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【英文原版】Beechcroft at Rockstone / Charlotte M. Yonge [复制链接]

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离线washington

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余翔东
只看该作者 20楼 发表于: 2012-07-13
Chapter XX. Ivinghoe Terrace F45-M[z  
  On an east-windy Friday afternoon Valetta and Fergus were in a crowning state of ecstasy. Rigdum Funnidos was in a hutch in the small garden under the cliff, Begum and two small gray kittens were in a basket under the kitchen stairs, Aga was purring under everybody's feet, Cocky was turning out the guard upon his perch---in short, Il Lido was made as like Silverfold as circumstances would permit. Aunt Ada with Miss Vincent was sitting on the sofa in the drawing-room, with a newly-worked cosy, like a giant's fez, over the teapot, and Valetta's crewel cushion fully displayed. She was patiently enduring a rush in and out of the room of both children and Quiz once every minute, and had only requested that it should not be more than once, and that the door should neither be slammed nor left open. AJ)&+H  
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Macrae and the Silverfold carriage were actually gone to the station, and, oh! oh! oh! here it really was with papa on the box, and heaps of luggage, and here were Primrose and Gillian and mamma and Mrs. Halfpenny, all emerging one after another, and Primrose, looking---oh dear! more like a schoolroom than a nursery girl---such a great piece of black leg below the little crimson skirt; but the dear little face as plump as ever. mu5r4W47  
e1%kW1Z9  
That was the first apparent fact after the disengaging from the general embrace, when all had subsided into different seats, and Aunt Jane, who had appeared from somewhere in her little round sealskin hat, had begun to pour out the tea. The first sentence that emerged from the melee of greetings and intelligence was---  1'F!C  
=;E0PB_w  
'Fly met her mother at the station; how well she looks!' \=]`X2Ld  
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'Then Victoria came down with you?' h]+;"v6 /  
:]]x^wony~  
'Yes; I am glad we went to her. I really do like her very much.' 9+PAyI#w  
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Then Primrose and Valetta varied the scene by each laying a kitten in their mother's lap; and Begum, jumping after her progeny, brushed Lady Merrifield's face with her bushy tail, interrupting the information about names. v @0G^z|  
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'Come, children,' said Sir Jasper, 'that's enough; take away the cats.' It was kindly said, but it was plain that liberties with mamma would not continue before him. x[0hY0 ?[M  
jQ3dLctn  
'The Whites?' was Gillian's question, as she pressed up to Aunt Jane. 3lZl  
9]lI?j]o  
'Poor Mrs. White died the night before last,' was the return. 'I have just come from Kally. She is in a stunned state now---actually too busy to think and feel, for the funeral must be to-morrow.' GLecBF+>F  
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Sir Jasper heard, and came to ask further questions. ddKP3}  
V? tH/P  
'She saw Alexis,' went on Miss Mohun. 'They dressed him in his own clothes, and she seemed greatly satisfied when he came to sit by her, and had forgotten all that went before. However, the end came very suddenly at last, and all those poor children show their southern nature in tremendous outbursts of grief---all except Kalliope, who seems not to venture on giving way, will not talk, or be comforted, and is, as it were, dried up for the present. The big brothers give way quite as much as the children, in gusts, that is to say. Poor Alexis reproaches himself with having hastened it, and I am afraid his brother does not spare him. But Mr. White has bought his discharge.' #2U#h-vI  
5[X%17&t  
'You don't mean it.' 8*/;W&7y  
 /d|:  
'Yes; whether it was the contrast between Alexis's air of refinement and his private soldier's turn-out, or the poor fellow's patience and submission, or the brother's horrid behaviour to him, Mr. White has taken him up, and bought him out.' H%l-@::+$  
V-(]L:[JQ  
'All because of Richard's brutal speech. That is good! Though I confess I should have let the lad have at least a year's discipline for his own good, since he had put himself into it; but I can't be sorry. There is something engaging about the boy.' aKW-(5<JW  
a.UYBRP/l  
'And Mr. White is the right man to dispose of them.' T}?b,hNl$  
jT0iJ?d,!  
No more passed, for here were the children eager and important, doing the honours of the new house, and intensely happy at the sense of home, which with them depended more on persons than on place. )!VJ\  
d7g$9&/q  
One schoolroom again,' said Mysie. 'One again with Val and Prim and Miss Vincent. Oh, it is happiness!' aRn""3[  
cZ`%Gt6g  
Even Mrs. Halfpenny was a delightful sight, perhaps the more so that her rightful dominion was over; the nursery was no more, and she was only to preside in the workroom, be generally useful, wait on my lady, and look after Primrose as far as was needful. +-V4:@  
w 17{2']  
The bustle and excitement of settling in prevented much thought of the Whites, even from Gillian, during that evening and the next morning; and she was ashamed of her own oblivion of her friend in the new current of ideas, when she found that her father meant to attend the funeral out of respect to his old fellow-soldier. 54s90  
!83 N#Y_Mz  
Rockquay had outgrown its churchyard, and had a cemetery half a mile off, so that people had to go in carriages. Mr. White had made himself responsible for expenses, and thus things were not so utterly dreary as poverty might have made them. It was a dreary, gusty March day, with driving rushes of rain, which had played wildly with Gillian's waterproof while she was getting such blossoms and evergreen leaves as her aunt's garden afforded, not out of love for the poor Queen of the White Ants herself, but thinking the attention might gratify the daughters; and her elders moralised a little on the use and abuse of wreaths, and how the manifestation of tender affection and respect had in many cases been imitated in empty and expensive compliment. ZmaW]3$  
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'The world spoils everything with its coarse finger,' said Lady Merrifield. YQ}IE[J}v  
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'I hope the custom will not be exaggerated altogether out of fashion,' said Jane. 'It is a real comfort to poor little children at funerals to have one to carry, and it is as Mrs. Gaskell's Margaret said of mourning, something to prevent settling to doing nothing but crying; besides that afterwards there is a wholesome sweetness in thus keeping up the memory.' h&t9CpTfeJ  
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Sir Jasper shared a carriage with Mr. White, and returned somewhat wet and very cold, and saying that it had been sadly bleak and wretched for the poor young people, who stood trembling, so far as he could see; and he was anxious to know how the poor girls were after it. It had seemed to him as if Kalliope could scarcely stand. He proved to be right. Kalliope had said nothing, not wept demonstratively, perhaps not at all; but when the carriage stopped at the door, she proved to be sunk back in her corner in a dead faint. She was very long in reviving, and no sooner tried to move than she swooned again, and this time it lasted so long that the doctor was sent for. Miss Mohun arrived just as he had partially restored her, and they had a conversation. .t|B6n!  
T:(c/ >  
'They must get that poor girl to bed as soon as it is possible to undress her,' he said. 'I have seen that she must break down sooner or later, and I'm afraid she is in for a serious illness; but as yet there is no knowing.' DDwm;,eZ  
Cmj+>$')0  
Nursing was not among Jane's accomplishments, except of her sister Ada's chronic, though not severe ailments; but she fetched Mrs. Halfpenny as the most effective person within reach, trusting to that good woman's Scotch height, strong arms, great decision, and the tenderness which real illness always elicited. `4kVe= {  
vA&MJD{  
Nor was she wrong. Not only did Mrs. Halfpenny get the half- unconscious girl into bed, but she stayed till evening, and then came back to snatch a meal and say--- KI Xp+Z  
:erfs}I  
'My leddy, if you have no objection, I will sit up with that puir lassie the night. They are all men-folk or bairns there, except the lodger-lady, who is worn out with helping the mother, and they want some one with a head on her shoulders.' s a{x.2/o}  
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Lady Merrifield consented with all her heart; but the Sunday morning's report was no better, when Mrs. Halfpenny came home to dress Primrose, and see her lady. (f;.`W  
S!66t?vHB  
'That eldest brother, set him up, the idle loon, was off by the mail train that night, and naething wad serve him but to come in and bid good-bye to his sister just as I had gotten her off into something more like a sleep. It startled her up, and she went off her head again, poor dearie, and began to talk about prison and disgrace, and what not, till she fainted again; and when she came to, I was fain to call the other lad to pacify her, for I could see the trouble in her puir een, though she could scarce win breath to speak.' {r%T_BfY  
4~Y?*|G]m  
'Is Alexis there?' %aV~RB#  
vR&b2G7o  
'Surely he is, my leddy; he's no the lad to leave his sister in sic a strait. It was all I could do to gar him lie down when she dozed off again, but there's sair stress setting in for all of them, puir things. I have sent the little laddie off to beg the doctor to look in as soon as he can, for I am much mistaken if there be not fever coming on.' "dT"6,  
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'Indeed! And what can those poor children do?' <LzxnTx=  
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'That's what I'm thinking, my leddy. And since 'tis your pleasure that the nursery be done awa' wi', and I have not ta'en any fresh work, I should like weel to see the puir lassie through wi' it. Ye'll no mind that Captain White and my puir Halfpenny listed the same time, and always forgathered as became douce lads. The twa of them got their stripes thegither, and when Halfpenny got his sunstroke in that weary march, 'twas White who gave him his last sup of water, and brought me his bit Bible. So I'd be fain to tend his daughter in her sickness, if you could spare me, my leddy, and I'd aye rin home to dress Missie Primrose and pit her to bed, and see to matters here.' 1X7GM65#  
#oFyi @U  
'There's no better nurse in the world, dear old Halfpenny,' said Lady Merrifield, with tears in her eyes. 'I do feel most thankful to you for proposing it. Never mind about Primrose, only you must have your meals and a good rest here, and not knock yourself up.' MmfBFt*  
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Mrs. Halfpenny smiled grimly at the notion of her being sooner knocked up than a steam-engine. Dr. Dagger entirely confirmed her opinion that poor Kalliope was likely to have a serious illness, low nervous fever, and failing action of the heart, no doubt from the severe strain that she had undergone, more or less, for many months, and latterly fearfully enhanced by her mother's illness, and the shock and suspense about Alexis, all borne under the necessity of external composure and calmness, so that even Mrs. Lee had never entirely understood how much it cost her. The doctor did not apprehend extreme danger to one young and healthy, but he thought much would depend on good nursing, and on absolute protection from any sort of excitement, so that such care as Mrs. Halfpenny's was invaluable, since she was well known to be a dove to a patient, but a dragon to all outsiders. h@\-]zN{  
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Every one around grieved at having done so little to lighten these burthens, and having even increased them, her brother Alexis above all; but on the other hand, he was the only person who was of any use to her, or was suffered to approach her, since his touch and voice calmed the recurring distress, lest he were still in prison and danger. 6H: fg  
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Alexis went back dutifully on the Monday morning to his post at the works. The young man was much changed by his fortnight's experiences, or rather he had been cured of a temporary fit of distraction, and returned to his better self. How many discussions his friends held about him cannot be recorded, but after a conversation with Mr. Flight, with whom he was really more unreserved than any other being except Kalliope, this was the understanding at which Miss Mohun and Lady Merrifield arrived as to his nature and character. 0$c(<+D  
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Refined, studious, and sensitive, thoroughly religious-minded, and of a high tone of thought, his aspirations had been blighted by his father's death, his brother's selfishness, and his mother's favouritism. In a brave spirit of self-abnegation, he had turned to the uncongenial employment set before him for the sake of his family, and which was rendered specially trying by the dislike of his fellows to 'the gentleman cove,' and the jealousy of the Stebbings. Alike for his religious and his refined habits he had suffered patiently, as Mr. Flight had always known more or less, and now bore testimony. The curate, who had opened to him the first door of hope and comfort, had in these weeks begun to see that the apparent fitfulness of his kindness had been unsettling. Cy uRj[;B  
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Then came the brief dream of felicity excited by Gillian and the darkness of its extinction, just as Frank Stebbing's failure and the near approach of Mr. White had made the malice of his immediate superiors render his situation more intolerable than ever. There was the added sting of self-reproach for his presumption towards Gillian, and the neglect caused by his fit of low spirits. Such a sensitive being, in early youth, wearied and goaded on all sides, might probably have persevered through the darkness till daylight came; but the catastrophe, the dismissal, and the perception that he could only defend himself at the expense of his idol's little brother, all exaggerated by youthful imagination, were too much for his balance of judgment, and he fled without giving himself time to realise how much worse he made it for those he left behind him. [Z2[Iy  
]!sCWR  
Of course he perceived it all now, and the more bitterly from his sister's wanderings, but the morbid exaggeration was gone. The actual taste of a recruit's life had shown him that there were worse things than employment at the quarries with his home awaiting him, and his cell had been a place of thought and recovery of his senses. He had never seriously expected conviction, and Sir Jasper's visit had given him a spring of hopeful resignation, in which thoughts stirred of doing his duty, and winning his way after his father's example, and taking the trials of his military life as the just cross of his wrong-doing in entering it. C.#Ha-@uz  
Tf!6N<dRXR  
His liberation and Mr. White's kindness had not altered this frame. He was too unhappy to feel his residence in the great house anything but a restraint; he could not help believing that he had hastened his mother's death, and could only bow his head meekly under his brother's reproaches, alike for that and for his folly and imprudence and the disgrace he had brought on the family. P8h|2,c%  
X!~y&[;[C  
'And now you'll, be currying favour and cutting out every one else,' had been a sting which added fresh force to Alexis's desire to escape from his kinsman's house to sleep at home as soon as his brother had gone; and Richard had seen enough of Sir Jasper and of Mr. White to be anxious to return to his office at Leeds as soon as possible, and to regulate his affairs beyond their reach. N}#"o  
^jRX6  
Alexis knew that he had avoided a duty in not working out his three months' term, and likewise that his earnings were necessary to the family all the more for his sister being laid aside. He knew that he hardly deserved to resume his post, and he merely asked permission so to do, and it was granted at once, but curtly and coldly. Nr*X1lJ6  
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Mr. Flight had asked if he had not found the going among the other clerks very trying. UA~ 4O Q]  
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'I had other things to think of,' said Alexis sadly, then recalling himself. 'Yes; Jones did sneer a little, but the others stopped that. They knew I was down, you see.' s]kzXzRC?  
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'And you mean to go on?' 1t?OD_d!8  
5*YvgB;  
'If I may. That, and for my sister to get better, is all I can dare to hope. My madness and selfishness have shown me unworthy of all that I once dreamt of.' >,3uu}s  
~ *"iLf@,  
In that resolution it was assuredly best to leave him, only giving him such encouragement and sympathy as might prevent that more dangerous reaction of giving up all better things; and Sir Jasper impressed on Mr. Flight, the only friend who could have aided him in fulfilling his former aspirations, that Mr. White had in a manner purchased the youth by buying his discharge, and that interference would not only be inexpedient, but unjust. The young clergyman chafed a little over not being allowed to atone for his neglect; but Sir Jasper was not a person to be easily gainsayed. Nor could there be any doubt that Mr. White was a good man, though in general so much inclined to reserve his hand that his actions were apt to take people by surprise at last, as they had never guessed his intentions, and he had a way of sucking people's brains without in the least letting them know what use he meant to make of their information. The measures he was taking for the temporal, intellectual, and spiritual welfare of the people at the works would hardly have been known except for the murmurs of Mrs. Stebbing, although, without their knowing what he was about with them, Mr. Stebbing himself, Mr. Hablot, Miss Mohun, to say nothing of Alexis, the foremen and the men and their wives, had given him the groundwork of his reforms. Meantime, he came daily to inquire for Kalliope, and lavished on her all that could be an alleviation, greatly offending Mrs. Halfpenny by continually proffering the services of a hospital nurse. (y.N-I,  
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'A silly tawpie that would be mair trouble than half a dozen sick,' as she chose to declare. Sm4BZF~!B  
' :B;!3a0d  
She was a born autocrat, and ruled as absolutely in No. l as in her nursery, ordering off the three young ones to their schools, in spite of Maura's remonstrances and appeals to Lady Merrifield, who agreed with nurse that the girl was much better away and occupied than where she could be of very little use. pIcg+~  
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Indeed, Mrs. Halfpenny banished every one from the room except Mrs. Lee and Alexis, whom she would allow to take her place, while she stalked to Il Lido for her meals, and the duties she would not drop. As to rest, she always, in times of sickness, seemed to be made of cast iron, and if she ever slept at all, it was in a chair, while Alexis sat by his sister in the evening. {ac$4#Bp[B  
Gr2}N"X=  
The fever never ran very high, but constant vigilance was wanted from the extreme exhaustion and faintness. There was no violent delirium, but more of delusion and distress; nor was it easy to tell when she was conscious or otherwise, for she hardly spoke, and as yet the doctor forbade any attempt to rouse her more than was absolutely needful. They were only to give nourishment, watch her, and be patient. wz:e\ !  
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A few months ago Gillian would have fussed herself into a frantic state of anxiety and self-reproach, but her parents, when her mother had once heard as much outpouring as she thought expedient, would not permit what Sir Jasper called 'perpetual harping.' PM84Z@Y  
+&G(AW  
'You have to do your duties all the same, and not worry your mother and all the family with your feelings,' he said. She thought it very unkind, and went away crying. eWv:wNouk  
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'Nobody could hinder her from thinking about Kalliope,' she said to herself, and think she did at her prayers, and when the bulletins came in, but the embargo on discussion prevented her from being so absolutely engrossed, as in weaker hands she might have been, and there was a great deal going on to claim her attention. For one thing, the results of the Cambridge Examination showed that while Emma Norton and a few others had passed triumphantly, she had failed, and conscience carried her back to last autumn's disinclination to do just what Aunt Jane especially recommended. M2cGr  
JqO1 a?H  
She cried bitterly over the failure, for she had a feeling that success there would redeem her somewhat in her parents' eyes; but here again she experienced the healing kindness of her father. He would not say that he should not have been much pleased by her success, but he said failure that taught her to do her best without perverseness was really a benefit; and as arithmetic and mathematics had been her weakest points, he would work at them with her and Mysie for an hour every morning. TsT5BC63  
U)f('zD  
It was somewhat formidable, but the girls soon found that what their father demanded was application, and that inattention displeased him much more than stupidity. His smile, though rare, was one of the sweetest things in the world, and his approbation was delightful, and gave a stimulus to the entire day's doings. Mysie was more than ever in dread of being handed over to the Rotherwoods, though her love for poor Fly and pity for her solitude were so strong. She would have been much relieved if she had known what had passed; when the offer was seriously made, Lord Rotherwood insisted that his wife should do it. kiJ=C2'&  
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'Then they will believe in it,' he said. ,gNZHKNq  
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'I do not know why you should say that,' she returned, always dutifully blinding herself to that which all their intimates knew perfectly well. However, perhaps from having a station and dignity of her own, together with great simplicity, Lady Merrifield had from her first arrival got on so well with her hostess as not quite to enter into Jane's sarcastic descriptions of her efforts at cordiality; and it was with real warmth that Lady Rotherwood begged for Mysie as a permanent companion and adopted sister to Phyllis, who was to be taken back to London after Easter, and in the meantime spent every possible moment with her cousins. 7.VP7;jys  
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Tears at the unkindness to lonely Fly came into Lady Merrifield's eyes as she said--- [V_mF  
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'I cannot do it, Victoria; I do not think I ought to give away my child, even if I could.' )rA\+XT7  
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'It is not only our feelings,' added Sir Jasper, 'but it is our duty to bring up our own child in her natural station; and though we know she would learn nothing but good in your family, I cannot think it well that a girl should acquire habits, and be used to society ways and of life beyond those which she can expect to continue.' jAt6 5a  
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They both cried out at this, Lord Rotherwood with a halting declaration of perfect equality, which his lady seconded, with a dexterous reference to connections. VxAR,a1+n  
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'We will not put it on rank then,' said Sir Jasper, 'but on wealth. With you, Maria must become accustomed to much that she could not continue, and had better not become natural to her. I know there are great advantages to manners and general cultivation in being with you, and we shall be most thankful to let her pay long visits, and be as much with Phyllis as is consistent with feeling her home with us, but I cannot think it right to do more.' oq<#  
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'But with introductions,' pleaded Lady Rotherwood, 'she might marry well. With her family and connections, she would be a match for any one.' >) :d38M  
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'I hope so,' said Sir Jasper; 'but at the same time it would not be well for her to look on such a marriage as the means of continuing the habits that would have become second nature.' / u{r5`4  
Ww~0k!8,t  
'Poor Mysie,' exclaimed Lord Rotherwood, bursting out laughing at the idea, and at Lady Merrifield's look as she murmured, 'My Mysie!' IY&a!  
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'You misunderstand me,' said the Marchioness composedly. 'I was as far as possible from proposing marriage as a speculation for her.' s|T7)PgR  
YC<I|&"  
'I know you were,' said Sir Jasper. 'I know you would deal by Maria as by your own daughter, and I am very grateful to you, Lady Rotherwood, but I can only come back to my old decision, that as Providence did not place her in your rank of life, she had better not become so accustomed to it as to render her own distasteful to her.' p%1m&/ `F  
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'Exactly what I expected,' said Lord Rotherwood. $:II @=  
9mphj)`d;#  
'Yes,' returned his wife, with an effort of generosity; 'and I believe you are right, Jasper, though I am sorry for my little solitary girl, and I never saw a friend so perfectly suitable for her as your Mysie.' U] -@yx  
Tc5OI'-V  
'They may be friends still,' said Lord Rotherwood, 'and we will be grateful to you whenever you can spare her to us.' c0Ro3j\p  
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'Perhaps,' added Sir Jasper, 'all the more helpful friends for seeing different phases of life.' U[e8K  
P2Qyz}!wo  
'And, said his wife, with one of her warm impulses, 'I do thank you, Victoria, for so loving my Mysie.' ,F`KQ )\"  
oF@x]bmU  
'As if any one could help it, after last winter,' said that lady, and an impromptu kiss passed between the two mothers, much to the astonishment of the Marquis, who had never seen his lady so moved towards any one. 8G5) o`  
e:$7^Y,U/  
The Merrifields were somewhat on the world, for Sir Jasper, on going to Silverfold and corresponding with the trustees of the landlord, had found that the place could not be put in a state either of repair or sanitation, such as he approved, without more expense than either he or the trustees thought advisable, and he decided on giving it up, and remaining at Il Lido till he could find something more suitable. _^6|^PT.  
QM[A;WBr7  
The children, who had been there during the special homemaking age, bewailed the decision, and were likely always to look back on Silverfold as a sort of Paradise; but the elder ones had been used to changes from infancy, and had never settled down, and their mother said that place was little to her as long as she had her Jasper by her side, and as to the abstract idea of home as a locality, that would always be to her under the tulip-tree and by the pond at the Old Court at Beechcroft, just as her abstract idea of church was in the old family pew, with the carved oak panels, before the restoration, in which she had been the most eager of all. E\]OySC%C$  
dSOlD/c  
Thus a fortnight passed, and then the fever was decidedly wearing off, but returning at night. Kalliope still lay weak, languid, silent, fainting at any attempt to move her, not apparently able to think enough to ask how time passed, or to be uneasy about anything, simply accepting the cares given to her, and lying still. One morning, however, Alexis arrived in great distress to speak to Sir Jasper, not that his sister was worse, as he explained, but Richard had been selling the house. The younger ones at home had never troubled themselves as to whose property the three houses in Ivinghoe Terrace were. Perhaps Kalliope knew, but she could not be asked; but the fact was that Captain White had been so lost sight of, that he had not known that this inheritance had fallen to him under the will of his grandfather, who was imbecile at the time of his flight. On his deathbed, the Captain had left the little he owned to his wife, and she had died intestate, as Richard had ascertained before leaving home, so that he, as eldest son, was heir to the ground. He had written to Kalliope, a letter which Alexis had opened, informing her that he had arranged to sell the houses to a Mr. Gudgeon, letting to him their own till the completion of the legal business necessary, and therefore desiring his brothers and sisters to move out with their lodgers, if not by Lady Day itself, thus giving only a week's spare notice, at latest by Old Lady Day. pOqGAD{D$  
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'Is he not aware of your sister's state?' [^<SLTev  
@u,+F0Yd  
'I do not imagine that he has read the letter that I wrote to him. He was very much displeased with me, and somewhat disposed to be angry at my sister's fainting, and to think that we were all trying to work on his feelings. He used to be rather fond of Maura, so I told her to write to him, but he has taken no notice, and he can have no conception of Kalliope's condition, or he would not have addressed his letter to her. I came to ask if you would kindly write to him how impossible it is to move her.' _*Pfp+if  
v{o? #Sk1  
'You had better get a certificate from Dr. Dagger. Either I or Lady Merrifield will meet him, and see to that. That will serve both to stay him and the purchaser.' ?9p$XG  
n'yl)HA~>`  
'That is another misfortune. This Gudgeon is the chief officer, or whatever they call it, of the Salvation Army. I knew they had been looking out for a place for a barracks, and could not get one because almost everything belongs to Lord Rotherwood or to Mr. White.' X'@'/[?  
3za`>bUN  
Sir Jasper could only reply that he would see what could be done in the matter, and that, at any rate, Kalliope should not be disturbed. [/OQyb4F<  
RM,'o[%  
Accordingly Lady Merrifield repaired to Ivinghoe Terrace for the doctor's visit, and obtained from him the requisite certificate that the patient could not be removed at present. He gave it, saying, however, to Lady Merrifield's surprise, that though he did not think it would be possible to remove her in a week's time, yet after that he fully believed that she would have more chance of recovering favourably if she could be taken out of the small room and the warm atmosphere beneath the cliffs---though of course all must depend on her state at the time. [))JX"a  
+"uwV1)b"  
Meantime there was a council of the gentlemen about outbidding the Salvation Army. Lord Rotherwood was spending already as much as he could afford, in the days of agricultural depression, on the improvements planned with Mr. White. That individual was too good a man of business to fall, as he said, into the trap, and make a present to that scamp Richard of more than the worth of the houses, and only Mr. Flight was ready to go to any cost to keep off the Salvation Army; but the answer was curt. Richard knew he had no chance with Mr. White, and did not care to keep terms with him. )0-o%- e  
yX! #a>d"H  
'Mr. Richard White begs to acknowledge the obliging offer of the Rev. Augustine Flight, and regrets that arrangements have so far progressed with Mr. Gudgeon that he cannot avail himself of it.' V@Wcb$mgk  
,4Y*:JU4  
Was this really regret or was the measure out of spite? Only the widest charity could accept the former suggestion, and even Sir Jasper Merrifield's brief and severe letter and Dr. Dagger's certificate did not prevent a letter to Alexis, warning him not to make their sister's illness a pretext for unreasonable delay. s'L?;:)dyB  
\+Y!ILOI  
What was to be done? Kalliope was still unfit to be consulted or even informed, and she had been hitherto so entirely the real head and manager of the family that Alexis did not like to make any decision without her; and even the acceptance of the St. Wulstan's choristership for Theodore had been put off for her to make it, look to his outfit, and all that only the woman of the family could do for them. Q%5F ]`VN  
a$}mWPp+f  
And here they were at a loss for a roof over their heads, and nowhere to bestow the battered old furniture, of which Richard magnanimously renounced his sixth share; while she who had hitherto toiled, thought, managed, and contrived for all the other four, without care of their own, still lay on her bed, sensible indeed and no longer feverish, but with the perilous failure of heart, renewed by any kind of exertion or excitement, a sudden movement, or a startling sound in the street; and Mrs. Halfpenny, guarding her as ferociously as ever, and looking capable of murdering any one of her substitutes if they durst hint a word of their perplexities. Happily she asked no questions; she was content when allowed to be kissed by the others, and to see they were well. Nature was enforcing repose, and so far "her senses was all as in a dream bound up." Alexis remembered that it had been somewhat thus at Leeds, when, after nursing all the rest, she had succumbed to the epidemic; but then the mother had been able to watch over her, and had been a more effective parent to the rest than she had since become. km\%BD~  
mG(N:n%*K  
The first practical proposal was Mrs. Lee's. They thought of reversing the present position, and taking a small house where their present hosts might become their lodgers. Moreover, Miss Mohun clenched the affair about Theodore, and overcame Alexis's scruples, while Lady Merrifield, having once or twice looked in, and been smiled at and thanked by Kalliope, undertook to prepare her for his farewell. {Y_Nj`#BT  
~A >o O-0K  
Alexis and Maura both declared that she would instantly jump up, and want to begin looking over his socks; but she got no further than--- zM59UQU;  
CEqZ:c  
'Dear boy! It is the sort of thing I always wished for him. People are very good! But his things---' ;$;rD0i|  
xF8 :^'  
'Oh yes, dearie, ye need not fash yourself. I've mended them as I sat by you, and packed them all. Lie still. They are all right.' .)`-Hkxa  
STB-guia5  
There was an atmosphere of the Royal Wardours about Mrs. Halfpenny, which was at once congenial and commanding; and Kalliope's mind at once relinquished the burthen of socks, shirts, and even the elbows of the outgrown jacket, nor did any of the family ever know how the deficiencies had been supplied. Ilef+V^qr  
l0#4Fma  
And when Theodore, well admonished, came softly and timidly for the parting kiss, his face quivering all over with the effort at self- control, she lay and smiled; but with a great crystal tear on each dark eyelash, and her thin transparent fingers softly stroked his cheeks, as the low weak voice said--- to51hjV  
m2ox8(sd  
'Be a good boy, dear---speak truth. Praise God well. Write; I'll write when I am better.' S2bexbp0o  
L, #Byao  
It was the first time she had spoken of being better, and they told Theodore to take comfort from it when all the other three walked him up to the station. z :? :  
_=6vW^ s  
~PCTLP~zI  
妙人儿倪家少女
大仝小余氏一人
离线washington

发帖
182217
真实姓名
余翔东
只看该作者 21楼 发表于: 2012-07-13
Chapter XXI. Beauty and the Beast (ai-n,y  
7#. PMyK9  
  In the search for a new abode Mrs. Lee was in much difficulty, for it was needful to be near St. Kenelm's, and the only vacant houses within her means were not desirable for the reception of a feeble convalescent; moreover, Mr. Gudgeon grumbled and inquired, and was only withheld by warnings enhanced by the police from carrying the whole charivari of the Salvation Army along Ivinghoe Terrace on Sunday afternoon. /M `y LI  
S%#Mu|  
Perhaps it was this, perhaps it was the fact of having discussed the situation with the two Miss Mohuns, that made Mr. White say to Alexis, 'There are two rooms ready for your sister, as soon as Dagger says she can be moved safely. The person who nurses her had better come with her, and you may as well come back to your old quarters.' uxiX"0)g>  
uW_ /7ex  
Alexis could hardly believe his ears, but Mr. White waved off all thanks. The Mohun sisters were delighted and triumphant, and Jane came down to talk it over with her elder sister, auguring great things from that man who loved to deal in surprises. 4yy yXj  
&_gmQ;%t:  
'That is true,' said Sir Jasper. 5@5="lNjS  
$R4\jIew V  
'What does that mean, Jasper?' said his wife. 'It sounds significant.' "zc!QHpSd  
TB\CSXb  
'I certainly should not be amazed if he did further surprise us all. Has it never struck you how that noontide turn of Adeline's corresponds with his walk home from the reading-room?' ,58[WZG  
0=iJT4IEJ  
Lady Merrifield looked rather startled, but Jane only laughed, and said, 'My dear Jasper, if you only knew Ada as well as I do! Yes, I have seen far too many of those little affairs to be taken in by them. Poor Ada! I know exactly how she looks, but she is only flattered, like a pussy-cat waggling the end of its tail---it means nothing, and never comes to anything. The thing that is likely and hopeful is, that he may adopt those young people as nephews and nieces.' %-dGK)?  
$8Zw<aEJ  
'Might it not spoil them?' said Lady Merrifield. Uhf -}Jdw  
:Q%&:[2  
'Oh! I did not mean that. They might work with him still. However, there is no use in settling about that. The only thing to be expected of him is the unexpected!' D%Wr/6X  
5ewQjwW0  
'And the thing to be done,' added her sister, 'is to see how and when that poor girl can be got up to Cliff House.' Jg7IGU(dct  
7^S&g.A  
To the general surprise, Dr. Dagger wished the transit to take place without loss of time. A certain look of resigned consternation crossed Kalliope's face on being informed of her destiny, but she justified Mrs. Halfpenny's commendation of her as the maist douce and conformable patient in the world, for she had not energy enough even to plead against anything so formidable, and she had not yet been told that Ivinghoe Terrace was her home no longer. 5Pn$@3  
@aI`ru+a  
The next day she was wrapped in cloaks and carried downstairs between her brother and Mrs. Halfpenny, laid on a mattress in the Merrifield waggonette, which went up the hill at a foot's pace, and by the same hands, with her old friend the caretaker's wife going before, was taken upstairs to a beautiful large room, with a window looking out on vernal sky and sea. She was too much exhausted on her arrival to know anything but the repose on the fresh comfortable bed, whose whiteness was almost rivalled by her cheek, and Mrs. Halfpenny ordered off Alexis, who was watching her in great anxiety. However, when he came back after his afternoon's work, it was to find that she had eaten and slept, and now lay, with her eyes open, in quiet interested admiration of a spacious and pleasant bedroom, such as to be a great novelty to one whose life had been spent in cheap lodging houses. The rooms had been furnished twenty years before as a surprise intended for the wife who never returned to occupy them, and though there was nothing extraordinary in them, there was much to content the eyes accustomed to something very like squalidness, for had not Kalliope's lot always been the least desirable chamber in the family quarters? E+csK*A7  
yn"8Ma*  
At any rate, from that moment she began to recover, ate with appetite, slept and woke to be interested, and to enjoy Theodore's letter of description of St. Wulstan's, and even to ask questions. Alexis was ready to dance for joy when she first began really to talk to him; and could not forbear imparting his gladness to the Miss Mohuns that very evening, as well as to Mr. White, and running down after dinner with the good news to Maura, Mrs. Lee, and Lady Merrifield. Dinners with Mr. White had, on his first sojourn in that house, been a great penance, though there were no supercilious servants, for all the waiting was by the familiar housekeeper, Mrs. Osborne, who had merely added an underling to her establishment on her master's return; but Alexis then had been utterly miserable, feeling guilty and ashamed, as one only endured on sufferance out of compassion, because his brother cast him out, and fresh from the sight of his mother's dying bed; a terrible experience altogether, which had entirely burnt out and effaced his foolish fit of romantic calf-love, and rendered him much more of a man. Now, though not a month had passed, he seemed to be on a different footing. He was doing his work steadily, and the hope of his sister's recovery had brightened him. Mr. White had begun to talk to him, to ask him questions about the doings of the day, and to tell him in return some of his own experiences in Italy, and in the earlier days of the town. Maura came up to see her sister every day, and tranquillised her mind when the move was explained, and anxiety as to the transport of all their worldly goods began to set in. Mrs. Lee had found a house where she could place two bedrooms and a sitting-room at the disposal of the Whites if things were to continue as before, and no hint had been given of any change, or of what was to happen when the three months' notice given to Kalliope and Alexis should have expired. cC b'z1  
[C.Pzo  
By the Easter holidays Mrs. Halfpenny began to get rather restless as to the overlooking of the boys' wardrobes; and, indeed, she thought so well of her patient's progress as to suggest to Mr. White that the lassie would do very well if she had her sister to be with her in the holidays, and she herself would come up every day to help at the getting up, for Kalliope was now able to be dressed and to lie on a couch in the dressing-room, where she could look out over the bay, and she had even asked for some knitting. 7 `thM/fN  
0L9z[2sj  
'And really, Miss Gillian, you could not do her much harm if you came up to see her,' said the despot. 'So you may come this very afternoon, if ye'll be douce, and not fash her with any of your cantrips.' )S]4 Kt_  
7A@]t_83Y  
Gillian did not feel at all in a mood for cantrips as she slowly walked up the broad staircase, and was ushered into the dressing- room, cheerful with bright fire and April sunshine, and with a large comfortable sofa covered with a bright rug, where Kalliope could enjoy both window and fire without glare. The beauty of her face so much depended on form and expression that her illness had not lessened it. Gillian had scarcely seen her since the autumn, and the first feeling was what an air of rest and peace had succeeded the worn, harassed look then almost perpetual. There was a calmness now that far better suited the noble forehead, dark pencilled eyebrows, and classical features in their clear paleness; and with a sort of reverence Gillian bent over her, to kiss her and give her a bunch of violets. Then, when the thanks had passed, Gillian relieved her own shyness by exclaiming with admiration at a beautiful water-coloured copy of an early Italian fresco, combining the Nativity and Adoration of the Magi, that hung over the mantelpiece. zGjf7VV2a  
Q}.zE+  
'Is it not exquisite?' returned Kalliope. 'I do so much enjoy making out each head and dwelling on them! Look at that old shepherd's simple wonder and reverence, and the little child with the lamb, and the contrast with the Wise Man from the East, whose eyes look as if he saw so much by faith.' Huzw>  
29#&q`J  
'Can you see it from there?' asked Gillian, who had got up to look at these and further details dwelt on by Kalliope. 5T]GyftFV  
@mM])V  
'Yes. Not at first; but they come out on me by degrees. It is such a pleasure, and so kind of Mr. White to have put it there. He had it hung there, Mrs. Halfpenny told me, instead of his own picture just before I came in here.' ZT@a2:&  
P<@Yux#  
'Well, he is not a bad-looking man, but it is no harm to him or his portrait to say that this is better to look at!' /mST<{(_G\  
$~,]F  
'It quite does me good! And see,' pointing to a photograph of the Arch of Titus hung on the screen that shielded her from the door, 'he sends in a fresh one by Alexis every other day. dO Y+| P\  
$jb3#Rj4  
'How very nice! He really seems to be a dear old man. Don't you think so?' fU~>A-P  
}vO^%Gd  
'I am sure he is wonderfully kind, but I have only seen him that once when he came with Sir Jasper, and then I knew nothing but that when Sir Jasper was come things must go right.' ^~MHxF5d  
4E3HYZ  
'Of course; but has he never been to see you now that you are up and dressed?' KUH&_yCRB  
X+ iA"B  
'No, he lavishes anything on me that I can possibly want, but I have only seen him once---never here.' LZ&CGV"Z-  
C?x  
'It is like Beauty and the Beast!' @Gn9x(?J  
]Dx?HBM"DC  
'Oh no, no ; don't say that!' C!Tl?>Tt  
! B)Em  
'Well, George Stebbing really taught Fergus to call him a beast, and you---Kally---I won't tease you with saying what you are.' 3d,|26I7f  
].1R~7b  
'I wish I wasn't, it would be all so much easier.' n$~RgCf  
9vVYZ}HC  
'Never mind! I do believe the Stebbings are going away! Does Maura never see him?' ;%Z)$+Z_)<  
U?.VY@  
'She has met him on the stairs and in the garden, but she has her meals here. I trust by the time her Easter holidays are over I may be fit to go back with her. But I do hope I may be able to copy a bit of that picture first, though, any way, I can never forget it.' Z(CzU{7c  
9'T nR[>  
'To go on as before?' exclaimed Gillian, with an interrogative sigh of wonder. 1XL^Zhr  
FL9 Dz4  
'If that notice of dismissal can be revoked,' said Kalliope. ;y/&p d+  
oIrO%v:'!  
But would you like it---must you?' m Q4(<,F  
=gNPS 0H  
'I should like to go back to my girls,' said Kalliope; 'and things come into my head, now I am doing nothing, that I want to work out, if I might. So, you see, it is not at all a pity that I must.' l^F ?^kP  
/sfJ:KP0  
And why is it must?' said Gillian wistfully. 'You have to get well first.' G54J'*Z  
ak7kb75o  
Yes, I know that; but, you see, there are Maura and Petros. They must not be thrown on Alexis, poor dear fellow! And if he could only be set free, he might go on with what he once hoped for, though he thinks it is his duty to give all that entirely up now and work obediently on. But I know the longing will revive, and if I only could improve myself, and be worth more, it might still be possible.' .4p3~r?=S  
1h&`mqY)L.  
'Only you must not begin too soon and work yourself to death.' {%f{U"m  
l4>^79**  
'Hardly after such a rest,' said Kalliope. 'It is not work I mind, but worry'---and then a sadder look crossed her for a moment, and she added, 'I am so thankful.' ilA45@  
+$h  
'Thankful?' echoed Gillian. /yOx=V  
p3I"LY  
'Yes, indeed! For Sir Jasper's coming and saving us at that dreadful moment, and my being able to keep up as long as dear mamma wanted me, and then Mrs. Halfpenny being spared by dear Lady Merrifield to give me such wonderful care and kindness, and little Theodore being so happily placed, and this rest---such a strange quiet rest as I never knew before. Oh! it is all so thankworthy'---and the great tears came to dim her eyes. 'It seems sent to help me to take strength and courage for the future. "He hath helped me hitherto."' LG #^g6P  
$l7^-SK`E  
'And you are better?' S@qp_!  
e8m,q~%#/  
'Yes, much better. Quite comfortable as long as I am quite still.' v4$/LUJZp  
dcz?5O_{,  
'And content to be still?' f/Gx}x=  
n1[c\1   
'Yes, I'm very lazy.' }=R]<`Sj.j  
d^=BXC oC  
It was a tired voice, and Gillian feared her half-hour was nearly over, but she could not help saying--- #G9 W65f  
j?T'N:Qd  
'Do you know, I think it will be all nicer now. Mr. White is doing so much, and Mr. Stebbing hates it so, that Mrs. Stebbing says he is going to dissolve the partnership and go away.' 44CZl{pt  
Lg4|6.Ez|P  
'Then it would all be easier. It seems too good to be true.' DJGafX^  
D:`Q\za  
'And that man Mr. White. He must do something for you! He ought.' )\])?q61  
y)zZ:lyIq  
'Oh no! He has done a great deal already, and has not been well used. Don't talk of that.' WIU]>_$.  
he(K   
'I believe he is awfully rich. You know he is building an Institute for the workmen, and a whole row of model cottages.' o2dO\$'  
U;/2\Ii  
'Yes, Alexis told me. What a difference it will make! I hope he will build a room where the girls can dine and rest and read, or have a piano; it would be so good for them.' N&   
="78#Wfj2  
'You had better talk to him about it.' p/ xlR[  
l,lqhq\  
'I never see him, and I should not dare.' F}{%*EJ  
z(A[xN@/W<  
'I'll tell my aunts. He always does what Aunt Ada tells him. Is that really all you wish?' chL1r9V)v  
KV$&qM.  
'Oh! I don't wish for anything much---I don't seem able to care now dear mamma is where they cease from troubling, and I have Alec again.' (0.oE%B",1  
J[:#(c&c!1  
'Well, I can't help having great hopes. I can't see why that man should not make a daughter of you! Then you would travel and see mountains and pictures and everything. Oh, should you not like that?' K9EHT-  
0]7jb_n1  
'Like? Oh, one does not think about liking things impossible! And for the rest, it is nonsense. I should not like to be dependent, and I ought not.' ~$6` e:n  
L;:PeYPL  
'You don't think what is to come next?' 9`92 >  
6P@K]jy& n  
'No, it would be taking thought for the morrow, would it not? I don't want to, while I can't do anything, it would only make me fret, and I am glad I am too stupid still to begin vexing myself over it. I suppose energy and power of considering will come when my heart does not flutter so. In the meantime, I only want to keep quiet, and I hope that's not all laziness, but some trust in Him who has helped me all this time.' On O_7'4 t  
j8Q_s/n  
'Miss Gillian, you've clavered as long as is good for Miss White, and here are the whole clanjamfrie waiting in the road for you. Now be douce, my bairn, and mind you are not in the woods at home, and don't let the laddies play their tricks with Miss Primrose.' aW_Y  
P;XA|`&  
'I must go,' said Gillian, hastily kissing Kalliope. 'The others were going to call for me. When Lady Phyllis was riding with her father she spied a wonderful field of daffodils and a valley full of moss at a place called Clipston, two miles off, and we are all going to get some for the decorations. I'll send you some. Good-bye.' !}mM"|<  
kG4])qxC'  
The clanjamfrie, as Mrs. Halfpenny called it, mustered strong, and Gillian's heart leapt at the resumption of the tumultuous family life, as she beheld the collection of girls, boys, dogs, and donkeys awaiting her in the approach; and, in spite of the two governesses' presence, her mind misgave her as to the likelihood of regard to the hint that her mother had given that she hoped the elder ones would try to be sober in their ways, and not quite forget what week it was. It was in their favour that Jasper, now in his last term at school, was much more of a man and less of a boy than hitherto, and was likely to be on the side of discretion, so that he might keep in order that always difficult element, Wilfred, whose two years of preparatory school as yet made him only more ingenious in the arts of teasing, and more determined to show his superiority to petticoat government. He had driven Fergus nearly distracted by threatening to use all his mineralogical specimens to make ducks and drakes, and actually confusing them together, so that Fergus repented of having exhibited them, and rejoiced that Aunt Jane had let them continue in her lumber-room till they could find a permanent home. H2g#'SK@  
*g'%5i1ed  
Wilfred had a shot for Mrs. Halfpenny, when she came down with Gillian and looked for Primrose to secure that there were no interstices between the silk handkerchief and fur collar. [--] ?Dr  
8f&#WIZ  
'Ha, ha, old Small Change, don't you wish you may get it?'---as Primrose proved to be outside the drive on one of the donkeys. 'You've got nothing to do but gnaw your fists at us like old Giant Pope.' >6zWOYd  
#|cr\\2*  
'For shame, Wilfred!' said Jasper. 'My mother did Primrose's throat, nurse, so she is all right.' >D$NEO^  
BxXP]od  
'Bad form,' observed Lord Ivinghoe, shaking his head. E\=23[0  
"DNiVL.  
'I'm not going to Eton,' replied Wilfred audaciously. +zLh<q0  
Gn*vVZ@`x  
'I should hope not!'---in a tone of ineffable contempt, not for Wilfred's person, but his manners, and therewith his Lordship exclaimed, 'Who's that?' as Maura came flying down with Gillian's forgotten basket. (YbRYu  
6]%79?'A  
'Oh, that's Maura White!' said Valetta. 47R4gs#W  
|sN>/89=/  
'I say, isn't she going with us?' . z/M (  
j tdhdA  
'Oh no, she has to look after her sister!' ]I9Hbw  
x OCHP|?  
'Don't you think we might take her, Gill?' said Fly. 'She never gets any fun.' l[=7<F  
/\L|F?+@  
'I don't think she ought to leave Kalliope to-day, Fly, for nurse is going down to Il Lido; and besides, Aunt Jane said we must not take all Rockquay with us.' %4#,y(dO  
T"1H%65`V  
'No, they would not let us ask Kitty and Clement Varley, said Fergus disconsolately. K*;e>{p  
P3|_R HIb  
'I am sure she is five times as pretty as your Kitty!' returned Ivinghoe. 'She is a regular stunner.' Whereby it may be perceived that a year at Eton had considerably modified his Lordship's correctness of speech, if not of demeanour. Be it further observed that, in spite of the escort of the governesses, the young people were as free as if those ladies had been absent, for, as Jasper observed, the donkeys neutralised them. Miss Elbury, being a bad walker, rode one, and Miss Vincent felt bound to keep close to Primrose upon the other; and as neither animal could be prevailed on to moderate its pace, they kept far ahead of all except Valetta, who was mounted on the pony intended for Lady Phyllis, but disdained by her until she should be tired. Lord Ivinghoe's admiration of Maura was received contemptuously by Wilfred, who was half a year younger than his cousin, and being already, in his own estimation, a Wykehamist, had endless rivalries with him. #<ppiu$  
0zrgK;9  
'She! She's nothing but a cad! Her sister is a shop-girl, and her brother is a quarryman.' D$C>ZF  
L%G/%*7;c  
'She does not look like it,' observed Ivinghoe, while Mysie and Fly, with one voice, exclaimed that her father was an officer in the Royal Wardours. K9{3,!1  
"*08?KA  
'A private first,' said Wilfred, with boyhood's reiteration. 'Cads and quarrymen all of them---the whole boiling, old White and all, though he has got such a stuck-up house!' Ynn:,  
.AB n$ml]  
'Nonsense, Will,' said Fly. 'Why, Mr. White has dined with us.' J&P{7a  
r5RUgt  
'A patent of nobility, said Jasper, smiling. c>|1%}"?  
oW5Ov  
'I don't care,' said Wilfred; 'if other people choose to chum with old stonemasons and convicts, I don't.' %A3ci[$g  
1`sTGNo  
'Wilfred, that is too bad,' said Gillian. 'It is very wrong to talk in that way.' N}ugI`:  
8Sk$o.Gy  
'Oh!' said the audacious Wilfred, 'we all know who is Gill's Jack!' -cWGF  
*mz-g7  
'Shut up, Will!' cried Fergus, flying at him. 'I told you not to--' 4>Y*owa4  
7#7AK}   
But Wilfred bounded up a steep bank, and from that place of vantage went on--- k~?5mUyK<  
\uO^w J}  
'Didn't she teach him Greek, and wasn't he spoony; and didn't she send back his valentine, so that---' /(?s\}O  
4$81ilBcL  
Fergus was scrambling up the bank after him, enraged at the betrayal of his confidence, and shouting inarticulately, while poor Gillian moved on, overwhelmed with confusion, and Fly uttered the cutting words, 'Perfectly disgusting!' 0g~Cdp  
+1@'2w{  
'Ay, so it was!' cried the unabashed Wilfred, keeping on at the top of the bank, and shaking the bushes at every pause. 'So he broke down the rocks, and ran away with the tin, and enlisted, and went to prison. Such a sweet young man for Gill!' /8<c~  
j ,lI\vw<  
Poor Gillian! was her punishment never to end? That scrape of hers, hitherto so tenderly and delicately hinted at, and which she would have given worlds to have kept from her brothers, now shouted all over the country! Sympathy, however, she had, if that would do her any good. Mysie and Fly came on each side of Ivinghoe, assuring him, in low eager voices, of the utter nonsense of the charge, and explaining ardently; and Jasper, with one bound, laid hold of the tormentor, dragged him down, and, holding his stick over him, said--- iq^;csyKb  
9\T9pjdZE  
'Now, Wilfred, if you don't hold your tongue, and not behave like a brute, I shall send you straight home.' Li$2 Gpc/  
s.n:;8RibP  
'It's quite true,' growled Wilfred. 'Ask her.' 64`l?F  
6d2e WS  
'What does that signify? I'm ashamed of you! I've a great mind to thrash you this instant. If you speak another word of that sort, I shall. Now then, there are the governesses trying to stop to see what's the row. I shall give you up to Miss Vincent, if you choose to behave so like a spiteful girl.' Gm=&[?}  
X*d!A >s  
A sixth-form youth was far too great a man to be withstood by one who was not yet a public schoolboy at all; and Wilfred actually obeyed, while Jasper added to Fergus--- O&~ @ior  
a\Gd;C ^`  
'How could you be such a little ass as to go and tell him all that rot?' Ah5o>ZtcO  
-qpM 6t  
'It was true,' grumbled Fergus. l-h[I>TW  
,5 3`t  
'The more reason not to go cackling about it like an old hen, or a girl! Your own sister! I'm ashamed of you both. Mind, I shall thrash you if you mention it again.' \]\GDpu[  
bV#j@MJ~0  
Poor Fergus felt the accusation of cackling unjust, since he had only told Wilfred in confidence, and that had been betrayed, but he had got his lesson on family honour, and he subsided into his wonted look-out for curious stones, while Gillian was overtaken by Jasper--- whether willingly or not, she hardly knew---but his first word was, 'Little beast!' 0B~x8f  
AthR|I|8  
'You didn't hurt him, I hope,' said Gill, accepting the invitation to take his arm. cf%2A1I2W  
xBqZ: BQ  
'Oh no! I only threatened to make him walk with the governesses and the donkeys.' xp]9Z]J1l  
>#Bu [nD%  
'Asses and savants to the centre,' said Gillian; 'like the orders to the French army in Egypt.' t&_X{!1X"w  
SES-a Mi3  
'But what's all this about? You wanted me to look after you! Is it that Alexis?' lZ) qV!<  
9xFI%UOb#  
'Oh, Japs! Mamma knows all about it and papa. It was only that he was ridiculous because I was so silly as to think I could help him with his Greek.' //%#?JJV  
pX1Us+%  
'You! With his Greek! I pity him!' E0+~c1P-  
ekqS=KfWl;  
'Yes. I found he soon knew too much for me,' said Gillian meekly; 'but, indeed, Japs, it wasn't very bad! He only sent me a valentine, and Aunt Jane says I need not have been so angry.' F/3L^k]  
w~Nat7nD  
'A cat may look at a king,' said Jasper loftily. 'It is a horrid bad thing for a girl to be left to herself without a brother worth having.' \fuz`fK:  
a|.IAxJ  
So Gillian got off pretty easily, and after all the walk was not greatly spoilt. They coalesced again with the other three, who were tolerably discreet, and found the debate on the White gentility had been resumed. Ivinghoe was philosophically declaring 'that in these days one must take up with everybody, so it did not matter if one was a little more of a cad than another; he himself was fag at Eton to a fellow whose father was an oilman, and who wasn't half a bad lot.' `'k2gq&  
J YA>Q&  
'An oilman, Ivy,' said his sister; 'I thought he imported petroleum.' n:) [ %on  
T]tu#h{ a  
'Well, it's all the same. I believe he began as an oilman.' Y)1J8kq_  
J` GL_@$q  
'We shall have Fergus reporting that he's a petroleuse,' put in Jasper. ckY#oRQ1  
TaHcvjhR  
'No, a petroleuse is a woman.' w->Y92q]  
5= &2=  
'I like Mr. White,' said Fly; 'but, Gillian, you don't think it is true that he is going to marry your Aunt Jane?' +z?gf*G_W'  
-A w]b} #v  
There was a great groan, and Japs observed--- mp$IhJ6#  
EEZ~Bs}d  
'Some one told us Rockquay was a hotbed of gossip, and we seem to have got it strong.' Posz|u<x  
Fw-Rv'\  
'Where did this choice specimen come from, Fly!' demanded Ivinghoe, in his manner most like his mother. gkxHfm  
%D#&RS  
Fly nodded her head towards her governess in the advanced guard. :X}SuM ?c  
z6J12tu  
'She had a cousin to tea with her, and they thought I didn't know whom they meant, and they said that he was always up at Rockstone.' `_)9eGQ  
vgtAJp+p*  
'Well, he is; and Aunt Jane always stands up for him,' said Gillian; 'but that was because he is so good to the workpeople, and Aunt Ada took him for some grand political friend of Cousin Rotherwood's.' j8e=],sQ  
,ynN801\m  
'Aunt Jane!' said Jasper. 'Why, she is the very essence and epitome of old maids.' z<A8S=s6n  
?en-_'}~a  
'Yes,' said Gillian. 'If it came to that, she would quite as soon marry the postman.' 8EiS\$O-  
6x!iL\Y~  
'That's lucky' said Ivinghoe. 'One can swallow a good deal, but not quite one's own connections.' .ArOZ{lKD>  
Oeg^%Y   
'In fact,' said Jasper, 'you had rather be an oilman's fag than a quarryman's---what is it?---first cousin once removed in law?' dHn,;Vv^6  
,G$<J0R1  
'It is much more likely,' said Gillian, as they laughed over this, 'that Kalliope and Maura will be his adopted daughters, only he never comes near them.' s<LYSrd  
F*,RDM'M  
Wherewith there was a halt. Miss Elbury insisted that Phyllis should ride, the banks began to show promise of flowers, and, in the search for violets, dangerous topics were forgotten, and Wilfred was forgiven. They reached the spot marked by Fly, a field with a border of sloping broken ground and brushwood, which certainly fulfilled all their desires, steeply descending to a stream full of rocks, the ground white with wood anemones, long evergreen trails of periwinkles and blue flowers between, primroses clustering under the roots of the trees, daffodils gilding the grass above, and the banks verdant with exquisite feather-moss. Such a springtide wood was joy to all, especially as the first cuckoo of the season came to add to their delights and set them counting for the augury of happy years, which proved so many that Mysie said they would not know what to do with them. SGLU7*sfd  
p) m0\  
'I should,' said Ivinghoe. 'I should like to live to be a great old statesman, as Lord Palmerston did, and have it all my own way. Wouldn't I bring things round again!' 6{?B`gm7g  
EVDcj,b"^  
'Perhaps they would have gone too far,' suggested Jasper, 'and then you would have to gnaw your hand like Giant Pope, as Wilfred says.' \MB$Cwc  
;><m[l6  
'Catch me, while I could do something better.' G]O5irsV  
dK>sHUu  
'If one only lived long enough,' speculated Fergus, 'one might find out what everything was made of, and how to do everything.' -lm)xpp1  
b*1yvkX5  
'I wonder if the people did before the Flood, when they lived eight or nine hundred years,' said Fly. oSIP{lfp2Q  
U9jdb9 |  
'Perhaps that is the reason there is nothing new under the sun,' suggested Valetta, as many a child has before suggested. #}l$<7Z U  
hV:++g  
'But then,' said Mysie, they got wicked.' mE_%  
fDqDU  
'And then after the Flood it had all to be begun over again,' said Ivinghoe. 'Let me see, Methuselah lived about as long as from William the Conqueror till now. I think he might have got to steam and electricity.' 7VG*Wu  
!L|l(<C  
'And dynamite,' said Gillian. 'Oh, I don't wonder they had to be swept away, if they were clever and wicked both!' EpKZ.lCU  
$GU  s\  
'And I suppose they were,' said Jasper. 'At least the giants, and that they handed on some of their ability through Ham, to the Egyptians, and all those queer primeval coons, whose works we are digging up.' <9"@<[[,  
!`7evV:  
'From the Conquest till now,' repeated Gillian. 'I'm glad we don't live so long now. It tires one to think of it.' Q.7X3A8  
W7~_XI  
'But we shall,' said Fly. ? N]bFW"t|  
_f "I%QTL  
'Yes,' said Mysie, 'but then we shall be rid of this nasty old self that is always getting wrong.' T?u*ey~Tv  
JL:B4 f%}B  
'That little lady's nasty old self does so as little as any one's,' Jasper could not help remarking to his sister; and Fly, pouncing on the first purple orchis spike amid its black-spotted leaves, cried--- G jrN1+9=  
yaX%<KBa\  
'At any rate, these dear things go on the same, without any tiresome inventing.' I)G.tJZ e  
Z:MU5(Te  
'Except God's just at first,' whispered Mysie. g\,HiKBXd  
q|ZQsFZ  
'And the gardeners do invent new ones,' said Valetta. y#;@~S1W  
Kth^WHL  
'Invent! No; they only fuss them and spoil them, and make ridiculous names for them,' said Fly. These darling creatures are ever so much better. Look at Primrose there.' fXYg %  
,Tyh._sa  
'Yes,' said Gillian, as she saw her little sister in quiet ecstasy over the sparkling bells of the daffodils; 'one would not like to live eight hundred years away from that experience.' :U<`iJwY  
nlK"2/W  
'But mamma cares just as much still as Primrose does,' said Mysie. 'We must get some for her own self as well as for the church.' 5"6Y=AuQ6  
hIC$4lR~  
'Mine are all for mamma,' proclaimed Primrose; and just then there was a shout that a bird's nest had been found---a ring-ousel's nest on the banks. Fly and her brother shared a collection of birds' eggs, and were so excited about robbing the ousels of a single egg, that Gillian hoped that Fergus would not catch the infection and abandon minerals for eggs, which would be ever so much worse---only a degree better than butterflies, towards which Wilfred showed a certain proclivity. +EJIYvkFm  
_1 f!9ghT\  
'I shall be thirteen before next holidays,' he observed, after making a vain dash with his hat at a sulphur butterfly, looking like a primrose flying away. +HQX]t:Y  
D$d8u=S  
'Mamma won't allow any "killing collection" before thirteen years old,' explained Mysie. OZ3iH%  
mD<- <]SYp  
'She says,' explained Gillian, 'by that time one ought to be old enough to discriminate between the lawfulness of killing the creatures for the sake of studying their beauty and learning them, and the mere wanton amusement of hunting them down under the excuse of collecting.' ^3"~ T  
{\zTE1X9  
'I say,' exclaimed Valetta, who had been exploring above, 'here is such a funny old house.' y7pwYRY  
U]/iPG &_  
There was a rush in that direction, and at the other end of the wide home-field was perceived a picturesque gray stone house, with large mullioned windows, a dilapidated low stone wall, with what had once been a handsome gateway, overgrown with ivy, and within big double daffodils and white narcissus growing wild. _2Zc?*4  
tJe5`L  
'It's like the halls of Ivor,' said Mysie, awestruck by the loneliness; 'no dog, nor horse, nor cow, not even a goose,' QXI#gA  =  
=Q,D3F -+f  
'And what a place to sketch!' cried Miss Vincent. 'Oh, Gillian, we must come here another day.' 3qQ}U}-;|  
00LL&ot  
'Oh, may we gather the flowers?' exclaimed the insatiable Primrose. }tW1\@ =  
_aU :[v*!  
'Those poetic narcissuses would be delicious for the choir screen,' added Gillian.  T4J WZ  
rcf#8  
'Poetic narcissus---poetic grandmother,' said Wilfred. 'It's old butter and eggs.' - v=ndJ.  
G&yF9s)Lvs  
'I say!' cried Mysie. 'Look, Ivy---I know that pair of fighting lions---ain't these some of your arms over the door?' c- [IgX e  
\U?{m)N  
'By which you mean a quartering of our shield,' said Ivinghoe. 'Of course it is the Clipp bearing. Or, two lions azure, regardant combatant, their tails couped.' 1c $iW>0K  
W.<I:q`eO  
'Two blue Kilkenny cats, who have begun with each other's tails,' commented Jasper. C9 cQ} j:  
.cm$*>LW:x  
'Ivinghoe glared a little, but respected the sixth form, and Gillian added--- SiQszV.&  
-:o4|&g<*  
'They clipped them! Then did this place belong to our ancestors?' u4a(AB>S  
mew,S)dq!  
'Poetic grandmother, really!' said Mysie. VNcxST15a  
8i=c|k,GL.  
'Great grandmother,' corrected Ivinghoe. 'To be sure. It was from the Clipps that we got all this Rockstone estate!' ur,!-t(~t  
0@K?'6  
'And I suppose this was their house? What a shame to have deserted it!' G,#]`W@qhK  
i'w8Li  
'Oh, it has been a farmhouse,' said Fly. 'I heard something about farms that wouldn't let.' vD=>AAvG  
g*]hmkYe9  
'Then is it yours?' cried Valetta, 'and may we gather the flowers?' -0QoVGw  
Uuxx^>"h\  
'And mayn't we explore?' asked Mysie. 'Oh, what fun!' R ]h3a :ic  
mn].8 F  
'Holloa!' exclaimed Wilfred, transfixed, as if he had seen the ghosts of all the Clipps. For just as Valetta and Mysie threw themselves on the big bunches of hepatica and the white narcissus, a roar, worthy of the clip-tailed lions, proceeded from the window, and the demand, 'Who is picking my roses?' C09rgEB\B  
2Ij,OIcdBE  
Primrose in terror threw herself on Gillian with a little scream. Wilfred crept behind the walls, but after the general start there was an equally universal laugh, for between the stout mullions of the oriel window Lord Rotherwood's face was seen, and Sir Jasper's behind him. YNB7`:  
{4$aA*  
Great was the jubilation, and there was a rush to the tall door, up the dilapidated steps, where curls of fern were peeping out; but the gentlemen called out that only the back-door could be opened, and the intention of a 'real grand exploration' was cut short by Miss Elbury's declaring that she was bound not to let Phyllis stay out till six o'clock. I.'/!11>  
gt9(5p  
Fly, in her usual good-humoured way, suppressed her sighs and begged the others to explore without her, but the general vote declared this to be out of the question. Fly had too short a time to remain with her cousins to be forsaken even for the charms of 'the halls of Ivor,' or the rival Beast's Castle, as Gillian called it, which, after all, would not run away. DK?Z   
+p`BoF9~  
'But it might be let,' said Mysie. MGq\\hLD\-  
ll1N`ke  
'Yes, I've got a tenant in agitation,' said Lord Rotherwood mischievously. 'Never mind, I dare say he won't inquire what you have done with his butter and eggs.' +lfO4^V  
[U",yN]d  
So with a parting salute to the ancestral halls, the cavalry was set in order, big panniers full of moss and flowers disposed on the donkeys, Fly placed on her pony, and every maiden taking her basket of flowers, Jasper and Ivinghoe alone being amiable, or perhaps trustworthy enough to assist in carrying. Fly's pony demurred to the extra burthen, so Jasper took hers; and when Gillian declared herself too fond of her flowers to part with them, Ivinghoe astonished Miss Vincent, on whom some stones of Fergus's, as well as her own share of flowers, had been bestowed, by taking one handle of her most cumbrous basket. gSw4\R  
s5{=lP  
Sir Jasper and Lord Rotherwood rode together through the happy young troop on the homeward way. Perhaps Ivinghoe was conscious of a special nod of approval from his father. Q17dcgd  
GW;%~qH[,  
On passing Rock House, the youthful public was rather amused at his pausing, and saying--- #O}}pF  
BNNM$.ZIQ  
'Aren't you going to leave some flowers there?' ? x #K:a?  
XJ4f;U  
'Oh yes!' said Gillian. 'I have a basket on purpose.' 0!|d .jZI  
n(F!t,S1i  
'And I have some for Maura,' said Valetta. !!1?2ine  
+vh|m5"7I7  
Valetta's was an untidy bunch; Gillian's a dainty basket, where white violets reposed on moss within a circle of larger blossoms. .G8`Ut Z  
iiPVqU%  
'That's something like!' quoth Ivinghoe. 02J/=AC5  
m eF7[>!U  
He lingered with them as if he wanted to see that vision again, but only the caretaker appeared, and promised to take the flowers upstairs. W{,fpm  
/X}1%p  
Maura afterwards told how they were enjoyed, and they knew of Kalliope's calm restfulness in Holy Week thoughts and Paschal Joys. rZUTBLZ`j  
Ar%*NxX  
It was on Easter Tuesday that Mr. White first sent a message asking to see his guest, now of nearly three weeks. JuJW]E Q  
3]S*p ErY  
He came in very quietly and gently---perhaps the sight of the room he had prepared for his young wife was in itself a shock to him, and he had lived so long without womankind that he had all a lonely man's awe of an invalid. He took with a certain respect the hand that Kalliope held out, as she said, with a faint flush in her cheeks--- Rd8mn'A  
|kmP#`P~  
'I am glad to thank you, sir. You have been very good to me.' xS,F DPA  
)E9c6'd  
'I am glad to see you better,' he said, with a little embarrassment. it{Jd\/hR  
_KloX{a  
'I ought to be, in this beautiful air, and with these lovely things to look at,' and she pointed to the reigning photograph on the stand- --the facade of St. Mark's. iN[6}V6Sm  
?zP 2   
'You should see it as I did.' And he began to describe it to her, she putting in a question or two here and there, which showed her appreciation. iEI#J!~  
D=%1?8K  
'You know something about it already,' he said. Ri AMW|M"C  
9MO=f^f-  
'Yes; when I was quite a little girl one of the officers in the Royal Wardours brought some photographs to Malta, and told me about them.' 5_](N$$  
n6t@ e^  
'But,' he said, recalling himself, that is not my object now. Your brother says he does not feel competent to decide without you.' And he laid before her two or three prospectuses of grammar schools. 'It is time to apply,' he added, 'if that little fellow---Peter, you call him, don't you?---is to begin next term.' vOz1& |;D  
a,S;JF)v  
'Petros! Oh, sir, this is kindness!' TbNH{w|p  
HLwMo&*rA  
'I desired that the children's education should be attended to,' said Mr. White. 'I did not intend their being sent to an ordinary National school.' < z2wt  
sg^|dS{3D  
'Indeed,' said Kalliope; 'I do not think much time has been lost, for they have learnt a good deal there; but I am particularly glad that Petros should go to a superior school just now that he has been left alone, for he is more lively and sociable than Theodore, and it might be less easy for him to keep from bad companions.' <ErX<(0`ig  
'*b]$5*p  
The pros and cons of the several schools were discussed, and Hurstpierpoint finally fixed on. -[=eVS.2%  
@KQ.tF*  
'Never mind about his outfit,' added Mr. White. 'I'll give that fellow down in Bellevue an order to rig him out. He is a sharp little sturdy fellow, who will make his way in the world.' %f;dn<m=c  
.[Sis<A]%  
'Indeed, I trust so, now that his education is secured. It is another load off my mind,' said Kalliope, with a smile of exceeding sweetness and gratitude, her hands clasped, and her eyes raised for a moment in higher thankfulness,---a look that so enhanced her beauty that Mr. White gazed for a moment in wonder. The next moment, however, the dark eyes turned on him with a little anxiety, and she said--- 3p%e_?  
im<bo Mv  
'One thing more, sir. Perhaps you will be so kind as to relieve my mind again. That notice of dismissal at the quarter's end. Was it not in some degree from a mistake?' a-{|/ n%  
L&pR#  
'An utter mistake, my dear,' he said hastily. 'Never trouble your head about it.' 6/UOz V,[  
wvv+~K9jq  
'Then it does not hold?' Nq8ON!<<  
'uu*DgEr  
'Certainly not.' J!C \R5\  
Ag8/%a~(  
'And I may go back to my office as soon as I am well enough?' k$$SbStD  
k| OM?\  
'Is that your wish?' 0(i3RPIj\  
)2c]Z|  
'Yes, sir. I love my work and my assistants, and I think I could do better if a little more scope could be allowed me.' 6r"NU`1A;r  
:.=:N%3[  
'Very well, we will see about that---you have to get well first of all.' mNC?kp  
i|<wnJu  
'I am so much better that I ought to go home. Mr. Lee is quite ready for me.' zEQQ4)mA  
I;AS.y  
Nonsense! You must be much stronger before Dagger would hear of your going.' 08@4u L  
IY~I=}  
After this Mr. White came to sit with Kalliope for a time in the course of each day, bringing with him something that would interest her, and seeming gratified by her responsiveness, quiet as it was, for she was still very feeble, and exertion caused a failure of breath and fluttering of heart that were so distressing that ten days more passed before she was brought downstairs and drawn out in the garden in a chair, where she could sit on the sheltered terrace enjoying the delicious spring air and soft sea-breezes, sometimes alone, sometimes with the company of one friend or another. Gillian and Aunt Jane had, with the full connivance of Mr. White, arranged a temporary entrance from one garden to the other for the convenience of attending to Kalliope, and here one afternoon Miss Mohun was coming in when she heard through the laurels two voices speaking to the girl. As she moved forward she saw they were the elder and younger Stebbings, and that Kalliope had risen to her feet, and was leaning on the back of her chair. While she was considering whether to advance Kalliope heard her, and called in a breathless voice, 'Miss Mohun! oh, Miss Mohun, come!' W }Ll)7(|T  
A[Ce3m  
'Miss Mohun! You will do us the justice---' began Mr. Stebbing, speaking more to her indignant face and gesture than to any words. _s=<Y^l%x  
21?>rezJ  
'Miss White is not well,' she said. 'You had better leave her to me.' U|+`Eth8(  
?I.bC   
And as they withdrew through the house, Kalliope sank back in her chair in one of those alarming attacks of deadly faintness that had been averted for many days past. Happily an electric bell was always at hand, and the housekeeper knew what remedies to bring. Kalliope did not attempt a word for many long minutes, though the colour came back gradually to her lips. Her first words were, ?l 0WuU  
p#dYNed]'  
'Thank you! Oh, I did hope that persecution was over!' 0~nub  
Dn.%+im-u  
'My poor child! Don't tell me unless you like! Only---it wasn't about your work?' ,A!0:+  
C.9l${QU  
'Oh no, the old story! But he brought his father---to say he consented---and wished it---now.' :5BVVa0oR  
#hF(`oX}4K  
There was no letting her say any more at that time, but it was all plain enough. This had been one more attempt of the Stebbing family to recover their former power; Kalliope was assumed to be Mr. White's favoured niece; Frank could make capital of having loved her when poor and neglected, and his parents were ready to back his suit. The father and son had used their familiarity with the house to obtain admittance to the garden without announcement or preparation, and had pressed the siege, with a confidence that could only be inspired by their own self-opinion. Kalliope had been kept up by her native dignity and resolution, and had at first gently, then firmly, declined the arguments, persuasions, promises, and final reproaches with which they beset her--even threatening to disclose what they called encouragement, and assuring her that she need not reckon on Mr. White, for the general voice declared him likely to marry again, and then where would she be?' gano>W0  
oZ,_G,b^  
'I don't know what would have become of me, if you had not come,' she said. ;Bwg'ThT  
zv0bE?W9   
And when she had rested long enough, and crept into the house, and Alexis had come home to carry her upstairs, it was plain that she had been seriously thrown back, and she was not able to leave her room for two or three days. 5XoM)  
N@0cn q:"  
Mr. White was necessarily told what had been the cause of the mischief. He smiled grimly. 'Ay! ay! Master Frank thought he would come round the old man, did he? He will find himself out. Ha, ha! a girl like that in the house is like a honey-pot near a wasps' nest, and the little sister will be as bad. Didn't I see the young lord, smart little prig as he looks, holding an umbrella over her with a smile on his face, as much as to say, "I know who is a pretty girl! No one to look after them either!" But maybe they will all find themselves mistaken,' and his grim smile relaxed into a highly amiable one. YD;G+"n?T  
McpQ7\*h  
Miss Mohun was not at all uneasy as to the young lord. An Eton boy's admiration of a pretty face did not amount to much, even if Ivinghoe had not understood 'Noblesse oblige' too well to leave a young girl unsheltered. Besides, he and all the rest were going away the next day. But what did that final hint mean? F$bV}>-1k  
f ,4erTBH  
妙人儿倪家少女
大仝小余氏一人
离线washington

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182217
真实姓名
余翔东
只看该作者 22楼 发表于: 2012-07-13
Chapter XXII. The Maiden All Forlorn qFVZhBC  
-8)C6"V{  
  One secret was soon out, even before the cruel parting of Fly and Mysie, which it greatly mitigated. "r`2V-E  
G;u 6p  
Clipston was to be repaired and put in order, to be rented by the Merrifields. It was really a fine old substantial squire's house, though neglected and consigned to farmers for four generations. It had great capabilities---a hall up to the roof, wainscoted rooms---at present happy hunting-grounds to boys and terriers---a choked fountain, numerous windows, walled up in the days of the 'tax on light,' and never reopened, and, moreover, a big stone barn, with a cross on the gable, and evident traces of having once been a chapel. RK*tZ  
j0F& WKk  
The place was actually in Rockstone Parish, and had a hamlet of six or seven houses, for which cottage services were held once a week, but the restoration of the chapel would provide a place for these, and it would become a province for Lady Merrifield's care, while Sir Jasper was absolutely entreated, both by Lord Rotherwood and the rector of Rockstone, to become the valuable layman of the parish, nor was he at all unwilling thus to bestow his enforced leisure. \HMuV g'Q  
.F/l$4CQ  
It was a beautiful place. The valley of daffodils already visited narrowed into a ravine, where the rivulet rushed down from moorlands, through a ravine charmingly wooded, and interspersed with rock. It would give country delights to the children, and remove them from the gossip of the watering-place society, and yet not be too far off for those reading-room opportunities beloved of gentlemen. U d+6=Us{  
/p|L.&`U  
The young people were in ecstasies, only mourning that they could not live there during the repairs, and that those experienced in the nature of workmen hesitated to promise that Clipston would be habitable by the summer vacation. In the meantime, most of the movables from Silverfold were transported thither, and there was a great deal of walking and driving to and fro, planning for the future, and revelling in the spring outburst of flowers. ;3 =RM\  
P9gAt4i  
Schoolroom work had begun again, and Lady Merrifield was hearing Mysie read the Geruasalemme Liberata, while Miss Vincent superintended Primrose's copies, and Gillian's chalks were striving to portray a bust of Sophocles, when the distant sounds of the piano in the drawing-room stopped, and Valetta came in with words always ominous--- %hA0  
5J*h7  
'Aunt Jane wants to speak to you, mamma.' HhT6gJWrU  
~d&W;mef-  
Lady Merrifield gathered up her work and departed, while Valetta, addressing the public, said, 'Something's up.' @SH$QUM(  
{|/y/xYgy'  
'Oh!' cried Primrose, 'Sofi hasn't run away again?' #^eXnhj9  
Mib<1ZM  
'I hope Kalliope isn't worse,' said Mysie anxiously. F%^)oQT+c  
 "DsL$D2e  
'I guess,' said Valetta, 'somebody said something the other day!' K4K]oT  
t5;)<N`  
'Something proving us the hotbeds of gossip,' muttered Gillian. B&>z&!}  
bZWdd6  
'You had better get your German exercise, Valetta,' said Miss Vincent. 'Mysie, you have not finished your sums.' YF)k0bu&;  
-G(#,rXk  
And a sigh went round; but Valetta added one after-clap. -2'1KAk-W  
G*_qqb{B  
'Aunt Jane looked---I don't know how!' }?o4MiLB  
sF>O=F-7  
Whereat Gillian nodded her head, and looked up at Miss Vincent, who was as curious as the rest, but restrained the manifestation manfully. TW|- 0  
QM* T?PR  
Meantime Lady Merrifield found her sister standing at the window, and, without turning round, the words were uttered--- T2/:C7zL  
@"MQ6u G>  
'Jasper was right, Lily.' vXRY/Zzj1  
$\Y&2&1s  
'You don't mean it?' sqtz^K ROM  
gK`w|kh`  
'Yes; he is after her!'---with a long breath. ?gl&q+mv  
{,Q )D$i  
'Mr. White!' '" "v7  
9&eY<'MgP  
'Yes'---then sitting down. 'I did not think much of it before. They always are after Ada more or less---and she likes it; but it never has come to anything.' lFBpNUnzU  
%;'~TtW5  
'Why should it now?' 6m:$mhA5  
:0J`4  
'It has! At least, it has gone further than ever anything did before, except Charlie Scott, that ridiculous boy at Beechcroft that William was so angry with, and who married somebody else.' V`I4"}M1  
2aYBcPFQh#  
'You don't say that he has proposed to her?' IoDT  
QOWGQl%!  
'Yes, he has---the man! By a letter this morning, and I could see she expected it---not that that's any wonder!' #mQ@4k9i  
dFz"wvu` o  
'But, my dear, she can't possibly be thinking of it.' [ws _ g,/  
e;.,x 5+  
'Well, I should have said it was impossible; but I see she has not made up her mind. Poor dear Ada! It is too bad to laugh; but she does like the having a real offer at last, and a great Italian castle laid at her feet.' YSnh2 Bq  
s$fM,l:!  
'But he isn't a gentleman! I don't mean only his birth---and I know he is a good man really---but Jasper said he could feel he was not a gentleman by the way he fell on Richard White before his sister.' NO5k1/-  
+yL;?+s>=  
'I know! I know! I wonder if it would be for her happiness?' Zfs-M)  
s_ZPo6p  
'Then she has not answered him?' 8R)K$J$Hm  
M2%@bETJ  
'No; or, rather, I left her going to write. She won't accept him certainly now; but I believe she is telling him that she must have time to consider and consult her family.' 7bYwh8  
hV $Zr4'  
'She must know pretty well what her family will say. Fancy William! Fancy Emily! Fancy Reginald!' Gt{%O>P8t  
mm_)=Ipj>  
'Yes, oh yes! But Ada---I must say it---she does like to prolong the situation.' 3\ ]j4*i!  
 R`o Xkj  
'It is not fair on the poor man.' ;d fIzi  
i"+TKo-  
'Well, she will act as she chooses; but I think she really does want to see what amount of opposition--- No, not that, but of estrangement it would cause.' kZ6:= l  
X,lhVT |  
'Did you see the letter?' wSM(!:on5  
q<^MC/]  
'Yes; no doubt you will too. I told her I should come to you, and she did not object. I think she was glad to be saved broaching the subject, for she is half ashamed.' .kkhW8:  
-eD]gm  
'I should have thought she would have been as deeply offended at the presumption as poor Gillian was with the valentine.' ^K4?uABc  
z[O*f#t  
'Lily, my dear, forty-two is not all one with seventeen, especially when there's an estate with an Italian countship attached to it! Though I'm sure I'd rather marry Alexis than this man. He is a gentleman in grain!' \I<R.4 9oW  
ab.B?bx  
'Oh, Jenny, you are very severe!' ;4GGXT++L  
\Y8 sIs  
'I'm afraid it is bitterness, Lily; so I rushed down to have it all out with you, and make up my mind what part to take.' HvKdV`bz  
_8F;-7Sz  
'It is very hard on you, my dear, after you have nursed and waited on her all these years.' |cp_V  
yJO Jw o^  
'It is the little titillation of vanity---exactly like the Ada of sixteen, nay, of six, that worries me, and makes me naughty,' said Jane, dashing off a tear. 'Oh, Lily! how could I have borne it if you had not come home!' rz-61A) _  
"Ms{c=XPK  
'But what do you mean about the part to take?' PNo:vRtsq  
nR@mm j  
'Well, you see, Lily, I really do not know what I ought to do. I want to clear my mind by talking to you.' KSEKoHJo  
@icw:68  
'I am afraid it would make a great difference to you in the matter of means.' 8f)pf$v`   
h4hp5M  
'I don't mean about that; but I am not sure whether I ought to stand up for her. You see the man is really good at heart, and religious, and he is taking out this chaplain. The climate, mountains, and sea might really suit her health, and she could have all kinds of comforts and luxuries; and if she can get over his birth, and the want of fine edge of his manners, I don't know that we have any right to set ourselves against it.' <Uf`'X\e6  
`T7TWv"M  
'I should have thought those objections would have weighed most of all with her.' <&#]|HGc  
/cUu]#h  
'And I do believe that if the whole family are unanimous in scouting the very idea, she will give it up. She is proud of Mohun blood, and the Rotherwood connection and all, and if there were a desperate opposition---well, she would be rather flattered, and give in; but I am not sure that she would not always regret it, and pine after what she might have had.' ~jHuJ` ]DF  
w{2CV\^>5  
'Rotherwood likes the man.' yE,qLiH  
r<:d+5"  
'Like---but that's not liking him to marry his cousin.' _Z9 d.-  
u%yYLpaKf  
'Rotherwood will not be the person most shocked.' $MwBt  
x4wTQ$*1  
'No. We shall have a terrible time, however it ends. Oh. I wish it was all over!' IZLCwaW  
<bg6k .s  
'Do you think she really cares for the man---loves him, in fact?' R[v<mo[s  
\eQPv kx2  
'My dear Lily, if Ada ever was in love with anybody, it was with Harry May, and that was all pure mistake. I never told anybody, but I believe it was that which upset her health. But they are both too old to concern themselves about such trifles. He does not expect it!' 7zE1>.  
$[MAm)c:]{  
'I have seen good strong love in a woman over forty.' ls9Y?  
?LU>2!jN  
'Yes; but this is quite another thing. A lady of the house wanted! That's the motive. I should not wonder if he came home as much to look for a lady-wife as to set the Stebbings to rights; or, if not, he is driven to it by having the Whites on his hands.' 7o!t/WEEq  
toOdL0hCe  
'I don't quite see that. I was going to ask you how it would affect them.' 9 p^gF2?k  
d(b~s2\i  
'Well, you see, though she is perfectly willing and anxious to begin again, poor dear Kally really can't. She did try to arrange a design that had been running in her head for a long time, and she was so bad after it that Dr. Dagger said she must not attempt it. Then, though she is discreet enough for anything, Mr. White is not really her uncle, and could not take her about with him alone or even with Maura; so I gather from some expressions in his letter that he would like to take her out with them, spend the summer at Rocca Marina, and let her have a winter's study at Florence. Then, I suppose she might come back and superintend on quite a different footing. tAY{+N]f  
k6o8'6wN  
'So he wants Ada as a chaperon for Kalliope?' SR?(z  
Vry_X2  
'That is an element in the affair, and not a bad one, and I don't think Ada will object. She won't be left entirely to his companionship.' 8?YeaMIBB  
/ !MKijI  
'My dear Jane! Then I'm sure she ought not to marry him!' cried Lady Merrifield indignantly. 'Here comes Jasper. May I tell him?' rPGj+wL5-  
`M 'tuQ M  
'You will, whether you may or not.' B%MdJ D>  
<r t$~}  
And what Sir Jasper said was--- cGgfCF^`  
L-D4>+  
          '"Who married the maiden all forlorn---"'At which both sisters, though rather angry, could not help laughing, and Lady Merrifield explained that they had always said the events had gone on in a concatenation, like the house that Jack built, from Gillian's peep through the rails. However, he was of opinion that it was better not to make a strenuous opposition. E(|A"=\  
=N\; ?eF(  
'Adeline is quite old enough to judge for herself whether the incongruities will interfere with her happiness,' he said; 'and this is really a worthy man who ought not to be contemned. Violent contradiction might leave memories that would make it difficult to be on affectionate terms afterwards.' 6Qt(Yu*s  
#:gl+  
'Yes,' said Jane; 'that is what I feel. Thank you, Jasper. Now I must go to my district. Happily those things run on all the same for the present.' <@;}q^`  
u>fMO9X} 2  
But when she was gone Sir Jasper told his wife that he thought it ought to be seriously put before Adeline that Jane ought to be considered. She had devoted herself to the care of her sister for many years, and the division of their means would tell seriously upon her comfort. {O2=K#J  
yk8b>.Y\A  
'If it were a matter of affection, there would be nothing to say,' he observed; 'but nobody pretends that it is so, and surely Jane deserves consideration. VEh9N  
<8b1OdA  
'I should think her a much more comfortable companion than Mr. White,' said Lady Merrifield. 'I can't believe it will come to anything. Whatever the riches or the castle at Rocca Marina may be, Ada would, in a worldly point of view, give up a position of some consideration here, and I think that will weigh with her.' =Mx"+/Yo*  
R278^E  
As soon as possible, Lady Merrifield went up to see her sister, and found her writing letters in a great flutter of importance. It was quite plain that the affair was not to be quashed at once, and that, whether the suit were granted or not, all the family were to be aware that Adeline had had her choice. Warned by her husband, Lady Merrifield guarded the form of her remonstrances. ndLEIqOY  
vSnVq>-q&  
'Oh yes, dear Lily, I know! It is a sacrifice in many points of view, but think what a field is open to me! There are all those English workmen and their wives and families living out there, and Mr. White does so need a lady to influence them.' 4nm.ea|  
tM"vIz 05  
'You have not done much work of that kind. Besides, I thought this chaplain was married.' Z~SAlh T  
PV,Z@qm@^  
'Yes, but the moral support of a lady at the head must be needful,' said Ada. 'It is quite a work.' Gs"lmX-{$j  
@{qcu\sZ  
'Perhaps so,' said her sister, who had scarcely been in the habit of looking on Ada as a great moral influence. 'But have you thought what this will be to Jane?' "n3n-Y#'  
_@\-`>J  
'Really, Lily, it is a good deal for Jane's sake. She will be so much more free without being bound to poor me!'---and Ada's head went on one side. 'You know she would never have lived here but for me; and now she will be able to do what she pleases.' _Hq)@A I   
Y]&2E/oc  
'Not pecuniarily.' "5,Cy3  
]R"n+LnI:=  
'Oh, it will be quite possible to see to all that! Besides, think of the advantage to her schemes. Oh yes, dear Jenny, it will be a wrench to her, of course, and she will miss me; but, when that is once got over, she will feel that I have acted for the best. Nor will it be such a separation; he means always to spend the summer here, and the winter and spring at Florence or Rocca Marina.' It was grand to hear the Italian syllables roll from Adeline's tongue. 'You know he could take the title if he pleased.' Qmv8T ^+  
iaaD1 <m  
'I am sure I hope he will not do anything so ridiculous!' <Y#EiC.  
Z}6H529[  
'Oh no, of course not!' But it was plain that the secret consciousness of being Countess of Rocca Marina was an offset against being plain Mrs. White, and Adeline continued: 'There is another thing---I do not quite see how it can be managed about Kalliope otherwise, poor girl!' }q@Jh*  
6~0. YZ9  
It was quite true that the care of Kalliope would be greatly facilitated by Mr. White's marriage; but what was absurd was to suppose that Ada would have made any sacrifice for her sake, or any one else's, and there was something comical as well as provoking in this pose of devotion to the public good. IGd]!  
7a}vb@  
'You are decided, then?' /=}w%-;/;  
3U0>Y%m|,  
'Oh no! I am only showing you what inducements there are to give up so much as I should do here---if I make up my mind to it.' ao]Dm#HiO  
?32gug\i'}  
'There's only one inducement, I should think, valid for a moment.' h\#\hx  
N?Byp&rqI<  
'Yes'---bridling a little. 'But, Lily, you always had your romance. We don't all meet with a Jasper at the right moment, and---and'---the Maid of Athens drooped her eyelids, and ingenuously curved her lips. 'I do think the poor man has it very much at heart.' 37OU  
S$~T8_m^U  
'Then you ought not to keep him in suspense.' f4%Z~3P  
O`?qnNmc;  
'And you---you really are not against it, Lily?' (rather in a disappointed tone), as if she expected to have her own value enhanced. u-s*3Lg&  
ylGT9G19  
'I think you ought to do whatever is most right and just by him, and everybody else. If you really care for the man enough to overlook his origin, and his occasional betrayals of it, and think he will make you better and happier, take him at once; but don't pretend to call it a sacrifice, or for anybody's sake but for your own; and, any way, don't trifle with him and his suspense.' K ' ?`'7  
m@i](1*T|  
Lady Merrifield spoke with unwonted severity, for she was really provoked. s?JOGu  
_<6E>"*m  
'But, Lily, I must see what the others say---William and Emily. I told him that William was the head of our family.' )b~+\xL5J  
x9o(q`N  
'If you mean to be guided by them, well and good; if not, I see no sense in asking them.' yBCLS550  
`NyO|9/4  
After all, the family commotion fell short of what was expected by either of the sisters. The eldest brother, Mr. Mohun, of Beechcroft Court, wrote to the lady herself that she was quite old enough to know what was for her own happiness, and he had no desire to interfere with her choice if she preferred wealth to station. To Lady Merrifield his letter began: 'It is very well it is no worse, and as Jasper vouches for this being a worthy man, and of substantial means, there is no valid objection. I shall take care to overhaul the settlements, and, if possible, I must make up poor Jane's income.' S rhBU6K  
!{!(yP_  
The sister, Lady Henry Grey, in her dowager seclusion at Brighton, contented herself with a general moan on the decadence of society, and the levelling up that made such an affair possible. She had been meditating a visit to Rockquay, to see her dear Lilias (who, by the bye, had run down to her at Brighton for a day out of the stay in London), but now she would defer it till this matter was over. It would be too trying to have to accept this stonemason as one of the family. <!-#]6  
w69G6G(  
As to Colonel Mohun, being one of the younger division of the family, there was no idea of consulting him, and he wrote a fairly civil little note to Adeline, hoping that she had decided for the best, and would be happy; while to the elder of the pair of sisters he said: 'So Ada has found her crooked stick at last. I always thought it inevitable. Keep up heart, old Jenny, and hold on till Her Majesty turns me off, and then we will see what is to be done.' Y|<1|wGG  
e{,[\7nF  
Perhaps this cool acquiescence was less pleasing to Adeline Mohun than a contest that would have proved her value and importance, and her brother William's observation that she was old enough to know her own mind was the cruellest cut of all. On the other hand, there was no doubt of her swain's devotion. If he had been influenced in his decision by convenience or calculation, he was certainly by this time heartily in love. Not only was Adeline a handsome, graceful woman, whose airs and affectations seemed far more absurd to those who had made merry over them from childhood than to a stranger of an inferior grade; but there was a great charm to a man, able to appreciate refinement, in his first familiar intercourse with thorough ladies. Jane began to be touched by the sight of his devotion, and convinced of his attachment, and sometimes wondered with Lady Merrifield whether Adeline would rise to her opportunities and responsibilities, or be satisfied to be a petted idol. D"n 3If%  
Q"H1(kG|  
One difficulty in this time of suspense was, that the sisters had no right to take into their confidence the young folks, who were quite sharp-eyed enough to know that something was going on, and, not being put on honour, were not withheld from communicating their discoveries to one another in no measured words, though fortunately they had sense enough, especially under the awe of their father, not to let them go any further than Mysie, who was entertaining because she was shocked at their audacious jokes and speculations, all at first on the false scent of their elder aunt, who certainly was in a state of excitement and uncertainty enough to throw her off the even tenor of her way and excite some suspicion. When she actually brought down a number of the Contemporary Review instead of Friendly Work for the edification of her G.F.S., Gillian tried not to look too conscious when some of the girls actually tittered in the rear; and she absolutely blushed when Aunt Jane deliberately stated that Ascension Day would fall on a Tuesday. So Gillian averred as she walked up the hill with Jasper and Mysie. It seemed a climax to the diversion she and Jasper had extracted from it in private, both wearing Punch's spectacles for the nonce, and holding such aberrations as proof positive. Mysie, on the other hand, was much exercised. %D}]Z=gp  
Qws#v}xF  
'Do you think she is in love, then?' VR9C< tMSi  
 =j1rw  
'Oh yes! People always do those things in love. Besides, the Sofi hasn't got a single white hair in her, and you know what that always means!' q e:,%a-9  
TK;*:K8oe  
'I can't make it out! I can't think how Aunt Jane can be in love with a great man like that. His voice isn't nice, you know---' por[p\M.  
5o5y3ibQ  
'Not even as sweet as Bully Bottom's,' suggested Gillian. 0CxQ@~ttl  
UHz*Tfjb  
'You're a chit,' said Jasper, 'or you'd be superior to the notion of love being indispensable.' dZRz'd  
LS4c|Dv  
'When people are so very old,' said Mysie in a meditative voice, 'perhaps they can't; but Aunt Jane is very good---and I thought it was only horrid worldly people that married without love.' 9">}@1k  
]OM|Oo  
'Trust your good woman for looking to the main chance,' said Jasper, who was better read in Trollope and Mrs. Oliphant than his sisters. n%3rv?m7  
yd`xmc)  
''Tis not main chance,' said Gillian. 'Think of the lots of good she would do! What a recreation room for the girls, and what schools she would set up at Rocca Marina! Depend upon it, it's for that!' ?&_ -,\t  
 VljAAt  
'I suppose it is right if Aunt Jane does it,' said Mysie. X,IjM&o"Y  
3xxQL,FV  
'Well done, Mysie! So, Aunt Jane is your Pope!' "=@b>d6U+  
N:GSfM@g  
'No; she's the King that can do no wrong,' said Gillian, laughing. (+6 8s9XS7  
qYR $5  
'Wrong---I didn't say wrong---but things aren't always real wrong that aren't somehow quite right, said Mysie, with the bewildered reasoning of perceptions that outran her powers of expression. 1^XuH('  
(;v)0&h  
'Mysie's speeches, for instance,' said Jasper. o#3?")>|  
0q'd }DW  
'Oh, Japs, what did I say wrong?' @(>XSTh9  
5/x"!Jk  
'Don't tease her, Japs. He didn't mean morally, but correctly.' V]b1cDx{  
qz7:jq3N-{  
The three were on their way up the hill when they met Primrose, who had accompanied Mrs. Halfpenny to see Kalliope, and who was evidently in a state of such great discomposure that they all stood round to ask what was the matter; but she hung down her head and would not say. "|W .o=R  
xGbr>OqkTX  
'Hoots! toots! I tell her she need not make such a work about it,' said Mrs. Halfpenny. 'The honest man did but kiss her, and no harm for her uncle that is to be.' jB }O6u[%  
rUfW0  
'He's a nasty man! And he snatched me up! And he is all scrubby and tobacco-ey, and I won't have him for an uncle,' cried Primrose. y8: 0VZox  
@_YEK3l]l  
'I hope he is not going to proceed in that way,' said Gillian sotto voce to Mysie. Orh5d 7+S  
XBhWj\`(T  
'People always do snatch up primroses,' said Jasper. S !c/"~X+  
3JW9G04.  
'Don't, Japs! I don't like marble men. I wish they would stay marble.' jLr8?Hyf  
LV8,nTYvE  
'You don't approve of the transformation?' Q]6nW[@j'  
QJ"B d`wc  
'Oh, Japs, is it true? Mysie, you know the statue at Rotherwood, where Pig-my-lion made a stone figure and it turned into a woman.' e'\I^'`!M  
'kh%^_FH7  
'Yes; but it was a woman and this is a man.' `E|IMUB~  
BR0bf5T/  
Mysie began an exposition of classic fable to her little sister, while Mrs. Halfpenny explained that this came of Christian folk setting up heathen idols in their houses as 'twas a shame for decent folk to look at, let alone puir bairnies; while Jasper and Gillian gasped in convulsions of laughter, and bandied queries whether their aunt were the statue 'Pig-my-lion' had animated, as nothing could be less statuesque than she, whether the reverse had taken place, as Primrose observed, and she had been the Pygmalion to awaken the soul in the man of marble. Here, however, Mrs. Halfpenny became scandalised at such laughter in the open street; and, perceiving some one in the distance, she carried off Primrose, and enjoined the others to walk on doucely and wiselike. 1i>)@{P&BN  
}>OE"#si  
Gillian was on her way to visit Kalliope and make an appointment for her mother to take her out for a drive; but as they passed the gate at Beechcroft out burst Valetta and Fergus, quite breathless. J`V6zGgW  
\GWq0z&  
'Oh, Gill, Gill! Mr. White is in the drawing-room, and he has brought Aunt Ada the most beautiful box you ever saw, with all the stoppers made of gold !' "d#s|_n,d)  
pQ/:*cd+M  
'And he says I may get all the specimens I like at Rocca Marina,' shouted Fergus. \?g%>D:O;  
vW_A.iI"e  
'Ivory brushes, and such a ring---sparkling up to the ceiling!' added Valetta. ~;+vF-]R  
4Rm3'Ch  
'But, Val, Ferg, whom did you say?' demanded the elders, coming within the shadow of the copper beeches. Id*^H:]C#  
55DzBV  
'Aunt Ada,' said Valetta; 'there's a great A engraved on all those dear, lovely bottles, and---oh, they smell!' aTm.10{^  
J\+gd%  
'Aunt Ada! Oh, I thought----' >Ron+ oe  
Pd "mb~  
'What did you think, Gill?' said Aunt Jane, coming from the grass- plat suddenly on them. FT/5 _1i  
EcU'*  
'Oh, Aunt Jane, I am so glad!' cried Gillian. 'I thought'---and she blushed furiously. ,B~lwF9  
Z6R: rq  
'They made asses of themselves,' said Jasper. I mPu}  
<78$]Z2we  
'They said it was you,' added Mysie. 'Miss Mellon told Miss Elbury,' she added in excuse. p^KlH=1n.6  
z5XYpi_;[  
'Me? No, I thank you! So you are glad, Gillian?' )KSisEL  
iJFr4o/R  
'Oh yes, aunt! I couldn't have borne for you to do anything---queer'- --and there was a look in Gillian's face that went to Jane's heart, and under other circumstances would have produced a kiss, but she rallied to her line of defence. <>%,}j 9  
_1ew(x2J  
'My dear, you must not call this queer. Mr. White is very much attached to your aunt Ada, and I think he will make her very happy, and give her great opportunities of doing good.' -OrR $w|e  
6gnbkpYi  
'That's just what Gillian said when she was afraid it was you,' said Mysie. 'I suppose that's it? And that makes it real right.' ~M5:=zKQ  
/ylc*3e'4  
'And the golden stoppers!' said Valetta innocently, but almost choking Jasper with laughter, which must be suppressed before his aunt. x GH1epf  
lr~0pL  
'May one know it now?' asked Gillian, sensible of the perilous ground. QJGKQ2^ n  
=(o']ZaaA  
'Yes, my dears; you must have been on tenter-hooks all this time, for, of course, you saw there was a crisis, and you behaved much better than I should have done at your age; but it was only a fait accompli this very day, and we couldn't tell you before.' bHE2,;o  
dT|vYK}\  
'When he brought down the golden stoppers,' Jasper could not help saying. !]yO^Ob.E  
uo%P+om_}  
'No, no, you naughty boy! He would not have dared to bring it in before; he came before luncheon---all that came after. Oh, my dear, that dressing-case is perfectly awful! I wouldn't have such a burthen on my mind---for---for all the orphans in London! I hope there are no banditti at Rocca Marina.' Ysq'2  
kft #R#m  
'Only accepted to-day! How did he get all his great A's engraved?' said Jasper practically. {^(ACS9mL  
O"Ku1t!  
'He could not have had many doubts,' said Gillian. 'Does Kalliope know?' ]|`C uc  
(aD_zG=k5  
'I cannot tell; I think he has probably told her.' 2W4qBaG$=  
=JJL[}a|  
'He must have met Primrose there,' said Jasper. 'Poor Prim!' And the offence and the Pig-my-lion story were duly related, much to Aunt Jane's amusement. 9uGrk^<t  
8 XU1 /i7N  
'But,' she said, 'I think that the soul in the marble man is very real, and very warm; and, dear children, don't get into the habit of contemning him. Laugh, I suppose you must; I am afraid it must look ridiculous at our age; but please don't despise. I am going down to your mother. ,G2TVjz  
_ A=$oVe  
'May I come with you! said Gillian. 'I don't think I can go to Kally till I have digested this a little; and, if you are going to mamma, she won't drive her out.' "T|PS 6R~  
i(NdGL#P  
Jane was much gratified by this volunteer, though Jasper did suggest that Gill was afraid of Primrose's treatment. He went on with the other three to Clipston, while Gillian exclaimed--- -&-Ma,M?  
5.MGaU^Z$  
'Oh, Aunt Jane, shall not you be very lonely?' <1t*I!e_  
oyYR-4m\  
'Not nearly so much so as if you were not all here,' said her aunt cheerfully. 'When you bemoaned your sisters last year we did not think the same thing was coming on me.' AMyIAZnYq)  
VB, ?Mo}R  
'Phyllis and Alethea! It was a very different thing,' said Gillian. 'Besides, though I hated it so much, I had got used to being without them.' 1ke g9]  
.U?'i<  
'And to tell you the truth, Gill, nothing in that way ever was so bad to me as your own mother going and marrying; and now, you see, I have got her back again---and more too.' S'_-G;g.  
/q5v"iX]T  
Aunt Jane's smile and softened eyes told that the young niece was included in the 'more too'; and Gillian felt a thrill of pleasure and affection in this proof that after all she was something to the aunt, towards whom her feelings had so entirely changed. She proceeded, however, to ask with considerable anxiety what would be done about the Whites, Kalliope especially; and in return she was told about the present plan of Kalliope's being taken to Italy to recover first, and then to pursue her studies at Florence, so as to return to her work more capable, and in a higher position. iTAx=SG  
% <q w  
'Oh, how exquisite!' cried Gillian. 'But how about all the others?' < VSA  
_oUHJ~&,  
'The very thing I want to see about, and talk over with your mother. I am sure she ought to go; and it will not even be wasting time, for she cannot earn anything.' )l[M Q4vWW  
d~:!#uWyFk  
Talking over things with Lady Merrifield was, however, impeded, for, behold, there was a visitor in the drawing-room. Aunt and niece exchanged glances of consternation as they detected a stranger's voice through the open window, and Gillian uttered a vituperative whisper. j  S?xk  
#z2rzM@/:  
'I do believe it is that dreadful Fangs;' then, hoping her aunt had not heard---'Captain Henderson, I mean. He threatened to come down after us, and now he will always be in and out; and we shall have no peace. He has got nothing on earth to do ' Nv/v$Z{k  
3v mjCm  
Gillian's guess was right. The neat, trim, soldierly figure, with a long fair moustache and pleasant gray eyes, was introduced to Miss Mohun as 'Captain Henderson, one of my brother officers,' by Sir Jasper, who stood on the rug talking to him. Looks and signs among the ladies were token enough that the crisis had come; and Lady Merrifield soon secured freedom of speech by proposing to drive her sister to Clipston, while Sir Jasper asked his visitor to walk with him. SnFk>`  
;Wl+ zw  
'You will be in haste to sketch the place,' he said, 'before the workmen have done their best to demolish its beauty.' El o Me~a3  
GG0R}',0  
As for Gillian, she saw her aunt hesitating on account of a parochial engagement for that afternoon; and, as it was happily not beyond her powers, she offered herself as a substitute, and was thankfully accepted. She felt quite glad to do anything obliging towards her aunt Jane, and in a mood very unlike last year's grudging service; it was only reading to the 'mothers' meeting,' since among the good ladies there prevailed such a strange incapacity of reading aloud, that this part of the business was left to so few that for one to fail, either in presence or in voice, was very inconvenient. All were settled down to their needlework, with their babies disposed of as best they might be. Mr. Hablot had finished his little lecture, and the one lady with a voice had nearly exhausted it, and there was a slight sensation at the absence of the unfailing Miss Mohun, when Gillian came in with the apologies about going to drive with her mother. v\,N5  
|8.(XsN  
'And,' as she described it afterwards 'didn't those wretched beings all grin and titter, even the ladies, who ought to have had more manners, and that old Miss Mellon, who is a real growth of the hotbed of gossip, simpered and supposed we must look for such things now; and, though I pretended not to hear, my cheeks would go and flame up as red as---that tasconia, just with longing to tell them Aunt Jane was not so ridiculous; and so I took hold of For Half a Crown, and began to read it as if I could bite them all!' )' hH^(Yu  
x%<  
She read herself into a state of pacification, but did not attempt to see Kalliope that day, being rather shy of all that might be encountered in that house, especially after working hours. The next day, however, Lady Merrifield's services were required to chaperon the coy betrothed in an inspection of Cliff House and furniture, which was to be renovated according to her taste, and Gillian was to take that time for a visit to Kalliope, whom she expected to find in the garden. The usual corner was, however, vacant; and Mr. White was heard making a growl of 'Foolish girl! Doesn't know which way her bread is buttered.' zi'Jr)n  
Gs*G<P"  
Maura, however, came running up, and said to Gillian, 'Please come this way. She is here.' C*X G_b ]  
.A1\J@b  
'What has she hidden herself for?' demanded Mr. White. 'I thought she might have been here to welcome this---Miss Adeline.' p8+/\Ee]B  
l #@&~f[  
'She is not very well to-day,' faltered Maura. !U BVPR*  
oA~4p(  
'Oh! ay, fretting. Well, I thought she had more sense.' 64D%_8#m  
M^ 5e~y  
Gillian followed Maura, who was no sooner out of hearing than she began: 'It is too bad of him to be so cross. Kally really is so upset! She did not sleep all night, and I thought she would have fainted quite away this morning!' +5*vABvCu  
sA\L7`2H  
'Oh dear! has he been worrying her?' `Z8^+AMc  
fkBLrw  
'She is very glad and happy, of course, about Miss Ada! and he won't believe it, because he wants her to go out to Italy with them for all next winter.' Oh-Fp-v87  
.c:)Qli  
'And won't she? Oh, what a pity!' s1Okoxh/!V  
}U(\~ =D  
'She said she really could not because of us; she could not leave us, Petros and all, without a home. She thought it her duty to stay and look after us. And then he got cross, and said that she was presuming on the hope of living in idleness here, and making him keep us all, but she would find herself mistaken, and went off very angry.' Q5hb0O%a  
y-%nJD$  
'Oh, horrid! how could he?' =d}gv6v2S  
hyJ ded&D  
'I believe, if Kally could have walked so far, she would have gone down straight to Mr. Lee's. She wanted to, but she was all in a tremble, and I persuaded her not, though she did send me down to ask Mrs. Lee when she can be ready. Then when Alexis came home, Mr. White told him that he didn't in the least mean all that, and would not hear of her going away, though he was angry at her being so foolish, but he would give her another chance of not throwing away such advantages. And Alexis says she ought not. He wants her to go, and declares that he and I can very well manage with Mrs. Lee, and look after Petros, and that she must not think of rushing off in a huff for a few words said in a passion. So, between the two, she was quite upset and couldn't sleep, and, oh, if she were to be ill again!' D/gd  
N|UBaPS|o  
By this time they were in sight of Kalliope lying back in a basket- chair, shaded by the fence of the kitchen-garden, and her weary face and trembling hand showed how much this had shaken her in her weakness. She sent Maura away, and spoke out her troubles freely to Gillian. 'I thought at first my duty was quite clear, and that I ought not to go away and enjoy myself and leave the others to get on without me. Alec would find it so dreary; and though Mr. and Mrs. Lee are very good and kind, they are not quite companions to him. Then Maura has come to think so much about people being ladies that I don't feel sure that she would attend to Mrs. Lee; and the same with Petros in the holidays. If I can't work at first, still I can make a home and look after them.' T r SN00  
)p^m}N 6M]  
'But it is only one winter, and Alexis thinks you ought; and, oh, what it would be, and how you would get on!' Jo6~r-  
A2g"=x[1@K  
'That is what puzzles me. Alexis thinks Mr. White has a right to expect me to improve myself, and not go on for ever making white jessamines with malachite leaves, and that he can look after Maura and Petros. I see, too, that I ought to try to recover, or I might be a burthen on Alexis for ever, and hinder all his better hopes. Then, there's the not liking to accept a favour after Mr. White said such things, though I ought not to think about it since he made that apology; but it is a horrid feeling that I ought not to affront him for the sake of the others. Altogether I do feel so tossed. I can't get back the feeling I had when I was ill that I need not worry, for that God will decide.' Rxvd+8FF  
9A/Kn]s(jj  
And there were tears in her eyes. +!L_E6pyXE  
rB.=f[aX[  
'Can't you ask some one's advice?' said Gillian. +c]N]?k&  
&-8-xw#.  
'If I were sure they quite understood! My head is quite tired with thinking about it.' vYMbson}  
c>U{,z  
Not many moments had passed before there were steps that made Kalliope start painfully, and Maura appeared, piloting another visitor. It was Miss Mohun, who had escaped from the survey of the rooms,---so far uneasy at what she had gathered from Mr. White, that she was the more anxious to make the offer previously agreed to. J%Z)#  
h-_0 A]  
'My dear,' she said, 'I am afraid you look tired.' 9}qfdbI  
hq8/`u YF  
'They have worried her and knocked her up,' said Gillian indignantly. #2vG_B<M)  
pQMpkAX  
'I see! Kally, my dear, we are connections now, you know, and I have heard of Mr. White's plan. It made me think whether you would find the matter easier if you let me have Maura while you are away to cheer my solitude. Then I could see that she did her lessons, and, between all Gillian's brothers, we could see that Petros was happy in the holidays.' _DvPF~  
sS2E8Z2  
'Oh, Miss Mohun! how can I be grateful enough? There is an end of all difficulties.' `1}?{ud  
+rpd0s49  
And when the inspecting party came round, and Adeline bent to kiss the white, weary, but no longer distressed face, and kindly said, 'We shall see a great deal of each other, I hope,' she replied, with an earnest 'thank you,' and added to Mr. White, 'Miss Mohun has made it all easy to me, sir, and I am very grateful!' E0A|+P '?  
T*~)9o  
'Ay, ay! You're a good girl at the bottom, and have some sense!' >$52B9ie  
}v ,P3  
妙人儿倪家少女
大仝小余氏一人
离线washington

发帖
182217
真实姓名
余翔东
只看该作者 23楼 发表于: 2012-07-13
Chapter XXIII. Fangs why;1z>V  
g&I/b/A  
  Events came on rapidly that spring. Mr. White was anxious that his marriage should take place quickly---afraid, perhaps, that his prize would escape him, and be daunted by the passive disapproval of her family, though this was only manifested to him in a want of cordiality. This, being sincere people, they could not help; and that outbreak to Kalliope had made the sisters so uneasy, that they would have willingly endured the ridicule of a broken engagement to secure Adeline from the risks of a rough temper where gentlemanly instincts were not inbred. ASME~]]?  
@y?<Kv}s  
Adeline, however, knew she had gone too far to recede, though she would willingly have delayed, in enjoyment of the present homage and shrinking from the future plunge away from all her protectors. Though the strong, manly will overpowered hers, and made her submit to the necessities of the case and fix a day early in July, she clung the more closely to her sisters, and insisted on being accompanied by Jane on going to London to purchase the outfit that she had often seen in visions before. So Miss Mohun's affairs were put in commission, Gillian taking care of them, and the two sisters were to go to Mrs. Craydon, once, as Marianne Weston, their first friend out of their own family, and now a widow with a house in London, well pleased at any recall of old times, though inclined, like all the rest, to speak of 'poor Ada.' lYEMrr!KQw  
~a@O1MB  
Lord Rotherwood was, as his cousins had predicted, less disgusted than the rest, as in matters of business he had been able to test the true worth that lay beneath the blemishes of tone and of temper; and his wife thought the Italian residence and foreign tincture made the affair much more endurable than could have been expected. She chose an exquisite tea-service for their joint wedding present; but she would not consent to let Lady Phyllis be a bridesmaid; though the Marquis, discovering that her eldest brother hated the idea of giving her away to the stonemason, offered 'not to put too fine a point on it, but to act the part of Cousin Phoenix.' [>+}2-#  
FCO5SX#-g  
Bridesmaids would have been rather a difficulty; but then the deep mourning of Kalliope and Maura made a decided reason for excluding them; and Miss Adeline, who knew that a quiet wedding would be in much the best taste, resolved to content herself with two tiny maidens, Primrose and the contemporary Hablot, her own goddaughter, who, being commonly known as Belle, made a reason for equipping each in the colour and with the flowers of her name, and the idea was carried out with great taste. fwvPh&U&  
9rhIDA(wc  
Valetta thought it hard that an outsider should be chosen. The young Merrifields had the failing of large families in clannish exclusiveness up to the point of hating and despising more or less all who interfered with their enjoyment of one another, and of their own ways. The absence of society at Silverfold had intensified this farouche tone, and the dispersion, instead of curing it, had rendered them more bent on being alone together. Worst of all was Wilfred, who had been kept at home very inconveniently by some recurring delicacy of brain and eyes, and who, at twelve years old, was enough of an imp to be no small torment to his sisters. Valetta was unmercifully teased about her affection for Kitty Varley and Maura White, and, whenever he durst, there were attempts at stings about Alexis, until new game offered itself on whom no one had any mercy. z'cK,psq(  
a3o4> 9  
Captain Henderson was as much in the way as a man could be who knew but one family in the place, and had no resource but sketching. His yellow moustache was to be seen at all manner of unexpected and unwelcome times. If that great honour, a walk with papa, was granted, out he popped from Marine Hotel, or a seat in the public gardens, evidently lying in ambush to spoil their walk. Or he was found tete-a-tete with mamma before the five-o'clock tea, talking, no doubt, 'Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff,' as in the Royal Wardour days. Even at Clipston, or in the coves on the beach, he was only too apt to start up from some convenient post for sketching. He really did draw beautifully, and Mysie would have been thankful for his counsels if public opinion had not been so strong. %m8;Lh- X  
d1=kHU4_9  
Moreover, Kitty Varley conveyed to Valetta the speculations of Rockstone whether Gillian was the attraction. '\[o>n2  
2t h\%  
'Now, Val,' said Mysie, 'how can you listen to such nonsense!' |%JJ S^)  
w9D<^(_}/  
'You said so before, and it wasn't nonsense.' YxH"*)N  
xEBiBsk d  
'It wasn't Aunt Jane.' Hl"rGA>  
=ECw'  
'No, but it was somebody.' 4fBgmL  
nd 'K4q  
'Everybody does marry somebody; but it is no use for us to think about it, for it always turns out just the contrary to all the books one ever read; so there's no going by anything, and I don't believe it right to talk about it.' *leQd^47  
\{J gjd  
'Why not? Every one does.' 9F)v=  
N( E\  
'All the good teachings say one should not talk of what one does not want one's grown-ups to hear.' vn3<LQ]  
n l Xg8t^G  
'Oh, but then one would never talk of anything!' J|_&3@r  
0vmMNF  
'Oh, Val! I won't be sure, but I don't believe I should mind mamma's hearing all I say.' \.myLkm  
] M "{=z  
'Yes; but you've never been to school, and I heard Bee Varley say she never saw anybody so childishly simple for her age.' yU\&\fD>j  
!Y!Cv %  
This brought the colour into Mysie's face, but she said--- UAnq|NJO  
L^KGY<hp4  
'I'd rather be simple than talk as mamma does not like; and, Val, do on no account tell Gillian.' }.3F|H  
bESmKe(  
'I haven't.' F:%= u =  
rFM`ne<zh  
'And don't; don't tell Wilfred, or you know how horrid he would be.' Tg&{ P{$  
S6 $S%$  
There was a tell-tale colour in Valetta's cheeks, by which Mysie might have discerned that Valetta had not resisted the charm of declaring 'that she knew something,' even though this was sure to lead to tortures of various kinds from Wilfred until it was extracted. Still the youth as yet was afraid to do much worse than look preternaturally knowing at his sister and give hints about Fangs' holding fast and the like, but quite enough to startle her into something between being flattered and indignant. She was scarcely civil to the Captain, and felt bound to express her dislike on every possible occasion, though only to provoke a grin from Wilfred and a giggle from Valetta. NO +j    
3LG}x/l  
Lady Merrifield's basket-carriage and little rough pony had been brought from Silverfold, and she took Kalliope out for quiet drives whenever it was possible; but a day of showers having prevented this, she was concerned to find herself hindered on a second afternoon. Gillian offered to be her substitute. e[i&2mM  
'an{<82i  
'You know I always drive you, mamma.' vO]gj/SaT  
6:v8J1G(<  
'These are worse hills than at Silverfold, and I don't want you to come down by the sea-wall.' j[iJo 5  
xqP0Z) ,Ow  
'I am sure I would not go there for something, among all the stupid people.' dH?pQ   
S:Yo9~  
'If you keep to the turnpike you can't come to much harm with Bruno.' Hsp|<;Yg  
{K[+nX =#  
'That is awfully---I mean horribly dusty! There's the cliff road towards Arnscombe.' 78 UT]<Q;K  
d]@9kG  
'That is safe enough. I don't think you could come to much real damage; but remember that for Kally a start or an alarm would be really as hurtful as an accident to a person in health.' ,l@hhaLm?  
X59~)rH,  
'Poor old Bruno could hardly frighten a mouse,' said Gillian. P/ug'  
#X|'RL($  
'Only take care, and don't be enterprising.' P$w0.XZa  
r@iGM Jx$  
Gillian drove up to the door of Cliff House, and Kalliope took her seat. It was an enjoyable afternoon, with the fresh clearness of June sunshine after showers, great purple shadows of clouds flitting over the sea, dimpled by white crests of wave that broke the golden path of sunshine into sparkling ripples, while on the other side of the cliff road lay the open moorland, full of furze, stunted in growth, but brilliant in colour, and relieved by the purple browns of blossoming grasses and the white stars of stitchwort. kOJs;k  
\e( h6,@  
'This is delicious!' murmured Kalliope, with a gesture of enjoyment. (hdP(U77  
v8_HaA$5Y  
'Much nicer than down below!' `'.u$IBW  
l+y/Mq^QB  
'Oh yes; it seems to stretch one's very soul!' 6(f[<V!r  
'3 xvQFg  
'And the place is so big and wide that no one can worry with sketching.' 40<ifz[7  
1tHTjEG4^3  
'Yes, it defies that!' said Kalliope, laughing. 9]r6V   
*D! $gfa  
'So, Fa---Captain Henderson won't crop up as he does at every sketchable place. Didn't you know he was here?' "l6v[yv  
|{udd~oE&  
'Yes, Alexis told me he had seen him.' 97;`R[^J  
L,6v!9@  
'Everybody has seen him, I should think; he is always about with nothing to do but that everlasting sketching.' *9Eep~ 6  
v;_m1UpuW  
'He must have been very sorry to be obliged to retire.' o_=t9\:  
 8kn> ?  
'Horrid! It was weak, and he might have been in Egypt, well out of the way. No, I didn't mean that'---as Kalliope looked shocked---'but he might have been getting distinction and promotion.' ?LxBH -o(  
,_wpYTl*X  
'He used to be very kind,' said Kalliope, in a tone of regretful remonstrance. 'It was he who taught me first to draw.' *#y9P ve  
S\poa:D`  
'He! What, Fa---Captain Henderson?' 6uu49x_^L4  
!h.bD/? K  
'Yes; when I was quite a little girl, and he had only just joined. He found me out before our quarters at Gibraltar trying to draw an old Spaniard selling oranges, and he helped me, and showed me how to hold my pencil. I have got it still---the sketch. Then he used to lend me things to copy, and give me hints till---oh, till my father said I was too old for that sort of thing! Then, you know, my father got his commission, and I went to school at Belfast.' Egm-PoPe  
+V,Ld&r  
'And you have never seen him since?' 'qlWDt/  
aj6{  
'Scarcely. Sometimes he was on leave in my holidays, and you know we were at the depot afterwards, but I shall always feel that all that I have been able to do since has been owing to him.' +{/*P 5  
Co^a$K  
'And how you will enjoy studying at Florence!' .`Ts'0vVy  
&Jw4^ob  
'Oh, think what it would be if I could ever do a reredos for a church! I keep on dreaming and fancying them, and now there really seems a hope. Is that Arnscombe Church?' .W+ F<]r  
4l?98  
'Yes, you know it has been nicely restored.' CW=-@W7  
k- sbZL  
'We had the columns to do. The reredos is alabaster, I believe, and we had nobody fit to undertake that. I so longed for the power! I almost saw it.' 2+GF:[$  
-r-`T s  
'Have you seen what it is?' x\Sp~]o3C  
LOida#R  
'No; I never had time.' `P z !H  
5%>U.X?i  
'I suppose it would be too tiring for you now; but we could see the outside.' gvU6p[D  
JIQzP?+?  
Gillian forgot that Arnscombe, whose blunt gray spire protruded through the young green elms, lay in a little valley through which a stream rushed to the sea. The lane was not very steep, but there were loose stones. Bruno stumbled, he was down; the carriage stood still, and the two girls were out on opposite sides in a moment, Gillian crying out--- LH_2oJ\  
S3<v?tqLr  
'Don't be frightened---no harm done!'---as she ran to the pony's head. He lay quite still with heaving sides, and she felt utterly alone and helpless in the solitary road with an invalid companion whom she did not like to leave. G#V22Wca8  
kUt9'|9!  
'I am afraid I cannot run for help,' said Kalliope quietly, though breathlessly; 'but I could sit by the horse and hold his head while you go for help.' }D^Gt)   
l.x }I"tf  
'I don't like. Oh, here's some one coming!' 6bcrPf}  
^-u HdafP  
'Can I be of any use?' /K) b0QX  
mN{ajf)@  
Most welcome sound!---though it was actually Captain Henderson the ubiquitous wheeling his bicycle up the hill, knapsack of sketching materials on his back. n,jE#Z.D  
t+!gzZ  
'Miss Merrifield! Miss White! I trust no one is hurt!' )_ b@~fC  
Eo { 1y  
'Oh no, thank you, unless it is the poor pony! Kally, sit down on the bank, I insist! Oh, I am so glad you are come!' J"D&q  
3Y1TQ;i,wQ  
'Can you sit on his head while I cut the traces?'  \]f5  
+?"HTDBE||  
Gillian did that comfortable thing till released, when the pony scrambled up again, but with bleeding knees, hip, and side, though the Captain did not think any serious harm was done; but it was even more awkward at the moment that both the shafts were broken! wc6 E- rB  
vKU]80T  
'What is to be done?' sighed Gillian. 'Miss White can't walk. Can I run down to the village to get something to take her home?' E<D+)A  
rtB|N-  
'The place did not look likely to supply any conveyance better than a rough cart,' said their friend. )x$!K[=  
Sp<hai  
'It is quite impossible to put the poor pony in anyhow! I don't mind walking in the least; but you know how ill she has been.' &(lMm)  
Xyb8u})p'  
'I see. Only one thing to be done,' said the Captain, who had already turned the carriage round by the stumps of the shafts; 'you must accept me in lieu of your pony.' K3Huu!Tr  
$H4=QVj6  
'Oh yes, thank you!' cried Gillian eagerly. 'I can lead poor Bruno, and take care of your bicycle. Jump in, Kally!' 0"hiCGm'  
U8E0~[y'  
Kalliope, who had wisely abstained from adding a useless voice to the discussion, here demurred. She could not think of such a thing; they could very well wait in the carriage while Captain Henderson went on to the town on his bicycle and sent out a midge. ^+EMZFjg(  
(VEp~BW@-R  
But there were showers about, and a damp feeling in the lane. Both the others thought this perilous; besides that, there might be rude passengers to laugh at their predicament; and Captain Henderson protested that the weight was nothing. He prevailed at last; and she allowed him to hand her into the basket, when she could hardly stand, and wrap the dust-cloth about her. Thus the procession set forth, Gillian with poor drooping Bruno's rein in one hand and the other on the bicycle, and the Captain gallantly drawing the carriage with Kalliope seated in the midst. He tramped on so vigorously as quite to justify his declaration that it was no burthen to him. It was not a frequented road, and they met no one in the least available to do more than stare or ask a question or two, until, as they approached the town and Rockstone Church was full in view, who should appear before their eyes but Sir Jasper, Wilfred carrying on his back a huge kite that had been for many evenings in course of construction, and Fergus acting as trainbearer. M= atls  
p+vh[+yp  
Thus came on the first moment of Gillian's explanation, as Sir Jasper took the poor pony from her and held counsel over the damage, with many hearty thanks to Captain Henderson. *<UGgnmLE  
EDtCNqBS~2  
'I am sure, sir, no one could have shown greater presence of mind than the young ladies,' said that gentleman; and her father's 'I am glad to hear it!' would have gratified Gillian the more, but for the impish grimace with which Wilfred favoured her behind Kalliope's impassive back. F;-90w  
+YuzpuxjJ  
The kite-fliers turned, not without an entreaty from the boys that they might go on alone and fly their kite. 6"+8M 3M l  
}PZ=`w*O  
'No, no, boys,' said their father---'not here; we shall have the kite pulling you into the sea over the cliffs. I must take the pony home; but I will come if possible to-morrow.' jtCZfFD?  
auL^%M|$R  
Much disappointed, they went dolefully in the rear, grumbling sotto voce their conviction that there would be no wind to-morrow, and that it was all 'Fangs's' fault in some incomprehensible manner. e T-9  
%Rarr  
At Cliff House Kalliope was carefully handed out by Sir Jasper, trying, but with failing voice, to thank Captain Henderson, and declaring herself not the worse, though her hand shook so much that the General was not content without giving her his arm up the stairs, and telling Maura that he should send Mrs. Halfpenny up to see after her. The maimed carriage was left in the yard, and Captain Henderson then took charge of his iron horse, and the whole male party proceeded to the livery stables; so that Gillian was able to be alone, when she humbly repeated to her mother the tale parents have so often to hear of semi-disobedience leading to disaster, but with the self-reproach and sorrow that drew the sting of displeasure. Pity for Bruno, grief for her mother's deprivation, and anxiety for Kalliope might be penance and rebuke sufficient for a bit of thoughtlessness. Lady Merrifield made no remark; but there was an odd expression in her face when she heard who had come so opportunely to the rescue. u]bz42]  
ZAeQ~ j~  
Sir Jasper brought a reassuring account of the poor little steed, which would be usable again after a short rest, and the blemish was the less important as there was no intention of selling him. Mrs. Halfpenny, too, reported that her patient was as quiet as a lamb. 'She wasn't one to fash herself for nothing and go into screaming cries, but kenned better what was fitting for one born under Her Majesty's colours.' >BJ}U_ck  
q^]tyU!w  
So there was nothing to hinder amusement when at dinner Sir Jasper comically described the procession as he met it. Kalliope White, looking only too like Minerva, or some of those Greek goddess statues they used to draw about, sitting straight and upright in her triumphal car, drawn by her votary; while poor Gillian came behind with the pony on one side and the bicycle on the other, very much as if she were conducting the wheel on which she was to be broken, as an offering to the idol. : I)Gv  
lR}%)3_k  
'I think,' said Mysie, 'Captain Henderson was like the two happy sons in Solon's story, who dragged their mother to the temple.' B@-"1m~la?  
!EM#m@kZ{  
'Only they died of it,' said Gillian. ctK65h{Eo  
`[bJYZBc2  
'And nobody asked how the poor mother felt afterwards,' added Lady Merrifield. 7O9n!aJ  
+nzTxpcP@K  
'I thought they all had an apotheosis together,' said Sir Jasper. 'Let us hope that devotion may have its reward.' W.p66IQwL&  
boIVU`F-!  
There was a little lawn outside the drawing-room windows at Il Lido. Lady Merrifield was sitting just within, and her husband had just brought her a letter to read, when they heard Wilfred's impish voice. HI z9s4Y_  
GgT=t)}wu  
'Jack---no, not Jack---Fangs!' ^fG`DjA)  
)Gx": D  
'But Fangs's name is Jack, so it will do as well,' said Valetta's voice. $>nkGb%Kp  
sj#{TTW  
'Hurrah---so it is! Jack---' U` ? zC~  
H>gWxJ 5  
'Hush, Wilfred---this is too foolish!' came Gillian's tones in remonstrance. :)^# xE(  
-eSPoZ  
          'Jack and Jill went up the hill N9>'/jgZX  
             To draw---''To draw! Oh, that's lovely!' interrupted Valetta. Le#E! sU  
uP%;QBb  
'He is always drawing,' said Gillian, with an odd laugh. mw4'z,1Q  
\aJ-q?=  
'He was brought up to it. First teeth, and then "picturs," and then-- -oh, my---ladies home from the wash!' went on Wilfred. $=QGua V  
` S~@FX  
'But go on, Will!' entreated Valetta. mX_Uhpw?t  
6;c{~$s~[  
          'Jack and Jill went up the hill o!dkS/u-m  
             To draw a piece of water---''No, no,' put in Wilfred---'that's wrong! c+M@{EbuN  
&T.P7nJ=  
            'To draw the sergeant's daughter; ] :#IZ0#  
          Fangs dragged down unto the town, D[y|y 3F  
             And Jill came moaning after!''I didn't moan---' fJV VW  
"MN'%"/  
'Oh, you don't know how disconsolate you looked! Moaning, you know, because her Fangs had to draw the other young woman---eh, Gill? Fangs always leave an aching void, you know.' SQk!o{  
Z;:-8 HPDY  
'You ridiculous boy! I'm sure I wish Fangs would leave a void. It wouldn't ache!' ^g\%VIOD  
}Of^Y@{q.  
The two parents had been exchanging glances of something very like consternation, and of the mute inquiry on one side, 'Were you aware of this sort of thing? and an emphatic shake of the head on the other. Then Sir Jasper's voice exclaimed aloud--- f?QD##~;  
Bb)J8,LQ  
'Children, we hear every word you say, and are shocked at your impertinence and bad taste!' iBCM?RiG  
+_<# 8v  
There was a scatter. Wilfred and Valetta, who had been pinioning Gillian on either side by her dress, released her, and fled into the laurels that veiled the guinea-pigs; but their father's long strides pursued them, and he gravely said--- *m7e>]-  
8w\&QX  
'I am very sorry to find this is your style of so-called wit!' h0GXN\xI  
n9#@ e}r  
'It was only chaff,' said Valetta, the boldest in right of her girlhood. uG/Zpi  
V-VR+Ndz  
'Very improper chaff! I am the last person to object to harmless merriment; but you are both old enough to know that on these subjects such merriment is not harmless.' Qax=_[r  
GP1b/n3F1  
'Everybody does it,' whined Valetta, beginning one of her crying fits. Ean #>h  
HZKqGkE  
'I am sorry you have been among people who have led you to think so. No nicely-minded girl will do so, nor any brother who wishes to see his sisters refined, right-feeling women. Go in, Valetta---I can't suffer this howling! Go, I say! Your mother will talk to you. Now, Wilfred, do you wish to see your sisters like your mother?' WWZ`RY  
/fv;`?~d*  
'They'll never be that, if they live to a hundred!' $ra q,SP  
Nk2n&(~$  
'Do not you hinder it, then; and never let that insulting nickname pass your lips again.' 3LRBH+Tt  
U'@#n2p:k  
Wilfred's defence as to universal use in the family was inaudible, and he was allowed to slouch away.  SwE bVwB  
y!8m7a  
Gillian had fled to her mother, entreating her to explain to her father that such jests were abhorrent to her. h0] bIT{  
y[ZVi5) ,  
'But you know, mamma, if I was cross and dignified, Wilfred would enjoy it all the more, and be ten times worse.' jx'hxC'3  
&oE'|^G  
'Quite true, my dear. Papa will understand; but we are sorry to hear that nickname. hY/qMK5  
V+zn` \a  
'It was an old Royal Wardour name, mamma. Harry and Claude both used it, and---oh, lots of the young officers!' a5(9~. 9  
)`S5>[6  
'That does not make it more becoming in you.' S_^;#=_c  
MwL!2r  
'N---no. But oh, mamma, he was very kind to-day! But I do wish it had been anybody else!' &i6JBZ#~,  
%|ioNXMu  
And her colour rose so as to startle her mother. 0IHAoV60  
.eCUvX`$  
'Why, my dear, I thought you would have been glad that a stranger did not find you in that plight!' n<eK\ w  
RGBntp%  
'But it makes it all the worse. He does beset us, mamma; and it is hard on me, after all the other nonsense!' _z#S8Y  
;F/s!bupCM  
Lady Merrifield burst out laughing. tU-jtJ  
"gXvnl  
'My dear child, he thinks as much of you as of old Halfpenny!' ~0L:c&V  
-raZ6?Zjc  
'Oh, mamma, are you sure?' said Gillian, still hiding her face. 'It was not silliness of my own; but Kitty Varley told Val that everybody said it---her sister, and Miss Mohun, and all. Why can't he go away, and not be always bothering about this horrid place with nothing to do?' Cta!"=\  
Ijs=4f  
'How thankful I shall be to have you all safe at Clipston!' bqUQadDB  
I,!>ZG@6  
'But, mamma, can't you keep him off us?' 7$I *ju_  
)ur&Mnmm  
Valetta's sobbing entrance here prevented more; but while explaining to her the causes of her father's displeasure, her mother extracted a good deal more of the gossip, to which she finally returned answer--- {:9P4<%H  
D?"TcA  
'There is no telling the harm that is done by chattering gossip in this way. You might have learnt by what happened before what mistakes are made. What am I to do, Valetta? I don't want to hinder you from having friends and companions; but if you bring home such mischievous stories, I shall have to keep you entirely among ourselves till you are older and wiser.' ;"/ "  
V-w[\u  
'I never---never will believe---anybody who says anybody is going to marry anybody!' sobbed Valetta desperately and incoherently. <ZNa`  
c"J(? 1O  
'Certainly no one who knows nothing about the matter. There is nothing papa and I dislike much more than such foolish talk; and to tease your sister about it is even worse; but I will say no more about that, as I believe it was chiefly Wilfred's doing.' k>n^QHM  
$Y aL3n  
'I---told---Will,' murmured Valetta. 'Mysie begged me not, but I had done it.' `Xmpm4 ]  
b<.+WkO  
'How much you would have saved yourself and everybody else if you had let the foolish word die with you! Now, good-night, my dear. Bathe your eyes well, or they will be very uncomfortable to-morrow; and do try to cure yourself of roaring when you cry. It vexes papa so much more.' `&9#!T.  
Vj?.'(  
Another small scene had to follow with the boy, who was quite willing to go off to bed, having no desire to face his father again, though his mother had her fears that he was not particularly penitent for 'what fellows always did when people were spooning.' He could only be assured that he would experience unpleasant consequences if he recurred to the practice; but Wilfred had always been the problem in the family. *10e)rzM  
VhW;=y>}  
The summer twilight was just darkening completely, and Lady Merrifield had returned to the drawing-room, and was about to ring for lights, when Sir Jasper came in through the window, saying--- 3x=F  
iZSSd{jO  
'No question now about renewal. Angelic features, more than angelic calmness and dignity. Ha! you there, young ladies!' he added in some dismay as two white dresses struck his eye. oOL3O@)w>  
>=`c [=:Z_  
'There's no harm done,' said Lady Merrifield, laughing. 'I was thinking whether to relieve Gillian's mind by telling her the state of the case, and Mysie is to be trusted.' #w*pWD^  
N#u8{\|8]  
'Oh, mamma, then it is Kalliope!' exclaimed Gillian, already relieved, for even love could not have perceived calmness and dignity in her sitting upon Bruno's head. rEhf_[Dv  
M?B(<j1Ri  
'Has she ever talked about him?' asked Lady Merrifield. @LKG\zYBu  
bw<w u}ED  
'No; except to-day, when I said I hoped she was safe from him on that road. She said he had always been very kind to her, and taught her to draw when she was quite a little girl.' X B*}P  
 gt_X AH  
'Just so,' said Lady Merrifield. 'Well, when she was a little older, poor Mr. White, who was one of the most honourable and scrupulous of men, took alarm, and saw that it would never do to have the young officers running after her.' sz/*w7  
bar0{!Y"  
'It was an uncommonly awkward position,' added Sir Jasper, 'with such a remarkable-looking girl, and a foolish unmanageable mother. It made poor White's retirement the more reasonable when the girl was growing too old to be kept at school any longer.' F>dwLbnb  
u#`+[AC`  
'And has he been constant to her all these years? How nice!' cried Mysie. ; XG]Q<S\  
91u p^   
'After a fashion,' said Lady Merrifield. 'He made me the receptacle of a good deal of youthful despair.' ^'vIOq-1v  
)lh8 k {  
'All the lads did,' said her husband. +K^h!d]  
Mvb':/M  
'But he got over it, and it seemed to have passed out of his life. However, he asked after the Whites as soon as we met him in London; and now he tells me that he never forgot Kalliope---her face always came between him and any one whom his mother threw in his way; and he came down here, knowing her history, and with the object of seeing her again.' 51by  
8TWTbQ  
'And he has not, till now?' OP! R[27>  
'g)n1 {  
'No. Besides the absolute need of keeping her quiet, it would not exactly do for him to visit her while she is alone with Maura at Cliff House, and I wished him first to see her casually amongst us, for I dreaded her not fulfilling his ideal.' _. V?A*  
:t("L-GPW  
'Oh!' IE2"rQT  
7[#yu2  
'When I think of her at fourteen or fifteen, with that exquisite bloom and the floating wavy hair, I see a very different creature from what she is now.' D/ybFk  
6RO(]5wX  
'Peach or ivory carving,' said Sir Jasper. SvM6iZ]  
+CH},@j  
'Yes; she is nobler, finer altogether, and has gained in countenance greatly; but he may not think so, and I should like her to be looking a little less ill.' WG*t ::NN  
H9h@sSg  
'Well, I can't help hoping he will be disappointed, and be too stupid to care for her!' exclaimed Gillian. Q9I j\HbA"  
,Jcm+ Wb  
'Indeed?' said her father in a tone of displeased surprise. SyAvKd`g  
ZeG_en ;  
'He is so insignificant; he does not seem to suit with her,' said Gillian in a tone of defence;' and there does not seem to be anything in him.' cBo{/Tn:  
H3Se={5h\A  
'That only shows the effect of nursing prejudice by using foolish opprobrious nicknames. Henderson was a good officer, he has shown himself an excellent son, always sacrificing his own predilections for the sake of duty. He is a right-minded, religious, sensible man, his own master, and with no connections to take umbrage at Miss White's position. It is no commonplace man who knows how to honour her for it. Nothing could be a happier fate for her; and you will be no friend to her if you use any foolish terms of disparagement of him because he does not happen to please your fancy.' A>{p2?`+!  
<L&m4O#|  
'I am sure Gillian will do no such thing, now that she understands the case' said her mother. * !^<m0  
Ged[#Q  
'Oh no, indeed! said Gillian. 'It was only a first feeling.' oq*N_mP0  
+/D>|loRC  
'And you will allow for a little annoyance, papa,' added Lady Merrifield. 'We really have had a great deal of him, and he does spoil the children's walks with you.' -YD+(c`l  
4.RG4Jq  
Sir Jasper laughed. Q !qrNa6  
u9=SpgB#  
'I agree that the sooner this is over the better. You need have no doubts as to the first view, now that Gillian has effected the introduction. No words can do justice to her beauty, though, by the bye, he must have contemplated her through the back of his head!' x( mE<UQN  
ZWV|# c<G  
'Well, won't that do! Can't he be sent off for the present, for as to love-making now, with all the doubts and scruples in the way, it would be the way to kill her outright.' O$`UCq  
q&'Lbxc>c  
'You must take that in hand, my lady---it is past me! Come, girls, give us some music!' 4aZCFdc  
MBk"KF  
The two girls went up at bed-time to their room, Mysie capering and declaring that here was real, true, nice love, like people in stories, and Gillian still bemoaning a little that, whatever papa might say, Fa---Captain Henderson would always be too poor a creature for Kalliope. 0yof u  
4E"d/  
'If I was quite sure it was not only her beauty,' added Gillian philosophically. gn5% F5W  
eOrYa3hQ  
Lady Merrifield went up to Cliff House as early as she could the next day. She found her patient there very white and shaken, but not so much by the adventure of yesterday as by a beautiful bouquet of the choicest roses which lay on the table before her sofa, left by Captain Henderson when he had called to inquire after her. >~&(P_<b  
[2H[5<tH  
'What ought I to do, dear Lady Merrifield?' she asked. 'They came while I was dressing, and I did not know.' 6 6dTs,C  
EOQaY  
'You mean about a message of thanks?' rT<1S?jR  
O E]~@eU  
'Yes; my dear father was so terribly displeased when I wore a rose that he gave me before the great review at Belfast that I feel as if I ought not to touch these; and yet it is so kind, and after all his wonderful kindness yesterday.' W -3w7^  
?9CIWpGjU  
The hand on the side and the trembling lip showed the painful fluttering of heart, and the voice died away. /^NJ)9IB  
hwc:@'  
'My dear, things are very different now. Take my word for it, your father could not be displeased for a moment at any kindness between you and Captain Henderson. Ten years ago he was a very young man, and his parents were living, and your father was bound in honour, and for your sake too, to prevent attentions from the young officers.' lK_ ~d_f  
mrw]yu;2<n  
'Oh yes, I know it would have been shocking to have got into that sort of thing!' ay!6 T`U`  
(CKhY~,/u  
'But now he is entirely at his own disposal, and a man of four or five-and-thirty, who has gone through a great deal, and I do not think that to send him a friendly message of thanks for a bunch of flowers to his old fellow-soldier's daughter would be anything but what Captain White would think his due.' 9&|12x$  
Mo:!jS~a(Z  
'Oh,'---a sigh of relief,---'please tell him, dear Lady Merrifield!' And she stretched out her hand for the flowers, and lovingly cooled her cheek with their petals, and tenderly admired them singly, venturing now to enjoy them and even caress them. *Dd(+NI  
@vQ;>4i.  
Lady Merrifield ventured on no more; but she carried off ultimately hopeful auguries for the gentleman who had been watching for her, very anxious to hear her report. She was, however, determined on persuading him to patience, reinforcing her assurances with Dr. Dagger's opinion, that though Kalliope's constitution needed only quiet and rest entirely to shake off the effects of the overstrain of that terrible half-year, yet that renewed agitation would probably entail chronic heart-complaint; and she insisted that without making any sign the lover should go out of reach for several months, making, for instance, the expedition to Norway of which he had been talking. He could not understand at first that what he meant to propose would not be the best means of setting that anxious heart at rest; and Lady Merrifield had to dwell on the swarm of conscientious scruples and questions that would arise about saddling him with such a family, and should not be put to rest as easily as he imagined. At last, by the further representation that she would regard her mother's death as far too recent for such matters to occupy her, and by the assertion of the now fixed conviction that attentions from him at present could only agitate and distress her harmfully, and bring on her malicious remarks, the Captain was induced to believe that Rocca Marina or Florence would be a far better scene for his courtship, and to defer it till he could find her there in better health. @'NaA SB  
;|2;kvf"w  
He was brought at last to promise to leave Rockquay at once, and dispose of himself in Norway, if only Lady Merrifield would procure him one meeting with Kalliope, in which he solemnly promised to do nothing that could startle her or betray his intentions. 7:R{~|R  
e&a[k  
Lady Merrifield managed it cunningly. It had been already fixed that Kalliope should come down to a brief twelve-o'clock service held at St. Kenelm's for invalids, there to return thanks for her recovery, in what she felt as her own church; and she was to come to Il Lido and rest there afterwards. Resolving to have no spectators, Lady Merrifield sent off the entire family for a picnic at Clipston, promising them with some confidence that they would not be haunted by Captain Henderson, and that she would come in the waggonette, bringing Fergus as soon as he was out of school, drink tea, and fetch home the tired. ZZ.0'   
yOCcp+`T}  
Sir Jasper went too, telling her, with a smile, that he was far too shy to assist her in acting chaperon. 2Z9gOd<M~  
hw.demD  
'Dragon, you had better say---I mean to put on all my teeth and claws.' G;#t6bk  
%1d6j<7  
These were not, however, very visible at the church door when she met Kalliope, who had come down in a bath-chair, but was able afterwards to walk slowly to Il Lido. Perhaps Captain Henderson was, however, aware of them; for Kalliope had no knowledge of his presence in the church or in the street, somewhat in the rear, nor did he venture to present himself till there had been time for luncheon and for rest, and till Kalliope had been settled in the cool eastern window under the verandah, with an Indian cushion behind her that threw out her profile like a cameo. n{NgtH\V  
`D4'`Or-U  
Then, as if to call on Lady Merrifield, Captain Henderson appeared armed, according to a wise suggestion, with his portfolio; and there was a very quiet and natural overlooking of his drawings, which evidently gave Kalliope immense pleasure, quite unsuspiciously. Precautions had been taken against other visitors, and all went off so well and happily that Lady Merrifield felt quite triumphant when the waggonette came round, and, after picking up Fergus, she set Kalliope down at her own door, with something like a colour in her cheeks and lips, and thanks for a happy afternoon, and the great pleasure in seeing one of the dear old Royal Wardours again. #mxfU>vQ:  
Y\S^DJy  
But, oh mamma,' said Gillian, feeling as if the thorn in her thoughts must be extracted, 'are you sure it is not all her beauty?' /hR]aw  
TnAX;+u  
'Her beauty, no doubt, began it, and gratifies the artist eye; but I am sure his perseverance is due to appreciation of her noble character,' said Lady Merrifield. N Q=YTRU  
OSk9Eb4ld  
'Oh, mamma, would he if she had been ever so good, and no prettier than other people?' cw{[B%vw  
F)Lbr>H?I  
'Don't pick motives so, my child; her beauty helps to make up the sum and substance of his adoration, and she would not have the countenance she has without the goodness. Let that satisfy you.' Lw`\J|%p  
,e2va7}3  
妙人儿倪家少女
大仝小余氏一人
离线washington

发帖
182217
真实姓名
余翔东
只看该作者 24楼 发表于: 2012-07-13
Chapter XXIV. Conclusion EW|$qLg  
3]l)uoNt/  
  The wedding was imminent by this time. The sisters returned from London, the younger looking brilliant and in unusual health, and the elder fagged and weary. Shopping, or rather looking on at shopping, had been a far more wearying occupation than all the schools and districts in Rockquay afforded. uZC=]Ieh  
*4}_2"[  
And besides the being left alone, there was the need of considering her future. The family had certainly expected that a rich and open- handed man like Mr. White would bethink him that half what was sufficient for two was not enough for one to live in the same style, and would have resigned his bride's fortune to her sister, but, as a rule, he never did what was expected of him, and he had, perhaps, been somewhat annoyed by Mr. Mohun's pertinacity about settlements, showing a certain distrust of commercial wealth. At any rate, all he did was to insist on paying handsomely for Maura's board; but still Miss Mohun believed she should have to give up the pretty house built by themselves, and go into smaller quarters, more especially as it was universally agreed that Adeline must have Mrs. Mount with her, and Mrs. Mount would certainly be miserable in 'foreign parts' unless her daughter went with her. It was demonstrated that the remaining means would just suffice to keep up Beechcroft; but Jane knew that it could be only done at the cost of her subscriptions and charities, and she merely undertook to take no measures till winter---the Rockquay season. n93q8U6m/U  
{7o3wxsS  
Sir Jasper, who thought she behaved exceedingly well about it, authorised an earnest invitation to make her home at Clipston; but though she was much gratified, she knew she should be in his way, and, perhaps, in that of the boys, and it was too far from the work to which she meant to devote herself even more completely, when it would be no longer needful to be companionable to a semi-invalid fond of society. I L*B@E8  
7kLu rv  
However, just then her brother, the Colonel, came at last for his long leave. He knew that his retirement was only a matter of months, and declared his intention of joining forces with her, if she would have him, and, in the meantime, he was desirous of contributing his full share in keeping up the home. Nor did Jane feel it selfish to accept his offer, for she knew that Clipston would give him congenial society and shooting, and that there was plenty of useful layman work for him in the town; and that 'old Reggie' should wish to set up his staff with her raised her spirits, so that cheerfulness was no longer an effort. w!m4>w  
\rr"EAk]  
The wedding was to be very quiet. Only just after the day was finally fixed, Mrs. Merrifield's long decay ended unexpectedly, and Sir Jasper had to hasten to London, and thence to the funeral at Stokesley. She was a second wife, and he her only son, so that he inherited from her means that set him much more at his ease with regard to his large family than he had ever been before. The intention that Lady Merrifield should act mistress of the house at the wedding breakfast had, of course, to be given up, and only Primrose's extreme youth made it possible to let her still be a bridesmaid. F$UL.`X _/  
ep8UWxB5  
So the whole party, together with the Whites, were only spectators in the background, and the procession into church consisted of just the absolutely needful persons---the bride in a delicate nondescript coloured dress, such as none but a French dressmaker could describe, and covered with transparent lace, like, as Mysie averred, a hedgeback full of pig-nut flowers, the justice of the comparison being lost in the ugliness of the name; and as all Rockquay tried to squeeze into the church to see and admire, the beauty was not thrown away. 6$OmOCA%  
e#hg,I  
No tears were shed there; but afterwards, in her own familiar room, between her two sisters, Adeline White shed floods of tears, and, clinging to Jane's neck, asked how she could ever have consented to leave her, extracting a promise of coming to her in case of illness. Nothing but a knock at the door by Valetta, with a peremptory message that Mr. White said they should be late for the train, induced her to dry her tears and tear herself away. U?dad}7  
gdCit-3  
Kalliope and Maura remained with Miss Mohun during the bridal journey to Scotland, and by the time it was ended the former had shaken off the invalid habits, and could hardly accept the doctor's assurance that she ought not to resume her work, though she was grateful for the delights before her, and the opportunities of improvement that she was promised at Florence. Her health had certainly been improved by Frank Stebbing's departure for America. Something oozed out that made Miss Mohun suspect that he had been tampering with the accounts, and then it proved that there had been a crisis and discovery, which Mr. White had consented to hush up for his partner's sake. Alexis had necessarily known of the investigation and disclosure, but had kept absolute silence until it had been brought to light in other ways, and the culprit was beyond seas. Mr. Stebbing was about to retire from the business, but for many reasons the dissolution of the partnership was deferred. wdt2T8`I/  
!\|  
Alexis was now in a post of trust, with a larger salary. He lodged at Mrs. Lee's, and was, in a manner, free of Miss Mohun's house; but he spent much of his leisure time in study, being now able to pay regularly for instruction from the tutor who taught at Mrs. Edgar's school. s[a\m,  
g?|Z/eVJ  
Maura asked him rather pertly what was the use of troubling himself about Latin and Greek, if he held himself bound to the marble works. P<Z` 8a[  
E@otV6Wk[@  
'It is not trouble---it is rest,' he said; and at her gasp, 'Besides, marble works or no, one ought to make the best of one's self.' Jlb{1B$7  
w^zqYGxG)  
By the time Mr. and Mrs. White came back from Scotland, the repairs at Clipston had been accomplished, and the Merrifields had taken possession. It all was most pleasant in that summer weather going backwards and forwards between the houses; the Sunday coming into church and lunching at Aunt Jane's, where Valetta and Primrose stayed for Mrs. Hablot's class, and were escorted home by Macrae in time for evening service at Clipston, where their mother, Gillian, and Mysie reigned over their little school. There was a kind of homely ease and family life, such that Adeline once betrayed that she sometimes felt as if she was going into banishment. However, there was no doubt that she enjoyed her husband's pride in and devotion to her, as well as all the command of money and choice of pretty things that she had obtained, and she looked well, handsome, and dignified. Q[#8ErUY  
k ?6d\Q  
Still it was evident that she was very glad of Kalliope's companionship, and that the pair were not on those exclusively intimate terms that would make a third person de trop. P}a$#a'!  
`{K-eHlrM9  
By Sir Jasper's advice, Lady Merrifield did not mention the possibility of a visit from Captain Henderson, who would come upon Mr. White far better on his own merits, and had better not be expected either by Adeline or Kalliope. Ca?w"m~h  
x4g6Qze  
Enthusiastic letters from both ladies described the delights of the journey, which was taken in a leisurely sight-seeing manner; and as to Rocca Marina, it seemed to be an absolute paradise. Mr. White had taken care to send out an English upholsterer, so that insular ideas of comfort might be fulfilled within. Without, the combination of mountain and sea, the vine-clad terraces, the chestnut slopes, the magical colours of the barer rocks, the coast-line trending far away, the azure Mediterranean, with the white-sailed feluccas skimming across it, filled Kalliope with the more transport because it satisfied the eyes that had unconsciously missed such colouring scenes ever since her early childhood. O\;Lb[`lb  
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The English workmen and their families hailed with delight an English lady. The chaplain and his wife were already at work among them, and their little church only waiting for the bride to lay the first stone. \&V[<]  
K]>4*)A:  
The accounts of Kalliope's walks as Mrs. White's deputy among these people, of her scrambles and her sketching made her recovery evident. Adeline had just been writing that the girl was too valuable to both herself and Mr. White ever to be parted with, when Captain Henderson came back from Norway, and had free permission from Lady Merrifield to put his fate to the touch. R"t2=3K  
8(-N;<Ef2  
English tourists who know how to behave themselves were always welcome to enliven the seclusion of Rocca Marina, and admire all, of which Adeline was as proud as Mr. White himself. Recommendations to its hospitality did not fail, and the first of Adeline's long letters showed warm appreciation of this pleasant guest, who seemed enchanted with the spot. #\O?|bN'q  
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Next, Mrs. White's sagacity began to suspect his object, and there ensued Kalliope's letter, full of doubts and scruples, unable to help being happy, but deferring her reply till she should hear from Lady Merrifield, whether it could be right to burthen any man with such a family as hers. P{>-MT2E  
Vg1MA  
The old allegiance to her father's commanding officer, as well as the kindness she had received, seemed to make her turn to ask their approval as if they were her parents; and of course it was heartily given, Sir Jasper himself writing to set before her that John Henderson was no suddenly captivated youth unable to calculate consequences, but a man of long-tried affection and constancy, free from personal ties, and knowing all her concerns. The younger ones all gave promise of making their own way, and a wise elder brother was the best thing she could give them. Even Richard might be the better for the connection, and Sir Jasper had taken care that there should be some knowledge of what he was. d?1[xv;  
1<&nHFJ;[  
There was reason to think that all hesitation had been overcome even before the letters arrived. For it appeared that Captain Henderson had fraternised greatly with Mr. White, and that having much wished for an occupation, he had decided to become a partner in the marble works, bringing the art-knowledge and taste that had been desirable, and Kalliope hoped still to superintend the mosaic workers. It was agreed that the marriage had far better take place away from Rockquay, and it was resolved that it should be at Florence, and that the couple should remain there for the winter, studying art, and especially Florentine mosaic, and return in the spring, when the Stebbings would have concluded their arrangements and vacated their house. ?M@ff0  
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Mr. White, in great delight, franked out Alexis and Maura to be present at the wedding, and a longing wish of Kalliope's that Mr. Flight would officiate was so far expressed that Lady Merrifield mentioned it to him. He was very much moved, for he had been feeling that his relations with the Whites had been chiefly harmful, though, as Alexis now assured him, his notice had been their first ray of comfort in their changed life at Rockquay. The experience had certainly made him older and wiser. Mrs. White---or, as her nieces could not help calling her among themselves, the Contessa di Rocca Marina---urged that her sister Jane should join the company, and bring Gillian to act as the other bridesmaid. This, after a little deliberation, was accepted, and the journey was the greatest treat to all concerned. Mr. Flight, the only one of the party who had travelled before in the sense of being a tourist, was amused by the keen and intense delight of Miss Mohun as well as the younger ones in all they beheld, and he steered them with full experience of hotels and of what ought to be visited, so as to be an excellent courier. oBZzMTPe  
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As to Rocca Marina, where they spent a few days, no words would describe their admiration, though they brought home a whole book of sketches to back their descriptions. They did not, however, bring back Maura. Mrs. White had declared that she must remain to supply the place of her sister. She was nearly fifteen years old, and already pretty well advanced in her studies, she would pick up foreign languages, the chaplain would teach her when at Rocca Marina, and music and drawing would be attainable in the spring at Florence. Moreover, Mr. White promised to regard her as a daughter. ?wQaM3 |^:  
1hnw+T<<W  
Another point was settled. Alexis had worked in earnest for eight months, and had convinced himself that the marble works were not his vocation, though he had acquitted himself well enough to induce Mr. White to offer him a share in the business, and he would have accepted it if needful. He had, however, made up his mind to endeavour to obtain a scholarship at Oxford, and Captain Henderson promised that whether successful in this or not, he should be enabled to keep his terms there. Mr. White could not understand how a man could prefer being a poor curate to being a rich quarrymaster, but his wife and the two sisters had influence enough to prevent him from being offended, and this was the easier, because Theodore had tastes and abilities that made it likely that he would be thoroughly available at the works. BQTibd  
;5(ptXX1W  
What shall be said of the return to Rockstone? Mr. Flight came home first, then, after many happy days of appreciative sightseeing, Aunt Jane and Gillian. They had not been ashamed of being British spinsters with guide-books in their hands; nor, on the other hand, had they been obliged to see what they did not care about, and Mr. White had put them in the way of the best mode of seeing what they cared about; and above all, the vicissitudes of travel, even in easy- going modern fashion, had made them one with each other according to Jane's best hopes. It was declared that the aunt looked five years younger for such recreation as she had never known before, and she set to work with double energy. ZFNn(n  
k,mgiGrQ  
When, in May, Captain and Mrs. Henderson took possession of the pretty house that had been fitted up for them, though Miss Mellon might whisper to a few that she had only been one of the mosaic hands, there was not much inclination to attend to the story among the society to which Lady Merrifield introduced her. These acquaintances would gladly have seen more of her than she had time to give them, between family claims and home cares, her attention to the artistic side of the business, for which she had not studied in vain, and her personal and individual care for the young women concerned therein. For years to come, even, it was likely that visitors to Rockstone would ask one another if they had seen that remarkably beautiful Mrs. Henderson. @g{FNXY$m  
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Mrs. White, reigning there in the summer, in her fine house and gardens, though handsome as ever, had the good sense to resign the palm of beauty, and be gratified with the admiration for one whom she accepted as a protegee and appendage, whose praise reflected upon herself. And Cliff House under the new regime was a power in Rockstone, with its garden-parties, drawing-room meetings on behalf of everything good and desirable, its general superintendence and promotion of all that could aid in the welfare of the place. There was general rejoicing when it was occupied. pXy'Ss@y  
nc2=S^Fqu  
Adeline, in better health than she had enjoyed since her early girlhood, and feeling her consequence both in Italy and at Rockstone, was often radiant, always kind and friendly and ready with patronage and assistance. Her sisters wondered at times how absolute her happiness was; they sometimes thought she said too much about it, and about her dear husband's indulgence, in her letters, to be quite satisfactory; and when she came to Rockstone there was an effusiveness of affection towards her family, an unwillingness to spare her sisters or nieces from her side, an earnest desire to take one back to Italy with her, that betrayed something lacking in companionship. Jane detected likewise such as the idolising husband felt this attachment a little over much. k Xg&}n7  
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It was not quite possible to feel him one with her family, or make him feel himself one. He would always be 'company' with them. He had indeed been invited to Beechcroft Court, but it was plain that the visit had been stiff and wearisome to both parties, even more so than that to Rotherwood, where there was no reason to look for much familiarity. )4e8LO  
t }YT+S  
In the same way, to Reginald Mohun, who had been obliged to retire as full Colonel, Mr. White was so absolutely distasteful that it was his sister's continual fear that he would encourage the young people's surreptitious jokes about their marble uncle. Sir Jasper, always feeling accountable for having given the first sanction, did his best for the brother-in-law; but in spite of regard, there was no getting over the uncongeniality that would always be the drop in Adeline's cup. The perfect ease and confidence of family intercourse would alter on his entrance! ^m/7T wD  
rS!M0Hq>t  
Nobody got on with him so well as Captain Harry May. For I do not speak to that dull elf who cannot figure to himself the great family meeting that came to pass when the colonists came home---how sweet and matronly 'Aunt Phyllis' looked, how fresh and bright her daughters were, and how surprised Valetta was to find them as well instructed and civilised as herself, though she did not like Primrose, expect to see them tattooed. One of the party was no other than Dolores Mohun. She had been very happy with her father for three years. They had been at Kotorua at the time of the earthquake, and Dolores had acquired much credit for her reasonableness and self-possession, but there had been also a young lady, not much above her own age, who had needed protection and comfort, and the acquaintance there begun had ended in her father deciding on a marriage with a pretty gentle creature as unlike the wife of his youth as could be imagined. EsS$th)d  
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Dolores had behaved very well, as her Aunt Phyllis warmly testified, but it was a relief to all parties when the proposal was made that, immediately after the wedding, she should go home under her aunt's escort to finish her education. She had learnt to love and trust Aunt Phyllis; but to be once more with Aunt Lily and Mysie was the greatest peace and bliss she could conceive. And she was a very different being from the angular defiant girl of those days which seemed so long ago. B Dp")[l  
vz~Oi  
There is no need to say more at present of these old friends. There is no material for narrative in describing how the 'calm decay' of Dr. May in old age was cheered by the presence of his sailor son, nor in the scenes where the brothers, sisters, and friends exchanged happy recollections, brightened each other's lives with affection and stimulated one another in serving God in their generation. |Iwglb!k  
33EF/k3vW  
THE END tsJR:~  
&hO-6(^I  
妙人儿倪家少女
大仝小余氏一人
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