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Geoff did what he could to make the she lay back in the corner, covering her coachman hear him ; but it was by no face with her hands, Geoft's heart was means the affair of a moment to gain the too soft not to forget every other sentiattention of that functionary, and induce ment. He thought only of consoling him to stop. When, however, this was her. accomplished, Geoff obeyed the passion- “Tell me what it was," he said, ate desire in Lady Stanton's face, who soothingly. “ You saw-some
one ? all the time had been straining to look Do not cry so bitterly. You never out, and jumped to the ground. He harmed anybody in your life. Tell me looked round anxiously, while she, half —you thought you saw ?" out of the carriage, gazed back, fixing I saw him, as plainly as I see you, her eyes upon one of those recesses in Geoff ; don't tell me it was a fancy. He the road, which are common in the north was sitting, resting, like a man tired country. “I see no one,” said Geoff. with walking, dusty and worn out. I He came back to the place on which her noticed his weary look before I saw his gaze was fixed, and looked behind the face, and just as we passed he raised wall that bounded it, and all about, but his head. Oh, why should he have could see nothing. When he returned, looked at me like that, Geoff ? No, I he found that Mary had fallen back in never did any one harm, much less him. her corner, and was weeping bitterly. I have always stood up for him, you “He looked at me with such reproachful know, since you first spoke to me. I eyes. Oh, he need not; there was no have always said, always-even before reason. I would have saved or served this was found out : living people mistake him with my life,” she cried ; "and he each other continually; but the deadhad never any claim on me, Geoff, never the dead ought to knowany claim on me! why should he come “Who is dead ?" said Geoff ; and look at me with such reproachful you speaking of John Musgrave, who is eyes ? If he is dead, he ought to know as much alive as I am ?" better than that. Surely he ought to "If he were a living man," said Mary, know--'
solemnly, “how could I have seen him ? The carriage, standing in the middle Geoff, it is no mistake. I saw him, as I of the road, the young man searching see you.”. about, not knowing what he was looking And is that why you think him dead?" for, the coachman superbly indifferent said Geoff, with natural surprise. on the box, contemplating the agitation Lady Stanton raised herself erect in of his inferiors with god-like 'calm, the her corner. Geoff, oh can you not footman, on Geoff's horse, with his understand ?" she cried. But she did mouth open, staring, while the beautiful not herself quite understand what she lady wept inside, made the strangest pic- meant. She thought from the suddenture. As a matter of course, the foot- ness of it, from the shock it gave her, man, riding on in advance, had seen and from the disappearance of the waynothing and nobody. He avowed farer, which was so inexplicable, that frankly that he was not taking any no- it was an apparition she had seen. John tice of the folks on the road. He might Musgrave could not be there, in the have seen a man seated on the stones, Aesh, seated by the roadside; it was not he could not be certain. Neither had possible; but when Geoff asked whether the coachman taken any notice. Foot having seen him was an argument for passengers did not interest either of thinking him dead, she had nothing to these functionaries. And Lady Stanton say. She wrung her hands. “I have did not seem able to give any further ex- seen him whether he is living or dead," planation. The only thing to be done she repeated, “and he looked at me with was to go on. She had been on her way such eyes. He was not young as he to Stanton to give Geoff the advantage used to be, but worn, and a little grey. of Sir Henry's advice and opinion, and I came to tell you what Sir Henry said; thither, accordingly, they proceeded but here is something far, far more imafter this interruption. Geoff took his portant. Know him! could I mistake place again beside his cousin, perhaps a him, do you think; how could I misjittle impatient of the stoppage; but as take him? Geoff, how could it be he,
sitting there, without any warning, with- she had seen than his ghost. She was out a word; but if it was he, if that was convinced by his reasoning. Oh, yes ; possible, why are we going on like this? no doubt, she said, it must be so. BeAre we to desert him ? give him up? I cause you saw a man unexpectedly, that am talking folly,” she said, again clasping was no reason for supposing him to be her hands. “Oh, Geoff, a living man dead. Oh, no-Geoff was quite right; would not have looked at me with such she saw the reason of all he said. But eyes."
Mary's head and her heart and all her "He has not very much right to hap- being thrilled with the shock. There py eyes, has he?” said Geoff ; com- was a ringing in her ears, and pulses ing home an outlaw, not venturing to were beating all over, and her blood speak to any one. It would not be half coursing through her veins. The very so sad if he were a ghost. But to come country, so familiar, seemed to change back, and not to dare to trust even his its aspect. No stronger commentary friends, not to know if he has any could have been on the passage of time friends, not to be able to go home and than the sudden glimpse of the face see his children like any other man, to which she had seen just now on the rest on the stones at the roadside, he to roadside. But Mary did not think of whom all the land belongs. I don't that. The lake and the rural road that wonder he looked sad,” cried Geoff, ran by it, and the hills in the distance, half-sympathetic, half-indignant. “How seemed to take again the colors of her was he to know even that he would find youth. He was nothing to her, and a friend in you ?"
never had been. She had not loved Mary was sobbing, scarcely able to him, only had “taken an interest.” But speak. Oh, tell them to go back all that was most poignant in her life again-tell them to go back," she cried. came back to her, with the knowledge There was no way of satisfying her but that he was here. Once more it seemed this: the carriage turned slowly round, to be that time when all is vivid, when rolling like a ship at sea. The coach- every day may be the turning-point of
disgusted and unwilling. life—the time that was consciously but a “What did she want now?" he said, tele- drift and floating on of hour by hour graphing with uplifted hands and eyes when it existed, as is the present moment to the surprised footman on Geoff's - but which, looking back upon it seemed horse. Lady Stanton was not a hard the time of free action, of choice, of mistress like her stepdaughters, nor fan- every possibility. Was it so ? Might tastical and unreasonable as they were. he be met with round any corner, this She took the carriage humbly when she man who had been banished so long? could get it, and would consult this very In the face of death and danger had he coachman's convenience before bringing come back, he whom nobody had exhim out, which no one else thought of pected ever to come back ? A strange doing. Nevertheless Lady Stanton had half-question whether everything else her character in the house, and human had come back with him, and half-cernature required that it should be kept tainty that nothing for her could change, up. She was the stepmother, the scape- was in Mary's mind as she lay back, goat. “What is she after now?” the quivering with emotion, hearing Geoff's coachman said.
voice in her ears, not knowing a word She got out of the carriage herself, he said. What had Geoff to do with it trembling, to aid in the search, and the young Geoff, to whom nothing had footman getting down, looked every- ever happened? She smiled vaguely to where, even under the stones, and in the herself to think that the boy could think roadside hedges, but no one was there. he knew. How was he to know ? he When they resumed their way again, was not of that time. But all the peoMary lay back in her corner too much ple in the road, and the very water itself, worn out with excitement and emotion and the villages and houses, seemed to to be able even to speak. Geoff could not ask her, was it true? tell whether she was glad or sorry to be This was all the evidence on the subbrought to acknowledge that it was ject from which a judgment could be more likely to be John Musgrave whom formed. Randolph Musgrave (who told
no one) had seen in his own words a see he did not know what wonderful something, a some one, whose face he things, what objects of entrancing interdid not see, but who suggested John to est, as soon as he got outside the little him so strongly that his very heart seemed region where everything was known to to stop beating — then disappeared. him. Good-bye, Mary good-bye, And Lady Stanton from the window of Lily,” he said, waving his hand. He the carriage, driving past, saw a face, had his own little portmanteau with his which was John Musgrave's face grown name on it, a new little silver watch in older and worn, with hair that was
his pocket · what could child want slightly grey, instead of the brown curls more? Lily, though she was his sister, of former years, and which disappeared was not a sensation like that watch. He too in the twinkling of an eye, and be- took it out, and turned it round and ing searched for, could be found no round, and opened the case, and wound more. What was it? an apparition con- it up (he had wound it up twice this jured up by their interest or their fears morning already, so that one turn of the --or John Musgrave, in his own person, key was all that was practicable). Nothcome home?
ing at the Castle, nothing in the society
of Lily, was equal to this. He compared CHAPTER XXIX.
his watch with the clock in the druggist's NELLO'S JOURNEY.
in the village and found it fast; he com
pared it with the clock at the station and RANDOLPH MUSGRAVE drove from the found that slow. He did not take any door of his father's house with a sigh of notice of his uncle, nor his uncle of relief, yet of anxiety. He had not done him; each of them was indifferent, what he meant to do, and aftairs were though partly hostile, to the other. more critical than when he went to Pen- Randolph was at his ease because he ninghame a few weeks before; but it had this child, this troublesome atom, was something at least to be out of the who might do harm though he could do troubled atmosphere, and he had ar- no good, in his power; but Nello was at ranged in his own mind what he should his ease, through pure indifference. He do, which was in its way a gain, as soon was not at the moment frightened of his as the breath was out of the old man's uncle, and no other sentiment in regard body—but when would that be? It to him had been developed in his mind. was not to be desired, Randolph said to As calm as if Randolph had been a himself piously, that his father should cabbage, Nello sat by his side and looked linger long; his life was neither of use at his watch. The watch excited him, nor comfort to any one, and no pleasure, but his uncle-4 Thus they went on, no advantage to himself. To lie there an unsympathetic pair. Nello stood speechless, motionless, as much shut out about on the platform and looked at of all human intercourse as if he were everything, while Randolph took the already in his coffin—what could any tickets. He was slightly hurt to hear one desire but that, as soon as might that a half-ticket was still enough for be, it should come to an end ?
himself, and moved away at once to the He did not pay very much attention other side of the station, where the locoto his small companion. For the mo- motive enthralled him. He stood and ment, Nello, having been thus secured gazed at it with transport. What he and brought within his power, had no would have given to have travelled further importance, and Randolph sat there with the man who drove it, and with knitted brows pondering all he was leave Uncle Randolph behind! But to do, without any particular reference still Nello took his place in the train to the child. Nello had left the Castle with much indifference to Uncle Raneasily enough; he had parted from dolph. He was wholly occupied with Mary and from Lilias without any lin- what was going on before and about gering of emotion, getting over it as him : the rush across country, trees and quickly as possible. When it came to fields flying by, and the stations where that he was eager to be off, to set out there was always something new, the into the world. The little fellow's veins groups of people standing about, the were full of excitement; he expected to rush of some for the train, the late
arrival just as the doors were shut 'of had been so cheerful, felt disposed to those who were too late. These last sleep, but was too proud to yield to it; made Nello laugh, their blank looks were and then he began to think of his sister so funny—and yet he was sorry for and the home he had left. It is natural, them; for what a thing it must be, he it is selfish, to remember home when we thought, to see other people go rushing miss its comforts; but if that is not of out over the world to see everything, the higher nature of love, it is yet the while you yourself were left dull at religion of the weak, and not despised home! He remembered once himself by the great Succourer who bids men being left with Martuccia in the still, call upon Him in time of trouble. Neldeserted house when all the others had lo's heart, when he began to feel tired gone to the festa; how he thought the and famished, recurred with a pathetic day would never end-and Martuccia trust in the tenderness and in the certhought so too. This made him sorry, tainty of the well-being that abode there, very sorry, for the people who had lost to his home. their train. It did not occur to Nello When they stopped at a lively, bustling that it might be no festa he was going junction to change their direction, things to, or they were going to. What could mended a little. Nello ventured to buy any one want more than the journey himself a cake, his uncle not interfering, itself ? If you wearied of seeing the as they waited. “You will spoil your trains rush past, and counting the houses stomach with that sweet stuff," Rannow on one side, now on another, there dolph said, but he allowed the child to was the endless pleasure of dashing up munch. And they had half-an-hour to to one station after another, when Nello wait, which of itself was something. could look down with fine superiority on Nello walked about, imitating Ranthe people who were not going, on the dolph's longer stride, though he did not children above all, who looked up en- accompany his uncle; and though he vious, and envied him, he felt sure. felt forlorn and very small among the
By and by, however, though he would crowd, marched about and looked at not confess it to himself, the delights of everything as the gentlemen did, recovthe journey began to pall; his little eyes ering his spirits a little. And suddenly, grew fatigued with looking, and his little with a great glow of pleasure all over mind with the continuous spectacle of him, Nello spied among the strangers those long, flying breadths of country; who were hurrying to and fro a face he and even the stations lost their charm. had seen before; it is true it was only He would have liked to have somebody the face of the countryman who had to talk to, and cast one or two wistful accosted him in the chase, and with glances to see whether Uncle Randolph whom he had but a small acquaintance, was practicable, but found no encourage- but even this was something in the waste ment in that countenance, preoccupied, of the unknown that surrounded him. and somewhat lowering by nature, which The boy rushed up to him with a glearn appeared now and then in the wavering of joy upon his small countenance. “I of the train, over the newspaper his say, have you come from-home?". uncle was reading. What a long time it Yes, my little gentleman,” said Wild took to read that paper! How it crack- Bampfylde. “ I'm taking a journey like led when it was opened out! How tired you, but I like best to tramp on my two Nello grew of seeing it opposite to him! legs. I'm going no
further in your And he began to grow cramped with sit- carriages that give you the cramp.
I ting; his limbs wanted stretching, his reckon you're tired too." mind wanted change; and he began to “A little,” said Nello; “but that's no be hungry. Randolph, who scorned the matter. What have you in
basket? poor refreshments of the railway, and is it another rabbit? I gave mine to thought it better to wait for his meal till Lily. They would not let me bring it he reached home, did not think of the though I wanted to bring it. School difference between himself and the child. you know," said the boy, seriously,“ is They travelled on and on through the not like home. You have to be just like dulness of the afternoon. Nelio, who as if you were grown up there. Little
you cannot help being little ; but you Whisht, my little lad; put back your have to be like as if you were grown up money and keep it safe, for you'll have there."
need of it. I brought the bird to give “Ay, ay, that's the way to take it," you. If they're kind folks they'll let you said the countryman, looking down with keep him. You must keep him safe, a twinkle in his eye, half smiling, half and take care he has his meat every sad, at the small creature beside him. day; and if they're unkind to you or “The thing is to be a man, and to mind treat you bad, put you his basket in that you must stand up like a man, what- the window and open the lid, and puff ! ever happens. If one hits you, you he'll fee away and let your friends must hit him again, and be sure not to know.” cry."
But I should not like him to flee Hit me,” said Nello—“ cry? Ah, away.
I would like him to stay with me you do not know the kind of school I always, and sit on my shoulder, and eat am going to-for you are not a gentle- out of my hand.” man,” he added, looking with selfish “My little gentleman,” said Bampcondescension at his adviser. “I like fylde, “I'm afraid your uncle will hear you just the same," said Nello, “but you us. Try to understand. If you're illare not a gentleman, are you? and how used, if they're unkind, let the bird fly, can you know?".
and he'll come and tell us. Mind now, " The Lord forbid !” said Bampfylde, what I'm saying. He'll come and tell one's enough in a family. It would Did you never read in your storybe ill for us, and maybe for you too, if I books—" were a gentleman. Look you here, my Then it is an enchanted bird," said little man. Look at the bonnie bird in Nello, looking down, very gravely, into this basket-it's better than your rabbit. the basket. Lily had read to him of A rabbit, though it's one o' God's harm- such things. He was not very much less creatures, has little sense, and can- surprised; but a bird that some day not learn; but this bonnie thing is of would turn into a young prince did not use to God and man, as well as being attract him so much as one that would bonnie to look at. Look at him! what hop on his shoulder without ulterior oba bonnie head he has, and an eye as ject. He looked down at it very seriousmeaning as your own."
ly, with more respect perhaps, but not so “A pigeon !” said Nello, with a cry warm an interest. His little face had of delight. Oh, I wish I might have lost its animation. How Lily would him! Do you think I might have him ? have glowed and brightened at the idea ! I could put him under the seat, and no- But Nello was no idealist. He preferred body would see the basket; and then a real pigeon to all the enchanted prinwhen we got there
ces in the world. “Ay, that's the question when you “Nay,” said Bampfylde, with a gleam got there.”
of a smile across his dark face, “it's no “I would say it was my-fishing fairy, but it's a carrier. Did you never basket," said Nello.
He said they hear of that? And when you let it fly wert fishing; and nobody would know. it will fly to me, and let me know that I would say Mary had-put things in it: you are wanting something that they're nobody would ever find out, and I would not kind to you, or that you're wanting keep it in my room, and buy seed for it to be away.” and give it water, and it would live “Oh, they'll be kind,” said Nello, carequite comfortable. And it would soon lessly ; “I would rather he would stay come to know me, wouldn't it? and hop with me, and never never fly away.” about and sit on my shoulder. Oh, let “I'll put him in the carriage for you," me have it; won't you let me have it? said Bampfylde, hurriedly, "for here's Look here, I have a great deal of somebody coming. And don't you let money,” cried Nello, turning out his any one know that you were speaking to pocket; five shillings to spend, and a me, or ever saw ine before. And God sovereign Mary gave me. I will give bless you, my little gentleman !" said the you money for it, as much money as ever vagrant, suddenly disappearing among you please