Page images
PDF
EPUB

regular features, a clear complexion|A streamlet by the way-side reflected softly colored, and a form of matchless them in its clear surface, except where symmetry and grace. No wonder the it fumed and fretted around the stones young men looked on in profound ad- in its channel, and murmured in harmiration, for even the gay saloons of mony with the voices of birds, the soft London could furnish few such beauties. breezes and the distant tinklings of the She came on, swinging her parasol upon flock. They came in sight of the strange her shoulder and plucking as she pass- beauty just where the woods ceased, ed some of the fresh wild roses that and a broad bare common stretched grew in the shade of the beech trees. out to the sky. There was a hill in A soft, sweet murmur came thrilling front, with sparse, stunted bushes growover the clover to the ears of the two ing on it, and beyond that the land fell young men. It was low, but clear and into a circular hollow, which held a poor mellow as the pipings of the nightin- and mean-looking cottage in its centre. gale. She had passed before they The yellow thatching of the roof almost recognized the familiar little song she touched the ground behind, and in front was humming-80 much fascination it projected over the low door and was there in the sound of the voice shaded a bench whereon a man sat that the air and the words were hardly binding fagots. A sink of stagnant noticed.

water was near the house with a few Ensign Vallance gave a sigh when spare ducks waddling about it, and a she had passed out of sight, as if his flock of geese was performing evolutions strength had been taxed to support the on the hill-top with their wings in the interest he had felt.

wind. “What do you think of her ? ” he The watchers hesitated, and finally asked.

came to a stand-still. The lady, how“Think of her, Vallance? By Jove, ever, passed over the hill, and after that is a surprise. But I say, my boy, skirting a pool she went on to the cotwhere can this wood-nymph dwell, I tage in the hollow. wonder. What do you say to taking “That can hardly be the nest of a stroll up this way, so that one can such a bird,” said Ensign Vallance. keep the blooming immortal in sight?" "I wonder who she is, Cholmondeley ?”

Vallance was on his feet in an instant, “I have not the most remote idea, and without further parley the two my dear fellow. Perhaps Duffield young patricians hurried up the dusty may know.

the dusty may know. We will ask him, at any road to regain a glimpse of the rustic rate.” beauty. Their way was a pleasant They did question the steward that one. Stately trees bordered it on one day at dinner about the lady they had side, and on the other wide fields of seen. oats and barley stretched away to brown “Oh, I suspect it was Miss Grace hedges with shadows crossing them O'Connor,” said he. “The daughter and trembling on their fitful, waving of Robert O'Connor, a rich old fellow gold. A few flecks of spotless gossamer in these parts, but the proudest devil trembled upon the open sky of blue. of a Papist I ever met.

Would you

[graphic][subsumed]

“She strolled along toward the cottage in the hollow."-C'holmondeley's Cure.

1

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

believe it, he had the impudence to Hang it, old fellow, that would be meddle in the management of your altogether too prosy for such a meloestates, sir. I have more than once dramatic atmosphere as

we breathe found him breeding discontent among here. Just remember the cold blooded the tenantry.”

formality of such a thing. Master of George thought of the conversation Ballygavin gets into lumbering state he had overheard the morning after coach-stops at Mr. Robert O'Connor's his arrival, and as he fixed his eyes --card sent up—Mr. Robert wishes the upon Duffield he asked in a short, Master of B. at Jericho but comes down abrupt way.

all smiles and bows-talks politics and " Had he no cause ?”

popular grievance-opens wine-inThe steward read his face before troduces Miss O'Connor-model girl, replying; he felt that he had inadver- plays nicely, talks opera, society, and tently said too much.”

the poor heathen-no, she's a Papist, “Cause," said he laughing; "cause, now that I remember, and I would be indeed; why, sir, this Robert O'Connor spared the poor heathen. But, Valwould discover a grievance in Paradise. lance, that is what a call would amount I fancy that if he ever gets there he to. I don't relish such a venture.” will publish pamphlets and make Well, my dear fellow, what do you speeches about the people's wrongs, if propose to do ?” he has the facilities. Bliss for O'Connor “ Masquerade. Do you see ?" would consist in an uninterrupted at- “ Hanged if I do." tention on the part of the celestials to “ Adopt an incognito." his own peculiar views."

“ I'm still unequal to the conun“He is a demagogue, then ?" drum.”

“ Yes and no. He is a demagogue, “Why, Vallance, what I mean is to inasmuch as he always is prodding at pick an acquaintance under an assome popular sore. But he never sumed character.” Play countryman, comes forward as a public speaker, nor beggar, anything at all. There would does he take active part in the politics be fun in that adventure. Wouldn't of the county.”

there?" “He is an odd fish,” Cholmondeley “Ah, I see now.

In her ear he said, when he rose from the table. whispers gayly,' so and so, and all

A few days after this, Cholmondeley that down to Harry Vane was Lord took Vallance by the button-hole, as of Bromley." he lounged about the small but neat “A good idea, Cholmondeley. No garden of the castle.

end of fun in it. When does ye in“Vallance," said he “I am going to visible prince set out on his advenknow that girl, that Grace O'Connor.” ture ?”

“ Yes?” said the ensign, “going to Cholmondeley laughed. “Oh, the visit the venerable parent with the sooner the better,” said he, “I have grievances? He must be a rare bore, I seen Miss O'Connor going to that mean judge.”

little shanty beyond the park. I shall “No, I am not going to do that. meet her there. By the by, I wonder

a

what brings her to such a place. I “God save you kindly,” said the shall investigate that too."

woman, bustling up as he stopped beThat afternoon Ensign Vallance was fore her. “Will you stop and rest a observed by Matty the milkmaid bit ?” escorting a tramp of a fellow along the “I will that, for I'm sore tired. It's edge of the park.

a fine day.” “It's quare company the sojer gintle- “It's fair weather," said the woman, man's keepin',” thought she. “I niver still looking curiously at her visitor. saw them gintry spakin' to a mane-Cholmondeley felt unpleasant.

He lookin' crayther like that before." saw that his assumption of the brogue Matty little knew that the “mane-look- was a failure, and he determined ing crayther” in the baggy clothes was to change it gradually to ordinary her aristocratic master, the Honorable plain speech. As he was talking he George Barrisford Cholmondeley. arranged a story in his head about

“I wish you success, old boy,” being a journeyman in search of emEnsign Vallance called after him when ployment. they parted. Then he said to himself, “Och, it's hard the times are on “Cholmondeley is up to all sorts of poor people like us,” said the woman; larks. I wonder has that girl touched "and God knows we

resave little a soft spot in his heart. By Jove, she's enough kindness from thim that ought pretty enough. And the ensign strolled to show it. Here's meself wid the off to smoke his cigar in peace.

childre' widout a bite and my man down Cholmondeley went on over the hill wid the sickness and not able to do a and down to the cottage in the hollow. hand's turn. And, would you belave It was a far more wretched place than it, Grinding Duffield has ordhered us he had thought. The walls were twice. to lave this poor roof in the bulging outward and abounded in course o' the week. One of his min crevices choked with mud.

There was

was here before you came, to see if a look of desolation on the bare heather poor Patrick was able to be moved. in front and the garden patch behind, It's hard to think that afther all the where a hedge-row lay trodden down pains we've tuk wid this slip o' land and broken. In the door a pale it's to be taken from us when we need woman was sitting at a wheel, spinning it most." flax, a couple of small children with " You don't mean to tell me that scant but clean dresses on them, played Duffield is going to dispossess—turn on the floor.

you out, I mean." The woman looked “Good morning, my good woman,” up and saw that the stranger's handsaid Cholmondeley, trying to assume an some face was flushed. He had almost Irish brogue, but with little success. forgotten himself in his haste.

The woman looked at him with a “Indeed himself is going to do it, surprised, amused face. The incognito's bad scran to him. But thin they say get up” contrasted strangely with that he's only doin' the young masther's his handsome features and trim mous- biddin. God knows, a fine gintleman tache.

like him might have other consarns than

« PreviousContinue »