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and bring papa she never doubted. It the stone Nello held out to him, and was dreadful to have to wait so long looked at it as if it might be poison-or
-so long; but still every morning, any it might be an attempt on his dignity got morning he might come. This hope up by somebody. When he had satisfied in her mind absorbed Lilias, and made himself that it was a common piece of her silent, indisposed for play. At slate he took courage, and, with a smile other times she would talk eagerly, de- that sat very awkwardly upon his face, manding her brother's interest and re- threw it, but with the most complete unsponse to things he did not understand. Children can go on a long time without “Ah! you are not good, like the old understanding, each carrying on his or gentleman; his skipped seven times ! her monologue, two separate streams, He was so clever at it! I wish he was which, (flowing tranquilly together, feel not ill,” said Nello, checking an incipient like something mutual, and answer all yawn. It was, perhaps, the first time the ends of intercourse; and in this way any one had uttered such a wish. It had neither of them was aware how far apart been taken for granted, even by his they were. But Nello was dull; he had daughter, that the Squire's illness was so little to do. He had no pony, he the most natural thing in the world. could not play cricket as Johnny Pen "Did he really come and play with did with the village boys. He was you? But old men are no better than small, even for his age, and he had not children,” said Randolph. “I suppose been educated in the art of knocking he had nothing else to do." about as English boys are.
“ It is very nice to have somebody to even a little timid of the water, and the play with when you have nothing else to boats, in which other boys might have do,” said Nello, reflectively. “And he found solace. Half of his time he wan- was clever. You—you don't know even dered about, listless, not knowing what how to throw. You throw like a girlto make of himself. This was the con- like this. But this is how the old gendition of mind in which Randolph met tleman did,” cried Nello, suiting the achim on one of these lingering afternoons. tion to the word, “and so do I." The child had strayed out all by him- “Do you know nothing but these self; he was standing by the waterside baby-games? I suppose you never played at his old amusement, but not enjoying cricket?” said Randolph, with, though it this time. “What are you doing?” he was a man, a pleasurable sense of besaid his uncle, calling out to him as he ing thus able to humiliate the little creaapproached. Randolph was not a fa- ture beside him. Nello colored to the vorite with the children; but it was half roots of his hair. an amusement to see any one coming "I do not like cricket. near, and to have to answer a question. one like the same things ? It is too hot ; He said “ Nothing," with a sigh. Not a and one cannot play by oneself,” the boy single skip could he get out of those added with a sigh. dull slates. The water would not carry “You ought not to play by yourself, them; they would not go; they went to it is not good for you. Have you no the bottom with a prosaic splash and one to play with, little boy?" thud. How different from that day 'Nobody,” said Nello, with emphasis; with the old gentleman, when they flew "not one person. There is 'Lily; but as if they had been alive! Perhaps this what does it matter about a girl ? And new comer might have luck, and do as sometimes Johnny Pen comes. He is well as the old gentleman. “Will you not much good; he likes the green best, have a try?" he said ; "here is a good and all the village boys. Then they say one, it ought to be a good one; but I I am too little; and I don't know them,” can't make them go to-day.”
the boy added, with a gleam of moisture "I-have a try?" Randolph was in his eyes. The village boys had not startled by the suggestion. But he was been kind to Nello; they had laughed at anxious to conciliate the little fellow him for a little foreigner, and made whom he wanted so much to get rid of. remarks about his hair, which was cut And it was only for once. He took sus- straight across his forehead. “I don't piciously (for he was always suspicious) want to know them." This was said
with vehemence ; for Nello was sore at away on Friday, and you are to come the want of appreciation which had been with me. It will be a great deal better shown him. They did not care for him, for you than growing up like a little girl but they made a great deal of Johnny here. You are exactly like a little girl Pen!
now, with your long hair and your name, “ You should go to school; that is which is a girl's name. You would be where all boys should
A boy should Jack if you were at school. I want to not be brought up like a little girl; he make a man of you. You will never be should learn to use his hands, and his anything but a little lady if you don't go fists even. Now what should you do if to school. Come; you have only to put there was a fight
on a frock like your sister. Nelly ! “A fight ?" Nello grew pale and then why, that's a girl's name! You should grew red. “If it was—some one else, I be Jack if you were at school.” would walk away; but if it was me-if I am not a girl!" cried Nello. His any one touched me, I should kill him!” face grew crimson, and he darted his litcried the child, setting his little white tle brown fist-not so feebly as his size teeth. Randolph ought professionally to promised-in his uncle's face. Randolph have improved the occasion ; but he took a step backwards in his surprise. only laughed—that insulting laugh which "I hate you !" cried the child. “You is offensive to everybody, and specially shall never never come here when I am exasperates a child. “How could you
When the old gentleman is kill him? That is easier said than done, dead, and papa is dead, and everything is
mine, I will shut up all the doors, I will “I would get a gun, or a sword; but turn out the dogs, and you shall never first,” said Nello, calming down, “I come here. I know now it is true what would tell him to go away, because I Lily says--you are the bad uncle that should not wish to kill him. I have killed the babes in the wood. But when seen people fighting with guns and I am a big man and grown up, you shall swords—have you ?"
never come here !" Here Randolph, being obliged to own "So!" said Randolph, furious but himself inferior, fell back upon what was politic; “it is all to be yours? I did right, as he ought to have done before. not know that. The castle, and the
Fighting is very wrong," he said. woods, and everything? How do you “ It is dreadful to think of people cut
know it will be yours?" ting each other to pieces, like wild beasts; “Oh, everybody knows that," said but it is not so bad if you defend your- Nello, recovering his composure as lightself with your fists. Only foreigners ly as he had lost it; “ Martuccia and fight with swords; it is thoroughly un- every one. But first the old gentleman English. You should never fight; but must be dead, and, I think, papa. I am you would have to defend yourself if not so sure about papa. And do you you were at school.”
think they would teach me cricket at Nello looked at his uncle with an school, and to fight? I don't really care agreeable sense of superiority. “But I for cricket, not really. But Johnny Pen have seen real fighting,” he said ; not
and the rest, they think so much of it. like children. I saw them fighting the I should like to knock down all their Austrians—that was not wrong. Papa wickets, and get all the runs; that would said so. It was to get back their houses teach them! and lick them after !" said and their country. I was little then, the bloodthirsty Nello, with gleaming and I was frightened. But they won !" eyes. cried the boy, with a gleam in his dark eyes. What a little savage he was !
CHAPTER XXVII. Randolph was startled by the sudden
AN APPARITION. reference to "papa,” and this made him more warm and eager in his turn.
Thus Randolph overcame Nello's op“Whoever has trained you to be a position to school, to his own extreme partisan has done very wrong," he said. surprise. Though he had a child of his “What do you know about it? But own, and all the experiences of a middlelook here, my little man. I am going aged clergyman, he had never yet learned
the A, B, C of childhood. But it may if things went-well! Was that, perbe supposed that the conversation gene- haps, the word to use-well? That is, rally had not made him love his nephew if John could be somehow disposed of, more dearly. He shook his fist at the prevented from coming home, and the boy as he ran along the water-side, sud- boy pushed quietly to one side. As for denly seized by the delight of the nov- John, he could not come home. It elty and the thought of Johnny Pen's would be death-perhaps, certainly reenvy. “If I had you, my boy!” Ran- newed disgrace. He would have to dolph said, between his teeth, thinking stand his trial, and, if he fled from that grimly of the heirship which the child trial once, how was he likely to be able was so sure of. Pride would have a fall to face it now? He would stay abroad, in this as in other cases. The child's of course—the only safe place for him. pretensions would not count for very If he could but be communicated with, much where he was going. To be fog- wherever he was, and would send for ged out of all such nonsense would be his son and daughter, some arrangement far the best thing for him ; and a good might be made : a share of the income flogging never did a boy much harm. settled upon him, and the family inheriRandolph, though he was not a bad man, tance left for those who could enjoy it. felt a certain gratification in thinking of This would be, in every way, the best the change that would occur in Nello's thing that could be done; best for John life. There was nothing wrong about the himself ; best for the house, which had school; it was a very humble place, been always an honorable one, and never where farmers' sons were trained rough- connected with disgrace. It is so easy to ly but not unkindly. It would make a believe what one wishes that Randolph, man of the delicate little half-foreign after a while, going over the subject in boy, who knew nothing about cricket. his mind, succeeded in smoothing away No doubt it would be different from any all difficulties, except, indeed, the initial thing he was used to; but what of that? one of getting into correspondence, one It was the best thing for him. Randolph way or another, with John. If this was not cruel, but still it gave him a lit. could be done, surely all the rest was tle pleasure to think how the impudent smooth enough! John was not a fool; little wretch would be brought to his he must see that he could not come senses; no harm done to him-no real home. He must see how difficult it harm-but only such a practical lesson would be to prove his marriage and his as would sweep all nonsense out of his son's birth, and make everything clear head. If Nello had been a man of his (though why this should be so difficult own age, a rival, he could not have an- Randolph did not explain even to himticipated his humiliation with more zest. self). Then he must see equally well He would have liked to be a boy himself that, to put the property and the old to fag the little upstart. There would castle into the hands of a man with be probably no fagging at the farmers' money, who could really do something school, but there would be-well! He to improve them, would be far better for smiled to himself. Nello would not like the family than to go on as he (John) it; but it would bring the little monkey must do, having no money, if even he to his senses, and for that good object could come lawfully into possession. there was no objection to be taken to All this was so evident, no man in his the means.
senses could refuse to see it. And as And as he walked through the Chase, for communicating with John: there through the trees, seeing in the distance was, of course, one way, which seemed before him the blunt, turret-chimneys, all the natural way, and which surely must veiled and dignified with ivy, of the old be infallible in that case as in most other house, many thoughts were in Ran- cases-the Times. However far out of dolph's heart. He was a Musgrave, after the world John might be, surely he would all, if not a very fine example of the race. have opportunities from year to year of His wife was well off. If it had not seeing the Times ! No Englishman, been for John, who was a criminal, and even though banished, could live without this boy-what he would have done for that. And, sooner or later, if often the old place! What he might do still enough repeated, the advertisement must reach him, suppose it to be put some- broad daylight, in so well-known and thing in this form :-“ J. M., of P.-His familiar a place. Had it been in the brother R. wishes to communicate with dark, in any of the ghostly passages of him on urgent business connected with the old house! but out here in the sunthe death of their father.” This would shine, in the open air ! attract no particular attention from any Randolph took off his hat, to let the one, and John could not fail to perceive air blow freely about him, for he had that he was meant. Thus he had, to grown hot and uncomfurtable. His his satisfaction, made everything clear. hand with the hat in it dropped for a
It was just when he came to this satis- moment between him and the other who factory settlement of the difficulty, so was so near him. When he raised it perfectly easy in theory, though no again there was no
no one there. He doubt there might be certain difficulties rubbed his eyes, looked again, and dartabout carrying it out, that Randolph sud- ed forward to see whether the man was denly saw a little way before him, some hiding among the trees; but there was one making his way through the trees. no one there. Randolph took off his hat The Chase was private, and very few peo- once more, to wipe his streaming foreple had the right of coming here ; neither head ; his hand trembled so that he did Randolph see whence this unexpect- could scarcely do it. What did it mean? ed passenger had come, for there was no When he had convinced himself there tributary path by which he might have was no one to be seen, he turned and made his way down to the footwalk, hurried away from the place, with his through the elms and oaks. He was heart beating loudly in his breast. He within easy sight, obscured a little by never looked behind him, but hastened the brushwood, and with his back to the on till he had got to the broad road, spectator; but the sight of him gave where there was not a bush to hide an Randolph a great start and shock, which apparition. Then he permitted himself he could not very well explain. The to draw breath. man was in dark clothes, with a broad It would be doing Randolph injustice felt hat, quite unlike anything worn in to suppose that after he was out of the this district; and there was something shadow of the trees, and in safety, with about his attitude and walk (no doubt a a broad level bit of road before him, on merely fantastic resemblance, or some which everything was distinctly visible impression on his mind from his pre- all round, he could be capable of believoccupation with the idea of John) which ing that he had seen a ghost. Nothing recalled his brother to Randolph's mind. of the kind. It must have been one of He was more startled than words could the people about the place, poking say.
For a moment he could not even among the bushes, who had disappeared think or move, but stood open-mouthed, under the branches of the trees, and staring at the figure before him, which whom he thought like John, only be. went on straight, not turning to the right cause he had been thinking of John-or or to the left.
perhaps his thought of John had proWhen Randolph came to himself, he duced an optical delusion, and imaginatried to laugh at his own folly—then tion had painted some passing shadow as coughed loudly and meaningly, by way a substantial thing, and endued it with of catching the stranger's attention, and his brother's image. It might have been seeing who it was. But his cough at- merely an eccentric tree, on the outline tracted no manner of attention from the of which fancy had wrought, showing a wayfarer, who went on pushing through kind of grotesque resemblance. It might the trees, like one who knew every turn be, and probably was, just nothing at and winding. Randolph was at the end all. And it was supremely ridiculous of his invention. If he called out“ Hi!” that his heart should so thump for such it might turn out to be somebody of im- an absurd delusion; but thump it did, portance. If he spoke more politely, and that in the most violent manner. and called the stranger to halt, he might He was out of breath, though he had be a nobody-if indeed it was not- A made no exertion. And he could not vague impression, half of fear, came dick up his thoughts where he had upon him. What nonsense it was ! In propped them, when he saw that--figure A thrill as of guilt was in his soul; he possess the finer eye of fancy do not was afraid to begin again where he had need those actual revelations. Ranleft off. He found himself still rather dolph's was as stolid a mind as ever breathless before the house, looking up asked for a sign-and he had not asked at the veiled windows of his father's for a sign in this case, nor felt that anyroom. For the first time Randolph thing of the kind was necessary; but his thought with a little awe of his father ly- entire mental balance was upset by what ing there between life and death. He he had seen, or supposed himself to have had not thought of him at all in his own seen; and he could not free his mind person, but rather of the Squire official- from the impression. As he sat and read, ly, the old life .who kept a younger or rather pretended to read, his mind generation out of the estate. It was kept busy with the one question-What time the elders were out of the way, and was it? Was it a real person, a stranger age superseded by middle age. But who had got astray, and stumbled into now for a moment he realised the man
some copse or brushwood, which Ranlying helpless there, in the very pathway dolph had forgotten-a man with a of death—not freed by the Great Delive chance resemblance to Johr., heightened erer, but imprisoned by Him, all his by the pre-occupation and previous senses and faculties bound up, a captive reference to John in Randolph's mind ? tied hand and foot by the grim potency or was it John himself, come to look after who conquers all men. Randolph was his own interests-John-in the body, frightened altogether by the mysterious or out of the body, who could tell ? encounter and impressed with awe. If As for Nello, he ran home by the wathere had been daily service he would terside, his mind possessed by the new have gone to church, but as there was thing that was about to be accomplished nothing of the sort in Penninghame, he school! Boys to play with, novelty of went into the library to read a good all kinds, and then that cricket, which book, as the next best thing to do. But he pretended to despise, but secretly adhe could not stay in the library. The mired and desired with all his heartsilence of it was awful. He seemed to the game which came to Johnny Pen by see his father, seated there in his usual nature, but which the little foreign boy chair, silent, gazing at him with eyes of could not master; all this buzzed disapproval that went through and through his little head. When he came through him. After five minutes he home from school he would know all could stand it no longer. He took his about it; he would have played with good book, and went out to the side of much better players than Johnny Pen the water, within sight of the road where
The revolution in his thoughts people were coming and going. It was was great and sudden. But as he ran a comfort to him to see even the doctor's home, eager to tell Lilias about the boy with his phials, and the footman who change in his fortunes, Nello too met came with his mistress's card to inquire with a little adventure. He came sudhow the Squire was. And he looked denly, just as he emerged from the out, but looked in vain, with mingled woods upon the waterside where it was eagerness and fear for the broad hat he open to the road, on a man whom he had seen so mysteriously appearing and had seen before at a distance with a disappearing. Who could it be?--some dog, which was his admiration. The stranger astray in the Chase-some one dog was not with his master now; but of the many tourists who wander every- he took a something white and furry out where-or- Randolph shuddered, in of his great pocket, which stopped Nello spite of himself.
even in the hot current of his exciteIt is generally people without imagin- ment. ation, or with the most elementary and “Would you like to have this, my litrude embryo of that poetic faculty, who tle gentleman ?" the man said. see ghosts. This sounds like a paradox, It was a white rabbit, with the biggest yet there is reason in it. The people ears that Nello had ever seen. How his who are literal and matter-of-fact in eyes danced that had been all aglow inind, are those to whom wonders and before ! prodigies come naturally; those who “But I have no money," he said, dis