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The Man Between by Amelia E. Barr

Part 3 out of 5

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had now nothing to hope for in the way of
money. Madam's apparently spontaneous
and truthful assertion, that the Judge cared
nothing for Rawdon Court, was, however,
very satisfactory to him. He had been foolish
enough to think that the thing he desired
so passionately was of equal value in the
estimation of others. He saw now that he was
wrong, and he then remembered that he had
never found Judge Rawdon to evince either
interest or curiosity about the family home.

If he had been a keen observer, the Judge's
face when he called might have given his
comfortable feelings some pause. It was contracted,
subtle, intricate, but he came forward
with a congratulation on Mostyn's improved
appearance. "A few weeks at the seaside
would do you good," he added, and Mostyn
answered, "I think of going to Newport for
a month."

"And then?"

"I want your opinion about that. McLean
advises me to see the country--to go to Chicago,
St. Louis, Denver, cross the Rockies,
and on to California. It seems as if that
would be a grand summer programme. But
my lawyer writes me that the man in charge
at Mostyn is cutting too much timber and is
generally too extravagant. Then there is the
question of Rawdon Court. My finances will
not let me carry the mortgage on it longer,
unless I buy the place."

"Are you thinking of that as probable?"

"Yes. It will have to be sold. And Mostyn
seems to be the natural owner after Rawdon.
The Mostyns have married Rawdons
so frequently that we are almost like one
family, and Rawdon Court lies, as it were,
at Mostyn's gate. The Squire is now old,
and too easily persuaded for his own welfare,
and I hear the Tyrrel-Rawdons have been
visiting him. Such a thing would have been
incredible a few years ago."

"Who are the Tyrrel-Rawdons? I have
no acquaintance with them."

"They are the descendants of that Tyrrel-
Rawdon who a century ago married a handsome
girl who was only an innkeeper's
daughter. He was of course disowned and
disinherited, and his children sank to the
lowest social grade. Then when power-loom
weaving was introduced they went to the
mills, and one of them was clever and saved
money and built a little mill of his own, and
his son built a much larger one, and made a
great deal of money, and became Mayor of
Leeds. The next generation saw the Tyrrel-
Rawdons the largest loom-lords in Yorkshire.
One of the youngest generation was my opponent
in the last election and beat me--a
Radical fellow beats the Conservative candidate
always where weavers and spinners hold
the vote but I thought it my duty to uphold
the Mostyn banner. You know the Mostyns
have always been Tories and Conservatives."

"Excuse me, but I am afraid I am ignorant
concerning Mostyn politics. I take little interest
in the English parties."

"Naturally. Well, I hope you will take an
interest in my affairs and give me your advice
about the sale of Rawdon Court."

"I think my advice would be useless. In
the first place, I never saw the Court. My
father had an old picture of it, which has
somehow disappeared since his death, but I
cannot say that even this picture interested
me at all. You know I am an American, born
on the soil, and very proud of it. Then, as
you are acquainted with all the ins and outs
of the difficulties and embarrassments, and I
know nothing at all about them, you would
hardly be foolish enough to take my opinion
against your own. I suppose the Squire is
in favor of your buying the Court?"

"I never named the subject to him. I
thought perhaps he might have written to
you on the matter. You are the last male of
the house in that line."

"He has never written to me about the
Court. Then, I am not the last male. From
what you say, I think the Tyrrel-Rawdons
could easily supply an heir to Rawdon."

"That is the thing to be avoided. It would
be a great offense to the county families."

"Why should they be considered? A
Rawdon is always a Rawdon."

"But a cotton spinner, sir! A mere mill-
owner!"

"Well, I do not feel with you and the
other county people in that respect. I think
a cotton spinner, giving bread to a thousand
families, is a vastly more respectable and
important man than a fox-hunting, idle landlord.
A mill-owning Rawdon might do a deal of
good in the sleepy old village of Monk-Rawdon."

"Your sentiments are American, not English,
sir."

"As I told you, we look at things from
very different standpoints."

"Do you feel inclined to lift the mortgage
yourself, Judge?"

"I have not the power, even if I had the
inclination to do so. My money is well invested,
and I could not, at this time, turn bonds and
securities into cash without making a sacrifice
not to be contemplated. I confess, however,
that if the Court has to be sold, I should
like the Tyrrel-Rawdons to buy it. I dare
say the picture of the offending youth is still
in the gallery, and I have heard my mother
say that what is another's always yearns for
its lord. Driven from his heritage for Love's
sake, it would be at least interesting if Gold
gave back to his children what Love lost
them."

"That is pure sentiment. Surely it would
be more natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons. We have, as it were,
bought the right with at least a dozen
intermarriages."

"That also is pure sentiment. Gold at
last will carry the succession."

"But not your gold, I infer?"

"Not my gold; certainly not."

"Thank you for your decisive words
They make my course clear."

"That is well. As to your summer movements,
I am equally unable to give you advice.
I think you need the sea for a month,
and after that McLean's scheme is good.
And a return to Mostyn to look after your
affairs is equally good. If I were you, I
should follow my inclinations. If you put
your heart into anything, it is well done and
enjoyed; if you do a thing because you think
you ought to do it, failure and disappointment
are often the results. So do as you want
to do; it is the only advice I can offer you."

"Thank you, sir. It is very acceptable. I
may leave for Newport to-morrow. I shall
call on the ladies in the morning."

"I will tell them, but it is just possible
that they, too, go to the country to-morrow,
to look after a little cottage on the Hudson
we occupy in the summer. Good-by, and
I hope you will soon recover your usual
health."

Then the Judge lifted his hat, and with a
courteous movement left the room. His face
had the same suave urbanity of expression,
but he could hardly restrain the passion in
his heart. Placid as he looked when he entered
his house, he threw off all pretenses as
soon as he reached his room. The Yorkshire
spirit which Ethel had declared found him out
once in three hundred and sixty-four days
and twenty-three hours was then in full pos-
session. The American Judge had disappeared.
He looked as like his ancestors as
anything outside of a painted picture could
do. His flushed face, his flashing eyes, his
passionate exclamations, the stamp of his
foot, the blow of his hand, the threatening
attitude of his whole figure was but a replica
of his great-grandfather, Anthony Rawdon,
giving Radicals at the hustings or careless
keepers at the kennels "a bit of his mind."

"`Mostyn, seems to be the natural owner
of Rawdon! Rawdon Court lies at Mostyn's
gate! Natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons! Bought the right by a
dozen intermarriages!' Confound the impudent
rascal! Does he think I will see
Squire Rawdon rogued out of his home? Not
if I can help it! Not if Ethel can help it!
Not if heaven and earth can help it! He's
a downright rascal! A cool, unruffled, impudent
rascal!" And these ejaculations were
followed by a bitter, biting, blasting hailstorm
of such epithets as could only be written
with one letter and a dash.

But the passion of imprecation cooled and
satisfied his anger in this its first impetuous
outbreak, and he sat down, clasped the arms
of his chair, and gave himself a peremptory
order of control. In a short time he rose,
bathed his head and face in cold water, and
began to dress for dinner. And as he stood
before the glass he smiled at the restored
color and calm of his countenance.

"You are a prudent lawyer," he said
sarcastically. "How many actionable words
have you just uttered! If the devil and Fred
Mostyn have been listening, they can, as
mother says, `get the law on you'; but I
think Ethel and I and the law will be a match
even for the devil and Fred Mostyn." Then,
as he slowly went downstairs, he repeated to
himself, "Mostyn seems to be the natural
owner of Rawdon. No, sir, neither natural
nor legal owner. Rawdon Court lies at Mostyn
gate. Not yet. Mostyn lies at Rawdon
gate. Natural that the Mostyns should succeed
the Rawdons. Power of God! Neither
in this generation nor the next."

And at the same moment Mostyn, having
thought over his interview with Judge Rawdon,
walked thoughtfully to a window and
muttered to himself: "Whatever was the
matter with the old man? Polite as a courtier,
but something was wrong. The room
felt as if there was an iceberg in it, and
he kept his right hand in his pocket. I be-
lieve he was afraid I would shake hands with
him--it is Ethel, I suppose. Naturally he is
disappointed. Wanted her at Rawdon. Well,
it is a pity, but I really cannot! Oh, Dora!
Dora! My heart, my hungry and thirsty
heart calls you! Burning with love, dying
with longing, I am waiting for you!"

The dinner passed pleasantly enough, but
both Ethel and Ruth noticed the Judge was
under strong but well-controlled feeling.
While servants were present it passed for
high spirits, but as soon as the three were
alone in the library, the excitement took at
once a serious aspect.

"My dears," he said, standing up and
facing them, "I have had a very painful interview
with Fred Mostyn. He holds a mortgage
over Rawdon Court, and is going to
press it in September--that is, he proposes
to sell the place in order to obtain his money
--and the poor Squire!" He ceased speaking,
walked across the room and back again,
and appeared greatly disturbed.

"What of the Squire?" asked Ruth.

"God knows, Ruth. He has no other
home."

"Why is this thing to be done? Is there
no way to prevent it?"

"Mostyn wants the money, he says, to invest
in American securities. He does not.
He wants to force a sale, so that he may buy
the place for the mortgage, and then either
keep it for his pride, or more likely resell it
to the Tyrrel-Rawdons for double the money."
Then with gradually increasing passion he
repeated in a low, intense voice the remarks
which Mostyn had made, and which had so
infuriated the Judge. Before he had finished
speaking the two women had caught his temper
and spirit. Ethel's face was white with
anger, her eyes flashing, her whole attitude
full of fight. Ruth was troubled and sorrowful,
and she looked anxiously at the Judge
for some solution of the condition. It was
Ethel who voiced the anxiety. "Father,"
she asked, "what is to be done? What can
you do?"

"Nothing, I am sorry to say, Ethel. My
money is absolutely tied up--for this year,
at any rate. I cannot touch it without wronging
others as well as myself, nor yet without
the most ruinous sacrifice."

"If I could do anything, I would not care
at what sacrifice."

"You can do all that is necessary, Ethel,
and you are the only person who can. You
have at least eight hundred thousand dollars
in cash and negotiable securities. Your
mother's fortune is all yours, with its legitimate
accruements, and it was left at your
own disposal after your twenty-first birthday.
It has been at your own disposal WITH
MY CONSENT since your nineteenth birthday."

"Then, father, we need not trouble about
the Squire. I wish with all my heart to make
his home sure to him as long as he lives. You
are a lawyer, you know what ought to be
done."

"Good girl! I knew what you would say
and do, or I should not have told you the
trouble there was at Rawdon. Now, I propose
we all make a visit to Rawdon Court, see
the Squire and the property, and while there
perfect such arrangements as seem kindest
and wisest. Ruth, how soon can we be ready
to sail?"

"Father, do you really mean that we are
to go to England?"

"It is the only thing to do. I must see that
all is as Mostyn says. I must not let you
throw your money away."

"That is only prudent," said Ruth, "and
we can be ready for the first steamer if you
wish it."

"I am delighted, father. I long to see
England; more than all, I long to see Rawdon.
I did not know until this moment how
much I loved it."

"Well, then, I will have all ready for us
to sail next Saturday. Say nothing about it
to Mostyn. He will call to-morrow morning
to bid you good-by before leaving for Newport
with McLean. Try and be out."

"I shall certainly be out," said Ethel.
"I do not wish ever to see his face again, and
I must see grandmother and tell her what we
are going to do."

"I dare say she guesses already. She advised
me to ask you about the mortgage. She
knew what you would say."

"Father, who are the Tyrrel-Rawdons?"

Then the Judge told the story of the young
Tyrrel-Rawdon, who a century ago had lost
his world for Love, and Ethel said "she
liked him better than any Rawdon she had
ever heard of."

"Except your father, Ethel."

"Except my father; my dear, good father.
And I am glad that Love did not always make
them poor. They must now be rich, if they
want to buy the Court."

"They are rich manufacturers. Mostyn
is much annoyed that the Squire has begun
to notice them. He says one of the grandsons
of the Tyrrel-Rawdons, disinherited for
love's sake, came to America some time in
the forties. I asked your grandmother if
this story was true. She said it is quite true;
that my father was his friend in the matter,
and that it was his reports about America
which made them decide to try their fortune
in New York."

"Does she know what became of him?"

"No. In his last letter to them he said he
had just joined a party going to the gold
fields of California. That was in 1850. He
never wrote again. It is likely he perished
on the terrible journey across the plains.
Many thousands did."

"When I am in England I intend to call
upon these Tyrrel-Rawdons. I think I shall
like them. My heart goes out to them. I am
proud of this bit of romance in the family."

"Oh, there is plenty of romance behind
you, Ethel. When you see the old Squire
standing at the entrance to the Manor House,
you may see the hags of Cressy and Agincourt,
of Marston and Worcester behind him.
And the Rawdon women have frequently been
daughters of Destiny. Many of them have
lived romances that would be incredible if
written down. Oh, Ethel, dear, we cannot,
we cannot for our lives, let the old home fall
into the hands of strangers. At any rate, if
on inspection we think it wrong to interfere,
I can at least try and get the children of the
disinherited Tyrrel back to their home. Shall
we leave it at this point for the present?"

This decision was agreeable to all, and
then the few preparations necessary for the
journey were talked over, and in this happy
discussion the evening passed rapidly. The
dream of Ethel's life had been this visit to
the home of her family, and to go as its savior
was a consummation of the pleasure that
filled her with loving pride. She could not
sleep for her waking dreams. She made all
sorts of resolutions about the despised Tyrrel-
Rawdons. She intended to show the
proud, indolent world of the English land-
aristocracy that Americans, just as well born
as themselves, respected business energy and
enterprise; and she had other plans and
propositions just as interesting and as full of
youth's impossible enthusiasm.

In the morning she went to talk the subject
over with her grandmother. The old
lady received the news with affected indif-
ference. She said, "It mattered nothing
to her who sat in Rawdon's seat; but she
would not hear Mostyn blamed for seeking
his right. Money and sentiment are no kin,"
she added, "and Fred has no sentiment about
Rawdon. Why should he? Only last summer
Rawdon kept him out of Parliament,
and made him spend a lot of money beside.
He's right to get even with the family if he
can."

"But the old Squire! He is now----"

"I know; he's older than I am. But
Squire Percival has had his day, and Fred
would not do anything out of the way to
him--he could not; the county would make
both Mostyn and Rawdon very uncomfortable
places to live in, if he did."

"If you turn a man out of his home when
he is eighty years old, I think that is `out of
the way.' And Mr. Mostyn is not to be
trusted. I wouldn't trust him as far as I
could see him."

"Highty-tighty! He has not asked you
to trust him. You lost your chance there,
miss."

"Grandmother, I am astonished at you!"

"Well, it was a mean thing to say, Ethel;
but I like Fred, and I see the rest of my
family are against him. It's natural for
Yorkshire to help the weakest side. But
there, Fred can do his own fighting, I'll warrant.
He's not an ordinary man."

"I'm sorry to say he isn't, grandmother.
If he were he would speak without a drawl,
and get rid of his monocle, and not pay such
minute attention to his coats and vests and
walking sticks."

Then Ethel proceeded to explain her resolves
with regard to the Tyrrel-Rawdons.
"I shall pay them the greatest attention,"
she said. "It was a noble thing in young
Tyrrel-Rawdon to give up everything for
honorable love, and I think everyone ought
to have stood by him."

"That wouldn't have done at all. If Tyrrel
had been petted as you think he ought to
have been, every respectable young man and
woman in the county would have married
where their fancy led them; and the fancies
of young people mostly lead them to the road
it is ruin to take."

"From what Fred Mostyn says, Tyrrel's
descendants seem to have taken a very respectable
road."

"I've nothing to say for or against them.
It's years and years since I laid eyes on any
of the family. Your grandfather helped one
of the young men to come to America, and
I remember his mother getting into a passion
about it. She was a fat woman in a
Paisley shawl and a love-bird on her bonnet.
I saw his sister often. She weighed about
twelve stone, and had red hair and red
cheeks and bare red elbows. She was called
a `strapping lass.' That is quite a complimentary
term in the West Riding."

"Please, grandmother, I don't want to
hear any more. In two weeks I shall be able
to judge for myself. Since then there have
been two generations, and if a member of
the present one is fit for Parliament----"

"That's nothing. We needn't look for
anything specially refined in Parliament in
these days. There's another thing. These
Tyrrel-Rawdons are chapel people. The rector
of Rawdon church would not marry Tyrrel
to his low-born love, and so they went to
the Methodist preacher, and after that to the
Methodist chapel. That put them down, more
than you can imagine here in America."

"It was a shame! Methodists are most
respectable people."

"I'm saying nothing contrary."

"The President is a Methodist."

"I never asked what he was. I am a
Church of England woman, you know that.
Born and bred in the Church, baptized,
confirmed, and married in the Church, and I
was always taught it was the only proper
Church for gentlemen and gentlewomen to be
saved in. However, English Methodists often
go back to the Church when they get rich."

"Church or chapel makes no difference to
me, grandmother. If people are only good."

"To be sure; but you won't be long in England
until you'll find out that some things
make a great deal of difference. Do you
know your father was here this morning?
He wanted me to go with you--a likely,
thing."

"But, grandmother, do come. We will
take such good care of you, and----"

"I know, but I'd rather keep my old
memories of Yorkshire than get new-fashioned
ones. All is changed. I can tell that
by what Fred says. My three great friends
are dead. They have left children and grandchildren,
of course, but I don't want to make
new acquaintances at my age, unless I have
the picking of them. No, I shall get Miss
Hillis to go with me to my little cabin on the
Jersey coast. We'll take our knitting and
the fresh novels, and I'll warrant we'll see
as much of the new men and women in them
as will more than satisfy us. But you must
write me long letters, and tell me everything
about the Squire and the way he keeps house,
and I don't care if you fill up the paper with
the Tyrrel-Rawdons."

"I will write you often, Granny, and tell
you everything."

"I shouldn't wonder if you come across
Dora Stanhope, but I wouldn't ask her to
Rawdon. She'll mix some cup of bother if
you do."

"I know."

In such loving and intimate conversation
the hours sped quickly, and Ethel could not
bear to cut short her visit. It was nearly five
when she left Gramercy Park, but the day
being lovely, and the avenue full of carriages
and pedestrians, she took the drive at its
enforced tardiness without disapproval.
Almost on entering the avenue from Madison
Square there was a crush, and her carriage
came to a standstill. She was then opposite
the store of a famous English saddler, and
near her was an open carriage occupied by a
middle-aged gentleman in military uniform.
He appeared to be waiting for someone, and
in a moment or two a young man came out of
the saddlery store, and with a pleasant laugh
entered the carriage. It was the Apollo of
her dreams, the singer of the Holland House
pavement. She could not doubt it. His face,
his figure, his walk, and the pleasant smile
with which he spoke to his companion were all
positive characteristics. She had forgotten
none of them. His dress was altered to suit
the season, but that was an improvement;
for divested of his heavy coat, and clothed
only in a stylish afternoon suit, his tall, fine
figure showed to great advantage; and Ethel
told herself that he was even handsomer than
she had supposed him to be.

Almost as soon as he entered his carriage
there was a movement, and she hoped her
driver might advance sufficiently to make
recognition possible, but some feeling, she
knew not what, prevented her giving any
order leading to this result. Perhaps she had
an instinctive presentiment that it was best
to leave all to Destiny. Toward the upper
part of the avenue the carriage of her eager
observation came to a stand before a warehouse
of antique furniture and bric-a-brac,
and, as it did so, a beautiful woman ran down
the steps, and Apollo, for so Ethel had men-
tally called him, went hurriedly to meet her.
Finally her coachman passed the party, and
there was a momentary recognition. He was
bending forward, listening to something the
lady was saying, when the vehicles almost
touched each other. He flashed a glance at
them, and met the flash of Ethel's eyes full of
interest and curiosity.

It was over in a moment, but in that moment
Ethel saw his astonishment and delight,
and felt her own eager questioning answered.
Then she was joyous and full of hope, for
"these two silent meetings are promises," she
said to Ruth. "I feel sure I shall see him
again, and then we shall speak to each other."

"I hope you are not allowing yourself to
feel too much interest in this man, Ethel; he
is very likely married."

"Oh, no! I am sure he is not, Ruth."

"How can you be sure? You know nothing
about him."

"I cannot tell HOW I know, nor WHY I know,
but I believe what I feel; and he is as much
interested in me as I am in him. I confess
that is a great deal."

"You may never see him again."

"I shall expect to see him next winter, he
evidently lives in New York."

"The lady you saw may be his wife. Don't
be interested in any man on unknown ground,
Ethel. It is not prudent--it is not right."

"Time will show. He will very likely be
looking for me this summer at Newport and
elsewhere. He will be glad to see me when I
come home. Don't worry, Ruth. It is all
right."

"Fred called soon after you went out this
morning. He left for Newport this afternoon.
He will be at sea now."

"And we shall be there in a few days.
When I am at the seaside I always feel a
delicious torpor; yet Nelly Baldwin told me
she loved an Atlantic passage because she had
such fun on board. You have crossed several
times, Ruth; is it fun or torpor?"

"All mirth at sea soon fades away, Ethel.
Passengers are a very dull class of people,
and they know it; they rebel against it, but
every hour it becomes more natural to be dull.
Very soon all mentally accommodate themselves
to being bored, dreamy and dreary.
Then, as soon as it is dark, comes that old
mysterious, hungering sound of the sea; and
I for one listen till I can bear it no longer,
and so steal away to bed with a pain in my
heart."

"I think I shall like the ocean. There are
games, and books, and company, and dinners,
and other things."

"Certainly, and you can think yourself
happy, until gradually a contented cretinism
steals over you, body and mind."

"No, no!" said Ethel enthusiastically.
"I shall do according to Swinburne--

"`Have therefore in my heart, and in my mouth,
The sound of song that mingles North and South;
And in my Soul the sense of all the Sea!'"

And Ruth laughed at her dramatic attitude,
and answered: "The soul of all the sea is a
contented cretinism, Ethel. But in ten days
we may be in Yorkshire. And then, my dear,
you may meet your Prince--some fine Yorkshire
gentleman."

"I have strictly and positively promised
myself that my Prince shall be a fine American
gentleman."

"My dear Ethel, it is very seldom

"`the time, and the place,
And the Loved One, come together.'"

"I live in the land of good hope, Ruth, and
my hopes will be realized."

"We shall see."

PART THIRD

"I WENT DOWN INTO THE GARDEN
TO SEE IF THE POMEGRANATES BUDDED.
Song of Solomon, VI. 11.

CHAPTER VII

IT was a lovely afternoon on the last day
of May. The sea and all the toil and travail
belonging to it was overpass, and Judge Rawdon,
Ruth and Ethel were driving in lazy,
blissful contentment through one of the
lovely roads of the West Riding. On either
hand the beautifully cut hedges were white
and sweet, and a caress of scent--the soul of
the hawthorne flower enfolded them. Robins
were singing on the topmost sprays, and the
linnet's sweet babbling was heard from the
happy nests in its secret places; while from
some unseen steeple the joyful sound of
chiming bells made music between heaven
and earth fit for bands of traveling angels.

They had dined at a wayside inn on jugged
hare, roast beef, and Yorkshire pudding,
clotted cream and haver (oaten) bread, and
the careless stillness of physical well-being
and of minds at ease needed no speech, but
the mutual smiling nod of intimate sympathy.
For the sense of joy and beauty which makes
us eloquent is far inferior to that sense which
makes us silent.

This exquisite pause in life was suddenly
ended by an exclamation from the Judge.
They were at the great iron gates of Rawdon
Park, and soon were slowly traversing its
woody solitudes. The soft light, the unspeakable
green of the turf, the voice of ancient
days murmuring in the great oak trees, the
deer asleep among the ferns, the stillness of
the summer afternoon filling the air with
drowsy peace this was the atmosphere into
which they entered. Their road through this
grand park of three hundred acres was a wide,
straight avenue shaded with beech trees. The
green turf on either hand was starred with
primroses. In the deep undergrowth, ferns
waved and fanned each other, and the scent
of hidden violets saluted as they passed.
Drowsily, as if half asleep, the blackbirds
whistled their couplets, and in the thickest
hedges the little brown thrushes sang softly
to their brooding mates. For half an hour
they kept this heavenly path, and then a sudden
turn brought them their first sight of the
old home.

It was a stately, irregular building of red
brick, sandaled and veiled in ivy. The nu-
merous windows were all latticed, the chimneys
in picturesque stacks, the sloping roof
made of flags of sandstone. It stood in the
center of a large garden, at the bottom of
which ran a babbling little river--a cheerful
tongue of life in the sweet, silent place. They
crossed it by a pretty bridge, and in a few
minutes stood at the great door of the mansion.
It was wide open, and the Squire, with
outstretched hands, rose to meet them. While
yet upon the threshold he kissed both Ethel
and Ruth, and, clasping the Judge's hand,
gazed at him with such a piercing, kindly
look that the eyes of both men filled with
tears.

He led them into the hall, and standing
there he seemed almost a part of it. In his
youth he had been a son of Anak, and his
great size had been matched by his great
strength. His stature was still large, his face
broad and massive, and an abundance of
snow-white hair emphasized the dignity of a
countenance which age had made nobler. The
generations of eight hundred years were crystallized
in this benignant old man, looking
with such eager interest into the faces of his
strange kindred from a far-off land.

In the evening they sat together in the old
hall talking of the Rawdons. "There is
great family of us, living and dead," said the
Squire, "and I count them all my friends.
Bare is the back that has no kin behind it.
That is not our case. Eight hundred years
ago there was a Rawdon in Rawdon, and one
has never been wanting since. Saxon, Danish,
Norman, and Stuart kings have been and
gone their way, and we remain; and I can
tell you every Rawdon born since the House
of Hanover came to England. We have had
our share in all England's strife and glory,
for if there was ever a fight going on anywhere
Rawdon was never far off. Yes, we
can string the centuries together in the battle
flags we have won. See there!" he cried,
pointing to two standards interwoven above
the central chimney-piece; "one was taken
from the Paynim in the first Crusade, and
the other my grandson took in Africa. It
seems but yesterday, and Queen Victoria gave
him the Cross for it. Poor lad, he had it on
when he died. It went to the grave with him.
I wouldn't have it touched. I fancy the Rawdons
would know it. No one dare say they
don't. I think they meddle a good deal more
with this life than we count on."

The days that followed were days in The
House Wonderful. It held the treasure-trove
of centuries; all its rooms were full of secrets.
Even the common sitting-room had an antique
homeliness that provoked questions as
to the dates of its furniture and the whereabouts
of its wall cupboards and hidden recesses.
Its china had the marks of forgotten
makers, its silver was puzzling with half-
obliterated names and dates, its sideboard of
oak was black with age and full of table
accessories, the very names of which were
forgotten. For this house had not been built in
the ordinary sense, it had grown through
centuries; grown out of desire and necessity,
just as a tree grows, and was therefore fit and
beautiful. And it was no wonder that about
every room floated the perfume of ancient
things and the peculiar family aura that had
saturated all the inanimate objects around
them.

In a few days, life settled itself to orderly
occupations. The Squire was a late riser; the
Judge and his family breakfasted very early.
Then the two women had a ride in the park,
or wandered in the garden, or sat reading, or
sewing, or writing in some of the sweet, fair
rooms. Many visitors soon appeared, and
there were calls to return and courtesies to
accept. Among these visitors the Tyrrel-
Rawdons were the earliest. The representatives
of that family were Nicholas Rawdon
and his wife Lydia. Nicholas Rawdon was a
large, stout man, very arrogant, very complete,
very alert for this world, and not caring
much about the other. He was not pleased
at Judge Rawdon's visit, but thought it best
to be cousinly until his cousin interfered with
his plans--"rights" he called them--"and
then!" and his "THEN" implied a great
deal, for Nicholas Rawdon was a man incapable
of conceiving the idea of loving an
enemy.

His wife was a pleasant, garrulous woman,
who interested Ethel very much. Her family
was her chief topic of conversation. She had
two daughters, one of whom had married a
baronet, "a man with money and easy to
manage"; and the other, "a rich cotton lord
in Manchester."

"They haven't done badly," she said
confidentially, "and it's a great thing to get girls
off your hands early. Adelaide and Martha
were well educated and suitable, but, "she
added with a glow of pride, "you should see
my John Thomas. He's manager of the mill,
and he loves the mill, and he knows every
pound of warp or weft that comes in or goes
out of the mill; and what his father would
do without him, I'm sure I don't know. And
he is a member of Parliament, too--Radical
ticket. Won over Mostyn. Wiped Mostyn
out pretty well. That was a thing to do,
wasn't it?"

"I suppose Mr. Mostyn was the Conservative
candidate?"

"You may be sure of that. But my John
Thomas doesn't blame him for it--the gentry
have to be Conservatives. John Thomas said
little against his politics; he just set the crowd
laughing at his ways--his dandified ways.
And he tried to wear one eyeglass, and let it
fall, and fall, and then told the men `he
couldn't manage half a pair of spectacles;
but he could manage their interests and fight
for their rights,' and such like talk. And he
walked like Mostyn, and he talked like Mostyn,
and spread out his legs, and twirled his
walking stick like Mostyn, and asked them
`if they would wish him to go to Parliament
in that kind of a shape, as he'd try and do it
if they wanted a tailor-made man'; and they
laughed him down, and then he spoke reasonable
to them. John Thomas knows what
Yorkshire weavers want, and he just prom-
ised them everything they had set their hearts
on; and so they sent him to Parliament, and
Mostyn went to America, where, perhaps,
they'll teach him that a man's life is worth
a bit more than a bird or a rabbit. Mostyn
is all for preserving game, and his father was
a mean creature. When one thinks of his
father, one has to excuse the young man a
little bit."

"I saw a good deal of Mr. Mostyn in New
York," said Ethel. "He used to speak highly
of his father."

"I'll warrant he did; and he ought to keep
at it, for he's the only one in this world that
will use his tongue for that end. Old Samuel
Mostyn never learned to live godly or even
manly, but after his death he ceased to do
evil, and that, I've no doubt, often feels like
a blessing to them that had to live anyway
near to him. But my John Thomas!"

"Oh," cried Ethel, laughing, "you must
not tell me so much about John Thomas; he
might not like it."

"John Thomas can look all he does and
all he says straight in the face. You may
talk of him all day, and find nothing to say
that a good girl like you might not listen to.
I should have brought him with us, but he's
away now taking a bit of a holiday. I'm sure
he needs it."

"Where is he taking his holiday?"

"Why, he went with a cousin to show
him the sights of London; but somehow they
got through London sights very quick, and
thought they might as well put Paris in. I
wish they hadn't. I don't trust foreigners and
foreign ways, and they don't have the same
kind of money as ours; but Nicholas says I
needn't worry; he is sure that our John
Thomas, if change is to make, will make it to
suit himself."

"How soon will he be home?"

"I might say to-day or any other early
day. He's been idling for a month now, and
his father says `the very looms are calling
out for him.' I'll bring him to see you just
as soon as he comes home, looms or no looms,
and he'll be fain to come. No one appreciates
a pretty girl more than John Thomas does."

So the days passed sweetly and swiftly onward,
and there was no trouble in them. Such
business as was to be done went on behind
the closed doors of the Squire's office, and
with no one present but himself, Judge Rawdon,
and the attorneys attached to the Rawdon
and Mostyn estates. And as there were
no entanglements and no possible reason for
disputing, a settlement was quickly arrived
at. Then, as Mostyn's return was uncertain,
an attorney's messenger, properly accredited,
was sent to America to procure his signatures.
Allowing for unforeseen delays, the perfected
papers of release might certainly be on hand
by the fifteenth of July, and it was proposed
on the first of August to give a dinner and
dance in return for the numerous courtesies
the American Rawdons had received.

As this date approached Ruth and Ethel
began to think of a visit to London. They
wanted new gowns and many other pretty
things, and why not go to London for them?
The journey was but a few hours, and two or
three days' shopping in Regent Street and
Piccadilly would be delightful. "We will
make out a list of all we need this afternoon,"
said Ruth, "and we might as well go to-morrow
morning as later," and at this moment a
servant entered with the mail. Ethel lifted
her letter with an exclamation. "It is from
Dora," she said, and her voice had a tone of
annoyance in it. "Dora is in London, at the
Savoy. She wants to see me very much."

"I am so sorry. We have been so happy."

"I don't think she will interfere much,
Ruth."

"My dears," said Judge Rawdon, "I have
a letter from Fred Mostyn. He is coming
home. He will be in London in a day or two."

"Why is he coming, father?"

"He says he has a proposal to make about
the Manor. I wish he were not coming. No
one wants his proposal." Then the breakfast-
table, which had been so gay, became silent
and depressed, and presently the Judge went
away without exhibiting further interest in
the London journey.

"I do wish Dora would let us alone," said
Ruth. "She always brings disappointment
or worry of some kind. And I wonder what
is the meaning of this unexpected London
visit. I thought she was in Holland."

"She said in her last letter that London
would be impossible before August."

"Is it an appointment--or a coincidence?"

And Ethel, lifting her shoulders sarcastically,
as if in hostile surrender to the inevitable,
answered:

"It is a fatality!"

CHAPTER VIII

THREE days afterward Ethel called on Dora
Stanhope at the Savoy. She found her alone,
and she had evidently been crying. Indeed, she
frankly admitted the fact, declaring that she
had been "so bored and so homesick, that she
relieved she had cried her beauty away." She
glanced at Ethel's radiant face and neat fresh
toilet with envy, and added, "I am so glad
to see you, Ethel. But I was sure that you
would come as soon as you knew I wanted
you."

"Oh, indeed, Dora, you must not make
yourself too sure of such a thing as that! I
really came to London to get some new gowns.
I have been shopping all morning."

"I thought you had come in answer to my
letter. I was expecting you. That is the
reason I did not go out with Basil."

"Don't you expect a little too much, Dora?
I have a great many interests and duties----"

"I used to be first."

"When a girl marries she is supposed
to----"

"Please don't talk nonsense. Basil does
not take the place of everyone and everything
else. I think we are often very tired of each
other. This morning, when I was telling him
what trouble I had with my maid, Julia, he
actually yawned. He tried to smother the
yawn, but he could not, and of course the
honeymoon is over when your bridegroom
yawns in your face while you are telling him
your troubles."

"I should think you would be glad it was
over. Of all the words in the English language
`honeymoon' is the most ridiculous
and imbecile."

"I suppose when you get married you will
take a honeymoon."

"I shall have more sense and more selfishness.
A girl could hardly enter a new life
through a medium more trying. I am sure it
would need long-tested affections and the
sweetest of tempers to make it endurable."

"I cannot imagine what you mean."

"I mean that all traveling just after marriage
is a great blunder. Traveling makes
the sunniest disposition hasty and peevish,
for women don't love changes as men do.
Not one in a thousand is seen at her best
while traveling, and the majority are seen at
their very worst. Then there is the discomfort
and desolation of European hotels--
their mysterious methods and hours, and the
ways of foreigners, which are not as our
ways."

"Don't talk of them, Ethel. They are
dreadful places, and such queer people."

"Add to these troubles ignorance of language
and coinage, the utter weariness of
railway travel, the plague of customs, the
trunk that won't pack, the trains that won't
wait, the tiresome sight-seeing, the climatic
irritability, broiling suns, headache, loneliness,
fretfulness--consequently the pitiful
boredom of the new husband."

"Ethel, what you say is certainly too true.
I am weary to death of it all. I want to be
at Newport with mother, who is having a
lovely time there. Of course Basil is very
nice to me, and yet there have been little tiffs
and struggles--very gentle ones--for the mastery,
which he is not going to get. To-day he
wanted me to go with him and Canon Shackleton
to see something or other about the poor
of London. I would not do it. I am so lonely,
Ethel, I want to see some one. I feel fit to
cry all the time. I like Basil best of anyone
in the world, but----"

"But in the solitude of a honeymoon among
strangers you find out that the person you like
best in the world can bore you as badly as
the person you don't like at all. Is that so?"

"Exactly. Just fancy if we were among
our friends in Newport. I should have some
pleasure in dressing and looking lovely. Why
should I dress here? There is no one to see
me."

"Basil."

"Of course, but Basil spends all the time
in visiting cathedrals and clergymen. If we
go out, it is to see something about the poor,
or about schools and such like. We were not
in London two hours until he was off to Westminster
Abbey, and I didn't care a cent about
the old place. He says I must not ask him to
go to theaters, but historical old houses don't
interest me at all. What does it matter if
Cromwell slept in a certain ancient shabby
room? And as for all the palaces I have
seen, my father's house is a great deal handsomer,
and more convenient, and more comfortable,
and I wish I were there. I hate Europe,
and England I hate worst of all."

"You have not seen England. We are all
enraptured with its beauty and its old houses
and pleasant life."

"You are among friends--at home, as it
were. I have heard all about Rawdon Court.
Fred Mostyn told me. He is going to buy it."

"When?"

"Some time this fall. Then next year he
will entertain us, and that will be a little different
to this desolate hotel, I think."

"How long will you be in London?"

"I cannot say. We are invited to Stanhope
Castle, but I don't want to go there.
We stayed with the Stanhopes a week when
we first came over. They were then in their
London house, and I got enough of them."

"Did you dislike the family?"

"No, I cared nothing about them. They
just bored me. They are extremely religious.
We had prayers night and morning, and a
prayer before and after every meal. They
read only very good books, and the Honorable
Misses Stanhope sew for the poor old women
and teach the poor young ones. They work
harder than anyone I ever knew, and they call
it `improving the time.' They thought me a
very silly, reckless young woman, and I think
they all prayed for me. One night after they
had sung some very nice songs they asked me
to play, and I began with `My Little Brown
Rose'--you know they all adore the negro--
and little by little I dropped into the funniest
coon songs I knew, and oh how they laughed!
Even the old lord stroked his knees and
laughed out loud, while the young ladies
laughed into their handkerchiefs. Lady
Stanhope was the only one who comprehended
I was guying them; and she looked at
me with half-shut eyes in a way that would
have spoiled some girls' fun. It only made
me the merrier. So I tried to show them a
cake walk, but the old lord rose then and said
`I must be tired, and they would excuse me.'
Somehow I could not manage him. Basil
was at a workman's concert, and when he
came home I think there were some advices
and remonstrances, but Basil never told me.
I felt as if they were all glad when I went
away, and I don't wish to go to the Castle--
and I won't go either."

"But if Basil wishes to go----"

"He can go alone. I rather think Fred
Mostyn will be here in a few days, and he will
take me to places that Basil will not--innocent
places enough, Ethel, so you need not
look so shocked. Why do you not ask me to
Rawdon Court?"

"Because I am only a guest there. I have
no right to ask you."

"I am sure if you told Squire Rawdon how
fond you are of me, and how lonely I am, he
would tell you to send for me."

"I do not believe he would. He has old-
fashioned ideas about newly married people.
He would hardly think it possible that you
would be willing to go anywhere without
Basil--yet."

"He could ask Basil too."

"If Mr. Mostyn is coming home, he can
ask you to Mostyn Hall. It is very near
Rawdon Court."

"Yes. Fred said as soon as he had possession
of the Court he could put both places
into a ring fence. Then he would live at the
Court. If he asks us there next summer I
shall be sure to beg an invitation for you also;
so I think you might deserve it by getting me
one now. I don't want to go to Mostyn yet.
Fred says it needs entire refurnishing, and if
we come to the Court next summer, I have
promised to give him my advice and help in
making the place pretty and up to date. Have
you seen Mostyn Hall?"

"I have passed it several times. It is a
large, gloomy-looking place I was going to
say haunted-looking. It stands in a grove of
yew trees."

"So you are not going to ask me to Rawdon
Court?"

"I really cannot, Dora. It is not my
house. I am only a guest there."

"Never mind. Make no more excuses. I
see how it is. You always were jealous of
Fred's liking for me. And of course when
he goes down to Mostyn you would prefer me
to be absent."

"Good-by, Dora! I have a deal of shopping
to do, and there is not much time before
the ball, for many things will be to make."

"The ball! What ball?"

"Only one at Rawdon Court. The neighbors
have been exceedingly kind to us, and
the Squire is going to give a dinner and ball
on the first of August."

"Sit down and tell me about the neighbors
--and the ball."

"I cannot. I promised Ruth to be back at
five. Our modiste is to see us at that hour."

"So Ruth is with you! Why did she not
call on me?"

"Did you think I should come to London
alone? And Ruth did not call because she
was too busy."

"Everyone and everything comes before
me now. I used to be first of all. I wish I
were in Newport with dad and mamma; even
Bryce would be a comfort."

"As I said before, you have Mr. Stanhope."

"Are you going to send for me to the
ball?"

"I cannot promise that, Dora. Good-by."

Dora did not answer. She buried her face
in the soft pillow, and Ethel closed the door
to the sound of her sobs. But they did not
cause her to return or to make any foolish
promises. She divined their insincerity and
their motive, and had no mind to take any
part in forwarding the latter.

And Ruth assured her she had acted wisely.
"If trouble should ever come of this friendship,"
she said, "Dora would very likely
complain that you had always thrown Mostyn
in her way, brought him to her house in
New York, and brought her to him at Rawdon,
in England. Marriage is such a risk,
Ethel, but to marry without the courage to
adapt oneself. AH!"

"You think that condition unspeakably
hard?"

"There are no words for it."

"Dora was not reticent, I assure you."

"I am sorry. A wife's complaints are self-
inflicted wounds; scattered seeds, from which
only misery can spring. I hope you will not
see her again at this time."

"I made no promise to do so."

"And where all is so uncertain, we had
better suppose all is right than that all is
wrong. Even if there was the beginning of
wrong, it needs but an accident to prevent it,
and there are so many."

"Accidents!"

"Yes, for accident is God's part in affairs.
We call it accident; it would be better to say
an interposition."

"Dora told me Mostyn intended to buy
Rawdon Court in September, and he has even
invited the Stanhopes to stay there next summer."

"What did you say?"

"Nothing against it."

"Very good. Do you think Mostyn is in
London now?"

"I should not wonder. I am sure Dora is
expecting him."

In fact, the next morning they met Dora
and Basil Stanhope, driving in Hyde Park
with Mostyn, but the smiling greeting which
passed between the parties did not, except in
the case of Basil Stanhope, fairly represent
the dominant feeling of anyone. As for
Stanhope, his nature was so clear and truthful
that he would hardly have comprehended
a smile which was intended to veil feelings
not to be called either quite friendly or quite
pleasant. After this meeting all the joy went
out of Ruth and Ethel's shopping. They
wanted to get back to the Court, and they
attended strictly to business in order to do so.

Mostyn followed them very quickly. He
was exceedingly anxious to see and hear for
himself how his affairs regarding Rawdon
stood. They were easily made plain to him,
and he saw with a pang of disappointment
that all his hopes of being Squire of Rawdon
Manor were over. Every penny he could
righteously claim was paid to him, and on the
title deeds of the ancient place he had no
longer the shadow of a claim. The Squire
looked ten years younger as he affectionately
laid both hands on the redeemed parchments,
and Mostyn with enforced politeness
congratulated him on their integrity and then
made a hurried retreat. Of its own kind this
disappointment was as great as the loss of
Dora. He could think of neither without a
sense of immeasurable and disastrous failure.
One petty satisfaction regarding the
payment of the mortgage was his only com-
fort. He might now show McLean that it
was not want of money that had made him
hitherto shy of "the good investments" offered
him. He had been sure McLean in
their last interview had thought so, and had,
indeed, felt the half-veiled contempt with
which the rich young man had expressed his
pity for Mostyn's inability to take advantage
at the right moment of an exceptional chance
to play the game of beggaring his neighbor.
Now, he told himself, he would show McLean
and his braggart set that good birth and old
family was for once allied with plenty of
money, and he also promised his wounded
sensibilities some very desirable reprisals,
every one of which he felt fully competent
to take.

It was, after all, a poor compensation, but
there was also the gold. He thanked his
father that day for the great thoughtfulness
and care with which he had amassed this
sum for him, and he tried to console himself
with the belief that gold answered all purposes,
and that the yellow metal was a better
possession than the house and lands which
he had longed for with an inherited and insensate
craving.

Two days after this event Ethel, at her
father's direction, signed a number of papers,
and when that duty was completed, the
Squire rose from his chair, kissed her hands
and her cheeks, and in a voice full of tenderness
and pride said, "I pay my respects to
the future lady of Rawdon Manor, and I
thank God for permitting me to see this hour.
Most welcome, Lady Ethel, to the rights you
inherit, and the rights you have bought." It
was a moment hardly likely to be duplicated
in any life, and Ethel escaped from its tense
emotions as soon as possible. She could not
speak, her heart was too full of joy and wonder.
There are souls that say little and love
much. How blessed are they!

On the following morning the invitations
were sent for the dinner and dance, but the
time was put forward to the eighth of August.
In everyone's heart there was a hope
that before that day Mostyn would have left
Rawdon, but the hope was barely mentioned.
In the meantime he came and went between
Mostyn and Rawdon as he desired, and was
received with that modern politeness which
considers it best to ignore offenses that our
grandfathers and grandmothers would have
held for strict account and punishment.

It was evident that he had frequent letters
from Dora. He knew all her movements, and
spoke several times of opening Mostyn Hall
and inviting the Stanhopes to stay with him
until their return to America. But as this
suggestion did not bring from any member of
the Rawdon family the invitation hoped for,
it was not acted upon. He told himself the
expense would be great, and the Hall, in
spite of all he could do in the interim, would
look poor and shabby compared with Rawdon
Court; so he put aside the proposal on the
ground that he could not persuade his aunt
to do the entertaining necessary. And for
all the irritation and humiliations centering
round his loss of Rawdon and his inabilities
with regard to Dora he blamed Ethel. He was
sure if he had been more lovable and encouraging
he could have married her, and thus
finally reached Rawdon Court; and then, with
all the unreason imaginable, nursed a hearty
dislike to her because she would not understand
his desires, and provide means for their
satisfaction. The bright, joyous girl with
her loving heart, her abounding vitality, and
constant cheerfulness, made him angry. In
none of her excellencies he had any share,
consequently he hated her.

He would have quickly returned to London,
but Dora and her husband were staying with
the Stanhopes, and her letters from Stanhope
Castle were lachrymose complaints of
the utter weariness and dreariness of life
there the preaching and reading aloud, the
regular walking and driving--all the innocent
method of lives which recognized they
were here for some higher purpose than mere
physical enjoyment. And it angered Mostyn
that neither Ruth nor Ethel felt any sympathy
for Dora's ennui, and proposed no
means of releasing her from it. He considered
them both disgustingly selfish and ill-
natured, and was certain that all their
reluctance at Dora's presence arose from their
jealousy of her beauty and her enchanting
grace.

On the afternoon of the day preceding the
intended entertainment Ruth, Ethel, and the
Squire were in the great dining-room superintending
its decoration. They were merrily
laughing and chatting, and were not aware
of the arrival of any visitors until Mrs.
Nicholas Rawdon's rosy, good-natured face
appeared at the open door. Everyone welcomed
her gladly, and the Squire offered her
a seat.

"Nay, Squire," she said, "I'm come to
ask a favor, and I won't sit till I know
whether I get it or not; for if I don't get it,
I shall say good-by as quickly as I can. Our
John Thomas came home this morning and
his friend with him, and I want invitations
for the young men, both of them. My great
pleasure lies that way--if you'll give it to
me."

"Most gladly," answered the Squire, and
Ethel immediately went for the necessary
passports. When she returned she found
Mrs. Nicholas helping Ruth and the Squire
to arrange the large silver and cut crystal on
the sideboard, and talking at the same time
with unabated vivacity.

"Yes," she was saying, "the lads would
have been here two days ago, but they stayed
in London to see some American lady married.
John Thomas's friend knew her. She
was married at the Ambassador's house. A
fine affair enough, but it bewilders me this
taking up marriage without priest or book.
It's a new commission. The Church's warrant,
it seems, is out of date. It may be right'
it may be legal, but I told John Thomas if he
ever got himself married in that kind of a
way, he wouldn't have father or me for witnesses."

"I am glad," said the Squire, "that the
young men are home in time for our dance.
The young like such things."

"To be sure they do. John Thomas
wouldn't give me a moment's rest till I came
here. I didn't want to come. I thought
John Thomas should come himself, and I told
him plainly that I was ready to do anyone a
favor if I could, but if he wanted me to come
because he was afraid to come himself, I was
just as ready to shirk the journey. And he
laughed and said he was not feared for any
woman living, but he did want to make his
first appearance in his best clothes--and that
was natural, wasn't it? So I came for the
two lads." Then she looked at the girls with
a smile, and said in a comfortable kind of
way: "You'll find them very nice lads, indeed.
I can speak for John Thomas, I have
taken his measure long since; and as far as
I can judge his friend, Nature went about
some full work when she made a man of him.
He's got a sweet temper, and a strong mind,
and a straight judgment, if I know anything
about men--which Nicholas sometimes makes
me think I don't. But Nicholas isn't an ordinary
man, he's what you call `an exception.'"
Then shaking her head at Ethel,
she continued reprovingly: "You were
neither of you in church Sunday. I know
some young women who went to the parish
church--Methodists they are--specially to
see your new hats. There's some talk about
them, I can tell you, and the village milliner
is pestered to copy them. She keeps her eyes
open for you. You disappointed a lot of people.
You ought to go to church in the country.
It's the most respectable thing you can
do."

"We were both very tired," said Ruth,
"and the sun was hot, and we had a good
Sabbath at home. Ethel read the Psalms,
Epistle and Gospel for the day, and the
Squire gave us some of the grandest organ
music I ever heard."

"Well, well! Everyone knows the Squire
is a grand player. I don't suppose there is
another to match him in the whole world,
and the old feeling about church-going is
getting slack among the young people. They
serve God now very much at their ease."

"Is not that better than serving Him on
compulsion?" asked Ruth.

"I dare say. I'm no bigot. I was brought
up an Independent, and went to their chapel
until I married Nicholas Rawdon. My fa-
ther was a broad-thinking man. He never
taught me to locate God in any building; and
I'm sure I don't believe our parish church
is His dwelling-place. If it is, they ought to
mend the roof and put a new carpet down
and make things cleaner and more respectable.
Well, Squire, you have silver enough
to tempt all the rogues in Yorkshire, and
there's a lot of them. But now I've seen it,
I'll go home with these bits of paper. I shall
be a very important woman to-night. Them
two lads won't know how to fleech and flatter
me enough. I'll be waited on hand and foot.
And Nicholas will get a bit of a set-down.
He was bragging about Miss Ethel bringing
his invitation to his hand and promising to
dance with him. I wouldn't do it if I were
Miss Ethel. She'll find out, if she does, what
it means to dance with a man that weighs
twenty stone, and who has never turned hand
nor foot to anything but money-making for
thirty years."

She went away with a sweep and a rustle
of her shimmering silk skirt, and left behind
her such an atmosphere of hearty good-nature
as made the last rush and crowd of
preparations easily ordered and quickly
accomplished. Before her arrival there had
been some doubt as to the weather. She
brought the shining sun with her, and when
he set, he left them with the promise of a
splendid to-morrow--a promise amply redeemed
when the next day dawned. Indeed,
the sunshine was so brilliant, the garden so
gay and sweet, the lawn so green and firm,
the avenues so shady and full of wandering
songs, that it was resolved to hold the
preliminary reception out of doors. Ethel and
Ruth were to receive on the lawn, and at the
open hall door the Squire would wait to welcome
his guests.

Soon after five o'clock there was a brilliant
crowd wandering and resting in the pleasant
spaces; and Ethel, wearing a diaphanously
white robe and carrying a rush basket full
of white carnations, was moving among them
distributing the flowers. She was thus the
center of a little laughing, bantering group
when the Nicholas Rawdon party arrived.
Nicholas remained with the Squire, Mrs.
Rawdon and the young men went toward
Ethel. Mrs. Rawdon made a very handsome
appearance--"an aristocratic Britannia in
white liberty silk and old lace," whispered
Ruth, and Ethel looked up quickly, to meet
her merry eyes full of some unexplained
triumph. In truth, the proud mother was
anticipating a great pleasure, not only in the
presentation of her adored son, but also in
the curiosity and astonishment she felt sure
would be evoked by his friend. So, with the
boldness of one who brings happy tidings,
she pressed forward. Ethel saw her approach,
and went to meet her. Suddenly her
steps were arrested. An extraordinary thing
was going to happen. The Apollo of her
dreams, the singer of the Holland House
pavement, was at Mrs. Rawdon's side, was
talking to her, was evidently a familiar
friend. She was going to meet him, to speak
to him at last. She would hear his name in
a few moments; all that she had hoped and
believed was coming true. And the clear,
resonant voice of Lydia Rawdon was like
music in her ears as she said, with an air of
triumph she could not hide:

"Miss Rawdon, I want you to know my
son, Mr. John Thomas Rawdon, and also
John Thomas's cousin, Mr. Tyrrel Rawdon,
of the United States." Then Mr. Tyrrel
Rawdon looked into Ethel's face, and in that
marvelous meeting of their eyes, swift as the
firing of a gun, their pupils dilated and
flashed with recognition, and the blood rushed
crimson over both faces. She gave the gentlemen
flowers, and listened to Mrs. Rawdon's
chatter, and said in reply she knew not
what. A swift and exquisite excitement had
followed her surprise. Feelings she could
not voice were beating at her lips, and yet
she knew that without her conscious will she
had expressed her astonishment and pleasure.
It was, indeed, doubtful whether any
after speech or explanation would as clearly
satisfy both hearts as did that momentary
flash from soul to soul of mutual remembrance
and interest.

"I thought I'd give you a surprise," said
Mrs. Rawdon delightedly. "You didn't
know the Tyrrel-Rawdons had a branch in
America, did you? We are a bit proud of
them, I can tell you that."

And, indeed, the motherly lady had some
reason. John Thomas was a handsome youth
of symmetrical bone and flesh and well-developed
muscle. He had clear, steady, humorous
eyes; a manner frank and independent, not
to be put upon; and yet Ethel divined, though
she could not have declared, the "want" in his
appearance--that all-overish grace and elasticity
which comes only from the development
of the brain and nervous system. His face
was also marred by the seal of commonness
which trade impresses on so many men, the result
of the subjection of the intellect to the
will, and of the impossibility of grasping things
except as they relate to self. In this respect
the American cousin was his antipodes. His
whole body had a psychical expression--slim,
elastic, alert. Over his bright gray eyes the
eyelids drew themselves horizontally, showing
his dexterity and acuteness of mind; indeed,
his whole expression and mien

"Were, as are the eagle's keen,
All the man was aquiline."

These personal characteristics taking some
minutes to describe were almost an instantaneous
revelation to Ethel, for what the soul
sees it sees in a flash of understanding. But
at that time she only answered her impressions
without any inquiry concerning them.
She was absorbed by the personal presence of
the men, and all that was lovely and lovable
in her nature responded to their admiration.

As they strolled together through a flowery
alley, she made them pass their hands through
the thyme and lavender, and listen to a bird
singing its verses, loud and then soft, in the
scented air above them. They came out where
the purple plums and golden apricots were
beginning to brighten a southern wall, and
there, moodily walking by himself, they met
Mostyn face to face. An angry flash and
movement interpreted his annoyance, but he
immediately recovered himself, and met Ethel
and his late political opponent with polite
equanimity. But a decided constraint fell on
the happy party, and Ethel was relieved to
hear the first tones of the great bell swing
out from its lofty tower the call to the dining-room.

As far as Mostyn was concerned, this first
malapropos meeting indicated the whole
evening. His heart was beating quickly to
some sense of defeat which he did not take
the trouble to analyze. He only saw the man
who had shattered his political hopes and
wasted his money in possession also of what
he thought he might rightly consider his
place at Ethel's side. He had once contemplated
making Ethel his bride, and though
the matrimonial idea had collapsed as completely
as the political one, the envious, selfish
misery of the "dog in the manger" was
eating at his heartstrings. He did not want
Ethel; but oh, how he hated the thought of
either John Thomas or that American Raw-
don winning her! His seat at the dinner-
table also annoyed him. It was far enough
from the objects of his resentment to prevent
him hearing or interfering in their merry
conversation; and he told himself with passionate
indignation that Ethel had never once
in all their intercourse been so beautiful and
bright as she revealed herself that evening
to those two Rawdon youths--one a mere
loom-master, the other an American whom
no one knew anything about.

The long, bewitching hours of the glorious
evening added fuel to the flame of his anger.
He could only procure from Ethel the promise
of one unimportant dance at the close of
her programme; and the American had three
dances, and the mere loom-man two. And
though he attempted to restore his self-
complacency by devoting his whole attentions
to the only titled young ladies in the room, he
had throughout the evening a sense of being
snubbed, and of being a person no longer of
much importance at Rawdon Court. And the
reasoning of wounded self-love is a singular
process. Mostyn was quite oblivious of any
personal cause for the change; he attributed
it entirely to the Squire's ingratitude.

"I did the Squire a good turn when he
needed it, and of course he hates me for the
obligation; and as for the Judge and his fine
daughter, they interfered with my business
--did me a great wrong--and they are only
illustrating the old saying, `Since I wronged
you I never liked you.'" After indulging
such thoughts awhile, he resolved to escort
the ladies Aurelia and Isolde Danvers to
Danvers Castle, and leave Miss Ethel to find
a partner for her last dance, a decision that
favored John Thomas, greatly relieved Ethel,
and bestowed upon himself that most irritating
of all punishments, a self-inflicted disappointment.

This evening was the inauguration of a
period of undimmed delight. In it the Tyrrel-
Rawdons concluded a firm and affectionate
alliance with the elder branch at the
Court, and one day after a happy family dinner
John Thomas made the startling proposal
that "the portrait of the disinherited,
disowned Tyrrel should be restored to its
place in the family gallery." He said he had
"just walked through it, and noticed that
the spot was still vacant, and I think surely,"
he added, "the young man's father must
have meant to recall him home some day, but
perhaps death took him unawares."

"Died in the hunting-field," murmured the
Squire.

John Thomas bowed his head to the remark,
and proceeded, "So perhaps, Squire, it may
be in your heart to forgive the dead, and
bring back the poor lad's picture to its place.
They who sin for love aren't so bad, sir, as
they who sin for money. I never heard worse
of Tyrrel Rawdon than that he loved a poor
woman instead of a rich woman--and married
her. Those that have gone before us into
the next life, I should think are good friends
together; and I wouldn't wonder if we might
even make them happier there if we conclude
to forget all old wrongs and live together
here--as Rawdons ought to live--like one
family."

"I am of your opinion, John Thomas,"
said the Squire, rising, and as he did so he
looked at the Judge, who immediately indorsed
the proposal. One after the other
rose with sweet and strong assent, until there
was only Tyrrel Rawdon's voice lacking.
But when all had spoken he rose also, and
said:

"I am Tyrrel Rawdon's direct descendant,
and I speak for him when I say to-day, `Make
room for me among my kindred!' He that
loves much may be forgiven much."

Then the housekeeper was called, and they
went slowly, with soft words, up to the third
story of the house. And the room unused
for a century was flung wide open; the shutters
were unbarred, and the sunshine flooded
it; and there amid his fishing tackle, guns,
and whips, and faded ballads upon the wall,
and books of wood lore and botany, and dress
suits of velvet and satin, and hunting suits
of scarlet--all faded and falling to pieces--
stood the picture of Tyrrel Rawdon, with its
face turned to the wall. The Squire made a
motion to his descendant, and the young
American tenderly turned it to the light.
There was no decay on those painted lineaments.
The almost boyish face, with its loving
eyes and laughing mouth, was still twenty-
four years old; and with a look of pride and
affection the Squire lifted the picture and
placed it in the hands of the Tyrrel Rawdon
of the day.

The hanging of the picture in its old place
was a silent and tender little ceremony, and
after it the party separated. Mrs. Rawdon
went with Ruth to rest a little. She said
"she had a headache," and she also wanted
a good womanly talk over the affair. The
Squire, Judge Rawdon, Mr. Nicholas Rawdon,
and John Thomas returned to the dining-
room to drink a bottle of such mild Madeira
as can only now be found in the cellars of
old county magnates, and Ethel and Tyrrel
Rawdon strolled into the garden. There had
not been in either mind any intention of
leaving the party, but as they passed through
the hall Tyrrel saw Ethel's garden hat and
white parasol lying on a table, and, impelled
by some sudden and unreasoned instinct, he
offered them to her. Not a word of request
was spoken; it was the eager, passionate command
of his eyes she obeyed. And for a few
minutes they were speechless, then so intensely
conscious that words stumbled and were
lame, and they managed only syllables at a
time. But he took her hand, and they came
by sunny alleys of boxwood to a great plane
tree, bearing at wondrous height a mighty
wealth of branches. A bank of soft, green
turf encircled its roots, and they sat down in
the trembling shadows. It was in the midst
of the herb garden; beds of mint and thyme,
rosemary and marjoram, basil, lavender, and

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