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maid, and would never marry; but every- | van, which is to follow in a barge; an body was not of that opinion. Lady Jane there is a languid dark handsome gentlehad been made a great deal of at Scuda- man talking to a grandly dressed lady more Castle, especially by a certain Cap- whose attendants have been piling up tain Sigourney, who had been staying there, wraps and Times and dressing-cases and a nephew of Lady Scudamore's — tall, dark, umbrellas. interesting, in want of money, notwith- “Let me hold this for you, it will tire standing his many accomplishments. Poor you," said the gentleman, tenderly taking Tom Sigourney had been for many years a The Times out of her hand; " are you resthanger-on at Scudamore. They were ex- ing? I thought I would try and meet you, tremely tired of him, knew bis words, looks, and see if I could save you from fatigue. tones by heart. Handsome as he undoubt- My aunt Scudamore told me you were edly was, there was something indescriba- coming this way. There, that is where my bly wearisome about him after the first people live: that white house among the introduction a certain gentle drawl and trees.” prose that irritated some people. But “ It is a nice place,” said Lady Jane. Lady Jane was immensely taken by him. The rocks were coming nearer, and the His deference pleased her. She was not island was brightening to life and colour, and insensible to the respectful tlattery with the quaint old bricks and terraces of Tarwhich he listened to every word she spoke. mouth were beginning to show. There was, Tom Sigourney said she was a fine spirited a great ship in the distance sliding out to sea, girl, and Lady Scudamore seized the happy and a couple of gulls flew overhead. occasion - urged Tom forward, made much “ Before I retired from the service," of Lady Jane. "Poor girl! she needs a said Sigourney, “ I was quartered at Portsprotector,” said Lady Scudamore gravely mouth. I know this coast well; that is to her daughters. At which the young Tarmouth opposite, and that is — ah, 'm ladies burst out laughing.
- a pretty place, and fancy Tom Sigourney taking care of any- pretty girl at the hotel.” body ? " they cried.
“How am I to get to these people if they Lady Mountmore arrived unexpectedly, have not sent to meet me, I wonder ? ” inand the whole little fabric was destroyed. terrupted Lady Jane, rather absently. Sigourney, who had not much impudence, “Leave that to me,” said Captain Sig. was simply driven off the field by the elder ourney. “I am perfectly at home here, and lady's impertinences. Lady Jane was in- . I will order a fly. They all know me, and dignant, and declared she should not stay if they are not engaged will always come any longer under the same roof as her for me. You go to the inn. I order you mother-in-law. Lady Scudamore did not a cup of tea, and one for your maid. I see press her to remain. She had not time to a fast horse put up into a trap, and start attend to her any longer or to family dis- you straight off." sensions; but she did write a few words to Oh, Captain Sigourney, I am very Tom, telling him of Lady Jane's move- much obliged," said Lady Jane; and so ments, and then made it up with Lady the artless conversation went on. Mountmo.e all the more cordially that she At Tarmouth the ingenious captain would felt she had not been quite loyal to her in not let her ask whose was a carriage she sending off this little missive.
saw standing there, nor take one of the The little steamer starts for Tarmouth in two usual flys in waiting, but he made her a little crowd and excitement of rolling turn into the inn until a special fast horse, barrels and oxen driven and plunging sheep with whose paces he was well acquainted, in larges. The people come and look over could be harnessed. This took a long the side of the wooden pier and talk to the time; but Lady Janc, excited by the uovcaptain at his wheel. Afternoon rays elty of the adventure, calmly enjoyed her stream slant, and the island glistens across afternoon tea and devotion, and sat on the the straits, and the rocks stand out in the horse-bair sofa of the little inn, admiring water; limpid waters beat against the the stuffed carp and cuttle-fish on the walls, rocks, and toss the buoys and splash and listening with a charmed ear to Tom's against the busy little tug; one or two reminiscences of the time when he was coal-barges make way. Idlers and a child quartered at Portsmouth. or two in the way of the half-dozen pas- The fast horse did not go much quicker sengers are called upon by name to stand than his predecessors, and Lady Jane araside on this occasion. "There are two rived at the Lodges about an hour after country dames returning from market; Hexham, and at the same time as his great friend Hexham in an excitement about his photographio van.
carrying “Mozzer," as he clutches ber tight round the neck with his two little
arms. They were all strolling along the cliffs I
suppose nobody ever reached the top of towards the beacon. It stood upon the a bigh cliff without some momentary feeling summit of High Down, a long way off as of elation, so much left behind, so much yet, though it seemed close at hand, so achieved. There you stand at peace, glowclearly did it stand out in the still atmo- ing with exertion, raised far above the din sphere of the sunset. It stood there stiff of the world. They were gazing as they and black upon its knoll, an old weather- came along (for it is only of an island that I beaten stick with a creaking coop for a am writing) at the great sight of shining crown, the pivot round which most of this waters, of smiling fertile fields and country; little story turns. For when these holiday and of distant waters again, that separated people travelled away out of its reach, they them from the pale gliminering coast of the also passed out of my ken. We could see mainland. The straits, which lie between the beacon from most of our windows, the island and Broadshire, are not deserted through all the autumnal clematis and ivy like the horizon on the other side (it lies sprays falling and drifting about. The calm, and tossing, and self-sufficing, for the children loved the beacon, and their little coast is a dangerous one, and little frelives were one perpetual struggle to reach quented); but are crowded and alive with it, in despite of winds, of time of meals, of boats and white sails: slips go sliding past, tutors and lessons. The elders, too, loved yachts drift, and great brigs slowly travel it after their fashion. Had they not come in tow of the tiny steamer that crosses and and established themselves under the recrosses the water with letters and provishadow of High Down, where it had stood sions, and comers and goers and guests to as long as the oldest inhabitant could re- Ulles Hall and to the Lodge, where St. member! Lord Ulleskelf, in his yacht out Julian and his family live all through the at sea, was always glad to see the familiar summer-time; and where some of us indeed old stubby finger rising up out of the mist. remain the whole year round. My cousin, St. Julian the R. A., had 'made The little procession comes winding up a strange rough sketch of it, and of his wife the down, Lord Ulleskelf and the painter and her eldest daughter sitting beneath it; walking first, in broad-brimmed bats and and a sea, and a cloud horizon, grey, green, coats fashioned in the island, of a somewhat mysterious beyond. He had painted a looser and more comfortable cut than Londrapery over their heads, and young Emi- don coats. The tutor is with them. Mr. lia's arms round the stem. It was an awful Hexham, too, is with them; as I can see, a little picture Emilia the mother thought little puzzled and interested by the ways of when she saw it, and she begged her hus- us islanders. band to turn its, face to the wall in his As St. Julian talks his eyes flash, and he studio.
puts out one hand to emphasize what he is " Don't you see how limpid the water is, saying. He is not calm and self-contained and how the mist is transparent and drift- as one might imagine so great a painter, ing before the wind ?” St. Julian said. but a man of strong convictions, alive to Why do you object, you perverse wo- every life about liim and to every event.
His cordial heart and bright artistic nature The wife didn't answer, but her soft are quickly touched and moved. He becheeks flushed. Emilia the daughter spoke, lieves in his own genius, grasps at life as it a little frightened.
passes, and translates it into a strange They are like mourners, papa,” she quaint revelation of his own, and brings whispered.
others into his way of seeing things almost St. Julian shrugged his shoulders at by magic. But his charm is almost irresistthem. And this is a painter's wife!” he ible, and he knows it, and likes to know it. cried ; " and a painter's daughter !" But The time that he is best himself is when he be put the picture away, for he was too is at his painting; bis brown eyes are tender to pain them, and it lay now forgot-alight in his pale face, his thick grey
hair ten in a closet. This was two years ago, stands on end; he is a middle-aged man, before Emilia was married, or had come broad, firmly-knit, with a curly grey beard, home with her little son during her husband's active, mighty in his kingdom. He lets absence. She was carrying the child in her people in to his sacred temple; but he arms as she toiled up the hill in company makes them put their shoes olf, so to speak, with the others, a tender bright flush in her and will allow no word of criticism except face. Her little Bevis thinks it is he who is from one or two. In a moment his thick
brows knit, and the master turns upon the tively seemed to turn to his favourite unlucky victim.
daughter. The old tutor had a special and unlucky Hester's charm did not always strike peoknack of exciting St. “Julian's .ire. He ple at first sight. She was like some of teaches the boys as he taught St. Julian in those sweet simple tunes which haunt you bygone days, but ke cannot forget that he after you have heard them, or like some of is not always St. Julian's tutor, and con- those flowers of which the faint delicate stantly stings and irritates him with his scent only comes to you when you have caustic disappointed old wits. But St. Ju- waited for an instant. lian bears it all with admirable impatience Hexbam, for instance, until now had adfor the sake of old days and of age and mired Mrs. Beverley infinitely more than misfortune.
he did her sister. He thought Miss St. As they all climb the hill together on this Julian handsome certainly, but charmless; special day, the fathers go walking first, whereas the sweet, gentle young mother, then comes a pretty rout of maidens and whose wistful eyes seemed looking beyond children, and "Hexham's tall dark head the sunset, and trying in vain to reach the ainong them. Little Mona goes wandering distant world where her husband would by the edge of the cliff, with her long gleam- presently see it rise, appealed to every ing locks hanging in ripples not unlike those inanly feeling in his nature. But as the of the sea. The two elder girls had come father and daughter turned to each other, out with some bright-coloured scarfs tied something in the girl's face - a dim reflex round their necks; but finding them oppres- light from the pure bright soul within sive, they had pulled them off, and given seemed to touch him, to disclose a somethem to the boys to carry. These scarfs thing, I cannot tell you what. It seemed were now banners streaming in the air as to Hexham as if the scales had fallen sudthe boys attacked a tumulus, where the denly from his eyes, and as if in that instant peaceful bones of the bygone Danish invad- Hester was revealed to him. She moved ers were lying buried. The gay young on a little way with two of the children who voices echo across the heather calling to bad joined her. The young man followed each other.
her with his eyes, and almost started when Hester comes last with Mrs. William - some one spoke to him. Hester with the mysterious sweet eyes and As St. Julian walked on, he began mechanCrown of soft hair. It is not very thick, but ically to turn over possible effects and comlike a dark yet gleaming cloud about her binations in his mind. The great colourist pretty head. She is quite pale, but her lips understood better than any other, how to are bright carnation red, and when she lay his colours, luminous, harınonious, shinsmiles she blushes. Hester is tall, as are ing with the real light of nature, for they all the sisters, Emilia Beverley, and Aileen, were in conformity to her laws; and sudwho is only fifteen, but the tallest of the denly he spoke, turning to Hexbam, who was three. Aileen is walking a little ahead with a photographer, as I have said, and who inMrs. William's children, and driving them deed was now travelling in a gipsy fashion, away from the edge of the cliff, towards in search of subjects for his camera. which these little moths seem perpetually In many things,” he said, “my art can buzzing.
equal yours, but how helpless we both are The sun begins to set in a strange wild when we look at such scenes as these. It glory, and the light to flow along the heights; makes me sometimes mad to think that I am all these people look to one another like only a man with oil-pots attempting to rebeatified men and women. Ulleskelf and produce such wonders." St. Julian cease their discussion at last, and “ Fortunately they will reproduce themstand looking seawards.
selves whether you succeed or not,” said “Look at that band of fire on the sea," the tutor. St. Julian looked at him with said Lord Ulleskelf.
his bright eyes. The old man had spoken “What an evening vesper,” said St. Ju- quite simply. He did not mean to be rude, lian. “Hester, are you there?”
and the painter was silent. Hester was there, with sweet, wondering “My art is ' a game half of skill, half of sunset eyes. Her father put his hand fond chance," said Hexham. ** When both these ly on her shoulder. There was a sympa- divinities favour me I shall begin to think thy between the two which was very touch- myself repaid for the time and the money ing; they liked to admire together, to praise and the chemicals I have wasted.” together. In sorrow or trouble St. Julian “ Have you ever tried to photograph figlooked for his wife, in happiness he instinc- | ures in a full blaze of light ? ” Lord Ulles.
kelf asked, looking at Mona and his own beacon stood black against the ruddy sky: little girl standing with Hester, and shading a moon began to hang in the high faint their eyes from a bright stream that was heaven, and a bright star to pierce through playing like a halo about their heads. the daylight. There was something unconscious and Ulles Hall stands on the way from Tarlovely in the little group, with their white mouth to the Lodges: it is a lovely old draperies and flowing locks. A bunch of house standing among woods in a hollow, illumined berries and trailing creepers hung and blown by sea-breezes that come through from little Lady Millicent's hair: the light pine-stems and sweet green glades, starred of youth and of life, the sweet wondering with primroses in spring, and sprinkled with eyes, all went to make a more beautiful russet leaves in autumn.
The Lodges picture than graces or models could ever where St. Julian lives are built a mile attain to. St. Julian looked and smiled nearer to the sea. Houses built on the with Lord Ulleskelf.
roadside, but inclosed by tall banks and Hexham answered, a little distractedly, hedges, and with long green gardens runthat he should like to show Lord Ulleskelt ning to the down. They have been built the attempt he had once made. “Nature piece by piece. It would be difficult to deis a very uncertain sort of assistant,” he scribe them: a gable here, a wooden gallery added ; • and I, too, might exclaim, "Oh, thatched, a window twinkling in a bed of that I am but a man, with a bit of yellow ivy, hanging creepers, clematis and lovelipaper across my window, and a row of bot- est Virginian sprays reddening and drinktles on a shelf, trying to evoke life from the ing in the western light and reflecting it unfilm upon my glasses !! "
dimmed in their beautiful scarlet veins — “I think you are all of you talking very scarlet gold melting into green: one of the profanely," said Lord Ulleskelf, “ before rooms streams with light through stained all these children, and in such a sight as windows of a church.* this. But I shall be very glad to come down and look at your photographs, Mr. Hexham, to-morrow morning," he added,
As I reached the door with Mrs. William, fearing the young man might be hurt by his I saw a bustle of some sort, a fly, some
boxes, a man, a maid, a tall lady of about The firebrand in the still rippled sea seven or eight and twenty, dressed in the turned from flame to silver as the light very height of fashion, with a very tall hat changed and ebbed. The light on the sea and feather, whom I guessed at once to be seemed dimmer, but then the land caught Lady Jane. Mrs. William, who has not fire in turn, and trees and down and distant the good manners of the rest of the family, roof-tops blazed in this great illumination, shrunk back a little, saying, “I really and the shadows fell back upon the turf.
cannot face her: it's that Lady Jane;” but Here Mrs. William began saying in a at that moment Lady Jane, who was talking plaintive tone of voice that she was tired, in a loud querulous tone, suddenly eeased, and I offered to go back with her. Every- and turned round. body indeed was on the move, but we two
“Here is Mrs. St. Julian," said the flytook a shorter cut, while the others went man, and my dear mistress came out into home with the Ulleskelfs, turning down by a the garden to receive her guest. turn of the down towards the lane that leads “I am so glad you have come," I heard to Ulles Hall.
her say quietly; we had given you up, And so, having climbed up with some toil are you tired? Come in. Let the servant and effort to that beautiful' height, we all see to your luggage.”. She put out her began to descend once more into the white gentle hand, and I was ainused to see everyday of life, and turn from glowing seas Lady Jane's undisguised look of surprise : and calm sailing clouds to the thought of she had expected to meet with some bustcutlets and chickens. The girls had taken * A little child passing by in the road looked up back their scarfs and were running down one day at the Lodges, and said, " Oh, what pretty hill. Aileen was carrying one of Marga- think the robins must have made them." "I think
leaf houses! Oh, mother, do let us live there. I ret's children, Emilia Beverley had her little that is where we are going to. Mona.” said the Bevis in her arms, Hester was holding by mother. She was a poor young widowed cousin of her father's arın as they came back rather in and never let her go again out of the leaf house. silent, but satisfied and happy. The sounds she stayed and became a sort of friend, chaperone, from the village below began to reach us, tender friends and relations, if she were to attempt and the lights in the cottages and houses to to set down here all that she owes to them, to their twinklą; the cliffs rose higher and higher as warm, cordial hearts, and bright, sweet natures, it we descended our different ways. The old her mind to write to-day.
would make a story apart from the one she has in
ling, good-humoured housekeeper. Bevis Pritchard was a person who did not like had always praised his mother-in-law to her, to commit herself. Not that she wished to but Lady Jane had a way of not always lis- complain, but she would prefer her ladyship tening to what peop.e said, as she rambled to judge; it was not for her to say. She on in her own fashion; and now, having looked so mysteriously that Lady Jane ran fully made up her mind as to the sort of up the little winding stair that led to the person Mrs. St. Julian would be, Lady turret, and found a little white curtained Jane felt slightly aggrieved at her utter cbamber, with a pleasant, bright look-out dissimilarity to her preconceptions. She over land and sea. followed her into the house, with her high Why, this is a delightful room, Pritchbat stuck upon the top of her tall head, ard,” said Lady Jane. “I should like it walking in a slightly defiant manner. myself; it is most comfortable.”
“I thought Emilia would have been here “ Yes, my lady, I thought it was highly to receive me," said Lady Jane, not over comfortable,” said Pritchard ; " but it was pleased.
not for me to venture to say so." “I sent her out,” the mother said. Lady Jane was a little afraid of Mrs. St. thought you would let me be your hostess Julian's questionings. To tell the truth, for an hour. Will you come up into my she felt that she had been somewhat impruroom?"
dent; and though she was a person of Mrs. St. Julian led the way into the mature age and independence, yet she was drawing-room, where Lady Jane sank down not willing to resign entirely all pretensions into a chair, crossing her top-boots and to youthtul dependence, and she was detershaking out her skirts.
mined if possible not to mention Sigour“I am afraid there was a mistake about ney's name to her entertainers. Having meeting you,” said the hostess; the car-frizzed up her curling red locks, with Mrs. riage went, but only brought back Mr. Pritchard's assistance, shaken out her short Hexham and a message that you were not skirts, added a few more bracelets, tied on there."
a coroneted locket and girded in her tight “I fortunately met a friend on board,” silver waistband, she prepared to return to said Lady Jane, hurriedly. “ He got me a her hostess and her tea. She felt excessivefly; thank you, it did not signify." ly ill-used by Emilia's absence, but, as I
Lady Jane was not anxious to enter into have said, dared not complain for fear of particulars, and when Mrs. St. Julian went more questions as to the cause of her on to ask how it was she had had to wait so delay. long, the young lady abruptly said some- All along the passage were more odds thing about afternoon tea, asked to see her and ends, paintings, pictures, sketches room and to speak to her maid.
framed, a cabinet or two full of china. “Will you come back to me when you Lady Jane was too much used to the ways have given your orders ? ” said Mrs. St. of the world to mistake the real merit of Julian. “My cousin, Mrs. Campbell, will this beterogeneous collection; but she supshow you the way;"
posed that the artists made the things up, Lady Jane, with a haughty nod to poor or perhaps sold them again to advantage, Mrs. Campbell, followed with ber bigh head and that there was some meaning which up the quaint wooden stairs along the gal- would be presently explained for it all. lery, with its odd windows and slits, and What most impressed Lady Jane with a china, and ornaments.
feeling of respect for the inhabitants of the “ This is your room; I hope you will house was a huge Scotch sheep-dog, who find it comfortable,” said the liousekeeper, came slowly down the gallery to meet her, opening a door, through which came a flood and then passed on with a snuff and a wag of light.
of his tail. “Is that for my maid ?” asked Lady The door of the mistress's room, as it Jane, pointing to a large and very com- was called, was open; and as Lady Jane fortably furnished room just opposite to her followed her conductress in, she foun:l a own door.
second five-o'clock tea and a table spread " That room is Mr. Hexbam's," said with rolis and country butter and homeQueenie; "your maid's room leads out of made cake. A stream of western light was your dressing-room.” The arrangement flowing through the room and out into the seemed obvious, but Lady Jane was not gallery beyond, where the old majolica quite in a temper to be pleased.
plates flashed in the glitter of its sparkle. "Is it comfortable, Pritchard ? Shall The mistress herself was standing with her you be able to work there? I must speak back turned, looking out through the winabout it if you are not comfortable.” dow across the sea, and trying to compose