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of Englishmen. But one thing we countenance sometimes, as if I were always forget-how intensely some inferior to the female race. Knowpeople feel what to others is a flea- ing what she was, I was unable to bite. And the ankle is a very suppose that there could be any nasty place after all, though the depth in her beyond my undershot only just broke the skin, Hop- standing, so I said to myself, “Let mann says. You heard him claim her mind the milk. What can a the shot? Well, now he puts it sweet girl desire beyond that ?” upon me! However, he is quite To do good, to be kind, to be welcome, for the tale might go always cheerful, and to find their against him with his 'bagients.' happiness in making ours - that Ta, ta! I'm off to enquire for my was the proper thing, when I was Lord, and I always let him know young, for the rising generation of where I come from. Won't Hop- the better sex. Of our faults they mann make a fine thing out of this ! must have no knowledge, but be as I have lent him a trap and a man, hard as possible upon their own; to make the most of it.

The man

and in that particular they had drives like a fury and calls out to every help from their own sex, everybody, 'Can't stop-very sorry whose time was ripening into criti

- let them all know - the poor cism. Somehow or other they Hearl, he is in such hagony !' have changed all that, and flung Hopmann's new letter-box is full themselves far into the opposite already, and his hat is a hoarding extreme. of turnpike tickets."

Nothing could have made me “What a friend you are! What dwell upon su ittle things, una friend to have !" I exclaimed, as less there had been one of them he jumped upon his highly polished that was all the world to me. And horse, for Grace had tripped away while I was endeavouring to explain with a little turn of neck, which my sister to the clearest of my meant, “ Wouldn't you like to come understanding, and blaming her for with me?" And Stoneman was

my failure, there must have been hoping to get another glimpse from some other purpose behind, which the saddle over the palings. Ay, was even more than brotherly. I and he did so too, as the light in was able to give very good advice his eyes made clear to me.

to Jackson Stoneman, and he was A firm friend is likely to be a quite right in adopting it; but that faithful lover, and a true husband masterful inaction did not seem to when the gloss is off the love; but suit my case. What might be whether Grace had any sense of going on even now,

-that was the this, or even thought at all about great point for me to ascertain-in him, was more than I could say at a matter beyond all discretion or present. Quick of perception as cold comfort ? Saturday was come; she was, it seemed almost impos- and I had been attending, with a sible that she could have failed to grandeur of benevolence beyond all observe his attention, or it might praise, to a love-affair deeply interbe called his entire devotion to her. esting, but in which you might call Yet when I tried her with a lot of me a spectator only. Surely my little dodges, such as a brother must own state of puzzle was enough, have at command, if he wants to without trying to make dovetails of keep time with his sisters, she never another pair. turned a hair- as the sporting people Therefore, as soon as I had paid say—and she looked me out of the men, at three o'clock that after

was

on

-was

noon, which was the proper time, fever. Most of the men were gone, I saddled old Joe, and without a as their happy fashion word to Grace, who might think Saturday, to fetch good things of what she liked—let her mind her victualling—for no cart came down own affairs-off I set for St Wini- the valley — and other delights, fred's valley, where I knew an old which we are so glad to deny to shed that would entertain the horse. one another. Let this old fellow get enough to As I passed by a low ruined wall eat, which he might pull from the in the fog, I heard a click as of hayrick, and all time, all friends, some iron latch falling to, or flung any fatherland would be just alike to carelessly. This drew my attento him.

tion that way, and then a swish The days were drawing in very like the swing of a heavy cloak fast, and although the sun was on followed, and then I saw a tall man the shoulder of the hill, the sense coming from an angle in the wall of autumn and of night impending that had a roof to it. At the had taken the cheer and the warmth moment I was walking rather fast, away, and saddened the dignity of and if I had continued at that

pace, the trees. My heart was beating my elbow and the stranger's might fast, yet low, as I hurried down the have struck one another; for he was slope from the lonely shed: fast also walking fast, and his coursewith some foolish jerks of hope that to use one of Slemmick's words any corner might show Dariel ; yet

“slantindicular” to mine. low, as every corner went its way, He had not yet descried me, by without any sign of my darling reason of the wall, and feeling that When I came to the ruined chapel, he had no right on these premises, and peeped in, discovering only I drew back, and let him get in solitude, so flurried and tremulous front of me. For I was never at was my condition—a most unusual all comfortable about things here, state for me—that the Lesghian since my interview with Nicolo. chief, if he saw me thus, might Keeping my distance carefully, I fairly think that some mischief from followed that man towards the the old wound was at work inside. buildings, while I tried to make To recover myself and appear before out enough of him to learn his him in a decent manner, I crossed rank and age, and anything else the brook by a fallen tree, and that could be known. If he were wandered into the gloomy wood, to turn and resent my vigilance, where the old approach had lost its gladly would I have it out with way; and here I lingered so long him ; for a little fight, even if I that dusk was deepening into dark- got the worst of it, would have ness when I crossed the lonely been a comfort to my bruised spirit stream again.

then. But the fellow never turned, Fearing that Sûr Imar might and seemed to be quite indifferent suppose me to be careless, and hav- whether there was any one to heed ing recovered my self-command in him. As for his appearance, I could right of much moralising, I entered make out very little, except that by the lower door, and walked across he was not an Englishman. Dark the

grass towards the quarters where as it was, I could have sworn to the people lived. All was quiet, that; whether by his walk, or dress, dull, and foggy, darker than the or figure, or what else, I cannot say land outside, and damp enough to —but at any rate he was a foreigner give love itself a touch of rheumatic -and I could almost answer for it

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that on his hip was swung a sword, which philosophers in mutinous inwhich would have made short work gratitude deny-came to my aid,

, of me, had he been so desirous. and calmed me with the sense of

Instead of entering the passage duty which his name inspires. of grey flint wbich led to the house- And now the two dogs, breathing holds of the colony, the man I was calmly again, and with their tails following turned to the right, where high-masted, came to apologise for the wall curved in towards the that trimming which even they had upper door. Kuban and Orla, who learned towards their dearest friend. dwelled for the best of their time Here was something genial; and I in this part of the premises, came forgave them, because I might have forth and looked at him without a done the

same,

if touched with single sniff; and then lowered their equal insight. tails, and crawled away.

" What “I will get to the bottom of a villain he must be !” thought I; this,” thought I, “ though the “they know him, but would rather scoundrel has put the wall between not even speak to him.”

us." For I knew not at all how But the impression he had made to open that door, even if it seemed upon them was far beyond this. desirable. With a quick step, thereTo my surprise, they condemned fore, I retraced my course, while the entire human race for the mo- Kuban and Orla came after me, ment, reasoning (as we must have sniffing my track with happy puffs, taught them to do) from the par- to be sure of something wholesome. ticular to the universal. For when

For when Keeping clear of the dwellings, I I passed and held out my hand, went back along the wall, to innot a word would they have to say vestigate the corner, from which to me, which perhaps was the better that demon of mystery had emerged. for my safety. Then as I followed What superstition can there be with my temper rising, and resolved in a Winchester and New College to bring the man to book as he man, who has eaten for the Bar, unbarred the door, what did he do and knows something of Stockbut with one great vault gain that brokers, and as much as is good coign of reconnaissance where the of Solicitors ? But it is better to watch-dog loved to sit, and plunge avoid such subjects now. from it into the world beyond, with Both dogs lay down at a certain some strange headgear shown be- spot, where a narrow track just tween the battlements, and then a visible across the grass began ; clank of hard metal, and a heavy perhaps they were forbidden to flap of ivy.

come further down that way. But I have often been surprised, as I went on, treading gingerly, until every man must be, who lives to I was stopped by a pair of wirefull growth upon this wondrous doors. It was rather dark still, earth; but this time my astonish- but not so murky as it had been, ment went quite beyond its powers. for the moon began to lift herself Every one had always taken me a little through the mist. As her for a great jumper, but, to save my faint light came glimmering over

, life, I could never have done that. the black wall, I began to see what I stood, and looked up into the the little structure was, and how it darkness of the sky, as if for some was sheltered and protected overwitness to confirm my doubtful head. Dariel had told me that she eyes; and then a deep conviction was very fond of birds, and had of the existence of the Devil some beauties of her own; and no doubt this was where she kept baffled me in quest of a sweet them. Now if that hateful fellow glance from her eyes. Every now with the strange headgear came out and then, I caught a glimpse of a of this enclosure, as appeared too very delicate and straight nose (the manifest, it was equally plain that beauty of which has never been surhe must have been inside it; and passed), and once or twice there what could he be doing in this came into view the perfection of a aviary so late, unless the fair owner chin, a soft harmony conducting herself were there?

from the roses of the lips to the My wrath and indignation knew lilies of the neck. All this was no bounds. If I were being treated very lovely, and my heart was wild in this perfidious way, what steps about it; though my mind was could be too strong or too insidious, fierce the other way, that none was if they led to the confusion of the ever to be mine. For whom had traitors? Though the dogs were she arrayed herself in that homicidal as silent as if they were carved in beauty? stone, I went back to them and

while I was grinding my threatened them with quick and teeth and wrinkling my forehead painful death, if they dared to en- into wirework, she softly turned quire into my proceedings. Then her gentle face, and my rage was by a little reconnoitreing I found gone as darkness flies when the a corner of the netting which formed quiet moon arises. There were the outer fence, from which I could great tears rolling, and wet eyes see into the inner room, which had beaming, and the pity of a world been impossible from the gate. I of sadness speaking in the elocould have opened that gate perhaps, quence of a silent mouth. Also but not without noise enough to with love's vaticination I seemed attract attention ; and now I could to discover terror there, and the see as well as if I were inside, for call for some strong form to shield the wire-mesh made no difference. her from troubles and dangers menAt the end of the room which acing.

" There has been no flirtawas nearest to me, and only a few tion here,” thought I.

" What a yards from the corner I had found, jealous fool I am! In this there sat Dariel herself, with a purple must be some dark distress. How cloak on, or

a mantle, or jacket could I think so of my Dariel ! -I never know the proper words, And when I beheld the next thing and it makes no difference, except she did, my self - reproach grew to women. Of the colour, I could deeper. not be sure by that light; except For she opened the curve of her that it was deep, and rich, and left palm, slowly and softly in grand, and her white neck shone fear of rash release, keeping the forth it, like a hyacinth from dark fingers of the other hand in readitulips. There were two candles ness for repression ; and there I burning on a rustic round table, saw, with his green fluff panting and she, with her forehead gleam- in a velvet cradle, a small bird of ing softly, kept her left hand partly bright plumage, with enquiring closed, while the other hand went eyes regarding her. He seemed to round and round as if it were know her for his best friend, and winding something slowly upon though taken aback by misfortune, some little object which I could to trust this member of the human not see; for around it fell the race to do all that mankind could shadowy tresses which had so often do for him.

Made of hard stuff as I am, I do ity. That fellow had done it, that not feel ashamed to say, that the miscreant whom even the dogs of pity which is in all of us, drew his native land abhorred—Prince straws from the candle and made Hafer had broken the pretty lovebars along the mist, when I saw bird's leg! A rapid conclusion of what the girl I loved had done. mine, but the right one ; as became That poor little bird had a broken manifest, before many days had leg, newly broken by violence, and passed. Dariel had been gently binding the Blessedness and bitterness at once splintered shank together, with cot- possessed me. Would she ever acton wool and a reel of silk, as I cept such a wicked beast as that? could see on the table, and a strip And when should I have the deof cane from a chair hard by; and light of breaking—not his leg, that now she was shaking one finger at would not be half enough, but the him, to let him know that fluttering haughty head that he was carrying is no remedy for affliction.

so high? I felt the black fury of But why did she cry so? She the Caucasus itself rising in a breast ought to be smiling and looking of the quiet Surrey stock. Cruelty glad, when the little chap's mate to anything that lives is loathsome ; flew down so kindly, and perched but cruelty to a little trusting pet, on the reel of silk to comfort him, lent us by the Father to teach us and then fluttered round and round loving-kindness, and that pet the him with her wings drooped down, darling of a sweet and gentle and a tenderness of cooing which maiden! One more look at heralmost set him on his legs again; she has put him to his roost in a for they were a pair of what are soft warm corner where he can make called "lovebirds," of whom, if one no pretence to hop, but the partner hops the final twig, the other pines of his pain can feed him. into the darkness and dies. So at But I must be off, for I dare not least the story of the bird-men

goes,
intrude

upon
her quiet sorrow,

and although that excess of fidelity perhaps I had no right to watch may be beyond the faith of other her as I did ; but I meant no harm,

and the pretty sight has been a Tell me not that love is blind. lesson of goodwill to me.

Now for It has the swiftest of all sight. It her noble father's room! I ought flies to its conclusion straighter to have been there long ago. What than the truest lovebird.

I saw

will he say to me? But whatever why Dariel could not smile at the it may be, what I say of his beautisuccess of her own skill: the tears ful child is this—“She on her cheeks were not of pity than any angel; she is a tenderonly, but of anger at human brutal- hearted woman.

men.

more

CHAPTER XIX. TO CLEAR THE WAY.

The manners and customs of that stance, who could blame them for little colony, or settlement, or camp, their rational practice of leaving or whatever it should be called — hard work to Occidental races ? for I never found out the right They did a stroke or two when name for it — differed from ours they could not help it, just to keep very widely, some better no doubt, their bodies sound; but the chief and some worse perhaps. For in- and commander, as we too expect,

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