that you would be so Ethel that else. savagely. and the necessity for " being severe with the fel- lows. and her eyes. and came looked care to and of the charm of joyous him and well-nigh made his at These brain reel. of linen clean delicate. look his father was bending upon him from the curious Lord Darroch was merely putting in behind a palm. as Carus had never been so near her A subtle essence seemed to breathe from girlhood. but Hester seemed somehow to understand. and filled with the light of excitement and happiness. Yet for the life of him he could not He was quite unconscious of get the next words out." He is had just got a new gamekeeper on purpose. large. ! his time till a suitable card party could be arranged by talking to Lady Torphichan-Stirling about the game laws. " I have not thanked you 254 for getting me the white . Carus was not a first-rate dancer like Kipford." said Carus. "just now you said I did not " Indeed." he said. before. " It time for our dance." said Hester. he But he could get no further. that in a had imparted to her partner some of her moment she own consumher. "Hester. mate ease and grace. and fell into step so wonderfully. dewy. " but I '11 take it out of that young dog Waffles when I get hold of him." They moved off. fairly dazzled him. He down her with a sudden-springing tenderness. She looked at him. did not in the least know what he wanted to say. " Are you very angry with me " ? " No. of the freshness of spring mornings.

the next dance — my " ! partner will be here in a moment said for "The coming Darroch ? next up. Waffles. and as soon were a few steps off he took his companion by the arm. murmured. a into snare. is mine." Tom. Carus was Carus. card. without finishing his former sentence. all "you disgorge! You had no business to snap up 255 the best numbers on . of course. course. " Did you see Lady Niddisdalc looking fles ? Waf- " he said. " What want with that " But Carus was gone. It Her heart was with happiness. "See here.CARUS heather. promptly. "No." he said. would soon end. IN He LOVE again. "Pardon me moment. " time you know I have been steering you all the " she said. falling where the is granny ? " said the youth. " Oh I only wish you could ? ! Do with a very clear idea now of what he meant to say. my young do you lady. Miss Vic!" as they Carus also murmured an excuse to Vic. and swooped straight down upon him. as he led her towards the conservatory. his But at that moment he saw from the doorway. He discovered Kipford talking side of the to Vic on the other for you. — ? meantime she would not think of And " " I wish you would lend can't minute I me your programme for a " he said. quietly. " Carus began. shamelessly. of that. room. and nicer Carus than anybody else. but well. and dropped them only let Carus till himself go the music ceased. father watching him "Yes?" beating fast queried Hester." she did not try to speak again.

stick Stick to pudding. There you are. rebelliously. all." Carus was jubilant. you unutterable beast " growled Kipford. except one " Yes. attend to me. Waffles " to pudding ! ! — ! Swiftly. She blushed hotly the thought. The hours fled past. Let boy. making a triumph. I " Because have just seen her card. and I know for has the vacancies. " Oh. " I 've licked you before. Waffles dear." said the Duchess. me mark your tally ! you. seem great chums all of a sudden. and you can sit them out with Vic You over there." Waffles had not been a fag in vain. all too swiftly. if I have to take you down when Now . this very night." said Carus. it was in no way her He had done without 256 . " too much candy is not good for little boys. " You 've gone and nicked staring at his mangled card. my dear." and she " 1 '11 be hanged if I do.CARUS Hester Stirling's card IN I LOVE I was dancing attendance 'm going to have the rest of on the dowagers. smilingly. " and I am glad you are not dancing too much with any one man." said Carus. Carus had after it just returned her the amended at fault. " all the waltzes. these bar one. my children. Still. mildly. " Now. and I '11 lick you softly again yes." said Waffles." are "You Hester's conscience smote her a little. my Go in and win Bless you. " But how do you know that Victoria ? I can make it up with she " he grumbled. — to the billiard-room to do it. list of her engagements. the tides of this New World swept Hester onwards. I don't think you '11 mind much. and he weakened.

sharpening them upon that young lady's more selfish hatred. Hester danced on seemed to herself as well as creature. stared Ethel with such lofty surprise. his voice as he carried her through the dark woods. there was something dull leaden infinitely more deadly behind the Torphichan. all unconscious. others a She to different Like a flower that bourgeons in the sunshine after genial rain. There was something masterful She seemed to hear foot.CARUS telling IN LOVE it her. and to feel the sickening pain jn her lame Again she thrilled at the touch of his lips as he extracted the thorn. the girl actually in seemed to alter visibly She this atmosphere of kindness and admiration. so innocently After all these dark happy to be thought pretty. and vent. so full of the gall of bitterness as Ethel's angry In the whirl of every round dance she kept an eye upon her cousin. that she was compelled turn elsewhere to give her malice spiteful as But acid and the two girls were. was so glad to be able to please people. the girl — none. that did not occur to Hester to object to being made the subject of exchange and barter. however. brow and lack-lustre eyes of the eminent physician and philan- thropist. repressed years it was wonderful to find that she had the power of making others happv with a smile. sets She sat out the square speeches. about Carus Darroch always. as iron sharpeneth iron. 17 257 . of feeling perfectly Again she tasted the blessed safe in his hands. howstill ever. But when she came to deliver them to Carus Darroch. Sir Sylvanus Meantime. It is strange. with a heart that secreted ill-natured These she proved on Claudia. somehow they seemed to fail of their effect. at He to had a grave air of preoccupation. relief Meanwhile many eyes watched blue ones.

mildly. "I say. if you don't look out " All right. and Kipford." — " Vl'^affles. He had altered was always Carus her card most unscrupulously. " look out for squalls from your governor to-morrow and. by the way. How could she be interested in the inanities of this and that fool ? — — Are not the decorations perfect What very poor champagne they are giving did you ever see the like? Have you been down to supper ? (He thanked Heaven he had forestalled them there. He had taken the bit between his teeth. " I thought that in it it time past I I had done my duty by you. short. He did not care for his father or anybody's father. dear boy.) That idiot of a Tom not Tom. that 's all ! ! But Carus did not want to be warned." said Carus. The pattern constant with earnest young men. He was madly in love. " I was only warning you. old man." he whispered once in a pause. so unconscious ? way and that by the primal " How could she appear Why did 258 . Sir Apothecary looks pretty dusty too. and so forth. but tomfool what could she have to laup-h about with him ? What if they were in love with each other all the time Tom never went to balls why had he come to this and you like " Do the floor ? ! — — ! . Dance now." rejoined Kipford over his " shoulder. shook a surreptitious list at his cousin. solacing himself with Vic.CARUS after IN LOVE terribly It But the time was growing dance winged itself away. He owned it to himself. but appears that is have not yet impressed upon you that your best policy to mind your own business. stayed all is night ? " And so forth. I shall try again and " succeed. It was pain to see Hester give even her hand to another man. driven this ardencies of love.

passing on Kipford's arm. — — 259 . and he luould do alone together for ever and ever.V. her eyes once to his as he stood gloomily apart." But just then Hester. ? ! IN LOVE little is She was a hard-hearted of that unconscious sort which ever the most he would dismiss the matter Pshaw deadly. to the North Pole wild and desolate place where they would be sufficiently 3^^j. and his — he lifted She heart went into his throat with the ! suddenness of physical pain. would think no more about such a girl. ever any one so lovely ? " with desire to carry her Pacific Isles. to " What an angel Was He tingled to his finger-tips to the off" there and then to any Hampstead. . smiled. too.CARUS she never look at him flirt.

tunity ready-made from the hands of fate. who were raging jointly and severally to fly at Hester's throat as soon as they got her away. To-morrow her Grace was leaving England for some time — "we must little all patch up the we not?" — would frail tabernacle. Stirling's reply. young. must Lady Torphichan-Stirling permit ? Hester to stay with her that night Perhaps on another occasion one of Lady Stirling's daughters would take pity on a lonely old own beautiful woman. in the way in which had enjoyed the ball — seniors like themselves could expect to enjoy such things enjoyment in seeing the Yet she was forgetting in comparison with her Grace. He listened eagerly for Lady in Torphichana difficulty. Lady Torphichan-Stirling would of a really old woman. extend her kindness yet a little — happiness of the further.CHAPTER XXXII THE WORM TURNS WHEN — finding he came to himself he heard his grand- mother talking quickly and persuasively to Lady Torphichan-Stirling. Sir Sylvanus. 260 . Here was an opporHe would ask Kipford to put him up at Scotstarvit House for the night. That excellent lady was obviously She had had her instructions from Ethel and Claudia. Carus picked up heart of hope. Lady Torphichan-Stirling was still among She must therefore humour the caprices the juveniles. Her Grace of Niddisdale hoped that her dear friend at least.

But never ! And I '11 send you some of your ordinary togs for the morning. " Eth is as sulky as a bear with a sore head." " You will have to stiffen your back to-morrow. But Sarah will bear me out that nothing else does justice to the facts. Pleasant. turned to say good-bye to Vic. now indeed her fate was come the But her aunt received her with an ominous an intimation that at and the request of Duchess she was to remain the night at Scotstarvit Hester thanked her aunt falteringly. you arc always kind." was that oft-hand young lady's " "Nicest ball I ever was at. dear. feeling that her." " Thank you.THE WORM TURNS But the Baronet himself struck shoulder. " I never was at any other. and then House." he said in manner. little girl. dear head of the stairs. Hester came up with Vic. his softest my dear Duchess. " but it has been very nice." So no alternative to collect remained to Lady Torphichan- Stirling but her brood and make ready to sail down upon chill the stairs of Scotstarvit House." whispered Vic." little said Hester. certainly. don't you think so? reply. smiling. old girl. you see. Tom and I will pull you through somehow the morning. giving her friend an impulsive hug at the 261 . Vic. is n't it ? She won't be any better in mind. am speak of a relative of my dear wife's in this manner." said Hester. "it was indeed most kind that your interest Grace should till yourself in the child. I She to succeeded to a heritage of disgrace. and get all your news about everything. Her sorry life lately has been such a sad and unfortunate one. Look at her face now. in over his wife's " Certainly. " See you to-morrow morning. .

" sighed the Duchess fire sinking into a chair in the cardroom. daughter down to supper as was your bounden duty." in. all the way home in that horrid old carriage " ! The and there Baronet smiled upon his niece as he went out. Carus. where a had been kept up by the whist party under the auspices of my Lord Darroch. sir I am not pleased Why did you not take the apothecary's with you. " Thank heaven. . seeing that his heart is so weak. what are you doing here ? Why " ? have n't you gone all off to your rooms with said the rest " " I wanted to see you been having the safe to bed. wonderful is a kind Providence. But was something in the unsmiling eyes at once so baleful and so threatening that Carus's vague instinctive Hester dislike for the distinguished physician changed into frantic hatred upon the spot." Carus muttered the first excuse that came into his I when have it a pretty girl staying with will see to that ! — head." beautiful. Master Carus. that 's over. Carus. sir ? You know your father was watching you like a lynx. and he will excite himself over it when you meet which is bad for him. is I 've painters and Kipford giving me a bed in his dressing-room till the smell goes off a bit!" " old How lady. sighed the " it is simply the fitness which arranges that these dispensations shall always take place me. " No. looked up at him even gratefully. But I you do not profit by the Providence which rules the outgoings and incomings of painters. " Hello. You have not behaved at all well.THE WORM TURNS *' Now I 'm ofF to be the pariah of a virtuous estab- lishment. you can't get out of 262 it that way.

" Carus began. till The box of former made no remark his father's cigars. but Now going do not care a biscuit was talking to the whom you marry.grandmother jested continually about air that told it. Then parently in it. The opportunity Hester came up with Kipford. more — eh Darroch — pity her people " ? He stopped in surprise. the way in to the smoking-room. times His father had told him so frankness.THE WORM TURNS I saw you I a moment I before when I mother. for Cams had turned the face 263 . I would not make her unhappy for the world. But somehow Her Grace had always been good to him. to see that you do not make my sweet unhappy till you have got your Lord-High" Masterly mind made up And she nodded to Hester. yet with an how thoroughly she understood the passed. ap- the long tumbler with the ice tinkling "No arc not end of a fine Lnrl that. who. and was promptly whisked upstairs by the Duchess out of Kipford led his sight. he spoke. without to looking at his friend. His. idea of confessing his love He had and throwing himself on his grandmother's goodwill. necessity. "You wrong some vague he could mc. was watching with interest the contractor's men putting out the candles and removing the decora- am httle friend ! tions of the ballroom. not muster the courage. and let a soda-water bottle with a loud report. but he had always that he a known must marry money. and then he stopped. Carus he had opened a new the gas escape from gloomily following his wake. under the escort of Kipford. thousand with brutal Niddisdale had impressed the need upon him with dignified clearness.

unless you look out. go slow ! much to-night." said Kipford. if like death and hell following after. Vic Torphichan. You were too far gone to see your governor lying off in the wings. old man." said Kipford. I see! And you of that little girl granny has swept off upstairs with her. "Why. laughing a little uneasily. at Kipford as he had suddenly gone " Of whom have you been talking all this time ? " he asked. lick him in the days of " Her people are as good as yours better than mine " he said. he is her father ! with her?" " if Carus looked crazy. into a laugh. you will get that sweet little Hester into trouble. " Yes. fiercely. Go did slow. 264 . of course!" Kipford broke "Oh. Carus." Carus tried a counter. " Don't jump down a fellow's throat. lighting a cigar.THE WORM TURNS upon him with which he used to his fagship. it is my business. "And how self about Vic? What will your father say " ? to the shameless way you have been conducting your- with that young lady all the evening "No good. I mistake not. and the medico-Baronet watching you both with a face on him But I saw. you will not only get into a jolly mess yourself. " you know yourself you don't much cotton to that sanctimonious doctor ! — humbug *' ? '' " And what has he to do Why. but what may weigh with you more. Carus. Carus. and. You know you danced And pray how often " ? with her far too you dance with your Ethel Carus muttered a fierce rejoinder. coldly.

But unless you mean like girl — me down my well." his ex-fag. turning upon pretty well "you know me — I do mean to grandfather stand up to the pack. if should not have cared a domino all he had. — you "It sounds me ragging you about a the cirl can tell me to depart to shades of the unsainted dead. Kip. it. that I am give me my head in the in matter. of the aged. do. Dad wasn't Thirdly." cried Kipford. My why 1 father and my have played the deuce with the property pleasure. listen don't need to go for dollars vou Carus. bob Jolly good thing he did n't see you do my young man " Look here. to Fourthly. mv boy. the words is of wisdom girl. and a lastly. my dear friend. Vic a jolly from the lips good fellow. First. jolly cheek. they are pretty in such a hurrv for they will I well sure see me to niarrv. said Carus Darroch. " ! Now I take up the collection. fall me again Now love. as Vou do. I all. you please Carus smoked furiously. but did not reply. My wig. or you can jolly well kick ancestral stairs. I for their own don't see should sacrifice myself to 265 . That 's one of the governor's in regalias! They " ! stand him about ten that. standing up to the whole wolf's pack. alone ! Carus threw " his scarce-lighted cigar in the fire.THE WORM TURNS "it isn't youi' case at there to see. except for the Oxford business. Amen. Kipford threw himself on a lounge and elevated feet his over the back of a contiguous chair. if that little Hester of yours were to her last in she would put '11 copper on the if board. and does not care a rap whether she ever sees or not. " leave that little a good fellow. starting and rescuing in a " you are best apiece. Secondly. fine bad way.

as though all were a newlythere discovered truth. that " In the ! was a girl fit to compare with her At which. interval of still Kipford began (as it nod and wake up again with a jerk seemed. and this without 266 . I it. Hester was back in the pink dressing-gown and assisting the weary Neale to prepare the old lady for bed in so far as that — energetic dame would permit of any interference with her toilet. up in her Grace's boudoir. And if I can make her love me. The Duchess had been making a proposal to Hester which set that young woman's eyes fairly aflame anew. I am going to marry her in spite of fifty fathers and all the apothecaries in creation " ! Kipford threvv^ himself out of his lounge with a bound. am going to do it. Kipford nodded for the fiftieth time and relapsed into unconsciousness. finding himself directly appealed to. cheerily.THE WORM TURNS If I can make that little girl love me for myself. till ! Count your Waffles this " ! there was a long at last and Kipford the arranged himself to listen at his ease far into when Carus little began to talk carried at on and on to about in Hester Stirling. " Shake After night ! " he cried. after the his friend many years) to hear the voice of it proclaiming. to Then he narrated inordinate till length everything that had occurred since. little He extended a hand across the old-fashioned knife- box which held the decanters. me boy silence. This was no less than that she should accompany her Grace to Homburg as her companion. " in I 'm wid yez. First he told of the night the wood when he had her home her grandmother. world " never Meanwhile.

thcv must start the following morning.7^ H E WORM TURNS In fact. and a flush came upon her cheek as she confessed it to herself." and she stay right creditable. does not seem to pcnnv-piece. a selfish is Her Grace of Niddisdale "Well. ! — you can if That is And now with you to bed to cross I am I not so young as you. And so in fact want to go to Homburg quite much she had thought when first her friend mentioned the project. vou. neither more nor the trouble and so saved children. It was a hard task for Hester to refuse. I suppose I am said." 267 . felt that she could not thus run But she away from those who. my dear. He could if she both a never be anything to her. sighed. must get some sleep before starting out to catch the mid-day mail. of course. It was foolish. and I am to-morrow. waiting a day longer. " and your impulse to But it old woman. she did not really want to leave London just then. me that you owe these people a They have made a nursery-governess of less. themselves of looking after their how write off^ the matter strikes me. Also. owed them little kindness. me if But never mind you change vour mind. but during the last dance he she did as had asked her to be not his friend. had at least given her home and an education during three years. She could not go away without consulting Revvie and Megsy.

CHAPTER XXXIII THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN was on the stroke of noon when Hester rang the of the house in Empress Gate. and had gone straight home from Charing Cross. She knew well that for the happiness of the past twenty-four hours she must pay by enduring the wrath of the Blue Drawingroom. and possibly the coldness of her aunt. Timson opened to her and stepped back instantly. but she had no premonition of any particular trouble in store for her. These three were standing about the table in constrained attitudes. She had seen the Duchess start for Dover. Timson " said Hester. Timson opened large. " Good morning. and in an armchair by the fire her aunt was rocking herself to and fro fronted by her uncle and upper lips. IT bell ! and tripped into the hall with her usual dainty swiftness. Very carefully Timson closed the great door behind her. Hester looked about her bewildered. removing her gloves as she did so. and then with the step of an avenger of blood he preceded the girl to the study. clean-shaven the door and she found herself con- two men clad in grey. brightly. Hester's heart was beating quickly. It little back room was mostly sacred still called Sir Sylvanus's to the vagaries of sub- committees from the philanthropical general meetings held in the great drawing-room. with and with a general sense of cast-iron about them. But that 268 . with a handkerchief to her eyes.

and was accompanied by that haughty throwing forward of the left knee which one sees in political statues. And Lady fro the words a kind of whimpering sob burst from Torphichaji-Stirling. I uncle. He only indicated her with his hand. hut her aunt snatched awav her arm. own room " Yes." he said. certainly. Sir know \ou were here Timson showed me in by mistake. toad Even then Hester would have followed Lady 269 Tor- . l^his is the unhappy girl. the ideal which Sir Svlvanus kept before him. " said the baronet. and she rocked faster herself to and than ever. one. roll of papers held did not in the left This was. "this — perhaps up in it. as cultivated for addressing his con- stituents. and caught up her which said as plain as print. "why are you crying?" And in the pity of her heart she would have accoma gesture ! panied the lady as she went out. He was It holdin ing his head a fact.THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN there could be anything worse than that in store for her. " iVIy dear. " What is it." did not little with any Svlvanus did not answer directly. released another fold of chin. in fact." she said. aunt ? " cried Hester. were. brightly ." said this model wife. " Good morning. now thoroughly bewildered. solemnly. Sylvanus. and perhaps is a very painful would be better if you did not mix yourself Had you not better retire for a time to your it to his wife. skirt with " Avaunt. " I beg your pardon. in company with a togaesque frock-coat and a hand. manner he This. He " at answer Hester directly. the more it erect than usual. turning suavely round matter. if you think so. she did not dream. was.

smiling. Hester in Stirling. " It means. as had been accidentally. all could be put right by a simple explanation. "Why. Sylvanus maintained his attitude of the incorruptible tribune. "What is the meaning of Sir this?" asked Hester. " that you. She did not even feel the dreadfulness of her position. in minutely inspected He pointed out something in his an undertone to companion. The accusation did not seem a real one. forensically. Without doubt." he said. uncle. and then he Hester. own and given it to her to keep the necklace Hester opened the brown morocco." And pocket. cried "you cannot be or else this have had I you are dreadfully mistaken. still turning to her uncle. turn stuck the glass in his eye. "do you mean brown this " ? she took a little leather case out of her The Duchess it when Hester took the case from her had asked to look at the ruby off the night before. *'Why. My old 270 . considering the " stone alone. ever since I can remember. and.THE TWO CAS T-I RON MEN phichan-Stirling from in the room. men came The it. of twelve hundred pounds ! Hester did not faint.of the breath the two forward to look. one of the cast-iron men his grey moved to open the door for if it the lady of the house. but with the most noiseless of footsteps and quite unobtrusively." serious. elder of little them took the necklace and pulling a his glass out of his pocket. and with a kind of interested indrawino. in his hand. and had lifted dressing-table in. Hester and the last he interposed body between all trundling rustle of her relative's silken train. she said. are accused of stealing from a cabinet this room a certain gold necklace of Oriental workmanship central with ruby clasp of the value.

the least grateful his father. held it in like one who would Sir "Cut the cackle and come to the point. however. and given it to me 'to play with when I grew up. "Various articles have been from time to time. be good enough to repeat this the presence of " young person. and malevolent disposition. in saw the as the ruby which you hold your hand worn recognised six. told me that my father had from India. and it brought ago only gave " ! it to me when Sir I came to London three years " Will you. mechanical way. I Three years ago Lady Torphichan-Stirling and received her into our She has never shown herself in has been done for her. is my wife's who was expelled the house and disinherited by house out of charity. Hester niece. in Sylvanus. and once missing one of a set of exactly similar. but nothing that we could be definitely sure of without a shadow of mistake. lest I should lose it. which . or somewhere. a ball However. of a spiteful. and snapped and re-opened the an absent-minded and cleared his throat. so my wife and daughters inform me.THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN nurse. what you have cast-iron already told us ? The first elder of the two men spoke for the time. Sylvanus " This young woman. but the for anything that cast-iron man opened plain sight — the brown case and say. He held the Duchess's brown morocco box catch in Sir in his hand. She kept in her trunk. at I given by the Duchess of Niddisdale." Sylvanus missed accordingly proceeded more succinctly. as at last night.' he said. Megsy it Tipperlin. all it an ornament by Hester Stirling." Sir Sylvanus was lengthening his periods. the daughter of a brother Stirling. peevish. being naturally.

" that anything you say will be used in evidence against you. which you say has been in " Indeed. if yes. as his the iniquity to of mankind saddened heart. with one's family. Is there this You may any one in if you like answer my you London to whom ? have shown your possession ever since you can remember " No. of course. with grave and sorrowful urbanity. " but not enough go upon. "Can we see the other similar necklaces — the five which. the elder first made sure of his facts. "to keep a jewel worth twelve hundred pounds in an unlocked school chest. Then man spoke again. " I do not think so. make up the set ? " Certainly." said Sir Sylvanus. " And this forthwith taking a bundle of keys little out of his pocket he selected one and opened a wallpress. just about it till the afternoon of the before Duchess of Niddisdale's." said Hester. even remotely." said the baronet.THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN has been lost ever since the first month she spent in my " house." Hester was about to speak. From he drew out a 272 tray. questions." " A very likely story. The men . with this one. the show it to any of her cousins resident governess. I ball. forgot all necklace. and besides one is naturally very slow to harbour so terrible a doubt concerning any one connected. contemptuously. ^' man with the It is my duty to warn you." he said in a severe official tone. in whose company she has been all " day and every day for three years I went out to the — ! Sir Sylvanus had. and never either wear it or or to Miss Martin." said Sir Sylvanus. but the ruby held up his finger." Had you no ? the ball suspicion of the " said the younger of the " Suspicion — young woman before two men.

will also be responsible for this tray with contents. not even touched the jewel. Then I he addressed Hester. while the middle there was a vacant place. sir. 1 " he I am afraid that must ask you accompany us. you received from Will you be good enough to examine the marking on the back of the setting and " see if you can discern anything ? The more important of the two men took out his glass again. 68. realise who was to only now beginning to her danger." said Sir Sylvanus " at the is numbers run continubottom of each ina little dented division of the case there ticket — 65. the ously. gentlemen. it is 67 which is Now you have seen. Davies. each occupying in place on the white velvet. start five its E N and bent down their heads beautiful replicas There lay of Hester's jewel. Something metallic tinkled there." The younger thrust his of the cast-iron his men stood erect and hand into overcoat pocket. These numbers are also on the 66. Anything you have to say you can say to the inspector 18 273 ." he said. " be good enough to come along with me. when this was accomplished." its said. back of the setting of the clasps. "You will observe that . that I have wanting. of for- eign appearance and quite unintelligible.THE TWO CAS T-l RON M gave an involuntary eagerly. miss. 69." said the detective. don't think that will be necessary. in if you." " Now. get a four-whccler." he said. which the hands of Hester Stirling. will give mc a piece of newspaper which to wrap it. kindly enough. " Davies. " and a little in lower down the number 67 more roughly scratched English figures. " see some faint marks very delicately done. *' I His senior turned about quickly. 67. 70. and screwed I it into his eye.

" Timson and hall as his companion stood procession filed to attention in the out. This he did with the same nonchalance as if it had been to Westminster Abbey or the nearest music-hall." "Very well. Hester's lips were quivering. opened the door of the ancient and battered fourwheeler and showed Hester in very respectfully. though this ! " a dis- tant tittering intimated to Hester that Ethel and Claudia said Sir watched from an upper landing. " I think I will follow in a hansom. who the night before had driven Hester to Scotstarvit House. and she clasped and unclasped her hands piteously. accompany vanus Torphichan-Stirling to Ebury Street. even for at five minutes. Sir Syl- " Davies. if he is still sitting. With a face which gradually hardened his to the official look of cast-iron the inspector listened while Sir Syl- vanus reeled off well-prepared narrative. " We set ex- pected nothing else ever since the first day we eyes on young female Nobody else was to be seen anywhere. and a general appearance of saying. bat so far she kept a brave grip upon herself. Syl- He of did not relish sitting opposite to the pale set face his niece. He had a of his own about her age." vanus. He was 274 .THE TWO CAS T-I RON MEN at the station or to the magistrate in court. At the Ebury Street police-station they found a bluff inspector busy with a multitude of papers." he said. He looked up in surprise as his eves fell upon a pale girl interesting face. with noses in the sad little the air. how to go to the police-station. Then he held the handle while he directed the verv deaf old He cabman. The senior detective looked quickly him. The inspector winced.

am largely interested in them. " I knew from the girl that no milder course would be of any avail. deal in " " You I precious sir ? he asked. had had the custody of it till within the last year or two. in league with the girl." stammered Svlvanus. dismissed . could prove it. She." if " Do not interrupt. but he had the ingrained respect ot' all officials for members of upon the the Lower House. received a sudden backset. you please. and that Megsy Tipperlin. "you will have an opportunity of adding anything you may think necessary to your statement afterwards. The woman referred to. would doubtless prove a lesson to her. the the House with the hands purse-strings.THE TWO CAS T-I RON MEN touched by Hester's face. He did not betray the least animus. not improbably. looking up. told his tale well. is a servant of my wife's. indeed." The verified inspector carefully examined stones. He did not wish Here." interrupted the baronet " quite untrustworthy "she is and is. ^75 . — more sorrow than He did not wish to prosecute if This tjirl would confess and restore the jewellery. young " said the inspector. " Because. She would only deny and continue to persist character of the in her denials." said the inspector." said Sylvanus. P. And in M. however. "Then why did you send for us ? " asked the senior detective quickly. I may say. quietly. the He spoke quietly and to the point in anger. Hester repeated her statement that she had possessed the ruby as long as she could remember. her old nurse. he for publicity on his wife's account." " What ladv have you ? to say in answer to this charge. as she has done before in other matters. and the markings. the " jewels.

" he settle. Miss Stirling." a question This was not perfectly safe. at once. certainly. barred windows far round at the back. She sat down stunned and dazed. The horror of the fact was enough to blacken all else. sighing. She did not feel angry with her uncle. but still so far as plain wood and bare boards were concerned merely a whitewashed prison-cell. Any letters you may write will be forwarded I am in afraid. But within the memory of man no inhabitant of the parish had ever seen the inside of tinker one. Riswold. and once when till a travelling became out- rageous in the abuse of marital privileges so that he had to be locked up he sobered down. though. that detain you the meantime. the whole country- side talked about the matter for a It month. her spirits far below the point when she could have wept because of this awful thing that had befallen her. for that matter. Such were felt to be already far down the broad road. was this inconceivable disgrace. if you please and " ! And that so with appalling suddenness Hester found herairiest. said. and the more daring boys used to rattle upon them with a stick and then run away. self alone in a prison-cell. and no fear of the 276 . " it is not a matter I can I shall have to But if sufficient security be forthcoming I may admit you to bail. window. John there was a police office.THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN reddening. he knew that his secret was The inspector bit the end of his pen and gazed meditatively out of the " Well. No. For this purpose you are permitted to communicate with your friends. 5. in rubies especially. " it is well known that I have been so for many years. In the village It had certain of St. he cared to be exact about. the best Ebury Street could boast.

THE TWO CAS 1 -I RON MEN result. and staring at she had been supplied by Riswold. so that when the police if inspector followed in a few minutes to ask she had finished her letters. for instance ? " *' She has gone abroad this morning " Do you know no one here to whom you can appeal ? " idea the lady of rank " The He had " I shot through Hester's brain . — " Carus of " ! as he had he would help her again. which was my father's. taken me to this place. She gave him hers without a thought. know the Master of Darroch. at upon the the writing materials with which Hester looked " she said. " as if she did not understand the question. They say I have stolen the ruby I wore last night." she said. that struck Hester dumb. I would have asked Lady Niddisdalc what to do. manner of his race and caste. him vaguely. "Have you not written to your friends?" he asked. but with a kind accent." : "Dear Carus — They have She was after the still sitting with the pen in her hand when Carus itself entered. My friends are far away in — in Scotland " Have you no friends in London — ! ! whose house you stayed last night. shortly enough. Perhaps you can tell me. Please come to me as soon as you can. Lady Niddisdale's helped her before done in the grandson. expressed by an unusual particularity of address and calm of manner. The Scotch title courtesy sounded strange to the policeman. table she wrote simply But Hester remem- bered the address of his rooms. a white and furious anger in his heart. Darroch woods. what is this ? " he said. which. . he found her sitting blankly one chair. " Hester. save would now be right. her eyes shining gratefully up 277 that all at him. and sitting : — down at the There is some dreadful mistake. holding out both his hands.

smiling. ! My uncle Sylvanus " she said. ^' Can you tell me all about it ? " said Carus. taking the points " You have had it three years and have never shown it to any one in London. " Sit down and take your time. It them away of this place " ! He had ascertained that two London householders would be accepted as bail in such a case. and look at it she used to me as a favour after she dressed me for church on Sabbath mornings. and the to the look on his face boded man or woman whose name he was " to hear.THE TWO CAST-IRON MEN " Who has done this ill ? " Carus demanded. He nodded his head as she proceeded. know those who are. am not a householder. but that was given to you " ? in her presence by your own kept father. Is not that so " Yes. becoming in those conscious that her hands were she drew of Carus. Hester then related the story of her leaving the Duchess at the railway station and going directly to Empress Gate. we have in Scotland a witness who can it not only prove absolutely that the ruby necklace has been in your possession since childhood." 278 . " we must get you out of this place first. She always had for me. It bears a running number with the rest of like a lawyer. We will soon have you out slowly." said Carus. seemed not to matter at all that a policeman stood watching them curiously. let It was in the bottom of her trunk." it said Hester. still and then. I shall not be long. I am going off to get but I bail. the set in the possession of Sir Sylvanus their case. — that will be On the other hand. " Megsy knows that. The inspector had told him this on his way through the office. and settle I about the rest after." " Well. I fear. You wore it at the ball.

and Lord Darroch fell back. My pain in the region of his Lord Darroch went about for several days with Adam's apple. Carus did not lift his hand in defence." he cried. 279 . with such a dowry as would make all your life easy. His father took a forward as if to strike him. to Think of what think I will be of what every mix yourself up in one will " thought you were a gentleman. ^^ ^^^ it." said Carus. choked off the father's throat with sofa. " If you throw away your only chance. furiously. stride my lord. " I swear that all you will inherit from me will be an empty title. have nothing to do with the disgraceful affair. both hands sat before flinging him down on the where he long dazed. his (jrace was at home sec him." cried Lord Darroch. a prettv girl. " I will you are a fool.CHAPTER XXXTV THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE " /^IR. and you choose to throw away all that for the sake of a thief — ah-h-h rest " ! Li this futile manner ended Lord Darroch's denunHis son had of the sentence by compressing his ciation of the folly of youthful quixotry. Carus sped next to Scotstarvit House as fast as carry him. his face turning an ugly kind of greyish white. And " I forbid you said. You have a chance to marry a good girl. his ears ringing with the tumultuousncss of his son's departure. a a — would hansom would Yes.

will all tell the truth. Hester. we had take James bring him. " Oh. I boy. my What. yes. was Vic who was speaking kill his " and to I (sob) — Tom will won't ever go back did too. It will be too much plain Jim Chetwynd. Carus. " and I generally hunt together " " Thank you a thousand thanks. dear Vic. what that 's the girl ! matter ? Sit down. uncle " Not at all. Won't your like the old come along? No my I — hem-hem. will — ! yes. he found that these were A vague sense of disappointment seized upon him when Tom and Vic Torphichan. though. I all live — Carus entered. better will meet you at the station. Tom It looked as if he were about to fight a duel and had as determined to man. and such a dear meet on. the very first night you came and made me ride to (sob) and Devonshire cream. dear boy. He Yes. oh. I assure you. Vic's face was swollen. ! Carus. me. I to swear (sob) that you showed me the ruby. the beasts have money of we together — my own (sob) in a cottage with roses pony But I 've thought of something. you must not think of such a thing. and her eyes red with crying. told The nostrum-vending me all about her.THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE " boy. I told them so. Chetwynd with us in this. dear boy father — unto think the half of my I kingdom. no. Why. We Why. are you back already and they cannot harm " ? . I 'm almost — ! sorry your friend sailing for is innocent. yes." Carus returned to the Ebury Street office When he found that Hester had two friends already with her. ? pretty scoundrel Bail — of course just My mother has I will. he will be the other security. Carus. 'm going tell promise not to ! There — I will " ! Hester was smiling now.

I fix The charge a very grave the amount Mr. will " his will make one. Mr. " Certainly. you is will see. "This is his Grace the Duke of Niddisdalc." he cried at all) . said. smiling. gloomily still biting softly fingers of his Vic was in hers. Chetwynd. one. well. follower of big game — what was the truth. but. place Scotstarvit It had not occurred to them that some for must be found Hester to remain overnight." said pounds apiece. at this point two gentlemen waiting there of bail." "Very promptly other! " •. and looked each other with a kind of embarrassment. lady at House had no the head of it since 281 ." said the voice of Inspector Greig. Perhaps we had better adjourn into the office. one of the most famous criminal lawyers of the day. and the Duke came took Hester's hand. and his whole appearance betokened sportsman. Chetwynd.THE TELEGRAM ON '"• CARUS'S TABLE . " as I young lady to bail." will admit the said the inspector. the hard rider. Grace at two securities of a thousand Inspector." — " there are I presume on the matter forward and They all went out. and my name is Chetwynd James Chctwvnd. " There. I be the the Tom Torphichan gloves. rather than. the figure must be heavy. stood apart. crying and the holding Hester's hand Presently they all stood at outside the station in gathering dusk. there. " don't cry all (^Hester had not it will soon be right " ! The Duke's little girl voice sounded just as if she had been a hurt her who had fallen down in the mud and hands. the He was keen-bitten tall and athletic the in figure." said the second — man.

" but when it is true you home that can say it with so said much more there elan^ 're you know. sullenly. " I have a friend. " No. " Now. Chetwynd hotel . She had drawn Hester's arm through her own." said Vic. " Yes." said Tom." almost certainly end — — a thorough-going black-leg conspiracy." " I can say that in any case." clean off the eggs. we must be said in the court by ten — James Chetwynd. " I can't let you come any further so that you can — say at you don't know where I am. James Chetwynd " *' It is — sighed a sigh of relief. each vaguely resentful of the presence of the other. spirits. " Madame the Countess Ecouis not far " ! " ! Even Mr." Tom. I know." she Saucy les said. " I am deucedly sorry my wife Mr." said " perhaps we had better take you to an " ! Help came from Vic. you are to go straight home." Vic chatted incessantly. Carus and Tom were momentarily without suggestion. gloomily silent. The two young men strode behind. eked out by spite. The — river lay in a purple and russet gloom beneath. is out of town. and now held her fingers whilst she stroked and patted the back of her hand. " you 282 . in the Albert Bridge Road. That will give me time to look into this whole business. then. " It will in a remand to allow us to procure our Scotch evidence. In this order they reached the corner of the bridge.THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE the departure of the Duchess. Carus walked south-westward with Vic and She was in the highest Tom. or as I am more inclined to think to-morrow morning. Tom will take us Remember." said Vic. It is either a mistake. Tom.

"1 will know what I think." "Thank believe so." said " I don't know what I should have done but Stayed in prison. Your But no doubt he thinks he father has made a mistake. looking at Vic had turned at the first sound of the sob." she said. " but you must not get into trouble for me. I suppose. If Hester. That 's try it to 's all the fault of that beast Eth." said Vic." was good of you to think of me first. thank you a thousand times. for you. Tears flooded the smarting eyes." struck Carus that there was not a great affection family abroad wondered vaguely how feeling. " Hester " ! said Carus. Tom growled. suppressed He " had forgotten about Tom and Vic." he said. It my opinion. and now she caught Hester swiftly by the arm and drew her tone. keeping her hand jealously. No more to-night. in a deep. He only saw his love going apart from him. all her disengaged hand. cousin Tom. else I ? " she whispered. my amount of amongst them. but the waving him off with same smiling at him encouragingly over her shoulder.THE TELEGRAM ON It 's CARUS'S TABLE I always when I am telling the gospel truth that don't get believed. 2S3 . away. foot. you. and he Lord Darroch's throat was "And Hester. Vic directed Tom's atten" It tion to a passing barge. A " up quick sob shook Hester from head to dr\'. making them large and could ask of the deepest blue. is acting rightly. Whom him." Hester held out her hand to him. "It was kind of you to come." to said you want Tom. Carus.

284 . vaguely. end the He could have Hester for the asking. was rather good of him. Furthermore. it a kind of patronage in his quiet also. yet he never once in left all room. He did not He stood around the ball- a corner watching Hester as she flying feet. cared much about Hester before. girls smarter but — Hester was Hester. so far as he knew. — when She was a nice Tom got The that. " I suppose I shall see you " in the morning ? "I am coming with you. But now the glaring injustice of which she was the victim. pretty too. fluttered with Madame Celine's chiffons floating about her like butterfly's wings. some laziness Hester. On the whole. and in time ready. Then Carus turned Tom. and the consciousness that Carus had done more for her than he could. now have He had found out that he cared for felt it as a possibility before." said Tom. who appeared determined that his friend should take no unfair advanFor strange things were working in the heart of tage. Hester nodded happily as often as she noticed him. had never had a sweetheart." Who was Carus Darroch that he should come between them ? It was the bitterest of Tom's meditations that he should only Hester but Stirling. ! " Good night " he said. Tom Torphichan. little thing. ball and Hester's shining success changed dance. he had had a cheerful sense that he had only to speak in order to uncertainty.THE TELEGRAM ON The two young men to CARUS'S TABLE girls till stood watching the they disappeared round the corner. There were There had been assurance. He had not. inarticulate soul. For three years it had been " Hester " and " Tom. she should have her reward. brusque. he knew. had roused a tumult in his brave.

a French people. Madame la Comtesse and L Allow me to present Mees Hestaire Stirleeng. ? That a ass with the hair parted his face ! down what smirk he wore on learned He would What an like to kick him.THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE He thought that her shoes scarcely touched the ground. to have had the chance of Monsieur Saucy and Meantime welcomes of the Vic that and exiles Hester sent fine old were receiving the French gentleman. 285 . at such as you see expected guests. cruel to But. so lightsome they were." they have been I left home because thank goodness. rose smilingly to receive them like long- " said We Vic. to Tom idiot wished he had dance. have come " I have Hester. many a bourgeois pay-desk through- out France. Aunt Victoria me touch that because " ! was called Thtv to And sitting down. bright-eyed and practical-looking. one of out distinguished of the country by Napoleon the Little. floor. Mees Veectoria you Torphecchan-Stirleeng Madame la Comtesse de Saucy . she paced the told all the story these sympathetic indignant." and in Meanwhile girls. and left have money of I my own after that her. Madame came quietly over between the murmuring sympathy every pause. I to cast ourselves on your mercy. — — les Ecouis " ! A little dark lady. Why were all dancing men the such fools middle . he was. " We are glad to see you we make you welcome. Monsieur was in hugely He He sent sat imagination dozen '' cartels " to "Sir Torphccchan. am twentycan't one.

were a man curiously enough. slept profoundly. that the little old dancing-master count and his lady I will wife had given up their own chamber to their guests. my hand with their money again. nodding her head cryp"Yes. and watched Hester in the morning light which filtered in across the river. For me. She dances with her soul. never sully his grey crop with a nervous hand " Mademoidocked horse's mane.THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE " him. through the wide south-western squares they had been Since no better might be. the latter found a telegram. the I will I sent Sir Stirleeng my I cartel. lying on the All the way back table. saying to place. taught dancing and countess who did may be noted that it was Vic who rested little. weaned with the strain. to his Tom rooms in Dover Street. you are — tically. there till it had become a commonproving that would be 286 no difficulty in Hester's innocence. each other. She was lying with her cheek on the palm of one hand. and bestowed themselves elsewhere in the tiny Albert Bridge house." cried little man. ruffling till it bristled like a selle is an angel. . while Hester. Vic leaned on her elbow. from cerAnd Hester tain toilet accessories left on the tiny dressing-table. accompanied Carus up and there. I will fight will inform him what think of him. For high courtesy and the natural consideration which comes of gracious nature and good breeding no princely pair in the world could have excelled his this extruded count her It who own housework." and Vic had reason to believe. Vic did not But "and " if I finish her phrase in either case. " she said.

the furthest point to which the electric wires had then penetrated. came from Cairn Edward." laughed Carus. it " he " ! is generally not such a bad sort." It Carus opened the telegram and stared at it blankly.THE TELEGRAM ON CARUS'S TABLE " I can't think what 's got into the governor. Too ill to be moved. " there I is no occasion to mind me. devil must be that of a sister of mine — I think I oh. " tVill come at once.^^ 287 ." said Tom. Margaret took shock yesterday. but forgot " Go on. — Borrowman. have done some very considerable smash- ing of the fifth commandment to-day myself.

things anxious Also he was in a two. though Revvie came up looking pale and anxious. done apparently by the same hand. who was Hester's accuser.ooo. and that some extent intimidated by Jim Chetwynd. There this is no need to to dwell on the long-drawn pain of surroundings time Hester. went everywhere with her. strait recently appointed. the girl direct evidence in favour of the doubtfulness of supposition that a young ruby could have had in her possession a valuable life all her without knowing it its worth. decided him to remand the prisoner for a week. with the concurrence of the Duke. famous But the lack of any Hester. He was of the impressed by the immense and to also respectability well-known Parliamentarian philanthropist.CHAPTER XXXV ON BAIL THE betwixt police magistrate was a youngish all man. renouncing all her relatives. and above to avoid responsibility. an amount which.^4. Mr. 288 . in still more. Chetwynd cousins. the anxious waiting in halls and courts. immediately provided. or rather because of them. and. the sordid of the lawyer's offices. lawyer. and Carus followed her like her shadow. Though Vic. in spite of all these things. that she should have kept three years to her girl box in London without showing it any of her the similarity of the markings and numbers upon the jewels. increasing the amount of bail to .

so her. fiscal quietly left out much irrelevant matter. Chetwvnd trial ad\ised no resistance to a committal to be continued. who made a special journey from of the peace. *' Mr. let that alone to give evidence. ing Megsy. a liar from the beginning doon that a fause loon. Fiscal. an ill-conditioned thief." The that. The date enough ahead to allow of Megsy 's evidence being taken on commission.ON BAIL Hester suffered intenselv. It was. on condition that the bail eager extra- his The magistrate gladly assented." she said. and its accuracy was borne witness to by a pair of local justices The fied progress of the record was hindered and to diversi- by the attempts of all Megsy import her opinion of Sir Sylvanus and the family of Torphichans unto the tenth generation into the text of son's affidavit. She was too ill There was no hope of bringand weak to be moved. indeed. indeed. taken down with a fine directness by the procurator fiscal of the Stewartr}-. " what for did vc no write doon that tellcd I wadna it believe the craitur if he cam' in and me a that Of 19 similar was rainin' ? " mind also was Gcorgina. own bounds of so complicated and was fixed far ordinary a case. to rid be oftered. when Megsy the completed declared that evidence was it read over to was the truth. That wrote 289 from (Ic-rmany (where . Duchess of lady Niddisdalc. iMr. but very far from being the whole truth. that never had a guid word o' ony and gat his siller (aught that ony body kens aboot) by cozcnin' auld silly wives to leave him their money on their daith-bcds. " A fushionless it thing. Kirkcudbright for the purpose. Nigil William(pit The man was !).

suppose is too late to stop the mischief. where he never in failed to see Vic and Hester. If you do. may be nothing in Chetwynd. you. Jim Chetwynd's Carus felt every day. as for you." one day This somewhat mysterious paragraph Carus showed to Jim Chetwynd. however.ON BAIL she had been very ill) to say that if the trial could be put off for a fortnight she would come home for it. I will. with whom he rode in the is park every morning. young marry the apothecary's daughter. it happened that he was at Chetwynd's office when it became necessary to obtain things. " Whatever " the old lady driving at ? " he asked." "Tell Niddisdale" very pleased with him. do not I tell went on) "I am him so often. but he 290 . with Tom a or Kipford out of attendance. This comes of disobeying your grandmother " During these days of waiting Carus was exceedingly severe with himself. " there but at any rate it 's not half a bad (so the letter I cross-examining idea. " amongst others whether it might not be I " possible theories to than show the apothecary one which might of the that there are more for possibly account these the similarity markings on Indian jewels. office He went. Ah ! " said Jim it. but he felt that she don't If you your father will disinherit ! would probably religiously to like to be alone. thoughtfully. You are in a pretty hole. On one occasion. He would have given his ears to have spent the time with Hester. have been thinking over a great many things here since I was taken ill on my arrival " (she was writing to Carus). Master Carus. more than little was comforted by an occasional grateful glance which Hester gave him out of her dark eyes. it And man.

have you wound her "What — — if that spool ? Then do ! it. ing waltzes who sat with to Madame head thrown back. as represented by Chctwynd's head clerk. her hair about do you want with Hester? You can't see you must wait. le Marquis de Keepvort. " Then I and the Marquise will witness do. Hut he had not come all way from Lincfjlii's Inn to Alhc-rt i^ridge to listen to Kipf(jrd murder "The Beautiful Blue Danube. after. but when Carus propounded go in his errand. I am just trying on. " But it is necessary ! it should be witnessed by two persons " he protested. to The girls were nowhere to be seen.ON BAIL Hester's signature. He longed to ask his ex-tag what the devil he was doing there. the sloe-like eyes to Carus was introduced promptly by the little lady with M." Vic brought back the paper duly signed and witnessed 291 . rather crestfallen. you will be in the way " All this without a moment's halt or grace for reply. playComtesse de Saucy Ics Ecouis. for signature Carus intimated mildly that he had brought from the lawyer's office. A moment her face. Waffles. parlour Carus nearly stumbled his la over Kipford. It might indeed the satisfy the claims of law. a paper "Then give it to me I'* that she cried.'' — that will " I daresay it will. snatching the document from him." said Carus. their hostess offered search of them. the old Carus volunteered to go round to Frenchman's house at the Albeit Bridge and In the little obtain it. Vic came dashing in. Don't waste your time. won't it " it . So there we will be back in a moment. feebly.

Vic silent in the doorway. she permitted in Carus to see Hester broad collar a plain black dress adjusting a of lace about her shoulders. The all over for this time. ignoring his fervid appeals. and well trained. ! " she to. cried reproachfully. She peeped experimentally into a room on the and then. shortly." is — ! the mistress of ceremonies. she turned and of reflection little saw Carus stand " Oh. and Carus never forgot the pretty turn of her head as she tried the fall of the points this way and flash that. We cannot ask you with you. Vic. ladies and gents!" waving her arm after the manner of a showman. " now. we are busy. opening the door wider. He and please be good enough to take Waffles " is only in the way " Oh. out of Madame's parlour and their vigorous conductor saw them to the door. wasn't that nice of me ? " Kipford came "There — door shut The vision vanished. A vivid tinge of red overspread her face. said Vic. Kipford rose his adieus make hostess. " I 've done a lot of things for you all the morning. get out " said Carus. his cousin's back. come now. well said ''Take him away and give him some bread and boiled it good for boys of his age. to his And to having been a fag. 292 .ON BAIL as indicated by the aforesaid cried. *' There. *' head clerk's pencilled tracing. warned by some mirror." she to stay." protested that youth. Vic beckoned to little Carus mysteriously behind right. She was looking in the glass. and I 've nearly finished this confounded spool you are not — grateful one little bit " ! milk. " Kippy. The in next the moment.

smiling. gratefully.ON BAIL back ''' " Good-bye." she till you are sent " now mind me. don't come " Waffles Vic. I know ! " Vic agreed. And felt that as they turned away. said . both Kipford and Carus they had not come in vain. you are a good sort " said Carus. 293 . for. ! ! "Yes.

that 's all. and the advocate for the prosecution opened the case against her. in a clear voice. distinguished any very sensational though the w^itnesses and friends of the accused made a somewhat remarkable show as they stood together in the Old Court of Bailey waiting to be there summoned of the into the New. marking her faction by refusing to see her sisters or in any way recognise them as they passed and re-passed arm " in I arm. She pleaded " Not Guilty. tall was a his Grace the Duke of heather and Niddisdale. ot the First. 've made Hester to was confiding look just as well as she can. He talked freely to M. The Court which knows no long vacation was in session. de Saucy. Vic stood beside Carus. and the country is going to the dogs much — ! The Old Bailey looked grim and dismal enough that autumn morning. on the common platform of ancient lineage and mutual sympathy. and Hester. Hester's was not incidents. 294 ." Vic Carus. I 'm a Dutchslimmest of Jim Chetwynd's tricks ' man. man woods. did not for a long time dare to lift her eyes.CHAPTER XXXVI THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION ITmost is not given to a mere layman to describe the commonplace of by trials. and bluff. his old dancing-master." however. " and if that does not do as for her with twelve intelligent jurymen as the^ why. standing in the dock.

who sat unobtrusively on one side of the splendid central that his eyes his — figure and wrote in a book. She knew that whole being was bent to help and strengthen her in this her day of anguish and utmost need. He stared at Hester through a single eye-glass and appeared to scrutinise her every movement. which. He neither nodded encouragingly.to pay no heed whatever to the prosecuting counsel. as left their lips. This splendid personage appeared . In the centre was a kind of throne. Then she caught Vic's eye. He kept his eyes on the if to speaker. The Times of current date). . in fact. At least so she told herself. He followed the witnesses. a tion to the evidence little stoop-shouldered man. nodded nor smiled. clad in red. and over his head a golden sword was suspended against a scarlet hanging. He held something in his hand which appeared to be a large official document (it was. She saw him. however She knew things went. Two other gentlemen in Court suits (sheriffs they) sometimes sat down and sometimes passed But nobody seemed to pay much attennoiselessly out. A chain was about his neck. Vic Carus came next. would never be taken from her. would never leave her face. catch the very words before they He turned over every statement as a man may who 295 receives doubtful change for good silver. For these good friends she thanked God. It was some time before she could look up at the bench on which a row of gorgeous figures sat like gods on Olympus.THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION At last Hester mustered up courage to look for Revvie. except one man. with a keen face. He was smiling placidly. and took courage. but from that moment Hester was conscious of a certain definite support. and on it sprawled rather than sat a figure clad in fur robes and gorgeous in blue and gold.

and none uttered to him. first. who spoke under the influence Ethel. as if down Sir her back. to the jury-box to see its how it affected This was one of Her Majesty's judges of the High Court doing quietly the whole work of the All the rest was but the lust of the flesh and sessions. clean and clear-cut. " A chair " he signalled ! to some unseen attendant. quarte to tierce. And in an instant Hester was sitting down. little In an instant the restless eyes of the dark bird-like man were upon her. with a rasp to he would Then when word. Her hands shook on the rail. She felt that she must faint. after all. witnesses for the prosecution were. looking so pure and innocent that tell superfluous to swear her to the truth. who had made her most and spotless in of strong attractive Claudia. He said so Only have induced him himself. clean white from top it seemed as she had the wings of an angel from heaven folded becomingly to toe. Sylvanus felt his position keenly. Sir of water was being held The emotion toilet . . the utmost sense of public duty could to prosecute. a first 296 . — most honourable. ex-Lord Mayors and High Sheriffs the pride of life occupants. Syl- vanus himself. quick as a fencer shifting from shift his gaze. and a glass at her lips. was being opened. The lawyer who was speaking seemed to bind the terrors about her. Now and then the little red-gowned a man interjected it. It was. blacker and blacker on Hester's soul fell the darkness. but of no more practical count administration of justice than the ceilings of the flies in the that blackened the Court of Old Bailey. a query he had got his answer.THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION He a word spoke to no one on the bench. As the case The jury-box began to go round and round.

I have all I my life been in much in- terested in precious stones. said on the neck of the prisoner that evening. made no attempt to sell the necklace. which was vain and unstable to the last In fact. and was resolved to stick to it at all risks. dale. missed. none of these had been found in the There was no doubt that the jewel beIt longed to his set. he submitted. The prisoner had. was quite in keeping with the prisoner's character. took these fifteen exchange or sixteen some valuable diamonds about 297 . it was obvious from the first that she degree.THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION offence. He had missed it some months ago. but of small value. was the motive of the thctt. it was true. The judge had another it question : " Did it occur to you that " ? was a curious thing for a thief to wear stolen property it in a place where must be seen by the owner It had struck it the politician as strange. prisoner's box. '' bands with ruby clasps ? " Certainly. he had sion. like No Other things had been (in answer to the bird- red judge)." said the As is known for to most people. But. At this point Jim Chetwynd uprose to cross- examine. had made up the tale she meant to tell. had always occupied the centre for place in the case made them. promptly. " Would in Sir which he became possessed of the " Sylvanus state the precise circumstances set of six gold neckbaronet. nothing to Hester Stirling on that occa- and he She was with her Grace the Duchess of Niddisfelt that it was neither the time nor the place to create a disturbance. before the ball. so far as he knew. but long after Hester He had been thunderStirling's coming to London. and not a desire for gain. He submitted that vanity. struck to see it No. Yes.

dealers as It is so entirely a matter for between man and man against mine. " I cannot.THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION years ago. South Chinese gold setting to each collar — — ruby clasps Burmese or in cipher. The " record " was part of a list of jewels written in a bold and clerkly hand upon paper headed Metzinger and Co. that The baronet descended from the witness box with Ethel large beads of perspiration standing on his brow. One pigeon's blood ruby six in all.?" "I have brought it with me." said Jim Chetwynd account of this transaction ceedings. of course. In diamond dealing of the highest kind we do not give and take receipts as if we were buying and selling pounds of butter over a counter. seemed clear enough. promptly. open." "You possess. in exchange? " A kind of angry spasm crossed the baronet's face. especially in cases where no money has passed between " Just so. " it that is very satisfactory in so far as exactly goes. The description " Six (6) Burmese collars of fine goldsmith clasped at the front with work two inches in wide." .. your your taste and skill knowledge of your customers against it — my knowledge of the market. now extinct." stage of the pro- Thank you. calmly." he said.." said Thank you. 208 . " I shall call the attention of the jury to Sir Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling's at a later is all. parties. a record of the transaction. Can you inform us what you gave Metzinger and Co. in a transaction with the firm of Metzinger and Co. Amsterdam. that has been largely my habit to dispense with any such record. Nieupoort Street. Marked and with *5 late owner's running number." said Sir Sylvanus. and put his hand into his breast pocket. best colour. " and for this reason." Jim Chetwynd.

bade confine himself to answering the questions put to him. Had often seen his Stirling Hester at and arranging his collection. They saw the ruby collar on Hester Stirling's neck on the night of the belonging to their father. if called while working among the door of the safe away would go out leaving unlocked. at in his 'umble opinion. which master looking showed what kind of least a young been lady she was — this. was very fond of bad company and spent hours unbeknown -to his master and mistress. The Timson judge. or simply closing it and his jewels.THE CASE FOR THE PROSECUTION took his place. and had objected to her habit of doing so. They had often seen Hester Stirling going into that room. They had repeatedly seen the six ruby necklaces in their father's possession. learning dancing from a foreigner calling hisself Mossy Saucy. She and Claudia had not much to tell. Thev had sessed often heard Hester Stirling say that she pos- no jewellery of any kind. who had biting his quill. which it was no part of her duty to do. Charles suspicious ball. Thev had also observed that their father. but did not recognise it as Timson had seen the young woman Sir in most circumstances coming from Sylvanus's room on the pretext of carrying out a tray. 299 . turning the handle.

Remembered the night of the ball at his grandmother's. your Grace. Lady Niddisdale's. Miss Stirling wore her it openly and seemed perfectly accord she told him that it unembarrassed. which did Hester no harm. however." said Mr. who was it a per- He considered an im- possible thing that a girl should a ball. it. Chetwynd. and that she had all about that night when she had taken with her to show to Lady Niddisdale. openly. her nurse. A It smile had passed along the front row and been handed in over to the back like an offertory plate church. The Duchess had made her wear she said. was now returning to the foreman. His Grace the Duke of Niddisdale testified to the high character of the accused. Of own had been given her when a little girl by her father. She was perfectly incapable of any wrong action. in the presence of the it wear such a jewel at man from whom had been stolen. had kept for her in her to trunk till she (Miss Stirling) had forgotten it come it till London. " Thank you. called the Master of Darroch. The counsel for the prosecution forbore to cross-examine.CHAPTER XXXVII THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE EVIDENCE was then led for the defence. but now 300 . It was a smile. sonal friend of his mother's. testified had known Miss Hester Stirling from childhood. that it Megsy Tipperlin. Saw the ruby necklace on that occasion. that he Carus Darroch. this point the red At judge glanced at the jury sternly.

did not sec the ruby the night of the stolen spite. she thought. it. Had ball. and would have lent or given her anything she wished in the way of ornament. His the father in never exhibited such things. Lord Kipford. Did not believe Hester had it knew she had not. and thought believe it.) Her cousin — did not need to steal an ornament. you. It made people look at her so. in fact. who was lost in Murmah." in Jim Chetwynd. Witness did not agree with her in this. seen question on the night of the His cousin. had Torphichan-Stirling. He had been (. "Thank who was too much. told him that 301 . he was Victoria till Torphichan-Stirling ball. Saw his looking at day. Hester. father wore not it quite openly. Thomas cutor. She knew very well what the said whole thing meant. had seen the stone on the nii^ht of the ball — had asked to be to talk allowed to look at it. The Duchess cousin the dress in which she appeared on that occasion. on a tour round the about the jewel. afraid that her zeal this witness might say Nigel Arthur Algernon Rollo. of Niddisdale She herself had had given her offered her the choice of a drawerful on the night of the ball. Miss Victoria. It was just all (Here she glared at her sisters. that his sisters He ruby did not believe had either.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE she wished she had not.ut there himself last year. iMiss Hester it seemed glad was the only memento she had of her father. eldest son of the prose- never seen any of the necklaces. There was mistake Stirling had somewhere. Down went Carus. there for would be a row next Hester Did a moment a that taken sure. leaving behind him a pleasant atmosphere of fresh directness and youth.

Min Alomprau be good enough to examine the ruby collars. Min Alomprau of the Burmese Embassy. Mr. not a plateau. Mr. A small. so his impressed was he that he had intended to bring friend. Owing to circumstances. and had most likely reached the — sea by that river. but sworn upon the sacred books of the Christians. of course. 302 . Min Alomprau declared himself did not object to be a Buddhist. and talked of it willingly. quietly. to call on Miss Stirling and see the jewel for himself. " Call their (Not cross-examined. probably from the Yang-tze country. The other five (handling them and examining with a lens) were similar. He had been ten years in London. secretary of the Burmese Embassy. thought like it he had seen something — in fact. which was a royal monopoly. hastily.) Mr. appeared. clad in semi-Chinese fashion in violet-coloured silk. He noticed the writing on the back. he had not been able to carry out this intention. "Would Mr. Miss Stirling wore the stone in a perfectly open manner. thick-set man. and bowed very low to the judge. ruby that is. They had all been set by Chinese goldsmiths. however. It was a hill. He thought people who made such accusations against own relatives should be kicked "That will do. it did not come from the Mandalay ruby plateau. and state what he thought " about them ? The witness stated that the central ruby was one of the finest colour. and wearing a silk cap. He was Secretary of the Embassy of the King of Burmah.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE world. as well as that of the Shans. He knew." said Jim Chetwynd. the language of the Burmese. Min Alomprau." said Jim Chetwynd.

" voices. saving much filings. find translate the writing upon them The Burman faces." " Be good enough to repeat them " *' David Stir-Ling own me. smiling. and give a translation for the benefit of the jury " ? The into a little Burman in the magnifying lens into his eye. The little judge wrote The jury conferred stood under their breaths. craned forward like a their hawk on the pounce. Min Alomprau was unmoved. The judge The jury put a word. but Shan.' Chin Lin of Li-Kiang a There is also number in the usual foreign There was a murmur of vigorously. he "Chin Lin of Li-Kiang filings. " Will Mr. violet silk screwed the l^hcn he turned the stone good light. me. Mill Alomprau examine the lettering on the back. Chin Lin of Li-Kiang say the He set me^ saving third part of gold filings" (Cross-examined. setting. there He knew in that had been unlicensed mines of rubies the Yang-tze mountains.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE "Would Mr. set ' David Stir-Ling own me. turned the broad bands over on their his and passed lens along the reverse of the His smile broadened. hands to their ears so as not to miss " He say. Only Jim fallen Chetvvynd A ghastly pallor had upon Sir Svlvanus. killing the prospectors. make ! great deal of gold same words on each. took a long look and smiled. The writing was plainly written. Min Alomprau similarly examine the " ? other five. figures. probably by a Chinaman who 303 . The King of Mandalay had once sent a force to take them.) *' He had never heard of David Stir-Ling before. not in in Chinese character. A'Ir.

Then Margaret selected and Tipperlin's evidence was read. where she afterwards saw him take the ruby necklace from a handbag — . and finally. She remembered the visit of Mr." " Why should a Chinaman do this ? " Mr. She had never seen Sir it since the death of her mistress. He read the inscription in the same sense productions. Called Mr. Sylvanus and Lady Torphichan took possession of the whole house then. Paris. After Mr. He examined the quainted with the Shan language. finding 304 . David Stirling to his mother in the summer of i8 She had received him and conducted him into the garden. but the apocopation of the syllabification showed traces of Chinese influence. at the Called M. a memorandum on the part of a dishonest tradesman of the amount of his peculations. — being. adding that the writing partook more of the nature of "grafFti" than of that of set writing in fact. a similar bag stood for a long time in the parlour cupin the house of Arioland. of the Oriental He was acDepartment of the British Museum. she had seen Hester playing with the necklace. Chin probably took other people's gold filings as well as those belonging to David Stir-Ling.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE as he might write a private note had lived long there English which he did not wish people in his own in — country to read. Afterwards. clear. tending as it did to a per- pendicular mode of arrangement upon the setting. and permit board his daughter to play with it. Lascarnet Champollion. Victor Rose Noble. Professor Sorbonne. Min Alomprau smiled. Alomprau. He agreed with his distinguished colleague. The sense was quite as his friend Mr. David Stirling's departure. as edited by the Fiscal from Kirkcudbright. and hinted that Mr.

She had then given it to Hester. There it remained till Miss Hester went to London to stay with her uncle. obvious that into the we have hands of it. Stirling — that she would never see her son's face again in this world. minister of the parish of St. She also stated responsibility upon her — by which his that he had placed a great he understood her to mean the care of his child. He remembered the upon the latter as a daughter. bearing the Stirling. brought up Hester Stirling as the age of eight years. Chetwynd. of the year in which Mr. she had taken charge of it. It is " That clearly is " I do not propose to address the jury. David Stirling. Hester. wrapped it in a newspaper. proved the jewel came right Miss Hester Stirling. Stirling of Arioland was accustomed to consult him on matters of business. in The late Mrs. and The witness had own daughter from fond of dress getting her — though how to known her to be goodness knew fond enough of had never own way. and the that she has to retain in How it comes Sir pass the other five are the hands of Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. thinking that such an ornament might be useful to her in the city. John in Galloway. It was Standard^ of date July 15." said Mr. THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE her in the held with it. may form the subject of a future investigation. and locked it in her trunk. David Stirling made his visit home. The Reverend Anthony Borrowman. had never seen the rubv. our case. it was true that he looked speak of it. the summer of 18 visit of Mr.. nor vet heard either Margaret Tipperlin or Hester Yes." . The newspaper in which it had been wrapped for The Drumfern many years was produced. and said night of the visit. and he saw her the She seemed depressed. name of David 20 my 305 client's father.

happened to have been working in his The was evidence of the old Scotchwoman. Tipperlin. a certain correct.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE And The to h« sat down. thus exposing himself to the vilest insinuations. mean it to reply unwarrantable imputation was indeed nothing short of a threat. He had shown himself most kind and generous to the prisoner. intelligent jury If this sort of thing were be passed over in silence. too well The character of Sir Sylvanus was known to need any vindication. after a brief coloquy with his principal. their translation did not prove Even if accepted as more than that David Stirling The name was ititious a common enough had once possessed the jewels. and this suppos- Stirling may very well have sold them to the notable firm of Metzinger and Co. suspect. if the On prosecutor study. in evidence of the Burmese gentleman and of the experts was inconclusive and incomplete. clannishness. counsel for the prosecution rose. They his case had all heard of Scotch He left with confidence to the of householders and to good sense of an property-holders. their clerks might ransack the 306 . she would naturally think it her duty to support her charge through thick and thin. It that Hester Stirling had. save a love of abstract justice. the last He did not . having brought the prisoner up. of Amsterdam. been seen entering a room where the were kept. these occasions the safe was often unlocked. He The could have no motive. both because she had recently had a shock in full and was therefore not and also because. without any cause or excuse for doing so.. possession of her faculties. one. on had been clearly more than one stones occasion. from whom shown Sir Sylvanus received them. and he wished the jury to take note of that.

Lord. entering young lady a room in which she had no business. passed over the matter that night. to find Hester Stirling innocent was striking foundation of all the root idea." he have been brought before resembling certain others of an orphaned girl this court. But first they must agree to disbelieve the distinguished Secretary of Embassy who had given 307 . a There was — pause while the judge arranged his a great bated hush in the midst of which he said. undoubtedly they must tiiul the prisoner guilty. own. but." over except the . at In fact.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE safe for anything of value to wear as a breast-pin. the the security of the well-to-do in the enjovment of those things Providence and their own sat industry had procured for them. "If the jury believed possible that this after had risked opening a safe. All Chetwynd full out — no to the Duke ! shouting " whispered Jim " old Scratch has got his claws ! what an advocate great judge " it is Old Scratch. seeing a jewel his his possession on the neck and a ward of she a thief. offices ** home left she has in the city. taken and to be bailed out by the good of comparative strangers. for the purpose of abstracting a necklace to wear in the presence of the owner of the stolen property. " This is a case. with a certain incisive cameo-like clearness of speech. flies at a ball given the by a lady of the highest rank. " which ought never to began to speak. or maidservants take out their wives' diamond their very rings to aJorn them in the park on Sunday afternoons. is at once to having conclusion that and then. And papers he down. I prefer not to characterise the conduct of the in man who. has her arrested on her return to the only to a station-house.

overwhelming. between these alternatives. as much as to dare twice at say. to choose The jury were perfectly free If. (that of the On the one side. therefore defence). you have been the victim of a great wrong. also the two notable experts in languages. in to safeguard his opinion. they decided against the obvious weight of evidence. applause broke out irrepressible. Then. we are " " " ! Do you find the prisoner guilty or not guilty ? " Not guilty. as to the time and place at which the young lady came not into possession of the stone. or I shall have it cleared " ! Then he turned to the prisoner in the dock. and untraversed. Justice Scratchard rose. Justice Scratchard. On the other. my Lord " ! The Mr. there were clear facts seriously impugned. The foreman seemed to run along the double row with a question. the foreman turned sharp on and stood waiting for Mr. One head after another nodded assent. the " If you " ! The twelve heads bent together. his heel." The bird-Hke head nodded solemnly twelve attentive jurymen. however. there. " Silence in court. of Margaret Tipperlin and the minister of the parish where Hester Stirling formerly Oriental clear lived. before them. Your lawyer will advise you as to any further steps which. You leave this court without a stain upon your character. rising suddenly." 308 . may be necessary your interests. " Are you agreed upon your verdict ? " " My Lord. looking about him fiercely the while. he would know what course to take.THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE evidence. only malice and insinuation. " Hester Stirling. They must reject the evidence.

the grey band. " I have come back to hide ' my head. Silence was in Darroch Glen. Hester had been four weeks at home with Revvie Yet someever. ''• 1 will never see them any more. sadly. happiness seemed gone for the yet The howin had not all come.CHAPTER XXXVIII THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME SILENCE stars Glen of Kells. of the behind her London. John glimmered beneath the amid the trees that overtopped it with their filled the the deep defile of the umbrellas of looking inky at the shade. a fairer flower than had ever 3"9 . Hester stood at the door down water slipping past beneath. to herself. ever. flung. What first do— what there shall I do ? " in Yet what joy the lost one had been the manse when returned. could just carelessly discern athwart silk the pearl-coloured haste. John. and the eyes that had been dry in the time of her sore trouble." she said. and Megsy the old in how new manse of St. were often enough wet now when there was none to see save God and the Hester cartied stars. as it She were. water-meadows like a sash of which some one had flung off" in During these days it was a heavy little heart that in her bosom. The little white manse of St. friends She she thought had left kindly. and now I make even Revvie and shall I iVIegsv to be ashamed.

and how Megsy. which was Hester's. his Each eve Anthony Borrowman sheaves with him. joy that she had simple folk. as he patriotically declared. and the folk at the kirk door that first Sabbath — they were more than kind. before They to stayed a week manse in the the vale of Darroch. Revvie and she. ring-streaked and spotted with mildew and worm-holes they were. just to be sure that she was still there.THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME been seen within let its walls ! How Revvie could scarcely still weak from would creep along and open the door of the her illness. a " poor and beggarly lot. her out of his sight. after the trial and while they were London. Grimy with returned. off the Strand. a still and yet somehow in much tasted by the ministers of the kirk who were compelled to adventure southward into the strangers' land. and thither Hester had accompanied him the night hostel after her triumphant acquittal. It had all seemed so sweetly restful. at Saunders McDougal's Hotel. for not as he said Revvie hardly liked to possess a book that was " fattened with the crumbs of time. in Portland Street. in He had been so good and so tender the day of trouble. finding them." compared with those of Edinburgh. little parlour. where in London returning the between acquire Lothian for a Street and the Mound you may modest figure all the literature of the world. They were staying. So Hester rejoiced with a great again to simple love won home a among Her heart was indeed little sore about Carus. he had seemed cold and constrained. bringing dust. Each treasure. however." 310 . was more precious than the last. however. Each day Revvie went out in search of second-hand bookshops. Revvie had taken up his quarters there.

"The to and blown with airts a mighty wind fro. humouring him." green as sir. in addition." For the pour of midnight over the traffic Thames souls bridges used to fetch Revvie out of it. Empress Gate was an ill dream. " only spoiling the Egyptians of their unappreciated fleshpots. every day. the Presbyterian Eloquence pieces of silver. his bed that he might see of men. Decisions. the young Paradise of a soul faithfully portrayed. even the ball far awav in some other sphere of existence." But. — Fountainhall's all for a few " This " Nay. is " Boston's Autobiography.THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME There was. Baillie's Letters." thus it in a sermon preached after his return. and Still it seemed silent and But the tip ot Hester's tcjiigue io ask if he were angry with her. Dugdale's Monasticon. "And ! all for sixpence the — and in six shillings would have been asked " day for same the South Brig any lawful He obtained. During these early days Hester had been happy. and walked with him and Vic in the park. faithful for instance. that Carus was always more than once it was on constrained. the Reliquiae Baxterianx. of what account are such fine marrowy all books to those who day run hither and thither and along the Strand and take no rest day or night." said Hester to him one honestly evening. To them upon occasions were joined Kiptord and he described Tom. "wherein. answered the minister. after is fair robbery. from the four of the heavens. the trial a nightmare. . all. She saw Carus she herself infinitely older and wiser." he would say sententiously.

dropping his words like precious liqueurs and sweetening a rare-coming smile as often as he spoke to his at the chanced that Chetwynd drew Tom's arm through moment when the minister and Kipford were in deep converse as to the last production of the Historicity Club. simply." she said " that is. needless to say. Vic had already gone to Homburg to her yearned and Megsy. and then at the last moment Jim Chetwynd added himself. and the time went by. ^' Hester looked up in surprise. It them as ever. if " I you have not forgotten us by that time. unaccountable man that he was. At last they must say farewell. 312 . I shall see you again." shall not come any more to Darroch. Niddisdale having done his part was seen no more modest. were there to since to Grace. THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME when she would have spoken. the words would not come. Hester at could not leave Revvie. " said I wonder when last. But the three young men. of which. suppose when you come to Darroch. Kipford. and Carus. waiting Hester's cab under the to great gloomy arch. cool and casual them with Hester. Tom." Carus the at not looking at her. be the manse to comfort — say good-bye. Hester almost wished that she could run to Revvie and plunge into the midst of his conversation with Kipford. Hester and Carus found themselves momentarily alone." he said. Kipford first had just heard for the straint seized time. Why ? " she asked. but away the place down platform digging to where Tom into stood a viciously the ferrule of his cane crack in the flagstones while " I Chetwynd talked. A strange con- upon both of them..

that this was in night by the door of the said manse. you in prison not forgive myself that I thought of hope he vou have done is not angrv with you because of — wrote to vou " ! "No. subsertheir shopkeepers. vient watchers a little of fishing. what murmured." Carus broke out with a kind of gulp. and dismissed him. to the girl's A " I slow blush mounted upward its cheek as Hester's heart quickened beating. Hester. greater than all else save religion (and more immediate than that) is the power of the influence territorial in Galloway and the Glen of Kells." he said. He commands gardeners. journey. a cypher or a scamp." he said. farmers behind with . Now. army ot gamekeepers. and lips the words on the young man's so it remained unspoken. " If that be for me. "you that is all that anything but that must not sav that " makes my life woith living But Tom had broken away from Chetwynd and now burst in upon them before another word could be said. I ! — — hope you will just like them " ! He had taken a basket of beautiful fruit from a the boy. " I say. yet hold in his hands the power of public a well-drilled little opinion." she I shall so. I shall be sorry that I let you do anything.THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME " I have quarrelled with my father. If a man have in his possession land which his father had before him he may be a sot or a bully. alone not been for the silence of the wide valley. you know. " I brought you these ." " You will need them on And And so* their chance passed. Hester to her if it wondered what Carus would have had Tom's basket of fruit.

side and local tradesmen. She sighed and went indoors was this " I am hurting Revvie and without coming to any conclusion. It was easy to be seen that escaped her modest airs were only a sham." she said. now hurried indoors the sight of her. but now Vic was with her. terious whispers began to pervade These tried concerned Hester Stirling. Lord Darroch had quarrelled with his son because of her. accompany It curiously isolated as she walked For Megsy was not yet strong enough to her. Borrowman was busy with herself session business. At church homeward. Megsy. She wished she had taken the Duchess at her word." Yet where to go or what to do did not at once appear. She had been . fanned by the presence of Ethel the first new house of consideration Arioland. and Mr. and she had no need of another companion. alike and Claudia at Their custom was a village to the shopkeepers and had she the more that distant came about been found town tradesmen. Through judiciously all the countryside the murmur ran. to pass that after a week the or two.THE TONGUE CAN NO MAN TAME rent. " I must go away again. She had been imShe had been turned to the door by her own uncle and aunt. for stealing (so the whispers said) she had penal servitude. which saddened the girl. And so it good wives at whose firesides Hester to first sit accustomed at and drink tea. mysglen. their bread is all with a keen sense of the on which So it came buttered. 314 . in London barely prisoned.

NK lll.V ISUl.K. »<^^v CLKIULbl.< i-'f^." .ft^ M- ^ "Ar ClILKCU Mil.l' r. li'l.-^M.ATKl).

.

that years before — was situated on a lofty three hundred eminence over- looking the loch. But A sense of the peace Hester was glad to be alone. and the power seemed to have gone out of the sunshine. The new some building had been new. and with the arms of the Darrochs of A little lower were brown Darroch 'above the door. The The air leaves. on wide. porch in one the ivv-clad of — which Castle of the lords of Darroch. is. but with still staircases and garrets fairly intact. foot. which God has poured out on the world began to seek inward to her soul.CHAPTER XXXIX GRUMPHY GUDDLESTANE ON favourite the morrow to she took her book and went out. getting dry a little. did their and reverend. Hester took her way. mostly ivy-clad and crumbling. Across that shining water ." now a picturesque ruin. The stately (jld. with a heart heavy within her. Higher up. bird-haunted. stood the " Auld Castle. rustled under coursed keen from the North. Thither. grey turrets of the castle towered aliove her. sit meaning haunts first awhile and read in the warm of her ruined sunshine of the late — the autumn. fragrant. and all about spread the Darroch Woods. Under ridden archway Darrochs of not knightly and gallant as continue the comparison 315 — had — this she with squires at their beck. pleasant holms. fanned and cooled by the breezes which blew up and down the strath. pools where the salmon lurked head to the stream during the hot summer days.

GRUMPHY GUDDLESTANE
they

swam

their horses

when they went

forth

to

the

He She thought of Carus and smiled. would have looked as gallant as any of them. After all, if men and women it was a good world to be alive in
King's wars.

were unjust and unkind,
swiftly into the solitude.

at least

she could

escape so

But Hester had reckoned without

a certain

" Grum-

phy" Guddlestane.

The

reek of a foul pipe stole upon Hester's sensitive

nostrils as she sat reading

under the

ivy.

She looked

up, and there before her stood

my Lord

Darroch's
his

new

gamekeeper, a gun held slouchily under
tered

arm, a bat-

hard hat too small for his
at

flattish

porcine face,

knowing angle over a left eye that leered, and his black " cutty," turned bowl downwards, proWell was truding from his mouth like a boar's tusk. he named Grumphy Guddlestane. For some months before Dickson had been found
cocked
a

wanting.

my

lord.

passers.
visitors

He had proved too kind and complaisant for He had not been severe enough with tresHe had even been known to speak civilly to
So these things came by the usual
to the ears of

to the glen, wishful to view the ancient castle

of the Darrochs.

underhand methods
had leave to go.
gate

my

lord,
little

and Dickson
lodge by the

Whereupon,

to the

came " Grumphy " Guddlestane, who had been a kind of dog-breaker and stable-sweeper on Lord Darroch's
estates
in

the

north, and

knew

as

much

about

gamekeeping as about Sanscrit. " Grumphy " he had been named
ance at the Kirk
at

at his first

appear-

Clachan, and the name had stuck to
nature, brutal by
at

him ever
always

since.

Rough by

training,

foul-mouthed by choice, a coward

— such was Grumphy Guddlestane.
316

heart and a bully

With men,

G RU
especially
if

Al

PHY CUDDLES T^ A NE
money
or drinlc to otier, he could

they had

be svcophantish enough, but upon whom he could vent his

woe

betide

the

woman

For the very earth spite. seemed fouler when Grumphy spoke out that which was in his heart. And three times woe to the wandering
bairn,

with

purple

lips

bramble-stained,

whom

Grumphy
woods.

caught about the
are you doin' here

precincts of his

master's

"What
here.

— you

have no business
!

want nane o' your kind hereaboots " said Grumphy without removing the pipe from between his teeth, as he stood glooming and glowering at Hester
Stirling,

We

the

reek
air.

of his

very

presence

poisoning the

wholesome
"
"
I
I

beg your pardon,"

said

Hester, rising to her

feet.

was doing any harm. I have always come here ever since I was a little girl, and nobody ever
did not
I

know
to

said a

word

me

before."
o'
!

"

Wed,"
I

growled Grumphy, " you move on oot
let

this, an'

mind, dinna
set e'en
jail

me

see ye here again, that
I
'11

's a'

If ever

on ye on the estate

hae ye sent
lately.

back to the

again,

where ye came
fine

frae sae

Oh,

I

ken vc brawlv, ve
silly

madam.

Ye

are the lass

that stcaled the necklace

and got off because ye could

twine

that ye

men roond your finger. Sac oot o' this canna twine me
ycning
!

Ye

will

find

wi' yc

"
!

Hester did not answer.

She
a

([uietly

gathered up her

shawl and books, and with

suddenly whitened face
her heels, swelling with

took her way bv the path down the riverside.

The
triumph.

noble victor followed

at

"Comeback
(jrumphv

oot o' that
the

amang
or

the

game
set

— ye

"

sh(nitcd

oaths in

his
I'll

most brutal tones;
the

"gang up by

the

stables,

dowgs on

3'7

GRUMPHY GUDDLESTANE
ye.

We
"
!

dinna

want characters

like

you aboot the

place

Grumphy was
had a

thoroughly enjoying himself now.

woman

to bully,

and best of

all,

one

He who had no
his

protector and did not answer back.

It

was one degree
dog-

better than beating a dog nearly to death with

whip, which hitherto had been his beau
If he could only have lashed
face of hers, he

/Wi?*?/

of happiness.

Hester across that white

would have been perfectly happy. Thank God, there are few Grumphy Guddlestanes within the bounds of Scotland, but I have known one here and there, and these things are written to their
address.
I

have many friends among gamekeepers, and
all

they are one and

open-hearted and manly fellows,
I

generous and brave.
tasted their

have

sat in

their kitchens

and

good cheer.

Better comrades can no

man

have.
finest

I

drink to them health and happiness and the

seasons, with birds plenty and strong on the wing.

keepers of Scotland, and any

Such are ninety-nine out of the hundred of the gameill report they may have is

only because oftentimes the public, indiscriminating as usual, lays on them the weight of the boorish brutality,
the callous cruelty, the stupid

ignorance of

Grumphy
once

Guddlestane, the hundredth man.
for all, write

I will therefore,

a

mark, that

down Grumphy clear and mark him with he may be known whenever found, and

that his

comrades be not blamed for his sins. Let him be called a " Grumphy " and a gamekeeper for true gamekeeper he is none. no more

So
after

Grumphy
the

thoroughly enjoyed himself
to

all

the

way

through

policies

the

high

road.

He

shouted

Hester every foul

name

that enters into the heart

of such a man.

Blessed are the innocent, for mostly

GRUiMPHY GUDDLE STAKE
Hester had not the
phy's small
purplish, sodden,
least idea

what he meant.
jowled

GrumHis

pig's eyes

twinkled with
face,

happiness.

unshaven
like

like a mastiff,

marled with potations
with pleasure
mitted
his

ill-baked dough, fairly

shook
persniff

at the

pain he

was

inflicting.

He

slouching ill-bred
skirts
in

dogs to growl and

about

Hester's

the

hope
alone

that

they

would

thoroughly

frighten

this girl,

and

unprotected,

upon

whom

he

felt

that he had his master's permission

to exercise all

his brutality

and

spite.

dlestane

was not

a brute

a brute for pleasure.

upon compulsion. And it was a source of
once
in a

Grumphy GudHe was
rare satis-

faction to him, that

for

way he could speak

out

all

the sullen devildom of his nature without fear

of consequences.
public
tunity.

He was

not often in agreement with
the most of his oppor-

prejudice, and he

made

Half an hour afterwards, Megsy, going carefully about the manse, with a staff in one hand and the other pressed in the small of her back, found Hester

weeping
It

in

her room.
later that

was almost exactly one week
found

the
It

manse
hap-

housekeeper

Grumphy

Guddlestane.

pened on the eve of Market Monday, when the farmers were putting their gigs up at the Cross Keys for an hour's rest, and when there was as great a concourse as
is

ever brought together in the
St.

little

upland village of

the Clachan of

John.

Grumphv stood with one elbow on the doorpost and He had been drinking, and the tongue in his bughed.
mouth was
uprose
furred with
foulness.

Before him suddenly

Megsy

Tippcrlin, and power was given to her.
there,

" Stand ye
shaking

her stick in his face

(jrumphy Guddlestane," she cried, " stand there, ye peetifu'
;

3 '9

GRUMPHY GUDDLESTANE
walstrel, and as sure as
I will
tell

my name

is

Margaret Tipperlin,

You woman

your name and character amang a' the folk. that never faced a man, stand up and face a
of
three-score

years

and

twa.
will
in

You

that

shamed the innocent, stand up and I ashamed, if an ounce o' shame is left
carcase."

make you

your shakin'

Grumphy made
style,

a remark here in his usual bullying

but

it

fell flat.

" Na, an'
cooard,

I will

no get oot
tak' the

o'

your road

— ye

peetifu'

ye

pasty-faced, dottel-nosed vaigabond.
I

If I

were a man,
dress

wad
your

whup
hat

oot o' your hand and
to

ye

frae

cloured
I

the

boots that ye
is

hae

never

paid

for.

kenna what the Almichty

thinkin'

on to permit sic a thing as ye to crawl on the face o' this bonny earth, blackening the verra licht o' the sun, and fylin' the clean mools as ye walk the fields. But He that made the taed an' the ask and the ether (adder) kens what for He made the like o' Grumphy Guddlestane Ye wad break the heart o'
!

my
son
that

innocent bairn,
o'

wad ye

the only child o' the only

the ancient hoose o'

the Stirlin's o' Arioland,

were here afore there was ever ony Lord Darroch aye, and shall be to uphaud ye in your wickedness here when baith you an' he are forgotten aff the face o' the Glen Kells, and when the wanderin' messan

whaulp fyles the nettles and pushionous paddock-stools abune your graves. " Na, an' I haena dune wi' ye yet, Grumphy Guddlestane.

Keep baud
let

o'

him,

lads.
last

Nether Airds,
Tipperlin.

him hear the

Let him hear this, word o' Margaret
will

If he willna
a
faith fu'

come

to the kirk to hear the

word
shall

o'

God,

sermon he
320

never forget
in the

be preached in his lugs the day.

Rest

Glen

GRUiMPHY GUDDLESTANE
Kells shall he get nane frae this day onward.
shall

he gang wi' the mark on him

Forth

like

unto Cain.

But feint a sicht o' the land o' Nod shall he ever see. For the ban of Alegsy Tipperlin shall be upon him, and Men shallna drink his on a' that consort wi' him.
drink for the fear
o'
o't.

Woman

shall

dwam

at the sicht

him, and the verra bairns on the streets and lanes
'

shall cry oot,

Ye
o'

could shame a

Hide your head, Grumphy Guddlestane.' lassie that never did ye ony hairm,

but ye daurna face a

man

wi' his neives shut

a'

the days

your life. " What, is he gane, and left the collar o' his coat in Whatever has ta'en him your hands, Nether Airds ? him that had sae muckle to say to awa' in sic a hurry my puir bairn. I wasna half through wi' him. I hadna

weel stanit to
him.

tell

him what the countryside thocht
had
ither five

o' I

Gin

I

had

meenites

I

declare

micht hae said something he wad hae mindit." " Ye are no canny wi' your tongue, Marget," said

Nether Airds, a tall, gaunt, thoughtful-looking man; " certes, it is weel ye didna mairry. For if ye can put a man that's nae kin to ye through the threshin' mill
dune Grumphy the day, what wad ye no hae that is, in a mainncr o' dune wi' your ain guidman spcakin', delivered bound hand and foot into your
as ye hae

pooer

"
?

"

Megsy turned upon him. It wad hae been tellin' you. Nether
in

Airds, and the

your kitchen, and the account ye hae in the Cairn Edward Bank, gin ye had a wife like Margaret Certes, ye wadna hae Tipperlin to come home to.

meal ark

stood sac lang haudin' up the doorposts o' the public" house at this time o' nicht
!

There was
21

a

vacancy where Nether Aiid had stood.
321

GRUMPHY GUDDLESTANE
The
doorpost of the Cross Keys stood there lone and
deserted.

there like a calf lookin'

" Aye and you, Ironmannoch, that stan's ower a yett for the
it

nicherin'
lickin's o'

the parritch pat,

wad

set

ye better to forswear the
ill-hearted

company

o'

a'

sic

dour-faced,

wratches as
to

Grumphy

Guddlestane, and gang

hame

your wife
o'.

and bairns that ye are no worthy to creesh the clogs

Gin I win at ye wi' a stick, my man, ye shall lauch on the wrang side o' your face, and girn Up, man, an' ower the hill, like a foulmart in a trap. And gin ever like Tod Lowrie, wi' the dogs after him
Guid peety them
!

!

I catch yin o'
like o'

ye again consortin' or colloguin' wi' the

Grumphy Guddlestane
mysel' and

weel, I micht be temptit
that ye

to forget
like

say somethings

michtna

"
!

In this fashion was ended the reading of the second
lesson

of Tipperlin.

epistle general of Megsy, the daughter But long before her voice ceased the congregation had dispersed from about the doors of the Cross Keys.

from the

322

CHAPTER XL
NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH
"Tj I

^ EARIE,
I Even
"^
'

dearie, ye

canna leave us

— ye
'

shallna,

as

Ruth

said to

*
a

goes,' there

u'ill

lodgest

she will lodge

Whither thou Mcgsy gang, and where thou
Naomi,
*

aye, though

we

hae to big us
to do

boo'er by yon
"
!

burnside, like

unto Bessie Bell and

Marv Grey,*
siccan a thing

an' dootless

twa limmers they war

" But, Megsy dear," answered Hester with the tear in her eve, " I am but a shame and a speaking against to
vou and Revvie.
the

What am
I

I

that

I

should stand in

wav of

those
their

love

"
?

"Stan'
cried

in

way, bairnie

— havers,
it

julst

havers!"
floor

Mcgsy, knocking her iron-shod

stick

on the

to enforce her words,

Torphichans
this

"what
As

maitters

that thae leein'

the foul fiend ride

them!

— hae

raised

sound
Bit.

o' talk.

there

is

a

God

in

heaven the

truth will

come

to licht,

and the wicked be turned into

the

111

Hasten the day

— back
I

the fires an' heat

Sylvanus the Thief the bing Sylvanus the " Sylvanus the Supplanter Liar " Oh, Megsy, what dreadful things you say."

red-hot for

* Note.

— Mcgsy

was referring
:

to

one of the most popular

rhymes

in the Scottish tf)ngiie

Bessie Bell and

Mary Grey, They war twa bonny lasses They higgit a hour on yon burnside,
;

And

they theelcit

it

owcr wi'

rashes.

323

NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH
" Dreadfu' things, indeed no half ill eneuch," said Megsy, scornfully, " after what they hae dune to my Ye little ken what it is to hae a guid-gaen bairn.
;

tongue.
is

Faith,

if

Megsy
for.
it 's

let

hersel' say the thing that

in

her heart she might

come ower
But the
neither

a

she

wad be
o'

sorry

peteetion like that

pittin'

word or twa up o' a

that
bit

here nor there, in a

mainner

speakin'."
reverted to the
first

" But, Megsy," Hester
"
I

subject,

can see

all

this

is

hurting Revvie.

Did you hear
this
'

him sigh when he sat down to take the Book morning ? And when he read the words, Plead did you notice that he said cause, O Lord
!

'

my
by

mistake,

'

Plead her cause

'

"
?

" Aye, did I no," said Megsy, " but whatna precious Ah, he and comfortin' psalm o' Davvid's was that. was the graund man, Davvid. Ye speak aboot puir Megsy Tipperlin, but ye canna blame her aboot her
tongue, as lang as yon
is

within the leds o' the Bible.

Hearken
to

to
.

Davvid.
. .

shame.

confusion.'
are at
it

'

I

Let them be confounded and put Let them be turned back and put to 'm wi' ye, Davvid,' says I, ' and when ye
*

dinna forget that their

name
be.

is

Torpheechan.'

Let their way be 'Chaff before the wind let the Lord let the Angel o' dark and slippery, and I '11 hae (Torpheechans, hear ye that chase them.' on your tail afore I hae dune Gawbriel himsel' hard

them

wi'

ye!)" " Megsy, Megsy,
sure I do with

I

wish you would forgive them, as
say.
It

I

my heart." " Forgie them — ow aye, I dare ain sweet sel', my bonny lamb.
am
all

is

like

your
their

Tipperlin will

forgie

them

funerals daunerin' kirkward

when she watches doon the glen."

Ow

aye, Margaret

324

NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH She recurred pleasant to the and comfortable Psalm words of the Psalmist in that from which she had been quoting. tion would he abate anything for landowner or sycophant. strange to say. lying tongue. Davvid. the first From to the kitchen door (jf the Manse. Anders MacQuaker who came Anders had upheld the to the rescue. and wi' a fu' heart and a willin' tongue auld Megsy will pray your prayer : ' destructions. It her with friendly was. hoping Megsy's sake against hope that this people among whom she had been But as the days set to get brought up would again look upon eyes. It was the early 325 . Revvie going about first his duties with a heavy heart. and without her charge things she knew Oh. So a time things remained. but ever put off. or jealously averted eye. and eagerly scanned the advertismore ing column of The Caledonian Mercury for anything Yet still for that might give her a home and work. she did not go. for cold -shoulder. Davvid. and with tongue and strong right arm cause of Hester. " ' For they hid their net for cause false witnesses not.' laid to my bairn. had in all matters approven himself a worthy champion It chanced that he came one night of the oppressed. passed on Hester grew more and away. ye had the root o' the matter in ye. feeling for the in his ministr)' that there time was a cloud between him and yet fixed in his mind that on no considerahis people. and lions It ' ! my darling Rescue my soul from their from the power o' the " indeed small wonder that was for Megsy Tipperlin preferred the Old Testament for her private reading. though ye were a terrible chiel amang the lasses.

Margaret. And it is a I did. " Maybes I sent for ye. cleansing of his feet on did. and the air the plover winnowin' the is abune. Anders." " Dinna blaspheme the Holy Bulk. " ye didna. the There 's nae company up yonder whaup gaun whurly-wurly doon to his nest in snipe and heather. creepin' blastie ye could never hae heard that. " but if I been given. but as I passed the ! window I heard ye till speakin' gangin' awa' the truth be made aboot this young leddy " plain " Anders. for the Lord has opened up a way. wi' your unhallowed jibes " An' it cam' into my head that I kenned a way oot. ! Ye hae heard I me speak o' my bit cottage that I biggit when the wi' was head game-watcher a' to his Grace." " Dinna swear." she said. Margaret. Anders MacQuaker. he heard most part of the conversation w^hich has already Then. stands in the lee o' is Tap Rig a troot o' Bennanbrack. caller a denty bit spot. It It It is nae mair than a butt an' ben. that 's commandit in the Bible itsel'. Megsy received him austerely. and. in the hoose o' " God's minister " I am no swearin'. I hae forgot " it ! " No. or ye miserable. ye do me grievous wrang. with a cough and a ceremonial mat and scraper. having no fine scruples as to listening. " ! Na. and he heard the sound of voices from within. he ventured in with even more than his usual humility. I didna so And ye ken muckle listen as juist incline my ear. but providence that thocht I micht venture. crawlin'. Anders Mac" Quaker." I said the fisherman. Megsy.NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH gloaming. burn rinnin' and clear a bowshot but the aneath the door. But Buss-o'-Bield 326 a bonny name an' a . ye '' listened.

" hear what I hae I am a man that can keep hoose to say at ony rate. aye. and an' see that he tak's them. wull gang up there a wee till the on the beds." rejoined Megsy. Noo. and set him on his beast. when a man it nearin' the three score an' ten speaks is aboot his heart. gin you.NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH bien bit hoose. think. too. Weel. 327 ." said Anders. too. " say on. stopping this^ front of him with the porridge spurtle poised in her hand. in my bonny But if man. honest man. time for his friends to be seein' o' aboot the condition his head ! " Well. brush his clacs." Megsy looked she turned to at him a long time in silence. and mind him o' baptisms and burials. gie us nae havers aboot your heart. the heart Anders AlacQuaker will rejoice within him. of course." said Megsy. and the Megsy. " an' tell ye me what 's to become o' puir Maister Borrowman. Anders. unabashed. ungratefully. like ony woman (barrin' yoursel'. shoo'er be slacked and the storm wind lowns." like said Anders the provibut dent. "ye in man me has nocht else to do but is And though a' this warl' ye scorn me. ye wantna Faith. Megsy). weel plenishcd wi' gear an' the best o' Scottish blankets bit lassie. there that yin the heart o' Anders Mac- " Quaker " Gin ye hae ocht sensible to say. And if there be ony ithcr duties that ye shall be pleased to lay upon him. I'll come and ready the minister's meals And mak' his bed." " A likely story. an' to pit his sermon in his pooch on Sabbath mornin's. left a' his leevin' lane in this great muckle o' shell o' a Manse see a " ! " I hae thocht o' that. Then Hester. Megsy. Anders MacQuakcr will faithfully perform them without fee or — reward.

insicht. as if in what the craitur says. too. I 'm an auld dune blinks o' has company for ony young thing. " ye wad wonder what sensible thochts come aneath that hoolet's hassock Glimmerin's o' sense the craitur o' hair at orra times. Faith.NAOMI TURNS THE TABLES ON RUTH " There 's something she remarked." Anders were deaf. and no fit — ye are plainly pinin' here. and we will e'en cot up amang the muirs o' Bennanbrack." try this bit 328 . but woman.

Beyond the Dungeon Buchan. named are imaginatively but obscurely in the aboriginal Gaelic. Loch still Listen ! Valley and Lonely Loch Moan sat. in the little ferny clcuch which opens through the rough heathery moors of Bcnnanbrack. others. When his name does not begin with " Mac. Neldrichen. bom- To Anders MacQuakcr's house of Buss-o'-Bicld. that cart upon which government duty had been 329 is. a His houses. a Grey. are more sonorous and imaginative in Erse. o' Glower-owcr-'ems. the Black Craig o' Dee looks to the Three Cairnsmores. mostly of Saxon speech the nine out of ten place names in Galloway. Anders drove them in what was then known as a tax-cart. Ben Gairn and Ben Yclleray. Blinkbonnies. and the most northerly of these passes on the regard to the Hill are picturesque o' the Windy Standard. a spring paid. and the Rig o' the Star. Hermitages. a Herd. or a Reid. — it is as if the grim particular primeval spirits had each on his own mountain top and bandied polysyllables instead of barding each other with granitic boulders. The .ht. when Black. that is compounds. a Brown. Mulwharchar. These . went Hester and her Mcgsy.CHAPTER XLI THE FIRST HESTER THE not Scot has the primitive instinct of nomencla- ture. Cuddlecozies." he is generally a Wrie. Duchrac and Craigronald. a Smith. a Shepherd. Loch Macaterick and Loch Enoch. But the story waits. a Crock Herd. Buss-o'-Bields." or end in " son.

and the birches standing ladylike and flame-coloured in every glade. and with shining utensils on the lit Megsy the her nose in the — to wall. A tiered and many-plattered dresser climbed willow-pattern. Anders unlocked the door. wide and blue-flagged. There was even a carpet in lurid hues on the floor. having tied his beast to the gate-post. the he said. In a minute he had a the pale blue fire licking briskly up the chimney. the green bracken searing to russet. V of the Then there was the " room. It was dusk when the heather is they arrived at their destination. but to them the care first part of blithely tall sometimes talking take Hester. Strings the eaves. A new " register " grate in the fireplace told that Anders had been at Cairn Edward. silent mostly. lamp and went from room to room with air.THE FIRST HESTER minister walked sedately beside the way. gay with blue of onions and dried herbs wavered in the dusky roof where the wood-smoke hung. He was wae to part with Hester and Megsy. waited their pleasure. its beams rough and hung with hams. and had left some of his hard-earned " siller " with the local ironmonger." where a white bed. the lucid grey-purple dusk of an autumnal day when browning on the hills. but he comforted himself by the thought that both of them would soon return to the Manse by Water of Darroch. Of these there were but three the kitchen. turned down to show pillows and linen sheets like the drifted snow. or bidding her of the old Chambers's 'Journals^ and closely-printed Hogg's Instructors^ which he had placed for her reading in the bottom of the cart. and all wood-smoke scented cot till it the cleuch and hung over the thinned itself out am»ong the rough heather of the Rig of Bennanbrack. .

that neither bite nor sup will Maister till Borrowman and he tak' ye bring him the news that we are safe and soond. (juid Anders." she said. " There are o'. and one a In this Megsy. be trusted to look weel after the minister " ! But Megsy had reached the was not good for Anders. Megsy. and mind the warm puts the minister's boots on 'hud' befcjre them 33' ." THE FIRST HESTER and pictures on the walls representing incidents of the A great family Bible. ye will ken oot what they are." Anders MacQuaker's " I spirits instantly their zenith. We coolly. during which she had no word of praise or blame. just affording place for a bed. who had followed her from room to room with anxious brows of suspense. represent and on the table worked wool-mat on the chest of the outlook upon the spiritual. nicht to ye. fishing-book of wonderfully dressed At chair. After she had finished her inspection. she turned to Anders. generously. " but in the mean time gang your ways back to For weel do I ken the manse and serve the supper. in what must indeed have been " whole calf bound (if not cow). a round an oaken chest. More in the like all men. the back a little room opened table. bestowed her chattels. general literature was represented by a flics. off. am richt glad to hear ye say sae. who. without said word." " '11 see that in a month or twa. limit of praise. mony juist things that ye wad baith be the better till he can find noo that he can but ye '11 hae to excuse Anders Surely. was opinion of Alarget Tipperlin " an upsettin' craitur." said Megsy. " It '11 do. lay on a to drawers. chase in scarlet and grass-green." he said. " it for a 's nane sae rose to ill — man.

irregular comet-like orbit overhead. however. prepared tax-cart. " Do ye think that I am an auld dune woman ? " she would demand. a as it world of sounds came to her one by one. and left Megsy and her young mistress alone in the deep encompassing silence of Bennanbrack. swooping in some her. Hester could hear nothing. At first. when Hester ran across the kitchen floor to lift the frying-pan off the fire for her. The booming of a dor-beetle. By and by." the Afterwards. were dis- engaging themselves singly and stealing upon the ear rather as the perfume does than with the rude assault and battery of a sound. 332 . Hester helping diligently as the somewhat imperious mood of her companion would permit. lassie that ' ! Read your book and ' let Megsy Tipperlin. The brack burn murmured low under its bracken coverts down in the glen. Hester went to the door and the large silence which at that hour falls coming out from listening to the purring exudation of the sap from the beech-logs Anders had cut for them. washing up having been carried through on a compromise and fireside Megsy established by the with her knitting.THE FIRST HESTER So Anders MacQuaker drove away. and the hum of the kettle she herself had hung high up to boil easily for Megsy's listened to upon the hills. faither's silly readied meat for your faither and your faither. droned across waxed louder and then thinned out rapidly. " gae wa' wi' ye. A fox barked on the opposite hill. good-night glass of invalid toddy (the " invalid " strongly protesting to the last sip). bits o' do her duty by Anders MacQuaker's puir burn troots. He had brought a basket of trout carefully in him the and leaf-wrapped along with These Megsy " readied " for as supper. The silence seemed absolute.

phichan. He was clever and . In the hour of right faithfully her need she had turned to him. of all she thought of Carus. she was glad that he should not think of her. shamed Hester Stirling. He was the son of a lord. "dinna stand get your daith o' cauld. said too well.r— he must marry some one worthy oh. It was which to resolve entanglements and to come at the meaning of things. in indeed a place — how relieve it) Revvie of the burden which (as she conBut here ceived her presence was laying upon him. indeed. on the high Rig of Bennanbrack she would have time to think. and had he kept the bond of ancient friendship. and out of thought would come counsel and the vista of a plain way for her feet to tread in. this poor He he was free. as down an So first avenue. could not bear that But Hester was glad he should care for — yes. bairnic. and Hester thought steadilv of Carus Darroch. for his eyes had Almost more than his tongue had confirmed. He would be a great man some day. your ways in. Down at the Manse she had had many matters to occupy her mind specially as to what she should do in the future. where in the height of the later rains a month hence a torrent would be roaring red. no more to could be nothing to her. she further than that." the Megsy to reached her from the kitchen. a great lady was thankful Empress Gate.THE FIRST HESTER a mere humming runnel of water now. there ? What — no her grcctin' Hoot- hoot (Hester had hastily put official drying-apron 333 . But that Torhe would go — — and beauty — — not — a poor little nursery governess voice of — like like "Come Miss Martin. Only Ethel she Yes. very clever some one with money and tame of him.

he did not. I love him I me or guess that I — ! — I love him. bairnie ? " in London. whilk hirple o' the Lord come to 1 Tak' your Bulk. " am so ashamed. Megsy. I But *' cannot help it." Hester " It was all my folly. this will never do bairnie. He is no worthy man. bairnie. and in womanly understanding of the heart of one little more than a child. wheesht then." THE FIRST HESTER to her eyes). or he wad never hae " spoken of love. I " Tell me." London. Megsy. my wee lass sae upon the face o' the warld. indeed. better. never think of an "Oh. putting her bed almost as bairn she still she had been. Megsy that loes ye far better. Megsy. and read me a lesson. indeed. And as the rough old Scots- woman bent over to kiss her darling good night. Megsy comto passed Hester about with if observance. suddenly in Hester threw her arms about her neck. " Is it What shall I in is do ? And I What shall I could not help " do ? some one he "No — yes. bairn. and Hester thrust her face first tell. and agony of sobs whispered in her ear. eagerly. tell Megsy. Megsy. There shall nae harm lang as Megsy Tipperlin can ! is the footstool And so with all her honest soul aflame at the injustice that had been done. whoever he may be. and he — well." But closer into the loving shoulder of her and only nurse. he was great and it. think so. the sobs There is nothing to I cannot. Megsy 334 . speak not so. At least. Megsy. than she loes her ain soul " ! " I cannot. once more the called her. and oh. that I love He must him so. it. But all interrupted. went on. kind. so different. the rest were so horrid. and then " But he did not. cannot help He made me Bairn.

It is He kind never said a word. Megsy. " Bairnic. tale. But oh. imagined every bit." she said. which more than all else still a woman's at heart when it rises volcanic within her. bairnie. all mine. But as the sobs grew tewer and stronger. licht the anger of the old woman flamed out suddenly. "No. I not his fault. dawtie. with Hester's hand in hers. " I I who kenned the matter from the beginning to the end. Then last aboot vour ain mither she said. I was " ! all my own She sat follv. the story of your mither. and an arm about her neck. Just because he was It when every one was cruel." " Heed not that. soothingly. and the fountains of the great deep are broken up. as if deciding where 3. still She freely up on her elbow. said am so miserable Then Megsv nothing for a long time. had never meant to tell you the But now I must — ! it is laid upon me sake of the dead and because of the love " heritage they have left behind them for the Again Megsy was to begin.15 . Megsy ! No it — no — you do It is ! not understand. her toil-hard hand growing soft as satin with love-vearning.THE FIRST HESTER petted her. will tell swear to you that there was no shame. " The curse of the deceiver on him." said Megsy. whacvcr he may curse of the false tongue that spak' the " words of love when there was nane in his heart be ! The " Hush. Megsy. sae I that my heart yearns for ye. moving her hand in the little touches of sympathy. did " ? ye ever hear Hester shivered a sat little within the circling arm. silent a while. with the drops falling on the lace of her snowy night-gear. like you Ye are like her. "at least only what my aunt Torphichan cast up to me when she was angry. She watched her bairn keenly.

I can see her noo aboot' her — But your mither. guessin' In orra time he wad gather a company play-actors frae Guid-kensplayin' ' where and Roger. She was the dochter o' an auld pernicketty cat-witted Englisher that cam' to the Assembly Rooms o' Drumfern to learn dancin' an' deportment to the burgher bairns and the sons and dochters o' the country farmers. half o' love an' half o' mischief.! THE FIRST HESTER " Ye never mind o' your mither. there was nae sweeter maiden in the kingdoms three.' and travel ' the countryside o' ' Paitie an' The Curse Greyson Scotland "But there was Hester she held amang the young cam' first amang them wi' — judge — her ye what a stirrin' callants o' Galloway when e'en glancin' in her But innocent and unspoilt. and aboot the great man he had been — before his tell. a creature sae denty. an' far and mony there were that sought her out. Simeon Greyson was his name a great man to blaw aboot everything that he could do. wi' her auld donnert vaigabond o' a faither for the sake 33^ . as ye had a guid richt to be. Hester she was. Mony drank mischief and youth. What was o' they would in but as he spent maist part easy. like the Stirlings. keeped in safety by the mere swarm o' her admirers. her e'en sparklin' an inner licht. bairn. The fame o' her gaed abroad fast. You have grown some-deal taller. o' were he never what he made his public-hooses. too. to floo'er. ye were caaed for her. " Aye. flichterin' like a butterflee frae floo'er her hair yellow as wi' gowd face. but ye hae the Stirling e'en and the Stirling hair. Hester Stirling (that had been Hester Greyson) was a veesion to turn for the auld heart young again. Ye favour her in the features. misfortunes. Davvid's wife. and so can never ken that like she vs^as when first I saw her.

" Noo. them that will need it amang ithers. and worshipped him like a saint o' bein' askit to sac bricht. I kenna what Davvid Stirling said to Hester Greyson. as brisk and because he was his only son and a clever in the uptak'. I me that Davie gied and to little o' his it attention to the measurin' chain level. Hut 22 337 . nor how he got a chance to whisper in her ear amang a' that multitude of suittjrs for her favour. my like you It 's fell ! God help a' lovin' hearts in their sair need. lad. and because she was sae lightfit and denty they caaed She was the finest dancer that had her the Snawflake. it " Now oot that your faither. de Saucy so much. Megsy went on after a little pause for thought. Davvid Stirling. For was the auld the scoundrel's plan bring his dochter to dancin' academy. was in Drumfern learnin' the land surveyin'." Hester began to understand pleased his how it was that she had M. — because she had as vet had nacthing else to love. ever been seen in thae pairts. handsome a lad as ever set leg ower saddle. "Like a feather in the wind Hester Greyson danced. and how he had made short teaching of the Torphichan-Stirlings and perfunctory that he might have time to teach Hester all Greyson's daughter the mystery of his art. For his faither had him taught a' thing. very gleg " But when misdoot Hester Greyson cam' on the scene.! THE FIRST HESTER gang back to the lodgin's that she made For she loved the worthless deboshed auld a' guid-for-naething. and even them that was coontit high gentrice cam' frae far to see her. — her heart couldna do without that juist — And bairn like you. and gar her learn the beginners their steps and whiles be partner to them that were farther on in their learnin'.

and he laid siege to the heart o' Hester Greyit son.' where it my lord put up his fine horses. birlin' at their wine and crackin' their ill-conditioned jokes. how that her faither had actually agreed to to my Lord how Darroch — her. And ' with Simeon Greyson lord ' was 'My in lord' this and ' My that. and broke a hole through the hedge and climbed the At six foot wa' by the nicks he set his bare taes into. They dined a private room the George. She heard it arranged she was to be taken to a village out of 338 . places o' the " But o' cam' aboot that amang the ither young rakish in to gentlemen that rade faither. then a fine. He took private in that guise saw Hester. sitting Hester heard the Rooms twa men come Hester heard sell And there at the table. ately it fell oot that he began to be verra pack wi' her was the mainner o' Drumfern. for a price. And so gaed on frae bad to worse. having come hame to greet hersel' in. till. Drumfern to see the marvel fule. and immedifaither. "Weel. For that the man. yae nicht early frae the Assembly to sleep. beauty and drink wi' the auld play-actin' her was my Lord that had Darroch. They drank in the publics at together.THE FIRST HESTER oor Davie was ever a determined callant frae the time he vi^as denied access to the garden in the berry-time. a' events there were looks gi'en to him that werena' for ithers — maybes sic — it a hand mair warmly pressed in the dance. as ill-hearted a spendthrift and rakish run-the- country as ye could find gin ye searched the kindgoms three. and ill-versed a bit kiss in the bye-gangin' at the dark stairs. handsome But. He was never awa' frae lessons. if ye please. body and soul. as noo. then young man been a sojer a while. and in things — I am an auld single woman.

as if it were yestreen. It was a winter's gloaming. mind it wecl. And I sae Davvid. maybe through the angry lord. the time being at hand when she behoved to dree the as the Noo. I have come to ask your for- 33') . Only at odd times his mither wad get a pound note to him.THE FIRST HESTER Drumfcrn on pretext of a visit. his white hair lang and granite stanc. flakes o' snaw pingin' in the faces o' the pair o' young folk as they stood close thegithcr on the doorstep. And sae Davvid was ordered hame. the wind icy and shrill. and before the gloaming fell they were man and But Davvid did not dare to face his father. or aiblins. and features as if cuttit like to a stature was cedar on Lebanon. for he kenned he was a hard man. He got a cot for his lassie-wife down by the Saut Water. and whiles — but there 's nae need to speak aboot that. brocht her up there on his arm to the great door o' Arioland. weird o' a' lovin' his women. some suspicious word frae the druclcen disappointed faither. o' in He his had a grand presence. and the twa were to start for England as hard as the horses could gallop. " But there came a word frae Drumfern to Arioland. He would not come and did not.' says Davvid. "The wife. There my lord was to and a carriage and pair. next day Hester Greyson fled to Davvid Stirling's arms. months gaed by and nae relief. Sae his faither cut afF a' supplies. ' " ' Father. Hester was to be entrapped within. repair with a servant or two. putting his pride in pooch. " I can see your grandfaithcr come oot to them. a head thick. to which he could resort upon occasion. there cam' a time when the need o' Davvid and Hester grew great. And for a while the young things were fair daft with that fey happiness that canna last monv months.

have nothing to say when yet ever ! " door Do ? ' you mean I tell you will turn her from your I ' could hear the Stirling anger rising in Davvid's voice. at her husband's feet and fleeched on him to let them ' — bide. and ever kept baith wife and bairns at a distance. and he sabbit oot the last words. wife. sir. nor that it to you. the laddie's mither cam' rinnin oot. I beseech you. For his faither was. and this you can walk do not know kindred woman. he hardened his ' that one who can . wife. Perhaps love her I ought ' first. father. Isobel. sir. father ' ! "'I have nothing in to say to you. for ask you to be merciful. I is you. married her in haste to de- her from a terrible I And I " am thinkin' (Megsy broke off a moment) that the up what he was to say to his faither. all. 'I laddie had it made love her.' " Then. I is too late ' — nothing now. I of such a marriage before. in it. once for ill. But when he came to the last words a kind o' cry brak' frae him. a hard man. before the auld man could answer. as I tell ye. I saw what I am sure nae She kneeled doon mortal e'er saw o' Isobel Stirling. ' You I have chosen your path. my young weak and she cannot go far on such a night. let him bring her in as ye hope for mercy.' said his faither a lofty voice.' THE FIRST HESTER giveness. to have told liver This you is my young but I evil. " ' I tell you. as if he had been a god. and would not. but I am acquainted with her Had you asked my opinion should have given it and circumstances. her sake and not for mine. and truth as I am tellin' you. " But like to King Pharaoh of heart. 340 old.' she cried.' he said. this. Doubtless it had been a great thocht to him.

soul.' THE FIRST HESTER behave as house this this young man has done. His mither cam' past her husband and would have succoured her. for in his " But a wild cry broke Davvid as she spake these words she lay back ' like * ane daft wi' jealousy. either in heaven or a meet- ing him whether on earth or in the abodes of the dead. " Stand aside. I am no son of that I man's. belonging to the house of Arioland shall touch She is mine. drew away from your English voice. mother. in the hollow of his airm. soul be for ever accursed.' "Then faither's young thing that had been standin' wi' dooncast face on the doorstep.' he cried. is no son of the marrying daughter of the Philistines he was as a stranger to the puir of Arioland. touch a penny ! break bread or drink drop with him if May mv hell. cross that man's doorstep. May all this dear if is whom I love. do not quarrel with again. if I were in the Place of Torment.' even arms with the bonny hopefu' smile yet on her face. I Take mc back home till am not afraid. she said. in airm that had been aboot her. count him I as mine enemy.' in her pleasant maist like the far-away croon o' doves springtime. Aye. and swooned away. I recognise him by so much as look. because of the young heart he has broken this day at his own doorstep. haudin' his wife Stirling. makin' ' o' the woods in him wi' baith her hands claspit aboot his airm. your father I for my sake. but Davvid was far beyond taking help even from the mither that bore him. " ' David. it would be heaven to sec him tormented beside me loving ! 341 . ' David. can wait frae they are not angry with us for loving one another. reproach me through eternity that ever his. mine alone. From the hour of his me.' she says. None her.

if his Hester hadna fleeched wi' him. " They heard the noise o' hammerin' a' that nicht.THE FIRST HESTER "And Davvid without anither word. leavin' And even sae I fand it the front door open ahint her. for he was aye a great laddie for tools. till yae wild in the mornin'. Farther nor that he wadna gang. to earn the bite and the crust. "And common he kept his oath. he in broadclaith as became a laird. He passed his ain faither in the street. 342 . when in the fulness of days. doctor. carryin' you her airms. he in his workin' — moleskins. a labourer. my wee lamb rallied. still And the verra folk in the street stood wi' fear to hear the greetin' o' the strong man. but this terrible oath. Stirling turned ing his wife in his and gaed down the avenue. but turned him aboot and up the street to the joiner's. "Then hame in he lockit the door and convoyed his mither to the end o' the avenue o' Arioland. " She gaed. and back hame he gangs wi' the wood on his shooder. and smilin'. but sank slowly — aye — the first Hester never smilin'. so But Davvid wad let nane near her but the March dawnin' the mistress o' Arioland gaed fair distractit and fled to her only son. There he waled boards to suit him. and wadna be said nay to. " Then. He took his wife to a mean lodging in the village near by. the siller his heart-broken mither saved He worked as He sent back for him. and they tell it (though she never did) that even then. they said. carryarms as if she had been a bairn. But nane could hae telled by the quiver o' an eyelid that yin kenned wha the ither was. their bairn cam' that was you. " The young thing died that day at the gloamin' in Davvid's airms. Davvid Stirling wad hae denied his ain mither at his door.

For they thocht that his distraction o' mind had driven him to something they daredna name. But Davvid Stirling never looked left. they looked aboot for a grave. a coffin he had a farm ower it. to the richt hand nor to the burial but took his way to the great muckle vault o' the Stirlings o' Arioland. that Davvid was dressed in his worn when he was learnin' the sur- veyin' in street Drumfern. him a on he saw them 343 hut he to<jk the . Neither was blind drawn up.THE FIRST HESTER in the morning a' was still. and they began to speak o' breakin' But see in the door. the its Then side. wark they saw Davvid Stirling leadin' There was a board laid lengthways across covered wi' a white sheet. the third day as the men it. followed afar off. for the padlock lay broken hasp to gic And the door. They daredna gang ower near. best. Never a bite o' meat did he tak'. neither was the grass muckle as broken. o' "Then when some hand he never let them gaed near . " But there he bode twa days and twa nichts. too. nor yet did a pew o' heartsome reek gang up frae that lum tap. And as he gaed through the village sicht to see the uncanny and men stood wi' their hats in their hands as Davvid Stirling. but saw nane. like the folk in the Bible. gaed by women ran to their windows to bury his dead. he took " But they micht never hac been there for a' the notice o' them. the nearest folk saw that wi' iron yett had been at the opened. o' " But on the morn oot to their cairt. But when it cam' to the point there wasna gaed a man in the village that dared face him. they "And when so they cam' to the kirk-yaird. the son and heir o' a' Arioland. a' — and or some- thing the shape o' a coffin. lamp lichtit. so that they listened to whether he was awake. but. had been forced.

" Nay. Wife of David Stirling^ younger^ '^Oth^ 1 of Arioland^ died i'] March 8 — . Davvid faither. Davvid gaed back to the tomb.THE FIRST HESTER coffin ben. and in the next place on the monument of them — the Stirlings he carved as clearly as ony stonemason. the Nocht was touched. closed the door. And there she rests to this day. Nae man saw him gang. " Then he gaed awa'. he wad hear And some there yet. MacDowall a o' the Post- got the gear for his pains after year and a day. he had wasna touched. but or ben. took a chisel oot o' his pocket. after he had ta'en hame the beast. aye wrappit in the white sheet. more. " And every yin said that the next Sabbath auld Maister Stirling gaed to the kirk. They bits o' fand the buttons some bairn-claes and wee o' frocks she had been makin' against the time her visitation — but nocht else belangin' to the young thing. that murder wad be dune ower the head o't For they said that auld Arioland (that 's what they caaed your grandfaither) wad hae her lifted and threepit buried in the pauper's portion. there terrible scene less when wad be a For dootwere that when he tell read the inscription. aged years. wad ^tvf surely come back and shoot his Some there were that swore that they had seen him at nicht slippin' aboot the kirk-yaird. And ithers said that if he did. And there he laid the young lass. except that a' young lass's claes and puir trifles o' ornaments had burnt o' been to ash on the hearth. He The rent was paid to the But sic furniture as last day he had occupied. The landlord. the words — mony is the time I hae seen Hester Stirling. o't. office. left his hoose as it stood. or 344 .

withoot stopping or noticin' the folk. Syne he cam' down the street. tresh But Davvid's inscription was facing the and clean. riding like a great gentleman on his fine horse. heart of stane. And the when he cam' back he never gaed near the kirk or the grave where. why he did not go. they though there were mony that watched couldna see onything there. gied the auld Arioland." 345 .' he said. lying in the wet But a I do "So the next Sabbath at niornin' there was great congregation the kirk. lay man I he had renounced as a faithcr. slow and deliberate. as mostly the case." " know.THE FIRST HESTER snaw on his wife's grave. " At last he spoke. whose white face and strain. as sel' is : if it to himIt ' Yes. beast to a servant. The door had been fastened again and the padlock was on. or raither in the kirk-yaird. not ken whether that was true or no." said Hester. it He times stood read several ower withoot spcakin'. his '' away and went up to his For though a hard man and with a your grandfaither was just according to lights. walked slow and deliberate to the family vault. positively. as was his custom. beside the woman " of his love. nane gaed in that could And they waited for For he was an elder and never kenned to be absent. " He was never cither seen or heard tell o'. ' ! ' it is her right ! I deny not. her right " And with seat in the that he turned kirk. for help it. Then he gaed in and. quivering is lip told the tension first of the question Yet." And was my father never seen again till he came home to see granny and me?" asked Hester. his monument and And face. her was quite commonplace. my bairn. He lichtit doon at the kirk yett and.

I have forgiven him long ago." answered to Hester. "ye are a dour queer stock. " Then I Ye keep your grudges far ayont the grave. " Because he loved her " ! " Say rather because he hated him " corrected Megsy. you Stirlings o' ! Arioland. " And why is it harder for you Torphichan than her faither ? " But thing Hester would not tell Megsy. Megsy. that got ye pitten into the jail ? " asked Megsy. " Only I do not want " her to marry Carus " An' what aboot your uncle.THE FIRST HESTER " Why ? " said Megsy. lightly." am sure I am no true Stirling." said little ." But she added in her heart. ! " Oh. Hester. lassie. smiling a " I think I could forgive even Ethel Torphichan. forgive is Ethel that the one 34^ .

CHAPTER XLII THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES A BATH CARUS DARROCH nominally on high up had risen his early. dales than* leave London in May to be buried alive at Knockdon. all without fee or reward. to be more explicit. but a good deal of his time was taken up with another matter. of as Hester Stirling he told himself. argued. with at its wide moors and disposal firwoods. the sole of the She herself would sooner have been laid decently to rest in the burial-place of all the Niddis- young man. rich which separate the uplands of holms of the valley of the imperious lady Or scanty rather. a shooting-box which among the hills Galloway from the Nid. arguing and investigating the case it. He was pursuing an interesting sidelight upon It really future pro- was Jim Chctwynd's business. so he And then Chctwynd was a very busy man. however. but so. that little had put the trim fringing house. with only grave James Lammie and his buxom wife to attend upon him. his and her uncle. So in this solitary place Carus dwelt. He was rehim much during the last six months. solely as fession. Carus was supposed to be reading law. He was at a visit to grandmother the lies Lodge of Knockdon. which. Carus look the matter off 347 . and so he was. was not without its bearing It was a matter which had occupied upon the first.

nobody knew where and (this took longer than all the rest put together) where it was — that she had gone. it So he threshed thousand different ways — why out a thousand times and in a Sir Sylvanus had taken so sudden and violent a prejudice against one so beautiful and innocent. Carus was surhow much happier he was in the prised to find society of men who devilled for the great leaders of the Bar. Carus would have been in difficulties. Borrowman upon business connected with 348 his task and had received . He had written several times Mr. and profiting by his carelessly-given advice. and so. (This part of the argument took some time. what David Stirling had to do with the matter.) How it was that the necklace with the ruby clasp was apparently of the same set and pattern as those in the possession of Sir Sylvanus. which separation from Hester made. despite the injury to his feelings. — his side made certainly not one cover- If it had not been for his grandmother. Carus had never spoken the trial. than he had been in Dover Street as the only son of my Lord Darroch to of Darroch. Bohemian in the nature of the young Master of Darroch. to his father since the day of nor had my Lord Darroch on any communication whatever ing a cheque. and wrote for any paper they could screw a couple of guineas out of. and gone to reside in Lincoln's Inn in a couple of rooms which at Niddisdale Castle they would of warrantable have considered inferior accommodation for a lady setter But there was something ancestry.THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES his A BATH as to friend's hands — only all keeping him posted results. though he had left Dover Street and the fleshpots of the West-end immediately. why Hester had gone off. so loveable and winsome.

" I wad hac been sure to hear o't. in." he said to himself." he said. " I commend me all Grace. " You afe staying at the Castle. and how far the farmers of the glen were on with their ploughing. . and thank her on kindness to — behalf for " one so dear to this house ! my her Here was Carus's opportunity. in." said Carus. " for. for all the country knew the terms on which Lord Darroch was with his son. The minister was More he did not know." to her said the minister. Borrowman smiled a quiet smile as he rose to welcome the voung man. and early one Anders winter's eve he knocked at the manse door. THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES answers in A BATH which no mention was made of Hester or of his heart.'' though indeed he supposed nothing of the kind. So he could not rest till he had travelled north to Galloway. " May I ask when she will return " ? 349 . the And when Carus came at minister began to talk once about the openness of the winter. at — " No. whether Megsy was in the flesh or out of it but he surmised the former. I suppose " he said. "Is Miss Hester not at home? " he asked. MacQuaker it was who opened it.. anv subject near to He could tell where Miss Hester was. and he leaped upon it. trying his best to conceal his anxiety. Anders was sure of that. " This comes of answering letters judiciously. " She is absent from us at present ! " said the minister. " I am to-morrow I go over " ! the Cross Keys to-night at to my grandmother pray you Niddisdale " Ah. succinctlv. gin Margaret Tipperlin had been He could not tell not deid!" Mr.

but 35° ." " She she is well. and the implied hint that it was So he remained silent. He Mistress Curlywee. write I me " a line to Lincoln's Inn. with some and Without another word Carus bade him good night. you might let the same thing. feet. one in the When Miss Stirling returns it. for is done a good night's work '' myself ! " he murmured." I am a lawyer. When Miss Stirling returns is Mr. The rougher the road made for young it. But is shall never be said that a Stirling of Arioland threw herself head of a Darroch. do you not ? " She was well when usually heard. over at the Cross Keys. for Hester's address. Carus would dearly have liked to ask in the minister's tone. A BATH " Certainly." said shall undertake that Mr. the minister. write to me directly. now. — I hope last ? You I hear from her. " I am not at all sure that I have he smiled quietly. but. these present troubles will It make is good " ! not easy to put on record the feelings of Carus after his Darroch tried courteous repulse at the Manse. staring straight " I am only sorry that I cannot tell you — do not know." THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES into the fire I . Chetwynd hears of point. if and he be for his in earnest — Though Carus a good well. or at least. too. he felt the constraint none of " his business. it the keener are they to run post-haste along at the lad. You know making." answered the minister. Chetwynd know. said She does not the minister." guardedly. and presently rose to take his leave. or what home. as Anthony Borrowman lighted his lamp and bade Anders bring in the frugal supper of porridge and milk. being a gentleman.

and were. There he heard caused him to stop dead. no doubt. her for some weeks she could not " chairge her memory " with ever — She thought back to where she had gone.THE GRUAIPHY ONE TAKES that lady. Moreover. balancing of forth. but not been And or it might be more. bound So. The young she had had certainly been seeing the village. Lords would be lords. adventure at the old castle to a band of sycophants. tumblers. however. 35' But is name no need to . play-actors. She was a woman with daughters. He thought at that a it was some one making a political harangue. as it says something affairs the equitable earthly that Grumphy Guddlestane was abroad that not a subtle intellect and when he got about he his liquor night. Carus went It he might devour. full swing of oaths and revilings when Carus hands in strolled by. she thought some of her mother's people This last little feminine tag of spite they were. to be careful. lady judiciously said much and in told nothing. if Grumphy got so far. first his his pockets. but — was an indubitable fact was not a seemly thing into her decent that the matter should be brought law- abiding house. And as the auld cock craws. divided A BATH future between her respect her fear for the Lord Darroch and of the present one. hearing — A'listress Curlywee could not deny herself. Grumphy had been turned out of the Cross Keys by his Mistress Curlywee for creating a disturbance. still seeking for whom none the wiser. This occurred regularly between the eighth and ninth This night. the it it young one learns. His was stage of to relate a subject to talk made the most of it each night At a certain was Grumphy's wont it. and he was reduced to standing at the Cross and re-tclling the He was in the story to the loafers congregated there. that cat will after kind.

A BATH it is impossible. and Grumphy tried to turn could only go forward with increased speed. this wi' ye. It is sufficient to say that every evil word in Grumphy's limited vocabulary. Besides. " Anither o' thae corned lookin' for the bonny play-actors' boys. in the at this season a black island of midst of a shallow sea of liquid top-dressing. ' Oot o' if ever I see your face on this '" I'll rage. so as to At first Grumphy all come to grips. ye besom — an' side o' my mairch dyke the — At this point Carus elbowed his way through little laughing throng and stood before Grumphy Guddlestane. 352 . tary authorities have shifted Just over the wall (the saniit now) was the "midden" fertiliser of the farm-yard. " This is the way with lying blackguards ! " he cried. and the tale-teller was being punted down the street of the Clachan of St. every foul insinuation that would occur to a mind so grovelling was reproduced. John by that very practical stern-propeller. reiterated.THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES reproduce Grumphy's language. Only those who know Grumphy can imagine it. Now ately at the foot of the village street there is a sharp turn of the road and a low dry stone dyke. side of this lie Immedi- on the other the byres and stables of the farm of Braehead. Grumphy " did not know ? his master's son. Grumphy. but the athletic leg attached to the boot kicked round which was the harder. and enlarged upon with a kind of drunken triumph which roused Carus to wild " An' says I to her. for Carus had quarrelled with his father before Wha are ye " said 's Grumphy's time. that lass that stole the necklace " ! Carus did not stop to argue. a double-soled hobnailed shooting boot. and the next moment he had Grumphy by the collar of his coat behind.

an' I can tell ye that. I '11 get my leave as sure as fate. " sole I wish had had on my Alpine ones." he repeated. Hester Stirling was avenged upon her adversary. And a suit o' best claes spoilt. ye hae been seein' your auld mither this nicht it Gang and bury chance ! yoursel'." 353 ." muttered Grumphy. I Lord Darroch's son " hae law on him. losing hold of his energy into a pitched final collar. — Carus. Grumphy. and Grumphy tripped over the moment when Carus. There was a bat-like figure spread for an instant dark against the moonlight — a splash — and as a dripping scarecrow emerged amid the endless laughter of his late audience. " these have on — none along the edges. other efforts 's only wit. the propeller in full action Neither took at the consequence was that low wall much heed to their going." "Lord* hae mercy. It is worth your while. put all his effort. the A BATH travelling fast." only tackets he- murthe mured ^J regretfully. wad that." said Grumphy. " do ye no ken vour ain young master and the heir. tauntingly. Grumphy. Grumphy your ! Faith. " I '11 find oot his name and kill him " Faith. Son and heir. " together with of rustic Grumphy took his dripping and circuitous way home- wards towards the cottage which had once been Dickson's. Grumphy forward bodily. "what mistak' I a hae made.! THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES Grumphy was behind. "I '11 hae the law on him. The wall crumbled." said a sharp boy who had seen with delight the whole affray. Keys Carus inspected his right boot. that cost me twa guid pound notes So. amid Tobermory cries of " Keep wecl in ! " to loo'ard. faith. splutter" ing. at the great gate of In his room I at the Cross Darroch Castle.

did not complain of the same thing.THE GRUMPHY ONE TAKES But. All he said was. It is the only 354 . and throwing his red silk tie out of the window. A BATH his Grumphy. to enter into rearward judg- ment with the Grumphies of the argument they understand. land. curiously enough. with plated toes. "What a mistak' I hae made O Lord what a mistak' I made " So may there always be tacketty boots at hand — ! ! — Alpine. steeping best two-pound Tobermory suit in a tub.

CHAPTER

XLIII

DIAN'S KISS

It was May, and the month. Sometimes in a bitter season the breezes blow from the Arctic even then with a vigour and incision truly Polar. But this had been a

TO

the broad farce of the village street succeeds

the idyll of

Knockdon.

24th

of the

genial year. From the middle of March there had only been enough showers to water the earth and cause the

grain to

grow

for the

food of

man and
is

beast.

Even

these had fallen mostly in the night.

The
bloom

hawthorn, which
instead
.

in

Scotland

mostly Juneout

of May-bloom, was

fully

by the

middle of

its

own
little

proper month.

Even high up on

Knockdon

the

buds of the heather began to show,
first

tiny tips of viridian green, of a colour keen as the leaves

of turnips after the
not possible that

frost.

It

was a

fine

morning,
all,
it

and Carus Darroch was almost happy.
in

After

was

so small

a

world he could

finally

and altogether lose sight of Hester. The Providence which had brought them together would keep their lovetale

from ravelling out
in

like a

knotless thread.
its

So he
cut

kept repeating to himself.
out for
it

Providence has

work

attending to the importunities of lovers.

"Never mind
hearts
!

about others, give us the desire of our

"

is

their

modest prayer.
that

But Carus
Hester.

supplementing.

He

even such high interest needed no stone unturned to hud had attached Dickson to his faction upon
felt

He

left

355

DIA
his last visit to the

N' S

KISS

Clachan
kissing

— the
to
his

one that

Guddlestane
simple

had
of

such

cause

remember

— by

Grumphy
the
mistress

process

wife.

Good

Dickson,

who had

kissed Carus

when

she could ever

since his babyhood,

should not forget he should ask for

was enchanted that " The Master " old times, and that after the salute one of her bannocks, which, having

received, he graciously sat and ate in her back-shop like

any

common person. The Dicksons had
main
street

set

up a

little

place of business

in the

of the Clachan and were doing very

well.

But even Mistress Dickson could discover nothing of
the whereabouts of Hester.
strangely circumscribed place.

For a Scottish village is a Within a radius, varying
it,

according to the width of ploughed land about
thing
is

every-

known
can

with photographic particularity.
its

A man

cannot get shaved without

being canvassed, and no

words

characters of

with which the But once out of the radius of ploughmen who come to the smiddy to get
express
the

minuteness

women

are studied.

their coulters sharpened, or their horses shod, out of the

ken of the herds who descend whistling upon the village shops for flour and baking soda, off the main roads by which the farmers and their spouses drive to the market, you are in a region about which nothing whatever is

known
striking

or cared.
in

A

river

may
it

divide

two

parishes as
in

completely
ary of

interests

and

acquaintance,

bargain-

and love-making,

as if

constituted the bound-

two

hostile countries.
is

A

mountain range or a

stretch of wild heathery hills
to be passed over.

a watershed of
to pass that,

news not
Yett,
St.

So

it

came
miles

though she

dwelt

within

a

dozen

of the

Kirk

John's Clachan

knew no more what had become of
356

D
Hester than did

I

A

N' S

KISS
Park and

the

busy world of Hyde

Empress Gate. So that one May morning the 24th, as we have said when Carus strode over a Httle hill all clad in the young green of the bracken, and saw Hester sitting on a stone twenty yards beneath him with a book in

her hand, he stopped as

if he had been shot. move. She was looking absentmindedly over the open volume in her lap towards the distant hills behind which lay St. John's and Darroch. Her chin was sunk prettily in the hollow between her thumb and first finger. The teasing wind had played such havoc with her hair, that, feeling quite safe in that

The

girl

did

not

desert place, she had taken out the hairpins in the swift,

mechanical way peculiar to women, and now, rejoicing
in their liberty, the

plenteous locks were straying loosely

over her shoulders and falling almost to her waist.

For

a long

minute Carus stood

still

and drank

in

the

gladness of the unexpected.

The

day seemed suddenly

changed

to

something

infinitely airier

and sweeter.

The

breeze that stirred Hester's hair came to him of some rare vintage cooled with snow.

like a draft

him,

The sun was Carus took a step forward. for it was early and the shadows long.

still

behind

Something dark passed Hester vaguely, too large to be wing of a moor-bird stooping in clamorous defence of its young, too dense for the shadow of a cloud
the sweeping
floating
in

the upper
instantly

air.

She looked once over her
her
feet,

shoulder and
l)0(jk

sprang to

letting
a

her

drop unheeded on the heather.
a

Like
at

startled

fawn she stood

moment

half defiantly

bay, half

poised for flight, while the red tide of a delicious
flooded her cheek and
well

shame

neck.
It

— but

She had hidden herself
had been for the best, as

not

t(jo

well.

357

DIA
Megsy
said,

N' S

KISS
to

but oh,

it

was so sweet

be found again.

She did not mind the danger, not a

bit.

« Hester ! " He came nearer, holding out both
of boyish eagerness on his face,
point.
all

his hands, a

look

his soul

bent to one

She

did

not

speak,

but,

as

if

mesmerised, slowly
obeying a sudden

extended her right hand.

Then,

as if

impulse, she gave him the other swiftly.

" Hester

!

"
nearer to her
thrill

He was
over the

now and

a sense of blessed

danger, a delicious
girl,

unknown came making her tremble from head to foot. He Carus had had six months to think things over. knew his own mind. He was not to be put off the moving speeches he had prepared. Many a time his
of the quite of the notes pied before his eyes, because he had seen

eyes had failed from his law-book, so that the "brevier"

that beautiful face looking at

him even

as

it

was doing
to begin

— nor where.

now. But

for all that,

now

he

knew

not quite

how

For

in six

months on the moors, what
rains,

with the hard, clear-ringing walks of winter, the trudges

through the fresh

spring

the

quiet

untroubled

warmth of summer days, the country food and upland air, this was a new maiden who now stood before him
a beautiful girl

with rippling hair

falling to her shoulfirst

ders, a

woman crowned
lips

with the glory of her

youth.

Carus rememwere red and tremulous. bered that they had been rather palish pink when he used well, what he wished tento look at them, and wish
Hester's

thousand-fold

now.

There was

a brilliancy, a

liquid

sweetness in her eyes that

fairly stupefied

were

his

clever

speeches

now

him.

Where
that

the

thoughts

358

D
devotion
?

I

A N'
fitly

S

KISS
He would

burned, the words that
It

clothed the expression of his

was

all

to arise so naturally.

not for the

world take her by surprise.
easily frightened.

Hester Stirling
deal with her so forth

was a fawn
so delicately

— so
!

He would

tactfully, that

And

even

unto

Amen

" Hester^ I

love you

"
!

He was

gripping her wrists hard, having unconsciously

shifted his hold.
also had had
six

And

Hester
in

— what of her
to

?

For she

months

which

make

her resolves.
If ever be

And many
looked
tion,
it

admirable ones she had made.

should seek her, find her, speak to her of love, as he had
the night of the ball, the

morning

at the

sta-

she would remind him of

his great position,

of the

anger of his father, of the disgrace she would inevitably She would tell him that she would be bring upon him.
as bad as her
self to
listen
I
!

enemies thought her
to

if

she permitted her-

him

for a

moment.
adore you

"Hester, without you

love you "

I

I

cannot

live

The words
And
felt

do not vary very much, because the thing

does not vary very

much

either.

Hester, the girl of the hundred brave resolutions,
slipping

herself

away.

would not come to call. became momentarily less She wondered what
instant.

These brave forbiddings These resolute determinations
would
feel
like, just
felt his
it

resolute.
it

for

an

She saw
full

it

in his eyes.

She

her

a

half-dozen
its

seconds
accord.

before

arm about went there,

apparently of
at

own

She was just looking up

him with eyes of reproach for the purpose of telling him he must not, when a tremendous thing happened.

Oh

yes, she had been kissed before.

Every
this,

girl

who

is

worth anything

has

been.

Hut

that

sent

the

359

DIA
!

N'

S

KISS
How poor
that

world whirling and broke the firmament into a dozen Surely this could not be a kiss, only a kiss. pieces
Is there
is

no other word
that

for

it ?

and
kiss

inefficient

this English language.

Yet
crystal

was

all

it

was, and
old

broke the
Stirling

sphere

of the

world

of

Hester

and Carus Darroch, and, as through a smashed shopfront, they stepped out into a new world hand in hand,

" Oh, Carus, we ought " wrong
!

not,

we must

not

!

It is surely

Like

a

fluttered

bird,

Hester

protested,

neither

coquettish nor angry, but awed by the very wonder of The thing was so sweet that it must be wrong. She it. was so happy that it must be wicked. Hitherto, Hester

had

been
a

either

quietly

happy or acutely

miserable.

But
of

this that

came

altering in a

moment
future,

the standards

lifetime,

changing

the

emptying

and

making futile the past. Surely from one kiss given and taken. but from No, little Hester, no

all this

could not spring

a kiss returned.

Not

that is what to give, not even to receive to give back blessed. That is what in the consecration of love is most And those shatters an old world and creates a new.
;

who

enough to reason about the matter may scofF, but they who know, know. They walked on a little up the hill. Hester not protesting any more, nor Carus answering. But their hands were clasped in each other's. At last beneath a " gairy " of rock, with the green ivy pouring out of every crevice and crawling laboriously up the perpenThen, as with one mind, dicular face, they paused. There was something strong and they sat down. Yet triumphant in the carriage of the young man.
are cool

when he spoke

it

was pleadingly enough.
360

f
i

"V

-'

'AAo iu

, . <J

bill.

U.UIV

111

A

I

11

MLai'

1>1,

WlCKl-Li.

D

I

A

N' S

KISS
nie
to

" Hester, tell me that you love She turned her eyes shyly up
fraction

"
!

him

for

the

least

of a

second.

Then

as

swiftly

they averted

themselves.

" Oh, you do not need telling," she said, pitifully, " you know " " But I want to hear you say it," said the young man,
!

after his kind.

"

I

have done wrong.

I

have

let

you

kiss

me

"
!

Again the fallacy. " But what is the wrong
impetuously
that

in

that,"

cried
that

Carus, so

a

black-faced
bolted

ewe

had

been
a

standing near, shied and
rattle

up the screes with
?

of loose stones, "

if

told

you now tell me She looked up at him
!

we
a

love one another

I

have

"

moment, gathering courage.

Then
"
I

she spoke.

do love you

!

" she said.

man was not content. There which are the better for being restated from several points of view. So it may be recorded among these remarkable and unprecedented occurrences, that before his curiosity was satisfied Hester had to assure Carus that she loved him better than all the world, better than Megsy, better than Revvic. For love is a retail trader and needs to be minutely
But even so the young
are

some

facts

satisfied.

Then, being of an enthusiastic and yet most
turn of mind, Carus talked of

practical

ways and means while
her
all

Hester
heard.

listened,

her

mind within
in

the

while

urging her to disbelieve
It

the reality of the words she

seemed

that she

must be dreaming, and that
in

she

would wake

up

presently
3(^1

the

dull

garret at

" He seems to be seeing a lot of them just now out Methuselah. looking up " I am glad " first time and smiling . "We " but pity I I shall be very poor. the sort to us when she is is am sure she very fond of Besides. indeed " ! flashed is well and very well never would — no." Carus was saying. and " me ! " She has had Vic with her be fonder of her than of for six ! months said — she . " Not that I mean . after all." said Carus. ! Consequently Carus was glad too. Hester sat knows There ! is no scent so 362 . I don't think she living. and her head nestled in the place arranged by an all-wise Nature for similar contingencies occurring at intervals throughout the ages." Carus went on more slowly and thoughtfully. really She told And I only need you to make me work Then there is grandmother Niddisdale. she loves you." D I A N' S KISS Empress Gate or in her own little bed at the Manse. dear old soul. some- what mournfully. old as she lived to be from Kipford the other day. to depend on her. when I was born to be a journalist. I — but she never was — never not if high fume as " Vic could. tenderly " but if I am to have her is money let when starve I she is dead. me she would disinherit me if I did n't marry " for the you " Did she say that ? " said Hester. to be a lord. something solid and comforting in Carus's arm about her waist. But there was. I know can make enough by writing for us to said live on. Hester. Trowbridge the other day that it was a was going hard. had a letter there ! I wonder instantly if his father erect. " Vic. and wasted some valuable time in proving it. will me now " Carus in Hester.

" I said Caius. when at last they came forth. seizing him by the wrist and almost dragging him forward. happy the freshness of her own love happiness." cried Hester. fast will be expecting me." he laughed.' " " Ah. the bar crossed. do not would ever be hungry again Which show's that Carus either spake in his haste or feel as if little had had very experience indeed. it don't I mean " ? don't. "yes. smiling at her eager face brilliant. were just little pools of indigo on the green-lichened rocks of the high Rig of Bennanbrack. I rose early and came away " Yes. James Lammie and Also my breakRobina his wife will be expecting me." said Carus. on the trail of the love-story of a friend. " Is it not wrong of you to stay so long with me vault — — are they not expecting " staying ? you at Knockdon where you are lightly (it was all over now. the twin lights of the port shining peacefully on either hand). growing paler and hotter. till their shadows.D keen as I A N' S KISS in that of a girl. and the eyes suffused and is " But all the same Kippie used so to hate what he called ' tagging round with a lot of women. gladly and without " it " What. " you do not mean to tell mc that you have had nothing And me keeping you here "Don't I to eat " all this morning about " ! ! pity mc. only the blue standing still as it were. " I forgot all it. 3(^3 . that is what you will sav about mc in a !" little ! deuced odd — "You the are not a lot of women — you are the woman Only One !" So the great day passed on overhead. "You "No.

verily ye are a withoot bairns this weedow and a woman day. Megsy. foot heedless.D I A N' S KISS cried Hester. come away quick. wrapped in each other. all " Oh. in this practical mood they walked towards the comfortable thatched roof of Buss-o'-Bield hand in Now it chanced that Megsy had gone to the door with an iron " pingle" in her hand when she saw this strange spectacle — Hester and Carus walking over within with a the heather. 364 . For the cup of the Lord's brewing is ever a mixed chalice when he comes to set it to our lips. Megsy. and wha's heart has yearned dark or shine. And tears in with her apron to her eyes she lamented because that for which she had besought the Lord with the night watches had been given to her. ower her ever since. and Megsy will she gets till dinner ready So hand. She her mither's ain dochter. " find you something to " in ! the mother that lurks under the sweethearting of every woman up the Come eat away. and went sharp pain at her " Megsy. head bent. Oh. is " ye hae lost your bairn and a day. Megsy. nicht and day. Megsy let the " pingle " fall with a clatter on the pebbles heart." she for ever said. Frae this day forth she will never cast mair nor a kindly the thocht ower her shooder to puir auld Margaret Tipperlin that happit baby clouts aboot her." bitterly." arms within her.

and think shame to even yoursel' to her Grace's grandson. but as often as no lift it it he either forgets to the neist morning off the hall table. Day by day Carus came over from Knockdon. or if sae be that ye are ! lookin' for a job. Robina. (lang aboot your wark. put up a bit piece for him. bless bonny young face." said the latter. or '11 me to the bravv his Icddy that he mairrv when his time comes. Jamie Lammie. peel me the pitaties It was well for their secret that a James Lammie was la/. meantime. hoo I used to forget to tak' my " porridge " Haud your tongue. summer been June and the Blue day succeeded blue day as the sun of fresh the sun of May became of the mid-year merged into the great white- flaming July heats.y. Jamie Lammie and his wife. naturally incurifnis as well as little and that he . there when I brush his coat " ! I " Do you no mind. " Whiles he wull talc' a fishin'-rod in his hand. And it 's my I belief that maistly it is never waggled ower gets a burn." ! CHAPTER XLIV LOVE'S GOLDEN WEATHER that A clarity ND in then what days were these a glorious ensued seen Never had such Galloway. '' when was coortin' you. man. greatly marvelling. or if is it the length o' his pooch. Ye hae neither sense nor mense. " but feint a troot does he ever fetch hame. yc sumph." said her husband.

Every morning by nine of the clock Carus was expected to appear on the sky-line to the east. in their manner of walking they came upon a nest with beautifully mottled brown and amber eggs. or even a certain boredom according to her mood.) " Surely we '11 get a day to oorsel's the day " — ! Then Hester would laugh and run to Megsy with a quick hug. indeed. to the observation of the facts of nature upon the mountain tops. and presently he hide-and-seek High Rig bears raising — some among the scattered spy him black would begin to play granite blocks on the air like with their noses in the others like Polar sniffing the breeze. These were no egg-lifters. or pottering about the boat- house down by the loch. You silly old jealous Megsy. eagerly watched for and instantly observed by Hester. Hester's eyes never wholly lost track of Carus. they confided to each other. crying. " He '11 surely never come the day he '11 hae some o' his graund freends wi' him to bear him company at the fishin' or maybe at the shootin'.LOVE'S GOLDEN WEATHER preferred wheeling his barrow of last year's leaves along the narrow garden walks. and a put themselves about to rise from their nests who ought to have known better. natural menhirs warning fingers to the skies. Why. But good Mistress Curlew on again and in knew very a moment well that they would pass all about it. week or two scarcely among the yellow bent. they curious linked might stand a little and look down forget at it. he promised me ! " of And of course that settled it." (It was June. " course he will come. Then from the door Hester would against the sky. She used instinctively to 366 . If. as Hester and Carus came by. as some were in Yet the whaups knew. Megsy feigning inattention.

path. " perhaps is better that When meadow. she looked again. where the shade to wait her lover. and stood under the alders. And and she was more gracious starved For as genial sun cause a light flower generous to and moisture. a look of eager happiness his As he came he snatched cap from his in a head with a bovish gesture." in if I of woman's — "to the little the glass for that see that I am all she ran down is. that life had never been worth living before." don't think I shall go and meet him it this I mornshould ing. bareheaded. her. so in the sunshine of a great love and the inner glow of heart-happiness. seemed Day by rain day he found her more beautiful. amid it the scents cowslip and Mayflower." relented " But he will be so disappointed Hester. "I not.LOVE'S know where traveller himself GOLDEN W E A T H many E R he would appear next. but a thing more glorious than itself. beautiful too. And delicate to £!arus coming of across the meadow. flowered He saw a tall maiden summer dress stand waiting. lo ! he was crossing the don't. the time he had reached the scaur of the bunisidc Hester's breath began to come a little faster. a knot at of pale blue ribbon her. and with a hasty glance universal purpose right." she thought. taking her in her throat. and a time the over a stone as chief would pitch abruptly forward headlong he watched for that flash of white ker- when the slight its summer-gowned figure in the door- way Bv raised arm. Carus advanced towards in his eyes. Then he U)oked at from the topmost curl of her dainty 3(^7 . clicked the tiny green gate behind her. of bud and bourgeon and become by nature. Hester Stirling really did grow in beauty every day.

" Oh. And angel. womanly surrender. But that which he saw there is the thing best worth seeing on earth the look of the perfect love which casteth out fear on the face of a woman. to Carus her face shone like the face of an He did not analyse these mysteries or even name them to himself. For a moment Carus held her a little off at arm's upon her shoulders. as she turned her head a little back to gaze up at him. maidenly reserve. "There is none like her. his And like that other lover heart sang. and it seemed her to Hester that she floated with shut eyes upon a great upholding ocean — a mother-sea in whose arms she and her love were for ever alone and for ever safe. none." But as he came nearer he saw only her face. Then to the gracious smile of happiness succeeded the yet more gracious suf- — fusion of tears. he cried out. girlish pride. you are more length. he stooped and gathered her to him so close that speech had perforce to give place to little dovelike murmurs. has time or care to separate loving trait from trait in a woman's face. Instead he wanted to kiss her good morning He troubled a much more sensible thing.LOVE'S head to the sprigged little GOLDEN WEATHER slipper that peeped out from beneath the amber gown. is the solicitude semi-maternal which the best ultimate and issue of the love of man and woman. and behind all the delicate beginnings of that wifely companionship. And as he felt her throb beneath him in all the radiance of perfect youth and perfect love. 368 . sitting — afar and alone. himself about nought else. Only the tale-teller. his hands beautiful than you were yesterday pouted to " ! And and as the gladness sprang responsive lips from her eyes answer him.

in as she looked at Carus. spoiling the sym- metry of her shapely And ever as Hester went about kitchen. half fond deli- and half propitiatory. was very wonderful to the young man. " a lass like that gies awa' her heart if yae payment. she is Then. deep her soul. and was answered. as in former days at Arioland. ciously She followed blushful and shamed that Megsy should know why she had gone to meet him. love-hungry Hester was ventur- ing her all is upon the of a man. for in his hands alone are the chair at men ! After this Carus sat him down on the oaken till. Megsy would add. the corner of the bakeboard and talked joyously. Yet she told Megsy every night how she loved him. " ! God help her. and for ever bankrupt and dyvour she loses. hastening to greet Megsy with a front kiss.LOVE'S When GOLDEN WEATHER little Hester came to herself she would find herself in walking up the narrow path with Carus a of her. Hester's check the rose flushed and It responsive. and Megsy faith sighed as she thought how entirely this heart-eager. "She a' in her mother's daughter — praise the Lord " ! said the old woman. she threatened to chastise him with the rolling pin if he nipped any more farlcs. a white apron girding her — the clean-scoured the most adorably dainty piece of seen — behind Megsy's unconscious back eye continually And upon paled all housewifery coquetry Carus had ever encountered eye. and presently everything 24 sweet and heart. Tlicn the very 369 . who had never before known love and who had had strength of mind enough not to waste himself on love's counterfeit. pieces out. to find in a himself suddenly j^irlish first. " But for a' that the lad is an honest lad — the Lord keep hearts o' him " sae. spoke. stealing scraps of Megsy's cakes.

provisions boiled — often jam week and brought them a fishing of — or six pots of set in a basket a-swing over his arm from Megsy's private cupboard. bustling about to them. came he would have a dozen of eggs in a handkerchief. but as lift her plate and carry it the Megsy window sill. Revvie came when he could though as And whenever he yet Carus and he had never met. but I ken better nor that. In the afternoon Hester and Carus went out again to the moor. and the last o' the true stock o' the auld Stirlin's o' Arioland — fegs. How Megsy would sittin' gladly they sat down serve to the midday meal. the light in his love's eyes shining and dimming." the talk and jest passed free and joyous. the lifting of burdens thanked by quickly averted glance. I may no ken muckle. having first helped Megsy to wash up the dishes. saying. half accidental touches hand on hand as they carried brimming can of water from the well beneath the garden hedge. or sometimes a ham. They to a laughed at. and on the swaying crystal floor of the pail many things else." But between the three. in golden sparklings even as the sun glimmered these. when at that. "It is no for a puir auld wife like me to be doon wi' a son o' my Lord Darroch. anything. set me up.LOVE'S mon the GOLDEN WEATHER comof plain-song intimacies of the house. for which purpose Carus was (quite insufficiently) girt about with an apron of Hester's which somehow seemed to carry with it a subtle fragrance of girlhood 370 . to Hester indeed regularly regularly laid a place for her. impressed themselves on his memory — with the matchless clearness of a first experience. was nothing Anders came twice there laugh they laughed trout. thus divided by the old Galloat way woman's or innate sense of " gentrice.

Somecarefully times she 'accompanied them as far as the gate. and seasons when heavens 371 . all too alluringly upon honest applica- With a new delight Carus found him- self carrying piles of plates. " See that ye fall not if have cared they had. one step through which brought out cultivated garden them from Anders' upon the beleaguering if heather. and glad weather. story it They speed so may not progress fast among these high and golden when we have them. After that they set out with glad anticipation in their eyes. or red lips smiled tion to business. but for anil is always allowable to long And Hester and darkness the in Carus there had been much of pain both their lives.LOVE'S and youth. sent forth a pleasant last year's smell of oatcakes and lieved he could honey. the in (not red) birds most heartsomely clamorous as they their heads — on swooped comet-like courses about every side of them love. hardly be- be the same man who listless week ago had under the lounged about with a law book. and mating. The yet sky was brighter above. conscientiously rubbed clean. to wall presses which. the heather greener underfoot. GOLDEN WEATHER laughter and scolding the With work was Pretty wet hngers were lifted against threatened encroachments. done. being opened. Arched eyebrows frowned at stupidity. a they were young love ). And Megsy. spindling tir-trees of the and Knockdon plantations. a He sad. so be that selfish is So sublimely ! out by the I way " ! love to dwell a little days. would wave hand and call her last warning. They bade greatly her farewell as they had been about to cross the seven seas (nor by their protestations would they together. Alegsy watched them go a little wistfully. smiling gravely upon them. The at very swiftly skip. such points.

and where a little " their place " as they both called streamlet. I think you ought to go and tell Lady She was very kind to I shall — but not yet " Dearest. *' Listen. Let them wander. alter- nating between their hearts without the need of the wires of spoken word. Here they talked of all things. where the ivied cliff made a cushioned back to their hard sofa. Once a rabbit ran sat and then because they short grass by the so began to nibble all at the waterfall.LOVE'S GOLDEN WEATHER in seemed as brass and the earth iron. dear you will — 372 . Why. hand in warm hand. — waters unless." All in good time I so I must. time. I have had you " ! such a cannot give you up " But it is not giving me up. perhaps. watching them the while out of one mild and furtive eye. speaking hps and hearing ear were very close together pleasant noise of falhng whispered love-talk indeed. not wander far from the cot of Buss-o'their safety from questing herds and Jajnie to They generally went directly the clitF it. shed abroad a and drowned their which after all was possible. so yet. hourlong whisperings of utmost content and rapturous discoveries of liking. a nook beneath where a chance granite boulder afforded them shelter and a dry seat. Carus. short have just found you. new similarities in and still. " Carus. was Lammie. talked and talked with lapses and occasions. awhile. of taste. — I me." the voice of Hester was speaking very low and excellent. undreamed-of almost to their unities feet. leaping into a miniature pool." Hester's voice was a little stronger now. " Niddisdale. thoughts and emotions passing and repassing sympathetic currents. They Bield did — wherein. then.

" 373 . but not the same It can never be the first time again. for back. " Yes. ccjimcjrant " would reproachfully. " for us ! "We a must go home — Mcgsv Hester will be waiting "Just " Eor moment — just one!" ! C'arus would pK'ad. tell 't and don skip. shame. dear. " It will be sweeter " said Hester. all companionlcss. Hester would and say. D E N WEATHER come I You will have to come back very soon. I very bad of me ! could ever look you in the face — " I don't know how I about as you sat there can imagine worse things and better!" " but tell me. from the beginning. retailed and of college which always came to with a little an untimely end when Hester sigh. and Carus narration long enough to say. said Carus. " noiv ! cannot do without you " It will never be quite the same again. little woman this is it " ? And to as regularly " Because getting so nearly done last Hester would " ! But when at the westering unresting sun. " Why do you answer. Why. it seems only a day since I saw you sitting by the side of the burn with your hair blowing in the wind. stories of travel Then Carus said. answer." And stay sigh." said Carus. — beyond his years.L OV E' S G O r. Hester told him. what you were thinking " ! — And so. his after awhile Hester would sigh again. also prophetic. detaining her. rise hunted them out of their shady nook. "you ought to be ashamed. of course." prescient ! ! "That was "Well. and they told it each other again and yet again. he must traverse the blue arch. jealous that. " Now you me about the very first time that you knew loved* me — tell me all about it.

nevertheless she would relent. more red Then. and yet awhile they would tarry as the sun whirled before. at last." Hester would say. horizonwards. all on love. Carus and Hester would walk homeward of the plaintive deep hush of late afternoon. the sheep bleating on the far slopes and the nesting cries moor-birds sounding wistful and far off. very soberly and with a wondrous in the still- ness of happiness in their hearts. And. an unconscious " Have you been very lonely ? Do you know. till. tell-tale. oh. he thinks I am prettier. treachery being within the gates. would answer of the as she turned within to into fill the tea out brown caddy also the earthenware And a tear glistened in her eye unseen for that other Hester. they came suddenly upon Megsy and the house of Anders in the lee of Bennanbrack. and had gotten so little happiness out of gie to this " The Lord my bairn the better part " ! murmured Megsy. who had staked her it. with a waft of peat smoke or sharper tang of burning birch. and I love him far better than I music heard in dreams. " Kiss Megsy /(?<?. 374 . bairns ! " Megsy pot. I think he is nicer than ever. — did yesterday " ! " God keep little it ever thus atween ye.LOVE'S GOLDEN WEATHER and angry than Yet. Megsy. They would not even look at would not each other. like At this time they speak much.

And Hester hands ixlder. the deeper mother cry of the ewe as she called her own to her.CHAPTER XLV WAYS AND MEANS AS Parting. gazed out over those crimsoning leagues of heatherlands. he would succeed his father and be a lord. half to clear his own thoughts). that in the And Carus. who reckon in difficulties only as things to be far. She liked to watch him thus. no doubt (so he meditated half to Hester. overcome. their custom. even so swiftly posted the day of Together toward the bitter night of Meanwhile the summer was high on the after the nesting gladness the birds suddenly earth. Some day. as is slowly as the long ages of Asunder lag toward the brief day of Together. on the clapped or. Only the lambs' bleating was heard more rarely. and fell silent. as he could assuredly bring to pass that heart. hills. end go was one of these. with this love his heart. ting But he had no intention of shut- out certain honest ways of earning 375 a livelihood . thing which was in his And it is the men whose faces unconsciously firm themselves in the front of overfrowning opposition. if He indeed looked so masterful. skipping to her full young white thing run her dam and bunch itself lustily against to see the Carus made many plans sitting at the feet of his She let her hand stray among his curls as he love.

The sense of being alone with Carus for always had not so strongly before. Trafalgar Square^ that most discriminating magazine. yes. that the had come to strike the . They could be happy. somewhat ungenerously. little that at would be lovely " ! cried Hester. and thither he must go He did not think and lay the whole case before her. the Buss- " Oh.WAYS AND MEANS He would be a lawyer if he had the on that account. He had resolved involuntarily). " Two rooms and a kitchen " she and over to herself — "Oh!" time 376 murmured over is The signification of the closing ejaculation The tale-teller can only report the facts. or dependent upon any one. Kipford would it soon make ducks and drakes of —-and more ducks than drakes. he was already making a good deal one way brains The editor of The and another by his writing. in If he could there were enough of make they Hester's proved kind. even at if they had but two rooms and a kitchen. so should if manhood way and his own. come home to her The thought made her heart quake ! within her with most delicious fear. much the better. they did not take the money. And Hester would be his little helper. — had accepted his last short story and written him a request for more. Carus felt obscure. so soon to accept if nothing further from him. with a left gasp the thought. as o'-Bield. of communicating with his father. added Carus. But for all that he did not intend to be a useless man. But sighed dale in a week (in spite of her brave advice Hester my Lady Niddiswould be at the Castle. the gifts him — he ? — would that If his grandmother Besides Who were they gods decline of the which.

I am not afraid " " Must I go away till you learn to love me better ? " ! (Cruel Carus.WAYS AND MEANS glowing quite iron." " But let me speak to you " Speak on. " "And. say sitting this way. Hester. Are you afraid. and be good for me as well to have to do it." " I hear. " don't Carus. Tell me what you were going to say " " But you don't want to hear " " Yes. turned about without from the bull's fell heather. if you don't care ' to hear. said. it doesn't matter." " "It isn't fair. Carus ! ! You " have made me I " IVhen love you so " say ? I will do as you say 377 . rising freed from short restraint. Hester dear He tried to twist about. " ! somewhere " Bother the herds. but the hand in his locks held him lirm. ? " I if you are willing it why should we wait can work. I cannot live without you now. and clutched him *' instinctively about the neck. after all." cried Hester. He was to risk will kneeling before Hester now." he it. But Hester's lingers gripped his curls and Carus was made to understand things that are often hid from the wise and prudent. I do there ! ! tease — quick — Carus. I can't say what I've got to But (hypocritically). Oh. and we will fight it out together in London during the winter. well he knew. of lambs there are on the Rig to-day " have been ' gathering ! — What a lot the herds must me. little Hester? " " Oh no. " Dear.) Hester gave vent to a little gasping sob. Marry me this autumn. recklessly. softly. " 1 want to speak to you .

WAYS AND MEANS " Oh. Carus. with a little gasp of deter! mination like a timid bather " Signed. 378 . " and he is so lonely " And will you do it when I say. unless Revvie wished it. let me ! ask Revvie first — I could not. kiss- ing her triumphantly. He has done so much for me. ! delivered " cried Carus. if Revvie is willing ?" " I will " said Hester. sealed — and at the cold plunge.

" h(. Borrowman.w Mr. getting ready to be my Lord Chancellor " ! I have come "I am on my way to London from Knockdon on purpose to see you " cried ! — over this impetuous young man. Carus Darroch. holding up his hands often am I to tell you not to propositions in one sentence. to two irreconcilable you are going marry Hester (as it without any deduction of any kind y(ni declare your intention to 379 . dropI thought you book. It in it his after nine o'clock was had been a splendid summer's day. and then as the place had struck him." said Carus." repeated the minister. though in the evening. darkening rapidly where it trespassed on the gloomy fringes of To him enter an impetuous young the Darroch woods.CHAPTER XLVI A MASTERFUL YOUNG MAN THE Reverend Anthony Borrowman sat study with the window open. in ping his were ridden fast and far. " I a horse of sorts. "To see me. and the last red of the sunset soft still lingered along the rims of the hills of Kells." include If said deprecation. A mist lay faintly purple along into indigo the river. Then I I am if I going to marry Hester." cried the minister. I " Yes. if "from Knockdon?" walked into Moniaive and got rode over to see you. and " have come to ask you may in ! "Carus. " what do you here ? London. man who had " Why.

to Hester in logic. it is not the least use doing that. no." "Your propositions are more irreconcilable than ever. gravely." The " It minister's eyes softened and the humour died out." said Mr. He ordered me out of his sight the last time I spoke to him. She says she will not marry me unless you give your consent. ' No use asking my father's consent " somebody's let 's ask old Anthony Borrowman's " Oh. sir. Carus." he said. and I — will prove it to you. " You see. came into the old manse in the bitter " must surely fly away with a mate in the spring " said Carus." said Carus. " it does matter to Hester. after who had not ridden the way from Moniaive. He will not give me anything to live on " " So you bethought yourself of taking to you another you to live on nothing!" cried the minister." said Carus. merely to receive a lesson " May you what ? " " May I I marry Hester " ? " presume you have already asked your " it ? father's per- mission and obtained " No. I ? In the first place " " But may " said all this straightforward young man. "Sit down. then is not the least use coming over to if I me to it my permission. quietly. clapping his hands. Borrowman. eagerly. sir. " I did not want to fool.A ask MASTERFUL YOUNG MAN it do)." " Oh yes. to help — — ! ' ask you — it was Hester. " Then I may He knew what he ? 380 ! " the bird that winter weather — . manfully abjuring dialectic and sticking to his point. even had a right to withhold or to give such permission. unabashed. " and you said to yourmust ask self. having said " Good night " on the Rig of Bennanbrack. a pretty one." cried Carus. was like her. upon whom this finesse was thrown away.

" said the minister. I But why " ! me When tell vou were that young " Hester and I. when knew " that she had thought of you. getting clatter — idle I to it.A MASTERFUL YOUNG MAN this it. at it am " not a man to lift up as ineffectual hands. If that gossiping old hussy. "Hester — Hester. getting I up. sir. ? not be content as you are — look as must be. How you been going every day to the Rig of Bennanbrack " About six weeks. up and walking about. smiling. Borrowman's way trust to do anything without qualification. think it was Hester's fault. Hester! As if the whole world must vouiiii: ungrateful come to an end because an hussy has made up htr mind to desert 3S' . "and ! — last I idol is shat- have been there every several Monday." " I hope you will not sir?" said Carus. "just marry us — soon ! But " I it was not Mr. "mere country-side wonder you pay any attention clashes — " Tut tut This was carrying the war tut." and tell me that you are pleased — said Carus. when will that " Never mind about him now. Borrowman. Borrowman." said into the enemy's camp. which coming. poor human nature " cried Mr. it wanted. sir " ! tered my "Alas. " must be." I in lite is the next thing to getting " I have seen I said the to minister. voung man. I have heard you — — the minister. Megsy But sirrah. " saw it when first came London. would rather her to you than to anybody if it else." cried Mr. demon"everything is strating in the air with his hands. and not a soul has ever said a word to me about it. I can see that long have " ? you have been using your time. hastily.

" unless I married a spinster or a them in my sleep. that " Oh. but rarely. young woman." " Good night. no. sir. " I am going to ride over Niddisdale Castle. and realising that the battle was won. Hester that " Then you ? marry be " ? us. are not going back "To-night " Why ter. am at for a consideration. Anthony Borrowman. runs to an umbrella. The usual fee a white silk handkerchief and at a piece of the wedding cake. in order to go ofF with a young man of at all knows nothing in six " ! " You can acquire weeks. what to the sir. sir ? I may tell When shall " You can settle that with the growled Mr.A MASTERFUL YOUNG MAN whom she the only tried friends she has in the world. " this parish." " And that Hester is either " One of the two." I am minister of pair against and cannot refuse to marry any whom no legal disabilities can be alleged." said Carus. warranted deadly fifty any it distance under paces. holding out your hurry to Niddisdale Rig of Bennanbrack to-night ? " No. — nonsense. Carus. sir ! " you have no other wives living ? " smiled Carus." said a good deal of knowledge will it Carus. nonsense!" it 's cried the minisit twenty-four miles ! if is an inch ! Wait till to-morrow I I can put you up. to see my grandmother. smiling. You are quite sure. Lady " ! — you " his hand. at is You are both of age. will You shall have Hester's room. " for you ! correct your syllogisms 382 . Sometimes." said is Carus. " Why. sir " " Then that is all I have ! widow I " ? your service legal — a a right to ask. as glance the baptismal records will show.

sir. through which rang. of all the impenitent " ! 3^3 . Carus. the cheery " Good night " of that masterful young man. "Well. clear as a buglecall. I made arrangements at Moniaive to have another ready for me ! " Then vou took my sanction " I am afraid I did. sir ! for granted " ? But hands you in see Hester insisted " minister flung The despair. Master of Darroch.A with MASTERFUL YOUNG sorry hostler I iMAN horse "I am the cannot. up his a gesture of young jackanapes But the rest of the sentence was drowned in a clatter of horse's hoofs.

flannel by name. without any apparent surprise. like " But it is embracing a joiner's tool-bag beasts of gardeners if ! the these are so dreadfully scientific. and I will lean him up against the " ! And relative little letting a filial go the bridle. he beheld her Grace the Duchess ? of Niddisdale. of the garden wall. He turned red and there. quite girt without attendant. her dressing-gown a with a purple sash. rather truth is. up the long avenue to Niddisdale Castle. that I did not go about mending things. very early next morning. if he does not "Yes. smiling. was AND THE WISDOM OF IT IT a very tired beast bestridden by a a little white about the nostrils. " Will your beast stand. instantly letting go again with a " Yes." said her Grace. and Carus it heard himself greeted through about. In order to reach the main courtyard. the forking of the road. granny — fall down. rotund with the straw peeping out and comfortable. 384 . Carus rushed to give his hug. wooden clogs feet. that turned young man. he had to pass an angle A door stood open here. groan and a shake of his fingers. Carus " she called out to him.CHAPTER XLVII A FOOLISH CHAPTER. So tired at was the horse indeed first that Carus dis- mounted and. of the country on her about the instep. Hold on wall a moment. I know. all shawl upon her head. led the animal towards the stables. that is. where the clock was.

" And I want vou to old sweetheart as said Carus. rubbing ! his wrist. " carry one open for convenience " I don't know. " ? "Oh. I usually gimlet vou felt. no. grandmother. Carus. putting nails. gran. You are not staying at the Castle. ask your uncle Niddisdale. I want you to back mc up. not chiefly. sir " Grandmother. help me " ! out with it. where. gran. ! Where have you " to tell been ? Answer me this moment. the Was that a whole place would go to rack and ruin. I " I am really quite indifferent which it was " That " will teach ously about you not young women. ^s That 38s is more in his line — . dear. n't is that. have come to the wrong shop. you know come " to the wedding . and looping up tags. or a pruning knife. middle-aged lady of Better presence a certificate of character anylad.A FOOLISH CHAPTER in boring holes." to put vour said the arm promiscu- Duchess. I have just remembered. respectable. " the it is a pity (tap-tap-tap) that a lady in cannot get up to earn an honest livelihood betimes morning (tap-tap) without being assaulted by wild Mohocks dissipation returning — Carus home from some scene of midnight Darroch. thrusting long tin-tacks freely into her mouth and picking them out one by one as she needed them. — "I rank — her very You see — wanted. Hcnv much ? " the Duchess. to nail a strip of matting to a wall." said Carus. I have come you that I am going to be married like " ! " And looking a death's sir head about it ! — Is it anything disgraceful. "of course not. eagerly. like a good dear said you are for " " I was waiting brutallv. It moncv." said Carus " at least.

" Does your father approve ? " "I what never asked him. "Wait till I get this tack out before you kiss me. promptly. scornfully. call his " sugar-plum " voice." said Carus. said. hammer. "Then count on me. "That loses Jim Chetwynd about " Not so heavy on mv left side — fifty pounds. heartily. that's where I keep my screwnails. specially out of place in the 386 . for the wall-fruit — pocket on Be good enough to curb your emotion and bear in mind that I have no corsets on. more. "You what will. the inside of the dressing-gown. have to caution you against irreverence. foolish improvident boy. pray go easy. his relative used to gran dear?" This pleadingly." she cried. with gimlets. You need not blush." Her Grace had not been entirely left forgiven the fact that she had out of the proceedings in the case of the ruby necklace. in Before "Hands ofF. nails and all. then. though. for I shall I am sick Carus. Carus. with the general spread of Stay me education. " ? ! ! young Master Is it Ethel Torphichan " God forbid " cried Carus. Characters repaired while you wait. you course.A beauty in FOOLISH CHAPTER distress. 's "and ! enough before I do " Her Grace dropped everything on the ground. I '11 see him far There course ! There ! There ! It 's my little Hester of ! Oh. dear boy." she 's that where the big tenpenny nails are. some things will come to you in time. and family lawyer all complete. I make any rash promises tell me two things. In the mean time. comfort of love and lovers ! me It is with bradawls. I shall read you such a lecture presently " ! "Of who else could it be? " said the youth.

hope I " Yours. By eight o'clock she was looking Though both Mcgsy and her own good till sense told her that he could not possibly arrive nine." — — — — On the Rig <jf Ik-nnanbrack Hester had passed a most unhappy morning. where have you this been making love to Hester all while i" If you are not already married and trying to break it to Is the little me. I 've taken Sybil. Carus. going to marry Hester Stirling. out for him. also disappointed fraudful minx round the corner there. where have you little It departed his his was seven of the clock when Carus the Rapid from Niddisdale Castle. carrying with him grandmother's very unconventional blessing. but not so bad as I I'll forgive vou this time. and be hanged to them Give mc your blessing and come to the wedding. little sir. after hidden your Poor Sophia Hester " Well. 3-^7 At that hour there was . I'll send her back all right. It's no use.' "'At and you know. beginning. — ah — hoped. and left behind him a note to his ex-fag.A FOOLISH CHAPTER And now. presence of the aged. all. I am mistaken. all. she walked up and down the beech hedge at least over one hundred times each way. no. Don't get in I'm wax. You are to be best man third I fear last if no better may be. You ? are partly ! your mother's son. Carus. gran perjuries. potentiality. second week in September. and in breast-pocket a cheque of exceedingly comfortable had also annexed a fine hunter of Kipford's. waiting behind a ! tree till Demogorgon lovers' is appeased " ! " ? " On my honour. Carus. It 's expected. He he had a "Dear Waffles.

It is know has ! Don't say it has n't. he never " ! " He must have fallen into a sheep-drain. (sobs). Megsy. by a fine irony. and when Megsy came to her with doctrine and reproof she burst out. " Oh. no sign of him. a browsing sheep topping the precisely. he would have been here long ago well. So for looking vainly for any trace of Carus. Megsy. and they sat down to a joyless breakHester could eat nothing. pathetically watched over by Megsy. She was sobbing freely now.A still FOOLISH CHAPTER Megsy told her fast. and 388 . Hester came in and flung herself down on her bed. She had seen him at least a dozen times on the skyline. and she could not be brought in from the door on any pretext. " try to keep me. and as often she had found that it was only an erect boulder or rise. wandered over Bennanbrack. to a sense of the folly of her conduct. I must For that was the way love had come to our heart! ! hungry impulsive her from a child — Hester — that ! as indeed all it who had known to knew was bound come. two hours and a half Hester. Don't Perhaps his head I will go and look for him. Megsy I will. " do you really think so ? I know he has caught his foot in one. trying to arouse Hester. "there are some of them on the moor quite three feet deep " " Oh. till the blue vault above wavered and dissolved into whirling mists." said Megsy. you do not know him as I At eleven hopelessly do. At ten there were premonitions of rainy weather on Hester's countenance. Oh. and moped with a face " as long as a fiddle." as more than once. and fallen and hurt himself. if all I had been it Something terrible has happened." Hester had caught this Job's comforter by the arm. when you know in your heart did this before — very cruel of you.

really miserable at Then when in. She did not Unhappy Megsy. what to " is it ? come. not to tell me last night " Hester. never to know what it ! was to be really. how could I ? had I to send ? " he threw himself on his knees before her Whom heedless of or lain in the and clasped her slender rounded form in his arms. We are to be married second week of September. dear. " Oh. dumb. Megsy. refuge in her old woman's belief that also. and. to down and stare at the blank wall of her room. " listen. it. forted. this [he flashed a blue slip of paper from his is pocket]. 1 have never slept down since I saw you. the ancient heal-all. was the cheque that did She said afterwards Dining the last mo- 3«9 . the pauses hearted. black-leading and sweeping up the of her pictured floor. all.A FOOLISH CHAPTER sit she stumbled blindlv back. while Hester. tragedies. Hester. Megsy did not know. iron. us. my look at Rcvvie is to many grandmother is coming to the wedding. desolate — not even that Rachel. my dear. two o'clock quick if feet were heard striding without. and through the open door Carus bright of face. Megsy had taken time. would cure in She went about polishing brasses. or you would never have " ! and vacant gaze. and arms. treated vcru me to ! like this " *' My Not dear. Hester turned upon him with a chill don't love me. thought her hard- After understand. came held out his somewhat purple-ringed of eye. Rut chair. never " send any word. who in Ramah refused to be comnoonthis more tragically afflicted. There was no pretence of mid-day dinner that tide. dry-eyed. here a cheque f(jr a thousand pounds " ! Then that it Hester disgraced herself.

"I the ringing peals. dinna hear Do ye me biddin' ye?" lessly But Hester only laughed the more. and then he comes and shows me a cheque for a thousand pounds " I ! And for again to she laughed stop her. 39° . She recognised in the sound something that. and infinitely pained. heart-breaking and them her eyes still laughed. Megsy. if allowed to gather way. Ha-ha-ha " ! Oh. " he stop made me. but when she heard Hester laughing strangely she almost ran back. he waiting many know turnings. sud- denly put his head on his hand. and a great dry sob shook his frame. "Stop. " dinna." she cried. would be as wine to her water. Carus was He it. looking up helpat Megsy." she sobbed till " he keeps me think he must be dead. had too.! A FOOLISH CHAPTER ! ments Megsy had discreetly slipped out. me ! It was so funny Then with a rush desperate. . disappointment and the lack of the welcome he had anticipated every mile of the long backward way. being sick with Till Carus. the wise woman. and yet another. signalling far feebly them But that was beyond their powers. know " Oh. bairn. and through came the tears. pointing her finger at Carus. went sat out. Hester instantly stopped her own crying and This was utterly unprecedented. and indicating the alarmed Carus with can't stop. up. they learn. Carus. who think does not love me. night who had been on horseback all and gone through many things. helplessly. After a long moment there came another. and they least. indeed I can't!" she gasped between still her finger. much to The way long way. and was in the way of learning with a maid such as Hester is of a It it man has best a long. her body shook.

Carus. on his FOOLISH CHAPTER darling." ashamed was so but I could not help She kneeled to him. if you will only stop ! the And Carus stopped. laying her hand shoulder. 39' . "Kiss me. if you love me. "it shall be " firit week in September. and put her lips up to his. came. don't do that " ! Again " I '11 be good ! — yes. I am horribly It of myself. rending his very "Oh." she whispered. yes. don't ! " she cried. as it seemed. I was so frightened about you. Carus. it. don't. silly. I will. it But again bodily frame.A " Don't.

He had Budaon coolies.CHAPTER XLVIII IN THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN " HELL T'ES. as at a reminiscence which pleased him. but 1 managed to get word out of the prison to Yule. Budmashes arrant scoundrels. and the devil a monk would be. And he swore. swore as if he had never had a godly Scottish mother and learned the catechism. Harry Yule 392 would stop . who was telling his tale in the dingy den in Lincoln's Inn. and he compelled the King upon threats that he could not have to let me go II "^ — carried out It " ! was a curious yellowish-grey man a with oriental drawn and lined horizontally as if it had been bound about the temples with whip-cord. The wizened man laughed a little. that is. -^ Two-Rupee Yule. who was toying with a paper-knife. But one — day he had a smart attack of fever. " It was the first thing I laughed at after I came eyes. Imprimis. to build embankment. and he was sent down Budaon. "Why 'Two-Rupee' Yule?" asked Jim Chetwynd. a way. and face out of hell ! characterised " he said with the grim succinctness that " It happened this all his utterances. you know. the secretary of the Burmese British Mission. bushy white eyebrows. it was about one chance in a million. the same as myself. an Harry Yule was bright young fellow to in the Engineers. where the best criminal lawyer's business in London was done.

drinking fountain The water was The work would be excellent practice in his profession. to find an investment them. briefly. " It was done. sir. thirst " As he watched the press of struggling a foul about not a shallow horsepond. a clerk came Chetwynd glanced Mr. that it when he got well he kept his oath. the Budaon horse and the Budaon pariah dog should all be provided for." said the oriental. by-and-by it rupees began this accumulate and was necessary. 'No. or no Budaon And Not his strange to say. in ! moment with a card it. " one rupee myself. in his at Show him " he said. ing. IN HELL charity And to make sure of it he covenanted with himself that he should pay two rupees to for every some uncovenanted word he uttered. The Budaon coolie should drink if he would not wash. Budaon coolie coolie. I let us talk business. he ? ' thought. and a centre of life to to this day a stately fountain makes the great square in front of the mosque. it was "Ah. "that is a good story. It was not two rupees I fined it is a (qualified) lie. "and he said. at ' Why hand." true ? Jim Chetwynd. the Budaon maiden draw water at will.THE xMANWHO HAD BEEN swearing. and the shade of all the poor folk of Budaon worship Two-Rupee Yule. " I asked him. who. while man. He wanted to know to what extent he could depend upon him. Is " that " asked listening. but that it stopped his swearthe docked to pay ! Then. to read before I have a it letter here which I wish you send off! " in At " this fingers." said Jim Chetwynd. and rising. he stood 393 . thought for honest Harry Yule. was sizing up his ! ' But now as I have just one short half hour to spare.

you are my Hester's father." said Chetwynd. Stirling. like a cat at the spring. Mr. " Come. indeed. this my friend. do. " if I would. "you forget this is Lord Darroch's only son. any concealed weapon Jim But ere he could Chetwynd's strong is on his shoulder. " Certainly." broke in Jim Chetwynd. The yellow-skinned stranger seemed almost to crouch back upon himself. goodwill slowly putting to flight the disgust with which he had looked Carus. " that is. with the clear." owed everything the shameful matter which I have already before David at Stirling held out his hand. eager-hearted as a boy. David Stirling " " And you are the Master of Darroch you tried ! — to take my Hester from me ! " The oriental traveller was evidently labouring under the pressure of strong emotion." he said. " that all this will never You must not forget these things you 394 . Carus. as if his brain was not clear." said Carus. " Let me introduce you. promptly . incisive tones which seemed to restore David Stirling's sanity at once. in the shadow of the plum-coloured window- curtain. and that your daughter it was to set his in prompt action you. strong. and all his face lit up with happiness." " Her father ? " said the stranger. It He wished to watch the face of was Carus Darroch who entered. And I should not wonder if he has a certain permission to ask of you.THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN a little IN HELL his visitor. His hand moved reach to his pocket with the habitual action of the man who fingers fell has always been armed. " Carus. putting his hand to his brow. He is the best fellow in the world.

as the family'. already of Then Jim Chetwynd with a certain read aloud the following epistle : gusto of appreciation 395 . you are wasting mine." I was not thinking of you or did not guess it. may the little one be happy " infinitely happier than — Chetwynd " have I interrupted again. and be done with it." " And the others ? " " Have all said ' yes. he has understand. sir. with joyous and engaging frankness. Carus. And. But I did not know asked. little my girl either. worse. being. earnestly . P. Hester had so people whose leave must be You make the fourth.' as I hope you will. were. intentions or misdeeds than I IN HELL have been thinking about happened more than twenty Carus is no more responsible for his father's am. Chetwynd do ask "ask your permission." interjected Jim ." answered Carus. — how ago ! does it go — ?" " Of unhappy far-ofF things. but of old. to marry my daughter Hester that at I am." returned Carus. And battles long " Carus. "though how you guessed first sight is more than I can make out." " I am very it. to hear this letter I want you tried have written to the address of Sir Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling. you need not go. " I wish you well . and "You what " I is are putting off Mr." said Carus. as I ! " You " " of I are the ? young man who wishes " said David. indeed. glad you have — ah — come many alive again. I make it as brief and compact it as possible. to M." THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN years ago. sir. Stirling's time. no communication whatever for a " long time with Lord Darroch had.

your obedient servant. had some things to be out of to see to. under the will of the late Mrs. my friend. 1 see I must not let law. and I move a mist of millinery." in " And child the mean time. either at your own house or at your lawyer's ofHce. a world of agony long repressed in his " Not for anything. Tomlinson. IN HELL — if legal adviser for Miss Hester Stirling. " but I shall get used to to it again. with my grandmother." " Her Grace has already written to me about them. in order that due account and reckoning be made as to all the properties in your hands belonging to Hester Stirling. Isobel Stirling of Arioland. informing him that he does not instantly surrender the stolen jewels I David Stirling will have him branded as a thief? " spoke tone. my client first and I will wait upon you. fiercely.THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN "Sir. after fourteen years in prison. in the office. my dear sir. say nothing of this Hester. — As beneficiary "James Chetwynd. Sir. must not jerk him." " I am quite willing to stay with you. being the twentybirthday of the said Hester Stirling. will give you any information." said David Stirling. you out of my sight. where have you hidden that " ? " She they is Niddisdale. smiling . I beg to inform you that on the sixth day of September next. I have the honour to be. The world We hums too loud and runs too fast. as much the way as anything. as you shall determine. so they sent me up By here. I must see you as to settlements." cried Chetwynd " we have a wily fish to play in your good brother-in. the bye. Carus." "Shall I not send him a letter. By at in the way. 396 .

" I will try I only want the chance ! ! eagerly. believe me. is " Go Let in St. " Hester can't go with you that day. his when Carus took leave he held out hand kindlv enough.THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN suppers. &c. a mistake. .000. this business. Master Carus. James's Street. without 397 . Sir. I beg to say that responsibility as to the bequest to Hester under the will of my mother-in-law begins and ends with the payment of ^2. " said Carus. — — " I am. no." said Carus. will IN HELL Good morning They ! are Don't have too many farewell bachelor Nothing. They arc disastrous ! David but Stirling had sunk back into his his gloomy isolation. ran as follows : "Sir." jealously. sir. because after the 6th time." we shall be out of reach for some " No. and for the mutual adjustment of these as I have not been well of late it will be convenient if you or your representative will call upon me at Arioland House. It is her birthday and so you must fix it for an earlier date. me manage rule in Scotland. It was four days before an answer came from It Sir Svlvanus Torphichan-Stirling. regret cause you " more afterwards. on the 6th day of September. " You will make my girl happy ? " he said. Sec. Galloway. Stirling — In my reply to yours of the iith current. less such expenses as I have incurred in my capacity of guardian to this young woman." and order your trousseau said Jim Chetwynd. to rhcrc no twelve o'clock and no hurrying church when you are married in You will be tied up the Manse. " we are to be married on the 6th.

So will the father of the bride with a wedding present. I and why did he look as he would have killed me. wonder ? " he he was being 398 . " Why did he mistake if me for my father. fuss. — ! Ta-ta And Carus. at three in the afternoon. civil or ecclesiastic. even as he had only masterful till for a man is he meets his master. took a cab and drove to his been told — tailor's in St. continue to say nothing. stunned and uncertain. mused. even to Hester. James's Street. as measured for a tweed travelling suit. who knows? In the mean time. aforesaid. and your grandmother will be there to see. thinking of David Stirling." THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN any IN HELL So will I. James Chetwynd.

The first house was more sequestered. tall cawed over by built The new house was also among out on an open braeface. far-regardant." gnarled and twisted by the wind. the (jthcr changing about. and. Stirling kept his eyes fixed on the as he ground and passed the drive t(K)k little notice little of anything. but in deep stringently clipped trees. trees. broke the smooth green sweep Crow-stepped. had been built under the direction of an architect of taste in the best style of Scottish baronial. James Chetwynd and his friend David Stirling walked up the unfinished avenue looking about him with the air at ten o'clock precisely on the morning of the sixth of September. many-gabled. from the broad down in the direction of the old house Chetwynd sudden his noticed that he started (jne as at the appearance of some or some thing unseen. the lawyer of a proprietor a who has been absent for some time and has David side keen eye to detect shortcomings. led Only avenue which violently. set garden closes. only wanted time and softening become one of the " most desirable places of residence " which could possibly be advertised in any creepers to new Arioland country gentleman's newspaper. Mr.CHAPTER XLIX AT BAY THE new house of Arioland hill sat considerably It higher up the than the old. the birk " and " scurry thorns. bosomed in perennial rooks. walkcil on 399 side with . where only a few o' " auld scrunts of the turf.

" sat in his writing-chair at a great Sylvanus desk with a roller top. am not aware whether Sir Sylvanus can receive sir. Stirling." " Leave everything rupt. " Steady. we have Don't let a cunning fox to run to earth this morning. Show us in. of serried banked in with an array pigeon-holes that rose above his head and if He was extended on either side of him. no less question. sharply . Sir I if evil comes of it I am not to decline responsibility. He has been far from well." said David." said Chetwynd." said Chetwynd. not now gorgeously arrayed so — much " " you. and be blamed. " I have done my best for the honour of the house. gravely. answer it — — do — not inter- powder dry These were Jim Chetwynd's two went up the steps to the ! " final instructions as the front door of the new house of Arioland." Timson opened the door with an air of resignation like one who would say. "we have an appointment with your We master. laying his hand upon his client's arm. and keep your no more. Sir I Sylvanus at home ? " Timson. " have come from London on business." said with dignity. a rural gentleTimson it was who opened the door man-farming Timson. " as I said before. to me. as 400 the distinguished .AT BAY companion interposed between him and the weed-grown gravel in front of the ancient doorstep. in keeping with the status of the ancient family of Torphichan-Stirling. remember If you are asked a whatever the provocation. as of a chastened dignity. " him persuade you to throw away any points " You can count on me. " I will be ! calm.

in a shaking What madness little this Pray do not forget yourself. letter. as ward off something. though the grey flush could still be seen on his cheeks. gentlemen with outward calmness. voice. shining through it as a light might shine through a turnip-lantern. Each nest of six or eight holes was name of its own society." hand he said. But before he could speak from the farther end of the room came a shriek. be accompanied by the young 26 woman. according to your you would Stirling. to the more importu- nate propaganda set on foot by the " Am-I-my-Brother's- Keeper-Responsibility Society." Sir Svlvanus rose with astonishment the at sight of the stranger with lawyer.. poured water clammy and " I glistened like satin.AT BAY philanthropist were about to soar to tracts unknown on all French-polished mahogany as pinions. carrying his correspondence with him. holding if her hands in front of her with palms outstretched. "Sarah " — Sarah. my brother — risen from the And to there stood Lady Torphichan-Stirling. "It dead " ! is David — David. is at ? last." He a threw a whitish powder into a glass with emerged from behind his upon it. and Then he came out and bowed to the two drank it off. documents of importance labelled with even to the recording angel. thin and piercing. from that A'ledical the of the Believing Students' Tract Union. and his brow was shaking before he rampart of pigeon-holes. A look of startled horror was But the horror on his wife's countenance on her face*. that expected. was nothing to the blank and ghastly fear that seemed to illuminate that of Sir Sylvanus. Hester 401 .

will I first settle the matter of Miss Stirling's of birth and other you care to inspect them . restlessly down again on the fingers. His lips.000. to take effect. assumed their natural colour. Lady Stirling. this is I owe the honour of a visit from this Torphichan-Stirling has already informed her brother and my good client. The philanthropist was at bay. No. The drug which he had taken as soon as he realised the nature of the crisis that had him had begun increase. 402 . and indeed had no wish to The baronet rose with the cheque in his fingers. plaiting and unplaiting her and gazing first at her husband and then at the two men who do stood so still and sit not been asked to so. late of Upper Burmah. down. Sarah. He will daughter on this occasion. your presence as a of the utmost importance.AT BAY To what do gentleman ? " "As Lady you. for which I have a certificates have here necessary documents if receipt ready in my hand. David act for his Stirling. Mr. Jim Chetwynd went on. at his desk to write a cheque. Lady Torphichan-Stirling sofa. but since he did not wish witness is it to be so. I should very much have preferred to meet with your husband in the presence of his lawyer. He stood more so suddenly upon His stature seemed to erect." he And. I beg you will not go. stay. They had silent by the window." Sir Sylvanus was sitting down said. "We legacy. obedient sat to his word. hitherto come grey as the rest of his face." Sir Sylvanus steadied himself with a mighty effort. " Yes. and if it is perfectly agreeable to you I shall be glad to accept your cheque for ^2.

still far from well. But Jim Chetwynd was before him. may save us having to repeat our words in various other places jury. I am.AT BAY " Thank you. have already been informed." he said. steadily. the business is finished. I shall have the honour of wishing you good morning. in his fighting voice a clear hardish falsetto. for instance. — It " Before you do a that." — in and before a 403 . as you receipt. as he looked at the " Now." And he laid his hand on the bell-pull which projected from the wall adjacent to his hand." he said. with a metallic timbre to which suggested trumpet — "would it it not be better to say ? for all parties that you should hear what we have open court.

Sylvanus. " that this lifted his hand from the bell and — ? Do " you insist on your impossible proposition is ah." 404 . sir. for that matter to found anything upon For even if this is not Mr. Sylvanus. gentleman my wife's late brother. turning to David. Chetwynd shot a warning glance at his client. David Stirling. that does not affect the claim of Mr." The " I slightest twitch of the eminent physician's face he. but more markedly. " im- prisoned and tortured." said David Stir^ " Fourteen years in prison is a long time. gravely. David "' Stirling." said still Chetwynd ." At the slight emphasis on the personal pronoun Sir fully "I am ling. Sylvanus winced again. a second dose. / do not wish for I have been fourteen years in prison. who was Sir killed in Burmah nearly twenty years ago Not killed." said " that you are aware of the serious consequences of prosecuting so preposterous a claim " ? aware of it. betokened that the thrust had gone home. presume. The question of identity will doubtless be settled in the proper court. David Stirling's daughter to the property of her father in your hands. "I am not now going to insist upon the fact of identity. or the it. but alive to reclaim his own and to see that the fullest justice is done to his child.CHAPTER L THE BOLT FALLS SIR SYLVANUS stood undecided. Mr.

firmly. with an inner lining of steel. 405 . however." said Jim Chetwynd his afterward. and after a moment's pause. It to life ao. bcndinoa look upon his wife." the baronet. and all the hideous writhing mass of polyp tentacles. What became of I have no means of knowing." cried his wife opening and shutting her mouth gripping the arms of the chair. state- ment. I a believe. David tained Stirling. a couple of red stripes going vertically across The approxiinto mate value of the jewels at the time of their coming your hands was jCiqo^ooo.ain. Sylvanus. and not anger them. Isobel Stirling by my client. in These stones were con- a black bag specially constructed for the pur- pose. the glutinous mass of foul things that breed and brood in the Under Dark had suddenly been laid bare. to look at the beggar. the baronet lifted his regard from her face." truly. her eldest son. woman nature seemed to be laid bare. iVIr. in the same impassive " I have. Lady Torphichan-Stirling lay back as if smitten by a paralytic shock. to claim restitution of a collection of valuable rubies and other precious stones. it " Gad.THE BOLT FALLS " Oh. it is ! the dead come " cried the baronet." Jim Chetwynd bowed gravely. provision cupboard entirely in said in "There was some such bag the old house. It was as if some black depth of the primal sea had been drained of water. so herce and ugly that the man's whole " Silence. evil was enough to make a man believe in the eye. therefore. but it was its contents empty when I found it. committed to the care of Mrs. /'. which had it. like a tish David — '•'do from where she sat on grass. Presently." " I have never seen so much as one of these. the lawyer continued voice.

" Bring down the old hand-bag with the red stripes I saw you carrying over from the old house at the 406 . the day of Mrs. " Do you think any judge or jury will accept an ex parte state" ment like that ? " They will weigh statements — yours it carefully against other ex parte in particular. On the 19th you were seen with all the jewels on the " table before you going carefully over the house. I believe that it was removed from the old house along with other rubbish. — it came out of my mother-in-law's house somewhere. David Stirling committed it to her charge. therefore. saw me ? " he said. died. i8 — . and amongst other things you came upon the striped bag in the cupboard of the ordinary sitting-room. " I fear the number and im- portance of your philanthropic occupations cause you to forget. scornfully. and 20th in You found the will. Mrs. Stirling You spent the i8th. If." said Chetwynd. 19th. She will tell you that she has never either seen or heard of any though there is no doubt that jewels contained in it from the box-room. parrying neatly. Sir " Who Sylvanus sneered. and Timson appeared." he said. there was certainly none in it when it was found and removed. as you very correctly say." The baronet rang the bell. On October i6th.THE BOLT FALLS " Sir Sylvanus. there were stones or other articles of value in it when Mr. But on the i6th. that bag was noticed to be full and heavy. " I presume you will attach some importance to what Lady Torphichan-Stirling may say ? " continued that " I will have the bag brought down lady's husband. I will take the liberty of recalling certain facts to your remembrance. Stirling's demise.

it " Lady in this Torphichan-Stirling will exact condition you is that was when found." said Chetwynd. the in 26th. when it was on the is who opened it between the shelf. which skill. and. "The question i6th. glanced keenly at the bag in satisfaction hand. empty and open. The lock had been burst without side. bowing ceremoniously and respectfully. As he land. Sir to derive a certain from what indeed Sylvanus opened the catch." he said. I think. by the applica- tion of force on either " It is eniptv. into as if it would ruin his brought too immediate contact with them. Chetwynd will be personally responsible that you will do it no injury. breeches if returned in a few minutes with the bag in his it bearing gingerly. " only the bag was found. but in a recess behind the sideboard. when I was found behind the sideboard rifled a forced and " ? " May Stirling. my lady. with his the grizzled hair. 407 . look at the bag a moment ? " said David " If Mr. was only held close by the pressure of the hinge-springs." husband says " What 'my true. in the upper box- room. recess. and seemed he saw." " I do not doubt it." Timson hand. locked securely and it very heavy. It Is.THE BOLT FALLS time of the removal. handing it to the lawyer. passed the two visitors to the house of Ariosmallish the oriental-looking man. not in the parlour storecupboard. which I went over carefully about ten days It was after. say." said the baronet." said the poor lady. tell glancing within. as you see it now.

listening as he did so. Then he touched angles. which might have some effect if put to a jury." "Deliver these papers. I hold another list in my hand. calmly turning the key in the library door and putting his back to it.THE BOLT FALLS David pleasure. the details of to collect. Stirling took it into his hand with evident He tapped the steel walls with his knuckles. Well. lawyer interposed a strong arm." said Mr. while. they are my property ! " he The up. which have taken some years of labour 408 You. Chetwynd. they belong to my lists client. without a trace of emotion cried the baronet. James Chetwynd went on. that of itself proves nothing. . David Stirling quick stealthy gathered as them Then he threw the bag aside of no more consequence. the bag. " On the contrary. and several papers tumbled out. Sylvanus gave a hoarse cry and sprang forward. to me . "As I told you and you may take my word — for it — one of the papers in my client's hand is the list of the jewels found in the secret compartment before your eyes. with a motion. They will all consist and duplicate in attested of the jewels is formerly Stirling's contained holograph. or 1 will summon assistance!" and furious. But a most curious coincidence arises. " You can do that afterwards. I know what they of a will are without looking at them. " Give them cried. The them Mr. white showing on his face. and bequeaths to my other client. a concealed spring at The apparently solid it on end one of the lower bottom fell away with a swiftly tilting rasping click. David Stirling stood with the newlyfound papers in his hand. Miss Hester Stirling.

how callously this man had mercy.000. ** By gad " said ! " I will grind his bones for that " ! 409 . as the memory took hold of him. on or about the 26th. I am of opinion that your lawyer. the empty bag was found in a recess. But with a he said mighty he rallied. " The insufficient. " he said. Then — — came nearly to all this (I country. for he remembered accused a wronged and innocent girl." . you made the first of your numerous ist On December sales of pigeon-blood rubies. a pair fine of very " colour indeed. " there can be no pedigree of an uncut stone " ! " Most of the stones cut ! — nine out of ten at least — were Besides. and this transactions to date.THE BOLT FALLS sir. Street. a few. exact for the have also here the dates at however. grown his paler and paler his during this He the passed chill hand off it wrung have effort drops into brow and which otherwise would across run down proof is his eyes. on which day the jewel-bag was intact. and may inform you) can be had traced. rest of the rubies and some few diawhich you put the As usual most of the stones monds on the market. it is sufficient is ! — for about fourteen years' imprisonment. of Grootpoort house of Messrs. Stirling died on the i6th. of the same year. being only approximate most part. have for many years been largely interested in preis a fairly complete record of your Mrs. at the countingVanderspuye and Co. grimly. being the identical stones indicated on this list by the numbers 234 and 235. Amsterdam." SylvanuS speech. when will be of opinion that you put the evidence before him. for which you received a draft for over I on London ^6. sir. Ten days after. that He had no Jim Chetwynd. or passed over to America. cious stones.

become a philanthropist. But. for one of in six ruby neck- laces similar in pattern and identical marking. " You have. did appropriate them. no directions regarding them. credit your oath as to the remainder. or may be made conceivable to a British jury. their true possessor. in these circumstances. of other. but there is something to be said for it. It is not a great one. you swore that you found No judge or jury will. finding go into Parliament. " one chance. however. To recapitulate.THE BOLT FALLS But aloud he went on. " As against this. upon the proceeds. a brother not being in existence. worked privately by your — such else. will And and what weigh with the jury more than in the last case against anything your own evidence stealing Miss Hester Stirling." he said. They were not included in probate. and so on. that you in default considered yourself as next of kin to the lady in whose house you found them. did dispose of them from time to time. in your customers brother lastly. It is conceivable. You found six. as you would have done if you had believed that you were honestly entitled to the stones. con- cealing the fact from your wife. the evidence which we shall lead is. did purchase estates. it will of course be argued you made no discovery of the find. that you did find the jewels. you have represented to Holland that these rubies are the product of a mine in Burmah. Further. and therefore. therefore you yourself did not consider them to that come under the will. but I think you will agree that it will probably be sufficient to induce " as 410 . insufficient for some purposes. five of these in the bag. will dispose entirely of the contention that your action in appropriating the goods believed was because you conscientiously them to be your own property. you say.

MK .EETX^^ " SYI.Nor SIIAKK ol-K HIS WIIK I HIS TI.VAMS Mil .

.

THE BOLT FALLS a jury to find against you on sufficient points to warrant the judge in sentencing you to fourteen years' penal servitude at least." "Oh. runhis ning to him and flinging her arms about not hold out against them. for private purposes and with a view to of to the avoidance family scandal (always a bad thing). though to is running dangerously compounding a felony. to Then he moved his lips " What do vou propose frame the low-spoken words " ? *' We ha\ c no desire to be oppressive. at a valuation." after this. I be my poor my brother. " we could not quite do all we meant." Jim Chetwynd afterwards said." I it cried his wife. Chetwynd sorry for is a good Christian man. it we are willing make near a compromise. Do He not be beseech you. but gently. " do do not care where or not. they put you in prison. buy the estate of Ariohuui. I neck. Sylvanus." as "And Sylvanus did not shake ofF did his wife this time — neither he browbeat her with angry words. these are the terms we arc prepared to accept. gentlemen. You will make count and reckoning with me for every client will My 411 . However." said James Chetwynd. The fellow must have had some good about him to make his wife stick up for him like that. little He only set her a apart. hard with him. will is But oh. I we go. " though we are prepared to use all means. and David innocent children. not quarrel. Yet. it Agree with these gentlemen — do Mr. and if it comes into the courts prepared also to prove the worst. like a troublesome child. has been a kind husband to me. do not care whether you did kill do not care whether would we are me if rich or poor. including this house which you have built upon it. Sylvanus — dear Sylvanus.

! and bowed his head on his hand. as he relieved his companion of the steel bag on their way oyer to the Manse. leave you of an affectionate wife. somewhere in the neighbourhood of three thousand a year. insist on this. I am a ruined man. to Now that can only be called will com- parative poverty. agree to your terms " he said. on which we will allow you ten per cent." said Chetwynd y " I calculate that you will still be worth." cried his wife. I am sure ' ! The " I voice of his wife seemed in some degree to move the fallen man. at the prices you have paid for them. " you We will give you a full year to settle in — and. His pride ebbed away from him. I not find us oppressive. We shall be very happy. And may the consciousness of your trial many good works support you in this ! " ! " And do you know." "Oh." said the " Most people would be very glad to be so ruined. "do not make them angry. give in to them. or in cash." said David 412 . to the consolations In the mean time. but I cannot let you go to prison for all those years. for brokerage. and all this you have in addition any private fortune you may have amassed by your most praiseworthy and diligent efforts in your profession.THE BOLT FALLS precious stone you have sold. the curious thing is that I partly meant it " said Jim Chetwynd. Sylvanus. We will accept settlement either in the lands you have bought. I do not care a bit about the money. with the purchase price of Arioland and your brokerage on the jewels. in approven stocks. as I said. " You let the rascal down too easy." " If you baronet. At our age I should never see you again. in a broken voice.

the a boomerang he solid which always returns expects it. will repay.' the because he wants to keep pleasure of to himself!" 413 ." he said. thrower when The solid cash." But David '^ Stirling only shook his bitterly." . " ' Vengeance But that it is is mine. to your successors." said Jim Chetwynd I " I have seen as much as most men. Mr. You have I not had fourteen years in prison as I have had. saith the all Lord. but of to strike have never seen any It is good come least out revenge yet. Chetwynd.THE BOLT FALLS Stirlinc^. " think differently. and will be so much more satisfactory — especially head more land. in the dock — I "if I had had for my way to he should have stood what he did my girl.

" said Anders. had 414 . and her first thought. A proximate Duke was to be best man. describing Clachan of September. St." Hester had awakened early. the only son of a Lord. These things were sweet to Megsy Tipperlin. grimly. The daughter of their hereditary enemy was to act as bridesmaid. had so recently overwhelmed her treasure. as she dimly saw the window-blind rosy at the edges. but in what circumstances of pride and hope Hester was to wed Carus. at the instance of local greatness. Master of Darroch. " neither to library of the hold nor to bind. she would have been. This will learn them. Megsy's state of mind may best be described as a chastened She was losing her darling. grimly. as Alp to Alp ! " commented the minister. and she could triumph. A real Duchess was coming to look on.CHAPTER LI HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS "r I ^HERE'S I -*fair sic a cryin' o' the guidwives o' the village frae doorstep to doorstep that ye are deafened as ye gang doon the street. indeed. in the language of the countryside. If she had known the scene at that moment being enacted in the new house of Arioland. ! not hide her swelling sense of satisfaction." said Megsy. thinking of the obloquy which. mansewards through the on the morning of the sixth of John his progress " Carlin *• calling to carlin.

HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS been of Carus. Lady Darroch she never thought of But smiled. it waters lo do — She come yet she had not been unhappy. indeed. should redden those to the west. to a beginning. she heard the strange half-human cry of pheasant. seemed as ^f she And now — had always thought lovingly of Carus. . But it had seemed by Perhaps. in It had. the blackbird fluted mellow mild and equal autumn morning. too. 415 . not that morning. fortunate smiled so bewitchingly that — so . come to her while he was away London. it surely could not be that to-day — before thought. Hester remembered that this was the mornins. through dark It all passing strange. It was like our little Hester that she never once thought of what Carus and she would one day be called Lord Darroch. a springing forward of hot blood. Down the father's the woods across the water of Darroch. with a breaking of bonds of sleep. whom she of delicious shame and joyous apprehension her. she would Carus's be Hester could hardly put it in words the sun. overwhelmed thorn in to the Without. To and give herself to Carus — ah. was reddening the eastward edges of the world. a bounding of frightened pulses. who loved her. had that was very sweet. From head it to foot she burned hotly at the was it was only the sun who was looking at her through the chinks of the old manse shutters. To-day she was to give no. which — — wife. was enough — She loved him — he loved her. — herself to And on a a tide Carus. This for several seconds. much the most terrible and impossible thing which it lay before her that she had put from her. in his woods. an end To-day it was all coming to of her wedding day. it once. It was there that she had first met him. Then suddenly.

that is go away from her. on bare to the door of the chamber. her hair tumbled into heaped masses of soft curls by the sleep of the night. so feet across the softly-clinging. Had anything happened ? Perbe ? ill. Perhaps they did not permit their something would happen to prevent that part men who wrote and made own money by telling other people what the law was. But now. she would know that he " belonged. and the memory had been some satisfaction. lie — just thinking of Carus. this morning of her wedding day. Hester stole through one." and that he was getting ready to come back alone again. to be peers of Scotland. stole She slipped out of bed and floor. after the first delicious thrilling of wonder and fear. he was Perhaps they dared not tell her. in addition. the happiness that invaded all caused by one thought. started back. there She must not She wondered. so white had seemed the night before. and took possession of Hester's heart was She would never have to be for even when Carus Not really. where this laid gown among gowns had been Celine's box. She Who haps could it She heard a sound of muffled sobbing. of it. when taken out of Madame only She would just have one peep Carus would see her in it and it was so pretty. So. with her sweet face all flushed and eager with anticipation. But there was much to be done. Her hand was on hasp. to — had to her as soon as he could. it So diaphanous.HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS after all. she had thought of the ball and of how these people who were really great had seemed to like her. how that marvellous wedding-dress in the next in room would look the daylight. 416 . and married girls who had been Then charged with stealing. — the quiet home a glimmering sun-flecked the figure in maiden white. and were poor.

" . smoothing the folds and stiff old bending out the loops of the bows with her fingers. It was the only thing his heart gicd in your faither didna burn. Hester. lassie. Quick as a flash she darted in. there on your face this very minute.'' you old pet wet spot on — why there is one" — (she touched a where a furrow had Megsy's " Dear Megsy. is it one of your And what is this you are so sorry. 'm thinking that 417 way within 27 him when he tried tu put that the fire. not to the Architect of the universe) was carelessly tossed aside and Megsy was smoothing and patting a simple to That creation of the supreme artist Madame Celine. Megsy. "Your grand- mithcr brought back with I her. glad have found a subject. on which the wonderful wedding-dress had been (wc refer Regent Street. — old dresses " ? " It is your ain mither's wedding-dress. before this schoolgirl's Megsv was on her knees frock. tell me why acted as a channel). are you crying like that ? What " is it . what is the matter ? Megsy — — Why self. her by the little spare bed.HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS Scarcely within. " Megsy Megsy dear. cheek. did she dare to open knees the door and look She saw Megsy on laid out. " on a day like this auld Megsy " But. her little warm feet making no sound on the bare wooden floor.? Megsy started violently. of gown looked of plain muslin. but instantly recovering her- she turned indignantly upon Hester. What for should no wise. which as it creamy in the light of morning. " Greetin' are — ye be greetin' . with little bows of the silk." said to it Megsy. But it was the sound of her sobbing that touched Hester. streamed over the tree tops.

— should be willing to die. Sae. which was white as marble and then. that her darling might have a longer and happier life than the young bride and wife whose simple white frock she had laid out before her on devices." HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS "My own " " mother's wedding-dress. she had with and refused that be comforted. " Megsy. wailed a not crooned hush-a-bye over her little in the days forsaken to motherless bundle. "My Megsy. I think. and prayed and wept. ones of the gether too They had when. caught in So Megsy had contrived her this — and wept and prayed." Megsy went on. I up that an' ye micht see hoo muckle mair bonny stylish to look an' graund that her has sent ye." The Lord ! gie ye her happiness an' your ain too. " that ye micht did it to see the puir bit thing. Meanwhile Hester had been thinking. she had own the bed." said Hester. Little whom I never saw " said she got oot o't but sorrow. and from the care of Revvie and herself." she cried. I upon is this braw goon kenned ye wad lauch to Grace see the differ- ence that " ! Cunning Megsy these great — jealous Megsy. a swift thought running athwart her brain. " I will wear it to-day this dress ot my own " dear mother's — 418 . after I have had Carus all to myself I — for a year " ! " And like thocht." said Hester. too! earth She thought were taking altoupon them. my " I lassie " She got the man she loved. searching as blind lips for as cold. dear mother. thus to arrange for her much bairn even before they got her away from the plain old manse.

ye vvillna — ye way cast frae ye a' the frae " I will tell her. thread and scissors. Revvie. little her "you should be married just " .HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS " Nonsense maunna " " " Megsy. with needle and string. kissing as you are. Madame Celine's beauteous creation was folded up neatly in tissue paper and silver paper and gilded cardboard and wrapped about with While Hester and Megsy. for Master Carus's sake. her white baking apron covering her old brown dress and making (to eyes male) still more ador- able the lithe grace of her figure. toilet even thus early in the Then he nodded his head. She will understand " ! So. stared in amazement. She looked this at him turning his head about applied way and that with a finger and thumb beneath the chin." he said. gin ye lichtly the graund goon she coft and sent London toon " ! — nonsense. You say I such charming things. flushed with the great thought. least if that be canonically forbidden. Revvie. who in his ignorance had expected a day. 419 . Megsy. prepared a surprise for the company the of wedding guests already converging upon manse by the Darroch water. You could not do better. one. at be sure you wear it often afterwards." "Oh. like I that." she cried. early that morning. locks. I I will " And what will her Grace say. Or. very nice lover too think you would have made a " critically. with box-iron and pleat-iron little and old goffcring-iron. must — ? lassie. At breakfast time Hester descended. patting the grey scrubby " what a shame you never got married. as that suspect.

you should just see I can wait " said the minister. Thus diplomatically spoke Happy Deceit.HER MOTHER'S WEDDING DRESS " And It I suppose you expect to ravish us I all in that wonderful dress of the Duchess's saw last j night " ! " " looks so much more " it ! ! lovely to-day Revvie. 420 .

421 . — the The Duchess at least she occupied the whole of the back seat. little higher on the side at which Vic sat. two packs of cards. Barnbogrie. is to be at o'clock in the afternoon." Kipford." CHAPTER LII UNDER THE CANOPY HER Stirling Grace the Duchess of Niddisdale was driv- ing over from Knockdon iVliss in the ducal carriage and four. a snuff-box with a portrait of Prince Charlie on the a prayer-book. Dr. He drew it a The Duchess smiled indulgently as she watched the manoeuvre out of the corner of a pair of very experienced old eyes. of bottles and powder-shells. Johnson's Rasselas. any proper marriage it all. feelingly. no procession down the binding really ? no wedding march. attended by Victoria Torphichan- Marquess of Kipford. — is it He gave a little hitch to the thin Indian rug which (in their care for the Duchess's health) Vic and he had thrown across the inside of the carriage. aisle. or " and what Vic irreverently called her " props full did. her Grace's The horses were changed at the inn of grandson. no red carpet. not in a church. and a French fast resolving itself into its novel component "signatures." is said don't believe that this think. Just three grandmother Niddisdale. " at I " Do you know. These included an old-fashioned dressing-case lid. to which they had been forwarded some and days before.

and Duchess's four splendid blacks. on the leaders more erect. with clatter of unanimous hoof and tremendous spraying of pebbles. But aloud she said. " Oh. Kipford gave Vic's hand a final squeeze. Then. book. 422 ." UNDER THE CANOPY " I wonder if they actually think I don't see them ! she thought. bent their necks. Everything holds good." Kipford pressed Vic's hand so hard that the Indian rug trembled. turned out to his The ducal the the coachman gathered up postilions ribbons sat more firmly. in Scotland the difficulty is to escape being married. this time. see. recognising what was expected of them. if (as he put I it) the governor should cut up rough. and threw out their feet with their best action. This was held open by Anders in his Sunday best with a flower in his button-hole. If you and Vic were to stand up before a couple of witnesses and declare that you were man and wife. and half-way up fall the steps held up her hands. that was worth knowing too. Well. " taking it ? " said bridal grandeur by and sitting waiting. is wonder how our little Hester " She will be in her the Duchess. Her Grace slowly descended. and candle. you know. letting a black satin bag in her astonishment." As they drove down the whole population the long street of the Clachan. the equipage drew up on the little sweep of gravel before the carriage turned in at the white the door. For there were reasons why the merest that tyro in affairs of the heart might have discerned Vic and Kipford were holding each other's hands underneath the Indian rug. and leaped out before the stately footman could open the door. With due circumspection manse gate under the elms. it would be as binding as if the Archbishop of Canterbury had married you with bell.

He is to be here to-day. yes. He should If he have done that the kirk on Sunday. Carus but I must tell you tell. This ? " but do is what said be angry. 423 . " Where is your dress. yes. told me not to And I want to wear my bringing him. everybody will and you in that old schoolroom than twenty minutes Where is Carus ? I believe dress. Chetwynd is — — . I " would not have believed it of Carus Hester took the Duchess up the stairs into her own bedroom. and a white apron. yes it is too beautiful but this and it is a secret.UNDER THE CANOPY *' Why. — — " mother's wedding-dress for his sake " Very well. " Does not suit you this is "Oh. so you shall. And my mother's my father has been found. so you ! shall. childie. there is the auld Adam himsel' ! " cried Hester's Lady Niddisdale. and ball at Scotstarvit altered for that." wear." " Why said Hester. We make House when you and will give a you can have Madame's dress Carus come back. am going to — tell me why it . looking out of the little window of room. when the arraying was nearly if finished. dear Lady Niddisdale. as if you have been wasting your time sweethearting would not both be sick and tired of it before a you — be coming in less — month still is out. Hester. ! at the inn What You ! he has not arrived yet ? He ? is have not seen him to-day ! Well. kind " but mystified. and " I declare. " the ? Duchess. " I wonder he is coming in to forbid the banns. Mr. though. it my " ? dear ? I hope not I that stupid Celine has sent in time " Oh. you look as lovely as And now we '11 have Vic we can " ! up. wedding-dress.

" you would do well not to make any I objections at this stage of the proceedings. will take " Jim Chetwynd has gone to meet him. The iron of the " sparrables young master's boot had. your-spine look of already. after a pause ." " And why not ? " swelled the peer.! " UNDER THE CANOPY is going to play death's head at the feast. by a somewhat unthe justly usual portal. my lord." she continued. It See. entered into his soul. after ascertaining the parental purposes. I '11 death's head him. like winter moonlight cold. the remembrance " I have of his wrongs surging high within his breast done everything for the boy. Lord forth to meet Darroch looked as if he would have liked to decline the honour. as steady and as " I think. to be denied when on it had that grey polished glint in it. the bewigged old scoundrel " But it will be all right. his. Jim I know that cold-water-downhim in hand. James Chetwynd went him. holding out his hand. and Jim Chetwynd's eye not one Manse. goes and marries a pauper to disgrace and spite me. and You am will' sure you have no wish to do that. my " ! lord is uncomfortable He does n't like Jim was^ indeed. a . But as indignant parent approached the Mr. only alienate your son more completely. 424 . steel. with a rapid step. I have never attempted And now he to control him save in this one thing. all Grumphy Guddlestane had informed of he could hear at the few haunts to him upon the neighbourhood." he said. but Jim Chetwynd's hand was not easily set aside. with the idea of entering some protest against the marriage of his son that my Lord Darroch kept him left had come in over. He was burning to be revenged his on Carus.

" said Jim Chetwynd. in strict confidence. you know my Lord Darroch ? " It was Chetwynd who spoke. of course. " That will lady was my client. farthest. have always loved I my boy. and on my professional word of honour. a family as old. as well he might. acknowl- would make a difference.UNDER THE CANOPY nursery governess who " sir left her employer's house under grave suspicion you must not forget that the and I have no doubt you young too. sir. . her father's death! ! "On Ten edge it Is not thousand a year If that be true I — her father dead? I well. " Poverty. Stirling. But let me remind you that IVIiss Stirling is the trial. " by a couple of foolish chits defied. is. after all. ." he was his voice. 425 saying to himself. be defied . to " say the least of it. a comparative term. should like dear young his bride!" " Ah. He is all I have to give him my blessing — and — and up the in the world. as your own " But they will be penniless give them a farthing. sir. unconsciously approached the steps of the was not far little avenue at the in " Mr. and I will I ! I certainly will not see that every farthing I will not have any influence over goes elsewhere. sole descendant in the direct male line of the oldest do. who It is this " ? They had Manse. branch of the Stirlings of Arioland. that on her father's death Miss Stirling will . with a curious tremor " If he stands this he is all right. be year worth " something * like ten thousand pounds a The peer of the realm gasped. the judge's words at the close of the remember. gravely " I may inform you.

and spotless. " is in the fierceness posed an arm See. David Stirling did not address a word to the peer to introduced. simple and cheap in material. as they was I to know have done ? " How indeed ? " cally. Above him. escorted the peer down the gravel . he launched himself at And . and. How would turn out said Jim Chetwynd. There never was her father was I anything only a any actress way. afterwards. They the to stood up together it " to in the greater church. but fitting her " My God — How Hester a reeling brain fell my wife " he cried. was I to know ? " said my Lord Darroch. there she David in Stirling raised his eyes. as Chetwynd. but whom he was thus without a moment's hesitation. though doubtedly a rare old scoundrel. he turned his ruffled on his heel my lord to pursue way back to the towers of Darroch. in an uncanny throat. quite near. having committed David to his daughJim " ter's care. stood a slender girlish bride. to be married the according the ancient It custom one and order of the Kirk of Scotland. and with back into Chetwynd's arms." UNDER THE CANOPY My Lord Darroch slowly paled at to a greyish-green as he looked the man before him. silence." as minister put the other. and dropped his hands. ! — young curves perfectly. old-fashioned white. for your daughter's sake. was the Duchess's 426 . little thought she was wench out of that things a player's booth. " I had un- forgotten about the in it girl ages ago. unsym pathetiand left without any farewell to the victim of circum- stances. Lord Darroch's he would have borne him to the ground of his anger had Chetwynd not inter" Steady. David.

" I will " ! Carus. x>{ her throat. They did not kneel at any They were not gazed upon by crowded pews. and the great beeches at the end of the long walk made a spacious cathedral. as they came near the door. so great and Before them stood the dark and lustrous thev were. depths. 427 . Carus proud and straight. and smiled up at ! ! him. and exhorted them to love and good works in the bond of peace. And when said it came to the questionings. in a hoarse whisper. and they seemed all depth together. " I 've got you You can't get away now.UNDER THE CANOPY idea that thev should be married in the lovely terraces manse to garden. And " all I will. minister. when all was over. very low. through which the winds murmured a kind of JEoVmn nuptial hymn all the while. a little pulse going tick-tick of itself down the bottom altar. Very handsome they looked. The parlour seemed close that glorious September day. clear which descends in irregular the amber pools of the Darroch water." he said. Carus with his wife's hand upon his arm. " I don't want to " she answered." said at Hester. But the birds of the garden sang their wedding-march as they went soberly down the gravel walk. Hester thrown back into her teens again by the simplicity But her eyes were purple in their of her white dress. his grey hair making a kind of storrny glory about his head.

" said Vic. preserve jars and honey glasses were still brown-circled upon the pale paint of its shelves. hear — know you same are dying to or what amounts to the thing. Hester sat and sewed placidly as she indulgently gave listened. as she took off her l""^ big Gainsborough hat and threw it victoriously -*— on a chair. to see how .END PAPER "TOEHOLD ^ the killing in me. they Russell Square you know so when " was in town I made Kippie walk over with me 428 . Hester. tell You you how it need not look was. Restless at Vic twisted her gloves into knots and threw them Kipford. Then Revvie and Megsy were seated in the in They were House of Arioland going into the old house to persuaded the minister that live." same old room of the ancient which the story began. I so anxious. as he listened with a smiling admiration to her prattle. for they had at last he should take his well- earned leisure. just after of the fatted calf — I don't mean But you. There was the store cupboard in which the black bag with the The marks of the bottoms of red stripes had been set. who them back to her again. I '11 Kipford. "the Prodigal Daughter. Hester and Carus were living here till the alterations at the new house on the brae were finished. and give up the Manse by the Darroch water to a colleague and successor soon to be appointed. I am dying to tell you. They had ridden over from Knockdon "I thought it would be rather fun were getting on I at together.

Timson let me in. * You need n't be look on his face 'm not after the spoons.' says she. forgive me ' ! " Then it was mother who spoke. when I went in I stood — least. complete with automatic nursemaid and patent 'mother' attachment it — under 'the reason ! good action — chin.' ' I come to ask you to have as nobody spoke. who." he said. where my Sam. c/ick^ baby laughs. "Go on. " ' Victoria. peer who has new babytickles it trainer. They were invented the you know. with a doubtful so I said to him. Vic. house provides those. smacking attachment comes It cries without into Hester reproachfully. ? magnificent " some astonishment. Kipford "Yes. I — plaintively. all except my father and Tom. she really said that the young man was very much ! in love. for use in all nurseries. waiting on has chambers of his some swells — the own now. And by great good luck. as became an old But Kipford only laughed and staid married woman. "So he led me up to the great still the philanthropy mills work — and drawing-room. The workafraid. encouraging her — which — ' the young woman did not need in the " Well. as Is n't she " in looked up much as to say. " Hush! well.' "And wait END PAPER outside the door — no fun •. ! " put in that young man. there they were. of the Penitent Outcast to the Family Hearth. don't they grind slowly. like this Return Then. ' can you expect to be forgiven when you have turned against all your blood relations for the sake of a stranger ? 429 . Timson.' Hester nodded. I said. ! " Vic " more said the delightedly.

as soon as they found out that I was n't telling lies. " ' So. ' it is really nothing. the Duke of Niddisdale's eldest son possible ' " ' What ' ! ? ' they cried all together. getting down on my knees — — ! — ! "And " " It with that she pointed her finger to the door as — extraordinarily dignified the mater was. but sat looking at patterns in a stray Lady's " ' Mother.. it is ! " ' My ' de — ear all is forgiven. I said it was just possible. it is im- " So ring. and they all waited for me to speak.' says I. that " said Vic.' I said.' mater. and showed them my Did ? n't Kippie do himself proud when he bought it." must have been good as a play " chuckled ! Kipford. (here listen to one word Kipford nodded again). 430 — said the . only I thought you might like to know that I am going to marry the Marquess of Kipford.' says the mater have you will my house — ! . exhibiting ! " Got it on tick " put in the fond lover. ' No.'' ' END PAPER " ' I know in I don't deserve that you should ' *' ' Hold your tongue. 'hear me only one before you drive from an unworthy daughter me forth from your roof " ' Whatever you have got to say say it and go Home Journal. they all came round about me like flies to a honey-pot — all except the pater^ that daughter. did. It was a play ! " snapped Vic. " and do be good enough to shut up. girls ? I always said I You know would come to this did n't I. ' I will not ! either now or ever again I make an end of this " Eth and Claudia said nothing. though you won't answer. " Then. Waffles! So I pretended to look demurely down.

' I said ' you 're If — the girl to lead a forlorn hope ' — and . Victoria. I hope he ear. I would not speak to you way vou have backed up that little Hester Stirling !' the " ' Good for you. will make you very. and take pre' ! cedence of that Of you. where can commune ail with spirit and love answers love great rich untrammelled to Sir eternity.' Clau knows her way about ! she said in my Oh. it 's getting pretty forlorn now. And by Jove. but she was the man of the lot. is n't it. ' Then Claudia came up and kissed me. you were going to marry because of a reigning -prince. She stuck to her guns. as much as to say. very happy. as she * her skirts and swept out as fine as you please." He remained a to man still. " ' Kippie had better.' I forgetting my " ' part — answered I — for the moment ' or will make him singularly unhappy ! would. Kipford nodded again. she meant.! END PAPER And vou will be a real little Duchess. but somehow himself the savour had gone 431 . Hester. and didn't cotton to the duchess business — not a little bit " ' You need over n't think to come your grand marriages lifted me ' ! she said." David captivity Stirling died four months after his return first from and was doubt it laid beside that whom spirit (I not) he went forth young Hester to join. Svlvanus his collapse of was never the same after the " speculaticjns. Eth ? " For I was n't going to let her walk off with all the honours. too prospect. *' And she " He seemed unaccountably pleased at the ! — except only old best "So with that they all fell on my neck and kissed me Eth. old No-Surrender.

among men. does not see them. I and came to where ? his " Have " been a good husband to you. is now his is a saint among immortal him. Sarah And he shut his eyes and slept — never waken again on earth. There a sound of house of Arioland. immaculate. visits the faithfully-tended shrine of Sylvanus Torphichan-Stirling." she " there stands hushed tones of a devotee. Sylvanus. then there regret me. So one day he measured out carefully a quantity of the same white it. too. A a full-length picture is of Sir Sylvanus in academical falls gown disclosed. emblematic of the character of the departed. The black frock-coat without crease. what cried. dear. powder in into a glass of water. one person on earth who to will Give me your hand. M. but works blessed ! live after Verily the memory of the just " Then Hester and Carus say not a word. perennially charming. is Why. in the " There.D. He dead. young voices now in the great Lady Niddisdale threatens condign for future punishment and compromises 432 good behaviour . who is unmarried. a purple Lady Torphichan-Stirling solemnly draws back curtain as from before a shrine. faultless. startled. once a saint spirits. but Claudia And always before they go out. is Philanthropist and Malefactor. tranquilly took wife was sitting. Ethel. Sarah " he said.. word when he. neither does a James Chetwynd say Bart. quietly sitting down beside her. my blessed angel. as for Vic's sake they sometimes do. And now when is still Hester and Carus go to Russell Square. sighs. "of course you have is — never " ! the matter ? " a better she " ! " Ah.END PAPER out of his triple life.

and says. in his life happv at at the old house. and every week bides to "speer" Megsy. "did I not tell you. you By the way.END PAPER on the basis of present candy." he says. and she If I promise afore she kens where she I shall on her tomb the " words * Margaret MacQuaker. even in what Then fixed at he takes his son aside. "Some '11 day. "This is indeed a privilege. " dear bov. you dog. But Anders does has the poore'st opinion of the not despair. the fang.ND 28 433 . Carus. you are well now. wife of Anders As for Hester and Carus they arc lovely and pleasant leevc lang eneugh yet sec ' ! in their lives. are Rev vie and Alegsy time with. "I'll catch her afF is." he says. having for the more money than he knows what to do Alegsy is up at the Great House every day. Jobson is becoming You'll get it all back with if know " ! Carus takes out a murmur. cheque-book and writes without His lordship has found out to a sovereign his how much is he may venture to ask. and ducted. that you ought to get married early !" it My forgets. just lend me a hundred or two. lord's memory is a useful one. who has not vet consented to let him have his name on her stone in the kirk-yard. way the nursery is conAnders does most of the work about the old house of Arioland. Rev vie first buying books a score a time. THE F. your banker's just ! confoundedly impertinent usury some day. and their sole prayer is that in their deaths they be not divided. My Lord Darroch comes over and kisses his daughter-in-law.

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1 ro-uRB 'A 'CO m4 3 1974 JUN wl m^^ Bl8c: MAR 18 1982 4wl%t'8 fc JUN19 1996 1 Form L9-32m-8.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY Los Angeles This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.'58(5876s4 )444 .

•1 pRARY FACILITY iliiiilinlll r^i^ AA 000 308 797 >i .

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