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Dynevor terrace vol 2


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Title:DynevorTerrace(Vol.II)

Author:CharlotteMYonge
ReleaseDate:July,2003[Etext#4236][Yes,wearemorethanoneyearaheadof
schedule][ThisfilewasfirstpostedonDecember13,2001]
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DYNEVORTERRACE.

VOL.II.

CHAPTER1.

THETRYSTE.

OnesingleflashofgladsurpriseJustglancedfromIsabel’sdarkeyes,Then
vanishedintheblushofshameThatasitspenanceinstantcame—‘Othought
unworthyofmyrace!’TheLordoftheIsles.

AslittlereckedFitzjocelynofthemurmurswhichhehadprovoked,ashe
guessedthetruesecretofhisvictory.Inhiseyes,itwasthetriumphofmerit
overprejudice,andMrs.Frostespousedthesamegratifyingview,though
ascribingmuchtohernephew’sactivity,andJameshimself,flushedwithhope
andsuccess,wasnotlikelytodissent.
Nexttheyhadtomaketheirconquestavailable.ApartfromLouis’smagnificent
prognostications,atthelowestcomputation,theheadmaster’sincomeamounted
toasumwhichtoJamesappearedaffluence;andthoughtherewasnohouse
provided,itmatteredthelesssincetherewerefivetochoosefromintheTerrace,
evenifhisgrandmotherhadnotwishedthattheirhouseholdshouldbestillthe
same.WithMissConway’sownfortuneandtheTerracesettledonherself,where


couldbeanyrisk?
WouldLadyConwaythinkso?andhowshouldthecommunicationbemade?
Jamesatfirstproposedwritingtoher,enclosingalettertoIsabel;buthechanged
hismind,unabletosatisfyhimselfthat,whenabsentfromrestraint,shemight
notsendarefusalwithoutaffordingherdaughtertheoption.Hebeggedhis
grandmothertowritetoIsabel;butshethoughtherlettermightcarrytoomuch
weight,and,whatevermightbeherhopes,itwasnotforhertotelltheyoung
ladythatsuchmeansweresufficient.
Louisbeggedtobethebeareroftheletter.Hisauntwouldcertainlykeepterms
withhim,andhecouldinsurethatthecasewasproperlylaidbeforeIsabel;and,
astherecouldbenodoubtatpresentofhispersuasivepowers,Jamescaughtat
theoffer.ThepartywerestillatBeauchastel,andhedevisedgoingtohisold
quartersatEbbscreek,andmakingadescentuponthemfromthence.
Whenhecametotakeuphiscredentials,hefoundJamesandhislittleblack
leathernbag,determinedtocomeatleasttoEbbscreekwithhim,anddeclaringit
madehimfrantictostayathomeandleavehiscauseinotherhands,andthathe
couldnotexistanywherebutclosetothesceneofaction.
CaptainHannafordwassmokinginhisdemi-boat,andgavehisformerlodgersa
heartywelcome,buthetwinkledknowinglywithhiseye,andsosignificantly
volunteeredtoinformthemthattheladieswerestillatBeauchastel,thatJames’s
wrathattheoldskipper’simpudencebegantorevive,andhewalkedofftothe
remotestendofthegarden.
TheCaptain,remainingwithLouis,withwhomhewasalwaysonfarmoreeasy
terms,lookedaftertheothergentleman,winkedagain,andconfessedthathehad
suspectedoneorotherofthemmightbecomingthatwaythissummer,though
hecouldnotsayhehadexpectedtoseethembothtogether.
‘Mind,Captain,’saidLouis,’itwasn’tIthatmadetheboatlatethistimelast
year.’
‘Well!Imightbewrong,Ifanciedyoucastaneyethatway.Thenmaybeitain’t
truewhat’sallovertheplacehere.’
Louispressedtohearwhat.‘Why,thatwhentheFrenchweregoingonlike
RobertSpearandthemoldtimes,hehadconvoyedtheyoungladyrightthrough


themidstofthem,andtheywouldbothhavebeenshot,ifmyLady’sbutler
hadn’tcomedownwitharevolver,killedhalf-a-dozenofthemob,andrescued
themoutofit,butthatLordFitzjocelynhadbeendesperatelywoundedingoing
backtofetchherbracelet,andMr.Delafordhadcarriedhimoutinhisarms.’
‘Well!’saidLouis,coolly,withoutalteringamuscleofhisface,astheCaptain
lookedforanangrynegative.
‘Andwhentheygothome,—sothestorywent,—Mr.Frost,thetutor,wassomad
withjealousyandrage,thatmyLadydeclaredthosemooringswouldnotsuither
nolonger,buthadletgo,andlaidherheadrightforBeauchastel.’
‘Praywhatwastheyoungladysupposedtothinkofthematter?’
‘Storiesappearedtovary.OneversionsaidthatMr.Delafordhadfoundhimon
hiskneestoher;andthatmyLadyhadsnatchedhercruellyaway,becauseshe
wouldnothavehermarriedbeforeherowndaughters,andlookedoverallthe
post,forfearthereshouldbealetterforher.AnotherdeclaredthatMissConway
wouldnothavehimatanyprice,andwassetuponthepoortutor,andthathe
waslyingdangerouslyillofalowfever.—Thewomenwillhaveitso,’observed
theCaptain,‘thestory’severywhere,exceptmaybeintheparlouratBeauchastel,
andIwouldn’twonderifMrs.Mansellknewitallherself,forhermaidhasa
tongueayardlong.Iwon’tsaybutIthoughttheremightbesomegrainoftruth
atthebottom—’
‘Andyoushallhearitby-and-by,whenIknowwhatitismyself.’
‘I’dnotsayIwouldhavebelieveditthemoreifthatfinegentlemanhadtaken
hisoathofit—afellowthatain’ttobetrusted,’observedtheCaptain.
Thismighthaveledtoarevelation,ifLouishadhadtimetoattendtoit;buthe
hadpityonJames’simpatientmisery,andproceededtoasktheloanoftheboat.
Thetidewouldnot,however,serve;andaswaitingtillitwouldwasnottobe
endured,thetwocousinssetofftowalktogetherthroughthewoods,Louis
beguilingthewaybychaffingJames,asfarashewouldbear,withtheideaof
Isabel’snamebeingtrifledwithbytheprofanecrowd.
HeleftJamesatthegateofthepark,prowlingaboutlikeapanthertotryfora
glimpseofIsabel’swindow,andfeedinghisdespairandjealousythatLouis
shouldboldlywalkuptothedoor,whilehe,withsomuchbetteraright,was


excludedbyhisunguardedpromisetoLadyConway.
Allthetumultuaryemotionsofhismindwereendlesslyrepeated,andmanya
slowandpealingnoteofthechurch-clockhadaddedfueltohisimpatience,and
spurredhimtorushuptothedoorandclaimhisrights,beforeLouiscame
boundingpastthelodge-gates,flourishinghiscap,andcrying,‘Hurrah,Jem!All
right!’
‘I’mgoingtoheratonce!’criedJem,beginningtorushoff;butLouiscaughtand
imprisonedhisarm.
‘Notsofast,sir!Youaretoseeher.Ipromiseyoushallseeherifyouwishit,but
itmustbeinmyaunt’sway.’
‘Letmego,Isay!’
‘WhenIhavewalkedfivemilesinyourservice,youwon’taffordmeanarmto
helpmeback.Iamnotahorsewithwings,andIwon’tbeCupid’spostexcept
onmyownterms.Comeback.’
‘Idon’tstirtillIhaveheardthestateofthecase.’
‘Yes,youdo;forallthesportsmenwillbecominghome,andmyauntwouldnot
foralltheworldthatMr.Mansellcaughtyouontheforbiddenground.’
‘Howcanyougiveintosuchshufflingnonsense!IfIamtoclaimIsabelopenly,
whyamInottovisitheropenly?Youhaveyieldedtothatwoman’scrooked
policy.Idon’ttrustyou!’
‘Whenyouareherson,youmaymanageherasyouplease.Justnowshehasus
inherpower,andcanimposeconditions.Comeon;andifyouaregood,you
shallhear.’
DrawingJamesalongwithhimthroughthebeechwoodglades,hebegan,‘You
wouldhavebeenmoreinsanestillifyouhadguessedatmyluck.IfoundIsabel
alone.Mrs.Mansellhadtakenthegirlstosomejuvenilefete,andDelafordwas
discreetenoughnottorousemyauntfromherletters.Iauguredwellfromthe
happyconjunction.’
‘Goon;don’twastetimeinstuff.’


‘Barkisiswilling,then.Isthatenoughtothepoint?’
‘Fitzjocelyn,youneverhadanyfeelingsyourself,andthereforeyoutriflewith
thoseofothers.’
‘Ibegyourpardon.Itwasashame!Jem,youmaybeproud.Shetrustsyou
completely,andwhateveryouthinksufficient,sheregardsasample.’
‘Likeher!Onlytoolikeher.Suchconfidencemakesonefeelaredoubled
responsibility.’
‘IthoughtIhadfoundsomethingatwhichyoucouldnotgrumble.’
‘Howdoesshelook?Howdotheytreather?’
‘Apparentlytheyhavenotyetfedheronbreadandwater.No;seriously,Imust
confessthatshelookeduncommonlywellandlovely!Nevermind,Jem;Iverily
believethat,inspiteofabsenceandallthat,shehadneverbeensohappyinher
life.Ifanydescriptioncouldconveythesweetnessofvoiceandmannerwhen
shespokeofyou!Icouldnotlookinherface.Thoselookscanonlybeforyou.
Wetalkeditover,butsheheedednowaysandmeans;itwasenoughthatyou
weresatisfied.Shesaysthesubjecthasneverbeenbroachedsincetheflight
fromNorthwold,andthatLadyConway’skindnessnevervaries;andshetoldme
shehadlittlefearbutthatherdearmammawouldbeprevailedontogive
sanctionenoughtohinderherfromfeelingasifsheweredoingwrong,orsetting
abadexampletohersisters.Theyknownothingofit;butWalter,wholearntit
nooneknowshow,drawstheexemplarymoral,thatitserveshismotherrightfor
inflictingatutoronhim.’
‘Hasshehadmyletter?DoessheknowIamhere?’
‘Wait!Allthissettled,andluncheonbeingready,downcamemyLady,andwe
playedunconsciousnesstoourbestability.Imustconfessmyauntbeatus
hollow!Isabelthenleftustoourconference,whichweconductedwiththe
gravityofatailorandanoldwomanmakingamatchinBrittany.’
‘Youcameoutwiththatvaluableimprovablefreehold,theTerrace,Isuppose?’
‘Itoldthemerefacts!Myauntwasrathergrandaboutagrammar-school;she
saidevenacuracywouldsoundbetter,andshemusttalkitoverwithIsabel.I


gaveyourletter,conjuringhertoletIsabelhaveit,andthoughshedeclaredthat
itwasnokindness,andwouldputthepoordarlingintoneedlessperplexity,she
wastouchedwithmyforbearance,innothavinggivenitbefore,whenIhadsuch
anopportunity.Soshewentaway,andstayedawearywhile:butwhenshecame,
itwasworththewaiting.ShesaidIsabelwasoldenoughtoknowherownmind,
andtheattachmentbeingsostrong,andyousounexceptionable,shedidnot
thinkitpossibletoobject:shehadgreatdelightinseeingyoumadehappy,and
fulfillingthedictatesofherownheart,nowthatitcouldbedonewithmoderate
prudence.TheygotoScarboroughinafortnight,andyouwillbewelcomethere.
There’sforyou!’
‘Louis,youarethebestfellowliving!ButyousaidIwastoseeheratonce.’
‘Iasked,whywaitforScarborough?’anddepictedyouhoveringdisconsolately
roundtheprecincts.Nevermind,Jem,Ididnotmakeyoumoreridiculousthan
humannaturemustneedspaintalover,anditwasalltomeltherheart.Iwas
startingofftofetchyou,whenIfoundshewasingreatterror.Shehadnevertold
theMansellsofthematter,andtheymustbeprepared.Shecannothaveit
transpirewhilesheisintheirhouse,and,infact,isexcessivelyafraidofMr.
Mansell,andwantstotellherstorybyletter.Now,Ithink,consideringallthings,
shehasarighttotakeherownway.’
‘YousaidIwasnottogowithoutmeetingher!’
‘Ihadassented,andwasdevisinghowtomarchoffmylunaticquietly,whenthe
femininegoodnaturedheartthatisinherbegantorelent,andshelookedupin
myfacewithasmile,andsaidthepoordearswerereallyexemplary,andif
Isabelshouldwalktothebeachandshouldmeetanyonethere,sheneedknow
nothingaboutit.’
‘WhatsaysIsabel?’
‘Sheheldupherstatelyhead,andthoughtitwouldbeabetterreturnforMr.
Mansell’skindnesstotellhimherselfbeforeleavingBeauchastel;butLady
Conwayentreatedhernottobehasty,andprotestedthatherfearswereofMr.
Mansell’sdispleasurewithherfornothavingtakenbettercareofher—she
dreadedabreak,andsoon,—tilltheendofitwas,thatthoughweagreethat
prudencewouldcarryusofftomorrowmorning,yetherladyshipwilllookthe
otherway,ifyouhappentobeonthesouthernbeachateleveno’clocktomorrow


morning.Isupposeyouwereveryheadlongandperemptoryinyournote,forI
couldnotimagineIsabelconsentingtoasecrettrysteevensoauthorized.’
‘Ineveraskedforanysuchthing!Iwouldnotforworldsseeherledtodo
anythingunderhand.’
‘Shewillhonouryou!That’sright,Jem!’
‘Neitherasaclergyman,norasaDynevor,canIconsenttotrickeventhosewho
havenoclaimtoherduty!’
‘Neitherasagentleman,norasahumancreature,’addedLouis,inthesame
tone.‘ShallIgobackandgiveyouranswer?’
‘No;youarewalkinglameenoughalready.’
‘Nomatterforthat.’
‘Totellyouthetruth,Ican’tstandyourbeingwithheragain,whileIammadea
foolofbythatwoman.IfI’mnottoseeher,I’llbeoff.I’llsendheranote;we
willcrosstoBickleypool,andstartbythemail-trainthisverynight.’
Louismadenoobjection,andJameshurriedhimintothelittleparlour,wherein
tenminutesthenotewasdashedoff:—

MyOwnMostPreciousOne!—(as,thankstomymostunselfishofcousins,I
maydaretocallyou,)—Iregretmyfervencyandurgencyforaninterview,since
itledyoutothinkIcouldpurchaseevensuchhappinessbyasubterfuge
unworthyofmycalling,andanillreturnofthehospitalitytowhichweowedour
firstmeeting.WewillmeetwhenIclaimyouinthefaceofday,withoutthe
senseofstolenfelicity,whichisacharmtocommon-placeminds.Mygloryisin
theassurancethatyouunderstandmyletter,approve,andarerelieved.Withsuch
sanction,andwithardourbeforeyoulikemine,Iseethatyoucoulddonoother
thanconsent,andthereisnotashadowofcensureinmymind;butif,without
compromisingyoursenseofobedience,youcouldopenlyavowourengagement
toMr.Mansell,IownthatIshouldfeelthatwewerenotdrawnintoa
compromiseofsincerity.WhatthiscostsmeIwillnotsay;itwillbebare
existencetillwemeetatScarborough.‘Yourown,J.E.F.D.’



HavingwrittenthisanddepositeditintheEbbscreekpost-office,James
bethoughthimselfthathissubmissivecousinhadthrownhimselfonthefloor,
withhisbagforapillow,tryingtomakethemostofthefewmomentsofrest
beforethemidnightjourney.Seizedwithcompunction,Jamesexclaimed,‘There,
oldfellow,wewillstayto-night.’
‘Thankyou—’Hewastoosleepyformore.
Thedelaywasrecompensed.JameswastryingtopersuadeLouistorouse
himselftoberevivedbybread-and-cheeseandbeer,andcouldextortnothingbut
adrowsyrepetitionoftherhyme,inolddaysthewar-cryoftheGrammar-school
againstthepresentheadmaster,—

‘TheWelshmanhadlikedtobechokedbyamouse,Buthepulledhimoutby
thetail,’—

whenanalarumcameintheshapeofalittlegrinningboyfromBeauchastel,
withanoteonwhichJameshadnearlylaidhands,ashesawthewriting,though
theaddresswastotheViscountFitzjocelyn.
‘Youmayhaveit,’saidLouis.‘Ifanythingwerewanting,thecoincidenceproves
thatyouwerecutoutforoneanother.Irejoicethatthemoondoesnotstoop
fromhersphere.’

‘MyDearCousin,—ItrusttoyoutopreventMr.F.Dynevorfrombeinghurtor
disappointed;and,indeed,Iscarcelythinkhewill,thoughIshouldnotavail
myselfofthepermissionformeetinghimsokindlyintended.Isawatoncethat
youfeltasIdid,andasIknowhewill.Hewouldnotlikemetohavecauseto
blushbeforemykindfriends—toknowthatIhadactedadeceit,nortosetan
exampletomysistersforwhichtheymightnotunderstandthejustification.I
knowthatyouwillobtainmypardon,ifneeded;andtobeassuredofit,would
beallthatwouldberequiredtocompletethegratefulhappinessof‘Isabel.’



Theboyhadordersnottowait;andthesebeingsecondedbyfearsofsomething
that‘walked’inEbbscreekwoodafterdark,hewasgonebeforeananswercould
bethoughtof.Itmatteredtheless,sinceIsabelmustreceiveJames’snoteearly
inthemorning;andso,infact,shedid—andshewasblushingoverit,and
feelingasifshecouldneverhavebornetomeethiseyebutforthepartshehad
fortunatelytaken,whenLouisatappedatherdoor,withamessagethatMr.
Mansellwishedtospeakwithher,ifshewereready.
Shewentdownstairsstillinaglow;andheroldfriend’sfirstwordswerea
complimentonherroses,sopointed,thatshedoubtedforamomentwhetherhe
didnotthinkthemsuspicious,especiallyasheputhishandsbehindhisback,
andpacedupanddowntheroom,forsomemoments.Hethencametowardsher,
andsaid,inaverykindtone,‘Isabel,mydear,Isentforyoufirst,becauseI
knewyourownmotherverywell,mydear;andthoughLadyConwayisvery
kind,andhasalwaysdoneyoujustice,—thatIwillalwayssayforher,—yetthere
aretimeswhenitmaymakeadifferencetoayoungwomanwhethershehasher
ownmotherornot.’
Isabel’sheartwasbeating.Shewascertainthatsomediscoveryhadbeenmade,
andlongedtoexplain;butshewaswiseenoughnottospeakinhaste,andwaited
toseehowtheoldgentlemanwouldfinallybreakittoher.Heblunderedona
littlelonger,becomingmoreconfusedanddistressedeveryminute,andatlast
cametothepointabruptly.‘Inshort,Isabel,mydear,whatcanyouhavedoneto
setpeoplesayingthatyouhavebeencorrespondingwiththeyoungmenat
Ebbscreek?’
‘IsentanotetomycousinFitzjocelynlastnight,’saidIsabel,withsuch
calmness,thattheoldgentlemanfairlystoodwithhismouthopen,lookingather
aghast.
‘Fitzjocelyn!ThenitisFitzjocelyn,isit?’heexclaimed.‘Then,whycouldhenot
setaboutitopenlyandhonourably?Doeshisfatherobject?Iwouldnothave
thoughtitofyou,Isabel,noroftheladneither!’
‘Youneednotthinkit,dearMr.Mansell.ThereisnothingbetweenLord
Fitzjocelynandmyselfbutthewarmestfriendship.’
‘Isabel!Isabel!whyareyoumakingmysteries?Idonotwishtopryintoyour


affairs.Iwouldhavetrustedyouanywhere;butwhenitcomesroundtomethat
youhavebeensendingaprivatemessengertooneoftheyounggentlementhere,
Idon’tknowwhattobeat!IwouldnotbelieveMrs.Mansellatfirst;butIsaw
theboy,andhesaidyouhadsenthimyourself.Mydear,youmaymean,very
rightly-Iamsureyoudo,butyoumustnotsetpeopletalking!Itisnotacting
rightlybyme,Isabel;butIwouldnotcareforthat,ifitwereactingrightlyby
yourself.’Andhegazedatherwithapiteous,perplexedexpression.
‘Letmecallmamma,’saidIsabel.
‘Asyouwill,mydear,butcannotyouletthesimpletruthcomeoutbetweenyou
andyourownblood-relation,withoutallherwordstocomebetween?Can’tyou,
Isabel?IamsureyouandIshallunderstandeachother.’
‘Thatweshall,’repliedIsabel,warmly.‘Ihavegivenhernopromise.DearMr.
Mansell,IhavewishedallalongthatyoushouldknowthatIamengaged,with
herfullconsent,toMr.FrostDynevor.’
‘Tothelittleblacktutor!’criedMr.Mansell,recoiling,butrecollectinghimself.
‘Ibegyourpardon,mydear,hemaybeaverygoodman,butwhatbecomesof
allthisscramblingoverbarricadeswiththeyoungLord?’
Isabeldescribedthetruehistoryofherengagement;anditwasreceivedwitha
long,lowwhistle,bynomeanstoocomplimentary.
‘Andwhatmakeshimcomeandhideinholesandcorners,ifthisisallwithyour
mamma’sgoodwill?’
‘Mammathoughtyouwouldbedispleased;sheinsistedontakingherowntime
forbreakingittoyou,’saidIsabel.
‘Wasthereeverawomanbutmusthavehermystery?Well,Ishouldhaveliked
himbetterifhehadnotgivenintoit!’
‘Heneverdid!’saidIsabel,indignantenoughtodiscloseinfullthewhole
arrangementmadebyLadyConway’smanoeuvresandlaxgoodnature.‘Iknew
itwouldneverdo,’sheadded,‘thoughIcouldnotsaysobeforeherand
Fitzjocelyn.Mynotewastotellthemso:andlookhere,Mr.Mansell,thisis
whatMr.Dynevorhadalreadywrittenbeforereceivingmine.’


Shehelditoutproudly;andMr.Manaell,makinganunwillingsoundbetween
histeeth,tookitfromher;but,asheread,hiscountenancechanged,andhe
exclaimed,‘Ha!verywell!Thisissomethinglike!Sothat’sit,isit?Youandhe
wouldnotcombinetocheattheoldman,likeapairofloversinatrumpery
novel!’
‘No,indeed!’saidIsabel,‘thatwouldbeabadwayofbeginning.’
‘Whereistheyoungfellow?—atEbbscreek,didyousay?I’lltellyouwhat,
Isabel,’withhishandonthebell,‘I’llhaveoutthedogcartthisminute,andfetch
himhometobreakfast,tomeetmyLadywhenshecomesdownstairs,ifitbe
onlyforthesakeofshowingthatIlikeplaindealing!’
‘Isabelcouldonlyblush,smile,lookdoubtful,andyetsoveryhappyand
grateful,thatMr.Mansellbecamecautious,lesthisimpulseshouldhavecarried
himtoofar,and,afterhavingorderedthevehicletobeprepared,hecaughther
bythehand,anddetainedher,saying,‘Mindyou,Miss,youarenottotakethis
forover-much.I’mafraiditisasillybusiness,andIdidnotwantyoutothrow
yourselfawayonaschoolmaster.Imustseeandtalktothemanmyself;butI
won’thaveanythingthat’snotopenandabove-board,andthatmyLadyshallsee
foronceinherlife!’
‘I’mnotafraid,’saidIsabel,smiling.‘Jameswillmakehisownwaywithyou.’
IsabelranawaytoexcuseandexplainherconfessiontoLadyConway;while
Mr.Mansellindulgedinanotherwhistle,andthenwenttoinformhiswifethat
hewasafraidthegirlhadbeenmakingafoolofherself;butitwasnotLady
Conway’sfaultthatshewasnothingworse,andhewasresolved,whateverhe
did,toshowthathonestywastheonlythingthatwouldgodownwithhim.
Theboatwasrockingonthegreenwaves,andLouiswasintheactofwavingan
adieutodeafMrs.Hannaford,whenahuntsman’shalloocausedJamestolook
roundandbeholdMr.Mansellstandingupinhisdogcart,makingenergetic
signalswithhiswhip.
Hehadmeanttobeveryguarded,andwaittojudgeofJamesbeforeshowing
thatheapproved,buttheexcitementofthechasebetrayedhimintoaglowof
cordiality,andheshookhandswithvehemence.
‘That’sright!—justintime!Jumpin,andcomehometobreakfast.Soyou


wouldn’tbeapartytomyLady’stricks!—justlikeher—justasshewheedled
poorConway.IwillletherseehowIesteemplaindealing!Idon’tsaythatIsee
mywaythroughthisbusiness;butwe’lltalkitovertogether,andsettlematters
withoutmyLady.’
Jameshardlyknewwherehewas,betweenjoyandsurprise.Theinvitationwas
extendedtohiscompanion;butFitzjocelyndiscernedthatbothJamesandMr.
Mansellwouldpreferbeinglefttothemselves;hehadarepugnancetoan
immediatediscussionwiththeoneaunt,andwasinhastetocarrythetidingsto
theother:andbesides,itwasbecomingpossiblethatlettersmightarrivefrom
thetravellers.Actuatedbyallthesemotives,hedeclinedtheofferofhospitality,
androwedacrosstoBickleypool,enlighteningtheCaptainonthestateofaffairs
asfarashedesired.

CHAPTERII.

THETHIRDTIME.

Tho’thiswasfair,andthatwasbraw,Andyouthetoastofallthetown,Isighed
andsaid,amangthema’,YearenotMaryMorison.BURNS.

Mrs.FrostandLouiswereverymerryovertheresultofLadyConway’s
stratagems,andsatupindulginginbrightanticipationsuntilsolateanhour,that
Louiswascompelledtorelinquishhispurposeofgoinghomethatnight,buthe
persistedinwalkingtoOrmersfieldbeforebreakfast,thathemightsatisfy
himselfwhethertherewereanyletters.
ItwasabriskOctobermorning,thesportsman’sgunandwhistlere-echoing
fromthehillsides;wherehereandthereappearedthedogscareeringalongover
greenturnip-fieldsoracrossamberstubble.TheLittleNorthwoldtrees,indark,
sobertintsofbrownandpurple,hungoverthegreywall,tintedbyhoarylichen;
andasLouisenteredtheOrmersfieldfieldpaths,andplungedintohisownFerny


dell,thelonggrassandbrackenshungoverthepath,weigheddownwithsilvery
dew,andthelargecavernousweboftheautumnalspiderwasallonethickflake
ofwet.
Ifhecouldnotentertheravinewithoutthankfulnessforhispastescape,neither
couldheforgetgratitudetoherwhohadcometohisrelieffromhopelessagony!
Hequickenedhispace,intheearnestlongingfortidings,whichhadseizedhim,
eventoheartsickness.
Itwasthereactionoftheardourandexcitementthathadsolongpossessedhim.
Thevictoryhadbeengained—hehadbeenobligedtoleaveJamestoworkinhis
owncause,andwouldbenolongerwantedinthesamemannerbyhiscousin.
Thesenseofloneliness,andofthewantofanobject,camestronglyuponhimas
hewalkedthroughtheprimoldsolitarygarden,andlookedupatthedreary
windowsofthehouse,almostreluctanttoenter,aslongasitwaswithoutMary’s
ownsereneatmosphereofsympathyandgoodsense,herpreciousofficesof
love,herclearsteadyeyes,eveninbabyhoodhistrustworthycounsellors.
Wasitadelusionoffancy,actingonreflectionsintheglass,that,ashemounted
thestepsfromthelawn,depictedMary’sfigurethroughthedining-room
windows?Nay,thetablewasreallylaidforbreakfast—afemalefigurewas
actuallystandingoverthetea-chest.
‘AscenefromtheVicarofWakefielddeludingme,’decidedLouis,advancingto
thethirdwindow,whichwasopen.
ItwasMaryPonsonby.
‘Mary!’
‘Youhere?—Theysaidyouwerenotathome!’
‘Myfather!—Where?’
‘Heisnotcomedown.Heisaswellaspossible.Wecameatelevenlastnight.I
foundIwasnotwanted,’addedMary,withadegreeofagitation,thatmadehim
concludethatshehadlostherfather.
OnestephemadetofindtheEarl,buttoomuchexcitedtomoveawayorto
atandstill,hecametowardsher,wrungherhandinamorerealwaythaninhis


firstbewilderedsurprise,andexclaimedintransport,‘OMary!Mary!tohave
youbackagain!’then,rememberinghisinference,added,lowandgravely,‘It
makesmeselfish—Iwasnotthinkingofyourgrief.’
‘Nevermind,’saidMary,smiling,thoughhereyesoverflowed,‘Imustbegladto
beathomeagain,andsuchawelcomeasthis—’
‘OMary,Mary!’hecried,nearlybesidehimself,‘Ihavenotknownwhattodo
withoutyou!Youwillbelieveitnow,won’tyou?’—oh,won’tyou?’
Marywouldhavebeenawonderfulpersonhadshenotinstantlyandutterly
forgottenallherconclusionsfromFrampton’shavingdeclaredhimgoneto
Beauchastelforanunlimitedtime;butallshedidwastoturnawayhercrimson
tearfulface,andreply,‘Yourfatherwouldnotwishitnow.’
‘Thenthespeculationshavefailed?Somuchthebetter!’
‘No,no!hemusttellyou—’
Shewastryingtowithdrawherhand,whenLordOrmersfieldopenedthedoor,
andinthemomentofhisamazed‘Louis!’Maryhadfled.
‘Whatisit?oh!whatisit,father?criedLouisforallgreeting,‘whycanshesay
youwouldnotwishitnow?’
‘Wishit?wishwhat?’askedtheEarl,withouttheintuitiveperceptionofthe
meaningofthepronoun.
‘Whatyouhavealwayswished—Maryandme—Whatistheonlyhappinessthat
lifecanofferme!’
‘IfIwisheditayearago,Icouldonlywishitthemorenow,’saidtheEarl.‘But
howisthis?—IfullybelievedyoucommittedtoMissConway.’
‘MissConway!MissConway!’burstoutLouis,inafrenzy.‘BecauseJemFrost
wasinlovewithherhimself,hefanciedeveryoneelsemustbethesame,and
nowhewillbemarriedtoherbeforeChristmas,sothat’sdisposedof.Astomy
feelingforheraparticle,ashredofwhatIdoforMary,itwasamerefiction—a
romance,animpossibility.’


‘Idonotunderstandyou,Louis.Whydidyounotfindthisoutbefore?’
‘Mrs.Ponsonbycalleditmydutytotestmyfeelings,andIhavetestedthem.
Thatoneisabeautifulpoet’sdream.Maryisawoman,theonlywomanIcan
everlove.NotanhourbutIhavefeltit,andnow,father,whatdoesshemean?’
‘Shemeans,poorgirl,whatonlyherownscrupulousdelicacycouldregardasan
objection,butwhatrendersmestillmoredesiroustohavearighttoprotecther.
Thecauseofourreturn—’
‘How?Ithoughtherfatherwasdead.’
‘Farworse.AtValparaisowemetRobson,theconfidentialagent.Ilearntfrom
himthatMr.Ponsonbyhadhardlywaitedforhermother’sdeathtomarrya
Limenian,apersonwhomeverythingpointedoutasunfittoassociatewithhis
daughter.EvenRobson,cautiousashewas,saidhecouldnotundertaketo
recommendMissPonsonbytocontinueherjourney.’
‘Andthiswasall?’exclaimedLouis,toointentonhisownviewsforanything
butrelief.
‘All?Isitnotenoughtosetherfree?Sheacquiescedinmyjudgmentthatshe
coulddonootherwisethanreturn.Shewrotetoherfather,andIsentthreelines
toinformhimthat,underthecircumstances,Ifulfilledmypromisetohermother
bytakingherhome.Ihadnearlymadeherpromisethat,shouldwefindyou
abouttoformanestablishmentofyourown,shewouldconsiderherselfasmy
child;but—’
‘Oh,father!howshallwemakeherbelieveyoucarenothingforherscruple?
Thewretchedman!But—oh!whereisshe?’
‘Itdoesnotamounttoascrupleinhercase,’deliberatelyresumedtheEarl.‘I
alwaysknewwhatPonsonbywas,andnothingfromhimcolddsurpriseme—
evensuchanoutrageonfeelinganddecency.Besides,hehaseffectuallyshut
himselfoutofsociety,anddegradedhimselfbeyondthepowerofinterfering
withyou.Fortherest,Maryisalready,infeeling,soentirelymychild,thatto
havetherighttocallhersohasalwaysbeenmyfondestwish.And,Louis,the
monthsIhavespentwithherhavenotdiminishedmyregard.MyMary!shewill
haveahappierlotthanhermother!’


TheendofthespeechrewardedLouisfortheconflictbywhichhehadkept
himselfstilltolistentothebeginning.LordOrmersfieldhadpityonhim,and
wentinsearchofMary;whilehe,rememberingformerpassages,feltthathis
fathermightbelessstartlingandmorepersuasive,butbegantounderstandwhat
Jamesmusthavesufferedincommittinghisaffairstoanother.
TheEarlfoundMaryinwhathadbeenhermother’ssitting-room,strivingto
braceherresolutionbyrecallingtheconversationthathadtakenplacethereona
likeoccasion.Butalas!howmuchmorethehearthadnowtosay!Howmuchit
feltasiftheonlyshelterorrestinthedesolateworldwasinthelightoftheblue
eyeswhosetendersunshinehadbeenonherforoneinstant!
Yetshebeganfirmly—‘Ifyouplease,wouldyoubesokindastoletmegoto
AuntMelicent?’
‘By-and-by,mydear,whenyouthinkfit.’
‘Oh,then,atonce,andwithoutseeinganyone,please!’
‘Nay,Mary,’withredoubledgentleness,‘thereisonewhocannotletyougo
withoutseeinghim.Mary,youwillnotdisappointmypoorboyagain.Youwill
lethimbeanamendmentinmyscheme.’
‘Youhavebeenalwaysmostkindtome,butyoucannotreallylikethis.’
‘YouforgetthatithasbeenmymostardentwishfromthemomentIsawyou
whatonlyyourmother’schildcouldbe.’
‘Thatwasbefore—No,Ioughtnot!Yoursisnotafamilytobringdisgraceinto.’
‘Icannotallowyoutospeakthus.IknewyourtrialsathomewhenfirstIwished
youtobemyson’swife,andmyopinionisunchanged,exceptbymyincreased
wishtohavethefirstclaimtoyou.’
‘LordOrmersfield,’saidMary,collectingherself‘onlyonething.Tellme,asif
wewereindifferentpersons,isthisaconnexionsuchaswoulddoLouisany
harm?Itrustyoutoanswer.’
Hepacedalongtheroom,andshetriedtocontrolhertrembling.Hecameback
andspoke:No,Mary.Ifhewereastranger,Ishouldgivethesameadvice.Your


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